His Majesty the Emperor's New Year Thoughts


Last year, although no typhoons hit Japan directly and there were fewer victims from natural disasters compared with other years, it was tragic that the Iwate-Miyagi Nairiku Earthquake and the earthquake with its center in the north of Iwate Prefecture caused extensive damage in the mountainous regions and claimed lives. With Japan's harsh natural conditions, I think it is imperative for everyone to further deepen the awareness of the importance of disaster prevention.

Since autumn 2008, the impact of the global financial crisis has also been felt in Japan and it concerns me that many people are facing hardship due to worsening economic conditions. I sincerely hope that, by gathering together people's wisdom and by cherishing mutual ties and helping each other, everyone will work together to overcome these latest difficulties.

This year, it is twenty years since my accession to the throne and fifty years since our wedding, and many thoughts come to mind as I contemplate the years that have passed. Together with the Empress, I hope to continue to strive for the country and the people.