Netanyahu likely to cancel planned trip to Japanese emperor’s coronation

Japan's Emperor Naruhito, (r), attends a ritual, May 8, 2019. (AP/Imperial Household Agency of Japan)

Netanyahu will likely not attend the Japanese emperor’s coronation as the date falls near the end of his mandate period to form a government. 

By World Israel News Staff

Despite earlier reports, it appears that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will cancel his planned trip to attend the coronation of the new Japanese emperor Naruhito, Ynet reports.

Netanyahu had planned to fly to Japan on Saturday night following the Jewish Sabbath for the coronation, which is scheduled for October 22. World leaders are expected to attend the historic event, including from France, Spain, Germany and Turkey.

Naruhito took over from his father, Akihito, in May.

According to Ynet, Israel’s Foreign Ministry and the Israeli Embassy in Japan have been preparing for Netanyahu’s arrival.

However, the date bumps up against Netanyahu’s final day to form a coalition government on October 23.

The prime minister could in principle return the mandate by phone from Japan or immediately fly back to Israel following the coronation ceremony, but Ynet reports that this does not appear likely.

Netanyahu was given a mandate to build a coalition by President Reuven Rivlin on September 25. He could ask for for a 14-day extension, but Rivlin is not expected to grant it. Nor is it clear that Netanyahu wants it.

Assuming no extension is given, the mandate will likely pass to Netanyahu’s rival, Blue and White leader Benny Gantz. He will be given 28 days to form a coalition.

David Isaac: