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[双语] 日本丧葬业繁荣 或成“死亡国度”

2011-09-14 09:59:04  来源:中国日报网站  编辑:周光宇   

  Across from a noodle shop in a Yokohama suburb, Hisayoshi Teramura's inn looks much like any other small lodgingthat dotsthe port city. Occasionally, it's even mistaken for a love hotel by couples hankering forsome time beneath the sheets.

  横滨郊区的一家面馆对面,寺村久佳的小店看起来和遍布在这个港口城市中的其他小旅馆没什么差别。偶尔还会有想共度春宵的情侣将其误认为是情人酒店。

  But Teramura's place is neither a love nest nor a pit stopfor tired travelers. The white and grey tiled building is a corpse hotel, its 18 deceased guests tucked upin refrigerated coffins.

  但是,寺村的小店既不是爱巢,也不是疲惫旅客的休息站。这栋白墙灰瓦的建筑是一座存尸所,有18位具尸体被安放在冷冻的棺材里。

  "We tell them we only have cold rooms," Teramura quipswhen asked how his staff respond to unwarylovers looking for a room.

  在被问及他的员工如何答复那些想订房间的粗心情侣时,寺村俏皮地说道:“我们告诉他们这里只有冰冷的房间。”

  The daily rate at Lastel, as it is known, is 12,000 yen ($157). For that fee, bereavedfamilies can check in their dead while they wait their turn in the queue for one of the city's overworked crematoriums.

  据悉,拉斯特尔存尸所每日的费用是1.2万日元(合157美元)。支付了这笔费用后,失去亲人的家庭就可以让逝者“入住”,一边排队等待将尸体火化。横滨市的每个火葬场都十分繁忙。

  Death is a rare booming market in stagnantJapan and Teramura's new venture is just one example of how businessmen are trying to tapit.

  在经济萧条的日本,丧葬市场是极少数发展繁荣的市场之一。寺村的新企业只是商人们试图从中赢利的一个范例。

  In 2010, according to government records, 1.2 million people passed away, giving the country an annual death rate of 0.95 percent versus 0.84 percent in the United States, which is also the global average.

  根据政府的记录,2010年日本有120万人去世,这使日本的年死亡率达到了0.95%,而美国的年死亡率——也是全球平均值——为0.84%。

  The rate of deaths is on the increase. Last year, there were an extra 55,000 dead and over the past decade, an average of 23,000 more people have died each year in Japan.

  日本的死亡率一直在上升。去年比前年的死亡人数多了5.5万人,在过去十年中,日本年平均死亡人数比以前多了2.3万人。

  Annual deaths are expected to peak at 1.66 million in 2040 as the bulkof the nation's baby boomer generation expires. By then, Japan's population will have shrunk by around 20 million people, an unprecedented die off for a nation neither at war or blightedby famine.

  日本年死亡人数预计在2040年会达到166万的高峰,那时日本大多数“婴儿潮”一代将去世。到那时日本人口将缩减至2000万人,对于一个期间既没有经历战争也没有遭遇饥荒的国家来说,这种人口缩减是史无前例的。

  Although two decades of economic malaisehas weighed on incomes, a tradition on splashing outon ceremonies means the Japanese still pay an average of 1.2 million yen on flowers, urns, coffins and other funeral expenses. It adds up to a market worth a whopping$21 billion a year, or twice what Americans spend annually on funerals.

  尽管二十年来的经济萧条影响了人们的收入,但是日本葬礼铺张的传统意味着日本人平均仍要花费120万日元,用于鲜花、骨灰瓮、棺材和其他葬礼支出上。合计起来,日本丧葬市场每年花费多达210亿美元,相当于每年美国人在葬礼上花费的两倍。

  "There's been a rush into the market," says Teramura, who founded cemetery developer company Nichiryoku 45 years ago. Even Japan's second biggest retail chain, Aeon, rail companies and the nation's biggest farmers association, Japan Agriculture are getting into the business, he notes.

  寺村在45年前创建了陵园开发公司觉王山陵苑。他说:“有许多人想抢占这一市场。”他指出,甚至连日本第二大连锁零售企业永旺集团、铁路公司和日本最大的农民协会“日本农业”都在涉足这一行业。

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