Japan's Princess Masako attends first banquet in 11 years

In this photograph released by the Imperial Household Agency of Japan on Oct 29, 2014, Japanese Emperor Akihito (centre) gives a speech to welcome Dutch King Willem-Alexander (third left) and Queen Maxima (second right, seated) as Empress Michiko (se
In this photograph released by the Imperial Household Agency of Japan on Oct 29, 2014, Japanese Emperor Akihito (centre) gives a speech to welcome Dutch King Willem-Alexander (third left) and Queen Maxima (second right, seated) as Empress Michiko (second left), Crown Prince Naruhito (right), Crown Princess Masako and guests listen at the start of a state dinner at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. -- PHOTO: AFP
Japan's Emperor Akihito (second left), Dutch King Willem-Alexander, (left), Dutch Queen Maxima (third left) and Japan's Empress Michiko (fourth left) walk to the welcome ceremony venue as Crown Prince Naruhito (second right) and Crown Princess Masako
Japan's Emperor Akihito (second left), Dutch King Willem-Alexander, (left), Dutch Queen Maxima (third left) and Japan's Empress Michiko (fourth left) walk to the welcome ceremony venue as Crown Prince Naruhito (second right) and Crown Princess Masako (right) follow behind at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Oct 29, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
In this photo taken on Oct 29, 2014 and released by the Imperial Household Agency of Japan, King Willem-Alexander (fourth) and Queen Maxima (left) of the Netherlands are greeted by Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito (second left) and Crown Princess Masako
In this photo taken on Oct 29, 2014 and released by the Imperial Household Agency of Japan, King Willem-Alexander (fourth) and Queen Maxima (left) of the Netherlands are greeted by Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito (second left) and Crown Princess Masako (second right) as they are introduced to the visiting couple by Japan's Emperor Akihito (third left) and Empress Michiko (partially seen behind Naruhito) during their visit to the Imperial Palace for an audience in Tokyo. -- PHOTO: AFP
King Willem Alexander (left) and Queen Maxima (second left) of the Netherlands are escorted by Japan's Emperor Akihito (third left) and Empress Michiko (fourth left) as Crown Princess Masako (right) looks on during a welcome ing ceremony at the Imper
King Willem Alexander (left) and Queen Maxima (second left) of the Netherlands are escorted by Japan's Emperor Akihito (third left) and Empress Michiko (fourth left) as Crown Princess Masako (right) looks on during a welcome ing ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Oct 29, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
King Willem-Alexander (front second right) and Queen Maxima (front left) of Netherlands are escorted by Japan's Emperor Akihito (front right) and Empress Michiko (front second left) on the red carpet during a welcome ing ceremony at the Imperial Pala
King Willem-Alexander (front second right) and Queen Maxima (front left) of Netherlands are escorted by Japan's Emperor Akihito (front right) and Empress Michiko (front second left) on the red carpet during a welcome ing ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Oct 29, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Japan's Crown Princess Masako (right) and Crown Prince Naruhito leave a welcoming ceremony for King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Oct 29, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Japan's Crown Princess Masako (right) and Crown Prince Naruhito leave a welcoming ceremony for King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Oct 29, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO - Japan's Crown Princess has attended a banquet for visiting Dutch royals, her first such appearance in 11 years.

Princess Masako, the 50-year-old wife of Crown Prince Naruhito, also attended a welcoming ceremony for King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and his wife Queen Maxima at the Imperial Palace on Wednesday, according to media reports. It was her first welcome ceremony appearance in five years.

Princess Masako began to suffer from a stress-related illness after joining the imperial family in 1993. Since the birth of her daughter Aiko in 2001, she has made rare public appearances but has largely stayed away from royal duties.

Princess Masako and Crown Prince Naruhito travelled to the Netherlands last year to attend King Willem-Alexander's inauguration in what was seen as a sign of her recovery, reported BBC.

Before marrying the Crown Prince, Princess Masako was a successful diplomat who spoke several languages and travelled extensively.

Observers say she had an abrupt transition from her cosmopolitan lifestyle to the rigidity of royal life in Japan, said the BBC report. She was diagnosed with "adjustment disorder", which is linked with symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Many blame her ill health on the pressure to produce a male heir to the Chrysanthemum Throne as the royal family went through a succession crisis. But the crisis was resolved when Crown Prince Naruhito's younger brother, Prince Akishino, and his wife, had a son in 2006.