• Imperial Family

Japan’s Imperial Family Meets Kenyan Presidential Couple

Pool photo / The Yomiuri Shimbun
Princess Aiko, second from left, and the Empress, center, attend a luncheon for Kenya’s presidential couple in Tokyo on Friday.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Emperor and Empress met with Kenyan President William Ruto and his wife at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Friday.

The Emperor and Empress hosted a luncheon for the presidential couple, which was also attended by Crown Prince Akishino, and Princess Aiko, the only child of the Emperor and Empress.

This is the first time Princess Aiko has attended a luncheon event for foreign guests at the palace.

According to the Imperial Household Agency, the Emperor expressed his gratitude for the Kenyan president’s message of sympathy following the massive earthquake that struck the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture on Jan. 1.

Meanwhile, the Emperor expressed his sympathy to the people of Kenya for the droughts and floods in the African country.

Princess Aiko made a speech in Swahili, the official language of Kenya, and received a compliment from the president. During the luncheon, she talked in English with the president and a female Kenyan minister seated next to her.

The president invited Princess Aiko to visit his country, and she responded with gratitude, agency officials said.

Crown Princess Kiko, who has a gastrointestinal problem, refrained from attending the event at the advice of a court physician.