Thousands of wellwishers lined the streets of Tokyo for a parade marking the 20th anniversary of the coronation of Emperor Akihito.
The parade - outside the Imperial Palace - featured colourful floats and portable shrines in honour of the emperor and his wife, Empress Michiko.
In other events, the emperor and empress acknowledged officials shouting "long life to the emperor" led by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama in a ceremony at the National Theatre.
As the royal couple left the theatre, they were presented with bouquets of flowers from girl scout Kurumi Sasaki and boy scout Ryotaro Nishimiya.
After darkness fell, a crowd gathered in front of the Imperial Palace waving national flags and carrying traditional lanterns.
An estimated 30,000 people gathered for a concert that featured traditional and modern music.
The concert was performed in a garden outside the palace while the royal couple watched from a bridge.
In earlier remarks, the 75-year-old emperor said he was in good health and encouraged young people to learn the lessons of Japan's history.
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