• Kyodo

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Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko held a welcome ceremony for Luxembourg’s Grand Duke Henri at the Imperial Palace on Monday as the two countries this year mark the 90th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

During their 15-minute meeting, the 83-year-old Emperor asked Luxembourg’s head of state, who has visited Japan more than 10 times, about his predecessor and father Jean, according to the Imperial Household Agency.

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa was initially scheduled to accompany the 62-year-old grand duke but stayed home for health reasons. Instead, Princess Alexandra joined her father.

During his stay in Japan as a state guest through Thursday, Henri is scheduled to visit a facility of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, and meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday, according to the Foreign Ministry.

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