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
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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