Japan unveils new brand name for post-Emperor Akihito era

Emperor Akihito will be the first Japanese emperor to abdicate the throne in more than two centuries.

Japan has unveiled its new branding as the country prepares for the end of its current imperial era.

The country's current era, which is called Heisei, will come to an end at the end of April when Emperor Akihito abdicates the throne because of old age and hand the throne to his son, Crown Prince Naruhito.

In Japan, each Japanese emperor's reign is given a name which is used alongside the western calendar to mark time. A new era is revealed only when one emperor has died, and his successor has taken the throne.

In this instance, Emperor Akihito will be the first Japanese emperor to abdicate the throne in more than two centuries.

The new brand name for the country is called ‘Reiwa’, which signify order and harmony, and will appear on coins, newspapers, driving licenses and official paperwork.

According to the BBC, the new name is made up of the two characters for ‘order’ or ‘command’, and ‘peace’ or ‘harmony’.

"A short while ago, the government decided at a cabinet meeting on the new era name and how to pronounce it," Yoshihide Suga, the cabinet secretary announced at a press conference, holding up the new name painted in traditional calligraphy on white paper.

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