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  #201  
Old 07-05-2018, 09:05 AM
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I'm happy to hear that he has recovered, but this certainly highlights why exactly he expressed a wish to abdicate. Both he and the Empress have appeared increasingly frail in videos taken in the last few months.
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  #202  
Old 07-05-2018, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ista View Post
I'm happy to hear that he has recovered, but this certainly highlights why exactly he expressed a wish to abdicate. Both he and the Empress have appeared increasingly frail in videos taken in the last few months.
Yes, and I hope the abdication festivities will not be overly tiring for him. Hopefully there is a plan in place to deal with any possible illness at that point.
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  #203  
Old 07-07-2018, 02:01 AM
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Empress Michiko attended a concert by the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra at Suntory Hall in Tokyo on July 6:


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  #204  
Old 07-07-2018, 03:05 AM
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The July 9-10 private trip to Shizuoka Prefecture is cancelled. Their Majesties are concerned about the expanding damage, deaths, and injuries due to heavy rain in western Japan. Also cancelled is a concert appearance at Tokyo's Suntory Hall on the 8th.
Sources: Sankei, Jiji


On July 9th, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko sent sympathies via the IHA to Hiroshima, Ehime, and Okayama Prefectures suffering from heavy rain.
Source: Sankei

105 dead, 87 missing in floods and landslides across western Japan - The Mainichi
Quote:
As many as 105 people in 13 prefectures were dead and 87 others were missing as of 12:30 p.m. on July 9 due to mudslides and floods caused by torrential rains in a wide area of western Japan, according to local authorities. Rescue workers continue efforts to locate people whose whereabouts are unknown, while at least some 23,000 people had evacuated due to heavy downpours and related natural disasters as of the night of July 8.

[...]
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  #206  
Old 07-13-2018, 01:49 AM
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Due to the ongoing heavy rain disaster, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko have cancelled their July 17-20 rest period at Nasu Imperial Villa in Tochigi Prefecture.

Source: Mainichi

ETA: Their Majesties invited the presidents of the Japan Red Cross Society and other organizations on the 13th to learn more about the disaster response and current local situations. [Asahi]

Emperor, Empress cancel summer retreat over flood disaster - The Mainichi
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  #207  
Old 07-19-2018, 01:08 PM
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Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will visit Hokkaido Prefecture August 3-5.

Japanese Emperor, Empress to Visit Hokkaido in Aug. - JIJI PRESS
Quote:
[...] The Emperor and Empress will attend a ceremony marking the 150th anniversary of the prefecture being named Hokkaido.
As part of the tour, the Imperial couple will make their first-ever visit to the island of Rishiri.
[...] on Aug. 3, the couple will visit a farm in the city of Kitahiroshima where people with intellectual disabilities work.
On the following day, the couple is slated to take a day trip to Rishiri, visiting a sea urchin breeding center and touring the island.
ETA: Imperial Couple to visit Hokkaido's Rishiri Island for 1st time in August - The Mainichi
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  #208  
Old 07-20-2018, 11:29 AM
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On July 20th, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attended a concert commemorating the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Vietnam at Suntory Hall. They enjoyed the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra's performance of Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 "From the New World," conducted by Tetsuji Honna.

Source: Jiji
https://www.jiji.com/news/photos/pho...0027738739.jpg

ETA: Getty Images
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  #209  
Old 07-21-2018, 11:45 PM
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What a charming and intelligent couple! I love how Empress Michiko wears such simple and stylish clothes.
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  #210  
Old 07-26-2018, 12:32 PM
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On July 25th, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited the 70th Mainichi Calligraphy Exhibition at the National Art Center in Roppongi, Tokyo. [Mainichi]

Photos: Getty Images

ETA: Imperial Couple view calligraphy works at Mainichi Shodo Exhibition - The Mainichi

On the same day, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko received Tokihiro Nakamura, governor of Ehime Prefecture, for a report on the heavy rain damage. During the 40 minute meeting, Their Majesties inquired after the lives of the victims, industry impact, and challenges to reconstruction. They also cautioned about the recent hot weather affecting disaster response.

