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2012年5月

2012年5月31日 (木)

スマートフォンアプリ開発者向け求人情報 smartphone works

来春大学を卒業予定の大学、大学院の卒業生たちは、もうこの時期であれば就職活動を開始しているはずですね。40年前ですが、私の場合にはいわゆる青田刈りで、大学三年のときに東京の建設会社が求人にわざわざ大学まで出かけて来られました。

IT産業は狙い目ではないでしょうか。中でもスマホ関連は有望なのです。いまはまだPCのほうが全体的には優位をしめていますが、そのうちにスマホが主体となる時代がやってきます。

私の予想はよくあたるのです^^。フロッピーディスクが5インチから3.5インチに移り変わるのも予測できましたし、その後FDそのものがこの世から消滅することも予測できていました。

これからは、スマホアプリの時代です。
スマートフォンアプリ開発者向け求人情報 smartphone works でご研究ください。
スマートフォン 開発は有望株ですよ。

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エジプト情勢 イスラム伸長で進む「二極化」

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 31, 2012)
Egypt becomes polarized as Islamist forces gain clout
エジプト情勢 イスラム伸長で進む「二極化」(5月30日付・読売社説)

Islamist forces are gaining strength in Egypt. The direction of democratization in the entire Middle East will depend on whether a stable regime can be established in that country.
 エジプトでイスラム主義勢力が伸長している。安定したエジプト新体制を築けるかどうかは、中東全体の民主化の行方も左右するだろう。

No candidate won a decisive majority in the first round of Egypt's presidential election, according to results announced Monday. A runoff election will be held in mid-June.
 エジプト大統領選は、第1回投票で決着せず、6月中旬、決選投票が行われることになった。

The runoff will be contested by Mohammed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist organization, who placed first in the first round with about 25 percent of the vote, and former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, who was runner-up with about 24 percent.
 決選投票に臨むのは、得票率約25%で1位となったイスラム主義組織「ムスリム同胞団」のモルシ候補と、約24%で2位のシャフィク元首相である。

The contest represents a showdown between Islamist and secular candidates. Shafiq is a former military officer who emerged as a leader under the administration of ousted President Hosni Mubarak.
 イスラム主義の候補とムバラク前政権で頭角を現した軍出身の世俗派政治家が対決する構図だ。

The Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist parties garnered more than 70 percent of the seats contested in lower house elections held from November to January, impressively cementing their emergence in Egypt's political landscape.
 ムスリム同胞団はじめイスラム主義勢力は、昨年11月から今年1月まで行われた下院選で、全体の7割超の議席を取り、その台頭を強く印象付けた。

In the first round of the presidential election, Islamist forces won more than 40 percent of the vote, indicating they are major political players in the post-Mubarak era.
 今回の大統領選でも、4割を超す票を獲得して、「ポスト・ムバラク」時代の政治の主役であることを示したと言える。

===

Fierce campaign ahead

Mursi, who was a latecomer to the presidential race, finished first after pulling in votes from another Islamist candidate who had a head start. The Brotherhood apparently used its organizational might to prevent the two candidates from draining votes from each other and both going down to defeat.
 立候補の名乗りが遅れたモルシ氏は、先行していたイスラム主義候補の票を取り込み1位を確保した。共倒れを避けようとする同胞団の組織力も働いたのだろう。

Shafiq finished close behind Mursi after attracting many votes with his campaign pledge to restore public safety. He also was a magnet for voters wary of the rapid emergence of the Islamist forces.
 シャフィク氏がモルシ氏とほぼ肩を並べたのは、公約で治安回復を強調したことが大きい。急速なイスラム主義台頭に警戒する有権者を引きつけた面もある。

The runoff election campaign is likely to become heated. We are concerned that Egypt could become polarized in a standoff between Islamism and secularism.
 選挙戦は過熱しそうだ。国論が「イスラム主義」と「世俗主義」という二極に分裂することが、懸念される。

Disturbingly, Shafiq's campaign office was set on fire Monday night, hours after the election results were announced.
 早くもシャフィク氏の選挙事務所が放火される騒ぎが起きた。

A lower court ruling on Mubarak is scheduled to be announced this weekend. Prosecutors have demanded capital punishment for the former president, who was charged with issuing an order to fire at antigovernment protesters. The court's ruling will likely affect the election campaign.
 今週末には、ムバラク前大統領への1審判決も予定されている。前大統領は、反体制デモ参加者への発砲命令が罪に問われ、死刑を求刑されており、その判決は、選挙戦にも影響を与えよう。

===

Gearing up for post-Mubarak era

With the growing emergence of Islamist forces in mind, the U.S. government has started building communication channels with the Muslim Brotherhood as it looks to a post-Mubarak Egypt.
 イスラム主義の台頭を念頭に、米国政府は「ポスト・ムバラク」をにらみ、同胞団とのパイプ作りに乗り出した。

Change will be unavoidable in Egypt. But as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pointed out, this change should not lead to the erosion of the rights of women and minority religious groups.
 エジプトの変化は避けられないが、クリントン国務長官が指摘したように、それが、女性や宗教少数派の権利の後退につながるようなことがあってはなるまい。

After a president is elected in the runoff, the interim rule by Egypt's Supreme Military Council is scheduled to end and power will be transferred to civilian control.
 決選投票で大統領が決まれば、軍最高評議会による暫定統治は終わり、民政に移行する予定だ。

However, if polarization becomes more deeply entrenched, uncertainty will increase over whether the power transfer will proceed as expected. The biggest variable is how the military, which wields the real power, will react.
 だが、二極化がさらに進めば、そのシナリオ通りにいくのかどうか不透明感も増そう。最大の問題は、実権を握る軍の出方だ。

The international community--including Japan--is closely watching how Egypt, a regional power, will achieve stability and help bring democratization in the Middle East and North Africa.
 大国エジプトが、中東・北アフリカ地域の安定と民主化の進展を牽引(けんいん)していく役割を日本を含めた国際社会は注視している。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 30, 2012)
(2012年5月30日01時40分  読売新聞)

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2012年5月30日 (水)

携帯ゲーム規制 健全性を重視したビジネスに

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 30, 2012)
Social networking games must be responsible
携帯ゲーム規制 健全性を重視したビジネスに(5月29日付・読売社説)

It is after all an improper business model to earn profits by exploiting child psychology and stimulating vanity and the desire to gamble.
 子供の心理につけこんだり、射幸心や虚栄心をあおったりして利益を上げるビジネスモデルは、やはりおかしい。

The Consumer Affairs Agency has decided to ban "kompu gacha" (complete gacha) online games played on mobile phones from July under the Law against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations. This is a reasonable step.
 消費者庁は、携帯電話で遊ぶ「コンプガチャ」と呼ばれるゲーム商法を、7月から、景品表示法で禁止することを決めた。妥当な措置である。

The phrase "kompu gacha" combines "complete" and the name of the "gacha gacha" game arcade machine that sells capsules of toys. It is a kind of lottery game played on a social networking service website via mobile phones.
 コンプガチャは、おもちゃのカプセルを売る機械「ガチャガチャ」とコンプリート(そろえる)という単語を合わせた呼び名で、携帯電話を通じて利用者が集う「ソーシャルゲーム」の中で行われるくじのようなものだ。

Players pay about 300 yen per drawing in a lottery in the game to win virtual items. If they combine items they win in a certain order, they can obtain rare items. The possessors of these rare items gain an advantage in playing games, thereby becoming the envy of other game players.
 ゲームの中で1回300円ほどのくじを引き、当たったアイテム(品物)が一定の組み合わせでそろうと、価値の高いアイテムがもらえる。ゲームを有利に進められ、利用者仲間の羨望も集まる。

Items can be bought and sold among players, so it is possible to earn profits by selling them at high prices.
 アイテムは利用者間でやり取りできるため、高値で売って儲(もう)けることも可能だ。

Games played on social networking service websites enthrall players by stimulating a sense of superiority and achievement as well as a desire to gamble.
 ソーシャルゲームは、優越感や達成感、射幸心など利用者の心理を巧みについて夢中にさせる。

If players draw in the lottery many times, they end up having to pay a huge amount of charges added to bills for mobile phone service.
 ついつい何度もくじを引いてしまうと、多額の料金を払うことになり、電話使用料に上乗せして請求される仕組みだ。

===

High price to pay

It is not a problem if mature adults play online games because they can take responsibility for themselves. But it is problematic if children are caught up in such games. Consumer consulting offices have received one complaint after another from the guardians of children, including one case in which a middle school student was charged 400,000 yen for one month.
 分別ある大人が楽しむなら自己責任の面が強いが、問題は子供がはまり込むケースだ。中学生が月に40万円も請求されるなど、保護者からの苦情が消費者相談窓口に相次いでいた。

The Consumer Affairs Agency has decided to regulate kompu gacha after concluding it is a sales practice banned by the Law against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations, as in the case of selling the cards of professional baseball players, which was extremely popular among boys between 1945 and 1955. But it is difficult to apply the law to quasi-gacha games, which differ slightly from the practice of collecting and trading in baseball cards.
 今回、消費者庁はコンプガチャを、昭和20年代にブームとなったプロ野球選手カードと同様、景表法が禁じる「カード合わせ」と見なし、規制に踏み切った。だが、カード合わせと微妙に異なる“類似ガチャ”は適用が難しい。

===

Restrictions necessary

In other mobile phone games, too, players are attracted by advertisements promising no fees "in principle." But players have to buy items if they want to take the games to a higher level. This framework is adopted in most of these games. They are no different from kompu gacha games in that children are tempted to pay a huge amount of money to play the games.
 それ以外の携帯ゲームでも、「原則無料」をうたって利用者を集めながら、ゲームをより楽しむには有料アイテムを買う必要がある、という大枠は同じものが多い。子供が多額の料金をつぎ込む恐れがある仕組みは変わらない。

Six major mobile phone game operators, including GREE, Inc. and DeNA Co., have decided to abolish their kompu gacha games before the end of this month and study compiling self-restraint guidelines on all their social networking games.
 「グリー」や「ディー・エヌ・エー」など携帯ゲーム大手6社は、自社のコンプガチャは5月中に廃止し、ソーシャルゲーム全体の自主規制の指針を検討している。

Some measures must be taken to set the age limit for players of social mobile games. It will be also necessary to prevent virtual items earned through the games from being exchanged for money.
 利用できる年齢を制限するなどの手立てを講じてもらいたい。アイテムを現金化できないようにすることも必要だろう。

The social gaming market has grown by leaps and bounds, with annual sales now reaching 250 billion yen. If the market is to expand further, it will be necessary to restructure the business model for such games. Individual corporate visions and the industry-wide stance must be reviewed in this regard.
 ソーシャルゲーム市場は年間2500億円の規模に急成長している。さらに発展を目指すならば、健全性を重視したビジネスモデルを再構築すべきだ。企業理念、業界全体の姿勢が問われている。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 29, 2012)
(2012年5月29日01時59分  読売新聞)

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2012年5月29日 (火)

海底資源開発 政府主導で戦略を構築せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 29, 2012)
Govt must establish strategy to develop seafloor resources
海底資源開発 政府主導で戦略を構築せよ(5月28日付・読売社説)

Abundant natural resources are sleeping under the seafloor in Japan's exclusive economic zone.
 日本の排他的経済水域(EEZ)内には豊富な海底資源が眠っている。

We think the government needs to play a leading role in devising measures to aggressively develop and effectively use them.
 政府主導で積極的に開発に取り組み、有効利用を図る必要があろう。

The government has started to review the Basic Plan on Ocean Policy, a set of guidelines for medium- and long-term ocean policies. It plans to formulate a new plan within the current fiscal year.
 政府は、中長期的な海洋政策の指針である「海洋基本計画」の見直しに着手した。年度内には新たな計画を策定する方針だ。

The commanding organ for the work is the Ocean Policy Headquarters, which consists of the prime minister and all other cabinet ministers. We hope the headquarters will strategically work on not only the problem of resources but also other topics, such as measures to assist remote islands and environmental protection.
 首相と全閣僚で構成される総合海洋政策本部が司令塔だ。資源問題を始め、離島対策や環境保護など、様々な課題に戦略的に取り組んでもらいたい。

===

High hopes for 'ice that burns'

We have high expectations for the development of methane hydrate, dubbed "the ice that burns," and other important resources. Methane hydrate, which contains abundant amounts of natural gas, is widely distributed under the seafloor.
 中でも期待されるのが「燃える氷」と呼ばれるメタンハイドレートなどの資源開発である。メタンハイドレートは海底に分布し、天然ガスを豊富に含んでいる。

With nuclear power facing an unclear future, it is important for the country to increase the amount of natural gas it can obtain in its own backyard, from the viewpoint of securing a variety of energy resources.
 原子力発電の将来が不透明さを増す中、多様なエネルギー源を確保する上で、自前の天然ガス調達量を増やす意義は大きい。

The government carried out drilling operations in the Pacific Ocean off the coasts of Aichi and Mie prefectures in February and March. The existence of a methane hydrate layer was confirmed after digging 200 to 300 meters down from the seafloor 1,000 meters beneath the water's surface.
 政府は、2月から3月にかけ、愛知県から三重県にまたがる太平洋側の沖合で掘削作業を行った。1000メートルの深海底から200~300メートル掘り進め、メタンハイドレート層の存在を確認した。

It has been estimated this sea area alone has reserves of natural gas equal to more than 10 years worth of Japan's annual imports of liquefied natural gas.
 この海域だけで、日本の液化天然ガス(LNG)年間輸入量の10年分以上に相当する天然ガスがあると試算されている。

Following the drilling operations, the world's first production test for extracting natural gas from methane hydrate in the seafloor will start in January next year. Taking into account the future production of natural gas from methane hydrate, Japan should also promote the development of the necessary equipment.
 掘削作業に続き、来年1月には海底のメタンハイドレートから天然ガスを取り出す、世界初の産出試験が始まる。将来の生産を見据え、必要な機材の開発も進めなければならない。

Meanwhile, seafloor hydrothermal deposits, which contain copper, zinc and rare minor metals, are also seen as a promising natural resource. The government has been conducting deep-sea research in two ocean areas: one in the sea around Okinawa and the other between the Izu Islands and the Ogasawara Islands.
 一方、銅や亜鉛、レアメタルなどを含む「海底熱水鉱床」も資源として有望とされる。政府は沖縄近海と伊豆・小笠原両諸島周辺の2か所で探査を進めている。

===

Utilize continental shelf

Based on results of test drilling and investigations of methane hydrate and seafloor hydrothermal deposits, the government plans to make final judgments on whether to go ahead with commercial production of the resources in fiscal 2018. We expect a path to utilizing seafloor resources will open.
 メタンハイドレートと熱水鉱床の試掘や調査を踏まえ、政府はそれぞれの商業生産の可否を2018年度をメドに最終判断するとしている。海底資源を活用する道が開けることを期待したい。

The fact that a seafloor area of about 310,000 square kilometers in the Pacific Ocean off Japan was newly recognized as part of the nation's continental shelf is a positive factor for the nation's ocean resource development. We believe active utilization of the continental shelf must be clearly positioned in the new basic plan.
 太平洋沖の約31万平方キロ・メートルの海底が新たに日本の大陸棚として認められたことも、海洋資源開発にとっては好材料だ。大陸棚の積極的な活用を新計画に明確に位置づけるべきである。

To promote seafloor resource development in a stable manner, it is necessary to set certain rules.
 海底資源開発を安定的に進めるには一定のルールが必要だ。

Enforcement of the revised Mining Law in January enabled the government to take the lead in specifying candidate sites for extracting seafloor resources, such as oil and natural gas, and selecting developers.
 1月の改正鉱業法施行で、政府主導で海底の石油や天然ガスの鉱区候補地を指定し、開発業者の選定ができるようになった。

The revised law also enables the government to control illegal exploration activities for resources, including those conducted by foreign vessels. Patrol operations by the Japan Coast Guard must of course be beefed up.
 改正鉱業法は、政府が外国船などによる違法な資源探査を規制することも可能とした。海上保安庁の取り締まり体制を、当然、強化しなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 28, 2012)
(2012年5月28日01時17分  読売新聞)

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夫婦の結婚記念日はルチアーショーで

突然ですが結婚記念日のお話しです。
長年苦労を掛けた妻にはせめて結婚記念日はちょっと贅沢なワインと美味しい料理でもてなしてやりたいですね。
それが出来る最適なお店がレストラン 「ルチアーノショー」なのです。
夫婦だけの静かで豊かな時間を、食事をしながらダンスショーを楽しむというのもおつなものでしょう。

ルチアーノショーの魅力は次の通りです。

1) ANAとJALのグルメマイル、マイレージを貯めることができます。
2) カリフォルニアワインの中では希少価値で入手困難な、カルト・ワインがバイザグラス(ボトル販売ではなくて、グラス販売)で飲める。

でも、グラスでは物足らない人は、ボトルを購入して、思いっきり飲むこともできます。
我々夫婦はボトル1本で十分です。一生に一度、高級なものがよいですね。

ジローラモさんおすすめの店であり、モデルの方に人気のお店だそうです。
シガーバーも併設されており大人気だそうですね。楽しみです。

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団塊の世代、余剰金は貯金よりも海外ランドバンキングで大儲けを

朝一番から恐縮ですが金儲けのお話しです。
それは海外ランドバンキングです。
アメリカ、カナダ海外不動産投資(ランドバンキング)が超お勧めです。

ご承知のようにアメリカへ右へならえの日本では、その政策金利は限りなくゼロに近いですね。
現在、団塊の世代でも最後の世代が退職の時期を迎えています。
ここは海外ランドバンキングで中長期的な大儲けを計画するのが良いと考えました。
日本の銀行に5000万円預けておいても金利は雀の涙ですからね。哀しすぎる^^。

まず最初にランドバンキング投資とはどういうものなのかご説明いたします。
ランドバンキング(Land Banking)は、1970年代のアメリカにおける地方自治体の土地利用の際に用いられた土地の有効取得手法に対して名づけられたものが最初ですが、その後、世界中で民間の不動産開発会社による長期的な不動産開発ビジネスを意味するものとして使用されることになりました。
ということで、ランドバンキング投資とは世界各地の不動産開発に関連する投資なのです。アメリカとカナダが特にお勧めです。

海外でこれからはじめるランドバンキングは大いに期待出来るのと感じました。

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島サミット 米と連携し中国進出に対処を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 28, 2012)
Strengthen intl ties in Pacific to deal with China's assertiveness
島サミット 米と連携し中国進出に対処を(5月27日付・読売社説)

Japan's efforts to support development of the island countries that dot the Pacific will surely enhance the stability of the region.
 太平洋上に散在する島(とう)嶼(しょ)国の発展を支えることが地域の安定につながろう。

Bearing the rapidly growing assertiveness of China in mind, it is indispensable for Japan to beef up cooperation with the United States in tackling this task.
存在感を高める中国を念頭に、米国との連携強化も欠かせない。

The Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM) in Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, with leaders of 12 island countries, including Palau, and one territory attending, wrapped up after finishing its two-day program on Friday and Saturday.
 パラオなど13の島嶼国・地域の首脳らが参加し、沖縄県名護市で開かれた太平洋・島サミットは、全日程を終えて閉幕した。

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who chaired the meeting, said at a news conference after the close of the summit, "Both Japan and Pacific island countries are vulnerable to natural disasters, and we would like to share lessons of Japan's natural disasters [with them]." Noda stressed the importance of a joint declaration adopted in the latest PALM that puts top priority on antidisaster measures.
 議長を務めた野田首相は記者会見で、「日本も島嶼国も自然災害に脆弱(ぜいじゃく)だ。日本の経験を共有したい」として、今回採択された首脳宣言で防災対策を柱に据えたことの意義を強調した。

In the declaration, Japan promises to support improvement of an "early warning system for disasters" to help Pacific island countries prepare for earthquakes, tsunami and other natural calamities. Japan has also pledged to launch a "natural disaster risk insurance" program on a pilot basis to help Pacific island countries cover damage from natural disasters in cooperation with the World Bank.
 日本は宣言の中で、島嶼国に対し、津波や地震の発生に備えるための「災害早期警報システム」の整備を支援するほか、世界銀行との協力で「自然災害リスク保険」を創設することを約束した。

===

A precious diplomatic asset

Noda said at the news conference: "Japan's fiscal conditions are tight, as we need to reconstruct areas devastated by the [March 11] disaster. Even so, we should not be inward-looking but seek to be a country that will continue to contribute to peace and prosperity in the world." The prime minister expressed Japan's intention to offer up to 500 million dollars (about 40 billion yen) in official development assistance over the next three years for such endeavors. The figure is equivalent to the sum the country gave out in the previous three years combined.
 首相は「財政は厳しいが、内向きにならず、世界の繁栄、安定に貢献していく」と、今後3年間に最大5億ドル(約400億円)の支援を行う方針を表明した。前回と同等の規模の額である。

PALM has been held every three years under Japan's sponsorship since 1997. The latest summit is the sixth.
 島サミットは日本の主導で1997年以来3年ごとに開かれ、6回目だ。

The Japanese government's continued support for the island countries, successfully nurturing their confidence in this country, is a precious diplomatic asset.
政府が島嶼国への支援を続け、信頼を醸成してきたことは貴重な外交資産だ。

Notably during the latest summit, a meeting was held between leaders of the island countries and Japan's business leaders, including executives of Japanese companies, to expedite private investment. The government, together with the private sector, should proceed with carefully considered diplomacy to assist Pacific island countries.
 今回、島嶼国首脳と日本の企業経営者ら経済界との会合が実現した。民間投資の促進が狙いだ。政府は民間と協調し、きめ細かな援助外交を進めるべきである。

Also taken up in the latest PALM were issues involving the marine environment and marine resources development.
 島サミットでは、海洋を巡る環境保護や資源開発などの問題も議題に取り上げられた。

China, too, has been proactively practicing assistance diplomacy toward Pacific island countries. Beijing has surpassed Japan in terms of the amount of assistance cash, and is believed to place third on the list of donor countries after Australia and the United States.
 島嶼国に対しては、中国が積極的な援助外交を繰り広げている。支援総額では日本を追い抜き、豪州や米国に続く第3位になったと見られる。

===

China's strategic thinking

In particular, China's assistance to such countries as Papua New Guinea and Fiji, which have abundant mineral and other natural resources, has been sharply increasing.
 特に、鉱物資源などが豊富なパプアニューギニアやフィジーへの援助の急増ぶりが目立つ。

Fiji, which skipped the island countries summit this time, has seen its relations with the United States and Europe deteriorating recently. It may be inclined to deepen its ties with China.
 今回の島サミットに欠席したフィジーの場合、欧米との関係が悪化していることからも、対中傾斜をさらに深める可能性がある。

Chinese leaders such as Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice President Xi Jinping have been making visits to these countries almost every year.
 こうした国々には、中国から温家宝首相や習近平国家副主席ら要人が毎年のように足を運んでいる。

In addition to port calls to these countries by Chinese Navy warships and military assistance to them, the number of Chinese immigrants to Pacific island countries has reportedly been rising steadily. This may be part of China's strategic thinking.
海軍艦船の寄港や軍事的支援だけでなく、移民も増えているという。戦略性がうかがえる。

This year, delegates from the United States took part in the triennial PALM event for the first time. The administration of President Barack Obama, with growing wariness toward Beijing, has shifted its diplomatic focus to the Asia-Pacific region and is building close relations with Pacific island countries.
 今回、初めて米国が島サミットに参加した。アジア太平洋重視を打ち出したオバマ政権は中国への警戒感を強め、島嶼国との関係構築に乗り出している。

The government should continue making efforts for stable development of the Pacific region by joining hands with the United States as well as Australia and New Zealand, which are PALM members.
 政府は米国のほか、島サミットに参加している豪州やニュージーランドと共に、太平洋地域の安定的発展に努めてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 27, 2012)
(2012年5月27日01時42分  読売新聞)

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2012年5月27日 (日)

福島の復興 地域再生へ国が一層の支援を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 27, 2012)
Central govt must redouble Fukushima rebuilding efforts
福島の復興 地域再生へ国が一層の支援を(5月26日付・読売社説)

Efforts to resuscitate Fukushima Prefecture, hit hard by a nuclear power station crisis in addition to the Great East Japan Earthquake, have made little headway. We strongly urge the government to make greater efforts to support the prefecture and give greater consideration to the adversities the prefecture's local governments face.
 東日本大震災の被害に加え、原子力発電所事故の影響を受けた福島県の復興が難航している。政府は、従来以上に各自治体の立場に寄り添い、腰を据えて支援すべきである。

Based on the special measures law for the reconstruction of Fukushima Prefecture that was enacted in March, the government has been formulating basic policies for the prefecture's rebuilding projects.
 3月に成立した福島復興再生特別措置法に基づき、政府は、福島復興再生基本方針の策定作業を進めている。

The policies will include wide-ranging support measures, such as the return of evacuees, health checkups for them, medical and social welfare services and promotion of local industries. They are to be endorsed by the Cabinet in June.
避難住民の帰還、健康調査、医療・福祉、産業振興など幅広い支援策を盛り込む予定で、6月の閣議決定を目指す。

The situation of Fukushima Prefecture, which still has a number of areas with high radiation levels, is graver than those of other disaster-stricken prefectures.
 今なお放射線量の高い地域を抱える福島県の状況は、他の被災県と比べて深刻だ。

About 160,000 residents of disaster areas in Fukushima Prefecture are still living as evacuees in other parts of the prefecture or even outside the prefecture, with seven town and village government offices carrying out their administrative functions in the offices of other local entities.
約16万人が県内外に避難し、7町村が役場機能を他の自治体に移している。

===

Idea of 'temporary towns'

Restoration of local infrastructure to enable evacuated victims to return to their homes must be achieved as early as possible. To this end, it is imperative for the central government to engage more actively in restoration and rebuilding projects in the prefecture.
 避難住民が生活基盤を再建し、できるだけ早期に故郷に帰れる環境を整えたい。それには、政府が、より積極的に復興再生事業に関与することが重要である。

When the Reconstruction Agency decided on the first allocation of reconstruction subsidies for disaster-stricken regions in early March, local governments expressed strong dissatisfaction over what they criticized as excessively stringent standards for making assessments for the subsidy payments.
 復興庁が3月上旬、復興交付金の第1次分を決定した際、査定が厳しいと、自治体から不満が噴出した。

Some improvements seem to have been made in the second allocation of subsidies on Friday. It is important for the central government to hold detailed consultations with affected local governments from the early phases of reconstruction schemes in Fukushima Prefecture and other disaster-hit regions.
25日の第2次分では一応改善されたが、福島の復興でも、早い段階から自治体と入念に協議を重ねることが必要だ。

Tomioka, Okuma and two other towns in the prefecture have announced the idea of temporarily shifting their administrative offices and schools to areas outside their borders to establish "temporary towns."
Due to the nuclear crisis, the four towns have been designated no-entry zones under the Disaster Countermeasures Basic Law, meaning residents cannot return home in the near future.
 災害対策基本法で警戒区域に指定され、住民の早期帰還が困難な富岡、大熊など4町は、他の土地に役場や学校を一時的に移す「仮の町」構想を公表している。

The municipal government of Iwaki, a city where the temporary towns may be located, however, is concerned about possible problems, such as shortages of residential land, traffic congestion stemming from rises in the city's population and increased pressure on public services like garbage collection. The result is that talks for implementing the temporary town idea have been proceeding with difficulty.
 だが、「仮の町」の候補であるいわき市は、住宅用地の不足や、人口増に伴う渋滞、ゴミ処理などの負担増を懸念・警戒しており、構想は順調に進んでいない。

The temporary towns, an unprecedented project, are an important option for rebuilding the disaster victims' livelihoods while maintaining the existing community bonds of the disaster-wrecked areas' residents.
 「仮の町」は、従来にない試みで、住民のコミュニティーを維持しつつ、生活を再建する有力な選択肢だ。

===

Job security an urgent task

If agreement is obtained from a sufficient number of residents, the central and prefectural governments should quickly step in to coordinate, instead of leaving matters to the municipalities concerned, extending financial assistance to help effect the temporary town projects.
一定数の住民の同意が得られるなら、自治体任せにせず、政府や県が仲介・調整に動き、財政支援してはどうか。

According to demographic estimates as of October last year that the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry released in April, the population of Fukushima Prefecture registered a record drop of 1.93 percent from a year earlier, the sharpest year-on-year decline across the country.
 総務省が4月に発表した昨年10月現在の人口推計によると、福島県は過去最大の前年比1・93%減で、全国で最も減少した。

To stem the outflow of Fukushima Prefecture residents, it is extremely urgent to boost employment opportunities in the prefecture.
 人口流出を抑制するには、雇用の確保が急務だ。

The prefecture should take advantage of its geographic position as the Tohoku region prefecture nearest to Tokyo, while also making the most of preferential arrangements under the disaster restoration special zone system, such as reduced or eliminated corporate taxes, to attract and nurture companies from outside the prefecture.
東北の中では東京に近いという福島県の地理的優位性や、法人税の減免などの復興特区制度を活用し、企業誘致に知恵を絞ることが大切である。

The central government's basic policies for assisting the prefecture will likely incorporate steps for constructing a medical research and development hub.
 政府の基本方針には、福島県に医療の研究開発拠点を整備することが盛り込まれる見通しだ。

On top of efforts to accelerate nuclear decontamination operations for the sake of local residents' health, the central government should prioritize development of the prefecture's medical field from a medium and long-range point of view.
 放射線による住民の健康被害を防ぐため、当面の除染活動を急ぐとともに、中長期的に医療分野を重視する必要がある。

In addition to improving the prefecture's existing medical facilities and ensuring an adequate number of medical doctors and nurses, the government should also build cutting-edge medical centers in Fukushima Prefecture.
既存の医療機関の拡充や医師・看護師の確保に加え、先端医療施設の整備にも前向きに取り組みたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 26, 2012)
(2012年5月26日01時03分  読売新聞)

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特許の国際戦略 「知財大国」中国への対策急げ

objection!
特許やアイデアは人間が苦労して生み出すものです。
10倍人口の多い中国が世界一になるのは当然でしょう。
今までがおかしかったのです。比較するのならば人口比で比較すべきですね。
中国製品が売れるのは価格が安いからなのです。
あからさまに泥棒呼ばわりする記事の書き方はいかがなものでしょうか。
アメリカだってこの種の記事には細心の注意を払って記事を掲載しています。
もちろん政治的な牽制は必要ですが。

(スラチャイ)

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 27, 2012)
International patent strategy needed against China
特許の国際戦略 「知財大国」中国への対策急げ(5月26日付・読売社説)

Taking advantage of intellectual property rights such as patents and enhancing Japan's industrial competitiveness through them will be an engine for the nation's growth. In that sense, it is urgent to implement measures regarding China, which is becoming a superpower in terms of intellectual property.
 特許など知的財産権を活用し、産業競争力を強化することは、日本の成長の原動力になる。知財大国化している中国への対策が急務だろう。

A concern for Japan is the increase in patent applications in China.
 日本にとって気掛かりなのは、中国の特許出願件数が急増していることだ。

China surpassed Japan in terms of the number of patent applications in 2010. China's total--about 530,000--became the world's largest last year, exceeding the about 510,000 applications in the United States.
 2010年に日本を抜き、昨年は約53万件と、約51万件の米国も上回って世界1位になった。

The Chinese government has a plan to boost the annual number of applications for intellectual property rights, including patents and rights of industrial design, to 2.5 million in 2015, nearly twice the current figure.
 中国政府は、特許や工業製品デザインを保護する意匠権などを合わせた年間の知財出願件数を、15年に現在の2倍近い250万件に増やすという計画を掲げる。

Reflecting this government policy, Chinese companies are apparently changing their way of thinking and trying to acquire rights on their technology as soon as possible.
 この方針を受け、中国企業の間に、技術などの権利化を急ぐ意識改革が進んでいるようだ。

In contrast, the number of patent applications was only 340,000 in Japan last year, representing the sixth consecutive year of decline. Behind this might be the fact that Japanese companies apply for patents on only a carefully selected few of the technologies they develop.
 対照的に、日本の昨年の特許出願件数は約34万件にとどまり、6年連続で減少した。日本各社が自社の開発技術を厳選して出願している事情もあろう。

Nonetheless, the number of patent applications is one index to show the fundamental strength of the economy and the stances of companies that place importance on technological innovation. The trend of decline in Japan should be stopped.
 しかし、特許出願件数は、経済の底力や、イノベーション(技術革新)を重視する企業の姿勢を示す一つの指標だ。日本の低下傾向に歯止めをかけたい。

===

China a hotbed of piracy

Meanwhile, China is often called a hotbed of piracy, where illicit copying of technologies developed by other countries and trademarks is rampant and causes constant damage to rights holders.
 一方、中国は「コピー天国」と言われるほど、一部業者による他国技術や商標の模倣が横行しており、被害が後を絶たない。

It was learned last year that a Chinese company filed patent applications in the United States for technology used in the chassis of a high-speed railway car that allegedly copied Japanese technology.
 日本の技術盗用との観測もある高速鉄道車両の台車技術に関し、中国企業が米国に特許出願していたことが昨年、表面化した。

The number of disputes on intellectual property rights between China and other countries is increasing.
 中国との知財紛争も増えている。

Apple Inc., manufacturer of the iPad tablet computer, is involved in a dispute with a Chinese company that claims it obtained the iPad trademark right before Apple.
米アップル社の多機能情報端末「iPad」(アイパッド)の中国での商標を巡り、先に取得していたと主張する中国企業とアップル社は係争中だ。

Japanese companies doing business in China need to revamp their strategy. While implementing every countermeasure at hand to deal with piracy, they should shore up defenses of their intellectual property by more actively filing international patent applications.
 中国などで事業展開する企業は戦略の練り直しが必要だ。模倣対策を徹底するとともに、積極的に特許を国際出願し、自社の知財を守る体制を強化すべきである。

===

Govt must support firms

Meanwhile, the Japanese government must support Japanese firms in filing international patent applications by urging Beijing to take measures to prevent violations of intellectual property rights.
 日本政府も中国に知財侵害の防止策を求め、日本企業の国際出願を支援しなければならない。

We praise the Patent Agency for beginning to consider granting design rights for icons displayed on screens of personal computers and smartphones.
 特許庁が、パソコンやスマートフォン(高機能携帯電話)などの画面上に表示されるアイコンなどのデザインにも意匠権を認める検討を始めたことは評価できる。

The necessity to protect such design rights is growing quickly. If Japan is slow in taking action, Chinese companies and others may steal their rights.
 これらの権利保護の必要性は急速に高まっている。日本の対応が遅れれば、中国企業などに権利を奪われかねない。

In the United States, where the patent act was extensively revised last year, President Barack Obama's administration is placing more importance on protection of intellectual property rights. Intensifying competition with the United States will also force the Japanese government and companies to strengthen their countermeasures toward that country.
 昨年、特許法を大改正した米国では、オバマ政権が知財重視を打ち出している。米国との競争も激しく、日本政府と企業は、米国への対策強化も迫られよう。

The government and private sectors should work together to enhance effective utilization of the nation's intellectual property rights.
 官民が連携し、知財の有効活用に弾みをつけることが重要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 26, 2012)
(2012年5月26日01時03分  読売新聞)

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温暖化ガス削減 「25%」は撤回し現実的目標を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 25, 2012)
Set new, realistic target for greenhouse gas reductions
温暖化ガス削減 「25%」は撤回し現実的目標を(5月24日付・読売社説)

The government should immediately withdraw Japan's target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020.
 「2020年までに1990年比で25%削減」という日本の温室効果ガス削減目標は、速やかに撤回すべきだ。

This ill-advised target spelled out by former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama at a U.N. meeting three years ago is totally unrealistic. Estimates released Wednesday by the Environment Ministry's Central Environment Council are obvious proof of this.
 3年前に鳩山元首相が国連の会合で打ち出したこの無謀な目標が、どれほど非現実的か。それを如実に示しているのが、環境省の中央環境審議会が公表した試算である。

The council compiled the estimates in the wake of the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. It calculated reduction rates in greenhouse gases in 2020 based on five different ratios of nuclear power in relation to the country's total power generation, from 0 percent to a maximum of 35 percent.
 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所の事故を受けて実施した試算は、将来の全発電量に占める原発の比率を、0%から最大35%まで5段階に分け、20年時点の温室効果ガスの削減率をはじき出した。

Nuclear power plants, which emit almost no carbon dioxide when they generate electricity, are an important energy source in terms of fighting global warming.
 発電時に二酸化炭素をほとんど出さない原発は、地球温暖化対策上、重要なエネルギーである。

The estimates show Japan may be able to cut greenhouse gas emissions by a maximum of only 19 percent in 2020 from 1990 levels, even if the ratio of nuclear power generation is raised to 35 percent from the 26 percent level before the nuclear crisis and energy-saving policies are thoroughly implemented.
 試算では、事故直前に26%だった原発比率を35%に引き上げ、省エネルギー政策を徹底した場合でさえ、削減率は90年比で最大19%にとどまった。

===

More nuclear power unlikely

Currently, the country has no operating nuclear reactors and there are no prospects of them being restarted. Nuclear reactors must be reactivated soon to ensure a stable supply of electricity, but it can hardly be assumed that the ratio of nuclear power generation will be higher than before the nuclear crisis.
 現在、稼働する原発はゼロとなり、再稼働のメドすら立っていない。電力の安定供給を図るため、早期稼働が求められるが、将来の原発比率を事故前より引き上げることは、およそ考えにくい。

We can safely say that achieving the 25 percent reduction target will be difficult even if purchases of overseas emissions quotas and the absorption of greenhouse gases by forests in Japan are taken into account.
 海外からの排出枠購入や国内の森林のガス吸収分を加えても、25%削減は達成困難と言えよう。

As the Kyoto Protocol will expire at the end of this year, a U.N. conference will enter full-scale discussions to formulate new rules with the aim of putting them into effect in 2020.
 京都議定書は、今年いっぱいで期限切れとなり、今後、2020年発効を目指して、新ルール作りが国連の会議で本格化する。

If Japan continues to tout the 25 percent reduction, which has already become an empty promise, there is no doubt it will be cornered into a disadvantageous situation in negotiations to decide on a new international framework for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.
 空手形と化した「25%削減」を掲げたままでは、排出削減の新たな国際枠組みを決める交渉でも、日本が不利な状況に追い込まれるのは間違いない。

Japan's commitment to the 25 percent reduction was originally premised on building a fair framework with the participation of all major greenhouse gas emitters--including China and the United States, the world's two largest greenhouse producers--and reaching an agreement on ambitious targets.
 そもそも日本が「25%削減」に取り組むにあたっては、2大排出国の中国、米国を含む「すべての主要排出国による公平な枠組みの構築」と「意欲的な目標の合意」が前提条件になっている。

===

Heavy burden looms

However, Japan could be forced to assume obligations for extremely high reductions, as the 25 percent figure has taken on a life of its own.
 だが、数値だけが独り歩きしている現状では、日本は極めて高い削減義務を負わされかねない。

The government therefore needs to set a new, feasible target so it will not repeat the failure of the Kyoto Protocol, under which Japan shouldered unfair reduction obligations.
 不公平な削減義務を負った京都議定書の失敗を繰り返さないためにも、実現可能な目標を再設定する必要がある。

The government plans to announce a new energy strategy this summer. It is essential to decide appropriate ratios for electricity generated by different power sources, including nuclear power, and map out a target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions based on these ratios.
 政府は今夏、新たなエネルギー戦略を打ち出す方針だ。原発を含めた適切な電力の比率を決め、それに基づき、温室効果ガスの削減目標も策定することが肝要だ。

Curbing greenhouse gas emissions is important to achieving energy conservation, but an unduly strict reduction target would adversely affect production. Such a target also could hinder reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake.
 省エネを進めるうえで、排出削減は重要だが、厳しすぎる削減目標は、むしろ生産活動に悪影響を及ぼす。東日本大震災からの復興の足かせにもなりかねない。

We urge the government to set a target that will not dampen Japan's vitality.
 日本の活力をそぐことのない目標設定が求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 24, 2012)
(2012年5月24日01時32分  読売新聞)

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2012年5月25日 (金)

Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaguin Rodrigo

I’m deeply touched.
This is one of the best Aranjuez I’ve ever listened to.
Thanks a lot for posting.

