Japan's Emperor Offers Condolences in Rare Speech

Wednesday, 16 Mar 2011 04:05 PM

By Newsmax Wires

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Japan’s emperor addressed his embattled nation Wednesday offering condolensces for the dead and hope that the nuclear crisis will soon come to an end.

Emperor Akihito spoke in his first televised national address following upheaval – a fairly rare event that highlights just how battered Japan has been after an earthquake and the subsequent tsunami and nuclear crisis, The Washington Post reports.

Emperor Akihito
Japan's Emperor Akihito
Akihito gives annual New Year’s greetings and offers speeches at a variety of events. On Wednesday, he spoke for about six minutes from a reception room at the Imperial Palace, wearing a dark suit.

“We don’t know the number of victims, but I pray that every single person can be saved,” he said. “I am deeply concerned about the nuclear situation and hope it will be resolved."

The Post noted the stark differences between this address and the historic radio speech in 1945 by his father, Emperor Hirohito, who told the nation Japan would surrender to allied forces.

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