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March 16, 2011

Japanese emperor makes live television appearance after earthquake

Japanese emperor makes live television appearance after earthquake

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

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Emperor Akihito said he was “deeply worried”

Akihito, the emperor of Japan, has made a live appearance on national television saying he was “deeply worried” after the earthquake and tsunami that hit last Friday. The emperor made his announcement shortly after technicians working to stabilise a nuclear plant temporarily abandoned it as radiation started to surge.

The emperor’s appearance caused television stations to interrupt scheduled programming. During his appearance he said “I hope from the bottom of my heart that the people will, hand in hand, treat each other with compassion and overcome these difficult times.” The 77 year-old is deeply respected in Japan.

A statement by the Imperial household said Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko want to visit the area affected by the tsunami, but the important thing now is rescuing the victims. In 1995 the emperor and empress visited Kobe after an earthquake struck and killed 6,400 people.

Around 10,000 people are feared to be dead after the earthquake and tsunami hit the north-east coast of the country. More than 100 countries have offered rescue services in an attempt to save as many people as possible.



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June 5, 2010

Naoto Kan elected new Prime Minister of Japan

Naoto Kan elected new Prime Minister of Japan

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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Naoto Kan.

Naoto Kan was elected as the 94th Prime Minister (PM) of Japan on Friday. He replaces Yukio Hatoyama, who resigned last week as PM and as member of the Democratic Party of Japan.

Hatoyama’s cabinet resigned to allow the election of the new PM. Kan was elected as President of the Democratic Party and as official candidate to the position of Prime Minister. Later, an extraordinary session took place in the Diet, where Kan was elected with a large majority. PMs are formally appoited by the Emperor, but the Japanese Constitution requires him to appoint the person “designated by the Diet.” Emperor Akihito is expected to appoint Kan in mid-June.

Kan, who is 63, will have to face a growing public debt and an aging population, among other issues..



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September 6, 2006

Princess Kiko gives birth to imperial baby boy

Princess Kiko gives birth to imperial baby boy

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Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Family tree of the Japanese Imperial Family shortly after the birth of the newborn Prince of Akishino.

Princess Kiko has given birth to a 2,558 gram (5.639 lb) baby boy, on 6 September at 8 h 27 (Japan Standard Time). He is the first male baby born in the Japanese imperial family since his father in 1965. The baby was delivered with a Caesarean section, and will not be named until a ceremony seven days after his birth.

Emperor Akihito, currently on a tour of Hokkaido, welcomed the birth. A number of traditional rites will take place, including the baby boy being symbolically presented with a sabre.

The boy will be the third in line to succeed to the Japanese throne after the Crown Prince Naruhito and Prince Akishino, father of the child.

The fact that Crown Princess Masako wasn’t able to have a boy to succeed the throne is thought to have provoked her depression and subsequent withdrawal from public activity.

Pressure from the Imperial Household Agency for another child was ineffective and therefore Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi appointed a panel to find an alternative succession system. The panel’s recommendation to allow women to inherit the throne was met with fierce criticism from conservatives.

The birth of the baby boy eases the pressure for the reform which about 70% of Japanese favoured but which was postponed sine die when the news of the pregnancy came to the public.

Prince Akishino has previously criticized his elder brother for not trying to sire a boy. According to Crown Prince Naruhito this was in order to protect Crown Princess Masako. At the same time, Princess Kiko has become the darling of the media while the Crown Princess has been accused of being “selfish” by some newspapers.

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