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2008年7月31日 (木)


(Mainichi Japan) July 30, 2008

Police believe boy who stabbed teacher had murderous intent

殺人未遂:傷、肺に達する深さ 少年に強い殺意か 愛知

CHIRYU, Aichi -- One of the stab wounds that a teacher sustained in a knife attack launched by one of his former students reached his lung, leading investigators to suspect that the perpetrator had strong murderous intent, local police said.

The 18-year-old suspect, whose name is being withheld under the Juvenile Law, said he had a grudge against the teacher, 34-year-old Yoshihisa Kamiya.

"Kamiya severely scolded me, which led me to suffer from social phobia. I recently began to work, but I couldn't do well," he was quoted as telling investigators.

Aichi Prefectural Police said they are grilling the youth, a part-time worker from Chiryu, over why he intended to murder Kamiya, noting that he had not contacted the victim for more than three years after he graduated.

The boy visited the Chiryu Municipal Junior High School he had graduated from on Tuesday afternoon at around 1:30 p.m. and attacked Kamiya, who was instructing the school's brass band, local police said.

He stabbed Kamiya in the back from behind, chased the victim as he attempted to flee and stabbed him in the chest. Kamiya suffered serious stab wounds that are expected to take a month to heal.

Kamiya was the suspect's homeroom teacher when he was a second-year student at the school.


stab wounds=刺し傷


former students=卒業生



murderous intent=殺害の意志、殺意


being withheld=(発表を)差し控える

the Juvenile Law=少年法


social phobia=対人恐怖症、社会生活恐怖症

was quoted=引用される




He stabbed Kamiya in the back from behind=彼は背後から神谷さんの背中をナイフで刺した

attempted to flee=逃げようとする

expected to take a month to heal=全治1ヶ月、回復するのに1ヶ月が見込まれている






毎日新聞 2008730日 1500

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(Mainichi Japan) July 30, 2008
More people say they can't afford to go on summer holidays

More people are spending their summer vacations by simply returning to their home town or mostly staying at home due to surging commodity prices, a survey by Dentsu Research Inc. has revealed.
The survey found that the most popular way of spending summer holidays was to return to one's home town, at 22 percent, outnumbering domestic travel that had topped the ranking for two years in a row. The third favorite option was to "preferably stay at home," at 12 percent.
"Because of the surge in commodity prices, more people are tending to spend their summer holidays by saving money," said a representative of Dentsu Research.
The survey conducted in June covered men and women aged between 15 and 59 years old, who are living within a 30-kilometer range from Tokyo Station.
Of the 630 respondents, 466 people who have a job said "an ideal summer holiday" is to take an average of 10.4 days off. The most popular way of spending summer holidays was to "travel abroad," at 25 percent, and the most popular destination was Hawaii, at 28 percent.
However, the average summer holiday in reality was only 6.5 days and the average budget for summer holidays was 108,000 yen -- about the same as last year.
A little less than 40 percent of married respondents in their 30s to 50s said, "I will tighten my budget."
"Although the budget (for summer holidays) is about the same as last year, more people are refraining from going far away other than returning to their home town because of rising gas prices," said a Dentsu Research representative.

returning to their home town=帰省すること
staying at home=家でゴロゴロしている
due to surging commodity prices=急騰する石油価格の影響を受けて
for two years in a row=二年連続で
"preferably stay at home," =家でゆっくりしているほうがよい
tending to=~する傾向にある、~しがちである
within a 30-kilometer range from Tokyo Station=東京駅30km圏内
an ideal summer holiday=理想的な夏休み
"travel abroad," =海外旅行をする
the average summer holiday in reality=実際の夏休みの平均期間
the average budget for summer holidays=夏休みの予算
"I will tighten my budget."=予算をきりつめる
refraining from~=~するのを差し控える、from の後には動名詞が続く

毎日新聞 2008年7月29日 19時49分(最終更新 7月30日 10時34分)

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(Mainichi Japan) July 30, 2008

Unemployed man busted over 'phishing' scam


A man was arrested Wednesday over a "phishing" scam in which he sent numerous people e-mails pretending to be banks, illegally obtained their IDs and passwords and used the information to embezzle over 1 million yen, police said.

Hirofumi Fujita, 23, an unemployed resident of Matsuyama, stands accused of violating the Unauthorized Computer Access Law.

Fujita set up fake Web sites for banks and sent e-mails titled, "Important notice," to numerous people. He asked them to access the sites to obtain their bank IDs and passwords, investigators said.

The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is investigating allegations that Fujita swindled 21 people out of about 13 million yen since October last year through phishing.

In the specific case for which he was arrested, he used the illicitly obtained ID and password of a 37-year-old man living in Suginami-ku, Tokyo, to transfer about 1.19 million yen from the victim's account at JP Bank into his own account in March, MPD investigators said.






unemployed resident=無職の住人

stands accused of violating the Unauthorized Computer Access Law不正アクセス禁止法違反容疑として取調べを受ける

fake Web sites=偽のウェブサイト、偽りのウェブサイト

The Metropolitan Police Department=警視庁




specific case=特定のケース



victim's account=被害者の銀行口座



毎日新聞 2008730日 1305

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(Mainichi Japan) July 30, 2008

Vietnam Airlines jet engine catches fire after landing at Narita Airport

ベトナム航空機:成田着陸後、エンジンから火 けが人なし

NARITA -- An engine on a Vietnam Airlines jet caught fire after the plane arrived at Narita Airport on Wednesday morning, government officials said.

None of the 277 passengers and crewmembers on board was injured as they had already disembarked by the time the fire started. The local office of the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry is investigating the cause of the fire.

At around 7:40 a.m., an air traffic controller at Narita Airport noticed smoke coming out of one of the two engines on a Vietnam Airlines Boeing 777-200 that was taxiing toward a gate after landing.

The engine caught fire at around 8:30 a.m. after all the passengers had disembarked at the gate. Seventeen fire engines were mobilized to extinguish the blaze.

Ministry inspectors suspect that fuel had leaked and began to smoke after it became heated.

"There was nothing unusual in the cabin," said Michio Kasai, 49, a passenger aboard who operates a restaurant in Vietnam. "A cabin attendant repeated, 'Please disembark quickly,' but didn't say that smoke was coming out."

The aircraft was on Flight 950 from Ho Chi Minh.


passengers and crewmembers on board搭乗乗客乗務員


the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry国土交通省成田空港事務所


fire engines=消防車

extinguish the blaze=消火する


"There was nothing unusual in the cabin,"=機内では特に変わったことはありませんでした

passenger aboard=搭乗乗客

operates a restaurant in Vietnam=ベトナムでレストランを経営する

cabin attendant=乗務員




空港会社は午前7時41分から午前8時まで同機の着陸した暫定平行滑走路を閉鎖した。 乗客で、ベトナムでレストランを経営する笠井道生さん(49)は「機内の様子は特に変わったことはなく、客室乗務員が『早く出て下さい。クイックリー、クイックリー』と繰り返していただけで『煙が出ている』という説明はなかった」と驚いた表情だった。【黒川将光、駒木智一、斎藤有香】

毎日新聞 2008730日 1110分(最終更新 730日 1228分)

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■■■■ENEOSカードにインターネットで入会しよう!■■■■■■ ENEOSカードがリニューアル!ガソリン・軽油代が請求時に2円/L!楽しさいっぱいのカードです。今すぐGET!

(Mainichi Japan) July 30, 2008

11 people collapse at bakery after apparently inhaling carbon monoxide

救急搬送:大阪のパン店、12人病院へ 一酸化炭素中毒か

OSAKA -- Eleven people collapsed at a bakery here after apparently inhaling carbon monoxide on Wednesday morning, police said.

At around 7:50 a.m., rescue workers received an emergency call from an employee of Bakery Factory Gogh in Higashisumiyoshi-ku, Osaka, reporting that people had collapsed in the store.

Eleven people -- nine women and two men -- were rushed to hospitals by ambulances. Two women, aged 18 and 28, were in a serious condition. Another 34-year-old woman visited a clinic to receive a check-up.

The owner of the shop has told investigators that the ventilating fan was not working at the time, leading them to suspect that the victims suffered carbon monoxide poisoning.

The bakery is located in a shopping district about 600 meters east of Nishi-Tanabe Station on the Midosuji Subway Line.


inhale carbon monoxide=一酸化炭素を吸い込む

rescue workers=救助隊

rushed to hospitals=病院に急送された

in a serious condition=重篤な状態、危篤状態

ventilating fan was not working=換気扇が作動していなかった






毎日新聞 2008730日 1059分(最終更新 730日 1324分)

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(Mainichi Japan) July 30, 2008

航空満足度:首位シンガポール ANA4位、JAL13位

Singapore Airlines soars to top of passenger satisfaction ranking, ANA, JAL decline

Japanese passengers selected Singapore Airlines as the best airline of the year, a recent passenger satisfaction survey found, while airlines from Japan lost several places from last year.

According to the annual survey about in-flight services, including the quality of their hospitality, meals and amenities, Singapore Airlines was chosen as the best airline for the overall ranking list, followed by Virgin Atlantic Airways of Britain and Emirates of the United Arab Emirates.

The top three airlines also made the Top 10 lists in individual categories. "The top three airlines in the overall ranking list have many new aircraft," said Recruit Co., which conducted the survey.

All Nippon Airways (ANA), the best airline in last year's overall ranking list, dropped to fourth place this year, and Japan Airlines (JAL) also fell to 13th from third place.

The best airlines in individual categories are as follows. "Best flight attendant service": Singapore Airlines; "Best in-flight meal": Emirates; "Best aircraft and amenities": Emirates; "Best in-flight entertainment": Virgin Atlantic Airways; and "Best airline employee service at airports": ANA.

"Apparently, the greater the choices of passenger services, the higher the level of satisfaction," says a Recruit employee in charge of the survey.

The survey, which was conducted online in May among 103,922 passengers age 18 years old or over, traveling overseas over the last year, received

72,745 answers. Some 100 answers were picked at random for each of the 40 designated airlines.


soars to top of passenger satisfaction ranking=旅客の満足度第一位の座に登りつめる

the best airline of the year=年間の最優良航空会社

in-flight services=機内サービス



individual categories=個別部門

conducted the survey=調査を実施する

Best in-flight meal=最優良機内食

Best aircraft and amenities=最優良機器

Best in-flight entertainment=最優良フライトサービス

Best airline employee service at airports=最優良空港会社職員

at random=任意に

The overall ranking of this year's passenger satisfaction survey is as follows:

1: Singapore Airlines (last year 2)

2: Virgin Atlantic Airways (5)

3: Emirates (7)

4: All Nippon Airways (1)

4: Air New Zealand (4)

6: Austrian Airlines (--)

7: Eva Air (19)

7: Finnair (17)

9: Lufthansa (21)

9: Japan Asia Airways (12)


13: Japan Airlines (3)












6 - オーストリア航空







毎日新聞 2008729日 2042分(最終更新 730日 1027分)

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2008年7月30日 (水)


(Mainichi Japan) July 29, 2008

Surging gas prices hurting car rental, parking businesses, but traffic accidents falling

ガソリン高騰:異変 駐車場埋まらず 事故減 高速道緩和

Surging gasoline prices in Japan are turning more people away from driving, resulting in declining sales for car rental businesses and parking lot operators, but at the same time, traffic congestion and accidents also appear to be falling.

At one car rental business in Tokyo's Koto-ku, a 68-year-old man who came to return a vehicle appeared irritated by the high cost of gasoline.

"Don't you have any cars that are more fuel-efficient?" he asked a worker at the business.

The customer borrows a van two or three times a month to deliver paintings to clients in Tokyo and surrounding areas. He says he has to think about the distance and the time he travels to save money on fuel.

According to the major car rental business Nippon Rent-A-Car Service, the number of customers who opt for fuel-efficient cars has been increasing, with many choosing smaller engine capacities. The length of time people borrow a vehicle has also been decreasing. In June, the company's sales fell by 1.2 percent.






surrounding area=周辺の地域

opt for=~を選ぶ、~を求める、~の傾向がある、~しがちな 発音注意:アプトと発音される

Parking businesses have also suffered financially. The operator of one parking building near JR Okachimachi Station in Tokyo's Taito-ku said that compared to last year, earnings have dropped 10 percent.

"Business has fallen further in July," the operator sighed.

Officials at the Japan Parking Association, which represents about 800 parking businesses says that since June, when gasoline prices rose across Japan, the number of vehicles using paid parking has fallen by 10 to 20 percent. An association official said that there were probably more households cutting back on traveling expenses as they confronted soaring food prices.


suffered financially=経済的打撃を被る

compared to...=…にくらべて、…と比較して

across Japan=日本全国で

cut back on...=…に使うお金を切り詰める、節約する



At the same time, however, the number of traffic accidents in Tokyo has fallen, and traffic congestion has eased significantly. In the first six months of this year, the number of accidents in the capital (excluding accidents involving only property damage), stood at 30,075, a drop of 3,990 accidents compared with the same period the previous year. The number of fatalities during the period also fell to a post-war low of 96 -- 34 fewer people than during the same period a year earlier.

Metropolitan Expressway Co. officials said that between January and May, traffic was backed up for an average of 39 kilometers at 11 a.m. on weekdays, making lines an average of 12 kilometers shorter than during the same period the previous year.

A Metropolitan Police Department representative said people appeared to be cutting back on the use of their vehicles.

"It appears that as people hold back from using their vehicles and traffic on the road decreases, the number of accidents has also fallen," the representative said.


traffic accidents=交通事故

traffic congestion=交通渋滞

eased=軽減する (has been eased でも可、自動詞を使うか他動詞を使うかによる)


accidents involving only property damage=自損事故

stood at...=…にとどまる

compared with... =…に比べて、…と比較して

previous year=昨年


post-war low=戦後最低の

a year earlier=一年前

MetropolitanExpressway Co.= 首都高、首都高速道路

be backed up for... = …で占められている、…の距離の渋滞で占められている

the previous year=昨年

Metropolitan Police Department=警視庁

cut back on ... = …につき節約する、切り詰める

hold back from ... = …をさしひかえる from の後には名詞、動名詞が続く

ガソリン高騰:異変 駐車場埋まらず 事故減 高速道緩和









(毎日新聞 2008729日 1500分(最終更新 729日 1500分)

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(Mainichi Japan) July 29, 2008

Woman injures 6 in knife attack at JR Hiratsuka station

傷害:JR平塚駅で女がナイフ振り回す 男性6人軽傷

HIRATSUKA, Kanagawa -- A woman pulled a knife and attacked seven people at JR Hiratsuka Station on Monday, leaving six with minor injuries, police said.

The incident occurred during the evening rush hour. The woman -- later identified as 34-year-old Chigasaki resident Hisae Sakurai -- started screaming and attacked a man with a small Swiss Army knife, slashing his shirt, near the station's north exit at around 7:30 p.m., according to eyewitness accounts.

She then climbed a staircase to the east exit and attacked another six men, aged between 18 and 48, leaving them with minor injuries to the back and arms.

"Someone bumped into me and I just lost it. I climbed the stairs and started slashing people," Sakurai told police. "I thought I was going to die and wanted to take other people with me."

She was apprehended by a 21-year-old university student and subsequently arrested by police.



according to eyewitness accounts=目撃者の証言によれば


minor injuries to the back and arms=背中と腕に軽い傷

bump into…=…にぶつかる

I thought I was going to die and wanted to take other people with me.誰かを道連れにして死にたかった

be apprehended by...=…により取り押さえられる、掴まえられる


傷害:JR平塚駅で女がナイフ振り回す 男性6人軽傷





毎日新聞 2008728日 2150分(最終更新 729日 109分)

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2008年7月29日 (火)


(Jul. 29, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun

Fiscal '09 budget rules fail to address pensions

来年度予算 「基礎年金」の答えはいつ出す(7月29日付・読売社説)

Although the government has decided on the details of budgetary request guidelines for fiscal 2009, it is inevitable that compiling the budget for the next fiscal year will be an unusually difficult task. Toward the end of the year, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's leadership will be called into question anew.



The ceilings for budgetary requests, a set of criteria for determining the draft budget for the next fiscal year, is scheduled to be approved by the Cabinet on Tuesday.


The key element of the fiscal 2009 budgetary requests is the creation of the "important issues promotion category" that amounts to 330 billion yen.


As an exception in the guidelines that set limits for budgetary requests by government ministries, a certain amount of budget increase will be approved for items related to certain issues under the system.


Those issues will include easing the worsening doctor shortage, addressing the declining birthrate and aging society, measures to tackle the global warming issues that were the major focus at the Group of Eight summit of major nations in Toyakocho, Hokkaido; and ways to reinforce dynamic growth.



Further cuts required


However, the current severe fiscal situation requires further cuts in other areas if increases are to be approved for items addressing these issues.


For that reason, the government has decided to add 2 percentage points to the previously decided cuts in such areas as public works spending, which was set to be chopped by 3 percent from a year before, and defense related expenditure and spending on national university operations, both of which were set for a 1 percent reduction. In the case of public works spending, this means the budget will be cut by 5 percent from the initial 2008 budget.


In addition, the plan to reduce the natural increase in social security costs by 220 billion yen will be maintained as in the past.


Although it is a desperate action to make the budget compilation work properly while still giving the government some leeway to act on important issues, we doubt whether the 330 billion yen is enough to address such vital concerns. There are even some who say the fund should be expanded drastically.



