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Princess Mako meets with Peruvian president, expresses gratitude for acceptance of Japanese immigrants

Kyodo, JIJI

Princess Mako paid a visit to Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra on Thursday in Lima during her trip to mark the 120th anniversary of the start of Japanese immigration to the South American country.

“I feel Japanese Peruvians are treated very well in Peru. I’m grateful that Peru accepted Japanese immigrants,” the 27-year-old princess, the eldest daughter of Crown Prince Akishino, said during the meeting at the president’s office.

Vizcarra said he is glad that Japanese Peruvians are actively involved in various fields.

The president also showed his gratitude to Japan’s contribution to Peru in the areas of technological and economic cooperation and archaeology.

Their 25-minute meeting was preceded by a guard of honor formed for the kimono-clad princess by the Peruvian military.

At a subsequent luncheon hosted by the president, Princess Mako said, “I hope the bilateral friendship that has been fostered by many people for a long time will be maintained for many years to come.”

The president proposed to the princess that they play tennis together when she visits Peru next time. Vizcarra is a former Peruvian champion of paleta fronton, a sport similar to squash. The princess is honorary chair of the Japan Tennis Association.

She later met at a hotel in Lima with representatives of Japanese people living in Peru and Japanese volunteers dispatched by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, thanking them for their efforts in the country.

The princess, who arrived on Tuesday, is on her first official overseas visit since Emperor Naruhito’s ascent to the throne in May. On Wednesday, she attended a ceremony marking the immigration anniversary and met with Peruvians of Japanese descent.

She is scheduled to travel to Bolivia on Monday to mark the 120th anniversary of the start of Japanese immigration to that country, and return home on July 22.

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