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中比対立激化 尖閣諸島でも警戒が必要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 25, 2012)
China-Philippine confrontation a warning for Senkakus
中比対立激化 尖閣諸島でも警戒が必要だ(5月24日付・読売社説)

A confrontation between China--which has been building up its military in recent years--and the Philippines is intensifying over marine interests in the South China Sea. We urge both countries to engage in dialogue to prevent the dispute from escalating into military conflict.
 南シナ海の海洋権益を巡り、軍事力を膨張させる中国とフィリピンとの対立が先鋭化してきた。対話を通じ、武力衝突を回避してもらいたい。

The confrontation started April 10 when a Philippine Navy warship inspected Chinese fishing vessels at Scarborough Shoal, which is called Huangyan Island in China. Beijing immediately responded by sending patrol ships to the area, and a standoff between Chinese and Philippine vessels in the waters has continued for more than one month.
 南シナ海のスカボロー礁(中国名・黄岩島)で4月10日、中国漁船がフィリピン海軍艦艇の立ち入り検査を受けたのを端緒に、中国が巡視船を派遣した。双方の艦船がにらみ合う状況が、もう1か月以上続いている。

Beijing and Manila both claim sovereignty over Scarborough Shoal.
 スカボロー礁を巡っては、中比双方が領有権を主張している。

The Philippines has proposed that the territorial dispute be resolved through the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. It also has strengthened military ties with the United States--which recently unveiled a new defense strategy that places greater emphasis on Asia--through such measures as conducting joint military exercises. This appears to be an attempt to counter the huge military pressure from China.
 フィリピンは国際海洋法裁判所で領有権問題を解決するよう提案した。さらに、「アジア重視」の国防戦略を打ち出した米国と、合同軍事演習を行うなど軍事協力を緊密化した。中国の強大な軍事圧力に対抗するためだろう。

===

Beijing's overwhelming power

Beijing issued a strong warning against the recent moves by Manila: "The Chinese side has made all preparations to respond to any escalation of the situation by the Philippine side."
 これに対し中国は、「フィリピン側による事態の拡大に対応するための様々な準備ができている」と、強い警告を発した。

China's naval might is far superior to that of the Philippines and other nations near China. China even has a plan to deploy its first aircraft carrier soon. We urge China to refrain from taking a hard-line stance on the standoff.
 フィリピンなど周辺国に比べて中国の海軍力は圧倒的だ。近い将来、空母配備の計画まである。中国は強硬姿勢を自制すべきだ。

Overreactions to the dispute have already emerged in China--travel agencies have suspended tours to the Philippines, and the government has stepped up quarantine inspections on bananas grown in the Philippines. The government has justified these responses by citing an increase of anti-China protests in the Philippines and the detection of pests in bananas, but it is likely that Beijing is attempting to pressure Manila over the shoal dispute.
 中国の旅行会社がフィリピン観光を中止し、中国政府が比産バナナに対する検疫強化にまで出たのは過剰な反応だ。フィリピン国内での反中デモの高まりやバナナの害虫を理由としているが、フィリピンを圧迫する狙いがあろう。

China's reaction has shades of its response to the collisions between a Chinese fishing boat and Japan Coast Guard patrol vessels near the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea in autumn 2010. After this incident, Beijing piled pressure on Tokyo by restricting exports of rare earth minerals to Japan, for instance.
 一昨年秋、東シナ海の尖閣諸島沖で起きた中国漁船衝突事件の後、レアアース(希土類)の輸出規制などで対日圧力を強めた手法と似通っている。

===

Don't turn blind eye to dispute

Japan cannot afford to ignore the Scarborough Shoal dispute, as the nation faces similar friction with China, which claims sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands.
 尖閣諸島に対し領有権を主張する中国との摩擦を抱える日本にとっても、人ごとではない。

Chinese fisheries surveillance vessels routinely sail around the Senkaku Islands to make their presence felt. China's strategy of using fishing boats and fisheries patrol vessels to give the irreversible impression that the area belongs to China is identical to what is happening in the South China Sea. Japan must not let the situation in the East China Sea deteriorate to what is going on in the South China Sea.
 尖閣諸島周辺では、中国の漁業監視船の示威行動が常態化している。漁船と監視船を組み合わせた行動で「中国の海」の既成事実化を図る中国の作戦は、南シナ海と同じだ。日本は東シナ海の南シナ海化を警戒せねばならない。

Peace and stability in the South China Sea is not only crucial for nations in Southeast Asia. It also is in Japan's national interest to ensure that its sea lanes remain safe.
 南シナ海の平和と安定は、東南アジア諸国にとって不可欠であるだけでなく、シーレーン(海上交通路)の安全確保という観点から日本の国益でもある。

The Japanese government plans to use official development assistance to provide the Philippines with patrol vessels for its coast guard. This will help the Philippines strengthen its maritime security, and also be important in making China pause to think.
 日本は政府開発援助(ODA)を活用して、フィリピンに巡視船を供与する方針だ。フィリピンの海上警備の一助となるし、中国をけん制する上でも重要だろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 24, 2012)
(2012年5月24日01時31分  読売新聞)

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2012年5月24日 (木)

NATO会議 長期的アフガン支援が必要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 24, 2012)
Long-term assistance key to achieving Afghan peace
NATO会議 長期的アフガン支援が必要だ(5月23日付・読売社説)

Leaders from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization ended their meeting in Chicago on Monday after affirming the deadline for troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and pledging to provide long-term assistance for the troubled country.
 アフガニスタンからの撤収期限を確認し、同時にアフガンへの長期的な支援継続も約束した。

The Chicago Summit Declaration adopted at the meeting clearly states that the combat mission of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) "will be concluded at the end of 2014" and the public safety forces of the Afghan government will start leading the combat missions in the middle of next year.
 米国のシカゴで開かれた北大西洋条約機構(NATO)首脳会議が、そんな成果を上げて閉幕した。
 採択されたシカゴ宣言は、国際治安支援部隊(ISAF)の戦闘任務は「2014年末に完了する」と明記し、来年半ば以降、アフガン政府の治安部隊が戦闘任務を主導する、とうたっている。

To make this possible, NATO must make greater efforts to bolster the training and equipment of the Afghan force.
 それを可能にするよう、NATOは、アフガン部隊の訓練や装備強化に一層努めるべきである。

Despite the presentation of a deadline for the pullout of ISAF combat units, there is no sign of combat with the Taliban coming to an end. To realize the withdrawal as scheduled, improvement of public safety is needed more than anything else.
 ISAF戦闘部隊の撤収期限は示されても、旧支配勢力タリバンとの戦闘が終わる気配はない。予定通り帰還するには、何より治安の改善が必要だ。

===

Transition to self-reliance

Last year, the ISAF began a full transfer of security control to the Afghan side. We urge Afghan forces to enhance their capabilities and become able to stand on their own feet as soon as possible.
 ISAFは昨年からアフガン側へ治安権限の本格的な移譲を進めている。アフガン部隊の能力向上と早期自立が求められよう。

Given the protracted hostilities and the growing number of victims, public opinion has grown louder among NATO member nations for the early withdrawal of their troops from Afghanistan.
 戦闘の長期化と犠牲者の増加に伴い、NATO各国では自国軍部隊の早期撤収を求める世論が強まっている。

French President Francois Hollande pledged during his election campaign to advance the pullout of his country's troops by one year to "by the end of this year." He reaffirmed this commitment during the NATO meeting.
 オランド仏大統領は、選挙戦で、仏軍部隊の撤収を予定より1年前倒しして「年内」と公約し、首脳会議でも明言した。

But if France resorts to early withdrawal without taking into consideration the Afghan situation, there is concern other countries will follow suit. If NATO's solidarity is weakened by this, it will only embolden the Taliban.
 だが、現地情勢を勘案しないまま早急な撤収に走れば、追随する国が出る恐れもある。NATOの結束が緩むことになって、タリバンを勢いづかせるだけだ。

Afghanistan should never again be a hotbed for international terrorist organizations. Cooperation in the international community is indispensable in this regard.
 アフガンを再び国際テロ組織の温床に逆戻りさせてはならない。国際社会の連携が欠かせない。

The Taliban is deeply rooted in local tribal communities. Even if the country is brought under control militarily, it will not bring about real peace. The United States must continue exploring the possibility of holding dialogues with moderate elements of the Taliban, thereby laying the foundation for realizing national reconciliation in Afghanistan.
 タリバンは、地元部族社会に深く根を張っている。軍事的に制圧できたとしても、真の平和は訪れまい。米国は引き続き、タリバン穏健派との対話を探る努力を続け、アフガンの国民融和実現へ、環境整備を図らねばならない。

===

Manifestation of political will

NATO has decided to provide strong long-term assistance even beyond 2014. This decision is significant as the manifestation of its political will to help stabilize the Afghan situation.
 NATOは、15年以降も「強力かつ長期的な支援」を提供することを決めた。アフガンの安定を後押しする政治的意思を表明したものとして意義は大きい。

In his talks with NATO officials after the summit meeting, Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba expressed the Japanese government's policy of continuing assistance for the Afghan security forces. He sought NATO's cooperation in achieving a successful result in the International Conference on Economic Assistance to Afghanistan to be held in Tokyo in July.
 首脳会議後のNATOとの会合で、玄葉外相は、日本としてもアフガン治安部隊への支援を継続する方針を表明した。7月に東京で開くアフガン支援国際会議の成功に向け、協力も求めた。

The Democratic Party of Japan-led government has been implementing a pledge it made after its inauguration in 2009 to provide about 5 billion dollars (about 400 billion yen) in assistance to Afghanistan over five years from that year. It is necessary to examine whether the assistance has been provided effectively.
 日本は、民主党政権になって、09年から5年間で約50億ドル(約4000億円)の支援を約束し、実施中だ。実効ある支援になっているのか、検証が必要である。

The government should call on the Afghan government, which is suspected to be riddled with corruption, to become more transparent in revealing how it utilizes the aid it receives.
 汚職体質が問題視されるアフガン政府には、使途の透明性向上を求めていくべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 23, 2012)
(2012年5月23日01時27分  読売新聞)

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recent family photos

photo story 121:
family photo taken by mama's cellular phone upto May, 2012




photo story 120:
record of fresh school term for kaichan and seefaachan




photo story 119:
record of songkraan festival in 2012 and rachawadee resort swimming pool

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火災保険のランキングサイト 火災保険ランキング

火災保険のランキングサイト、その名も文字通り、火災保険ランキングのご紹介です。

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ここはサイトの口コミ、評判にたよってみるのもひとつの大切なポイントではないでしょうか。
口コミ、評判サイトの最たるものがランキングサイトです。

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2012年5月23日 (水)

電力全面自由化 効果と副作用を冷静に考えよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 23, 2012)
Think carefully before liberalizing power business
電力全面自由化 効果と副作用を冷静に考えよ(5月22日付・読売社説)

The intended effects and the possible side effects that would be brought about through full liberalization of the electricity retail business must be carefully considered.
 電力小売りの全面自由化がもたらす効果と副作用を、慎重に見極める必要がある。

An expert panel of the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry has reached a broad agreement to liberalize the electricity retail business, including supplies to households.
 経済産業省の専門家委員会が、家庭向けを含め電力小売りを全面的に自由化する方向で大筋一致した。

The liberalization plan is aimed at encouraging the participation of new companies in the business to increase competition and lower utility rates. The plan also calls for abolishing the current system under which utility charges are decided by adding certain levels of profits to the personnel and fuel costs of power companies.
 電力事業への新規参入を促して競争原理を働かせ、電気料金を下げるのが狙いだろう。電力会社の人件費や燃料費に一定の利益を上乗せして電気料金を決める「総括原価方式」も撤廃する。

The government plans to submit a bill to the ordinary Diet session next year to revise the Electricity Business Law to fully liberalize the utility retail business as early as fiscal 2015.
 政府は、来年の通常国会に電気事業法改正案を提出し、2015年度にも実現したい考えだ。

Behind this move is the government's and the public's distrust in power companies that have neglected necessary corporate efforts, while remaining dependent on the current system that allows them to monopolize their respective service areas.
 背景には、「地域独占」に甘えて企業努力を怠ってきた電力会社への不信がある。

In connection with its plan to raise utility charges, an executive of Tokyo Electric Power Co. said, "It's our [vested] right to raise the rates." This insensitive statement drew harsh criticism.
東京電力の値上げ問題では、「値上げは権利だ」とする経営陣の無神経な発言が強い批判も招いた。

All power companies must realize that such a public outcry is the driving force behind the effort to liberalize utility rates.
 厳しい世論が自由化への動きを後押ししていることを、電力各社は自覚すべきだ。

But what effect total liberalization will have remains to be seen. In the domestic electricity market, liberalization of retail sales to large-lot users began in 2000. Liberalization has been expanded to users with a contracted electricity volume of 50 kilowatts or more, including small and midsize factories.
 ただし、全面自由化の効果は不透明だ。国内電力市場では2000年から、大口契約の小売り自由化が始まった。自由化対象は中小工場など契約電力50キロ・ワット以上の利用者まで広がった。

===

Few new participants

Under this system, users are allowed in principle to freely select their power suppliers and negotiate with power companies on rates. But the amount of electricity generated by new participants in the market is between 3 percent and 4 percent of the total. Existing power companies dominate the business in terms of capital and equipment.
 発電事業者を自由に選べて、料金も交渉できる建前だが、実際には新規参入組の発電量は全体の3%台に過ぎない。既存の電力会社が資本や設備で圧倒的な存在である状況に変わりはない。

If the power retail business is fully liberalized while leaving a situation in which there is no real competition, we fear the monopoly the power companies enjoy will allow them to raise power charges at will.
 実質的な競争のないまま電力小売りが全面自由化されれば、強大な電力会社が「規制なき独占」で野放しとなり、かえって値上げをしやすくなりはしないか。

It is not easy to realize a sound electricity market in which a variety of companies compete freely. To help encourage new participation in the market, a plan is emerging to reexamine the current system.
 多様な事業者が競う健全な電力市場を実現するのは、容易なことではない。

The plan calls for establishing a nationwide independent organization to manage power transmission between power companies rather than have utilities undertake both generation and transmission of power.
新規参入を促すため、電力会社による発電・送電の一貫体制を改め、送電部門だけを担う独立機関を作る構想もある。

However, some people warn that if transmission is separated from power generation it will become difficult to supply electricity flexibly in response to changes in demand.
 だが、発送電分離は、電力需要に応じたきめ細かな供給を難しくするマイナス面も指摘される。

===

Stable supplies vital

Major blackouts have occurred in Europe, the United States and South Korea partly due to the separation of power generation and transmission. The government must investigate these overseas cases thoroughly before deciding to separate generation from transmission.
 実際に欧米や韓国では、発送電分離が一因とされる大停電が起きた。海外事例を十分検証し、導入の是非を判断すべきだ。

In the aftermath of the disaster at TEPCO's Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, no nuclear reactors have been restarted, causing a power supply shortage. If the electricity retail business is liberalized at a time when there is a supply shortage, power rates are almost certain to soar. A stable power supply must be in place before liberalization is implemented.
 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所の事故後、全国の原発は再稼働できず、電力不足に陥っている。供給不足の中で自由化すれば、電気料金は上がる可能性が高い。自由化よりも、電力安定供給の回復を優先させなければならない。

Another concern is whether liberalization will lead to supply cuts and rate spikes on remote islands and in depopulated areas, where power transmission costs are high. Calm discussions are needed before resorting to spur-of-the-moment liberalization.
 送電コストの高い離島や過疎地への電力供給打ち切りや料金高騰も懸念される。一時のムードで全面自由化に走らず、冷静に議論することが求められよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 22, 2012)
(2012年5月22日01時20分  読売新聞)

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一体改革審議 「揺るぎない覚悟」の具体化を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 23, 2012)
Noda must materialize his resolve to realize integrated reform
一体改革審議 「揺るぎない覚悟」の具体化を(5月22日付・読売社説)

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda must create an environment in which both the ruling and opposition parties can make concessions, by expanding contact between the two blocs.
 野田首相は、野党との接点を広げ、与野党が歩み寄れる環境を整えなければならない。

A question-and-answer session between the blocs over bills concerning integrated reform of the social security and tax systems--the most important issues of the current Diet session--has started at a special committee of the House of Representatives.
 今国会の最重要課題である社会保障・税一体改革関連法案を巡り、野党との質疑が衆院特別委員会で始まった。

Noda on Monday reiterated his determination concerning the bills to raise the consumption tax rate, saying, "I have an unwavering will to pass the bills during this Diet session."
 首相は、消費税率引き上げ関連法案について「この国会で成立をさせるという思いは揺るぎない」と改めて明言した。

He also indicated he is willing to compromise with the Liberal Democratic Party, saying, "I'd like to seriously take into consideration what the LDP, the No. 1 opposition party, proposes so we can prepare a final draft [of the bills]."
「野党第1党の自民党の提起をしっかり受け止め、成案を得たい」と述べ、自民党に譲歩する姿勢も示した。

The problem is whether he can concretely materialize what he said.
 問題は、それを具体的に示せるかどうかである。

===

Abandon some policies

Noda admitted his Democratic Party of Japan was too optimistic about securing revenue sources concerning the party's manifesto for the 2009 lower house election and apologized, saying: "We didn't have a clear idea about what to do with the consumption tax. I have to apologize."
 民主党の2009年衆院選政権公約(マニフェスト)に関し、首相は財源確保の見通しの甘さを認め、「消費税をどうするかきちんとしていなかった。おわびをしなければならない」と陳謝した。

On the other hand, he said only, "We're coordinating with those who are concerned," about the possibility of giving up the DPJ policies to create a new pension system with a guaranteed minimum pension as its main pillar and to abolish the current health care system for people 75 years old and older. Giving up these policies is a precondition set by the LDP to agree to the bills.
 一方で、自民党の「法案賛成の条件」である、最低保障年金を柱とする新年金制度創設や後期高齢者医療制度の廃止方針を撤回することには「関係者と調整している」などとするにとどめた。

He spoke in this way apparently because there is a strong argument within the DPJ that no more policies stipulated in the 2009 manifesto should be withdrawn.
 民主党内では「マニフェストに記載された政策をこれ以上撤回すべきではない」とする主張が根強いからだろう。

However, the prime minister will not be able to win the cooperation of the opposition parties if he only sticks to defensive answers in the Diet. Noda himself must steer his party toward abandoning the policies.
 だが、首相が守りの答弁に固執していては野党の協力を得られない。首相自らが撤回へカジを切る決断をすべきだ。

Apart from policies stipulated in the manifesto, the government and the LDP must be nearly in accord on the major points of the integrated reform.
 マニフェスト関連の政策を除けば、政府と自民党は具体論でほとんど一致できるはずだ。

In fact, during the question-and-answer session on Monday, Noda said, "I don't think there are differences in viewpoints," between the government and LDP about the basic direction of a counterplan on the social security system that the opposition party is studying for submission to the Diet.
 事実、この日の質疑でも自民党が提出を検討している社会保障の対案の基本的方向性について、首相は「見解が違うとは思わない」と述べた。

If the LDP's counterplan is compiled, the DPJ and LDP will need to swiftly begin working-level negotiations to revise the bills.
自民党の対案がまとまれば、実務的な修正協議に速やかに入る必要がある。

===

LDP offers cooperation

The current Diet session has less than one month until it ends on June 21. LDP Secretary General Nobuteru Ishihara asked Noda on Monday to firmly resolve to pass the bills through the lower house within the current Diet session.
"Let's exchange wisdom to prevent a situation in which the Diet session ends without deciding anything," Ishihara said.
 国会は、6月21日の会期末まで1か月を切った。首相に対し、自民党の石原幹事長は会期中に衆院を通過させる覚悟を求め、「このまま何も決めないで会期末を迎えることがないよう、知恵を出し合おう」と呼び掛けた。

Furthermore, Ishihara emphasized, "Even if the session were extended for a long period, we would fully cooperate. We have no intention to work against your efforts."
 さらに「大幅延長となれば協力を惜しまない。足を引っ張るつもりは毛頭ない」とも強調した。

The LDP, although conditionally, talked about cooperating to "pass the bills." It also suggested a positive stance toward the extension of the Diet session. An increase in the consumption tax rate is a pledge made by the LDP, too. We praise the LDP's position that it would like to settle the matter within the current Diet session.
 自民党が、条件付きながらも、「法案成立」への協力を口にし、会期延長にも前向きな意向を示し始めた。消費増税は自民党の公約でもある。今国会で決着をつけたいという姿勢は評価したい。

Noda has an obligation to sincerely respond to the LDP's offers. He should rein in the opinion spreading within the DPJ that voting on the bills should be delayed until later in the year, and put his slogan "politics that can decide" into practice.
 首相は、これに応える責務がある。民主党内に広がる法案の採決先送り論を退け、自らが掲げている「決断する政治」を実践しなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 22, 2012)
(2012年5月22日01時20分  読売新聞)

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2012年5月22日 (火)

女性の抜け毛対策なら「えつ子の部屋」の御一読をお勧めいたします

女性の抜け毛お悩み解決サイト「えつ子の部屋」にたどり着いたらいきなり素敵な魔女が出てきて驚きました^^。この魔女様の不思議な力で女性の抜け毛の悩みは解決出来るかも知れませんね。

年を重ねるのに比例して男女を問わず抜け毛は増えてきます。
抜け毛は老化現象(エイジング)のひとつだと考えられます。

私は海外の建設プロジェクトで働くエンジニアでしたが、ある時期、あまりのストレスで円形脱毛症になったことがあります。私の使っているタイピストや秘書は全部女性でしたが、彼女たちが私の頭を見てクスクス笑うのには閉口しました。耐え難い苦痛であり、マジックの黒を塗りつけて出勤したら、そこでまた笑われてしまいました。
頭が徐々に薄くなる苦しみは多分味わったものにしか理解出来ないと思います。

ましてそれが女性ならばなおさらのことです。
抜け毛でお悩みの女性は、「えつ子の部屋」の御一読をお勧めいたします。
「えつ子の部屋」サイトで閲覧出来る項目を列記します。

1) 女性の抜け毛の原因
2) 抜け毛を防ぐシャンプー
3) 抜け毛を防ぐ睡眠
4) 抜け毛を防ぐブラッシング
5) 抜け毛を防ぐ習慣

女性 抜け毛 対策なら「えつ子の部屋」の御一読をお勧めいたします。

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東京スカイツリー 世界一の塔が日本を元気に

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 22, 2012)
World's tallest tower will invigorate Japan
東京スカイツリー 世界一の塔が日本を元気に(5月21日付・読売社説)

At long last, Tokyo Skytree will officially open on Tuesday.
 いよいよ、あす22日、「東京スカイツリー」がオープンする。

Its height is 634 meters, nearly double that of Tokyo Tower. It is the world's tallest freestanding broadcasting tower. Views from the two observation decks, at 350 meters and 450 meters above the ground, must surely take every visitor's breath away. We would like to celebrate the opening of a structure that Japan can boast about to the world.
 高さ634メートル。東京タワーの2倍に近く、自立式電波塔では世界一となる。地上350メートルと450メートルの展望台から望む光景には、誰もが息をのむことだろう。世界に誇るべき建築物の開業を祝いたい。

While construction was still going on in March last year, the Great East Japan Earthquake rocked Tokyo Skytree, which had nearly attained its ultimate height. However, no workers were injured and there was no damage to the tower itself. Construction steadily continued, and the tree's height reached 634 meters a week later.
 ツリー工事中の昨年3月、最高点に達する直前に、東日本大震災の激しい揺れに見舞われた。だが、作業員にもツリーにも被害はなく、建設は着々と続けられ、1週間後に634メートルに到達した。

===

Symbol of overcoming ordeals

The incident demonstrated the reliability of Japan's earthquake-resistant construction technology. It also reinforced the image in many minds of Japan and the Japanese not yielding to difficulties.
 耐震建築技術の確かさを証明した出来事であると同時に、日本と日本人の、困難に屈しない姿を、そこに重ね見た人も多かったのではないか。

Just as many people remember Tokyo Tower as a symbol of the rapid economic growth period from the late 1950s to the early 1970s, so may Tokyo Skytree become a new symbol of the present period, when Japan and the Japanese are overcoming ordeals of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
 高度成長期の象徴として記憶された東京タワーのように、スカイツリーは、東日本大震災の試練を乗り越えていく、新たな時代の象徴となろう。

Tokyo Skytree embodies the best of Japan's construction technologies from the past to the present.
 過去から現在に至る、日本の建築技術の結晶でもある。

Materials made with cutting-edge technologies and fine techniques of craftsmanship, such as steel pipes that distort very little even if they are piled up sky-high, were chosen from all over the country in a strict selection process.
 天高く組み上げてもほとんどゆがみのない鋼管など、最新鋭の技術と職人技によって作られた建材が、全国から厳選された。

As the tower was constructed on a relatively small piece of land, its cross-sectional shape changes from an equilateral triangle at the base to a circle higher up. Here, shapes called "sori" and "mukuri," seen in temple and shrine construction and the design of Japanese swords, were utilized.
 限られた広さの敷地に建設するため、塔の横断面が足元の正三角形から、上に行くにつれて円形に変わる。そこに「反り」「むくり」といった、寺社建築や日本刀などの造形が生かされた。

The use of a "shimbashira" cylindrical central column to dampen earthquake vibrations is taken from the technique used in Japanese five-story pagodas.
 中心に「心柱」を通すという、地震の揺れを減じるための構造も五重塔の技法に学んでいる。

It has been reported that those who were involved in the construction of the Skytree engaged in the work with a zeal to surpass their engineering forebears who constructed Tokyo Tower. Their own efforts are now destined to become a similar target for engineers in the future.
 建設に携わった人たちは、東京タワーを作った先輩技術者を乗り越える意気込みで取り組んだという。その姿が今度は、未来の技術者の目標となるだろう。

Tokyo Skytree is scheduled to take over the role of transmitting TV and radio waves from Tokyo Tower as early as January next year.
 テレビ電波などを発信する役目は、来年初めにも東京タワーから引き継ぐ予定だ。

===

Big economic effect

Annual visitors to Tokyo Skytree and its related facilities are expected to number 32 million. The ward office of Sumida Ward, Tokyo, where the tree is located, estimates the economic ripple effect of the facilities will be 88 billion yen in the ward alone.
 ツリーと関連施設で年間3200万人の集客を見込む。地元・墨田区は経済波及効果を区内だけで880億円と試算している。

Around the Skytree, new tourism spots have arisen one after another, including the Tokyo Gate Bridge. We think many foreign sightseers will be attracted by the synergy of the Skytree and the other facilities.
 周辺には東京ゲートブリッジなど、新たな観光スポットが相次いで誕生している。相乗効果によって、外国からの観光客を大勢呼び込めるのではないか。

However, although so many people are expected to visit Tokyo Skytree and its related facilities, infrastructure in the surrounding environment, such as sidewalks and train stations, has not been made fully ready for the opening.
 ただ、これほどの人が集まる新施設に対して、歩道や駅など周辺整備が十分に追いついているとは言えない。

The Tokyo metropolitan government, the Sumida Ward Office and Tokyo Skytree officials should make every effort to prevent accidents and turmoil from occurring.
東京都と墨田区、施設関係者は、事故や混乱が起きぬよう万全を尽くしてもらいたい。

People's faces naturally turn upward when they approach the Skytree. We hope it will become a new strong base to invigorate the entire nation.
 東京スカイツリーに近づく人たちの顔は、おのずと上を向く。日本全体を元気づける、新たな拠点になることを期待したい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 21, 2012)
(2012年5月21日01時52分  読売新聞)

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G8首脳宣言 ギリシャのユーロ離脱に懸念

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 22, 2012)
G-8 rightly concerned over possible Greek eurozone exit
G8首脳宣言 ギリシャのユーロ離脱に懸念(5月21日付・読売社説)

Leaders of the Group of Eight industrial nations, including the United States and Japan, adopted a declaration at their summit meeting in the United States.
 米国で開かれた日米など主要8か国(G8)首脳会議(サミット)は、首脳宣言を採択した。

The declaration agreed on "the importance of a strong and cohesive eurozone" to overcome the European sovereign debt crisis, the main focus of the meeting, and urged Greece, which triggered the crisis, to remain in the eurozone. We find this agreement quite significant.
 G8宣言が、最大の焦点となった欧州債務危機の克服に向け、「強くまとまりのあるユーロ圏が重要」と指摘し、震源地のギリシャにユーロへの残留を促した意義は大きい。

Greece, which is mired in political confusion, will hold a new election on June 17. Under one undesirable scenario, the country may find it difficult to reconstruct its economy and be forced to leave the eurozone.
 政局が混迷するギリシャは、来月17日に再選挙を実施する。その結果によっては、経済再建に行き詰まり、ユーロからの離脱を余儀なくされる恐れがある。

In that event, the economic crisis in the eurozone will worsen and the euro will tumble, possibly further accelerating confusion in the global market.
 そうなると、危機拡大でユーロが急落し、世界の市場の混乱に一段と拍車がかかりかねない。

It was appropriate that the leaders expressed their sense of crisis in the declaration, saying "significant headwinds persist" in the global economy, and called on Greece and other European countries, including Germany and France, to make self-reliant efforts to resolve the crisis.
 宣言が、「世界経済は強い向かい風である」と危機感を示し、ギリシャと、独仏など欧州に自助努力を求めたのは当然だ。

We hope that the Greek public will make a sensible decision in the upcoming election.
 ギリシャ国民が再選挙で、賢明な選択をするよう期待したい。

===

Greek austerity widely opposed

Yet, there is deep-rooted opposition in Greece to austerity measures aimed at fiscal reconstruction. In France, Francois Hollande, who pledged to review the country's austerity program, won the recent presidential election before participating in the G-8 meeting.
 とはいえ、ギリシャでは、財政再建に向けた緊縮策への反発が根強い。仏大統領選でも、緊縮財政見直しを掲げたオランド氏が当選し、今回のG8に初参加した。

"Our imperative is to promote growth and jobs," the declaration said, laying out the policy of balancing economic growth and the restoration of fiscal health, a move that indicates the leaders' reflection on heavily austerity-focused measures that have been adopted.
 宣言が「成長と雇用の促進が必要不可欠だ」と明記し、経済成長と財政健全化を両立させる方針を打ち出したのは、これまでの緊縮策一辺倒への反省と言える。

It is important for individual countries not only to ensure fiscal discipline but also attach importance to growth strategies in order to realize economic recovery. But it is difficult to balance these two goals.
 各国が財政規律を守るだけでなく、景気回復を実現する成長戦略を重視することは大事だ。だが、そのバランスは難しい。

The first focus of attention will now be how European countries deal with this problem.
 欧州の対応がまず焦点になる。

Germany, which puts priority on austerity, and France, which has moved to change course, should cooperate with each other and draw up steps that will lead to Europe's restoration.
緊縮策を重視するドイツと、軌道修正に動いたフランスが協調し、欧州再生の道筋を描くべきだ。

For Japan, this is not a fire on the other side of the river. The government must pass a bill to raise the consumption tax rate as soon as possible, a move aimed at realizing the fiscal reconstruction and economic expansion at the same time.
 日本も対岸の火事ではない。消費税率引き上げ関連法案を早期に成立させ、財政再建と景気拡大をともに目指さねばならない。

===

Cooperation on oil significant

It also was appropriate for the G-8 leaders to have expressed their will to realize international collaboration to prepare for an expected surge in crude oil prices, an issue of concern for the global economy, in the declaration.
 世界経済の懸念材料である原油高騰に備え、宣言が、国際的な連携の姿勢を示したのも妥当だ。

Regarding North Korea, the G-8 leaders also agreed to call on the U.N. Security Council to "take action" in the event the country conducts a nuclear test. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda led the leaders' discussion on this issue by showing his strong determination, saying, "The international community mustn't reward North Korea's bad behavior."
 一方、G8は北朝鮮問題について、核実験に踏み切れば国連安全保障理事会に「行動」を取るよう求めることで一致した。野田首相が「国際社会として北朝鮮の悪行に対価を与えない」と、強い姿勢で論議を主導した。

To prevent North Korea from conducting a nuclear test, China's role will be vital in urging the country to exercise self-restraint. The G-8 countries must continue to press China to play its part in resolving this problem.
 核実験の阻止には、北朝鮮に自制を促す中国の役割が欠かせない。G8は引き続き、中国に強力に働きかけるべきだ。

As for the continuing tense situation in Syria, the declaration said the G-8 countries remain deeply concerned about the situation and remain resolved to consider further U.N. measures when necessary, a decision we find appropriate.
 依然として緊迫するシリア情勢についてもG8が憂慮し、必要に応じ国連による措置を検討する、としたのは適切である。

Establishing the independence of Afghanistan, where confusion lingers, is another urgent task. Japan, which will host a conference to support Afghanistan's reconstruction in July, should play a proactive role in establishing an international system to realize the country's independence.
 混乱が続くアフガニスタンの自立も急務だ。7月に支援会議を開く日本は、国際的な体制作りに積極的な役割を果たすべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 21, 2012)
(2012年5月21日01時52分  読売新聞)

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2012年5月21日 (月)

あす金環日食 天空のドラマを堪能したい

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 21, 2012)
Let's enjoy a rare astronomical spectacle!
あす金環日食 天空のドラマを堪能したい(5月20日付・読売社説)

An annular solar eclipse, a phenomenon in which the moon blocks out most of the sun, leaving a ring of light around its circumference, takes place on Monday morning, May 21. The annular eclipse will be visible along the Pacific side of the country, from southern Kyushu to the southeastern part of Fukushima Prefecture.
 太陽の中心部が月に隠され、周囲が金の輪のように輝く金環日食が21日朝、九州南部から福島県南東部にかけての太平洋側で観測できる。

About two-thirds of the nation's population live in areas where the eclipse can be observed. It is said to be first time in 932 years--since the late Heian period (794-1192)--that such a large proportion of the population will be able to see an annular solar eclipse.
 観測が可能な地域に、日本の人口の3分の2が住む。これほど広範囲で観測できるのは、平安時代以来932年ぶりという。

Another annular solar eclipse can be observed in Japan in 18 years, but the area from which it can be viewed will be limited to Hokkaido.
 日本では18年後にも金環日食が観測できる。だが、北海道だけと範囲は狭い。

This time is definitely a precious opportunity to view a heavenly spectacle. Why not take advantage of a wonderful astronomical show?
天空のドラマを楽しむ貴重な機会だ。堪能したい。

The eclipse begins from the top right side of the sun at about 6 a.m., evolving into a perfect, golden "ring of fire," at about 7:30 a.m. This state of "annularity" will last a maximum of five minutes or so.
 午前6時台から太陽の右上がかけ始め、同7時半ごろには、金色のリング状になる。この状態が最大5分間ほど続く。

===

Be careful of accident

The moment the edge of the moon overlaps that of the sun should not be missed. Sunlight appears to trickle out from the sun, creating gleaming beads, a phenomenon known as "Baily's beads."
 月と太陽の端が重なる瞬間も見逃せない。すき間から太陽光が漏れ出し数珠状に輝く。「ベイリービーズ」と呼ばれる現象だ。

Viewing parties and other events related to the eclipse are scheduled in many parts of the country.
 各地で観望会などが予定されている。

Given that the phenomenon occurs while people are commuting to school or workplaces, however, care must be taken not to fall while looking up at the sky while walking or cause an accident while driving.
だが、通勤通学の時間帯でもある。歩きながら空を見上げて転んだり、自動車運転中に事故を起こしたりするのは禁物だ。

Avoid observing the sun with the naked eye, which can harm your eyes. Injury of the retina can produce such symptoms as the appearance of black spots in your eyesight and distortion of objects.
 太陽の直視も避けよう。目を痛めかねない。網膜が傷つくと視野の中に黒い斑点が見えたり、物がゆがんで見えたりする。

These symptoms usually disappear in about a week, but more long-lasting serious eye injuries can happen.
1週間程度で回復する例が多いが、時に症状が長期化するので要注意だ。

Special eclipse sunglasses have been on sale for some time. Viewers can also enjoy the phenomenon by way of what is called the pinhole method, observing the sun's images that are projected onto a surface through a small hole made in a piece of paper. Sunshine filtering through leaves can also cast an image of the eclipsed sun onto the ground.
 観測専用めがねが販売されている。紙に小さな穴を開けて太陽光を通し、映し出された像を見るピンホール法もある。木漏れ日でも欠けた太陽が地面に映る。

The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and other expert organizations have introduced various observation methods, which can serve as a useful reference.
 国立天文台など専門機関がインターネットで観測法を紹介している。参考になるだろう。

The annular solar eclipse provides astronomical researchers with an excellent opportunity.
 研究者にも絶好の機会だ。

A project has been undertaken to gauge the size of the sun more exactly by recording precisely the scope of the full "ring of fire," or annularity.
 金環日食が見える範囲を精密に記録し、太陽の大きさを従来よりも正確に測定しようという研究プロジェクトも進められている。

===

Is Earth cooling?

