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Used-vehicle subscription services in demand

Learn Japanese from the News

Broadcast on May 9, 2022 Available until May 8, 2023

Welcome to "Learn Japanese from the News". In this program we learn Japanese and more about Japan from news stories presented in simple Japanese. Today's headline is "Used-vehicle subscription services in demand", which is put on NEWS WEB EASY's website on April 12th 2022. Keywords include such as 「中古(の)(ちゅうこ の)chuuko(no)」used and 「税金(ぜいきん)zeekin」tax.



"Used-vehicle subscription services in demand"

Welcome to "Learn Japanese from the News."

Join us as we learn Japanese and about the country from Japanese-language news stories. Today's headline is…

"Used-vehicle subscription services in demand"
This is a news story that was put on NEWS WEB EASY's website on April 12th.
Before we listen to the story in full, let's go over a few keywords that'll help us understand what's going on.
Let's keep these keywords in mind.
Car production has taken a massive hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a global semiconductor shortage. That, in turn, has affected the retail price of used cars, putting consumers in a tough spot. Our news story today is about the rising popularity of car subscription services.

Now we'll break down a few sentences from the news story that contain helpful expressions and keywords. Let's start with the first sentence.
"The novel coronavirus and a semiconductor shortage have delayed automobile production, which has led to more people buying used cars."
半導体(はんどうたい) that is, "semiconductors," are used in computers, video game consoles, air conditioners, automobiles – the list goes on. They're foundational to our modern way of life.
The pandemic has forced millions of people around the world to work remotely, leading to higher demand for computers and thus higher demand for semiconductors.
At the same time, lockdowns have shut down factories and affected semiconductor supply chains worldwide. That's caused a global chip shortage crisis, which has hit the automotive industry hard.
In the news story we heard the phrase 中古(ちゅうこ)の車(くるま), or "used cars." We can also shorten 中古(ちゅうこ)の車(くるま) to 中古車(ちゅうこしゃ).
OK, let's move on to the following sentences.
One man living in Chiba Prefecture uses a "kei" minicar through such a service. The price for one month is 11,000 yen, which includes taxes and inspection fees.
Cars are classified in different ways, for example, based on size or engine displacement. 軽自動車(けいじどうしゃ) or "kei car" is a Japanese vehicle category for small cars with engines no bigger than 660 cc. 軽自動車(けいじどうしゃ) are extremely popular (in Japan) for their ease of use and affordability.
In Japanese we can modify nouns with a word expressing state or type.
For example, a brand-new car is a 新車(しんしゃ).
In the expression 軽自動車(けいじどうしゃ), 軽(けい), which means "light," refers to the size of the vehicle.
That's about it for today.
Tune in next time for more!

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