Tokyo (Japan), Dec 24:
Japanese Emperor Akihito marked his 84th birthday on Saturday. Thousands of well-wishers gathered at the Imperial Palace grounds to catch glimpse of emperor. Around 45,000 well-wishers gathered and waved Japanese flags on this occasion. He is likely to step down on April, 2019 and will pass on his throne to 57-year old Crown Prince Naruhito. The emperor has undergone heart surgery recently.