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Emperor Emeritus of Japan
Emperor Akihito cropped 2 Barack Obama Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko 20140424 1.jpg
Akihito in 2014
Emperor of Japan
Reign 7 January 1989 – 30 April 2019
Enthronement 12 November 1990
Predecessor Shōwa
Successor Naruhito
Born Akihito, Prince Tsugu
(1933-12-23) 23 December 1933 (age 90)
Tokyo Imperial Palace, Tokyo City, Tokyo Prefecture, Empire of Japan
(now Chiyoda ward, Tokyo, Japan)
Michiko Shōda
(m. 1959)
Era name and dates
8 January 1989 – 30 April 2019
House Imperial House of Japan
Father Emperor Shōwa
Mother Nagako Kuni
Religion Shinto
Signature Heisei shomei.svg

Akihito (明仁, Japanese: [akiꜜçi̥to]; English: Listeni/ˌækiˈht/ or /ˌɑːk-/; born 23 December 1933) is a member of the Imperial House of Japan who reigned as the 125th emperor of Japan from 1989 until his abdication in 2019. He presided over the Heisei (平成) era, Heisei being an expression of achieving peace worldwide.

Born in 1933, Akihito is the first son of Emperor Shōwa and Empress Kōjun. During the Second World War, he moved out of Tokyo with his classmates, and remained in Nikkō until 1945. In 1952, his Coming-of-Age ceremony and investiture as crown prince were held, and he began to undertake official duties in his capacity as crown prince. The next year, he made his first journey overseas and represented Japan at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in the United Kingdom. He completed his university education in 1956. In 1959, he married Michiko Shōda, a Catholic; it was the first imperial wedding to be televised in Japan, drawing about 15 million viewers. The couple has three children: Naruhito, Fumihito, and Sayako.

Upon the death of his father in 1989, Akihito succeeded to the Chrysanthemum Throne. His enthronement ceremony followed in 1990. He has made efforts to bring the imperial family closer to the Japanese people, and has made official visits to all forty-seven prefectures of Japan and to many of the remote islands of Japan. He has a keen interest in natural life and conservation, as well as Japanese and world history. Akihito abdicated in 2019, citing his advanced age and declining health, and assumed the title Emperor Emeritus (上皇, Jōkō, lit. Retired Emperor). He was succeeded by his elder son, Naruhito. A new era, Reiwa (令和), was then established. At age 90, Akihito is the longest-lived verifiable Japanese emperor in recorded history. During his reign 17 prime ministers served, beginning with Noboru Takeshita and ending with Shinzo Abe.


In Japan, during his reign, Akihito was never referred to by his own name, but instead as "His Majesty the Emperor" (天皇陛下, Tennō Heika) which may be shortened to "His Majesty" (陛下, Heika). The era of Akihito's reign from 1989 to 2019 bore the era name Heisei (平成), and according to custom he will be posthumously renamed Emperor Heisei (平成天皇, Heisei Tennō) as the 125th emperor of Japan by order of the Cabinet.

Upon Akihito's abdication on 30 April 2019, he received the title Emperor Emeritus (上皇, Jōkō). Still he is never referred to by his own name, but instead as "His Majesty the Emperor Emeritus" or "His Majesty".

Early life and education

Empress Kojun and Prince Akihito
One year old Akihito with his mother Empress Kōjun, 1934

Prince Akihito (明仁親王, Akihito Shinnō) was born on 23 December 1933 at 6:39 am in the Tokyo Imperial Palace as the fifth child and eldest son of Emperor Shōwa and Empress Kōjun. Titled Prince Tsugu (継宮, Tsugu-no-miya) as a child, Akihito was educated by private tutors prior to attending the elementary and secondary departments of the Peers' School (Gakushūin) from 1940 to 1952. At the request of his father, he did not receive a commission as an army officer, unlike his predecessors.

Investiture of the Crown Prince 1952
Akihito at the Crown Prince's investiture ceremony, 1952

During the American firebombing raids on Tokyo in March 1945 during World War II, Akihito and his younger brother Prince Masahito were evacuated from the city. Akihito was tutored in the English language and Western manners by Elizabeth Gray Vining during the Allied occupation of Japan, and later briefly studied at the department of political science at Gakushuin University in Tokyo, though he never received a degree.

