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  HOME | Society (Click here for more)

Japan’s Princess Aiko Turns 13, Overcomes Adjustment Problems

TOKYO – Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako’s only daughter, Princess Aiko, turned 13 on Monday and appears to be fully integrated in her school life after facing adjustment problems in the past, the Imperial Household Agency announced on Monday.

According to the agency, the princess is well adapted and happy at the Gakushuin Girls’ Junior High School in Tokyo.

Among other activities, Aiko went on a three-day school trip to the mountains in Gunma prefecture, northeast of Tokyo, and served sweets at a booth at a school festival.

For months in 2010 and 2011 during her elementary school days, the princess had to be escorted every day to class by her mother following reports of being affected by rough behavior from her classmates.

Aiko has increasingly been showing her fondness for tennis since this spring and practices it with her parents who also help her with homework.

Prince Naruhito helps her with history and geography lessons, while her mother, a former diplomat, coaches her in English.

Crown Princess Masako has been out of public sight and official engagements since 2003, when she suffered from stress-induced depression which, according to some, was due to rigid imperial protocol and pressure for producing a male heir to the throne.

The government’s plans to change the male-only law of imperial succession to enable the ascension of the princess were shelved after the birth of Aiko’s cousin, Prince Hisahito.

In recent years, Masako’s doctors have reported improvements in her, which has allowed her to go on occasional trips and attend banquets.

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