02 Japanese Lesson Two

Japanese.  Lesson Two:    Learning Japanese in context, using newspapers articles.

DARCY CARVALHO, SÃO  PAULO, BRAZIL, 20/01/2014

THE JAPAN TIMES.  Editorial:   “JAPAN’S DEPOPULATION TIME BOMB “.  Online: Apr 17, 2013

Apr 17, 2013 The National Institute of Population and Social Security Research on March 27 announced a population estimate for Japan in 2040. As expected, what emerges out of this is a nation with an unprecedented rapidly aging and declining population. The implications of the estimate must be taken very seriously and preparations made to ameliorate the impact of this situation.

The estimate shows population trends in 2040 for each municipality. It is imperative that both the central and local governments design a sustainable social security system in time as well as to consider ways to secure a sufficient number of workers to prevent a decline in industrial capability. Local governments also need to work out measures aimed at maintaining and stabilizing people’s lives in local communities by foreseeing what will happen to their industries, social services, transportation and so on.

The estimate shows that Japans population in 2040 will stand at 107.276 million, a decline of about 20 million from 2010s 128.057 million. A January 2012 estimate by the same institute had shown that in 2060, Japans population will number 86.737 million, about 30 percent less from the 2010 level.

Japan has been experiencing a natural population decrease since 2007, with annual deaths topping births. In 2011, the total fertility rate — the average number of babies a woman gives birth to during her life — was 1.39. A total fertility rate of 2.07 is required to maintain population levels. Although the public sector has been taking steps to make it easier for women to have more children, it will be extremely difficult to improve the situation.

In 2010, there were no prefectures where the percentage of people aged 65 or older exceeded 30 percent, but in 2040 all prefectures will be like that. The most aged prefecture will be Akita, where 43.8 percent of the population will be age 65 or older while the youngest prefecture will be Okinawa (30.3 percent). In Hokkaido and 39 other prefectures, people aged 75 or older will account for more than 20 percent of the population.

In 25 of the nation’s 47 prefectures, the population in 2040 will be more than 20 percent lower than the 2010 level. Among those prefectures are Hokkaido, most Tohoku prefectures, six prefectures bordering the Sea of Japan, all prefectures in Shikoku and four prefectures in Kyushu. The population will fall by more than 30 percent in Akita and Aomori prefectures. The population index in 2040 will drop to 64.4 in Akita Prefecture, the biggest fall from the index of 100 in 2010, followed by Aomori (67.9) and Kochi (70.2) in that order. Okinawa will experience the smallest decline (98.3), followed by Tokyo’s 23 wards (93.5) and Shiga (92.8) in that order.

The institute has published population trends for every municipality with the exception of those in Fukushima Prefecture due to the impact of the nuclear disaster. In 2040, the populations in 1,603 municipalities or 95.2 percent of the total, will be less than in 2010. In about 70 percent of them, their population will see a drop of 20 percent or more from the 2010 level. In only 80 municipalities, or 4.8 percent, the population will increase. SOURCE:

The progress in the graying of the nation means that the need for social services for residents such as medical and nursing care services will increase. The population decrease means that the nation’s total tax revenues will decline. As a result, grants from the central government to local governments will diminish. Both the central and local governments must find ways to overcome the imbalance between revenues and outlays. It will become all the more important for both the public and private sectors to increase chances for women to fully utilize their abilities in the workforce.

The effects of a population decrease are already being felt. Cases in which road bridges have been closed to traffic because of a lack of funds for maintenance and a drop in the number of users are increasing. Forests exist whose owners are now unknown. The number of vacant houses are increasing. Some municipalities have passed by-laws under which they will demolish vacant houses that have become dangerously dilapidated.

In the countryside, traffic consists mainly of privately owned vehicles. As the population grays, however, more and more elderly people will be unable to drive, making it difficult for them to buy food and other essentials or to receive medical care. In local communities in mountainous areas in particular it is becoming extremely difficult to maintain a suitable level of social services for residents. It will become necessary for local governments to concentrate essential facilities such as medical institutions and administrative organizations in certain areas and take administrative steps to relocate elderly people who need such services so they can be close to them.

