State Visit from the Emperor and Empress of Japan: 25-27 June 2024


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A bit of a uncommon program in that the emperor will arrive a few days earlier undertaking various engagements and continues to undertake various engagements after the state visits officially ends. Nonetheless, glad to hear that the state visit that was already postponed isn't postponed once more.
The early arrival could, in part, be to accommodate the jet lag.

We also saw public engagements before the official start of a state visit recently. I think it may have been a state visit by either the Spanish of Dutch RFs.

Interesting that the royal representative at the Guildhall banquet will be the Duke & Duchess of Edinburgh. I hope, in time, this responsibility will fall to the Prince & Princess of Wales.
 
That would indeed be nice even though it wasn't done by the previous Prince of Wales during his mother's reign either...

It's good to see that William is involved, like his father before him, he will greet the emperor and empress at their hotel on the official first day of their state visit and travel with them to the king and queen for the welcome ceremony and after the ceremony join both couples in the procession to Buckingham Palace where I suppose he will stay for lunch.

For some reason, no member of the royal family seems to accompany their guests to Westminster Abbey that same afternoon. Also the emperor's visit on the second day makes no mention of a British royal accompanying him, so it could just as well have been part of the 'private program' taking place prior to and after the state visit.

It very much looks like minimal involvement of the royal family other than the most official moments: welcome, w/ luncheon, state banquet, dinner, farewell ceremony.
 

It's been confirmed that the state visit will definitely go ahead. Good! There's no reason why it shouldn't - there's no sort of political controversy about Anglo-Japanese relations, so it's not going to have any effect on the General Election.
 
A bit of a uncommon program in that the emperor will arrive a few days earlier undertaking various engagements and continues to undertake various engagements after the state visits officially ends. Nonetheless, glad to hear that the state visit that was already postponed isn't postponed once more.
Perhaps the want to use the opportunity when the Emperor is already in the UK. Afterall it is not the nearest way from Japan to the UK.

Good that it is now confirmed that the State Visit will go ahead.
 
There are rumours that the visit will be held on June 25
 
Emperor to Meet British People with Links to Japan in London | Nippon.com
Emperor Naruhito will meet with Japanese residents and British people with links to Japan in London Sunday as part of the Japanese Imperial couple's trip to Britain starting Saturday, the Imperial Household Agency said Monday.

Empress Masako will also attend the meeting if her health allows it. [...]

The Emperor will also attend a reception hosted by an organization promoting friendly relations between Japan and Britain on June 24. On June 26, he will visit the Royal College of Music. [...]

UK ambassador expects Japan's Imperial Couple visit to become 'historic moment' - The Mainichi
British Ambassador to Japan Julia Longbottom expressed her expectations for the upcoming trip by Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako to the U.K. to be "a hugely historic moment building on the rich relationship between the Royal and Imperial Families," at a press conference held at the embassy in Tokyo on June 12.

[...]

Longbottom said, "I'm confident that this will be a wonderful moment that helps deepen our relationship even further and it will accord the highest level of respect to Their Majesties, but it will also showcase the strengths of the modern U.K.-Japan relationship." [....]

 
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They won't visit Downing Street, because of the forthcoming general election, but both Rishi Sunak and Opposition leader Keir Starmer will attend the state banquet. I can't see that anyone would change their mind about how they've voting because of a state visit to Downing Street, but someone seems to have decided that this is how it needs to be!
 

They won't visit Downing Street, because of the forthcoming general election, but both Rishi Sunak and Opposition leader Keir Starmer will attend the state banquet. I can't see that anyone would change their mind about how they've voting because of a state visit to Downing Street, but someone seems to have decided that this is how it needs to be!

I remember that, in previous state visits (perhaps by US Presidents), the visiting head of state would go to 10 Downing Street to meet the PM and, then afterwards, would meet separately with the Leader of the Opposition.

I guess the Emperor could have done that, but given the proximity of the general election, they probably preferred to be extra cautious to avoid any hint of foreign interference in the UK elections.
 
Most Heads of State visiting the UK for a State Visit stop by Downing Street but I guess this close to an election its perhaps a sensible decision. I don't think anyone is suggesting the PM or Emperor would do anything that would be an issue politically but with the media these days, steering clear is probably best. Add to that, the PM and leader of the opposition are facing a head to head debate on TV the day after the State Banquet so they are probably preoccupied with playing politics preparing for that.
 
Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako departed from Tokyo's Haneda Airport for the United Kingdom on June 22 around 11am. They were seen off by Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko.

Photos: Getty Images, AP Images, Mainichi, Asahi, AFPBB

Jiji reports staff accompanying the Imperial couple include former Minister of Foreign Affairs Hirofumi Nakasone as Chief Attendant and Empress Masako's personal physician and psychiatrist Yutaka Ohno.

