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2009年12月31日 (木)

新成長戦略 目標実現の具体策が見えない

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 31, 2009)
Govt's new growth strategy short on details
新成長戦略 目標実現の具体策が見えない(12月31日付・読売社説)

Having an ambitious goal alone is not enough to ensure a bright future. The government's newly unveiled growth strategy for a "shining Japan" lacks vital substance in that it fails to illuminate how to achieve these goals in detail.
The strategy, the basic policy of which was approved by the Cabinet on Wednesday, sets a target of achieving a more than 2 percent annual growth in the gross domestic product in real terms through fiscal 2020. In nominal terms, the growth target is aimed at staying above 3 percent.
 高い目標を掲げるだけで、明るい未来は開けない。肝心なのは実現する具体的手法の明示だが、そこが欠けている。
 政府は30日の閣議で、新たな成長戦略の基本方針「輝きのある日本へ」を決定した。
 国内総生産(GDP)を2020年度まで実質で年2%、名目は3%を上回るペースで成長させる数値目標を掲げた。

This means that in 10 years, the nominal GDP is expected to grow from the 470 trillion yen of this fiscal year to 650 trillion yen. But the fact is that the nominal GDP has been in negative territory for the past six straight quarters, pushing GDP down by 50 trillion yen. As the economy has entered a deflationary phase, which also shrinks the GDP, obstacles to reaching the target are extremely high.
 名目GDPは今年度の470兆円から650兆円に増える計算だが、現状はここ6四半期連続のマイナスで、50兆円も減った。名目GDPをしぼませるデフレに再び陥ったこともあり、目標達成のハードルは極めて高い。

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Solid ends, vague means

In its growth strategy, the government declared it would pursue a "third way" of seeking the creation of new demand, instead of relying on public works projects or following the principle of market fundamentalism as seen under the administration of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. The new stance touted by the administration of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama appears to be in line with a policy pledge to "shift from concrete to human beings," meaning a departure from an industrial structure heavily dependent on public works projects.
 成長戦略は公共事業依存でも、小泉路線のような市場原理主義でもない、新需要の創造という「第3の道」を進むとしている。「コンクリートから人へ」などの政権公約に沿った考え方だろう。

The strategy listed two areas--the environment and energy, and medical and nursing care services--that the government intends to focus on and shore up. In these areas, which Japan can boast of having strengths in, there will be a goal of creating new demand worth 100 trillion yen and 4.2 new million jobs.
 具体的には、環境・エネルギーと医療・介護を、日本が強みを持つ2分野として集中的にテコ入れし、100兆円の需要と420万人の雇用を新たに生み出す。

The government also intends to stimulate trade with other Asian nations--whose economies are continuing to grow fast--support scientific and technological development and strengthen measures to sustain employment.
 高成長が続くアジアとの取引活性化や、科学技術の支援、雇用下支えの強化なども図る。

There is nothing wrong with the direction of these policy courses. But, in terms of details in the measures, we find little difference with those included in about a dozen growth strategies hammered out by the governments of the past decade.
 方向性に問題はないが、具体策は政府が過去10年に出した十指に余る成長戦略と大差ない。

This is likely because the strategy was compiled from worn-out proposals submitted by ministries and agencies concerned. As it took only half a month to devise the strategy, it gives an impression that the government threw it together in order to thwart criticism that the current administration has no growth strategy.
 関係府省が持ち寄った案をまとめたため、新味のないアイデアが並んだのだろう。策定作業は約半月と短く、成長戦略がないという批判をかわす「やっつけ仕事」との印象もぬぐえない。

===

Get private sector input

The government intends, by June, to complete the growth strategy by putting flesh on these basic policy bones and provide a road map for achieving these goals.
 政府は来年6月までに、この基本方針に肉付けをして成長戦略を完成させ、実現に向けた工程表も示す方針という。

But it would be better to drastically review the strategy by, for example, inviting ideas widely from the private sector and narrowing down the list of measures to those that appear to have the greatest potential effect and feasibility. There also should be mention of how necessary funds for nurturing new industries and supporting technological development should be allocated.
 だがこの際、民間からアイデアを広く募って、効果や実現性の高いものに絞り込むなど、抜本的に練り直した方がいい。新産業の育成や技術支援に必要な費用をどう工面するのかも示すべきだ。

If the Hatoyama administration sticks to its policy pledge not to raise the consumption tax rate for four years, it is unlikely that it will be able to secure a stable revenue source to implement policy measures. It must not have faith in a "rising tide" theory of economic growth being able to increase tax revenues.
 消費税率を4年間は上げないという政権公約にこだわれば、安定した財源は得られまい。「経済成長で税収が増えれば賄える」とする“上げ潮”依存は禁物だ。

It also is necessary to show the path to fiscal reconstruction for the mid- to long-run in order to ease people's anxiety about the future of social security and other matters.
 中長期的な財政再建の道筋も同時に示し、社会保障などの将来不安を和らげる必要もある。

Unless measures are taken to prevent a further economic decline and solve the deflation problem, any great growth strategy will merely end up being pie in the sky.
 景気の底割れを防ぎ、デフレを解消しないと、どんな立派な成長戦略も絵に描いたモチになる。

The government has cut spending for public works projects by nearly 20 percent in the fiscal 2010 budget, compared with the current fiscal year. Spending for urgently needed projects such as construction work to improve the earthquake resistance of primary and middle school buildings also has been reduced. These projects should be revived and used to help economic recovery.
 政府は来年度予算の公共事業を前年度より2割近く減らし、小中学校の耐震化など急ぐべき事業も削った。これらを復活して、景気回復に役立てるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 31, 2009)
(2009年12月31日01時16分  読売新聞)

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2009年12月30日 (水)

09回顧・国際 オバマ政権登場で動いた世界

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 30, 2009)
2009 provided plenty of grist for media mill
09回顧・国際 オバマ政権登場で動いた世界(12月30日付・読売社説)

It has been a busy year. From a pandemic of a new type of influenza that hit the world this year to the struggles of the global economy to get out of recession to the prevention of nuclear proliferation and global environmental problems--the international community had to tackle a wide variety of issues.
 世界不況からの脱却へ模索が続く中、新型インフルエンザの世界的大流行に見舞われた。
 核の拡散防止や地球環境問題など、国際社会で取り組む課題が相次いだ。

On the list of the top 10 international news stories chosen by readers of The Yomiuri Shimbun, Barack Obama's inauguration as U.S. president and his winning of the Nobel Peace Prize ranked second and fifth respectively. This shows how popular Obama is, even in Japan.
 本紙の読者が選ぶ「海外10大ニュース」は、オバマ米大統領の就任(2位)とノーベル平和賞の受賞(5位)が上位入りした。オバマ人気の高さがうかがえる。

 ◆「核なき世界」を決議◆
In April, Obama announced his target of a nuclear free world during a speech in Prague--a story that ranked 13th on the list. Although he said it would be difficult to realize that goal during his lifetime, Obama chaired a summit-level meeting of the U.N. Security Council in September and led the council to approve a historic resolution aimed at ridding the world of nuclear weapons--a story that ranked 15th on the list.
 オバマ大統領は4月、プラハでの演説で「核兵器なき世界」の実現を訴えた(13位)。自らが生きている間の実現は難しいとしたが、9月の国連安全保障理事会の首脳級会合で議長を務め、「核兵器なき世界」を目指す決議を採択に導いた(15位)。

However, Obama said during a speech at the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony in December; "The instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace," positioning the U.S. war in Afghanistan and other conflicts as "just wars."
He made the remark as the leader of the world's preeminent superpower, based on the cold, hard realities of the world.
 そのオバマ大統領は12月のノーベル平和賞の受賞演説で、「平和維持のためには戦争という手段が演じる役割もある」と述べ、アフガニスタン戦争などを「正しい戦争」と位置づけた。超大国の最高指導者として、冷徹な現実を踏まえた発言だった。

===

N. Korea still source of concern

In April, North Korea test-fired a long-range ballistic missile--the news story raking sixth on the list. The U.N. Security Council immediately adopted a presidential statement condemning the launch, but Pyongyang held an underground nuclear test in May (story No. 14 on the list).
 北朝鮮は4月に弾道ミサイルを発射した(6位)。国連安保理は非難声明を採択したが、さらに北朝鮮は5月、地下核実験を強行した(14位)。

As it was the second nuclear test North Korea has conducted since 2006, it was reasonable that the Security Council unanimously approved a resolution widening sanctions against the reclusive state.
 2006年以来2度目の核実験で、国連安保理が制裁決議を採択したのは当然だった。

Though the United States and China are continuing negotiations with North Korea, the six-way talks aimed at stopping Pyongyang's nuclear development program have remained suspended and will see the old year out without any likelihood of resumption.
 米中による北朝鮮への働きかけが続いているが、中断されたままの6か国協議は、再開のメドが立たないまま越年する。

The news story ranked eighth was the riots by Muslim Uygurs that erupted in Urumqi, the capital of China's Xingjian Uygur Autonomous Region, in which 197 people died. The incident highlighted the antagonism between China's majority Han people and Uygurs, showing that ethnic minority issues could prove to be the Achilles' heel of China, whose economy continues to grow rapidly.
 経済成長著しい中国の新疆ウイグル自治区で暴動が発生、197人が死亡した(8位)。漢族とウイグル族の反目も露(あら)わになり、少数民族問題が中国のアキレス腱(けん)であることが鮮明になった。

In October, China celebrated the 60th anniversary of People's Republic of China, staging the military parade for the first time in 10 years, a story readers ranked 18th. It symbolized the efforts by the Chinese Communist Party and the government to boost national prestige. However, the administration of Chinese President Hu Jintao, who has just three more years or so in office, is facing a mountain of problems such as the growing gap between the rich and the poor, and spreading corruption.
 中国は10月、建国60周年を迎え、10年ぶりに軍事パレードを実施した(18位)。国威発揚に向けた党・政府の取り組みだが、貧富の差の拡大や汚職の増加など、残りの任期3年余りとなった胡錦濤政権にとって課題は山積だ。

===

Deadly blaze

The news story ranked seventh on the list is the shooting range fire in Busan, South Korea, in November that killed 15, including 10 Japanese tourists.
 韓国南部の釜山で11月、室内射撃場で火災が発生し、日本人観光客10人が死亡した(7位)。

Also in South Korea, former President Roh Moo-hyun killed himself in May and Kim Dae Jung, former president and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, passed away in August, both of which were sad news for South Koreans.
 その韓国では盧武鉉・前大統領が5月に自殺し、ノーベル平和賞受賞者の金大中・元大統領も8月に死去した。

From the first outbreak in Mexico in April, a new type of flu spread around the world this year. According to the World Health Organization, the global death toll from the disease, including deaths in Japan, topped 10,000. This was the No. 1 story on the The Yomiuri Shimbun's list of the top 10 international news stories.
 4月にメキシコで発生した新型インフルエンザは、世界に広がった。世界保健機関(WHO)によれば、日本を含む世界全体の死者は1万人を突破した。これが本紙海外ニュースの1位である。

The new flu pandemic highlighted various concerns about the way governments around the world cooperate to fight the global spread of infectious diseases. Developing countries suffered shortages of vaccines against the type A H1N1 flu virus.
 途上国ではワクチンの供給が不足するなど、感染症の世界的な拡大における国際協力のあり方に教訓を残したと言える。

The financial crisis entered its second year in the wake of momentous events in the first half of the year including the bankruptcies of major U.S. auto manufacturers General Motors and Chrysler--the story ranked fourth on the list of international news stories.
 2年目に入った金融危機は、米自動車業界大手のゼネラル・モーターズ(GM)やクライスラーが相次いで経営破綻(はたん)に追い込まれる(4位)など、今年前半は厳しい状況が続いた。

===

Economy bottoms out
 ◆経済最悪期は脱した◆

Financial summit meetings of the Group of 20, at which leaders of the 19 nations and the European Union discussed what measures they should take to combat the economic crisis and fix the global economy, were held in London in April and Pittsburgh in September. With the nations cooperatively carrying out fiscal measures and monetary easing policies, it is believed that the worst of the global economic crisis is over.
 世界の景気対策を協議する20か国・地域(G20)首脳による金融サミットが4月にロンドンで、9月に米ピッツバーグで、それぞれ開催された。各国は連携して財政出動や金融緩和策などを実施した結果、世界経済の最悪期は脱したとされる。

The G-20 released a leaders' statement in which they proclaimed the G-20 to be the premier forum for international economic cooperation, a development that appears to weaken the influence of the Group of Eight summit of industrialized nations.
 G20は国際経済を議論する最上位の会合へ格上げをする、との首脳声明を発表した。現在の主要8か国による首脳会議(G8)の影は薄くなることが懸念される。

Concerning international cooperation to combat global warming, the Conference of Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen (COP15) failed to set concrete reduction goals for greenhouse gasses. The participating nations were able to avert a complete breakdown in negotiations and somehow maintained a positive attitude toward resolving the issue. However, various problems remain unsolved.
 地球温暖化防止では、12月のコペンハーゲンでの国連気候変動枠組み条約第15回締約国会議(COP15)で、具体的な削減目標を設定できなかった。決裂を回避し、解決に取り組む姿勢は維持できたが、課題は残された。

In September, a magnitude-8 earthquake hit the island nation of Samoa in the South Pacific, followed by a magnitude 7.6 quake that struck off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. In all, more than 1,000 people were killed or went missing, a story that was ranked ninth by Yomiuri Shimbun readers.
 9月、南太平洋のサモア諸島沖でのマグニチュード(M)8の地震に続いて、インドネシアのスマトラ島沖でもM7・6の地震が起き、合わせて1000人を超える死者・不明者が出た(9位)。

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Lightning fast

The 10th ranked story was considerably more cheerful--Usain Bolt of Jamaica won three world athletic titles at the World Championships in Athletics in August, breaking world records in the 100-meter and 200-meter sprints and winning a third gold in the 400-meter relay.
 明るいニュースでは、世界陸上の雄、ウサイン・ボルト選手(ジャマイカ)が8月、男子100メートルと200メートルで世界新記録で優勝し、男子リレーでの優勝と合わせ3冠を獲得した(10位)。

 ◆テロとの戦いは続く◆
In less happy news, golf superstar Tiger Woods, 33, stunned the world with his involvement in extramarital affairs with several women. The scandal led him to announce in December that he would take an indefinite break from professional golf.
 一方、男子ゴルフ界のスーパースター、タイガー・ウッズ選手は、複数の女性との不倫騒動が発覚し、世間を驚かせた。12月、ツアー出場の無期限自粛を自ら宣言する羽目に陥った。

The sudden death in June of singer Michael Jackson startled his fans around the globe--a story ranked third on the list by readers. Jackson was only 50 years old. Police continue to investigate accusations of criminal wrongdoing against the celebrity's personal physician.
 歌手マイケル・ジャクソンさんが6月、突然に死去したことも世界中のファンを驚かせた(3位)。50歳の若さであり、専属医を巡る捜査は今も継続している。

Bombing attacks by terrorists are an almost daily event in Iraq and Afghanistan. In December, Obama announced that the United States would dispatch an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan in the first half of next year and that it would start withdrawing troops from the country beginning July 2011. The war against terrorism will continue into next year and beyond.
 イラクやアフガニスタンでは、連日のように爆弾テロが起きている。オバマ大統領は12月、アフガンに兵士3万人を来年前半に追加増派し、2011年7月をメドに米軍撤収を始めると発表した。テロとの戦いは来年以降も続く。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 30, 2009)
(2009年12月30日01時17分  読売新聞)

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2009年12月29日 (火)

首相インド訪問 新たな大国との関係強化を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 29, 2009)
Japan should cement ties with new big power India
首相インド訪問 新たな大国との関係強化を(12月29日付・読売社説)

Despite the hectic political calendar at year-end, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama chose to schedule a trip abroad, to South Asian major power India.
 鳩山首相が、年末の慌ただしい時期に選んだ外国訪問先は、南アジアの大国インドだ。

India, which has been displaying remarkable economic growth, emulating that of China, is located in an important position connecting the Middle East and East Asia. Japan should promote an economic alliance and security cooperation with India and strengthen the bilateral relationship from a strategic perspective.
 中国を追うように経済成長著しいインドは、中東と東アジアを結ぶ要路に位置する。経済連携や安全保障協力などを進め、日印関係を戦略的に強化していくべきだ。

India has been maintaining an annualized economic growth rate of 8 percent and has the second-largest population in the world. The country is an attractive economic market for advanced nations. The number of Japanese companies that have advanced into India has tripled in the past three years.
 インドは年率8%の経済成長を続け、世界第2の人口を有する。先進国にとっては魅力的な経済市場だ。日本の進出企業も過去3年間で3倍に増えた。

But Japan's total trade volume with India has remained at a low level, and amounts to about one-twentieth of the value of the trade this country does with China.
 だが、日印間の貿易総額はいまだに低水準で、日中間と比べると約20分の1の規模だ。

Signaling his desire to boost the Japan-India bilateral economic relationship, Hatoyama held talks with business leaders in the commercial city of Mumbai before traveling to New Delhi for talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
 鳩山首相が首都ニューデリーに入る前に商都ムンバイを訪れ、経済界の代表らと会談したのも、日印経済関係をいっそう強化したいとの強い意欲の表れだろう。

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Intensify EPA talks

Experts point out that India's social infrastructure is still insufficient, hindering the expansion of investment from abroad. It is important for Japan to steadily implement its economic assistance for large-scale projects in India, including the construction of a railway for freight transportation linking New Delhi and Mumbai.
 インドは社会基盤の整備が不十分で、それが投資拡大の阻害要因と言われる。ニューデリー・ムンバイ間の貨物鉄道建設など大型プロジェクトに対する経済援助を着実に実施することが重要だ。

Japan also needs to accelerate its negotiations for an economic partnership agreement with India.
 経済連携協定(EPA)の交渉も加速すべきだ。

In the negotiations, India has asked Japan to streamline its procedures for approving generic drugs and increase the number of tariff-free items. The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry and the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry are reluctant to accept such demands, but we hope that concerned ministers will discuss policies for the negotiations, working out which items Japan should compromise on and which ones it should not, without relying too much on bureaucrats.
 インド側は、後発医薬品の承認手続きの簡素化や関税撤廃品目の積み増しを求めている。厚生労働省や農林水産省は消極的だが、関係閣僚は、何を譲り、何を守るのか、官僚任せにせずに交渉方針を検討してもらいたい。

This summer, South Korea signed an economic partnership agreement with India. Japan should be aware this means South Korean companies will be able to get a head start in India on a more advantageous footing than Japanese firms.
 韓国は今年夏、インドとのEPA署名にこぎつけた。韓国企業が先んじて有利な条件でインドに進出できるようになることも、十分意識すべきだろう。

===

Antipiracy steps needed

In Tuesday's summit meeting, Hatoyama and Singh are expected to establish a regular bilateral security consultation forum involving the foreign and defense vice ministers of the two countries. The countries are considering upgrading the security talks to a ministerial-level meeting in the future.
 きょう行われる日印首脳会談では、外務、防衛両省の次官級による安全保障定期協議の新設で合意する予定だ。将来的には閣僚級への格上げも想定している。

Ensuring the security of sea-lanes connecting the Middle East and East Asia is desperately important for Japan, which relies heavily on foreign countries for energy resources and food. We hope the Japanese and Indian leaders will discuss concrete steps toward that goal, such as sharing of information on pirates and mounting joint antipiracy patrols.
 中東と東アジアを結ぶシーレーン(海上交通路)の安全確保は、エネルギーや食糧の多くを海外に依存する日本にとって、死活的に重要だ。海賊情報の共有や共同パトロールなど、具体的な協力方法を探ってほしい。

India is an important partner for Japan in the regional cooperative framework centered around the East Asia Summit.
 インドは東アジア首脳会議を核とした地域協力でも重要なパートナーだ。

On the other hand, concerning the new round of multilateral trade talks under the World Trade Organization and the climate change problem, India, along with China, continues to take the side of developing countries, and its words and deeds have caused friction with advanced nations, including Japan.
 一方、世界貿易機関(WTO)の新多角的貿易交渉や気候変動問題では、インドは中国とともに途上国側に立った言動を繰り返し、日本を含めた先進国と対立する場面が目立っている。

Japan should patiently call on India to play constructive roles that fit its new status as a major power.
 インドが新しい大国にふさわしい建設的役割を果たすよう、日本としても粘り強く働きかけていく必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 29, 2009)
(2009年12月29日01時16分  読売新聞)

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2009年12月28日 (月)

指導要領解説書 「竹島」に触れないのは問題だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 28, 2009)
Teaching manual mustn't avoid Takeshima dispute
指導要領解説書 「竹島」に触れないのは問題だ(12月28日付・読売社説)

The generations who will forge this nation's future must be accurately taught about its territories and history.
 将来を担う世代に自国の領土や歴史をきちんと教えていくのは、大切なことだ。

However, the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry has made no reference to the Takeshima islets--which South Korea claims as its sovereign territory, an assertion Japan disputes--in an instruction manual containing its new high school curriculum guidelines on geography A and geography B set to come into effect in the 2013 academic year. This omission is extremely questionable.
 文部科学省が、2013年度から実施する高校地理A、地理Bの新学習指導要領の解説書で、日本の領土にもかかわらず、韓国が領有権を主張している「竹島」に言及しなかった。これは極めて問題だ。

Japan established sovereignty over the Takeshima islets no later than the mid-17th century--in the early Edo period (1603-1867).
In 1905, the islets were placed under the jurisdiction of Shimane Prefecture following approval by the cabinet.
 竹島は、遅くとも江戸時代初期の17世紀半ばには日本が領有権を確立し、1905年、閣議決定を経て、島根県に編入された。

However, South Korea has been occupying the islets unlawfully since 1952, when Seoul unilaterally drew the Syngman Rhee Line--a boundary laid down by then South Korean President Syngman Rhee in the Sea of Japan claiming fishing rights in the area--a move made in defiance of international law.
 ところが、韓国は1952年、国際法に反して日本海に「李承晩ライン」を一方的に設けて以降、竹島の不法占拠を続けている。

This country's official stance on the islets is that Takeshima has always been an integral part of the nation's territory, a view backed historically and by international law.
 「竹島は歴史的にも国際法上も我が国固有の領土」というのが、日本政府の見解だ。

In current high school textbooks, six authorized textbooks for geography A and five books for geography B state there is a sovereignty dispute with South Korea over the Takeshima islets, and that they are an integral part of Japan.
現在の高校教科書にも、地理Aで6冊、地理Bで5冊に、「日本固有の領土の竹島で韓国との間に領有権問題がある」などと記述されている。

===

1 step backward

In July last year, the education ministry added for the first time the teaching of Japan's stance on the Takeshima islets to a teaching manual for middle school curriculum guidelines for social studies, which will take effect in the 2012 academic year.
 2012年度に実施される中学校社会科の指導要領の解説書には昨年7月、竹島を日本の領土と教えるよう初めて盛り込まれた。

But the teaching manual in question does not clarify that the territorial dispute involves the Takeshima islets. It simply says, "Following up on what is taught in middle school, we should handle this issue accurately, based upon our country's rightful assertions, and help students deepen their understanding."
 ところが、高校の解説書では、領土問題について竹島とは明記せず、「中学校における学習を踏まえ、我が国が正当に主張している立場に基づいて的確に扱い、理解を深めさせる」とあるだけだ。

The education ministry says the government's stance--that the Takeshima islets are an integral part of the nation--remains unchanged. If so, the ministry should state this clearly. It makes no sense that what is taught about the Takeshima dispute at high school level is a step backward from what is taught at middle school level, despite high school being a place to develop what has been studied at middle school.
 文科省は「竹島は我が国固有の領土という立場は変わらない」と言うが、それならそう明記すべきではないか。中学校で学んだ内容を発展させる高校のほうが、記述が後退するのは筋が通らない。

===

Consideration for S. Korea

Unlike the curriculum guidelines, the teaching manual comes with no legal obligation to be implemented. However, it will be a lodestar both for textbook publishers and teachers preparing for classes. The manual in question has the potential to generate misunderstanding among textbook publishers and teachers and cause them to disregard the Takeshima dispute.
 解説書は指導要領と違い、法的拘束力はないが、教科書を作る出版社や授業を行う教員の指針になる。今回の解説書では、出版社や教員にも竹島を軽視して構わないといった誤解を生みかねない。

Sources said Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama made the final decision that the new manual should not mention the Takeshima issue.
 今回は鳩山首相が最終的に判断したという。

When he was in the opposition camp, Hatoyama said, "It's natural to clearly state [the Takeshima issue]" when the issue was included in a teaching manual for middle school curriculum guidelines for social studies, which drew a series of harsh protests from South Korea. It is doubtful his latest decision could be squared with his previous remark.
首相は野党時代、中学校解説書に竹島が盛り込まれたことに韓国が反発した際、「明記するのは当然」と話していた。その発言との整合性も取れまい。

Observers said the absence of any mention of the Takeshima issue resulted from the government's consideration for South Korean ties, as next year will mark the 100th anniversary of Japan's annexation of Korea.
 竹島の記述を今回見送った背景には、来年、日韓併合から100年の節目を迎えるため、韓国に配慮したと見る向きも多い。

Territorial issues and how to teach them at schools form an important theme that touches on the fundamentals of nationhood. South Korea is a valuable neighbor, but fundamental truths must not be distorted due to diplomatic considerations.
 領土問題やそれを学校でどう教えるかということは、国の根幹にかかわる重要なテーマだ。韓国は大事な隣国だが、外交上の配慮でゆがめてはならない。

It will not be easy to resolve the territorial dispute over the Takeshima islets. For this reason, an unstinting effort must be made to educate people who will in the future help the public fully understand the issue as well as convey Japan's stance to the international community.
 竹島の領有権をめぐる問題の解決は容易ではない。だからこそ、国民に十分理解させ、国際社会に日本の立場を発信していける人材を育成する努力が欠かせない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 28, 2009)
(2009年12月28日01時22分  読売新聞)

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2009年12月27日 (日)

09回顧・日本 越年となる政権迷走と不況

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 27, 2009)
New govt, economy top stories of 2009
09回顧・日本 越年となる政権迷走と不況(12月27日付・読売社説)

In our annual ranking of the 10 domestic news stories of the year, the change of government tops the list. The administration led by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama was launched after the Democratic Party of Japan's overwhelming victory in the August House of Representatives election, in which it claimed 308 seats.
 年末恒例の、読者が選んだ本紙の「日本10大ニュース」の1位は「衆院選で民主308議席の圧勝、歴史的政権交代で鳩山内閣発足」だった。

Day after day the new administration offered up eye-catching proposals. However, three months since the administration was launched under a banner of change, the high expectations initially held by the public have waned, with a sense of uncertainty and concern about the coalition government creeping in.
 新政権は連日、様々な話題をお茶の間に提供した。だが、変革を旗印に政権が発足して3か月余、当初の期待感も薄れ、連立内閣への危うさや不安を感じ始めた国民も多いのではないか。

 ◆政治ドラマに高い関心◆
Much public attention had been paid to the fate of the DPJ's manifesto pledges, such as the child-rearing allowance program, the abolition of provisionally higher tax rates for gasoline and other auto-related taxes, and government subsidies for high school tuition.
 民主党が政権公約として掲げた子ども手当、暫定税率廃止、高校無償化などの行方に関心が集中した。

Toward the end of the year, however, there was an unexpected development regarding these issues, with DPJ Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa seeking a drastic government review of the pledges. It was as if we were watching a drama unfold on TV.
年の瀬も押し迫り、同党の小沢幹事長が公約の大幅修正を政府に求めるなど、ドラマを見るような展開をたどった。

The Government Revitalization Unit's review of budgetary requests for fiscal 2010, conducted to weed out wasteful spending, was an attention-getter, but it failed to find and cut as much wasteful spending as it hoped.
 予算の無駄を見直す行政刷新会議の事業仕分けは、華々しさに比して削減額は少なかった。

On the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, Hatoyama decided to put off a decision on the issue that had emerged as a hot topic until next year, leaving the Japan-U.S. relationship severely strained.
米軍普天間飛行場移設問題では、鳩山首相が結論を先送りし、日米関係は危機的な状況に陥っている。

Prosecutors have indicted two former secretaries of Hatoyama without arrest over falsified fund reports that violated the Political Funds Control Law. The trial of Ozawa's former secretary over a political funds scandal has recently begun. All of which have brought problems involving politics and money back to the fore this year.
 政治資金収支報告書の虚偽記入事件で鳩山首相の元秘書2人がそれぞれ在宅起訴、略式起訴され、小沢氏の秘書の公判も始まった。「政治とカネ」をめぐる問題が再燃した年でもあった。

===

Expressway issues

Seventh on the top 10 list is the introduction of expressway tolls set at 1,000 yen or lower. Discounted tolls on weekends and holidays for standard-sized passenger vehicles started in March on all expressways except those in major metropolitan areas. This is no doubt a topic close to the hearts of drivers.
 7位には「高速道『上限1000円』スタート」が入った。車を運転する人などには、それだけ関心事なのだろう。

The system was introduced in spring by the then cabinet of Prime Minister Taro Aso. But the new administration sought to go even further, proposing that all expressways be made toll-free.
 前の麻生内閣の施策だが、新政権はさらに進めて無料化を打ち出した。

However, if expressway tolls were done away with, there is concern that free expressways could lead to people in regional areas being deprived of public transport, such as railways, if such forms of transportation were to find themselves unable to make ends meet and were forced to cease operations due to more people opting to travel by car.
地方の公共交通の足が奪われると懸念されている。

The 20th year of the Emperor's ascension to the throne ranks sixth. In the past two decades, the Emperor has resolutely adhered to the philosophy of sharing in the joys and sorrows of the people, always seeking to determine what his role should be as the symbol of the state.
 「天皇陛下即位20年」が6位である。「国民と苦楽を共にする」という考えを貫かれ、「象徴として望ましい天皇の在り方」を求め続けられた20年だった。

Also this year, the Emperor and Empress celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. A variety of events were held to celebrate the 20th year of the Emperor's enthronement and the Imperial couple's 50th wedding anniversary.
 天皇、皇后両陛下のご成婚50年の年でもあり、即位20年と併せて様々な祝賀行事が行われた。

Near the end of this memorable year, controversies emerged over the audience of Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping with the Emperor, after it came to light that the Hatoyama Cabinet had broken with protocol to set up the meeting.
 そんな中で、鳩山内閣が、天皇陛下と中国の習近平国家副主席との会見を特別に設定したことの是非が論議を呼んだ。

===

New-flu fears

The No. 2 domestic news story is the outbreak in Japan of the new type of influenza. The disease spread from Mexico to a host of other countries in spring, and reached Japan in May. The epidemic has yet to abate, and it has become a common sight in this country to see great numbers of people wearing face masks.
 2位に入ったのは「日本でも新型インフルエンザ流行」だ。春にメキシコから火の手が上がった感染拡大の波は日本にも押し寄せ、いまも沈静化していない。マスク姿が目立つのも社会現象だ。

 ◆国民が決める刑の重さ◆
The No. 3 domestic news story is the start of the lay judge system. Under the system, ordinary citizens participate in trying criminal cases as lay judges and, together with professional judges, decide whether the accused is guilty and the level of punishment.
 続いて3位には、「『裁判員制度』スタート」が入った。国民が刑事裁判に参加し、裁判官とともに、有罪か無罪か、さらに有罪の場合の刑の重さを決定する。

