Emperor Hirohito, who has been in serious condition for three weeks with severe internal bleeding, remained in stable condition Sunday, his third day without discharging blood, a palace spokesman said.
Hirohito’s vital signs were virtually unchanged throughout the day, but doctors gave him a transfusion of about half a pint of blood, his 25th transfusion in 21 days, as a precaution, said Kenji Maeda, of the Imperial Household Agency.
Hirohito, 87, has discharged blood almost daily since Sept. 19 when his current health crisis began. But in the last three days, with the emperor on a different antibiotic, his blood discharges have stopped, Maeda said.
Doctors cautioned that the acute internal bleeding may be continuing and noted Hirohito’s jaundice, or abnormal yellowing of the skin, is getting worse.
The emperor also is suffering from anemia despite receiving 13.3 pints of blood, or close to twice his total blood supply since he first began to bleed internally.
Hirohito, the last survivor among the major figures of World War II, is believed to have abdominal cancer, but palace officials have refused to confirm or deny it.
The emperor’s grandson, Prince Aya, 22, who was summoned home from Oxford University a week ago when Hirohito’s condition was worsening, returned to England.
Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita, however, canceled a trip to the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido Sunday and stayed in Tokyo.
By law, all Cabinet members are to meet within two hours of the emperor’s death, a rule that has curtailed all but the shortest trips by Cabinet ministers.