Japan's Emperor Hirohito developed a strong fever and was given another blood transfusion on Wednesday, the ninth day of his fight for life, palace officials said.

The officials quoted court physicians as saying his temperature, at 100 degrees F, did not drastically alter his condition.The 87-year-old monarch was described as being in a stable but still critical condition.

Wednesday's transfusion brought the total to seven pints since Hirohito, the world's longest reigning monarch, vomited blood on September 19.

The emperor's youngest daughter, Takako Shimazu, visited him at his bedside and later told reporters that Hirohito asked her about her husband and children in a normal conversation.

"I grasped his hands and they were warm," Shimazu said on national television.

Olympic 100-meter backstroke champion Daichi Suzuki, who has won Japan's only gold medal so far in the Seoul Games, joined thousands of other people at the Imperial Palace on Wednesday morning in signing a register expressing sympathy for the world's longest reigning monarch.

Some 1.5 million people have signed similar registers across Japan.

Crown Prince Akihito, accompanied by his wife Michiko, spent about 20 minutes at Hirohito's bedside on Wednesday morning, the officials said.

Akihito's second son, Prince Aya, who is studying marine biology at Oxford, is to return to Japan Oct. 1, they said.