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Prince William strikes a friendly contrast to crown prince

34 Comments
By YURI KAGEYAMA

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34 Comments
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Asked by a reporter about his receding hairline, she vehemently denied that was a drawback.

Here we have it, the obligatory hairline remarks! Only Japan and China seem to to do that.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Great article. Brings out the sharp contrasts on how royalty is viewed in both societies. The Japanese take on the whole subject is outdated & without glamour. Look at the photo, it says 1000 words.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@Tessa You obviously don't read the Daily Fail, a British paper. They are always going on about William's or Kates' (decreasing /grey) hair!!!

The British royal family are independently wealthy, which is why that can do what they please!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

No wonder William is, for Japanese, a prince closer to the people than their own.

Dang! The author of this article is REALLY down on Prince Naruhito.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I think this pretty much sums up the difference between the UK and Japan as a whole, really. I am from London, and now live in Japan so have direct experience of both cultures. The UK is more of a laugh, by a very VERY long way. Japan has its advantages, but for general hilarity, chaos and overall being human and, well, normal, the UK is the winner.

Can you imagine there ever being a video of the Japanese prince, standing there taking the p*ss out of his brother like this; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vt2Luu08f70

No chance. It is all stifled, Gormanghast levels of pomp and unfunny ceremony here in Japan.

Good lad William, and good lad Harry, I say. Hazzah!!

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Don't forget Naruhito's comments about honestly remembering the wartime negatives committed by the Japanese. He deserves much respect!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I'm no royalist but they both seem likable guys. I'd have a beer or scotch with them.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Interesting. Especially when considering that the modern Japanese monarchy was very much modeled on the British example. This started in the Meiji period, and then Hirohito stayed for a long period in Britain in the 1920's when he was crown prince, and abolished polygamy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A reflection of both societies.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Ingrid Seward, editor in chief for Majesty Magazine, a London-based monthly that covers European royalty, said the Japanese Emperor and his family could become more of a plus for the country’s image by “modernizing” and becoming more visible.

Duh, ya think? Glad it is no longer my tax money paying for this nonsense. With Japan facing increasing budget pressure every year, you'd want to think that they would want an ROI on the huge expense of the Imperial Household.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Tabloid-type gossip rampant for the British royals is taboo for their counterparts in Japan.

Gossip rampant for Japan's royals in female magazines. Empress Michiko has become sick many times because of them.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Well, that's the long and short of it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Presumably the reporter asking about William's baldness was Japanese.

I don't like the double standard here.

That reporter would never be so rude as to ask a similar question about the Japanese royal family to a member of the public.

They should extend the same level of courtesy to foreign royals visiting Japan.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

tinawatanabe; Michiko became 'sick' (,ie, had a mental breakdown), not because of gossip in magazines, but from internal pressures from her own family. Standard Japanese bullying procedure.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Having visited Japan as well as England should say that there is a "Day and Night" difference in the culture and lifestyles of these two First World Country's and that would definitely also include its "Monarchy".

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"The Harvard- and Oxford-educated Masako — only the second commoner to wed into the imperial family after her mother-in-law Empress Michiko "

Associated Press needs better research/fact checking skills.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Tessa:

Asked by a reporter about his receding hairline, she vehemently denied that was a drawback.

Here we have it, the obligatory hairline remarks! Only Japan and China seem to to do that.

Tessa, why are you dragging China into this? He hasn't even gone there yet. This was most likely a conversation between two Japanese.

Tina:

Gossip rampant for Japan's royals in female magazines. Empress Michiko has become sick many times because of them.

As interstat says, it wasn't because of the magazines. There was also bullying from her mother-in-law and others around them. To the point where she couldn't speak for a while, literally.

choi:

Presumably the reporter asking about William's baldness was Japanese. I don't like the double standard here. That reporter would never be so rude as to ask a similar question about the Japanese royal family to a member of the public.

Yeah, I'd love to see a Japanese reporter dare ask why the Prince's younger brother had grey hair 20 years ago, but for the past several months, why it's been jet black.

As for the differences between the two countries' behaviour with respect to their monarchies, people dare ask questions in the UK, eg why Prince Edward was allowed into a top university despite his awful school grades, why Prince Andrew uses tax-payers money to collect airmiles, why some royal members used their status to make secret deals, why the next-in-line had a mistress not long after his wedding, why Prince Phillip is allowed to get away with making racist gaffes, etc. I'd love to see a Panorama-style interview, or for fun, a Japanese Spitting Image.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Heck, Hironomiya is friendly enough, and he says the right things about Japan owning up toits past misdeeds.

"Until Japan’s defeat at the end of World War II in 1945, the emperor was seen as divine. No one believes that today,"

Some people still believe it.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Prince William is a cool dude. I saw the Japanese prince sometime around Nov or Dec of 1982 when I was at Lackland AFB. I think he was attending the Defense Language Institute. He had an entourage of secret service agents even inside the base.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

And the author knows the Crown Prince? Just the title of this put me off...

Having had the opportunity to meet some members of the imperial family in social settings, they struck me as being intelligent, inquisitive and rather down-to-earth. I would assume that members of the British royal family are rather similar.

