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Imperial greetings

15 Comments

Emperor Akihito, center, and other members of the imperial family wave to well-wishers from the palace balcony during a New Year's public appearance at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Sunday. The emperor, standing behind the bullet-proof glass and speaking through microphones, delivered his annual New Year's greetings. Around 77,000 people gathered at the palace for a total of five greeting sessions for the day.

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15 Comments
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Just wondering when the speaking behind bullet-proof glass began. Yes I know, security, but add the microphone and it all seems so impersonal.

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One of my friends went to greet the Emperor at this event. He said you can easily find him in the crowd of 49,000 people because he was waving a white and red flag.

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I wish the Imperial Family good wishes for the coming New Year. I think he would have to use a microphone, it would be hard on him to talk loud enough to be heard to that many people.

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Wow. That's so many of them. There were only 6 of them when I went there last year...

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You know, I think the waving was actually better than ever this year. It sure looks like they`ve been practising, because it was really a delight to see.

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The British fawn over their royalty the same way. Such an irrelevant institution : the monarchy !

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Happy New Year

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I agree with semperfi. Monarchy is such an irrelevant state institution. A directly elected prime minister or a presidential system would be more meaningful today.

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They let Masako out for this!! How nice :)

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They let Masako out for this!! How nice :)

They did not! She's still behind glass. I bet the ceiling's made of glass too!

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Apparently the glasses were put there after several incidents of attempted attacks using slingshots and fireworks by some unpatriotic person. I'm sure the imperial family trusts their own people but imperial guards had to install the glasses for security reasons. It's really the only way to be safe.

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A monarchy is expensive and an anachronism in this day and age. However, as long as the Japanese people support it as a unifying force, then it's no big deal. They have no true political power other than symbolically.

Happy New Year!

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I agree with semperfi! I am japanese and not proud of our monarchy at all. And I don't know anyone in my circle who is either.

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R-r-right...they do wave the same way, amazing.

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I am not Japanese, but I disagree that the monarchy is irrelevant. Maybe as far as governing it is. But, culturally, I think it's very important. One of the things I love about Japan is the very distinct and vibrant culture. Take away the royal family, and you dilute the culture.

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