Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko said farewell to U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday morning before his departure from Tokyo to South Korea, the second destination of his four-nation Asian tour.
Around 9:30 a.m. 12:30 a.m. GMT, the Imperial couple visited a Tokyo hotel where Obama was staying. The Emperor and the Empress shook hands with him, and they had a 15-minute conversation in Obamas room at the hotel.
When the couple were leaving the hotel, Obama said that he very much appreciates the great hospitality he received during his stay in the Japanese capital and that U.S. citizens feel deep affection for the Emperor and the Empress, as well as the people of Japan.
During the talks in the hotel room, the Emperor told Obama, “I hope your stay in Japan was comfortable and fruitful,” according to Imperial Household Agency officials.
Obama responded that he believes the two nations can pass the bonds of friendship from current to future generations by continuing personnel exchanges, the officials said.