Former Japanese Empress, Michiko, on Friday diagnosed with the early stages of breast cancer, Japan’s Kyodo news agency said.
The 84-year-old was expected to be operated on in September.
A lump was discovered during an examination in July.
Michiko’s husband, former Emperor Akihito, 85, abdicated the Chrysanthemum throne at the end of April.
The couple’s son, 59-year-old Naruhito, then assumed the throne in the world’s oldest hereditary monarchy, the report said.
In her time as Empress, Michiko was adored by the Japanese people, especially for her kindness and sympathy.
Japan’s media has repeatedly described the former empress as the “conscience of the nation’’.