News: New Era for the Japanese Calendar

October 04, 2018

In May 2019, a new era of the Japanese calendar is expected to be announced. The new era will be represented in dates by two names. One name will consist of a sequence of two existing kanji and the other of a new single Japanese character that combines those two.


The current Heisei era has been in place since 1989. Because the current era began during the development of the modern computer systems, most software systems are not prepared for a new era. Consequently, most software used in Japan will need to adopt the new era name and add font support for the new character.


The exact date of the new era name announcement is unknown and there will likely be a small timeframe for implementing the new era information, possibly less than a month, which will create major challenges to the IT industry.


An article in the Unicode blog, highlights the below actions that the Unicode Consortium has taken to prepare:


  • The code point U+32FF has been reserved for the new era character.
  • Once the new era name is announced, the Unicode Consortium will quickly issue a dot-release (Version 12.1) that will add that character at the reserved code point, U+32FF, with an appropriate character name, decomposition, and representative glyph.
  • Unicode CLDR and ICU are including test mechanisms in the 2018 October releases of CLDR 34 and ICU 63. Systems that use CLDR or ICU (all smartphones, for example) can test using these mechanisms.
  • Systems and applications that do not use CLDR or ICU will need to take similar steps for testing.

To read more, please see: New Japanese Era.

Further Resources on Global Business


Globalization Partners International (GPI) has extensive experience localizing marketing materials, technical documents, and large, scalable websites. We have previously posted several useful guides for best practices in this area. Feel free to review our blogs that are particularly relevant:



Please feel free to contact GPI at with any questions about our language and technology services. Also let us know if you have any interesting blog topics you would like us to cover in our future blogs.

Software Translation
Software localization, Japanese software localization, Japanese calendar era

The Internet in South Korea Today: 5 Quick FactsGPI HubSpot Translation Services Connector


Currently, there are no comments. Be the first to post one!

Add a comment

Only comments with valid email addresses will be posted. Thanks!

Contact Us FREE Globalization eBooks Request Demo Request Quote

Hiroko is a native Japanese speaker originally from Kobe, Japan. She has lived in Japan and the USA and currently splits her time between Tokyo and Bellingham, Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Hiroko holds a degree in Computer Information Systems from Western Governors University. She has over 15 years’ experience in language, project management & technology roles with localization companies including CyraCom Language Solutions, Powerling and ABLE Innovations. With her computer science and technology background, Hiroko started building websites early in her career and has worked as a programming department manager and senior web programmer. She has built various web applications and websites including e-commerce, internal management systems and translation memory management tools for localization projects. Hiroko has managed hundreds of localization projects for IT companies, states and federal governments, universities, hospitals and medical institutions, agencies in legal industry and many businesses, helping their translation, I18n and L10n needs including websites, software, online and mobile apps, device screens, online help, audio-videos, documents and manuals. Her hobbies include travel, reading and all things culinary. In recent years, she has been actively involved with her local government sister city programs to promote global friendship and peace.