07-30-1953 11697 Akihito bij Van Gogh (6741938153)
Akihito, aged 19, at the Van Gogh exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, 1953

Akihito was the heir apparent to the Chrysanthemum Throne from birth. His formal investiture as crown prince (立太子の礼, Rittaishi-no-rei) took place at the Tokyo Imperial Palace on 10 November 1952. In June 1953, Akihito represented Japan at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in London in his first journey abroad. He later completed his university education as a special student in 1956.

Marriage and family

A Japanese stamp commemorating the imperial wedding

In August 1957, Akihito met Michiko Shōda on a tennis court at Karuizawa near Nagano. Initially there was little enthusiasm for the couple's relationship; Michiko Shōda was considered too low class for the young Crown Prince and had been educated in a Catholic environment. Therefore, in September 1958, she was sent away to Brussels to attend an international conference of the Alumnae du Sacré-Cœur. The Crown Prince was determined to keep in contact with his girlfriend but didn't want to create a diplomatic incident. Therefore, he contacted the young King Baudouin of Belgium to send his messages directly to his loved one. Later King Baudouin also negotiated the marriage of the couple with the Emperor directly stating that if the Crown Prince is happy with Michiko, he would be a better emperor later on.

The Imperial Household Council formally approved the engagement of the Crown Prince to Michiko Shōda on 27 November 1958. The announcement of the then-Crown Prince Akihito's engagement and forthcoming marriage to Michiko Shōda drew opposition from traditionalist groups, because Shōda came from a Catholic family. Although Shōda was never baptized, she had been educated in Catholic schools and seemed to share her parents' faith. Rumors also speculated that Prince Akihito's mother, Empress Kōjun had opposed the engagement. After the death of Empress Kōjun on 16 June 2000, Reuters reported that she was one of the strongest opponents of her son's marriage, and that in the 1960s, she had driven her daughter-in-law and grandchildren to depression by persistently accusing Shōda of not being suitable for her son. At that time, the media presented their encounter as a real "fairy tale", or the "romance of the tennis court". It was the first time a commoner had married into the Imperial Family, breaking more than 2,600 years of tradition. The engagement ceremony took place on 14 January 1959, and the marriage on 10 April 1959.

Akihito and Michiko had three children: two sons Naruhito (born 23 February 1960 and titled Prince Hiro; later the 126th Emperor of Japan) and Fumihito (born 30 November 1965 and titled Prince Aya; later Prince Akishino and subsequently the Crown Prince of Japan), and a daughter Sayako Kuroda (born 18 April 1969 and titled Princess Nori before marriage). The three children were born at the Imperial Household Agency Hospital at the Tokyo Imperial Palace.

Akihito and Michiko at Andrews Air Force Base 1987
1987 (Showa 62), the last foreign visit as the crown prince and princess (Andrews Air Force Base, United States)

Crown Prince Akihito and Crown Princess Michiko made official visits to thirty-seven countries. As an Imperial Prince, Akihito compared the role of Japanese royalty to that of a robot. He expressed the desire to help bring the Imperial family closer to the people of Japan.


Emperor Akihito 199011 1
Emperor Akihito wearing the sokutai at the enthronement ceremony in November 1990
Emperor Akihito 201101
Emperor Akihito's speech from the throne at the National Diet (2011)

Upon the death of Emperor Shōwa on 7 January 1989, Akihito acceded to the throne, becoming the 125th Emperor of Japan at the age of 55, becoming the third oldest in history. The enthronement ceremony took place on 12 November 1990. In 1998, during a state visit to the United Kingdom, he was invested with the UK Order of the Garter.

Under the Constitution of Japan, Akihito's role was entirely representative and ceremonial in nature, without even a nominal role in government; indeed, he was not allowed to make political statements. He was limited to acting in matters of state as delineated in the Constitution. Even in those matters, he was bound by the requirements of the Constitution and the binding advice of the Cabinet. For instance, while he formally appointed the Prime Minister, he was required to appoint the person designated by the Diet.

Despite being strictly constrained by his constitutional position, he also issued several wide-ranging statements of remorse to Asian countries, for their suffering under Japanese occupation, beginning with an expression of remorse to China made in April 1989, three months after the death of his father, Emperor Shōwa.

On 23 December 2001, during his annual birthday meeting with reporters, the Emperor, in response to a reporter's question about tensions with South Korea, remarked that he felt a kinship with Koreans and went on to explain that, in the Shoku Nihongi, the mother of Emperor Kammu (736–806) is related to Muryeong of Korea, King of Baekje, a fact that was considered taboo for discussion.

