|27 Jan 2016|
|President Aquino welcomes Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at Malacañang Palace|
| President Benigno S. Aquino III on Wednesday welcomed Japan’s Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at Malacañang Palace.
The Japanese Imperial couple arrived at about 10:30 a.m. and was greeted by the President and presidential sister Aurora Corazon “Pinky” Aquino-Abellada.
After the welcome ceremony, President Aquino introduced his Cabinet members to Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.
Among those present during the welcome ceremony were Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto del Rosario, Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, outgoing National Economic and Development Authority Director General Arsenio Balisacan, Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Presidential Management Staff Chief Julia Abad, Philippine Ambassador to Japan Manuel Lopez, and Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhide Ishikawa.
After the welcome ceremony, President Aquino led the Japanese Imperial couple to the Reception Hall for the signing of the Malacañang guestbook.
From the Reception Hall, the President escorted Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko to the Music Room for a private meeting.
From the Palace, President Aquino and the Japanese Imperial couple proceeded to Luneta Park for the wreath-laying ceremony at the Rizal Monument.
President Aquino will be hosting a state dinner for the visiting Japanese Imperial couple at 7:30 p.m. at the Rizal Hall of Malacañang Palace.
Emperor Akihito, 82, and Empress Michiko, 81, arrived in the country on Tuesday afternoon for a five-day state visit marking the 60th anniversary of Philippine-Japanese diplomatic relations. PND (jm)
|Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko lay wreath at Rizal monument|
| Japan’s Emperor Akihito and his wife Empress Michiko on Wednesday laid a wreath at the monument of Dr. Jose P. Rizal in honor of the Philippine national hero.
After meeting with President Benigno S. Aquino III in Malacañang Palace, Their Majesties proceeded to Rizal Park in Manila for the wreath-laying ceremony.
The Emperor and the Empress arrived at the park at 12:10 p.m. and were welcomed by former president and incumbent Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya.
Accompanied by Mayor Estrada, Their Majesties offered a wreath at the foot of the statue of Dr. Jose P. Rizal. During the ceremony, Their Majesties were also accorded military honors with a 21-gun salute.
After the ceremony, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko were presented a symbolic key to the city by Mayor Estrada.
Later in the afternoon, the Japanese Imperial Couple will also lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City.
In the evening, President Aquino will host a state dinner for Their Majesties at Malacañang Palace.
The Imperial Couple arrived in Manila on Tuesday for a five-day state visit marking the 60th anniversary of Philippine-Japanese diplomatic relations. PND (co)
|Emperor Akihito leads wreath laying rites at the Libingan ng mga Bayani|
| Emperor Akihito of Japan led the wreath laying ceremony at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City on Wednesday paying respect to the soldiers who perished during World War II.
Japanese Emperor Akihito, together with Empress Michiko, arrived at the Libingan Ng mga Bayani at around 3:20 p.m. and pproceeded with the wreath laying rites at the Tomb of the Unknown Hero.
The visiting Japanese emperor and empress were welcomed by Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya and Philippine Army chief Lt. Gen. Eduardo Ano. They were also given a 21-gun salute.
The Libingan ng mga Bayani was formerly known as the Republic Memorial Cemetery established by the Philippine government in 1947 as a tribute to the gallant Filipino soldiers who fought and died in World War II.
In 1954, then Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay rededicated the cemetery and renamed it as the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
In 1967 then President Ferdinand Marcos reserved 142 hectares from the Fort Bonifacio Military Reserve (formerly known as Fort McKinley) in consideration for the Libingan ng mga Bayani to serve not only as a cemetery for military personnel but also as a national shrine for fallen heroes.
Aside from military men, the Libingan ng mga Bayani is also open as final resting place for former Philippine presidents, Filipino veterans, notable government statesmen, dignitaries and national artists.
As of 2009, there are 44,027 military personnel buried at the memorial cemetery, of which 32,268 were men who lost their lives in Capas, Tarlac.
Also interred in the cemetery are two former Philippine presidents, Carlos P. Garcia and Diosdado Macapagal.
At the center of the cemetery is the Tomb of the Unknown Hero and radiating from the center are the different plots reserved for different branches of military operations. PND (as)
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