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2010年8月31日 (火)

クール・ジャパン 海外の人気を成長に生かせ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 31, 2010)
Time to capitalize on 'Cool Japan' boom
クール・ジャパン 海外の人気を成長に生かせ(8月30日付・読売社説)

Japanese pop culture--widely referred to as "Cool Japan"--has taken off overseas. The government should take advantage of this boom in all things Japanese to push domestic businesses' advance into foreign markets.

Japanese anime and manga have become immensely popular among young people overseas. Japanese fashion grabs plenty of headlines, and foods such as sushi are a hit with health-conscious diners.

But this popularity has not necessarily led to overseas expansion by domestic companies involved in these industries. The domestic animation industry remains dominated by small and midsize companies, and exports of textiles have slackened. Japanese restaurants have been mushrooming the world over, but many are operated by non-Japanese.

While Japan fails to transform its overseas popularity into economic growth, South Korea has been increasing its presence in other Asian countries.

According to a report by the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry, CD and DVD stores in Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore brim with South Korean dramas and K-pop albums by South Korean singers. In China, the sales of a South Korean apparel maker often compared with Japan's Uniqlo brand operator are going through the roof.

Public-private sales model

As Korean dramas gain popularity, South Korean makers follow up by promoting fashion brands worn by actors and actresses starring in the programs. The South Korean private and public sectors seem to be jointly building a business model that uses Korean brands to expand sales in targeted countries.

The government seems content for Japan to just be extolled overseas as "cool." However, we think the government has not tried hard enough, or been imaginative enough, in taking advantage of this popularity for the benefit of business expansion.

In June, the trade ministry released its "strategy to promote a culture-oriented industry." This plan to harness "Cool Japan" to revitalize the national economy seemingly reflects an awareness that more must be done to tap this industry.

The strategy calls for an integrated support system--from product development to the signing of overseas sales contracts--for small and midsize companies that lack the expertise and funds needed to develop their business abroad. We hope the ministry's strategy will be steadily implemented.

Get on same page

The government's administration of overseas activities has been divided among its ministries--the trade ministry fosters "Cool Japan" industries, the Foreign Ministry looks after cultural exchanges and the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry promotes Japanese foods.

South Korean products could dominate rapidly growing Asian markets, but they are less likely to do so in European and U.S. markets, where Japanese brands' reputation for high quality is well entrenched.

Japan should emulate the Korean formula of ensuring cooperation transcends fields such as fashion, movies, food and manga, instead of promoting business through separate government ministries and agencies. If the "fences" between these government offices remain too high, the Cabinet minister and other politicians who head each ministry must step up and exercise leadership to make this cooperation a reality.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 30, 2010)
(2010年8月30日01時26分  読売新聞)

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2010年8月30日 (月)

日韓併合100年 協調と競争の未来へ向けて

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 30, 2010)
Japan, ROK must partner, compete for future
日韓併合100年 協調と競争の未来へ向けて(8月29日付・読売社説)

People of the Korean Peninsula, who were ruled by a different people, must regret the fact that their country was taken away and their pride was trampled upon. These feelings apparently are a source of the Korean people's strong sense of rivalry with and resentment against Japan.

Without Japan truly understanding these sentiments, its good-neighbor diplomacy will never come to fruition.

The Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty became effective 100 years ago, on Aug. 29, 1910. The world was in an age of imperialism at the time and Japan, like other imperialist countries, kept up with the tide of the times and colonized the peninsula.

It is an undeniable fact that Japan's 35-year colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula, until Japan's World War II defeat, still casts a shadow over the present-day Japan-South Korea relationship.

Earlier this month, ahead of the Aug. 29 centenary, Prime Minister Naoto Kan issued a statement expressing "deep remorse and heartfelt apology." This is because he places importance on the Japan-Korea relationship.

Japan must build a relationship with South Korea in which the two countries cooperate and compete each other.


Impressive postwar growth

When Japan and South Korea normalized diplomatic ties in 1965, the two countries confirmed the Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty to be "already null and void" and thereby entered a new relationship.

Using funds provided by Japan, South Korea built dams, ironworks and expressways, and threw its energy into exports.

South Korea has transformed into an economically advanced country, achieving political democratization and affluence. Its society has diversified, and the now wealthy nation has changed from being a recipient of assistance to a country that provides it to others.

Japan and South Korea are trade partners, and each maintains an alliance with the United States as its main axis of national security. The two countries also share values such as the market economy and democracy.


International leadership

In November, South Korea will host a Group of 20 summit meeting while Japan will host a summit gathering of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

Tokyo and Seoul play increasingly greater roles and have larger responsibilities when it comes to ensuring the world's stability and prosperity.

The two countries should never miss mutual opportunities and should strengthen their cooperation.

How to establish a stable relationship with economic and military superpower China is a heavy task for both Japan and South Korea.

The two countries also must appropriately respond to North Korea--a destabilizing factor in the region.

It appears increasingly necessary that Japan and South Korea build a future-oriented bilateral relationship that is not mired in the past.

However, difficulties remain. Japan and South Korea, because they are neighbors, have deep relations rooted in history, and their sentiment toward each other tends to be complex. Japanese people feel increasingly more kinship with South Korea every year, but South Koreans still have a deep-seated distrust of Japan.

In fact, pending issues between Japan and South Korea such as the territorial dispute over the Takeshima islets remain unresolved and a source of repeated diplomatic tension between the two countries.

Overcoming those difficulties is an assignment for both Japan and South Korea as they head into the next 100 years of their relationship.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 29, 2010)
(2010年8月29日01時19分  読売新聞)

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2010年8月29日 (日)

死刑刑場公開 まだ開示すべき情報は多い

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 29, 2010)
More death penalty info should be disclosed
死刑刑場公開 まだ開示すべき情報は多い(8月28日付・読売社説)

The execution chamber at the Tokyo Detention House was shown to the media for the first time Friday.

With the introduction of the lay judge system, ordinary citizens now have a chance of being called to participate in the process of sentencing someone to death. The Justice Ministry, which had been reluctant to disclose information related to executions, has likely realized the need to change its earlier stance.

The ministry should make further efforts to disclose information on the death penalty.

Media organizations were allowed to film or photograph certain areas, such as the room in which hangings take place, and the button control room, where prison officers push buttons to activate the trapdoor.

Debate requires data

Justice Minister Keiko Chiba this month set up a study panel within the ministry to discuss the death penalty system. Chiba, who had been calling for the abolition of capital punishment, expressed her intention to start discussions on whether the system should be maintained and stressed the need for national debate on the issue.

But the public in fact has been given little information that would help people think about the death penalty.

An execution must be carried out within six months after a death sentence is finalized, according to the Criminal Procedure Code. But this rule has not been followed. Over the past decade, the period from the finalization of a sentence to actual execution stood at five years and 11 months on average. Some death row inmates have been detained for more than two decades since their sentences were finalized. What has caused this situation?

In 1998, the Justice Ministry began to publicly announce when it had carried out executions and how many inmates were executed on each occasion. In 2007, it also began disclosing the names of the inmates who were executed. But it has not provided information on how decisions are made about which inmates are to be executed.

It also is hard to know anything about how death row inmates live in their cells and whether they regret what they have done.

The Penal Code stipulates that executions are to be carried out by hanging. But we wonder whether arguments on this point have ever been raised.

In the United Sates, where the death penalty exists in 35 of the 50 states, members of the media and relatives of crime victims can be present to watch executions. They also can be briefed by authorities about developments before actual executions.

We think the Justice Ministry should provide as much information as possible while giving consideration to the privacy of death row inmates and the wishes of victims.

Some in the ministry were cautious about releasing detailed information on the final moments death row inmates face, being concerned that discussions of how executions are carried out and how inmates are treated would eventually lead to arguments supporting the abolition of the death penalty.

It is necessary for the ministry to provide the public with information about the actual situation regarding the death penalty and to allow discussions as to whether practical details of the death penalty system, including the execution method, should be reviewed.

Seek the best system

An opinion survey conducted by the Cabinet Office showed that more than 80 percent of respondents were in favor of the death penalty. Many victims' relatives demand capital punishment as a penalty matching the seriousness of the crimes committed.

We do not advocate rushing discussions on whether the death penalty should be maintained or abolished. Rather, we hope that discussions are held from the viewpoint of improving the existing system's operation.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 28, 2010)
(2010年8月28日01時13分  読売新聞)

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2010年8月28日 (土)

小沢氏出馬表明 日本の針路を競う代表選に

to fend off a barrage of questions from the opposition camp
右顧左眄(うこさべん) =右を見たり左を見たりして迷うこと。左顧右眄。
Kokugo Dai Jiten Dictionary. Shinsou-ban (Revised edition) ゥ Shogakukan 1988/国語大辞典(新装版)ゥ小学館 1988

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 28, 2010)
DPJ election should be battle over policy
小沢氏出馬表明 日本の針路を競う代表選に(8月27日付・読売社説)

The Democratic Party of Japan's upcoming presidential election is almost certain to be a two-man race between Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who is seeking reelection as DPJ chief, and former party Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa.

Selecting the leader of the largest ruling party is effectively synonymous with choosing the next prime minister.  与党第1党の党首選は首相選びに直結する。

We hope the DPJ will choose the winner of the race through a serious battle of words concerning the course this country should take.
The election should not be reduced to a race in which its two opposing camps struggle to win party members over to their respective sides, thus determining which can seize power: the bloc that wants Ozawa removed from the center of the party and the government, or the side that supports him.

Ozawa has expressed his intention to run in the Sept. 14 election, campaigning for which will start Wednesday.  小沢氏は、9月1日告示、14日投開票の党代表選に出馬する意向を表明した。

His move comes after he secured the support of former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama; Ozawa had been considering entering the race if he could receive support from a wide range of DPJ lawmakers.

However, this does not mean Ozawa has been guaranteed support from most DPJ members.

Attempt at truce failed

A key factor behind the Kan-Ozawa showdown is the bitter discord between the former DPJ secretary general and senior party leaders seeking to eliminating his influence within the party, including the prime minister, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku and party Secretary General Yukio Edano.

Ozawa's announcement of his decision to run was preceded by Hatoyama's attempt to broker a compromise between Kan and Ozawa, in the hope of averting a deepening schism among intraparty groups.

However, Kan was reluctant to accept Hatoyama's request to ensure key figures from each intraparty group, including Ozawa, were represented in the party's leadership and the Cabinet, in what could be called a whole-party approach.

This bitterly antagonized Ozawa.
A decision by Ozawa not to run would have enabled Kan to win unopposed, a development that would cost the veteran DPJ kingpin support among a number of party members. Ozawa's decision to run can be seen as a last-resort measure to avoid this.

Kan's rejection of Hatoyama's request caused the former prime minister to shift his support from Kan to Ozawa. Hatoyama earlier said he would back Kan's bid to be reelected as DPJ president, provided he adopts a whole-party approach.

Hatoyama's obvious change of heart must be criticized as unacceptable. It is disconcerting that he has endorsed Ozawa's bid to become DPJ leader--we should remember that Hatoyama stepped down as party head and prime minister before the House of Councillors election in July to take the blame for the turmoil arising from his poorly thought-out approach to politically divisive issues, at the same time urging Ozawa to resign as party secretary general.

Ozawa's decision to run in the wake of Hatoyama's failed peacemaking means he has concluded that taking the DPJ's top post will be the best way for him to escape the damned-if-he-does-and-damned-if-he-doesn't situation he is in. All this likely will turn the upcoming election into a battle that will divide the ruling party. The DPJ could be broken up into different groups and this could eventually result in a new round of political realignment--that is, new splits and mergers among both ruling and opposition parties.

Back to basics

Some groups of pro-Ozawa DPJ legislators have insisted their party "return to square one" in policy administration, saying the party's defeat in the upper house election was the result of its failure to honor its manifesto for last year's general election. These groups also have criticized Kan for stating his administration would explore the possibility of raising the consumption tax rate during campaigning for the upper house election.

However, it is easy to see that lavish handout policies such as child-rearing allowances cannot be carried out as initially pledged, given the extremely optimistic estimate drawn up by the DPJ regarding the necessary financial resources.

If Ozawa truly believes in a back-to-square-one approach, he must show what kind of realistic measures would be implemented to raise the funds necessary for promised policies, while also presenting a timetable for each policy as soon as possible.

This is not the only thing on Ozawa's must-do list; he must also fulfill his duty to answer questions about the political funding scandal surrounding him.

Ozawa's politics-and-money scandal includes alleged violations of the Political Funds Control Law in connection with a shady land purchase by his funds management organization. During the last ordinary Diet session, Ozawa refused to attend the House of Representatives' Deliberative Council on Political Ethics and state his position on the issue. He also escaped being forced to testify under oath in the Diet.

However, it will be extremely difficult for Ozawa to fend off a barrage of questions from the opposition camp in the divided Diet. The upper house is at the mercy of the opposition bloc due to the ruling coalition's loss of its majority in the July election, while the ruling parties have an overwhelming majority in the lower house.

Ozawa seeking escape?

Ozawa will be automatically indicted in connection with his alleged funding irregularities if a Tokyo independent inquest-of-prosecution panel decides in autumn that his case merits indictment, after reconsidering prosecutors' earlier decision not to do so.

The Constitution contains an article that stipulates ministers of the state "shall not be subject to legal action without the consent of the Prime Minister" during their time in office.

Some DPJ members who support Kan have said Ozawa may be seeking to become prime minister in the hope of taking advantage of this constitutional provision to escape indictment.

What will Ozawa actually do, if and when the judiciary panel concludes he should be indicted? Well before the committee reaches its eventual decision on the case in question, Ozawa should tell the public how he will deal with such a situation.

Meanwhile, Kan must take seriously Ozawa's candidacy for their party's leadership.

The DPJ's top echelon, including the prime minister, has done little to settle the dispute over their responsibility for the party's electoral setback. Neither have they fully analyzed why the ruling party was defeated in the upper house race. This failure has done much to foster discontent among many DPJ members.

There is no denying that many DPJ lawmakers feel uneasy about Kan's ability--or lack thereof--to manage his own party and make decisions about government policies.

Take this nation's current economic crisis--including the recent surge in the value of the yen and falling stock prices. The Kan administration has been slow to address these problems. Despite having to campaign for his reelection as DPJ chief, Kan must fulfill his duties to run the country as prime minister.

Kan must speak clearly

If he hopes to amend the manifesto, the prime minister should reexamine the policies the DPJ-led government has implemented since the party took power, while also clearly showing the public which policies will be changed and which will be kept in place.

This also applies to Kan's approach to the consumption tax issue. He should be resolute in stating his opinions about the matter.

The current DPJ came into being in 2003, when Kan and Ozawa agreed to merge their respective parties, with the aim of toppling the then Liberal Democratic Party-led ruling coalition from power and establishing a DPJ-led administration. In those days, the DPJ was headed by Kan and the defunct Liberal Party by Ozawa.

Even since its inauguration, the current DPJ has been described as a "mutual aid society" aimed at ensuring its two constituent parties help each other in elections. The DPJ-LP integration also has been dismissed as a merger that lacks political goals and principles.

In fact, the DPJ has yet to lay out guiding principles for such fundamental policies as constitutional amendment, national security and reform of the consumption tax.

The ruling party's inadequacy in this has hindered progress in implementing such key policies.

Kan and Ozawa should lock horns in a debate over their party's basic policies, instead of fearing that their battle in the DPJ leadership race could lead to a rupture in the party or renewed alignment of political parties and groups.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 27, 2010)
(2010年8月27日01時23分  読売新聞)

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2010年8月27日 (金)


20年くらい前、海外単身勤務に伴なう長期に渡る家族との別居(separation from family)が原因で25年間連れ添った妻と離婚するはめになりました。離婚直後、生活が乱れてしまい毎日のようにスナックやバーで夜遊びした結果すぐにお金がなくなり生活できなくなりました。これではいけないと気を取り直して生活態度を180度転換、もとの自分を取り戻すことができましたが、このお金のなくなった時期に提携銀行である東海銀行のローンカードと丸井のクレジットカードを利用しました。お金のありがたさを身をもって体験できた訳です。借金は200万円ほどでしたが1年間で全額返済できました。



それではここで、クレジットカードのショッピング枠現金化サイト「フルサポート 」の紹介を致します。













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円高加速 政府・日銀は具体策を急げ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 27, 2010)
Govt, BOJ should move on yen--now
円高加速 政府・日銀は具体策を急げ(8月26日付・読売社説)

There seem to be no brakes on the rise of the yen as speculators apparently take advantage of the sluggish response of the government and the Bank of Japan to the yen's appreciation.

The yen is surging, hitting a 15-year high in the 83 yen range against the U.S. dollar on foreign markets Tuesday. There are whispers in the markets that the yen could soon even reach a record high in the 79 yen range versus the dollar.

With the yen's surge set to batter the Japanese economy, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average dropped below the 9,000 mark Wednesday to close at the year's low of 8,845.39.

Unless the sharp appreciation of the yen is checked, business sentiment and the willingness of households to spend may cool, stalling the economy.

The government and the central bank should resolutely act to deal with this worrying situation, and consider intervening in the market to stem the yen's rise.

The recent responses of the government and the Bank of Japan have been missing the mark.

On Aug. 10, the central bank held off adding measures to expand liquidity. Soon after, the U.S. Federal Reserve Board took additional money-easing steps, triggering the latest rise in the yen.

Talks fall flat

A discussion over the telephone between Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Bank of Japan Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa on Monday, which set tongues wagging that steps would be taken to deal with the yen's rise, ended in just 15 minutes.

Contrary to what policymakers had intended, the talks ended with little substance and led to a further advance of the yen and offloading of stocks as disappointment spread among market players.

There have been striking inconsistencies in messages sent by Cabinet members to the market.

At a hastily arranged press conference Tuesday evening, Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda indicated he would closely watch the market. He failed to offer any concrete response to the situation, which only fueled the yen's rise.

On Wednesday, Noda finally hinted the government might intervene in the market, saying, "When necessary, we will take appropriate measures."

During meetings with Democratic Party of Japan members of the House of Representatives the same day, Kan said, "We'll respond properly in the not-so-distant future."

None of this changed the tide in the financial markets.

The halfhearted response by policymakers probably has speculators believing the government will not take any specific action to stem the yen's rise for the time being.

No time to waste

The government could be keeping an ace up its sleeve, which it will play when the yen stands on the brink of rising above 80 yen to the dollar. But this is no time for the government to be sitting on its hands. We think the government should discuss in earnest the possibility of going it alone in intervening in the currency market.

The United States and European countries embrace the depreciation of their currencies against the yen. But it is difficult to put a finger on why only the yen is rising against other major currencies, despite the fact that Japan is plagued by deflation and sluggish growth.

Japan will probably not be strongly criticized by other nations even if it moves to correct the yen's excessive appreciation.

The Bank of Japan is reportedly considering taking additional money easing measures ahead of the next Monetary Policy Meeting set for early September. We hope the central bank will both check the yen's rise and stimulate the economy.

