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Japanese Emperor Celebrates 80th Birthday

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.