Ceremony marks 30 years of Emperor's reign
NHK -- Feb 25
A ceremony to celebrate 30 years of Emperor Akihito's reign has been held in Tokyo, with the attendance of the Imperial couple.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the Speaker and President of both chambers of the Diet, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, members of the Diet, representatives of businesses and foreign ambassadors to Japan also attended Sunday's event at the National Theatre.

In his congratulatory speech, Abe said the Emperor has served as the symbol of the state and the unity of the people during the past 30 years, carrying out his duties with devotion, and always standing close by to the people.

Abe also said that, amid the rapidly changing international situation, the people of Japan are determined to work for the creation of a bright future for Japan as a country full of hope and pride, while keeping the way the Emperor has lived deep in mind.

Fukushima Governor Masao Uchibori and former Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi also gave speeches. Kawaguchi has accompanied the Imperial couple on a number of overseas visits.

Uchibori thanked the Emperor for sending a video message to the public after the 2011 quake and tsunami disaster, saying it encouraged and united people.

A singer from Okinawa, Daichi Miura, performed a song written by the Emperor and composed by the Empress after they met people living in a leprosy sanatorium in the southern prefecture.

The Emperor said, for the 30 years in the Heisei Era, Japan has been supported by the strong will of the people seeking peace. He added that it has been the first era in the modern and present ages of the country that has never experienced wars.

天皇陛下の在位30年を祝う政府主催の式典が24日に開かれます。皇居や京都御所など日本各地で記帳を受け付けます。 皇居・宮殿では午前10時半から祝賀行事が行われ、皇太子ご夫妻や皇族方が両陛下にお祝いを伝えられます。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
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