The system, which began in May, has faced problems, with many people saying they do not want to participate in a trial. It could become necessary to flexibly review the operation of the system if a problem arises.
 「参加したくない」という声もある中で始まった。課題が浮かび上がれば、柔軟に運用方法を見直していく必要があるだろう。

In another change to the legal system, prosecutors and police have begun to make audio and video recordings of the questioning of criminal suspects to ensure it can be proven at lay judge trials that confessions had not been coerced. However, many people have called for the entire questioning process to be recorded.
 検察・警察は、裁判員裁判で被告の自白が強制されたものでないことを立証するため、取り調べの一部録音・録画を始めたが、全面可視化を求める声も多い。

The public call has come because there has been an unending stream of false accusations, including the Ashikaga incident in which Toshikazu Sugaya was freed from prison, having spent 17-1/2 years behind bars, after DNA tests showed he is not guilty. Sugaya's release is the No. 10 domestic news story.
 それというのも、10位に入った「『足利事件』の菅家さん釈放 DNA鑑定に誤り」など、冤罪(えんざい)事件が絶えないからだ。

In the case, DNA retesting using the latest technology was used to overturn a result based on a less-accurate DNA test conducted during the initial investigation.
 足利事件では、最新技術を使ったDNAの再鑑定で、精度が低かった捜査段階での鑑定が否定される結果となった。

Meanwhile, it was decided earlier this month to hold a retrial regarding the so-called Fukawa incident, a robbery-murder that occurred in 1967 in Ibaraki Prefecture, for which two men were sentenced to life in prison.
今月に入り、茨城県で42年前に起きた布川事件の再審開始も決まった。

Police and prosecutors must examine problems pertaining to these cases and thoroughly conduct an appropriate investigation.
 検察・警察は、これら事件の問題点を検証するとともに、適正捜査を徹底しなければならない。

The arrest of popular actress Noriko Sakai on suspicion of possessing stimulant drugs comes in at No. 5 and was given a lot of coverage by TV shows.
 5位は「酒井法子容疑者、覚せい剤所持で逮捕」だった。人気女優の逮捕は、テレビのワイドショーなどの格好の題材となった。

Drug use in show business circles and cannabis use among youths have become matters of growing concern.
芸能界の薬物汚染、若者の大麻汚染などが懸念されている。

===

Recession blues

Meanwhile, "recession" was a word that cast a shadow over society throughout the year. The news story that ranks 16th on the list was Toyota Motor Corp.'s posting of its first operating loss in 71 years and losses incurred by major firms, including automakers and electrical appliance makers.
The No. 19 news story is the yen's surge to the 84 yen level for the first time in 14 years.
The No. 20 news story is that the unemployment rate climbed to 5.7 percent and the job-offers-to-seekers ratio hit 0.42, the worst on record.
 1年を通して「不況」の文字が社会を覆った。経済関連は「トヨタが71年ぶり営業赤字 自動車、電機など大手赤字相次ぐ」が16位、「『円』急騰、約14年ぶり1ドル=84円台」が19位、「失業率5・7%、求人倍率0・42倍 過去最悪を更新」が20位だ。

Many high school and university students who will graduate in spring have yet to find jobs.
 就職先が決まらない来春卒業予定の高校生や大学生も多い。

The phrase "employment ice age," referring to an extreme scarcity of jobs for new graduates, has resurfaced in conversations.
「就職氷河期」の再来である。

"Deflation crisis" and "bonus cuts" also are heard here and there, and there is a growing concern the economy could enter a double-dip recession.
 「デフレ危機」や「ボーナスカット」の言葉も飛び交い、「二番底」の到来が心配されている。

Some within the industrial circle have strongly criticized the government for not drawing up an effective growth strategy.
産業界などには、政府の成長戦略のなさに対する批判も強い。

 ◆感動を与え続けた野球◆
The three sports stories that make the top 10 are all related to baseball.
 上位10位までに野球関連が3本も入った。

Japan's back-to-back victory in the World Baseball Classic came in fourth and Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki becoming the first player in major league history to reach 200 hits in nine straight seasons is eighth. The Yomiuri Giants winning their 21st Japan Series title, their first in seven years, ranks ninth.
4位に「日本がWBC連覇」、8位に「イチロー選手が大リーグ史上初の9年連続200安打」、そして「巨人が7年ぶり21度目日本一」が9位だ。

The No. 14 news story is about New York Yankees Hideki Matsui becoming first Japanese-born World Series MVP.
 「ヤンキース松井選手、日本人初のWシリーズMVP」も14位に入っている。

The popularity of these stories prove that baseball truly is a sport loved by people right across this country.
野球が国民的スポーツであることの証しでもある。

At a time when people are uncertain about their future lives, there is no doubt that the superb showing of the Samurai Japan team at the WBC moved people across the nation and infused them with a can-do spirit.
 暮らしの先が見えない時代にあって、WBCの「侍ジャパン」の活躍などから勇気や感動をもらった人も多かったことだろう。

Most at stake now are the issues facing new administration.
 問題は新政権である。

The task that the Hatoyama administration should focus on next year is to revive the vitality of both this nation and its people by taking aim at the clouds over the hill, just as occurs in the Ryotaro Shiba's historical novel "Saka no Ue no Kumo" (Clouds Over the Hill), a book that has found a new and growing audience today.
再ブームとなっている司馬遼太郎の「坂の上の雲」ではないが、この国と国民に、坂の上の雲を目指すような活力を蘇(よみがえ)らせることこそ、来年の課題ではないか。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 27, 2009)
(2009年12月27日00時53分  読売新聞)

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2009年12月26日 (土)

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宇宙長期滞在―日本の飛躍につなげたい

--The Asahi Shimbun, Dec. 24(IHT/Asahi: December 26,2009)
EDITORIAL: Prolonged stay in space.
宇宙長期滞在―日本の飛躍につなげたい

Astronaut Soichi Noguchi arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the Russian Soyuz spaceship on Wednesday (Japan time) for a five-month mission to carry out research activities.
 野口聡一さんが、ロシアの宇宙船「ソユーズ」で国際宇宙ステーション(ISS)に到着した。そこで5カ月間の活動を始める。

Noguchi is the second Japanese to spend a prolonged period in space, following Koichi Wakata, who stayed four and a half months at the space station. His mission ended in July.
 日本人が宇宙に長期間滞在するのは、7月まで約4カ月半滞在した若田光一さんに続いて2人目だ。

Separate half-year stays aboard the ISS for two other Japanese astronauts, Satoshi Furukawa and Akihiko Hoshide, are scheduled for 2011 and 2012, respectively. A new era has dawned, one in which it is not rare to gaze up at the sky with the knowledge that a compatriot is residing in space.
 2011年に古川聡さん、12年には星出彰彦さんと、それぞれ半年間の滞在が決まっている。見上げた宇宙に日本人がいることが決して珍しくなくなったということだ。

We need to ponder the implications of this and decide how to take advantage of these new opportunities for the future of this nation.
 考えてみたいのは、そうした時代になったことの意味は何か、それを日本の将来にどう生かすのか、だ。

Space is an arena for tackling scientific and technological challenges. Space projects should not be evaluated only from the viewpoint of short-term benefits. Despite severe fiscal restraints, Japan spends some 40 billion yen annually on the space station. It is vital to make the utmost efforts to get the most out of this massive investment.
 宇宙は、科学と技術の挑戦の場であり、短期的な成果だけで判断するのはふさわしくない。しかし、ISS計画には財政難の中で毎年400億円の巨費を投じていくのだから、投資を生かし切る努力が欠かせない。

Rather than stay in a rut, we should take a fresh a broader look at the nation's space program and reconsider its objectives more flexibly.
 単にこれまでの延長ではなく、宇宙での活動を幅広い視野で見直す柔らかい発想を持ちたい。

Japan is the only Asian country that has a laboratory on the ISS. We could use some new brilliant ideas for making strategic use of this advantageous position.
 ISSに実験室を持つのはアジアでは日本だけだ。それを考えれば、ISSという場を戦略的に活用する、斬新なアイデアがほしいところだ。

One potentially good idea would be offering other Asian nations opportunities to use the Japanese lab. Some of the experiment slots at the lab, for instance, could be set aside for research projects to be selected from applications from the rest of Asia. Or young Asians could be recruited to join as astronauts. This would be a good way for Japan to capitalize on brilliant talents in other parts of Asia while contributing to the development of the rest of Asia. It would offer great benefits for both sides.
 たとえば、アジアの人たちに使ってもらってはどうだろう。ISSでの実験にアジア枠を設けて広く公募してもいいし、アジアの若者に宇宙飛行士として参加してもらうことも考えていい。アジアの優秀な頭脳を生かし、アジアに対する日本の貢献策にもなる。双方にメリットが大きいはずだ。

Noguchi's flight to the ISS on the Soyuz spaceship has cast a fresh light on Russia's old but stable space technologies.
 一方、今回の野口さんの飛行では、古いが安定したロシアの宇宙技術が改めて注目を集めた。

The U.S. space shuttle system, designed for repeated space flights, is scheduled to be retired from service in 2010. The first shuttle was launched 30 years ago. Each space shuttle launch costs around 90 billion yen. The program has been beset by two fatal disasters.
 何度でも使える宇宙船をめざした米国のスペースシャトルは初飛行から30年目の来年、引退する。1回の打ち上げ費用は約900億円と高価で、事故も2回あった。

In contrast, the Soyuz, whose basic design has remained unchanged for more than a half century, can be launched for several billion yen. No serious accident has occurred for nearly four decades.
 これに対して、ソユーズは半世紀以上、基本的な設計が変わっていない。打ち上げ費用は1回数十億円と安いうえ、40年近く無事故だ。

Japan should expand its cooperation with Russia, which has many unique ideas about space technology, and Europe, a partner in the ISS program, in a way that allows both sides to benefit from what the partner can offer.
 今後は、こうした独特の技術思想を持つロシア、あるいはISSのパートナーでもある欧州と、互いの持ち味を生かせるような協力をもっと深めたい。

Japan, too, has some space technologies that have received international acclaim, such as its highly refined Kibo experiment module for the space station and the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV), an unmanned cargo supply spacecraft which successfully completed its first flight to the ISS in September. Japan should make good use of these technologies.
日本には、ISSの実験棟「きぼう」の完成度の高さや、9月に初飛行に成功した無人輸送機HTVなどで国際的に評価された高い技術力がある。それをうまく生かしたい。

The future of manned space missions after the end of the ISS program depends to a large extent on the space policy of the U.S. administration of President Barack Obama. But it is clear that international cooperation is important for Japan's space program.
 ISS後の有人活動については、オバマ米政権の方針次第だが、日本にとっては、こうした国際協力が重要なことだけは間違いない。

The government is now considering a plan for moon exploration using robots. Japan needs a grand strategy for space development that promotes domestic technology for the future growth of the nation.
 日本では現在、ロボットによる月探査計画の検討が進められている。国産の技術を伸ばし、日本の飛躍にもつながる、そんな大きな宇宙開発の戦略を描きたい。

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北朝鮮の武器―監視の国際連携を強めよ

--The Asahi Shimbun, Dec. 24(IHT/Asahi: December 26,2009)
EDITORIAL: North Korea's weapons.
北朝鮮の武器―監視の国際連携を強めよ

Part of international weapons trafficking originating from North Korea has come to light.
 北朝鮮を源とする国際的な武器取引の深い闇の一端が明るみに出た。

In mid-December, a cargo plane taking off from Pyongyang landed in Bangkok for refueling. When Thai authorities checked the cargo declared as "oil-drilling equipment," they found a large quantity of North Korean-made weapons. They included 35 tons of anti-tank rocket launchers and surface-to-air missiles worth more than 1 billion yen.
 今月中旬、平壌を飛び立った貨物機が給油のためバンコクの空港に降りた。「石油掘削機器」と申告された積み荷をタイ当局が調べると、北朝鮮製の兵器が大量に見つかった。対戦車ロケット砲、地対空ミサイルなどで、35トン、十数億円相当になるという。

The ownership of the cargo plane has frequently changed and it now belongs to a Georgian company. It was also revealed that the plane had traveled to and from North Korea several times in the past. The crew were Belarusians and Kazakhs.
 貨物機の所有元はたびたび変わり、現在はグルジア企業の所属だ。これまでに何回か北朝鮮との間を行き来していたこともわかった。乗員はベラルーシ人とカザフスタン人だった。

Although the destination of the plane was unclear, it planned to unload the cargo in Iran after stopping in Sri Lanka and Ukraine, according to flight plan information obtained by U.S. and European nongovernmental organizations that monitor weapon transfers.
 運び先ははっきりしないが、武器の移転を追跡している米欧のNGOは入手した飛行計画の情報から、スリランカやウクライナなどを経てイランで荷を下ろす予定だったとしている。

The incident revealed the proliferation of weapons from North Korea and the presence of a weapons trafficking network involving arms traders of the former Soviet Union.
 この事件で見えてくるのは、北朝鮮からの武器の拡散、そして旧ソ連の武器商人らがかかわる密売ネットワークの存在である。

In response to the second nuclear test that Pyongyang conducted in May in defiance of international criticism, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution to strengthen sanctions against North Korea. As a result, all weapons exports from North Korea were banned.
 北朝鮮が今年5月に強行した2回目の核実験を受け、国連の安全保障理事会は制裁を強める決議を全会一致で採択した。これにより、北朝鮮はすべての武器輸出を禁じられた。

The incident this time clearly violates the resolution. Furthermore, it occurred around the time U.S. special envoy Stephen Bosworth visited Pyongyang to encourage North Korea to return to the six-party talks over its nuclear program. Pyongyang's behavior derides international society.
 今回の事件はこの決議に完全に違反する。しかも、ボズワース米政府特別代表が核問題をめぐる協議の仕切り直しのため平壌を訪れた前後の出来事である。国際社会を愚弄(ぐろう)する行動だ。

Seoul believes weapons exported by North Korea have spread over the Middle East, Asia and Africa. At one time, it is said that exports amounted to $500 million a year. While exports appear to have declined in recent years, there is no doubt they continue to provide a precious source of foreign exchange.
 北朝鮮の武器輸出は中東やアジア、アフリカに広がっていると韓国政府はみている。一時期は年間5億ドルを輸出したという。近年は減ったようだが、それでも貴重な外貨獲得源であり続けているに違いあるまい。

Actually, this summer, a North Korean cargo ship suspected of carrying supplies related to weapons of mass destruction was chased by a U.S. vessel off China. In the United Arab Emirates, a third-country vessel carrying North Korean weapons believed to be heading for Iran was apprehended.
 現にこの夏、大量破壊兵器の関連物資を積んだと疑われる北朝鮮の貨物船が中国の沖合で米艦に追跡されたり、アラブ首長国連邦ではイラン向けとされる北朝鮮の武器を積載した第三国船が拿捕(だほ)されたりもした。

Since the actual situation of weapons trafficking is difficult to see, the Thai government should work at bringing the matter to light.
 武器売買の実態はなかなか表には出てこないだけに、タイ政府には真相の究明に努めてもらいたい。

The provision of information by the U.S. government is said to have proved effective in exposing the case. It shows the need and significance of multilateral cooperation.
 摘発には米政府の情報提供が功を奏したという。それだけ各国の連携の必要性と大切さを示すものだ。

It is important to further strengthen international cooperation and enhance the effectiveness of Security Council resolutions. Ground, maritime and air surveillance must be firmly established.
 国際的な協力態勢をさらに強めて、安保理決議の実効性を高めることは重要なことだ。陸海空の監視を着実にしていかなければならない。

The U.N. resolution requires member states to inspect ship cargo in open waters when necessary. The Cabinet of Yukio Hatoyama submitted a bill for cargo inspection based on the resolution to the last extraordinary Diet session, but it remains under continuous deliberation. It should be passed into law in the ordinary Diet session to convene early next year.
 決議は、必要な場合に公海上で船舶の貨物を検査することを加盟国に求めている。鳩山内閣は先の臨時国会に、決議に基づく貨物検査法案を提出したが、継続審査となっている。年明けの通常国会で成立させたい。

There were cases in which Japanese and other companies were found to have sold machinery to North Korea that can be used for weapons development. Along with keeping an eye on weapon transfers, it is also important to keep weapons development under strict surveillance.
 北朝鮮が日本などの企業から兵器開発に転用できる機械を調達し、企業が摘発された例もある。武器移転の監視と一体に、武器の開発面にもしっかり目を向けることが大事だろう。

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鳩山首相団体偽装献金:元秘書ら2人起訴 「知らない」ことの罪=社会部長・小泉敬太

(Mainichi Japan) December 25, 2009
Hatoyama funding scandal shows just how out-of-touch the PM really is
鳩山首相団体偽装献金:元秘書ら2人起訴 「知らない」ことの罪=社会部長・小泉敬太

Yukio Hatoyama revealed his concerns to the Mainichi in September 1994, when his family's taxable inheritance was made public following the death of his father: "If we don't consider lowering the tax rate, people are no longer going to be able to live in Tokyo, where land prices are high."
 「税率を下げることを考えないと、地価の高い東京には人が住めなくなる」
 鳩山由紀夫首相は94年9月、父の威一郎元外相の課税遺産額が公示されたのを受け、毎日新聞にそう語っていた。

Former Foreign Minister Iichiro Hatoyama had left a fortune of 15.2 billion yen, for which his family paid some 5 billion yen in inheritance taxes. Yukio Hatoyama himself paid over 1.6 billion yen in tax on the sale of stocks bequeathed to him.
遺産は152億円に上り、遺族が納めた相続税は計約50億円。このうち首相は相続した株の売却などで16億円余りを納税した。

The future prime minister's worry was one that would only have occurred to a wealthy grandson of the founder of Bridgestone Corp, a major tire manufacturer. Far removed from the general public's concept of money, his remark sounded selfish.
ブリヂストン創業者を祖父に持つ大富豪の御曹司ならではの悩み。それは世間の感覚とかけ離れ、身勝手な主張に映る。

The recent fake donation scandal involving the prime minister's state-paid secretary is unique to independently wealthy politicians. Many past cases of Political Funds Control Law violations involved politicians falsifying records to hide donations from private corporations, a typical example of which was the scandal involving Nishimatsu Construction Co. and an aide to Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Secretary-General Ichiro Ozawa.
 元公設第1秘書による偽装献金事件は、富豪政治家であるがゆえに起きた特異ケースといえる。過去に政治資金規正法違反で摘発された多くが、政治家側が企業からの献金を隠すために政治資金収支報告書に虚偽記載したケース。その典型が民主党の小沢一郎幹事長側への西松建設の献金事件だった。

Hatoyama's secretary, however, altered records to make it seem as though funds provided by family members were actually from individual donors, in an effort to give the appearance that there was widespread support for Hatoyama. Some argue that in contrast to corporate donation scandals, his case is not such a major issue because it was not driven by self-interest. However, the fact remains that the actions of his secretary betrayed the principle underlying the Political Funds Control Law -- to increase transparency in the flow of funds towards the aim of preventing political corruption -- and deceived the public.
 これに対し、鳩山首相の元秘書は身内からの金を支持者らからの個人献金と偽装し、国民から多くの支持を集めているよう見せかけていたという。企業献金と違い利権に絡まずさほど問題ではないとの擁護論も聞かれる。しかし、資金の流れを公開して透明化を図り政治腐敗防止につなげようという規正法の理念に真っ向から背き、国民を欺いた点で罪深さに変わりはない。

It was only with media reports that deceased people had been falsely listed in Hatoyama's political fund reports as funding donors, and subsequent accusations from a citizens' organization, that the murky flow of vast amounts of funds surrounding the prime minister came to light. If it hadn't been for these acts of whistleblowing, records would have continued to be falsified and the provision of funds from the prime minister's mother would never have ceased. This should not be overlooked.
 鳩山首相側に故人からの献金が記載されているとの報道とそれに続く市民団体の告発を契機に、首相周辺の不透明な巨額資金の流れがあぶり出された。報道と告発がなければ偽装は今なお続き、実母からの資金提供も途絶えることはなかったはずだ。その点も見過ごすことはできない。

Above all, Hatoyama's delayed handling of the issue and his vague explanations have exacerbated the public's distrust towards politics. The prime minister himself has been spared any legal sanctions because no evidence indicating his involvement in the fake reports have been found, and has repeatedly claimed that he "knew nothing." But ignorance of an annual allowance 180 million yen from his mother seems rather far-fetched. And if, indeed, it is true that he was not aware of the funds, then that in itself, is a much bigger problem: Can someone so out of touch with the public's reality understand their hardships? Can we leave that person responsible for the collection of taxes and determining how that money will be spent?
 そして何よりも、首相の一連の対応の鈍さと、あいまいな説明を繰り返してきた姿勢が政治不信を増幅させた。自身は関与が認められず不問とされ、「何も知らなかった」と強調したが、実母から毎年1億8000万円もの資金が流れ込みながら、一切知らなかったとはにわかに信じ難い。が、本当に知らなかったとすれば、事はさらに深刻ではないか。世間と乖離(かいり)した人に国民の生活の痛みが理解できるのか、税の徴収と使い道のあり方を委ねていいのかという疑問が膨らむ。

The investigation into the relationship between politics and money is expected to continue, with Lower House legislator and former secretary to Ozawa Tomohiro Ishikawa, among others, slated to undergo questioning. Barring swift fundamental revisions to the Political Funds Control Law that would hold politicians accountable for their secretaries' legal transgressions as in the Public Offices Election Law, confidence in politics will no doubt continue to plummet. (By Keita Koizumi, City News Editor)
 小沢幹事長の秘書だった石川知裕衆院議員(民主)らの聴取も予定され「政治とカネ」をめぐる捜査はなお続く見込みだ。秘書が有罪になれば政治家も公民権停止になる公選法の「連座制」を規正法にも導入するなど抜本改正に早急に乗り出さなければ、不信は極まるばかりだ。

毎日新聞 2009年12月25日 東京朝刊

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よいお年をおむかえください

クリスマスが終わって一息、明日の日曜日は娘の学芸会です。
娘は幼稚園の年長さんで来年は小学校に進学します。
幼稚園生活の最後をかざるためにタイ式舞踊を4曲も踊ります。
きっとまたカメラのシャッターを切る父親の瞼を涙でぬらすことでしょう。

NHKの語学番組、充実していますね。
特にラジオ番組はストリーミング放送が主体なので好きなときに好きなだけ学習できますね。
英語だけでこれほどのプログラムのラインアップ、その充実ぶりに驚かされました。

http://www.nhk.or.jp/gogaku/english/index.html

大学のとき必修科目であったドイツ語、学習開始後数ヶ月で挫折したスペイン語、コーリアンバーで覚えたハングルなど、ここタイに住んでいても好きなだけ学習できますね。

英字新聞をご愛読いただきましてありがとうございます。
良いお年をお迎えください。

srachai from khonkaen, thailand

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来年度予算 公約優先では財政がもたない

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 26, 2009)
DPJ must find funds for its election pledges
来年度予算 公約優先では財政がもたない(12月26日付・読売社説)

The shift in power brought about by the last general election has caused a sea change in the process of putting together a government budget. However, the budget for the next fiscal year devised by the Democratic Party of Japan-led administration indicates that the government is unchanged in relying on the issuance of government bonds and nontax revenue for resources to underwrite its budget.
In fact, the next budget shows the government has become even more dependent on borrowing as a means of securing budgetary resources.
 政権交代で予算編成の過程は様変わりした。だが、出来上がった来年度予算案は、国債と税外収入に頼る構図が相変わらずで、借金体質は例年に増して強まった。

 ◆税収はわずか37兆円◆
On Friday, the Cabinet of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama finalized the budget for fiscal 2010. Its general account expenditures total 92.3 trillion yen, an all-time high for an initial fiscal budget.
 政府は25日、2010年度予算案を閣議決定した。一般会計の歳出総額は92・3兆円と、当初予算では過去最大である。

The budget entails 53.5 trillion yen in spending for specific government policies, greater than the amount of expenditures in this category under the fiscal 2009 budget. Debt-servicing costs--expenditures needed to redeem government bonds and pay interest on such bonds--total 20.6 trillion yen, and local tax grants for discretionary purposes 17.5 trillion yen.
 具体的な政策の実行にあてる一般歳出は53・5兆円に膨らんだ。国債の利払いや償還に使う国債費は20・6兆円で、地方交付税は17・5兆円だった。

===

Only 37.4 tril. yen from taxes

Meanwhile, the next fiscal budget has set annual government revenue from taxes at 37.4 trillion yen, which nearly compares with that to be expected under the fiscal 2009 budget in the wake of a second supplementary budget. Tax revenue has fallen to about the same level as was registered 26 years ago.
 一方の歳入は、税収が37・4兆円と、第2次補正後の09年度予算とほぼ同じであり、26年も前の水準まで落ち込む。

The government hopes to make up for a projected revenue shortfall using nontax revenue totaling 10.6 trillion yen--known as "buried treasure"--and government bond-generated revenue worth 44.3 trillion yen. The money includes funds deposited in the special account for government loan and investment programs, as well as surplus funds from the foreign exchange special account.
 財政投融資特別会計の積立金や外国為替特会の剰余金など、いわゆる埋蔵金をかき集めた10・6兆円の税外収入と、44・3兆円の国債発行で不足分を補う。

Government bond issuance accounts for 48 percent of total revenue under the fiscal 2010 budget, meaning almost half of revenue is expected to come from debts.
 歳入全体に占める国債への依存度は48%と、ほぼ半分を借金で賄う計算だ。

The current economic situation is so precarious it must be rectified by an underpinning fiscal stimulus. Given this, issuing new government bonds will be unavoidable. It is easy to see, however, that the government's chronic reliance on debt cannot be left unaddressed any longer if one stops to look at the government's fiscal crisis from a medium- and long-term standpoint.
 景気は財政出動で下支えしなければ危うい状況である。このため、国債の増発はある程度やむを得ないが、中長期的には、借金依存の財政を放置出来ないのも明らかである。

 ◆政権公約墨守で迷走◆
The greatest factor behind the difficulties in devising the next budget was the Hatoyama Cabinet's obsessive adherence to its goal of carrying out policies spelled out in the DPJ's election manifesto. The confusion embroiling the government in this respect started immediately after the new Cabinet was launched. The Hatoyama administration scrapped the guidelines for budgetary appropriation requests set by its predecessor, the coalition government of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito, and also ordered each government ministry and agency to submit new budgetary demands.
 今回の予算編成を難航させた最大の原因は、政権公約(マニフェスト)に掲げた政策の実現に鳩山内閣がこだわったことである。
 内閣が発足するや、自公政権が決めた概算要求基準(シーリング)を廃止し、各府省に概算要求を出し直させたことが、迷走の始まりだった。

===

2 miscalculations

Total budget requests came to 95 trillion yen, up 6.5 trillion yen from the 2009 initial budget. This increase was the result of the inclusion of policies contained in the DPJ manifesto, such as child-rearing allowances, making public high school eduction virtually free and a plan to eliminate some expressway tolls.
 概算要求の総額は95兆円と、09年度当初予算を6・5兆円も上回った。子ども手当、高校授業料の実質無償化や高速道路料金の一部無料化など、政権公約の関連項目が並んだためだ。

In the course of discussing how to fund these pledges in the budget, the Hatoyama administration noticed it had made two glaring miscalculations: a major drop in tax revenue, and its pruning of budget requests fell well short of expectations.
 これらの取り扱いについて議論するうち、鳩山内閣は二つの“誤算”に見舞われた。

The economic downturn has caused tax revenue for fiscal 2009 to plunge more than 9 trillion yen below initial forecasts, with the fall in corporate tax especially severe. Tax revenue is also expected to stay flat for fiscal 2010.
 一つは税収の大幅な落ち込みである。景気の低迷で、09年度は法人税を中心に、予想より9兆円以上減少することがわかった。10年度も税収の回復は期待できず、前年度並みの水準を見込まざるを得なくなった。

The DPJ assumed it could secure additional revenue by cutting wasteful programs. However, its attempts to eliminate budget fat finished with disappointing results.
 二つめは、予算の無駄減らしによる財源の確保が、期待はずれに終わったことである。

The DPJ had insisted 10 trillion yen to 20 trillion yen could be freed up by reviewing both the general and special accounts. In its manifesto, the party stipulated it would wring out nearly 17 trillion yen annually four years after taking power.
 民主党は、一般会計と特別会計を見直せば、10兆円や20兆円の財源を確保するのは容易だと主張してきた。政権公約には、政権奪取から4年後に、年間17兆円近い財源を捻出(ねんしゅつ)すると明記した。

The budget screening to cut wasteful spending started with great fanfare. However, the screening panel could not find wasteful programs to the extent that the DPJ first assumed. The administration initially set a target of 3 trillion yen in cuts, but could only come up with about 1 trillion yen.
 ところが、鳴り物入りで始めた事業仕分けでは、無駄の洗い出しが進まなかった。当初は3兆円の削減を目指したが、実際には1兆円程度にとどまった。

Despite this, the Hatoyama administration insists revenue sources are still waiting to be uncovered. The administration bears a heavy responsibility for these actions.
 民主党が想定したほどには、無駄がなかったということである。それなのに、財源はあると言い続けた鳩山政権の責任は重いと言わざるを得ない。

Despite this chronic revenue shortage, Hatoyama refused to budge from his plans to implement policies spelled out in the DPJ manifesto. This greatly delayed the compilation of fiscal 2010 tax reform plans.
 鳩山首相は、深刻な財源不足に直面してもなお、政権公約の実行にこだわり、税制改正大綱のとりまとめは大幅に遅れた。

Hatoyama eventually accepted DPJ requests submitted by Ichiro Ozawa, the party's secretary general, and modified several manifesto pledges, such as virtually retracting a proposal to abolish the provisionally higher gasoline tax. In the end, the budget was compiled within this year, although it was anything but smooth sailing.
 結局、小沢幹事長が出した民主党の要請を受け入れ、暫定税率廃止の撤回など政権公約の一部を修正した。この結果、予算案の年内編成になんとかこぎ着けた。

Worryingly, huge sums have been allocated to policies apparently designed to impress voters ahead of next year's House of Councillors election, such as an income compensation plan for individual farmers.
 だが、農家への戸別所得補償など、来年の参院選を意識したと思われる党主導の政策に多額の予算をつけたのは問題だった。

Also disconcerting is the slashing of public works-related budgets by 1.3 trillion yen to 5.8 trillion yen, an 18 percent reduction from the initial budget for this fiscal year.
 景気低迷が続く中、公共事業関係費を前年度比18%、1・3兆円も削り、5・8兆円に縮減したことも懸念材料である。

===

Fiscal rehabilitation urgent

 ◆財政再建は待ったなし◆
We are concerned by figures in the approved draft budget for fiscal 2010. The long-term debt of the central and local governments is forecast to reach about 862 trillion yen by the end of the next fiscal year, a figure about 1.8 times larger than the nation's gross domestic product. Japan's figure is easily the highest among the United States and major European nations.
 10年度予算案の決定で、新たな数字が浮かび上がった。国と地方の長期債務が10年度末で862兆円程度と、国内総生産(GDP)の1・8倍にも及ぶ見通しになったことだ。欧米の主要国に比べると、日本が突出して高い。

