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Clutching a posy presented by a well-wisher the heir to the Imperial throne looked well as he left Tokyo University hospital with his wife on Tuesday afternoon
Photo: © AFP
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The prince thanked hospital staff, including the surgeon who performed the operation. "You did it very well," he said
Photo: © AFP

Prince Naruhito thanks hospital staff as he heads home

12 JUNE 2007

It must have come as a relief to the people of Japan to see their future Emperor looking fit and healthy as he left hospital this week following a successful operation. Crown Prince Naruhito had undergone surgery last Wednesday after a routine check had revealed a benign lump in the intestine.

With his wife Crown Princess Masako at his side, the heir to the imperial throne paused on his way out of the hospital to thank staff, including the surgeon who performed the operation. As the medics bowed politely, he told them: "You did it very well," returning the respectful gesture with a bow of his own.

Throughout her husband's stay in hospital Princess Masako - who has limited her public appearances in the past few years due to a stress-related ailment - had kept a bedside vigil. She was there to comfort him when he came round from the anaesthetic following the 70-minute operation and looked especially happy and animated as she helped escort him home.

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