It will also become necessary for local governments to reactivate local industries such as agriculture, fisheries and tourism. Steps should be taken to attract young people to agriculture and fisheries and add value to agricultural and fishery products through processing appealing to consumers and effective marketing. While it will likely be necessary to encourage more businesses to engage in agriculture and fisheries, oversight will be necessary to prevent them from causing environmental damage, overly exploiting resources or having a negative impact on local communities.

Tourism should be used to attract people from urban areas to the countryside. Local governments must consider how to best utilize sceneries, historical sites, local food, traditional performing arts and so forth to promote tourism. They should also establish incentives that will encourage urban residents to buy second homes in their communities.

To overcome the difficulties caused by a graying and shrinking population, it will be vital to cultivate people who can come up with creative ideas on how to revitalize local communities and can exercise leadership in translating those ideas into action. It will also be helpful to set up cooperative relations between rural municipalities and urban areas. Local governments should not spare any efforts in these endeavors.

Keywords:   demographic changes, graying population

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2013/04/17/editorials/japans-depopulation-time-bomb/#.Ut0ZWIdTt1s

JAPAN’S DECREASING POPULATION   BY OSAMU AND NOBUKO MIZUTANI. OCT 13, 2013 

Sample newspaper article    JAPAN’S DECREASING POPULATION

総務省は28日、今年3月末時点の住民基本台帳に基づく日本人の総人口が126393679人だった、と発表した。前年から266004人減って4年連続の減少となり、減少幅は1968年の調査開始以降で最も大きくなった。生産年齢人口は減少傾向に歯止めがかからず、人口に占める割合も過去最少の62.47 %。03年は生産年齢人口3.56人で1人の高齢者を支える社会構造だったが、10年間で2.56人で1人を支える構造へ変わった。社会保障費負担や労働力確保をめぐる議論などに影響しそうだ。 (Aug. 29)

WORDS AND PHRASES

総務省 (Sōmushō) Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications; 今年 (kotoshi) this year; (-matsu) end; 時点 (jiten) as of; 住民基本台帳 (jūmin-kihon-daichō) basic register of residents; 基づく (moto-) based on; 総人口 (sōjinkō) total population; 1(-oku) 1 hundred million; 発表した (happyō-) made public; 前年 (zennen) previous year; 減って (he-) decrease; 連続 (renzoku) succession; 減少 (genshō) decrease; (haba) difference; 調査 (chōsa) survey; 開始 (kaishi) start; 以降 (ikō) since; 最も (motto-) most; 生産 (seisan) production; 年齢 (nenrei) age; 傾向 (keikō) tendency; 歯止めがかからず (hado-) unrestrained; 占める (shi-) occupy; 割合 (wariai) rate; 過去最少 (kako-saishō) smallest ever; 高齢者 (kōreisha) elderly person; 支える (sasa-) support; 社会構造 (shakai-kōzō) social structure; 10年間 (-nenkan) 10 years; 社会保障費 (-hoshōhi) social security expenses; 負担 (futan) pay; 労働力 (rōdōryoku) manpower; 確保 (kakuho) secure; めぐる concern; 議論 (giron) discussion; 影響 (eikyō) influence.   

SAMPLE RADIO OR TELEVISION REPORT

Sōmushō-wa 28-nichi, kotoshi 3-gatsumatsu-jiten-no jūmin-kihondaichō-ni moto-zuku Nihonjin-no sōjinkō-ga 1-oku-2639-man-3679-nin-datta-to happyō-shimashi-ta. Zennen-kara 26-man-6004-nin hette, 4-nen-renzoku-no genshō-to nari, genshō-haba-wa 1968-nen-no chōsa-kaishi-ikō-de mottomo ōkiku narimashita. Seisan-nenrei-jinkō-wa genshō-keikō-ni hadome-ga kakarazu, jinkō-ni shimeru wariai-mo kako-saishō-no 62-ten-47-pāsento-desu. 2003-nen-wa seisan-nenrei-jinkō 3-ten-56-nin-de hitori-no kōreisha-wo sasaeru shakai-kōzō-deshita-ga, 10-nenkan-de 2-ten-56-nin-de hitori-wo sasaeru kōzō-ni kawarimashita. Shakai-hoshōhi-no futan-ya rōdōryoku-no kakuho-wo meguru giron-nado-ni eikyō-suru-to miraremasu.

