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.


Conductor Seiji Ozawa applauded by Japan’s Emperor and Empress

The Japanese Emperor and Empress have applauded a performance of conductor Seiji Ozawa at a concert in Matsumoto City, central Japan.

The imperial couple enjoyed the performance of Maruice Ravel’s opera “The Child and the Magic Spells” conducted by Ozawa at the annual Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto on Friday evening.

This marks Ozawa’s full return to musical activities. It was his first appearance on the stage since January last year.

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.