I know there is a related question here, but I am not seeing an answer to "Why is there a difference?" Merely that an explanation of what is used in each country.
I am a speaker of American English, and I understand why the British refer to people from India as Asians. This is quite sensible given that the Indian subcontinent is located in Asia.
But, we in America use Asian only to refer to people from the Far East. (i.e. China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, etc.) We completely exclude all people from Asia Minor, the Indian Subcontinent, etc.
And, I'm given to understand that the British and many other countries use Orientals to refer to the folks we refer to as Asian. In America, this term is only applied to inanimate objects, and is considered rather offensive to be applied to a person (since the rise of the PC movement in the late 1980s, in any case.)
Historically, Istanbul was considered the Orient (therefore the Orient Express). So, why is this term applied to people of the Far East, instead of the Near East?
Can anyone point out the reason for the divergence in terminology? Or is this yet another case of two nations separated by a common language?