Princess Aiko, the only child of Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, began her first day of work on Monday at the Japanese Red Cross Society.

The princess joined as a contracted employee and is working at a department focused on training volunteers while also continuing to fulfill her official duties, according to the Imperial Household Agency.

"I feel joyful, but also humbled to be taking my first step as a working member of society," she told reporters at the Red Cross headquarters in Tokyo's Minato Ward.

Photo shows Princess Aiko at the Japanese Red Cross Society headquarters in Tokyo on April 1, 2024. (Kyodo)

The princess was one of eight new employees to start their jobs at the headquarters on Monday. She graduated last month from Gakushuin University where she studied Japanese literature.

"While my days as a working member of society have just begun, I will endeavor to adjust quickly to the workplace and be of assistance," she said, adding that her parents had wished her luck.

The Red Cross society has close ties with the imperial family, with empresses serving as honorary presidents.

The Imperial Family the same day made their debut on social media by opening an official Instagram account, in a bid to increase public understanding of the household.

The account, set up under the agency's name, posted more than a dozen photographs and videos of the imperial couple and the princess, taken between the New Year and March. It garnered around 200,000 followers as of late Monday afternoon, although comments on the posts have been disabled.

The move comes after the agency set up a formal public relations office last April to consider how to better disclose information about the family to the public, having struggled with critical reactions online to former princess Mako's engagement and 2021 marriage to her university sweetheart, Kei Komuro.

The agency has suggested that a more proactive approach to providing updates on the family will help counter some of the criticism it has faced, potentially expanding the use of social media to communicate with the public over time.

Princess Aiko is pictured at the Japanese Red Cross Society headquarters in Tokyo on April 1, 2024, her first day of work there. (Kyodo)

Related coverage:

Princess Aiko to work at Japanese Red Cross Society from April

Japan imperial family to make Instagram debut in April

Emperor worried about weak ties to British royals before 1998 visit