State visit: Macron to host Japan’s crown prince in Versailles

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French President Emmanuel Macron will host Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito next Wednesday as part of a week-long state visit by the emperor-in-waiting to mark 160 years of diplomatic relations between the two nations.

Naruhito’s trip, which begins Friday in the southeastern city of Lyon, is part of “Japonismes 2018”, a year-long cultural offensive in France aimed at highlighting the vibrancy of the country’s cultural heritage.

Performances and a dinner will be held for the two leaders at Versailles, the ornate former royal residence outside Paris, though no public addresses are expected, an official from the French presidency said.

Naruhito, 58, is the eldest son of Emperor Akihito, who is expected to be the first Japanese emperor to retire when he steps down in April next year.

His son will ascend to the Chrysanthemum Throne a day later.(AFP)

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