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2012年1月31日 (火)

風知草:首都地震、不安と油断=山田孝男

(Mainichi Japan) January 30, 2012
Anxiety and inattention over Tokyo's next Big One
風知草:首都地震、不安と油断=山田孝男

Last week, the possibility of a new political party being formed under the leadership of Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara emerged, but Tokyoites were more shocked by news indicating there was a 70 percent chance of a magnitude 7-level earthquake hitting the capital within four years.
 先週、首都圏住民をギョッとさせたニュースは増税より石原新党より、「M(マグニチュード)7級の首都地震、4年以内に70%」だった。

The news caused a stir because it was based on projections by the authoritative Earthquake Research Institute (ERI) at the University of Tokyo.
 それも天下の東大地震研究所の試算だというので騒ぎになった。

I visited professor Naoshi Hirata, 57, director of the institute's Earthquake Prediction Research Center, thinking the institute's announcement daring.
But I soon learned that this figure was not an "announcement."
思い切った発表をしたものですね、と平田直(なおし)教授(57)=地震予知研究センター長=に聞きに行って初めて知ったが、発表ではなかった。

The episode is very interesting.
このてんまつは興味深い--。

An initial report on the likelihood of a major quake appeared in The Yomiuri Shimbun's Jan. 23 morning editions.  初報は読売新聞23日朝刊だった。

In a front-page exclusive, the daily reported the news with the banner headline: "70% chance of magnitude-7 level Tokyo earthquake within 4 yrs.''
1面で「首都直下型/4年内70%/M7級/東大地震研試算」と特報した(東京本社最終版)。

The Nikkei, The Tokyo Shimbun and the Mainichi Shimbun followed suit in their evening editions and The Asahi Shimbun and The Sankei Shimbun caught up with them in their Jan. 24 editions.
日経、東京、毎日が夕刊で追い、朝日と産経は24日朝刊で伝えた。

All trailing dailies had almost identical headlines.
各紙とも見出しは読売と同じである。

TV stations quickly reported the news through their news departments as well as in other programs.  テレビは報道部門だけでなく、各局ごとにいくつもある情報番組が一斉に反応した。

Overwhelmed by a barrage of reports by news organizations, the ERI published a special explanation online to account for the reasons behind the Yomiuri report.
オールマスコミの怒とうの攻勢に音を上げた地震研が、ホームページ上に読売報道の背景解説のための特設サイトを立ち上げたというのが実情だった。

Adding a twist to the saga was the fact that the ERI's study team had reported its predictions at an open forum last fall, and they were covered by the mass media.
 しかも、地震研の研究チームのこの見解は昨秋、公開の研究発表会で報告され、報道もされている。

Looking back, the Mainichi Shimbun reported in its Sept. 17, 2011 editions that there was a 98 percent chance of a magnitude 7-level earthquake striking the metropolitan region within 30 years.
そう聞いて毎日新聞の縮刷版にあたると、はたして9月17日朝刊3面に「首都圏直下/M7級/30年で98%」という記事があった。

According to Hirata, a 98 percent chance within 30 years and a 70 percent chance within four years mean the same thing.
 平田によれば、「30年以内に98%」と「4年以内に70%」は同じである。

But human beings, as they are, take the 30-year span lightly and are surprised by the four-year timeline.
だが、人間、30年ならまだ先と侮り、4年と聞けば驚く。

The Yomiuri keenly restructured the publicized data and emphasized the period "within four years," causing a big public reaction and forcing other news outlets to follow suit.
読売は公表ずみのデータを鋭角的に再構成し、「4年以内」を強調したことで反響を呼び、他のマスコミも追随せざるを得なかった。

As I was looking into the circumstances surrounding the quake prediction story, the nonfiction book "The Great Kanto Earthquake," by Akira Yoshimura (1927-2006), occurred to me.
 この経緯を調べて思い出したのが吉村昭(1927~2006)のノンフィクション「関東大震災」である。

From the end of the Meiji era to the early Taisho period, Akitsune Imamura, an assistant professor of seismology at Tokyo Imperial University (now the University of Tokyo), predicted a Tokyo earthquake in newspaper and magazine articles.
 明治の末から大正の初めにかけ、東京帝大地震学教室の今村明恒助教授は新聞・雑誌で首都地震を予言した。

But Fusakichi Omori, Japan's foremost authority on seismology and chairman of seismology at the national university, was worried about a commotion in society and tried to defuse public anxiety, resulting in a standoff with Imamura.
一方、日本の地震学の最高権威と仰がれた同教室の大森房吉主任教授は社会の動揺を懸念、火消しに努めて今村と対立した。

On Sept. 1, 1923, the magnitude-7.9 Great Kanto Earthquake devastated Tokyo and its vicinity. Omori lost face and died in frustration, while Imamura was catapulted into fame.
 1923(大正12)年、関東大震災(M7・9)が発生、面目丸つぶれの大森は失意の中で死に、今村の時代がくる。

But Imamura had sparked confusion when freely talking about earthquakes before eventually toning his warnings down.
今村は求められるまま奔放に発言して混乱が拡大、しだいに寡黙になっていく……。

The balance between earthquake predictions and reporting is delicate.
 地震予知と報道の呼吸は微妙だ。

When I asked Hirata if the latest episode reminded him of the row between Omori and Imamura, he said with a wry smile, "It's not such a big deal."
大森・今村論争を意識したかと聞くと、平田は「そんな大それた話じゃない」と苦笑しつつ、こう言った。

"A magnitude-7 quake's energy is one thousandth of the (magnitude-9) Great East Japan Earthquake.
 「マグニチュード7のエネルギーは東日本大震災(M9)の1000分の1ですよ。

We did not predict an inland earthquake in the capital," Hirata says. "
首都直下と予測したわけでもない。

The reports tended to cause misunderstanding but were meaningful in that they sounded an alarm against inattention in the Kanto region.
誤解を招きやすい報道でしたけれども、関東地方の油断に警鐘を鳴らす意義はあった。

The chances of a big earthquake are greater than before and it is necessary to prepare."
大地震の発生確率は前より高まっており、備えは大事です」

At the outset of a news conference on Jan. 27, Tokyo Gov. Ishihara mentioned disaster-prevention steps, believing there would be questions about the University of Tokyo's predictions. However, none of the questions related to the earthquake predictions.
 石原慎太郎・東京都知事は27日の記者会見の冒頭、「どうせ質問が出るだろう」と先回りして防災を語ったが、質問はゼロ。

His 30-minute news conference solely covered questions about the new political party under consideration.
30分の会見はすべて石原新党に費やされた。

The shocking reports about a 70 percent chance of an earthquake hitting the metropolitan area within four years didn't appear to make a dent at all at the news conference.
衝撃の「4年以内に70%」報道とはいえ、その程度のものだった。

News reports are cues for people to become aware of inattention.
 報道は油断に気づくきっかけに過ぎない。

The bottom line is how to react in an emergency situation.
いざという時、どう動くか。

Yoshimura's parents went through the Great Kanto Earthquake.
吉村昭は関東大震災を体験していないが、両親は被災した。

During U.S. air raids on Tokyo in the closing days of World War II, Yoshimura got yelled at by his father when he tried to flee with a pack on his back.
東京大空襲(45年)でリュックを背負って逃げようとした時、その父に「手ぶらで逃げろ」と怒鳴られた。

Tales by survivors of the March 11 disasters and Yoshimura's books are filled with survival tips that cannot be found by looking to disaster-prevention goods.
 3・11を生き延びた人々の体験談や吉村の著作には、防災グッズでは得られないものが詰まっている。

(By Takao Yamada, Expert Senior Writer)
毎日新聞 2012年1月30日 東京朝刊

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2012年1月30日 (月)

中国人民元は世界の基軸通貨となることができるのか(インタビュー)

飽きもせず、英字新聞社説を毎日読むこと数年、日本の英字新聞だったら、相当のスピードで読めるようになりました。アジアの新聞だって、昔にくらべたら、随分読めるようにはなりました。
ワシントンポスト、ニューヨークタイムズの記事は難しいけれども、通常のスピードで読み下して、理解率50%は超えています。
ですが、タイム紙になると、これは、まったく歯がたちません^^。ちなみに、スーチーさんの、ビルマよりの手紙(毎日新聞掲載)はタイム紙レベルなのです。辞書なしに理解することは、難しいのです。これは使っている単語のレベルが違うということでしょうね。
今朝は、朝日新聞の電撃インタビュー記事を一息に読み下しました。

中国の経済担当カウンセラーに朝日新聞記者が電撃インタビュー、
中国人民元は世界の基軸通貨となることができるのか?

インタビュー骨子:
あと30年は米ドルの天下。
米国はドルを大量(無制限に)印刷できる世界で唯一の特権を手にしているので、ドルの安定に尽力すべき。
そうしないと、大量のドルを抱え込んでいる中国だって、大迷惑を被ってしまう。
中国は香港を窓口として、世界為替市場に積極的に参加はするが、完全自由化はまだ先のこと。
現時点で、アメリカの言うなりに人民元を解放する(変動相場)ことは、あまりにも中国にとって危険である。
日本は落ち目、経済状況は米国と同じで欧州より悪い。
ヨーロッパはそれなりに伝統があるので頑張ってもらいたい。挽回してもらわないと中国経済にも悪影響が出る。
中国の人民元はやがて世界の基軸通貨となるかも知れないが、それは30年以上あとの話だ。
それに向けた対策を徐々に、段階的に切り替えて対策をとっていく。
西洋の急激なききめのある薬ではなくって、漢方薬のようにじっくりと効き目が後からついてくるような政策を展開する。

中国人民元に象徴されるアジア通貨が世界の基軸通貨となるのが理想的だが、それには時間がかかる。
アジア諸国は欧州と比べると歴史的な問題をかかえているし、政治の体系も異なっている。さらに経済の発展の度合いは国によりまちまちである。それでも、今後はアジアが経済の中心となって行くのは間違いのないところではある。アジア諸国が一致協力して、為替の安定を図り、経済的に発展していくことを願う。

(スラチャイ)

January 28, 2012
INTERVIEW/ Xia Bin: China’s senior economic advisor talks about strategy to promote renminbi
中国人民元は世界の基軸通貨となることができるのか(インタビュー)

By KEIKO YOSHIOKA / Correspondent
The global currency market is in a state of flux, as the euro is in serious trouble and international confidence in the dollar is also eroding. The outlook for the yen, which has appreciated sharply against the two leading currencies, is also murky because of Japan's mounting economic woes.

Amid this currency turmoil, China's renminbi is attracting increasing international attention as the unit of a country expected to eventually become an economic superpower rivaling or even surpassing the United States. Is Beijing maneuvering to make the renminbi a world currency that challenges the greenback for world hegemony?

In a recent interview with The Asahi Shimbun, Xia Bin, a councilor of the State Council who served as top official at the country's central bank and securities regulatory body and is now advising Premier Wen Jiabao, discussed Beijing's strategy to raise the currency's international stature. Excerpts of the interview follow.

Q: Since the global financial crisis started in 2008, the Chinese government has been calling for reform of the international currency regime. What are your complaints?

Xia Bin: The problem is the instability of the dollar. Since the dollar is the key reserve currency, the United States can borrow as much money as it wants from the rest of the world. Unlike other debt-ridden countries, the U.S. doesn't go bankrupt because it can pay back its debt by printing dollars. Since the U.S has such an exclusive privilege it has the obligation to ensure the stability of the dollar. But the country has kept running a current-account deficit (which works to depress the value of the dollar), thereby undermining the stability of the entire world economy.

As the national power of the U.S. has declined, the world is becoming increasingly multipolar, not only economically but also politically. If China's economy becomes larger in size, expanding its cross-border linkages, the renminbi will gradually gain greater influence in the international market as a natural consequence.

Q: The U.S. current-account deficit is certainly huge, but its principal cause is excessive spending. Profligate spending by American consumers has been supporting China's export-driven economic growth. On the other hand, China has also been supporting the U.S. and global economies by using the money it has earned to buy U.S. government bonds.

A: China's dollar assets, which are the fruits of hard work by Chinese people, are now in danger of falling in value. Currently, excessive production capacity in China is supporting excessive consumption in the U.S. It can be argued that China has been dragged into this situation by a wrong-headed U.S. policy. Since the 1980s, China has been under pressure to build up its foreign reserves by expanding its exports in order to alleviate a shortage of capital (needed by its industries) at home. China has also been gripped by excitement about its growing national power. Now, however, we need to rethink our policy.

Q: What kind of options are available for fixing the situation?

A: Many countries, including China, have dollar assets. We don't want to see the dollar weaken rapidly. The U.S., which is bent on protecting its privilege, is resisting necessary reforms. The dollar is drawing strength from its widespread use. For the time being, several rival currencies will compete with each other (for supremacy), and a balance of power will emerge among them as they limit each other's power. Over the next two or three decades, the dollar will remain to be the leading currency, with many others battling with each other for greater influence in the world.

Q: And do you believe the renminbi will be one of these competing currencies?

A: Yes. Experts around the world see the Chinese currency as one of the players that will create a new balance of power (in the currency market). China is trying to expand its influence within international organizations like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank so that the views and positions of emerging and developing countries will be more reflected in the process of developing international financial rules.

Q: But the Chinese government is keeping the renminbi artificially undervalued to promote the country's exports, isn't it?

A: We cannot liberalize at once flows of money that cross our borders, nor can we shift to a complete floating exchange rate system immediately. The primary lesson from the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s is the danger of making a developing country's economy fully open to international flows of capital. Huge amounts of foreign capital suddenly flew into these Asian countries and then suddenly poured out of them, causing serious confusion.

Beijing should expand the renminbi's trading band gradually. This way, it can buy time for necessary reforms at home including reform of its financial markets while ensuring the stability of the currency's exchange rates by taking advantage of the relatively high international confidence in the dollar. In addition, more people will want to hold the renminbi if the currency is generally expected to rise in the future.

Q: There are many restrictions on trading in the renminbi, including controls on cross-border transactions and regulations on Chinese financial markets. It is said that China's foreign exchange rate system is as strictly controlled as Japan's was in the 1970s. Would the Chinese currency gain international popularity even if such restrictions remain?

A: The amount of the renminbi circulating in the world is growing through Chinese companies' investments overseas using the domestic currency and the Chinese government's financial aid to developing countries. We are receiving many proposals to create a market for trading in the renminbi from various foreign financial centers including London and Singapore.

China's approach to reform can be compared to Chinese herb medicine. Progress is made gradually through a holistic process with emphasis on the harmony of the whole. We are going to ease our currency regulations in line with the progress we make in reforming the domestic economy and financial markets. With as many as 1.3 billion people to feed, we put the top policy priority on creating jobs and maintaining social stability in our country. China is still a minor financial player. We cannot introduce systems in mature, industrial nations at a stroke.

Q: China's mainland financial markets are not yet sufficiently open to foreign investors. Opening these markets would facilitate renminbi-denominated investments, wouldn't it?

A: As long as we keep financial markets in the mainland closed, we will use Hong Kong, which is an international financial center. That way, we can undertake new initiatives in financial markets in the mainland while keeping them insulated from certain risks. In Hong Kong, not only a market for renminbi-denominated deposits but also markets for renminbi-based trading in bonds and stocks are growing. When China still restricted international trade in goods, Hong Kong served as the connection point between the mainland and the rest of the world. Hong Kong will play that role again in the area of financial transactions.

The United States is pressing China to ease its financial regulations in pursuit of new business opportunities for its financial institutions. We cannot simply play ball with Washington. The internationalization of the renminbi has barely begun. It would be amazing if the share of the renminbi in the foreign reserves of countries rise to several percent, on a par with the current shares of the yen and the British pound, in 10 years. We will take steps to internationalize the renminbi in stages, starting with efforts to reform domestic markets during a period of preparation that will probably last until around 2020. We will first try to make the renminbi a leading currency in Asia, where we have strong economic ties with other countries.

Q: Then will it be a key global currency?

A: It will depend on what kind of economic growth China will maintain in coming years. In addition, this is not a purely economic challenge. Even if a period of competing currencies will continue for the time being, it is possible for China to make the renminbi a major currency in the world through mutual cooperation with other countries without getting embroiled in international conflict.

A country's currency is an indicator of its power. The Chinese economy is expected to become the world's largest in the mid-21st century. But the difficulty of understanding China's policy positions and goals is creating anxiety among other countries. China needs to clearly explain its financial and currency policies to the world and make it clear it is trying to achieve economic growth together with other countries.

Q: In China, we often hear policymakers talk about lessons from the 1985 Plaza Accord, an agreement among the five leading economic powers at that time to devalue the dollar. They argue that the accord is the cause of Japan's economic problems. By succumbing to U.S. pressure and accepting the yen's appreciation, they say, Japan allowed its businesses to lose international competitiveness, its economy to lose steam and financial market bubbles to form and then burst.

A: I don't think Chinese bureaucrats involved in policymaking believe such a simplified theory. Back then, the era of Japan's rapid, emerging country-type economic growth was already over as the number of young workers was decreasing. After many years of double-digit economic growth, China will also see its economy slow gradually in coming years. A nation cannot maintain its economic growth without carrying out necessary economic and social reforms in response to its development. The yen's appreciation was not the only challenge facing Japan. This is the biggest lesson we should learn from Japan's experiences during that period.

Q: Japan and China have reached an agreement on financial cooperation featuring measures to promote trade settlements using the yen and the renminbi, to develop a Chinese bond market for Japanese investors and cross-holdings of government bonds. It was first proposed by Japan, wasn't it?

A: From China's strategic viewpoint, dealing with Japan, which was the first country to become a major economic power in Asia and has an international currency, is a delicate matter. It is uncomfortable for China to seek Japan's cooperation for efforts to internationalize the renminbi. It would be embarrassing for China to make such a proposal only to be rejected by Japan. If Japan makes such a proposal that is in line with China's policy direction, however, there is no reason for China to decline it.

The internationalization of the renminbi will only accelerate irrespective of Japan's will. The Japanese government probably realized that the yen could be marginalized or Japanese companies could miss out on important business opportunities unless it expanded such financial cooperation with China.

Q: So this is a mutually beneficial deal?

A: Both countries can reduce foreign exchange risks and costs by using their own currencies for trade instead of using the dollar. The development of a market for trading in bonds denominated in Asian currencies would make it easier to invest money earned through trade within the region. It would also make it unnecessary for both countries to hold a huge amount of dollars as part of their foreign reserves. This is definitely beneficial for both sides.

If this cooperation between Japan and China works out well, it would lay a foundation for regional financial cooperation. If China wins the trust of its neighbors by providing solid support to the efforts, it could also gain regional confidence in the renminbi and improve the environment for its currency's rise to the status as a major regional currency.

Q: The world is paying a lot of attention to whether China will help solve the sovereign debt crisis in Europe.

A: Since it is benefiting from the world economy, China is really hoping that Europe will regain financial stability quickly. Having said that, I would also say that whether or not China will help Europe with this problem is not an issue. Many European countries are in better fiscal health than Japan or the U.S. They are rich countries with per-capita gross domestic product far larger than China's. Europe has clearly the wherewithal to sort out the situation. In particular, the principal question is what Germany, which has been benefiting greatly from the euro's weakness, will do.

In case the Chinese government considers using part of its foreign reserves to make an investment in Europe, it will assess carefully whether the investment will yield a satisfactory return.

Q: What is your assessment of the probability of a common Asian currency?

A: It may be an ideal, but I don't see any possibility of such a currency becoming reality in the near future. In contrast with Europe, there are some historical problems among Asian countries, and the political systems and the levels of economic development greatly differ from country to country. But Asia is now at the center of global economic growth. There are many challenges Asian countries should tackle together in order to ensure stability in exchange rates and promote the development of financial markets in the region.

***

Xia Bin: Born in 1951, Xia Bin is currently counselor of China's State Council and honorary director of the Financial Research Institute of the State Council's Development Research Center. He is also a member of the People's Bank of China's Monetary Policy Committee. He graduated from the Graduate School of the People's Bank of China.

By KEIKO YOSHIOKA / Correspondent

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2012年1月29日 (日)

米ゼロ金利継続 景気低迷に警戒強めたFRB

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 29, 2012)
Fed's super-low rate policy aimed at boosting economy
米ゼロ金利継続 景気低迷に警戒強めたFRB(1月28日付・読売社説)

The U.S. Federal Reserve Board has decided to keep its de facto zero benchmark interest rate well into the future.
 米連邦準備制度理事会(FRB)が、事実上のゼロ金利政策を長期間続ける方針を打ち出した。 

The Fed's new timetable indicates it is increasingly concerned about the future of the U.S. economy.
 米国経済の先行きに警戒を強めたのだろう。

In deciding to maintain its close-to-zero interest rate policy, the Fed said in a statement released Wednesday that current U.S. economic conditions "are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate at least through late 2014."
 FRBは声明で、ゼロ金利政策について、「少なくとも2014年終盤まで異例の低金利が正当化される可能性が高い」と指摘した。

This new policy is highly significant as the Fed is prolonging its super-low interest rate a year and a half beyond its earlier stance that an extremely low interest rate should be maintained until the end of the first half of 2013.
「13年半ばまで」としてきた従来の方針と比べ、1年半程度も延ばす意味は大きい。

The unemployment rate in the United States has remained high at more than 8 percent, while its post-inflation economic growth this year is projected to be below 2 percent.
 米国の失業率は8%台に高止まりし、今年の実質成長率も2%弱に低迷する見込みだ。

U.S. business activities have yet to regain their strength.
景気の回復力はまだ緩慢である。

The European sovereign crisis, which was triggered by Greece and has not yet been resolved, threatens to destabilize the global economy.
 ギリシャに端を発した欧州危機は収束せず、世界経済を揺るがせている。

Should the European crisis deteriorate because of a delay in implementing countermeasures, the consequences could deal an even heavier blow to the U.S. economy.
対策の遅れで危機が深刻化すると、米国経済に一段と打撃を与えかねない。

===

Fed action praiseworthy

The Fed boldly decided to prolong its super-low federal funds rate policy to encourage declines in interest rates on long-term loans in the hope of shoring up business activities and stimulating fixed investments and other business areas.
 FRBは、ゼロ金利政策を思い切って長期化させて、長期金利の低下を促し、設備投資などを刺激する景気下支え効果を狙った。

It seems that in its latest policy meeting, the Fed could not brush aside growing uncertainties shrouding the global economy as seen in the eurozone's rapidly deteriorating business conditions and the world's alarmingly unstable financial markets.
 ユーロ圏の急減速や不安定な市場など、世界を覆う不透明感を軽視できなかったと言えよう。

The United States has no room for a further reduction of the federal funds rate, and the scope of measures to handle financial policies is limited.
 金利引き下げの余地はなく、金融政策が打てる手は限られている。

The Fed's resolve to take all possible measures to bring about a strong economic recovery in spite of these circumstances is a welcome development.
それでも現状で可能な限りの姿勢を示したのは評価できる。

The U.S. central bank has made public its outlook for a benchmark interest rate for the first time, indicating that many of its 17 members do not anticipate the need to tighten its monetary policy in the near future.
 FRBは今回初めて、政策金利の見通しを示し、早期の金融引き締めを想定していないメンバーが多いことを明らかにした。

The Fed also set an acceptable rate of price increases at "2 percent from a year before," another noteworthy change that enhances the transparency of its policy handling.
 長期的に望ましい物価上昇率の目安を「前年比2%」と設定した点も、政策の透明性を高めるもので注目すべき変化である。

The 2 percent "inflation goal" is different from a formal "inflation target" that would make it mandatory for the Fed to take measures immediately after price increases exceed 2 percent on an annual basis.
 物価上昇率の「目安」とは、上昇率が2%から外れた時に、直ちに政策対応が必要な「インフレ目標」とは異なる。

The announcement of the inflation goal, or what the Fed believes is an acceptable inflation rate, however, is sufficiently effective to convey a clear-cut message that it places great importance on an inflation figure of 2 percent.
だが、2%を重視するメッセージは鮮明だ。

===

Yen's appreciation to linger

A protracted ultraeasy monetary policy may bring the risk of higher prices.
 超金融緩和が長引くと、物価上昇圧力が高まる恐れがある。

Bearing such anxieties in mind, the Fed has firmly stated it will continue to place top priority on price stabilization, an action that will reassure businesses and households.
そうした懸念に対し、FRBが物価安定をあくまで最優先していく姿勢を示したことは、企業や家計に安心感を与えるだろう。

The focus from now on will be whether the Fed, in the event of further financial market destabilization, will opt for Phase 3 of large-scale quantitative monetary easing, the so-called QE3.
 今後の焦点は、金融市場が一段と不安定になった場合、FRBが第3弾の大規模な量的緩和策(QE3)に踏み切るかどうかだ。

Phase 2--QE2--ended last summer, but it came under criticism for causing inflation in emerging economies to worsen.
 昨夏に終了した第2弾のQE2は、新興国のインフレを招く副作用をもたらして批判された。

Therefore, a number of hurdles need to be surmounted before QE3 can be adopted.
QE3へのハードルは高いが、

The Fed will have a difficult time carrying out policies, while keeping an eye on how the European crisis evolves.
FRBは欧州危機の推移などを注視し、難しい舵(かじ)取りが求められる。

Japan, for its part, must consider the great possibility that the appreciation of the historically strong yen against the dollar will continue, as the Fed's ultraeasy monetary policy is bound to increase selling pressure on the greenback.
 日本にとっては、米国の超金融緩和策でドル売り圧力が強まり、歴史的な円高・ドル安が続くことに注意が必要である。

The government and the Bank of Japan must do everything they can in working out measures to stem the yen's appreciation and take measures to prevent the strong yen from worsening business activities in this country.
政府・日銀は、円高是正や円高対策に万全を期さねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 28, 2012)
(2012年1月28日01時14分  読売新聞)

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2012年1月27日 (金)

火災保険はインズウェブで見積もり比較をして、一番安いものを選びましょう

民主党が政権を奪取してからすでに2年以上が経過しましたが、マニフェスト通りにはまったく行っていませんよね。
失業率は6%と高止まり、景気は沈滞し、円高、貿易収支の赤字で日本丸はめった打ち状態なのです。
こんな時代ですから、これはもう節約術を駆使するしかないですね^^。
火災保険を見直すことでかなりの節約ができますよ。
スラチャイがサイトで調べて来ました。

火災保険というものは色んな事故に対応しているのですね。驚きました。
インズウェブのこんなときに使える火災保険100事例にたくさん実例が掲載されています。
で、今回の新発見ですが、私たちが毎年支払っている火災保険料には水害のための保険料も含まれているのです。具体的には火災保険の保険料の約20%の金額は水害保険なのです。

例えば、あなたがマンションの上層階に住んでいるとか、水害が発生しない高台に住んでいる場合でも、この水害保険も併せて支払っているということです。
で、この水害保険部分は請求すれば保険金が還付されるということらしいです。
25年分の水害保険分、約10万円が取り戻せるかも知れませんよ。
これを見逃す手はありません。

インズウェブの無料の見積もりサービスで調べてみてくださいね。

(情報源はスラチャイ作成の記事です)汗;

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ついに出ました 「記事作成サービス」サイト

パソコンソフトがいかに発達しようとも、詰まるところ、記事は人間で書かなければまともな文章にはなりません。
確かに、ある種のソフトウェアでは、キーワードを入力することによりキーワードに添ったテーマの文章を提供してくれはしますが、そのレベルは、日本語のまだ流暢でない外国人レベルよりも落ちるくらいのものなのです。
サイトにアップする投稿記事だけは、PCを使った機械言語ではまだまだ無理のようです。
で、記事サービスを提供する会社はないかと見回していました。

結論から言えば、SEO対策で記事を募集して、それを実行してくれる会社以外には、みありませんでした。
今朝、全く偶然に、「記事作成サービス」サイトというものを発見しましたが、ついに出たかという思いです。
これは便利ですよ。「記事作成サービス」で作成された記事は正真正銘、人間が書いたものです。
無限の利用方法があると思います。

とりあえず、記事サービスで、たくさん記事作成をして、自分の運営するブログのブログランクを上げたいですね。
なんだかワクワクしますよね。

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発信箱:粉になる=滝野隆浩(社会部)

こんなことをして葬儀に莫大なお金をかけるのはいかがなものか?
そのうち、ご遺体をロケットで宇宙に向けて発射する宇宙葬が大流行するのかもしれませんね^^。
「死んだら、それでジ・エンド、おしまい」はカフェ友ヤングセイラーさんのお言葉です^^。
やはり神や仏様は私たちの心の中だけに存在するものなのでしょうね。多分これで間違いない。(汗)
(スラチャイ)

(Mainichi Japan) January 26, 2012
Dust to dust: A different approach to funerals
発信箱:粉になる=滝野隆浩(社会部)

"A spacious X square meters," "Faces south, gets plenty of sunlight!" -- these phrases on a cemetery ad at the station made me stop and
 「ゆったり○平方メートル」とか「南向き、日当たり良好!」という駅の墓地広告をみて気づかされる。

Even after they die and are turned into bones, many people are concerned about comfort.
亡くなって骨になったあとも、「居心地」が気になる人が多いのだ。

In such cases scattering the person's ashes in the sea or on a mountain may seem like a good idea, but not everyone wants this.
ならば海や山に散骨するのもいいのだろうが、それを嫌がる人もいる。

Last autumn, I heard about a new freeze-drying approach in which liquid nitrogen is used to reduce the body to a powder, and then the remains are returned to the ground.
昨秋、「冷凍葬」の話を聞いた。液体窒素を使って遺体を粉末状にして土にかえしてくれるという。

Yuji Nakamura, a lawyer who went to Sweden to interview the company that holds a patent on this process, provided details on it at a meeting of Japan's council for promotion of a basic funeral law in Japan.
 葬送基本法推進懇談会の会合で、スウェーデンに行って特許を持つ会社を取材した中村裕二弁護士が報告した。

After being submerged in liquid nitrogen with a temperature of minus 196 degrees Celsius for one hour, the person's body, which is broken up into dust and small pieces, is put into a vacuum container where the remains are slowly dried.
零下196度の液体窒素に1時間ほど漬けたあと、細かい破片・粉になった遺体を真空のドラムにいれてゆっくり乾燥。

Metals are then removed and the remains are placed into a container which is buried about 50 centimeters underground.
金属類を除去して容器に入れて、地表から50センチほどのところに埋める。

Between six months and a year later, the remains have completely been broken down into the earth.
半年から1年で容器ごと土にかえるという。

The attraction of this process is the part where the body is "slowly dried" -- showing that care is being taken over the remains.
「ゆっくり乾燥」というのがミソ。大事に扱うという配慮なのだ。

South Korea is already apparently preparing to introduce this process.
韓国では実用化の話が進んでいるそうだ。

A long time ago, there was a song in Japan containing the lyrics "hone made aishite" (love me down to my bones).  昔、流行歌に「骨まで愛して」というのがあった。

Here lies sentiment in which the person is crying out for love of their very existence.
存在そのものを本気で愛して、と叫ぶ情念の世界だ。

To Japanese people, bones are very important, and it is hard to stir up strength when thinking that they will become dust in the end.
But there is something refreshing about the new approach to funerals, a graciousness that comes from leaving all partings and lingering affection -- like the person is saying, "See you, bye-bye," and drifting away.
「お前の骨は拾ってやるぞ」という言葉もある。究極の信頼関係があるから言える。日本人にとって骨はとても大事なものなのだ。最後に粉になってしまうと力は入らない。けれど、何だかすがすがしくはある。この世の名残とか未練とかを、一切捨て去る潔さ。じゃあね、ばいばい、さらさらーっと。

The developer of the freeze-drying funeral method apparently says that a person's genes are a gift to their children and grandchildren.
 冷凍葬の開発者は「自分の遺体は子や孫へのギフト」と言っているらしい。

The thought of becoming part of nature matches Japanese people's view of nature.
人間も自然の一部とする、日本人の自然観に合っている。

In fact, Japan, which has few religious constraints, may be just the place for this process to receive public acceptance.
もしかしたら、宗教的な制約がほとんどない日本のほうが、受け入れられていくのかもしれない。

Also in environmental terms, overdevelopment of large grave sites is a problem.
大規模な墓地開発が進みすぎるのも、環境面では問題だ。

"There are various debates on the issue, but I think there should be a choice for funerals that are not limited to cremation," Nakamura says.
中村さんは「さまざま議論はあろうが、火葬だけじゃない、葬送の選択肢があっていいと思う」と話していた。

(By Takahiro Takino, Tokyo City News Department)
毎日新聞 2012年1月25日 1時35分

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一般教書演説 再選へ意欲を見せたオバマ氏

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 27, 2012)
Obama shows determination to win reelection
一般教書演説 再選へ意欲を見せたオバマ氏(1月26日付・読売社説)

U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday delivered the annual State of the Union policy address, which made clear his confrontational stance against Republicans in the upcoming U.S. presidential election.
 再選に向けて、共和党との対決姿勢を際立たせた演説だった。

In his address, he cited sustainable economic growth and help for the middle class as top-priority issues.
 オバマ米大統領は、一般教書演説で、持続的な成長と中間所得層への支援を最優先課題にあげた。

Apparently determined to win reelection later this year, he said he would aim to rejuvenate the economy by revitalizing the manufacturing sector at home, developing natural gas and other domestic sources of energy, improving the skill of American workers and creating more jobs.
 国内製造業の復活や、天然ガスなど国産エネルギーの開発、米労働者の技術向上と雇用創出などで経済の再生を目指すとし、再選へ強い意気込みを見せた。

Although the U.S. economy has been picking up, there is a strong sense of uncertainty about its future prospects.  米国経済は持ち直してきたとはいえ、景気の先行き不透明感は強い。

Housing prices remain low, while the jobless rate hovers around 8.5 percent.
住宅価格は低迷し、失業率は8・5%に高止まりしている。

Obama's approval ratings remain in the lower half of the 40 percent range, primarily due to widening income inequality.
 大統領の支持率が40%台前半にとどまっているのも、所得格差が広がっているのが原因だ。

With the president having been unable to give the people their fair share of the fruits of economic recovery, despite his promise to bring about "change," prospects for his reelection are becoming murky, with the light turning to the yellow of caution.
 「チェンジ(変化)」を約束しながら、景気回復の果実を与えられない現状では、大統領再選に黄信号がともる。

===

Frustration with Republicans

No matter how much he wants to implement employment measures and other economic stimuli, they cannot be realized without congressional support.
 雇用対策などの景気刺激策を打ち出そうにも、議会の支持なしには実行できない。

In Congress, the rivalry between the Republicans and the Democrats has been intensifying, making it ever more difficult for bills vital for implementing policies to be passed.
その議会では、共和党と民主党の対立が激化し、政策遂行に不可欠な法案が通りにくくなっている。

In his speech, Obama said he would fight "with action" those who obstruct the realization of his policies, which can be taken to indicate his strong frustration at the Republicans who dominate the House of Representatives as the majority party.
 大統領が、一般教書演説で、政策の実現を阻むものには「行動で戦う」と宣言したのは、多数派として下院を支配する共和党への強いいらだちがあるからだろう。

One important agenda item for his administration in the days ahead is tax system reform.
 大統領にとっての今後の重要な課題の一つは、税制改革だ。

In his speech, Obama called for higher taxes on wealthy people who pay a lower tax rate than middle-income earners, while also making efforts to trim social security spending.
 一般教書で、大統領は社会保障費の歳出削減に努める一方で、中間所得層よりも低い税率で納税している富裕層については、増税しなければならない、と訴えた。

Obama was apparently conscious of the fact that wealthy Mitt Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and one of the leading contenders for the Republican presidential nomination, has been criticized for paying a tax rate of only 14 percent on the millions of dollars he made in 2010.
 共和党の有力大統領候補の一人で、資産家のロムニー前マサチューセッツ州知事が、課税率がわずか14%だったと批判を浴びたことも意識したに違いない。

Romney paid a lower tax rate than many Americans do because of the preferential taxation of investment income compared to earned income. But Obama also intends to target Republicans who have consistently opposed tax hikes for the wealthy.
 投資による所得への税率が、勤労所得よりも優遇されているためだが、大統領には、富裕層への増税にも一貫して反対する共和党を標的にする狙いがある。

===

Japan's stake in outcome

While the race for the Republican presidential nomination advances, the presidential election will also go into full swing from now on.
 共和党の候補選びが進み、これから大統領選も本格化する。

The future course of the U.S. economy will have a strong impact on the Japanese economy.
米国経済の行方は日本経済にも大きく影響する。

We would like to pay close attention to the verbal battle regarding the economic rejuvenation during the presidential election campaign.
大統領選での、経済再生を巡る論戦を注視したい。

In the area of diplomacy and national security, Obama expressed once again his national defense strategy, which emphasizes Asia.
 外交・安全保障分野で、大統領は、アジアを重視する国防戦略を改めて示した。

As part of the fiscal deficit reduction, the United States will cut defense spending by about 500 billion dollars (about 38 trillion yen) over the next 10 years.
 財政赤字削減の一環で、米国は国防費を10年間で約5000億ドル(約38兆円)削減する。

Yet if Congress fails to reach an accord on concrete measures to cut the deficit by more than 1 trillion dollars within this year, more drastic budget cut will be made.
だが、年内に1兆ドル超の財政赤字削減の具体策が議会で合意できなければ、さらに大なたがふるわれる。

Such a development will have a serious impact on the national security of Japan.
 それは、日本の安全保障に重大な影響を及ぼす。

We should also pay attention to the battle of words regarding deficit reduction.
財政赤字削減の論議の行方も注目したい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 26, 2012)
(2012年1月26日01時13分  読売新聞)

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2012年1月26日 (木)

施政方針演説 「決断する政治」への戦略持て

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 26, 2012)
Noda must have strategy to pursue 'decisive politics'
施政方針演説 「決断する政治」への戦略持て(1月25日付・読売社説)

In his policy speech to the Diet on Tuesday, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda boldly said, "I will aim...to break away from 'the politics that can't decide,'" and, "This is the time for us to fix our eyes upon the 'big picture' rather than 'political situation.'"
We admire Noda's will and vision. However, the problem lies in whether his administration has a well-planned strategy that will be able to translate his words into reality.
 「決められない政治からの脱却」、「政局ではなく大局を」――。
 意欲と志はいい。問題は、それを実現するだけの周到な戦略が、野田政権にあるかどうかだ。

An ordinary Diet session was convened Tuesday.
 通常国会が開幕した。

In his speech, Noda quoted from policy speeches given by two former prime ministers from the Liberal Democratic Party, which was in power before Noda's Democratic Party of Japan took the reins of government.
野田首相の施政方針演説は、政権交代前、自民党の首相が行った施政方針演説を引き合いに出した。

He quoted former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, who said, "It is precisely the responsibility of those in politics vis-a-vis the people to ensure that the ruling and opposition parties conduct thorough discussions...to conduct the affairs of state."
 福田首相は「与野党が話し合い、国政を動かすことこそ政治の責任」と述べた。

And he referred to a promise former Prime Minister Taro Aso made in his speech: "We will take necessary legal measures by fiscal 2011...to undertake...fundamental reform of the tax system, including that of the consumption tax."
麻生首相は「消費税を含む税制抜本改革を行うため2011年度までに必要な法制上の措置を講じる」と約束した。

===

LDP, Komeito must start talks

Noda likely used these quotes to point out that the current attitude of the LDP contradicts these statements. Indeed, the opposition party has not responded to calls to start discussions on integrated reform of the social security and tax systems.
 こうした発言と、社会保障・税一体改革の協議に応じない今の自民党の姿勢とは食い違うと、野田首相は言いたいのだろう。

Because the DPJ itself had repeatedly resisted moves by the LDP and New Komeito when they were the ruling coalition, members of the now opposition parties reacted fiercely to Noda's speech.
 自公政権当時、さんざん抵抗したのが民主党だったことから、野党側から激しい反発が出た。

However, both the LDP and Komeito need to agree to start talks to rehabilitate the current critical state of the nation's finances and establish a sustainable social security system.
しかし、今の危機的な財政を立て直して持続可能な社会保障制度を築くために、自民、公明両党は協議に応じる必要がある。

The government and the DPJ, too, must change their attitude.
 政府・民主党も、これまで通りの対応では済まない。

First, they have to sincerely explain to the public why the consumption tax rate needs to be increased.
まず、消費税率引き上げの必要性を意を尽くして国民に説かねばならない。

Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada last week abruptly announced, "Revenue from the five-percentage-point increase will be used entirely to fund social security programs, and will thus be returned to citizens."
This marked a major shift from the previous stance of using 10 percent of the extra revenue to cover government procurement costs that are expected to increase due to the tax hike.
 岡田副総理は先週、唐突に「消費増税分は、全額を社会保障財源化し、国民に還元する」と、表明した。

The Noda administration probably changed its stance in a desperate attempt to make the public more accepting of the consumption tax hike.
何とか国民の理解を得ようと考えたのだろうが、

However, the administration will likely be challenged over the inconsistency with its previous explanations.
従来の説明との整合性は問われよう。

===

Give unclear manifesto the boot

Komeito has been demanding the government clarify its future vision for the social security system.
 公明党は社会保障制度の将来像を明確にするよう求めている。

In its manifesto for the 2009 House of Representatives election, the DPJ promised to integrate the nation's pension programs and create a minimum guaranteed pension of 70,000 yen a month by 2013.
 民主党は政権公約(マニフェスト)で、13年までに年金一元化や月額7万円の最低保障年金など新たな年金制度を創設すると掲げている。

Komeito says it cannot see any connection between these campaign promises and the comprehensive reform.
この公約と一体改革との関係がわからないというのが、公明党の主張である。

In response to Komeito's demand, DPJ Secretary General Azuma Koshiishi apparently hopes to bring the two main opposition parties to the discussion table by revealing the full picture of social security reform.
 民主党の輿石幹事長は、これに応じ、社会保障改革の全体像を示すことで、野党側を協議につかせたいと考えているようだ。

Indeed, it will be necessary for the DPJ to show a rough outline of its plan if it wants to ask for the opposition's understanding on the integrated reform.
おおまかな全体像を示し、一体改革に理解を求めることは必要だ。

However, discussions with opposition parties will not get off the ground if the DPJ insists on trying to implement its manifesto, which does not even clearly indicate how its promises will be funded.
 その際、財源すら不明確なマニフェストの実現にこだわり続けていては、野党との協議は始まるまい。

Noda should not forget the manifesto has become a major obstacle to the "politics that makes decisions" he is seeking.
首相はマニフェストが、「決断する政治」を妨げる要因であることを忘れてはならない。

If Noda wants to carry out the reform, he should not hesitate to retract the manifesto.
 改革のためにはマニフェストの撤回をためらうべきではない。

In his policy speech, Noda quoted an old saying, "Undertaking the actions we call on others to take."
 施政方針演説の中で、「まず隗(かい)より始めよ」として、

He then pointed out it is important for individuals responsible for political and administrative affairs to put themselves on the line and serve as models.
He is absolutely right.
政治と行政を担う者が身を切り、範を示すことが重要だと指摘したのは当然だ。

We hope Noda will exercise strong leadership to cut the number of lower house members and the salaries of national government employees.
首相は、国会議員の定数削減や国家公務員給与削減に強い指導力を発揮してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 25, 2012)
(2012年1月25日01時13分  読売新聞)

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ocn cafe リンク集

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スラチャイの語学教室

今からちょうど3年前にこれらの語学サイトを開設しました。
当時シーサーブログではタイ語と中国語簡体字は表示出来ませんでしたが、現在では表示できるようになっています。HPサイトに飛ばなくてもシーサーブログ内で学習が出来るので便利です。

で、鋭意改訂版を執筆中です。

全部で60ブログくらいあるので大変ですが、改訂して学習者の手助けとなれば幸いです。
ラオス語、ビルマ語、シンハリ語についてはフォントはどんどん進化してきていますが、未だにインターネットサイトでは異端児的な感を否めません。認知されていない子供たちのようなものなのです^^。

その点、タガログ語はアルファベット表示なので学習はしやすいですね。

リンクのHPサイトですが、アフィリエイトをぶち込みすぎて、自分でも含み笑いをしてしまいました。
最初にアフィリエイト攻撃を受けると、その先読む気がしませんよね^^。
順次、派手で超下品なアフィリエイトは消して行きます。
思えば3年前のスラチャイのアフィリエイトはこの程度だったのです。
HPを閲覧していて、恥ずかしさを覚えました。

スラチャイ


改訂済みブログ一覧:

初歩のタイ語学習サイト
http://kiyoshimatforseesaa2.seesaa.net/

初歩の中国語学習サイト
http://kiyoshimatforseesaa3.seesaa.net/

初歩のラオス語学習サイト
http://kiyoshimatforseesaa4.seesaa.net/

初歩のビルマ語学習サイト
http://kiyoshimatforseesaa5.seesaa.net/[ ブログカテゴリ ] 

初歩のシンハリ語学習サイト
http://kiyoshimatforseesaa6.seesaa.net/

初歩のタガログ語学習サイト
http://kiyoshimatforseesaa7.seesaa.net/

タイ日辞書
http://kiyoshimatforseesaa8.seesaa.net/

タイ文字
http://kiyoshimatforseesaa9.seesaa.net/

タイ語の副詞
http://kiyoshimatforseesa35.seesaa.net/

タイ語の前置詞
http://kiyoshimatforseesa36.seesaa.net/

タイ語の接続詞
http://kiyoshimatforseesa37.seesaa.net/

タイ語の助動詞
http://kiyoshimatforseesa38.seesaa.net/

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2012年1月25日 (水)

独法・特会改革 肝心なのは政府支出の削減だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 25, 2012)
Cuts in govt spending key to administrative reform
独法・特会改革 肝心なのは政府支出の削減だ(1月24日付・読売社説)

A review of organizational structures is only the first step in administrative reform.
 組織形態の見直しは最初の一歩にすぎない。

To expand the people's acceptance of a tax hike, it is indispensable to link it with a substantial cut in government spending.
増税への国民の理解を広げるには、政府の財政支出の実質的な削減につなげることが重要だ。

The Government Revitalization Unit has decided on reform proposals for independent administrative entities and special accounts.
 政府の行政刷新会議が独立行政法人や特別会計の改革案を決定した。

The government will submit related bills to an ordinary session of the Diet to realize the reform.
通常国会に関連法案を提出し、実現を図る。

The proposed reform calls for abolishing seven of 102 independent agencies, including the Public Foundation for Peace and Consolation, and privatizing seven entities, including the National Hospital Organization.
 102ある独法のうち、平和祈念事業特別基金など7法人は廃止し、国立病院機構など7法人は民営化する。

Thirty-five agencies, including the Riken research institute, will be consolidated into 12 entities.
理化学研究所など35法人は12法人に統合する。

As a result, the number of such agencies will be trimmed by nearly 40 percent.
全体の法人数は4割近く減る予定だ。

In its draft proposal, the government called for abolishing or privatizing a total of five agencies.
 政府原案の廃止・民間移管は計5法人だった。

To show the government's determination to carry out administrative reforms, the number of such entities being downsized or abolished has increased remarkably in line with the ruling parties' philosophy that politicians, not bureaucrats, should take the initiative in formulating policies.
The reductions lay the foundation for integrated reform of social security and tax systems.
社会保障と税の一体改革の環境整備として行革の姿勢を示そうと、政治主導で削減数を増やした。

The reform plan this time, it can be said, is more drastic than the one proposed by the coalition government of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito in terms of the number of agencies to be cut.
数に限れば、自公政権時より踏み込んだと言える。

===

Old wine in new bottles

But the entities to be abolished include those to be transferred to state jurisdiction. Many of those to be privatized represent a mere change of names. It is undeniable that priority was given to manipulating numbers.
 ただし、廃止には、国に移管される独法が含まれる。民営化も看板の掛け替えが多い。「数合わせ」を優先した感は否めない。

Even if the number of executives is trimmed by absorbing other independent administrative entities in charge of completely different affairs, it is feared the changes could lead to the creation of bloated organizations if the staff of each agency remains intact.
 全く別の業務を担当する独法を統合し、トップの数を減らしても、各法人の体制を温存すれば、組織が逆に肥大化する恐れもある。

The biggest concern is that the government has not revealed how much it will curtail government spending on independent administrative agencies, which totals 3 trillion yen a year.
 最大の問題は、年間3兆円を超す独法への政府支出の削減額が示されていないことだ。

In line with organizational reforms, it will be necessary to downsize staff and reduce or abolish nonessential and nonurgent operations.
 組織改革に合わせて、職員のリストラや、不要不急の事業の廃止・縮減に本格的に取り組む必要がある。

It is important to transfer operations that can be entrusted to local governments and the private sector as much as possible, thereby eliminating dual administration and other administrative waste.
自治体や民間に任せられる事業は積極的に移管し、二重行政などを廃することが大切だ。

Big agencies hold the key to spending cuts.
 歳出削減のカギは大物法人だ。

Concerning the Urban Renaissance Agency and the Japan Housing Finance Agency, panels of external experts will be formed to draw conclusions on spending cuts this summer.
都市再生機構と住宅金融支援機構については、外部有識者の検討会を設置し、今夏に結論を出す。

We hope for reasonable results.
きちんと成果を上げてほしい。

Agencies that continue to exist will be classified by type of function into such categories as financing, human resources development and research and development, and the most appropriate supervisory system will be introduced at each agency.
 一方で、存続する独法は、金融業務、人材育成、研究開発型など機能別に分類したうえ、それぞれ最適な監督体制を導入する。

===

Continuous reform needed

This is because it is unreasonable to manage independent agencies with different purposes and operations under one system.
 様々な目的・事業を持つ独法を同一の制度で運営するのは無理があるためで、狙いは理解できる。

Continuous reforms are called for.
継続的な改革が求められる。

The number of special accounts will be reduced from 17 to 11 through abolition or integration of such accounts as the one on social capital investment.
 特別会計は、社会資本整備事業特会などの統廃合によって、17から11に削減する。

But mere cuts in the number of special accounts will not lead to reduced spending and enhanced efficiency.
 特会の数を減らすだけでは、歳出削減や効率化に直結しない。

The former Road Improvement Special Account was used regardless of profitability to construct highways whose necessity was considered low.
Allocating budgets to higher-priority areas while eliminating such a sanctuary would produce results.
旧道路整備特会が、採算性を無視して、必要性の低い高速道路を造り続けたような“聖域”をなくし、優先度の高い他の分野に予算を振り替えてこそ、効果を生む。

According to the Board of Audit, 1.8 trillion yen in surplus funds for fiscal 2009 was not used in the following fiscal year and was carried over to fiscal 2011.
 会計検査院によると、2009年度の剰余金計1・8兆円が翌年度も使われず、11年度に繰り越されたことが判明している。

If possible, surplus funds should be transferred to the general account and used effectively.
 可能なものは一般会計に繰り入れるなど、有効活用すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 24, 2011)
(2012年1月24日00時59分  読売新聞)

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2012年1月24日 (火)

原発住民投票―都民の関心、示すとき

--The Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 22
EDITORIAL: Tokyo voters should sign up for nuclear referendum
原発住民投票―都民の関心、示すとき

A signature-collecting campaign is under way to hold a referendum in Tokyo to allow citizens to express their views on nuclear power generation.
 原発に、イエスかノーか。
 東京で住民投票をしよう。

But the campaign, organized by a citizens group set up to achieve referendums, is struggling to attract the attention of voters.
 この署名活動が、いまひとつ盛り上がらない。

The group is trying to collect the required number of signatures to make a direct claim under the local autonomy law to the Tokyo metropolitan government and the Osaka municipal government for the adoption of an ordinance to hold such a referendum.
 呼びかけているのは、市民グループ「みんなで決めよう『原発』国民投票」。

The Tokyo metropolitan government is a leading shareholder in Tokyo Electric Power Co., which runs the wrecked Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, while the government of Osaka has a stake in Kansai Electric Power Co., which also operates nuclear plants.
東京電力の大株主の東京都と、関西電力株を持つ大阪市に、住民投票を実施するための条例づくりを直接請求しようという活動だ。

In Osaka, the group collected more than 60,000 signatures, exceeding the 2 percent of eligible voters required to make the claim, during the one-month campaign period. The local election administration commission is now examining the signature list to determine its validity.
 すでに1カ月間の署名期間を終えた大阪市では、請求に必要な「有権者の2%」を上回る、6万人あまりを集め、選管の審査を待っている。

In Tokyo, the group needs over 210,000 signatures. But with two-thirds of the two-month campaign period already passed, the group has collected less than half the required number.
 だが、東京では期間2カ月の3分の2が過ぎても、まだ必要な21万余の半分に届かない。

Why is the campaign receiving such a lukewarm response in Tokyo?
 この少なさは、どうしたことなのか。

This is neither an “anti-nuke” nor a “pro-nuke” campaign.
 署名の趣旨は「原発反対」でも「推進」でもない。

The group is only seeking a referendum that will allow citizens to decide on their own whether this nation should continue to use nuclear power as part of energy sources to generate electricity.
 原発の是非を自分たちで決めるために、住民投票をしようというのだ。

In other words, the number of signatures collected is an indicator of how much interest people have in the issue.
 つまり署名の数は、関心の強さをはかる物差しになる。

Before the Fukushima nuclear disaster, nearly 30 percent of the electricity supplied to the Tokyo metropolitan area was generated at the Fukushima No. 1 plant and TEPCO’s other nuclear plants outside Tokyo.
 首都圏の電力は原発事故前、3割近くが原子力で賄われていた。

If voters in Tokyo show so little interest in the question as to make it difficult to collect signatures from 2 percent of them, how would people in Fukushima Prefecture and other areas that host these facilities feel?
その消費者の都民が、わずか2%の関心すら示せなかったら、福島県をはじめ原発の地元住民はどう思うだろう。

Many people in Tokyo seem interested in such a referendum but are clueless as to where they can sign for the campaign.
 一方では、関心はあるのに、どこで署名できるのかがわからないという人も多いようだ。

Tokyo has more than 10 million eligible voters.
 東京の有権者は1千万人を超える。

There are permanent sites where they can sign petitions, including one in front of Shinjuku Station, but there are not enough to offer easy access to residents in all areas.
新宿駅前などに常設の署名場所があるが、隅々までは行き届かない。

In addition, the people leading a signature campaign are allowed to collect signatures only from voters in the cities, wards, towns and villages where they live.
 しかも、署名集めを担う「受任者」は、自分の住む市区町村の有権者からしか署名を集められない。

Clearly, this provision in the local autonomy law constitutes a major obstacle to the campaign.
こんな地方自治法の規定も、活動の壁になっているのは確かだ。

Another major factor behind the different reactions from voters in the Tokyo metropolitan government and Osaka city is the different attitudes toward the issue by the local government chiefs.
 リーダーの発信ぶりの違いも大きい。

Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto promised to reduce the city’s dependence on nuclear power during his election campaign in November although he is skeptical about the idea of holding a referendum on this issue.
 大阪の橋下徹市長は、住民投票そのものには懐疑的だが、市長選で「脱原発依存」を掲げていた。

Hashimoto’s remarks have probably spurred interest in the issue among the public.
それで関心を持った市民も多かったろう。

In contrast, Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara has given the cold shoulder to moves toward a referendum, criticizing it as a “sentimental and hysteric” reaction.
Ishihara has pointed out that there is “not even a blueprint to secure an energy supply” at this stage.
 これに対して、東京の石原慎太郎都知事は「エネルギーをどうやって補給するかの設計図もない時点で、センチメンタルともヒステリックとも思える」と突き放すだけだ。

But a referendum on the issue would prompt citizens to see the development of such a blueprint as their own concern and start thinking about it.
 だが、住民投票こそが、この「設計図」を市民がみずからの問題としてとらえ、考えていくきっかけになるはずだ。

More signatures are needed for a referendum on the future of nuclear power generation in this country–which should be determined through broad public debate.
 原発の行く末をみんなで考える。そのための住民投票をするには、もっと署名が要る。

Now that the nuclear disaster has raised some fundamental questions about the energy policy, it is important for people in Tokyo, as consumers of electricity, to express their views and opinions about nuclear power generation.
 大震災を機に、エネルギー政策が根幹から問い直されているいまこそ、都民は消費者としてもの申そう。

Let us achieve a referendum in Tokyo to have an opportunity to do so.
そのために、首都で住民投票を実現させよう。

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2012年1月23日 (月)

platbox

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しりとり
http://platbox.net/siritori.cgi?id=srachai

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http://platbox.net/haiku.cgi?id=srachai

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http://platbox.net/silitoli.cgi?id=srachai

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http://platbox.net/signword.cgi?id=srachai

アンケート
http://platbox.net/anquete.cgi?id=srachai

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香山リカのココロの万華鏡:人にどう見られるか /東京

人間一番大切なことは、見かけや見せかけではありません。
それはただむなしいだけです。
スラチャイにとって今一番大切なことは、ただひたすら娘たちを立派に成人させることです。
娘たちが成人したら、最後に、スラチャイの潔い散りざまをみせなければなりません。
それが、なかなか大変なのです。
(スラチャイ)

(Mainichi Japan) January 22, 2012
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: How we're seen by others
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:人にどう見られるか /東京

The trial has begun for a woman accused of killing three men she was dating after pretending the deaths were suicides by carbon monoxide poisoning.
 練炭自殺に見せかけ交際相手ら男性3人を殺害したとして、殺人罪などに問われている女性被告の裁判員裁判が始まった。

The woman kept a blog where she wrote about beauty and gourmet foods, and that personality seems to have stayed with her for the over two years since her arrest.
以前はブログに一流といわれるグルメや美容について熱心につづっていた彼女だが、その性質は逮捕から2年以上たった今も変わっていなかったようだ。

Someone I know who sat in on the trial said, "She appeared in different clothing before and after noon, and her hairstyle and make-up seemed to have been carefully set.
公判を傍聴した知人は、「午前と午後でそれぞれ違う服装で現れ、ヘアスタイルやメークもきちんと整えられているように見えました。

How can she do such things at her own trial?"
自分の裁判でそんなことってあるんだろうか」と困惑気味に語っていた。

It may be that to the woman, how she is seen by those around her is everything.
 おそらくこの女性にとっては、「自分がまわりからどう見えるか」がすべてなのであろう。

Even if it was a far cry from the reality of her life, on her blog she acted like she was a rich princess.
たとえ現実の生活とはかけ離れていても、ブログでは“裕福なお嬢さま”のように振る舞う。

Now, even facing trial, she puts her attention on her clothing and hairstyle, as if it is a show with her as the star.
被告として裁かれる裁判でも、自分が脚光を浴びるショーのように服装やヘアスタイルにこだわる。

To her, perhaps her real self is the one that others see.
「他人の目に映る自分」こそ、本当の自分。
彼女はそう思い込んでいるのではないだろうか。

Even if it is not so extreme, we cannot deny that we share some of the same tendencies.
 ここまで極端ではないにせよ、私たちにもそういう傾向がないとは言えない。

Thinking only about how others see us, we can forget our true selves.
 「まわりにどう思われているか」「どう見られているか」ということばかり気にして、本来の自分らしさを忘れてしまうこともある。

I am sure there are plenty of us who have forced ourselves to go to high-end restaurants where we took pictures, after which we wrote about it all on our blogs as if we go to those places all the time.
それほど行きたくもない高級レストランに無理して出かけて料理の写真を撮り、あたかも行きつけであるかのようにブログに載せた、といった経験がある人も少なくないだろう。

I don't worry much at all about how others see me, but when I notice a new gray hair or wrinkle in the mirror, I do worry, "At today's meeting, I wonder if I looked the oldest."
私は「どう見えるか」をほとんど気にしないタイプなのだが、それでも鏡の中の自分に白髪やしわを発見すると、「わあ、今日の会合に出席した中では、私がいちばん老けて見えたかも」などと気持ちがめいってしまう。

Of course, we can no longer live completely naturally, not worrying at all about how others think of us.
 もちろん、「どう思われてもけっこう。自分は自分」と完全に自然体で生きることなど、もう私たちにはできないだろう。

Pulling ourselves together enough to not make those around us feel unpleasant is a matter of social manners.
それに、「ほかの人たちから見て悪い印象にならないように」と身だしなみや態度に気をつかうのは、社会生活のマナーでもある。

But if we overly focus on some ideal image of ourselves, even fooling ourselves in order to draw closer to it, we are clearly going too far.
とはいえ、「こんなふうに見てもらいたい」と理想のイメージを意識し過ぎ、自分を偽ってまでもそれに近づけようとするのは、明らかにやりすぎだ。

Even if we succeed in showing ourselves off like our ideal and are complemented for our beauty or luxurious lifestyle, afterwards we are left with nothing.
たとえそう見せることに成功して、「きれいね」「セレブ生活だな」などと言われて一瞬、うれしい気持ちになったとしても、後には何も残らない。

To the woman in the trial, more important than the truth or how the trial progresses may have been being told, "You look younger than your age," or "You're fashionable as ever."
 冒頭の女性被告にとっては、裁判そのものの成り行きや真実のありかよりも、「年齢より若く見えるね」「相変わらずおしゃれにこだわってるんだな」などと言われるほうが大切だったのだろうか。

It somehow makes me feel empty inside.
なんだかむなしい気持ちになるばかりだ。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2012年1月17日 地方版

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エネルギー政策 電力危機の回避を最優先せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 23, 2012)
Priority must be given to avoiding energy crisis
エネルギー政策 電力危機の回避を最優先せよ(1月22日付・読売社説)

How can we secure the energy that is essential for our daily lives?
 国民生活に不可欠なエネルギーを、どう確保していくか。

This year will be an important one to solve this thorny issue.
今年は、この難問を解決せねばならない重要な年である。

The aftereffects of the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant continue to be felt.
 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所の事故の影響が続いている。

Power companies whose nuclear reactors are suspended for regular checkups cannot resume their operations even when the checks are completed.
定期検査で停止した原発を検査終了後も再稼働できない。

