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Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko to visit Philippines this January

The Philippines will be host to Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.  We all know that Japan had committed a lot of atrocities in the Philippines during World War II specially the issue on comfort women, this visit will surely create something that will be worth remembering.

It will be the first official visit by a Japanese emperor to the country.  Their visit will last for five days starting January 26 and is made in time for the 60th anniversary of the normalization of bilateral ties between Japan and the Philippines.

However, they are not strangers to the county since they already visited the Philippines in 1962 when they were crown prince and princess.  It was also an answer to the invitation of President Benigno Aquino during his state visit to Japan.

Paying respects to th war dead and pray for peace will be among the couple's main agenda during their visit.  The emperor’s father, Emperor Hirohito, posthumously known as Emperor Showa, was commander in chief of the Japanese military before and during the war and Japanese soldiers at the time fought and died in his name.

The couple will also visit a monument to Japanese soldiers set up in 1973 by the Japanese government in Caliraya, southeast of Manila, and a cemetery for Filipino victims in the capital where they will lay flowers in respect.

It will indeed be a busy day for the emperor and empress as they are also expected to attend a welcoming ceremony and a banquet at the Malacanang Palace to be attended by Aquino. They will also meet with Japanese people living in the country.

Indeed it is a great opportunity to finally bury the past between Japan and the Philippines and strengthen the ties between the two countries.

Source:  Japan Today

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