On the occasion of his 57th birthday Wednesday, the TOKYO Kyodo Crown Prince Fumihito, the younger brother of Emperor Naruhito, stressed the need for the imperial family to provide accurate information in a timely manner, and the importance of making trustworthy sources better known to the public.
The comments made at a press conference in Tokyo ahead of his birthday came after the controversial marriage of his eldest daughter, former princess Mako Komuro, resulted in a slew of news articles that could be considered libelous.
After examining the news himself, he acknowledged that it would require a great deal of effort and may not be feasible, despite the fact that the crown prince had touched on the need to establish criteria to refute fake news at a press conference before his birthday last year.
The Imperial Household Agency is considering increasing the number of staff involved in information dissemination and revamping its website to improve public relations.
The crown prince suggested that having imperial family members post information directly would be more straightforward, and he said that while he would probably not use social media it is a possibility. A government panel proposed last December allowing female members who marry commoners to retain their imperial status, with the proposal submitted to the Diet.
The crown prince said nothing is currently being discussed regarding the marriage of his second daughter Princess Kako, despite the fact that he did not comment on possible changes to the system.
He said that we will respect her wishes as much as possible.
The crown prince expressed hopes that his 16-year-old son Prince Hisahito, who is second in line to the Japanese imperial throne, would study Japanese history, but did not provide an update on Mako upon his request.
After marrying her commoner boyfriend Kei Komuro in October last year, the former princess moved to the United States.
The crown prince said that they are both close to 90 years old, and that they will take good care of themselves in their daily lives, because they are both former Emperor Akihito and former Empress Michiko, who were diagnosed separately this summer with heart failure and deep vein thrombosis. The crown prince expressed great joy at being able to resume visits to regional areas that had been postponed due to the coronaviruses.
He cited Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the passing of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and the 50th anniversary of Okinawa's return to Japan as the events that left the greatest impression on him this year.