The government and Imperial Household Agency said that Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will visit Palau April 8-9 to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.
The imperial couple will also spend the night of April 8 on a Japan coast guard ship for the first time ever.
The emperor has long indicated his interest to visit the west Pacific islands to pay his respects to the war dead and pray for world peace. In those areas, more than 46,000 Japanese soldiers died in battle. The imperial couple will also honor U.S. war dead.
In 2005, to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the war, the imperial couple visited Saipan, another battleground where many people died.
Fuji TV reported that the imperial couple will leave Japan on April 8 aboard a chartered jet. Upon their arrival in Palau, they will have lunch with President Tommy Remengesau and his wife. In the afternoon, they will meet the presidents and wives of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands.
On April 9, the imperial couple will travel by helicopter to attend remembrance ceremonies on Peleliu Island at monuments for Japanese and U.S. war dead.
The emperor and empress will return to Tokyo later that day.© Japan Today