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Law enacted to create 10-day holiday around 2019 imperial succession

Japan on Saturday enacted a law to assign one-off holidays to celebrate the imperial succession next year, creating a 10-day Golden Week vacation period from late April.
May 1, 2019, when Crown Prince Naruhito, 58, ascends the imperial throne, will be designated as a holiday. The rare 10-day vacation period will begin on April 27, which falls on a Saturday.
With April 29 and May 3-6 already assigned as national and public holidays in 2019, April 30 and May 2 would become public holidays as a result, as existing Japanese law stipulates that any weekday sandwiched by national holidays automatically becomes a public holiday.
Japan is preparing to welcome the new era after Emperor Akihito abdicates on April 30, becoming the first living Japanese monarch to relinquish the throne in about 200 years.
In a rare video message in August 2016, the 84-year-old emperor signaled his wish to retire, citing concerns about his advanced age and failing health that could prevent him from fulfilling his duties.
The law will create another holiday on Oct 22, when Sokuirei Seiden no Gi, a highlight enthronement event for the new emperor, will take place.
Before clearing the House of Councillors on Saturday, the law passed through the House of Representatives on Tuesday. Prior to the enactment, an upper house panel unanimously adopted a resolution urging the government to make sure people's daily lives will not be serious impacted due to the possible closure of banks and hospitals.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the government will fully respect the resolution.
Since the end of World War II, Japan has enacted three special laws to create one-off holidays related to imperial celebrations. The last time Japan designated such a holiday was on June 9, 1993, when the crown prince and Crown Princess Masako held their wedding ceremony.
The wedding of the emperor and empress on April 10, 1959 and the enthronement ceremony of the emperor on Nov 12, 1990 were also designated as one-off holidays by special laws.
Feb 24, 1989 was also assigned as a one-off holiday due to the funeral of Emperor Akihito's father Emperor Hirohito, posthumously known as Emperor Showa.


© KYODO
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