Imperial Couple Return from Visit to Britain; Reflect on Being Delighted by ‘Deepening Bonds’ Between Two Countries

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Emperor and Empress are seen at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on Saturday upon their return from Britain.

The Emperor and Empress have returned to Japan from their official visit to Britain and expressed their delight at the deepening friendship and goodwill between the two countries.

The Imperial couple arrived at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport aboard a government plane on Saturday evening.

Following their return, the couple reflected on their visit in writing, saying that they were “pleased to feel that the friendship and goodwill between the two countries have deepened through people-to-people exchanges and that the people of the United Kingdom have warm feelings toward Japan.”

During their visit, the Emperor and Empress attended a welcoming ceremony and banquet as state guests. King Charles III, who is undergoing treatment for cancer, has long cultivated a deep relationship with the Japanese Imperial couple. The king and Queen Camilla were seen engaging in cordial exchanges with the couple, which The Daily Telegraph reported as “King greets Emperor of Japan like old friend.”

The Emperor and Empress not only affirmed their bond with the British Royal Family during the trip, but also had the opportunities to visit facilities in such fields as biomedical science, culture and education, which are areas that have ongoing bilateral cooperation and exchanges.

Their visit to the University of Oxford, which they both once attended, marked the first occasion for the couple to make a return visit together. They had a reunion with professors who taught the Empress and also visited the dormitory room where the Emperor lived and a library where he did research.

Calling the university a “place filled with memories” in the written statement, the couple recalled their reunions with the people from school days and described the visit as “heartwarming and fulfilling.”

The Empress, who is recovering from a health condition, attended all the scheduled events while keeping herself in good condition.

During their eight-day visit, the couple experienced the ties woven by the rich variety of exchanges between Japan and Britain.