This article provides a comparative evaluation of Chinese character reform in the People's Republic of China and Japan, with a particular focus on the latest changes announced in 2009 to the existing script policies in the two countries. The first Chinese script reform took place in 1956 and the first Japanese script reform in 1946, both for the purpose of simplifying the scripts to facilitate mass education. In the 1980s, prompted by nationalistic sentiments and economic security, both countries backtracked on their script reform policies and adopted a more conservative approach that put an end to any further simplification of the script. The conservative trend which continued into the new millennium is reflected in the two latest reforms. Both China and Japan have moved further away from phonetizing the script in their effort to address issues related to information and communication technology.
|Journal||Current Issues in Language Planning|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|