HIH Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan celebrated his 53rd birthday today, sitting for an interview to mark the occasion. The Japan Times reports that the Crown Prince is meeting regularly with the Emperor, along with his brother HIH Prince Akishino, to understand his experiences and learn from him. The Emperor is 79 years old and has scaled back his duties in recent years. These visits fly in the face of rumors that communication between the two has been strained.
The Crown Prince also commented on his upcoming 20 year anniversary with wife HIH Crown Princess Masako:
“I am deeply moved when I think of how 20 years have passed. We have supported each other [through the years].”
She still receives care for a stress induced illness and the Crown Prince praised her palace medical team. The couple has one daughter, HIH Princess Aiko, who is growing up fast. The Crown Prince said he felt much pride in seeing her grow more “dependable” as the years go by. He also took the occasion to express “deep concern” about the victims of the horrible earthquake and tsunami.