Japanese royalty begin a visit here today with museum tour

Members of the royal family of Japan will be in Costa Rica today for a visit through Sunday morning.

They are Prince Akishino, the second son of Emperor Akihito, and his wife, Princess Kiko, who left Japan Monday, according to the Japanese press.

They are here to mark 75 years of diplomatic relations. Much of the visit will be private, but a schedule released by the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto Monday said that the pair would visit the Museo Nacional today for a private guided tour.

They also will meet with Japanese residents of Costa Rica at 4 p.m. and attend a private dinner hosted by Yoshiharu Namiki, the Japanese ambassador here.

Wednesday the Japanese visitors will tour Parque INBio and Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo. They also will meet with President Laura Chinchilla Wednesday at Casa Presidencial.

At 3 p.m. Wednesday the prince and princess will place a
wreath at the Monumento Nacional in Parque Nacional. Then there is a dinner hosted by Ms. Chinchilla in the Teatro Nacional.

At 7 p.m. Thursday there is the commemoration of 75 years of diplomatic relations at the Hotel Real Intercontinental in Escazú.

Friday the pair will visit the Hospital Nacional de Niños and the Escuela Centroamericana de Gandería. There are no public events Saturday.

The foreign ministry has produced a 17-page guide for reporters which seems to establish every step the Japanese couple will take and where the press will await them. There also are instructions provided by the Japanese Embassy to alert reporters on how the royal visitors should be treated. For example, electronic journalists are warned not to tape the pair when they are talking to each other.

The Princeses Akishino will see Costa Rica as many tourists do. For example, their tour at the Museo Nacional is scheduled for just 40 minutes, including two minutes of a photo opportunity.

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