April 30, 2019 / 8:49 AM / 3 months ago

Text: Emperor Akihito thanks Japanese people in farewell remarks

Japan's Emperor Akihito, accompanied by Empress Michiko, waves to well-wishers before leaving Ujiyamada Station after their visit to Ise Jingu shrine in Ise in the central Japanese prefecture of Mie, April 18, 2019, as he takes part in a series of rituals ahead of his abdication. Kazuhiro Nogi/Pool via REUTERS

TOKYO (Reuters) - Following are remarks by Japanese Emperor Akihito at his abdication ceremony on Tuesday in the Imperial Palace’s Matsu no ma, or Hall of Pine.

“Today, I am finishing my duty as emperor. Let me express my deep appreciation for the remarks Prime Minister Abe has just given as the representative of the Japanese people.

“It is fortunate that I have been able to perform my duty as emperor with profound trust in and respect for the Japanese people for 30 years since my ascension to the throne.

“To the people who accepted and supported me as a symbol, I express my heartfelt thanks.

“Together with the empress, I hope from my heart that the new Reiwa (imperial) era that begins tomorrow will be peaceful and fruitful, and pray for the peace and happiness of our country and the people of the world.”

Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; editing by Darren Schuettler

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