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Akihito (明仁?, born 23 December 1933) is the current Emperor (天皇 tennō?) of Japan, and the 125th Emperor according to Japan's traditional order of succession. He acceded to the throne in 1989, and is the 17th most senior monarch or lifelong leader. He is the world's only currently reigning monarch whose title is customarily translated into English as "Emperor".



In Japan, the Emperor is never referred to by his given name, but rather is referred to as "His Imperial Majesty the Emperor" which may be shortened to "His Imperial Majesty" (陛下 heika?). In writing, the emperor is also referred to formally as "The Reigning Emperor" (今上天皇 kinjō tennō?). The Era of Akihito's reign bears the name "Heisei" (平成), and according to custom he will be renamed "Emperor Heisei" (平成天皇; see "posthumous name") by order of the cabinet after his death. At the same time, the name of the next era under his successor will also be established.[1]

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