Abdication date told to Cabinet

The Yomiuri ShimbunThe opinion of the Imperial House Council that the date of the Emperor’s abdication should be April 30, 2019, was reported by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga to a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning.

The government will decide on an ordinance to set the date of abdication at a Cabinet meeting on Friday. The schedule to have the abdication on April 30, 2019, and the enthronement of the crown prince and the change of era on May 1, will be formally established.

It will be the first abdication by an emperor in about 200 years, the last being the abdication of Emperor Kokaku in 1817 during the Edo period.

At an Imperial House Council meeting on Friday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe heard opinions on the date of abdication from Imperial family members, chiefs of both chambers of the Diet and other members.

The council’s consensus was that the Emperor should abdicate on April 30, 2019, based on a proposal made by Abe, who is the council’s chair.

At Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, Suga gave an outline of the Imperial House Council meeting, which he participated in as an unofficial member. There were reportedly no specific comments at the Cabinet meeting from Abe or the ministers in attendance.

“We will proceed with preparations [for the ordinance] to be decided at a Cabinet meeting on Friday,” Suga said at a press conference on Tuesday morning.

The opinion of the Imperial House Council was carried in a government gazette dated Tuesday. Regarding the reason for the abdication to take place on April 30, 2019, the gazette said it was necessary for the abdication and enthronement to be carried out smoothly, and to consider the effect of the imperial succession on the lives of the people.

The government will establish a committee headed by Suga as early as the beginning of next year and will start considering the details of the abdication ceremonies, among other issues.

The new era name following that of the current Heisei era is scheduled to be announced within the coming year.Speech

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