• Kyodo


The government has decided to change the way it refers to the country of Georgia in Japanese, and will stop using a pronunciation derived from the Russian language, an official said.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to notify visiting Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili of the change when they meet on Friday, the official said Tuesday.

Georgia, a former Soviet republic, has called for such a change since entering territorial conflicts with Russia in 2008.

About 170 of 193 U.N. member countries use the English name for Georgia, while around 20, including Japan, Russia and China, call it Gruziya, according to the Foreign Ministry.

Tokyo had been reluctant to make the change out of concern that the English name could be confused with the U.S. state of Georgia, the official said.

The government will take the necessary steps to make the change during next year’s regular Diet session.

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