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Japanese Imperial Family to Tour Europe

Date Posted: 2000-03-10

Japan’s Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will pay a state visit to Sweden, Finland, Switzerland and the Netherlands during the month of May. They will be in Holland between May 23rd and 26th and in Sweden from May 29th to 31st.

Japan's Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi expressed the hope last Friday in Tokyo that “these visits will further strengthen relations with these countries.” The emperor and his wife were invited to Sweden by Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia who have visited Japan several times. The trip to the Netherlands is at the invitation of Dutch Queen Beatrix and her husband Prince Claus.

Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok said during a February visit to Japan that the two countries should put their wartime past behind them after Tokyo restated its atonement for World War Two. The Netherlands and Japan this year celebrate 400 years of relations. Japanese wartime occupation forces put all the 110,000 Dutch residents of Indonesia, including women and children, into camps, where about 20,000 of them died.

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