Japanese Emperor, Empress to Make Official Visit to U.K.

Pool photo / The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Emperor and Empress arrive at the Imperial Stock Farm in Takanezawa, Tochigi Prefecture, on May 2.

The Emperor and Empress will make an official visit to Britain as state guests from June 22 to 29, the Cabinet decided at its meeting on Tuesday.

The Imperial couples’ overseas visit for international goodwill will be the second since the Emperor took the throne. They made a similar trip to Indonesia in June last year.

It will be the first time since 1998 that an emperor and an empress visit the United Kingdom as state guests.

The two will depart Haneda Airport aboard a government plane on June 22 and arrive at Stansted Airport in a London suburb.

On June 23, the Emperor will visit Japan House London, a facility that shares information about Japanese culture. Then on June 24, he will visit the Thames Barrier, a flood barrier that protects London from high tides, in connection with his life’s work on water research.

On June 25, when a three-day series of official events will kick off, the Emperor and Empress will attend a welcome ceremony and then place flowers at the grave of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey. In the evening, they will attend a banquet hosted by King Charles and his wife.

The Empress will attend events while making accommodations for her health at a hotel, since she has been receiving medical care.

The Empress will skip a dinner in the evening of June 26 that will be held by representatives of the City of London financial district, but will say farewell to the king and queen on June 27.

The Emperor will visit Windsor Castle in the afternoon on June 27, and offer flowers at the graves of Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away in September 2022, and her husband Prince Philip.

For their final day, it is being arranged for the Emperor and Empress to visit the University of Oxford, where they once studied.

They will depart aboard the government plane on the night of June 28 and return to Japan on June 29.