Japanese government changes official pronunciation of Georgia

The Japanese Parliament has reviewed its pronunciation of Georgia.
Agenda.ge, 17 Apr 2015 - 01:05, Tbilisi,Georgia

Japan is the first country to officially change the pronunciation of Georgia from the archaic Russian term ‘Gurujia’ to ‘Jojia’, based on the English pronunciation of the former Soviet republic’s name.

The Japanese parliament this week approved a draft bill to officially change the name and pronunciation of Georgia following a request by Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili, stated English-language newspaper The Japan Times.

The article detailed the thorough process the Japanese parliament went through to change the official name of Georgia in all official documents.

The Japan Times noted the bill to revise the law on the names of diplomatic offices was approved unanimously on Tuesday at a plenary meeting of Japan’s House of Representatives.

After the chamber earlier passed the amendment, the House of Councillors approved it upon making some modifications. The bill was then returned to the lower chamber for fresh approval, reported the newspaper.

When referring to countries in official documents, the government uses the names stipulated to under the diplomatic offices law.

Reportedly, Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili asked that Tokyo use the English-based version as the official Japanese-language name of his country in place of the Russian-derived name, during a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo in October. Abe replied that his administration would consider the issue.

"The Georgian government has asked other countries to make the same name switch for official purposes, as sentiment in Georgia toward Russia shows little sign of recovery from the armed conflict between the two countries in 2008,” said the newspaper.

Currently, about 20 nations, including Russia and China, continue to use the Russian-derived name, according to the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo.

It is believed the Georgian President will now approach nations who still used the Russian-derived name of Georgia to switch to the English version.