Japan Emperor, Empress Attend Tree-Planting Festival

Society

Owariasahi, Aichi Pref., June 2 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako attended a national tree-planting festival in the central prefecture of Aichi on Sunday, the couple's first participation to the annual event since his May 1 enthronement.

"Building healthy forests for the next generation is our important duty," Emperor Naruhito said in a speech at the festival in Owariasahi. The Emperor and Empress then planted young trees and sowed seeds.

This marked the Emperor's first speech at the tree-planting festival in 11 years. No such speech had been given since 2008 as part of efforts to reduce the burden of official duties on former Emperor Akihito, the father of Emperor Naruhito.

In his speech, Emperor Naruhito said he is impressed with decades of greenery efforts by Japanese people.

The national tree-planting festival is a key event in Japan's decades-old greenery campaign that was launched following the end of World War II. It is one of major regional events attended by the Imperial couple.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press