Japan Emperor Wishes for Better Year for People

Society

Tokyo, Jan. 2 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Emperor Akihito expressed his wish for a better year in his New Year address to a large crowd of people gathered at the Imperial Palace in central Tokyo on Wednesday.

This was the final New Year greeting to the public by the Emperor in the current Heisei era, which will end when he abdicates on April 30.

"I'm truly happy to celebrate the New Year with you under a clear sky," the Emperor said as he appeared on the balcony of the palace's Chowaden reception hall along with Empress Michiko and other members of the Imperial Family.

"I hope this year will be a better year for as many people as possible," the Emperor said, adding, "I pray, at the beginning of the year, for peace and happiness of the people in our country and the world."

The Imperial Family members attending the customary New Year greeting event included Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako, as well as Prince Akishino, the Emperor's second son, and his wife, Princess Kiko.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press