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Wednesday, 2nd January 2013
In General Japan News,

Emperor Akihito urges country to keep helping tsunami victims

As the world ushered in a new year, Emperor Akihito urged the people of Japan not to forget the victims of the country's 2011 tsunami.

The Emperor took the opportunity to thank the people of his country for helping those affected by the event at his customary New Year address which took place today (January 2nd).

Speaking in front of 78,000 people at the imperial palace, Tokyo, Emporer Akihito said: "I was encouraged to see many people visit the affected areas and provide support in the wake of the East Japan Great Earthquake."

He suggested that people are still suffering in the aftermath of the natural disaster and urged "everyone to keep helping people in the affected areas".

Some 1,000 people were picked at random this year to see in the first sunrise of 2013 at Tokyo's Skytree tower on Tuesday, 1st January.

There was much interest in the event, as some 27,000 people applied for a ticket to watch the sunrise from the newly-built tower.

Written by Graham McPherson

Related news stories:
Crown Prince urges Emperor Akihito to 'reduce burden' (24th February 2012)
Japanese emperor celebrates 20 years (12th November 2009)
Emperor in hospital with ?mild? pneumonia (18th November 2011)
Japan marks 5 years since tsunami (11th March 2016)