Japan may cancel Dec. 23 holiday after emperor abdicates
Jiji -- Dec 22
The Japanese government is considering making the Dec. 23 national holiday, the birthday of Emperor Akihito, a normal day after his planned abdication on April 30, 2019, officials said Thursday.

After Crown Prince Naruhito accedes to the throne on May 1, 2019, his birthday, Feb. 23, will be the new Emperor's Birthday holiday.

The government is contemplating such a possible change, because keeping the Dec. 23 holiday after the Imperial succession would raise concerns about dual authority between the old and new emperors.

The special law allowing Emperor Akihito to abdicate includes a revision to the law on national holidays stipulating that the Emperor's Birthday holiday will change to Feb. 23 from Dec. 23. But it does not say what to do with Dec. 23 after the abdication.

Some government officials point to the possibility that maintaining Dec. 23 as a holiday, albeit in a different name, could be seen as suggesting dual authority, because Emperor Akihito is to be given the title of "joko," or retired emperor, after the abdication.

News source: Jiji
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