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September 15, 2004

What's In A Name?

A couple of recent stories about name changes in Japan. The government announced last week that it would relax rules on how Japanese spell their names in their passports. For example, those who wanted to give their children the name George have had to settle for the standard roamization of Joji. A foreign spelling was only allowed if the applicant was born overseas or had foreign names registered in an official document such as a birth certificate or foreign passport. Implementation of the more flexible approach is set to start from next April. Meanwhile, last Friday the government agency formerly known as the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications was renamed as the more manageable Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

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