Japan commemorated 30 years of the reign of 85-year-old Emperor Akihito. The emperor will abdicate on April 30…reports Asian Lite News
It is “fortunate that I have been able to undertake duties with the help of people,” Emperor Akihito said and thanked “the people, in whom I take pride and for whom I feel joy in being ‘the symbol of the state’ and the civilization of this country built over the long period.”
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who attended the ceremony, said the Japanese will “never forget” how the imperial couple have “always stood by the people for 30 years”.
Abe said since the emperor ascended the throne, the imperial couple have paid official visits to many countries, which strengthened bilateral relations.
“The people of Fukushima were given the courage to move forward as they tried to recover from the unprecedented triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in 2011,” Fukushima Governor Masao Uchibori said, expressing gratitude to the imperial couple for their support to the prefecture.
The emperor also expressed gratitude to foreign nations and international organisations for their support when Japan was “in the middle of suffering and sorrow” because of the natural disasters.
Emperor Akihito in a rare nationally-televised address in August 2016 expressed his desire to relinquish his duties as emperor owing to concerns about his age, health and ability to carry out his formal duties.