TOKYO (Sputnik) — Japan's commission on the imperial family's affairs, which would be in charge of considering various issues related to Emperor Akihito's abdication, will gather on December 1, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Wednesday.
"The commission on the imperial family's affairs will convene on December 1," Suga told journalists during the emergency press conference.
The date for the heir to become the emperor is also to be determined by the commission, Yoshihide Suga added.
Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko wave to local residents after arriving at Yoron Island, southwestern Japan, on Nov. 17, 2017, during their three-day trip to the country's remote islands. pic.twitter.com/CDqFmRKFNq— Royal Highness (@vaninaswchindt) 17 ноября 2017 г.
Earlier, the upper house of the Japanese Parliament has adopted the law proposed by the country's government on Akihito's abdication. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has characterized this legislation as an important moment for the country's history.
President Donald Trump talks with Japan's Emperor Akihito while First Lady Melania Trump talks with Empress Michiko at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. pic.twitter.com/fiAODsGPVG— Matta Abraham (@MattaAbraham1) 11 ноября 2017 г.
Akihito, 83, is expected to become the first country's emperor in two centuries to step down. He ascended to the Japanese throne in 1989 after Emperor Hirohito's death. According to the Japanese Constitution, the emperor has a merely ceremonial role, being a symbol of the nation and of national unity. Akihito has two sons — Crown Prince Naruhito and Akishino — who are first and second in line to become Japan's emperor under male-only succession system.