Japan’s Empress Michiko has reflected on events of the past year. She turned 82 on Thursday.
In a written response to reporters’ questions, the Empress refers to Emperor Akihito having expressed an apparent wish to abdicate in a video message in August.
She says his comments reflect what he thinks.
The Empress also says she respectfully listened to his words that were composed after he consulted Crown Prince Naruhito and Prince Akishino.
She notes that her shock was huge when she saw the large letters meaning “abdication” in newspaper headlines.
Citing disasters including strong earthquakes in southwestern Japan in April, the Empress points to the idea that calm periods and active periods come in turns in the history of nature.
She says people now undoubtedly live in an active period, and that everyone lives with the possibility of encountering a disaster.
The Empress notes that she feels all people should share awareness about disaster prevention and are obliged to work for a society in which everyone supports people affected by disasters, and no one is left behind in loneliness.
Source and image: NHK
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