The sun is an immensely huge lump of gases, and interaction between the gases yields the sun's energy.
 太陽は巨大なガスの塊だ。このガスが反応しエネルギーが生まれる。

Determining the size of the sun more accurately would allow a more detailed understanding of solar energy generation.
大きさがもっと正確に分かれば、エネルギーが発生する仕組みを、より詳しく理解できよう。

Currently, the sun is a focus of attention of experts around the world because of an anomaly: It's activity has been at a low level last seen about 200 years ago, when Earth was in the midst of a cooling trend, according to researchers.
 今、太陽は世界の専門家の関心の的でもある。異変が起きているためだ。約200年前、地球が寒冷化していた時代と似た、活動の低い状態にあるという。

In addition to findings in studies by researchers in many foreign countries, data obtained in space by Hinode, the Japanese solar observation satellite, point to a steady decline in the sun's activities. Do these observations indicate Earth is again heading for a cooling phase?
 世界各国の研究に加え、日本の太陽観測衛星「ひので」が宇宙で得たデータも、太陽活動の一層の低下を示唆している。再び地球が寒冷化する兆候だろうか。

The importance of solar studies is taking on increasing importance.
 太陽を研究する意義は増している。

Although the designed lifetime of Hinode has ended, no plan has been discussed by the government about the wisdom of developing a successor, while budgetary appropriations for sun-related studies have been trimmed continually.
ところが、すでに寿命を超えている「ひので」の後継機は、政府内で検討もされず、太陽関連の研究予算も減る一方だ。

The government must continue to extend a certain amount of financial support to this field of research.
 政府は、この分野へ一定の支援を続けていくべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 20, 2012)
(2012年5月20日01時39分  読売新聞)

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2012年5月20日 (日)

H2A成功 宇宙産業の地歩を築く一歩に

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 20, 2012)
Japan's space industry shoud build on H-2A rocket success
H2A成功 宇宙産業の地歩を築く一歩に(5月19日付・読売社説)

The 21st H-2A rocket was successfully launched Friday with four satellites aboard. One of them, from South Korea, was the first to be launched under a contract from overseas.
 初めて海外から受注した韓国の衛星など4基を載せたH2Aロケット21号機が、打ち上げに成功した。

All four satellites entered their planned orbits.
 いずれの衛星も予定軌道に乗った。

Everything went flawlessly and on schedule.
 すべてスケジュール通りで、極めて順調だった。

One of the four, the Arirang-3 satellite developed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute was the focus of special attention. The South Korean satellite is equipped with a high-resolution camera capable of photographing small objects on the ground.
 注目された衛星は、韓国航空宇宙研究院の「アリラン3号」だ。高解像度のカメラを搭載し、地上を精密撮影できる。

The successful liftoff marked Japan's entry into the commercial launch business for non-Japanese payloads, a goal people involved in the nation's space development programs have longed for. The success should be used to broaden opportunities for the nation's commercial satellite launch business.
 日本の宇宙関係者が悲願としてきた、海外衛星の打ち上げビジネスへの参入に一歩をしるした。成功を商機拡大につなげたい。

The success this time was the 15th consecutive successful launch of the H-2A rocket since the explosion of the sixth H-2A in 2003. The H-2A program's 95.2 percent success rate makes it comparable to the best in the world.
 H2Aの打ち上げも、2003年の6号機失敗後、15回続けての成功となった。成功率95・2%は世界のトップクラスだ。

===

More extensive record needed

The European Ariane rocket, a formidable rival for Japan in the space business competition, also has a success rate of about 95 percent--but it is based on a more extensive record of about 200 successful launches. The H-2A's corresponding figure of 21 launches leaves it far from truly catching up with the world's best.
 ただし、打ち上げ回数では、日本の強力なライバルである欧州のロケット「アリアン」が約200回に達している。成功率も約95%だ。21回のH2Aは、世界水準には、まだまだ遠い。

Under the circumstances, Japan's commercial launch business faces a thorny and arduous path.
 それだけに、日本の打ち上げビジネスの前途は険しい。

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., the H-2A rocket manufacturer, began to seek contracts to launch commercial satellites around 2007. The company has had more than 100 inquiries from potential clients, but only one, the South Korean entity, actually signed on.
 H2Aを製造している三菱重工業は、07年ごろから打ち上げ契約獲得を目指してきた。打診は100件を超えるが、成約に至ったのは、今回の衛星以外にない。

Further business efforts are needed for such purposes as cutting back on launch costs.
 打ち上げ費用を低減する取り組みを強化するなど、さらなる営業努力が必要だろう。

Explaining its choice of the H-2A rocket, South Korea cited the "inexpensiveness" of the latest launch.
 韓国側は、打ち上げにH2Aを選択した理由として、費用の「安さ」を挙げている。

An H-2A launch usually costs about 10 billion yen. But the launch fee was reportedly reduced considerably due to the fact that the South Korean satellite blasted off together with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Shizuku, an observation satellite designed to scrutinize Earth's water environment.
 H2Aの打ち上げには、通常100億円前後かかるが、韓国の衛星は、地球の水環境を詳細に観測する日本の宇宙航空研究開発機構の衛星「しずく」と相乗りのため料金が軽減されたという。

Further cuts in the production costs for the rocket are also essential.
 ロケット製造コストの一層の削減も必要だ。

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has set the goal of halving costs through steps such as reviewing its procurement methods.
三菱重工業も部品調達の見直しなどで、将来の費用半減を目標に掲げている。

===

Launch new rocket R&D

The government must actively support the engagement of domestic industry in the rocket launching business.
 政府も、産業界の取り組みを積極的に後押しすべきだろう。

By launching a variety of government satellites, including ones for Earth observation and telecommunications, one after another with H-2A rockets, the government could help enhance its appeal to potential clients.
 地球観測や通信など様々な政府の衛星を、今後もH2Aで切れ目なく打ち上げることで、実績作りにも貢献する必要がある。

We believe now is the time to start studies in earnest about the development of a next-generation Japanese rocket to succeed the H-2A.
 H2Aの次の国産ロケット開発についても、本格的に検討を始めるべきではないか。

Without a new research and development project, this country will eventually lose excellent rocket technicians. In fact, the technicians who were involved in the development of the H-2A project have already begun to retire.
新規の研究開発がなければ、優秀な技術者はいなくなる。H2Aに携わった技術陣はすでに引退し始めた。

In the United States, where rocket business start-ups have been set up at the initiative of private companies, launch costs are said to be about half those of the H-2A.
 米国では、民間企業主導で、打ち上げ費用がH2Aの半額程度という安価なロケットも登場している。

Although they have made few commercial launches so far, the U.S. space business start-ups are likely to become strong new rivals for Japan's satellite launch business.
実績はまだ少ないが、新たなライバルになろう。

Given the situation, it is imperative for this country to bolster cooperation among the government, industry and academia to maintain and strengthen domestic rocket technology.
 国産ロケット技術の維持、強化へ産官学の協力が重要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 19, 2012)
(2012年5月19日01時32分  読売新聞)

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2012年5月19日 (土)

GDP高成長 景気の本格回復につなげたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 19, 2012)
Devise effective strategy for robust economic recovery
GDP高成長 景気の本格回復につなげたい(5月18日付・読売社説)

The nation's economy has finally begun to recover on the back of robust consumer spending and reconstruction projects launched after the Great East Japan Earthquake.
 堅調な個人消費と東日本大震災の復興事業をテコに、ようやく景気が回復してきた。

It is crucial that the government use this tailwind to put the Japanese economy on a solid growth track.
 追い風を生かし、日本経済を確かな成長軌道に乗せることが重要だ。

Japan's real gross domestic product for the January-March quarter of 2012 grew 1 percent from the previous quarter, marking positive growth for three consecutive quarters. GDP grew at a high rate of 4.1 percent on an annual basis.
 今年1~3月期の実質国内総生産(GDP)は前期比1・0%増と、3四半期連続のプラス成長になった。年率換算で4・1%という高い成長率である。

Consumer spending, which accounts for 60 percent of GDP, marked its fourth straight quarterly increase. This was largely due to a surge in new car sales after a subsidy program for purchases of environmentally friendly vehicles was reinstated late last year. Consumption on entertainment, including amusement parks, also was brisk.
 GDPの6割を占める個人消費は、4四半期連続でプラスとなった。昨年末にエコカー補助金が復活し、新車販売が急増した影響が大きい。遊園地など娯楽関連の消費も順調だった。

More than one year has passed since the March 11, 2011, disaster. It seems consumer sentiment, which cooled due to a mood of self-restraint that enveloped the nation after the catastrophe, has started to pick up.
 震災から1年たち、自粛ムードで冷えた消費者心理が好転してきたようだ。

Also, public investment increased for the first time in three quarters. We think it is safe to say that economic growth is being led by domestic demand.
 公共投資も、3四半期ぶりに増加に転じた。内需主導の成長と言えるだろう。

===

Recovery at crucial stage

Implementation of the almost 20 trillion yen reconstruction budget will soon enter a crucial stage. The government expects the economy will continue to log positive growth in the April-June quarter, supported by demand created by reconstruction projects.
 総額20兆円近い復興予算の執行は、これから本番を迎える。政府は4~6月期も復興需要を支えにプラス成長が続くと見ている。

However, the ability of public expenditures to prop up the economy is limited. There is concern that the economy could lose steam in summer and beyond.
 ただし、財政支出による景気の押し上げ効果には限りがある。夏以降の息切れが心配だ。

The subsidy program for eco-friendly car purchases is scheduled to expire at the end of January next year, but its budget--which totals about 300 billion yen--could run out as early as this summer. If the subsidies end earlier than planned, car sales will inevitably drop sharply after the initial surge.
 エコカー補助金の制度は来年1月末までだが、約3000億円の予算は夏ごろにも底をつく可能性がある。支給が早めに打ち切りになれば、自動車販売の反動減は避けられまい。

Reconstruction projects also will end up sitting idle if rebuilding plans for disaster-hit areas do not progress smoothly.
 復興事業も、被災地の復興計画作りが順調に進まないと停滞を余儀なくされる。

A looming electricity shortage this summer also could put a brake on production and further accelerate the hollowing-out of domestic industries.
 夏の電力不足が、生産にブレーキをかけ、産業空洞化を一段と加速させる恐れもある。

The government should steadily implement policies, including reconstruction support and the reactivation of idled nuclear reactors after confirming they are safe.
 政府は、復興支援や安全を確認した原子力発電所の再稼働など、政策を着実に進めるべきだ。

Upward pressure on the yen has intensified as concern mounts that the European financial crisis may flare up again due to recent political turmoil in Greece. This could drag down Japan's exports, which had only just started to recover.
 ギリシャの混迷で欧州危機再燃への懸念が広がり、円高圧力が強まっている。持ち直してきた輸出の足を引っ張りかねない。

The government and the Bank of Japan need to muster the resolve to intervene in foreign exchange markets and take additional monetary-easing measures--if necessary--to prevent the yen from appreciating excessively.
 政府・日銀は過度な円高の阻止へ、為替介入や追加金融緩和も辞さない決意が必要だ。

===

Focus on quality not quantity

A strategy for growth led by private-sector demand must be accelerated while reconstruction projects and other measures are having an effect.
 復興事業などの効果があるうちに、民需主導の成長戦略を加速させることが求められる。

The growth strategy mapped out under the administration of former Prime Minister Naoto Kan two years ago incorporated about 400 measures. A government check of how these measures had been implemented found less than 10 percent had produced favorable results. The Kan administration's growth strategy was merely an empty slogan.
 菅前政権が2年前に策定した新成長戦略は、約400の施策が盛り込まれた。その実施状況を政府が点検したところ、成果が見られたのは1割弱にとどまった。全くの看板倒れである。

The Cabinet of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is discussing a strategy for Japan's revitalization at the government's Council on National Strategy and Policy, which comprises cabinet ministers and representatives from business circles.
 野田内閣は閣僚や経済界の代表による国家戦略会議で、「日本再生戦略」を検討している。

We urge the government to formulate an effective strategy by carefully selecting policies, rather than including every scheme in a bid to try to please everyone.
 総花的にならないよう政策を厳選し、効果的な内容に仕上げてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 18, 2012)
(2012年5月18日01時38分  読売新聞)

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2012年5月18日 (金)

混迷ギリシャ 独仏は協調し危機封じ込めを

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 18, 2012)
Hollande, Merkel should bridge gap to contain Greek crisis
混迷ギリシャ 独仏は協調し危機封じ込めを(5月17日付・読売社説)

The political turmoil in Greece has deepened after negotiations to form a coalition government fell apart following a general election in which no party secured a majority in parliament. A new election will take place next month.
 ギリシャで、総選挙後の連立交渉が失敗して再選挙が決まり、混迷が深まっている。

The international community is now casting anxious eyes on whether the eurozone economies can unite anew to prevent the debt crisis from flaring up again on the continent.
 危機再燃を防ぐため、改めて欧州の結束が問われよう。

Parties that oppose Greece's austerity measures, such as the Radical Left Coalition (Syriza), may significantly increase the number of their seats in the next general election scheduled for mid-June. Such a situation could severely hinder Greece from compiling the necessary support for further spending cuts, a precondition for receiving financial support from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
 6月中旬に実施されるギリシャ再選挙では、急進左派連合など財政緊縮策に反対する勢力が大きく伸長する可能性がある。欧州連合(EU)などから支援を受ける前提となる歳出削減策の取りまとめが、頓挫しかねない事態だ。

After the collapse of the power-sharing talks, stock prices dropped across the board in global markets, including those in Europe, the United States and Japan, and the euro plunged. The markets' reactions reflect growing awareness that Greece's exit from the eurozone has become a real possibility.
 欧米、日本など世界の株式市場の株価が全面安となり、ユーロが急落した。ギリシャのユーロ圏離脱が現実味を増したと市場が危機感を強めた影響と言える。

If the Greek crisis once again spills over to Spain and Italy, both of whom are rebuilding their finances, it would then spread to other eurozone economies and jeopardize the foundation of the European economy.
 ギリシャ危機が、財政再建途上のスペインやイタリアなどに再び飛び火すれば、欧州経済は揺らぎ、危機が拡大する。

Exports from China and other emerging economies to Europe will inevitably slow down if the financial crisis in Europe worsens, which would have a huge impact on the global economy. Europe is China's biggest market.
 欧州を最大の市場とする中国など新興国の輸出も鈍化し、世界経済に大打撃を与えるだろう。

===

Efforts to deter market fears

Newly elected French President Francois Hollande flew to Berlin shortly after taking office to hold talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The meeting was apparently meant to defuse market fears regarding the Greek crisis by emphasizing the willingness of the two countries to take the initiative in resolving it.
 フランスのオランド新大統領が就任直後にベルリンへ飛び、メルケル独首相と会談した。独仏主導で危機対応に取り組む姿勢を改めてアピールし、市場の不安を打ち消す狙いがあったと見られる。

Hollande and Merkel stressed they want Greece to stay in the eurozone. Regarding growth strategy for Europe, which has become the focal point in dealing with the financial crisis, Merkel expressed her plan to prepare specific proposals with France by an EU summit meeting scheduled for late June.
 両首脳は、「ギリシャがユーロ圏にとどまることを望む」と強調した。焦点の成長戦略について、メルケル首相は、6月下旬のEU首脳会議までに独仏共同の具体案をまとめる方針を表明した。

It is meaningful that the two leaders have agreed that Europe should not only focus on austerity measures, and acknowledged the necessity of a new growth strategy. We ask Germany and France to do their best to contain the financial crisis.
 独仏両首脳が、欧州は財政緊縮一本やりでなく、新たな成長戦略を必要としている、との認識で一致した意義は大きい。危機封じ込めに全力を挙げてもらいたい。

===

Difference between 2 leaders

However, Merkel and Hollande differ fundamentally in their positions for dealing with the crisis, which could cast a shadow on their cooperation.
 問題は、両首脳の考えに根本的な部分で隔たりがあることだ。

Hollande has demanded renegotiation of the EU's new budget discipline treaty--which was spearheaded by his predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy--to include pro-growth elements in the pact. In domestic politics, Hollande has promised the French public to implement certain stimulus measures, such as hiring an additional 60,000 teachers.
 オランド大統領は、サルコジ前大統領が推進した財政規律強化のためのEU新条約について、成長に関する項目を盛り込むよう再交渉を主張してきた。国内では、6万人の教員採用など、財政出動を伴う公約を打ち出している。

In contrast, Merkel has put her priority on fiscal discipline. She has not changed her position of rejecting renegotiation of the new treaty, which 25 EU members--all but Britain and the Czech Republic--have signed.
 メルケル首相は、財政規律を重視する立場だ。英国とチェコを除くEU25か国が署名済みの新条約を、再交渉することはできないという姿勢を崩していない。

Will Europe be able to devote sufficient attention to growth strategy while maintaining budget discipline? Germany and France should accelerate their efforts to build a consensus on devising a specific growth strategy and on whether to renegotiate the budget discipline treaty.
 財政規律を維持しつつ、成長戦略にどう目配りするのか。独仏は成長戦略の具体化や新条約の扱いを巡り合意形成を急ぐべきだ。

Europe's financial crisis is expected to top the agenda at a Group of Eight summit meeting scheduled for this weekend in the United States.
 今週末、米国で開かれる主要8か国(G8)首脳会議は、欧州危機が主要議題となる。

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda should ask Europe to settle the financial crisis as soon as possible. It is essential for Japan, which has yet to experience a full-fledged economic recovery, to prevent the excessive strength of the yen from becoming the status quo due to the turmoil in the Europe.
 野田首相は、欧州に、危機の早期収束を重ねて求めるべきだ。本格的な景気回復が遅れている日本としては、欧州の混乱に伴う超円高の定着を防がねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 17, 2012)
(2012年5月17日01時10分  読売新聞)

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2012年5月17日 (木)

温首相尖閣発言 「核心的利益」は穏やかでない

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 17, 2012)
Wen's 'core interests' remark over Senkakus a cause for concern
温首相尖閣発言 「核心的利益」は穏やかでない(5月16日付・読売社説)

China is reinforcing its hard-line stance over the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture against a backdrop of swelling military strength and economic wealth.
 沖縄県の尖閣諸島を巡り、膨張する軍事力と経済力を背景に中国の強硬姿勢が目立ってきた。

During a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in Beijing on Sunday, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao reportedly mentioned the issues of the island chain, along with the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, where there is an ongoing separatist movement. Wen reportedly stressed that it is important for Japan to respect "China's core interests and major concerns."
 北京で行われた日中首脳会談で温家宝首相は、分離独立運動が続く新疆ウイグル自治区とともに尖閣諸島に言及し、「中国の核心的利益と重大な関心事項を尊重するということが大事だ」と強調した。

China uses "core interests" to describe national sovereignty, maintenance of territorial integrity and other areas over which it will make no compromise at any price. Beijing has applied the expression to Taiwan, Tibet and the Uygur region before, but in recent years, it has reportedly used the term in regard to the South China Sea.
 「核心的利益」とは中国が絶対に譲歩できない国家主権や領土保全などに用いる言葉だ。これまで台湾やチベット、ウイグルなどに使ってきたが、近年は南シナ海にも使用しているとされる。

The Chinese government has never officially used the expression for the Senkaku Islands. However, the People's Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, used "core interests" in connection with the islands for the first time in January this year.
 中国政府は、この表現を尖閣諸島に公式に使った例はない。だが、今年1月、共産党機関紙「人民日報」が、初めて使用した。

===

Semantic tactic

Wen is thought to have used "core interests" and "major concerns" together in referring to the Senkaku Islands so that his remark could be taken to mean the islets are part of China's core interests.
 温首相の今回の発言は、「核心的利益」と「重大な関心事項」をひとくくりにすることで、尖閣諸島が「核心的利益」とも読み取れるように意図したものだろう。

In making the remark, the Chinese premier seems to have been thinking of the Chinese public's negative reaction to recent developments over the Senkakus--Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara's announcement that his government plans to purchase part of the islands and the Japanese government's decision to give names to four uninhabited islets of the chain.
 尖閣諸島に関し、東京都の石原慎太郎知事の買い取り構想や日本政府による無人島命名に、中国国内で反発が広がった。そのことが念頭にあるようだ。

Wen's remark can be seen as a reflection of the Chinese government's increasingly assertive stance in claiming sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands as Beijing tries to expand its maritime interests.
 海洋権益の拡大を図る中国政府が、従来以上に領有権を主張する方針を鮮明にしたと言える。

China demonstrates its presence by sending fishery patrol vessels to waters near the islands almost every month. Japan should further reinforce its surveillance arrangements for the nation's remote islands and territorial waters.
 中国の監視船は毎月のように尖閣諸島周辺で示威行動に出ている。日本は離島と領海の監視体制を一段と強化する必要がある。

It is natural for Noda to remind Wen that the Senkaku Islands are part of Japan's sovereign territory and call for self-restraint on China's part, saying, "China's stepped-up activities [around the islands] are upsetting the Japanese public."
 野田首相が温首相に、尖閣諸島が日本固有の領土であると主張し、「中国の活動の活発化が日本国民の感情を刺激している」と、自制を求めたのは当然である。

At the same time, it is regrettable that China refused Japan's request for a one-on-one meeting between Noda and Chinese President Hu Jintao. The rebuff was apparently a signal of China's dissatisfaction over not only the Senkaku issue, but also Japan's issuance of visas to Uygurs exiled from the autonomous region to attend an international assembly being held in Tokyo.
 中国側の意向で、胡錦濤国家主席と野田首相との個別会談が見送られたのも問題だ。尖閣に加え、東京での国際会議に出席する亡命ウイグル人にビザを発給したことへの不満の表明とみられる。

===

Many pending issues

Japan and China, which mark the 40th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations this year, face a pile of pending issues.
 国交正常化40周年を迎えた日中間に懸案は山積している。

Despite Japan's repeated requests, China has not agreed to resume negotiations on joint development of gas fields in the East China Sea since the 2010 collision of a Chinese trawler with Japan Coast Guard vessels off the Senkaku Islands.
東シナ海のガス田開発に関する交渉は一昨年の尖閣諸島沖の中国漁船衝突事件以来、日本の再三の要請にもかかわらず、開かれていない。

Also dubious was China's stance over North Korea's nuclear activities when the leaders of Japan, China and South Korea held summit talks Sunday. A joint declaration was initially scheduled to be released in tandem with the meeting, but it was not unveiled until the following day--and then it did not refer to North Korea at all.
 北朝鮮の核問題でも、中国の対応には疑問が残った。日中韓首脳会談に合わせ発表される予定だった共同宣言は、1日遅れの発表となり、肝心の北朝鮮については一切言及しなかった。

The delay was reportedly caused by China, which seemed reluctant to produce a document that would urge North Korea to exercise the self-restraint not to carry out a new nuclear test or other provocative actions because it wanted to avoid angering Pyongyang.
 北朝鮮を刺激したくない中国が、核実験などの自制を促す内容を盛り込むことに反対する姿勢を崩さなかったのが原因だ。

Considering such a stance, it is only natural to question whether China has a will to prevent North Korea from conducting a nuclear test.
 これでは、中国に北朝鮮の核実験を阻止する意思があるのかと疑われても仕方あるまい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 16, 2012)
(2012年5月16日01時28分  読売新聞)

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2012年5月16日 (水)

沖縄復帰40年 経済と安保を両立させたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 16, 2012)
Okinawa economic development, national security both important
沖縄復帰40年 経済と安保を両立させたい(5月15日付・読売社説)

Okinawa Prefecture celebrates the 40th anniversary of its reversion to Japanese sovereignty on Tuesday.
 沖縄県はきょう、本土復帰40周年を迎える。

An event to commemorate the anniversary in Ginowan will be attended by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and the heads of the other two branches of government, Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima and others.
 宜野湾市で、野田首相ら三権の長や仲井真弘多知事などが出席して記念式典が行われる。

The prefecture continues to bear the excessive burden of hosting 74 percent of U.S. military facilities in this country, measured by land area. Under such circumstances, the government is urged to find a way to achieve both economic development of the prefecture and effective national security.
 日本全体の米軍施設用地の74%が集中する過重な負担が続く中、政府はいかに経済振興と安全保障を両立させるかが問われる。

The government last week decided on the basic policy for an Okinawa Prefecture economic development plan. The plan for the next decade, to begin this fiscal year, will be the fifth of its kind. A major pillar of the policy is to make the prefecture into an international distribution base through construction of a second runway at Naha Airport. The government aims to enable the prefecture to move toward self-supporting economic development. Based on the policy, the Okinawa prefectural government is to decide the details of the economic development plan on Tuesday.
 政府は先週、今後10年間の第5次沖縄振興計画の基本方針を決定した。那覇空港の第2滑走路整備による国際物流拠点化が柱で、沖縄の自立的な経済発展を目指す内容だ。この方針に基づき、沖縄県がきょう振興計画を決定する。

===

Use development budget effectively

It is quite appropriate for the government to have changed the main entity to compile the plan from itself to the prefectural government. We hope the central and prefectural governments will steadily carry out projects in the plan to take full advantage of the geographical and international features of the prefecture, which is the closest part of Japan to many Asian countries.
 計画の策定主体を政府から沖縄県に変更したのは、妥当である。アジアに近接する地理的特性や国際性を生かした計画を着実に実行に移してもらいたい。

Past development plans focused on "correction of disparities between the prefecture and other parts of the country." Despite those efforts, prefectural residents' incomes have remained around 70 percent of the national average. As the manufacturing industry can hardly grow there, manufacturers' contribution to gross prefectural product has fallen from 11 percent 40 years ago to 4 percent today.
 過去の振興計画は「本土との格差是正」を掲げてきたが、県民1人当たりの所得は全国平均の7割前後にとどまる。製造業が育たず、県内総生産に占める割合は40年前の11%から4%に低下した。

The prefecture's economic structure stands on three main pillars: U.S. military bases, public works projects and tourism. Dependence on the central government's budget for the prefecture's development is also high.
 基地、公共事業、観光に頼る「3K経済」の構造が続き、政府予算への依存度も高い。

The Democratic Party of Japan-led administration, partly as amends for having caused turmoil over the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station relocation issue, has beefed up its Okinawa Prefecture development budget to a handsome 293.7 billion yen this fiscal year.
 民主党政権は、米軍普天間飛行場移設問題を迷走させた負い目もあり、今年度の沖縄振興予算を2937億円へ大幅に増やした。

To use the funds effectively, it is essential for the prefectural government and each municipality in the prefecture to compile economic development measures based on medium and long-term outlooks and continue their self-help efforts.
 これを有効に使うためには、沖縄県と各市町村が、中長期的展望に立った振興策を企画し、自助努力を続けることが大切だ。

The prefectural government will be able to utilize the central government's lump-sum grants with fewer usage restrictions. It can also shift the focus of the budget, previously on construction of tangible objects such as infrastructure and fancy public facilities, to intangible things such as environmental and welfare programs.
 自由度の高い一括交付金を活用し、社会資本や箱物の整備などハード中心だった予算の使途を、環境、福祉などソフト重視に見直すことも求められよう。

===

Importance for national security

Recently, Chinese military and other ships have been regularly observed around the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture and other areas. Taking into consideration the rapid reinforcement and modernization of the Chinese Navy and Air Force, the prefecture's geopolitical importance for national security will become far greater from now on.
 最近は、中国の軍艦や政府船による尖閣諸島周辺などでの活動が恒常化している。中国海空軍の急速な増強と近代化を踏まえれば、今後、沖縄の安全保障面の地政学的重要性は一層大きくなる。

The government must squarely face this fact and firmly maintain the efficacy and deterrence value of the Japan-U.S. alliance based on defense cooperation between the Self-Defense Forces and the U.S. military.
 政府は、この現実を直視し、自衛隊と米軍の防衛協力を基盤とする日米同盟の抑止力と実効性を堅持しなければならない。

At the same time, the government needs to do its best to reduce the prefecture's burden through such measures as facilitating the return of U.S. military facilities to Japan, which will follow the transfer of U.S. marines stationed in Okinawa Prefecture to bases overseas, and making operational improvements in the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement. It should also patiently work on the relocation of the functions of the Futenma Air Station to the Henoko district of Nago.
 同時に、在沖縄海兵隊の海外移転に伴う米軍施設の返還や日米地位協定の運用改善など、地元負担の軽減に全力を挙げる必要がある。普天間飛行場の辺野古移設にも粘り強く取り組むべきだ。

Also important is to map out effective utilization of land to be vacated by the U.S. military.
 重要なのは、米軍施設跡地の有効利用を図ることだ。

The government is now studying construction of an advanced cancer treatment facility in a residential district in Camp Foster, formerly called Camp Zukeran, stretching over Okinawa city and several other municipalities.
 政府は、キャンプ瑞慶覧の住宅地区に最先端のがん治療施設を整備することを検討している。

It is indispensable for the government to gradually and steadily win the understanding of the prefecture and its residents toward the realignment of U.S. forces stationed in Japan.
こうした事業を通じて、在日米軍再編への地元の理解を地道に広げることが欠かせない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 15, 2012)
(2012年5月15日01時45分  読売新聞)

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2012年5月15日 (火)

七五三の記念写真なら川崎の写真館「スタジオシモムラ」です

そもそも七五三の行事が何月何日に行われるのか忘れてしまいましたので、痛く反省しサイトで調べました。

七五三は男の子と女の子で参拝する年齢が違うのですが地方によって多少違うようですね。男の子は3歳と5歳、女の子は3歳と7歳の年の11月15日に、成長を祝って神社・寺などに詣でます。着飾ってお出かけするので写真館で記念撮影をするのが一般的だということなのです。

で、神奈川県川崎市にある写真館「スタジオシモムラ」のサイトを訪問しました。
百聞は一見にしかずと申しますが、まさにその通りのサイトの造りになっています。
子供たちは男の子も女の子も生き生きしていて本当に楽しそうですね。写真館での撮影を楽しんでるみたいです。

七五三の晴れ着には和風と洋風がございますが、どちらもまったく素晴らしいです。
これなら子供たちに一生の思い出として残してあげることが可能ですね。
七五三写真 なら川崎の写真館「スタジオシモムラ」をお勧めいたします。

東京横浜にお住まいの方のためには七五三写真 東京七五三写真 横浜 とがございます。お近くの写真館までおでかけください。

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教師と心の病 業務負担の再点検で予防図れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 15, 2012)
Stress-burdened teachers need mental health support
教師と心の病 業務負担の再点検で予防図れ(5月14日付・読売社説)

The number of teachers suffering from psychological disorders has been trending upward recently.
 心の病を抱える教師が増加傾向にある。

The number of public school teachers who took time off because of such ailments as adjustment disorders and depression has doubled in 10 years to 5,407 in fiscal 2010, or 0.6 percent of the nation's teachers at such schools.
 適応障害やうつ病といった精神疾患で休職した公立学校の教師は、この10年間で倍増し、2010年度は在職者の0・6%にあたる5407人にのぼった。

The increase in people suffering from depression and other disorders in the workplace is already a serious social problem, but the growth rate of teachers suffering from these disorders far exceeds that of general patients.
 職場でのうつ病などの増加は社会問題化しているが、教師の場合、一般患者数の伸び率をはるかに上回るペースだ。

Naturally, this is a cause of concern for the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry, which says, "The situation is so serious it could also affect children."
 文部科学省が「深刻な状況にあり、子供たちにも影響が出る」と懸念するのは当然である。

===

Review working environment

About half of these teachers took leave less than two years after transferring to other schools.
 こうした教師の約半数は、異動で勤務先が変わってから2年未満に休職しているという。

Many teachers were probably transferred to other schools in April. Principals and other senior teachers need to keep a watchful eye on these teachers.
4月から新たな学校に赴任した教師も多かろう。校長など管理職は、十分に目配りをする必要がある。

Some experts say teachers who have no opportunity to chat with their colleagues and therefore tend to be isolated are apt to become psychologically distraught. It is very important to review the working environment based on this viewpoint.
 同僚と雑談を交わす機会が乏しく、孤立しがちな人が精神疾患に陥りやすい、との指摘もある。そんな観点から職場環境を見直してみることも大切ではないか。

Many teachers who took time off with psychological disorders are in their 40s and 50s. Because of their age, these teachers are expected to act as mentors for younger teachers.
 精神疾患の休職者は40~50歳代に多い。学校で指導的立場となる年代である。

In recent years, a conspicuous number of vice principals and head teachers have asked to be demoted to rank-and-file teachers. One of the major reasons for this might be the inordinate burdens they face, such as having to listen to parents' complaints and nurturing young teachers.
 最近は、副校長や教頭になっても、自ら希望して一般の教師などに降格するケースが目立つ。保護者からの苦情に耳を傾け、若手教師の育成にも当たらなければならないなど、業務が集中しがちなことも一因なのだろう。

It is important to check the burdens teachers have to shoulder to determine whether psychological disorders are the result of workplace pressures, and if measures should be taken to remedy the situation.
 仕事の重圧が精神疾患につながっていないか、学校組織の中で仕事の分担を点検し、改善を図っていくことが肝要である。

Some boards of education have already taken measures. For instance, the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education examines the mental health of all teachers during periodic health checkups. This is aimed at determining as early as possible whether they have any psychological disorders and carrying out appropriate treatment.
 対策に乗り出した教育委員会もある。例えば都教委では、定期健康診断時に全教師を対象にしたメンタルヘルスに関する調査を実施している。精神面で問題があれば早期に見いだし、適切な治療につなげるためだ。

However, only 15 percent of prefectures and ordinance-designated special cities and a mere 4 percent of cities, wards, towns and villages check teachers' mental health.
 ただ、こうした調査を行っているのは都道府県と政令市の15%、市区町村では4%にすぎない。

At the education ministry, an expert panel is compiling measures designed to prevent teachers from suffering psychological disorders. We hope the ministry will take note of measures that have proved effective and distribute the information to all boards of education and schools.
 文科省は現在、有識者会議で教師の精神疾患の予防策作りを進めている。効果の出ている取り組み事例を集め、教委や学校が情報を共有できるようにしてほしい。

===

Special care in quake-hit areas

We are extremely worried about the situation in areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. Many teachers in these areas suffered from the disaster, but have been doing their best at tasks ranging from managing evacuation centers to assisting students in their after-school studies more than a year after the disaster. They must feel completely worn out by the psychological strains they have had to endure.
 心配なのが、東日本大震災の被災地である。教師たちの多くはこの1年余り、自らも被災しながら、避難所の運営から放課後の子供たちの学習支援まで、力を尽くしてきた。精神的な疲労もたまっていることだろう。

According to a survey carried out by the Miyagi Prefectural Board of Education on teachers and school staff, 20 percent of respondents complained of poor physical health, while 30 percent in coastal districts that suffered major tsunami damage said they were stressed out.
 宮城県教委の調査では、教職員の2割が体調不良を訴え、津波の被害が大きかった沿岸部では3割がストレスを強く感じていた。

We hope the central government will provide assistance continuously to all teachers by providing them with counselors and carrying out other measures.
 カウンセラーの配置など、国の継続的な支援が求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 14, 2012)
(2012年5月14日01時35分  読売新聞)

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日中韓首脳会談 FTAと「北」で具体的成果を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 15, 2012)
Japan, China, South Korea cooperation promising
日中韓首脳会談 FTAと「北」で具体的成果を(5月14日付・読売社説)

It is hoped that broad cooperation between Japan, China and South Korea will result in substantial progress on such key issues as the formation of a free trade zone and North Korea's nuclear development program.
 日中韓3か国の幅広い協力を、自由貿易圏の形成や北朝鮮の核開発など重要課題における具体的な成果につなげたい。

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda agreed with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and South Korean President Lee Myung Bak in their summit meeting in Beijing to launch negotiations on a three-way free trade agreement by the end of this year.
 野田首相が北京で中国の温家宝首相、韓国の李明博大統領と会談し、日中韓の自由貿易協定(FTA)交渉を年内に開始することで合意した。

The three countries signed a three-party investment accord, which specifies the protection of intellectual property rights and other issues, a prerequisite for the envisaged FTA.
 3か国は、FTAの前提となる、知的財産権の保護などを定めた日中韓の投資協定に署名した。

Because South Korea initially indicated its priority was on concluding an FTA with China, it was considered uncertain whether the three countries would be able to agree on starting negotiations for the three-way accord. Given this background, we welcome the latest agreement among the three leaders.
 韓国が当初、中韓2国間のFTAを優先する姿勢を見せ、3か国の交渉入りが危ぶまれていただけに、今回の合意を歓迎したい。

It will be very significant if the three countries--which together account for about 20 percent of the global gross domestic product--form a free trade zone. In addition, it is vital for Japan's growth strategy to increase its trade with China and South Korea, countries that are rapidly boosting economic activities.
 世界の国内総生産(GDP)の約2割を占める日中韓が自由貿易圏を作る意義は大きい。急速に経済を拡大させている中韓両国との貿易を活発化することは、日本の成長戦略にも欠かせない。

===

Japan still stuck at home

China became positive about forming a three-party FTA partly because Japan began full-fledged moves toward participating in negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership framework, the establishment of which the United States, Australia and seven other countries are now negotiating.
 中国が日韓とのFTAに前向きになった背景には、米豪など9か国が交渉中の環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)への参加に日本が本格的に動き始めたことがある。

Yet, Japan is still unable to announce its participation in the TPP negotiations due to delayed coordination of different opinions at home. The later our country participates in the negotiations, the less room there will be for it to become involved in setting the rules of international trade within the framework.
 だが、日本は国内調整の遅れから、TPP交渉参加を表明できないでいる。参加が遅れるほど、日本は国際貿易のルール作りに関与する余地が狭まってしまう。

In addition to taking part in the U.S.-led TPP negotiations as soon as possible, the government must proactively promote reforms and strengthen competitiveness of the domestic farming sector. We believe such efforts would favorably affect the establishment of an FTA between Japan, China and South Korea.
 米国主導のTPP交渉に早期に参加するとともに、国内農業の改革と競争力強化に積極的に取り組む必要がある。それが日中韓FTAにも良い影響を与えよう。

The three leaders also agreed to beef up cooperation over North Korea's nuclear activities. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said it is important to prevent the country from resorting to further provocative actions, including a new nuclear test.
 首脳会談では、北朝鮮の核問題について日中韓の連携を強化することで一致した。野田首相は「核実験を含む、さらなる挑発行為を防ぐことが重要だ」と語った。

To this end, it will be vital that Japan, the United States and South Korea, which are taking a hard line with North Korea, and China, which takes a conciliatory approach to the country, keep in step with each other.
 肝心なのは、北朝鮮に厳しい日米韓などと、融和的な中国との足並みをそろえることだ。

===

Sanctions cranked up

North Korea launched a ballistic missile in mid-April. In response, the U.N. Security Council approved additional sanctions against the country on May 2, under which three more organizations related to Pyongyang, including a North Korean trading firm, were added to the list of entities subject to asset freezes their assets by U.N. members.
 先月中旬に弾道ミサイルを発射した北朝鮮に対し、国連安全保障理事会は今月2日、北朝鮮の貿易会社など3団体を資産凍結の対象に加える制裁を決定した。

Though Japan, the United States, South Korea and others proposed adding about 40 organizations to the asset freeze list, the number was reduced to three due to China's objection.
 日米韓などは約40団体の追加を提案したが、中国の反対で3団体にとどまった。

We regret to say that the latest sanctions are insufficient as a penalty against North Korea, which neglected calls from the international community not to go ahead with the ballistic missile launch.
国際社会の発射中止要求を無視した北朝鮮への懲罰として、十分とは言えない。

"This is the time to adopt more effective measures," President Lee said. To prevent a nuclear test by North Korea, it is important to step up pressure on Pyongyang to exercise self-restraint.
 北朝鮮の核実験の阻止には、李大統領が「より効果的な方策を講じる時点に来ている」と指摘したように、北朝鮮に自制を促す圧力を強めることが重要だ。

As a country that has influence on North Korea through its food and energy assistance, China has a great responsibility and role to play in this respect.
 食糧やエネルギー支援を通じて北朝鮮への一定の影響力を持つ中国の責任と役割は大きい。

