Disability Japan Langusge

Japanese Government Subcommittee deliberates whether to include ‘harm’ in relation ‘disability’ in official “common kanji”

A subcommittee of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, has been considering whether to add "harm" in relation to disability" to "common kanji", as it has become commonly used in official documents, media and broadcasts. The subcommittee ultimately decided not to adopt the kanji.

By Barrier Free Japan

March 4 2021

It was reported by NHK on February 28th that a subcommittee of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, has been considering whether to add “harm” in relation to disability” to “common kanji”, as it has become commonly used in official documents, media and broadcasts. The subcommittee ultimately decided not to adopt the kanji.

The Council for Cultural Affairs’ National Language Subcommittee has continued discussions on “common kanji” that are used daily in official documents, broadcasts, newspapers, etc., following a resolution of the Diet requesting that it be considered as “common kanji”.

Regarding this, the subcommittee of the Japanese Language Subcommittee has put together a view that it will not be added to the common kanji, saying that it cannot be judged that it is necessary to add it given

In the deliberations held so far, it was said that whilst the word has a good meaning in the past, there are those who voiced opinions from the parties concerned that “harm” has a negative meaning and demands an alternative notation. There were many additional cautious opinions from the committee members, saying that it can be used in a different way.

It should be noted that there are people who find it unacceptable to use “harm” when referring to “disabled people”, and are considering new terms as well as the problem of kanji notation.

The Council for Cultural Affairs will formally decide to postpone an additional postponement at the National Language Subcommittee held in March, but the Agency for Cultural Affairs hopes to conduct an awareness survey on the notation in the future.

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