Japan to Announce New Era Name on April 1: Prime Min. Abe

Politics

Ise, Mie Pref., Jan. 4 (Jiji Press)--The name of Japan's next era will be announced on April 1, ahead of the change from the current Heisei era on May 1, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday.

The era name release one month before the switch is intended to "minimize the impact on the lives of the public," Abe told a press conference, held after his customary New Year visit to Ise Jingu, a Shinto shrine complex in the city of Ise in the central Japan prefecture of Mie. The Abe cabinet is set to formalize the new era name at a meeting earlier on April 1, he said.

Emperor Akihito is scheduled to abdicate on April 30, to be followed by Crown Prince Naruhito's accession to the throne on May 1. This will mark the first Imperial succession from a living Emperor in Japan in about 200 years.

Conservatives have been calling on the government to release the new era name after the Crown Prince's enthronement. But the prime minister believes that a certain period of time will be needed for updating computer and other systems for administrative services and other operations.

"The government will do all it can so that all people in the nation can celebrate the historic event," Abe stressed.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press