TOKYO Ė Japanís Royal Family welcomed on Wednesday Spainís King and Queen to Tokyo with a ceremony at the Imperial Palace.
Despite the formal protocol, Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko exchanged warm greetings with Spainís royal couple, King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, conversing with obvious intimacy and affection.
In his first remarks to the Japanese emperor, King Felipe described the moment in English as ďa precious day,Ē as they entered the east side of the Imperial Palace, where they were met by Prince Naruhito, Princess Masako, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie.
The king and queen were also welcomed by Japanese and Spanish schoolchildren, waving national flags with their parents.
After the national anthems of Spain and Japan were played, King Felipe inspected the Japanese Imperial Guards, accompanied by Chief-Commander Juan Ruiz Casas and Spanish Ambassador Gonzalo de Benito, while Queen Letizia remained on the platform, flanked by Akihito and Michiko.
After bidding farewell to the Japanese royal family, the king and queen were scheduled to visit the Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation.
The three-day trip is the coupleís first official visit to Asia, and is aimed at boosting economic, scientific and cultural cooperation.