Other issues ignored


The problem lies in handling pending issues that were shelved in the guidelines. Among them, the most difficult one is how to handle the increase in the government's burden resulting from raising the share of the basic pension payment it shoulders from the current level of little more than one-third to 50 percent. Under normal circumstances, the funds necessary for the plan, 2.3 trillion yen, would have to be incorporated in the social security budget before deciding on the cap for the item.



However, it now seems quite likely that the government will not raise the the consumption tax rate, a measure widely expected to provide the revenue source for this item, due to worries about the economic outlook and the likelihood of a House of Representatives election.


Some measures have emerged as alternatives to a consumption tax hike. They include using the surplus in the government's special accounts, often called the "warlord's buried treasure," or delaying the increase in the government's burden for about six months from the scheduled start at the beginning of fiscal 2009 in April.


In any case, Fukuda has to come up with an answer to the question by the end of the year.


Also, no concrete policy was indicated in the guidelines for directing road-related special revenues into the government's general revenue stream.


Cutting all public works projects, including road-related budget items, by only 5 percent is wholly insufficient.


If he cannot take a machete to road-related budget items, Fukuda will be criticized for breaking his promises.



(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 29, 2008)

20087290224  読売新聞)

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(Mainichi Japan) July 28, 2008

Evacuation order issued for 20,000 households as heavy rain pounds Hokuriku region


KANAZAWA -- Heavy rain pounded the Hokuriku region on Monday morning, flooding a river here and prompting city officials to issue a temporary evacuation order for 20,000 households.

Part of the Asano River in Kanazawa running through an urban area overflowed its banks at about 8 a.m. on Monday, causing flooding above floor level in some households. In the city of Toyama, meanwhile, a car got caught in a landslide, injuring one person.

Officials at the Kanazawa Local Meteorological Observatory said that in one area along the upper reaches of the Asano River, 60 millimeters of rain was recorded over a period of just one hour starting from 5:50 a.m. on Monday. The city of Hakui, Ishikawa Prefecture was also hit by heavy rain, recording 58 millimeters of rain over a one-hour period from 3:20 a.m.

While there were no immediate reports of injuries, homes were flooded and officials from the Ishikawa Prefectural Government and the Kanazawa Municipal Government are working to determine the extent of the damage.

The heavy rain disrupted transportation, resulting in the suspension of one Thunderbird express train on the Nanao Line between Wakura-Onsen and Kanazawa stations. Regular trains between Matto and Kanazawa stations were also suspended. Meanwhile, six areas on roads in Kanazawa were temporarily blocked off due to flooding.

Other areas to be heavily hit by rain included Gokayama in Toyama Prefecture, which recorded a record rainfall of 75 millimeters in the one-hour period ending at 7:30 a.m. on Monday.

While the rain passed its peak on Monday morning, meteorological officials continued to warn of landslides, rising river levels and flooding. Rain was expected to continue until Tuesday.

Localized downpours have increased in recent years. Meteorological Agency officials said that if temperatures continued to warm, moisture in the atmosphere would increase, bringing more rain.

"There is a tendency for rain to fall locally in areas where the temperature has risen due to the 'heat island' phenomenon, mainly in large cities," an agency official said.

words and phrases:



urban area=市街地

flooding above floor level=床上浸水

upper reaches=上流部

immediate report=速報


extent of the damage=被害の程度、広がり


blocked off=遮断される、寸断される、交通不能になる

due to flood=洪水のため



localized downpours=局所的な集中豪雨


locally in areas=局所的に






(毎日新聞 2008728日 1145分(最終更新 728日 1305分)

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2008年7月28日 (月)


(Jul. 28, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun

Minister should act in Oita school scandal

教員採用汚職 教委のあり方を問う根深さ(7月28日付・読売社説)

The bribery scandal involving the Oita Prefectural Board of Education appears to be never-ending. The way in which boards of eduction function has come into question. Boards of education across the country and the Education, Science and Technology Ministry should do their utmost to restore public trust in education.


In the latest incident discovered, bribery is suspected of playing a role not only in teacher employment tests but also in promotion tests for principals and vice principals. In connection with the cases, the Oita prefectural police searched the primary schools of a principal and vice principals who allegedly gave gift certificates to a senior official of the prefectural board of education who oversaw personnel management in return for special treatment in the examination.


The No. 2 official of the board of education is suspected of receiving gift certificates worth 200,000 yen from the principal of a primary and middle school in the prefecture after the principal was unofficially notified of his appointment as a senior official of the board's compulsory education division.

The No. 2 official also is alleged to have instructed his subordinate to bump up test scores of certain applicants to ensure they passed teacher employment and promotion tests.


The board of education has already announced that it will nullify the assignment of teachers to posts that have been confirmed illegitimately obtained and hire unsuccessful applicants whose test scores were sufficient to pass.



Evidence gone


However, with the applicants' answer sheets from the test already having been discarded, it is difficult to identify those illegitimately recruited and those who should have been given a passing grade, but were failed in favor of those who were shown improper consideration. It is also necessary to think about the possible adverse impact on students.


To carry out reform, the prefectural board of education has recently set up a special team comprised of lawyers and outside experts as advisers. The team must quickly investigate the series of incidents from a different viewpoint from the police investigation and take necessary measures.


A practice in which the remark column on applicants' score tables bears the names and titles of board of education officials and prefectural assembly members who acted as go-betweens in connection with the cash-for-pass scandal lasted until at least seven to eight years ago. A person connected to the board of education said the practice had been in place for 20 years.


Concentration of authority to make pass-fail decisions in the hands of a small number of senior officials was proved to have resulted in a hotbed of corruption in a court case in connection with a similar bribery scandal at the Yamaguchi Prefectural Board of Education 18 years ago.



Systemic problems

According to a recent Yomiuri Shimbun survey, however, 58 boards of education among 63 Tokyo and other prefectural, and ordinance-designated cities' boards of education allow only officials of the secretariat division of the board of education to take part in screenings for public school teachers.


Only 17 boards disclose allocation of scores to each answer on the employment tests. Disclosing correct answers and score allocation so that applicants can self-grade their tests is the first step toward preventing wrongdoing.


What did the Oita Prefectural Board of Education learn from the scandal in the other prefecture? The board should seriously reflect on the scandal in which it is involved.


It has also been revealed that the Oita Prefectural Board of Education and other local boards disclosed the results of teacher employment tests, although there was no money involved, to prefectural assembly members and others, who acted as go-betweens, before those who took the test received their results. Providing such advance notice of test results is poor practice that could lead to misconduct. Such practices must be stamped out.


The local education administration law revised last year enables the education minister to demand boards of education take corrective measures if it becomes obvious that violations of the law and negligence on the part of the board infringes on students' rights to an education.



In the case of Oita Prefecture, the misconduct revealed is systematic and either the principal or vice principal has been removed at four primary schools. The education minister should not hesitate to intervene in the case if the prefectural board of education is unable to quickly solve the problem.


(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 28, 2008)

20087280208  読売新聞)

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(Mainichi Japan) July 26, 2008

Hachioji knifeman was pampered by parents, isolated at school, work



Acquaintances of Shoichi Kanno, who has been arrested for killing a woman and injuring another in a knife attack in the western Tokyo city of Hachioji earlier this week, say he was spoiled by his parents and ostracized at school and work.

"During breaks at school, we often saw him reading textbooks alone. When classmates started making fun of him, he stopped attending school," said a 32-year-old woman who attended the same junior high school as Kanno, 33.

A 55-year-old worker of a pickled vegetable factory, where Kanno had worked for several years, said he was overprotected by his parents.

"When he was doing overtime, one of his parents would phone him at the factory saying, 'Are you still working?'" he said.

Until about five years ago, he visited a convenience store near his home with his 67-year-old mother on a daily basis.

"It's rare that an adult man comes to my store with his mother every day," said the store's 44-year-old manager.

While voicing an apology to his victims during questioning, Kanno expressed anger at his parents. "A few weeks ago, I asked my parents about some problems I was having at work, but they wouldn't listen to me. So I decided to do something that would cause them trouble."

However, his father says that he and his wife had never discussed their son's job with him.

"We're puzzled by my son's statements," he said.

Words and Phrases:

ostracize=社会的に追放する、葬る、村八分にする 発音注意:オストラサイズと発音する


making fun of him=彼をからかう

overprotected by his parents=過保護状態であった


express anger=怒りを表す

something that would cause them trouble=何か両親を困らせるもの

We're puzzled by my son's statements=息子が何を話しているのかわからない









(毎日新聞 2008726日 1500分(最終更新 726日 1500分)

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2008年7月27日 (日)


(Mainichi Japan) July 26, 2008

5.9 billion yen to be returned to bank transfer scam victims

振り込め詐欺:口座残金は59億円 全銀協が初集計

A month after a new law was introduced to return money to victims of bank transfer scams, there is over 5.9 billion yen waiting to be returned to its rightful owners, according to a new survey by the Japanese Bankers Association (JBA).

After a spate of incidents, typically in which criminals posing as family members would call victims and con them into transferring money for bail and so on, the government enacted the Law Concerning Remedies to Remittance Solicitation Fraud, which came into effect on June 21.

The JBA survey has discovered that the law will apply to 53,102 bank accounts that are both suspected of being used in bank transfer scams and have a balance of over 1,000 yen.

The total balance of these accounts stands at 5.916 billion yen -- but since Japan Post Bank, credit unions and credit cooperatives are not members of the JBA and therefore not covered by the survey, the real total is estimated to be even higher.

The Deposit Insurance Corporation of Japan, a semi-governmental body, has been tasked with overseeing the return of the money, a process which began on July 16. The JBA is also asking victims to inquire with banks to find out whether the accounts that they transferred their money to are subject to the rescue measures.

The National Police Agency said that a record total of 13.7 billion yen was collected through bank transfer scams between January and May this year, a 60 percent increase over last year's figure for that period.

According to the JBA survey -- the first of its kind -- there were 183,789 accounts containing a total of 8.723 billion yen believed to have been used in illegal activities such as tax evasion as of the end of March.

Of those, 124,472 accounts are suspected to have been used in bank transfer scams, the JBA said.

Words and Phrases:

bank transfer scam=振り込め詐欺








rescue measures=救済措置

tax evasion=脱税






 ◇ことば 振り込め詐欺救済法


(毎日新聞 2008725日 2135分(最終更新 725日 2354分)

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2008年7月26日 (土)


(Jul. 26, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun

Latest CPI figure leaves govt, BOJ in policy bind

消費者物価 景気もインフレも要警戒だ(7月26日付・読売社説)

Surging oil and food prices worldwide have pushed the nation's consumer price index to a worryingly high level.


Stagflation--in which an economy experiences inflation and stagnation at the same time--appears to be becoming a reality. The government and the Bank of Japan should therefore take even greater care over how they manage policy.


For June, the core CPI, which excludes perishable foods, rose for the ninth consecutive month on a year-on-year basis, jumping 1.9 percent for the period. Excluding periods when prices rose following a consumption tax hike, the latest figure is the highest in 15-1/2 years. Meanwhile, the index that includes perishable foods showed a 2 percent increase for the first time in almost 16 years.


perishable=腐りやすい perishable foods=生鮮食料品

With sharp increases in the prices of imported raw materials such as crude oil, wheat and soybeans, prices of kerosene, gasoline and other oil products, as well as spaghetti, instant noodles, cooking oil and other food products have soared by 20 percent to 40 percent on the previous year.


The latest CPI reading was near the upper limit of the zero to 2 percent range considered desirable by the central bank, though the July figure, which is expected to show further increases, could exceed this level.


Consumption has been hit as rising prices for daily necessities deal a further blow to household budgets that are suffering from sluggish wages.




Heading toward recession?


Meanwhile, the deteriorating business performance of companies as a result of higher costs and the slowing U.S. economy also is a matter of serious concern. The nation's economy, which had seen growth plateau, is now on the brink of recession.


deteriorating=悪化した plateau=高原、台地/安定期/景気の停滞状態 on the brink of recession=景気後退への瀬戸際

Even if the inflation rate slightly exceeds the central bank's target, it would not be appropriate for the bank to raise interest rates in response.


For the time being, there is no choice but to maintain a neutral stance that does not lean toward rate hikes or cuts.


lean=寄りかかる、偏る、傾く rate hikes or cuts=利上げ又は利下げ


Foreign complications


The European Central Bank earlier this month decided to raise interest rates as eurozone inflation hit 4 percent. Even in the United States, where policymakers have now stopped cutting interest rates, there is speculation the Federal Reserve Board will start to hike rates.


With demand sluggish, Japan has yet to overcome deflationary pressures. But if both the United States and European Central Bank set off on a course of rate hikes, the Bank of Japan will find it even more difficult to conduct monetary policy.


The challenges of rising oil prices and confusion in financial and capital markets cannot be tackled by a single nation.


Governments should first move to stem flows of speculative money, which are pushing up oil and grain prices irrespective of demand.



The United States, home to a number of speculative funds, is reluctant to introduce regulations to stop them. But the adverse effects of speculative money flows have seriously shaken the real global economy.


the real global economy=世界の実体経済

The Japanese government, in cooperation with European authorities, must put more pressure on the United States to ensure that action is taken to strengthen supervision over, and regulations aimed at, speculative market players.


(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 26, 2008)

20087260145  読売新聞)

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(Mainichi Japan) July 25, 2008

Tokyo High Court upholds prison term for Livedoor founder Horie

ライブドア:堀江元社長の控訴棄却し実刑判決 東京高裁

The Tokyo High Court on Friday upheld a 2 1/2 year prison sentence handed down on former Livedoor Co. President Takafumi Horie, who faced charges of violating the Securities and Exchange Law in connection with fraudulent accounting at the company.

In handing down its decision, the high court dismissed an appeal against a lower court ruling. Horie's lawyers, who had argued that he was innocent, planned to file an appeal in the Supreme Court.

Horie, who founded Livedoor, was convicted in an earlier district court ruling of padding the company's accounts by over 5.3 billion yen in the financial period ending in September 2004. He was accused of listing over 3.76 billion yen from the sale of the company's shares as profits when the amount could not normally be regarded as profits. He also stood accused of listing up 1.58 billion yen in fictitious sales to two companies that later became subsidiaries.

In the high court appeal trial launched in February this year, Horie's lawyers argued that the district court ruling had illegally made a decision on a point other than what the focus of the trial was decided to be in pretrial arrangement procedures. They added that the former president had not padded accounts intentionally, and said that even if he were found guilty, a prison term without suspension was too heavy.

Prosecutors had argued that the earlier district court ruling was appropriate.

Three of four other Livedoor officials in the case have been handed suspended sentences that have become fixed. The ruling on a high court appeal in the trial of Livedoor's former chief financial officer, Ryoji Miyauchi, who was handed a prison sentence in a district court ruling, is due to be handed down in September.

Words and Phrases:

uphold=判決を確認する、下す hand down=判決を下す fraudulent accounting=粉飾決済,経理 high court=高等裁判所

dismiss=棄却する/解散する lower court ruling=1審の判決 the Supreme Court=最高裁判所 found=会社を設立する

convict=有罪を宣告する pad=書類を粉飾する stand=位置する accused=被告人 factious sales=虚偽の取引

subsidiaries=子会社 intentionally=意識的に、わざと、意図的に、故意に pretrial=公判前の、法廷審理前の






毎日新聞 2008725日 1010分(最終更新 725日 1615分)

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2008年7月25日 (金)



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(Jul. 25, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun

Progress on N. Korean issues still wanting

6か国外相会合 核も拉致も進展しなかった(7月25日付・読売社説)

Foreign ministers of the six countries involved in talks aimed at denuclearizing North Korea met for the first time in Singapore on Wednesday.


Though their discussions should have focused on verification of the list of nuclear programs North Korea submitted last month, the ministers from Japan, China, North and South Korea, Russia and the United States failed to make any specific progress on this issue.


They confirmed the need to begin verifying North Korea's declaration of its nuclear activities, but could not agree on a specific timeline for starting it. This makes it uncertain that the process to verify North Korea's report will begin anytime in the near future.


At the six-party talks held in Beijing two weeks ago, the United States had already distributed to the parties concerned a draft on specific procedures to check Pyongyang's nuclear programs. North Korea, however, did not offer any response to it at the meeting in Singapore.


U.S. President George W. Bush's administration made a hasty compromise with North Korea by putting off a confirmation of ways to verify North Korea's report. The six-party denuclearization process currently is suffering from the adverse effects of this.



Absolute verification needed


North Korea's declaration of its nuclear activities was incomplete, as it did not reference its development of nuclear weapons or uranium enrichment activities. Yet in return for submitting the report, Washington promised to remove Pyongyang from a U.S. blacklist of state sponsors of terrorism. Before this removal takes effect around Aug. 11, the United States reportedly hopes to start confirming information in the report.


Compromise with North Korea, however, will become meaningless if a strong verification mechanism is not created. The five countries--Japan, China, South Korea, Russia and the United States--should urge North Korea to agree with the early commencement of the verification work in a concerted manner. Easy compromises should never be made.


At the meeting in Singapore, North Korea complained the other parties were delaying the delivery of promised energy and economic assistance to the country, urging them to complete it by the end of October.


However, the benefits agreed at the six-party talks are in exchange for the disablement of all nuclear facilities in North Korea and a complete and accurate declaration of its nuclear activities.


They are not promised for the disablement of only three nuclear facilities and an incomplete report.


Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura talked briefly with his North Korean counterpart Pak Ui Chun after the meeting in Singapore, but he was unable to deepen discussions.



