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2009年8月31日 (月)

衆院選:民主党が単独で308議席獲得 自民は歴史的惨敗

毎日新聞の選挙速報を引用
英語版と日本語版は別々に編集されたものとみられる。
英語版は英語のまま読解し、日本語版も参考にしてください。
辞書なしで100%理解できます。
(スラチャイ)

(Mainichi Japan) August 31, 2009
Opposition Democratic Party of Japan wins election in landslide
衆院選:民主党が単独で308議席獲得 自民は歴史的惨敗

The largest opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) scored a landslide victory in Sunday's general election, capturing more than 300 of the 480 seats in the House of Representatives.

The DPJ is set to take over the reins of government, putting an end to the 10-year-old coalition government comprised of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Komeito (NKP).

DPJ leader Yukio Hatoyama will be elected prime minister at a special Diet session expected to be called sometime around Sept. 14, and form a DPJ-led Cabinet.

The ruling coalition suffered a humiliating defeat with its pre-election strength plunging from 331 to 140.


The focal point of Sunday's general election was whether the DPJ would take over the reins of government, or would the LDP-NKP coalition stay in power.

Following the massive defeat, Prime Minister Taro Aso said he would resign as LDP president. "I must assume responsibility (for the election outcome)," he said.

Vote counting began immediately after almost all of about 51,000 polling stations across the country closed at 8 p.m.

The DPJ won 308 seats, the LDP 119, NKP 21, the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) nine, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) seven, the People's New Party (PNP) three, the Your Party (YP) five, the New Party Nippon (NPN) one and the New Party Daichi one, while the Japan Renaissance Party (JRP) won no seats. Six independents were also elected to the chamber.

The DPJ suffered a massive defeat in urban areas in the previous Lower House race in 2005. Its current acting leader Naoto Kan was the only winner of a single-seat constituency in Tokyo. But the party won 21 of Tokyo's 25 electoral districts this time.

Of the 480 seats, 300 are allocated to single-seat constituencies (SSC) while the remaining 180 are allocated to proportional representation blocs (PRB).

Voter turnout in single-seat constituencies is estimated to be 69.27 percent, slightly above that in the previous election in 2005, which stood at 67.51 percent. The figure is the highest since the current election system combining the single-seat district and the proportional representation system was introduced in 1996.


 第45回衆院選は30日、投開票され、480議席のうち民主党が小選挙区と比例代表を合わせて単独で過半数(241議席)を大きく上回り308議席を獲得した。1996年の旧民主党結党以来、13年で悲願の政権交代を果たした。93年衆院選で自民党が過半数を割り込み非自民8党派による細川連立政権が発足したが、2大政党間の政権交代は戦後初めてで、戦後政治の大きな転換点となる。首相指名選挙をする特別国会は9月14日の週にも開会、民主党の鳩山由紀夫代表が首相に指名され、同党を中心とした連立政権が発足する。【高塚保】

 与党は自民、公明両党で公示前の計331議席から計191議席を減らし、自民党は1955年の結党以来、初めて第1党の座を失う大惨敗を喫した。麻生太郎首相は30日夜、NHKの報道番組で「責任を負わなければならない」と述べ、自民党総裁の辞任を表明した。

 自民党総裁の任期は9月末で、特別国会後に総裁選を実施し新総裁を選出する。来年夏の参院選に向け党勢の立て直しを迫られるが、新執行部にとって苦難の船出となる。

 民主党は小泉改革で広がった格差への対策として、マニフェスト(政権公約)に子ども手当の支給、高校教育の無償化、農家への戸別所得補償、高速道路原則無料化などくらしを重視する政策を盛り込み、実現を訴えてきた。

 前回の05年衆院選で民主党は大都市部で苦戦し、東京では菅直人代表代行の1議席しか獲得できなかったが、今回は21議席を奪取。首都圏の埼玉、千葉、神奈川でも復調を果たし、自民党が86年に獲得した戦後最多の300議席を上回った。

 民主党は、すべての常任委員会で委員長ポストを独占したうえで委員の過半数を確保できる議席数である絶対安定多数(269議席)を超え、政権与党として安定した議会運営が可能となる。

 民主、社民、国民新、新党日本の4党では319議席で、参院で否決された法案を衆院で再可決できる320議席には達しなかったが、民主系の無所属2人を加えると320議席を超えた。

 自民党は景気対策の継続と自公連立政権の実績を訴えたが、国民の間に「政権交代」への期待感が広がる中、牙城としてきた地方の小選挙区でも多くの議席を失った。首相経験者では海部俊樹元首相が落選した。

 公明党も「政権交代」ムードが高まる中で苦戦を強いられ、太田昭宏代表はじめ小選挙区で立候補した8人全員が落選。比例代表も公示前の23議席を下回った。

 自公批判を前面に出したみんなの党は公示前議席を上回った。共産党は9議席、社民党は7議席を獲得し、それぞれ公示前議席を維持した。国民新党も政権交代選挙の中で埋没し厳しい戦いを強いられた。

 今回の選挙では、比例代表で民主党の当選枠の数が立候補者数を上回るなど計4議席が他の党に割り振られる事態となった。民主党では比例近畿ブロックで2議席が自民、公明両党に振り分けられた。また、みんなの党では東海、近畿両ブロックで1議席ずつ獲得できる得票に達したが、重複立候補者が小選挙区で得票率10%に届かず、復活当選できず、東海は民主に、近畿は自民に回った。

毎日新聞 2009年8月31日 2時18分(最終更新 8月31日 3時28分)

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民主党政権実現 変化への期待と重責に応えよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 31, 2009)
DPJ must be responsible, live up to expectations
民主党政権実現 変化への期待と重責に応えよ(8月31日付・読売社説)

People's dissatisfaction with the Liberal Democratic Party's politics and their expectation that a new administration led by the Democratic Party of Japan can bring "change" has ushered in a historic change in power in this country.
 自民党政治に対する不満と、民主党政権誕生による「変化」への期待が歴史的な政権交代をもたらした。

 The DPJ romped to a landslide victory in the House of Representatives election Sunday, handing the LDP its most devastating defeat since the party was formed.
 30日投開票の衆院選で民主党が大勝し、自民党は結党以来の惨敗を喫した。

This is the first time since the end of World War II that an opposition party has won a single-party majority in the lower house and brought about a change in administration.
 野党が衆院選で単独過半数を獲得し、政権交代を果たしたのは戦後初めてのことである。

DPJ President Yukio Hatoyama, who is expected to be named prime minister in the special Diet session to be convened soon, will bear the heavy responsibility of managing the country.
 近く召集される予定の特別国会で、首相に指名される民主党の鳩山代表が、国家経営の重責を担うことになる。

===

Disappointment and weariness

 ◆自民党への失望と飽き◆
The largest cause of this sea change in public sentiment lies in the LDP itself.
 このような民意の大変動の要因は、自民党にある。

Policies taken by the administration of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, which espoused the importance of market principles, widened disparities in society, devastated the country's medical and nursing care services and impoverished many rural areas.
 小泉内閣の市場原理主義的な政策は、「格差社会」を助長し、医療・介護現場の荒廃や地方の疲弊を招いた。

Koizumi's successors--Shinzo Abe and Yasuo Fukuda--abruptly resigned as prime minister.
 小泉後継の安倍、福田両首相は相次いで政権を投げ出した。

Prime Minister Taro Aso, who took over from Fukuda, suffered a string of self-imposed setbacks with verbal gaffes and other blunders that raised questions about his ability to serve as prime minister before he could correct the policy line taken by the Koizumi administration.
 麻生首相は、小泉路線の修正も中途半端なまま、首相としての資質を問われる言動を続けて、失点を重ねた。

The LDP lost its status as the largest party in the House of Councillors after a thumping defeat in the 2007 election. Subsequently, the LDP's support organizations and industrial groups that traditionally supported the party began to increasingly distance themselves from the LDP.
 この間、自民党は、参院選敗北によって参院第1党の座を失い、従来の支持・業界団体も、自民離れを加速させた。

In short, it can be said that the LDP's historic defeat was brought about by the collapse of its structural reforms that went too far, its leaders' failure to live up to their responsibilities and their lack of leadership ability, the alienation of its traditional support base, and weariness and disappointment with the administration that had been in power for a long time.
 構造改革路線の行き過ぎ、指導者の責任放棄と力量不足、支持団体の離反、長期政権への失望と飽きが、自民党の歴史的敗北につながったと言えよう。

In addition to criticizing the LDP's failings, the DPJ wooed discontented voters by putting forward policies including support for households, such as a monthly child allowance for families and a gradual phasing out of highway tolls, as well as adopting election campaign tactics that included fielding a diverse range of candidates.
 民主党は、こうした自民党の行き詰まりを批判し、子ども手当や高速道路無料化など家計支援策、多様な候補者を立てる選挙戦術で有権者の不満を吸い上げた。

In the previous lower house election, the LDP was blessed with strong and favorable winds whipped up by the postal service privatization debate and the divisions wrought by the party's decision to put "assassin" candidates on the official party ticket to run against those LDP members who opposed the Koizumi-led postal reform drive and were forced off the party ticket.
 小泉政権下の前回衆院選では、「郵政民営化」と刺客騒動で、自民党に強い追い風が吹いた。

The winds of change then took a sudden turn, swinging behind the DPJ, which advocates a change in power--and the favorable conditions have remained since the dissolution of the lower house, culminating in heavy damage to the LDP's junior coalition partner, New Komeito, too.
 今回、風向きは一転、「政権交代」を唱えた民主党側に変わり、圧勝への勢いを与えた。この結果、自民党だけでなく、連立与党の公明党も大きな打撃を受けた。

This development should be interpreted as meaning that the overwhelming sentiment among voters was to give the DPJ a chance to hold the reins of power, despite anxiety in the electorate about how a DPJ-led administration might fare.
 民主党政権に「不安」は感じつつも、一度は政権交代を、との有権者の意識が、それだけ根強かったと見るべきだろう。

Despite the DPJ's landslide victory, however, it does not mean voters have given the party an open-ended mandate.
 しかし、300議席を超す勝利は、必ずしも、民主党への白紙委任を意味するものではない。

===

Review election pledges
 ◆政権公約の見直しを◆

A new cabinet to be formed by Hatoyama is to carry out policy measures based on the schedule presented in the DPJ's election manifesto. However, the new government should not stick to its "election" pledges so much so as to destabilize people's lives.
 鳩山新内閣は、政権公約(マニフェスト)で示した工程表に従って、政策を進めることになる。だが、“選挙用”政権公約にこだわるあまり、国民生活を不安定にさせてはならない。

Its most important task is to put the Japanese economy, which is now in the process of recovering from a serious recession, on a steady road to recovery. Given the deteriorating employment situation, public spending on economic pump-priming measures must be continued seamlessly.
 最大の課題は、大不況から立ち直りかけている日本経済を着実な回復軌道に乗せることだ。雇用情勢の悪化を考えれば、切れ目のない景気対策が欠かせない。

When drafting the next fiscal year's budget, the new administration needs to give top priority to boosting the economy.
 来年度予算編成でも、景気浮揚に最大限の配慮が必要だ。

In the realm of foreign and security policy, the change of government will not be accepted as an excuse to tear up international agreements. The new government must seek to achieve consistency in this country's foreign policy and firmly maintain the Japan-U.S. alliance.
 外交・安全保障では、政権交代によって、国際公約を反故(ほご)にすることは許されない。外交の継続性に留意し、日米同盟を堅持しなければならない。

Since it does not have a single-party majority in the upper house, the DPJ will start talks soon with the Social Democratic Party and the People's New Party about the formation of a coalition government.
 民主党は、参院では単独過半数を持たないことから、社民、国民新両党と連立政権協議に入る。

One major concern is the huge gap between the DPJ and the SDP regarding their basic policies on foreign and security affairs, including the participation of the Self-Defense Forces in international peacekeeping activities.
 懸念されるのは、自衛隊の国際平和協力活動など、外交・安保の基本にかかわる政策をめぐって、民主、社民両党間に大きな隔たりがあることだ。

A political situation in which a small party can use its casting vote to push around a major party would be extremely harmful. The DPJ should approach the talks determined to scrap plans for a coalition with the SDP if they cannot reach an agreement on fundamental policies.
 少数党が多数党を振り回すキャスチングボート政治は、弊害が大きい。民主党は、基本政策で合意できなければ、連立を白紙に戻すこともあり得るとの強い決意で、協議に臨むべきだろう。

The DPJ has set a goal of "bidding farewell to bureaucrat-led policy-making."
 民主党は、「官僚政治からの脱却」も目標に掲げている。

But the DPJ should not be under the illusion that bureaucrats will dance to the party's tune simply by establishing a politician-led "National Strategy Bureau" or by assigning a bevy of lawmakers to positions within each government agency or ministry.
だが、首相直属の「国家戦略局」を設けたり、多数の国会議員を各府省に配置しさえすれば、官僚を動かせるというものではない。

Lawmakers will be scrutinized for their ability to use bureaucrats to serve their purposes, rather than to act hostilely against bureaucrats. Lawmakers should know that only when they win the trust of bureaucrats will they be able to effectively implement policies.
 官僚と敵対するのではなく、使いこなす力量が問われる。官僚の信頼を得て初めて、政策の遂行が可能になることを知るべきだ。

===

Can LDP make comeback?

The LDP was formed in 1955 through a marriage of conservative parties to counter the Japan Socialist Party, which in that year merged the rightist and leftist socialist parties.
 自民党は1955年、左右の社会党の統一に対抗する保守合同によって誕生した。

The ideological clash between the LDP and JSP that was dominant in those days has since evaporated, and the JSP the nation knew then no longer exists. The LDP's crushing defeat in Sunday's election completed the demise of the so-called 1955 political system that centered around the LDP and the socialists.
 当時のイデオロギー対決はすでになく、かつての社会党も存在しない。今回の自民党の壊滅的な敗北は、自社主軸の「55年体制」の完全な終幕を告げるものだ。

 ◆自民党は立ち直れるか◆
The LDP must brace itself for an extended period in the opposition camp. The party will need to dust itself off and rebuild itself almost from scratch if it wants to be a viable political party that can occupy the position of one of the two major political parties--together with the DPJ.
 自民党は、これから野党時代が長くなることを覚悟しなければなるまい。民主党とともに2大政党制の一角を占め続けるには、解党的出直しが必要だ。

The LDP was temporarily ousted from power in 1993 in the wake of money-for-favor political scandals. Since then, it has remained at the helm of the government by forming coalitions with the JSP, Komeito and other parties.
 93年、自民党は金権腐敗から一時期政権を退いた。その後、社会党や公明党などとの連立で政権を維持してきた。

The LDP has been forced by the voters to start over--after having neglected to reform itself.
 しかし、自己改革を怠り、結局、有権者の手によって、再出発を余儀なくされた。

The party will be pressed to drastically change everything from its political philosophy to its policies and its structure under a new party leader who will replace Aso ahead of the upper house election next summer.
 今後は、麻生首相に代わる新総裁の下、来年夏の参院選に向け、党の組織や政策、選挙体制など、すべての面にわたり徹底的な改革が迫られる。

The LDP must present healthy, sound policies and bolster its ability to counter the DPJ-led administration if it wants to be a key player that can level criticism at the government.
 説得力のある政策を示し、民主党政権に対する批判勢力として、闘争力を高めねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 31, 2009)
(2009年8月31日05時28分  読売新聞)

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2009年8月30日 (日)

衆院選:民主単独で300議席超へ 鳩山政権誕生が確実に

歴史的な政権交代となりましたね。
消費税は4年間据え置き。
どうやって社会保障財源を確保するのか心配です。
しかしながら民主党の政権をとることが決まった以上、
我々も覚悟を決めて、民主新日本丸に乗船しなければなりません。
期待と不安が交じり合った複雑な心境です。
(スラチャイ)

(Mainichi Japan) August 30, 2009
Opposition Democratic Party of Japan set to win election in landslide
衆院選:民主単独で300議席超へ 鳩山政権誕生が確実に

The largest opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) is set to score a landslide victory in Sunday's general election, likely capturing more than 300 of the 480 seats in the House of Representatives, according to Mainichi Shimbun exit polls.

The DPJ is certain to take over the reins of government, putting an end to the 10-year-old coalition government comprised of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Komeito (NKP).

DPJ leader Yukio Hatoyama will be elected prime minister at a special Diet session that must be called within 30 days after the polling day under the Constitution, and form a Cabinet.

The LDP is expected to suffer a humiliating defeat, possibly falling short of 100 seats.

The focal point of Sunday's general election has been whether the DPJ will take over the reins of government or the LDP-NKP coalition will stay in power.

Vote counting began immediately after almost all of about 51,000 polling stations across the country closed at 8 p.m.

As of 10:40 p.m., the DPJ had won 243 seats, the LDP 62, NKP 11, the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) five, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) two, the People's New Party (PNP) two, the Your Party (YP) three and the New Party Nippon (NPN) one, while the Japan Renaissance Party (JRP) had won no seats. Four independents have also been elected to the chamber.

All winners in the nation's 300 single-seat constituencies (SSC) will be announced by about 1 a.m. on Monday and all those elected in the proportional representation blocs (PRB) will be determined by around 3 a.m.

The voter turnout was 53 percent as of 7:30 p.m., down 2.65 points from the previous election in 2005. However, as the number of those who cast absentee ballots was more than 50 percent more than the previous election, final voter turnout is expected to be above that in the previous election, which stood at 67.51 percent.

A confidence vote among the public for nine Supreme Court justices, who were appointed after the previous Lower House election, was also held simultaneously with the general election.

日本語の速報↓

 第45回衆院選は30日投票され、同日午後8時、投票が締め切られた。即日開票され、31日未明には新たな480議席が確定する見通し。毎日新聞が全国300小選挙区の投票所で実施した出口調査によると、民主党が圧倒的に優勢で、比例代表と合わせ単独で過半数(241議席)を大きく上回り、300議席を超える可能性が高い。民主党が結党後初の政権交代を果たし、鳩山由紀夫代表を首相とする鳩山政権が誕生するのは確実になった。

 自民党は公示前の300議席から大幅に議席を減らす惨敗で、100議席を割る可能性もある。自民、公明両党の連立政権は10年で終止符を打つことになった。

 午後7時半現在の投票率は53.00%(男性53.54%、女性52.48%)で、前回05年衆院選の同時刻より2.65ポイント低い。一方、29日に締め切った期日前投票は1398万4968人(全有権者数の13.40%)と前回の1.56倍で、過去3回の国政選挙で最も多かった約1080万人(07年参院選)を超え、過去最多となった。最終的な投票率は前回の67.51%(小選挙区)を上回りそうだ。

毎日新聞 2009年8月30日 21時02分(最終更新 8月30日 22時08分)

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日米両国関係の細目を検討する時期にさしかかってる

朝日新聞論説より引用しました。
辞書を使っても50%くらいの理解率です。
語彙は難しいですが、Japan Timesや東南アジアの英字新聞のレベルだと思います。
スタンフォード大学名誉教授Daniel I. Okimoto氏へのインタビュー議事録です。
徐々に難しい題材も研究することは、英語力のボトムアップのためには必要不可欠な作業です。
ちょっとしんどいですが。
頑張らなければ。
(スラチャイ)

U.S., Japan need new dimension in bilateral ties
日米両国関係の細目を検討する時期にさしかかってる
BY YOICHI KATO
ASAHI SHIMBUN SENIOR STAFF WRITER

Tokyo and Washington should move to broaden their concept of security and focus their attention on such issues as global warming and aid to Africa, Daniel I. Okimoto, a professor emeritus at Stanford University, said in a recent interview. Such a bilateral approach would help stabilize a world now polarized by poverty, disease and natural disasters, he believes.

A close friend who advises new U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos, Okimoto expressed hope that U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Tokyo in November will broaden the scope of bilateral cooperation to include areas such as clean technology.

Following are excerpts:

* * *

Question: How do you feel about the current economic situation and its implications for U. S. security policy?

Answer: We probably have hit bottom and are beginning gradually to climb out of the deep financial and economic hole into which we had fallen. We're no longer facing the threat of a collapse of our global financial system.

But, the financial sector in Europe and the United States remains fragile and the economy still requires massive government spending in order to generate and maintain stable economic expansion. American households have had to overcome deeply in-grained patterns of heavy borrowing and profligate spending. Savings have risen from zero to 4 percent. Corporations have reduced capital investments because consumers are buying less. This has forced the government to step into the demand vacuum and prime the pump.

Even after the United States begins to recover, the recovery will be weak. It will be a "sawtooth recovery," not a V-shaped turnaround. It may take two or three years before America returns to robust rates of steady growth--similar to, say, 1993-2000.

Defense budgets will have to be pared back. In 2008, depending on how you define it, the defense budget was around $540 billion or $550 billion. However, if you include supplemental and discretionary budgets, which cover the full costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the actual defense budget probably amounted to around $1 trillion. That's huge.

Obama scored a small but noteworthy victory when he and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates defeated the increase of spending for F-22 fighter aircraft in the budget. But they are going to have to do much more paring. There is plenty of room for spending cuts, but the process will take time. Most weapons systems are multi-year projects, and most of the big ticket items can only be pared down gradually. That said, I do think that it is possible to prune defense spending back down to, say, 5 percent of GDP over time. It's about 7 percent now (if you include supplemental and discretionary budgets).

If the Obama administration can do that--a big "if"--the fiscal impact would be exceedingly positive, because precious, finite resources can be freed up and ploughed back into productive infrastructure investments--like smart power grids, a rapid transit system and the upgrading of our energy infrastructure. If we reallocate resources to, say, clean technology and renewable energies, the U.S. economy could get back on to a robust growth trajectory, which will contribute to both global growth and the protection of the global environment.

Q: What are your views on the threats facing the world today?

A: No international system can be stable if the world economy is not growing and if the gap between the rich and the poor is wide. Unfortunately, global growth has been slowing down and economic inequality within and between nations has been widening.

Consider Africa. The continent is adrift. Much of sub-Saharan Africa is caught in a quagmire of grinding poverty, disease and tribal conflict. The dire problems in Africa cannot be ignored. We simply cannot allow the disproportionate number of failed states in Africa to plunge the continent into anarchy, poverty and warfare.

Take Somalia. It is the prototype of a "failed state," where anarchy reigns, where ordinary people are forced to live with poverty, malnutrition, disease and constant fear of death, and where terrorists and jihadists have emerged. The advanced industrial world cannot stand by idly and allow Somalia to become a refuge for terrorist training and terrorist organizations.

We need to pay more attention to the developmental needs of the African sub-Saharan continent as well as to other parts of the developing world, including South Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, East Europe and Central Asia. We cannot afford to allow whole continents to fall into abject poverty and anarchy. That would be a formula for disaster.

The other area where we confront serious security problems, broadly defined, is environmental degradation. Look at the nature of global warming. What you see already looming on the horizon are slowly rising temperatures, leading to changes in rainfall and soil, volatility in weather patterns, floods, drought, famine, infectious diseases and pandemics. These are huge security problems. They are immediate and real, not hypothetical or statistically improbable. The probability of an outbreak of Avian flu, for example, may be as high as, say, a North Korean nuclear attack. Chinese citizens are more apt to suffer from the debilitating, cumulative toll of severe air and water pollution than they are from a sudden war with Taiwan. And it is not just the desperately impoverished regions of Africa which are vulnerable to the problem of natural disasters, compounded by environmental degradation. Even the fastest growing states, such as the BRICs--Brazil, Russia, India and China--are highly susceptible. The BRICs are sprawling land masses, with teeming populations, crammed together in densely-packed megacities, crowded cities and surrounding urban areas.

Q: How is the Obama administration faring on the domestic front?

A: The Republicans are seeking to avoid political marginalization. They're losing their national base of support. Increasingly, the Republican Party is turning into a shrinking base of conservative, older, white voters and the religious right, concentrated in the South. The Republicans are falling behind in the fastest growing segments of the U.S. electorate, especially young voters between the ages of 18-40, women and minority groups, particularly Hispanics and African-Americans. So, what are the Republicans doing? They're embarked on a negative campaign. Republicans in Congress are voting against almost every piece of legislation that the Democrats sponsor, such as the stimulus package, health-care reform, climate change and regulatory reform. It's clear that the Republicans want the Obama administration to fail. For if the Obama administration succeeds in nursing the economy back to health and in pushing through historic reforms, such as the passage of universal health care, the Democratic Party may ensconce itself securely in power for years to come just as it did under President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression.

On the health-care issue, we have witnessed a surge of partisan politicking. A great deal of misinformation, exaggerations, distortions and even some outright lies are being spread. For Obama, health-care reform is the defining issue of his administration. Success or failure here will go far in defining Obama's legacy, to say nothing about his chances of re-election for a second term.

If America fails to reform health care, the runaway costs of heath care will threaten to bankrupt the country. It's critical, particularly in the wake of the financial implosion, that we find ways to control our fiscal expenditures. If we don't, American power will be severely impaired.

Q: What are your views on the status of the North Korean nuclear problem?

A: We've been trying to deal with the problem of nuclear proliferation in North Korea since the early years of the first Clinton administration in 1993-94. Unfortunately, we have not gotten very far. Since 2001, in fact, we have backslid. Since 2002, North Korea has developed we don't know how many nuclear weapons, but maybe six to eight. They've further refined their missile delivery capability, the Nodong and Taepodong missiles, and no doubt they have sold nuclear or missile technology--first to Syria, then to Iraq, and now, apparently, to Myanmar (Burma), and maybe to Iran as well.

The nuclear genie has been let out of the bottle. Israel, China, India, Pakistan and now North Korea have entered the ever-expanding circle of nuclear weapons states. Iran is trying to break in, too.

Q: You mean the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty regime is collapsing?

A: Yes. It's awfully hard to denuclearize a country, or even to cap the number of nuclear weapons of a country, once it has crossed the threshold. The question is: Can the Obama administration find ways of persuading North Korea to give up the nuclear capability that it now possesses? I doubt it. From North Korea's perspective, this is the one weapon of last resort that is indispensable. It is true that with nearly 1 million soldiers and with a hardened heavy artillery capable of inflicting considerable damage, North Korea possesses a formidable conventional force. Yet, with limited supplies and reserves of energy, and with scant financial resources, North Korea would not be able to carry on a conventional war for an extended period, not unless China provides substantial energy supplies. Nuclear weapons also represent a visible symbol of power, perhaps North Korea's sole symbol of "accomplishment," and it is an instrumental means of exercising diplomatic leverage. North Korea's powerful and entrenched military would not be inclined to give up what has taken decades to develop.

Q: What would you suggest the United States should do?

A: First of all, America has to maintain the credibility of its extended deterrence.

If North Korea were to attack, say, South Korea or Japan, we would have to retaliate. We'd have to maintain our credibility in Northeast Asia. Otherwise, our credibility around the world, particularly in the Middle East, would be called into question.

Q: Should the United States do something tangible to enhance the credibility of extended deterrence?

A: Japan and the United States are already taking steps to strengthen the extended deterrence in Northeast Asia, by joint development of ballistic missile defense. This is an expensive and long-term undertaking, but it is essential for Japan to have a system of defense in place against the possibility of a pre-emptive strike from North Korea.

The threat posed by North Korean nuclear capability is not just that of an attack on neighboring nations, it is also the great danger of North Korea's transfer of technology, and possibly nuclear materials, to non-state actors and terrorist groups. Now that is deeply worrisome. It is exceedingly difficult to forestall or prevent the transfer of fissionable materials and missile technology. This is what gives the North Korean nuclear issue an added sense of urgency.

The humanitarian mission undertaken by former President Bill Clinton to secure the release of two American journalists was, in my mind, a very positive development. I believe that the criticism that his visit to Pyongyang represented a kowtowing to North Korea is misplaced. The successful release of the two American journalists doesn't mean that the United States has made a secret promise to repay North Korea in some way. Nor does it mean that the United States has retreated from the imposition of strong U.N. sanctions. Even though the efficacy of sanctions is unclear, the United States is prepared to move forward with the fairly stringent sanctions that the United Nations has approved. The release of those hostages is welcome, but we shouldn't run to the table with North Korea. And we should do it within the six-party talks and not just on a simple bilateral basis.

Q: How should six-party talks function?

A: What we need in the six-party talks is to come up with concrete contingency plans for North Korea, should a major crisis unfold, say, a succession crisis. We need to have an understanding of what steps will be taken (as well as what actions to avoid), with South Korea, Japan, China and Russia. It also would be desirable for the five powers to sit down and discuss the basic framework for a new security architecture in Asia.

Q: How do you think Japan's political situation will affect Japan-U.S. relations if the Democratic Party of Japan takes power on Aug. 30?

A: It will take two elections for any new ruling party to establish an enduring base of power. If there is a change in the political party in power, there will be a period of several years of fluidity before a new structure of political party alignment takes hold.

Q: The DPJ says it would change policies vis-a-vis the United States, for example, re-examining the planned relocation of the Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan to Henoko in Nago, Okinawa Prefecture.

A: What I've noticed over the past several weeks is that the DPJ statements have stepped back from commitments to make immediate and far-reaching changes.

They've been backtracking from the positions of ending the refueling mission in the Indian Ocean and of moving quickly out of Futenma. What the DPJ leaders appear to be seeking is a smooth, seamless transition, where bilateral issues don't get entangled with domestic reform priorities.

They may be taking on too much, if they try to renegotiate the Status of Forces Agreement, while at the same time trying to reduce the power of the bureaucracy or to remedy the problems of Japan's pension system. That would be a formula for over-extension.

I think they will probably come into office and assess the political and economic situation, engaging in a dialogue with the Obama administration, and, over time, develop a concrete plan of action.

Q: What are your views on the overall status of our bilateral relations?

A: I think that it's in satisfactory shape. Of course, there are areas where it could be upgraded. What I would like to see is a broader concept of security agreed upon by both states. It would be desirable for more attention and resources to be devoted jointly to environmental issues, clean technology and the alleviation of international poverty, hunger, infectious disease, natural disasters, anarchy, piracy and genocide. Bilateral cooperation in these areas could be strongly stabilizing as well as good for the global political economy.

Q: What is the primary objective of Obama's visit to Japan in November?

A: He has only one day in Japan. I think that the main goal would be to introduce himself to the Japanese leadership--whomever is in power at the time, and to reach out and connect with the Japanese people.

Obama is one of those once-in-a-lifetime political figures who possesses the rare gift of charisma. This enables him to galvanize public support, and indeed, widespread enthusiasm and passion everywhere he travels, whether it be to Europe, Africa, the Middle East, or in Asia. It would be great to see him weave his charismatic magic in Japan. If he does, it would expand the degrees of operating freedom. Obama could propose a vision of bilateral cooperation in, say, clean technology, and this could open up multiple avenues of bilateral cooperation, both in the public and private sectors.(IHT/Asahi: August 25,2009)

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視点論点/かよこ なかばやし: 障害者を介護士に育成しよう

朝日新聞の論説を引用しました。
辞書なしでほぼ100%理解できます。
caregiver 介護士
deaf 耳の聞こえない
mute 話す機能障害のある
(放送禁止用語は自由奔放な表現を制限する面もありますね。)
job-hoppers 職業を転々とする人々
vulnerable=weak=弱い、脆弱である
障害者も健常者と同等の働く権利を与えられるべきですね。
私が入院していた都立駒込病院の医療相談室には、
盲目の男性が盲導犬同伴でここで働いていました。
素晴らしいことだと思います。
(スラチャイ)

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
POINT OF VIEW/ Kayo Nobayashi: Train people with disabilities to be caregivers
視点論点/かよこ なかばやし: 障害者を介護士に育成しよう

Japan's dire shortage of nursing care providers is drawing much attention.

Measures aimed at alleviating the shortage include importing care workers and nurses from Indonesia from last year and the Philippines from May. The Indonesian group began working this year after receiving language and other training.

Moreover, Japanese workers who lost jobs in the recession have been invited to recruitment sessions by welfare facilities hoping they will consider working in nursing care. Wages for caregivers are expected to be raised.

Still, it remains to be seen how effective such moves will be to meet the growing need for care workers.

As a social worker, I have long experience in the fields of medical care and nursing. One thing I have learned is that having an aptitude for the job is important for anyone doing such work.

As the director of an elder-care home, for whom I have great respect, once said to a group of prospective employees: "Regrettably, nursing-care work is not for everyone. Some people are just not cut out for the job."

I agree. Caring for others in need of help is a vocation. It is not the sort of work that job-hoppers should do if they simply want to earn enough to make ends meet while they look around for something that pays better.

Speaking of aptitude, when I look around, I notice many disabled people who are vigorous, sincere and considerate. Many such people have varying levels of disabilities, and of course, some are unable to work because of their disability.

However, many others are strong enough and capable of handling the job of nursing-care worker.

Generally speaking, people with disabilities are socially vulnerable. For that reason, they tend to be able to better understand the pain that others feel and are inclined to be kind and caring.

With some support, I believe many such people can be hired to work in nursing-care services.

Society today mistakenly believes that all people with disabilities are incompetent and unable to handle the work of a caregiver. This is definitely not true.

For example, in the Kansai region, people with hearing impairments, known as "deaf-mute helpers," are employed as caregivers for the elderly. People with intellectual disabilities also work alongside certified care workers after undergoing training to be an assistant. Still, there are only a few such cases.

Unfortunately, most disabled persons find no opportunities to receive training to become home-care workers or certified care workers, and few facilities hire them. While there are many relatively energetic, young disabled people who could easily do such work, nursing is not a career option for most of them.

In Sweden, the state-backed company Samhall AB employs people with disabilities. It trains such employees to work as care workers and runs services for the elderly staffed by disabled people. Japan would be wise to adopt a similar system of support.

Under the Services and Support for Persons With Disability Law that came into force in April 2006, employment support for disabled persons is an important theme.

If the government is serious about this, I urge it to create more opportunities for disabled persons to acquire the qualifications needed to become care workers and to support places where they too can work as members of the nursing workforce.

Moreover, care workers can also learn much from their disabled colleagues. Disabled people deserve wider career choices and opportunities for self-realization.

* * *

The author is a certified social worker.(IHT/Asahi: August 29,2009)

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日本は米中と距離を保つべし--米国の軍事力にたよるのでなく

日本語原稿がありませんのでなんともいえませんが、
それほど難しくはありません。
辞書なしで70%程度理解できます。
毎日新聞の小論説を引用しました。
(スラチャイ)

(Mainichi Japan) August 30, 2009
Japan needs distance from U.S., China -- not U.S. military might
日本は米中と距離を保つべし--米国の軍事力にたよるのでなく

There is no question about the fact that the Japan-U.S. alliance is the core of Japan's diplomacy. However, the structure of current Japan-U.S. relations is distorted, with too much emphasis placed on the military aspect.

The new administration formed following Sunday's House of Representatives election will be required to redesign the Japan-U.S. ties that form the basis of Japan's diplomacy, based on the international situation at the beginning of the 21st century, which is characterized by both multi-polarization and non-polarization.

Japan has been unable to reshape its relations with the United States owing to the destabilized domestic political situation in the 1990s, following the end of the Cold War, followed by the rise of China and the coordinated terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001.

Tokyo has strengthened its military relations with Washington on the grounds that it has no choice but to follow in U.S. footsteps, which put Japan in confrontation with China. However, the United States has chosen "constructive engagement" rather than confrontation when it dealing with the China itself. Therefore, Washington will find value in Japan if it is trusted by all of Asia, including China.

Japan is required to not strengthen its martial relations with the United States but place an appropriate distance from the U.S. and China, while clearly asserting its own standpoint. To that end, Japan should create a specific plan to gradually reduce the number of U.S. bases in Japan and revise the bilateral status-of-forces agreement without creating a military vacuum in Northeast Asia.

The Cold War structure has collapsed and 64 years have passed since the end of World War II. We are supposed to come back to the common notion that it is abnormal that foreign forces are continuing to stay in Japan. (By Jitsuro Terashima, honorary chairman of the Japan Research Institute)
戦後64年経過して東西の冷戦状況は崩壊した。
日本に未だに外国部隊が駐留しているのはおかしい状態である。
(スラチャイ訳)

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きょう投票 1票が日本の進路を決める

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 30, 2009)
An election that will chart Japan's future course
きょう投票 1票が日本の進路を決める(8月30日付・読売社説)

Which political party and which candidates should be entrusted to take the helm of this nation?
Today, Aug. 30, is the polling day for the 45th House of Representatives election. It is an election that will determine Japan's future path.
 日本の舵(かじ)取りを委ねるのにふさわしい政党はどこか、候補者は誰か。有権者の1票が日本の進路を左右する。
 きょう30日、第45回衆院選が投票日を迎えた。

Voters must choose whether to continue under the current administration of the Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner New Komeito, or to switch to a new administration centered on the Democratic Party of Japan.
 自民、公明両党の現政権の継続か、民主党を基軸とする新政権の誕生か。

The election campaign has focused not only on a straight evaluation of the accomplishments and policies of each party. Voters also have had to weigh up which party most deserves to govern.
今回の選挙戦では、各政党の実績、政策の評価に加えて、選挙後の政権の選択が大きな焦点となった。

The LDP had to fight the election campaign in the face of a strong voter backlash.
 自民党にとっては、強い逆風の下の選挙戦だった。

After an overwhelming victory in the lower house election in 2005 under the administration of then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, the premiership changed hands three times, passing to Shinzo Abe, Yasuo Fukuda and then Taro Aso. The party was subject to persistent criticism for passing the reins of government from one party head to another.
 小泉政権下の前回衆院選での圧勝の後、安倍、福田、麻生と首相が3度も交代し、「政権たらい回し」の批判は根強かった。

Since taking power in September, Prime Minister Taro Aso showed himself to be inconsistent and indecisive at a number of crucial moments, such as when he failed to explain what the flat-sum cash benefit program was meant to achieve. Each time he floundered, he pushed down the LDP's approval rating.
 麻生首相も、昨年9月の政権発足以来、定額給付金の性格付けを始めとして、節目で発言のぶれや優柔不断さを露呈し、そのたびに自民党の支持率を押し下げた。

For the DPJ, doubts have been raised over its ability to govern due to its composition--a motley collection of politicians from different parties ranging from conservatives on one side of the political spectrum to former members of the now-defunct Japan Socialist Party on the other.
In addition, some observers have expressed caution over the party's desire to form a coalition with the Social Democratic Party, which has very different national security policies from the DPJ.
 民主党に対しても、保守系から旧社会党出身までを党内に抱えた「寄り合い所帯」に起因する統治能力への疑問や、安全保障政策で開きのある社民党との連立を志向することへの不安などが、指摘された。

===

Vote on policies, not feelings

Some observers have said that the vote likely will reflect dissatisfaction with the LDP or anxiety over the DPJ, rather than voters' active decision to continue with an administration formed of the LDP-Komeito coalition or move to one centered on the DPJ.
 有権者にとっては、自公政権か民主基軸政権かの積極的な選択というより、「自民党への不満か、民主党への不安か」の消極的な選択でしかない選挙だという指摘もある。

However, the results of the lower house election will have a direct bearing on this nation's future.
It cannot be correct to decide which party and politician to choose simply on the basis of one's discontent, anxiety or a fleeting emotion.
 しかし、衆院選の結果は、これからの日本の進路に直結する。不満であるとか、不安であるとかいった気分や、一時のムードで、決めていいはずがあるまい。

Policies must, first and foremost, be the key criteria for deciding who to vote for.
 有権者が投票の第一の判断基準とすべきは、やはり政策だ。

 ◆政策を冷静に見極めよ◆
Each party conducted its campaign by first drawing up a platform covering the policies each would implement during the four-year House of Representatives term.
 各政党とも、衆院議員の任期である4年間に実施する政策を網羅した政権公約(マニフェスト)を掲げて選挙に臨んだ。

Policies on pensions, health care, child-rearing and education, which are of great interest to voters in this nation that is rapidly aging and has a very low birthrate, as well as funding for those policies, surfaced as major issues in the election campaign.
 中でも、少子高齢化が進む中で、有権者の関心が高い年金・医療、子育て・教育などの政策や、その財源の手当てが、主要な争点に浮上した。

The LDP stressed it would introduce drastic reforms of the taxation system, including an increase of the consumption tax rate, to provide stable financing for the social security system. The LDP did not clarify when it would raise the consumption tax, saying only that it would occur after the nation achieved 2 percent year-on-year economic growth.
 自民党は、社会保障の安定財源として、消費税率引き上げを含む税制抜本改革に取り組むと強調した。引き上げの時期は、年率2%の経済成長が達成されてからとしたが、明示は避けた。

The DPJ listed many schemes that would provide direct payment of benefits to households as a way of boosting spending, such as child-rearing allowances. It said it would fund the measures by cutting spending in other areas, for example suspending nonessential projects. The party said it would not raise the consumption tax rate before the next lower house election.
 民主党は、「子ども手当」など多くの直接給付型の家計支援策を掲げた。財源は、不要不急な事業の中止など徹底した歳出削減で捻出(ねんしゅつ)し、消費税率は次の衆院選まで据え置くとした。

===

Leadership important

Differences among the two key parties in the fields of diplomacy and national security are conspicuous, such as whether to press on with the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean.
 インド洋における海上自衛隊の給油活動を継続するか否かなど、外交・安全保障政策でも各党の主張の違いは顕著だ。

It is important to calmly assess the persuasiveness of each party's policies. We hope voters will thoroughly examine each party's stance.
 どの主張に説得力があるか、冷静に見極めることが大事だ。有権者には、各党の政策を十分に吟味してもらいたい。

 ◆党首力はどちらに軍配◆
Choosing between the party leaders is as important as choosing policies.
 政策の選択と同様に重要なのが、党首の選択である。

If the LDP and Komeito secure a majority in the lower house, Aso will hang on to the premiership. If the DPJ and other opposition parties take a majority of the seats, DPJ President Yukio Hatoyama will be appointed prime minister.
 自公両党が過半数を確保すれば麻生首相が続投する。民主党など野党が過半数を奪えば、「鳩山首相」が誕生するだろう。

Aso has criticized the DPJ's foreign and security policies as lax, stressing at the same time that only the LDP is able to govern responsibly.
 麻生首相は、民主党の外交・安保政策が曖昧(あいまい)であるなどと批判して、自民党こそ「責任力」ある政党だと主張した。

Hatoyama, however, has said that a bureaucrat-led political system would continue if an LDP-led regime continued, and has pointed to the importance of a shift to an administration led by the DPJ, which he said would be more people-focused.
鳩山代表は、自民党政権の下では官僚主導の政治が続くとして、「国民本位」の政権への交代を訴えた。

Unless the lower house is unexpectedly dissolved or the prime minister is replaced, this lower house election will select a leader who will guide this nation for the next four years. We hope that voters will consider the remarks Aso and Hatoyama have made during the election campaign.
 途中で衆院解散や首相交代がなければ、向こう4年間、この国の舵取りを担う指導者を選ぶ選挙である。両党首が選挙戦を通じて、どのような発言をしたかも思い起こしたい。

===

Will the young vote?

In the polling booth, voters have to write down on the ballot paper the name of the political party they wish to vote for in the proportional representation block and the name of their preferred candidate for the single-seat constituency. The qualifications of each candidate to be a lawmaker is an important element to consider when making this judgment.
 比例選は投票用紙に政党名を書き、小選挙区選では候補者名だ。各候補者の政治家としての資質も、大事な判断の要素だ。

If a candidate was an incumbent lower house lawmaker prior to the dissolution of the Diet, his or her past achievements and Diet performance can, of course, be used to make this decision. If a candidate is running for the first time, voters are recommended to carefully study the candidate's political views contained in public bulletins published during campaigning.
 解散まで現職議員だった候補者であれば、これまでの実績や国会での活動ぶりが、一つの手がかりとなろう。新人候補の場合も、選挙公報などから浮かび上がる政見に目を凝らしたい。

In a democracy, ultimate power rests with the people. We hope each voter will cast his or her vote responsibly, after comprehensively judging each party's policies, each party leader's competence and each candidate's insight.
 民主政治では国民が主権者だ。有権者は、各党の政策、党首の力量、各候補の識見を総合的に判断し、自らの1票を責任をもって投じてほしい。

 ◆若者こそ選挙に関心を◆
The number of people who already have cast their ballot in early voting prior to Sunday's lower house election has dramatically increased. This indicates high interest in the election. A recent Yomiuri Shimbun survey showed that 79 percent of those polled said they definitely would vote.
 今回の選挙では、期日前投票をした人が飛躍的に増えた。選挙に対する有権者の関心の高さの表れだろう。読売新聞の全国世論調査でも、「必ず投票に行く」と答えた人は79%に上った。

Among those in their 20s, however, the figure stood at just 56 percent. It is extremely regrettable if younger people feel that "politics won't change even if we vote" and have given up hope.
 だが、20歳代に限ると、56%にとどまる。若い世代が「投票しても政治は変わらない」などとあきらめているのだとしたら、きわめて残念だ。

Social security system reform and job-creation measures, which once again emerged as major points of contention in the election, are issues that no one can remain indifferent to.
 今回の選挙でも重要な論点となった社会保障制度改革や雇用対策などは、いずれも無関心ではいられない問題だ。

We hope young people will go to the polls and exercise their right to choose their future.
 若い人たちには、自分たちの将来を自ら選び取る気持ちで、投票所に足を向けてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 30, 2009)
(2009年8月30日01時15分  読売新聞)

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2009年8月29日 (土)

09総選挙・人づくり―明日へ大胆な投資を

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 28(IHT/Asahi: August 29,2009)
EDITORIAL: Revamping education
09総選挙・人づくり―明日へ大胆な投資を

The basis of economic strength is "people." It was also hardworking, competent personnel who supported Japan's postwar growth.
 経済力の基盤は「人」だ。戦後日本の成長を支えたのも、勤勉で質の高い人材だった。

When students finish school, they get jobs. Once they join companies as full-time employees, they are taught the basics of work. It was a matter of course for workers to stay with the same company until they reached retirement age.
 学校を卒業し就職する。職場で仕事を一から教わり、一つの会社で正社員として定年まで働くのが当然だった。

However, there is no way young people today can follow such a life model--even if they want to. Forty percent of university graduates who find jobs quit within three years. The ratio is 50 percent for those who start working after high school. Ten percent of university graduates neither land jobs nor go on to a graduate school and remain unemployed. This is the harsh reality of recent years.
 いまの若者に、そんな人生モデルはまねしたくてもできるはずもない。大卒で就職しても4割が3年以内に辞める。高卒だと5割にのぼる。大卒者の1割は、就職も進学もしない無業者となる。昨今の冷厳な現実だ。

Companies can no longer afford to train young people on their own. With economic globalization, desired skills have become diversified. In order for Japan to survive, society as a whole needs to train people who can support the next generation and break new ground. For that, educational systems need to be drastically re-examined.
 企業は社内で若者を育てる余裕を失ってしまった。経済のグローバル化で、求められる能力も多様化している。日本が生き残るためには、次代を支え、切り開く人材を社会全体で育てあげねばならない時代になった。そのためには教育システムの根本的な見直しが必要だ。

Also due to intense competition from newly rising countries, Western industrialized nations are allocating a large portion of their budgets for education. The average educational budget for members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is 5 percent of gross domestic product. The ratio for Japan is only 3.4 percent.
 欧米先進国は新興の国々の激しい追い上げも受け、教育に思い切った予算を割いている。経済協力開発機構(OECD)平均の教育予算は国内総生産(GDP)比で5%。日本の予算は3.4%に過ぎない。

In many Western countries, high school tuition is free. Scholarship systems are also available to university and graduate students.
 欧米諸国の多くでは高校の授業料は無償で、大学生や大学院生には給付金付きの奨学金制度がある。

In particular, Finland, which produces good results in the OECD's Program for International Student Assessment, carried out a major educational system reform and provides high-level education for almost free from the elementary to university levels. The country is also known for its narrow gaps in children's academic performance.
 なかでもOECDによる生徒の学習到達度調査(PISA)で好成績をおさめるフィンランドは、教育制度の大改革を進め、初等教育から大学までほとんど無償で高いレベルの教育が受けられる。子どもたちの学力格差が小さいことでも知られる。

In Japan, gaps in children's scholastic abilities and the schools they attend are getting wider, depending on the income of the parents. If the gaps become fixed, it would greatly undermine the vitality of society.
 日本では、親の収入によって子どもの学力や進学先に差が広がっていることが指摘されている。格差が固定することは社会の活力を大きく損なう。

To provide adequate educational opportunities to children from poor families, the quality of public education must be raised as a first step. In order to provide detailed instructions to meet the needs of individual students, classes need to be small. The number of teachers and their skills must also be raised.
 豊かでない家庭の子どもも十分な教育を受けられるようにするためには、まず公教育の質を引き上げなければならない。きめ細かな指導をするには少人数学級が必要で、教師の数も能力の向上も求められる。

While there are differences in national circumstances and educational systems among countries, Japan is urged to at least raise the ratio of its educational budget to GDP to the average level of industrialized countries. While fiscal demand for welfare also keeps swelling, politicians need the determination to make a bold investment for the future.
 国情や教育システムには国によって違いがあるとはいえ、教育予算のGDP比をせめて先進国の平均的水準に高めたい。福祉の財政需要も膨らむ一方だが、将来のための大胆な投資を惜しまない決意が政治には要る。

Money is not the only thing needed for development of human resources. The awareness of schools and teachers must also change. They need to change their inward-looking mind-set and turn out young people who can challenge the world.
 人づくりに必要なのは資金だけではない。教育現場の意識も変わらねばならない。内向き志向を改め、世界に挑戦する若者を育てることだ。

For Japan to build an economic bloc to live together with Asia, the country should drastically promote internationalization of universities and increase the number of foreign students they accept.
 日本がアジアとともに生きていく経済圏を築くためには、大学の国際化を思い切って進め、受け入れる留学生も増やさねばならない。

In many industrialized nations, it is possible for workers to return to university and graduate school and advance their careers, making use of the knowledge, skills and qualifications they gained. Japanese society also needs to develop such mobility and flexibility.
 多くの先進諸国では、一度社会に出てからまた大学や大学院に戻り、身につけた知識や技能、資格を武器にしてキャリアアップすることが可能だ。日本でもそうした流動性、柔軟性を社会が備えることが必要だ。

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南北対話―「核」の進展あってこそ

朝日新聞としては珍しく日本文と英文が逐語訳となっていない。
こんなこともあるのですね。
最初に日本語の社説原稿が草稿され、それを英語に翻訳するものと思われますが、
翻訳者により、あるいは翻訳する社説の内容によっては、
細部が完全には対応していないこともしばしば見受けられます。
英文、日本文を同時に読解して、正しい意味を相互補完してください。
(スラチャイ)

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 28(IHT/Asahi: August 29,2009)
EDITORIAL: Thaw in Korean tensions
南北対話―「核」の進展あってこそ

The recent death of former South Korean President Kim Dae Jung, the Nobel Peace Prize winner who devoted himself to reconciliation and peaceful coexistence with North Korea, has led to a resumption of dialogue between the two countries. The development would have pleased Kim.
 北朝鮮との和解と共存を目指した金大中元大統領の思いが通じたのだろうか。その死去を機に、韓国と北朝鮮の対話が復活した。

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il sent a delegation led by a close aide to South Korea to offer condolences. South Korean President Lee Myung Bak met with it.
 金正日総書記は側近を名代として弔問に送り、李明博大統領が会談に応じた。

Currently, Red Cross officials from both countries are trying to arrange reunions of families separated by the division of the Korean Peninsula. The family reunion program was put on hold last year.
いま、南北離散家族の再会事業の2年ぶりの実施へ、双方の赤十字が協議を続けている。

We will be delighted if progress on this humanitarian issue serves as a catalyst for better North-South relations, which had been steadily deteriorating since the inauguration of the Lee administration.
人道問題が進展を見せ、李政権が発足して以来、悪化する一方だった南北関係の空気が変わるきっかけになるなら好ましい。

North Korea reacted angrily to the U.N. Security Council's decision in June to impose new sanctions to protest Pyongyang's second underground nuclear test. As tensions escalated, fears were voiced of a possible military clash between the two Koreas.
 核実験で国連安全保障理事会が制裁を科して以来、北朝鮮は反発を強め、南北間で軍事衝突も起きかねない緊迫した状況にあった。

Earlier this month, however, Pyongyang welcomed former U.S. President Bill Clinton's flying visit to secure the release of two American journalists sentenced to 12 years of hard labor for illegally crossing over into North Korea from China. The reclusive regime has also released a South Korean worker it had detained.
 北朝鮮は今月、クリントン元米大統領の訪朝を受け入れ、不法入国したとして懲役刑を科した米人記者2人を釈放してもいる。拘束していた韓国の会社員も解放した。

North Korea has shown a willingness to allow regular visits by South Korean tourists to Mount Kumgang on its eastern coast and the ancient city of Kaesong. The North stopped permitting such visits last year.
昨年から中断している金剛山と開城への観光も、再開させる用意があるという。

It would appear that North Korea has ulterior motives for its "smile diplomacy."
 こうした「微笑外交」には思惑がある。

Economic progress is needed to lay a solid foundation for the leadership of Kim Jong Il's successor.
金総書記の後継体制を固めるには、経済的な成果も必要だ。

North Korea can earn precious foreign exchange by promoting tourism and revitalizing the Kaesong Industrial Park, which was developed to attract South Korean investment.
観光再開や韓国が投資する開城工業団地の活性化は、貴重な外貨稼ぎの一助になる。

Pyongyang is also aiming to entice the United States into holding bilateral talks by improving its ties with Seoul.
韓国を引き込むことで、米朝協議を実現させる誘い水にもしたいのだろう。

Despite these positive moves, we cannot welcome North Korea's attempts to alter the situation unless it takes specific steps toward abandoning its nuclear weapons program.
 だが、北朝鮮が核の放棄に向けて何の動きも見せないまま状況を変えようとしても、とうてい受け入れることはできない。

Things have changed dramatically since Kim Dae Jung promoted his "sunshine policy" of engagement with the North.
In the ensuing years, North Korea conducted two nuclear tests and continued its development of ballistic missiles. In addition, suspicions have surfaced that it provided nuclear arms technology to Syria and Myanmar (Burma). The situation now is far more serious.
 金大中時代の「太陽政策」の時とは違って、北朝鮮はその後2度の核実験を行い、弾道ミサイルの開発を進め、シリアやミャンマーへの核技術の拡散疑惑まで表面化した。事態ははるかに深刻になっている。

So Lee only did what he was expected to do when he made it clear to the North Korean delegation that large-scale economic cooperation between the two countries was possible only if the North made a significant move toward abandoning its nuclear ambitions.
 その意味で、北朝鮮が核放棄に動いてこそ大規模な経済協力ができる、と李大統領が弔問団にはっきりとクギを刺したのは当然のことだ。

There was nothing new in the North Korean leader's message to Lee conveyed by the delegation. Pyongyang is making no significant concession by agreeing to the resumption of the family reunion and tourist programs, which won't cost the regime a thing.
 今回、弔問団が李大統領に伝えた金総書記のメッセージに新味はなかったという。離散家族の再会や観光の再開にしても、北朝鮮側には大きな負担感もなしに実現できるものだ。譲歩と言えるものではあるまい。

Meanwhile, North Korea reiterated its refusal to return to six-party talks on its nuclear program when Wu Dawei, China's vice foreign minister, who chairs the talks, visited the country earlier this month to persuade the regime to change its stance.
 6者協議の議長である中国外務次官が先週訪朝し、協議への復帰を求めたのに対し、北朝鮮は改めて拒否した。

North Korea should be criticized for making absolutely no effort to make a positive response to international calls for it to scrap its nuclear weapons program.
核放棄、不拡散に向けた国際社会の要請に全く応えようとしていないと言うしかない。

It should realize there can be no change in the basic situation unless it demonstrates a commitment to returning to the table of six-party negotiations and honoring the promises it made in the past.
 少なくとも6者協議の場に戻り、以前の約束を履行する姿勢を明確にしない限り、基本的な状況に変化はありえない。
それを北朝鮮は認識すべきだ。

There should be solid consensus among Japan, the United States and South Korea on this point. The three allies should also seek closer cooperation with China and Russia on issues concerning North Korea.
 この基本線で日米韓が結束を固めることだ。そして中ロとも連携を深めていく。

With the likelihood of a change of government in Japan, Tokyo will need to develop a robust and coherent diplomatic strategy for dealing with the unpredictable regime while monitoring its moves for any important change.
間もなくできる日本の新政権は、北朝鮮の変化に目をこらしつつ、したたかで腰をすえた外交を考えなければならない。

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さらなるボルトの世界記録に期待

24日付け朝日新聞の社説より引用しました。
これは辞書なしでも90%以上理解できます。
遠心力 centrifugal forces
重心 center of gravity
などの単語も覚えてください
読解力をつけるために多読は必要不可欠です。
近道はありません。

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 22(IHT/Asahi: August 24,2009)
EDITORIAL: Bolt flashes to more world records
さらなるボルトの世界記録に期待

The man was in a totally different league from the other competitors. He ran with unparalleled speed down the bright blue track.

