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2008年11月27日 (木)

ソマリア沖海賊 海自派遣へ新法の検討を急げ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 27, 2008)

Give MSDF legal base to tackle pirates

ソマリア沖海賊 海自派遣へ新法の検討を急げ(1127日付・読売社説)

A recent rise in the number of vessels attacked by pirates off Somalia means no country can any longer turn a blind eye to the problem. Japan is no exception. This nation should quickly start considering the dispatch of Maritime Self-Defense Force vessels to the area off eastern Africa where these attacks are occurring.

 東アフリカ・ソマリア沖の海賊被害が拡大し、もはや看過できない段階になっている。日本も、海上自衛隊の艦船派遣の検討を急ぐべきだ。

Ninety-four attacks by pirates have been reported off Somalia or in the Gulf of Aden so far this year, more than double the figure for the whole of last year. Three Japanese-related private vessels were among those targeted.

 今年、ソマリア沖やアデン湾などで発生した海賊事件は94件で、昨年1年間の2倍を超している。日本関係の民間船舶も3隻が襲われた。

Somalia is in a state of anarchy, which makes it almost impossible for the country to crack down on pirates. The "piracy business" of demanding ransom for returning hijacked vessels and crew members is thriving. It is estimated that between 2.4 billion yen and 2.9 billion yen in ransom was handed over to pirates this year.

 ソマリアが無政府状態で、取り締まりができないため、乗っ取った船や乗員の身代金を要求する「海賊ビジネス」が横行している。今年支払われた身代金総額は24億~29億円とも推定される。

Each year, 18,000 vessels travel through the route connecting the Suez Canal, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. Of them, 2,000, or more than 10 percent, are Japanese-related. On average, more than five Japanese vessels travel through these waters each day.

 アデン湾から紅海を経てスエズ運河を通航する船舶は年1万8000隻に上る。このうち日本関係の船舶は2000隻で、1割強を占める。毎日、5隻以上が現場海域を通航している計算だ。

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Nation's interests at stake

It would not be a surprise if a Japanese vessel came under attack from pirates and incurred tremendous damage anytime soon. Dealing with pirates is directly linked to the national interests of Japan, a nation that depends on trade. It is, therefore, important to make serious efforts to tackle this problem.

 今後、いつ日本の船舶が重大な被害に遭ってもおかしくない。海賊対策は、貿易立国の日本の国益に直結する問題だ。真剣な取り組みが求められる。

The U.N. Security Council adopted resolutions in June and October that called on member nations to dispatch naval vessels and military planes to combat piracy off Somalia. Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Russia, the United States and nine other countries have already dispatched military vessels, which are now escorting vessels or cracking down on pirates in the area.

 国連安全保障理事会は今年6月と10月、ソマリア沖の海賊対策として各国に海軍や軍用機の派遣を求める決議を採択した。米英仏独露加など15か国が既に艦船を派遣し、船舶の警護や海賊の取り締まりに当たっている。

Japan can no longer sit on its hands and depend on other countries to stamp out the scourge of piracy. The government and the ruling and opposition parties should study steps as soon as possible to enable the dispatch of MSDF ships to deter pirates.

 日本が何の海賊対策も講じず、他国任せにしておくことは許されない。政府と与野党は、海自の艦船を派遣するための方策を早急に検討すべきだ。

One option would be placing priority on prompt responses. The government would dispatch MSDF vessels in the name of conducting research in the area. If a Japanese ship was attacked, the MSDF vessels would deal with the situation by invoking the maritime patrol clause of the Self-Defense Forces Law.

 迅速な対応を優先するため、とりあえず調査名目で海自艦船を派遣し、日本船舶が襲われたら自衛隊法の海上警備行動を発令して対処する、という考え方もある。

However, under this scenario, MSDF vessels would not be allowed to escort other countries' ships, and the use of arms would be limited to self-defense and some other circumstances.

 だが、この場合、他国の船舶を警備することはできず、武器使用も正当防衛などに限られる。

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Put political bickering aside

Instead, Japan should enact a new law for cracking down on pirates, which would allow this nation to deal flexibly with regard to such matters as warning shots and shots targeted at pirate vessels.

 やはり、海賊取り締まりを目的とする新法を制定し、警告射撃や船体射撃などでより柔軟な運用ができる体制を整備すべきだ。

It would be proper for the government to submit a bill for such a law. But, if speed is of the essence in submitting this bill, one quicker option would be for lawmakers to submit a bill.

本来、政府が法案を提出すべき案件だが、スピードを重視し、議員立法で対応するのも一案だろう。

A nonpartisan group of midcareer and junior lawmakers from the Liberal Democratic Party, the Democratic Party of Japan and New Komeito has started studying the details of a new antipiracy law. Prime Minister Taro Aso also has reacted positively toward enacting a new law.

 自民、民主、公明の超党派の中堅・若手議員らは新法の内容の検討を始めている。麻生首相も新法整備に前向きの考えを示す。

The DPJ is taking a confrontational stance against the government and ruling parties on most issues, but it should not have any reason to oppose such a law because antipiracy measures would be in keeping with the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea and the U.N. resolutions. The largest opposition party should respond positively to any offer to hold consultations on this issue with the ruling parties.

 民主党は今、政府・与党と対決姿勢を強めている。しかし、海賊対策は国連海洋法条約や安保理決議を踏まえたもので、反対する理由はないはずだ。与野党協議に前向きに対応すべきだ。

The ruling and opposition parties also should not rule out enacting this new law during the current extraordinary Diet session, provided the session is extended beyond its scheduled close Sunday.

 臨時国会の会期が延長されれば、今国会中に新法を整備することも排除すべきではない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 27, 2008)

200811270158  読売新聞)

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