Fukui City’s Hokuriku Shinkansen Tourism Promotion
In a Fukui City special parliamentary budget committee meeting on March 17th, committee member Hiromi Horie (aged 77) presented his honest opinion on the frequent use of “katakana words”, such as “photogenic” (フォトジェニック) and “influencer” (インフルエンサー), as used in the tourism promotion project for the Hokuriku Shinkansen Fukui expansion, requesting the director to have such terms explained in “Japanese”.
After asking about the meaning of “promotion” (プロモーション), committee member Hiroe expressed, in regards to business, “There are many Western words and katakana lined up one after another, such as ‘catch phrase’ (キャッチフレーズ), ‘logo’ (ロゴ), ‘area branding’ (エリアブランディング), ‘portal site’ (ポータルサイト), and ‘Instagrammer’ (インスタグラマー). The elderly don’t understand such terms.” He continued, requesting, “Please use Japanese.”
The director explained, “When such words are included in the Japan Tourism Agency homepage, the Japanese term is attached to it; in addition to using this method from hereon, notes will be attached to the terms.”
However, committee member Horie responded, “People of our age did not learn about katakana at school, and in the same regards as English, I cannot read such words.” He repeated, “Stop using katakana, and use Japanese.”
Committee member Horie is the eldest of the 32 city councillors, and a member of the Isshin faction, the largest faction in the council. Addressing the media, he stated, “I understand it is difficult to replace the katakana words, but I don’t like it.”