Emperor Akihito expressed his wishes for peace in Japan and the world on Jan. 2 in an address to the many well-wishers who assembled at the Imperial Palace to share New Year’s greetings.
“I pray that people will be able to spend a year in which they find themselves enriched and at peace,” Akihito, 83, said when he appeared on a veranda of the palace with Empress Michiko, Crown Prince Naruhito, Crown Princess Masako and other members of the imperial family.
“I am really pleased with (the fact) that I am celebrating a new year with you,” the emperor told the crowd. “At the beginning of the new year, I pray for peace of the people of our country and the world.”
The New Year’s greeting was Akihito’s first after he indicated his desire to abdicate in a televised message in August.
Source: Asahi Image: NHK