International royalsJapan

Emperor Emeritus Akihito suffers bout of cerebral anaemia due to fatigue


By Casa Rosada (Argentina Presidency of the Nation), CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons

Emperor Emeritus Akihito of Japan suffered an episode of severe cerebral anaemia last week, the Imperial Household Agency announced on Tuesday.

The Emperor Emeritus had been undergoing a regular health check-up when he was unable to continue standing up at one point. The cerebral anaemia is believed to have been the result of fatigue caused by the health check-up. He has since recovered.

Both the Emperor Emeritus and Empress Emerita underwent routine physical examinations at the University of Tokyo Hospital last week. The Emperor Emeritus became unwell as the Imperial couple were about to have dinner on Thursday, after undergoing tests in the morning and the afternoon. He was treated immediately by the imperial doctor and has been resting ever since. A further check-up scheduled for Wednesday was postponed.

The Imperial Household Agency also announced that Empress Emerita Michiko was told that some of her tests had to be redone. Further results of the examinations will be made public at a later date, as is common with the Imperial family.

Emperor Emeritus Akihito abdicated in favour of his eldest son on 30 April 2019 and the reign of his son, now Emperor Naruhito, began on 1 May. The new era of Reiwa also began with the new Emperor’s accession. Prime Minister Shinzō Abe said that Reiwa represents “a culture being born and nurtured by people coming together beautifully.”

Akihito had reigned from 7 January 1989 upon the death of his father, Emperor Showa. On 10 April 1959, he married Michiko Shōda, and they went on to have two sons and a daughter together. In 2016, Akihito expressed a wish to abdicate and this was made possible with an amendment to the Imperial Household Law. His second son Fumihito is now first in the line of succession as Emperor Naruhito’s daughter Aiko, Princess Toshi, can not become Empress in her own right.