The Prince of Wales visited Tokyo to celebrate British-Japanese connections. It is a momentous time for Japan. His Royal Highness attended Emperor Naruhito’s enthronement after his father, former Emperor Akihito, stepped down. The Emperor’s abdication was Japan’s first in 200 years.
Members of the Royal Family have visited Japan on many occasions. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh conducted a six-day tour of Japan in 1975, and welcomed Emperor Naruhito, then the Crown Prince, to Windsor Castle in 2001.
This will be The Prince of Wales’s fifth visit to Japan, having last visited the country in 2008 with The Duchess of Cornwall.
Yesterday, The Prince of Wales attended the Enthronement Ceremony of HM Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. HM Emperor Naruhito has become Japan’s 126th monarch.
His Royal Highness later toured Nezu Museum and Gardens. The museum’s collection boasts around 7,400 works, featuring painting, calligraphy, sculpture, metalwork, ceramics, lacquerware, wooden and bamboo craft, textiles, armour, tea wares and archaeological specimens.
After a guided tour of the garden, The Prince visited an exhibition entitled “Beautiful Lives – Birds and Flowers in Japanese and East Asian Art”, which celebrates the use of birds and flowers in East Asian art.
In the evening, The Prince of Wales attended the Court Banquet, which marks the Emperor’s first official engagement following the Enthronement, with invited dignitaries from Japan and overseas.
This morning, The Prince of Wales visited the Wales Rugby World Cup training ground, whilst they held a closed training session. The ninth Rugby World Cup kicked off on 20th September and is the first time the tournament has been held in Asia, outside rugby’s traditional heartland nations.
At Harumi Pier, His Royal Highness later visited HMS Enterprise. After meeting the Japanese Minister for Defence, Taro Kono, The Prince met HMS Enterprise’s crew. His Royal Highness also met a group of people who are at the forefront of responding to the challenges of plastics in the ocean and climate change, including senior figures from the Japan Climate Leaders Partnership.
In the afternoon, The Prince went to Zōjōji Temple, one of the headquarters of the Jodo tradition of Japanese Buddhism. Accompanied by Yagi-daika, the Head Monk of Zōjōji, His Royal Highness visited Kyozo (the Buddhist Scripture Storage Hall) and the Temple museum, where he heard about the Taitokuinden model, currently on long-term lease from The Royal Collection.
As part of the GREAT campaign, His Royal Highness then visited Mitsukoshi Department Store to visit the Fortnum and Mason café, where there was a showcase of British food and drink including a display of Highgrove products. The GREAT campaign includes a series of activity British Embassy Tokyo has been running throughout the Rugby World Cup 2019 Tournament in Japan.
At The Ambassador’s Residence, The Prince attended a Reception to celebrate UK-Japan partnerships. The British Embassy and British Council in Japan are running a ‘UK in JAPAN 2019-20' campaign until the end of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in September 2020. The campaign will showcase the best of UK business, culture, science and education, and work to deepen existing, and create new partnerships between the UK and Japan.
To end the day and His Royal Highness’s trip to Japan, The Prince attended the Prime Minister’s Return Banquet at Hotel New Otani. Ahead of the Prime Minister Abe’s speech and dinner, two traditional plays were performed.