The King and Queen of the Belgians are welcomed to the Imperial Palacein Tokyo by the Emperor and Empress of Japan
(photo MonarchieBe Twitter)
The Belgian State Visit to Japan got well and truly under way on day two as King Philippe and Queen Mathilde were given an official welcome and a State Dinner as well as a chance to meet businesspeople, entrepreneurs and social groups. This is State Visit proper, settle back and enjoy.
Philippe and Mathilde had arrived in Japan on October 10th but the ceremonial welcome took place on October 11th when the royal visitors were formally welcomed to the country by Emperor Akihito ad Empress Michiko.
The formal welcome for the King and Queen of the Belgians included a guard of honour as part of the ceremony which took place at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Philippe and Mathilde then had an audience with the Emperor and Empress of Japan.
Following the official start, the Belgian King and Queen went their separate ways. Philippe held a working meeting with business representatives and then went on to a lunch with CEOs from leading Japanese companies.
Queen Mathilde visited the Toko Gakuen School of Music with the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition organisation of which she is patron before making a key note address at a conference on women in society.
The Queen of the Belgians also visited an exhibition of fashion created by designers from her country but inspired by the art of lifestyle of her hosts.
The evening saw the royal couple attend a State Banquet in their honour at the Imperial Palace. They were met again by the Japenese Emperor and Empress as the gala got under way. King Philippe made a speech during the event in which he made reference to the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship between Belgium and Japan which falls this year. He also remembered the friendship between Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko, King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola before telling guests that of the respect he held for Japan's ability to merge past and present and lead the way in fields such as technology.
The State Visit, which lasts until October 15th, will see the royal couple travel to Yuki tomorrow as well as take part in events celebrating tourism and .