• Kyodo

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Crown Princess Masako has said she hopes 2015, the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II, will be a chance for people to reflect on and reaffirm the value of peace.

“It will be an opportunity to take to heart the preciousness of peace our country has been enjoying, and renew our aspiration for peace,” the Crown Princess said in a statement released by the Imperial Household Agency in advance of her 51st birthday, which fell Tuesday.

2015 will be an “important year” to reflect on the war and the postwar period, she said.

The Crown Princess has been receiving treatment for a stress-induced illness for 11 years.

She referred to this in the statement, speaking of the “warm hospitality” she received from people during trips to central Japan this year. This was a “great encouragement,” she said.

“With the help of people around me, I would like to continue making efforts to recover,” she added.

The Crown Princess continues to receive counseling and medication for her illness.

In a separate statement, a medical team for the Crown Princess said that although recent developments concerning her official duties are “desirable,” her health still has ups and downs.

The medical team urged the public not to expect too much of her as she is still recovering.

Although generally skipping many official engagements, the Crown Princess attended her first state banquet at the Imperial Palace in 11 years when the Emperor and Empress welcomed Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima in Tokyo in October.

In November, she visited Aichi Prefecture along with her husband, Crown Prince Naruhito, to carry out an official engagement that entailed her first overnight stay in a year. In July, she visited Ise Shrine in Mie Prefecture with her husband and their daughter, Princess Aiko, on a private trip, marking the family’s first trip to the famous Shinto shrine.

The Crown Princess’ statement also touched on Princess Aiko. She said she hopes the 13-year-old, who enrolled in Gakushuin Girls Junior High School in April, will “interact with many people and enjoy her school life.”

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