Take a quick look at Japan's political calendar for 2019. It's shaping up to be one heck of a year.
There will be nationwide local elections in mid-April, which will be followed by Emperor Akihito's historic abdication at the end of the same month and the arrival of a new era.
A little less than two months later, in late June, the nation will host the Group of 20 summit in Osaka for the first time ever, before political tensions soar once again later in the summer when a pivotal Upper House election is held. The nation will then brace for a consumption tax hike, slated for October, from the current eight to 10 percent.