nihongo|Heisei|平成 is the current era name in
Japan. The Heisei era started on January 8, 1989, just one day after the death of the reigning Emperor, Hirohito. His son, Akihito, succeeded to the throne. In accordance with Japanese customs, Hirohito was renamed " Emperor Shōwa" on January 31, as were posthumoused Mutsuhito as Emperor Meijiand Yoshihito as Emperor Taish.
Thus 1989 corresponds to Shōwa 64 up to the 7th day of the first month (January 7) and to nihongo|Heisei 1|平成元年|Heisei gannen|"gannen" means "first year" since the 8th day of the first month (January 8).
CURRENTYEARis Heisei #expr:CURRENTYEAR-1988. A quick way to convert the current year to Heisei is to take the last two digits and add 12. Example for 2008: 08+12 = Heisei 20.
History and Meaning
January 7, 1989, at 7:55 AM, the grand steward of Japan's Imperial Household Agency, Shoichi Fujimori, officially announced Emperor Shōwa's death, and revealed details about his cancer for the first time. Shortly after the death of the Emperor, Keizo Obuchi, then Chief Cabinet Secretary and later Prime Minister of Japan, publicly announced the end of the Shōwa era, and heralded the new era name "Heisei" for the new incoming Emperor, and explained the meaning of the name.
According to Obuchi, the name "Heisei" was taken from two Chinese history and philosophy books, namely
Records of the Grand Historian(史記 "Shiji") and the Classic of History(書経 "Shujing"). In the "Shiji", the sentence "内平外成" (peace inside and prosperity outward) appears in a section honoring the wise rule of the legendary Chinese Emperor Shun. In the "Shujing", the sentence "地平天成" (the land is peaceful and the sky is clear) appears. By combining both meanings, Heisei is intended to mean "peace everywhere". The Heisei era went into effect immediately after the announcement of the new emperor on January 8th, 1989.
1989marked the culmination of one of the most rapid economic growth spurts in Japanese history. With a strong yenand a favorable exchange rate with the US Dollar, the Bank of Japankept interest rates low, sparking an investment boom that drove Tokyoproperty values up sixty percent within the year. Shortly before New Year's Day, the Nikkei 225reached its record high of 39,000. By 1991, it had fallen to 15,000, signifying the end of Japan's famed "bubble economy". Subsequently, Japan experienced the "Great Slump in Heisei", which consisted of more than a decade of price deflation and largely stagnant GDP as Japan's banks struggled to resolve their bad debts and companies in other sectors struggled to restructure. Some analysts blame the extended slump on the Japanese government's continued application of Neo-Keynesian economic principles to its solution. Recently, however, commentators are pointing to signs that Japan's economy is emerging from the slump.
Recruit Scandalof 1988had already eroded public confidence in the Liberal Democratic Party, which had controlled the Japanese government for 38 years. In 1993, the LDP was ousted by a coalition led by Morihiro Hosokawa. However, the coalition collapsed as parties had gathered to simply overthrow LDP and lacked a unified position on almost every social issue. The LDP returned to the government in 1994, when it helped to elect Japan Socialist (later Social Democrat) Tomiichi Murayamaas prime minister.
1995, there was a large earthquakein Kobe(see Great Hanshin earthquake). The same year, there was a saringas terrorist attack on the Tokyo subway system by the doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo(see Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway). Failure of the Japanese government to react to these events promptly led to the formation of NGOs which have been playing an increasingly important role in Japanese politics since.
The Heisei period also marked Japan's cautious reemergence on the world stage as a world military power. In
1991, Japan pledged billions of dollars to support the Gulf Warbut constitutional arguments prevented a participation in or support of actual war. Iran criticised Japan for just pledging money and didn't appreciate the way Japan co-operated in the Gulf War. Mine sweepers were sent after the war as a part of the reconstruction effort. Following the second invasion of Iraq, in 2003, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's Cabinet approved a plan to send a total of about 1,000 soldiers of the Japan Self-Defense Forcesto help in Iraq's reconstruction, the biggest overseas troop deployment since World War IIwithout the sanction of the United Nations. These troops were deployed in 2004.
October 23, 2004, the "Heisei 16 Niigata PrefectureEarthquakes" rocked the Hokuriku region, killing 52 and injuring hundreds (see 2004 Chūetsu earthquake). Many were heart broken.
In Autumn 2007
Yasuo Fukudabecame Prime Minister after the sudden resignation of Shinzo Abe, following his election defeat earlier in the year. Fukuda in turn resigned on September the following year citing political failings, and Taro Asowas elected to take his place. Heisei 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th 16th 17th 18th 19th 20th 21th 22th 23th 24th 25th 26th 27th 28th 29th 30th Gregorian 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Preceded by: "Shōwa" Heisei Succeeded by:
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