China has so far maintained the stance of not provoking North Korea by any means. A change in Beijing's position would make cooperation between Japan, China and South Korea even more substantial.
 とにかく北朝鮮を刺激しない、という従来の姿勢を中国が転換することが、日中韓協力をより実の伴うものに高めよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 14, 2012)
(2012年5月14日01時35分  読売新聞)

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2012年5月14日 (月)

電力需給検証―全国で節電していこう

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 11
EDITORIAL: Energy-saving must begin in earnest now
電力需給検証―全国で節電していこう

In terms of supply and demand for electricity, how will Japan fare this summer? A government panel grappling with this issue has almost reached a conclusion. Scholars re-assessed the situation from the viewpoint of a third party on the assumption that no nuclear reactors would be operating.
 この夏の電力需給がどうなるか。政府の検証委員会の結論がほぼまとまった。原発が動かないことを前提に、学者らが第三者の目で細かく見直した。

The projected electricity shortages were smaller than the initial estimates presented by power companies. The panel said that in the case of Kansai Electric Power Co., which is expected to fall well short of the power supply needed, surplus electricity will be produced if the Oi nuclear power plant is restarted.
 不足する電力は、電力各社が当初示した推計よりも小さくなった。最も心配されている関西電力では、かりに大飯原発を動かせば、プラスに転じる試算も示された。

Still, the situation is very tight.
 それでも、ギリギリである。

Areas covered by KEPCO need to brace themselves and prepare every conceivable means to save electricity, based on the assumption that no nuclear reactors will be operating. Measures will include an ordinance to limit electricity use.
 関電管内では、原発ゼロを前提に、電力使用制限令を含めたあらゆる節電策を準備しておくべきだ。

Other regions must also set targets and do their utmost to conserve electricity. Even areas where supply is expected to exceed demand may suddenly face a shortage if major thermal power plants stop operating due to unforeseen problems.
 他の地域でも、目標を決め、積極的な節電に努めなければならない。プラスとされている地域でも、大きな火力発電所がトラブルで止まったりすれば一気にピンチになるからだ。

Power companies will have to make extensive use of transmission networks and offer surplus electricity to each other on a daily basis. It is important that all areas maintain as much surplus as possible to prepare for emergencies.
 電力各社は送電網を広域的に運用し、日常的に電力を融通することになる。いざという時に備え、どのエリアでも、できるだけ余裕をつくっておくことが大切だ。

The disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant last year drastically changed people’s ideas toward saving electricity. The government panel estimates that 10 million kilowatts--the equivalent to the output of roughly 10 nuclear reactors--was saved through last summer and this winter.
 福島第一原発の事故を経て、節電に対する人々の意識は大きく変わった。検証委は、昨夏とこの冬を通じ、原発約10基分にあたる1千万キロワット程度の節電が定着したとみている。

How much more electricity can we save? This is a challenge that awaits us this summer.
 これをどれぐらい伸ばすことができるかが、この夏のチャレンジだ。

Generally speaking, it is difficult to reduce power use in facilities such as data centers where computers are concentrated. However, the panel came across a number of such facilities that cut back on power use by 10 percent or more last summer.
 検証の過程では、コンピューターが集積し、一般に「節電が困難」とされるデータセンターなどでも、昨夏、10%以上の節電に成功した例が注目された。

They achieved this by adjusting their air conditioning and lighting and introducing systems that enable them to monitor electricity consumption on a real-time basis. Although these systems require substantial capital investment, they are effective in saving energy on a continuous basis. Users can expect to recover their investment after several years.
 空調や照明を調整したり、電気の使用量をリアルタイムで確認できるシステムを導入したりした結果だ。多少の設備投資はいるものの、継続的な省エネ効果が期待でき、数年で投資額は回収できる。

The panel also shed light on new businesses that make deals with power companies by uniting small-lot users, such as supermarkets and restaurants, to secure considerable power-saving.
 スーパーや飲食店など小口の需要家を束ねることで一定の節電量を確保し、電力会社と取引する新しいビジネスについても紹介された。

In addition to saving electricity during peak hours, if the same measures are taken between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. and between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m., the time used to pump water for pumped-storage power generation would be longer and electricity supply during the daytime would be increased.
 また、ピーク時の節電だけでなく、朝の7~9時や夜8時~午前1時ぐらいに節電すると、揚水発電で水をくみ上げる時間が長くなり、昼間の電力供給が増えることも確認された。

Representatives of power companies also attended the panel’s meetings and shared information. The utilities should use the panel’s data when asking users for cooperation or introducing “negawatt” transactions, which buy and sell saved electricity, and electricity rate menus that promote power savings.
 検証委には、電力各社も出席し、情報を共有した。節電量を売買するネガワット取引や節電を促す料金メニューを導入したり、管内の需要家に協力を求めたりする際に、こうしたデータを生かさない手はない。

The third-party panel’s re-examination of supply and demand was implemented in response to strong public distrust of information released by power companies. Also, in order to recover public trust, all electric power companies must tackle energy-saving in earnest.
 第三者による需給検証は、電力会社が発信する情報への不信が強いことから実施された。信頼回復のためにも、全社をあげて取り組むべきだ。

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外資の森林買収 水源地保全のルール作り急げ

タイでは外国人の土地購入は固く禁止されています。これが当り前ではないでしょうか。
江戸時代や明治の初期、娘を借金の肩代わりとして差し出す悪しき風習がありました。
国土を外国人に売り渡すことは、これと同じようなものではないでしょうか。
法改正を望みます。

(スラチャイ)

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 14, 2012)
Establish rules to protect watershed areas quickly
外資の森林買収 水源地保全のルール作り急げ (5月13日付・読売社説)

Foreign purchases of Japan's woodlands are on the rise.
 外国資本による森林の買収が拡大している。

A total of 157 hectares of forest was acquired with foreign capital in 2011, almost four times the amount from a year earlier, according to data compiled by the Forestry Agency and the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry. The total from 2006 to 2011 reached as much as 785 hectares in seven prefectures, including Hokkaido, where nearly 90 percent of such purchases took place.
 林野庁と国土交通省がまとめた2011年の買収実績は157ヘクタールで、前年の約4倍に増加した。06年からの累計は、7道県で785ヘクタールに及び、北海道が全体の9割以上を占めている。

However, a survey of prefectural governments by The Yomiuri Shimbun this spring found the total area purchased with foreign capital reached 1,100 hectares, greatly exceeding the government's figures.
 読売新聞が今春、都道府県を対象に実施した調査では、買収面積は計1100ヘクタールに達し、政府の統計を大きく上回った。

As cases have been coming to light of Chinese companies acquiring land under the names of Japanese intermediary firms, the survey finding is probably just the tip of the iceberg.
 中国企業などが、仲介する日本企業の名義で買収する事例も表面化しており、調査結果は「氷山の一角」に過ぎないだろう。

Worrisome is the fact that many of the acquired forested areas are in watersheds on which local communities depend. There have also been acquisitions of forested areas for purposes that are not clear. Should vital watershed areas be developed without restraint, the daily lives of local people could be threatened.
 懸念されるのは、買収案件に地域の水源にかかる森林が多く含まれていることだ。利用目的がはっきりしないケースもある。水源地が乱開発される事態になれば、住民生活が脅かされかねない。

Even among those Western countries where land ownership by foreigners is permitted, a number of them restrict the ownership or development of areas near water sources.
 外国人の土地保有を認める欧米でも、水源地周辺は所有や開発を規制している国が多い。

===

Keep an eagle eye on forests

The government must become more aware of land ownership and transactions, and discuss restrictions for protecting these areas.
政府は、水源地の売買や保有の実態を十分把握し、保全のために必要な規制を検討すべきである。

With its enforcement last month, the revised Forest Law makes it mandatory for transactions involving forest lots of less than one hectare to be reported to authorities upon acquisition. Previously, there was no reporting requirement for lots of that size.
 4月に施行された改正森林法は、従来は対象外だった1ヘクタール未満の森林売買についても取得後の届け出義務を課した。

Although the enforcement of the revision is a step forward, it is hardly sufficient since authorities will learn of such purchases only after the deals are made.
一歩前進ではあるが、事後に取引を把握するため、十分とは言い難い。

With their own ordinances enforced in April, the prefectural governments of Hokkaido and Saitama have made it obligatory for land transactions around the headwaters of rivers to be reported to them in advance.
 北海道と埼玉県は4月施行の条例で、水源周辺の土地取引には事前の届け出を義務付けた。

Four other prefectures, including Yamagata and Gunma, are considering the enactment of similar ordinances.
山形、群馬など4県も同様の条例制定を検討中という。

We approve of local governments proactively taking defensive measures. Upon learning of a questionable potential transaction involving land in a vital watershed, local governments may be able to take such countermeasures as acquiring the area themselves.
 自治体が独自の防衛策に乗り出したのは評価できる。事前に動きを把握できれば、自治体の買い上げなど対抗策も可能になろう。

Yet under the Japanese legal system, land dealings themselves cannot be restricted, making it unclear whether such ordinances will be effective.
 ただ、日本の法制度では、土地取引自体は規制できず、条例が有効かどうかは不透明だ。

At the same time, the role of foreign capital in revitalizing the local economy is significant. What is needed is a rule to ensure that forest land transactions the local governments cannot currently keep an eye on are brought to light, rather than one to merely inflame wariness against foreign capital to no purpose.
 一方、外資の誘致が地域経済の活性化に果たす役割は、小さくない。外資への警戒感をいたずらにあおるのではなく、行政の目が届かない山林取引を放置しないようなルール作りが必要だ。

===

Controls must not go too far

Legal provisions are needed to define the lands to be protected, such as vital watershed areas, and to restrict trading in those areas specifically.
 水源林など守るべき土地を明確化し、そこでは特例的に取引を規制する法整備が求められる。

The protection of the headwaters of rivers is an important issue for national security. Compared to local governments, however, the central government has less sense of crisis. Cooperative links among relevant ministries have not been formed.
 水源林保全は国の安全保障上も重要な課題である。だが、自治体に比べ、政府の危機感は薄い。関係省庁の連携もできていない。

The ruling Democratic Party of Japan launched a working-group panel concerning land acquisition by foreigners in January last year and advocates a policy of studying the possibility of regulating foreign acquisition of areas near the headwaters of rivers or Self-Defense Forces facilities.
 民主党は、外国人による土地取得に関する作業部会を昨年1月に発足させ、水源地や自衛隊関連施設の周辺などを対象に規制を検討する方針を掲げている。

We hope the government will more clearly recognize the importance of conservation of national land and exercise political leadership to take comprehensive measures to deal with the issue.
 国土保全の重要性を認識し、政治主導で包括的な対策を講じてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 13, 2012)
(2012年5月13日01時44分  読売新聞)

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2012年5月13日 (日)

社説:プーチン新体制 関係深めて突破口探れ

May 11, 2012(Mainichi Japan)
Editorial: Japan should work with Russia to solve territorial dispute as Putin becomes president
社説:プーチン新体制 関係深めて突破口探れ

Japan should seek a breakthrough in its deadlocked territorial dispute with Russia by strengthening its relations with the new administration of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
(プーチン新政権との関係強化で行き詰まっている北方領土問題も解決して欲しい trans. by srachai )

Putin, former prime minister, has been sworn in as president again and appointed his predecessor Dmitry Medvedev as prime minister, whose role is to handle domestic affairs.
 ロシアでプーチン前首相が4年ぶりに大統領に復帰し、メドベージェフ前大統領はその下で内政を取り仕切る首相に就任した。

In other words, the two swapped their positions, and Putin, who had been the second-in-command in the Russian government under the Constitution, has become the top leader again and is expected to show his strong leadership in governing the country.
2人が役どころをかえた形だが、これまで憲法上は「ナンバー2」だったプーチン氏が名実ともに国家指導者の座に返り咲き、ロシアの一層の国力強化に向けて強い主導権を発揮していくことになるだろう。

However, the second Putin administration, which follows his first administration from 2000 to 2008, faces a thorny path.
 だが、00~08年に続く「第2次プーチン政権」の船出は波乱含みだ。

More than 20,000 citizens gathered for a demonstration in Moscow on May 6 to express their opposition to Putin's return to the presidency, and some of them clashed with police, leading to the arrests of over 400 people.
大統領就任式を前に6日、プーチン氏の復帰に反対するモスクワの抗議デモに2万人以上が集まり、一部が警官隊と衝突して400人以上が拘束された。

Massive demonstrations against Putin, which had continued since a lower house election in December last year, did not cause major confusion.
 昨年12月の下院選後、今年3月の大統領選をはさんで続いてきた政権への大規模な抗議行動は、これまで大きな混乱はなかった。

This time, however, some participants went off the designated course during their demonstration march and security authorities suppressed them.
新体制の船出としては異例の事態といえる。

It is certain that such confusion and disturbance will continue to occur frequently unless the government changes its autocratic nature, which is represented by its lack of a system to respond to the public's dissatisfaction.
今回はデモ隊の一部が既定のコースを外れ、当局が力で抑え込みにかかった。
国民の不満をくみ上げる政治システムに欠ける強権的な政権の体質が変わらなければ、こうした混乱が今後も頻発するのは確実だ。

One cannot help but wonder whether Putin is serious about strengthening Russia's democracy as he pledged in his inaugural address.
プーチン氏は、就任あいさつで約束した「ロシアの民主主義の強化」に真剣に取り組むつもりなのか。

He should be aware that the international community as a whole is worried about Russia's democracy.
国際社会に懸念があることを自覚してもらいたい。

On the diplomatic front, concerns have been voiced over whether Putin will revive the hard line that he had adopted when he was president from 2000 and 2008.
 外交政策でも、プーチン氏が前回の大統領時代にとった強硬路線の復活を懸念する声がある。

He has so far shown no sign of responding to U.S. President Barack Obama's proposal to launch negotiations toward further arms reductions.
オバマ米大統領からの一層の核軍縮へ向けた交渉開始の呼びかけには、今のところ応じる気配は見せておらず、

Moreover, he reportedly has no intention of attending the Group of Eight summit meeting to be held in the United States in May.
5月に米国で開かれる主要8カ国(G8)首脳会議にも出席しないという。

Putin is highly likely to make his diplomatic debut since he assumed the presidency again at a summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
 大統領復帰の「外交デビュー」は6月初めに北京で開かれる上海協力機構の首脳会議になる可能性が高い。

In September, he will host a summit meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum to be held in Vladivostok, which will be the first such conference to be held in Russia.
9月には極東ウラジオストクで、ロシアで初めてのアジア太平洋経済協力会議(APEC)首脳会議を主催する。

These show that Putin places priority on strengthening Russia's relations with Asian countries.
当面はプーチン氏がアジアとの関係強化を優先課題と考えていることの表れといえる。

In the first presidential decree he issued following his inauguration, Putin cited the promotion of reciprocal cooperation with Japan as one of his key policies.
 就任にあたって発出した大統領令の中では、日本との「互恵協力の発展」を基本路線の一つに掲げた。

However, Putin's inauguration as president has drawn mixed reactions in Japan, with some placing high expectations on his policy of attaching importance to Russia's ties with Asian countries and others warning against optimism because Moscow's demand for compromise from Japan over the bilateral territorial dispute remains unchanged.
日本では、プーチン氏のアジア重視路線に期待する声と、北方領土問題で日本に譲歩を迫る姿勢は変わらないとして期待を戒める声がある。

These two views appear to conflict with each other, but both are right.
この二つは一見矛盾するようだが、いずれも正しい。

Behind Putin's policy of attaching importance to Russia's ties with Asia is his hard-headed strategy of using Asia's economic dynamism, including Japan's advanced technology, to develop the country's Far Eastern region and modernize the country's economy.
日本の高度な技術力などアジアの経済活力を取り込み、シベリア・極東地域の発展と国家経済の近代化につなげたいプーチン氏の冷徹な国家戦略がアジア重視の背景にある。

Japan should position its diplomacy toward Russia, including its economic cooperation, as a pillar of its overall national strategy and deepen its relations with Russia's new administration in an effort to seek a breakthrough in the territorial dispute.
日本も、エネルギーなどの経済協力も含めた対露外交を大局的な国家戦略の中に位置づけ、ロシア新政権との関係を深める中から領土問題解決の突破口を探るべきだ。

毎日新聞 2012年05月11日 02時30分

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2012年5月12日 (土)

出先機関改革 分権へ地方の力量が問われる

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 12, 2012)
Govts' abilities to be tested over decentralization of power
出先機関改革 分権へ地方の力量が問われる(5月11日付・読売社説)

How serious is the central government about the decentralization of power? The task will test not only the central government's but also local governments' resolve and abilities.
 地方分権にどこまで本気で取り組むのか。政府だけでなく、地方の覚悟と能力も試されよう。

The central government has decided on a basic plan outlining the structure of a special system, which will enable it to transfer administrative duties and authority of some branch offices to local governments.
 政府が、国の出先機関の事務や権限を地方に移譲する特例制度の「基本構成案」を決定した。

Under the system, the central government will shift in principle the entire administration, staff and financial resources of three bodies--the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry's regional development bureaus; the trade ministry's regional bureaus of economy, trade and industry; and the Environment Ministry's regional environment offices--to regional alliances comprised of prefectures in each administrative regional bloc. The decision to accept the transfer of administrative power will be left to each alliance.
 国土交通省地方整備局、経済産業省経済産業局、環境省地方環境事務所の3機関について、希望する各地域ブロックの都道府県で構成する「特定広域連合」に事務、職員、財源を原則丸ごと移す。

The central government reportedly plans to submit a bill for the plan to the Diet this month with the aim of achieving the transfer of administrative functions in fiscal 2014.
 政府は月内にも、関連法案を決定、国会に提出し、2014年度の事務移譲を目指すという。

By allowing regional alliances to take over tasks such as managing national roads and government-designated first-grade rivers and authorizing private projects, the central government intends to eliminate administrative overlaps and boost administrative efficiency and regional vitality. A review of central government branches is a major pillar of the plan to decentralize power.
 国道や1級河川の管理、民間事業の許認可などの事務を地方に移すことで、国と地方の二重行政を排し、事務の効率化や地方の活性化につなげる。出先機関の見直しは地方分権の大きな柱である。

===

Central govt role vital at times

In the recovery and rebuilding efforts following last year's Great East Japan Earthquake, however, local offices of the central government, such as the Tohoku Regional Development Bureau, were recognized for their important contributions. Achieving swift reconstruction requires the central government to play a more active role without relegating the work to disaster-hit municipalities.
 昨年の東日本大震災の復旧・復興で、東北地方整備局などの出先機関の役割が再評価された。迅速な復興には、被災自治体任せにせず、政府がより積極的な役割を果たすことが必要だからだ。

The infrastructure ministry initially demanded regional alliances be under the central government's control and supervision even after administrative functions are transferred. But the central government decided not to retain such authority except in times of major disasters. However, even in non-disaster times, it will maintain some involvement, such as participating in discussions on and approving regional matters.
 国交省は、事務移譲後も、特定広域連合に対する国の指揮監督権を認めるよう主張したが、大規模災害時を除き、平時の指揮監督権は認めないことで決着した。ただし、平時でも、協議や同意などの形で国の関与はある程度残る。

Striking a balance between the decentralization of power and the central government's flexibility during emergencies is important, and the basic plan reasonably addresses this issue.
 地方分権と、非常時における国の機動的な役割とのバランスを取ることが重要であり、基本構成案は妥当な内容と言える。

===

Flexibility is the key

Currently, three administrative blocs--Kansai, Kyushu and Shikoku--demand administrative power be transferred, but there are issues to be resolved.
 現在、関西、九州、四国の3ブロックが事務移譲を希望しているが、解決すべき課題もある。

Under the basic plan, the Kansai regional alliance cannot take over all administrative functions currently handled by the central government's local offices because Nara Prefecture is not a member of the alliance. Also, prefectural governments in the Kyushu bloc have not reached an agreement to create a regional alliance.  関西広域連合は、奈良県が未加入で、出先機関の管轄区域全体をカバーしておらず、現行案では事務を引き受けられない。九州は、広域連合を作る合意がない。

Furthermore, the jurisdictions of local offices of the central government vary according to ministries. To move forward with the administrative transfer, a flexible system is needed to deal with such complications.
 現在の出先機関の管轄区域は省ごとに異なる例もある。事務移譲を進めるには、柔軟に運用できる仕組みにする必要がある。

Some regional administrative blocs, such as Hokkaido and Okinawa Prefecture, rather want the central government to maintain its involvement and continue extending support to local governments or take a wait-and-see attitude, instead of seeking the transfer of administrative work.
 北海道や沖縄のように、事務移譲を求めず、むしろ国の関与や支援の継続を希望したり、様子見したりしているブロックもある。

Whether the Kansai and other alliances are successful is crucial to the reform of central government branches. Local governments should also take on increased responsibility after the transfer of administrative work is complete.
 関西などの先行事例がうまく機能するかどうかが、出先機関改革のカギを握る。地方にも、事務移譲に伴う責任の増大を引き受ける力量が求められる。

Meanwhile, Saitama and Saga prefectures have been designated as "HelloWork special zones." Under this designation, they will work together on tasks such as free job placement services with the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry's branch offices beginning this autumn.
 埼玉、佐賀両県は「ハローワーク特区」に指定され、今秋から無料職業紹介業務などで厚生労働省の出先機関と連携する。

It is vital for all parties concerned to carry out the transfer of administrative power while assessing whether operations are being properly consolidated or whether the reform is causing a negative impact.
 業務が合理化されるのか、弊害は生じないかを見極めつつ、事務移譲を進めることが大切だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 11, 2012)
(2012年5月11日01時28分  読売新聞)

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生活保護見直し 自立を促し不正許さぬ制度に

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 12, 2012)
Reform welfare system to help those helping themselves
生活保護見直し 自立を促し不正許さぬ制度に(5月11日付・読売社説)

As the economic situation continues to deteriorate, the number of people receiving welfare benefits has risen to almost 2.1 million. Reforming the welfare system to help people willing to work become self-reliant is an urgent task.
 経済情勢の悪化を背景に、生活保護の受給者が増え続け、210万人に迫っている。働く意欲のある人の自立を助ける制度改革が急務である。

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry has presented to the Social Security Council a basic draft for discussions on reforming the welfare system. The ministry plans to flesh out welfare reform as a "livelihood support strategy" by autumn.
 厚生労働省は、生活保護制度を改革するため、社会保障審議会に議論のたたき台を示した。秋までに「生活支援戦略」として具体化する。

One prominent feature of the plan is the proposed establishment of a "working income accumulation system." Under this system, a certain proportion of the income received by a welfare recipient would be accumulated and given in a lump sum when they get off welfare.
 注目されるのは、新設を検討する「就労収入積立制度」だ。働いて得た収入の一定割合を積み立て、生活保護から脱した時にまとめて受け取る仕組みである。

One reason for ballooning welfare expenses has been the increase in welfare recipients in the prime of their working life. In recent years, many nonregular employees who are not enrolled in unemployment insurance immediately ended up relying on welfare benefits after losing their job.
 生活保護の膨張の一因は、働き盛り世代の受給者の増加にある。近年は雇用保険に未加入の非正規労働者が、失業によって一気に生活保護に陥るケースが目立つ。

Although people want to get off welfare, it is difficult for many to find a job that pays well. The reality is that a worker's income gradually rises as their career progresses.
 生活保護から抜け出したくても収入のよい仕事に就くのは容易ではない。徐々に収入を増やしていく、というのが現実だ。

===

Stamp out fraud

Under the current system, however, if welfare recipients work and earn income, the benefits they receive will in principle be cut by the amount they earned. Observers have pointed out that this system drains a recipient's will to get off welfare because they end up with the same amount of money regardless of whether they work or not.
 ところが現行制度は原則として働いて収入を得ると、その分、生活保護の給付額がカットされる。働いても働かなくても同じでは、生活保護から脱却しようという意欲をそぐ、と指摘されていた。

Therefore, the working income accumulation system can be expected to have a positive effect in this regard. The money a worker accumulates will not result in a cut in their welfare benefits. Welfare recipients thus will be able to better prepare financially for the future and their will to work and become self-reliant will grow. Their income will increase and the government's welfare expenditures will fall.
 それだけに、積立制度には効果が期待される。積み立て分は給付減額の対象とはならない。将来に備えることができ、就労、自立への意欲は高まろう。収入全体が増え、給付される公費も減る。

We suggest the government quickly settle the details of the envisaged system, including the percentage of income that will be accumulated, and promptly introduce it even on a trial basis.
 どの程度の割合で積み立てるかなど細部の設計を急ぎ、試験的にでも速やかに実行してはどうか。

At the same time, it may be necessary to create more job opportunities for welfare recipients, including positions at public facilities.
併せて、公共施設の業務など就労機会を作ることも必要だろう。

Welfare benefits are expected to exceed 3.7 trillion yen this fiscal year. In the past five years, the amount has increased by as much as 1 trillion yen.
 生活保護の給付総額は今年度、3兆7000億円を超える見通しだ。この5年間で、1兆円も膨らんでいる。

Welfare fraud must be thoroughly prevented to stop this figure from rising further. This is especially true for medical care benefits, which account for about half of total welfare benefit expenses.
これを抑制するためにも不正の防止は徹底すべきだ。特に、生活保護費の約半分を占める医療給付である。

===

LDP must lend a hand

Currently, people on welfare are exempted from paying medical expenses, and in many cases they receive more medical examinations than necessary. Also, there are unscrupulous medical institutions that earn medical treatment fees by examining mostly welfare recipients.
 生活保護受給者は医療費の自己負担がなく、必要以上の診療を受けていることが少なくない。受給者ばかりを集め、診療報酬を稼ぐ悪質な医療機関も存在する。

The ministry is discussing strengthening measures to prevent fraud, including establishing a system in which another doctor will be asked to decide whether medical examinations are being conducted appropriately. Such steps will be essential for making welfare benefit expenses more transparent.
 厚労省は、診療内容が適正かどうか別の医師にも判断を求める制度など、不正防止の強化策を検討中だ。生活保護費の透明性を高めるために不可欠である。

The main opposition Liberal Democratic Party, which is discussing a counterproposal for integrated reform of the social security and tax systems, also heavily favors boosting welfare recipients' self-reliance. The LDP has presented a policy of curbing benefits by placing greater emphasis on assistance for welfare recipients trying to stand on their own feet.
 社会保障と税の一体改革で対案を検討中の自民党も、「自助」を重視する立場から、自立支援策に力点を置いて生活保護給付を抑制する方針を打ち出している。

A review of welfare benefit payments also is an important pillar of the integrated reform. The ruling and opposition parties should work together to advance welfare system reform from various angles.
 生活保護の見直しも、一体改革の重要な柱である。与野党で力を合わせ、多角的に制度改革を進めるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 11, 2012)
(2012年5月11日01時28分  読売新聞)

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2012年5月11日 (金)

新日鉄対ポスコ 日本の技術流出を食い止めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 11, 2012)
Stop outflow of Japan's cutting-edge technology
新日鉄対ポスコ 日本の技術流出を食い止めよ(5月10日付・読売社説)

Japanese companies' cutting-edge technology is a source of industrial competitiveness and domestic growth. The outflow of technology to foreign companies must be stopped.
 日本企業の最先端技術は、産業競争力や日本の成長の源泉である。外国企業への技術流出を食い止めねばならない。

Nippon Steel Corp. has filed a civil lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court against South Korea's largest steelmaker, POSCO Co., and a former employee of Nippon Steel's technical department based on the Unfair Competition Prevention Law.
 新日本製鉄が、韓国の鉄鋼最大手ポスコと新日鉄の技術部門にいた元社員を相手取り、不正競争防止法に基づく民事訴訟を東京地裁に起こした。

The law prohibits illicitly taking trade secrets out of a company, such as manufacturing technology, and bans third parties from acquiring such secrets.
 不正競争防止法は、企業の製造技術などの「営業秘密」を外部に不正に持ち出したり、他者が取得したりすることを禁じている。

Nippon Steel claims POSCO illegally acquired technology regarding its high-function steel sheets through the former employee and manufactured the sheets. It is seeking 100 billion yen in damages and an injunction to stop POSCO's manufacture and sale of the specialized steel sheets.
 新日鉄は、元社員を通じて、高機能鋼板の技術をポスコが不正に取得して製造したと主張し、1000億円の損害賠償と、鋼板の製造販売の差し止めを求めた。

It is rare for Japanese companies to take a case involving the outflow of technology to a court.
 日本企業が技術流出を巡り、司法の場に訴えるのは異例だ。

===

Firm stance praiseworthy

Nippon Steel said it has documents supporting its claim of POSCO's illicit acquisition of its technology. The two companies formed an alliance to procure raw materials and other items, but Nippon Steel should be praised for taking a resolute attitude over the outflow of technology.
 新日鉄は、ポスコの不正取得を裏付ける資料を確保しているという。両社は原料調達などで提携関係にあるが、新日鉄が技術流出について毅然(きぜん)とした姿勢を示したことは評価できよう。

The steel sheets at the center of the dispute are used in transformers at power plants. Nippon Steel has spent about 40 years since the 1960s developing the sheets at a cost of several tens of billions of yen.
 焦点の鋼板は発電所の変圧器の部品に使われる。新日鉄は1960年代から約40年かけて開発し、開発費は数百億円に上った。

As demand for electricity infrastructure has been increasing in emerging countries, smart grids--next-generation power transmission networks that enable more efficient use of electricity--appear to be a promising area for developed countries. Rapid growth in relevant markets is expected, and high-function steel sheets will be an important strategic product.
 新興国の電力インフラ需要が拡大し、先進国では、電力の効率利用を図る次世代送電網(スマートグリッド)が有望だ。市場の急成長が見込まれる中、高機能鋼板は重要な戦略製品となる。

When he retired, the former Nippon Steel employee signed a confidentiality agreement with the company under which he promised not to leak trade secrets. However, Nippon Steel asserts there is suspicion the former employee was involved in leaking its technology to POSCO after leaving.
 問題の元社員は退職の際、営業秘密を漏えいしないなどの秘密保持契約を会社側と結んでいたが、新日鉄は、元社員が退職後、ポスコへの技術流出に関与した疑いがあると主張している。

Nippon Steel's lawsuit against POSCO sounds a warning to all Japanese industries engaged in global competition.
 新日鉄の提訴は、グローバル競争を展開している日本の全産業界への警鐘となろう。

There is a risk that cutting-edge technology--not only in the steel industry but in all other industries, including electronics and automobiles--might flow out to rival companies. Previously, there were many suspicious cases in which information concerning important cutting-edge technology might have been leaked to South Korean and Chinese companies.
 鉄鋼業界に限らず、電機や自動車などあらゆる産業で、最先端技術がライバル企業に流出する恐れがある。韓国や中国の企業に重要なハイテク技術の情報が漏えいしたという疑惑も多々あった。

===

Strengthen measures

Japanese companies should take the latest case as an opportunity to further strengthen their measures to prevent the outflow of technology. First, they must tighten in-house management of trade secrets such as the most advanced technology and thoroughly ensure compliance.
 今回の問題を機に、各社は技術流出対策を一段と強化すべきだ。まず、最先端技術などの営業秘密の社内管理を厳格化し、コンプライアンス(法令順守)の徹底を図らねばならない。

When employees who were in a position to be involved in trade secrets retire, companies should sign confidentiality agreements with them and have them abide by the contracts. According to a survey conducted by the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry, however, only about 20 percent of companies have signed such agreements with former employees.
 営業秘密に関与する立場にいた社員の退職時には、秘密保持契約を結び、順守させるべきだ。経済産業省の調査では、契約を結んでいる企業は約2割にとどまる。

The ministry has decided to soon conduct a survey on the damage caused by technology outflow and the preventive measures currently in place, targeting 10,000 companies in the country. We hope the public and private sectors will strengthen their cooperation to thoroughly implement measures to head off the outflow of technology based on the results of the survey.
 経産省は近く、1万社を対象に技術流出の被害や防止策を調査する方針を決めた。調査結果を基に官民が連携を強化し、流出対策の徹底を図ってもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 10, 2012)
(2012年5月10日01時46分  読売新聞)

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プーチン大統領 見定めたいアジア重視戦略

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 11, 2012)
Putin's diplomatic strategies require careful scrutiny
プーチン大統領 見定めたいアジア重視戦略(5月10日付・読売社説)

After an interval of four years, Vladimir Putin has returned to the post of Russian president. His new administration will have its hands full dealing with a stack of problems.
 ロシアでプーチン氏が4年ぶりに大統領に復帰した。多くの難題を抱えた新体制発足である。

"We have strengthened our country and returned our dignity as a great nation," Putin said at his inauguration ceremony. Putin's message conveyed his intention to continue pursuing a strong Russia.
 就任式で、プーチン氏は、「我々は国を強くし、偉大な国民の誇りを取り戻した」と述べ、今後も強いロシアを追求する姿勢を示した。

Many ears pricked up when Putin recently expressed a specific economic goal of becoming one of the world's top five economies in the near future.
 具体的な目標として、世界5位以内の経済大国入りを掲げていることが注目される。

However, to achieve this target, Russia will first need to break free from its excessive dependence on natural resources and develop its domestic industries, such as manufacturing, so that they are competitive in international markets. It is also vital that Russia introduce cutting-edge technologies.
 それには、何よりも、資源依存体質を変え、国際競争力を持つ製造業など国内産業を育成しなければならない。先端技術の導入は不可欠である。

Russia will not be able to obtain the trust of domestic and foreign investors without creating fair markets and an environment that attracts foreign investment.
 公正な市場の形成に取り組み、外国の投資を呼び込むための環境を整備しなければ、国内外から信頼は得られない。

The new president urgently needs to eradicate the widespread corruption in his country and establish the rule of law. Putin was expected to tackle these issues when he first took office in 2000, but the problems remain unresolved.
 ロシア社会にはびこる汚職を一掃し、法治を確立することが急務だ。プーチン氏が2000年に初めて大統領になった時以来の宿題だが、依然改善できずにいる。

===

Public discontent growing

The fact that thousands of people participated in a demonstration held on the eve of Putin's inauguration shows how frustrated many Russians are with the current state of affairs.
 就任式前日、多くの市民が参加して反プーチン集会が開かれたのは、不満の大きさの表れだ。

To obtain the backing of middle-class Russians seeking change, Putin will need to boldly reform the nation's political and administrative structures. In fact, this will be the only way Russia can achieve economic development.
 変革を求める中間層からも支持を得られるように、政治・行政の大胆な見直しを進めてこそ、経済発展も可能となろう。

In one of Putin's first presidential orders, he stated a policy of strengthening cooperation with the Asia-Pacific region.
 プーチン氏は、就任後最初の大統領令で、アジア太平洋との連携を強化する方針を示した。

He said Moscow plans to establish mutually beneficial, cooperative relationships with nations such as Japan, South Korea and Australia, and to deepen ties with China and India.
 中国、インドなどとの関係を深める一方、日本、韓国、オーストラリアなどとも互恵協力関係の構築を図りたいとしている。

As long as Russia aspires to become a major economic power, it is unsurprising that the country is looking closely at the Asia-Pacific region, which has become a hub of the world's economic growth.
 経済大国化を目指す以上、世界の成長拠点であるアジア太平洋に着目したのは当然だ。

In September, an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting will be held in Vladivostok. Russia will likely use this meeting as a stepping stone for strengthening economic cooperation with Asia-Pacific nations.
 9月にウラジオストクで開くアジア太平洋経済協力会議(APEC)首脳会議を、連携強化の足掛かりにする狙いがあろう。

===

Don't forget northern territories

Russia has recently become increasingly important to Japan as a supplier of liquefied natural gas--a main fuel for thermal power plants. Strengthening bilateral economic cooperation in the energy field would benefit both countries.
 日本にとって、火力発電所の主力燃料となる液化天然ガス(LNG)をロシアから輸入することは、重要性を増している。エネルギー分野で経済協力を拡大することは日露両国に有益だろう。

However, we should not forget the issue of the Russian-held northern territories off Hokkaido. The Japan-Russia relationship soured during the administration of Putin's predecessor, Dmitry Medvedev. Moscow expressed hope for developing joint economic activities on the four islands, but never tried to move territorial talks forward.
 しかし、北方領土問題を忘れてはならない。メドベージェフ前大統領のもとで、日露関係は険悪化した。ロシア側は、日露両国による北方4島での共同経済活動には期待感を示すものの、領土交渉を動かす考えはなかった。

In his third term, Putin will likely take a tough line on foreign policies due to his unstable political footing caused by domestic concerns. Japan should not expect too much on the development of territorial talks.
 大統領として3期目に入ったプーチン氏は、内政で足元が揺れているだけに、対外的には強い姿勢を崩すまい。交渉進展に大きな期待を抱くのは禁物である。

The Japanese government must rebuild its strategy vis-a-vis Russia after thoroughly examining Putin's diplomatic policies.
 日本政府は、プーチン氏の外交方針を十分見極めて、対露戦略を再構築しなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 10, 2012)
(2012年5月10日01時46分  読売新聞)

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2012年5月10日 (木)

小沢氏処分解除 「消費税」反対なら離党が筋だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 10, 2012)
If Ozawa opposes tax hike, it's time for him to leave DPJ
小沢氏処分解除 「消費税」反対なら離党が筋だ(5月9日付・読売社説)

The Democratic Party of Japan decided Tuesday to lift the suspension of former DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa's party membership. The move followed last month's court decision that found Ozawa not guilty of falsely reporting political funds handled by his political funds management body, Rikuzan-kai.
 民主党の常任幹事会は8日、陸山会事件で無罪判決を受けた小沢一郎元代表の党員資格停止処分の解除を決定した。

In February 2011, after Ozawa had been indicted on charges of violating the Political Funds Control Law, the then party leadership "suspended his party membership until a court ruling on his case becomes final."
 小沢氏が政治資金規正法違反で強制起訴された後の昨年2月、当時の民主党執行部は、「判決確定まで党員資格停止」とする処分を決めた。

The party decided to lift the suspension effective from Thursday--the deadline for court-designated lawyers acting as prosecutors to decide whether to appeal the not-guilty ruling. Moreover, the party agreed it would not change its decision even if the lawyers appeal the case.
 にもかかわらず、控訴期限の10日付の解除とし、指定弁護士が控訴しても変更しないという。

DPJ Secretary General Azuma Koshiishi justified this decision by saying, "It's our top priority to ensure full party unity," a reference to such issues as the government's plan for integrated reform of the social security and tax systems.
 その理由について、輿石幹事長は、社会保障と税の一体改革などを挙げ、「党内の一致結束が最優先の課題だ」と強調した。

Indeed, party unity is of the essence now if the DPJ is to resolve a host of challenges, including deliberations on the bill for the planned consumption tax rate increase. There are no defects in the procedure to lift Ozawa's suspension because the decision was approved at the DPJ's executive and standing officers councils.
 確かに、消費税率引き上げ関連法案など山積する課題解決のために党内がまとまるべき時だ。役員会、常任幹事会を経て解除を決めており、手続きに瑕疵(かし)はない。