At the World Athletics Championships, Jamaican Usain Bolt won the men's 200 meters in 19.19 seconds, soundly beating his own world record of 19.30 seconds by 0.11 second.

This was his second victory following his world record of 9.58 seconds in the 100 meters. The American silver medalist at the Beijing Olympics, Shawn Crawford, who finished fourth, called Bolt a gift to the world and a blessing to the sport of track.

Even his competitors cannot help but forget their bitterness and sing his praises. Bolt is that astounding.

His amazing run in the 100 meters was stunning, but his performance in the 200 meters was also spectacular.

While the 100 meters record had been broken frequently over the years, it had been difficult to establish a new world record in the 200 meters. New records have been established about once a decade.

This is because in the 200 meters, the athletes must run the first 120 meters around a bend and then finish with a straight sprint. They are required to cope with centrifugal forces from the start, while accelerating at the same time, which requires incredible skill.

In 1996, Michael Johnson of the United States ran the 200 meters in 19.66 seconds, beating the previous world record for the first time in 17 years. One month later at the Atlanta Olympics, he beat his own record, clocking 19.32 seconds in front of 80,000 people. Johnson's performance was simply awesome. People called him "superhuman," and said his record wouldn't be broken for a century.

However, Bolt beat Johnson's record at the Beijing Olympics last year, and beat it mightily yet again at the latest games.

Johnson is 185 centimeters tall, but has a long torso and his center of gravity is quite low. His physique was thought to be ideal to resist the centrifugal forces while running the curve, and therefore perfect for the 200 meters race. In contrast, Bolt is 196 centimeters tall and has long legs. Yet his physique, thought to be unsuited for the race, caused him no problems at all, and he blazed to the finish line.

Before the start Bolt kids around, making faces and funny gestures. So much so that we worry that he's too relaxed. But being relaxed is exactly the source he taps to unleash fully all of his powers.

The Jamaican sprinter's running form is different from the conventional style that keeps the upper body still. From the front, we can see Bolt swaying his upper body first in an S-curve, then swaying backward in a counter-S curve. As a result, his four limbs lithely snap forward. It is as if he is a wild animal. His running style presumably converts his form into propulsion in a highly effective manner.

Bolt said that he sets no limits and that anything is possible.

Despite his height, which was believed to be unsuitable for short races, Bolt established world records, defying conventional wisdom.

After Bolt, there will come a time when it is not unusual to see sprinters over 190 centimeters tall take their marks at the starting line. And the day will come when Bolt's own record, which seems so amazing now, will be broken.

Sprints starkly highlight the abilities and limitations of humans. Bolt's running reminds us of the unlimited possibilities in human beings.

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垣根をとり払い、お互いに助け合いの出来る社会を

朝日新聞社の論説を引用しました。
スラチャイは辞書なしでも50%くらいは理解できますが、
辞書を使えばほぼ全部理解できます。
電子辞書を活用すれば、辞書引きの時間も大幅に短縮されますよ。
どんどん英文を読んで、英文読解力を高めましょう。

The author is an Asahi Shimbun reporter covering the economy.(IHT/Asahi: August 27,2009)
POINT OF VIEW/ Tetsuya Nozawa: We must tear down barriers and help each other
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
垣根をとり払い、お互いに助け合いの出来る社会を

Prime Minister Taro Aso, who insisted "the economy comes before Diet dissolution," will finally see his government tested by voters in Sunday's Lower House election.

Aso surely had hoped his government's generous pump-priming measures would eventually bolster his Cabinet's public approval ratings from their dismal levels.

But to the contrary, most people apparently feel that lavish handouts, while good for temporarily improving the economy, will not be enough to ensure good times return. This wide gap in perception is likely what is behind Aso's slumping approval ratings.

As a reporter for a series called "Kohin Shakai" (society with collapsing public systems), which focused on mutual support across our society, I spoke with many people struggling to make ends meet amid the recession. It has run in the vernacular Asahi Shimbun for slightly more than a year.

A hungry 33-year-old man who lost his job at Oita Canon Inc. was walking on the street near the company dormitory complex that he would soon have to leave. "If I collapsed inside my room, I would not be saved," he said.

A 66-year-old man, on welfare and living with other homeless people at a shelter run by a nonprofit organization, had this to say: "All I can do is merely try to stay alive until I die."

At the other end of the spectrum were parents devoting themselves to their children's junior high school entrance examinations, hoping to ensure their offspring are "winners in life," and rich people intent on saving inheritance taxes.

While a growing number of people are out on the streets with no means to support themselves, those who live comfortably in "safety zones" are building higher walls around themselves.

Our society has lost its mutual support systems. What it needs most is not a government that doles out fixed benefits to encourage spending or tax reductions to encourage people to take out housing loans. What Japan needs is to transform itself from a nation that believes in the "growth myth" to a nation that can sustain itself.

We need to recover our spirit of mutual aid and cooperation, establish an environmentally friendly, sustainable economy and work to build a society in which our children can have hope. In short, we need to place precedence on sustainability, even at the cost of forgoing immediate growth.

What concrete steps will help us reach this goal?

The top policy priority of politicians must be to fight poverty. Instead of simply shoring up the social safety nets, lawmakers must take positive steps to ensure poverty does not become entrenched. Such steps include, for example, upgrading and expanding public education and job support for young people.

If the budgets needed for such measures are covered by increases in inheritance and gift taxes, it would also help ease the "inheritance of disparities" passed down from parents to children.

Generous support for child care is also important. To help finance such programs, outdated tax systems--

including deductions for spouses that benefit workers whose spouse is a full-time homemaker or works part-time more than it helps double-income households--should be reviewed or scrapped.

The current business world exploits workers and deprives them of happiness and the chance to earn a reasonable living, and thus needs transformation. If "sustainability" is the new yardstick of values, it would also be reasonable to apply the brakes from time to time.

For example, if businesses in the same trade take turns to stay open late at night or on holidays, we can be one step closer to becoming a user- and eco-friendly society.

The manufacturing industry can absorb the impact of economic downturns by shortening work hours instead of slashing jobs. In Germany, workers can bank their overtime work as "savings" that can be "withdrawn" a few years later as holidays. Perhaps Japan can consider a similar program.

What about individuals? In view of Japan's rapidly aging society, tax increases may be inevitable.

However, to avoid drastic tax hikes, people in the private sector also need to take the initiative to share public functions by chipping in what they can. For example, people who volunteer to work in nursing, child care and other areas to help others should be rewarded with points that they can later use when they find themselves in need of nursing and medical services.

Such a system of mutual exchange is well worth considering.

We can all help by using our free time to tutor neighborhood children with their homework or to shop for elderly neighbors, for example. We should tear down our fences and do what we can to help each other.

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社説:NOVA判決 消費者被害に歯止めを

(Mainichi Japan) August 28, 2009
Nova ruling puts spotlight on Japan's consumer affairs
社説:NOVA判決 消費者被害に歯止めを

Nozomu Sahashi, the former president of collapsed English language school operator Nova, was recently handed a three-year six month prison sentence in a ruling at the Osaka District Court.
 経営破綻(はたん)した英会話学校最大手「NOVA」の元社長、猿橋望被告に大阪地裁は懲役3年6月の実刑判決を言い渡した。

Sahashi was convicted of embezzlement in the conduct of business, by misappropriating money from an employees' fund to cover payments for cancelled contracts. Nova had collected some 56 billion yen in advance from around 300,000 students, in one of the biggest cases of consumer damage in Japan's postwar history.
 約30万人の受講生から約560億円の前払い受講料を集めた戦後最大級の消費者被害をめぐり、社員積立金を解約料の支払いに流用した業務上横領罪に問われた。

The former president has no assets, and even if bankruptcy proceeding are undertaken, there appears to be no prospect of students having their lesson fees returned. The fact that relief from the damage cannot be obtained by pursuing the criminal responsibility of the company's operator is a consumer problem -- and a governmental lapse.
元社長に資産はなく、破産手続きでも受講料の返還は見込めないという。経営者の刑事責任の追及だけでは被害の救済につながらないのが消費者問題だ。

If Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which has jurisdiction over the industry, had taken a more serious view of the problem of canceled contracts and had quickly issued an administrative order against Nova, it is possible the damage could have been reduced. However, the ministry, the government body responsible for nurturing industry, was not greatly concerned with the damage caused to consumers and left the problem unaddressed.
 業界を指導する立場の経済産業省が解約トラブルを重く見て早急に行政指導していれば、これだけの被害を生まなかったのではないか。産業育成官庁ゆえに消費者保護の観点が薄く、問題を放置してきたことが被害を拡大させたといえよう。

The imminent formation of a consumer agency is based on reflection on this kind of problem. The agency is designed to be a kind of consumer administration control tower, intended to aggregate information on consumer problems like fraudulent sales methods and accidents involving common products -- such as the carbon monoxide poisonings caused by water heaters produced by Paloma -- and solve these issues.
 消費者庁の発足もそうした反省を踏まえている。詐欺的商法のほか、パロマ工業製湯沸かし器による一酸化炭素中毒事故など日常使う製品による事故、食品偽装といった消費者問題の情報を一元化し、被害を食い止めるための消費者行政の司令塔と位置づけられている。

The National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan had received complaints from students about Nova's handling of cancelled contracts, such as its lowering of the amount of lesson fees returned, for more than a decade. In 2002, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government issued an administrative order to the company, but the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry sided with Nova's claim that cancellation of contracts was made at the convenience of consumers. This effectively gave Nova an official stamp of approval and the company expanded its business while receiving lesson fees in advance without taking profit into consideration.
 NOVAに関して言えば、受講生が途中解約を求めても返還額を抑えるなどした返金方法への苦情は10年以上前から国民生活センターに寄せられていた。02年には東京都が行政指導したが、経産省は「解約は消費者の都合」とするNOVAの主張を容認した。官庁がお墨付きを与えた格好となり、同社は採算を度外視して事業を広げていった。

Later, the company was hit with a succession of lawsuits from students who demanded the return of their lesson fees. In April 2007, the Supreme Court ruled that provisions demanding heavy compensation for terminated contracts are invalid.
 その後の受講料の返還訴訟で受講生勝訴の地裁判決が続き、最高裁は07年4月、「中途解約時に高額な対価を求める規定は無効」と判断した。

Just before the ruling, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry had finally carried out a spot inspection at Nova on suspicion that the company was violating the Specified Commercial Transaction Law. In June 2007, the ministry judged that Nova had violated 18 provisions of the law, which pertain to procedures for cancelled contracts, and issued a business suspension order against the company. The move was an echo of the judicial decision.
その直前に経産省はようやく特別商取引法違反の疑いで立ち入り検査に入った。さらに、解約手続きに関する18項目の違反を認定し業務停止命令を出したのは、受講生勝訴の最高裁判決が確定した後の07年6月で、司法判断を追認した形だった。

The government's consumer promotion administration council, which had been considering the series of incidents involving the company, had made recommendations regarding establishment of a system to quickly transmit information on damage and a mechanism enabling administrative authorities to respond swiftly. It is envisioned that Japan's new consumer agency will have the authority to quickly conduct spot inspections at businesses and issue warnings and other administrative instructions, while bringing together information that had previously been held by various related government ministries and agencies.
 一連の事件を検討した国の消費者行政推進会議でも、被害情報の早期発信のシステムづくり、行政の早急な対応を可能にする仕組みづくりなどの指摘があった。消費者庁は、事業者への速やかな立ち入り検査や勧告など行政指導できる権限を持ち、関係省庁で縦割り的に保有された事故情報は一本化される予定だ。

The Liberal Democratic Party's House of Representatives election manifesto promises that the party will radically strengthen regional consumer administration, while the opposition Democratic Party of Japan promises to improve working conditions for regional consumer affairs consultants. Due to economic difficulties, the budget for consultation counters at consumer affairs centers is decreasing, along with the number of staff. Reinforcement of consultation counters is indispensable for the task of comprehensively releasing information and responding quickly to the issue, and the new government administration must quickly implement support measures.
 衆院選のマニフェストを見ると、自民党が地方消費者行政の抜本的強化、民主党は地方消費生活相談員の待遇改善を約束している。市民に最も身近な消費生活センターの相談窓口は財政難で予算も人も減っている。情報の徹底公開と素早い対応に窓口の充実は不可欠で、新政権はその支援策を急がねばならない。

毎日新聞 2009年8月27日 東京朝刊

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雇用と物価 デフレに至る悪循環を防げ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 29, 2009)
Deflationary pressures must be nipped in bud
雇用と物価 デフレに至る悪循環を防げ(8月29日付・読売社説)

Utmost caution must be exercised to prevent falling prices and the worsening employment situation from allowing deflation to take a vicelike grip on the nation's economy.
 物価下落と雇用情勢の悪化が、深刻なデフレを招かぬよう、細心の注意が必要だろう。

The nation's key consumer price index in July fell 2.2 percent from a year earlier, marking the first fall in the 2 percent range in the postwar period.
 7月の全国消費者物価指数が、前年同月比2・2%下がり、下落率は戦後初めて2%台をつけた。

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate in July climbed to a postwar high of 5.7 percent, up 0.3 percentage point from the previous month.
 一方、7月の完全失業率は前月より0・3ポイント悪化して5・7%となり、戦後最悪を更新した。

The worsening employment situation is eroding workers' incomes. Tightening the purse strings at home leads to sluggish sales of products and, in turn, to falling prices. As companies struggle with falling sales, they resort to restructuring and other measures to cut costs, exacerbating the grim employment situation. The latest government figures on prices and employment show that a vicious cycle of deflationary pressures is becoming increasingly real.
 雇用の悪化で労働者の収入が減ると、物が売れなくなって価格が下がる。このため企業の売り上げが減り、リストラなどで雇用はさらに厳しくなる。物価と雇用の統計は、デフレの悪循環が現実味を増してきたことを示している。

Whichever party takes power after Sunday's House of Representatives election, the new administration must do everything it can to arrest these deflationary pressures and boost the economy.
 衆院選後の政権がどうあれ、デフレ阻止と景気浮揚に全力を挙げねばならない。

The sharp price falls are due mainly to the drop in oil prices that soared last year. Gasoline prices fell as much as 30 percent from last year, lowering overall prices about 1 percent.
 物価の大幅下落は、前年に高騰した原油の値下がりが主因だ。ガソリン価格は30%も下がり、物価全体を約1%押し下げた。

But prices, excluding those of energy-related products, fell 0.9 percent. The rate of fall was about the same as that in fiscal 2001 during a serious deflationary period.
 だが、エネルギー関連を除いた物価も0・9%下がり、下落率は深刻なデフレ期の2001年度とほぼ同水準だ。

===

Domestic demand weak

The current deflationary trend should not be waved off as a temporary phenomenon caused by the correction in oil prices after they skyrocketed last year. Rather, weak domestic demand should be considered the major cause of falling prices.
現在のデフレ傾向を、原油高の反動による一時的な現象だと軽視してはなるまい。
 物価下落の核心は、内需の不足にあると見るべきだ。

The nation's real gross domestic product for the April-June period returned to positive growth for the first time in five quarters. However, the improvement was mainly attributed to a recovery in exports and policy initiatives under the government's stimulus package that, for example, increased sales of energy-saving home appliances. Worryingly, overall domestic demand remains weak.
 4~6月期の実質国内総生産(GDP)は、5四半期ぶりにプラス成長に転じた。だが、輸出回復と、経済対策による省エネ家電の販売増加など政策効果が中心で、内需全体の足腰は弱い。

Boosting consumption is critical for a full economic recovery. However, sales at department stores and supermarkets have been lethargic for a prolonged period, and sales at convenience stores, which had been brisk, registered a record plunge in July.
 本格回復のカギを握る消費は、百貨店とスーパーの販売不振が長期化し、好調だったコンビニの売上高も、7月には過去最大の下げを記録した。

Consumers are cutting back spending on foods and other daily necessities. Both the number of shoppers and the amount each shopper spent at convenience stores decreased last month.
 消費者は、食品や日用品など必需品への支出を切りつめ、コンビニでは来客数と1人あたりの購入額が、ともに減った。

===

BOJ has role to play

Fierce price wars might be good news for consumers, but excessive discounting would add to a deflationary spiral, in which the economy heads south while prices fall.
 安売り競争も激しい。消費者にはうれしいことだが、行き過ぎれば物価と景気が連鎖的に落ち込むデフレスパイラルにつながる。

For the time being, we think it is necessary to bolster domestic demand through economic pump-priming and employment support measures.
 当面は、景気・雇用対策で内需を支える必要がある。

The Democratic Party of Japan has indicated it will overhaul the supplementary budget compiled for boosting the economy if it takes power. We agree that it is important to eliminate wasteful spending, but austerity measures such as drastic cuts in spending on public works projects should be avoided.
民主党は、景気対策のための補正予算を組み直すという。無駄の見直しは大切だが、公共事業の大幅カットなど緊縮策は避けねばならない。

The Bank of Japan's monetary policy has a crucial role to play. Although the central bank has kept its key interest rate near zero, real interest rates will rise if prices fall. This would sap the impact of the bank's low interest rate policy.
 日銀の金融政策も重要だ。政策金利はゼロ%に近い低さだが、物価下落率の分だけ、実質金利は上昇する。低金利政策の効果はかなり減殺されていよう。

If the deflationary trend gets stronger, the central bank should consider taking additional measures, such as increased purchases of long-term government bonds and the introduction of a quantitative easing policy setting a target for the outstanding balance of current account deposits held by private financial institutions at the central bank.
 デフレ傾向が強まるようなら、長期国債の買い入れ増額や、日銀当座預金残高を目標とした量的金融緩和策の導入など、追加策を検討すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 29, 2009)
(2009年8月29日01時03分  読売新聞)

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2009年8月28日 (金)

失業率過去最高

日本語の対訳記事がありませんのでスラチャイが翻訳しました。
英文を読んで頭に残った内容を日本語で表現しました。
翻訳は概要です。逐語訳ではありません。
srachai from khonkaen, thailand

(Mainichi Japan) August 28, 2009
Japan's unemployment rate hits record high in July
失業率過去最高

TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's unemployment rate rose to an all-time high in July and prices fell at a record pace -- both threatening to undermine a nascent recovery for the world's No. 2 economy.
7月に失業率が最悪を記録した。同時に記録的な物価下落も同時進行している。

The jobless rate hit a seasonally adjusted 5.7 percent, the highest level in Japan's post-World War II era and worsening from 5.4 percent in June, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
総務省の発表。7月の失業率は6月の5.4%をしのぐ5.7%で戦後最悪となる。

The previous record was 5.5 percent, last hit in April 2003.
前回の戦後最悪レコードは5.5%であるが、2003年の4月に記録されたもの。

Japan's economy climbed out of a yearlong recession in the second quarter, expanding at an annual pace of 3.7 percent. But economists note that exports served as the main driver of growth and that domestic demand remains fragile.
1年にわたる不況の中で2四半期連続で3.8%の景気回復をしめしているが、輸出と国内需要は低迷している。

The result comes just two days before the country holds parliamentary elections, widely seen as a referendum on the ruling party's handling of the economy. Recent polls predict that the Liberal Democratic Party, in power for most of the last half-century, is headed toward a historic defeat at the hands of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan.
衆院選の2日前の世論調査では、50年の歴史をもつ自民党は歴史的敗北を喫し、民社党に政権の座をあけ渡す。

Under a mantra of "Putting People's Lives First," the Democrats are offering a platform heavy on social welfare initiatives, including cash handouts for job seekers in training and families with children.
政権公約は社会保障制度の強化に重点をおく。 失職者や職業訓練生に対する補助金、子供のいる家庭に対する補助金などが含まれる。

The total number of jobless in July jumped 40.2 percent from a year earlier to 3.59 million. Those with employment fell 2.1 percent to 62.7 million.
7月の失業率は一年前の失業者359万人より40.2%も跳ね上がっている。
雇用者数は2.1%下がって627万人に留まる。

The labor ministry also reported Friday that the ratio of job offers to job seekers in July fell to an all-time low of 0.42. That means there were 42 jobs available for every 100 job seekers.
労働省金曜日発表では、有効求人倍率も過去最低の0.42を記録した。
職を求める100人のうち、職にありるけるのは、僅か42人だけである。

The unprecedented drop in global demand triggered by last year's financial crisis have forced Japanese companies to slash output and jobs. A recent rise in exports is fueling an emerging recovery among manufacturers, but many continue to cut costs.
昨年発生した未曾有の世界経済同時不況により、日本企業も生産量を調整したり、人員削減をしなければならなかった。
最近の輸出の伸びは景気回復を下支えするものではあるが、多くの企業が省コストを余儀なくされている。

Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday that it plans to reduce production capacity at one of its factories in Japan. Japan Airlines Corp. plans to cut about 10 percent of its workforce over the next three years, news reports said this week.
トヨタ自動車は水曜日発表した。日本の生産工場のうち一つが減産体制に突入する。
JALは3年間で10%の人員削減を発表した。(今週)

Kyohei Morita, chief economist at Barclays Capital in Tokyo, expects the unemployment rate to reach 5.9 percent in the first half of 2010.
2010年の上半期で失業率が5.9%になるという見通しもある。

The specter of deflation intensified amid the labor market worries.
デフレ恐慌が不振の雇用環境の中で、現実味をおびてきている。

Japan's key consumer price index, which excludes volatile fresh food prices, tumbled a record 2.2 percent in July from a year earlier, the government said.
7月の日本の消費者物価指数は生鮮食料品を除いて一年前の同時期に比較して2.2%下落している。

Lower prices may seem like a good thing, but deflation can hamper growth by depressing company profits and causing consumers to postpone purchases, leading to production and wage cuts. It can also increase debt burdens.
物価が安いのは良いことのように思える。しかしながらデフレは低迷する企業の成長を阻害し、消費者は者を買い控えるようになるし、企業は減産、給与のカットをせざるをえなくなる。それで借金は膨らむいっぽうとなる。

The nationwide core CPI, which excludes volatile fresh food prices, has dropped for five straight months. The figure marks steepest decline since the officials began compiling comparable data in 1971.
消費者物価指数は生鮮食料品を除いて、5ヶ月連続で下落を続けている。
1971年に統計をとりはじめてから最悪の下落の率である。

The core CPI for Tokyo retreated 1.9 percent in August, suggesting that prices nationwide are headed further south. Prices in the nation's capital are considered a leading barometer of price trends across Japan.
東京の8月の消費者物価指数は1.9%下落した。全国レベルでも下降線をたどる傾向にある。
一国の首都の物価は全国の物価変動を左右するほど影響力が強い。

Meanwhile, a separate government report showed that families spent less. Average household spending, a key barometer of individual consumption, in July declined 2 percent from a year earlier.
一方世帯あたりの消費は1年前の同時期と比較して2%の落ち込みを記録している。

"Japanese households are becoming increasingly defensive as the environment surrounding wages and employment turns severe," Morita said in a note to clients.
それは日本の家庭が守りの体勢に入ってしまっていることを示している。給与の雇用環境の悪化に伴って。

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09総選挙・消費税―増税論議をすみやかに

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 27(IHT/Asahi: August 28,2009)
EDITORIAL: Consumption tax hike
09総選挙・消費税―増税論議をすみやかに

During the campaign for Sunday's Lower House election, Japanese voters have heard little serious debate among the parties on one issue that has huge implications for the nation's future: the proposed increase in the consumption tax rate.
 「国のかたち」を決める大事な論戦が低調なまま、総選挙の投票日がやってこようとしている。消費税の増税問題である。

Both the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the opposition Democratic Party of Japan have admitted that the consumption tax will have to be raised sooner or later to finance social security spending, which will keep swelling in the years to come as the population ages rapidly.
 自民党も民主党も、高齢社会のなかで今後膨らみ続ける社会保障財源として、消費税率引き上げが必要になることは認めている。

If so, the two main parties have a responsibility to present a clear tax-hike plan to voters as part of their quest for a public mandate to govern the nation.
ならばその見取り図を有権者に示すことが政権を争う政党としての責任のはずだ。

Unfortunately, however, both parties have ducked the issue in the election debate.
 ところが両党とも総選挙の争点から外してしまった。これは国民にとっても不幸なことではないか。

Annual social security outlays will balloon to 140 trillion yen in 2025 from the current 90 trillion yen, according to a government estimate.
 政府の推計では、いま年間90兆円の社会保障給付費が2025年には140兆円に膨らむ。

If lowering the levels of pension, healthcare and nursing-care benefits is not a policy option, it is a political imperative to figure out ways to secure necessary funds from taxes and premiums.
年金や医療、介護の水準を下げる選択肢がないとすれば、財源を税や保険料で確保していくことが政治のつとめである。

A tax hike is always unpopular among the people. That's why the history of the consumption tax in Japan is littered with serious setbacks for successive LDP administrations.
 増税は不人気な政策だ。だから消費税の歴史は歴代自民党政権にとって試練の連続だった。

In 1979, the Cabinet of Prime Minister Masayoshi Ohira made a failed attempt to introduce a consumption tax into Japan. In 1989, the Cabinet of Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita finally introduced the consumption tax. In 1997, the Cabinet of Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto raised the tax rate to 5 percent from 3 percent.
79年に大平内閣の一般消費税構想が挫折。89年に竹下内閣が消費税を導入し、97年に橋本内閣が税率5%にした。

All these moves were followed by an electoral drubbing for the LDP.
その代償は、いずれも国政選挙での大敗だった。

In recent years, the LDP government has been carefully avoiding this political third rail on the pretext that wasteful expenditures must be eliminated first before considering a tax hike.
 近年の自民党政権は「歳出の無駄削減が先」という大義の陰で、消費増税の試練から逃げてきた。

Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi vowed not to raise the tax during his tenure. His three successors--Shinzo Abe, Yasuo Fukuda and incumbent Taro Aso--set time frames for radical tax reform. But they all eschewed tackling the hot-button issue of the consumption tax head-on by ruling out a rate increase under their administrations.
小泉首相は「自分の任期中には消費税を上げない」と宣言。安倍、福田、麻生の3首相は税制抜本改革の目標時期を設けたが、在任中は増税しないという「先送り」策を続けた。

DPJ chief Yukio Hatoyama has promised to keep the consumption tax rate unchanged for at least four years. This also sounds like an evasive tactic.
 民主党の鳩山代表は「4年間は消費税は上げない」と公約したが、それも逃げ口上のように響く。

The two parties are treating the issue of a consumption tax hike as a political taboo probably because of fear about a possible public backlash. But how does the public actually feel about the issue?
 両党が消費税をタブー視するのは世論の増税批判を恐れてのことだろうが、国民の方はどうか。

An Asahi Shimbun survey earlier this month found that 83 percent of the respondents felt anxiety about how the LDP and the DPJ would finance the policy measures promised in their election manifestoes.
 朝日新聞が今月中旬に実施した世論調査では自民、民主両党の公約を実現するための財源に83%の人が「不安を感じる」と答えた。

It seems voters are well aware that eliminating wasteful spending won't create unlimited sources of revenue. They also appear to know that the government can neither rely on "buried money," or reserves in special budget accounts, for long-term financing of social security programs nor keep postponing a tax hike forever.
 予算の無駄を省けば財源が泉のようにわいてくるというものではなく、「埋蔵金」頼みや増税先送りでは済まないことを、有権者はとっくに見抜いているのではないか。

Of course, the government must wait until the end of the global economic crisis to actually raise the levy.
 もちろん、実際に増税するのは世界経済危機の克服後でなければならない。

But debate must start at an early stage on such key questions as how large the hike should be or whether different tax rates should be applied to certain kinds of goods and services.
だが、どのくらいの規模の増税が必要か。消費税は複数税率にするのか、といった議論も早い段階から積み重ねておく必要がある。

Debate on a tax increase should involve sweeping reviews of the three main revenue sources--the income, corporate and consumption taxes.
 その場合、税源の中核である所得税、法人税、消費税のあり方を全般的に見直す必要はある。

Yet what must be centermost in the debate is the consumption tax rate, which at 5 percent is far lower than comparative sales tax rates in other major industrial nations.
それにしても増税論議の中心となるのは、やはり税率5%と主要国のなかで際だって低い水準の消費税だろう。

Another reason for focusing on the consumption tax is that this tax revenue is stable and less susceptible to economic conditions, which means the levy is suitable as a source of funds to finance social security programs.
税収が景気にあまり左右されずに安定しており、社会保障財源に向いていることもある。

The new government should act swiftly to start serious tax reform debate focusing on the consumption tax while starting efforts to reduce wasteful outlays.
 新政権は、歳出の無駄減らしを進めるとともに、税制抜本改革の議論にすみやかに入るべきである。

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児童虐待増加―問題の芽を摘む態勢を

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 27(IHT/Asahi: August 28,2009)
EDITORIAL: Rise in child abuse cases
児童虐待増加―問題の芽を摘む態勢を

The number of children dying at the hands of abusive parents and guardians is rising. Slightly more than 100 children are losing their lives to abuse each year. The figure, which includes those caught up in family murder-suicides, means that on average two children are being killed each week.
 虐待で亡くなる子が減らない。心中も含めると年100人余。1週間に2人の子の命が失われている計算だ。

Cases into which child guidance centers investigate are also on the rise. In fiscal 2008, centers across Japan handled some 43,000 cases, a record high and a six-fold increase from 10 years before. We are appalled at the number of parents who use force against their children or neglect to properly care for them.
 児童相談所が乗り出す案件も増え続けている。虐待について昨年度に受けた相談は約4万3千件と過去最多になった。10年前の6倍だ。わが子に暴力を振るったり養育を放棄したりする親の多さに、心が凍る思いだ。

Since the child abuse prevention law went into effect in 2000, the government has strengthened the authority of child guidance centers in phases. Since 2004, abused children can be admitted to child welfare facilities without the consent of parents so long as the action has court approval. Starting spring 2008, in cases where child abuse is suspected and guardians refuse to cooperate with authorities, the centers have been empowered to break locks and enter homes with court permission.
 児童虐待防止法は、00年の施行以来、段階的に相談所の権限を強めてきた。04年からは裁判所の承認があれば、保護者の同意なしで子どもを施設に入所させられるようになった。昨春からは、父母らが話し合いに応じない場合、裁判所の許可を受け、錠を壊してでも家に立ち入れるようになった。

There were two such cases in fiscal 2008. In the Tohoku region, a girl of lower grade of elementary school age was taken into protective custody. Although she had not been to school at all, in two months after entering a children's home, she was able to read and write hiragana. Her parents reacted with hostility at first, but eventually relented and agreed to her admittance to the children's home.
 強制立ち入りは昨年度で2件あった。東北地方の例では、小学校低学年の女の子が保護された。学校に全く通っていなかったが、施設に入って2カ月でひらがなの読み書きができるようになった。父母もその後、攻撃的な態度をやわらげ、施設入所に同意した。

The local child guidance center had been in contact with the girl's family for several years but was unable to even meet with them. That prompted officials to raid the house.
 この相談所は女の子の家族に数年間接触していたが、面会すら出来なくなったことから強制立ち入りを決断した。警察の指導で予行演習もした。

"When we use force, relations with guardians tend to deteriorate. We try to avoid it as much as possible but we made an agonizing choice for the sake of the child," the director of the center said.
 「実力行使をすると、保護者と関係が悪くなることが多い。できるだけ避けたいが、子どものため苦渋の選択をした」と所長は話す。

However, for children to recover from the trauma of abuse, welfare facilities do not always provide adequate settings. Nationwide, such facilities are nearly full and in some areas, they are packed beyond capacity. There are only 31 medical facilities across the nation that can provide intensive care to children suffering from the trauma of abuse.
 だが虐待を受けた子が後遺症から回復するには、施設も十分な環境とはいえない。全国的に施設は満杯に近く、地域によっては定員を上回る。心に傷を負った子らに集中的に対処できる治療施設は全国で31カ所しかない。

Child welfare facilities need to drastically increase their staff numbers, especially with regard to psychologists and psychiatrists who specialize in treating abused children. Each caseworker at child guidance centers handles about 100 cases. The figure is more than double that of the United States and Europe. Even though the number of staff has increased over the past 10 years, it has yet to catch up with the steep rise in child abuse cases.
 多くの子が入る養護施設では、心理職や児童精神科医など専門家の大幅増が必要だろう。児童相談所の児童福祉司らは1人で100件ほどを担当している。欧米の倍以上だ。この10年で職員数が増えているとはいえ、件数の急増には追いついていない。

While action must be taken to separate and protect such children from their parents, the important thing is to work toward providing support until children and parents can be reunited. Society must help by supporting neighbors facing family problems and poverty.
 親と引き離して保護するだけでなく、親子が再び一緒に暮らせるようになるまで支援を続けることが重要であることは、言うまでもない。親たちが抱える家族や貧困などの問題を探り、解決する社会的努力も不可欠だ。

In cases of death resulting from causes other than murder-suicides in families, 80 percent of the victims were children 3 years old or younger. Nearly half of them were not even 1 year old. In many cases, they are children of unwanted pregnancies or the mothers have mental problems, officials say.
 心中以外で死亡した事例を見ると、3歳までの子が8割で、ゼロ歳児が半数近い。母親が望まぬ妊娠をしていたり、精神的に問題があったりすることが多いという。

As a measure to prevent child abuse, local governments across Japan are initiating programs to ensure that all families of newborns are visited by an official within four months of birth. Officials speak to parents and listen to their anxieties and problems concerning child care and, if necessary, refer them to nonprofit organizations, welfare programs, hospitals or other organizations that specialize in child-care problems. Such systems will prove more effective if they are put to practice from pregnancy.
 虐待の予防策として各地の自治体が、赤ちゃんが生まれて4カ月以内に全家庭を訪問する事業を始めている。育児の不安や悩みを聞き、NPOや福祉事業、病院などにつなげる目的だ。この態勢を妊娠期から始めれば、より効果的だろう。

Local community networks should watch over young parents with problems in an effort to reduce as many victims of child abuse as possible.
 問題を抱えた若い親を地域のネットワークで見守り、傷つく子を一人でも減らしたい。

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新型インフル ワクチンだけには頼れない

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 28, 2009)
Vaccine isn't the only weapon against new flu
新型インフル ワクチンだけには頼れない(8月28日付・読売社説)

Expectations are rising that infections of the H1N1 strain of influenza A and further outbreaks could be prevented once the vaccine for the new flu becomes available.
 ワクチンがあれば新型インフルエンザの感染を防ぎ、急拡大も抑えられるのではないか――。
 こんな期待が高まっているが、そうした思惑通りに行くだろうか。

However, it is far from a foregone conclusion that things will pan out as expected. Even past epidemics of seasonal influenza have not been repulsed by a vaccination program.
 例年のインフルエンザでも、ワクチンの接種で流行を抑え込めたという例はないからだ。

Of course, vaccination can work to a certain extent. During ordinary flu seasons, vaccinated people will develop only relatively mild symptoms even if they become infected with the disease.
 一定の効果はあるだろう。例年の流行でもワクチンを接種すれば症状は軽い、と言われてきた。

Medical experts also point out that the spread of infection could slow if a large number of people are vaccinated. If the number of patients falling into critical condition is reduced thanks to a vaccination program, front-line doctors and hospitals would have more time to treat flu patients in general.
 大勢が接種すると、感染拡大のペースが遅れるという効能も指摘されている。ワクチンで重症化する患者が減れば、その分、医師や病院も治療に余裕が持てる。

However, the flu vaccine has the major drawback of providing only weak preventive effects. This is different from the vaccine for measles, which can prevent the disease developing once a person is inoculated. Furthermore, vaccination in general has very minor side effects.
 問題は、インフルエンザワクチンの予防効果が低いことだ。接種すれば発症を防げる「はしかワクチン」などと異なる。しかも一般的にワクチン接種には、ごくわずかだが、副作用がある。

The government must explain the limited effectiveness of the flu vaccination to the public. The most important thing is to help people understand that inoculation is not the only countermeasure against the new influenza strain.
 政府は、インフルエンザワクチンの限界を国民に丁寧に説明する必要がある。特に大切なのは、ワクチンだけが対策ではない、と理解してもらうことだ。

===

Prevention better than cure

Obviously, preventing infection is the best way to defang the new-flu threat. Regularly washing one's hands and gargling are quintessential rules for preventing infection. Members of the public also must bear in mind that they will be unable to avoid infection if the virus spreads widely because most people are not immune to the new flu.
 まず予防する。手洗い、うがいは鉄則だ。ほとんどの人に免疫がないので、流行が拡大すれば、感染を免れることはできないという自覚も必要になる。

However, it also should be remembered that most people, excluding small children and people with kidney and other chronic diseases, would likely display only mild symptoms even if they catch the new flu. Of course, people with mild symptoms should be careful not to spread this disease.
 その際、腎臓病などの持病を抱えた人や幼児を除き、通常はほとんどが軽症で済む、ということも覚えておきたい。無論、軽症でも感染を広げない注意は要る。

Meanwhile, the shortage of vaccine for the seasonal influenza has often caused widespread consternation.
 ただ、例年のインフルエンザでも、ワクチン不足は各地に不安を広げることが、よくある。

Worryingly, the same problem has become apparent regarding the new-flu strain. Domestic manufacturers are working flat-out to produce a vaccine for the new flu, but they are unable to produce enough to meet the nation's requirements. Japan reportedly faces a shortage of about 20 million doses. However, panic over the new-flu vaccine must be avoided.
 まして、今回は新型だ。新型用ワクチン製造は本格化しているが必要量に追いつかない。国内で約2000万人分が不足する、とも言われている。新型のワクチンを巡る混乱は避けたい。

===

Govt must pull out all stops

The government must immediately discuss and decide who should be given priority in receiving vaccinations. It makes perfect sense that medical workers and people likely to develop serious symptoms should they catch the new flu be given priority. However, the current projected supply of vaccine is not sufficient even to cover these high-risk groups.
 そのためにも、ワクチンをだれに接種するか、優先順位の論議を急ぐ必要がある。医療従事者や新型感染で重症化しやすい人は当然だろう。それでも、現在の供給見通し量では追いつかない。

The government should take every possible measure to acquire enough vaccine to combat the new flu.
 政府は、新型用のワクチン確保に全力を挙げるべきだ。

Importing vaccine from the United States and European countries has been touted as the best solution to meet this shortfall. However, the government has not yet settled on measures to confirm the safety of imported vaccine and detailed procedures to deal with possible side effects.
 その切り札として、欧米などからのワクチン輸入が有力視されている。ただ、安全性を確認する方法や副作用が出た時の詳細な対応が決まっていない。

Until 15 years ago, the government required every primary and middle school student to be vaccinated against influenza. However, mandatory vaccination was terminated because of lingering doubts about its effectiveness and possible side effects.
 国内では15年前まで、小中学生全員にインフルエンザワクチン接種を義務づけていた。だが、副作用被害に加え効果を疑問視する意見も出て、廃止された。

The government must tread carefully to ensure a sense of mistrust against flu vaccine does not take hold among the public once again.
 再びワクチンへの不信感を広げることがない対応が重要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 28, 2009)
(2009年8月28日01時16分  読売新聞)

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2009年8月27日 (木)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:世間との闘いの難しさ /東京

(Mainichi Japan) August 27, 2009
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Striving for excellence can be a double-edged sword
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:世間との闘いの難しさ /東京

I suspect that there have been many sleepy-eyed sports enthusiasts determined to overcome the time difference between Japan and far-off Berlin to take in the World Championships in Athletics recently.
 今年もおおいに盛り上がった「世界陸上」。ベルリンとの時差に眠い目をこすりながら、テレビにかじりついていた人も多いのではないだろうか。

The astounding display of speed put on by Jamaica's Usain Bolt in particular captured not just the people in the stands, but many of us around the world. One announcer, when seeing Bolt on the track, exclaimed "How fast can a human being go!" Even after breaking his own 100 meter world record, Bolt was ready to try for an even faster time, declaring, "I always say anything is possible."
 特に世界記録を連発したジャマイカのウサイン・ボルト選手の驚異的な走りは、スタジアムの観客ばかりではなく世界中の人々を熱狂させた。競技を中継するアナウンサーは、「人はどこまで速くなれるのでしょうか!」と絶叫していた。ボルト選手も「人間には何だって可能なんだ」とまだまだ記録に挑戦する姿勢を見せている。

But while I stand in wonder at Bolt's physical ability and psychological strength, I also find myself thinking: Is there a need to go any faster?
 その身体能力や精神力に驚嘆しながらも、頭の片隅にふと、「これ以上、速くなる必要があるのだろうか」といった問いが生じる。

At the news conference held after winning the 200 meter race, the topic of doping came in repeatedly. Furthermore, questions about South African runner Caster Semenya's gender continued to arise after she won the women's 800 meter race, paining her father, who said, "She is my little girl. ... I raised her and I have never doubted her gender. She is a woman and I can repeat that a million times."
200メートルで優勝した後、ボルト選手の会見ではドーピングを問う声が次々に上がった。女子800メートルでは、優勝者に対する性別疑惑も浮上し、その父親が「私の娘をそっとしておいて欲しい」と苦しい胸の内を明らかにする一幕もあった。

"Faster! Faster!" the world demands, and athletes respond by training to the limits of mind and body. And when these athletes fulfill our expectations, getting ever stronger and setting ever faster times, we look at them askance and say, "That's too fast. Something must be up." Thus is the fate of all world athletics champions, and I must admit I feel a little sorry for them.
 選手たちは、「もっと速く!」という世界中の期待にこたえようとして、心身をギリギリまで追い込んで過酷な練習を続ける。そして期待通りの結果を出すと、今度は「強すぎておかしい」と疑われる。これも覇者の宿命と言えばそれまでだが、なんだか気の毒だ。

The athletes themselves probably wonder if they wouldn't be the subject of doubts if they had failed our expectations. They may feel they have to push themselves to the limit every time out, knowing that they would be attacked if they didn't put their all into their training.
本人たちも、「じゃあ、みんなの期待を裏切るような結果なら、疑われることはなかったのか。そうなったらなったで、今度は限界だ、練習不足だと非難するくせに」と言いたいところなのではないだろうか。

This kind of thinking also often appears in our everyday lives. We try our best to meet the expectations of those around us and, when successful, are either told "Next time, aim higher," or suspected of cheating somehow. If this kind of treatment is kept up long enough, even those among us with remarkable abilities will retreat into their shells, slowly coming to distrust those around them and the world in general. Perhaps those celebrities recently caught up in drug use are among those who have "lost" to that kind of pressurized existence.
 これは、私たちの日常でもしばしば起きることだと思う。周りの期待に応えるために頑張って成果を上げたとたん、「次はもっと上を目指して」とさらなるプレッシャーをかけられたり、「不正があったのでは」と疑われたりする。そういうことが繰り返されると、能力のある人も次第に他人や世の中を信用できなくなり、自分の殻に閉じこもるようになってしまう。覚せい剤などに手を出した芸能人たちも、もしかするとそんな“世間”に負けたのかもしれない。

To prevent falling into this performance pressure spiral, the best thing to do is to think to yourself, "Well, this will do," neither letting yourself be driven by others' expectations or betraying them. Saying that, I wonder if we would be shocked if Bolt strung together a series of narrow wins instead of record-shattering performances?
 それを防ぐためには、周囲の期待にこたえすぎず裏切りもせず、「まあ、これくらいならいいんじゃないの」と思われるような“ほどほどの結果”を出しておくのがいちばんだ。とはいえ、「世界陸上」のような大イベントで「ボルト、また“ほどほどの記録”でかろうじて優勝です」といった試合が続くと、みんながっかりするのだろうか。

For the athletes in Berlin --and for the rest of us -- far more difficult than challenging records or rivals is challenging society itself. That's what I understood from watching the World Championships in Athletics. (By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
 記録やライバルとの闘いよりむずかしいのが、世間との闘い。そう感じた9日間だった。

毎日新聞 2009年8月25日 地方版

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最高裁国民審査―開かれた選任こそ課題だ

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 26(IHT/Asahi: August 27,2009)
EDITORIAL: Review of top justices
最高裁国民審査―開かれた選任こそ課題だ

Nine of the 15 Supreme Court justices are up for a people's review when voters head to the polls for Sunday's Lower House election. The occasion provides voters with their only opportunity to directly express their approval or disapproval of the current state of the judiciary.
 最高裁裁判官を信認するかどうかを問う国民審査が、総選挙と同時に行われる。司法への信頼を国民が直接表明できる唯一の機会だ。

Amid expectations for a regime change, debate is heating up over the government system.
However, we should also think about the top court's personnel system.
政権選択を機に国や政府の形が議論されている今、最高裁の人事についても考えたい。

The Constitution stipulates that Supreme Court justices are to be "reviewed" by the public, but no one has been dismissed under this system so far.
 憲法に基づく制度だが、これまでに国民審査で辞めさせられた人は一人もいない。

Justices are subject to a review at the time of the first Lower House election after their appointment. Their next review will be during the first Lower House election "after a lapse of 10 years."
審査の対象になるのは任命後に初めて行われる総選挙の時で、次の機会は10年を経過したあとの総選挙までない。

However, since many justices are older than 60 at the time of their appointment and their mandatory retirement age is 70, there is effectively no second review for anyone. Consequently, justices who come under the review are fairly new to the job.
ところが、就任年齢は通例60歳を過ぎていて、70歳の定年までに再度、審査の対象になることは事実上ない。結局、対象の裁判官は就任から間がない人が多くなる。

Of the nine justices up for review this time, five, including Chief Justice Hironobu Takesaki, have never made a decision related to the Constitution, nor have they participated in a Grand Bench ruling that can reverse established precedents.
 今回、対象の9人のうち竹崎長官を含む5人は、まだ一度も違憲判断や判例変更ができる大法廷判決に関与していない。

In short, these justices have too meager a track record, if any, on which the people can form their opinions.
判断の材料が乏しすぎる。

But perhaps the more fundamental problem than the people's review system, which serves no practical purpose, is that Supreme Court justices are appointed behind closed doors.
 いや、国民審査の形骸(けいがい)化より基本的な問題は、彼らが国民からまったく見えない密室の中で選ばれてきていることではあるまいか。

The chief justice is named by the Cabinet and appointed by the emperor. The remaining 14 justices are appointed by the Cabinet. In reality, however, the sitting chief justice picks his successor and recommends his choice to the prime minister, and the Cabinet respects the choice.
 最高裁長官は内閣の指名に基づいて天皇が任命し、14人の最高裁判事は内閣が任命する。しかし実際は、長官については現職が後任を首相に推薦し、内閣が尊重する。

As for the other justices, the custom is that the Supreme Court picks candidates when a justice who is about to retire is a former judge, while the Cabinet puts together its shortlist of candidates when the retiring justice is a former bureaucrat. That is an accepted practice.
判事については、法律家出身者の後任は最高裁が推薦し、官僚出身者の後任は内閣が候補者を絞る。それが慣例となってきた。

The public is kept completely in the dark about the screening process, and the Cabinet merely announces the result.
 選考過程は一切国民の前に明らかにされず、ある日突然、内閣が「決まりました」と発表するのだ。

Including Takesaki, we have so far had nine consecutive chief justices who were former judges. The backgrounds of other members of the bench are rigidly predetermined, too, with fixed quotas in place for former judges, prosecutors, lawyers, bureaucrats and legal scholars. All these individuals are invariably preceded and succeeded by their peers in their respective professions.
 その結果、最高裁長官は現長官まで9代続いて裁判官出身。判事も裁判官、検察官、弁護士、官僚、法学者の人数枠が固定され、出身母体からの順送り人事となってきた。

The public is not informed of the professional histories of Supreme Court justices, nor why they were chosen. This is the fundamental factor that renders the people's review system a mere formality.
 どんな仕事をしてきた人がどんな理由で選ばれたのか、国民は知らされない。国民審査が形骸化している根本的な原因はこうしたことにある。

Bringing transparency to the selection process is of critical importance if the will of the people is to be reflected in the Supreme Court, which is supposed to protect the Constitution and keep the Diet and the administration in check.
 密室人事を透明にすることは、憲法の番人として国会や政府をチェックする最高裁を、国民的な合意に立って作り上げていくうえで極めて重要だ。

The Justice System Reform Council recommended in its 2001 report that studies be conducted to bring transparency and objectivity to the process of appointing Supreme Court justices.
 司法制度改革審議会も01年の意見書で、最高裁人事について「選任過程に透明性・客観性を持たせることを検討すべきだ」と提言した。

A reform plan was once presented to the Diet, proposing an advisory panel of jurists, members of both houses of the Diet and academics, who would recommend several candidates for the Cabinet to consider.
 法曹界や衆参両院、学識経験者らで構成する諮問委員会を設け、複数の候補者を内閣に答申する。そんな改革案が国会に提出されたこともあった。

Our elected representatives should be deeply committed to tangible reform. But political parties are apparently not particularly interested, which is most regrettable.
 改革の具体化は、政治が真剣に取り組むべきテーマだ。政党側にこの問題を真剣に取り組もうという気配がないのは、残念としかいいようがない。

The citizen judge system was introduced in May to make the judiciary more open to the people. If the judiciary is to be supported by the public, full disclosure of the process of nominating and appointing the chief and other justices at the top court is now needed. That would give the people enough information on which to form their opinions of justices up for review.
 司法を国民に開かれたものにするため、裁判員裁判が始まった。司法を支える国民的基盤を築くために、最高裁長官と判事の選任過程を公開する。それを通じて、国民審査にも十分な情報を開示することだ。

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09総選挙 年金再建―対立超え安心の制度を

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 26(IHT/Asahi: August 27,2009)
EDITORIAL: Pension reform debate
09総選挙 年金再建―対立超え安心の制度を

The ruling and opposition camps have been at loggerheads over the issue of pension reform. The main bone of contention has been whether the system should be maintained in its current form or reconfigured into one financed by taxes. However, both sides are showing signs of changing their stances ahead of Sunday's election.
 現在の制度を維持するか、税方式に転換するかで与野党が対立してきた年金制度改革。総選挙を通じて、論争に変化の兆しが出てきた。

The ruling bloc had until recently insisted that the current system will be financially viable for 100 years. But it has finally admitted the program is fraying at the edges. The ruling camp has promised to shorten the minimum required period of enrollment to 10 years from the current 25 years. It has also pledged to tackle the problem of people who are not eligible to receive pension benefits, or are eligible for only a very small amount.
 「今の制度は百年安心」としてきた与党側が、さすがに制度のほころびを認め、年金を受けるのに必要な最低加入期間を現行の25年から10年に短縮することや、無年金・低年金者対策に取り組むと言い出した。

The main opposition Democratic Party of Japan, which has offered to guarantee minimum pension benefits financed by tax, has made it clear the system it envisions basically offers universal coverage as a social insurance program with premiums and benefits proportional to income. The proposed minimum guaranteed benefits would only serve as an income supplement for low-benefit recipients. The DPJ says it would create a new revenue agency to ensure premiums are collected from everybody obliged to pay.
 一方、税財源による最低保障年金を主張してきた野党側も、民主党が基本はあくまでも全国民が入る所得比例年金であり、社会保険方式であることを明確にした。最低保障年金は、年金額の少ない人のための補完的な役割で、新たに歳入庁をつくって保険料の徴収を徹底する、との考えだ。

Through their pension proposals, both camps seem to be aware of the need to stem the rise in people failing to pay into the system and providing support for people with no benefits, or small ones at best.
 共通しているのは、広がる保険料の未納を食い止めなければいけない、無年金・低年金の人への手立てが必要だ、という問題意識だ。

About 40 percent of the people covered by the national pension program, which was originally designed for self-employed people, are now employees, mainly nonregular ones. The fixed-sum premiums for the program represent a heavy financial burden for these employees. This is believed to be one factor behind the growing nonpayment of premiums.
 自営業者が中心と考えられてきた国民年金は今や、加入者の4割が非正社員を中心として雇われている人たちだ。こうした人たちには定額保険料の負担感は大きく、保険料の未納が広がる一因と言われている。

The average of the monthly benefits under the program is 48,000 yen, well below the full benefit of 66,000 yen. Under the current system, monthly benefits are reduced if the overall revenue falls due to a contraction of the working-age population or if the total payouts grow because of prolonged life expectancy. There is actually no guarantee of minimum pension benefits.
 一方、満額で月6万6千円と言われる国民年金の平均受給額は4万8千円。現役世代が減って収入が減ったり、平均寿命が延びて給付総額が膨らんだりすれば、毎月の受給額はさらに目減りする仕組みになっていて、最低保障の底が抜けている状態だ。

What is the best remedy for these problems with the current system? There is undoubtedly room for constructive bipartisan talks since the ruling and opposition camps are proposing changes basically in the same direction, even though there are still differences in their approaches.
 今の制度が抱えるこうした問題点をどう解決していくのか。手法になお隔たりはあるものの、大きな見直しの方向は同じなのだから、話し合いの余地はあるはずだ。

But the reform blueprints of both camps leave many important questions unanswered. As for promised relief for people facing retirement with no or scant pension benefits, the ruling camp has yet to say how much would be provided to whom. The DPJ's reform plan says nothing about what to do with the premiums paid by self-employed workers. The opposition party also leaves it unclear what would be done for people with no benefits or small ones during the transition to the new system.
 与野党とも、詰め切れていない問題が目立つ。与党の無年金・低年金対策は、どんな人たちにどれくらいの年金額を保障するのか。民主党の改革案は、自営業の人たちの保険料をどうするのか。新制度への移行期間中、すでに無年金・低年金の人たちをどうするか。いずれもあいまいだ。

To ensure fairness in the burdens and benefits, it is necessary to introduce a taxpayer identification number system to track people's income accurately. As the nation's population ages further, public spending on health and nursing care is bound to keep growing. The crucial question of how much taxpayer money should be devoted to pension reform requires an answer based on a comprehensive perspective that takes into consideration the future prospect of social security spending.
 負担と給付の公平性を担保するには、納税者番号制を導入して正確な所得を把握することも必要だ。また、これから超高齢社会を迎え、医療や介護の費用も膨らむ。そうした社会保障費の見通しも踏まえて、年金改革にどれだけの財源を充てるのか。総合的な判断が求められる。

That makes it all the more important for all parties to make efforts to swiftly set up a forum so that national debate on pension reform can be started soon after the Lower House election.
 だからこそ各党は、選挙後に国民的な議論を始められるよう、早期に協議の場をつくる方向で努力すべきだ。

A pension system demands long-term stability. The people's interests would not be served if every national election results in radical changes to the system.
 年金制度は長期にわたる安定が必要だ。選挙のたびに仕組みが変わるのでは、国民が不利益をこうむる。

Whichever party wins a public mandate in Sunday's Lower House election, it is the political responsibility of the entire legislature to build a pension system that can serve as a solid foundation for social security in this aging society. We hope to hear constructive, nonpartisan debate.
 どの政党が政権を担うにせよ、高齢社会の安心の土台となる年金制度をつくることは政治全体の責任だ。対立を超えた建設的な議論を望みたい。

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放送・通信融合 新たなルール整備が必要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 27, 2009)
New regulatory system needed for airwaves
放送・通信融合 新たなルール整備が必要だ(8月27日付・読売社説)

Through technological innovations, new types of services that are not covered by existing regulations targeting broadcast and communications services have emerged. To make such new "buds" part of the industry's growth strategy, related rules and regulations need to be reviewed.
 技術革新によって、従来の放送・通信に対する規制の枠に収まらないサービスが登場している。新たな芽を成長戦略につなげるには、ルールの見直しが必要だろう。

The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry's advisory panel on information and communications services has compiled a proposal to drastically review regulations on broadcast and communications services.
 総務省の情報通信審議会が、放送と通信の規制を抜本的に改める答申をまとめた。

The proposal calls for reviewing the current regulatory categorization of services based on the type of operation, such as wired or wireless services, and instead recategorizing the services based on function, such as program production and radio transmission.
 通信か放送か、無線か有線か、といった業態別の区分を見直し、番組制作や電波送信といった機能別に組み直す内容である。

There are as many as nine major laws governing information and communications services. The laws include a number of regulations that do not match the actual situation. It therefore is of great significance to remove barriers between broadcast and communications services, eyeing the integration of those services.
 情報通信関連の法律は主なものだけで九つもあり、実態にそぐわない規制も多い。今回、放送と通信の融合をにらみ、垣根を取り払う意義は大きい。

===

Function key under plan

Under the envisaged new regulatory framework, there would be no distinction between communications and broadcast services. Services would instead be categorized into three areas--program contents offered to viewers; transmission infrastructure such as communications networks and transmitting stations; and transmission services for conveying information to viewers.
 新たな規制の枠組みでは、通信と放送の区分はなくなり、〈1〉視聴者に提供する「番組の内容」〈2〉通信網や送信所などの「伝送設備」〈3〉視聴者に情報を届けるための「伝送サービス」――の3分野にくくり直される。

The regulations on radio waves, which separately target broadcast and communications services, would be relaxed so that broadcast stations could distribute their programs on cell phones and broadcast their programs via cell phone antennas.
 放送用、通信用に分かれている電波の規制も緩和され、放送局が携帯電話に番組を配信したり、携帯電話のアンテナを使って放送したりできるようになる。

