Japan to Use Surname-First Style in Official Documents from Jan. 1

Society

Tokyo, Oct. 25 (Jiji Press)--Beginning Jan. 1, the Japanese government will put family names before given names when Japanese names appear in official documents in the Latin alphabet, culture minister Koichi Hagiuda said at a press conference Friday.

The surname-first style is the normal way of writing names in Japanese, while Japanese people usually put their given names first when writing in the Latin alphabet.

The government will use the surname-first style in foreign-language papers and websites, the nameplates of Japanese participants in conferences, and even joint statements with foreign countries.

Family names will be put in capital letters, if necessary, to make it clear that they are not given names.

The government will use the given name-first style where it is the customary practice, such as formats designated by international organizations.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press