TOKYO -- Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako shared comments on the habit of reading and encounters with books as they appeared at an award ceremony for the 64th national youth book report contest on Feb. 8.
Some 800 people attended the ceremony at Keidanren Kaikan hall in Chiyoda Ward, where prizewinners were presented with certificates and other items.
During his speech, Crown Prince Naruhito referred to his father Emperor Akihito's address delivered at the contest's ceremony in the past as then crown prince, in which he stated, "I would like everyone here to acquire the habit of reading while thinking and become a person with a broad perspective and generous mind."
"It is such a great honor to learn that (Emperor Akihito's) thoughts have been passed down to date," Crown Prince Naruhito told the audience.
During a subsequent gathering with children attending the event, Crown Princess Masako said, "It is great that you have encountered good books."
The winning book reports were chosen from a total of 4,146,941 submitted to the competition from a total of 25,594 schools across the country.
The contest is organized by the School Library Association and The Mainichi Newspapers Co. and supported by the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and Suntory Holdings Ltd.
(Japanese original by Tomofumi Inagaki, City News Department)