The emperor and empress of Japan shared poetry known as 'tanka,' a 31-syllable form that prizes subtlety, at an annual reading Thursday. The royal couple feted their walks in the palace garden during 51 years of marriage.
Japan's Imperial Household initally balked at a 'last minute' request by China's visiting vice president to meet with the Emperor Akihito. The request was made 19 days ahead, instead of 30. But the meeting will take place Tuesday in Tokyo.
This week, the Imperial Household Agency curtailed the emperor's activities amid rising evidence of stress in the royal household.