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Japanese cabinet members divided over English name order

  • May 29, 2019
  • , Jiji Press , 10:40 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, May 29 (Jiji Press) — Japanese cabinet ministers have different views on the order of Japanese names in English.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday that his name in English is in order of first name and then last name.

Foreign Minister Taro Kono and education minister Masahiko Shibayama have proposed that Japanese people’s names start with the family name in English.

At a press conference, Suga said he does not necessarily think that the government needs to unify the convention for Japanese name order in English.

Each government agency first needs to consider what it can do about the matter, because there are many factors to consider, including customs, Suga said.

The names of cabinet members are all given in order of given name and then family name on the English website of the prime minister’s office.

On Tuesday, a Foreign Ministry interpreter referred to the prime minister as “Shinzo Abe” when the Japanese leader and U.S. President Donald Trump boarded a Japanese destroyer together.

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