Imperial New Year's Greeting Event Held for 1st Time in 3 Years
Tokyo, Jan. 2 (Jiji Press)--A New Year's greeting event at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo was held Monday for the first time in three years, after it was canceled in 2021 and 2022 due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Japanese Emperor Naruhito, Empress Masako, their daughter, Princess Aiko, and other Imperial Family members including Emperor Emeritus Akihito, Empress Emerita Michiko, Crown Prince Akishino and his wife, Crown Princess Kiko, lined up on the balcony of the Chowa-den hall building, greeting people who gathered at the palace in Chiyoda Ward in the Japanese capital and waving to the crowd.
Princess Aiko, who is in the third year at Gakushuin University, joined the greeting event for the first time.
"I am really happy to be able to celebrate the New Year with you all here after three years," Emperor Naruhito said in a speech. Expressing his sympathy to people facing hardships from the COVID-19 crisis, the Emperor said, "I hope that 2023 will be a peaceful and good year although there could be difficulties."
The Imperial couple and others appeared on the balcony of the Chowa-den building a total of six times in the morning and the afternoon, and a total of 7,312 members of the public who made advance reservations as a measure against COVID-19 visited the palace for the New Year's greeting event. The number of visitors was limited to about 1,500 for each appearance.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]