Princess Aiko made her debut at the spring garden party, engaging in lively conversations with accomplished guests.

Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress hosted a spring garden party on the 23rd at Akasaka Gyoen National Garden in Moto-Akasaka, Tokyo. Princess Aiko, their eldest daughter who recently debuted in society, attended for the first time. She engaged in cheerful conversations with distinguished guests from various fields who were invited to the event.

After graduating from Gakushuin University, Princess Aiko began her work with the Japanese Red Cross Society on the 1st. According to her aides, she reports to work daily, editing information magazines on volunteering and coordinating training sessions. She aims to balance her professional responsibilities with her duties as a member of the imperial family. On the day of the garden party, she participated alongside other members of the imperial family in providing hospitality to the attendees.

Princess Aiko attends the spring garden party for the first time and has a cheerful exchange of words with those who have made achievements.

Approximately 1,700 people attended this year’s garden party, including notable figures such as former Japan Football Association president Saburo Kawabuchi, honored with the Order of Culture, and actor Kinya Kitaoji, recognized as a Person of Cultural Merit. Members of the imperial family, including Their Majesties, Princess Aiko, Prince and Princess Akishino, and their second daughter, Princess Kako, engaged in peaceful conversations with the guests.

The park fair, held biannually in spring and fall, resumed last spring on a reduced scale after being suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. Last year, meals were withheld to prevent infection spread. However, this time, sandwiches and Western sweets were served. To discourage large gatherings, popular items like Genghis Khan and yakitori, as well as alcoholic beverages, were not available. [Nao Yamada]

Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress engaged in a “cat discussion” with an artist concerned about disaster-stricken areas, alongside hosting a spring garden party.

A spring garden party hosted by Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress took place on the 23rd at Akasaka Gyoen National Garden in Moto-Akasaka, Tokyo. Approximately 1,400 people, including distinguished individuals from various fields, attended the event. Despite occasional light rain, Their Majesties and other members of the Imperial family engaged in conversations with the invited guests. Princess Aiko, Their Majesties’ eldest daughter, who recently started her career this spring, participated in the event for the first time, exchanging smiles and words with attendees.

Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress hold a “cat discussion” with an artist who cares about the disaster-stricken areas, as well as a spring garden party

His Majesty the Emperor has made two visits to Ishikawa Prefecture alongside Empress Masako to offer condolences following the Noto Peninsula earthquake. During these visits, His Majesty expressed his sincere hope for the smooth progress of reconstruction to Yoshihiko Yoshihiko, the chairman of the prefectural assembly. Princess Masako also conveyed her concern, expressing her wish for the gradual stabilization of life for everyone in Noto.

Tadanori Yokoo, a contemporary artist renowned for his cat-themed artworks, engaged in a lively discussion about cats during the spring garden party. He shared photos of the cats Princess Masako had rescued within the Akasaka Imperial Estate and discussed their history of care. Female members of the royal family, dressed in vibrant colors like pink and orange, also mingled with the guests.

Princess Aiko, who recently started working at the Japanese Red Cross Society, received numerous congratulations from attendees. Shyly, she expressed, “It’s all still new to me,” referring to the attention and well-wishes she received.

According to actor Kinya Kitaoji, Princess Aiko expressed her eagerness to collaborate closely with her senior colleagues at work. She enjoyed discussing the 2018 World Cup in Russia with Saburo Kawabuchi, the former president of the Japan Football Association, and mentioned her admiration for the “technical play” of Takashi Inui (currently with Shimizu). The park fair, held twice a year in spring and fall, resumed on a smaller scale last spring after being halted due to the coronavirus pandemic. Last year, to prevent infection spread, meals were not served, but this time, guests were offered sandwiches and Western sweets. In an effort to avoid crowding, the famous dishes like Genghis Khan and yakitori were omitted, and alcohol was not served. [Nao Yamada]

Princess Aiko envisions an ideal marriage as “a wonderful relationship where we can care for each other like our parents.”

On the 2nd, Princess Aiko (22), the eldest daughter of the Emperor and Empress, responded to written questions from the Imperial Press Association regarding her employment with the Japanese Red Cross Society. She explained that she chose to work with the JRCS because she was “attracted to activities that can directly contribute to society,” and that through her work, she has “embraced new challenges and engaged in various activities.” She expressed her hope to continue gaining valuable experiences through her role.

Princess Aiko's ideal view of marriage: ``A wonderful relationship where we can care for each other like our parents.''

Princess Aiko started her full-time contract role on the 1st and was assigned to the Youth and Volunteer Division. Her interest in welfare activities grew after witnessing the efforts of Their Majesties during their official duties and hearing from friends who volunteered to aid in reconstruction efforts after the Great East Japan Earthquake. She expressed a desire to pursue a job where she can make a meaningful difference in people’s lives.

Princess Aiko, who is stepping into more official duties as an adult member of the royal family, expressed her willingness to engage in a variety of activities. When asked about her ideal partner and views on marriage, Princess Aiko wrote, “I hope to be with someone with whom we can both share moments that bring smiles to our faces. I believe it’s wonderful to have a relationship where we care for each other like our parents do.”

When asked about issues concerning the imperial family, such as the declining number of family members, he simply replied, “I would prefer not to comment on matters related to the system.” [Hiroyuki Takashima]


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