New Year's Ceremony Held at Imperial Palace
Tokyo, Jan. 1 (Jiji Press)--A New Year's celebration ceremony took place at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Saturday, with Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako greeted by other Imperial Family members and those including the heads of the three branches of the state.
It is the first official duty for Princess Aiko, the daughter of the Imperial couple, since she attended her own coming-of-age events Dec. 5 last year, four days after she turned 20.
The New Year's ceremony was scaled down for the second straight year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
In the morning, Imperial Family members, including Crown Prince Akishino, the younger brother of the Emperor, delivered statements to celebrate the arrival of the New Year to Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako at the ceremony held on the first day of 2022, followed by similar greetings by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, cabinet ministers and those including the heads of both chambers of the Diet, Japan's parliament.
"I am really happy to celebrate the New Year with all of you. At the beginning of the New Year, I pray for the happiness of the people and the development of the nation," Emperor Naruhito said in a speech.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]