Depending on market developments, the central bank should promptly ease the money supply by holding an extraordinary meeting, rather than wait until the regular policy meeting.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 26, 2010)
(2010年8月26日01時03分  読売新聞)

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2010年8月26日 (木)


20年くらい前、海外単身勤務に伴なう長期に渡る家族との別居(separation from family)が原因で25年間連れ添った妻と離婚するはめになりました。離婚直後、生活が乱れてしまい毎日のようにスナックやバーで夜遊びした結果すぐにお金がなくなり生活できなくなりました。これではいけないと気を取り直して生活態度を180度転換、もとの自分を取り戻すことができましたが、このお金のなくなった時期に提携銀行である東海銀行のローンカードと丸井のクレジットカードを利用しました。お金のありがたさを身をもって体験できた訳です。借金は200万円ほどでしたが1年間で全額返済できました。



















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Barack Obama


cite from facebook with President Obama,

Barack Obama:
The letters I receive do more to keep me in touch with what’s happening around the country than just about anything else. Some of them are funny, some of them are angry, and a lot of them are sad or frustrated about their current situation. It ends up being a powerful motivator.

Kiyoshi Matsui:
I feel so sad to hear that. Is there anything I can do for you?

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なぜ、円高になっているのか? 円高の「主犯」は日本の銀行だ!


cite from livedoor news

なぜ、円高になっているのか? 円高の「主犯」は日本の銀行だ!

 為替相場では「円高・米ドル安」が続いています。その一因は、米国の金利低下が続いているためでしょう。 それでは、米国金利低下の原因は何なのでしょうか? じつは、その1つが日本人の米国債買いのようなのです。 つまり、「円高・米ドル安←米国の金利低下←日本人の米国債買い」という構図で、日本人が円高を起こしている「主犯」ということになりそうです。■「円高=米金利低下」は米国人のせいではなさそう 米ドル/円と米国の長期金利の関係はとても相関性が高いです。

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20年くらい前、海外単身勤務に伴なう長期に渡る家族との別居(separation from family)が原因で25年間連れ添った妻と離婚するはめになりました。離婚直後、生活が乱れてしまい毎日のようにスナックやバーで夜遊びした結果すぐにお金がなくなり生活できなくなりました。これではいけないと気を取り直して生活態度を180度転換、もとの自分を取り戻すことができましたが、このお金のなくなった時期に提携銀行である東海銀行のローンカードと丸井のクレジットカードを利用しました。お金のありがたさを身をもって体験できた訳です。借金は200万円ほどでしたが1年間で全額返済できました。



それではここで、クレジットカードのショッピング枠現金化サイト「クローバー 」の紹介を致します。

クローバー の特徴



・即日振り込みが可能 (最短5分)










現金化クローバー (pc)
比較 (mobile)

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企業の国際化 英語が社内公用語となる時代

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 26, 2010)
English necessary to cope with globalization
企業の国際化 英語が社内公用語となる時代(8月25日付・読売社説)

The United Nations has six specified official languages: English, French, Russian, Chinese, Spanish and Arabic; but in the world of business, English has effectively established itself as the common language.


Recently, some Japanese firms have decided to make English their official language.

Internet company Rakuten Inc. announced it will adopt English as its official language by the end of 2012.

Fast Retailing Co., operator of Uniqlo, the nation's largest clothing chain, and with several outlets around the world, also announced a policy of using English at meetings where non-Japanese staff are present.

Both companies are aggressively expanding their global operations by increasing overseas bases and taking other steps. They are also reportedly planning to drastically increase their number of non-Japanese employees.

Such moves are vital to make best use of a workforce with diverse mother tongues and enable smooth communication.

English ability will be an important attribute for employees of global firms so they can share the latest information instantly through e-mail and efficiently take part in negotiations with clients.


Adapt to a changing world

As society becomes more globalized, Japanese companies must respond to the changing world by using English as their official language. Such efforts are needed to meet the needs of the times.

Rakuten said it will ask Japanese employees to use English when communicating about work-related matters.

At a press conference earlier this month to release its midterm financial report, Rakuten President Hiroshi Mikitani spoke in English to reporters and analysts from around the globe. Simultaneous interpretation was provided.

The company is making a thorough effort to promote the use of English inside the company, with even its cafeteria menu written in English.


A wake-up call

However, some people have criticized the language policies as going too far, saying, "It's absurd to force people working in Japan to use English."

It is, of course, necessary to treasure the Japanese language, which represents our sensibility as a people and is the basis of our culture.

Attempts to make English the official language of a company may seem like an extremely radical idea. But it can be looked at as a kind of "shock therapy," to completely change employees' state of mind.

How much English needs to be used at each firm is debatable, but individual companies should be left to make this decision in consideration of their specific circumstances.

Apart from Rakuten and Fast Retailing, more than a few companies use English at board meetings and other occasions to cope with the growing diversity of their board members.

Companies trying to access the global market likely have no choice but to introduce English, or some other foreign tongue, as an official language.

Rakuten's moves to make English its official language is symbolic of the changing environment Japanese companies face.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 25, 2010)
(2010年8月25日01時31分  読売新聞)

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2010年8月25日 (水)


2010/08/10に運良く購入出来たタイ株式、 たった今、2010/08/25 10:03:50AMに利益確定できました。 利益率は5%、今月はタイの感覚では月収10万円を達成できました。 40年前に就職して初月給をもらったときの感覚によく似ています。 ようやく損をせずにすむようになりました。 神に感謝!
photo by srachai from OCNフォトフレンド

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<A href="http://photofriend.jp/photo/choice/53856/1444675/" target=_blank><IMG src="http://photofriend.jp/u/53856/d7e1af5f2674de5505268c022626844250000000000001444675.jpg" width=252 height=194></A><BR>photo by <A href="http://photofriend.jp/photo/list/53856/" target=_blank>srachai</A> from <A href="http://photofriend.jp/" target=_blank>OCNフォトフレンド</A>


以下はcite from wikkipedia,

軍隊時代 :








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菅・白川会談 政策協調で景気の失速防げ


The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 25, 2010)
Coordinate policy to ward off slowdown
菅・白川会談 政策協調で景気の失速防げ(8月24日付・読売社説)

What policy measures will the government and the Bank of Japan take to deal with the sharp slowdown in the economy and the overvaluation of the yen? Their capabilities are being put to the test.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Bank of Japan Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa spoke on the phone Monday morning. They reportedly exchanged views on the recent economic situation, including currency exchange rates, for 15 minutes and agreed that it was important to maintain close communications with each other.

The government is planning to compile additional economic measures soon. To boost their effectiveness, the government apparently tried to trumpet its coordination with the central bank by arranging the talks between Kan and Shirakawa.

Unfortunately, however, exchange rates and stock prices hardly reacted to their dialogue. The markets apparently decided it lacked substance.

Rethink unhelpful policies

The strong yen and deflation are depriving the Japanese economy of its vitality. The government and the central bank must pursue policy coordination in a flexible manner to prevent the economy from slowing down further.

The real economic growth rate in the April-June quarter was almost flat and the nominal rate, which is closer to the public mood, went into the negative. More and more economists believe the Japanese economy has entered a temporary stagnant period.

To deal with the situation, the government has decided to use reserve funds and other spare money in this fiscal year's budget to continue its eco-point program for housing and to help jobless people find new jobs.

We think that stimulation of consumption and job placement assistance are appropriate measures to prevent the economy from losing its momentum. However, the scale of these measures is likely to be a little less than 2 trillion yen.

Though some members of the ruling coalition parties have called for larger economic measures, the government should avoid issuing additional government bonds for that purpose, given the nation's tough fiscal condition. It is also not realistic to suddenly raise tax rates.

Under such circumstances, the only possible course for the government is to eke out the necessary funds by scaling down low-priority policy projects. The government and the ruling coalition parties should screen policy measures with dubious economic effects, including child-rearing allowances, based strictly on their impact on the economy, and make a zero-based review of how to use the budget more wisely.

No talk of intervention?

An even more pressing issue is the yen's appreciation, which will not only reduce the volume of exports but also harm a wide variety of other areas. It will accelerate the drain of domestic companies from Japan to other countries and further worsen deflation.

During their recent telephone conversation, Kan and Shirakawa did not discuss a currency intervention to stem the yen's rise against other major currencies, according to Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku. But we are not sure if this is true.

If Japan is viewed as acting weak in currency intervention, speculators will try to capitalize on that. If the yen rises further in the near future, the prime minister should meet the central bank governor in person to discuss countermeasures.

A key factor in dealing with the rising yen is what action the Bank of Japan will take. The central bank should introduce further quantitative monetary easing because monetary relaxation not only helps alleviate the upward pressure on interest rates caused by increased public spending, it also promotes the depreciation of the yen.

The Bank of Japan should consider a method that has worked well in the past--heightening the effects of monetary easing by not absorbing funds the government funnels into the market as yen-selling intervention.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 24, 2010)
(2010年8月24日01時00分  読売新聞)

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--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 23
EDITORIAL: U.S. pullout from Iraq.

U.S. President Barack Obama has set the end of 2011 as the deadline for the withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Iraq. The midterm goal of the plan is to end combat operations in the country by Aug. 31. In line with the schedule, the last U.S. combat unit left Iraq to move into neighboring Kuwait last week.

The number of U.S. troops remaining in Iraq will be reduced to 50,000, about one-third of the peak level, at the end of this month. Their main mission will be training Iraqi security forces that will take over the role of the U.S. troops.

The death toll of American troops in Iraq has surpassed 4,400, while estimates put the number of Iraqi civilians killed at more than 100,000.

Answering to an embedded foreign journalist, a U.S. soldier who has left Iraq said the best thing would be for no one to get hurt anymore. The U.S. forces have just done their duties, but many of them probably have mixed feelings, wondering if they fought a just war.
 イラクを離れた兵士が外国の従軍記者に答えた。「何がいいかって? 第一に、もう誰も傷つかないこと」。この戦争は正しかったのか。任務とはいえ、兵士たちにも複雑な思いが去来したのではないだろうか。

Immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks in the United States, many countries and people around the world supported U.S. plans for a war against terrorism. But the U.S. government's push to topple the regime of Saddam Hussein bitterly divided the world and provoked deep anger within the Islamic world. As a result, terrorism has spread widely both within and outside Iraq.

What was the meaning of the Iraq war? It is time for both the United States, which started the war, and Japan, which supported the U.S. action, to ask themselves some serious questions about what they did.

A 'preventive war'

Let us look back.

Suspicions arose that Iraq had a secret cache of weapons of mass destruction. If these weapons found their way into the hands of terrorists, the U.S. administration of President George W. Bush argued, they would pose a serious security threat.
The Bush administration used these concerns as justification for starting the war against Iraq despite a lack of definite evidence to support these claims.

The U.S.-led invasion of Iraq started with willing allies, such as Britain and Italy, flying in the face of opposition from Germany, France and other countries. The U.N. Security Council did not issue a resolution that clearly sanctioned the use of armed forces against Iraq.

A "preventive war" to nip a potential threat in the bud by a country solely on its own judgment violates the U.N. Charter, which permits a country's use of force only for self-defense against an imminent security threat to the country or when the Security Council has passed a resolution to approve military action.

The international community struggled to persuade the United States to restrain itself from heading into a preventive war. Before the Iraq war began, a French diplomat said it was a U.S. problem, not an Iraq problem.

The U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell warned the president that invading Iraq would be very costly for both the United States and the world. He pointed out that occupying Iraq would mean the United States would have to own the hopes, aspirations and problems of all Iraqi people. Still, Bush decided to start the attack, true to his pledge to combat terrorism by all possible measures.

Lack of support

The U.S. administration was apparently driven by the shock of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It was, however, difficult for Washington to win support from people in Iraq or the international community for a fight against terrorism when it was actually an attempt to use force to upset an anti-U.S. regime without offering any clear rationale.

But the Bush administration couldn't understand this obvious truth.

The search after the collapse of the Saddam regime found no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, making the war even more questionable.

The U.S. billed the overthrow of Saddam as part of its fight against terrorism and continued operations to eliminate the remnants and supporters of the regime. This provoked strong anti-American sentiment and a wave of terrorist attacks in Iraq. The U.S. invasion gave extremist groups like al-Qaida a justification for jihad in Iraq, setting off an endless chain of violence.

Iraq remains deeply mired in political turmoil. Parliamentary elections in March have triggered a political standoff between religious groups, failing to establish a new government and leaving the country in a political vacuum.

Meanwhile, the United States under President Obama, who harshly criticized Bush over the Iraq war, has dramatically changed its policy. Now, Washington is trying to rebuild war-devastated Iraq through efforts supported by the United Nations and the international community.

As the country that destroyed Iraq and created chaos in the country through its preventive war, the United States has a grave responsibility.

President Obama, however, has called the conflict in Afghanistan a "necessary war" and has tripled the number of U.S. troops deployed in the country since he took office.

But the United States has failed to win the hearts of the people in Afghanistan even though it has overthrown a regime linked to al-Qaida.
The current situation in Afghanistan, where the United States is struggling badly in its efforts to help rebuild the nation and eliminate terrorism, is reminiscent of Washington's plight in Iraq.

David Miliband, a former British foreign secretary, has cited overconfidence in military power as one of the mistakes made in the war against terrorism. Expanding the war front, which inevitably leads to a larger number of war victims, doesn't help increase allies for efforts to prevent terrorism. The United States should keep this lesson in mind for its operations in Afghanistan as well.

Japan supported the U.S.-led war against Iraq and dispatched Self-Defense Forces troops to what the government described as a "noncombat zone" in the country. It was a move to demonstrate its solid commitment to its alliance with the United States. But how should we judge the Japanese government's decision to back a war that was started on the basis of inaccurate information?

"There is obviously no way for me to know at this moment which parts (of Iraq) are combat areas and which are noncombat zones," then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said during a Diet session. Didn't the government make a wrong choice when it decided to send SDF troops to Iraq when it had no accurate information, as Koizumi's remarks indicated?

Review decision-making process

The North Korea problem influenced the policy decisions of the ruling party and the government concerning Iraq.

A senior lawmaker of then ruling Liberal Democratic Party said, "Can we afford to allow Japan's alliance with the United States to be damaged by walking away (from the Iraq war) when Japan is facing a threat from North Korea?"

But how was the Iraq war actually linked to the North Korea problem in policy debate within the Koizumi administration?

At that time, as chief of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan, Naoto Kan, the current prime minister, argued that sending SDF troops to Iraq, most parts of which were combat areas, was unconstitutional. The current DPJ-led government must now make clear what it has learned from the episode.

Government decisions about war must be rigorously scrutinized. Otherwise, the experience will leave no useful lesson for the governance of the nation, especially for its diplomatic and national security policies.

The time has come for the Diet to take a fresh and hard look at the process in which Japan made its decisions concerning the Iraq war through such efforts as intensive debate at an Upper House fact-finding committee.

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2010年8月24日 (火)








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ロシア・ビザで国後島に日本人 福岡の業者、初の観光ツアー


cite from kyodo news,

ロシア・ビザで国後島に日本人 福岡の業者、初の観光ツアー


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取り調べ可視化 海外調査を論議の出発点に

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 24, 2010)
Open discussion needed on taping interrogations
取り調べ可視化 海外調査を論議の出発点に(8月23日付・読売社説)

The Justice Ministry will send prosecutors overseas to study the feasibility of introducing a system to make audio and video recordings of investigators' interrogations of suspects. The prosecutors will conduct research for a year on how recording systems function in the countries they visit.

The mission represents this nation's first comprehensive overseas research of such systems. Prosecutors will visit countries including the United States, Britain and France, as well as Germany, which has yet to adopt a recording system, and South Korea, which just introduced one.

The ministry should widely publicize the results of the research and consider what would be the most desirable form of recording system for this country.

Police and prosecutors have begun making partial audio and video recordings of interrogations conducted in connection with criminal cases tried jointly by lay and professional judges. Such records are meant to prove that confessions are not forced but voluntary.

As of June, DVD recordings of interrogations had been shown in six cases tried under the lay judge system.

The Japan Federation of Bar Associations is calling for the entire interrogation process to be recorded, to prevent false charges from being brought. The Democratic Party of Japan called for the adoption of a full recording system in its campaign platform for the general election last August, and since the launch in September of the DPJ-led government, it has urged the ministry and the National Police Agency to look further into the feasibility of adopting such a system.


Different situation overseas

But the situation in Japan is different from that of the countries where recording systems are in place.

In Britain, suspects are usually interrogated once after being arrested and the questioning is said to finish within 30 minutes in many cases. Defendants also have a good chance of being acquitted in jury trials.

Furthermore, there is a plea bargain system under which suspects can receive lighter sentences if they admit crimes at early stages of investigations. Wiretapping and undercover operations are also permitted.

Plea bargains are common in the United States, where about one-third of the states record interrogations.

In Japan, investigators face suspects for long hours in investigation rooms, to conduct detailed questioning that spans from suspects' childhoods to the motives for their alleged crimes. In cases involving organized crime syndicates, investigators try to win over suspects and obtain statements implicating gang leaders.


Give investigators more tools

Many investigators have expressed concern about making audio and video recordings of the entire interrogation process.

It is important to prevent false charges. But at the same time, public safety should not be threatened because criminal cases are left unsettled with authorities unable to indict the real culprits. It is essential to reconcile these two goals when considering the introduction of a recording system.

Before the full-scale adoption of such a system, it may be necessary to consider the introduction of a new investigative process that facilitates such methods as court-approved wiretapping and sting operations, so police and investigators can collect material evidence in addition to statements from suspects.

As the lay judge system is now in its second year of operation, public interest in the judiciary has been increasing. Discussions about the introduction of an interrogation recording system should be conducted in the public eye.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 23, 2010)
(2010年8月23日01時18分  読売新聞)

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2010年8月23日 (月)



















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海保ヘリ墜落 原因究明を阻む悪質な隠蔽だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 23, 2010)
JCG's cover-up obstructs investigation
海保ヘリ墜落 原因究明を阻む悪質な隠蔽だ(8月22日付・読売社説)

The outrageous cover-up by the Japan Coast Guard over a recent fatal helicopter accident is nothing but an attempt to obstruct the investigation.

The 6th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters' helicopter Akizuru hit power lines and crashed in the Seto Inland Sea off Kagawa Prefecture on Wednesday afternoon, killing all five aboard.

For more than a day after the accident, the coast guard concealed the fact that one of the purposes of the helicopter's flight was a demonstration for a group of legal trainees who were aboard a JCG patrol boat to experience coast guard missions at sea.

The JCG initially said the helicopter was on a patrol flight and only changed its story when the media brought up the demonstration flights.

It is not surprising that Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Seiji Maehara strongly criticized the JCG, saying, "The coast guard's concealment is serious, and it should reflect deeply on its conduct."

There is nothing wrong with carrying out demonstration flights. It is meaningful to give legal trainees an opportunity to observe the JCG's activities to help them understand the coast guard's mission.

However, the coast guard even concealed the demonstration flights from an official of the ministry's Japan Transport Safety Board who visited the crash site. In a broad sense, the JCG's conduct appears to be an attempt to destroy evidence related to the crash.

Systematic deception

What makes the latest case heinous is that senior JCG officials, including the chief of the 6th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters, systematically decided not to disclose the demonstration flights.

In addition, when the JCG first acknowledged conducting the demonstration flights, the chief of the headquarters' general affairs division said, "I intentionally decided it was better not to disclose [the demonstration flights]," indicating that it was his decision. The coast guard covered up another fact by saying the head of the headquarters and other senior JCG officials were not involved in the decision.

The coast guard would never have acted in this manner if it had considered those who lost their lives in the line of duty and their bereaved families. The ministry should closely question the headquarters' chief and other senior JCG officials to lay the blame at the right door.

Commenting on the cover-up, the headquarters explained it did not mention the demonstration flights "because the site of the accident and the [area of the] demonstration flights were 17 kilometers apart and, therefore, they were unrelated."

