Actor Ken Watanabe battling stomach cancer

The Last Samurai star Ken Watanabe is battling stomach cancer and has been forced to delay his return to Broadway while he recovers from surgery.

The 56-year-old had, who was diagnosed with the cancer in January, had undergone laparoscopic surgery, said a statement on his Facebook page.

He is currently recuperating at a hospital in Japan. 

"His surgery was successful but his return to Broadway will be postponed," said the post. 

The Japanese actor was supposed to perform in the musical "The King and I" in March. 

The actor said in a statement released by his press agent: "I would like to ask for your understanding that the start of my performance in New York will be a little delayed."

In 1989, he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, but returned to acting the following year.