Crown Prince Naruhito has noted that his unusually candid remarks Monday about the condition of his wife, Crown Princess Masako, were not directed at the present Imperial Household Agency leadership of Grand Steward Toshio Yuasa, the prince’s top aide said Friday.

At a news conference Monday, the prince said there were moves to negate Masako’s career as a diplomat and reject her personality.

Hideki Hayashida, grand master of the Crown Prince’s Household, told a news conference Friday that the prince later explained that the remark was not in reference to the time since Imperial Household Agency Grand Steward Yuasa was named to his post in April 2001. He formerly served as vice minister for home affairs.

Hayashida said he received this explanation when he consulted the prince about Yuasa’s hope to hear the real meaning of the prince’s comment.

Asked what the real meaning was, Hayashida said: “I have no idea. But it may have been about events in the past.” The couple wed in June 1993. The Crown Princess worked at the Foreign Ministry before her marriage.

The Crown Prince left on a 12-day European tour Wednesday, but the Crown Princess was unable to accompany him due to poor health that has forced her to refrain from official duties since December.

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