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Japan wants foreign media to put last names first

Olympics seen as chance to shake off Western-style writing convention

Shinzo Abe or Abe Shinzo?   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono announced that the government will ask foreign media to write Japanese names with the family name first, as in the local language, instead of reversing them to match Western conventions.

The prime minister's name should be rendered as Abe Shinzo rather than Shinzo Abe, said Kono, who noted that the West uses the surname-first format for Chinese President Xi Jinping and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

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