If this situation continues, all of the nation's 54 reactors will be stopped by late April, sending Japan into the emergency situation of losing 30 percent of its electricity supply.
このままでは4月下旬にも全54基の原発が止まり、電力の3割を失う非常事態に陥る。

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has repeatedly said the government will allow reactors that are confirmed to be safe to resume operation.
 野田首相は、安全を確認できた原発を再稼働させると繰り返しているが、

In reality, however, there is no prospect of realizing this.
実現のメドは立っていない。

Noda should have a strong sense of crisis and wield his leadership to get these reactors operating again soon.
首相は強い危機感を持ち、原発の早期再稼働に指導力を発揮するべきだ。

 ◆原発再稼働が急務だ◆

A survey by the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) showed that if the electricity shortage continues for two to three years, 60 percent of the nation's leading manufacturers will cut back or halt domestic production.
 経団連の調査では、電力不足が2~3年続くなら、製造業の6割が国内生産を縮小・停止させるという。

The power shortage will exacerbate the hollowing-out of industry and the decline in jobs.
電力不足は、産業空洞化と雇用の減少を引き起こす。

There is also a limit to how much thermal power generation can make up for the loss of nuclear power, due to the huge economic loss that would result from the additional fuel costs involved, estimated to total more than 3 trillion yen a year across the nation.
 原発に代わって火力発電で供給能力を補う対応にも限界がある。追加の燃料費が全国で年3兆円以上もかかり、経済的な損失が大きいためだ。

To pay its increased fuel costs, TEPCO plans to raise its electricity rates by an average of 17 percent for large-lot users such as factory operators and business offices, starting in April.
 東電は増えた燃料費を賄うため、4月から、工場やオフィスなど大口契約者向けの電気料金を、平均17%値上げする。

The utility is also studying the possibility of raising the charges for general households.
家庭向けも値上げを検討中だ。

Higher electricity rates will result in higher production costs, which will weaken companies' management vitality and competitiveness.
 電気料金の上昇は生産コストに跳ね返り、企業の経営体力と競争力を弱める。

They will also increase the burden on private households, putting a damper on individual consumption and other domestic demand.
家計の負担も増え、消費などの内需を冷やす。

Resuming operation of nuclear reactors that are confirmed to be safe is essential to prevent an economic slowdown triggered by power shortages.
 “電力不況”を防ぐためにも、安全が確認された原発の再稼働は欠かせない。

The central government has a responsibility to ensure the safety of reactors and win the understanding of local governments for their resumption.
各原発の安全性を国の責任で確保し、地元自治体などの理解を得る必要がある。

===

Concrete measures lacking
 ◆現実的な電源構成示せ◆

A drastic review of the nation's energy policy will be a major task.
 エネルギー政策の抜本的な見直しが大きな課題となる。

Noda has indicated his policy of lowering, over the middle and long term, the nation's dependency on nuclear power.
首相は、中長期的には原発依存度をできるだけ下げる方針を示しているが、

But when it comes to concrete measures, he remains vague.
具体策はあいまいだ。

The government will compile a new energy strategy this summer.
 政府は今夏、新たなエネルギー戦略をまとめる。

Yet with too many councils and conferences deliberating the issue in a disorderly way, the discussions are scattered.
審議会や会議が乱立し、議論は拡散気味である。

We hope Noda displays leadership and presents a clear policy regarding where the nation's electricity should come from in the future.
首相が主導して、将来のあるべき電源構成について明確な方針を示してもらいたい。

Expectations are high for such renewable energies as solar power and wind power.
 太陽光や風力など再生可能エネルギーへの期待は大きい。

From the viewpoint of domestic self-sufficiency in energy and protecting the environment, more widespread use of such energy is desirable.
エネルギーの国内自給や環境保全の観点から、普及拡大が望ましい。

Yet excluding hydropower, these sources account for merely 1 percent of total power generation, and currently cost more to produce than other types.
 だが、水力を除けば全発電量のわずか1%で、現状では発電コストも割高だ。

Also the amount of power generated depends on weather conditions.
天候などによって電力が大きく増減する弱点もある。

It will take a long time for such sources to become major power providers.
基幹電源に育つには、長い年月がかかるだろう。

The creation of goals regarding the optimum composition of the nation's future electric power sources must be done in a realistic manner, taking into account a comprehensive range of requirements, such as stable supply, economic efficiency and safety.
 電源構成の将来目標は、安定供給や経済性、安全性などを総合的に考慮した、現実的な内容としなければならない。

The government has decided abruptly on a policy of having nuclear reactors decommissioned, in principle, after 40 years in operation.
 政府は唐突に原発を原則として稼働から40年で廃炉にする方針を決めた。

Although the policy includes an exception that would allow reactors to operate for up to 60 years if necessary, the decision on a 40-year lifespan without any prospects for alternative electricity sources must be called irresponsible.
60年まで延長できる例外規定を設けるというが、代替電源のあてもなく「40年廃炉」を打ち出したのは無責任だ。

The government should include the option of replacing superannuated reactors with new, safer models.
 古い原発を安全な新型炉に更新する選択肢も示すべきである。

===

Nuclear experts may leave

Once the government adopts a policy goal of "reducing to zero" the number of nuclear plants, there will certainly be an exodus overseas of the country's specialists in nuclear energy.
 政府が将来の「原発ゼロ」を掲げてしまうと、原子力分野の人材が海外に流出するだけでなく、

In addition, it will become extremely difficult to develop the next generation of nuclear experts.
後進も育たなくなる。

As a result, the nation's nuclear technologies would decline, and it would become difficult to ensure the safety of existing plants or decommission them.
技術は衰退し、既存原発の安全操業や廃炉さえ困難になりかねない。

Newly industrializing countries such as China have been going ahead with projects to boost the number of their nuclear facilities.
 中国など新興国は原発の増設を進めている。

This country should support their aims by keeping Japan's nuclear technology advanced, and exporting safe nuclear plants and providing other countries with reliable know-how about plant operations.
日本は高い技術を維持し、安全な原発の輸出や操業ノウハウの提供で貢献すべきだ。

The government has also embarked on reform of the electricity supply system.
 政府は電力制度改革にも着手した。

A key task in the reform is the separation of electricity generation and transmission--utility companies currently handle the entire process from power generation to transmission.
電力会社が発電から送電を一貫して行う体制を見直す「発送電分離」が主要テーマだ。

Discussions are being held about the advisability of the current formula for determining power charges, in which rates are based on utilities' estimates of the cost of power generation plus a certain percentage of profit.
電力会社の見積もった経費をもとに電気料金を決める「総括原価方式」の見直しも議論されている。

It is reasonable to reduce costs through the introduction of market principles.
 競争原理を導入してコストを軽減する狙いはいい。

Is there no danger, however, of hasty reform efforts destabilizing power supplies?
だが、性急な改革で電力供給が不安定になる恐れはないだろうか。

We should bear in mind such incidents as the large-scale stoppages of electricity that took place frequently in California about a decade ago. The blackouts were said to be due partly to the adverse impact of electricity service reform in California, such as a delay in renewing transmission facilities after the separation of power generation and transmission.
 10年ほど前に米カリフォルニア州で頻発した大規模停電は、発送電分離に伴う送電設備更新の遅れなど、電力改革の副作用が一因とされる。

We should draw lessons from these experiences.
教訓としたい。

Meanwhile, reform of TEPCO's management is urgently needed.
 東電の経営改革も急務だ。

Thanks to the establishment of the Nuclear Damage Compensation Facilitation Corporation partly funded by the government, payments of compensation for victims of the Fukushima nuclear crisis have been secured at least for now.
政府などが出資する原子力損害賠償支援機構の設立で、被害者に対する当面の賠償資金は確保された。

Costs for such tasks as decommissioning the Fukushima plant, however, are excluded from financial assistance from the compensation corporation.
 しかし、福島原発の廃炉費用などは支援機構による資金援助の対象外だ。

Although TEPCO plans to secure 2.6 trillion yen over the next 10 years by restructuring its business to cut costs, it is impossible for the utility to pay the colossal expenses of decommissioning and other efforts solely through management reform.
東電は10年で2・6兆円のリストラを行うが、経営努力だけでは巨額の費用を賄えない。

===

Govt must share burden
 ◆国も事故コスト分担を◆

The government plans to place TEPCO practically under state control by pouring funds into the utility through the damage compensation body.
 政府は支援機構を通じて公的資金を注入し、東電を実質国有化する方針だ。

The de facto nationalization of TEPCO is considered necessary to prevent its bankruptcy, so it can fulfill the three all-important tasks of settling the nuclear crisis, compensating victims and ensuring stable power supplies.
経営破綻を防ぎ、東電に事故収束、損害賠償、電力安定供給という三つの責務を果たさせるために必要な措置といえる。

However, there is the risk that under state control TEPCO could plunge into a vicious circle of expanding losses and the need for ever more financial aid from national coffers.
 ただし、損失拡大と追加支援の悪循環に陥る恐れがある。

The planned nationalization of TEPCO must be coupled with studies about the wisdom of creating a new system in which the government would always share the financial burden for such undertakings as plant decommissioning and nuclear decontamination.
国有化を契機に、廃炉や除染などのコストを、国がきちんと分担する仕組みを検討すべきだろう。

Full-dress discussions must be encouraged concerning the validity of the Nuclear Damages Compensation Law, under which power utilities are fully liable for all compensation for a nuclear accident, as well as the pros and cons of running the nuclear power generation business under government protection as part of national policy.
 原発事故の賠償責任を民間電力会社だけに課す原子力損害賠償法の妥当性や、原発事業の「国策民営」の是非などについても、本格的に論議しなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 22, 2012)
(2012年1月22日01時16分  読売新聞)

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2012年1月22日 (日)

郵政改革 4社案テコに与野党合意急げ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 22, 2012)
Ruling, opposition parties must push on with postal reform
郵政改革 4社案テコに与野党合意急げ(1月21日付・読売社説)

It can now be said that a step toward realizing postal reform has finally been taken.
 郵政改革の実現に向けて、一歩前進したと言えるだろう。

The ruling and opposition parties should hold deliberations in the upcoming ordinary Diet session and ensure the nation's postal business is reformed in a way that benefits the public.
 与野党は次期通常国会で着実に審議を進め、国民の利益にかなう改革を実現させなければならない。

A working-level consultative meeting was held Friday between the Democratic Party of Japan, the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito regarding how to proceed with postal reform. The participants agreed to sum up what they have discussed so far.
 民主、自民、公明の3党は20日、郵政改革に関する実務者協議を開き、これまでの議論を踏まえた論点整理をまとめた。

An accord has been reached under which the government and the DPJ will drop, at least temporarily, a bill that would reorganize the five-company configuration of Japan Post Group into three companies. Instead, the three parties will discuss realigning Japan Post into a four-company structure.
 日本郵政グループを現在の5社体制から3社に再編する政府・与党の法案をいったん取り下げ、4社に再編する案を軸に検討を進めることで合意した。

The four-company plan is a Komeito proposal, and the DPJ is poised to accept the plan.
 「4社案」は公明党の提案をたたき台にしたもので、民主党は受け入れに前向きだ。

The LDP has no compelling reason to oppose the streamlining of the Japan Post Group organization and changes that would make postal services more convenient for customers.
自民党も郵政グループを簡素化し、利便性を高める点に大きな異論はなかろう。

===

Diet's neglectfulness

The realistic option would be for the ruling and opposition camps to get behind the proposed four-company system.
「4社案」をテコに与野党合意を図ることが現実的である。

Much of the blame for the postal reform bill being stuck in limbo for nearly two years lies with the Diet.
 法案を2年近くも“塩漬け”にしてきた国会の責任は重い。

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda also should be brought to task for the delay in postal reform deliberations in the legislature.
In a meeting with the president of the national federation of postmasters of privately owned post offices (Zentoku), Noda committed himself to "responsibly expediting" Diet business for postal reform.
全国郵便局長会の会長に「責任を持ってやりたい」と述べた野田首相の姿勢も問われる。

What to do with government-held shares in Japan Post is the biggest obstacle to an agreement between the ruling and opposition blocs.
 与野党合意への最大の懸案が、日本郵政に対する政府出資の扱いだ。

The government favors retaining "more than one-third" of Japan Post shares.
今のところ政府は日本郵政株の「3分の1超」を持ち続ける方向だ。

If this remains unchanged, the government will hold a stake in two firms under the Japan Post umbrella--Japan Post Bank Co. and Japan Post Insurance Co.
傘下のゆうちょ銀行とかんぽ生命保険に、間接的な政府出資が残ることになる。

The LDP has laid siege to the government's position. The party claims that if the two financial service arms of Japan Post, which the LDP notes are "protected by tacit government guarantees," enter new markets such as cancer insurance, private-sector businesses will be put at a distinct disadvantage.
 自民党は、この金融2社が「暗黙の政府保証」に守られて、がん保険などに参入すれば、民業圧迫は避けられないと批判する。

Financial and insurance businesses have demanded Japan Post Bank and Japan Post Insurance be completely privatized.
金融・保険業界は、ゆうちょとかんぽの完全民営化を求めている

In connection with this, insurance businesses in the United States have expressed concern over Japan Post financial services adversely impacting on private-sector business activities.
 これに関連して米国の保険業界も民業圧迫に懸念を示している。

Due attention should be paid to ensure Japan Post reform discussions do not hurt this country's bid to join Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement negotiations.
環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)への日本の参加交渉に悪影響を与えないように配慮すべきだ。

===

Gain from share sales unclear

Is it impossible to prevent Japan Post companies from gaining an unfair upper hand over private companies, such as by imposing some restrictions on their entry into new businesses?
 新規事業への参入に一定の制限を設けるなど、民業圧迫を防ぐ工夫はできないか。

We urge the ruling and opposition parties to find effective solutions to this problem.
与野党で有効な打開策を考えてほしい。

If postal reform goes ahead, the current freeze on selling Japan Post shares will be lifted, and the government will be able to use the profit from sales of these shares to fund reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake.
 郵政改革が実現すれば、郵政株売却の凍結が解除され、売却益を東日本大震災の復興財源にあてることも可能になる。

However, the deterioration in postal service businesses shows no sign of ending, and it is unclear whether the government will bring in the about 6 trillion yen it expects to gain from selling off its Japan Post shares.
 ただし、郵政事業の業績悪化に歯止めがかからず、見込み通り約6兆円の売却益を得られるかどうか不透明だ。

The volume of mail handled by post offices has been declining by 3 percent a year, leaving Japan Post Service swimming in red ink.
郵便は年3%のペースで減り、事業の赤字が続く。

Postal savings and the number of postal insurance policies have fallen sharply since their peak.
貯金残高や保険の保有契約も、ピークから大幅に減少した。

Should Japan Post be left as is, it will be unable to take such steps as expanding into new businesses, and could get stuck in a rut.
 このままでは、新規事業の拡大などテコ入れもできず、日本郵政は身動きが取れない。

There are fears Japan Post's corporate value could plunge.
郵政グループの企業価値が、大きく低下する恐れがある。

Japan Post is a precious asset that belongs to the public. Its value must not be allowed to diminish because of the Diet's neglectfulness.
 国会の怠慢で、国民の財産が目減りする事態は避けるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 21, 2012)
(2012年1月21日01時40分  読売新聞)

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2012年1月21日 (土)

社説:原発テスト 「結論ありき」と疑う

(Mainichi Japan) January 20, 2012
Editorial: Gov't nuclear power plant tests mired in doubt
社説:原発テスト 「結論ありき」と疑う

How will the lessons learned from the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant be put into practice in the future?
 東京電力福島第1原発の重大事故の教訓を今後にどういかそうとしているのか。

The government's present response is questionable.
このところの政府のやり方には疑問が多い。

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, which operates under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, has deemed Kansai Electric Power Co.'s stress tests of the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at its Oi nuclear power plant as "appropriate."
 経済産業省の原子力安全・保安院は関西電力が提出した大飯原発3、4号機の安全評価(ストレステスト)を「妥当」と評価した。

This marks the first step in evaluating reactors that are being inspected with a view to restarting them.
再稼働の前提として定期検査中の原発を対象に行われる第1次評価である。

The reactors are to undergo further inspection by the Nuclear Safety Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
 この先、原子力安全委員会の確認や国際原子力機関(IAEA)の評価を受ける。

After that, the prime minister and three Cabinet ministers will make a political decision on whether or not to restart them.
さらに、首相と関係3閣僚が再稼働の是非を政治判断するが、

However, debate has arisen over whether Cabinet officials should be making decisions on the technical safety of reactors.
まず技術的な安全性を閣僚が判断することの是非に議論がある。

Furthermore, when looking at the results of the stress tests, it seems the technical safety appraisal was a foregone conclusion.
加えて、今回の評価結果を見る限り、技術的な安全評価も「結論ありき」に思える。

Kansai Electric's stress tests conclude that the reactor cores would not be damaged even if there were an earthquake that shook 1.8 times stronger than what was envisaged when the reactors were built, or if the reactors were hit by an 11.4-meter tsunami -- four times higher than what was initially predicted.
 保安院が妥当とした関電の評価によると、設計上の想定より1.8倍大きい地震の揺れや4倍大きい11.4メートルの津波に襲われても炉心損傷には至らない。

The power company says that even if there were a station blackout and no place for heat to escape, the reactor cores would not be damaged for 16 days and the spent nuclear fuel would remain intact for 10 days.
全交流電源が喪失し熱の逃がし場がなくなった場合でも炉心は16日間、使用済み核燃料は10日間、損傷までに余裕があるという。

However, the scenarios forming the basis for power plant's conclusions preceded the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
 しかし、評価の前提となっている設計上の想定は東日本大震災以前のものだ。

The March 2011 disasters have shaken conceptions about the maximum shaking and the biggest possible tsunami in the event of another major quake.
震災で最大の揺れや津波の想定そのものが揺らいでいる。
耐震指針や安全設計審査指針の見直しも行われている。

There is no guarantee that the plant's previous predictions are on target.
もとの想定が信頼できるという保証はどこにもない。

The more relaxed the scenarios are, the more leeway the power plant seems to have.
 想定が甘ければ甘いほど大きな余裕があるように見える矛盾も内包している。

When considering this, the phrases "1.8 times stronger" and "four times higher" have no meaning.
それを思えば、1.8倍や4倍という数値に意味はない。

The probe into the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant has not even been completed. そもそも、事故そのものの検証もまだ終わっていない。

Officials should at least provide a set of risk evaluation guidelines based on the cause of the Fukushima disaster that the public can understand.
少なくとも事故の原因を踏まえ、国民が納得するリスク評価の指針を示すべきではないか。

In terms of determining the risks of nuclear power plants, doubts also remain over legislation on the life of power plants.
 原発のリスク評価という点では寿命の法規制についても疑問がある。

On Jan. 6, Goshi Hosono, state minister in charge of the nuclear disaster, stated that nuclear reactors would in principle be decommissioned after they had been running for over 40 years.
「運転40年を超えたら原則として廃炉」との方針を細野豪志原発事故担当相が発表したのが今月6日。

But less than two weeks later the government stated that exceptions would allow reactors to operate for 60 years.
それから2週間もたたないうちに、政府は「例外として60年運転が可能」とする方針を公表した。

Just where is the government placing its priorities?
 いったい、どちらに重きを置いているのか。

Does it really intend to reduce the number of high-risk nuclear power plants?
本気でリスクの高い原発を減らしていくつもりがあるのか。

The way the government is handling the situation invites mistrust over its nuclear power plant policy.
原発政策への不信感を招くやり方だ。

In terms of winning the public's trust, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency's decision to shut the public out of a hearing on the Oi nuclear power plant's stress tests is also problematic.
 国民の信頼を得るという点では、大飯原発のストレステストの意見聴取会で市民を会場から閉め出した保安院のやり方にも問題があった。

In principle, debate should be open, and then if there are any major obstacles to proceedings, separate measures can be taken to settle them.
基本的には議論の場そのものを公開し、議事に大きな障害が出るような言動があった場合に個別に対応すればすむ話だ。

Furthermore, citizens groups have raised questions about a possible conflict of interests among committee members and these must be addressed as a top priority.
市民団体が疑問視する委員の利益相反についても、きちんと説明するのが先決だ。

Local bodies will have the final decision on whether or not to restart nuclear power plants, but if officials can't gain the public's trust, then it is inconceivable to restart the reactors.
 原発の再稼働を最終的に判断するのは地元自治体だ。市民の信頼がなければ再稼働もありえない。

毎日新聞 2012年1月20日 2時31分

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韓国旅行のおすすめ

今朝は、韓国旅行 の記事を書きます。
韓流テレビドラマ、「冬のソナタ」の大ヒットのおかげでしょうか、主婦を中心とする女性たちに圧倒的支持を得ている韓国旅行ではあります^^。

で、韓国旅行の情報サイト を物色してみました。
まず、韓国旅行の目玉商品は、その格安なお買い物ですね。高級ブランド商品が格安で購入できるのがうれしいです。それから、忘れてならないのが、エステ。昔は、韓国アカスリだけが有名でしたが、いまは変わりました。様々な工夫を凝らしたエステが格安で体験できるのです。それから、ブルコギに代表される韓国料理です。韓国は高級店も素敵ですが、屋台でも美味しい店はたくさんあります。屋台で焼き肉を食べ、マッカリ焼酎を飲めば気分は最高です^^。日本では食べる事の出来なくなった鯨だって韓国で食べられますよ。

韓国旅行の格安ツアー情報 を入手したら、とりあえずソウルか釜山に飛び立ちましょう。
素敵な旅が、あなたの身体と心を癒してくれるでしょう。

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新型インフル 緊急事態法制に位置付けよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 21, 2012)
Parties should unite to pass flu epidemic legislation
新型インフル 緊急事態法制に位置付けよ(1月20日付・読売社説)

The outbreak of a new strain of influenza can take place anytime, anywhere in the world.
 新型インフルエンザは世界のどこで、いつ発生してもおかしくない。

In the event of a new, virulent strain of flu becoming an epidemic, it is estimated that in the worst-case scenario as many as 640,000 people would die in this country alone.
 強毒性の新型が流行した場合、最悪のケースでは、国内だけで64万人が死亡するとも推定されている。

To prevent such a situation from occurring, it is imperative for the government to take all possible measures in preparation for a flu epidemic.
 そうした事態に陥らないよう、万全の対策を講じておくのは、政府の責務である。

The government plans to submit a bill for special measures legislation to the upcoming ordinary Diet session to deal with the possible future emergence of a new, highly virulent and infectious flu
 政府は、強い毒性と感染力を持つ新型インフルエンザの発生を想定し、通常国会に特別措置法案を提出する。

Both the ruling and opposition parties must cooperate to ensure smooth passage of the bill.
与野党が協力して成立を図るべきだ。

The planned law will define the onslaught of a highly virulent new strain of flu as a "national crisis."
 特措法では、病原性の強い新型ウイルスの襲来を「国家的危機」と位置づける。

To prevent the spread of infection and public disorder, the law will empower the government to take strong, binding steps such as restrictions on or postponement of assemblies and securing the supply and distribution of goods.
感染や混乱の拡大を防止するため、集会制限や物資の流通確保などに、踏み込んだ強制措置をとれるようにする。

Currently, the central government and prefectural governments have already worked out "action plans" to cope with the outbreak of a new strain of influenza.
 現在でも国や都道府県は、新型インフルエンザに対する「行動計画」を策定している。

===

Govt to declare 'emergency'

These measures, however, have no binding power. The central government and local entities can take no stronger steps than "requesting" people to stay home and cancel meetings on a voluntary basis.
ただし、強制力を伴うものではなく、外出や集会などの自粛や中止といった措置を「要請」できるだけだ。

When a new strain of flu broke out in 2009, there was no serious damage, since the virulence of the strain was weak.
 2009年に新型インフルエンザが発生した際は、毒性の弱いウイルスだったため、大きな被害を出さずに済んだ。

If that strain had been deadly, the government might have been unable to take any effective steps, resulting in serious harm to the public.
だが、もし強毒性だったら、行政は的確な対策を打てず、深刻な被害をもたらしていただろう。

Under the proposed legislation, if a virulent strain of flu becomes epidemic, the government's epidemic countermeasures headquarters will declare an "emergency situation" for affected prefectures.
 検討中の特措法案では、強毒性ウイルスが流行した場合に、政府対策本部が、都道府県単位で「緊急事態」を宣言する。

While restrictions on going out and cancellations of gatherings under the planned law will be sought in the form of government "requests," as currently practiced, the law will make it possible for the government to issue stronger "instructions" if such requests are refused without sufficient justification.
 外出自粛やイベントの中止などは、従来通り「要請」とするが、正当な理由なく拒まれた時に、より強い「指示」が出せるようにする。

The law will also make it possible for the government to requisition land and buildings needed to secure medical facilities when a flu epidemic occurs.
療施設などに必要な土地や建物の使用も可能にする。

To prevent the spread of a deadly flu strain, the government may legitimately need to consider meting out punishments against violators of the law.
感染拡大を防ぐためには、罰則の検討もやむを得まい。

The invocation of the law, however, must be carried out as scrupulously as possible.
 ただ、発動は慎重であるべきだ。

The Civil Protection Law, enacted to prepare this country for an armed attack, states that the curtailment of private rights should be kept to a minimum out of respect for the freedom and rights of the people.
私権制限規定は武力攻撃に備える国民保護法にもある。
同法は国民の自由と権利を尊重し、制限は必要最小限にする、としている。

===

Prepare for goods shortages

Immediately after the Great East Japan Earthquake, shortages of goods occurred across the country.
 東日本大震災では発生直後、全国で物資の不足が起こった。

The shortages were attributed to panic buying as well as the disruption of distribution networks.
流通網の寸断に加え、買いだめの影響も大きかったと見られる。

If a containment campaign is enforced in areas affected by a new strain of virulent flu virus, hoarding may occur in reaction to government requests for people to stay home, while local distribution networks may be snarled.
新型インフルエンザ発生時も、感染地域を封じ込めれば流通網は滞り、外出自粛で買いだめが生じる。

To deal with such a situation, the government, by means of the planned legislation, should enhance the power of administrative authorities to ensure sufficient supplies of goods at stable prices, in part by preventing merchants or suppliers from refusing to sell at the time of a deadly flu epidemic.
 その場合でも、売り惜しみを防ぎ、安定した価格で品物を十分に供給できるよう、行政の権限を強化しておく必要がある。

The lessons learned from the bitter experience of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami must be used to minimize the damage caused by a deadly flu strain.
大震災の教訓を生かすべきだ。

The circumstances the planned law aims to deal with have much in common with various other emergencies.
 特措法の想定は、さまざまな緊急事態の場合と共通する。

The legislation should lead to the strengthening of preparatory measures for emergencies, such as coordination of communication between the central and local entities, securing local medical services and stockpiling daily necessities.
国と自治体の連携、地域の医療や必需品の備蓄など、平時の備えを点検・強化することにもつなげたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 20, 2012)
(2012年1月20日01時15分  読売新聞)

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2012年1月20日 (金)

นักเรียนไทยมาเรียนภาษาญี่ปุ่นกันด้วยนะครับ

เรียนภาษาญี่ปุ่นของนักเรียนไทย
初歩の日本語(タイ人学生向け)
Preliminary Japanese lessons for Thai students.
(2011/11/24)

http://www.geocities.jp/srachai2000_5/

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2012年1月19日 (木)

「大阪都」構想 自治再生への将来像を示せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 19, 2012)
Present a vision for renewal of local administration
「大阪都」構想 自治再生への将来像を示せ(1月18日付・読売社説)

Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto is preparing concrete steps to realize his plan to transform Osaka into a metropolitan administrative unit like Tokyo. If his proposal is realized, how will the people's daily lives and the local administration of Osaka change?
 「大阪都」構想の実現で住民生活や行政はどう変わるのだろうか。

His proposal calls for institutional reform to reorganize the Osaka prefectural government and the Osaka and Sakai municipal governments into a metropolitan administrative unit that would provide administrative services across the entire area and 10 to 12 "special administrative wards" that would provide services close to the daily lives of the local people, such as welfare services.
 橋下徹大阪市長が、都構想の具体案作りを進めている。
 都構想は、府と大阪、堺両市を解体し、広域行政を担う「都」と福祉など身近な行政サービスを受け持つ10~12の「特別自治区」に再編する制度改革だ。

We can understand Hashimoto's intention of eliminating the prefectural and municipal governments' overlapping administrative services and integrating strategies on urban systems, by reviewing the antagonistic relations that have often existed between the prefectural government and the Osaka municipal government over the years.
 長年対立してきた府と大阪市の関係を見直し、二重行政の無駄を廃して都市戦略を一元化しようという狙いはわかる。

Hashimoto has established a headquarters to integrate the prefectural and municipal governments, as a control tower of the scheme, and has come up with one reform policy after another.
 橋下氏は司令塔となる府市統合本部を設け、矢継ぎ早に改革方針を打ち出した。

Carrying out, first of all, those reforms that can be realized under the present system will offer a favorable wind for the envisaged scheme. Included in such presently doable reforms are integrated management of water services, public hospitals and universities, and elections for more administratively powerful ward mayors with candidates invited from the public from all over the country.
水道、病院、大学の一体運営や、区長の公募・権限強化など、現行制度で可能な改革を先行させることは、構想実現への追い風となるからだ。

Will these institutional changes lead to, as Hashimoto asserts, the rejuvenation of Osaka, whose local economy is seen faltering?
 だが、制度の変更が、橋下氏の言うように、沈滞ムード漂う大阪の再生に結びつくのか。

===

Costs not entirely clear

Having ward mayors and ward assembly members elected by popular vote may end up raising overall costs. There is also some concern that the review of overlapping administrative services by the prefectural and municipal governments may lead to some services being monopolized by certain entities, eliminating competition and thus making overall public administration inefficient.
 公選区長と区議会を置くため、コストが増える恐れがある。二重行政を見直すことが行政サービスの独占となり、行政同士の競争が失われて、かえって効率が悪化しかねないとの見方もある。

Hashimoto should scrupulously answer these questions and draw up a clear future vision of a new local administration.
 橋下氏は、こうした疑問の声にも丁寧に答えを出し、新しい自治の将来像を描くべきである。

To realize this metropolis scheme, it is essential to revise related laws, including the Local Government Law.  都構想の実現のためには、地方自治法など関連法の改正も欠かせない。

Both the ruling and opposition parties have begun concerted action based on Hashimoto's scheme.
与野党は、構想に呼応する動きを見せ始めている。

As the head of local party Osaka Ishin no Kai (Osaka restoration group), Hashimoto won a strategic victory in the double elections for both Osaka governor (his preelection post, now held by another member of his party) and Osaka mayor.
 先の大阪ダブル選で勝利を収めた橋下氏は、

Looking toward the next House of Representatives election, Hashimoto said his party will field its own candidates to run against those political parties that do not support his vision.
都構想に賛同しない政党には、次期衆院選で独自候補を擁立して対抗すると宣言しているが、

These strategies can be said to have prodded major national parties into action on his issue.
こうした「戦法」が中央政党を動かしたと言えよう。

