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Monday, 20th February 2012
In General Japan News,

Emperor Akihito leaves intensive care after heart surgery

Just two days after having heart bypass surgery, Emperor Akihito has left the intensive care unit (ICU).

The emperor was discharged from the ICU in a wheelchair and is on the road to recovery, the AFP reported.

Following a four-hour procedure he was reported to be in a stable condition and doctors from the University of Tokyo and Juntendo University who carried out the surgery believe he may be well enough to return to the Imperial Palace in two weeks.

Emperor Akihito, 78, arrived at the hospital on Friday (February 17th) to undergo the operation after doctor's advised that his arteries were narrowing.

In recent years he has suffered from deteriorating health, having surgery for prostate cancer in 2003. Before the surgery, a spokesperson for the Imperial Palace said the operation would help "to maintain and to improve his majesty's daily life".

According to the news agency, in light of his recent illness the Japanese government intends to consider a reform to the Imperial House Law that would allow royal women to stay in the family should they marry a commoner.

Currently, only males may inherit the throne. Emperor Akihito has only one male grandson, five-year-old Prince Hishahito, through his second son Akishino.

Written by Mark Smith

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