Popular television presenter Mao Kobayashi, 34, died Thursday night after a more than two-year battle with breast cancer, her husband and kabuki star Ebizo said Friday.

"I was watching the moment she breathed her last breath. At that moment, she said 'I love you,' " Ebizo, 39, said at a news conference held just after his early afternoon performance at Theater Cocoon in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward.

"I knew I was being loved. But the fact that she loved me until the very last moment ... I don't know what to say," Ebizo said, shedding tears. "She was the person who changed me."