The rule of thumb is when katakana eigo is used for a new term, it is with the goal of letting elites to speak to other elites, excluding the common run of humanity. This is doubly so in this case where the transliterated English term is used to purportedly explain the kanji+kana term.This was in reference of the report's usage of the English word "mindset," transliterated into Japanese (maindosetto) and then used as the explanation of a perfectly good Japanese term (omoikomi).
A commenter replied:
As a native Japanese speaker I don't think Kurokawa is "talking to elites" by using katakana. (Where did you get this idea after all? It's sooooo outdated a notion, like in the 1980s.)It is true I am not a native speaker. As a consequence I do not get an automatic pass on the validity/dubiousness of my ideas. I have to present evidence.
Such as the Prime Minister's testimony in the Diet yesterday:
「さっきもちょっと議論があったマイナンバーであるとか、さまざまな関連するものもあります。あるいは国民会議を早急に設置させなければならない等々あります。一体改革の関連でも。そのほかに、この国会では一体改革の法案以外にも、特例公債等々さまざまな大きな法案も残っております。そうしたものをしっかりやり遂げるというのが私の責任だというふうに思っています」What caught my attention here, aside from the bald inference "You think I am going to call a snap election after the passage of fundamental reforms of the pension and social welfare system? Keep dreaming...." was the mai namba.
"There are, as we had in our little debate earlier regarding the mai namba, many different related points. Or, that we have to quickly set up of the People's Consultative Body and such things -- these too exist. Yes, the fundamental reforms of the pension and social welfare systems, but aside from those, bills other than the fundamental reforms, various other big bills are left, such as the special bond issuance bill. For this and bills like it, I believe it my responsibility to see them through."
Now I am a native speaker of English, so I know that mai namba is a transliteration of "my number." Since I am not always on top of the latest euphemism, I confess I had a moment's confusion. Then I thought, "Oh wait, if I wanted to keep folks from getting riled up about their being assigned a tax identification number (zeikin kanren mibun shomei bango) and were not confident enough even to semi-cloak it in a social welfare gauze (shakai hosho -- zei bango*), would refer to it with friendly, personal-sounding and foreign-language moniker. 'It's My Number. Mine. Just for me! Yippee!'"
So, perhaps mine is not a sooooo oudated notion after all...
As for what the assignment of a mai namba will do to improve the government's ability to claw taxes from out of the populace, contact Richard Katz.
* The current technical term for the number.