This is the first time His Majesty has visited Japan since the coronation, although this is his eleventh (11) trip to Japan. His Majesty is well-known in Japan, and there is great respect and friendship between the people of Tonga and Japan. While in Tokyo, His Majesty was also met by His Imperial Highness, the Crown Prince Naruhito at His Highness's Royal Residence.
The heir to the Japanese Imperial throne of Japan have already travelled twice to Tonga, first during the funeral of His Late Majesty King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV in 2006 and most recently on the coronation of His Majesty King George Tupou V in 2008.
The Japanese Ambassador to Tonga, HE Mr. Yasuo Takase is also in Japan while the Royal Party visits the country.
The Kingdom of Tonga and the Imperial Kingdom of Japan enjoys a long friendship and bilateral relations for over forty years now. Over the years, Japan and Tonga have nurtured an excellent bi-lateral relationship. The two countries established diplomatic relations in 1970, and have since exchanged frequent high-level political visits. The Imperial family of Japan and the Royal family of Tonga have developed a cordial and personal relationship over the years as well.
Issued by the: Ministry of Information and Communications, Nuku'alofa, 2011. Adapted with permission of the Sankei Shimbun Daily Newspaper, 21 January.