回顧星期天LBS - 日本相關時事趣聞 2022 All about Japan

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English,國際時事跟讀Daily Shadowing

Topic: JR East to raise fares by 10 yen to improve disabled accessibility

East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) will become the first railway operator to hike passenger fares and use the funds to improve accessibility for the disabled.


The plan is to tack on 10 yen (8 cents) to a ticket for JR East’s 16 major lines, including the Yamanote, Chuo and Keihin-Tohoku lines. The increase will go into effect from spring 2023.


The transport ministry in December 2021 created a new system of adding fares to a ticket to pay for the installation of platform safety doors and elevators at train stations.


Ministry officials said JR East is the first railway company to announce a specific plan.


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Topic: Tasty TV: Japanese professor creates flavorful screen 美味的電視:日本教授發明有滋味的螢幕

Japan’s Meiji University professor Homei Miyashita has developed a prototype lickable TV screen that can imitate food flavors, another step towards creating a multi-sensory viewing experience.


The device, called Taste the TV (TTTV), uses a carousel of 10 flavor canisters that spray in combination to create the taste of a particular food. The flavor sample then rolls on hygienic film over a flat TV screen for the viewer to try.


In the COVID-19 era, this kind of technology can enhance the way people connect and interact with the outside world, said Miyashita.


"The goal is to make it possible for people to have the experience of something like eating at a restaurant on the other side of the world, even while staying at home," he said. A commercial version would cost about 100,000 yen to make.

他說:「目標是讓人們即使待在家,也能擁有類似於在世界另一端上餐廳吃飯的體驗。」商業機製作成本約為10萬日圓(約2萬4300台幣)。Source article: https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1510384 ; https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1510139

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Topic: Shinzo Abe - Japan’s longest-serving prime minister

Shinzo Abe smashed records as Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, championing ambitious economic reform and forging key diplomatic relationships while weathering scandals.


Nearly two years after poor health forced him to leave office, the 67-year-old was shot during a campaign event in the western region of Nara on Friday last week.


Abe was a sprightly 52 when he first became prime minister in 2006, the youngest person to occupy the job in the postwar era.


He was seen as a symbol of change and youth, but also brought the pedigree of a third-generation politician groomed from birth by an elite, conservative family. Abe’s first term was turbulent, plagued by scandals and discord, and capped by an abrupt resignation.

他被視為變革與年輕的象徵,但他也是出身精英保守家庭的政治家族第三代。 安倍的第一個任期動盪不安,飽受醜聞與不和的紛擾,並以突然辭職告終。

- They called it ‘Abenomics’ -

He ran again, and Japan’s revolving prime ministerial door brought him back to office in 2012.

It ended a turbulent period in which prime ministers sometimes changed at a rate of one a year.

With Japan still staggering from the effects of the 2011 tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster at Fukushima — and a brief opposition government lashed for flip-flopping and incompetence — Abe offered a seemingly safe pair of hands.

他再次參選,日本的首相旋轉門讓他在二○一二年再度擔任首相。 這終結了日本首相更替頻繁(有時只做了一年便下台)的動盪時期。 當時日本仍因二○一一年海嘯及之後福島核災的影響而步履蹣跚,以及短暫執政、被批評為政策出爾反爾及無能的反對黨政府——在此情況下,安倍看來是穩健的選擇。

And he had a plan: Abenomics.

The scheme to revive Japan’s economy — the world’s third-biggest, but more than two decades into stagnation — involved vast government spending, massive monetary easing and cutting red tape. Abe also sought to boost the country’s flagging birth rate by making workplaces more friendly to parents, particularly mothers.



He pushed through controversial consumption tax hikes to help finance nurseries and plug gaps in Japan’s overstretched social security system. While there was some progress with reform, the economy’s bigger structural problems remained. Deflation proved stubborn and the economy was in recession even before the coronavirus struck in 2020. Abe’s star waned further during the pandemic, with his approach criticized as confused and slow, driving his approval ratings down to some of the lowest of his tenure.



