''Yasashii Nihongo'' as a language choice: views of local governments on the promotion of Easy Japanese

January 2015December 2016
The Nippon Foundation

Project members

Easy Japanese (Yasashii Nihongo) is a collection of artificially simplified Japanese, initially created in 1995 to facilitate communication with foreigners in times of emergency.

Recently, some local governments added Easy Japanese to the languages, which are available on the multilingual websites. This suggests that Easy Japanese is regarded as a separate language.

This project is the first investigation of Easy Japanese from language policy perspectives. Examining resources and communication between various sectors among governments, it questions whether it is a first step to embrace a different variety of Japanese used by non-Japanese residents in Japan.

Dr Kayoko Hashimoto

Japanese Discipline Coordinator
Staff Delegate
Senior Lecturer
School of Languages and Cultures