TOKYO – Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito was expected to visit France in September to commemorate 160 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, a spokesperson for the Imperial Household Agency told EFE on Tuesday.
Naruhito’s first official visit to France is scheduled to start on Sept. 7.
During the week-long visit, the prince, who is due to succeed Emperor Akihito next year, will attend the cultural event “Japonismes 2018.”
Naruhito is also expected to participate in the illumination of the Eiffel Tower to mark 160 years of diplomatic relations between Japan and France, as well as a visit to the Lyon Textile Museum, a winery in Santenay and advanced scientific research facilities in Grenoble.
The crown prince will also attend a Japanese school in Paris and an exhibition of floral and animals motifs of the great Japanese painter Ito Jakuchu.
Naruhito’s wife Masako, who has suffered from depression and stress-related illness for years, will not accompany him because of scheduling issues, the spokesperson said.
Naruhito visited France while studying at Oxford University in England, but this will be his first trip in an official capacity.
Akihito will abdicate from the Chrysanthemum Throne on April 30, 2019, and the next day the Naruhito will be proclaimed emperor, according to the Japanese government.