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2008年12月28日 (日)

08回顧・国際 世界を揺さぶった同時不況

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 28, 2008)

2008 saw a recession that rocked the world

08回顧・国際 世界を揺さぶった同時不況(1228日付・読売社説)

The year is drawing to an unusually depressing end.

 これまでにない重苦しい年の瀬になった。

2008 will be remembered as a year that witnessed a world recession akin to the Great Depression of 1929.

 今年は、1929年に始まった世界大恐慌を思わせる世界同時不況に見舞われた年として、記憶に残るのではないか。

The collapse of major U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., which marked the spread of the U.S. financial crisis across the globe, came third in the list of top-ranking international news stories picked by Yomiuri Shimbun readers.

 本紙読者が選ぶ「海外10大ニュース」で「米証券大手リーマンが破綻(はたん)、米国発の金融危機が世界に波及」が3位になった。

Following the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, the world was caught up in the throes of a recession in the blink of an eye. Who could have foreseen such a rapid turn of events?

 リーマン破綻に伴い、世界中が一気に不況の渦に巻きこまれた。一体誰がこんな急展開を、予測できただろうか。

Oil prices, which had been surging since the beginning of the year, hit a record-high 147 dollars per barrel in July--the story that ranked fifth on the list--before plunging, partly due to the global economic slowdown, and had fallen to the lower 30 dollars level around the end of the year.

 年初来、高騰を続けた原油は、7月に史上最高値の1バレル=147ドルを記録した(5位)。その後は、世界経済の減速などで急落し、年末に30ドル台前半まで下落した。

In June, a world food summit, the first of its kind to address global food security, was held in Rome to tackle the issue of rising grain prices (the story ranking 18th on the list). Grain prices, however, began to drop in autumn as fast as oil prices because of abundant harvests and the withdrawal of speculative money from the market.

 穀物価格の高騰に対応しようと、6月にローマで初めての食糧サミットが開催された(18位)。ところが、秋以降は世界的な豊作と投機マネーの逃避で、価格は原油同様、値下がりした。

===

1st black U.S. president

 ◆米史上初の黒人大統領◆ 

This year also saw a series of changes of leaders.

 指導者が相次いで代わった。

Democratic candidate Sen. Barack Obama won the U.S. presidential election in November, paving the way for him to become the first black president in U.S. history. This news story topped the list.

 11月の米大統領選で、民主党のバラク・オバマ上院議員が当選し、米国史上初めて黒人大統領が誕生することになった(1位)。

In addition to criticism of the Iraq policy of the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush, the unprecedented financial crisis dealt a fatal blow to the Republican government, resulting in wide support for Obama. A burning task for the next administration will be financial and economic reconstruction, for which there is no time to waste, and the issue of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

 ブッシュ共和党政権の対イラク政策への批判に加え、未曽有の金融危機がダメ押しとなり、オバマ氏は幅広く国民の支持を集めた。次期政権の焦眉(しょうび)の課題は、待ったなしの金融・経済の立て直しと、イラク撤退問題となろう。

In March, Ma Ying-jeou of the Nationalist Party was elected president of Taiwan, leading his party back into power for the first time in eight years (25th on the list). Ma launched regular direct flights with China, establishing three direct links--trade, transport and communications--for the first time since Taiwan and the mainland split amid civil war in 1949. The Taiwan Strait likely will remain calm for the time being.

 台湾では3月、国民党の馬英九氏が総統に当選し、8年ぶりに国民党政権が復活した(25位)。馬総統は、中国との直行便の開設などを断行し、1949年に中台に分裂して以降、「3通(通商、通航、通信)」が初めて実現した。台湾海峡はしばらく凪(なぎ)の状態が続くことになろう。

In Russia, First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who was endorsed by then President Vladimir Putin as his successor, was elected president (11th on the list). The new president appointed Putin as prime minister, transforming the administration into a Medvedev-Putin tandem system.

 ロシアでは3月、プーチン大統領(当時)の後継指名を受けたメドベージェフ第1副首相が大統領に当選した(11位)。新大統領はプーチン氏を首相に指名し、「タンデム(2人乗り自転車)体制」へ移行した。

Russian forces invaded Georgia in August after Georgian forces attacked South Ossetia, which is seeking independence from Georgia. The fighting between Russia and Georgia then became a full-fledged battle (17th on the list).

 そのロシアとの関連では、グルジア軍が8月、分離独立を求める南オセチア自治州を攻撃したことをきっかけに、ロシア軍がグルジアに侵攻し、本格的な戦闘に発展した(17位)。

Russia's military action drew a backlash from the United States and some European countries, and the dispute contributed to deepening tension between the United States and Russia.

 ロシアの行動に対して、グルジアを支持する欧米が反発し、紛争は米露関係の緊張が深まる一因にもなった。

Meanwhile, rumors that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il was incapacitated spread following a report that he suffered a stroke in summer (16th on the list).

