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历年考研英语阅读理解2000年04

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http://online2.tingclass.net/lesson/shi0529/0008/8686/A_2000_4.mp3
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[00:03.34]2000 Passage4

[00:07.54]Aimlessness has hardly been typical of the postwar Japan

[00:11.47]whose productivity and social harmony

[00:14.20]are the envy of the United States and Europe.

[00:17.42]But increasingly the Japanese are seeing a decline

[00:20.54]of the traditional work-moral values.

[00:24.14]Ten years ago young people were hardworking

[00:27.69]and saw their jobs as their primary reason for being,

[00:31.32]but now Japan has largely fulfilled its economic needs,

[00:35.46]and young people don't know where they should go next.

[00:39.50]The coming of age of the postwar baby boom

[00:42.73]and an entry of women

[00:44.33]into the male-dominated job market

[00:46.55]have limited the opportunities of teen-agers

[00:49.29]who are already questioning the heavy personal sacrifices

[00:53.01]involved in climbing Japan's rigid social ladder to

[00:56.58]good schools and jobs.

[00:59.00]In a recent survey, it was found

[01:01.42]that only 24.5 percent of Japanese students

[01:05.35]were fully satisfied with school life,

[01:07.98]compared with 67.2 percent of students in the United States.

[01:13.57]In addition, far more Japanese workers expressed dissatisfaction

[01:18.21]with their jobs than did their counterparts

[01:21.03]in the 10 other countries surveyed.

[01:23.86]While often praised by foreigners

[01:26.28]for its emphasis on the basics,

[01:28.39]Japanese education tends to stress test taking

[01:32.22]and mechanical learning over creativity and self-expression.

[01:36.66]"Those things that do not show up in the test scores--

[01:39.80]personality, ability, courage

[01:42.13]or humanity --are completely ignored,"

[01:45.65]says Toshiki Kaifu, chairman of the ruling

[01:48.68]Liberal Democratic Party's education committee."

[01:52.65]Frustration against this kind of thing

[01:54.97]leads kids to drop out and run wild."

[01:58.40]Last year Japan experienced 2,125 incidents

[02:03.84]of school violence,

[02:05.66]including 929 assaults on teachers.

[02:09.49]Amid the outcry, many conservative leaders

[02:12.71]are seeking a return to the prewar emphasis

[02:15.23]on moral education.

[02:18.25]Last year Mitsuo Setoyama,

[02:21.18]who was then education minister,

[02:23.71]raised eyebrows when he argued

[02:25.48]that liberal reforms introduced

[02:27.69]by the American occupation authorities after World War Ⅱ

[02:31.24]had weakened the

[02:31.94]"Japanese morality of respect for parents."

[02:36.27]But that may have more to do

[02:38.19]with Japanese life-styles.

[02:40.11]"In Japan," says educator Yoko Muro,

[02:43.23]"it's never a question of

[02:44.98]whether you enjoy your job and your life,

[02:47.40]but only how much you can endure."

[02:49.63]With economic growth has come centralization;

[02:53.57]fully 76 percent of Japan's 119 million citizens

[02:58.91]live in cities where community

[03:01.02]and the extended family have been abandoned

[03:03.65]in favor of isolated,

[03:05.04]two-generation households. Urban Japanese

[03:09.17]have long endured lengthy commutes

[03:11.69](travels to and from work) and crowded living conditions,

[03:16.66]but as the old group and family values weaken,

[03:19.98]the discomfort is beginning to tell.

[03:22.81]In the past decade, the Japanese divorce rate,

[03:26.26]while still well below that of the United States,

[03:29.29]has increased by more than 50 percent,

[03:32.22]and suicides have increased by nearly one-quarter.

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