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Vashadze’s demand caused confusion in Japan2009-03-26 11:55
The demand of Grigol Vashadze, the Foreign Minister of Georgia, uttered at the negotiations in Tokyo - to renounce the Russian-based term used to name Georgia in Japanese (Gurujia) and to call it with the English-based term Joujia, made confusion with both citizens and some high-ranking officials - ITAR TASS.gt-en-newsitem-inside
"Japan" isn't a Japanese name, either. It probably comes from Chinese. In Japanese, Japan is Nippon or Nihon. If Georgians think it's wrong for Japanese to use a Russian word for Georgia, they shouldn't use Japan for Nippon, either!" commented the today's article in The Times Yutaka Uno, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
"Asking others to use their OWN name ("Sakartvelo" = "Karutoberu-goku" in Japanese/ "Kartvelia" in English) would at least be honorable. Insisting on ENGLISH quirks of pronunciation is just another farce of the Sakashvili regime - who will likely be gone before new dictionaries can be printed, "shared Colin, Berkeley, USA, another reader of the article.
In his turn, a high-ranking official of the foreign Ministry of Japan stated that the English-based term applied to Georgia (Caucasus region) may cause confusion with the state of Georgia (USA) - Iomiuri.
Let us remind that Grigol Vashadze, the Foreign Minster of Georgia, who was staying in Japan with an official visit from March 9th to 12th , in the course of this visit demanded to call his country with the aforesaid English-based term. The official Tokyo is studying theis issue earnestly. "It's a serious complaint and we'll give consideration to the matter" - The Times quote an unnamed Japanese diplomat.
This case is one of the row of similar ones, when government of some country demands to change geographical names in other states for political reasons. The leaders of South Korea want the sea of Japan to be called the east Sea; Greece demands the name of Upper or New Macedonia for Macedonia.