National / Politics

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga to announce Japan's new era name on April 1

JIJI

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga is set to announce Japan’s new era name on April 1, government officials said Saturday.

The government believes the new era name should be made public by its chief spokesman, the chief Cabinet secretary, sources said.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has approved a plan for Suga to announce the new era name, according to government sources.

When the country’s era name was last changed in January 1989, Keizo Obuchi, then chief Cabinet secretary, announced the new name, Heisei, at a news conference.

Suga will announce the new era name immediately after the Cabinet adopts a related ordinance.

The ordinance will be adopted after separate discussions by experts, Cabinet ministers and the heads and vice heads of both chambers of the Diet.

Details, including time schedules, have yet to be decided.

The new era name will be reported to Emperor Akihito and Crown Prince Naruhito just before it is announced to the public.

The government will not seek opinions from the Emperor or the Crown Prince in order to avoid violating Article 4 of the Constitution, which bans the Emperor’s involvement in politics.

The new era name will start on May 1, when Crown Prince Naruhito ascends to the throne following Emperor Akihito’s abdication, set for April 30.