Japan’s Empress Michiko celebrated her 79th birthday on Sunday and shared her thoughts about the different recent events going on in Japan. She canceled events that were scheduled for at the Imperial Palace in the wake of Typhoon Wipha which killed at least 29 and damaged thousands of houses, particularly in the town of Oshima
Instead of celebrating, the Empress chose to talk about recent events in the country. Referring to the Crown Princess Masako’s recent overseas trip, the first in 11 years, the empress stated, “I was truly happy that the Crown Princess was able to visit the Netherlands and return home safely.” Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako flew to the Netherlands in April to attend the coronation of King Willem-Alexander. The crown princess has lessened her public appearances, overseas trips included, because of her stress-induced illness. “I am glad to see that since the visit, she has continued to be well, visiting disaster-afflicted areas and even attending ceremonies together with the Crown Prince,” the empress added.
With regards to her own health, the empress said she has begun to experience pain and numbness in her arms and legs because of old age, but she assured everyone that there is no need for “constant medication or treatment.” Empress Michiko also said that she “will be able to continue” with her royal duties “without much change.”
The empress has also been concerned with natural disasters that hit Japan like “tornadoes which were not so common in Japan until now” as well as Typhoon Wipha. As for Tokyo winning the bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics, she expressed her sincere “wish for the success of the Games.” Empress Michiko also said Fukushima residents are never far from her thoughts. “There are still more than 280,000 people who are living as evacuees, and I continue to think of them often and worry about how they are managing since the disaster,” she said. The empress also prayed “for the safety of the many who are still working at the plant” when she remembered former Fukushima Daiichi chief Masao Yoshida. She admits she still mourns for Yoshida who passed away in July due to cancer .
[via The Mainichi]