Emperor may visit Britain in May


The government is considering a plan for Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko to visit Britain next month, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said Tuesday.

The revelation came after the Cabinet approved the Emperor’s resumption of official duties after health checks showed that he is steadily recuperating after his heart bypass surgery in February.

The Imperial Household Agency is looking into the possibility of the Emperor and Empress traveling to Britain to attend a ceremony May 18 in celebration of the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne, Fujimura said.

The Emperor delegated performance of his state duties to Crown Prince Naruhito on Feb. 17, the day before his surgery.

Since being discharged from the hospital on March 4, the Emperor has mostly spent time in rehabilitation. He has attended a few activities, including a memorial ceremony on March 11 to mark the anniversary of last year’s disasters.