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Crown Princess Masako has shown some signs of improvement after five years of treatment for depression since largely retreating from public view in 2003, but she apparently needs a little more time for a full recovery.

The prolonged seclusion of the 45-year-old Crown Princess has caused some public frustration, but her doctors warned years ago that it could be protracted if the source of her stress was “chronic” and they have continued to call for the public’s understanding and patience.

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