Japanese emperor has cancer
Japanese Emperor Akihito has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and will undergo an operation next month to have the cancerous tissues removed, Japanese media quoted the Imperial Household Agency as saying on Saturday.
The diagnosis, which also determined that the cancer has not spread, was based on a check-up last Tuesday after blood tests over the past three years showed worrisome figures, public broadcaster NHK and Kyodo news agency reported. Akihito, who turned 69 on Monday, will stay in hospital for about one month and forego his official duties for an “extended period” after the operation in mid-January, Kyodo said. But the emperor, who made his traditional birthday appearance before crowds of well-wishers last Monday, will greet the public again next week as usual when people gather at the palace to offer New Year’s greetings to the imperial family, Kyodo added.
He will also attend an annual New Year’s poetry reading in the Imperial Palace on January 15 as scheduled, it said. Imperial Household Agency officials could not be reached for comment. Akihito acceded to the Chrysanthemum throne in January 1989 following the death of his father, Emperor Hirohito. —Reuters