Japan’s Emperor Naruhito and his family waved to throngs of new year’s well-wishers, from the balcony at the Imperial Palace, Monday (1/1/2023), in the return of a celebration halted for the past two years by the pandemic.
Naruhito offered prayers for people’s happiness and world peace in the appearance monday beside his wife, Empress Masako and their daughter, Princess Aiko, who turned 21 in December, was appearing in her first new year’s public greeting.
Naruhito noted the past few years had been filled with hardships brought on by the pandemic.
For the last two years, the Emperor skipped the public greeting and instead sent video messages. Only those who applied and were selected in advance were allowed in the Imperial Palace grounds this year because of pandemic restrictions on large crowds.