===

Time to change stance

However, restoring Ozawa's party membership should have hinged on Ozawa himself changing his stance. First and foremost, he should end his opposition to the bill on the consumption tax increase.
 だが、処分解除で問われるのは小沢氏自身が姿勢を改めることである。まずは、消費増税法案への反対の矛を収めてもらいたい。

The consumption tax hike, which will generate additional fiscal resources for social security programs, was a major point of contention in the DPJ presidential election in late August last year. The party elected Yoshihiko Noda, an advocate of a tax increase, as president. Considerable time was later spent discussing the issue before the tax increase was decided by the party and the Cabinet.
 社会保障財源となる消費税率の引き上げ問題は、昨年8月末の党代表選で大きな争点となった。民主党は、引き上げを主張する野田氏を代表に選び、しかも、その後、時間をかけて丁寧に議論して法案を党と内閣で決定してきた。

With Ozawa's comments and actions regarding the consumption tax hike bill in mind, Noda said, "I want all party members to toe the party line, no matter who they are."
 野田首相は、消費増税法案に関する小沢氏の言動も念頭に「何人たりとも党員であるならば方針に従ってほしい」と述べている。

If Ozawa regains his party membership, it should be a given that he follows the party line. If he continues to oppose the bill, leaving the party must be his only option.
 小沢氏は、党員資格を回復する以上、党の方針に従うのが当たり前だろう。それでも法案に反対を貫く、というのであれば、離党するのが筋である。

Ozawa has a responsibility to explain in the Diet about the "politics and money" connection that led to three of his former secretaries being handed guilty rulings in the Rikuzan-kai case. The Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito confirmed Tuesday that they would call on Ozawa to testify in the Diet as a sworn witness.
 小沢氏には、陸山会事件で元秘書3人に有罪判決が出たことなど「政治とカネの問題」について国会で説明責任を果たすという課題も残っている。自民、公明両党は8日、小沢氏の証人喚問を要求していくことを確認した。

===

Spirit of law belittled

In a recent Yomiuri Shimbun survey, 87 percent of respondents said Ozawa "has not fulfilled his accountability to the people." Making Ozawa appear before the Diet to explain his side of the story should have been a condition for reinstating his party membership.
 読売新聞の世論調査では、「国民に説明責任を果たしていない」との回答が87%に上っている。国会での説明は復権への条件だ。

In court hearings on the Rikuzan-kai case, Ozawa claimed he had never seen Rikuzan-kai's political funds reports and had entrusted all funding matters to his secretaries. We think he belittled the tenet of the Political Funds Control Law.
 一方、小沢氏は、陸山会事件の裁判で、政治資金収支報告書を見たことはなく「秘書任せ」にしてきた、と主張した。規正法の趣旨をあまりに軽んじていないか。

Diet members, excluding those of the Japanese Communist Party, receive state subsidies provided to political parties. These subsidies are tax money collected from the people. Ozawa's ducking of his responsibility to explain is inexcusable.
 共産党を除く国会議員は、党を通じて、国民の税金による政党交付金を受け取っている。小沢氏のような言い逃れは許されない。

A much-needed revision of the law to toughen politicians' responsibility to supervise accounting staffers and secretaries at their political organizations has been left in limbo. Both ruling and opposition parties have not taken action on the matter. Their slothfulness can only be described as a dereliction of duty.
 政治団体の会計責任者や秘書に対する政治家の監督責任強化を目指す、政治資金規正法の改正問題は放置されたままだ。法改正に腰を上げようとしない与野党は、怠慢としか言いようがない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 9, 2012)
(2012年5月9日02時17分  読売新聞)

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一体改革法案 与野党協議へ「建設的対案」を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 10, 2012)
Realistic counterproposals needed from LDP
一体改革法案 与野党協議へ「建設的対案」を(5月9日付・読売社説)

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has declared it is "no exaggeration to say" he is staking his political life on passage of a package of bills for comprehensive reform of the social security and tax systems, on which Diet deliberations started Tuesday.
 「政治生命を懸けるといった言葉に掛け値はない」――。野田首相がこう明言する社会保障と税の一体改革関連法案の審議が始まった。

The ruling and opposition parties should make serious concessions with the aim of passing the bills as soon as possible.
 与野党は大胆に歩み寄り、早期の成立を目指すべきだ。

During a question-and-answer session in the House of Representatives, Tadamori Oshima, vice president of the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party, referred to the current gridlock in politics under the divided Diet. "It is desirable to establish rules regarding negotiations among parties so as to form a new policymaking process," he said.
 衆院本会議の質疑で自民党の大島理森副総裁は「衆参ねじれ」による政治の停滞に関連し、「政党間協議のルールを確立し、新たな政策決定プロセスを構築することこそが求められる」と述べた。

Oshima also expressed his party's willingness to join negotiations between the ruling and opposition camps, depending on the Democratic Party of Japan's handling of discussions on the bills.
 大島氏は、民主党の対応によっては与野党協議に応じても良い、との意向も明らかにした。

It is noteworthy that momentum has been finally generated to move toward debate on the integrated reform.
 一体改革に向けて、話し合いの機運がようやく出てきたことは評価できよう。

===

Cooperation crucial

To pass bills under the divided Diet, it is crucial for the government to gain cooperation from the LDP and other opposition parties. Noda must exercise his leadership to create an environment to elicit it.
 ねじれ国会で、政府が法案を成立させるには自民党など野党の協力が不可欠だ。野田首相は指導力を発揮し、野党の協力を得るための環境を整える必要がある。

The LDP has demanded the DPJ drop its plans to create a new pension system that would include a guaranteed minimum pension, as well as abolish a special health insurance system for people aged 75 and older. The two measures were among the major policies the party pledged in its manifesto for the 2009 lower house election.
 自民党は、最低保障年金を柱とする新年金制度案と、後期高齢者医療制度の廃止方針の撤回を求めた。ともに民主党の政権公約(マニフェスト)の看板政策だ。

Noda has only indicated he would leave a decision up to the DPJ. We believe, however, the party has no choice but to drop those policies to pave the way for the ruling and opposition parties to hold talks on the bills.
 首相は党内の検討に委ねる考えを示したが、与野党協議の実現に向けて撤回するしかあるまい。

The prime minister instead urged the LDP to make "constructive counterproposals" on the comprehensive reform.
 首相は逆に、自民党に「建設的な対案」の提示を求めた。

When it comes to the social security system, the opposition party's counterproposal is unlikely to significantly differ from the government's legislation on integrating corporate employees' and mutual-aid pensions because the current government's plan is almost the same as the one submitted in 2007 by the coalition government between the LDP and New Komeito.
 自民党の社会保障の対案は、政府案と大きく違うことはないだろう。政府が提出している厚生、共済両年金の一元化法案は、自公政権が2007年に提出した法案とほとんど同じ内容である。

We believe that it would not take much time for the ruling and opposition camps to reach a consensus as long as the LDP makes a counterproposal on this issue.
 自民党が対案を出せば、与野党の合意形成にそう時間はかからないのではないか。

The LDP also should compile a counterproposal on raising the consumption tax rate, in which support measures for low-income earners would be a major focal point.
 自民党は、消費税率引き上げでも対案をまとめるべきだ。低所得者対策が一つの焦点となる。

===

Examine reduced tax system

The government's bill to raise the consumption tax rate includes granting cash benefits to those with lower incomes, which might result in bloating the amounts of the planned cash allowances. The government would undermine the efficacy of the tax hike if it implements yet another handout policy at the same time.
 低所得者への現金給付を軸とする政府案は、給付額が膨らむ恐れがある。新たなバラマキとなれば増税の効果は損なわれよう。

In Europe, which has a tradition of value-added taxes, reduced tax rate systems have been adopted with the aim of lowering the taxes on food and other daily necessities, as well as newspapers and books.
 付加価値税の歴史が長い欧州では、食料品など生活必需品や、新聞・書籍などに対する軽減税率が定着している。

The LDP has been examining the introduction of a reduced tax rate system apparently because it regards the mechanism as realistic in light of the European example. We propose the government positively study the system.
 自民党が軽減税率を検討しているのは、欧州を参考に現実的な案と判断しているからだろう。政府も前向きに考えてはどうか。

There is a concern, however, over Diet deliberations on the package of bills for the integrated reform. The LDP has set a precondition for holding discussions in a special committee: the replacement of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Takeshi Maeda and Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka, who were recently censured by the opposition-controlled House of Councillors.
 今後、一体改革法案の審議を進める上で懸念材料もある。自民党は、参院で問責された前田国土交通相と田中防衛相を辞めさせることを特別委員会での審議に応じる条件としている。

However, neither of the two ministers have anything to do with the social security or tax systems. The LDP should decouple debate on the bill from calling for the ministers to be replaced.
 だが、両氏とも社会保障・税とは無関係だ。辞任要求と、法案の審議は切り離すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 9, 2012)
(2012年5月9日02時17分  読売新聞)

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2012年5月 9日 (水)

社説:超高齢社会 「肩車型」の常識を疑え

May 05, 2012(Mainichi Japan)
Editorial: Aging society does not necessarily spell doom
社説:超高齢社会 「肩車型」の常識を疑え

Longevity is something to be celebrated, but when it comes to the aging of Japanese society, it is often discussed in a pessimistic tone.
 長寿はおめでたいことなのに、高齢化となると悲観論をもって語られることが多い。

One reason for this is the continuing decline in people of working age. Learning that our society is shifting from one in which four working people financially support one senior citizen, to another in which each working person must support one senior citizen -- a so-called "piggyback" setup -- would make anyone anxious. And indeed, that is exactly what is happening.
現役世代の人口が減り続けているせいでもある。現役4人が高齢者1人を背負う「騎馬戦型」から、現役1人が高齢者1人を背負う「肩車型」になると言われたら誰しも不安になるだろう。たしかに人口比率はそのようになる。

This unfolding state of affairs has prompted calls to raise Japan's tax and insurance rates, which are some of the lowest among all industrialized nations around the world. But perhaps because Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and other officials lack the rhetoric to persuade the public of the validity of their policy, the push to establish a full-fledged piggyback arrangement appears to be undermining confidence in the country's social security system.
 だからこそ先進国最低レベルの国民負担率(税と保険の負担)をもう少し引き上げるべきだという文脈で「肩車型」説は登場したはずだったが、野田佳彦首相らの言い方がまずいのだろうか、逆に社会保障制度の信頼性を揺るがせているようにも思える。

It would be ironic if the number of people signing up with the national pension or health insurance plans were to shrink as a result.
そのせいで年金や保険の未加入者が増えているのだとしたらあまりに皮肉だ。

So let us take a closer look at why piggyback systems spur pessimism.
現役の負担は増えない ここは世の「肩車型=悲観論」の常識を疑ってみようではないか。

Accepting the premise that the ratio of working-age citizens (people aged 15 to 64) to senior citizens (those aged 65 and over) will eventually become one to one, the important thing when evaluating the stability of the social security system is the ratio between those in the work force earning money, and those who are being supported.
現役(15~64歳)と高齢者(65歳以上)の人口比がいずれ1対1になるのは間違いないとして、社会保障の安定性を考える上で大事なのは働いて所得を得ている層と「支えられる側」の比率であることを忘れてはならない。

It's not just senior citizens that the working population supports.
「支えられる側」にいるのは高齢者だけではない。

It was common for families to have and therefore provide for many children in the era immediately after World War II, but the number of children per household has been in decline more recently.
戦後間もないころの親は大勢の子供たちを育てていたが、今は子供の数が減り続けている。

Those who required financial support in the past also included housewives, the disabled, and those who were ill, but today, there are more two-income households than single-income households, and the employment of the disabled is on the rise.
 また、以前の「支えられる側」には専業主婦、障害者、病気の人も含まれていたが、今は専業主婦世帯よりも共働き世帯の方が増え、障害者の雇用率も上がっている。

Moreover, there are far more people working past the age of 65 today than there were before.
また、65歳を過ぎても働いている高齢者は以前と比べものにならないほど多くなった。

Shut-ins and NEETs (people "not in education, employment, or training") undoubtedly do exist, but even taking such populations into account, the ratio between those who do the supporting and those who receive support has barely changed over the past few decades.
ひきこもりやニートなど現役世代で働いていない人もいるが、これらのデータを含めて総合的に見ると、「支える側」と「支えられる側」の比率はこの数十年ほとんど変化がない。

If senior citizens and housewives continue to work outside the home, thereby expanding the population providing for those who need support, the burden on the working population should not increase.
今後も高齢者や主婦が働いて「支える側」が厚くなれば、高齢化率の伸びほどには現役世代の負担は増えないだろう。

The theory that social security costs will surge at a rate of 1 trillion yen per year as Japanese society continues to age, widening intergenerational economic gaps, also calls for closer analysis.
 もう一つ、悲観論の根拠である「高齢化に伴って社会保障費が毎年1兆円ずつ増え、世代間格差が広がる」という説も考えてみよう。

During a time when it was common for three generations of families to live together, caring for elderly parents and children was considered the work of the wife, while the husband was expected to earn money for all household expenses.
 3世代同居が当たり前だった時代は、老いた両親の介護や子供の保育はもっぱら妻の役割とされ、その妻を含めた大家族全員の生活費を現役世代の夫が一人で支えていた。

As nuclear families and single-person households become the norm and the number of children drops, the burden of caring for elderly family members and bringing up children becomes relatively light.
ところが、核家族やひとり暮らしが当たり前になり、子供の数も減ってくると、親の介護や保育の負担は相対的に軽くなる。

If elderly parents are able to live on social security and personal savings, the financial burden on the working generation is alleviated.
老いた親も年金や預金で生活できるようになれば、現役世代の経済的負担は少なくなる。

Of course, there are many senior citizens who receive a low level of social security benefits or none at all, and there is no end to the number of people who leave their jobs to focus on caring for their aging parents.
 もちろん、無年金や低年金の高齢者は多く、親の介護のために離職する人も後を絶たないが、

However, compared to a time when neither social security nor nursing care insurance was available, the burden on working citizens has not become categorically worse.
年金も介護保険もなかったころに比べれば、今の現役世代の負担は一概に重くなったとは言えない。

Rather, inheritance per capita has risen, and people generally have more opportunities and funds to receive an education.
むしろ1人当たりの相続財産は以前より多く、教育を受ける機会や費用も増えている。

In other words, the impression people commonly have of the piggyback arrangement, and the actual generational gap in burdens are very different.
「肩車型」のイメージと世代間格差の実相はかなり違うと考えるべきだ。

Rising social security costs may pose great pressure on government finances, but if the increased costs are translated into better nursing care and childcare services, it could lighten the load on families in the working generation.
 国家財政レベルでは社会保障費の増加は圧迫要因かもしれないが、増加分が介護や保育サービスの充実に回れば、現役世代の家族内の負担は軽減されていく。

One of the intended functions of the social security system is to collect a larger proportion of taxes and insurance premiums from high-income workers, and redistribute it to those with lower incomes.
もともと社会保障は所得の多い人から税や保険料を多く集め、所得の少ない人に回す再分配の機能を持つ。

What's important is not just whether the costs are expanding, but whether the funds are being redistributed effectively.
費用の膨張だけでなく、再分配が有効に機能しているかどうかが問題なのである。

There is a group, sometimes called the "platinum generation," whose age makes them "senior citizens" but are actually a part of the population that give the piggyback rides.
プラチナ世代に注目 「支える側」で特に注目すべきなのは元気な高齢層だ。
年齢区分では「高齢者」とされるが、実は肩車の下側で支えている。

Among those who turned 65 this year are pro-baseball team Rakuten Eagles' manager Senichi Hoshino and the comedian and film director Takeshi Kitano.
たとえば、今年65歳になった人を見ると、プロ野球の星野仙一楽天監督、タレントで映画監督の北野武氏をはじめそうそうたる人物が各界で名を連ねる。

They're full of life and are highly unlikely to go into retirement anytime soon.
そう簡単に隠居などしそうにない、ピカピカの現役である。

Readers must also know many people who are 65 or older who one wouldn't think to describe as "elderly."
「お年寄り」と呼ぶのもはばかられる65歳以上はあなたの身近にも多いはずだ。

In a story on post-war Japanese medicine and insurance last year, the British medical journal The Lancet wrote about the "platinum generation" -- called so because while its members technically fit into the "silver generation," they are shiny and bright instead of dull like oxidized silver.
Japan must recognize not only that our people are living long lives, but also that our country has produced a large population of energetic seniors.
 年齢的にはシルバーだが、いぶし銀のような地味さはなく色あせずに輝き続けるという意味で「プラチナ世代」と呼ばれたりする。
戦後の日本の医療や保険の成果について昨年、英医学誌「ランセット」が特集したが、単に長寿だというだけでなく元気な高齢世代を大量に出現させた功績も見逃してはならない。

It is not rare to see former businessmen and researchers in the sciences finding success in areas such as social welfare and farming after retiring from their original jobs.  ビジネスマンや理系研究者が定年後、福祉や農業などの分野に転身し成功している例は今や珍しくない。

We would like senior citizens to break bravely into uncharted fields, making use of the abundant knowledge and experience they've accumulated over the years.
未知の分野に果敢に飛び込み、長年培ってきた豊富な知識や経験を生かしてほしい。

It is at the intersection of various values that we can hope to find clues that will pave the way to a new era.
多様な価値観がぶつかり合うところに新しい時代を切り開くヒントが生まれるはずだ。

To fully harness the skills and talents of the platinum generation, medical and welfare systems must change.
 プラチナ世代が輝き続けるためには医療や福祉も変わらねばならない。

With old age, most people develop illnesses and disabilities.
高齢になれば誰だって病気や障害は持つものだ。

We must make a quick shift from our current acute medical model concentrating on curing patients, to a medical and nursing care model that allows people to continue working and living with purpose while living with chronic ailments.
「治す」ことを目的にした急性期医療モデルから、治らなくても生きがいを持って働き続けられるような慢性期の医療・介護モデルへの転換を急ぐべきだ。

Once the platinum generation comes to account for a much larger proportion of those who provide support to those who need it, our nation will look very different.
 大量のプラチナ世代が「支える側」に回ったとき、この国のかたちはずいぶん違って見えてくる。

Excessive pessimism is uncalled for.
過度の悲観は禁物だ。

Let us think about how we ourselves can continue to give piggybacks as long as possible.
どうやって「支える側」に居続けられるかを考えよう。

毎日新聞 2012年05月05日 02時30分

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夏の節電―関電こそ先導すべきだ

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 8
EDITORIAL: Kansai Electric should lead regional power-saving drive
夏の節電―関電こそ先導すべきだ

Summer is just around the corner and the outlook for power supply and demand in the region served by Kansai Electric Power Co. (KEPCO) during the peak period remains murky.
 関西電力の夏の電力需給が見通せないまま、時間が過ぎている。

The Kansai region, which includes the cities of Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe, clearly needs to prepare for dealing with the tight supply-demand conditions that would be created if the government's plan to reactivate two reactors at KEPCO’s Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture falls through.
大飯原発が再稼働しなくても、夏を乗り切らなければならない。

KEPCO, which is responsible for stable power supply to the region, is supposed to present specific options to ride out the sweltering summer without nuclear power. To save energy, it would need the cooperation of businesses and households.
 安定供給に責任を負う関電は具体的な選択肢を示し、企業や家庭に協力を求める立場だ。

But the utility has failed to do any such thing. Instead, it keeps stressing an urgent need to bring the reactors at the Oi plant back online. In short, the utility is not fulfilling its responsibility to consumers in the region.
 ところが関電は大飯の再稼働の必要性を強調する一方で、それがない場合の手だては不十分だ。これでは責任を果たしているとは言えない。

 「具体策を示さず、再稼働へ向け時間切れを狙うのか」

During a May 4 meeting of the energy strategy council jointly established by the Osaka prefectural and municipal governments, the senior KEPCO executives present were roundly criticized by council members. They were accused of waiting for time to run out without offering concrete plans to avoid a power crunch so that there will be no other choice but to resume operations of the idled reactors. The utility should take the criticism of the local governments to heart.
 4日に開かれた大阪府・市のエネルギー戦略会議では、出席した関電幹部に委員から厳しい意見が相次いだ。自治体側の声を重く受け止めてほしい。

KEPCO posted a record loss in last fiscal year because fuel costs increased sharply as it ramped up output at its thermal power plants to compensate for decreased nuclear power generation. We understand the financial difficulty the company is facing.
 火力発電の燃料費がかさみ、昨年度、関電は過去最大の赤字となった。企業としての台所事情はわかる。

But there are still strong concerns in the Kansai region about moves to bring idle reactors back to operation.
 だが、再稼働に対して関西では依然、慎重な声が多い。

In addition to Kyoto, Shiga and Osaka prefectures, as well as the city of Osaka, which have made their own recommendations and proposals on the issue, the Union of Kansai Governments, composed of seven prefectures and two cities, has also asked the central government to take additional safety measures before restarting the reactors.
 提言・提案を出した京都府と滋賀県、大阪府・市だけではなく、2府5県などでつくる関西広域連合も安全対策などを政府に申し入れた。

KEPCO should change its approach and initiate constructive talks with the local governments. It must provide whatever information is necessary so the region can avert blackouts due to an absence of nuclear power.
 関電は発想を転換し、夏を乗り切るために必要な情報を出し、自治体と対話すべきだ。

The local governments have also embarked on joint efforts to curb demand for electricity.
 自治体側も、需要抑制のために連携して乗り出している。

During a recent meeting of the union, Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto proposed a program to provide financial incentives to companies that cut their power consumption. The incentives would be financed by a new tax that would cost households in the region 1,000 yen ($13) per month, according to his proposal.
 関西広域連合の会合では、大阪市の橋下徹市長が関西の住民に1カ月1千円の節電税を課して、節電に協力した企業に奨励金を出す構想を示した。

It is important to discuss a wide range of measures so that consumers are aware of the situation and can prepare for what they may face.
 利用者の覚悟や認識を深めるために、様々な手段を論議することは有意義だ。

The union has set up a special task force to hammer out plans to save power. It comprises officials responsible for the matter at the Osaka, Kyoto and Shiga prefectural governments.
 広域連合では大阪、京都両府や滋賀県などの担当者でチームをつくり節電策を検討中だ。

In a belated move, KEPCO has started working on measures to rein in demand for power.
 関電もようやく需要抑制の対策に動き出した。

One idea under consideration is a combination of rate hikes for peak hours and cuts for off-peak hours.
 ピーク時料金の値上げとオフピークの値下げ策がその一つ。

The utility is also considering the introduction of so-called negawatt power, a concept that regards power saved as power generated, and creating an electricity exchange where households and businesses can trade such negawatts.
使用電力を減らせば、同じ分を発電したものとみなす「ネガワット」を導入し、家庭や企業が節電分を取引できる市場の創設も考えている。

We hope the utility will come up with effective and easy-to-use plans as soon as possible.
 利用しやすいプランを、一日も早く示してほしい。

If the coming summer turns out as hot as the summer of 2010, there is likely to be a 16.3-percent power shortage during peak demand time in the Kansai region, according to KEPCO’s estimate. There may also be a 3.6-percent shortage across all of western Japan, estimates say.
 おととしの夏並みの猛暑となった場合、関電によると16.3%の電力が不足する。西日本全体では3.6%の不足という。

But the days and hours when power demand actually peaks differ from area to area.
 だが電力使用がピークとなる日時は地域によって違う。

If Osaka is hit by an extreme heat wave but the summer in Kyushu proves normal, for instance, there will be considerable room for maneuvering through interchange of electricity between utilities.
大阪が猛暑でも九州が平年並みなら電力各社の融通幅も広がる。

A system for more flexible interchange of electricity between electric power companies was introduced last year. In eastern Japan, utilities frequently buy and sell electricity among themselves.
 昨年から電力会社間の融通が弾力的にできるようになり、東日本では融通が頻繁に行われている。

This system should also be used effectively by utilities in western Japan to capitalize on the regional power grid to avoid blackouts.
西日本でも広域送電網を駆使して、停電を回避する手だてにしたい。

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行政改革 実行の工程表と全体像を示せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 9, 2012)
Vision, schedules needed for administrative reform
行政改革 実行の工程表と全体像を示せ(5月8日付・読売社説)

It is problematic to promote administrative reform haphazardly for expedient reasons.
 行政改革が場当たり的な帳尻合わせでは困る。

The government first must present a comprehensive vision for the reforms and schedules before carrying them out.
 政府は、取り組みの全体像と実行の工程表を明示することが肝要だ。

A council on administrative reform held its inaugural meeting Monday. The council is an advisory body to Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada, who is in charge of such reform.
 行革を担当する岡田副総理の諮問機関「行政改革に関する懇談会」が初会合を開いた。

The panel comprises Kyocera Corp. Honorary Chairman Kazuo Inamori, JR Tokai Chairman Takayuki Kasai and eight other experts. It will discuss a reduction in overall personnel costs for national government employees, the sale of state-owned property and regulatory reform.
 メンバーは、稲盛和夫京セラ名誉会長、葛西敬之JR東海会長ら有識者10人。国家公務員の総人件費の削減や、国有資産の売却、規制改革などを議論する。

The panel plans to model itself on the second ad hoc Administrative Reform Council led by business leader Toshiwo Doko, which was instrumental in the 1980s in bringing about the privatization of the Japanese National Railways and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Public Corporation.
 1980年代に国鉄や電電公社の民営化で成果を上げた第2次臨時行政調査会(土光臨調)をモデルにするという。

It is not a bad idea to draw on the wisdom of the private sector in achieving administrative reform, but it is indispensable for the government to show it is prepared to put itself at risk, as it is calling on the people to bear an additional burden in the form of a consumption tax increase.
 無論、民間の知恵を行革に反映させることは悪くない。消費税率引き上げで国民に負担を求める以上、政府が「身を切る姿勢」を示すことも不可欠である。

===

Why a new panel now?

We cannot help wondering why the Democratic Party of Japan-led government has established a new panel to discuss the vision and need for administrative reform when more than 30 months have passed since the change of government. The government needs to take a more strategic approach.
 だが、政権交代から2年半以上を経過した段階で、新たな懇談会を設けて行革の理念や必要性を論議するのは、今さらの感が強い。もっと戦略的な対応が必要だ。

In addition to the Government Revitalization Unit, which was set up with great fanfare by the DPJ-led administration, there are many other reform-related organizations. These include the national civil service reform promotion headquarters and the administrative reform execution headquarters established in January, plus their secretariats and an administrative reform promotion office. With so many bodies, there is concern the role and responsibility of each organization will become ambiguous.
 民主党政権の看板である行政刷新会議に加え、国家公務員制度改革推進本部、今年1月設置の行革実行本部があり、その事務局、行革推進室などが乱立している。これでは、各組織の役割と責任が曖昧になることが懸念される。

Does the government believe administrative reform can proceed only if headquarters or forums are established? We are reminded of the superfluous creation of organizations and the chaos within the government in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake last spring. The system to promote administrative reform must be streamlined and integrated.
 本部や会議を作れば、行革が前に進むと思い込んでいるのではないか。昨春の東日本大震災後に起きた政府内の組織乱造と混乱が思い起こされる。行革の推進体制を整理・一元化すべきだ。

In mid-April, the DPJ and its coalition partner, the People's New Party, jointly submitted to the Diet a bill sponsored by lawmakers to implement administrative reform.
 民主党は先月中旬、議員立法の行革実行法案を、国民新党と共同で国会に提出した。

The bill calls for an overall reduction of personnel costs by 20 percent and the sale of 500 billion yen worth of state-owned property over five years. These numerical targets alone are insufficient.
 法案に明記された数値目標は、総人件費の2割削減と5年間で5000億円の国有資産売却の2項目にとどまり、不十分だ。

===

Government must take lead

In regard to personnel costs, the bill stops short of presenting concrete reduction measures or a deadline for implementation. Many observers say the bill is designed only to conform with the DPJ's campaign platform for the 2009 general election.
 特に総人件費削減は、具体的な方法や実施期限が示されず、政権公約(マニフェスト)の辻褄(つじつま)合わせに過ぎないとの指摘が多い。

It is important to concentrate on working out the reforms over a three-year period and set dates for implementation of the reforms, as mentioned in the bill. However, the government could do most of these things on its own initiative. It is questionable whether there is any significance in resorting to legislation to carry out reforms.
 法案にある3年間の集中改革期間の設定や工程表の作成は重要だが、政府の判断で実行できる内容が大半を占める。あえて法律にする意味があるのか、疑問だ。

Rather than wait for the Diet to pass the bill, the government should decide on the order of priority of specific reforms and present a schedule aimed at achieving these reforms as early as possible.
 法案成立を待つまでもなく、多数ある行革課題の優先順位を決めて、それぞれの達成時期を早期に明示することが大切である。

We want Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Okada to exert their leadership in this respect.
 野田首相と岡田副総理には指導力を発揮してもらいたい。

Former DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa and his followers within the party have expressed the irresponsible view that "something must be done before a tax increase." Substantive administrative reform is needed to ensure such an assertion does not prevail.
 民主党内には、小沢一郎元代表らによる、「増税の前にやるべきことがある」といった無責任な増税反対論がある。そうした主張を抑え込むためにも、行革での実質的な成果が求められよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 8, 2012)
(2012年5月8日01時25分  読売新聞)

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仏大統領選 オランド氏は欧州危機回避を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 9, 2012)
Hollande must seek ways to tame European credit crisis
仏大統領選 オランド氏は欧州危機回避を(5月8日付・読売社説)

Francois Hollande, former first secretary of France's Socialist Party, edged Nicolas Sarkozy to win the runoff of the French presidential election Sunday.
 フランスの大統領選決選投票で、社会党のオランド前第1書記がサルコジ大統領を僅差で破り、当選を決めた。

Hollande will be the first Socialist president in the country in 17 years, following Francois Mitterand, who served from 1981 to 1995.
 社会党の大統領は、1981~95年に在任したミッテラン氏以来、17年ぶりとなる。

Given the defeat of Sarkozy, who led efforts to bring the European sovereign debt crisis under control, fears are spreading among global markets that the crisis will flare up again.
 ギリシャ支援など欧州債務危機の収束策を主導してきたサルコジ大統領の敗北を受けて、世界の市場には、危機が再燃するのではないか、との警戒感が出ている。

At the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Monday, the Nikkei Stock Average suffered its biggest single-day point drop this year. The euro also nosedived. These are major symptoms of such fears.
 東京市場で平均株価が今年最大の下げとなり、ユーロが急落したのは、その表れだ。

===

Fiscal rehabilitation, growth policy

More than anything, Hollande, who will formally take office in mid-May, must first do everything in his power to bring the credit fears in Europe under control.
 今月中旬に就任するオランド氏は何よりもまず、欧州の信用不安の収束に全力を挙げて取り組まねばならない。

The big problem here is that Hollande has said he will renegotiate the new EU intergovernmental treaty designed to strengthen fiscal discipline. If he sticks to revisions to the austerity treaty, cooperative relations in the eurozone, which have been built up with the leadership of France and Germany to resolve the European debt crisis, could be shaken.
 問題は、オランド氏が、財政規律強化のための欧州連合(EU)新条約について、再交渉を掲げていることだ。条約修正にこだわれば、欧州の危機封じ込めを目指して独仏主導で築いてきたユーロ圏の連携が、揺らぎかねない。

Hollande's first order of business after assuming office is to have talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The action is apparently designed to allay various fears by demonstrating continued Franco-German cooperation. Balancing fiscal rehabilitation and growth-oriented economic policy is important for the global economy, too.
 オランド氏が就任後、真っ先にメルケル独首相と会談するのも、独仏協調を打ち出して懸念を払拭する狙いがあろう。財政再建と成長路線のバランスをとることが世界経済にとっても重要となる。

During the election campaign, Hollande emphasized the importance he places on growth strategy and securing employment, arguing that a tight fiscal policy alone will aggravate the economy. This stance appealed well to voters who are dissatisfied with the high unemployment rate.
 オランド氏は選挙戦で、財政緊縮だけでは景気が悪化するとして、成長戦略と雇用確保を重視する姿勢を強調した。それが、高い失業率に不満を持つ有権者の受け皿となったと言える。

He even said arguments opposing fiscal austerity measures, which spread over Europe, are a driving force to change Europe.
 欧州で広がる財政緊縮策への反対論を「欧州を変える原動力だ」とも表現した。

Hollande emphasized economic growth. This position itself is appropriate.
 オランド氏が経済成長に力点を置いたこと自体は妥当だろう。

However, he has not presented any specific measures to bring about growth. We have serious questions on whether he will be able to achieve fiscal health.
 だが、有力な手だてがあるわけではない。財政を健全化できるかどうかも大きな疑問符が付く。

While he talked about raising tax rates for high income earners, he also made such election pledges as reversing an increase in the age for full pension eligibility and making a major increase in the number of teachers, which will result in fiscal burdens.
高額所得者への課税強化を打ち出す一方で、年金受給開始年齢の引き上げ撤回や教員数大幅増など財政に負担となる公約を並べた。

Such populist policy measures could possibly undermine market confidence further.
 こうした大衆迎合的な政策は、市場の信認を一層低下させる可能性がある。

===

Greece as source of worries

In a Greek general election held the same day, small parties that oppose fiscal austerity measures increased their share of seats in parliament. This fact is also a source of concern.
 同じ日に行われたギリシャの総選挙で、財政緊縮策に反対する小政党が勢力を伸ばしたことも懸念材料だ。

The center-left and center-right parties that have promoted fiscal rehabilitation policy in a grand coalition government failed to win even a combined majority in the legislature.
大連立政権で財政再建を進めてきた中道左派、中道右派の2政党の議席は、合わせても過半数に達しなかった。

Greece, the starting place of the European debt crisis, has been receiving assistance from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
 欧州危機の火元のギリシャは、EUや国際通貨基金(IMF)の支援を受けている。

The center-right New Democracy party has begun negotiations with other parties to create a new coalition government. It is necessary for the country to establish an administration to steadily carry out fiscal austerity measures that are among the conditions for receiving additional rescue loans.
中道右派政党を軸に新たな連立への交渉が始まったが、追加支援の条件である財政緊縮策を着実に実行できる体制を築く必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 8, 2012)
(2012年5月8日01時25分  読売新聞)

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2012年5月 8日 (火)

日弁連会長選 実のある司法改革に取り組め

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 8, 2012)
National bar federation must seek fruitful judicial reform
日弁連会長選 実のある司法改革に取り組め(5月6日付・読売社説)

The new head of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations (Nichibenren) has finally been elected.
 日本弁護士連合会の新会長が、ようやく決まった。

After an unprecedented second election, Kenji Yamagishi, who belongs to the Tokyo Bar Association, was chosen as the next chairman of the national organization of lawyers.
 前例のない再選挙の結果、東京弁護士会の山岸憲司氏が選ばれた。

Leadership of the organization long alternated between candidates from mainstream factions in Tokyo and Osaka.
 日弁連の会長は、東京や大阪の主流派閥の候補が順繰りに務めてきた。

Two years ago this custom was broken with the election of Kenji Utsunomiya, who does not belong to any such faction. In the latest elections, Utsunomiya was challenged by Yamagishi, who was backed by a mainstream faction.
 2年前、その慣例を破って初当選した無派閥の宇都宮健児氏に、今回、主流派閥が推す山岸氏が挑んだ。

The election campaign became a fierce battle, as regional lawyers' dissatisfaction rose with the long years of the federation being managed by mainstream groups.
長年の派閥主導による会運営に、地方の弁護士の不満が高まり、激しい選挙戦となった。

===

Assist disaster victims

However, this is not the time to be spending their energy in internal conflicts. What the federation should concentrate its efforts on is assisting victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
 だが、内輪の対立にエネルギーを費やしている時ではあるまい。日弁連が今、最も力を注がねばならないのは、東日本大震災の被災者支援である。

There are mountains of problems that quake victims can hardly deal with themselves, such as multiple loans, inheritance and negotiations with companies that laid them off.
 二重ローンや遺産相続、解雇された会社との折衝など、被災者自身ではなかなか手に負えない問題が山積している。

Negotiations on compensation between Tokyo Electric Power Co. and victims of the crisis at TEPCO's Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant have not been going smoothly. There are likely to be many cases in which negotiations break down and develop into lawsuits.
 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所の事故を巡っては、被災者と東電の賠償交渉が思うように進んでいない。今後、話し合いが決裂し、訴訟に持ち込まれるケースが続出するのは間違いない。

Lawyers are greatly needed in the quake-hit areas. We hope they will conduct their assistance efforts while fully considering what victims really need.
 被災地で弁護士は、大いに頼りになる存在だ。被災者の身になった支援を進めてもらいたい。

Needless to say, Nichibenren is an integral part of the so-called three judicial circles, together with prosecutors and judges. What is required for the organization is to work on judicial reform to make the system truly fruitful.
 言うまでもなく、日弁連は法曹三者の一翼を担っている。求められるのは、司法制度改革の実を挙げるための取り組みである。

Achieving a major increase in the number of legal professionals was the main focus of past reform to change society's structure from a primarily prior regulation type to one that emphasizes post factum legal remedies.
 社会の仕組みを事前規制型から事後救済型に変えていくうえで、法曹人口の大幅増は、司法制度改革の主眼だった。

However, during the two elections, both candidates argued the annual number of successful applicants on the national bar examination should be reduced to 1,500. Considering that just over 2,000 people passed last year's exam, this was a demand for major cuts.
 ところが、選挙では両氏とも、司法試験の合格者数を1500人にまで減らすべきだと訴えた。昨年の合格者が2000人余りだったことを考えれば、大幅な削減要求である。

===

Focus on protecting colleagues

Yamagishi even argued, "Depending on the situation, more cuts should be studied." His remark is apparently based on concern that a sharp increase in the number of legal professionals may make it difficult for new lawyers to find work.
 山岸氏は、「状況により、さらなる減員も検討されるべき」とも主張した。法曹人口の急増が、新人弁護士の就職難を招くといった懸念からだ。

This attitude of giving top priority to protecting the interests of fellow lawyers will not win the understanding of the public.
 身内の利益保護を最優先にする日弁連のこうした姿勢は、理解を得られまい。

It would be better for the federation to take the lead in expanding the job market for lawyers by taking such steps as asking companies and local governments to employ lawyers.
 企業や自治体に弁護士の雇用を働きかけるなど、日弁連が先頭に立って、弁護士の職域を拡大させていくことが肝要だ。

During the latest elections, the organization was unable to pick its new head in the first vote in February. Two more rounds of voting, including the one in the second election, had to be held.
 今回は、2月の1回目の選挙で会長が決まらず、その後、2回の投票が行われた。

This turmoil was caused by the organization's dual requirements for winning an election: A candidate must win the most votes overall and be the top vote-getter at more than one-third of the 52 bar associations throughout the nation.
最多得票とともに、全国に52ある弁護士会の3分の1以上で首位を占めねばならないという二重の当選要件が混乱の要因となった。

We think the organization should study a better method, so as not to repeat a similar situation in the future.
 将来、同様の事態を繰り返さないために、選出方法を再検討してはどうか。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 6, 2012)
(2012年5月6日01時15分  読売新聞)

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米中戦略対話 人権で摩擦の火種を残した

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 8, 2012)
Human rights issue causes friction between U.S., China
米中戦略対話 人権で摩擦の火種を残した(5月6日付・読売社説)