Problem with flight plan?

However, the accident occurred between two demonstration flights when the helicopter was investigating an abandoned ship. Was there some problem with the helicopter's flight plan? A thorough investigation must be carried out before deciding on the relationship between the demonstration flights and the accident.

The transport safety board needs to look into the case thoroughly to determine the real reason behind the cover-up and the cause of the accident.

In investigating the 2005 JR Fukuchiyama Line derailment accident, a member of the then Aircraft and Railway Accidents Investigation Commission, a predecessor of the board, leaked information related to its investigation to West Japan Railway Co. before the commission compiled a report on the accident--a monstrous mistake that investigative authorities should have prevented.

The transport safety board will lose public trust if it treats the coast guard with kid gloves during its investigation simply because the board and the JCG are organizations under the same ministry.

Merely keeping an eye on the piloting of aircraft is not enough to prevent such an accident from recurring. The board must investigate the JCG and the headquarters from all possible angles, including flight safety.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 22, 2010)
(2010年8月22日01時20分  読売新聞)

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2010年8月22日 (日)


There are not so much chances in our life to be able to get acquainted with.

新しいかたちのメル友を見つけるためのサイトをご紹介いたします。サイトの名前は「まだこれから」です。 30代以上の人たちのメル友を見つけるためサイトですが50代以上の年配の方々も多く参加しているようです。まじめにメル友を探している人たちにとっては福音となるべきサイトです。人間、年をとったからといって、気持ちは若い頃とまったく変らないものです。それぞれの年代で気心の知れあったメル友を見つけ出すことは、さほど困難なことではないでしょう。このサイトの正会員は有料ですが、有料だけにしかできない安心したサービスもあるのです。無料の出会い系サイトとは一線を画する、まじめなメル友サイトということが出来ます。あなたも、このサイトで気心の知れあった友人とめぐり会え、長いお付き合いが出来るかも知れません。 28歳から登録できます。

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文科省:廃校活用へHPを9月開設 999校手つかず

(Mainichi Japan) August 22, 2010
Gov't to open website on shut down schools to help public use facilities
文科省:廃校活用へHPを9月開設 999校手つかず

The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry is set to open a website by the end of September that will provide detailed information on facilities at shut down schools to help companies and other organizations use such amenities, officials said.


According to the ministry, the number of public elementary, junior high and high schools that are closed due to a decline in the number of students has been sharply increasing since fiscal 2000. A combined 3,134 schools were shut down over the fiscal 2002-2008 period.

The ministry has encouraged local governments to transform the buildings at closed public schools into nursing care homes for the aged, nursery schools, eco tourism-related facilities and offices for private companies.
However, facilities at 999 of the closed schools remain unused as of May 2009, ministry officials said.

The Board of Audit conducted a survey on how closed schools' facilities are used on the grounds that it is a waste of taxpayers' money that facilities built using national government subsidies are not efficiently used.
The move has prompted the ministry to set up a website on such facilities so that they will be fully utilized. It plans to post on the website detailed information on each closed school's facilities and conditions for using them, such as it's possible to use only part of school buildings or gymnasiums.

By the end of July, 26 local governments had provided information on about 50 closed schools under their jurisdiction to the ministry to be carried on the new website.

Moreover, the Education Ministry will provide information to local bodies on government subsidies they can receive to refurbish closed schools' buildings to help reduce expenses.

The ministry will also introduce selected welfare facilities and companies that utilize closed schools' facilities to the public as successful cases.

"There may be closed schools in your neighboring administrative districts that meet your requirements. Some schools are conveniently located, such as those near railway stations," a ministry official said. "We'd like as many companies and organizations as possible to make good use of the website to look for such facilities."

毎日新聞 2010年8月16日 15時00分

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Once in a while, it's fantastic to be a writer for EC affiliate service provider. (srachai)

バナ記者はアフィリエイトのBanner Bridge (バナーブリッジ)が提供する商品レビューアフィリエイト【バナ記者】です。

バナ記者(banner writer)となる手順は次の通りです。

1 レビューを書きたい商品を提供するECプログラムと提携する
2 商品のレビュー記事を書く (広告主の指定する条件に沿って記事を書く)
3 記事が広告主より承認される
4 報酬をGET

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Once in a while, it's fantastic to be a writer for EC affiliate service provider. (srachai)

バナ記者はアフィリエイトのBanner Bridge (バナーブリッジ)が提供する商品レビューアフィリエイト【バナ記者】です。

バナ記者(banner writer)となる手順は次の通りです。

1 レビューを書きたい商品を提供するECプログラムと提携する
2 商品のレビュー記事を書く (広告主の指定する条件に沿って記事を書く)
3 記事が広告主より承認される
4 報酬をGET

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Once in a while, it's fantastic to be a writer for EC affiliate service provider. (srachai)

バナ記者はアフィリエイトのBanner Bridge (バナーブリッジ)が提供する商品レビューアフィリエイト【バナ記者】です。

バナ記者(banner writer)となる手順は次の通りです。

1 レビューを書きたい商品を提供するECプログラムと提携する
2 商品のレビュー記事を書く (広告主の指定する条件に沿って記事を書く)
3 記事が広告主より承認される
4 報酬をGET

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パキスタン洪水 対テロ前線国に支援を急げ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 22, 2010)
Japan must lose no time in getting aid to Pakistan
パキスタン洪水 対テロ前線国に支援を急げ(8月21日付・読売社説)

Pakistan has been hit by devastating floods said to be the worst in 80 years.

It is feared flood damage will continue to spread as monsoon rains are expected to continue through the end of this month.

In a special meeting Thursday, the U.N. General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution urging member nations to extend emergency relief to the flood-ravaged nation. The meeting was called as international assistance had been insufficient despite the wide extent of the disaster-stricken areas and the seriousness of damage there.

The United States, which pressed for the U.N. meeting and had already extended 100 million dollars (about 8.5 billion yen) in relief funds for Pakistan, announced that it would contribute an additional 60 million dollars.

Pakistan has been at the forefront of the war on terrorism. Islamist militant terrorist groups operating there are trying to seize the opportunity to increase their influence under the guise of disaster relief efforts. The international community must offer immediate relief to prevent this natural disaster from helping the terrorists flourish.

Millions affected

The flood damage was caused by torrential rain that hit the Indus River basin in northwestern Pakistan in late July. Mud slides and flash floods washed away houses and bridges, and roads were submerged across the affected area.

Damage spread to the middle and lower reaches of the river, killing more than 1,500 people and affecting 20 million people. This means that more than 10 percent of Pakistan's population has been hit by the floods.

Three weeks after the initial damage, more than 8 million people still need emergency relief as they have lost their homes and possessions.

Evacuees reportedly are having difficulty obtaining enough food, water and tents. Besides having to endure hot and humid weather, many--especially children and the elderly--are suffering from cholera caused by worsening sanitary conditions. Many are also suffering from malaria.

Given the scale of damage, the United Nations is calling on member nations and relief organizations to extend 460 million dollars in aid. But a number of nations, with their ailing economies, are slow to respond. Aid money offered by the United States, Europe, Australia and some others totals only half the targeted amount.

GSDF to help

Japan's state secretary for foreign affairs, Osamu Fujimura, announced at the meeting that Japan would not only extend 14.4 million dollars but also dispatch a helicopter unit of the Ground Self-Defense Force.

The helicopter mission is expected to transport relief materials and rescue people isolated in areas where transport systems have been cut off. This aid measure probably will be the best match for the needs in the disaster-hit areas.

The problem is that SDF personnel cannot carry arms with them as the mission is based on the law governing the dispatch of the disaster relief teams. Given the security situation in Pakistan, it cannot be said there is no risk at all for SDF personnel to carry out their mission there.

We consider it problematic that the law is based on the idea that weapons are unnecessary for natural disaster relief activities. In cooperation with the Liberal Democratic Party, which had been calling for revision of the law in this regard, and others, the government should revise the law so SDF personnel could carry weapons with them during any mission in which security concerns exist.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun,Aug. 21, 2010)
(2010年8月21日01時33分  読売新聞)

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2010年8月21日 (土)







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Northern islands-Kunashiri, Etorofu, Shikotan and Habomai Islands are historically an integral part of Japan.

The Soviet troops that had invaded Japanese-held Manchuria in northeastern China just a week earlier on Aug. 9, in violation of a neutrality pact with Japan, continued their combat operations even after Aug. 15.

As a result, about 600,000 Japanese officers, soldiers and others were captured and sent to concentration camps in Siberia and other parts of the Soviet Union as prisoners of war and forced to engage in harsh labor. About 60,000 of them are believed to have died in concentration camps due to hunger and cold.

It is unpardonable cruel and outrageous activity. 

The Soviet troops continued their invasion and occupied four islands off Hokkaido, including Kunashiri Island, that are historically an integral part of Japan.

(srachai from khonkaen, thailand)

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民主党代表選 「小鳩」の総括と政策論が先だ

(Aug. 21, 2010)
DPJ should debate policy, shun politicking
民主党代表選 「小鳩」の総括と政策論が先だ(8月20日付・読売社説)

With less than two weeks until campaigning for the Democratic Party of Japan's presidential election gets underway on Sept. 1, each DPJ group has been engaged in an increasing amount of intraparty wheeling and dealing.

On Thursday, former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama held a seminar for members of his group. The meeting was attended by former DPJ Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa, who heads the ruling party's largest segment.

Ozawa is reportedly considering running in the presidential race, provided he can receive support from a wide range of DPJ members, including those of the Hatoyama group. This has given rise to speculation that Ozawa's attendance at the Thursday meeting may have been part of his preparations for the election.

The seminar, which attracted about 150 DPJ lawmakers, served to display Hatoyama's continuing influence within the party. After stepping down as prime minister in early June, Hatoyama at one time expressed his intention to retire from politics.

Hatoyama's move could be seen as an attempt to regain his lost political privileges, by taking advantage of the obvious advances being made toward him by both Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Ozawa. Kan is apparently trying to woo Hatoyama to his side, in the hope of ensuring his reelection as DPJ chief and consequently prime minister. Ozawa is behaving in a similar fashion as he explores the possibility of running in the Sept. 14 election.

DPJ chiefs must fulfill duties

During Thursday's seminar, Hatoyama reiterated his assertion that the DPJ must be firmly united in running the country as the ruling party. He has said he will support Kan's bid to win reelection as DPJ leader if all the party's groups close ranks with each other.

However, we believe both Ozawa and Hatoyama must look squarely at their respective must-do lists, instead of engaging in calculated activities tied to their party's election.

Hatoyama bears a heavy responsibility for the rift created in the Japan-U.S. relationship as a result of the turmoil that arose from his inconsistent approach to the dispute over the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture. Both Hatoyama and Ozawa have yet to fulfill their duty to fully explain about their connections with politics-and-money scandals.

How do Hatoyama and Ozawa appear to the public in these circumstances? These DPJ heavyweights are obviously resorting to an alliance as a political expedient, instead of reflecting on the scandals that erupted when the former was head of the DPJ and the latter was the party's secretary general.

Ozawa deserves particular reproach as a Tokyo inquest of prosecution panel continues to reconsider the pros and cons of prosecutors' earlier decision not to indict him over the politics-and-money scandal. If Ozawa enters the DPJ election, he should explain what he will do to settle the dispute over the scandal politically, morally and otherwise.

Use election opportunity

Meanwhile, Kan's attitude is no less problematic.

During a press conference in late July, he said the list of pledges he would prepare for the DPJ race would not include a rise in the consumption tax rate. Is it acceptable for Kan to use his party's setback in the last House of Councillors election as a reason for retracting his promise to restore fiscal health?

We believe the prime minister should more actively use the DPJ race as an opportunity to deepen intraparty discussions about the controversy over the consumption tax rate.

Another important issue to be taken up in campaigning for the race is how to treat the DPJ manifesto for last year's House of Representatives election.

It is easy to see the DPJ-led government will be unable to continue such lavish handouts as child-rearing allowances and toll-free services on expressways, when one considers the need to raise a massive amount of funds for such measures.

The DPJ government cannot avoid fundamentally reconsidering the electoral manifesto, given its year-end budget compilation.

Last year's change in administration means the DPJ race is comparable to the Liberal Democratic Party's earlier presidential elections in that the winner will, in effect, gain a passport to the premiership.

The DPJ should take this to heart. The upcoming presidential race must provide its candidates with an opportunity to compete to discuss what shape our country should take and present policies that would affect people's lives.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 20, 2010)
(2010年8月20日01時25分  読売新聞)

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2010年8月20日 (金)

















NEW GIFT~ニューギフト

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日韓FTA 未来志向で早期妥結をめざせ

(srachai from khonkaen, thailand)

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 20, 2010)
Get wheels turning on S. Korea trade talks
日韓FTA 未来志向で早期妥結をめざせ(8月19日付・読売社説)

Japanese and South Korean industrial circles both hope talks between their governments over a free trade agreement will be concluded soon, according to a recent survey conducted by The Yomiuri Shimbun and a leading South Korean business daily.

Responding to the poll taken by the Yomiuri and The Korea Economic Daily, more than 80 percent of 200 major Japanese and South Korean corporations said they thought a free trade accord between the two countries was "necessary." However, bilateral negotiations on a trade deal have been suspended since 2004.

We welcome the readiness expressed by these corporations to deepen relations in a future-oriented manner while competing yet coexisting in observing this year's centennial of Japan's annexation of the Korean Peninsula.

A free trade agreement is a treaty between two or more nations and territories seeking to reduce or abolish tariffs on industrial, agricultural and other products. Such an accord can do much to expand trade.

The current round of multilateral trade talks under the World Trade Organization has been stalled due to conflicting interests among WTO member nations. This has given rise to a sharp increase in the number of free trade pacts and economic partnership agreements aimed at expanding the scope of cooperation to include increased investment and other activities. In fact, about 200 FTA and EPA accords have come into effect around the world.

Japan lagging others

However, free trade agreement negotiations between Tokyo and Seoul have been left behind by the trend of the times. The gridlock in bilateral talks can be attributed to Japan's objection to market liberalization targeting farm and marine products, as well as South Korea's concern that its trade deficit with Japan could widen.

A six-year hiatus in bilateral talks is too long. The Japanese and South Korean governments should live up to the expectations of their respective industrial circles when they meet for working-level talks aimed at resuming the negotiations, probably in September.

Japan's slowness in forming economic partnerships with other countries is exemplified not only by its failure to break the impasse in trade talks with South Korea. This lack of progress is also evident in Tokyo's delay in forming similar ties with other nations and territories.

Japan has signed economic partnership agreements with 11 economies, including Singapore and Mexico, that have already taken effect. This nation is struggling to make headway in striking EPA deals with such agricultural powers as Australia and India. It is unknown whether or when the Japanese government will be able to sit at the negotiating table for trade pact talks with the United States and the European Union.

DPJ policy won't help

Dogged resistance from the domestic agricultural sector has been a stumbling block to efforts to open this country's market for farm imports.

The Democratic Party of Japan-led government has introduced an income compensation system for individual rice farming households. However, this lavish handout policy will do nothing to increase the nation's agricultural competitiveness in preparation for trade liberalization.

The government likely will expand the income compensation program to include fishermen and other workers. This kind of protective policy must be wisely used to help pry open the domestic market.

Japanese Ambassador to China Uichiro Niwa, an envoy chosen from the private sector, has expressed a desire to kick off free trade talks between Tokyo and Beijing. Progress in negotiations between Tokyo and Seoul could jump-start similar talks between Japan and China--and even free trade talks involving all three nations.

South Korea has reached free trade agreements with the United States and the EU. If Seoul gets a head start on Tokyo in starting talks with China, it would deal a blow to Japan.

The administration of Prime Minister Naoto Kan has put together a new growth strategy that would utilize the vitality of emerging economies in Asia. If it truly seeks to accomplish that aim, the government should expedite free trade talks.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 19, 2010)
(2010年8月19日01時59分  読売新聞)

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2010年8月19日 (木)


There are not so much chances in our life to be able to get acquainted with.

新しいかたちのメル友を見つけるためのサイトをご紹介いたします。サイトの名前は「まだこれから」です。 30代以上の人たちのメル友を見つけるためサイトですが50代以上の年配の方々も多く参加しているようです。まじめにメル友を探している人たちにとっては福音となるべきサイトです。人間、年をとったからといって、気持ちは若い頃とまったく変らないものです。それぞれの年代で気心の知れあったメル友を見つけ出すことは、さほど困難なことではないでしょう。このサイトの正会員は有料ですが、有料だけにしかできない安心したサービスもあるのです。無料の出会い系サイトとは一線を画する、まじめなメル友サイトということが出来ます。あなたも、このサイトで気心の知れあった友人とめぐり会え、長いお付き合いが出来るかも知れません。 28歳から登録できます。

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「円高効果」に商機 輸入品還元セール、旅行会社に追い風

(srachai from khonkaen, thailand)

(Mainichi Japan) August 18, 2010
High yen a boon for consumers, manufacturers, but a bust for exporters
「円高効果」に商機 輸入品還元セール、旅行会社に追い風

While the sudden jump in the yen on foreign exchange markets has Japan's export companies worried, it is also expected to be a boon for consumers and domestic manufacturers.

As the yen prices of goods valued in U.S. dollars and euros drop, Japan's retail outlets are holding special "high-yen sales" and other promotions to draw more customers through their doors.

Foreign travel is also getting cheaper, and the travel industry -- stagnant since the Lehman Shock of 2008 -- is finally picking up steam.

Furthermore, firms that import goods or parts used in domestic manufacturing are also seeing a boost to their bottom line.

Ito-Yokado supermarkets, part of the Seven & i Holdings Co. group which also operates the 7-11 convenience store chain, is holding high-yen sales at 161 stores across Japan through Aug. 22. The supermarket has discounted some 30 import items, such as South African grapefruits, valued in U.S. dollars by as much as 50 percent.

"It's definitely tied to a jump in sales," one assistant manager of an Ito-Yokado branch in Tokyo's Ota Ward said of the high-yen discounts.

Aeon Co. is also holding high-yen sales at about 300 of its Jusco supermarkets through Aug. 22, with discounts of 10 to 30 percent on some 50 food items such as American broccoli.

In fact, importers sign exchange rate contracts with foreign suppliers, meaning the importers won't in fact see savings from the high yen until further down the road. However, with consumers expecting lower prices dealers in imported goods have held sales anyway, looking to reap the financial rewards later.

The price-cutting trend is also spreading through the world of Internet commerce, including shopping portal giant Rakuten, Inc., which set up a special high-yen sale section on its site on Aug. 18. The sale corner features about 50 items such as fashion accessories and designer bags for as much as 50 percent off.

The yen has also risen against the euro, prompting import furniture chain Otsuka Kagu to hold a "Euro Furniture Fair" sale through Aug. 29.





毎日新聞 2010年8月18日 東京朝刊

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南シナ海 中国進出の抑止は国際連携で

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 19, 2010)
Intl cooperation vital in South China Sea
南シナ海 中国進出の抑止は国際連携で(8月18日付・読売社説)

China is using its powerful navy to aggressively advance into the South China Sea, a key junction of international sea-lanes. The United States and countries in Asia are increasingly wary of China's moves.

The U.S. Defense Department said Monday in its annual report to Congress that "current trends in China's military capabilities are a major factor in changing East Asian military balances," referring to its moves in the South China Sea.

