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  #21  
Old 04-23-2013, 07:48 AM
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Emperor Akihito attended a publication party of a revised book on taxonomic classification of Japanese fish in Tokyo on April 22, 2013.




** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 **


** asahi.com: Emperor publishes entry in encyclopedia on fish species in Japan **


** japandailypress.com: Emperor Akihito makes contribution to 3rd edition of fish encyclopedia **
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  #22  
Old 04-24-2013, 02:08 AM
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Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko received Princess Astrid of Belgium at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on April 23, 2013. Princess Astrid visits Japan and Cambodia as Special Representative of the "Roll Back Malaria (RBM)" partnership.




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  #23  
Old 04-25-2013, 02:07 AM
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Emperor Akihito attended the Japan Prize award ceremony in Tokyo on April 24, 2013.



** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 ** Pic 3 ** Pic 4 ** Pic 5 **
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Old 04-28-2013, 04:08 PM
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Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attended a ceremony marking the day Japan recovered its sovereignty under the San Francisco Peace Treaty in 1952, in Tokyo on Sunday, April 28, 2013.



** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 ** Pic 3 ** Pic 4 ** Pic 5 **


** japantimes.co.jp: Sovereignty celebration hit by protests **
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  #25  
Old 04-29-2013, 10:40 AM
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I have not seen the couple look so gloomy at an official engagement (unless it was a sad occasion anyway) for a very long time. (For those who may not regularly follow the couple: thats how they would usually look - here attending a ceremony in Okinawa in November 2012. )

To give you an idea why this is probably so, I would like to quote part of an AP-article:

In nationalist move, Japan marks sovereignty day
Quote:
Japan for the first time Sunday officially marked the 61st anniversary of the day it regained sovereignty following its World War II defeat, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe steps up his nationalist campaign. […] [Abe] recently has shifted his focus to pursuing his conservative agenda, and the marking of the anniversary is seen as a step to drum up support for revising Japan's U.S.-inspired pacifist constitution. […]

Sunday's proceedings were filled with nationalistic rituals considered symbols of the imperial warship that drove Japan to its 20th century aggression in Asia. The ceremony started with the singing of the controversial national anthem "Kimigayo" ("His Majesty's Reign"), and ended with "Banzai!" cheers for Emperor Akihito. There also was a huge rising sun decoration on the center stage. […] The ceremony was the latest in a series of nationalistic events and remarks that have invited harsh reactions from neighboring countries that suffered from Japan's wartime aggression.

Visits by several government ministers and nearly 170 lawmakers to Tokyo's war shrine this month have enraged China and South Korea. […] Abe also infuriated China and South Korea by saying that there is no clear definition of "aggression" and that Japan will not "succumb to any threat."
As the emperor has, ever since his ascension, done everything in his power to further peaceful relations with Japans Asian neighbours, he must have hated it to be obliged to have to be present at such an event. But, as Makoto Watanabe, a former grand steward of the IHA, said there was no provision in the Constitution which could serve as a basis for refusing to attend. "If the emperor said he would not attend, that would end up being a political act by him."

Still, there are a lot of experts who think that, even though the emperor does not have the right the refuse if the governments invites him, they should not bring him into such a difficult situation in the first place.
Quote:
[...] a former [IHA] agency official said, "Their majesties should not be brought into an event that has led to opposition from Okinawa."

Shock waves reverberated through Okinawa in 1979 following the discovery of a document in the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration which included a message from the current emperor's father asking U.S. occupation forces in 1947 to remain in Okinawa. Eiichi Shindo, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Tsukuba who uncovered that document, said, "There are still many people in Okinawa who feel they were abandoned. In light of this, I don't think the emperor should attend the ceremony." [...]

Takeshi Kobayashi, a visiting professor of constitutional law at Okinawa University, said: "With people in Okinawa referring to the date as a 'day of humiliation,' a sharp division has emerged in public opinion. Because the Constitution defines the emperor as 'the symbol of the unity of the people,' he should not be allowed to participate in an event which has divided public opinion."
The Asahi Shimbun
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(Following recent incidents, I would like to refer anybody who may think the emperors statement obvious or redundant to this thread, post #682.)
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  #26  
Old 05-06-2013, 04:01 PM
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A nationalist campaign is somewhat worrying considering that Japan's under threats by North Korea. Ultra-nationalists could use this as an attempt to stir up pre-war politics again, which would not be good for Japan. I wonder whether this ceremony with its cries of "Banzai" brought back uncomfortable memories for the Emperor, even though he was only a child at the time of WWII.
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  #27  
Old 05-15-2013, 11:22 AM
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Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and his wife Pengiran Anak Saleha have been received by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at the Imperial Palace on May 13, 2013.



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  #28  
Old 05-26-2013, 10:16 AM
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Japanese Emperor Plants Rice Seedlings
Quote:
Japanese Emperor Akihito planted rice seedlings in a paddy field at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Tuesday keeping up an annual tradition first started by his father Emperor Showa to promote production of rice, Japan's staple food. [...]

