Japan assures world that Reiwa is all about 'beautiful harmony' and has nothing to do with 'command'
Japan Times -- Apr 04
The Foreign Ministry confirmed Wednesday the name for Japan’s forthcoming new Imperial era, Reiwa, means “beautiful harmony” in English.

Within days of the announcement of the new gengō, as such eras are known, the ministry has presented an English translation for the new name.

The move is intended to dispel what the ministry considers erroneous reports overseas that the new era name has connotations of “command” or “order” — one of the most common meanings of the kanji for rei that forms the first half of Reiwa.

“Having seen talk overseas that the new gengō means ‘order’ or ‘command,’ we felt the need to let the world know that nobody (in the government) thinks like that,” Hiroatsu Satake, a foreign ministry official, told The Japan Times.

“If you look up that individual kanji in dictionaries, I believe a meaning like this does show up, but it has multiple other meanings too. We felt we should at least make it clear this particular one is not the intended meaning here,” Satake said.

The foreign ministry’s attempt to dissociate Reiwa from the authoritative nuance of command or law chiefly associated with rei, which is used in terms such as meirei (command) or hōrei (law), may have been clear enough from its issuance of the translation “beautiful harmony.”

But that rendition of Reiwa fails to reflect the original context in which the kanji rei was used in “Manyoshu” — the nation’s oldest existing anthology of poetry, from which the new gengō was drawn.

Reiwa was inspired by a portion of a passage written by prominent poet Otomo no Tabito, who used rei to render reigetsu, an “auspicious month,” as he detailed the soft manner of an early spring breeze.

News source: Japan Times
Apr 20
A law recognizing the Ainu ethnic minority as an indigenous people of Japan has been enacted. (NHK)
Apr 17
The Japanese government plans to proceed with printing new banknotes matching the sample designs it released, even though some people have pointed out that one of the portraits used is different from the probable source photo. (NHK)
Apr 17
One week after an F-35A stealth fighter jet crashed off the northeastern coast of Japan, U.S. and Japanese military vessels are struggling to find the wreckage and protect its valuable "secrets." (Japan Today)
Apr 13
Japan's Defense Ministry says the number of times Air Self-Defense Force fighter jets were scrambled in fiscal 2018 was the second-highest on record. (NHK)
Apr 11
The pilot of a Lockheed Martin F-35A stealth fighter jet that crashed into the Pacific Ocean called an end to his training exercise just before the plane went down, it was learned Wednesday. (Nikkei)
Apr 11
Japan's Olympic minister resigned Wednesday after making remarks deemed offensive to the people affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, a gaffe that had questioned his credentials. (Japan Today)
Apr 10
Japanese defense officials are searching for a fighter jet off the coast of Aomori Prefecture, northern Japan. They lost contact while it was on a training mission. (NHK)
Apr 09
Japan decided Tuesday to extend its sanctions against North Korea for two years, maintaining pressure on Pyongyang to denuclearize and resolve its past abductions of Japanese nationals. (Japan Times)
Apr 05
Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko have met with Panama's President Juan Carlos Varela and his wife at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. (NHK)
Apr 04
The Foreign Ministry confirmed Wednesday the name for Japan’s forthcoming new Imperial era, Reiwa, means “beautiful harmony” in English. (Japan Times)