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2012年8月

2012年8月31日 (金)

玉石混在の火災保険 あなたはどの保険会社を選びますか

個人的には余り好きでありませんでしたが、元小泉首相と竹中平蔵金融担当大臣のコンビは、金融関連で様々な自由化を達成されました。中でも大きな改革はデリバティブと呼ばれる金融派生商品の自由化です。
一介の主婦が家事の合間にFXで億単位の大儲けをしたのですが、納税していなかったので大問題となったのは人々の記憶に新しいところでしょう。これも、金融商品の自由化の恩恵だと言うことが出来ます。

同じように、保険関連も大幅に自由化がなされました。
有り余る日本の資金力は、実は、団塊の世代以上がその80%ほどを所有していますが、資金は流動させなければ経済は回りません。それを促すのが自由化の狙いですが、資金の流動化とか流動性という言葉で表現されます。語源はもちろん米語(アメリカ英語)なのです。

で、保険関連商品も、ついに目をつけられてしまい、現在のように玉石混在状態となってしまったのです。ですから、保険を選ぶ際には、昔と違って、被保険者側の選ぶ目が要求されるようになりました。できれば、玉石ではなくって、その中からダイヤモンドを発掘したいものですね。

サイトで保険関連をブラウズしていたら、ちょっと風変わりなサイトに遭遇いたしました。
「火災保険の激安サイト!ここに激安の火災保険があったわ」 というサイトです。
このサイトは老眼の私にとっては文字が大きくて読みやすいので大助かりです。
サイトは簡潔で、その骨子は、如何にして出来るだけ安い火災保険を選ぶのかということです。

火災保険で家計を節約するためのテクニックにつき、一戸建ての場合とマンションの場合とに分かれて掲載されているので大変に分かりやすいのです。
サイトを全部読みましたが、私のお勧めは水害保険の除外申請です。
通常火災保険は、全体の20%ほどが水害保険で占められています。

水害の恐れの全くない高台の一戸建てやマンションの2階以上に住まわれている方にとって、水害保険は不必要ですね。それで、保険金額の20%は節約出来ます。

ダイヤモンドと言えば、私のダイヤモンドは火災保険なら東京海上です。

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意識調査検証 「脱原発依存」の根拠にするな

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 31, 2012)
Don't rely on surveys as reason to end use of nuclear power
意識調査検証 「脱原発依存」の根拠にするな(8月30日付・読売社説)

It seems quite unreasonable that a government panel of experts tasked with analyzing recent public opinion on the future of the use of nuclear power interpreted the results to suit its own ends and cited them as a reason to abandon nuclear power.
 将来の原子力発電比率などに関する国民の意識調査を都合良く分析し、脱原発に政策のカジを切る根拠に使うのは、あまりに乱暴ではないか。

The panel, which examined the results of a government-sponsored deliberative poll and other surveys, judged that a majority of the public wants the country to move away from nuclear power. Based on its conclusions, the government will shortly decide the basic outline of the nation's energy policy but, its conclusions are unsatisfactory.
 討論型世論調査などの結果について政府の有識者会議が、「少なくとも過半の国民は、原発に依存しない社会の実現を望んでいる」とする総括案をまとめた。これを踏まえ、政府はエネルギー政策の基本方針を近く決定する。
 だが、世論の過半が「脱原発依存」だと結論づけた総括案は説得力に欠ける。

The government should not put excessive stock in public polls, but rather promote a realistic energy policy that continues using nuclear power to some extent.
 政府は意識調査の結果を過大評価せず、一定の原発利用を続けていく現実的なエネルギー政策を推進すべきである。

From three options for the percentage of nuclear power generation out of all energy generation in 2030--zero percent, 15 percent or 20 percent to 25 percent--70 percent to 80 percent chose either zero percent or 15 percent in the deliberative poll and surveys conducted by media organizations.
 2030年の原発比率に関する「0%」「15%」「20~25%」の三つの選択肢のうち、討論型やマスコミ各社の世論調査で0%と15%を選んだ割合を合計すれば7~8割に達する。

This led the panel to conclude a majority of the public wants to abandon nuclear power.
「脱原発依存が過半」とした総括案の根拠だ。

