PM receives Japanese emperor, empress ahead of their six-day visit

New Delhi, Nov.30 : Japan's Emperor Akihito and his wife Empress Michiko arrived here on Saturday on a six-day visit to India.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, setting aside from existing protocol, received the royal couple at the airport, along with his wife Gursharan Kaur.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, who would be the minister-in-waiting for the royal couple, was also present at the airport to receive them.

During their stay in Delhi, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will meet top Indian leaders, including President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Issues of bilateral importance to both countries are expected to be raised during the visit of the Japanese team.

The royal couple would be visiting India International Centre, which is very significant because they had laid the foundation stone 60 years ago.

Earlier on November 28, Director of East Asia Shambhu Kumaran said: "The nature of the visit is that it is highly symbolic visit. The discussions would essentially focus on the extraordinary maturity of the relationship over the past several decades. We have a very strong popular connectivity in terms of spirituality, culture, people to people exchanges. This visit to a certain degree is a manifestation of that aspect of that relationship."

Japan is India's largest source of aid and plays a key role in supporting infrastructure development, financing projects like Western Dedicated Freight Corridor, Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, and Bangalore Metro Rail Project.

--ANI (Posted on 30-11-2013)

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