The Japanese system of era names otherwise known as the Gengo or Nengo will soon experience a change.
With the upcoming abdication and the eventual crowning of the crown Prince Naruhito to the Chrysanthemum Throne, the Japanese government has announced the plan to name a new era come summer of 2018 following Heisei and effective as of January 1st, 2019.
The Emperor’s abdication would put an end to the current Heisei era – introduced in 1989 following the death of his father, posthumously called Emperor Showa and usher in a new era, the first in about 30 years.
How this happens is the prime minister selects persons of high discernment and gives them the task of suggesting appropriate names for this new era. The director general of the Prime Minister’s office considers several criteria like the level of meaning appropriateness to the ideals of the nation, if it comprises only of two kanji characters and ease of reading, one that has not previously been used as an era name or a former emperor’s posthumous name and is not used commonly.
The Japanese government is hoping to announce an advance date of abdication and hopes to give the Japanese population at least 4-5months to prepare for the era change.