National

Japan's Princess Kako turns 25

Kyodo

Princess Kako, the niece of Emperor Naruhito, turned 25 on Sunday, following a year marked by her graduation from university and her first official overseas trip.

The younger daughter of Crown Prince Akishino graduated in March from International Christian University in Tokyo, where she majored in psychology, and has since devoted herself to official duties as an adult member of the imperial family.

The princess embarked on an 11-day trip to Austria and Hungary in September to mark the 150th anniversary of Japan’s diplomatic ties with the countries. She met their presidents, attended receptions and spoke with their residents and Japanese expatriates.

Princess Kako drew public attention in March when she expressed support for her 28-year-old sister, Princess Mako, whose wedding has been postponed over financial problems in the groom’s family.

“I would like my sister’s wishes to be met, as I believe the important detail is how they feel about each other,” Princess Kako said in a statement.

Princess Mako and Kei Komuro announced their engagement in September 2017 and said their wedding would take place in November 2018, but the Imperial Household Agency said in February last year that the couple were delaying until 2020 following a string of reports that Komuro’s mother was involved in a dispute over money.

Their younger brother, Prince Hisahito, 13, became second in line to the throne after the emperor was enthroned on May 1, a day after his father, Emperor Emeritus Akihito, abdicated.