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双语:为啥日本环境大臣休陪产假会上新闻头条?

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Japan's Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi has announced that he will take paternity leave when his first child is born this month, an unusual step in a country where new fathers rarely take time off from work.

日本环境大臣小泉进次郎宣布,他的第一个孩子本月出生后,他将休陪产假。日本男性很少休陪产假,因此小泉进次郎的决定引发了广泛关注。

Koizumi, who will become the first cabinet minister in the country to commit to such a move, said Wednesday that he had decided to take two weeks of paternity leave in the first three months after his baby's birth after considering how caring for their newborn alone could impact his wife.

小泉进次郎将成为首位休陪产假的日本内阁大臣。他在本周三(1月15日)表示,在考虑到独自照顾新生儿对妻子的影响后,他决定在孩子出生后三个月内休两周陪产假。

Although Koizumi, 38, is only taking two weeks off, his decision is significant in Japan despite it having one of the world's most generous time off allowances for new fathers.

虽然38岁的小泉进次郎只休两周假,但他的这一决定在日本意义重大。日本是世界上为新手爸爸们提供休假津贴最多的国家之一。

Under Japanese law, both men and women are entitled to up to one year of leave from work after having a child. Parents are not guaranteed pay from their employer, but are eligible for government benefits while off. But in 2018, only 6.16% of men took paternity leave, according to government data released last year.

根据日本法律,男性和女性都有权在生育后享受最多一年的假期。父母无法从雇主那里领到工资,但可在休假期间享受政府福利。但根据日本政府去年发布的数据,2018年,只有6.16%的男性休陪产假。

The move is also notable as Koizumi — the son of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi -- is widely seen as a future prime ministerial candidate.

小泉进次郎是前首相小泉纯一郎的儿子,而且被普遍视为未来的首相候选人,他的这一决定也引发了关注。

"Honestly speaking, I struggled to work out how I could take a paternity leave, as well as fulfilling my public duty as environment minister," Koizumi said in a meeting with Environment Ministry staff on Wednesday, according to video from Japanese broadcaster TBS. "But we have to change not only the system, but also the atmosphere."

日本东京广播公司的视频显示,小泉进次郎在本周三与日本环境省工作人员的一次会议上说:“说实话,我一直在努力想办法,既能休陪产假,又能履行作为环境大臣的公共职责。但我们不仅要改变体制,还要改变氛围。”

"My paternity leave is being reported heavily in the news but I hope that (in the future) we will have a society where a politician's paternity leave doesn't make the news."

“新闻大量报道了我休陪产假一事,但我希望(今后)政客休陪产假不会再成为新闻。”

为什么日本男性不休陪产假?

Koizumi indicated last year that he was considering taking paternity leave — and at the time, he was met with criticism, said Yumiko Murakami, the head of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Tokyo Center.

经济合作与发展组织东京中心负责人村上由美子说,小泉进次郎去年曾表示他正在考虑休陪产假,但当时遭到了批评。

Generous paternity leave is stipulated by Japanese law, but the country's work culture means many people still don't take it up. According to Murakami, Japan hasn't fully embraced the notion of a work-life balance, and men are not expected to help out at home — and if they do, their loyalty to their workplace is questioned. It's often difficult for female politicians to take time off as well, she said.

日本法律规定的陪产假天数很多,但日本的工作文化意味着很多人仍然不愿意休陪产假。据村上由美子介绍,日本还没有完全接受工作与生活平衡的概念,人们也不期望男性在家里帮忙,如果他们这样做了,他们对工作的忠诚度就会受到质疑。她说,女性政客通常也很难休假。

Men often fear that their careers could be impacted if they take paternity leave.

男性通常担心休陪产假会影响事业发展。

Last year, a Japanese man filed a landmark lawsuit, claiming that his employer, sportswear maker Asics, had purposefully sidelined him from his job in sales and marketing following his return from parental leave in 2015 and 2018. Asics has denied the allegations.

去年,一名日本男性提起了一项具有里程碑意义的诉讼,称他的雇主、运动服装制造商亚瑟士在他于2015年和2018年休完陪产假返岗后,故意让他放弃销售和市场营销方面的工作。亚瑟士否认了这些指控。

The gender expectations on men also impact women. The most recent World Economic Forum's annual Global Gender Gap Report found women in Japan spend four times more time than men doing unpaid labor like domestic work and household management.

对男性的性别期望也会影响女性。世界经济论坛最近发布的年度《全球性别差距报告》发现,日本女性从事家务和家庭管理等无偿劳动的时间比男性多四倍。

Koizumi's decision is "interesting" as it comes against a backdrop of a falling birth rate, Murakami said. Only three weeks ago, Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare announced that the country had the lowest number of births in 2019 since records began in 1899. The birth rate slipped despite government initiatives to turn the trend around.

村上由美子说,小泉进次郎的决定很“有趣”,因为它是在出生率下降的背景下做出的。就在三周前,日本卫生劳动福利部宣布,该国2019年的新生儿数量为1899年有记录以来的最低水平。尽管政府采取措施扭转这一趋势,出生率还是下降了。

In a blog published Wednesday, Koizumi pointed to Japan's declining birth rate as a reason why men should take advantage of the paternity leave allocation.

小泉进次郎在本周三发表的一篇博客中指出,日本不断下降的出生率是男性应该享受陪产假的原因之一。

"(The falling birth rate) is starting to make people think, 'OK whatever we're doing is not really working,'" Murakami said. "It's starting to make people think, 'maybe it's a mindset, maybe it's the culture, maybe it's a work environment in which people are not really, truly encouraged to have babies.'"

村上由美子说:“(出生率的下降)让人们开始认为,‘好吧,不管我们做什么都没有真正起作用。’这开始让人们思考,‘也许是心态、文化、或工作环境,这些并没有真正鼓励人们去生育。’”

开创先例

For now, the reaction from the public has been mixed. Some praised Koizumi's decision, while others argued that he was not aware of his responsibility as a minister or said that his decision was all a show.

目前,公众的反应不一。一些人赞扬小泉进次郎的决定,而另一些人则认为他没有意识到自己作为环境大臣的责任,或者说他的决定只是噱头。

"Koizumi's leave is short, and people criticize it as only a 'performance'," wrote one. "But such 'performance' is the first step to change society."

有位网友写道:“小泉进次郎的休假很短,人们批评这只是‘作秀’。但这是改变社会的第一步。”

In an international context, a man taking two weeks of paternity leave could be considered "pathetic," said Murakami. "It just goes to show how conservative the Japanese society still is, especially in the political space," she said.

村上由美子说,在国际上,男性只休两周陪产假会被认为“很可怜”。她说:“这表明日本社会有多保守,尤其是在政治领域。”

But she hoped that Koizumi's decision would send a message to the general population, and set a precedent. "(It) lets people know it's OK to do it," she said.

但她希望小泉进次郎的决定能向公众传达一个信息,并开创一个先例。“让大家知道可以这样做”,她说。

"I do think it's a very symbolic, important announcement," she said. "It's very encouraging and hopeful that someone does it in a public way, but at the same time, the flip side is it goes to show you how much work Japan has, how far behind Japan is relative to the rest of the world."

她说:“我认为这是一个非常具有象征意义的、重要的声明。有人公开这样做是非常令人鼓舞和充满希望的,但与此同时,这也告诉了大家日本还有多长的路要走,与世界其他国家相比,日本落后了多少。”

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