In June 2005, the Emperor Akihito and the Empress Michiko visited the island of Saipan (part of the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory), the site of a battle in the World War II from 15 June to 9 July 1944 (known as the Battle of Saipan). Accompanied by Empress Michiko, he offered prayers and flowers at several memorials, honoring not only the Japanese who died, but also American servicemen, Korean laborers, and local islanders. It was the first trip by a Japanese monarch to a World War II battlefield abroad. The Saipan journey was received with high praise by the Japanese people, as were the Emperor's visits to war memorials in Tokyo, Hiroshima Prefecture, Nagasaki Prefecture and Okinawa Prefecture in 1995.

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko 20090715 1
The Emperor and Empress bowing their heads for a moment of silence at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii in 2009
Japan Emperor Akihito 20th anniversary 1
A parade in front of Tokyo Imperial Palace during celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Emperor's ascension to the throne in 2009

After succeeding to the throne, Akihito made an effort to bring the Imperial family closer to the Japanese people. He and Michiko made official visits to eighteen countries and to all forty-seven Prefectures of Japan. Akihito has never visited Yasukuni Shrine, continuing his predecessor's boycott from 1978, due to its enshrinement of war criminals.

On 6 September 2006, the Emperor celebrated the birth of his first grandson, Prince Hisahito, the third child of the Emperor's younger son. Prince Hisahito was the first male heir born to the Japanese imperial family in 41 years (since his father Prince Akishino) and could avert the Japanese imperial succession crisis, as the only child of the Emperor's elder son, the then Crown Prince Naruhito, is his daughter, Princess Aiko, who is not eligible for the throne under Japan's male-only succession law. The birth of Prince Hisahito meant that proposed changes to the law to allow Aiko to ascend the Chrysanthemum Throne were dropped.

Recently, in response to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and the Fukushima I nuclear crisis, the Emperor made a historic televised appearance [ja] urging his people not to give up hope and to help each other.

The General Public to the Palace for the New Year Greeting 2019 (48357123117)
Akihito, at Chōwaden Reception Hall, giving his final New Year's address, as Emperor, to the Japanese people in 2019

On 13 July 2016, national broadcaster NHK reported that the then 82-year-old Emperor intended to abdicate in favor of his eldest son Crown Prince Naruhito within a few years, citing his age. An abdication within the Imperial Family had not occurred since Emperor Kōkaku in 1817. However, senior officials within the Imperial Household Agency denied that there was any official plan for the monarch to abdicate. Abdication by the Emperor required an amendment to the Imperial Household Law, which had no provisions for such a move. On 8 August 2016, the Emperor gave a rare televised address, where he emphasized his advanced age and declining health; this address was interpreted as an implication of his intention to abdicate.

On 19 May 2017, the bill that would allow Akihito to abdicate was issued by the Cabinet of Japan. On 8 June 2017, the National Diet passed it, whereupon it became known as the Emperor Abdication Law. This commenced government preparations to hand the position over to Naruhito. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced in December 2017 that the 125th Emperor Akihito would abdicate at the end of 30 April 2019, and that the 126th Emperor Naruhito's reign would begin as of 1 May 2019.

Post-abdication and later years

On 19 March 2020, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and his wife Empress Emerita Michiko moved out of the Imperial Palace, marking their first public appearance since the abdication. On 31 March, they moved in to the Takanawa Residence.

In December 2021, Akihito celebrated his 88th birthday (beiju), making him the longest-living verifiable Japanese emperor in recorded history. His daily routine is said to include morning and evening walks with his wife, reading and visits to an imperial biology institute.

In August 2023, Akihito and the Empress Emerita visited the tennis court where they first met and interacted with members of the organization responsible for its upkeep.


Emperor Akihito underwent surgery for prostate cancer on 14 January 2003. Later in 2011 he was admitted to hospital suffering from pneumonia. In February 2012, it was announced that the Emperor would be having a coronary examination; he underwent successful heart bypass surgery on 18 February 2012. In July 2018, he suffered from nausea and dizziness due to insufficient blood flow to his brain. In January 2020, he temporarily lost consciousness and collapsed at his residence, though "no abnormalities" were detected in his brain. He was diagnosed with heart failure in July 2022.


