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How young people view the future

by Osamu and Nobuko Mizutani

Sample newspaper article

HOW YOUNG PEOPLE VIEW THE FUTURE

今の生活に満足、でも日本の未来は経済的に不安…。若者の多くがそんな意識を持っていることが厚生労働省の調査で分かった。3月に15~39歳を対象に意識調査を行い、 3千人余りから回答を得た。今の生活に「満足」と答えたのは全体の約63%。満足の最大の理由は「家族、恋人、友人などがいる」「趣味がある」など、精神的な充実が約83%を占め、「経済的に豊か」(約 6%)を大きく上回った。「日本の未来は明るいか」との問いには、「そう思う」の約19%に対し、「思わない」は約45%。「思わない」理由で多かったのは「財政悪化で医療・年金の給付が下がり、税金や社会保険料の負担がふえる」だった。 (Sept. 11)

Words and phrases

生活 (seikatsu) life; 満足 (manzoku) satisfied; 未来 (mirai) future; 経済的 (keizaiteki) economic; 不安 (fuan) unease; 若者 (wakamono) youth; 多く (ō-) many; 意識 (ishiki) consciousness; 厚生労働省 (Kōsei-rōdō-shō) Ministry of Welware & Labor; 調査 (shōsa) survey; 歳 (sai) years old; 対象 (taishō) target; 行い (okona-) carry out; 余り (ama-) and more; 回答 (kaitō) answer; 得た (e-) obtained; 答えた (kota-) answered; 全体 (zentai) whole; 約 (yaku) about; 最大 (saidai) biggest; 理由 (riyū) reason; 家族 (kazoku) family; 恋人 (koibito) lover; 友人 (yūjin) friend; 趣味(shumi) hobby; 精神的 (seishinteki) psychic, spiritual; 充実 (jūjitsu) fulfillment; 占め (shi-) occupy; 豊か (yuta-) affluent; 上回った (uwamawa-) surpassed; 明るい (aka-) bright; 対し (tai-) while; 財政 (zaisei) finance; 悪化 (akka) deterioration; 医療 (iryō) medical care; 年金 (nenkin) pension; 給付 (kyūfu) payment; 税金 (zeikin) tax; 社会保険料 (shakai-hoken-ryō) social-security fees; 負担 (futan) burden; ふえる increase

Sample radio or television report

Ima-no seikatsu-ni manzoku, demo Nihon-no mirai-wa keizaiteki-ni fuan… Wakamono-no ōku-ga sonna ishiki-wo motte-iru koto-ga Kōseirōdōshō-no chōsa-de wakari-mashita. 3-gatsu-ni 15-sai-kara 39-sai-wo taishō-ni ishiki-chōsa-o okonai, 3-zen-nin-amari-kara kaitō-wo emashita. Ima-no seikatsu-ni “manzoku”-to kotaeta-nowa, zentai-no yaku 63-pāsento-de, manzoku-no saidai-no riyū-wa “kazoku, koibito, yūjin-nado-ga iru,” “shumi-ga aru,” nado, seishintekina juujitsu-ga yaku 83-pāsento-wo shime, “keizaiteki-ni yutaka”-no yaku 6-pāsento-wo ōkiku uwamawarimashita. “Nihon-no mirai-wa akarui-ka”-no toi-niwa,”sō omō”-no yaku 19-pāsento-ni-taishi, “omowanai”-wa yaku 45-pāsento. “Omowanai” riyū-de ōkatta-nowa “zaisei-akka-de iryō, nenkin-no kyūfu-ga sagari, zeikin-ya shakai-hokenryō-no futan-ga fueru”-deshita.

Translation

“Satisfied with present life, but feel financially uneasy about the future”— Such consciousness is held by many young Japanese, according to a survey by the Ministry of Welfare and Labor. The survey was carried out in March targeting people aged 15 to 39 years old, obtaining answers from more than 3,000 individuals. Sixty-three percent of the pollees answered that they are “satisfied” with present life. The biggest reason is emotional fulfillment, such as having family, lovers or friends, or enjoying hobbies; this occupies 83 percent, far surpassing “being economically well off,” about 6 percent. As to the question “Is Japan’s future bright?” about 19 percent said yes and 45 percent said no. Many people said their reason for “no” is that Japan’s worsening financial situation reduces health insurance and pension benefits, while increasing the burden of taxes and social-security fees.

A conversation between acquaintances

A: Wakai hito-wa mirai-wa amari akaruku nai-to omotte-iru-yō-desu-ne (Young people seem to think that their future is not very bright).

B: Murimo arimasen-ne (They can’t be blamed for thinking that).

Conversation between a husband and wife

H: Kazoku-ya tomodachi-wo taisetsu-ni shite-ru-yō-dane (They seem to value their families and friends).

W: Ii koto-da-to omō-wa (I think that’s a good thing). (No. 1182)