Japanese emperor Akihito celebrates 85th birthday

(All photos by Yoshio Tsunoda/AFLO)

Japanese emperor Akihito celebrated his 85th birthday on December 23 at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. The emperor will abdicate on April 30 next year, and his son Crown Prince Naruhito will become the new emperor the following day.

Crown Prince Naruhito and wife Crown Princess Masako, Prince Akishino and wife Princess Kiko with daughters Princess Mako and Princess Kako also appeared on the balcony to wave to the well-wishers.