The IHA reported the Imperial couple will meet with governors of Okayama and Hiroshima on August 2.

Source: Sankei
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  #211  
Old 08-03-2018, 01:37 PM
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Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko had medical check-ups at the IHA hospital on July 27th and University Hospital of Tokyo University on July 29th. No particular abnormality was seen.

On August 2nd, they received damage and recovery reports from the governors of Okayama and Hiroshima. Empress Michiko mentioned the importance of regional bonds.

Source: Sankei Imperial Weekly #550

On July 30th, the IHA refuted a July 26th article from "Weekly Bunshun" claiming Empress Michiko's lamentation is too painful, worried about Kei Komuro going to New York, called him a “dreamer,” and confided to an "acquaintance" that "it was too much to transform the Imperial family" so Mr. Komuro's studying abroad.
Again, the IHA stresses Their Majesties have not spoken of this matter to anyone to protect Princess Mako from noise. It's regrettable Mako, the Akishino couple, and Mr. Komuro are not given privacy. [IHA press release, Google translation]

On July 31st, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa of Portugal sent condolences to Emperor Ahikito regarding the deadly heat wave in Japan. His Majesty responded with thanks the next day. While the Emperor regularly exchanges telegrams on major disasters and national affairs, it's a first for heat wave. [Asahi]

On August 3rd, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko began their 3-day visit to Hokkaido Prefecture. They visited Takeuchi Farm in Kitahiroshima which employs people with disabilities.

Photos: Asahi 1, Asahi 2

https://www.jiji.com/news/photos/pho...0027851361.jpg
https://www.jiji.com/news/photos/pho...0027851363.jpg
https://www.jiji.com/news/photos/pho...0027851350.jpg

ETA: Imperial Couple begins tour of Hokkaido | The Japan Times
Quote:
[...] Since its establishment in 2014, managers Takumi Takeuchi, 38, and his wife, Ai, 35, have been collaborating with a welfare office under a government program aimed at developing a link with agriculture to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

After strolling through green pepper fields under the scorching sun, the Emperor and the Empress watched workers pack tomatoes and other vegetables in bags inside a greenhouse.

“Well done working in this heat,” they told the workers.

When Takumi explained that his farm ships 15 different crops for about 200 days of the year, the Emperor was impressed and said, “You are very creative in your work.”

The Imperial Couple’s visit to the farm will “provide an opportunity for people to learn about activities aimed at promoting the agriculture-welfare linkage,” Ai said, adding that she is “happy” as the Emperor and the Empress showed interest in such activities. “We want to further promote the activities,” she stressed.

[...]
ETA: On August 4th, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited Rishiri Island for the first time and toured a sea urchin seedling production center.

Photos: Asahi, Sankei, Getty Images

Imperial couple greeted warmly on remote island off Hokkaido: The Asahi Shimbun
Quote:
[...] The couple have always been interested in visiting the smaller remote islands of the archipelago and Rishirito is the 55th such island visited by them.

[...]

They were especially interested in getting a good look at Rebunto, which is located close to Rishirito and which they had wanted to visit but were unable to do so because of inadequate transportation means.

Once they landed on Rishirito, the imperial couple visited a center that raises the sea urchins for which the region is known for. After hearing an explanation of how sea urchins were raised, Michiko took one in her hand.

Akihito expressed relief when he was told there was no noticeable decrease in the availability of the sea urchins on the island.

[...]

Sea urchin, or "uni," was on the lunch menu for the couple.

Rishirito has a circumference of about 60 kilometers. The imperial couple were driven around the island for about four hours and were warmly greeted by islanders wherever they went.


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  #212  
Old 08-05-2018, 05:21 PM
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On August 5th, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attended the 150th anniversary of Hokkaido's naming in Sapporo. The ceremony featured Ainu traditional arts and the couple viewed Hadrosaurus dinosaur fossils discovered in Mukawa-cho which are stored at the venue.

