Crown Princess Masako, who has been receiving treatment for a stress-induced illness for about 10 years, said Sunday on the occasion of her 49th birthday that she is making efforts to recover with support from doctors and the public.
“As the treatment has lasted for a long time, I suppose that I have caused so much worry,” she said in a statement released by the Imperial Household Agency. “I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to all the people in the country for their continuous warm support.”
The Crown Princess said she is pleased to see her 11-year-old daughter, Princess Aiko, who has been attending school on her own since late last year, actively participating in activities such as playing basketball and learning English.
Referring to the 2011 March earthquake and tsunami, she described the disasters as “a significant event that has changed people’s everyday lives and the way of thinking.”
“To find the image of a desirable society, it is important to move forward by joining hands firmly, while exercising wisdom with each other and sharing the pain firmly.”
The medical team treating the Crown Princess also released a statement on her birthday, saying she became exhausted both mentally and physically in fall 2011 but is now gradually recovering after resting this summer.
Kyoji Komachi, grand master of the Crown Prince’s Household, told a news conference that the Crown Princess is seen by her doctors when needed and is still taking a small amount of medication.
“I have heard from the medical team that she has been steadily recovering if viewed from a long-term perspective,” Komachi said.