Japan also cannot overlook China's moves given the fact that it relies on marine transportation for imports of 90 percent of its energy and 60 percent of its food. The government must deepen cooperation with the United States, Vietnam, India and other countries concerned to resolve the problem.

Territorial disputes

The South China Sea, dotted with more than 200 islands and reefs, including the Spratly Islands, is the stage for several territorial disputes involving China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and other countries.

In recent years, China has been causing friction with other countries by dispatching its warships in the area on the pretext of protecting its fishing boats.

China is currently building a large submarine base on Hainan Island in the South China Sea. A recent series of such moves can be interpreted as the country's attempt to bring the entire South China Sea under its control, not only for the sake of protecting its interests in oil and maritime resources but also for military reasons, such as to deter any possible intervention by U.S. forces in the event of an emergency involving Taiwan.

China has used the expression "core interests" in regard to its sovereignty and territorial integrity when it refers to Taiwan and Tibet. Recently, the country said it considered the South China Sea part of its "core interests" as well, a move that underlines concerns over China's possible intentions behind its latest moves.

The South China Sea is crossed by vital international sea-lanes that connect the Middle East with the Northeast Asia. No country can be allowed to make exclusive moves in the area. We strongly urge China to restrain itself.

Multilateralism a must

Vietnam and other Asian countries are calling on China to resolve territorial disputes through multinational negotiations. But China is unwilling to relax its position that countries claiming sovereignty should separately hold bilateral negotiations.

However, if territorial disputes develop into military conflicts, they would significantly affect all countries that use the area's sea-lanes. Given that, it will be reasonable to hold multinational negotiations among countries with interests in the area to discuss ways to ease tensions and measures to build trust.

It may also be a good idea to take up the issue at the East Asia Summit, which the United States also plans to join.

In order to persuade China to sit down for multinational negotiations, it will be essential for countries sharing concerns to cooperate with each other.

The Japanese government launched dialogues on a strategic partnership with India at the end of last year and with Vietnam last month, with the participation of both foreign and defense authorities. We urge the government to proactively take advantage of such dialogues and promote joint actions to alleviate tensions in the South China Sea.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 18, 2010)
(2010年8月18日01時43分  読売新聞)

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2010年8月18日 (水)

社説:GDP伸び鈍化 経営者まで草食系では

herbivorous 発音注意 アービヴォラス 草食の
proactively=anticipatory=acting in advance to deal with an expected difficulty=起こり得る困難を想定し前もって対策をたてるような…

(Mainichi Japan) August 17, 2010
Corporate executives' lack of aggression may be behind slowdown in economic growth
社説:GDP伸び鈍化 経営者まで草食系では

Japan's economic growth slowed down in the April-June period. Preliminary figures announced by the Cabinet Office show that Japan's real-term gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter of this year managed to post positive growth from the previous quarter. Even though it represented an expansion for the third consecutive quarter, the growth rate declined more sharply from the January-March period than market insiders had expected.

Figures in each quarter tend to be volatile. Moreover, the slowdown is largely a repercussion from a sharp surge in the purchase of electric appliances in March in anticipation of the narrowing down of items subject to the eco-point incentive program aimed at encouraging consumers to switch to eco-friendly appliances. Therefore, it would be unwise for the government to take additional economic stimulus measures in reaction to the short-term fluctuation.

The slowdown appears to be rooted in fundamental problems involving Japanese corporate management. Many companies have been shying away from taking risks and have opted for overly cautious approaches. In other words, corporate executives are becoming "herbivorous," a term often used in Japan to refer to men who are not aggressive toward women. Japanese companies obviously cannot compete with their Chinese and South Korean counterparts in aggressiveness.

The government's stimulus measures such as those aimed at stimulating demand for eco-friendly products should be discontinued as they have fulfilled their roles. It is now the private sector's turn to play a leading role in spurring economic recovery. To fulfill their role, companies are urged to increase their investments in plants and equipment. An increase in such investments will result in a rise in orders for machinery and construction materials for factories, and help create jobs. It is difficult to ensure a sustainable recovery in consumer spending unless the employment situation improves and wages increase.

However, investments in plants and equipment, which should be the driving force behind the economic recovery chain, have shown almost no signs of improvement. It is true that growing uncertainty in the world economy as well as destabilizing factors such as the yen's rapid appreciation have discouraged corporate executives from aggressively investing their capital. In an era of uncertainty, however, those who proactively take risks and are successful in stimulating demand will reap the benefits. Companies cannot improve the situation if they remain on the defensive.

It is not true that companies have no money to invest. Statistics by the Bank of Japan show that the amount of cash reserves that companies across the country possess had risen to 202 trillion yen by the end of March. Unlike Western companies that need to set aside a certain amount of money to repay debts and prepare for possible financial unrest, many Japanese companies have improved their financial standing and face no imminent financial turmoil.

In other words, many Japanese firms have massive amounts of reserve funds that they could divert to new investments and human resources, but have failed to utilize them for their own growth. The appreciation of the yen has made it easier for Japanese firms to take over foreign companies. Nonetheless, Japanese companies only complain that they have been hit hard by the strong yen, but have failed to take advantage of it to aggressively expand their businesses.

Amid such circumstances, it has emerged that China's gross domestic product surpassed Japan's GDP for the April-June quarter. The news did not come as a surprise because it had been regarded as only a matter of time before China would overtake Japan as the world's No. 2 economy. Rather, the stable growth of China, whose population is 10 times that of Japan, will bring advantages to Japan.

To turn that advantage into profits, Japanese companies should be prepared to take risks. They have entered a crucial period.

毎日新聞 2010年8月17日 2時35分

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それではここで、クレジットカードのショッピング枠現金化サイト「フルサポート 」の紹介を致します。













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cite from washington post,

5) The mosque debate
PRESIDENT OBAMA over the weekend walked head-on into the debate over a Muslim community center planned for a site two blocks from Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan. Unfortunately, rather than provide clarity and leadership, he muddled his stance and appeared to backtrack in the face of criticism.

8) Sacrilege at Ground Zero
America is a free country where you can build whatever you want -- but not anywhere.

9) Obama's mosque duty
A president has duties to the citizens he serves -- including Muslim citizens.

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cite from washington post,

Newt Gingrich Compares Mosque Backers to Nazis

"Nazis don't have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust museum," he says, and "there is no reason for us to accept a mosque next to the World Trade Center."

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GDP急減速 景気腰折れへ警戒を強めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 18, 2010)
Govt must prevent economic slowdown
GDP急減速 景気腰折れへ警戒を強めよ(8月17日付・読売社説)

The Japanese economy, which has been recovering thanks to external demand and the effects of the government's economic stimulus measures, has suddenly slowed. The government must ensure that the adverse effects of this do not prevent economic growth.

The nation's real gross domestic product increased in the April-June quarter by 0.1 percent from the previous period. This represents the third consecutive quarter of growth, but the annualized growth rate is extremely low--only 0.4 percent.

Although domestic demand has shrunk, growth in the GDP had finally been maintained through exports and other forms of external demand. But the future of external demand is uncertain because of the rising yen and fears of economic downturns in other countries. In their policy management, the government and the Bank of Japan should give priority to stimulating the economy.

Sharp drops feared

The sluggish domestic demand is the result of previously robust personal consumption that slumped in the April-June quarter to an almost flat level. Government measures such as eco points for purchases of energy-saving home electrical appliances and subsidies for buying environmentally friendly cars seem to be finally losing their impact.

These are only a few economic stimulus measures, but the government is planning to terminate its subsidies for eco-friendly cars at the end of September. Car dealers and auto parts manufacturers are concerned about possible declines in sales and production as a result. Many predict that a sharp decrease in orders cannot be avoided from October.

This summer's heat wave is boosting sales of air conditioners and other summer-related products. However, more than a few electronics retail stores fear sales will drop sharply in reaction after the end of the seasonal demand caused by the blazing temperatures.

The government has said that its child-rearing allowances, which began in June, and other measures will eventually stimulate the economy. However, past handout policies such as the flat-sum allowance show that a significant economic boost cannot be expected from such steps.

Instead, the government should use the reserve fund of this fiscal year's budget to implement measures to prevent the economy from slowing down, such as continuing part of the government subsidy program for purchases of eco-friendly cars.

Block further yen rise

Lower budget allocations for public works projects are apparently affecting the economy. Public investments dropped by a drastic 3.4 percent in the April-June quarter from the previous period. This in particular will deal a heavy blow to regional economies that lack powerful local industries.

Apart from the reserve fund, the budget contains 1 trillion yen as a special allocation for future economic measures. Couldn't this money be used efficiently now to improve the economy?

External demand maintained growth, but the growth rate has slowed. Domestic industries are affected significantly by the yen's appreciation--if it rises by just 1 yen against the dollar, Toyota Motor Corp. will lose 30 billion yen in annual profits and Honda Motor Co. will lose 17 billion yen. This may dampen recovering investment on plant and equipment.

The latest appreciation of the yen was triggered by additional steps taken by the U.S. government to ease the supply of money. To alleviate this influence, this nation's central bank must adopt a more proactive stance toward monetary relaxation.

A strong yen lowers the prices of imported goods and fuels deflation. Sharp appreciation must be avoided.

If the yen soars toward 80 yen to the dollar, the government should stress its willingness to intervene in foreign exchange, if necessary, to prevent further appreciation.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 17, 2010)
(2010年8月17日01時22分  読売新聞)

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2010年8月17日 (火)















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港の国際競争 上海や釜山が遠くに見える

albeit 発音注意、アルバイトではなくてオールビートと発音される。=although, even though
albeit belatedly 遅ればせながら

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 17, 2010)
Give hub ports the tools they need
港の国際競争 上海や釜山が遠くに見える(8月16日付・読売社説)

The government plans to enhance the allure of Japanese ports, which have been increasingly bypassed by gigantic containerships in recent years, so they can recapture cargo currently heading straight for rival ports in neighboring countries, such as Shanghai and Busan, South Korea.

The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry will promote a plan to build "international container strategic ports." The plan has designated the Keihin and Hanshin port areas as candidates to become major hubs that will receive priority investment to transform them into two of Asia's five major shipping centers by 2020. Keihin consists of Tokyo, Yokohama and Kawasaski ports, and Hanshin covers Osaka and Kobe ports.

Boosting Japanese ports' competitiveness by lowering transport charges and offering around-the-clock service would cheer domestic manufacturers, whose profitability often hinges on shipment costs. It would not be a bad idea to flexibly divert the limited state budget for ports to priority projects.

However, we doubt that reinforcing port facilities alone will increase the freight volume passing through Japanese ports. Rather, the entire operation of Japanese ports, which have been shunned by the international shipping industry as "costly and slow," needs to be overhauled.

Japan falling behind

Three decades ago, Kobe, Tokyo and Yokohama stood among the world's top 20 ports in terms of volume of freight containers handled. In 2009, Tokyo was the top Japanese port in this category, but ranked 26th in the world. The world's top five ports were all in Asia--Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Busan.

Large containers transporting auto parts and machine products account for a large portion of international shipments.

Consequently, ports with piers capable of mooring ultralarge containerships and low entry and usage charges and convenient access to key land routes have become indispensable.

Japan lags other Asian countries that have heavily invested in ports boasting such characteristics. Instead, Japan has continued pork-barrel investments in ports across the country to meet local needs, a strategy that has done little to improve the ports' convenience.

Even Japanese cargo owners are opting for shipping routes from domestic ports to U.S. and European destinations via hub ports in other Asian countries. Transshipment costs at Busan Port, for example, are 40 percent cheaper than those charged by some Japanese ports. It is little wonder that an increasing number of shipping companies sail past Japanese ports.

No easy task

The so-called strategic port plan calls, albeit belatedly, for integrating and privatizing port terminal corporations to streamline port operations.

But as long as port operations are conducted separately by shipping and cargo handling companies through their vertical administrations, improving the ports' efficiency will be easier said than done.

In 2004, the infrastructure ministry designated six ports, including Yokohama and Kobe, as "super hub ports." But the plan was half-baked. This time, too, the ministry did not select just one hub port, possibly to avoid upsetting one of the two major urban areas.

This latest port reform plan should go the extra step by learning from rival ports.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 16, 2010)
(2010年8月16日01時34分  読売新聞)

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2010年8月16日 (月)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:抹消される立場の人 /東京

(Mainichi Japan) August 15, 2010
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: The tragedy of the forgotten
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:抹消される立場の人 /東京

Recently, a startling number of centenarians in Japan have been discovered missing, with authorities unable to confirm the whereabouts of many or even whether they are alive or dead.

While attention is now focused on the missing centenarians, countless similar cases -- with people saying, "We haven't contacted them in years" or "I have no idea what they're doing now" -- are bound to come out among the elderly that have not yet reached their 100th birthday.

"But they have brothers and sisters and children. It's unthinkable!" one might say, but can we be so certain? Years ago, when I was working at a psychiatric hospital, I knew of a lot of patients who had been there for 20 or 30 years -- many of whom had been cut off by their families and lived their lives in hospital alone.

たまに主治医の私が見るに見かねて実家に電話するのだが、弟らしき男性が出て「そんな兄はいません!」とガチャンと切られたこともあった。自分の妻や子どもには、「入院中の兄がいる」という事実さえ伝えていないのかもしれない。(この部分の英文はありません by srachai)

For example, there was one young man who was institutionalized after continued acts of violence against his family. After many years he was close to recovery and we began a rehabilitation program to prepare him for release. However, when his mother heard this she came flying to the hospital, begging with tears in her eyes, "Please don't release him. Our neighbors will see! If he comes back home, we won't be able to live there anymore!"

Hearing this story, you may wonder at how cold the young man's family could be to one of their own, but they were probably struggling in their own daily lives as it was. Another patient's family member told me, "But I have to live, too." While these people probably feel remorse, they also don't have the space in their lives to accept their mentally ill kin. Then, one day, they decide their sick family member never existed, forcibly erasing their memory.

How many people are there in Japanese society to have been erased from the hearts and minds of family and friends like this? Most are the sick, the elderly, those with crushing debt loads -- essentially the weak of our society. Recently there have even been parents who have tried to forget their children, to erase the fact of their existence.

Those who are deliberately forgotten, and those who feel compelled to forget are both tragic. There is no need to be overflowing and effusive with one's affection. A simple call to ask, "What are you up to?" and hear the other person say, "I'm doing this and that" is enough. Is there something special required to keep even this finest of threads from snapping? We all need to think about this question. (By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)

毎日新聞 2010年8月10日 地方版

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それではここで、クレジットカードのショッピング枠現金化サイト「クローバー 」の紹介を致します。

クローバー の特徴



・即日振り込みが可能 (最短5分)











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終戦の日 平和な未来を築く思い新たに

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 16, 2010)
Renewing our pledge for peace in the future
終戦の日 平和な未来を築く思い新たに(8月15日付・読売社説)

Once again, Aug. 15 has arrived. It is the day on which the nation commemorates its war dead and renews its pledge for peace.

Sixty-five years have passed since the end of World War II. However, wars and regional conflicts continue around the world despite efforts by the United Nations and others for nuclear disarmament and peace negotiations. We have yet to see a clear path to global peace.

Looking back on the end of the war in the summer of 1945 means reflecting on the origins of postwar Japan, which pledged to follow the path of international cooperation.

Today, the idea that the end of the war on Aug. 15 brought immediate peace to people's lives seems to have taken root in society.

Last-minute aggression

However, the Soviet troops that had invaded Japanese-held Manchuria in northeastern China just a week earlier on Aug. 9, in violation of a neutrality pact with Japan, continued their combat operations even after Aug. 15.

On Aug. 18, Soviet troops landed on Shumushu Island, the northernmost island in the Chishima group of islets, turning the island into a fierce battlefield between a garrison of the Imperial Japanese Army and the Soviet forces. Author Jiro Asada recently published a novel based on the battle, titled "Owarazaru Natsu" (Never-ending summer). The work helped the incident become more widely known to the public.

In Maokacho, a town in Sakhalin under Japanese rule, nine female telephone operators, who stayed on until the bitter end to maintain communications, killed themselves. A film called "Hyosetsu no Mon" (Gate of ice and snow), which is based on the tragedy and takes its title from the name of a monument in Hokkaido, has just been rereleased for the first time in 36 years.

Under international law, Japan formally surrendered to the Allied Powers on Sept. 2, 1945, with a signing ceremony aboard the U.S. battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay. However, U.S. forces and most others stopped their attacks against Japan immediately after the Japanese government expressed its intention to accept the Potsdam Declaration on Aug. 14.

However, the Soviet troops continued their invasion and occupied four islands off Hokkaido, including Kunashiri Island, that are historically an integral part of Japan.

About 600,000 Japanese officers, soldiers and others were captured and sent to concentration camps in Siberia and other parts of the Soviet Union as prisoners of war and forced to engage in harsh labor. About 60,000 of them are believed to have died in concentration camps due to hunger and cold.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russian President Boris Yeltsin in 1993 offered an apology for the detention in Siberia, calling it an "inhumane" act.

Last month, however, Russia designated Sept. 2 as the anniversary of the end of World War II, effectively stipulating it as the day the former Soviet Union triumphed over Japan. The Russian move is seen as a response to Japan's demand that Russia return the four Russian-held islands off Hokkaido.

In light of such a move, Japan must be persistent in demanding that Russia return the islands.

Cruel atomic bombings

Another tragedy in the summer in 1945 was the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

U.S. President Harry Truman insisted that the U.S. government had no choice other than dropping the atomic bombs on the two cities because Japan had refused to accept the Potsdam Declaration, which demanded unconditional surrender. However, the declaration was issued on July 26, the day after the president issued an order to drop the bombs.

Yet, if the Japanese government had announced its intention to accept the declaration immediately after the announcement, it might have been possible to avoid the bombings. The then Japanese leaders wasted time, pinning too much hope on the possibility of Soviet mediations for peace.

U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos became the first official U.S. representative to attend the Peace Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima on Aug. 6 this year. However, some in the United States criticized his attendance at the event, saying it could be interpreted as an "unsaid apology."

For the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama, who said the United States has a moral responsibility to lead as the only nation ever to have used a nuclear weapon, it must have been a delicate decision.

There are strong arguments in the United States that the dropping of the atomic bombs saved the lives of many Americans by avoiding battles on mainland Japan.

However, the use of such cruel weapons deprived more than 200,000 citizens in Hiroshima and Nagasaki of their lives. The gravity of this fact cannot be erased.

Remember and reflect

Meanwhile, if Japan does not openly admit its own mistakes of the past and reflect on them, the country will not be able to win the confidence of the international community.

Japan misunderstood the world situation of the time and entered a reckless war while becoming increasingly isolated in the international community. It brought immense tragedy to the peoples of China and other East Asian countries.

In 2005, taking the opportunity of the 60th anniversary of the end of the war, The Yomiuri Shimbun reexamined who was responsible for the Showa War.

(The Yomiuri coined the term "Showa War" in connection with its war responsibility series to describe the period of conflict lasting from the Manchurian Incident of 1931 to the end of World War II in 1945.)

As a result, many Class-A war criminals, including former Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, who were tried at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (also called the Tokyo Trial), were among those found to bear responsibility for the Showa War.

This year's Aug. 15 is the first time for the anniversary of the end of the war to be observed by a Democratic Party of Japan-led administration. Prime Minister Naoto Kan and all his Cabinet members were expected to shun the controversial visits to Yasukuni Shrine that have been made by some of their predecessors.