The fourth round of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, held in Beijing, recently ended.
 北京で開かれていた第4回米中戦略・経済対話が閉幕した。

Ministers of the two countries discussed a range of issues such as diplomacy, security and the economy. In a joint statement, the countries vowed "to build a new model of bilateral relations in the 21st century."
 両国の閣僚が、外交や安全保障、経済など幅広い課題について話し合い、共同文書で、「21世紀の新たな国家関係のモデルを構築する」との方針を確認した。

The United States and China, whose economic interdependence has deepened, reiterated they would aim to play an important role not only in addressing global economic issues but also in achieving peace and stability in the international community.
 経済的な相互依存関係を深める両国が、世界経済だけでなく、国際社会の平和と安定に重要な役割を果たしていくという決意を、改めて表明したものだ。

Shortly before the talks, however, a diplomatic standoff arose when blind Chinese rights activist Chen Guangcheng sought protection at the U.S. Embassy.
 だが、対話直前、中国の盲目の人権活動家、陳光誠氏の米国大使館駆け込み事件が起きた。

The United States and China gave the impression that they even attempted to resolve the issue during the talks to prevent it from harming their bilateral relationship.
 対話中も、米中は、事件が両国関係に影響を及ぼさぬよう、もっぱら事件の火消しに終始した感が強い。

But this case has highlighted the fact that the two countries have flashpoints over human rights issues in addition to diplomatic and military matters.
外交・軍事面は無論、人権問題でも火種を抱えていることを浮き彫りにしたと言える。

The diplomatic standoff is likely to end, as China has indicated it will allow Chen to leave the country to study in the United States.
 事件は、中国側が陳氏の留学目的での出国を認める方針を示し、米国留学で決着する見通しだ。

China is apparently aiming to fend off a growing domestic democracy movement by permitting Chen, who has become a symbol in the human rights movement, to leave China soon.
 中国には、人権問題の象徴となった陳氏を早期に出国させることで、国内の民主化運動の高まりを防ぐ狙いがあろう。

===

Washington needs patience

The United States and China agreed to hold talks on human rights issues this summer. But Beijing, which has called foreign countries' references to human rights in China interference in its domestic affairs, is unlikely to change its attitude. The United States therefore needs to patiently urge China to improve its human rights situation without compromising easily.
 米中は、人権対話の今夏開催で合意した。国内人権状況への言及を「内政干渉」とはねつける中国の姿勢は変わるまい。米国は安易に妥協することなく、状況改善を地道に働きかける必要がある。

Issues concerning moves on the Korean Peninsula, such as prevention of an anticipated nuclear test by North Korea, and Iran's nuclear program--which were supposed to be the main focus of the talks--ended up being overshadowed by human rights. Such topics as North Korea and Iran were on the agenda, but the specifics of discussions on the matters are unknown.
 今回の対話の焦点だった北朝鮮の核実験阻止など朝鮮半島情勢や、イラン核問題への対応は、人権問題の陰に隠れる形となった。議題に取り上げられたものの、具体的な議論の内容は不明だ。

China and the United States, both permanent members of U.N. Security Council, should take the initiative in blocking North Korea from carrying out another nuclear test.
 国連安全保障理事会の常任理事国である両国は、率先して北朝鮮の核実験阻止に努めるべきだ。

During the dialogue, the United States and China also decided to inaugurate maritime safety talks this autumn as well as consultations on Asia-Pacific affairs in the second half of the year.
 今回の対話では、海洋安全対話を今秋初めて開催することや、アジア太平洋地域に関する協議を今年後半に開くことも決まった。

Disagreements between the two countries over the South China Sea are significant. The United States has called on China to maintain free navigation in the sea while Beijing has urged Washington to respect its "core national interests." Dispelling mutual distrust through a series of talks is vital for the two countries.
 南シナ海を巡っては、「航行の自由」を訴える米国と、自らの「核心的利益」として尊重を迫る中国の立場の隔たりが大きい。両国が一連の対話を通じて、不信感を緩和することが重要である。

===

Dialogue has positive effect

Regarding the economy, the countries decided to resume negotiations on concluding an investment accord. China pressed the United States to ease regulations on high-tech exports to China. Washington agreed to look into Beijing's request, including the easing of such export control.
 経済問題では投資協定の交渉再開が決まった。中国がハイテク製品の対中輸出規制緩和を求めたのに対し、米国が検討に応じるなど合意点も少なくなかった。

This platform of economic dialogue appears to have had some positive effect in reducing economic frictions between the two countries.
経済摩擦の解消へ、対話は一定の効果を上げていると見てよい。

Meanwhile, ministerial-level economic talks between Japan and China have not been held since 2010, primarily due to Japan's political stalemate and China's objections over the Senkaku Islands issue. The Japanese government must restart and expand the talks as soon as possible.
 日中間では、日本の政局や尖閣諸島を巡る中国の反発などが原因で、閣僚級のハイレベル経済対話が2010年を最後に、開かれていない。対話を早期に再開し、拡大を図っていかねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 6, 2012)
(2012年5月6日01時15分  読売新聞)

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自動車保険の選択はまず口コミ、評判から

星の数ほど存在する自動車保険会社ですが、いざ、どの保険会社にしようかと決断を下すのは結構難しいものです。私もそのような一人ではありました。最初に契約した保険会社とはなかなか縁が切れないのは保険料の減額サービスシステムにあるのでしょうね。ここは目先を180度転換させてみませんか。

それは、口コミ・評判です。
口コミや評判というのは案外真理を突いていることが多いのです。
自動車保険に関してもまったく同じ事が言えます。
自動車保険を口コミ・評判で切るってのは如何でしょうか。
サイトに口コミ・評判情報が満載ですよ。

日本はご覧のように景気が低迷しており、新聞社はそれがあたかも円高のせいのように述べています。
不景気は当面の間続きますので、出費を抑える作戦が大切なのです。
自動車保険も検討の余地がありますよ。

あなたも自動車保険 評判をサイトで検証してみませんか。

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あなたも女性薄毛対策委員会に参加しませんか

薄毛やハゲは男性特有の症状だと誤解しておりました。
カバァさんのサイトを発見、その名も「女性の薄毛対策委員会」。
カバァさんは50代の女性ですが、ある日のこと、娘さんの一言に衝撃を受けました。
「お母さんハゲてない?」

私は60代男性ですが、現役時代に重度の円形脱毛症を経験しました。
頭が徐々に薄くなっていく苦しみは味わったものだけにしか理解出来ないと思いますね。
ましてそれが女性ならばなおさらのことなのです。

カバァさんのサイト「女性の薄毛対策委員会」には、薄毛対策用育毛剤、薄毛におすすめのシャンプー、薄毛を防ぐ食品やサプリメント、効果的なマッサージ、ツボなど薄毛対策が満載です。薄毛でお悩みのあなた、この委員会に参加して薄毛を解消してみませんか。

女性 薄毛に関するお悩みは、「女性の薄毛対策委員会」で解決できると思います。

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2012年5月 7日 (月)

「原発ゼロ」社会:上 不信の根を見つめ直せ

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 5
EDITORIAL: Policymakers must make serious responses to people's deep distrust of nuclear power
「原発ゼロ」社会:上 不信の根を見つめ直せ

The No. 3 reactor at Hokkaido Electric Power Co.'s Tomari nuclear power plant went offline May 5 for routine maintenance, leaving Japan without a single running reactor.
 北海道電力・泊原発3号機が5日、定期検査のため運転を止める。これで、国内すべての原発が停止する。

Japan, which had the third largest number of reactors in the world, becomes the first country to stop nuclear power generation altogether.
 世界で3番目に原発の多かった日本が、世界最速で「原発ゼロ」状態に入る。

This would be a welcome development if it were a result of a sincere and effective policy response to the popular will to make Japan nuclear-free.
 脱原発への民意を政治がしっかり受けとめた結果であれば、歓迎すべきことだ。

But the fact is that Japan has stopped production of electricity with atomic energy because the government's plan to restart idled reactors as early as possible has provoked angry reactions from the public, especially local governments around nuclear power plants. The outlook for the resumption of reactor operations remains murky.
 しかし実態は、政府の再稼働ありきの姿勢が原発周辺の自治体をはじめとする世論の強い反発を受け、先が見えない中での原発ゼロである。

The situation has been created by growing public distrust of the government and other players involved.
 不信の連鎖がそこにある。

INCREASING TARGETS OF CRITICISM
■広がる懸念の矛先

Japanese society's confidence in the safety of nuclear power generation was shaken to the core by the catastrophic accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant last year.
 福島第一原発の事故は、私たちの社会が前提とする「信頼性」を根底から揺さぶった。

It was further eroded by the disastrous way the government and the operator of the plant responded to the accident, which included: confusion over the hydrogen explosions that took place after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that crippled the plant's cooling system and also over the failure of emergency vents to prevent such explosions; vague explanations about reactor meltdowns; and delays in disclosure of data provided by the System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information, a system to forecast the spread of radioactive materials after a nuclear accident, and also in evacuation orders.
 水蒸気爆発やベントをめぐる混乱、炉心溶融(メルトダウン)に関するあいまいな説明、放射性物質の拡散を予測するSPEEDIの情報開示や避難指示の遅れ――。

The series of errors and missteps committed during the days and weeks following the crisis revealed the disturbing fact that organizations that had been promoting nuclear power generation, as well as the people responsible, seriously lacked the basic abilities to prepare for and deal with nuclear accidents.
 事故直後からの迷走は、原発を推進してきた組織と人々が、事故への備えという基本的な能力に著しく欠けていた事実をあらわにした。

Most damaging to the public confidence in nuclear power was the spread of the perception that these people and organizations were trying to hide facts and information inconvenient to them.
 なにより大きかったのは、自分たちに都合の悪い情報は隠そうとしている、という疑念を広げたことだ。

Public criticism went into overdrive amid concerns about the health hazards posed by possible exposure to radiation. It was not only the utility and politicians that came under suspicion, but also other elements of the "establishment," such as bureaucrats, scientists, experts, the business community and the mass media.
 その矛先は、被曝(ひばく)によって身体的な安全が脅かされるというリアルな危機感のなか、電力会社や政治のみならず、行政、科学者・専門家、財界、マスメディアと、既存の体制そのものへと増幅していった。

The nuclear accident has transformed society, which needs to be built on confidence, into a caldron of distrust.
 原発事故は、信頼を基盤とすべき社会を「不信の巣」へと変えたのだ。

The establishment, however, has failed to recognize the depth of public distrust.
 ところが、既存の体制はその根深さをくみとれていない。

This is evident by the government's attempt to bring idled reactors back online.
 象徴が再稼働問題だ。

THINKING FROM SCRATCH
■ゼロベースで考える

Many Japanese are not necessarily sympathetic to the radical movement toward a nuclear-free society in the immediate future.
 国民の多くは、必ずしも急進的な脱原発を志向しているわけではないだろう。

Surveys by The Asahi Shimbun have indicated that people are concerned that a power shortage may adversely affect their lives and the nation's economy.
電気が足りなくなることで「生活や経済に悪い影響が出るのでは」と心配している様子は、朝日新聞の世論調査からも浮かびあがる。

Still, they appear to think it is necessary to take a fresh, hard look at nuclear power generation and all related assumptions in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster. That's hardly surprising.
 それでも、福島事故を目の当たりにした以上、原発はいったんゼロベースから考え直さなければならない。そう思うのは自然なことだ。

It is clear what kind of steps the nation's policymakers should have taken.
 であれば、政治が取り組むべきことは明らかだった。

For one, they should have articulated their will to reduce nuclear power facilities, especially old reactors that have been in service for 40 years or longer. These include the Mihama and Tsuruga plants in Fukui Prefecture, and the Hamaoka plant in Shizuoka Prefecture, which is located in an area that scientists say will be hit by a huge earthquake.
 例えば、稼働から40年以上たつ美浜や敦賀といった老朽炉、巨大地震のリスクが高い浜岡をはじめとして、原発を減らしていく意思を明確に打ち出す。

Secondly, they should have demonstrated their commitment to making serious efforts to figure out how to safely dispose of radioactive waste, such as spent nuclear fuel and decommissioned reactors.
 使用済み核燃料や閉鎖した炉などの放射性廃棄物をどう処理していくか、本腰を入れて取り組む姿勢を示す。

In anticipation of power shortages due to the shutdown of reactors, policymakers should have started taking steps last year to establish a secondary power market incorporating plans based on cuts in electricity consumption.
 原発の停止で電力が足りなくなるのを見越して、節電を組み込んだ電力調達市場を昨年のうちから整備することも、柱の一つだったはずだ。

The Noda administration, however, has failed to make any meaningful change in the reality of nuclear power generation in Japan, not even a reform of the deeply flawed nuclear safety regulation. That's all the more maddening because it pledged to reduce the nation's dependence on nuclear power.
 しかし、野田政権は「脱原発依存」を掲げながら、規制当局の見直しをはじめ、何ひとつ現実を変えられていない。

As for the issue of restarting idled reactors, the administration made the mistake of believing that a decision to restart the reactors would eventually win public support because of concerns about a power crunch, as long as it took formal procedures based on stress tests on reactors.
 再稼働についても、ストレステストをもとに形式的な手順さえ踏めば、最後は電力不足を理由に政治判断で納得を得られると踏んだ。

Unless it changes its basic attitude toward the formidable challenge, the administration cannot hope to remove public distrust of nuclear power generation and the government's nuclear power policy.
 これで不信がぬぐい去れるわけがない。

There is an enormous gap between the public sentiment toward nuclear power generation created by the Fukushima meltdowns and the government's attempt to ride out the crisis without changing the old ideas and assumptions concerning atomic energy.
福島事故で覚醒した世論と、事故前と同じ発想で乗り切ろうとする政治との溝は極めて大きい。

Japanese people's distrust of politics, of course, is nothing new.
 むろん、政治への不信はいまに始まった話ではない。

That was clear from an international survey concerning public trust in politics that covered people in some 140 countries. Among 37 major countries, mainly members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Japan was ranked 36th in terms of public trust in the government and 31st in terms of people's evaluation of the abilities of their nation's leaders. Japan's positions in these rankings were on the same level as those of Greece.
 政治への信頼度をテーマに、約140カ国を対象に実施された世論調査がある。経済協力開発機構(OECD)加盟国を中心にした37カ国では、日本は政府への信頼度が36位、国のリーダー層の能力評価は31位。ギリシャと同水準だ。

The survey in Japan was conducted in 2008, when the nation was governed by the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito.
 日本での調査は自公政権下の08年だった。

But has anything really changed in Japanese politics since the Democratic Party of Japan came to power in 2009?
だが、民主党に政権が代わって、何か変化があっただろうか。

If it has, it has been for the worse. It seems as if the DPJ-led government's deeply confused response to the nuclear accident has even further damaged public confidence in politics, probably to an almost irreparable extent.
むしろ、原発をめぐる混迷は不信を決定的なものにしたのではないか。

TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR NATION'S ENERGY FUTURE
■おまかせからの脱却

In a commentary published in The Asahi Shimbun on Aug. 25 last year, writer Genichiro Takahashi pointed out the poverty of politics underscored by the fact that political leaders could only discuss key policy issues from the viewpoint of the current systems.
"I wonder whether they have learned nothing from what happened in this country?" he asked.
 作家の高橋源一郎さんは、昨年8月25日付朝日新聞の「論壇時評」で、いまある制度の延長線上でしか語れない政治の貧困を指摘し、「この国で起こったことから、なにも学ばなかったのだろうか」と問うている。

One politician who is astutely tapping into the public frustration about politics is Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, who has been harshly criticizing the government over the issue of restarting idled reactors.
 いま、政治への国民のいら立ちをうまくすくいとっているのは、再稼働問題で政府を批判する橋下徹大阪市長なのだろう。

But there can be no real progress in politics if voters pin their hopes solely on the leadership of an individual politician.
 ただ、有権者が政治家個人の突破力に期待するばかりでは、行き詰まる。

We need to think on our own about how we can reduce nuclear power plants and carve out a new energy future for our society, and then try to build a broad consensus on these issues.
 原子力をどのように減らし、新たなエネルギー社会をどう構築するか。私たち自らが考え、合意形成をはからなければならない。

That's the lesson we should learn from the consequences of many decades of leaving the development and execution of nuclear power policy entirely to the government.
それは、原発政策を国に「おまかせ」してきたことからの教訓でもある。

The same can be said about the problem of low-dose exposure to radiation. Scientists are bitterly divided on the effects of radiation as they are discussing issues related to decontamination and food safety standards.
 低線量被曝の問題も同様だ。除染や食品安全の基準では、放射線の影響をめぐって科学者のあいだでも意見が割れている。

These are actually issues to which there is no right answer.
正しい答えのない問題だ。

All we can do is to learn as much as possible about the issues and choose what we regard as reasonable ideas and proposals.
自分自身で学び、合理的だと思う考えを選びとるしかない。

* * *

Our next editorial will discuss how to create a forum for constructive debate on such issues.
 とことん考え合うことのできる空間をどうつくり出すか。明日の社説では、それを論じる。

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高速バス事故―乗客守れるルール急げ

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 4
EDITORIAL: Strengthen transport rules to protect passengers
高速バス事故―乗客守れるルール急げ

A chartered tour bus driver who caused an accident on the Kanetsu Expressway that killed seven and injured 39 passengers on April 29 reportedly told police he nodded off at the wheel from exhaustion.
 「疲れていた」「居眠りしていた」。関越自動車道で46人が死傷する事故を起こした高速ツアーバスの運転手が、警察にそう話しているという。

While investigators try to determine the exact cause of the tragedy, some measures should be carried out immediately.
 原因の究明は捜査を待たねばならない。けれど、今すぐ始めるべきことがある。

First, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism must review and reinforce its safety standard for the operation of highway express buses.
 高速バスの安全基準をもっと厳しいものに見直すことだ。

Under the current standard, the maximum daily driving distance and hours for chartered bus drivers are 670 kilometers and nine hours. This distance is roughly equivalent to that between Tokyo and Okayama in western Japan, and drivers can be asked to remain at the wheel for up to four hours without a break. This is pretty grueling, even for professionals.
 国土交通省の今の基準では、ツアーバスなどの貸し切りバスは1日に9時間、670キロを1人の運転手に運転させていい。東京―岡山にあたる距離だ。しかも、休憩なしで連続4時間走らせていい。いくらプロでも、これは過酷だ。

In a survey by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, nine out of 10 drivers said they have experienced drowsiness or actually dozed off while driving. They blamed long-distance driving, night-time driving and general fatigue from overwork.
 総務省の調査によると、運転手の9割が、運転中に居眠りや睡魔を経験している。そして、長距離運転や夜間運行、休み不足を原因にあげている。

The survey also found that chartered bus drivers put in 30 percent more hours than average workers. All in all, the survey findings clearly showed the current safety standard is too lax.
 また、運転手の勤務時間は、働く人の平均より3割も長い。
 いまの基準は甘すぎる。調査結果は、そう物語っている。

The standard must be revised on these three points at least: A stand-by driver must be aboard every long-distance overnighter bus; drivers must be required to take more frequent breaks; and the safety standard applied at night should be more stringent than its daytime counterpart.
 長距離の夜行バスに交代要員の運転手を必ず乗せる。もっとこまめに休憩させる。夜間は昼より基準を厳しくする。
 少なくとも、この3点の改善は必要だ。

The transport ministry was actually asked by the internal affairs ministry two years ago to revise the standard. But it dragged its feet, claiming its priority then was to “deal with bus operators who don’t abide by the safety standard.”
 国交省は総務省から2年前に改善を求められたが、「基準を守らない業者への対応が先」と動きが鈍かった。

The time for procrastination is over.
 もう、放置は許されない。

Deregulation of bus and taxi services took place about 10 years ago. The purpose was to improve services through competition and bring prices down by encouraging the entry of new players.
 バスやタクシーは10年ほど前に規制緩和が行われた。新規参入を促し、競争でサービスを高め、価格を下げる。それが改革の狙いだった。

The results have benefited consumers, but there were fears from the start that the excess competition might force drivers to overwork and sacrifice safety.
 確かに便利にはなった。
 ただ、競争のしわ寄せで運転手が過重な労働を強いられ、安全に影響するのではないか。初めからそう心配されていた。

Long-distance chartered buses typified the deregulatory transition. Offering convenience and cheap fares, bus operators flourished, but they soon became noticeably prone to accidents and traffic law violations.
 それを象徴するのが高速ツアーバスだ。安さ、便利さで急成長する一方で、事故や法令違反の多さが指摘されてきた。

Travel agencies arrange bus tours and subcontract the tours to bus operators, often making excessive demands of the latter. In turn, the bus operators push their drivers just as mercilessly. Given this vicious cycle, we can well understand why the transport ministry has tried to make travel agencies shoulder heavier responsibilities.
 ツアーバスは旅行会社が乗客を募り、バス会社に運行をゆだねる形で運営されている。旅行会社はバス会社に無理を言い、バス会社は運転手に無理を言う悪循環に陥りやすい。国交省が旅行会社の責任を重くする方針を示したのは、うなずける。

The proper way to go about deregulation is to lower the hurdle for newcomers to make it easier for them to enter the market, but subject them regularly to stringent safety checks. In other words, the more open the market becomes, the more severe the safety requirements must be.
 新規参入しやすいようにハードルを下げる代わりに、開業後は安全の質を厳しく定期的に点検する。本来、それが規制緩和の発想である。規制を緩めればこそ、安全面のチェックは厳しくすべきなのだ。

The transportation industry is noted for a high incidence of “karoshi,” or death from overwork. Pushing drivers beyond their physical well-being will ultimately cause deaths and injuries to passengers. Thorough inspections are needed in the taxi and truck industries, too.
 運輸業界は全体に過労死が多い。運転手に無理を強いれば、被害は利用者に及ぶ。タクシーやトラックも含めて、総点検しよう。

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憲法記念日に―われらの子孫のために

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 3
EDITORIAL: Constitution Day offers timely reminder of society's responsibilities
憲法記念日に―われらの子孫のために

For whom does the Constitution of Japan exist?
 日本国憲法は、だれのためにあるのか。

The answer lies in the Preface of the Constitution. It says we, the Japanese people, “for ourselves and our posterity…do firmly establish this Constitution.”
 答えは前文に記されている。「われらとわれらの子孫のために……、この憲法を確定する」と。

To whom does the Constitution grant fundamental human rights?
 基本的人権は、だれに与えられるのか。

The answer is written in Article 11 of the document. These fundamental human rights “shall be conferred upon the people of this and future generations.”
 回答は11条に書いてある。「現在及び将来の国民に与へられる」と。

The time has come to ask important questions about the meaning and implications of these constitutional provisions.
 私たちは、これらの規定の意味を問い直す時を迎えている。

That’s because we are now facing a raft of tough and important choices that are bound to have a strong and deep impact on the livelihoods and way of life of future generations.
 いま直面しているのは、将来の人々の暮らしや生き方をも拘束する重く厳しい選択ばかりだからだ。

The nuclear disaster in Fukushima Prefecture last year has already left scars that will not disappear for decades.
 原発事故はすでに、何十年も消えない傷痕を残している。

We are also at the crossroads between success and failure in our efforts to develop sustainable economic and social models to meet the challenges posed by global warming and Japan’s fiscal woes.
地球温暖化や税財政問題でも、持続可能なモデルをつくれるかどうかの岐路に立つ。

Thus, we should not focus our thoughts only on the interests of those living in this era. We need to exercise our sovereign rights for “all the Japanese people,” including those who will live in this country in the future.
 ならば、いまの世代の利益ばかりを優先して考えるわけにはいくまい。いずれこの国で生きていく将来世代を含めて、「全国民」のために主権を行使していかねばならない。

Sixty-five years have passed since the postwar Constitution came into being. In human terms, the Constitution has reached a mellow age. The supreme law of our nation, as it reads now, leaves us feeling that we are being urged to face up to the need to pay more serious attention to the well-being of future generations.
 施行から65年。人間でいえば高齢者の仲間入りをした憲法はいま、その覚悟を私たちに迫っているように読める。

Redistribution that only increases poverty
■再分配で貧困が増す

How about the realities of Japan?
 現実の日本の姿はどうか。

Aren’t we unconsciously infringing on “the right to maintain the minimum standards of wholesome and cultured living” (Article 25) of even children living now, not to speak of future generations?
 将来世代どころか、いまの子どもたちの「健康で文化的な最低限度の生活を営む権利」(25条)まで、知らず知らずのうちに奪ってはいないか。

The poverty rate among Japanese children is higher than the average among the industrial countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. One in every seven children in this nation is forced to endure financial hardship.
 子どもの貧困率は、経済協力開発機構(OECD)の平均を上回り、7人に1人が苦しい暮らしを強いられている。

The main reason for this problem is the general poverty of single-parent families.
 主な理由は、ひとり親世帯の貧しさだ。

In the mid-2000s, nearly 60 percent of such families in Japan were living below the poverty line, the highest rate among the 30 OECD countries at that time. The days of an all-pervasive middle-class mentality among Japanese now seem to be a thing of the distant past.
2000年代半ばの各国の状況を比べると、日本ではその6割近くが貧困に陥り、30カ国の中で最も悪い。「1億総中流」とうたわれたのは、遠い昔のことのようだ。

What are the key factors behind this situation? Here’s the OECD’s diagnosis.
 原因は何か。OECDは次のような診断を下している。

One major factor is low income. The number of extremely low-paid, nonregular workers has grown rapidly in recent years. In particular, many single mothers have no choice but to take poorly paid jobs.
 第一に所得の少なさである。著しく賃金が低い非正規労働が急速に広がり、とりわけ母子家庭の母親の多くが低賃金を余儀なくされている。

A second key factor is biased redistribution of income. Social security is heavily biased in favor of benefits for the elderly, such as pensions, health care and nursing care, and much less beneficial for families with small children, especially needy ones.
 第二に所得再分配のゆがみである。社会保障が年金や医療、介護など高齢者向けに偏り、子どもを持つ世代、特に貧困層への目配りが弱い。

As a result, the poverty rate among children has continued to rise. This has to do with the way taxes are imposed and social security benefits are provided.
このため、いまの税や社会保険料の集め方、配り方では、子どもの貧困率がいっそう高まる現象が日本でのみ起きている。

The nation’s tax and social security systems were built on the notion of a “standard family.” In this context, the husband is a full-time employee of a company and is paid a salary and allowances. This allows him to support his wife and children. The wife is either a full-time homemaker or a part-time worker, and is mainly responsible for raising the children.
 正社員の夫の会社が、家族のぶんまで給料で面倒を見る。専業主婦かパートで働く妻が子育てを担う。それが、かつて「標準」とされた家庭像だった。

When such households were the norm, the majority of Japanese felt they belonged to the middle class. This sentiment prevailed as long as the government provided policy support to a wide range of industries and focused its welfare policy on the elderly.
 国が幅広く産業を支援し、高齢者に配慮すれば、多くの人が「中流」を実感できた。

But this Japanese-style welfare society, which depended heavily on the roles played by companies and families, is now broken. That’s because the basic assumptions on which the system was built have changed significantly over the years. These assumptions include continuous and healthy economic growth, a low rate of business failures and a low divorce rate.
 だが、会社と家庭に頼る日本型福祉社会は壊れている。前提だった経済成長、会社倒産の少なさ、離婚の割合の低さなどが揺らいだからだ。

Employment system also needs an overhaul
■雇用慣行も改めよう

As society has changed, so has the number of people who are not covered by the protective umbrellas offered by companies and families.
 社会の変容に伴い、会社や家庭が差し出す傘の中に入れない人たちが増えた。

Children of fatherless families are typical of those who are not properly protected by the safety net.
 たとえば、母子家庭の子どもがその典型だろう。

Young people hunting for jobs are another vulnerable group. They suffer as their peers, those with full-time jobs, curb new hires in order to protect their economic fortunes.
 就職をめざす若者もそうだ。正社員の大人がみずからを守るために、新規採用を絞り込む。

In essence, this means that adults who are protected by the umbrella are keeping out those who are less fortunate.
 これは傘の中の大人が、子どもたちを傘に入れまいとする姿ではないか。

Even if individual adults are not acting out of malice, the end result is that society as a whole is mistreating its children.
個々の大人に悪意はなくても、社会全体で子どもを虐げていないか。

We clearly need to create a new, larger protective umbrella that can shield such vulnerable members of society.
 私たちは、もっと多くの人々が入れる大きな傘を作り直さなければならない。

That requires changing the redistribution system and employment practices.
 そのために、再分配の仕組みと雇用慣行を改めよう。

It is vital to prevent the poverty of parents from putting their children at a serious disadvantage. We need to ensure that needy children can also receive a decent education. It is also important to take steps to make sure that workers doing work of the same economic value receive the same level of wages. That would narrow the income gap between regular employees and nonregular workers.
 貧しくても教育をきちんと受けられるようにして、親の貧困が次世代に連鎖するのを防ぐ。同じ価値の労働なら賃金も同一にして、正社員と非正社員との待遇格差を縮める。こんな対応が欠かせない。

There will probably be strong opposition to such measures to help the weak. This is because implementing them will inevitably cause others, such as people who have finished raising children and permanent employees, to bear a fresh burden.
 反発はあるだろう。実現するには他のだれか、たとえば子育てを終えた世代や正社員が、新たな負担を引き受けなければならないからだ。

A conflict of interest?
■「利害対立」は本当か

Let us ask one important question here.
 しかし、ここであえて問う。

Is there really a conflict of interest among different members of society?
 互いの利害は本当に対立しているのか。

Adults whose children slipped through the protective umbrella should think about who will keep the umbrella over their heads when they get old.
 子どもたちを傘の外に追い出した大人は、自分が年老いたとき、だれに傘を差し出してもらうのか。そこから考えよう。

Pension payouts are financed by the premiums paid by the working population as well as revenue from the consumption tax.
 年金の原資は、現役世代が支払う保険料と、消費税である。

If companies reduce their full-time employees, the number of subscribers to the government-managed corporate pension program falls.
 企業が正社員を減らせば厚生年金の加入者が減る。

Young people with low-paid, nonregular jobs are forced to scrimp on spending.
低賃金の非正規の仕事で働く若者は消費を削らざるを得ない。

In other words, cutting back on new hires erodes the funds that will be used to pay pension benefits to current permanent employees in the future. Reducing hires of full-time employees will thus jeopardize the financial security of current permanent employees’ retirement in the future.
 つまり採用削減は、正社員が将来受けとる年金の原資を減らしていく。いずれは、我が身の老後を危うくするのである。

If it becomes financially difficult for young people to get married and have children, the number of children in Japan will dwindle further. That would cause consumer spending in this country to fall, the domestic market to shrink and Japanese companies to sink into financial trouble.
 若者が結婚し、子どもをもうけることが難しくなれば、さらに少子化が進む。消費も減り、市場が縮み、企業は苦しくなる。

Japan is already trapped in this downward spiral.
そんな負の連鎖に日本はすでに陥っている。

Society prospers when it takes good care of its young generations as they bear its destiny. Society declines when it fails to do so.
 将来を担う世代を大切にすれば社会は栄え、虐げれば衰える。

May 3 is Constitution Day. It offers a good opportunity for us to think about this obvious but oft-forgotten fact. This is a crucial test of our imagination.
憲法記念日に、そんな当たり前のことを想像する力を、私たちは試されている。

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日米防衛協力―このなし崩しは危うい

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 2
EDITORIAL: Noda needs to clarify his defense policy
日米防衛協力―このなし崩しは危うい

The reinforcement of bilateral defense cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region was declared in a joint Japan-U.S. statement issued in Washington on May 1.
"The Japan-U.S. alliance has reached new heights," Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said in a joint news conference with U.S. President Barack Obama.
 「日米同盟は新たな高みに達した」
 野田首相はきのう、オバマ米大統領との共同記者会見でこう語った。同時に発表した日米共同声明で、アジア太平洋地域での日米の防衛協力強化をうたったのを指してのことだ。

But Noda should have known better than to crow about any "new heights" without first discussing the nation's basic defense policy thoroughly at home.
 だが、ことは日本の防衛政策の根幹にかかわる問題だ。国内で十分な議論もしないまま、首脳同士で勝手に「高み」に達してもらっては困る。

Under the reinforced defense cooperation, we fear Japan will effectively pick up the tab for the U.S. military. But our greater fear is that the Japanese Self-Defense Forces may find themselves in situations where they will have to deviate from their "purely defensive" role defined by the Constitution.
 今回の防衛協力強化には、米国の軍事費の実質的な肩代わりという懸念以上の問題点がある。私たちは専守防衛の自衛隊の定義から逸脱しかねない事態を招くことを危惧する。

An interim report on the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, released before the Noda-Obama summit, indicates what the reinforced defense cooperation will entail.
 防衛協力の事例は、首脳会談の前にまとめた米軍再編見直しの中間報告に盛られている。

First, Japan and the United States will pool their funds to develop training areas in Guam and the northern Marianas and conduct joint exercises there.
 まず、グアムや北マリアナ諸島で日米がそれぞれ費用を出しあって訓練場をつくり、共同訓練をする。

Next, Japan will draw upon its official development aid (ODA) budget to provide patrol vessels to the Philippines and other nations. Patrol vessels fall under the category of weapons, but since they are meant to contribute to peace and international cooperation, they will be exempted from Japan's "three principles of arms export ban." These principles were eased last year to require only paperwork for the vessels' export.
 次に、日本の途上国援助(ODA)を使ってフィリピンなどに巡視船を供与する。巡視船は武器扱いされるが、平和貢献・国際協力目的で武器輸出三原則の例外とする。昨年の三原則緩和で、事務的手続きのみで輸出できるようになった。

These moves are in keeping with the concept of "dynamic defense forces" introduced in 2010 under the new defense program guideline to bolster the nation's defense capabilities in the southwestern islands. We are thus going to see the concept of dynamic defense in practice through increased routine military activities to enhance the power of deterrence.
 一昨年の新しい防衛計画の大綱で打ち出した「動的防衛力」への転換と、南西諸島の防衛力強化の流れに沿う。ふだんの活動量を増やすことで抑止効果を高めるという動的防衛力が、いよいよ具体化に向かう。

Holding joint exercises with the United States in the Asia-Pacific region and providing patrol vessels to nations in the region are also intended to keep the increasingly active Chinese Navy in check.
 アジア太平洋地域での米国との共同訓練や、周辺国への巡視船の供与には、この海域で活動を活発化させる中国海軍に、にらみをきかせる狙いがある。

We can see that this kind of Japan-U.S. defense cooperation meets Washington's China policy. But what about Japan's own defense policy?
 こうした日米協力は、米国の対中戦略には合致するだろう。だが、日本にはどうか。

What benefits are there for Japan to hold military exercises in the seas near Guam? Rather than have a deterring effect, would it not actually stir things up? And what does Japan need those exercises for in the first place?
 日本がグアム近海で抑止効果を狙った訓練をすることで、どんな利点があるのか。抑止力ではなく、むしろ混乱要因にならないか。そもそも、この訓練をどう生かすつもりなのか。

As for providing patrol vessels, would this not run counter to the ODA guidelines that do not include military-related aid? When Japan supplied such vessels to Indonesia in 2006, the purpose was to fight piracy in the Strait of Malacca. But what is going to be the excuse this time?
 巡視船の供与は、軍事目的を避けるというODA大綱の理念に背かないか。06年にインドネシアに提供した際には、マラッカ海峡の海賊対策という名目があったが、今回は何のためか。

We urge Noda and his ministers of defense and foreign affairs to thoroughly answer these questions in the Diet.
 こうした疑問に対し、野田首相や外務、防衛両相らに、国会での明確な説明を求める。

In its haste to mend the Japan-U.S. relationship that became strained over the Futenma relocation issue, the Noda administration is being overly eager to bolster defense cooperation with the United States.
 野田政権は、沖縄の米軍普天間飛行場の移設をめぐって混乱した日米関係の修復を急ぐあまり、防衛協力に前のめりになりすぎている。

The administration will not win the public's support unless it can clearly explain what defense policy is best for the nation.
 日本の防衛にはどんな政策が最適か。それを示さなければ、国民の理解は得られない。

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ミャンマー支援―民主化を促してこそ

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 1
EDITORIAL: Use aid to Myanmar as push toward democracy
ミャンマー支援―民主化を促してこそ

Japan has pledged to provide 600 billion yen ($7.5 billion) of official development assistance (ODA) in the three years starting fiscal 2013 to the five countries of the Mekong River region; Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
 ミャンマー、タイ、カンボジア、ラオス、ベトナムのメコン川流域国に、日本は来年度から3年間で約6千億円の途上国援助(ODA)などに乗り出す。

Japan’s development aid to the region, mainly the least-developed area of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), is important.
 東南アジア諸国連合(ASEAN)の中で遅れ気味の地域の発展を、日本が手助けすることには大きな意味がある。

Particularly notable is Tokyo’s decision to forgive, in stages, 300 billion yen of its past yen loans to Myanmar and supply fresh lending to the country for the first time in 25 years. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda recently promised these measures to visiting Myanmar President Thein Sein.
 なかでも注目すべきは、ミャンマーへの過去の円借款ざっと3千億円を段階的に放棄し、25年ぶりに供与を再開することだ。野田首相が先日、テインセイン大統領に約束した。

Last spring, Myanmar shifted from military rule to civilian administration. In parliamentary by-elections in April, candidates of the main opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) won seats, including its leader and democracy advocate, Aung San Suu Kyi, who had been under house arrest for long periods. In a move to reward the steps Myanmar has taken toward democracy, the Japanese government has decided to resume extending yen loans to the country.
 昨春に軍政から民政に移り、長く軟禁状態に置かれたアウンサンスーチーさん率いる国民民主連盟(NLD)も4月の議会補欠選挙で議席を得た。こうした民主化への歩みを評価して、円借款再開に踏み切る。

There are, however, two key conditions that should be met for Japan’s supply of aid to the country.
 だが、実施にあたっては二つの注文がある。

One is that Japan’s aid should not help Myanmar’s authoritarian government maintain its grip on power.
 一つは、強権的な政府の体制温存に手を貸すような援助にしてはならないということだ。

Even now, 80 percent of the country’s legislators are current or former members of the military. The Constitution, which allows the military to assume the full power of government during emergencies, remains effectively unamendable. The new presence of Suu Kyi and her party’s members in the parliament is unlikely to ensure the country’s swift and straight-line progress toward democracy.
 いまもミャンマーの国会議員の8割は軍人や軍出身者だ。非常時に軍が全権を握ることを定めた憲法は事実上、改正不可能なままだ。スーチーさんらが議会で活動を始めても、民主化への足取りが一直線に進むわけではないだろう。

Considering the situation, the Japanese government has postponed the final decision on forgiving 170 billion yen of the 300 billion yen until after watching the Myanmar government’s reform efforts for a year. Noda told Thein Sein, “This is a crucial moment to promote reforms (in Myanmar).”
 このため、日本政府は債権放棄のうち約1700億円分は、向こう1年間のミャンマー政府の改革努力を見て決めることにしている。野田首相も大統領に「改革を進めるためのひとつの勝負どころだ」と語った。

