In a much-awaited moment that heralded the approach of a new chapter in Japan's history, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga announced Monday that the new Imperial era will be named Reiwa, in one of the final steps toward initiating the nation's first Imperial succession in three decades.

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Holding up a placard that displayed the kanji characters for the new era, Suga said the name was formulated based on the introduction to a set of poems from "Manyoshu," the oldest existing compilation of Japanese poetry. The first character represents "good fortune," while the second can be translated as "peace" or "harmony."