Typhoon warning from NHK 'to all foreigners' causes controversy online

Japan is currently lying in wait for the arrival of Typhoon Hagibis, which is threatening to be the strongest typhoon of the season. Currently classed as a violent typhoon — the highest classification on the typhoon scale — forecasters are hoping that the storm may weaken slightly as it approaches the mainland, but nobody is taking any chances with its potential to do extensive damage, especially in light of the problems caused by last month’s strong typhoon.
With safety at the forefront of everybody’s minds, news and weather agencies have been sending out updates and alerts to the public on Twitter, and on Wednesday the national broadcaster, NHK, sent out an alert addressed to a specific subset of the public: foreigners.
The tweet (above) reads: “To all foreigners. Typhoon number 19 looks set to approach West to North Japan on 12-13 October. Typhoon number 19 is large and very strong. Please be careful.”
While there’s nothing wrong with the message, which has been sent out in the interests of protecting foreigners in Japan, some people are taking issue with the way the message has been written. Instead of using regular Japanese, which incorporates complex kanji characters, the message has been simplified to be written entirely in hiragana, the fundamental syllabary first learnt at the beginner stage of studying the language.
In its everyday usage, Japanese is generally never written out solely in hiragana, and some took offense to what they felt was a dumbing-down of the language for foreigners. Others mentioned that an all-hiragana message is much more confusing to read and comprehend than kanji, especially as it’s never written out this way.
Typhoon warning from NHK 'to all foreigners' causes controversy online
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