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Updated: November 14, 2009 20:47 IST

Obama dines with Japan’s Emperor, Empress

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U.S. President Barack Obama, left, bows as he is greeted by Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, not pictured, as he arrives at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo,on Saturday.
AP U.S. President Barack Obama, left, bows as he is greeted by Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, not pictured, as he arrives at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo,on Saturday.

U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday met with Japanese Emperor Akihito, the final event of the U.S. leader’s first visit to Japan.

Mr. Obama had lunch with the Emperor and Empress Michiko at the imperial palace in Tokyo, Japanese media reported. It was the first meeting between the U.S. President and the imperial couple. Japan’s 75-year-old tenno celebrated the 20th anniversary of his accession to the throne on Thursday.

Emperor Akihito is the first Japanese emperor not to be considered divine, his father having renounced the Emperor’s divinity in a declaration on January 1, 1946. The post-War Constitution stripped the Emperor of his political powers and limited his role to symbolising the unity of the nation.

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