By reforming regulatory categories so they are based on functions, it would become easier for broadcasters to operate their program production and transmission services in separate corporate entities. Local broadcasters would be able to improve management efficiency by jointly using transmission equipment. It also would be possible for outside businesses to enter the broadcasting services field by renting other companies' equipment.
 規制が機能別になることで、放送局は番組制作と送信業務を別会社で実施しやすくなる。複数の地方局が送信設備を共用すれば経営の効率化に役立とう。他社の設備を借りる形での異業種からの放送事業への参入も可能になる。

An invigorated business environment would result in expanded and cheaper communications and broadcasting services. The industry should strive to create new services by putting consumers' interests first.
 放送・通信の活性化は、サービスの多様化や通信料の値下げにつながる。業界は利用者の利便向上を最優先に、新サービスの創出に努めてほしい。

Some observers have pointed out that under the new regulatory framework it would be easier for the government to intervene in the content of programs, a situation that would threaten the independence of broadcasters.
 新たな規制の枠組みに対しては、国が番組内容に口出ししやすくなり、放送局の自立性が脅かされるとの指摘もある。

The proposal says there would be no new regulations imposed on information on the Internet, and that editorial freedom in respect of broadcast programs would be stipulated under the law. It is essential to give due consideration to freedom of expression during the process of drafting related bills.
 答申は、インターネット上の情報には新たな規制は設けず、放送番組の編集の自由は法律に明記するとしている。今後の法案化作業で、表現の自由に対する十分な配慮は不可欠だろう。

===

Fix administrative structure

The Democratic Party of Japan, in its policy pledges for the upcoming House of Representatives election, suggested that administration of broadcast and communications services be taken out of the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry's jurisdiction to prevent the government from intervening in broadcast services.
 民主党は衆院選に向けた政策集で、放送への国の介入を排除するため、放送・通信行政を総務省から分離させるとしている。

The main opposition party called for the creation of an independent administrative commission, modeled after the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, to which administrative power would be devolved from the ministry. The DPJ apparently intends not only to revise the current regulations, but to reform administrative structures as well.
 米国の連邦通信委員会(FCC)をモデルにした独立行政委員会を新設し、権限を移管する案だ。規制の見直しと同時に、行政組織のあり方についても再検討するということだろう。

But transplanting a U.S. model alone would not ensure the smooth operation of broadcast and communications administrative services. What is necessary first and foremost is to review the current administrative structure that involves the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry and a cabinet member whose portfolio includes information technology policy.
 しかし、米国型の移植だけで放送・通信行政は円滑に進むまい。総務省や経済産業省、IT(情報技術)担当大臣が並立する今の行政の見直しが先決ではないか。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 27, 2009)
(2009年8月27日01時30分  読売新聞)

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2009年8月26日 (水)

「英字新聞」学習の手引き

学習の手引き

最初に日本語を読んで意味を理解してから、英文を読解する。
なれてきたら今度は、英文を先に読んで意味を理解する。
翻訳思考で英文を理解するのでなく、英文のまま理解することが大切です。
英文で意味を理解できたら、日本語の文章は専門用語の確認をする程度で結構です。

辞書

辞書はネイティブによる発音が充実したものを購入してください。
スラチャイは小学館のbookshelf 2.0を愛用しています。
英語の発音は理解しているつもりでも間違って覚えているものが多いものです。
発音記号とネイティブの発音を比較しながら、耳から直接覚えるようにしてください。

社説

社説の文章はやさしくはないですが、それほど難しくもありません。
この程度の文章を瞬時に読解できるようになれば、外国で英語を使って仕事をするときにも十分通用すると思います。

実績

昨年(2008年)の6月からこのトレーニングを開始して丁度1年が経過しました。
最初は一件の社説を読解するのに2時間近くかかっていましたが、現在では15分くらいで読解できるようになっています。

私のささやかな毎日の努力が英語学習者の一助になれば、これに勝る喜びはありません。

srachai from khonkaen, thailand

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科学五輪―理科好き生徒増やしたい

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 25(IHT/Asahi: August 26,2009)
EDITORIAL: Improving education
科学五輪―理科好き生徒増やしたい

Japanese teens shone at the International Science Olympiads for high school students this summer, winning a record 12 gold medals in five subjects. Every one of the 23 Japanese participants ended up with a medal.
 世界の高校生が競う国際科学オリンピックでこの夏、日本の代表が大活躍した。5科目に23人の選手が参加、金メダルは過去最高の12個となり、全員がメダルを獲得した。

We hope these results will generate momentum for improvement of science education in Japan.
 好成績をはずみに、日本の科学教育をよりよいものに変えていきたい。

At the International Science Olympiads, gold medals are awarded to the top 10 percent of students and silver and bronze to the next 20 percent and 30 percent, respectively.
 この大会では、上位約1割に金メダルが与えられる。次の2割に銀メダル、次の3割なら銅メダルだ。

This year's International Biology Olympiad was held in Japan for the first time, with four Japanese students participating. One of the four won Japan's first gold medal in this category, and the rest won silver medals.
 まず、初めて日本で開かれた生物学五輪で日本勢では初の金メダルを1人が獲得、残る3人も銀メダルだった。

Next, in the International Physics Olympiad, two of the five Japanese contestants won gold medals. In Mathematics, five of the six contestants won gold medals, and one had a perfect score. In overall performance, Japan placed second after China.
 続く物理でも5人のうち2人が金メダルをとった。数学では6人中5人が金メダルで、うち1人は満点でトップ、全体の成績でも中国に次ぐ2位に入った。

As for Chemistry and Informatics, two of the four Japanese participants won gold medals.
化学、情報でも4人のうち2人が金メダルを手にした。

The International Science Olympiad started with Mathematics in 1959. Physics, Chemistry and Informatics were added later. The first Biology Olympiad was held in 1990.
 科学五輪は1959年に数学から始まった。それに物理、化学、情報が加わり、生物学は90年からだ。

Lately, top-ranked nations, territories and regions include China, South Korea, Taiwan, the United States and Russia. China has made participation a national priority. Students chosen to represent China are given many perks. Nearly every Chinese student brings home a gold medal.
 このところ成績上位を占める国・地域は中国や韓国、台湾、米国やロシアなどだ。とくに中国は国を挙げて取り組んでいる。代表に選ばれると特典も多く、ほぼ全員が金メダルをとる勢いだ。

Japan is a latecomer among advanced nations. It first participated in the Mathematics Olympiad of 1990, followed by Biology in 2005 and Physics in 2006. Until then, Japanese education authorities worried that Japanese students could not compete with their overseas peers because of the low level of science education here.
 日本の参加は90年の数学から。生物学は05年、物理は06年と先進国の中では遅い。理科教育の水準が低く、歯が立たないことを心配したためだ。

Nowadays, Japanese contestants use global-standard textbooks to relearn their subjects. They prepare for the big day with special lab training rarely provided at Japanese high schools.
 日本の代表選手たちは、世界で標準的に使われている教科書で学び直し、国内の高校ではあまりやらない実験の特訓などを受けて本番に挑む。

These efforts clearly paid off this year. Also, many of the participants were experienced. Another factor was that more teens have participated in the preliminary rounds since the government began supporting the Olympiads in fiscal 2004.
 今年の好成績は、経験を積んだ代表が多かったうえ、こうした特訓が成果を上げたためだろう。04年度から政府が科学五輪の支援を始め、予選の参加者が増えてきた効果もありそうだ。

But we should not become complacent. Participation in international competition has reminded us again of the flaws in our education system.
 喜んでばかりはいられない。国際大会に参加することで、改めて日本の教育の弱点が浮かび上がっている。

A bronze medalist at a past Chemistry Olympiad scored less than 10 out of a maximum 60 points on a test right after returning to Japan. We believe this was because Japan's chemistry education stresses textbook knowledge rather than a fundamental understanding of the subject.
 過去の化学五輪で銅メダルをとったある高校生は、帰国直後の模擬試験で、60点満点で10点も取れなかったそうだ。日本の化学教育は本質的な理解を求めるより、知識を蓄えることに重点が置かれているためだろう。

By teaching science systematically and raising the nation's overall level of science education to global standards, we hope more teens will come to love science.
 体系的に科学を学ぶ、国際水準の教育へと底上げしていくことで、日本の高校生の力を伸ばし、理科好きのすそ野を広げていきたい。

At the week-long International Biology Olympiad in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, high school students from around the world spent more than 10 hours grappling with theoretical and practical problems. But the teens also got to experience Japanese culture and enjoy outdoor activities by going to a summer festival and traveling to Nikko, a well-known tourist resort.
 茨城県つくば市で約1週間にわたって開かれた生物学五輪では、世界の高校生たちが10時間以上もかけて理論と実験の問題に取り組んだ。その一方で、夏祭りや日光旅行などで日本の文化や自然にも触れた。

We believe it was greatly significant that young people from around the world competed intellectually in Japan and made new friends.
 世界中の若者たちが日本を舞台に考える力を競い、友情の輪を広げた。大きな意味があったと思う。

Tokyo is scheduled to host next year's International Chemistry Olympiad. We hope it will prompt high school students to take a greater interest in the world.
 来年は化学五輪が東京で開かれる。高校生たちの目を、さらに世界に向けるきっかけにもなってほしい。

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電気自動車:産学タッグで量産計画 技術供与へ慶大、ベネッセなど新会社

(Mainichi Japan) August 26, 2009
New company aims to have cheap and efficient electric vehicles on road in 2013
電気自動車:産学タッグで量産計画 技術供与へ慶大、ベネッセなど新会社

Major correspondence education firm Benesse Corp. and used car giant Gulliver International Co. are teaming up with a Keio University professor to put affordable electric vehicles on the road in 2013, it has been announced.
The firms and Keio University professor Hiroshi Shimizu have established a new company, named SIM-Drive, to propagate electric vehicle technology pioneered by Shimizu.
 慶応大環境情報学部の清水浩教授と通信教育大手「ベネッセコーポレーション」、中古車事業「ガリバーインターナショナル」は24日、清水教授が開発した電気自動車(EV)製造技術の普及を目指す新会社「SIM-Drive(シムドライブ)」を設立したと発表した。産学連携によるEV市場への新規参入として注目を集めそうだ。

SIM-Drive will license its designs to automobile and parts manufacturers, and aims to bring a mass-produced five-person passenger car that can run for 300 kilometers on a single charge to market in 2013.
 シムドライブは自動車メーカー、部品メーカーなどにEV製造技術のライセンスを供与。13年をめどに、1回の充電で約300キロ走れる5人乗りEVを量産・販売することを目指す。

At present, even with government subsidies electric vehicles cost upwards of 3 million yen and have a range of less than 160 kilometers.
 EVは政府補助を加味しても購入価格は300万円以上、1回の充電で走行できる距離も160キロ以下にとどまる。

The company plans to overcome the high cost of batteries by leasing them to buyers, allowing the electric vehicles to be sold at a sticker price in the range of 1.5 million yen.
価格が高いバッテリーはリース方式とすることで、ユーザーのEV取得時の初期費用は車両価格のみで150万円程度に抑える方針。

Shimizu, who was named president of SIM-Drive, developed the in-wheel motor -- a small electric motor that drives each wheel of a four-wheel vehicle. According to Shimizu, this system allows a car twice the single-charge range of vehicles with one, centrally-mounted electric motor, as far less energy is lost in transferring power from the motor to the wheels.
社長に就任した清水教授は四つの車輪に電動モーターを直接取り付けて動かす「インホイールモーター」システムを開発。清水教授によると、車体の中央にモーターを1基だけ設置し各車輪に動力を伝える既存のEVシステムに比べ動力のロスが少なく、同じ容量の電池で走行距離を最大2倍に伸ばせるという。

SIM-Drive also received investment from major trading firm Marubeni Corp. and has initial capital of 44 million yen.
 資本金は4400万円で、ベネッセやガリバーのほか、大手商社の丸紅も出資している。

"We hope to gain the approval of most (automotive) companies, and bring a practical electric vehicle with twice the range of previous models to market at the earliest possible date," said Shimizu at a news conference to announce the new company.
清水教授は24日の会見で「多くの企業の賛同を得て、従来の2倍の距離を走れる新型EVの早期実用化を目指したい」と語った。【大久保渉】

毎日新聞 2009年8月25日 東京朝刊

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アジア外交 膨張する中国とどう向き合う

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 26, 2009)
China, Asia policy vital part of election debate
アジア外交 膨張する中国とどう向き合う(8月26日付・読売社説)

In the campaign for Sunday's House of Representatives election, the contending political parties have all touted their policies on Asian issues, but what voters really want to hear about is how the parties intend to fulfill their campaign promises and what actions the parties will take to solve the problems at hand.
 衆院選では、各党ともアジア外交を重視する姿勢を打ち出している。だが、有権者が知りたいのは、公約実現に向けた道筋や、目の前にある懸案への具体的な処方箋(せん)である。

In its manifesto, the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan promises to create an East Asia Community. The central plank in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's Asia platform is to tie Japan's economic growth to that of Asia. New Komeito, the LDP's ruling coalition partner, also touts the promotion of economic integration in Asia.
 民主党は政権公約で、「東アジア共同体」の構築を目指すとしている。自民党は、アジア全体の経済成長を日本の成長につなげる政策を柱に据える。公明党もアジア地域の経済統合推進を掲げる。

East Asia consists of several countries with a broad spectrum of political systems. It is a realistic choice to move toward economic partnership among them as a first step toward closer integration. Sixteen countries, including India and Australia, plan to soon start discussing an East Asian economic partnership agreement.
 東アジアは政治体制の異なる多様な国々から成る。経済連携を先行させるのは現実的な選択だろう。インド、豪州を含む16か国による「東アジア経済連携協定」の検討も近く始まる予定だ。

There are many problems to overcome to achieve such an agreement. Negotiations between Japan and Australia on a free trade agreement faltered over liberalization in the agricultural sector. Negotiations with India and South Korea also are sluggish and have made little progress.
 だが、課題は多い。日本と豪州の自由貿易協定(FTA)交渉は、農業分野の貿易自由化が障害となって全く進んでいない。インド、韓国との交渉も停滞気味だ。

===

Farm policy vs trade policy

The DPJ modified the expression in its manifesto concerning a Japan-U.S. free trade agreement after opposition from agricultural organizations. It is difficult to harmonize domestic agricultural policies and trade liberalization.
 民主党が、日米FTAに関する政権公約の表現を農業団体の反発を受けて修正したように、国内農政と貿易自由化をどう調和させるかは難しい問題だ。

If political parties intend to promote the idea of creating an East Asia Community or the importance of economic partnership, they should clearly explain to voters how they will overcome these obstacles.
 共同体や経済連携を公約に掲げるのなら、こうした具体的課題にどう取り組むかも語るべきだ。

Among Asian issues, of particular importance is Japan's relationship with China in light of China's emergence as both an economic and military superpower. All the parties call for strengthening ties with China, but none outline specific measures for accomplishing this goal.
 中でも肝心なのが対中関係だ。経済、軍事両面で大国化する中国とどう向き合うか。各党とも対中関係の強化を掲げているが、具体性に乏しい。

It is natural for Japan to develop closer economic ties with China, but the nation must consider ways to safeguard its intellectual property rights and protect itself against the kind of widespread production of knock-off merchandise and pirated DVDs rampant in China.
 経済関係を緊密化していくのは当然としても、模造品の横行やDVDの違法コピーなど知的財産権の侵害をどうやって防ぐか。

As Japan largely depends on China for its food, it also is important to ensure food safety. There has been no progress in clarifying what happened in the food poisoning cases involving frozen gyoza dumplings made in China.
 多くの食材を中国に依存している中で、「食の安全」を担保することも大事だ。中国製冷凍ギョーザによる中毒事件も、依然、解明が進んでいない。

===

Numerous pressing concerns

In addition, there are many other pressing issues between the two countries, including treaty negotiations for a joint gas field development project in the East China Sea and securing a stable supply of rare metals from China.
 ほかにも、東シナ海のガス田共同開発に向けた条約交渉、レアメタル(希少金属)の安定供給確保など、懸案は山積している。

China's rapid military buildup also is a vital issue for East Asia.
 中国軍の増強も、この地域にとって大きな懸念材料だ。

China's defense spending has grown by double-digit percentages for 21 consecutive years. Chinese naval vessels are expanding their operational areas south into the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. China makes no secret of its intention to construct an aircraft carrier.
 国防費は21年連続で2ケタの伸びを示し、海軍の活動範囲は太平洋やインド洋まで拡大している。空母建造への意欲も隠さない。

It is necessary to tenaciously urge China to be more open about its military policy, including the reasons behind its military buildup--whether, for example, it is only for national defense or for securing sea lanes.
 単に国防や海上輸送路の確保が目的なのか。その意図を含めて、軍事面の透明性を高めるよう、中国に対して粘り強く働きかける必要がある。

In addition to relations with China, there are other points of contention over Asian policy in the election, including how to handle the threat of North Korea's nuclear and missile programs. There is limited time before voting day, but we hope that the political parties will deepen their debate over foreign policy in Asia to address these vital issues.
 対中関係以外にも、北朝鮮の核・ミサイルの脅威にどう備えるかなど論点は数多くある。投票日まで残り少ないが、議論を掘り下げてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 26, 2009)
(2009年8月26日01時23分  読売新聞)

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2009年8月25日 (火)

09総選挙 生活保障―重層的に支える制度へ

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 24(IHT/Asahi: August 25,2009)
EDITORIAL: Livelihood security
09総選挙 生活保障―重層的に支える制度へ

Fixing the troubled social security system and rebuilding the weakened social safety net have emerged as major topics on the campaign trail.
 社会保障のほころびの是正、セーフティーネット(安全網)の再構築が大きな争点になっている。

What is notable is that there have been policy proposals that go beyond the traditional framework of social security centering on the pension, health-care and nursing-care programs and which address challenges in related areas such as employment and education.
 注目すべきは、従来の年金、医療、介護を中心とした社会保障の枠組みを超えて、雇用や教育にもまたがる広い分野で提案が出ていることである。

It is important to combine these proposals in an organized way into a multilevel approach to improve the economic viability of households. It is clearly time to promote efforts to develop a comprehensive policy agenda to achieve what can be called "livelihood security."
 これらを有機的に結びつけ、重層的な取り組みで暮らしの安心を実現する。「暮らし保障」または「生活保障」と呼ぶべき新しい包括的な政策体系づくりを進めるべき時だ。

In the area of employment, calls are growing within both the ruling and opposition camps for institutionalizing an emergency program to subsidize living expenses for people undergoing job training. There can be no livelihood security without job stability. Programs to support people seeking job opportunities should be enhanced.
 雇用の分野では、緊急措置として行われている職業訓練期間中の生活費支援を制度化しようという声が、与野党から出ている。雇用の安定あってこその暮らしだ。働く機会を得ようとする人々を支える仕組みは強化したい。

In the area of education, the parties have made a variety of proposals in their election manifestoes, such as making public senior high schools practically tuition-free and the creation of a grant scholarship program. Making education available to anybody is essential for reversing the trend toward increasing poverty and economic inequality.
 教育分野でも、高校の授業料の無償化や、給付型の奨学金の導入を各党が公約で競う。誰でも教育が受けられるようにすることは、貧困と格差の再生産を防ぐためにも欠かせない。

Equally important is the need to establish an effective system to provide housing security. It is still fresh in our memory that many temporary workers were turfed out of their homes as companies slashed jobs in response to the recession. It may be time to consider housing allowances as part of overall public benefits.
 同時に大切なのは「住まい」の安全網だ。「派遣切り」で仕事を失った途端に住む所も失った人たちが大量に出たことは、記憶に新しい。公的扶助の仕組みとして、住宅手当なども検討する時期に来ているのではないか。

In addition, more policy efforts should be devoted to people trying to gain financial independence. A system for providing such multilevel livelihood support would help curb growth in overall social costs.
 また、生活の自立を後押しする取り組みにも力を入れなければならない。こうした重層的な仕組みをつくれば、全体的な社会的コストが膨らむのを抑えることにもつながる。

The government's employment policy should not be confined to providing income compensation for people who have lost their jobs. The government should also bolster programs to help jobless people find new jobs and maintain their living standard. This could be done by providing support for job training and skills development so these people can readily find employment.
 雇用政策では、仕事を失った人への所得保障だけでなく、職業訓練・能力開発の拡充など、積極的な就労・生活支援の中身を充実させ、真に仕事に結びつく支援にすることが大事だ。

Critics say the public livelihood aid program, a symbol of the social safety net, is not really helping poor people of working age, like the so-called working poor, to gain financial independence. They point out that elderly households account for nearly half of all households on welfare.
 安全網の象徴である生活保護にしても、今は、受給世帯の半分近くをお年寄りが占めていて、ワーキングプアと呼ばれるような現役世代の自立支援に役立っていないと言われている。

It could be too late to try to help people after they fall into financial difficulties. A wider range of programs should be readily available at earlier stages. And careful livelihood support by expert counselors should be incorporated into these programs to help people stay financially independent.
 貧困生活に陥ってからでは遅い。その手前で、もっと広く制度を利用しやすくするとともに、専門の相談員によるきめ細かな生活支援を組み込んで自立をサポートすべきだ。

To fine-tune welfare services, it would help if local governments, which generally maintain close ties with residents, were able to play the leading role in providing services tailored to local conditions and needs. That would entail reconsidering the division of roles between the central and local governments by transferring related powers and revenue sources to local governments.
 こうしたきめの細かな行政サービスを進めるには、住民に身近な自治体が中心になって、地域の実情やニーズに合ったサービスを提供できるようにするのが望ましい。どういう仕事と財源を地方に移すのか。国と地方の役割分担の見直しも必要である。

Providers of such services may not necessarily be the central or local governments. The government should try to increase the number of providers outside the public sector, such as private-sector nonprofit organizations.
 こうしたサービスの担い手は、国や自治体とは限らない。民間のNPO(非営利組織)などの担い手を増やしていくことも課題になるだろう。

The challenge is how to go beyond simply repairing the frayed social security system and reshape it to meet the demands of the times so as to create a society where people support each other with a sense of solidarity.
 今の社会保障のほころびを繕うだけでなく、時代に合った形に組み替えながら、みんなで支え合う連帯社会をどう作り上げていくか。

All the political parties owe the public detailed explanations about their visions for the future of livelihood security.
 各政党は生活保障の未来図について、とことん語る責任がある。

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社説:視点 衆院選 日米と民主党 「対等」の中身を語れ=論説委員・岸本正人

(Mainichi Japan) August 24, 2009
DPJ should clarify 'equal partnership' between Japan and U.S.
社説:視点 衆院選 日米と民主党 「対等」の中身を語れ=論説委員・岸本正人

It has been seen as a taboo for the Japanese government, which regards the Japan-U.S. alliance as the core of its diplomatic policy, to make an assertion that is not consistent with the position of the U.S.
 「日米同盟」を外交の基軸とする日本の政治が外交・安全保障で米国の意に沿わない内容を主張するのはタブーだった。

A report published by an advisory council on defense to the administration of former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa in the early 1990s placed a multilateral security arrangement involving East Asia and a stance to attach importance to the United Nations ahead of the Japan-U.S. security arrangement. This gave the U.S. government the impression that Japan attached less importance to the Japan-U.S. alliance, making Washington aware of the necessity to redefine the agreement.
かつて非自民・細川政権下で発足した「防衛問題懇談会」の報告書は、「日米安保」の前に東アジア地域の「多角的安保」や国連重視の姿勢を記述した。これが日米同盟軽視と映り、東アジア戦略と日米関係再構築の作業を進める米政府に「日米安保再定義」の必要性を認識させる要因の一つとなった。

In its manifesto for the House of Representatives election, the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) characterizes the Japan-U.S. alliance as the basis for Japan's diplomatic policy. Just like the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the DPJ attaches particular importance to Japan's ties with the United States.
 民主党も衆院選マニフェストで日米同盟を「日本外交の基盤」と位置付ける。対米関係重視の考えは自民党と変わりない。

At the same time, however, the DPJ pledges to form a close and equal partnership between the two countries. A statement made by a diplomat claiming that, "It is for Japan's national benefit to keep pace with the U.S.," has justified the LDP-led administration's policy of following in the footsteps of the U.S. The DPJ's direction obviously differs from LDP policy.
が、同時に「緊密で対等な日米同盟関係」を掲げる。「米国とともに歩むことが日本の国益になる」というある外交官の説明は、自民党政権の「対米追従」を合理化する論理だった。民主党の方向は明らかに異なる。

The question is how to define this equal partnership. The DPJ's manifesto calls for the creation of a proactive diplomatic strategy, the division of roles between Japan and the United States and fulfillment of Japan's responsibilities. However, it stops short of clarifying specific details. This is why the DPJ's stance toward the United States remains obscure.
 問題は「対等な関係とは何か」である。民主党マニフェストは、主体的な外交戦略を構築し、米国と役割分担して日本の責任を積極的に果たす--とうたう。しかし、その中身に触れていない。これが、民主党の対米スタンスが不明に映る理由である。

An amendment of the Japan-U.S. Status-of-Forces Agreement, the reorganization of U.S. forces in Japan and a review of U.S. bases in Japan, which are all covered in its manifesto, are important policy issues, but they alone would not be enough for forming the basis for establishing an equal partnership.
 マニフェストに盛られた日米地位協定の改定、米軍再編や在日米軍基地のあり方の見直しは、それ自体は当然かつ重要な政策であるとしても、対等な関係づくりの全容ではない。

The equal partnership, which is based on a wide gap in military strength between the two countries, should consist of three factors.
 日米の軍事力の歴然とした落差を前提とした「対等な関係」は、三つの要素から成る。

Firstly, Japan should strengthen its cooperation with the United States in tackling global challenges, such as climate change and other environmental problems as well as countermeasures against poverty and infectious diseases. Japan's technology will be helpful in these fields. Japan's proactive contributions to international efforts to ensure peace, including nuclear disarmament and arms control, will also be of great significance. Japan's influence on the United States, which is a military superpower, will be tested in these fields.
 第一は、気候変動をはじめとする環境問題や貧困・感染症対策など地球規模の課題での日米協力強化である。日本の技術力は大きな武器となる。また、核廃絶や軍備管理など国際的な平和問題の取り組みに対する日本の積極的貢献も重要となる。軍事大国・米国に対する日本の影響力が問われるテーマである。

Secondly, the DPJ should clarify the role Japan should play and the direction of the Japan-U.S. cooperation in building a new order in East Asia. Policy toward China and North Korea will be the pillar of these efforts. Japan's proactive stance will be a key to its success.
 第二は、東アジアの新たな秩序構築に向けた日本の役割と、この分野での日米連携強化の方向を明確にすることだ。対中国、対北朝鮮政策が軸になる。日本の能動的姿勢がカギを握る。

Thirdly, the largest opposition party should clarify its policy on Japan's peace-making efforts, such as active participation in United Nations' peace missions, which may call for use of the Self-Defense Forces, as well as Japan-U.S. cooperation in defending Japan. The pros and cons of strengthening nuclear deterrence based on the nuclear umbrella and exercising the right to collective self-defense will be the key points of contention.
 そして第三は、自衛隊の活用を含めた国連活動への積極的参加など平和構築の取り組みと、日本の防衛に関する日米協力である。「核の傘」を軸とする「拡大抑止」の是非や集団的自衛権行使が重要な論点となる。

It is impossible to discuss an "equal partnership" solely from a military viewpoint. However, it is true that Japan-U.S. relations could not be defined without the third point.
 軍事面だけで「対等」の中身を語ることはできないが、第三の要素を抜きにして日米関係を説明できないのも事実だ。

It is becoming increasingly realistic that a DPJ-led administration will be formed following the House of Representatives election. DPJ leader Yukio Hatoyama is urged to show his clear vision on Japan-U.S. relations.
 民主党中心政権が現実味を増している衆院選である。鳩山由紀夫代表には対米関係の体系的ビジョンを示してもらいたい。

毎日新聞 2009年8月23日 東京朝刊

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雇用対策 若者の就労支援が緊急課題だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 25, 2009)
Helping youth find jobs is an urgent task
雇用対策 若者の就労支援が緊急課題だ(8月25日付・読売社説)

The upcoming House of Representatives election will be held amid growing concern over employment. Though individual parties have proposed measures to tackle the employment crisis, none offers a quick fix.
 雇用不安が高まる中での選挙戦である。各党は危機に対応した雇用対策を掲げるが、即効薬があるわけではない。

Voters should carefully consider what effect particular policies will have on their workplace.
 個々の対策について、労働現場に及ぼす影響などを慎重に見極める必要がある。

The government and the ruling parties have taken emergency countermeasures for employment-related problems in the fiscal 2009 supplementary budget and through other means. The Liberal Democratic Party is quite right to tout these policies in its manifesto for the lower house election. They include drastic expansion of job-training programs and an emergency employment project under which local governments would create jobs with grants from the central government.
 政府・与党は2009年度の補正予算などで緊急対策を講じてきた。自民党が、これらを公約の前面に掲げたのは当然である。職業訓練の大幅な拡充や、国からの交付金で地方が雇用を創出する緊急雇用創出事業などだ。

The nation's unemployment rate stands at 5.4 percent. There is growing speculation that it is only a matter of time before the rate tops the current post-World War II record high of 5.5 percent. Will it be possible to put the brakes on this worsening trend? The effectiveness of the job-creation measures will be tested against such circumstances.
 完全失業率は5・4%まで上昇した。今後、過去最悪の5・5%を超えるのは必至との見方も強まっている。悪化傾向に歯止めをかけることができるか。対策の効果が試される局面でもある。

===

DPJ wooly on dispatch issue

Three opposition parties--the Democratic Party of Japan, the Social Democratic Party and the People's New Party--have pledged to strengthen measures to boost employment in a common policy pledge. The measures include setting up a system to help those seeking jobs and banning, in principle, the dispatch of temporary workers in the manufacturing sector and to daily-paid jobs.
 民主・社民・国民新の野党3党は、共通の公約に「雇用対策の強化」を盛り込んだ。求職者支援制度の創設、製造業派遣や日雇い派遣の原則禁止、などだ。

The system to assist job-seekers is meant to provide financial assistance to nonregular workers and others who are not covered by unemployment insurance while they are participating in job-training programs. The government and ruling parties have already introduced a similar system in the supplementary budget for fiscal 2009.
 求職者支援制度は、雇用保険の適用を受けない非正規労働者などを対象に、職業訓練期間中の生活を支援する制度だが、政府・与党も、すでに09年度の補正予算で同様の制度を設けている。

While the system established by the government and the ruling parties is a temporary measure that will expire in three years, the opposition parties propose a permanent system. However, the government and the ruling bloc plan to examine the advisability of extending the system after studying its effects and the employment situation. In this regard, there is no major difference between the two systems.
 政府・与党の制度は3年の臨時措置、野党案は永続的な制度、と違いはあるが、政府・与党も効果や雇用情勢を踏まえて存続の是非を検討する方針だ。与野党間に大差があるわけではない。

As for the dispatch of temp workers in the manufacturing sector, the DPJ proposes to set up a system for jobs requiring specialized skills and knowledge, and allow those engaged in jobs that fall into this category to be employed as dispatch workers. But the party has failed to spell out the details of the system it envisages.
 製造業派遣について、民主党は新たに専門職制度を設け、その部分については認める方針だ。しかし、専門職制度とは何なのか、具体的な説明がない。

Moreover, what will happen to the nearly 500,000 people who are currently dispatched as temp staff in the manufacturing industry? We suspect they will end up shifting to other unstable positions, such as subcontractor jobs, in which people are hired by one company to work at another firm. It will be impossible for us to judge how effective the proposed system will be unless the party provides a clear picture of how it plans to secure employment in the manufacturing sector.
 製造業派遣で働く50万人近い人の雇用はどうなるのか。請負など別の不安定雇用に移るだけではないのか。原則禁止後の製造現場の雇用の姿を示してくれないと、判断のしようがない。

===

Future in hands of young

The LDP also takes the position of banning the dispatch of workers to daily-paid jobs, in principle. However, there is a demand for short-term jobs from both employees and workers. We believe what needs to be done first is to set up a simple, smooth system for introducing work to job seekers, instead of relying on temporary staffing service firms.
 日雇い派遣は自民党も原則禁止の立場だが、短期間の仕事の需要は求人求職の双方にある。派遣に代わる簡便で円滑な職業紹介の仕組みを設けることが先決だ。

The government must also make efforts to widen a system to hire dispatch workers as regular employees in cooperation with the business sector. At the same time, it needs to take into account the danger that simply regulating a flexible working style may leave people out of a job.
 産業界とも協力し、派遣労働者を正社員に転換させる制度を拡充していくべきだ。同時に、柔軟な働き方を規制するだけでは、かえって雇用の場が失われる危険性も考慮しなければならない。

As society is steadily graying while the birthrate is declining, the number of unemployed and nonregular workers is increasing among young people, who are expected to play central roles in society in the future.
 少子高齢化が進む中で、将来を担う若者の間で失業者や非正規労働者が増えている。

How can we nurture young people who are motivated to work and support them? This is an urgent problem for us to tackle, regardless of which party or parties takes the reins of government.
働く意欲のある若者を社会全体でどう育て、支えていくか。政権の行方にかかわらず、緊急の課題である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 25, 2009)
(2009年8月25日01時26分  読売新聞)

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2009年8月24日 (月)

09総選挙・終盤へ―民主党へと風は吹くが

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 22(IHT/Asahi: August 24,2009)
EDITORIAL: Election polls point to a DPJ landslide
09総選挙・終盤へ―民主党へと風は吹くが

The findings of a recent Asahi Shimbun survey about the Aug. 30 Lower House election were stunning, although there is still much uncertainty about how things will turn out.
 審判が下るのは30日。まだまだ流動的な要素は多いにしても、衝撃的な数字である。

The poll indicated that the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan was on track to win more than 300 of the chamber's 480 seats in the early stage of the race, while the ruling Liberal Democratic Party is likely to see their strength reduced drastically to less than 150.
朝日新聞の調査で、民主党が300議席台をうかがう一方、自民党は150議席に届かないという総選挙序盤の情勢がわかった。

The Yomiuri Shimbun and the Nikkei reported similar poll results.
 読売新聞と日本経済新聞も同様の調査結果を報じた。

There is apparently a groundswell of public opinion favoring a change of government that is as huge as the one that gave nearly 300 seats to the LDP in the 2005 Lower House election, which centered on the issue of postal privatization.
自民党に300近い議席をもたらした05年の郵政総選挙に匹敵する民意のうねりが、今度は政権交代へと向かっているようだ。

The voting public is also showing strong interest in the upcoming election. The Asahi survey found 54 percent of the respondents taking a great interest in the election, the same as the figure four years ago.
 選挙への関心も高まっている。本紙の世論調査では、今回の総選挙に「大いに関心がある」という人は4年前と同じ54%に達した。

But the seemingly clear picture of fervent popular support for the DPJ is actually not as simple as it looks.
 だが、民主党の背中を強力に押しているかに見える民意の風も、そう単純ではない。

Only 24 percent of those polled anticipated that a power transfer would move Japanese politics in a good direction, compared with 56 percent who expected no change.
政権交代で日本の政治はどうなるか。「よい方向に向かう」と思う人は24%に過ぎず、「変わらない」と思う人の56%を大きく下回った。

The public is apprehensive about the possibility of the DPJ coming to power. Still, people are inclined to vote for the opposition party because of the great distrust they have in the LDP.
 民主党には「不安」がある。それでも自民党への「不信」があまりに大きすぎるから、今回は民主党へ――。

In other words, many voters are not putting unconditional hope in the DPJ's ascent to power.
つまり有権者の多くは、手放しで政権交代に期待しているわけではないということだろう。

What the DPJ should take seriously is the fact that large numbers of voters are taking a dim view of the party's key policy proposals.
 民主党が深刻に受け止めるべきは、看板政策に対する有権者の冷ややかな目だ。

In the survey, 55 percent of the respondents said they did not back the DPJ's proposal to create a new child support program. The party's promise to scrap tolls for highways was even more unpopular, with 67 percent cool to the proposal.
子ども手当は55%、高速道路の無料化は67%が「評価しない」と答えた。

An overwhelming 83 percent expressed concern about whether the party would be able to raise the funds needed to finance these and other election pledges.
これらの公約の財源を民主党が本当に賄えるのか。「不安を感じる」という人は83%にも達した。

The LDP's campaign platform received no higher marks from the public.
 政策への低い評価は自民党も同じだ。

A significant 66 percent said they didn't back the ruling party's promise to increase household take-home income by 1 million yen in 10 years. Concern about the financing of the LDP's policy proposals was voiced by 83 percent of the pollees, the same number as that for the DPJ.
10年で家庭の手取りを100万円増やすという公約を「評価しない」人は66%。自民党の政策の財源に不安を感じる人は民主党の場合と同じ83%。

Both parties clearly need to explain how they intend to pay for their programs. Otherwise, voters will find it hard to embrace their election promises, no matter how good they sound.
 財源などを説得力ある形で示す。そうでなければ、どんなに耳に心地よい政策を並べられても軽々に信用できない。

Six years since the manifesto-based approach to election campaigns was introduced into national elections, Japanese voters now scrutinize the parties' policy platforms far more rigorously than before.
マニフェストが国政選挙に導入されてから6年、政策を吟味する有権者の目は格段に厳しくなっている。

It is distressing to see Prime Minister Taro Aso and other LDP heavyweights focusing more on criticizing the DPJ with increasingly tough rhetoric than on selling their policy messages.
 情けないのは、麻生首相をはじめ自民党の幹部たちが、自らの政策を訴えるのもそこそこに、民主党批判のボルテージばかりを上げていることだ。

Despite being given an overwhelming majority in the Lower House four years ago, the LDP has ended up leaving the nation in the current political impasse. The party should tell the public how it thinks this situation has come about and what it will do to change it.
 4年前、あれだけの巨大議席を与えられながら、結果はこの閉塞(へいそく)状況だ。なぜこうなったのか。だからこう変える。

The LDP is acting in a way that doesn't befit a ruling party by devoting itself to attacking the opposition party without offering clear explanations about these questions.
それを堂々と説明しないまま、野党批判に血道をあげることが、政権党にふさわしい態度とは思えない。

It is notable how many people are willingly taking party manifestoes from campaigners at street speeches and on other occasions.
 今回の選挙では、各党の街頭演説などでマニフェストを積極的に受け取る有権者の姿がことのほか目立つ。

But many voters read these manifestoes while asking whether the policies described in them are plausible and whether the parties really have the ability and determination to push through these proposals. They are trying to figure out how much faith they can place in the parties, whatever their manifestoes may say.
 それが実現可能な政策なのか。その党に本気でやり切る能力と覚悟があるか。多くの有権者が目を凝らしているのは、マニフェストの文言を超えた、政党としての基本的な信頼度だ。

Just a week is left until election day. We hope the stretch run will produce some meaningful policy debate that is more reassuring to voters longing to see change in politics.
 投票まであと8日。政治に変化を求める有権者の切なる思いに応える。そんな終盤戦の政策論議に期待したい。

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名古屋城:「木造に建て直す」河村市長

(Mainichi Japan) August 23, 2009
Donjon at Nagoya Castle to be restored to its original wooden form
名古屋城:「木造に建て直す」河村市長

NAGOYA -- Nagoya Mayor Takashi Kawamura has announced that the city government will move ahead with restoring Nagoya Castle's donjon to its original form.
Kawamura told reporters during a regular news conference on Aug. 10 that the municipal government will officially start discussions on restoring the current donjon at the city's symbolic Nagoya Castle -- currently constructed of concrete -- to its original wooden structure.
 名古屋市の河村たかし市長は10日の定例記者会見で、名古屋城天守閣を現在のコンクリート製から木造に建て直すことを本格的に検討すると発表した。

"Many citizens have claimed that Nagoya has nothing to be proud of, and this makes me very sad," Kawamura said. "We would like to build a wooden castle as something Nagoya's citizens can be proud of today, and for the next 1,000 years."
 河村市長は「多くの市民から、名古屋には自慢するものがないと言われ、非常にさびしい思いをしている。市民の精神的基柱をつくり、1000年先でも自慢できるものを残す」と述べた。

The city will launch a project team on Monday, aiming to include research expenses in the fiscal 2010 budget draft, the mayor said.
計画を考えるプロジェクトチームを24日に発足させ、2010年度予算案に調査費を盛り込む考え。

The original castle buildings, including the donjon and Honmaru Palace, were burnt down during an air raid in 1945. However, detailed blueprints and photographs of the castle survived the war, and the current concrete donjon was reconstructed in 1959 using such documents.
 名古屋城は1945年の空襲で天守閣や本丸御殿などが焼失したが、これらの詳細な図面や写真は戦災を免れた。天守閣は59年に再建された。

"We must carry out thorough research on relevant laws and ordinances, such as the Fire Service Law and the Building Standards Law. It is also essential to determine whether the stone walls are strong enough to support the wooden donjon," said the city's office for castle development.
 市名古屋城整備室は「消防法や建築基準法に適合するかや、現在の石垣の強度が十分か調査しないといけない」と説明している。

 ◇本丸御殿事業は継続へ
Kawamura also announced that the city will continue with the reconstruction of Honmaru Palace, even though he had pledged to review the project during his mayoral election campaign. The restoration is scheduled to be completed by 2017.
 また、再検討を表明していた本丸御殿再建事業は継続する方針を明らかにした。
 事業は2017年完了を目指して進められている。

"I noticed that everyone in the open debate held on June. 14 shared a common feeling that Nagoya needs something that its citizens can be proud of," said Kawamura.
(河村市長は市長選で事業見直しを訴えていた。)
会見では「(6月14日の)公開討論会では、誇りになるものがほしい、という気持ちは参加者みんなが持っていた」として事業を継続する意向を表明した。

However, in response to the criticism of the large costs for the palace project, Kawamura said that they will scrutinize the plan in an attempt to cut back expenses.
 ただ、事業規模については「いくら何でも高過ぎるという声があるのも事実だ」として、削減できないか引き続き精査する考えを示した。【丸山進、岡崎大輔】

毎日新聞 2009年8月10日 11時54分(最終更新 8月10日 14時19分)

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成長戦略 本格回復の展望が見えない

Both LDP, DPJ's recipes for growth lack punch
The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 24, 2009)
成長戦略 本格回復の展望が見えない(8月24日付・読売社説)

Although the nation's economy has come out of its worst period, no clear direction for a full-scale recovery can be seen.
 日本経済は最悪期を脱したが、本格回復への道筋は見えない。

Amid such circumstances, attention in the House of Representatives election campaign is focused on political parties' strategies for achieving a steady economic recovery and stable growth.
 こうした中、衆院選では、着実な景気回復と安定成長に向けた各党の戦略が注目されている。

High economic growth can no longer be expected for the Japanese economy, which is mature. However, economic growth is indispensable for supporting a society in which the majority of people can maintain modestly satisfactory living standards and live without significant anxiety for their future.
 成熟した日本経済には、もはや高度成長は望めまい。だが、多くの国民がそこそこ満足できる生活水準を維持し、将来に大きな不安を感じず暮らせる社会を支えるには、経済成長が欠かせない。

Firstly, the economy needs to be righted again in a steady manner.
 まず、当面の景気を着実に回復させる必要がある。

Secondly, the framework of the nation's economy, which is highly dependent on exports, must be reformed to balance domestic and foreign demand. Structural changes in the economy, including shrinking domestic demand due to a declining population and aging society, and the aggravating factor of international competition resulting from the rise of emerging economies, also need to be dealt with.
 次に、輸出依存が強い経済構造を改め、内需と外需のバランスをとらねばならない。人口減少や高齢化による内需縮小、新興国の台頭による国際競争の激化など、経済の構造変化への対応も求められる。

===

LDP policies already on menu

The Liberal Democratic Party has pledged a numerical goal for the economic growth rate and a deadline for achieving it in the party's election campaign platform, promising to achieve 2 percent year-on-year economic growth in the second half of fiscal 2010. The party also said it will create domestic demand worth 40 trillion yen to 60 trillion yen and secure about 2 million jobs over the next three years.
 自民党は、「2010年度後半には年率2%の経済成長を実現する」などと、成長率の目標と時期を公約した。今後3年で40~60兆円の需要を生み出し、約200万人の雇用を確保するという。

Credit should be given to the LDP as the party has vowed to achieve specific goals. Its stated policies of fostering vitality in the private sector through providing support for research in environmental industries and other growth areas while continuing to implement economic stimulus measures also are laudable.
 具体的な目標達成を約束したことは、評価できる。景気対策を続けながら、環境をはじめ成長分野の研究支援などで民間活力を高める手法も妥当だろう。

But specific measures drawn by the LDP are less persuasive, as existing policies are listed in the manifesto, such as expansion of solar power generation and boosting sales of energy-saving home electrical appliances through utilizing the eco point system. They alone do not seem capable of realizing the goals the LDP has set.
 だが、具体策は迫力不足だ。太陽光発電の拡大やエコポイントによる省エネ家電の普及など、既にある政策が並び、目標が実現しそうな手応えが感じられない。

===

DPJ not saying who'll pay bill

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party of Japan has not set target figures for economic growth and other issues. The rate of economic growth will affect how major tasks, such as fiscal reconstruction and social security system reform, are approached. If the DPJ claims it is capable of taking the reins of government, it should spell out goals.
 一方の民主党は、成長率などで具体的な目標を掲げなかった。経済成長の状況は、財政再建や社会保障改革など主要課題の取り組みにも影響する。政権を担うというのなら、明示するべきだ。

The DPJ's strategies for economic growth mainly consist of measures to directly provide benefits to boost household budgets, such as child-rearing allowances, making public high school education free of charge and scrapping highway tolls. The DPJ's manifesto says its strategies will boost consumption and transform the nation's economy into one led by domestic demand.
 民主党の成長戦略は、子ども手当や高校無償化、高速道路の無料化などで家計が使えるお金を増やす「直接給付型」の支援中心だ。消費を拡大し、日本経済を内需主導に転換するとしている。

While households receiving benefits will increase their consumption, domestic demand will cool off if public works projects are slashed. Reviewing already-formulated budgets also has downsides. In the first place, consumption will not become self-sustaining merely by dint of the government handing out cash to support household budgets.
 給付を受けた世帯は消費を増やすとしても、他方で公共事業が削減されれば内需を冷やす。予算の組み替えにはマイナス面もある。そもそも、家計への予算ばらまきで消費を増やし続けられまい。

To expand consumption steadily, it would make more sense to enhance trust in the social security system, thus shifting the excessive amount of savings, which households hoard because of fears about the future, into use for consumption.
 安定した消費拡大には、社会保障制度の信頼性を高め、家計が将来不安で抱えた「過剰貯蓄」が、消費に回るようにすればいい。

Holding off on raising the consumption tax rate for the next four years, which the DPJ has pledged in its campaign platform, will not secure stable financial resources that are vital for strengthening the social security system. A mood of anxiety will spread, dampening consumption.
 民主党が公約する「消費税率4年凍結」では、社会保障の強化に必要な安定財源の確保が見通せない。不安が一段と強まり、消費拡大には逆効果となろう。

We hope that DPJ lawmakers will engage in fundamental discussions on strategies for economic growth with an eye toward the future.
 将来を見据えた、骨太の成長戦略を論議してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 24, 2009)
(2009年8月24日01時26分  読売新聞)

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2009年8月23日 (日)

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日米同盟 責任分かち信頼を強化せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 23, 2009)
Proactive security stance key to Japan-U.S. alliance
日米同盟 責任分かち信頼を強化せよ(8月23日付・読売社説)

Given that North Korea's nuclear and missile threat has manifested itself, it is necessary to strengthen the Japan-U.S. security alliance to enhance the effectiveness of both bilateral defense cooperation and the combined deterrent force.
 北朝鮮の核とミサイルの脅威が顕在化した今、日米同盟を強化し、防衛協力の実効性と抑止力を高める必要がある。

The alliance is important, not only in dealing with issues surrounding North Korea but also other concerns.
 同盟の重要性は、北朝鮮問題だけにあるのではない。

The establishment of a stronger Japan-U.S. alliance would serve this nation's interests in responding to the worldwide recession, global warming and energy issues. It also would benefit Japan with regards to the nuclear disarmament efforts proposed by U.S. President Barack Obama and Japan's mid- to long-term relations with China, a country that has been moving further toward major power status.
 世界不況や地球温暖化、エネルギー問題への対応、オバマ大統領の提唱する核軍縮、さらに大国化する中国との中長期的関係を展望するうえでも、強固な日米関係の構築が日本の国益にかなう。

Both the Liberal Democratic Party and Democratic Party of Japan manifestos for the Aug. 30 House of Representatives election name the Japan-U.S. alliance as the main axis of Japan's diplomacy. Despite this, the parties' policies relating to the alliance differ greatly.
 自民、民主両党は衆院選の政権公約で、ともに日米同盟を日本外交の基軸と位置づけている。だが、その中身は大きく異なる。

As part of its proposed measures to solidify the alliance, the LDP has decided to adopt a policy of partially allowing the exercise of the right to collective self-defense, a longstanding issue, so that Japan could intercept ballistic missiles heading toward the United States and protect U.S. military vessels from armed attacks. It is a welcome move.
 自民党は、同盟強化の具体策として、米国に向かう弾道ミサイルの迎撃や米軍艦船の防護を行うため、長年の懸案である集団的自衛権の行使を一部容認する方針に踏み込んだ。歓迎したい。

===

Review the Constitution

Japan currently does not have the capability to shoot down missiles heading toward the United States, so gaining that ability is an issue to be discussed in the future. Sticking to the nation's stance of prohibiting missile interception in accordance with the Constitution could shake the Japan-U.S. alliance.
 日本は現在、米国向けミサイルの迎撃能力を持たないため、実際には将来の課題だが、憲法上できないという姿勢に固執していては同盟関係が揺らぎかねない。

In this regard, it is important for the ruling and opposition parties to work on reviewing the government's interpretation of the Constitution on the matter and establishing a basic law governing Japan's national security in a suprapartisan fashion.
 政府の憲法解釈の見直しや安全保障基本法の制定に、与野党が超党派で取り組むことが大切だ。

A more solid Japan-U.S. alliance cannot be realized through passive diplomacy under which Japan simply abides by U.S. demands and requests. It is important that Japan adopts a proactive diplomatic stance under which it actively considers how to solve problems, puts forward proposals and plays a role that is in keeping with its strength as a nation.
 日米同盟の強化は、単に米国の要求・要望に従うという受動的外交では実現しない。日本が問題解決の手段を積極的に考え、提案したうえ、国力に応じた役割を果たす能動的外交が重要となる。

===

DPJ behaving irresponsibly

The DPJ's manifesto stresses its slogan of building "a close and equal Japan-U.S. alliance" and stipulates "Japan will fulfill its responsibilities by sharing roles with the United States."
 民主党は公約で、「緊密で対等な日米同盟関係」を標榜(ひょうぼう)し、「米国と役割を分担しながら日本の責任を果たす」と明記した。

However, what does an "equal" relationship really mean and what kind of roles and responsibilities does the DPJ plan to take on? The DPJ's manifesto fails to address these critical points. The party is acting very irresponsibly if it plans to consider such points only after taking the reins of government.
 だが、「対等」とは、どんな関係で、いかなる役割と責任を果たすのか。最も肝心な部分への言及がない。政権交代後に考えるというのでは、あまりに無責任だ。

There is no country in the world that maintains an equal footing with the United States in terms of military strength. U.S. allies are striving to play their respective roles to the extent they can in the international security arena.
 軍事的に米国と対等な国は存在しない。米国の同盟国は、それぞれが可能な範囲で国際安全保障上の役割を懸命に担っている。

In Afghanistan, more than 40 countries are currently engaged in the fight against terrorism, so far enduring the sacrifice of more than 1,300 lives. The DPJ's policy, which will end even the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling mission in the far safer Indian Ocean, will never make an "equal alliance" viable.
 アフガニスタンでは、四十数か国が計1300人超の犠牲に耐え、「テロとの戦い」に従事している。はるかに安全なインド洋での海上自衛隊の給油活動さえ終了させるという民主党の方針では、「対等な同盟」は成り立つまい。

The DPJ also says the planned relocation within Okinawa Prefecture of the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station in Ginowan in the prefecture, which has been agreed between Japan and the United States, should be reviewed and instead the facilities should be relocated outside the prefecture or abroad. However, the Okinawa prefectural government has approved the relocation of the facilities within the prefecture and only requested minor changes in the relocation site.
 民主党は、日米間で合意した米海兵隊普天間飛行場の沖縄県内移設を県外・国外移設に見直すよう主張する。だが、沖縄県は、県内移設自体は容認し、移設場所の微修正を求めているにすぎない。

Reviewing the relocation of the Futenma Air Station is tantamount to scrapping bilateral negotiations and agreements achieved over the past 13 years and would deeply harm the mutual trust built up by the two countries.
 移設見直しは、過去13年間の交渉・合意の白紙化を意味し、日米の信頼関係を深く傷つけよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 23, 2009)
(2009年8月23日01時15分  読売新聞)

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2009年8月22日 (土)

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憲法改正 「国づくり」の基本を論じよう

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 22, 2009)
Parties, candidates must debate top law reform
憲法改正 「国づくり」の基本を論じよう(8月22日付・読売社説)

There must be quite a few people who still feel somewhat unsure about the election pledges or manifestos prepared by political parties for the upcoming House of Representatives election. In what direction do the political parties want to lead this country?
 この国をどの方向へ導こうとしているのか。各党の政権公約をみても、いま一つ判然としない、と感じている人は少なくないだろう。

This election will be a chance for voters to select which party they think deserves to govern the country. Accordingly, voters need to listen to each party's vision for this country's society and what course the nation should take. We think each party should take part in a debate to make their respective positions clear on the Constitution, which can be regarded as the "shape of the nation."
 「政権選択」の選挙だといわれる。とするなら、目指すべき社会の姿や国家の進路について各党の見解を聞く必要がある。そのためには、「国のかたち」とも言うべき憲法の論戦が不可欠だ。

However, we have heard almost no debate on constitutional reform even though the election campaign is in its final stretch. We find this a worrying development.
 しかし、選挙戦も終盤なのに、憲法改正論議がほとんど聞こえてこない。どうしたことか。

===

Don't avoid discussion

The Liberal Democratic Party at least emphasizes in its manifesto that it will revise the nation's top law based on the party's draft of a new constitution.
 自民党は、政権公約でこそ、「自民党新憲法草案」に基づいて早期改正を実現する、と強調している。

However, the argument on instituting the party's constitution has been almost drowned out amid the chorus of calls by Prime Minister Taro Aso and other LDP candidates' attempts to win over voters by putting economic stimulus measures first.
 だが、その自主憲法制定論も、麻生首相をはじめとする「景気対策最優先」の訴えの前に、かき消されがちだ。

Democratic Party of Japan President Yukio Hatoyama is known to favor reforming the Constitution. However, the DPJ's election pledges only say that the main opposition party "will carefully and positively examine" the issue of revision. This gives no indication whatsoever about where the party stands on this issue. Such wording must leave voters scratching their heads.
 民主党の鳩山代表は、改憲論者として知られる。だが、民主党の政権公約は、憲法問題について、「慎重かつ積極的に検討」すると書いている。前向きなのか、後ろ向きなのか。これでは有権者は戸惑うだけだろう。

The Social Democratic Party only talks about "protecting the Constitution." We think it is quite regrettable if the DPJ has been ducking debate over revising the Constitution due to fears that such exchanges would only cause confusion in and hinder its joint campaign efforts and coalition negotiations with the SDP.
 社民党は、「護憲」一辺倒である。民主党が、社民党との選挙協力や連立協議の混乱、不調を恐れて憲法論議を忌避しているとすれば、極めて残念なことだ。

However, lower house members elected in the coming election will have to face the Constitution issue whether they like it or not.
 ただ、今回の選挙で当選する衆院議員は、憲法問題に、否応(いやおう)なく向き合うことになる。

The National Referendum Law that defines procedures for revising the Constitution will be enforced next May. This will legally enable the submission of a bill for revising the Constitution to the Diet.
 憲法改正手続きを定めた国民投票法が来年5月には施行されるからだ。法律上は、憲法改正原案の国会提出が可能になる。

===

All issues related to Constitution

Policy pledges trumpeted by political parties for the looming election--such as child-rearing allowances, scholarships and tuition exemptions, employment measures and the promotion of the decentralization of government functions to local authorities--are all inextricably connected with the top law.
 衆院選で各党が掲げている子育てや教育支援、雇用対策、地方分権などの公約も、憲法に深いかかわりをもっている。

After the election, the fuel supply mission of the Maritime Self-Defense Force in the Indian Ocean as part of antiterrorism operations will again become the subject of intense bickering between ruling and opposition parties. How to clarify the Self-Defense Forces' international peace cooperation activities in the Constitution will be one of the contentious issues in any possible revision of the top law.
 選挙後は、インド洋での海上自衛隊による給油活動の継続の是非が、再び与野党の争点になる。こうした自衛隊の国際平和協力活動を憲法にどう明文化するかは、憲法改正の一つの論点である。

