Japan Emperor Wishes for Peaceful Year for People

Society

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

This was the first New Year greeting to the public by the Emperor since he ascended the throne on May 1 last year, when the country's new era of Reiwa started.

"I'm happy to celebrate the New Year with you," the Emperor said as he appeared on the balcony of the palace's Chowaden reception hall along with Empress Masako and other members of the Imperial Family, including Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko.

Noting that he is worried about the lives of people who were affected by last year's typhoons and heavy rain, the Emperor said, "I hope this year will be a peaceful and good year without a disaster."

The Emperor and Emperor Emeritus stood side by side before the public for the first time since the era change last year. The Emperor Emeritus is former Emperor Akihito, the father of the current Emperor.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press