===

Govt council to examine issue

Meanwhile, the Local Government System Research Council, a governmental advisory panel, on Tuesday began discussions on what form the administrative systems of mega cities should take.
 一方、政府の地方制度調査会は17日、大都市制度のあり方に関する議論を始めた。

The central government had seldom squarely tackled the issue of large cities before.
政府が大都市問題に正面から取り組んだことは、これまでほとんどなかった。

The Osaka metropolis scheme will be a central theme of the council's discussions.
 大阪都構想は、中心的なテーマとなる。

Hashimoto intends to compile a concrete plan by this autumn, with an eye toward shifting to an Osaka metropolis in the spring of 2015.
橋下氏は、2015年春の大阪都移行を目指して、今秋までに具体案をまとめる考えだが、

His moves and the council's discussions will certainly affect each other.
その動向と調査会の議論は、相互に影響していくだろう。

Also to be discussed is the idea of letting ordinance-designated cities become completely independent from prefectural governments as special self-governing units.
 政令市が道府県から独立する「特別自治市」や、

There are also other ideas to be taken up for discussion, such as one to integrate Aichi Prefecture and the city of Nagoya to establish a "Chukyo-to" administrative unit, and one to realign Niigata Prefecture and Niigata City into Niigata-shu (Niigata State).
愛知県と名古屋市が掲げる「中京都」、新潟県と新潟市を再編する「新潟州」なども検討対象だ。

The times require discussions about systems of large-city governance.
大都市制度の議論は、時代の要請でもある。

The council will also discuss issues related to local municipalities, be they cities, towns or villages, that are dealing with marked population decline and a rapidly aging citizenry.
 調査会では、人口減少が著しく、高齢化の進んでいる市町村の問題も審議する。

It is no easy task to consider the problems of large cities and those of smaller municipalities in the context of the ongoing trend of transferring administrative powers to local governments.
地方分権の流れの中で、大都市と小規模な自治体の問題をどう位置づけるかは、容易ではない。

Toward the aim of rejuvenating local administrations, a broad-based discussion is called for.
自治の再生に向けて、幅広い議論を重ねてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 18, 2012)
(2012年1月18日01時18分  読売新聞)

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2012年1月18日 (水)

台湾総統選―対中安定を選んだ民意

--The Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 16
EDITORIAL: Taiwan’s voters show reserved support for expansion of China ties
台湾総統選―対中安定を選んだ民意

"In Taiwan’s presidential election on Jan. 14, voters gave qualified support, not unconditional approval, to expanded ties with China. That probably best sums up the election outcome.
 中国との交流拡大はよいが、手放しでは歓迎できない――。

Incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou of the ruling Kuomintang (Nationalist Party) won re-election, defeating Tsai Ing-wen, head of the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party.
 台湾の総統選で、国民党の馬英九(マー・インチウ)総統が民進党の蔡英文(ツァイ・インウェン)主席らを退けた。示された民意をつづめて言えばこうではないか。

China-Taiwan relations soured markedly during the previous government of the DPP.
 中台関係は民進党の前政権期に悪化した。

Ma was first elected president four years ago by promising to mend ties with China.
馬氏は改善を掲げて4年前の総統選に初当選し、

Ma implemented a series of steps to deliver on his pledge.
He launched regular direct flights between Taiwan and China, lifted a ban on visits by mainland Chinese and struck an Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement for free cross-strait trade.
定期直行便を運航、中国からの観光客受け入れを解禁し、自由貿易圏を目指す経済協力枠組み協定を結んだ。

Ma, declaring his election victory while being pelted by a pouring rain, stressed that the expansion of Taiwan’s economic ties and trade with China during his first term had strong voter support.
He pledged to continue his China policy for the next four years.
 土砂降りの雨に打たれながら勝利を宣言した馬総統は、中国との経済、貿易が拡大したことが「支持された」と強調して、「今後4年間もこの政策を続けていく」と明言した。

Indeed, relations between China and Taiwan have been on a roll recently.
 確かに、このところの中台関係は活発だ。

Mainland tourists visiting Taiwan now outnumber Japanese visitors.
Chinese students are beginning to come to the island to study.
大陸からの観光客数は日本を上回り、留学生も来始めている。

The current state of the cross-strait relationship is a far cry from what it was 16 years ago when Beijing tried to intimidate Taiwan by test-firing missiles during a presidential election.
総統選の期間に中国がミサイル演習で威嚇した16年前から想像できないほどだ。

Even so, China still keeps ballistic missiles aimed at Taiwan and is expanding its naval power around the island.  しかし、台湾に照準を合わせた弾道ミサイルを中国は配備したままだし、台湾周辺での海軍力も増強している。

The current stability in Sino-Taiwanese relations is as fragile as a glass sculpture and far from what constitutes true peace.
中台関係の安定はガラス細工のようにもろく、真の平和にほど遠い。

That’s why there is still strong, deep-rooted wariness about unification among Taiwanese, as indicated by the fact that Ma’s poll ratings dropped immediately after he talked about a peace treaty with China during the election campaign.
 だから、馬総統が選挙戦で中国との平和協定を口にした途端に支持率が下がったように、統一に対する台湾の人々の警戒心はなお根強い。

The Communist Party of China and the government in Beijing issued an unusual statement following Ma’s re-election, expressing hope for “opening of a new phase of peaceful development of the relationship” and “striving together for a great resurgence of the Chinese race.”
The move clearly reflected China’s enthusiasm about starting political dialogue with Taiwan as a step toward eventual unification.
 中国共産党と政府は、馬氏再選が決まった後に「関係の平和的発展の新しい局面をさらに開き、中華民族の偉大な復興のために共に力を尽くすことを願っている」という異例の談話を発表し、統一を視野に入れた政治対話に意欲を示した。

But the Taiwanese people are not interested in such political dialogue.
 しかし、台湾の民意は政治対話をまだ望んでいない。

Ma needs to tread carefully on this issue.
馬氏は慎重に対応すべきである。

Beijing, if it really wants political dialogue with the island, should demonstrate its sincerity by taking steps to build a peaceful and favorable environment for cross-strait talks, such as removing the missiles aimed at Taiwan.
We sincerely hope the new Chinese leadership that will be elected in the party convention this autumn will make serious efforts to improve the diplomatic climate for political talks with Taiwan.
 中国も政治対話を望むのであれば、台湾向けのミサイルを廃棄するなどの誠意を示して、平和な環境を整える必要がある。秋の党大会で生まれる新しい指導部にそれを強く望みたい。

For her part, Tsai fared better than the DPP’s candidate for the previous presidential election in terms of the percentage of votes garnered against the total poll. But her failure to offer concrete proposals to tackle key policy issues, like the relationship with China, growing economic inequity among Taiwanese people and employment, was her undoing.
 蔡氏は前回の民進党候補より得票率を上げたが、対中関係や格差、雇用などの問題で具体的な対抗策を示すことはできなかった。

Nevertheless, we applaud Tsai for not inflaming tension during the election campaign, which often happened in the past. This gave the impression that democracy in Taiwan has matured.
とはいえ、過去のような対立をあおる選挙運動はせず、台湾の民主主義の成熟を印象づけたことは評価したい。

In mainland China, the people are still denied the right to vote in democratic elections. Yet, they showed tremendous interest in Taiwan’s election through Internet postings and other forms of online expression.
 民主的な選挙に縁のない中国の人々もネットなどで大きな関心を示した。

We hope they will learn more about democracy through Taiwan's experience.
台湾を通してさらに学ぶようになればいい。

Although Taiwan has no formal diplomatic relationship with Japan, Taiwanese sentiment toward Japan is very friendly. This can be seen by the size of Taiwan’s donation to help victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake. Its 17 billion yen (about $213 million) topped all other foreign donations.
 台湾は日本と外交関係はないが、東日本大震災で世界一の額の義援金170億円を寄せたように、極めて親日的である。

Japan must respond to the goodwill shown by the Taiwanese people by enhancing its ties with the island through steps like concluding a free trade agreement.
日本は自由貿易協定を結ぶなど関係の強化をはかり、台湾の善意にこたえなければならない。

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日本の指導者―政治の根幹変える覚悟を

--The Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 15
EDITORIAL: Japan in desperate need of a true leader
日本の指導者―政治の根幹変える覚悟を

If we get a new prime minister this year, it will be the seventh in seven years.
 もし、ことしも首相が代われば7年連続である。

The possibility of such a change is not small at all, as the momentum for a Diet dissolution and Lower House election is growing as politicians battle over the government's plan to raise the consumption tax rate.
 消費税率の引き上げをめぐって、衆院解散・総選挙の機運が高まりつつあり、その可能性は決して低くない。

After a succession of six prime ministers resigning in the same number of years, Japanese politics has completely lost its focus.
 この6年、毎年、首相が退陣した日本の政治は、すっかりタガが外れてしまった。

Last year within the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, voices loudly demanded the resignation of then-Prime Minister Naoto Kan. Even those within his own party supported the no-confidence motion against him.
 民主党では昨年、菅首相に「辞めろ」の大合唱が起こり、不信任案へ同調する動きさえあった。

His successor, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, won the party leadership by pushing for higher taxes, but some DPJ lawmakers repeated their objections again late last year, and some even left the party.
次の野田首相は増税を訴えて党代表選に勝ったのに、年末の党内議論で反対論が蒸し返され、離党者まで出た。

The Liberal Democratic Party no longer has any semblance of a ruling party.
 自民党には、もはや政権党の面影もない。

LDP politicians are acting as if the party had nothing to do with this country's enormous fiscal deficit, and they insist on yammering about the DPJ's breach of its manifesto. The LDP's actions border on the ridiculous.
財政赤字を積み上げてきた責任など知らん顔で、民主党のマニフェスト違反を責め立てる姿は滑稽ですらある。

With politics in such a state, it is little wonder that the recent support rate for the DPJ and the LDP combined, two major parties that make up nearly 90 percent of the seats in the Lower House, didn't even add up to 40 percent.
 こんなありさまだから、衆院で9割に近い議席を占める民主党と自民党の支持率を合わせても、最近は40%に満たない。

With an overwhelming majority of the electorate saying they support no party, can this really be called a "two-party system?"
 「支持政党なし」が圧倒的な最大勢力を占める現状は、果たして「2大政党」などと言えるものなのか。

Recognition of the times
■確かな時代認識を

In September this year, the terms in office will expire for the leaders of both parties, DPJ President and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki.
 ことし9月、民主党の野田佳彦代表(首相)も、自民党の谷垣禎一総裁も党トップの任期が切れる。

It will be a good opportunity to contemplate the essence of political leadership so that politics in this country can be rebooted.
政治を立て直すきっかけにするためにも、指導者のあり方を考える好機である。

An LDP veteran lawmaker once said: "The only thing postwar politicians had to decide was the general direction of this country: anti-communism, emphasis on the economy, and the Japan-U.S. security alliance. That was all. For the rest, bureaucrats drew up the blueprint."
 「戦後の政治が決めたのは、反共と経済重視、日米安保の方向性だけ。あとは官僚が実行計画を書いてくれた」

In an age when politics was on "autopilot," the role of politicians was the "redistribution of expanding wealth."
 こんな自民党ベテラン議員の言葉が物語る「自動操縦」のような時代は、「膨らむ富の再分配」が政治の役割だった。

However, our country is now seeing the progression of an extremely aging society, the extent of which is unprecedented around the world.
 だが、いまや世界に例のない超高齢化がすすむ。

Fewer people are working.
働く人の数が減る。

Despite the rocky waters of globalization, we cannot find the key to new economic growth.
グローバル化の荒波のなか、新たな経済成長のタネが見つからない。

The divide between the rich and poor, as well as the divide between the young and old, is widening.
貧富や世代間の格差が広がり続ける。

Politics is faced with the tough task of "redistributing the burden."
 政治は「負担の配分」という厳しい仕事を迫られている。

Yet, lawmakers continue to rely on bureaucrats as if we were still in the "autopilot' age. The lawmakers also continue to borrow more money and do their best to muddle through.
なのに国会議員たちは相も変わらず「自動操縦」の時代が続いているかのように官僚に寄りかかり、借金を重ねて、その場をしのぐ政治に精を出す。

This means we are bypassing our own problems and simply dumping them onto future generations.
これでは後世にツケを回すだけだ。

Political party leaders must first get a good grip on the times we live in.
 政党を率いる指導者は、まず確かな時代認識を持つことだ。

Then they must brace themselves so that they can fundamentally change our political system into something appropriate for governing this country in this age.
それに従って、時代にふさわしい統治の仕組みに制度を根幹から変えていく覚悟が要る。

To recreate our society, some drastic changes are essential. For example, a true shift away from bureaucratic leadership to real political leadership is needed, as is a move toward decentralization.
 社会をつくり直すためには、たとえば官僚主導から真の政治主導へ、中央集権から地方分権へといった大胆な転換が不可欠なはずだ。

The electorate has already changed along with the times.
 有権者はすでに時代とともに変わっている。

The proof lies in the fact that industry organizations are losing their vote-drawing powers not just in the cities but also in rural areas.
都市部だけでなく、農村部でも業界団体などの集票力が激減しているのは、その証しだ。

As the needs of the voters became more diverse, the electorate became fragmented like grains of sand, and the positions shift like sand dunes.
要望の多様化とともに、有権者は砂粒のようにばらばらになり、風が吹けば砂丘のように位置を変える。

Respond to change
■変化への対応を

Politicians are unable to cope with these ephemeral changes.
 この変わりように、政治家がついていけない。

The single-district system of the Lower House contributes to the parties' tendency to choose leaders they hope can gain wide support, but that is merely a window-dressing tactic aimed at winning over a fickle electorate.
 衆院の小選挙区制もあいまって、より幅広い支持を得られそうな党首を据える傾向が強まっているが、それは気まぐれな世論を味方につけようとする、いわば糊塗策(ことさく)でしかない。

It is impossible to support anyone or any party if they don't have the means with which to recognize and realize what voters want.
 有権者それぞれの思いを束ねて、くみあげる機能もないままに、支持だけ求めても無理だ。

It is only natural that voters should write off political parties and politicians that are out of touch with the times.
時代遅れの政党や政治家が、有権者に見限られるのは当たり前ではないか。

It is understandable that politicians like Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto are growing in stature when national politics is in such a dire state.
 これほど情けない国政を見せられれば、橋下徹大阪市長のような政治家が存在感を増すのもうなずける。

Hashimoto's criticism of the huge Osaka Town Hall organization is extremely easy to understand.
 大阪市役所という巨大な組織を批判する言説は、とにかくわかりやすい。

His push to eradicate the wasteful double administration that exists in Osaka--Osaka Prefecture and Osaka city--seems to be in accordance with these times of the shrinking economy
大阪府と市の二重行政の無駄をなくす姿勢も、経済が縮んでいく時代の流れに沿うものといえる。

He is always looking for new enemies and using the heat of that friction as the energy source to move forward. Such an approach is dangerous because it risks preventing rational thought and contemplation.
 敵をつくり、対立の摩擦熱ですすむような手法は、冷静な思考を妨げる危うさがつきまとう。

However, his style definitely gives the voters the impression that something is happening in politics.
だが、政治が確かに動いているという感覚を有権者に与えているのは間違いない。

Existing parties, whatever their party platform or policies, are ingratiating themselves to Hashimoto. This is a pathetic sight.
 こんな橋下氏に、従来の主張や政策を省みずにすり寄る既成政党の姿は哀れみさえ誘う。

Prime Minister Noda is asking the public to accept an increased burden as part of the tax and social security reform. That is a step forward in facing up to the changing times.
 野田首相が税と社会保障の一体改革で、国民に負担増を求めるのは、時代の変化に向き合う一歩だといえる。

The country must adamantly achieve government reform and move forward.
行革を断行しつつ、前へ進まねばならない。

The prime minister should take the argument he used to override the anti-tax raise voices within his own party late last year, and repeat the discussion in the public domain in plain sight.
 昨年末に民主党内の増税反対論を押し切った議論を、もっと国民に見える形でやればいい。

The voters will take notice only when the prime minister steps into the hot seat.
首相が矢面に立って初めて、有権者は振り返る。

Power to move organizations
■組織を動かす力を

How will LDP leader Tanigaki respond?
 自民党の谷垣総裁は、どう応じるのか。

If he says, "I have always championed tax reform up front and center," then he should clamp down on those within his party who demand an early dissolution of the Diet, and achieve tax reform by leading the way ahead of the DPJ.
「税制改革の断行を堂々と掲げてきた」というのなら、早期解散への党内圧力を抑え、むしろ民主党をリードして改革を成し遂げるのが筋だろう。

If he can achieve that, then he will secure a place in history.
それができれば、歴史に名を残すに違いない。

A leader is someone who recognizes how the times are changing, puts forth clear goals, builds a strategy to achieve those goals, and moves organizations and the unsung people who work hard outside the limelight to realize those goals.
 指導者は時代の変化を見極めて、わかりやすい目標を示し、その達成までの戦略を立て、実現のために縁の下で汗をかく人も含めて組織を動かす。

That is leadership, and leadership requires experience.
こうした指導力を培うには、経験も欠かせない。

A political culture that casually throws away its leaders in short succession is hardly conducive to producing good, worthy people.
 指導者を使い捨てするような政治風土からは、有為な人材はなかなか生まれない。

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2012年1月16日 (月)

独法改革 見せかけの取り組みでは困る

カラオケ、過労死、あまくだり・・・ そのまま米国で通用します^^。
日本語から英語へと進化した単語はかなりあると思います。
ハワイ事務所のセクレタリー(2名の女性たち)は、過労死を殺しと混同して発音していました。
日本には殺しが多いそうですね?って聞かれたときに、なんだこれはと思いましたが、よく説明を聞いたら、これは過労死のことだったのです^^。
悪乗りして、腹上死(ふくじょうし)って知ってるかって聞いたら、聞いたことがないと申しておりました^^。
楽しかったです。ハワイの勤務^^。
(スラチャイ)

Going through the motions not enough for reform
The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 16, 2012)
独法改革 見せかけの取り組みでは困る(1月15日付・読売社説)

It is vital when reforming independent administrative institutions to achieve tangible results, such as spending cuts.
 独立行政法人の改革は歳出削減などの具体的な成果を上げることが肝要だ。

The government must not allow reform to simply change such organizations' names.
看板の掛け替えに終わらせてはならない。

In this regard, newly appointed Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada, who will concurrently serve as state minister in charge of administrative reform, bears a heavy responsibility.
行政改革を担当する岡田副総理の役割は重い。

The Government Revitalization Unit will compile a plan to reorganize independent administrative institutions as early as by the end of this month.
 政府の行政刷新会議が月内にも独法の組織再編案をまとめる。

Of the 102 such bodies, there are plans to abolish three, including the Commemorative Organization for the Japan World Exposition '70, and to privatize the organization for environment improvement around international airports and one other body.
原案では、102法人のうち、日本万国博覧会記念機構など3法人は廃止、空港周辺整備機構など2法人は民間に移管する。

Other independent administrative institutions will be transformed into public corporations focused on achieving revenue and performance goals, or public corporations aimed at enhancing cooperation with central government projects.
 その他の法人は2013年度末に、収益や業績の達成を重視する「成果目標達成法人」か、国の事業との連携を強める「行政執行法人」に移行させる。

Moreover, the government reportedly will consider integrating some of the first type of corporation after classifying them into eight subcategories, such as those working with universities and those engaging in financial operations.
 成果目標達成法人は、大学連携型、金融業務型など8類型に分類し組織統合を検討するという。

But it will be unsatisfactory if only five independent administrative institutions are abolished or privatized.
 廃止・民間移管が計5法人では物足りない。

Even if many are transformed into new types of public corporations, it will effectively constitute just a change of name if they continue to exist as organizations.
新たな種類の法人に移行しても組織が存続するのでは看板の掛け替えにすぎない。

Reorganizational efforts will be meaningful only if the government drastically reduces the number of such public agencies and slashes overall government spending.
法人数を大幅に減らし、経費削減を実現してこそ、意味がある。

===

Structural review insufficient

Reviewing their organizational structures will not be enough to reform independent administrative institutions.
 独法改革は、組織形態の見直しだけでは不十分だ。

In addition to downsizing individual agencies' businesses and making them more efficient prior to transferring such organizations to the control of local governments and the private sector, it also will be necessary to sever the cozy ties between these agencies and the government bodies that have jurisdiction over them.
Such ties have developed through the provision of subsidies and the practice of amakudari, under which bureaucrats take lucrative jobs in related organizations after their retirement.
各法人の個別事業を縮減・効率化し、地方や民間に移管することに加え、天下りと補助金による所管府省との癒着にもメスを入れる必要がある。

If the government embarks on the reform of large-scale independent administrative institutions, such as the Urban Renaissance Agency and the Japan Housing Finance Agency, it will help the government substantially cut its spending.
 都市再生機構、住宅金融支援機構など大型の独法の改革に切り込めば、政府支出の実質的な削減につながるだろう。

On the other hand, it is dangerous to make decisions that put too much weight on short-term cost performance in fields linked with national strategy, such as research and development in science and technology, and cultural promotion.
 一方で、科学技術の研究開発や文化振興など国家戦略にかかわる分野で、短期的な費用対効果に偏った結論を出すのは危険だ。

The government must consider how to carry out reforms from mid- and long-term perspectives, without insisting too much on "visible results."
「目に見える成果」にばかり固執せず、中長期的な視点から改革を検討することが欠かせない。

In its manifesto pledges for the 2009 House of Representatives election, the Democratic Party of Japan called for a comprehensive review of independent administrative institutions, including their total abolishment.
 民主党は09年衆院選の政権公約(マニフェスト)で、独法について「全廃を含めて抜本的な見直し」を掲げた。

The party clearly stated in the manifesto that it would be possible to slash 6.1 trillion yen in annual government spending by reviewing independent administrative institutions, public-interest corporations and subsidies.
独法や公益法人、補助金の見直しで年6・1兆円の節約が可能とも明記した。

===

Minimal effort so far

However, an April 2010 session of the government panel tasked with reviewing wasteful government spending has been almost the only occasion when the DPJ-led government tackled the reform of independent administrative institutions.
 ところが、実際に独法改革に取り組んだのは、10年4月の事業仕分けくらいだった。

We regret to say there is a wide gap between the promise made in the manifesto and the latest draft reform plan.
公約と今回の改革原案との開きは大きい。

At the end of last year, the DPJ set up a research committee on administrative reform, spurred by the need to broaden public understanding of the proposed consumption tax hike.
 民主党が昨年末、行政改革調査会を設置したのは、消費税率引き上げへの国民の理解を広げる必要性に迫られたためだ。

But the move was a hastily devised countermeasure.
文字通り「泥縄の対応」と言える。

What is needed now is not a token effort, but a determined and continuous undertaking.
見せかけでなく、腰を据えた、継続的な取り組みが求められる。

It is a matter of course for the government and the DPJ to thoroughly carry out administrative reform, including that of independent administrative institutions, as a prerequisite to the integrated reform of social security and tax systems.
 社会保障と税の一体改革の前提として、独法を含む行政改革を徹底するのは当然だ。

Given the country's critical fiscal condition, insufficient administrative reform cannot be used as an excuse to postpone the tax hike.
ただ、危機的な財政状況を踏まえれば、「行革が不十分」を言い訳にした増税の先送りは許されない。

Efforts to realize the tax hike and administrative reform must be made simultaneously.
増税と行革を両立させねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 15, 2012)
(2012年1月15日01時16分  読売新聞)

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2012年1月15日 (日)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:声を出して笑う /東京

(Mainichi Japan) January 15, 2012
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Beginning the year with a laugh
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:声を出して笑う /東京

I spent the turning of the New Year at my parents' home in Otaru, Hokkaido.
 年末年始は北海道小樽市の実家ですごした。

It may be this way all across the country, but it seems that in Hokkaido, the economy is not doing very well.
On the television came news that, "The economic growth for the year ahead in Hokkaido is forecast at zero or negative levels."
全国各地どこもそうかもしれないが、北海道も景気が思わしくないようで、テレビでは「新しい年の北海道の経済成長は、マイナスかゼロが見込まれています」などと暗いニュースがさらりと語られていた。

Furthermore, this season there is heavy snow, with all the burdens that brings.
その上、今年はたいへんな豪雪。

As I thought to myself, "There is hardly ever any good news for my homeland," images caught my eye on television of people watching the year's first sunrise.
 「わが故郷には明るい話題がほとんどないな」と思いながら元旦を迎えた私の目に飛び込んできたのは、各地で初日の出を見る人たちの映像だった。

There were people by the ocean, on mountains, on boats all waiting expectantly, until finally the brilliant red sun appeared from the horizon.
北海道は広大なので、絶好の初の日の出観賞スポットがたくさんあり、毎年、道内外から多くの人が訪れる。
 ある人は岬の突端で、ある人は山頂や海上に出した船で、今か今かと待っている。すると、ついに水平線や地平線から赤々とした太陽が顔を出す瞬間がやって来る。

At every location, the reaction of the people gathered was by and large the same.
そのときの反応は、どのスポットでもたいてい同じ。

After raising their voices in awe, they would start to laugh, with a few amongst them even guffawing.
人々は、「わーっ」と歓声を上げ、そして「フフフ」「アハハ」と笑い出すのだ。中にはゲラゲラ大笑い、という人もいる。

Looking at the television screen, I wondered, "What's so funny about the sun rising?" But soon, I found myself smiling as well.
 テレビ画面を通して見ている私には、「太陽が出たのが、どうしてそんなにおかしいんだろう」と思えるが、そのうちいつのまにかこちらも一緒にニコニコしているのに気づく。

Who knows why, but the rising sun is a happy and funny occasion, and we just let out a big laugh, and that seemed to feel like the right thing to do at the time.
初の日の出が見られて、理由はわからないけれどうれしくておもしろいから、まずは大笑いしてみる。それでいいじゃないか、という気になるのだ。

In his work "Yukishi yo no Omokage," author Kyoji Watanabe introduces writings and diaries from foreigners who visited Japan from the last years of the Edo period to the beginning of the Meiji period.
They wrote that the Japanese were cheerful and bright.
 幕末から明治初期にかけて日本を訪れた外国人の手記や日記を丹念に読み込んで紹介した「逝きし世の面影」(渡辺京二著)という力作の中にも、さかんに当時の日本人が陽気で明るいという記述が出てくる。

Although those Japanese people's lifestyles were far from luxurious, laughter filled the houses and streets, surprising Americans and Europeans who were visiting what was supposed to be a despotic and backward nation.
生活じたいは決して豊かではないのに、家の中からも往来にも笑い声が絶えず、「専制政治の遅れた国」と聞いてやって来た欧米の人たちはみな驚きを隠せない。

We Japanese may be gifted with an ability to find amusement in the smallest of things.
 私たちはもともと、「ちょっとしたことにもおかしみや面白さを感じて笑う」という能力に恵まれているのかもしれない。

Even if we don't have big success or watch a first-class show performance, we can smile or laugh out loud about little things in our daily lives or comments made in our day-to-day conversations.
何も大成功しなくても一流のショーを見なくても、生活の中のあれこれ、日常会話の中のひとことで、含み笑いから大笑いまでができる。

I think this is a wonderful strong point and ability.
これは立派な長所であり才能ではないか。

I hope that those people who laughed at the rising sun lead a full year where they can laugh about all kinds of things.
 「わーっ、初日の出だ! アハハ」と笑えた人は、今年一年、いろいろなことで大いに笑って、心豊かにすごしてほしいと思う。

I, too, plan to also put aside restraint and laugh whenever I find something amusing, and I suggest that we make this a year where we can laugh about our day-to-day lives.
私も、ちょっとでもおかしさを感じたら、がまんしないで声に出して笑うつもりだ。「声に出して読みたい日本語」というベストセラーがあるが、今年は「声に出して笑いたい毎日」をモットーにしてみるのはどうだろう。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2012年1月10日 地方版

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2012年1月14日 (土)

イラン制裁 原油の安定調達へ万全尽くせ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 14, 2012)
Every effort must be made to ensure stable oil supply
イラン制裁 原油の安定調達へ万全尽くせ(1月13日付・読売社説)

The United States and European nations are cooperating to prevent Iran from possessing nuclear weapons by imposing economic sanctions in the form of direct and indirect embargoes on crude oil imports from that country.
 イランの核保有阻止に向け、米欧が原油輸入禁止による経済制裁で足並みをそろえつつある。

It is inevitable for Japan to join this effort to exert more pressure on Iran.
 日本が米欧に同調するのは、圧力をかける上でやむを得ない。

However, we must keep to a minimum the possible chaotic effects that would arise from a shortage of crude oil and price hikes.
だが、原油不足や価格高騰などの混乱は最小限にとどめなければならない。

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda met Thursday with visiting U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and told him Japan shares the United States' serious concerns on the nuclear issue.
 野田首相は、来日したガイトナー米財務長官と会談し、「イランの核問題に深刻な懸念を共有している」と語った。

In a separate meeting, Finance Minister Jun Azumi told Geithner that Japan would start gradually reducing oil imports from Iran at an early date.
安住財務相は、長官に日本のイラン原油の輸入を「早い段階で計画的に減らす」方針を伝えた。

The sanctions are designed to limit dollar-based transactions in the United States of foreign financial institutions that engage in transactions with the Central Bank of Iran to import Iranian oil.
 米国が検討している制裁は、原油輸入のためイラン中央銀行と金融取引する外国の金融機関に対し、米国での金融事業を制限する内容だ。

The sanctions are expected to be imposed in the middle of the year at the earliest.
早ければ、今年半ばにも発動される見通しだ。

===

Cutting funds for N-program

By cracking down on deals between foreign banks and Iran's central bank, the U.S. government hopes to significantly reduce the amount of funds Iran can use for its nuclear development by cutting the country's income from crude oil exports.
 外国銀行がイラン中銀との取引を控えることで、イランの原油収入を減少させ、核開発の原資を断つことが米国の狙いである。

The European Union has agreed to impose an embargo on Iranian crude oil.
 欧州連合(EU)も、イラン原油の禁輸方針で一致した。

However, Iran supplies about 10 percent of the oil Japan needs.
 ただ、日本は輸入原油全体の1割をイランに依存する。

The government is in a quandary about how to reduce imports from that country.
輸入をどう削減するのか対応は難しい。

Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba, who recently visited several Middle East countries, asked Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to maintain stable crude oil supplies to Japan and received favorable responses.  中東を歴訪した玄葉外相は、サウジアラビアやアラブ首長国連邦に日本への原油の安定供給を要請し、前向きな回答を得た。

Both public and private sectors should closely cooperate in efforts to ensure sufficient supplies of crude oil from other countries to compensate for the loss of Iranian oil.
官民が連携して、代替原油の確保に万全を尽くす必要がある。

What concerns us most is a possible surge in crude oil prices.
 懸念されるのは、原油高騰だ。

With tensions rising over the Iranian situation, crude oil prices have already soared above 100 dollars per barrel in New York and other markets.
イラン情勢の緊迫化に伴い、ニューヨーク市場などではすでに、原油価格が1バレル=100ドル超に値上がりしている。

If prices increase further, electricity rates and other costs will rise, impacting severely on the Japanese economy.
 今後、一段と急騰すれば、電力料金などが値上がりし、日本の景気に打撃を与える。

There also is a possibility that Iran's revenue from crude oil exports will increase if the sanctions do not work as planned.
イランの原油収入がかえって増え、制裁が裏目に出る可能性も否定できない。

===

Invoking criteria ambiguous

A major problem is China, the largest importer of Iranian crude, which opposes sanctions.
 問題は、イラン原油の最大輸入国である中国が制裁に反対していることだ。

We urge China to impose self-restraint and not import oil from Iran by devious means, as Iran is expected to have a crude oil surplus because of the sanctions.
余剰となったイラン原油を抜け駆け的に購入しないよう、中国には自粛を求めたい。

Fundamentally, the criteria for imposing U.S. sanctions are ambiguous.
 そもそも、米国の制裁は、具体的な発動基準があいまいだ。

Noda told Geithner the sanctions "could have a serious impact on the Japanese and world economies" depending on how they are managed, and he asked that the method of imposing the sanctions be improved. We think his demand is reasonable.
野田首相が財務長官に対し、「運用によっては、日本や世界経済に深刻な影響を与えかねない」と改善を求めたのはもっともだ。

The government needs to continuously press the U.S. government to exempt Japanese banks from the financial transaction restrictions.
 政府は引き続き、邦銀を金融取引制限の適用除外にするよう、働きかけていく必要がある。

Iran has reacted fiercely to the current situation and threatened, for instance, to close the Strait of Hormuz, a major crude oil shipping lane, if sanctions are imposed.
 一方、イランは、制裁が発動されれば原油輸送の大動脈であるホルムズ海峡を封鎖すると示唆するなど、強く反発している。

Japan, the United States and EU must carefully continue efforts to avoid unfavorable developments by using a combination of sanctions and dialogue with Iran.
 日米欧は、制裁と対話を組み合わせ、不測の事態を避ける努力を続けなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 13, 2012)
(2012年1月13日01時29分  読売新聞)

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2012年1月13日 (金)

小沢氏公判 「秘書任せ」で理解得られるか

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 13, 2012)
Ozawa's explanation unlikely to satisfy anyone
小沢氏公判 「秘書任せ」で理解得られるか(1月12日付・読売社説)

More than two years have passed since allegations against Ichiro Ozawa's political funds management organization surfaced over falsification of the political funds reports.
 政治資金収支報告書の虚偽記入の疑惑発覚から2年余り。

The political heavyweight has never offered an explanation about the accusations in the Diet. So what did he say in the court?
国会で一度も説明することのなかった政界の実力者は、法廷で何を語ったか。

Ozawa, a former Democratic Party of Japan president indicted on suspicion of violating the Political Funds Control Law over the purchase of land by Rikuzan-kai, his political funds management organization, was questioned for two days recently in the Tokyo District Court. The testimony drew wide attention as it was believed to be the climax of Ozawa's trial.
 資金管理団体・陸山会の土地購入を巡り、政治資金規正法違反に問われた民主党の小沢一郎元代表の裁判で、最大のヤマ場として注目された被告人質問が、2日間にわたり東京地裁で行われた。

In court, Ozawa said he "entirely entrusted [the political funds reports] to my secretaries" because he had "no time to pay attention directly" to them.
 小沢氏は、収支報告書の作成に関し、「すべて秘書に任せていた」「直接関心を持ついとまはなかった」と主張した。

The main focus of the trial is whether the court will determine there was a conspiracy between Ozawa and his three former secretaries, including House of Representatives member Tomohiro Ishikawa, all of whom have been found guilty by the district court for falsifying the reports.
 この裁判のポイントは、虚偽記入の実行役として起訴され、1審の東京地裁で有罪判決を受けた石川知裕衆院議員ら元秘書と、小沢氏との間で共謀が成立するかどうかだ。

Ozawa's remarks constitute a denial of his involvement in falsely reporting political funds.
小沢氏の発言は自らの関与を否定するものである。

===

Didn't kingpin take a peek?

