Japanese Emperor Akihito gives last annual birthday statement before he abdicates the throne in April

Beloved Japanese Emperor Akihito has released his final annual birthday statement before he abdicates the th...

Posted: Dec 24, 2018 6:02 AM
Updated: Dec 24, 2018 6:02 AM

Beloved Japanese Emperor Akihito has released his final annual birthday statement before he abdicates the throne in April -- the first Japanese monarch to do so in 200 years.

Sunday is his 85th birthday.

Accidents, disasters and safety

Asia

Conflicts and wars

Continents and regions

Earthquakes

East Asia

Emperor Akihito

Japan

Natural disasters

Political Figures - Intl

Unrest, conflicts and war

World War II

Business, economy and trade

Company activities and management

Company earnings

Financial performance and reports

Financial results

International relations

International relations and national security

The Emperor's statement largely reflected on his reign, known as the Heisei period, which began in January 1989 with the death of his father, Emperor Hirohito, whose reign included World War II.

Noting the changes he experienced as Japan recovered from the war and was accepted back into the international community, Emperor Akihito said, "I have believed it is important not to forget that countless lives were lost in World War II and that the peace and prosperity of post-war Japan was built upon the numerous sacrifices and tireless efforts made by the Japanese people, and to pass on this history accurately to those born after the war. It gives me deep comfort that the Heisei Era is coming to an end, free of war in Japan."

Akihito also acknowledged many of the natural disasters the country had faced under his reign and looked ahead to changes to the Japanese homogenous population as it opens its doors to more foreign workers.

"I hope that the Japanese people will be able to warmly welcome as members of our society those who come to Japan to work here," he said.

On the disasters, he said, "the catastrophic destruction caused by the force of nature was beyond my imagination."

Japan was crushed by a number of natural disasters this year, from a magnitude-6.7 earthquake to a deadly typhoon accompanied by flooding and heat waves. More than 120 people died from floods and landslides over the summer.

The disasters during his reign, Akihito said, have left an "indelible impression on my mind," referring to some of the greatest destructions Japan has seen, including the tsunami that hit Okushiri Island in 1993, the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in 1995 and the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.

"I have been heartened to see that, in the face of such difficulties, the spirit of volunteering and other forms of cooperation is growing among the people and that the awareness of disaster preparedness and the capacity to respond to disasters are increasing," he said. "I am always touched by the sight of people coping in an orderly manner when disasters strike."

Known for his close relationship with his wife, who was the first commoner to marry into the royal family, the Emperor thanked the Empress for taking up the public role.

"As I come to the end of my journey as Emperor, I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart the many people who accepted and continued to support me as the symbol of the State. I am also truly grateful to the Empress, who herself was once one of the people, but who chose to walk this path with me, and over sixty long years continued to serve with great devotion both the Imperial Family and the people of Japan" Emperor Akihito said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 31257

Reported Deaths: 1114
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds253640
DeSoto162016
Madison131434
Jones112849
Neshoba99271
Rankin95112
Harrison93311
Lauderdale91079
Forrest87842
Scott77315
Jackson63816
Copiah60715
Washington5919
Leake57819
Holmes55741
Lee55219
Wayne54513
Oktibbeha54126
Warren51618
Yazoo5136
Lowndes49413
Leflore49151
Grenada4905
Lincoln46634
Lamar4657
Pike44112
Monroe40330
Sunflower4008
Lafayette3934
Attala36123
Covington3595
Panola3526
Bolivar34014
Newton3399
Simpson3233
Adams31318
Pontotoc2926
Tate28810
Marion28411
Chickasaw27918
Claiborne27910
Noxubee2678
Winston2666
Jasper2636
Pearl River25732
Clay25111
Marshall2343
Smith21811
Union2109
Clarke20724
Walthall2045
Coahoma2016
Kemper17914
Lawrence1782
Yalobusha1737
Carroll16611
Humphreys1509
Tallahatchie1374
Itawamba1368
Montgomery1352
Calhoun1324
Tippah13111
Hancock13013
Webster12710
Jefferson Davis1124
Jefferson1083
Prentiss1083
Greene1058
Tunica1053
Wilkinson949
Amite912
George893
Tishomingo831
Quitman780
Choctaw744
Alcorn712
Perry674
Stone651
Franklin452
Benton380
Sharkey380
Issaquena91
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 45263

Reported Deaths: 1007
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson5410152
Montgomery4158103
Mobile4129134
Tuscaloosa232142
Marshall172410
Madison14917
Lee141137
Shelby133423
Morgan11215
Walker97824
Elmore94314
Franklin89814
Baldwin8949
Dallas8919
Etowah75013
DeKalb7375
Chambers64227
Butler63428
Autauga61012
Tallapoosa60569
Russell5650
Houston5074
Unassigned50323
Limestone5010
Lauderdale4966
Lowndes47221
Cullman4594
Pike4375
Colbert4086
St. Clair4022
Escambia3966
Coffee3812
Calhoun3765
Covington3707
Bullock36910
Barbour3532
Talladega3177
Hale31421
Marengo31211
Dale2990
Wilcox2948
Sumter28512
Jackson2842
Clarke2776
Winston2633
Chilton2522
Blount2431
Monroe2392
Pickens2366
Marion23313
Conecuh2107
Randolph2099
Macon1999
Choctaw19512
Bibb1941
Greene1868
Perry1791
Henry1363
Crenshaw1253
Washington1117
Lawrence1100
Cherokee1027
Geneva830
Lamar781
Fayette711
Clay692
Coosa591
Cleburne381
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Few Clouds
86° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 74°
Feels Like: 94°
Columbus
Few Clouds
83° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 91°
Oxford
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 90°
Starkville
Scattered Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 85°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather