THE KING AND QUEEN OF BHUTAN ON AN OFFICIAL SIX DAY STATE VISIT TO JAPAN – DAY ONE

Bhutan’s King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck and his wife, Queen Jetsun Pema,have begun their six day state visit to Japan.   A banquet to welcome the king and queen was given on November 16, 2011 at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.  Emperor Akihito is unable to partake of any official functions because he is currently hospitalized due to bronchitis and a running fever.   Crown Prince Naruhito officiated at the welcoming banquet which was also attended by the Empress Michiko, the Prime MinisterYoshihiko Noda, along with Prince Akishino and his wife, Princess Kiko, and their eldest daughter, Princess Mako.

The King and Queen of Bhutan are Japan’s first state guests since the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit the country in March 2011.  During a visit to the Japanese Foreign Ministry, King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema expressed their condolences for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami.  The royal couple’s visit coincides with the twenty-fifth anniversary of the establishment of bilateral ties between the two countries.

Bhutan's 21 year old Queen Jetsun Pema and Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan, November 16, 2011 (photo: Reuters)

The King and Queen of Bhutan, wearing traditional dress, wave during their official welcome to Japan at the Imperial Palace (photo: Reuters)

Queen Jetsun Pema arrives at Tokyo's Narita International Airport, November 15, 2011 (photo: Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images)

The King and Queen of Bhutan arrive in Tokyo to begin their official six day state visit, November 15, 2011 (photo: Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images)

The King and Queen of Bhutan are driven to the Imperial Palace in Tokyo for an official welcoming ceremony presided by members of the Japanese Imperial Family, November 16, 2011 (photo: Koichi Kamoshida, Pool/AP Photo)

Crown Prince Naruhito welcomes Bhutan's King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema to the Imperial Palace in Tokyo (photo: Koichi Kamoshida, Pool/AP Photo)

Bhutan's King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema walk with Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito, Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko (photo: Toshifumi Kitamura, Pool/AP Photo)

Queen Jetsun Pema of Bhutan and Princess Kiko of Japan during the official welcoming ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, November 16, 2011 (photo: Kim Kyung-Hoon/AFP/Getty Images)

An imperial welcome from the Empress of Japan for the King and Queen of Bhutan (photo: Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images)

Queen Jetsun Pema of Bhutan, Empress Michiko of Japan and King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck of Bhutan in Tokyo, November 16, 2011 (photo: Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images)

The King of Bhutan chats with the Crown Prince of Japan as the Queen of Bhutan looks on (photo: Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images)

Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan bows to Queen Jetsun Pema of Bhutan at the Imperial Palace, Tokyo, November 16, 2011 (photo: Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images)

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