On Thursday, Crown Prince Naruhito had the honour to reveal a Japanese themed light show at the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The light show was produced by light designers Motoko Ishii, 79, and her daughter, Akari Lisa Ishii, 47. It was part of the “Japonismes 2018” events held in and around Paris that introduces Japanese culture to French people. The show lasted 10 minutes, and it first showed the colours of the Japanese flag and the French flag before showing Japanese artworks.
This event took place during the Crown Prince’s eight-day official visit to France aiming to celebrate 160 years of friendship between Japan and France. Crown Prince Naruhito arrived in Lyon – in the South of France – on the evening of the 7th of September. He spent the next day in Lyon where he met with Gerard Collomb – the formed Mayor of Lyon and the French Minister of the Interior- and he visited the Museum of Fabrics and Decorative Arts and the Association for the Development of the Japanese Culture and Language.
On 9th September, Crown Prince Naruhito was in Bourgogne to visit a winery in Santenay, and on September 10th, he was in Grenoble to visit the Office of the Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies in order to meet Japanese students and researchers. On 11th September, he visited the Invalides, the French National Assembly, and a school teaching Japanese in Paris.
The most important day of this visit was 12th September when Crown Prince Naruhito met with French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte Macron. The Crown Prince was received for an official dinner at the Château de Versailles, France’s most famous castle. Foreign dignitaries are usually welcomed at the Palais de l’Elysée, the residence of the President, so it was a tremendous honour made by Emmanuel Macron to Crown Prince Naruhito.
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Gilles Pécout, recteur de l'académie de Paris, et la proviseure de la cité scolaire Jean de La Fontaine (16e) ont eu l'honneur d'accueillir son Altesse Prince Héritier du Japon, Naruhito, dans le seul établissement parisien avec enseignement du japonais dès la 6e et section internationale japonaise. #paris #japon #japan #ambassade #naruhito #education #japonais #ensemble #pic #instalike #picoftheday #instadaily #instagood #lycee #college #lafontaine #jeandelafontaine
On 13th September, the future Japanese Emperor visited a French high school – the only Parisian high school teaching Japanese at every level and with dedicated classes – and an exhibition about Japanese culture at the Petit Palais. The last official event of the visit was the Japanese-themed light show on the Eiffel Tower. About his eight-day trip, Crown Prince Naruhito said: “I had a strong feeling that French people have deeper interests toward Japan; I hope that the younger generation will take over the good relationship between Japan and France.”
This was Crown Prince Naruhito’s first official visit to France, and it is expected to be his last official foreign trip before becoming Emperor on 30th April 2019. He had previously visited Lyon privately in 1984 when he was a student at Oxford. Crown Princess Masako was also invited, but the Imperial Household Agency decided it was best for her not to make the trip considering her health. However, she was there to welcome him home upon his return to Japan.