Japan's emperor calls for peace after year of tension
Wednesday, January 02, 2013 - 00:50
Jan. 2 - Japan's Emperor Akihito delivers his New Year message expressing his hopes for peace after a year of rising tension over territorial disputes with Japan's neighbors. Simon Hanna reports.
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Thousands flock to the Imperial Palace in Tokyo ahead of the emperor's traditional New Year's address.
Emperor Akihito seemed healthy and in good spirits as he appeared alongside members of his family.
The emperor expressed his hopes for world peace and happiness, but also spared a thought for the thousands of people who died in Japan's earthquake and tsunami disaster of March 2011.
In particular, Akihito prayed for a better year for those still living in temporary accommodation.
His calls for peace come after bitter sovereignty disputes in 2012 with Asian neighbours North Korea, South Korea and China.
While Emperor Akihito is active as a figurehead for the nation, he rarely addresses the public, except on occasions such as his birthday and New Year's Day.
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