Akihito and Michiko have three children (two sons and a daughter).

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko with the Imperial Family (November 2013)
The Emperor and Empress with their family in November 2013
Name Birth Marriage Children
Date Spouse
Naruhito, Emperor of Japan
(Naruhito, Prince Hiro)
(1960-02-23) 23 February 1960 (age 64) 9 June 1993 Masako Owada Aiko, Princess Toshi
Fumihito, Crown Prince of Japan
(Fumihito, Prince Aya)
(1965-11-30) 30 November 1965 (age 58) 29 June 1990 Kiko Kawashima
Sayako Kuroda
(Sayako, Princess Nori)
(1969-04-18) 18 April 1969 (age 55) 15 November 2005 Yoshiki Kuroda None

Ichthyological research

In extension of his father's interest in marine biology, who published taxonomic works on the Hydrozoa, the Emperor Emeritus is a published ichthyological researcher, and has specialized in studies within the taxonomy of the family Gobiidae. He has written papers for scholarly journals such as Gene, Ichthyological Research, and the Japanese Journal of Ichthyology. He has also written papers about the history of science during the Edo and Meiji eras, which were published in Science and Nature. In 2005, a newly described goby was named Exyrias akihito in his honour, and in 2007 a genus Akihito of gobies native to Vanuatu also received his name. In 2021, the Imperial Household Agency announced Akihito had discovered two new species of goby fish. The discovery was cataloged in an English-language journal published by the Ichthyological Society of Japan.

In 1965, then-Crown Prince Akihito sent 50 Nile tilapia to Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej in response to a request for fish that could solve malnutrition issues in the country. The species has since become a major food source in Thailand and a major export.


