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It would be “difficult” for Crown Prince Naruhito to begin his reign as emperor on Jan. 1, 2019 — a plan recently reported by media outlets — due to key events held every year on New Year’s Day, a senior Imperial Household Agency official said Tuesday.

Citing unnamed sources, media reports said the government is considering arranging for the Crown Prince, 56, to ascend the throne on Jan. 1, 2019, following Emperor Akihito’s abdication the previous day.

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