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Japan Mulls Cancellation of December 23 Public Holiday

Source: The Mainichi Shimbun (Tokyo)
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2017


The Japanese government is still deciding whether to keep December 23 as a national public holiday in Japan, beginning in 2019, after the abdication of Emperor Akihito on April 30, 2019, and Prince Naruhito's enthronement ceremony the following day.

Though the special legislation, recently passed to enable Emperor Akihito to abdicate (2017-12-06 and 2016-07-24), specifies that the Emperor's Birthday national holiday of Japan is to move from December 23 to February 23, Japan does have a tradition of keeping the birthday of past emperors as national public holidays, albeit in a renamed manner, as is the case with Emperor Mutsuhito (November 3) and Emperor Hirohito (April 29).

One factor weighing against the retention of December 23 as a national public holiday in Japan, is the fact that Emperor Akihito would still be alive at the outset of Prince Naruhito's reign, as a "joko" (retired) Emperor, leading some in the government to press for a clean and complete break.


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