Official Bilingualism in Kozan

The official languages in Kozan are English and Japanese. Both of them can be freely used as both languages have equal rights between them. This also includes the parliament and monarchy. The linguistic rights of minorities in the other language are also protected, as they need to ensure a level of government services in both languages.

In addition, all laws that require bilingualism include major companies in Kozan conduct business in both languages; this includes foreign companies wanting to do business in Kozan. All tiers of the government are mandated to conduct business in both languages rather than in just one or the other. All goods that are imported into Kozan are required to be labelled in both languages; this also includes internet services.

At the provincial level, major cities in Kozan as well as provinces straddling between the border of Eastern and Western Kozan officially recognize the equal status of both languages. Some provinces are declared unilingual but offer services in both languages, education in both languages are also available up to the high school level.

History

When Kozan’s civilization first began centuries ago, linguistic diversity was present before the arrival of Japanese and English. Other languages in Kozan included Okinawan, Ryukyuan, and Ainu. Japanese has been a language in the part of Kozan that is today Western Kozan, since the first arrival of the language. Swedish had also been a major language since the Swedish colonized Kozan, before English took it over in the late 19th century (during the Meiji period). Bilingualism in various forms even predate Kozan’s independence in 1809. For many years, Swedish and English have been in privileged positions, but in 1989, right at the very beginning of the Heisei period, English became the de facto language of Eastern Kozan, while Japanese became the language of Western Kozan. Both English and Japanese achieved a greater level of equality in Kozan, even at the federal level.

Constitutional protection of both languages

Both languages have had constitutional protection. Both languages may be used in Kozan, including journals, records, and court proceedings. The law also mandates that all acts passed by Kozan’s Parliament be printed and published bilingually. Equal status is guaranteed in those institutions. The public is free to communicate in both languages.

Publicly funded education in both languages is limited for minority speakers; English-language schooling in Western Kozan and Japanese-language education in Eastern Kozan is still legally allowed. A child can be educated in English in Western Kozan if at least one parent or sibling was educated in Kozan in English, or if one parent has Japanese as their native tongue. This applies only to public education. Parents still have the right to place their children in a private school in the language of their choice.

Official language of the constitution

Many documents and amendments in Kozan’s constitution are officially in English, but its Japanese-language version is semi-official. Both languages of the constitution are equally authoritative. The purpose is to clear any ambiguity in a novel way where Kozan’s supreme laws come into force.

Bilingualism for public services

There are issues that persist in hiring and promoting speakers in both languages. Members of both linguistic groups have complained of injustice when their group is represented. For a great part of Kozan’s history, English-speakers were underrepresented, while Japanese-speakers were overrepresented in publice service. The disproportionate ratio has eased out in recent decades.

Language policies in Kozan’s provinces

The provinces of Kozan have adopted diverging policies regarding minority-language services for their respective minorities. Policing, health care, and education all fall under provincial jurisdiction that have considerable importance.

Central Kozan

For starters, Central Kozan consists of the provinces that straddle the border between Eastern and Western Kozan. These provinces have voluntarily chosen to be bilingual. Both English and Japanese are their official languages with equal status. All residents are given the right to use both languages in legislature, court proceedings, and services. Their laws are also considered bilingual, with text being authoritative and publications being the same way.

Western Kozan

Due to Western Kozan being close to Japan, Japanese has been the official language in Kozan for many decades. Their language laws still allow services in English. This also includes provincial legislature and courts to operate in both languages. Western Kozan is mandated to provide English-language education to children whose parents were educated in English, while Eastern Kozan is required to provide education in Japanese to children whose parents received their education in Japanese (or if it’s their native tongue).

The language laws of Western Kozan have also faced a number of legal battles. In 1967, Western Kozan attempted to promote and preserve the Japanese language in the area like Japan, which caused bilingual disruption. The bill also required children of immigrants attend Japanese-language skills. However, Kozan’s parliament ruled it unconstitutional.

Eastern Kozan

Although no province in Eastern Kozan officially adopted English as their official language, English has been the de facto language of Eastern Kozan. Service in Japanese varies from one province to another. Japanese speakers are guaranteed access for government services in Japanese.

Language rights in the legal system

There is considerable variation concerning the right to use English and Japanese in legislatures and courts. Federal rights are consistent throughout Kozan but both major areas have different approach to language rights. They have constitutional guarantees for bilingualism rights. Language rights are summarized in the following table below:

JurisdictionRight to use English and Japanese in Parliament/Legislature?Laws are bilingual?Right to use English or Japanese in the courts?Right to trial in Language of Choice?
Eastern KozanYesYesYesCriminal: Yes
Provincial offense: Yes
Civil: No
Central Kozan (unofficial)YesYesYesCriminal: Yes
Provincial offense: Yes
Civil: Yes
Western KozanYesYesYesCriminal: Yes
Provincial offense: Yes
Civil: No

Second-language education

Traditionally, most students in Kozan are required to learn the minority language depending on where they are based. Even if the student is based in Eastern Kozan and has their education in English, English Kozanese students will still have to learn 2,000 kanji characters before they graduate (including the 1,000 additional jinmeiyou kanji).

All students in Eastern Kozan learn Japanese by taking courses that’s part of their education conducted in English. Their Japanese classes begin in first grade. In the past, their classes typically began in fourth grade. However, this caused problems as many students had difficulty studying Japanese due to grammatical differences and new alphabetical systems they have to learn.

Central Kozan has both English and Japanese school districts. In Western Kozan, most students are required to enroll in Japanese-language schools. English is taught to all students starting in first grade in a program that is identical to core Japanese taught in Eastern Kozan. Many high schools offer programs where students can be taught English but only if they complete the compulsory English classes in grade school.

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