facebook
twitter
search
search

Emperor of Japan turns 79

Dec. 23, 2012 at 10:11 AM
1 of 3
| License Photo

TOKYO, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Japan's Emperor Akihito marked his 79th birthday Sunday with a message of support for people still recovering from the deadly 2011 earthquake.

Akihito used the occasion to reveal he had undergone heart surgery in February so that he would be able to attend a national memorial ceremony for the victims of the huge quake and tsunami.

"I expressed my wish to attend the ceremony ... so the surgery was carried out to meet this schedule," the emperor told reporters at pre-birthday news conference.

In a public address at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Akihito told the nation he was feeling fine and carrying out his official duties.

He also sent his best wishes to everyone who was affected by the disaster. "Our hearts will be with the afflicted people and I wish you all happiness," he said.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Chelsea Clinton accidentally calls Bernie 'President Sanders'
Watch every star-studded Super Bowl commercial of 2016
Susan Sarandon responds to Piers Morgan criticizing cleavage
Two Virginia Tech students plotted 13-year-old's death, prosecutors said
Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice got classified email on private accounts