Photos: Asahi, Asahi 2, Sankei

Getty Images of August 3-5 visit


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  #213  
Old 08-14-2018, 12:35 AM
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On August 13th, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko donated to the heavily rain damaged Okayama, Hiroshima, Ehime, and Fukuoka prefectures.
Source: Asahi

Emperor, Empress plan to visit western prefectures ravaged by deadly rains - The Mainichi
Quote:
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will visit the western Japan prefectures of Hiroshima, Okayama and Ehime in mid-September to console the victims of torrential rains that devastated those areas in July […]

The visits will consist of two separate day trips, with the first one covering Hiroshima and Okayama and the second one to Ehime on the island of Shikoku, say agency officials.

[…]

The Emperor and Empress hope to meet those hit by the historic natural disaster at a time that doesn't affect recovery work, according to those officials. The visits are planned as day trips to minimize the impact on local communities.

[…]
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  #214  
Old 08-14-2018, 11:49 PM
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On August 15th, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attended the 73rd national memorial ceremony for the war dead at Nippon Budokan Hall on the anniversary of Japan's WWII surrender.

Thousands join Emperor Akihito for his final war memorial event: The Asahi Shimbun
Quote:
About 5,500 bereaved family members were among the participants to join Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at the annual national memorial ceremony held on Aug. 15 to mark the end of World War II.

The 73rd event was the last to be attended by Akihito, who is scheduled to abdicate next April [...]

For the fourth straight year, he expressed "deep remorse" for all those who died in the war, and he also said, "I earnestly hope that the ravages of war will never be repeated."

Participants observed a moment of silence at noon for the approximately 3.1 million Japanese who died in the war.

The oldest bereaved family member attending the ceremony this year was 102-year-old Harumi Serigano of Tokyo's Nerima Ward.

[...]
Memory of war drives Emperor Akihito's persistent wish for peace - The Mainichi
Quote:
[...] His former schoolmates say the Emperor has come to feel strongly about those killed, based on his own wartime experiences.

On Dec. 8, 1941, when Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, Emperor Akihito was a second-year pupil at Gakushuin Primary School [...]

Since then, the Emperor, then the crown prince, was requested to inspect military facilities to shore up the nation's support for the war. He visited the Imperial Japanese Army's school to train aircraft technicians in the city of Tachikawa in western Tokyo with his classmates in October 1941. A year later, he inspected the army's air defense and tank schools in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, and then in June 1943, he toured the Imperial Japanese Navy's air corps in Kasumigaura and Tsuchiura in Ibaraki Prefecture [...]

Kazuo Sakaki, 84, who accompanied the Emperor on these visits, said, "He was just a child, but he tried to cheer up soldiers and people who were supporting the war efforts."

[...]

In his December 1993 press conference for his birthday, Emperor Akihito recalled what it was like three months after the end of the war, when he was back in Tokyo from Nikko where he had evacuated. "It was something unimaginable from the present-day Tokyo, as tin-roofed huts dotted the burned-down landscape," said the Emperor.

In 1999, he told reporters that he grew up without knowing a time when Japan was not fighting a war. He revealed that his oldest memory was the Marco Polo Bridge incident of July 1937 when the war between Japan and China began. He was aged 3 at that time.

The Emperor has repeatedly mentioned his deep thoughts on peace. Sakaki thinks that behind those remarks are "his sense of responsibility for soldiers who were encouraged by His Majesty to go to war and got killed."
ETA: Japan marks 73rd anniv. of surrender in WWII, renews peace pledge - The Mainichi


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  #215  
Old 08-15-2018, 01:42 AM
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Here are some more photos and an additional article:


** rex gallery 1 ** rex gallery 2 **


** dailymail: Japan's emperor makes last war-end anniversary speech **
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  #216  
Old 08-17-2018, 01:57 AM
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Address by His Majesty the Emperor on the Occasion of the Memorial Ceremony for the War Dead (August 15, 2018) - The Imperial Household Agency

Editorial: Emperor Akihito shows the way in expressing sorrow for the war dead - The Mainichi
Quote:
[...]

From the postwar portion of the Showa era to the Heisei era beginning in 1989, the emperor's words at these events have evolved. The volume of text has doubled, and expressions have turned softer and become more inclusive of the people's feelings.