雖然改革取得了一些進展,但更大的經濟結構性問題依然存在。 事實證明,通貨緊縮很頑強,甚至在二○二○年冠狀病毒來襲之前,經濟就已陷入衰退。 安倍的光環在疫情期間變得更加黯淡,他的做法被批評為混亂及緩慢,讓他的支持率降至任期內最低。

- Political storms -

- 政治風暴 -

On the international stage, Abe took a hard line on North Korea, but sought a peacemaker role between the US and Iran. He prioritized a close personal relationship with Donald Trump in a bid to protect Japan’s key alliance from the then-US president’s “America First” mantra, and tried to mend ties with Russia and China.

在國際舞台上,安倍對北韓採取強硬立場,但又想在美國和伊朗之間扮演和平推手的角色。 他優先考慮跟美國總統唐納‧川普建立密切的個人關係,以保護日本的關鍵同盟免受當時川普口號「美國優先」的影響,並試圖修補與俄國及中國的關係。

But the results were mixed: Trump remained eager to force Japan to pay more for US troops stationed in the country, a deal with Russia on disputed northern islands stayed elusive, and a plan to invite Xi Jinping for a state visit fell by the wayside. Abe also pursued a hard line with South Korea over unresolved wartime disputes and continued to float plans to revise Japan’s pacifist constitution.

但結果好壞參半:川普仍急於迫使日本為駐紮在日本的美軍支付更多費用,日本與俄國對北部島嶼主權之糾紛仍難以達成協議,邀請習近平進行國事訪問的計畫也被擱置。 日本與南韓間懸而未決的戰時爭端,安倍也採強硬立場,並繼續提出修改日本和平憲法的計畫。

Throughout his tenure, he weathered political storms including cronyism allegations that dented approval ratings but did little to affect his power, in part thanks to the weakness of the opposition.

Abe had been due to stay on until late 2021, giving him an opportunity to see out one final event in his historic tenure — the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games.But in a shock announcement, he stepped down in August 2020, with a recurrence of ulcerative colitis ending his second term, too.

在他整個任期內,他經受住了政治風暴,包括裙帶關係的指控,這些指控讓他的支持率降低,但對他的權力幾乎沒有影響,部分原因是反對派的軟弱。安倍原定留任至二○二一年底,讓他有機會在史上最長任期內看見最後一件大事——延期的二○二○年東京奧運。 然而,他令人震驚地宣布在二○二○年八月下台,潰瘍性結腸炎的復發也結束了他的第二個任期。Source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2022/07/12/2003781569

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Topic: Tokyo June heatwave worst since 1875 as power supply creaks under strain

Japan baked under scorching temperatures for a fourth successive day on Tuesday, as the capital’s heat broke nearly 150-year-old records for June and authorities warned power supply remained tight enough to raise the spectre of cuts.


Temperatures in Tokyo hit 35.1 C by 1 p.m local time on Tuesday. For a second day, authorities asked consumers in the Tokyo area to conserve electricity to avoid a looming power cut - but in moderation.


"Apparently there are some elderly people who have turned off their air conditioners because we are asking people to save energy, but please - it’s this hot - don’t hesitate about cooling off," trade and industry minister Koichi Hagiuda told a news conference.


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Topic: Penguins at a Japanese aquarium are being fed cheaper fish - and they aren’t happy 日本水族館的企鵝被餵食較便宜的魚—牠們不開心

An aquarium employee waves a mackerel near a penguin - but there’s no reaction. When she moves the fish closer to its beak, the penguin turns away haughtily. An otter sniffs the fish, then runs away.


Before, the Hakone-en Aquarium offered penguins and otters "aji," or Japanese horse mackerel, which the animals readily ate.


The price of aji has increased by 20% to 30% since last year, the aquarium said. So to cut costs, in May the aquarium switched to a cheaper alternative - "saba," or mackerel.


It has not been well received. The aquarium says penguins and otters have their preferred type of fish and the aquarium tries its best to accommodate their needs.

但是此舉並不很受到歡迎。水族館說,企鵝和水獺都有牠們偏好的魚種,館方設法盡量滿足他們的需要。Source article: https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1530996 ; https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1532193