Captain Moonlight's Notebook: Crown Princess

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The Independent Online
JAPAN's Imperial Household Agency, a rough equivalent of the Buckingham Palace press office, seems to have more power over Japanese journalists than our own institution. Japanese newspapers had known for some time that Crown Prince Naruhito was to become engaged to a foreign-eduated diplomat (Harvard and Oxford), Masako Owado, but feared reporting so in case they were punished by being denied access to the wedding.

Now that the story is out they have been advised that it would be in their best interests not to dwell on certain aspects of Miss Owada's family history. For example her grandfather, Yutaka Egashira, was chairman of the defunct Chisso Corp which was found guilty of dumping mercury-laden industrial waste into the bay off Minamata, a town on southern Kyushu island, in the 1960s. Thousands of people in the area became disabled, struck down by a crippling disease of the nervous system.