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Japan announces Reiwa as era name for Crown Prince Naruhito’s reign

Japan has revealed the name of the era for Crown Prince Naruhito’s reign which begins on 1 May. Reiwa will be the name of the new Japanese era, the government announced on Monday.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga announced on behalf of the government in a press conference. He explained that Reiwa came from the 18th-century collection of poetry, Japanese classic Manyoshu.

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Suga remarked, “We expect the new era to be widely accepted by the public and deeply rooted in the lives of Japanese people.”

The names of Japanese eras typically come from Chinese classics, and this name is no different. According to Kyodo News, the name is comprised of two Chinese characters meaning “good”, “harmony” or “peace.”

A different government source revealed Reiwa was chosen from five candidates.

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Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also explained the decision of the name and stated that it represents “a culture being born and nurtured by people coming together beautifully.”

This is the 248th edition of era names, the first being Taika in 645.

Japan is currently in the Heisei era which will come to a conclusion upon the abdication of Crown Prince Naruhito’s father, 85-year-old Emperor Akihito on 30 April.

Crown Prince Naruhito, 59, will ascend the Chrysanthemum Throne the following day on 1 May.

After his abdication, Emperor Akihito will be known as Emperor Emeritus and his wife, Empress Michiko, Empress Emerita. He will be the first Japanese emperor to abdicate in two centuries.

The Taiirei Seiden no Gi abdication ceremony will take place at 5:00 pm local time on 30 April with around 300 guests in attendance including Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe and his cabinet. The Kenji to Shokei no Gi ceremony for the new Emperor will take place on 1 May at 10:30 am. At 11:10 am, the Sokuigo Choken no Gi ceremony will take place where Emperor Naruhito will meet representatives of the people for the first time in his new role.

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