The Japanese government is keeping with their plans to announce the name of the new era before Crown Prince Naruhito ascends the Chrysanthemum Throne on 1 May 2019.
This is despite the politicians on the right who want to wait to make the announcement until after Emperor Akihito’s abdication as they believe announcing it sooner would be disrespectful.
According to the Japan Times, the government has told those conservative lawmakers that announcing the new era’s name on 1 May would mean the new era would not begin until the following day. The naming of the new era has been complicated in regards to its announcement as usually, the throne does not pass through abdication. Typically, a new emperor does not ascend the throne until the previous one has died – meaning the new era’s name isn’t announced until the latest emperor takes the throne.
It is thought that Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may make a final decision on the announcement before the end of 2018.
Earlier this month, sources indicated that the government was planning to reveal the era’s name on or after 11 April. This would be one day after the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Emperor Akihito’s enthronement on 10 April.
Emperor Akihito, who came to the throne after his father’s death on 7 January 1989, announced his intent to abdicate in a rare televised address to the nation in August 2016. He cited his old age and health as his reason for stepping down.
Japan’s National Diet, the country’s bicameral legislature, passed a law to allow 84-year-old Emperor to abdicate in June 2017. Japan’s Cabinet approved the bill at the end of May. His Imperial Majesty will be the first monarch in Japan to abdicate for nearly 200 years.
The Imperial Household Act did not allow for abdication; this led to the Japanese government to create a new law to enable it for the Emperor.
When Crown Prince Naruhito becomes Emperor of Japan, he will be the first Japanese Emperor to have been born after World War Two.