Japan’s Emperor Akihito returned to the University of B.C. for a short visit yesterday, accompanied by his wife, Empress Michiko.

Akihito had toured the school in 1953 as the crown prince. This second visit is part of the royal couple’s 11-day tour marking the 80th anniversary of Japan-Canada diplomatic relations.

The emperor and empress received a welcome address at the Asian Centre before the screening of a short film documenting Akihito’s 1953 visit.

They then toured UBC’s Nitobe Memorial Garden and met with 20 students.

The Nitobe Garden is recognized as the most authentic traditional Japanese tea garden in North America and among the top five outside Japan.

A visit to the Museum of Anthropology’s Great Hall and a viewing of Bill Reid’s Raven And The First Men sculpture was followed by a luncheon hosted by UBC president Stephen Toope.