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2009年4月 9日 (木)

ご成婚50年 「国民とともに」を貫かれて

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Apr. 9, 2009)
Emperor has shared people's joys, sorrows
ご成婚50年 「国民とともに」を貫かれて(4月9日付・読売社説)

Friday marks the 50th wedding anniversary of the Emperor and Empress. We would likely to extend our sincere congratulations to the Imperial couple on their golden wedding anniversary.

This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the Emperor's ascension to the throne, and various events are planned to mark the double milestone, including a government-organized one in November in commemoration of the Emperor's two-decade-long reign.

The Emperor, in his New Year's message this year, said he had been pondering on the years that have passed by. He surely harbors deep feelings about the half-century he has spent with the Empress.

Their wedding was an event that galvanized the people, giving them hope for the nation's development.

The Empress was the first commoner to become crown princess. She raised three children on her own, not resorting to the conventional Imperial household practice of employing nursing mothers.

Looking at the history of their life after marriage, it is clear that in the new era, a more familiar image of the Imperial household has spread among the people.


Royal couple's health a worry

The Emperor always says that the most tragic event in his lifetime was the loss of many lives in World War II. In 1995, 50 years after the end of the war, he visited Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Okinawa Prefecture and the Tokyo Metropolitan Memorial Hall to console the souls of the war dead.

Every time disasters have occurred, such as the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake, the Emperor has visited afflicted districts and consoled and encouraged the victims. He is presently concerned that many people are facing hardships due to worsening economic conditions. He has consistently expressed his belief that he should share in all the people's joys and sorrows.

We are concerned about the health of the Imperial couple. The Emperor had an operation to remove his cancerous prostate in 2003. He suffered from disorders of the stomach and the duodenum at the end of last year. The Empress also has suffered chronic coughs and aches and pains in her chest and back.

The Emperor is 75 years old, and the Empress is 74. We hope they will take good care of their health. The Imperial Household Agency is making efforts to lighten their burden of official duties. We hope the agency will make its best efforts in this regard, while respecting the Imperial couple's wishes.

When the agency released details of the Emperor's digestive ailment at the end of 2008, it said he was suffering mental stress for various reasons, including the problem of Imperial succession.


Succession issue unresolved

The only male member of the Imperial household in the generation after Crown Prince Naruhito and Prince Akishino is Prince Hisahito, the son of Prince Akishino. What kind of Imperial household system is desirable must be a future subject of discussion within the government.

On his marriage to the Empress, the Emperor once said that he feels he has not only obtained happiness, but also improved himself through their life together. Many people surely wish that the Emperor and Empress live happily together and stay healthy for the rest of their lives.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 9, 2009)
(2009年4月9日01時40分  読売新聞)


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