Emperor Emeritus Akihito Turns 87


Tokyo, Dec. 23 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Emperor Emeritus Akihito, who turned 87 on Wednesday, is deeply concerned about the substantial impact the novel coronavirus pandemic has caused to the health and life of people in Japan and abroad.

The Emperor Emeritus is worried that the pandemic has also affected the activities of volunteers dispatched abroad by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, according to Imperial Household Agency officials.

The former Emperor also continues to care about Okinawa, the southernmost prefecture that suffered a fierce ground battle in the final phase of World War II.

He watches television programs about the history of Shuri Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Okinawa that burned down last year, hoping for its reconstruction, agency officials said.

The Emperor Emeritus was worried when dozens of cars were stranded because of heavy snowfall on the Kan-Etsu Expressway in Niigata Prefecture, central Japan, last week. When the traffic jam was cleared, he was relieved, agency officials said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press