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中3英語 エッセイ(高)  :  Recycling Waste

Recycling Waste

One town's efforts point the way to a cleaner future.

The business card handed out by Kazuichi Kasamatsu, the mayor of rural Kamikatsu, a town in Tokushima Prefecture, was unusual. The back of the card was covered in orange patterns. "I had my cards printed on a used calendar," he explained.

Tayoko Nakayama, a 74-year-old resident of Kamikatsu and a member of a recycling ¬promotion group (1) 50 or so homemakers, is committed to a goal of zero waste and 100-percent recycling, if any. Her garbage disposal unit is slightly smaller than her washing machine. Using the machine, she recycles her kitchen garbage into compost for (2) her field and garden. All the town's 860 households have garbage disposal units, courtesy of a subsidy program operated by the municipal government. Kitchen garbage is not considered trash but a precious resource.

Residents who have items they can't dispose of themselves can go to the town's only garbage collection site. With no vehicles for refuse collection public services coming, waste from households of elderly people and those who can't drive is picked up by neighbors or members of the recycling group.

Recycling waste into resources requires (3) sorting. Upon proposal of Kamikatsu residents, the number of trash categories steadily has increased and has stood at 34 since two years ago.

The categories include batteries, fluorescent tubes, (4) chopsticks, caps from plastic bottles, and oil waste. Glass bottles are separated by color.

Old futon are refashioned into zabuton floor cushions by oldsters who are proud of their skills. Late last year, cushions made of recycled futon were delivered to all 152 houses with senior residents.
Currently, roughly 150 kilograms of garbage per person per year is (5) in the town. That is one third of national average. Eighty percent of the waste is recycled.

The volume of waste trucked out of the town for incineration has been cut by half in just four years.

In the 1990s, burning garbage in fields or dumping waste illegally was not uncommon in Kamikatsu. The municipal office started receiving complaints from residents about air and soil pollution, and officials (6) the current attempt of thoroughly reducing waste as their last-ditch (7).

Initially, town officials were worried about a (8) from residents because of the increased (9) imposed on them. But it was needless worry.

"We want to leave a good environment to our children and grandchildren," says Nakayama.

For a long time, the central government focused on the incineration of garbage to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

This thinking was at the heart of the public cleansing law enacted in 1954. But years of heady economic growth had not only created illegal dumping but also a badly contaminated environment around garbage incineration plants. With (10) of the waste disposal law in 1970 and its revision in 1991 the government's main concern is now to reduce waste itself.

The overall amount of waste in Japan has not decreased. But the city of Nagoya, confronted by serious dumping (11) shortage, halved the amount of landfill waste in five years after starting a determined collection drive of separated waste.

Nagoya's experience shows it is possible to reduce waste in large cities.
A series of laws has been enacted to impose a legal (12) on manufactures to recycle products, from packages to home electrical appliances. The new law for automobile recycling came into (13) at the beginning of the year. The Toyota Motor Corp. group's cutting-edge plants (14) an 88 percent reuse rate. The next goal is 95 percent recycling.

Kamikatsu has declared it will reduce waste to zero by 2020. This is not hot air. The town's waste reduction crusade points the way which should be followed by Japan as a whole which looks as if it were going to be burried in piles of waste.

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Q 1: What impresses you the most in this passage? And why?

Q 2: We are facing several environmental problems. Give as many problems as possible.

Q 3: What is your proposal to make the situation around us better and leave a better environment to the next generation? Answer this question in your essay.

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中3英語 エッセイ(高)  :  英語 演習 "My darling is a foreigner"

By Tony Laszlo

An illustrated book entitled "My Darling is a Foreigner" has recently (1) the bookstores. The author is manga artist Oguri Saori. The" darling" on the cover has deep-set eyes and a big, bushy beard, and otherwise bears a rather (2) resemblance to ... yours truly.

It happens, you see, that Ms. Oguri is my significant other half. She decided to use her talents ¬--- and our relationship --- to (3) the theme of mixed couples.

The topic certainly is a timely one. As ethnic (4) within households is on the (5) throughout the country, people in Japan are increasingly able to relate to the experiences of mixed couples.

For example, one in about 10 registered marriages in Tokyo is "international," as I noted in this column some months ago. At least two recent parliamentarians have had foreign (6). And abroad, many Japanese have forged families together with a non-Japanese partner.

It seems that nearly everyone these days has at least a friend or relative whose" darling" is a foreigner.

One part of Saori's book delves into our culinary preferences. I find inari zushi, something of a favorite for Saori, to be a bit too sweet. I also prefer to have oodles of tomatoes when having Italian (7). And I have been known to gripe when I come upon yet another Japanese grocery store that has shelves full of vanilla and green-tea ice cream but no chocolate ice cream.
Of course, the point here is not so much our particular differences in taste, but that mixed couples are likely to have such differences perhaps to a larger degree than people who grew up in the same environment.

The two of us also contrast in the way we react to certain forms of entertainment. I tend to get (8) in a horror movie to the extent that I will --- and do --- jump out of my chair at the drop of a pin. If the director of a science-fiction film shows me a person flying to Jupiter and back in three minutes, I tend to believe it is happening --- for the (9) of the film, of course.

Saori, on the other hand, prefers not to (10) in the" suspension of disbelief” quite as much as I do. Something similar happens when we are watching comedy, as well. I'm usually prepared to laugh from the start, and I tend to end up laughing more than she does. You could call me (11), I guess.

There are certain pitfalls to be (12) for both the person creating this sort of book and for those reading it.

First, neither author nor reader should judge these differing sets of (13) and values as "correct" or "incorrect." Rather, the various predilections and quirks should be noted and the differences (14) (if not celebrated).

Similarly, one must not conclude that the (13) of either partner are representative of a given group of people or a given country. They might be, but then again, they might not be.
At the end of the day, the (15) is to maintain one’s own individual set of values while respecting and adjusting to that of the other. At least, this is the formula that is working for me.

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Question 1: What is ‘ethnic diversity’?

Question 2: According to the author, what are the pitfalls to be avoided?

Question 3: What is the most necessary thing for the mixed couple to be successful?

Question 4: What do you think is necessary to have good relationships with other countries or people from different cultures? Write your opinions and suggestions for making good relations with other countries and/or people from different cultures in your essay.

Question 5. What do you think is necessary to have good relationships with other countries or people from different cultures? Write your opinions and suggestions for making good relations with other countries and/or people from different cultures in your essay.

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