Manila, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte’s courtesy call to Emperor Akihito of Japan on October 27 has been cancelled following the death of the emperor’s uncle, Prince Mikasa, at a hospital in Tokyo Thurday morning.

Mikasa died at the age of 100 due to a lingering illness. He is the younger brother of Hirohito, the wartime emperor of Japan and Akihito’s father. He is known as the world’s oldest royal.

Duterte extended his condolences and said he was advised by his chief protocol officer to cancel the meeting with the emperor because the royal family is mourning.

 

 

“I respect that. I would ask for the same request if I were in his shoes,” Duterte said in an interview in Yokohama.

The state call of the president to Empero Akihito would have been his last activity during his 3-day official travel in Japan.