There is more than 1,400 trillion yen in household financial assets in Japan. Some observers say that the long-term debt is not so problematic because government bonds could be sold to domestic buyers who own these assets.
 日本には1400兆円を超す個人金融資産があり、「国内だけで国債などの消化が可能だから大丈夫」という見方がある。

But if housing loans and some other debts are excluded, only about 1,000 trillion yen remains. Given the fact that the gap between long-term debt and household assets has been narrowing year by year, the government must seriously consider how to secure stable tax revenues.
 だが、住宅ローンなどの借金を除けば、残りは1000兆円余りだ。長期債務との差が年々縮小している現実を見れば、やはり国として安定した税収の確保を考えねばなるまい。

The Hatoyama Cabinet intends not to raise the consumption tax rate--the most promising revenue source--until the next House of Representatives election a few years from now. But it is clear that a budget cannot be compiled given the current revenue shortage.
 鳩山内閣は、最有力の財源である消費税について、次の衆院選まで税率引き上げを封印した。しかし、こうした状態では、財源不足でまともな予算が組めないことがよくわかったはずだ。

Even if raising the consumption tax is considered a change in policy, the public likely will go along with it provided the administration earnestly explains that the rate hike is necessary for securing revenue for social security measures.
 仮に消費税で方針転換しても、社会保障の財源として必要なことなどを丁寧に説明すれば、国民は理解を示すのではないか。

The Hatoyama Cabinet should start preparations so discussions for raising the consumption tax rate can start after the upper house election next summer, and so the measure could be implemented as soon as the economy gets on a solid recovery track.
 来年夏の参院選後には消費税率引き上げの議論を始め、景気が回復すれば直ちに実施できるよう、鳩山内閣は準備に入るべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 26, 2009)
(2009年12月26日01時18分  読売新聞)

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2009年12月25日 (金)

鳩山政権の通信簿:マニフェスト検証 ひ弱な「革命政権」=政治部長・小菅洋人

(Mainichi Japan) December 24, 2009
DPJ can't bring itself to finish what it started
鳩山政権の通信簿:マニフェスト検証 ひ弱な「革命政権」=政治部長・小菅洋人

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has lost the public's confidence with the imbroglio surrounding the relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa Prefecture, calling into question his qualifications as leader. Moreover, the confusion has even sparked rumors that he may step down before the House of Councillors race next summer.
 鳩山由紀夫首相は米軍普天間飛行場移設をめぐる迷走から信頼感を失い、公然とリーダーの資質と参院選前の交代の可能性が語られ始めている--。

これが誕生100日にしての、日本を変えると銘打った「革命政権」の姿だ。

Ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Secretary-General Ichiro Ozawa recently visited the Prime Minister's Office to intervene in the government's compilation of the fiscal 2010 budget draft. As a result, the Hatoyama administration was forced to abandon its key principle of leaving policy-making entirely to the discretion of the Cabinet. This has also given the public the impression that the government's ultimate power resides with Ozawa instead of Hatoyama, likely dealing a serious blow to the prime minister's management of the government.
 本予算編成という正念場で、小沢一郎幹事長に官邸に乗り込まれ、政策決定の内閣一元化という政権の大原則を放棄せざるを得なくなった。最高権力は首相ではなく小沢氏にあるという見られ方は、「役割分担だ」というお気楽なものではなく、今後の政権運営にとって大きなマイナスである。

An administration can gain solid support from the public, which gives momentum to its implementation of policy measures, only if its leader has firm belief: a lesson taught by the 5-year and 5-month-long administration of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.
 政策の推進力となる世論の追い風は、ゆるぎのない信念を持つリーダーの存在から生まれる。それは5年5カ月に及ぶ小泉政権が残した教訓だ。

But it goes without saying that there have been positive changes in Japanese politics under the Hatoyama administration.  もちろん日本政治が後退したわけではない。

The new administration has shifted the emphasis of its use of taxpayers money from the construction of buildings, dams and roads to human resources, identified wasteful government projects and is thoroughly investigating the Japan-U.S. secret pacts on the Okinawa reversion and the introduction of nuclear weapons into Japan's territory.
Behind these moves is its determination not to implement any measure it cannot explain to the public, a principle of government transparency.
新政権が打ち出した「コンクリートから人へ」「事業仕分け」「日米密約の検証」に通底するのは、常に国民にさらされるという公開原則の下で、説明できないことはやらないという政治意識の変革である。

This is a major change in political awareness, and was unachievable under the previous Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)-led government, which was notorious for colluding with bureaucrats and businessmen.
政官業の癒着政治にむしばまれた自民党政権ではできなかったことだ。

Nonetheless, the Hatoyama administration came to an impasse in trying to advance its own political agenda, after destroying the LDP-led administration's legacy.
 ところが新政権は自民党政治の破壊から創造に向かうところでつまずいた。

Hatoyama does not appear to have a clear vision in trying to redefine the Japan-U.S. alliance.
例えば、新しい日米関係に向かって首相が大戦略を持ち、用意周到にことを進めているとは到底思えないのだ。

Now is the time for the prime minister to revive his administration.
 政権を立て直すべきところに来ている。

Hatoyama should hold a news conference at an early date to explain the failure to abolish the provisional tax rate added to the gasoline tax, as he had pledged, and the postponement of a decision on the Futenma relocation -- answering those who have labeled him as inscrutable.
 まず、母親からも多額の資金提供がなされた偽装献金問題、暫定税率撤廃が実現できなかったマニフェスト破り、普天間飛行場移設問題の3点について早急に記者会見を開き、国民に説明しなければならない。首相は、「何を考えているか分からない」という批判に正面から答えるべきだ。

Moreover, it is necessary to restructure the organization that supports the prime minister in the executive branch of the government.
 さらに首相を支える体制の再構築である。

The administration's confusion over its policies has been caused by the National Policy Unit's failure to work out the basic principles of compiling a state budget.
予算編成の原則を立てるべき国家戦略室が機能せず、迷走の要因となっている。

When the DPJ was an opposition party, it was pointed out that legislators freely expressed their opinions but failed to make a decision on policy issues. The situation has remained unchanged even after it took over the reins of government, as shown by the fact that Cabinet ministers express conflicting views on various policy issues.
さまざまなテーマで閣僚の意見が食い違うなど、野党時代に指摘された言いたいことを言って物事が決まらない「サークル政治」が、そのまま政権に持ち込まれた。

The LDP, which had been in power for decades until it suffered a crushing defeat in the Aug. 30 general election, is now unable to take over the government.
 今の自民党は政権の受け皿にはなりえない。

Under the circumstances, one cannot help but wonder the DPJ optimistically believes that it can stay in power even if the prime minister changes.
それゆえ民主党内には首相が代わっても民主党政権は存続するという安易な楽観論はないか。

Hatoyama's three consecutive predecessors stepped down after serving for only one year. If the same thing happens to a DPJ-led government, the public will be thoroughly disillusioned by politics.
「1年首相」が3代続いた前政権下のような事態がおきれば、政治不信は極まる。

The prime minister should be fully aware of the situation he is in and start over to revive his administration. (By Hiroto Kosuge, Political News Editor)
首相は、置かれている立場を自覚し再スタートをはかるべきだ。

毎日新聞 2009年12月24日 東京朝刊

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NHKラジオ英会話

うれしかったですねー。
数日前NHKラジオ英会話のインターネットストリーム放送公式HPを発見しました。

http://www.nhk.or.jp/gogaku/english/kaiwa/index.html

15分の放送時間は昔とまったく変わりません。
ただちょっとさびしかったのは番組が日本語中心で進められていることです。

松本亨先生、東後勝明先生と連続して20年ほど拝聴しておりました。
当時番組はすべて英語で構成されており緊張感をもって毎日15分を過ごせました。
お二方の流暢で美しい英語は未だに脳裏に焼き付いております。

日本語で番組を進めると大変にわかりやすい。
反面完全に理解できるので緊張感、危機感に欠けてしまいます。
できれば昔のようにラジオ英語会話はすべて英語で番組を構成して欲しかった。

もうじき高校の英語教育は原則として英語のみで授業を進めるようになると聞いております。
ラジオ英語会話もすべて英語で番組が進められるほうが時代の流れに沿っているのではと思いました。

ただこれと正反対の考え方もございます。
昨年の暮れまで私はタイ人学生に日本語を教えておりました。
私が採用された理由はタイ語で日本語の授業ができるからです。
日本語教育の資格はもっていませんが、タイ人学生には好評でした。

http://srachai.ninja-x.jp/

語学会社が倒産して私は失職してしまいましたが、
もしも日本語教育を担当させられていたら、
私はあいかわらずタイ語で日本語の授業を行っていたことでしょう。

srachai from khonkaen, thailand

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元秘書2人起訴 鳩山首相の政治責任は重大だ

Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 25, 2009)
Scandal responsibility lies with Hatoyama
元秘書2人起訴 鳩山首相の政治責任は重大だ(12月25日付・読売社説)

Prosecutors have decided not to indict Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama over falsified reports on his political funds. However, the prime minister bears a heavy political responsibility for, in effect, allowing his former secretary to continue illegal accounting practices for years. The prime minister also deceived the public as he did his best to avoid telling the truth on the murky matter.
 元秘書の不正行為を放置したうえ、国民に真実を語ろうとしなかった。鳩山首相は不起訴だったとはいえ、政治的責任は極めて重大である。

Prosecutors on Thursday indicted Hatoyama's former state-funded first secretary without arrest for alleged violations of the Political Funds Control Law. The secretary, who was in charge of the administrative affairs of Hatoyama's political fund management organization, allegedly falsified official fund reports of Hatoyama's political fund organizations. The prosecutors also filed a summary indictment against another state-paid former secretary for policy affairs to Hatoyama, who served as the accountant for the fund organization, ordering him to pay a fine.
 首相の資金管理団体などの収支報告書に虚偽を記載したとして、実務担当者だった元公設第1秘書が、政治資金規正法違反で在宅起訴された。会計責任者だった元政策秘書も略式起訴され、罰金の略式命令を受けた。

The prosecutors concluded the former first secretary disguised funds extended by Hatoyama and his mother as income from individuals' donations and sales of tickets for fund-raising parties. The former policy affairs secretary was charged with gross negligence for failing to notice the falsifications by leaving the accounting work up to the first secretary.
 元公設秘書は、首相や母親からの資金などを個人献金やパーティー収入に偽装した。元政策秘書は元公設秘書に任せ、注意を怠る重大な過失があったという。

 ◆「知らぬ」は通用しない◆
It is extremely unusual for former aides to a prime minister to be indicted while the premier is still in office. But the amount of funds falsely entered in the reports totaled about 400 million yen over five years. The scale of the deception means that laying criminal charges in this case was an easy call to make.
 現職首相の元秘書の訴追は異例だが、虚偽記入の総額は5年間で約4億円にも上っており、刑事責任が問われるのは当然だ。

===

Prime minister standing firm

Hatoyama has deflected calls to step down over the messy affair. "It's my responsibility to fulfill my mission as a politician," he said at a press conference following the indictments.
 鳩山首相は記者会見で、「政治家としての使命を果たすことが、私の責任だ」と述べ、自らの辞任を否定した。

While Hatoyama was a member of the opposition camp, however, he was quick to make comments that seem to contradict his position in this case. "The responsibility lies with a politician if his or her secretary committed a crime." "If I were the person involved, I'd take off my Diet member pin." Hatoyama took these potshots on such occasions as the arrest of a secretary to former Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Koichi Kato and that of a secretary to Muneo Suzuki, a House of Representatives lawmaker.
 だが、首相は野党時代、加藤紘一自民党元幹事長や鈴木宗男衆院議員の秘書らが逮捕された際、何度もこう明言していた。
 「秘書の犯罪は議員の責任だ」「私なら議員バッジを外す」

But now the shoe is on the other foot and Hatoyama must face up squarely to the situation he finds himself in. Where once Hatoyama was calling on others to resign, now he finds himself the target of such demands.
 この言葉が今、自身の進退に向けられていることを、厳粛に受け止める必要がある。

Hatoyama insisted at the press conference that he was "totally unaware" of the massive amount of funds originating from his mother. Even if he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, his explanation leaves us shaking our heads.
 首相は記者会見で、母親からの巨額の資金提供について「全く承知していなかった」と改めて強調した。首相がいかに裕福な家庭環境で育ったとしても、この説明は信じがたい。

Even if Hatoyama did not know about the funds dispensed from his mother up until June, when disguised donations filed in the names of dead people came to light, he later had the first secretary make a report on the matter and let a lawyer look into the case. It is inconceivable that Hatoyama did not notice the about 1.2 billion yen in funds from his mother.
 仮に「故人献金」問題が発覚した6月までは知らなかったとしても、その後、元公設秘書から事情を聞き、弁護士に調査までさせている。計12億円超の資金提供に気づかないことはあり得ない。

===

Questions unanswered

The revelations came out just as the lower house election was approaching. If Hatoyama hid the funds from his mother in an attempt to save his own neck and avoid any negative fallout that could impact on his party's election chances, this would be an act of betrayal against the public.
 当時は、衆院選が迫っていた。自らの保身と、選挙への悪影響を避けるため、母親からの資金提供を隠していたのなら、国民に対する背信行為である。

Why did the first secretary make false entries in fund reports? For what purposes were the mother's funds used? Was the provision of funds from his mother a way to dodge paying inheritance tax?
 元公設秘書はなぜ虚偽記載を行ったのか。母親の資金をどんな活動に使ったのか。資金提供は相続税対策だったのではないか。

Hatoyama has provided scant explanations to these questions. The prime minister must explain in detail about the series of fund-management irregularities. Without doing so, he will never be able to regain public trust.
 こうした多くの疑問に対して、首相の記者会見での説明は極めて不十分だった。首相は改めて機会を設け、一連の問題の全体像を自ら丁寧に説明すべきだ。それなくして国民の信頼は回復しない。

 ◆「贈与税申告」は疑問だ◆
Hatoyama had a squeaky-clean reputation when it came to political fund management. But it now is clear that the prime minister had left his funds affairs entirely in the hands of the former first secretary and overlooked false entries of a staggering amount of money. Hatoyama cannot escape supervisory responsibility for these lapses.
 鳩山首相は、政治とカネについてクリーンな政治家との印象を持たれてきた。だが、実際は政治資金の管理を元公設秘書に丸投げし、巨額の虚偽記載を見過ごしていた。監督責任は免れない。

"I did not, under any circumstances, line my own pockets," the prime minister stated. "Nor did I unlawfully profit."
 首相は「私腹を肥やしたわけではない。不正な利得も受けていない」と述べた。

===

Arguments not convincing

Some observers say Hatoyama's case is not particularly iniquitous, as the original funds were not corporate donations but rather, money provided by his mother.
今回の原資が企業献金でなく、身内からの資金提供なので悪質性は低いとの意見もある。

However, Hatoyama's arguments are far from convincing.
だが、そんなことはない。

The prime minister has acknowledged that the funds provided by his mother were "gifts," and has said he will pay gift tax on them. However, if the scandal had not come to light, Hatoyama would have evaded more than 600 million yen in gift tax.
 首相は、母親からの資金提供を「贈与」と認め、贈与税を申告する意向を示した。資金提供が発覚しなかったら、6億円以上の納税を逃れていたことになる。

If such an act was allowed to occur, it would trample upon the feelings of honest taxpayers and potentially shake the tax declaration system to its core.
 こうした行為がまかり通れば、まじめに納税しようとする国民の気持ちを踏みにじり、申告納税制度の根幹が揺らぎかねない。

Political fairness, some say, cannot be guaranteed if wealthy individuals are allowed to transfer massive amounts of money to political organizations. From this point of view, the Political Funds Control Law stipulates a limit on individual donations.
 資産家が巨額の資金を自由に政治団体に繰り入れて使えるようでは、政治活動の公平性が担保されない、との指摘がある。政治資金規正法が個人献金の上限額を定めているのは、こうした観点も踏まえたものと言えよう。

In another scandal embroiling the Democratic Party of Japan, a secretary of Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa was indicted in connection with irregularities over the receipt of political funds from general contractor Nishimatsu Construction Co. At the first hearing earlier this month, prosecutors accused Ozawa's secretary of establishing collusive ties with Nishimatsu.
 民主党では、小沢幹事長の秘書も西松建設の違法献金事件で起訴され、初公判で検察側からゼネコンとの癒着を指弾された。

In spite of this, no one within the DPJ has called on Hatoyama and Ozawa to give detailed accounts of the allegations being levied. DPJ members are unable to effectively refute criticism that there are fundamental problems both within the party and with its ability to cleanse itself.
 それなのに、党内から、鳩山首相や小沢氏に詳しい説明を求める声さえ出ていないのは、現在の民主党の体質や自浄能力に問題がある、と見られても仕方がない。

Hatoyama's fund management organization submitted false reports on small donations from individuals. It abused a provision in the Political Funds Control Law that does not require such organizations to report the name of individual donors if the amount donated is less than 50,000 yen a year.
 首相の資金管理団体は小口の個人献金の大半が虚偽記載だった。政治資金規正法で、年5万円以下の献金は寄付者名を記載する必要がないことを悪用したものだ。

===

More transparency needed

Under the law, political organizations must retain receipts for any expenditure of more than 1 yen. But the law is not quite as strict with regard to revenues, and has relatively weak stipulations regarding the reception of funds.
 現行法では、政治団体の1円以上の支出については、すべて領収書を用意しなければならないが、収入面は規定が甘く、バランスを欠く。

We believe consideration should be given to the introduction of a system to enhance the transparency of political funds received by such organizations.
収入の透明性を高める制度を検討していいだろう。

 ◆捜査は尽くされたのか◆
The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office decided not to directly question Hatoyama and his mother about the funds, but rather allow them to submit a written statement to prosecutors. But did the prosecutors find out about everything they needed to know without questioning them directly?
 東京地検は首相や母親の事情聴取を見送り、上申書で済ませた。本人を聴取せず、本当に全容を解明できたのだろうか。

An ordinary citizen would certainly have to face a grilling from prosecutors if he or she was suspected of having committed a criminal act. Did prosecutors perhaps give too much consideration to the person currently standing at the helm of government?
 一般国民が検察に疑いを持たれたならば、聴取を受けずに済むことはまずない。今回、時の最高権力者への配慮はなかったか。

Lately, public participation in judicial affairs has picked up pace. For example, more powers have been granted to the Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution, in which people examine the soundness of prosecutors' decisions not to indict individuals in certain cases.
 最近は、検察の不起訴処分が妥当かどうかを国民が審査する検察審査会の権限が強化されるなど、国民の司法参加が進んでいる。

Particularly in cases that attract a great deal of public attention, prosecutors should be more willing to talk to the press and others about their decisions, rather than only revealing what they know at a trial.
 検察は、社会的な関心の高い事件については、公判の場だけでなく、記者会見などでもっと説明する必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 25, 2009)
(2009年12月25日00時59分  読売新聞)

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2009年12月24日 (木)

read, read and read

今朝の英字読売は読みやすかった。
なんども同じような内容を読んでしまっているからだろう。
それでもわからない単語の一つや二つは出てくる。

全体の意味をつかんだら、時間をおいて社説独特の専門用語と難しい単語を復習する。
例文の中で単語を記憶するようにすればかなりしっかりと暗記できるようになる。
単語は例文の中でそのニュアンスをつかみとるようにすると良い。

英文を読むときには頭を英文モードに切り替えて集中して読むことが大切。
英文を読むときのスピードも大切な要因だ。
あまりゆっくり読んでいると文章の構造が読み取れなくなってしまう。
文章の構成部分をまとめて把握しながらスピード感をもって読み進めるようにしよう。

昨夜 newyork times と washington post の社説に挑戦。
難しくてまったく歯がたたなかった。
理解できるのはいつも読んでいるオバマ大統領、医療保障法改正関連だけ。
いつになったら英文がすらすらと読めるようになるのか!

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「佐藤」核密約 東西冷戦下の苦渋の選択だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 24, 2009)
Secret accord inevitable during Cold War era
「佐藤」核密約 東西冷戦下の苦渋の選択だ(12月24日付・読売社説)

A key document that gives credence to the existence of a secret agreement between Japan and the United States over the reentry of nuclear weapons into Okinawa after its reversion to Japan has been discovered.
 沖縄返還後の核再持ち込みをめぐる日米密約の存在を裏付ける貴重な資料が発見された。

The document is an "agreed minute" signed by Prime Minister Eisaku Sato and U.S. President Richard Nixon during a summit meeting held in Washington in November 1969, prior to the 1972 return of Okinawa.
 1972年の沖縄返還に先立つ69年11月、ワシントンで開かれた日米首脳会談で、佐藤栄作首相とニクソン米大統領が極秘に署名した「合意議事録」である。

The document showed that the United States intended to remove all nuclear weapons from Okinawa by the time of its reversion. It also indicated that Washington would require the reentry of nuclear weapons into Okinawa during emergencies, such as a possible incident in the Far East.
 文書は、米国が沖縄返還時にすべての核兵器を撤去するものの、極東有事などの際には再び持ち込む権利を持つことを、日本側が認める内容となっている。

The existence of this kind of secret accord had already been suggested by Kei Wakaizumi, who served as a secret envoy for Sato. However, proof of the existence of the document has now come to light and the finding is of significant historical importance.
 密約の存在は、佐藤首相の密使を務めた若泉敬氏が明らかにしていたが、文書自体の確認は初めてで、その歴史的意義は大きい。

===

Difficult decision

During talks over the reversion of Okinawa, Japan requested "nuclear-free, mainland status" for Okinawa. The United States, on the other hand, stressed the necessity of allowing for the reentry of nuclear weapons in the case of an emergency.
 沖縄返還交渉で、日本側は「核抜き本土並み」の返還を求めたのに対し、米側は、極東の安全保障の観点から、有事の核再持ち込みの必要性を主張した。

Agreeing to the secret accord was thus a tough decision taken to ensure the reversion of Okinawa by striking a balance between the Japanese public's negative feelings about nuclear weapons, and security concerns within the Cold War structure brought about by the confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union.
 密約は、米ソ対立による東西冷戦の下、核を忌避する日本の国民感情と安全保障を両立させつつ、沖縄返還を確実にするための苦渋の選択だったと言えよう。

The Foreign Ministry has set up a panel of experts to research and examine the issue of four purported secret agreements with the United States, including the one relating to the reentry of nuclear weapons after the reversion of Okinawa. The recent discovery of the aforementioned document likely will help the panel make significant progress.
 外務省は、有識者委員会を設置し、今回の件を含む四つの密約問題を調査、検証している。合意議事録の発見は、この作業を大きく前進させるだろう。

Sato kept the document at home and we wonder whether its contents were passed on to successive prime ministers and senior ministry officials in an appropriate manner. The panel should uncover the truth through interviews with the people concerned, and via other means.
 議事録は、佐藤首相の自宅に保管されていた。その内容は、歴代首相や外務省幹部にきちんと引き継がれていたのか。有識者委員会は、関係者からの聞き取り調査などを通じて、真相を究明してもらいたい。

The government has consistently denied the existence of such agreements. But, to restore the people's trust in this nation's diplomacy, the government should acknowledge that secret accords were struck and thereby settle the controversy.
 政府は従来、一貫して密約の存在を否定してきた。だが、日本外交に対する国民の信頼を回復するには、密約の存在を認め、問題にけじめをつけるべきだ。

===

Deterrence still essential

Though the Cold War has ended, it is hard to say whether the circumstances surrounding Japan's security have improved.
 冷戦は終わったが、現在の日本の安全保障環境は必ずしも改善されたとは言い難い。

North Korea, which has twice conducted nuclear tests, reportedly possesses a huge number of ballistic missiles capable of striking Japan. Meanwhile, China has registered double-digit growth in its defense spending for 21 consecutive years. China reportedly has deployed a number of nuclear missiles targeting Japan.
 北朝鮮は核実験を2度実施し、日本を射程に収める弾道ミサイルを大量に保有する。中国の国防費は21年連続で2ケタの伸びを示した。日本に照準を合わせた核ミサイルも多数配備している。

The U.S. military's nuclear deterrence is still essential for Japan.
 日本にとって米軍の核抑止力は依然、不可欠である。

Presently, however, the Japan-U.S. alliance is being seriously shaken. The administration of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has indecisively handled the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture, resulting in a strong sense of U.S. distrust toward Japan.
 ところが、鳩山政権は、米軍普天間飛行場の移設問題をめぐる優柔不断な対応で米側の強い不信を招き、日米同盟は今、大きく揺らいでいる。

To maintain the effectiveness of the U.S. deterrence, we believe it is worth giving consideration to allowing port calls or stopovers of vessels and aircraft carrying nuclear weapons. However, such an act would have implications for the third of the nation's three nonnuclear principles of not possessing, not producing and not allowing the entry of nuclear weapons into this nation.
 核抑止力を維持するには、「持たず、作らず、持ち込ませず」の非核三原則の「持ち込ませず」のうち、核搭載艦船や航空機の寄港・立ち寄りを可能にすることも、十分検討に値するだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 24, 2009)
(2009年12月24日01時31分  読売新聞)

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2009年12月23日 (水)

NHKの海外向けラジオ放送

15分のストリーミング放送は集中して聞くのに丁度よい時間です。

http://www.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/radio/ondemand.html

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来年度税・予算 政権公約へのこだわり捨てよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 23, 2009)
Put the economy before manifesto promises
来年度税・予算 政権公約へのこだわり捨てよ(12月23日付・読売社説)

Compilation of the fiscal 2010 budget has entered the homestretch.
 2010年度予算の編成作業が、大詰めを迎えている。

The outline of tax revisions for next fiscal year was approved Tuesday at a Cabinet meeting, and the treatment of child-rearing allowances and an income compensation system for individual farmers has been decided, too.
 国民生活や企業活動に深くかかわる来年度の税制改正大綱が22日に閣議決定され、子ども手当や農家への戸別所得補償など予算の主要項目の扱いも固まった。

However, a serious tax revenue shortfall has cast a shadow over the process. Tax revenues in fiscal 2009 are estimated to be 36.9 trillion yen, over 9 trillion yen less than initially expected. Tax revenues in fiscal 2010 will remain almost the same.
 一連の作業に影を落としたのが深刻な税収不足だ。09年度の税収は、当初の見積もりより9兆円余り少ない36・9兆円となる見込みだ。10年度についても同程度の額にとどまりそうだ。

This situation has made measures to secure tax revenue the most important agenda item in discussing tax revisions. However, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama failed to make any decisions on this matter, preferring to stick to implementation of the Democratic Party of Japan's manifesto pledges made for August's House of Representatives election, which will lead to huge budgets and a drastic reduction of tax revenue.
 このため、税制改正では、いかに税収を確保していくかが重要なテーマになった。だが、鳩山首相は巨額の予算計上や、大幅な税収減につながる政権公約(マニフェスト)の実現にこだわって決断できなかった。

Hatoyama, having gone back and forth, finally decided the outline by accepting the requests of the DPJ submitted by its Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa.
 最後は、小沢幹事長から出された民主党の要望を受け入れる形で大枠を決める迷走ぶりだった。

The prime minister followed the same process in the budget compilation.
 予算編成でも、同じような過程をたどっている。

The government's budget plan for fiscal 2010 is to be decided soon. The prime minister in a few days must come up with a way to make a budget that can pump up the economy and offer reassurance to people with insufficient financial resources.
 10年度予算は、近く政府案が決まる予定だ。乏しい財源で、いかに景気を下支えし、国民生活に安心をもたらす予算を作り上げていくか。鳩山首相は、あと数日で答えを出さねばならない。

Treatment of the provisionally higher tax rate on fossil fuels, including gasoline, symbolizes the confusion afflicting tax revisions. The prime minister initially was determined to abolish the provisional tax rate in April as it was the pillar of his party's election pledges, but he finally decided only to lower the rates of the automobile weight tax.
 税制改正の迷走の象徴が、ガソリン税などの暫定税率だ。鳩山首相は政権公約の目玉として、来年4月の暫定税率廃止に固執したが、最終的には自動車重量税の一部引き下げにとどめた。

 ◆暫定税率維持は当然◆
We think Hatoyama's decision is reasonable. If the provisional tax rate was abolished, central and local governments would lose a total of 2.5 trillion yen in tax revenues, worsening fiscal deficits.
 国と地方で2・5兆円の税収がなくなれば、財政赤字はさらに膨らむ。この判断は当然だろう。

The DPJ had claimed that the provisional tax could be abolished because abundant new financial resources could be created by trimming fat from government spending. But wasn't it apparent from the very beginning that such a claim would end up being pie in the sky?
 暫定税率の廃止などについて民主党は、「歳出の無駄の洗い出しで、財源はいくらでも出てくる」と主張していた。だがそれが空手形に終わるのは、最初から分かりきっていたことではないか。

This shows the collapse of so-called manifesto politics. We have to say that the actions and remarks of Hatoyama, who stuck to the abolition of the provisional tax rate, have ended up deceiving the public.
 マニフェスト政治の破綻(はたん)を示すものだろう。廃止にこだわった首相の言動は、結果的に国民を欺いたと言わざるを得ない。

The prime minister is apparently unaware of his own responsibility, maintaining that his change of policy is in line with public opinion. He must give the public a detailed explanation of why he decided to change the policy.
 首相は、今回の方針転換は「国民の思いに沿ったもの」と述べるなど、責任を自覚していない。転換の経緯を、国民に詳しく説明しなければなるまい。

The government said it would spend a year or so studying the introduction of an environment tax, which was once considered to offset the scrapping of the provisional tax rate on fossil fuels. An environment tax, which would be imposed widely on fossil fuels and others, would become a heavy burden on industries and household budgets if introduced. It should be considered very carefully.
 暫定税率の代わりに導入が検討された環境税については、今後1年程度かけて検討するとした。化石燃料などに幅広く課税する環境税は、産業界や家計に重い負担となる。慎重に扱うべきだ。

===

Child benefit needs rethink

The government likely will set up a special fund worth 2 trillion yen in the next fiscal budget, using such financial resources as the revenue to be generated through the maintenance of the provisionally higher tax rates. The money set aside for this specified-purpose budgetary framework will be used to help create more jobs, reinvigorate regional economies and implement other pump-priming policies.
 政府は、暫定税率の維持で得た税収などで、来年度予算に2兆円の特別枠を設け、雇用対策や地域活性化などに振り向ける方針だ。

The government has good reason to consider giving the economy an additional shot in the arm. It is also essential that the list of purposes for which such budgetary means would be used be narrowed down to a handful of measures that promise to produce an immediate economy-boosting effect.
景気への配慮は妥当であり、使途は景気に即効性がある対策に絞り込むことが肝要だ。

Another focus of the dispute over the fiscal 2010 budget was whether an income limit should be imposed on the eligibility of households to be covered by the child-rearing allowance system. The government has settled the controversy by deciding the scheme will not set such a limit. This means every family with a child or children in the middle school age bracket or younger will be paid 13,000 yen per child monthly.
 もうひとつの焦点だった子ども手当については、所得制限を設けないことで決着した。中学生以下の子どもを持つすべての家庭に、子ども1人につき月1万3000円が支払われる。

