• Kyodo News


Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will make an official visit to Canada and Hawaii in July but will not visit Pearl Harbor, under a plan formalized by the government Friday.

The Imperial Couple will leave Tokyo’s Haneda airport on a government jet on July 3 and arrive in Ottawa later in the day on the first leg of a 15-day visit to Canada and Hawaii, the Imperial Household Agency said.

Official events in Canada will begin on July 6, including a welcoming ceremony by the governor general of Canada, Michaelle Jean.

The Emperor and Empress will visit Toronto on July 8 and then travel to Victoria, British Columbia, on July 10. On July 12, they will move to nearby Vancouver.

The Imperial Couple will fly on July 14 to Honolulu.

They will attend an event to mark the 50th anniversary of a scholarship set up using funds contributed by Japanese-Americans in Hawaii 50 years ago to celebrate the wedding of the Emperor and Empress.

On July 16, the couple will make a stop on Hawaii Island.

The Emperor and Empress will consider holding informal meetings with Japanese-Americans both in Canada and Hawaii.

The planned trip to Hawaii does not include a visit to Pearl Harbor, the scene of Japan’s surprise attack that brought the United States into World War II.

“The Emperor and Empress will not visit Pearl Harbor during the planned trip to Hawaii. The visit to Hawaii is not designed for the repose of the souls of the war dead,” said Koichi Haraguchi, the grand master of ceremonies of the Imperial Household Agency.

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