tokyo

Well-wishers wave Japanese flags to celebrate Japan's Emperor Akihito's 81st birthday at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014. Emperor Akihito said he  ardently  hoped Japan will strive hard as a peaceful country, as he celebrated his 81th birthday Tuesday ahead of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II next year.

Eugene Hoshiko/AP

Well-wishers outside the Imperial Palace in Tokyo wave Japanese flags to celebrate Emperor Akihito’s 81st birthday

A diver wearing a Santa Claus costume feeds a sunfish to attract visitors at the Hakkeijima Sea Paradise aquarium in Yokohama, suburban Tokyo

Tsuno Yoshikazu/AFP

A diver wearing a Santa Claus costume feeds a sunfish to attract visitors at the Hakkeijima Sea Paradise aquarium in Yokohama, suburban Tokyo

.A couple sits under a street lamp in a park near Christmas lights in central Tokyo, December 12, 2014.

Thomas Peter /Reuters

A couple sits under a street lamp in a park near Christmas lights in central Tokyo on Friday

Japanese lawmakers follow a Shinto priest (R) during a visit to the controversial Yasukuni shrine

Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP

Japanese lawmakers follow a Shinto priest as part of a visit by more than 100 lawmakers to a Tokyo shrine condemned by China and Korea as a symbol of Japan’s militarist past 

"Butch," the first customer at SoftBank Corp.'s Omotesando store displays his newly purchased Apple Inc. iPhone 6 for a photograph outside the store in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. Apple stores attracted long lines of shoppers for the debut of the latest iPhones, indicating healthy demand for the bigger-screen smartphones.

Yuriko Nakao/Bloomberg

“Butch,” the first customer at SoftBank Corp.’s Omotesando store displays his newly purchased Apple Inc. iPhone 6 outside the store in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday

Fernanda Rodrigues of Brazil looks at the ball as she serves to Belgium during their FIVB Women's Volleyball World Grand Prix 2014 final round match in Tokyo August 22, 2014

Yuya Shino/Reuters

Fernanda Rodrigues of Brazil serves to her Belgium opponents during the FIVB Women’s Volleyball World Grand Prix 2014 final round match in Tokyo 

Sheilla Castro De Paula Blassioli and Thaisa Menezes of Brazil jump to block the ball spiked  by Gozde Sonsirma of Turkey during their FIVB Women's Volleyball World Grand Prix 2014 final round match in Tokyo

Yuya Shino/Reuters

Sheilla Castro De Paula Blassioli (L) and Thaisa Menezes (R) of Brazil jump to block the ball spiked by Gozde Sonsirma of Turkey during their FIVB Women’s Volleyball World Grand Prix 2014 final round match in Tokyo on Wednesday.

A man dressed in a navy uniform holds Japan's rising sun flag at the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday, Aug. 15, 2014. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stayed away from the Tokyo war shrine on the 69th anniversary of Japan s World War II defeat today, instead sending a donation as he seeks a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

A man in navy uniform holds Japan’s rising sun flag at the Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday. Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, stayed away from the war shrine on the 69th anniversary of Japan’s defeat in the second world war.

A woman walks past a "smiling" sunflower in a field in Tokyo on August 7, 2014. Some 20,000 sunflowers were enjoyed by visitors to the area this week.

Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP

A woman walks past a “smiling” sunflower in a field in Tokyo on Thursday, where about 20,000 sunflowers were in full bloom for visitors to enjoy

A beluga whale sprays water onto visitors at a summer attraction at the Hakkeijima Sea Paradise aquarium in Yokohama, suburban Tokyo on August 6, 2014.  Tokyo's temperature climbed over 35 degree Celsius on August 6 following a heatwave in the area.

Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP

A beluga whale sprays water onto visitors at a summer attraction at the Hakkeijima Sea Paradise aquarium in Yokohama, suburban Tokyo. Tokyo’s temperature climbed over 35 degree Celsius on Wednesday following a heatwave

Visitors stand watch blue fin tunas in a 2,200-ton tank at Tokyo Sea Life Park in Tokyo, Monday, July 7, 2014. The tank is designed to create artificial flow of the ocean to keep the fish alive.

Koji Sasahara/AP

A visitor watches blue fin tunas in a 2,200-tonne tank at Tokyo Sea Life Park on Monday.

An employee of Japan's toy maker Megahouse displays the new puzzle of human parts and organs "Jintai-mokei" (model of the human anatomy) at the annual Tokyo Toy Show in Tokyo

Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP

An employee of Megahouse, a Japanese toymaker, with a puzzle of human parts and organs ‘Jintai-mokei’ at the Tokyo Toy Show

A woman sketches in front of a closed restaurant in Tokyo, Monday, June 9, 2014.

Shizuo Kambayashi/AP

A woman sketches in front of a closed restaurant in Tokyo, Japan.

A worker goes down a ladder after adjusting a display of paper lanterns at Sensoji temple at Asakusa traditional shopping district in Tokyo, Monday, May 19, 2014. The lanterns carry the names of Buddhist temple parishioners and other supporters who donated money to the temple. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

Shizuo Kambayashi/AP

A worker adjusts a display of paper lanterns at Sensoji Buddhist temple, Tokyo, Japan. The lanterns carry the names of supporters that have donated money to the temple. 

Heron-hooded dancers prepare to parade down the streets toward Asakusa Shrine in the compound of Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Friday, May 16, 2014, prior to the annual Sanja Festival, one of the three major festivals in Tokyo, scheduled on May 16-18. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Eugene Hoshiko/AP

Heron hooded dancers prepare to parade down the streets toward Asakusa Shrine in the compound of Sensoji Temple in Tokyo Japan prior to the annual Sanja Festival in 

China's Zhang eyes the ball as he serves to Poland's Floras during the World Team Table Tennis Championships in Tokyo

Yuya Shino/Reuters

China’s Zhang Jike eyes the ball as he serves to Poland’s Robert Floras during the World Team Table Tennis Championships in Tokyo on Tuesday.

A couple with Japanese traditional clothing or kimono poses for a wedding photo session at a park in Tokyo, Tuesday, April 8, 2014.

Eugene Hoshiko/AP

A couple in Japanese traditional clothing pose for their wedding photos in a Tokyo park on Tuesday

China's Sui Wenjing and Han Cong compete during the pairs free skating program at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Saitama

Toru Hanai/Reuters

China’s Sui Wenjing and Han Cong compete in the pairs free skating at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Saitama, north of Tokyo, on Thursday.

Japanese honor guards hold their guns before a welcoming ceremony for Lithuanian Defence Minister Juozas Olekas (unseen in this picture) at the Defense Ministry in Tokyo on February 25, 2014. Olekas is now here to exchange views with Japanese officials.

Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP

Japanese honour guards hold their guns before a welcoming ceremony for Lithuanian defence minister Juozas Olekas at the Defence Ministry in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sits during a lower house budget committee session at the parliament in Tokyo February 20, 2014. Remarks by aides to Abe about U.S.-Japan ties and the wartime past are giving the Japanese leader a political headache as he seeks to soothe strains with key ally Washington amid rising regional tensions.

Yuya Shino/Reuters

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attends a lower house budget committee session at the Japanese parliament in Tokyo on Thursday. Remarks by aides to Mr Abe about US-Japanese ties and the wartime past are giving the leader a political headache as he seeks to soothe strains with key ally Washington amid rising regional tensions.