Abe’s wife may take first ladies to see Ise Shrine during G-7 summit


First lady Akie Abe on Saturday revealed plans to organize a trip to Ise Shrine for the wives of political leaders who attend the Group of Seven summit in Mie Prefecture in May.

“It would be good if I could take the first ladies to Ise Jingu,” the wife of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters in the nearby city of Shima, referring to the revered shrine.

The Ise-Shima Summit is set to be held on Kashikojima Island in Shima from May 26 to 27. The shrine is in neighboring Ise.

She also plans to introduce the first ladies to ama, the professional female divers who ply their trade off the Shima Peninsula. Since the area is known for its role in the pearl cultivation industry, she is also considering making gifts of locally harvested pearls.

At a summit-related event in Shima held earlier in the day by the Mie chapter of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, which her husband heads, Akie said, “We want to fully serve our guests during the summit so that they can see the attractions of Japan and Mie.”

“I hope that this occasion will provide an opportunity for the spirit of the Japanese people to be used as a tool to help realize world peace,” she said.