• Kyodo

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The government committee preparing arrangements related to Emperor Akihito’s abdication announced on Tuesday that a ceremony to be held on April 30, 2019, the day he steps down, will be a state occasion.

The panel, headed by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, also agreed to stage a ceremony celebrating 30 years of the Emperor’s reign on Feb. 24 next year before he relinquishes the throne — the first such abdication in more than 200 years. His elder son, Crown Prince Naruhito, is set to ascend the throne on May 1, 2019.

The committee also decided to hold an event in 2020 to commemorate the promotion of the Emperor’s younger son, Prince Akishino, to kōshi, the title given to the first in line to the throne.

These points will be incorporated into the panel’s basic plan on the staging of a series of Imperial succession events, to be compiled by mid-March, Suga said at a news conference.

At the abdication ceremony, which will be held at the Imperial Palace, the Emperor will address the general public. The event to mark his 30 years of reign will be held at the National Theater in Tokyo.

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