TRANSLATION

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications made public on the 28th that the population of Japan based on the basic register of residents as of the end of March this year was 126,393,679. This is a decrease of 266,004 from the previous year; the decrease has continued for four years. The most recent decrease is the greatest ever since 1968 when the survey started. The working-age population has continued to decrease without restraint, reaching the lowest level ever at just 62.47 percent of the whole population. In 2003, Japanese society had 3.56 working people to support 1 elderly person, but in the 10 years since then society has changed so that 2.56 workers have to support one senior citizen. Who’s going to pay for social security and how to secure manpower have become subjects of serious discussion.

A CONVERSATION BETWEEN ACQUAINTANCES

A:  Nihon-no jinkō-ga dondon hette-ru-sō-desu-ne. (I hear Japan’s population is rapidly decreasing.)

B:  Seisan-nenrei-no hito-no wariai-ga heru-noga daimondai-desu-ne. (The reduced share of working people is a serious problem.)

Conversation between a husband and wife

W:  Kodomo-ga hette toshiyori-bakari-nante, yūutsu-ne. (Fewer children and more elderly people — it makes me sad.)

H:  Demo heiwa-nanda-kara arigatai-yo. (But we should be grateful that we can live during a time of peace.) (No. 1180)

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2013/10/13/language/japans-decreasing-population/#.Ut0cEYdTt1s

TEXT AND VOCABULARY

ARTICLE:    JAPAN’S DECREASING POPULATION

総務省は28日、今年3月末時点の住民基本台帳に基づく日本人の総人口が126393679人だった、と発表した。前年から266004人減って4年連続の減少となり、減少幅は1968年の調査開始以降で最も大きくなった。生産年齢人口は減少傾向に歯止めがかからず、人口に占める割合も過去最少の62.47 %。03年は生産年齢人口3.56人で1人の高齢者を支える社会構造だったが、10年間で2.56人で1人を支える構造へ変わった。社会保障費負担や労働力確保をめぐる議論などに影響しそうだ。 (Aug. 29)

TRANSLATION

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications made public on the 28th that the population of Japan based on the basic register of residents as of the end of March this year was 126,393,679. This is a decrease of 266,004 from the previous year; the decrease has continued for four years. The most recent decrease is the greatest ever since 1968 when the survey started. The working-age population has continued to decrease without restraint, reaching the lowest level ever at just 62.47 percent of the whole population. In 2003, Japanese society had 3.56 working people to support 1 elderly person, but in the 10 years since then society has changed so that 2.56 workers have to support one senior citizen. Who’s going to pay for social security and how to secure manpower have become subjects of serious discussion.

VOCABULARY  OF THE ARTICLE  BY  JIM BREEN'S WWWJDIC

総務省は28日、今年3月末時点の住民基本台帳に基づく日本人の総人口

総務省 【そうむしょう】 (n) Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (formerly Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications); ED

【ひ; にち; か】 () (n-adv,n-t) (1) day; (2) sun; sunshine; (にち) (n) (1) (abbr) Sunday; (suf) (2) day (of the month); (suf,ctr) (3) counter for days; () (1) day of month; (ctr) (2) counter for days; SP

今年 【ことし(P); こんねん】 (n-adv,n-t) this year; (P); ED

月末 【げつまつ(P); つきずえ】 (n-adv,n-t) end of the month; (P); ED

時点 【じてん】 (n) point in time; occasion; (P); ED

住民基本台帳 【じゅうみんきほんだいちょう】 (n) basic resident register; ED

基づく : 基づく(P); 基付く; 基く(io) 【もとづく】 (v5k,vi) to be grounded on; to be based on; to be due to; to originate from; (P); ED

日本人 【にほんじん(P); にっぽんじん】 (n) Japanese person; Japanese people; (P); ED

総人口 【そうじんこう】 (n) total population; ED

126393679人だった、と発表した。

【おく】 (num) 10^8; 100,000,000; hundred million; (P); ED

【ばん; まん; よろず】 (ばん) (adv,pref) many; all; (まん) (adv,num) 10,000; ten thousand; myriads; all; everything; (よろず) ; (adv,num) 10,000; ten thousand; myriads; all; everything; SP

