HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam – Japanese Emperor Akihito and his wife reached Hanoi on Tuesday on their first official visit to Vietnam, where they will meet the country’s key leaders, and families of Japanese soldiers who were deployed in the country during World War II.
With this visit, Emperor Akihito, 83, will resume a series of visits he began in 2015, on the 70th anniversary of World War II, to territories that had been occupied by Japan, such as the Philippines, Saipan (Northern Mariana Islands) and Palau, reported local media.
The emperor will meet Japanese volunteers in the Vietnamese capital before beginning his official meetings on Wednesday, when he will be received by Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang at the Presidential Palace.
On Thursday, Akihito will meet the families of Japanese soldiers, who were stationed in Vietnam during the Japanese occupation (1940-1945), and who had to leave behind their Vietnamese wives and children when they returned to Japan.
On Friday, Akihito and his wife Michiko will visit the city of Hue in central Vietnam for two days before leaving for Bangkok on Sunday.