Japan Emperor, Queen Elizabeth Had Close Ties for Nearly 50 Years

Society Imperial Family

Tokyo, Sept. 19 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Emperor Naruhito has had close ties with late Queen Elizabeth II for nearly half a century, including when he studied in Britain in the 1980s.

After the Emperor ascended the throne in May 2019, the British Queen invited him and his wife, Empress Masako, to visit her country as state guests. The visit did not happen, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Queen, who was the longest-serving British monarch, with some 70 years on throne, passed away some 10 days ago, on Sept. 8.

In a message released the following day, the Emperor expressed his deep sorrow and sincere condolences over the passing of the Queen. The Japanese Imperial couple are set to attend the state funeral for the Queen, which will be held at Westminster Abbey in London from 11 a.m. Monday local time, during their first overseas trip since the Emperor’s enthronement.

It was May 1975 when Emperor Naruhito met with the British Queen, who assumed the throne in 1952, for the first time. The Emperor and his parents, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko, then Crown Prince and Crown Princess, welcomed the Queen at their residence at the time, the Togu Palace, in central Tokyo. This was the Queen’s only visit to Japan during her lifetime.

Emperor Naruhito studied at Merton College of Britain’s Oxford University for about two years from 1983. In his memoir, “The Thames and I: A memoir of Two Years at Oxford,” the Emperor wrote about his memories about the Queen.

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Jiji Press