TOKYO – Princess Mako, the eldest granddaughter of Emperor Akihito, left for Brazil on Tuesday for a two-week visit to attend ceremonies marking the 110th anniversary of the first arrival of Japanese immigrants in the Latin American country.
The princess, 26, departed from Haneda Airport in Tokyo and is expected to arrive in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday, in what is her fourth visit overseas and first to Brazil.
She is set to visit 14 cities in five Brazilian states, where she will attend events and meet with Japanese descendants in the country, before returning to Japan on July 31.
On Wednesday, Mako is expected to pay a courtesy visit to Brazilian President Michel Temer and Mount Corcovado, the site of the Christ the Redeemer statue, before moving to the southern state of Parana on Thursday.
She will address an audience on Friday in Maringa city and on Saturday she will speak at a commemorative event in Sao Paulo, home to the largest Japanese community in the country.
Mako is also expected to visit places such as Manaus and Tome-Acu, where there is a significant presence of Brazilian descendants of Japanese immigrants.
Brazil hosts the largest Japanese community – around 1.9 million people – in the world outside Japan.
Crown Prince Naruhito’s visit to Brazil to attend the World Water Forum in the capital in March was the last visit of a Japanese Imperial family member to the country.
Mako visited El Salvador and Honduras in December, 2015, Paraguay in September, 2016 and Bhutan in June, 2017.
Brazil marks her first trip since the Imperial Household Agency announced in February that her wedding to Kei Komuro will be postponed until 2020 due to lack of time for preparations.