Emperor Akihito of Japan has been admitted to hospital with suspected bronchitis. The 77-year-old is said to have developed a cold, a fever and other symptoms of the condition.
Crown Prince Naruhito will take over Emperor Akihito’s duties while Akihito is being treated at the University of Tokyo Hospital. The country’s symbolic leader is not thought to be in serious danger, but is being kept in for observation and to ensure that he recovers as quickly as possible.
This is not the first health problem for Akihito. In 2003 he had surgery for prostate cancer, and in 2008 he suffered health problems that were ultimately put down to stress. He has since cut back on his formal duties, although he made a rare public appearance earlier this year in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of Japan.