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Japan announces 'Reiwa' as new era name

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-04-01 10:48

Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko receive the greetings of Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako as a part of the ceremony marking 30th anniversary of Emperor Akihito's jubilee at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan, Feb 24, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

Emperor Akihito will step down on April 30, marking the first Japanese monarch to abdicate the throne in about 200 years.

The 85-year-old emperor, Japan's 125th according to the traditional order of succession, expressed his desire to step down in a rare video message broadcast in 2016.

During the video message he expressed his concern that owing to his age he might not be able to fulfill his official duties.

A year later, the parliament passed a one-off bill enabling Emperor Akihito to step down.

The government ordinance on the new era name will be promulgated as early as Monday afternoon following its signing by Emperor Akihito.

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