TOKYO (AP) – Japanese Princess Aiko, the daughter of Emperor Naruhito, turned 20 on Wednesday, set to make her debut as a new adult member to take on a share of the official duties of the royal family whose population continues to grow decrease under the male diet only. inheritance law.
Aiko is the only daughter of Naruhito and Empress Masako, a former diplomat trained at Harvard. She is currently studying Japanese literature at Gakushuin University and says she is ready to help her parents by participating in royal functions.
“I would like to refine myself and move forward step by step in order to become an adult who can be of service to others,” Aiko said in a statement issued Wednesday by the Imperial Household Agency.
Aiko, whether she likes it or not, is not eligible to ascend the Chrysanthemum Throne. Under Japanese law, she also has to leave her family if she marries a commoner, just like her older cousin, Mako, last month when she married her college sweetheart Kei Komuro.
The Imperial House Act of 1947, which largely preserves pre-war family values, only allows male line succession and requires female royals marrying commoners to lose their royal status .
A government-mandated panel of experts is discussing ways to stably maintain the royal family succession law. Many of its members are conservatives and have opposed female emperors, and have suggested restoring now-defunct royal families to bring back their male descendants.
In modern history, when concubines were no longer permitted, the rule kept the number of royal members declining, now at 17. Naruhito has only two possible younger successors – his younger brother Akishino and his teenage son, Hisahito – except when he was 85 years old. -one year old uncle Prince Hitachi.
Hisahito is the only minor member of the grizzled royal family.
On Sunday, Aiko will visit the shrines of the Imperial family to pray for their ancestors and gods, and will be officially recognized in a palace ceremony led by her father. She will also wear an evening dress and a tiara to greet her parents and grandparents.
As a child, Aiko was known to be a huge fan of traditional Japanese sumo wrestling and memorized the names of all wrestlers. Like her mother Masako, she is also known for her love of animals.