 北朝鮮の金正日総書記が夏に脳梗塞(こうそく)などで倒れたと伝えられ、健康不安説が広がった(16位)。

In October, the United States removed North Korea from its list of state sponsors of terrorism, although verification of Pyongyang's nuclear declaration was not fully guaranteed in the six-party talks on the North's denuclearization (13th on the list). Such incaution during negotiations with North Korea may create problems in the future.

 非核化を巡る6か国協議で、北の核申告の検証を十分に担保しないまま、米国は10月、北朝鮮のテロ支援国指定を解除した(13位)。その詰めの甘さが、禍根を残すことになるのではないか。

In Thailand, antigovernment protesters occupied the prime minister's office compound and two airports in Bangkok, stranding Japanese and other foreign tourists (14th on the list). Two prime ministers supporting ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra were stripped of their posts by the Constitutional Court. The opposition Democrat Party leader, Abhisit Vejjajiva, was elected prime minister this month.

 タイでは反政府勢力団体が首相府や首都空港などを占拠し、邦人はじめ外国人観光客が足止めされ、混乱が続いた(14位)。

 憲法裁判所の判決でタクシン元首相派の首相2人が相次いで失職し、野党・民主党のアピシット氏が12月、後継首相に選ばれた。

===

Olympics, disaster in China

 ◆北京五輪と自然災害も◆

This year's top 10 international new stories are conspicuous in that four events related to China were included. Whether it is a good or bad thing, China came under the spotlight this year.

 国際ニュース上位10位の中に中国関連が4項目も入ったのも目立った。良きにつけ悪()しきにつけ、中国が主役となった年だった。

Before the opening of the 2008 Beijing Olympics in August, protests in Tibet against Chinese rule developed into large-scale riots by Buddhist monks and other citizens. The Beijing Olympics ranked fourth on the list, while the Tibetan riots came eighth.

 8月の北京五輪開催(4位)を前に、チベット自治区などで僧侶や市民による大規模な暴動が発生した(8位)。

The security authorities quelled the riots, but the Olympic torch relay turned into a farce as it was blocked by protesters in many cities along the way, including London and Paris (ninth on the list).

 治安当局によって暴動は鎮圧されたが、ロンドン、パリなど各地で行われた聖火リレーは、抗議の人々によって妨害され大混乱した(9位)。

In May, a massive earthquake measuring 8 on the Richter scale hit Sichuan Province in China, leaving more than 10 million people homeless (second on the list). Efforts by Japanese rescue teams sent to quake-stricken areas seemed to help ease deep-rooted anti-Japanese sentiment in China.

 四川省で5月、マグニチュード8の地震が発生、被災者1000万人を超える大災害に見舞われた(2位)。日本の緊急援助隊が活躍し、中国の根強い反日感情が和らいだと伝えられた。

Also in May, powerful Cyclone Nargis battered Myanmar, leaving more than 130,000 people dead or missing (sixth on the list). The military junta initially refused emergency humanitarian aid from overseas, causing a delay in rescue operations that compounded damages.

 自然災害といえば、ミャンマーも5月、サイクロンに襲われ、死者・行方不明者は13万人を超えた(6位)。軍事政権は海外緊急支援の受け入れを渋り、結果的に救援が遅れ、被災は拡大した。

===

Terrorist attacks in South Asia

◆南アジアでテロ頻発◆

This year also left a deep impression as a result of the series of terrorist attacks that occurred in South Asia.

 南アジアでテロが頻発した年としても印象が深い。

Mumbai, India's commercial center, was rocked in November, when terrorists launched simultaneous attacks that killed about 170 people, including one Japanese (seventh on the list). Indian security authorities arrested the suspected mastermind of the attacks, which are believed to have been carried out by Pakistan-based Islamic extremists.

 インドの商業都市ムンバイで11月、同時テロが発生、邦人1人を含む約170人が死亡した(7位)。パキスタンに根拠地を持つイスラム過激派の犯行と見られ、治安当局が首謀者を逮捕した。

For the sake of regional stability, India and Pakistan, which have nuclear arms and which have fought each other in three wars in the past, need to maintain self-restraint.

 核保有国のインドとパキスタンは過去3回、戦火を交えており、双方が自制を保つことが地域の安定に必要だろう。

In Islamabad, a suicide truck bomb attack on a luxury hotel that is part of a U.S. chain killed 53 people in September (20th on the list).

 そのパキスタンでも9月、米系高級ホテルに爆弾を積んだトラックが突っ込む自爆テロが発生し、53人が死亡した(20位)。

There is no sign that terrorism will cease in Afghanistan or Iraq, either. The war against terrorism needs continuing patient efforts.

 アフガニスタンやイラクでも、テロが終息する気配は見えない。テロとの戦いには、息の長い、忍耐強い対応が必要だろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 28, 2008)

200812280139  読売新聞)

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