Emperor Akihoto has announced to abdicate in 2019

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Japan embassy celebrates 85th birthday of Emperor in befitting manner

Zubair Qureshi

It was all about Japanese progress, prosperity, culture diplomacy and above all strong ties that that exist between Pakistan and Japan. At a reception marking the 85th Birthday of His Majesty Emperor Akihito, the 125th Emperor of Japan, a large number of guests including parliamentarians representing the government and the opposition both, Japan nationals working in various organizations, departments etc in Pakistan, diplomats, members of civil society and above all friends of Japan reiterated their belief in strong relations between the two countries.
Ambassador of Japan Takashi Kurai and Madam Rieko Kurai had hosted the reception at Serena Hotel to glorify the Emperor of Japan Akihoto’s era and to celebrate his last birthday as the great leader has chosen to abdicate on April 30, 2019 and Crown Prince Naruhito will take over on May 1.
Among the guests mostly attired in western dress, one could spot some graceful Japanese women and men in Kimono (Japanese traditional clothing) bowing before the guests in esteem.
Federal Minister for Privatisation Mohammedmian Soomro was the chief guest on the occasion. The noted among the guests were federal minister Ahsan Iqbal, former Speaker National Assembly/Foreign Minister Gohar Ayub Khan, former Speaker National Assembly Syed Fakhar Imam and his wife Syeda Abida Hussain, Deputy Chairman Senate Saleem Mandviwala, Senator Waseem Shehzad, Federal Ombudsperson for Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplaces, Senator Sitara Ayaz and Senator Usman Khan Kakar.
Ambassador Kurai, along with the distinguished guests, cut a cake to celebrate the birthday of His Majesty Emperor Akihito after the national anthems of Japan and Pakistan were played.
The Imperial Household of Japan is the oldest existing lineage in the world, dating more than 2000 years back, since the foundation of the first Emperor Jimmu in 660 B.C. according to Japan’s oldest history book named Nihonshoki.
According to the Ambassador Kurai, under Japan’s postwar constitution, the Emperor is featured as a symbol of the nation, embodying the unity of its people. His Majesty Emperor Akihito was born in Tokyo on 23rd December, 1933 as the first son of the late Emperor Hirohito (Showa). Every year, 23rd December is celebrated as a national holiday in Japan.
He said the Era of His Majesty Emperor Akihito’s reign is called Heisei. On April 30, 2019 His Majesty Emperor Akihito will abdicate and Crown Prince will ascend throne on 1st May 2019. This is the last official birthday ceremony for His Majesty Emperor Akihito.
The ambassador in his address said, “To me personally, this is the third Emperor’s birthday since I was posted to Pakistan, but whenever we have the reception here, I always refresh my memory that their Majesties the Emperor and Empress were very warmly telling me about their visit to Pakistan in 1962, when they were Imperial Highness the Crown Prince and Princess.”
He said he was overjoyed to see that they remembered the smallest meeting with the people and the most distant place they visited during the stay in Pakistan.
He said the year 2018 had started with the visit of Foreign Minister Taro Kono in January, followed by other important visits from Japan such as State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Vice Ministers, Parliamentary Friendship League and others. We are preparing even further visits from both sides, said he. He also apprised the guests about severity of natural disasters in Japan. Japan is prone to natural disasters but this year our country was hit by even more frequent and severe disasters.
However, with all the kind support, extended by all the friends outside Japan including of Pakistan, the affected areas of Western Japan, Kansai or Hokkaido have recovered at an incredible pace with efforts and solidarity of Japanese people. He expressed Japanese people’s sincere appreciation to the warm support and heartfelt wishes extended by all the friends of Japan and hope that more people, including Pakistani friends, will visit Japan, particularly those places once affected by natural disasters and see how well they have recovered.

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