Japanese lawmakers approve 10-day holiday to celebrate Crown Prince Naruhito’s ascension to the imperial throne
- The holiday period will begin on April 27, three days before Emperor Akihito is set to abdicate owing to his advanced age and failing health
Japan’s cabinet approved a bill on Tuesday to assign one-off holidays related to the imperial succession next year, creating a 10-day “golden week” holiday period from late April.
Once the bill clears the Diet, May 1 – the day when Crown Prince Naruhito will ascend the imperial throne – will become a holiday.
With April 29 and May 3-6 already assigned as national and public holidays in 2019, April 30 and May 2 would also become public holidays as a result, as Japanese law stipulates that a weekday sandwiched by national holidays automatically becomes a public holiday.
The rare 10-day holiday period will begin on April 27, which falls on a Saturday.
Also created by the bill will be another holiday on October 22, the day of a major enthronement ceremony.
“For the Japanese people to celebrate all together, they will be treated as holidays,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference.
The government aims to pass the bill, submitted Tuesday to the House of Representatives, during the ongoing extraordinary Diet session through December 10.
The crown prince will succeed the throne the day after his 84-year-old father, Emperor Akihito, abdicates based on his wish to step down owing to his advanced age and failing health.
Since the end of World War II, Japan has enacted three special laws to create one-off holidays related to imperial celebrations. The last time Japan designed such a holiday was on June 9, 1993, when the crown prince and Crown Princess Masako held their wedding ceremony.