Emperor greets more than 78,000 well-wishers

TOKYO —

Emperor Akihito delivered his traditional New Year address on Wednesday, reiterating his sympathy for victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster.

“I was encouraged to see many people visit the affected areas and provide support in the wake of the East Japan Great Earthquake,” the emperor told more than 78,000 cheering people who gathered at the imperial palace in Tokyo.

“I would like everyone to continue to keep helping people in the affected areas,” the 79-year-old emperor said from a balcony where he was joined by Empress Michiko, Crown Prince Naruhito, Crown Princess Masako, Prince Akishino, Princess Kiko and Prince Mikasa (the emperor’s 97-year-old uncle).

The imperial family made five appearances—at 10:10 a.m., 11 a.m., 11;50 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:20 p.m. 

The emperor said he hopes that 2013 will be a year of prosperity and good health for the people of Japan and also wished for peace around the world. 

AFP/Japan Today

  • 1

    smithinjapan

    "The emperor said he hopes that 2013 will be a year of prosperity and good health for the people of Japan and also wished for peace around the world."

    With you 100%. Let's start at home and work outward.

  • 1

    Aristoman

    5 appearances 78.000 people. It is all over the news. 1 single event over 100.000 people on the streets asking for nuke free Japan. It hardly hit news after 3-4 days. Ps. Japan Today thank you for letting us to reflect on your news. You rock cause of this option.

  • 0

    Ari94

    I have just returned back. It was interesting experience. Imperial family was standing behind glasses. No doubt it was crowded and I do not know who was shouting "Banzai" Overall it was great.

  • 1

    plasticmonkey

    I was encouraged by (RECENT NOBLE DEED).

    I was saddened by (RECENT TRAGEDY).

    I hope to see (COMMON ASPIRATION FOR HUMANITY).

    The emperor and his wife are fine people, but I pity the scripted and restricted lives they find themselves in.

    I wish them greater freedom in the new year, or someday. With all respect.

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