Emperor Akihito takes his grandson for a little sea excursion

  September 15, 2009 at 4:18 pm by

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko invited Princess Kiko and little Prince Hisahito to join them for a little sea excursion near the Imperial Villa in the town of Hayama, south of Tokyo. The Imperial Family took a small boat they rowed themselves for the excursion; the boat had been used by Emperor Showa for his research of sea creatures. After they returned, the family proudly watched as 3-years-old Prince Hisahito steadily walked off the boat on a narrow plank: although the little Prince walked unaided, his grandparents, mother and local people all kept watchful eyes on him.

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko then showed their informal side, helping people to bring the boat ashore. Their Imperial Majesties appeared to be in good health and physical form and had obviously enjoyed the excursion. Princess Kiko and Prince Hisahito looked delighted with the family outing as well. Princesses Kako, Mako and Aiko wouldn’t be able to join the family because the school year has already started.

Meanwhile, President Lee Myung-bak expressed hope today that Emperor Akihito will visit Seoul next year on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Japan’s annexation of Korea. President Lee hopes that the visit would help to move Japanese-Korean relationships forward and would be a symbolic gesture to put an end to historical tensions between the two neighbors.

During a press conference, President Lee said: “Korea and Japan have difficulty in improving relations due to the past. Emperor Akihito’s visit to Seoul will have a significant meaning and would show that the countries can leave the past behind and try to develop a future-oriented relationship. The visit would be meaningful, produce positive results, and be a step permanently removing the distance between the two countries. The Emperor has traveled all around the world, but couldn’t visit Korea. I’m confident that Japanese-Korean relations will improve rapidly if he visits Korea.”

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