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Former Empress Michiko turns 85, celebrations shelved over typhoon

TOKYO — Former Empress Michiko marked her 85th birthday on Sunday, her first since the abdication of her husband former Emperor Akihito earlier this year.

 

Birthday celebrations were canceled following a deadly typhoon last weekend, according to the Imperial Household Agency. She had planned on receiving family members at her and the former emperor’s residence.

 

The former empress underwent cataract surgery on both eyes in June and was earlier diagnosed with heart valve abnormalities, with the condition continuing to be monitored.

 

She also underwent surgery for breast cancer in September at the University of Tokyo Hospital after a lump was found on her left breast in July.

 

Despite her health issues, the former empress maintains her daily routine of taking a walk in the morning with her husband, and attends a concert or other artistic event every month.

 

The former emperor became the first Japanese monarch to abdicate in about two centuries, bringing to an end the 30-year Heisei Era. His elder son Emperor Naruhito ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne on May 1.

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