The article “Empress Michiko turns 84, wishes for new era of peace” in the Oct. 21 edition made me remember her speech to the International Board on Books for Young People in 1998 and led me to ponder her way of life.

According to the article, asked what she would like to do after retiring, she answered that she wants to spend the days “peacefully by her husband’s side and read as many books as possible.”

She has learned a lot from reading books since her childhood and was aware of the importance of peace through children’s books.

She was the first commoner to become Crown Princess at the age of 24, and “it was not easy by any means,” she said. Yet the Empress has continuously built up strong bridges of goodwill, understanding and peace at home and abroad. Her life and works have played a role as the true instrument of peace.

My family and I sincerely congratulate her on her birthday and her dedicated work as the ambassador of bridging peace. We hope that she has a lot of free time to enjoy reading books.


The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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