By Sin Chew Daily
Asia News Network
The crown prince revealed that he was interested in Malaysia since young after discovering Malaysia through stamp collection book.
After learning about the ethnic, religious and cultural diversity in Malaysia, he is of the view that the attitude of respecting diversity should be extended to be a regional icon in Asean.
This is his first official visit to Malaysia after he was conferred as crown prince in 1989.
While briefing his itineraries, a spokesperson from the Embassy of Japan also translated the speech of the crown prince prior to arriving Malaysia. In a rare move, he has held a press conference at the palace.
Visited Malaysia with his father when he was young
The crown prince visited Malaysia with his father Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko when he was young.
Emperor Akihito visited Malaysia in his capacity as crown prince then.
The spokesperson related that the crown prince said his hobby was stamp collection as a young boy. One of the stamps he collected is the Malaya stamp in 1960. He was drawn by the stamp which had a tiger and the portrait of a man.
“He was very curious and asked his parents which country did the stamp originate from. He was told it was Malayan Union. Prior to his visit, the crown prince looked at the stamp collection book again. He discovered that the man featured on the stamp is actually Sultan Ismail from Johor.”
Praise Malaysia for its diversity and tolerance
The crown prince said the Malaysia that he learned about is a diversified and tolerant country.
The three ethnic groups in Malaysia live in peace despite cultural and religious differences.
He also pointed out that Malaysia’s success is due to its diversity and tolerance. This country can be a model for the world which faces conflicts.
He is looking forward to learn from Malaysia’s experience in using its ethnic, religious and cultural diversity as the drive for development.
Before ending his speech, the crown prince said he hope the visit would further strengthen Malaysia-Japan ties and promote cultural interaction among the young people of two countries.
Itinerary includes visiting the Smart Tunnel
Apart from paying a courtesy visit to the King Sultan Muhammad V and Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, Prince Naruhito will be visiting the Smart Tunnel and its control centre.
The spokesperson of the embassy said the crown prince, during an opening ceremony of a special meeting of the United Nations on water matters and disaster two years ago, mentioned the SMART Tunnel in Malaysia which is capable of dispersing traffic and preventing flood, a model to emulate.
The crown prince describes this as a rare and yet successful facility in the world. He hopes to visit the tunnel during his visit to Malaysia, learn about water matters and disaster management from Malaysia.
Meeting Japanese student in Malaysia
In addition, the crown prince will be visiting Japanese students studying in University of Malaya and also Malaysian students leaving to pursue further studies in Japan. He would deliver only one speech in University Malaysia during his visit here.
His other itineraries include visiting Japanese school in Kuala Lumpur, paying tribute at the national monuments and also visit the national museum.
The crown prince will also be meeting with Prime Minister’s wife Rosmah Mansor and visit pre-school centre Permata Pintar.