Japan picks ‘Reiwa’ to rename next monarchial era

New name to be adopted after abdication of Emperor Akihito end of April, combination of ‘good’ and ‘harmony’

Japan on Monday announced that the era of new emperor will be called as “Reiwa”, local media reported.

Japan’s monarchial history will have a successor at the end of April when incumbent Crown Prince Naruhito will replace his ageing father.
Emperor Akihito will step down on April 30, in the first abdication in 200 years of Japanese monarchy. Naruhito’s era will take effect on May 1.
According to Kyodo news agency, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the era name was chosen “because it signifies people joining their hearts to develop Japan’s culture”.
Abe said that the new era name was adopted from a Japanese classic for the first time in more than 1,300 years of the era system in use.
“Culture is born and grows when people come together and care for each other beautifully,” Abe said for the new name.
“With this selection of a new era name, I renew my commitment to pioneer a new era that will be filled with hope,” Abe added.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga announced the name in a press conference where he held up a work of calligraphy showing Reiwa’s two Chinese characters.
“In this context, the first character ‘rei’ means ‘good’ and the second represents ‘harmony’ or ‘peace’,” Kyodo explained.–AA

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