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Japan’s royal couple fly to UK for queen’s gala

(AP) / 16 May 2012

Japan’s emperor said he is looking forward to congratulating Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II for her “diamond jubilee” marking 60 years on the throne.

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko left Tokyo on Wednesday to attend celebrations in Britain. He said at the airport he wants to offer the queen his best wishes.

They will attend a banquet hosted by the queen on Friday, along with other jubilee events, before returning to Japan on May 20.

It is the first trip overseas for Japan’s royal couple since 2009. The 78-year-old emperor had heart bypass surgery in February but appears to be recovering well.



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