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Japan prepares for arrival of 248th era

Government, businesses trying to make for a no-hassle transition

Keizo Obuchi, then chief cabinet secretary, announces the Heisei era on Jan. 7, 1989.

TOKYO -- Now that Japan's parliament has cleared the way for Emperor Akihito to step down, the government is starting to dig into the details of the process.

One big focus is to minimize any confusion surrounding the start of the new era. Since the Meiji era began in 1868, Japan has assigned an era for each emperor's reign.

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