Japan's Emperor Naruhito and his family have waved to throngs of New Year's well-wishers at the Imperial Palace in a celebration halted for the past two years by the pandemic, AP writes.

Naruhito offered prayers for people’s happiness and world peace in the appearance Monday beside his wife and daughter. Princess Aiko, who is 21, was appearing in her first New Year’s public greeting.

Many of the events involving the Japanese imperial family are reserved for the adult royals. Also standing by was Emperor Emeritus Akihito, who abdicated in favor of his son in 2019. The people allowed on the Imperial Palace grounds this year were preselected because of pandemic restrictions on large crowds.


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