Japan Emperor to Release New Year's Message in Video

Society

Tokyo, Dec. 10 (Jiji Press)--The Imperial Household Agency said Thursday that Emperor Naruhito plans to release a video message to the Japanese people for the start of 2021.

The video message will come as the Emperor's New Year greeting to the public at the Imperial Palace, held on Jan. 2 every year, is set to be canceled next year as novel coronavirus infections are continuing in the country.

It will be the first time for Emperor Naruhito to release a video message aimed at the general public since he ascended the throne in May last year.

The Emperor's "direct interactions with the Japanese people have decreased due to the coronavirus epidemic, which has led to all of his regional visits being postponed," the agency said. "We have decided on the video message as a substitute for the Jan. 2 greeting event."

Former Emperor Akihito, the current Emperor's father, who now hold the title of Emperor Emeritus, released video messages to the general public twice while he was on the throne. The first video was released days after the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami, which ravaged northeastern Japan, to show his sympathy to victims of the catastrophe, and the second video in August 2016, in which he expressed his intention to abdicate due to his old age.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press