• Kyodo

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Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko joined in the celebrations in Uppsala, Sweden, on Wednesday to mark the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl Linnaeus, the father of modern taxonomy.

The Imperial Couple attended a memorial service for the Swedish scientist at Uppsala Cathedral that was followed by a commemoration at Uppsala University.

Linnaeus, who taught at the school, established the organism-classification system known as binomial nomenclature. The naming system works by combining the Latin genus and species names.

This stop on the Imperial Couple’s 10-day European tour holds a particular significance for Emperor Akihito. The Emperor has made contributions to marine biology concerning the goby and is an honorary member of the Linnean Society of London, as is King Gustaf. The Emperor is credited with discovering seven new species of the fish.

At the university ceremony, attended by Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, the Emperor was named an honorary member of the university.

“I am delighted as vice chancellor to be able to declare His Majesty the Emperor Akihito an honorary member during his visit to our University,” Vice Chancellor Anders Hallberg said in a statement released prior to the event.

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