Prince Akishino’s Thailand visit canceled over safety concerns

Prince Akishino, the younger son of Emperor Akihito, will not visit Thailand this week as scheduled, the Imperial Household Agency announced Monday in the wake of a series of bomb blasts last week that left more than four people dead and more than 30 injured.

The prince was to pay a four-day visit to Thailand starting Thursday to receive an honorary degree of philosophy in biology from Mahasarakham University in the northeastern part of the country for his research into the Mekong giant catfish.

The university said it was informed by the Japanese Embassy on Sunday of the visit’s postponement over “safety consideration” following the bombings and arson attacks that occurred between Thursday and Friday in several southern provinces.

“We are sorry for the inconvenience caused and will notify you once we have set a new date,” the university said in a statement, suggesting the visit may be rescheduled.

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