Emperor, Empress wrap UK visit with stop at Oxford

Japan's Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako wrapped up their visit to Britain with a stop at Oxford University, where they both studied in their younger days.

The couple toured the grounds of Balliol College on Friday. The Empress studied there for two years during her time working with the Foreign Ministry.

The Imperial couple later attended a luncheon hosted by the university's chancellor, and a ceremony where an honorary degree was granted to the Empress.

The Emperor also studied at Oxford for two years, in Merton College.
The experience of living with 150 other students in the dorms apparently had a major impact on his life. In a memoir, he wrote that he enjoyed a degree of freedom he couldn't experience in Japan, going out to pubs and discos with his friends.

The Emperor thanked the British people for their kind words and hospitality.

He said: "I feel like I returned to the place that existed in my memories. I was happy to hear so many people say, 'Welcome back!' Britain is also a nostalgic place for Masako, so we are very glad to be here together."

The Emperor also said he hopes their visit will strengthen the friendship between Japan and Britain.

The Imperial couple are now on their way back to Japan.