Japan's Emperor Praises Nation Tackling Disaster

By Salon Staff

Published December 23, 2011 4:18AM (EST)

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's Emperor Akihito praised the compassion the nation demonstrated while striving to overcome its March earthquake and tsunami, as he waved from his palace balcony to throngs of well-wishers on his 78th birthday.

Akihito expressed gratitude Friday to all who have been working after the March 11 disasters, including the military, residents of northeastern Japan, volunteers and overseas relief assistance.

In a statement from the Imperial Household Agency, Akihito said "this has been a truly distressing year, dominated by disasters." But he praised the people of Japan for coming together.

Salon Staff

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