Asia

Japan's Emperor Akihito on first-ever visit to Vietnam

  • Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko smile as they leave for Vietnam at the Haneda International Airport in Tokyo, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

    Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko smile as they leave for Vietnam at the Haneda International Airport in Tokyo, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)  (The Associated Press)

  • Japan's Emperor Akihito, center, greets Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako as he prepares to leave for Vietnam at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

    Japan's Emperor Akihito, center, greets Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako as he prepares to leave for Vietnam at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)  (The Associated Press)

  • Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako talks as Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko depart for Vietnam from the Haneda International Airport in Tokyo, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

    Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako talks as Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko depart for Vietnam from the Haneda International Airport in Tokyo, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)  (The Associated Press)

Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko have arrived in Vietnam for a visit during which they will meet the abandoned wives of former Japanese soldiers from World War II.

The 83-year-old Akihito, who arrived in Hanoi on Tuesday, is the first-ever Japanese emperor to visit Vietnam. He will be given a red carpet welcome by Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang on Wednesday.

During their six-day visit, the Royal couple is scheduled to meet with a dozen surviving widows and families members of Japanese war veterans.

Despite their stormy relations in the past, Vietnam and Japan have steadily improved their ties. Today, Japan is Vietnam's biggest foreign donor and one of its top investors and trading partners.