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Emperor Akihito 198901 (cropped).jpg
Emperor of Japan
Reign 7 January 1989 – 30 April 2019
Enthronement 12 November 1990
Predecessor Emperor Shōwa
Successor Naruhito
Prime Ministers
Born 23 December 1933 (1933-12-23) (age 87)
Tokyo Imperial Palace, Tokyo, Japan
Spouse Michiko Shōda
Issue Naruhito, Emperor of Japan
Fumihito, Prince Akishino
Sayako, Princess Nori
Full name
Akihito (明仁 )
House Imperial House of Japan
Father Emperor Shōwa
Mother Empress Kōjun
Religion Shinto

Emperor Akihito (明仁天皇 , Akihito-tennō, born 23 December 1933) (known simply as Akihito) is the former emperor of Japan from 1989 to 2019, He was the 125th emperor of his line according to Japan's traditional order of succession. He is head of the Imperial House of Japan.

Akihito became emperor after the death of his father in 1989, who was Emperor Shōwa. The current emperor's official reign name is Heisei (establishing peace).

The Japanese government announced in December 2017 that Akihito would abdicate on 30 April 2019. He then did so in a brief ceremony on that date.

What the emperor does

The emperor has many duties and responsibilities. For example, he regularly

  • takes part in affairs of according to the Constitution of Japan.
  • attends various events and ceremonies held at the Imperial Palace.
  • attends ceremonies in Tokyo.
  • makes appearances at a variety of ceremonies in various parts in Japan
  • visits welfare facilities.
  • visits regions where disasters hit
  • visits other countries
  • helps transmit the traditional culture of Japan

As a personal interest, Akihito studies fish.

Television broadcast

Akihito directly addressed his subjects in a television broadcast after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. This was the first time any emperor used television in this way.

Titles and styles

  • 23 December 1933 – 10 November 1952: His Imperial Highness The Prince Tsugu
  • 10 November 1952 – 7 January 1989: His Imperial Highness The Crown Prince of Japan
  • 7 January 1989 – 30 April 2019: His Majesty The Emperor of Japan
  • 1 May 2019 – present: His Majesty The Emperor Emeritus


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