Jiji Press JARVENPAA, Finland (Jiji Press) — Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko visited the home of Finnish composer Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) in Jarvenpaa, southern Finland, on Friday.
At the Sibelius home, the couple enjoyed a concert to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and the northern European country. Japanese pianist Izumi Tateno, who lives in Finland, played Finlandia, a piece composed by Sibelius, and the crown prince and crown princess applauded from the audience seats.
Jarvenpaa is located near Helsinki, the capital of Finland.
Earlier on Friday, the couple went to Seurasaari, an island in Helsinki, and viewed a traditional local house there.
After visiting Jarvenpaa, the crown prince and princess attended a luncheon hosted by Finnish Minister of Science and Culture Annika Saarikko in Tuusula, also near Helsinki. In a speech, the crown prince said he hopes that the friendship between Japan and Finland will grow stronger and last forever.
With the luncheon, the crown prince and princess ended all of their official duties during their trips to Poland and Finland, and were to arrive back in Japan on Saturday.
This was the first official visit abroad for the crown prince since he assumed the title and became first in line to the Imperial throne on May 1, in line with the enthronement of the Emperor, his elder brother, on the day.Speech