Japan's emperor and wife will visit the isles in July


POSTED: Friday, March 13, 2009
This story has been corrected. See below.

Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko plan to visit Hawaii and parts of Canada in July, according to the Japan Consulate General in Hawaii.

The two will be on official business on Oahu on July 14-15 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship Foundation, assisting students in the United States and Japan in cross-cultural studies.

The couple plans to meet with Gov. Linda Lingle in Honolulu, Deputy Consul General Hajime Kido said yesterday.

Cultural Center official Allicyn Tasaka said her organization was excited to learn about their visit.

“;We will show our aloha and good will during the visit,”; Tasaka said.

Kido said the emperor and empress will visit the Kona area of the Big Island on July 16 and meet with Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi as well as Japanese-American citizens, before returning to Japan.

Kido said the plans, approved by the Japan cabinet yesterday, were tentative at this time and subject to change.

Akihito and Michiko are scheduled to depart Tokyo on July 3 and visit Canada before flying to Hawaii, Kido said.

Akihito, who became the emperor in 1989, and Michiko made their last official visit to Hawaii on June 23-25, 1994.

The western part of Canada and Hawaii, home of the first Japanese-American governor and the late astronaut Ellison Onizuka, have large Japanese communities.

No plan was announced to visit the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, where thousands of American sailors died in the Japanese attack of Dec. 7, 1941, ushering in World War II in the Pacific.





        » No plans have been made by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko to visit the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, according to the Japan Consulate in Hawaii. A Page 3 story in the Hawaii section yesterday said the couple planned to visit the center. The consulate said details of the couple's visit to Hawaii are still being made.