Emperor Akihito of Japan becomes the first in living memory, indeed in centuries, to abdicate from the throne, bringing the 30-year Heisei Era to a close. His son, Crown prince Naruhito, will formally ascend to the throne at midnight tonight, marking the beginning of the new Reiwa Era.
Akihito is widely loved and respected, both at home and abroad. His reign stood in contrast to that of his father, Hirohito, who is posthumously known as Emperor Showa and whose reign straddled World War II and saw an end to the emperor being formally revered as a living god.
Naruhito is expected to seek to be “close to the people”, following in his father’s footsteps and travelling across the country, particularly in the wake of the natural disasters which are such a common occurrence in Japan, and the “abide by the Constitution”, possibly a more tricky proposition considering efforts in recent years by the current ruling party to amend certain elements of the constitution.
Emperor Akihito is set to abdicate on April 30 and his son Naruhito will ascend to the throne on May 1, which will become a new national holiday. Combined with weekends and the existing series of national holidays in April and early May, this year’s Golden Week will extend to an unprecedented 10 days, a phenomenally long holiday by Japanese standards.
Who doesn’t love a long holiday, right? Well, one worry about this long break is how it will affect businesses and hurt sales. Here at Japan Store, we will be unable to get stock from manufacturers or suppliers, so many orders placed during this time are likely to be delayed. But rest assured that we will do everything in our power to get all orders shipped as soon as we possibly can.
If you have an urgent delivery deadline, make sure to let us know. We will “upgrade” the shipping on urgent orders where possible and ensure that they are prioritized.
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