Japan's imperial couple leaves for Britain as state guests - Kyodo News




On June 22nd, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako arrived at London Stansted Airport before 6pm and were welcomed by Japan's Ambassador to the UK and aides on behalf of King Charles III. Their Majesties traveled to Claridge's hotel in London, arriving around 7pm.

Photos: Asahi, Mainichi, FNN, Getty Images, AP Images, AFPBB

Emperor and Empress of Japan arrive in the UK ahead of a long-awaited state visit - AP News


 
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Emperor Naruhito's activities on June 23:
  • visit Japan House London, a hub established by Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs to present art, design, gastronomy, innovation and technology
  • meet Japanese people living in UK in the fields of economy, academia, and culture. Ryoichi Hirano, a principal dancer at the Royal Ballet, was invited.
  • meet British people with ties to Japan
Photos: Mainichi, Getty Images, AP Images

Japan Emperor Visits Japan House London, Meets Japanese People Living in Britain - The Japan News
[...] “There’s a very good concert hall in Birmingham, isn’t there?” the Emperor said to conductor Kazuki Yamada, 45, who serves as the music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

Also in attendance was Prof. Arthur Stockwin, 88, of the University of Oxford. When the Emperor was studying at Oxford during his youth, he attended Stockwin’s seminar and had dinner with him. The Emperor looked happy and told the professor that he was very glad to see him again. [...]

Empress Masako was fatigued from pre-departure preparations and the long flight. Her doctor advised rest ahead of the official agenda starting on June 25. [FNN]


Longer video of June 22-23 (no subtitles)
 
Official program of the state visit:
 

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Emperor Naruhito's activities on June 24:
  • Thames Barrier for about 90 minutes
  • reception with the Duke of Gloucester, Patron of the Japan Society and cousin of the late Queen Elizabeth II, and five UK-Japan friendship organizations at the London Hilton on Park Lane.
  • private meeting with the widow of Roger Bacon at Claridge's hotel in the evening. Bacon served as one of 2 bodyguards during His Majesty's time at Oxford. They were to have met when the state visit was planned for 2020 but Bacon has since passed away. Emperor Naruhito requested to meet his wife.
Photos, sources: Mainichi, Mainichi2, Sankei, Getty Images, AP Images


Emperor Visits Thames Barrier Facility In London; Giant Floodgates Are Relevant To His Research On Aquatic Issues - The Japan News
... As the Emperor walked through a tunnel under the riverbed, he received an explanation of the facilities: With floodgates as tall as a five-story building, the Thames Barrier is one of the largest flood barriers in the world. The barrier was built in 1982 to protect against storm surges caused by low pressure systems on the North Sea. The barrier’s opening ceremony was attended by Queen Elizabeth II ...

Emperor Attends Japan-U.K. Friendship Reception In London; Gives Speech In English Predicting Growth In Relationship - The Japan News
... The Emperor spoke in English for about two minutes to the roughly 400 people attending the reception, saying he expects that the relationship between Japan and Britain will strongly develop based on a solid foundation of interpersonal connections. He then chatted amicably with those in attendance ...


 
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Why did the empress wear mask on carriage?
 
Nice that the used open carriages. If i remember right, it has been some time since the last SV where they used open carriages.
 
The Emperor has been appointed to the Most Noble Order of the Garter, making him King Charles 7:th Garter-appointment since his accession, and his first appointment of a Stranger Knight (=foreign head of state)

The King has also been presented with the Collar of the Japanese Supreme Order of the Chrysantemum.

There seems to have been no exchange of orders for either of their spouses though 🤔

 
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The Emperor has been appointed to the Most Noble Order of the Garter, making him King Charles 7:th Garter-appointment since his accession, and his first appointment of a Stranger Knight (=foreign head of state)

The King has also been presented with the Collar of the Japanese Supreme Order of the Chrysantemum.

There seems to have been no exchange of orders for either of their spouses though 🤔

"There seems to have been no exchange of orders for either of their spouses though"
As it is always the case in the UK... No changes here since the last reign, obviously.

The Empress looks beautiful in white 🤍.

Can't wait to see the banquet. Will the Gloucester attend too?
Well, IMO the dress under this lace overcoat is too long, if you ask me. It would look much more elegant if both, dress and coat, had the same length. And that hat... Oh well, I will never understand these stuffy, old fashioned back bows on it.
 
Which is disappointing. I was hoping that King Charles would change that policy in his reign.
Wonder why they are so stubborn in that regard
 
Preparations for tonight's state banquet.
 
Preparations for tonight's state banquet.
This brings back memories of how the previous Queen would inspect the preparations for a state banquet.
 
At first (unconclusive) glanse, The Queen seems to wear the Sapphires again.
 
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