Kan said that he would not visit the Shinto shrine during his term of office, as Class-A war criminals are enshrined there.

In its policy platform announced last year, the DPJ expressed its intention to tackle the building of a new national memorial facility for the war dead. Full-scale discussion should begin with the aim of building a permanent facility where anyone can pay memorial tribute to the war dead without being troubled in mind.

Also this year, the government was expected to hold its annual ceremony Sunday at the Nippon Budokan hall in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward to mourn the nation's war dead. Although years have passed, the war remains deep in the memories of the Japanese people, which are handed down from generation to generation.

We hope that Aug. 15 will be a day to renew our determination to take assertive steps for world peace, seeking international cooperation and taking history into account.

By doing so, we would surely carry out the wishes of those who died in the war.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 15, 2010)
(2010年8月15日01時10分  読売新聞)

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2010年8月15日 (日)

banner bridge 0815-final

Hello Gift

カードでお金 ベストクレジット

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banner bridge 0815

カードでお金 ベストクレジット
ショッピング枠 現金化
カードでお金 無審査くん
電話占い 霊感 霊視

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放駒新理事長 改革断行し開かれた相撲界に

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 15, 2010)
New sumo chief must clean house
放駒新理事長 改革断行し開かれた相撲界に(8月14日付・読売社説)

The installation of a new chairman of the Japan Sumo Association is a chance to renew the professional sumo world. It is a chance the JSA must seize.

Musashigawa, formerly yokozuna Mienoumi, resigned the JSA chairmanship Thursday, and Hanaregoma, formerly ozeki Kaiketsu, was elected to become the 11th chairman of the sport's governing body.

As public trust in the sumo world is eroding over the illegal baseball gambling scandal, the new chairman needs to exercise strong leadership to carry out drastic reform of the association.

Scandals and resignations

Musashigawa took the chairman's post two years ago, succeeding Kitanoumi, who had resigned to take responsibility over a drug scandal. Although Musashigawa appeared to be resolved to reform the sumo world, he failed to actually do so.

Following the revelation that sumo wrestlers of his stable were involved in baseball gambling, Musashigawa was suspended from duty during the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament last month. He thus was unable to exercise his leadership in the operation of the event.

He cited poor health as his reason for stepping down, but he apparently resigned to take responsibility over the scandal.

The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry, which oversees the JSA, had indicated it was desirable for the association to have someone from outside the sumo world, rather than a former sumo wrestler, take up the chairman's post.

This stance likely reflected the reality that stablemasters, deeply embedded in a closed organizational culture, failed to correct its flaws on their own despite a series of scandals involving the sumo world.

But the JSA board again picked an insider for the chairman's post. This can be interpreted as a sign that board members believe only former wrestlers, who are familiar with the inner workings of the sumo world, can serve in the association's top post.

Hanaregoma won popularity as a wrestler for his sincere attitude in the ring. As a stablemaster, he has nurtured yokozuna Onokuni and others and is known to be scrupulous. The JSA thus pinned its hopes on his clean image as it looked for someone to steer the body toward revival.

Hanaregoma said at an inauguration press conference, "I'll make my utmost effort now that I've accepted the post." He also has indicated that he will consider increasing the number of JSA executives from outside the sumo world to tackle the mountain of problems it faces.

We hope the JSA will be transformed into an open organization by discarding its inward-looking mentality--of which it is sarcastically said that common sense in the sumo world is not common sense for the general public--and that it will proactively incorporate the views of outside people.

Toss gangs out of ring

The JSA must first sever ties with gang organizations, which were revealed in a series of scandals, including the illegal betting on professional baseball games. The first step to restore public trust must be to expeditiously and thoroughly implement antigang measures.

It is also essential to address medium- to long-term issues such as the JSA's organizational reform.

The Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament starts on Sept. 12. Within less than a month, the new JSA chairman must take the lead in presenting a road map for reform with which sumo fans would be satisfied.

The sumo world will otherwise again find itself at the center of an imbroglio such as was seen in the Nagoya meet, which was rocked by such developments as NHK's decision not to broadcast the event live.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 14, 2010)
(2010年8月14日01時11分  読売新聞)

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2010年8月14日 (土)

円急騰 政府・日銀は為替安定へ動け

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 14, 2010)
Govt, BOJ must do more to stem yen's rise
円急騰 政府・日銀は為替安定へ動け(8月13日付・読売社説)

There has been no sign of an end to the strong yen and weak dollar, due to widespread concerns about a possible slowdown in the U.S. economy in recent days. The government and the Bank of Japan should increase their cooperation in taking flexible steps to stabilize the yen's value.

In early Thursday trading, the U.S. dollar temporarily dropped to the 84 yen level in Tokyo, its lowest against the yen since 1995. The yen's value reached an all-time high in that year, with the U.S. currency traded in the 79 yen range.
The rapid surge in the yen's value, if it continues unabated, could bring it close to yet another record high. As things stand today, the yen is the sole major currency whose value has not stopped increasing, as illustrated by its continued rise against the euro.

The yen's sharp advance could undermine the slight recovery in the economy, diminishing profits gained by carmakers, electronic manufacturers and other exporting companies whose business performance is beginning to improve at long last.

There are concerns that the fall in import prices that inevitably accompanies a strong yen could further prolong this country's deflation.

Fed move sends stocks down

On Thursday, Tokyo stocks sharply fell as investors were unnerved by the accelerated appreciation of the yen. The exchange rate fluctuations that may follow must be vigilantly watched.

The rapid rise in the yen's value can be attributed to the U.S. Federal Reserve Board's decision Tuesday to effectively conduct additional monetary easing after significantly lowering its forecast for the U.S. economy.

The Fed's decision seeks to underpin the economy through measures aimed at lowering long-term interest rates but not reducing the money supply to the market. The latest move also may signify an attempt by the Fed to preemptively contain growing deflationary concerns in the United States.

However, the market has become even more cautious about an anticipated business slowdown, as indicated by the worsening employment situation and slumping personal consumption. Combined with speculation that the drop in U.S. interest rates will reduce the gap between Japanese and U.S. interest rates, this has encouraged dollar selling.

Market players are apparently buying the yen after weighing the stability of each major currency and concluding the yen is relatively stable and therefore the best buy once potentially precarious currencies are eleminated from the list of viable choices.

The Fed's new easy credit policy is not without concerns. Many market players feel there is a limit to what can be accomplished to shore up the U.S. economy through the additional monetary easing.

U.S. seems at impasse

President Barack Obama's administration has good reason to feel hesitant about implementing a new economy-boosting package if it stops to think about the nation's federal deficit. The U.S. government seems to find itself at an impasse, not knowing what kind of measures should be implemented to overcome the situation.

With these problems in mind, U.S. authorities are poised to allow the weak dollar--an obvious boost for the U.S. export drive--to continue for the foreseeable future. They hope U.S. exports will prop up the country's economy.

Such is also the case with European nations, some of which are experiencing fiscal crises. These countries seem to rely on drops in their currencies' values as a means of underpinning their respective economies.

All this is in stark contrast to the failure of the Japanese government and the Bank of Japan to take appropriate measures.

On Tuesday, the central bank decided to maintain its current monetary policy. However, we believe there is a pressing need to consider additional measures to deal with the ongoing situation, including the expansion of its quantitative relaxation. The bank lacks a sense of urgency.

The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry has said it will put together a report detailing how the strong yen has affected corporations it will survey by the end of the month. However, the ministry has been slow to make this decision.

The government and the Bank of Japan should not hesitate to intervene in the exchange market and stem the sharp rise in the yen's value.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 13, 2010)
(2010年8月13日01時32分  読売新聞)

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2010年8月13日 (金)



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御巣鷹25年 墜落の悲劇を風化させるな

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 13, 2010)
Never let memories of tragic JAL crash fade
御巣鷹25年 墜落の悲劇を風化させるな(8月12日付・読売社説)

Thursday marked the 25th anniversary of the Japan Airlines plane crash on Osutaka Ridge in Uenomura, Gunma Prefecture, that claimed the lives of 520 passengers and crew members.

The jumbo jet, bound for Osaka after leaving Haneda Airport at dusk, carried businessmen returning home, holidaymakers and people heading to their hometowns for the Bon Festival. In an instant, all these lives were lost.

Bereaved families and JAL officials climb to the crash site on the ridge every year on Aug. 12 to pray for the souls of the dead. However, there have been frequent reports of vandalism around the monument for the victims. Such actions are outrageous.

Many people working in aviation, including JAL employees, started working in the industry after the crash. They should be constantly reminded of the seriousness of the tragedy so that memories of the disaster do not fade.

JAL has repeatedly said: "Osutaka is the starting point for our aviation safety." Safe operations are fundamental to the aviation industry as a whole.

The JAL crash is the world's worst single-aircraft accident in terms of the number of victims. Since then, not one major Japanese carrier has experienced a fatal accident involving passengers, either at home or abroad.

Human error

However, it is true problems have frequently occurred that could have triggered a major accident, making passengers uneasy.

In 2001, JAL jetliners were nearly involved in a midair collision over Yaizu, Shizuoka Prefecture. This was caused by air traffic controllers issuing the wrong instructions.

There also have been a number of human errors committed by cockpit crew, such as starting a takeoff run without permission.

Following the Osutaka Ridge accident, investigative authorities and the government's investigation commission concluded that it was caused by a fracture in the plane's rear pressure bulkhead, due to improper repairs carried out by Boeing Co. of the United States.

If there are problems with the aircraft, due to improper repairs, poor maintenance or design flaws, the captain and other cockpit crew members will be unable to avert accidents no matter what they do.

Increase in passenger traffic

The number of passengers flying on domestic routes has increased from 44 million to 95 million over the past 25 years. Maintaining air traffic safety has become even more important.

Every sector of the aviation industry, including flight operations, aircraft maintenance, air traffic control and aircraft manufacture, should thoroughly ensure safety so as to build a completely safe system and avoid a recurrence of such a tragedy that befell the JAL plane.

JAL, which once boasted it had become the world's No. 1 airline in terms of international traffic volume, has watched its business performance deteriorate since the Osutaka Ridge crash. The airline's management is now rebuilding itself under the Corporate Rehabilitation Law.

The airline is implementing various corporate restructuring measures, including wage and workforce cuts. But we hope the company will remember to place safety at the top of its priority list.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 12, 2010)
(2010年8月12日01時03分  読売新聞)

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2010年8月12日 (木)



Today is wan mae or mother's day in Thailand.
Unlike mother's day in Japan, wan mae in Thailand is the day to celebrate birthday of the Queen.
Including tomorrow, Thais are enjoying 4 consecutive holidays.

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cite from washington post

Texas Sues BP for Contaminating Air

In a case unrelated to the Gulf oil spill, the state's attorney general alleges that BP illegally spewed 500,000 pounds of contaminants into the Texas skies over the course of 40 days, polluting the air and sickening residents.

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cite from washington post

Fed Responds to Economic Slowdown

In an acknowledgement that the recovery isn't going as well as it had hoped, the central bank says it will reinvest part of its mortgage bond portfolio back into government debt.

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cite from washington post

Social Security's tough truths

THIS YEAR, for the first time since 1983, Social Security will pay out more in benefits than it receives from payroll taxes -- $41 billion. This development is not an emergency, but it is a warning sign. Too soon, this year's anomaly will become the norm. By 2037, all the Social Security reserves...

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日韓併合談話 未来志向の両国関係に弾みを

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 12, 2010)
Kan statement a fillip for Japan-S. Korea ties
日韓併合談話 未来志向の両国関係に弾みを(8月11日付・読売社説)

The government adopted a statement by the prime minister at a Cabinet meeting Tuesday, ahead of the Aug. 29 centenary of Japan's annexation of the Korean Peninsula.

In the statement, Prime Minister Naoto Kan expressed "deep remorse" and "heartfelt apology" for "the tremendous damage and suffering caused during the period of colonial rule." The statement was basically in line with one then Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama made to Asian countries in 1995 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II.

Kan's statement touched on the 1919 Samil independence movement on the peninsula, saying the Korean people's "ethnic pride was deeply scarred by the colonial rule which was imposed against their will"--an expression that went further than previous statements.

However, Kan made no mention of compensation, making clear the government's position that this issue has already been resolved remains unchanged. We think the government's stance is correct.


Looking ahead

Meanwhile, the statement stressed the need to build a future-oriented relationship between Japan and South Korea. This was an appropriate proposal.

Kan later telephoned South Korean President Lee Myung Bak to explain the details of the statement. Lee reportedly welcomed the statement, saying it would help strengthen bilateral cooperation.

An attached accord to the Japan-South Korea Basic Relations Treaty signed in 1965 stipulated that both governments would waive their right to demand compensation and that Japan would provide South Korea with loan assistance and grants-in-aid worth 500 million dollars in total.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku said at a press conference that Kan's statement was written on the premise that individual compensation claims and the right to demand compensation for Japan's colonial rule have been settled.

Last month, Sengoku stirred up the compensation issue when he said the government should draw up political principles by which to make decisions on the matter.

Members of ruling and opposition parties quickly jumped down Sengoku's throat. They argued it was inappropriate for the government's top spokesperson to make such a statement on the compensation issue, which was settled decades ago.

Sengoku should not have made these inconsiderate remarks, which could have opened the door to misunderstanding at home and abroad.


Govt must stand firm

Kan's statement could rekindle calls in South Korea for compensation for Koreans forced to work as so-called comfort women and laborers by the Imperial Japanese Army during the colonial period.

However, the Japanese government should firmly maintain its position that South Korea no longer has the right to demand compensation. We urge the South Korean side to react calmly.

Kan's statement also proposed that several precious documents brought from the Korean Peninsula to Japan during the period of Japanese rule be transferred back. The Japanese government has such documents as the Joseon Wangsil Uigwe (Royal Protocols of the Joseon Dynasty).

About 60,000 cultural properties were confirmed to have been brought to Japan from the Korean Peninsula during the period of colonial rule.

Japan has no obligation to transfer these artifacts. But the government apparently hopes handing over cultural properties sought by South Korea will help reconcile old wounds between the two nations.

The government should take Japan-South Korea relations to the next level, including in the fields of economy and culture as well as personnel exchanges. Kan's statement is a golden opportunity to make a fresh start.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 11, 2010)
(2010年8月11日01時14分  読売新聞)

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2010年8月11日 (水)



cite from washington post,

News Alert: House passes state aid bill
03:04 PM EDT Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Congress approved a final spurt of spending Tuesday to bolster the sluggish
recovery, sending on to the White House a $26 billion plan to save the jobs
of thousands of teachers and other government workers. The measure, likely
the last significant effort at economic stimulus until after the November
elections, brings total federal spending on the economy to just over $1
trillion since the Great Recession began in late 2007. It passed the House 247
to 161, with most Republicans voting no.

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1 〔動物〕a giraffe

Progressive Japanese-English Dictionary, Second edition ゥ Shogakukan 1986,1993/プログレッシブ和英中辞典  第2版  ゥ小学館 1986,1993

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改正移植法適用 生かされた臓器提供の意思

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 11, 2010)
Family honored wish of man to donate organs
改正移植法適用 生かされた臓器提供の意思(8月10日付・読売社説)

A person who had not expressed in writing his wish to donate his organs was declared brain dead this week with his family's consent, and organs including his heart and lungs were to be transplanted.

The transplant operations using the organs taken from this man represent the first of their kind under the revised Organ Transplant Law, which is aimed at expanding transplant medicine.

The donor is a man in his 20s who was involved in a traffic accident. He was not carrying an organ donor card, but reportedly had told his family he wanted to donate his organs if such a situation occurred.

His family respected his wishes, but it was certainly an extremely grave and painful decision to make.

This man will save a number of other people's lives, with his heart going to a man in his 20s in Osaka Prefecture, his lungs to another man in his 20s in Okayama, his liver to a woman in her 60s in Tokyo and his kidney to a teenage boy in Gunma Prefecture. This is a relay of precious human life.

More lives to be saved

Before the revised law took effect July 17, organ transplants could not be conducted unless a person expressed his or her intention to donate organs through a donor card or other written declaration.

In the United States and Europe, organ transplants can be made at the discretion of a person's family, as long as that person had not expressed an intention not to donate. This system has allowed thousands of organ transplants from brain-dead donors to be conducted every year in the United States and several hundred in major European nations.

The revised law has made it possible for the family of a would-be donor in this country to have that discretion, just as in the United States and Europe.

Over the 13 years since the original Organ Transplant Law took effect in 1997, and before the latest case, organ transplants were performed involving 86 brain-dead donors. Under the revised law, there are expected to be as many as 30 cases or more every year.

Since the revised law also allows transplants between young children, including infants, such operations also are likely to take place eventually.

Safeguards must be ensured

To ensure organ transplants involving brain-dead donors are properly handled, it is important to thoroughly examine the latest case.

Was the man provided with all possible treatment? Were procedures strictly followed in the pronouncement of brain death? Did his family give their consent with sufficient confidence in their decision? It is essential to strictly check all relevant points to nurture public trust in organ transplants.

In the latest case, the man is said to have orally expressed to his family his intention to donate his organs. It is unlikely, however, that this will commonly occur.

If a donor has not expressed his or her intentions, family members will face enormous pressure as they are asked to decide whether brain death should be declared and organs donated.

Whether a potential donor explicitly expressed his or her intention is of primary importance even under the revised law.

There is space to make a written declaration on new driver's licenses and health insurance cards. Everyone should seriously consider whether to agree to donate organs should something leave him or her in a state of brain death.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 10, 2010)
(2010年8月10日01時15分  読売新聞)

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cite from washington post,

Engineer Convicted of Selling Military Secrets to China

A former engineer who helped to develop the propulsion system used in the B-2 bomber was found guilty of selling military secrets to China for $110,000 to pay off his Maui mortgage

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2010年8月10日 (火)

民主党代表選:出馬意欲の海江田氏にハードル 小沢グループ、支持まとまらず

(Mainichi Japan) August 9, 2010
Ozawa's silence on DPJ leadership race leaves faction members divided
民主党代表選:出馬意欲の海江田氏にハードル 小沢グループ、支持まとまらず

Former Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Secretary-General Ichiro Ozawa's silence on the upcoming DPJ leadership race has kept Ozawa faction party members divided about who they will support for the position of party chief.
(沈黙を守る小沢氏、党内の分裂を誘う。 translated in Japanese by srachai)

House of Representatives legislator Banri Kaieda, 61, who is also chairman of the upper house's financial affairs committee, is said to have told a legislator close to Ozawa that he is considering running for party chief. However, Ozawa -- a figure who can have great impact on the outcome of the election -- has yet to endorse a candidate, and it is unclear whether intraparty groups critical of Prime Minister Naoto Kan will be able to agree on a candidate.

Kaieda will attend a study session to be held in Nagano Prefecture on Aug. 19 by members of former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's faction, of which he is one, after which he will visit several European countries, including Greece. Prime Minister Kan has often pointed to "the crisis in Greece" when discussing the issue of financial reconstruction in Japan, and Kaieda's stop there is believed to be in response to that.

A legislator close to Kaieda, however, says that Kaieda's candidacy for party chief "will not move forward without Ozawa's endorsement." Indeed, Kaieda appears to have told legislators close to Ozawa about the possibility of running for party president in an attempt to feel out whether Ozawa would accept him as a rival candidate to Kan.

