Singapore President Warmly Welcomed by Japanese Royals

  May 13, 2009 at 12:08 pm by

Click here to see the photogallery at daylife

Click here to see the photogallery at daylife

During a state visit of Singapore president S. R. Nathan to Japan, the Singapore leader and his wife were hosted by Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at a state banquet on Monday. In his welcome speech, the emperor remembered that during his first visit to Singapore in 1970, he and his wife (who were still crown prince and crown princess at the time) had planted seedlings of the Japanese cycad in the Jurong industrial estate. On the couple’s most recent visit to Singapore, in 2006, they were delighted to behold that those very seedlings had become well grown trees in the Japanese Garden.

Mr Nathan, in his turn, stressed the importance of exchange agreements between the universities in the two countries. This is in a line with the very open and positive view that the president took towards all possible forms of cultural exchange in his speech at a lunchtime reception for some 450 Singaporeans living in Japan on Sunday. He said that the diversity of experiences, knowledge and networks acquired by the increasing number of Singaporeans living overseas would “add to the rich fabric of our nation when they return home”. (Article)

The welcome ceremony for the Singapore President was also attended by Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako. The latter has now entered her sixth year of convalescence from a stress-induced illness that has raised worlwide public interest and has led to discussions about the life quality of Japanese royals, and, especially, of Japanese crown princesses. (Princess Masako’s mother-in-law, Empress Michiko, suffered a nervous breakdown a few years after her marriage.) However, of late, the number of Princess Masako’s appearances in public has remarkably increased, a fact that may well strengthen hopes for the former career diplomat’s full recovery.

Read more about the Singapore state visit in this TRF thread.
Read more about the current events of Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako in this TRF thread.

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