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Emperor Naruhito delivers first New Year’s speech

By TICAD7 Photographs -, CC0, Wikimedia Commons

Emperor Naruhito of Japan has delivered his first New Year’s speech as the Emperor of Japan.

After a devastating typhoon hit Japan in October of last year, as well as torrential rain that hit the country in 2019, Naruhito said he hopes that 2020 is a year free from disasters, “I pray that there will be no disaster this year.” He also his “heart aches as many precious lives were lost.”

He added that he hopes this year is a happy year and spoke of his relief of completing the enthronement ceremonies last year. The Emperor stressed how important it was for him and Empress Masako to meet so many Japanese people last year, “Meeting with many people from home and abroad and being given warm blessings on many occasions, the past year has been deeply moving for both the Empress [Masako] and me.”

This was the first New Year’s speech since 2017 when the practice was halted for Emperor Naruhtio’s father, now Emperor Emeritus Akihito, to reduce his workload.

Unlike his parents, Emperor Naruhito nor his wife, Empress Masako, wrote poems to be released on New Year’s Day. Due to the hectic schedule last year with enthronement ceremonies and rituals, the couple did not have the time.

Embed from Getty Images

The imperial couple hosted a New Year’s reception on Wednesday at the Imperial Palace alongside the Crown Prince and Crown Princess, their two daughters (Princesses Mako and Kako) and other members of the Imperial Family.

A new family portrait was also released as part of the 2020 celebrations featuring the Emperor, Empress, their daughter Princess Aiko, Crown Prince Akishino, Crown Princess Kiko, their children Princesses Mako and Kako and Prince Hisahito, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko.

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. Her love of royals began in middle school, and she's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites.