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Tuesday, 8th May 2012
In General Japan News,

Emperor Akihito to visit UK

Japan's emperor Akihito is to make a rare trip overseas in order to visit the Queen in time for the monarch's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

The emperor and his wife Michiko will be travelling to the UK from Tokyo on May 16th and will be attending a lunch with the Queen at Windsor Castle on May 18th.

It will be the first time the couple have travelled abroad since a trip to Hawaii and Canada in 2009. Before confirming the visit, doctors had to confirm the health of the emperor, who underwent heart surgery earlier this year.

Akihito has made seven trips to the UK to date, with the first taking place in 1953 for the Queen's coronation.

The trip will also be the first visit by members of the Japanese royal family for some time, as plans for the crown prince Naruhito and his wife crown princess Masako to attend the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton were cancelled following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. 

Written by Mark Smith

Related news stories:
Crown Prince urges Emperor Akihito to 'reduce burden' (24th February 2012)