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Prince Hisahito to visit Bhutan on Aug. 16 for first overseas trip

Kyodo

For his first overseas trip, Prince Hisahito will visit Bhutan for 10 days from Aug. 16 with his parents, Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko, the Imperial Household Agency said Wednesday.

The 12-year-old prince, who became second in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne following his uncle Emperor Naruhito’s ascension in May, will arrive in Bhutan on Aug. 17 and meet King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck on Aug. 19 in Thimpu, the capital.

The prince will also visit a local textile museum and a ranch. He will stay in the western city of Paro for two days from Aug. 22.

The family will visit the country in a private capacity so the young prince can learn about a different culture. They will return on Aug. 25.

It will be the first joint overseas trip by Japanese imperial family members who are first and second in line to the throne. Prince Hisahito and his father will fly on separate commercial planes as a precaution.

The imperial family and Bhutan’s royal family have maintained friendly relations since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1986. Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko traveled to the kingdom in 1997.