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Friday, 3rd July 2009
In General Japan News,

Japanese royals begin Canadian tour

Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko have embarked on a two-week goodwill tour of Canada and Hawaii.

The Japanese royal couple are to visit Ottawa, Toronto, Victoria and Vancouver during the Canadian leg of the tour before travelling to Hawaii to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a scholarship founded in honour of their wedding.

This visit marks the second time Akihito has journeyed to Canada, having previously visited the country on his first ever trip abroad as a 19-year-old prince in 1953.

However, representatives of the imperial household have indicated that the trip's itinerary is dependent on the couple's health, with Akihito suffering from cardiac arrhythmia and Michiko still recovering from a tennis injury sustained in February.

Last month, the emperor's brother Prince Hitachi and his wife Princess Hanako made an official visit to Peru to mark the 110th anniversary of the start of Japanese emigration to the country.

Written by Mark Smith