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Smiling Masako faces the press at her Tokyo home

March 14, 2006
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Japan's Crown Princess Masako made her second public appearance in three days when she joined her husband Naruhito and their little girl Aiko for a photocall on Wednesday. The family put on a united front as they met photographers outside their home in Tokyo ahead of the crown prince's departure for Mexico, where he is due to attend the World Water Forum.

Masako's decision not to accompany her husband to the forum has provoked concern in her home country, where her recovery from a long-running emotional disorder is being closely followed by the media. The 42-year-old seemed to be in good spirits as she faced the press, however, and her presence, which came just two days after she joined her family for another high-profile outing to Disneyland, is being taken as a positive sign.

The princess, who was looking chic in an elegantly cut cream suit, held her daughter's hand as the snappers busied themselves with capturing the moment. Her devoted husband had previously given assurances that she was continuing to make progress in her convalescence.

"Masako is recovering steadily but slowly,'' he said. "But she is not well enough to perform overseas official duties that involve a long trip. I truly hope there will be an opportunity to visit a foreign country with Masako as soon as possible."

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Photo: ©
Masako and Naruhito both seemed to be in positive spirits when they faced the press on WednesdayPhoto: © AFP
Photo: ©
The crown princess holds her little girl's hand at the photocall. "Masako is recovering steadily but slowly," said her husband. "I truly hope there will be an opportunity to visit a foreign country with Masako as soon as possible"Photo: © AFP

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