Ukraine urged Japan in 2015 to switch from ‘Kiev’ to ‘Kyiv’

Masahisa Sato, head of the Liberal Democratic Party’s foreign affairs subcommittee, told a party meeting on Friday that the Ukrainian government had requested the Japanese government in writing in 2015 to use a katakana term derived from the Ukrainian word “Kyiv” as the name of Ukraine’s capital. Sato said he had confirmed this with the Ukrainian Embassy in Japan.

However, the government has different view. At a press conference on Friday, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said, “Whether we have received the document has not been confirmed at this time.”

The government is currently using a katakana term derived from the Russian word “Kiev.”

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno had said at a press conference on Tuesday that he would not change the name because the Japanese term derived from Kyiv has not taken root among the public and there had been no requests to change the name.