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Emperor Akihito expressed confidence in his New Year’s address that the Japanese people will overcome their hardships in 2002 and move toward a brighter future.

“Today, Japan is faced with various difficult problems, but remembering that the wisdom and efforts of the people overcame the postwar hardships, I am confident the people will surmount these difficulties,” the Emperor said in an address released through his chamberlain. “I hope this year will see signs of bright prospects for the people of Japan and of the whole world.”

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