WORLD IN BRIEF : JAPAN : Empress Regains Ability to Speak

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Japan's Empress Michiko has almost fully recovered the power of speech, nearly seven months after being struck with a mystery ailment, the imperial palace said. The empress collapsed on her 59th birthday Oct. 20. Although first signs pointed to a minor stroke, palace officials said later tests showed no brain damage. They attributed her inability to speak to deep depression over critical articles in the press.

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