Japan's Emperor Akihito admitted to hospital

Japan's Emperor Akihito has been admitted to hospital suffering from fever and bronchitis.

The 77-year-old emperor "will be hospitalised from tonight because he has had a persistent fever and begun to show more concerning symptoms of bronchitis", a spokesman for the imperial household agency said late on Sunday.

Television footage later showed the emperor arriving by car at the University of Tokyo Hospital accompanied by Empress Michiko.

The emperor will be treated at the hospital only days after his granddaughter Aiko - the only child of Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako - was hospitalised there for pneumonia.

Aiko was discharged on Saturday.

Akihito, who acceded to the throne in 1989 following the death of his father Emperor Hirohito, underwent surgery for prostate cancer in 2003.

As the titular head of state in Japan, he plays a largely ceremonial role but is held in deep respect by many Japanese.

- AFP

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