Report: Japan emperor's heart bypass operation successful

February 18, 2012 10:05

TOKYO - A heart bypass operation performed on Japan's Emperor Akihito ended successfully on Saturday, public broadcaster NHK reported.

Akihito, 78, has been receiving treatment for heart problems for the past year, and doctors decided last week that he needed a coronary bypass operation.

Akihito ascended to the throne after the death of his father, Hirohito, in 1989. He has spent much of the past two decades working to heal the wounds of a war waged across Asia in his father's name and helped bring the monarchy closer to ordinary citizens.

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