Thousands Attend Emperor's 1st Birthday Gathering in Reiwa

Society Imperial Family

Tokyo, Feb. 23 (Jiji Press)--Thousands of people gathered at Tokyo's Imperial Palace to celebrate the 63rd birthday of Emperor Naruhito on Thursday in the first such congratulatory event in the Reiwa period, which began in 2019.

"I am deeply delighted to receive congratulations from you all on my birthday for the first time," the Emperor said in a speech to those visiting the palace.

The Reiwa period began when he ascended the throne in May 2019. The first event to accept a congratulatory visit of the public to the palace to mark his birthday since the enthronement was originally scheduled for 2020, but it was put off because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

On Thursday morning, the Emperor showed up at a balcony of a palace hall three times to receive congratulations. He was accompanied by Empress Masako and their only daughter, Princess Aiko, as well as Crown Prince Akishino, Crown Princess Kiko and their second daughter, Princess Kako.

Emperor Naruhito expressed his deep sympathy to those affected by heavy snowfalls this winter.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press