Datum narození: 23. prosinec 1933
Akihito je 125. japonský císař. Na trůn nastoupil roku 1989 a je jediným světovým monarchou, který nosí císařský titul. Éra vládnoucího císaře Akihita je nazývána Heisei a podle zvyku bude po své smrti přejmenován na Císaře Heisei. Oficiálně je oslovován jako "Jeho císařské veličenstvo Císař", či jen "Jeho císařské veličenstvo", v psaném projevu pak "Panující Císař". Je také bratrancem princezny Bangja, poslední korunní princezny Koreje.
„On reaching the age of eighty, I feel fortunate that I am able to lead a life always feeling gratitude to those who have rebuilt Japan and who continue to commit themselves across the nation to the betterment and development of our country in various ways. Having already lived eighty years, I am somewhat perplexed by the question about my life in the coming years, but I would say that, while accepting the limits arising from age, I hope to continue to fulfill my role as best I can.“
„After the war, Japan was occupied by the allied forces, and based on peace and democracy as values to be upheld, established the Constitution of Japan, undertook various reforms and built the foundation of Japan that we know today. I have profound gratitude for the efforts made by the Japanese people at the time who helped reconstruct and improve the country devastated by the war. I also feel that we must not forget the help extended to us in those days by Americans with an understanding of Japan and Japanese culture. Today, more than sixty years since the end of the war, we have seen that, in the face of major disasters such as the Great East Japan Earthquake [March 11, 2011], there are so many people in Japan who value the bonds between people, can deal with various situations calmly, and work hard towards reconstruction. I have found this most reassuring.“