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The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal for Prince Takamado, a cousin of Emperor Akihito, and his wife, Princess Hisako, to attend the opening ceremony of the World Cup soccer finals on May 31 in South Korea.

It will be the first official visit to South Korea by members of the Imperial family. They were invited by the South Korean government in a bid to boost friendly relations between the two countries that are to jointly host the monthlong tournament.

Japanese officials said the prince and princess may also meet with President Kim Dae Jung.

Prince Takamado, who is honorary president of the Japan Football Association, and Princess Hisako are to arrive in Seoul on May 29. They will travel to Pusan to watch the match between Uruguay and Denmark on June 1, before returning to Japan on June 3, the Imperial Household Agency said.

During their stay, the prince and princess will lay flowers at the National Cemetery for unknown soldiers, the agency said.

According to an agency official, the prince and princess said they would like their itinerary to include events that will give them an idea of everyday life in South Korea.

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