TOKYO, December 1. /TASS/. Japanese Emperor Akihito will abdicate on April 30, 2019 and his son Prince Naruhito will ascend the throne the following day, on May 1, the NHK TV reported citing information voiced at a meeting of the special council on the issue.
"We have held a council’s meeting today. As far as the implementation of the special law [on abdication] is concerned, participants of the session came to a conclusion that the abdication should take place on April 30, 2019," Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a member of the commission, said.
This date was supported by the Japanese government, because the alternative dates - of March 31 and April 1, respectively, coincided with regional elections and parliamentary debates on budget for the new fiscal year.
The date will be officially set on December 8.
In early August 2016, Emperor Akihito said in a televised address he was thinking about abdication over his old age. Public opinion polls demonstrate that the majority of the Japanese are not against his abdication.
The upper chamber of the Japanese parliament unanimously passed a bill paving the way for the abdication in June. The document will be in force for three years. It will be applied only to the current emperor and will set no precedents.