The question is how to evaluate the country’s democratization. The government says the evaluation will be based on a general judgment to be made with the help of the Japanese Embassy there. But that will not be enough. A fair and transparent evaluation cannot be secured unless the situation is assessed according to specific criteria through a process involving independent investigative bodies. A special committee whose members include impartial observers like representatives of nongovernmental organizations or a research team comprising Diet members should be set up for the task.
 では、どうやって民主化をチェックするのか。政府は現地の大使館を通じての一般的な情勢判断によるというが、それでは不十分だ。NGOなど第三者も加えた委員会や、国会議員による調査チームを設け、具体的な指標にてらして判断しなければ、透明性は確保できない。

The other condition is a rigorous investigation into Japan’s past loans to the country.
 もう一つは、過去の検証だ。

The amount of promised debt forgiveness--300 billion yen--is sizable, equal to more than half of this fiscal year’s total ODA budget of 560 billion yen. This is obviously unusual largesse.
 免除する3千億円は、政府の今年度のODA予算5600億円に比べても相当な額であり、異例の大盤振る舞いであることは明らかだ。

That’s why the government should take a hard look into how Japan’s past aid to the country was actually used and find out what kind of effects the money has produced. Although the aid was provided by Liberal Democratic Party-led governments, it is necessary now to question Japan’s responsibility as the lender, including the right and wrong of the judgments of the governments.
 だからこそ、過去のODAが具体的にどのように使われ、どんな効果を上げたのかを総括するのが筋だ。自民党政権時代のこととはいえ、当時の政府の判断の是非も含めて、貸手責任をきっちりと問うべきだ。

There are high expectations within Japan’s business community for the market and development of Myanmar, which has a population of about 60 million. The top executives of many Japanese companies called on President Thein Sein during his recent visit to Japan.
 人口6千万あまりのミャンマーの市場とその発展を、日本の経済界は熱く期待している。来日した大統領のもとには、多くの企業トップが訪れていた。

But the Japanese government needs to adhere to the principle that there should be no Japanese aid to Myanmar unless it keeps moving toward democracy.
 だが、「民主化なくして援助なし」という姿勢を、日本政府は堅持しなければならない。

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香山リカのココロの万華鏡:甘え?若年ホームレス /東京

May 06, 2012(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Problem of young homeless not just a lack of drive
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:甘え?若年ホームレス /東京

The Big Issue, a project which supports homeless people by having them sell its magazines, is now known by many people. Recently The Big Issue foundation put together its second report on young homeless. In the introduction it is written that since the 2008 financial crisis, the number of homeless in Japan under 40 has sharply risen.
 路上生活者に雑誌を販売してもらい、仕事を提供して自立を応援する事業「ビッグイシュー」は、いまでは多くの人に知られる存在となった。そのビッグイシュー基金が、このたび「若者ホームレス白書2」をまとめた。その冒頭には、2008年のリーマン・ショック以降、40歳未満の若いホームレスが急増している、という衝撃的な事実が記されている。

There are surely people who, hearing that there are those who are young and yet have no job or home, think, "They probably just don't have drive." From the report, however, the complicated circumstances of these young people can be seen, which cannot be set aside only by saying these people "don't have drive."
 「若いのに仕事も家もない人」と聞くと、「やる気がないだけなんでしょう?」と思う人もいるだろう。しかし、白書からは単に「やる気がない」だけではすまされない、彼らの複雑な事情が浮かび上がってくる。

It may seem strange, but many homeless in their 20s and 30s have not only work experience, but experience as full-time employees. One young person mentioned in the report feared work after traumatic bullying at a previous job. "Of course it is unpleasant being homeless. But I have an equal amount of fear toward working," the person is quoted as saying.
 意外に感じるかもしれないが、20代、30代のホームレスの多くは、就業経験どころか正社員の経験も持つ。白書に取り上げられているある若者は、過去に仕事で受けたトラウマがもとになり、働くことが怖くなり、身動きが取れなくなっている。「職場いじめ」を受けたという20代の若者の言葉が痛々しい。「ホームレス状態でいることはもちろんイヤ。でもそれと同じくらいの恐怖が働くことがある」

Of course, I understand there are opinions that such people are not trying hard enough. However, I don't think that when they come across difficulties, things will somehow work out if they withstand the stress and seek help from those around them, because they no longer trust themselves or others.
 もちろん、「そんなの、甘えだよ」という声があるのもわかる。しかし、甘えているわけではない。彼らは「困難にぶち当たっても、耐えたりまわりに相談したりすればなんとかなるはずだ」と思えない。自分のことも他人のことも、まったく信頼できないからだ。

Reading the report, one understands that for these people to get out of homelessness, they need more than just work, a home or money. They need to once more trust the world, other people and themselves, or nothing will start.
 白書を読んでいると、彼らがホームレス状態から脱出するためには、仕事や住まい、準備資金などを与えるだけでは不十分だ、ということがわかってくる。彼らにもう一度、世間や他人、そして自分のことを信じる気持ちを持ってもらわなければ、何ごとも始まらないのだ。

To restore this trust, first they need to think, "The world and life are not bad."
 では、どうすれば「他人や自分を信頼する気持ち」を回復させられるのか。まず必要なのは、「世の中や人生って悪くないな」と思ってもらうことだ。

The Big Issue's foundation has created homeless soccer teams and had them participate in various competitions. Through this there have been young people who, feeling gratitude that there is a place they can relax, have taken the first steps toward recovery.
ビッグイシュー基金でもホームレスの人たちのサッカーチームを作り、いろいろな大会に積極的に参加しているが、そこで「ホッとできる場所があるっていいな」と感じて立ち直りの一歩を歩み出した若者もいる。

(英文は翻訳抜けでしょう^^)
 もちろん、「そんなの、甘えだよ」という声があるのもわかる。しかし、甘えているわけではない。彼らは「困難にぶち当たっても、耐えたりまわりに相談したりすればなんとかなるはずだ」と思えない。自分のことも他人のことも、まったく信頼できないからだ。

The report reads, "Young homelessness is not a unique phenomenon." In these hard times, everyone constantly lives with the possibility that their workplace or community will tell them, "You are no longer needed." I hope people will think of the young homeless who have lost their jobs, homes and social connections without saying, "They are just not trying hard enough."
 白書は言う。「若年ホームレスは特殊な現象ではない」。厳しいこの時代、誰もがいまの職場や地域から「もういらないよ」と言われる危険性と隣り合わせだ。「ああ、ただの甘えでしょ」と思わずに、仕事も住まいも人とのつながりも失った、若年ホームレスの問題や彼らの胸のうちについて考えてみてほしい。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
〔都内版〕
毎日新聞 2012年05月01日 地方版

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2012年5月 6日 (日)

「原発ゼロ」社会:下 市民の熟議で信頼構築を

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 6
EDITORIAL: New system needed to ensure public input on nuclear power
「原発ゼロ」社会:下 市民の熟議で信頼構築を

The devastating accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant last year has evoked serious public distrust of politicians, bureaucrats and scientists.
 福島第一原発の事故をきっかけに、政治や行政、科学者などへの不信と疑念が広がった。

What needs to be done to stop the continuing growth of public distrust and restore their credibility with the people?
 その連鎖を断ち切り、信頼を再構築するにはどうしたらいいのだろうか。

The government has promised to promote “national debate” as part of its efforts to map out a new nuclear power and energy policy. Specifically, it plans to sort out the possible policy options that have been discussed by related advisory councils and study groups and present them to the people.
 政府は新たな原発・エネルギー政策に向けた「国民的議論」を掲げる。関係する審議会や調査会で検討してきた選択肢を整理して、国民に提示する。

The government says it is aiming to build a national consensus on the future direction of the policy by summer.
夏までに今後の方向性について合意を目指す考えという。

But not all the assumptions for the debate are clear.
 ただ、議論の前提が整っているわけではない。

The government’s committee looking into the nuclear accident has yet to compile its report. The proposed new nuclear safety watchdog, tentatively named the “Nuclear Regulatory Agency,” has yet to be created. It will be even longer before new nuclear safety standards are established.
政府の事故調査委員会の報告はまだだ。原子力規制庁(仮称)もできていない。原発の新しい安全基準作りはさらに先になる。

The power supply and demand situation this summer and progress in the efforts to promote use of renewable energy sources will also influence the debate.
この夏の電力需給や自然エネルギーの普及度合いも議論を左右する。

A well-thought-out plan and its careful implementation are vital. A rough-and-ready approach could even deepen the people’s distrust.
 知恵を絞る必要がある。拙速にことを運べば、かえって不信を広げかねない。

ORDINARY PEOPLE LEARN
■普通の人々が学ぶ

Western industrial nations have responded to “crises of credibility” of experts involved in policymaking, such as scientists, by trying to restore public confidence in them through in-depth discussions among citizens.
 欧米では、科学者ら専門家への「信頼の危機」に見舞われた際、市民参加による熟議を通じて信頼の再生を図ってきた。

When the credibility of scientists who ruled out the transmission of mad cow disease to humans was shattered, for example, Britain began to make serious efforts to promote policy debate involving ordinary citizens. Some 20,000 citizens took part in the debate over genetically modified food, including people who did so through the Internet. Various forums were established also for discussions on the safety of nanotechnology.
 たとえば、英国は牛海綿状脳症(BSE)のヒトへの感染を否定した専門家の信頼が地に落ち、市民参加型の議論に本腰を入れた。遺伝子組み換え作物をめぐる議論にはネット経由を含め2万人が参加した。ナノテクノロジーの安全性でも、様々な議論の場が設けられた。

Science and technology make our lives more comfortable and convenient but can also produce some unexpected side effects and risks.
 科学技術は暮らしを便利にするが、思わぬ副作用や危険性もある。

As the world has experienced many serious cases of public pollution and major accidents, there is now a growing global trend toward giving public opinion more influence over policy decisions on such issues as whether to permit the practical use of specific technologies.
公害や大事故などを経て、実用化の是非などに社会の意見を反映する流れが世界的に加速している。

At the same time, a broad array of schemes have been devised to allow citizens to participate in the policymaking process as a way to shore up eroding public confidence in democracy.
 一方、低下傾向にある民主政治への信認を補う目的でも、政策形成に市民が加わるさまざまな仕組みが考案されてきた。

The nuclear power and energy policy is one of the biggest themes that should reflect these two trends.
 原発・エネルギー政策は、この二つの流れが重なる最大級のテーマといえる。

In Japan, however, the atomic energy policy has been plagued by fake democracy. Spurious efforts to seek the opinions of local communities that are actually designed to justify the predetermined plans to build nuclear power facilities have been rampant.
 日本の原発政策では住民の意見を聞く形をとりながら、実際は既定の方針を正当化する「名ばかり民主主義」が横行してきた。

The bleak situation was highlighted anew by Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s attempt to manipulate public opinion on the resumption of operations at its Genkai nuclear power plant by using hundreds of its employees to send pro-nuclear e-mails to a TV program on the issue.
九州電力で発覚したやらせメールはその典型例だ。

In contrast, major Western countries generally have fairer and more transparent systems for citizen participation in policy debate. Typically, several dozens of “ordinary citizens” are chosen at random for debate on a specific policy issue to ensure that the participants represent a good cross section of society.
 これに対し、欧米での市民参加型では、無作為抽出などで数十人程度の「普通の人々」を選ぶのが一般的だ。いわば「社会の縮図」である。

After learning the basics of the issue, the participants think them over and discuss the issue at leisure. Usually, the participants are asked to express their opinions through proposals and questionnaires as summaries of the results of the debate. Their opinions are considered by the government and the legislature.
 参加者は基礎知識を学んだうえでじっくり考え、議論する。その結果を意見書やアンケートで集約し、行政や議会に尊重させるといった流れをとる。

To win the trust of society, such policy debate must be independent, neutral and transparent.
 議論が社会から信用されるための生命線は、独立、中立、そして透明性だ。

That means debate needs to be organized and sponsored by a neutral and independent body and moderated by experienced staff skilled in avoiding leading debate in a certain direction. It is also important to make clear the relationship of the experts chosen to support the debate with the industry and the government.
 中立で独立した主催者のもとで、議論を誘導しないよう習熟したスタッフが進行役をつとめる。議事に協力する専門家が業界や行政とどんな関係にあるのかも明らかにする。

'COMMON SENSE' AS SUPPLEMENT
■補完としての「常識」

This approach is no magic wand. It requires time and money. The citizens have no power to make the final policy decision. The system doesn’t replace the legislature composed of elected representatives.
 これらの方法は決して魔法の杖ではない。手間も金もかかるうえ、最終的な決定権はない。選挙で選ばれた議会に代わるわけではない。

All that such a system can do is to show the provisional common sense among citizens at that time, which can only play a supplementary role.
あくまで補完として、その時々の暫定的な市民社会の常識を示すにすぎない。

Still, it can make up for the shortcomings of the traditional policymaking process, at least to some extent. It can make visible citizens’ good sense as well as differences in the principles and tenets on which they cannot compromise.
 それでも、これまでのやり方の欠点を補う力はある。市民の良識や、譲れない信条の違いを「見える化」する。

These are functions that are needed for meaningful debate to overcome the sharp division among Japanese over the future of nuclear power generation in this nation.
賛否両極に大きく割れる原発議論を乗り越えるには必要な機能だ。

If the results of such careful and in-depth policy debate are handed down to the next generation, that would give an incentive for people living now to respect the right of “future generations” to make decisions. This is one realistic way to tackle policy challenges that will affect many generations to come, such as how to dispose of spent nuclear fuel.
 熟議の成果を次世代へリレーするなら、「将来世代」の意思決定権を尊重する動機もはたらく。使用済み核燃料の処分など末代まで関わる問題に、ひとつの方法を示唆してもいよう。

In addition, this approach is also useful for solving the dilemma posed by the fact that elections don’t necessarily guarantee the best choices for specific policy issues because they are fought over the campaign platforms of the parties that contain a wide range of proposals.
 さらに、各政党がさまざまな政策を掲げる選挙では個別政策で必ずしも最適の選択ができない、というジレンマを解きほぐすのにも有効だ。

In the city of Tokushima, citizens that didn’t belong to either camp in debate over the construction of a sluice-gate dam in the Yoshinogawa river held many meetings to study the issue. Their fruitful efforts prompted the city to hold a referendum on the issue.
 かつて徳島市では吉野川の可動堰(ぜき)問題をめぐり、賛否から距離を置く市民が勉強会を数多く開き、その実績を踏まえて市が住民投票を行ったことがある。

There can also be a system to hold popular referendums on national policy issues after several years of promoting such in-depth grassroots debate on the issues.
 国政でも、草の根の熟議を継続させ、数年間の実績を経てから国民投票にかける仕組みもありえよう。

In preparing for the envisioned national debate on the nation’s energy future, the government should entrust a neutral party to manage the actual operations and take steps to make sure there is an exhaustive and constructive debate that is beneficial for future generations as well.
 政府が考える国民的議論も、中立的な担い手に運営を任せたうえで、もっと時間をかけ、議論を将来につなげるよう、工夫してはどうだろう。

The government should craft specific plans to implement its policy of phasing out nuclear power generation in Japan as soon as possible. But continuing in-depth debate on the nuclear power policy would help promote public understanding and periodical reviews of the policy.
 政府としては脱原発依存の方針を早く具体化すべきだが、熟議型の議論を続けることは政策の定着や見直しに役立つ。

ROLE OF THE DIET
■国会で制度作りを

The Diet should play a leading role in the efforts to promote such in-depth policy debate by citizens.
 市民参加型の熟議を支えるうえで、大きな役割を果たしているのが議会(国会)だ。

In Japan, the Diet has set up its own investigative committee to uncover the facts about the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
 日本でも福島事故では国会が調査委員会を設け、事実究明に力を注いでいる。

We urge the Diet to show a commitment to fostering broad consensus among the people on related issues.
ここは、民意の熟成にも目配りしてほしい。

There is actually a long list of formidable policy challenges that will go beyond the current generation, including integrated tax and social security reform as well as the reinvention of the nuclear power and energy policy.
原発・エネルギーに限らず、税と社会保障改革など世代を超えた難題は目白押しである。

Lawmakers should consider setting up a new executive office within the Diet to organize meetings for in-depth discussions among citizens on policy issues and help universities, nonprofit organizations and other neutral bodies hold such public hearings as well.
 国会に事務局を置き、自ら熟議集会を主催したり、大学やNPOなど中立組織による開催を支援したりしてはどうか。

People tend to long for a strong leader when their distrust of politics and confusion about policy issues deepen.
 不信と混迷が深まると、強い指導者を求めがちだ。

But the only way to secure real progress in democracy is to get citizens more deeply involved in the policymaking process and in the efforts to solve policy issues as their own challenges.
しかし、政策への市民の関与を強め、わがこととして解決する道こそが民主主義を深化させる。

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こどもの日 次世代の「重荷」を減らしたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 6, 2012)
Redouble efforts to lessen burden of future generations
こどもの日 次世代の「重荷」を減らしたい(5月5日付・読売社説)

My bright smile

Signals a wish

To be friendly with you!

 〈ニコニコは 「なかよくしよう」の あいずだよ〉。

This is the slogan selected for this year's Child Welfare Week starting today, Children's Day. The haiku-style slogan was composed by a 7-year-old boy in Saitama Prefecture.
きょう「こどもの日」から始まる児童福祉週間の標語である。
 埼玉県の7歳男児が作った。

Children's carefree smiles feed our happiness. Efforts to enhance children's well-being in the future are a primary responsibility of adults.
屈託のない子どもの笑顔は幸せの糧だ。将来にわたって子どもたちの幸福を図ることは、大人世代の責務と言える。

As long as nothing effective is done to realize this, it can hardly be possible to paint a bright picture for the future of small children.
 だが、手をこまぬいていれば、幼子たちの未来は、あまり明るいものにならない。

The outstanding balance of government bonds and other forms of government borrowing amounted to 958 trillion yen at the end of 2011. The figure is equivalent to about 7.5 million yen per capita, including newborn babies.
 国債や借入金など「国の借金」は昨年末で958兆円に上り、赤ちゃんを含めた国民1人当たりで約750万円にもなる。

Japan's demographic structure is certain to include a rapidly rising percentage of elderly in the future.
 日本の人口構成は今後、高齢者層がどんどん大きくなる。

As a result, government spending on social welfare programs is certain to snowball by 1 trillion yen every year just to maintain the status quo of the quality of social security.
その結果、福祉の水準を現状維持するだけでも、社会保障予算は毎年1兆円ずつ自然に膨らむ。

===

No option but tax hike

On the other hand, the population of young and seasoned workers, who provide much of the revenue necessary for funding social welfare, has been shrinking. Today's children are sure to join the generations heavily burdened with the cost of maintaining the social welfare system.
 一方で、必要な財源の多くを負担する中堅・若年層は減少していく。今の子どもたちも、苦しい支え手の世代に、やがて加わることになる。

Diet deliberations on the government-proposed comprehensive reform of the social security and tax systems will begin after the Golden Week holidays.
 「社会保障と税の一体改革」の国会審議が、大型連休明けに始まる。

For the sake of the whole nation, including children, adults in the political arena--both in the ruling and opposition camps--should renew their awareness of the necessity of the reform and join hands to make it a reality.
子どもたちのためにも、与野党の大人たちは改革の必要性を改めて認識し、協力し合って実現をめざすべきだ。

One major objective of the envisioned reform is to relieve today's children, and those born in the future, of an excessive financial burden related to social welfare services.
 一体改革には、今の、そしてこれから生まれる子どもたちを、将来の重すぎる負担から救うという大きな目的がある。

To lessen such burdens, it is imperative to raise the consumption tax rate and use the resulting rise in revenue to fund social security programs. The only option is to have the burden shared by all generations on the widest possible basis.
 重荷を減らすには消費税率を引き上げ、これを社会保障の財源とすることが不可欠だ。全世代で広く負担を分かち合うしかない。

The government and the ruling parties must provide more persuasive explanations to the public on this subject.
 政府・与党は、その点をもっと強く国民に説かねばならない。

Regarding the planned increase of the consumption tax rate by five percentage points, the government and the ruling parties say revenue increases from one of the five points are to be used to improve social security services, while the remaining four points will be applied to maintaining existing social security programs.
 消費税率の5%引き上げについて政府・与党は、1%を社会保障制度の充実に、4%を制度の維持に使う、としている。

This should not be interpreted, however, as meaning social security services would only be improved by one percentage point.
 これも、「1%分しか社会保障は良くならない」と考えるべきではなかろう。

===

Maintaining vigor of society

Revenue sources for maintaining existing social welfare programs must be properly covered by tax revenues, rather than government debts, or bonds, which will end up passing the bills on to today's children in their future adulthood.
制度を維持するための財源は、子どもたちにツケを回す借金(国債)ではなく、きちんと税金で手当てすることの方が重要である。

One of the pillars of the social security and tax system reform is to earmark for upgrading child-rearing administrative services 700 billion yen of about 2.7 trillion yen in additional revenue projected to result from one percentage point of the five-point consumption tax hike.
 1%分約2・7兆円のうち7000億円を子育て支援の拡充にあてることも一体改革の柱だ。

Many details of government initiatives, such as the idea of merging kindergartens and day care centers, have yet to be discussed. However, the basic policy of making social welfare services--which have so far been lopsided in favor of the elderly--"better suited to all generations" is reasonable, just like the envisioned step to raise tax revenues.
 「総合こども園」構想など細部に議論すべき点は多いが、高齢者に集中していた施策を、財源同様に「全世代型」へと広げる方向は妥当と言えよう。

Efforts to address the current stagnation in the birthrate are key to maintaining the vigor of society and alleviating the burden that must be shared by the public.
 少子化の進行をできるだけ食い止めることで、社会の活力は維持され、分かち合う負担感も小さくなる。

The reform of social security and tax systems is a challenge that must be addressed to prevent society from deteriorating into one in which future generations will want to cry out for help.
次世代が悲鳴を上げるような社会にしないために、避けては通れない改革である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 5, 2012)
(2012年5月5日01時39分  読売新聞)

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全原発停止 これでは夏の電力が不足する

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 6, 2012)
Summer power shortage feared if situation remains unchanged
全原発停止 これでは夏の電力が不足する(5月5日付・読売社説)

The No. 3 reactor of Hokkaido Electric Power Co.'s Tomari nuclear power plant, which has been the only reactor operating in Japan, is scheduled to stop on May 5.
 国内で1基だけ稼働している北海道電力泊原子力発電所3号機が5日、運転を停止する。

It is an abnormal situation in which the operations of all 50 reactors in Japan are stopped and 30 percent of the nation's electricity sources is lost.
全国50基の原発がすべて止まり、全電源の3割が失われる異常事態だ。

The number of reactors in operation will be zero in Japan for the first time since 1970--42 years ago--when there were only two reactors in the nation.
 原発の稼働がゼロになるのは、原発がわずか2基だった1970年以来、42年ぶりである。

This has come about because reactors suspended for regular check-ups cannot be restarted even after their inspections are completed due to negative effects of the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
 東京電力福島第一原発の事故の影響で、定期検査で止めた原発を、検査を終えた後も再稼働できなくなっていることが原因だ。

It is important to reconfirm the safety of the reactors based on lessons learned from the crisis. However, we cannot overlook the fact that the government's nuclear power policy has taken a winding course and delayed procedures for the restart.
 事故の教訓を踏まえ、原発の安全性を再確認するのは重要だ。だが、政府の原子力政策が迷走し、再稼働への手続きにブレーキをかけた点は看過できない。

The government's impromptu reactions, such as former Prime Minister Naoto Kan's surprise declaration of denuclearization, have amplified public distrust against nuclear power generation. Scandals involving utility companies and the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, such as a case involving faked e-mails, also slowed down restart procedures.
 菅前首相による突然の「脱原発宣言」など場当たり的な対応は、原発への不信を増幅させた。「やらせメール問題」をはじめ、電力会社や原子力安全・保安院の不祥事も、足を引っ張った。

===

Restart of Oi reactors delayed

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and others in mid-April confirmed the safety of the Nos. 3 and 4 reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s Oi nuclear power plant under new criteria, and concluded it is appropriate to restart them.
 野田首相らは4月中旬、新たな判断基準で関西電力大飯原発3、4号機の安全を確認し、再稼働は妥当だと判断した。

However, they failed to obtain the understanding of local communities hosting the reactors and are still having difficulty reaching a consensus with them. Inconsistent remarks by Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano also had a profound effect on this.
しかし、地元の理解を得られず、調整はなお難航している。枝野経済産業相の発言がぶれた影響も大きい。

If the current situation continues, it will not be possible for the reactors to be restarted in time for summer, when the nation's demand for electricity balloons.
 このままでは電力需要が膨らむ夏に間に合わない恐れがある。

The service area of Kansai Electric, where the Oi power plant is located, is particularly dependent on nuclear power generation. If the plant's reactors do not resume operations, the area will see an electricity shortage of about 15 percent at a time when temperatures are very high. A legally binding obligation to save electricity or rolling blackouts might become necessary.
 特に大飯原発のある関電管内は原発依存度が高い。再稼働しないと、猛暑時の電力不足は約15%にのぼるという。法律による節電の義務づけや計画停電が、必要になるかもしれない。

The prime minister should exercise leadership as the foremost relevant government official and do his best to convince local communities regarding the restart of the Oi nuclear power plant.
 首相が先頭に立ち、大飯原発の再稼働実現に向け、地元の説得に全力を挙げるべきだ。

The Kansai region is not the only area expected to see a serious electricity shortage. All parts of the nation will be walking a tightrope regarding the balance of electricity supply and demand this summer.
 深刻さは関西にとどまらない。節電などの効果を入れても、全国の夏の電力需給は綱渡りだ。

The situation is far harsher than last summer, when more than 15 reactors were in operation. It is dangerous to take the rosy view that the expected shortages can be overcome by saving electricity like last summer.
15基以上の原発が動いていた去年に比べてはるかに厳しい。昨夏のように、節電すれば乗り切れる、と楽観するのは危険である。

===

Avoid power shortages

In a survey conducted last month by the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), 70 percent of manufacturing companies said they would reduce production if they have concerns about a stable power supply.
 経団連が先月に実施した調査では、製造業の7割が電力供給に不安があれば減産すると答えた。

Fuel costs for thermal power generation, which substitutes for nuclear power generation, are expected to be 3 trillion yen or 4 trillion yen more per year in the nation, causing concerns about additional hikes in electricity prices. An electricity shortage will cool down the economy and exacerbate the hollowing-out of industries.
 原発を代替する火力発電の燃料費は、全国で年3~4兆円も余計にかかる見込みで、電力料金のさらなる値上げも懸念される。電力不足が景気を冷やし、産業空洞化に拍車をかけることになろう。

If the government forces aggressive power-saving targets on ordinary households, the extreme heat of midsummer would threaten the health of elderly and infirm citizens.
 厳しい節電目標を家庭に強いれば、真夏の暑さが高齢者など弱者の健康を損なう恐れがある。

It is also a big problem that the delay in creation of a new nuclear regulatory agency has suspended procedures to restart reactors of nuclear power plants other than the Oi plant.
 原子力規制庁の設立が遅れ、大飯以外の再稼働手続きがストップしているのも大きな問題だ。

The ruling and opposition parties must advance discussions on creation of the envisaged agency and speed up the establishment of a new system in charge of examining conditions to restart reactors.
 与野党は規制庁設置を巡る協議を進め、再稼働の審査にあたる新体制作りを急がねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 5, 2012)
(2012年5月5日01時39分  読売新聞)

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2012年5月 5日 (土)

日米首脳会談 同盟深化へ戦略的行動重ねよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 3, 2012)
Strategic actions necessary to deepen Japan-U.S. alliance
日米首脳会談 同盟深化へ戦略的行動重ねよ(5月2日付・読売社説)

 ◆対中国・北朝鮮で緊密な連携を

We believe relations between Japan and the United States are finally on the right track after being stalled by the confusion caused by previous Democratic Party of Japan administrations.
 民主党政権の下で混乱・停滞していた日米関係が、ようやく改善の軌道に乗ったと言えよう。

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda held summit talks with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington and the two leaders released a joint statement titled "A Shared Vision for the Future."
 野田首相がワシントンでオバマ米大統領と会談し、日米共同声明「未来に向けた共通のビジョン」を発表した。

It is the first document released by the top leaders of the two countries since June 2006 when then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and then U.S. President George W. Bush announced the new concept of the "Japan-U.S. alliance in the world."
 日米両首脳による共同文書は、2006年6月に小泉首相とブッシュ大統領が「世界の中の日米同盟」を打ち出して以来だ。

Since the DPJ took the reins of power in 2009, former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama caused turmoil over the issue of relocating the functions of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station, resulting in a huge setback for bilateral ties. Relations between the two countries remained stagnant under Noda's immediate predecessor, Naoto Kan. Hatoyama and Kan have a lot to answer for.
 09年の政権交代後、鳩山元首相が米軍普天間飛行場の移設問題を迷走させ、日米関係を危機的状況に陥れた。菅前首相の時期も足踏みが続いた。両氏の罪は深い。

===

Priority placed on Asia
 ◆6年ぶりの共同文書

In the face of such adverse circumstances, Noda has tried to rebuild the bilateral alliance step by step and is responsible for certain achievements. He deserves praise on these points.
 その逆境の下で野田首相が日米同盟の再建に地道に取り組み、成果を上げたことを評価したい。

The latest joint statement positioned the alliance as "the cornerstone of peace, security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region." It declares "Japan and the United States pledge to fulfill our roles and responsibilities by utilizing the full range of capabilities to advance regional [Asia's] and global peace, prosperity and security."
 声明は、日米同盟を「アジア太平洋地域における平和、安全保障、安定の礎」と位置づけた。日米両国が「アジアと世界の平和、繁栄、安全保障」に向けて「あらゆる能力を駆使」し、その「役割と責任を果たす」と宣言している。

We believe that through the statement both countries have conveyed to the rest of the international community their common medium- and long-term policy targets.
 日米共通の中長期的な政策目標を掲げ、国際社会に発信したものと受け止められる。

Japan's basic foreign policy stance is to strengthen relations with other Asian countries, including China and South Korea, while maintaining the Japan-U.S. alliance as its pillar. The Obama administration has made clear it places top priority on Asia in both military and economic fields. This means Japan and the United States are keeping in step with each other.
 日本は、日米同盟を基軸としつつ、中韓などアジア各国との関係を強化するのが基本方針だ。オバマ政権も、軍事、経済両面で「アジア重視」を鮮明にしている。日米の足並みはそろっている。

It is now essential for both countries to closely cooperate on a number of issues and take strategic actions to put into concrete form the pledges made in the joint statement.
 今後は、合意内容を具体化するため、日米両国が、あらゆるレベルで緊密に連携し、戦略的な行動を起こすことが肝心である。

Noda used a gardening analogy in promising to develop the Japan-U.S. alliance, saying, "Constant daily efforts such as soil preparation and watering are indispensable to help [the bilateral relations] bear beautiful flowers." As he said, both nations must make continuous efforts and take concrete actions to maintain the alliance.
 首相が日米同盟を「美しい花を咲かせるには日々の土作りや水やりが欠かせない」とガーデニングに例えたように、同盟関係の維持には、具体的行動を通じた双方の不断の努力が求められる。

===

Strengthen defense cooperation
 ◆防衛協力強化が急務だ

In emphasizing the importance of adopting international rules through such forums as the East Asia Summit and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the two countries called on "all regional partners" to make positive contributions.
 声明は、東アジア首脳会議(EAS)やアジア太平洋経済協力会議(APEC)を通じた国際的なルール作りの重要性を強調したうえ、「地域の全てのパートナー」に積極的な貢献を促した。

While the statement avoided mentioning China by name, it is obvious the emerging economic and military power is uppermost in the minds of both Japan and the United States.
 名指しを避けながらも、軍事、経済両面で台頭する中国を最も念頭に置いているのは明らかだ。

In addition to having the country respond appropriately to North Korea's nuclear, missile and abduction problems, Japan and the United States should press China to play a more constructive role by observing international rules and norms in regard to free trade and the security of oceans, space and cyberspace.
 北朝鮮の核・ミサイル、拉致問題への対応だけでなく、海洋・宇宙・サイバーの安全保障、自由貿易などの分野で国際ルールを順守し、建設的な役割を果たす方向に中国を誘導することが肝要だ。

To this end, Tokyo and Washington must work closely together in pressing Beijing persistently to conduct itself in a fitting manner. Efforts must also be made to realize a trilateral framework to induce a strategic dialogue.
 そのためには、日米両国が協調しつつ、中国に粘り強く働きかけねばならない。日米中の戦略対話構想の実現も目指したい。

During their meeting, Noda and Obama confirmed the importance of preventing North Korea from taking further provocative actions.
 会談では、北朝鮮の更なる挑発行為を防ぐ重要性を確認した。

To stop Pyongyang from conducting another nuclear test, it is essential for the international community to unite and send a strong message to that country. Japan, the United States and South Korea must call on China and Russia to change their conciliatory stance toward North Korea.
 北朝鮮の核実験を阻止するには国際社会が結束し、強いメッセージを発することが大切だ。日米韓は、中露両国に融和的な姿勢を改めるよう求める必要がある。

===

Advance Futenma relocation issue

Concerning the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, Noda and Obama agreed to steadily implement the bilateral agreement on the transfer overseas of U.S. marines in Okinawa Prefecture.
 米軍再編見直しでは、在沖縄海兵隊の海外移転の日米合意を着実に実施することで一致した。

U.S. military facilities in the prefecture must be returned to Japan as soon as possible, while at the same time cooperation between the Self-Defense Forces and U.S. troops must be strengthened. A relationship of trust with Okinawa should be rebuilt and its burden of hosting U.S. military bases reduced, thereby breaking the stalemate in resolving the issue of relocating Futenma Air Station.
 自衛隊と米軍の協力を強化するとともに、沖縄の米軍施設の早期返還を具体化せねばならない。米軍基地負担を軽減する中で、沖縄との信頼関係を再構築し、普天間問題の打開につなげたい。

In regard to the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral trade and economic framework, Noda refrained from announcing Japan's official participation in the ongoing negotiations. He only confirmed that Japan and the United States would continue consultations on Tokyo's bid to take part in the negotiations. Obama, on the other hand, expressed interest in Japan opening its markets in the automobile, insurance and beef sectors.
 環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)について野田首相は、日本の正式な参加表明を見送り、参加の前提となる日米協議の継続を確認するにとどまった。オバマ大統領は、自動車、保険、牛肉の3分野における日本の市場開放への関心を表明した。

Noda had been expected to move a step forward from his statement last November that "Japan will consult with the countries concerned on Japan's bid for taking part in the TPP negotiations." But he had trouble building a consensus in the DPJ as some lawmakers in the party oppose participation in the negotiations.
 今回は、昨年11月の「交渉参加に向けて関係国と協議する」という段階から、一歩踏み込むことが本来は期待されていた。だが、TPP参加反対派を抱える民主党内の調整が進まなかった。

It is understandable that the Noda administration could not spend much time and effort on the TPP issue as priority was given to Diet passage of legislation of a bill to raise the consumption tax rate. But the nine countries engaged in the TPP negotiations will not wait indefinitely for Japan to make up its mind.
 野田政権が消費税率引き上げ法案の成立を優先し、TPPに手が回らなかったという事情は理解できる。だが、既に交渉中の9か国がいつまでも日本の参加を待ってくれるわけではない。

===

Time to decide on TPP entry
 ◆TPP参加を決断せよ

There is a possibility the TPP negotiations will be concluded this autumn following an agreement. Japan must quickly decide on its entry into the negotiations to reflect its position in formulating TPP rules to ensure they are advantageous to this country.
 TPP交渉は今秋にも合意する可能性がある。TPPのルール作りに自らの主張を反映させ、有利な内容とするため、日本は早期に交渉参加を決断すべきだ。

In regard to the energy sector, Noda and Obama affirmed the two countries will expand cooperation concerning the safety of nuclear power plants.
 エネルギー分野では、原子力発電の安全に関する日米協力を拡充することで一致した。

With the steep rise in crude oil prices, it is in the interest of both Japan and the United States to accelerate the development of alternative energy sources and enhance the safety of nuclear power stations based on lessons learned from the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
 原油価格が高騰する中、代替エネルギーの開発を加速するとともに、東京電力福島第一原発の事故の教訓を踏まえて、原発の安全性を向上させることは、日米共通の利益である。

Japan regards the export of nuclear power plants as a pillar of its growth strategy. The country plans to host an international conference on nuclear safety in Fukushima Prefecture in December. We want to see concrete results arising from Japan-U.S. cooperation.
 特に日本は、原発の輸出を成長戦略の柱に位置づけている。12月には福島県で原子力安全の国際会議を開催する予定だ。日米協力の具体的な成果を上げてほしい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 2, 2012)
(2012年5月2日01時25分  読売新聞)

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憲法記念日 改正論議で国家観が問われる

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 4, 2012)
Vision of the state questioned in top law revision debate
憲法記念日 改正論議で国家観が問われる(5月3日付・読売社説)

 ◆高まる緊急事態法制の必要性

Japan is currently facing many pending issues at home and abroad, such as reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake, resolving the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant and dealing with China, which is expanding its economic and military power.
 日本は今、東日本大震災からの復興や原子力発電所事故の収束、経済・軍事で膨張する中国への対応など、内外に多くの懸案を抱えている。

Since what the state should be is being questioned, we should go back to basics. The ruling and opposition parties should pursue the ideal form this country should take by deepening their discussions on constitutional revisions.
 国家のあり方が問われているからこそ、基本に戻りたい。与野党は憲法改正の論議を深め、あるべき国家像を追求すべきだ。

 ◆主権回復60年の節目に

Ahead of last Saturday, April 28, the 60th anniversary of the San Francisco Peace Treaty coming into force, the Liberal Democratic Party released the second draft of its proposed revisions to the Constitution.
 サンフランシスコ講和条約の発効からちょうど60年を迎えた4月28日を前に、自民党は、第2次憲法改正草案を発表した。

LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki stressed the necessity of constitutional revisions, a fundamental issue that led to the party's formation, saying it is something "we should've tackled when Japan regained sovereignty."
 谷垣総裁は「主権を回復した時に挑まねばならないことだった」と述べ、結党の原点である憲法改正の必要性を強調した。

It is a well-known fact that the Constitution was based on a draft drawn up by the General Headquarters of the Allied Powers. We commend the LDP for again proposing national debate on revisions to the top law by reviewing its first draft of revisions, written in 2005.
 憲法が、連合国軍総司令部(GHQ)の案を基に作成されたことは周知の事実である。自民党が2005年の草案を見直し、改めて国民的な憲法改正論議を提起したことは評価したい。

===

Emergencies provision sought

The LDP's new draft also established a provision to deal with emergencies, based on lessons from the Great East Japan Earthquake. Under the latest draft, the prime minister would be able to declare a state of emergency in the event of armed attacks on the country, a civil war and large-scale disasters.
 新草案は、東日本大震災の反省も踏まえて、緊急事態に対処するための条項を設けた。武力攻撃や内乱、大規模災害の際、首相は「緊急事態」を宣言できる。

