- foreign minister
- media outlet
- education minister
- 文部科学相のこと（後出 education ministry は文部科学省のこと、National Language Council は国語審議会）
- prefectural government
- local body
- catch on
- President Xi Jinping
Ministers request to write Japanese surnames first in English
Foreign Minister Kono Taro 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.
The same day, education minister Shibayama Masahiko said in a news conference that he will soon ask prefectural governments and other local bodies to write romanized Japanese names with the family name first.
Kono cited a report released by the education ministry's National Language Council in 2000 stating it was desirable to write Japanese names on a family-name-first basis. It is believed the latest push is being made as Japan draws the world's attention with the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The practice of putting the surname first, however, had not caught on, and on the education ministry's English website, the names of ministry officials had been written with the given name first. The name order on the website was changed to family name first on May 21.
Kono pointed out that many news organizations write Chinese President Xi Jinping in the family name, first name order, and said it was desirable for Abe Shinzo to have his name written in the same way.