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Japan, Short on Babies, Reaches a Worrisome Milestone

日本少子化來到令人憂心的里程碑

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

Since Japan began counting its newborns more than a century ago, more than a million infants have been added to its population each year.

打從日本從一個多世紀以前開始計算新生兒人數起,其人口每年增加100多萬名嬰兒。

No longer, in the latest discomforting milestone for a country facing a steep population decline. Last year, the number of births in Japan dropped below one million for the first time, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said on Friday.

然而,隨著面臨人口驟降的日本來到令人不安的最新里程碑,此情此景不再。日本厚生勞動省週五表示,日本去年新生兒出生人數首度低於100萬。

The shrinking of the country’s population - deaths have outpaced births for several years - is already affecting the economy in areas including the job and housing markets, consumer spending and long-term investment plans at businesses.

日本人口縮減—死亡率多年來超越出生率—已對包括就業、房市、消費支出與企業長期投資計畫等經濟領域造成影響。

After Japan’s population hit a peak of 128 million at the start of the current decade, it shrank by close to a million in the five years through 2015, according to census data. Demographers expect it to plunge by a third by 2060, to as few as 80 million people - a net loss of a million a year, on average.

人口普查數據顯示,在日本人口於最近10年之初達到1億2800萬的最高峰後,至2015年底的5年來已減少近100萬人。人口統計專家預計,日本人口在2060年前將驟減3分之1,也就是剩下8000萬人,平均每年淨減少100萬人。

Source article: http://iservice.ltn.com.tw/Service/english/english.php?engno=1118669&day=2017-07-14

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