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"Toymakers Develop New Vending Machines as Capsule Toys Take Off"

Learn Japanese from the News

Broadcast on December 5, 2022 Available until December 4, 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 "Toymakers Develop New Vending Machines as Capsule Toys Take Off," which was published on NEWS WEB EASY's website on November 1, 2022. Keywords include 「カプセルに入ったおもちゃ(かぷせるに はいった おもちゃ)kapuseru ni haitta omocha」"capsule toy" and 「2023年度(にせんにじゅうさん ねんど)nisen-nijyuusan nendo」"fiscal year 2023."



"Toymakers Develop New Vending Machines as Capsule Toys Take Off"

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…

カプセルのおもちゃが人気(にんき) 会社(かいしゃ)が新(あたら)しい機械(きかい)などを作(つく)る
 "Toymakers Develop New Vending Machines as Capsule Toys Take Off"
This news story was published on NEWS WEB EASY's website on November 1st.
Now let's go over some vocab words that will help us understand what's going on.
capsule toy
fiscal year 2023
Let's keep these words in mind as we listen.
Capsule toys have become popular among children, adults, and overseas visitors alike. Toymakers are looking to meet this growing demand by upgrading their capsule toy vending machines and installing them at more locations.
The story specifically mentions machines that accept both cash and smartphone payments, and machines that offer instructions in multiple languages.

Now we'll break down a few sentences from the story that contain helpful expressions and keywords.
Let's start with the following sentence.
"Capsule toys have created a buzz on social media, becoming popular among adults and international visitors."
Capsule toys also go by the names "Gacha Gacha" and "Gashapon". They're sold in coin-operated vending machines. You put in a few hundred yen, twist the handle, and out comes a random toy.
Like the English word "capsule," the katakana loanword カプセル is derived from a Latin word meaning "small box." It refers to a small case or container.
When we say "capsule," we're often referring to medicine capsules, which are tiny gelatin tubes that contain a powdered drug or vitamin. But we also use the word to refer to sealed cylindrical containers in general.
All right, let's move on to our next sentence.
"The company plans to set these machines up at 100 locations by the 2023 fiscal year."
In Japanese 2023年(ねん)refers to the calendar year, while 2023年度(ねんど)refers to the fiscal or financial year.
The calendar year starts on January 1st and ends on December 31st.
The fiscal year, or 年度(ねんど), is an accounting period for which a government or business records its income and spending for budget purposes. 
In Japan, the fiscal year starts on April 1st and ends on March 31st the following year.
年度(ねんど)can also refer to the "academic" or "school year." The Japanese school year generally begins in April and ends in March of the following year.
OK, that's all for today.
These capsule toys make great, affordable souvenirs. They're irresistible.
Yes. And apparently these new machines accept payment from smartphones. That's great news for overseas visitors looking to splurge on these collectibles.
Be sure to join us next week, too!

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