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Emperor 'needs heart bypass op'

Japan's Emperor Akihito will have heart bypass surgery, it has been reported.

Public broadcaster NHK said the 78-year-old Akihito will have the surgery on February 18.

The Imperial Household Agency said the emperor returned from the hospital, where he received tests, but did not elaborate.

Akihito was admitted to University of Tokyo Hospital for tests on Saturday.

He has had various health problems in recent years, including pneumonia and prostate cancer. He has cut back on public duties but appears relatively healthy.

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From Belfast Telegraph