Japan’s Emperor, Turning 63, Keen to Offer More Info

Courtesy of Imperial Household Agency
Emperor and Empress at the Imperial Palace, Tokyo, on Feb. 16

Tokyo, Feb. 23 (Jiji Press)—Japanese Emperor Naruhito, who turned 63 on Thursday, has expressed his resolve to let the people know more about the Imperial Family as part of efforts to improve trust with the public.

“In order to build a relationship of trust with citizens, it is important to provide information in an easy-to-understand way and at the appropriate time,” the Emperor told a press conference at the Imperial Palace earlier this week.

The Imperial Household Agency will launch a public relations office in April, aiming to send more information about the Imperial Family. The agency is considering using social media.

Before stepping up public relations efforts, “it is necessary to go back and think about the basic questions of what the Imperial Family is and what it does,” Emperor Naruhito said.

While noting that it is fundamental for members of the Imperial Family always to wish for the happiness of the people and share joys and sorrows with them, the Emperor said a relationship of trust with the public will be built if all Imperial Family members sincerely face their roles and deepen heart-to-heart exchanges with the people.

Emperor Naruhito expressed his gratitude for Empress Masako as they mark their 30th wedding anniversary in June.

“I’m truly grateful for her spending over half of her life as a member of the Imperial Family with me,” the Emperor said.

The Empress, sharing good times and bad, is “a good adviser on both public and private matters,” Emperor Naruhito said. “She has been bringing comfort and warmth to my life,” he said.

The Emperor said that his wife is still in the recovery process from an adjustment disorder.

In October last year, the Emperor resumed visiting regional areas after a hiatus of about three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “It is a great pleasure to be able to meet and talk to people in person,” he said.

A trip to the southernmost Japan prefecture of Okinawa allowed him to take the importance of peace into his heart again, the Emperor said.

Emperor Naruhito indicated his eagerness to continue to pay attention to people in socially vulnerable positions amid the pandemic. “I hope to reach out to many people while using online platforms as well,” the Emperor said.

While recalling the past year, during which Russia invaded Ukraine, the Emperor said that wars and conflicts happening around the world “may be questioning us again about what each one of us can do to realize peace.”

He also mourned the victims of recent massive earthquakes that occurred in southern Turkey and wished for the recovery of affected areas.