===

Public wants reduction, not zero

At the same time, however, 50 percent to 70 percent chose options other than zero percent. This suggests that quite a few people believe Japan should rely on nuclear power to some extent.
 とはいえ、「0%」以外を選んだ比率も、合計すると5~7割になる。一定程度は原発が必要と考える人も相当に多い。

It is reasonable that some members of the panel said the poll results indicate the public wants to reduce the nation's dependency on nuclear power rather than abandon it. It cannot be concluded that a majority of the public wants to move away from nuclear power.
 有識者会議で「原発に依存しないというより、原発を減らしたいと解釈できる」との指摘が出たのはもっともだ。「脱原発依存」が多数派とは断定できまい。

Moreover, the deliberative poll and other surveys were often dominated by people outspoken on nuclear energy. As a result, participants tended to focus on abandoning nuclear power.
 さらに、討論型世論調査などの参加者には原発政策に進んで意見を言いたい人が多く、主張が脱原発に偏る傾向がある。

It is illogical, therefore, to extrapolate the opinions of all people based on data taken from these surveys.
こうした数字をもとに、全国民の世論を推し量るのは無理がある。

Members of the expert panel said survey data should not be given too much weight.
"There is no proof that deliberative polls reflect the opinions of everyone," one member said.
"It'd be dangerous to simply believe the figures shown in the surveys are accurate," another said.
 有識者会議でも「討論型世論調査が国民全体の意見になるという実証的な検証はない」「比率をそのまま正しいと考えるのは危険」など、数字の偏重を戒める意見が多く出された。

This is apparently the reason the panel did not outline a direction regarding the nation's ratio of nuclear power use.
 総括案が原発比率の方向性を打ち出し切れなかったのは、そういう事情もあるのだろう。

===

Alternatives overestimated

The options proposed by the government are unrealistic because they were based on overestimated expectations for renewable energy. The government has also been criticized for not adequately promoting national debate on the issue. For example, some accuse the government of only providing a limited number of options for the public to choose from.
 政府が示した三つの選択肢は、再生可能エネルギーの見積もりが過大で、非現実的だ。選択の幅が狭く国民が選びにくいなど、政府による「国民的議論」の欠陥も指摘されている。

Despite convening a panel of experts, the group failed to have in-depth discussions because it only met three times.
 せっかく世論調査の専門家を集めた有識者会議もわずか3回で終わり、論議は深まらなかった。

Before the panel even held its first meeting, Motohisa Furukawa, state minister in charge of national policy and the chair of the panel, said, "We'll propose a strategy that aims for a society that will not depend on nuclear power."
 この会議を主導した古川国家戦略相は開催前から、「原発に依存しない社会を作る方向性で戦略をまとめる」と述べていた。

It would be irresponsible for the government to move away from nuclear power without a clear vision of how the future economy will be fueled.
 これからどういう経済社会を築いていくのか。そのグランドデザインも示さないまま「脱原発依存」に誘導するのなら無責任だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 30, 2012)
(2012年8月30日01時38分  読売新聞)

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首相問責可決 自らを貶めた自民党の「賛成」

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 31, 2012)
LDP should put responsibilities ahead of party politics
首相問責可決 自らを貶めた自民党の「賛成」(8月30日付・読売社説)

The submission of a censure motion against Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda can serve no meaningful purpose.
 野田首相への問責決議に一体、どんな意味があるというのか。

Censure motions do not have the power to force prime ministers to dissolve the House of Representatives. It is shocking to witness the opposition camp putting party interests first, with members abandoning their legislative responsibilities.
 首相を衆院解散に追い込めるわけではない。立法府の一員としての責任を放棄し、党利党略に走る野党の姿勢には、あきれるばかりだ。

On Wednesday, the opposition-controlled House of Councillors passed a censure motion against Noda. The motion was jointly submitted by seven political groups, including People's Life First and Your Party. Most opposition groups, including the Liberal Democratic Party, approved the motion, outnumbering the ruling parties.
 国民の生活が第一、みんなの党など参院の野党7会派が提出した首相問責決議案は29日、野党の賛成多数により、可決された。自民党は賛成票を投じた。

The censure motion denounced the enactment of the consumption tax hike bills, saying it disregarded public opinion. The motion also criticized the Democratic Party of Japan, LDP and New Komeito for cooperating to pass the bills, saying they "acted against the spirit of parliamentary democracy."
 問責決議は、消費税率引き上げは国民の声に背くとし、関連法を成立させた民主、自民、公明の3党協議も「議会制民主主義が守られていない」と非難している。

However, this accusation seems strange, considering that about 80 percent of all lower and upper house members--including those from the LDP--voted in favor of the bills.
 だが、これはおかしい。自民党を含め、衆参両院議員の約8割が賛成した法律である。

How could the LDP support such a censure motion at this stage? Through its members' actions, the LDP has demeaned itself as a political party. On the other hand, Komeito stayed consistent with its pro-tax hike stance by abstaining from voting on the censure motion.
 自民党が今更、こんな決議に賛成したことは到底、理解できない。政党として自らを貶(おとし)める行為だ。公明党は採決で棄権して、筋を通したではないか。

===

Time to cooperate on crucial issues

LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki explained the party's reason for approving the censure motion, saying, "The Noda administration has reached the limit of its ability to run the country, both in regards to domestic and foreign affairs."
 自民党の谷垣総裁は、問責の理由について、「内政、外交の両面にわたって今の野田政権が国政を進めることは限界だ」と述べた。

"The foundation of Japan's diplomacy is now crumbling," Tanigaki added.
「日本外交の基礎がガタガタになっている」とも批判した。

However, Tanigaki's remarks are not convincing reasons for censuring the prime minister.
 だが、首相を問責する根拠としては説得力に欠ける。

The LDP cannot deny its role in longstanding territorial issues, such as the dispute over the Takeshima islands, as the party held the reins of government for so many years before the DPJ took power.
 竹島など領土問題では、長年政権を担当してきた自民党も責任を免れない。

Now is the time for the ruling and opposition parties to join forces to deal with the threat of China, South Korea and Russia encroaching on Japan's territory and waters. An act such as the censure motion is akin to shooting the prime minister in the back, and could undermine national interests.
領土・領海に対する中国や韓国、ロシアの攻勢に、与野党は結束して対応すべきなのに、首相に、後ろから弾を撃つような行為は国益を損ねよう。

Regarding domestic affairs, the DPJ, LDP and Komeito succeeded in joining hands to realize integrated reform of the social security and tax systems, as each party agreed that the nation must rebuild its finances.
 内政では、民自公3党が財政再建の必要性に対する認識を共有し、社会保障と税の一体改革の実現へ連携したばかりである。

The DPJ has been criticized for its high-handed management of the Diet, apparently a major problem in the party, which was demonstrated in cases such as the handling of bills to reform the lower house's electoral system. Still, the censure motion could destroy the cooperative relationship developed among the three parties. In the worst-case scenario, the agreement between the leaders of the DPJ, LDP and Komeito to dissolve the lower house "sometime soon" could be scrapped.
 衆院選挙制度改革に関する法案の扱いなど民主党の強引な国会運営に大きな問題があるとはいえ、問責決議は、民自公3党の協調路線を壊す。「近いうち」という衆院解散の民自公の党首合意さえ反古(ほご)になりかねない。

===

'Chamber of political maneuvering'

From now on, the LDP plans to refuse to participate in Diet deliberations except for the approval of personnel appointments for a nuclear regulatory commission and certain bills drafted by individual lawmakers. This means that the legislature will remain paralyzed on important issues.
 今後、自民党は原子力規制委員会の国会同意人事や一部の議員立法を除いて審議拒否する方針だ。「決められない政治」が続く。

Pressing legislation such as a bill to allow the government to issue deficit-covering bonds, bills on the introduction of a personal identification numbering system, and a bill asking the Diet to approve Japan's joining the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, are still undecided in the Diet.
 国会では、赤字国債の発行を可能にする特例公債法案をはじめ、共通番号制度関連法案(マイナンバー法案)、ハーグ条約承認案など重要案件が積み残された。

