Emperor, Empress Attend Hokkaido Marine Convention

Jiji Press
The Emperor and the Empress release juvenile fish into the sea in Akkeshi, Hokkaido, on Sunday.

AKKESHI, Hokkaido (Jiji Press) — The Emperor and the Empress attended the 42nd annual national marine convention in the town of Akkeshi in Hokkaido on Sunday.

Touching on the damage caused to the fisheries industry by a red tide that occurred off the Pacific coast of Hokkaido in September 2021, the Emperor said at a ceremony of the convention held at Akkeshi port that “I sincerely respect” the concerted efforts by people and organizations concerned to restore the damaged fishing grounds.

He added, “I would like to express my profound respect for the efforts by all of you who are working to create a rich sea, as well as my hope to see further development backed by support from a number of people.”

Before the ceremony, the Emperor and the Empress interacted with local children who welcomed the couple.

A girl said to the Emperor, “I’m 6 years old today.” The Emperor told her, “Congratulations.”

After the ceremony, the Emperor and the Empress visited a local seed oyster facility.

An official at the facility briefed the couple on the know-how on growing baby oysters into adults. The Emperor appeared to have been impressed by the technique.

The Emperor and the Empress also took part in an event to release young barfin flounder and shrimp into the sea.

The annual convention, aimed at promoting the fisheries industry, is one of the four main regional events attended by the Emperor and the Empress.

The couple arrived in Hokkaido on Saturday for a two-day trip. On the first day, they visited a wetland wildlife conservation center in the city of Kushiro.

This was the first time for the Emperor and the Empress to visit Hokkaido together since March 1999, when they were Crown Prince and Crown Princess.

The couple flew back to Tokyo on Sunday night.