Japan: Man sues broadcaster for using too many English words

A Japanese man has sued the nation's public broadcaster NHK for using too much English.

Hoji Takahashi, 71, is seeking 1.41 million yen ($14,000) for the "mental stress" of having to listen to more and more English loan words during broadcasts.

According to Rocketnews24, Takahashi, from Gifu Prefecture, said:

"Risuku (risk), kea (care), toraburu (trouble), asurito (athlete); I can't understand what the hell they're talking about!"

In his lawsuit, filed with the Nagoya district court on behalf of collective called a member of "Nihongo wo taisetsu ni suru kai" (The Treat Japanese as Important Association), he also noted the frequent use of loan words in program titles, such as BS Kosheruju (BS Concierge) and Sutajio Paaku Kara Konnichiwa (Hello from Studio Park), the Guardian reported.

While loan words are nothing new — in fact, many were imported from the US during the post-war occupation period — Takahashi told the local Chuunichi Shimbun newspaper:

"The younger generation probably understands, but old people don't understand the meaning when we hear words like 'asurito' [athlete] and 'conpuraiansu' [compliance]."


Takahashi accused NHK of ignoring its responsibility to use Japanese alternatives in its news and entertainment programs.

His lawyer said:

"The basis of his concern is that Japan is being too Americanized. There is a sense of crisis that this country is becoming just a province of America."

According to Hollywood Reporter, it was not clear whether Takahashi would sue Japan's privately owned media outlets, which also use loan words.