However, we question Ozawa's contention that he "had never taken a look" at the political funds reports even after his trial started, in addition to leaving compilation of the reports solely to his secretaries.
 だが、疑問なのは、小沢氏が収支報告書を秘書任せにしただけでなく、自身の裁判が始まった後も含めて、「一度も見たことがない」と言い切ったことだ。

To ensure fair political activities under public scrutiny, a system was established under the Political Funds Control Law to ensure disclosure of political organizations' earnings and spending by political funds.
 政治資金規正法は、政治活動が国民の監視の下で公正に行われるようにするため、政治資金の収支の公開制度を設けている。

Political funds reports are an important source of information for people to decide whether political activities are being conducted fairly.
収支報告書は国民に判断材料を提供する重要な手がかりだ。

If Ozawa's statement is true, he should be criticized for belittling the spirit of the Political Funds Control Law.
 発言が事実なら、小沢氏は規正法の趣旨を軽んじていると批判されても仕方がない。

In fact, Ozawa has continually insisted all transactions made by his political funds organization are transparent.  小沢氏は常々、「政治資金はすべてオープンにしている」と強調してきた。

Many people are probably wondering how Ozawa can make such a claim without looking at the political funds reports himself.
報告書も見ないで何を根拠にそう言えるのか、と疑問を抱く人も多かろう。

Moreover, politicians have supervisory responsibility over their secretaries. What does Ozawa think about that?
 さらに、政治家は秘書に対して監督責任を負っている。それをどう考えているのか。

===

Land purchase still obscure

Rikuzan-kai paid 400 million yen to purchase the land, and Ozawa himself prepared the money. In court, Ozawa said the money came from "cash and profits on sales of real estate inherited from my parents, royalties on books and the salary I earned as a lawmaker."
 小沢氏が自ら用意した土地購入原資の4億円の出所については、「親から相続した現金や不動産の売却益のほか、印税や議員報酬だ」などと説明した。

However, Ozawa has changed his explanation about the money during questioning by prosecutors.
The district court ruling on Ishikawa and the other two secretaries pointed out that Ozawa had failed to offer a clear explanation on the matter.
 ただ、小沢氏は検察の事情聴取の過程で説明を変遷させており、石川議員らを有罪とした東京地裁判決でも「明快な説明ができていない」と指摘されていた。

To refute this criticism, Ozawa said in court he "did not know the exact details [of the money] at that time." However, this explanation fails to clear up the confusion.
 小沢氏は法廷で、「その時点では具体的に分かっていなかっただけだ」と弁明したものの、不透明さは拭いきれない。

The two days of questioning effectively ended the examination of Ozawa in court. It is now up to the district court to decide whether Ozawa is criminally responsible for the falsification of the political funds reports.
 この被告人質問で実質審理は終了し、小沢氏の刑事責任の有無は裁判所の判断に委ねられる。

Ozawa repeatedly has said he would reveal the truth in court. However, it is doubtful whether the public was convinced by his explanation when he thrust all the blame on his secretaries.
 「法廷で真実を述べる」と語ってきた小沢氏だが、「秘書任せ」の主張に説得力はあったのか。

Unless Ozawa sincerely offers to provide every detail of his political funds, it will be difficult for him to win public understanding.
自らの政治資金について説明を尽くす姿勢を示さぬ限り、国民の理解は得られないだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 12, 2012)
(2012年1月12日01時21分  読売新聞)

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2012年1月12日 (木)

日本経済再生 危機を直視し改革を断行せよ

日本の社会保障制度は世界一かも知れませんね。
欧米ではペンションと呼ばれる仕組みがあるようですが、具体的な金額は全く知りません。
日本の夫婦満額月額40万円というのは、世界の中でも突出しているのではないでしょうか。
タイには老人に支払われるお金もありますが、小額でこれは無いに等しいのです。
ですが、タイの老人たちは結構その生活をエンジョイできています。
仏教の教えから来るものなのでしょうね。ある意味で、タイは老人天国なのかも知れません。
日本もお金、おかねばっかしだけじゃなくて、精神的なもの、生きる証みたいなものを追求したらどうでしょうか。
先行きの不透明な老齢年金よりも、大切なような気がします。
イモーショナルに過ぎました。(汗) データ不足です。 m0m
(スラチャイ)

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 12, 2012)
Govt must act resolutely on reforms to rebuild economy
日本経済再生 危機を直視し改革を断行せよ(1月11日付・読売社説)

The nation's economy, which had been coming back from the shock of the Great East Japan Earthquake, slowed down and came to a standstill last autumn.
 東日本大震災のショックから持ち直していた景気が減速し、昨年秋に足踏み状態になった。

"Structural fatigue" has now pushed the nation's fiscal and social security systems close to their limits, making it apparent they cannot be sustained without drastic reforms.
 財政や社会保障の“制度疲労”は、もはや限界に近く、抜本改革なしには持続できないことが明らかである。

The administration of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda must strive to accomplish an economic turnaround with the aim of rejuvenating the national economy.
 日本経済の再生に向けて、野田政権は成長の回復を図らねばならない。

It is important that the administration does not back away from pursuing reforms that will be painful to the people, such as fiscal reconstruction, and carries them out resolutely.
財政再建など国民に痛みを伴う改革からも逃げず、断固として実行することが肝要だ。

===

Major causes for concern
 ◆深刻な円高と電力不足◆

Major causes for concern about the economy are the unprecedented strength of the yen and the deterioration of economies abroad, particularly in Europe.
 懸念材料は、歴史的な超円高と、欧州を震源とした海外経済の悪化である。

The yen is hovering in the range between 75 yen and 80 yen to the dollar, and it also has gained strength against the euro, briefly rising to the range between 97 yen and 97.5 yen.
円相場は1ドル=70円台後半が定着し、対ユーロでも一時、97円台前半に上昇した。

The nation's exports, which the economy relies heavily on, have declined, and industrial production has become sluggish.
 頼みの輸出が減少し、工業生産は減速した。

Business sentiment has withered, and investment in plants and equipment remains dangerously low.
企業心理が冷え、設備投資も低空飛行が続く。

It is necessary to keep on guard against a further relapse in the economy.
景気腰折れに警戒する必要がある。

The government and the Bank of Japan embarked on a yen-selling, dollar-buying market intervention single-handedly last October, but with limited effect.
 政府・日銀は昨年10月、為替市場で円売り・ドル買いの単独介入に踏み切ったが、効果は限定的だった。

The slowdown in overseas economies is probably intensifying the pressure for the yen's further appreciation.
海外経済の減速が円高圧力を高めているのだろう。

The government and the central bank must expedite their efforts to correct the excessive rise of the yen, through flexible market intervention and additional monetary relaxation.
 政府・日銀は機動的な介入と追加金融緩和によって、円高の是正を急がねばならない。

It is important that they doggedly work on their counterparts in Europe and the United States to realize a concerted market intervention.
欧米当局との協調介入の実現に向け、粘り強く働きかけることが重要だ。

Attention should also be paid to the possibility that the yen's excessive rise could bring about the hollowing-out of the nation's industries.
 円高が産業空洞化を招く点にも注意を要する。

A survey taken by the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry showed that if the present level of the yen's appreciation continues for another six months, about half of major manufacturers would shift plants and other facilities abroad.
経済産業省の調査では、現在の円高が半年続くと、大企業製造業の約半数が、工場などを海外移転すると答えた。

It is projected that 600,000 jobs will be lost at home if the hollowing-out of the Japanese auto industry progresses.
 自動車産業で空洞化が進行すると、国内雇用が60万人も減少するという推計もある。

Meanwhile, manufacturers' smaller suppliers, who cannot afford to shift their production bases abroad, face the prospect of going out of business, if domestic production contracts.
 国内生産が縮小すれば、海外に出られない下請け企業は廃業の危機に瀕する。

The very foundation of manufacturing in Japan, which has been supported by a large number of small and midsize companies, must not be allowed to fall into ruin.
多くの中小企業が支える日本のモノ作りの土台を、崩壊させてはならない。

The electricity shortage is also exacerbating the industrial hollowing-out.
 電力不足も空洞化を助長する要因だ。

As a result of the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, other nuclear plants whose operations were suspended for regular checkups cannot resume operations.
Nearly 90 percent of the nation's 54 nuclear reactors are now idle.
東京電力福島第一原子力発電所の事故を受け、定期検査で止めた原発を再稼働できない中、全54基の約9割が停止した。

There is a possibility that all the nuclear plants might be stopped by May. This would result in a loss of 30 percent of the nation's total power supply.
5月までに全原発が止まり、国内の電源の3割を失う恐れがある。

The government must get these nuclear plants running again by assuming full responsibility for confirming their safety and by winning the understanding of the relevant local governments.
 政府は、原発の安全性確認に責任を持ち、地元自治体の理解を得て、再稼働を実現させなければならない。

Securing a stable supply of electricity is key to the rejuvenation of the national economy.
電力の安定供給確保も日本経済再生のカギを握る。

===

Use TPP to tap foreign demand
 ◆TPPで外需取り込め◆

Demand for goods and services created by the restoration efforts in areas devastated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami is expected to support the economy.
 景気下支えで期待されるのが、震災の復興需要だ。

The Diet has already passed restoration-related budgets totaling 15 trillion yen.
すでに15兆円の復興関連予算が成立した。

Restoration projects should proceed steadily, reconstructing living and production bases and improving the economy simultaneously in the disaster areas.
被災地の生活・生産基盤の復活と景気浮揚を同時に果たすため、事業を着実に実施してほしい。

However, dependence on restoration demand alone, which is only temporary, will not open a new vista for the economy.
 とはいえ、一時の復興特需に頼るだけでは展望は開けない。

The nation's working population, who are active consumers, numbers 80 million at present. However, that figure is expected to decrease to 70 million in 15 years and to 60 million in 25 years.
 消費が活発な現役世代の人口は現在、約8000万人だが、15年後は7000万人、25年後には6000万人に減る見込みだ。

The nation's rapid population decline is certain to shrink domestic demand.
 人口減少の加速で、日本の内需縮小は避けられない。

To supplement it, Japan will need a strategy to tap into external demand in emerging economies in Asia and other regions where the economic growth is continuing.
成長が続くアジアなど新興国の外需を取り込む戦略が必須となる。

The first step in that direction is Japan's official participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade treaty. Prime Minister Noda announced last year that the nation would begin a consultation process with the United States and other countries to participate in negotiations on drafting the TPP pact.
 第一歩は、野田首相が交渉参加に向け、米国などと協議に入ると表明した環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)への正式参加だ。

The TPP is a framework to liberalize trade and investment among Asia-Pacific countries by abolishing tariffs. At present, nine countries including the United States, Australia and Singapore are negotiating to draft the TPP treaty.
 TPPは、アジア・太平洋の各国が関税を撤廃し、貿易や投資を自由化する枠組みで、米国とオーストラリア、シンガポールなど9か国が交渉している。

Japan will hurt its own national interests unless it immediately joins the negotiation process because otherwise it will lose the opportunity to have its opinions reflected in the TPP rules on trade liberalization and investment being discussed there.
 日本も早く加わらないと、貿易自由化や投資のルール作りに間に合わず、国益を損なう。

However, arguments against it are smoldering domestically.
 ところが、国内には異論がくすぶる。

In particular, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry and lawmakers with close ties to the farm sector claim Japan's participation in TPP would ruin its agricultural sector.
特に、農林水産省や農業関係議員は、TPPが日本農業を崩壊させると主張している。

However, we think the major causes of a crisis in Japan's agriculture are its low productivity and a shortage of people engaged in farming.
日本農業の危機は、低生産性や担い手不足が主因である。

The nation's agricultural industry could deal with liberalization of the farm products market if it makes itself competitive by consolidating farmland to boost productivity.
 農地の集約化を進めて生産性を高め、競争力のある産業に転換すれば、農産物の市場開放に対応できるだろう。

The TPP should be considered a catalyst for the revival of Japanese agriculture.
TPPを農業再生の起爆剤と考えるべきだ。

Meanwhile, the combined long-term debts of the central and local governments are set to reach 937 trillion yen at the end of fiscal 2012, a figure that is double the gross domestic product.
 国と地方の長期債務は2012年度末で937兆円と、国内総生産(GDP)の約2倍に達する。

This is the worst fiscal condition in the world.
世界最悪の状況だ。

Nonetheless, the government keeps piling up huge deficits. Tax revenues are increasing at a sluggish pace due to the economic downturn while expenditures, particularly social security spending on medical care and pension programs, are ballooning.
 経済の低迷で税収が伸びないうえに、医療や年金など社会保障費を中心に歳出が膨らみ、巨額の財政赤字を垂れ流している。

===

Take the tax bull by the horns
 ◆消費税上げが必要だ◆

Members of the Japanese workforce are showing a stronger tendency to spend less and save more for fear that the nation's fiscal and social security system might collapse eventually.
 財政や社会保障制度がいずれ、破綻しかねないとの不安から、働く世代が消費を抑え、貯蓄を増やす傾向が強まっている。

The government must halt the vicious cycle in which anxiety about the future dampens consumer spending, resulting in low economic growth and reduced tax revenues.
 将来不安が消費を冷やし、低成長と税収減を招く悪循環を断ち切らねばならない。

However, lawmakers do not seem to be keenly aware of this pinch.
 しかし、政治の危機感は薄い。

Policy measures are still a mixture of the standstill and the rambling due to the divided Diet and populist pandering.
衆参ねじれ国会と大衆迎合(ポピュリズム)で、政策はいまだに停滞と迷走を繰り返している。

The only way to rehabilitate the nation's finances and social security system is to secure stable financial sources with a consumption tax rate increase.
 財政と社会保障を立て直すには消費税率を引き上げ、安定財源を確保するほかに道はない。

Regardless of whatever party is in power, this is a task that any government must accomplish.
これは与野党を問わず、政治が実現しなければならない課題である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 11, 2012)
(2012年1月11日01時11分  読売新聞)

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2012年1月11日 (水)

野田外交の責務 日本の存在高める戦略を持て

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 11, 2012)
Noda must pursue diplomacy that will enhance nation's presence
野田外交の責務 日本の存在高める戦略を持て(1月10日付・読売社説)

It has been pointed out for years that Japan's diplomatic standing is deteriorating, a condition likened to "ground subsidence."
 日本外交の地盤沈下が指摘されて久しい。

With the prime minister being changed annually for six years in a row, international awareness of this country's existence has further declined.
6年連続で首相が交代し、国際社会での日本の存在感は一層薄まっている。

Last year, we received heartwarming help from all over the world after the country suffered the disastrous Great East Japan Earthquake.
 昨年は、東日本大震災に対し世界中から温かい支援を受けた。

This international bond made us recognize afresh the importance of diplomacy.
国際的な連帯は外交の重要性を再認識させた。

This year, Japan must drop its inward-looking stance and advance an active diplomacy to improve the nation's presence in the world.
 日本は今年、内向き姿勢を排し、自らの存在を高める能動的な外交を展開することが肝要だ。

To this end, the top priority should be the deepening of the Japan-U.S. alliance, which Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has described as the "cornerstone of Japanese diplomacy."
 優先して取り組むべきは、野田首相が「日本外交の基軸」と強調する日米同盟の深化である。

 ◆首相訪米で同盟深化を◆

Both the Japanese and U.S. governments are now planning an official visit by Noda to the United States this year.
 日米両政府は今年、野田首相の公式訪米を検討している。

Originally, the governments planned a U.S. visit in 2010 by the then prime minister and an announcement of a joint document aimed at deepening the bilateral alliance to mark the 50th anniversary of the revision of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.
However, the plan has been continuously postponed due to political upheaval in Japan and other reasons.
 本来は、日米安全保障条約改定50周年の2010年に首相訪米と同盟深化の共同文書の発表を計画していたが、日本の政局の混乱などで先送りされ続けてきた。

The plan should be realized this year.
今年こそ、実現せねばなるまい。

===

Speed up Futenma relocation

To realize the plan, it is important for the government to advance the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture.
 米軍普天間飛行場の移設問題を前進させることが大切だ。

In late December, the government submitted to the Okinawa prefectural government an environmental impact assessment for an alternative facility to be constructed in the Henoko district of Nago in the same prefecture.
 政府は昨年末、名護市辺野古に建設する代替施設の環境影響評価書を沖縄県に提出した。

The most difficult hurdle for realizing the relocation plan is to obtain permission to reclaim land in offshore waters from Okinawa Gov.
Hirokazu Nakaima, who stressed "relocation of the air station functions outside the prefecture" as one of his election campaign pledges.
最大の関門は、「県外移設」を公約した仲井真弘多知事から公有水面埋め立ての許可を得ることだ。

Noda must seek a comprehensive agreement with the Okinawa prefectural government on the Futenma issue, the relocation of marine corps personnel stationed in the prefecture to Guam and the prefecture's economic development programs, among other issues.
 野田首相は、普天間問題や在沖縄海兵隊のグアム移転、沖縄振興などに関する沖縄県との包括的な合意を目指さねばならない。

It will also be important for him to repeatedly have strategic dialogues with the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama, which has made clear its diplomatic position of focusing on Asia.
These joint discussions are necessary to cope with China, which has been expanding its military and economic presence.
 「アジア重視」路線を鮮明にしたオバマ政権と、膨張する中国に共同で対処するための戦略対話を重ねることも重要となる。

To guide China toward the observation of international rules for settling economic problems and maritime territorial issues, Japan and the United States should closely cooperate in the use of frameworks for multilateral discussions, including the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Regional Forum, as well as Japan-U.S.-South Korea, Japan-U.S.-India and Japan-U.S.-Australia trilateral frameworks.
 経済や海洋問題で国際ルールを順守する方向に中国を誘導するには、日米が緊密に連携し、東アジア首脳会議やASEAN地域フォーラム(ARF)などの多国間会議や、日米韓、日米印、日米豪の枠組みを活用する必要がある。

 ◆「拉致」前進へ連携強化◆

The situation on the Korean Peninsula has become increasingly opaque due to the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.
 北朝鮮の金正日総書記の死去で朝鮮半島情勢は不透明になった。

To prepare for unforeseen contingencies, it is indispensable for our nation not only to cooperate with the United States, but also to closely share information and coordinate policies with both China and South Korea.
不測の事態に備えるため、日米だけでなく、中韓両国との緊密な情報共有と政策調整が不可欠だ。

===

Expand trilateral ties

We also need to expand trilateral defense cooperation with the United States and South Korea by formulating operational plans to deal with contingencies and participating in joint exercises and other activities.
 有事を想定した作戦計画の策定や共同演習の実施など、日米韓の防衛協力も拡充したい。

In December, South Korea brought up the issue of the so-called comfort women, but Japan should not budge on its stance that all compensation issues have been settled.
 韓国は昨年12月、いわゆる従軍慰安婦問題を提起してきたが、日本は、請求権問題は解決済みとの立場を一切変更すべきではない。

At the same time, our nation should develop future-oriented relations with Seoul.
同時に、日韓関係を未来志向で発展させることも求められよう。

As for North Korea, the leadership change there should be exploited to break the stalemate on the issue of Japanese nationals abducted to that country.
 北朝鮮の指導者交代を、膠着(こうちゃく)状態にある日本人拉致問題を前進させる契機とする発想が必要だ。

Late last month, the government decided to reinforce the abduction issue countermeasures headquarters.
 政府は先月末、拉致問題対策本部の体制を強化する方針を決定した。

In close cooperation with the United States, China, South Korea and Russia, the government must devise a strategy to try to resolve the North Korean nuclear and abduction issues at the same time.
米中韓露各国との連携を密にし、核問題と拉致問題を同時に動かす戦略を練らねばならない。

In Russia, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will almost certainly return to the Kremlin after winning a presidential election in March.
 ロシアでは、3月の大統領選を経てプーチン首相が大統領に復帰することが確実視されている。

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev takes the stand of not recognizing the 1956 Japan-Soviet Joint Declaration that pledged to return two islands off Hokkaido to Japan after conclusion of a peace treaty.
 メドベージェフ大統領は、北方領土の2島返還を明記した1956年の日ソ共同宣言さえ認めない立場で、国後島訪問を強行し、日露関係は冷却化した。

He visited Kunashiri Island in November 2010 despite Japan's opposition, thereby cooling bilateral relations. Russia's expected presidential change must be used to improve the relations.
大統領交代を関係改善の機会としたい。

Russia will host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum's summit meeting in Vladivostok in September.
 ロシアは今年9月、ウラジオストクでアジア太平洋経済協力会議(APEC)を主催する予定で、

The country seeks our nation's cooperation in energy development.
日本にエネルギー協力を求めている。

Japan needs strategic diplomacy that will respond flexibly depending on Moscow's behavior.
ロシアの出方に応じた柔軟かつ戦略的な外交が求められる。

Many international conferences will be held in Japan this year.
 日本では今年、多くの国際会議が開かれる。

They include the 6th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting set for May in Okinawa Prefecture, a ministerial conference on large-scale disasters in summer, a general meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in October and a ministerial conference on nuclear safety in December.
5月には沖縄で太平洋・島サミットを開く。夏に大規模災害の閣僚級会議、10月に国際通貨基金(IMF)・世界銀行総会、年末に原子力安全に関する閣僚級会議が予定されている。

Based on the lessons learned from the March 11 disaster and subsequent reconstruction efforts, Japan must focus on the new roles it can play in disaster countermeasures, the world economy and nuclear power generation.  大震災からの日本の復興と、震災の教訓を踏まえた防災、世界経済、原子力の各分野における日本の新たな役割をアピールすべきだ。

This would serve to repay the assistance offered by foreign countries in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
それが各国からの震災支援に対する恩返しともなろう。

===

ODA skid must be halted
 ◆ODA削減に歯止めを◆

For Japan to secure a voice on the world stage, the continual cuts in budgetary outlays for official development assistance must be halted.
 日本が国際的な発言力を確保するには、外交の「武器」である政府開発援助(ODA)予算の削減に歯止めをかけねばならない。

ODA spending has fallen year on year for 13 consecutive years and now stands at about half its peak level.  ODAは13年連続で減少し、今はピーク時の約半分にすぎない。

Japan's ranking has dropped to fifth on the world's list of ODA donors.
支出額は世界5位に後退した。

Through the effective use of ODA, the government must build strategic relationships with countries in Southeastern, Southwestern and Central Asia as a check against China's rising presence in these areas.
 ODAの効果的な活用で、中国の台頭をにらんだ東南・南西・中央アジア諸国との戦略的関係を構築すべきだ。

We also hope that ODA to resource-rich African countries will be expanded.
資源が豊富なアフリカ各国への援助も拡充したい。

It is also important for Japan to take part more in international cooperation activities such as U.N. peacekeeping operations.
 国連平和維持活動(PKO)などの国際協力に、より積極的に参加することも大切である。

The government will soon send an advance team of the Ground Self-Defense Force that will take part in U.N. peacekeeping operations in the Republic of South Sudan, which became independent from Sudan last year.
 政府は、昨年独立した南スーダンでのPKOに近く陸上自衛隊の先遣隊を派遣する。

About 240 GSDF personnel in charge of construction of facilities will be sent by late March.
3月下旬までに施設部隊約240人を送り、

They plan to engage in construction and maintenance of roads and bridges in the suburbs of the capital city of Juba.
首都ジュバ近郊で道路や橋の整備を行う予定だ。

It is very significant for Japan to contribute to the nation-building of the newly independent African nation.
南スーダンの国造りに貢献する意義は大きい。

Local security is stable at present.
 現地の治安は現在、安定しているが、

But the possibility remains that the situation will change.
情勢が変化する可能性もある。

To ensure the safety of GSDF personnel, it is necessary to expand the rules of engagement for the use of arms to international standards, allowing GSDF personnel to use arms for the purpose of carrying out their missions.
自衛隊員の安全確保には、武器使用基準を国際標準並みに拡大し、任務遂行目的の使用を可能にする必要がある。

The issue has been left pending for a long time, but now is the time to resolve it politically.
 この長年の懸案を、そろそろ政治の責任で解決すべき時だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 10, 2012)
(2012年1月10日01時15分  読売新聞)

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2012年1月10日 (火)

不安な世界経済 欧州危機の早期収束がカギだ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 10, 2012)
Resolving European crisis key to buoying global economy
不安な世界経済 欧州危機の早期収束がカギだ(1月9日付・読売社説)

A somber new year has begun for the global economy, with no victory in sight in the battle to solve the financial crisis that started in Europe.
 欧州発の金融危機を克服するメドが立たないまま、世界経済の重苦しい新年がスタートした。

Can we prevent the crisis from spreading further and stave off a rapid slowdown in the global economy?
 危機拡大を防ぎ、世界景気の急減速を回避できるか。

Many hurdles lie ahead, and rough going is expected for the global economy.
いくつものハードルが待ち構え、波乱含みだ。

Last autumn, the International Monetary Fund forecast the global economy as a whole would grow 4 percent in real terms in 2012.
But it is highly likely the IMF will revise this projection downward to the mid-3 percent range as early as this month.
 国際通貨基金(IMF)は昨秋、2012年の世界経済について全体で実質4%成長と予想したが、1月中にも、3%台半ば程度に下方修正する公算が大きい。

The eurozone economy could log negative growth due to its financial crisis and fiscal austerity policy.
 金融危機と緊縮財政などに伴い、ユーロ圏はマイナス成長に陥りかねない。

The flagging economies in eurozone countries are expected to weigh down not only the United States and Japan but also emerging economies, including China, that have been enjoying robust growth.
An economic slowdown in those countries is considered unavoidable.
それが米国や日本だけでなく、好調だった中国など新興国の足も引っ張り、景気減速は不可避とみられている。

===

Prevent economy from stalling
 ◆景気失速を回避せよ

However, we must avoid a stall that could cause the global economy to nosedive.
 だが、世界景気が急激に落ち込むような失速は回避しなければならない。

To do so, it is critical to resolve the European crisis soon.
そのためには、欧州危機の早期収束が重要だ。

Last year, credit uncertainty triggered by Greece's lax fiscal management spread to countries such as Italy and Spain, which are saddled with massive fiscal deficits.
The market was unsettled and stock prices remained low.
 昨年は、放漫財政のギリシャが発端になり、巨額の財政赤字を抱えたイタリアやスペインなどに信用不安が飛び火した。市場は動揺し、株価が低迷した。

The euro became mired in its most serious crisis since its introduction in 1999.
 1999年の導入以来、最大のピンチに陥ったのが通貨ユーロだ。

The depreciation of the euro accelerated and it fell below 100 yen around the change of the year.
ユーロ安が加速し、年末から年明けにかけ、1ユーロ=100円を割り込んでいる。

In December, a summit meeting of the European Union, including countries that use the euro such as Germany and France, finally agreed on countermeasures whose main pillars include strengthening fiscal discipline in the respective countries.
 独仏などのユーロ導入国を含む欧州連合(EU)の首脳会議は昨年12月、ようやく、財政規律の強化などを柱にした対策を決めた。

It is praiseworthy that Europe, which has always been reactive in dealing with the crisis, began taking action.
対応が後手に回ってきた欧州が動き出したことは評価できる。

However, bondholders continue to unload Italian and other European bonds, and their yields continue to rise.  しかし、その後も、イタリアなどの国債が売られ、国債流通利回りは上昇傾向にある。

