Visit of Japan's emperor, empress in 15 photos
(Philstar.com) - January 30, 2016 - 10:08pm

MANILA, Philippines — Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko went on a five-day state visit from January 26 to 30 to the country, marking the 60th anniversary of Philippine-Japanese diplomatic relations.

Akihito's visit to the Philippines this week is the latest in a series of foreign trips that are seen as an attempt to show his commitment to peace and remorse for World War II, when Japanese forces invaded Asian nations in a brutal conflict Japan fought in the name of his father, Hirohito.

While the Japanese monarch has been jeered in some of his previous foreign visits, Akihito was welcomed with full state honors in the Philippines, which now depends on Japan as a leading trading partner, provider of development aid and a major ally. The visit comes as the Philippines and Japan both confront an assertive China in contested territories in the East and South China Sea.

"Their imperial majesties are exemplars of humility, congeniality and heartwarming empathy," presidential spokesman Herminio Coloma Jr. said.

Here is a photo essay of their visit:

Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko pause before stepping down the plane upon arrival Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 in Pasay City. AP/Bullit Marquez

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan are welcomed by grade school students of the Manila Japanese School at Sofitel Philippine Plaza  in Manila, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. Malacañang Photo Bureau/Benhur Arcayan

Visiting Japan's Emperor Akihito reviews the troops during welcoming ceremony at Malacanang Palace grounds Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016 in Manila, Philippines. AP/Bullit Marquez

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan meet with members of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza  Manila, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. Malacañang Photo Bureau/Benhur Arcayan

President Benigno Aquino III and the Japanese imperial couple enjoy the cultural presentation at the Malacañan Palace Grounds on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016.  Malacañang Photo Bureau/Joseph Vidal

 President Benigno Aquino III witnesses Emperor Akihito of Japan sign the Palace guest book at the Reception Hall of the Malacañan Palace on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016. Also in photo is presidential sister Aurora Corazon “Pinky” Aquino-Abellada.  Malacañang Photo Bureau/Lauro Montellano Jr.

Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko bow before the tomb of the unknown soldier during a wreath laying ceremony at the Heroes' Cemetery Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016 in Taguig City, . The 82-year-old Akihito pays his respects at memorials for both the Philippine and the Japanese war dead during his state visit. Malacañang Photo Bureau/Benhur Arcayan

President Benigno Aquino III and Emperor Akihito of Japan lead the ceremonial toasts during the state dinner at the Rizal Hall of the Malacañan Palace on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016. Malacañang Photo Bureau/Robert Viñas

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko meet with the third-generation Filipino-Japanese descendants on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016, as they wave small Japanese flags at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel lobby. The descendants were attending the 9th National Convention of the Filipino-Japanese Descendants being held at the Diamond Hotel in Manila. Malacañang Photo Bureau/Benhur Arcayan

Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visit the Japanese Learning Program at the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority in Taguig City, Thursday on January 28. Malacañang Photo Bureau/Benhur Arcayan

Visiting Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko wave to well-wishers as his motorcade passes by a university at Fort Santiago on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016 in Manila, Philippines. A banner, right, reads "Emperor and Empress, thanks for coming to Philippines. " AP/Bullit Marquez

A relative of Japanese Imperial Forces who died during World War II in the Philippines wipes her tears as she talks to visiting Japan's Emperor Akihito, right, and Empress Michiko shortly after laying flowers at the Japanese Memorial Garden, a Japanese war memorial, at Cavinti township, Laguna province southeast of Manila, Philippines Friday, Jan. 29, 2016. The tribute was the highlight of the 82-year-old Akihito's visit to the Philippines. AP/Bullit Marquez

Filipinos, who claimed to be Japanese sexual slaves during World War II, hold lighted candles during a rally at the Japanese Embassy to coincide with the five-day state visit of Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, Friday, Jan. 29, 2016 in Pasay City. The protesters are demanding an official apology and compensation from the Japanese government.  AP/Lino Escandor II

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan visit the International Rice Research Institute in Los Baños Laguna on Friday, Jan. 29, 2016, the last day of their five-day official visit to the Philippines.  Malacañang Photo Bureau/Benhur Arcayan

Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko board their plane at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in pasay to conclude their five-day state visit to the Philippines Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. AP/Bullit Marquez

 

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