2004年5月21日、英国タイムズ紙によって「不躾ながら彼女（＝雅子）は天皇ご夫妻に対して敵意を持っており、おふたりが死ぬのを待っている」と記事にされたもの。原文は“To be blunt, she is hostile towards the Emperor and the Empress, and is waiting for them to die.”である。
2004/06/18サルベージされたタイムズ記事＜The Broken Butterfly＞編集
 雅子妃の記事はこれか？ 投稿者：アルルの男・ヒロシ 投稿日：2004/06/18(Fri) 00:11:24
The Broken Butterflyというタイトルらしいのですが。
Search: Royal Depression
When the Harvard educated Princess Masako married into the Japanese imperial family she lost her independence and her privacy ~ she no longer has a private phone line or money of her own. Stifled by protocol and under pressure to produce a son, she is deeply unhappy, writes Richard Lloyd Parry
IT was obvious from the start that something was not right about Crown Prince Naruhito’s press conference. The courtiers of the Imperial Household Agency, unbending in matters of punctuality, had scheduled a three o’clock start. But it was closer to 3.30 pm when the Crown Prince entered the roomful of journalists in the Togu Detached Palace in central Tokyo.
As always, the questions had been submitted and vetted days in advance; the Prince, seated behind a bouquet of seasonal flowers, read his answers from a sheaf of papers. He has made such appearances two or three times a year since his youth, but on this occasion he seemed almost nervous, stumbling over the earnest platitudes which are the staple of Japanese imperial utterance.
He congratulated two other Crown Princes, Frederik of Denmark and Felipe of Spain, whose weddings he was about to attend. He expressed his condolences to the victims of the Madrid bombings. He talked with polite enthusiasm about Portugal, which he was also about to visit. The words were as neat and bland as the Prince’s light blue suit and dark tie; until he was asked about the woman who should have been sitting along side him, his wife, Crown Princess Masako.
For the past six months, Princess Masako has been ill; although no Japanese journalist has reported as much, people close to the couple say that she has had a breakdown and been treated with anti-depressants. There has been discreet media speculation about the causes of her illness — the stress of being the mother of a two-year old daughter, perhaps, or pressure to produce an imperial heir (as a female, baby Aiko cannot succeed to the throne). None of the royal reporters present would have dared to put any of this directly; the question was a discreetly vague one about the Princess’s “current condition and prospects”. And the answer was completely unexpected.
Gone was the habitual indirectness and delicate understatement; Naruhito’s answer was full of emotional superlatives. The Princess, he said, “regrets from the bottom of her heart” that she could not travel to Europe. He himself found it “very regretful”; he said that “I feel I am wrenching myself away as I depart”. Masako, he went on, had “completely exhausted” herself in trying to adapt to life as a princess. In the past, she had been “greatly distressed that she was not allowed to make overseas visits for a long time”. He went on to add — in the sentence which has reverberated through the imperial establishment ever since — “In fact, there were moves which nullified Masako’s career, and nullified her character based on that career.”
The words were spoken calmly, but it is hard to underestimate the violence of their impact on the rarefied, protocol-bound world of the Japanese imperial household. “I was quite astounded when I heard,” said Toshiya Matsuzaki, a veteran royal reporter. “In almost 40 years, I have never heard anything like that.”
It has brought to the surface a tangle of tensions that have been developing within the Imperial family over the past 10 years. They originate in the crisis over the succession; after 126 unbroken generations, the world’s oldest unbroken royal line is running out of heirs. They raise questions about the Imperial family’s treatment of its women, about how it is funded and administered. Most remarkably, they suggest a generational conflict between Emperor Akihito and the son who will one day succeed him. “His remarks were unprecedented,” said Minoru Hamao, a former chamberlain to the Crown Prince’s household. “He has never shown his emotions like this. The Crown Prince has declared war against the Imperial Household.”
The story begins in 1986 when the Crown Prince, then 26, met 22-year-old Masako Owada at a tea party in the Akasaka Detached Palace in Tokyo. She was a graduate of Harvard and Tokyo Universities who had just passed the demanding examinations for the fast track of the Japanese foreign ministry; he was at the age when a Japanese mother would start to worry about a son who didn’t have a regular girlfriend. Further discreet meetings took place, several at the British Embassy under the cover of the Japan-British Society. The Prince proposed; Masako politely declined, embarked on her diplomatic career, and soon picked up another degree from Oxford. The Prince, meanwhile, remained single. After further proposals, and discreet arm-twisting by Masako’s father, a senior Japanese ambassador, Masako and Naruhito became engaged.
She married him in a Shinto ceremony in 1993, dressed in a traditional 12-layered kimono, amid an atmosphere of happy celebration. Before the wedding, the princess-to-be underwent 62 hours of private tutorials from protocol experts on such matters as how to walk and the appropriate angle of an imperial bow. There were Masako dolls and Masako silk scarves in the shops, and a rash of optimistic speculation about the tonic effect that this young woman would have on one of the most closed, conservative and controlling institutions in the country.
Never had the palace been home to someone as intelligent, educated, and ambitious. Optimists predicted that she would become a role model for young Japanese women, uniting femininity, education and tradition. “If she ends up politely smiling royal smiles,” the Asahi newspaper observed, “the Crown Prince’s bride will not have been put to good use.” From the point of view of the palace, however, Masako’s intelligence and education were secondary to her primary task: to provide an imperial heir. Six years passed, with no sign of an imperial baby. In December 1999, it was announced that Masako was pregnant; a few weeks later, she miscarried.
