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Court nixes lawsuit against NHK for using foreign words

Kyodo

The Nagoya District Court has turned down a damages suit filed by a 72-year-old man who argued that NHK caused him emotional distress by using too many foreign words in its programs.

The ¥1.41 million lawsuit against the public broadcaster was brought by Hoji Takahashi, a resident of Kani, Gifu Prefecture, who leads a group called Nihongo wo Taisetsunisuru-kai, which translates roughly as Society that Appreciates the Japanese Language.

Presiding Judge Kiyofumi Saito said in the court’s ruling Thursday that NHK’s use of foreign words can’t be viewed as violating Takahashi’s personal rights.

During the trial, Takahashi claimed that NHK uses too many foreign words such as “risuku” (risk) and “korabo” (collaboration).

Saito said that while some viewers may be distressed by the use of foreign words, the broadcaster’s editorial freedom must not be restricted.

NHK issued a statement welcoming the decision.

Takahashi told reporters the trial failed to reveal how NHK determines the use of words in its programs.

He also said he will continue his effort by filing requests with local governments and media organizations not to use foreign words.