WASHINGTON – On Oct. 22, Emperor Naruhito officially announced his ascendance to the throne. Although the new imperial era—Reiwa—technically began on May 1 after Emperor Akihito abdicated, the proclamation ceremony was an occasion where the imperial succession was publicly announced. The country concludes a six month celebration of the beginning the new imperial era with a parade on Nov. 10.
Looking back on the Heisei Era (1989-2019), one cannot help but think about the dramatic change the country has gone through. Japan tumbled from being the world’s second-biggest economy into a period of economic stagnation that it is still trying to end.