Japanese Princess Aiko comes of age at 20

Courtesy of the Imperial Household Agency
Princess Aiko poses for a photo at the Imperial Palace in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, on Nov. 14.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Princess Aiko, the only child of Emperor and Empress Masako, turned 20 on Wednesday, reaching the age of majority in Japan.

In written comments, the princess said, “I hope to perform each and every duty with sincerity as an adult member of the Imperial family and do everything I can to help the Emperor and the Empress.”

While Imperial family members usually meet with the press before turning 20, Princess Aiko is scheduled to hold a news conference in the third week of March next year, the Imperial Household Agency said.

“Everything I’ve experienced until now became my life’s assets,” she said in the comments, adding, “I sincerely appreciate everyone who has been involved with me.”

Princess Aiko expressed concerns about people facing hardship amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “My heart aches that many people have died,” she said. “I hope that peaceful and colorful lives will come to everyone as soon as possible,” she added.

She is a sophomore at Gakushuin University in Tokyo, where she is studying Japanese literature.

In April this year, about a year after she entered the university, she attended an online enrollment ceremony held for sophomore students. A ceremony for April 2020 was canceled due to the pandemic. The princess has been attending classes online.

The press conference will be held during the spring break to give Princess Aiko, who is busy with her studies at the moment, sufficient time, an agency official said.

Coming-of-age ceremonies for the princess will take place on Sunday, when no classes are held.

At the ceremonies, Princess Aiko will wear the tiara used by Sayako Kuroda, her aunt and the younger sister of Emperor. She refrained from having a tiara newly made considering the lives of the people amid the pandemic.