Advertise with us

GMANews Online
News Public Affairs Shows Videos Radio Youscoop Job Classifieds

Japan's crown prince seeks public understanding for ailing princess

TOKYO – Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito sought public understanding Friday for his ailing wife, Crown Princess Masako, who is suffering from a stress-induced form of depression that has kept her from most of her official duties for several years.

Naruhito, heir to the world's oldest hereditary monarchy, said Masako is still being treated and is trying her best to recover from the illness, which has been diagnosed as an adjustment disorder.

"I would like (the public) to understand that Masako is continuing to make her utmost efforts with the help of those around her," the 48-year-old prince told a news conference at his palace in Tokyo.

"Please continue to watch over her kindly and over the long-term," Naruhito said.

The prince leaves Wednesday on an eight-day trip to Spain without the 44-year-old princess. Masako's last official trip abroad was in December 2002, when the royal couple visited Australia and New Zealand.

Naruhito said he was hopeful the couple could make a trip abroad again "someday."

Masako was a rising star in Japan's Foreign Ministry before she wed the prince in 1993. She has rarely emerged from the palace since becoming ill, and her problems have become a staple of Japanese tabloids and women's magazines.

Pressures to produce a male heir and conform with the ancient traditions of palace life are believed to be behind her illness.

Under the 1947 imperial law, only a male who has an emperor on his father's side can become emperor.

After suffering a miscarriage in 1999, Masako had a daughter, Aiko, in 2001.

No male had been born to the imperial family since Naruhito's younger brother, Prince Akishino, was born in 1965. But on Sept. 6, 2006, Akishino's wife, Princess Kiko, gave birth to a boy, forestalling a succession crisis.

Naruhito and Masako marked their 15th wedding anniversary last month. - AP
The contract between GMA Network and Associated Press Television News (APTN) for APTN services expired on February 1, 2011. APTN has required GMA Network to delete APTN content, except that which was incorporated in GMA News programming prior to February 1, 2011. Please be guided accordingly.
Elsewhere on GMA News
Fil-Am with drug past indicted for killing stepmom in Hawaii
2011-05-20 14:52:25
CHICAGO – A Filipino American, who is said to have a “violent past" that involved a problem with...
Sony PSN hacked again; 100-M users' info stolen
2011-05-22 13:21:38
Sony Corp has been hacked again, exposing more security issues for the company less than a month...
'Planking' goes viral despite death, injury
2011-05-20 18:48:31
SYDNEY - Planking, the Australian craze of lying face down stiff in often bizarre places for a...
Pakistan Taliban says it attacked US consulate convoy
2011-05-20 15:16:19
Pakistan's Taliban said on Friday it had attacked a US consulate convoy in the volatile...