Japan declared that its new imperial era, which would begin from 1 May, will be known as "Reiwa" - suggesting order and harmony.
The current era, Heisei, will end with Emperor Akihito's historic abdication by the end of April.
The Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga stated the much awaited name by holding up a board with the characters handwritten on it.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe later addressed the nation and explain the meaning of the same.There are two characters present in the name “order” and “peace”.
As per tradition each Japanese emperor's reign, is given a name. This is used along with the Western calendar to mark time. Further the name sets the tone for the upcoming decades and hence remains important to most citizens in their day-to-day life. The same is also mentioned in coins, newspaper, driving license and so on.
Some things to know about Japan's emperor
In December 2017, Japan's government confirmed the abdication of the current emperor, 85-year old Akihito, in April 2019. The reason for this was owing to his old age and he would hand the throne to his son Crown Prince Naruhito. This makes him the first Japanese emperor in more than two centuries. The announcement came after days of speculation and various highly-confidential cabinet discussions.
The name was selected by Japan's cabinet from a selection drawn up by a panel of scholars and experts. Often the new era is introduced on the event of one emperor passing away and his successor taking over the throne. However, the current situation is different owing to the abdication of the current emperor.
The three-decade reign of Emperor Akihito's is known as the Heisei era, meaning “achieving peace" in Japanese. The traditional gengo calendar is widely used, but slowly the popularity is declining owing to various global influences. A survey esulted in finding that almost one-third of population uses the gengo system and almost one-fourth of population uses the Western-Georgian calendar.