Princess Mako Meets Japanese - Bolivians

Princess Mako meets Japanese-Bolivians

Japan's Princess Mako has attended a ceremony in Bolivia to mark the 120th anniversary of the arrival of Japanese immigrants in the country.

The ceremony was held on Wednesday in Bolivia's largest city, Santa Cruz.

About 150 people, including those of Japanese descent, welcomed the daughter of Crown Prince and Princess Akishino.

Princess Mako offered silent prayers for the early immigrants and said she will continue to remember how they diligently and earnestly overcame many difficulties to settle in Bolivia.

This year marks 120 years since 93 Japanese arrived in Bolivia to work on rubber plantations. The country is now said to be home to more than 10,000 people of Japanese descent.

Princess Mako visited a home for more than 50 pre-school age children who were abused or neglected by their parents.

The princess met children who were painting coloring books and playing with puzzles. She also talked with three Japanese women who work at the facility.

She is said to have told the Japanese staff that taking care of the children must be hard work and wished them good luck.

Princess Mako left Japan on July 9 for an official visit to Peru and Bolivia. She is due to return to Japan on Monday.