Abdication ceremony to be held on April 30th, 2019
NHK -- Feb 21
The Japanese government says Emperor Akihito's abdication ceremony will be held next year on April 30th, the day he steps down, as a state event.

The panel headed by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga is making arrangements for the Emperor's abdication on April 30th, 2019, and Crown Prince Naruhito's ascension on the following day.

Panel members approved a basic outline for the abdication ceremony at a meeting on Tuesday, after being briefed on the recommendations of experts, including former Supreme Court justice Itsuo Sonobe.

The plan says the ceremony will be conducted to widely inform people about the abdication. It will be the Emperor's last occasion before stepping down to meet the representative of the people, the prime minister.

In the ceremony, the prime minister will express words of appreciation to the Emperor on behalf of the people, and the Emperor will deliver a message to the nation.

Japanese law currently has no provisions for an abdication ceremony. The panel agreed to prepare the necessary legislation.

The plan also includes a celebration of the emperor's 30-year reign to be held at the National Theater in Tokyo next year in February, about 2 months before he steps down.

The panel says another state ceremony will be held in 2020 to commemorate the promotion of the Emperor's younger son, Prince Akishino, to the first in line to the throne.

News source: NHK
Sep 19
Shinzo Abe is poised to win a third term as head of his political party on Thursday, putting him on track to become Japan's longest-serving prime minister and realize his dream of reforming the constitution. (Japan Today)
Sep 18
Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force says one of its submarines took part in a drill in the South China Sea. (NHK)
Sep 13
The Russian government has expressed readiness to open talks with Japan on President Vladimir Putin's proposal to sign a peace treaty by the end of the year without any preconditions. (NHK)
Sep 13
Japan's prime minister and China's president say they'll work to improve relations. As part of that, Shinzo Abe told reporters he'll push ahead with plans to visit China next month. The two leaders met on the sidelines of an economic forum in eastern Russia. (NHK)
Sep 11
The mayor of the eastern Japan town of Minakami tendered his resignation Monday after sexual harassment allegations against him have made the passage of a no-confidence motion in the local assembly almost inevitable. (Japan Today)
Sep 08
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Shigeru Ishiba, former secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, filed their candidacies for the party's presidential election on Friday, at the start of its official campaign period. (Jiji)
Sep 01
Japan's Defense Ministry plans to request a record budget to address security issues, such as North Korea's ballistic missile program and China's maritime activities. (NHK)
Sep 01
The Okinawa prefectural government on Friday canceled its permission for landfill work for the construction of a U.S. military facility in the Henoko coastal area in Nago in the southernmost Japan prefecture. (Jiji)
Aug 30
A Japanese government panel of experts started discussions on Wednesday on a planned review of the country's long-term defense policy guidelines. (Jiji)
Aug 29
Fukushima Mayor Hiroshi Kohata announced a decision on Tuesday to remove a controversial statue of a child in a radiation protection suit that has drawn waves of criticism since it was unveiled early this month. (Japan Times)