Japan Emperor, Empress Make 1st Regional Trip in Over 2 Years

Society Imperial Family

Utsunomiya, Tochigi Pref., Oct. 1 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako attended the general opening ceremony of the National Sports Festival in Utsunomiya, the capital of Tochigi Prefecture, eastern Japan, Saturday.

This marked the Imperial couple's first trip outside of Tokyo since the COVID-19 outbreak. They last made a regional trip two years and eight months ago.

The opening ceremony took place at Kanseki Stadium Tochigi in the afternoon. The couple attended the National Sports Festival opening ceremony for the first time in three years.

Praising people who worked to hold the sports event, the Emperor said, "I'm happy to be able to attend (the opening ceremony) with you all."

"I want you to make good memories while feeling the greatness of sports and cherishing the spirit of once-in-a-lifetime encounter," he continued.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press