Japan's Emperor to Have Heart Bypass Akihito has suffered from variety of health problems in recent years By Newser Editors and Wire Services Posted Feb 12, 2012 5:54 AM CST 3 comments Comments Japan's Emperor Akihito, left, along with Empress Michiko, heads to the University of Tokyo Hospital, by car, in Tokyo, Japan, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012. ((AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT, NO LICENSING IN CHINA, FRANCE, HONG KONG, JAPAN AND SOUTH KOREA) (Newser) – Japanese Emperor Akihito will have heart bypass surgery later this month, his palace said today after the 78-year-old monarch was hospitalized for tests over the weekend. Akihito returned to the palace today after the tests and has scheduled the surgery for Feb. 18, the Imperial Household Agency said. A medical team from the University of Tokyo and Juntendo hospital will carry out the surgery at University of Tokyo Hospital, as his heart condition had worsened since tests a year ago, the agency said. The palace's statement said the surgery will help the emperor enjoy a relatively active life. Akihito has had various health problems in recent years, including pneumonia and prostate cancer. He has cut back on public duties but still appears regularly at events.