Japan's Emperor and Empress have attended the opening ceremony of art and culture festivals in Okinawa Prefecture.
Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako appeared at the opening ceremony for the national cultural festival and the national art and cultural festival for people with disabilities in Ginowan City on Sunday.
In a speech, the Emperor mentioned Okinawa's long history of cultural activities through its exchanges with East Asia since the time when it was the Ryukyu Kingdom.
The Emperor said he is delighted to see people gathering in Okinawa for art and cultural events this year, when the prefecture marks 50 years since it was returned to Japan from US rule.
The Imperial couple later enjoyed music and dance performances depicting Okinawa's history.
Their visit to the prefecture was the first since the Emperor's enthronement in 2019.
On Saturday, they visited the National Cemetery for the War Dead in Itoman City. The city was the site of the last fierce ground battle between Japanese and US troops in Okinawa during the closing days of World War Two.

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