Japanese Royals Attend Japanese Emigration Anniversary in Peru and Bolivia

  June 16, 2009 at 12:25 pm by

View the image at Royal Blog

On the occasion of the 110th anniversary of Japanese immigration to Peru as well as the 20th anniversary of the Peruvian immigration to Japan, Japan’s Prince Hitachi, along with his wife Hanako, left on Friday for an official visit to Peru. The following day, the couple met with Peru’s Justice Minister Rosario Fernandez and other government and municipal authorities in front of the Japanese Immigration Centennial Monument, where the names of the first 790 Japanese immigrants who arrived at the port of Callao on April 3, 1899 are engraved. The monument was opened on May 29, 1999 by Princess Sayako, currently Mrs Sayako Kuroda. Upon her marriage to a commoner in 2005, Emperor Akihito’s only daughter had to give up her royal status, as is the custom for Japanese princesses.

Prince Hitachi put a flower arrangement on the monument also known as the Friendship Bridge, as it represents this feeling between the two nations. Later in the evening, the royal couple followed an invitation of President Alan Garcia and his wife Pilar Nores to an official reception at the government palace in Lima. (Video) On Sunday the couple met with members of the Japanese community, one of the largest in Latin America, estimated at some 100,000 members. In his speech there, Prince Hitachi said he was “impressed” by the Peruvians’ warm welcome. He praised the work done by the Japanese immigrants and their descendants in Peru and called for a closer relationship between the two countries. The program of the royal couple also included an event at the Japanese-Peruvian Theatre and a visit to the Japanese Immigration Museum.

Yesterday, the prince and princess continued their goodwill tour of the region with a visit to neighbouring Bolivia in order to mark the 110th anniversary of the Japanese migration to the country. Today, they are scheduled to meet with Bolivian President Evo Morales at a special reception. A formal commemorative ceremony for the anniversary of Japanese immigration to Bolivia will be held on Thursday.

Prince Hitachi, born 1935, is the younger brother of Japan’s Emperor Akihito. He received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from the Faculty of Science at Gakushuin University in 1958 but he became mainly known for his research on the causes of cancer. He has published articles on the results of his research in the technical journals of the Japanese Cancer Association, as well as of the American Association for Cancer Research. The prince shares his father’s and his brother’s love of marine biology but, not surprisingly, has made fish tumors his own special area of scientific pursuit.

Princess Hitachi was born in 1940 as Hanako Tsugaru, fourth daughter of a former count. After graduating from the Gakushuin Women’s Junior College in 1961, she married Prince Hitachi on September 30, 1964. Princess Hitachi has translated various children books from English into Japanese, the last being “A Guide Dog Puppy Grows up” by Caroline Arnold (published in 2001). Prince and Princess Hitachi have no children.

For current events of Prince and Princess Hitachi see this TRF thread.

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