The Japanese government hosted a birthday celebration for the emperor of Japan in Seattle on Dec. 5 at the residence of the Consul General of Japan in Seattle, Consul General Kiyokazu Ota. Emperor Akihito, who was born on Dec. 23, 1933, will be turning 79 this year.
Washington state and Japan have long had a strong connection. Washington is home to Bainbridge Island, the home of the first Japanese Americans to be interned during World War II. Seattle is also the sister city of Kobe, Japan. The two cities often work together to hold events, such as the annual Seattle–Kobe Female Jazz Vocalist Audition. (end)