• Kyodo


Lawmakers and business leaders plan to hold an event next fall to celebrate the ascension of the new Emperor, political sources have said.

The celebration will be one of a number of events held in 2019 after Crown Prince Naruhito accedes to the throne on May 1, ushering in a new era.

Emperor Akihito will abdicate on April 30 and a major enthronement ceremony for the new Emperor is scheduled to be held Oct. 22.

The celebration to be organized by political and business circles will be held separately after the enthronement ceremony, according to the sources.

A similar celebratory event was held on Nov. 17, 1990, five days after Emperor Akihito’s enthronement ceremony.

On that day, tens of thousands of people holding paper lanterns and national flags took to the streets of Tokyo. The Emperor, along with his wife, Empress Michiko, greeted an estimated 47,000 people who gathered in front of the Imperial Palace.

A cross-party group of lawmakers and an event committee joined by executives of business lobbies such as Keidanren, also known as the Japan Business Federation, will be launched as soon as late November to begin planning the event.

Bunmei Ibuki, former speaker of the House of Representatives, and Keiji Furuya, former chairman of the National Public Safety Commission, are set to assume the posts of chairman and secretary general of the league of lawmakers, respectively, the sources said.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be an adviser.

The committee is also expected to include private-sector luminaries such as Keidanren’s chairman, Hiroaki Nakanishi, and Akio Mimura, chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and other leading figures.

Another plan is already in progress to hold an event at the National Theater in Tokyo on April 10 to mark the 30th anniversary of Emperor Akihito’s enthronement. That day will also be the 60th anniversary of the marriage of the current Emperor and Empress.

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