Japan’s Emperor Naruhito Hopes for ‘Peaceful Year’

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Emperor Naruhito offered greetings on Thursday in his first New Year’s address since taking the throne, expressing hope for a “peaceful” year without natural disasters in Japan and for the happiness of people around the world.

Accompanied by his wife Empress Masako and other members of the imperial family, the 59-year-old, who ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne on May 1 following his father’s abdication, waved to thousands of well-wishers from behind the windows of a balcony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

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