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.