News / Asia

Japanese Emperor Celebrates 80th Birthday

  • Japan's Emperor Akihito waves to well-wishers who gathered to celebrate his 80th birthday at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Dec. 23, 2013. 
  • Japan's Emperor Akihito, accompanied by his wife Empress Michiko, and their family members, wave at well-wishers as they appear on the balcony of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan, Dec. 23, 2013.
  • Well-wishers cross a bridge outside the Imperial Palace as they make their way to celebrate Emperor Akihito's 80th birthday in Tokyo, Dec. 23, 2013. 
  • Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito, Emperor Akihito, Crown Princess Masako and Empress Michiko stand in front of well-wishers at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Dec. 23, 2013. 
  • Japan's Crown Princess Masako waves to well-wishers who gathered to celebrate Japan's Emperor Akihito's 80th birthday at the Imperial Palace, Tokyo, Dec. 23, 2013. 
  • Well-wishers wave Japanese national flags to celebrate Japan's Emperor Akihito's 80th birthday at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Dec. 23, 2013. 

Japanese Emperor Celebrates 80th Birthday

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VOA News
Japanese Emperor Akihito has celebrated his 80th birthday, waving to a huge crowd from a balcony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

Flanked by his family Monday, Emperor Akihito told the crowd of some 25,000 people that he prayed the coming year will be a good year for all.

To mark the birthday, video of the emperor speaking at a news conference last week was released Monday.

When asked about what had made a significant impact on his life, Akihito said WWII stood out in his mind. He said it pains him deeply to think that so many people lost their lives at a young age.

The Japanese throne is held in deep respect by much of the public, despite being stripped of much of its status following WWII.

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