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Govt mulls making enthronement day a holiday

The Yomiuri ShimbunThe government is considering making the day of the new emperor’s enthronement ceremony a holiday, according to sources. The ceremony is planned for October 2019, following the crown prince’s accession to the throne in May the same year.

By declaring a holiday, the government aims to make the ceremony an event celebrated by the entire public. It will carefully consider whether to maintain Dec. 23, the current Emperor’s birthday, as a national holiday even after his abdication, the sources said.

The government will work on details of the schedule and other matters after a basic policy is compiled around mid-March by the government’s preparatory committee to study ceremonies related to the Emperor’s abdication and the new emperor’s accession. The committee is chaired by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.

If it is decided to make the day of the enthronement ceremony a holiday, the government will submit related legislation within the year.

When the enthronement ceremony was held for the current Emperor on Nov. 12, 1990, about 2,200 people, including the prime minister, Cabinet ministers and heads of state of other nations, were invited to the Seiden no Gi ceremony to proclaim the enthronement.

The Shukuga Onretsu no Gi, the procession for the Emperor’s parade from the Imperial Palace to the Akasaka Imperial Residence — where the crown prince’s residence is located — also took place on that Nov. 12, a Monday. That day was made a holiday and became the last day of a three-day weekend.

The government intends to follow the formalities of the previous enthronement ceremony for the upcoming one for the new emperor, while also seeking simplification. There have been growing calls for making the day of the ceremony a holiday again.

A source in the Prime Minister’s Office said, “It’s necessary to create an environment in which the entire public would celebrate the enthronement.”

The government also plans to make May 1, 2019, the day scheduled for the crown prince’s accession to the throne, a one-off holiday or a national holiday. Ceremonial events such as the Kenji to Shokei no Gi for inheriting the Imperial Regalia and other objects are expected to be held on the day.Speech

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