• Kyodo

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Crown Prince Naruhito, the heir to the Imperial throne, left Haneda Airport in Tokyo on Thursday for a weeklong visit to Denmark to celebrate 150 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

It is the first official overseas trip for the Crown Prince since the Diet enacted a special law last Friday to allow his father, 83-year-old Emperor Akihito, to abdicate within three years after its promulgation.

The Crown Prince is scheduled to arrive in Copenhagen on Thursday evening and will attend an opening ceremony Friday of an exhibition focusing on the relationship between Japan and the Danish royal family.

The Crown Prince will visit a school for Japanese students on Saturday and have lunch with Queen Margrethe II on Sunday before traveling to Odense, the birthplace of author Hans Christian Andersen, where he will deliver a speech at a luncheon hosted by the city’s mayor on Monday.

He is also scheduled to attend a dinner with Danish Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary on Monday and meet with Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen the following day before returning to Japan on Wednesday.

Crown Prince Naruhito last visited Denmark in May 2004 for the wedding ceremony of the Danish crown prince and crown princess.

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