Among the many things known among Japanese royal watchers, but never discussed publicly, is that Princess Aiko’s conception a few months later came about as a result of fertility treatment. At the time, any disappointment over the baby’s sex was outweighed by relief that the couple could at least have children. It is now widely expected that, in the next few years, the law will be changed to allow Princess Aiko to succeed as a reigning empress. But many legislative and political obstacles remain, chief among these being the vehement opposition of the far-right, and the pressure on 40-year-old Princess Masako is heavier than ever.
In December last year, she formally ceased her official duties; the Imperial Household Agency, the government bureaucracy that runs the Imperial court, reported that she was suffering from shingles, painful blisters caused by the herpes virus and often associated with stress. But conversations with friends and associates close to the couple suggest that she has suffered a breakdown.
Since well before the birth of her daughter, one friend of the couple reports that she has not been herself. Once a keen sportswoman, she seems to have lost interest in exercise. At a party held for her husband’s 44th birthday in February, she appeared drawn, and retired after the briefest of appearances. She has consulted specialists and been prescribed with a low-dosage anti-depressant. In April, she spent a month in a holiday home in the mountain resort of Karuizawa with her mother and baby. She suffers from dizziness and headaches, but it is clear to those who know her that the problem is more psychological than physical. She has ups and downs, they say, but is essentially as unhappy as she was six months ago.
What has triggered her depression? There are numerous theories. One rumour among journalists and in Internet chat rooms is that little Princess Aiko has a developmental problem, possibly autism — but in her few public appearances there has been no obvious sign of this. Anxiety about producing an heir must also be great, especially after the IHA’s Grand Steward, Toshio Yuasa, told reporters, “I strongly wish for one more child.”
But the biggest reason may be no more than loneliness. Palace insiders describe a life of quite extraordinary human isolation. Apart from their intermittent official appearances and occasional breaks at a handful of country and seaside villas, the couple rarely leave the Togu, the central Tokyo palace reserved for the Crown Prince and his household. Even in their own home, the couple rarely entertain. IHA security rules make it impossible to invite people over on the spur of the moment; the couple do almost no regular socialising, outside their immediate family. Naruhito and Masako do not even have direct phone numbers of their own — calls must be made and received by courtiers to be transferred to the Prince or Princess, if appropriate.
The vast grounds of the Tokyo palaces can never be leased or sold; the family possesses no jewellery or art collections or race horses. The Princess has made only a few overseas trips — the reason given is that onerous official business is a distraction from the task of conceiving a future emperor. And even if they wanted to escape on a private holiday, they do not have the financial wherewithal. They carry all the burdens of royalty, without any of the perks.
For Masako, brought up by cosmopolitan, multilingual parents in the USA and Japan, this is stifling. It is an open secret that her mother-in-law, Empress Michiko, suffered a nervous breakdown in the 1960s after snobbish treatment from her aristocratic mother-in-law; in the early 1990s she lost the power of speech for several months after another collapse. Gossip — again unsubstantiated — suggests that the Empress may not have the best of relations with her own daughter-in-law.
Imperial courtiers reported that Emperor Akihito was “surprised” by the Prince’s recent remarks. Privately, they wondered why he didn’t come and talk to them about this. At the very least, his remarks suggest an extraordinary breakdown in communication between the parents and their son and daughter-in-law. “Masako has become an Imperial drop-out,” said one royal newspaper reporter. “To be blunt, she is hostile towards the Emperor and the Empress, and is waiting for them to die. It sounds horrible and shocking. But this is the truth of what’s happening inside the Crown Prince’s household and the public doesn’t know about it.”
Scrutiny of their press conferences reveals that they have been hinting at their unhappiness for a while. Eighteen months ago she spoke of the effort of adjusting to a life without foreign travel. In February he said outright that pressure to have an heir had made her ill. Royal watchers speculate that the couple were pinning their hopes on travelling together to Europe soon. When the IHA insisted that Masako could not go, it was the last straw.
The Crown Prince’s aides, the theory goes, prepared a draft of his more innocuous press conference answers. Then, at the last minute, he added the anguished lines about Masako —hence the delay, as the courtiers pleaded with him not to go ahead. Who knows what cuts and compromises were made behind the scenes in that half hour?
“Masako and the Crown Prince are communicating with the Emperor and the Empress through the media,” said one royal reporter. “This is an extraordinary situation. I don’t think this is good for them and their future.” But of the 700 e-mails sent to the IHA after the press conference was televised, most expressed sympathy with the Prince and anger with the bureaucrats.
What will come of the showdown is anyone’s guess. The institutional stubbornness of the IHA cannot be underestimated. On the other hand, Japan has a Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi, devoted to reforming the country’s sclerotic financial and political institutions — so why not its monarchy too? Most importantly, it has an Emperor in waiting who is prepared to take unthinkable steps to protect his wife.
“Masako-san,” Naruhito famously said when he was wooing her, “I will protect you for my entire life.” This month, after 11 difficult years, he has kept his promise.
—The Times, London.
「『雅子妃は、皇室からドロップアウトしている。不躾ながら、彼女は天皇ご夫妻に対して敵意を持って（hostile)おり、おふたりが死ぬのを待っている（waiting for them to die)。恐ろしくて衝撃的な話だが、これは、宮内庁の皇太子周辺で起こっていることで、国民はこのことを知らない』と話しているのは、新聞の皇室記者だ」