Tag Archives: Emperor Akihito

King & Queen of Spain

On 5th April, HM Emperor Akihito, HM Empress Michiko, HIH Crown Prince Naruhito and HIH Crown Princess Masako attended the Welcoming Ceremony of HM King Felipe VI and HM Queen Letizia of Kingdom of Spain as the State Guests took place at Imperial Palace.

Imperial Audience

At the evening, Their Majesties held the banquet for Their Majesties the King and the Queen at Imperial Palace.

Remarks by His Majesty the Emperor at the State Banquet in Honour of Their Majesties King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, the King and Queen of Spain (April 5, 2017)

Text from Imperial Household Agency

I would like to start the evening by once again congratulating Your Majesty King Felipe VI on Your ascension to the throne. I also wish to extend a heartfelt welcome to You and to Her Majesty Queen Letizia on the occasion of Your State Visit to Japan. I am truly delighted to spend this evening together with You.

I first visited Your country in 1953, when I was just 19 years old; I was on a tour of several countries in Europe after attending the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. At the time, I was told that Your father, who would later ascend to the throne as King Juan Carlos I, was in San Sebastian for his studies. It was over half a century ago, in 1962, that His Majesty King Juan Carlos I, before his enthronement, visited Japan for the first time together with Princess Sophia, whom he had just wed. Since that time, the Royal Family of Spain and the Imperial Family of Japan have enjoyed various exchanges over the course of many years.

The Empress and I visited your country twice as Crown Prince and Princess, and again as state guests in 1994, following my accession to the throne. I fondly recall the heartfelt hospitality extended to us by Their Majesties King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sophia, and other members of the Royal Family and the warm welcome we received everywhere from the people of Spain during each of those visits.

At the time of my first visit to your country, both Japan and Spain were going through difficult times, as Japan had not yet recovered from the ravages of World War II, while the effects of the civil war were still felt in Spain. Both our countries have since made steady progress along the road of recovery, and it moves me deeply to recall the dramatic changes I witnessed each time I visited Spain.

Your Majesty graciously attended my enthronement ceremony in 1990, on Your first visit to Japan as Prince of Asturias. I would like to take this opportunity to once again express my deep appreciation for your attendance. In 1998, Your Majesty visited Japan as an Official Guest, also travelling to Kamakura and the Kansai region. You visited Japan again in 2005, this time together with Her Majesty Queen Letizia, who was Princess of Asturias at the time. During this visit, Your Majesties also toured the 2005 World Exposition, which was being held in Aichi Prefecture.

When the Great East Japan Earthquake struck six years ago, Your Majesty, then Prince of Asturias, bestowed, in the fall of that year, the Prince of Asturias Award for Concord on the “Heroes of Fukushima,” the police officers, fire fighters, and Self-Defence Force personnel who responded to the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. This gave immeasurable hope to the people of Japan, who had suffered greatly from the disaster. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for Your warm consideration at the time.

Exchanges between our two countries began in 1549 with the arrival of St. Francis Xavier in Japan. As such, Spain is one of the countries in Europe with whom Japan has had the longest history of exchanges. In 1614, a delegation sent by the feudal lord Date Masamune, headed by his retainer Hasekura Tsunenaga, visited Spain, where they were granted an audience with King Felipe III, as well as engaging in other exchanges. It is still fresh in our memory that four centuries since that historic visit, from 2013 to 2014, various exchanges took place between our two countries to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of Japan-Spain Relations.

These exchanges ceased for a long time as a result of Japan’s policy of seclusion. In 1868, however, our two countries resumed diplomatic relations by signing a Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation, and next year, in 2018, we will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Spain and Japan.

In recent years, our two countries have been developing relations in diverse fields, and deepening academic and cultural exchanges, as well as trade and investment. The people of Japan have always held a keen interest in Spanish paintings, music, literature, and other arts from old times up to the present, and this interest forms the basis of the affinity that the people of Japan hold toward your country.

In Spain, meanwhile, the Hispanic-Japanese Cultural Centre at the University of Salamanca, which the Empress and I have visited twice, has been playing a central role in academic and cultural exchanges. The university offers programs in East Asian studies, including Japanese studies, and conducts exchanges with nearly 30 Japanese universities. It is my ardent hope that, through these exchanges, the peoples of both countries will further deepen their mutual understanding and continue to cooperate with each other.

