Prince Charles to visit Japan to strengthen relationship ahead of Brexit

Prince Charles is heading to Japan to attend the enthronement of its new emperor – and strengthen the relationship ahead of Brexit .

The Prince of Wales’s official visit is set to take place between October 22 and 22, just over a week before the UK is currently due to leave the EU.

The journey will include a day of engagements in Tokyo to celebrate the British-Japanese connections, Clarence House said.

Charles will also attend the enthronementn, an ancient ceremony marking the accession of a new monarch to the Japanese throne.

Emperor Naruhito acceded to the Chrysanthemum Throne upon the abdication of his father, Emperor Akihito, on May 1.

Japans new Emperor Naruhito


In 2016, when the now emeritus Emperor started suggesting he could abdicate, he gave as reason his “declining” health.

He said: “When I consider that my fitness level is gradually declining, I am worried that it may become difficult for me to carry out my duty as the symbol of the state with my whole being.”

The coronation of the former emperor, the first one to abdicate in Japan in two centuries, was also witnessed by Prince Charles, who travelled to Tokyo for the occasion on November 12 1990.

And, like last time, the Prince of Wales will be travelling on behalf of the Queen.

Prince Charles has already visited Japan four times, with his last trip to the Far East taking place in 2008.

The trip comes at a very sensitive time for the relationship between Japan and the UK – only eight days before Brexit is delivered by Boris Johnson ’s Cabinet.

Mr Johnson has pledged to lead the UK outside of the European Union with or without a deal by the end of October.

New Emperor Naruhito, Empress Masako, Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko of Akishino


But Japan has been very vocal about the dangers of a no deal Brexit.

In April, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said an exit from the bloc without a deal should be avoided “by all means”, adding businesses need “legal stability” and transparency to thrive.

And in July, just hours before Mr Johnson was appointed new Prime Minister to replace Theresa May , Mr Abe urged him to avoid a no deal Brexit.

In a letter sent to congratulate the former Foreign Secretary on being elected as leader of the Conservative Party, Mr Abe said he hoped the UK would continue to listen to voices from the business world, including those from Japan-affiliated companies.

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The day after, Mr Abe’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, said: “We have been watching the situation surrounding Britain’s exit from the EU with great interest, and have asked both Britain and the EU to ensure that the negative impact, including of a no-deal exit, on Japanese companies and the global economy is kept to a minimum.

“Our stance on the issue remains unchanged, and we will be closely watching the new government’s actions.”


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