Last weekend the Crown Prince and the Crown Princess attended a greenery event in beautiful Yokohama. It was Masako’s first outing since her somewhat unsuccessful trip to the Nagano athletics meet last year, in which she showed up only for the opening ceremony and typically cancelled all her subsequent appearances because of “not feeling well.”
This time things were different. For starters, the local government was prepared. In advance it made two different kinds of brochures and media kits to promote the event (costing the taxpayers roughly 10,000 dollars which isn’t too bad, actually). One version featured Masako, and the other didn’t … because it’s never known until the last minute whether she’s in the mood for showing up or not, so one has to be prepared for either possibility. Fortunately she did show up this time, and all went well. Perhaps it’s a sign that she’s on the road to recovery. It’s hard to say, as there have been so many false alarms before.
I can’t really comment on the state of her health, but I sure wish I could work a whole weekend every couple of years and do nothing for rest of the time, least of all paying taxes.