TOKYO: The calligraphy work used to announce the name of Japan’s new era, Reiwa, two years ago has been moved to the National Archives of Japan, Jiji Press learned Wednesday.
Written in black ink, the work was used by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the current prime minister, when he announced the new era name in a televised news conference.
The calligraphy will not be put on display because it is a precious artifact, but the National Archives will consider exhibiting it on special occasions, government sources said.
The work was transferred from the Cabinet Office on Thursday after the preservation period at the agency ended. It will be permanently preserved as a specified historical public record.
The work will be kept in environment-controlled storage, as calligraphy documents deteriorate when exposed to light. It will also be treated to withstand mold and insect damage.
The National Archives plans to catalog the piece and make the image data public.
An official at the organization said that “there is a possibility that the original may be open” to the public, as the calligraphy to announce Heisei, the previous era name, has been exhibited publicly before. The Heisei piece is also preserved at the archives.
Under the order to enforce the public records and archives management law, government institutions are required to preserve items that fall under the category of historical public records and archives at least for a year.
The Cabinet Office kept the Reiwa calligraphy for a year from April 1 last year, judging that the piece is a historical public record.