Emperor, empress to make state visit to UK
Japan Today -- Jan 15
Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako have accepted an invitation from Queen Elizabeth to make a state visit to Britain in early 2020, in what will be their first overseas visit since Naruhito acceded to the throne in May last year.

"Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress will stay at Windsor Castle," said a statement from Buckingham Palace. The visit is planned for spring, the statement said.

It will be a rare overseas trip by Masako, who did not go on many visits with Naruhito while crown princess due to her recovery from a stress-induced illness.

"The relationship between our country's imperial family and Britain's royal family has played an important role in fostering strong ties between both of our countries," Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

"In line with this spirit, the emperor and the empress have received an invitation to visit," he said, adding that plans were under way for the imperial couple to visit during the April-June period.

Britain's exit from the European Union, due to take place on Jan 31, has concerned some Japanese investors and major companies that were encouraged by former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to use the country as a launchpad into Europe.

Elizabeth has hosted two previous state visits from Japan: Naruhito's father Emperor Akihito - who became the first Japanese monarch in two centuries to abdicate when he stepped down in favor of his son last year - made a state visit in 1998 and Emperor Showa (Hirohito) made a state visit in 1971.

News source: Japan Today
Jan 27
Japan's health ministry says it has confirmed the country's fourth case of the new coronavirus. (NHK)
Jan 27
Tokyo and Washington are making plans to evacuate Japanese and American citizens from Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak that has claimed more than 50 lives, while Honda Motor said Sunday it was evacuating about 30 employees and family members out of the area back to Japan. (Nikkei)
Jan 27
After a victory no one would have dared predict, Tokushoryu also proved to be a champion in the afterglow on Sunday. (Kyodo)
Jan 27
Osamu Yano, a former gang boss on death row over the killing of four persons nearly two decades ago, has died in prison in an apparent suicide, the Ministry of Justice said, reports TBS News (Jan. 26). (tokyoreporter.com)
Jan 27
A former SoftBank Corp. employee was arrested Saturday for allegedly passing proprietary information from the major phone carrier to officials at Russia’s trade representative office in Tokyo. (Japan Times)
Jan 25
Narita Airport east of Tokyo is crowded with tourists from China as the Lunar New Year holiday period gets underway. (NHK)
Jan 25
A former care home worker accused of mass killings in Japan has rejected his lawyers' argument that he is mentally unfit to stand trial. (NHK)
Jan 25
A panel of Japanese experts says that over the next 30 years, many people living along the Nankai Trough face a higher chance of experiencing a deadly tsunami than being injured in a traffic accident. (NHK)
Jan 25
To encourage more customers to go digital, Japan’s largest bank is offering depositors who give up their paper bankbooks a ¥1,000 reward. (Japan Times)
Jan 24
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told parliament on Thursday the government will ask airlines to make announcements on flights from China urging passengers to notify cabin crew if they feel ill, as a new coronavirus continues to spread. (Kyodo)