Emperor, Empress receive New Year greetings

Emperor, Empress receive New Year greetings

Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko have received New Year greetings from state dignitaries and foreign envoys.

The Emperor and Empress met other Imperial family members, the prime minister and foreign ambassadors at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Sunday.

The Emperor told the heads of both chambers of the Diet and other lawmakers that he is praying for the country's development and for the happiness of its people.

In the afternoon, ambassadors and their spouses from more than 120 countries and territories visited the palace to greet the Emperor and Empress.

Princess Yuriko, the widow of Prince Mikasa, was absent. She is in mourning for the prince, who died in October.

On Monday, the Emperor and Empress and other Imperial family members will receive greetings from the public. They will make 3 appearances in the morning and 2 in the afternoon on the balcony at the palace.