Japan reveals new era name “Reiwa” as Emperor Akihito to abdicate

Japan has revealed the name of its next imperial era to be "Reiwa," set to begin May 1 as Crown Prince Naruhito is expected to take the throne.

Yoshihide Suga, Japan's chief cabinet secretary, announced the name at a press conference Monday morning local time, adding that the two characters of the name mean beautiful, and harmony. The announcement comes as Emperor Akihito is set to step down on April 30 in the first abdication of the throne in over 200 years.

Since the mid-19th century, each era has coincided with the reign of an individual emperor. Reiwa is the 248th era of Japan's Chrysanthemum Throne, an imperial dynasty that has been in place for more than 1,399 years. The name of the imperial era holds cultural importance, as official documents, birthdays, and coins, among other things, follow the Japanese eras rather than the Western calendar.

Source: VOV5