Japanese emperor visits Vietnam for first time

Japan’s emperor arrived in Vietnam on Tuesday for a whirlwind tour that will include a meeting with families of Japanese soldiers who stayed there after World War II.

The emperor and empress were received by Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh and guards of honour at the Hanoi airport, where national flags were displayed.

The 83-year-old Akihito and his wife, Michiko, are on their first visit to the country, the latest in a series of trips to former battlegrounds.

“It is our hope that our visit to Vietnam will contribute to the further development of the mutual understanding and friendly relations between our two countries,” Akihito said earlier at Tokyo’s Haneda airport.

Akihito and Michiko are scheduled to visit Hanoi and the former imperial capital of Hue, according to the official programme.

On Thursday they are set to meet family members of some of the Japanese soldiers who stayed in Vietnam after the end of Japan’s five-year occupation in 1945.

Many of the 700 soldiers joined forces…

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