B：Good morning. Put your bag there and sit down, please. What happened to your hand?
I didn’t hit anything and nothing happened. But my right thumb began to swell the day before yesterday. If it’s a written test I can’t write anything but since it’s an oral test. I’m all right. I’m fortunate.
A： Oh, you’re lucky! （みなに笑われた。）I took my wife to the hospital the other day. I was very surprised. Patients were put in one room. There was no privacy. What do you think about the Japanese medical system?
A： It’s a very difficult question.
I think Japanese health care system is very good. It is said to be the best in the world. Japan has good doctors and I don’t worry so much about it. Japanese people live longer.
A： But I hear the population will decrease soon. Is it true?
Yes, It’s going to decline next year.
B： Why is it declining?
I think it’s because of the declining birth rate.
B： What’s the cause of it?
It’s because young people’s values have changed and they don’t want to have constraint on their freedom by getting married or raising children.
A： Yes, raising children is expensive in Japan. Everything is expensive in Japan. What is the percentage of consumption tax in Japan?
It’s five percent.
A： Who is Japan’s prime minister?
It’s Mr. Koizumi.
A： What do you think about him?
I think he has been doing a good job. I agree to the privatization of the postal service system. I like him because he expresses his opinion clearly.
A：（笑って）But he’s strong.
Yes, I think he’s little bit too strong and I don’t want Japan to be isolated from other Asian countries including China and South Korea.
A： I agree. China has influenced Japan in many ways. What are the things introduced from China?
There are Buddhism and some arts. For example, Buddhist statues.
A： Where can we see a good Buddhist image in Japan?
I found a good Buddhist statue in Eikandou temple in Kyoto. It’s “mikaeri-amida”, looking back amida.（ジェスチャー付きで）Eikandou temple is also famous for maple leaves.
A： Oh, maple leaves! I’m from Canada.
When I went to Kyoto early this month, the leaves were beginning to change their color and they were so beautiful!
A： Oh! I’ll go to Kyoto next week.（永観堂といいながらメモしているふうだった。）
Yes, I recommend Eikandou. Please have a visit there. Eikandou is now in the best season.
A： Yes, I will. That’s all for today. I hope your injury will recover soon.
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