Emperor, empress to attend memorial service for tsunami victims on Sunday

TOKYO —

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will attend a memorial service on Sunday for victims of last year’s March 11 disaster, the Imperial Household Agency said Friday.

The emperor, 78, was discharged from hospital last Sunday after undergoing heart bypass surgery on Feb 18. He had treatment to remove fluid from his chest on Wednesday after becoming short of breath while walking and not showing much appetite. He has since been walking and doing deep breathing exercises as part of his rehabilitation.

Doctors had advised the emperor to spend March recuperating and not carry out any official duties, but the emperor expressed a strong wish to attend the ceremony, the palace said, according to NHK.

The emperor and empress will only spend 20 minutes at the memorial to be held Sunday afternon at the National Theater in Tokyo. The emperor will give a short speech after a minute of silence is observed at 2:46 p.m.

Following the catastrophe in Tohoku, the emperor and empress traveled over 10,000 kilometers visiting shelters and consoling disaster victims last year.

Japan Today

  • 0

    DenTok2009

    He's still weak so I hope he listens to his doctors and lets his wife and son stand in for him.

  • 2

    sillygirl

    they do care for the people. best wishes and don`t overdo.

  • 1

    KariHaruka

    I hope he doesn't overwork himself, he should be taking this time for recovery. Though I admire the fact he does want to attend the memorial.

  • -1

    YuriOtani

    Please take care of yourself my Emperor! I worry so much about your health. I pray your trip goes well. Your selfless actions make me so proud of yourself, the Imperial Family and Japan.

  • 2

    edojin

    I've had friends and co-workers who have undergone similar heart surgeries and they bounced back in great form despite their advanced age. So hopefully everything is likewise ticking properly inside the Emperor's body so that he can carry out his duties successfully during the upcoming memorial service and thereafter.

  • 1

    Ranger_Miffy2

    The Emperor (frail at this moment) and Empress are true leaders, and utterly wonderfully symbolic. Where will you be Sunday at 2:45pm?

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