Emperor, Empress host palace tea party
NHK -- Feb 26
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko hosted hundreds of guests at a tea party at the Imperial Palace on Monday evening.

They held the event to express gratitude for a government-sponsored ceremony held on Sunday to celebrate the Emperor's 30 years on the throne.

About 450 guests, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, cabinet ministers and lawmakers attended. Crown Prince Naruhito and Prince and Princess Akishino were also present.

Abe congratulated the Emperor on the 30th anniversary.

The Emperor said he is glad to be able to have time with the guests. He said he wants to pray with them for the country's development and the nation's happiness.

Members from a division of the Imperial Household Agency gave a performance of ancient court dance and music before the party.

Two more tea parties will be held on Tuesday. Guests will include representatives of local governments, and people who made notable achievements in such fields as sports, academia and culture during the Emperor's 30-year reign. Foreign ambassadors and their wives will also be invited.

News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
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