Here in Japan, what we call the “cherry blossom front” is now making its way northward, indicating where in the archipelago the cherry blossoms have begun to bloom. In places where the front has passed, fresh young leaves hasten to appear. We are so happy to be welcoming Your Majesties at such a pleasant time of the year, filled with the joy of spring. I sincerely hope that Your Majesties will enjoy a fruitful stay in Japan and that the relations between our two countries will continue to deepen further.

I would now like to propose a toast to the good health of Your Majesties, and to the happiness of the people of Spain.

Photo from Asahi1, 2, Mainichi1 and 2


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Mausoleums Visit

On 29th March, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko visited the Mausoleums of Emperor Showa and Empress Kojun in Hachioji City, Tokyo.

After the visit, Their Majesties visited the exhibition of Junko Tabei (1939-2016), Female Japanese Mountaineer took place in Akishima City, Tokyo.

Photo from Asahi


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President of Mozambique

On 15th March, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko met with HE Mr Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, President of the Republic of Mozambique and the First Lady at Imperial Residence.

Photo from Sankei


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King of Saudi Arabia Vol.2

On 14th March, HM Emperor Akihito held the luncheon for Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, King of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at Imperial Residence.

Photo from Asahi


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Medical Contributors

On 13th March, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko met with the medical contributors at Imperial Palace.

Photo from Sankei


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Home-coming of Imperial Couple

On 6th March, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko finished their visit to Viet Nam and Thailand and arrived at Tokyo International Airport.

Following the custom of Imperial Family, the members of Imperial Family welcomed Their Majesties at the airport.

Photo from Mainichi


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Imperial Visit to Thailand

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On 5th March, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko arrived at Don Mueang International Airport of Thailand.

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Their Majesties made a call to express their condolence to late King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand who passed away last year.

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Their Majesties met with HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun.

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On 6th March, Their Majesties left Thailand to fly back to Japan.

Photo from Mainichi and Asahi


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Imperial Visit to Viet Nam Vol.3

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On 2nd March, HM Emperor Akihito met with HE Mr Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

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On 2nd March, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko met with the people who had visited Japan as exchange students at Temple of Literature in Hanoi City.

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On 3rd March, Their Majesties met with HE Dr Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Viet Nam and his wife.

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On 3rd March, Their Majesties met with HE Mr Tran Dai Quang, President of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and the First Lady before leaving Hanoi.

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On 4th March, Their Majesties visited Phan Boi Chau Memorial House in Hue.

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On 4th March, Their Majesties visited Hue Palace.

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On 5th March, Their Majesties left Viet Nam and flew to Thailand.

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Photo from Asahi1, 2, 3, 4, Sankei and Mainichi


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Imperial Visit to Viet Nam Vol.2

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On 1st March, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko attended the welcoming ceremony took place at Presidential Palace in Hanoi City.
After the ceremony, Their Majesties visited The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum located nearby the palace.

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On 1st March, Their Majesties met with the Chairwoman of the National Assembly of Vietnam.

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On 1st March, Their Majesties attended the banquet held by HE Mr Tran Dai Quang, President of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and the First Lady.

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Remarks by His Majesty the Emperor of Japan at the State Banquet in Honour of Their Majesties, Hosted by the President and First Lady of Viet Nam (March 1, 2017)

Text from Imperial Househohld Agency

It is a great pleasure for the Empress and myself to be visiting Viet Nam for the first time at the kind invitation of Your Excellency President Tran Dai Quang. I would like to express our profound gratitude to Your Excellency for hosting this banquet for us this evening, and for your most gracious words of welcome.

I would also like to take this opportunity to tell you how grateful we are for the kindness that the people of Viet Nam have extended to our children, the Crown Prince and Prince and Princess Akishino, during their visits to your country in the past.

Japan has been honoured in recent years by visits from presidents and other leaders of Viet Nam, and on each of those occasions, the Empress and I were extended a kind invitation to visit your country. It is deeply moving for us, therefore, that we are finally here in Viet Nam.

