Japan Set to Enter the New Era of Reiwa
At the start of the fiscal new year in April, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary proclaimed the name of a new era. The current “Heisei” era under the Japanese calendar will end on April 30th when the Emperor abdicates the throne. On May 1st, Crown Prince Naruhito will ascend to the throne and the new era “Reiwa” will commence. The translation of Reiwa is “Beautiful Harmony”. For the first time in over 30 years, Japan will celebrate a new Emperor with a 10-day extended national holiday, dubbed “super golden week”.
The ascension of the Emperor and extended holiday break has many Japanese in buoyant spirits with retailers, leisure and travel companies geared for a once in a generation celebration. The tourism industry is enjoying brisk sales and major department stores are forecasting a 20% jump in sales. At two thirds’ of Japan’s GDP, the uptick in Japanese consumer spending comes as welcome relief to the slowing global economy.