Princess hails diversity, fears for family

Princess Nori, the only daughter of the Emperor and Empress, said diversity in women’s lifestyles is “natural,” in response to questions ahead of her 31st birthday Tuesday.

“I feel that the diversity of choice in the lives of women is a natural movement following the trend of the times,” the princess, who is single, said in a written answer.

Princess Nori had been asked what she thinks of the diversification in women’s lifestyles, with some remaining single and pursuing careers while others have children outside of marriage.

The princess was distressed by some trends. “I am deeply concerned about the situation in recent years in which the fundamental notion and significance of the family is crumbling,” she said.

“Seeing the numerous sad incidents that have occurred, including cases of child abuse which are often reported, I feel that we must think not only of problems within individual families, but from within society, including our links with the local community and surroundings.”

She was also asked her thoughts on recent fashion trends of young Japanese women, such as dark tans and platform boots.

“I am concerned about the damage to their skin and what will happen (if they fall),” she said. “I think it is regrettable that their individual personality should be wasted.”

On her impressions of the past year, the princess voiced sympathy for people living close to Mount Usu in Hokkaido, who have taken refuge in evacuation shelters since late March, shortly before the volcano began erupting.

“I truly feel for those evacuees who are unable to return to their homes, and I am concerned about them and how each one must be spending days suffering from anxiety and feelings of insecurity,” she said.

The princess also said she was happy to be “warmly welcomed” when she made official visits during the past year — to Peru and Bolivia in May and June and to Hawaii in September.