TOKYO Ė Japanís crown prince Naruhito and his wife Masako celebrated their silver jubilee wedding anniversary on Saturday, with less than a year to go before he ascends the Chrysanthemum Throne.
Naruhito is expected to succeed his father, Emperor Akihito, in May 2019.
Naruhito and Masako expressed their willingness to fulfill their duties in their new roles following the abdication of Akihito, in a statement released by the Imperial Household Agency on the occasion of their wedding anniversary.
The crown prince, 58, said he would discharge his duties as Emperor in accordance with the Japanese Constitution, and underlined the importance of respecting traditions of the royal family while at the same time responding to changes in society.
Regarding his wife, who has been suffering from stress-induced depression for over a decade, Naruhito said she is doing everything possible to recover.
Several experts on the imperial household have attributed the depression to the rigid protocol of the imperial family and the immense pressure of being expected to produce a male child to carry on the line of succession.
Japanís Princess Aiko, 16, is the only child of Naruhito and Masako.
The Japanese government in December last year fixed April 30, 2019 as the date for Emperor Akihitoís abdication.
In August 2016, Akihito, the 125th emperor of Japan, expressed his desire to abdicate due to his advanced age and delicate health.
His abdication will be the first by a living emperor since the resignation of Emperor Kokaku in 1817.