Japan's Emperor Enters Hospital For Heart Surgery

Published February 17, 2012 2:00AM (EST)

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese Emperor Akihito has entered the hospital for scheduled heart bypass surgery.

An official from the Imperial Household Agency said Friday that a medical team will operate on the 78-year-old monarch Saturday at University of Tokyo Hospital.

The operation was scheduled after tests last weekend showed that Akihito's heart condition had worsened compared to a year ago.

The palace said the surgery will help the emperor enjoy a relatively active life.

Akihito has had various health problems in recent years, including pneumonia and prostate cancer. He has cut back on public duties but still appears regularly at events.

By Salon Staff

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