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Japan’s Emperor Naruhito mourns the deadly Noto quake in a solemn birthday speech [Video]

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Princess Kako of Akishino, from left, Crown Princess Kiko and Crown Prince Akishino join Emperor Naruhito, Empress Masako and their daughter Princess Aiko waving to well-wishers from the balcony of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024. Emperor Naruhito turns 64 on Friday. (Tomohiro Ohsumi/Pool Photo via AP)

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s Emperor Naruhito made his first speech to the nation since a deadly earthquake hit the north-central region of Koto, with a message marking his 64th birthday on Friday.

The ceremonial monarch expressed grief for people affected by the Jan. 1 earthquake, praying for their recovery and saying he hoped to visit the region to console them.

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