Faits rapides sur l’Empereur émérite Akihito

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Emperor Emeritus Akihito was born on December 23, 1933, in Tokyo, Japan. He is the son of Emperor Hirohito and Empress Nagako Kuni. Akihito married Michiko Shoda on April 10, 1959, and they have three children. He attended Gakushuin University from 1952 to 1956. Akihito ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne on November 12, 1990, becoming the 125th Emperor of Japan. Throughout his reign, Akihito has made significant contributions to science, particularly in the field of ichthyology, and has been involved in various diplomatic events.

Akihito’s reign has been marked by a commitment to reconciliation and apologies for Japan’s actions during World War II. In 1990, he expressed « deepest regret » for Japan’s occupation of Korea, and in 1998, his state visit to London triggered demonstrations by British WWII prisoners-of-war demanding a formal apology and compensation for their treatment. Furthermore, Akihito’s visit to China in 1992, the first by a Japanese monarch, provided an opportunity for him to express his regret for Japanese treatment of the Chinese before and during WWII.

The Emperor has also faced health challenges during his reign. In 2003, he underwent successful surgery for prostate cancer, and in 2011 and 2012, he was hospitalized for fever and bronchitis, as well as coronary artery bypass surgery.

In 2016, Akihito delivered a televised speech expressing his concerns about his health affecting his ability to fulfill his duties. This led to a historic bill in 2017 that allowed him to become the first Japanese monarch to abdicate in two centuries. He formally abdicated on April 30, 2019, and became Emperor Emeritus Akihito.

As of December 23, 2021, Akihito is the longest-living Emperor in Japan’s recorded history, turning 88 years old. However, he has also faced health issues in recent years, including a brief loss of consciousness in January 2020 and cataract and glaucoma surgery on his right eye in September 2022.

Throughout his life and reign, Emperor Emeritus Akihito has left a lasting impact on Japan and the world, not only through his royal duties but also through his contributions to science and his efforts in promoting reconciliation and peace.

For more information on Emperor Emeritus Akihito, visit CNN’s Fast Facts on the topic.

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