Languages of Security in the Asia-Pacific

College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University

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Japanese – Chitsujo

May 27th, 2011 · No Comments · Japanese, Order

秩序 (ちつじょ)

chitsujo

Relates to order

The term consists of two characters:

chitsu – regularity; order

jo – beginning; order; precedence; occasion; chance

 

This is a very important concept and there is strong support among Japanese for government action that contributes to the preservation of order. In English, ‘order’ has a policing connotation but in Japan, chitsujo is far more closely related to ideas about social structure and stability. Order is a constant preoccupation in Japan and a specific legalism, ‘good morals and order’, demonstrates how Japanese perceive a society that is in good order. Any stability appears to be viewed positively and there is little calculation of whether the current order is good or bad with respect to moral qualities. There is no appetite for disorder or the resulting human and civil strife. The connection between order and stability is so strong that it can imply a high degree of anxiety regarding change – even change that outsiders might perceive to bring positive benefits.

An associated idea is that of preservation, which is conveyed by two terms. Firstly, ‘保存hozon’, which is used when discussing how to preserve nuclear material in a safe way, and secondly, ‘保持 hoji’, which is used when discussing protecting nuclear technology. ‘保存hozon’ means to preserve in order to remain in the same condition or situation. It cannot be used to imply the protection or the preservation of people, rather, it is used in reference, such as, to the environment or to describe archival projects of various sorts all of which lead to a safe and secure order.  However, ‘保持 hoji’ implies to maintain and have something, for instance, ‘核技術の保持 kakugijutsu no hoji ’ literally means ‘the retention of nuclear technology’ however it includes the possibility of improvement or degradation. The emphasis is on ‘having’ rather than on ‘preserving’.


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