Japan's crown prince enters hospital for surgery to remove polyp

Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito entered a Tokyo hospital on Tuesday for surgery to remove a benign growth in his small intestine, a palace spokesman said.

Naruhito, 47, will have the polyp removed in a noninvasive, endoscopic operation at the University of Tokyo on Wednesday, Imperial Household Agency spokesman Yasuo Moriyama said.

In March, palace doctors found the polyp in Naruhito's duodenum, the first section of the small intestine, when he had a regular health check.

Naruhito, who entered the hospital accompanied by his wife, Crown Princess Masako, will have a blood test and X-ray before the surgery, which is expected to take about two hours, public broadcaster NHK said.

After the operation, the crown prince is expected to remain hospitalized for about a week before returning home to recuperate.