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Feeling his years, Japan's emperor has been looking to bow out

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko

TOKYO -- Although his enthusiasm for public appearances has not waned, at age 82, Japan's emperor has apparently let on that he hopes to cede his throne while his health lasts.

Emperor Akihito has undergone two major surgeries in a little over a decade. Following a 2003 operation to treat prostate cancer, he resumed public duties after a month. But his prostate problems recurred, so he began hormonal therapy the following year, complemented by a fitness regimen to guard against the risk of bone loss associated with these treatments.

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