Princess Mako leaves for South America

Princess Mako left Japan on Tuesday for Peru and Bolivia, where she will attend ceremonies marking the 120th anniversary of the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants. It is the first time for the princess to visit the two South American countries.

Princess Mako is the eldest daughter of Crown Prince and Princess Akishino.

Imperial Household Agency officials gathered before noon at Narita airport near Tokyo to see Princess Mako depart for Peru on a commercial flight.

About 100,000 people of Japanese descent are reported to live in Peru. That's the third-largest such population in the world. Bolivia is estimated to be home to more than 10,000 people of Japanese origin.

During her two-week tour, Princess Mako will give speeches at ceremonies recognizing immigrants. She is also scheduled to visit President Martin Vizcarra of Peru and President Evo Morales of Bolivia.

In Peru, Princess Mako plans to visit the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu, a World Heritage site. She will hear from locals about the contributions made by Japanese immigrants to the area.

It will be the fifth official overseas visit for Princess Mako. Last year, she went to Brazil to attend a ceremony marking the 110th anniversary of Japanese immigration there.