TOKYO – Pope Francis met on Monday with Japan’s newly enthroned Emperor Naruhito privately for about 25 minutes in the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.
The pope arrived by car to the entrance of the palace where the emperor was dressed in a dark suit. They spent a few minutes shaking hands and greeting each other before going inside.
In a huge room with little other furniture but two chairs and a table with a vase of flowers, they began the meeting with the help of an interpreter.
The pope gave Naruhito an artwork made by the Vatican mosaic factory based on the “View of the Arch of Titus” by Roman painter Filippo Anivitti.
The emperor then accompanied the pope alone to the exit to say goodbye. No other details of the meeting have so far been revealed.
The pope and Naruhito held a meeting at the Vatican in 2016, before he became emperor.
On this third day of his visit to Japan, the pope will also hold a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.