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Empress Masako after the enthronement of her husband at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Masako blossoms in role of Japan’s Empress

TOKYO (The Straits Times/ANN -- Japan’s Empress Masako, having long struggled with what the imperial household terms an “adjustment disorder”, has blossomed in the spotlight since her husband Naruhito became Emperor in May.
Brimming with newfound confidence, she has wowed the public, breaking free of the constraints placed on her by the rigid strictures of the palace, restrictions then-Crown Prince Naruhito lashed out at and described as “moves to deny Masako’s career and personality”.
Images in the media of the Empress, looking resplendent at Tuesday’s enthronement and wearing a bright smile as she chatted with foreign heads of state and royalty, set many abuzz.
A senior official of the Imperial Household Agency told Kyodo News: “The recovery of the Empress’ health condition has supported the couple’s favourable performances.”
But experts said this “recovery” largely stems from how Empress Masako, 55, is now back in her comfort zone. The Harvard-educated Empress was a high-flying diplomat who grew up in Tokyo, Moscow and New York, and had also played a part in resolving trade disputes between the United States and Japan in the 1980s.

(Latest Update October 28, 2019)

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