Easily winded Emperor to have more fluid extracted from chest


Emperor Akihito, who had open heart surgery in February and is rehabilitating at the Imperial Palace, will have fluid extracted from his chest for a second time Tuesday, the Imperial Household Agency said Monday.

The procedure will be performed at the Imperial Household Hospital on the palace grounds in the morning.

The Emperor underwent a similar procedure on March 7, when fluid was extracted from the right side of his chest. The procedure is being repeated because of shortness of breath during exercise that is likely being caused by fluid on the left side, the agency said.

In the meantime, Crown Prince Naruhito will greet Kuwaiti ruler Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah and host a banquet for the emir at the palace on Wednesday on behalf of the Emperor, who is still expected to meet the Kuwaiti ruler.

The Emperor underwent heart surgery on Feb. 18 and was released from the hospital on March 4. He spoke briefly at the government-sponsored memorial service on March 11 to commemorate the first anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 Great East Japan Earthquake in northeastern Japan in 2011.