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Japan's emperor to attend British queen's jubilee

  • 8 May 2012
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TOKYO (AFP)
Akihito and his wife Michiko will arrive in London on May 16

Japan's emperor and empress will visit Britain next week to attend events celebrating 60 years since Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the throne, the government said Tuesday.

Akihito and his wife Michiko will arrive in London on May 16, and are scheduled to attend a luncheon hosted by the queen at Windsor Castle near London on May 18, the Imperial Household Agency, said.

The 78-year-old emperor, who underwent heart bypass surgery in February, has been cleared by his doctors for the couple's first overseas trip since 2009, when they visited Canada and Hawaii.

It will be the eighth time the emperor has visited Britain; his first trip there was as crown prince in 1953 for the queen's coronation.

On a 1998 state visit to Britain, the imperial couple were jeered by former prisoners of war held captive by Japan during World War II.

Several one-time PoWs turned their backs on the emperor as he was being driven through London's streets.

A small but vocal minority in Britain say Japan has not made full recompense for its treatment of combatants.

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