TOKYO, May 21. /TASS/. The Japanese Foreign Ministry is going to ask foreign mass media to break with the tradition of reversing Japanese names and to put given names after the surnames to follow the Japanese rules, Foreign Minister Taro Kono told a news conference in Tokyo on Tuesday.
He recalled that foreign mass media followed this rule in relation to Chinese and Korean names - the family name comes first and the given name, second.
"It is preferable to write the name of the Japanese prime minster strictly as Abe Shinzo, and not Shinzo Abe, the way it is done today," he said.
Japan’s Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Masahiko Shibayama told a separate news conference in Tokyo on Tuesday the Japanese names should be written in foreign languages precisely the way it is done in Japan - family name first and given name, second. He promised he would send a relevant instruction to all government bodies and local authorities across the country.
A relevant decree was issued in Japan back in 2000, but it has failed to be implemented to this day. The custom of writing Japanese names in foreign languages the Western way became widely spread in the second half of the 19th century. It is against the rules of the Chinese, Korean and Japanese languages to place the given name before the family name.