Education Minister Masahito Moriyama asked an advisory panel on Tuesday to review the system for romanizing the Japanese language, for the first time in 70 years.

The Council for Cultural Affairs will consider how the Japanese language should be transcribed into the Latin alphabet, including unifying different romanization styles in use currently. The council aims to submit a report as early as next spring.

A 1954 Cabinet notice on romanization set a style known as kunrei-shiki as the standard. But a different style, the Hepburn romanization, is in common use currently, including for passports and road signs.

The Japanese kana syllabary pronounced "chi" is written as "ti" in the kunrei-shiki style and "chi" in the Hepburn style.

A subcommittee of the council in March said the government had expected romanization to be used to write Japanese sentences when it released the 1954 notice. But romanization is more commonly used now to write proper nouns, such as names of places and people.

In addition to the kunrei-shiki and Hepburn styles, some words such as "Tokyo" and "judo" are used internationally in the romanization style conforming to English orthographic style.

The government will consider whether to revise the 1954 Cabinet notice based on discussions by the council.