Q Why do the Japanese like to adopt foreign words into their language?

A The policy of Westernization undertaken from the Meiji period (1868-1912) is exerting its influence even today. The defeat at the end of World War II caused Western culture and English to flow into Japan. Because of the difficulty in expressing English meanings and nuances within the limits of the Japanese vocabulary, many of these English words were used as they were and adopted in katakana form (a noncursive form of writing typically used to write loanwords).

During the Meiji period, efforts were made to express in some way, English concepts into Japanese. Many new Japanese words came into being such as kagaku (science) andjiyu (liberty). However, with the limitations placed on the use of Kanji today, English words are simply adopted and used as they are.

In a country like China, everything is, of course, written in characters. President Clinton's name is written as. The New China News Agency selects and standardizes the characters to be used throughout China. Many Japanese object to the use of loan words, but the Japanese used today is derived from many words borrowed from Chinese and Korean, evidence that Japan is tolerant to words borrowed from other languages.