Crown Prince Naruhito will be in Spain for a one-week visit to celebrate the 400th anniversary of bilateral exchanges between Japan and Spain. In this visit, he hopes not only to celebrate the past ties, but also explore how those ties can be strengthened further. He will be attending several events in five cities throughout his visit.
Japan and Spain are celebrating the 400th anniversary of the mission dispatched by Japanese feudal lord Date Masamune to Spain in 1613. Some people noted that the original mission happened two years after a major earthquake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan, just like his visit is two years after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami of 2011. The crown prince stated that he also feels that just like the people then, trade is one of the secrets to the reconstruction of a devastated region. He also hopes he’ll be able to find out through historical accounts how the members of the mission felt upon leaving the port of Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture and heading on to Spain to begin trading with them. He will also be thanking Spain for the help they extended to Japan during their time of crisis in 2011, despite the difficulties the country was experiencing at that time as well.
Crown Princess Masako, who recently accompanied him in attending the coronation of the new king of Netherlands, will not be making the trip this time to continue with her recovery from her stress-induced illness that has kept her out of the public eye for the past years. The royal couple will be celebrating their 20th anniversary before the prince leaves for his trip to Spain.
[ via Global Post ]