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Japanese emperor leaves hospital after heart surgery

Tokyo - Japanese Emperor Akihito went home Sunday from the University of Tokyo Hospital after successful heart bypass surgery in mid-February, the government said.

The 78-year-old emperor is eager to attend an anniversary event on March 11 to commemorate the victims of the earthquake and tsunami a year ago, Imperial Household Agency said.

The disaster left more than 15,800 dead and about 3,300 missing in north-eastern Japan, where the emperor often visited with Empress Michiko.

His doctors said Akihito needs a week or so of rest before returning to normal official duties.

The surgery was performed on February 18 after a test showed a narrowing of his coronary vessels.

It was the first surgery for the emperor since 2003, when he had an operation for prostate cancer.

Akihito ascended the throne in 1989 after the death of his father, Hirohito.//DPA

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