Eulogies given by Emperor Hirohito (know posthumously as Emperor Showa) used staid language even when he was expressing his feeling of pain over the war dead. Although he began to use terms designed to sound more polite and closer to listeners, the text was fixed for years.

Emperor Akihito, [...], started to pay homage to those killed in battle in ways considerate of the sentiment of each and every citizen. The addresses were polished by the Emperor himself every year with subtle adjustments here and there. But they always shared the sense of sorrow with people.

[...]

The sense of duty that he must convey the sorrow he felt personally during the war has supported the Emperor's 30 years of effort. His easy-to-understand words have come to carry substantial weight because of his actions. The Emperor, along with Empress Michiko, has always paid special respect to Okinawa, where a fierce land battle was fought during the war. Even in old age, the Imperial Couple continue to tour old battlefields abroad to console the souls of the fallen. His words correspond to his deeds.

[...]
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  #217  
Old 08-20-2018, 12:22 PM
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On August 20th, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attended the opening ceremony of the 68th International Academy for Production Engineering General Assembly held at the University of Tokyo. Their Majesties have attended this international conference every year since 1995 to promote science. About 500 people participated in the opening ceremony and the Imperial couple also spoke to about 40 attendees at the reception.

Photos: Getty Images (updated), Mainichi, Jiji
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  #218  
Old 08-22-2018, 02:20 AM
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On August 22nd, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko traveled to Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture for vacation. On the 27th, they will move to Kusatsu, Gunma Prefecture and then return to Tokyo on the 29th. The couple will visit former Manchuria returnee settlements and attend Kusatsu summer concert.

Source: Jiji

Getty Images

https://twitter.com/hr_kw/status/1032119617609588737
https://twitter.com/jun_macha/status...48493945659392
https://twitter.com/nao923/status/1032117918014873600
https://twitter.com/chapunkun/status...18347582730240
https://twitter.com/umatatsu2/status...16499870232576

The Imperial couple will visit Fukui Prefecture September 28-30 for the National Sports Festival opening ceremony. Agenda includes fencing competition, prefectural research institute, and a museum visit.

Source: Mainichi
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  #219  
Old 08-23-2018, 08:50 AM
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And here are some photos of their second day in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, today, August 23:


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  #220  
Old 08-25-2018, 01:06 AM
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On August 25th, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited the tennis court where they first met in 1957. They stayed about 30 minutes but did not play.

Photos: Mainichi
https://twitter.com/nanamoulnamo/sta...13776772849664
https://twitter.com/naganoNTK/status...35829143945216

A trip down memory lane for Akihito, Michiko in Karuizawa: The Asahi Shimbun
Quote:
[...]

Since its founding, Tsuchiya Shashinten has been recording the private side of vacationing imperial family members at this posh resort town.

[...]

“We feel honored that Karuizawa is where they met,” said Natsuoko Machida, 81, wife of Yasuhiko, also 81 and the third-generation owner of Tsuchiya photo studio. “Other holiday makers are also looking forward to seeing them, and we are often asked at this time of year when they are coming.”

[...]

Studio photographers have been capturing the changing townscape of Karuizawa since the late Meiji Era (1868-1912). The interior of the studio is crammed with photos of imperial family members relaxing with local residents and holiday makers.

Among the images are ones of Akihito and Michiko at the tennis court before their engagement and the couple with Crown Prince Naruhito as a boy getting off the train at Karuizawa Station.

The gallery includes some rare shots, such as one of the young Emperor Showa, then prince regent and known as Hirohito, riding a horse, and Akihito as crown prince wearing glasses and reading a book at a bookshop in the town.

The bookshop photo was snapped by Yukio Kobayashi, the second-generation owner of Tsuchiya photo studio, who was Machida’s uncle. Machida said Kobayashi took it after asking Akihito’s attendant for permission.

“In those days, he (Akihito) walked around Karuizawa rather freely,” Machida said.

She recalled that he used to stop by a cafe or eat curry and rice with friends after playing tennis.

[...]
The Japanese Asahi article has a few more photos than the English version.

More on the August 23rd settlement visit: Emperor and Empress visit settlement in Nagano - News - NHK WORLD - English

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