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The media coverage of Reiwa, the new era name, was extravagant. I was left with the sense that it was more than a mere announcement. Kuni Miyake, in his opinion piece in the April 9 edition (“What does Reiwa really mean to Japanese?“), reminds us that it was made on an auspicious day, April 1 — “April Fools’ Day.”

The announcement, by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, was timed strategically to give an edge to the conservative Liberal Democratic Party in upcoming mayoral and gubernatorial elections.

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