It does not appear, however, that the Ozawa faction is ready to throw its weight behind Kaieda. Some members still hope that Ozawa himself will run. A legislator close to Ozawa hinted at such a possibility on July 30, to which the former secretary-general merely responded, "We must lay down a structure that will allow us to keep the promises we made in the manifesto that helped to bring about a regime change."

Kaieda has a dilemma on his hands, too. An independent judicial panel is set to hand down a second decision this coming fall over charges of false financial reporting by Ozawa's political fund management body. As this could potentially lead to Ozawa's indictment, tensions are running high within the party. As such, emphasizing his ties to Ozawa too much will make it difficult for Kaieda to attain wide support.

It would be ideal for Kaieda if he could garner support from various factions in the party, including the Hatoyama faction. Hatoyama, however, has thus far stuck by his decision to offer conditional support to Kan.

The election for DPJ president is set to be announced on Sept. 1, with voting to take place on Sept. 14.
(選挙は来る9月1日に公示、14日に投票が行われる。 translated into Japanese by srachai)

毎日新聞 2010年8月8日 東京朝刊

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choir 発音注意(クワイアー)聖歌隊、合唱団

(Mainichi Japan) August 9, 2010
Nagasaki marks 65th anniversary of atomic bombing with call for nuclear abolition

NAGASAKI -- Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue urged nuclear nations not to trample on efforts to achieve a nuclear-free world in a ceremony on Aug. 9 marking the 65th anniversary of the World War II atomic bombing of the city.
About 6,000 people took part in the ceremony at Nagasaki Peace Park to remember the victims of the Aug. 9, 1945 bombing. At 11:02 a.m., the time the bomb exploded over the city, participants observed a minute of silence.

In his peace declaration, Taue heavily criticized nuclear powers for rejecting a proposal at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference that had established a timeline for nuclear disarmament.

"We call upon the leaders of the nuclear weapons states never to trample on humanity's efforts for a world without nuclear weapons." he said.

"The lack of sincere commitment from the nuclear weapons states toward nuclear disarmament could provoke antipathy and lead to the emergence of more new nuclear weapons states, increasing the threat of nuclear proliferation around the world."

The mayor said Nagasaki strongly supported the Nuclear Weapons Convention that U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, who recently visited Nagasaki, has urged U.N. member countries to consider.

In his declaration, Taue also mentioned the Japanese government's recent uncovering of a secret nuclear pact and criticized its "past responses that have turned the three non-nuclear principles (of not possessing, producing or introducing nuclear weapons into Japan) into a mere formality."

The mayor also pointed out that Japan has been promoting negotiations on a nuclear agreement with India, a non-NPT member country that possesses nuclear weapons.
"This means that a nation that has suffered atomic bombings itself is now severely weakening the NPT regime, which is beyond intolerable," he said.

He also called on the Japanese government to enact the three non-nuclear principles into law and propose a Northeast Asian nuclear weapon-free zone to maintain security without reliance on a nuclear umbrella.

Participants in the ceremony included Prime Minister Naoto Kan, International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano, and two atomic bomb survivors from South Korea, who represented the non-Japanese survivors of the bombing. Officials from a record 32 countries took part in the ceremony, 15 of them for the first time. Among those attending for the first time were officials from the nuclear powers of Britain and France, and from Israel, which is believed to possess nuclear weapons. U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos, who attended the atomic-bomb ceremony in Hiroshima on Aug. 6, did not make an appearance at the Nagasaki ceremony.

At this year's ceremony a choir formed by atomic bomb survivors performed for the first time. After the performance, three books containing the names of 3,114 people newly confirmed to have died after being exposed to radiation from the bombing were enshrined in a memorial, bringing the total number of recorded deaths in 153 enshrined books to 152,276.

During the ceremony, 81-year-old Yasunobu Uchida, a representative of the atomic bomb survivors, shared his own experiences.
"Not only did the atomic bomb blast burn my skin, it gave me an illness that abnormally increased my white blood cells. When I later married and had children, I was I worried about their health. I cannot forgive bombings like this and other nuclear weapons.
It is now time for Japan to stand at the forefront and lead the world toward the elimination of nuclear weapons," he said.

Kan, who also spoke at the ceremony, stated, "I firmly believe Japan, as the only country to have experienced nuclear devastation in war, has a moral responsibility to lead actions toward realizing a world without nuclear weapons." He said that he would appeal the importance of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation to world leaders, including the leaders of nuclear powers. The prime minister added that Japan would cooperate with the cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima and the United Nations to translate the stories of atomic bomb victims into English and other languages to introduce their personal experiences to countries around the world.



毎日新聞 2010年8月9日 11時12分(最終更新 8月9日 12時53分)

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Hong Kong's 'rice cooker king' owes success to ties with Japan


(Mainichi Japan) August 9, 2010
Hong Kong's 'rice cooker king' owes success to ties with Japan

Hong Kong businessman William Mong Man Wai -- known as "the king of rice cookers" -- recently died at the age of 82.

Mong's Japanese-language biography "Eating Rice from the Same Pot" by Yoshiko Nakano and Dixon H.W. Wong comes with a long subtitle: "How National/Panasonic has sold 8 million sets of rice cookers in Hong Kong with a population of only 6.8 million."

It was at a time when resentment toward the Japanese Imperial Army lingered and "Made in Japan" was just another way of saying "poor quality product" when Mong began selling Panasonic (then Matsushita) household appliances in Hong Kong. Despite such circumstances, Mong went on to control Hong Kong's rice cooker market, laying down a foundation for the global market.

Mong's parents were Chinese born in Nagasaki in Japan's Kyushu region. Before World War II, the family relocated to Hong Kong, which was close to their ancestral homeland, and where Mong's father found work at a Japanese trading company. Mong was born and raised in Hong Kong, and went to college in mainland China. When his studies were cut short by the Chinese civil war, he traveled to Tokyo -- where his father had acquaintances -- to learn Japanese. It was 1949, and Japan was under Allied occupation.

Upon his return to Hong Kong, Mong founded a company that imported Japanese household goods. This company would later become Shun Hing Group, the sole agent of Matsushita's electrical appliances for Hong Kong and Macau.

(No English equivalent part hereunder---srachai) (タイ語も広東語の影響を受けている?タイでは音節末尾のLの音がNと発音される。)

In 1960, when Japan entered a period of high economic growth, Mong imported 100 of the latest rice cookers at once. He had a hunch that the product was going to be a hit. At the time, being able to automate one of the biggest tasks in meal preparation -- cooking rice -- without the use of fire almost sounded too good to be true.

Mong figured that advertising these new appliances in papers read by Hong Kong locals who didn't know what they were would be pointless. So he made the rounds, visiting barbershops with rice cooker in tow. He demonstrated how the machine worked to people bound to their seats during their haircuts, and offered samples of cooked rice to taste. He also held demonstrations near apartment complexes and in department stores. Word of the magic appliance spread like wildfire.

The Hong Kong economy started looking a bit brighter. In the small residential spaces of Hong Kong households, the rice cooker became a symbol of happiness. The National brand name (a brand within Matsushita) established itself as a household name of household electronics.

Mong sent detailed appeals to Matsushita headquarters in Japan about improving the rice cooker's Hong Kong model. He was especially particular about the rice cooker's function for making Chinese-style rice porridge, bringing Hong Kong rice to Japan to run tests repeatedly until the Japanese manufacturer produced an acceptable outcome. Mong berated staff from Matsushita's headquarters when they complained of his numerous demands.

When asked for the secret to selling Japanese products on the Chinese market, Mong said, "Trust the Chinese." Japanese corporations put Japanese in charge of overseas offices and factories, but this prevents the Japanese from getting a better grasp of the local market's rhythms. The words of the rice cooker king are well worth considering. (By Hidetoshi Kaneko, expert senior writer)

毎日新聞 2010年7月29日 東京朝刊

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航空機民間転用 防衛基盤維持へ着実に進めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 10, 2010)
Japan could better exploit its defense technology
航空機民間転用 防衛基盤維持へ着実に進めよ(8月8日付・読売社説)

Transfers of military technology--on a limited scale--could be an effective way to maintain the nation's vital defense technology while also supporting defense-related companies.

The Defense Ministry is studying a plan to transfer aircraft it developed to private use. The plan includes converting the Maritime Self-Defense Force's US-2 search-and-rescue seaplane to a firefighting flying boat and also converting the XC-2 next-generation transport plane now being developed by the Air Self-Defense Force to a large civilian cargo airplane.

The transfer of military technology to civilian use is unprecedented in this country. But search-and-rescue and transport planes are not really armaments in the first place. Adapting them for civilian use would have no effect on Japan's ideal as a "pacifist nation."

The government would be able to recoup some of its development costs by collecting usage fees from private companies. The procurement costs for Self-Defense Forces planes could also be reduced through the efficiencies of mass production. Manufacturers, for their part, could expect certain levels of earnings because the global demand for firefighting flying boats and cargo airplanes is large.

Widespread benefits

Transfer of SDF technology to private use would benefit both the private and public sectors. The practice should have been promoted much earlier.

Recent years saw an increasing number of companies withdraw from the military equipment industry due to the continued decrease in defense budgets. The loss of the high-level engineers and specialized manufacturers that are indispensable for the development, production and improvement of such equipment undermines the bedrock of national security.

But at the same time, the security environment surrounding Japan has become grimmer. Under such circumstances, it is essential to maintain a foundation for defense technology even while making more efficient use of defense budgets.

In line with the revision of the National Defense Program Guidelines scheduled within this year, it is important to make a drastic review of the arms export ban.

Regarding military equipment that entails huge development costs, such as the F-35 next-generation fighter jet candidate, joint development involving two or more countries is a global trend. Japan cannot take part in such multinational projects because its principles only allow participation in such projects to be undertaken with the United States.

Review export ban principle

Japan's ban on arms exports applies to almost all nations other than the United States. The government must study limiting the ban to countries involved in international conflicts and those supporting terrorism. We suggest that Japan be at least permitted to undertake joint development of military weapons with ordinary countries and that a system be introduced to screen arms exports on a case-by-case basis.

Allowing the export of purely defensive materiel, such as mine detectors and bulletproof vests, would not harm Japan's image as a pacifist nation.

Both the Democratic Party of Japan and the Liberal Democratic Party called for transfers of military equipment to private use in their campaign platforms for the House of Councillors election in July. There could be room for cooperation beyond the framework of ruling and opposition parties on the issue of reexamining the export ban.

In the previous Cabinet under former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa expressed positive thoughts about revising the arms export ban. But the review could not take any concrete shape due to opposition from the Social Democratic Party, which was then a member of the ruling coalition.

Now that the SDP has defected from the coalition government, the political barriers to transfers of military technology appear to have been lowered drastically.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 8, 2010)
(2010年8月8日01時48分  読売新聞)

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2010年8月 9日 (月)




cite from Nikkei,
























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原爆投下65年―連帯し核廃絶のゴールへ 新しい風が吹いてきた。

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 6
EDITORIAL: 65 years after Hiroshima.
原爆投下65年―連帯し核廃絶のゴールへ 新しい風が吹いてきた。


U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos attended the peace memorial ceremony Friday in Hiroshima to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the city's atomic bombing.

This is the first time for the ambassador of the country that dropped atomic bombs to attend the ceremony. Two other nuclear powers, Britain and France, sent their acting ambassadors to the ceremony for the first time.

After visiting Nagasaki the previous day, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also attended the ceremony in Hiroshima, marking the first attendance by the head of the world body.

The Hiroshima municipal government has been sending invitations to the ceremony to nuclear powers for 12 years. At long last, its efforts are bearing fruit.

Invitation to Obama

In a speech delivered in Prague in April 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama expressed his determination to create "a world without nuclear weapons." Never before has the momentum for nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation been as great as it is now.

We must take advantage of the trend to encourage moves for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

A hibakusha survivor of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima has been sending letters to Obama.

In January 2009, Akihiro Takahashi, a former director of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, sent a letter to the president soon after his inauguration. "Please visit Hiroshima ... we should make your visit to Hiroshima the beginning of a new age of reconciliation for all humankind," it read.

Under the George W. Bush administration, moves toward nuclear disarmament stopped. Takahashi sent the letter expecting the new president to take a different course.

After the Prague speech, Obama took steps to advance nuclear disarmament. He led the Group of Eight summit to issue a statement on nuclear disarmament in July 2009. In April, the United States released the Nuclear Posture Review, signed a new treaty on nuclear arms reduction with Russia and hosted the first Nuclear Security Summit. Each time Takahashi learned of the developments, he wrote a letter. So far, he has written four letters.

"What hibakusha want is not nuclear disarmament. What we want is absolute denial and abolition of nuclear weapons," he wrote.

On Aug. 6, 1945, Takahashi, then a second-year student at a secondary school in the prewar schooling system, was in the schoolyard 1.4 kilometers from ground zero. He suffered severe burns on more than one-third of his body, including the back of his head, the back, both hands and feet. A shard of glass stuck in his finger, causing his nail to grow deformed and turn black. The nail is displayed in the museum.

Takahashi wants Obama to visit Hiroshima and see what happens after a nuclear weapon is used. Takahashi believes a visit by Obama would be a step forward in abolishing nuclear weapons.

This feeling must be shared by the 220,000 hibakusha across Japan whose average age is 76.

If Obama stands on the site where many lives were instantly lost, it would be the strongest message toward building "a world without nuclear weapons."

Idealism and realism

However, we don't think Obama shares the same motive for a nuclear-free world as the survivors of the atomic bombings.

After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the United States, fears of nuclear terrorism grew. The danger of terrorists gaining access to nuclear weapons became a major security concern, giving rise to the following logic: If terrorists get hold of nuclear weapons, the nuclear deterrence would no longer work. If so, it would be safer to abolish nuclear weapons.

This logic is very different from the humanitarian appeal by hibakusha who see nuclear weapons as "an absolute evil."

"Even so, as long as the goal is the same, we should join hands," Hideo Tsuchiyama, a former Nagasaki University president who survived the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, said.

For that, "we need to appeal both emotionally and logically," Tsuchiyama stressed. Testimonies by hibakusha awaken people's feelings for the need to abolish nuclear weapons. But that is not enough.

We must also be able to logically explain the need to abolish nuclear weapons in a forum of international politics to win the understanding of international society.

Up to now, the idealism to eliminate nuclear weapons embraced by the country that suffered atomic bombings and the realism of the nuclear deterrence advocated by nuclear powers never came together. There is also the reality that Japan is protected under the U.S. "nuclear umbrella."

The will of civil society, including hibakusha, has never been reflected in the extremely political problem of nuclear strategy. Idealism and realism seemed destined to remain far apart forever. But now, a tiny contact point is about to form.

The attendance by U.S. Ambassador Roos at the Hiroshima ceremony is symbolic. However, the U.S. State Department explains that Roos' attendance is aimed "to express respect for all of the victims of World War II." It has no choice but to consider U.S. public opinion, which continues to be dominated by arguments that justify the atomic bombings.

Treaty to ban nuclear weapons

To prevent the anti-nuclear trend from becoming just a passing summer fad, we must work out a process for the abolition of nuclear weapons and lead it to actual policy. Moreover, we need to form a net to encircle nuclear powers through persistent diplomatic negotiations.

For example, the final document of the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons in May referred to the idea of a treaty to ban nuclear weapons for the first time.

There are already treaties to ban chemical and biological weapons, and moves to abolish them are making progress. The idea is to create a similar treaty to ban nuclear weapons.

Referring to the final document, Douglas Roche, honorary chairman of the international nongovernmental organization Middle Powers Initiative and a former Canadian ambassador for disarmament, said such a treaty is on the table of international debate. He is calling for preparations for international negotiations.

A draft treaty that serves as a model was released in 1997 by NGOs, such as International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.

The United States and other nuclear powers have maintained a passive stance. But now that the situation surrounding nuclear weapons has dramatically changed, interest in this treaty, which is indispensable in realizing the abolition of nuclear weapons, is growing. We should take steps to set conditions needed to advance preparations.

Treaties to ban anti-personnel land mines and cluster bombs were established thanks largely to lawmakers of a number of countries who cooperated with NGOs to appeal to their governments. We should make use of this experience for nuclear weapons.

Using the actual damage of atomic bombings as a starting point, a network should be built comprising not only the government but also experts, local governments, NGOs and citizens. We should also cooperate with countries that share these aspirations.

As the only country to have suffered atomic bombings, Japan must take the lead.

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2010年8月 8日 (日)



Taliban claims it killed the 10 charity workers in Afghanistan.
By ethelsmith  Kabul : Afghanistan | Aug 07, 2010

There have been reports today that 10 charity workers have been killed in Afghanistan.The latest reports say that the Taliban have claimed responsibility. Eight of the workers were foreign. All the bodies were found nearby their three four wheeled drive vehicles which had been attacked. The vehicles were riddled with bullet holes and the ten bodies were left alongside them.

Earliest reports state that the bodies are made up of one Briton, six Americans, a German and two Afghans. All were charity workers trying to help the Afghan people. There was one survive who was told how his companions were lined up and shot.

According to Sky news: spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed claimed responsibility for the attack, saying: "Yesterday at around 8am, one of our patrols confronted a group of foreigners. They were Christian missionaries and we killed them all."
タリバンのスポークスマン、ザビフーラ ムジャヘッド氏がタリバンの犯行を認める声明をだした。


How big of him.
Are we winning the war against the Taliban? I will leave you to decide.

(translation into Japanese by srachai)

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香山リカのココロの万華鏡:病の経験を語る /東京

(Mainichi Japan) August 8, 2010
Kaleidoscope of the heart: Coming forward and talking about illness
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:病の経験を語る /東京

I invited two members of the BALBAL Club -- an organization that is engaged in activities in which those who have suffered from mental illnesses talk about their experiences -- to deliver speeches during my lecture at a university in the Kansai district. Male member Naohito Inamura and female Daria Sugano, talked about their experiences of schizophrenia.

Inamura experienced auditory hallucinations and delusion when he was a high school student. He said he was initially confused and did not understand what had happened to him.

After being hospitalized several times, Inamura took part in a workshop for those who have suffered from mental problems. He then made friends with many former patients and now his condition remains stable. Inamura has now recovered to the extent that he visits hospitals for those with mental illnesses and tells other patients about his experiences to encourage them.

Hospitals that provide detailed care to patients are good, but you can relax at institutions that leave you alone," he jokingly says.

Sugano, who appears to be serious and intellectual, suffered from schizophrenia when she was in her teens. She and her family were initially unable to accept the fact that she suffered from schizophrenia, and were reluctant to receive social welfare services. In a desperate bid to be independent and self-reliant, Sugano attended a post-graduate school while working part-time, and was involved in stressful work in the social welfare sector. She suffered a relapse of her illness several times after being overworked. Now she has fully accepted the fact that she is a patient with schizophrenia, and can live at her own pace.

Sugano told students in my class that when she was 17, she was told by her doctor that she would need to regularly take medicine for schizophrenia for the rest of her life. On her way home from the clinic, she was concerned for her life, thinking that she was different from the people around her.

The students appeared impressed with her heartbreaking speech. I think students occasionally feel sad when they think all people except themselves are happy, but the degree of their despair is completely different from that Inamura and Sugano experienced.

Nevertheless, Inamura and Sugano found ways to deal with their disease by adopting lifestyles that suited their conditions, by going to places where they can truly be themselves and making friends after struggling for 10 to 15 years.

Their messages that, "You can certainly recover from your illnesses" and "If you find mentally ill people around you, please understand them," have a ring of truth because they experienced despair.

