FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2009 file photo, security officers stand guard near a "torii" gate as Japan's Emperor Akihito, center, offers prayers at Musashino Imperial Mausoleum in Hachioji in the western suburbs of Tokyo, marking the 20th anniversary of late Emperor Hirohito's death. Akihito, turning 80 on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013 is still active, making an official visit to India in November with his wife, the 79-year-old Empress Michiko. But concerns have grown since he had heart bypass surgery nearly two years ago on top of prostate cancer earlier. After an expert panel discussion for more than a year, the palace announced that Akihito will be cremated, and his remains placed in a mausoleum smaller than those of his predecessors, with Michiko’s by his side at the Imperial compound in western Tokyo. Akihito’s cremation breaks a 400-year burial custom of the world’s oldest monarchy, as he wishes to trim cost, space and burden on the people, officials said. (AP Photo/Katsumi Kasahara, File)

Associated Press
FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2009 file photo, security officers stand guard near a "torii" gate as Japan's Emperor Akihito, center, offers prayers at Musashino Imperial Mausoleum in Hachioji in the western suburbs of Tokyo, marking the 20th anniversary of late Emperor Hirohito's death. Akihito, turning 80 on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013 is still active, making an official visit to India in November with his wife, the 79-year-old Empress Michiko. But concerns have grown since he had heart bypass surgery nearly two years ago on top of prostate cancer earlier. After an expert panel discussion for more than a year, the palace announced that Akihito will be cremated, and his remains placed in a mausoleum smaller than those of his predecessors, with Michiko’s by his side at the Imperial compound in western Tokyo. Akihito’s cremation breaks a 400-year burial custom of the world’s oldest monarchy, as he wishes to trim cost, space and burden on the people, officials said. (AP Photo/Katsumi Kasahara, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2009 file photo, security officers stand guard near a "torii" gate as Japan's Emperor Akihito, center, offers prayers at Musashino Imperial Mausoleum in Hachioji in the western suburbs of Tokyo, marking the 20th anniversary of late Emperor Hirohito's death. Akihito, turning 80 on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013 is still active, making an official visit to India in November with his wife, the 79-year-old Empress Michiko. But concerns have grown since he had heart bypass surgery nearly two years ago on top of prostate cancer earlier. After an expert panel discussion for more than a year, the palace announced that Akihito will be cremated, and his remains placed in a mausoleum smaller than those of his predecessors, with Michiko’s by his side at the Imperial compound in western Tokyo. Akihito’s cremation breaks a 400-year burial custom of the world’s oldest monarchy, as he wishes to trim cost, space and burden on the people, officials said. (AP Photo/Katsumi Kasahara, File)
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