• Kyodo

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Emperor Akihito extended New Year’s greetings Thursday to well-wishers at the Imperial Palace in central Tokyo.

“I am truly delighted to celebrate the new year together with the people,” he said as he appeared on a balcony of the Chowa-Den wing of the palace.

“I hope that this will be a year of peace and quiet for each and every one of the citizens,” he said as he was joined by Empress Michiko and other members of the Imperial family, including Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako.

Five such greeting sessions were scheduled for the entire day.

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