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Wednesday, 16th March 2011
In General Japan News, Weather In Japan,

Emperor uses TV address to plead for unity

In an extremely rare TV appearance, Emperor Akihito has pleaded for the public to show "compassion" while Japan continues to recover from the Sendai earthquake.

As concerns mount over the safety of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility, the Emperor took to live television to address the population this morning (March 16th).

"I hope from the bottom of my heart that the people will, hand in hand, treat each other with compassion and overcome these difficult times," he said.

The 77-year old is deeply respected by many Japanese, and the BBC reports that 450,000 displaced people are still living in temporary accommodation following last week's earthquake.

Conditions are set to become even more difficult for the Japanese people as a cold snap has started to bring waves of snow to areas on the north-east coast.

Yesterday, the country was shaken once again, as a 6.0-magnitude aftershock was recorded.

Emperor Akihito is Japan's titular head of state. He acceded to the throne 22 years ago, following the death of his father Hirohito.

Written by Kimberley Homer 

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Crown Prince urges Emperor Akihito to 'reduce burden' (24th February 2012)
Japanese emperor celebrates 20 years (12th November 2009)