爱思英语编者按:东京没有类似于中国政府努力实施的官方计划生育政策,不过从东京普通家庭的人数上,你是永远也无法猜到这一点的。
Tokyo doesn't have an official one-child policy like the one the Chinese government has tried to implement, but you'd never guess that by looking at the average family size here in the capital.

2008年,也就是日本厚生劳动省(Ministry of Labor, Health and Welfare)最近一年发布数据的时候,东京的出生率是日本最低的,每个妇女平均只生1.09个孩子。
In 2008, the latest year for which data are available from the Ministry of Labor, Health and Welfare, Tokyo had the nation's lowest birthrate, at 1.09 children per woman.

东京高昂的生活成本、长时间的工作时间、稀缺的日托服务,这些都可以帮助解释为什么东京一些中心社区的小学关门等待重新开发,学校的操场静悄悄的,只是偶尔可以在布满水藻的游泳池中看到路过的水鸟。
The high cost of living, long working hours and scarce day-care in the capital help explain why elementary schools in some central Tokyo neighborhoods are shuttered and awaiting redevelopment, their playgrounds quiet, with only the occasional passing waterfowl visible in their algae-slicked swimming pools.

在这个全球第二大经济体的其他地区,情况同样堪忧。2008年,日本全国的出生率为每个妇女生1.37个孩子,较2005年1.26个的纪录低点有所提高,不过仍远远无法满足日本人口更新换代的需要。如果目前的形势继续下去的话,2050年前日本的人口将从现在的约1.27亿人减至 9,500万人。
Elsewhere in the world's second-largest economy, the situation is similarly worrying. The national birthrate in 2008 was 1.37 children per woman -- up from a record low of 1.26 in 2005, but still nowhere near what the country needs to replenish its population. If current trends continue, Japan's population will fall to 95 million by 2050, from about 127 million now.

日本人的平均寿命延长,这是个好消息,但对人口规划来说却是坏消息,原因是很少的工人要供养越来越多的老年人。
And the good news about rising average life spans here is bad news for demographic planning, as few workers support more and more older folks.

政府数据显示,2008年日本人出生时的平均预期寿命是全球最高的,女性为86.05岁,男性为79.29岁。
Japan's average life expectancy at birth was the highest in the world in 2008, at 86.05 years for women and 79.29 years for men, government data show.

不过据日本统计局的数据,2008年需要社会供养的人口比例为55.2%。这一比例是把老年人和儿童的人数加在一起,然后除以处于工作年龄段的人口数量。自1997年以来,老年人在总人口中的比例一直高于较年轻人口的比例。
But the ratio of the dependent population -- the sum of the elderly and young population, divided by the working-age population -- was 55.2% in 2008, according to the Statistics Bureau. The proportion of elderly in the total population has remained above that of the younger age group since 1997.

生育现金津贴
Cash allowances for kids

去年8月,日本民主党(Democratic Party of Japan)上台,它承诺要把政府的注意力转向提振内需,同时推迟上调消费税的计划(目前为5%),尽管日本的公共债务规模越来越大。
The Democratic Party of Japan was swept into power last August on a platform that vowed to shift the government's focus to boosting domestic demand, while postponing a hike in the country's 5% consumption tax -- despite Japan's burgeoning public debt.

根据日本政府“儿童及育儿计划”所制定的目标,日本首相鸠山由纪夫(Yukio Hatoyama) 1月份承诺,将通过取消日托的等待名单、整合托儿所及幼儿园体系,进而努力增强托儿服务,并将增加课外托儿服务,作为创建一个整个社会分担家庭育儿重担的环境。
Under targets based on his governments' "Vision on Children and Child-Rearing," Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama vowed in January to "work to enhance the provision of childcare services by eliminating day-care waiting lists and integrating the kindergarten and nursery school systems, and will increase access to afterschool childcare services as part of our efforts to create an environment in which the burden on families raising children is shared by society as a whole."

日本民主党的计划包括以每个孩子3,000多美元的额度向家庭发放现金津贴,针对高中年龄以下的孩子按月支付,以帮助降低抚养成本。
The DPJ's plan includes paying cash allowances of more than $3,000 per child to families, with monthly payments for children under high school age to help defray child-rearing costs.

日本众议院在上周二通过了有关育儿津贴的法案,人们普遍预计日本民主党占多数的参议院将在本月结束以前予以通过。
Japan's lower house of parliament passed the child allowance bill Tuesday, and it is widely expected to clear in the upper house -- where the DPJ holds a majority -- before the end of this month.

但一些人说,这项政策更大的目的不是提振日本较低的出生率,而是给其疲弱的消费带来一种短期刺激。
But some say the policy is aimed less at propping up the country's sagging birth rate and more at giving anemic consumption an immediate shot in the arm.

摩根大通(J.P. Morgan)驻日本首席日股策略师Hajime Kitano表示,我将育儿津贴看作是针对35岁人群的一种税收减免。
"I view child allowance as a tax break for people aged 35," said Hajime Kitano, chief Japanese equity strategist at J.P. Morgan in Japan.

他说,日本1975年出生的人群在1997年大学毕业,成为完全的社会人,这一年正好是山一证券(Yamaichi Securities)破产的时候。山一证券曾是日本四大经纪商之一,其破产被视为“失去的10年”中一个标志性事件。
Japanese people born in 1975 graduated from university and became full-fledged members of society in 1997 -- the year that Yamaichi Securities went under, he said. Yamaichi had been one of Japan's top four brokerages, and its failure is considered an iconic marker of the era known as the "lost decade."

Kitano上周四发表的研究报告说,在上世纪90年代末,人们开始谈论彼时年轻人在就业上遇到的“冰河世纪”,“失去的10年”造成的负面影响在这个“失去的一代”身上体现得最为强烈。
In the late 1990s, "people started to talk of an employment ice age" for young people at that time, according to Kitano's research report, released Thursday. "It was on this 'lost generation' that the 'lost decade's' negative effects were strongest."

他说,失去的一代现在正在接近35到44岁这个消费盛年期。
This lost generation, he said, is now reaching the 35-44 peak age range for consumption.

Kitano说,虽然育儿津贴表面上是针对孩子的,但更仔细地考察就会发现,它似乎更像是对这一代人的援助。
"Although child allowance appears on the surface to be about children, upon closer examination it seems more like assistance for this generation," Kitano said.

很多日本公司并不认为政府的政策将遏制出生率的下降,都在积极地寻求拓展海外市场份额。
Many Japanese companies are taking no chances that the government's policies will arrest the fall in the nation's birth rate, and are actively seeking to expand their market share aboard.

多样化婴幼儿护理产品生产商贝亲公司(Pigeon Corp.)在中国已经有了20多年的运营历史,去年在中国开办了第二家工厂。
Diversified baby-and-child-care-goods maker Pigeon Corp. /quotes/comstock/!7956 (JP:7956 3,375, -5.00, -0.15%) has had operations in China for over two decades, and last year it opened its second factory there.

麦理格证券(Macquarie Securities)分析师伯格哈特(Robert Burghart)在近期研究报告中写道,贝亲的奶瓶、奶嘴和清洁剂在国内婴幼儿护理产品市场的份额在70%到80%之间。更多信息请访问:http://www.24en.com/
Pigeon's domestic market share in baby-care products is in the 70%-80% range for items such as baby bottles, nipples and detergent, Macquarie Securities' analyst Robert Burghart wrote in a recent report.

他说,中国每年约2,000万人出生,这个市场对贝亲公司的吸引力是显而易见的。
"The China market -- with about 20 million births annually -- has obvious appeal to Pigeon," he said.