 ◆子ども手当は見直せ◆
The children's allowance scheme will be complemented by a plan to exclude households with a child or children aged 15 or under from the list of those entitled to income tax deductions for dependents. The government will also curtail the amount of deductions for dependents aged 16 to 18, with the aim of raising funds for delivering another promise included in the DPJ manifesto--that is, making high school education free by paying tuition fees out of the state coffers.
 代わりに15歳以下の子どもがいる家庭の所得税の扶養控除が廃止される。高校授業料の無償化の財源として、16~18歳を対象にした特定扶養控除も減額される。

The DPJ manifesto states that the amount of child-rearing benefits paid to each household will be doubled, starting in fiscal 2011. This would only increase the amount of the financial means to be required.
 民主党の公約では、子ども手当の支給額は11年度から倍増され、必要な財源はさらに膨らむ。

To secure new financial resources, the government has said it will consider such revenue-enhancing measures as the abolition of income tax deductions for spouses. However, doing so will be certain to antagonize families without children. It is also evident that ending such a tax exemption will hardly do enough to raise necessary financial resources.
 新たな財源を確保するため、政府は、所得税の配偶者控除の廃止などを検討するという。しかし、子どものいない世帯の反発は必至であり、その程度では足りないこともはっきりしている。

With all this in mind, we find it indispensable for the government to reduce the amount of the child-rearing allowance and impose an income limit on families eligible for such benefits. The government should seriously consider this idea.
 やはり支給額の削減や所得制限の導入などが欠かせない。今後、真剣に検討すべきだ。

===

Sales tax hike inevitable

The government has also decided to raise the tobacco tax rate by a large margin.
 たばこ税の大幅引き上げも決まった。

Leading brands of cigarettes will be retailed at 400 yen a pack starting from next October. The government hopes the hike will boost tax revenues by more than 120 billion yen.
代表的な銘柄の小売価格は来年10月から1箱400円になり、政府は1200億円の税収増を期待している。

The Hatoyama Cabinet had initially regarded this round of tax reforms as a prime opportunity to show results brought about by the change of government.
 鳩山内閣は当初、今回の税制改正を、政権交代の成果を示すチャンスととらえていた。

The government's revamped Tax Commission has started work to reform the nation's taxation system on the principle that discussions on it be conducted publicly. It aimed to abolish or drastically reduce special taxation measures for particular industries or groups and carry out a sweeping review of income tax deductions.
 改正作業は、一新された政府税制調査会が原則公開のもとで行うとし、租税特別措置(租特)の大胆な廃止・縮減や所得控除の抜本見直しを掲げてスタートした。

The discussions, however, stalled after details of reform plans were considered. The reviews of special taxation measures and income tax deductions proceeded at a snail's pace.
 ところが、各論に入ると議論は難航し、租特や所得控除の見直しはなかなか進まなかった。

 ◆消費税で安定財源を◆
The biggest problem lay with the government's reluctance to begin work to find a stable financial resource to pay for swelling social security costs.
 最大の問題は、社会保障費の財源確保に向けた手だてに踏み込まなかったことだ。

To pay for the social security costs, which balloon by about 1 trillion yen every year, the government needs a stable financial resource. It is clear now that the consumption tax is the only source of revenue that can cover such a huge cost.
 毎年1兆円規模で増え続ける社会保障費を賄うには、安定した財源が必要で、それには消費税しかないことは明白である。

Many European nations have already introduced measures to support child rearing--equivalent to Japan's proposed child-rearing allowance--without setting income ceilings on the beneficiaries. Such measures are affordable as the rates of value-added taxes in these countries are all above 10 percent.
 欧州各国は、子ども手当に相当する子育て支援策を導入済みで、所得制限は設けていない。だが、各国の付加価値税(消費税)の税率は2けたを超えている。

Shying away from raising the consumption tax can be said to be the biggest obstacle for realizing important policies. The Hatoyama Cabinet must swiftly start discussing a hike in the consumption tax so it can be raised immediately after the nation's economy recovers.
 消費税率の引き上げを封印していることこそ、政策実現の最大の障害といえよう。鳩山内閣は景気回復後、直ちに引き上げられるよう、議論を急ぐべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 23, 2009)
(2009年12月23日01時47分  読売新聞)

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2009年12月22日 (火)

タイの英字新聞

タイ情報収集はタイの英字新聞で!
スラチャイの愛読サイトです。

● タイの有力紙 Bangkok Post

http://www.bangkokpost.com/

● タイの有力紙 The Nation

http://nationmultimedia.com/

● タイの地方新聞 Phuket Gazette

http://www.phuketgazette.net/

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野口飛行士 宇宙の新時代を開く活躍を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 22, 2009)
Noguchi's ISS trip heralds new era for space activity
野口飛行士 宇宙の新時代を開く活躍を(12月22日付・読売社説)

Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi safely departed for the International Space Station on a Russian Soyuz rocket.
 日本の宇宙飛行士、野口聡一さんが、ロシアのソユーズ宇宙船で国際宇宙ステーションに向けて無事、旅立った。

Noguchi will stay aboard the ISS for about six months.
 これから約半年間、ステーションの「住民」になる。

His stay will be the longest that a Japanese astronaut has experienced. We hope he will steadily fulfill his duty in international space cooperation and enhance Japan's international presence.
 日本人の宇宙滞在としてはこれまでで最も長い。宇宙の国際協力で着実に使命を果たし、日本の存在感を高めてほしい。

Unlike a past stay by a Japanese astronaut, Noguchi plans to stay for about six months and has a private room.
 これまでと違って、野口さんは当初から半年の滞在を予定しており、専用の個室もある。

Construction of the ISS is near completion. The number of residents there will increase from the initial two to the maximum of six by next spring, when Noguchi will still be at the station.
 ステーション完成は間近い。住民も、野口さんが滞在中の来春までに、今の2人から最大定員の6人まで増える。

We can now say that the ISS is in full operation, and world space activities have entered a new age.
 ステーションの本格運用が始まり、世界の宇宙活動は新たな時代に入ると言ってもいい。

Noguchi is expected to not only conduct space experiments for Japan, but also support the operation and maintenance of the station and experiments carried out by other countries, including one the United States plans to ascertain the perceptual effect of sleeping drugs. Noguchi himself will be involved in the U.S. experiment by taking the drugs.
 野口さんは、日本の宇宙実験だけでなく、ステーション運営と整備や他国の実験も支援することになる。米国が予定している睡眠薬の知覚影響を調べる実験など、体を張った協力もある。

===

Soyuz a trusted spacecraft

As part of leisure and public relations activities designed to promote international space cooperation, Noguchi will make sushi in space. He will be very busy with various missions in the ISS, but we hope he will relax and carry out his duties.
 国際協力を盛り上げる余暇、広報活動では、宇宙でスシを握るといった見せ場も計画している。大忙しになるだろうが、肩の力を抜いて乗り切ってほしい。

This is the first time that an official Japanese astronaut will use the Soyuz capsule for a return trip from the Earth to space.  日本の公式の宇宙飛行士が地上との往復にソユーズ宇宙船を利用するのも、今回が初めてだ。

Past Japanese astronauts used U.S. space shuttles, but the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration is preparing to retire its aging space shuttle fleet after the completion of construction of the ISS in the spring. Traveling into space means relying on Russia until the United States develops a new spacecraft. The launch of the Soyuz rocket this time is the first case under such circumstances.
 これまでは米国のスペースシャトルに搭乗していた。だが、ステーションが来春完成すると老朽化で退役する。米国の新宇宙船が出来るまで宇宙への足はロシア頼りで、今回はその1号だ。

The vital structures of the Soyuz spacecraft have been kept, and other parts have been steadily improved over the past four decades since the era of the former Soviet Union, during which period the vehicle has been launched about 100 times. The Soyuz has accumulated technology and is very safe, and its launch cost is one-tenth the 80 billion yen it costs to launch a U.S. space shuttle.
 ソユーズ宇宙船は、旧ソ連時代から約40年、根幹の構造を受け継ぎながら改良され、約100回打ち上げられてきた。技術の蓄積があり、安全性は高い。打ち上げコストも、約800億円の米シャトルの10分の1程度と言われる。

===

Space station's future unclear

In Japan, meanwhile, there are growing calls for this country to develop manned spacecraft.
 日本でも、有人宇宙船の開発を期待する声が高まっている。

The H-2 Transfer Vehicle, Japan's first unmanned spacecraft, which successfully delivered materials to the ISS in September, is said to be a prototype for the nation's manned spacecraft.
 この9月に初飛行に成功したステーションへの無人補給船(HTV)はその原型とされる。

The HTV can haul more than twice as much cargo as Russia's unmanned supply spacecraft. The United States is considering using the HTV to supply materials to the ISS after the space shuttles are retired. The experience with the Soyuz spacecraft will provide Japan with pointers on what is required to turn the HTV into a manned spacecraft.
 輸送能力を比べればロシアの無人補給船の倍以上だ。米国はシャトル退役後の補給手段として利用を検討している。HTVの有人化へ向けて何が必要か、ソユーズの経験は参考になるだろう。

What worries us is the unclear future of the ISS. The United States, one of the major countries promoting the ISS project, only plans to use the ISS until 2015.
 心配なのは、ステーションの将来計画が不透明なことだ。主要国の米国が、2015年までの利用計画しか決めていない。

Plans to develop space will not proceed smoothly unless the nations concerned take ample time beforehand to think them through. In line with the start of the full-fledged operation of the ISS, the government should quickly discuss its plan with concerned countries.
 宇宙利用は、事前に時間をかけて周到に準備しないとうまく行かない。ステーションの本格運用に合わせて、政府は、関係各国との将来計画の協議を急ぐべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 22, 2009)
(2009年12月22日01時24分  読売新聞)

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2009年12月21日 (月)

英語力を高めるために

● key hole tv
インターネットで世界のどこからでも視聴可能。
多くの民放TVが視聴可能。
NHK総合テレビはパスワードを入力する必要がある。
NHKラジオ第一放送もパスワードを入力する必要がある。
これらのパスワードは連想が簡単なもので何種類が試すと世界中から番組の視聴ができる。
残念ながらNHKラジオ第二放送は配信者がいない状態。
どなたか奇特なお方が第二放送を配信してくれるとありがたいのですが。
基礎英語やラジオ英語会話、懐かしいですね。
CNNはパスワードなしですぐに視聴できる。

http://www.keyholetv.jp/

● learn Japanese presented by NHK World
NHKがインターネット上でストリーム配信している外国人向けの日本語学習講座。
英語の解説部分が日本人には勉強になる。
英語は日本人としてはトップクラスだが、ネイティブの発音とは一線を画していて聞き取りやすい。

http://www.nhk.or.jp/lesson/english/learn/story/index.html

● little chalo(?spelling) online
NHKの英語教育番組リトルチャロを毎日ストリーム配信してくれるブログ。
日本語と英語を織り交ぜて進める番組は日本人にとって理解しやすい。
解説者(男性)の英語の発音はネイティブと聴き間違えるほど洗練されている。
帰国子女の中にはこのような素晴らしい資質を備えている人を見かけることがある。
内容は平易だが、聞き取れない部分もある。
テキストを読めば、なーんだこんな簡単な文章が聞き取れなかったのかと…
初心者でも簡単に取り組める番組はお勧めです。

https://cgi2.nhk.or.jp/charo/php/index.cgi

● NHK radio Japan online
はじめに3本のヘッドライン、引き続いてニュースの詳細を読みあげる。
英語は日本人としてはトップクラスだが、ネイティブの発音とは一線を画していて聞き取りやすい。
ヘッドラインの部分の聞き取りは比較的易しいが、詳述部分はCNNとなんら遜色ない。
難しいけれども勉強になります。

http://www.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/radio/program/index.html

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科学技術戦略 国際競争を勝ち抜くために

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 21, 2009)
Japan can't afford to trail in intl science, tech race
科学技術戦略 国際競争を勝ち抜くために(12月21日付・読売社説)

Without progress in the fields of science and technology, new industries will stagnate, which may put this nation on the road to decline. How then should the government bolster science and technology--a key source of national strength.
 科学技術の発展がなければ、新たな産業は育たず、日本は衰退への道をたどりかねない。国力の源泉とも言える科学技術を政府は今後、どうもり立ててゆくべきか。

A new strategy on science and technology has been compiled by a committee belonging to the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry and headed by Nobel Chemistry Prize winner Ryoji Noyori, president of the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (Riken).
 ノーベル化学賞受賞者の野依良治・理化学研究所理事長を主査とする文部科学省の委員会が、新たな科学技術戦略をまとめた。

The strategy incorporates measures aimed at promoting effective yet flexible research and development efforts.
 研究開発を、これまでより効率的かつ機動的に推進するための方策を盛り込んでいる。

Such measures should form part of a wider growth strategy, which the administration of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama is expected to draw up by the end of the year.
 新政権が年内にもまとめるという「成長戦略」に、しっかりと位置づけるべきだ。

As the Government Revitalization Unit--tasked with identifying wasteful government spending--has judged many projects in the fields of science and technology should be scrapped or have their budgets cut, concern has arisen both at home and abroad that Japan no longer has a science and technology strategy. Such concerns should quickly be put to rest.
事業仕分けに大なたを振るったことで、科学技術戦略なき日本、との懸念も国内外にある。それを払拭(ふっしょく)したい。

===

Better coordination needed

Under previous government policies, four fields, including life sciences and information and telecommunication, were given priority when compiling budgets. However, the scope of each field was too broad, which meant cooperation among the related ministries and agencies was poorly coordinated. This made it difficult to create an efficient structure for ensuring cooperation among industry, government and academia.
 これまでの政策では、「生命科学」「情報通信」など重点4分野を設けて予算を投じていた。だが分野ごとの範囲が広過ぎたため省庁間の連携が弱く、産官学の協力体制を築くのが難しかった。

It was this failing that impeded development of the nation's next-generation supercomputer--a project that attracted much public attention during the Government Revitalization Unit's budgetary screening process.
 事業仕分けで注目された「次世代スーパーコンピューター」の開発も、そこが弱点だった。

While the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry took the initiative and threw its weight behind the program, the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry, which oversees the electronics industry, has kept its distance.
 文部科学省が主導したので、電子産業を所管する経済産業省は距離を置いていた。

The development of a supercomputer is tied to the development of related fields. However, the ripple effect turned out to be limited as the project created little momentum.
本来なら、関連産業界の振興につながるはずだが波及効果は限定的で、盛り上がりを欠いていた。

As a result, under the latest strategy, the project has had its goals narrowed down to a dozen, with each to be carefully overseen and implemented.
 これを受け、新戦略では、政策課題を十数項目に絞り込み、個別にきめ細かく対応する。

Under the strategy, each selected policy goal will see concerned ministries and agencies as well as certain industry groups closely involved in the process from the initial formulation of strategies through construction and operation of the systems put in place to ensure a successful outcome.
 選定した政策課題ごとに、関係省庁と産業界などが、当初の戦略策定から支援体制の構築、運営まで緊密に関与する。

===

Steady investment vital

The new strategy lists possible tasks, including tackling global warming via the development of a highly efficient solar battery and a regenerative medicine project that will see more backing for research into induced pluripotent stem cells--a type of human stem cell that is capable of being developed into various types of human cells.
 課題の候補として、高効率の太陽電池開発などを目指す「地球温暖化」や、新型万能細胞(iPS細胞)の研究強化を含む「再生医療」といった例を挙げている。

The strategy was drawn up with reference to policies adopted by many European nations.
 欧州の政策を参考にした。

The strategy will likely spell out, both its goals and means, and should back research proceed in a flexible manner and in a way that promotes the effective use of budgetary funds.
目標と手段が明確になろう。研究が機動的に進み、予算の効率的な活用にもつながるのではないか。

Obviously, support for fundamental research is essential, as it will help new fields in science and technology to come about.
 むろん、基礎研究分野への支援も大切だ。新たな科学技術の芽を生むきっかけになる。

The problem is funding. The new strategy calls for the allocation of 1 percent of the nation's gross domestic product, about 5 trillion yen, as its related budget. Although there should be room for discussion due to the nation's severe financial situation, there is no question that steady investment is of vital importance.
 問題は資金だ。新戦略は、関連予算に国内総生産(GDP)の1%(約5兆円)を充てる目標を提示している。厳しい財政の下、議論の余地はあるだろうが、着実な投資の重要性は論をまたない。

However, it also goes without saying that wasteful spending should be eradicated on the condition that necessary funding is allocated. To ensure research and development proceed in an effective manner, it is vital to nurture researchers who are knowledgeable in the operation and management of research organizations.
 ただ、予算投入の前提として無駄の排除は当然のことだ。効率的に研究開発を進めるため、研究の組織運用、経営の知識を備えた研究者の育成も大切になる。

As European countries and the United States are already aiming to strengthen their competitiveness in the fields of science and technology by boosting investment, Japan should act promptly.
 欧米も、科学技術への投資を増やして競争力の強化を目指している。日本も対応を急ぎたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 21, 2009)
(2009年12月21日00時18分  読売新聞)

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2009年12月20日 (日)

COP15 懸案先送りで決裂を回避した

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 20, 2009)
COP15 avoids collapse by delaying decision
COP15 懸案先送りで決裂を回避した(12月20日付・読売社説)

The latest U.N. Climate Change Conference was successful only in that it avoided complete collapse.
 決裂を回避できたことが、国連気候変動枠組み条約の第15回締約国会議(COP15)が残した唯一の成果といえよう。

Participants at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change approved the Copenhagen Accord drawn up by major developed and developing countries on Saturday.
 COP15は主要国がまとめた政治合意文書である「コペンハーゲン合意」を承認した。

The political agreement, however, made no mention of matters in which the interests of developed nations conflict with those of emerging and developing countries. The fact that the document lacks substance reflects the deep disagreement at the talks. The most important issue at hand--what to do with a new framework to succeed the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012--was left unsettled and postponed for further discussion.
 文書は、先進国と新興国・途上国の間で利害が相反する部分をそぎ落としており、乏しい内容が根深い対立を反映している。京都議定書に次ぐ2013年以降の枠組みをどうするか、という最重要懸案は先送りとなった。

The 10-day conference proceeded at the pace of emerging and developing countries. In particular, China and India strongly supported extending the 1997 Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012, frustrating the developed countries.
 10日間余の会議は、新興国と途上国のペースで進んだ。特に中国やインドなどが京都議定書を13年以降も延長する案を強硬に主張し、先進国は振り回された。

The Kyoto Protocol obliges only developed countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions and as such is a very convenient framework for emerging and developing countries.
 京都議定書で、温室効果ガスの排出削減を義務付けられているのは先進国だけだ。新興国・途上国にとって、京都議定書は、非常に好都合な枠組みである。

===

Accord includes all nations

Japan and the European Union have been insisting a new framework involving emerging and developing countries be established, a natural course of action given that China has become the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter.
 日本や欧州連合(EU)は、新興国・途上国をも含めた新たな枠組みが必要だと主張してきた。中国が世界一の排出国になったことなどを考えれば、当然だ。

The Kyoto Protocol, even if it is extended, would have no impact on the United States, which had withdrawn from it. Japan should be relieved at the fact that such a flawed framework was not extended.
 米国は京都議定書から離脱しており、仮に延長されても影響は及ばない。こうした欠陥だらけの枠組みである京都議定書が今回は延長されなかったことが、日本にとっての救いである。

The Japanese government must maintain its stance of opposing the extension of the protocol.
 日本政府は、今後も延長に反対する姿勢を崩してはならない。

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama took part in the conference touting, Japan's midterm goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020. The intention of presenting such an extremely aggressive goal was to encourage other countries to raise their own reduction targets.
 鳩山首相は、「20年までに1990年比で25%削減」という日本としての中期目標を掲げてCOP15に臨んだ。極めて高い目標の提示で、他国に削減目標の引き上げを促す戦略だった。

However, the latest climate talks were tough as Hatoyama admitted that other nations had not necessarily presented bold goals. Hatoyama's lack of foresight was exposed.
 しかし、首相が、「他の国々が必ずしも大胆な目標を提示してくれない状況だ」と語るほど、交渉は厳しく、首相の見通しの甘さが露呈した。

===

Financial help led to deal

The tangled negotiations eventually made progress after Japan and the United States announced financial assistance to emerging and developing countries to help them mitigate climate change. This clearly shows the reality that emerging and developing countries do move if they see practical benefit--assistance from developed countries.
 交渉が進展したのは、日本や米国が新興国・途上国向けの資金支援策を表明してからだ。新興国・途上国は、先進国からの支援という実利によって動くという現実が如実に示された。

The Copenhagen Accord states that developed countries will stipulate their emission reduction targets for 2020 in an appendix to the accord by Jan. 31. It is highly likely that each country will be obliged to achieve these targets under the post-Kyoto Protocol framework.
 合意には、「先進国は20年の削減目標を来年1月31日までに合意の別表に記載する」という内容が盛り込まれた。この数値が次期枠組みで各国が負う削減義務となる可能性が高い。

Considering the lessons learned from the Kyoto Protocol, under which Japan had to shoulder disadvantageous obligations, the next framework to be established should be fair. The Japanese government will be pressed to make a difficult decision on whether to pledge in the appendix the target of a 25 percent reduction from 1990 levels, which is a substantially tougher figure than those likely to be named by the United States and other countries.
 日本が不利な削減義務を負った京都議定書を教訓に、次期枠組みは、公平なものにしなくてはならない。米国などより大幅に厳しい「90年比25%減」を記載するのか。日本政府が難しい判断を迫られるのは、これからである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 20, 2009)
(2009年12月20日01時02分  読売新聞)

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2009年12月19日 (土)

answer.com (オンライン英英辞書)

オンライン英英辞書での学習効果的です。
こんなにすぐれた英英電子辞書が無料で利用できるは驚きです。
インターネットでJapan Times を読んでいてこれを発見しました。

発音注意の単語も確実にものにすることができますね。

例(今朝の英字読売新聞より)
facade ふぁさーど (うわべ、表面上の顔)
indict いんだいと (起訴する)

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公設秘書初公判 小沢氏は検察の指摘に答えよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 19, 2009)
Ozawa must come clean on funds allegations
公設秘書初公判 小沢氏は検察の指摘に答えよ(12月19日付・読売社説)

A lawmaker's aide allegedly collected donations from a general contractor, which expected to receive orders for lucrative public works projects in return, and made false entries in political fund reports to conceal the actual flow of funds.
 公共工事の受注を期待するゼネコンから献金を集めながら、実態を隠すため政治資金収支報告書にうそを書いた――。

In the first hearing of the trial of a state-funded secretary to Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa over alleged violations of the Political Funds Control Law, prosecutors pointed to such a cozy relationship between Ozawa's office and a construction company. If the allegations are proved true, they would certainly be an act of deception that betrayed the public.
 政治資金規正法違反に問われた小沢民主党幹事長の公設第1秘書の初公判で、検察側が指摘したのは小沢事務所と業者との癒着の構図だ。事実なら国民の目を欺く行為である。

During Friday's trial, the secretary denied all the claims presented in the indictment as well as the prosecutors' argument that he by himself had "the voice of heaven," or the authority to issue commands, to influence the process of determining winners of contracts for public works projects.
 秘書は公判で、起訴事実とともに、受注に影響を与える「天の声」を自ら出していたとする検察側の主張を全面否定した。

Although the secretary denied the allegations, he is on trial as a defendant in a criminal case. Ozawa is a politician with heavy responsibilities as secretary general of the dominant ruling party. We think Ozawa must provide clear explanations on the allegations aired in the trial.
 否認しているとはいえ、公設第1秘書が刑事被告人として裁かれている。小沢氏は政権与党の幹事長という重責を担う政治家だ。公判での指摘について、自ら明確に説明しなければなるまい。

===

Shady dealings

It has been found that two political organizations headed by former officials of the general contractor, Nishimatsu Construction Co., donated 35 million yen over four years to Ozawa's political fund management organization and a DPJ local branch headed by Ozawa.
 小沢氏の資金管理団体などには西松建設のOBを代表にした二つの政治団体から4年間で計3500万円が献金されていた。

The prosecutors claimed the two organizations were merely dummies and that Nishimatsu Construction was actually the true source of the donations. The prosecution also argued that Ozawa's secretary was well aware of these details.
 この政治団体に実体がなく、献金の主体は西松建設であり、公設秘書もそれを認識していた、というのが検察側の主張である。

To support the allegation, the prosecutors presented, during their opening statement and on other occasions, details of a number of instances in which the secretary had spoken with officials of Nishimatsu and other general contractors.
 それを裏づける事実として、検察側は冒頭陳述などで、西松建設をはじめゼネコンと公設秘書とのやり取りなどを挙げた。

The secretary allegedly was able to convince the firms to fork over huge donations after taking over from his predecessor the role of "the voice of heaven" regarding the public works contracts.
 公設秘書は、前任者から「天の声」を出す役割を引き継ぎ、多額の献金などを要求していた。

A dam construction project that the Iwate prefectural government planned to put up for tender lies at the heart of this case. The secretary allegedly told Nishimatsu officials when they lobbied to receive the order: "Right, I've got it. I'll let Nishimatsu undertake the project." The secretary reportedly wrote down the title of the project as he was talking.
 岩手県が発注予定のダム工事では、西松建設から陳情を受けた際に、工事名をメモしながら、「よしわかった、西松にしてやる」と了解を与えていた。

When Nishimatsu officials were reluctant to extend financial support to Ozawa's election campaign, the secretary reportedly brought up the name of another dam, on which the company had received an order. He allegedly told the officials, in an apparent attempt to intimidate them, "Don't forget that it's Ozawa's dam."
 また、西松建設が選挙への協力を渋った際には、同社が受注した別のダム名を挙げ、「小沢ダムだということを忘れるな」と脅しまがいの言葉を口にしたという。

===

More scandals rear heads

In their opening statement, prosecutors said Nishimatsu donated 138 million yen over 10 years to the Ozawa side, including donations falsely registered in political fund reports. It is believed another 10 million yen in donations were raked in annually from subcontractors.
 冒頭陳述では、西松建設側から小沢氏側への献金は、虚偽記入分も含めて10年間で1億3800万円に上り、下請け企業からの献金も年間1000万円程度あった、とされている。

Adding more fuel to the scandal fire, Ozawa's political fund management organization is under the spotlight over a dubious land purchase.
 このほか、小沢氏の資金管理団体には、不動産購入に絡む別の疑惑も浮上している。

We wonder how Ozawa will respond to these allegations.
 小沢氏はこうした点について、どう答えるのだろうか。

In another money scandal embroiling a DPJ heavyweight, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's political fund management organization is suspected of having falsified political fund reports. A former state-paid secretary to Hatoyama is expected to be indicted without arrest soon over the case.
 民主党では、鳩山首相の資金管理団体でも収支報告書の虚偽記入の疑いがあり、元公設第1秘書が近く在宅起訴される見通しだ。

The DPJ is considering banning political donations from companies and organizations. Ozawa spoke of this plan at a press conference soon after his secretary was arrested. But if Ozawa cannot clear up the troubling allegations against him, such a policy proposal will inevitably be regarded as a mere facade.
 民主党は、企業・団体献金の全面禁止を検討している。小沢氏が秘書逮捕後の記者会見で突然表明したものだ。だが、自らに向けられた疑惑を払拭(ふっしょく)できないのであれば、単なる「目くらまし」と受け止められても仕方あるまい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 19, 2009)
(2009年12月19日01時20分  読売新聞)

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2009年12月18日 (金)

ansers.com (発音つき英英辞書)

この辞書は英英辞書のみ検索されますので、どうしても英和が切り捨てられない人向きです。
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ちなみにオンラインのJapan Timesは標準で辞書機能をそなえていますが、このanswer.comを利用しているものです。
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習近平氏来日 日中外交の難しさ浮き彫りに

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 18, 2009)
Xi's visit highlights delicate China ties
習近平氏来日 日中外交の難しさ浮き彫りに(12月18日付・読売社説)

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping's visit to Japan this week left some bitter feelings among the Japanese public toward China. Most of the irritation can be blamed on both governments' tactless handling of Xi's hastily arranged audience with the Emperor.
 中国の習近平国家副主席の日本訪問は、天皇陛下と習氏との会見を巡る日中両国政府の不手際によって、日本国民の対中感情にしこりを残す形になった。

Xi is widely seen as a future Chinese leader. It is regrettable that his visit did not serve as an opportunity for the two nations to move their bilateral relationship toward a new stage.
 中国の「次代のリーダー」と目される習氏の来日が、今後の日中関係の展望を切り開く契機にならなかったことは残念だ。

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and Xi agreed during their meeting to promote a strategic and mutually beneficial relationship between the two nations. As was to be expected, the prime minister called on China to proceed with joint development of gas fields in the East China Sea--a pending issue between the two nations--and to improve its military transparency.
 鳩山首相と習氏の会談では、日中の戦略的互恵関係を推進していくことで一致した。首相が、日中間の懸案である東シナ海のガス田共同開発を前進させることや、中国の軍事力の透明性を高めるよう求めたのは当然である。

Xi, for his part, made a point of bringing up the Taiwan issue as well as ethnic minorities in the Tibet and Xinjiang Uygur autonomous regions. Xi said these matters concern China's core interests.
 習氏は台湾問題の重要性とともに、チベット、ウイグルの少数民族問題が「中国の核心的利益」であると指摘、日本側にくぎを刺すのを忘れなかった。

That may be so, but we consider it imperative that China first stop its suppression of ethnic minorities and improve human rights in these regions by holding dialogue with minority representatives.
 だが、少数民族問題ではまず、中国側が弾圧行為をやめ、対話を通じて、人権状況を改善することが先決ではないか。

===

Xi's swift rise

Xi is a son of former Chinese Vice Premier Xi Zhongxun. In the autumn of 2007, Xi Jinping was given a special two-rank promotion to become a member of the nine-seat Politburo Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. In the spring of 2008, he was elected vice president of China.
 習氏は、習仲勲・元副首相を父とする高級幹部の子弟だ。一昨年秋、2階級特進で、党中央政治局常務委員(9人で構成)に抜てきされ、昨春には国家副主席に選出された。

His portfolio also includes serving as the point man of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He thus is seen as the most promising candidate to be the next president of China.
 昨夏の北京五輪では運営の責任者を務めるなど、次期国家主席の最有力候補と見られている。

The Prime Minister's Office afforded Xi state head-level treatment, such as specially arranging an audience with the Emperor and holding a state dinner hosted by Hatoyama. Xi's political weight appears to have been taken into consideration in making these arrangements.
 首相官邸が天皇陛下との会見を特例として実現したり、首相主催の夕食会を開いたりして国家元首級の扱いをしたのも、習氏の立場を重視したためだろう。

China had pressed Japan hard to set up Xi's meeting with the Emperor. Given that Chinese President Hu Jintao had an audience with the Emperor during his visit to Japan as vice president in 1998, the Chinese government likely wanted the same level of treatment given to Xi.
 中国側も天皇陛下との会見実現を強く求めた。胡錦濤国家主席が副主席だった98年に来日した際に、天皇陛下と会見していたこともあり、習氏に同等の待遇を求めたものと見られる。

China likely believed that a meeting with the Emperor would enhance Xi's authority as a leading figure at home.
 中国側は、天皇と会見することが、指導者としての権威付けになると考えたのだろう。

