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更新時間:2019/4/24 20:58:41 來源:紐約時報中文網 作者:佚名

Japan Has a New Emperor. Now It Needs a Software Update.
換年號沒那麼簡單,日本在忙亂中走向“令和”

TOKYO — Lost data. Emails that disappear into the ether. Servers that never connect.

東京——數據丟失。郵件消失。服務器連不上。

All thanks to the ascension of a new emperor to the Chrysanthemum Throne.

這全都是因為一位新天皇登上了菊花寶座。

Japan is scrambling to update software, revise forms and print new calendars before May 1, when the world’s third-largest economy begins a new imperial era. For most of the rest of the world, it will remain the year 2019 when the clock strikes midnight. Across Japan, which relies internally on an ancient calendar that honors a reigning emperor, it will be the first day of the first year of the age of Reiwa.

日本各界正競相趕在5月1日前更新軟件、修改表格並印制新日歷,屆時這個全球第三大美高梅官方开户體將開啟新的天皇時代。對世界其他大部分地區而言,當那一天午夜的鐘聲敲響,仍將是2019年。而在日本各地,由于采用紀念在位天皇的古代歷法,那將是令和時代元年的第一天。

The new era, christened just weeks ago, will force the country’s sprawling bureaucracy to literally turn back the clock to Year 1. Experts compare it to Y2K, the digital threat in the lead-up to the year 2000, if on a much smaller and less consequential scale.

新的年號于數周前剛公布,這將迫使日本龐大的官僚體系直接把紀年調回到元年。專家將其與步入2000年時曾遭遇的數字威脅千年蟲(Y2K)問題相提並論,只不過這次規︰陀跋旖閑“樟。

“The change of the era name will have a huge effect on big companies that have complicated systems,” said Gaku Moriya, deputy director of the information technology innovation division at Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, or METI.

“更改年號將對有著復雜系統的大公司產生巨大影響,” 日本美高梅官方开户產業省信息技術創新部門的副主管守谷學說。

Major companies with relatively modern systems will most likely handle the shift with aplomb. Still, the full consequences are not entirely clear, and for many the change will not be cheap. Every government form, including tax returns and marriage registrations, uses the imperial-style calendar, making it impossible for government workers and companies to avoid.

擁有相對現代體系的大公司很可能將沉著應對這一轉變。然而,其全面影響尚不完全清楚,且對許多人而言,這樣的改變也不便宜。包括退稅和婚姻登記在內的所有官方表格都使用皇歷,這使得政府職員和企業都無法避免這個問題。

Already the tally is mounting. The city of Nagoya, an industrial center in central Japan, estimates it alone will spend about $4.3 million dollars preparing for the new era. In the city of Koga, employees preparing for the changeover accidentally erased 1,650 water bills. Scam artists have sent out letters that target older people, telling them to submit personal information to ensure that their bank accounts make the transition, according to the national broadcaster NHK.

成本已在攀升。日本中部的工業中心名古屋估計,僅該市就將花費約430萬美元用于新時代的準備工作。在古河市,為這一轉變做準備的職員一不小心便抹掉了1650個水費賬單。據日本全國性電視台NHK報道,有騙子專門給老年人發信,讓其提交個人信息,以確保他們的銀行賬戶完成年號的更迭。

For those companies that cannot get their paperwork in order by the deadline, METI recommends a distinctly old-school solution: correcting documents with rubber stamps bearing the Japanese characters for the new year.

對于那些無法在截止日期前做好文書工作的企業,美高梅官方开户產業省推薦了一種無疑很老派的解決方法︰用帶有新年號的日文橡皮印章更改文件。

At a small factory in the outskirts of Tokyo, just three days after the “Reiwa” name was announced, Osamu Takiguchi and a crew of about 20 worked overtime to rush out orders of the distinctly Japanese product.

在東京郊區的一家小工廠,“令和”年號公布僅三日,瀧口修(音,Osamu Takiguchi)和20名左右的工人便在加班加點趕制這一極具日本特色的產品訂單。

“We ran out of rubber in the first three days,” said Mr. Takiguchi, managing director of Hanko 21, an office supply chain that owns the factory. He said he was considering hiring temporary staff to help with the last-minute rush he expected at the end of the month.

“頭三天我們的橡膠就用完了,”擁有這家工廠的辦公用品供應鏈Hanko21的總經理瀧口說。他表示正在考慮雇臨時工幫忙應對預計月底最後一刻的忙亂。

The headaches have prompted a national conversation over whether it is finally time for Japan to move entirely over to the Gregorian calendar. The country uses the Gregorian calendar when dealing with other countries and to coordinate global events, such as the 2020 Olympics. Most people here have also already adopted it in their personal lives.

種種難題引發了全國性的討論,即日本是否終于到了該完全采用公歷的時候。日本在與他國打交道及協調2020年奧運會這類全球事務方面采用公歷。這里的多數人也已經在個人生活中采用了公歷。

One lawyer, Jiro Yamane, has even sued the government over the change, arguing that forcing people to measure time by the life of the emperor violates their constitutional right to individual dignity.

律師山根次郎(音,Jiro Yamane)甚至就這一變更起訴政府,稱迫使人們按照天皇的生命計時違反了他們在憲法上的人格權。

“Only Japan exists in this different space and dimension of time,” said Mr. Yamane, who is scheduled to argue his case in front of a Tokyo district court at the end of May. “It’s incompatible with international society.”

“唯獨日本存在于這一與眾不同的空間與時間維度當中,”山根說,他將于5月底在東京地區法院陳述案由。“這與國際社會格格不入。”

“Why are the Japanese so hung up on it?” he added.

