Emperor Akihito

Emperor Akihito

Emperor Akihito of Japan has addressed his nation for the first time since last week's earthquake and tsunami.

We don't know the number of victims, but I pray every single person can be saved.

The country is facing a nuclear crisis in the wake of the 9.0 magnitude earthquake which rocked the country's North Eastern island last Friday (11.03.11), destabilising the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

As workers battle to stop reactors overheating and causing a meltdown, Emperor Akihito made a rare television appearance yesterday (16.03.11) saying he is "deeply concerned" at the present situation, and hopes his country can unite against it.

He said: "I sincerely hope we can keep the situation from getting worse.

"I hope from the bottom of my heart that the people will, hand in hand, treat each other with compassion and overcome these difficult times.

"We don't know the number of victims, but I pray every single person can be saved."

The official death toll stands at 3,700, but tens of thousands of people are still missing and feared dead, while some 450,000 are now refugees after their homes were destroyed in the natural disasters.

It was also rumoured yesterday that the Emperor had left Tokyo for Kyoto after low-level radioactivity spread throughout the capital.


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