Tokyo, Apr 1: The reign of the next Japanese emperor will be known as the "Reiwa" era, the Japanese government announced on Monday, ahead of the coronation of Crown Prince Naruhito next month.
The era, whose name includes the character for "harmony," will formally begin once the new Emperor is crowned on May 1. Era names, or "gengo" as they are known in Japanese, are used in Japan for the length of an emperor's reign. The current Heisei Era began in 1989, when Akihito succeeded his father Emperor Hirohito, who ruled during the Showa period and is now known as the Showa Emperor. It will come to a close on April 30, the day Akihito abdicates.
The new era name is usually announced after the accession of the new monarch, but the government decided to announce the new name in advance of the accession of the new emperor so companies and the general public have time to prepare for the change and disruption is kept to a minimum.UNI