Princess Mako of Akishino, a niece of Emperor Naruhito of Japan, has visited the ancient Inca ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru as part of her six-day visit to the country. The official trip to Peru and Bolivia marks the 120th anniversary of the start of Japanese immigration to South American countries. It is her first official overseas visit since the accession of her uncle.
Princess Mako took part in a two-hour tour to a temple and canals which are part of the ruins, which lie on a mountaintop at an altitude of about 2,400 metres. She was amazed by the views and said, “there’s something words can’t describe.” She later visited the village of Machupicchu, which lies at the foot of the mountain. She was received by the village chief and Cesar Yoshiro Nouchi, the grandson of Japanese immigrant Yokichi Nouchi, who served as village chief in 1948 after immigrating to Peru.
Princess Mako visited the Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra on Thursday and told him, “I feel Japanese Peruvians are treated very well in Peru. I’m grateful that Peru accepted Japanese immigrants.” She was welcomed by a guard of honour by the Peruvian military. At the following luncheon hosted by the president, Princess Mako said, “I hope the bilateral friendship that has been fostered by many people for a long time will be maintained for many years to come.” President Vizcarra offered to play tennis with the next time she visits Peru – the Princess is honorary chair of the Japan Tennis Association. After the meeting with the president, Princess Mako met with representatives of Japanese people living in Peru and Japanese volunteers dispatched by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Princess Mako’s overseas visit continued yesterday in Bolivia, and she will return home to Japan on 22 July.