SEPANG: Malaysia rolled out the red carpet for Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito who arrived today for a five-day official visit to the country.
The special aircraft, Flight JAF0001, ferrying the Crown Prince landed at the KL International Airport at 5.35pm.
Prince Naruhito was welcomed by Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar. Also present was Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Razali Ibrahim, who is the Minister-in-Attendance.
The visit is Prince Naruhito's first to Malaysia since his investiture as the Crown Prince of Japan in 1991.
The last visit by a Crown Prince of Japan to Malaysia was in 1970 by Emperor Akihito, when he was the Crown Prince, and Empress Michiko, the then Crown Princess.
Wisma Putra, in a statement yesterday, said Crown Prince Naruhito's visit to Malaysia would be the highlight of the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of Malaysia-Japan bilateral relations.
It said bilateral ties between Malaysia and Japan had expanded steadily and substantially since the establishment of diplomatic relations 60 years ago.
One of the main thrusts of cooperation between the two countries was the 'Look East Policy', said Wisma Putra.
Prince Naruhito, who is the oldest son of Emperor Akihito, is scheduled to have an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Muhammad V, and attend an official dinner hosted by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
The Crown Prince of Japan is also scheduled to meet Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Najib and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, will host a luncheon for Prince Naruhito and his delegation at Seri Perdana, the Prime Minister's official residence, in Putrajaya.
The Crown Prince of Japan is also scheduled to deliver a special lecture at the University of Malaya, visit PERMATA Pintar and meet with Rosmah, the patron of the Permata Programmes.
The Prince's itinerary also includes visits to the National Museum, the Smart Tunnel and Japanese School of Kuala Lumpur, as well as an audience with the Japanese Community in Malaysia and Malaysians associated with Japan. -- BERNAMA