On 5th December, HIH Crown Prince Naruhito and HIH Crown Princess Masako attended the commendation ceremony for supporting the Disabled took place in Tokyo after the Week for Persons with Disabilities in Japan (3rd December to 9th December).
On 1st December, HIH Princess Aiko turned 16 years old.
On 16th birthday, Princess Aiko says she’s enjoying school life and growing into Imperial role
Text from Japan Times
As Princess Aiko turned 16 on Friday, the only child of Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako was said to be enjoying high school life and striving to better fulfill her role as a member of the Imperial family.
Over the past year, she has accompanied her parents on official duties and met members of foreign royal families. Her health has improved since last fall, when she appeared fatigued.
During a holiday in May, the princess showed strong interest watching a game of wheelchair basketball with her parents.
She also accompanied her parents’ greeting of Swedish Crown Princess Victoria, Danish Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary, as well as Bhutan Princess Sonam Dechan Wangchuck during their visits to Japan, according to the Imperial Household Agency.
On the anniversaries of Japan’s surrender in World War II and the Great East Japan Earthquake, the princess observed moments of silence. She also listened to her parents’ accounts of their visit to disaster-hit Miyagi Prefecture in November.
The princess has attended Gakushuin Girls’ Senior High School since April, after graduating from the junior high school located on the same campus in Tokyo.
Due to fatigue, she was absent from junior high school for a six-week period last year, but her condition has improved over the past year, according to the agency.
The princess does not engage in any club activities, but was active in athletic meets and cultural festivals. She often talks to her parents about her school life, the agency said.
Princess Aiko is not eligible to ascend the throne, which is restricted to males under the Imperial House Law.
Photo from Asahi
On 29th November, the members of Imperial Family attended the concert held by HRH Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg took place at State Guest House in Tokyo.
After the concert, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko bid farewell to HRH Grand Duke Henri and HRH Princess Alexandra.
Photo from Asahi
On 27th November, HM Emperor Akihito, HM Empress Michiko, HIH Crown Prince Naruhito and HIH Crown Princess Masako attended the welcoming ceremony for HRH Grand Duke Henri as the State Guest and HRH Princess Alexandra of Luxembourg took place at the East Garden of Imperial Palace.
At the evening, Their Majesties held the Imperial Banquet for them at Imperial Palace.
Remarks by His Majesty the Emperor at the State Banquet in Honour of His Royal Highness Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg (November 27, 2017)
Text from Imperial Household Agency
I wish to extend a heartfelt welcome to Your Royal Highness Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, who is visiting our country as a State Guest, together with Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, in this memorable year when we are celebrating the 90th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries. I am truly delighted to be able to spend this evening here with you. We regret that Her Royal Highness Grand Duchess Maria Teresa was not able to accompany the Grand Duke this time because of her health. We pray for her good health from the depths of our hearts.
Sixty-four years ago, in 1953, I attended the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. I was 19 years old. It was there that I first met your father, His Royal Highness Jean, former Grand Duke of Luxembourg, who was attending the Coronation as the Hereditary Grand Duke, together with Her Royal Highness Princess Josephine Charlotte.
Subsequently, the former Grand Duke and Grand Duchess have visited Japan a number of times beginning in 1979, including on the occasions of the Funeral of Emperor Showa and my Enthronement Ceremony, and the Empress and I have had the pleasure of seeing them every time they were in our country. Moreover, on each of our two visits to Luxembourg, the Empress and I received warm and gracious hospitality from Their Royal Highnesses former Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Josephine Charlotte, as well as Your Royal Highnesses, who were then the Hereditary Grand Duke and Grand Duchess, and other members of your family. It is our great joy that the Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg and the Imperial Family of Japan have enjoyed many years of close friendship in this way.
Your Royal Highness the Grand Duke has shown a strong interest in our country from a young age, and I have been told that you conducted research on Japan during your university years. You have visited Japan many times since your first visit in 1981 as newly-weds with Her Royal Highness Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, and you contributed much to developing the relations between our two countries. I would once again like to express my delight at being able to welcome Your Royal Highness as a State Guest.
Located in the centre of Europe, Luxembourg has endured many trials and tribulations of history but has maintained its independence thanks to the solidarity of its people. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Treaty of London, which established Luxembourg as a permanently neutral and unarmed state. In the decades following World War II, your country has consistently assumed an important role in the drive toward European integration. You have also produced many leaders for Europe, including the current President of the European Commission, Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker.
Furthermore, Luxembourg has successfully made a transition of its industrial structure, from an economy led by the iron and steel industry, which used to be the engine of its economy, to an international financial centre, developing into one of the world’s most affluent welfare states. More recently, it has been diversifying into newer industries, such as information and communications technology, logistics, and space technology. Tomorrow, the Empress and I will be accompanying Your Royal Highness the Grand Duke and Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra on their visit to the Tsukuba Space Centre for a tour of its facilities.
Diplomatic relations between Luxembourg and Japan began in 1927, when Mineichiro Adachi, the first Minister of Japan to Luxembourg, presented his credentials to Grand Duchess Charlotte, Your Royal Highness’s grandmother, and over the 90 years since then, our two countries have developed friendly and cooperative relations. In recent years, in addition to political and economic relations, bilateral exchanges have been expanding by leaps and bounds in the areas of academics, culture, and tourism, including exchanges between the University of Luxembourg and universities in Japan. It gives me great pleasure to see that mutual understanding has been deepening further between the peoples of our two countries.
We are now approaching the end of autumn here in Japan, and trees are ablaze with autumn colours. I hope that the stay of Your Royal Highness the Grand Duke and Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra in Japan will be a most memorable one that serves to further promote the friendly and cooperative relations between our two countries.
I would now like to propose a toast to the good health of Your Royal Highness the Grand Duke, and to the happiness of the people of Luxembourg.
HIH Crown Prince Naruhito and HIH Crown Princess Masako
HIH Princess Mako of Akishino
On 25th November, HIH Crown Prince Naruhito attended the International Conference on Science and Technology for Sustainability 2017 took place in Tokyo.
Photo from Sankei
On 15th November, HIH Crown Prince Naruhito attended the Opening Ceremony of Science Centre World Summit 2017 took place in Tokyo.
Photo from Asahi
On 10th November, HIH Crown Prince Naruhito and HIH Crown Princess Masako attended the ceremony to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of International Cosmos Prize took place in Tokyo.
Photo from Sankei
On 9th November, HIH Crown Prince Naruhito met with the cousins of HH Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar at Crown Prince Residence.
Photo from Asahi