Emperor Akihito Celebrates 83rd Birthday With Record-Breaking Crowd
Japanese Emperor Akihito today celebrates his 83rd birthday, and as is customary, appeared on the balcony of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo with other members of the Imperial Family to greet well-wishers.
33,000 people crowded into the Palace area to catch a glimpse of the monarch, beating the previous most-attended event in 2009 to mark the Emperor’s 20th anniversary on the throne (just over 30,000 people attended that event).
Appearing on the balcony were Empress Michiko, Crown Prince Naruhito, Crown Princess Masako, Prince Akishino, Princess Kiko, Princess Mako and Princess Kako. Emperor Akihito spoke briefly to the crowd, wishing them “a bright and peaceful year” in 2017 and “good health and happiness” for the people of his country.
The Emperor also thanked the Japanese public in a press conference earlier this week for their support of his desire to abdicate in the coming years. “I am profoundly grateful that many people have lent an ear to my words and are giving sincere thought to the matter in their respective positions,” he said. An advisory panel set up by the government is due to finalise their report on the feasibility of abdication in January.Filed under Japan
Tagged Birthday, Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan, Crown Princess Masako of Japan, Emperor Akihito of Japan, Empress Michiko of Japan, Prince Akishino of Japan, Princess Kako of Akishino, Princess Kiko of Japan, Princess Mako of Akishino.