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

By MARI YAMAGUCHI
Associated Press

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 ruler 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. The magnitude 7.6 quake on New Year’s Day killed 241 people and drove more than 12,000 people from their homes. Nine people are still missing. Naruhito’s last scheduled national address, an annual New Year event, was canceled because of the quake. Cheering well-wishers gathered at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo despite cold, rainy weather.

Article Topic Follows: ap-national-news

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