NHK has learned Japan is getting closer to deciding a date for the Emperor's abdication, something that hasn't happened in over 2 centuries.
Sources say government officials are considering two options in 2019---either March 31st or April 30th.
Before that happens, the Japanese government will convene an Imperial House Council meeting on December 1st to hear opinions about the date.
Participants will include the Speaker and the President of both Chambers of the Diet and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
In June, the Diet enacted a special law that allows Emperor Akihito to step down.
Last August, the Emperor expressed concern about his age. He is 83.
Crown Prince Naruhito is expected to assume the throne the day after the abdication.