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TOKYO——The name of the era of Japan's soon-to-be-emperor Naruhito will be Reiwa, the government announced Monday.

日本廣播公司周一宣布,即將成為日本天皇德仁的年號將是“Reiwa”(令和)。

Emperor Akihito is stepping down on April 30, in the first abdication in 200 years, bringing his era of Heisei to an end. The new era takes effect May 1.

明仁天皇將于4月30日退位,標志著日本的“平成”年代即將落幕,他也將成為近200年來首位“生前退位”的天皇。新年號將于5月1日生效。



The announcement allows only a month ahead of the switch for government, businesses and other sectors to adjust to the change that still affects many parts of Japan's society, even though the system is not compulsory and the emperor has no political power under Japan's postwar constitution.

盡管這一紀年系統不是強制性的,而且根據日本戰后憲法,天皇沒有政治權力,但這次公告只給了政府、企業和其他部門一個月的時間來適應這個變化(該變化會影響日本社會的許多領域)。

Under the 1979 era name law, Abe appointed a panel of experts on classical Chinese and Japanese literature to nominate two to five names for top officials to choose from. The names had to meet strict criteria, being easy to read and write but not commonly or previously used for an era name.

根據1979年頒布的《國名法》,安倍任命了一個由中日古典文學專家組成的小組,提名兩到五個名字供高層官員選擇。這些名字必須符合嚴格的標準,易于讀和寫,但不常用,而且以前的年號沒有用過該名字。

Japanese media scrambled to get scoops out of a new era name. Rumors included "Ankyu," which uses the same Chinese character as in Abe's family name.

日本媒體爭相試圖挖出關于日本新年號的獨家新聞。還有謠言稱新年號是“Ankyu”,與安倍的姓氏使用相同的漢字。



While a growing number of Japanese prefer the Western calendar over the Japanese system in a highly digitalized and globalized society, the era name is still widely used in government and business documents. Elders often use it to identify their generations.

在高度數字化和全球化的社會中,越來越多的日本人更喜歡使用西歷而不是日本年歷,但在政府和商業文件中,年號名仍然被廣泛使用。長輩們經常用它來標識他們的世代。

Discussing and guessing new era names in advance is not considered a taboo this time because Akihito is abdicating. Era name change is also a time for many Japanese to reflect on the outgoing and incoming decades.

這次提前討論和猜測新年號名并非禁忌,因為明仁天皇即將退位。年號名的變化也是許多日本人思考即將過去的幾十年和即將到來的幾十年的時候。

Akihito's era of Heisei, which means "achieving peace," was the first without a war in Japan's modern history, but is also remembered as lost years of economic deflation and natural disasters.

明仁天皇的時代,意為“實現和平”,是日本現代史上第一個沒有戰爭的時代,但也被視為經濟緊縮和自然災害頻發的時代。

Heisei was the first era name decided by the government under the postwar constitution, in which the emperor was stripped of political power and had no say over the choice. Still, the government, with its highly secretive and sensitive handling of the process, is underscoring that "the emperor has power in an invisible, subtle way," says Hirohito Suzuki, a Toyo University sociologist.

平成是日本第一個由政府決定的年號名(根據戰后憲法),在憲法中,天皇被剝奪了政治權力,無權選擇。不過,東洋大學社會學家鈴木裕仁表示,政府處理這一過程時的高度保密和敏感,突顯出“天皇以一種看不見的、微妙的方式擁有權力”。

Era name changes are creating businesses for both the outgoing and the incoming. Anything dubbed "last of Heisei" attracts Akihito fans, while others are waiting to submit marriage certificates or filing other official registration until the new era starts. Analysts say the era change that expands the "golden week" holidays to 10 days on May 1 could buoy tourism and other recreational spending.

年號名的更改也會給企業帶來商機。任何被稱為“平成時代的最后”的東西都會吸引明仁天皇的粉絲,而其他人則要等到新時代開始才會登記結婚或其他正式的事情。專業人士表示,年號變更將五一“黃金周”假期延長至10天,這可能會刺激旅游業和其他休閑消費。