I am deeply grateful that so many people showed concern for me when I was ill and also that they celebrated with me my reaching seventieth birthday.
Last year, people suffered damage from cold-weather, and also localized torrential downpours, typhoons and earthquakes, while severe economic and social conditions continued to prevail in Japan. Overseas, there were tragic incidents in which many lives, including Japanese, were lost. I can well imagine that there are many who have been enduring hardship and spending painful days.
In this coming year, it is my hope that all of you will make every effort, helping one another, for people's own happiness and the further development of our country.
I sincerely hope that this year will be a bright one for the people of Japan and the rest of the world.