Japan Emperor’s New Years Message

Japan’s Emperor Akihito released his New Year’s message on Wednesday. He reveals deep concern for people affected by the 2011 disaster.

The Emperor cited those who cannot return home due to radioactive contamination. He also mentions evacuees spending the severe winter in temporary housing.

The Emperor says many Japanese have faced difficulties and hardships in 2013. He hopes people will help each other. He adds that Japanese should work with others around the world to pursue peace and a better future.

The Emperor and Empress plan to work on strengthening relations between Japan and other nations this year.

Vietnam’s head of state will visit Japan in March. Arrangements are being made for US President Barack Obama to come to Japan in April.

The Emperor and Empress and other Imperial family members will make a New Years appearance before well-wishers at the Imperial Palace on Thursday.

Read the rest of the story: Emperor expresses concern about disaster victims.