Emperor Akihito

Emperor Akihito

Japan's Emperor Akihito attended a memorial service over the weekend to mark the 66th anniversary of the country's surrender in World War II.

Together with all the people, I express my heartfelt sorrow for those lost in the war and pray for world peace and the country's continued prosperity.

The 77-year-old royal was accompanied by his wife, Empress Michiko, at Tokyo's Budokan indoor arena, where he addressed the audience of more than 6,000 guests.

Speaking at the service - which marked the day Emperor Hirohito declared defeat, ending the Second World War - his son said: "I remember the history and ardently pray that the tragedy of war will never be repeated.

"Together with all the people, I express my heartfelt sorrow for those lost in the war and pray for world peace and the country's continued prosperity."

Prime Minister Naoto Kan also spoke at the service, and insisted Japan will recover from the earthquake and tsunami which hit the Far East country in March just as they did after the war.

Kan said: "Our country rose from the ruins after the war thanks to each citizen's effort and has overcome many difficulties until today. "Given these experiences, we will certainly and strongly reconstruct the disaster areas and Japan."


tagged in