Emperor Akihito of Japan says he is comforted because the end of his reign arrives with his country in peace and called to continue walking this path on the occasion of the celebration today of his 85th birthday, the last one he will celebrate before his abdication.
"I am deeply comforted that the era of Heisei (that of his reign) is coming to an end, free of war in Japan," Akihito said at a press conference held three days ago at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo and published today at the who pointed out the importance of not forgetting the horrors of war.
In his appearance, Akihito said he believed "important not to forget the countless lives that were lost in World War II and that the peace and prosperity of post-war Japan were built on numerous sacrifices and tireless efforts", and called to transmit history "with precision" to the new generations.
The Japanese emperor recalled the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the first year of his reign, and how it became a symbol of the end of the so-called Cold War and brought hopes of times of world peace.
"Subsequent global developments have not necessarily gone in the direction we wanted, it hurts me in the heart that there have been ethnic disputes and ethnic conflicts, many lives have been lost due to acts of terrorism, and a large number of refugees continue to suffer difficulties today. in the world, "he declared.
This is the last scheduled occasion in which Akihito sends a message to the public at a press conference and the last time he celebrates his birthday as head of state before his abdication on April 30, 2019, after a reign marked by its pacifism and its proximity to the Japanese people.
Akihito also had words of comfort for those affected by a series of natural disasters this year and said that the catastrophes of this nature that Japan has suffered in its three decades of reign have left an "indelible impression" on his mind.
"I can not forget the natural disasters that have hit more frequently than in previous years," torrential rains, earthquakes and typhoons in which "many people lost their lives, while many others lost the base of their livelihood," lamented the emperor.
Akihito said he has no words "to describe the deep sadness I feel when I think about this," but at the same time he feels encouraged to see that "in the face of such difficulties, the spirit of volunteerism and other forms of cooperation" grows among the people.
On his abdication, the emperor said that since he ascended the throne has wondered what is the best way to develop the functions of "symbol of the State" that gives the Constitution, and will continue to strive in the remaining months.
The crown prince Naruhito and his brother, Prince Akishino, "have accumulated experience and I believe that, while they continue with the traditions of the imperial family, they will continue to walk their path, along with the society in continuous change," Akihito added.