Empress Masako Turns 58, Emotional over Princess' Coming of Age


Tokyo, Dec. 9 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Empress Masako expressed deep emotion after her daughter, Princess Aiko, turned 20 on Dec. 1 to reach the age of majority in the country, in a statement to mark her 58th birthday on Thursday.

"I'm sincerely grateful for the warm support that has been provided to her," Empress Masako said, expressing her gratitude to the people of Japan.

"I feel that the 20 years have been both long and fleeting," she said. "It is unbelievable to think that that little child, Aiko, has already reached adulthood."

Empress Masako expressed her hope that Princess Aiko will continue to gain experience and successfully fulfill her duties as an adult member of the Imperial Family.

The Empress described this year as "very heartbreaking," with the novel coronavirus pandemic continuing and leaving many people dead at home and abroad.

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