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Japan emperor draws record birthday crowd ahead of abdication

ITN News Editor
By ITN News Editor December 24, 2018 14:51

Japan emperor draws record birthday crowd ahead of abdication

More than 75,000 well-wishers paid their respects to Emperor Akihito who turned 85, his last birthday celebration at Tokyo’s Imperial Palace before stepping down next year. The birthday of the emperor, whose position is ceremonial with no political power, is traditionally marked by a national holiday and an address at the palace, which opens to the public on the day. The morning crowd of 75,490, according to the Imperial Household Agency, was the largest birthday attendance during Akihito’s three-decade reign, known as the “Heisei” era, which means “achieving peace” in Japanese. Akihito flanked by his wife, eldest son Naruhito and other members of the imperial family on a balcony addressed well-wishers waving small Japanese flags and holding up smartphones. The last time a Japanese emperor abdicated was in 1817.

ITN News Editor
By ITN News Editor December 24, 2018 14:51

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