Emperor likely to be discharged from hospital Sunday

Kyodo

Emperor Akihito probably will be discharged Sunday from University of Tokyo Hospital, where he is recovering from heart bypass surgery, according to sources close to the Imperial Household Agency.

The Emperor, 78, is undergoing rehabilitation to restore cardiac function after undergoing surgery for angina Feb. 18. It was his first operation since 2003, when he went under the knife for prostate cancer.

He is recovering well and shows no signs of irregular pulse or infection, the sources said.

The Emperor must rest at home for around a week after he is released, but he and Empress Michiko are scheduled to attend a memorial service in Tokyo on March 11 to commemorate the victims of the last year’s earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku. The Emperor is also expected to speak at the government-hosted event.

On Friday, Prince Akishino and his wife, Princess Kiko, visited the Emperor at the hospital.