Whether the government's interpretation that the Constitution prohibits Japan's exercise of the right to collective self-defense should be altered to help this nation better deal with the ballistic missile threat posed by North Korea will be another unavoidable political issue.
 北朝鮮の弾道ミサイルに対処するため、集団的自衛権行使を禁ずる政府解釈を変更するかどうかも、避けて通れぬ政治課題だ。

We think the lower house's Deliberative Council on the Constitution, which has for all intents and purposes been rendered dormant, should be reactivated during the Diet session after the election.
 選挙後の国会では、休眠状態にあった衆院憲法審査会を本格始動させなければならない。

According to a recent Yomiuri Shimbun survey of prospective candidates in the upcoming election, 98 percent of those in the LDP and 62 percent of those in the DPJ said that the current Constitution should be revised.
 読売新聞が先に実施した立候補予定者アンケートによれば、自民党では98%、民主党でも62%が、「今の憲法を改正する方がよい」と答えていた。

Each party, not to mention each candidate, should make debate on the Constitution a top item on its agenda--and make clear its views on this crucial issue.
 新しい「国づくり」に向けて、各党、候補者は、憲法について大いに論じ合うべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 22, 2009)
(2009年8月22日01時07分  読売新聞)

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2009年8月21日 (金)

アトレ・バンク ショッピング枠現金化サービス

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少子化対策 「手当」「無償化」で済むのか

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 21, 2009)
Parties must grapple with declining birthrate
少子化対策 「手当」「無償化」で済むのか(8月21日付・読売社説)

A report compiled by a government advisory panel on social security issues states, "The declining birthrate is the biggest challenge confronting Japan."
Meanwhile, a report released by a different government advisory panel studying strategies to realize a "secure" society notes, "The continuously declining birthrate is 'a quietly advancing emergency.'"
 「少子化は日本が直面する最大の課題」
 「少子化の進展は“静かな有事”である」
 前者は政府の社会保障国民会議、後者は同じく安心社会実現会議の報告書の一文だ。

The ruling parties and, by the same token, the opposition parties would be foolish to challenge these views.
与党はもちろん、野党もこの認識に異論はあるまい。

The nation's total fertility rate--the estimated number of children a woman will bear in her lifetime--has improved slightly to 1.37. However, this is still a very low figure, and the number of children in the country continues to decrease each year.
 合計特殊出生率は1・37とわずかに上向いたものの、低迷を続けている。子どもの数は年々減少する一方だ。

===

Financial incentives

It was inevitable that the political parties would put expanded support measures for child-rearing families at the heart of their policy pledges for the upcoming House of Representatives election.
衆院選で、各党が子育て支援の充実を公約の中核に据えたことは当然だろう。

In particular, the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan has proposed the creation of a child allowance scheme that would provide 26,000 yen per month for each child up to middle school age.
 特に民主党は、中学生以下の子ども1人当たり月2万6000円を支給する「子ども手当」の創設を掲げた。

We applaud the party for proposing such a bold plan.
大胆に経済支援を打ち出したこと自体は評価できる。

However, it is crucially important to find fiscal resources to fund this idea.
 それには財源の裏付けが不可欠だ。

Under the envisaged plan, the child allowance would be provided across-the-board, regardless of family income levels, and could end up totaling about 5.3 trillion yen.
子ども手当は、所得に制限を設けず一律支給するため、5兆3000億円が必要になる。

The DPJ intends to raise part of the funds through such measures as scrapping tax deductions for spouses. However, this would still leave a shortfall of about 3 trillion yen, which the party insists could be covered by reviewing the state budget, among other measures.
 民主党は、配偶者控除を廃止するなどして財源の一部をまかなう方針だが、それでも約3兆円足りない。この分は予算の見直しなどで捻(ねん)出(しゅつ)する、という。

With the abolition of the spouse deduction, tax burdens would be heavier for some households, such as those without children or those that contain women who already have raised children. Conversely, households with children--even high-income homes--would be entitled to the child allowance.
 また、配偶者控除を廃止することで、子どもがいないか、子育てを終えた専業主婦のいる家庭などでは負担増になる場合がある。一方で、子どもがいれば、所得の高い世帯にも手当は支給される。

The DPJ argues that child-rearing should be supported by society as a whole and that the financial burden should be shared. A considerable number of people, however, have voiced objections to the proposed measures.
 民主党は、子育ては社会全体で応援し負担を分担しよう、と訴えているが、こうした措置には異論も少なくない。

In an apparent bid to counter the DPJ's proposals, the Liberal Democratic Party and its ruling coalition partner, New Komeito, have posited that preschool education be free.
 自民党と公明党は、子ども手当に対抗するように「幼児教育の無償化」を打ち出した。

The parties have yet to work out the details of the plan, such as whether unauthorized day care centers should fall within the remit of the scheme. Even if only kindergartens and authorized day care centers were covered, it would still cost about 800 billion yen. As the consumption tax rate is unlikely to be raised anytime soon, no permanent revenue source has been identified to fund this plan.
 無認可の保育所まで対象にするのかなど、具体的な検討はこれからだが、幼稚園と認可保育所に絞っても約8000億円が必要になる。これも、消費税の引き上げが実現するまで恒久財源のめどはたっていない。

===

Additional measures

The child allowance scheme and the provision of free preschool education--moves apparently aimed at wooing voters--should not be relied upon too heavily as the main measures for coping with the declining birthrate.
 「手当」と「無償化」という、選挙での受けを狙った政策が突出することは、少子化対策として好ましいことではない。

In addition to the financial support for households, improved administrative services, such as more day care centers, also should be considered as priorities for child-raising families.
 子育て家庭には、経済支援とともに、保育所の増設など行政サービスの充実も重要だ。

Regardless of which party takes up the reins of government following the general election, the new administration will have to focus on fulfilling the vote-garnering financial support measures pledged during the election battle. We think the ruling and opposition parties should first and foremost strive during the election campaign to offer grander visions for tackling the declining birthrate.
 ところが、このままではどの党が政権についても、選挙でアピール合戦をした経済支援に集中せざるを得なくなるだろう。与野党は少子化対策の全体像を示すことによって競い合うべきだ。

Voters, for their part, must carefully consider which party has the clearest concept for expanding the support measures, and sourcing and allocating the necessary financial resources.
 有権者は、ビジョンを持って施策を拡充しようとしている政党はどこか、財源の裏付けとともに見極める必要があろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 21, 2009)
(2009年8月21日01時35分  読売新聞)

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2009年8月20日 (木)

アットマート ショッピング枠現金化サービス

今から20年以上くらい前にスラチャイも急なお金が必要になり何度か利用したことがありますが、当時は提携銀行のローンカードや丸井のクレジットカードを利用していました。
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■アットマートの特徴

お客様がお持ちのクレジットカードのショッピング枠をご利用して、
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その特典として購入金額に応じた金額をお客様の指定銀行口座に現金で払い戻しをするサービスです。

例えば10万円のキャッシュバック付きオリジナル商品購入すれば、即座に10万円の85%がお客様の銀行口座に振り込まれます。

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金大中氏死去 問われ続ける太陽政策の功罪

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 20, 2009)
'Sunshine policy' weighs on Kim Dae Jung legacy
金大中氏死去 問われ続ける太陽政策の功罪(8月20日付・読売社説)

Kim Dae Jung, who recently died at the age of 85, was the first South Korean president to pay a visit to North Korea, during which he held a historic summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, and afterward was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
 韓国大統領として初の北朝鮮訪問で金正日総書記と会談し、ノーベル平和賞を受賞した金大中氏が85歳で亡くなった。

South Korea's modern history cannot be told without mentioning Kim Dae Jung. Throughout his life, he was a constant presence in the midst of the nation's political turbulence.
 韓国の現代史は、金大中氏を抜きに語ることはできない。激動する政治の渦の中心に、その身をおいた生涯だった。

He became known the world over when he was abducted in Tokyo by South Korean intelligence agents and forcibly taken back to Seoul in 1973.
 36年前、東京で韓国情報機関要員に拉致され、ソウルに強制的に連れ戻された金大中事件で、世界にその名が知れ渡った。

He then endured persistent suppression by the then South Korean administration, including imprisonment and house arrest. In 1980, he was sentenced to death on treason charges.
 以来、当時の韓国政権から収監や自宅軟禁など執拗(しつよう)に弾圧を受け、1980年には、内乱陰謀罪で死刑を言い渡された。

Without ever giving in, he continued to lead the democratic movement. Kim's courage was the driving force in ending that nation's military rule. Nobody can deny that achievement.
 それに屈せず民主化運動の先頭に立ち続けた勇気が、軍事政権を終焉(しゅうえん)させる原動力となった。その功績はだれも否定できない。

After he was elected president, at his fourth attempt, he led the nation to overcome an unprecedented economic crisis through drastic structural reforms. He also saw the country achieve remarkable breakthroughs in the area of information technology.
 4回目の挑戦で大統領となると、未曽有の経済危機を大胆な構造改革で克服し、韓国を情報技術(IT)先進国に躍進させた。

On the other hand, despite major steps forward, he was unable to settle some important issues he set out to tackle.
 大きな一歩を踏み出しながら、期待通りにことを運べなかった重要な課題もある。

===

Triumphs and letdowns

In 1998, Kim, together with then Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, signed a Japan-South Korea joint declaration, expressing an intention to seek future-oriented development in bilateral relations by putting an end to past historic issues. Kim decided to lift restrictions on Japanese pop culture, which resulted in a dramatic increase in exchanges between Japan and South Korea.
 金大統領は98年、小渕首相と日韓共同宣言に署名し、過去の歴史問題に区切りをつけ未来志向の関係を発展させるとした。日本の大衆文化を解禁して、日韓の往来が急増する契機を作った。

But in the later years of his only term as president, the South Korean government requested Japan make further alterations to history textbooks used in middle schools, despite the fact that the books had already been screened once. This was apparently driven by strong nationalistic sentiments in South Korea. He thus failed to solve tensions over perceptions of history between the two countries.
 しかし任期後半、韓国のナショナリズムに押された形で、韓国政府は日本の中学歴史教科書の検定内容の修正を要求した。歴史認識をめぐる双方のわだかまりは解けないままに終わった。

In relations with North Korea, Kim's "sunshine policy" took a conciliatory approach, under which South Korea tried to persuade Kim Jong Il's regime to effect change through economic assistance. Such a shift in policy--from confrontation to coexistence--opened up new diplomatic avenues on the Korean Peninsula.
 北朝鮮との関係では、経済支援によって金正日体制の変化を促すという太陽政策を掲げた。「敵対」から「共存」への路線転換は、朝鮮半島情勢に新局面を開いた。

But given the current situation, which has seen North Korea step up its nuclear and missile programs significantly, Kim Dae Jung's legacy cannot avoid criticism that aid to North Korea only helped further its nuclear development.
 だが、北朝鮮が核とミサイルを格段に強化した現状を見れば、支援は北朝鮮の核開発につながっただけ、との批判は免れない。

===

Whither inter-Korea relations?

What changes will Kim Dae Jung's death bring to the situation on the Korean Peninsula? It likely will be a big blow to North Korea following the suicide of former South Korean President Roh Moon-hyun, who also was an advocate of the sunshine policy.
 金大中氏の死は、今後の朝鮮半島情勢にどんな動きをもたらすのか。太陽政策を支えた盧武鉉前大統領の自殺に次ぐ今回の死去は、北朝鮮に大きな痛手だろう。

Following Kim Jong Il's reported expression of sympathy over Kim Dae Jung's death, North Korea reportedly intends to send a delegation to the funeral. Taking this opportunity, the two nations may look for ways to resume bilateral talks.
 北朝鮮は、金総書記の弔電に続き、弔問団も派遣するという。これを機に、南北対話再開を模索する可能性がある。

South Korean President Lee Myung Bak has pressed North Korea over the abandonment of its nuclear development program. He also has called on North Korea to begin bilateral talks for reducing conventional weapons. Lee's initiative is aimed at patching up holes in the sunshine policy, under which South Korea failed to take measures to ease military tensions with North Korea, despite the call for peaceful coexistence with Pyongyang.
 韓国の李明博大統領は、核放棄の決断を促し、南北の通常戦力削減協議の開始を提案している。平和共存を唱えながら軍事的な緊張を緩和する措置を講じなかった太陽政策の欠陥を補うものだ。

If the sunshine policy is to be seen as a success, it will be when North Korea abandons its nuclear program and engages in dialogue with South Korea for establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula.
 太陽政策が肯定的に評価されるとすれば、それは、北朝鮮が核を放棄し、半島の平和定着に向けた南北対話に取り組む時だろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 20, 2009)
(2009年8月20日01時04分  読売新聞)

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2009年8月19日 (水)

社説:衆院選 きょう公示 日本の未来を語れ

(Mainichi Japan) August 18, 2009
Parties need to speak up on foreign diplomacy ahead of Lower House election
社説:衆院選 きょう公示 日本の未来を語れ

 歴史的な選挙戦のスタートである。先月21日の衆院解散からほぼ1カ月。「助走」の長い選挙戦は、実際には折り返し点を過ぎて終盤に差し掛かった感もある。

 「歴史的」なのは、言うまでもなく政権選択の選挙だからだ。外国では選挙による政権交代は何ら珍しくない。しかし、日本では1955年の保守合同以来、もっぱら自民党を中心とする政治が続いてきた。

 その長期支配こそが日本の安定的な経済成長に役立ったという見方がある一方で、政治や官僚機構の「金属疲労」はもはや限界との声もある。いずれにせよ、日本独特の戦後体制について有権者の歴史観が問われる選挙でもあるはずだ。

 ◇日本と米国の3K
While Japan faces a general election this month that could lead to a historic change in government, the party leaders' debate at the Japan National Press Club on Monday left a feeling of dissatisfaction.
 しかし、17日に日本記者クラブで開かれた党首討論会を聞いて釈然としないものが残った。

Issues that have a direct influence on people's lives such as social security, employment and child-rearing are worthy topics for debate, but they do not form the sole basis for selecting a government. It's important for the parties to show the public what kind of country they want to make Japan, including in the areas of foreign diplomacy and security.
社会保障や雇用、子育てなど、暮らしに直結する問題を重点的に論じるのは当然だが、政権選択の判断材料はそれだけではない。外交や安全保障も含めて「日本をこういう国にしたい」という将来展望を国民にきちんと示すことも大切だ。

Party manifestos for the House of Representatives election devote little space to foreign diplomacy and security, and discussion of these issues was similarly limited in the leaders' debate. It's probably true to say that while the election could be a major turning point for Japan, the future that lies around the corner remains unclear.
 そもそも各党のマニフェストが外交・安保に割いたスペースは少なく、党首討論会での議論も限られていた。大きな曲がり角の選挙なのに、曲がり角の先に将来の日本の姿が明確に見えてこないのが実情だろう。

Sam Jameson, 73, former Tokyo bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times, has lived in Japan since 1960. He says that Japanese today have lost the "hungry" spirit of the 60s, and he is frustrated over the fact Japan could be doing more -- evidenced by its low economic goals.
 米紙ロサンゼルス・タイムズの東京支局長を務めたサム・ジェームソンさん(73)は60年秋から半世紀近く日本に住んでいるが、今の日本人は60年代の「ハングリー精神」を失ったように見えるという。経済的な目標も低めに設定されているようで、日本はもっとやれるのに、というはがゆさを覚えるらしい。

The same goes for foreign diplomacy. He says that no matter whether Japan is dealing with the United States or the United Nations, it has had a tendency to avoid proposals in case they meet opposition. But Japan needs to press ahead with such proposals, he says: if it remains silent, not even its ally the United States will understand how it feels.
 外交も同様だ。「相手が米国でも国連でも、反対されそうだと日本は提案しない傾向がある。たとえ反対されても継続してやることです。黙っていたら、日本の気持ちは同盟国の米国だって分かりませんよ」

The year 2005, when the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) won a landslide victory in the House of Representatives election, was a time when Japan had aspired to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, but abandoned hope after the U.S. responded negatively to the idea.
 前回総選挙で自民が大勝した05年は、日本が国連安保理の常任理事国入りを切望しながら、よりによって米国の実質的な「ノー」で望みを絶たれた年でもあった。

While criticizing the U.S. attitude as betraying an ally, Jameson is troubled by the recent security debate in Japan. He says that if Japan has the ability to intercept a missile headed toward the United States but fails to do so, then it would lose the trust of Americans, and the Japan-U.S. alliance would in effect come to an end.
 ジェームソンさんはそんな米国の態度を「同盟国の裏切り行為」と批判する一方で、最近の日本の防衛論議を憂慮する。「米国へ向かうミサイルを迎撃する能力があるのに日本がそうしないなら、日本は米国人の信頼を失い、日米同盟は実質的に終わるでしょう」

He is also puzzled by Japan's stance of not wanting to get its hands dirty when dividing up defense roles, saying that it is involved in the clean, clever and cool tasks, while the U.S. takes on the dangerous, difficult and dirty. It is a claim often heard from Japanese rightists, but the worry from a journalist familiar with Japan shows through.
 さらに現行の防衛分担を「米国は『危険、きつい、汚い』の3K、日本は『きれい、賢い、カッコいい』の3K」と表現し、手を汚すまいとする日本の姿勢に首をかしげる。日本の右派からもよく聞く主張ではあるが、知日派ジャーナリストの日本への憂いが伝わってくる。

 ◇歴史的な節目に審判を
The tendency for Japanese politicians and bureaucrats to remain sensitive to the feelings of the United States has been pointed out long ago. But what is the actual situation regarding Japan's compliance with the United States? Rather than it being a case of the U.S. making Japan comply willy-nilly, it has been pointed out that Japan has simply fallen into a state of suspension of thought due to self-regulation, getting tangled in its own net.
 日本の政治家や官僚が米国の顔色をうかがう傾向は昔から指摘されてきた。だが、「対米追従」の実態とは何だろう。米国が有無を言わせず日本を従わせているのではなく、むしろ日本が自己規制や自縄自縛によって「思考停止」の状態に陥っているだけではないのかという指摘もある。

In this situation, a paradox emerges: Japan still wishes to follow the U.S., while the administration of President Barack Obama is attempting to solicit advice from its allies.
だとすれば、米国自身が同盟国の助言を求めている昨今、「対米追従」に最も迷惑するのはオバマ政権、という逆説も成り立とう。

It is important to bring such issues together.
 この辺の問題を整理するのは大切である。

No clear focus has emerged, but it can be said that doubts about following the United States -- including Japan's response to the Iraq war -- that have festered inwardly among Japanese have had a small impact on elections in Japan.
表立った争点にはなっていないが、イラク戦争への対応も含めて「対米追従」への疑問は日本人の胸にわだかまり、各種選挙にも微妙な影響を与えてきた。

In their manifestos, the LDP has stated that it would strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance, while the opposition Democratic Party of Japan has called for a "close and equal Japan-U.S. alliance," but unless the alliance is one that Japan and the U.S. can debate frankly, such descriptions will be nothing but empty, flowery phrases.
マニフェストで自民は「日米同盟の強化」を、民主は「緊密で対等な日米同盟」をうたっているが、日米が率直に議論する同盟関係でなければ空疎な美辞麗句に終わってしまう。

 とりわけ今は日本が発言すべき時である。北朝鮮の核・ミサイルの脅威に対して日本には「ダモクレスの剣」にも似た不安が広がる。北朝鮮を念頭に置く敵基地攻撃や核武装をめぐる論争が起きているのも、そうした不安の反映だろうが、かといって非現実的な核武装などを論じても問題解決にはつながるまい。

 核をめぐる恐怖は60年代初頭、キューバ危機に直面した米国が一番よく承知していよう。時のケネディ大統領はソ連と談判してキューバから核ミサイルを撤去させた。だが、21世紀の東アジアに、北朝鮮の核兵器を廃棄に導く指導者(たち)が果たして現れるだろうか。

 厳しい局面にこそ冷静な議論が必要だ。今回の選挙では、あくまで生活上の諸問題が主な争点だが、日本は国際社会でどう生きていくかという、戦後の大きな懸案が改めて問われている。この歴史的な節目に当たり有権者は各党のマニフェストや論戦を吟味し、30日には貴重な一票を投じるべきである。

毎日新聞 2009年8月18日 0時22分

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今から20年以上くらい前にスラチャイも急なお金が必要になり何度か利用したことがありますが、当時は提携銀行のローンカードや丸井のクレジットカードを利用していました。
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衆院選公示 政権構想と政策を吟味しよう

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 19, 2009)
Voters deserve a clear presentation of policies
衆院選公示 政権構想と政策を吟味しよう(8月19日付・読売社説)

Official campaigning for the House of Representatives election kicked off Tuesday. This is an extremely important contest, the outcome of which will steer the future course of the nation.
 日本の進路を左右する極めて重要な衆院選が18日、公示された。

We hope that each voter, political party and candidate will carry an awareness of the significance of this election and fulfill their respective responsibilities in it.
 各政党、候補者はもとより、有権者一人ひとりが、今回の総選挙の意義をしっかりと自覚し、それぞれの責任を果たしてもらいたい。

The nation faces a number of difficult and serious problems.
 日本は今、多くの困難かつ深刻な課題に直面している。

The world economy appears to be emerging from the business downturn that struck the globe at the same time, but has yet to reach full-fledged recovery. How to put the nation's economy on a recovery path while taking into consideration the worsening employment situation is a pressing problem.
 世界経済は、同時不況から脱しつつあるが、本格的な景気回復には至っていない。悪化が続く雇用情勢に目配りしつつ、いかに日本経済を回復軌道に乗せるのか。

 ◆経済をどう回復させる◆
With the declining birthrate combined with the aging of the population, the assumption of a social security system supported by a steadily growing economy no longer holds water. It is necessary to work on a new mechanism that addresses benefits and burdens and to reconstruct a sustainable system to realize it.
 少子高齢化が進む中、右肩上がりの経済成長が前提の社会保障制度は機能しない。新たな給付と負担のあり方を検討し、持続可能なシステムを再構築する必要がある。

The security environment surrounding the nation has grown more severe. North Korea is accelerating its nuclear and ballistic missile development and China is aiming to be a military superpower.
 日本を取り巻く安全保障環境はかつてなく厳しい。北朝鮮は核・弾道ミサイル開発を加速させ、中国の軍事大国化も進む。日本の平和と安全をどう確保するのか。

How can the nation's peace and security be ensured? Appropriate ways to solve these pressing issues should be a key point of contention in the election.
 衆院選で争われるべきは、これらの課題に対する適切な処方箋(せん)だろう。

===

Priorities of the 2 coalitions

Each political party and candidate needs to present fresh visions for the nation and the policies needed to realize them so that voters can have clear choices.
 各党と候補者は、日本の新たな国家像と、それを実現するための政策を語り、有権者に選択肢を示すべきだ。

Both the ruling and opposition parties are presenting their ideas of a government with the notion that they will be establishing ruling coalitions.
 与野党は、連立政権を前提に政権構想を提示している。

A good way to see which policies a future government would give priority to is to look at the common policies of the current ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito, and the common policies of three opposition parties--the Democratic Party of Japan, the Social Democratic Party and People's New Party.
政権選択の重要な手がかりは、自民、公明の連立与党の重点政策と、民主、社民、国民新の野党3党による共通政策だろう。

As their growth strategy, the ruling parties have pledged in their common campaign platform to create domestic demand worth 40 trillion yen to 60 trillion yen and secure 2 million jobs over the next three years. They specify that they will implement drastic tax reforms--including raising the consumption tax rate once the economy recovers--to ensure a stable financial resource for social security programs.
 与党は、経済成長戦略として「今後3年間で40~60兆円の需要を創出し、200万人の雇用を確保する」と強調した。社会保障の安定財源として、景気回復を前提に、消費税を含む税制の抜本改革を実行するとも明記している。

Though the pledge carries the responsible attitude of a ruling party toward tackling economic recovery and financial reconstruction in two stages, the presentation's concrete measures to realize these policies have not been made clear. The two parties need to provide a more understandable explanation of this to voters.
 景気回復と財政再建に2段階で取り組む方針を明示したのは、責任ある態度だが、実現に向けた具体的な道筋は不透明である。より明確な説明が求められよう。

The three opposition parties tout as their top policy priority the support of household budget concerns, such as directly providing child-rearing allowances and free high school education. They aim to increase disposable incomes and spur economic growth through domestic demand. They also say they would leave the current consumption tax rate unchanged until the next lower house election.
 野党3党は、子ども手当、高校無償化など直接給付型の家計支援を最重点施策に掲げた。国民の可処分所得を増やし、内需主導型の成長を目指す。消費税率は次期衆院選まで据え置くという。

===

Promises must be paid for

If the opposition parties were to implement these new policies, estimated to cost about 16.8 trillion yen a year, it would indeed bring about a certain expansion in domestic demand. But there is no denying that the ideas presented regarding domestic demand-led growth were made hastily, as evidenced by the common criticisms that the plans are "pork-barrel policies" and "lack future growth strategy."
 年16・8兆円にも上る新規施策を実施すれば、内需拡大に一定の効果は持つだろう。だが、内需主導型の成長戦略は、「ばらまき」「成長戦略がない」との批判を受けて急遽(きゅうきょ)示したもので、“後付け”との印象は否めない。

Since it was first presented, a fundamental question of whether the opposition parties can really secure this 16.8 trillion yen a year only through cuts in wasteful spending has not been cleared up.
 そもそも、16・8兆円もの財源を無駄遣いの排除などだけで本当に捻出(ねんしゅつ)できるのか、という根本的な疑問も解消されていない。

 ◆4年間の総括が重要◆
In the fields of foreign policy and national security, the ruling parties stipulated the continuation of the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean and antipiracy mission off Somalia.
 外交・安全保障分野で、与党は、海上自衛隊によるインド洋での給油活動やソマリア沖での海賊対処活動の継続を明記した。

Both missions are important activities for Japan to assume its role in the international community's fight against terrorism, and to reinforce its alliance with the United States.
 いずれも、国際社会の「テロとの戦い」の一翼を担い、日米同盟を強化する上で重要な活動だ。

On the other hand, the three opposition parties have made no reference to foreign and national security policy issues in their common policy.
 一方、野党3党の共通政策は外交・安保政策に言及していない。

This is primarily because of the large difference in the positions taken by the three parties, with, for instance, the SDP opposed to the dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces abroad. Yet this is merely an attempt at postponing the solving of thorny issues until after the election.
社民党が自衛隊の海外派遣に反対するなど、各党の立場に大きな隔たりがあるためだが、難題を衆院選後に先送りしたにすぎない。

Should the three parties form a coalition government, while leaving their stances on such a fundamental issue murky, will they be able to pursue a responsible foreign policy and protect the national interest?
 国家の基本にかかわる問題をあいまいにしたまま、連立政権を組んだ場合、責任ある外交を展開し、日本の国益を守れるのか。

It is important for parties to deepen their discussion on foreign affairs and national security through the election campaign.
 選挙戦を通じて、外交・安保政策論議を深めることが大切だ。

===

View of the past

Another vital point is how to sum up the track record of the ruling coalition government of the LDP and New Komeito since the previous lower election four years ago.
 前回衆院選以来4年間の自公連立政権を、どう総括するかも重要な視点だ。

The ruling parties suffered a crushing defeat in the House of Councillors election in 2007. Ever since, the Diet has been divided with the DPJ-led forces dominating the upper house and the ruling coalition parties controlling the lower house--sending the Diet's business into disarray.
 2007年参院選で与党が大敗した結果、国会は衆参ねじれ状態となり、機能不全に陥った。

As a matter of course, the ruling parties' major defeat stemmed from the problems involving the ruling coalition government, including the sloppy management of public pension data by the Social Insurance Agency and the opaque reports of office expenses of political fund management organizations of Cabinet members.
Yet, the DPJ may also carry grave responsibility for the political turmoil under the divided Diet, as the party, under the leadership of Ichiro Ozawa, pursued a strategy of all-out confrontation with the ruling parties.
 年金記録漏れや閣僚の事務所費問題など、大敗の原因は無論、自公政権にある。だが、ねじれ国会での政治の混乱については、小沢代表の下、政局至上主義で与党と全面対決に走った民主党側にも大きな責任があろう。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his successor Yasuo Fukuda both abandoned their administrations about one year after taking office, making apparent the LDP's declining ability to govern.
 安倍、福田両首相は各1年で政権を放り出し、自民党の統治能力の低下を露呈させた。

Meanwhile, successive DPJ leaders Seiji Maehara and Ichiro Ozawa also resigned to take responsibility for scandals that damaged the party, with Maehara quitting over a DPJ lawmaker using a faked e-mail to make spurious accusations against a relative of an LDP Diet member, and Ozawa stepping down over false records of political fund donation, incidents that increased people's distrust of politics.
民主党の前原、小沢両代表も偽メールや政治資金の問題で辞任し、国民の政治不信を高めた。

Both the ruling and opposition camp should bear in mind that it is their joint responsibility to rebuild the public's trust.
政治への信頼回復は、与野党の連帯責任であることを忘れるべきではない。

===

Future of nation at stake
 ◆「日本の進路」熟考を◆

A change of government, as the DPJ asserts, is an important element for realizing a sound parliamentary democracy.
 民主党の主張する「政権交代」は、健全な議会制民主主義を実現するうえで重要な要素だ。

Yet the crucial point is not a "change of government" per se, but how the nation's politics should be changed through changes in the government.
ただ、肝心なのは、「交代」自体ではなく、「交代」によって政治をどう変えるかだろう。

The upcoming election is the third time the lower house poll has been fought based on the political parties' respective policy platforms they intend to pursue if they come to power.
 今回は、各党が政権公約を掲げて戦う3回目の衆院選となる。

Their policy pledges cover a wide range of issues and include a lot of highly technical matters. Voters should not be bewildered by mere make-believe populist policies, campaign tactics or fleeting sociopolitical atmosphere of the moment.
 政権公約は多岐にわたり、専門的な内容も多い。単なる人気取りの政策や選挙戦術、一時のムードに惑わされてはなるまい。

Voters must think carefully and consider the issues from multiple angles to grasp the pros and cons of the parties' policies level-headedly and choose the administration.
 政策の是非を冷静に見極め、政権を選択するためには、複眼的な思考が有権者に求められる。

The upcoming lower house election is an important opportunity for us to think seriously about the future course of the nation and push the nation's politics forward.
 今回の衆院選を、日本の進路を熟考し、政治を前進させるための重要な一歩としたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 19, 2009)
(2009年8月19日01時17分  読売新聞)

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2009年8月18日 (火)

RHサービス ショッピング枠現金化

今から20年以上くらい前にスラチャイも急なお金が必要になり何度か利用したことがありますが、当時は提携銀行のローンカードや丸井のクレジットカードを利用していました。
カードのショッピング枠現金化のような便利なサービスは当時ありませんでした。

お金を借りるときの注意点は昔も今も変わりません。
計画的に返済できる範囲で借金するということにつきます。
決して無理してはいけません。
この借金による投資が確実に実る場合に、行動を開始してください。

カードのショッピング枠現金化のRHサービスの特徴は以下の通りです。

・一人一人のお客様に専属のサポートスタッフがついてお客様一人一人の事を真剣に考え、金額の大小、申し込みの有無を問わずお客様一人一人を大切にしています。

・親身なサービスと高いキャッシュバック率によりリピーターがかなり多いです。
  また、他社から移ってくるお客さんも多いです。

・男女比率においては、他社が男女のどちらかに寄っている(大体男性)のに対して、
  当社は男女比率1:1と男女両方に支持されています。
  また年齢層も広くどの年代の方からも支持されています。

・個人情報の管理を徹底させて頂いております。
  最新のプロテクトシステムを使用しております。

以下のリンクよりご利用できます。

RHサービス

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フィリピンの日本兵戦没者共同墓地

フィリピンのミンダナオ島にダバオという町があります。
スラチャイはここで約1年間仕事をしてきました。
町のはずれに、日本兵戦没者の共同墓地があります。
ここにはおびただしい戦没者の名前が墓石に刻み込まれています。
一年に一度、確か7月か8月、日本から墓参団がやってきます。
墓地の進入路に墓守をしている家族がいたのを思い出しました。
悲惨な戦争、語り継いで、二度と起こさせてはいけません。
(スラチャイ 記)

朝日新聞社説あの戦争の記憶―世代を超え、橋を架けるもあわせて読んでください。

ダバオのはずれ、ミンタルという小さな集落に、この日本兵戦没者の共同墓地はあります。

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あの戦争の記憶―世代を超え、橋を架ける

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 15(IHT/Asahi: August 18,2009)
EDITORIAL: Memories of war must be passed down
あの戦争の記憶―世代を超え、橋を架ける

 64回目の終戦記念日を迎えた。

A recent academic survey of students at the Nagasaki Institute of Applied Science turned up a surprising number. The survey, conducted last year by the university's Nagasaki Institute for Peace Culture, found only 33.2 percent of the respondents knew the correct day when World War II ended with Japan's surrender.
 驚かされる数字がある。被爆地にある長崎総合科学大学の平和文化研究所が、同大の学生を対象に行った昨年の調査で、「終戦の日」がいつかを正しく答えられたのは33.2%。

The figure was around 50 to 60 percent 15 or so years ago.
15年ほど前は5~6割台だった。

Now, more than three-quarters of the Japanese population are those born after the war. Of the people who returned to Japan from World War II battlefields, only an estimated 400,000 are still alive. The people who received the nation's last examinations for conscription in 1945 at the age of conscription--19 at that time--are now 83.
 戦後生まれは人口の4分の3を超えた。太平洋戦争の戦場から帰還し、健在な人は推計で40万人前後。最後となった1945年の徴兵検査を19歳で受けた人が、もう83歳だ。

How can we ensure that memories of the war will be handed down through generations? We are apparently facing a challenge that is getting increasingly difficult year after year.
 あの戦争の記憶をどう受け継いでゆくか。年々難しくなる課題に私たちは直面している。

Listening to war veterans
 ■当事者に向き合う

Naoko Jin, a 31-year-old employee at an English language school in the city of Saitama, visited the Philippines as part of a study tour when she was a student. During a gathering in the country, Jin was shocked to hear an old Filipino woman say she didn't want to see any Japanese.
 さいたま市の英会話学校で働く神(じん)直子さん(31)は、学生時代にスタディーツアーでフィリピンを訪ねた。現地の集会で、一人のおばあさんに「日本人なんか見たくない」と言われたことが胸に突き刺さった。

She said that her husband was killed by a Japanese soldier.
日本兵に夫を殺されたという。

Three years later, a friend happened to tell Jin about a former Japanese soldier who died while repenting what he did on the battlefield.
 その3年後に知人から偶然、戦地での行いを悔いながら亡くなった元日本兵がいる、と聞かされた。

The poignant story gave her the idea of making a video of former Japanese soldiers speaking about their feelings concerning their wartime experiences in the Philippines and delivering the video to people in the country.
フィリピンで従軍した人の今の思いをビデオメッセージにして、現地の人に届けてはどうか。そう思いついた。

Using information sources like lists of personnel who served in Imperial Japanese Army units, Jin sent letters to several hundred Japanese who fought in the Philippines, asking them to appear in the planned video.
 旧日本軍の部隊名簿などを手がかりに数百通の手紙を出してみた。

After a while, replies started arriving sporadically, and Jin began to travel to various parts of the nation with a videocamera to visit those who expressed a willingness to accommodate her request.
ぽつりぽつりと返事が来た。神さんはカメラを手に、全国を訪ね始める。

"We were all educated to do anything for the country. I just think I lived according to what the (militaristic) education taught me," said a former army soldier.
 「お国のために何でもやる。そんな教育に従って生きてしまった気がする」と、振り返った元兵長がいた。

"Robbery, rape, murder, arson. Although I acted on military orders, I still feel guilty. But I don't know how to apologize," a man who served in an engineer corps said with a strained voice.
 「強盗、強姦(ごうかん)、殺人、放火……。軍命とはいえ、罪の気持ちはある。でも謝るすべを知りません」。工兵隊にいた人は声を絞りだした。

One veteran, after recounting his wartime experiences in the Philippines, disclosed that he stabbed guerrillas in a frenzy.
 話の最後に「無我夢中でゲリラを突き刺した」と、打ち明けた人もいた。

The Philippines was one of the bloodiest battlefields of the Pacific War. About 500,000 of the 600,000 Japanese soldiers and civilian personnel serving the country died amid fierce battles between Japanese and U.S. forces. In addition, more than 1 million Filipinos were killed.
 フィリピンは太平洋戦争の激戦地だ。日米両軍の死闘のなかで、日本の軍人・軍属60万人中50万人が死亡した。フィリピン人も100万人以上が犠牲となった。

Jin revisited the Philippines with a video showing Japanese war veterans speaking about what they did in the country.
Many of the local people who watched the video were surprised to find the former members of the Japanese Imperial Army still struggling with emotional turmoil. Some of the locals said they forgave the Japanese.
 証言の映像を持参したフィリピンでは、元兵士が葛藤(かっとう)を持ち続けていることに驚いた人が多かった。みなではないけれど、許すと言う人もいた。

To Jin, the history of the war looks hazy.
 神さんにとって戦争の歴史は、モヤモヤとよどんでいる、という。

Chinese and South Korean criticism concerning descriptions of the war in Japanese school textbooks or Japanese high-ranking officials' visits to Yasukuni Shrine usually provokes a backlash in Japan.
 教科書の記述や靖国参拝を中国や韓国から批判されると、国内から反発が起きる。

When she traveled abroad, Jin was suddenly faced with Japan's wartime past. But she learned little about modern history at school. She has read "Barefoot Gen," a Japanese manga series describing the effects of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on a boy's life. But she has no clear images of Japanese soldiers sent overseas during the war.
海外に行くと、唐突に過去を突きつけられる。でも学校ではろくに近現代史を学んでいない。広島の被爆体験を描いた「はだしのゲン」は読んだことはあるが、海外に出兵した日本人のイメージは具体的に浮かばない。

Jin felt she couldn't disperse the fog and move forward unless she knew more about the war and the era through firsthand accounts by people who took part in the war.
 あの時代に近づき、戦争に携わった当事者に向き合わなければ、モヤモヤを埋めて先へと進めない――。

Jin set up a group named "Bridge for Peace." Young members of the group interviewed nearly 70 former soldiers. The group screens films comprising the interviews almost every year in cooperation with citizen organizations in the Philippines.
 神さんは「ブリッジ・フォー・ピース」という団体を立ち上げた。若者たちが手分けして70人近い元兵士の話を聞いた。フィリピンの市民団体などの協力で、毎年のように上映会を開く。

Discussing experiences
 ■語り始めた元兵士

Makoto Yasuda, an 86-year-old living in Tokyo's Nakano Ward, was an air radio soldier during the war. After returning from the Philippines, Yasuda worked for a company importing pharmaceuticals and retired after serving as president of the company's subsidiary.
 東京都中野区の安田誠さん(86)は航空通信兵だった。フィリピンから復員後、薬の輸入商社で働き、子会社の社長まで務めて引退した。

Yasuda had been long convinced that nobody would be interested in hearing the war experiences of a former private second class.
 2等兵の経験談など、だれも耳を傾けまいと思ってきた。

But he was alarmed to find a nationalistic atmosphere pervading this nation, encouraging the use of belligerent language toward foreign countries.
だが、気がつけば、外国に対し勇ましいことを言う空気が世にあふれている。

He wondered if young people today really knew about the wretchedness of war.
戦地の悲惨さを、若い者は知らんのだろうか。

Two years ago, Yasuda's life reached a turning point when his grandchild took him to a meeting to discuss the war. Now, he speaks about his wartime experiences at places like community centers in response to requests.
 孫に2年前、戦争を語る集会に連れて行かれたのが契機になった。請われるまま公民館などで話す。

When he encounters people around the same age while taking a walk, he invites them to join in this activity.
散歩中に同年配者を見かけては、仲間に誘う。

There are also attempts to make the experiences of former soldiers readily available to the public.
 元兵士たちの体験を、共有できる形にして残そうという試みもある。

Last month, a small war museum opened in a private house in Tokyo's Kita Ward. A group of volunteers in their 20s and 30s dedicated to showing and preserving records of war experiences have spent four years interviewing World War II veterans. DVDs and written materials at the museum offer personal accounts of the war provided by some 2,200 former soldiers.
 東京都北区の民家に先月、小さな史料館が開館した。20~30代のボランティアらでつくる「戦場体験放映保存の会」が、4年前から聞き取りを進めてきた。証言映像のDVDと手記類を合わせ、まず2200人分を公開する。

"Leaving records of the experiences of people who took part in the war--which were once national memories--as much as possible is an important mission of the generation of their grandchildren, who were born after the war," says Junko Nakata, the 35-year-old leader of the group. "The next five years, or rather the next three years, will be crucial."
 「国民的な記憶だったはずの従軍体験を、できるだけ残すことが、戦争を知らない孫たちの世代の使命。あと5年、いや3年が勝負です」と、同会事務局長の中田順子さん(35)は言う。

The number of former soldiers offering to talk about their experiences for the group is increasing as contributors invite their comrades in. Their slogan is: "Buddies, let's tell (the younger generation) before we die."
 元兵士が仲間に呼びかける形で、証言の輪は広がっている。合言葉は「戦友(とも)よ、語ってから死のう」。

Yasuda has also joined the movement.
安田さんもその一人に加わった。

Vanishing memories
 ■体験者なき戦後へ

Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) is promoting a project called "War Testimony Archives," which produces videos available on the Internet of former soldiers talking about their war experiences.
 NHKが進めるプロジェクト「戦争証言アーカイブス」では、従軍経験を語る映像がウェブ上で閲覧できる。

NHK posted videos of about 100 World War II veterans during the trial period through October. The broadcaster plans to expand the archives further by collecting accounts from people behind the front lines and set up a website devoted to the project in 2011.
10月までの試行で約100人分。銃後の経験を含めた証言をもっと増やし、11年には本格サイトを完成させる。

NHK has compiled video archives of interviews with war veterans made for its programs, including those that were not broadcast.
Viewers can search the archives using the names of battlefields or a chronological table.
 番組制作で集めたインタビューを未放送分も含めて収録し、戦場名や年表からの検索も可能にした。

The project is aimed at building a systematic and comprehensive collection of videos to preserve Japanese people's memories of the war.
日本人の戦争体験全体を、体系的・総合的に整理するねらいだという。

This is one example of an effort to recover the vanishing memories of the war. A number of attempts are under way to pass the experiences of the war onto future generations.
 社会の中で薄れてゆく記憶を、つくりなおす。世代を超えて橋を架ける作業がいくつも進められている。

Ordinary people can be dragged into a war by a government taking the wrong path and commit or suffer brutalities in extreme situations.
 ごく普通の人が、国の誤った道に巻き込まれ、極限の状況下で、加害者にも被害者にもなる。

This harrowing reality of war is the coherent message that should be gleaned from the accounts these unknown former soldiers leave for young people.
無名の元兵士たちが若者に語り残すのは、そうした戦争のリアリティーだ。

The accumulation of these firsthand accounts of the war should be kept as a shared public asset to ensure that Japan won't make the same mistake again.
その集積を、日本が二度と過ちを繰り返さないための共有財産にしてゆこう。

We must not tolerate the prevalence of political debates that ignore the reality of war.
 戦場の現実を踏まえない議論を、政治の場で横行させてはならない。

Before long, there will no longer be people who experienced the war. But that won't end Japan's postwar era.
 遠くない将来、あの戦争の体験者はいなくなる。それからも、私たちは「戦後」の時間を刻み続けていく。

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GDPプラス 本格回復へ詰めを誤るな

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 18, 2009)
Govt must pull out stops for full-fledged recovery
GDPプラス 本格回復へ詰めを誤るな(8月18日付・読売社説)

Though statistics show the nation's economy has finally hit bottom, this does not mean there is no risk that the economy will fall back into recession.
 景気の下げ止まりが数字で確認されたが、腰折れの危険が完全に去ったわけではない。

The nation's gross domestic product grew 0.9 percent in the April-June period from the previous quarter, which represents an annualized growth rate of 3.7 percent, marking the first expansion in five quarters.
 4~6月期の実質国内総生産(GDP)は、前期比0・9%増、年率換算で3・7%増と、5四半期ぶりにプラス成長となった。

Exports began increasing thanks to the recovery of overseas economies, while on the domestic front, consumer spending and public investment got a shot in the arm from the government's economic-stimulus measures.
 海外景気の持ち直しで輸出が増加に転じたほか、国内需要でも、景気対策の恩恵を受けた消費や公共投資が伸びた。

Though the rapid economic downturn, which had progressed at the worst pace since the war, has halted, annualized real GDP stands at 526 trillion yen, down about 40 trillion yen from a year ago, a state of affairs that fails to convince us that the economy is on a recovery track. The government must not stumble in putting the finishing touches on its policies for a full-scale business recovery.
 戦後最悪のペースだった景気の急落は止まったが、年換算の実質GDPは526兆円と、1年前より約40兆円少なく、回復の実感は乏しい。本格回復の実現へ、政策の詰めを誤ってはならない。

GDP growth in the April-June period was led by overseas demand. During that period, China and many other Asian countries achieved high economic growth. In the United States and Europe, the margin of economic contraction narrowed, while exports of major products, such as electronics parts and automobiles, recovered.
 今回のプラス成長は、外需主導だった。4~6月期は、中国などアジアの多くの国が高い成長率となったほか、欧米もマイナス幅が縮小し、電子部品や自動車など、主力品目の輸出が回復した。

Nevertheless, the prospects for overseas economies remain highly uncertain. Therefore, whether the Japanese economy will be able to get on a stable recovery track hinges on the strength of domestic demand.
 とはいえ、海外経済の先行きは不透明感が強い。日本経済が安定した回復軌道に乗るかどうかは、内需の力強さにかかっている。

===

Self-sustained demand crucial

The fact that consumer spending, which accounts for about 60 percent of GDP, moved into positive territory, is encouraging news. In particular, consumption of consumer durables, such as electrical appliances and vehicles, increased significantly. The government's pump-priming measures, such as tax breaks and subsidies for the purchase of eco-friendly vehicles, and the introduction of the eco point system aimed at boosting sales of eco-friendly electrical appliances, have proved quite successful.
 GDPの6割を占める消費がプラスに転じたのは明るい材料だ。特に家電や自動車など耐久消費財の消費が大幅に増えた。エコカー購入時の減税や補助、省エネ家電のエコポイント制度など対策の効果が大きかった。

Public spending, which was boosted in supplementary budgets, showed the largest growth in about 10 years, helping push up GDP.
 補正予算で追加された公共投資も、約10年ぶりの高い伸びとなり、GDPを押し上げた。

The series of economic-stimulus measures put forward by the government and ruling parties since last summer was accompanied by fiscal deterioration. However, the measures can be viewed as appropriate policy decisions because they helped prevent the economy from sinking into a double-dip recession.
 昨夏から政府・与党が相次いで打ち出した景気対策は、財政悪化の副作用を伴ったが、景気の底割れを防いだ点で、妥当な政策判断だったと評価できよう。

But once the pump-priming steps' positive effects have run their course, there will be concern that consumer spending and public investment will slow down.
だが、対策の効果が出尽くせば、消費や公共投資の息切れが心配になる。

It is desirable that domestic demand move into a self-sustaining recovery mode, which is evidenced by the expansion of consumption resulting from higher employment and higher incomes, supported by policy measures. However, the prospects for such a situation are grim.
 政策で下支えしているうちに、雇用・所得の改善による消費拡大など、内需の自律回復への移行が望まれるが、見通しは厳しい。

===

Austerity not the answer now

Unemployment continues to rise, and workers' income is on the decline due to cuts in bonus and overtime pay. Under such circumstances, we urge the government to make steady efforts to tackle unemployment and provide financial assistance to those in trouble. The government must not hesitate to take additional measures when necessary.
 失業の増加が続き、ボーナスや残業のカットで労働者の収入も減っている。失業対策や生活支援を粘り強く続け、状況に応じて追加策もためらうべきでない。

Capital investment, another pillar of domestic demand along with consumer spending, has long been sluggish. Additional policies aimed at spurring business activities, such as further investment tax credits, are likely to be necessary.
 消費と並ぶ内需の柱の設備投資も長期低迷が続いている。投資減税の追加など、企業を元気づける政策がさらに必要となろう。

At this stage, the government must not take the short-term economic recovery for granted and switch to belt-tightening policy measures, such as cutting down on public works projects.
 足元の回復に安心して、公共事業削減など緊縮政策に転換することは、厳に慎まねばならない。

We also urge the government--irrespective of the political situation--to avoid delaying the compilation of the fiscal 2010 budget, which would hinder policy implementation.
 政局の都合で来年度予算の編成が遅れ、政策遂行に支障が出る事態も避けるべきだ。

Whichever party or parties take the reins of government following the general election, a business recovery must continue to be the government's top priority in its economic policies.
総選挙の結果、どの党が政権を担うことになっても、「景気最優先」の経済政策を続けねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 18, 2009)
(2009年8月18日01時22分  読売新聞)

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2009年8月17日 (月)

社説:国立追悼施設 今度は議論途切らすな

(Mainichi Japan) August 17, 2009
Time to consider a new facility to pay respects to Japan's war dead
社説:国立追悼施設 今度は議論途切らすな

Prime Minster Taro Aso avoided a visit to Yasukuni Shrine on Aug. 15, the 64th anniversary of the end of World War II, living up to his earlier declaration that he would not make a visit. The Mainichi has consistently opposed prime ministerial visits to the shrine, where Class-A war criminals are enshrined along with Japan's war dead, and we consider Aso's response only natural.
 64回目の終戦記念日を迎えた15日、麻生太郎首相は事前に表明していた通り、靖国神社を参拝しなかった。毎日新聞は一貫して首相の靖国参拝には反対してきた。麻生首相の対応は当然のものと考える。

Together with former prime ministers Shinzo Abe and Yasuo Fukuda, Aso is one of three consecutive leaders after former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to have refrained from visiting the shrine while in office, and it appears that a trend of not visiting the shrine has set in. However, this does not provide a solution to the longstanding issue of how respects can be paid to Japan's war dead without producing discomfort among people in Japan and abroad.
 これで小泉純一郎元首相以降、安倍晋三元首相、福田康夫前首相、麻生首相と3人の首相が在任中の参拝を見送り、その流れは定着してきたように見える。ただし、内外の人々がわだかまりなく戦死者をどう追悼するのかという長年の課題が解決したわけではない。

Opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) leader Yukio Hatoyama has indicated that if the DPJ takes over the reins of government in the upcoming House of Representatives election and he is elected prime minister, then he will refrain from visiting the shrine and advise his Cabinet to follow suit. He has also suggested that he would consider setting up a national monument to pay respects to the war dead in place of Yasukuni Shrine.
 こうした中、注目されるのは民主党の鳩山由紀夫代表が仮に今度の衆院選で同党が政権を獲得し、首相になった場合には自身だけでなく閣僚にも参拝自粛を求める一方、靖国神社に代わる国立の追悼施設建設を検討する考えを示したことだ。

This is by no means a new idea. After Koizumi visited the shrine on Aug. 13, 2001, while serving as prime minister, he raised the issue during informal talks, and a private consulting group of the chief Cabinet secretary considered setting up a separate memorial.
 これは決して新しい考え方ではない。01年8月13日、靖国に参拝した当時の小泉首相は直後の談話で自ら問題提起し、官房長官の私的懇談会を作って追悼施設建設を検討したことがある。

An ensuing report concluded, "In order to show to the world that Japan is actively pursuing peace through its actions, it is necessary for the nation to set up a permanent, national facility with no religious affiliation where people can pay respects and pray for peace."
 報告書は結論として「日本が平和を積極的に求め行動する主体であることを世界に示すため、国を挙げて追悼・平和祈念を行う国立の無宗教の恒久的施設が必要」と提言するものだった。

However, at the time Koizumi stated that even if a new facility were set up, it would not serve as a replacement for Yasukuni Shrine, and he continued his visits. As a result, the idea of establishing a new monument quickly wilted, and the designation of budget funds for a memorial facility that officials had initially considered was put off. Needless to say, Japan's relations with China and South Korea experienced a stormy season during Koizumi's term as prime minister.
ところが当の小泉氏が、たとえ新施設を建設しても靖国神社に代わるものではないと言い出して靖国参拝を継続した結果、構想は急速にしぼみ、一時検討された予算への調査費計上も見送られた。小泉時代、中国や韓国との関係が険悪になったことは指摘するまでもない。

It is not only out of consideration for other Asian countries that the Mainichi has remained opposed to prime ministerial visits to Yasukuni Shrine. The heart of the Yasukuni issue is that people who became Class-A war criminals during the International Military Tribunal for the Far East are enshrined there. It recently emerged that Emperor Showa had expressed strong discomfort over the enshrinement of Class-A war criminals at Yasukuni. There are probably also many people among the public who have doubts about the status of Yasukuni Shrine in terms of the possibility of the past war being justified.
 私たちが首相の靖国参拝に反対してきたのはアジア諸国への配慮だけでない。靖国問題の本質は極東軍事裁判でA級戦犯となった人々が合祀(ごうし)されている点だ。昭和天皇がA級戦犯合祀に強い不快感を示していたことも近年判明した。国民の間にも先の大戦の正当化につながりかねない靖国神社のあり方に疑問を持っている人は多いだろう。

Yasukuni Shine officials say that under Shinto doctrine, it would be difficult to separately enshrine Class-A war criminals who have already been enshrined at Yasukuni. At the same time, Aso has proposed altering the status of Yasukuni Shrine from a religious organization to a special corporation, but the proposal has not received support in political circles. It remains a fact that various opinions exist among lawmakers from both Aso's Liberal Democratic Party and the DPJ.
 靖国神社側はいったん合祀されたA級戦犯の分祀は神道の教義上、困難だという。一方、麻生首相はかつて靖国神社を今の宗教法人から特殊法人に変える案を示したが、政界で支持が広がっているわけではない。自民、民主両党の議員の中にはさまざまな意見があるのも事実だ。

However, the issue of how to create a monument that both members of the Japanese public and non-Japanese can visit without feeling uncomfortable is one that must be solved eventually. Regardless of the outcome of the Lower House election, isn't it time for the political world as a whole to once again consider a new memorial facility, including the current plans to enlarge Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery? This time we cannot let the debate be interrupted.
 しかし、国民や外国の人々がわだかまりなく訪れ、追悼できる場をどう作るかは、いずれ結論を出さなくてはならない問題だ。衆院選の結果がどうあろうと、今の千鳥ケ淵戦没者墓苑の拡充案も含め、やはり新たな追悼施設の検討を政界全体で再び始める時期ではないか。今度は議論を途切らせないことだ。

毎日新聞 2009年8月16日 東京朝刊

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全国戦没者追悼式、天皇皇后両陛下をお迎えして

読売、朝日調べましたが、全国戦没者追悼式に関する記事(日本語)が見つかりませんでした。
英字読売で記事を発見したので、掲載します。
日本語翻訳はスラチャイが行いました。

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 16, 2009)
Nation remembers war dead / Emperor, Aso hope for world peace in memorial service
全国戦没者追悼式、天皇皇后両陛下をお迎えして

The Emperor speaks as the Empress stands with him at a memorial service for the war dead at Nippon Budokan hall in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, on Saturday.
日本武道館で天皇陛下ご夫妻は追悼式でお言葉を述べられる。

Prime Minister Taro Aso and the Emperor spoke of their hopes for world peace at a national memorial service held Saturday in Tokyo to mark the 64th anniversary of the end of World War II and remember 3.1 million Japanese war dead.
天皇陛下、麻生総理は土曜日、日本武道館で第64回目の全国戦没者追悼式典に出席、世界の平和を願い、310万人にのぼる戦没者を弔うためのお言葉をかけられた。

About 6,000 people attended the ceremony, including the Emperor and Empress, government representatives and bereaved family members of the war dead. According to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, about 4,820 bereaved family members attended, about 240 more than last year.
式典には6000人あまりが出席。天皇皇后両陛下、政府の代表者、戦没者の遺族が出席した。厚生労働省の発表によると昨年より240家族多い、4820家族が出席した。

Aso expressed profound remorse for Japan's conduct during the war and offered his condolences to the war dead.
麻生総理は過去の過ちを悔い、戦没者に弔いの言葉をかけた。

"Our nation inflicted significant damage and pain on many countries, especially on people in Asian nations," he said at the ceremony at Nippon Budokan hall in Chiyoda Ward. "We must pass on the lessons we learned through the tragic war to coming generations without allowing them to fade with time. We'll actively contribute to ensure a lasting global peace."
「アジア諸国に戦争で多大なご迷惑をおかけした。」 
「過去の過ちから学んだことを生かしていかなけばならない。決して風化させてならない。今後も世界平和のために尽くします。」 と、首相は述べた。
 
Attendees offered a silent one-minute prayer as the clock struck noon.
正午の時報とともに、参列者は一分間の黙とうを捧げた。

The Emperor said, "I profoundly express my sincere condolences to the soldiers who died on the battlefield, and I sincerely hope for world peace and Japan's further development."
天皇陛下はお言葉を述べられた。
「戦没者の方々に心からの弔意を表します。世界の平和と日本の発展を願います。」

Representing the bereaved families, Norihiro Otsubo, 66, from Ogi, Saga Prefecture, whose father died in battle in New Guinea, said: "We should never forget that today's peace and prosperity is based on the ultimate and heavy sacrifices made by the war dead. We firmly pledge to never repeat this sad history."
遺族を代表して、オオツボノリヒロさん66歳が挨拶した。オオツボさんは佐賀県出身、父親がニューギニアで戦死している。
「戦没者の命をかけた努力が今日の日本の繁栄につながっていることを忘れてはならない」 と述べた。

According to the ministry, 4,957 bereaved family members were initially scheduled to attend the ceremony. Of them, 4,799 were relatives of military and army civilian personnel, 96 were family members of people who died in air raids and other attacks, and 62 were family members of atomic bomb victims.
当初、4957家族が参列する予定であった。
4799家族が戦没者の遺族、96家族が空襲で亡くなった家族の遺族、そして62家族は原爆投下による遺族で構成されている。

The gradual generational change among attendees has become ever clearer. The number of war widows who attended was 64, the lowest ever. No parents of the war dead participated for the second consecutive year. The oldest attendee was the 101-year-old widow of a military member who died in action.
毎年遺族もだんだんと高齢化していく。
式典に参加した戦争未亡人は64人を数えるに過ぎない。
過去最低の数字である。「
戦没者の両親が式典に参加しなくなってから2年が経過する。
式典出席の最年長者は101歳の戦争未亡人だ。

About 2.3 million Japanese military and army civilian personnel and about 800,000 civilians died in World War II.
約230万人の軍人・軍属、そして80万人の民間人が今度の戦争で命を失った。

===

Diet members visit Yasukuni
政府閣僚の靖国神社参拝

Seiko Noda, state minister in charge of consumer affairs, was the only Cabinet minister to visit war-linked Yasukuni Shrine on the anniversary of Japan's surrender.
政府関係者では、今回はノダセイコ氏ただ一名が靖国神社参拝を果たした。ノダ氏は消費者庁(?)を担当している。

Noda also visited the shrine, which enshrines 14 Class-A war criminals along with war dead, on Aug. 15 last year when she was a member of the Cabinet of former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda.
ノダ氏は昨年も14人のA級戦犯の祀られている靖国神社を訪問している。
昨年のノダ氏の職責は福田内閣の議員。

Three cabinet members visited the shrine last year.
昨年、靖国神社参拝を果たした議員は3名。

Junichiro Koizumi and Shinzo Abe, former prime ministers who belong to the Liberal Democratic Party, visited the shrine Saturday morning. Koizumi visited the shrine on the anniversary of Japan's defeat for the fourth straight year, while Abe visited for the second consecutive year.
自民党の小泉、阿部前首相はともに土曜日の朝靖国参拝を果たしている。
小泉前首相は4年連続、阿部前首相は2年連続で、それぞれ靖国参拝を果たしている。

Forty-one members of a nonpartisan group of lawmakers that promotes Yasukuni visits went to the shrine Saturday morning.
超党派で41名の議員が靖国参拝を果たしている。

The group, which included Koizumi and Abe, is chaired by former Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister
Yoshinobu Shimamura.
この超党派の団体は小泉、阿部前首相を含み、前農林水産省大臣、シマムラヨシノブ氏が代表となっている。

(日本語翻訳 by スラチャイ)

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質問なるほドリ:幼稚園から大学まで、教育費っていくらかかるの?=回答・大貫智子

(Mainichi Japan) August 16, 2009
News Navigator: How much does education cost in Japan?
質問なるほドリ:幼稚園から大学まで、教育費っていくらかかるの?=回答・大貫智子

 <NEWS NAVIGATOR>

The Mainichi answers some common questions readers may have about the price of education in Japan, from kindergarten through to university.
 ◆幼稚園から大学まで、教育費っていくらかかるの?

