• Kyodo

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Singapore President Tony Tan met with Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at the Imperial Palace on Wednesday, with the Emperor expressing gratitude for the city-state’s aid following the March 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

The Emperor thanked Tan, who is on a nine-day state visit to Japan through Dec. 6, for donations from Singapore that funded several recovery projects in the disaster-hit areas, including the reconstruction of the Shichigahama Toyama Nursery School in Miyagi Prefecture.

Tan is scheduled to visit the school during his trip. He will also travel to Kyoto Prefecture.

Later Wednesday, Tan attended a banquet at the Imperial Palace, speaking with members of the Imperial family as well as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife, Akie. Tan was expected to hold formal talks with Abe on Thursday.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Singapore.

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