===

Power struggle continues

But the power struggle to determine Hu's successor is rumbling on. While Xi is backed by former Chinese President Jiang Zemin, who still wields considerable influence even after his retirement, Hu has thrown his weight behind Vice Premier Li Keqiang.
 ただ、中国では、引退後も影響力のある江沢民前国家主席を後ろ盾とする習氏と、胡主席が支持する李克強副首相との後継争いはまだ決着していない。

The arm wrestle to determine the next Chinese president seems set to continue for some time.
 習氏に代表される勢力と、李氏を推す勢力の綱引きが、当面続くと見られている。

China heaped praise on the Emperor's visit to that nation in 1992, saying it helped Beijing emerge from its international isolation after the Tiananmen Square incident. This indicates that the Emperor's overseas trips could have political implications.
 92年の天皇陛下の訪中は、天安門事件による国際的孤立からの脱却に効果があった、と中国側は評価している。天皇外遊の政治的側面を示すものだ。

In light of the importance of Japan-China ties, any trouble of the kind that tarnished Xi's visit must not be repeated. Both governments must tread very carefully when handling issues particularly relating to the Emperor's public duties, including holding an audience with him.
 日中関係の重要性からも、今回のようなトラブルはあってはならない。天皇の会見など公的行為にかかわる問題には、日中双方に慎重な対応が求められよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 18, 2009)
(2009年12月18日01時56分  読売新聞)

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2009年12月17日 (木)

布川事件再審 繰り返された自白偏重の捜査

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 17, 2009)
Forced confessions preclude fair trials
布川事件再審 繰り返された自白偏重の捜査(12月17日付・読売社説)

In a typical example of investigators' overreliance on confessions made by suspects in a criminal case, two men were forced to confess to a crime despite a lack of strong material evidence to support their declarations.
 強引に引き出した自白を補強する有力な物証がなく、典型的な自白偏重の立証だったといえる。

In light of the "innocent until proven guilty" principle for criminal trials, it was therefore inevitable that the Supreme Court chose to uphold a lower court decision ordering a retrial of a 1967 murder-robbery in Tonemachi, Ibaraki Prefecture.
 「疑わしきは被告人の利益に」という刑事裁判の原則に照らせば、再審決定は当然の結論である。
 茨城県利根町で1967年に起きた「布川(ふかわ)事件」の再審開始が決まった。

The top court backed a Tokyo High Court decision that raised doubts about the guilty ruling handed to two men convicted of the charges. Forty-two years have elapsed since the incident, which is referred to as the "Fukawa case" after the area in which the crime took place. We hope the truth will quickly come to light during the retrial.
「有罪認定に疑いが生じた」とした東京高裁の決定を、最高裁も支持したためだ。事件から42年が経過している。再審で速やかに真相を究明してほしい。

In the case, a 62-year-old carpenter who lived alone was murdered and robbed of about 100,000 yen. The two men, who lived in the same town, were indicted for murder and robbery after investigative authorities determined they had committed the crime to obtain cash for bicycle races.
 一人暮らしの大工の男性が殺害され、現金10万円余りが奪われた。競輪の金ほしさに犯行に及んだとして、地元の男性2人が強盗殺人罪で起訴された。

However, no material evidence--such as fingerprints--was found. The authorities established their case based on the men's confessions and eyewitness accounts given by residents of the neighborhood. In 1978, sentences of life imprisonment were finalized after the top court rejected appeals lodged by the two men, who had pleaded not guilty. The men served their time in prison and were subsequently released on parole.
 指紋などの物証はなく、立証の支えは2人の自白と近所の住民の目撃証言だった。最高裁は78年、無罪を主張した2人の上告を退け、無期懲役が確定した。2人は既に服役、仮釈放されている。

===

Inconsistencies pointed out

During court deliberations on their second request for a retrial, the high court flagged inconsistencies between how the carpenter's body was found and the accounts given by the two men about how the man was murdered. The court also noted significant differences in the various confessions given by the men regarding the amount of money that was stolen and from where it was taken.
 2人が裁判のやり直しを求めた第2次再審請求の審理で、東京高裁は、殺害方法について、遺体の状況と自白内容に矛盾があると指摘した。現金のあった場所や奪った金額についての自白が、著しく変遷している点も重視した。

The high court concluded that the men's confessions were unnatural and changed over time, likely because they did not actually carry out the acts they claimed.
 「実際に(2人が)体験したことではないため、不自然な供述の変遷を重ねた」。これが、高裁の判断だ。

Aggressive interrogations are a common factor in other cases in which false confessions have been obtained, such as the Ashikaga case, in which a man was convicted for murdering a 4-year-old girl in Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture, but released earlier this year based on DNA test results.
自白を強引に引き出す取り調べは、足利事件など、これまでの冤罪(えんざい)事件と共通している。

In the case of the murdered carpenter, new eyewitness reports have come to light. These reports say the men seen near the murder scene differed from the two convicted men in terms of both physical appearance and clothing. The credibility of two elements that supported the conviction--the men's confessions and eyewitness accounts--were thus considerably undermined.
 新たな証言も明らかになった。事件当時、現場付近で目撃された男たちは、容姿や服装の点でこの2人とは異なっていたとの内容だった。立証の両輪の信用性が、大きく揺らいだわけだ。

===

Withheld evidence?

The way prosecutors handled the case was problematic. Many pieces of evidence, such as the new eyewitness accounts--which were pivotal in the decision to hold a retrial--were disclosed for the first time during court deliberations on a petition for a retrial of the case.
 この事件で特に問題なのは、検察の対応である。新たな目撃証言など再審開始の決め手となった証拠の多くは、今回の再審請求で検察が初めて出したものだった。

It now appears almost certain that prosecutors in the original trial deliberately withheld pieces of evidence that could have hindered a guilty conviction.
 2人を有罪にするため、公判で不利になる証拠は開示しなかった検察の姿勢が透けて見える。

Among the new evidence are audio tapes containing recordings of the men's interrogations. The high court acknowledged that the tapes likely had been tampered with. We suspect that parts of the tapes that would have proved inconvenient for the police and prosecutors were erased.
 取り調べを録音したテープも新証拠の一つだった。これについても、高裁は「編集痕が認められる」と認定した。警察や検察にとって都合が悪い部分を消去したということはなかったのだろうか。

Prosecutors control evidence. Therefore, if they intentionally withhold evidence or falsify tapes, a fair trial cannot take place.
 証拠を一手に握っているのは検察側だ。証拠を意図的に出さなかったり、テープを改ざんしたりしては、公正な裁判は望めない。

In lay judge trials, in which the number of pieces of evidence is narrowed down in advance to help expedite court deliberations, it is highly likely that arbitrary disclosure of evidence by prosecutors could result in erroneous judgments. This aspect of the system must not be forgotten.
 迅速な審理のため、証拠数を事前に絞り込む裁判員裁判では、なおのこと、検察の恣意(しい)的な証拠開示は誤判を招きやすい。そのことを忘れてはならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 17, 2009)
(2009年12月17日01時00分  読売新聞)

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2009年12月16日 (水)

普天間移設 展望なき「越年」決定は誤りだ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 16, 2009)
PM gets it wrong on Futenma
普天間移設 展望なき「越年」決定は誤りだ(12月16日付・読売社説)

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama may go down in history for derailing the reversion of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture to Japan. We cannot but hold such a strong feeling of foreboding over this matter.
 鳩山首相は、米軍普天間飛行場の返還を頓挫させたことで、歴史に名を残すのではないか。そんな深刻な危惧(きぐ)を抱かざるを得ない。

The Hatoyama government on Tuesday officially announced a policy of postponing a decision on where to relocate the helicopter functions of the Futenma airfield until next year at the earliest. The three ruling parties--the Democratic Party of Japan, the Social Democratic Party and the People's New Party--also decided to continue discussing possible new candidate relocation sites for the facility among themselves, eyeing the possibility of reviewing the 2006 deal between Tokyo and Washington regarding the Futenma relocation.
 政府が、沖縄県の普天間飛行場の移設問題について、結論を来年以降に先送りする方針を正式決定した。移設先は、現行計画の見直しも視野に入れ、与党3党で協議していくという。

This decision puts party interests before national interests for the sake of maintaining the current three-party coalition. It also means that the Japanese side has unilaterally scrapped an agreement reached at Japan-U.S. summit talks in November that a speedy conclusion on the relocation issue would be made, running the risk of destroying the relationship of mutual trust Japan and the United States have built up over the years.
 民主、社民、国民新の3党連立政権を維持するため、国益より党益を優先した結論だ。11月の日米首脳会談で合意した「迅速な結論」を一方的に反古(ほご)にするもので、長年積み上げてきた日米の信頼関係を崩壊させかねない。

===

Move will hurt Japan-U.S. ties

As Washington has already responded negatively to Tokyo's new policy, future negotiations on the issue between the two countries look sure to sail into rough waters. Besides, the new policy will hinder the start of bilateral talks on deepening Japan-U.S. alliance toward the 50th anniversary of the revision of the Japan-U.S. security treaty next year. We also are concerned that the bilateral relationship as whole will become bogged down.
 米側は日本の新方針に否定的な姿勢を示しており、今後の日米交渉は難航するのが確実だ。来年の日米安保条約改定50周年に向けて同盟を深化させる協議が開始できないだけでなく、日米関係全体の停滞が懸念される。

A relocation site for the airfield must be close to other marine corps bases so troops can be moved quickly. That is why relocating the base within the prefecture has always been a precondition for the reversion of the Futenma base to Japan since the 1996 Japan-U.S. agreement.
 そもそも普天間飛行場の代替施設は部隊運用上、他の海兵隊基地と近接している必要がある。このため、1996年の日米合意以来、一貫して県内移設が飛行場返還の前提条件となっていた。

Reviewing this stipulation and proposing the transfer of Futenma's functions to another prefecture or overseas would void 13 years of collaboration by the two governments and even risk undoing the reversion agreement. Did the Hatoyama administration understand the grave significance of the Futenma issue before making its latest decision?
 この前提を見直して県外・国外移設を提起する場合、この13年間の日米の共同作業は無に帰し、返還合意さえ白紙に戻る。鳩山政権は、その重大な意味を理解し、今回の決定をしたのだろうか。

Of course, the prime minister bears the greatest responsibility for creating the current situation. Although he claimed that he himself would make the final decision on the issue, Hatoyama has continued to vacillate.
 この事態を招いた最大の責任は無論、「最後は私が決める」と言いつつ、優柔不断な対応に終始してきた鳩山首相にある。

On different occasions, he said the United States, Okinawa Prefecture and the SDP were all important--comments intended to appease the respective parties he talked to. That resulted in heightened calls in Okinawa Prefecture and the SDP demanding the transfer of Futenma's functions to outside the prefecture, narrowing the prime minister's options.
 首相は、米国も沖縄も社民党も大切だとして、会談相手ごとに都合のいい発言を繰り返してきた。その結果、県外移設論が沖縄や社民党に高まり、自らの選択肢を狭めてしまった。

Hatoyama also made different remarks on the Futenma problem almost every day, confusing those concerned with the issue. It is doubtful whether he has what it takes to be prime minister.
 本人の発言も、日替わりのようにぶれ、関係者を混乱させた。首相としての資質が問われる。

===

No realistic alternative

The problem is that no new perspective can be expected on the issue even though the government has put off deciding where to transfer the functions of the airfield until next year. There is no realistic candidate relocation site for the Futenma base outside the prefecture. It will be extremely difficult and will require a huge amount of time and effort to come up with a concrete relocation plan from scratch and obtain approval for it from the United States, Okinawa Prefecture and the local government of the new relocation site.
 問題は、移設先の決着を来年に先送りしても、何の展望も開けないことだ。県外移設は現実的な候補が見当たらない。一から具体案を検討し、米国と沖縄と移設先の同意を得るのは極めて困難で、膨大な時間と労力を要しよう。

Nevertheless, Hatoyama expressed his intention to seek an option other than the current plan. This apparently contradicts his own government's policy to earmark expenses for the current plan in the fiscal 2010 budget.
 それでも、鳩山首相は、現行計画以外の案を模索する考えを表明した。現行計画の実施費を来年度予算案に計上する、という政府方針と明らかに矛盾する。

It is certain that Hatoyama's remark will cause additional confusion. It is highly questionable whether the prime minister really wishes to alleviate the burdens on residents of Okinawa Prefecture linked to hosting U.S. military installations while at the same time firmly maintaining the Japan-U.S. alliance.
 首相発言が新たな混乱を引き起こすのは避けられまい。首相は本当に、日米同盟を堅持しつつ沖縄の負担軽減を実現したいのか、重大な疑問が残る。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 16, 2009)
(2009年12月16日01時13分  読売新聞)

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2009年12月15日 (火)

米国景気回復の兆しか?

citibank政府貸付金返済のめど、景気回復のきざしか?
スラチャイの取引銀行はcitibank それでこの銀行の動向を気にしていました。
つぶれたら困るな、どうしようかと考えていました。
バンクオブアメリカが政府よりの援助貸付金を完済したのに続き、
シティーバンクも概ね完済のめどがついたそうです。
まだ不安材料も残っていますが。
オバマ大統領は主用銀行首脳人をホワイトハウスに召還、
中小企業への貸し渋りをやめるように指示した。
自分たちの利益確保に躍起となっている裕福な貸付銀行家に対しては、
強烈な非難の声を浴びせ掛けた。
(スラチャイ)

(info. this morning sent by washington post.)

Citi Steps Up Effort To Repay Bailout Cash

Citigroup is close to reaching a deal to repay taxpayer money, reports the New York Times . Nothing is final, but bank executives are eager to prove Citi can stand on its own and no longer needs government help. Getting rid of the $45 billion in government money it has received, not to mention the numerous other forms of assistance, isn't going to be a simple process. According to the NYT , bank officials want to raise around $18 billion this week, and then they hope to get approval to redeem at least $20 billion of preferred stock the government received. In addition, Citigroup would exit a federal insurance policy on troubled assets so that the bank would be responsible for any losses. The Treasury Department would then sell its 34 percent stake in Citigroup through "a series of large stock sales over the next several months to institutional investors," reports the NYT . The Wall Street Journal hears something slightly different and reports that Citigroup will reach a deal to pay back some, but not all, of its bailout money and predicts the government is likely to hold on to a stake in the banking giant for the near future. Regardless, it's clear Citigroup is eager to get out from under the government's thumb as quickly as possible, a desire that suddenly gained more urgency after Bank of America won approval to pay back the government cash. Executives hate the fact that Citigroup is the last major Wall Street bank to hold such deep ties to Washington. Meanwhile, the president will meet with the heads of the 12 biggest banks at the White House to push them to provide more loans to small businesses and homeowners. Last night, Obama upped the populist rhetoric against Wall Street and criticized "fat cat bankers" for worrying so much about their bonuses when Americans are still suffering from the recession. 

Read original story in The New York Times | Monday, Dec. 14, 2009

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日米航空自由化 「空」も大競争時代を迎えた

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 15, 2009)
Age of megacompetition in air markets has arrived
日米航空自由化 「空」も大競争時代を迎えた(12月15日付・読売社説)

More than half a century after the opening of routes over the Pacific Ocean between Japan and the United States, a full liberalization of their civil aviation markets will be achieved at last.
 太平洋路線が開設されてから半世紀を経て、日米間の空の完全自由化がようやく実現する。

The Japanese and U.S. governments have agreed to liberalize air traffic under a so-called open skies accord.
 日米両政府が、航空自由化(オープンスカイ)協定の締結で合意した。

The agreement will be formally signed by October, allowing all Japanese and U.S. carriers to freely decide on the routes and numbers of flights between the two countries, in principle.
正式に協定が結ばれる来秋には、両国のすべての航空会社が日米間の路線や便数を自由に設定できるようになる。

To attract tourists and trade from abroad, the United States, European countries and South Korea have already concluded open skies agreements with one another and are promoting liberalization of their respective civil aviation markets. But Japan has cut such a deal only with eight countries and regions, mainly in Asia.
 欧米や韓国は、自国に人やモノを呼び込むため、互いに航空自由化協定を結び、空の自由化を進めている。だが、日本がこれまで自由化協定を結んだのはアジアなど8か国・地域にすぎない。

If Japan falls behind further in this endeavor, it could find itself left out of the world's main aviation networks. The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry should strive to ensure that the Japan-U.S. open skies agreement serves its purpose of revitalizing the aviation industry and improving passengers' convenience. The ministry also must quickly overhaul the administration of air transportation and prepare for the fierce competition in the industry that the agreement will bring about.
 これ以上後れをとれば、日本は世界の主要航空網から外されかねない。国土交通省は自由化協定を航空業界の活性化や利用者の利便性向上につなげるとともに、航空行政の転換を急ぎ、業界内の競争激化に備えるべきだ。

===

Too few flight slots available

To increase the routes and numbers of flights under the latest open skies agreement, airports must be able to handle such additional traffic. The liberalization of the civil aviation market has been delayed in Japan mainly because departure and arrival slots at airports in the Tokyo metropolitan area, to which many foreign airlines hope to extend services, have always been fully occupied.
 自由化によって路線や便数を増やすには、空港にそれを受け入れる余力がなければならない。日本の航空自由化が遅れたのは、乗り入れ希望が多い首都圏空港の発着枠が恒常的に満杯だったことが大きく影響している。

The Japan-U.S. open skies agreement was realized in response to the extension of Runway B at Narita Airport and the scheduled expansion of Haneda Airport, whose fourth runway will open in October, increasing the departure and arrival slots for international flights operated by the two airports by 20,000 and 30,000 a year, respectively, from next year.
 今回の日米合意は、成田、羽田両空港で滑走路が延伸・増設され、来年に国際線の発着枠が成田で年2万回、羽田で年3万回増えることを受けて実現した。

But the two airports are expected to immediately fill these increases in flight slots. To see results from the open skies agreement, it is indispensable that efforts be made to increase the flight slots further.
 だが、この程度の発着枠の増加はすぐ使い切ってしまう。自由化の実をあげるため、さらに発着枠を増やす努力が欠かせない。

At the same time, it is important to proceed with the plan to transform Haneda Airport into an international hub airport.
 同時に、羽田の国際拠点(ハブ)化も進めることが重要だ。

In the Japan-U.S. negotiations for the open skies agreement, Japan has agreed to grant the United States landing and departure slots at Haneda Airport for up to four round-trip flights daily late at night and early in the morning. Transport minister Seiji Maehara, meanwhile, has expressed his willingness to allow flights to and from the United States and European countries in the daytime at the airport in and after 2011.
 今回の日米協議では、深夜・早朝に羽田を発着する米国便を1日8便新設することが決まったが、前原国土交通相は2011年以降、昼間にも羽田に欧米便を就航させる考えを示している。

===

JAL tie-up to have big effects

With the liberalization of flight route scheduling, it is possible that airlines could increase the number of flights to and from the United States at Haneda Airport and reduce those at other international airports. Therefore, Narita, Kansai and Chubu airports will have to make more managerial efforts, including lowering their landing fees.
 路線設定の自由化によって、航空会社は羽田の米国便を増やす代わりに、他の国際空港の米国便を減らすことも考えられる。成田、関西、中部の国際空港は、着陸料の引き下げなどの経営努力が、さらに必要になろう。

With the liberalization, there is a higher possibility that even if Japanese and U.S. airlines jointly fix prices and sell tickets to fill seats, they could be exempted from the application of the Antimonopoly Law. A reorganization of the Japanese and U.S. aviation industries likely would be accelerated.
 自由化によって、日米の航空会社が共同で運賃や座席管理などを進めても独占禁止法の適用除外となる可能性が高まる。日米航空業界の再編が加速しそうだ。

With whom will cash-strapped Japan Airlines conclude a business tie-up--Delta Air Lines or American Airlines? The two U.S. carriers belong to different airline alliances, and JAL's tie-up will have major consequences for the power relationships among the world aviation industries.
 経営再建中の日本航空は、米デルタ、アメリカン航空のどちらと提携するのか。両社は異なる航空連合に属し、提携の行方は航空業界の勢力図を大きく変える。

We hope that JAL will decide who to tie up with by taking into account passengers' needs, such as reasonable airfares and transit convenience.
 日航は運賃や乗り継ぎの利便性など、利用者の視点も忘れずに、提携相手を決めてほしい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 15, 2009)
(2009年12月15日00時50分  読売新聞)

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2009年12月14日 (月)

タイの詩聖スントーンプー

タイの詩聖スントーンプー

タイではきわめて有名な詩聖スントンプーのことは
日本ではあまりよく知られていない。
この詩聖の生い立ちを調べているうちに
英文の資料をみつけました。
文章が私にとって難解であり、理解するまでに何度も
読み直しました。
スントーンプーは私のお気に入りのラヨーンの出身で
今から200年以上前にラヨーンのクレーンという街
で生まれています。
すぐに詩人としての才能を開花させましたが、
生来の酒好きが災いして、その人生は必ずしも
幸せなものではなかったように思います。
この難解な英文はプリンスプレムプラチャトラにより
執筆されたものですが、この素晴らしい文章のおかげで
詩聖スントンプーの生涯のアウトラインが見えたような
気がします。
感謝しています。

ラヨーンの市街より車で10分くらいのところに、
私の愛するビーチリゾートがあります。
このビーチの名前はメーラムプンビーチ、
大変静かなビーチで喧騒のパタヤとは好対照をなしています。
ここから海岸沿いの道路を東に進むとバンペーの町に到着します。
バンペーを抜けると有名なスワンソンビーチ。
スワンソンビーチを抜け更に車で30分くらい走ると
メーピン岬に到着します。
メーピン岬より北に向かう道を登れば有名なタイの詩聖
スントーンプーの碑に着きます。
スワンソンビーチを抜けメーピン岬までの道路沿いには
多くの美しいビーチが点在しています。
隠れた穴場ですが、ここに行くには車が必要です。
レンタカーなどを利用すべき場所です。

kiyoshi matsui from Khonkaen, Thailand

下の英文は私がタイプアップしました。
このときにはブラインドタッチで随分素早く打ち込めました。
脳梗塞で右手が少し不自由になり、以前のように素早く打ち込むことができなくなりました。
(文章の改行は原文の通りとしました)

Sunthorn Phu

by Prince Prem Purachatra.

Over 200 years ago, on 26 June 1786, the wife of a humble Rayong divine then living in
Bangkok gave birth to a baby boy. In due course, the little boy was given the name of Phu.
When he grew up, his genius as a poet was quickly recognized and he won the esteem of
kings and commoners alike. Finally, after many vicissitudes in the course of a colorful career, he
attained the distinction of Poet Laureate and was created Phra Sunthorn Voharn. Today, 130
years after his death, Sunthorn Phu is accepted as one of the greatest poets Thailand ever
produced, and he holds his place among the leading poets of the world.
Sunthorn Phu was born in the fifth year of the reign of King Rama 1. His father was a native of
Muang Klaeng, a township in the Province of Rayong, but his married life was spent in Bangkok.
Soon after young Phu was born, his parents divorced. His father went back to Muang Klaeng
and took holy orders there. His mother married again and later became the wet-nurse
of a princess in the royal palace. Young Phu stayed with his mother and thus spent his
early years in the palace.
Like the youths of his time, the future poet received standard education in a
monastery now known as War Sri Sudaram, situated at Klong Bangkok Noi. Leaving
school, he obtained the post of a clerk in the government service. But the only work
that was congenial to him was the writing of verse. In this he was adept even as a
mere boy. Before he came of age, he wrote a long poem based on the story of
Khobutra which, however, was left unfinished. Nevertheless, the work showed
promise of a genius that was later to attain full development.
It was about this time that the youthful poet fell in love with one of the ladies of the
palace whose name was Chan, a woman who had a considerable influence on his
work. But in those days it was a heinous offence to love one of the palace ladies,
and as a consequence of his romantic folly, both he and his mistress were put in
palace prison. On their release in 1806, Sunthorn Phu left the Capital, accompanied
by two disciples, to pay a visit to his father whom he had not seen since he
was a little boy. On his way, he wrote his first great poem Nirat Muang Klaeng, in
which he described the journey and addressed many tender lines to his lady-love.
Sunthorn Phu's original intention was to join  his father and enter the monkhood
for a term. But soon after he arrived at Muang Klaeng, he fell seriously ill with fever,
and had to return to Bangkok as soon as he recovered. He was with his father for
only two months, and had been away from the Capital for three. His return saw a happy
ending to his love affair. He married his Chan, and a son was duly born to them.
The course of true love, however, did not run smooth. The young poet became too fond of
the bottle, and this caused frequent quarrels between him and his wife. It ended with her
finally leaving him for another man, but not before he had immortalized her name in many of
his works.
Sunthorn Phu soon made his name as a court poet of exceptional merit. At the age of
twenty-one, he accompanied one of the young princes to the shrine of Phra Buddha
Bat, and wrote a beautiful poem called Nirat Phra Bat, in which he described his
experiences and referred to the differences that had arisen between him and his
wife.
In 1809, King Rama 1 died and King Rama 2 succeeded to the throne. King Rama
2 was himself a poet of genius, and he saw in Sunthorn Phu a kindred spirit. Soon
after his accession, therefore, His Majesty gave the young poet a position at court.
Sunthorn Phu quickly proved his worth. When the King was writing his Ramaken, he
often consulted the poet on different points connected with versification and always
found him with a ready answer. His Majesty was therefore very
pleased with him and crated him Khun Sunthorn Voharn and
kept him near his person whenever he was writing.
Unfortunately, however, Sunthorn Phu could not leave off
drinking, and this soon got him into trouble. One day, when he
was drunk, he had a quarrel with his mother. One of his uncles
tried to intervene, and the poet turned on him and severely
injured him. This came to the ears of the King. His Majesty was
strongly displeased and ordered the unruly young man to be
put in prison.
This term of imprisonment actually proved to be a blessing in
disguise, for it was while he was in prison that he conceived the
idea of writing a long imaginative romance, with two princely
brothers as heroes living lives of adventure in a world full of
magic charms and enchantments and strange beings. This was
the beginning of the famous Phra Abhai Mani, one of the
greatest imaginative works ever written. It was not completed
until the poet was middle-aged, but he was able to sell many
cantos of it in manuscript form to a delighted reading public
while he was in prison, and thus earned a handsome income for
himself.
As might have been expected, he did not remain in prison
long. He was far too useful to the King. One day, His Majesty had
urgent need of his services and so granted him a full pardon.
Once again, Sunthorn Phu became the royal favorite, the
instructor of royal sons and a general literary adviser. He was
one of the famous literary circle, headed by King Rama 2, that
composed one of the finest works in the language, The Story of
Khun Changand Khun Phan. He is accredited with having
written the chapter about the birth of Phlai Ngarm, son of Khun
Phan and the heroine Wan Thong.
It was in his capacity as literary adviser that he incurred the
wrath of the King's eldest son, Prince Jesdabodindra, also a
poet. Sunthorn Phu ventured to make public criticism of some
lines written by the Prince, sometimes going to the extent of
improving the lines by rewriting them extempore, a kind of work
at which he was particularly adept. The
Prince took this as a personal slight, and unfortunately for the
poet, never forgot it and never forgave him for it.
In 1824, Sunthorn Phu's great patron, King Rama 2, passed
away, and Sunthorn Phu's enemy, Prince Jesdabodindra,
ascended the throne as King Rama 3. The poet was at once
deprived of his title and position, and he had to take to the
kindly shelter of the yellow robe. He remained in the monk hood
for 18 years. During this period, he wrote several poems, the
most notable being Nirat Suphan and Nirat War Chao Fa, all
written on his various journeys to different places.
Around 1832, Prince Lakhananukhun, a young son of King
Rama 3, took a liking to the wandering poet, and took him
under his patronage. Sunthorn Phu then left the monk hood
and lived as a retainer of this prince for whom he wrote several
more cantos of Phra Abhai Mani and some other poems. But
adversity dogged the poet, for in 1835, his princely patron died
and he was again thrown out upon the world. During this
unhappy period, he led a sorry existence, wandering from place
to place in a boat, which was his only home and selling his
poems wherever he could.
A great poet like Sunthorn Phu could not remain long in
obscurity, however. Not very long afterwards, Prince
Isaresrangsan, another son of King Rama 2, received him into
his service. This prince was the favorite younger brother of
Prince Mongkut, and when the latter became King Rama 4, he
was raised to the rank of His Majesty Phra Pin Klao and invested
with regal powers. The prince thereupon bestowed on his Poet
Laureate the dignity of Phara Sunthorn Voharn, a position which
the latter retained to the end of his days. During this last period,
when he was under the patronage of His Majesty Phra Pin
Klao, he wrote Nirat Phra Prathom and many other poems
including lullabies for the royal children. He lived and wrote to a
ripe old age. He died, a man of rank, position and fame, at the
age of seventy, in 1855.
The greatness of Sunthorn Phu lies not so much in correct
and ornate style, which is the aim of most Thai poets, as in the
very simplicity and sincerity of his expression. Unlike so many
other poets, he wrote from his heart and not from his head. Not
being a learned man, he confined himself to simple
forms of verse and simple language. But in his
own field, in what we call Gion poetry, he was
past master and his works are unsurpassed and
probably can never be surpassed, although no
other Thai poet has had so many imitators. But
Sunthorn Phu
reigns supreme,
because in all his poetry, in Phra
Abhai Mani, in his Nirats with their
mixture of romance, pathos and humour,
he touched the heartstrings of the
common people. That is why he is so
deservedly called the People's Poet.

