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Japan's stressed princess may travel abroad

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Japan's Crown Princess Masako, who has been treated for a stress-induced illness for a decade, is expected to travel abroad for the first time in about seven years, multiple media reports said Wednesday.

The 49-year-old former diplomat may accompany her husband, Crown Prince Naruhito, on an official visit to the Netherlands to attend the coronation of Willem Alexander on April 30, dailies, news agencies and TV networks said.

It will be her first overseas trip since Naruhito's family spent about two weeks at a retreat in the Netherlands in August 2006 at the invitation of Queen Beatrix.

It will also be her first official visit abroad in 11 years since the couple went to New Zealand and Australia in late 2002.

The press office of the Imperial Household Agency said it could not confirm reports of the trip.

US-educated Masako has reportedly struggled with the cloistered nature of royal life in one of the world's oldest and most tradition-bound monarchies.

She was diagnosed with an adjustment disorder, according to an official statement in 2004.

Masako married Naruhito, now 53, in 1993 and gave birth to their first and only child, a girl, in late 2001 under intense pressure to bear a son in keeping with Japan's male-only royal succession law.

The pressure seemingly eased when a boy was born to the family of the crown prince's younger brother in 2006, the first prince born to Japan's royal family in 40 years.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130417/japans-stressed-princess-may-travel-abroad