Agency backs Prince Akishino’s criticism of Crown Prince

The vice grand steward of the Imperial household said Monday that Prince Akishino’s recent criticism of Crown Prince Naruhito, his elder brother, was “constructive” because it stressed the importance of communication.

But Shingo Haketa told a regularly scheduled media briefing that while he backs Prince Akishino’s remarks, he doesn’t want it to be taken as “criticism or hostility” toward the Crown Prince.

Before his 39th birthday, Prince Akishino expressed regret that his brother had commented in May about the health of his wife without consulting Emperor Akihito.

The Crown Prince said of his wife, Crown Princess Masako, “There have been developments that have denied Masako’s career as a diplomat as well as her personality.”