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International royalsJapan

Emperor Akihito cancels duties due to diagnosis of cerebral anaemia

Japanese Emperor Akihito has cancelled his public duties after he was diagnosed with dizziness and cerebral anaemia, the Imperial Household Agency announced today. Cerebral anaemia is a condition which causes insufficient blood flow to the brain.

Earlier this morning, the Emperor felt sick and experienced hot flashes, prompting the Empress to contact a palace doctor. He has not been admitted to hospital but is being monitored while he rests at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. The Emperor was supposed to meet with Princess Ayako today, whose engagement to the 32-year-old Kei Moriya was recently announced, but instead, the Princess met with just the Empress, who conveyed a congratulatory message from the Emperor. Princess Ayako and her fiance are set to a hold a press conference later today.

Emperor Akihito has had heart surgery and treatment for prostate cancer and said in 2016 that he feared that his age might make it difficult for him to fulfil his duties.

Emperor Akihito is set to abdicate on 30 April 2019, leaving the throne to his eldest son Crown Prince Naruhito.

The government of Japan has officially approved the abdication ceremony of Emperor Akihito, it was announced recently. This provides the legal basis to allow him to step down from the throne after a one-off law was passed to allow him to retire.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said in a press conference, “As there are a variety of things we need to prepare toward the imperial succession, we will do our best so that the Emperor’s abdication and the Crown Prince’s accession will be carried out smoothly.”

Akihito will give a final address to the Japanese people during the abdication ceremony which reportedly will only include close to 300 people. Sources have indicated that the name for the new era after the Crown Prince ascends to the Chrysanthemum Throne may not be released until the end of this year or even later.