Japan’s Empress Michiko ill, apparently induced by stress


Japan’s Empress Michiko has been stricken with intestinal bleeding and other ailments apparently caused by stress, a news report said Tuesday.

Michiko, 72, is suffering from bleeding from the walls of her intestines, nose bleeds and mouth ulcers, Kyodo News agency cited the Imperial Household Agency as saying.

The ailments appear to be stress-induced, and the empress will take a break from her official duties to recuperate, Kyodo said.

Agency officials could not immediately confirm the report.

Michiko, the frail wife of Emperor Akihito, has previously suffered from stress, becoming unable to speak for months in the early 1990s after suffering a nervous breakdown, reportedly over unflattering stories in gossip-oriented magazines. A former commoner, she also reportedly had health problems related to her difficult adjustment to palace life following her marriage in 1959. ko’s daughter-in-law, Crown Princess Masako, is also recuperating from stress-induced health problems brought on by the pressures of palace life.