January 18, 2003 - Successfully undergoes surgery for prostate cancer that had been diagnosed in December of 2002.
September 6, 2006 - Birth of his first grandson, Prince Hisahito, the first male heir born into the imperial family in 40 years. The last male heir was born November 30, 1965, Prince Akishino, the child's father.
July 14 - 16, 2009 - Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visit Hawaii. They do not visit Pearl Harbor, but lay a wreath at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific for veterans of both world wars, the Korean and Vietnam conflicts.
November 13, 2009 -- Along with Empress Michiko, meets President Barack Obama in Japan.
March 16, 2011 - Emperor Akihito delivers a pre-recorded televised speech in the wake of Japan's devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis. He urges the Japanese people to, "never give up hope, take care of themselves, and live strong for tomorrow."
November 6, 2011 - Hospitalized after suffering from a fever and bronchitis.
February 18, 2012 - Undergoes successful coronary artery bypass surgery.