You’re right about the structure of Japanese, by the way, although kanji are by no means a fundamental part of the system; they can be omitted enitrely and the writer can still be understood. Hell, even kana can be ditched in favor of romaji (romanized Japanese), as is often done by Japanese travellers stuck in net cafes with no Japanese IME, and although it takes a little more work to understand, it’s doable entirely. And the system isn’t quite as inefficient as simple numbers like that may make it sound. The apparently double-up on kana is a non-issue, because they’re used for different purposes; it would be like complaining of inefficiency in English because of having uppercase AND lowercase letters. The kanji thing, well, it’s not as bad as Chinese because they’re used less and IIRC you need to know fewer of them to be functionally literate.
And yes, I think I may have been slightly misreading your posts before. My bad.
As for my stance, I really have no firm opinion one way or the other on the specific proposition here, but I do think that the idea of a reform of Chinese is worthy of discussion in and of itself. Especially since I have somewhat of a professional interest in whatever direction the language takes in future.
I haven’t really got the energy to go through your whole post above right now, so I’ll just address a couple of points that stand out:
When I say people are possibly “unduly attached” to language, I mean to the precise form in which it’s written. Some people take great offense to even the slightest suggestion of change in the language, and it is these people I’m talking about, along with those who write off change as an unnecessary hassle. Those who see language and orthographies as prescribed rather then descriptive. I think there’s a lot more of that attitude in Chinese-speaking communities, where the issue of the writing system has been used as part of a kind of cultural and political identity, and has become much more intrinsically tied into what it means to be Chinese. Most English-speaking nations haven’t had the same problem - and that’s what it is, a problem. It stymies development. There are a lot of Chinese-speakers who would balk at any suggestion of orthographic reform simply because it would be interpreted as a slight against the system as it stands, and by extension an attack on Chinese culture. And for this reason I think if any real reform is to happen, it may well have to be jumpstarted by a foreign perspective, although I would say not spearheaded by a foreign contingent. The idea itself would most likely be floated from outside the community, from someone who doesn’t have the same attachment. English differs in that most English-speaking nations aren’t as deeply tied to the idea of their orthographic system. Those that eventually lead any such reform movement would have to be native speakers who had, for want of a less insulting way of putting it, seen the light. Converts, of a sort.
I guess what I mean is there’s two kinds of attachment - there’s the normal, natural one that follows from your language being part of your culture and who you are, but there’s also what I meant by undue attachment, where that is taken to an extreme, coming with an unwillingness to even see problems or faults, and to take any suggestion of such as a personal affront.
Secondly, the “why is there no reform of English.” Partly I think it’s laziness. Sort of an “Eh, whatever. It may suck now but it works and changing it would be too much effort,” attitude. But there have been such moves in the past, and I there could be in future, although I think any future reform of English will be less an organized, forced, and immediate shift than a rapidly growing grassroots change, sort of an accelerated evolution. As much as I personally may hate it, I do think that the growth of AOLese and TXTspk with the younger generation could bring about some big shifts in the English language as she is written. The same will happen thanks to that same generation having grown up with the Internet and the mishmash of Englishes that they’ll come across through that. I think, although this is clearly not what the OP has in mind, a similar thing can, could, and should happen with Chinese; where the original ideas come from, be they native speaker or non-native speaker, is irrelevant. Merely raising the concept can start something, and if more people start to think about it, it could change how they write, which could snowball, especially if the ideas flow naturally the way the basic concepts of TXTspk did, concepts which are to my mind similar to what the OP is suggesting. Similar, but definitely not the same.
Also, I think to a point part of a reform of Chinese has already happened but awaits formalization. “Simplified” characters - not the mainland ones, but the ones those were based in part on - are a part of virtually every Taiwanese’s written vocab; certain shortcuts and “abbreviations” that speed up the writing process. They exist and are used commonly, but are not “official” partially for political reasons, and partially for the attachment reasons stated above.