A 71 year old man from Gifu Prefecture has filed a lawsuit against Japanese national broadcaster NHK for mental distress due to their excessive use of foreign words that have been adapted to the Japanese language, or “loan words“. The case has been filed in the Nagoya District Court and the plaintiff is seeking 1.4 million yen (approx. 14,300 US dollars) for “unnecessary emotional distress.”
Takahashi claims that the broadcaster doesn’t take the elderly citizens into consideration when they use words like risuku (“risk”), toraburu (“trouble”), shisutemu (“system”), kea (“care”), and conshieruju (“concierge”); basically English words in Japanese pronunciation. He says that this “deluge” of words is stressing him out emotionally, and adds that it is irresponsible of the broadcaster to not use the proper native Japanese equivalents of the terms.
The elderly man is a member of a little known organization called Nihongo wo taisetsu ni suru kai, which when translated means “group that appreciates the Japanese language.” However, his lead attorney Mutsuo Miyata admits that Takahashi may be the only recognized member, and that the “group” isn’t that serious with its activities. Takahashi said that he tried contacting NHK with a few inquiries, but when he received no response, he decided to “take this to court.” He wants the NHK to remember that they are a national broadcaster that has a responsibility to maintain “neutral” programming. A spokesman for the NHK said that they still have to verify the content of the complaint so they have no statement at this time.
[ via Wall Street Journal ]