Whatever the case, the problem in Japan is not the personality of the imperial family, it is the onerous manner in which they are managed by the Imperial Household Agency.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Great article. The author described succinctly but quite accurately the differences between the two monarchies. There are something in the article and also in some of the posts above that suggest the Japanese Imperial Family should become more like the British Royal Family. Thank you, but No! I love them both just as they are.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

William acting like a human being and revealing how much he likes football and pop music and other 'look, he's just like us!' syrupy rubbish doesn't get away from the fact that he's still a part of an outdated, undemocratic institution based on the damaging and offensive idea of hereditary privilege ( but at least he smiles a lot and shakes hands very warmly ). What next? Taking the 'just like us' farce to reports of pints of mild and pork scratchings down the boozer with the trouble and strife and 'call me Billy'? Pathetic, insulting and very irritating nonsense. Give me the Japanese royals over this pantomime. It's less patronising.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I know it's William who is on the official visit right now, but wouldn't a much more apt comparison be the Crown Prince of Japan to...the Crown Prince of Wales, William's father, Prince Charles?

They're much closer in age and generation-wise than these two, and no one in either country would accuse Charles of being "down to earth or overly friendly." He's stiff and formal, some would even say pompous, and not many people love him so openly and unreservedly as they did his ex Diana or their elder son.

Anyway, I bet Japan's Crown Prince would be a really nice and friendly person, so I guess this article seeks to bring in many other factors besides "friendliness" when contrasting the two, and sure enough, it does.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Je suis William!

I've had the good fortune of having seen both princes. They both smiled in my general direction, not that we shared a moment or anything, but...

William gets it. He understands the pomp, and he understands when to be human. Naruhito looks like he still believes he's an actual deity, so robotic. Walk at this pace, my wife must be so many meters behind me, show no affection to one another.

William is self deprecating, can laugh at himself and his hair (which was a downright rude question by the Japanese reporter who'd never do the same to Naruhito, and if she had, she'd be fired).

I'm not one enamored with royals and question the logic behind their necessity, but William definitely inherited the good parts from his mother and he does seem to care about what he says and does. Naruhito has made one relevant comment of worth, being against the whitewashing Japan's war history, but beyond that I can't think of anything else he's stood for.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The Japanese take on the whole subject is outdated

The very idea of a hereditary monarchy in the 21st century is outdated.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

By far I am no royalists nor interested, but what I do know is the common people are sick and tired of supporting and the governments using our money on these deadbeats. This royal system does no one anygood except take more money that I can put on the table for my family or help those in real need like the homeless and hungry, single moms, kids on the streets, education, shelters, etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

True. They are aren't real rulers wielding political power.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As a royalist, it's good seeing these to families getting along well.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Look at the handshake, that has to be the weakest hand shake I've ever seen from the JP prince.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

"Look at the handshake, that has to be the weakest hand shake I've ever seen from the JP prince" I have never seen Japanese shake hands.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

'To Steven C. Schulz and other unashamed royalists, the Disney Co thanks you for your patronage.'

If it was just limited to sycophants waving plastic flags or the plain sad dreaming of a fairytale wedding, it wouldn't bother me so much. However, the UK has been actually going into reverse in recent decades after the ideas of blue blood and the old school tie had been eroded. My generation were brought up with stories of how Wilson, Heath; Callaghan, Thatcher and Major led the country after coming from humble beginnings and Major felt able to declare a 'classless' society. Even the patrician Etonian Cameron, his similarly connected chancellor and the Westminster-educated Clegg have been forced to admit how obscene the top-notch public school network has become in filling the top jobs in the UK. The power of the patricians is still alive and kicking and it is toxic. Cameron trying to prove his plebby tastes with his love of Aston Villa FC and eating Cornish pasties is the same cynical PR as the new 'just like us' facade of the princes ( why is the great old club of Aston Villa FC the club of choice for Cameron and William?), Removing the royals who stand at the head of this incestuous, back-scratching system won't eradicate it overnight, but it would be a step forward for a country which is still infected with something debilitating.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

salvor:

I know it's William who is on the official visit right now, but wouldn't a much more apt comparison be the Crown Prince of Japan to...the Crown Prince of Wales, William's father, Prince Charles?

Well, I don't think there'll be much conversation if you paired William with Aiko.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The Japanese and British cultures and societies are very different (and hooray for that, as the world would be very boring if we were all the same) so it is inevitable that their royal families will be different too - and therefore behave differently. Neither model is inherently right or wrong - they are just appropriate to their different environments.

I would, however, agree with those who have said that it was very rude/impertinent for the Japanese reporter to have raised the issue of the Duke's receding hairline; this is simply not relevant to his visit in any way. The Japanese are normally very polite so this was badly out of character and, frankly, disappointing.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think the Imperial Household Agency does need a serious shake up and the Japanese Imperial family could be more inspiring...

...that said, I'm unconvinced that William being more personable is reason to believe that the British royal family is better for their country. Let's not forget that the British royals also gave us Charles's and Diane's affairs, not to mention Prince Harry dressed as a Nazi. Certainly the Imperial Household Agency is too domineering, but if a country is going to subsidize a royal family to live a lavish and privileged lifestyle as representatives of said country, I'd rather there be an agency out there to remind them not to act like complete fools and to preserve a little dignity.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

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