 ◇すべて私立なら2258万円 欧米に比べ少ない公費支出

 なるほドリ 日本の教育費は高いと言われるけど、幼稚園から大学卒業までに、実際はどのくらいかかるの?
Question: Education expenses in Japan are generally said to be expensive. How much does it cost to put a child through kindergarten to university?

Answer: Cost can vary a great deal depending on whether the schools are national or public, or private. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) calculated average education expenses per child in fiscal 2006 for six different educational scenarios.
 記者 学校が国公立か私立かで、ずいぶん変わります。文部科学省は、子供1人当たりの教育費(06年度)を六つのケースに分けて算出しています。

Attending public schools from kindergarten through high school and then a national university proves to be the least expensive, at about 8.64 million yen in total. Meanwhile, if a child goes only to public schools throughout his or her education, it will cost 8.8 million yen. If a child enrolls in even one private school, expenses creep up closer to 10 million yen. Specifically, going to a private elementary school will cost 8.24 million yen. The most expensive scenario is enrollment at private schools throughout, which will cost 22.58 million yen.
 一番安い費用で済むのが幼稚園から高校まで公立、大学は国立の場合で、計864万円。すべて公立だと880万円。一つでも私立に通うと1000万円近くになります。特に小学校が私立だとそれだけで824万円かかり、すべて私立だと最も高くて2258万円にも上るんです。

While the data includes the cost of cram schools and extracurricular activities, they are average figures calculated without taking whether a child has chosen a university major in the arts or sciences into account; studying a math or science-related field costs more.
 このデータは大学を文系、理系に分類せずに平均で計算しているので、理系に進学するともっとかかります。教育費には学習塾代など学校外活動費も含まれています。

Q: So, education expenses can really squeeze family budgets.
 Q 家計をかなり圧迫することになるね。

A: Yes, and education tends to take up a higher percentage of annual income among lower-income households.
According to a 2008 survey by Japan Finance Corp., in families with an annual income of 9 million yen or more, education expenses per child in elementary school or above accounted for 23.2 percent of income, while in families with an annual income between 2 and 4 million yen, the expenses made up 55.6 percent.
 A そうなんです。特に所得が低いほど世帯年収に占める割合が高くなる傾向があります。
日本政策金融公庫の調査(08年)によると、小学生以上の子供にかかる教育費は、年収900万円以上だと23・2%ですが、それでも4分の1近くを占めます。世帯年収200万~400万円未満だと年収に占める割合は55・6%と半分以上にもなります。

For households with two children enrolled in university at the same time, MEXT estimates education expenses to be about one-third of the country's average household income, which is 6.5 million yen after taxes.
文科省は、子供2人が同時に大学に在籍した場合、教育費は税などを引いた手取り650万円の標準世帯収入の3分の1に上ると試算しています。

Q: How do education expenses in Japan compare to those in other countries?
 Q 他の国々と比べるとどうなのかな。

A: Compared to Japan and other East Asian countries, people in Europe and the United States strongly expect their country to bear responsibility for education, and parents do not personally put in as much money into their children's education as they do in Japan. Instead, other countries spend more public funds on education. Meanwhile, there is a pronounced dearth of public funds spent on preschool education and higher education in Japan, including universities. The high percentage of children continuing their education at universities in Japan is made possible by the efforts of their families. (Answers by Tomoko Onuki, Political News Department)
 A 日本をはじめとする東アジアの国々に比べ、欧米では「教育は国家の責任」という意識が強く、私たちほど親が子供の教育に多くは投資していません。その代わり各国は教育費へ公費を支出する割合が高いのです。特に日本では、就学前教育と大学など高等教育への公費の支出が少ないことが顕著です。日本の高い進学率は、お金の面でみれば各家庭の努力に支えられているのです。(政治部)

毎日新聞 2009年8月11日 東京朝刊

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香山リカのココロの万華鏡:芸能界の違法薬物問題 /東京

(Mainichi Japan) August 16, 2009
Alleged drug use by celebrities sending shockwaves through Japanese society
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:芸能界の違法薬物問題 /東京

 芸能界の違法薬物問題が、社会に大きな衝撃を与えている。

In times past, people in show business were seen as unique and free-spirited, living outside the rules of society. In recent years, however, I'd heard celebrities being characterized as well-mannered and generally the model-student type, barely touching alcohol or going out all night. "Unless you're the serious type, the kind who's interested only in pets and books, there's no way you can survive the brutal world of show biz," a friend of mine who works at a television station once told me.
 その昔は、芸能人といえば個性的で奔放、世の中のルールの枠外で生きる人たちというイメージもあったが、最近はむしろ礼儀正しく優等生的な人が増えていると聞いた。「お酒も飲まず夜遊びもしない、趣味は読書とペット、なんていうまじめなタイプでなければ、今の厳しい芸能界で生き抜いていけないよ」とテレビ局に勤める友人が教えてくれたこともあった。

Having been on television programs with young celebs, I've found them to be surprisingly hardworking and polite. Whenever I encounter students with a poor command of honorific language at the university where I teach, I silently think, "You really could learn a thing or two from spending a few months at a talent agency."
 私もたまにテレビの情報番組で若いタレントさんといっしょになることがあるが、みな勉強熱心であいさつもきちんとできるので驚かされる。大学で敬語も使えない学生を見るたび、「キミたち、芸能プロダクションで何カ月か修業してくれば」と言いたくなる。

And yet, just recently, celebrities popular among the younger generation have been arrested on suspicion of drug possession and use. More than a few fans must have been disappointed to discover that their beloved idols were irresponsible people after all.
 それにもかかわらず今回、若者に人気の俳優やタレントが、麻薬や覚せい剤を所持・使用していた容疑が判明した。「結局はいいかげんな人たちだったのか」と失望したファンも多いのではないか。

Every time the issue of drug abuse in the entertainment industry resurfaces, people attribute it to the acute pressures of the industry. Indeed, show business is characterized by irregular employment, where a top star today could have the plug pulled on a on his TV series next month. Those with a strong sense of duty especially must experience sleepless nights, worrying about an unpredictable tomorrow and the trouble they could potentially cause their family and colleagues.
 こういった芸能界の麻薬や覚せい剤汚染が問題になるたび、「浮き沈みの激しい業界のプレッシャー」が原因ではないか、という声が上がる。たしかに芸能界や音楽界は、ある意味で非正規雇用者の集団。今日は人気者でも来月には「ドラマ打ち切り」などの憂き目にあうかもしれない。とくに責任感の強い人なら、「明日はどうなるのだろう、家族やスタッフに迷惑をかけるのでは」と不安で眠れない夜もあるに違いない。

Still, turning to drugs to alleviate pressures one finds unbearable is unacceptable. Perhaps I'm being harsh, but people who are that fragile are probably not fit for show business to begin with.
 とはいえ、そのプレッシャーに耐えられず、それを紛らわすために薬物に手を出すようなことがあってよいはずはない。厳しい言い方をすれば、それほど脆弱(ぜいじゃく)な人は、そもそも芸能人に向いていない、と言ってもよいかもしれない。

Drugs momentarily provide users with extraordinary sensations, but they also have various harmful effects on the body. Most of all, their danger lies in the emotional and physical dependency that users can develop on them, making quitting incredibly difficult. You could say that virtually no one who uses drugs thinking they'll stop "after a few times" is actually able to do so.
 麻薬や覚せい剤は、使用した瞬間はいつもと違う刺激や感覚が味わえるが、身体にはいろいろ有害な影響がある。それに何より精神的、身体的な依存に陥り、「もうやめよう」と思ってもやめられなくなるのが恐ろしい。遊び感覚で「数回だけなら」と思って使用し、本当に数回でやめられた人はほとんどいないと言ってもよい。

There are reports that of late, drugs, seen as "relaxation medication" or something akin to vitamins and dietary supplements, are exchanged among young people with ease. Regardless of one's justification for drug use -- be it to relieve stress, seek excitement, or as mere recreation -- what is wrong is wrong. If you are unwilling to experience your demise and that of those around you, take this to heart: do not mess with drugs. (By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
 さらに最近は、若い人のあいだでは麻薬が「サプリメント」と「リラックスできる薬」などと言われて、気軽に受け渡しされているとも聞く。プレッシャーから逃れるため、刺激を求めて、遊び気分で。どんな言い訳をしようと、ダメなものはダメ。自分とまわりを崩壊させたくないなら、手を出すべきではない。これだけは肝に銘じておきたい。

毎日新聞 2009年8月11日 地方版

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2009年8月16日 (日)

社説:終戦記念日に際して 「打たれ強い日本」に 低エネルギー化急げ

(Mainichi Japan) August 15, 2009
Japan should reduce energy consumption to make it less vulnerable to global crises
社説:終戦記念日に際して 「打たれ強い日本」に 低エネルギー化急げ

It may seem odd to take the opportunity on the anniversary of the end of World War II to insist that Japan should reduce energy consumption. However, it is indispensable for peace and safety in Japan.
 終戦記念日の主張として、日本を低エネルギー消費の国にしようというのは、やや奇異に映るかもしれない。しかし、日本の平和と安全にとってぜひ必要なことだ。

It is impossible to completely eradicate the threats posed by climate change, uncertainties in the demand and supply of energy and potential food crises. However, Japan can at least make itself less vulnerable to these threats by transforming itself into a society that relies less on energy. By doing so, Japan can also extend assistance to developing countries faced with such global problems.
 気候変動の脅威とエネルギー需給の不確実性、さらには食料問題。こうしたグローバルな脅威を完全に遮断することはできないが、少なくとも低エネルギー社会化で「打たれ強い国」にすることはできる。それはまた、グローバルな危機に脅かされている途上国に対する、何よりの支援ともなるだろう。

 ◇グリーン化進む英軍
The more energy efficient a military is, the stronger it is. The climate change strategy announced by the British Defense Ministry in December last year is based on this idea. To promptly respond to the threat posed by climate change, the British ministry believes it indispensable to increase the energy efficiency of its weapons. Any military that consumes a huge amount of oil lacks the ability to continue to fight in a war. U.S. forces are even considering developing and introducing hybrid tanks.
 実のところ、エネルギー消費が効率的で少ない「グリーンな軍隊」ほど「強い」のだ。英国防省が昨年12月公表した「気候変動戦略」は、その思想を強く打ち出している。気候変動の脅威に即応するには兵器の省エネが不可欠という主張だ。石油がぶ飲みの軍隊は継戦能力に欠ける。米軍は「ハイブリッド戦車」さえ研究している。

Japanese forces constantly suffered a shortage of resources and energy throughout World War II. They desperately attempted to extract petroleum from oil shales in Manchuria and to get fuel for aircraft from pine tree roots, but to no avail.
 先の大戦で日本軍は終始、資源・エネルギー不足に苦しんだ。苦肉の策として「人造石油」と「松根油」の製造に取り組んだが失敗した。満州(中国東北部)の撫順炭鉱の油頁(ゆけつ)岩(オイルシェール)から石油を抽出しようとしたり、日本中の松の根を掘り返し航空機用燃料を取り出そうと試みたのである。
 1944年12月21日付毎日新聞埼玉版によれば、松根油の採取のため同県内だけで「学徒を延べ6万9000人動員」したという。
 戦後、米政府は戦略爆撃調査団を送り込み、爆撃の効果など広範な調査を行った。その報告書はこうした日本側の努力について、日本は貴重な労働力と設備をムダに使い、かえって戦争遂行を妨げる結果に終わった、と酷評している。

The United States is now processing massive amounts of corn into bioethanol, a fuel for automobiles, contributing to a potential food crisis.
 その米国がいま、大量のトウモロコシを自動車用燃料のバイオエタノールに転換し、食料危機の一因を作り出している。
歴史の皮肉である。

Japan's technology of extracting oil from pine tree roots was far more primitive than the U.S. technology of producing bioethanol. However, both are similar in that labor force and facilities were wasted.
松根油を作ろうとした日本の技術は幼稚だった。それに比べ米国のバイオ技術は高度かもしれないが、結局のところいずれも「労働力と設備のムダ遣い」ではないか。

The global population, which now stands at approximately 6.5 billion, is expected to grow to 9 billion. A growing number of countries are assuming that the increase in the global population could trigger a food crisis. Last year, countries banned exports of agricultural products one after another. India and many other countries continue to do so this year.
 世界の人口は現状の65億人から90億人に向かいつつあり、食料危機を想定する国が増えている。昨年、農産物の輸出禁止をする国が相次いだが、現在もインドなど多くの国が輸出を禁止している。

A coup in Madagascar in the spring of this year was triggered by protests against a foreign company for buying up farmland in the country. There are numerous countries that buy up farmland in developing countries and secure food exclusively for themselves. The potential for oil, water and food crises are growing all over the world.
 今春、マダガスカルでクーデターが発生したのは、ひとつには外国企業が農地を囲い込んだことへの反発だった。途上国の農地を買い占め、自分だけ食料を確保しようとする国が後を絶たない。石油、水、食料をめぐる一触即発の危機が世界各地でふくらんでいる。

Various countries including Japan are competing in their own Green New Deal policies, to decrease their reliance on fossil fuels and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In other words, they are trying to ensure both environmental protection and economic growth through technological innovation. We have urged Japan to take the lead in such efforts.
 日本をふくめ各国がいま、グリーン・ニューディール政策を競い、化石燃料への依存を減らし温室効果ガスの排出を抑え込もうとしている。つまりは、技術進歩によって環境と成長の両立を図ろうとする試みである。私たちは日本が率先して取り組むよう求めた。

 ◇化石燃料なしの社会
Still, it is necessary to go one step further considering the urgency of problems involving global warming and the limits of natural resources available.
 ただ、温暖化の緊急性や資源の有限性を強く意識するなら、ここからさらに一歩踏み出す必要がある。

Sooner or later, we need to drastically change our lifestyles due to the need to protect the environment and the limits of natural resources. Experts are divided over when we have to do so. In any case, as the British Defense Ministry points out, the less energy we consume, the less vulnerable we are to environmental and energy crises.
 早晩、私たちは環境と資源の制約によって、暮らし方を大きく変えねばならなくなる。それが何年後かは議論が分かれるが、英国防省が示唆するように、エネルギーの使用量が少なければ少ないほど、危機への抵抗力は強まる。

Japan has not drawn a road map toward a low-energy but affluent society that could be a model for the world. Low energy consumption is widely regarded as leading to a poor lifestyle. Nobody would accept it. People must be affluent even if they are forced to substantially reduce their energy consumption.
 (東京財団が「化石燃料を使わない社会」をシミュレーションした。原子力、水力などは現状維持で、自然エネルギーを最大限利用したとして、1960年代の1次エネルギーの消費量になるという。ひどく貧しい時代だった気がする一方で、いま失われたある種の豊かさがあったような気もする。)
 実のところ、世界のモデルになるような「豊かな低エネルギー社会」をどうすれば実現できるか、道筋は見えていない。低エネルギー化は常識では貧しい暮らしを意味する。それではだれも賛成しないだろう。エネルギー消費が少なくても、そこに何らかの豊かさが生まれていなければ意味がない。

One thing is clear. Reduction in energy consumption is a matter that is closely linked to the independence and self-reliance of regional communities because it requires each regional community to ensure their self-sufficiency for not only food but also energy.
 ひとつはっきりしているのは、これが「地方の自立」に深くかかわる問題だということだ。なぜなら、低エネルギー社会は食料のみならずエネルギーも地産地消でなければ成立しないからだ。

Japan should transform itself into a country where regional communities will compete with each other in pursuing affluent lifestyles without wasting energy.
地方が「浪費と無縁の豊かさ」を競い合う分散型社会に日本は変わっていくだろう。

 あと半月で衆院選の投票日だ。鎮魂の月、8月の衆院選は初めてである。すでに事実上の選挙戦が始まっており、各党が政策論争を戦わせている。間遠に思えるかもしれないが、日本の安全保障の基礎を準備する問題として、低エネルギー社会をめざす是非や方策を論じてほしい。

毎日新聞 2009年8月15日 東京朝刊

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09総選挙に問う―成熟日本に新産業革命を

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 14(IHT/Asahi: August 15,2009)
EDITORIAL: Growth strategy
09総選挙に問う―成熟日本に新産業革命を

■成長アジアの市場を共有する仕組みを作ろう

■低炭素社会、超高齢化時代のリーダー目指せ

Japan's rapid recovery from the devastation of World War II and strong postwar growth were admired by the world as an economic "miracle."
 世界が「奇跡」と目を見張った戦後日本のスピード復興と高度成長。

Japanese confidence in the country's performance was bolstered in 1969, when its gross national product surpassed that of West Germany, making Japan the second-largest economy in the Western bloc after the United States.
その成果に国民が自信を深めたのは1969年だった。日本の国民総生産(GNP)が西ドイツを抜き、米国に次いで自由世界2位となった。

But Japan is about to lose the No. 2 spot to China, whose economy has been growing at a breakneck pace.
 だが、急成長を続ける中国の猛追で、「2位」は風前のともしびだ。

Now, Japan is gripped by pessimism, in a sharp contrast to the uplifting mood of 40 years ago.
 経済大国の階段を駆け上がった40年前とは対照的な悲観論が漂う。

The country is reeling from an unprecedented economic crisis, and people are concerned about the prospects of low economic growth and the shrinking population.
未曽有の経済危機、低成長のわなから抜け出せない焦り、人口減少時代の不安。

The heady days of booming economic growth in tandem with an expanding population are long gone.
 人口増加とともに容易に成長できる時代は去った。

Some might shrug and say it is time that Japanese people sat back and enjoyed the fruits of their matured economy.
ならば成熟経済の果実をゆっくり味わえばいい、との考え方もあろう。

But unless a country's gross domestic product grows, it is difficult to maintain its standard of living.
だが、所得の合計でもある国内総生産(GDP)を増やさなければ、生活水準を保つことも難しい。

A new model for economic growth is crucial to increase the economic pie and shake off the nation's sense of stagnation.
 経済全体のパイを効果的に増やし、閉塞(へいそく)感をぬぐい去るには、新たな国家的成長モデルが必要とされている。

     ◇

To that end, Japan must take up three challenges: compete and coexist with the world's emerging economies such as China, overcome the consequences of an aging society and reshape the nation into a low-carbon society.
 それには、直面する三つの課題に取り組む必要がある。中国など新興国との競争と共生。超高齢社会の克服。そして低炭素社会への改革だ。

While these tasks are all daunting, there is no reason to worry. Japan can turn these challenges to its advantage if it approaches them from new angles.
いずれも大きな関門だが、悲観する必要はない。見方を変えれば、どれも日本にプラスに転じられるものだ。

Here is one example. China is not only morphing into a formidable rival to Japan; it is also shaping up to be a rich, neighboring market. The world is looking to China's robust growth to help pull the global economy out of the recession.
 たとえば世界同時不況に打ち勝つ原動力の一つとして世界が注視する中国の成長は、手ごわいライバルの台頭であると同時に、日本に隣接する市場が豊かになることも意味する。

Asia, which includes India and Southeast Asia, offers far greater economic growth potential than the United States or Europe. The region's middle class has expanded to nearly 900 million people.
 インドや東南アジアも含むアジア域内の潜在成長力は米欧よりずっと大きい。この地域の中間層人口はすでに9億人近くに膨らんでいる。

Japan needs to devise a strategy to maintain competitiveness in this new phase of economic globalization led by multiple key players.
 多極化という新段階を迎えたグローバリゼーションの渦中に打って出る戦略が必要だ。

Japan should work to integrate Asian countries into a common market in which all the region's countries share in its wealth, while expanding global trade. This would create huge opportunities for Japanese business.
成長するアジア市場を域内各国が共有する「共通市場」化を、世界貿易の拡大と両立させつつ推進すべきである。そうすれば、日本企業に巨大な事業機会が広がる。

To transform into a low-carbon society, Japan should slash greenhouse gas emissions within an international framework.
 低炭素社会への対応はどうか。国際的な枠組みのなかで、温室効果ガスの大幅削減に取り組む。

While it will be a demanding task for a manufacturing economy like Japan, the transition will open up great opportunities to develop new technologies and products.
ものづくり国家の新たな試練だが、これも新しい技術や製品を育てるチャンスだ。

Solar power generation is a case in point.
 たとえば太陽光発電。

According to Sharp Corp. Chairman Katsuhiko Machida, whose company is a major manufacturer of solar cells: "Japan's solar cell plants are like oil fields. Oil-producing countries in the Middle East have asked our company to build (solar cell) factories there."
「日本の太陽電池工場はいわば『油田』。中東産油国からの誘致もある」とシャープの町田勝彦会長は言う。

Japan can emerge as a winner in a low-carbon society if it improves on such world-class environmental technologies.
こうした世界最高水準の環境技術に磨きをかければ、低炭素社会の勝者になれる。

Meanwhile, the aging of its population means Japan will find it increasingly difficult to secure labor force and maintain its pension and medical insurance systems.
 一方、超高齢化が進むと、労働力確保や年金・医療保険制度の維持が難しくなる。

Given that concerns about these prospects are crimping consumer spending, Japan must make it a key economic priority to bolster its social safety net and allay public anxiety.
その不安がいま消費を萎縮(いしゅく)させていることを考えれば、社会的な安全網を強化して国民不安を解消することは重要な経済政策でもある。

Populations are aging fast in many other countries, too, such as Italy and South Korea. China's 1.3-billion population will also start graying quickly in the near future.
 イタリア、韓国など高齢化が進む国は少なくない。人口13億人の中国もやがて高齢化が急速に進む。

But Japan is the world's first country to go through this radical demographic change, and it will be closely watched as a model of how to build a successful advanced-age society.
世界で最初に超高齢化を経験する日本はモデル社会づくりの先行例となる。

Japan could establish world-leading industries if it promotes the development of nursing care robots and highly advanced medical and welfare services through policy incentives, including deregulation and tax breaks.
規制緩和や投資減税などの政策誘導で、いち早く介護ロボットや先端的な医療福祉サービスを開発し、世界をリードする有力産業に育てることも夢ではない。

If such cutting-edge products and services create new jobs and ease the burden of people caring for aging family members, tackling the challenges of the aging society will lay the foundation for renewed growth.
 それが新たな雇用を生み、サービス利用者が家族の介護で働くことを制約されないような世の中にすることができるなら、超高齢化への挑戦そのものが成長の新しい柱となる。

     ◇

A fundamental question as the nation gears up for the Aug. 30 Lower House election, which could result in a change of government, is how to secure a decent future for our nation.
 日本はこれからどうやって食べていくのか。政権選択をかけたこの総選挙では、そこが根底から問われている。

Unfortunately, the election manifestoes of neither the Liberal Democratic Party nor the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan offer a grand vision on this question.
だが残念なことに自民党も民主党も政権公約には大きな処方箋(せん)がない。

Granted, the LDP has set a few numerical targets, such as achieving economic growth of an annualized 2 percent in the latter half of fiscal 2010 and creating demand worth 40 trillion to 60 trillion yen over the next three years.
 自民党は「10年度後半には年率2%の経済成長を実現」「今後3年間で40兆~60兆円の需要創出」と数値目標を掲げた。

The DPJ, criticized for offering few growth strategies, has added some campaign promises, such as transforming Japan's economy into one led by domestic demand.
民主党も成長戦略が不備との批判を受けて「内需主導型経済への転換」などの公約を追加した。

But both parties have failed to offer a road map to reach these goals, leaving their entire economic strategies unclear.
しかし、いずれも実現の道筋を示してはおらず、戦略の全体像が不明確だ。

To achieve economic growth, political parties need to put together a comprehensive program that draws on the synergies of government policies and taps private-sector resources in Japan and abroad.
 経済成長のための戦略は、内外でもっと民間活力を引き出すとともに、政策の相乗効果を発揮できる総合設計とすることが必要だ。

In addition, the parties need to win the public's understanding by explaining not just the benefits that growth will bring, but also the pain and burdens that will accompany the shift in the nation's industrial structure.
また、国民の受益だけでなく、産業構造の転換に伴う痛みや負担増についても積極的に説明し、理解を求めなければならない。

Turning Asia into a booming common market will call for the creation of a free trade zone centered on Japan, China and South Korea.
 アジアを「共通市場」として繁栄させるには、日中韓を中心とする自由貿易圏づくりが課題となる。

Now is the time to seriously consider the vision of an East Asian community, along with a common Asian currency.
東アジア共同体や、アジア共通通貨構想も真剣に検討する時期を迎えている。

Meanwhile, Japan should also work toward concluding a free trade agreement with the United States.
 一方、日米間での自由貿易協定(FTA)の推進も、避けて通れないテーマである。

To overcome the fallout from a liberalization of farm imports, Japan will have to carry out drastic agricultural reforms. We may have to scrap the acreage-reduction program and introduce income-supplementing payments to farmers, for example.
農産物の輸入自由化の試練を乗り越えるために、減反廃止や戸別所得補償の導入など抜本的な農政改革が求められるだろう。

Expansion of the distribution networks between Japan and other Asian countries will also be imperative.
 日本とアジア諸国との物流もさらに太く便利なものにしなければならない。

One effective way to do this will be to enter into projects to build highways, railways and ports in other Asian countries at the planning stage, perhaps by mobilizing the government's official development assistance programs.
それには政府の途上国援助(ODA)も活用して、アジアの幹線道路や鉄道、港湾の整備などに計画段階から協力するのが効果的だ。

Japan must view all these challenges as golden opportunities and reinvent itself as a matured economy.
 試練を好機ととらえ、成熟時代の日本をつくり直す。

More than ever before, Japan's political leaders are required to offer innovative visions and a broad perspective to lead the way for a new industrial revolution.
新たな産業革命のための広い視野と構想力が、今ほど政治に問われている時はない。

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野球の五輪落選 魅力をどう世界に広めるか

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 16, 2009)
IOC decision tough on baseball, softball
野球の五輪落選 魅力をどう世界に広めるか(8月16日付・読売社説)

Even if Tokyo is chosen to host the 2016 Olympic Games, we will not be able to enjoy watching the battle for baseball and softball medals.
 2016年の東京五輪招致が実現しても、野球とソフトボールのメダル争いは見ることができなくなった。

The International Olympic Committee executive board has selected golf and rugby sevens for proposed inclusion in the 2016 Summer Games. The board will submit the two sports for ratification by the IOC Assembly in Copenhagen in October.
 16年夏季五輪で実施する競技について、国際オリンピック委員会(IOC)の理事会は、ゴルフと7人制ラグビーを追加候補に決めた。10月の総会で最終決定する。

Baseball and softball, which have been dropped from the Olympic program for the 2012 London Games, failed in their comeback bids. As both are sports Japan had a chance of winning gold medals in, it was a regrettable outcome for this nation.
 12年のロンドン五輪で実施競技から外れる野球とソフトボールは、選から漏れ、五輪復帰はならなかった。日本にとっては、どちらも金メダルを狙える競技だけに、残念な結果である。

===

Baseball stars failed to speak

Baseball is only popular in a few regions around the world, and this may be the main reason it was dropped from the Olympic program. While baseball is popular in Japan and the United States, it cannot be denied that in Europe it lags well behind other popular sports, such as soccer, and is a minor sport there.
 野球は、盛んな地域が限られている。落選した最大の要因は、そこにあるだろう。日本や米国では人気競技だが、欧州ではサッカーなどの陰に隠れたマイナーなスポーツであることは否めない。

The failure of U.S. Major League Baseball's leading players to state whether they would participate in the Games also affected the outcome. In contrast, leading golfer Tiger Woods appealed to the board for his sport to be included in the 2016 Summer Games.
 米大リーグのトップクラスの選手が、五輪に出場するかどうか、はっきりしないままだったことも響いた。ゴルフでは、第一人者であるタイガー・ウッズ選手が、五輪競技入りをアピールしたのとは対照的だったといえる。

The participation of star players increases interest in a sporting event, which in turn allows higher broadcasting rights fees to be charged, bringing in increased funds for the IOC.
 スター選手が出場することで、注目度が高まれば、テレビの放映権料が高騰し、IOCの財政は潤う。

This fact undoubtedly formed the basis of the decision to select golf and not baseball for proposed inclusion in the 2016 Olympics.
ゴルフが選ばれ、野球が落選した背景には、こうした側面があったことは否定できまい。

Allegations of performance-enhancing drug use by MLB players may also have been a key factor behind the IOC's decision, as the committee has toughened its stance on doping.
 大リーグでの相次ぐ薬物疑惑も、ドーピング対策に力を入れるIOCから見れば、大きなマイナスポイントであったといえる。

There is no doubt the World Baseball Classic will continue to be seen as an important event. To spread baseball's appeal around the world, efforts must be made to improve the standing of this competition that determines the world's number one national baseball team.
 今後、ワールド・ベースボール・クラシック(WBC)の重要性が増すのは間違いない。世界一を決める大会として、さらに充実させ、野球の魅力を広く発信していく必要がある。

In the second WBC, which was held in March, it was great to see that the competitiveness of European baseball teams had greatly improved. This is encouraging in terms of promoting the internationalization of the game.
 3月の第2回大会で、欧州チームのレベルアップが目立ったのは、野球の国際化を進めるうえで、心強いことだ。

If Japan and the United States continue to play a leading role in promoting the sport around the globe, such improvements in the skill level of emerging baseball nations should lead to the return of the game to the Olympic program in the future.
日本や米国が先導役となって、世界的に普及を図っていく。それが、将来の五輪復帰につながるはずだ。

The IOC decision also came as a huge shock to softballers, for whom participation in the Olympics was their main goal. Maintaining the high standards that saw the Japanese national team win the gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games has now become a pressing issue.
 五輪を最大の目標としてきたソフトボールの選手にとっても、今回の落選は大きなショックであろう。昨年の北京五輪で金メダルを獲得した実力を、どう維持していくかが課題である。

===

Good news for golfers

If golf is officially included in the 2016 Summer Games, we would be able to cheer on Ryo Ishikawa and Ai Miyazato as they drive for gold.
 ゴルフが五輪競技に加われば、石川遼選手や宮里藍選手が金メダルを目指し、奮闘する姿が見られるかもしれない。

If Tokyo hosts that Games, the inclusion of the two players would make the Olympics even more exciting.
 東京五輪でそれが実現すれば、大会は大いに盛り上がるだろう。

On Oct. 2, the IOC will pick the host city for the 2016 Olympic Games. We hope the nation's bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games continues to gain momentum.
16年夏季五輪の開催地が決まる10月2日に向けて、招致の機運を一層盛り上げていきたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 16, 2009)
(2009年8月16日01時39分  読売新聞)

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2009年8月15日 (土)

発信箱:セレブ依存症=福本容子

(Mainichi Japan) August 14, 2009
Effectiveness of high-priced celebrities in TV ads overrated
発信箱:セレブ依存症=福本容子

"I couldn't believe what they were paying me. If I could do one every year, I could retire," confessed Hollywood actor Dennis Hopper half-jokingly about his appearance in a Japanese television commercial. The ad for bath salts featured Hopper soaking in a tub with a rubber duck.
 「ギャラの多さに仰天。毎年これ1本で引退できるね」
 と、冗談交じりに本音を漏らしたのはハリウッド男優のデニス・ホッパーさんだった。以前、日本のテレビCMに出演した時の感想。こわもてのキャラながら、入浴剤のCMで黄色いゴム製アヒルを湯船に浮かべ「アヒルちゃん」と言っていたあの人である。

Well-known figures are generally not seen in television commercials in the West. Celebrities may make more appearances today than they did in the past, but still, they only account for about 20 percent of all the commercials in the U.S. While they fear that endorsing products in their home countries would earn them a reputation for "selling out" their names, they have taken on goofy roles in Japan for TV commercials, figuring their secret will be safe here. After all, they can get paid hundreds of millions of yen for just a few days' work.
 欧米のCMに有名人はあまり出てこない。最近、増えてきたといってもアメリカでは全体の2割程度。「名声を売るヤツ」との悪評を彼らは気にする。でも「日本でなら安全」と間抜けな役さえ演じてきた。なんたって数日で何千万円、何億円と稼げるのだ。

According to CM Databank, a television commercial research and consulting company, 41 percent of all commercials aired in Japan in fiscal 2008 employed celebrities. From this figure, one would assume that famous faces translate into increased profits.
 CM総合研究所によると08年度に日本でオンエアされた全作品の41%が有名タレントを使っていた。放映頻度が高いCMならもっと多いはず。相当な効果なのだろう。

However, there is research showing that this is not necessarily the case.
 実はそうでもない、との調査結果がある。

A team led by professor Brett Martin from the University of Bath in Britain presented students with fake ads for digital cameras to determine the ads' effectiveness. As it turns out, ads featuring average, student-like characters proved to be more effective than those with famous people. Apparently, it's the "If Joe Blow uses it, then maybe I will, too," mentality. Furthermore, it's said that this holds true in any culture.
英バース大・マーチン教授らがデジタルカメラの架空広告を学生たちに見せ効果を調べた。すると有名人が登場するものより平凡な学生風の人物が宣伝した方がずっと効果があったそうだ。「山田君が持ってるなら僕も」の心理らしい。どの国にも当てはまるのだとか。

Perhaps our conviction that famous people sell products had been wrong all along.
 「広告には有名人」と勝手に思い込んでいただけなのかも。

Seeing how not only private companies, but even the government and courts have employed big names in their advertisements and public service announcements, only to be forced to "voluntarily" pull those ads off the air when those very celebrities become embroiled in unexpected scandals, it's about time we try a different tack.
企業に加え政府や裁判所まで有名人を広報に起用しては“想定外”のスキャンダルで右へならえの放映自粛を繰り返すのを見ていると、そろそろ路線を変えたら、と思う。

Both Toyota and Honda have received praise for their innovative and humorous commercials created for overseas audiences.
トヨタもホンダも海外では独創的でユーモアたっぷりのCMを流し高い評価を得ているのだから。

And that's without the help of famous people.
有名人抜きで。

Have we lost the creativity to stimulate the sensibilities of our viewers with new ideas?
 見る者の感覚をアイデアで刺激する創造力まで退化させてはいない? 

The ill effects of our dependency on celebrities may be more far-reaching than we think.
セレブ依存症の害は結構、重いみたい。

(Column by Yoko Fukumoto, Business News Department)
(経済部)

毎日新聞 2009年8月14日 東京朝刊

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終戦の日 追悼めぐる論議を深めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 15, 2009)
Time to discuss how to commemorate war dead
終戦の日 追悼めぐる論議を深めよ(8月15日付・読売社説)

Whenever we ponder on those
who dedicated their lives
for the cause of our nation,
our heart aches with deep emotion
 「くにのためいのちささげし ひとびとの ことをおもへば むねせまりくる」

This poem by Emperor Showa (1926-1989) is inscribed on the monument to the memory of the war dead at Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo.
 東京・千代田区の千鳥ヶ淵戦没者墓苑の碑に刻まれた昭和天皇のお歌である。

Once again, the day has arrived on which the nation commemorates the end of World War II. The government will host a memorial service for the war dead at Nippon Budokan hall, which is close to the national cemetery.
 今年も「終戦の日」を迎えた。千鳥ヶ淵の墓苑にほど近い日本武道館では、政府主催の全国戦没者追悼式が行われる。

In an ordinary year, the ceremony is attended by the Emperor and Empress as well as the heads of the three branches of state power: the heads of both houses of the Diet, the prime minister and the Supreme Court chief justice. In this regard, it is the nation's most solemn event.
This year, however, the House of Representatives speaker will not attend because the lower house has been dissolved ahead of the upcoming general election.
 天皇、皇后両陛下と共に、例年、三権の長である衆参両院議長、首相、最高裁長官が列席する。日本国として最も厳粛な儀式である。とは言え、今回は衆院が解散されているため衆院議長は不在だ。

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II. The war broke out with the German invasion of Poland on Sept. 1, 1939. Germany had concluded a nonaggression pact with the Soviet Union only a week earlier on Aug. 23.
 今年は第2次大戦勃発(ぼっぱつ)から70周年の年でもある。1939年9月1日、ドイツのポーランド侵攻で始まった。直前の8月23日には独ソ不可侵条約が締結された。

Soon after, Soviet forces invaded Poland and annexed three Baltic states. The three states only regained their independence shortly before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
 ソ連もポーランドに侵攻し、バルト3国を併合した。3国が独立を回復するのは、91年にソ連が崩壊する直前のことである。

In July, the parliamentary assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe adopted a resolution calling for the anniversary of the day the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact was concluded to be a day of remembrance for victims of Stalinism and Nazism. The session was held in Lithuania--one of the Baltic states that came under Soviet control.
 バルト3国の一つ、リトアニアで今夏開催された全欧安保協力機構(OSCE)の議会は、独ソ不可侵条約が締結された日を、「スターリニズムとナチズムの犠牲者追悼の日」とすることなどを求める宣言を採択した。

===

Diplomatic blunders

During the war years, Japan repeatedly made diplomatic blunders by making approaches to Germany and the Soviet Union.
 このドイツとソ連に接近して外交上の失敗を繰り返したのが、当時の日本だった。

The Imperial Japanese Army initially believed it could keep the Soviet Union in check by forming an alliance with Germany. The signing of the nonaggression treaty between those two countries, however, stunned the Cabinet of Prime Minister Kiichiro Hiranuma, which resigned en masse after issuing a statement that said, "Europe's heaven and earth are complicated and inscrutable."
 日本陸軍は当初、ドイツと同盟を結び、ソ連をけん制しようと考えていた。その独ソによる不可侵条約の締結に驚いた平沼騏一郎内閣は「欧州の天地は複雑怪奇」との声明を出して総辞職した。

Later, the Cabinet of Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe concluded the Tripartite Alliance with Germany and Italy as well as the Japanese-Soviet Neutrality Pact. Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka apparently thought the impasse in Japan-U.S. relations could be broken by balancing against Britain and the United States by strengthening cooperation among four countries--Japan, Germany, Italy and the Soviet Union.
 その後、近衛文麿内閣は日独伊三国同盟と日ソ中立条約を締結した。松岡洋右外相は日独伊にソ連を加えた4か国の連携で、英米との力の均衡をはかり、日米関係を打開しようと考えていた。

But Matsuoka's plan was scuttled by the outbreak of hostilities between the Soviet Union and Germany. The next cabinet, that of Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, decided to go to war with the United States--a reckless undertaking on Japan's part.
 だが、独ソ戦が始まり構想は破綻(はたん)した。続く東条英機内閣は、米国との無謀な戦争に踏み切る。

As the conflict drew closer to its end, the Cabinet of Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki asked the Soviet Union to broker a deal with the Allies to end the war. However, the Soviet Union turned its back on the neutrality pact with Japan and invaded Manchuria (what is now northeastern China). As a result, 575,000 Japanese officers and soldiers were captured and detained in Siberia and other parts of the Soviet Union. An estimated 55,000 Japanese are believed to have died in the Soviet Union after the war.
 戦争末期、鈴木貫太郎内閣はソ連に終戦の仲介を依頼したが、ソ連は日ソ中立条約を破って旧満州(現中国東北部)に侵攻した。57万5000人の将兵がシベリアなどに抑留され、5万5000人が死亡したと推定されている。

A massive amount of documents detailing the Japanese detainees has recently been discovered at a Russian archive. We hope these documents will help identify the Japanese who died in Soviet detention.
 最近、ロシアの公文書館で抑留者の資料が大量に見つかった。ロシア側資料による死亡者の情報の裏付けが期待されている。

Looking back, it is clear that Japanese leaders grossly misinterpreted what was happening on the international stage.
 こうした経緯からも、当時の日本の指導者たちは世界の情勢を見誤っていたのは明らかだろう。

The House of Representatives election to choose the leaders who will be tasked with navigating Japan through uncharted waters will be officially announced Tuesday, opening an 11-day campaign.
 これからの日本を託す指導者を選ぶ総選挙の公示は、3日後に控えている。

Both the Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of Japan have mapped out policies they plan to implement should they hold the reins of government. The battle to woo voters will be fierce.
 自民、民主両党が政権構想を示して競い合っているが、

===

Grandfathers' experiences

The current state of affairs no doubt reminds many people of the grandfathers of Prime Minister Taro Aso and DPJ President Yukio Hatoyama.
思い起こされるのは、麻生首相と民主党・鳩山代表の祖父たちのことだ。

Aso's grandfather, former Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida, served as ambassador to Britain before the war and was a strong proponent of closer ties with Britain and the United States. Yoshida, who engaged with Konoe and other like-minded people in a futile effort to bring the fighting to an end in the closing months of World War II, was arrested by military police and detained for 40 days.
Yoshida fell ill after being released. The war ended while he was recuperating in Oiso, Kanagawa Prefecture.
 麻生首相の祖父、吉田茂は戦前駐英大使を務め、英米との連携を強く主張した。戦争末期には、近衛元首相らと連携して終戦工作に動き、憲兵隊に逮捕された。
 40日間拘束され、釈放されたあと、病に倒れ、神奈川県大磯の別宅で静養中に終戦を迎えた。

Hatoyama's grandfather, former Prime Minister Ichiro Hatoyama, was a lawmaker focused on party politics who had served as education minister. Hatoyama clashed with Tojo and, as a result, he had to spend some time in seclusion at a villa in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture. He listened to the radio broadcast in which Emperor Showa announced Japan's surrender while he was tucked away in Karuizawa.
 鳩山代表の祖父、鳩山一郎は文相なども務めた政党政治家だったが、東条首相と対立して軽井沢の別荘で隠とん生活を送った。玉音放送も軽井沢で聞いた。

While at his villa, Hatoyama regularly read a book written by Austro-Hungarian diplomat Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi, who is widely regarded as one of the founding fathers of European integration. The book stressed the need for "fraternal revolution." Hatoyama later translated the book under the title of "Jiyu to Jinsei" (Liberty and Life).
 別荘では、欧州統合の父とされるクーデンホーフ・カレルギーが「友愛革命」を説いた著書を愛読し、「自由と人生」と題して後に翻訳した。

===

Lessons of history

What historical lessons can Aso and Hatoyama learn from the bitter experiences of their grandfathers?
 戦後は首相を務めた2人のかつての苦い経験から、麻生首相と鳩山代表は、どのような歴史の教訓をくみとるだろうか。

Aso will observe the war anniversary for the first time since becoming prime minister. He has said he will not visit Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo because it would be wrong to make "the people who sacrificed their precious lives for the country" a matter of political contention.
 麻生首相は就任後初めて「終戦の日」を迎えるが、靖国神社には参拝しないという。「国家のために尊い命をささげた人たち」を政争の具などにするのは間違っていると、理由を語った。

Fourteen Class-A war criminals, including Tojo and Matsuoka, are enshrined at Yasukuni Shrine along with other war dead.
 靖国神社には、東条元首相や松岡元外相ら、14人の「A級戦犯」が合祀(ごうし)されている。

Some LDP members insist the Class-A war criminals must be enshrined elsewhere. Some other LDP members have advocated constructing a national memorial facility. However, the party has not formulated a united position on the matter.
 自民党内には、靖国神社に合祀された「A級戦犯」の分祀や国立追悼施設の建設の主張もあるが、党の方針は示されていない。

Hatoyama said he would not visit Yasukuni should he become prime minister, and he would urge his cabinet ministers to refrain from going to the shrine. Hatoyama has suggested he favors establishing a national memorial facility for the war dead.
 民主党の鳩山代表は、仮に首相になっても参拝せず、閣僚にも自粛を求めるとともに、国立追悼施設の設置に向けて取り組みを進める方針を示している。

DPJ Secretary General Katsuya Okada said he wants to have a group of experts discuss building a national facility, possibly making use of the Chidorigafuchi cemetery.
 岡田幹事長も、追悼施設について、千鳥ヶ淵戦没者墓苑を生かすことも含め有識者に議論してもらう考えを表明した。

Emperor Showa expressed concern that the essence of Yasukuni Shrine, a resting place for the spirits of the nation's war dead, has been distorted with the enshrinement of the Class-A war criminals.
 昭和天皇は、戦死者の魂を鎮めるという靖国神社の性格が「A級戦犯」の合祀で変わってしまうのではないかと懸念されていた。

Yasukuni Shrine insists the teachings of Shintoism prevent it from separating the war criminals from the shrine.
 靖国神社は、いったん合祀した「A級戦犯」の分祀は、神道の教学上できないとしている。

However, even if Yasukuni Shrine refuses to separately enshrine the Class-A war criminals, discussions about establishing a national facility will gain momentum regardless of the outcome of this month's general election.
 だが、神社側が分祀に応じない限り、選挙の結果がどうであれ、国立追悼施設建立に向けての議論は、勢いを増していくだろう。

It is time to deepen national-level discussions on the best way to pay tribute to the people who sacrificed their lives for the country, and to settle this issue.
 国のために尊い命を犠牲にした人々の追悼のあり方について、改めて国民的な議論を深め、結論を導き出す時期に来ているのではないだろうか。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 15, 2009)
(2009年8月15日01時23分  読売新聞)

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2009年8月14日 (金)

BPO勧告―自律が放送の自由を守る

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 13(IHT/Asahi: August 14,2009)
EDITORIAL: Broadcasting ethics
BPO勧告―自律が放送の自由を守る

The Broadcasting Ethics and Program Improvement Organization (BPO) is an industry watchdog run by the Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) and commercial networks. It recently made strict demands of two television companies.
 放送倫理・番組向上機構(BPO)は放送界の「お目付け役」だ。NHKと民放で作る第三者機関である。それが二つの局に厳しい注文をつけた。

It told Nippon Television Network Corp. (NTV) to make a program to clarify erroneous reporting on the program "Shinso Hodo Bankisha!" and demanded Tokyo Broadcasting System Television Inc. (TBS) take "appropriate measures" over a "serious violation of broadcasting ethics" by its program "Sunday Japon."
 日本テレビ「真相報道バンキシャ!」の誤報には検証番組の制作を、TBS「サンデー・ジャポン」の「重大な放送倫理違反」には「しかるべき措置」を求めた。

In both cases, the organization issued "advisories," the most serious category of recommendations. It issued a wake-up call about problems with program production, after delving into the causes of false reporting.
いずれも結論としては一番重い「勧告」だ。原因を詳しく調べ、制作態勢の問題に警鐘を鳴らした。

With regard to "Bankisha," the BPO once again pointed out its inadequacy in corroborating its coverage. Because of poor communication between NTV employees who direct coverage and the production company crew that goes on location to do the actual reporting, work to dig into the truth instead became an exercise to "procure" comments and images in time for the program to air.
 「バンキシャ」では、裏付け取材のお粗末さが改めて指摘された。取材を指示するテレビ局員と現場に行く制作会社スタッフの意思疎通が不十分で、真実を追求するはずの取材が、放送日に間に合わせて言葉と映像を「調達する」作業になっていた。

"Sunday Japon" put together images that were shot on different days to give viewers a false impression. The comment of a personality who appeared on the show was also misleading. Personalities appeared on the live program without being given basic information. The situation exposed a disturbing lack of journalistic awareness from a program that purports to be a news show.
 「サンデー・ジャポン」は別の日に撮影した映像をつなげて放送し、視聴者に誤った印象を与えた。出演タレントのコメントも間違っていた。タレントは、基本的な情報も知らされないまま生放送に臨んでいた。ニュースを扱っているのに報道の意識があまりに薄い制作態勢が浮き彫りになった。

This time, the BPO addressed such problems as sloppy fact checking, programming that gives first priority to images without delving deeper into the issues and a lack of understanding among concerned parties. These problems are hidden in many parts of television programs. We can almost hear sighs of disappointment within the advisories that ask why such situations are repeated.
 今回指摘された、事実確認のずさんさ、本質に迫ろうとしない映像優先の構成、関係者の理解不足といった問題は、テレビ番組のあちこちに潜んでいる。勧告書からは「どうしてこうも似たようなことが繰り返されるのか」というため息が聞こえてくる。

The BPO comprises members chosen from outside the broadcasting industry who discuss problems and come up with advisories and views. It is a matter of course for television stations that receive warnings to respect them. At the same time, the broadcasting industry as a whole also needs to seriously accept them.
 BPOは、放送界の外から選ばれた委員が議論し、勧告や見解を示す。指摘された各局がそれを尊重することはもちろんだが、放送界全体としても深刻に受け止めなければならない。

Tsutomu Sato, minister of internal affairs and communications, made a comment that we find worrisome. Referring to the BPO, he said some people held the view that the watchdog made decisions to suit itself. Based on that observation, he went on to propose the establishment of a "system to constantly examine and monitor programs by an organization with certain powers" that keeps a certain distance from the ministry.
 気がかりな発言がある。佐藤総務相が、BPOが「お手盛り的な運用になっているのではないかという意見もある」とし、総務省から少し離れたところに「ある程度の権限を持った機関が、常に番組を精査し、監視するシステムがあってもいい」と提案した。

We don't think the BPO is run to suit itself. The comment, which could lead to the regulation of program content by the government, is very questionable.
 BPOの運用は「お手盛り」とは言えない。政府による番組の内容規制につながりかねない発言は大いに疑問だ。

Coverage of trials for the 1999 murder of a mother and child in Hikari, Yamaguchi Prefecture, illustrates the functions of the BPO.
 BPOの機能を示す例が、山口県光市の母子殺人事件の裁判報道だ。

Since many programs effectively criticized efforts to defend the accused, the BPO urged broadcasters to rethink their approach to criminal trials.
被告を弁護することが悪であるかのような番組があふれていたため、刑事裁判の基本を考えるよう各局に注意を促した。

As a result, many programs adjusted their stance to better consider human rights.
その結果、多くの番組が人権に配慮する姿勢に変わった。

Such efforts enhance the quality of broadcasts.
こうした積み重ねが放送の質を高めていく。

Some of the crew of "Bankisha" reportedly did not even know about the BPO.
 「バンキシャ」にはBPOの存在すら知らないスタッフがいたという。

Unless broadcasters thoroughly educate staff, the same mistakes will be repeated.
現場への教育が徹底しなければ、同じ間違いがまた起きる。

If broadcasters continue to produce programs that undermine the trust of viewers, they could encourage moves by the administration to interfere in program production and impose regulations.
視聴者の信頼を損なう番組作りが続けば、行政の介入や規制を招きかねない。

NTV plans to shortly air a program to clarify its false reporting on "Bankisha."
 日本テレビは近く「バンキシャ」の検証番組を放送する。

We urge it to recover trust through sincere reflection and thorough examination, because autonomy is the path to protect broadcasting freedom.
誠実な反省と綿密な検証で信頼を回復してほしい。自律が放送の自由を守る道だからだ。

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社説:09衆院選 党首討論 もどかしさだけが残る

(Mainichi Japan) August 13, 2009
Debate between Aso and Hatoyama was disappointing
社説:09衆院選 党首討論 もどかしさだけが残る

The 90-minute debate between Prime Minister Taro Aso and opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) leader Yukio Hatoyama on Wednesday was frustrating. It was regrettable that their policy discussion lacked substance because it was the last chance for the two candidates to become the next prime minister to have a debate before the upcoming House of Representatives election.
 もどかしい1時間半だった。もちろん、12日行われた麻生太郎首相(自民党総裁)と鳩山由紀夫・民主党代表との党首討論のことだ。今月30日の衆院選投票日まで、「次の首相」を争う両氏だけの討論は恐らくこれが最初で最後となる。それだけに消化不良で終わったのは残念だ。

It has been pointed out that the focus of the general election is whether voters will concentrate on their "dissatisfaction" with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) or their "concern" about the DPJ in selecting the next administration. In that sense, both Aso and Hatoyama failed to relieve voters' dissatisfaction and concerns in the debate.
 自民党に対する「不満」と民主党に対する「不安」。今回の衆院選は有権者がそのどちらを重視するかの選択だという指摘がある。その意味では不満も不安も解消されなかった討論といえるだろう。

Hatoyama appeared particularly lackluster. He repeated his earlier message that he will transform bureaucrat-dominated politics into one led by legislators and implement "policy measures with a human touch." However, questions he asked Aso lacked an edge.
 とりわけ精彩がなかったのは鳩山氏だ。基本的には官僚主導でなく政治主導の体制を作る一方、「心の通った政策」を実現するとの従来のメッセージを繰り返したが、麻生首相に対する質問は鋭さを欠いた。

For example, Hatoyama should have posed severe questions about why the prime minister has failed to prevent retired senior bureaucrats from landing lucrative post-retirement jobs before restrictions on such practices are tightened if the DPJ takes the reins of government. The LDP has pledged to ban bureaucrats from landing post-retirement jobs in organizations they once supervised, but doubts remain about whether it is feasible.
 例えば天下り問題だ。最近、駆け込み的に相次いでいる幹部官僚の関係独立行政法人などへの天下りや「渡り」人事をなぜ、首相が止めないのか、鳩山氏はもっと具体的に追及すべきだった。自民党も天下り禁止を表明しているが、本当に実行できるのか疑わせる話だからだ。

Aso appeared to have carefully prepared questions in advance. The prime minister apparently believes the DPJ cannot explain how it will secure financial resources for policy measures outlined in its manifesto.
 一方の麻生首相は周到に質問の準備をした節はうかがわせた。民主党への最大の反撃材料は子ども手当などの財源問題と見ているのだろう。

Hatoyama explained that a DPJ-led administration would review the way to compile both general and special accounts of the state budget and reduce wasteful outlays and eliminate non-urgent projects to secure enough funds for its policy measures. However, unless he provides a more specific explanation, he will remain on the defensive.
鳩山氏は一般会計・特別会計全体で予算編成を見直し、無駄な支出や不要不急の予算を削減して財源を作る考えを改めて示したが、もう少し具体的に説明しないと今後も守勢に回ることになるだろう。

