Emperor Hirohito together with other members of the Japanese Imperial family, appeared on the balcony of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo before cheering crowds on Wednesday (2 January) for his traditional New Year's greeting to the Japanese people.
SV PAN People walk towards the Imperial Palace holding flags
GV Massive crowd outside Palace, ZOOM INTO Royal Family waving
SV & CU Emperor and Empress waving (2 shots)
GV & SV Crowds cheering, with flags (2 shots)
Prince Hitachi and Crown Prince Akihito (on right) the Crown Princess Michiko & Princess Hanako (on right)
CU & SV Crowd (2 shots)
SV Emperor waving from balcony
GV PAN Crowds outside Palace
Initials BB/1543 AS/TB/BB/1558
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Background: Emperor Hirohito together with other members of the Japanese Imperial family, appeared on the balcony of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo before cheering crowds on Wednesday (2 January) for his traditional New Year's greeting to the Japanese people.
The 75-year-old Emperor appeared on the balcony once an hour to be cheered by flag-waving crowds of 20,000. By the end of the day, over 120,000 had seen their Emperor -- many shouting "Banzai!" ("Long live the Emperor!"). Palace officials had been dismayed at what they thought to be a relatively small number of well-wishers last year, and were encouraged by Wednesday's turn-out. But they mentioned the conspicuous absence of middle-aged people and city-dwellers in the crowds.
Two years ago, someone in the crowd had thrown a small steel ball at the Emperor -- so this year the balcony was protected by a bullet-proof screen. The New Year's reception is the only time in the year citizens can enter the grounds of the Imperial Palace, and one of the few occasions they can see the Emperor.
SYNOPSIS: More than one-hundred-and-twenty-thousand people braved the near-freezing weather on Wednesday to go to the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. They went to catch a glimpse of the seventy-five year-old Emperor Hirohito, and other members of the Japanese Imperial Family.
The Emperor, giving his traditional New Year's greeting to his people, appeared on a Palace balcony protected by a bullet-proof screen. Two years ago, a member of the crowd had thrown a steel ball at him.
Prince Hitachi, Crown Prince Akihito as well as Crown Princess Michiko and Princess Hanako appeared on the balcony with the Emperor and Empress to acknowledge the cheering and flag-waving crowds.
Palace officials were pleased at the size of Wednesday's crowds, made up mainly of country-people and children. Encouraged by groups of nationalist students, many chanted "Banzai!" -- "Long live the Emperor!".