Emperor Offers New Year's Greetings To Well - Wishers 2015

Emperor offers New Year's greetings to well-wishersEmperor Akihito extended New Year's greetings Friday to well-wishers who gathered at the Imperial Palace in central Tokyo.
"It is my hope that the new year will be better, even a little, for each and every one of you," the emperor said as he appeared on a balcony of the Chowa-Den wing of the palace along with Empress Michiko.

"At the start of the year, I pray for peace and happiness for the people of Japan and the people of the world," he said.

He was also joined by other members of the royal family including Prince Mikasa, his 99-year-old uncle. Princess Kako, one of the emperor's granddaughters who turned 20 last month, joined the annual greetings for the first time.

Princess Nobuko, wife of the late Prince Tomohito of Mikasa, a cousin of Emperor Akihito, attended the greetings for the first time in 19 years. She had been absent due to poor health.

A total of five greeting sessions were held, drawing about 81,000 well-wishers.