Theresa May meets Japanese emperor on final day of visit

Theresa May has met with Japan's emperor on the final day of her visit to the country.

The Prime Minister spent the last morning of her three-day trip with Emperor Akihito at the Imperial Palace on Friday.

Following a warm embrace, Mrs May spent time in private talks with Japan's symbolic figurehead, who is expected to abdicate in the coming months following ill health.

Mrs May and Emperor Akihito spoke at the Imperial Palace.

Downing Street has described the PM's visit to Japan as "highly successful" after Mrs May and counterpart Shinzo Abe agreed to boost defence links.

The British delegation will also leave Tokyo having secured Japanese agreement to model a future UK trade deal on the EU deal that is already in train.

Mr Abe's decision to say he had faith in the future of the British economy after Brexit also "particularly pleased" No 10.

The Prime Minister had 'highly successful' talks with Shinzo Abe. Credit: PA

The source said there had always been a close and friendly relationship between the UK and Japan but it has "gone up a level" after the visit.

Mr Abe told reporters the Prime Minister had been forceful in her reassurance about the Brexit process - a sign of Mrs May's upbeat, confident approach, according to the source.

The Prime Minister spent the first two days of the visit in a series of meetings and visits with Mr Abe in Kyoto and Japan.