The revisions would enable the prime minister to issue orders to the heads of local governments based on the declaration.
 それに基づき、地方自治体の首長に指示することなどを可能にした。

To protect people's lives and property, fundamental human rights--including the freedom to choose and change one's residence, and property rights--could be temporarily restricted within the minimum scope necessary. For this reason, some people object to the provision concerning emergencies.
 国民の生命と財産を守るためには、居住及び移転の自由、財産権など基本的人権を必要最小限の範囲で一時的に制限することにもなろう。それだけに、緊急事態条項への反対論はある。

However, it is much more dangerous for the government to take supralegal measures that it claims are necessary in an emergency, with no provision for such steps stipulated in the Constitution. This is why almost all countries, including Germany and France, have a provision concerning emergencies in their constitutions.
 しかし、何の規定もないまま、政府が緊急事態を理由に超法規的措置をとることの方がよほど危険だ。独仏などほとんどの国が憲法に緊急事態条項を明文化しているのは、そのためでもある。

It is the government's responsibility to prepare for emergencies in times of calm.
 緊急事態への備えを平時に整えておくことは、政府の責務だ。

Previous damage estimates are being reviewed for earthquakes, including a possible inland earthquake that could directly hit Tokyo, in which the capital's functions could be paralyzed, and a massive earthquake along the Nankai Trough caused by simultaneous Tokai, Tonankai and Nankai earthquakes.
 首都機能が喪失しかねない「首都直下地震」や、東海、東南海、南海地震の連動する「南海トラフの巨大地震」など従来の被害想定が見直されている。

Also, the possibility that nuclear power plants in the nation may be targeted by terrorists cannot be denied.
原発を狙うテロの可能性も否定できない。

Existing laws, including the Disaster Countermeasures Basic Law, are inadequate to fully cope with situations in which the state's functions are hindered.
 国家の機能が損なわれる事態に災害対策基本法など現行の法律だけでは、十分対処できまい。

Another important point for debate will be dealing with a possible emergency at a time when the House of Representatives has been dissolved or when its lawmakers' terms are about to expire.
 衆院解散時、あるいは任期満了に近い時点での緊急事態対処も重要な論点になる。

Parallel to discussions on constitutional revisions, the government also should consider establishing new legislation such as a basic contingency law.
 憲法改正論議と同時に、政府は「緊急事態基本法」といった新たな立法も考慮すべきである。

===

Self-defense issues
 ◆自衛隊位置付け明確に

On national security, the LDP's new draft maintained the current Constitution's policy of denouncing war, which is stipulated in Article 9, but added a clause saying this does not preclude the nation from "invoking the right to self-defense."
 安全保障に関して新草案は9条の戦争放棄を堅持し、「自衛権の発動を妨げるものではない」との一文を加えた。

The draft authorized the nation to possess the Self-Defense Forces under the name of "national defense forces." The draft also clarified that Japan is entitled to exercise the right to collective self-defense, which has been officially denied by past administrations.
自衛隊は「国防軍」として保持するとした。政府見解が禁じる集団的自衛権の行使を、可能にすることを明確にした。

The LDP's draft also added a clause stipulating that the government must cooperate with citizens to maintain the nation's territorial integrity and secure its resources.
 政府は、国民と協力して領土を保全し、資源を確保しなければならない、との条項も設けた。

We believe the LDP's judgments on the draft over national security are all appropriate.
 いずれも妥当な判断だ。

The security environment surrounding Japan has increasingly become severe, due to factors including China's advancement into adjacent seas and North Korea's nuclear development program. In this situation, it is necessary for Japan to be able to exercise the right to collective self-defense for the Japan-U.S. alliance to function smoothly.
 中国の海洋進出、北朝鮮の核開発など、日本の安全保障を巡る環境が厳しさを増す中、集団的自衛権の行使を可能にし、日米同盟を円滑に機能させる必要がある。

On the other hand, we have doubts about the LDP's decision to refrain in the new draft from reviewing the status of the House of Councillors, which holds a disproportionately strong power.
 一方、自民党は、参院の権限が強すぎる現状の見直しに踏み込まなかった。これは疑問である。

In the divided Diet--in which opposition parties hold a majority in the upper house--bills not supported by the opposition parties will not pass. In addition, the upper house's censure motions now virtually decide the fate of cabinet ministers. This destructive practice is causing turmoil in the Diet.
 衆参ねじれ国会では、野党が反対する法案は成立しない。参院の問責決議が閣僚の生殺与奪権を事実上握るという悪(あ)しき慣習も国会を混乱させている。

Your Party has proposed a plan to introduce a single-chamber system by integrating the two houses, and a suprapartisan group of lawmakers has prepared a constitutional reform proposal aimed at introducing a single-chamber system. We believe the party and the group are both aware that one reason the Diet is not functioning sufficiently is the upper house's disproportionately strong power.
 みんなの党は衆参統合で一院制とする案を唱えている。超党派の議員連盟は一院制実現への憲法改正案をまとめた。国会の機能不全の要因に「強すぎる参院」があるとの認識からだろう。

However, it is difficult to achieve a single-chamber system by revising the Constitution. It would be more realistic to figure out the appropriate division of the roles of the two houses under the current bicameral system.
 だが、憲法改正で一院制を実現するのは、困難である。二院制は維持しつつ、衆参の役割分担を工夫することの方が現実的だ。

The LDP, Your Party and the Sunrise Party of Japan have all expressed their views on an ideal Constitution. However, the Democratic Party of Japan, which holds the reins of government, has been reluctant to join discussions over amending the Constitution. It is inexcusable for the ruling party to shun an issue concerning the foundation of the nation.
 自民党やみんなの党、たちあがれ日本が、憲法に対する考え方を表明しているのに、政権党である民主党は、改正論議に及び腰だ。国家の基本に関する問題で「逃げ」の姿勢は許されない。

===

Tackle vote disparity now
 ◆違憲状態解消が急務だ

In autumn, the Deliberative Councils on the Constitution in both houses--which had been dormant for more than four years--finally began creaking into action.
 国会では昨年秋、4年以上休眠状態にあった衆参両院の憲法審査会が、ようやく動き始めた。

The lower house Research Commission on the Constitution has already clarified the main points regarding the amendment of the Constitution at meetings held from 2000 to 2005. The deliberative councils should begin concrete discussions on revising the Constitution soon. We hope the councils understand there is no time to waste.
 憲法改正への主要な論点は、2000~05年の衆院憲法調査会で既に整理されている。スピード感を持って、具体的な改正論議に着手してもらいたい。

One serious problem regarding the Constitution is the lawsuits over the disparity in the weight of votes. In recent years, an increasing number of court rulings concluded that the disparity in the weight of votes in both lower and upper house elections are "unconstitutional" or in an "unconstitutional state," which means it could be unconstitutional if the situation is not changed within a certain period. However, discussions on reforming the electoral system have made no substantial progress.
 深刻なのは、「1票の格差」を巡る訴訟で、衆参両院に「違憲」「違憲状態」の司法判断が相次いでいる問題だ。選挙制度改正論議が一向に進展していない。

Diet members should be ashamed of greeting the Constitution Day after leaving the matter for so long despite knowing the disparity problem has come so close to being unconstitutional. This irresponsible attitude is unforgivable in the nation's legislative body.
 国会は、違憲状態を放置して憲法記念日を迎えたことを猛省すべきだ。立法府として無責任に過ぎる。

It is especially urgent for the lower house, many members of which are whispering about the possibility of a snap general election, to review the electoral system.
特に解散・総選挙の可能性がとりざたされる衆院は、選挙制度の見直しが急務である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 3, 2012)
(2012年5月3日02時31分  読売新聞)

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核燃料サイクル 軽視できない政策変更コスト

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 5, 2012)
Govt shouldn't give up nuclear fuel cycle policy
核燃料サイクル 軽視できない政策変更コスト(5月4日付・読売社説)

The Cabinet Office's Atomic Energy Commission has compiled estimates of the costs that will have to be borne if disposal methods for spent nuclear fuel from nuclear plants are changed.
 内閣府の原子力委員会が、原子力発電所で生じる使用済み核燃料の処理方法を変更した場合のコストを試算した。

The expenses that would accompany any such changes would vary by trillions of yen, according to the commission.
 変更に伴う費用は兆円規模の巨額に上る。

Due to the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant of Tokyo Electric Power Co., the nation's nuclear energy policy is facing a major review. The government's Energy and Environment Council, which is in charge of the review, should calmly engage in discussions based on the estimates.
 東京電力福島第一原発の事故を受け、原子力政策は見直しを迫られている。検討に当たる政府のエネルギー・環境会議は、試算を踏まえ冷静に議論すべきだろう。

There are two major points of debate. Will Japan aim to be completely nuclear-free? And how should this nation dispose of the huge quantities of spent nuclear fuel sitting at each nuclear power plant and other places?
 主要な論点は二つある。「脱原発」を目指すのかどうか。各原発などに大量に存在する使用済み核燃料をどう処理するかだ。

The estimates were calculated based on the following scenarios: the use of nuclear power reactors will be zero from 2020; the maximum proportion of nuclear power as a source of Japan's energy will be maintained at the 2010 level of 35 percent; or this proportion will be reduced to 20 percent in 2030. Based on the three scenarios, the panel calculated the costs of disposing of spent nuclear fuel through 2030.
 試算は、2020年以降は原発ゼロとする場合と、最大で現状並みに発電量の20~35%を原発で賄う場合に分け、30年までの使用済み核燃料の処理費用を出した。

Japan has been employing a so-called nuclear fuel cycle, in which plutonium and uranium are extracted from spent fuel and recycled as nuclear fuel.
 日本は、これまで、使用済み核燃料からプルトニウムなどを取り出し、核燃料に再利用する「核燃料サイクル」を採用してきた。

The cycle has the advantages of effectively using uranium resources and greatly reducing the amount of radioactive waste.
 ウラン資源を有効活用でき、放射性廃棄物の量も大幅に減らせる利点があるためだ。

===

No nuclear power unrealistic

If all the nation's nuclear reactors are kept offline, the volume of spent nuclear fuel will stop increasing. The only method left to dispose of this fuel will be "direct disposal" by burying it underground. The panel said this method would be up to about 5 trillion yen cheaper than other options.
 原発をゼロにすると使用済み核燃料の増加は止まる。残る使用済み核燃料は、そのまま地中に埋める「直接処分」だけになり、他の政策を選ぶより最大で約5兆円コストが下がる、としている。

The problem, however, is the cost of buying fuel for thermal power stations that are being operated in place of nuclear power. This fuel costs about 3 trillion yen a year. The panel said more than about 30 trillion yen likely will be needed to keep these stations producing electricity until 2030. Considering this massive financial burden, we believe abandoning nuclear power is an unrealistic policy option.
 問題は、原発に代わる火力発電の燃料費だ。年に約3兆円、30年までに計約30兆円以上かかる。負担の大きさからも、脱原発は非現実的な政策と言えよう。

Meanwhile, disposal costs will balloon by about 2 trillion yen if the nation sticks with nuclear power but relies only on the direct disposal method.
 一方、原発利用を続けたまま直接処分に完全に切り替えると、費用は約2兆円拡大する。

This is because the amount of radioactive waste would increase compared with the volume produced when using the nuclear fuel cycle system. Accordingly, disposal costs will swell.
 核燃料サイクルより放射性廃棄物の量が増え、その分コストが膨らむからだ。

The construction of a nuclear fuel recycling plant in the village of Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture, is scheduled to be completed shortly. Switching completely to direct disposal would mean all the money invested in the Rokkasho project would have gone down the drain.
青森県六ヶ所村で完成目前の核燃料再処理工場も廃棄され、投資が無駄になる。

In this case, too, the fuel costs for alternative facilities will be staggering.
 この場合も、代替の燃料費が深刻な問題となる。

===

Reprocessing plant necessary

If the nuclear fuel cycle policy is abandoned, about 3,000 tons of used nuclear fuel already transported to Rokkasho must be returned to each nuclear station, as agreed in a pledge with the Aomori prefectural government.
 核燃料サイクル政策を放棄すると、青森県との約束で、これまでに六ヶ所村に搬入された使用済み核燃料約3000トンが、各原発への返送を迫られる。

As many nuclear power plants' storage facilities for spent fuel will reach full capacity, they likely will be unable to keep operating their reactors. The panel estimated that if nuclear reactors are forced to gradually halt operations, the fuel to run thermal power stations to supplement this shortfall would cost up to 32 trillion yen by the end of 2030.
 使用済み核燃料の置き場が満杯になる原発も多く、運転できなくなる。順次止まる原発を火力発電で補うと、30年までに最大32兆円の燃料費が必要と試算された。

In any case, power bills would increase considerably to cover these costs. These higher charges would be a painful blow to industries and households alike.
 いずれにせよ、電力料金は大幅に上がる。産業界や家庭にとっては大打撃となろう。

All things considered, it is necessary to complete construction of the reprocessing plant.
 やはり、再処理工場を完成させることが必要だ。

Establishing the nuclear fuel cycle requires advanced technologies. Yet, Japan is the only country without nuclear weapons that is already at the practical stage of implementing the cycle. It should not easily give up the nuclear fuel cycle policy.
 核燃料サイクルは高い技術を要するが、核兵器を持たない国で実用段階にあるのは日本だけだ。簡単にあきらめるべきではない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 4, 2012)
(2012年5月4日01時24分  読売新聞)

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大陸棚延伸 海底資源確保へ国家戦略持て

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 5, 2012)
National strategy needed to secure undersea resources
大陸棚延伸 海底資源確保へ国家戦略持て(5月4日付・読売社説)

A vast seabed in the Pacific Ocean has been recognized as part of Japan's continental shelf. With the expansion of national oceanic interests, the government should work on the development of undersea resources seriously.
 太平洋沖の広大な海底が、新たに日本の「大陸棚」として認定された。海洋権益の拡大を機に、政府は海底資源開発に本腰を入れるべきだ。

The U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea stipulates that the continental shelf of a coastal state comprises the seabed and areas lying below the surface of its territorial waters in its exclusive economic zone, which extends to a distance of 200 nautical miles from shore.
 国連海洋法条約は、沿岸から200カイリまでの排他的経済水域(EEZ)内の海底とその地下を大陸棚とし、

Under the convention, the coastal state can claim the right to develop resources in the shelf.
沿岸国に資源開発権を認めている。

The state may extend its continental shelf even beyond the exclusive economic zone if it can prove the ocean floor is the natural prolongation of its land territory.
EEZの外でも、領土と自然な地続きであると証明できれば、大陸棚を延伸できる。

In 2008, Japan filed an application with the U.N. Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, requesting seven oceanic areas totaling 740,000 square kilometers, including one near the Ogasawara Islands, be recognized as its extended continental shelf. The U.N. panel recently approved four of the areas, which cover a total of 310,000 square kilometers, as part of the nation's continental shelf.
 日本は2008年、小笠原諸島近くの海域など7か所、計74万平方キロ・メートルの延伸を国際機関の「大陸棚限界委員会」に申請した。今回、うち4か所、計31万平方キロ・メートルが認められた。

===

Devise comprehensive system

The continental shelf is home to methane hydrate containing natural gas, and sea-floor hydrothermal deposits, which contain rare metals.
 大陸棚には、天然ガスを含有する「メタンハイドレート」や、レアメタル(希少金属)を含む「海底熱水鉱床」が広がっている。

Amid intensifying global competition for resources, winning approval of a vast area, comparable to more than 80 percent of the nation's land area, for Japan's continental shelf deserves acclaim.
 世界的な資源争奪競争が激しくなる中、日本が国土の8割超に匹敵する広大な大陸棚を新たに得たことは高く評価できよう。

The government must take the initiative in developing undersea resources as development involves massive costs and a long period of time. It needs to devise a system to launch full-fledged development based on previous resource exploration and excavation experiments.
 巨額の費用と長期間にわたる取り組みを要する海底資源開発は、政府が主導するしかない。政府はこれまでの資源探査や掘削実験などを踏まえ、開発を本格的に進める体制を整える必要がある。

The U.N. panel called into question an area near Okinotorishima island, the nation's southernmost point of land, during its screening.
 大陸棚限界委員会の審査で問題となったのは、日本の最南端、沖ノ鳥島の扱いである。

China and South Korea opposed Japan's bid, arguing that Okinotorishima is not an island but a mere rock that cannot sustain economic activity on its own, and therefore should not be recognized as part of Japan's extended continental shelf.
 日本の申請に対して、中国と韓国は「沖ノ鳥島は、『島』ではなく、独自の経済活動を維持できない『岩』であり、大陸棚の延伸は認められない」と反対した。

Japan called on the U.N. panel to approve the extension based on geography and other scientific data. However, the panel postponed a conclusion on the area, which covers about 250,000 square kilometers centered on Okinotorishima.
 日本は、地形など科学的データに基づき、延伸を認定するよう求めた。だが、委員会は沖ノ鳥島を基点とする申請の一部、約25万平方キロ・メートルの結論を先送りした。

===

Continued efforts necessary

The government should patiently seek international understanding of its initiative.
 政府は今後、国際社会に粘り強く理解を求めていくべきだ。

Efforts such as cultivating coral reefs in a way suitable to the geographical features of Okinotorishima and conducting research in areas such as power generation from temperature differences in the ocean would help win understanding. Coordinated work with the Tokyo metropolitan government, which has already taken steps to promote fishery activities in the neighboring oceanic area, also will be important.
 そのためには、沖ノ鳥島の特性を生かしたサンゴ礁の育成や、海中の温度差を利用した発電などの研究を重ねることが有効だろう。周辺海域で漁業振興策を実施している東京都との連携も重要だ。

The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry has launched a project to construct the first port on Okinotorishima. The port would make it easier to unload building materials and goods from large vessels. Such activity would help the nation's claim that Okinotorishima is an island.
 国土交通省は沖ノ鳥島で初めての港を建設中だ。完成すれば大型船による建築資材や物資の積み下ろしが容易となる。島であることをアピールする材料となろう。

Under the command of the Headquarters for Ocean Policy at the Cabinet Secretariat, the strategic and effective use of the port must be considered.
 内閣官房の総合海洋政策本部を司令塔とし、戦略的で効率的な利用方法を考えねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 4, 2012)
(2012年5月4日01時24分  読売新聞)

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2012年5月 2日 (水)

郵政改革 もっと便利で頼れる郵便局に

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 1, 2012)
Make post offices more convenient, reliable
郵政改革 もっと便利で頼れる郵便局に(4月30日付・読売社説)

It is important that postal service reform makes post offices more convenient and reliable for customers.
 郵政事業の改革をサービスの向上につなげ、便利で頼れる郵便局にすることが重要だ。

The House of Councillors passed a bill last week to revise the Postal Service Privatization Law and review the reforms undertaken by the administration of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.
 小泉政権がスタートさせた郵政民営化制度を見直す改正郵政民営化法が、参院本会議で成立した。

The key point of the review is to make postal services more convenient for customers. Under the revised law, the Japan Post Group will merge Japan Post Service Co. and Japan Post Network Co. to resolve the problem of segmented operations between the two firms.
 改正の柱になっているのは、利便性の向上だ。日本郵政グループは、郵便事業会社と郵便局会社を合併して縦割りを解消する。

The merger will allow delivery people to make deposits on behalf of customers. We hope the merged company will expand its operations so it can meet users' specific needs.
これで配達員も貯金を預かれるようになる。業務の幅を広げ、きめ細かくニーズに対応してほしい。

The revised law also addresses how the Japan Post Group should offer universal services throughout the country.
 全国一律サービスのあり方も課題となる。

In addition to the universal mail services the group is already required to offer, the revised law will oblige it to provide two other basic services--postal savings and insurance--at post offices nationwide. This should ensure that no remote areas will be excluded from its services.
すでに義務づけられている郵便に加え、貯金と保険の基本的なサービスについても、全国の郵便局で提供する責務が課された。「金融過疎地」を生じさせないことが肝心である。

The Japan Post Group will not be able to maintain its network without stable management. The mammoth group, which has more than 200,000 employees, is urged to streamline its operations and reform its management culture, which has been far too dependent on the government.
 ネットワークの維持は、経営の安定があってのことだ。20万人超の巨大グループのムダを徹底的に削り、親方日の丸的な企業体質を改めることが求められよう。

===

Enter new fields

It will be difficult, however, for the Japan Post Group to look toward the future, because its operations will continue to dwindle if it only focuses on restructuring. It is important for the group to boost its core businesses.
 リストラだけでは先細りとなって将来展望が開けない。本業のテコ入れが不可欠である。

The volume of mail the group handles has been decreasing by 3 percent to 4 percent each year. The merged company should transform itself into a logistics firm by strengthening home-delivery services, for which demand has been expanding thanks to the increasing popularity of Internet shopping.
 郵便は年3~4%のペースで減っている。ネット通販で需要が拡大する宅配の強化などで、総合物流業への脱皮を図るべきだ。

Moreover, the balance of deposits in the postal savings system has been shrinking, as has the number of postal insurance contracts. Whether Japan Post can increase profits by entering new fields such as cancer insurance and housing loans will be key to turning its fortunes around.
 郵便貯金の残高や簡易保険の契約件数も減っている。巻き返しのカギは、がん保険や住宅ローンなど新規業務へ参入し、収入増を実現できるかどうかである。

The Japan Post Group holds all shares in its two financial arms--Japan Post Bank Co. and Japan Post Insurance Co. When it finishes disposing of at least half of the two companies' shares, they will be allowed to enter new business fields through the simplified procedure of notifying the government of their intentions, rather than seeking prior approval, according to the revised law.
 日本郵政はゆうちょ銀行とかんぽ生命保険の金融2社の全株式を保有する。それぞれ過半数を手放せば、2社の新規業務が、認可制から届け出制に緩和される。

The Japan Post Group should make steady preparations for listing shares on the stock market to achieve their early sale. To get the two firms' new services on track, moreover, it also must develop personnel who are capable of examining loans, as well as developing and selling insurance products.
 日本郵政は、株式上場に向けた準備を着実に進め、株式の早期処分を目指すべきだ。新規業務を軌道に乗せるため、融資審査や保険商品の開発・販売にあたる人材の育成も欠かせない。

===

Ensure fair competition

The revised law sets the complete privatization of Japan Post's two financial arms as a "nonbinding target" rather than an "obligation," as stipulated by the current law. There has been criticism that failure to privatize the two companies will put private-sector businesses at a distinct disadvantage due to government guarantees they can enjoy.
 今回の法改正で、金融2社の完全民営化は「義務」ではなく「努力目標」になった。政府の信用を背景に「民業圧迫」を助長するとの批判が出ている。

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has also expressed concerns that the two firms' expanding services may impede fair competition in Japan's insurance sector.
 米通商代表部(USTR)も、保険分野の公正競争を阻害しかねないと、懸念を示している。

The government and the Japan Post Group should address concerns that its financial services will harm private-sector business activities. They also should make sure that Japan Post reforms do not hurt the nation's bid to join negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.
 政府と日本郵政は、民業圧迫という疑念を払拭する必要がある。郵政改革が、日本の環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)参加の障害になるのは避けねばならない。

The government committee on postal privatization has a heavy responsibility in monitoring the process of privatizing Japan Post's two financial arms. We hope the panel will fulfill its role of ensuring they engage in fair competition with the private sector.
 完全民営化まで金融2社の「お目付け役」を務める郵政民営化委員会の責任は重い。民間との健全な競争が確保されるよう、しっかり役割を果たしてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 30, 2012)
(2012年4月30日01時18分  読売新聞)

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追加金融緩和 政府と日銀は脱デフレを急げ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 1, 2012)
Govt, BOJ must expedite efforts to arrest deflation
追加金融緩和 政府と日銀は脱デフレを急げ(4月30日付・読売社説)

If the Bank of Japan simply continues taking monetary-easing measures in dribs and drabs, the country will remain without a clear prospect for defeating deflation.
 日銀が小出しの金融緩和を繰り返しているだけでは、デフレ脱却への展望は開けまい。

The government and the central bank must step up their collaboration and work hard to restore the growth of the domestic economy.
 政府と日銀は連携を強め、日本経済の成長回復に全力を挙げるべきだ。

The central bank decided to take additional monetary-easing policies, under which the total amount of its asset-purchase funds, used to purchase government bonds and other financial assets, will be raised to 70 trillion yen. This is a 5 trillion yen increase.
 日銀が、国債などを買い入れる基金を5兆円増やし、70兆円とする追加金融緩和策を決めた。

The measure is aimed at increasing the amount of funds circulating in the market to boost the country's economic recovery.
 市場に出回る資金を増やし、景気回復を後押しする狙いだ。

This is the first time since Feb. 14 that the central bank has taken additional monetary-easing measures. On the previous occasion, the bank introduced as a guideline for price stabilization a 1 percent year-on-year rise in consumer prices, making it clear it was determined to continue following easy-money policies.
 日銀の追加緩和策は2月14日以来となる。前回は「物価安定の目途(めど)」を導入し、消費者物価の「1%上昇」を目指して金融緩和を続ける方針を打ち出した。

The market responded favorably to the move: The average stock price of the Tokyo Stock Exchange recovered to above 10,000 for some time. The bank's decision also helped halt the yen's further appreciation against the dollar.
 これが好感され、東京市場の平均株価は1万円台を一時回復し、円高にも歯止めがかかった。

===

Bank was right to act

However, given that the measure's effects are gradually weakening, it was appropriate for the central bank to "shoot a second arrow."
しかし、効果は薄れており、「二の矢」を放ったのは適切だ。

This time, the Bank of Japan presented projections for the rate of year-on-year increase in consumer prices: 0.3 percent for fiscal 2012 and 0.7 percent for fiscal 2013.
 日銀は今回、今後の消費者物価上昇率の見通しを示し、2012年度がプラス0・3%、13年度はプラス0・7%とした。

Although these figures were above its projections in January, they were still below 1 percent, which the central bank has set as a gauge to arrest deflation. The central bank thus acknowledged it would be difficult to defeat deflation anytime soon--a fact that is highly significant.
 今年1月時点の見通しを上回ったとはいえ、日銀がデフレ脱却の目安とする1%に届かなかった。早期のデフレ脱却は難しいと、日銀が自ら認めた意味は重い。

If things stand as they are now, people's expectations for the country's economic recovery may fade away, shrinking the country's economic activities.
 このままでは景気回復への期待がしぼんでしまい、経済活動は萎縮しかねない。

The Bank of Japan also projected that the rise in consumer prices is highly likely to reach 1 percent in the not-too-distant future, as early as in fiscal 2014. The central bank should take a step forward and express its strong determination to defeat deflation.
 日銀は14年度以降「1%に遠からず達する可能性が高い」との見通しも示した。さらに踏み込み、デフレ克服を実現する強い決意を明らかにするべきだ。

Of course, the government bears a heavy responsibility in this respect. Past administrations failed to take effective measures to address various key issues, including the declining population and fiscal deficits, which resulted in declines in the country's growth power. It can be said that this is the major cause for the country's prolonged deflation.
 もちろん政府にも、重い責任がある。歴代政権は人口減少や財政赤字などの課題に有効な手を打たず、成長力低下を招いた。デフレ長期化の主因と言える。

The Cabinet of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda set up a panel of Cabinet ministers to arrest deflation and started considering concrete measures for structural reforms of the country's economy. The move is highly commendable.
 野田内閣が脱デフレに向けた関係閣僚会議を設け、経済構造改革について具体策の検討を開始したことは評価できる。

===

Discussions must be broad

Bank of Japan Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa also is taking part in the panel as an observer. Panel members should discuss not only monetary policies but also fiscal policies and growth strategies.
 日銀の白川方明総裁もオブザーバーで参加している。金融政策だけでなく、財政政策と成長戦略をあわせて議論する必要がある。

Calls have been growing for the Bank of Japan to adopt bold monetary-easing policies, mainly among Diet members with reservations about the consumption tax hike. These lawmakers argue that deflation must be stopped before the consumption tax is raised. But using such an argument as an expedient to avoid raising the consumption tax would be, we regret to say, a dereliction of their duty as politicians.
 最近、消費税増税に慎重な議員を中心に、日銀に大胆な金融緩和を求める声が強まってきた。「増税よりデフレ退治が先」という主張も、消費税から逃げる方便だとすれば政治の責任放棄だ。

Some members of the Democratic Party of Japan and the Liberal Democratic Party are calling for revising the Bank of Japan Law. They argue the government should have the power to dismiss the central bank governor in order to pressure the bank to take anti-deflationary or other measures.
 民主党や自民党の一部には、日銀法改正を求める意見もある。政府が総裁解任権を持ち、デフレ対策を迫るなどの内容だ。

There have not yet been any substantial moves toward revising the central bank law. But excessive political interference in the operations of the central bank would bring its independence into question, reducing confidence in the bank.
 法改正の動きが具体化しつつあるわけではないが、政治が過剰介入すれば、中央銀行の独立性は揺らぎ、信認低下を招く恐れがある。

Any moves that would throw the country's market and economy into confusion must be avoided.
市場や経済を混乱させる事態は避けなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 30, 2012)
(2012年4月30日01時18分  読売新聞)

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再生エネ発電 買い取り制には課題が多い

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 2, 2012)
Problems surround govt plan for renewable energy purchases
再生エネ発電 買い取り制には課題が多い(5月1日付・読売社説)

A feed-in tariff system for electricity from renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power will face many difficult problems.
 太陽光や風力など再生可能エネルギーの買い取り制度は、多くの難題を抱えている。

An expert panel of the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry has made a proposal on prices at which electric power companies will purchase electricity generated by renewable energy under the system.
 経済産業省の有識者委員会が、再生可能エネルギーで発電した電気を電力会社が買い取る価格の案をまとめた。

The government will officially decide on recommended rates within May, and power companies will become obliged to buy the electricity from July.
 政府が5月中に正式決定し、7月から電力会社に買い取りが義務づけられる。

The proposed rates are 42 yen per kilowatt-hour for solar power, 23 yen for wind power and 27 yen for geothermal power.
 価格案は、1キロ・ワット時当たり、太陽光が42円、風力23円、地熱27円などとなっている。

The rates were calculated by adding appropriate profits to the usual costs of each generation method, the panel said. However, they are almost the same as the rates that were requested in advance by renewable energy producers and were higher than widely expected.
 有識者委は、それぞれの発電方法で通常かかる費用に、適正な利益を上乗せしたと説明している。しかし、各発電業界が事前に示した要望額とほぼ同じで、大方の予想より割高と言える。

With the proposed prices, the panel apparently aims to promote the expansion of the renewable energy generation business by encouraging more companies to enter the field. However, the feed-in tariff system's design itself is precarious.
 自然エネルギー発電への参入を後押しし、普及に弾みをつける狙いだろう。だが、制度設計そのものに危ういところがある。

===

Higher electricity prices

The costs utility companies will shoulder to buy the renewable-energy electricity at high rates will be passed on through electricity rates in general.
 電力会社が高値で買い入れた負担分は電気料金に上乗せされる。

The economy ministry estimates the resulting electricity charge hike for an ordinary household to be 70 yen to 100 yen per month in the first fiscal year, but it apparently will further increase along with the spread of power generation from renewable sources.
経産省は一般家庭の負担増は、初年度で月70~100円にとどまると試算しているが、普及につれて負担額は増え続ける。

Special measures will exempt steel and other industries that consume huge amounts of electricity from more than 80 percent of the increased portion of electricity rates.
 鉄鋼など電力多消費産業には、料金上乗せ分の8割以上を減免する特例が適用される。

However, after a government subsidy to supplement the reduced portion of electricity revenues runs out, it will be passed on to other industries and ordinary households through their electricity rates.
料金の減収分を穴埋めする補助金が底をつくと、これも他業種や家庭の電気料金の上昇へと跳ね返る。

If the costs are not shared in a balanced manner, a sense of unfairness will spread among the public.
 コスト負担のバランスを欠けば不公平感が拡大するだろう。

Japan is now in an emergency situation because all but one of its nuclear power reactors have been suspended and thermal power generation requires an additional 3 trillion yen to 4 trillion yen a year for fuel costs. An increase in electricity costs must be avoided by all means.
 今は、原子力発電所が停止し、火力発電の燃料費が年3兆~4兆円も余計にかかる非常時である。電力コストの上昇は、極力避けなければならない。

If the feed-in tariff system causes electricity rates to rise, the government will have to flexibly reduce the recommended rates.
 再生可能エネルギー買い取りの影響で電力料金の上昇幅が拡大した場合、政府は買い取り価格を機動的に下げる必要があろう。

===

Denuclearization not easy

In fact, Germany, which is more advanced in its feed-in tariff system than Japan, last year saw the added portion of electricity rates for an ordinary household exceed 1,200 yen per month. Facing public protest, the German government this spring lowered the recommended rates by 20 percent to 30 percent. The Spanish government in January suspended applying its feed-in tariff system to new renewable energy generation projects.
 実際、買い取り制度で先行するドイツでは昨年、一般家庭の料金上乗せ分が月1200円に膨らんだ。国民の反発を受け、今年春に買い取り価格を2~3割下げた。スペインでは今年1月、新規買い取りの凍結に追い込まれた。

The experience of other countries shows that it is difficult to maintain electricity generation from renewable sources as long as generation costs remain expensive, even if a government tries to support it with policy measures.
 海外の事例は、再生可能エネルギーを政策支援で普及させても、発電コストが高いままでは維持が難しいことを示している。

Many expectations are voiced for industrial promotion and job growth related to new energy businesses such as the manufacture of solar panels, but the reality is grim. In Germany, a major solar panel maker and other firms went under one after another in the face of pressure from Chinese products with smaller price tags.
 太陽光パネルなど新エネルギー関連の産業振興や雇用増を期待する声も多いが、現実は厳しい。ドイツでは、割安な中国製に押されて、大手パネルメーカーなどの破綻が相次いだ。

Solar and wind power generation have many difficulties regarding the procurement of land for sites and the durability of generation facilities. The road to independence from nuclear power generation is not an easy one.
 太陽光、風力発電は、用地確保や発電設備の耐久性などに課題が多い。「脱原発依存」への道は決して平坦(へいたん)ではない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 1, 2012)
(2012年5月1日01時10分  読売新聞)

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高速バス事故 再発防止に安全運行の徹底を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 2, 2012)
Safety must be paramount when operating buses
高速バス事故 再発防止に安全運行の徹底を(5月1日付・読売社説)

Sunday's expressway bus accident seems to suggest that safety concerns have been put on the back burner due to intense price-cutting competition.
 格安競争が激化し、安全が置き去りにされていたのではないか。

Just before dawn Sunday, in the first weekend of the Golden Week holidays, a bus smashed into a noise-blocking wall on the left side of the Kanetsu Expressway in Gunma Prefecture, killing seven passengers and injuring 39 others, some of them seriously.
 大型連休まっただ中の4月29日未明、群馬県の関越自動車道で、ツアーバスが道路左側の防音壁に衝突し、乗客7人が死亡、39人が重軽傷を負う悲惨な事故が起きた。

The wall pierced the front of the bus and ripped through the vehicle, illustrating the sheer impact of the crash.
 防音壁が車体を裂くように突き刺さり、バスはほとんど原形をとどめていない。事故の衝撃の大きさを物語っている。

The bus driver told police that he fell asleep at the wheel. Police on Monday obtained a warrant to arrest him on suspicion of negligent driving resulting in death and injury, and searched the office of the bus operator in Chiba Prefecture where the driver worked. An exhaustive investigation must be conducted to pinpoint the cause of the accident.
 バスの運転手は居眠りをしていたと話している。警察は自動車運転過失致死傷容疑で逮捕状を取るとともに、運転手が勤務している千葉県のバス会社を捜索した。事故原因を徹底的に究明することが必要である。

The bus left Kanazawa on Saturday night and was scheduled to arrive at Tokyo Disneyland on Sunday morning. The trip was organized by a travel company in Osaka Prefecture that sought participants online and entrusted their transportation to the bus company.
 今回のツアーは28日夜に金沢市を出発し、29日朝に東京ディズニーランドに着く行程だった。大阪府の旅行会社がツアーを企画し、ネットを通じて乗客を募集、バス会社に運行を委託した。

Such bus trips have become increasingly popular, especially among young people, because they are cheaper than traveling by plane or train and can be easily joined by applying over the Internet. The number of people going on these trips has been rising.
 こうしたバスツアーは、航空機や鉄道に比べて格安な料金と、ネットで簡単に申し込める手軽さが若者を中心に人気を呼び、急速に利用者を伸ばしている。

===

Deregulation spurs business

Deregulation of the bus charter business since 2000 has made it easier for new entrants to join the industry. The number of bus operators had jumped to about 4,500 in fiscal 2010.
 2000年以降の規制緩和で、新規参入が容易になったこともあり、バス事業者数は急増し、10年度で約4500に上る。

As competition has intensified, some observers have pointed out safety problems emerging in the industry, such as the excessive workload placed on bus drivers. Sunday's accident, it may be said, turned these concerns into a reality.
 一方で、競争激化による運転手の過重労働など、安全面の課題が問題視されていた。懸念が現実になったと言える。

The bus in Sunday's accident had only one driver, and no replacement driver had been assigned. Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry regulations set upper limits for the driving hours and distance allowed for a driver per day.
 今回のケースでは、運転手は1人で、交代要員はいなかった。国土交通省の規則などは、運転手の1日当たりの運転時間と走行距離の上限を定めている。

The bus operator in question said, "There was no problem with the operation of the bus." But was it appropriate that only one driver was assigned for an overnight trip over such a long distance?
 バス会社は「運行上の問題はなかった」と説明しているが、徹夜で長距離をたった1人で運転することが適切だったのだろうか。

It is essential to bring to light any problems with the company's operational management.
 運行管理の問題点を洗い出すことが重要だ。

===

Do more to prevent repeat

Some people have pointed out that violations by bus operators--such as excessive working hours for drivers--have become par for the course. The transport ministry has left itself open to criticism for belatedly taking measures to prevent this.
 運転手の勤務時間超過など、バス事業者の違反行為は常態化しているとの指摘もある。国交省の対策は後手に回っていたと批判されても仕方あるまい。

To prevent a repeat of Sunday's accident, the ministry must tighten its supervision of bus companies to ensure their vehicles are driven as safely as possible.
 事故の再発を防止するため、国交省は事業者に対する監査体制を強化し、安全運行の徹底を図らねばならない。

It is also problematic that under current law, travel agents are not responsible for ensuring the safety of passengers on trips they organize. Many bus operators have complained that "travel companies have presented tour schedules that turn a blind eye to the costs needed to ensure safety."
 現行法では、ツアーを企画した旅行会社が乗客に対する安全責任を負わないことも問題だ。「旅行会社に安全コストを無視した計画を提示された」といったバス業界側からの苦情も少なくない。

To make sure buses are driven safely, legislative steps must be taken to swiftly establish a system that makes it mandatory for travel agents to take legal responsibility for traffic accidents involving these buses.
 ツアーバスの安全運行のため、旅行会社も法的責任を負う仕組みを早急に整えるべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 1, 2012)
(2012年5月1日01時10分  読売新聞)

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