Japan’s monarch welcomes President Aquino in ceremonial rites

TOKYO, Japan, June 3 (PNA) — Japan’s Emperor Akihito on Wednesday morning received President Benigno S. Aquino III during a welcome ceremony held at the Imperial Palace.

President Aquino arrived at the Palace at 9:20 a.m. and was received by Their Majesties Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. The Philippine leader was then introduced to the ministers of the Japanese government.

During the state call, Emperor Akihito thanked the President for visiting Japan. The President in turn expressed his gratitude to the Emperor, especially for Japan’s contributions for the relief operations and the recovery of Eastern Visayas from the devastation caused by Typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

President Aquino was presented the Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum, the highest honor awarded to outstanding individuals by the Japanese monarchy. In return, the President awarded Emperor Akihito the Order of Lakandula with rank of Supremo.

The President was accompanied by members of his Cabinet who joined him in his four-day state visit to Japan. (PNA)