Use leverage on abductions


Nearly a month and a half has already passed since Pyongyang promised at Japan-North Korea talks in June to reinvestigate cases of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korean agents. Pyongyang has not started the reinvestigations and refused to have talks with Tokyo to detail the contents and means of the reinvestigations. This shows a lack of good faith.


Was North Korea's promise to reinvestigate the abduction cases a mere expedient to get the United Sates to remove the country from the list of states sponsoring terrorism?

Tokyo should strongly urge Pyongyang to work harder on resolving the abduction issue.



Of course, the abduction issue should be solved in principle between Japan and North Korea. But Japan needs to also utilize the multilateral framework more to its own benefit.


At the meeting in Singapore, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the other foreign ministers urged North Korea to resolve the abduction issue as soon as possible. Japan should work to continue receiving indirect support from the United States, China and the other countries. It is one way to achieve Japan's goal--a comprehensive settlement of abduction and nuclear issues with North Korea.


(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 25, 2008)

20087250145  読売新聞)

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(Mainichi Japan) July 24, 2008

Major quake leaves 107 injured in northern Japan

岩手北部地震:M6.8、震度6強も 7道県107人けが

At least 107 people were injured, 16 of them seriously, in a powerful earthquake that jolted Iwate Prefecture and surrounding areas in the early hours of Thursday, police said.

Twenty houses were partially damaged by the temblor that struck at around 12:26 a.m. on Thursday.

The quake measured upper 6 on the 7-point Japanese intensity scale in Hirono and lower 6 in the Iwate Prefecture village of Noda, and Hachinohe, Gonohe and Hashikami in Aomori Prefecture. No tsunami warning was issued.

The focus of the temblor, which is estimated at 6.8 on the open-ended Richter scale, was located 108 kilometers below the ground along the Pacific coast of northern Iwate Prefecture.

Two fires were triggered by the earthquake, according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency.

The government set up an earthquake task force at the crisis management center of the prime minister's office at 12:34 a.m., less than 10 minutes after the earthquake.

Words and Phrases:

jolt=揺する、揺らせる temblor=地震 tsunami=津波 the focus of the temblor=epicenter=震源 tregger=引き起こす

the fire and disaster management agency=消防署、災害防災センター










(毎日新聞 2008724日 1139分(最終更新 724日 1328分)

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2008年7月24日 (木)


(Jul. 24, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun

No excuses for uptick in nation's murder rate

無差別殺傷 繰り返される身勝手な凶行(7月24日付・読売社説)

Yet another indiscriminate fatal stabbing has taken place.


On Tuesday night, a 33-year-old company employee stabbed two women at a bookstore located in a shopping center next to a train station in Hachioji, Tokyo. Of the two, a university student who was working part-time at the store later died.


The man, arrested soon after, reportedly told police his work was not going well and asked his parents for advice. But they did not help him, he reportedly said, adding he was so frustrated that he felt like killing someone on impulse.


on impulse=衝動的に

These are the words of someone immature and selfish, just like a child.


Could he have not thought about the gravity of stealing someone else's future and driving that person's family into despair?



What is so striking is that too many similar incidents have happened recently.




A disturbing pattern


A 25-year-old temporary worker, who killed seven people and injured 10 in a "pedestrian paradise" section of road closed off to vehicles in Tokyo's Akihabara district last month, was quoted by police as saying, "I came to Akihabara to kill people."


A 24-year-old unemployed man, who stabbed one person to death and injured seven at JR Arakawaoki Station in Ibaraki Prefecture in March, reportedly said: "It didn't matter who [I killed]. I just wanted to kill somebody."


It is eerie in a sense that the motives were very similar in these incidents. Personal dissatisfaction and frustration drove them to take others' lives so easily.



The targeted areas have been a train station, an open street and now a station building. There is no knowing where we may face such dangers. Many people likely feel this anxiety.


Regarding the Akihabara incident, some people have argued that an unstable employment situation for youth and growing economic disparities contributed to the incident. But such disparity has always existed in society, and there have been times when young people had difficulty finding jobs. There is no room for justifying whatsoever such terrible incidents.



Yes, efforts should be made to improve situations such as unstable employment. But there is a growing worry that people are more and more shifting blame onto others and society as a whole rather than reflecting on their own lack of efforts and impatience.



Come together to stop crime


The Supreme Court on July 11 sentenced to death a man who killed five and injured 10 at JR Shimonoseki Station in 1999, saying there could be no room for leniency toward the defendant because his act was extremely malignant in that he indiscriminately assaulted passersby with whom no fault was found.


leniency=情状、情け、哀れみ、寛大 defendant=被告 malignant=きわめて有害な、悪意に満ちた indiscriminately=無差別に

assault=襲う、飛びかかる passersby複数=passerby単数=通行人

To protect and ensure the peace of people's lives, it is necessary to be firm against crimes. Doing so also would offer some solace to victims' families.



There were 649 murder cases in the first half of this year, a 10 percent increase from the same period last year. The number of murder cases had been on the decrease for four consecutive years, making the latest figure a concern.


In Kawaguchi, Saitama Prefecture, a third-year middle school student stabbed her father to death Saturday. A number of other such family incidents, in which children abruptly assault their parents, have taken place.



Though it might take a long time, we hope people work to restore the power of families and local communities, which in turn help children learn every day how to draw a line between good and bad and acquire the abilities to become self-supportive.


in turn=交代で、交互に self-supportive=自立できる

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 24, 2008)

20087240219  読売新聞)

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(Mainichi Japan) July 23, 2008

Man arrested over deadly Hachioji stabbing says he didn't care who victims were

八王子殺傷:現場近くで包丁購入 「誰でもよかった」

The man arrested over a fatal stabbing at a bookstore in the Tokyo city of Hachioji on Tuesday has told police that he bought the knife used in the attack nearby, and didn't care who he stabbed.

Arrested over the attack that claimed the life of Mana Saiki, a 22-year-old worker at a bookstore in the Keio Hachioji Station building, was Shoichi Kanno, 33.

When questioned over the attack, Kanno reportedly told police, "I bought the knife near the scene." Police are investigating his motives for targeting the bookstore and are trying to identify the store where the knife was bought.

Investigators said that Kanno was responding to questioning in a straightforward manner. He reportedly told them, "My work wasn't going well and I bought the knife after deciding to kill someone. I was frustrated. I didn't care who (I attacked)."

Police said Kanno stabbed Saiki near the entrance of the bookstore on the ninth floor of the station building at about 9:40 p.m. on Tuesday as she was arranging books, and then attacked a female customer who was standing nearby.

Saiki's cause of death is believed to be loss of blood from a stab wound on the left side of her chest. An autopsy was due to be performed on Wednesday.

After the attack, Kanno used an elevator to flee to the ground floor, but left the knife behind. A bag containing a medical institution's registration card bearing Kanno's name was found near where Saiki had collapsed.

Kanno's 69-year-old father said that Kanno had gone on to high school after junior high school, but dropped out. He applied to join the company where he was currently working in late April, but broke a finger immediately after starting his job and had to take time off.

Words and Phrases:

fatal stabbing=致命的な刺し傷 when questioned=取調べにあたって… straightforward manner=まっすぐに、正面きって

wasn’t going well=うまくいってなかった(過去進行形)

be frustrated=抑圧されている、圧迫されている、落胆している、欲求不満の状態である、失敗している、挫折している

don’t care who... = 相手はだれでもかまわない loss of blood=出血多量 autopsy=検死、司法解剖

medical institution’s registration card=病院の診察券 drop out=落ちこぼれる have to take time off=回復するのに時間がかかる







(毎日新聞 2008723日 1323分(最終更新 723日 1420分)

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2008年7月23日 (水)


       ホテルの窓の風景                      ラヨーンメーラムプンビーチHotel_window_320_256_3Maeramphun_320_256_2 


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(Jul. 23, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun

Economy white paper sidesteps key issues

経済財政白書 リスクにどう立ち向かう(7月23日付・読売社説)

The approach the annual government white paper on the nation's economy and public finances proposes as a prescription for warding off a looming crisis facing the economy raises certain questions about its efficacy.


(ward off=危険攻撃などを避ける) (looming=不気味に現れる) (efficacy=ききめ、効果)

The Cabinet Office's Annual Report on the Japanese Economy and Public Finances 2008, which was released Tuesday and whose subtitle is "Japan's Economy: Tackling Risks," analyzes the risks the economy faces from short-, medium- and long-term viewpoints, and proposes strategies and measures to sustain current growth.


On the whole, the white paper's appraisal of the nation's economy is on the right track. However, the economy has entered a lull at the start of a period when it is encountering many growing risks, such as the U.S. subprime mortgage fiasco.

The white paper lacks a hard-nosed appraisal of the current situation based on this understanding of world markets. As such, it fails to be entirely convincing.


(appraisal=評価、見積もり) (lull=なぎ、静まっている状態) (hard-nosed=感情に左右されない、冷静な、客観的な)

Regarding short-term risks, the white paper cites a decline in the U.S. economy; a sharp rise in the prices of crude oil and raw and processed materials; and fluctuations on financial and capital markets. It warns that the economy is vulnerable to impacts from overseas and faces the risk it might shift to a downswing. This finding is not surprising.




Picture too rosy?


On the future outlook for the economy, the white paper says, "Japan's economy will recover slowly after experiencing these issues." However, we think this claim is too optimistic. The government should set out specific reasons for coming to this conclusion and demonstrate why it remains relatively upbeat.


The U.S. subprime mortgage crisis is not showing any sign of ending, and U.S. and European financial institutions are reporting increasing losses.

China, which is fast becoming one of the leading players in the world economy, appears to be facing a decelerating economy as inflationary concerns grow due to rising prices for raw and processed materials.



The business environment is getting tougher and financial and stock markets face a rocky ride ahead. Corporate and individual investors are trying to nut out how to reduce risks.


(nut out=気が狂う、そればかりが気がかりである)

However, regarding medium-term risk, the white paper says Japanese corporations and individuals are reluctant to take risks and therefore are missing opportunities to reap profits.


On that basis, the white paper says that, to increase economic vitality, "it is necessary for companies and ordinary households to remain active in taking risks."



Unreasonable demands


We do not deny that this view has some advocates. However, it is a tough call to press ordinary households whose incomes certainly are not rising and companies that already are doing it tough to take further risks.

Amid rising economic uncertainty due to falling prices of financial products triggered by the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis, it is unreasonable to call for active investment.



Meanwhile, regarding long-term risks, the white paper says the nation's finances, burdened by rising social security costs, will further suffer, and vitality in the private sector will be dampened by the nation's aging society and declining birthrate.


(vitality=活力、体力) (dampen=鈍らせる)

The white paper did not say it is necessary to raise consumption tax--the most effective way to provide stable financial resources to address the financial squeeze--and instead simply says somewhat euphemistically "the role of [the consumption tax] is becoming more important in industrialized nations."



We understand that the nation's current economic situation is opaque and the current political situation is fractious, but restoring the nation's finances is a vital task.


opaque=不透明な) (fractious=不機嫌な、怒りっぽい)

The white paper should therefore have stressed the risks inherent in not raising the consumption tax rate.



(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 23, 2008)

20087230156  読売新聞)

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(Mainichi Japan) July 22, 2008

More workers getting no job satisfaction

労働白書:仕事の満足度低下 背景に非正規急増や成果主義

Fewer workers are feeling a sense of job satisfaction amid the recent surge in non-regular employment and the introduction of a merit-based pay system, a government report has found.

The White Paper on Labor for 2008, announced by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare on Tuesday, pointed out that workers' sense of satisfaction has been on the decline in terms of employment security and a sense of fulfillment from their jobs.

It was the first time that the white paper cited a sense of satisfaction among workers.

The white paper quoted data from a Cabinet Office's survey and pointed out that the percentage of people who said they were satisfied with employment stability declined from 33 percent in 1978 to 14.8 percent in 2005.

Likewise, the white paper said workers' satisfaction with their jobs dropped from 30.5 percent to 16.6 percent and their satisfaction with income increases decreased from 23.7 percent to 6.2 percent.

"The merit-based pay system, which companies have introduced in order to raise motivation among workers, has not necessarily been successful. The operation of wage systems needs to be improved," the white paper said.

Meanwhile, the white paper said the percentage of non-regular workers -- apart from part-time workers -- increased from 38 percent in 2001 to 44 percent in 2006 and pointed out that non-regular workers have a relatively lower sense of job satisfaction compared to regular workers.

"There are rising anxieties and dissatisfaction among workers who cannot be employed as regular workers. It is true that non-regular employment is effective in terms of cost reduction, but it does not serve to boost vocational capability and plays a negative role in terms of labor productivity," the white paper said.

The white paper referred to long-term employment and the seniority system that were prevalent at Japanese companies but became subject to criticism when Japan was losing international competitiveness. "There is a move to revaluate them," the white paper said.

Words and phrases:

amid=~の中に、で)(merit-based pay system=成果主義賃金システム) (sense of fulfillment=達成感)

(sense of satisfaction=満足感) (quote=引用する) (likewise=同じように、同様に) (motivation=やる気、動機づけ、動機)

(wage systems=賃金体系) (meanwhile=一方、一方では、同時に)(non-regular-worker=非正規労働者)

(cost reduction=原価の低減) (vocational capability=職業上の能力、職務遂行能力)

(long-term employment=長期雇用) (seniority systems=年功序列賃金制度





(毎日新聞 2008722日 1214分(最終更新 722日 1246分)

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2008年7月22日 (火)




srachai from khonkaen, thailand

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(Jul. 22, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun

Urgent action needed to solve doctor shortage

医師不足対策 増員だけでは10年かかる(7月22日付・読売社説)

Drastic measures must be taken to solve the serious shortage of doctors faced by the nation.


A panel of experts has been established by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry to give body to the vision set out by the ministry in the hope of securing safe, accessible medical care.


In its new vision, the ministry made an about-face from the conventional policy of limiting the number of medical students to a new policy of increasing the enrollment quotas of medical schools.


(about-face=180度方向転換) (quotas=quota=割り当て人数)

It is necessary for the panel to first show to what extent it will increase the enrollment quota of medical schools from the current 7,800.


Prior to the adoption of the policy to curtail the number of medical students, up to 8,300 medical students had been trained annually. It is necessary to immediately return to the number of trainee doctors produced during the peak period. In addition, the panel must consider whether to further widen the enrollment quota in excess of the earlier peak.



However, it takes about 10 years for freshmen in university medical departments to become full-fledged doctors. Measures that will have a more immediate impact are need in addition to the plan to increase enrollment quotas.


One pressing issue is improving the clinical training system for newly graduated doctors.



Fix clinical training system


In the past, most new medical school graduates started out working as interns under supervising doctors at university hospitals. But a new clinical training system has allowed them to choose to train at ordinary private hospitals because, in many cases, the conventional system has resulted in increased overspecialization of doctors.



The goal of the new system--enabling young doctors to acquire a broad range of clinical experience--is a sensible one.


But university hospitals, which found themselves short of staff after the number of trainee doctors coming to them decreased more than expected, have recalled more experienced doctors they previously dispatched to hospitals run by local governments.


This is a major reason for the sharp decline in the number of doctors in provincial cities. As many medical school graduates choose to do their internships at hospitals in major cities, the uneven distribution of doctors has been aggravated.



To amend such a situation, alternative ways are needed to handle the selection by aspiring doctors of the hospital at which they will train. It is necessary to adjust the quota for trainee doctors so that they can be assigned more equitably to each prefecture.


(aspire=待ち望まれた、待望の) (equitably=公平に、同様に)


Help local govt-run hospitals


Hospitals run by local governments have been entirely dependent on university hospitals dispatching doctors to them. It is important to create a system or body under which doctors will be assigned to local hospitals that need them.


We hope the panel will also delve deeper into the issue of medical treatment fees.



The current doctor shortage is really a shortage of staff physicians at hospitals.


In general, doctors working at hospitals make less money than those in private practice and work longer hours.


The working conditions are tougher for hospital staff doctors who may be required to provide medical care at any time day or night, especially obstetricians, pediatricians and doctors engaged in emergency medical care.


obstetrician=産科医) (pediatrician=小児科医)

Doctors who cannot cope with such working conditions are shifting to private practice.


To resolve the current crisis a drastic increase in the medical treatment fees paid to hospital doctors is needed.


Support work by doctors in private practice who take turns providing medical care at night at hospitals should be properly rewarded.



It is important to concentrate financial sources on essential medical services.


(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 22, 2008)

20087220127  読売新聞)

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2008年7月21日 (月)


8:48 2008/07/19


私はこの和尚さん(僧侶)を心の底から信頼し、私の死後の面倒をみるように依頼までした仲だ。 和尚さんの年齢は私より一回りくらい若い。それでこの和尚さんに私の死後の人生を託してみたのだ。
入安居の行事で村に戻っても、この寺の住職はもう二度と村人の前に姿をあらわすことは無い。 淋しかった。

srachai from my home in Chiyaphum.

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(Jul. 21, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun

Strive for agreement at Geneva WTO session

WTO交渉 今度こそ大枠合意を目指せ(7月21日付・読売社説)

The Doha Round trade talks of the World Trade Organization have entered a make-or-break phase with the year-end deadline for concluding a trade accord only months away.


WTO members should reach an agreement from broader points of view this time at the round's ministerial negotiations which will start Monday in Geneva, attended by Japan, the United States and European nations as well as developing nations. Altogether, about 150 nations and regions will be represented.


The Doha Round was launched at the end of 2001 with the goal of promoting free trade, but it has stalled on a number of occasions.


The upcoming negotiations in Geneva may be the last chance to strike an agreement under the Doha Round. Unless an outline agreement is reached at the meeting on the major trade areas of agricultural and industrial products, there will be little chance of finalizing an accord by the end of this year.

