HindustanTimes Tue,21 Oct 2014

Japan’s royal couple in India after 53 years

HTC/Agencies  New Delhi, December 01, 2013
First Published: 01:23 IST(1/12/2013) | Last Updated: 01:26 IST(1/12/2013)

Japanese emperor Akihito and empress Michiko arrived here on Saturday for a six-day state visit and were received by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gurcharan Kaur at the airport tarmac in New Delhi on Saturday, a rare gesture of honour accorded to a visiting dignitary.


The visit by the Japanese imperial couple is the first since the emperor ascended the throne. They had visited India 53 years ago in November-December 1960 for their honeymoon as the crown prince and princess of Japan.

Former Japanese prime minister Yoshiro Mori is accompanying the 50-member delegation.

The prime minister had thrice earlier set aside protocol to receive visiting dignitaries - then US president George W. Bush in 2006, Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in 2006, and US President Barack Obama in 2010.

The visit by the emperor, a rare occurrence, is symbolic of the “extraordinary maturity of relations” between India and Japan and would stress on the people-to-people and cultural manifestation of their ties, the external affairs ministry said.

The Japanese are also keen to ensure that the visit remained a non-political one, following the letter and spirit of the Japanese constitution.

In another rarity, external affairs minister Salman Khurshid is the minister in waiting during the six-day visit comprising both New Delhi and Chennai.

more from India

New labs, rapid response teams set up to combat Ebola

India has identified 10 additional labs to test for the Ebola virus and a four-member rapid response team from each state to quickly spot, isolate and trace people suspected to have the deadly disease that has killed over 4,500 people worldwide.
Most Popular
Copyright © 2014 HT Media Limited. All Rights Reserved