Japan’s Emperor and Empress Invited to India in November

Japan’s Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will visit India as state guests for about a week from Nov. 30.

The trip plan for the Imperial couple was decided at a cabinet meeting Tuesday.

The Indian government has invited the Emperor and the Empress as the two countries marked the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties last year.

This will be the first trip to India for the couple since the Emperor’s accession to the throne in 1989.

Under their provisional schedule, the Emperor and the Empress will leave Tokyo for Delhi on Nov. 30 and move to Chennai, southern India, on Dec. 4 before returning home on Dec. 6.


Japan’s Empress Michiko turns 77, says age is just slowing her down

Japan’s Empress Michiko, turning 77, says staying healthy is an uphill battle.As Japans empress marked her birthday Thursday, she acknowledged that age has made it more difficult for her and Emperor Akihito, who is also 77, to carry out their official duties.

The popular imperial couple did not travel abroad this year, although they actively reached out to survivors of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

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Emperor Akihito and Empress receive New Year’s greetings at Imperial Palace

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko on Saturday received New Year’s greetings from other imperial family members and government leaders at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

Among the well-wishers were Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako, Prince Akishino and his wife Princess Kiko, Prime Minister Naoto Kan, heads of the Diet’s two chambers and the chief justice of the Supreme Court.

"It is certainly a pleasure to celebrate the New Year together," Emperor Akihito told his guests. "At the beginning of the year, I pray for the development of the nation and the happiness of the people."

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