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2011年10月19日 (水)

タイ大洪水 早期復旧に日本の支援が必要

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Oct. 19, 2011)
Japan should help Thailand recover from floods
タイ大洪水 早期復旧に日本の支援が必要(10月18日付・読売社説)

Thailand is suffering terrible damage in its worst flooding in 50 years.

Japan must join hands with the United States and other countries to help Thailand quickly recover from the disaster.

Heavy rain that has fallen since July in northern Thailand and elsewhere has caused major flooding in the upper reaches of the Chao Phraya River, which runs from north to south through the country.

About 300 people have been killed and one-third of Thailand's provinces have been flooded.

Part of the capital, Bangkok, also has been inundated.

Flood damage is estimated to top 100 billion baht (about 250 billion yen), which will have an enormous impact on the Thai economy.

Heavy rain is forecast to continue and threatens to coincide with high tides.

Caution must be taken to prevent the damage from spreading and getting worse.

How can the floodwaters be stemmed?

Thailand's flood control measures are not up to scratch.

The new administration led by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is facing its first serious challenge.


Carmakers, others affected

The flooding has caused extensive damage to Japanese firms operating in Thailand.

Principal industrial complexes in the central province of Ayuttaya have all been submerged, hindering the operations of about 320 Japanese companies, including automakers and electrical appliance makers.

Honda Motor Co. has suspended operations there, and Toyota Motor Corp. has extended the suspension of operations at three factories due to difficulties in procuring parts.

Thailand, which has been touted as "the Detroit of the Orient," is an overseas production base for Japanese carmakers along with China and the United States.

Many Japanese auto parts makers operate in Thailand, which also is a key link in the international parts supply network for various companies.

If the parts supply in Thailand grinds to a halt, it will lead to production cuts in other countries.

Disruption of the supply chain in Thailand, it may be said, has exposed a weak point of Japanese makers that had increased their presence in that country.

Japanese firms hit by the floods will need to expedite parts procurement from Japan.

Japanese carmakers have been getting back on their feet after taking a pounding in the March 11 disaster.  自動車各社は、東日本大震災の打撃から立ち直りつつあったが、

However, if the floods in Thailand continue for some time, there are fears the automakers' business performance could suffer another blow.


Intl aid framework needed

This makes it all the more important for Japan to take the lead in offering assistance to help Thailand recover from the flooding.

Tokyo has decided to provide tents and other emergency relief goods and send experts of the Japan International Cooperation Agency to join an assistance team from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The U.S. government has sent Marine Corps personnel and aid goods to Thailand.

But given the vast damage wrought by the flooding, establishing a larger-scale international assistance framework will be crucial.

Japan dispatched Self-Defense Forces personnel to join relief activities after the massive Indian Ocean tsunami in December 2004.

We hope lessons learned during the recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake also can be used to help Thailand.

The government must quickly study additional assistance measures to help Thailand's reconstruction and cooperate in efforts to prevents disasters.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 18, 2011)
(2011年10月18日01時30分  読売新聞)


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