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Nintendo president Satoru Iwata undergoes surgery, will miss annual shareholders meeting

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Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has undergone surgery to deal with a growth that was found in his bile duct and will miss the company's annual shareholders meeting as a result, he wrote in a letter addressed to shareholders.

"In general, it is said that a bile duct growth can be difficult-to-treat, partly because of the difficulty of detecting it early. In my case, luckily, it was detected very early and I had no symptoms," Iwata wrote. "I was counseled that removal at an early stage would be the desirable medical option. Therefore I had surgery last week, and I came through it well, as predicted."

Iwata did not attend E3 2014 due to, at the time, unspecified health issues that rendered him unable to travel to Los Angeles. Nintendo's president says that while he has already resumed light business duties by email and other means, he anticipates that a little more time is needed before he resumes his regular work schedule.

"As a result, I have no choice but to miss the company's very important activity, the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, to be held this month," the letter reads. "As the president of the company, I regret that I cannot attend the meeting. However, I understand that I have to prioritize my medical treatment and to recover as soon as possible so that I will again be able to do my best to help the company to grow. I hope that you understand."

The company's next annual shareholders meeting is scheduled to take place in Kyoto, Japan on Friday, June 27 at 10 a.m. Japan local time.

Iwata, 54, came to Nintendo in 2000 as the head of its Corporate Planning Division. He became the company's fourth president in May 2002, when Hiroshi Yamauchi, who had held that position since 1949, stepped down. Iwata was the first head of Nintendo to come from outside the Yamauchi family.