His Majesty the Emperor's New Year Thoughts

1998 New Year Greeting by His Majesty the Emperor of Japan

Last Year was a milestone marking the 50th year since the puttihg into effect of Japan's Constitution and the 25th year since the reversion of Okinawa. It was thus a year of looking back on the course of our country's past. With the holding of the Kyoto Conference on Prevention of Global Warming, it was also a year of turning attention to the future of the planet earth, from the environmental point of view.

Under the severe economic conditions, I worry that the lives of the people will face many difficulties in the time ahead, but I expect that the Japanese people, helping one another and together with the people of the world, will strive their utmost to build the better future.

At the beginning of the new year, it is my heartfelt wish that this will turn out to be a very good year for the people and I pray for the happiness of one and all.