As World Cup openers go, the France-Senegal match lacked in terms of notable dignitaries. There was the Korean President Kim Dae Jung and the president of East Timor. There were prime ministers
from Japan, Namibia, the Dominican Republic and St. Kitts & Nevis. Those pushing for a harmonization of Korean-Japanese relations hoped that Japan's Emperor Akihito would attend the opener.
They had to settle for Emperor Akihito's cousin, Prince Takamado. The visit by Prince Takamado and his wife, Princess Hisako, marked the first ''official'' visit by Japanese
royalty since Japan's occupation of Korea ended in 1945.