16 June 2000
I am overcome by grief at todayfs news of the passing of Her Majesty the Empress Dowager. I can but only imagine the depths of sorrow felt by Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress, the other members of The Imperial Family and close relatives.
Her Majesty The Empress Dowager spent most of her life as the Empress of Emperor Showa in what was indeed a dramatic era. As society experienced great change, and particularly during difficult periods, Her Majesty The Empress Dowager devoted herself entirely in both public and private to being a good companion to Emperor Showa. Indeed, we, the people of Japan, were profoundly encouraged as well as moved by Her Majesty.
Moreover, throughout her life, Her Majesty The Empress Dowager strove to help Emperor Showa across a wide range of areas including promoting international goodwill, the arts, culture, health and welfare. My heart overflowed with both love and respect to see the kind smile that emanated from the very core of her gentle nature.
Her Majesty The Empress Dowager spent her days modestly after the demise of Emperor Showa in fond remembrance of their days together.
The demise of Her Majesty The Empress Dowager leaves us in absolute and unbearable sorrow and I speak for the people of our nation in expressing our deep condolences.