Japan's emperor, empress mark 2018 New Year with ceremony, poems
Kyodo -- Jan 02
Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, along with other members of the imperial family, welcomed 2018 with a New Year's ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

This will be the last full year for the 84-year-old emperor to carry out his duties as the symbol of the state, as he is set to abdicate in April 2019.

The Imperial Household Agency also released for New Year's Day several 31-syllable "waka" poems written in 2017 by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.

皇居では「新年祝賀の儀」が行われました。天皇皇后両陛下は皇族のほか、安倍総理大臣らから祝賀を受けられました。 皇居・宮殿では1日午前、新年祝賀の儀が行われ、皇太子ご夫妻や秋篠宮ご夫妻ら皇族が両陛下に新年のあいさつをされました。
News sources: Kyodo, ANNnewsCH
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