LOOK: Japan PM Abe's wife Akie visits school for blind

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 12 2017 07:37 PM | Updated as of Jan 12 2017 07:41 PM

Photo by Ezra Acayan, Reuters

Photo by Ezra Acayan, Reuters

Photo by Joseph Agcaoili, AFP

Photo courtesy of PTV

Akie Abe, the wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, on Thursday visited the Philippine National School for the Blind in Pasay City.

During her visit, she spoke with school officials and students, and toured the school, which is run by the Department of Education (DepEd).

The school is touted as the country's pioneer learning institution for the visually impaired, as mandated by Republic Act 3562, which promotes education of the blind in the Philippines.

The surprise visit was in keeping with Akie's persona as a first lady who is quick to stand up for the disadvantaged—reports from Japanese and international media show her visiting those affected by disasters in her country, throwing support for members of the LGBT community, and condemning the “kawaii” (pretty) culture for preferring cuteness over women’s hard work and capability.

Portrayed as the liberal counterpart to her conservative husband, Akie is known to publicly challenge Abe's positions on issues, including nuclear power, and the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

Aside from accompanying her husband to official ceremonies, she is slated to visit sites around the country which are historically relevant to Japan, such as the Mintal Cemetery in Davao City, which houses the remains of Japanese pre-war settlers.