2015/4/25のトピック

1st Part
Happy maps: Daniele Quelcia
Source:

(I recommend using subtitles and transcripts.)
1: To find your way, do you use your phone? Before smart phones came up, how did you find your way?
2: How do you find a new shop or restaurant? Which way is the most convinient or best for you?
3: When we travel, we can use the packaging tour or travel by ourselves. Which one do you prefer? Why? Please share the good and bad points of them.
4: Daniele made new mapping app. Do you want to use it? Which one do you want to select (fastest, beautiful, quiet or happy)? How would your life change by using the app?
5: What is the important for you to get your life happier?

2nd Part
Magazines fixate on the roots of poverty
Source : http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/04/04/national/media-national/magazines-fixate-roots-poverty/#.VSo7OrCJjIU
1: Which do you think you belong to the upper, middle or lower class? Why?
2: Surveys of low-income earners suggest that a high percentage share certain types of behavior and attitudes. Are there something you have a interet in?
– Money matters
– Eating habits
– Miscellaneous traits
– Lifestyles and interests
– Personal appearance
– Social lives
3: Japanese families pay out the fourth highest percentage of household income for their children’s education among member nations. How can we educate our children without paying out so much money?
4: What is the problem of poverty in Japan? How can we solve the problem?
(If you have no idea, please use the topic below.
– single mother, living only on one’s social pension, the cycle of poverty that spans several generations)

The oft-seen expression ichioku sō-chūryū translates roughly as “the perception of ‘the 100 million,’ i.e., the entire nation, as belonging to the middle class.”

This perception was never meant to be all-inclusive — certainly Japan has individuals with extreme wealth and others who suffer from serious poverty. Nevertheless back in 1958 a public-opinion survey found that 86 percent of adult respondents replied that they considered themselves middle class. (Note, however, that middle-class responses were divided into upper, middle and lower segments.) Remarkably, this perception has remained fairly consistent for the past 55 years; in a similar survey conducted in June 2013, more than 90 percent of respondents described themselves as middle class.

So if that’s the case, and the bottom rung of income earners account for well under 10 percent, then what’s behind the headlines incorporating the word hinkon (poverty) that appeared on the covers of four nationally circulated magazines over the previous two months? Not to mention a proliferation of other articles that also touch on this topic?

Take Spa! magazine: The main story in its March 3 issue centered on people who are expected to earn low-paying salaries for the rest of their lives. The magazine cites a recent report by the National Tax Agency that found the average annual income by wage earners was ¥5.11 million.

Most interesting, perhaps, was Spa’s attempt to juxtapose salarymen’s economic status with certain patterns of behavior, which seems to blame such individuals at least partially for their own plight. Surveys of these low-income earners suggest that a high percentage share certain types of behavior and attitudes.

From Spa’s survey, which appeared to be directed mainly at men, here are the top three responses in six separate categories (the percentages with a “yes” reply are shown in parentheses).

Money matters: do not engage in investments such as securities (75); do not have a grasp of special provisions of insurance (64); and use a credit card even for small purchases (63). Eating habits: they love ramen (78); they always request larger portions in restaurants that don’t charge extra; they tend to bolt down their rice (76); and on some occasions their evening meal consists solely of instant noodles (74).

Miscellaneous traits: they do not subscribe to a newspaper (91); they have no vision for themselves five years down the road (87); and they tend to be followers more than leaders (86).

Lifestyles and interests: they do not engage in exercise (84); have not traveled to foreign countries other than nearby Asian destinations (77); and they have allowed piles of plastic and paper bags to accumulate at home (72).

Personal appearance: they seldom shine their shoes (83); they chose their wardrobe based on the price or fit rather than design (81); and they don’t wear a wristwatch (79).

Social lives: they treat women to meals, etc., even when they cannot really afford to do so (86); they have not considered the prospect of ever having a wife or children (82); and they tend to be passive when it comes to engaging in romantic relationships (81).

Nikkei Business (March 23) reviewed some of the factors leading to poverty, such as OECD data that shows Japanese families pay out the fourth highest percentage of household income for their children’s education among member nations, after Chile, South Korea and the United States.

The run on family savings is likely to affect a child’s upward mobility, further perpetuating class differences. The prestigious University of Tokyo, for example, has become a rich kids’ school: only 27.3 percent of students accepted for entry by the institution had parents with annual incomes below ¥7.5 million.

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