News in Pictures / Japan’s Emperor, Empress’ Visit Reaffirms Special Ties with U.K.; Toasting at Buckingham Palace; Tree Planting at Oxford

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Emperor and Empress, center, pose for a photo with King Charles III and Queen Camilla in London on June 25.

The visit of the Emperor and the Empress to the United Kingdom last week was marked by a positive atmosphere, one looking ahead to the future of the bilateral relationship.

The Imperial couple attended a welcome ceremony in central London on June 25, the first official event of their state visit. The couple then joined King Charles III and Queen Camilla in horse-led carriages and paraded through The Mall, smiling at and waving to the many people gathered along the road.

At the state banquet at Buckingham Palace that evening, the king said, “At the core of our partnership is a close friendship; one based on a mutual understanding of the importance of international rules and global institutions, forged from the lessons of history, including its darkest years.”

The Emperor reflected on the strained relationship revived by the efforts of their predecessors, including Queen Elizabeth II and the Emperor Emeritus, stating, “We can say that we are fortunate to have been given the opportunity to climb even higher on this grand, broad-based mountain.”

On Thursday afternoon, the Emperor offered flowers at the graves of the late queen and her husband Prince Philip at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle to the west of London, after finishing his itinerary as a state guest.

“The queen and Prince Philip were really kind to me. I visited their graves to express my heartfelt thanks to them,” the Emperor said.

On Friday, the final day of their stay in the United Kingdom, the Emperor and Empress visited their alma mater colleges at the University of Oxford. It was the first time the Imperial couple had visited their alma maters together.