The palace grounds were open to well-wishers for the second straight day today, with nearly 27,000 lining up to sign their names before noon, Kyodo news agency reported.
Around 62,000 Japanese around the nation left congratulatory messages yesterday, some 46,000 in Tokyo alone.
missile defense test
Stymied by high winds for a second consecutive night yesterday, the Pentagon rescheduled for today a fifth test of its missile defense system before adding new technical challenges to the testing program.
The plan called for a missile carrying a mock warhead to be launched from California and head over the central Pacific Ocean. Twenty minutes later an interceptor rocket was supposed to roar into the night sky from Kwajalein Atoll, hone in on the mock warhead with the help of a radar in Hawaii, and ram into the warhead 144 miles into space.
Iraq will sign on
to oil restrictions
Iraq today will sign a memorandum of understanding with U.N. officials to extend the oil-for-food program for another six months, Iraqi U.N. Ambassador Mohammed Aldouri said last night.
"I have been given instructions by my government to sign the memorandum of understanding," Aldouri said.
The oil-for-food program allows Iraq to sell oil despite sanctions, with proceeds placed in an account administered by the United Nations. Iraq averages crude oil exports of about 2 million barrels a day, or four percent of the world's daily demand.
blamed for 13 killings
Suspected Islamic militants yesterday gunned down seven Hindus who were on their way to attend a wedding in a remote village in troubled Kashmir, police said.
This was the second attack since Friday in Gehlot, 80 miles north of Jammu, the winter capital of Indian-held Jammu-Kashmir state.
On Friday, the suspected rebels killed four Hindus and two Muslim members of the community defense team guarding the village.
The victims were slain by armed militants dressed as policemen, police said.
India accuses Pakistan of training and arming the militants fighting for Kashmir's independence from India since 1989.