Japan Emperor Abdication Seen as Likely at End of March 2019 (News)
Tokyo, Oct. 20 (Jiji Press)—The Japanese government is now likely to set Emperor Akihito's abdication under a special law enacted in June for the end of March 2019, it was learned Friday.
The abdication would be followed by Crown Prince Naruhito's accession to the throne and the start of a new Japanese era on April 1, a government source said.
The government is working to hold a meeting of the Imperial House Council on the abdication schedule as early as next month, after Sunday's election for the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of parliament, the source said.
The Imperial panel's members include the prime minister, the heads of both chambers of parliament and the Supreme Court's chief justice, as well as Imperial Family members.
The abdication law, which applies to the current 83-year-old Emperor only, calls for realizing his abdication by June 2020. The government is supposed to set the schedule by an ordinance after consulting with the Imperial council.[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]