【じん; ; にん; ひと】 (じん) (n) man; person; people; () (suf) person; (にん) ; (n) man; person; human being; mankind; people; character; personality; true man; man of talent; adult; other people; messenger; visitor; (ひと) ; (n) man; person; human being; mankind; people; character; personality; true man; man of talent; adult; other people; messenger; visitor; SP

発表した from 発表 【はっぴょう】 (n,vs) announcement; publication; (P); ED

前年から266004人減って4年連続の減少となり、減少幅は1968年の

前年 【ぜんねん】 (n-adv,n-t) the preceding year; the previous year; last year; (P); ED

【ばん; まん; よろず】 (ばん) (adv,pref) many; all; (まん) (adv,num) 10,000; ten thousand; myriads; all; everything; (よろず) ; (adv,num) 10,000; ten thousand; myriads; all; everything; SP

【じん; ; にん; ひと】 (じん) (n) man; person; people; () (suf) person; (にん) ; (n) man; person; human being; mankind; people; character; personality; true man; man of talent; adult; other people; messenger; visitor; (ひと) ; (n) man; person; human being; mankind; people; character; personality; true man; man of talent; adult; other people; messenger; visitor; SP

【げん】 (suff) reduction; decrease; SP

【とし; ねん】 (n-adv,n) year; age; SP

連続 【れんぞく】 (n,vs) serial; consecutive; continuity; occurring in succession; continuing; (P); ED

減少 【げんしょう】 (n,vs,adj-no) (ant: 増加) decrease; reduction; decline; (P); ED

減少 【げんしょう】 (n,vs,adj-no) (ant: 増加) decrease; reduction; decline; (P); ED

: (P); 【はば】 (n) (1) width; breadth; (2) freedom (e.g. of thought); latitude; (3) gap; difference (e.g. in price); range (e.g. of voice); (P); : ; 【の】 ; (n,n-suf,ctr) (after a number in the hito-, futa-, mi- counting system) unit of measurement for cloth breadth (30-38 cm); 【ふく】 ; (n) (1) scroll; (suf,ctr) (2) (also ぶく, ぷく) counter for scrolls; ED

年の from : (P); 【とし】 (n-adv,n) (1) ( only) year; (n) (2) many years; (suf,n) (3) age; (n-adv,n) (4) past one's prime; old age; (P); : ; 【とせ】 ; (ctr) (arch) counter for years (following a number in the hito-futa-mi counting system); 【ねん】 ; (n) (1) year (e.g. AD); (ctr) (2) counter for years; ED

調査開始以降で最も大きくなった。

調査 【ちょうさ】 (n,vs) investigation; examination; inquiry; enquiry; survey; (P); ED

開始 【かいし】 (n,vs) start; commencement; beginning; initiation; (P); ED

以降 【いこう】 (n-adv,n-t) on and after; as from; hereafter; thereafter; since; (P); ED

最も 【もっとも】 (adv) most; extremely; (P); ED

大きく 【おおきく】 (adv) in a big way; on a grand scale; ED

生産年齢人口は減少傾向に歯止めがかからず、人口に占める割合も過去

生産年齢人口 【せいさんねんれいじんこう】 (n) working age population; ED

減少 【げんしょう】 (n,vs,adj-no) (ant: 増加) decrease; reduction; decline; (P); ED

傾向 【けいこう】 (n,vs) tendency; trend; inclination; (P); ED

歯止め 【はどめ】 (n,vs) (1) brake; skid; pawl; (2) restraint; curtailment; self-imposed limit; check; (P); ED

人口 【じんこう】 (n) (1) population; (2) common talk; (P); ED

占める 【しめる】 (v1,vt) (1) to occupy; to hold; (2) to account for; to make up; to take up; (P); ED

割合 : 割合(P); 割り合い(io) 【わりあい】 (adv,n) (1) rate; ratio; percentage; proportion; (2) comparatively; (3) contrary to expectations; (P); ED

過去 【かこ】 (n-adv,n) (1) the past; bygone days; the previous; (2) a past (i.e. a personal history one would prefer remained secret); one's past; (3) {ling} past (tense); preterit; preterite; (4) {Buddh} previous life; (P); ED