The seedlings, which are 15 to 20 centimeter-tall, will be harvested in autumn and used in a festival held at the palace.
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Surgeon who operated on Emperor takes recovery process to heart
Quote:
[...] "In May last year, when he returned to Haneda Airport after having completed a trip to Britain and came down the airplane steps, I thought his operation had been a success," the surgeon, a professor at Juntendo University, said. "Now I think His Majesty's basic physical fitness is about 50 percent better than it was before he underwent the procedure." [...]

Amano said that the state of two bypasses made during the operation were stable, and were likely to be free of problems for 20 years or even longer than that. "Looking at data to date, we've seen that if heart rehabilitation is carried out properly, then the person's basic physical fitness improves," Amano said. "Over the past year, His Majesty has undergone rehabilitation while actively engaging in his public duties, and that stance has boosted his physical strength."
Imperial Couple to hand over some public duties to younger generation
Quote:
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will hand over public duties of visiting kindergartens and nursing homes to their children after both of them turn 80, according to the Imperial Household Agency.

The couple expressed a wish to pass on the duties, the agency said Monday, quoting them as saying interacting with children and encouraging the elderly would be more suitable for the younger generation — Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako and Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko. [...]

The agency has yet to decide how the younger couples will take over the duties.
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"In order to make the area inhabitable again, we face the difficult problem of removing radiation." - Emperor Akihito

(Following recent incidents, I would like to refer anybody who may think the emperors statement obvious or redundant to this thread, post #682.)
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  #29  
Old 05-27-2013, 10:30 AM
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On May 14, Empress Michiko viewed the Japanese traditional puppet theatre 'Sonezaki-Shinju' by Bunraku in Tokyo.



** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 **


On May 22, Empress Michiko visited an original drawing exhibition to celebrate the 110th anniversary of Fujinnotomo Publishing in Tokyo.


** Pic **


And yesterday, May 26, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attended the annual national tree planting festival at Tottori Hanakairo Flower Park in Nanbu, Tottori.


** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 ** mainichi.jp: Emperor, empress attend tree-planting ceremony in Tottori **
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  #30  
Old 05-29-2013, 03:41 PM
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Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko received the Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh and his wife at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo today, May 29, 2013.


** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 **


** Manmohan Singh meets Emperor and Empress of Japan **

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  #31  
Old 06-02-2013, 02:59 AM
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Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attended the second Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize awards ceremony on the sidelines of the five-yearly Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Yokohama, suburban Tokyo, on June 1, 2013.



** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 ** Pic 3 ** Pic 4 ** Pic 5 ** Pic 6 **


** gulf-times.com: With eye on China, Japan pledges aid to Africa **
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  #32  
Old 06-17-2013, 06:50 AM
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Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attended the awards ceremony of the Japan Academy Prize at the Academy's headquarters in Tokyo on June 17, 2013. Empress Michiko resumed her official duties on June 17 as she suspended her official duties for a week to rest and recover from a bout of fatigue.




** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 ** Pic 3 ** gettyimages/daylife **

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  #33  
Old 06-25-2013, 04:21 PM
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On June 22 Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attended a tea party to celebrate Empress Michiko's 77th birthday at Kyoto Imperial Palace and they visited the Myosinji Temple in Kyoto.



** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 ** Pic 3 ** Pic 4 ** gettyimages gallery **





On June 23 Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attended the opening ceremony of the World Congress of Biological Psychiatry at the Kyoto International Conference Center in Kyoto.



** Pic **


And on June 24 the couple visited a molding maker in Osaka.


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  #34  
Old 06-30-2013, 03:06 AM
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Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attended a tea party hosted by the Imperial Household Agency to celebrate Empress' 77th birthday at the Imperial Palace on June 27, 2013.



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  #35  
Old 07-04-2013, 03:58 PM
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Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited Iwate Prefecture today, July 4, "one of the 3 Japanese prefectures hardest-hit by the March 11th 2011 tsunami and earthquake".



** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 ** nhk.or.jp: Emperor, Empress visit disaster evacuees in Iwate **
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  #36  
Old 07-08-2013, 02:47 AM
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Still in Iwate Prefecture Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited the Taiheiyo Cement Ofunato Factory in Ofunato on July 5:



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  #37  
Old 07-13-2013, 03:40 PM
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Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited the 'Japanese Forest Restoration' exhibition at Tokyo University of Agriculture on July 10, 2013.



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  #38  
Old 07-23-2013, 02:10 AM
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Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko are on a two-day visit to areas of Fukushima Prefecture to meet people still suffering from the aftermath of the nuclear plant accident triggered by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.


Here are some pics from yesterday, July 22:



** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 ** Pic 3 ** Pic 4 ** sipa gallery **


** jiji.com: Japan's Emperor, Empress Visit Fukushima Pref. **
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  #39  
Old 07-24-2013, 03:54 PM
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Here are some pics of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko departing from Fukushima Station on July 23, 2013:


** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 ** Pic 3 **


Today, July 24, the couple visited a strawberry farm in Nasushiobara, Tochigi.



** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 (a lovely one) ** Pic 3 **
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  #40  
Old 08-04-2013, 03:08 AM
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Emperor Akihito officially opened the extraordinary diet session at the upper house of parliament in Tokyo on August 2, 2013.



** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 ** sipa gallery **
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