The Italian and Spanish governments will redeem a large amount of bonds.
イタリアとスペインが大量の国債償還を控えている。

The market appears to be increasingly wary over whether the two countries can get through the redemption.
それを乗り越えることができるかどうか、市場は警戒を強めているのだろう。

Major credit-rating agencies may downgrade the bonds of France and further cut their assessments of bonds of other European countries.
 大手格付け会社が、フランスなども含め、欧州各国の国債を一段と格下げする恐れもある。

There seems to be no end to the turmoil.
混乱の火種は消えない。

The EU's crisis countermeasures are still not powerful enough to dispel the financial concerns.
 EUの危機対策は、金融不安の払拭にはまだ力不足である。

It is essential that European countries strengthen their solidarity and seriously work on crisis countermeasures.
欧州各国が結束を強め、危機対策に本気で取り組むことが肝要だ。

First and foremost, eurozone countries should steadily implement measures to support Greece, for which it would be unrealistic to drop the euro.
Countries such as Germany and France must fully support the country.
 ユーロ導入国はまず、ギリシャ支援策を着実に実行すべきだ。ギリシャのユーロ離脱は非現実的といえる。独仏などが全力で支えねばならない。

As a safety net, it is also urgent to expand the financial foundations of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), which was agreed on at the summit meeting.
 安全網として、首脳会議が合意した欧州金融安定基金(EFSF)の資金基盤拡充も急務だ。

There is no time to waste in increasing the capital of banks that hold bonds of Italy and other European countries.
イタリア国債などを保有する銀行の資本増強も待ったなしである。

The role of the European Central Bank, known as the "guardian of the euro," is certain to grow.
 “ユーロの番人”の欧州中央銀行(ECB)の役割は増す。

We hope to see the ECB study the advisability of taking drastic steps such as expanded purchases of Italian government bonds.
イタリアの国債購入拡大など、大胆な策を検討してもらいたい。

The most fundamental problem with Europe is that individual European countries have been handling their fiscal policies separately, while employing a common currency.
 通貨は一つだが、財政はバラバラということが、欧州の根本的な問題だ。

European leaders have properly agreed on the need to beef up their countries' fiscal discipline, and on their mutual monitoring of fiscal conditions.
首脳たちが財政規律を強化し、互いに監視する方針で合意したのは妥当だ。

Now the question is whether Germany and France will be able to take concerted action to deepen European integration.
独仏両国が足並みを乱さず、欧州統合を深化させる行動力が問われよう。

===

U.S. also on tightrope
 ◆米国経済も綱渡り

Although the U.S. economy has begun to pick up slowly, it is still not on track toward a full recovery.
 米国経済は緩やかに持ち直しているが、本格回復は遅れている。

The high jobless rate in the United States is still hovering at about 9 percent, and it is unclear whether personal spending will continue growing in the new year.
失業率は約9%に高止まりし、個人消費の持続力は不透明だ。

If the United States is affected by a deterioration of the European economies, it could raise fears that U.S. business conditions will worsen.
 今後、欧州経済の悪化が波及すると、景気低迷も懸念される。

Furthermore, there are signs of a looming stalemate in the handling of U.S. fiscal and financial policy.
加えて、財政、金融の両政策とも手詰まり感が目立つ。

As the confrontation continues unabated between the ruling and opposition parties over ways to reduce fiscal deficits, a focus of attention in the U.S. political arena, additional business stimulus by President Barack Obama's administration seems hardly possible.
 焦点の財政赤字削減を巡る与野党の対立が続き、オバマ大統領の追加景気対策の実施は、事実上、困難になっている。

While it is urgently necessary for the United States to reduce its colossal fiscal deficits, excessive belt-tightening measures could dampen business activity.
 巨額財政赤字を抱える米国の財政再建も必要だが、過度な緊縮財政には、景気を冷やし過ぎる副作用もある。

As political maneuvering intensifies with the presidential election drawing near, Obama should give full play to his leadership in pursuit of a compromise plan with Congress over the fiscal woes.
大統領選に向け、与野党の駆け引きが激しくなる中、大統領は議会と妥協策を探る手腕を発揮してほしい。

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve Board has decided on the extraordinary policy of keeping its interest rate near zero until the end of the first half of 2013, but its effect on shoring up business activity is considered limited.
 一方で、米連邦準備制度理事会(FRB)は、異例のゼロ金利政策を2013年半ばまで継続する方針を決めたが、景気下支えの効果は限定的とみられる。

The Fed should watch carefully how things evolve in the European debt crisis and the world's financial markets, as well as changes in the currently unstable U.S. economy, and should not hesitate to flexibly invoke new financial policies, such as further quantitative monetary easing.
 FRBは、欧州危機と金融市場の推移、不安定な米国景気などを注視し、一段の量的緩和策を含めて、機動的な金融政策の発動をためらうべきではない。

===

Great hopes pinned on China
 ◆中国への期待大きい

There are growing calls for solidarity among the Group of 20 economies, comprised of industrially advanced countries including Japan, the United States and European nations, and such emerging economies as China, India and Brazil.
 日米欧の先進国に、中国、インド、ブラジルなど新興国を加えた主要20か国・地域(G20)の結束も、改めて求められる。

In the wake of the 2008 bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, the G-20 successfully mobilized its members to coordinate fiscal and financial policy and ride out the global financial crisis that followed the U.S. investment bank's failure.
 08年のリーマン・ショック後、G20がそろって、財政と金融政策を総動員し、世界不況を克服した。

In particular, China should be given credit for playing a great role in overcoming the crisis by implementing a huge business stimulus program.
とくに巨額の景気対策を実施した中国の役割は大きかった。

The international community is now focused on how China, which has become the world's No. 2 economy, will contribute to coping with the current European debt crisis.
 焦点は、今や、世界第2位の経済大国になった中国が、今回の欧州危機に対し、どんな貢献ができるかだ。

One idea would be for it to buy a significant amount of bonds issued by the EFSF.
欧州のEFSF債の積極的な購入は一案だろう。

The world is also placing hopes on China's steps to buoy its domestic economy, which has begun to show signs of a slowdown due to such factors as drops in exports to Europe.
 欧州向け輸出減などが原因で、減速傾向がでてきた中国経済の景気テコ入れ策も期待される。

Compared with Japan, the United States and European countries, China has considerably more room to hammer out fiscal stimulus measures and additional monetary easing.
 日米欧に比べると、中国は財政刺激策や、一段の金融緩和に踏み切る余地がある。

By maintaining stable economic growth with a flexible range of policies, China could help prop up the global economy.
機動的な政策で安定成長を維持することが、世界経済の下支えに役立つ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 9, 2012)
(2012年1月9日01時24分  読売新聞)

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2012年1月 9日 (月)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:まず目の前を大切に /東京

(Mainichi Japan) January 8, 2012
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Doing things in your own way a good enough goal for 2012
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:まず目の前を大切に /東京

At the end of last year, I was interviewed by a magazine and was asked for my goals and words to live by in the year 2012.
 昨年末に雑誌の取材を受けて、「来年のご自身の目標やキーワードは何ですか」と聞かれたのでこう答えた。 

"Well, I don't have any particular goals, and I guess I'd live by the words 'for the time being' and 'in my own way,'" I answered.
「えーと、目標はとくになくて、キーワードは“とりあえず”と“それなりに”ですね」

The magazine editor there looked at me with an expression that said, "What? Are you joking?" but I was just being honest.
 それを聞いた編集者は、「はあ? 冗談でしょう?」と言いたげな顔をしたのだが、私としては、正直な気持ちを話しただけだ。

At the end of last year, many of my patients mentioned things being a certain way "for the time being" and that they'd done something or another "in their own way."
 診察室でも年末には、この「それなりに」「とりあえず」という言葉を何度も聞いた。

They all had plenty to deal with, since they faced illness in addition to the earthquake disasters and the long-continuing recession that affected the entire country.
大震災、長引く不況、その上、患者さんたちにとっては病気との闘いもあるわけだから、誰もがいわゆる“いっぱいいっぱい”。

As the end of such an eventful year approached, it was only natural for my discussions with patients to turn to how far they'd made it -- in their own way, and how they hoped to make similar progress -- for the time being.
その中で迎えた年末に、「まあ、自分なりになんとかがんばって、ようやくここまで来た感じですね」「とりあえず来年も、いまのペースでゆっくりやっていきますよ」という会話になるのは、ごく自然のことだろう。

And that's no easy feat. Under such unfavorable conditions, making it to the end of one year and welcoming the next even if it is "in one's own way" is actually a grueling task.
 いや、それどころではない。この苦難の状況の中、たとえ「とりあえず」であっても年末までこぎつけ、そして新しい年を迎えるというのは、実はたいへんなことなのだ。

"Doing things in your own way, at least for the time being, to get by is an incredible achievement," I might say to a patient. "It's because you've been working so hard at your day-to-day life and treatment that you've come this far."
 「とりあえず、それなりにやってきた。それって、とてもすごいことじゃないですか。あなたが一生懸命、生活や治療に取り組んできたからこそ、そう言えるんですよ」

In normal conversation, the possible subtext of the phrases "in my own way" and "for the time being" is that whatever has been accomplished is sufficient only according to a subjective yardstick, and that any achievement is temporary.
 ふだんの会話の中では、「とりあえず」や「それなりに」という言葉は、決して良い意味では使われない。

They have the negative implication that things have been left unfinished and people have been left unsatisfied.
なんだか中途半端で終わったとか、不満足なままだった、といったあいまいな感じがするときに使われることがほとんどだ。

But in these times, it's especially hard to attain high ideals or perfect success.
 とはいえこの時代、高いところにある理想とか完璧な成功だとかを追い求めても、そこにはなかなか到達しない。

On the contrary, we are sometimes treated to unpredictable incidents and unexpected sources of stress.
それどころか、私たちの毎日には、いろいろなアクシデントも起これば思わぬ悩みごとがわいてくることもある。

Amidst all that, we have to do what we can to take on a day at a time while not giving up, at least for the time being.
 そんな中、すべてを「もうダメだ」と投げ出すことなく、「とりあえず、今日一日」と自分に言い聞かせながら目の前にあることに取り組む。

Keeping that up is no simple task.
 その積み重ねは、決して簡単なことではない。

I expect there are many others who, like me, have yet to set up a particular goal for this year.
 私に限らず、これといった今年の目標がまだ立っていない、という人もたくさんいるだろう。

To those people I recommend that for the time being, you just try doing things in your own way.
そういう人に私はおすすめしたい。
「まずは、とりあえず今日だけ、自分なりにやれることをやってみる、というのはどうでしょう」。

I, too, hope to move forward this year not by chasing after goals too high or too far, but by first of all treasuring those things and people directly in front of me, and taking each step slowly.
私も遠くや高いところはあまり見ずに、まずは目の前の人やものを大切にしながら、ゆっくりと生きていきたい。今年もよろしくお願いします。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2012年1月4日 地方版

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2012年1月 8日 (日)

米新国防戦略 「アジア重視」に日本も呼応を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 8, 2012)
Japan should play role in new U.S. defense policy
米新国防戦略 「アジア重視」に日本も呼応を(1月7日付・読売社説)

U.S. President Barack Obama has unveiled a new defense strategy in line with the country's planned cuts in defense spending.
 オバマ米大統領が、国防予算の削減に伴う新国防戦略を発表した。

While reducing the overall size of ground forces, the strategy aims to expand the U.S. military presence in the Asia-Pacific region, an area to which the country attaches increasing importance.
 地上戦力の全体的な規模は縮小する一方、米国が重視するアジア太平洋地域では、今後、部隊展開を強化する方針を打ち出した。

We will have to wait and see whether these programs will be fully implemented.
その通り実行されるのかを注視したい。

Obama expressed his intention to accelerate efforts to make U.S. forces more efficient and rely more on state-of-the-art technology.
"Our military will be leaner but the world must know--the United States is going to maintain our military superiority with armed forces that are agile, flexible and ready for the full range of contingencies and threats," he said.
 オバマ大統領は、「米軍はスリムになっても、あらゆる有事や脅威に機敏で柔軟に対応できる軍事的優位性は維持する」と述べ、今後一層の効率化やハイテク化を進めていく考えを表明した。

Given the United States' dire fiscal situation, the strategy is appropriate.
 米国の深刻な財政事情を考えれれば、妥当な戦略である。

The United States must reduce defense spending by nearly 500 billion dollars (38 trillion yen) in the coming decade, as part of deficit-cutting measures the U.S. Congress legislated last summer along with a debt-ceiling deal.
 昨年夏、米議会が債務上限引き上げとセットで法制化した財政赤字削減策の一環で、国防予算を今後10年間に5000億ドル(約38兆円)近く減らさねばならない。

===

Review of 2-front strategy

It is essential to determine the order of priority to deal with various threats under a limited budget, and then choose the necessary military equipment and determine what troop reductions can be made.
 予算の制約の中で、様々な脅威に対応するため、優先順位を決めて、それに応じた部隊縮小や装備を選択するのは当然だ。

In essence, the new strategy reviewed the United States' two-front strategy, which has served as the country's fundamental defense policy since the end of the Cold War. The review made it clear that the U.S. military would focus on one large conflict, rather than maintain sufficient troops to fight two major regional conflicts at the same time.
 新戦略は、冷戦後の米国防政策の基本となってきた「二正面戦略」を基本的に見直し、同時発生した二つの地域紛争に勝つための大量の戦力維持を前提とせず、大規模紛争への対処は1か所に集中する方向性を改めて示した。

The new strategy also focused on new threats, such as terrorist activities, unconventional conflicts and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
 新戦略が重点を置くのは、テロや非正規戦、大量破壊兵器拡散など、新たな脅威への対処だ。

What was particularly noteworthy in the review was that the United States expressed a profound wariness over China and Iran by naming them. It predicted that the two nations would probably increase their "anti-access/area denial capabilities" to block the forward deployment of U.S. forces using ballistic and cruise missiles and through cyberwarfare.
 注目されるのは、中国とイランを名指しして、弾道ミサイルや巡航ミサイル、サイバー攻撃など、米軍の前方展開を阻止する「接近拒否」能力を向上させるだろう、と強い警戒を表明したことだ。

===

Joint air-sea battle concept

To counter such moves, the United States is expected to step up efforts to develop a "joint air-sea battle" concept, under which long-range attacks can be carried out through joint air and maritime operations.
 米国は、その対抗策として、空と海の兵力の一体運用を通して長距離攻撃を行う「統合海空戦闘」(ジョイント・エア・シー・バトル)構想を、今後、具体化していくものと見られる。

The United States' new defense strategy also called on its allies to boost their military roles in the years ahead.
 米国の新国防戦略は、同盟国がより大きな役割を果たすことを期待している。

Japan needs to consider the strategic review in a positive light and reflect it in its future defense policy, such as by strengthening its "dynamic defense force," a concept focusing on the operational flexibility of the Self-Defense Forces.
日本も、この新戦略を前向きに受け止め、「動的防衛力」の強化など今後の防衛政策に反映させていく必要がある。

Japan's defense budget will decline for the 10th straight year in fiscal 2012, seriously affecting the training of SDF personnel and the repair of equipment.
 日本の防衛予算は来年度で10年連続の減少となり、自衛隊の訓練や装備の修繕などに歪(ひず)みを生んでいる。

Given the tough security environment surrounding the country in recent years, the government must stop slashing defense spending and reverse the trend.
厳しい安全保障環境を踏まえれば、予算削減に歯止めをかけ、反転させることが急務だ。

Enhancing defense cooperation between the SDF and U.S. forces also is extremely important.
 自衛隊と米軍の防衛協力を拡充することも重要である。

When U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta visited Japan in October, the two countries agreed to bolster joint warning and surveillance activity, carry out more joint exercises and have the SDF and U.S. troops share bases.
 昨年10月のパネッタ米国防長官の来日時には、日米共同の警戒監視活動や共同訓練、基地の共同使用を拡大することで合意した。

The two countries should steadily implement this agreement to maintain and enhance the deterrence of the Japan-U.S. alliance.
日米同盟の抑止力を維持・強化するため着実に実施に移したい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 7, 2012)
(2012年1月7日01時32分  読売新聞)

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2012年1月 7日 (土)

指導者交代の年―国際社会の構想をきそえ

--The Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 4
EDITORIAL: World leaders need philosophy of coexistence
指導者交代の年―国際社会の構想をきそえ

The year 2012 may see some comings and goings among familiar world leaders.
 2012年は、おなじみの世界の指導者が、かなり入れ替わる年になるかもしれない。

U.S. President Barack Obama is seeking re-election.
 米国は、オバマ大統領が2期目にいどむ。

In China, Xi Jinping, currently a high-ranking member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China, is expected to become party secretary-general.
中国で、共産党総書記に習近平(シー・チンピン)・党政治局常務委員が選ばれる見通しだ。

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is aiming for a presidential comeback, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy is expected to seek another term.
ロシアは、プーチン首相が大統領返り咲きを目指す。サルコジ仏大統領は再選期を迎える。

And in South Korea, where presidents may serve only one term, voters will be electing President Lee Myung-bak's successor.
大統領再選が禁じられている韓国は、李明博(イ・ミョンバク)氏の後継を選挙する年だ。

Each country has its own set of complex issues.
 各国とも内情は複雑である。

Pitfalls of turning inward
■内向きへの落とし穴

Polarization between conservatism and liberalism is accelerating in the United States.
 米国は、保守とリベラルの二極化がますます進む。

Economic disparities are growing in China.
中国では経済格差が広がった。

The Russian public is becoming increasingly critical of authoritarian government of the last 12 years.
ロシアは12年間にわたる強権政治への反発が強まっている。

In France, the deteriorating economy is giving rise to xenophobic tendencies, while citizens' groups are gaining political prominence in South Korea, poised to sideline the nation's established political parties that are fast losing popular support.
フランスでは経済悪化が排外的な動きを誘発している。韓国では既成政党が批判され、市民派が政治の主役に躍り出ようとしている。

The waves of reform are lapping in each of these countries.
 どの国も変革の波に洗われている。

Serial economic crises have destroyed traditional social ties, and the Internet has opened up a whole new forum of discourse.
経済危機の連鎖が社会の絆をたち切り、インターネットが開いた言論空間が、既存の秩序をゆさぶり始めた。

With the existing order now standing on shaky ground, no incumbent can be certain of re-election, while a change of government may spell further political chaos.
現職が再選されるかは不透明であり、指導者の交代が政治をいっそう混迷させる可能性もある。

In an election year or when a leadership change is imminent, politicians focus on domestic issues, and the whole nation tends to turn inward.
 選挙や政権交代の時期は、国内へのアピールに力を入れるため、内向きになりやすい。

We are concerned that this tendency may become even more pronounced this year because of the generally unstable state of the world.
混乱の時代に、その傾向がいっそう強まらないか心配だ。

Twenty years have passed since the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union.
 冷戦が終わり、旧ソ連が崩壊してから20年がたつ。

Seen from the economic and information-related perspectives, the world has become one.
経済や情報の流れでみると、世界はひとつになった。

As is obvious from global warming and the European debt crisis triggered by Greece, our world is saddled with problems that cannot be resolved by any single country.
 ギリシャ発の経済危機や地球温暖化が示すように、国家単位では解決できない課題が山積している。

Even economic recession and unemployment, which used to be domestic issues just for the nations concerned, now require collective action.
従来は国内で完結していた不況や失業への対応も、一国では限りがある。

Traditional policy packages are no longer viable today.
できあいの政策パッケージに頼ることは不可能となった。

An era is definitely ending, but we cannot see a new era at all.
 ひとつの時代が終わろうとしているのに、新しい時代はいっこうに見えてこない。

We are caught in a deep historic crisis.
深い歴史的危機のなかに私たちはある。

We must first understand that there are no simple solutions to the problems confronting us now.
 まずは、目下の問題に簡単な解決策などないことを、理解しよう。

And this is just the sort of time in history when political forces coalesce to create and attack an easy-to-identify "enemy."
こういう時代には、わかりやすい「敵」をつくって、攻撃する政治がはびこる。

New philosophy of coexistence
■新しい共存の論理を

In the United States, the federal government is the target of attack of the conservative and populist Tea Party movement that is gaining support in certain sectors.
 米国では、保守の大衆運動である茶会(ティーパーティー)が、連邦政府そのものを敵対視し、支持をのばしている。

In China, there are young people who go wild with excitement when the government or the military play hardball on territorial and naval issues.
中国では、領土問題や海洋戦略で政府や軍が強硬姿勢を取ると、熱狂する若者たちがいる。

Hate-filled words fly.
 憎しみをあおる言葉が飛びかう。

"Nationalism" is used as an excuse for taking people's attention away from domestic problems.
内から目をそらすためにナショナリズムが使われる。

Hatred and fear are contagious.
憎しみと恐怖は伝わりやすい。

We must guard against this sort of negative chain reaction.
負の連鎖に警戒せねばならない。

The world does not need to hear irresponsible words that only appeal to the emotional masses.
 世界が必要としているのは、沸騰する国民感情に迎合する甘言ではない。

What the world does need to hear is a philosophy of coexistence that is appropriate to this transitional period in history.
歴史の転機にふさわしい共存の論理のはずだ。

How has humanity overcome crises in the past?
 人類は過去の危機をどう乗り越えただろうか。

The world's great imperial powers clashed in World War I. Toward the end of this "war to end all wars," U.S. President Woodrow Wilson delivered the "Fourteen Points" address, in which he presented a postwar blueprint for ethnic self-determination, the establishment of an international peace organ, and so on.
 帝国主義の列強が衝突した第1次世界大戦では、大戦末期にウィルソン米大統領が青写真を描いた。民族自決や、国際平和機構の設立などを掲げた「14カ条」を打ち出した。

During World War II, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt co-drafted the Atlantic Charter, which called for no territorial aggrandizement, reduction of trade restrictions and other ideals and became the basis of the postwar global order.
 第2次大戦では、ルーズベルト米大統領とチャーチル英首相が「大西洋憲章」を発表した。領土不拡大、貿易の機会均等などの柱は、戦後構想の礎石となった。

History proves that a new order cannot be brought into being by armed force alone.
 新しい秩序は、力だけでは生まれない。

A philosophical blueprint of the world is indispensable.
あるべき世界の姿を描く論理が不可欠なことを歴史は示している。

Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc. who died last year, was called a "visionary" for his extraordinary foresight and ability to create a future.
 昨年亡くなったアップルの創業者、スティーブ・ジョブズは「ビジョナリー」と呼ばれた。
 未来を予見し、構築する人という意味である。

He captured the hearts of people by giving form to his innovative ideas.
魅力的なアイデアを新しい商品に具現化し、人々の心をつかんだ。

Ability to realize ideals
■思考を現実化する力

World leaders should be visionaries, too.
 領域は違うが、世界の指導者に求められるのも、同じ資質ではないだろうか。

All over the world, there are certain things people seek, wherever they may be living.
 地球上のどこに住もうとも、人々が求めるものがある。

They include the minimum standards of life to maintain human dignity, freedom of speech, freedom from racial and religious discrimination, and not being killed in war or acts of violence.
 人間らしい最低限の生活、言論の自由、人種や宗教で差別されないこと、戦争や暴力で命を奪われないこと。

People in all countries know that these goals cannot be attained by their efforts alone, and that they share their fate with the entire world.
 どの国の人々も、自分たちの力だけではそういう目標が達成されないこと、世界の運命が分かちがたく結びついていることを知っている。

Their collective yearning must not go unanswered, and a blueprint for a new international community must be drawn up.
 人々のこうした願いをたばねて、新しい国際社会の構想を示す必要がある。

Specific steps have already been shown.
 すでに個別の対処法は、あれこれ出ている。

One is to bolster a framework for multilateral coordination to better deal with today's new realities, and there are signs that the G-20 is addressing this.
 たとえば、主要20カ国・地域サミット(G20)にその兆しが見られるような、新しい現実に対応した多国間の調整枠組みを充実させること。

Another is to set up a crisis control system that will prevent the eruption of international animosity over nuclear proliferation and territorial disputes.
核兵器の拡散や領土問題が、国と国との憎しみに火をつけない危機管理の仕組みを整えること。

Many countries concur that such steps must be taken.
 このような対策が必要なことに多くの国の合意がある。

But what is lacking is the ability of world leaders to communicate the need to seek these goals in easy-to-understand words and in a well-reasoned manner, and convince people in their countries.
 欠けているのは、こうした目標に向かって進むべきことを、魅力的な言葉とわかりやすい論理で説明し、国民を説得する指導者の力なのである。

A political visionary is someone who can do this.
 それが政治で求められるビジョナリーではないか。

We would like the incumbents and challengers alike in this year's elections or planned transfers of power to compete with one another on their visionary ideas.
 今年、世界の選挙や指導者の交代で、そういう構想を競い合ってほしい。

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2012年1月 6日 (金)

混迷の日本政治 「消費税」を政争の具にするな

付録^^:

記事のコメントではなくって朝日新聞社の英文記事力作のご紹介です。
新聞社は各社とも北京に駐在員を置いているようですね。
そういえば昔、毎日新聞北京特派員の今田先生と知り合い、銀座のバーで飲ませてもらったことがあります^^。

北京で中国人HIV患者たちの置かれている実態を秘密裏に(?)取材した朝日新聞の力作。
この記者は朝日新聞の北京駐在員みたいですが、多分、事前に中国当局の許可をとっての取材ではないかと思います。いきなりこの記事を掲載したら中国を追放されるかも知れないからです。
英文はスラチャイと同じ中学生レベルで大変読みやすいです。
内容がしっかりとしているので、それは十分にカバーされているのです。
新聞記事の命はそのコンテンツ(内容)ですからね。

http://kiyoshimatforklog.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/2012/01/beijing-tragedy.html

(スラチャイ)

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 6, 2012)
Don't let consumption tax become political football
混迷の日本政治 「消費税」を政争の具にするな(1月5日付・読売社説)

Japan finds itself facing various difficult problems that must be resolved immediately. There is not a second to lose.
 日本が直面しているのは一刻の猶予も許されない課題ばかりである。

These issues include reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake, dealing with the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, increasing the consumption tax rate and reforming the social security system, participation in talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, and rebuilding the country's diplomatic and security systems.
 震災復興や原子力発電所事故の対応、消費税率引き上げと社会保障制度改革、環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)への参加、外交・安全保障体制の立て直し……。

However, this country's politicians, who are supposed to play vital roles in resolving such issues, remain unable to implement necessary policies in the current divided Diet, under which the opposition bloc controls the House of Councillors.
 肝心の政治は、衆参ねじれ国会の下、必要な政策を実現できない。

Under these circumstances, the public increasingly feels the situation is stalemated.
国民の閉塞感は強まっている。

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's tenure as president of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and Sadakazu Tanigaki's term as president of the Liberal Democratic Party will expire in September.
 今年は、9月に野田民主党代表と谷垣自民党総裁が任期切れを迎える。

Internal power struggles within the two major parties are certain to intensify as the leadership elections draw near, leaving domestic politics more vulnerable to the influence of short-term interests.
それに向けて2大政党で党内の権力抗争が強まり、政治は一層目先の利益に左右されよう。

Even so, the DPJ and the LDP must act with a broad viewpoint and strategy in mind.
 だが、そうであっても、民主、自民両党は、大局観と戦略を忘れずに行動すべきである。

===

Break with failed pledges
 ◆破綻した公約と決別を◆

At his first press conference of the year Wednesday, Noda said integrated reform of the social security and tax systems cannot be put off any longer and stressed his intention to submit related bills to the Diet at the end of March.
 野田首相は4日の年頭記者会見で、社会保障と税の一体改革について、「これ以上先送りできない」と述べ、3月末に関連法案を国会に提出する意向を強調した。

It is apparent that the current social security system, which asks the working generation to share an ever-increasing burden, will become unable to support the elderly sooner or later.
 現役世代の負担に頼る現行制度では高齢者を支え切れなくなるのは明らかだ。

Unless the system is funded by revenue from the consumption tax, which imposes an equal burden on all generations, the possibility that Japan will sink into a fiscal crisis--like the current one in Europe--will become very real.
すべての世代が負担を分かち合う消費税で財源を賄わないと、欧州のような財政危機さえ現実味を帯びてくる。

Nonetheless, former DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa, former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and some other DPJ members are openly opposed to the proposed consumption tax hike.
 それなのに、小沢一郎元代表や鳩山元首相ら民主党議員の一部は、消費税率の引き上げに公然と反旗を翻している。

Their actions reveal from time to time their logic of self-preservation, which centers on the fear they will not be able to win elections unless they propose populist policies.
 「世論受けしない政策を掲げると選挙で勝てない」という保身の論理が見え隠れする。

But it will be a betrayal of the public if they insist on adhering to the failed manifesto the DPJ put forward for the 2009 House of Representatives election.
破綻した政権公約(マニフェスト)の墨守をいまだに主張するのは、国民を欺く行為にほかならない。

In the discussion over the consumption tax hike within the DPJ at the end of last year, opponents strongly sought "reforms in which the government as well as Diet members share the pain," such as reducing the number of Diet seats and cutting the salaries of central government officials.
 昨年末、消費税を巡る民主党内の論議で、反対派は議員定数削減や国家公務員給与の削減など「自ら身を切る改革」を強く求めた。

The prime minister showed his willingness in this regard, saying he wants to realize such reforms as quickly as possible during the ordinary Diet session that will be convened later this month.
首相も、「通常国会のなるべく早い時期に実現させたい」と積極的な姿勢を示している。

Political and administrative reforms are of course necessary.
 無論、政治改革、行政改革は必要である。

But the agreement on these reforms must not be made a prerequisite to the submission of bills related to the consumption tax.
だが、これを消費税の関連法案提出の前提条件としてはなるまい。

In that case, opponents may try to use them as an excuse to put off the consumption tax hike.
反対派の狙う増税先送りの口実になりかねない。

The prime minister must do everything in his power to convince not only DPJ members but also the public about his policies.
 首相は、党内はもとより国民を渾身(こんしん)の力で説得すべきである。

He still lacks the ability to make his ideas well understood and coordinate opinion with other parties so his "unwavering resolve" can be put into practice.
 「不退転の覚悟」を実行に移すための発信力と調整力が、まだまだ足りない。

Noda expressed his intention to call on the opposition parties next week to hold talks on the integrated reform of the social security and tax systems.
 野田首相は、社会保障と税の一体改革について、来週、野党に協議を呼びかける考えを明らかにした。

But to do so, the prime minister must improve relationships with opposition parties.
それには、野党との関係を改善しなければならない。

===

Boycott must be avoided
 ◆野党も責任を免れない◆

During the extraordinary Diet session last month the upper house passed censure motions against Defense Minister Yasuo Ichikawa and consumer affairs minister Kenji Yamaoka.
The LDP, New Komeito and some other opposition parties are set to boycott Diet deliberations attended by the two ministers.
 臨時国会で参院の問責決議が可決された一川防衛相、山岡消費者相について自民、公明両党などは両氏の出席する審議を拒否する構えだ。

