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Akihito 090710-1600b.jpg
The Emperor in 2007.
Emperor of Japan
Reign7 January 1989 – present
Enthronement12 November 1990
PredecessorEmperor Shōwa
Heir apparentCrown Prince Naruhito (30 April 2019)
Prime Ministers
Born (1933-12-23) 23 December 1933 (age 85)
Tokyo Imperial Palace, Tokyo, Japan
SpouseMichiko Shōda
IssueNaruhito, Crown Prince of Japan
Fumihito, Prince Akishino
Sayako, Princess Nori
Full name
Akihito (明仁)
HouseImperial House of Japan
FatherEmperor Shōwa
MotherEmpress Kōjun

Emperor Akihito (明仁天皇, Akihito-tennō, born 23 December 1933) is the reigning emperor of Japan, the 125th emperor of his line according to Japan's traditional order of succession.[1] 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).[2]

The Japanese government announced in December 2017 that Akihito would abdicate on 30 April 2019.[3]

What the emperor does[change | change source]

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

  • takes part in affairs of according to the Constitution of Japan.[4]
  • attends various events and ceremonies held at the Imperial Palace.[5]
  • attends ceremonies in Tokyo.[6]
  • makes appearances at a variety of ceremonies in various parts in Japan[7]
  • visits welfare facilities.[8]
  • visits regions where disasters hit[9]
  • visits other countries[10]
  • helps transmit the traditional culture of Japan[11]

As a personal interest, Akihito studies fish.[12]

Television broadcast[change | change source]

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.[13]

Titles and styles[change | change source]

  • 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 – present: His Imperial Majesty The Emperor of Japan

Honors[change | change source]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

The chrysanthemum symbol of the Japanese emperor and his family.
  1. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric et al. (2002). "Traditional order of Tennō" in Japan encyclopedia, pp. 962-963.
  2. Nussbaum, "Akihito" at p. 19.
  3. Enjoji, Kaori (December 1, 2017). "Japan Emperor Akihito to abdicate on April 30, 2019". CNN. Tokyo. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
  4. Imperial Household Agency (Kunaichō), "Affairs of State"; retrieved 2011-10-18 (Archived by WebCite)
  5. Kunaicho, "Ceremonies in Imperial Palace"; retrieved 2011-10-18 (Archived by WebCite).
  6. Kunaicho, "Progress in Tokyo"; retrieved 2011-10-18 (Archived by WebCite).
  7. Kunaicho, "Progress around Japan"; retrieved 2011-10-18 (Archived by WebCite).
  8. Kunaicho, "Visits to Welfare facilities"; retrieved 2011-10-18 (Archived by WebCite).
  9. Kunaicho, "Visits to disaster-affected areas"; retrieved 2011-10-18 (Archived by WebCite).
  10. Kunaicho, "Overseas visits"; retrieved 2011-10-18 (Archived by WebCite).
  11. Kunaicho, "Transmitting traditional cultures to posterity"; retrieved 2011-10-18 (Archived by WebCite).
  12. Kunaicho, "Studies"; retrieved 2011-10-18 (Archived by WebCite).
  13. Chancellor, Alexander. "The Japanese emperor's lesson for the British monarchy," The Guardian (UK). 17 March 2011; retrieved 2011-10-17.

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Emperor Akihito at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by
Emperor Shōwa
Emperor of Japan

Succeeded by