Japan's Emperor Naruhito is expected to attend Queen Elizabeth's state funeral, local media reported on Saturday

Emperor of Japan to attend Queen Elizabeth’s funeral: media

Japan’s Emperor Naruhito is expected to attend the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth, local media reported on Saturday – Copyright AFP Kazuhiro NOGI

Japan’s Emperor Naruhito is expected to attend the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth, local media reported on Saturday.

If confirmed, this will be his first trip abroad since he ascended the Chrysanthemum throne in 2019 after his father’s abdication.

Naruhito was supposed to visit the UK as his first overseas trip since ascension, but it was delayed due to the pandemic.

On Saturday, public broadcaster NHK, citing unnamed sources, said the Imperial Household Agency and the Japanese government were taking action.

Both were not immediately available to confirm messages.

The daily newspaper Mainichi Shimbun commented that this is a rare response, as the emperor does not usually attend funerals in Japan and abroad, unlike other members of the royal family.

Empress Masako will also attend if her condition allows.

Local media cited close ties between Japanese and British royalty as the reason for Naruhito’s possible presence.

Naruhito’s father, Akihito, attended the queen’s coronation in 1953 as crown prince in place of then-emperor Hirohito.

In 1975, the Queen made the first visit to Japan by a British monarch and met with Hirohito.

In a statement released after her death, Naruhito hailed her “many accomplishments and contributions”, saying he was “deeply saddened”.

The 62-year-old emperor, who studied at Oxford University, thanked her for “the many insights she gave me during my studies and visits to the UK.”

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is also reportedly considering attending the funeral.

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