TOKYO (AP) _ Princess Setsuko, an aunt of Japan’s Emperor Akihito, died today of heart failure at a hospital in Tokyo. She was 85.
The princess had been in the Imperial Household Agency hospital since July 5, when she was admitted with a fever.
Born a diplomat’s daughter on Sept. 9, 1909, Setsuko married Prince Yasuhito, younger brother of the late Emperor Hirohito, in 1928. Prince Yasuhito died of tuberculosis in 1953.
Setsuko had been confined to a wheelchair for the last few years because of heart and back ailments.
Her last public appearance was May 24, when she met with officials of the Association for Tuberculosis Prevention. She was active in that organization for more than a half-century.
The princess held top posts in several other charities.
The current emperor, Akihito, canceled vacation plans this month as his aunt’s health deteriorated.
The princess had no children.
Emperor Hirohito, who died on Jan. 7, 1989 at the age of 87, is known posthumously as Emperor Showa.