In 1982, the Prince returned to Australia as part of the Japanese delegation in honor of the tenth anniversary of the Australia-Japan Society. He also visited New Zealand to strengthen ties and friendly diplomatic relations. Despite his disabilities following a series of strokes in 1988, he took an active role in public service, and appeared regularly at award ceremonies, diplomatic events, and as President of various charity organizations.
In July 1997, Prince Katsura again visited Australia, to help promote an exhibition of the traditional sport of sumo, with exhibition matches held in Sydney and Melbourne.
Prince Katsura suffered a series of strokes in May 1988, and became paralyzed from the waist down, forcing him to use a wheelchair. Despite this, he remained active in public life. In early 2014, the Prince was diagnosed with an unspecified illness that affected and deteriorated his heart. In the early morning hours of June 8, 2014, he suffered a massive heart attack, and despite best efforts he was pronounced dead at 10:50 AM local time. He was 66 years old.
Prince Katsura never married and leaves no legitimate children. As his brothers only had daughters themselves, his death marks the end of his father's branch of the Imperial Family. He was survived by his parents.