BANGKOK, Kyodo - Japanese Prince Fumihito, the younger son of Emperor Akihito, arrived in Thailand on Wednesday with his wife Princess Kiko to receive an honorary doctorate for his contribution to animal research.
The couple will engage in separate activities in the Southeast Asian country before returning to Japan together on Saturday morning.
At a ceremony Thursday at Mahasarakham University in northeast Thailand, the prince will be given the award for his long years of research into Mekong giant catfish and poultry. The ceremony, originally scheduled in August 2016, was pushed back following a series of bomb attacks in the country.
Prince Fumihito will also visit a folklore museum in northern Thailand on Friday.
Meanwhile, Princess Kiko, the director general of a Japanese organization promoting maternal and child health, will stay in Bangkok to give an address at the opening ceremony of an international conference on maternal and child health handbooks on Thursday. She is scheduled to visit a children’s hospital the following day.
Princess Kiko has been serving as the director general of the Imperial Gift Foundation Boshi-Aiiku-Kai since 2010 after her predecessor Princess Yuriko, 95, the widow of Prince Mikasa, gave up the post due to her age.
Prince Fumihito will become first in line to the imperial throne when his elder brother Crown Prince Naruhito ascends the Chrysanthemum throne on May 1, 2019, the day after the abdication of Emperor Akihito due to his age and declining health. (Kyodo)