Country Awards
 Afghanistan Order of the Sun (Afghanistan) - ribbon bar.gif Order of the Supreme Sun
 Austria AUT Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria - 1st Class BAR.svg Decoration for Services to the Republic of Austria, Grand Star
 Bahrain Wisam al-Khalifa 1st class.gif Order of al-Khalifa, Collar
 Belgium BEL - Order of Leopold - Grand Cordon bar.svg Order of Leopold, Grand Cordon
 Botswana BWA Presidential Order of Botswana ribbon.svg Presidential Order
 Brazil BRA - Order of the Southern Cross - Grand Cross BAR.svg Order of the Southern Cross, Grand Collar
 Bulgaria BUL Order Stara planina ribbon.svg Order of the Balkan Mountains, Grand Cross
 Cambodia KHM Ordre Royal du Cambodge - Grand Croix BAR.png Royal Order of Cambodia, Grand Cross
 Cameroon Ordre de la Valeur (Cameroun) GC 2nd type ribbon.svg Order of Valour, Grand Cordon
 Chile CHL Order of Merit of Chile - Grand Cross BAR.svg Order of the Merit of Chile, Collar
 Colombia Order of Boyacá - Extraordinary Grand Cross (Colombia) - ribbon bar.png Order of Boyaca, Grand Collar
 Côte d'Ivoire Cote d'Ivoire Ordre national GC ribbon.svg National Order of the Ivory Coast, Grand Cross
 Czech Republic CZE Rad Bileho Lva 3 tridy BAR.svg Order of the White Lion, Member 1st Class (Civil Division) with Collar
 Denmark Order of the Elephant Ribbon bar.svg Order of the Elephant, Knight (8 August 1953)
 Egypt EGY Order of the Nile - Grand Cordon BAR.svg Order of the Nile, Collar
 Estonia EST Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana - 1st Class BAR.svg Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana, The Collar of the Cross of Terra Mariana
 Ethiopian Empire ETH Order of Solomon BAR.png Order of the Seal of Solomon, Grand Cordon (1960)
 Finland FIN Order of the White Rose Grand Cross BAR.svg Order of the White Rose, Grand Cross with Collar
 France Legion Honneur GC ribbon.svg Légion d'honneur, Grand Cross
 The Gambia GAM Order of the Republic of the Gambia ribbon.svg Order of the Republic of the Gambia, Grand Commander
 Germany GER Bundesverdienstkreuz 9 Sond des Grosskreuzes.svg Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Grand Cross Special Class
 Greece GRE Order Redeemer 1Class.svg Order of the Redeemer, Grand Cross
 Hungary HUN Order of Merit of the Hungarian Rep 1class Collar BAR.svg Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary, Grand Cross with Chain
 Iceland ISL Icelandic Order of the Falcon - Grand Cross BAR.png Order of the Falcon, Collar with Grand Cross Breast Star
 Indonesia Bintang Republik Indonesia Adipurna rib.svg Star of the Republic of Indonesia, Member 1st Class (Adipurna)
 Ireland Decoration without ribbon - en.svg Freedom of the City of Dublin, awarded by Lord Mayor of Dublin
 Italy Cordone di gran Croce di Gran Cordone OMRI BAR.svg Order of Merit of the Republic, Knight Grand Cross with Collar
 Jordan JOR Al-Hussein ibn Ali Order BAR.svg Order of al-Hussein bin Ali, Collar
 Kazakhstan Ord.GoldenEagle-ribbon.gif Order of the Golden Eagle, Recipient
 Kenya Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya.svg Order of the Golden Heart, Chief
 Kuwait Order of Mubarak the Great (Kuwait) - ribbon bar.gif Order of Mubarak the Great, Collar
 Latvia LVA Order of the Three Stars - Grand Cross BAR.png Order of the Three Stars, Commander Grand Cross with Chain
 Liberia Order of the Star of Africa (Liberia) - ribbon bar.png Order of the Star of Africa, Grand Cross
Order of the Pioneers of Liberia - ribbon bar.png Order of the Pioneers of Liberia, Grand Cordon
 Lithuania LTU Order of Vytautas the Great with the Golden Chain BAR.png Order of Vytautas the Great, Golden Chain
 Luxembourg Huisorde van de Gouden Leeuw van Nassau Ribbon.gif Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau, Knight
 Malawi Ord.LionMalawi.gif Order of the Lion, Grand Commander
 Malaysia MY Darjah Utama Seri Mahkota Negara (Crown of the Realm) - DMN.svg Order of the Crown of the Realm, Honorary Recipient
 Mali MLI National Order - Grand Cross BAR.png National Order of Mali, Grand Cordon
 Mexico MEX Order of the Aztec Eagle 1Class BAR.png Order of the Aztec Eagle, Collar
 Morocco Decoration without ribbon - en.svg Order of Muhammad, Member Special Class
 Nepal Order of Ojaswi Rajanya (Nepal) - ribbon.svg Order of the Benevolent Ruler, Member (19 April 1960)
King Birendra Investiture Medal 1975.png King Birendra Investiture Medal (24 February 1975)
 Netherlands Order of the Netherlands Lion ribbon - Knight Grand Cross.svg Order of the Netherlands Lion, Knight Grand Cross
 Nigeria Order of the Federal Republic (civil) - Nigeria - ribbon bar.gif Order of the Federal Republic, Grand Commander
 Norway Order Sint Olaf 1 kl.png Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav, Grand Cross with Collar (11 August 1953)
 Oman The Order of Oman.gif Order of Oman, Member Special Class
 Pakistan Ord.Nishan-i-Pakistan.ribbon.gif Nishan-e-Pakistan, Member 1st Class
 Panama PAN Order of Manuel Amador Guerrero - Grand Cross BAR.png Order of Manuel Amador Guerrero, Collar
 Peru PER Order of the Sun of Peru - Grand Cross BAR.png Order of the Sun, Grand Cross with Diamonds
 Philippines PHL Legion of Honor - Chief Commander BAR.png Philippine Legion of Honor, Chief Commander
PHL Order of Sikatuna - Grand Cross BAR.png Order of Sikatuna, Grand Collar (Raja)
PHI Order of Lakandula Grand Collar BAR.svg Order of Lakandula, Grand Collar
 Poland POL Order Orła Białego BAR.svg Order of the White Eagle, Knight
 Portugal PRT Order of Saint James of the Sword - Grand Collar BAR.png Order of Saint James of the Sword, Grand Collar (2 December 1993)
PRT Order of Prince Henry - Grand Collar BAR.png Order of Prince Henry, Grand Collar (12 May 1998)
 Qatar Order of Independence (Qatar) - ribbon bar.gif Collar of Independence
 Saudi Arabia Decoration without ribbon - en.svg Badr Chain
 Senegal SEN Order of the Lion - Grand Cross BAR.svg National Order of the Lion, Grand Cross
 South Africa Ord.GoodHope-ribbon.gif Order of Good Hope, Grand Cross in Gold (4 July 1995)
 Spain Order of the Golden Fleece Rib.gif Order of the Golden Fleece, Knight
ESP Charles III Order GC.svg Order of Charles III, Grand Cross
Order of Charles III - Sash of Collar.svg Order of Charles III, Collar
 Sweden Seraphimerorden ribbon.svg Order of the Seraphim, Knight
 Thailand Order of the Rajamitrabhorn (Thailand) ribbon.svg Order of the Rajamitrabhorn, Knight
Order of the Royal House of Chakri (Thailand) ribbon.svg Order of the Royal House of Chakri, Knight
King Rama IX 60th Accession to the Throne (Thailand) ribbon.PNG King Bhumibol Adulyadej Diamond Jubilee Medal
 Ukraine Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise 1st 2nd and 3rd Class of Ukraine.png Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise, Member 1st Class
 United Arab Emirates Order of the Union. Sash ribbon or First Class.gif Collar of the Federation
 United Kingdom Order of the Garter UK ribbon.svg Order of the Garter, Stranger Knight Companion (985th member; 1998)
UK Royal Victorian Order honorary member ribbon.svg Royal Victorian Order, Honorary Knight Grand Cross (1953)
UK Queen EII Coronation Medal ribbon.svg Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal (2 June 1953)
 FR Yugoslavia a Order of the Yugoslavian Great Star Rib.png Order of the Yugoslav Star, Yugoslav Great Star
 Zaire b National Order of the Leopard (Zaire) - ribbon bar.png National Order of the Leopard, Grand Cordon
a FR Yugoslavia split into Serbia and Montenegro. As of 2006 this order is аbolished.
b Zaire is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Other awards

