Emperor and Empress receive New Year greetings
NHK -- Jan 02
In Tokyo, members of the Imperial family and state dignitaries have presented their New Year's greetings to Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.

The greeting ceremony took place at the Imperial Palace on Tuesday. It is the last such ceremony before the Emperor's abdication in April this year.

Crown Prince Naruhito was joined by Crown Princess Masako who took part in the ceremony for the first time in 16 years as she has been recuperating from an illness.

Diet members including Lower House Speaker Tadamori Oshima and Upper House President Chuichi Date offered greetings to the Imperial couple.

The Emperor said in reply that he is praying for the country's development and for the happiness of its people.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and members of his cabinet also offered greetings.

Ambassadors from nearly 130 countries and territories visited the palace in the afternoon.

News source: NHK
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