Visit of H.I.H. the Crown Prince to the Lao PDR

  His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince of Japan officially visited the Lao PDR from 29 June to 1 July 2012 in response to the invitation from President Choummaly Sayasone. It is the first time the Japanese Crown Prince has come to Laos since the establishment of Japan-Laos diplomatic relations in 1955. Lao leaders as well as its people gave a hearty welcome to this historic visit with great pleasure.

  On 29 June, shortly after H.I.H. the Crown Prince was received by Minister Phongsavat and Ambassador Yokota at Wattay airport, an official welcoming ceremony was held at the Presidential Palace. Vice President Bounnhang Vorachit welcomed the Crown Prince at the ceremony. In talks after the ceremony, Vice President Bounnhang expressed his sincere gratitude to the Japanese people for their continuous support toward the national construction efforts of the Lao PDR, even in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake.



(Reference: Lao News Agency(KPL))

  In the afternoon, H.I.H. the Crown Prince had cordial conversations with Lao nationals who have close relations with Japan, such as Dr. Ponmek Dalaloy, the President of the Laos-Japan Friendship Association. The Crown Prince also met and had a hearty conversation with Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong. Later, the Crown Prince visited That Luang Grand Stupa where he was told more about the culture and history of Laos. At the Budo Center, the Crown Prince appreciated a demonstration of Japanese martial arts by Lao and Japanese people. After returning to the hotel where he stayed, the Crown Prince received an audience of representatives that included Japanese residents in Laos working for the Japanese Association, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce, NGOs, International Organizations and JICA. The Crown Prince talked with each and every person.



(Reference: Lao News Agency(KPL))



(Reference: Lao News Agency(KPL))



(Reference: Lao News Agency(KPL))

In the evening, H.I.H. the Crown Prince met with President Choummaly and participated in the state banquet hosted by the President. President Choummaly appreciated the great contribution Japanese ODA has made to the development of the Lao PDR. The Crown Prince extended his heartfelt gratitude for the assistance and sympathy provided by the Lao people following the Great East Japan Earthquake. The atmosphere of the dinner was amiable and relaxed, and included Lao traditional arts and ethnic costume show as well as a Japanese song performed by Ms. Alexandra, a famous Lao singer.



(Reference: Lao News Agency(KPL))

On 30 June, H.I.H. the Crown Prince visited the World Heritage City of Luang Prabang. Hundreds of residents lined the streets to welcome the Crown Prince. After a brief overview of Luang Prabang Province by Governor Khampheng Saysompheng, the Crown Prince visited the National Museum and Xiengthong Temple. Governor Khampheng hosted a welcome lunch during a boat cruise on the Mekong River. A river expert explained the use of the Mekong River as the center of water transportation and its role in the livelihood of people.



(Reference: Lao News Agency(KPL))

In the afternoon, H.I.H. the Crown Prince visited the Health Science College to give encouraging words to students who will be engaged in medical services in the future. Later, the Crown Prince participated in a Basi ceremony, which was the last engagement of his visit. Following the prayer chanted by Lao elders in a solemn atmosphere, Basi strings were tied to the Crown Prince’s wrist in the hope of his safe return journey and long lasting Japan-Lao relations.



(Reference: Lao News Agency(KPL))

On 1 July, H.I.H. the Crown Prince was seen off by Minister Phongsavat and Ambassador Yokota, as he departed Vientiane for Japan.

Through the visit of H.I.H. the Crown Prince, friendly cooperative relations between Japan and Laos were further enhanced, reaffirming the strong bond between both countries and the deepening mutual understanding between the people of the two nations.