Minister Asks World to Write Japanese Names Differently

Last name should come first, he says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2019 8:20 AM CDT
Minister: World Is Getting Japanese Names Wrong
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, aka Abe Shinzo.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Japanese foreign minister Taro Kono—first name Taro, last name Kono—would like the world's media to start calling him Kono Taro. The minister said Tuesday that, as a new royal era dawns in Japan, it is time for the international media to start putting the family name first in Japanese names as they do with Chinese and Korean names, meaning that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should be known as Abe Shinzo, reports the Washington Post. He said he would like the switch to happen before Japan hosts the G20 summit next month. The family name comes first in Japanese, but it has been customary since the late 19th century to put it second when writing in English, the Guardian notes. (More Japan stories.)

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