Sunday, September 16, 2007

Kanji are crap

Readers may not have heard about the latest Japanese pension scandal, which helped to bring down the PM. Roughly 50 million account details in the national pension have been lost, meaning a whole lot of people risk not getting what they are due.

Here's an amusing snippet from a recent newspaper article:

The Social Insurance Agency failed to enter names for more than 10 percent of the 50 million public pension accounts whose rightful owners are now unknown apparently because the kanji characters created too much work.


The agency said employees had failed to enter the names likely because figuring out the proper kanji for account holders' names was too enormous a task.

So 5 million people have lost their pensions because the officials cannot read and write kanji properly (names are particularly difficult, not that this excuses simply abandoning the accounts).

I'm sure they would agree it's a small price to pay for such a "beautiful" language.

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