Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Emperor Akihito's Japan emperor makes unprecedented address to nation

Emperor Akihito's speech underlines gravity of Japan's nuclear crisis
Instead of arcane court language, Emperor Akihito addresses the Japanese people in an unusually direct pattern of speech amounting to an imperial pep talk. He insists that the broadcaster interrupt his recorded speech if there are developments in the nuclear crisis.

Reporting from Tokyo —
His voice was measured, his language formal, his demeanor somber. It was perhaps the clearest sign yet of just how grave Japan's nuclear crisis had become: The emperor spoke.

Akihito, the nation's 77-year-old sovereign, delivered an unprecedented address to his people on Wednesday in which he urged calm, perseverance and solidarity in "the difficult days that lie ahead." As the pre-recorded speech was broadcast, workers redoubled their frantic efforts to stave off a catastrophic meltdown at a nuclear complex on Japan's northern coast, devastated five days earlier by an earthquake and tsunami.

Wearing a dark suit and muted indigo tie, the emperor spoke from a reception room at the Imperial Palace, seated before a wood-framed backdrop whose appearance evoked a traditional Japanese shoji screen of rice paper. He began with a slight bow, urging victims of the disaster not to abandon hope.

READ FULL STORY AT

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-japan-quake-emperor-20110317,0,5440665.story

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