Japan’s emperor, empress to visit Indonesia on 1st official goodwill trip since ascension

Tokyo, Jun 9 (EFE).- Japan’s Emperor Naruhito and his wife Empress Masako, will travel to Indonesia later in the month on their first official goodwill trip abroad since the emperor ascended to the throne in 2019, the Imperial Household Agency announced Friday.

The couple will depart from Tokyo on June 17 and return on June 23, the agency said in a brief statement posted on its website.

The visit was approved by the Cabinet on Friday, public broadcaster NHK reported.

The trip comes during the year marking the 50th anniversary of friendly ties between Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Countries, chaired by Indonesia in 2023.

On June 19, Indonesian President Joko Widodo will host a luncheon for the Japanese royal couple, who will also visit a high-speed railway built with Japanese funding and hold a meeting with the Japanese community in Indonesia, among other events, NHK said.

Also on the official agenda is a visit to the Kalibata Heroes’ Cemetery in Jakarta, where military casualties and veterans from the Indonesian War of Independence are buried, as well as a trip to Yogyakarta to visit the Borobudur Buddhist temple.

Widodo had been inviting the Japanese couple to visit his country for some time, the Imperial Household Agency said.

Although Naruhito and Masako traveled to the United Kingdom in September last year to attend Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral, the trip to Indonesia is considered their first official trip since 2019.

For the empress, who has been battling a stress-related illness for years, the UK trip marked her first trip abroad since she attended the coronation of King Tupou VI of Tonga in 2015.

Her attendance at the events scheduled for the Indonesia visit will be determined based on her health, NHK said. EFE


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