With the November presidential election and a change of U.S. administration looming next year, Washington is not expected to make any moves on trade issues for a while. Trade negotiations, therefore, are bound to be delayed or frozen.



Countering protectionism


Recent skyrocketing food prices have prompted an increasing number of nations to restrict their agricultural exports. This situation has raised concerns about protectionist moves and provided the momentum to promote free trade. It is hoped that this momentum will help participating nations strike a deal at the meeting.


Major stumbling blocks in the negotiations are conflicts arising from United States' staunch opposition to cutting farm subsidies, Japan and European nations' reluctance to lower tariffs on farm products and developing nations' resistance to opening their markets to industrial products.


Draft proposals, submitted by the WTO secretariat for facilitating negotiations, called for setting the ratio of sensitive items--rice for Japan, for example--that countries will be allowed to maintain high tariffs at 4-6 percent of the total imported items. But the figure is much smaller than 8 percent or more proposed by Japan.


The United States is opposing a draft proposal to reduce farm subsidies to 13 billion dollars-16.4 billion dollars, while developing nations are objecting to any moves by developed nations to seek major cuts in tariffs on industrial products.


But mere clashes of national interests will not advance the talks. Each country or region must show willingness to compromise.



Pain vs gain


Further liberalization of Japan's farm market will undoubtedly come with much pain. But we wonder if there is any way that Japan will be able to overcome this by raising the productivity of the farm sector and gaining an international competitive edge through structural reform of the sector.


On the other hand, lowering of tariffs on industrial products, such as automobiles and home appliances, will be good news for Japan's industrial sector as it can expect a boost in their exports. What decision the Japanese government--reportedly trying to seek a well-balanced trade deal--will make is closely being watched.


At the Group of Eight summit of major nations held in Toyakocho, Hokkaido, earlier this month, the leaders agreed on the necessity of successfully concluding the Doha Round talks as soon as possible. We hope G-8 leaders will exercise leadership to help strike a deal.


The Doha Round is aimed at promoting free trade in not only agricultural and industrial sectors but wide-ranging areas, that include services and investment so as to enrich the world's economies, including those of developing nations. A missed opportunity to do this will be too costly for the world to accept.


(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 21, 2008)

20087210147  読売新聞)

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July 20, 2008

Mainichi Daily News to start over again

Report on developments and apology















July 20, 2008

Mainichi Daily News to start over again

Report on developments and apology

The Mainichi Newspapers Co., Ltd. continued to post extremely inappropriate articles in the WaiWai column of the Mainichi Daily News (MDN), its English Web site. We have reported the results of an in-house investigation into the case on Pages 22 and 23 of the July 20 morning edition of the Mainichi Shimbun.

We continued to post articles that contained incorrect information about Japan and indecent sexual content. These articles, many of which were not checked, should not have been dispatched to Japan or the world. We apologize deeply for causing many people trouble and for betraying the public's trust in the Mainichi Shimbun.

The Mainichi Newspapers took punitive measures on July 20 against Managing Director Yoshiyuki Watanabe, who previously served as general manager of the Multimedia Division, and another senior official, to hold them responsible as supervisors, in addition to those who were earlier punished.

We will take the following measures to prevent a recurrence of the problems pointed out to us through the criticism and opinions received from many readers, through our in-house investigation, and as indicated by the Open Newspaper Committee of experts:

On Aug. 1, we will reorganize the MDN Editorial Department, and on Sept. 1, under a new chief editor, the MDN will be transformed into a more news-oriented site. We will translate Mainichi Shimbun editorials and commentaries by prominent figures, such as "Jidai-no-Kaze" (Sign of the Times), and post them on the site in an effort to deepen the understanding of Japan among readers overseas.

At the same time, we will set up an advisory group to the MDN comprised of Megumi Nishikawa, an expert senior writer, and other staff writers specializing in international news coverage. The group will check the MDN's editorial plans and the content of articles in the MDN.

We are determined to try our utmost to regain the public trust that we have lost as a result of this incident and rehabilitate the English site into one that can dispatch information about Japan to the world in an appropriate manner.

The Mainichi Newspapers Co., Ltd.


英文サイト出直します 経緯を報告しおわびします






The Mainichi Shimbun pledges to learn from its serious errors

Strengthening the checking system to prevent a recurrence

It was impermissible as a news organization that the Mainichi Newspapers Co., Ltd. continuously posted inappropriate articles in the WaiWai column of the Mainichi Daily News (MDN), its English site.

The articles had inappropriate content that should not have been dispatched in Japan or to the world, such as incorrect information about Japan and indecent sexual topics. We apologize deeply for making many people feel uncomfortable, damaging many people's reputations, causing great trouble and at the same time, betraying the public's trust in the Mainichi Shimbun. We are deeply sorry.

An in-house investigation has indicated that many articles in the column in question were barely checked before being posted, and that the seriousness of the problem went undetected even within the company. We neglected repeated warnings from those outside the company. These are serious errors and are extremely regrettable. In accordance with internal regulations, those involved in the matter have been severely punished.

In an effort to maintain and improve the quality of the printed edition of its newspaper, the Mainichi Newspapers has an article review division, and has also set up an Open Newspaper Committee, a third-party panel comprised of experts. Nevertheless, we failed to notice the problems that occurred on the English site. Our quality-control system was insufficient. We also failed to clearly define the role of our English site, which dispatches news to the world.

We have worked out measures to prevent a recurrence while keeping in mind the results of our in-house investigation and opinions from many readers.

We have decided to reform the MDN in order to rehabilitate it into a site that can dispatch information to the world that can help people properly understand Japan.

We will appoint a female employee as the new chief editor, based on our realization that the lack of a woman's point of view, in addition to the lack of a checking system, helped to create a situation in which inappropriate articles continued to be published in the column. An advisory group will be set up to give appropriate advice on the content of articles.

We have already shut down the WaiWai column, but if we find outside Web sites that have copied and posted past WaiWai articles, we will explain the situation and ask the site operators to correct or delete them.

We received valuable opinions from members of the Open Newspaper Committee, who were asked for the first time for their views on the English site. We will ask them to keep a close eye on Mainichi Web sites including the MDN. We will also boost the system to properly respond to opinions from those outside the company.

The WaiWai problem has called into question whether the Mainichi Newspapers has clearly defined the role of its English site. We are determined to try our utmost to regain the public trust that we have lost as a result of this problem.

The Mainichi Newspapers Co., Ltd.

再発防止へ体制強化 深刻な失態 教訓にします










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2008年7月20日 (日)


(Jul. 17, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun

Defense Ministry reform must forge strong body

防衛省改革 肝心なのは「機能する」組織だ(7月17日付・読売社説)


With a reform plan released Tuesday by the government's Defense Ministry Reform Council, can the Defense Ministry be made into an organization that really works?


On organizational reform, a major focus of the report, it advocated maintaining the ministry's internal bureaus and four staff offices--the Joint Staff Office and ground, maritime and air staff offices--while also suggesting a mixing approach through expanded personnel exchanges between uniformed Self-Defense Forces officers and civilian ministry officials.


Regarding unit operations, the report also suggested the Operational Policy Bureau be integrated into the Joint Staff Office. On defense capability improvement functions, which includes defense equipment procurement, the report proposed that internal bureaus and each of the staff offices be unified.


The personnel mixing of internal bureaus and four staff offices should in principle be promoted so as to engender unity and solidarity in the ministry and to help establish genuine civilian control.



It is important that civilian ministry officials, who have expertise in policy planning and administrative coordination, and uniformed SDF officers, who are knowledgeable about military affairs, work together and support the defense minister through "mutually complementary cooperation."




Striking a power balance


Organizational reform, though in some respects positive, also has potential risks.


Both SDF officers assigned to internal bureaus and civilian ministry officials assigned to SDF units will have to engage in work with which they lack experience. If any confusion, friction or lowering of morale in the ministry and the SDF occurs, it could affect national security.



The ministry is now required to carefully examine detailed potential organizational reform plans.


First, the mixing of personnel should be implemented gradually. After this is settled, the process of unification in operational and defense capability improvement functions each should take place. Reform could be implemented in two stages.


The report also called for strengthening of the so-called control tower function of the Prime Minister's Office. The proposal includes such measures as the establishment of a permanent organ to consider how improvement in defense capabilities should be achieved and the creation of an advisor position to assist the prime minister on security issues.


To realize the creation of an organ that weighs potential defense capabilities, it would be necessary to move a certain number of capable ministry officials to the Prime Minister's Office. As the Defense Program Outline is to be reviewed next year, the challenge is to maintain a balance as the functions of the ministry's Defense Policy Bureau are to be strengthened.



Getting back to major issues


It is unknown at this moment to what extent proposals made in the report will be effective in preventing a recurrence of scandals that have plagued the ministry, such as a bribery case involving former Administrative Vice Defense Minister Takemasa Moriya, the collision of an Aegis-equipped destroyer with a fishing boat and the alleged mishandling of classified information.



For the last six months, the ministry has focused merely on cleaning up after the scandals and holding discussions on organizational reform. Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba, since he took up the post in September, has never visited Okinawa Prefecture. This is unusual. During this time, such issues as the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station have been put on the back burner.



We hope the ministry becomes more actively involved in its primary duty of handling policy matters such as the reorganization of U.S. forces in Japan, the overseas dispatch of SDF personnel and the establishment of a permanent law to allow it.


(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 17, 2008)

20087170156  読売新聞)

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2008年7月17日 (木)


(Mainichi Japan) July 16, 2008

77 percent in favor of abolishing statute of limitations on murder in Japan


Seventy-seven percent of people in Japan think that the statute of limitations on murders should be abolished, a Mainichi poll has found.

Under Japan's current statute of limitations, legal proceedings cannot be initiated for murder cases after 15 years, or 25 years for murders committed after 2005.

However, 77 percent of respondents in the Mainichi poll said the statute should be eliminated for murder, while just 15 percent said it should be kept. By gender, 75 percent of males and 78 percent of females were in favor of abolishment.

Under a 2004 revision to the Code of Criminal Procedure, the statute of limitations on murders that occurred from 2005 onwards was increased to 25 years. The period on outstanding cases remained at 15 years so as not to cause sudden unfairness to people accused in crimes. However, 68 percent of the people questioned in the telephone survey said they thought it was strange for the time period to be split depending on when the murder was committed. Only 21 percent said the difference stood to reason.

The adoption of a U.S.-style John Doe charge system for crimes such as rape -- under which charges can be filed without knowing a person's identity if DNA evidence is left at the scene, thereby halting the statute of limitations -- was supported by 69 percent of respondents, while 15 percent said such a system should not be implemented.

In May this year, the National Association of Crime Victims and Surviving Families approached the Liberal Democratic Party's Research Commission on the Judiciary System over abolishment of the statute of limitations on murders.

The issue came into focus recently when Kazuyoshi Miura, 60, was taken into custody by U.S. authorities in Saipan in February over a shooting in Los Angeles that occurred about 27 years earlier, and it was reported that for heinous crimes in the United States there is no statute of limitations.


(statute=法令、放棄、制定法) (statute of limitations=時効) (abolish=廃止する、撤廃する) (respondents=回答者) (gender=性別)

(abolishment=廃止、撤廃) (the Code of Criminal Procedure=刑事訴訟法) (outstanding=未解決の) (stand to reason=理に叶う、合理的な)

the National Association of Crime Victims and Surviving Families=犯罪による被害者と残された家族の会)(heinous=極悪非道な)








毎日新聞 2008716日 011

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2008年7月16日 (水)


2008/7/16 --The Asahi Shimbun, July 15(IHT/Asahi: July 16,2008)

EDITORIAL: Takeshima issue


South Korea has reacted with outrage to the education ministry's decision to refer to the disputed Takeshima islets as Japanese territory. It is the first such mention in the ministry's manual for junior high school teachers.



The Takeshima islets, called Tokto by South Koreans, lie in the Sea of Japan. The territorial dispute has been a persistent thorn in bilateral diplomacy.



On Monday, Seoul summoned the Japanese ambassador to South Korea and lodged a protest. In addition, a group of South Korean lawmakers flew by helicopter to Takeshima as a mark of protest against Tokyo.


(summon=呼び出す、召還する) (lodge=突き立てる)

For South Koreans, Takeshima is far more than just a territorial issue. It is a symbol of Japan's past colonial rule of the Korean people. The islands were incorporated into Japan's Shimane Prefecture in 1905. That same year, Japan divested Korea of its diplomatic rights in prelude to the annexation of the Korean Peninsula.


divest=はぎとる、権利を剥奪する) (prelude=~の前ぶれ、前兆)

"Tokto, our land" is a South Korean song taught to all children to inculcate patriotism. The issue of ownership is essential to South Korean nationalism.



Three years ago, the Shimane prefectural government created "Takeshima Day" by ordinance to commemorate the centenary of the islands' subsumption. South Korea's vehement protest is still fresh in many people's memories.



Mindful of the South Korean sentiment, the Japanese government was always careful to be circumspect about the Takeshima issue. This time, however, matters came to a head because of a combination of factors.



The education ministry's curriculum guidelines are revised every 10 years or so, along with the accompanying manual. 2008 was such a year.

Some members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party saw this as the perfect opportunity to insist that schools spend more time discussing the Takeshima issue, as well as the longstanding row with Russia over the Northern Territories.



In South Korea, the administration of President Lee Myung Bak was inaugurated in February. Given the fact that Japan cannot do without South Korea's cooperation in dealing with North Korea over the nuclear and abduction issues, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda was careful not to get into a diplomatic fray with Seoul.



That explains Fukuda's decision not to delve into the Takeshima issue when revisions to the official curriculum guidelines were released in March. As a trade-off, however, he had no choice but to allow the Takeshima issue to be mentioned in the manual. This illustrates Fukuda's weak footing in his own party.



Lee has problems on the home front as well. South Koreans' anger with their government has exploded with the resumption of U.S. beef imports. The Lee administration cannot afford to come across as spineless at this critical juncture.


(spineless=骨のない、弱腰の) (juncture=時期、時点)

Nevertheless, everybody should calm down.


The manual issue amounts to nothing more than a rehash of the Japanese government's official stand on the Takeshima issue. In fact, existing textbooks from four publishers already contain passages on Takeshima. The great majority of Japanese citizens hope to maintain good bilateral ties. Tokyo should seize every opportunity to explain this fact clearly and patiently to Seoul.


We can appreciate South Korea's anger. But that said, it is also a fact that the manual states objectively that South Korea and Japan have always been at odds over Takeshima's ownership.


(be at odds over...=~に関して主張に相違がある)

Both sides should present their arguments, agree to disagree, and try to resolve the dispute calmly. That is the only way to go.


--The Asahi Shimbun, July 15(IHT/Asahi: July 16,2008)

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(Jul. 16, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun

Fishermen walking a fine line

全国一斉休漁 漁師らの窮状を救うには(7月16日付・読売社説)

Due to soaring fuel costs, the more often fishermen go fishing, the greater the debt they find themselves in. As it stands, 30 percent of fishermen could see their businesses go belly-up.



About 200,000 fishing boats halted operations nationwide for the first time Tuesday to raise public awareness of their predicament. Heavy oil used as fuel for fishing boats has almost tripled in price over the past five years. This year alone, the price has jumped 1.5-fold, and fuel costs now soak up 30 percent of a boat's total operating costs.



(predicament=苦境、窮地) (fold=倍/折りたたみ) (soak up=染み渡る、浸透する)

The Japan Fisheries Cooperatives and other major fisheries groups, which called on member fishermen to suspend fishery operations, maintain that energy-saving efforts, such as driving their boats at slower speeds, have reached their limit. They have asked the government for direct assistance, such as subsidies to help cover fuel costs.


However, it is not only fishermen who are being squeezed by soaring crude oil prices. Farmers and the transportation industry are in the same boat.

Considering the government's severe financial circumstances, finding the funds for direct assistance to offset soaring fuel costs, which could lead to the pork-barrel spending of tax money, would be very difficult.


(offset=埋め合わせする、相殺する) (pork-barrel=大盤振る舞いの)


Give aid where needed


There is a case to be made for giving government assistance to fishing crews that stay in port while others head out on the brine on a rotation system. However, the assistance should be extended on the premise it will lead to structural reform of the fisheries industry.


(brine=海、大洋) (premise=前提、前提条件)

Within European Union member nations that are considering support measures for fishermen, just like in Japan, there is strong backing for linking this aid to measures to improve management of the fisheries industry, such as by scrapping some fishing boats.



The Japanese fisheries industry should present a blueprint for how to strengthen its management as a basis for government assistance.


The suspension of fishery operations also provides an opportunity to rethink how this nation's fish distribution system should operate and how consumers should buy fish. The surgical knife of reform should start hacking away at the distribution system.


(hacking away=hack away=うまくやりとりする、なんとかこなす)


Short end of the stick


Because fish prices are decided at auctions, fishermen have little wiggle room to pass on the increase in fuel costs to consumers. Adding to their woes, distributors charge a fee to throw away any fish left unsold.


(wiggle=揺れ動くこと) (woe=苦痛、苦悩)

Of a fish sold for 100 yen, a supermarket takes a cut of 60 yen and a fisherman's share is just 24 yen, only a fraction of which is profit after necessary costs have been paid.



Under such circumstances, it is no wonder that soaring fuel costs are pushing fishermen into the red. Efforts must be made to increase the money that goes to fishermen's pockets by streamlining the distribution system and ensuring sensible amounts of fish are purchased at markets.


