Message of Ambassador Shimokawa on the occasion of the Birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan


 On behalf of the Embassy of Japan in Belgium, I would like to convey my sincere congratulations to His Majesty the Emperor Naruhito, who was enthroned on 1 May 2019, in celebration of his 61st birthday on 23 February.
 We have carefully considered the possibility of organizing a reception to celebrate His Majesty the Emperor’s birthday while closely following the development of Covid-19 infections. Regrettably, we have decided to refrain from holding the reception this year in view of cooperating with the Belgian government’s efforts to prevent the propagation of the virus.
 This year marks the centennial of the visit of the Emperor Showa, grandfather of the Emperor Naruhito and Crown Prince at the time, to Europe including Belgium in 1921. Exchanges between the Imperial Household of Japan and the Royal Household of Belgium have served as the spiritual backbone of the friendly relationship between the two countries ever since. On the occasion of the birthday of His Majesty the Emperor, I sincerely wish for a further development of our bilateral relationship which has a close link with the Imperial family of Japan.
 Although the peak of the second wave of Covid-19 has passed in Belgium, the restrictive measures, including travel restrictions, still remain a severe constraint not only on exchanges between our two countries but also on our daily lives both publicly and privately. Building on the existing strong ties between the Imperial Household of Japan and the Royal Household of Belgium, we would like to overcome this difficult situation together with you all. In this regard, we will make further efforts in maintaining and deepening the cooperative partnership with the Belgian authorities, especially to ensure the health and safety of the Japanese residents in Belgium.
 To conclude, I would like to offer my best wishes for the peace of His Majesty the Emperor’s reign and the prosperity of the Imperial Family, while hoping that the current corona pandemic will be over as soon as possible and that we can have a pleasant and hopeful spring.

February 2021      


SHIMOKAWA Makita    
Ambassador of Japan  
to the Kingdom of Belgium
and to NATO