Norwegian King Harald V and Queen Sonja attended a dinner party hosted by the Emperor and Empress at the Imperial Palace on Monday.

Norwegian King Harald V and Queen Sonja are welcomed by the Emperor and Empress at the Government Guesthouse in Tokyo.

Among the 160 people who attended the banquet were Norwegian Foreign Minister Thorbjorn Jaglan, Ambassador to Japan Odd Fosseidbraaten, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess, Prince Tomohito of Mikasa, honorary chairman of the Norway-Japan Society, Princess Mikasa, and Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori.

The evening included speeches and toasts by the Emperor and king, a selection of Norwegian songs played by the Imperial Household Agency’s orchestra and a dinner that included Norwegian salmon.

Earlier in the day, the king and queen attended a welcoming luncheon hosted by Mori, who hailed close cooperation between Japan and Norway.

In a meeting at the State Guesthouse, King Harald told the Emperor and Empress that he was glad to be visiting Japan at a time when the cherry blossoms are coming out, Imperial Household Agency officials said.

The king had not seen the flowers blooming on his previous five visits to Japan.

Meanwhile, the Empress and Queen Sonja toured the facilities of a relief printing company in Tokyo’s Bunkyo Ward. They also visited Children’s Castle in Shibuya Ward, where they attended an opening ceremony for a Japan-Norway children’s painting exhibition.

Queen Sonja presented certificates of merit to some children.

The Norwegian royal couple plan to visit the Enoshima Yacht House in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture, on Wednesday with the Emperor and Empress. Enoshima was the venue of a 1964 Tokyo Olympics yachting competition in which the king — then Norway’s crown prince — participated and placed eighth.

The king and queen will leave Japan on Saturday after a weeklong state visit.

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