Early Stage: Japan's ex-empress has breast cancer

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Doctors have diagnosed with the former Japanese Empress Michiko breast cancer. In September, the 84-year-old operated on, the news agency Kyodo reported on Friday, citing the imperial court.

The disease is at an early stage. In July, a node was discovered during an investigation, it was said.

Michiko's husband, ex-Emperor Akihito (85), had abdicated in May. Since then, Japan, the world's oldest hereditary monarchy, has a new emperor: the couple's son, 59-year-old Naruhito, succeeds his father.

In her time as Empress Michiko was worshiped by the people, especially for their kindness and sympathy. Japan's media has repeatedly described the former empress as the “conscience of the nation”.

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