Duterte invites new Japan Imperial couple to Philippines
Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako
Duterte invites new Japan Imperial couple to Philippines
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - June 4, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has invited Japan’s new Imperial Couple to the Philippines, saying it would be a “great honor” to receive them in the country.

Duterte extended the invitation during his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last Friday, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said yesterday.  

“I take this opportunity (to relay) the Filipino people’s best wishes to Emperor Naruhito on his ascension to the throne and it will be a great honor to receive Their Majesties Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako in the Philippines in the near future,” Duterte said. 

“I look forward to personally conveying the felicitations of the Filipino people to the emperor,” he added. 

Naruhito ascended to the throne last May after his father Akihito abdicated, the first by a Japanese emperor in centuries. A formal enthronement ceremony is expected to be held in October. 

Duterte did not meet the Imperial Couple during his third visit to Japan last week because of some protocols, according to Philippine Ambassador to Japan Jose Laurel V.

He, however, met former Japanese Emperor Akihito and his wife Empress Michiko during his second visit to Japan two years ago. During the meeting, Duterte thanked them for visiting the Philippines during the 60th anniversary of the normalization of Philippine-Japan diplomatic relations in 2016.

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