The princess is Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako’s only child.
Princess Aiko, who is currently 22 years old, has decided to work at the Japanese Red Cross Society after graduating from university.
The princess is studying at Gakushuin University’s Faculty of Letters, majoring in Japanese language and literature.
The Princess’ Goals
According to The Japan Times, she said that she has “always had an interest” in society. While employed, she still plans to continue with her duties as part of the imperial family.
Last December, on her birthday, The Asahi Shimbun reported that Princess Aiko has been focusing on her studies and final thesis. The fourth-year student spends a lot of her time at libraries and archives, said the Imperial Household Agency.
The princess began her university years during the pandemic, which means most of it was spent online. It was only in her senior year when she finally got to experience campus life and meet her friends. According to the report, aside from her major, Princess Aiko has also taken an interest in social welfare and sports.
After graduating, the princess is set to join the Japanese Red Cross Society in April. “I am happy to become engaged in works of the Japanese Red Cross Society,” Princess Aiko said in a statement, as reported by The Japan Times.
“At the same time, I feel determined. By working hard with the awareness that I have become a member of society, I hope to be of help to the people and society even a little.”
Her parents are supportive of her chosen path, hoping that she will work hard and grow as a member of society. Meanwhile, The Japan Times‘ article also mentioned that the organization stated it wishes “to thoroughly make preparations so that [the princess] can work at ease.”
Japan’s Imperial Family
Princess Aiko’s own mother, Empress Masako, is also a highly educated and career-driven woman. Before marrying into the imperial family, she studied at both Harvard and Oxford, according to Britannica. She then went on to work as a diplomat and was fluent in several languages.
Meanwhile, Princess Mako, daughter of Crown Prince Fumihito, stirred up the public when she left the imperial family to marry her boyfriend Kei Komuro. Komuro was the princess’ former college classmate and the marriage drew controversy because he is a commoner.
According to BBC, when Princess Aiko was asked about her cousin’s marriage, she said “For me, marriage still seems far in the future and I haven’t really thought of it. I have no particular thought of my ideal partner, but [the ability to] make each other smile seems perfect.”
Following Japanese law, none of the princesses are even eligible to ascend the throne. In terms of succession, the Crown Prince would be next in line after his brother. In 2006, he and Princess Kiko also welcomed a baby boy to the family, further averting the succession crisis.
Banner image via Wikimedia Commons.