Japans premier New emperors era to be announced April 1

first_imgTOKYO — Japan’s prime minister confirmed in his New Year’s news conference that the era name for the new emperor’s reign will be disclosed April 1.Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday that 2019 will mark pivotal times for Japan, repeatedly referring to Emperor Akihito’s stepping down.Akihito has chosen to buck tradition and abdicate while he is alive, citing frail health. His son becomes emperor May 1.Era names are important as they are needed to determine what year it is in the traditional Japanese calendar.Abe also expressed hopes for better relations with North Korea, extolled free trade and reiterated the importance of Japan’s alliance with the U.S.He also said Japan will show leadership at the Group of 20 summit that it’s hosting for the first time this year.The Associated Presslast_img