UK current affairs (in Japanese!)

Hi all!

This post aims to equip you with some vocabulary and phrases to help you discuss the EU referendum in Japanese.

You can jump to your desired section, or scroll at your leisure 🙂

Please feel free to leave any comments, questions, or suggestions!

    1. Current affairs… Why?!
    2. Vocabulary
    3. Grammar

1. Current affairs… Why?!

Current affairs can be discussed in any language using simple grammar – the difficulty is the context specific vocabulary. They’re rarely words that come up in daily conversations!

At Nihongo Scotland last Friday (6th May), some of our fabulous volunteer teachers were kind enough to humour me quizzing them on the Japanese perspective on the EU referendum. It turns out there are a lot of blanks in my referendum-specific lexicon!

I also found that whilst living in Japan, my Japanese friends were often curious as to my opinions on current events in my native U.K. All too often, I was literally lost for words.

Has anyone else ever wanted to contribute to a discussion on UK current affairs, but not had the vocabulary to do it? No fear! In today’s post, we will be referencing Japanese articles on the EU referendum, to bring you some useful vocabulary from both sides of the debate.

2. Vocabulary

The building blocks of discussion. Below is list of EU-referendum related vocabulary (in no way comprehensive, but hopefully helpful). Following the list are example sentences to show how the vocabulary could be used.

English Hiragana Kanji Romanji
EU おうしゅうれんごう 欧州連合 Oushuurengou
exit りだつ 離脱 ridatsu
immigration within the EU EUないの移民 EU内の移民 EU nai no imin
negative influence あくえいきょう 悪影響 akueikyou
official campaign せいしきなうんどう 正式な運動 seishikina undou
PM Cameron きゃめろんしゅしょ キャメロン首相 kyameron shusho
referendum こくみんとうひょう 国民投票 kokumintouhyou
remain ざんりゅう 残留 zanryuu
the financial sector きんゆうかい 金融界 kinyuukai
the industrial sector さんぎょうかい 産業界 sangyoukai
treaty negotiations じょうけんこうりゅう 条件交渉 jyoukenkouryuu
UK government えいこくせいふ 英国政府 eikokuseifu

Please note: these example sentences were taken from Japanese-language articles across the web, and are not intended to infer a political preference on the part of Nihongo Scotland. We’re solely interested in the vocab and how to phrase it!

If the UK voted out, how long until they could actually leave the EU?
Regarding immigration, surely this couldn’t be stopped completely even if the UK left the EU?
There is a chance that the property market would be badly affected as the number of high-paid jobs in the City would decline
Official campaigning for Brexit and Bremain began in the UK today, as the referendum on whether the UK should leave the EU approaches
Cameron PM negotiated treaty changes in order to keep the UK in the EU
The referendum will be held/take place on June 23rd
The majority of businesses in the industrial and financial sectors are in favour of Bremain
What will the effect be?
How will the UK’s international standing be affected?


3. Grammar

When researching this post, 3 main grammar constructions appeared time and time again. They were:

Referendum example from Asahi News:

  • NIESRによると、離脱が決まれば、英国経済は2017年に残留を決めた場合に比べ1%縮小し、18年までに2.3%縮小すると見込む。
    • According to NIESR, the UK economy in 2017 would contract 1% if the UK voted out compared to if they chose to remain, and would contract to 2.3% by 2018.


  • によると is used when you are citing the source of your data. 
    • The formation is simple: Noun + によると

Everyday examples from  (full list of examples can be found here):

  • 今日の新聞によると、また台風がやってくるそうだ。
    • Today’s paper says that another typhoon is on its way.
  • ある調査によると、今日では5人中3人が外交問題には無関心のようだ。
    • According to a survey, three in five people today are indifferent to foreign affairs.
  • 今日の天気予報によると明日は晴れらしい。
    • Today’s weather forecast says that it is likely to be fine tomorrow


  • ~ば・~れば is a conditional that expresses a regular “if” condition without any assumptions or embedded meanings
    • Formation (sourced from :
      • For verbs: Change the last /u/ vowel sound to the equivalent /e/ vowel sound and attach 「ば」

        1. 食べ → 食べ食べ
        2.  → 
      • For i-adjectives or negatives ending in 「ない」: Drop the last 「い」 and attach 「ければ」.

        1. おかし → おかしければ
        2.  → ければ
      • For nouns and na-adjectives: Attach 「であれば」

        1. 学生 → 学生であれば
        2. 暇 → 暇あれば

Everyday examples from  (full list of examples can be found here):

  • 友達えれば買い物行きます
    • If I can meet with my friend, we will go shopping.
  • 食べなければ病気なるよ。
    • If you don’t eat, you will become sick.



  • 場合 means if; in the case of; in the event that
    • Formation (sourced from :
      • For verbs:  Verb (dictionary form) + 場合
        • Example: お金がない場合 (if you don’t have money)
      • For nouns:  Noun + の + 場合
        • Example: 非常の場合 (in case of emergency)

Everyday examples from  (full list of examples can be found here):

  • 病気になった場合は、病院へ行ってください。
    • If you get ill, please go to the hospital.
  • 学生の場合は、料金が半額です。
    • The fee is halved for students (in the case of students).



By | 2016-05-13T11:26:27+00:00 May 13th, 2016|Languages|Comments Off on UK current affairs (in Japanese!)

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