Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Japanese Newspeak & the Senkaku "dispute"

This is from the Facebook page of  Richard Lloyd Parry's  - The Times' Asia editor.

NHK, Japan's rough equivalent of the BBC, is often accused of being insufficiently independent, and of pusillanity in the face of pressure from the government.The following document, passed to me by a source who wishes to remain anonymous, seems to confirm this. In the past, the NHK style police have outlawed the use of the English expression "sex slaves" for the euphemistic "comfort women", and insist on referring to "the incident known as the Nanking Massacre". Now employees on NHK's English language programs have received the following memo from their boss:

(To all translators)

We forwarded to you the other day a message asking you to refrain from using the expression "disputed islands" in news scripts related to the Senkaku Islands.

The World News department has further decided not to use the word "dispute", to avoid giving the mistaken impression that NHK acknowledges the existence of such a dispute.

We are in the process of determining what expression to use instead of "dispute."
Until then, we ask you to refrain from using this word when writing news scripts.


I expect this from China, but from supposedly democratic Japan.

Political developments in Japan are extremely troubling.