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2008年5月18日 (日)


(May. 18, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun

読売新聞 2008年5月18日号

What Japan should do to assist Afghanistan

アフガン支援 日本にもできることがある(5月18日付・読売社説)

Security measures and rehabilitation assistance must be further strengthened to prevent Afghanistan from slipping back into its past function as a hotbed for international terrorist groups.



Amid growing concern in the international community over Afghanistan, issues surrounding the country will be one of the items on the agenda at July's Group of Eight summit meeting at the Lake Toya resort in Toyakocho, Hokkaido. Japan has a responsibility to play a proper role as host nation in this regard.


Since last year, security in Afghanistan has deteriorated rapidly. The Taliban, former rulers of the country, and the international terrorist network Al-Qaida have been stepping up their antigovernment activities, mainly in eastern and southern regions near the border with Pakistan.



Last month, suspected Taliban militants attempted to assassinate Afghan President Hamid Karzai during a military parade in Kabul. The situation is alarming in that the capital, which had been relatively safe in comparison with other cities in the country, apparently is no longer so.


There were 160 suicide bombings targeting the International Security and Assistance Force and other organizations in Afghanistan in 2007--a huge leap from the 17 that occurred in 2005. More than 800 soldiers of foreign armies have been killed since U.S. and British forces invaded the country in October 2001.


the International Security and Assistance Force=国際治安支援部隊 ISAF)

This is why war-weariness has been growing in Canada, Germany, Italy and other countries that have dispatched military forces to the ISAF.




Front line in war on terror


Despite being preoccupied with the situation in Iraq, the United States has reinforced troop levels in Afghanistan and is strongly calling for cooperation from its allies.



Afghanistan is the front line of the war against terrorism. The international community needs to work as one to stamp out the terrorist groups there and develop the Afghan Army.


stamp out= 踏み潰す)

Nonmilitary and civilian assistance is equally vital for Afghanistan.



Narcotics production has been increasing in rebel strongholds around the border with Pakistan, serving to fund terrorist organizations. Every effort must be made to strengthen the country's economic development, mainly around border regions, reduce poverty and wipe out poppy cultivation.



Since 2001, Japan has offered Afghanistan a total of 1.38 billion dollars in aid to help disarm former soldiers and militiamen, provide training and equipment for police officers and construct roads and schools. Japan's assistance is the second largest after that of the United States.




Kabul has responsibilities, too

During his visit to Afghanistan early this month, Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura told Karzai and other leaders, "As a nation cooperating in building peace, we'd like to further enhance the solidarity of the international community in assisting Afghanistan."



An international conference is scheduled to be held in Paris in the middle of next month at which assistance for the five-year development plan drawn up by Karzai will be discussed. Since it is difficult to dispatch the Self-Defense Forces to Afghanistan under the current situation, Japan should continuously fulfill its responsibilities by providing the country with financial support.


Meanwhile, it is also important to urge the Afghan government to make transparent how it uses the financial aid it receives and make efforts to drive out corruption. For peace to take root, the Afghan government must improve its administrative capability on its own and win public trust.


Transparent=透き通る、透明な)(drive out=取り除く))(corruption=腐敗、汚職)

Improve administrative capability=行政能力を高める)

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 18, 2008)

20085180145  読売新聞)


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