UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — On Thursday, Japan’s new Emperor Naruhito expressed his wishes for a year without natural disasters, in his first speech since he ascended the throne in front of tens of thousands of people congratulating the New Year.
Naruhito addressed the crowd, saying, “I am delighted to celebrate the New Year with you,” while many of them were waving Japanese flags and chanting “Benzai”, meaning “live.”
“On the other hand, I am concerned that many people are still living a difficult life due to hurricanes and torrential rains last year,” added the 59-year-old Emperor Masako.
“I hope this year will be a good and safe one without any natural disaster,” he said.
Last month, the emperor and his wife visited citizens in northeastern Japan, which was devastated by the powerful typhoon Hagibis in October, which killed more than 80 people and caused massive damage to infrastructure.
Akihito, Naruto’s father, who became the first Japanese emperor to abdicate in about two centuries, was also present at the New Year celebration, when he stepped down on April 30 after a three-decade rule.
Naruhito officially assumed the throne in October, before kings and leaders from around the world.
The central palace in Tokyo, surrounded by walls of stone and trenches, opens to the public twice a year, the first on the Emperor’s Day and the second on New Year’s Eve, when the emperor and his family receive well-wishers.
The emperor will appear four times during the day from the balcony of the palace.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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