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Dutch Veterans OK Princess' Japan Visit

September 13, 1987|From Reuters

THE HAGUE — Princess Margriet of the Netherlands is to visit Japan next month, less than a year since her sister, Queen Beatrix, canceled a similar trip because of protests by Dutch World War II veterans.

In December, 1986, a political dispute erupted after news leaks that the Dutch head of state planned to visit Japan.

Deputy Prime Minister Rudolf de Korte said it should not go ahead during the lifetime of Emperor Hirohito, 85, out of consideration for Dutch prisoners held in Japanese camps during the war.

However, war veterans and the government said they were not against the princess' visit, which is scheduled to start Oct. 17.

"It is quite different for Princess Margriet, who is not head of state, to visit Japan," a spokesman for the veterans said.

The princess' four-day stay, aimed at promoting Dutch companies in Japan, includes a meeting with Hirohito, an official spokesman said.

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