As part of his tour of the South American nation of Chile, Prince Akishino of Japan and his wife, Princess Kiko, received a warm official welcome from President Michelle Bachelet at the La Moneda Palace. The youngest son of Emperor Akihito is currently undertaking a ten-day tour of Chile to celebrate 120 years of Chilean-Japanese relations, and are currently on the second day of their visit.
During their first day within the country, the Prince and Princess undertook a visit to the 3000-strong Japanese community whose ancestors have made their homes within the Andean republic, as well as a visit to the National Historical Museum of Santiago where they were shown numerous artefacts from the nation’s history.
At a ceremony within the Palace celebrating the amiable relationship that Japan and Chile have enjoyed thus far, His Imperial Highness took the opportunity to remark on the many long years of cooperation that is taking place within the fields of disaster prevention. The two countries are both rather troubled by earthquakes and tsunamis, and as such have much to learn and offer each other in managing these events. With small partnerships and joint-ventures such as these, Prince Akishino expressed his hope that the friendship between the two countries would deepen.
On her part, President Bachelet denounced the recent missile and nuclear tests being undertaken by North Korea, one of which saw a missile fired over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.
“We are against what North Korea is doing,” she assured the reception. “We hope peace will prevail in the world.”
After the reception and ceremonies were concluded, the Imperial couple attended a luncheon hosted by the President for a slightly more informal welcome to the city and country. During the proceedings, Prince Akihito reportedly delivered a toast to his hosts in Spanish.
The visit will take place over ten days and conclude on the 2nd of October, whereupon the Imperial couple will return to Tokyo. Over the next week, the Prince and Princess are scheduled to visit a naval facility in Valparaiso and inspect vessels used for monitoring tsunamis, as well as a salmon farm in Puerto Varas.