Many Japan Firms Hold Welcome Ceremonies for Rookies

Economy

Tokyo, April 1 (Jiji Press)--Many Japanese companies welcomed new recruits at ceremonies on Monday, the same day the government announced the country's new era name, "Reiwa," to succeed the current Heisei.

The ceremonies held on the first day of fiscal 2019 were the last such events to take place in the Heisei era, which will end on April 30 with Emperor Akihito's abdication. The new era will begin on May 1, when Crown Prince Naruhito ascends the throne.

At the ceremonies, top executives vowed that their firms will advance in the new era and voiced expectations for new employees to take on challenges and flourish, at a time when concerns about the future of the country's economy are growing, partly due to the U.S.-China trade war and the planned consumption tax hike in Japan in October.

The Japan Airlines <9201> group held its ceremony at Tokyo International Airport at Haneda. The new era name Reiwa, written in kanji and Japanese hiragana letters, was shown on a large screen at the venue during an event starring Mao Asada, a Japanese former figure-skating world champion, causing a stir among new employees.

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. President Makoto Takashima welcomed newcomers by noting that they "took the first step as working adults on the day everybody was filled with hope for the new era."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press