最少の62.47%。

最少の from 最少 【さいしょう】 (adj-no,n) (1) (ant: 最多) fewest; least; smallest (number); lowest; minimum; (2) (ant: 最長・2) youngest; (P); ED

03年は生産年齢人口3.56人で1人の高齢者を支える社会構造だったが

【とし; ねん】 (n-adv,n) year; age; SP

生産年齢人口 【せいさんねんれいじんこう】 (n) working age population; ED

【じん; ; にん; ひと】 (じん) (n) man; person; people; () (suf) person; (にん) ; (n) man; person; human being; mankind; people; character; personality; true man; man of talent; adult; other people; messenger; visitor; (ひと) ; (n) man; person; human being; mankind; people; character; personality; true man; man of talent; adult; other people; messenger; visitor; SP

【じん; ; にん; ひと】 (じん) (n) man; person; people; () (suf) person; (にん) ; (n) man; person; human being; mankind; people; character; personality; true man; man of talent; adult; other people; messenger; visitor; (ひと) ; (n) man; person; human being; mankind; people; character; personality; true man; man of talent; adult; other people; messenger; visitor; SP

高齢者 【こうれいしゃ】 (n) old person; old people; (P); ED

支える 【ささえる; つかえる】 (ささえる) (v1,vt) (1) to support; to prop; to sustain; to underlay; to hold up; (2) to hold at bay; (つかえる) (v1,vi) to be blocked; to choke; to be obstructed; to feel a pressure on one's chest; SP

社会構造 【しゃかいこうぞう】 (n) social structure; ED

10年間で2.56人で1人を支える構造へ変わった。

年間 【ねんかん】 (n-t) year (period of); (P); ED

【じん; ; にん; ひと】 (じん) (n) man; person; people; () (suf) person; (にん) ; (n) man; person; human being; mankind; people; character; personality; true man; man of talent; adult; other people; messenger; visitor; (ひと) ; (n) man; person; human being; mankind; people; character; personality; true man; man of talent; adult; other people; messenger; visitor; SP

【じん; ; にん; ひと】 (じん) (n) man; person; people; () (suf) person; (にん) ; (n) man; person; human being; mankind; people; character; personality; true man; man of talent; adult; other people; messenger; visitor; (ひと) ; (n) man; person; human being; mankind; people; character; personality; true man; man of talent; adult; other people; messenger; visitor; SP

支える 【ささえる; つかえる】 (ささえる) (v1,vt) (1) to support; to prop; to sustain; to underlay; to hold up; (2) to hold at bay; (つかえる) (v1,vi) to be blocked; to choke; to be obstructed; to feel a pressure on one's chest; SP

構造 【こうぞう】 (n) structure; construction; (P); ED

変わった 【かわった】 (adj-f) (See 変わる・かわる・3) another; different; various; particular; unusual; novel; peculiar; (P); ED

社会保障費負担や労働力確保をめぐる議論などに影響しそうだ。

社会保障費 【しゃかいほしょうひ】 (n) cost of social security; social welfare spending; ED

負担 【ふたん】 (n,vs) burden; charge; responsibility; (P); ED

労働力 【ろうどうりょく】 (n) labor; labour; manpower; working force; ED

確保 【かくほ】 (n,vs) guarantee; maintain; ensure; insure; secure; reservation; (P); ED

議論 【ぎろん】 (n,vs) argument; discussion; dispute; controversy; (P); ED

影響 【えいきょう】 (n) (1) influence; effect; (vs) (2) to influence; to affect; to have an influence on; to impact; to have an effect on; (P); ED

そうだ (int) (1) that is so; that is right; it looks to me; I am of the impression; (2) people say that (after plain verb, adj); it is said that; I hear that; KD

 COMMENT. Never before in History learning Japanese, or Chinese.  was so easy, thanks to the many resources made available by the internet. Speaking and reading should be learned together using short samples of actual Japanese, as these by OSAMU AND NOBUKO MIZUTANI, suggested by  the  newspaper editorial.


PROF. DR. DARCY CARVALHO. FEAUSP. SÃO PAULO. BRAZIL. 20/01/2014

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