National

Cabinet approves visit to Hawaii by Prince Akishino in June

Kyodo

The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a trip by Prince Akishino and his wife, Princess Kiko, to Hawaii in early June to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the first arrival of Japanese immigrants.

It will be the first official visit to the United States by the prince, the younger son of Emperor Akihito, and the princess as a couple. After departing from Narita Airport, the couple are scheduled to arrive in Hawaii on the morning of June 4 local time.

During the trip, which will last about a week, the prince is expected to deliver a speech at a ceremony on June 7 to mark the arrival of the first group of Japanese immigrants in 1868.

Prior to that, the prince and princess will attend an event organized by the Association of Nikkei and Japanese Abroad, a Yokohama-based organization that works to connect the Japanese diaspora with its ancestral homeland.

On the first day, the prince and princess are to visit a monument in Honolulu dedicated to nine people, including four high school students, who died in a 2001 collision off Oahu Island between the Ehime Maru, a Japanese fisheries training ship, and a U.S. naval submarine that was performing a rapid-surfacing drill for civilian guests.

The couple will also lay a wreath at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific that commemorates soldiers who died during World War II and the Vietnam War.

The couple visited Brazil in 2015 and Chile in 2017, where they met with people of Japanese descent. Their return from Hawaii to Japan is scheduled for June 9.

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