Hirohito's Condition Deteriorates

Associated Press

The condition of Emperor Hirohito worsened Wednesday as he coughed up blood for the first time since his intestinal hemorrhaging began a month ago, Imperial Household Agency officials said.

The 87-year-old monarch was resting after doctors gave him transfusions of nearly 2 pints of blood that stabilized his condition, the officials said.

His daughter, Atsuko Ikeda, said Hirohito was awake but hardly responded to her when she visited him. Ikeda told reporters her father coughed repeatedly during the five-minute visit to his bedside in the Imperial Palace.

The internal hemorrhaging began Sept 19. Since then, the emperor has received transfusions of more than twice the normal amount of blood in his body. In recent days, Hirohito has eaten only a few spoonfuls of porridge, and doctors said he is losing strength because the intravenous feedings cannot supply enough nutrition.

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