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'English as the Second Official Language of Japan?': Globalization, Hegemony of English, and Japanese National Identity
Unformatted Document Text:  English as the second official language 29 world (Asia).” It is very interesting the way in which he inserts the word “Asia,” which is put inside the parentheses after the term “the world.” What he means by “Japanese as an official language of the world” is specified inside the parentheses. He argues that Japanese should become an official language of Asia—not of Europe, Africa, or the Americas—rather than Japan adopting English as an official language. The choice of Asia shows that Asia is perceived as the place where Japan can impose its language as Japan did half a century ago. The following examples are less explicit but use a similar strategy. Ohno (male; office worker; no age) writes: People in Asian countries are eager to learn Japanese. I think that other Asian countries might make Japanese one of their official languages before English becomes an official language in Japan. I just cannot help questioning the government’s ability to grasp the international situation. Ohno does not advocate Japanese as an official language of Asian countries like Nagai. Yet, he does not question why Asian people study Japanese more than Japanese people study Chinese, Korean, Indonesian, Malay, Thai, Filipino, Khmer, or Vietnamese. He seems to think it possible and natural for the countries in Asia to adopt Japanese as an official language. Kobayashi (no other personal information), after supporting the proposal, continues, “But what we must not forget is the Japanese language. I think that the Japanese should be more aware of and become more aggressive about promoting and prevailing our mother tongue outside of Japan.” Although Kobayashi does not clarify where Japanese should prevail, he thinks that Japanese people need to become aggressive in promoting their national language. This idea is similar to the time when Japan pursued its version of imperialism by invading and colonizing Asia in rivalry against Europe and the United States. Conclusion

Authors: Kawai, Yuko.
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English as the second official language 29
world (Asia).” It is very interesting the way in which he inserts the word “Asia,” which is put
inside the parentheses after the term “the world.” What he means by “Japanese as an official
language of the world” is specified inside the parentheses. He argues that Japanese should
become an official language of Asia—not of Europe, Africa, or the Americas—rather than Japan
adopting English as an official language. The choice of Asia shows that Asia is perceived as the
place where Japan can impose its language as Japan did half a century ago.
The following examples are less explicit but use a similar strategy. Ohno (male; office
worker; no age) writes:
People in Asian countries are eager to learn Japanese. I think that other Asian countries
might make Japanese one of their official languages before English becomes an official
language in Japan. I just cannot help questioning the government’s ability to grasp the
international situation.
Ohno does not advocate Japanese as an official language of Asian countries like Nagai. Yet, he
does not question why Asian people study Japanese more than Japanese people study Chinese,
Korean, Indonesian, Malay, Thai, Filipino, Khmer, or Vietnamese. He seems to think it possible
and natural for the countries in Asia to adopt Japanese as an official language. Kobayashi (no
other personal information), after supporting the proposal, continues, “But what we must not
forget is the Japanese language. I think that the Japanese should be more aware of and become
more aggressive about promoting and prevailing our mother tongue outside of Japan.” Although
Kobayashi does not clarify where Japanese should prevail, he thinks that Japanese people need to
become aggressive in promoting their national language. This idea is similar to the time when
Japan pursued its version of imperialism by invading and colonizing Asia in rivalry against
Europe and the United States.
Conclusion


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