The idea of asking foreign media to write the names of Japanese people with the family name first is ill-advised and not practical (“Kono to ask media to put family names first,” May 23).

To change the current practice of putting the given name first, which has been in use for some 100 years, will be extremely difficult, and is likely to cause confusion. People not familiar with the situation will start calling the prime minister “Mr. Shinzo” or the foreign minister “Mr. Taro,” opening them to ridicule.

Trying to change the current practice with Japanese names will be a retrograde move, and is bound to fail. Someone should tell Abe and Kono this.


The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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