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タイ日辞書

dict.htm

タイ日辞書

タイ日辞書の使用方法 :

(1) 上のタイ日辞書をクリックしてタイ日辞書を呼び出す
(2) Ctrl + F で検索ウィンドウを呼び出す
(3) 検索するタイ語(単語)または日本語を入力する
(4) 次を検索をクリックする

以下はスラチャイのアフィリエイトです。
よろしくお願いいたします。







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米朝協議―北朝鮮は6者合意に戻れ

--The Asahi Shimbun, Dec. 11(IHT/Asahi: December 12,2009)
EDITORIAL: U.S.-North Korea talks.
米朝協議―北朝鮮は6者合意に戻れ

At long last, negotiations between the United States and North Korea have resumed, with the visit of the first U.S. government envoy to Pyongyang since the administration of President Barack Obama began.
 オバマ政権になって初めて米政府代表が北朝鮮を訪問し、ようやく協議の仕切り直しが始まった。

Stephen Bosworth, U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, met with First Vice Foreign Minister Kang Sok Ju, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's close aide who handles foreign policy.
 ボズワース北朝鮮政策特別代表が、金正日総書記の側近で外交を取り仕切る姜錫柱第1外務次官と会談した。

Returning to Seoul from Pyongyang on Thursday, Bosworth said to the effect that the United States reached a "common understanding" with North Korea on the role of the six-party talks.
 きのう平壌からソウルに戻った特別代表は、「6者協議の役割」について「北朝鮮と共通の理解に達した」と語った。

However, he also stated that further discussion is needed among the six parties about when and how North Korea would return to the table.
だが北朝鮮が6者協議にいつ、どのように復帰するかは「6者でさらなる協議が必要だ」とも述べた。

It has been a year since the six-party talks were suspended. During this time, as if to test the newly established Obama administration, Pyongyang repeatedly test-fired ballistic missiles and even conducted its second nuclear test in May.
 6者協議が途絶えてちょうど1年である。この間、北朝鮮は発足早々のオバマ政権を試すかのように、弾道ミサイルの発射実験を繰り返し、2回目の核実験まで強行した。

North Korea also openly admitted for the first time in June that it embarked on uranium enrichment tests. Furthermore, it reportedly reprocessed used nuclear fuel and extracted plutonium, which can be used to make nuclear weapons. It also declared its withdrawal from the six-party talks.
 ウラン濃縮の試験に乗り出したことも初めて公にした。使用済み核燃料を再処理し、核兵器の材料であるプルトニウムを新たに抽出したともいう。6者協議からの離脱も宣言した。

Uranium enrichment must not be tolerated. But even if North Korea tries to advance its uranium program, it would take some time before the program can become fully operational. The first priority must be to stop North Korea from resuming operations of nuclear reactors that can lead to the production of plutonium.
 ウラン濃縮は認めるわけにはいかない。だが、北朝鮮が計画を進めようとしても、本格的な活動までにまだ時間がかかるとされる。まずはプルトニウムを生む原子炉を再び稼働させないことを最優先としなければならない。

There are also suspicions that North Korea exported weapons to Africa in violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution. Surveillance for executing sanctions against Pyongyang must be strengthened.
 北朝鮮が国連安保理の制裁決議に違反してアフリカに武器を輸出した疑惑も浮上している。制裁の履行への監視も強める必要があろう。

Now that U.S.-North Korea talks have resumed, it is important not to allow Pyongyang to act selfishly and aggravate the crisis.
 米朝間の協議が再開したばかりのいま大事なのは、こうした危機を高める身勝手な行動をこれ以上、取らせないことである。

For that, we need dialogue to take root and encourage North Korea to sit down at the negotiating table of the six-party talks. Although the future of U.S.-North Korea talks remains uncertain, we urge Washington, which holds the key to the North Korean problem, and Beijing, which chairs the six-party talks, to continue their effort to persuade Pyongyang.
 そのためには対話への流れを定着させ、北朝鮮を6者協議の交渉テーブルにつかせないといけない。米朝協議の行方はまだ不透明だが、北朝鮮問題の鍵を握る米国、6者議長国の中国には引き続き説得を重ねてもらいたい。

The purpose is the complete denuclearization of North Korea.
 目的は北朝鮮の完全な非核化だ。

There are concerns over Kim's health. In addition, North Korea hopes to open its doors toward becoming "a major power" to commemorate the centennial of the birth of former North Korean leader Kim Il Sung three years from now.
 金総書記の健康不安。3年後の故金日成主席生誕100年に「大国」への扉を開けるという目標。

Because of such time restraints, perhaps North Korea is growing impatient for achievements, such as paving the way to replace the cease-fire agreement of the Korean War with a peace accord through direct negotiations with the United States.
そうした時間の制約から、北朝鮮は米国との直接交渉で、朝鮮戦争の休戦協定から平和協定への転換の道筋をつけるなど、成果を急ぎたいかもしれない。

But what North Korea needs to understand is that the issues of a peace accord, denuclearization and normalization of diplomatic relations with the United States and Japan cannot be resolved by Washington and Pyongyang alone.
 だが、北朝鮮が心しておかねばならないのは、平和協定にせよ、非核化や米朝・日朝の国交正常化にせよ、米朝だけで解決できないという現実だ。

Such objectives have already been incorporated into the joint statement of the six-party talks four years ago. North Korea must return to that track.
 こうした目標はすべて、4年前の6者協議の共同声明にすでに盛り込まれている。北朝鮮はそのレールに戻ってこなければならない。

North Korea has staged crises to solicit kickbacks from other countries. But it must also seriously accept that Japan, the United States and South Korea have vowed not to allow a repeat of such developments.
 北朝鮮が危機を演出し、他の国が見返りを与える。過去のそんな繰り返しはしないと日米韓が強調していることも北朝鮮は重く受け止めるべきだ。

Japan, the United States, South Korea, China and Russia should not easily compromise until they can move North Korea toward denuclearization. They should put the 2005 joint statement into practice. It is vital that they further strengthen their cooperation.
 5者は安易に妥協せず北朝鮮を非核化へと動かさねばならない。そして共同声明を実行に移させる。さらなる連携強化が欠かせない。

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2009年12月13日 (日)

不倫騒動

英雄色を好む!

奥さん: ゴルフをとるの、私(ウッズの奥さん)をとるの!
ウッズ: 奥さんをとる(何でもする)
つきあっていた女性は4名、うち2名はウッズが雇用している税務担当者。
お手当て、一人当り1500万円。驚きました。
(スラチャイ)

(info. yesterday from washington post)

Tiger Woods Ready To Quit Golf To Save Marriage

According to the Sun, Elin Nordgren has told Tiger Woods he has to choose between his marriage or golf. Woods told his wife he "will do anything" to save their marriage, and she gave him a long list of demands, including a prohibition from going out on tour until either she decides to trust him again or their two kids are old enough to go along with them. Meanwhile, the New York Post reports claims by a well-known Hollywood madam, Michelle Braun, that between 2006 and 2007, Woods paid her $60,000 for at least four escorts a total of "six times." He allegedly paid $15,000 for one woman. Braun said two of the women who had already been linked to Woods were her employees and even produced tax forms to prove it.

Read original story in The Sun | Friday, Dec. 11, 2009

(info. this morning from kyodo news)

ウッズ自粛、石川も「びっくり」 日ごろから尊敬

 男子ゴルフのスーパースター、タイガー・ウッズ(米国)が不倫騒動で無期限のツアー大会出場自粛を表明したことを受け、ウッズへの尊敬を常々口にしている石川遼は12日、「驚いた。タイガーはストイックなイメージがあったから。1人のファンとして皆さんと同じようにびっくりした」と話した。石川は、ウッズからゴルファーとして大きな影響を受けていただけに、ショックは隠せない様子だった。

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天皇特例会見 憂慮される安易な「政治利用」

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 13, 2009)
Emperor must never appear to be political tool
天皇特例会見 憂慮される安易な「政治利用」(12月13日付・読売社説)

It is quite understandable that Shingo Haketa, grand steward of the Imperial Household Agency, expressed grave concern at a press conference Friday about the decision process that led to an audience with the Emperor being hastily arranged for Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping. Breaking with convention, Haketa said, could lead to political exploitation of the Emperor.
 宮内庁の羽毛田信吾長官が、天皇の政治利用に当たる懸念がある、として深い憂慮の念を示したのも当然である。

Xi is scheduled to visit Japan from Monday and meet the Emperor a day later.
 14日に来日する中国の習近平国家副主席が天皇陛下と会見することになった。

長官の発言は、この決定過程について記者団に語ったものだ。

According to Haketa, the agency received a request from the Chinese government for a meeting with the Emperor through the Foreign Ministry on Nov. 26, which was less than 20 days before Xi's planned visit.
 羽毛田長官によると、宮内庁が外務省を通じて、中国政府からの会見要請を受け取ったのは、習副主席の来日まで20日を切った11月26日のことだ。

Government regulations state that an application for a meeting with the Emperor by any visiting foreign dignitary must be received at least one month in advance. Therefore, a day after receiving the petition, the agency told Beijing it could not accept the request in accordance with this rule.
 陛下と外国要人の会見は、1か月前までに申請を受け付けるという政府のルールがある。このため宮内庁は「ルールに照らして応じかねる」と回答した。

However, the matter did not end there.
 しかし、事はそれで収まらなかった。

According to Haketa, he was phoned on two occasions by Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano, who asked that Xi be exempted from the rule.
The top government spokesman pressed Haketa to accept his request, saying on his second call that he was making it "on the instruction of the prime minister."
平野官房長官が、電話で2度にわたり長官に特例扱いを要請し、最後は「総理の指示だ」と強引に説き伏せたという。

===

Unwelcome precedent set

Because Xi is widely seen as likely to succeed President Hu Jintao, the Chinese government apparently urged Tokyo to arrange the meeting with the Emperor through personal connections, including Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa.
 中国側が、胡錦濤国家主席の後継者と目される習副主席の来日にあたり、民主党の小沢幹事長など複数の人脈を使って、日本政府に天皇との会見を強く働きかけたことが背景にあるようだ。

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said the government's handling of the matter in no way meant it had used the Emperor for political purposes.
"I was aware of the one-month rule, but I had to consider whether it's right from the viewpoint of international friendship to rigidly stick to it," Hatoyama said.
 鳩山首相は「1か月ルールは知っていたが、杓(しゃく)子(し)定規なことが国際的な親善の意味で正しいことなのか」と述べて、政治利用に当たらないとの見解を示した。

But breaking the rule once has set a precedent. How would Hatoyama now deal with a similar request were one to come from a nation such as the United States, South Korea or Russia?
 だが、一度ルールを破ると、それが当たり前になる恐れがある。今後、例えば米国や韓国、ロシアから同様の要請があった場合、首相はどう対応するのか。

===

Treat all requests equally

According to Haketa, Hirano also said he was making the request "in view of the importance of the Japan-China relationship."
 羽毛田長官によると、平野官房長官は「日中関係の重要性にかんがみ」と話したという。

But it is precisely because Japan-China ties are important that Hirano should have explained Japan's Imperial system--which recognizes the Emperor as the symbol of the state--and other matters to Beijing, and gained China's understanding. This approach would promote bilateral friendship in the truest sense.
日中関係が大事だからこそ、きちんと象徴天皇制などについて説明し、理解を得るべきだった。それでこそ日中友好の真の促進にもなる。

The Emperor meets foreign guests more than 100 times a year. Meetings with the Emperor, in addition to being subject to the advance-application rule, have been arranged on an equitable basis, regardless of the size of countries and their political importance.
The Emperor has said it is important his official duties be performed on an equitable footing and based on certain criteria.
 天皇陛下が外国の賓客などに会われる回数は年100回以上に上る。国の大小や政治的重要性を問わず、事前に申請があれば平等に設定されてきた。陛下も「公務はある基準に基づき公平に行われることが大切」と語られている。

The one-month rule is intended to allow for the smooth scheduling of the Emperor's many official duties. Since 2003, when the Emperor underwent prostate cancer surgery, the rule has been strictly enforced to ensure the Emperor's health is not adversely affected.
 1か月ルールは、様々な公務があり、多忙な陛下の日程調整を円滑に行うためのルールだ。陛下が2003年に前立腺がんの手術をされて以降は、健康管理のためもあり、特に厳守されてきた。

Recently, Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada was criticized for a remark he made about the speech the Emperor delivers to mark the opening of the Diet.
 岡田外相が国会開会式での陛下のお言葉の内容について発言し批判されたのも、最近のことだ。

Acting in a way that makes it appear the Emperor is being used for political ends must be strictly avoided. The Hatoyama administration does not appear to understand this basic premise.
 天皇が時の政権に利用されたと疑念が持たれることは、厳に慎むべきなのだ。その基本を現政権はわかっていないのではないか。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 13, 2009)
(2009年12月13日01時16分  読売新聞)

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2009年12月12日 (土)

基礎ビルマ語

まずビルマ文字フォントを用意してください。
ビルマ文字をPCの画面上に表すためには、ビルマ文字のフォントが必要です。

Wwin_Burmese1

このビルマ文字フォントをダウンロードしたら、あなたのPCのWindows/Fonts フォルダにコピーしてください。それで準備完了です。

第1課はビルマ文字(子音文字)です。

ビルマのどこの小学校でも、カージー、 カーゲー、 ガーゲーと発音しながらビルマ語の子音文字を学習しています。

これからビルマ語学習の第1歩を踏み出します。

基礎ビルマ語

ビルマ語講座-01
ビルマ語講座-02
ビルマ語講座-03
ビルマ語講座-04
ビルマ語講座-05
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ビルマ語講座-07
ビルマ語講座-08
ビルマ語講座-09
ビルマ語講座-10
ビルマ語講座-11
ビルマ語講座-12
ビルマ語講座-13
ビルマ語講座-14
ビルマ語講座-15
ビルマ語講座-16
ビルマ語講座-17
ビルマ語講座-18
ビルマ語講座-19
ビルマ語講座-20

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小沢訪中団 握手とツーショットだけでは

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 12, 2009)
Ozawa's group visit to China lacks substance
小沢訪中団 握手とツーショットだけでは(12月12日付・読売社説)

Many people probably wondered what was going on when they saw dozens of Democratic Party of Japan lawmakers shaking hands with Chinese President Hu Jintao and having their photos taken with him during their visit to China on Thursday.
 民主党国会議員が大挙して中国を訪問し、胡錦濤・国家主席と次々に握手をして、ツーショット写真に納まる。そんな光景に首をかしげた人は少なくないだろう。

The group, whose honorary head is DPJ Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa, comprised 143 party lawmakers from both chambers of the Diet, including some of those elected for the first time in the House of Representatives election in August. The entire entourage, including their supporters, comprised more than 600 people.
 小沢幹事長を名誉団長とする訪中団の参加者は、先の衆院選で当選した新人をはじめ、衆参国会議員143人。各議員の支持者らを含めると600人を超えた。

The visit was part of the Japan-China exchange program called the "Great Wall Plan" that Ozawa started years ago when he was a member of the Liberal Democratic Party.
 今回の訪中は、小沢氏が自民党時代から進めてきた日中交流「長城計画」の一環だ。

The visit also served as a so-called exchange and discussion mechanism between lawmakers of the DPJ and the Chinese Communist Party. This forum was established based on a proposal Ozawa made during his meeting with Hu in July 2006, when Ozawa was the party leader.
 同時に、民主党と中国共産党との定期協議の場「交流協議機構」の政治家交流も兼ねている。これは、小沢氏が党代表を務めていた2006年7月、胡主席との会談で提案し、設置が決まった。

Activating exchanges between political parties is certainly admirable, since opportunities for politicians to have contact with their counterparts have become quite limited.
 日中の政治家同士のパイプが細くなる中で、政党間交流を活発化させる意義は大きい。

But we wonder if it was really necessary for so many ruling party lawmakers to visit at a time crucial for budget compilation--the first time the administration of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has faced such a task.
 しかし、新政権にとって初の予算編成が本格化しているこの時期に、これほど多数の与党・民主党議員が一斉に訪問する必要性はあったのか。

===

Tough topics dodged

Ozawa held talks with Hu on Thursday, but they reportedly skirted touchy bilateral issues.
 小沢氏は10日、胡主席と会談した。しかし、日中2国間の懸案は素通りしたという。

Investigations into cases of food poisoning in Japan likely caused by frozen gyoza produced in China have yet to get to the bottom of the matter. In addition, China has refused to hold talks with Japan over concluding a treaty to jointly develop gas fields in the East China Sea. Making matters worse, China is preparing to unilaterally start drilling in the Shirakaba gas field, known in China as the Chunxiao gas field.
 中国製の冷凍ギョーザ事件は依然、未解決のままだ。東シナ海のガス田開発問題で、中国側は、日本との条約交渉を拒むとともに、「白樺」ガス田では一方的に掘削開始の態勢を整えつつある。

According to an opinion poll jointly conducted in November by The Yomiuri Shimbun and a weekly magazine published by China's official Xinhua News Agency, about 70 percent of Japanese respondents said they do not trust China. It would not be too much of a stretch to suggest these pending issues have cast a shadow on Japanese people's feelings toward China.
 読売新聞などが11月に実施した日中共同世論調査によると、日本では中国を「信頼できない」と答えた人が7割に上った。これらの問題が中国への信頼感に大きな影を落としているのは確実だ。

During his talks with Hu, Ozawa reportedly said discussions between governments tend to end up as mere formality. Ozawa stressed that each and every issue could be put up for discussion at party-level talks.
 小沢氏は、胡主席との会談の中で、「政府間では、どうしても形式的な議論に陥る。党と党のレベルでは、あらゆる問題を話し合えるように」と語っている。

Ozawa should have practiced what he preached from the outset of his talks with Hu. The DPJ heavyweight should have set an example by exchanging opinions frankly with the Chinese leader.
 小沢氏には早速、自ら実践し、胡主席と率直な意見交換をしてほしかった。

To his credit, Ozawa did express concern over China's military buildup during his meeting with Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie on Friday. Such candid dialogues are essential.
ただ、11日の梁光烈国防相との会談では、中国の軍事力増強に懸念を示した。こんな忌憚(きたん)のない対話が必要だろう。

===

Don't forget Washington

Japan-U.S. relations are in turmoil as the fallout continues from the Hatoyama administration's handling of the planned relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture. Summit talks between Hatoyama and U.S. President Barack Obama, which the Japanese leader wanted to hold in Copenhagen on the sidelines of U.N. climate talks, now look unlikely to go ahead.
 鳩山内閣は、普天間問題の混乱で日米首脳会談も実現できず、日米関係は危機的な状況にある。

Worryingly, the Ozawa-led group's visit to China likely gave the impression, both in Japan and abroad, that the DPJ-led government is leaning more toward China. This could have negative repercussions on Tokyo's relations with Washington.
 心配なのは、小沢訪中団が、民主党政権の「対中傾斜」を内外に印象づけ、対米関係に悪影響をもたらしかねないことだ。

Maintaining friendly relations between Japan and China is certainly important. But cordial ties alone will not be enough to resolve the many complicated issues between the two nations.
 むろん、日中の友好関係は大切だ。だが、両国間には友好だけでは解決できない複雑な問題が多数存在する。

Bearing this in mind, interparty exchanges should be promoted through more practical visits by smaller groups.
政党間交流は、その点を踏まえ、もっと少人数の相互訪問で実務的に進めるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 12, 2009)
(2009年12月12日01時14分  読売新聞)

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2009年12月11日 (金)

スズキVW提携 二つの「エコ」が生んだ再編劇

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 11, 2009)
Suzuki-VW tie-up ushers in new era
スズキVW提携 二つの「エコ」が生んだ再編劇(12月11日付・読売社説)

The combined global sales of Suzuki Motor Corp. and Germany's Volkswagen AG eclipse that of Toyota Motor Corp.
 両社をあわせた販売台数はトヨタ自動車を上回る。

The forging of the world's largest automobile alliance will significantly change the landscape of the auto industry's power map.
世界最大規模の自動車連合の誕生は、業界の勢力図を塗り替えることになりそうだ。

Suzuki, a maker of compact cars, and Germany's largest automaker agreed Wednesday to form capital and business tie-ups.
 小型車メーカーのスズキとドイツ最大手のフォルクスワーゲン(VW)が、資本・業務提携で合意した。

Volkswagen will become Suzuki's largest shareholder by acquiring 19.9 percent of Suzuki's outstanding shares. Suzuki, in return, will purchase up to 2.5 percent of Volkswagen's shares.
 VWはスズキ株の19・9%を取得して筆頭株主となり、スズキも最大で2・5%のVW株を取得する。

The two companies will cooperate in such areas as the development of electric vehicles and fuel-efficient engines, as well as work in tandem on sales in newly emerging nations.
その上で、両社は電気自動車や低燃費エンジンの開発、新興国での販売などで広く協力する。

The Suzuki brand has a reputation for its minicars. However, its Swift and other compact car models also contribute to its annual global sales of 2.3 million units. Volkswagen, the world's third-largest automaker, also is strong in the compact car sector, thanks to its Golf and Polo models. The two companies had been competitors for many years.
 スズキは軽自動車のイメージが強いが、「スイフト」などの小型車を合わせると、全世界の販売台数は年間230万台にのぼる。世界3位のVWも主力は「ゴルフ」「ポロ」などの小型車で、両社は長年、ライバル関係にあった。

Not any more. The automakers have teamed up because each has strength in different areas of the compact car sector.
 その両社が一転して手を結んだのは、同じ小型車といっても、得意分野が異なっているためだ。

===

Give-and-take

Suzuki has excelled at producing low-priced automobiles targeted at newly emerging markets as it made the best use of low-cost production technologies it developed in its production of minicars. Volkswagen, on the other hand, has established a reputation for its environmentally friendly technologies used in low-emission engines.
 スズキは軽自動車で培った低コスト生産技術を駆使し、新興国向けの低価格車を得意とするのに対し、VWは低公害エンジンなどの環境技術に定評がある。

The tie-up is aimed at allowing the automakers to complement each other through the fusion of two "eco" elements--Suzuki's "economy"-conscious technologies and Volkswagen's "ecology"-conscious technologies.
 提携には、スズキの「エコノミー」技術とVWの「エコロジー」技術を持ち寄り、二つの「エコ」の融合で、互いの弱点を補完しあう狙いがある。

Suzuki stands atop the rankings for sales in India, while Volkswagen rules the roost for sales in China. The two companies will be able to take advantage of each other's sales networks in these key markets.
 スズキはインド、VWは中国で販売トップの座にあり、互いの販売網も利用できる。

Suzuki had been eager to find a new partner after it ended its nearly 30-year ties with General Motors Co. of the United States.
 特に、スズキは30年近く続けてきた米ゼネラル・モーターズ(GM)との提携を解消し、新たな提携先を必要としていた。

Suzuki's signing of a new alliance with Volkswagen can be largely attributed to the Japanese automaker's entry into newly emerging markets before many rivals, which enabled it to build solid footholds there.
新興国市場にいち早く進出して足場を築いてきたことが、提携実現の大きな武器となった。

===

Industry at turning point

The auto industry is at a historic turning point. Automakers must consider shying away from vehicles that run on gasoline as they suffer from sluggish sales in the wake of last year's Lehman shock--the financial meltdown triggered by the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.
 自動車業界は昨年のリーマン・ショック以降の販売不振に苦しむ中で、脱ガソリンという歴史的な転機を迎えている。

The development of green technologies and expanding sales routes in emerging economies likely will be critical to automakers' survival.
But achieving these goals will not come cheaply. It would be very difficult for one company to shoulder these huge costs alone.
生き残りのカギを握る環境技術開発と新興国への販路拡大には巨額の資金がかかり、単独での負担は難しい。

The Big Three U.S. automakers, which had been the leading players in the industry, no longer have the wherewithal to make such investments. Japanese and European companies therefore will need to review their strategies on courting potential allies.
 だが、これまで業界をリードしてきた米ビッグスリーは投資余力を失い、日欧メーカーは提携戦略の見直しを迫られている。

Mitsubishi Motors Corp., which had an alliance with Chrysler Group LLC of the United States, is now in talks with French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen. Peugeot reportedly is keen to tap MMC's pioneering work in the commercial production of electric vehicles and strength in the Russian market.
 長年にわたり米クライスラーと組んできた三菱自動車も、仏プジョー・シトロエングループ(PSA)と資本提携の交渉中だ。PSAは三菱が電気自動車を他社に先駆けて市販し、ロシア市場に強いことに注目しているという。

"Economy" and "ecology" look set to be critical elements in any auto industry tie-ups in the years ahead. A new era has dawned on the realignment of the auto industry.
 自動車業界では今後も「二つのエコ」を軸にした提携が続くことが予想される。自動車再編は、新たな局面を迎えたといえよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 11, 2009)
(2009年12月11日01時01分  読売新聞)

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2009年12月10日 (木)

普天間協議中断 同盟の危機回避へ決断せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 10, 2009)
PM must be decisive to avert crisis with U.S.
普天間協議中断 同盟の危機回避へ決断せよ(12月10日付・読売社説)

The Japan-U.S. security alliance is in a crisis situation now that Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has placed priority on the state of the coalition government after flip-flopping in regard to the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture.
 その場しのぎの優柔不断な対応を重ねた末、連立政権の維持を最優先するという鳩山首相の判断が、日米同盟の危機を招いている。

If the current situation is left as is, it might gravely impact Japan-U.S. relations as a whole, which cover not only security but also political and economic spheres.
 このまま放置すれば、安全保障だけでなく、政治、経済などの分野を含め、日米関係全体に重大な影響を与えかねない。

Bilateral relations are in a worrisome state, and Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada has even admitted that the alliance with the United States had been "shaken a little bit." Hatoyama should face up to this fact and hammer out a constructive policy course on the relocation issue.
 岡田外相が「日米同盟が若干揺らいでいる」との懸念を表明するほど、現在の日米関係は憂慮すべき状況にある。鳩山首相は、この事実をきちんと認識し、建設的な対処方針をまとめるべきだ。

===

Whole plan in jeopardy

Bilateral ministerial-level talks on the issue have been suspended. This is because the Japanese government conveyed to the U.S. side its intention to postpone the settlement of the issue by the end of this year due to opposition from the Social Democratic Party--one of the junior coalition partners of Hatoyama's Democratic Party of Japan--toward the current relocation plan within the prefecture.
 沖縄県の米海兵隊普天間飛行場の移設問題を協議する日米の閣僚級の作業部会が中断されることになった。日本側が、与党の社民党の反対を理由に、年内の決着を先送りするよう伝えたためだ。

Washington, meanwhile, has notified Tokyo that it would postpone bilateral talks to "deepen" the security alliance, which had been planned as next year marks the 50th anniversary of the revision of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.
 来年の日米安保条約改定50周年に向けて、同盟関係を深化させるための日米協議についても、米側が延期を通告してきた。

Hatoyama agreed at a summit meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama last month to "expeditiously" solve the Futenma relocation issue. But the prime minister then unilaterally decided to give up settling the issue before the new year due to domestic circumstances. Moves like this are unacceptable if the two nations seek to work together based on a relationship of trust.
 首脳会談で「迅速に結論を出す」と確認しながら、国内事情から年内決着を一方的に断念する。これでは、信頼関係を基盤とする日米の共同作業は成り立たない。

The government must give serious consideration to how crucial it really is to postpone a settlement of the issue within this year.
 政府は、年内決着を先送りすることの重大な意味を真剣に考えねばなるまい。

If the government fails to solve the issue before the end of the year, the current relocation plan would effectively be shelved. It also would be extremely difficult to find an alternative site and the process as a whole would certainly take a great deal of time.
 年内決着が実現しなければ、現行計画は事実上頓挫する。新たな移設先を探す作業は極めて困難で、膨大な時間を要する。

If this comes about, the Futenma base likely will continue for years to expose local residents to dangers due to its location in a densely populated part of Ginowan, and could even end up staying at its current location indefinitely. It also would increasingly risk the collapse of a plan to transfer 8,000 U.S. marines to Guam and return six U.S. military facilities to the nation.
 その場合、市街地に隣接し、危険な普天間飛行場が現状のまま長期間存続し、固定化する恐れが大きい。海兵隊8000人のグアム移転と米軍6施設の返還も白紙に戻る可能性が高まる。

===

Keep coalition in check

Some government officials are considering a plan to ask the United States to place priority on taking measures to mitigate burdens on people in the prefecture, such as the elimination of dangers posed by the Futenma base. But the possibility would be low for the United States to accept any plans that benefit only the Japanese side.
 政府内では新たな対処方針として、普天間飛行場の危険除去など沖縄の負担軽減策を優先して米側に要請する案が浮上している。だが、日本側にだけ都合のいい案に米側が同意する可能性は低い。

It also would be difficult to obtain the understanding of the United States if the government incorporates expenses necessary for the planned relocation in the next fiscal year's budget but has not accepted the current relocation plan.
 現行計画を容認しないまま、移設費用を来年度予算に計上しても米側の理解を得るのは難しい。

After all, it is essential that the Japanese government clarify at an early stage that it supports the existing plan to relocate the Futenma base to a coastal area of the Henoko district of Nago, in the prefecture, where the U.S. Marine Corps' Camp Schwab is located, as agreed by the two governments in 2006.
やはり、日本政府として、現行計画を推進する立場を早期に明確にすることが欠かせない。

We recently have seen several episodes in which the DPJ was swayed by its minor coalition partners--the SDP and the People's New Party--over such issues as the Futenma relocation and the budget compilation. Coupled with Hatoyama's lack of leadership, doubts on the coalition government's ability to implement policy are gathering steam.
 普天間問題や予算編成などをめぐり、民主党が少数与党の社民党や国民新党に振り回される事態が目立つ。首相の指導力の欠如と相まって、連立政権の政策実行能力に大きな疑義を生んでいる。

The SDP threatened to leave the coalition when party leader Mizuho Fukushima said she would have to make "a grave decision" if the government decided to go along with the current relocation plan. We believe it is Hatoyama who must make a grave decision to resolve the Futenma issue as soon as possible, even it is at the cost of the coalition.
 社民党は「重大な決意」に言及して連立離脱をちらつかせ、現行計画に反対した。鳩山首相こそ、連立解消も辞さない「重大な決意」で普天間問題の早期解決に取り組むべき時である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 10, 2009)
(2009年12月10日00時55分  読売新聞)The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 10, 2009)
PM must be decisive to avert crisis with U.S.
普天間協議中断 同盟の危機回避へ決断せよ(12月10日付・読売社説)

The Japan-U.S. security alliance is in a crisis situation now that Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has placed priority on the state of the coalition government after flip-flopping in regard to the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture.
 その場しのぎの優柔不断な対応を重ねた末、連立政権の維持を最優先するという鳩山首相の判断が、日米同盟の危機を招いている。

If the current situation is left as is, it might gravely impact Japan-U.S. relations as a whole, which cover not only security but also political and economic spheres.
 このまま放置すれば、安全保障だけでなく、政治、経済などの分野を含め、日米関係全体に重大な影響を与えかねない。

Bilateral relations are in a worrisome state, and Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada has even admitted that the alliance with the United States had been "shaken a little bit." Hatoyama should face up to this fact and hammer out a constructive policy course on the relocation issue.
 岡田外相が「日米同盟が若干揺らいでいる」との懸念を表明するほど、現在の日米関係は憂慮すべき状況にある。鳩山首相は、この事実をきちんと認識し、建設的な対処方針をまとめるべきだ。

===

Whole plan in jeopardy

Bilateral ministerial-level talks on the issue have been suspended. This is because the Japanese government conveyed to the U.S. side its intention to postpone the settlement of the issue by the end of this year due to opposition from the Social Democratic Party--one of the junior coalition partners of Hatoyama's Democratic Party of Japan--toward the current relocation plan within the prefecture.
 沖縄県の米海兵隊普天間飛行場の移設問題を協議する日米の閣僚級の作業部会が中断されることになった。日本側が、与党の社民党の反対を理由に、年内の決着を先送りするよう伝えたためだ。

Washington, meanwhile, has notified Tokyo that it would postpone bilateral talks to "deepen" the security alliance, which had been planned as next year marks the 50th anniversary of the revision of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.
 来年の日米安保条約改定50周年に向けて、同盟関係を深化させるための日米協議についても、米側が延期を通告してきた。

Hatoyama agreed at a summit meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama last month to "expeditiously" solve the Futenma relocation issue. But the prime minister then unilaterally decided to give up settling the issue before the new year due to domestic circumstances. Moves like this are unacceptable if the two nations seek to work together based on a relationship of trust.
 首脳会談で「迅速に結論を出す」と確認しながら、国内事情から年内決着を一方的に断念する。これでは、信頼関係を基盤とする日米の共同作業は成り立たない。

The government must give serious consideration to how crucial it really is to postpone a settlement of the issue within this year.
 政府は、年内決着を先送りすることの重大な意味を真剣に考えねばなるまい。

