Charlotte the Japanese monkey to keep her name despite right royal row

City officials rule out complaints after baby macaque at Takasakiyama Natural Zoological Garden given same name as British princess


Agencies in Tokyo
Friday 8 May 2015 10.20 BST


A monkey born in a Japanese zoo will keep the name Charlotte, despite concerns that the decision could offend British royals.


Oita city officials have settled a national debate by saying they would stick to their first choice because there was no protest from the royal family in the UK.


The flap began on Wednesday when the Takasakiyama Natural Zoological Garden called a newborn macaque Charlotte after the name came top in a public ballot. Immediately after the decision was announced, the zoo received complaints from some people who thought it was disrespectful.


Kyodo News said that Japanese complainants had asked how people in Japan would react if a British zoo were to name an animal after a member of Japan’s revered imperial family.


Britain’s royals are immensely popular in Japan, where their easy familiarity with the public stands in marked contrast to the austere image of the country’s own imperial clan.


A recent visit by Prince William was followed in detail by Japan’s media, which revelled in the chance to show pictures of him dressed as a samurai lord.