Japan Emperor, Empress Voice Hopes for 2021

Society

Tokyo, Jan. 1 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako voiced their hopes for 2021 in a video message released on Friday, New Year's Day, at a time when the world is still struggling to contain the novel coronavirus.

The Emperor said he sincerely wishes that 2021 will be a year in which people can spend their time with hopes, adding that he prays for peace of mind and happiness for the people of Japan and the rest of the globe, and for world peace.

The Empress said she hopes that 2021 will be a peaceful year, noting that many people faced great difficulties in the past year.

The Emperor's father, Emperor Emeritus Akihito, released two video messages to the public while he was on throne--one in the immediate aftermath of the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, which hit the Tohoku northeastern Japan region particularly hard, and the other in August 2016, in which he expressed his wish to step down as Emperor due to his old age.

It was the first time for Emperor Naruhito, who ascended the throne in May 2019, to issue a video message to the public. According to the Imperial Household Agency, it was also the first time for Empress Masako to be in such a video message.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press