Japan's government has revealed that on March 14 it officially selected multiple experts to consider a new name for the era of the nation's next emperor. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga's announcement on Sunday suggests that the selection process is now in the final stage.
The government will decide the new era name on April 1 by holding a meeting of experts. Emperor Akihito will abdicate the throne on April 30, and Crown Prince Naruhito will ascend the throne the following day, May 1.
The procedure for selecting a new era name requires the prime minister to nominate a panel of experts and academics to come up with a shortlist of two to five options.
The Chief Cabinet Secretary will then examine the shortlist and present several candidates to a panel of representatives from various fields.
Suga will also hear the opinions of speakers and vice-speakers of the both chambers of the Diet.
A new era name will be finalized after a Cabinet meeting convenes to approve a government ordinance that will alter the name.