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2009年1月31日 (土)

ビザなし交流 ロシアは国際信義を守れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 31, 2009)

Russia must keep pledge on northern territories

ビザなし交流 ロシアは国際信義を守れ(131日付・読売社説)

Moscow has moved to unilaterally cancel an agreement reached between Japan and Russia that allows so-called visaless visits by Japanese nationals to the four northern territories.

 ロシアが、日露両政府が合意して実施している北方領土への「ビザなし交流」の仕組みを、自国の都合で一方的に反故(ほご)にしようとしている。

Japan cannot allow this act by Russia, carried out for Moscow's own convenience, as it constitutes a breach of trust between states.

 国際信義に反しており、日本として到底、受け入れるわけにはいかない。

A Japanese ship carrying humanitarian aid including medicine for residents of the Russian-held islets had to abandon its attempts to dock there and returned to Japan on Thursday after Russian authorities demanded members of the mission submit immigration cards.

 北方4島の住民に医薬品などの人道支援物資を届けようとした日本の訪問団が、ロシア当局から出入国カードの提出を求められ、上陸を断念して帰国した。

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'Impossible to understand'

Following disembarkation procedures set out by Russia could have resulted in Moscow claiming that Tokyo has admitted that Russia has jurisdiction over the northern territories, which are claimed by both nations.

 ロシアの出入国手続きに従うことは、ロシアの管轄権を認めることにつながる。

It is a matter of course that Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura said Russia's action was "impossible to understand" and demanded on behalf of the Japanese government that Russia allow visaless visits to resume.

河村官房長官が「理解できない」と反発し、日本政府として撤回を求めたのは、当然のことだ。

Humanitarian assistance to residents of the four islands is carried out under the same procedures as the visaless exchange system that started in 1992.

 人道支援事業は、1992年に始まった「ビザなし交流」と同じ仕組みで行われている。

Out of consideration for the territorial dispute between Japan and Russia, members of humanitarian missions are allowed to visit the northern territories carrying only identification cards and an attached paper from the Japanese government, which lists intended destinations and other details. Standard immigration procedures such as the presentation of passports and visas are skipped. The same mechanism is applied to former residents and their family members who come to visit graves on the islands.

 領土問題に配慮し、旅券や査証(ビザ)の提示など出入国手続きを経ずに、日本政府が発給する身分証などを示せば入域できる。元島民の墓参も同じ仕組みだ。

However, on this occasion Russia demanded members of the mission submit embarkation/disembarkation cards in line with a revision of its domestic law in 2006. Russian officials said that future visaless exchange visitors also will not be exempted from the law.

 ところが、ロシアは今回、2006年の国内法改正を理由に出入国カードの提出を要求した。今後、ビザなし交流などで訪れる場合も例外は認めないという。

Kunashiri Island, Etorofu Island, the Habomai group of islets and Shikotan Island are inherently Japanese territory. Japanese nationals should be able to visit there freely. The visaless visits system was agreed on to promote mutual understanding between Japanese and Russian people until a peace treaty is signed between Tokyo and Moscow.

 歯舞、色丹、国後、択捉の4島は日本固有の領土だ。本来、日本人が自由に往来できるはずの土地である。「平和条約締結までの間、相互理解の増進を図る」ことがビザなし交流の目的だ。

However, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Russia should not be blamed even if limiting visaless exchange visits harms Japan-Russia relations.

 ロシア外務省は、ビザなし交流の縮小などで日露関係に悪影響が出たとしても、「我々の責任ではない」と居直っている。

The background to this is said to be the fact that the Russian Foreign Ministry is no longer able to control its Federal Migration Service, which advocates tighter immigration controls.

 背景には、出入国管理の厳格化を主張する連邦移民庁を、外務省が抑えきれなくなったという事情もあるようだ。

However, if Russia respects the promises it has made to other countries, it should make operational adjustments among its ministries and agencies, including making visaless visits to the northern territories an exception under its laws.

 だが、国際約束を重んじるなら、北方領土との交流には例外扱いを認めるなど、ロシア内部で制度運用上の調整をすべきだろう。

If nothing is done, visaless exchange visits scheduled for this summer and other programs will not be able to go ahead, in addition to planned humanitarian missions. Both the Japanese and Russian governments should hold talks to break the deadlock as soon as possible, based on the principle of visaless visits that does not undermine either nations' respective claims regarding the territorial dispute.

 このままでは、人道支援事業に加え、今夏に予定されるビザなし交流などもできなくなる。日露両政府は、領土問題での双方の立場を侵害しない、というビザなし交流の原則を踏まえ、事態解決に向けて協議を急いでもらいたい。

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Development deals may suffer

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called Prime Minister Taro Aso last Saturday and proposed they hold summit talks on Sakhalin in mid-February.

 ロシアのメドベージェフ大統領は24日、麻生首相に電話し、2月中旬のサハリン(樺太)での首脳会談を打診してきた。

Russia is trying to attract Japanese money and technology to assist in the development of Siberia and its Far Eastern regions. But, there will be no boost in economic cooperation from Japan if Moscow fails to act sincerely when dealing with the territorial issue that stands as the biggest stumbling block between Japan and Russia.

 ロシアは極東・シベリア開発に日本の資金や技術を呼び込もうとしている。日露間の最大の懸案である領土問題で不誠実な対応を続けるようでは、経済協力にも弾みはつくまい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 31, 2009)

20091310141  読売新聞)

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