Japanese Emperor Naruhito (left) waves as Empress Masako stands beside him. File photo
Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako have accepted an invite from Queen Elizabeth to make a state visit to the United Kingdom in early 2020.
"Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan have accepted an invitation from Her Majesty The Queen to pay a State Visit to the United Kingdom in Spring 2020," Buckingham Palace said.
Queen Elizabeth poses for a photograph. File photo
"Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress (Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako) will stay at Windsor Castle," the palace said.
The United Kingdom's exit from the European Union, due to take place on Jan. 31, has concerned some Japanese investors and major companies which 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: Emperor Akihito made a state visit in 1998 and Emperor Showa (Hirohito) made a state visit in 1971.
During those visits there were protests by former British prisoners of war who wanted a full apology and further compensation for World War Two suffering.
The queen and her husband, Prince Philip, have made one state visit to Japan: in 1975 at the invitation of Emperor Showa.
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