TOKYO: Japanese Emperor Naruhito has sent a message of condolence to British Queen Elizabeth II, whose husband, Prince Philip, died last week, the Imperial Household Agency announced Monday.
With close ties between Japan’s Imperial Family and the British royal family, Emperor Naruhito was set to visit Britain last spring. The visit, postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, would have been the Emperor’s first overseas trip since he assumed the throne in 2019.
According to the agency, Emperor Naruhito expressed regrets over Prince Philip’s death, remembering the prince’s warm attitude on the several occasions they met while the Emperor was studying in Britain from 1983 to 1985. The two last met when Emperor Naruhito, then Crown Prince, visited Britain in 2001.
Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko, who had a long-standing friendship with the British royal couple, have also sent a condolence message to the British queen. In 2012, the then Emperor and Empress visited Britain to celebrate the diamond jubilee of the queen’s coronation.