Japanese emperor makes live television appearance after earthquake

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Emperor Akihito said he was "deeply worried"

Akihito, the emperor of Japan, has made a live appearance on national television saying he was "deeply worried" after the earthquake and tsunami that hit last Friday. The emperor made his announcement shortly after technicians working to stabilise a nuclear plant temporarily abandoned it as radiation started to surge.

The emperor's appearance caused television stations to interrupt scheduled programming. During his appearance he said "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." The 77 year-old is deeply respected in Japan.

A statement by the Imperial household said Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko want to visit the area affected by the tsunami, but the important thing now is rescuing the victims. In 1995 the emperor and empress visited Kobe after an earthquake struck and killed 6,400 people.

Around 10,000 people are feared to be dead after the earthquake and tsunami hit the north-east coast of the country. More than 100 countries have offered rescue services in an attempt to save as many people as possible.