The Daily Manila Shimbun


New era name announced in summer 2018

May 19, 2017

Tokyo- The Japanese government is considering announcing in advance the date for Emperor Akihito's abdication and the new era name in summer 2018, officials said Thursday.
Emperor Akihito's abdication and Crown Prince Naruhito's accession to the Chrysanthemum Throne are highly likely to take place in late December 2018, the officials also said.
The new era that will follow the current Heisei era is seen starting on Jan. 1, 2019. The government hopes to give the nation four to five months to prepare for the era change, according to the officials. "We hope the Imperial succession will be smooth," an official said.
An era change on New Year's Day makes it unnecessary to reprint calendars and adjust computer systems in the middle of a year. This helps reduce economic loss and prevent confusion. The procedures to set the new name will be basically the same as those followed at the time of the previous era change to Heisei from Showa in 1989.
The government will pick one from among several candidate names that will be proposed by academic experts. It will make the selection after hearing opinions from intellectuals and the leaders of both chambers of the Diet, Japan's parliament. But the government will not seek public comments.
On the date for Emperor Akihito's abdication, most government officials favor 2018.
In his video message released in August last year, the Emperor suggested a wish to step down due to his advancing age. He also pointed out that the Heisei era will reach its 30th year in 2018.
In addition, the Emperor will turn 85 on Dec. 23 that year. The government is set to adopt special legislation Friday to allow Emperor Akihito to abdicate. The legislation will say the Emperor's concerns about his difficulty in continuing activities as the symbol of the state are shared by the public, sources
familiar with the situation said.
The bill is expected to be enacted during the ongoing Diet session with support mainly from the ruling camp led by the Liberal Democratic Party and the main opposition Democratic Party. (Jiji Press)