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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Timeframe: the Japanese crown prince's desert swing

It was against the backdrop of a devastating earthquake in Japan, that the country's crown price Naruhito, along with his wife Princess Masako, visited the UAE

Two girls offer flowers to the Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito, centre, and his host Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan at Abu Dhabi International Airport Monday, Jan. 23, 1995. AP
Two girls offer flowers to the Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito, centre, and his host Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan at Abu Dhabi International Airport Monday, Jan. 23, 1995. AP

The year was 1995. A devastating earthquake in Japan had killed more than 6,000 people and injured about 27,000. Worst hit was Kobe, with Osaka and Kyoto also suffering. It was against this backdrop that Japanese crown prince Naruhito and his wife, Princess Masako, visited the UAE. In this photograph from January 23 that year, then Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Sheikh Khalifa, greets them at Abu Dhabi airport. Naruhito was on a four-day visit as part of a broader desert swing that also took in Kuwait and Jordan. Naruhito was reported as saying how difficult it was to leave Japan because of the quake, but deepening Middle East ties was also important. Abu Dhabi National Oil Company has supplied Japan with energy products since its foundation in 1971. Today, Japan imports about 25 per cent of its crude from Adnoc, while Naruhito is next in line to Japan’s throne.

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