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Marshall Islands president to visit Japan

Marshall Islands President Christopher Loeak will visit Japan from Feb. 12 to 16, the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday. During the visit, Loeak will meet with Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, and hold talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the ministry said in a news release. ==Kyodo

Spain's scandal-hit royal palace cuts spending

Spain's king has had his salary frozen for a third year, the scandal-hit palace said Monday, publishing its slimmed-down budget for 2014 after promising greater transparency about how it spends taxpayers' money. The royal palace's budget was cut by two percent to 7.78 million euros ($10.5 million) under the state spending plan approved last year. On Monday it published online a breakdown of how that money is spent, part of its efforts to appear more transparent as it suffers from a fraud scandal embroiling the king's youngest daughter.

Spain's scandal-hit royal palace cuts spending

Spain's king has had his salary frozen for a third year, the scandal-hit palace said Monday, publishing its slimmed-down budget for 2014 after promising greater transparency about how it spends taxpayers' money. The royal palace's budget was cut by two percent to 7.78 million euros ($10.5 million) under the state spending plan approved last year. On Monday it published online a breakdown of how that money is spent, part of its efforts to appear more transparent as it suffers from a fraud scandal embroiling the king's youngest daughter.

Emperor meets Swiss president, voices hope for success of Swiss fete

Emperor Akihito expressed his hope on Monday to Swiss President Didier Burkhalter that a festival of Swiss culture in Tokyo will be very successful, the Imperial Household Agency said. The emperor also told the Swiss president that he hopes the event will further enhance bilateral ties, the agency said. The emperor met Burkhalter, who is in Japan to launch events to commemorate the 150th anniversary this year of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The festival kicks off Thursday.

Chamberlain retires after serving Emperor Akihito for 48 yrs

A chamberlain serving Emperor Akihito for 48 years retired Sunday at the age of 71, the Imperial Household Agency said. After joining the agency in 1966, Katsusuke Meguro was assigned to work for the then Crown Prince Akihito and continued serving him after he acceded to the throne. As he studied fisheries science at Nihon University, Meguro was involved in the emperor's research on goby as a co-author of a number of papers. It is customary for a chamberlain to voluntarily retire after reaching 70 years old.

Chamberlain retires after serving Emperor Akihito for 48 yrs

A chamberlain serving Emperor Akihito for 48 years retired Sunday at the age of 71, the Imperial Household Agency said. After joining the agency in 1966, Katsusuke Meguro was assigned to work for the then Crown Prince Akihito and continued serving him after he acceded to the throne. As he studied fisheries science at Nihon University, Meguro was involved in the emperor's research on goby as a co-author of a number of papers. It is customary for a chamberlain to voluntarily retire after reaching 70 years old.

Prince Akishino joins Argentines to mark 50 years of migration

Prince Akishino, the youngest son of Japan's Emperor Akihito, and his wife Princess Kiko attended an event in Buenos Aires on Friday to commemorate 50 years since an immigration agreement between Japan and Argentina came into effect. Prince Akishino said at the ceremony he was "glad to see the Japanese immigrants' diligence and integrity, and their contribution to the advancement of interaction between our countries."

Spanish prince's star rises as monarchy stumbles

As Spain's royal family reels from scandals and its elderly king leans on crutches after numerous operations, one figure is standing tall, offering the monarchy hope: heir apparent Prince Felipe. Tall and imposing, but said to be warm and approachable by those who meet him, the 45-year-old heir has won the fondness of Spaniards even as they increasingly turn against his father, 76-year-old King Juan Carlos.

Judge summons Spain princess for Feb 8 in fraud scandal

A judge Monday called Spanish King Juan Carlos's daughter Cristina for questioning as a fraud suspect on February 8, bringing forward the date after she abandoned plans to appeal the summons. The king's youngest daughter, 48, will become the first of his direct relatives ever to appear in court accused of wrongdoing when she answers the summons, in a scandal that has plunged the royals into crisis.

Most Spaniards want king to abdicate: poll

MADRID (Reuters) - Almost two thirds of Spaniards want their king to abdicate and hand the crown to his son, according to a poll released on Sunday, the monarch's birthday, that also showed his popularity slumping to a record low. King Juan Carlos, who has been on the throne for 38 years, was once one of the world's best-loved sovereigns, respected for his common touch and for helping guide Spain to democracy in the 1970s after the death of dictator Francisco Franco.
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