Japan Emperor, Turning 61, Hopes for Bright Future after Pandemic

Society

Tokyo, Feb. 23 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Emperor Naruhito, who turned 61 on Tuesday, has expressed hopes for a bright future after the coronavirus pandemic is put to an end.

"I'm looking forward to a bright future that will open up after the whole country overcomes the coronavirus crisis patiently by sharing the pain and working in cooperation," the Emperor told a press conference held at the Akasaka Imperial Residence in Tokyo ahead of his birthday.

The Emperor spent most of the 40-minute session talking about the pandemic, expressing his gratitude for efforts made by each and every medical worker and the general public.

He said Japan has faced many difficulties in its history due to natural catastrophes and plagues.

Referring to Emperor Shomu, who built the huge Buddha statue of Nara in the eighth century to wish for an end to a national crisis, and Emperor Saga, who transcribed the Heart Sutra, a Buddhist holy text, in hopes of ending a plague in the ninth century, Emperor Naruhito said people living in the present age can learn from their spirit.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press