Crown Princess Masako celebrated her 50th birthday this Monday, and has said in a written statement that she will continue her efforts to recover from a stress-induced illness that she has been battling with for the past 10 years. The crown princess went to Netherlands recently to attend the coronation of Dutch King Willem-Alexander, her first official overseas trip in 11 years.
“I have tried to complete my public and private duties as much as possible this year, and I will continue efforts to make a full recovery,” she said through the Imperial Household Agency, when asked about her health issue. Doctors of the imperial family believed that the trip gave the crown princess a great chance to help boost her confidence. “Her recovery continues slowly but surely,” the team said. “Her health is still on its way to recovery. Too much expectation may cause an adverse effect,” they said.
Princess Masako also visited the three prefectures of Fukushima, Iwate and Miyagi this year, which were hit hard by the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. She expressed compassion and concern for those who were affected by the disaster and promised to continue focusing her attention to rebuilding efforts within the three prefectures.
The couple celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary last June and she expressed gratitude towards her husband, Crown Prince Naruhito, for being on her side always, and when asked about her birthday, “It feels strange to think I have already lived for half a century.” she said.