Emperor Akihito was admitted Thursday to University of Tokyo Hospital for a prostatectomy.
According to the Imperial Household Agency, the Emperor, diagnosed with prostate cancer in late December, is scheduled to undergo a few additional checkups before the operation Saturday.
It will be the first time for an emperor to undergo surgery outside the Hospital of the Imperial Household.
A team of doctors led by Tadaichi Kitamura and Tadao Kakizoe will perform the surgery. Kitamura is a professor in the urology department of the university hospital. Kakizoe is president of the National Cancer Center.
The 69-year-old Emperor is expected to remain hospitalized for about one month. After being released, he will recuperate at the Imperial Palace and refrain from public duties for a while according to the agency.
The agency also said that the cancer is a well-differentiated tumor and will not spread. The Emperor has a very good chance of making a full recovery once the cancerous tissue is removed, it added.
Before being hospitalized, the Emperor entrusted his constitutional functions to his eldest son, Crown Prince Naruhito.
Empress Michiko accompanied the Emperor when he was admitted to the hospital and is expected to stay overnight there according to the agency.
At the hospital, the Emperor will stay in a special room designed to accommodate top dignitaries, the agency said. But besides the room, he will receive little special treatment in terms of care or food, in response to his wish not to disturb other patients and hospital staff, it said.
Only one chamberlain will be in the room. Chamberlains provide daily care at the palace.
Meanwhile, the agency said a total of 2,047 people visited the Imperial Palace and other designated places on Thursday to sign their names on books wishing the Emperor a strong recovery.
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