NHK Sued By Elderly Japanese Man Over Excessive Use Of American Words

Fatimah Mazhar
An elderly man in Japan filed a lawsuit against NHK over excessive use of foreign words during their broadcast.

Japanese Channel Sued By Elderly Man


An elderly man in Japan filed a lawsuit against NHK over excessive use of foreign words during their broadcast.

NHK is Japan's national public broadcasting organization and according to Japan Times, a Gifu Prefecture man got mentally distressed after listening to too many American words used by the broadcasters. The man, Hoji Takahashi, 71, filed his complaint with the Nagoya District Court and apparently got way too upset because he is seeking ¥1.41 million in damages!

Japan Daily Press reports that Takahashi claimed the broadcasters ‘do not take the elderly citizens into consideration when they use loan words like risuku (“risk”), toraburu (“trouble”), shisutemu (“system”), kea (“care”), and conshieruju (“concierge”).’

Japan is a country known for its rich culture and people who strongly adhere to it. The older generation with people like Takahashi is not comfortable with what the American influence is doing to Japanese language, which has a rich native vocabulary.

Also, Takahashi belongs to a Japanese-appreciation association and for him, the matter got serious when he submitted his complaint to NHK and didn’t receive any response. Interestingly, his lead attorney Mutsuo Miyata admits that the 71-year-old may be the only recognized member!

The lawsuit may sound a little unreasonable to some people but for Takahashi, it is a matter of cultural pride. Japan Today quotes the elderly man saying, “Young people can probably understand a lot of this stuff, but for older people like myself, when I hear ‘asurito’ (athlete) and ‘konpuriansu’ (compliance), I don’t know what it means.”

But then Takahashi is not the only one, or Japanese people aren’t the only nation who wishes to protect their language from foreign “invasive” languages. Traditionalists in France are equally concerned about their language and culture. In order to make French the official language for state funded schools and publications, France passed the Toubon Law in 1994. The Chinese and German people are also very protective of their languages.

So what do you think about Takahashi’s lawsuit? Do reply in the comments section below.