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Japan's Emperor cancels engagements, cites health problems

IANS  |  Tokyo 

Amid ongoing discussion about his abdication, Japan's Emperor Akihito has cancelled his engagements due to health problems for the second time in 2017, an Imperial Palace spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Akihito, 83, has been absent from his engagements since Monday afternoon due to symptoms of fever, a cold and cough, although he is getting better, the spokesperson told Efe news.

The Emperor was on Tuesday scheduled to receive soldiers being honoured by the government, but the event was attended by his son Crown Prince Naruhito instead.

Akihito also missed a meeting with a group of volunteers in charge of cleaning the palace, and was replaced by his wife Empress Michiko.

The Emperor previously cancelled several other commitments in late January due to a fever.

In August 2016, Akihito expressed the desire to abdicate the throne, citing his age and poor health.

A government panel has proposed to devise special legislation for the abdication, without amending the 1947 law which has no provision for a ruling Emperor to abdicate.

The Japanese monarch has been in ill health for several years.

In 2003, he was treated for prostate cancer, and in 2012, he underwent coronary bypass surgery.

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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