Turmoil within the Japanese government now means that the announcement of the dates for Emperor Akihito’s abdication and the name of the new era has been delayed.
Governmental sources said that the decision would most likely be delayed until later on in the year.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has suffered a dip in approval and are now focusing on gaining control of the political situation rather than amending the Constitution.
The original date for the meeting was 4 September. Representatives of the government and Imperial Family would come together to decide the time for the abdication and the name of the new era. Now that meeting has been delayed as they need more time to organise the plans wanted by the government and the Imperial Household.
This means that the date for his abdication has been pushed back, as well as the creation of teams to help ensure the abdication goes smoothly and establishing where the Emperor will stay following his abdication.
There are currently two possible abdication scenarios.
The first involves the handover of the throne in December 2018. The new era would begin on New Year’s Day in 2019. The second plane involves Crown Prince Naruhito taking the throne in March 2019. The new era would then begin at the start of the 2019 fiscal year.
Earlier in the year, a special law was passed which would allow the 83-year-old Japanese Emperor to abdicate. The law for abdication will only apply to the current Emperor and must take place by 2020. His abdication means he will be the first Japanese monarch to abdicate for nearly 200 years.
The Emperor announced his desire to abdicate last year giving his advancing age and health issues as his reason for wishing to step down.
Upon his abdication, he will be succeeded by Crown Prince Naruhito, his 57-year-old-son.