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2009年2月 7日 (土)

タイ首相来日―不況の克服へ態勢作りを

2009/2/7

--The Asahi Shimbun, Feb. 6(IHT/Asahi: February 7,2009)

EDITORIAL: Abhisit's visit to Japan

タイ首相来日―不況の克服へ態勢作りを

Abhisit Vejjajiva, Thailand's new prime minister, arrived Thursday for a three-day visit to Japan. The painful effects of the global economic downturn are already being felt in his country, which is still reeling from momentous political and social changes.

 政治や社会の混乱の火種がくすぶっているところに世界同時不況が影響し始めた。そんな状況のタイから、44歳の新首相アピシット氏が来日した。 

With the situation in Thailand so dire, it is hard to feel optimistic about the Abhisit government's future. It only came to power in December. Abhisit, 44, must brace himself for a difficult road ahead in his efforts to help Thailand regain the trust of the international community and restore stability at home.

 昨年末の新政権発足を祝いたいところだが、いまのタイを取り巻く状況はあまりにも厳しい。国際社会の信頼を取り戻し、国内の安定を手にするために、新首相はいばらの道を歩む覚悟を持たねばなるまい。 

A weeklong blockade of Bangkok's airports by demonstrators protesting against the government of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is still a fresh memory. Many Japanese were stranded there during that time. The turmoil caused losses for many Japanese companies as well. Abhisit, then an opposition leader heading the Democrat Party, swept to power on a wave of support from anti-Thaksin forces.

 タクシン元首相に反対する勢力が、バンコクの空港を占拠した事件の記憶はまだ生々しい。1週間余もタイに足止めされた日本人も多い。日本の産業界も被害を受けた。野党だった民主党を率いるアピシット氏は、この反タクシン勢力を後ろ盾に権力を手にした。 

Pro-Thaksin groups are now blaming their political enemies for the damaging closure of the airports in the country's capital and staging protests against the Abhisit administration. The new government's priority should be on ending confusion and reinstating law and order. Until that happens, foreign investment and tourism will suffer.

 タクシン派はいま、空港占拠の責任を追及し、抗議行動を始めている。新政権は混乱を収め、法秩序を回復させることが先決だ。そうでないと外国からの投資や観光客も回復しまい。 

Furthermore, the economic crisis that started in the United States is hitting Thailand very hard. Thai exports began plunging last autumn. Singapore and other key members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are also suffering from worsening economic ill-health. Manufacturers across the region are now shedding jobs, and the ranks of the poor are starting to swell.

 米国発の経済危機も足元を揺るがしている。昨年秋からタイの輸出は急減した。シンガポールなど東南アジア諸国連合(ASEAN)の主要国も、景気の急激な後退に見舞われている。製造業の雇用調整が始まり、貧困層が増え始めている。 

During the Asian financial crisis in 1997, the collapse of the Thai baht triggered a financial tsunami that quickly engulfed the region and spread to other parts of the world. Learning from the bitter experience, ASEAN has been moving toward economic integration with Japan and China. ASEAN returned to a path of steady economic growth by promoting a regional division of labor and ramping up exports of industrial products to countries like the United States.

 97年のアジア通貨危機では、タイを震源地とする混乱がアジアから世界へ広がった。その経験からASEANは、日本や中国との経済統合を深めてきた。東アジアでの域内分業を進め、工業製品を米国などへ輸出することで着実な成長をはたした。 

But ASEAN can no longer count on a strong U.S. appetite for imports to fuel its economic growth. It needs a radical policy shift to focus more on expanding demand within the region. As the country that currently holds the rotating ASEAN presidency, Thailand should become aware anew that it must lead the changes the region badly needs.

 だが、米国の消費頼みはもう通じない。域内の内需を拡大する方向へ大きくかじを切る必要がある。ASEAN議長国であるタイは、その先頭に立つ自覚を新たにしてほしい。 

A meeting of leaders of ASEAN, Japan, China and South Korea and a broader East Asian summit that were scheduled to be held late last year had to be called off because of the political unrest in Thailand.

 ASEANプラス日中韓の首脳会議や東アジアサミットが昨年末に開催される予定だったが、タイの政治混乱で流れてしまった。 

Abhisit intends to hold a series of international conferences in April. Countries in the region now need to contribute ideas about how to revitalize Asian economies.

 アピシット氏は一連の国際会議を4月に開催する意向だ。アジア経済の再活性化のために、いまこそ域内各国の知恵を結集しなければならない。 

During the region's financial crisis in the late 1990s, the Japanese government provided support to affected countries in Asia. In response to the current crisis, Prime Minister Taro Aso pledged to provide official development assistance worth more than 1.5 trillion yen for the region.

 通貨危機の際に、日本政府はアジアを支援した。麻生首相は今回も、危機対策として1兆5千億円以上の政府の途上国援助(ODA)を、アジアへ投じる考えを示している。 

Economic recovery in other Asian countries will help Japan's efforts to put its own house in order. We hope Aso and Abhisit have constructive discussions.

 アジアの成長の回復は日本の経済立て直しにもつながる。両首相は建設的な方策を話し合ってもらいたい。 

Another vexing issue is that boats carrying refugees from Myanmar (Burma) who are members of the ethnic Rohingya minority have been turning up on Thai and Indonesian coastlines. Rohingya are a Muslim minority group suffering oppression by the military junta of Myanmar.

 タイの隣国ミャンマー(ビルマ)から船で出国した少数民族ロヒンギャ族の多くの人々が、タイやインドネシアに漂着している。ミャンマー軍事政権から迫害を受けている民族だ。 

The boat people have accused the Thai navy of casting them adrift in rickety boats without offering them any means of protection. The Thai government should look into the allegations to uncover the truth and act in a humanitarian way by rescuing these refugees. The way Thailand deals with this issue will show whether the country is really serious about regaining international trust.

 彼らはタイ海軍が彼らを保護せず、放置したと訴えている。真相を究明し人道的に救援すべきだろう。ここでもタイの信頼回復が問われている。

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