If the government fails to solve the issue before the end of the year, the current relocation plan would effectively be shelved. It also would be extremely difficult to find an alternative site and the process as a whole would certainly take a great deal of time.
 年内決着が実現しなければ、現行計画は事実上頓挫する。新たな移設先を探す作業は極めて困難で、膨大な時間を要する。

If this comes about, the Futenma base likely will continue for years to expose local residents to dangers due to its location in a densely populated part of Ginowan, and could even end up staying at its current location indefinitely. It also would increasingly risk the collapse of a plan to transfer 8,000 U.S. marines to Guam and return six U.S. military facilities to the nation.
 その場合、市街地に隣接し、危険な普天間飛行場が現状のまま長期間存続し、固定化する恐れが大きい。海兵隊8000人のグアム移転と米軍6施設の返還も白紙に戻る可能性が高まる。

===

Keep coalition in check

Some government officials are considering a plan to ask the United States to place priority on taking measures to mitigate burdens on people in the prefecture, such as the elimination of dangers posed by the Futenma base. But the possibility would be low for the United States to accept any plans that benefit only the Japanese side.
 政府内では新たな対処方針として、普天間飛行場の危険除去など沖縄の負担軽減策を優先して米側に要請する案が浮上している。だが、日本側にだけ都合のいい案に米側が同意する可能性は低い。

It also would be difficult to obtain the understanding of the United States if the government incorporates expenses necessary for the planned relocation in the next fiscal year's budget but has not accepted the current relocation plan.
 現行計画を容認しないまま、移設費用を来年度予算に計上しても米側の理解を得るのは難しい。

After all, it is essential that the Japanese government clarify at an early stage that it supports the existing plan to relocate the Futenma base to a coastal area of the Henoko district of Nago, in the prefecture, where the U.S. Marine Corps' Camp Schwab is located, as agreed by the two governments in 2006.
やはり、日本政府として、現行計画を推進する立場を早期に明確にすることが欠かせない。

We recently have seen several episodes in which the DPJ was swayed by its minor coalition partners--the SDP and the People's New Party--over such issues as the Futenma relocation and the budget compilation. Coupled with Hatoyama's lack of leadership, doubts on the coalition government's ability to implement policy are gathering steam.
 普天間問題や予算編成などをめぐり、民主党が少数与党の社民党や国民新党に振り回される事態が目立つ。首相の指導力の欠如と相まって、連立政権の政策実行能力に大きな疑義を生んでいる。

The SDP threatened to leave the coalition when party leader Mizuho Fukushima said she would have to make "a grave decision" if the government decided to go along with the current relocation plan. We believe it is Hatoyama who must make a grave decision to resolve the Futenma issue as soon as possible, even it is at the cost of the coalition.
 社民党は「重大な決意」に言及して連立離脱をちらつかせ、現行計画に反対した。鳩山首相こそ、連立解消も辞さない「重大な決意」で普天間問題の早期解決に取り組むべき時である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 10, 2009)
(2009年12月10日00時55分  読売新聞)

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2009年12月 9日 (水)

緊急経済対策 景気の底割れを防ぐ効果は

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 9, 2009)
Efficacy of stimulus measures questionable
緊急経済対策 景気の底割れを防ぐ効果は(12月9日付・読売社説)

The economic pump-priming measures agreed upon by the government and Cabinet on Tuesday seem sizable if judged only on the basis of the amounts involved, but whether we can expect economic effects equivalent to the measures' face value remains an open question.
 数字だけを見れば大型の景気対策だが、額面通りの景気刺激効果を期待していいのだろうか。

The emergency economic package lays out 7.2 trillion yen in spending and is predicted to have a ripple effect of more than 24 trillion yen in terms of extending credit to small and medium-sized companies, among other effects.
 政府は8日、財政支出の「真水」で7兆円、融資枠などを含む事業規模で24兆円超の緊急経済対策を決めた。

Japan's economic recovery has been erratic and severe employment conditions and deflation remain. There is concern that the economy might stall in the first half of next year.
 厳しい雇用情勢とデフレで景気回復の足取りは弱い。来年前半にも腰折れする恐れもある。

Nonetheless, we welcome the fact that the government and the Bank of Japan have become closely aligned in their pursuit of economic stimulus measures and an easy-money policy.
 ともかく政府と日銀が、景気対策と金融緩和で足並みをそろえたことは歓迎できよう。

Adoption of the economic measures was delayed due the People's New Party's demand for even more government spending, but in the end the amount added to the initially envisaged figure was very small. The market is increasingly concerned by the government's incoherent policy decisions. The administration of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama must compile the fiscal 2010 budget by the end of this year to reassure the market.
 だが、対策の決定が国民新党の増額要求で遅れた揚げ句、上積みはわずかだった。市場は政策決定の迷走に懸念を強めている。来年度予算を年内に着実に編成し、市場を安心させねばならない。

===

Multi-pronged approach

The stimulus package aims to prop up the economy by pursuing six policy goals including improving employment conditions, boosting consumption by facilitating the purchase of environmentally friendly products, financing small and midsize firms, and supporting regional economies. The employment measures include expanding eligibility for coverage under the employment adjustment subsidy that prevents dismissal of employees by providing companies with leave allowances from the government, in addition to job-placement assistance for young people fresh out of school.
 対策は雇用、環境、景気、地方支援など6本柱で景気の下支えを目指す。雇用では、休業手当を企業に支給して解雇を防ぐ雇用調整助成金の対象拡大や、新卒者の就職支援などを盛り込んだ。

The environmental measures aim at alleviating insufficient domestic demand by facilitating the purchase of eco-friendly cars and energy-saving home electrical appliances, and by introducing an eco-point program for home construction.
 環境は、エコカーと省エネ家電に、新たに住宅を加えた「エコ消費3本柱」への購入支援をテコに国内の需要不足の改善を狙う。

The government will also add a total of 10 trillion yen to credit guarantees and emergency lending programs to help financing of small and midsize companies.
 中小企業の資金繰りを助けるため、信用保証と緊急融資の枠も、計10兆円積み増す。

These programs are expected to have some effect since they have a good track record from use on previous occasions. However, most of them are expansions or extensions of past programs and break no new ground. They should proceed under careful, constant scrutiny since some of them have already become ineffective.
 これらは、これまでの景気対策で実績があり、一定の効果は期待できよう。ただし、延長や拡充が中心で新味に乏しい。すでに効き目が薄れている可能性もあり、効果のほどを点検しながら取り組みを進めなければならない。

===

Redirecting funds

The government expenditure backing those programs is already padded a little. Of its financial resources, about 3 trillion yen is money saved from freezing some of the economic programs in the first supplementary budget, meaning that the money cut from the previous budget is just being redirected into a new one.
 裏付けとなる財政支出は水増し気味だ。財源のうち3兆円弱は第1次補正予算の凍結分で、削った予算が戻るに過ぎない。

The latest package includes some public works projects such as those promoting the greening of cities, repairing old bridges and putting power lines underground. Though the government pruned public works projects, which would have had a quick effect in boosting the economy, from the first extra budget, it now is trying to put them back into the second supplementary budget. Wasn't this just a waste of time?
 今回、公共事業として、都市の緑化、橋の補修、電線地中化などが盛り込まれた。だが、景気対策に即効性が期待できる公共事業を第1次補正から一度削り、今度は戻すのでは、その間の時間が無駄になっただけではないか。

This could be the price the Democratic Party of Japan-led government has to pay for sticking to its election campaign pledge to shift spending "from concrete to human resources."
 「コンクリートから人へ」などという選挙スローガンにこだわったツケといえよう。

Unless the public works projects, which will be allocated in the latest budget, are highly cost-efficient, the government will be criticized for freezing part of the first supplementary budget when its Cabinet was launched.
 今回の予算再配分先がよほど効率の高い事業でないと、「内閣発足直後の凍結作業は何だったのか」という批判も出かねない。

A total of 3.5 trillion yen is provided to help local economies, but 3 trillion yen of it will be used to make up for a decrease in central government tax revenues allocated to local governments, which were cut as a result of reduced central government tax revenues.
 総額3・5兆円に及ぶ地方支援にしても、3兆円は国の税収減に応じて目減りする地方交付税の穴埋めに充てられる。

This means that local governments will not receive money in addition to the initially envisaged budgets.
 地方にすれば、当初予算に上積みしてもらえるわけではない。

The government should pay consideration to employment and social welfare, and put priority on policy measures effective in stimulating the economy in its compiling of the fiscal 2010 budget, which has entered a crucial phase.
 ヤマ場にさしかかった来年度予算の編成では、雇用と福祉に目配りし、景気刺激に役立つ施策に重点を置くべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 9, 2009)
(2009年12月9日01時33分  読売新聞)

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2009年12月 8日 (火)

高校無償化 低所得層への支援に転換せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 8, 2009)
Dole-outs could widen educational disparities
高校無償化 低所得層への支援に転換せよ(12月8日付・読売社説)

The government has begun discussing whether to include an income-cap provision in its plan to make high school tuition effectively free, one of the main pillars of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan's manifesto for the last House of Representatives election.
 民主党が主要な政権公約に掲げた高校授業料の実質無償化について、政府は所得制限を設けるかどうか検討を始めた。

There is concern among some in education circles over the plan to make high school tuition free regardless of household income, with critics of the plan saying it could actually widen existing gaps in educational opportunity.
 所得に関係なく一律に無償化する方式には、教育関係者の間にも「教育格差を助長しかねない」と懸念する声がある。

Instead of earmarking the costs for the plan in the fiscal 2010 budget, the government should instead use the money to strengthen support for those in the low-income bracket and for other education-related projects.
来年度の予算計上は見送り、浮いた財源を低所得層への支援拡充や他の教育関連事業に活用すべきだ。

The plan for free high school education calls for providing households with 118,800 yen a year--equivalent to yearly public high school tuition--for each child they have at public or private high schools. As the tuition of private high schools is about three times the amount charged by public ones, a household with a yearly income of less than 5 million yen and with one or more private high school students will receive effectively double the amount in benefit that would be received by a household with one or more public high school students.
 無償化は、公立高校生のいる世帯に授業料相当の年11万8800円、私立高校生のいる世帯にも同額を助成する。私立は、授業料が公立の3倍のため、年収500万円未満なら助成額を倍にする。

In next fiscal year's budget, about 450 billion yen has been earmarked for the plan to provide free high school education. About 12 billion yen was separately allocated to fund scholarships for low-income households.
 約4500億円の予算を要求しており、これに関連し、低所得層向けの給付型奨学金として約120億円も盛り込まれた。

Senior Vice Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda has said he will consider setting income caps in implementing free high school education. For his part, Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Minister Tatsuo Kawabata proposes across-the-board free tuition but a reduction in the annual income tax deduction of up to 630,000 yen for families with children between the ages of 16 and 22.
 高校無償化について、野田佳彦財務副大臣は所得制限も念頭に置くことを表明した。これに対し、川端文部科学相らは、一律無償化と併せて、16~22歳の扶養家族がいる世帯を対象に、課税所得から63万円を差し引く特定扶養控除の縮小を提案している。

===

Poor families to benefit little

Prefectural governments already exempt families on welfare and those in the low-income bracket from paying high school tuition. The tuition-waiver project covers a total of about 430,000 students--10 percent of public high school students and 18 percent of those at private schools.
 高校の授業料減免については、生活保護世帯やそれに準じる低所得層に都道府県が既に実施している。公立高校生の10%、私立高校生18%の計約43万人が対象だ。

Low-income families will enjoy little new advantage from the government's plan to provide free high school education across the board. Upper-income households, however, could use the allowance to pay cram-school tuition for their children, which could widen existing education disparities.
 一律無償化では、低所得層には新たな恩恵がほとんどない。家計に余裕のある層は塾代に回すことができ、格差が開きかねない。

Households have to shoulder a heavy burden in academic expenses for high school students, including school tuition fees. According to an education ministry survey, families with a public high school student must spend more than 300,000 yen annually just on costs paid to their schools, including tuition fees, while those with a child going to a private high school must shell out about 800,000 yen.
 高校生の学費には、授業料以外にも負担が多い。文科省の調査では、授業料を含む学校教育費だけで、公立で年30万円以上、私立では80万円近くかかる。

The 12 billion yen earmarked to fund scholarships for children of low-income families targets households whose yearly income is 3.5 million yen or less. The scholarships are intended to pay admission fees and textbook costs. In the budget request for fiscal 2010 under the previous administration of former Prime Minister Taro Aso, about 45.5 billion yen was earmarked in scholarships to be used for wider purposes, including costs of school trips, school uniforms and school supplies.
 文科省が低所得層向けの給付型奨学金として計上した約120億円は、年収350万円以下の世帯を対象としたもので、入学金と教科書代のためだ。前政権下の概算要求では、修学旅行費や制服代、学用品費なども含め、455億円が盛り込まれていた。

===

A wiser way to use budget

If the government were to expand eligibility for tuition waivers and increase the amount of money available for scholarships for low-income households, the bill would total less than half of the amount needed to make high school tuition free across the board. Using the available budget in this way would greatly alleviate burdens on poverty-stricken households.
 授業料減免の対象を広げ、低所得層向けの給付型奨学金を拡充するための予算を国が負担しても、無償化予算の半分もいらないはずだ。実際に困窮している世帯への負担軽減効果も大きいだろう。

In the 2008 academic year, 2,200 high school students were forced to drop out for financial reasons. The government should prioritize measures to prevent high school students from poor families dropping out and middle school students from such families not advancing to high school. The government should not adopt a dole-out policy for that purpose.
 昨年度、経済的理由で中退を余儀なくされた高校生は2200人いた。こうした高校生や経済的理由で高校進学を断念する生徒をなくすことを優先すべきだ。ばらまきであってはならない。

High school tuition is free in the United States and many European countries, but Japan's education ministry does not seem to understand the actual situation in those countries sufficiently. The ministry should rethink its policy after investigating the circumstances in those countries.
 欧米諸国の多くは高校の授業料を無償化しているが、文科省は実情を十分把握していない。調査した上で、改めて検討すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 8, 2009)
(2009年12月8日01時47分  読売新聞)The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 8, 2009)
Dole-outs could widen educational disparities
高校無償化 低所得層への支援に転換せよ(12月8日付・読売社説)

The government has begun discussing whether to include an income-cap provision in its plan to make high school tuition effectively free, one of the main pillars of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan's manifesto for the last House of Representatives election.
 民主党が主要な政権公約に掲げた高校授業料の実質無償化について、政府は所得制限を設けるかどうか検討を始めた。

There is concern among some in education circles over the plan to make high school tuition free regardless of household income, with critics of the plan saying it could actually widen existing gaps in educational opportunity.
 所得に関係なく一律に無償化する方式には、教育関係者の間にも「教育格差を助長しかねない」と懸念する声がある。

Instead of earmarking the costs for the plan in the fiscal 2010 budget, the government should instead use the money to strengthen support for those in the low-income bracket and for other education-related projects.
来年度の予算計上は見送り、浮いた財源を低所得層への支援拡充や他の教育関連事業に活用すべきだ。

The plan for free high school education calls for providing households with 118,800 yen a year--equivalent to yearly public high school tuition--for each child they have at public or private high schools. As the tuition of private high schools is about three times the amount charged by public ones, a household with a yearly income of less than 5 million yen and with one or more private high school students will receive effectively double the amount in benefit that would be received by a household with one or more public high school students.
 無償化は、公立高校生のいる世帯に授業料相当の年11万8800円、私立高校生のいる世帯にも同額を助成する。私立は、授業料が公立の3倍のため、年収500万円未満なら助成額を倍にする。

In next fiscal year's budget, about 450 billion yen has been earmarked for the plan to provide free high school education. About 12 billion yen was separately allocated to fund scholarships for low-income households.
 約4500億円の予算を要求しており、これに関連し、低所得層向けの給付型奨学金として約120億円も盛り込まれた。

Senior Vice Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda has said he will consider setting income caps in implementing free high school education. For his part, Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Minister Tatsuo Kawabata proposes across-the-board free tuition but a reduction in the annual income tax deduction of up to 630,000 yen for families with children between the ages of 16 and 22.
 高校無償化について、野田佳彦財務副大臣は所得制限も念頭に置くことを表明した。これに対し、川端文部科学相らは、一律無償化と併せて、16~22歳の扶養家族がいる世帯を対象に、課税所得から63万円を差し引く特定扶養控除の縮小を提案している。

===

Poor families to benefit little

Prefectural governments already exempt families on welfare and those in the low-income bracket from paying high school tuition. The tuition-waiver project covers a total of about 430,000 students--10 percent of public high school students and 18 percent of those at private schools.
 高校の授業料減免については、生活保護世帯やそれに準じる低所得層に都道府県が既に実施している。公立高校生の10%、私立高校生18%の計約43万人が対象だ。

Low-income families will enjoy little new advantage from the government's plan to provide free high school education across the board. Upper-income households, however, could use the allowance to pay cram-school tuition for their children, which could widen existing education disparities.
 一律無償化では、低所得層には新たな恩恵がほとんどない。家計に余裕のある層は塾代に回すことができ、格差が開きかねない。

Households have to shoulder a heavy burden in academic expenses for high school students, including school tuition fees. According to an education ministry survey, families with a public high school student must spend more than 300,000 yen annually just on costs paid to their schools, including tuition fees, while those with a child going to a private high school must shell out about 800,000 yen.
 高校生の学費には、授業料以外にも負担が多い。文科省の調査では、授業料を含む学校教育費だけで、公立で年30万円以上、私立では80万円近くかかる。

The 12 billion yen earmarked to fund scholarships for children of low-income families targets households whose yearly income is 3.5 million yen or less. The scholarships are intended to pay admission fees and textbook costs. In the budget request for fiscal 2010 under the previous administration of former Prime Minister Taro Aso, about 45.5 billion yen was earmarked in scholarships to be used for wider purposes, including costs of school trips, school uniforms and school supplies.
 文科省が低所得層向けの給付型奨学金として計上した約120億円は、年収350万円以下の世帯を対象としたもので、入学金と教科書代のためだ。前政権下の概算要求では、修学旅行費や制服代、学用品費なども含め、455億円が盛り込まれていた。

===

A wiser way to use budget

If the government were to expand eligibility for tuition waivers and increase the amount of money available for scholarships for low-income households, the bill would total less than half of the amount needed to make high school tuition free across the board. Using the available budget in this way would greatly alleviate burdens on poverty-stricken households.
 授業料減免の対象を広げ、低所得層向けの給付型奨学金を拡充するための予算を国が負担しても、無償化予算の半分もいらないはずだ。実際に困窮している世帯への負担軽減効果も大きいだろう。

In the 2008 academic year, 2,200 high school students were forced to drop out for financial reasons. The government should prioritize measures to prevent high school students from poor families dropping out and middle school students from such families not advancing to high school. The government should not adopt a dole-out policy for that purpose.
 昨年度、経済的理由で中退を余儀なくされた高校生は2200人いた。こうした高校生や経済的理由で高校進学を断念する生徒をなくすことを優先すべきだ。ばらまきであってはならない。

High school tuition is free in the United States and many European countries, but Japan's education ministry does not seem to understand the actual situation in those countries sufficiently. The ministry should rethink its policy after investigating the circumstances in those countries.
 欧米諸国の多くは高校の授業料を無償化しているが、文科省は実情を十分把握していない。調査した上で、改めて検討すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 8, 2009)
(2009年12月8日01時47分  読売新聞)

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2009年12月 7日 (月)

COP15開幕 国益最優先で交渉にあたれ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 7, 2009)
National interests key for Japan at COP15v
COP15開幕 国益最優先で交渉にあたれ(12月7日付・読売社説)

The government faces a crucial stage of negotiations on drawing up a framework to fight global warming at the 15th Conference of Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP15).
 地球温暖化対策で、公平なルール策定への道筋をつけられるのか。気候変動枠組み条約の第15回締約国会議(COP15)で、日本政府は交渉の正念場を迎える。

The U.N. climate conference will start in Copenhagen on Monday, with leaders from about 100 countries, including Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, scheduled to attend at the climax of the Dec. 7-18 meeting.
 COP15は7日、コペンハーゲンで開幕し、首脳級会合には、鳩山首相ら約100か国の首脳が出席する予定だ。

Japan will attend the conference having set a midterm goal of cutting domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020. By declaring that extremely ambitious goal, the government aims to persuade other nations to cut their emissions further.
 日本政府は、温室効果ガスの国内排出量を、2020年までに1990年比で25%削減するという中期目標を掲げて臨む。極めて高い目標の提示により、他国にも排出削減を促す戦略といえる。

Due to the global recession and other reasons, preliminary negotiations among countries have become bogged down. Major industrialized countries and developing nations are pressing each other to pledge tougher emissions goals, leaving them at loggerheads on the issue of how to combat global warming.
 だが、世界的な経済危機の影響もあって、各国による事前折衝は難航している。先進国と途上国が互いに積極的な取り組みを迫り、その溝は埋まっていない。

===

Hatoyama out on a limb

An international framework to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, which expires at the end of 2012, was expected to be adopted at COP15. But it was put off, with the result that the focus of attention now is whether the COP15 nations can reach a major political agreement that could lead to the adoption of a new protocol next year.
 COP15では、13年以降の削減ルールとなる「ポスト京都議定書」の採択が期待されていた。しかし、これは先送りされ、来年の新議定書採択につながる政治合意ができるかどうかが焦点である。

Japan must prevent a repeat of what occurred when the Kyoto pact was being formulated, when this nation was backed into a disadvantageous position.
 ここで大切なのは、日本が不利な削減義務を負った京都議定書の二の舞いを演じないことだ。

As a precondition to make efforts to achieve the self-proclaimed goal, Hatoyama has said that all major emitter countries must join the scheme, agreeing to set ambitious goals. The prime minister must stick firmly to this stipulation.
 鳩山首相は、自ら掲げた目標の達成に取り組む前提条件として、「すべての主要国の参加による意欲的な目標の合意」を挙げている。最後までこの条件を堅持していかなければならない。

We hope the government will launch tenacious negotiations toward creating a fair post-Kyoto Protocol framework with the United States and China--the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases, which are not obliged to cut their emissions under the current pact.
 京都議定書で削減義務を負っていない2大排出国の米国、中国を相手に、公平な枠組み作りに向けて粘り強く交渉してほしい。

The Danish government, the host of COP15, has presented a draft climate change proposal aimed at realizing a political accord that states major industrialized nations would specify individual reduction obligations in an agreement document.
 議長国のデンマーク政府が示した政治合意の原案には、先進各国が合意関連文書に削減目標を明記することが盛り込まれている。

If the draft proposal passes, Japan will be in a difficult situation. The numerical target that the United States has presented is to reduce emissions by around 4 percent from the 1990 level by 2020. The U.S. target is far more modest than the Japanese goal.
 この原案が通れば、日本は難しい対応を迫られることになるだろう。米国が示している数値目標は、20年までに90年比で4%前後削減するというものだ。日本との削減率の差はあまりに大きい。

The government should avoid specifying a goal of reducing emissions by 25 percent under such inequitable circumstances.
 こうしたバランスを欠いた状況では、日本として「25%減」を明記するのは避けねばならない。

===

Easy compromise a bad idea

A demand by developing countries to extend the Kyoto Protocol can hardly be accepted. China and other major developing countries need to shoulder responsibilities for emissions reduction.
 途上国側が求めている京都議定書の延長論は到底、受け入れられない。中国など主な途上国も応分の削減責任を負う必要がある。

The Hatoyama administration has not yet presented a road map to achieve its pledge of a 25 percent reduction. Strong opposition from business circles persists against the stringent target.
 鳩山政権は、25%削減を達成するための行程を示していない。産業界には高い目標への反発が強まっている。

In such a situation, if the government accepts unfavorable conditions at COP15, a consensus within the country on emissions reduction may prove hard to reach.
 こうした中、政府がCOP15で不利な条件をのむようなことがあれば、「25%削減」の国内の合意形成は遠のくばかりだろう。

During negotiations at COP15, the government must not damage national interests by making an easy compromise.
 日本政府は、国益を最優先に交渉にあたるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 7, 2009)
(2009年12月7日00時58分  読売新聞)

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2009年12月 6日 (日)

予算編成作業 科学・文化を衰退させるな

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 6, 2009)
Long-term view needed on science, culture plans
予算編成作業 科学・文化を衰退させるな(12月6日付・読売社説)

Investment in science, technology, culture and education do not quickly produce tangible results, although they do involve time and money. Therefore, the screening of such fields by the government's cost-cutting panel simply cannot be based solely on short-term cost-benefit analysis.
 科学技術や文化、教育などは、費用と手間がかかる割に成果がすぐには見えてこない分野だ。それを費用対効果で仕分けしてよいのだろうか。

A long-term perspective should be adopted when it comes to laying the foundations for the promotion of intellectual creativity.
 知的創造活動の基盤整備や人材の育成は、長期的視野から取り組むべき課題である。

The Government Revitalization Unit--tasked with identifying wasteful government spending--has judged that many projects in these fields should be scrapped or their budgets cut. However, the government should boldly review the panel's recent judgments and make appropriate adjustments in the budget.
 行政刷新会議の事業仕分けの結果、この分野の多くの事業が「廃止」や「縮減」と判定されたが、大胆に判定を見直して適切な予算措置をとることが必要だ。

In the fields of science and technology, the panel recommended that a program to develop a next-generation supercomputer should be effectively frozen. It also recommended the government abolish a project for promoting science and technology on a regional basis, and slash funding for a proposed collaboration between industry, academia and the government. The project aims at utilizing research carried out by universities to foster the growth of regional industries.
 科学技術関係では、次世代スーパーコンピューターの開発が「事実上の凍結」とされたほか、大学の研究成果を地域の産業育成に生かす地域科学技術振興・産学官連携などが「廃止」とされた。

Nobel Prize winners, including Leo Esaki, criticized the panel's budget reductions for science and technology projects, saying in a joint statement it "runs contrary to the government's aim of making the country a science and technology powerhouse." It is no surprise they made such a criticism.
 これに対しノーベル賞受賞者の江崎玲於奈博士らは「科学技術創造立国」に逆行する作業だと批判した。当然であろう。

===

Intl competitiveness at risk

The budget cuts proposed without a long-term strategy in mind would see the foundations of the nation's quest for knowledge crumble. It also could undermine Japan's efforts to remain internationally competitive.
 長期的戦略を欠いた予算削減は知の探究の基盤を崩すもので、日本の国際競争力維持の観点からも大きな禍根を残しかねない。

The cost-cutting panel also recommended the government abolish the Children's Dream Fund, a project that aims to get more children reading books and was established after a campaign by a suprapartisan group of lawmakers following Children's Reading Year in 2000.
 2000年の「子ども読書年」を機に超党派の国会議員が提唱して創設された「子どもゆめ基金」と、子ども読書応援プロジェクトも「廃止」と判定された。

The fund has supported about 2,000 projects every year aimed at developing environments in which more books are read to and by children.
 基金は読書の街づくりや読み聞かせなど、年間約2000件の民間事業を支援してきた。

Next year has been designated National Year of Reading by a resolution that was unanimously adopted by both chambers of the Diet. The government should maintain this project in view of its important role in promoting the culture of the printed word.
 衆参両院で全会一致で採択された決議により、来年は「国民読書年」と定められている。活字文化推進の重要性を踏まえ、これらの事業は存続させるべきだ。

===

Arts facing big cuts

Meanwhile, the panel concluded that the budget for supporting the arts allocated through the Japan Arts Council should be greatly reduced.
 また日本芸術文化振興会を通じた芸術支援の予算は、「圧倒的縮減」と判定された。

The budget is used mainly for covering the operational expenses of Tokyo's New National Theatre, which has won high praise internationally for its ballet, opera and live theater productions, as well as for promoting excellence in other cultural and artistic fields. Some members of the panel even called for state funding to be terminated in the future.
 バレエやオペラ、演劇の制作で国際的評価も高い新国立劇場の運営費や、優れた文化芸術活動の支援費用を中心とした予算だが、国庫負担を将来はゼロにするよう求める仕分け人もいた。

However, culture and art will never thrive if they are left to operate on an entirely commercial basis. In the United States and across Europe, governments actively support the arts and promote private-sector assistance through tax systems that promote donations.
 だが、商業ベースに委ねていたのでは文化・芸術は育たない。欧米諸国も国が積極的に支援をしたり、寄付税制を整備し民間による支援を促進したりしている。

Some say the promotion of culture should be left to local governments, but their culture-related budgets have been eroded by the economic crisis gripping the nation. The central government should draw up a policy that maintains the necessary assistance.
 文化振興は地方に委ねるべきだとの主張もあるが、自治体の文化予算は厳しい財政事情により削減される傾向にある。国が筋道を示し支援に取り組む必要がある。

In the education budget, a comprehensive plan for English-language education reform was judged not worth funding.
 教育予算では、英語教育改革総合プランが「廃止」とされた。

The panel said the budget for an English-language study guide for primary schoolers should be eliminated, causing dismay among teachers across the country. English-language lessons will become mandatory for all fifth- and sixth-graders in academic year 2011.
 11年度から小学校5、6年生で必修化される英語の補助教材の予算が否定され、現場は困惑している。

The government should move to safeguard key budgets and clarify this stance as soon as possible to prevent unnecessary concern and confusion.
混乱が拡大しないよう、政府は早急に事業継続の方針を明確にすべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 6, 2009)
(2009年12月6日01時15分  読売新聞)

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2009年12月 5日 (土)

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鳩山「巨額資金」 検察と国税は厳正に対処せよ

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The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 5, 2009)
No room for leniency in Hatoyama fund probe
鳩山「巨額資金」 検察と国税は厳正に対処せよ(12月5日付・読売社説)

The extraordinary Diet session ended Friday without any intensive deliberations focusing on the shadowy fund management of certain politicians, or debates between party leaders. Just as worryingly, the issue of falsified reports on political donations involving Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's fund-management organization remains unsettled.
 党首討論も「政治とカネ」の集中審議も開かれないまま、臨時国会が4日閉幕した。だが、鳩山首相の偽装献金問題は終わったわけではない。

The first whiff of scandal arose when it was found that Hatoyama's fund-management organization had listed dead people as donors. Adding to the maelstrom, Hatoyama now is suspected of having received a huge amount of money from his mother. The public has been astonished by these allegations.
 首相の資金管理団体が死亡した人を「寄付者」と偽った「故人献金」問題は、母親から首相への巨額の資金提供疑惑に発展し、世間を揺るがしている。

Hatoyama's mother allegedly extended 180 million yen annually as "loans" to the prime minister. These payments, which totaled about 1.1 billion yen over about six years, reportedly began shortly after the 2002 Democratic Party of Japan presidential election, in which Hatoyama was elected party leader for a third term.
 「貸付金」と称して提供された金額は、年1億8000万円、6年余りで11億円を超える。2002年の民主党代表選の後から提供が始まったという。

Former Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Kunio Hatoyama, who is the younger brother of the prime minister, also is believed to have received a similar amount of money from his mother.
 弟である自民党の鳩山邦夫元総務相も、ほぼ同額を母親から受け取ったとみられている。

===

Unanswered questions

The prime minister's fund-management organization apparently made false entries regarding donations and income from sales of fund-raising party tickets, including money that came from funds provided by Hatoyama's mother, totaling 360 million yen in political fund reports over five years.
 首相の資金管理団体が、母親からの資金を原資とする分も含め、献金やパーティー券収入を政治資金収支報告書に虚偽記入した総額は、5年間で3億6000万円に上っている。

