Timeline for November 2019
Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology Hagiuda Kōichi announces that the use of private English tests for university entrance examination purposes will not be introduced in fiscal 2020 as scheduled. The ministry is now planning a fundamental overhaul for a new system to start in fiscal 2024.
The International Olympic Committee announces that the 2020 marathon and race walk events will be moved from Tokyo to Sapporo.
South Africa wins the Rugby World Cup final 32–12 against England to secure its first championship since 2007.
A group of 44 returns to Nemuro, Hokkaidō, after the first sightseeing tour for Japanese people to the disputed Northern Territories, held as part of joint activities between the Japanese and Russian governments.
Softbank Group reports a consolidated operating loss of ¥15.5 billion for the six-month period ending in September 2019, down from a profit of ¥1.4 trillion for the same period in 2018. It is the first such loss for Softbank Group since the six-month period ending in September 2004.
Crowds gather in central Tokyo to see Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako travel in a convertible from the Imperial Palace to the Akasaka Estate as part of a procession celebrating the imperial succession. On the previous day, popular group Arashi performed at a national festival outside the Imperial Palace.
- National Festival Held for Japan Emperor's Enthronement
- Emperor, Empress Parade in Tokyo to Cheers of Crowds
- Imperial Enthronement Parade Winds Through Central Tokyo
The government decides to cancel the cherry blossom party hosted by Prime Minister Abe Shinzō in 2020. Opposition parties had questioned the use of tax money for private purposes as many of Abe’s supporters had been invited each year.
- Japan to Cancel Abe’s Cherry Blossom Party Next Year
- Abe Admits Role in Guest Selection for Cherry Blossom Parties
Emperor Naruhito performs the Daijōsai at the Imperial Palace through the early hours of November 15 as part of his enthronement ceremonies. He offers rice, sake, and other items to the gods to give thanks for peace and good harvests.
- The Daijōsai: Japan’s Harvest Offerings Ceremony at the Start of Reiwa
- Emperor’s Daijōsai Ceremony Begins at Imperial Palace
A plenary meeting of the House of Councillors enacts bills to pay relatives of former Hansen’s disease patients up to ¥1.8 million each in damages for discrimination they faced.
Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police arrest actress Sawajiri Erika for alleged possession of MDMA in violation of the Narcotics and Psychotropics Control Act.
Japan defeats South Korea 5–3 to win the Premier 12 international baseball championship for the first time.
Z Holdings, the parent corporation of Yahoo Japan, and free messaging app provider Line announce they aim to integrate their business operations by October 2020.
Abe Shinzō becomes Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, having spent 2,887 days in office.
- Abe Shinzō Becomes Japan’s Longest-Serving Prime Minister
- Making History, Abe Vows to Keep Initial Enthusiasm
The South Korean government announces that it intends to extend GSOMIA, its General Security of Military Information Agreement with Japan. It also states that it will halt its dispute settlement procedure with the World Trade Organization concerning Japanese restrictions on South Korean exports as dialog continues.
- Seoul Decides to Extend GSOMIA with Japan at Last Minute
- Tokyo Welcomes Seoul’s Decision to Maintain GSOMIA
- Japan, South Korea to Consider Arranging Summit for December
Pope Francis arrives in Japan for a short visit. On November 24, he travels to Nagasaki and Hiroshima, giving speeches advocating peace and nuclear disarmament. On November 25, he meets with Prime Minister Abe and Emperor Naruhito; on November 26 he gives a speech at Sophia University.
- Pope Francis Arrives in Japan
- Pope Francis Calls for Nuclear Arms Elimination in Nagasaki
- Pope Francis Tells Japanese Youth to Respect Diversity
Osaka Prefectural Police announces that an Osaka sixth-grader who went missing on November 17 was found safe in Oyama, Tochigi Prefecture. Oyama resident Itō Hiroshi is arrested on suspicion of kidnapping the girl.
Former Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhiro dies at the age of 101. During his premiership from 1982 to 1987, he privatized the state-run Japanese National Railways and forged stronger ties with the United States.
- Former Japan Prime Minister Nakasone Dies at 101
- US Media Praises Late Japanese Prime Minister Nakasone
(Originally published in Japanese. Banner photo: Pope Francis meets Japanese Catholics at a mass in Tokyo Dome on November 25, 2019. © Jiji.)