Overseas visits

The following table includes the official visits made by Emperor Akihito, along with Empress Michiko, following succession to the throne on 7 January 1989. The list includes all the visits made up to 31 December 2017. Although Empress Michiko has made two official visits on her own, in 2002 (to Switzerland) and 2014 (to Belgium), they did not include the Emperor and are not included in this table.

Overseas visits
Serial no. Dates Country Purpose
1 26 September – 6 October 1991  Thailand
"To foster friendly relations at the invitation of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia"
2 23–28 October 1992  China "To foster friendly relations at the invitation of China"
3 6–9 August 1993  Belgium "To attend the funeral ceremony of King Baudouin of Belgium" In gratitude for defending their marriage to the then emperor and for the longlasting friendship.
4 3–19 September 1993  Italy
 Vatican City
"To foster friendly relations at the invitation of Italy, Belgium and Germany"
5 10–26 June 1994  United States "To foster friendly relations at the invitation of the United States"
6 2–14 October 1994  France
"To foster friendly relations at the invitation of France and Spain"
7 30 May – 13 June 1997  Brazil
"To foster friendly relations at the invitation of Brazil and Argentina"
8 23 May – 5 June 1998  United Kingdom
"To foster friendly relations at the invitation of the United Kingdom and Denmark"
9 20 May – 1 June 2000  Netherlands
"To foster friendly relations at the invitation of the Netherlands and Sweden"
10 6–20 July 2002  Czech Republic
"To foster friendly relations at the invitation of Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary"
11 7–14 May 2005  Norway "To foster friendly relations at the invitation of Norway"
12 27–28 June 2005  United States "To pay tribute to those who died in the war and to pray for world peace in the 60th year after the end of the war"
13 8–15 June 2006  Singapore


"To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations at the invitation of Singapore and to attend celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the accession to the throne of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand"
14 21–30 May 2007  Sweden
 United Kingdom
"To mark presence as an honorary member of the Linnean Society on the 300th birth anniversary of Carl von Linné at the invitation of Sweden and the United Kingdom and to foster friendly relations at the invitation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania"
15 3–17 July 2009  Canada
 United States
"To foster friendly relations at the invitation of Canada, and to celebrate the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship Foundation (Visit to Hawaii)"
16 16–20 May 2012  United Kingdom "To attend a luncheon in commemoration of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth II"
17 30 November – 6 December 2013  India "To foster friendly relations at the invitation of India"
18 8–9 April 2015  Palau "To pay tribute to those who died in the war and to foster international goodwill in the 70th year after the end of the war"
19 26–30 January 2016  Philippines "To foster friendly relations on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations at the invitation of the Philippines"
20 28 February – 6 March 2017  Vietnam "To foster friendly relations at the invitation of Vietnam"

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Akihito para niños

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