Huge crowds cheer em­peror’s birth­day

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

The big­gest crowds of Em­peror Ak­i­hito’s nearly three-decade reign thronged Ja­pan’s Im­pe­rial Palace on Fri­day to cel­e­brate his 83rd birth­day. It was Ak­i­hito’s first birth­day since he an­nounced in Au­gust his ad­vanc­ing age and weak­en­ing health mean he might no longer be able to carry out his du­ties, set­ting the stage for Ja­pan to pre­pare for a his­toric ab­di­ca­tion.

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