Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako will visit Indonesia for seven days from June 17, the Japanese government said Friday, marking their first official goodwill visit abroad since the emperor ascended the throne in 2019.

The couple will attend events including a luncheon with Indonesian President Joko Widodo where the emperor will deliver a speech.

Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako attend a national tree-planting ceremony in Rikuzentakata in Iwate Prefecture, northeastern Japan on June 4, 2023. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

The planned visit, approved by the Cabinet, comes as Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations mark this year the 50th anniversary of friendly ties. Indonesia is the 2023 ASEAN chair.

The emperor received an invitation from Widodo in August 2019, according to the Imperial Household Agency.

Empress Masako, who has long battled a stress-induced illness, will determine whether to attend individual events depending on her condition, the agency said.

The couple is scheduled to meet with the president and his wife and have luncheon at the palace in Bogor, near Jakarta, on June 19. They will offer flowers the following day at the Kalibata Heroes' Cemetery, which honors those who fought for Indonesia's independence.

From June 21, the emperor will travel alone to Yogyakarta, an ancient city in central Java, to attend a dinner hosted by the governor of the special province in which it is located.

The plan also includes visits to a high-speed railway constructed with Japan's economic assistance and a university engaging in Japanese-language education, as well as a meeting with Japanese residents in Indonesia.

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