Ocean-going tuna fishing boats, which have been left reeling by fuel costs, have decided to halt operations for a lengthy period from August. Retail prices of tuna already are creeping up.


(reel=ぐらつく、よろめく) (lengthy=長期の) (creep=這い上がる)

Higher fish prices could further push consumers away buying fishery products. The fisheries industry is prepared to order another nationwide suspension of operations if the government does not meet their requests. However, frequently halting operations across the nation, which will push up fish prices, will not sit well with the public.


(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 16, 2008)

20087160152  読売新聞)

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(Mainichi Japan) July 15, 2008

Majority say Fukuda lacked leadership skills as chairman of G8 summit

世論調査:サミット「首相が指導力」は27% 毎日新聞

Over 60 percent of the public do not think Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda exercised appropriate leadership as chairman of the Group of Eight (G8) summit in Hokkaido earlier this month, a Mainichi Shimbun poll has suggested.

Of the respondents, 27 percent said they think Fukuda showed appropriate leadership when he chaired the July 7-9 Hokkaido Toyako Summit, while 62 percent believe he failed to do so, according to the results of the survey.

An overwhelming majority -- 83 percent -- said their evaluation of the prime minister remains unchanged after the G8 summit.

The approval rating for the Fukuda Cabinet, which plummeted to 18 percent in May, slightly rose to 21 percent in June, and then to 22 percent in the latest poll conducted after the summit. The disapproval rating for his administration fell 6 percentage points from the previous survey in June to 54 percent.

These figures demonstrate that Fukuda failed to use the conference as a springboard to increase public support for his administration.

The survey has also shown that the Fukuda Cabinet has failed to garner enough backing from supporters of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Komeito that make up the ruling coalition. Only 54 percent of LDP supporters and 48 percent of Komeito backers responded that they support the Fukuda Cabinet.

The Mainichi Shimbun surveyed 1,060 people randomly selected across the country by telephone last weekend.

Related articles


(exercise=能力を発揮する) (responders=回答者) (overwhelming=圧倒的な) (plummet=急激に下がる)

(springboard=はずみをつかせるための出発点) (garner=手に入れる) (backers=後援者、指示者)





毎日新聞 2008714日 2115分(最終更新 714日 2319分)

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ビルマ文字フォント名: Wwin_Burmese1
このビルマ文字フォントをダウンロードしたら、Windows/Fonts のフォルダにコピーしてください。それで準備完了です。



ビルマのどこの小学校でも、カージー、 カーゲー、 ガーゲーと発音しながらビルマ語の子音文字を学習しています。われわれもこれからビルマ語学習の第1歩を踏み出します。

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2008年7月15日 (火)


(Jul. 15, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun

Teach the truth: Takeshima part of Japan

学習指導解説書 「竹島」明記は遅いぐらいだ(7月15日付・読売社説)

It is the vital responsibility of the education system to teach the next generation accurate information about the country's territory and history.


An instruction manual for the education ministry's new curriculum guidelines for social studies at middle schools mentions for the first time that students should be taught that the disputed Takeshima group of islets, which South Korea calls Dokdo and claims as sovereign territory, are Japan's territory.


(Islet=小島) (sovereign=主権を有する)

The Takeshima islets are an integral part of our nation's territory historically and by international law. This is the position the Japanese government has steadfastly maintained.



The four Russian-held islands off eastern Hokkaido, known as the northern territories, have been described as part of Japan's territory not only in the education ministry's curriculum guidelines and in its instruction manual, but also in all 14 textbooks on geography and civics used in middle schools. Four textbooks have already carried descriptions of the Takeshima islets. Describing the Takeshima islets as part of Japan in the instruction manual should have been done much earlier.


(civics=公民 srachaiが学生のころはこの科目はなかった、比較的新しい科目だと思われる)

After reports on Japan's plan to mention the Takeshima islets in the curriculum instruction manual, South Korean President Lee Myung Bak expressed concern and the South Korean National Assembly adopted a resolution calling on the Japanese education ministry not to include mention of the Takeshima islets as an integral part of Japanese territory.



Diplomatic consideration


In the instruction manual, a direct description of the Takeshima islets as "an integral part of our nation's territory" was avoided.


The instruction manual calls for accurately treating "the northern territories as part of our nation's territory," while it instructs teachers "to provide a deeper understanding [of the Takeshima islets] as our nation's territory in the same manner as the northern territories." In this regard, the manual calls for teachers to refer to disagreement between Japan and South Korea over the Takeshima islets.


This shows a measure of a diplomatic consideration for South Korea. The South Korean government is strongly opposing Japan's move, saying that it has asked the South Korean Ambassador to Japan Kwon Chul Hyun to return to Seoul in protest. We hope that Seoul responds to the matter in a calm manner.


By the mid-17th century, early in the Edo period (1603-1867), Japan had already established its sovereignty over the Takeshima islets. In 1905, the islets were incorporated into the jurisdiction of Shimane Prefecture with Cabinet approval.


sovereignty=主権、統治権) (jurisdiction=管轄権、支配権)


Seized territory


In 1952, shortly before the San Francisco Peace Treaty, which stipulates the post-World War II territory of Japan, went into effect, then South Korean President Syngman Rhee suddenly declared sovereignty over the waters around South Korea and drew a line in the Sea of Japan, claiming sovereignty over the Takeshima islets. Since then, South Korea has unlawfully occupied the islets.


South Korea is a neighboring country with which Japan has to closely cooperate on resolving the denuclearization of North Korea and the abduction of Japanese by North Korean agents.


However, the issue of what a national education system should provide to its people, including instruction on territorial issues, is one of national sovereignty. Diplomatic consideration belongs in a different category from an accurate conveyance to the next generation of the history and territory of a sovereign state.


(national sovereignty=国家主権) (conveyance=次世代への引継ぎ事項) (sovereign state=主権国家)

Different from the curriculum guidelines, the instruction manual is not legally binding. But it is significant because it will serve as a guideline for the editing of school textbooks by publishers and for classroom teaching.

On the basis of the spirit of the instruction manual, publishers have to commit themselves to provide easy-to-understand explanations in their textbooks while teachers have to instruct students with clarity.


(curriculum guidelines=解説書) (instruction manual=指導要領) (clarity=明瞭、明快)

Solving the territorial issue of sovereignty over the Takeshima islets is a difficult task. For this reason, it is vital that the Japanese people correctly understand the issue and can clearly argue Japan's stance to the international community.



(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 15, 2008)

20087150153  読売新聞)

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(Mainichi Japan) July 14, 2008

Tickets for rich Summer Jumbo lottery go on sale across Japan

サマージャンボ:発売開始 「夢切符」求め長蛇の列

People line up to buy Summer Jumbo Lottery tickets in Tokyo's Yurakucho district on Monday morning.


Tickets for the Summer Jumbo lottery went on sale across the nation on Monday, drawing long lines at popular ticket outlets.

At the Nishi Ginza Department Store Chance Center, snaking lines of people buying tickets in the hope of winning prizes of up to 300 million yen were seen.

There are 40 first prizes of 200 million yen, and 80 second prizes of 100 million yen. This year is the 30th anniversary of the jumbo lottery and to mark the occasion, 80,000 prizes of 30,000 yen have been prepared.

One 48-year-old office worker from Kawasaki put his luck on "lucky seven," buying 100 tickets from booth 7 at 7 a.m.

"If I win, I want to spend some time relaxing in Hawaii, and I want to run in the Honolulu Marathon," he said, smiling.

Tickets will be sold until Aug. 1. The draw is on Aug. 12.

(drawing=線を引く、長い列をなす) (anniversary=記念日)




毎日新聞 2008714日 1022分(最終更新 714日 1101分)

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2008年7月14日 (月)


2008/7/12 --The Asahi Shimbun, July 11 (IHT/Asahi: July 12,2008)

EDITORIAL: 6-party talks resume


Six-party talks aimed at finding a peaceful solution to security concerns involving North Korea's nuclear programs resumed in Beijing on Thursday after a nine-month hiatus. Late last month, Pyongyang submitted a written declaration on the status of its nuclear development program. That kickstarted the latest talks. It is clear what must be accomplished first. A framework is needed to rigorously investigate and verify the accuracy of Pyongyang's report.

(hiatus=中断 発音注意:ハイエイタスと発音される)




The key to such corroboration will be on-site inspections of North Korea's graphite-moderated reactors, spent nuclear fuel reprocessing plant and other facilities mentioned in the declaration. It will also be crucial to take a systematic approach to sampling of materials, questioning those in charge of the North's nuclear development and other aspects of the program.



Negotiators at the six-party talks must swiftly iron out an effective way to advance this process. How will the United States, China and Russia--all nuclear powers--along with Japan and South Korea, take part in the verification process? Will experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency be brought onboard? These and other issues must be studied. North Korea must cooperate in good faith.


The declaration is reportedly limited to plutonium-based nuclear development. Pyongyang claims it has 38 kilograms of plutonium. It said it had already extracted some 30 kg, of which 26 kg was used to make nuclear weapons.


In view of Washington's previous estimates that Pyongyang has stockpiled more plutonium that it said it had extracted, checks must be made to assess the accuracy of this statement. There are many areas that remain vague. For instance, just how much plutonium was extracted when the first crisis surrounding the North's nukes emerged in the early 1990s?



Pyongyang has already handed U.S. authorities a massive volume of operation records from its nuclear facilities. Washington must thoroughly analyze those materials to substantiate the amounts of plutonium involved.



In the first place, Pyongyang's nuclear declaration is a far cry from a "complete and correct" accounting agreed upon at earlier six-party talks. Nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula pose a particularly grave threat to Japan. How many nukes does Pyongyang have? What is the status of its production facilities, storage sites and testing sites? The declaration apparently fails to make any mention of these critical matters.


In 2002, suspicions arose that Pyongyang was enriching uranium. There were also suspicions that it was involved in supplying nuclear technology to Syria. North Korea has largely glossed over these areas, supplying Washington with materials that are quite separate from the main declaration.

U.S. President George W. Bush, nearing the end of his term in the White House, appears impatient for palpable progress. But forgetting about the final objective of having North Korea completely abandon its nuclear program would be unacceptable.



(gloss=もっともらしく説明する) (palpable=容易にわかる)

During recent talks with Japan, North Korea agreed to reopen its investigation into past abductions of Japanese citizens and cooperate in handing over the hijackers of a Japan Air Lines plane in 1970 who holed up in North Korea. So far, however, these negotiated promises remain just that.

The next step is to press Pyongyang to act, for example, by working with a Japan-North Korea task force set up within the framework of the six-party talks. Unless the pledges are implemented, Japan will not follow through on its promise to partially lift its economic sanctions against Pyongyang.



On Wednesday, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda stressed the importance of verifying Pyongyang's nuclear declaration and getting the regime to abandon its nuclear program. This was part of his address as chairman at the Group of Eight summit held in Hokkaido's Lake Toyako. Firm demands were likewise made for Pyongyang to resolve the nagging abduction issue promptly and take action on other issues. In this latest round of six-party talks, North Korea must be confronted with the severity of how the international community views its behavior.


(nagging=しつこい、たえず感じられる、長引いている) (severity=厳格さ、厳正さ)

--The Asahi Shimbun, July 11 (IHT/Asahi: July 12,2008)

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2008/7/12 --The Asahi Shimbun, July 11(IHT/Asahi: July 12,2008)

EDITORIAL: The Bottom Billion


"The Bottom Billion" is a term gaining currency in the international aid community. It refers to the 1 billion people at the bottom of the pyramid. They are the poorest of the poor in developing countries living on less than $1 (107 yen) a day. They constitute one-sixth of the world's population.


The ripple effects of skyrocketing oil and food prices are spreading worldwide. Costlier energy and food pose a grave, immediate threat to the survival of the Bottom Billion, who live in farming villages and urban slums in developing countries.


(ripple=さざなみをたてる) (costlier=costly=値段の高いの比較級)

In a news conference at the closing of this year's Group of Eight summit, held in the Lake Toyako resort in Hokkaido, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said, "Challenges of global scale are affecting people's lives in dire ways." He was talking about the seriousness of such problems as soaring crude oil and food prices, inflation and global warming.



During the three-day summit, leaders of major economic powers spent hours discussing these problems and produced masses of declaration documents. But how much did these discussions and documents do to hearten the Bottom Billion? How much relief did they give to them?


(mass=集まり、集積、集合) (hearten=励ます、元気付ける、励ます)

Of course, even the leaders of the eight most powerful nations cannot find solutions to all these intractable problems. But that doesn't lessen the urgency of asking these questions.

In response to rising food prices, G-8 pledged more than 1 trillion yen in emergency aid. But wheat, corn and other crop prices will rise further before the aid reaches the people who urgently need it. That means the money will supply even less food. Efforts to increase local food production are hurt by surging fertilizer and seed prices.



The summit did even less for rising oil prices. The G-8 responses to the oil woes included urging oil-producing countries to ramp up output and proposing a dialogue between oil consuming and producing nations. But these are unlikely to have immediate effects.


woe=悲痛、苦悩、悲哀) (ramp up output=生産を拡大する、増産する)

It is hardly surprising aid organizations and experts inside and outside Japan harshly criticized the G-8's approach. And there is no peak in sight for oil and food prices.



The economic gap among developing countries is widening. The economies of emerging countries like China, India and Brazil are on a sharp upward growth trajectory. Most of the Bottom Billion live in countries that have fallen behind in the wave of economic globalization. The economies of these countries are stagnating, or even deteriorating. Many of the countries at the bottom are in Africa, parts of Asia and Central Asia.


(trajectory=軌道) (stagnate=よどむ、活気がなくなる) (deteriorate=悪化する、退廃化する)

World Bank President Robert Zoellick has called these multiple economic crises a "man-made catastrophe." Likely he was thinking of the rush to use grain for biofuels and restrictions on food exports by food-producing countries, which have both driven up food prices.

Speculative bets on higher oil and food prices are also contributing to the crises. For the world's poorest, though, these crises are no different from a natural disaster.


NGOs and researchers, who view the crises as consequences of "casino capitalism," called for restrictions on speculative investments and a ban on producing biofuels with grains. But these ideas got no serious response at the summit.


That is not to say the industrial nations have not been eager to tackle poverty. They have proposed forgiving the poorest countries' massive debts and increasing aid. In recent years, they have stepped up their efforts to help struggling countries in Africa.


Rising food and oil prices are causing more and more people to join the ranks of the poor and needy. Deepening anger and resentment among people at the bottom of society could threaten stability in developing countries.


(resentment=憤慨、憤り、恨み、敵意  発音注意:リントメントと濁った音で発音させる)

Industrial nations must keep working to figure out effective ways to solve the problems facing those who fall behind the rest of mankind because of globalization.


--The Asahi Shimbun, July 11(IHT/Asahi: July 12,2008)

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(Jul. 12, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun

Check your stocks before digitization

株券電子化 タンス株は名義確認しよう(7月12日付・読売社説)


Securities of companies listed on stock exchanges will be digitized beginning Jan. 5, 2009. Although there is less than six months to go until the start of digitization, it appears that shareholders and even securities firms are not fully ready for the system's launch.


When paper is abandoned as the medium for securities, printing and storage costs, among other expenses, will be removed, resulting in annual cost cuts of more than 100 billion yen.

As the digitization of stocks is expected to result in huge savings, preparations should be meticulous so the system is launched without any glitches.


(medium=メディア、媒体) (meticulous=注意深い) (glitch=小さな欠陥)

After securities are digitized, paper securities will be invalid. Shareholders' rights will remain protected as their names and the amount of shares they hold will be electronically recorded.


But shareholders should be careful because if they keep their securities in paper form at home, there may be cases in which their ownership rights will be invalidated.




'Sugar bowl' shares at risk


The prime example would be a case in which a purchaser of securities failed to register the transfer of share ownership. This would mean that the previous shareholder would still be legally considered the owner of the shares.


If such shares are digitized without the transfer of ownership having been registered, the previous holder of the shares will continue to be recorded as the shareholder. Furthermore, the actual shareholder will not be able to certify himself as the owner only on the basis of his possession of the paper shares. In addition to the shares that will have become invalid, the actual shareholder will need documentation to prove that the shares were transferred to him, or that he inherited them.



Shareholders who keep securities at home should confirm whether their names are printed on the back of the stock certificates. If not, the shareholders may be in trouble.


Furthermore, even if shares kept at home have the actual shareholder's name on them, they may not be traded on stock markets for about a month before and after the start of the digitization of securities transactions.

Problems may be avoided if shareholders open accounts at securities firms and deposit their shares there before the system's launch. However, the depositing of securities into the accounts will be suspended two weeks before the system's launch.


Counters at securities firms are expected to be crowded with customers around the deadline dates for trading and depositing stocks. Therefore, shareholders should act now to prepare themselves for the new system's launch.


The Japan Securities Dealers Association and other related organizations this year printed 55 million flyers to inform shareholders of the new system and advised them through newspaper advertisements and TV commercials to deposit their shares at securities firms and other institutions as soon as possible. But shareholders have been slow to do so.




Preparations slow


Of the estimated 380 billion shares listed on stock markets in the nation, 13 billion, worth a total of 14 trillion yen, are believed to have been kept by individual shareholders as of the end of March this year. During the six months from September last year, only 1 billion shares were moved into accounts at securities firms.

Also, 12 billion shares are kept in institutional shareholders' coffers.

We hope the government will act wisely by taking steps to raise the public's awareness of the digitization of securities.


