Dec 25, 2017
TOKYO - The government is considering designating as a one-off holiday the day of Crown Prince Naruhito's ascension to the throne on May 1, 2019, in what will be Japan's first succession from a living emperor since 1817, a government source said Sunday.
The government plans to seek the passage of a special law through the Diet next year for the designation, drawing on a past example of Emperor Akihito's enthronement ceremony in 1990. The day of the ceremony then was set as a national holiday only for that year.
In making May 1 a holiday only for 2019, the government also has to decide whether to give it a "national holiday" status or a "non-working day" status.
If the day is designated as a national holiday, the public will have 10 consecutive days off from April 27 to May 6 in 2019, including those already designated as national holidays based on rules stipulated in the National Holidays Law.
If the government chooses to make May 1 a "non-working day" April 30 and May 2 will remain as weekdays.
Preparation is under way in Japan as the emperor is scheduled to retire on April 30, 2019, at the age of 85, ending the current Heisei era in its 31st year.
The current emperor's enthronement ceremony was held on Nov. 12, 1990, following the death of his father Emperor Hirohito, posthumously known as Emperor Showa, in January 1989.
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