It was a birthday of royal proportions. Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito turned 50 today. Here's more on what the Prince is saying.
Crown Prince Naruhito, Japan's heir to the Imperial throne, turned 50 today.
"On the one hand, I am astonished that I am already 50, on the other, I have so much more to devote to my self-improvement that it feels like it's only just the beginning."
The Imperial family's lineage can be traced back to an Emperor believed to have ruled from 660 BC.
"The Confucian saying 'to understand your Mandate of Heaven' means to understand your destiny ... In other words, I believe it means knowing how to devote yourself to other people."
The Imperial family was an autocratic and even deified entity during World War Two, but Naruhito says the Imperial family has moved with the times.
"I would like to look to the past lessons learned in order to mold the future of the Imperial family."
Naruhito and his wife, Princess Masako, have one child, Princess Aiko.
Princess Masako has suffered a mental breakdown but Naruhito says she is improving.
"There has been steady progress towards better health … She is still in need of treatment. And for my part, I intend to take the advice of the doctors and do all I can to support her."
Naruhito is first in line to the Chrysanthemum throne and destined to become Japan's 126th Emperor.