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Slippers worn by Imperial Couple during 2014 visit to Ise on display

Two pairs of slippers that were worn by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko are displayed in a cabinet at the chairman's room at Ise City Council of Social Welfare in Mie Prefecture. (Mainichi/Yuki Kozawa)

ISE, Mie -- Two pairs of ordinary slippers that were worn by the Imperial Couple are on display in the chairman's room at the Ise City Council of Social Welfare here.

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited the venue to take a rest in March 2014 during a trip to Mie Prefecture. Visitors have to take off their shoes at the entrance when entering the council building so the prefectural government asked the council staff to prepare slippers for the Imperial Couple. The staff bought ordinary slippers with common stripe patterns at a retailer in the city as they thought they didn't need to prepare anything special.

After the Imperial Couple's visit, the slippers were on display in the chairman's room for a while but later the items were moved to another site for preservation.

Prior to the Imperial Couple's visit to the prefecture from April 17, the staff of the council moved back the slippers to the chairman's room to display them again. According to the staff, the slippers are the only ones of their kind that were worn by the Imperial Couple during the March 2014 trip.

A staff member said, "We are displaying the slippers again as a precious memory of the Heisei era."

(Japanese original by Yuki Kozawa, Ise Bureau)

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