Princess Aiko comes of age

NHK -- Dec 01
Princess Aiko, the daughter of Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, turned 20 on Wednesday. Having come of age, the princess will now engage in her official duties as an adult member of the Imperial family.

In a written statement released by the Imperial Household Agency, the princess says she is pleased to be able to reach the coming-of-age milestone without incident.

Taking inventory of her life, the princess says that through meeting many people and interacting with them, she has learned how wonderful it is for people to join hands and widen their range of exchanges. She says all her experiences have become assets.

She expresses her deep gratitude to all the people who have been involved in her journey up to this day.

She vows to face every duty in a sincere manner as an adult member of the Imperial family, and to do all she can to assist the Emperor and the Empress.

She says she would like to refine herself and move forward step by step so that she can grow into an adult who can be of service to others. She adds she would like to remember to be considerate and thankful to others, and to cherish every joy she encounters.

Princess Aiko wraps up her statement by referring to the coronavirus pandemic. She says it is heartbreaking to hear that many people have passed away, and she is worried that a large number of people are still leading difficult lives.

She says she hopes a peaceful and vibrant life will soon return to all. She concludes her statement by saying she is looking forward to the days when she will be able to meet and talk to people in person as she did before.

She will be receiving well wishes from senior members of the Imperial Household Agency and others at her residence later in the day.

Major official ceremonies to celebrate her coming of age will take place at the Imperial Palace on Sunday.

The last time coming-of-age celebratory events were held for an Imperial family member was in 2014, when Princess Kako, the second daughter of Crown Prince Akishino and a niece of Emperor Naruhito, turned 20.