TOKYO – Emperor Akihito, 82, canceled a public appearance on Friday after coming down with cold and fever, although his doctors had ruled out flu, confirmed an Imperial Household spokesperson.
Akihito was due to greet volunteers, who had taken part in a ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Friday morning.
His wife, Empress Michiko – who was also forced to cancel plans last weekend after being diagnosed with acute bronchitis – made an appearance on his behalf.
The emperor has no official events lined up for Friday evening, and will “continue to rest.”
In August, Akihito had announced his wish to abdicate citing old age and fragile health.
However, for the monarch to step down and the Crown Prince to take over the throne, it will require an amendment to the strict norm governing the Japanese Imperial Household since 1947 and which does not allow for succession while the emperor is alive.
Emperor Akihito has been suffering from ill health since he underwent a heart surgery in 2012 and was also operated upon for prostate cancer in 2003.