Taiwan to send gifts to new emperor of Japan

Emperor Naruhito will receive cherry blossoms, bamboo, marabutan saplings planted for his grandfather

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Emperor Naruhito of Japan

Emperor Naruhito of Japan (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The coronation ceremony for the new emperor of Japan, Naruhito (德仁), will be held in Tokyo on Tuesday (Oct. 22), with many global political leaders and members of royalty expected to attend, including representatives from Taiwan, who will present gifts to the new emperor.

According to Liberty Times, Tseng Wen-hui (曾文惠), former First Lady of Taiwan, will bring cherry blossoms, bamboo, and marabutan saplings to the Gift-giving Ceremony at the Meiji Kinenkan on Saturday. Taiwan's Representative to Japan Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) will also attend as a guest.

The gifts were originally planted for Naruhito's grandfather Hirohito (裕仁) when he visited Taiwan as a prince in 1923. They will be received by Yoko Kishi (安倍洋子), mother of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (安倍晉三), and planted in Japan, reported UDN.

To welcome the late emperor, local Taiwanese grew cherry blossoms on the foothills of Yangmingshan (陽明山), and Hirohito himself planted the bamboo and marabutans in Pingtung and Tainan. Since then, the tree has become widely recognized as the logo of Cathay United Bank, according to CNA.

Marabutan planted by Emperor Hirohito (Facebook)

Former Taiwanese Minister of State George Huang (黃石城) told the press that "bringing these plants home" can strengthen Taiwan-Japan relations. He added that many Taiwanese hope Emperor Naruhito will have the chance to visit the island, reported UDN.