• Reuters


Emperor Akihito, who had been resting for the last few days after suffering nausea and other symptoms, resumed his official duties in earnest Thursday by attending a ceremony to welcome new ambassadors, the Imperial Household Agency said.

The Emperor, 84, who has spent much of his nearly three decades on the Chrysanthemum Throne seeking to heal the wounds of war, is set to step down on April 30 next year in the first abdication by an emperor in nearly two centuries.

The Emperor canceled his public duties Monday after suffering dizziness and nausea due to cerebral anemia, a condition caused by insufficient blood flow to the brain, and rested Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Akihito resumed some work by signing government documents, a spokesman at the Imperial Household Agency said.

It is not clear if the Emperor has completely recovered, the spokesman said. An announcement posted on the Imperial Household Agency website Wednesday said that he was in the process of recovering from dizziness and a slight stomachache.

“No such announcement as ‘recovery has been achieved’ was issued. But it is true that the Emperor has returned to public duties,” the spokesman said.

Akihito, who in recent years has had heart surgery and treatment for prostate cancer, said in 2016 that he feared age might make it hard for him to fulfil his duties, and he made a request to abdicate and hand over the duties to his eldest son, Crown Prince Naruhito.

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