The government plans to preserve the original calligraphic work Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga displayed when announcing the new era name of Reiwa at the National Archives of Japan, according to government sources.

The archived material will be made public from the spring of 2021. The National Archives will scan and digitize the work for display in its online archives.

Digital prints will be freely downloadable and be available for corporations to use for commercial purposes, the sources said Saturday.

The work was written by a Cabinet Office specialist in calligraphy on April 1, the same day the announcement was made that it would replace the Heisei Era name on May 1.

According to guidelines for the management of government records, the preservation period is set to start April 1, 2020.

The government will transfer the work to the National Archives as a specified historical public record after the preservation period, which is expected to last one year if no special circumstances arise, the sources said.

Several copies of the writing were made immediately after the announcement of Reiwa. The work is now carefully preserved and no further copies of the original will be made to prevent it from deteriorating.

The original Heisei calligraphy, first presented to the public in 1989 by then-Chief Cabinet Secretary Keizo Obuchi at a news conference to announce the new era name during the changeover from Showa, is also kept at the archives..

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