Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the abdication date shortly after a government and royal panel met to discuss the timing.
The 83-year-old emperor had said last year that his age and health would make it difficult to fulfil his duties.
The timing of his abdication, the first in more than two centuries, has been the subject of debate in Japan.-BBC
Newly established #Japan secretariat is responsible for overseeing preparation and implementation of various ceremonies, including Emperor Akihito's #abdication ceremony on April 30, 2019, and #accession of his son to throne the following day.https://t.co/DeXpoWpQkd#Emperor
— Kyodo News – English (@kyodo_english) August 1, 2018
Big tech warns of 'Japan's millennium bug' ahead of Akihito's abdication https://t.co/WWngQ7DOJg
— Matt Davio (@MissTrade) August 1, 2018
The 26-member secretariat is headed by Shigetaka Yamasaki, former director general of the Cabinet Affairs Office, who is said to have good knowledge of the imperial system.
The secretariat will be responsible for overseeing the preparation and implementation of a number of rituals, including Emperor Akihito’s abdication ceremony and Crown Prince Naruhito’s accession to the throne, according to officials.
It will also help set up this autumn a ceremonial committee led by the prime minister to be in charge of crafting ceremonial outlines, and the ceremonial headquarters led by the Chief Cabinet Secretary to coordinate government ministries and agencies.-Xinhuanet
— Marc Prosser (@wokattack1) August 1, 2018
Japanese Emperor Akihito indicated his wish to relinquish and hand over the throne to the crown prince in a rare video message in August 2016, citing his age.
Japanese parliament enacted in June last year a law to allow Emperor Akihito to step down and pass his duties over to Crown Prince Naruhito.
The law, designed specially for the current emperor, would allow Emperor Akihito to be the first Japanese emperor to relinquish the throne in two centuries.
The Japanese government approved in March this year an ordinance on holding Emperor Akihito’s abdication ceremony on April 30, 2019.
Crown Prince Naruhito is set to ascend the throne on May 1, 2019.-Xinhuanet
Le prince Naruhito a visité le sanctuaire intérieur du Grand Sanctuaire d'Ise à Ise, Mie
Le sanctuaire d'Ise (伊勢神宮, Ise-jingū?), aussi connu comme le grand sanctuaire d'Ise (伊勢大神宮, Ise daijingū?), est le… https://t.co/aJJlMdaTTv
— ⚜Yann Sinclair⚜ (@yannsinclair) August 1, 2018
— News Royal (@new_royal) July 30, 2018
Princess Aiko, daughter of Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako of Japan, will be attending Eton College this summer. https://t.co/qlCWjpT71L
— Coryne Hall (@CoryneHall) July 11, 2018
Princess Aiko of Japan will take summer program at Eton College, where Prince William and Harry were educated. She's the only child of Crown Prince Naruhito https://t.co/H1JoFhlbWo
— Patricia Treble (@PatriciaTreble) July 11, 2018
— Eos (@eos873) July 5, 2018
東宮家とご一緒に#皇太子さま #雅子さま #愛子さま #高円宮さま #久子さま #承子さま #典子さま #絢子さま #高円宮絢子#PrinceNaruhito #PrincessMasako #PrincessAiko #PrincessHisako #PrincessTsuguko #PrincessNoriko #PrincessAyako
— Eos (@eos873) July 1, 2018
+ Princess Aiko, the daughter and only child of the heir apparent to the throne, Crown Prince Naruhito, to become a reigning Empress and thus end the Japanese succession controversy.
— Victoria (@victoriastasia) July 1, 2018
Crown Prince Naruhito, who over the years has already assumed some of his father’s duties, will succeed his father on the 1st of May, 2019 becoming the 126th Emperor to ascend to #Japan’s Chrysanthemum Throne. pic.twitter.com/sLUhR1MpD8
— KCP International (@KCPJapanese) June 15, 2018
On 9 June Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princes Masako celebrated their 25th Anniversary The Imperial Household Agency released new photos to mark their day. pic.twitter.com/ZmmHo2s0IF
— Royal Circular (@Royal_Circular) June 11, 2018
|| June 9, 1993
|| Wedding of Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan and Masako Owada, married at the Kashiko-dokoro, the Shinto shrine of Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess, on the grounds of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan pic.twitter.com/3lK7vMwbta
— Victoria (@victoriastasia) June 10, 2018