The prime minister went on the offensive over diplomatic and security policies, including the Maritime Self-Defense Force's mission in the Indian Ocean to refuel U.S. and other vessels engaging in the war against terror.
 インド洋での海上自衛隊による給油活動など外交・安全保障政策に関しても、首相が攻勢に転じた形だ。

"We just can't allow a political party that has no consistency in its security policy to take over the reins of government," Aso said.
Hatoyama argued that there are measures that can contribute to peace in Afghanistan other than refueling. However, he failed to specify them.
「安保政策に一貫性がない政党に任せられない」という首相に対し、鳩山氏は「給油以上にアフガニスタンの平和に資する政策がある」などと反論したが、これも抽象的だった。

Aso, who has continued to criticize the DPJ as if he has become an opposition leader, cannot be praised, either. He simply emphasized his government's achievements without addressing the widening income gap, a major issue since the previous general election. He also underscored the importance of a strategy for economic growth, but failed to show a road map toward that end.
 もっとも、もはや野党になったかのように民主党批判を続ける首相もほめられたものではない。前回の衆院選以降、深刻なテーマとなっている格差問題などをどう総括しているか語ることなく、自画自賛のように成果を強調するだけだった。経済成長戦略の重要性をアピールするものの道筋は明確でなかった。

The debate, organized by the National Congress for 21st Century Japan, has tried to provide voters with important information they can use in selecting the next administration and prime minister.
 今回の討論は21世紀臨調が主催したものだ。「衆院選は政権と首相を選択する選挙」との流れが定着しつつある中、実質的に「次の首相」を争っている2人だけの討論会は有権者の重要な判断材料となったはずだ。

However, it is regrettable that the debate was not broadcast by terrestrial TV stations out of consideration for other political parties whose leaders did not participate in it. This failure is a serious issue that needs to be addressed in the future.
ところが、自民、民主以外の各党への配慮などからテレビの地上波では中継されなかった。これも残念なことで今後に重い課題を残した。

毎日新聞 2009年8月13日 0時23分

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年金改革 党派の対立超え接点を探れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 14, 2009)
Compromise necessary for pension reform
年金改革 党派の対立超え接点を探れ(8月14日付・読売社説)

The pension system is the bedrock upon which the citizens of this nation build their postretirement life. However, if this system lacks stability, notions of a strong ultra-aging society will be nothing more than a pipe dream.
 年金制度は老後を支える根幹だ。これが揺らいでは、安定した超高齢社会は築けない。

In the last fiscal year, the rate of contributions paid by subscribers to the national pension scheme, which mainly covers self-employed and nonregular workers, declined to a record low of 62.1 percent. This figure is believed to reflect public distrust in the current system, with many people reportedly concerned about being unable to receive pension benefits, despite having paid premiums over many years.
 自営業者や非正規労働者などが支払う国民年金保険料の納付率は昨年度、過去最低の62・1%まで下がった。保険料を納めても年金を受け取れないのではないか、という不信感を反映したものだろう。

Evidently, the pension system will need to be fundamentally overhauled before public confidence can be restored.
 年金制度への信頼を取り戻すために、思い切った改革が必要であることは明らかだ。

===

Different visions

The Liberal Democratic Party pledged in its policy platforms for the upcoming House of Representatives election to offer help within three years to people who currently receive little or no pension benefits.
 自民党は、無年金・低年金者を3年以内に救済することを公約に掲げた。

More specifically, the party--in a shared pledge with its coalition partner, New Komeito--proposed shortening the minimum period that people are required to pay premiums in order to qualify for pension benefits from the current 25 years to 10 years.
具体的には公明党との与党共通公約として、年金をもらうための最低加入期間を現行の25年から10年に短縮するなどとしている。

In addition, New Komeito proposed improvements aimed at guaranteeing minimum benefits for low-income earners by providing additional financial assistance from the state coffers.
公明党はさらに、低所得者に年金を上乗せして最低保障機能を充実することを唱えている。

Conversely, the Democratic Party of Japan proposed an all-encompassing pension program in which everyone would be asked to pay premiums in proportion to their income. The envisaged program also is designed to guarantee a minimum monthly pension income of 70,000 yen by drawing upon taxpayers' money to provide extra benefits. Such a move would transform the current pension scheme.
 一方、民主党は国民共通の所得比例年金を創設し、受け取り月額が7万円以上になるように税金で最低保障年金を上乗せする案を示した。新しい制度に移行する抜本改革である。

Though the ruling bloc's pension reform plans and the DPJ's ideas are significantly different, they are not completely incompatible.
 与党と民主党の年金改革案は大きく異なる。ただし、全く相いれないものではない。

Up until the previous House of Councillors election, the DPJ had said the basic pension portion of its minimum-guarantee pension scheme would rely entirely on taxpayers' money. This proposal thus gave the impression that the current premium-based system would be rebuilt from the ground up into a system that was fully funded by tax revenues.
 民主党は前回の参院選まで、自らが唱える最低保障年金について「基礎部分をすべて税にする」と説明し、現行の保険料方式を全額税方式に転換するかのように印象づけていた。

However, the party altered its rationale ahead of the upcoming lower house election. Under its newly drafted reform plan, the envisaged pension scheme would be based on benefits linked to the amount of premiums paid into the system by people during their working years, with the minimum-guarantee pension benefits complementing this income-linked pension.
 しかし、衆院選では説明を変えている。基本となるのは保険料による所得比例年金であり、最低保障年金はそれを補完する形に概念図を作り直した。

As a result of this new stance, friction lessened between the ruling and opposition blocs over whether a premium-based or tax-funded program was best suited to the nation's needs.
 この結果、保険料方式か全額税方式かという、これまでの与野党の対立は弱まった。

===

Cross-party challenge

The ruling parties continue to maintain that a domestic unified pension program should be this country's long-term goal.
 与党はかねて「最終的には年金制度の一元化が望ましい」としていた。

We believe the idea of a unified income-linked pension program to be worthy of serious consideration.
すべての国民が保険料方式の所得比例年金に入る構想は到達点として十分検討に値しよう。

However, the DPJ plan would require a long transitional period before the new system could be operated smoothly and effectively. Therefore, as proposed by the ruling parties, the government would need to take measures to financially support those people who had only small pensions, or no benefits at all.
 一方、民主党案も完成させるには長期の移行期間が必要であり、与党が主張するような、現に生じている無年金・低年金者への対策が不要になるわけではない。

The ruling and opposition blocs' pension reform proposals are not completely contradictory. As such, it would be possible to seek a compromise.
 年金改革に関して、与野党の主張は互いを全否定する関係にはなく、接点は見いだしうる。

As for coming debates on pension reform, voters should keep a close eye on which party or candidate seems the most constructively minded on the issue.
 有権者が見極めるべきは、建設的な姿勢で議論しているのは、どの政党、どの候補者か、という点であろう。

Whatever political shape the nation takes after the lower house election, reforming the pension system is a task that must be tackled across party lines.
 衆院選後に政権の枠組みがどうなろうとも、年金改革は超党派で取り組まねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 14, 2009)
(2009年8月14日01時13分  読売新聞)

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2009年8月13日 (木)

ミャンマー―軍政がアジアを脅かす

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 12(IHT/Asahi: August 13,2009)
EDITORIAL: Suu Kyi's ordeal
ミャンマー―軍政がアジアを脅かす

The military junta of Myanmar (Burma) on Tuesday ordered pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi to remain under house arrest for an additional 18 months.
 ミャンマー(ビルマ)の民主化運動指導者アウン・サン・スー・チー氏に対して、軍事政権はさらに1年半の自宅軟禁を命じた。

Suu Kyi was indicted on charges of violating the national defense law, which bans contact with the outside. She is accused of letting an American stay after he allegedly slipped past authorities to swim across a lake to her home.
 当局の監視をかいくぐり、湖を泳いで渡ってきた米国人を自宅に泊めたことが、外部との接触を禁じた国家防御法違反に問われた。

The court sentenced her to three years in prison with hard labor, a ruling quickly commuted by the military regime to house arrest for 18 months.
法廷は労働を伴う3年の実刑判決を出したが、軍事政権が直後に自宅軟禁に変更した。

The junta, mindful of international criticism, was apparently keen to demonstrate its leniency. But the decision does nothing to change the travesty of Suu Kyi's indictment, which was based on spurious grounds.
 国際社会の批判を意識して「減刑」したとアピールしたいのだろうが、そもそも根拠の乏しい訴追なのだから、不当さに変わりがあろうはずがない。

Suu Kyi has spent 14 years either under house arrest or in detention.
 スー・チー氏の自宅軟禁や拘束は計14年間に及んでいる。

The extension is aimed at keeping her isolated from the political scene next year, when the junta will hold parliamentary elections to turn the country over to "civilian rule."
軍事政権は「民政移管」のために、来年前半に総選挙を行うとしているが、結局、国民に支持されるスー・チー氏を選挙活動に加われないようにするのが今回の自宅軟禁の狙いだろう。

But the regime cannot possibly hope to claim legitimacy for an election held under such circumstances.
 こんな形で総選挙を強行しても、その正当性が認められることはありえない。

Japan and many other countries are calling for the release of Suu Kyi and other political prisoners in Myanmar. The junta should heed the call immediately.
日本をはじめ国際社会の多くの国々は、スー・チー氏を含む全政治犯の釈放を求めている。軍事政権はこの要請にすぐに応じるべきなのだ。

The military regime seized power in a 1988 coup, and then ignored the results of a 1990 parliamentary election won by Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy in a landslide.
Since then, the generals have only tightened their iron grip over the nation.
 88年のクーデター、そしてスー・チー氏率いる国民民主連盟が大勝した90年の総選挙結果を握りつぶして以来、軍事政権の強権統治はひどくなるばかりだ。

Two years ago, the military brutally crushed demonstrations by thousands of Buddhist monks and citizens seeking better living conditions. Japanese journalist Kenji Nagai was murdered by security forces, who shot him while he filmed the protests.
2年前、生活難に抗議する僧侶や市民らのデモを武力鎮圧し、日本人ジャーナリストの長井健司さんが射殺された。

The self-justifying stance of the Myanmar junta is casting dark clouds all over Asia.
 軍事政権の独善的な行動は、アジア全体に深刻な影を落としつつある。

Of particular concern are suspicions that the country is advancing military cooperation with North Korea.
とくに心配なのは、北朝鮮との軍事協力が進んでいる疑いが出てきたことだ。

A North Korean ship tracked by the U.S. military in June on suspicion of carrying weapons and other cargoes banned under U.N. sanctions is thought to have been headed for Myanmar.
 6月、国連制裁で禁止されている武器などを積んでいる恐れがあるとして、米軍が追跡した北朝鮮船舶は、ミャンマーに向かっていたとされる。

Reports also say an underground tunnel system that appears to be part of a nuclear facility is under construction near the capital Naypyidaw, with Pyongyang's cooperation.
首都ネピドー付近で核関連施設と疑われる地下トンネル網が北朝鮮の協力で建設されている、という報道もある。

On a visit to Thailand in July, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton expressed concerns about a possible transfer of nuclear technology from North Korea to Myanmar.
 クリントン米国務長官は先月、訪問先のタイで北朝鮮からミャンマーへの核技術移転の可能性に懸念を示した。

The security environment throughout Asia will shift drastically if Myanmar is developing nuclear weapons.
 もしミャンマーが核開発に手を染めているとすれば、アジアの安全保障の構図はがらりと変わる。

Until now, the Japanese government has maintained dialogue with the junta and refrained from strong criticism. Its chief concern is that driving the military rulers into a corner would only strengthen the clout of China, which traditionally has close ties with Myanmar.
 日本政府は、軍事政権をあまり追い詰めると、もともとミャンマーと関係の深い中国の影響力がますます強まってしまうとして、激しい政権批判を控え、対話を維持してきた。

But such a soft approach can no longer be justified if Myanmar is pursuing a nuclear program. The Japanese government should call on China to exercise its influence on Myanmar, and China should treat the situation seriously.
しかし、ミャンマーに核関連疑惑があるとなれば、悠長なことは言っていられない。中国に対して影響力を行使するよう働きかける必要があるし、中国自体も事態を深刻に受け止めるべきだ。

Japan should also cooperate more closely with other countries when dealing with Myanmar, partly as a way to give teeth to U.N. sanctions against North Korea.
 北朝鮮に対する国連制裁を実効あるものとするためにも、政府はミャンマー問題で国際的な連携を強めなければならない。

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サイバー攻撃 ネット社会に深刻な脅威だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 13, 2009)
Cyber attacks a threat to modern society
サイバー攻撃 ネット社会に深刻な脅威だ(8月13日付・読売社説)

Cyber attacks are a grave threat to the globe-spanning computer networks that underpin modern society and it is imperative that checks be made to ensure adequate countermeasures are in place to deal with potential problems in this country.
 世界規模でネットワーク化が進んだ現代社会にとって、サイバー攻撃は大きな脅威だ。国内の対策は十分か、点検を怠るべきではない。

In early July, a spate of cyber attacks hit the Web sites of government organizations, banks and stock exchanges in the United States and South Korea.
 米国と韓国で、政府機関や銀行、証券取引所などのウェブサイトが先月上旬、集中的なサイバー攻撃の標的となった。

Internet bots, which can remotely control the computers of unsuspecting users, were used to launch the attacks. Using such hijacked computers, the hackers simultaneously sent enormous volumes of data to particular Web sites, forcing them to shut down.
 使われたのはボット・ウイルスだ。ボットに感染したコンピューターは外部から遠隔操作が可能になる。ハッカーは、乗っ取った多数のコンピューターから、大量のデータを標的のサイトに一斉に送りつけて機能まひに陥らせた。

The distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks in South Korea were compounded by the destruction of data, which meant it took many of the affected organizations a considerable time to restore their Web sites.
 韓国では、この「DDoS(ディードス=分散型サービス拒否)攻撃」のほかに、データが破壊される被害も重なって、サイトの復旧に時間がかかった。

===

North Korean involvement?

According to global information security experts, the attacks were launched from about 170,000 bot-infected computers in 74 countries. Though it is highly suspected that North Korea or pro-North Korean groups had a hand in the cyber offensives, it is difficult to conclusively identify the attackers.
 各国の情報セキュリティー専門家の解析から、74か国計17万台のボット感染のコンピューターが攻撃に使われ、北朝鮮もしくは親北朝鮮勢力が関与した疑いが濃厚とみられている。ただ、具体的に特定することは困難という。

However, if North Korea was involved in the attacks in some form, it is likely that Japan will be targeted at some point in the future. We hope careful analyses of the U.S. and South Korean cases will help bolster domestic countermeasures against such attacks.
 仮に北朝鮮が何らかの形で関与していたのなら、日本がいつ標的になるとも限らない。米韓の事例を詳細に分析し、国内対策に役立てるようにしてほしい。

As exemplified by these recent events, government Web sites are the prime targets for cyber assaults.
 米韓のケースをみてもわかる通り、政府系のウェブサイトは真っ先に攻撃対象となる。

While government Web sites are becoming increasingly convenient for the public--such as by allowing people to file income tax returns online, among other tasks--the fact that anyone can access these networks leaves such computer systems vulnerable to cyber attacks.
 政府系サイトは、確定申告をはじめオンライン申請できるなど利便性が向上している反面、ネットワークを通じて誰でも接続できるため、サイバー攻撃のリスクがつきまとう。

At the end of July, the Education, Science and Technology Ministry's Web site was tampered with by an unidentified person or group. As a result, it was possible to access with a single click a Web site written in Chinese. Although no real damage was confirmed, this was typical of the kind of malicious behavior that drives hackers to send out computer-infecting bots.
 先月末には、文部科学省のサイトが何者かに改竄(かいざん)された。クリックすると、中国語のサイトにつながる状態になっていた。実害は確認されていないが、ボット感染させる典型的な手口だ。

We hope the government, led primarily by the Cabinet Secretariat's National Information Security Center, will closely monitor the situation and take the requisite steps to ensure security is given high priority.
 内閣官房情報セキュリティセンターを中心に、監視の目が十分行き届くようにしてもらいたい。

===

Vigilance required

In terms of countermeasures, individuals, too, also have an important role to play. It has been confirmed that many Japan-based computers were unknowingly involved in the recent digital bombardment of U.S. and South Korean Web sites. According to a government estimate, there are about 300,000 bot-infected computers in Japan.
 個々人の対策も欠かせない。米韓でのサイバー攻撃では、日本国内のパソコンも多数利用されたことが確認済みだ。政府の推計では、ボット感染している日本国内のパソコンは30万台にのぼる。

The most important single step that users can take to protect their computers is to install antivirus software and make sure that it always runs the latest version. Running an up-to-date operating system, such as Windows, also is an effective countermeasure. The Web site of the government-operated Cyber Clean Center offers users a free check to learn whether their computers are infected with bots.
 基本はウイルス対策ソフトを組み込み、常に最新版に更新しておくことだ。ウィンドウズなど基本ソフトの更新も必要だ。政府が運営する「サイバークリーンセンター」のホームページでは、ボット感染の自己チェックもできる。

Let us hope we can all avoid becoming unwitting accomplices in bot-based cyber attacks.
 知らぬ間にボット感染し、サイバー攻撃の片棒を担がされることのないようにしたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 13, 2009)
(2009年8月13日01時09分  読売新聞)

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2009年8月12日 (水)

社説:’09衆院選 教育 理念とビジョンがいる

(Mainichi Japan) August 11, 2009
Political parties should explain philosophies, visions on education
社説:’09衆院選 教育 理念とビジョンがいる

Education is a long-term project for a nation.
 教育は国家百年の大計という。

The guarantee of equal opportunities for the young to receive an education, which is the core of the nation's education system, is being affected by uncertainly in people's livelihoods caused by the rising unemployment rate and the widening income gap.

 土台は子供や若者が教育を受ける機会均等の保障にあるが、それが揺らいでいる。失業や所得格差の生活不安が影を落としているためだ。

These problems have not only forced youths to leave schools or abandon advancing to higher education. Data shows that such disparities in living standards are reflected in the results of academic aptitude tests.
進学断念や中退だけでなく、学力テストの平均正答率の差異にも影響がみられるというデータもある。

Political parties have pledged to extend financial support to the education of children in their education policies, just like aid in their childcare policies. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has promised to make early childhood education for those aged 3-5 free of charge on a step-by-step basis. The largest opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) has declared that it will make tuition fees for public high schools free and extend a large amount of financial assistance to private high school students.
 各党の教育政策は、子育てとともに教育費負担の家計支援が大きなアピールポイントだ。例えば、自民党は給付型奨学金創設や3~5歳児教育費の段階的無償化を打ち出し、民主党は公立高校の実質無償化や私立高生への大幅助成を宣言している。

Reducing household education costs is an effective way to apply the brakes to the declining birthrate, and numerous households will obviously welcome the move. Political parties should take this opportunity to discuss their basic policies and philosophies on education and work out concrete measures to achieve them.
 教育費負担の軽減は、それ自体少子化対策上も有用な政策であり、期待する家庭は多いだろう。だが、政治はこれを機に、今後の教育政策が目指す基本方向や理念、そのために必要な制度設計へと掘り下げて論じ進めていくべきだろう。

It was in the 1970s that the government began to seek a third educational reform policy following one at the time of the Meiji Restoration and after World War II. However, the government's review of the education system hardly progressed. In the 1980s, the Ad Hoc Council on Education, which was set up as an advisory panel to the prime minister, called for respect for the individuality of students, education suited to internationalization and an increasingly information-oriented society with emphasis on lifelong education.
 明治維新と敗戦直後に続く「第3の教育改革」が唱えられ始めたのは1970年代だ。制度見直しはなかなか進まず、80年代には首相直属の臨時教育審議会が登場、個性の重視、国際化・情報化への対応、生涯学習社会化など基本方向を示した。

However, there are inconsistencies in the nation's education policy over the past decade amid the rapidly declining birthrate and dramatic changes in the economic environment. Criticism emerged that the lighter school education curriculum, which was aimed at preventing cramming, caused academic ability to decline. This forced the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry to revise the curriculum to boost what is taught at schools.
 しかし、その後急速に進んだ少子高齢化や経済環境の変化、学校5日制導入、いわゆる「ゆとり」教育と学力低下批判の高まり、学習指導要領の「増量」改定など、教育政策はこの10年迷走気味で、腰の定まらない印象がある。

While the ratio of students who attend universities has surpassed 50 percent, an increase in the number of students who have no clear goals for their future careers has become a serious problem.
大学進学率は高まるばかりで5割を突破したが、目標を見失う学生の問題も深刻だ。

Japan tends to be regarded as a country that does not spend much money on education compared with other countries.  一方、国際比較すると、日本は教育にあまり金をかけない国と映る。

The taxpayer money Japan spends on education accounts for about 3 percent of the country's gross domestic product, well below the average of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries, which stands at 5 percent.
公財政支出は国内総生産(GDP)比3%台で、経済協力開発機構(OECD)諸国の平均5%に及ばない。

Behind this is the traditional idea in Japan that parents should foot the costs of educating their children.
背景には、教育は親の負担でという伝統的な考え方がある。

The government's efforts to restrain spending of taxpayers' money have prevented the ministry from increasing education outlays.
 財政の壁も厚い。

The ministry attempted to call for an increase in its education spending to equal the average of OECD member countries and incorporate a numerical target of increasing the number of schoolteachers by 25,000 in its basic education promotion plan.
 改正教育基本法に基づき昨年策定された国の教育振興基本計画で、文部科学省は、支出をOECD平均に引き上げ、教職員定数2万5000人増など数値目標を盛り込もうとした。

However, the Finance Ministry refused to approve it on the grounds that there was no prospect that such efforts would produce positive results.
(他の先進国に負けぬにはこれだけ予算や人がいるという論法だが、) 支出抑制の財務省は「成果の見通しがない」と認めなかった経緯がある。

Discussions on increasing financial assistance for education should be expanded to those that cover the education policy as a whole.
 教育費支援拡充を教育のあり方全般へ論議を広げる機運としたい。

Education should be regarded as not only a way to develop the potential of children but also as a public investment necessary to ensure a stable and sustainable society.
教育は社会全体が担い、子供それぞれの可能性を伸ばすとともに、安定し持続する将来の社会へ必要な公的投資。こう発想を転換できないか。

The upcoming general election offers an opportunity to express opinions on the hopes of the nation.
 総選挙は「日本の希望」を語らう時でもある。

Voters should pursue a vision of education with the future of their children fully in mind.
子供の顔あれこれに思いを重ねながら描く教育のビジョンこそ、それにふさわしい。

毎日新聞 2009年8月11日 東京朝刊

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災害列島 避難準備と救援体制は万全に

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 12, 2009)
Sound preparations a must for disasters
災害列島 避難準備と救援体制は万全に(8月12日付・読売社説)

The combination of a typhoon and an earthquake reminds us afresh that Japan is an archipelago of disasters.
 日本は災害列島、と改めて思い知らされた。

First, heavy rains associated with Typhoon No. 9 hit various places in western Japan. As the typhoon moved east, an earthquake with an intensity of lower 6 on the Japanese scale of 7 occurred in the Tokai region, which fell in the path of the typhoon, with its focus under Suruga Bay off Shizuoka Prefecture.
 まず、台風9号に伴う豪雨が西日本の各地を襲った。この台風が東へ向かうと、今度は、進路に当たる東海地方で、最大震度6弱の静岡沖地震が起きた。

It was found that Tuesday's quake was not related to the much-feared expected major Tokai earthquake. However, the damages done by the two disasters are serious. We hope the central and local governments involved do their best in rescue and restoration efforts.
 当初懸念された巨大地震「東海地震」との関連はない、と判明したが、どちらも被害は深刻だ。政府と関係自治体は、救援と復旧に全力を挙げてもらいたい。

The heavy rains caused flooding of rivers and landslides in many places. The number of people dead or missing reached 30 in Hyogo Prefecture and surrounding areas. Many houses were buried by landslides.
 豪雨では、各地で河川が増水し土砂崩れが起きた。死者、不明者は兵庫県などで27人に達する。土砂で埋まった住宅も多い。

In the Shizuoka Prefecture earthquake, a violent tremor of lower 6 in intensity was recorded in several cities in the prefecture. Many injuries were reported, both minor and serious, including people hurt in neighboring Kanagawa and Aichi prefectures as well as Tokyo.
 静岡沖地震では、静岡県で震度6弱の激しい揺れが記録され、隣接の神奈川県を含め、多くの人が重軽傷を負った。

===

Complex disaster

As rainfall from Typhoon No. 9 before the quake made the ground loose, the quake caused landslides in several places, apparently broadening and combining the impact of the two disasters.
 地震前から台風9号による降雨があり、緩んだ地盤が各所で崩れる「複合災害」も起きた。

In particular, the collapse of part of the Tomei Expressway in Shizuoka Prefecture is expected to seriously affect the nation's distribution system.
特に静岡県内の東名高速道路での路面崩落は、物流への影響が大きい。

A 100-meter section of the expressway, dubbed the "aorta of transportation," which connects eastern and western Japan, was destroyed. The road should be repaired as soon as possible to allow traffic to begin to flow once more.
 東西を結んでいる「交通の大動脈」が、約100メートルにわたって壊れた。早急に修理して、通行を再開させねばならない。

Typhoon season is just getting started. A huge earthquake could occur anywhere. While work on rescue and relief efforts is vital, it also is important to check whether preparations for natural disasters are sufficient.
 台風シーズンはこれからが本番だ。大きな地震も、いつ、どこで起きるか分からない。救援と復旧作業の一方で、災害への備えは大丈夫か、点検も大切だ。

Our concern is the current state of evacuation arrangements prepared in case of flooding and landslides. In Hyogo Prefecture, there were those who were swept away by the flooded river while evacuating in anticipation of the river rising. In addition, the evacuation took place at night.
 とりわけ気がかりなのが、河川の増水や土砂崩れに備えた避難体制の現状だ。兵庫県では、増水に備えて避難中に、水位が上がった川に流された人がいる。しかも夜間の避難だったという。

In western Japan, large-scale landslides caused by heavy rains occurred last month, killing 30 people in Yamaguchi Prefecture and other places. At that time, too, problems concerning the evacuation arrangement were pointed out.
 西日本では先月も、豪雨による大規模な土砂崩れが起き、山口県などで30人が亡くなっている。この時も、避難体制について課題が指摘された。

The government in 2005 compiled guidelines on evacuation in natural disasters and called on municipalities throughout the nation to streamline evacuation procedures. The government took the move in light of frequent disasters caused by heavy rains the previous year that left more than 200 people dead.
 政府は2005年に「避難に関するガイドライン」をまとめ、全国の市町村に体制整備を呼びかけている。その前年に豪雨災害が多発し、200人以上の犠牲者が出たことを踏まえている。

===

Guidelines poorly observed

The guidelines stipulate that places where the danger of flooding and landslides is high must be identified. Based on the data, a hazard map must be made marking areas where damage is expected. Conditions under which residents will be asked to evacuate have to be decided in advance, taking into consideration the amount and rate of rise in river water levels and amount of rainfall, according to the guidelines.
 まず、増水や土砂崩れの危険がある場所を洗い出す。これに基づき、被害が及びそうな地域を地図化する。その上で、河川の水位や降雨量をもとに、住民に避難を呼びかける「基準」をあらかじめ定めておく、という内容だ。

However, according to the results of a survey by the Fire and Disaster Management Agency announced this spring, only about 40 percent of cities, towns and villages in the country have set such evacuation criteria. Similarly, about 40 percent of municipalities have prepared text messages to tell residents how to evacuate, according to the survey.
 だが、消防庁が今春公表した調査結果によると、この「基準」を定めている市町村は、全国で4割程度しかない。避難方法を住民に伝える文章を用意している市町村も、同程度にとどまる。

The Meteorological Agency says the incidence of heavy rainfalls in a year has been increasing in recent years. We should spare no pains in making a reality of the old Japanese adage that "If you are prepared, you don't have to worry."
 気象庁によると、豪雨の発生回数は近年、増加している。備えあれば憂いなし、を徹底したい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 12, 2009)
(2009年8月12日01時37分  読売新聞)

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2009年8月11日 (火)

社説:ODAの今後 予算の増額が必要だ

(Mainichi Japan) August 10, 2009
Free aid, not loans, the key to effective foreign assistance
社説:ODAの今後 予算の増額が必要だ

The reorganization of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' International Cooperation Bureau, the government branch in charge of official development assistance (ODA), has resulted in the previously separate sections handling international yen loans, grant aid, and technical cooperation being divided up by geographical region.
 外務省の政府開発援助(ODA)を担当している国際協力局の組織改編が行われた。有償資金協力(円借款)と無償資金協力、技術協力が別々の課になっていた従来の体制を見直し、地域ごとの分担にした。

Following the move, officials aim to examine whether each country needs yen loans, free aid or technical cooperation, and examine what combination of assistance is appropriate.
それぞれの国ごとに円借款、無償援助、技術協力のいずれが必要か、どのような組み合わせがいいのかなどを一体で、検討していくことを目指した見直しだ。

With the exception of some free assistance, implementation of ODA was aligned with the activities of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), together with the yen loan division of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), in October last year. In line with the change, the bureau will consider aid on a country-by-country basis, whether it be in the form of loans, free assistance or technology. The move streamlines the operations of the Foreign Ministry, which handles ODA planning, and JICA, which carries out the plans.
 ODAを巡っては昨年10月、一部の無償援助を除き、実施は国際協力銀行の円借款部門を統合した国際協力機構(JICA)に一元化された。これに合わせて、有償、無償、技協を問わず国ごとに対応している。これにより、ODAの企画立案を行う外務省、実施を担っているJICAの組織がすっきりした。

Japan is now approaching an important phase in its ODA activities. In addition to pledges that past Japanese prime ministers have made to assist Africa, Japan must increase the amount of its assistance to other Asian countries. It has declared that it will provide both financial and technological cooperation in environmental measures, represented by measures to combat global warming.
 今、日本のODAは重要な時期に差し掛かっている。これまで歴代首相が約束してきたアフリカ向け、アジア向けの援助増額を達成しなければならない。温暖化対策に代表される環境対策でも資金、技術の両面での協力を表明している。

However, as reforms align income and expenditure, the budget for aid has continued to decrease. On a global scale, Japan has fallen from its position as the world's top provider of ODA to fifth place. And in terms of the ratio of ODA to gross national income, it sits at the bottom of the list of developed countries, alongside the United States.
 ところが、援助関係予算は歳出・歳入一体改革の中、減少が続いている。世界的にもODA実績はかつての1位から5位に転落している。ODAの国民総所得(GNI)に対する比率では、先進国中、米国と並んで最下位である。

There is no doubt that up until now, Japan had considered the provision of foreign aid to be an important method of diplomacy. But in terms of the general account, cuts in aid have continued, and the situation has gradually become worse. By increasing the amount of its yen loans, the government hopes to secure projects and carry out its international pledges, but this has limited effect. Most poverty reduction is the result of free aid.
 これまで日本は海外援助を主要な外交手段としてきたことは間違いない。しかし、一般会計ベースでの削減が続き、じり貧状態に陥りつつある。政府は円借款を拡大することで事業量を確保し、国際公約を果たすとの方針で臨んでいるが、それにも限界がある。貧困削減などは無償が大半なのだ。

Determining what assistance is required in countries covered by JICA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, promptly carrying out investigations, deciding on and providing assistance, and implementing reforms that make an impression on recipients of Japan's ODA are essential. But that alone does not enable Japan's aid to function as soft power.
 JICAや外務省などによる現場に根差した案件の発掘、手早い調査や援助決定、そして実施と、日本のODAを被援助国に印象付けるための改革は欠かせない。ただ、それだけで、日本の援助がソフトパワーとして機能するわけではない。何か足りないものがある。

Firstly, if the government is not able to provide funding, then its assistance plan will be a pie in the sky. Neither the ruling nor opposition parties have clarified their stance in this respect. The budget for ODA should be increased. Saying that, however, budget constraints are tight. In addressing the issues, Japan should back a combination of private funds and funds from JBIC.
 第一に援助のための資金手当てができないことには、絵にかいた餅に終わってしまう。この点で与野党とも態度を明確にしていない。ODA予算の増額を実現すべきだ。そうはいっても、予算制約は厳しい。案件の形成に当たっては、国際協力銀行の資金や民間資金との組み合わせを推進すべきだ。

Secondly, while strategic aid as a diplomatic means is unavoidable to some extent, Japan must not forget that the foundation of ODA is in measures to help countries emerge from poverty and underdevelopment.
第二に援助に戦略性を持たせることは外交手段としてある程度やむを得ないが、ODAの原点は貧困や低開発からの脱却対策にあることを忘れてはならない。

When facing a situation of recession, it is easy for political measures to turn inwards. But it is exactly at this time when development of ODA strategies is necessary.
 景気後退局面では政策は内向きになりやすい。そうした時だからこそ、ODA戦略の展開が必要だ。

毎日新聞 2009年8月10日 東京朝刊

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警察白書 国民の「抵抗力」が被害を防ぐ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 11, 2009)
Develop immunity to remittance frauds
警察白書 国民の「抵抗力」が被害を防ぐ(8月11日付・読売社説)

This year's white paper on police published by the National Police Agency has a special section titled "Measures against crimes that threaten people's daily lives."
 今年の警察白書は「日常生活を脅かす犯罪」を特集した。

As examples of such crimes, it mentions bank remittance fraud and vicious business scams. It details current police measures against remittance fraud and lists related problems to be tackled.
 具体例として、振り込め詐欺や悪徳商法などを挙げ、特に振り込め詐欺について、警察の取り組みや今後の課題を詳述している。

The total number of criminal offense cases has been decreasing in recent years after peaking in 2002. But the white paper points out that the spread of such crimes is "one of the factors preventing people's uneasiness about public security from being allayed."
 刑法犯罪の全体の件数は2002年をピークに減少している。それでも「治安に対する国民の不安がぬぐえない要因の一つ」に、これらの犯罪の広がりがあると白書は指摘する。

If the current economic slump prolongs, new types of crimes that threaten people's daily lives may proliferate.
 経済不況が長引けば、日常生活を脅かす新手の犯罪が次々と増殖する恐れがあるだろう。

The police white paper emphasizes that it is important to enhance people's understanding and cooperation when it comes to fighting crime, such as by encouraging members of the public to provide information to police, and to boost people's crime-prevention capability. Indeed, preventing remittance fraud is not something that can be accomplished by police alone.
 白書は、被害防止には情報提供などの「国民の理解と協力」、犯罪に対する「国民の抵抗力」を高めていくことが重要だと強調している。まさに、警察だけで解決できる問題ではない。

===

Various ploys used

There are a variety of ploys used in the commission of remittance fraud, including the "It's me" type, in which offenders pretend to be a son or grandchild of the targeted victim, and the refund type, in which offenders pass themselves off as workers at social insurance and tax offices.
 息子や孫などを装うオレオレ詐欺、社会保険事務所や税務署の職員を名乗る還付金詐欺など、振り込め詐欺の手口は様々だ。

People across the country have been victimized. In many cases, money remitted to criminals is withdrawn from ATMs in the Tokyo metropolitan area. The bank accounts and cell phones used in the crimes belong to third parties or fictitious people.
 被害は全国に及ぶが、被害金の多くは首都圏の現金自動預け払い機(ATM)で引き出される。犯行に使われる預貯金口座と携帯電話は他人名義や架空名義だ。

The criminals in the groups that run the scams perform different tasks, and it is not easy to gain a clear picture of how the frauds are perpetrated. For instance, a group might consist of a person who dupes victims, one who obtains bank accounts and cell phones, and another who withdraws swindled money. The ratio of arrests to cases of remittance fraud remains slightly more than 20 percent.
 犯行グループは、だまし役、預貯金口座や携帯電話の調達役、詐取した金の引き出し役など役割分担し、全容を見せない。検挙率も2割強にとどまっている。

The NPA has been making efforts to combat such crimes, with police forces nationwide alerted to take countermeasures. For instance, it has inputted the modus operandi of all reported remittance fraud cases into a database that can be used in investigations. It also has deployed a special full-time investigation force comprising investigators from the Metropolitan Police Department and prefectural police headquarters in the metropolitan area.
 警察庁は犯行手口をデータベース化して捜査に活用し、都道府県警察の捜査員による専従班を首都圏に投入するなど、全国警察を挙げた取り組みを展開してきた。

These were necessary responses to fight a crime that is a threat to people all over the country.
全国的に脅威となっている犯罪に対しては、必要な対応であった。

===

Cat-and-mouse game continues

After banks limited the amount of cash that may be transferred via ATM to 100,000 yen, cases of money being remitted between accounts increased. Offenders began using a special postal package service to receive money instead of ATMs, which are subject to heightened security measures to counter remittance fraud.
 ATMによる現金の振り込みを10万円までに制限したら、口座間送金をさせる手口が増加した。警戒の強いATMを避けて、郵便の専用封筒で私設私書箱あてに現金を送らせる手口が増えてきた。

Police will have to continue their cat-and-mouse game with these wily offenders. To prevent new scams from being devised, it is crucial to prevent criminals from using and coming up with new ways to foil police, including revising related laws and creating new ones.
 犯罪者の悪知恵とのいたちごっこが続く。新たな手口には、法整備を含めて、確実に抜け道をふさいでいくことが大事だ。

What can be done to prevent bank accounts, ATMs and cell phones from being used in crimes? Financial institutions and cell phone service operators should think seriously about measures to solve this problem.
 預貯金口座やATM、携帯電話を、いかに犯罪に利用されないようにするか。金融機関や携帯電話事業者も真剣に対応すべきだ。

The need for cooperation among agencies and ministries concerned--including the Financial Services Agency, the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry and the consumer affairs agency that is to be launched as early as autumn--is also increasingly evident.
金融庁、総務省、秋にも発足予定の消費者庁など、関係省庁間の連携の必要性も増している。

In its conclusion, the white paper describes the importance of reviving solidarity among people in communities as well as bonds among family members, which are weaker than they used to be, so society as a whole can combat crime.
 白書は最後に、希薄化した地域の連帯や家族の絆(きずな)を再生し、社会全体で犯罪に立ち向かうことの重要さに言及している。

What should we do to prevent criminals from cheating us? Steady efforts by individual communities are also now required to combat crime.
どうすれば犯罪者につけ入るすきを与えないか。地域ごとの地道な取り組みも求められている。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 11, 2009)
(2009年8月11日01時07分  読売新聞)

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2009年8月10日 (月)

09総選挙に問う―「政府」をつくり直さねば

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 8(IHT/Asahi: August 10,2009)
EDITORIAL: Politicians and policy
09総選挙に問う―「政府」をつくり直さねば

■これまでの官僚依存の政治はもはや限界だ

■政党が主導権を発揮できる体制が問われる

The longstanding system that allows bureaucrats to play a leading role in the nation's politics has reached a dead end.
 長く日本の政治を支え、動かしてきた「官僚主導」が行き詰まっている。

Under this system, bureaucrats define national interests and develop and execute the optimal policies to promote them.
 官僚が国益を考え、最適の政策をつくり、それを実施する。

The status of bureaucrats changed from the emperor's servants, as they were since the beginning of Japan's modernization in the late 19th century until the end of World War II, to "servants of the whole community," as defined under the postwar Constitution.
But the basic policymaking structure has not changed much. The bureaucracy takes the initiative in mapping out policies and the governing party simply piggybacks on the proposed programs.
明治以来の「天皇の官吏」から戦後の「全体の奉仕者」に変わっても、官僚機構が政策づくりの主導権を握り、政権党がそこに乗っかるという基本構図はあまり変わらなかった。

Unlike political parties, which tend to get locked in partisan battles over narrow, parochial concerns, and politicians, who tend to be influenced by the interests of their constituencies, bureaucrats are supposed to focus purely on national interests as they carry out their duties.
 党利党略や選挙区利益に左右されがちな政党、政治家と違って、官僚は純粋に国益を考え、仕事をこなす。

It is fair to say that many bureaucrats have worked hard at their jobs with a sense of mission, and won the trust of the people. Saburo Shiroyama's novel about such hardworking bureaucrats, titled "Kanryo-tachi no Natsu (The summer of bureaucrats)," has recently been made into a TV series.
多くの官僚はそうした気概に支えられ、国民の信頼も得ていたと言っていいだろう。そんな姿を描いた城山三郎氏の「官僚たちの夏」が最近、テレビドラマになった。

But many Japanese are keenly aware that this traditional system is no longer working.
 この仕組みがうまく機能しなくなっていることを、多くの国民がひしひしと感じている。

That is clear, for instance, from the history of massive public works spending in Japan. Bureaucrats, working in tandem with the Liberal Democratic Party, kept funneling huge amounts of financial resources into projects to build roads, bridges and other infrastructure, turning Japan into a unique "construction state."
 たとえば、自民党とともに道路などに膨大な資源を投入し続け、世界にも珍しい土建国家を築き上げてしまった公共事業。

Even though Japan has changed from a fast-growing emerging economy to a mature economy with slower growth, there has been no major shift in public works policy, with the road budget kept off-limits to any radical reform.
日本社会が高度成長の青年期から低成長の熟年期に入ってきたのに、道路予算は聖域化され、根本的な方向転換ができない。

Despite growing public demand for increased spending on social security programs and policy efforts to maintain the people's living standards, politicians serving the interests of the construction industry and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism are working together to prevent the reform needed to change budget allocations. The prime minister does not have the power to break their resistance.
 社会保障や暮らしの分野への予算配分を増やすべきだという民意は高まっているのに、族議員と国土交通省が待ったをかける。それを押し戻す力が首相にはない。

Meanwhile, a string of bid-rigging scandals involving former bureaucrats on the payrolls of businesses they once supervised has come to light. A series of revelations has exposed numerous examples of wasteful public works spending.
 その一方で、天下り官僚がからんだ談合事件が摘発され、数々の予算の無駄遣いも露見した。

Bureaucrats monopolize policy information. This could cause serious problems, as is obvious from the devastating scandals over pension recordkeeping at the Social Insurance Agency.
 官僚は政策に関する情報を独占する。社会保険庁での年金不祥事の深刻さを思うまでもない。

Furthermore, bureaucrats, who are not elected officials, are not held directly accountable for misguided policies.
そして、選挙で選ばれない官僚は、失政への責任を直接問われることもない。

While many people think this system is already beginning to collapse, the bureaucratic stranglehold on government is showing no signs of easing.
 システムが壊れかけている。多くの人がそう考えているのに、岩盤のように固い官主導のシステムはいっこうに改まらない。

Here lies one fundamental factor behind the public distrust of politics.
政治に対する国民の不信の根源の一つがここにある。

* * *
     ◇

Under a parliamentary Cabinet system, the government is formed by the party that controls parliament. The governing party should lead the bureaucracy in crafting and implementing policy.
 本来、議院内閣制のもとでは、政府を組織するのは議会で多数を握る政党であり、その政権党が官僚機構を主導して政策を実施していくべきなのだ。

In Japan, however, the ruling party has been less than eager to take the lead in policymaking. On the contrary, the party has maintained cozy relations based on mutual dependence with the bureaucracy.
なのに、政党の側にその役割を果たす意欲が乏しかったどころか、むしろ官ともたれあってきたことが、こうした現実の背景にある。

It is hardly surprising that main opposition party Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan), which is seeking to wrest power from the LDP in the upcoming Lower House election, has made proposals to change the status quo.
 ここに抜本的なメスを入れようという提案が、政権交代を掲げる民主党から出てきたのは当然だろう。

Minshuto promised to establish a system in which it will control policymaking if it comes to power through five specific measures described at the outset of its election manifesto. The party's main proposals include the following.
マニフェストの冒頭に五つの具体策を掲げて、政権をとれば民主党が政府を主導する仕組みをつくると公約している。
 主な内容は次の通りだ。

A team of lawmakers would be appointed to top posts at each ministry and agency, such as senior vice ministers, parliamentary secretaries and advisory aides to ministers. Through such political appointments, more than 100 politicians of the party would direct policymaking within the government.
▽各省に副大臣や政務官、大臣補佐官らのチームを送り込み、全体で100人以上の政治家が政府内で主導権を握る

A new "national strategy bureau" would be created to map out policy visions and budget outlines under the direct supervision of the prime minister.
▽国家ビジョンや予算の骨格づくりを担う首相直属の「国家戦略局」を新設する

A new administrative reform council would monitor the entire operation of the government to check and eliminate waste and illegalities.
▽行政全般に目を光らせ、無駄や不正を排除する「行政刷新会議」を新設する。

Under the LDP, policy decisions are made under a bottom-up system. Policy proposals are made from ministries and agencies and endorsed by the Cabinet after the party's screening.
 自民党政権での意思決定は、各省から上がってきた政策を、党の審査をへて閣議で承認するというボトムアップ型が基本である。

Minshuto's top-down approach would reverse the process. The broad outlines of key policies and the order of priority would be determined by the prime minister's office and then communicated to the related ministries and agencies for implementation.
これを逆転させ、重要政策の大枠や優先順位は首相官邸で決め、各省に下ろして実行させる。トップダウン型である。

This approach is designed to remove wasteful and dubious expenditures from the government budget. These are items that have been allowed to remain far too long. Some have been hidden in the shadows of the highly compartmentalized bureaucratic system. Others are the result of cozy ties between bureaucrats and special-interest politicians. This reform should lead to budget allocations more focused on policy priorities.
 縦割りの陰にまぎれ、あるいは族議員とのなれ合いでこれまで許容されてきた予算の無駄や不公正を徹底的に洗い出し、最優先する政策の財源にあてようということだ。

Minshuto says it would ax government contracts whose main purpose is to support businesses offering cushy jobs to retiring bureaucrats.
天下り役人を養うための事業発注などにはばっさり大なたをふるう。

* * *
     ◇

There is no telling whether the system envisioned by Minshuto will actually work as advertised until it is tested in the real world.
 うたい文句通りに新組織が機能するかどうかは、やってみなければ分からない。

Do politicians have the ability to shoulder such heavy policymaking responsibilities? Will the envisaged new cooperative relations with bureaucrats working on the front line of policy implementation really work?
政治家の側にこれだけの責任を担えるだけの能力があるのか。実際に政策の最前線に立つ官僚との新しい協働関係は機能するのか。

There are many questions and uneasiness concerning the opposition party's policymaking vision.
疑問や不安は限りなくわいてくる。

But driving a stake into the entrenched structure of bureaucratic control of policymaking may require radical reform in several power transfers through elections.
だが、岩盤に穴をうがつには、一度ならず何度かの政権交代という大変革が必要なのかもしれない。

The LDP, of course, has not been unaware of the importance of lawmakers' leadership in the government.
 もちろん、自民党も「政治主導」の大事さに気づかなかったわけではない。

The ruling party's manifesto pledges to launch a national strategy staff to support the prime minister and enhance political leadership. It also promises a complete end to the practice of amakudari--senior bureaucrats retiring into plum jobs in the industries they supervised. But the document offers few specific measures to achieve these objectives.
今回のマニフェストでも「首相を補佐する国家戦略スタッフの発足を現実のものとし……、政治主導を一層強化する」「天下り根絶」などとしているものの、具体策はほとんど書かれていない。

The LDP is stressing its ability to carry out a public mandate in a responsible way. We urge the ruling party to make a sweeping review of the relations between politicians and bureaucrats under its long rule and present a convincing plan to overhaul the system.
 政権担当の「責任力」を掲げる自民党に求めたいのは、長期政権の下での政と官のあり方を総括し、説得力のある制度改革を提示することだ。

How should relations between politicians and bureaucrats be changed? Answering this question in a meaningful way requires serious debate on key decentralization issues. What should the roles of the central and local governments be? How should revenue be distributed?
 政と官の関係をどう刷新するか。それにはそもそも中央政府はどんな仕事を担当し、自治体には何を任せるのか、税源をどう分けるのか、分権の議論が欠かせまい。

Voters are hoping to be offered viable options for the future of this nation that address all these questions.
有権者が問いたいのは、そこまで含めた「この国のかたち」の選択肢なのだ。

All the parties are stressing their election promises concerning the protection of people's livelihoods in their campaigns for the upcoming Lower House poll.
 この総選挙では、各党とも暮らしを守る公約に力を入れている。

The question is who would develop and execute specific policies to achieve these goals and how they would be implemented.
The kind of government this nation should have is a large and important issue fit for the campaign debate for this historic election.
そうした政策を、だれがどのように具体化し、実行するのか、政府の姿をめぐる議論はこの歴史的な総選挙にふさわしい大テーマである。

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香山リカのココロの万華鏡:“ジャクソンさん中毒” /東京

(Mainichi Japan) August 9, 2009
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Michael Jackson addiction
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:“ジャクソンさん中毒” /東京

"Doctor, even if I think to myself that I have to stop, I just can't give it up."
 「先生、やめようと思っても、アレがどうにも止まらなくて……」

When I heard this from one long-time patient, I was shocked. She had once had a shopping addiction, and I was worried that she had relapsed. However, it was not shopping this patient could not stop, but watching Michael Jackson DVDs.
 長く診ている患者さんに言われて、ドキリとした。その女性は以前、いわゆる買い物依存症だった時期があったので、それが再発したかと思ったのだ。

 しかし、そうではなかった。その人がやめられずに悩んでいるのは、なんと「マイケル・ジャクソンさんのDVDを見ること」なのだ。

"While I was watching the videos of him dancing being shown on TV over and over again, I started to want a DVD. But once I had the DVD, it was like my eyes were nailed to the screen, and I found myself watching it repeatedly in a single day," she told me.
「亡くなってからテレビで繰り返しあのダンスが映されるのを見ているうちに、DVDがほしくなって……。でもそうしたら、今度は目がくぎ付けで、一日に何度でも見返してしまうんです」

While my patient's DVD watching could not really be called an addiction, and there was no harm in her distress, she was quite serious about the problem.
 何とか依存症などと名前をつけるまでもない、害のない“悩み”だが、本人はけっこう深刻のようだった。

After that, when I asked my friends about Michael Jackson, I discovered there were quite a few of them who couldn't tear their eyes away from images of the late pop star. They found themselves captured by the stream of videos and pictures that flooded the media in the wake of his death. "I wasn't such a fan before, but now ..." or, "I was really hoping to see him live one day," were common comments.
 それから意識して友人などにもきいてみると、「ジャクソンさんの映像から目が離せない」という人は、実はけっこういることが分かった。みんな、今回の死去で改めて映像を見て、その魅力にハマったと言う。「昔はそれほど好きじゃなかったのに」「生きているうちにステージを見たかった」と悔しそうに語る人も少なくない。

According to developmental psychology, when children are shown a picture or someone moving that they've never seen before, they will concentrate intensely on the new image. However, if the image is shown to them repeatedly, the children will get used to it and their attention will wane over time. Our everyday experiences work the same way. If we see the same movie two or three times, we tend to think "Ah, I've seen this before," and get tired of watching.
 発達心理学では、子どもは見たことのない映像、人物の動きなどを見せられるとはじめはじっと注視するが、それが何度も繰り返されると次第になれが生じ、見つめる時間は減少する、と言われている。これは、私たちの日常の経験も同じ。一度、見た映画を2回、3回と見せられるうちに、「ああ、この場面、さっきも見たよ」と画面を見続けるのが苦痛になるだろう。

With images of Michael Jackson, however, that familiarity and boredom do not seem to set in. Even if people know how Jackson is going to move next in a particular video by heart, or rather because they know the moves by heart, they find themselves staring at the screen, completely hooked. No matter if the viewer can say "Oh, he's raising his leg. Next comes a jump," Jackson seems to have a power and flexibility that surpasses normal human limits. Thus, perhaps every time Jackson's on screen, one is awed anew by his performance.
 ところが、ジャクソンさんのダンス映像ではその“なれ”が生じない、ということだ。次にどんな動きをするか知っていても、というより知っているからこそ、見ている人はそれを完璧(かんぺき)にこなす彼に見入ってしまう。いくら「足を上げて、次はジャンプ」と分かっていても、その動きは人間の限界を超えているかのようなしなやかさ、力強さだ。そこが見るたびに「ここまでやるのか!」という新鮮な興奮を与えてくれるのかもしれない。

It seems probable that the pressure on Jackson to keep up such a level of performance so constantly was immense. If it was this psychological pressure that affected part of his personality and sometimes drove him to do strange things or take up drugs, his life then really became unfortunate.
 このようにある中毒性を持ったジャクソンさんのダンスだが、その質を保ち続けるために、本人が感じていたプレッシャーは大変なものであっただろう。その心理的な圧力が、彼を一部で伝えられているような奇妙な行動や薬物使用などに追い込んだとしたなら、本当に気の毒だ。

Personally, I'm a little conflicted at the moment. Should I buy a Michael Jackson DVD, or not? If I did, I fear I, too, would end up a "Michael Jackson addict." (By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
 私自身はいま、迷っている。ジャクソンさんのDVDを買うべきか、それとも……。見たら最後、私も“ジャクソンさん中毒”になりそうな予感がかなりしている。

毎日新聞 2009年8月4日 地方版

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「アニメの殿堂」 文化政策のあり方を問え

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 10, 2009)
Parties' cultural policies a focus in election
「アニメの殿堂」 文化政策のあり方を問え(8月10日付・読売社説)

The Democratic Party of Japan is fiercely opposed to a government plan to build a national popular culture center, dubbed the "anime hall of fame," arguing that it would be a wasteful use of the state budget.
 「アニメの殿堂」とも呼ばれる国立メディア芸術総合センターの建設計画について、民主党が予算の無駄遣いだと強く反発している。

The Diet passed in an ordinary Diet session a supplementary budget that included 11.7 billion yen for the construction of the comprehensive media arts center. But the DPJ intends to cancel the plan if it takes power after the upcoming House of Representatives election.
 117億円のセンター建設費を盛り込んだ補正予算が先の通常国会で成立したが、民主党は政権に就いた場合、センター建設を凍結する方針だ。

The issue is more than a disagreement over whether such a center per se should be built--it also highlights each party's policy stance on cultural affairs.
 一文化施設の建設の是非をめぐる対立ではあるが、文化政策のあり方が問われているということでもあろう。

We hope, taking this opportunity, that political parties will have active discussions on the issue of cultural affairs.
 この機会に、各党で大いに論じ合ってほしい。

The envisaged center is expected to serve as a base for disseminating information on manga, anime and game software to people at home and abroad. Planned projects at the center include the exhibition, collection and preservation of such works, research into pop culture and the nurturing of pop culture creators.
 メディア芸術総合センターは、マンガやアニメ、ゲームなどを内外に発信していく拠点として計画されている。作品の展示、収集保存、調査研究、クリエイターの育成などの事業に取り組む予定だ。

Tokyo's Daiba area was at one point considered for the site for the planned facility, but the government now reportedly will have to work from scratch to decide on the location.
 東京・お台場に新施設を建設することも一時検討されたが、現在立地については白紙の状態だ。

===

'Manga kissa' jibe misplaced

The DPJ has condemned the planned center, saying it would be a "state-run manga kissa [cafe]." This kind of stance will only foster misunderstanding about the project.
 民主党は「国営マンガ喫茶」と揶揄(やゆ)しているが、これでは誤解が広がるばかりだろう。

It is an important task for the government to actively support the production and publicizing of works in this area, which has gained international recognition. A particularly big challenge will be collecting pop culture works, which are said to be widely dispersed.
 国際的評価も高いこの分野の作品の製作や発信を、国が積極的に支援することは大切なことだ。とりわけ、散逸する作品の収集は大きな課題となっている。

The point is to create a facility that matches the purposes for which it is built without wasting taxpayers money.
 要は、税金の無駄遣いにならないよう、目的にきちんと見合った施設を造ることだ。

It also is important to have cooperation with other facilities across the nation, such as the Kyoto International Manga Museum, set up by a group of entities including Kyoto Seika University.
 京都精華大学などが設立した京都国際マンガミュージアムなど、各地の施設との連携も必要だ。

Consideration should also be given to the idea of using existing buildings that could be renovated without necessarily sticking to the idea of constructing a new facility.
 新しい施設の建設にはこだわらず、既存の建造物を改修して利用する方向も探るべきだろう。

===

Arts a broad field

The Association for Corporate Support of the Arts, comprising companies engaged in cultural support activities, polled political parties about their policies on cultural affairs ahead of the general election.
 文化活動に取り組む企業で組織する企業メセナ協議会は、総選挙を前に各党の文化政策についてアンケート調査を実施している。

In its reply to the questionnaire, the Liberal Democratic Party said promotion of culture and arts is a basic plank of its national strategy, and that culture-related budgets need to be drastically increased.
 自民党は、文化芸術の振興を国家戦略の基本と位置づけ、文化関係予算の大幅な拡充が必要との考えを示した。

The DPJ, for its part, said it wants to transform the conventional cultural policy centered on construction of facilities into one that makes use of human resources. The party also said it would carefully study culture-related spending in the past and compare it with the situation in the other countries before deciding the scale of its budget for the arts.
 民主党は、従来のハコモノ中心の行政を改め人材を生かす文化政策に転換したいとした。予算規模については、過去の予算を精査して、諸外国の状況とも照らし検討すると慎重な姿勢を見せた。