“為什麼日本人要如此執迷于此呢?”他接著說。

It may just be that Japan has a hard time letting go. The country still depends on fax machines. It is one of the last places in the world where Tower Records, the once iconic music store, has stayed open, still selling CDs.

或許日本只是很難放棄傳統。這個國家仍普遍使用傳真機。它也是曾經標志性的音樂商店淘兒唱片(Tower Records)依舊開業、售賣CD的世界最後幾個國家之一。

The new era, to many, is symbolic of a fresh start. Government offices expect couples will rush to register their marriages on the first day of the new era.

對許多人來說,新時代象征著新的開始。政府部門預計,會有很多情侶在新時代的第一天匆忙登記結婚。

The Japanese adopted the imperial calendar from the Chinese in the seventh century, and government agencies have been required to use it since the late 1970s. Other countries in the region, including China itself, have moved on and adopted the Gregorian calendar for official business.

日本人于公元七世紀從中國引進了年號,自1970年代末起,政府機構也被要求使用這種紀年法。該地區的其他國家,包括中國在內,官方辦公都采用公歷。

Japan hasn’t had to face a calendar change for a generation — and that was before the hyper-speed computer era.

日本已經有整整一代人不曾經歷年號的改變——上一次改變時,高速電腦的時代尚未到來。

In 1989, when the calendar switched to the Heisei era from the Showa, the announcement was made the same day that Emperor Hirohito died. Within 24 hours, much of the initial work of replacing signs and updating forms was done by hand.

1989年,裕仁天皇去世的同一天,日本宣布將年號從昭和改為平成。在24小時內,大部分更換標識和更新表格的初步工作都是手工完成的。

This time, the transition has been more orderly. The abdication date for the current emperor, Akihito, was announced in late 2017, giving the nation nearly a year and a half to get ready.

這一次的過渡更加有序。日本現任天皇明仁的退位日期是在2017年末宣布的,這給了日本近一年半的時間來準備。

Many did not. As of March, one-fifth of over 2,700 companies polled by METI had not taken steps to prepare for the switch, the agency said. Officials compounded the problem by keeping the new era’s name secret until April 1, just one month before the transition.

但許多人沒有做好準備。日本美高梅官方开户產業省表示,截至今年3月,在該機構調查的2700多家企業中,有五分之一沒有為過渡做好準備。官員們將新時代的名稱保密至4月1日,距離新年號變更只有一個月,這使問題更加棘手。

Government offices and domestic financial institutions, some of which rely on outdated computer systems, are the most likely to encounter problems, according to Mr. Moriya of METI.

美高梅官方开户產業省的守谷說,政府機構和國內金融機構最有可能遇到問題,其中一些機構依賴過時的電腦系統。

“Some private companies may not be sufficiently aware of the issue, and don’t know what kind of problems they will have,” he said, adding that the agency had been holding private seminars to raise awareness.

“一些私營企業可能沒有充分意識到這個問題,也不知道他們會遇到什麼樣的問題,”他說。他還說,美高梅官方开户產業省一直在舉辦私人研討會以提高人們的認識。

Microsoft has said it will push updated software to its clients via its cloud computing systems. The vulnerable ones will probably be those who run older versions of Microsoft Windows or those that have not updated their systems.

微軟表示將通過其雲計算系統向客戶推送更新後的軟件。易受攻擊的用戶可能是那些運行較老版本的微軟Windows或沒有更新系統的用戶。

In some cases, system administrators may have to update operating systems almost as old as the Heisei era itself. Though the shift could be awkward or costly, it could also force more companies to get with the times, Mr. Moriya said.

在某些情況下,系統管理員可能不得不更新幾乎與平成時代一樣古老的操作系統。守谷說,轉換過程可能會很棘手或昂貴,但也可能迫使更多公司跟上時代的步伐。

“Some Japanese companies have used the same system for two or three decades,” he said. “The inside of the system has turned into a black box.”

“一些日本公司已經使用同樣的系統二三十年了,”他說。“系統內部已經變成了一個黑匣子。”

At the stamp factory, Mr. Takiguchi said his company’s own computer system was being updated by an outside contractor. “I’ve heard they’re moving us to the Western calendar.”

在印章廠,瀧口說他公司的電腦系統正在由外部承包商更新。“我听說他們要幫我們換成西歷。”

“They say it’s because it’s a pain to modify the system if the era changes again,” he added.

“他們說是因為如果年號再變,修改系統會很麻煩,”他說

As online orders pinged into the company’s inbox, a woman pulled red rubber sheets lined in “Reiwa” out of a chemical bath. Another worker cut them into tiny squares that were soon to be glued on long, thin pieces of white composite wood.

網上訂單源源不斷地涌入該公司的收件箱時,一個女人從化學液體池里拿出了寫著“令和”字樣的紅色橡膠薄片。另一名工人把它們切成小方塊,接下來會粘合在又長又薄的白色合成木材上。

Although Mr. Takiguchi is happy for the business the changeover has brought, he admits it has created some difficulties even for him.

雖然瀧口對這個變化帶來的業務感到高興,但他承認,這也給他帶來了一些困難。

The end of Japan’s fiscal year in March is “already the busiest month for our industry, and the new-era demand will make us even busier,” he said.

他說,日本財政年度是在3月結束,“這本來就是我們這行最忙的一個月,新年號的訂單讓我們更忙了。”

“It would have been much easier if we had learned the new name in the summer.”

“如果能在夏天知道這個新名字,那就輕松多了。”

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