Financial Services Minister Heizo Takenaka said Tuesday that the agency will continue to boost public awareness over the English financial terms that it often uses to explain policy.
Takenaka made this remark in reference to the results of a Cultural Affairs Agency poll released Thursday, suggesting that the public has a low level of understanding of borrowed jargon, including terms such as “governance” and “task force.”
“When it comes to financial issues, the concepts themselves are totally new . . . I would like you to think how you translate ‘the Internet’ into Japanese. You simply cannot do it,” Takenaka said when asked about the use of loan words expressed in katakana.
“We must bear such facts in mind, but I don’t think it makes any sense if we discuss what people don’t understand,” he told a news conference. “We will try to (use) the expression that (people) can fully understand.”
According to the poll, “governance” and “task force” — staples in Takenaka’s vocabulary — are among the loan words least understood by the public.
Just 4.9 percent of respondents said they understand what “task force” means and just 6.8 percent said they understand the term “governance.”
Words such as “scheme,” “framework,” “potential,” “monitoring” and “macro” — all of which Takenaka uses at news conferences — also leave most people scratching their heads.
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