Meanwhile, about 300 companies, mainly securities brokerage firms, need to have their online systems connected with Japan Securities Depository Center Inc., which will administer securities data. It has been pointed out that some companies are behind schedule for hooking up to the system.


hook up=機器をとりつける)

Nobody can deny the possibility that minor problems could develop into major disruptions involving the entire securities transaction settlement system. A situation in which securities transactions become paralyzed due to trouble with the new system must be avoided.


We hope those in the industry conduct tests and perform dry runs before the launch of the system, applying the utmost care.


(dry run=予行演習、テスト)

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 12, 2008)

20087120122  読売新聞)

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(Mainichi Japan) July 12, 2008

Gas stations rush to fix digital signs that can't display gas prices above 199 yen

GS:価格掲示板「200」出ない 原油高で悲鳴

A signboard that can only display a "1" for the figure in the hundreds is pictured at a gas station in Tokyo.


Gas stations across Japan are rushing to fix digital signs that can't display gasoline prices higher than 199 yen per liter amid predictions that the price will climb to the 200 yen mark, industry insiders say.

Officials say the change is likely to result in big costs for gasoline distribution companies.

"The cost of the upgrades will be in the range of several hundred million yen per company," an official at one major distributor said.

Most current digital signboards at Japanese gas stations can only display a "1" in the hundreds column. Cosmo Oil Co. said that it would change light-emitting diodes on about 450 digital signs to be able to display prices up to 999 yen per liter. Signs for kerosene will also be changed to display prices up to 9,999 yen.

Officials at The Oil Information Center in Japan said the average retail price of gasoline stood at 181.5 yen per liter for regular fuel and 192.4 yen per liter for high octane petrol as of July 7.

With a record high recorded in the oil futures market on Friday, rising crude oil prices show no sign of abating, and prices could hit the 200-yen level anytime, industry insiders say.

Oil distributors besides Cosmo are also considering changing their digital signboards.

"From this month onwards, we will introduce upgraded signboards that go up to 999 yen at new gas stations," a representative of Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. said.


(prediction=予想、予見) (insiders=消息筋、関係者) (upgrade=アップグレードする、上級変更する) (light-emitting diodes=発光ダイオード)

(the average retail price=標準小売価格) (abate=衰える) (digital signboard=デジタル掲示板)

(From this month onwards=今月以降)  (introduce=導入する、導き入れる)





毎日新聞 2008712日 1500分(最終更新 712日 1500分)

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2008年7月13日 (日)


(Jul. 13, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun

Automakers must boost fuel-efficiency to survive

エコカー開発 燃費改善に生き残りかけて(7月13日付・読売社説)

Competition has become fierce among automakers to develop environment-friendly cars with high fuel-efficiency that cut carbon dioxide emissions.


Depending on how this competition turns out, it is possible that the business landscape of the global car industry will undergo a transformation. The competition will also be a life-or-death one for Japanese automakers, which boast eco-friendly technology.


Toyota Motor Corp.'s Prius, a hybrid car with a gasoline engine and an electric motor, has gained enormous popularity recently. Its fuel efficiency--about 36 kilometers per liter of gasoline--is world-beating. This spring, total global sales of the car surpassed 1 million, 11 years after it went on sale in 1997.



Honda Motor Co., meanwhile, sells Civic hybrids, joining Toyota to form the top echelon of eco-friendly vehicle manufacturers.




Japanese firms lead the way


How to tackle global warming was top of the agenda at last week's Group of Eight summit of major countries in Toyakocho, Hokkaido, indicating that curbing CO2 emissions is now a pressing issue for the whole world.

Meanwhile, soaring gasoline prices have increased demand for fuel-efficient vehicles.


Against this background, automakers are making all-out efforts to develop eco-friendly cars.


Attention is now focused on how rival manufacturers aim to catch up with the leader, Toyota.


Honda plans to increase its hybrid lineup with the aim of selling 500,000 such vehicles a year. It also plans to gear up efforts to manufacture fuel cell cars.


Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. are employing a different strategy to that of Toyota, focusing on the development of electric vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries in a bid to catch up with the leading eco-vehicle maker.


U.S. and European automakers, such as the United States' General Motors Corp. and Germany's Volkswagen, which started exploring the development of eco-friendly cars much later than their Japanese rivals, are expediting their development efforts.


Toyota, meanwhile, has formulated a plan to sell 1 million hybrids a year in the early 2010s. It now employs a strategy of keeping its lead over its rivals by putting on the market a plug-in hybrid car with a battery that can be recharged from an electric power source at home.



Prices still too high


As it is hard to predict which type of next-generation eco-friendly car will become dominant in the market, competition among automakers is expected to further intensify.


There are, however, many challenges facing automakers when it comes to proliferating eco-friendly cars.

For example, the prices of hybrid and electric cars are still high. To boost sales of them dramatically, carmakers must drastically reduce their price. We hope that reasonably priced eco-friendly cars will be put on the market as soon as possible through technological innovation and mass production.

Also, it is essential to employ safety measures to prevent lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars from catching fire.



Construction of infrastructure for eco-friendly cars, such as recharging stations, is lagging.

We believe the government should cooperate with the gasoline-retailing industry and others to provide support in building such infrastructure.


(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 13, 2008)

20087130142  読売新聞)

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2008年7月12日 (土)







基礎タイ語-01 http://kiyoshimatforseesa39.seesaa.net あいさつ
基礎タイ語-02 http://kiyoshimatforseesa40.seesaa.net 別れのあいさつ
基礎タイ語-03 http://kiyoshimatforseesa41.seesaa.net 声をかけるとき
基礎タイ語-04 http://kiyoshimatforseesa42.seesaa.net 感謝の言葉と答え方
基礎タイ語-05 http://kiyoshimatforseesa43.seesaa.net 謝罪の言葉と答え方
基礎タイ語-06 http://kiyoshimatforseesa44.seesaa.net 聞き直すとき
基礎タイ語-07 http://kiyoshimatforseesa45.seesaa.net 相手の言うことがわからないとき
基礎タイ語-08 http://kiyoshimatforseesa46.seesaa.net うまく言えないとき
基礎タイ語-09 http://kiyoshimatforseesa47.seesaa.net 一般的なあいづち
基礎タイ語-10 http://kiyoshimatforseesa48.seesaa.net よくわからないときの返事
基礎タイ語-11 http://kiyoshimatforseesa49.seesaa.net 強めのあいづち
基礎タイ語-12 http://kiyoshimatforseesa50.seesaa.net 自分について述べるとき
基礎タイ語-13 http://kiyoshimatforseesa51.seesaa.net 相手のことを尋ねるとき
基礎タイ語-14 http://kiyoshimatforseesa52.seesaa.net 頼みごとをするとき
基礎タイ語-15 http://kiyoshimatforseesa53.seesaa.net 申し出・依頼を断るとき
基礎タイ語-16 http://kiyoshimatforseesa54.seesaa.net 許可を求めるとき
基礎タイ語-17 http://kiyoshimatforseesa55.seesaa.net 説明してもらうとき
基礎タイ語-18 http://kiyoshimatforseesa56.seesaa.net 確認を求めるとき
基礎タイ語-19 http://kiyoshimatforseesa57.seesaa.net 状況を知りたいとき
基礎タイ語-20 http://kiyoshimatforseesa58.seesaa.net 値段の尋ね方と断り方
基礎タイ語-21 http://kiyoshimatforseesa59.seesaa.net 急いでもらいたいとき
基礎タイ語-22 http://kiyoshimatforseesa60.seesaa.net 待ってもらいたいとき
基礎タイ語-23 http://kiyoshimatforseesa61.seesaa.net 日時・場所・天候を尋ねるとき
基礎タイ語-24 http://kiyoshimatforseesa62.seesaa.net その他

srachai from khonkaen, thailand



ローマ字表記+声調記号 でタイ語を表しました。


平声     (flat)        k
低声     (low)        k、
下降声  (falling)    k>
高声     (high)       k’
上昇声  (rising)     k<
k は任意のタイ子音字を示します。


基礎タイ語-01 あいさつ
基礎タイ語-02 別れのあいさつ
基礎タイ語-03 声をかけるとき
基礎タイ語-04 感謝の言葉と答え方
基礎タイ語-05 謝罪の言葉と答え方
基礎タイ語-06 聞き直すとき
基礎タイ語-07 相手の言うことがわからないとき
基礎タイ語-08 うまく言えないとき
基礎タイ語-09 一般的なあいづち
基礎タイ語-10 よくわからないときの返事
基礎タイ語-11 強めのあいづち
基礎タイ語-12 自分について述べるとき
基礎タイ語-13 相手のことを尋ねるとき
基礎タイ語-14 頼みごとをするとき
基礎タイ語-15 申し出・依頼を断るとき
基礎タイ語-16 許可を求めるとき
基礎タイ語-18 確認を求めるとき
基礎タイ語-19 状況を知りたいとき
基礎タイ語-20 値段の尋ね方と断り方
基礎タイ語-21 急いでもらいたいとき
基礎タイ語-22 待ってもらいたいとき
基礎タイ語-23 日時・場所・天候を尋ねるとき
基礎タイ語-24 その他

srachai from khonkaen, thailand

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Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday, happy birthday

Happy birthday to you







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スラチャイが毎朝かならず目を通すMainichi Daily News の新聞見出しです。

日本語翻訳by srachai from khonkaen, thailand

GSDF colonel dies after drunkenly falling into empty swimming pool


Police arrest suspect over alleged foreign marriage scam


Court upholds death penalty for man convicted of killing 5 in Shimonoseki Station rampage


Elementary school boy breaks arm after falling through gym roof


Pregnant J-pop star hitomi remarries just months after divorce


Hyogo man stabbed to death in apartment by intruder


Season's first catch of Hanasaki crabs unloaded at port in Hokkaido

花咲ガニ:根室・花咲港で初水揚げ 北海道

High court scraps not guilty ruling over Hyogo beach cave-in death

明石砂浜陥没死:無罪判決破棄、地裁に差し戻し 大阪高裁 (ここのcaveは洞窟の意味ではない、地盤沈下によるへこみ)

MSDF police say Japanese sailor set fire to his own ship


Crimes in first half of year fall for 6th straight year, but murders up nearly 11 percent


Fog may have caused helicopter to crash into sea nose-first, say inspectors


MSDF officer pleads not guilty over info leak on Aegis-equipped destroyer


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(Mainichi Japan) July 11, 2008

iPhones fly off shelves as Softbank launches sales in Japan

iPhone:販売開始 孫社長「携帯がネットマシンに」

The first customer to emerge with an iPhone sold by Softbank Mobile Corp. poses for a photograph with company President Masayoshi Son on Friday morning.



Buyers snapped up Apple Inc.'s iPhone after it went on sale at Softbank Mobile Corp.'s flagship store in Tokyo's Shibuya district on Friday, with some 800 people -- some who'd been camping out since Tuesday -- lining up to make their purchase.

Softbank President Masayoshi Son, who'd made a surprise appearance the evening before, was there for the countdown ceremony 15 minutes before sales began at the Softbank Omotesando store at 7 a.m.

"This is the first year of an era when mobile phones become Internet machines," he said. "An age is coming when Internet access will become easier than on computers, and I'm happy to be able to share this day with everyone."

The store's usual 50 counters were doubled to cope with the demand, and the first person to complete a contract and get his hands on the iPhone was a man who said he had been fourth in line.

"The first thing I did was phone my girlfriend," he said, smiling, before shaking hands with Son.

The iPhone went on sale in the United States and other countries in June last year, with about 6 million units sold worldwide by the end of May this year.


(snap up=購入のために駆けつける) (suprise appearance=突然の出現) (to cope with=~に対応するために)

(Son=ソフトバンク孫正義社長、 息子のsonと混同しないでください)





毎日新聞 2008711日 825分(最終更新7111000分)

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2008年7月11日 (金)


10:46 2008/07/11



srachai from khonkaen, thailand

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10:20 2008/07/11




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(Jul. 11, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun

No compromising on checking DPRK report

6か国協議 核検証体制では妥協するな(7月11日付・読売社説)

A strong verification system needs to be agreed to realize the abandonment of North Korea's nuclear programs.


Negotiators to the six-party talks on North Korea's denuclearization met Thursday in Beijing to start their talks. In response to North Korea's recent declaration of its nuclear programs, the six-nation meeting aims to agree on substantive ways to verify the report.


Most importantly, the report submitted by North Korea at the end of last month was incomplete because it failed to include information such as the number of nuclear weapons the country has and where they are stored.


North Korea is believed to have reported that the quantity of extracted plutonium capable of being used for making nuclear bombs was about 30 kilograms. To grasp the entire picture of North Korea's nuclear development program, it is necessary to strictly verify the report. If verification procedures are not sufficiently carried out, it will leave loopholes allowing North Korea to possess nuclear materials.




Full inspection access needed


The five other members of the six-party talks are demanding entry into North Korea's nuclear facilities and the right to question the engineers there and receive written answers to questions.


North Korea has insisted its declaration is "complete and accurate." In this respect, it is a matter of course that the country should accept such requests.


(a matter of course=当然のこと)

But it is most important for the five countries to take the initiative in selecting facilities to be inspected and the makeup of inspectors to be dispatched.


Apart from three nuclear facilities in Yongbyon, which North Korea agreed to disable, inspectors should examine all suspicious facilities, including all locations used for nuclear waste processing and storage.


It is important to have International Atomic Energy Agency officials as a part of inspections to determine quantities of plutonium. IAEA inspectors used to be stationed at Yongbyon, and the organization therefore is familiar with situation in the country.


However, there is a possibility that North Korea could be reluctant to accept such demands and attempt to prolong negotiations.


For its part, the United States is believed to want to start verification procedures by Aug. 11, when North Korea's removal from the U.S. list of states sponsoring terrorism goes into effect. The United States apparently wishes to hold foreign minister-level talks among the six countries at an early date to pave the way for the last stage of negotiations on North Korea's denuclearization process to give the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush an achievement to point to.



But easy compromises should not be made.



Abduction issue still on table


Washington should be resolute in its negotiations with Pyongyang, warning that the United States could reverse its decision to remove North Korea from the terrorism blacklist.


North Korea is asking for economic and energy aid in exchange for the disablement of its nuclear facilities and a declaration of its nuclear programs. However, it will be difficult for Japan to be part of such assistance programs unless there is progress on the abduction issue. Though North Korea promised Japan it would reinvestigate the issue, it still fails to make any effort.



Leaders of the Group of Eight countries expressed their support to "the resolution of the outstanding issues of concern such as the abductions" in their statement adopted at the end of their summit meeting in Toyakocho, Hokkaido.


Bush also made it clear that the United States would not "abandon" the abduction issue.


The Japanese government needs to be persistent at the six-party talks, explaining its position of seeking a resolution to nuclear abandonment coupled with the abduction issue, so it can gain support from other countries concerned.



(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 11, 2008)

20087110150  読売新聞)

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(Mainichi Japan) July 10, 2008

MSDF officer pleads not guilty over info leak on Aegis-equipped destroyer


Maritime Self-Defense Force Lieutenant Commander Sumitaka Matsuuchi leaves the Yokohama District Court on Thursday.


YOKOHAMA -- A high-ranking officer with the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) pleaded not guilty Thursday to leaking highly confidential information on an Aegis-equipped destroyer to a colleague.

"I never thought that my actions would be illegal," Lieutenant Commander Sumitaka Matsuuchi, 35, said as he entered his plea during his first hearing at the Yokohama District Court.

Matsuuchi, who belonged to an MSDF division responsible for developing and managing systems for vessels, was in a position to handle highly confidential information regulated by the law on the protection of confidential information relating to the Japan-U.S. Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement, according to the indictment.

He copied figures and other detailed information on an Aegis system, which is designated as highly confidential information, to his personal computer sometime around May 2002, prosecutors said.

Matsuuchi, who was a lower-ranking officer at the time, is accused of further copying the information to a CD around August that year and sending it to another lieutenant commander who was not empowered to handle confidential information.

Prosecutors allege his actions constitute leakage of highly confidential defense information obtained through official duties.

Matsuuchi admitted having sent the CD to the lieutenant commander, who then served as an instructor, but denied that he broke any law.

"My duty at the time was maintaining and managing conventional destroyers, not Aegis-equipped destroyers. I never thought sending the information to the instructor, who had undergone training on Aegis systems in the United States together with me, was illegal," he told the court.

"The defendant only complied with a request made by the instructor who was a higher-ranking officer. The instructor also underwent the necessary training and was qualified to handle confidential information," his defense lawyer said.


(Plead=裁判で申し立てをする) (guilty=有罪の) (illegal=法で禁じられた、違法の) (confidential=秘密の)

(Lieutenant=中尉 発音注意 ルーテナントと発音される (commander=指揮官) (empower=~する権利を与える)

(Prosecutor=検事、検察官) (allege=裁判で主張する、申し立てをする) (constitute=~を構成する)

(leakage=漏れ、秘密の漏洩) (defendant=被告人、被告) (compile=編集する)













毎日新聞 2008710日 1117分(最終更新 710日 1939分)

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2008年7月10日 (木)


(Jul. 10, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun

Continued dialogue needed on world's woes

サミット閉幕 危機克服へ対話を続けよ(7月10日付・読売社説)

(Global common target)


In order to overcome global crises, world leaders need to persist in holding dialogues to carefully nurture the buds of policy coordination.


(persist=つらぬく、かたくなに固執する) (nurture=育てる、育成する、はぐくむ) (buds=つぼみ、芽)

The three-day summit meeting of the Group of Eight major countries in Toyakocho, Hokkaido, closed Wednesday after the adoption of the leaders' various statements and other documents.


