National

Crown Prince's ascension to throne likely to be one-off holiday for 2019

Kyodo

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 a special law for the designation next year, drawing on Emperor Akihito’s enthronement ceremony in 1990. The day of the ceremony was turned into a national holiday just for that year.

In making May 1 a holiday only for 2019, the government has to decide whether to give it “national holiday” or “nonworking day” status.

If the day is designated a national holiday, the public will have 10 consecutive days off from April 27 to May 6 in 2019, including those already designated based on rules in the National Holidays Law.

If the government chooses to make May 1 a “nonworking day,” April 30 and May 2 will remain weekdays.

Preparations are underway as the Emperor is scheduled to retire on April 30, 2019, at the age of 85, ending the Heisei Era in its 31st year.

His 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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