Japan's Emperor: Don't Give Up
'I'm deeply concerned about nuclear situation,' says Akihito
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Mar 16, 2011 4:25 AM CDT
Japan's Emperor Akihito reads a statement earlier this year.   (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

(Newser) – In a sign of the increasingly critical nature of Japan's nuclear plant tragedy, the nation's emperor appeared on TV to plead with his countrymen: Don't give up. "I am deeply concerned about the nuclear situation because it is unpredictable," said Emperor Akihito in a rare address to the nation. "With the help of those involved I hope things will not get worse." Akihito also expressed condolences to the victims of last week's earthquake and tsunami, reports AP.

Akihito, 77, thanked everyone involved in relief operations, including those from other nations, and called for an all-out rescue push. "We don't know the number of victims, but I pray that every single person can be saved," he said.