Japan ex-empress undergoes breast cancer surgery

Japan's former empress Michiko (R) enters Tokyo University hospital on September 7, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 09 September 2019

Japan ex-empress undergoes breast cancer surgery

  • The first commoner to marry an imperial heir, Michiko was born in 1934 in Tokyo and attended the exclusive all-girls Christian Sacred Heart School before studying English literature at its university

TOKOY, JAPAN: Japan’s former empress Michiko “safely” underwent surgery on Sunday after the 84-year-old was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, the Imperial Household Agency said.
Michiko’s husband Akihito formally stepped down as emperor in April, the first abdication for 200 years in the world’s oldest monarchy.
Her operation began Sunday morning “as scheduled” at the University of Tokyo Hospital, an agency official said.
“It ended safely and (she) went back to her room,” the official told AFP, adding that further details would be announced later.
Doctors have concluded that there was no sign of a risk of the cancer spreading, public broadcaster NHK said, adding she may be discharged “in a few days.”
Akihito and daughter Sayako Kuroda, a former princess who left the royal household to marry a commoner, visited the hospital to see Michiko before the operation.
Emperor Naruhito, their first son, who was out of Tokyo to attend an event with Empress Masako in northern Japan, sent get-well-wishes to Michiko, NHK said.
Akihito and Michiko are known for dramatically modernizing the tradition-bound monarchy, bringing themselves closer to the public and boosting popular support for the household.
The first commoner to marry an imperial heir, Michiko was born in 1934 in Tokyo and attended the exclusive all-girls Christian Sacred Heart School before studying English literature at its university.
She gave birth to Naruhito in 1960 and her second son, Prince Akishino, was born in 1965.
Michiko and her husband also came to be known for their presence at the side of survivors of disasters, especially after the 2011 tsunami that wrecked large parts of eastern Japan.


World’s shortest man dies in Nepal at 27

In this file photo taken on September 24, 2010 Nepalese teenager Khagendra Thapa Magar poses for a picture with Miss Nepal Sadichha Shrestha (C) and first runner-up Sahana Bajracharya (R) and second runner-up Samyukta Timilsina (L) in Kathmandu. (AFP)
Updated 18 January 2020

World’s shortest man dies in Nepal at 27

  • Magar became an official face of Nepal’s tourism campaign, which featured him as the smallest man in a country that is home to the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest

KATMANDU: The world’s shortest man who could walk, as verified by Guinness World Records, died Friday at a hospital in Nepal, his family said.
Khagendra Thapa Magar, who measured 67.08 centimeters (2 feet 2.41 inches), died of pneumonia at a hospital in Pokhara, 200 kilometers from Katmandu, where he lived with his parents.
“He has been in and out of hospital because of pneumonia. But this time his heart was also affected. He passed away today,” Mahesh Thapa Magar, his brother, told AFP.
Magar was first declared the world’s shortest man in 2010 after his 18th birthday, photographed holding a certificate only a bit smaller than him.
However he eventually lost the title after Nepal’s Chandra Bahadur Dangi, who measured 54.6 centimeters, was discovered and named the world’s shortest mobile man.
Magar regained the title after Dangi’s death in 2015.
“He was so tiny when he was born that he could fit in the palm of your hand, and it was very hard to bathe him because he was so small,” said his father, Roop Bahadur, according to Guinness World Records.
As the world’s shortest man the 27-year-old traveled to more than a dozen countries and made television appearances in Europe and the United States.
“We’re terribly sad to hear the news from Nepal that Khagendra is no longer with us,” said Craig Glenday, Guinness World Records editor-in-chief.
“Life can be challenging when you weigh just 6 kilograms and you don’t fit into a world built for the average person. But Khagendra certainly didn’t let his small size stop him from getting the most out of life” he said.
Magar became an official face of Nepal’s tourism campaign, which featured him as the smallest man in a country that is home to the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest.
During his stint he met other short people around the world, including the shortest woman, Jyoti Amge, from India.
In a video released by Guinness World Records, Magar is seen playing a guitar with his brother, riding a bike and sitting at his family’s shop.
The world’s shortest non-mobile man remains Junrey Balawing of the Philippines, who measures only 59.93 centimeters but is unable to walk or stand unaided, according to Guinness World Records.
The record for shortest living mobile man is now retained by Edward “Nino” Hernandez of Colombia, a reggaeton DJ who stands 70.21 centimeters tall, Guinness said.