National

Empress Emerita Michiko undergoes second round of cataract surgery

Kyodo

Empress Emerita Michiko has undergone cataract surgery on both of her eyes, the Imperial Household Agency said Sunday.

The 84-year-old former empress has experienced vision difficulties for several years and had been hoping to have the surgery after retiring along with her husband, Emperor Emeritus Akihito, who abdicated at the end of April.

She had the operation Sunday on her left eye at a hospital in Tokyo, a week after undergoing surgery on her right eye, according to the agency.

She was wearing sunglasses when she arrived at the hospital by car at around 10:30 a.m. Sunday, and headed home at around 4:30 p.m. with her left eye covered with gauze.

Earlier this month, the former empress was diagnosed with heart valve abnormalities, for which she will continue to be monitored.

Emperor Emeritus Akihito became the first Japanese monarch to abdicate in about two centuries, bringing an end to the Heisei Era that spanned his 30-year reign. His elder son, Emperor Naruhito, ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne on May 1.