- Government to announce name of next era for use from May 1, when Crown Prince Naruhito takes the throne following his father Emperor Akihito’s abdication on April 30 after 30 years of reign. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga to unveil the new gengō (name) and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to explain the meaning.
- Japan to launch new visa system to attract more foreign workers to address labor crunch, departing from traditionally tight controls on immigration. New immigration agency to manage and support those who come to work in Japan. Government expects to receive up to 345,000 laborers over five years.
- Bank of Japan to release quarterly tankan business sentiment survey. Confidence among major manufacturers expected to fall for first time in two quarters amid concern about slackening domestic production and overseas demand as Chinese growth slows.
- Law to promote work-style reform takes effect. Major changes include legal cap on overtime work to address karōshi (death from overwork).
- Idemitsu Kosan and Showa Shell Sekiyu to merge, creating new oil giant in realignment of domestic oil wholesale industry.
- Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. to change name to Nippon Steel Corp.
- Japan, Russia to hold strategic dialogue in Tokyo.
No major events.
- Japan Automobile Dealers Association to release auto sales by model for March, fiscal 2018.
- Hayabusa2 space probe to create crater by shooting projectile into asteroid Ryugu, then land and collect subsurface samples. Ryugu, 340 million km away from Earth, is believed to contain organic substances and water with remnants of the primitive solar system. Hayabusa2 is due to return with samples in December 2020.
- Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications to release household spending data for February.
- Cabinet Office to release preliminary composite indexes of key economic indicators for February.
No major events.
- Local elections held to choose 11 governors and six mayors, with outcome likely to impact House of Councilors election this summer. Osaka gubernatorial and mayoral elections also to be held after former governor and mayor resigned in bid to swap posts to continue push for their political party’s goal of merging Osaka’s wards to create a metropolis structure similar to Tokyo’s.
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