COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Japan’s future sovereign, Crown Prince Naruhito, has started a five-day visit to Denmark after the Japanese parliament last week passed a law allowing his father, Emperor Akihito, to become the first monarch to abdicate in 200 years.
Naruhito was welcomed Thursday at Copenhagen airport by Crown Prince Frederik, heir to throne of Denmark — one of the world’s oldest monarchies — and his Australian-born wife Crown Princess Mary.
Akihito’s 57-year-old son will later meet with Frederik’s mother, Queen Margrethe, and Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen. His trip also includes a visit to fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen’s museum in Odense, central Denmark.
Under the law enacted June 9 in Japan, the 83-year-old Akihito’s abdication must take place within three years. The last Japanese emperor to abdicate was Kokaku in 1817.