Japan: Emperor Akihito gives New Year well-wishes as he prepares to step down

Japan’s Emperor Akihito delivered his traditional New Year address in front of thousands of people at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Tuesday. Emperor Akihito was accompanied by his wife, Empress Michiko, and members of the Imperial Family. The Emperor wished happiness for people in Japan and around the world. According to the Imperial Household Agency, more than 62,000 people had gathered... Еще in front of the palace by 11:30 am (GMT +9). The total attendance figure was said to likely be the largest since 1994. It was the final New Year appearance alongside Akihito for Princess Mako, his eldest granddaughter, who is scheduled to wed her college boyfriend in November and leave the royal family. Japan’s cabinet recently gave its approval for the emperor to abdicate on April 30, 2019. He will be the first emperor to step down in more than two centuries in the world's oldest imperial family.

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