TOKYO, Oct 23 — Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah has conveyed his congratulations to the Japanese government on Emperor Naruhito’s smooth enthronement ceremony at the Imperial Palace here, attended by hundreds of Heads of State and dignitaries from around the country yesterday.
Comptroller of the Royal Household for Istana Negara Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said His Majesty addressed the speech to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a meeting held at the Akasaka State Guesthouse here yesterday, after the enthronement ceremony was concluded.
He said Al-Sultan Abdullah, who granted an audience to Abe, had also set aside the protocol for the meeting, to enhance the long-standing good relations between Malaysia and Japan.
“At the 20-minute meeting, His Majesty also congratulated the Japanese rugby team who made history when they qualified for the Rugby World Cup quarter-final for the first time.
“Abe thanked His Majesty and promised to convey the message to the team and hopes it will ignite their desire to perform better at the upcoming tournament,” he told reporters here today.
He said at the 20-minute meeting, His Majesty also expressed condolences to the Japanese government for the loss of more than 70 people and the devastation caused by Typhoon Hagibis on October 12 and hoped that the affected people would soon recover from the tragedy.
Al-Sultan Abdullah also touched on the close relations between the two countries, through the visit of the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah to Japan in October 2012, besides Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s six working visits to Japan since 2018.
Emperor Naruhito also made an official visit to Malaysia in April 2017 when he was Crown Prince of Japan, in addition to a national visit by his father, Emperor Akihito in June 2006.
“His Majesty points out that Malaysia values the bilateral relations with Japan in addition to both countries having strong ties in the economic sector with Japan being the second leading country for foreign direct investment (FDI) in Malaysia in 2018 and hopes this will continue,” he said.
Al-Sultan Abdullah and Tunku Azizah are here at the invitation of the Japanese government to attend the enthronement ceremony of Emperor Naruhito as the 126th Emperor of the land of the rising sun.
Emperor Naruhito, 59, proclaimed his enthronement on May 1, marking the start of a new era of “Reiwa: which meant harmony and order to replace his father, Emperor Akihito, 85, who gave up the throne and ended the “Heisie” era by achieving peace under his rule.
Coincidentally, both Al-Sultan Abdullah and Emperor Naruhito ascended the throne this year, after both of their fathers abdicated the throne for health reasons.
The visit was also His Majesty’s first to Japan, having been installed the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong on July 30 and during his stay, both His and Her Majesty’s schedules were packed with events that took place in conjunction with the enthronement ceremony.
In addition to the enthronement ceremony yesterday afternoon, the Queen attended a Royal Banquet organised by Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako yesterday evening and a Royal Hi-Tea and a dinner hosted by Abe tonight, in honour of the dignitaries who attended the country’s historic ceremony.
Tunku Azizah, who is the Royal Patron of the Asia Pacific Friends of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), also attended a hi-tea reception with the WAGGGS of Japan, where she also handed out a personal contribution to Typhoon Hagibis victims.
During his stay in Japan, Al-Sultan Abdullah also granted an audience to Indonesian Vice-President Ma’ruf Amin who is also Chairman of the Indonesian Ulama Council, who was here to represent his country at the enthronement ceremony.
Ahmad Fadil said at the meeting yesterday, His Majesty congratulated Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Ma’ruf on their appointments for 2019 to 2024 and expressed his optimism the good relations between the two countries would continue to be strengthened.
“Ma’ruf also called on Malaysia to look after the welfare of its people in our country and hope to work together in addressing the negative perspective on the oil palm industry by foreign countries,” he said.
His Majesty also expressed his appreciation to the Indonesian government for their warm hospitality during his four-day state visit to the neighbouring country beginning on August 26.
The King and Queen are scheduled to return to the capital tomorrow. — Bernama