Global warming, the food crisis, skyrocketing crude oil prices, the proliferation of nuclear weapons and terrorism--problems the world faces today--affect each other. The significance of the themes taken up at the meeting deserve face-to-face meetings between world leaders.



Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, chair of the meeting, said in a press conference that the G-8 countries--Japan, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and the United States--should take the lead in trying to overcome these crises so that the countries concerned, together with the private sector and the public as a whole, can deal with these problems.


The summit meeting held in the resort town surrounding Lake Toya was attended by leaders from a record 22 countries, comprising the G-8 countries and emerging economies, such as China and India, and African nations.


The meeting was significant in that the world leaders managed to send a message that they share concern regarding global problems and seek to realize coordinated policies.


(be significant in=が重要である、が大きな意味をもつ)

However, it was difficult for the leaders to come up with measures that will have an immediate effect.


There are some deeply conflicting interests between the G-8 members and the emerging and developing countries.



Global warming main target


On global warming, the most contentious issue of the meet, the G-8 leaders agreed to "seek to share" the long-term goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions worldwide by 2050. They also agreed that G-8 nations would set respective medium-term targets for the total volume of greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced.



In the effort to build a framework for the post-Kyoto Protocol period for 2013 onward, it was more significant that all members of the G-8, including the United States, which never signed the protocol, agreed to keep in step with others in the group.



However, leaders of 16 major greenhouse gas emitters in the Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change stopped short in their declaration of setting a specific numerical target of halving global emissions by 2050. This was due to difficulties in bridging gaps between industrialized countries and emerging economies, such as China and India. The emerging economies were apparently wary that setting such a quantitative target could eventually oblige them to cut their greenhouse gas emissions.


(the Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change=エネルギーの確保と気候の変動に関する先進主要国会議)

(stop short=議題などを実現できないでいる、不足の状態である) (bridge=橋をかける、橋で結びつける)

(wary=用心深い、警戒している) (quantitative target=数値目標) (quantitative=量で測られる)

The declaration issued by leaders of the 16 MEM countries, nevertheless, stated it would be desirable for a U.N. meeting to adopt a long-term target for the world as a whole. The leaders also agreed on the need to set medium-term targets for individual countries as a means to achieve a long-term goal. It also was confirmed that the developing major economies would "pursue nationally appropriate mitigation actions."


MEM=Major Economies Meeting=先進主要国会議)(nevertheless=それにもかかわらず、それでもやはり、とは言っても)


In setting a post-Kyoto Protocol structure, it is most important to build a framework involving all the major greenhouse gas emitters, including China and India. In this respect, the 16 countries in effect managed to present a definite and needed future course of action.


(in effect=事実上;基本的には Her absence was in ~ a rejection of his proposal.  彼女の欠席は彼の提案を事実上拒んだことを意味していた)

The next step to be taken is to agree on the goal of halving global emissions by 2050 in the next Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held at the end of this year. To achieve this goal, it will be necessary for G-8 countries to continue pressuring China and India to join in this common goal.


(Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change=国連の気候変動枠組み条約締約国会議)


(Tighten net around North Korea)


Oil, food prices sticking point


Conflicting interests between the G-8 countries and emerging economies also became evident during the discussion on speculative funds, a major factor behind surging crude oil and food prices.



The G-8 leaders' statement on the global economy stopped short of mentioning steps to monitor and tighten controls on the flow of such speculative funds, due to objections by the United States and some other countries. This episode once again made clear the limitations of the G-8 framework, which is unable to hammer out effective measures to restrain worldwide inflationary pressures.


short=議題などを実現できないでいる、不足の状態である) (episode=出来事) (hammer out=ハンマーでたたき出す、制作する)


Deeply dissatisfied with the outcome, emerging economies strongly urged the G-8 countries in outreach sessions to take measures to restrict the flow of speculative funds, but no substantial progress was made.



As for North Korea, the G-8 leaders demanded the country abandon all nuclear weapons and nuclear programs as well as ballistic missile programs. They also urged Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment activities. The international community should take this as a good opportunity to again tighten its net around the two countries.


It should be noted that the G-8 leaders issued a statement for the first time touching on the abduction issue, as it urged the need to settle "outstanding issues of concern" involving North Korea. The abduction issue was successfully added to the wording of the statement, reflecting Japanese opinion. In bilateral meetings with the Chinese, Russian and U.S. leaders, Fukuda reaffirmed cooperation with individual leaders in efforts to resolve problems involving North Korea.


(outstanding issues of concern=未解決の懸案事項)


(G8 on the crossroads)


G-8 system at crossroads


Meanwhile, this latest G-8 meeting also made it clear that the current G-8 framework stands at a crossroads.


crossroads=A place where two or more roads meet いくつかが道路の交わる場所、交差点)

These summit meetings were begun in 1975 with the aim of economic coordination among industrialized countries. Now, in the 21st century, however, it becomes inevitable for them to take on worldwide problems, such as global warming and assistance to developing countries.


It is still necessary for G-8 countries to take the lead in dealing with various problems of world stability.


However, rapid development of emerging economies such as China and India is casting shadows on the influence of the industrialized countries.


In this regard, French President Nicolas Sarkozy is calling for transforming the G-8 into a Group of 13, to involve five more countries--Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa. The expansion is intended to seek more responsibility from emerging economies, but a careful examination is needed of the potential disadvantages of such a system.


(potential disadvantages=可能性があるマイナス面)

Some G-8 leaders expressed objections to the idea, with one reportedly saying it was important to have meetings among countries that share the same values--such as freedom and democracy--while another complaining it would be difficult to have in-depth discussions among too many participants. These are reasonable concerns.


Unlike France, Japan is not a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. Therefore, if the number of summit participants is raised, it may become difficult to have Japanese opinions heard by other participants.


Just as in the Hokkaido meeting, it would be more realistic to make use of outreach sessions with emerging economies and developing countries using the current G-8 framework.


(outreach sessions=拡大対話、拡大会議)

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 10, 2008)

20087100240  読売新聞)

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(Mainichi Japan) July 9, 2008

Man arrested after 'joking' with flight attendant he had stick of dynamite on plane in Hokkaido

爆弾騒ぎ:新千歳空港のエア・ドゥ機で 逮捕の男「冗談」

CHITOSE, Hokkaido -- A man has been arrested for telling a cabin attendant that he possessed a stick of dynamite on a plane, causing the flight to be delayed by three hours, police said.

Takanari Deto, 69, a real estate company owner of Chuo-ku, Sapporo, stands accused of forcible obstruction of business.

He admitted to the allegations. "I did it as a joke," he was quoted as telling investigators during questioning.

The incident occurred at around 1:50 p.m. on Tuesday when the aircraft was parked at New Chitose Airport waiting for departure, local police said.

Deto told a cabin attendant on Hokkaido International Airlines (Air Do) Flight 20 bound for Haneda Airport in Tokyo that he had a stick of dynamite as he was placing a paper bag into an overhead compartment, according to investigators.

All of the 214 passengers and crewmembers were evacuated and police officers searched the cabin but found no explosive.

The flight departed for Tokyo three hours behind schedule.




毎日新聞 200878日 2354

(forcible obstruction of business=威力業務妨害) (questioning=取調べ、事情聴取) (evacuate=避難させる)

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2008年7月 9日 (水)


20:36 2008/07/09


シーファーちゃん、今日 (2008年7月09日) の午後お父さんを驚かせた。

srachai from khokaen, thailand

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(Jul. 9, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun

G-8 emissions target a goal for all nations

G8環境宣言 世界で目標を共有できるか(7月9日付・読売社説)

The leaders of the Group of Eight nations reaffirmed at their summit meeting they will make efforts to achieve no less than a 50 percent reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and called on the world to "share" and "consider" their vision. In doing so, the world's major economies achieved a result that matched the most optimistic forecasts.


At the Hokkaido Toyako summit Tuesday, the G-8 leaders released a statement on measures to tackle global warming--the most pressing issue of the meeting.


To achieve the long-term goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the G-8 leaders agreed that halving emissions will require the involvement of not only G-8 nations but also every other country.


Currently, greenhouse gases are emitted at an almost equal rate by industrialized nations as a group and emerging and developing nations as a group. If it is left to the world's industrialized nations to make efforts to meet the G-8 target, global greenhouse gas emissions cannot be halved. The statement therefore saw the G-8 leaders urge, in concert, emerging and developing economies to make efforts to cut their emissions by an appropriate amount.



Statement a step forward


The statement can be seen as a step forward, as the G-8 nations, including the United States, seek to negotiate an agreement on a long-term goal as part of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.


Regarding goals for the next 10 to 20 years, the G-8 leaders agreed to set up country-by-country emission-reduction objectives. The leaders praised the Japanese-proposed sector-by-sector approaches as "useful tools" to assist with specifying individual nation's emission-reduction targets.


On Wednesday, a conference of the Major Emitters Meeting will be held, attended by emerging nations such as China and India. What responses the emerging countries will make to the G-8 statement will be a key focus.


The post-Kyoto Protocol framework, which begins in 2013, has to be finalized by the end of next year. The G-8 agreement is seen as a key indicator of the future direction of discussions at U.N. panel negotiations.


Seen in a broad context, we believe Japan ably fulfilled the role of chair at the Toyako summit.




U.S. taking backseat


At last year's G-8 summit in Heiligendamm, Germany, the G-8 nations agreed to "seriously consider" halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. At the Toyako meeting, the G-8 nations were urged to produce further results.


Although the European Union argued that industrialized nations should set up stricter numerical targets than a 50 percent reduction, the G-8 statement did not set a numerical goal.


The United States has taken a backseat role in G-8 discussions on a long-term goal, insisting that any agreement cannot be effective unless China and India, which are major emitters, also sign up to it. As a result, the G-8 statement was weighed down by the U.S. stance.


(weigh down=腰を折る、意気消沈させる)

The G-8 leaders confirmed they would continue to provide financial and technical support to help emerging and developing nations reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


While receiving support from industrialized nations, emerging and developing nations should work for the common good of the planet toward the emission target and strive to reduce their emissions as much as their particular circumstances allow.


(strive to...=~しようと努力する)

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 9, 2008)

2008790158  読売新聞)

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7:16 2008/07/09






テレビやエアコンのリモートコントロールスイッチを手にもってアー、ウーとリモートに話し掛けたり、耳にあてて電話をするそぶりをみせる。 とくに何も教えなくとも、子供はしっかりと大人の動きをみつめているものだ、と妙なところで感心したりする昨今の父親ではある。


お父さん、おもわず苦笑い。 お母さんは、子供は何でもお父さんのまねをするので、気をつけるように注意するようにお父さんに助言した。


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(Mainichi Japan) July 8, 2008

G8 leaders to set long-term target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions


G8 leaders hold talks during a Tuesday morning session of the Hokkaido Toyako Summit. (Photo courtesy of the Foreign Ministry)


TOYAKO, Hokkaido -- Leaders of the Group of Eight (G8) agreed Tuesday on the proposed long-term target of at least halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, government sources said.

They are also expected to urge other countries to join them in efforts to achieve the target. The G8 countries had pledged at last year's summit in Germany to "seriously consider" the target.

U.S. President George W. Bush, who had been cautious about setting such a target, compromised with other leaders over the issue.

Following a meeting with Bush on Tuesday morning, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters that she was "very satisfied" with the progress made in the work to draft documents on the problems of climate change and cooperation in tackling oil and food issues.

As the United States, which had withdrawn from the Kyoto Protocol, will commit itself to reducing greenhouse gas emissions again, it is expected that progress will be made in setting numerical targets in the period from 2013, which is not covered by the protocol, say observers.

Regarding the economy, G8 leaders expressed concerns that sharp rises in oil and food prices could adversely affect stable economic growth, and discussed measures to put the brakes on rising inflationary pressures.






(cautious=慎重な、用心深い、控えめな) (compromise=妥協して解決する、妥協する、折衷案に賛成する)

(numerical targets=数値目標) (put the b rakes on...=~(名詞、動名詞)を抑制する、押さえ込む、制御する)

(commit-self =ここでは下記の意味、難しいので辞書参照結果を掲載する srachai)


(1) (問題について)自分の立場[態度,考え]を明言する《 on... ;(意見・態度を明示して)動きのとれない立場に身を置く;(…に)打ち込んで[のめり込んで]いる,自分の運命を託す《 to... ;(…すると)のっぴきならない約束をする,誓う《 to do, to doing  
oneself to an idea  ある考えの立場にたつ 
The candidate has not ted himself on this question.  候補者はその問題についてまだ態度を表明していない 
She had ted herself to helping [=to help] him.  彼女は彼を手伝うと約束していた 
She is too deeply ted to the project to draw back.  彼女は計画にあまり深入りしすぎて手を引けなくなっている.[1]






[1]Progressive English-Japanese Dictionary, Third edition © Shogakukan 1980,1987,1998/プログレッシブ英和中辞典  第3版  ©小学館 1980,1987,1998

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2008年7月 8日 (火)


(Jul. 8, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun

Cooperation vital to control food, oil prices

サミット開幕 食料高騰をどう食い止める(7月8日付・読売社説)

The Group of Eight summit meeting opened Monday in Toyakocho, Hokkaido, and the leaders of the G-8 countries started the three-day meeting with an outreach dialogue with the heads of nations of Africa, a continent suffering from poverty and famine.



Soaring food and crude oil prices have resulted in an ongoing "chain of crises" for the world economy. The effect, especially on poor countries, including those in Africa, has been serious. The meeting between G-8 and African leaders is symbolic of the issues burdening the Toyako summit meeting.



On Monday, the first day of the meeting, G-8 leaders reached an agreement on a policy to expand their food and development assistance to Africa and to endorse a special statement on food problems.



This is the first time that a G-8 summit meeting has taken up food problems as a main agenda item. We welcome the fact that the G-8 nations have strengthened their solidarity on such a theme.



In the special statement, the G-8 leaders likely will ask exporting countries to refrain from imposing export restrictions that have caused a sharp rise in grain prices. It will be a step forward, in that the request on export controls to be included in the statement will be stronger than the one made at the U.N.-sponsored World Food Summit in Rome in June, and the G-8 nations are to take concerted action for that purpose.



Ending export restrictions


Russia, a G-8 country, abolished its export duties on wheat and other agricultural products before the summit meeting, while other nations, notably India, have strengthened their export controls. We hope the abolition of export restrictions will be expanded.


It is likely that an international grain stockpile system, in which each country is assigned an amount of reserves, will be established to stabilize prices by making it possible to release stockpiles swiftly in an emergency.


The G-8 nations also will cooperate on the development and promotion of biofuel that will not compete with food production, and on increasing food production in Africa. Steady efforts are important to stabilize food prices in the long and medium terms.


On the second and third days, discussions will get into full swing on dealing with rising crude oil prices and the world economy, which faces a possible economic slowdown due to rising inflation.



Curbing speculation


The true test for the G-8 meeting will be whether it can strengthen supervision of speculative money flowing into crude oil and grain markets in a pessimistic reaction to the weak dollar.



Finding ways to increase market transparency and rein in speculation that has driven prices far above levels corresponding with actual demand will be the key to price control.


(transparency=透明性) (rein=手綱で操作する、コントロールする、調整する)

What concerns us is that any measures to counter soaring food and oil prices that will be crafted by the G-8 leaders, are likely to have little immediate effect.



Therefore, finding a way out of the U.S. subprime mortgage fiasco, which has contributed to the two crises, and stopping the weakening of the dollar is becoming more and more important.



Although the United States promulgates policies based on a strong dollar, the dollar continues to weaken as confidence in the U.S. economy is undermined. Given the need to stabilize the dollar, the United States must bear a heavy responsibly if economic recovery is to be achieved.


(promulgate=公表する、公式に発表する) (undermine=土台を崩す、崩壊させる)

We should expect that the world economy will continue to face an uphill battle to fully recover. The G-8 nations must further strengthen their solidarity to tackle these difficult problems.



(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 8, 2008)

2008780148  読売新聞)

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(Mainichi Japan) July 08, 2008

Man fatally hit by train in Chiba in apparent suicide                                                                              

人身事故:JR舞浜駅で男性自殺 京葉線17本に遅れ

URAYASU, Chiba -- A man died after being hit by a train at a station here in an apparent suicide, police said.

Police said that that man, believed to be aged in his 20s or 30s, was hit at Maihama Station on the JR Keiyo Line by a train traveling between Fuchu-Honmachi and Tokyo stations at about 10:40 p.m. on Monday. He died soon afterwards.

Police believe that the man's death was a suicide. Urayasu Police Station officials are trying to identify him.

Officials at the Chiba branch of East Japan Railway Co. said that the train's driver saw the man go onto the tracks, and applied the emergency brakes, but was unable to stop the train in time.

As a result of the accident, 17 trains were delayed between 4 and 48 minutes, affecting about 5,300 passengers.



apparent=明らかに) (afterwards=その後) (suicide=自殺) (identify=確認する、される) (tracks=起動、線路)

(emergency brakes=急ブレーキ) (affect=影響を与える)

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2008年7月 7日 (月)


2008/7/7 --The Asahi Shimbun, July 5(IHT/Asahi: July 7,2008)

EDITORIAL: Protect women on trains


Yet more horrible, heinous crimes have taken place. It came to light that two women were attacked aboard running trains in separate cases that occurred in March and April.


The victims were crew members working on local train lines operated by East Japan Railway Co. (JR East).


