Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko left the Philippines on Saturday, ending the first visit to a Southeast Asian country by a reigning royalty from Japan.
President Benigno Aquino 3rd, accompanied by his sister Pinky Aquino-Abellada, led the send-off ceremony at the airport tarmac where the royal couple was given departure honors.
Members of the Cabinet were also in attendance, including Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson and Transportation Secretary Emilio Abaya.
Also present were Philippine Ambassador to Japan Manuel Lopez and Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhide Ishikawa.
The visit coincided with the 60th anniversary of the normalization of Philippine-Japan relations.
The emperor and empress had met with Aquino in Malacañang and visited Rizal Park, Intramuros in Manila, the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani, TESDA’s Language Skills Institute, and the Japanese Memorial Garden in Caliraya, Laguna province.
The Imperial couple toured the International Rice Research Institute in Los Banos, Laguna on Friday.