Japan Government Mulls Setting Emperor's Abdication in Late December 2018


Tokyo, April 12 (Jiji Press)—The Japanese government is now looking at the idea of setting a date for the possible abdication of Emperor Akihito in late December 2018 and starting a new Japanese era on January 1, 2019, informed sources said Wednesday.

Both the Imperial succession and the start of a new era were initially seen as likely to be scheduled for New Year's Day. The Imperial Household Agency has been negative about this option, however, due to a number of existing New Year's events involving the Imperial family.

Still, the government hopes to minimize the time lag between Crown Prince Naruhito's accession to the Imperial throne and the introduction of a new era name.

Within the government, the view is gaining support that it is desirable to set a date for the Imperial abdication between December 26 and 31, 2018.

An event to celebrate Emperor Akihito's 85th birthday will be held on December 23 that year, and a ritual ceremony to mark the anniversary of the demise of Emperor Yoshihito, posthumously called Emperor Taishō, will take place on December 25.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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