Emperor Naruhito, in a poem recited at the annual Imperial New Year’s Poetry Reading on Wednesday, expressed his hope that the lives of people disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic will return to normal, celebrating the friendship between young marching band members whom he spoke to.
The ceremony at the Imperial Palace was also attended by Empress Masako, as well as Crown Prince Akishino and his wife, Princess Kiko, with the general public attending limited due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This year’s theme awake poems accompanying the reading was “tomo‘, which means ‘friend’.
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