International Journal of

Arts , Humanities & Social Science

ISSN 2693-2547 (Print) , ISSN 2693-2555 (Online)
A study of speech style: Japan’s Princess Aiko’s first press conference


The present paper examines the speech style of Japanese princess Aiko during her first official public appearance and her first-ever solo press conference for Japanese society. The 20-year old princess and member of the Japanese Imperial family answered questions from the media and addressed the general public. This examination studies the linguistic strategies she used during the 30-minute speech at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan. One finding is that Aiko’s speech style achieves high marks from the public for her polite manner and eloquent composure. Her modest charm and smile appealed favorably to the majority of Japanese viewers. Another finding notes Aiko’s use of an emotional strategy, characterized as “rapport talk” or sympathy talk, which helped convey her message and proved beneficial in connecting with her audience. For her first official moment in front of the media and the general public, this praise is significant and perhaps unexpected.