Suga To Announce New Era Name, Abe To Comment

Suga to announce new era name, Abe to comment

The Japanese government plans to have its top spokesperson announce the name for the era of the nation's new emperor next Monday.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga is to make the announcement after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet endorses the new era name. This will be followed by comments from Abe.

There are no set rules in regard to disclosing the name of a new era. But the government appears to be following the procedures for the era change in 1989, when then-Chief Cabinet Secretary Keizo Obuchi made the announcement.

Suga also customarily discloses decisions made by the cabinet as government spokesperson.

Obuchi read out comments on the era name by then-Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita. But this time, Abe appears set to release his comments on his own.

The change apparently seeks to make clear what Abe hopes the new era will be like.

Meanwhile, the government is making final adjustments to name nine members to the panel that will be shown candidate names prior to the cabinet endorsement.

They include Nobel Prize laureate and Kyoto University professor Shinya Yamanaka.

Two are women. Three are members of the media.

The government earlier appointed multiple scholars to propose names for the new era.

Japan ushers in the new era on May 1 when Crown Prince Naruhito ascends the throne. Emperor Akihito is to abdicate on April 30, bringing the Heisei era to a close.

The name of the new era will be announced one month before it begins.