Japans Imperial Couple Say Goodbye to President Obama

Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko said farewell to U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday morning before his departure from Tokyo to South Korea, the second destination of his four-nation Asian tour.    

Around 9:30 a.m. 12:30 a.m. GMT, the Imperial couple visited a Tokyo hotel where Obama was staying. The Emperor and the Empress shook hands with him, and they had a 15-minute conversation in Obamas room at the hotel.   

When the couple were leaving the hotel, Obama said that he very much appreciates the great hospitality he received during his stay in the Japanese capital and that U.S. citizens feel deep affection for the Emperor and the Empress, as well as the people of Japan.   

During the talks in the hotel room, the Emperor told Obama, “I hope your stay in Japan was comfortable and fruitful,” according to Imperial Household Agency officials.   

Obama responded that he believes the two nations can pass the bonds of friendship from current to future generations by continuing personnel exchanges, the officials said.


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.

Japan’s Emperor Akihito is 80

Japan’s Emperor Akihito, marking his 80th birthday Monday, expressed gratitude to people working hard on the country’s development.

Speaking at a press conference, the Emperor said he is “happy to spend every day with a sense of gratitude” to those who have been so far supporting Japan and are now working in various ways for the country’s improvement and development.

He said what strikes him most over the past 80 years is World War II. The tremendous loss of lives is “very painful,” he said, while expressing gratitude to those who worked hard for postwar reconstruction.


Japan’s Emperor and Empress Invited to India in November

Japan’s Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will visit India as state guests for about a week from Nov. 30.

The trip plan for the Imperial couple was decided at a cabinet meeting Tuesday.

The Indian government has invited the Emperor and the Empress as the two countries marked the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties last year.

This will be the first trip to India for the couple since the Emperor’s accession to the throne in 1989.

Under their provisional schedule, the Emperor and the Empress will leave Tokyo for Delhi on Nov. 30 and move to Chennai, southern India, on Dec. 4 before returning home on Dec. 6.


Japan’s Emperor Hosts Spring Garden Party

Japan’s imperial couple has hosted a spring garden party in Tokyo. About 2,000 guests attended the event on Thursday.

The emperor and empress hold parties every spring and fall at the Akasaka Imperial Garden.

They spoke to guests while touring the garden with Crown Prince Naruhito, Prince and Princess Akishino and other imperial family members.

The guests included Kyoto University Professor Shinya Yamanaka, who won last year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on iPS cells.

Japan’s Emperor in London

Japans Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko have arrived in London for a five-day state visit that includes celebrations for Queen Elizabeth IIs Diamond Jubilee.

The Japanese royals will join other royals from around the world for an afternoon luncheon at Windsor Castle on Friday to mark the queens 60-year reign, according to the Telegraph, followed by an evening banquet at Buckingham Palace hosted by Prince Charles.

Read the rest of the story: Japans emperor arrives in London for jubilee state visit.

Emperor to attend memorial service for tsunami victims on Sunday

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will attend a memorial service on Sunday for victims of last year’s March 11 disaster, the Imperial Household Agency said Friday.The emperor, 78, was discharged from hospital last Sunday after undergoing heart bypass surgery on Feb 18. He had treatment to remove fluid from his chest on Wednesday after becoming short of breath while walking and not showing much appetite. He has since been walking and doing deep breathing exercises as part of his rehabilitation.

Read the rest of the story: Emperor, empress to attend memorial service for tsunami victims on Sunday.


Japan’s Emperor Akithito Hospitalized for Heart Test

Japans ageing Emperor Akihito was admitted to hospital on Saturday for a heart examination after showing symptoms of a restricted blood flow to his heart amid increasing worries about his health.

Japans ageing Emperor Akihito pictured in January was admitted to hospital on Saturday for a heart examination after showing symptoms of a restricted blood flow to his heart amid increasing worries about his health. The 78-year-old monarch was scheduled to undergo an angiogram of his coronary arteries and stay overnight at the University of Tokyo Hospital.

The 78-year-old monarch was scheduled to undergo an angiogram of his coronary arteries and stay overnight at the University of Tokyo Hospital, the Imperial Household Agency said.

He was accompanied by Empress Michiko to the hospital Saturday morning.

The test was arranged after an electrocardiogram showed restricted blood flow to his heart, the agency said.

He also had an angiogram last year at the same hospital, which found his arteries were narrowing and he was put on medication.

In November, the emperor was hospitalised for 19 days for mild pneumonia.

Akihito, who ascended the throne in 1989 following the death of his father Hirohito, underwent surgery for prostate cancer in 2003.

The emperors second son Prince Akishino in November suggested there should be a discussion about setting a retirement age for the titular head of state.

Despite being stripped of much of its mystique and its quasi-divine status in the aftermath of World War II, the Japanese throne is held in deep respect by much of the public.

Emperor Akihito Praises Japan for Tackling Disaster

Japans Emperor Akihito praised the compassion of a nation striving to overcome the earthquake and tsunami disasters, as he waved from his palace balcony to throngs of well-wishers for his 78th birthday Friday.

Akihito expressed gratitude to all who have worked in the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, which devastated northeastern Japan and left 20,000 people dead or missing. Those he thanked included military personnel, residents of northeastern Japan, volunteers, workers at a hobbled nuclear plant and overseas contributors to relief efforts.

“Looking back on this year, I must say this has been a truly distressing year, dominated by disasters,” he said in a statement from the Imperial Household Agency.

Read the rest of the story: Japan Emperor Praises Nation for Tackling Disaster.