Kishida meets with Miss Universe Japan ahead of 2023 contest

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, right, poses for a photo holding a paper crane with Marybelen Sakamoto at his office in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met with the 2022 Miss Universe Japan winner Marybelen Sakamoto, 23, at his office on Tuesday, ahead of the Miss Universe pageant to be held in New Orleans, Louisiana, on January 14, 2023.

During the meeting, Kishida presented Sakamoto with an origami paper crane he had made, as a precursor to the competition scheduled for next year where she will wear a dress inspired by the symbolism of semba zuru, which literally means 1,000 cranes in Japanese and is a symbol of peace.

“Peace will be a major agenda in the G7 Summit to be held in Hiroshima next May. I hope you’ll do your best [at the competition] with the same feelings,” Kishida said to Sakamoto.