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Monday, 6th January 2014
In General Japan News,

Emperor Akihito offers New Year greetings

Emperor Akihito, head of the Japanese monarchy, has extended his annual New Year greeting to the public, calling for peace and happiness to citizens throughout the country and indeed throughout the world.

Crown Prince Naruhito and Princess Masako, Prince and Princess Akishino and other family members accompanied the Emperor, who stood with wife Empress Michiko on a balcony at the Imperial Palace to speak to well-wishers.

The address follows the publication of a formal photo of the Japanese royal family that was issued to commemorate the new year, which has been regarded by experts as an unusual step in a clan steeped in tradition.

As the oldest monarchy in the world, the Japanese Royal Family is subject to a great deal of interest from tourists and Japanese citizens alike. Those wishing to visit the Royal Palaces of Kyoto and Tokyo will find that they can do so twice a year during the autumn and spring, although some sections are open all year round.

Related news stories:
Crown Prince urges Emperor Akihito to 'reduce burden' (24th February 2012)