The House of Representatives Cabinet Committee endorsed a bill Wednesday to move Greenery Day from April 29 to May 4, which is already a national holiday, and to redesignate April 29 as Showa Day.
The bill for amending the National Holidays Law is expected to clear the Lower House in a plenary session Thursday as the panel’s endorsement came after a majority vote by members of both the ruling camp and the Democratic Party of Japan.
Although some DPJ members had strongly opposed the coalition-backed bill, the party decided Tuesday to support it.
Deliberation on the bill by the House of Councilors is set to be carried over to the next Diet session due to scheduling conflicts.
Under the bill, April 29 would become Showa no Hi (Showa Day) and Midori no Hi (Greenery Day) would be changed to May 4, which is currently a specially designated “between day” holiday to create a longer vacation period by linking it with Constitution Day on May 3 and Children’s Day on May 5 during the Golden Week holidays.
April 29 was the birthday of Emperor Showa, who died in January 1989. After his death, his birthday, already a national holiday, was designated to continue as such under the name of Greenery Day, a day for nature appreciation.
An earlier version of the bill to revise the law was submitted to a regular Diet session in 2000 but was scrapped.