Five academic experts were commissioned to produce potential names for Japan's new era following the abdication of former Emperor Akihito, with "Tensho" a leading choice before the submission of "Reiwa," sources have said.

Although the government has not disclosed details of the selection process, the sources said Saturday that two experts on Japanese classics were included among the five to reflect Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's request that names be derived from them rather than Chinese literature, as was customary in the past.

One of the two Japanese literature experts was Susumu Nakanishi, former president and professor of Japanese classics at Osaka Women's University. Nakanishi proposed "Reiwa," derived from Japan's oldest known poetry anthology "Manyoshu."