Japan's parliament resumed business Friday with an address by Emperor Akihito as it faced the prospect that a stock scandal would stall debate on the government's budget for the next fiscal year.

The legislative body opened its regular session with the new monarch's first appearance in the Japanese parliament since he ascended the Chrysanthemum throne following the Jan. 7 death of his father, Emperor Hirohito.The 55-year-old monarch, clad in a formal morning suit, said Japan is expected to promote world peace and prosperity and act as a nation that cherishes culture and nature.

"I sincerely hope the Diet will fully perform its mission as the highest organ of state power," Akihito said in his brief speech.