Japan’s Emperor Akihito has expressed his hopes for world peace as he appeared with his wife Michiko with their two sons and grandchildren behind bullet-proof glass before thousands of well-wishers waving flags of Japan.
The 82-year-old Emperor Akihito scheduled to make five such appearances at Tokyo’s Imperial Palace on Saturday and also read a New Year’s statement in which is expressed his condolence for people who were affected by tsunami and displaced from their homes, still living in temporary housing after the March 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster in north-eastern Japan.
Emperor Ankihito’ wife Michiko, wearing a pinkish beige dress, waved to the crowd, estimated by public broadcaster NHK at 44,000 that’s they like double in the afternoon.
Akihito is the son of Hirohito under whose name Japan waged World War II and surrendered seven decades ago. But from the start, he has stood for peace. Masako, wife of the crown prince who has made rare public appearances because of a stress—related illness, also joined this year’s New Year’s greeting, smiling in a deep blue dress.