On 16th birthday, Princess Aiko says she’s enjoying school life and growing into Imperial role

Kyodo

As Princess Aiko turned 16 on Friday, the only child of Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako was said to be enjoying high school life and striving to better fulfill her role as a member of the Imperial family.

Over the past year, she has accompanied her parents on official duties and met members of foreign royal families. Her health has improved since last fall, when she appeared fatigued.

During a holiday in May, the princess showed strong interest watching a game of wheelchair basketball with her parents.

She also accompanied her parents’ greeting of Swedish Crown Princess Victoria, Danish Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary, as well as Bhutan Princess Sonam Dechan Wangchuck during their visits to Japan, according to the Imperial Household Agency.

On the anniversaries of Japan’s surrender in World War II and the Great East Japan Earthquake, the princess observed moments of silence. She also listened to her parents’ accounts of their visit to disaster-hit Miyagi Prefecture in November.

The princess has attended Gakushuin Girls’ Senior High School since April, after graduating from the junior high school located on the same campus in Tokyo.

Due to fatigue, she was absent from junior high school for a six-week period last year, but her condition has improved over the past year, according to the agency.

The princess does not engage in any club activities, but was active in athletic meets and cultural festivals. She often talks to her parents about her school life, the agency said.

Princess Aiko is not eligible to ascend the throne, which is restricted to males under the Imperial House Law.