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每日跟讀#702: About Japan - Japan has so many vacant homes it’s giving them away

日本的空屋多到要送人

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

每日跟讀#702: About Japan - Japan has so many vacant homes it’s giving them away

Four years ago, Naoko and Takayuki Ida were given a house in the small town of Okutama, in Tokyo prefecture. For free.

4年前,井田直子與孝之得到一棟位於東京都小鎮奧多摩的房子。不用錢。

A free house may sound like a scam. But Japan faces an unusual property problem: it has more homes than people to live in them.

免費的房子聽起來像是騙局。但日本正面臨一項不尋常的房地產問題:房屋數量多於入住人數。

In 2013, there were 61 million houses and 52 million households, according to the Japan Policy Forum. And the situation is poised to get worse.

「日本政策論壇」指出,2013年時有6100萬間房子與5200萬戶家庭。而且,這種情況還會日益惡化。

Japan’s population is expected to decline from 127 million to about 88 million by 2065, according to the National Institute of Population and Social Security, meaning even fewer people will need houses. As young people leave rural areas for city jobs, Japan’s countryside has become haunted by deserted "ghost houses."

根據(日本)「國立社會保障、人口問題研究所」,預料日本人口到了2065年,會從1億2700萬減至約8800萬,意味需要房屋的人會更少。隨著年輕人為了在都市工作離開鄉間,日本鄉間已充斥遭棄置的「鬼屋」。

It’s predicted that by 2040, nearly 900 towns and villages across Japan will no longer exist - and Okutama is one of them. In that context, giving away property is a bid for survival.

預料到了2040年,全日本將近900座小鎮與村莊將不復存在—奧多摩便是其中之一。在此情況下,贈送房地產便成為一種求生之道。

Next Article:

Struggling farming school in Hokkaido revived by its lamb products/苦撐辦學的北海道農校靠羊肉產品起死回生

An agricultural high school in Japan’s northern prefecture of Hokkaido - its survival once at stake due to a shortage of students - has bounced back by earning fame through the delicious lamb produced by its students.

一度因招生不足以致生存岌岌可危的一所位於日本北方省份北海道的農業高中,已憑藉該校學生製作的可口羊肉製品打響名聲,進而逆勢反彈。

The Embetsu agricultural high school, the sole high school in the town of Embetsu in northern Hokkaido, has about 60 students and owns around 25 hectares of land used. It keeps around 20 to 40 Suffolk sheep, a breed from Britain, with students mainly handling the breeding of animals and processing of meat.

北海道北部遠別町唯一一所高中遠別農業高等學校,有約60名學生與擁有約25公頃的土地。該校養了20到40頭英國品種的薩福克羊,養育動物與肉品加工主要由學生們一手包辦。

At school events, it has sold meat processed into lamb slices, ground lamb and sausage. But it had been struggling due to the declining number of incoming students, leading authorities to consider whether they should close the school.

該校在舉辦校園活動時會販售加工為羊排、羊絞肉與羊香腸的肉製品。但該校過去曾招生不足而苦撐,當局甚至考慮是否要廢校。

The turning point came about four years ago, when the town began sending the school’s lamb products as one of the return gifts to people who donated money to the municipality under the country’s so-called hometown tax donation scheme.

轉捩點出現在約4年前,該校所在的遠別町根據日本的所謂「故鄉納稅」制度,開始把該校的羊肉製品當成送給捐款給遠別町的民眾的回禮之一。

Source article: https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1314285 ; https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1315959

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