A new enemy is threatening Japanese traditions: leisure. As part of its attempt to increase imports, the government is trying to get people to work less and spend more. The workers are disgusted.
The figures support the western prejudice that the Japanese are all work and no play. Trying to force workers away from their desks and machines, the government said last April that the country should cut down from its 2,100 hours average work year to 1,899 hours and a five-day week. Beginning in February, banks and stock markets will be closed on Saturdays, staff of civil service will be forced out of their offices two Saturdays a month. The government hopes that others will follow that practice.
But some persuasion will be needed. Small companies are very angry about it and they fear competitors may not cut hours. The unions are no happier:they have even advertised in newspapers arguing their case against the foreign pressure that is forcing leisure upon them. They say that shorter hours are a disguised pay cut. The industrialists, who have no objection to the government's plans, admit that shorter hours will help them cut costs. Younger Japanese, who are supposed to be acting against their hard-working parents, show no sign of wanting time off either. But unlike older workers, they do spend money in their spare time. Not content with watching television, they dance, dress up, sit in cafés, go to pop concerts and generally drive the leisure- industry boom. Now that they know how to consume, maybe the West can teach them to relax and enjoy themselves, too.
Questions 29 to 31 are based on the passage you have just heard.
29. What is the purpose of getting the Japanese to have more spare time?
解析：细节题。文章开篇告知了日本人工作时间缩短的原因是As part of its attempt to increase imports...（这里包含一个简单的经济常识：国内生产力强则进口需求弱，反之则进口需求强），故B正确。C只是西方人对日本人的偏见，与本题无关。
30. What does the union think of the shorter-hour system?
解析：细节题。短文提到，日本工会认为，缩短的工作时间其实是隐形的缩减工资，C中的the shorter...the less结构是对短文shorter hours are a disguised pay cut的同义替换，故C正确。
31. Which group of people welcomes the shorter-hour system in Japan?