Keizer expresses hope that ties between Britain and Japan will be strengthened ahead of the official visit; Expresses his regret over the death of the queen

Pool photo / The Yomiuri Shimbun
The emperor will speak at a press conference at the Imperial Palace on Wednesday, ahead of his official visit to Britain.

The emperor expressed hope on Wednesday before his official visit to strengthen the relationship between Japan and Great Britain.

“I hope that this will be an opportunity to strengthen our ties with the British royal family and deepen friendly relations between the people of our country and the United Kingdom,” the emperor said at a press conference at the Imperial Palace.

The Emperor and Empress will visit the United Kingdom as state guests from Saturday to June 29.

At the start of the press conference, the Emperor referred to the death of Queen Elizabeth II in 2022. A planned visit to the United Kingdom in the spring of 2020 at the invitation of the Queen was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was a real shame that I couldn’t visit her while she was still alive,” he said.

The Emperor expressed concern about the health of King Charles III and Kate, Princess of Wales, who have both publicly announced their cancer diagnoses, and wished them a speedy recovery.

Reflecting on his time studying in Britain, the Emperor said: “They were days of awe and inspiration,” and fondly recalled his interactions with the Royal Family, which he described as “a heart-warming welcome that left me felt like a member of the royal family. the family.”

Regarding the history of the conflict between Japan and the United Kingdom during World War II, he called it “truly regrettable” and emphasized the importance of “deepening our understanding of history and fostering a love of peace.”

The imperial couple will visit the University of Oxford, where they both studied.

“I am eagerly looking forward to visiting Masako for the first time and taking a walk together,” the emperor said.

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