Japan's former Emperor Akihito turns 87
Kyodo -- Dec 23
Japan's former Emperor Akihito turned 87 on Wednesday, having spent much of the year quietly at his residence in Tokyo amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The former emperor marked his second birthday since stepping down from the Chrysanthemum Throne on April 30 last year when he became the first Japanese monarch to abdicate in around 200 years. His eldest son Emperor Naruhito succeeded the throne the following day.

He looked relieved after a series of imperial succession rites concluded in November with his second son Crown Prince Fumihito officially declared first in line to the throne, the Imperial Household Agency said.

The former emperor has refrained from going outside except to visit the Imperial Palace and has not accepted visitors amid the global health crisis.

He has spent much of his time conducting research on goby fish at a biology research institute inside the Imperial Palace in central Tokyo and writing a thesis on a species found in southern Japan. He also takes daily walks with his wife former Empress Michiko at the Takanawa Imperial Residence, their temporary home.

上皇さまが23日、87歳の誕生日を迎えられました。お祝いの行事は新型コロナウイルスの感染拡大を考慮し、すべて控えられるということです。  上皇さまは3月に皇居から引っ越し、東京・港区高輪のお住まいで誕生日を迎えられました。宮内庁によりますと、上皇さまは新型コロナウイルスへの医学的・社会的な取り組みに関心を向けられ、日々の感染状況を側近から聞いています。また、皇居の生物学研究所に週2回通い、ハゼの研究に取り組まれています。体調は特段問題なく、年齢からくる勘違いなどがあっても、上皇后さまと笑いながら記憶を新たにして日々過ごされているということです。誕生日のお祝い行事は感染拡大で国民の生活が一層、厳しくなっていることからすべて控えられます。

News sources: Kyodo, ANNnewsCH
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