Japan’s Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko were given a welcome ceremony in the Philippine capital of Manila on Wednesday, starting the official functions of their state tour.
The couple are making a 5-day visit as state guests. In the morning, they were welcomed at the Malacanang presidential palace by Philippine President Benigno Aquino and his sister.
After the national anthems of both countries were played, the Emperor received a salute from an honor guard.
The Emperor then greeted Philippine attendants of the ceremony one by one.
The couple also enjoyed listening to bamboo instruments played by local people at the palace entrance. The couple smiled when the locals played a signature song of the 1970 Expo held in Osaka, western Japan, decades ago.
Later on Wednesday, the Emperor is to deliver a speech at a welcome banquet.
The Imperial couple will also visit a grave of unknown soldiers of the Philippines.
Source and image: NHK