Emperor of Japan to Undergo Cancer Operation

Emperor of Japan Akihito is to undergo surgery for prostate cancer - a cancer tumor of his prostate gland is to be removed.

The tumor is in its early stage and treatment in the hospital of the Tokyo University is expected to be successful, the administrative department of the Emperor's Court reported. The operation is be made by a group of university physicians and experts from Japan's National Cancer Center.

The tumor was revealed during the emperor's medical examination last December. The blood tests made over the past years "caused some concern," a spokesman of the administrative department of the Emperor's Court said.

Emperor Akihito turned 69 on December 23, after which it was announced that the emperor would be taken to hospital, where he is expected to stay about a month.

Akihito became Emperor of Japan on January 7, 1989, after the death of his father Hirohito. The present monarch has, apart from the Crown Prince Naruhito, has two more children - Prince Akishino and Princess Syako.