On her birthday, she issued a statement:
Regarding her husband Emperor Akihito, she says "He has been putting his very best effort to seek how it should to be as the symbolic emperor".
Emperor Akihito is going to abdicate in 2019.
Michiko says "He is getting old, and I feel very relieved and secure about the fact that he is going to have peaceful days soon. I deeply appreciate the people who have made this happen"