Ministers and Grand Ducal Family Undertake State Visit to Japan

On the second day of the Luxembourg Grand Ducal family’s state visit to Japan, taking place from 27 to 29 November 2017, the official delegation visited the Ibaraki Prefecture.

Today, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, Their Royal Highnesses the Grand Duke and Duchess of Luxemburg and Princess Alexandra travelled from Tokyo to Tsukuba, about 60 kilometres northeast of the Japanese capital, accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, Étienne Schneider, and Minister of Finance, Pierre Gramegna.

The official delegation was received at the Tsuchiura Station by Ibaraki Prefecture Governor Oikawa Kazuhiko and the President of the Ibaraki Prefectural Assembly.

Head of State, Princess Alexandra and the Emperor and Empress of Japan, accompanied by Schneider and Gramegna, greeted the local population outside the Town Hall in Tsuchiura, in the presence of Tsuchiura Municipal Assembly President Yaguchi Kiyoshi and the Mayor of Tsuchiura City, Nakagawa Kiyoshi.

The head of state and the imperial couple then had the opportunity to continue their talks at a private luncheon in the presence of Princess Alexandra.

Subsequently, the delegation visited the Tsukuba Space Centre of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), where they were officially welcomed by Toshiei Mizuochi, Minister of State for Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the Director General of the JAXA Research and Development Directorate , Ryouichi Imai, Tsukuba Mayor Tatsuo Igarashi, Tsukuba Municipal Assembly President Shiota Hisashi and JAXA President Naoki Okumura. In the Space Dome showroom, Professor Kuninaka Hitoshi provided explanations for the Hayabusa spacecraft and the Hayabusa 2 return capsule with asteroid samples on board.

Meanwhile, Foreign and European Affairs Minister Jean Asselborn met with twenty students at Sophia University in Tokyo for a joint reflection on the future of Europe in a conference-debate.

Finally, on the evening of 28 November, the Grand Duke was greeted by Shinzo Abe for an interview at the residence of the Japanese Prime Minister, in the presence of Schneider and Gramegna. The meeting was followed by a dinner hosted by the Prime Minister of Japan and his wife Akie Abe in honour of the Grand Duke, in the presence of Princess Alexandra.