I wonder how the guest speakers' words sounded to the students of today, who tend to be sensitive and easily abandon their own goals. The two guest speakers wanted to advise the students not to give up hope even if they are in despair and to be patient, believing that anything takes time to solve. Their experiences give a lesson to everybody.

It is not easy for anybody to talk about their illnesses. But some people willing to do that help a growing number of people understand the illnesses and give courage to more and more people. Activities like those of BALBAL Club are now widespread throughout the country. If you have an opportunity, I would like you to listen to what its members have to say.

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2010年8月3日 地方版

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臨時国会閉幕 ねじれ打開へ政権公約見直せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 8, 2010)
DPJ, opposition must rise above divided Diet
臨時国会閉幕 ねじれ打開へ政権公約見直せ(8月7日付・読売社説)

As the so-called divided Diet threatens to paralyze national politics, it is necessary for ruling and opposition parties to overcome the impasse and build consensus on policy issues. But, regrettably, we saw no movement in that direction during the extraordinary Diet session that closed Friday.

The focal point of the eight-day Diet session, the first since the House of Councillors election last month, was how the administration of Prime Minister Naoto Kan and opposition parties would behave in a divided Diet, in which the ruling camp controls the House of Representatives while the opposition controls the upper house.

Do as we say, not as we did

During question-and-answer sessions of the budget committees of each chamber, which were held for four days in total, Kan sought the opposition's cooperation, saying, "I'd like to ask you to have discussions in a way that will enable necessary policies to be implemented."

Regarding the previous divided Diet, under which the then opposition Democratic Party of Japan obstructed the then ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito on such issues as the appointment of a Bank of Japan governor, Kan said, "We'd like to reflect on what should be reflected on." He thus maintained a humble attitude.

But such perfunctory statements alone do not make the situation better. As the LDP and other parties insist, a drastic modification of the DPJ's policy pledges is inevitable.

It now has become apparent that revenue sources for child-rearing allowances and other handout policies stipulated in the DPJ manifesto cannot be secured simply by rearranging the state budget. These policies now are in a state of collapse.

Given that Kan seeks to hold on to his position as DPJ president in an intraparty election next month, he probably does not want to drastically change the policy pledges as it would ignite opposition within the party. But he won't be able to obtain the opposition's cooperation if the situation remains unchanged.

During the latest extraordinary Diet session, a bill to enable lawmakers to return part of their salary should they not serve for an entire month was enacted. Another bill to allow an organization to continue operating social insurance hospitals also was enacted. But these achievements alone do not make us think the ruling and opposition parties have started cooperating.

Because of disarray among opposition parties, they dropped a plan to submit censure motions against some Cabinet members, including Justice Minister Keiko Chiba, who failed to be reelected in the upper house election. But the opposition camp likely will press the ruling camp hard on such issues as the politics and money scandals involving former DPJ Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa during an extraordinary Diet session scheduled for autumn.

The opposition parties blasted the Kan administration for giving up a plan to create a national strategy bureau, saying it would be a step backward in efforts to enhance politicians' power in the handling of government affairs. A bill to set up such a bureau has been carried over for continued deliberations.

We suggest the prime minister call for discussions between the ruling and opposition camps to modify the bill. In doing so, it would be beneficial to bring up the idea of creating a Japanese version of the U.S. National Security Council, as earlier proposed by the LDP-New Komeito ruling coalition.

Focus on shared goals

Since both the ruling and opposition camps wish to implement plans to strengthen politicians' control of government affairs and expand the functions of the Prime Minister's Office, it should be possible for them to start deliberations on these issues.

It is not an easy task for one party to win a majority in upper house elections. The divided Diet may continue for some time. If the Diet fails to make any important decisions or fails to respond quickly to an economic or diplomatic crisis, Japan will face a further decline in its standing.

The ruling and opposition camps should seriously search for a way to build consensus.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 7, 2010)
(2010年8月7日01時18分  読売新聞)

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2010年8月 7日 (土)


(Mainichi Japan) August 7, 2010
Focus of Hiroshima A-bomb ceremony turning toward nuclear disarmament

The international political presence at this year's ceremony marking the 65th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima was unusually strong, with representatives from 74 nations taking part. The U.N. secretary-general participated in the ceremony for the first time, as did the ambassador of the United States, the country that dropped the bomb on Japan.

Hiroshima seems to increasingly be seen as a symbol of nuclear disarmament rather than one of laying victims' souls to rest. Many atomic bomb survivors welcome this trend, but others are wary of it, saying the ceremony's status as an occasion to remember the victims of the atomic bombing must not be forgotten.

During his attendance at the Aug. 6 ceremony in Hiroshima, U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos maintained a firm expression. He left immediately after the ceremony without an address, only releasing a statement through the U.S. Embassy.

Seiko Ikeda, 77, the deputy director of a Hiroshima atomic bomb survivors' organization, saw significance in Roos' visit.
"It is important for the nuclear powers to realize what happened 65 years ago," she said.

While the ambassador offered no apology over the atomic bombing, Ikeda holds hope for the future.
"If someone bows their head at the memorial for victims, feelings of apology will come naturally," she says.

At the same time, Haruko Moritaki, 71, a representative of the Hiroshima Alliance for Nuclear Weapons Abolition, points out that some atomic bomb survivors do not welcome the shifting focus of the ceremony.
"The ceremony should be an occasion for remembrance so that such an act will never be repeated, but each year it becomes a place to highlight the world situation regarding the abolition of nuclear weapons, moving the focus away from the repose of victims' souls. Progress on the issue can't be made without down-to-earth political discussion, but there are more than a few atomic bomb survivors who don't like all the hustle and bustle that goes on."

She also questions the reason for the United States' participation in the ceremony.
"It probably isn't to make an oath to eliminate nuclear weapons," she says.

The representatives at this year's Hiroshima ceremony included representatives from 74 nations, including the nuclear powers of the United States, Britain and France, an increase from the 35 countries that participated in 2006.

Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba leads the group Mayors for Peace, which represents about 4,000 cities worldwide. He actively makes visits overseas, which has helped the ceremony take on a more international flavor.

The Japanese government welcomes a recent strengthening in an international movement toward nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation and the fact that Hiroshima and Nagasaki are serving as symbols of this movement. The Aug. 6 ceremony in Hiroshima was the first to be held under the new Democratic Party of Japan administration. In addition to Prime Minister Naoto Kan, Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada also attended the ceremony, becoming the first foreign minister to do so.

In a message at the ceremony, Kan said that Japan, as the only country to have suffered nuclear bomb attacks, has a "moral responsibility to lead the global effort toward a world without nuclear weapons." However, when questioned in a news conference after the ceremony about Akiba's peace declaration calling for the abandonment of the U.S. nuclear umbrella, the prime minister said, "Continued nuclear deterrence is necessary for our country."

Momentum toward abolishing nuclear weapons is increasing, and nuclear disarmament negotiations between the United States and Russia, which together possess 95 percent of the world's nuclear warheads, have resulted in progress in the reduction of strategic nuclear weapons, but reduction of tactical nuclear weapons has not progressed.

If progress on the reduction of U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons is made, then the relative value of the nuclear power of China, which continues to increase its arsenal, could rise. The problem of nuclear weapon development by North Korea and Iran also remains unsolved.

In a news conference on Aug. 6, Okada also commented on Akiba's call to leave the protection of the U.S. nuclear umbrella, saying, "I understand Mr. Akiba's feelings, but the countries that possess nuclear weapons include North Korea, Russia and China, and it is extremely difficult to secure the safety of the people of Japan without the U.S. nuclear umbrella. The nuclear umbrella and nuclear disarmament do not contradict each other."

Commenting on the issue, an official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated, "Nuclear disarmament has long been seen as an ideal, but the question of how to actually reduce nuclear weapons is the problem. It is difficult to go from simply reducing nuclear weapons to having zero. We've reaped the benefits of a nuclear umbrella, and no itinerary for achieving a solution has been drawn up. We can only keep an eye on the situation while moving forward."

毎日新聞 2010年8月7日 東京朝刊

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可愛いキャラクターがいっぱいで、誰でも簡単に遊べる無料オンラインゲーム「夢世界 -武林外伝-」の新規無料会員登録プログラムです。

ネット小説の世界観をそのままに、壮大な体験をする事ができる超大型MMORPG「LEGEND of CHUSEN 2 -新世界- 」の新規無料会員登録プログラムです

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インフラ輸出 オールジャパンで巻き返せ

from construction to management=建設からその後の運用まで

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 7, 2010)
Public, private efforts key to winning intl deals
インフラ輸出 オールジャパンで巻き返せ(8月6日付・読売社説)

What should be done to ensure that Japanese corporations win contracts for infrastructure improvement projects in newly emerging nations that enjoy continued economic growth? This nation's public and private sectors must jointly step up their efforts to achieve this goal.

Demand for infrastructure worldwide, including that for nuclear power stations and rapid transit railway systems, is expected to total 41 trillion dollars, or about 3,600 trillion yen, by the end of 2030.

This is an extremely enticing market for this nation's corporate sector, as it continues to face insufficient demand. However, Japanese corporations need to win out in cutthroat competition with foreign rivals to obtain contracts for infrastructure projects.

There is good reason to expect the government to play an active role in accomplishing this goal. Admittedly, success--or the lack thereof--in securing infrastructure improvement projects depends on whether each aspiring corporation possesses the required level of technology. The fact remains, however, that newly emerging countries tend to regard government-to-government talks as a key element in determining winners.
There is therefore a limit to what can be gained just through domestic companies' efforts in this regard.

Govt sales pitches key

In December, Japan lost contracts to Russia to construct nuclear power plants in Vietnam, and Japanese and other competitors were beaten by a South Korean consortium for a deal to build nuclear reactors for the United Arab Emirates the same month.

The presidents of Russia and South Korea are believed to have made sales pitches to Vietnam and the UAE, respectively, thus strongly supporting their domestic firms' bids to receive the contracts.

The Japanese government has learned a bitter lesson from the failed bids of companies from this country. It is encouraging to note that the government is increasing its efforts to aid domestic firms on this issue, with some Cabinet members setting out to lobby prospective clients.

In May, Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Seiji Maehara and Yoshito Sengoku, then state minister in charge of national policy, paid successive visits to Vietnam, where progress is being made in the second stage of the country's nuclear reactor project and its high-speed railway system plan.

In late July, Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada visited Vietnam and asked the government for its cooperation in helping Japanese corporations win contracts for the projects involved.

Vietnam is not alone in constructing nuclear power stations. India, Thailand, Indonesia and some other nations are also pursuing similar plans. Brazil is scheduled to select the winner for a high-speed railway construction project, probably by the end of the year. We hope the government will continue its politician-lead efforts to help domestic corporations win such contracts.

Back investment, financing

The government's new growth strategy, adopted in June, includes a plan to end the current freeze on foreign investment and loan programs sponsored by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, to help domestic companies win overseas infrastructure improvement projects.

Doing so will involve risk, but it can help win contracts for overseas projects that would do much to improve the domestic economy. With this in mind, the government should steadily carry out such investment and financing programs.

It is also essential to boost cooperation between private companies in this country.

One of the decisive factors behind the South Korean consortium's success in securing the UAE nuclear power project is believed to be its efforts to emphasize that the consortium would handle all aspects of the project, from reactor construction to management.

Japan is working out various arrangements similar to those adopted by South Korea to win overseas infrastructure improvement projects. Under the initiative of the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry, a new corporation will be established in autumn, with three builders of nuclear reactors set to acquire stakes in the envisaged firm along with three electric power companies experienced in operating nuclear power stations.

This nation must combine the efforts of both the public and private sectors to recover from its late start in international competition for overseas infrastructure improvement projects.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 6, 2010)
(2010年8月6日01時08分  読売新聞)

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最新鋭の戦闘機The Joint Strike Fighterの製造請負契約は30年間で1000億ドル(10兆円)の莫大な金額を要するが、これを一社に独占的に落札させることに議会(上院)から反対の声があがっている。公開入札の原理を取り入れれば落札価格を大幅に縮小できる。過去この種の入札を公開入札にして落札価格を低下させた実績も多い。米国の市民も声をあげ始めているが、長年の深い癒着状態を脱することができるのか、目が離せません。公開入札で減額できる金額を失業対策に向けたほうが良いのではないでしょうか。

End the monopolies in defense contracts

By John Lehman
Friday, August 6, 2010

Although it pains me to say it, sometimes Congress knows better than the Pentagon -- and the fight over the Joint Strike Fighter engine is a case in point. The House voted on May 27 to preserve funding for an alternate engine for the Joint Strike Fighter, despite Defense Department and White House efforts to kill the engine. The Pentagon has sought to grant one company a $100 billion sole-source contract lasting 30 years; in other words, a monopoly on producing the engine. The House said not so fast -- and moved to ensure that there would be competition for the contract. I'm quite unused to defending Congress, but on this one the lawmakers were right.

for more details, raad the following address (cite from washington post)


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Habitat designation won't help polar bears, but will kill Alaska's jobs (北極熊の)棲息地域指定は北極熊のためならず、アラスカ住民の職を奪うものだ By Sean Parnell Friday, August 6, 2010
photo by srachai from OCNフォトフレンド Imagine a federal agency listing a species as threatened under the Endangered Species Act even though that species is stable and shows no evidence of decline. 北極熊の生態は安定しており減少の傾向は見られない、にもかかわらず絶滅危惧種に指定されるのはおかしい。(意訳です by srachai) for more details, raad the following address (cite from washington post) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/05/AR2010080505136.html?wpisrc=nl_opinions

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2010年8月 6日 (金)

高齢者所在不明 家族と地域で「長寿」見守ろう

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 6, 2010)
We must keep an eye on our elderly citizens
高齢者所在不明 家族と地域で「長寿」見守ろう(8月5日付・読売社説)

Many municipal governments have reported that they do not know the whereabouts of some centenarians who are registered as residents in their areas.

Although they are recorded as "alive" on their family registers, neither the local governments nor their families have been able to confirm this.

We cannot help but be dismayed that this situation exists in a society that boasts of the longevity of its people.

Municipal governments began checking into the whereabouts of local centenarians after the mummified remains of a man who was registered as being 111 years old were found in Adachi Ward, Tokyo.

Then a woman believed to be 113 years old, which would make her Tokyo's oldest person, was reported missing. She is registered as living in Suginami Ward, Tokyo.

In Nagoya, the supposed residence of a 106-year-old man was found to have been turned into a parking lot. His family did not know where he was.

According to a survey conducted by The Yomiuri Shimbun, nearly 50 centenarians are missing as of Wednesday.

The common thread in these cases is that neither local government officials in charge of elderly welfare nor welfare commissioners made direct contact with centenarians before the current investigations began.

Japan has about 40,000 centenarians, a 3.5-fold increase over the past 10 years.

Officials must meet elderly

The methods of confirming the whereabouts of elderly people or if they are actually alive or not differ among local governments. In many cases, they check the use of services provided through the nursing care or health care insurance programs, without bothering to visit places of residence and meeting with elderly people individually.

Although municipal governments may suffer from a shortage of manpower and funds, it is crucial that officials meet these people to see how they are doing if they have not used health care facilities for some time.

Some local governments admit having difficulty in pursuing their investigations after families tell officials that their elderly relatives do not want to meet them or that they have moved into facilities for the aged in other prefectures.

Local governments are probably afraid of being accused of infringing on the privacy of the families if officials insist on meeting elderly people or otherwise persist in their investigations. But we wonder whether they are overreacting to provisions of the Personal Information Protection Law.

Ties weakening

When it comes to the disbursement of public funds, such as for pensions and congratulatory payments to mark elderly residents' longevity, local government officials are obliged to confirm the whereabouts of the recipients and whether they are alive. Revisions of relevant laws should be considered in this respect, if necessary.

What is worrisome is the weakening of elderly people's ties to their relatives and local communities in this fast-aging society.

It has become apparent through the latest investigation that with the trend toward the nuclear family there are cases in which both the parents and children have aged, and fail to meet or keep in contact with each other.

The functions of local communities, in which residents keep an eye on elderly people through daily contact as neighbors, seem to be on the decline.

We must try to recover the strength of our society, whereby families and communities should warmly watch over our "long lives."

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 5, 2010)
(2010年8月5日01時23分  読売新聞)

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2010年8月 5日 (木)


今月の3日に運良く安価で購入できたタイ株式、なんと昨日4日に、もう買い手がついて売却し利益確定できました。まったく同じことをするのに前回は4カ月もかかった訳で、長い人生こんなうれしい晴れの日もあるのを実感しました。これで2年前リーマン社破綻の影響によるタイ株式暴落のときに被った被害を回復することができました。 写真は多くの買い注文が入った瞬間です。
photo by srachai from OCNフォトフレンド

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在沖縄米海兵隊 移転促進へ「普天間」の前進を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 5, 2010)
Move Futenma base, move U.S. marines
在沖縄米海兵隊 移転促進へ「普天間」の前進を(8月4日付・読売社説)

Ensuring steady progress in the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station will be essential to minimizing any delay in the planned transfer of marines from Okinawa Prefecture to Guam.

The U.S. Defense Department recently revealed that the transfer of about 8,000 marines to Guam originally scheduled to be completed in 2014 likely will be delayed by up to six years.

The Pentagon blamed the holdup on the unexpectedly long time needed to construct social infrastructure, such as electricity generation, water, sewage and roads. The transfer will increase Guam's population by more than 10 percent.

But the marines' transfer from Okinawa to Guam is intricately entwined with the Futenma facility relocation. The bungled handling of the Futenma move by former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's administration has certainly resulted in the marines' shift being put on ice.

Hatoyama fanned expectations among local Okinawa governments and residents that the air base might be moved out of the prefecture--or even outside the country. However, he ended up returning to the 2006 Japan-U.S. agreement that stipulated the facility would be moved to the Henoko district in Nago in the prefecture, and then abruptly quit as prime minister. Washington's decision to hold off the marines' transfer speaks volumes of the "negative legacy" Hatoyama has left.

Hatoyama bears grave responsibility in this regard. Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who supported Hatoyama as deputy prime minister in the previous administration, also cannot evade his responsibility for these unfortunate developments.

Careless comment

A recent statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku further muddied the waters. He said Japan and the United States would hold in-depth talks on the premise that both countries would be positive about constructing social infrastructure in Guam. Washington could have interpreted this statement as a willingness by Japan to share a greater financial burden in the transfer of the marines.

We think Japan, in principle, should not readily concede to shouldering additional financial burdens involved in the transfer.

It was pointed out before the two governments reached an agreement in 2005 that the cost of shifting the marines, projected at about 10.2 billion dollars, might swell in the future.

Following tough negotiations, Japan set the upper limit of its share at about 6.1 billion dollars. A Japan-U.S. agreement concluded last year includes a clause stipulating Japan will not cover additional burdens.

The ruling Democratic Party of Japan originally must have bristled at suggestions that Japan should fund the building of a U.S. military facility in U.S. territory. Sengoku's statement, which could heighten expectations on the U.S. side, is imprudent.

DPJ must lift its game

In diplomacy, keeping the proper distance from the other side is imperative. But the DPJ-led administration is entirely untrustworthy on this point. The excuse that the government is short on diplomatic experience does not pass muster.

Tokyo and Washington set the end of August as the deadline for a final decision on the location and construction method of a replacement facility for Futenma Air Station. The Kan administration is trying to clear this hurdle by presenting several options to the U.S. side.

