TOKYO - The Japanese government Wednesday officially authorized a September visit to Paraguay by Princess Mako, granddaughter of Emperor Akihito, to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the start of Japanese immigration to the Guarani-speaking country.
Paraguay had processed an early invitation so 24-year-old Mako, daughter of Prince Akishino and Kiko, could attend the commemoration ceremony, scheduled for Sept. 9.
According to the Imperial Household Agency, the princess will reach Paraguay on Sept. 7, following stopovers in Germany and Brazil, and will return to Japan on Sept. 14.
During her visit, Mako is expected to meet descendents of Japanese immigrants to Paraguay, besides visiting the famous Iguazu Falls.
This will be her second solo official visit, after having previously traveled to El Salvador and Honduras in December last year.
The first wave of Japanese immigrants came to Paraguay in 1936, and there are currently around 10,000 Nikkei's - as descendents of the Japanese are called - in this Latin American country.
The first such group, comprising some hundred families, settled in an agricultural locality called La Colmena, 130 km (81 miles) from the capital Asuncion.
Earlier in 2006, Mako's father, Prince Akishino (second in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne, after his brother Naruhito) also visited Paraguay on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the arrival of Japanese families to this Southern Cone country.