Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

Prof. ST Hsieh

Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum


[email protected]

February 9, 2022

Japanese News Media giant NHK has a global reach with multilingual sites. But the English version and the Chinese (simplified) version often show interesting differences. We do not know the background of these differences; it could be cultural, and it also could be political.

Example One: Japan LNG to Europe


Several vessels carrying liquefied natural gas from Japan are expected to arrive in Europe next month. This comes as Europe could face a natural gas shortage amid the tensions over Ukraine.

Japan’s Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hagiuda Koichi met separately with EU Ambassador to Japan Patricia Flor and US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday. Hagiuda told the diplomats that Japan will provide Europe with part of its LNG at the request of the United States.

Russia may cut gas supplies to Europe if tensions with the West rise further over Ukraine.

Japan’s government will ask Japanese companies to sell LNG whose buyers can be changed to firms in Europe.

The tankers’ voyage from Japan will take two weeks to a month.

The Japanese government will carefully consider the amount diverted to Europe, while an adequate stockpile will be kept in Japan.

The following Chinese version seems to be much abbreviated.

据悉,在乌克兰与俄罗斯双边关系持续紧张的情况下,为了帮助欧洲降低天然气供应风险,日本政府接受美国拜登政府的提议,基本决定在保障国内供应的基础上向欧洲提供液化天然气援助。日本政府接受美国政府提议做出这样的决定十分罕见。 (This sentence was not included in the English version. But it is significant, it stated that it is very rare for the Japanese government concurs to the US government request)


据悉,在此背景下,日本政府接受美国拜登政府的提议,基本决定向欧洲提供液化天然气援助,以帮助欧洲确保能源供应。日本政府接受美国政府提议做出这样的决定十分罕见。(A repeat. Why?)


Further, in the Chinese version there was no mention of any officials involved in the English version including Trade and Industry Minister Hagiuda Koichi met separately with EU Ambassador to Japan Patricia Flor and US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel

Example Two: US Trade Deficit Broke the Record in 2021.

US Commerce Department officials have reported a record trade deficit in goods. They said on Tuesday that the gap between the value of imports and exports soared in 2021 to 1.1 trillion dollars, up 18 percent.

Americans sheltering at home have spent less and saved more. Many have chosen to spend their money on furniture, computers, and other goods from abroad.

The trade deficit in goods with China alone increased to more than 350 billion dollars. Former President Donald Trump imposed taxes on goods from there, and elsewhere, in an effort to reduce the deficit. His successor, Joe Biden, has kept many of the tariffs in place.



在前任总统特朗普执政时期,美国通过最高加征25%的关税及扩大出口的协定,逐渐缩小了对华贸易逆差,但2021年,贸易逆差3年来再次出现扩大,由此可见,即使在美中对立加剧的情况下,中国产品仍然支撑着美国的国民生活。(This statement was not included in the English version. It said that: It is clear, even when the US and China are facing increased confrontations, Chinese products still supported US populations’ lifestyle)

Example Three: We could not find the Chinese version for the following report in English.

The toughest supply-demand balance in Ukraine’s ambassador to Japan calls for diplomatic solution

Ukraine’s ambassador to Japan says his country does not want any military conflicts and continues with diplomatic efforts to ease tension over the nation.

Sergiy Korsunsky made the remark at a news conference in Tokyo on Wednesday, as Russia has amassed troops along its Ukrainian border.

He said tens of thousands of people in Ukraine are ready to fight on the street level with Russian forces if needed.

But he said, “We will not begin military action from our side.”

Korsunsky said, “We don’t want any military conflicts.”

He said, “We completely stick to diplomatic efforts.” He added that the only thing Ukrainians want is “energetic and active diplomacy from all sides” to resolve the issue.

Both houses of Japan’s Diet have adopted a resolution calling for improvement of the situation, saying that changes to the status quo through force by any country must not be tolerated.

Lawmakers called for diplomatic efforts by the governments of Japan and other countries.

Korsunsky said Ukraine is very grateful and highly appreciates the resolution.

He said it is a “very important message not just to Ukraine, but around the globe.”

The ambassador called for a united response by the Group of Seven countries, including possible sanctions against Russia.

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