Japan Emperor Naruhito Meets Pope Francis


Tokyo, Nov. 25 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Emperor Naruhito met with visiting Pope Francis at the Imperial Palace on Monday.

It is the first meeting between a Japanese Emperor and a pope since September 1993, when then Emperor Akihito and then Empress Michiko met with the late Pope John Paul II during the couple's trip to Italy.

Pope Francis arrived at the palace in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward around 11 a.m. (2 a.m. GMT) in a Mirai fuel cell car of Toyota Motor Corp. <7203>. After greeting each other with smiles and a handshake at the entrance, Emperor Naruhito and Pope Francis posed for press photos and entered the palace building.

During his time studying in Britain in 1984, Emperor Naruhito, then Crown Prince, visited the Vatican City and met Pope John Paul II. It is the first time for Emperor Naruhito to hold a meeting with Pope Francis, who landed in Japan on Saturday for his first visit to the country.

When the Emperor ascended the throne in May, the pope sent a message congratulating him on the enthronement.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press