United States

Japan asked the media to change how we write their names. No one listened

Hong Kong (CNN Business)In a full-page spread on March 2, 1979, the Los Angeles Times introduced its readers to Pinyin, a Chinese romanization system it said was changing the "familiar map of China."In the new system "Canton becomes Guangzhou and Tientsin becomes Tianjin." Most importantly, the newspaper would now refer to the country's capital as Beijing, not Peking. This was a step too far for some American publications. In an article on Pinyin around this time, the Chicago Tribune said that while it would be adopting the system for most Chinese words, some names had "become so ingrained in our usage that we can't get used to new ones." The Tribune would continue using Peking into the 1990s, though by then it was something of an outlier. ...