Japan's Emperor Naruhito likely to attend Queen Elizabeth's funeral

Japan's Emperor Naruhito is expected to attend the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth ll.

Sources close to the matter say the government and the Imperial Household Agency are making arrangements for the Emperor's condolence visit. They say the attendance of Empress Masako will also be considered depending on her health condition.

If the Emperor attends, it will be his first overseas trip since ascending the throne.

Britain was previously set to be the Emperor's first foreign destination, but this plan was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Japanese Imperial family has long had close relations with the British Royal family.

Emperor Emeritus Akihito attended the Queen's coronation ceremony in 1953, on behalf of Emperor Showa.

In the 1980s, Emperor Naruhito studied at Britain's Oxford University and had opportunities to meet with the Queen.

In a statement issued on Friday, the Emperor expressed his deep gratitude for the Queen's kindness toward him on various occasions during his days at Oxford and visits to the country.

The Imperial Household Agency says the Emperor, the Empress, the Emperor Emeritus and the Empress Emerita entered a mourning period of three days on Friday.