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Minister to ask foreign media to write Japanese names in 'family name first' order

Foreign Minister Taro Kono (Mainichi/Masahiro Kawata)

TOKYO -- Foreign Minister Taro Kono announced on May 21 that he will ask key foreign media outlets to write Japanese names with the family name first, as is standard in the Japanese language.

Kono cited a report released by the education ministry's National Language Council in 2000 stating it is desirable to write Japanese names on a family-name-first basis.

"The new Reiwa era was ushered in and we are hosting the Group of 20 summit (next month). As many news organizations write Chinese President Xi Jinping and South Korean President Moon Jae-in (in the family name, first name order), it is desirable for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's name to be written in a similar manner."

Under the initiative, Shinzo Abe would be written Abe Shinzo.

(Japanese original by Issei Suzuki, Foreign News Department)

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