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  • Akihito  English pronunciation  is the reigning Emperor of Japan, the 125th emperor of his

  • line according to Japan's traditional order of succession. He acceded to the throne in

  • 1989. In Japan, the emperor is never referred to

  • by his given name, but rather is referred to as "His Imperial Majesty the Emperor" which

  • may be shortened to "His Imperial Majesty". In writing, the emperor is also referred to

  • formally as "The Reigning Emperor". The Era of Akihito's reign bears the name "Heisei",

  • and according to custom he will be renamed "Emperor Heisei" by order of the cabinet after

  • his death. At the same time, the name of the next era under his successor will also be

  • established.

  • Biography

  • Akihito is the eldest son and the fifth child of Emperor Shōwa and Empressjun. Titled

  • Prince Tsugu as a child, he was raised and educated by his private tutors and then attended

  • the elementary and secondary departments of the Peers' School from 1940 to 1952. Unlike

  • his predecessors in the Imperial Family, he did not receive a commission as an Army officer,

  • at the request of his father, Hirohito. During the American firebombing raids on Tokyo

  • in March 1945, he and his younger brother, Prince Masahito, were evacuated from the city.

  • During the American occupation of Japan following World War II, Prince Akihito was tutored in

  • the English language and Western manners by Elizabeth Gray Vining. He briefly studied

  • at the Department of Political Science at Gakushuin University in Tokyo, though he never

  • received a degree. Although he was Heir-Apparent to the Chrysanthemum Throne from the moment

  • of his birth, his formal Investiture as Crown Prince was held at the Tokyo Imperial Palace

  • on 10 November 1952. In June 1953, Crown Prince Akihito represented Japan at the Coronation

  • of Queen Elizabeth II in London.

  • Then-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; and he expressed the hope that he would like to help in bringing the Imperial

  • family closer to the people of Japan. After the death of Emperor Hirohito on 7 January

  • 1989, the crown prince received the succession. Emperor Akihito formally acceded to the throne

  • on 12 November 1990. In 1998, during a state visit to the United Kingdom, he was invested

  • with The Most Noble Order of the Garter. On 23 December 2001, during his annual birthday

  • meeting with reporters, the Emperor, in response to a reporter's question about tensions with

  • Korea, remarked that he felt a kinship with Koreans and went on to explain that in the

  • Shoku Nihongi the mother of Emperor Kammu is related to Muryeong of Korea, King of Baekje.

  • Emperor Akihito underwent surgery for prostate cancer in January 14, 2003. Since succeeding

  • to the throne, Emperor Akihito has made an effort to bring the Imperial Family closer

  • to the Japanese people. The Emperor and Empress of Japan have made official visits to eighteen

  • countries, as well as all forty-seven Prefectures of Japan.

  • In response to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and the Fukushima I nuclear crisis,

  • the Emperor made a historic televised appearance urging his people not to give up hope and

  • to help each other. The Emperor and the Empress also made a visit on Wednesday, 30 March 2011

  • to a temporary shelter housing refugees of the disaster, in order to inspire hope in

  • the people. This kind of event is also extremely rare, though in line with the Emperor's attempts

  • to bring the Imperial Family closer to the people. 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. Marriage and children

  • On 10 April 1959, he married Michiko Shōda, the eldest daughter of Hidesaburo Shōda,

  • the president and later honorary chairman of Nisshin Flour Milling Company. The new

  • Crown Princess was the first commoner to marry into the Imperial Family. The Emperor and

  • Empress have three children: Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan

  • Fumihito, Prince Akishino Sayako, Princess Nori

  • Official functions

  • 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.

  • In June 2005, the Emperor visited the US territory of Saipan, the site of a battle in World War

  • II from 15 June to 9 July 1944. Accompanied by Empress Michiko, he offered prayers and

  • flowers at several memorials, honoring not only the Japanese who died, but also American

  • soldiers, 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,

  • Nagasaki, and Okinawa in 1995. Succession

  • 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 is the first male heir born

  • to the Japanese imperial family in 41 years and could avert a possible succession crisis

  • as the Emperor's elder son, the Crown Prince, has only one daughter, Princess Aiko. Under

  • Japan's current male-only succession law, Princess Aiko is not eligible for the throne.

  • The birth of Prince Hisahito could mean that proposed changes to the law to allow Aiko

  • to ascend the Chrysanthemum Throne will not go through after being temporarily shelved

  • following the announcement of Princess Kiko's third pregnancy in February 2006.

  • Ichthyological research In extension of his father's interest in marine

  • biology, the Emperor is a published ichthyological researcher, and has specialized studies within

  • the taxonomy of the family Gobiidae. He has written papers for scholarly journals, namely

  • Gene 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.

  • Member of the Ichthyological Society of Japan Foreign member of the Linnean Society of London

  • Honorary member of the Linnean Society of London

  • Research associate of the Australian Museum Honorary member of the Zoological Society

  • of London Honorary member of the Research Institute

  • for Natural Science of Argentina Honorary degree of the Uppsala University

  • 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 – present: His Imperial Majesty

  • The Emperor of Japan Honours

  • National honours Collar and Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order

  • of the Chrysanthemum Grand Cordon of The Order of the Rising Sun

  • with the Paulownia Blossoms Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure

  • Order of Culture The Golden Medal of Merit of the Japanese

  • Red Cross The Golden Medal of Honorary Member of the

  • Japanese Red Cross

  • Foreign honours

  • Other awards The Royal Society King Charles II Medal

  • Issue

  • Ancestors Ancestry in Genealogics.org

  • Patrilineal descent

  • See also The Emperor's Birthday

  • Imperial Household Agency Imperial House of Japan

  • Japanese era name List of Emperors of Japan

  • List of longest reigning current monarchs References

  • External links Kunaicho | Their Majesties the Emperor and

  • Empress Press Conference on the occasion of His Majesty's

  • Birthday Complete transcript and audio mp3 and video

  • of 'Do Not Lose Hope' Address to the Nation at AmericanRhetoric.com

Akihito  English pronunciation  is the reigning Emperor of Japan, the 125th emperor of his

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