The prime minister has yet to give a proper explanation about these funds, citing the investigation being conducted by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office for suspected violations of the Political Funds Control Law. Asked about the funds from his mother, the prime minister said, "I myself am surprised." Hatoyama's remark gave the impression that he saw this as someone else's problem. We think this is inexcusable.
 首相は、東京地検が政治資金規正法違反の疑いで捜査していることなどを理由に、事実関係を説明していない。母親からの資金提供についても、「私自身、驚いている」と人ごとのように言っている。だが、それでは済まされまい。

Why did he need such a massive sum of money? For what purposes was this money used? The prime minister must answer these questions.
 なぜこれほどの資金が必要だったのか。一体何に使ったのか。こうした疑問に首相は答えなければならない。

Prosecutors reportedly have decided not to question the prime minister and instead are considering asking him to submit a written statement. However, we think the prosecutors should speak to Hatoyama directly to unravel the truth behind this disturbing affair.
 東京地検は首相の事情聴取を見送り、上申書の提出を求めることを検討しているという。だが、真相を解明するには、本人の話を聞く必要があるのではないか。

===

Don't let history repeat

After former Liberal Democratic Party Vice President Shin Kanemaru was found to have illegally received 500 million yen in donations in 1992, the prosecutors office made a summary indictment after letting Kanemaru submit a written statement without undergoing questioning.
 1992年、金丸信・元自民党副総裁が5億円の違法献金を受けたことが明るみに出た際、東京地検は本人に事情聴取しないまま上申書提出だけで略式起訴した。

Surely prosecutors have not forgotten the public outrage sparked by the handling of the Kanemaru incident. Groups of people filed 40,000 criminal complaints calling for further investigations into the case.
 これが国民の反発を買い、4万件の告発が寄せられた事実を忘れてはなるまい。

We believe prosecutors should conduct a meticulous investigation into Hatoyama's donations that will satisfy the general public.
検察は国民の視点に立ち、捜査を尽くすべきだ。

Common sense suggests the amount of money Hatoyama received from his mother was too large to have been loans. Furthermore, it appears that no written documents or agreements specifying repayment of these "loaned" funds were made.
 母親からの資金提供は、「貸付金」にしては、常識外れの大きさだ。しかも、借用書や返済についての取り決めはなかった。

If national tax authorities deem this money to be gifts, the prime minister would have to pay more than 400 million yen in tax as he failed to declare them as such.
 国税当局が贈与と認定した場合は、単純な申告漏れでも首相に4億円以上の納税義務が生じる。

Tax authorities will determine whether the funds in question were loans or gifts. If the authorities treat the prime minister leniently, the public will feel the matter is not being handled fairly. They might even lose trust in tax authorities.
 貸付金か贈与かは、国税当局が実態に応じて判断するが、一国の首相に甘い対応をとれば、国民は不公平感を募らせ、納税に対して疑問を抱きかねない。

The Yomiuri Shimbun has received a number of comments from its readers on this issue. "It's unacceptable that [the prime minister] simply says he didn't know what was going on after he received up to 1.1 billion yen," one reader said, while another complained, "I don't feel like paying my taxes any more."
 読売新聞には、「11億円ももらって知らぬ存ぜぬでは済まされない」「もう税金を納めたくない」という声が寄せられている。

The tax authorities should be relentless in their handling of this case.
 国税当局も厳正に対処しなければなるまい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 5, 2009)
(2009年12月5日01時38分  読売新聞)

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2009年12月 4日 (金)

普天間移設 年内決着へ首相は再考せよ

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The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 4, 2009)
Resolve Futenma issue by year-end
普天間移設 年内決着へ首相は再考せよ(12月4日付・読売社説)

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama reportedly has decided to give up on settling the issue of the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station within Okinawa Prefecture this year.
 米海兵隊普天間飛行場の移設問題で、鳩山首相が年内決着を断念する意向を固めたという。

Hatoyama's decision apparently stems from a desire to avoid ructions in the coalition government his Democratic Party of Japan formed with the Social Democratic Party and the People's New Party. Hatoyama is unable to escape the fact that the SDP opposes the current relocation plan, and that the PNP also takes a dim view of it.
 現行計画に反対する社民党や、それに同調する国民新党に配慮し、連立政権の維持を優先するためだとされる。

Hatoyama has reiterated that the agreement made between Tokyo and Washington on the relocation carries weight and that the feelings of the people in the prefecture should be respected. An early resolution to the issue with the current relocation plan is earnestly sought by the U.S. government, the Okinawa prefectural government as well as the Nago city government, which is where the base's facilities would be relocated. We think Hatoyama should rethink his stance on this matter.
 鳩山首相は従来、「日米の合意は重い」「沖縄の思いが大事」などと繰り返してきた。米国も、沖縄県も、移設先の名護市も、現行計画による早期決着を切実に求めている。首相は再考すべきだ。

In a summit meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama last month, Hatoyama agreed to "expeditiously" resolve the issue. Hatoyama even told Obama to "trust" him on the dispute. Ensuing ministerial-level working group talks then tried to smooth coordination in line with the current relocation plan.
If a decision will not be reached this year, what was the point of all these get-togethers and discussions?
 首相は日米首脳会談で「迅速な解決」に合意し、「私を信頼して」とまで見えを切った。その後、日米の閣僚級の作業部会で、県内移設の現行計画を軸に調整を急いできたのは、何だったのか。

===

Strained ties

The U.S. government's distrust of the prime minister and the Japanese government will certainly deepen due to this to-ing and fro-ing. The incentive at the working group talks to produce a positive result likely will evaporate. The adverse impact on the overall Japan-U.S. relationship could be immeasurable.
 米政府が今後、首相と日本政府に対して、不信感を一段と募らせるのは確実だ。作業部会で前向きの結論を出す機運も低下するだろう。日米関係全体に与える悪影響は計り知れない。

Hatoyama's postponement of a final decision until early next year or later is unlikely to result in any concrete scenario for the resolution of the issue.
 結論を年明け以降に先送りしても、問題の解決に向けて、その後の具体的な展望が首相にあるとは思えない。

A Nago mayoral election is scheduled to be held in late January. The incumbent, who has accepted the current plan, is running against a first-time candidate who has given it the thumbs-down. If the incumbent fails to win reelection, calls for moving the base outside the prefecture would grow louder, a situation that would leave the Okinawa prefectural government between a rock and a hard place.
 1月下旬に予定される名護市長選では、現行計画を容認する現職に、反対派の新人が挑戦する。仮に現職が敗れれば、県外移設を求める声が広がり、沖縄県の立場はより苦しくなるだろう。

Hatoyama himself admitted at a joint press conference with Obama after their summit meeting that resolving this issue will only become more difficult the longer it is left to simmer. The prime minister must not continue his expedient approach. If the current plan is shelved, the envisaged return of the Futenma facilities by 2014 would be left up in the air.
 首相自身、首脳会談後の共同記者会見で、「時間がたてば、より解決が難しくなる」と認めたはずだ。その場しのぎの対応を続けるべきではない。現行計画が頓挫すれば、2014年の普天間飛行場の返還が宙に浮く。

===

DPJ should pull rank

SDP leader Mizuho Fukushima has indicated her party might leave the coalition if the government decides to go ahead with the current plan.
 社民党の福島党首は、政府が現行計画を決定した場合、政権を離脱する可能性を示唆している。

The prime minister should do everything he can to convince the SDP that the issue must be settled by year-end under the current plan to reduce the burdens on communities that host the U.S. base and to ensure the security alliance with the United States remains solid.
 首相が今すべきは、日米同盟を堅持しつつ、地元の基地負担を軽減するためには、現行計画での年内決着が不可欠だと、社民党を真剣に説得することだ。

If the SDP refuses to back down and eventually splits from the coalition, the administration would be shaken up for some time. However, it would not be an insurmountable nuisance for the government.
 社民党が説得に応じず、連立政権を離脱した場合、一時的に政権運営は不安定になるが、乗り切れないほどではあるまい。

The DPJ holds more than 300 seats in the 480-seat House of Representatives, and is just shy of a majority in the House of Councillors.
 民主党は、衆院では300議席超を占める。参院でも過半数にわずかに届かないだけだ。

The SDP and the PNP each have only five seats in the upper house. The DPJ must not jeopardize landmark measures designed to reduce the burden imposed on Okinawa Prefecture by hosting U.S. bases, or the Japan-U.S. relationship, by cowering to two minor coalition partners.
 参院で各5議席ずつしかない社民、国民新の両党に配慮するあまり、画期的な沖縄の基地負担軽減策や日米関係を危うくするのは、避ける必要がある。

The Hatoyama administration also might find it worthwhile to call on the Liberal Democratic Party and other opposition forces to cooperate on key bills and policies to keep the wheels of administration management turning smoothly.
 重要な法案や政策については、自民党など野党に個別に協力を要請し、連携するといった工夫をすることで、政権を運営していく手法も十分検討に値しよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 4, 2009)
(2009年12月4日01時49分  読売新聞)

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2009年12月 3日 (木)

松本亨先生(博士)

1962年、私は中学校の一年生でした。
この年、芹沢栄先生のラジオ基礎英語の勉強を開始、すぐに松本亨先生のラジオ英語会話もあわせて聴取するようになりました。
芹沢栄先生の座右の銘は 「slow and steady wins the race (遅くとも着実なものが勝利する)」 でした。
週替わりで英語の歌もたくさん教えていただきました。マイボニー懐かしいですね。

松本亨先生のラジオ英語会話は1972年、講師が代わるまで聞き続けました。
思えば10年間も、この一日僅か15分の番組を聞き続けたことになります。
芹沢栄先生の座右の銘はその正しさが自分の体験を通して実証されました。
大学受験のとき、英語だけは特別に時間を割かなくともそれで通用しました。

松本亨先生が英語学習に対する情熱を次の言葉で何度も表現されるのを聞きました。
"Think in English"(英語で考える、翻訳しないで)
その通りだと思いましたが、翻訳英語がすっかり身に着いているので切り替えはなかなか難しいのです。
それから 「生きた英語 living English」 という言葉も何度も耳にしました。
ラジオ英語会話は英語だけで放送されるので、松本亨先生が日本語を話すのを聴いたことがありません。

つい最近、英語教育(研修)を専門業となされているカプラン石綿誠先生のブログに以下のような記事が掲載されていました。

(石綿先生のブログより抜粋)

「そして読解力を高めるには、松本博士のモットーしかないと考えます。ラジオ英会話で有名になったので、会話の先生としてのイメージが大きかった博士ですが、座右の銘は"Read, Read, and Read"だったそうです。
また、このモットーを博士はこのように和訳しています。「多読、速読、直読」です。この3つを実践していくことがリーディングでは必要だということを、意味しているわけです。」

松本亨先生の後任、とうごかつあき先生(漢字忘れました)が松本亨先生の読書量、保有されている蔵書の多さに圧倒されたという話をされていました。

松本亨先生は1979年に逝去されたそうですね。
ご冥福をお祈り申し上げます。(感謝をこめて)

srachai from khonkaen, thailand

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元局長証言 「沖縄密約ない」は崩れ去った

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 3, 2009)
Govt's denial of Okinawa secret pact lacks weight
元局長証言 「沖縄密約ない」は崩れ去った(12月3日付・読売社説)

Now that a former senior diplomat has admitted in court that he signed a document as part of a secret agreement between Japan and the United States over the 1972 reversion of Okinawa, it appears the government's long-held stance that such a pact did not exist has been toppled.
 「密約」の文書に署名した――と、日本側の当事者が法廷で証言したことで、「密約は存在しない」としてきた従来の政府見解は、完全に崩れ去ったといえるだろう。

Bunroku Yoshino, who was in charge of negotiations with Washington over the reversion at the time, admitted to the existence of a secret agreement during testimony as a witness in an information disclosure lawsuit at the Tokyo District Court on Tuesday.
 1972年の沖縄返還を巡る対米交渉の責任者だった元外務省アメリカ局長の吉野文六氏が、東京地裁での情報公開訴訟に証人として出廷し、日米間に密約があったことを明言した。

Yoshino, the then Foreign Ministry's American Bureau chief, had already confessed in interviews with news organizations that there was a secret pact regarding the cost burdens for reverting Okinawa to Japanese rule from U.S. control. But his public testimony in open court carries much more weight.
 吉野氏はこれまでも、報道機関に密約の存在を語っていた。だが、公開の法廷で証言したことは、より重い意味を持つといえる。

The lawsuit was filed by a group of plaintiffs, including former Mainichi Shimbun reporter Takichi Nishiyama, who had been found guilty for his involvement in leaking government documents on the secret pact. Group members demanded the disclosure of documents believed to indicate the existence of the secret pact, but the government said it would not disclose them. The plaintiffs then demanded the government nullify its decision not to disclose the documents.
 訴訟は、密約の存在を示す文書の漏えいに関与したとして有罪となった元毎日新聞記者の西山太吉氏らが起こした。情報公開請求で、密約関連の文書が不開示とされたため、国に不開示決定の取り消しなどを求めている。

===

U.S. disclosure made

Yoshino testified in court that Tokyo and Washington made a secret agreement to have Japan shoulder 4 million dollars the United States was supposed to pay to restore farmland in Okinawa that had been used by U.S. forces, as well as 16 million dollars for the transfer of a U.S. shortwave radio station.
 米軍用地の原状回復補償費400万ドルと米短波放送中継局の国外移転費1600万ドル。吉野氏は、これらを日本側が肩代わり負担すると極秘裏に米側と合意したと証言した。

During Nishiyama's trial in 1972, Yoshino denied the existence of the secret agreement. But after giving his testimony this week, Yoshino said, "I've come to believe that pursuing the truth about the past will benefit Japan's future."
 吉野氏は72年、西山氏の公判では、密約を否定する証言をした。今回の証言後、吉野氏は「過去の真実を追求することが、日本の将来のために有益と信じるようになった」と語った。

Thirty-seven years separate Yoshino's two testimonies, and he likely judged that coming out with the truth would not cause any major problems to Japan-U.S. relations or other state affairs.
 前回の証言から37年が経過している。「真実」を明らかにしても、対米関係などに支障は生じないとの判断もあったのだろう。

A number of official documents that support the existence of bilateral secret pacts have been made public in the United States since 2000. There is no reason for the Japanese government to protect such documents as diplomatic secrets.
 2000年以降、密約を裏付ける公文書が米国で公開された。日本政府が「外交秘密」として保護する理由はなくなっている。

===

Time for reconciliation

Under the initiative of Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, a ministry panel comprising external experts has started investigating and analyzing four secret agreements believed to have been made between the two countries, including the one on the cost burdens of Okinawa's reversion.
 岡田外相の意向で外務省の有識者委員会が、今回の沖縄返還関連を含めた四つの「密約」を対象に調査・分析作業を進めている。

Following Yoshino's latest testimony, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said, "I intend to let the people learn [the truth] by appropriate means when all the facts are confirmed."
 鳩山首相は、吉野氏の証言を受け、「事実関係を確認できた暁には、国民にしかるべき手段でお知らせしたい」と語った。

We hope the government expresses its view on the matter based on a report to be compiled by the panel next month.
来月にまとまる予定の有識者委員会の報告書を踏まえて、政府としての見解を示してもらいたい。

In diplomacy, governments occasionally choose not to make public the content of agreements made with other governments in order to maintain trusting relations and to prevent any damage to national interests that could occur if third-party nations obtained such information. The government needs to explain the circumstances that led to the secret pact Yoshino spoke about.
 外交では、相手との信頼関係の保持や、第三国に知られて国益を損なわないようにするため、合意内容を公にしないことがある。政府は今回の密約を結んだ事情についても説明する必要があろう。

In the United States, diplomatic documents in principle can be disclosed 25 years after being made. In Japan, the Foreign Ministry decides whether to disclose its documents after a certain period. We suggest that disclosure be made as defined by rules that would limit the ministry's discretion on the issue.
 米国では外交文書について、25年が経過すると原則的に秘密指定を解除する制度がある。日本では一定期間後、外務省が文書公開の是非を判断しているが、外務省任せにせず、一定のルールの下での公開を促進していくべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 3, 2009)
(2009年12月3日00時36分  読売新聞)

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2009年12月 2日 (水)

量的金融緩和 日銀がデフレ退治に動いた

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 2, 2009)
BOJ moves to combat deflationary trend
量的金融緩和 日銀がデフレ退治に動いた(12月2日付・読売社説)

The Bank of Japan has decided to launch a new quantitative monetary easing measure to fight deflation.
 デフレ退治のため、日銀が新たな量的金融緩和策に踏み切った。

The central bank held an extraordinary policy meeting on Tuesday and decided to introduce a new money-easing measure to offer three-month loans to financial institutions at an ultralow interest rate of 0.1 percent.
 日銀は1日、金融政策決定会合を臨時に開き、0・1%の超低利で、返済期間3か月の資金を金融機関に供給する新たな金融緩和策の導入を決めた。

The central bank showed its intention to overcome deflation in cooperation with the government by compiling its own additional measure before talks between Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and Bank of Japan Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa to be held Wednesday.
 2日に予定される鳩山首相と白川日銀総裁の会談を前に、日銀として追加策を取りまとめ、政府と一体となってデフレ解消に取り組む姿勢を打ち出したものだ。

We expect the central bank to enhance its coordination with the government further and to prevent Japan from falling into a deflationary spiral--a combination of deflation and recession--with every possible measure.
 日銀は、今後も政府と連携を強め、デフレと不況が同時に進むデフレスパイラルの防止に全力を挙げてもらいたい。

The moves to supply funds to the financial system will start from early December at the rate of 800 billion yen per week. The total of injected funds will reach 10 trillion yen in three months and be increased further if necessary.
 資金供給は今月上旬から週8000億円のペースで実施し、3か月後に残高を約10兆円に積み上げる。必要に応じて上積みする。

Shirakawa said at a press conference the action constitutes "quantitative easing in a broad sense." The new measure is expected to have wider monetary easing effects than the current policy of keeping the key short-term interest rate at 0.1 percent.
 白川総裁は記者会見で、今回の措置を「広い意味での量的緩和」と認めた。短期金利を0・1%に誘導する現行の政策より、幅広い緩和効果が期待できるという。

The Bank of Japan decided that quantitative easing needs to be enhanced to deal with the commotion in the international financial market caused by fears of a debt default in Dubai and the yen's soaring value.
 日銀は、中東ドバイの信用不安による国際金融市場の動揺や、急速な円高に対応するため、金融緩和の強化が必要と判断した。

===

Bringing yen back to earth

The government has already declared that the nation is in deflation and is planning to put forth additional economic measures, including one to cope with the strong yen, by the end of this week.
 政府もすでにデフレを宣言し、円高対策も含めた追加景気対策を今週中にもまとめる方針だ。

It is appropriate that the central bank's policy board hammered out the new measures in an agile manner without waiting until its next regular meeting. A further decline of the interest rate will help alleviate the rise in the yen.
 日銀が定例会合を待たず、機動的に追加策を打ち出したのは適切な判断だ。一段の金利低下は、円高の改善も後押ししよう。

However, it was regrettable to see the central bank adopt a tight money policy by terminating part of its corporate financial assistance at the end of October.
 ただ、日銀が企業金融支援の一部を打ち切る「引き締め策」を10月末に決めたのは残念だった。

Many people may not be able to understand the true intention of the central bank in deciding on the additional money easing operation just one month later. The Bank of Japan should explain to the public in detail how it will maintain its policy of monetary easing until deflation has been overcome.
 わずか1か月後の今回の緩和措置に、日銀の真意が理解できないという人も多いのではないか。日銀はデフレ解消まで緩和を続けることを丁寧に説明すべきだ。

===

Further measures needed

Of course, an easy-money policy alone is not sufficient to combat deflation.
 むろんデフレ対策は、金融緩和だけで十分とは言えない。

The business climate is improving thanks to measures stimulating consumption such as the introduction of eco points in exchange for the purchase of energy-saving home electrical appliances. However, there is concern about whether the government's decision to freeze some public works projects could have adverse effects. Drafting of next fiscal year's budget also must not be delayed.
 景気は、省エネ家電のエコポイントなど消費刺激策で持ち直しつつあるが、政府が公共事業の一部を凍結した悪影響などが心配だ。来年度予算の編成が遅れる事態は厳に避けるべきだ。

The government's finances are in critical condition, but it may now be necessary to concentrate the budget on projects with high reflationary effects even if the government has to increase the issuance of bonds to a certain degree.
 財政は危機的だ。だが今は、ある程度の国債を増発してでも、景気浮揚効果の高い事業に予算を重点配分することも必要だろう。

However, if the increased issuance of government bonds causes a sharp rise in long-term interest rates, the business climate will suffer strong side effects. The Bank of Japan will be required to support the government financially by buying more government bonds.
 ただし、国債増発で長期金利が急上昇すれば、景気への悪影響は大きい。日銀が国債買い入れ額をさらに増やすなど、財政を側面支援することが求められよう。

The strong yen deals a blow to exporting companies and worsens business conditions. At the same time, it increases deflationary pressures by lowering prices of imported items. The government should clarify its determination to stem the soaring appreciation of the yen.
 円高は輸出企業に打撃を与え、景気を悪化させる。同時に輸入品の物価が下がり、デフレ圧力も高まる。政府は円高阻止の決意を明確に示すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 2, 2009)
(2009年12月2日01時13分  読売新聞)

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2009年12月 1日 (火)

デフレ危機 政策総動員で景気の悪化防げ

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The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 1, 2009)
Use all policy tools to rescue economy
デフレ危機 政策総動員で景気の悪化防げ(12月1日付・読売社説)

Falling prices resulting from deflation may seem like a blessed rain after the drought for salaried workers pinching pennies in the economic downturn and pensioners.
 デフレによる物価下落は、不況で給料の減ったサラリーマンや、年金暮らしの人にとっては「恵みの雨」だろう。

But deflation is an awful, intractable disease that wreaks havoc on an economy. It is dangerous to make light of it.
 だが、デフレは経済を冷やし、衰退させる恐ろしい難病だ。軽視するのは危険である。

 ◆格安チキンで節約ランチ◆
Recently, a simple lunch combo offered by a convenience store--instant noodles in a cup plus a piece of fried chicken--has proved a hit with salaried workers looking to save money.
 「カップめん+チキン」
 コンビニで最近、こんな節約メニューの昼食を選ぶサラリーマンが増えている。

Lawson Gate City Ohsaki convenience store, located in front of JR Osaki Station in Tokyo, is crowded with salaried workers at lunchtime. Not a few of the men among them presumably opt for cup noodles to save time and money.
 東京・大崎駅前にあるローソンゲートシティ大崎店の昼時は、サラリーマンやOLでにぎわう。確かに、時間とカネの節約からか、男性にはカップラーメン派が少なくない。

But cup noodles alone seems a paltry lunch. Most of them buy one more item under the hit "plus one" offer--a new fried chicken product called L Chiki that went on sale this spring.
 でも、カップめんだけではさすがにわびしい。ほとんどの人が「あと1品」を買う。そのヒット商品が、今春発売したフライドチキンの新製品「Lチキ」だ。

A single L Chiki nugget weighs about 100 grams, almost the same as Lawson's regular fried chicken nugget, but costs 128 yen, 40 yen less than the regular nugget. According to Ryosuke Kobayashi, 26, head of the Osaki shop, the new product has proved popular because it is cheap and filling, and its sales are between 150 percent and 200 percent greater than the regular product.
 約100グラムと従来品とほぼ同じ量で、値段を168円から128円へ下げた。小林亮介店長(26)によると、安くて食べ応えがあると評判で、「以前の1・5倍から2倍も売れている」という。

The new fried chicken product is cheap because imports of low-priced Brazilian chicken have jumped, causing a collapse in the price of chicken, including Japanese chicken. Following the worldwide economic slump that began last year, demand for Brazilian chicken in the United States and European countries, which had been major importers of the product, decreased, and the price-busting chicken began to be imported into Japan in large volumes.
 値下げできたのは、安いブラジル産鶏肉が大量に出回り、国産も含め値崩れが起きたためだ。昨年来の世界不況でブラジルの得意先だった欧米の需要が減り、格安の鶏肉が日本に流入した。

This prompted convenience stores to offer low-priced fried chicken products. They have found themselves waging a price war with boxed-meal chain store operators, which are luring customers with fried chicken lunches priced at about 300 yen.
 こうして、コンビニに安いフライドチキンが並び、ライバルの弁当チェーンも300円前後のから揚げ弁当で安さを競う。

The consumer price index, meanwhile, continues to fall, declining 2.2 percent in October from a year earlier, marking the eighth consecutive monthly fall. Prices of food--a daily necessity--had been thought to be resistant to deflation, but food prices have been below those of the previous year for five months in a row.
 10月の消費者物価指数は前年同月比2・2%下落し、大幅なマイナスが続いている。必需品のため、下がりにくいとされる食料も、5か月連続で前年を下回る。

 消費者にとってうれしい「食のデフレ」だが、かつてない逆風に苦しむ人たちもいる。
Although this downward trend in food prices may be a blessing for consumers, people on the other side of the shop counter are being buffeted by unprecedentedly strong headwinds.

===

Price wars hit small firms
 ◆中小企業を襲う価格競争◆

Takayoshi Isoda, 74, president of chicken wholesaler Torishin in Tokyo's Itabashi Ward, deplores the current situation. "The price of Brazilian chicken is almost half that of last year," he pointed out.
 東京・板橋の鶏肉販売会社「鳥新」の磯田孝義社長(74)は「このブラジル産は、去年のほぼ半値に落ちた」と嘆く。

Ninety percent of the chicken Isoda's firm trades in is from Brazil. As major chicken wholesalers have mounted a price-cutting offensive against smaller firms, Isoda is told by his clients, "Sorry, we want to buy chicken from a company that sell the cheapest product." His company's sales of chicken, mainly for commercial use, have tumbled due to a fall in selling prices.
 扱う輸入鶏肉の9割はブラジル産。大手が安売り攻勢を仕掛け、取引先からは「悪いけど1円でも安いところで買う」と言われる。販売単価の下落で業務用を中心に売上高が減った。

The prices did not rebound in November, although the year-end, when demand usually spikes, is around the corner, with sales for that month only about 70 percent of last year's.
 需要期の年末を控えた11月も価格は回復せず、売り上げは前年の7割程度に低迷している。

"I've been in this business for 50 years, and this is the first time we've found ourself in such a serious situation," Isoda said.
磯田社長は「50年商売して、こんな不振は初めて」と、頭を抱える。

The price competition has been intensifying to attract bargain-seeking customers.
 「節約需要」を取り込むための価格競争は、激化の一途だ。

Supermarkets and major retailers have added to the lineups of their own-brand products, which are much cheaper than similar well-known brand-name products. Some major retail shops sell own-brand 350-milliliter cans of cola and tea for as little as 30 yen.
 スーパーなどで、割安なプライベートブランド(PB)商品が増えた。350ミリ・リットル缶入りで30円を切るPBのコーラやお茶を売る量販店もある。

The deflationary trend in the clothing sector is also notable. For instance, prices of low-priced jeans were progressively slashed to just 880 yen by such retailers as Aeon Co. and Daiei Inc., 850 yen by Seiyu GK and 690 yen by Don Quijote Co.
 「衣のデフレ」もすさまじい。格安ジーンズの値段は、イオンとダイエーが880円、西友850円、ドン・キホーテ690円とどんどん下がった。

"I just try clothes on at department stores. I actually buy the clothes from Internet shops, which are cheaper," a female office clerk said, describing how she husbands her limited resources.
 あるOLは「デパートは試着まで。買うのは安いネット通販で」と家計防衛作戦を披露する。

Department store sales have declined for 20th straight months through October, with sales of clothing marking the sharpest decline. Some department stores even sell men's suits for less than 10,000 yen in a bid to regain lost ground.
 百貨店は10月まで20か月連続で売上高が減り、中でも衣料品の落ち込みが激しい。失地回復を狙って1万円を切る紳士スーツを売る百貨店も出てきた。

Major retailers can maintain their businesses even in the face of fierce price wars, but small and midsize businesses tend to be driven into a corner in such a situation.
 大手ならある程度、値下げ競争に耐えられるが、中小企業は窮地に追い込まれやすい。

The results of a survey by Shoko Chukin Bank, whose clients are small businesses, showed that business sentiment among small and midsize enterprises turned downward in October for the first time in nine months, supporting the theory that the business recovery appears to have ground to a halt.
 商工中金の調査によると、中小企業の10月の景況判断指数が9か月ぶりに低下に転じて、業績回復の足踏みが裏付けられた。

The main cause is a decline in sales due to the downward trend in retail prices. It seems inevitable that small businesses will have to accelerate their restructuring efforts.
主因は、販売価格の下落による売り上げ減少だ。中小企業のリストラ加速は避けられそうにない。

Consumption will deteriorate if employment and wages are curtailed further at small and midsize companies, which employ 80 percent of the Japanese workforce.
 労働者の8割が働く中小企業で雇用や給与のカットが広がれば、消費は打撃を受ける。

===

Deflationary threat looms

There are signs that the nation is on the brink of falling into a deflationary spiral, in which shortage of demand pushes down commodity prices, accelerating economic deterioration.
その需要不足が価格を押し下げ、さらに景気悪化が加速する「デフレスパイラル」の危険が高まりかねない。

In response, the government again declared last month that the economy is experiencing deflation, pointing out a demand shortage of as much as 40 trillion yen.
 こうした中、政府は再びデフレを宣言した。消費などの需要が40兆円も足りないためだ。

 ◆政府と日銀は協調せよ◆
In spite of this, the Cabinet of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has frozen the implementation of parts of the fiscal 2009 supplementary budget, including public works projects, stoking fears that the demand shortage will depress the economy even further in the coming year.
 ところが、鳩山内閣は公共事業の一部を凍結しており、来年にかけて需要不足が景気を底割れさせるとの懸念が広がる。

The government has proposed the provision of child-rearing allowances and the elimination of tolls on expressways as measures to stimulate domestic consumption. But many question whether these measures will produce positive effects quickly, and whether they are sustainable.
 内需刺激策として子ども手当や高速道路無料化を掲げているが、即効性や持続性に疑問がある。

The steep appreciation of the yen and drops in stock prices we saw last week increase deflationary pressure. Hatoyama held an emergency meeting with concerned Cabinet ministers on Sunday at which he instructed them to include measures to deal with the strong yen and bearish market in a planned second supplementary budget for this fiscal year.
 先週のような急激な円高と株価下落もデフレ圧力となる。鳩山首相は29日、関係閣僚と緊急協議し、第2次補正予算に円高・株安対策を盛り込むよう指示した。

Bank of Japan Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa on Monday belatedly acknowledged that the nation was in a state of deflation, saying the central bank will "make utmost efforts to overcome deflation."
 日銀の白川総裁も30日、「デフレ克服のために最大限の努力を行う」と述べ、遅ればせながらデフレを認めた。

The government and central bank are finally preparing to work together to use every available policy tool to combat deflation. A package of comprehensive antideflationary measures must be implemented without delay.
政府・日銀が協調して、政策を総動員する態勢がようやく整ってきた。総合的なデフレ対策を急がねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 1, 2009)
(2009年12月1日00時58分  読売新聞)

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