These differences in opinion seem to be reflected in the two parties' positions toward the media arts center project.
 こうした発想の違いが、メディア芸術総合センターへの姿勢にも反映されているのだろう。

Cultural administration covers a broad range of issues, including the transmission of traditional culture and the development of cities' cultural assets by taking advantage of their historic landscapes and buildings. We hope political parties will deepen their discussions on cultural policy and come up with concrete policy proposals on the arts.
 文化行政の課題は、伝統文化の継承や、地域の景観や歴史的建造物を生かした文化の街づくりなど多岐にわたっている。政党レベルでも議論を深め、具体的政策を提示していってほしい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 10, 2009)
(2009年8月10日01時11分  読売新聞)

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2009年8月 9日 (日)

掘り出しニュース:お殿様が遊んだ亀 一般にお披露目

(Mainichi Japan) August 9, 2009
Rare Edo Period wind-up toy goes on display in Kitakyushu
掘り出しニュース:お殿様が遊んだ亀 一般にお披露目

A wind-up turtle that once belonged to a 19th-century feudal lord has been put on display to the public at a castle museum here.
精巧に作られた亀の玩具と小川さん 【福岡】長州藩の支藩、清末藩七代藩主、毛利元承(もとつぐ)(1833~1849)が愛用したゼンマイ仕掛けの亀の玩具が5日から、小倉北区の小倉城で公開された。甲羅や亀頭、手足など精巧に作られ、まるで本物のようだ。専門家は「国内で現存する江戸期のからくりの玩具は少なく貴重」という。

The turtle was found by historian Tadafumi Ogawa, 69, at a house of a samurai descendant in the Yamaguchi Prefecture city of Shimonoseki, the former Kiyosue Domain of the Edo Period.
 山口県下関市彦島江の浦町の歴史研究家、小川忠文さん(69)が4年前、同市清末、清末藩士の子孫宅の蔵で木箱に入っていた玩具を見つけた。

According to a note on the wooden case, the 17-year-old lord Mototsugu Mori presented the elaborate animal toy to his 14-year-old playmate from the domain in 1849.
箱に記された書によると、嘉永2(1849)年、元承(当時17歳)から、遊び仲間だった同藩士の少年(同14歳)に贈られたものだった。

The wind-up turtle, made of Japanese paper coated with lacquer, is 20 centimeters long and nine centimeters wide. Its spring-powered mechanism allows it to move, swinging its neck and legs.
 玩具は縦20センチ、横9センチ。和紙を漆で固め、亀を模している。ゼンマイを巻くと車輪が回転して前進し、首や手足も振る仕組みだ。

There are only six wind-up turtle toys from the Edo Period confirmed to exist. "This one was found in very good condition," said Susumu Higashino, an expert in the clockwork studies of Edo period, who repaired the turtle's joints.
 関節部などが朽ちていたため、江戸期のからくり機械の第一人者、東野進・日本からくり研究会理事長(59)に修理を依頼した。亀のからくり玩具は6体しか確認されておらず「とてもよい状態で残っていた」と東野さん。

The wind-up turtle will be on display at Kokura Castle in Kokurakita Ward, Kitakyushu, until Dec. 1.
 小倉城天守閣1階歴史ゾーンで始まった「おがわ是苦集(コレクション) 第2章 江戸の科学」で公開された。12月1日まで。小倉城093・561・1210。【尾垣和幸】

2009年8月6日 毎日新聞より

英文と和文が完全な対訳となっていませんが、原文を掲載しました。
北九州市はスラチャイの出生地で、子供のころ小倉城のお堀で、小さなフナを釣って遊んだ思い出があります。
とてもなつかしいです。
(スラチャイ 記)

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消費税引き上げ 必要性を率直に国民に説け

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 9, 2009)
Parties must explain need for consumption tax hike
消費税引き上げ 必要性を率直に国民に説け(8月9日付・読売社説)

It is time to answer the question of how to secure the financial resources needed to make the social security system sustainable.
 社会保障制度を持続可能にする財源をどう確保するか、もう答えを出す時ではないか。

Most of the public understand that the consumption tax, which spreads the burden on taxpayers broadly and thinly, is the only tax that can be tapped to provide a stable source of financing.
 安定財源となり得るのは、広く薄く負担を求める消費税しかないことは多くの国民が理解している。

But deep debate on the consumption tax among the ruling and opposition parties in the run-up to the House of Representatives election is yet to occur. Even if the parties argue that priority should be given to economic recovery or thorough expenditure cuts, they also should try to show how a consumption tax rate hike might be achieved.
 だが、衆院選に向けた与野党の消費税議論は一向に深まっていない。景気回復や歳出削減の徹底が先だとしても、与野党は選挙戦を通じて、将来の引き上げの具体像を示すよう努めるべきだ。

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party specifies in its manifesto that it will take the necessary legal steps by fiscal 2011 to implement drastic reform of the taxation system--including consumption tax changes--immediately after the economy turns for the better.
 自民党は消費税を含む税制抜本改革について、「2011年度までに必要な法制上の措置を講じ、経済状況の好転後、遅滞なく実施する」と政権公約に明記した。

The LDP will designate the consumption tax as a special purpose tax, allowing it to allot all the increased revenue to social security programs, while gradually raising the consumption tax rate. The party also stated a deadline for completion of the preparation stage, which seems to be a responsible attitude for a ruling party.
 増収分の全額を社会保障財源に充てる目的税化を行い、税率を段階的に引き上げる。その準備を終える期限を約束したのは、責任ある姿勢といえるだろう。

In the 2005 lower house election, the ruling bloc pledged to implement drastic reform, including consumption tax reform, around fiscal 2007, but failed to fulfill their promise. If it intends to tackle the reform issue seriously this time, it should clearly state what the tax rate will be and when it will be raised.
 与党は05年の前回衆院選で、07年度をメドに消費税などの抜本改革を実現すると公約したが、果たせなかった。今回は真剣に取り組むというなら、税率や引き上げ時期をはっきりさせるべきだ。

===

DPJ must explain position

The main opposition Democratic Party of Japan said in its manifesto that it will not raise the consumption tax rate in the coming four years. In the run-up to the 2005 lower house election, the DPJ said it backed a three percentage point consumption tax rate hike. So far, the party has not sufficiently explained to the public why it has decided there is no need to raise the tax rate this time.
 民主党は、今後4年間は消費税率は引き上げないという。前回衆院選では年金目的消費税として、3%の引き上げを掲げていた。なぜ今回は引き上げを不要としたのか、十分な説明はない。

As part of its program for taxation reform announced in December 2008, the DPJ said the importance of the consumption tax would continue to grow and that it intended to draw up a framework for tax reform, including consumption tax changes, during its first term if it gains power.
 昨年暮れの「税制抜本改革アクションプログラム」では、「消費税の重要性はますます高まる」とし、民主党政権の最初の任期中に消費税を含む税制改革の制度設計を進めることを明記した。

If the DPJ intends to use the consumption tax as a financial resource to fund the social security system and begin to draw up a plan for drastic taxation reform, little would separate the DPJ and LDP on the issue. The DPJ therefore needs to admit it is necessary to increase the consumption tax burden and frankly explain the reasons why to the public.
 社会保障財源として消費税を活用し、その制度設計を始めるなら、与党が示した道筋と大差はない。ならば、国民に負担増の必要性を率直に説くべきではないか。

===

Scope for a rate increase

At 25 percent, Sweden has the highest consumption tax rate in Europe, with value-added tax rates in much of the continent, including Britain, France and Germany, ranging from 15 percent to 20 percent. Those of China and South Korea are 17 percent and 10 percent, respectively, making Japan's 5 percent rather exceptional.
 スウェーデンの25%を筆頭に、イギリス、ドイツ、フランスなど欧州の付加価値税の税率は、15~20%が当たり前だ。中国は17%、韓国でも10%だ。日本の5%は、むしろ例外的といえる。

It is necessary to take into consideration the effect on low-income earners whose burden will become larger if the consumption tax rate is raised.
 引き上げで負担が増える低所得者に対する配慮は必要だ。

By allotting some of the increased revenue to the financing of social security programs, the benefits received by low-income earners can be increased. But at the same time, the question of what the reduced tax rate should be on daily necessities will arise. It will be necessary to consider making mandatory an invoicing system in which various taxes would have to be recorded on an itemized bill whenever a purchase is made.
増収分を社会保障に回すことで低所得者への給付は手厚くなるが、同時に生活必需品への軽減税率の適用も課題になる。インボイス(伝票)方式の検討も避けて通れまい。

The DPJ is proposing a system that would see low-income earners given payments equivalent to the consumption tax levied on daily necessities, but this leaves key problems unaddressed, including how to accurately assess each low-income earner's income. So, it is more realistic to first consider applying a lower tax rate on daily necessities than on other items.
 民主党は生活必需品の消費税相当額を低所得者に還元する「給付つき消費税額控除」を提唱しているが、実現には所得把握の方法など難題を抱えている。まず軽減税率を考えた方が現実的だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 9, 2009)
(2009年8月9日01時19分  読売新聞)

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2009年8月 8日 (土)

社説:子育て支援 これが審判を左右する

(Mainichi Japan) August 8, 2009
Political parties try to appeal to voters through child-support policies
社説:子育て支援 これが審判を左右する

The highlight of the Democratic Party of Japan's (DPJ) election manifesto is the 26,000-yen monthly allowance to be given per child to households until the child graduates from junior high school. It is approximately five times the amount currently provided by the government, and will cost 5.3 trillion yen a year.
 民主党の公約の目玉は、0歳から中学卒業まで1人月2万6000円の子ども手当だ。現在の児童手当の給付総額の約5倍、年5.3兆円が必要になる。

The DPJ proposes that spousal deductions and dependent deductions for income tax be eliminated to generate the necessary funds. This will result in a 511,000 yen increase in revenue for a family with an annual income of 3 million yen and two children, while a family with no children will receive 19,000 yen less than it does now. An additional characteristic of the policy is that, like in various European nations, the allowance is not income-tested.
所得税の配偶者控除、扶養控除の廃止などで財源を捻出(ねんしゅつ)するといい、年収300万円の世帯で子が2人だと年51万1000円の増収、子がいないと1万9000円の減収になる。欧州各国と同様に所得制限がないのも特徴だ。

While there are criticisms that the proposal lacks a reliable source of funds and is merely a cash handout program, gross childcare benefits under the current policy are a mere 0.2 percent of the nation's GDP, a whole digit less than those of major European nations. Childcare allowances plus childbirth and child rearing expenses comprise about 3 percent of the GDP in Britain, France and Sweden, while the figure is 0.75 percent in Japan. The DPJ proposal would finally bring Japan up to the standards already set by other countries.
 財源があいまい、ばらまきとの批判はあるが、現在は児童手当の総給付費が対国内総生産(GDP)比で0.2%に過ぎず、欧州各国より1けた少ない。出産や保育費用などを含めた対GDP比は、イギリス、フランス、スウェーデンが3%前後、日本は0.75%だ。民主党案はようやく各国と同じテーブルで議論ができるという水準なのだ。

Existing policy provides financial support in the form of childcare allowances to households with children until they graduate from elementary school, and also offers aid to single-mother households and households with children who have disabilities. The policy was meant to support children whose families had difficulty caring for them on their own, and childcare allowances were initially begun as support for poor households with many children.
 現在の経済的支援は0歳から小学校卒業までを対象にした児童手当のほか、母子世帯や障害児のいる世帯への手当がある。家族だけでの養育が難しい子の支援という意味合いが強く、児童手当も貧しい子だくさん世帯への支援から始まった。

The system has been revised several times, but the government has generally worked around its budgetary constraints by shifting funds around -- putting a limit on children's ages when it broadened the range of eligible children, and abolishing additional tax exemptions for dependents to secure more funds when the age limit for eligible children's ages was extended.
何度か制度改正されたが、対象児童を広げると年齢を制限し、年齢を広げると扶養控除の加算措置を廃止して財源に回すなど、予算の枠の中でのつぎはぎに終始したとも言える。

In addition to its promise to make preschool free in three years, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has pledged to focus on improving childcare services and to make shorter working hours compulsory for families raising children. Komeito has also announced its plans for free preschool education and the fundamental expansion of the childcare allowance.
 今回、自民党は就学前の幼児教育費を3年かけて無償化し、さらに保育サービスの集中整備、子育て期の短時間勤務の義務化などを打ち出した。公明党も幼児教育の無償化のほか、児童手当の抜本拡充などを発表しており、与野党こぞって子育て支援策をアピールする展開となった。

The basic principle underlying Japan's traditional approach to child rearing policies is the notion that children be brought up by their own families. In contrast to the ruling parties, who, even as they try to step out of that framework are promoting realistic improvement measures, the DPJ's intention appears to be an ideological shift toward child rearing as a society-wide effort.
 「子育ては家族が行うもの」というのがわが国の伝統的な子育て政策の原則で、与党側はそこから踏み出しつつも現実的な改善策を掲げるのに対し、民主党案は「社会全体で子育てをする」という思想的な転換の意図を読み取ることができる。

It goes without saying that the demise of large families and the rise in two-career and single parent households has been a contributing factor to such trends. Furthermore, such issues as pensions, medical services, and elderly nursing care have the potential to change their course depending on how the next generation chooses to handle them. In other words, child rearing comprises the foundations for the continuous running of a nation, and as such, it is significant that the DPJ counts its childcare policies among the most important in an election that will determine whether it takes over the government.
大家族の崩壊、共働きや母子・父子世帯の増加が背景にあるのは言うまでもない。また、年金、医療、介護などは次世代次第でどうにでも変わり得る。いわば子育ては継続的な国家運営の「土台」とも言うべきもので、政権交代をかけた選挙で民主党が重要政策のトップに位置づけた意味は大きい。

Naturally, comprehensive measures addressing such issues as balance between career and child rearing and the expansion of childcare services are necessary for the public to be able to raise children without anxiety. However, not many innovative ideas have been brought up on this front. Cash handouts are probably not enough for the idea that "children are a shared fortune" and calls for "investment in the next generation" to gain wide support as policy.
 もっとも、安心して子育てするためには、仕事と育児の両立、保育サービスの充実など総合的な対策が求められるが、こちらはあまり目新しいものがない。「子どもは国民の共有財産」「次世代への投資」という思想が政策として広く支持されるためには、現金給付だけでは足りないのではないか。

毎日新聞 2009年8月2日 0時03分

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政権公約選挙 正しい方向なら変更は当然だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 8, 2009)
Parties should be open to revising election vows
政権公約選挙 正しい方向なら変更は当然だ(8月8日付・読売社説)

Obviously, it is important for politicians to try to stick to election pledges. However, if they treat pledges as if they are set in stone, they may face problems in meeting their political obligations.
 公約を「守る」ことが大切なのは確かだが、金科玉条のごとく「守る」ことだけにこだわれば、現実の政治には不具合が生じよう。

The Aug. 30 poll will be the third House of Representatives election for which political parties have announced their policy platforms, along with proposed revenue sources and deadlines for implementation, since the practice began in 2003.
 各政党が政策ごとに財源や実施期限を明示した政権公約を掲げて衆院選を実施するのは、2003年以来、3度目となる。

Academics who proposed such an approach have stressed the need to review previous election pledges each time a lower house election is held.
これを提言した学者らは、衆院選のたびに過去の公約を点検することが重要だと説いた。

In keeping with this goal, a number of organizations recently held a joint meeting to rate the degree to which the ruling bloc has met manifesto pledges laid out ahead of the 2005 lower house election.
 この提言に沿って、与党の05年公約の達成度を検証する集会が先日、開かれた。

The organizations were critical of the ruling parties, saying that the structural reform drive promoted by the cabinet of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi had been gradually adjusted over the past four years.
参加した各団体は「小泉内閣の構造改革路線が、なし崩し的に修正された」と批判した。

However, when judging the ruling parties' success, it is dangerous to simply focus on whether the points as laid out in their manifestos four years ago have been attained.
 だが、4年前の公約通りに実践したかどうかだけを判断基準にするのは危険だ。

===

Changing realities of reform

The negative effects of Koizumi's reform drive, such as widening social and economic disparities, started to become evident after the last lower house election in 2005. In addition, the country later entered a dramatic economic downturn as a result of the global economic crisis that began last autumn.
 格差拡大など小泉改革の「影」の部分が問題化したのは、前回衆院選以降のことだ。経済が急減速したのも、世界同時不況の影響が広がった昨年秋以降である。

If cabinets that succeeded the Koizumi administration had continued belt-tightening policies--neglecting economic current conditions and failing to take into account problems resulting from market-based structural reforms, such as widening disparities--the Japanese economy likely would have been thrown into chaos.
 もし「小泉後」の歴代内閣が、格差拡大を生んだ市場原理主義的な構造改革の弊害を省みず、景気動向を無視して緊縮財政路線を続けていれば、日本の経済は今ごろ大混乱していただろう。

It is therefore essential to maintain flexibility and a willingness to modify policies in response to changing economic and political realities.
 政治や経済の環境変化に合わせて政策を修正する柔軟さまで否定すべきではない。

At the same time, it is important for policymakers to offer a clear explanation to voters of why such adjustments are necessary.
ただ、その前提として、変更の理由は有権者にきちんと説明する必要はあろう。

However, simply judging the ruling parties' pledges while ignoring the implications of the opposition's proposals also is questionable--the Democratic Party of Japan is battling with the ruling parties for power in the upcoming lower house race, and it is therefore only right that its policy pledges come in for scrutiny.
 与党の公約達成度だけを問題にするのも疑問だ。政権の座を争う以上、民主党の公約も厳しくチェックしないとバランスを欠く。

===

DPJ must be flexible

The DPJ stated in its 2005 manifesto that the party would "undertake" a revision of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement with a view to having U.S. bases in Okinawa Prefecture relocated out of the country.
 民主党は05年の公約に、日米地位協定の改定に「着手」し、在沖縄米軍基地の「国外への移転」を目指すと明記していた。

But if the DPJ had seized power in the 2005 election and followed through with its election pledges, cracks would have been created in Japan-U.S. relations. Acceptance of this reality is evident in the DPJ's decision to change the phrasing regarding the bilateral accord from "undertake" to "propose" and drop the reference to relocation overseas in its latest manifesto.
 05年の衆院選で民主党政権が誕生し、公約通りに行動していれば、日米関係に亀裂が生じる事態に陥っただろう。そのことは、民主党が今回、「着手」を「提起」に改め、国外移転の文言を削除したことが雄弁に物語っている。

Of course, it is not right to judge the DPJ's pledges solely on their consistency--if positive changes are made they should be welcomed.
 無論、民主党の公約点検でも、「ぶれた」かどうかを唯一の物差しにするのは誤りだ。望ましい方向への修正なら、むしろ歓迎すべきことだ。

The DPJ reportedly plans to modify wording on decentralization and a Japan-U.S. free trade agreement in its election pledges.
 民主党は、地方分権や日米自由貿易協定(FTA)の記述で公約の修正を行うという。

Apart from this, there are some pledges whose feasibility is doubtful and which are written in an extremely ambiguous way, especially on security and global environment issues, among others.
 ほかにも、安全保障政策や地球環境問題をはじめ、実現可能性を疑われたり、表現が極めて曖昧(あいまい)だったりする公約がある。

The party must therefore continue to carefully examine and reflect on its manifesto pledges until the election is officially announced, and it must not hesitate to revise them if necessary.
公示まで精査に努め、必要であれば修正もためらうべきではない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 8, 2009)
(2009年8月8日01時23分  読売新聞)

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2009年8月 7日 (金)

被爆64年―「非核の傘」を広げるとき

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 6(IHT/Asahi: August 7,2009)
EDITORIAL: 64 years and counting
被爆64年―「非核の傘」を広げるとき

This summer has special significance for Hiroshima and Nagasaki in that it is the first since U.S. President Barack Obama gave his landmark speech in Prague in April to declare that the United States will "take concrete steps toward a world without nuclear weapons."
 被爆地は今年、格別な夏を迎えた。「核兵器のない世界を目指して具体的な方策をとる」。米国のオバマ大統領がプラハ演説でそう宣言して、初めて迎える夏だからだ。

It is enormously significant that Obama said the United States, as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, has "a moral responsibility to act." But this is not the only reason why his Prague speech was so galvanizing.
 大統領が、核を使った国として「行動する道義的責任がある」と語った意味はとても大きい。だが、プラハ演説の凄味(すごみ)は、そこにとどまらない。

In this age of globalization, the world is becoming increasingly interdependent. A nuclear explosion in any major city in the world would not only kill a great number of people but also bring the global economic system to the brink of collapse. The consequences would be the same whether it was a nuclear strike or a terrorist attack.
 グローバル化した世界は、相互依存を強めている。世界のどの経済都市で核爆発が起きても、多くの犠牲者が出るだけでなく、世界の経済システムも破局のふちに追いやられる。核戦争でも核テロでも結果は同じことだ。

The argument that nuclear deterrence is more effective in securing stability around the world still enjoys considerable support among the nuclear powers and their allies. But succumbing to the allure of nuclear deterrence could result in the acceleration of nuclear proliferation. The world is also facing a real danger of nuclear arms falling into the hands of terrorists. If that nightmare becomes reality, the risks would be immeasurable.
 核抑止を続けた方が世界は安定するとの考えが核兵器国や同盟国で根強い。だが、核抑止の魔力にひかれて、核拡散が進む恐れがある。テロ集団の手に核が渡る危険もある。それが現実になった時のリスクは計り知れない。

What must be done? Shouldn't we come up with a new security strategy to move toward a nuclear-free world? That is the question posed by Obama.
 どうすべきか。核のない世界に向けて動くことこそ、新たな安全保障戦略の基本ではないのか。オバマ大統領は、そこを問いかけている。

On Obama's initiative, it has been decided that leaders of the United Nations Security Council member countries will meet on Sept. 24 to discuss nuclear issues. No pre-emptive nuclear attacks
 大統領の音頭とりで、9月24日には核問題に関する国連安全保障理事会の首脳級会合を開くことも決まった。

■先制不使用を義務に
Creating a security framework that doesn't rely on nuclear arms will require formulating and implementing a broad array of policies. We have a raft of proposals for countries that have nuclear arsenals. In particular, we want them to work on spreading the "nonnuclear umbrella."
 核に頼らない安全保障体制を構築していくには、たくさんの政策の積み重ねがいる。核兵器国には山ほど注文したいが、ここでは特に、「非核の傘」を広げていくことを強く求めたい。

The idea is that nuclear powers will pledge not to use nuclear weapons against any nonnuclear countries that are part of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). If this is established as a global rule, nonnuclear parties of the treaty could significantly reduce their risks of coming under nuclear attack. This is how the nonnuclear umbrella works.
 核不拡散条約(NPT)に入った非核国には、核を使用しない。これを世界標準として確立すれば、NPT加盟の非核国は、核攻撃のリスクを大幅に減らせる。それが「非核の傘」だ。

Expanding the nonnuclear umbrella would help decrease the role of nuclear weapons and lead to a substantial reduction in the number of nuclear weapons in the world. This approach, which would contribute to both arms reduction and global security, should be promoted as much as possible while Obama is in office.
 「非核の傘」を広げれば、核兵器の役割を縮小でき、保有数の減少にもつながる。オバマ大統領の任期のうちに、軍縮と安全保障の一挙両得を大きく前進させたい。

There are many ways to expand the nonnuclear umbrella. One would be a Security Council resolution that bans nuclear attacks against nonnuclear countries in the NPT camp. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon has said that it is possible for the Security Council permanent members, which are all nuclear powers, to guarantee they will not use nuclear arms to attack countries without nuclear capability. Such a Security Council resolution should be adopted as soon as possible.
 「非核の傘」を広げる方法は、いくつもある。第一は、国連安保理で、NPTに入っている非核国への核使用は認められないと明確に決議することだ。潘基文・国連事務総長は、核保有国でもある国連安保理の常任理事国が非核国に核攻撃しないと保証するのは可能だろうと指摘している。一刻も早く、実現すべきである。

A second way would make use of nuclear-free zone treaties. There are treaties on nuclear-weapon-free zones for five regions--Latin America, the South Pacific, Africa, Southeast Asia and Central Asia. The treaty for Africa has not yet come into force. Each of these treaties comes with a protocol that commits the nuclear powers to refraining from nuclear attacks against the treaty participants.
 第二の方法は、非核地帯条約の活用だ。ラテンアメリカ、南太平洋、アフリカ、東南アジア、中央アジアには非核地帯条約がある。アフリカだけが未発効だが、いずれの条約にも、核兵器国は条約加盟国を核攻撃しないことを約束する議定書がある。

Only the nuclear-free zone treaty for Latin America, however, has been ratified by all the five original members of the nuclear club--the United States, Russia, Britain, France and China. The nonnuclear umbrella should be established as an obligation under international law through efforts to put the treaty for Africa into effect as soon as possible and to have the nuclear powers ratify all the protocols to those treaties.
 だが、米ロ英仏中の5核兵器国すべてが議定書を批准しているのはラテンアメリカだけ。アフリカでの条約発効を急ぎ、同時に核兵器国がすべての議定書を批准して、「非核の傘」を広く国際法上の義務とすべきだ。

A third way would be for nuclear-armed nations to declare that they will not stage pre-emptive nuclear strikes and thereby confine the role of their arsenals to deterrence to nuclear attacks from other countries. Since nonnuclear countries cannot stage nuclear attacks, such declarations by nuclear-capable nations would spread the nonnuclear umbrella drastically.
 第三の方法は、核兵器国が核先制不使用を宣言し、核の役割を相手の核攻撃の抑止に限定することだ。非核国はもともと核先制使用などできないから、核兵器国が先制不使用を確約すれば、「非核の傘」は一気に拡大する。

■北東アジアに非核地帯
The Japanese government is cautious about the United States vowing not to launch pre-emptive nuclear strikes. North Korea has conducted nuclear tests, and the reclusive regime may have biological and chemical weapons as well. Japan's position is that the option of a pre-emptive nuclear strike by the United States should be left open to deter Pyongyang from using those weapons.
 日本政府は、米国による核先制不使用宣言には慎重だ。北朝鮮は核実験しただけでなく、生物・化学兵器も持っている可能性がある。その使用を抑えるために、核先制使用も選択肢として残すべきだ、という立場だ。

However, the credibility of Japan's nonnuclear diplomacy would be badly damaged if Tokyo emphasizes the importance of nuclear deterrence too much and obstructs Obama's efforts to reduce the role of nuclear weapons and promote nuclear disarmament. Even if it wants to keep nuclear deterrence intact for the time being, Japan should adopt a policy of promoting the nonnuclear umbrella. Nuclear-free zone in Northeast Asia
 だが、日本が核抑止を強調するあまり、核兵器の役割を減らし、核軍縮を進めようとするオバマ構想の障害になっては、日本の非核外交は台無しだ。当面、核抑止を残すにせよ、同時に「非核の傘」を広げていく政策を進めるべきだろう。

One worthwhile idea would be a nuclear-free zone treaty for Northeast Asia. Japan and South Korea could take the initiative by signing such a treaty first and putting it into force. If the United States, China and Russia all ratify a protocol that bans them from launching nuclear attacks against Japan and South Korea, a nonnuclear umbrella would be raised for the region.
 一案は、北東アジアにも非核地帯条約をつくることだ。日韓だけでも先に締結して発効させ、米中ロなどが日韓に核攻撃しない議定書を批准して、「非核の傘」を築く。

North Korea should be able to join the treaty for protection under the nonnuclear umbrella after it abandons its nuclear program and returns to the NPT. This prospect would give North Korea a strong incentive to abandon its nuclear ambitions and help bolster regional stability.
 北朝鮮については、非核化してNPTに戻った段階で条約に加わり、「非核の傘」で守られるようにする。そうすれば北朝鮮が核放棄する利益は高まるし、地域の安定にも役立つだろう。

It is also vital to deal with China's rapid military buildup. During the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue meeting in Washington in July, Obama underlined the importance of bilateral cooperation. He cited the denuclearization of North Korea as one such policy challenge, saying neither Washington nor Beijing has an interest in a nuclear arms race in East Asia. "A balance of terror cannot hold," he said in his speech at the conference.
 軍事費を拡大させる中国への対応も欠かせない。オバマ大統領は7月の米中戦略対話で、東アジアでの核軍拡競争は両国の利益にそぐわないと明言し、北朝鮮の非核化などで協力していくことの重要性を強調した。「恐怖の均衡は続けられない」とも語った。

The U.S. and Chinese economies are rapidly become entwined. Their relations are completely different from those between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Back then, the two superpowers could have destroyed the other's industry without suffering much damage to its own economy.
 米中は急速に経済の相互依存を強めている。たとえ相手の産業を破壊しても影響が少なかった冷戦期の米ソとはまったく異なる関係だ。

■中国も軍縮の輪に
Japan should understand the reality of the U.S.-China relationship and propose a plan for enhancing regional stability while curtailing the role of nuclear arms in Northeast Asia. The Japan-U.S. security alliance should evolve from the current security architecture based primarily on nuclear deterrence into a platform for broader cooperation to expand the nonnuclear umbrella and enhance arms control in the region. That would give a big boost to efforts to engage China in nuclear disarmament efforts. Integrating China into arms reduction
 日本も米中の現実を認識し、北東アジアでの核の役割を減らしながら、地域の安定をはかる構想を示していく必要がある。核抑止でつながるだけでなく、「非核の傘」拡大や地域の軍備管理で連携していく。日米同盟をそんな形に進化させれば、中国を核軍縮の輪に加える、大きな力になるだろう。

The problem of nuclear proliferation in the world is linked closely to regional and religious conflicts. India and Pakistan have both carried out nuclear tests. Israel is widely regarded as a virtual nuclear power. Iran is continuing with its program to enrich uranium. Regional or religious conflicts are behind all these examples of nuclear proliferation.
 世界の核拡散問題には地域対立や宗教的対立がからんでいる。核実験をしたインド、パキスタン。事実上の核保有国とされるイスラエル。ウラン濃縮を続けるイラン。いずれの場合も、そうだ。

Pushing these countries into giving up their nuclear ambitions will require tenacious efforts to resolve the conflicts and convince them that they only endanger themselves by possessing nuclear arsenals.
これらの国を非核化へ向かわせるには、根気強く対立をほぐしつつ、核保有がむしろ国を危うくすることを説いていくしかない。

As the only country to have come under nuclear attack, Japan should make greater contributions to such diplomatic efforts.
 唯一の被爆国として日本は、そうした外交でももっと知恵を絞りたい。

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記者の目:被爆64年の広島 私は黙り込んだ=井上梢

(Mainichi Japan) August 6, 2009
Serving as a bridge to spread the message of the atomic bombing
記者の目:被爆64年の広島 私は黙り込んだ=井上梢

"You don't need to tell anybody my feelings -- the message isn't getting through," the 49-year-old doctor, a second-generation atomic-bomb survivor, told me.
 「私の気持ちは誰にも伝わらなくていい。伝わらないのだから」。

When I heard these words during my coverage of the medical treatment of atomic-bomb diseases, I could do nothing but remain silent.
被爆2世の男性医師(49)の言葉に、黙り込むしかなかった。

This summer, 64 years since the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, U.S. President Barack Obama's declaration on aiming for the elimination of nuclear weapons has provided a new ray of hope.
被爆64年の広島の今夏は、核廃絶を目指すとオバマ米大統領が宣言したことで、例年になく「希望」がともにある。

Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba and the Hiroshima confederation of organizations supporting A- and H-bomb sufferers have supported his stance.
広島県被団協や秋葉忠利・広島市長らは、その姿勢を絶賛。

In addition, seven groups supporting atomic-bomb survivors, or hibakusha, have sent letters to Obama and are hoping that he will visit Hiroshima.
They hope to convey their feelings directly and add momentum to the move to eliminate nuclear weapons.
さらに被爆地の思いを直接伝えて核廃絶への機運を高めようと、被爆者7団体などは手紙を送り、広島訪問を待ち望む。

But when I visited the 49-year-old doctor during my reporting on medical treatment of people suffering from atomic-bomb diseases in June this year, he told me he couldn't find any meaning in conveying messages about the atomic bombing, adding that he told his son, "I don't think I'll share my thoughts on the atomic bombing. It should end with my generation."
ところが今年6月、被爆医療の取材で訪ねた医師は、伝えることに意味を見いださず、医学生の息子に対してさえも「原爆への思いは話そうと思わない。この話は私の代で終わればいい」と言うのだ。

The doctor's mother suffered burns on her back during the atomic bombing, and her shoulder blade showed through her thinned skin, he said.
 医師の母は背中に大やけどを負い、薄くなった皮膚の向こうには肩甲骨が透けて見えたという。

His father suffered from a condition common to many atomic-bomb survivors that brought on a feeling of fatigue.
父は、倦怠(けんたい)感に悩まされる被爆者特有の「原爆ぶらぶら病」に苦しんだ。

At the time, when the atomic bombing was not recognized as the cause of such illnesses, many hibakusha were labeled lazy. まだ原爆の影響と認められなかった当時、多くの被爆者が怠け者とみなされた。

The doctor's father quit his company job and opened a bar.
父は会社勤めをやめ、居酒屋を開いた。

He often felt unwell and the doctor, from when he was young, helped out at the business. When he spilled drinks he was hit relentlessly by customers.
体調が悪いことも多く、医師は小さい時から店を手伝い、酒をつぎこぼしては客に容赦なく殴られた。

The mere sight of photographs of Hiroshima at the time of the bombing made the doctor's father throw up.
 父は被爆時の広島の写真を見ただけで嘔吐(おうと)もした。

"There was something sad about seeking life's simple daily pleasures but not being able to attain them," the doctor says. "That's something I can't convey."
医師は言う。「日常の幸福といったささやかな喜びを求めながら得られない悲しみ。それは伝えられない」。

After becoming a doctor and seeing hibakusha die from cancer and other illnesses, that feeling only grew stronger.
医師になった後も、がんなどで亡くなる被爆者をみとる中で、その思いを強くしたという。

It has been four years since I was first assigned to work in Hiroshima.
 初任地の広島に来て、4年目だ。

Many times hibakusha have told me, "You don't understand," but they have quickly changed their minds and carefully shared their feelings with me.
幾たびも被爆者から「あなたには分からないでしょう」と言われてきた。それでもすぐに思い直し、丁寧に話をしてくれたものだ。

However this doctor simply adopted an attitude of detachment.
しかし、この医師は突き放すだけだった。

I felt a gap that seemed impossible to bridge.
もう手が届かないような距離を感じさせられた。

Still at a loss about what to do, I headed to Hawaii to visit 60-year-old second-generation hibakusha Hiromi Peterson, who teaches Japanese at the school Obama attended and is also involved in peace education.
 どうしたらいいかわからなくなったまま、オバマ大統領の母校で日本語を教え、平和教育にも取り組む被爆2世のピーターソン(旧姓・中井)ひろみさん(60)に会うためにハワイへ向かった。

Peterson's grandfather died in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and her father also suffered major burns. When she decided to marry an American and move to Hawaii, her grandmother cried in opposition, and her grandmother never saw her husband up until the time she died. Her sister died from leukemia at the relatively young age of 62.
 ひろみさんの祖父は広島の原爆で亡くなり、父も大やけどを負った。ひろみさんが米国人との結婚を決め、ハワイへ渡る時、祖母は涙を流して反対した。そして、亡くなるまで夫と会わなかったという。ひろみさんの姉も62歳の若さで白血病で亡くなった。

When teaching Japanese, Peterson thought that her students should learn about the point where Japan and the United States met, and what she had to show them was the atomic bombing. She produced a textbook recounting her family's experiences and used it in her lessons. At first, many students said that the atomic-bombing was justified, but in the end, about half the class came to the conclusion that the bomb shouldn't have been dropped. Now the textbook is used across the United States.
 ひろみさんは日本語を教えるにあたり、「日米の接点を知った上で生徒は学ぶべきだ。私が示せるものは原爆」と考えた。家族の被爆体験を取り上げたテキストを作り、授業で使った。そうすると、最初は「原爆は正しかった」と答える学生が多くても、最終的にはクラスの半分が「落とすべきでなかった」に転じるという。現在、テキストは全米に広がっている。

Looking at Peterson, who was conveying the terror of the atomic bombing in the land that is home to Pearl Harbor, a place holding special meaning for America, I felt her strength. Her words, "I won't let them say, 'That never happened,'" came at a time when I was feeling discouraged, and stirred up in me a renewed belief that it was important to convey the message of the bombing.
 米国にとって特別な意味を持つパールハーバー(真珠湾)の地で、原爆の恐怖を伝えるひろみさんの姿勢に、強さを感じた。「『あんなことは無かった』と言わせない」と語ったその言葉は、くじけかけていた私に、再び伝えることが大切と信じる気持ちを呼び起こしてくれた。

For a year and a half I have interviewed hibakusha who have risked their lives and continued to spread the message of the atomic bombing. One of them is 86-year-old Suzuko Numata, who says she was taught to live from the example of a Chinese parasol tree that was hit by the atomic bombing but returned to life. Though she now spends most of her time in bed due to illness, twice a month she continues to give talks to students who visit the home for the elderly where she lives.
 命をかけて被爆証言を続ける被爆者を、1年半にわたって取材してきた。被爆したアオギリが枯れずによみがえった様子から、自らも生きることを教わったという沼田鈴子(すずこ)さん(86)。病に倒れて主にベッドで過ごす今も、月2回ほど、入所する老人ホームに集まった学生などを対象に証言活動を続ける。

When I visited her after the nuclear test by North Korea in May, she had a hollow look in her eyes.
"We've been saying nuclear weapons should never be used, and now this," she said, moving her head as she spoke even though it would hurt her weakened backbone. In the past she had told me, "I want hibakusha in North Korea to speak out and stop the nuclear tests." I wondered if such a thing was possible, but it was a case of believing in the power of conveying a message.
 5月の北朝鮮の核実験後に訪ねると、うつろな目で「絶対、核は使っちゃいけんと言っているのにね」と訴えた。ベッド暮らしで弱くなった背骨を痛めることもいとわず、首を上下させて語る。そういえば、「北朝鮮の被爆者が語って、核実験を止めてほしい」と話していた。そんなことが可能かとは思うが、伝える力を信じればこそだった。

Still, I worried about whether I could carry out the role of introducing the words of hibakusha to the world. I have always written articles on the assumption that I am conveying hibakushas' messages to the friends I had as a student. I want to serve as a bridge and have the same generation, which had no interest in the atomic bombing, think about the issues.
 それでも、被爆者の言葉を世界に紹介する役目が私に果たせるのかどうかを悩む。いつも学生時代の友人に伝えることを念頭に置いて書いてきた。原爆に関心の無かった同世代に、問題を考えてもらう橋渡しをしたいと。

At the beginning of August, I visited the doctor once again. I asked him why he had agreed to meet me when he didn't want to convey a message in the first place.
 8月初め、医師を再訪し、そもそも伝わらないと考えているのに、なぜ私の取材に応じたかを尋ねた。

"I'm not completely without a feeling of wanting to convey a message. It comes down to whether you can convey my feelings in writing. It's an experiment and a written challenge," he said.
「私も伝えたい気持ちが完全にないのではない。あなたが私の気持ちを書き伝えることができるかどうか。実験であり、挑戦状です」と言った。

Behind the Hiroshima that uses anger and sadness as energy in its push to eliminate nuclear weapons, there are people who still swallow their feelings. Needless to say, it is difficult to understand the feelings inside people's hearts and convey them. But I believe that I can listen with simple honesty, and convey something, albeit to a small extent. At the same time, in my own way, I want to find the real answer for the doctor. ("As I See It," by Kozue Inoue, Hiroshima Bureau)
 怒りや悲しみをエネルギーに核廃絶へつなげようとする広島の裏側に、今も気持ちをのみ込む人たちがいる。胸の内をそのままに理解し、伝えることが困難なのは言うまでもない。しかし、私は愚直に聞き取り、わずかなりとも伝わると信じていく。そして、医師に対する本当の回答を、自分なりに見つけたい。(広島支局)

毎日新聞 2009年8月6日 0時01分

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裁判員判決 検証の積み重ねが欠かせない

Lay judge system should be monitored, improved
The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 7, 2009)
裁判員判決 検証の積み重ねが欠かせない(8月7日付・読売社説)

The nation's first lay judge trial has ended. Many more trials in which ordinary citizens participate as lay judges in criminal cases are expected to follow across the country.
 裁判員が関与した初の裁判が終了した。今後も全国で裁判が相次ぐ。

It is vital that people in the judicial world look for any shortcomings or problems in lay judge trials, including the one that just ended Thursday, and rectify them so the lay judge system can be improved.
法曹関係者は今回も含め、問題点を洗い出して検証し、裁判員制度を改善していくことが肝要である。

The first lay judge trial dealt with a murder that took place on a Tokyo street in May. A 72-year-old man had been accused of stabbing to death his 66-year-old female neighbor with a survival knife.
 審理されたのは、東京で5月に起きた路上殺人事件だった。66歳の女性をサバイバルナイフで刺殺したとして、近所の72歳の男が殺人罪に問われた。

The Tokyo District Court courtroom where the trial was conducted looked completely different to courtrooms in the past. Three professional judges in robes were flanked by six lay judges wearing their everyday clothes.
 東京地裁の法廷は様変わりした。法服姿の3人の裁判官の両脇に私服の裁判員6人が並んだ。

Prosecutors and lawyers showed images on monitors and paraphrased hard-to-comprehend technical terms with plain language.
 検察官と弁護人はモニターに画像を映し、難解な専門用語を平易な言葉に言い換えた。

As one example, a prosecutor explained that a "defensive wound"--which was found on the woman's body--is an injury sustained when a victim tries to use their hand, arm or other body part to block an assault by an assailant with a sharp weapon.
 検察官が被害者の「防御創」について、「刃物で刺されそうになった時、とっさに手で受け止めようとしてできる傷のこと」と説明したのは、その典型だ。

We welcome such changes because they will help the general public more easily understand what is discussed during trials.
裁判の内容が一般にも分かりやすくなったのは、歓迎すべきことである。

===

Heavy burdens

The trial focused on determining the punishment for the defendant, who had admitted to killing the woman. The crux of the decision centered on to what degree the defendant had intended to kill the woman.
 被告は犯行を認めていたため、裁判の争点は量刑に絞られていた。どれだけ強い殺意を持って被害者を刺したかが、量刑を決めるポイントだった。

One lay judge asked the defendant why he decided to go and fetch a knife while he was quarreling with the victim. Such questions indicated the lay judges' willingness to determine for themselves the degree of the defendant's intent to commit murder.
 裁判員は、「言い争いになった時、なぜナイフを持っていこうと思ったのか」などと被告に問いかけた。殺意の度合いを見極めようという姿勢がうかがえた。

While prosecutors demanded a 16-year term of imprisonment, the court sentenced the defendant to 15 years in prison, acknowledging that he stabbed the woman with a strong intent despite being aware that doing so would result in her death. The court handed down a ruling in line with the argument put forward by prosecutors.
 懲役16年の求刑に対し、判決は懲役15年だった。「死亡させると分かりながら、強い攻撃意思を持って刺した」と認定した。検察側の主張に沿った判断である。

During the four-day trial, a female lay judge averted her eyes when images of the victim's body were shown on a monitor. Another female judge was unable to appear in court on the third day because she was feeling unwell due to a cold. She was replaced with a male "supplementary" lay judge.
 4日間の公判では、遺体の写真をモニターで見た女性裁判員が、目をそらす場面があった。別の女性裁判員は風邪で体調を崩し、男性の補充裁判員に交代した。

The daily trial undoubtedly placed a heavy strain on lay judges. In cases when lay judges are asked to make even tougher decisions, such as choosing between the death penalty or an indefinite prison term, they likely will bear an even heavier burden.
 連日の公判が、裁判員にとって大きな負担であったことは間違いあるまい。死刑か無期懲役かの判断などを迫られる裁判では、負担は、さらに増すだろう。

In this regard, the Supreme Court must do everything it can to take care of the lay judges' mental condition, such as ensuring the smooth operation of the counseling service counter that has been set up to give advice to lay judges.
 最高裁は、既に設置した電話相談窓口を円滑に機能させるなど、裁判員の心のケア対策に万全を期していく必要がある。

===

Weighty responsibility

Another issue that needs careful consideration is how to select lay judges.
 裁判員の選考方法も検討課題といえよう。

In the Tokyo District Court trial, the six lay judges randomly chosen by the court turned out to be five women and one man. But for trials on cases involving sex offenses, we wonder whether the age and gender balance of the lay judges could subtly affect rulings.
今回、地裁が無作為で選んだ裁判員は、女性5人、男性1人だったが、性犯罪などの裁判で、男女の比率や年齢構成が偏ると、判決内容に微妙な影響が及ぶことはないだろうか。

After the ruling Thursday, the six lay judges and a supplementary citizen judge attended a press conference. "I sincerely felt the heavy responsibility I bore in judging a person," one said.
 判決後、裁判員全員が会見に応じ、「人を裁くという重大なことを担わされている思いをひしひしと感じた」などと語った。

This comment should be kept in mind, given that any of us could be asked to serve as a lay judge any time soon.
いつ自分が選ばれるか分からないだけに、裁判員の生の声は、大いに参考になるはずだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 7, 2009)
(2009年8月7日01時15分  読売新聞)

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2009年8月 6日 (木)

記者の目:被爆者の新たな取り組みを学ぼう=下原知広(長崎支局)

(Mainichi Japan) August 5, 2009
Responsibility of the young to continue hibakusha push for nuclear disarmament
記者の目:被爆者の新たな取り組みを学ぼう=下原知広(長崎支局)

 ◇自ら行動して平和探求を 悲惨さ伝える義務がある
In mid-July, 74-year-old Sakue Shimohira, an adviser of the Association of Bereaved Families of Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Victims who has given approximately 10,000 lectures about her A-bomb experiences and is a staunch advocate of nuclear disarmament, suspended her activities due to health concerns. Now that her hip surgery has been successfully completed, she is highly motivated to resume her activities.
約1万回もの語り部活動で被爆体験と核廃絶を訴え続ける長崎原爆遺族会顧問、下平作江(しもひらさくえ)さん(74)が、体調を崩し7月中旬から活動を中断している。幸い手術は成功し、復帰に意欲満々だ。

It is an undeniable fact, however, that A-bomb survivors are growing old. Throughout my reporting on the A-bomb, I have asked myself how the stories and hopes of this aging population can be passed on to younger generations. Sensing the urgency of this current situation, some survivors in the city of Nagasaki -- which will commemorate the 64th anniversary of the atomic bombing on Aug. 9 -- have begun engaging in new efforts to keep their stories alive. It is important that younger generations learn from such efforts to make their own efforts in inheriting their legacy.
被爆者の高齢化は進む。原爆取材をしながら「こうした思いをどう次代につなげばいいのか」と自問自答してきた。9日に64回目の「原爆の日」を迎える長崎市では、被爆体験継承に危機感を持つ被爆者が新たな取り組みを始めている。若い世代は、これらをヒントに継承に取り組むべきだと思う。

 私は08年末から連載企画「ヒバクシャ」(大阪、西部本社発行の朝刊に掲載)で、下平さんの取材を続けている。

Shimohira and a sister two years her junior were holed up in a bomb shelter approximately 800 meters from Ground Zero when the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. What they saw when they emerged from the shelter the next day was a scene from hell. Family members who had been at home at the time of the bombing had died, and her sister who'd survived later committed suicide after struggling with illness. Shimohira herself went through trials and tribulations, including uterine and ovarian surgery. She began lecturing about her A-bomb experiences around the age of 40, and as a plaintiff in the Nagasaki lawsuit for A-bomb illness recognition, has engaged in various activities in support of A-bomb survivors. I have been overawed not only by her A-bomb experience, but also in the life she has chosen to live, bringing advocacy for the total abolition of nuclear weapons into the center of her life. "Nuclear weapons and humankind cannot coexist. My hope is that we are the last ones to experience the kind of suffering we did," she says.
 下平さんは10歳の時、爆心地から約800メートルの防空壕(ごう)で2歳下の妹らと被爆した。翌日、壕を出ると外は地獄のような光景だった。自宅にいた家族は被爆死し、助かった妹もその後に病苦で自殺。30代で子宮、卵巣を切除するなど過酷な体験をしてきた。40歳ごろから語り部活動を始め、原爆症認定長崎訴訟の原告として被爆者全体の支援活動にも取り組む。その体験はもちろん、核兵器廃絶の取り組みを生活の中心に据える生きざまに、強い衝撃を受けた。
 「核兵器と人類は共存できない。体や骨を刻むほどの苦しみは私たちで終わりにしてほしい」。

According to the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, as of late March, there were approximately 235,500 A-bomb survivors nationwide, with an average age of 75.92. As the survivor population grows older and the number of lecturers like Shimohira declines, we rapidly approach a time when those of us who have not experienced the atomic bombings must take the lead in nuclear disarmament. Seeing Shimohira lying in a hospital bed after her operation in late July, I was struck by a renewed sense of responsibility to continue the legacy.
 7月末、長崎市内の病院の無菌室。下平さんは痛めた股(こ)関節の骨の手術を終え、ベッドで静かに眠っていた。回復すれば、修学旅行生たちに再び被爆体験を語るという。
全国の被爆者は3月末で約23万5500人、平均年齢75・92歳(厚生労働省調べ)と高齢化が進む。下平さんのような語り部は少なくなり、被爆体験を持たない人が核兵器廃絶に取り組まなければならない時期が目前に迫る。下平さんの姿に、被爆体験継承への思いをますます強くした。

Teruo Ideguchi, 73, a former company employee and a member of the Nagasaki Foundation for the Promotion of Peace, is one of those who takes an innovative approach to the passing down of A-bomb history. At the time of the atomic bombing, Ideguchi was at home, located 1.4 kilometers from Ground Zero. Having lost consciousness from serious injuries to his back and head, he has very little recollection of the experience.
 新たな手法で継承に取り組む一人が、長崎平和推進協会員で元会社員、出口(いでぐち)輝夫さん(73)だ。爆心地から1・4キロの自宅で被爆。背中や頭に大けがをしたために気絶し、当時の光景をあまり記憶していない。

"I didn't have the type of experience that Ms. Shimohira did," he says. "All I can talk about is what my surroundings were like."
「下平さんのような体験はなく、話せるのは周囲の状況だけ」と言う。

That was why he spent about eight years studying such fields as medicine and physics on his own, eventually compiling what he learned about the A-bomb into a book. When asked to give lectures, Ideguchi talks about both what he has learned from his independent study and his personal experiences.
そこで、医学や物理学などを約8年間独学、原爆について学んだことを本にまとめた。講話を頼まれると、こうして得た知識を体験談に交えている。

In May 2008, he began a monthly gathering called Heiwa-juku (Peace school), in which Ideguchi, along with survivors that lead tours of sites affected by the bombing and local citizens, engage in debates on nuclear power and weapons. He has discussed the origins of the code names "Little Boy" and "Fat Man," given to the bombs dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively.
 08年5月からは「平和塾」を月1回開催。被爆遺構などをガイドする被爆者、市民と、原子力や核兵器について議論する。広島原爆(リトルボーイ)と長崎原爆(ファットマン)の名前の由来などを問うなどし、理解を深めてもらう。

"Young people who have not experienced the atomic bombings tend to think that the elimination of nuclear weapons is impossible," he says. "But I think there must be things that can be done."
こうした取り組みから「原爆を体験していない若い人は『核廃絶なんかできない』と考えがちだが、できることがあるはずだ」と語る。

Another member of the Nagasaki Foundation for the Promotion of Peace and a volunteer guide, 67 year-old Yasujiro Tanaka, was 3 years old when the A-bomb was dropped 3.4 kilometers from his home. While he has no memory of the bombing aside from "a bluish white light that appeared as if tens of thousands of camera strobes had gone off," he wanted to find a way to pass on the history to younger generations through tales that children could relate to, like the famous story of Sadako Sasaki, who experienced the atomic bombing in Hiroshima and died at age 12 from A-bomb related leukemia.
 同協会平和案内人、田中安次郎さん(67)は、3歳の時に爆心地から3・4キロで被爆した。「カメラのストロボを何万個も集めたような青白い光」以外の記憶はほとんどない。そこで「広島で被爆し、原爆症(白血病)のため12歳で亡くなった佐々木禎子(さだこ)さんのように、子供にも身近に感じられる話をして平和への思いを伝えることができないか」と考えた。

Tanaka was inspired by the story of Kayoko zakura (Kayoko's cherry tree). The tree was donated to Shiroyama Elementary School in Nagasaki, where it still stands today, by the mother of Kayoko Hayashi, who was at the school when she died of the bombing at age 15, in memory of her daughter and others who had perished. Determined to spread the mother's legacy to the rest of the country, since February, Tanaka has raised money to buy cherry tree seedlings, which have been planted in the cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. He explains that it's a way to let younger people know about the horrors of atomic bombs and war. He also talks about the bombings, but supplements certain areas in which he is not knowledgeable.
"With regards to experiences I personally didn't go through, I familiarize myself through photo books and by listening to other people talk about their experiences. Then I throw myself into character and pass their stories on to other people. We do not have memories of the atomic bombings, but we have a responsibility to pass them on."
 着目したのは長崎市立城山(しろやま)小の「嘉代子桜(かよこざくら)」だった。学校で被爆死した林嘉代子さん(当時15歳)の母親が、娘らの死を悼んで同小に植樹した桜への思いを全国に広めることを計画。募金などで集めたお金で桜の苗木を買い、長崎市や広島市などへの植樹を2月から続けている。「原爆や戦争の悲惨さを訴えるための手段。体験がない分は写真集などで勉強し、語り部の話を聞いて追体験し、その人になりきって話す。我々は被爆の悲惨さを記憶していないが、被爆を伝える責任がある」

The efforts of these two people -- who are trying to establish an understanding of what happened by re-examining the history of the bombings and the war -- provide us with hints on how we can inherit and pass on the legacy of the atomic bombings, ways that allow for self-motivated thought, action, and the pursuit of peace.
 被爆や戦争の歴史を再点検して紡ぎ出そうとする2人の取り組みは、自ら考え、行動し、平和を探求しようとする新たな被爆体験の継承手法を私たちに投げかけている。

The hopes of such people are gradually spreading across the country. The 10,000 high school student petition drive begun in Nagasaki in 2001 is one such example. Every year, the signatures of high school students calling for nuclear disarmament are collected and delivered to the U.N.'s European headquarters in Geneva and other organizations. About 300 high school students have participated in gathering signatures. Meanwhile, students and staff at a junior high school in Yamaguchi Prefecture who were touched by Tanaka's efforts sent him money that they had raised. We must not let the efforts made by survivors in the past 64 years for the realization of peace come to nothing.
 その思いは少しずつ各地で種を芽生えさせている。長崎で01年から始まった「高校生1万人署名活動」もその一つだ。高校生たちが核兵器廃絶の署名を集め、それを国連欧州本部(スイス)などに毎年届けている。参加した高校生たちは約300人に及ぶ。田中さんの活動に共感し、山口県柳井市の中学校が寄付金を送ってもきた。被爆者たちの64年間の平和への思いを途切れさせるわけにはいかない。

There have been signs of change in the global situation regarding nuclear weapons. We have seen the emergence of President Barack Obama, who has called for "a world without nuclear weapons," and who has signed a treaty with Russia to reduce nuclear weapons.
 米国では「核兵器のない世界」を目指すオバマ大統領が登場し、ロシアと核削減に関する条約に合意するなど核兵器を巡る状況は動きつつある。

"The reason we continue to talk about our atomic bombing experiences is because we do not want nuclear weapons to be used ever again." As citizens of the only country in the world to have suffered atomic bombings, we must take to heart the meaning of these words Ideguchi has repeated over the years. (By Tomohiro Shimohara, Nagasaki Bureau, Mainichi Shimbun)
「私たちが被爆体験を語るのは、二度と核兵器を使ってほしくないからです」。唯一の被爆国に住む我々は、出口さんが繰り返し語り続けてきた言葉を、改めてかみしめなければならないと思う。

毎日新聞 2009年8月4日 東京朝刊

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原爆忌 オバマ非核演説をどう生かす

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 6, 2009)
Obama's nonnuclear goal worthy but difficult
原爆忌 オバマ非核演説をどう生かす(8月6日付・読売社説)

It has been 64 years since atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and this year a ray of light appeared to illuminate the profound desire of those who experienced the terrible devastation of the atomic bombings to see a world free of nuclear weapons.
 広島、長崎への原爆投下から64年がたつ。惨禍を経験した人々の核廃絶への切なる願いに、今年は一筋の光明が差しているようにみえる。

This light was the speech by U.S. President Barack Obama in Prague in April.
 オバマ米大統領による今年4月のプラハ演説である。

In the speech, Obama clarified that "the United States has a moral responsibility" to lead an effort to realize a world without nuclear weapons "as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon."
 大統領は、「核兵器を使用したことがある唯一の核保有国」として、「核兵器のない世界」の実現に向けて「行動する道義的責任」があると明言した。

The speech was not an admission of responsibility by Obama over using destructive weapons on Japan, which was unable to continue fighting at the time.
 むろん、当時、継戦能力を失っていた日本に対し、残虐兵器を使ったこと自体の責任を認めたわけではない。

However, it is no surprise that this speech by the U.S. president, whose country tends to justify the dropping of the atomic bombs, has brought excitement and hope to people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
 しかし、原爆投下を正当化する風潮が、なお根強く残る米国の大統領のこの発言が、ヒロシマ、ナガサキに感動と希望をもたらしたことは、疑いがない。

We hope Obama, without betraying those hopes, exerts leadership by promoting talks on a new nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia as well as leading the United States to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.
 オバマ大統領は、この気持ちを裏切ることなく、ロシアとの新核軍縮交渉推進や、米国の核実験全面禁止条約(CTBT)批准に、指導力を発揮してもらいたい。

===

New treaty for new times

We also need to look at another aspect of Obama's speech.
 オバマ演説のもう一つの側面にも、目を向ける必要がある。

Obama said of eliminating nuclear weapons: "This goal will not be reached quickly--perhaps not in my lifetime." The current state of the world's nuclear weapons is precarious.
 大統領は演説で、核廃絶は「おそらく私の生きているうちには達成されない」と述べた。世界の核状況はそれだけ厳しい。

The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which bans the possession of nuclear weapons except by five nations--Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States--has become a mere facade since India and Pakistan became nuclear powers. And even among the five nations, China has been building up its nuclear arms.
 米露英仏中の5か国以外の核保有を禁じた核拡散防止条約(NPT)体制は、インド、パキスタンの核保有以降、形骸(けいがい)化の一途だ。5か国の中でも、中国のように核軍拡を進めている国もある。

There also is a growing risk that nuclear weapons and related materials could fall into the hands of terrorists.
 テロリストの手に核兵器・関連物質が渡る危険も増している。

The United States is at last seriously addressing the issue of nuclear disarmament--a responsibility is shoulders as a nuclear power under the NPT--a move being touted as a way to thwart the potential for nuclear terrorism, which the United States fears most.
 核保有国のNPT上の責務である軍縮に、米国がようやく本腰を入れるのも、最も危惧(きぐ)している「核テロ」を阻止するため、と指摘されている。

===

Still under the U.S. umbrella?

