tokio - The Japanese emperor Akihito celebrated his 85th birthday on Sunday with more than 75,000 interested people. It is the Emperor's last birthday before he retires next year.
The imperial birthday is an official day off in Japan and is accompanied by a speech in the palace, which has been opened to the public for the occasion.
The crowd was the biggest one that showed up in the thirty years that Akihito was emperor.
The emperor, who is a heart patient and has had prostate cancer, will return on 30 April. His 58-year-old son Naruhito then takes over the throne. It is the first time that a Japanese emperor has abdicated since 1817.