Our two countries have enjoyed various exchanges since ancient times. Historical records show that in the 8th century, when the ceremony to celebrate the completion of the Great Buddha of Todai-ji temple was held in Nara, then the capital of Japan, Phat Triet, or Buttetsu, a monk from Champa in what is now central Viet Nam, dedicated a dance at the ceremony. The music which was introduced from Champa at the time continues to be performed in Japan today as part of gagaku, our imperial court music. During this trip, we will be visiting Hue, once part of Champa and the seat of the Nguyen dynasty. While in Hue, we look forward to hearing Nha nhac, which shares the same roots as the gagaku of Japan.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, many Japanese trading ships called on the port of Hoi An in central Viet Nam, which was flourishing as an international port at the time, and a Japan Town was formed there.

Exchanges between Viet Nam and Japan later ceased as a result of Japan’s policy of national seclusion. During the early part of the 20th century, however, some 200 Vietnamese students came to study in Japan under the Dong Du movement.

More than 40 years have passed since diplomatic relations were established between Japan and Viet Nam in 1973. During this period, exchanges between our two countries have continued to expand, and today approximately 180,000 Vietnamese citizens reside in Japan, including students and technical interns. Among them are about 500 individuals working and training at hospitals and welfare facilities in the hope of one day aiding the people of Japan as nurses and care workers. We are looking forward to our meeting tomorrow at the Temple of Literature with persons involved in exchanges between Japan and Viet Nam, including ones who once stayed and studied in Japan.

I am told that interest in learning the Japanese language is growing in Viet Nam, with the language now being taught even at some elementary schools. Meanwhile, many Japanese businesses are expressing heightened interest in conducting manufacturing and other operations in Viet Nam, and today approximately 15,000 Japanese people live in your country. I am very happy that many events are held throughout both countries to introduce our respective cultures and that the people of Viet Nam and the people of Japan are enjoying each other’s music, food, and other aspects of culture.

As the peoples of our two countries are developing closer ties and a stronger cultural affinity with each other, it is my sincere hope that our visit will contribute to further deepening our mutual understanding and strengthening the ties of friendly relations between the people of Viet Nam and the people of Japan.

I would now like to propose a toast to the good health of Your Excellency President Tran Dai Quang and Madam Nguyen Thi Hien, and to the happiness of the people of Viet Nam.

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On 2nd March, Their Majesties met with the family of Japanese holdout in Viet Nam in Hanoi City.

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On 2nd March, Their Majesties attended the welcoming reception held by the ambassador of Japan in Hanaoi City.

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On 2nd March, Their Majesties visited the Museum of Miology of University of Natural Science in Hanoi City to see the specimen of the goby donated by HM Emperor Akihito as the researcher of goby in 1976.

Photo from Asahi1, 2, 3, 4 and 5


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Imperial Visit to Vietnam Vol.1

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On 28th February, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko started the official visit to Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.
Their Majesties will also visit Kingdom of Thailand to express their condolences to late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Their Majesties will come back to Japan on 6th March.

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Remarks by His Majesty the Emperor at the Time of Their Majesties’ Departure for the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and the Kingdom of Thailand (February 28, 2017)

Text from Imperial Household Agency

I shall be visiting Viet Nam for the first time together with the Empress at the invitation of His Excellency Mr. Tran Dai Quang, the President of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, and also making a stopover in the Kingdom of Thailand on our way back to Japan.

In our relations with Viet Nam, we welcomed as state guests to Japan, His Excellency President Nguyen Minh Triet in 2007 and His Excellency President Truong Tan Sang in 2014, and we have been kindly offered invitations to visit Viet Nam. During this visit, in the capital city of Hanoi, we will be attending a welcoming ceremony and other official events as well as meeting with persons involved in Japan-Viet Nam relations. Later, in the ancient city of Hue, arrangements have been made to allow us to familiarize ourselves with the history of Viet Nam. It is our hope that our visit to Viet Nam will contribute to the further development of the mutual understanding and friendly relations between our two countries.

On our way back to Japan, we are making a stopover in Thailand to bid farewell and pay our last respects to the late King of Thailand, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, and offer our condolences to the new king, His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn. The Empress and I enjoyed a close friendship of over 50 years with the late King, who passed away in October last year.

We would like to take this opportunity to express our deepest gratitude to the Prime Minister and those who helped to make this visit possible.

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On 28th February, Their Majesties arrived at Noi Bai International Airport of Vietnam.

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On 28th February, Their Majesties met with Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers in Hanoi City.

Photo from Asahi1 and Asahi2


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