• Kyodo News

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Emperor Akihito expressed compassion for various creatures coexisting on the premises of his residence, where he has been living for about 15 years, in his poem recited Thursday at the annual New Year Poetry Reading Ceremony at the Imperial Palace.

Written in the “waka” style — typically using 31 syllables in a 5-7-5-7-7 line pattern — the poems at this year’s ceremony centered on the theme of “life.”

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