Japan's Emperor has expressed concern for people affected by the coronavirus pandemic in his New Year's video message.
Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako spoke to the public in the video released by the Imperial Household Agency. The Imperial Family's annual New Year's greetings at the Imperial Palace have been canceled this year.
The Emperor expressed his concern for people who have lost loved ones in the pandemic, as well as for those who are facing difficulties, such as loss of jobs or homes.
The Emperor also expressed his gratitude for healthcare workers and other people for their efforts to protect lives.
The Emperor said that humanity has overcome infectious diseases and natural disasters in the past with unity and patience.
He expressed hope that people will support each other and move forward in these difficult times.
This is the first time that the Emperor and Empress have spoken to the public in a video message.