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Akihito has been emperor of Japan since 1989 and is, according to tradition, the 125th direct descendant of Jimmu, Japan's legendary first emperor.
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Akihito was born December 23, 1933, in Tokyo, Japan. Akihito was the fifth child and eldest son of Emperor Hirohito and Empress Nagako. In 1952 Akihito came of age and was invested as heir to the Japanese throne. Akihito became emperor on January 7, 1989, after the death of his father. He was formally enthroned on November 12, 1990. His reign was designated Heisei, or "Achieving Peace."
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