Japan's Prince Akishino visits Laos
Japan's Prince Akishino and his daughter Princess Mako on Wednesday kicked off a private four-day visit to communist Laos that this year marked the 55th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Japan, dpa reported.
The prince and his daughter arrived in Vientiane late Tuesday from Bangkok, the Vientiane Times reported.
According to the Lao Foreign Ministry, Akishino was scheduled to pay a courtesy call on Lao President Choummaly Sayasone at the Horkham Presidential Palace in Vientiane Wednesday to receive an Honorary Medal of the Lao People's Democratic Republic.
Laos went communist in 1975 and remains one of the world's few communist states today.
On Thursday, the prince is to leave for Luang Namtha province to further his private research on the relationship between humans and wild chickens, presumably in connection with the spread of diseases such as avian influenza.
He is scheduled to depart Saturday.
The royal visit follows Lao President Choummaly's official four-day visit to Japan to mark the 55th anniversary of bilateral ties between the two Asian nations earlier this month.