NPR

Shinzo Abe Or Abe Shinzo? Japan's Foreign Minister Tells Media To Change The Order

Taro Kono said he plans to ask overseas news outlets to write Japanese names with the family name first, as is the custom in Japan. But some wonder why the suggestion is coming now.
Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono plans to ask overseas news outlets to write Japanese names with the family name first, as is the custom in Japan. Kono is seen here last month in Washington. Source: Brendan Smialowski

Japan's foreign minister is making headlines — by pushing back on the headlines themselves.

At issue: the order in which foreign media write and say Japanese names.

In a news conference Tuesday, Foreign Minister Taro Kono said he plans to ask overseas news outlets to write Japanese names with the family name first and given name

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR4 min readPolitics
Trump Administration Weakens Climate Plan To Help Coal Plants Stay Open
The Trump administration is replacing one of President Obama's signature plans to address climate change. It could help some coal-fired power plants, but likely won't slow the industry's decline.
NPR2 min readPolitics
Fed Ponders When To Cut Interest Rates
There's an unusual air of suspense surrounding the Federal Reserve's policy meeting, with the possibility that the central bank could cut rates for the first time in nearly 11 years.
NPR2 min readPolitics
Canada's Trudeau Approves Controversial Pipeline Expansion
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau first approved the project, which is opposed by many environmental groups, in 2016, but Tuesday's announcement means construction can begin later this year.