Longest-Reigning Monarch Hirohito Marks 60-Yr. Rule
Emperor Hirohito, the world’s longest-reigning monarch, celebrated six decades today on the throne that he ascended as a god-king and now fills as a ceremonial symbol. It was his 85th birthday.
In a short formal ceremony at the national sumo wrestling arena, Hirohito spoke of painful memories of World War II. ". . . My heart is still pained when I recall the sacrifices by the people during the war and I am again moved by the preciousness of peace,” he said.
Police said 4,720 members of political, religious and labor groups demonstrated in four of Tokyo’s parks against the celebration. They said 14 people were arrested but no one was reported hurt.