Japan's Princess Takamado leaves museum in Saransk, Russia June 19, 2018

Japanese Princess Takamado Arrives in Russia's Saransk for Japan-Colombia Match

© REUTERS / Artem Artamonov
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SARANSK (Sputnik) - Japanese Princess Hisako Takamado has arrived in the Russian city of Saransk, which will host Tuesday's FIFA World Cup match between Japan and Colombia, a Sputnik correspondent has reported.

Being the Honorary Patron of the Japan Football Association, Princess Takamado has attended all FIFA World Cups since 1998. She has become the first member of the Japanese Imperial Family to visit Russia since World War I.

"Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado is the Honorary Patron of the Japan Football Association. She has arrived in Russia to attend the games of the national team," an employee of the Japanese embassy said.

Local authorities have prepared a cultural and excursion program for the princess, who is expected to stay in Saransk, around 320 miles southeast of Moscow, until Wednesday.

Earlier on Tuesday, Princess Takamado visited the Mordovian Erzia Museum of Visual Arts, which holds the world's largest collection of more than 200 works by Russian sculptor Stepan Erzia.

​"This is the first visit of a member of the Japanese Imperial Family to Russia in 102 years. Hisako Takamado is the honorary chairwoman of the Japan Football Association and arrived in the capital of Mordovia to support the Japanese national team during the match against Colombia," the tweet says.

READ MORE: FIFA World Cup Light Show on Moscow's Bolshoi Theater

 According to a Japanese embassy employee, after Saransk, the princess will travel to Kazan to attend Japan's training session and will later go to Yekaterinburg to watch the Japan-Senegal match on Sunday. No official meetings have been planned during Princess Takamado's visit to Russia.

The game in Saransk took place at the 42,000-seat Mordovia Arena at 3:00 p.m. Moscow time (12:00 p.m. GMT).

Japan, which has twice made it past the group stage at FIFA World Cups, will take on Poland and Senegal in their other two Group H matches.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup will come to an end on July 15, with the final set to be played in Moscow.


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