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Horse carriage not used for foreign-envoy ceremony due to flu scare

Tokyo police on Monday refrained from using a horse carriage to carry new foreign ambassadors to the Imperial Palace for a ceremony, using a motorcade instead, because of a recent outbreak of equine influenza.

Horse carriage not used for foreign-envoy ceremony due to flu scare
The Metropolitan Police Department said it had planned to use horses kept by the MPD and the Imperial Guard Headquarters in Monday's ceremony but decided not to do so after some racehorses of the Japan Racing Association were found to have horse flu Thursday.

The police said it was a precautionary measure because their animals are taken care of together with JRA horses at the association's Equestrian Park in Tokyo's Setagaya Ward.

The police noted, however, that none of their horses to be used in the ceremony has developed horse flu symptoms such as fever.

The new ambassadors from Kazakhstan and Austria took part in Monday's ceremony entering the palace from a nearby building to hand credentials by their heads of state to Japanese Emperor Akihito.

The outbreak of the disease forced the JRA to cancel races scheduled over the weekend, for the first time in about 35 years.

AP - Kyodo
Last Mod: 20 Ağustos 2007, 17:14
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