Japan’s Princess Hisako has travelled all the way to Russia’s Saransk to cheer on her national team at the FIFA World Cup. She is the first member of the Imperial family to come to Russia since 1916.
In her role as patron of the Japan Football Association, the princess travelled to Russia to attend several games and to lend royal support to the Samurai Blue – starting with Tuesday’s game against Colombia.
The 64-year-old widow of Prince Takamado, cousin of the reigning emperor, has not missed a single World Cup since 1998. But her trip to Russia is a noteworthy one, since she is the first member of the Imperial family to visit Russia since before the Russian Revolution.
The princess is said to have no plans to hold any political meetings, but it’s significant that her trip comes amid continued tensions between Moscow and Tokyo over activities regarding the disputed Kuril Islands.
Princess Hisako has already visited a fine arts museum and is expected to do some sightseeing. But the main purpose of her visit to Russia is to root for her national team in group stage games both in Saransk and Ekaterinburg – and also visit her country’s team camp in Kazan on Thursday.
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