emperoraOn January 2, 2013, Their Imperial Majesties Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan made a balcony appearance at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.  The imperial couple, along with other members of the family including His Imperial Highness Crown Prince Naruhito, waved to “…78,000 cheering supporters…” who gathered in the East Plaza at palace to wish the emperor and his family a Happy New Year.

Emperor Akihito also made a speech in which he “… urged the people of Japan to help those affected by the March 2011 disasters and together tackle challenges in the reconstruction efforts…”  

To read more about today’s balcony appearance please click here.

And, finally the Japanese newspaper, Japan Times, has a new article regarding the “…growing concerns over ways to reduce [the] duties of [the] aging emperor…”  

Please click here to read the article.

Photo courtesy of Asahi Shimbun