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  • Writer's pictureAkiko Murakami

New Emperor and Empress would be new role models for the Japanese?!

One month has passed since May 1st, the first day of “Reiwa” era. During this time, I've noticed increasing interests on issues and events on the Imperial family in general by the public.

On 27th of May, I was thrilled to find series of praising news in multiple media both in and out of Japan on how graceful, mature, grounded, sophisticated manners that the Empress Masako welcomed The U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

They were the first world leader to meet with the emperor since he ascended the throne.

Actually, ever since the royal wedding back in 1993, I have been waiting for this day to come when Empress Masako (who long had been Princess Masako) would take an active role in the international society using her communication skills.

According to an article of JAPAN TIMES NEWS online: (May 27th);

"The emperor is a graduate of Oxford University with experience traveling in Europe, and the empress, a graduate of Harvard, is a former diplomat and a polyglot fluent in English and French. "

"The emperor and empress acted as translators for Trump and the first lady as they spoke to a seemingly endless line of politicians, ambassadors and other guests. Professional interpreters — who were presumably hired for the occasion — could only watch while the imperial couple handled themselves with poise while navigating countless introductions and interactions throughout the affair."

"The arrival of a multilingual imperial couple is seen by observers as representing a decisive shift in the Japanese monarchy and its relationship with other nations."


In the last 25th years of married life was not easy at all for Empress Masako. She went through an unexpectedly hard time... She could not go abroad for as long as 11 years and even suffered from depression.

Guessing from her super successful, promising career background, as well as bright, smart character, it must had been so difficult and stressful not having being able to freely express herself under many stresses.

"The emperor Naruhito has been known as a warm, caring, supportive, loving husband for her throughout their marriage life.

"The new emperor has been fiercely protective of his wife, who gave up a promising career in the diplomatic corps when she married him and suffered bouts of depression because of the enormous pressure to produce a male heir. She has kept a curtailed schedule of public appearances for years. The Japanese public has been largely sympathetic to Masako, and has praised Naruhito for his devotion to her along with their daughter, Aiko (愛子), 17."

I imagine that the new Emperor and Empress are going to play an important role for the Japanese and to the world by their presence, showing respect each other and noble, peaceful and harmonious beings.

Personally, I am confident they have been aware of important roles and been prepared to this day to come to actualize peace and harmony among the international society !! (though they do not have any political power) ------------------------ According to THE CONSTITUTION OF JAPAN, Article 1. The Emperor shall be the symbol of the State and of the unity of the People, deriving his position from the will of the people with whom resides sovereign power.


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