TOKYO (AP) — Japanese Emperor Akihito is undergoing scheduled heart bypass surgery.
The Imperial Household Agency said Saturday that Akihito had entered an operation room at the University of Tokyo Hospital. A medical team from the hospital, joined by another team from Juntendo University Hospital, were operating on the 78-year-old emperor.
The palace said the operation would take about five hours. It was scheduled after tests last weekend showed that Akihito's heart condition had worsened compared to a year ago.
The palace said the surgery would 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.