Many tasks are performed aboard trains in addition to driving them--checking tickets, ensuring passenger safety, selling food and beverages and other chores. The train crews include women. These appalling incidents occurred under these circumstances.


(Chore=雑用) (appalling=恐ろしい、ぞっとするような)

The two female crew members, attacked while on duty, were dragged into a toilet near a first-class "green car." They were allegedly throttled, threatened, and one of the victims raped.


Both assaults occurred in the very early morning. The perpetrator chose a time with few passengers around so that he could commit the crime without being detected. Surely, all women using trains must have had the chills upon hearing of the incidents.



If a person can be attacked aboard public transport, how can we feel safe getting on a train, not to mention working on one?


These latest crimes remind us of a similar rape case two years ago on West Japan Railway Co.'s express "Thunderbird" train. Then the victim was a female passenger.


It was a shocking case. It is highly regrettable that the lessons from the incident were not effectively put to use.


Of course, the culprit bears the most blame. But at the same time, we must continue to do everything possible in our own workplaces to eliminate the risks of falling victim to an attack.



The perpetrator of the two assaults on the JR East trains is believed to be the same man. He was arrested and charged with rape and attempted rape that resulted in serious injuries. Yet, similar attacks may recur in the future. Safety measures to prevent any recurrences have to be taken without delay.


perpetrator=加害者、犯人、下手人) (recur=再発する、繰り返される) (recurrence=再発、繰り返し)

JR East has begun installing security cameras on their local green cars. The company has also started to have their crews work in pairs in the early hours of the morning and on late night shifts. It is also increasing the number of security guards patrolling the train cars.


As a company, it is naturally responsible for ensuring the safety of its workplace. Such safety steps will also lead to increased safety of not only their female crew, but also of their male colleagues and passengers.

We hope JR East will push ahead with these safety precautions.


(push ahead with=前に進める) (precaution=予防措置、事前対策)

Surely, trains are not the only place where workers are vulnerable to possible attacks.



In the past two decades or so, women have been assigned to work in more and more places. But some women feel uneasy while working because they are forced to work alone at night. Others are frightened because security equipment at their workplaces is inadequate.


There are also occupations where workers may be constantly worried about crime, such as taxi drivers who are in close proximity with passengers in small, closed spaces. These operators have to take elaborate safety measures to ensure safety, regardless of the sex of drivers.



Companies should take the most stringent safety measures possible, in correlation with the nature of the jobs and the way people work.



It is for the benefit of all workers to secure a working environment where they can work without being worried about their safety. We must not shut out women from work for fear of crimes like these.


--The Asahi Shimbun, July 5(IHT/Asahi: July 7,2008)

朝日新聞 7月05日号 (英語版 2008年7月07日発行)

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2008/7/7 --The Asahi Shimbun, July 5(IHT/Asahi: July 7,2008)

EDITORIAL: Europe's rate hike


The European Central Bank (ECB) on Thursday raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter percentage point to 4.25 percent.

Inflation in the euro zone spiked to 4 percent in June, far above the ECB's target of below 2 percent. The rate hike was a widely expected move that indicated the ECB's current policy priority is on preventing soaring raw materials prices from triggering a serious bout of inflation.



Market players around the world, however, had feared that monetary tightening by the ECB could send the dollar plunging by further widening the interest rate gap between the United States and Europe. Their concerns reflected the serious erosion of confidence in the dollar caused by continued turmoil in capital and currency markets across the world since the collapse of the U.S. subprime mortgage market last summer.


Fortunately, the dollar rose slightly after the ECB's action. Stock markets also took the move in stride. ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet helped sooth markets by not suggesting any additional rate increase.


Yet inflationary pressures are clearly building up. If this modest raise of the cost of borrowing fails to rein in inflation, the ECB will be forced to tighten credit further.



To stem the downward slide of the greenback, it is essential for the United States, the epicenter of the subprime credit crisis, to demonstrate a strong commitment to solving the underlying problems.


That is not to say the United States has done nothing to tackle the situation.

Immediately before the ECB's rate hike, U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson traveled from Russia to Europe and held talks with Trichet.

Their meeting was choreographed to highlight solid policy coordination between the United States and Europe.

U.S. President George W. Bush is also trying to dampen expectations of a weaker U.S. currency. In a recent speech, he stressed Europe, too, is supporting a strong dollar.

These efforts of top U.S. officials clearly suggest that allaying the current anxiety about the health of the dollar has emerged as a major policy challenge for the Bush administration.



But all these efforts can achieve is to buy some time. With only several months left for the Bush presidency, the U.S. government is unable to take bold measures to tackle the problem. This political situation is making things harder.


The priority for the United States should be to deal with the financial turmoil stemming from the subprime crisis, which is the root cause of the waning confidence in the dollar.


For a while, it seemed the financial storm had died down. But it is now resurfacing. Instead of bottoming out, the U.S. real estate market has kept declining at an accelerating pace. Exacerbating the anxiety are growing signs of an economic downturn due to soaring costs of natural resources.



When Bear Stearns came to the brink of collapse this spring, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York pledged to provide $29 billion in financing to rescue the investment bank. It was effectively an injection of taxpayer money to save the Wall Street firm. In a speech during his recent Europe tour, Paulson called for a new regulatory system that would temporarily give the Federal Reserve Board stronger power to intervene in the workings of Wall Street firms to prevent a chain of bankruptcies and protect the financial system.



The Bush administration should act swiftly to turn this idea into realty. In addition to emergency steps to deal with the collapse of a major financial institution, the United States should also put together and implement a package of measures to fix the financial problems fundamentally, including the creation of a framework for injecting taxpayer money into the system.


After allaying the financial anxiety, the U.S. government should then take effective steps to absorb the dollars that flooded world markets during the years of the housing bubble. Without such efforts by the United States, the dollar will remain under downward pressures.



--The Asahi Shimbun, July 5(IHT/Asahi: July 7,2008)

朝日新聞 7月05日号(英語版 2008年7月07日発行)

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(Jul. 7, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun
Urge Pyongyang to act on nukes, abductees
日米首脳会談 北に核・拉致の「行動」を促せ(7月7日付・読売社説)

It is now vital for Japan and the United States to cooperate more closely than ever before to make substantial progress on addressing North Korea's nuclear development program and abduction of Japanese in the 1970s and '80s.

During their summit meeting Sunday, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and U.S. President George W. Bush agreed that it was essential to appropriately verify North Korea's declaration last month of its nuclear program. Bush also reiterated that the United States would not "abandon" Japan on the abduction issue.

The Japanese Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea and others involved are staunchly opposed to the United States starting the procedure for removing the reclusive state from its list of state sponsors of terrorism. Many observers have pointed out that Washington and Tokyo have failed to coordinate their policies on Pyongyang.
(staunchly=かたく、しっかりと) (reclusive=世間から隔絶された、排除された、阻害された、村八分の)

We should never forget that North Korea would welcome discord between Japan and the United States. It is, therefore, significant that the Japanese and U.S. leaders reaffirmed the two nations' cooperation on North Korean issues at this crucial moment.

For now, priority should be placed on pushing ahead with efforts to verify Pyongyang's declaration of its nuclear program--with North Korea's cooperation--before its removal from the blacklist takes effect Aug. 11.


Proper verification essential

To ensure their work is effective, the verification team must inspect nuclear facilities and interview engineers involved. It is also necessary to have the International Atomic Energy Agency participate in the verification work--a measure opposed by Pyongyang.

Bush regards the period running up to the delisting of North Korea as the crucial time to determine whether the country is willing to sincerely cooperate with the verification work.

North Korea should not be allowed to stall for time.

At the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear development program expected to resume this week, Japan and the United States must press North Korea to take swift action on the verification issue together with China, South Korea and Russia.

It is important to note that North Korea has not taken any specific actions since it promised a reinvestigation into Japanese abductees and cooperation in handing over the perpetrators of the 1970 hijacking of the Japan Airlines jet "Yodo" during working-level negotiations held in mid-June between Japan and North Korea.


It was North Korea that proposed the principle of "action for action" in the six-party talks. Its promises should not be allowed to end up being empty gestures just to win its removal from the U.S. blacklist.


Global warming


In their meeting Sunday, Fukuda asked Bush to cooperate in adopting a long-term target of halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Bush responded that he would act constructively on the issue, showing a positive stance toward Japan's proposal.

As the United States insists, it is vital to have China, India and other emerging industrial economies committed to such a long-term goal if the world wants to achieve the global emissions reduction objective. The Group of Eight nations that have achieved economic growth, meanwhile, must shoulder greater responsibility than emerging economies and developing nations.

Japan is in a better position than European nations with more radical stances on this issue to persuade the United States to agree to a long-term emissions reduction target as Tokyo's stance is closer to that of Washington.

If he wants to produce tangible results at the G-8 summit at Toyakocho, Hokkaido, Fukuda needs to try to coordinate views with China, India and other emerging economies over the issue, in addition to the difficult task of persuading the United States to agree to the long-term target.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 7, 2008)
(2008770142  読売新聞)

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2008年7月 6日 (日)


(Jul. 6, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun

Finding G-8 consensus tough, but necessary

洞爺湖サミット 世界の難題に処方せんを(7月6日付・読売社説)

The Group of Eight major countries cannot write a prescription for the world's big problems on their own. Instead they must unite in trying to build cooperative relations with emerging economies and developing countries to tackle global challenges.


Leaders of 22 countries, including G-8 nations, emerging economies such as China and India, and those from Africa, will gather at the G-8 summit meeting that kicks off in Toyakocho, Hokkaido, on Monday.


On global warming--the central theme of the three-day meeting--attention is to focus on setting a universal long-term target for curbing greenhouse gas emissions.


The big question is whether the world's 16 largest greenhouse gas emitters, including China and India, can reach agreement on a target "to halve global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050." These 16 nations emit 80 percent of the world's greenhouse gases.


But China and India are reluctant to see a concrete target for greenhouse gas emissions reduction incorporated in a summit declaration, apparently wary of being straddled with obligations for cutting emissions.




Differing approaches to cuts


The European Union is insisting that the leading industrialized countries cut emissions by 60 to 80 percent from the 1990 level by 2050.


The United States, meanwhile, opposes setting targets for major countries. And the U.S. argument that such a target is unworkable without agreement from China, which is said to have become the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter, and India, does seem reasonable.


Last year, G-8 leaders agreed to seriously consider reducing the world's greenhouse gas emissions by half by 2050. This year's summit is aimed at expanding on this consensus to have emerging countries commit to a long-term target. But with leading emitters staking out different positions, it will undoubtedly be difficult for Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, as host country leader, to manage the meeting.


(stake out=権利を主張する)

Fukuda has previously said it is necessary to set country-by-country emissions targets in the post-Kyoto Protocol framework for 2013 and after. While trying to gain acceptance of this principle among major emitters, the upcoming summit also should be used to try to encourage discussions of the issue at the United Nations.


To ensure the establishment of fair emission targets, it is also necessary to obtain from each country support for a sectoral approach, which would involve determining potential reduction volumes under a sector-based approach.


sectoral ? 辞書にみあたりません sectorial のミスタイプだと思います sectorial=セクターの、分野の、) (sector=分野、部門、領域)


Other issues need tackling


Tackling surging food and crude oil prices also will be an important issue on the agenda at the summit. The dramatic rise in prices of food and crude oil are the result of a number of factors, including growing demand associated with economic growth in emerging countries, an inflow of speculative funds and increasing production of biofuels.



In addition, North Korean and Iranian nuclear development is a pressing threat. To prevent the international coalition on these matters from weakening, the G-8 countries need to press Pyongyang to abolish its nuclear program and work toward resolving the abduction issue.


The summit meeting is a precious opportunity for Japan to see its interests reflected in the decision-making of the international community. It will also be a test of Fukuda's leadership skills.


(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 6, 2008)

2008760143  読売新聞)

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(Mainichi Japan) July 6, 2008

Japan to pledge extra US$50 million in food aid at upcoming G8 summit

食糧高騰:新たに5000万ドル支援 サミットで表明

Japan will pledge to give an additional 50 million dollars in food assistance by October in the face of a rapid rise in food prices during the upcoming G8 summit in Hokkaido, Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura said.

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda will announce the plan during the Hokkaido Toyako Summit, which begins on Monday.

The total figure for food assistance to be provided by Japan now comes to 1.1 billion dollars, including agricultural aid, and the 200 million dollars in food aid already promised.

Komura added that the G8 leaders will also discuss a food stockpiling system aimed at stabilizing food prices.




(pledge=誓約する、誓う、約束する) (provide=与える、供給する、もららす、用意する) (billion=10億) (food stockpiling system=食料備蓄制度)

(aimed at=~を目指す、~するつもりだ文法: aimed at の次には動詞に –ing をつけた動名詞が続くことが多い)

(毎日新聞 200874日 1228)

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2008年7月 5日 (土)


2008/7/5 --The Asahi Shimbun, July 4 (IHT/Asahi: July 5,2008)

EDITORIAL: The summit process


Leaders of Japan, the United States, Germany, Britain, France, Russia, Canada and Italy will gather at Lake Toyako, Hokkaido, for the opening Monday of the Group of Eight summit. Certainly, the G-8 nations are important, but many people now question whether this select group can effectively plot the necessary courses to resolve the thorny problems facing the world. Shouldn't participation, it is asked, be expanded to a greater number of countries?


(plot=ひそやかに計画する) (thorny=やっかいな、困難な)

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has proposed that China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico and others be added. There is also the view that Arab and Islamic states should be included, as well as the more radical position that only the United States and China are needed as a Group of Two.


Compared with 1975, when the summit process started, the global map of national clout has definitely changed.



There is good reason to question the significance of discussing the global economy when China has no representation. At the same time, India and Brazil are among emerging economies that are galloping ahead. Nations blessed with crude oil and other natural resources, as well as investment funds that move across national borders, have a major impact on the global economy. Their influence cannot be ignored.


Reacting to changes in the global order, this top-level meeting of major powers has transformed itself. Following the end of the Cold War, for instance, Russia became an official member, changing the group's original makeup as a club of leading Western-style democracies.


At the Okinawa Summit in 2000, outreach talks were held to pursue dialogue with African nations. The leaders of China and other emerging economies were also subsequently invited to attend, and are now part of the process.


(outreach=援助の、福祉の、奉仕の) (subsequently=その後に、その次に)

At Lake Toyako, only one day of the three-day agenda has been allotted for traditional G-8 talks. The rest of the program will feature meetings with African leaders, a G-13ramework including China, India and other countries, and G-16‥discussions with Australia, South Korea and other rising powers. This will be the largest scale gathering in history of the summit meetings, with more than 20 national leaders on hand.


(G-13ramework=? framework ?)

This growth reflects the increase in discussion themes that make little sense with only eight countries at the table. How will the world confront global warming, the soaring prices of crude oil and food and other critical issues? A framework is needed to target each problem with a different lineup of leaders.


In fact, deliberations of such concerns are also being advanced at venues other than this yearly summit. Held just last month, for example, was the food summit sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome, the Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change in Seoul, and a ministerial conference of leading oil producer and consumer nations in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.




At the food summit, however, participating nations clashed sharply on biofuel and other issues, in some cases further aggravating already conflicting interests. The debate has been carried over to Lake Toyako, although the odds hardly favor ready resolutions to any of the outstanding issues.


(biofuel=バイオ燃料) (aggravate=状態を悪化させる) (odds=様々な問題)

To what degree can participating countries reach a shared awareness of the challenges and mobilize that mind-set to confirm their determination to hammer out solutions? That is the single greatest function expected of the expanded G-8 summit. While it is fine to debate the numbers or the frameworks of participating countries, the first priority must be to maximize the value of the talks.


(mind-set=考え方) (hammer out=作り出す、たたいて作り出す)

The crises facing the world are grave. How far can leaders succeed in forging solidarity? If Lake Toyako wraps up as a mere diplomatic show, the limits of the G-8 framework will be revealed once and for all.


(forge=前進する、進む、先行する) (solidarity=団結、結束、連帯)

--The Asahi Shimbun, July 4 (IHT/Asahi: July 5,2008)

朝日新聞7月04日号 (英語版 2008年7月05日発行)

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(Jul. 5, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun

Don't forget authors of digitalized works

ダビング10 著作者のことも忘れずに(7月5日付・読売社説)

The so-called dubbing 10 system, which allows up to 10 copies of digital TV programs to be made, was launched Friday in time for the Beijing Olympics, during which many people likely will spend more time than usual watching TV.


Under the previous so-called copy-once system, users were able to copy a digital TV program once. But this restriction has been eased under the new dubbing 10 system.



The picture and sound quality of programs copied with digital technology are as good as the original. If there were no restriction on such copying, high-quality pirated copies would be widely available. The copy-once system was aimed at preventing such a situation.


(pirated copies=違法コピー版、海賊版)

But the system proved unpopular as many users found themselves unable to make copies due to technical problems. Such troubles as the loss of original data also were often reported.


The dubbing 10 system allows users to easily move recorded images to a disc and store them on it. We welcome the launch of the new system, which we hope will prompt the spread of terrestrial digital broadcasting, which has been slow in taking off.


(terrestrial digital broadcasting=地上デジタル放送)


Opinions split on copying


The dubbing 10 system initially had been expected to start a month earlier. The launch of the system was delayed because talks between copyright holders, such as those involved in program production, and broadcasters and makers of related devices got bogged down.


(get bogged=難航する、にっちもさっちもいかなくなる)

Copyright holders sought compensation for the easing of the copying restriction. Using books as an analogy, they said it would be unfair if royalties gained for selling one book were the same as those accrued fo