With the Okinawa gubernatorial election set for November, the government is understandably wary of deciding on a specific plan that might disregard the wishes of local governments. However, it would be unfortunate if the government fails to soothe its ties with Okinawa and delays making any decisions on matters affecting the prefecture. This could eventually result in the Futenma facility being left where it is--permanently.

The government can reduce the burdens shouldered by Okinawa Prefecture by resolutely relocating the Futenma base within the prefecture. Only through clearly showing its resolve to achieve this goal will the Kan administration regain the confidence of people and local governments in the prefecture.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 4, 2010)
(2010年8月4日02時02分  読売新聞)

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2010年8月 4日 (水)

大相撲:天皇陛下が異例の書簡 白鵬関の活躍ねぎらう

(Mainichi Japan) August 3, 2010
Emperor sends letter of congratulations to Yokozuna Hakuho
大相撲:天皇陛下が異例の書簡 白鵬関の活躍ねぎらう

Emperor Akihito has sent a letter of congratulations to Sumo Yokozuna Hakuho, who won the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament in July with the third-longest winning streak in history.

It is unusual for the Emperor to send such a letter to a sumo wrestler.

According to the Imperial Household Agency, the Emperor's words of congratulations were documented by Great Chamberlain Yutaka Kawashima. The letter was handed by the agency to Japan Sumo Association (JSA) Acting Chairman Hiroyoshi Murayama at the Ryogoku Kokugikan stadium in Tokyo's Sumida Ward on the morning of Aug. 3.

The letter reportedly reads, "His Imperial Majesty extends congratulations and best wishes to Yokozuna Hakuho, who, amid a difficult situation, not only won the tournament without a single defeat, but also achieved the third-longest winning streak in history, breaking the record set by former Yokozuna Taiho, through his diligent efforts."

In the afternoon of the same day, Hakuho, Murayama and other JSA officials attended a press conference at the Ryogoku Kokugikan. The Mongolian grand champion, clad in ceremonial kimono, said, "I could hardly be happier to receive the words from His Imperial Majesty. I am extremely flattered and honored."

"(On Sunday) I could not hold back my tears, because I was happy but sad at the same time because there was no Emperor's Cup trophy," Hakuho added recalling the award ceremony on July 25.


JSA Acting President Murayama also commented, "I am thrilled by the kind words. I would like to continue to devote myself to the development of professional sumo."

The JSA declined presenting the Emperor's Cup in light of the recent series of baseball gambling scandals.

毎日新聞 2010年8月3日 11時50分(最終更新 8月3日 13時19分)

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高齢者不明:100歳以上、全国で18人 所在確認、行政に限界 <追跡>


cite from Mainichi Jp

高齢者不明:100歳以上、全国で18人 所在確認、行政に限界











毎日新聞 2010年8月4日 東京朝刊

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児童虐待多発 立ち入り調査権を機能させよ

(Aug. 4, 2010)
Help authorities protect children
児童虐待多発 立ち入り調査権を機能させよ(8月3日付・読売社説)

A 3-year-old girl and her 1-year-old brother were recently found dead, their bodies close together, in a room without food or water.

The children's bodies were discovered Friday in an Osaka apartment. Their 23-year-old mother, who had left them unattended in the room for more than a month in scorching heat, was quoted by police as saying, "It was fun to go to host clubs [high-class drinking establishments that provide female customers with male companions] and I got tired of taking care of my children."

There has recently been a series of child abuse cases so dreadful we cringe in horror.

In June, a 5-year-old girl in Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture, died after continual abuse, including being thrown into a washing machine by her mother with her hands and legs tied.

In December, a 14-month-old girl in Yokohama suffocated after being confined in a wooden box by her mother and the man who lived with her.

Last month, a man in Neyagawa, Osaka Prefecture, was arrested on suspicion of pouring lighter fluid on his 14-year-old son's back and setting him on fire.

Reports of abuse soar

According to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, child consultation centers around the country handled a record 44,210 cases of child abuse in fiscal 2009, about four times the number 10 years earlier.

The increase can probably be attributed partly to an increased awareness of the issue in society, which has resulted in more reports to authorities that brought previously unknown cases to light. Looking at the hideous incidents that have occurred recently, however, it is difficult to escape the impression that child abuse has become more serious.

The revised Child Abuse Prevention Law came into effect in April 2008, giving child consultation centers more authority to enter homes in cases of suspected child abuse.

However, there have only been three cases so far in this country in which center staff have forcibly entered homes where child abuse was suspected. A bigger number is not automatically better, but administrative efforts still appear to be half-hearted.

In the case of the two children in Osaka, the local child consultation center did not aggressively investigate the possibility of abuse even though it received many reports from neighbors who heard the children crying.

Even though there might have been difficulties, such as identifying who lived in the apartment, it is possible the children could have been saved if the center had investigated a little more.

Make inspections easier

Some people have said it is difficult in reality for child consultation centers to exercise their right to forcibly inspect homes because they are short of staff and must fulfill strict requirements to obtain permission from the courts.

If that is the case, the government should relax the requirements and increase the number of staff at child consultation centers so the right to conduct inspections can be used effectively.

What was neglected, what was missing and what was insufficient in the relevant systems, preventing the lives of the two children from being saved? This latest case must be fully examined.

The ministry has established a telephone line for reporting child abuse--(0570) 064-000--and is calling on the public to report even seemingly minor information. However, this will be meaningless if reports concerning child abuse are not properly followed up.

The government should spare no expense to strengthen measures against child abuse.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 3, 2010)
(2010年8月3日01時41分  読売新聞)

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2010年8月 3日 (火)

全国学力テスト 「抽出」で失った貴重なデータ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 3, 2010)
Partial participation in scholastic test gets a 'D'
全国学力テスト 「抽出」で失った貴重なデータ(8月2日付・読売社説)

A prompt return to full participation by every school in national achievement tests is the only way the government will be able to accurately ascertain students' scholastic ability and for the state and schools to use data collected through the tests to improve teaching methods.

The education ministry recently published the results of the national achievement test, the fourth of its kind, that was conducted in April. Unlike the three previous occasions in which all primary and middle schools took part, only about 30 percent of schools chosen at random participated in the latest test.

Schools not selected were allowed to take part in the test if they wished. In the end, about 23,800 schools--more than 70 percent of the nation's primary and middle schools--took part, with 1.63 million sixth-grade primary schoolers and third-year middle school students taking tests in Japanese and arithmetic or mathematics.

Many schools wanted to participate in the test. We think all schools should be equally entitled to be provided with test results to discover the shortcomings of each student and draw up detailed teaching programs.

Limited data

The state shoulders the cost of marking the tests and compiling the data only for about 10,000 chosen schools. Schools that volunteered to take part have to mark the exam papers themselves. Many teachers at these schools will spend some of their summer holidays scoring the tests.

Students who took the first exams when they were sixth-grade primary schoolers in 2007 sat the 2010 test as third-year middle schoolers. The latest results showed more than 10 percent of these students could not calculate the area of a circle--repeating the error they made three years earlier. This finding should jolt teachers into thinking about improving how such calculations are taught in class.

Randomly selecting schools means the only useful data that could be gleaned from the tests was the average percentage of questions answered correctly by prefecture. Furthermore, with fewer samples available, each prefecture's average percentage of correct answers was within a range of one or two points. Correctly ranking the prefectures became a hopeless task.

Data specific to each city, town and village or school could not be obtained from this year's test. This made it impossible to compare the latest test's data with that collected from previous tests. This, in turn, will make it difficult for prefectural education authorities to analyze this data and appoint more teachers to schools that produced poor test results.

Saving dollars, losing sense

The Democratic Party of Japan-led government abolished the policy of requiring all students in the designated grades to take the tests without properly discussing the matter, and did so only to save money. The cost of holding the test was cut from 5.7 billion yen to 3.3 billion yen, but the loss of a chance to collect valuable data could have a heftier price than that.

The government has appropriated 400 billion yen to make high school tuition free, a policy that has been roundly criticized.

The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry is considering adding science, social studies and English as test subjects from fiscal 2012. Cultivating talented human resources in the science and technology field will be crucial for this nation's future, so collecting data on students' scientific knowledge is essential.

We want the ministry to settle on a test method that gauges scholastic ability from many angles and produces usable, effective data without imposing an excessive burden on the students.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 2, 2010)
(2010年8月2日01時04分  読売新聞)

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cite from washigton  post

Twitter's 20 Billionth Tweet Comes From Japanese Baseball Fanatic

The social networking service, which recently turned four, is growing exponentially. Every day, 300,000 new users sign up and about 50 million Tweets are sent out.

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転換期の安保2010:海をゆく巨龍 中国、武装艦で威嚇 拿捕の漁船、解放迫る

(Mainichi Japan) August 2, 2010
Territorial disputes in South China Sea on the increase as China flexes muscles
転換期の安保2010:海をゆく巨龍 中国、武装艦で威嚇 拿捕の漁船、解放迫る

Tension was running high on the South China Sea on June 23, some 105 kilometers northwest of Laut Island in Indonesia's Natuna Islands. A large, white Chinese fishery administration vessel, which was ordered to evacuate from the area by an Indonesian Navy ship, threatened to attack unless a Chinese fishing boat that had been seized by Indonesia was released. A large-caliber machine gun was pointing at the Indonesian Navy ship, which was getting ready to counterattack.

The showdown on the water was triggered by a group of more than 10 Chinese fishing boats operating in the area the day before, when an Indonesian patrol boat seized one of them. It was within Indonesia's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and other countries cannot operate there without permission, according to official sources. However, two white Chinese fishery administration vessels appeared some 30 minutes later, insisting over the radio that they did not recognize the area as Indonesia's EEZ and that the seized Chinese vessel be released.

A video recording of the scene, which was obtained by the Mainichi Shimbun, shows that the bow of one of the Chinese fishery administration ships bears the vessel's name, "Yuzheng 311," in Chinese characters. The ship is a former military vessel converted in March last year into China's largest fishery administration vessel to operate in the South China Sea, with a displacement capacity of 4,450 tons. Though the white vessel belongs to China's Agriculture Ministry, which oversees the nation's fishing industry, it still bears air of a military vessel.

Complying with China's demand, the Indonesian patrol boat released the Chinese fishing boat, but it recaptured the ship the following morning after the Indonesian Navy ship arrived in the area. Undaunted, the Chinese fishery administration vessel still remained on the offensive. The Indonesian patrol boat, made of carbon fiber and vulnerable to gunshots, ended up releasing the Chinese fishing boat.

This wasn't the first case to hit the area. The Chinese fishery administration vessel had earlier forced Indonesia to release a captured Chinese fishing boat on May 15, and according to an Indonesian government official, that was the first case of Chinese fishing boats operating illegally in the area accompanied by an armed escort ship.

The South China Sea has been an arena of territorial disputes between China and other countries, including Vietnam and the Philippines, over the sovereignty of the Paracel Islands and the Spratly Islands. A Taiwanese Navy official testifies that there is a rich underwater oil reserve north of the Natuna Islands, indicating that China is possibly pursuing underground resources rather than fishing stock in the area.

In fact, Beijing explained to visiting U.S. officials -- Jeffrey A. Bader, senior director for Asian Affairs on the National Security Council, and Deputy Secretary of State James B. Steinberg -- in March this year that the South China Sea is a "core interest" for China, according to a report by The New York Times in April. It was the first time for China to use the term -- "core interest" -- for an area other than Taiwan and the autonomous regions of Tibet and Xinjiang. The South China Sea is indeed China's "lifeline," with its national security and securing of resources at stake.

The Xinhua News Agency, China's state-run media organ, has reported that a Chinese fishing boat and its nine crewmembers were seized near the Spratly Islands on June 22 and that they were eventually released after negotiations, without ever referring to China's confrontation with the Indonesian Navy ship on June 23.

In a reply to an inquiry by the Mainichi to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in writing that China bears inarguable sovereignty over the Spratly Islands and their surrounding waters and that China has addressed conflicts properly through amicable discussions and negotiations with concerned countries, hoping for peace and stability in the South China Sea.

Indonesia, meanwhile, has not publicized the incident, apparently in consideration for its economic and other ties with China. However, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono admitted during a Cabinet meeting on July 22 that new tension was arising in the South China Sea, near the Natuna Islands. The president's abrupt reference to the islands apparently shows his concerns for conflict with China.


The United States has long been said to have controlled the Seven Seas since the end of World War II. Now, China is emerging as a new seafaring country.




毎日新聞 2010年7月27日 東京朝刊

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(Mainichi Japan) August 2, 2010
Hiroshima mayor to urge Japanese gov't to legislate three nonnuclear principles

HIROSHIMA -- Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba has told reporters he will urge the Japanese government to legislate its three nonnuclear principles in a peace declaration to be issued on the Aug. 6 anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city.

Akiba announced on Aug. 2 the gist of his declaration speech at the peace memorial ceremony, saying the voices of people around the world are becoming the greatest power on earth that could move the international community toward peace. He will call for the Japanese government to take concrete steps to abolish nuclear weapons as an atomic-bombed country and also for Prime Minister Naoto Kan to take the lead as the prime minister in negotiations for a treaty banning the use of nuclear arms by appealing to the leaders of nuclear powers for urgency in eliminating nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, in his declaration, Akiba will honor U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his leadership at the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference in May this year. The Hiroshima mayor will also offer respect to the leaders of three nuclear nations -- the United States, the United Kingdom and France -- for their attendance at this year's peace memorial ceremony for the first time and thank them for considering the feelings of atomic-bomb survivors and Hiroshima citizens.

 ◇8月6日は歴史的な日に 広島の方言も使用…秋葉市長

 昨年は初めて宣言に英語を用い、オバマ米大統領の「Yes,we can」で結んだが、今年は広島の方言を使用する。故井上ひさしさんの名作「父と暮せば」でも広島弁が使われ、「原爆被害の実相や平和を希求する気持ちが表現されている」と考えたという。

毎日新聞 2010年8月2日 11時41分(最終更新 8月2日 13時16分)

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2010年8月 2日 (月)

「111歳」男性 背後にある高齢者行政の不安

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 2, 2010)
Authorities must ensure elderly are protected
「111歳」男性 背後にある高齢者行政の不安(8月1日付・読売社説)

How could that man be "healthy" for such a long time? It is simply astonishing and raises endless questions.

On July 22, skeletal remains believed to be those of a person recognized as the oldest living man in Tokyo were found on a bed at his home in Adachi Ward. Sogen Kato would be 111 years old if he were alive today, but he actually died more than 30 years ago.

Kato lived with his daughter and her husband, both in their 80s, and two grandchildren aged 49 and 53.

According to his grandchildren, Kato remained cloistered in his room, and died there, after declaring about 30 years ago that he "wanted to be a living Buddha." They say the family never entered his room after that.

This is very hard to believe. The Metropolitan Police Department is investigating his family's actions on suspicion of negligence as guardians resulting in death, but it will not be easy to determine how Kato died.

One thing for certain is that Kato was alive on his family register and believed to be continuing to age.

Benefits outlived recipient

Payments were made in Kato's name of his noncontributory old-age pension benefits prior to his wife's death in 2004, after which payments of survivor's mutual aid pension benefits were made. A total of nearly 10 million yen was deposited into Kato's account, from which a considerable sum has been withdrawn.

The MPD also plans to question Kato's relatives over whether they attempted to fraudulently obtain his pension benefits.

Many cases have recently been uncovered across the country in which children who depended on their parents' pensions continued to receive benefits illegally by concealing the parents' deaths. We hope police will thoroughly investigate this latest case to prevent similar acts.

This case was uncovered after the Adachi Ward Office became suspicious and contacted police when welfare officials from the ward repeatedly visited Kato's home to see him but his family refused to let them in.

According to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, "If someone's family refuses, it's difficult for administrative authorities to take further steps."

Until the case was uncovered, the ward office systematically gave Kato gifts to celebrate his longevity without seeing his face or knowing his circumstances.

Elderly may suffer in secrecy

We cannot help but feel misgivings about such a situation from the standpoint of prevention of the abuse of elderly people and confirmation of their health. The relevant systems and authorities must be checked.

In the latest case, administrative authorities might have taken action much earlier if there was a mechanism that provided such information as the fact that Kato had not received medical or other services for the elderly for a long period of time.

There must be coordination with the social security system as well.

There have been an increasing number of cases in which the name of an elderly person does not appear on a list of "golden agers" because of requests for privacy from the elderly person or their family. Administrative officials do not necessarily meet the elderly person directly to confirm their situation.

This latest incident has highlighted worrying elements of the administration of elderly people's affairs.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 1, 2010)
(2010年8月1日01時24分  読売新聞)

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2010年8月 1日 (日)

エコカー支援 補助金打ち切りは時期尚早だ

It's too early to end eco-car subsidies
The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 1, 2010)
エコカー支援 補助金打ち切りは時期尚早だ(7月31日付・読売社説)

Why would an economic stimulus measure that has produced good results be discontinued?

The government on Friday decided to end a subsidy program for people purchasing environmentally friendly, energy-efficient automobiles at the end of September as scheduled.

Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Masayuki Naoshima said: "It [program] was implemented as a temporary and unusual measure. It will automatically end at the end of September."

But the pace of economic recovery has been slow recently. We consider now to be a bad time to lose a measure that helps prop up consumption. In business circles, too, there are strong calls for the continuation of the measure.

Affordable assistance

Money to pay for this program could be found in the 1 trillion yen reserve funds included in this fiscal year's budget for measures to help the economy stay afloat. The government should reconsider its stance and continue to provide the so-called eco-car subsidies for the time being.

The subsidy program was first introduced by the administration of former Prime Minister Taro Aso as a temporary measure effective through the end of March this year. The following administration of former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama extended it for another six months with an additional budget allocation.

The measure was favorably received by consumers, as they could receive up to 250,000 yen for a passenger car. Coupled with an eco-point system targeting energy-saving home appliances, the eco-car subsidies have significantly contributed to an expansion in consumption.

As a financial resource for the consumer-supporting measure, the government earmarked about 600 billion yen in a supplementary budget for fiscal 2009. This amount was enough to assist in the purchase of 4.5 million automobiles, and funds have been used or are set to be used for the actual purchase of 3 million cars.

There is about 100 billion yen left in subsidy funds and two months left before the expiration of the measures. But the planned termination of the subsidy program has caused some consequences already.

Buyers hitting brakes already

Purchasers will not be able to receive subsidies if they do not register their new cars by the end of September. With popular models, it often takes more than two months for purchasers to receive their cars after signing a purchase contract.

Some customers reportedly have given up on their car-buying plans after dealers told them that they might not be able to receive subsidies even if they made a purchase now.

There is reason to worry that automobile sales will drop significantly with the completion of the subsidy program.

Germany introduced a new car purchase support system in January last year, and abolished the measure in September after using up its budget funds. New car sales then decreased by more than 20 percent from the period of the support system, and remain sluggish.

Taking into account an anticipated decrease in sales, Toyota Motor Corp. plans to reduce domestic production by about 20 percent from October. If automakers, which constitute one of the nation's major industries, downshift their production, then industrial output as a whole, whose pace of recovery has already slowed, may cool down even further.

Although the nation is facing severe fiscal conditions, the termination of the subsidies would seriously affect the economy. Government officials should exercise their wisdom to find a way to continue the subsidy program while giving consideration to both state finances and the economy. For example, reducing the number of eligible models and the overall subsidy amount would be a possible scenario.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 31, 2010)
(2010年7月31日01時40分  読売新聞)

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