Japan to call Ukraine’s capital Kyiv instead of Kiev

Reuters file photo
The headquarters of Ukraine’s foreign ministry is seen behind St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Cathedral in Kyiv on Feb. 25.

The Japanese Foreign Ministry announced Thursday that the government will call Ukraine’s capital “kiiu” based on the Ukrainian word Kyiv instead of “kiefu” based on the Russian word Kiev. Both names are written in katakana.

The Japanese government decided to make the change after confirming the Ukrainian government’s view. From now on, the Japanese name based on Kyiv will be used in materials prepared by all ministries and agencies. The same standard will apply to all Ukrainian place names.

For example, the government has changed the Japanese name for Chernobyl, in the northern part of the country, to one based on Chornobyl. It has also adopted the Ukrainian names of the southern city of Odesa and the eastern city of Dnipro.