無料TOEIC レッスン Lesson 15 : Population shrank by record 183,000 in '09


ビデオを再生すると映像に関する会話が英語で流れます。
クイズに答えられるよう、頑張って聞き取って下さい!

日本の人口が減少し2050年には1億人を切って9500万人になると言われていますが、休日などはどこへ行っても混雑し、人口の減少などあまりピンとこないような気もします。少子化、高齢化と問題が深刻化しているようですが、一方で日本の人口密度は世界第4位で日本の面積に対して人が多過ぎるのです。人口の減少により交通渋滞の減少や通勤ラッシュの緩和、住宅面積が広くなる等見方を変えるとマイナス面だけではないようにも思えます。人口減少は止めることができなのであれば、違う角度から対策を考えなければならないのでしょう。日本に住む外国人にとっても、この問題は他人事ではないようですね。スミス英会話の講師たちはどのように捉えているのでしょうか。英語でお聞き下さい。

 

Lesson 15: Population shrank by record 183,000 in ’09 / VIDEO Script

Al: John, did you read the article in the Japan Times this week about the drop in Japan’s population?

John No, what’s did they say? I had heard that the population was dropping and would fall to only 95 million from the current 127 million by 2050.

Al: Yes, I’d heard the same thing. It seems that the population fell by 183,000 and this was the second consecutive year of decline. What was interesting to me was that there are almost 2 million more women than men in Japan.

John: No that is interesting! I wonder what is causing such a large difference? I doubt that the article went into detail about the reasons for that discrepancy.

Al: You’re right. They offered no explanation at all. But the other interesting thing was how much the number of people 65 and older grew while the productive segment ages 15 to 64 shrunk. Older people were plus 806,000 while those 15 to 64 dropped by 171,000. This trend seems to be picking up speed!

John: Yes, they have been saying that by 2050 when the population drops to 95 million, those aged 65 and older will be over half the population. Currently they account for only about 23%. So that along with falling population are going to be huge factors affecting Japan in the future.

Al: Without a doubt! But you and I, if we are still here, will be among the older group so we should be very interested in how Japan as a nation takes action in the future to reverse these trends.

John: It will be hard to reverse, but maybe they could slow it down by raising the retirement age and easing the immigration policy. Such a change could quickly reverse the trend but requires a lot of good planning.

Questions:

  1. What was the topic of the article that Al mentioned to John?
    1. The increasing population of Japan.
    2. The declining population of Japan.
    3. The increase in the number of foreigners living in Japan.
    4. The decline in the number of people age 65 and older in Japan.
  2. What did John say about Japan’s future population?
    1. He said that he’d heard that in would rise to 127 million by 2050.
    2. He said that he’d heard that 95 million people would be over 65.
    3. He said that he’d heard that women were outnumbering men by about 2 million.
    4. He mentioned that he’d heard that it would fall to 95 million by 2050.
  3. What did Al say was interesting?
    1. He said he thought it was interesting that the population was dropping.
    2. He said he was interested to see if the population of men was dropping because of immigration.
    3. He said it was interesting that women outnumbered men by almost 2 million.
    4. He said it was interesting that foreigners were leaving Japan since the Lehman collapse.
  4. How did John suggest the government might reverse the trend?
    1. He suggested that people age 65 and older could be asked to move overseas.
    2. He suggested that the government might consider raising the retirement age and easing immigration restrictions.
    3. He suggested that more foreign men be urged to emigrate to Japan to close the gap with women.
    4. He suggested that Japan should consider paying money to couples to have at least three children.

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