U.S. and other Western media covering the announcement Monday of the new Imperial era name emphasized the decision by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government to break with tradition by selecting a name from a Japanese rather than a Chinese work of classical literature.

"The break from 1,400 years of drawing era names from Chinese classics was expected from Abe's conservative government, which is often hawkish toward China," the Associated Press said in a dispatch from Tokyo.

Under the headline, "Japan snubs China at dawn of new imperial era," British newspaper The Times reported the selection of Reiwa for the new era "reflects the nationalist pride of its prime minister, Shinzo Abe, and its tense relations with China."