Emperor wishes 2023 to be year of hope amid pandemic, war

TOKYO, Jan 02 (Japan Today) - Emperor Naruhito wished for a year where people will be able to lead their lives with hope after one marked by the novel coronavirus pandemic and the Russian war in Ukraine, in his New Year address released Sunday.

The 62-year-old took note of the many hardships people have gone through amid the continued impact of COVID-19, as well as a rise in commodity and energy prices.

"I wish for the new year to be one in which people in Japan and the rest of the world can walk with hope," he said in a statement.

The emperor said he feels "deep sadness for the many lives lost" in the wars and conflicts around the world, adding, "I strongly feel the importance of repeatedly holding dialogue to overcome differences in stances and working together with others in the international community."

He once again "took to heart the importance of peace" during his visit to Okinawa with Empress Masako on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of its reversion to Japan from U.S. rule after World War II, and prayed for those who perished in the Battle of Okinawa. ...continue reading

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