Japanese imperial couple to visit India from Nov. 30

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will visit India for about a week from Nov. 30, after Japan and India marked last year the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties, the government said Tuesday.

The visit, at the Indian government's invitation, will be the first by the couple to the country since the emperor's ascension to the throne in 1989.

The two countries have yet to finalize the schedule for the tour but the couple are expected to visit Delhi in northern India and the southern city of Chennai before returning home Dec. 6. In Delhi, they will attend a banquet and other ceremonies while meeting with Indian President Pranab Mukherjee.

The Imperial Household Agency is making efforts to ensure the trip does not put a strain on the couple, as the emperor turns 80 this year and his wife, who suffers from backache, turns 79.