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1

Japan’s workforce will shrink by almost 13m people in the next twenty years without urgent action to increase the number of working women and older workers, according to figures that lay bare the demographic challenge for business.

数据显示,如果不立即采取紧急措施增加女性和老年人就业人数,未来20年日本的劳动力将减少近1300万人。这些数据揭示了日本企业面临的人口挑战。

According to new projections by the country’s health ministry, the Japanese workforce will drop from 65.3m in 2017 to 52.5m in 2040, a fall of 22 per cent. The ministry has not produced such long-range forecasts before.

根据日本厚生劳动省的一项新预测,到2040年日本劳动力将从2017年的6530万人降至5250万人,降幅达到22%。此前日本厚劳省从未发布过如此长期的预测。

The figures highlight the huge expansion in productivity — or large-scale immigration — Japan will need if it is to sustain its output. Employment in industries such as agriculture and construction is expected to halve.

这些数据突显出,日本要想维持产出,就需要大幅提高生产率,或大规模接纳移民。预计农业和建筑业等行业的就业人数将减少一半。

① halve [hɑːv] v. (使)减半;把…对半分

例句:Halve the pineapple and scoop out the inside. 

将菠萝对半切开,挖出里面的果肉。

“Looking at the future population structure, a long-term decline in the workforce is unavoidable,” said the health ministry’s commission on workforce research, which is made up of external experts. “Given that, for our country to achieve a real economic growth rate of 2 per cent the participation of women and older people in the workforce is essential.”

由外部专家组成的日本厚劳省劳动力研究委员会表示:“从未来人口结构来看,劳动力的长期减少是不可避免的。 “因此,我国想要实现2%的实际经济增长率,女性和老年人的劳动参与至关重要。”

Prime minister Shinzo Abe has made a push for more women to enter the workforce under his so-called womenomics policy. He has vowed to make social security reform, partly aimed at making it easier for older people to work, a priority for his remaining years in office.

日本首相安倍晋三(Shinzo Abe)通过其“女性经济学”(womenomics)政策,推动更多女性进入职场。他发誓要进行社会保障改革,目的之一是更方便老年人就业,这是他剩余任期内的一个工作重点。

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Decades of low birth rates have left Japan with one of the world’s oldest and fastest ageing populations. The overall population is expected to fall from 126.7m in 2017 to around 110m by 2040.

持续数十年的低生育率使日本成为世界上人口老龄化最严重、老龄化速度最快的国家之一。预计日本总人口将从2017年的1.267亿降至2040年的1.1亿左右。

Under a more optimistic “economic growth and participation” scenario, the health ministry projected the workforce decline could be held to 5.1m people, or less than 10 per cent.

根据更乐观的“经济增长和劳动参与”预测,日本厚劳省预计,日本的劳动力减少或许能控制在510万人左右,降幅不到10%。

② scenario [səˈnɑːrioʊ] n. 方案;前景;(可能发生的)情况;脚本

例句:From a macroeconomic perspective, investors seem to be betting on the worst case scenario.

从宏观经济学的视角看,投资者似乎正在就可能出现的最坏情况下赌注。

However, achieving that target would require Japan to reach Scandinavian levels of female participation in the labour force, as well as increasing the number of workers aged 60-plus by almost 5m.

然而,要实现这一目标,日本需要达到北欧女性的劳动参与率,并将60岁以上的就业人口增加近500万。

Dire workforce projections will add to business pressure for higher levels of immigration in order to tackle Japan’s increasingly severe labour shortages. The latest projections do not take account of new immigration rules, coming into effect on April 1, which will make it easier for guest workers to enter the country.

不乐观的劳动力预测将促使企业以更大力度呼吁接纳更多的移民,以解决日本日益严重的劳动力短缺问题。最新的这些预测未考虑将于今年4月1日生效的新移民法规,该法规将使外籍劳工更容易进入日本。

③ dire [ˈdaɪə(r)] adj. 极其严重的;危急的;极糟的;极差的

例句:A government split would have dire consequences for domestic peace. 

政府的分裂将会给国内和平带来严重后果。

The population of foreign workers has soared in recent years — up 18 per cent in 2017 alone to 1.28m — but most are students or so-called technical interns. The new rules create work visas in industries where there are labour shortages, although there are tough Japanese language requirements.

近年来,日本的外籍劳工人数激增,仅在2017年就增长了18%,达到了128万人,但其中大部分是学生或所谓的研修生。新法规为一些存在劳动力短缺问题的行业提供了发放工作签证的机会,尽管该签证对外籍劳工的日语水平要求很严格。

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Certain sectors will bear the brunt of workforce decline, with employment in agriculture expected to fall from 2.2m in 2017 to just 1m in 2040. Recent free trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which lower Japan’s tariffs on food, are expected to accelerate the decline of small-scale farming.

某些行业将首当其冲地受到劳动力减少的影响,预计日本农业就业人数将从2017年的220万下降到2040年的仅100万。近期签订的一些自由贸易协定,如降低日本食品关税的《跨太平洋伙伴关系协定》(TPP),预计将加快小规模农业的衰落。

④ tariff [ˈtærɪf] n. 关税;收费表;量刑标准 v. 征收关税;定税率;定收费标准

例句:Reducing tariffs was an important means of injecting competition into the market.

降低关税是将竞争引进市场的重要手段。

Manufacturing employment is expected to fall from 10.1m to 8m in the base-case scenario, highlighting the challenge to Japan’s industrial competitiveness. In the more optimistic scenario it will roughly hold steady.

按照基本预测,日本的制造业就业人数预计将从1010万降至800万,突显出日本工业竞争力面临的挑战。按照更乐观的预测,这一人数将大致保持稳定。

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