Japan's Princess Aiko Meets Press for 1st Time Ever


Tokyo, March 17 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Princess Aiko expressed her determination to perform her duties as a member of the Imperial Family in her first-ever press conference on Thursday.

The princess, the only child of Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, turned 20 last December.

At the outset of the 30-minute news conference, held at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, the princess offered "heartfelt sympathies" to the bereaved families of victims in a series of powerful earthquakes that hit hard northeastern Japan on Wednesday night as well as quake-afflicted people.

Then she noted that she was not able to come of age without her experiences "made possible by the support and cooperation of many people" and that she "became aware of being an adult member of the Imperial Family" after attending New Year's events.

Commenting on her thoughts about being a member of the family, the princess said: "The basic and most important spirit is to always wish for the happiness of the people, and to fulfill one's duties while sharing hardships and joys with them. I believe continuing to care for people affected by disasters is one (of concrete forms of the spirit)."

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