TOKYO – The daughter of Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito and his wife Masako celebrated her 15th birthday on Thursday.
Princess Aiko, who studies in Gakushuin Girls’ Junior High School in Tokyo, this year has increasingly accompanied her parents to ceremonies to learn about official responsibilities.
In August, Aiko joined her family in the Water Day ceremony in Tokyo and in the Mountain Day event in Matsumoto.
The princess was also absent from school from the end of September until Nov. 8 due to health issues, according to the Imperial Household Agency.
For several months between 2010 and 2011, Aiko had to be accompanied by her mother to school following complaints of misbehavior towards her by some classmates.
For more than a decade, Masako, infamously known as the “sad princess,” has been suffering from depression and has reduced her public appearances and official commitments.
Some blame Masako’s illness on the rigidity of imperial protocol and pressure to give birth to a son to continue the line of succession.
Although Aiko is the only child of the crown prince, she cannot succeed her father as Japan’s Imperial Household Law permits only sons to accede the Chrysanthemum Throne.