This is essentially a strategy that should not be taken.
本来は、採ってはならない戦術である。

However, the opposition bloc's cooperation will be vital if the government and the DPJ are to pass budget-related bills--including a bill to enable the government to issue deficit-covering government bonds totaling 38 trillion yen--during the ordinary Diet session.
 だが、通常国会で、38兆円もの赤字国債を発行するための特例公債法案など予算関連法案を成立させるには、野党の協力が欠かせない。

Noda must do more to break the impasse by taking necessary steps, such as replacing the two ministers in question in a Cabinet reshuffle.
野田首相は、内閣改造で閣僚を入れ替えるなど、事態の打開を図る必要がある。

Commenting on Noda's call for talks on the consumption tax between the ruling and opposition parties, Tanigaki said at a press conference Wednesday that the DPJ's manifesto does not presuppose a consumption tax rate hike and therefore "the DPJ-led administration is not qualified to propose this issue."
 自民党の谷垣総裁は4日、記者会見し、首相が消費税問題で協議を呼びかけたことに関連し、民主党のマニフェストは消費税率の引き上げを前提としておらず、「民主党政権にこの問題を発議する資格はない」と述べた。

Tanigaki then called again for the dissolution of the lower house for a general election at an early date.
 その上で、改めて早期の衆院解散・総選挙を求めている。

The LDP and Komeito should not turn the consumption tax issue into a political football.
 消費税を政争の具にすべきではない。

If a lower house election is held before tax-related bills are submitted to the Diet, the consumption tax hike would become a contested election issue and tax reform could get shunted on to the back burner.
法案提出前の衆院選となれば、増税の是非が争点となり、制度改革は先送りされかねない。

Tanigaki also referred to his party's pledge during the 2010 upper house election to raise the consumption tax rate to 10 percent and said he will advance this policy.
 谷垣氏は消費税率10%への引き上げを2010年参院選で公約したことにも言及し、この方針は推し進めると語った。

The government and the DPJ--as the LDP insisted--changed their policy and leaned toward raising the consumption tax rate. However, the LDP is putting the cart before the horse if it hinders the government and the DPJ from realizing this tax increase.
 その自民党の主張通り、政府・民主党が税率引き上げに政策を転換したのに、実現を妨害するのは、本末転倒である。

===

Opposition also to blame
 ◆「話し合い解散」目指せ◆

The LDP and Komeito, which held power for many years, also have a grave responsibility for Japan's lapsing into a critical fiscal situation.
 日本が危機的な財政状況に陥ったのは、長年政権を担当してきた自公両党の責任も大きい。

Reconstructing the nation's tattered public finances is an unavoidable task for whichever administration is in power.
 財政再建は、どの政権も避けて通れない。

Even if the LDP wins the next lower house election, the LDP and Komeito together do not hold a majority in the upper house.
They would have no choice but to ask the DPJ for cooperation.
自民党が仮に次期衆院選で勝っても、参院は自公両党でも過半数を得ておらず、民主党に協力を求めざるを得ないのだ。

The LDP and Komeito should join negotiations with the DPJ on integrated reform of the social security and tax systems.
 自公両党は、民主党と、社会保障と税の一体改革に関する協議のテーブルにつくべきだろう。

We urge the LDP and Komeito to help pass the consumption tax-related bills at an early date and effectively agree with the DPJ through dialogue to dissolve the lower house.
 与野党は、消費税の関連法案を早期に成立させて、事実上の「話し合い解散」に持ち込むことを模索してはどうか。

Former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori said the ruling and opposition parties should first make progress on such issues as the consumption tax rate hike and electoral reform and then seek the people's mandate in the next lower house election, asking which party worked hard.
 森元首相も、消費税率引き上げや選挙制度改革などで与野党が成果を上げてから、次期衆院選で「どの党が頑張ったか」を国民に問えばいい、と語っている。

Do the LDP and Komeito intend to just sit by and watch when it comes to the TPP comprehensive trade and economic framework and the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture?  自公両党は、TPPや米軍普天間飛行場移設の問題では傍観するのか。

Rather than simply taking potshots at Noda's administration, the two parties should encourage political debate by clearly spelling out their own policies, and deepen discussions on those issues.
政権を批判するだけでなく、自ら明確な方針を掲げて論戦を挑み、議論を深めてもらいたい。

We strongly believe this process would help build a powerful and stable political framework, including a rearrangement of the coalition.
 そうしたプロセスが、連立の組み替えなど、強力かつ安定した政治体制の構築を目指す動きにもつながるはずである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 5, 2012)
(2012年1月5日01時51分  読売新聞)

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@BEIJING: Tragedy in China's 'AIDS villages' continues

北京で中国人HIV患者たちの置かれている実態を秘密裏に(?)取材した朝日新聞の力作。
この記者は朝日新聞の北京駐在員みたいですが、多分、事前に中国当局の許可をとっての取材ではないかと思います。いきなりこの記事を掲載したら中国を追放されるかも知れないからです。
英文はスラチャイと同じ中学生レベルで大変読みやすいです。
内容がしっかりとしているので、それは十分にカバーされているのです。
新聞記事の命はそのコンテンツ(内容)ですからね。
(スラチャイ)

January 05, 2012
KOICHI FURUYA/ Chinese General Bureau Correspondent: Tragedy in China's 'AIDS villages' continues

@BEIJING

I wonder how many people have heard of China's "AIDS villages"?

I don't think there are many who have.

They date to the 1990s when many people became infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) due to the selling of blood and blood transfusions in poor villages in Henan and other provinces.

The number of HIV-infected people increased further, partly because the government and local authorities tried to hide the facts. This led to some communities seeing half their population contract HIV, turning the issue into a serious social problem.

I remember that U.S. and European correspondents were actively covering the outbreak, infuriated with the patients' unreasonable treatment by the government around 2000, when I was a correspondent in Beijing.

One such journalist, a New York Times correspondent at the time, had a medical license. She was enthusiastically covering the outbreak, using her expertise. She once said that studying medicine was worthwhile, for she was able to produce articles related to the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

I was sent back to Japan without having an opportunity to cover the issue in depth.

Many excellent reports and documentary films have been produced on the subject since then, drawing the world's attention. It was reported that the Chinese government finally started working hard to tackle the problem.

When I was reassigned to the Beijing bureau in 2009, I wanted to learn about the situation of people living with HIV/AIDS.

Finding out that authorities related to the problem and supporters were to hold a conference in Beijing, I headed for the venue.

Due to the still sensitive nature of the issue, my request to cover the conference was turned down, with an organizing member saying, "Reporters are not allowed in."

I had no choice but to find a hotel where conference participants with HIV/AIDS were staying.

About 30 people with HIV, from Henan and Hubei provinces, were staying at a hotel I tracked down.

"I am a Japanese reporter. I want to hear your stories," I said, introducing myself.

More than 10 people accepted my request and gathered in a small room and sat on twin beds.

They were quiet in the beginning, looking at each other hesitantly, but started talking altogether all at once as if yelling.

"It is fine with me, but what will happen to my children in the future?" asked a 46-year-old woman who was infected through her husband, who had been infected with HIV due to a blood transfusion. "I get stressed when I think about this."

The woman and her husband are farmers and have two daughters and a son, she said.

The family was ostracized by other villagers who had strong prejudice against those with AIDS.

Their son, 7, has been ignored not only by his classmates but also by his teacher.

No classmate approaches him.

"My son does not tell me anything," she said. "All I can say to him is, 'Your father got infected (with HIV) due to a bad transfusion.' "

The government not only failed to take any effective measures to prevent infection but has not admitted its responsibility for spreading damage by hiding the truth.

Certain measures have been taken, yet it is far from sufficient.

A man in his 40s from Henan province was angry.

"The court refuses to accept our lawsuit against the government. Isn't it strange?" he asked. "China is a law-governed state, isn't it?"

His wife and son were infected with AIDS, the man said.

With their medical insurance having an annual ceiling, the family is forced to borrow several times more than what they earn each year.

They have strongly demanded government compensation, without success.

"We do not have time since we do not know when we will develop the disease," the man said.

In 2005, Premier Wen Jiabao visited Henan province and met with people infected with HIV and AIDS, in an effort to show that the government cared about the problem.

However, two women in the hotel room angrily recalled the event.

"I went to see the premier, learning that he would come all the way, hoping he would listen to us," one woman said. "But the police suddenly grabbed my hair and beat me to the ground."

All 11 HIV-positive patients who had been waiting for Wen along the road were taken away before he arrived, the women said. One woman patient ended up being detained for about a month.

Some foreign media reported that Wen's visit was stage-managed by local government officials who met the premier, disguising themselves as HIV patients.

Even though there was a time when HIV-infected people had been united in seeking a class action lawsuit, they were completely repressed by the authorities who feared that people would organize and become insurgents.

One of my acquaintances, a lawyer who was pursuing the problem, was deprived of his status by the authorities.

The government's pressure on people with HIV and AIDS is considerable.

Only a few of the people I met on that day agreed to have their names and faces appear in my article; many others agreed to be interviewed on condition of anonymity.

Many people have fought to bring the issue out in the open, including foreigners and the Chinese.

More than a few international human rights groups supported the effort.

Still, many people infected with HIV and AIDS remain without assistance or support.

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2012年1月 5日 (木)

ステージまったく画期的な遠隔監視システムです

遠隔監視ナビというサイトの遠隔監視システム、ステージを拝見いたしました。
多くの有名販売店がすでにこのステージを設置しておりますが、驚いたのは、遠隔監視カメラ本体の小ささです。

この小ささで多機能は驚きです。監視はスマホ(スマートフォン)やPCからいつでも動画で店舗内の状況が確認可能なのです。こいつはとても便利だなって感じました。何より、手元のスマホで24時間監視できるのが嬉しいですよね。

これなら、店舗の盗難防止はおろか、遊びほうけて勉強しない娘たちの監視や、浮気するかも知れない妻の監視だって出来ますよね。でも、そんなことをしたら家庭内トラブルの原因となるだけでしょうから、それはやめておきます^^。家族は信頼関係、絆が一番ですからね。

でも、安心の店舗経営なら、この遠隔監視ナビが絶対役立つでしょう。
素晴らしい発想と洗練された機材に感服いたしました。

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社説:2012激動の年 財政再建で成長支えよ

英語版を出すのだったら英訳抜けは許されません。
読売や朝日に比べると、毎日は英訳抜けが多いのです。
過去の経験からそれが言えます。
完全に英訳して欲しいなって思いました。
記事の内容は充実しています。
惜しいですね^^。
(スラチャイ)

(Mainichi Japan) January 4, 2012
Editorial: Financial world faces a year of tests in 2012
社説:2012激動の年 財政再建で成長支えよ

On Jan. 1, 2002, Europe was in a festive mood.
 2002年1月、欧州はお祭りムードに高揚していた。

The year marked the first time for 300 million people in countries which had in the past fought terrible wars against each other to have the same currency -- the euro.
過去に幾度も戦火を交えた国々の3億を超える人々が、初めて同じ通貨を手にしたのである。

Who would have thought that the new currency people welcomed as a symbol of unity, stability and prosperity would 10 years later become a source of opposition, insecurity and turmoil?
結束と安定と繁栄の象徴として迎えた新通貨が10年後、対立と不安と混迷の種になっていようとは、どれほどの人が予想しただろう。

The euro now stands in a precarious position.
 ユーロは今、崖っぷちにある。

Will trust in the currency be revived, or will the euro fail and fall?
信用を取り戻すのか、転落し瓦解(がかい)するのか。

This year is an extremely important one for financial markets, with the fate of the euro likely to be the biggest influencing factor in the financial world in 2012.
極めて重大な年となる。その行方は2012年の世界経済を左右する最大の要素にもなりそうだ。

 ◇ユーロの解体を防げ

Several tests lie ahead.
 いくつもの試練が待ち受けている。

Italy, which holds the key to the euro's fate, will have to borrow about 440 billion euros (about 45 trillion yen) from financial markets this year through government bond issues.
カギを握るイタリアは今年、約4400億ユーロ(約45兆円)もの資金を国債発行により市場から借り入れる必要がある。

But with interest rates remaining high, just how much will the Italian government be able to raise by itself?
金利が高止まりする中、どこまで自力の資金調達が可能なのか。

As things stand, a series of balancing acts await the country.
このままでは綱渡りの連続となりかねない。

Italy's economy is the third biggest in the Eurozone after the economies of Germany and France, but if Italy seeks financial assistance like Greece and Portugal have done, European countries won't be able to handle the bailout plans they have already agreed upon.
 ユーロ圏で独仏に次ぐ3番目の経済規模を持ったイタリアが、ギリシャやポルトガルのように支援を仰ぐことになると、欧州諸国がこれまでに合意した救済策では、対応できまい。

Before reaching such a stage, members of the Eurozone must hammer out drastic measures and restore trust in the euro; otherwise the previously unimaginable prospect of the euro's demise could edge closer to reality.
その前に、加盟国全体で抜本策を打ち出し、信用を回復しなければ、ユーロ解体という、かつて想定外だった事態が一気に現実味を帯びる恐れがある。

(英訳抜け^^)
 国債や株が売り込まれてから、一時しのぎの対策を決める、という従来パターンは限界だ。統合の拡大と深化を通じ、戦争のない安定した欧州を築くという理想に立ち返り、果敢な政治決断を下してもらいたい。

(英訳抜け^^)
 債務危機の影響はすでに欧州を越え、太い貿易のパイプでつながった中国など新興国の経済にも及んでいる。時間との勝負である。日米に新興国を加えた主要国はもっと強く、欧州に迅速な行動を迫らなければならない。解決できるのは欧州だが、解決できなかった時の打撃は世界に及ぶのだ。欧州以外のG20(主要20カ国・地域)諸国は結束して欧州に圧力をかけ続ける必要がある。

(英訳抜け^^)
 10月には東京で国際通貨基金(IMF)と世界銀行の年次総会が開かれ、世界の財務相や中央銀行総裁が集まる。日本での開催は東京オリンピックが開かれた1964年以来で、2度目だ。震災からの復興を印象づける機会にしたいものだが、開催国が先進国一重い借金に何ら手を打てないでいるというのでは、影響力どころではない。

In Japan, meanwhile, the basic prescription for reforming the nation's finances and social security system in an integrated manner has already been prepared. The differences between the ruling party and the largest opposition party are not that great. What remains to be done is to make decisions, steadily implement those decisions, and send a message to financial markets that Japan has finally put its back into resolving difficult economic issues.
 財政と社会保障制度を一体的に改革するための基本的な処方箋はできている。最大野党との違いも大きくない。あとは決断し、着実に実行し、日本がやっと困難な課題の解決に本腰を入れたというメッセージを市場に送ることである。

It is often said that growth strategies should take precedence over revitalizing finances through tax increases.
 「増税による財政再建ではなく、成長戦略が最優先だ」との主張をよく耳にする。

But the idea that categorizing certain industries as growth industries and allocating more funds to them will boost Japan's growth potential is mere wishful thinking.
だが、特定の業種を成長産業と位置づけ、そこに予算を重点配分することが日本の成長力向上につながるということであれば、それは幻想に過ぎない。

Looking to the government for insight into identifying what constitutes a growth industry, and furnishing such industries with large helpings of financial assistance are now outdated concepts.
何が成長産業かを特定する眼力を政府に期待することも、そうした産業にまとまった財政支援をすることも、もはや時代遅れの発想だ。

What we need the government to do now is to remove as many obstacles to financial growth as possible while individuals and companies display their potential.
 今、政府に求めたいのは、個人や企業が潜在力を発揮するうえで妨げとなりうるものをできる限り取り除くことだ。

Ultimately, financial collapse must be avoided.
その最たるものが、財政破綻の回避である。

But if government bond prices plunge, resulting in a surge in interest rates and steep inflation, then there will be no prospects for economic growth.
国債暴落で金利の急騰や激しいインフレが起きれば、経済成長など望みようがない。

 ◇もっと発想の転換を

To boost growth, companies and individuals need to adapt their way of thinking.
 一方、企業や個人は発想の転換が求められる。

More effort needs to be put into marketing products that have not been sold outside Japan and services that have targeted only specific customers, so that new markets can be opened.
国内でしか売ってこなかった物、特定の顧客しか想定していないサービスをもっと工夫し、新しい市場の開拓に結びつけたい。

Japan has been outranked by China in terms of gross domestic product, and now stands as the world's third largest economy. People may lament the nation's decline, but third place is still an important position.
 国内総生産が中国に抜かれ、世界3位になったと嘆きがちだが、3位でも大変なものだ。

We must not undervalue the high-quality goods and services that have received a seal of approval in Japan's massive market.
巨大市場で認められた質の高い物やサービスを過小評価してはいけない。

When we think of Japanese exports, vehicles and electronics are usually the first things that come to mind, but there are many other things that Japanese take for granted which remain unknown in other countries.
輸出といえば、自動車や電機を思い浮かべがちだが、日本人が当たり前のように利用しているのに世界では知られていない、というものが数多くある。

Take food products, for example. Obesity is a serious problem in the United States and other developed countries.
 例えば、米国など先進国では肥満が深刻な問題となっている。

Surely there is room to introduce or expand the range of processed Japanese food products and bento boxes -- which are not only well presented but also low in calories -- in those countries.
低カロリーでありながら栄養のバランスが取れていて、見た目にも美しい日本の加工食品や弁当が参入・拡大する余地は大きいのではないか。

In addition to food, Japan can offer music, video games, movies and other forms of entertainment, as well as delivery services, and items such as fashion and beauty products.
The industries with growth potential in Asia are not necessarily limited to manufacturing.
 食だけでなく、音楽やゲーム、映画といった娯楽から宅配サービス、ファッションや美容など、アジア市場で今後成長が期待できそうな「輸出産業」は必ずしも製造業ではない。

However, our preconceived ideas are putting a ceiling on growth.
成長の天井をこしらえているのは、私たちの既成概念だ。

Last year, Japanese companies' purchases of foreign firms reached an all-time high.
 元気付けられるデータもある。昨年、日本企業による海外企業の買収件数が過去最高となった。

This is the flipside of the strong yen that carries a predominantly negative image in Japan.
マイナスの印象が強い円高を味方に付けた動きだ。

Recently small- and medium-sized companies are also said to be boosting overseas purchases.
最近は中小企業も海外での買収を活発化させているという。

For those companies, this helps offset declining proceeds from the domestic market, but the benefits do not stop at boosted profits.
 企業にとって、縮小する国内市場を補う意味があるが、メリットは直接的な収益拡大にとどまらない。

By participating in other markets, companies can gain knowledge of new products and management methods, and get new ideas.
異質の市場とかかわることでまた新しい商品や経営ノウハウ、発想が生まれ得る。

This, in turn, stimulates the domestic market.
それが翻って国内市場の活性化にもつながるだろう。

For the possibilities to materialize, there must be a stable economic and social foundation free of chaos.
 そうした可能性の開花も、混乱のない安定した経済・社会基盤が大前提だ。

Providing such conditions is the greatest role of the political world, and this will be a year in which the political world will face its greatest tests.
それを提供するのが、政治の最大の役割であり、今年はそれが最も試される年となろう。

毎日新聞 2012年1月4日 0時01分

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女性のための育毛シャンプー vefla(ヴェフラ)モイストクレンジングシャンプー

髪は長い友達と漢字で書きますがまさにその通りなのです。
男女を問わず、髪が抜け落ちる現象による苦しみは耐え難いものなのです。

私は慣れない英語での勤務によるストレスにより円形脱毛症と眉毛が抜け落ちるやっかいな難病にかかったことがあります。で、わざわざ当時の西ドイツから毛はえ薬を輸入して治療しましたが、こんなことなら日本から育毛シャンプーを持参すればよかったなって思いました。頭が徐々に禿げて行く苦しみは味わったものにしかわからないと思います。
恥ずかしいやら苦しいやらの数年間をすごしました。

普段から、育毛シャンプーを利用していれば、このような苦しみを味わうことは無かったような気がしています。うす毛は遺伝ではありませんよ。
頭皮と毛細血管の健康を取り戻せば髪は自然に回復するのです。
普段から育毛シャンプーで髪を大切にしておく習慣が大切です。

これに関連して、サイトで女性のための育毛シャンプー vefla(ヴェフラ)モイストクレンジングシャンプーを発見しました。
このシャンプーは女性用ですが、男性でも効果があるのかもしれませんね。
特徴は以下の通りなのです。

1) 毛髪や頭皮に優しいアミノ酸系(弱酸性)シャンプーなので安心なのです。
2) 真珠たんぱく質エキスをはじめとした9種類の毛髪・頭皮ケア成分が配合されているリッチなシャンプーです。
3) ノンシリコンシャンプーですから頭皮地肌への呼吸を妨げません。

女性で薄毛のお悩みをお抱えの貴方におすすめいたします。
育毛シャンプー vefla(ヴェフラ)モイストクレンジングシャンプー

髪を大切に!

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2012年1月 4日 (水)

若者と高齢者と政治―世代をつなぐ分かちあいを

--The Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 3
EDITORIAL: Dialogue on burden sharing needed between young, old
若者と高齢者と政治―世代をつなぐ分かちあいを

Last year, young people played the leading role in various movements that changed the world.
 昨年、世界を動かした主役は若者たちだった。

The young generation was in the vanguard of both the "Arab Spring," a wave of pro-democracy demonstrations that toppled long-standing dictatorships in the Arab world, and the "Occupy" protests against income and wealth inequality that started on Wall Street and spread to many parts of the world.
 独裁体制を倒した「アラブの春」も、米ウォール街の占拠から世界に広がった「格差社会」への抗議行動も、若い世代が先頭にいた。

Indeed, these are times of tribulation for young people across the globe.
 なにせ、どこも若者受難の時代なのである。

The number of the world's jobless workers belonging to the 15-24 age group hit an all-time high in 2009, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO).
 国際労働機関(ILO)によれば、世界の15歳から24歳の失業者数は09年、過去最多を記録した。

The unemployment ratio for young people has remained far higher than those for other age groups.
その後も失業率は、他の世代を大きく上回る。

The ILO thinks high unemployment among the young is the main factor behind the worldwide protests.
それが「世界中でみられた抗議の要因だ」とILOは分析している。

In Japan, the latest job data puts the unemployment rate for the 15-24-year-old demographic at around 9 percent, nearly double the average for all other groups.
 日本でも直近の統計で、この世代の失業率は約9%で、全世代平均の2倍近い。

Since the figure is still lower than in many Western countries like Spain, where more than 40 percent of young workers are without jobs, Japanese youth may be less disgruntled than their counterparts in other industrial countries.
 40%を超すスペインなど欧米諸国よりは低いから、現状への「不満」はまだ少ないのかもしれない。

But young Japanese are probably no less worried about the future.
だが将来への「不安」は、おそらくひけをとるまい。

Young people are also becoming more vocal and assertive in expressing their feelings in Japan.
 日本でも若い力が動き出している。

In last year's mayoral election in Osaka, for instance, more young voters went to the polls than in the previous election, according to an exit poll by The Asahi Shimbun.
たとえば、昨年の大阪市長選だ。

As many as 70 percent of voters in their 20s and 30s cast their votes for Toru Hashimoto, the leader of Osaka Ishin no Kai (Osaka restoration group), a local reformist party, who was elected as the new mayor of the city.
朝日新聞社の出口調査では、前回の選挙より投票所に足を運んだ若者が増え、20代、30代の7割は大阪維新の会の橋下徹氏に一票を投じていた。

Young Japanese and the nation's plight
■若者と日本の窮地

Hiroshi Ichihashi, the 23-year-old leader of Gakusei Osaka Ishin no Kai, the student group supporting Hashimoto's party, has voiced anxiety about the future of the nation in his blog. "I'm terribly scared when I imagine what Japan will look like 10 years, 20 years from now."
 「学生・大阪維新の会」の市橋拓代表(23)はブログにつづった。「10年後、20年後、日本はどうなってるんやろと考えると、すごい怖い」

The principal source of their anxiety is the deteriorating job picture.
 不安の源は働く環境だろう。

Fierce global competition is putting relentless pressure on Japanese companies to cut costs for survival as well as in other industrial nations. Furthermore, there are some unique factors that are complicating the situation in Japan.
 グローバル競争に生き残るためのコスト削減は先進国共通の厳しさだが、日本なりの事情もある。

The tradition of lifetime employment is not yet dead in Japan, although it has become less prevalent. Many Japanese companies still hire mainly new graduates and keep them on their payrolls until retirement.
緩んだとはいえ、新卒で一括採用し、終身雇用する慣行がまだ残っている。

Under this system, companies tend to reduce new full-time hires during economic hard times to protect the livelihoods of their current employees.
 この仕組みだと、会社は社員の暮らしを守るため、新たな正社員の採用を絞る。

Unless young people can find full-time jobs when they graduate when jobs are scarce, they are likely to have difficulty developing their skills and building careers.
「狭き門」をくぐれなければ、能力を磨く機会を逃しがちだ。

One study found that young Japanese who enter the job market during a recession are more likely to remain low-income earners for a longer period than their counterparts in countries like the United States.
 だから日本では、不況期に社会に出た人たちが長期にわたって収入が低くなる傾向が、米国などよりも著しいという研究結果もある。

Compounding Japan's problems is the rapid aging of its population and its low birthrate.
 加えて、少子高齢化だ。

There were once many Japanese workers to support each elderly dependent.
 日本はかつて、多くの現役世代で高齢者を支える「胴上げ型」の社会だった。

Now, there are about three or so workers for every pensioner. In the future, there will be only one.
いまは「騎馬戦型」であり、将来は「肩車型」になる。

That's why Japan needs a consumption tax hike, argues Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.
 だから消費増税が必要だと、野田首相は説く。

He is right. But his argument is based on a basic premise that must not be forgotten.
 その通りなのだが、忘れてはならない前提がある。

If young workers cannot pay taxes and premiums for social security programs, the entire system will collapse.
若い世代が税や保険料を納められなければ、社会保障は成り立たない。

Low-income earners cannot contribute to the support of retirees.
担う側がやせ細っていては、肩車は、お年寄りもろとも崩れてしまうという現実だ。

Politicians need to persuade the public
■説得が政治の責務

As the nation is shifting from a growth-oriented society to a mature society, the most important thing is to energize young generations.
 成長社会から成熟社会へ移行するいま、何より大切なのは、若い世代を強くすることだ。

It is vital to make it easier to receive education, create more jobs and improve the environment for child rearing. These should be top policy priorities.
 教育を受けやすくする。雇用の機会を広げる。子どもを生み育てる環境を整える。それが、政治の最優先課題である。

It is also necessary to narrow the gap in pay between full-time and part-time workers and figure out ways to share jobs and wages between young people and older workers who have finished raising their children.
 正社員と非正規の待遇格差を縮め、子育てが終わった世代と仕事や賃金を分かちあう方策も考えるべきだ。

But how about the reality in Japan?
 だが、現実はどうか。

The ratio of Japan's expenditures for children and young people to its overall public spending was the second lowest among 39 countries, mostly members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, according to data for 2007.
 子ども・若者向けの公的支出の比率を、経済協力開発機構(OECD)加盟国など39カ国で比べたところ、日本はなんと38位(07年データ)だった。

The government has promised to reform the social security system to expand benefits for children and younger generations.
 政府も、子どもを含む「全世代対応型」社会保障への転換を掲げている。

But there has been little progress toward that goal because the government has been unable to persuade the public to accept cuts in other expenditures to finance the reform.
それでも思うように進まないのは、財源を生み出すために、他の支出を我慢してもらう説得ができないからだ。

The government has long postponed reducing pension benefits in response to falling prices as required by the program for fear of antagonizing elderly voters.
 年金を本来の水準に引き下げることさえ、お年寄りの反発が怖くて先送りを重ねてきた。

It is the duty of politicians to convince the public that the proposed social security reform will be good for future generations and benefit all generations over the long term.
 しかし、これは子や孫のためだ。長い目でみれば、すべての世代の利益になる。そう説得するのが、政治の責務だ。

Dialogue between citizens of different generations needed
■かぎは市民の対話

Politicians, however, not wanting to face angry voters in elections, are avoiding their duty.
 ただ、選挙で有権者に嫌われたくない政治家は責務から逃げようとする。

That's why Japanese politics has been unable to deal effectively with many pressing challenges confronting the nation.
政治が迷走続きなのは、そのせいだといっていい。

Democracy, by its nature, is not quite good at fresh burden sharing.
民主主義は、新たな負担の分かちあいが苦手なのだ。

Our challenge is how to overcome this weakness and move politics forward.
 この弱点を乗り越え、どうやって政治を動かすか。

Things are not so simple as to allow us to solve the problem by simply entrusting the mission to a capable leader.
頼もしそうなリーダーに任せれば解決するほど、ことは簡単ではない。

Politicians should first mend their ways and improve their performance. But voters also need to change themselves.
 まずは政治家が進化すべきだが、同時に有権者も変わらなければならない。

One good starting point is serious policy dialogue among citizens with conflicting interests.
 たとえば、利害が異なる人々が、もっと対話したらどうか。

Are both elderly and young people content with the current state of the social security system, which is designed mainly for old people?
高齢者に手厚い社会保障の現状を、お年寄りと若者はこのままでいいと納得しているのか。

During the Osaka mayoral election, Ichihashi, the student activist, made speeches in the streets urging young people generally indifferent to politics to get involved in his movement as "participants, not as supporters."
 大阪の市橋さんは市長選で街頭に立ち、「応援者ではなく、当事者として参加してほしい」と、政治に関心を抱く機会が少ない同じ世代に呼びかけた。

A wrong choice now could cause the social security system to break down by the time today's young people have grown old.
 いま選択を誤れば、若者が高齢者になるとき、社会保障は壊れているかもしれない。

A real fiscal collapse would deliver immeasurable damage to the people's lives and the nation's economy.
もし財政が破綻(はたん)すれば、暮らしや経済への打撃は計り知れない。

Young people won't be able to run away from the consequences of their choices.
そして若者は、選択の結果から逃れられない。

How can we create a society where different generations are willing to support each other?
 世代をつないで分かちあう社会を、どうすれば実現できるのか。

What is necessary to leave such a society to future generations?
それを先々の世代に引き継ぐには何が必要なのか。

These are questions that all Japanese voters, including young people, should ponder.
 若者はもちろん、より多くの有権者が当事者として考える。

Then, there would be a powerful force to move politics.
それが政治を動かす原動力になるに違いない。

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2012年1月 3日 (火)

ポスト成長の年明け―すべて将来世代のために

昨日の読売新聞新年早々の社説と比較すると面白いです。
新聞社により力点が異なるのが面白いですね。
これも新聞を読む醍醐味のひとつでしょう。
毎日新聞はまだ発表していないようですね^^。
毎日のは多分反原発主体ではないでしょうか。
(スラチャイ)

--The Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 1
EDITORIAL: Painful choices needed for sake of future generations
ポスト成長の年明け―すべて将来世代のために

The new year has arrived, but Japan continues to grapple with a wide range of formidable challenges.
 新しい年も難問が続く。

