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2008年8月20日 (水)

給油継続は日本の責務

(Aug. 20, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun

Assisting war on terror obligation for Japan

臨時国会 給油継続は最低限の責務だ(820日付・読売社説)

The continuation of refueling operations by the Maritime Self-Defense Force in the Indian Ocean is the very least Japan should do as part of its international obligations. The current Antiterrorism Law must therefore be revised and extended during the next extraordinary Diet session.

海上自衛隊によるインド洋での給油活動を継続することは、日本が今、最低限果たすべき国際的責務だ。臨時国会で新テロ対策特別措置法を改正、延長する必要がある。

The government and the ruling coalition parties have agreed that an extraordinary Diet session will be convened in mid-September.

政府・与党は、臨時国会の召集時期を9月中旬と決めた。

However, the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan opposes an extension of the duration of the Antiterrorism Law, which is set to expire in January.

来年1月に期限が切れる新テロ特措法の改正には、民主党が反対している。

With the opposition bloc holding a majority in the House of Councillors, the bill likely will be rejected in the upper house, necessitating a second vote in the House of Representatives, where the ruling coalition can use a two-thirds majority to ram the bill through--a Diet process already used in January.

衆参ねじれ国会では最終的に、今年1月と同様、衆院の3分の2以上の多数による再可決が必要となる公算が大きい。

ram=法案を強引に通過させる

However, New Komeito, the Liberal Democratic Party's junior coalition partner, has expressed reluctance about forcing the bill through with a second vote in the lower house. New Komeito has cautioned that using such a vote could be seen by voters as high-handed, and could therefore impact on the coalition parties' performance in the next lower house election.

問題なのは、公明党が再可決に消極的な姿勢を示していることだ。再可決が「強引な手法」と受け止められ、次期衆院選に悪影響を及ぼすと警戒するためだ。

high-handed=強硬な、強引な

However, passing a bill with a second vote in the lower house is both democratic and permissible under the Constitution. The parties should explain to the public why they are resorting to using a second vote in the lower house to pass the bill, but there is no reason the ruling parties should hesitate to use this process.

だが、再可決は、憲法の定める正当かつ民主的な手続きである。国民への丁寧な説明は必要だろうが、躊躇する理由はない。

===

Failure would bring criticism

(世界の国々の注目の中で)

If the government and the ruling coalition parties fail to pass the bill into law, despite it being possible to do so, Japan could not help but face accusations from the international community that it had made a political decision to exit from the "war on terror."

改正案を成立させる手段があるのに、行使しなければ、日本は「テロとの戦い」を自ら離脱する政治的な判断を下した、と国際社会に見なされても仕方がない。

Last year, New Komeito strongly advocated extending the refueling mission, saying it was important to do so. The importance has not diminished, but rather increased.

公明党は昨年、給油活動の継続の重要性を強く主張していた。その重要性は今、減じるどころか、一段と増している。

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which has deployed in Afghanistan, has seen more than 900 of its personnel killed as the security situation worsens in the country.

アフガニスタンに展開する国際治安支援部隊(ISAF)は、現地の治安が悪化する中、累計900人超の犠牲者を出している。

Despite the growing risk, North Atlantic ISAF troop numbers increased in the past 12 months to 52,700 from 40 countries, up from 36,600 from 37 countries. The increase is result of the international community's recognition that the war against terrorism is at a crucial juncture.

それでも、過去1年間で、37か国の3万6600人から40か国の5万2700人へと大幅に部隊を増強した。「テロとの戦い」が正念場にある、との認識からだ。

juncture=時点、時期

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Japan-U.S. relations at stake

(危機に瀕している日米関係)

Japan has been repeatedly requested to put SDF troops on the ground in Afghanistan, but has so far rejected the requests. In addition, if Japan withdraws from the Indian Ocean, which is far less dangerous than Afghan soil, it would run counter to the efforts of the international community.

日本も再三、アフガン本土への自衛隊派遣を要請されているが、断っている。そのうえ、はるかに危険の小さいインド洋からさえ撤収するようでは、国際社会の動きに完全に逆行する。

Such a withdrawal also would have a significant impact on the Japan-U.S. alliance. The days when postwar relations between Japan and the United States were said to be at their best due to U.S. appreciation for Japan's dispatch of the SDF to the Indian Ocean and Iraq, which served as a bank of goodwill, are now history.

日米同盟への影響も大きい。インド洋やイラクへの自衛隊派遣に対する米国の評価が貯金となり、日米関係が戦後最良と言われたのは、もう過去の話だ。

In Japan, some say the current situation is that Japan has "emptied the bank and is now in the red."

日本側には「今は、貯金を使い果たし、赤字状態だ」との見方もある。

Refueling activities in the Indian Ocean also are necessary to secure the sea lanes used for crude oil imports to Japan, making them a lifeline for this nation.

給油活動は、日本の生命線である原油輸入のシーレーン確保にも深くかかわる。

When a Japanese tanker was attacked by pirates off Yemen in April, a German military ship and other vessels rushed to the scene to effect a rescue. In this instance, the actions were said to have been prompted by an appreciation for Japan's refueling operations in the Indian Ocean.

日本のタンカーが今年4月、イエメン沖で海賊に襲われた際、ドイツ艦船などが積極的に救助に動いたのも、海自の給油活動があればこそだ。

Some LDP members have mooted the idea of having MSDF vessels escort Japanese tankers. But this operation would not serve as an alternative to the refueling activities.

自民党の一部には、海自でタンカーを護衛する案があるが、給油活動の代替策にはなるまい。

It is vital that Japan participates in joint international actions. Unilateral activities are limited in scope and cannot boost our reputation in the eyes of the international community.

国際共同行動への参加が重要なのであって、日本単独の行動では評価もされず、効果も限定的だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 20, 2008)

20088200152  読売新聞)

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