• Kyodo


The Emperor Showa’s visit to Britain in 1971 was generally viewed as a success but the Japanese monarch could have done more personally to improve Japan’s image overseas, according to newly declassified British government papers.

The internal Foreign Office documents from 1971 show that British officials believed that the Emperor, who was then known as Emperor Hirohito and who died in 1989 at the age of 87, could have made some kind of expression of regret and that it was “tactless” of him to refer to “past sufferings” in Germany while making no comment on World War II during his stay in Britain.

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