Japan also faces serious threats from nuclear weapons.
 日本も、深刻な核の脅威の下にある。

Earlier this year, North Korea aggressively conducted missile launches and a second nuclear test.
北朝鮮は先にミサイル発射や2度目の核実験を強行した。

Japan has to depend on the U.S. nuclear umbrella to be safe from any North Korean nuclear missile and other military threats. After Obama's speech, it is not surprising that the government has tried to reconfirm with the United States the protection of the nuclear umbrella, as Japan fears a weakened nuclear deterrence.
 北朝鮮の核ミサイルなどに対して日本は、米国の「核の傘」に頼らざるを得ない。オバマ演説のあと、日本政府が、核抑止力の低下を懸念して「傘」の再確認に動いているのは当然のことだ。

Meanwhile, Katsuya Okada, secretary general of the Democratic Party of Japan, stressed that Japan should make the United States pledge that it will never preemptively use nuclear weapons.
 他方、民主党の岡田幹事長は、米国に核の先制不使用を宣言するよう主張すべきだと言う。

He explained that this would not prohibit U.S. retaliations if a hostile nation strikes first, which he said would partly expose Japan from the protection of the nuclear umbrella. But doesn't this render useless the protection afforded by the umbrella?
 敵国の先制使用に対して、米国の報復まで禁止するわけでないから、「核の傘」から半分外れると説明するが、これでは「傘」は役立たないのではないか。

While seeking the elimination of nuclear weapons, the grave reality is that we must also depend on the nuclear deterrent. It is vital that nuclear disarmament be tackled without having it threaten Japan's peace and security.
 核廃絶を希求する一方で、核抑止力に依存せねばならぬ重い現実がある。核軍縮も、日本の平和と安全が損なわれないよう、着実に取り組むことが肝要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 6, 2009)
(2009年8月6日01時24分  読売新聞)

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2009年8月 5日 (水)

次世代送電網―「スマート」に低炭素を

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 3(IHT/Asahi: August 4,2009)
EDITORIAL: Next-generation power
次世代送電網―「スマート」に低炭素を

To stem global warming, the world is stepping up its efforts to achieve a low-carbon society. As one important component of that infrastructure, next-generation power transmission networks are attracting attention.
 地球温暖化を食い止めようと、世界は低炭素化を急いでいる。そのための基盤整備の一つとして、次世代送電網が注目されている。

The vagaries of weather can easily affect electricity generation systems that rely on solar and wind power, what with clouds obscuring sunlight and winds dying at nature's whim. Thus, the frequency of electricity generated by such sources tends to be unstable.
 太陽光や風力による発電は日照や風の強さに左右され、電気の周波数が安定しない。

There are also concerns that surplus electricity generated by household solar units could "flood" transmission systems, causing voltages to spike.
また、家庭の太陽光発電で余った電気が送電網に逆流して電圧が上がる恐れもある。

Because of these problems, Japan's electric power industry is reluctant to integrate a huge amount of power from renewable sources into its transmission systems. Too much too soon could threaten the stability of the power supply, companies say.
このため、電力業界は「安定供給が脅かされる」と、大量の自然エネルギーの受け入れには及び腰だった。

Expanding renewable power use, therefore, requires not just policy incentives such as subsidies and systems for the electric companies to purchase surplus power, but also an evolution of the transmission network.
 自然エネルギーを拡大するには、補助金や買い取り制度といった促進政策だけでなく、送電網の進化が必要だ。

We need an advanced power grid that can deal with a significant increase in renewable power sources. Otherwise, the government-set targets of a 20-fold increase in solar power generation by 2020 and a 40-fold jump by 2030 will be difficult to achieve.
でないと、太陽光発電を「2020年に20倍」「30年には40倍」にするという政府目標の達成も難しい。

Responding to the challenge, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is starting test development of the next-generation power transmission system. The ministry will spend three years to identify key technological challenges by using power transmission networks on about 10 remote islands in Kyushu and Okinawa Prefecture.
 そこで、経済産業省は次世代送電網づくりのための実験に乗り出す。九州と沖縄の離島10カ所にある送電網を利用し、3年ほどかけて課題を洗い出すことにしている。

We are pleased the government is taking the first step toward development of a new power transmission system. But the ministry's project seems unlikely to lead to widespread adoption of renewable power.
 政府が一歩を踏み出すことには意味がある。だが、それで自然エネルギーの飛躍的な拡大につながるとは思えない。

As part of the tests, for instance, storage batteries will be incorporated into transmission networks to see whether a stable quality of electricity can be maintained.
By and large, the project seems to be aimed at improving the existing power grid. The project's objectives apparently don't include truly epoch-making innovations that can lead to next-generation technology.
実験では送電網に蓄電池を組み込んで、電気の質を保てるかどうかなどを確かめるが、既存の送電網の改良という印象が強い。次世代と呼べるほど画期的なものではないからだ。

It is necessary to think boldly outside the envelope if the nation is to dramatically expand the use of natural power sources.
 自然エネルギーを飛躍的に増やすには、既存の枠にとらわれず、さまざまな可能性を探らないといけない。

In Europe, for instance, various countries' power grids are closely interconnected in a structure that makes it easy to absorb changes in frequency and voltage.
 例えば欧州では、各国の送電網が密接に連携し、周波数や電圧の変動を吸収しやすい構造になっている。

Japan needs to create a more innovative system of power transmission, such as a network connecting the existing largely independent grids operated by different power companies.
電力会社ごとにほぼ独立している日本の送電網をもっと連携させるなどの思い切った仕組みを開発したい。

The United States and Europe are trying to develop next-generation transmission systems that are kinder to the environment.
 欧米はさらに踏み込んだ次世代送電網を模索している。

Such systems will be designed to contribute to energy conservation while promoting renewable energy.
自然エネルギーの拡大にとどまらず、省電力をも実現しようというものだ。

One notable example is the "smart grid" that is the centerpiece of U.S. President Barack Obama's Green New Deal, woven into his administration's economic stimulus package.
 代表例に、オバマ米大統領がグリーン・ニューディール政策の柱にすえたスマートグリッド(賢い送電網)がある。

The envisioned smart grid would use information technologies to control the power consumption of electric appliances at the user end of electricity distribution to save energy.
情報技術を活用して末端の電気機器までも効率的に制御し、電力消費を抑えることを狙っている。

The system would automatically switch on and off electric appliances in response to changing electrical charges. It would also make power consumption more efficient through regional interchanges of electricity.
Electric utilities would, for example, remotely control the temperature settings of air conditioners in homes and offices in response to daily changes in the overall supply and demand for electricity.
 その時々の電気料金に応じて家電を自動的にオン・オフする、地域内で電気を融通し合って無駄なく使う、全体の需給状況に応じて電力会社が家庭やビルの空調の設定温度を遠隔操作で上げ下げする……。

Such controls would be made possible by smart meters installed in homes and offices that would communicate to the power utilities on a real-time basis information about end-user consumption.
 新型計器のスマートメーターを家庭やオフィスに置き、電気の使用状況などを電力会社とリアルタイムでやりとりし、こうした制御を実現する。

In Japan, the ministry and the power industry are less than eager to work on such a system, claiming the domestic power transmission system is already "smart" enough.
 経産省や電力業界は、「日本の送電網はすでに十分スマートだ」と開発に消極的だ。

But developing a next-generation power transmission network represents an investment in the future to create new business opportunities in the low-carbon age.
だが、次世代送電網づくりは未来への投資であり、低炭素時代のビジネスチャンスでもある。

Both the government and the power industry should explore all options with a more flexible view.
もっと柔軟に幅広い選択肢を探るべきだ。

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介護認定混乱―利用者と現場の声を聞け

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 4(IHT/Asahi: August 5,2009)
EDITORIAL: Nursing-care system
介護認定混乱―利用者と現場の声を聞け

Have Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare bureaucrats learned anything from the confusion over the medical insurance system for elderly people aged 75 and older? We cannot help but wonder, looking at the current situation.
 後期高齢者医療制度の混乱から、厚生労働省の人々は何を学んだのだろうか。そう言いたくなる事態だ。

Before they can receive nursing-care services under the public insurance scheme, all applicants must be screened and ranked according to how much care they need. Even though the standards for certification were just revised in April, the ministry has decided that many of them need revising again.
 介護サービスを受けるのに必要な要介護度の認定基準が、4月に改定したばかりだというのに、多くの項目でまたも修正されることになった。

The April revisions were officially aimed at making the standards easier to understand so that there would be little variance across regions. However, before the revisions were implemented, many care managers and users expressed apprehension that the new standards would lower users' ranks.
 4月の改定は、地域によって認定にばらつきが出ないよう、基準をわかりやすくすることが目的だった。だが、実施前から「新基準だと介護度が軽くなってしまう」と、現場のケアマネジャーや利用者から懸念が出ていた。

When a user's rank is lowered, the insurance benefits paid to cover the service fees are also lowered. Users are understandably worried they will not be able to afford to pay for the services they need.
 要介護度が軽くなると、介護サービスの利用限度額が低くなるので、「必要なサービスが受けられなくなるのでは」という不安も広がった。

When the new standards were put to practice, as predicted many users were ranked lower than previously or were even declared ineligible for services. This happened despite the ministry's previous reassurance that since the opinions of family doctors would be taken into consideration, the revisions would not necessarily result in lowered ranks. It proved not to be the case.
 実施してみたら、やはり介護度が軽くなる人や非該当とされる人の割合が増えた。「主治医の意見書なども考慮するので軽くなるとは限らない」という厚労省の説明も崩れた。

When making the April revisions, the ministry also included exceptions so that users could remain at their same rank, even if judged at a lower rank under the new standards. But that makes screening for certification a meaningless effort, local governments complained. Why bother?
 厚労省は改定時に、仮に要介護度が軽くなっても従来の要介護度のままにする特例もつくった。だが、自治体の現場から「それでは認定審査の意味がない」と不満が噴き出した。

So the ministry now has no choice but to revise the standards again.
 これらの結果、今回の修正に踏み切らざるを得なくなったのだ。

What caused all the confusion is the fact that the ministry forged ahead with the revisions in April without taking time to listen to users and care providers. The ministry also did not examine the situation adequately or make an effort to broadly inform those groups about the revisions.
 こうした混乱の原因は、厚労省が介護の現場や利用者の声をきかず、十分な検証や周知させる努力がないまま基準の見直しを進めたことに尽きる。

Under April's revised standards, persons who need help putting on or taking off their trousers are judged as "needing assistance." However, people who wear adult diapers are categorized as "not in need of assistance." This is obviously wide of the mark. Such discrepancies could have been easily avoided if the ministry asked caregivers to help revise the standards. We urge the ministry to seriously reflect on this point.
 4月の新基準では、ズボンの着脱を手伝ってもらう人は「介助あり」と判定されるのに、おむつの人が「介助なし」になってしまうなど、明らかにおかしな項目もあった。こんなことは、現場の人たちに見直し作業に加わってもらっていれば、防げたはずだ。今後の大きな反省点にしてほしい。

The standards need to be reviewed and revised if necessary. However, in doing so, the ministry must not allow people in dire need of care to have their ranks lowered.
 基準は必要に応じて改定したり修正したりすることは必要だろう。だが、その際に避けなければならないのは、本当に介護が必要なのに要介護度が軽く判定されるような事態を引き起こしてしまうことだ。

The degree of nursing care need should be determined based on factors such as how much time is required for the care. The ministry should continue to examine whether the proposed standards are in line with that standpoint.
 介護の必要度というのは本来、ケアに要する時間などに基づいて決められている。その観点からみて、今回の修正後の基準なら妥当なのかどうか、引き続き検証を続けてほしい。

Behind all the criticism is the ministry's continued efforts to curb rising social security spending. Critics are beginning to suspect that the ministry's efforts back in April were intended more to cut nursing-care expenses than to revise the standards and how they are applied nationwide.
 今度のような批判が出た背景には、厚労省が社会保障費の抑制を進めてきたという事情もある。基準や運用の見直しで、介護の費用をまた抑えようとしているのではないか、と受け止められたのだ。

The nursing insurance system, which is run with a limited budget, has led to various arguments. For example, how much care for less-needy people should be covered by insurance? Also, the system is supported by premiums paid by people aged 40 and older. Should that age bracket be changed?
 介護保険制度をめぐっては、限られた保険財政の中で軽度の人のケアを保険でどこまでカバーするのか、制度の担い手が今のまま40歳以上でいいのかなど、さまざまな議論がある。

The system was inaugurated nine years ago. How can it be operated in a sustainable manner, given that the number of its users will keep increasing? It is time for our political leaders to provide a broader vision of future welfare care.
 実施から9年。ますます利用者が増える制度をどう安定させるのか。政治が広い視野から道筋を示す時だ。

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防衛有識者会議 大胆な提言を新大綱に生かせ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 5, 2009)
New defense guidelines should reflect bold ideas
防衛有識者会議 大胆な提言を新大綱に生かせ(8月5日付・読売社説)

A report was presented to Prime Minister Taro Aso on Tuesday by a group of experts studying the revision of the National Defense Program Guidelines, which define how to maintain Japan's defense capabilities. The panel's report contains a number of daring and important proposals.
 防衛力整備の指針である「防衛計画の大綱」の改定を検討してきた有識者会議が、報告書を麻生首相に提出した。大胆かつ重要な提言が多数含まれている。

To ensure the nation's peace and security amid the changes taking place in the international security environment, it is imperative that traditional taboos be cast aside and that a review takes place of defense policy and the organization of Self-Defense Forces units and the defense equipment available to them.
 国際的な安全保障環境が変化する中、日本の平和と安全を確保し続けるには、従来のタブーを排し、防衛政策や自衛隊の部隊編成・装備を見直すことが肝要だ。

Whichever party takes office after the Aug. 30 House of Representatives election, efforts should be made to reflect the group's proposals as much as possible in the new defense guidelines that are due to be formulated by the end of this year.
 衆院選後の政権をどの政党が担うにせよ、年末に策定する予定の新防衛大綱に、この提言を極力反映させるよう努めるべきだ。

In the report, the experts said that the ability of the United States to be the driving force of "a free and open global system" has weakened in relative terms. Therefore, Japan and European countries need to make up for the United States' declining influence and try to solve international security problems with a joint approach, according to the panel.
 報告書は、「自由で開かれた国際システム」を牽引(けんいん)してきた米国の力が相対的に低下したとの現状認識を示した。そのため、日本や欧州諸国が共同で米国を補完し、国際的な安全保障問題の解決を目指す必要性を主張する。

===

Review PKO participation rules

In concrete terms, the report proposed a review of the nation's five principles for participating in U.N. peacekeeping operations (PKOs) and a revision of the U.N. Peacekeeping Activities Cooperation Law so that SDF troops can more actively participate in peace cooperation activities.
 具体的には、自衛隊が国際平和協力活動に、より積極的に参加するよう、国連平和維持活動(PKO)の参加5原則の見直しやPKO協力法の改正を提唱した。

The threats of international terrorism and piracy in the waters off Somalia symbolize the reality that Japan's security is tied to world peace. The nation has a responsibility to play a part in peace-building efforts by the international community. However, only 39 Japanese were participating in U.N. peacekeeping operations as of June 30, a figure that places Japan only 82nd in the world.
 国際テロや海賊の脅威に象徴されるように、日本の安全は世界の平和と連動している。日本は国際社会による平和構築活動の一翼を担う責任がある。だが、日本の6月末のPKO参加人数は39人で、世界82位にすぎない。

To increase the number of SDF members participating in PKOs, it is important to develop a system enabling the dispatch of troops flexibly in line with the actual circumstances of such missions. It is also necessary to relax existing rules on the use of weapons and develop permanent legislation on the dispatch of SDF members abroad.
 自衛隊の参加を増やすには、PKOの実態に即して、柔軟に部隊を派遣する体制を整えることが大切だ。武器使用権限の拡大と、自衛隊の海外派遣に関する恒久法の整備にも取り組む必要がある。

===

How to interpret Constitution?

In the report, the panel also urged the government to change its interpretation of the Constitution to enable the nation to exercise its right to collective self-defense so that the SDF can intercept ballistic missiles heading toward the United States and protect U.S. Navy ships monitoring missile launches.
 報告書は、集団的自衛権について、米国に向かう弾道ミサイルの迎撃や、ミサイルを警戒する米軍艦船の防護を可能にするよう、政府の憲法解釈の変更を求めた。

When North Korea fired a ballistic missile in April, the SDF and U.S. forces worked together to deal with the situation. To further strengthen confidence in the Japan-U.S. alliance, the government should change its constitutional interpretation as soon as possible.
 4月の北朝鮮のミサイル発射時に自衛隊と米軍は共同対処した。日米同盟の信頼性を高めるには政府解釈の変更を急ぐべきだ。

On the question of whether the nation should possess the capability of attacking bases in enemy territory, the panel stressed in the report that Japan should study the suitability and cost-effectiveness of equipment and operational procedures to this end on the condition that should such contingencies arise Tokyo and Washington would work together to deal with them.
 報告書は、敵基地攻撃能力の保有についても、日米共同対処を前提に、日本として適切な装備体系や運用方法、費用対効果を検討する必要性を強調している。

Calmly discussing what responsibilities Tokyo can share with Washington to help supplement the offensive capabilities of U.S. forces has huge significance.
 米国の攻撃力を補完する形で、どんな役割分担が可能かを冷静に議論する意味は大きい。

The report said the nation's three principles for banning arms exports were preventing Japan from participating in international research projects for developing and producing weapons and that these should be made exceptions to the rules. They also proposed that the ban on the export of weapons to support efforts against terrorism and piracy should also be lifted.
 武器輸出3原則について、報告書は、日本が装備品の国際的な共同開発・生産に参加できない問題を指摘し、3原則の例外化を求めた。テロ・海賊対策支援目的の輸出の解禁も提唱した。

In addition to Japan not being left behind when it comes to state-of-the-art military technology, it should also be a matter of course that Japan allows the export of weapons when this can serve as a contribution to global peace.
 日本が最新の軍事技術から取り残される事態は避けるべきだし、国際平和に寄与する武器輸出は容認するのが当然だろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 5, 2009)
(2009年8月5日02時09分  読売新聞)

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2009年8月 4日 (火)

問われるもの:’09衆院選・選択を前に/2 東大大学院教授・藤原帰一氏

(Mainichi Japan) August 4, 2009
Election provides chance for Japan to change diplomatic stereotypes
問われるもの:’09衆院選・選択を前に/2 東大大学院教授・藤原帰一氏

 ◇外交観念変える好機--藤原帰一氏(53)
As Japan approaches the House of Representatives election, the possibility of the government administration changing hands has arisen. In an interview with the Mainichi, Kiichi Fujiwara, a postgraduate professor at the University of Tokyo, discusses the possibility of the opposition taking power and the implications for Japan's foreign policy.
(衆議院議員選挙がせまっているが、政権交代が話題になっている。
毎日新聞のインタビューに答えて、戦後東大卒のふじわら・きいち氏が野党の政権獲得の可能性やそれにともなう日本の外交政策への影響などにつき議論する。●→この部分は日本語原文がないのでスラチャイが翻訳しました。)

"In this House of Representatives election there is a possibility of a transfer of power in the administration, something very rare in Japan. But normally, administration changes are a natural part of elections," Fujiwara says.
 今回の衆院選は、日本ではごくまれな、政権交代の可能性がある選挙だ。だが本来、選挙をすれば政権交代は起こるものなのだ。

"Looking back on history, in countries that have adopted a parliamentary democracy, there has been a situation of one political party being very strong -- as one can see from the Christian-democratic party of Italy or Mexico's Institutional Revolutionary Party. But in each case, the parties have eventually dissolved or lost power. In Japan, that has hardly occurred at all, and the administration has continued under one party for a long time, which is something not commonly seen internationally.
 歴史的にみて、イタリアのキリスト教民主党やメキシコの制度的革命党のように、議会制民主主義を採用する国で単一の政党が非常に強い状況もあった。しかし、いずれもやがては解党したり、政権を失っている。日本ではそれがほとんど起きず、国際的にみて異例な、1党の長期政権が続いた。

"This time, even if an administration led by the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) is formed, it will likely have to place emphasis on continuity on the diplomatic front. Not changing too many things on the diplomatic front creates the image of being a responsible political party," Fujiwara points out.
 今回、民主党政権が誕生したとしても、外交面では継続性を重視せざるを得ないだろう。外交ではあまり物事を変えない方が、責任ある政党というイメージにつながる。

However, the professor adds that a change of administration is a chance to change Japanese diplomacy stereotypes.
 とはいえ、政権交代は、日本の外交の固定観念を変える好機にもなる。

"For example, when the anti-Liberal Democratic Party coalition administration of (Morihiro) Hosokawa was formed, it squarely admitted Japan's responsibility for invasions in Asia," he says. This came earlier than the war apology statement on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the war's end by (former Prime Minister Tomiichi) Murayama, and was more highly valued in Japan and abroad.
例えば、非自民の細川連立政権ができたとき、アジアに対する侵略の責任を正面から認めた。これは公式謝罪した95年の「村山談話」より早く、内外の評価も高かった。

"I think there are few people in the DPJ who want to become involved in historical problems, but rather than doing something after being accused by China or South Korea, taking the initiative can earn trust, and will result in Japan having a concrete framework placing emphasis on Asia.
 今の民主党に、歴史問題に手をつけたいと思っている人は少ないと思うが、中国や韓国に何か言われてからではなく、先べんをつけた方が信頼を得られるし、アジア重視の具体的な構想を持つことにつながる。

"To use the nuclear issue as an example, now that the administration of (U.S. President Barack) Obama is strengthening its stance on nuclear nonproliferation, it has become easier than before for Japan to discuss security in Asia that does not rely on nuclear force. It is a chance to shift to concrete policies rather than just emphasizing the symbols of Hiroshima and Nagasaki."
 核問題を例に取れば、オバマ政権が核の不拡散の強化を打ち出した今、日本でも、これまでより核に頼らないアジアの安全保障の議論がしやすくなった。広島、長崎というシンボルを訴えるだけでなく、具体的な政策に移すチャンスだ。

Fujiwara says that in the context of the six-party talks, it is important for Japan to jump into negotiations that are conducted mainly by nuclear powers such as the United States, Russia and China.
 北朝鮮の核問題をめぐる6カ国協議で重要なことは、米露中など核保有国中心の交渉に、日本が割り込むことだった。

"The Japanese government has given up, thinking that unless it is a nuclear power it can't negotiate nuclear issues, but that's a misconception. Japan can go ahead and take the initiative in the reduction of nuclear weapons.
日本政府は、核保有国でないと核問題の交渉ができないとあきらめているが、それは間違いだ。日本が核兵器削減の主導権を取ったらいい。

"There is always a limit to nuclear disarmament ideas led by nuclear powers. That's because they don't want to reduce their stockpiles, so they can't tell the other party to do so. In order to mutually reduce nuclear stockpiles, it is necessary for non-nuclear nations to have more of a voice in disarmament negotiations. When Japan makes claims as a country that has suffered atomic bomb attacks, it is unlikely that other countries will be able to criticize it as saying something that only sounds good.
 核保有国が主導する核軍縮構想には必ず限界がある。自分が減らしたくないのに、相手に減らせとは言えないから。互いに減らし合っていくためには、非核保有国が軍縮交渉で発言権を強めることが必要だ。被爆体験を持つ国として主張することに対し、他国が「きれいごとを言いやがって」とは簡単に文句が言えないはずだ。

Fujiwara says that Japan's voice in diplomatic policy has been consistently weak since World Ward II.
 日本の外交政策の発信力は第二次世界大戦のころから一貫して弱かった。

"Since the end of the war, diplomacy has been about Japan-U.S. relations and East Asia, and there has been only extremely narrow debate. As a world power, Japan has a responsibility to create international order. Japan can't say, "The Middle East? That's nothing to do with us."
戦後も外交といえば、日米関係と東アジアばかりで、極端に狭い議論しかない。日本も世界の大国として国際秩序を作っていく責任がある。「中東? おれには関係ない」ではいられないのだ。

 ■人物略歴

 ◇ふじわら・きいち
 56年生まれ。東大大学院博士課程単位取得退学。同大助手などを経て同大教授及び同大学院教授(国際政治)。「平和のリアリズム」で石橋湛山賞受賞。著書は他に「戦争解禁-アメリカは何故、いらない戦争をしてしまったのか」など。

毎日新聞 2009年7月29日 東京朝刊

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私大定員割れ 特色作りで活路を見いだせ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 4, 2009)
Specialty key to survival of private universities
私大定員割れ 特色作りで活路を見いだせ(8月4日付・読売社説)

With the shakeout of private universities having finally begun, these institutions must seriously take to heart the fact that those among their number that cannot demonstrate a specialty will no longer be able to survive.
 大学の淘汰(とうた)がいよいよ始まったということだろう。特色を打ち出せない大学は、生き残れない時代だということを肝に銘じなければなるまい。

A survey released Thursday by the Promotion and Mutual Aid Corporation for Private Schools of Japan found that 46.5 percent of four-year private universities were underenrolled at the start of this academic year, almost the same level as last academic year, while 69.1 percent of two-year private junior colleges were in such a situation, a slight increase from last academic year.
 日本私立学校振興・共済事業団が、今年度の大学・短大への入学者数などを発表した。定員割れは昨年度と比べ、4年制大学はほぼ横ばいの46・5%、短大は微増の69・1%に上っている。

Since the beginning of this year, five private universities, including those run by joint-stock companies, have said they will stop accepting new students from next academic year.
 今年に入り、来年度からの学生募集停止を表明した大学は、株式会社立を含め既に5校ある。

Despite the fact that the population of 18-year-olds has been declining due to the low birthrate since academic year 1993, when it fell below 2 million, the number of universities and junior colleges has continued to rise, with the number of four-year private, and state-run and other public universities totaling as many as about 770. It is natural that universities that cannot demonstrate a specialty will be forced to close.
 18歳人口は、200万人を切った1993年度以降、少子化で減り続けているのに、大学数は増え続け、国公立を含めると、4年制大学だけで約770校ある。特色を出せない大学が退場を余儀なくされるのは、当然だろう。

===

Students' needs paramount

Stable university management will not be ensured merely by contriving to continuously recruit students through recommendation-based admission and interview- and essay-based tests, known as "admission office exams." It is very important that private universities offer attractive courses of study and clearly present their education policy and method of developing human resources so young people will be able to envision their future after they are educated there.
 推薦入試やAO入試で安易な学生集めを続けるだけでは、経営の安定は図れない。進学したいと思わせる教育課程を用意し、その教育を受ければどんな将来像が描けるのか、教育方針と人材育成の方法を明確に示すことが肝要だ。

At some private universities, people who have had careers in corporate management serve as president, and faculty and companies in their local community discuss and decide on study goals, textbooks and other educational materials. Other universities have established unique departments, including one specializing in manga.
 企業経営に携わった経験者を学長に据え、教員と地元の企業が協議して授業の目標や教材を決めたり、マンガ学部など独自の学部を設けたりする大学もある。

To increase the number of mature students holding down full-time jobs, which accounts for only about 2 percent of the total, private universities must also provide education that meets such students' various needs.
 2%程度しかいない社会人学生が増えるよう、需要に合った教育内容の提供も必要だろう。

The government's Central Education Council is currently discussing future university education from a mid- and long-term perspective. We hope the council will thoroughly discuss the appropriate number of universities and students.
 中央教育審議会は、中長期的な大学教育のあり方について審議中だ。大学数や学生数の適正規模もしっかり議論してもらいたい。

===

Safety net needed

It is noteworthy that the council's first report, compiled in June, emphasizes that the desirable size and nature of universities should be discussed from the perspective of different targets. The report lists seven such targets, including "nurturing professionals in a wide range of fields" and "social contribution."
 6月にまとめた第1次報告で注目されるのは、大学の規模や質のあり方を分野別に考えるよう強調していることだ。この中で、「幅広い職業人の養成」「社会貢献」など7分野を例示している。

In their respective proposals on human resources development, the Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai) and the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) also are calling on universities to increase specialization in their areas of expertise.
 大学が得意分野に重点化していくことは、経済同友会や日本経団連がまとめた人材育成に関する提言でも求めている。

However, the Central Education Council should spell out in greater detail the targets it believes an ideal university should meet. We hope the council will work out this point before compiling its final report.
 ただ、分野別の例は、もっと具体的に示すべきではないか。最終報告までに練り上げてほしい。

The council has also proposed discussions on the establishment of a new higher educational body, specializing in vocational education, other than existing universities and junior colleges. The raison d'etre of junior colleges, whose main objectives include vocational education, therefore comes into question.
 中教審は、大学や短大とは別に職業教育に特化した新高等教育機関の検討も打ち出しており、職業教育を目的の一つとする短大は存在意義が問われている。

Cultivating a specialty is necessary, but it may also be a wise option for junior colleges to actively discuss transforming themselves into four-year universities as well as realigning and integrating.
 特色作りも必要だが、4年制大学への転換や再編・統合をもっと積極的に検討してもよい。

The population of 18-year-olds is expected to hover around 1.2 million for the next decade. Should private universities remain underenrolled, their management will face an increased danger of collapse. The Education, Science and Technology Ministry should prepare measures to deal with a possible collapse of universities, including a system to protect students enrolled in universities that fail.
 18歳人口は、今後も10年間程度は120万人前後で推移する。定員割れが続けば、経営破綻(はたん)の危機は高まる。文部科学省は、在学生が保護される仕組みなど破綻処理策を考えておく必要があろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 4, 2009)
(2009年8月4日00時43分  読売新聞)

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2009年8月 3日 (月)

太陽光発電:新事業の優良株 国も後押し、企業参入相次ぐ

(Mainichi Japan) August 2, 2009
Outlook bright for home solar power market
太陽光発電:新事業の優良株 国も後押し、企業参入相次ぐ

Thanks to new subsidies for homeowners, solar power generation is gaining momentum, with manufacturers rushing to replace their previous clunky offerings with upgraded, slimmed-down modern versions, as well as introducing solar technology to the automotive and cellphone industries.
 (住宅向け太陽光発電ビジネスが熱気を帯びている。温室効果ガスを出さない究極のクリーンエネルギーとして改めて注目され、国の住宅向け設置補助も復活した。)
メーカーは需要喚起に知恵を絞り、住宅用のモダンな発電パネルを次々発売。太陽光を利用したハイブリッド車や携帯電話も登場し、ソーラーブームの様相だ。

Fueling interest further are plans to introduce a system for selling power back to power suppliers -- at twice the standard rates of around 24 yen per kilowatt-hour -- by the end of the year.
 家庭の太陽光発電で生じた余剰電力を、電力会社に通常の電気代(1キロワット時あたり約24円)の倍額で買い取ってもらう制度も年内に始まり、市場は当面、熱くなりそうだ。

A 3-kilowatt solar panel can cover between 60 and 70 percent of the electricity needs of the average household. However, for all their environmental friendliness, old-style roof-mounted solar panels are something of an eyesore. However, homebuilders now have the more attractive options of solar roofing tiles, or transparent solar panels for glass doors and ceilings. For more complicated applications, consumers can even buy a 1-millimeter-thick flexible power generating film.
 以前は平らで不格好だった発電パネル。「景観を損なわないデザイン」をうたい文句に、最近は屋根瓦型のパネルが売り出されている。ベランダのガラス戸やサンルーフの天井に使えるシースルータイプや、薄さ約1ミリで自在に曲げられるフィルム型など、使い勝手がよい商品も発売された。

Construction firm Sekisui House reports that orders for solar generator-equipped homes have surged since the beginning of the year, and has bumped up its sales target from 4,000 homes to 6,000. The company says that despite the modest price increase, the reductions on monthly utility bills are proving popular with buyers.
 パネル設置で、一般家庭の電気代の6~7割(発電能力3キロワットの場合)をまかなえる。積水ハウスには年明けから、太陽光発電を搭載した住宅の注文が急増。今年度の目標販売戸数を4000戸から6000戸に上方修正した。「買う時は少し高いけれど、毎月電気代を支払う度に割安感を楽しめる」と好評だという。

 ◇200万円で導入可能
Home solar power units first went on sale sometime around 1993. Priced between 6 and 10 million yen for a standard 3-kilowatt setup, they were almost exclusively the preserve of the rich, but since January this year interest in home solar generation has risen. Improvements in technology, combined with government subsidies, have whittled down the price to the point where homeowners can fit a solar panel for less than 2 million yen. Over 40,000 subsidy applications were made during the first half of this year alone, almost certain to surpass the previous record set in 2005.
 住宅への太陽光利用は93年ごろ始まった。照明やエアコン、冷蔵庫など電力消費に必要な3キロワット程度の発電システム設置に600万~1000万円もかかり、導入は一部富裕層などに限られた。

 国は今年1月、環境戦略の一環で以前行っていた太陽光発電設置補助を復活。技術革新によるコストダウンもあり、一般住宅向け太陽光発電パネルは200万円以下で導入できるようになった。今年1~6月の住宅向け設置補助の申請数は4万件を超え、過去最多の05年度を上回る勢いだ。

Local governments are also supporting the new solar boom. According to the Japan Photovoltaic Expansion Center (J-PEC), 451 local governments are either running or planning to run a subsidy system. For a 3-kilowatt system in a house in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward, at an average cost of 2 million yen, the national government will pay a 210,000 yen subsidy, with another 300,000 yen from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and a hefty 540,000 yen from the ward, more than halving the price.
 自治体の補助もブームを支える。太陽光発電普及拡大センターによると、全国451の自治体が独自の補助制度を実施または実施予定だ。例えば東京都新宿区で3キロワットの設備を導入する場合、約200万円から国21万円▽都30万円▽区54万円の計105万円が差し引かれ、自己負担は半額以下ですむ。

In Saitama Prefecture, which introduced subsidies in April, the prefectural government budgeted 400 million yen for the predicted 2,600 applications during the fiscal year. It's now had to rebudget an additional 700 million yen, after over 2,200 applications were received by June.
今年4月に補助を始めた埼玉県は年2600件の申請を想定し、4億円の予算を計上。しかし6月末で2200件を超え、補正予算で7億円を追加計上する盛況ぶりだという。

 ◇いずれは必需品?
However, modern solar technology also has other applications. Electronics manufacturer Kyocera, for example, drew a crowd at an exhibition in June with its solar panel-equipped Toyota Prius hybrid. The car's fans are driven by a power generating film on its moonroof, keeping the interior at room temperature, and industry leaders speculate it may become a standard feature in the future. The upgraded roof costs around 220,000 yen.
 「炎天下で駐車しても、車内は暑くなりません」。6月下旬に千葉市の幕張メッセで開かれた展示会。京セラのブースには人だかりができていた。
 視線の先には、トヨタ自動車のハイブリッド車「新型プリウス」上の、ソーラーパネル付きムーンルーフ(22万円前後)があった。太陽光発電でファンを回して換気、室温の上昇を抑える。「将来は車の必需品になる可能性もある」(自動車メーカー幹部)という。

Cellphone carrier au by KDDI is also in on the act, hoping to shake up a saturated market with an injection of fresh technology. Sharp claims that its Solar Phone SH002 can provide a minute of talk time after 10 minutes' charge under the sun.
 KDDI(au)は6月、太陽光パネルの付いたシャープ製のソーラー携帯電話(オープン価格、4万円台後半)を発売。「電池が切れても晴天の太陽光に10分間当てれば、1分間の通話が可能」で、低迷する携帯市場の活性化を目指す。

毎日新聞 2009年7月30日 13時44分(最終更新 7月30日 14時12分)

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最低賃金 まだ残る生活保護との逆転

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 3, 2009)
Minimum wage should always exceed welfare
最低賃金 まだ残る生活保護との逆転(8月3日付・読売社説)

The Central Minimum Wages Council, an advisory panel to the health, labor and welfare minister, has proposed to the minister reference increases for the minimum wage in fiscal 2009 that differ from prefecture to prefecture.
 厚生労働省の中央最低賃金審議会が、地域別最低賃金の今年度の引き上げの目安を示した。

The proposals are to leave unchanged the minimum wage in the 35 prefectures in which the minimum wage exceeds welfare benefit, and to raise the minimum wage in the remaining 12, including Tokyo, by 2 yen to 30 yen an hour.
 最低賃金が生活保護水準を上回る35県は据え置き、それ以外の12都道府県は、時給で2円から30円の引き上げを求める、という内容である。

If the panel's recommendation is adopted, the national average minimum wage would rise by between 7 yen and 9 yen to 710-712 yen an hour, which translates to a net monthly income of about 106,000 yen. Considering current economic conditions, such a hike would be a drastic one.
 この結果、最低賃金は全国平均で7~9円引き上げられ、時給で710~712円、月収換算すると、税などを控除して約10万6000円となる。経済状況からすれば、踏み込んだ決着となった。

A year-on-year comparison of the national average minimum wage shows that increases of 14 yen and 16 yen occurred in fiscal 2007 and 2008, respectively, representing double-digit growth for two consecutive years. But the rate of wage increases for small companies nationwide, which the advisory panel studies when working out the minimum wage reference increases, fell into negative territory in 2009.
 ここ2年は平均14円、16円と2ケタ増が続いたが、目安を審議する際に参考にしている全国の小規模企業の賃上げ率は、今年はマイナスに転じていた。

Panel members selected from labor circles sought an increase of 50 yen an hour in the minimum wage last year, but failed to demand a specific figure this year, no doubt in consideration of the severe business environment.
 昨年は時給50円増を求めた労働側委員も、今回は具体的な上げ幅を示さなかった。経営環境の厳しさを承知していたからだろう。

===

Panel's proposal no panacea

The Minimum Wages Law, which was revised in July 2008, calls for setting the minimum wage by factoring in employers' ability to pay wages and "harmonization of the minimum wage and welfare benefit."
 最低賃金法が昨年7月に改正され、事業主側の賃金支払い能力などに加え、新たに「生活保護との整合性」にも配慮して最低賃金を定めることが盛り込まれた。

Even in the current economic climate, if the panel had abandoned the goal of pursuing "harmonization of the minimum wage and welfare benefit" only two years after the law revision, its raison d'etre would have been called into question.
 景気が悪くても施行2年目でこれを放棄しては、審議会の存在が問われるところでもあった。

The problem of the minimum wage being below welfare benefit in the 12 prefectures will not be solved merely through the implementation of the panel's recommendation. In the case of Tokyo, if the minimum wage is raised in line with the panel's proposal, the amount would be increased from the current 766 yen an hour to a maximum 796 yen. But 796 yen an hour is 30 yen less than the amount of welfare benefit paid in the capital, in hourly terms.
 生活保護と逆転している12都道府県は、今回でそれが解消されるわけではない。東京都の場合、目安どおりアップすれば現状の時給766円から最大796円になるが、まだ時給で30円足りない。

The amount of welfare benefit is categorized in six ranks according to municipality (cities, towns and villages). The national average minimum wage is compared with the average amount of welfare benefit received by young, single people in each prefecture. In most of the 35 prefectures whose minimum wage the panel proposes be left as is, the amount of welfare benefit paid out in the capitals of those prefectures likely will exceed the minimum wage paid in those cities.
 生活保護は市町村ごとに6ランクに分けて決められている。最低賃金は若年単身者の都道府県別の平均額と比較するが、最低賃金が据え置かれた35県の多くも、県庁所在地で比べると、生活保護の方が上回るとみられている。

The advisory panels responsible for setting the minimum wage in each prefecture will decide how much to raise it based on the reference increases proposed by the central government panel, and the raises will be introduced from October. We hope the minimum wage will exceed welfare benefit in all the areas of each prefecture.
 今後、中央審が示した目安を参考に、都道府県ごとに地方審議会が引き上げ額を決定し、10月から改定される予定だ。都道府県内のどの地域でも生活保護を上回ることを目標にしてもらいたい。

===

Deeper discussions needed

If welfare benefit exceeds the minimum wage, workers who receive little more than that amount will lose the motivation to work, while people on welfare will have no incentive to find a job. "Harmonization of the minimum wage and welfare benefit" is an issue that should be seriously discussed next year and after, too.
 生活保護の方が高ければ、最低賃金ぎりぎりで働く人の就労意欲は失われ、生活保護者は職を探す気にならないだろう。「生活保護との整合性」は、来年以降もしっかりと追求していくべきだ。

With the increase in the number of nonregular workers, including part-time workers, the importance of the role of the minimum wage system as a social safety net is growing.
 パートなどの非正規労働者が増加し、安全網としての最低賃金制度の役割は増している。

The manifestos of each opposition party and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's coalition partner, New Komeito, for the next House of Representatives election propose a minimum wage of 1,000 yen an hour. But it is problematic to treat student part-timers on an equal footing with fatherless families when it comes to setting the minimum wage.
 野党各党や公明党は衆院選の公約で「時給1000円」の最低賃金を掲げているが、学生アルバイトと母子家庭では同一に論じられないという側面もある。

More intensive discussions on a fair minimum wage level and how to set such a level should be held, taking into account how this issue affects corporate management.
 企業経営への影響を含め、最低賃金のあり方や決定方法の議論を深めることが重要だろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 3, 2009)
(2009年8月3日01時21分  読売新聞)

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2009年8月 2日 (日)

発信箱:プリウスの国では=福本容子

(Mainichi Japan) August 2, 2009
More than one way to measure development
発信箱:プリウスの国では=福本容子

I recently had the opportunity to talk about Japan's declining birth rate to 10 government officials from developing countries in Africa and other areas who had arrived on a study and training trip.
 日本の少子化について話す機会があった。相手はアフリカなど途上国から研修に来ている政府関係の人たち10人。

I explained that in Japan, there had been an increase in singles in their 30s and their 40s as a result of late marriages or people simply remaining unmarried. At this point one of them asked, "Are you talking about people who don't get married but live together?"
最近は晩婚や非婚で30代、40代でも独身というケースが増えています、と説明していたら質問が出た。「結婚はしないけど同居って人たちですか」

The question didn't mean much to me. When I replied, "Well, there are lots of people living alone," they gasped.
 ? 何を聞かれたのか、ぴんとこなかった。「1人暮らしが多いですけど」と答えたら「えー!」となった。

"That would be too lonely. It's impossible," one of them said.
「寂し過ぎ。あり得ない」--。

"There are also people who live with their parents," I added -- but that only increased the confusion. I tried explaining that people lacked the money, but the explanation wasn't persuasive; Japan is a country that provides economic support to their countries. I carried on to explain the phenomenon of "herbivore men" who show less interest in the other sex -- but such an image may have seemed strange to people from Africa, where there are many real herbivores.
「親と同居、もあります」と付け足すと、困惑はもっと深まった。お金の余裕がないから、と言ってみたけれど説得力がない。彼らの国に経済支援している日本だ。「草食系男子」の説明も試みた。だけど本物の草食系がいっぱいのアフリカから来た人には不思議なイメージだったかも。

In Zambia, the home country of 35-year-old Grivas Shimonde Chiyaba, the visitor who asked me whether the people don't get married but live together, relatives apparently build settlements and live like a large family. They share meals, and educate their own children and their siblings' children together. For the children "cousins" and "siblings" are one and the same.
 「結婚しないで同居か」と質問したキヤバさん(35)の国、ザンビアでは親類が集落を作り大家族のように暮らしているそうだ。食事はみんなで分け合い、兄弟の子と自分の子を一緒に育てたりする。子供にとっては「いとこ」と「兄弟」が同じ。

"It is a glory and pride to have lots of children," Chiyaba says. "It's not a case of 'Whose child is it?' The person who can raise the children raises them."
「子供がたくさんいることは誇り、自慢です。『誰の子』ではなく、育てられる人が育てます」

Louis Kwame Amo, 35, the guest who said it was impossible for people to live alone, was from Ghana. He has three children. One of them he took from an acquaintance who said he couldn't raise his child because he was too poor.
 1人暮らしを「あり得ない」と言ったアモさん(40)はガーナ出身。3人いる子供のうち1人は、知り合いが貧しくて育てられないというから引き取った。

"It's not unusual," he says.
「別に珍しいことではありません」

The visitors toured a factory producing Prius hybrid vehicles for Toyota Motor Corp. a company that has risen to the status of the world's top vehicle producer by volume with its top technology. But now the country where that company is located is fretting over how it can see an increase in childbirths.
 彼らはプリウスを生産しているトヨタの工場も見学した。最高の技術で世界一多く車を造るまでになったトヨタ。けれどそのトヨタの国は今、どうしたら子供がもっと生まれるのかと悩んでいる。

People talk about economic development. I wonder what each of the visitors will be thinking when they return to their countries where their families are waiting for them. (Column by Yoko Fukumoto, Business News Department)
 経済の発展って。どんな思いを抱え、それぞれ家族が待つ国に帰るのだろう。(経済部)

毎日新聞 2009年7月31日 東京朝刊

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ラグビー W杯をスポーツ界の活力に

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 2, 2009)
2019 Rugby World Cup could give sports fillip
ラグビー W杯をスポーツ界の活力に(8月2日付・読売社説)

Japan has won the right to host the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
 ラグビーの2019年ワールドカップ(W杯)が、日本で開催されることになった。

We hope that hosting the event will invigorate not only rugby, but sport more generally in the nation, which has been suffering during the severe economic downturn.
 W杯開催を、ラグビー界だけでなく、不況の影響で逆風を受けているスポーツ界全体の活性化につなげたい。

The Rugby World Cup is said to be the third-biggest sporting event in the world after soccer's World Cup and the Summer Olympic Games. Since it was launched in 1987, the Rugby World Cup has been held every four years. But Japan will be the first Asian nation to host the tournament.
 ラグビーのW杯は、サッカーのW杯、夏季五輪に次ぐ規模の国際大会と言われている。1987年の第1回大会以来、4年に1度、開かれてきたが、アジアでの開催は初めてである。

Japan was likely picked in light of the praise it earned for its hosting in June of the Junior World Championship (for players aged 20 or under) among other factors. Also, the International Rugby Board apparently is intent on expanding the rugby business through greater internationalization of the sport.
 日本が選ばれたのは、6月に20歳以下の世界選手権を開催した実績などが評価された結果だろう。ラグビーの国際化で市場拡大を目指す国際ラグビーボード(IRB)の思惑も働いたといえる。

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Long way to go

But the reality is that Japan still has many obstacles to overcome ahead of the tournament.
 だが、現実には、大会までの道のりは平坦(へいたん)ではないだろう。

First and foremost, it is imperative to raise the standard of the national team--a strong team would likely lead to greater public excitement over the tournament.
まず必要なのは、日本チームのレベルアップだ。日本代表が強ければこそ、大会は盛り上がる。

Japan has participated in all six rugby World Cups, but has each time failed to progress beyond the group stage--the national team struggles to compete with the world's top teams.
 日本は過去6回のW杯のすべてに出場しているが、いずれも1次リーグで敗退している。世界のトップクラスの国と比べると、大きな力の差があるのが現状だ。

The Japan Rugby Football Union must therefore work hard to come up with effective measures to improve standards with an eye on the next decade.
 日本ラグビー協会は、10年後を見据え、しっかりとした強化策を練らなければならない。

One way to strengthen the national team would be the fielding of foreign players. Foreign rugby players would be eligible to play for Japan as long as they have not played for any other national team and have played in Japan for at least three years consecutively.
 外国人選手によって日本代表をさらに補強するのも一つの方法であろう。ラグビーの場合、他国での代表経験がなく、日本で3年以上プレーすれば、外国人でも日本代表になれるからだ。

However, if there are too many foreign players in the national team, people may feel the thrill of cheering on their country's own players at the World Cup is diminished.
 しかし、他国の選手があまりに多くては、国旗を背負って戦うというW杯の醍醐(だいご)味が薄れてしまうと感じる人も少なくあるまい。

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Investing in success

It is difficult to argue that rugby is particularly popular in Japan, with many members of the public likely to say they only watch the latter stages of the national university championship early in the New Year on TV.
 国内のラグビー人気は、決して高いとはいえない。テレビで見るのは、年始の大学選手権だけという人も多いのではないか。

To broaden the sport's fan base, it is essential that the nation's players improve their skill levels and battle hard in games.
ファン層を拡大するためにも、選手がレベルアップして、迫力ある試合を見せることは欠かせない。

The Japan Rugby Football Union is due to make an about 15 billion yen host guarantee payment to the International Rugby Board. Meanwhile, the construction and upgrading of venue facilities will require huge investment.
 W杯開催により、協会は約150億円の開催保証金をIRBに支払わねばならない。会場の整備にも巨額の資金が必要となる。

A further issue is how attractive rugby will appear to businesses and other groups whose support is being sought.
 ラグビーがビジネスとしても魅力ある競技であると認知されるかどうかが、経済界などからの支援獲得のカギとなるだろう。

The nation also has been bidding to host the 2016 Olympic Games and a soccer World Cup. If Tokyo is chosen to host the Games in 2016, a new stadium with a capacity of 100,000 is expected to be built in the city's Harumi district. Using the same stadium for the Rugby World Cup would save on costs.
 日本は、16年の東京五輪、さらにサッカーのW杯招致にも取り組んでいる。東京五輪が実現すれば、東京・晴海に10万人収容の新スタジアムが建設される予定だ。ここをラグビーW杯でも使えば、施設整備費の節約につながる。

The host city of the 2016 Games will be announced in October. We hope that Tokyo will win, helped on by the successful bid to host the Rugby World Cup.
 16年の五輪開催地は10月に決まる。ラグビーW杯を追い風に、東京五輪も実現にこぎ着けたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 2, 2009)
(2009年8月2日01時46分  読売新聞)

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2009年8月 1日 (土)

自民党政権公約 「責任力」に見合う具体策示せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 1, 2009)
Responsible party needs responsible policies
自民党政権公約 「責任力」に見合う具体策示せ(8月1日付・読売社説)

The Liberal Democratic Party unveiled its campaign platform for the upcoming House of Representatives election on Friday.
 自民党が衆院選の政権公約を発表した。

Although the manifesto contained an unusual phrase lauding the party's "ability to govern responsibly," the LDP was at pains to trumpet that it is a responsible political party and spelled out where it differed from the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan.
 「責任力」という聞き慣れない造語を使ってまで、自民党は責任政党ぶりを強調し、政権交代を訴える民主党への対抗意識を前面に打ち出した。

However, sections on how the LDP will carry out its policies are riddled with vague explanation. We think the LDP should describe its policies in far more detail during political debates from now on.
 だが、個々の政策を実現させる道筋には曖昧(あいまい)な部分が目立つ。今後の論戦を通じて、さらに具体的な説明に努める必要がある。

The LDP picks up social security system reform and tax system reform from the opening of its manifesto. It says, "We will implement necessary legislative measures by fiscal 2011 in regard to fundamental taxation reform, including a consumption tax rate increase."
 公約の冒頭に社会保障制度改革と税制改革を掲げ、「消費税を含む税制抜本改革について、2011年度までに必要な法制上の措置を講じる」としている。

The platform then goes on to say the party "will construct a social security system of medium welfare levels and medium burden." The LDP spells out in black and white that it wants the public to bear a fair share of the cost of providing a social security safety net, including through a rise in the consumption tax rate in the future.
 その上で、「『中福祉・中負担』の社会保障制度を構築する」とも記し、将来の消費税率引き上げを含め、国民に応分の負担を求める姿勢を明確にした。

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Finding the funding

The LDP tried to pick apart the DPJ platform and cast doubt on whether the DPJ can actually find the resources to bankroll its policies. The LDP should be given some credit for having found the courage to mention a consumption tax increase and prodding the public to shoulder a "medium burden" of social security costs. However, the LDP failed to specify crucial details of these policies.
 財源の裏付けがあやふやな民主党との違いを際立たせよう、という狙いからだろうが、及び腰ながら、消費税や「中負担」に踏み込んだことは一応、評価できる。

The centerpiece of the LDP manifesto is a policy to phase out preschool fees for children aged 3 to 5, with these fees eventually being waived in fiscal 2012. The policy is a direct counterproposal to the DPJ pledge to offer a monthly allowance of 26,000 yen per child to households with children of middle school age or younger.
 目玉政策は、幼児教育の負担を段階的に軽減し、2012年度に完全無償化することだという。中学生まで1人月額2万6000円を支給するとした民主党の「子ども手当」に対抗して掲げた。

However, the LDP will need to wring an additional about 790 billion yen from somewhere to cover the costs of this policy. Although this is a fraction of the 5.5 trillion yen the DPJ will need for its monthly allowance policy, it is still a hefty price tag. The party manifesto offered no clear answers on how it would finance this plan.
 だが、完全無償化には新たに約7900億円を捻出(ねんしゅつ)しなければならない。「子ども手当」実現に必要な5・5兆円とは桁(けた)が違うとはいえ、かなりの額だ。財源はどう手当てするのか。その答えは示されていない。

If the LDP is serious about extolling its ability to govern responsibly, it should not crank up a skirmish based on pork-barrel spending as it seeks to woo voters.
 「責任力」を強調するのなら、票目当てのばらまき合戦をエスカレートさせるべきではない。

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Security issues

In the diplomatic and national security fields, the platform says that, to counter North Korea's ballistic missile threat, the LDP will implement necessary security measures that will enable the interception of ballistic missiles fired toward the United States as well as protect U.S. vessels operating in cooperation with Japan on the ballistic missile defense shield.
 一方、外交・安全保障分野では、北朝鮮の弾道ミサイルの脅威に対し、「米国に向かう弾道ミサイルの迎撃」「弾道ミサイル防衛で連携する米国艦艇の防護」が可能となるよう、「必要な安全保障上の手当てを行う」としている。

If the LDP suggests there could be a change from the current government interpretation on the right to collective self-defense--in which the nation possesses this right but cannot exercise it--we think the party should have come right out and said so.
 集団的自衛権の「権利はあるが、行使できない」とする現行の政府解釈の変更を意味しているのなら、もっと明確に書くべきだったのではないか。

The DPJ said in its collection of policies unveiled at the same time as its manifesto that it will not stick to conceptual discussions on whether self-defense is individual or collective. The DPJ's stance can be interpreted as accepting the exercise of the right to collective self-defense, but this lack of clarity makes the party's stance difficult to understand. We think the DPJ needs to flesh out its explanation.
 集団的自衛権について、民主党は公約と一緒に発表した政策集で「個別的・集団的といった概念上の議論に拘泥せず」としている。行使の容認とも読めるが、分かりにくい。補足の説明が必要だ。

All the major parties have presented their campaign platforms, so now the cut-and-thrust of a full-fledged election campaign can begin in earnest. We hope each party focuses on spreading their messages and policies on pending domestic and international issues.
 主要政党の政権公約が出揃(そろ)い、論戦はいよいよ本格化する。各党には、内外の懸案に対する具体的な処方箋(せん)を競うことに主眼を置いてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 1, 2009)
(2009年8月1日01時18分  読売新聞)

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