Emperor expresses deep sorrow over passing of Britain’s queen

Reuters file photo
In this photo provided by the Imperial Household Agency, the Emperor speaks during a news conference at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Feb. 21 ahead of the Emperor’s 62nd birthday on Feb. 23.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Emperor, in a statement released by the Imperial Household Agency on Friday, expressed his deep sorrow and sincere condolences over the death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.

On the day, the Emperor sent a telegram to King Charles III, who newly acceded to the British throne, to express his and the Empress’ sympathies.

In the statement, the Emperor said that the Queen, who guided and cheered people in Britain and commonwealth countries for 70 years, always wished for peace and order in the world, which moved many people across the globe.

The Emperor expressed respect and gratitude for the Queen’s many achievements and contributions.

The Emperor also noted that the Queen warmly welcomed him and extended thoughtful consideration when he was studying in Britain for about two years from 1983, as well as during his trips to the country.

Regarding the Emperor Emeritus and Empress Emerita, the parents of the Emperor, the agency said the couple seem to be in deep sorrow while appreciating the Queen’s long relationship with them and praying for her soul.

The couple also plan to send a condolence message to King Charles III, according to the agency.

Also on Friday, a number of people visited the British Embassy in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward, where a flag was flown at half-mast in honor of the Queen, to lay flowers and send prayers.

A 56-year-old head of a nonprofit organization laid a bouquet of pink roses and baby’s breath, inspired by the Queen.

Emperor mulls attending funeral

The Emperor is considering visiting Britain to attend the state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II, government sources said Saturday.

The Empress is also planning to accompany the Emperor if her health conditions allow, the sources said.

The Emperor does not customarily attend funerals. As an exception, the Emperor Emeritus, the father of the Emperor, attended the state funeral for Belgian King Baudouin in 1993, when he was on the throne, with his wife, the Empress Emerita.

As the Japanese Imperial and British Royal families have close ties, the Emperor is believed to be considering attending the funeral for the Queen.