Japan's emperor and empress mark 50th anniversary

Friday April 10, 2009

There was celebration in Japan on Friday as Emperor Akihito and Empress Michikio marked their 50th wedding anniversary.

The royal couple spent their special day taking part in ceremonies at Tokyo's imperial Palace. They hosted an afternoon tea party for 101 couples from across the country who were also marking their golden wedding anniversaries.

As the pair saw in a half century they recalled their beginnings together, when Akihito met Michiko Shoda - a flour magnate's daughter - on the tennis court at an upmarket resort.

When asked how he had asked for Michikio's hand in marriage, the 75-year-old emperor admitted he couldn't remember the exact words he'd used, but did recall: "We spoke over the telephone many times before the empress finally accepted. I would not say that it was anything as simple as a one-line proposal."

Photo: ę PA

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