tokio - A record number of people have shown their respect to the 84-year-old Japanese emperor Akihito on Saturday at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. It was his first birthday party since the date of his abdication was announced.
The emperor's birthday is traditionally celebrated as a national holiday. The imperial palace is open to the public on that day. Visitors swung small Japanese flags and held up smartphones when Emperor Akihito appeared on the balcony flanked by his wife and other members of the royal family.