Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko on Monday held informal talks over lunch with visiting Palau President Tommy Remengesau at the Imperial Palace, the Imperial Household Agency said.
The Imperial Couple greeted the Palau leader at the entrance to the palace in central Tokyo, shaking hands with him and exchanging remarks before the three entered the building.
In April 2015, the Emperor and Empress visited Palau, an island nation in the western Pacific, on a two-day trip to pay respects to those who lost their lives there during World War II, with that year marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the war.
Since then, the Emperor and Empress have held informal meetings with Remengesau, a fourth-generation Japanese-Palauan, whenever he has visited Japan.
According to the agency, Remengesau’s current visit is to attend an international symposium in Tokyo on capacity-building for sustainable oceans.
Palau, which was ruled by Japan for about 30 years until the end of World War II in 1945, was the site of a fierce battle between Japanese and U.S. forces in 1944.
Around 16,000 Japanese soldiers perished on Palau’s islands, while the death toll for U.S. troops stood at nearly 2,000.