The exciting news that the newly crowned emperor and his wife would be visiting the UK was shared on the Royal Family's social media channels.
"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," the statement read.
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. Please find the full press release here: https://t.co/CGxHhCrlRk
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) January 14, 2020
A few additional details on the Japanese royals' state visit were shared on the official royal website, including that Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako will be staying at Windsor Castle. Further information about the state visit will be "announced in due course."
Prince Charles, along with many other royals and world dignitaries, travelled to Japan to attend Emperor Naruhito's enthronement ceremony in October. The event marked Naruhito officially declaring his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne.
Naruhito’s enthronement came after his father Akihito abdicated in May. The 85-year-old was the first emperor to abdicate in more than 200 years, but it was not a shocking announcement. Akihito made the decision saying "he felt unable to fulfil his role because of his age and declining health."
Following the abdication ceremony on April 30, then-Crown Prince Naruhito, who is Akihito's eldest son, formally ascended the throne the following day. His reign is being called the Reiwa era, which means "beautiful harmony" in Japanese.
In the enthronement ceremony in October,
European royals attended an elegant imperial banquet at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Attendees included Queen Letizia of Spain, Queen Maxima and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.
According to the royal website, the Queen has previously hosted two state visits from Japan. In October 1971, Emperor Showa (Hirohito) and Empress Kojun (Nagako) paid a visit to the UK. In May 1998, Her Majesty welcomed Emperor Emeritus (Akihito) and Empress Emerita (Michiko).
In more recent times, Emperor Emeritus and his wife attended a luncheon for Sovereign Monarchs at Windsor Castle to commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012.