LONDON – Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako have accepted an invite from Queen Elizabeth II for a state visit to the United Kingdom this spring.
“Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan have accepted an invitation from Her Majesty The Queen to pay a State Visit to the United Kingdom in Spring 2020,” Buckingham Palace said.
“Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress (Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako) will stay at Windsor Castle,” the palace said.
Elizabeth has hosted two previous state visits from Japan: Emperor Akihito in 1998 and Emperor Hirohito, posthumously known as Emperor Showa, in 1971.
During those visits there were protests by former British prisoners of war who wanted a full apology and further compensation for World War II suffering.
The queen and her husband, Prince Philip, have made one state visit to Japan: in 1975, at the invitation of Emperor Showa.
The United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, due to take place on Jan. 31, has concerned some Japanese investors and major companies, which were encouraged by former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to use the country as a launchpad into Europe.