Japan Emperor, Empress Visit Rishiri Island for 1st Time

Society

Rishiri, Hokkaido, Aug. 4 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, on a three-day trip to Hokkaido from Friday, made their first-ever visit to the island of Rishiri, located near the northernmost point of Japan, on Saturday.

The trip to the island was once planned in 2011, but was canceled following the earthquake and tsunami disaster in March that year that devastated coastal areas of the Tohoku northeastern region.

For the Imperial couple, who have visited remote locations and islands in Japan, the visit is believed to be their last trip to such an island before the Emperor's abdication planned for April 2019. Rishiri was the 55th domestic island the Emperor has ever visited, including those he traveled to when he was crown prince.

After arriving at Rishiri Airport, the Emperor and Empress waved at local residents while stepping down aircraft stairs, with Mount Rishiri, the symbol of the island, on their back.

During the flight to the island from Sapporo Okadama Airport in the Hokkaido capital of Sapporo, the couple appreciated a view of the island of Rebun, located near Rishiri.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press