Japan’s Emperor Akihito will undergo surgery for prostate cancer next week, the Imperial Palace has announced.
The 69-year-old emperor will be admitted to the University of Tokyo Hospital on 16 January and will stay for about a month.
A two-hour operation to remove his prostate gland is planned for 18 January.
The palace revealed last month that the emperor had cancer. Doctors have said the head of the Chrysanthemum throne has a good chance of a full recovery.
His eldest son, Crown Prince Naruhito, is expected to take over his father’s official functions during the hospitalisation.
Emperor Akihito assumed the throne in 1989 following the death of his father, Emperor Hirohito, at the age of 87.
It was only announced after his death that Hirohito had himself suffered from cancer.
The last time Emperor Akihito was in hospital was in June 1995, when he had surgery to remove a non-malignant polyp in his large intestine.
Revision date: July 8, 2011
Last revised: by Andrew G. Epstein, M.D.