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The Crown Prince and Crown Princess met all the Japanese Overseas Cooperation Volunteers before they departed for their work in developing countries and followed their work with great interest thereafter.

A Crown Prince Scholarship was created for student exchange between Japan and Hawaii where descendants of a large number of Japanese emigrants live.

As Crown Princess, her constant visits with the Crown Prince and their children to Emperor Showa and Empress Kojun gave them much joy.

Since Emperor Showa passed away, Empress Michiko, together with Emperor Akihito, continued to visit Empress Kojun almost every weekend, until Empress Kojun passed away on 16 June 2000.

He completed his university education as a special student in 1956.

In addition to his formal education, Emperor Akihito received special tutoring from authorities in various areas of learning, such as Japanese History and Constitutional Law.

She breast-fed all of them, and when the children were of school-age, it was she herself who prepared their lunch-boxes early every morning.

Later, she said about her approach to child-raising: "I have consulted the Emperor (then the Crown Prince) on every matter and I am grateful to him for the precious advice he gave me, based on his own experiences, which was most helpful to me." As the Emperor mentioned at one of his press conferences, the Empress has always loved and respected his relatives, above all his parents.

As stated in the Constitution of Japan, the Emperor is "the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people" and derives his position from "the will of the people with whom resides sovereign power." Emperor Akihito was born in Tokyo on 23 December 1933, to the great joy of the entire nation, as the first son of Emperor Showa and Empress Kojun.

He thus began to carry out official duties in his capacity as Crown Prince.

The next year, he made his first overseas journey to attend the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, and travelled extensively in North America and Europe.

It was one of the happiest days in the history of post-war Japan.

Crown Prince Akihito, with warm and devoted support from Crown Princess Michiko, pursued his official duties with renewed vigour, faithfully observing the time-honoured Imperial tradition and, at the same time, opening up new areas of activity befitting the role of the Crown Prince in the modern era.

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