Japan May Defer Announcement of New Era Name


Tokyo, Feb. 16 (Jiji Press)—The Japanese government is considering deferring until year-end or later the announcement of the name of a new Japanese era to start with Crown Prince Naruhito's accession to the throne, set for May 1, 2019, informed sources said on Friday.

The government plans to decide and release the new era's name early enough to prevent confusion in people's daily lives and economic activities, but there are concerns that an unnecessarily early announcement may also create confusion and give rise to heated debate on the era name.

There are also worries that, once the new era name is unveiled, the public's attention may shift quickly from Emperor Akihito to his successor, even before his abdication on April 30, 2019.

Due to such concerns, the idea of postponing the announcement until after a planned ceremony on February 24, 2019, to mark the thirtieth anniversary of Emperor Akihito's enthronement on January 7 that year has been floated in the government, according to the sources.

"We're working in an appropriate manner on the timing for announcing the new era's name, while considering the possible effects on the people's daily lives," Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide told a press conference on Friday.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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