Besides dealing with all the intractable problems created by last year’s Great East Japan Earthquake and the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the government also needs to tackle the political challenge of raising the consumption tax in line with a draft plan finally announced by the ruling Democratic Party of Japan at the end of last year.
 東日本大震災、福島の原発事故への対応はもちろん、年末に民主党がやっと素案を決めた消費税率の引き上げもある。

The sovereign debt crisis in Europe, which has been threatening to knock the world economy off the growth track, is also demanding close attention and monitoring.
世界経済を脅かした欧州の財政金融危機からも目が離せない。

It is certainly a coincidence that all these challenges have emerged to confront the nation at the same time. But there seems to be a common thread.
 難問が織り重なったのは偶然だが、なにか共通した問題を暗示しているように思う。

All these challenges appear to indicate that the age of continuous economic growth in industrial nations that began soon after the end of World War II is now coming to an end.
 それは、戦後ずっと続いてきた「成長の時代」が、先進国ではいよいよ終わろうとしているということだ。

Huge deficits from financial bubbles
■バブルで財政赤字に

The accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant and its dire consequences have forced us to reflect seriously on the reality that an energy source that has been supporting our affluent society is in fact standing on very shaky ground.
 原発の惨状は、豊かな生活を支えてきた潤沢なエネルギーがじつは危うい上げ底だったとの反省を迫っている。

The towering budget deficits in Japan, the United States and Europe are the prices of their reckless efforts to stoke economic growth.
 日米欧の赤字財政は、成長を無理に追い求めたツケだ。

World history is littered with grim episodes about aggressive monetary expansion to revitalize a sputtering economy ending up creating bubbles with serious consequences.
 世界の歴史を振り返れば、経済成長が行き詰まると、成長を取り戻そうとして金融を拡大し、バブルを生んできた。

Japan also produced speculative bubbles after the end of its fast economic growth and piled on debt to deal with the consequences of the bursting of these bubbles.
 日本も高度成長が終わってバブルをつくりだし、その後処理のために財政赤字を積み上げてしまった。

The Japanese government sank deeper into the budget morass as it kept issuing huge amounts of bonds to finance measures to stimulate economic growth.
成長を諦めきれずに国債を乱発したからでもある。

The United States and Europe, where housing bubbles popped in a global recession triggered by the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, are now following the same path as Japan, struggling with huge budget deficits.
 住宅バブルがリーマン・ショックで破裂した欧米も、財政赤字をふくらませ日本が来た道をたどっている。

Industrial nations, which have built more or less affluent societies, are now having a hard time finding a new powerful engine of economic and job growth.
 それなりに豊かな社会を実現した先進各国はいま、新たな成長のタネを探しあぐね、雇用の確保に苦しむ。

Economic growth is indeed a magic wand to solve many problems.
 経済成長は多くの問題を解決してくれる魔法の杖には違いないが、

But many industrial nations have gotten themselves in an awful bind as they have failed to discover new seeds of growth and turned to fiscal and monetary stimulants to re-energize their economies.
そのタネを見つけられぬまま財政と金融に頼って成長の夢を追った結果、各国とも難問を抱えこんでしまっている。

It has become clear that the traditional policy approach to stimulating economic growth no longer works.
 従来の手法が経済成長を生まない。

The world is obviously at a major turning point in history.
そんな歴史の大きなトレンドが変わりつつある。

"Herbivores" a byproduct of society's adjustment
■進化が生んだ草食系

Various signs of profound changes are already visible.
 すでに変化の芽は、さまざまな形で見えている。

Last autumn, Japanese people eagerly welcomed Bhutan’s King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema when they visited Japan.
 昨秋、ブータンから来日したワンチュク国王夫妻を人々は大歓迎した。

Japanese were not just charmed by the royal couple’s amiable and unassuming characters. They also saw one possible future for their country in the Himalayan kingdom’s unique policy focus on spiritual fulfillment rather than on material wealth.
This is symbolized by the “Gross National Happiness,” an indicator invented and espoused by the Buddhist country to measure the quality of life among people.
その清新な人柄の魅力もあったが、物質的な充足よりも心の豊かさを求めてGNH(国民総幸福)を掲げるブータンの国是に、ひとつの未来を見いだしたからだろう。

Tokyo’s Arakawa Ward has been working to develop its own indicator of happiness for seven years by learning from Bhutan’s experience. Similar efforts are also under way in other parts of Japan.
 ブータンにならい、幸福の指標を7年前から研究してきた東京の荒川区をはじめ、各地で同じような模索が始まっている。

The emergence of Japan’s “herbivores”--mild-tempered young men who are passive in building relationships with the opposite sex and don’t have strong worldly desires or ambitions--is a sign that Japanese have started adapting to social and economic changes due to their nation’s shift to a post-growth era, according to a theory proposed by Mizuho Research Institute.
 草食系の若者たちが登場したのは、ポスト成長の環境変化に適応して進化したからではないか――。みずほ総合研究所がこんな新説を唱えている。

Herbivore men don’t have strong expectations or complaints about the world around them but seek mild bonds with other people.
 過大な期待は抱かず、ほどほどの現状のなかで人々との絆を求める。

Many young people who rushed to help victims of the March 11 disaster appear to fit the mold.
震災のボランティアに駆けつける若者たちと、どこか重なるものがある。

Given the growing concerns about the destruction of the environment and depletion of resources on our planet, it is good for people to adapt to low growth.
 地球大での環境や資源の限界を考えても、低成長に適応していくことは好ましい。

The question, however, is whether Japan will be able to deal with the problem of gargantuan public debt and overcome the effects of the rapidly aging population amid low birthrates without achieving economic growth.
 だがしかし、経済成長をしないで、巨額の財政赤字を処理しつつ、急激に進む少子高齢化を乗り切っていけるのか。

This question brings us to another colossal challenge.
 ここで、次なる難問に突き当たる。

In this age of global competition, when emerging countries are fiercely increasing their economic might to catch up with industrial nations, Japan, with its shrinking population, cannot afford to take it easy.
 新興国が激しく追い上げてくる大競争の時代、人口が減りだした日本は、のんきに構えてはいられない。

It will be difficult for Japan even to maintain the status quo unless it makes strenuous efforts.
よほど努力しないと現状維持すら難しい。

Reality dictates that Japan needs to open itself more to the world and make more aggressive moves to capitalize on the growth potential of emerging countries while developing young people who can compete globally.
 だから、国をもっと開いて打って出て、新興国の成長力を取り込み、世界に伍(ご)していける若い人材を育てていかねばならない。

If we fail to do so, our future will be in jeopardy.
それを怠れば、この国の将来が危うくなる。

From growth to maturity
■成長から成熟社会へ

How can we deal with two conflicting challenges: adapting to zero growth and striving to stoke growth?
 「ゼロ成長への適応」と「成長への努力」という相反するような二つの課題を、同時にどう達成するのか。

This is undoubtedly the hardest economic trial this nation has experienced in its history.
 歴史的にみて、経験したことのない困難な道である。

We propose that sustainability has to be the cardinal guiding principle for our efforts to achieve these goals.
 そのさい、「持続可能性」を大原則とすることを提案する。

That’s because we should put top priority on the well-being of future generations.
何よりも、将来世代のことを考えるためだ。

We should stop trying to inflate economic growth with fiscal and monetary expansion.
 財政支出や金融拡大に頼った「成長の粉飾」はもうしない。

The debt we run up today will have to be paid back by future generations decades down the road. But they have yet to be born.
いま増やした国の借金は何十年も先の世代が返済するが、彼らはまだ生まれてもいない。

That means these future generations will be forced to bear the onerous consequences of decisions they have not made themselves.
決定権のないまま負担だけを背負わされる。

This is a serious defect in democracy.
民主主義の欠陥である。

We must stop repeating this folly now.
この愚をこれ以上繰り返してはならない。

What we need to do is to lay a solid foundation for a matured society by pushing through integrated tax and social security reform.
 取り組むべきは、社会保障と税の一体改革を実現させて、成熟社会の基盤をつくることだ。

Rebuilding social services like health and nursing care and education would help create a new society not driven by economic expansion.
医療・介護や教育といった社会的サービスを再建することが、量的拡大に代わる新たな経済社会につながっていく。

Tax increases and spending cuts inevitably cause pain.
 増税や政府支出のカットはつらい。

Such austerity measures tend to slow the nation’s economic growth. But the painful effects of these efforts must be accepted for the sake of future generations.
成長率の押し下げ要因になるが、将来世代のことを考え甘受しなくてはいけない。

It is also necessary to phase out as soon as possible nuclear power generation, which produces radioactive waste that will remain a serious health hazard for thousands of years.
 また、何万年もの後代まで核のゴミを残す原発は、できるだけ早くゼロにする。

It is also important to promote the use of renewable energy sources and make the economy more environment friendly.
自然エネルギーを発展させ、環境重視の経済に組み替える。

“Silver” markets for products aimed at the elderly and “green” industries that produce and sell eco-friendly products could be new sources of sustainable economic growth.
 シルバー(高齢化)とグリーン(環境)が、次の活力ある経済をつくるタネになり得る。

The government’s policy efforts should be focused on these areas.
ここに力を注ぐべきだ。

Such a policy shift would also mean reorienting society from growth to maturity.
 それは成長から成熟へ、社会を切り替えることでもある。

We have been reveling in the age of steady economic growth for far too long.
 成長の時代を享受してきた私たちは、

We must now take a hard, long-term look at the changes that are taking place and the direction history is following, and then start carrying out steadily what we need to do now.
変化していく歴史の行方を長い目で見つめながら、いまやるべきことを着実に実行していかねばならない。

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2012年1月 2日 (月)

「危機」乗り越える統治能力を ポピュリズムと決別せよ(1月1日付・読売社説)

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 1, 2012)
Japan faces many challenges in 2012
「危機」乗り越える統治能力を ポピュリズムと決別せよ(1月1日付・読売社説)

The world is in a nearly continuous state of crisis.
 世界的に「危機」が常態化しつつある。

In Europe, a sovereign debt crisis has ballooned into a financial crisis that is shaking the world economy.
 欧州では、財政危機が金融危機に拡大し、世界経済を揺るがしている。

The United States is beset by huge budget deficits.
米国も巨大な財政赤字に苦しんでいる。

These problems have slowed down the economies of China and India.
その影響で中国やインドでも景気が減速し始めた。

Despite warnings from economists that the value of government bonds could nosedive unless state finances are put on a surer footing, politicians have been unable to persuade their constituents to shoulder additional burdens.
 財政再建に努めないと国債が暴落しかねないと指摘されても、政治は負担増を嫌う国民を説得できていない。

Flagging markets and leaders at the mercy of the popular will are stuck in a dangerous embrace that is only serving to amplify the crisis.
混迷を深める市場と、民意に翻弄される政治が、相互に危機を増幅している。

The debt problems of a few European countries are at the bottom of the crisis, and urgently need to be solved.  危機の根源にある欧州債務問題を鎮めることが、喫緊の課題だ。

The governments of these states must act by any means possible to reduce their fiscal deficits and prevent their bonds from losing value.
欧州は、財政赤字を削減し、国債の下落を抑えるよう、万策を講じなければならない。

===

Revitalize economy
 経済活性化は復興から

Today marks the first New Year's Day since the Great East Japan Earthquake struck on March 11, 2011.
 日本は、東日本大震災から初めての正月を迎えた。

The unprecedented natural disaster left deep scars on the national psyche and on society.
 未曽有の震災は人々の心と社会に深い傷痕を残している。

Cleaning up the debris left behind by the earthquake and tsunami has not proceeded smoothly, and the reconstruction of disaster-hit communities is just beginning.
がれきの処理が進まず、新しいまちづくりはこれからだ。

The catastrophe at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has not been settled completely, and people who fled their homes to escape the nuclear crisis are scattered around the country.
東京電力福島第一原子力発電所は、いまだに事故を完全に収束できず、全国各地での避難生活も続いている。

Our nation's economy is suffering from the dual blows of a super-strong yen and low stock prices caused by the financial confusion in the United States and Europe. Furthermore, the transfer of manufacturing facilities overseas is accelerating--exacerbating the hollowing-out of the nation's industrial base.
 日本経済は、欧米の混乱に伴う超円高と株安に苦しみ、企業の生産拠点の海外移転による産業空洞化も加速している。

We hope the economy can return to a growth track through full-fledged reconstruction of the areas devastated by the earthquake and tsunami.
復興を進めて経済を成長軌道に乗せたい。

To realize this, the nation's political world must recover from its state of dysfunction.
 それには、政治が機能不全から脱却する必要がある。

The people are questioning the capability of the Democratic Party of Japan-led government to govern the country.
民主党政権の統治能力も問われている。

We call on Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to set a course toward raising the consumption tax rate so social security programs can be adequately funded.
Noda also must promote free trade, a key to economic growth, and establish a realistic energy policy.
 野田首相は、社会保障の財源としての消費税率引き上げに道筋をつけ、成長のカギを握る自由貿易を推進し、現実的なエネルギー政策を確立しなければならない。

The only way political progress can be made in the divided Diet, with the opposition controlling the House of Councillors, is through agreements among the DPJ, the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito.
 衆参ねじれ国会では、民主、自民、公明3党の合意があって、初めて政治が前に進む。

To ensure the government runs smoothly, the DPJ must talk with the other parties and build consensus on issues.
政権を円滑に運営するには、政党間協議で合意を積み重ねる必要がある。

===

Fiscal collapse looms
 財政破綻もあり得る

There is no magic wand that will move politics forward.
 政治を動かす「魔法の杖(つえ)」はない。

The next House of Representatives election could be held this year, but this should not stop the DPJ, LDP and Komeito from transcending party interests to find common ground.
次期衆院選が年内にも予想されるが、民自公3党は、党利党略を超え、合意を目指すべきだ。

In today's political world, a leader needs unflagging resolve, the ability to build consensus and enough persuasiveness to convince the public to bear the necessary pain.
 今の政治に必要なのは、リーダーの不退転の覚悟と合意形成に向けた努力、国民に痛みを受容してもらう説得力である。

The European financial crisis, triggered by Greece's sovereign debt crisis, is not "a fire on the other side of the river."
 ギリシャの財政危機に端を発した欧州危機は、日本にとって「対岸の火事」ではない。

Our own nation is in the worst fiscal shape among developed countries, with nearly 900 trillion yen in combined national and local government debt--twice the gross domestic product.
 日本は、先進国の中で最も厳しい財政事情にある。国と地方を合わせた公的債務は900兆円弱に膨らみ、国内総生産(GDP)のほぼ2倍にも上っている。

Japanese government bonds have so far been seen as less risky than those of European countries, which depend heavily on foreign investment.
On the contrary, the Japanese people have personal financial assets worth nearly 1.5 yen quadrillion, and more than 90 percent of government bonds are owned by domestic institutional and individual investors.
 これまで、日本には1500兆円近くの個人金融資産があり、日本の国債は9割以上が国内の機関投資家や個人投資家に保有されているため、国債の消化を海外に頼る欧米諸国と比べて危険度が比較的小さい、とされてきた。

However, in real terms the value of the nation's personal financial assets is only 1.1 yen quadrillion after subtracting personal debts such as housing loans.
 しかし、個人金融資産は、住宅ローンなどの債務を差し引いた実体では1100兆円になる。

This is only 200 trillion yen more than the amount of public debt.
公的債務との差は200兆円程度だ。

If the issuance of government bonds continues to increase at the current pace, and the aging population begins withdrawing their savings to live on, the financial assets of the Japanese public will no longer be able to cover government bonds.
今後、国債発行がこれまでのペースで増える一方、高齢化による貯蓄の取り崩しによって金融資産が目減りすれば、国民の資産だけでは国債を吸収できなくなる。

Despite the fiscal problems and the damage to the economy by the Great East Japan Earthquake, the Japanese yen still enjoys strong international confidence.
 財政状況が深刻化し、大震災に見舞われながらも、円に対する国際的信認はなお厚い。

Many believe Japan has room to raise its consumption tax rate into the 15 percent to 25 percent range, similar to the rates in many countries in Europe.
日本には欧州並みに消費税率を15~25%に引き上げる「余地」があると思われているからだろう。

However, if investors begin fleeing Japanese bonds, their interest rates will rise and the increased debt-servicing costs would further bloat the government's debt.
 しかし、日本の国債がいったん売られると、金利が上昇して利払い費が膨らみ、債務が拡大する。

If Japan were to fall into a vicious cycle of economic doldrums and reduced tax revenue, such as a drop in corporate capital spending caused by consumers tightening their purse strings, the nightmare scenario--fiscal collapse of the government--could become reality.
消費が冷え込み、設備投資の減少など景気低迷と税収減の悪循環に陥れば、財政破綻という悪夢のシナリオが現実になりかねない。

This is why the government must quickly return to fiscal health by increasing the consumption tax rate.
 消費税率引き上げによる財政再建を急ぐ理由は、ここにある。

Noda has pledged the consumption tax rate would be "raised to 8 percent in April 2014 and to 10 percent in October 2015."
 野田首相は、消費税率について「2014年4月に8%、15年10月に10%へ引き上げる」と言明している。

He plans to submit bills related to this purpose to the Diet at the end of March.
3月末に、税制関連法案を国会に提出する方針だ。

We expect the prime minister to seek the understanding of the public by explaining to them carefully that a consumption tax hike is the only way to achieve a sustainable social security system, which includes public pensions, as well as medical and nursing care programs.
 首相は、年金や医療、介護などの社会保障制度を持続可能にするには、消費税率引き上げによるしかないことを、国民に丁寧に説明し、理解を求めてもらいたい。

===

Regional tensions

Integrated reform of the social security and tax systems is a significant policy issue that can only be carried out with cooperation between the ruling and opposition parties, no matter what party is running the government.
 社会保障と税の一体改革は、どの政党が政権を取っても、与野党で協力して実施に移さなければならないテーマだ。

The LDP and Komeito should cooperate to pass the reforms through the Diet, locking their sights on taking back control of the government afterward.
自民、公明両党も政権復帰の可能性を見据え、法案成立に協力すべきだろう。

To overcome the crisis, lawmakers must make a clean break from populism, no longer bowing to the public's wishes for reduced burdens and increased benefits.
 負担減と給付増を求めるような大衆に迎合する政治(ポピュリズム)と決別することが、危機を克服する道である。

 中国にどう向き合う
In the Asia-Pacific region, the seas are only getting rougher.
 アジア太平洋地域で、荒波がその高さを増している。

China has been continuing its military expansion and has deployed ballistic missiles able to strike Japan and other countries, and is hurrying to develop a next-generation fighter jet.
 軍事的膨張を続ける中国は、日本や他国を射程に収めた弾道ミサイルを配備し、次世代戦闘機の開発を急いでいる。

In the South China Sea and the East China Sea, China has repeatedly tangled with Japan, the United States and Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states.
南シナ海や東シナ海では、日米両国、東南アジア諸国連合(ASEAN)との軋轢(あつれき)を繰り返している。

Added to this, North Korea is in the middle of a transfer of power, raising the possibility of political turbulence.
 北朝鮮は、権力継承の過程で政情が不穏になる可能性がある。

Japan must choose the path of deepening its alliance with the United States, which has shifted its foreign policy focus to Asia, and improve defense capabilities in the Nansei Islands, which include the Okinawa Islands.
 日本の取るべき道は、アジア重視の姿勢に転じた米国との同盟を一層深化させ、南西方面の防衛力を向上させることである。

Thus, it is vital for the government to solve problems related to Okinawa Prefecture.
 そのためには、沖縄問題の解決が避けて通れない。

Japan and the United States have agreed to transfer the functions of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station to the Henoko district of Nago in the prefecture. To realize the agreement, the government must regain the trust of the prefecture by lessening its burden in hosting U.S. military bases through noise reduction and other measures, as well as adopting regional development programs.
 米軍普天間飛行場を名護市辺野古に移設するという日米合意を実現するには、沖縄振興策、騒音など基地負担の軽減を通じた、沖縄県との信頼回復が不可欠だ。

Cabinet ministers concerned, and of course Noda himself, must fly to the prefecture to persuade Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima and others to agree to the transfer.
 担当閣僚はもちろん、野田首相も沖縄に出向き、仲井真弘多(ひろかず)知事らを本気で説得すべきである。

===

Revive farm sector
 農業再生へのチャンス

Promoting economic partnership relations will also greatly contribute to reinforcing the Japan-U.S. alliance.
 日米同盟の強化には、経済連携を進めることも寄与する。

Noda has already announced his intention to enter into discussions with other countries concerned toward participation in negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership multinational trade agreement.
 野田首相は、米国主導の環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉への参加に向け、関係国との協議に入るとの意向を示している。

This framework would harness the economic vitality of Asia, and is indispensable for Japan's growth strategy.
 アジアの活力を取り込む枠組みは日本の成長戦略に不可欠だ。

If it is approved to participate in the negotiations, Japan will be able to commit itself to the formulation of new trade rules.
 事前交渉などを経て、TPPへの参加が認められれば、新たな通商ルールづくりに関与できる。

The government will need to take a strategic approach to the negotiations so the new rules will strengthen Japan's national interests.
日本の国益増進に資するよう、戦略的に交渉しなくてはならない。

Farmers and other people related to the agricultural industry have opposed Japan's participation in the TPP talks.
 交渉参加には、農業関係者らが反発している。

The basic principle of the framework is the abolition of tariffs without exceptions, and opponents say such a situation would leave the nation's agriculture sector unprotected.
原則が「例外なき関税撤廃」では、日本の農業を守れない、という理由からだ。

However, the nation's farm industry will deteriorate for certain if the situation is left untouched.
 だが、農業はこのままでは衰退必至だ。

Participation in the TPP talks raises the possibility of agricultural reforms such as farmland integration and providing aid to people who wish to take part in the industry.
TPPへの参加こそ農地の大規模化、就農支援など農業改革に取り組む契機になる。

If Japan strengthens its international agricultural competitiveness, not only will the rice market expand, but growth will occur in the markets for other high-quality farm products.
国際競争力が増せば、コメに限らず、高品質の農産物の輸出も拡大しよう。

We must see the TPP not as a "pinch," but rather a "chance" for revival.
 TPPはピンチではなく、再生へのチャンスと捉えたい。

 安全な原発に更新せよ
The nation's energy policy, including power generation, will play a central role in Japan's reconstruction and economic growth.
 日本の復興、経済成長で中心的役割を果たすのが電力などのエネルギー政策である。

Amid the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, other nuclear reactors around the country have been unable to restart even after finishing regularly scheduled inspections.
 福島原発の事故の影響で、各地の原発が定期検査を終えた後も再稼働できず、電力不足が深刻化している。

This has caused serious power shortages, and it is now feared that all of the nation's 54 nuclear reactors will be idled by May.
5月までには全原発54基が停止する恐れがある。

Such a situation--the loss of 30 percent of the nation's electricity generation capacity--should be avoided at all costs.
 総発電量の3割が失われる事態を回避しなければならない。

===

Ensure nuclear safety

Power companies have been managing to cope with the situation through expanding thermal power generation, but rising prices of fuel, such as natural gas, have influenced power generation costs.
 電力会社は火力発電で急場をしのいでいるが、燃料の天然ガスなどが高騰し、発電コストが上昇している。

The generation of electricity through renewable energy sources such as solar and wind only account for 1 percent of total supply, and it will take years until these industries become mature enough to replace nuclear power.
太陽光や風力の再生可能エネルギーによる発電は、総発電量の1%しかない。原発に代わる事業に育つには長年を要する。

It is necessary for nuclear reactors to be restarted quickly after they have been confirmed safe.
 安全が十分に確認できた原発から再稼働していくことが必要だ。

To achieve this, the government must make efforts to win the cooperation of local governments that host nuclear plants.
政府は地元自治体の理解を得るよう尽力しなければならない。

Delaying the resumption of reactor operations will prompt businesses to move production bases overseas to avoid risks such as blackouts and power shortages, thereby spurring the hollowing-out of the industrial sector.
 再稼働が進まないと、停電や電力不足のリスクを避けるために、企業が海外移転を図り、産業空洞化に拍車を掛けることになる。

In contrast to former Prime Minister Naoto Kan's irresponsible attempt to break with nuclear power, Noda has encouraged practical energy policies such as promoting exports of nuclear power plants and technology. This is an appropriate course of action.
 菅前首相の無責任な「脱原発」路線と一線を画し、野田首相が原発輸出を推進するなど、現実を踏まえたエネルギー政策に乗り出したのは、当然である。

China and other emerging economies have not abandoned plans to build new nuclear power plants.
 中国など新興国では、原発新設の計画が維持されている。

If Japanese firms can develop new and safer reactors and export them in packages bundled with technology and expertise in the form of specialized training programs, some of the confidence Japan lost in the aftermath of the nuclear crisis can be regained.
より安全な新型原発を開発し、技術提供や専門家育成のノウハウと合わせて輸出することは、事故を起こした日本の信頼回復に役立つ。

However, if Japan pursues a policy of eliminating its domestic nuclear plants, its ability to export nuclear technology will be harmed, which could lead to a brain drain in engineers.
 「原発ゼロ」を標榜(ひょうぼう)すれば、原発輸出力は低下し、技術者の海外流出にもつながりかねない。

The crisis at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant was declared under control in December, but it will take 30 to 40 years to fully decommission the reactors.
 福島原発では、事故収束から廃炉まで30~40年を要する。

Along with this challenging work, personnel need to be fostered who can preserve and build on Japan's nuclear technology and expertise.
並行して、原発技術を継承する人材を確保、育成しなければならない。

Even if sun and wind power play larger roles, the option of replacing obsolete nuclear plants with safer and higher-performing models should not be ruled out.
 太陽光や風力などの電源に占める比率を高めていくにしても、国内で古くなった原発を高性能で安全な原発に更新する、という選択肢を排除すべきではない。

The optimal combination of power sources should be decided based on an overall judgment concerning supply stability, costs, environmental impact and other factors.
 電力の安定供給、コスト、環境への影響などを総合的に判断し、電源の最適な組み合わせを見いだすべきだ。

Such efforts will help avoid future power crises.
それが今後の電力危機を回避することに結びつこう。

Japan must not allow any of the above issues--the consumption tax, Okinawa, TPP and nuclear power--to remain undealt with.
 消費税、沖縄、TPP、原発の各課題は、いずれも先送りできない。

The world is watching to see whether Japan will move forward toward peace and prosperity after overcoming the scars left by the March 11 disaster.
日本が「3・11」を克服し、平和と繁栄の方向に歩を進められるか。世界が注目している。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 1, 2012)
(2012年1月1日00時56分  読売新聞)

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2012年1月 1日 (日)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:あなただけじゃない /東京

(Mainichi Japan) December 31, 2011
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: The importance of welcoming the New Year together
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:あなただけじゃない /東京

The New Year's holiday is rather short this time.
 今年はカレンダーの関係で年末年始の休みが少ない、という人もいるようだ。

Even if we spend only two to three days away from our workplaces, however, it is a tradition in Japan on the last day of work to tell our colleagues, "You were kind to me during this past year, have a good New Year," as well as to ask for their kindness during the new year when we see them for the first time in January.
それでもたとえ2、3日しか間があいてなくても、仕事納めの日に「今年もお世話になりました」「よいお年を」と、仕事始めの日には「今年もよろしく」とあらたまってあいさつをする。

We have formed a habit to think that everything is reset with the beginning of a new year.
正月が来るとすべてがリセットされる、というのが、私たちの社会の習慣のようだ。

However, there are things, such as sadness, illness and anguish, which unfortunately, do not disappear easily, even with the end of a year and the beginning of a new one.
 でも、残念ながら悲しみや苦しみ、病などは、年が変わったからといって簡単に消えてなくなりはしない。

This year in particular, with the Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and the ongoing nuclear disaster, I believe there are many people who will welcome 2012 with still lingering anxieties.
とくに今年は、東日本大震災などの影響で、「悩みを抱えたまま年を越す」という人が多いのではないだろうか。

We should not forget about these people.
私たちは、そういう人たちのことを忘れてはならない。

In 2008, many "temporary workers" who had lost their jobs were invited to spend New Year's Eve and the first days of 2009 in the so-called tent camp, "Toshikoshi Hakenmura," or "New Year's Village for Temporary Workers," in the Hibiya area in Tokyo.
 2008年には「年越し派遣村」ができて、“派遣切り”にあった人たちなどが東京の日比谷を中心に集まった。

The next year, the so-called "Kosetsu Hakenmura" (Public Village for Temporary Workers) was organized, inviting unemployed people, or those living alone, to spend the holiday with others. They were given food, some money to use for transportation while looking for jobs, and a place to spend these traditionally important days.
次の年の暮れには全国に「公設派遣村」がもうけられ、単身者や失業者で生活に困窮している人たちに、年末年始の居場所や食事、仕事探しための交通費などが支給された。

However, since then, there hasn't been a single large-scale "New Year's Village."
 ところが、その後、大規模な「年越し村」は実施されなくなった。

I'm sure that there are many reasons, but it is a fact that there were many people who criticized such events, believing that they were used by some who "don't try hard to reconstruct their lives." Some thought of the events as a waste of taxpayer's money.
理由はひとつではないと思うが、そのひとつに「まじめに生活を再建しようとしない人までが利用している」「税金のむだづかい」といった批判の声の高まりがあったことは確かだ。

That some continued to struggle under difficult conditions while others reaped the benefits of the "villages" may have appeared unreasonable. It may have made the people at those "villages" seem coddled.
厳しい状況の中、がんばっている人たちも多い中、「年越し村」でケアを受けた人だけがいい思いをするのは理不尽に見え、甘えているだけに思えたのかもしれない。

But is this really the case?
 しかし、本当にそうなのだろうか。

In my opinion, the "New Year's Villages" may have helped more than those who were the ostensible recipients of care.
「年越し村」で救われたのは、実際にそこに出かけた人だけではなかったのではないか。

A patient of mine, who is unemployed and single, told me the following at the time:
私の診察室で、ひとり暮らしで失業中の患者さんが当時、こんな話をしてくれたことがあった。

"I have my own apartment, so I welcomed the New Year there.
 「私はアパートがあるから、そこでひとりで年を越しました。

But it was reassuring just knowing that if I became really lonely, I could go to Hibiya, where there would have been people and warm food."
でも、どうしても寂しくなったら、日比谷に行けば誰かがいるんだ、お雑煮もあるんだ、と思うだけでなんとなく心強かったですよ」

We all want to spend the end of a year and the beginning of a new year with someone.
 年の暮れや正月こそ、誰かといっしょにすごしたい。

I assume that this feeling is even stronger among people who usually feel lonely or depressed.
ふだん孤独な人、悩んでいる人こそ、そう思うはずだ。

For those who have lost their homes, jobs, and families, all the more so.
家族や仕事、住まいを失った人は、なおさらだ。

I wish that on a year like 2011, there were such places across Japan, where everyone would gather, shoulder to shoulder, and welcome the New Year together.
今年のような年こそ、大勢の人が肩を寄せ合ってすごせる「年越し村」が全国にできてもよかったのに、と思う。

You are not the only one who feels lonely.
寂しいのは、あなただけじゃない。

We all feel that way.
みんな同じなのだ。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2011年12月27日 地方版

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Happy New Year!

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