Prince Katsura leaves hospital

Kyodo

Prince Katsura, a cousin of Emperor Akihito, left the University of Tokyo Hospital on Friday following surgery earlier this month to narrow his throat to prevent the inhalation of saliva, which could cause pneumonia.

The 63-year-old prince had repeatedly suffered from aspiration pneumonia, but the operation should prevent that while enabling the prince to take liquid meals, Ryozo Nagai, his primary doctor, said Dec. 17 after the successful operation.

The prince has been in and out of the hospital in recent years because of blood poisoning and possible infectious diseases, after suffering an acute subdural hematoma in 1988.

He is recovering well and will rest at his residence, the Imperial Household Agency said.