All About Japan

Emperor Wishes for Bright Future on Birthday

| Tokyo Imperial Palace , Tokyo

Japanese Emperor Naruhito turned 61 on February 23. The emperor and his wife, Empress Masako, visited the Imperial Palace for birthday-related events which were cut back to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Officials canceled the emperor’s address to the public and the dinner banquet. They also kept the number of participants to

The emperor received greetings from heads of the legislative, executive and judicial branches and five foreign ambassadors. Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide was among them. Visitors also included the emperor’s younger sister Kuroda Sayako and her husband and Empress Masako’s parents.

Emperor Naruhito gave his birthday press conference last week, with measures against the coronavirus in place. He expressed hope for a bright future after people endure and overcome the pandemic through cooperation and sharing the pain.