Japan emperor's heart op 'successful'

2012-02-18 10:00

Tokyo - Japan Emperor Akihito's heart bypass surgery that lasted about five hours ended successfully on Saturday, national network NHK and other media said.

The 78-year-old emperor was advised to undergo the procedure after tests showed a narrowing of two of his coronary arteries.

The imperial household agency declined to immediately confirm the reports of the successful operation.

His doctors were scheduled to hold a press conference from 09:00 GMT.

The emperor went into the operating theatre at the University of Tokyo Hospital at 00:24 GMT and the surgery lasted more than five hours.

The aim of the procedure was "to maintain and to improve his majesty's daily life", a palace spokesperson said earlier.