Emperor and Empress in India
The Emperor and Empress of Japan have spent the past few days in India on the first official visit by a Japanese head of state to the nation.
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko were farewelled at Haneda Airport on November 30 by the senior members of the Imperial Family, before being greeted at AFS Palam in New Delhi by the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, and his wife, Gursharan Kaur.
The couple’s official agenda began on December 1st, when they visited the Lodhi Gardens. They were joined by the diplomatic members of their entourage accompanying them on the visit and Japanese individuals living in New Delhi, as they toured the vast garden area, where the Emperor and Empress saw the Bara Gumbad mosque. The visit garnered great praise from the Japanese community who were able to meet the Emperor and Empress face-to-face.
A visit to the Raj Ghat, the memorial of Mahatma Ghandi, was the Emperor and Empress’s first engagement on December 2nd, where they laid a wreath of white daisies bearing a ribbon of white and red with their names printed on it on the tomb as a mark of respect. They then signed the visitor’s log and received a bust of Ghandi as a gift, before heading to the Presidential Palace for a meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee and a full ceremonial welcome.
That evening, the Japanese Ambassador to India hosted a reception at the Japanese Embassy with the Emperor and Empress as guests of honour, where they viewed a tree they planted on their first visit to India as the Crown Prince and Princess, back in 1960. Emperor Akihito spoke of his and his wife’s fond memories of that visit to India, and the “warm reception” they received by the Indian people.
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko are currently in Chennai, where they will spend two days before returning to Tokyo this evening local time.
The aim of the visit to India has been to strengthen the bilateral and economic relations between Japan and India.Filed under Japanese Royals
Tagged Ambassador, Bilateral Relations, Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko, India, Official Visit, President Mukherjee, Prime Minister Singh.