Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday the government is considering designating May 1 next year, when Crown Prince Naruhito will ascend the throne, as a one-off holiday, in a move that would create a 10-day Golden Week holiday period.
"We will thoroughly prepare for (a series of rites) so that all the people can cerebrate," Abe told the first meeting of a government committee to work out the details of ceremonies for the imperial succession.
Japanese law stipulates that a weekday sandwiched by national holidays automatically becomes a public holiday.
In 2019, April 29 and May 3-6 are already assigned as national and public holidays. If May 1 is designated as a national holiday, April 30 and May 2 would become public holidays, resulting in the rare 10-day vacation period beginning April 27, which falls on a Saturday.
The prime minister said the government is also considering setting Oct. 22 next year as a one-off national holiday, as an enthronement ceremony will be held that day for the 58-year-old new emperor.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said in a press conference the government will submit a bill necessary to designate the holidays "as soon as possible" to the Diet, possibly to an extraordinary session to be convened later in the month.