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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.

日本广播公司周一宣布,即将成为日本天皇德仁的年号将是“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.

明仁天皇将于4月30日退位,标志着日本的“平成”年代即将落幕,他也将成为近200年来首位“生前退位”的天皇。新年号将于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.

尽管这一纪年系统不是强制性的,而且根据日本战后宪法,天皇没有政治权力,但这次公告只给了政府、企业和其他部门一个月的时间来适应这个变化(该变化会影响日本社会的许多领域)。

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.

根据1979年颁布的《国名法》,安倍任命了一个由中日古典文学专家组成的小组,提名两到五个名字供高层官员选择。这些名字必须符合严格的标准,易于读和写,但不常用,而且以前的年号没有用过该名字。

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.

日本媒体争相试图挖出关于日本新年号的独家新闻。还有谣言称新年号是“Ankyu”,与安倍的姓氏使用相同的汉字。



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.

在高度数字化和全球化的社会中,越来越多的日本人更喜欢使用西历而不是日本年历,但在政府和商业文件中,年号名仍然被广泛使用。长辈们经常用它来标识他们的世代。

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.

这次提前讨论和猜测新年号名并非禁忌,因为明仁天皇即将退位。年号名的变化也是许多日本人思考即将过去的几十年和即将到来的几十年的时候。

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.

明仁天皇的时代,意为“实现和平”,是日本现代史上第一个没有战争的时代,但也被视为经济紧缩和自然灾害频发的时代。

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.

平成是日本第一个由政府决定的年号名(根据战后宪法),在宪法中,天皇被剥夺了政治权力,无权选择。不过,东洋大学社会学家铃木裕仁表示,政府处理这一过程时的高度保密和敏感,突显出“天皇以一种看不见的、微妙的方式拥有权力”。

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.

年号名的更改也会给企业带来商机。任何被称为“平成时代的最后”的东西都会吸引明仁天皇的粉丝,而其他人则要等到新时代开始才会登记结婚或其他正式的事情。专业人士表示,年号变更将五一“黄金周”假期延长至10天,这可能会刺激旅游业和其他休闲消费。