Unlike no-confidence motions passed against the Cabinet by the lower house, censure motions in the upper house do not create legal grounds for ousting Cabinet ministers. However, opposition parties have been using censure motions as a tool to attack the government and the ruling parties by refusing to participate in Diet deliberations and demanding the resignation of the prime minister and other Cabinet ministers.
 衆院の内閣不信任決議と違い、参院の問責決議には法的根拠がない。それを政府・与党攻撃の手段にして審議を拒否し、首相・閣僚の交代を迫る。

How long will this malicious practice continue? We should not let the upper house become "the chamber of political maneuvering."
こんな悪習をいつまで繰り返すのか。参院を「政局の府」にしてはならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 30, 2012)
(2012年8月30日01時38分  読売新聞)

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2012年8月30日 (木)

火災保険は様々な会社のものがあります ネットで各社の見積もり比較ができます

今朝は、火災保険というものの本質を見直せるようなサイトのご案内をいたします。
それは、火災保険の情報サイト!、“大人”の安い火災保険 です。

まず、我々を取り巻く日常生活上のリスクについて考えて見ました。
火災保険というくらいですから、まず、頭に浮かぶのは火災です。
火災保険は、火災以外に様々な自然災害に対処すべく、実に様々な物件がございます。
例えば、台風災害補償、落雷による被害補償、水害被害補償などです。

火災保険の保険料(掛け金)は、これらの補償内容によって大きく異なって来ます。
火災保険に加入する前に、契約書をよく読み、その補償内容を細かに検証することが節約につながります。

火災保険の補償内容として、あまり知られていないものを、私が知っている範囲でお知らせいたします。

1) 盗難による被害補償
2) 隣の家の出火が原因で消失した我が家の補償
3) ゴルフ場でボールを人に当てた、あるいは当てられたときの補償

このほか、契約書に記入するだけで、ありとあらゆる種類の補償を受けることも、あながち夢ではありません。

要は、人それぞれ。

その人が必要とする補償内容だけで契約するのが、毎月のプレミアム(掛け金)を安く済ませるコツなのです。

火災保険には様々な会社のものがありますが、今は、ネットで各社の見積もり比較が簡単に出来ます。

火災保険の情報サイト、”大人”の安い火災保険 に”大人”のための安い火災保険情報が満載です。

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オスプレイ配備 事故報告を再発防止に生かせ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 30, 2012)
Osprey accident report must be used to prevent recurrence
オスプレイ配備 事故報告を再発防止に生かせ(8月29日付・読売社説)

It is essential to analyze the cause of and background behind an accident and properly use the findings to work out steps to prevent a recurrence.
 事故の原因や背景の分析結果を、再発防止策の徹底にきちんと生かすことが肝要である。

The Defense Ministry has released a report that analyzed and assessed the crash of an MV-22 Osprey, a new transport aircraft of the U.S. Marine Corps, in Morocco in April.
 防衛省が、4月にモロッコで発生した米海兵隊の新型輸送機MV22オスプレイの墜落事故に関する分析評価報告書を公表した。

The report concluded that the accident was the result of human error, saying it was caused by a series of operational errors by a copilot short on experience. At a time when gusts of wind up to 50.4 kph were blowing, the copilot is said to have ignored the flight manual by turning the aircraft so that it had a tailwind and tilted the rotor blades more than regulations allowed.
 報告書は、経験の浅い副操縦士がミスを重ねた「人的要因」が主たる事故原因と結論づけた。最大秒速14メートルの強風の中、飛行マニュアルに反して、追い風を受ける方向に機体を旋回し、回転翼の角度を規定以上に傾けたという。

The report said there was no mechanical problem with the aircraft itself.
 オスプレイの機体自体は事故の要因ではない、としている。

Compiled based on the results of detailed investigations by the U.S. military, the report's content is convincing. It is not fair to say the Osprey is more accident-prone than other military helicopters.
 報告書は、米軍の詳細な事故調査に基づいており、納得できる内容だ。オスプレイが他のヘリコプターなどと比べて特に危険であるかのような評価は公平でない。

===

Safety must come first

It is crucial to establish detailed procedures to ensure the aircraft operate safely. The U.S. Marine Corps has already revised the Osprey flight manual and has made it mandatory for pilots to conduct simulation training on the operation of the rotor blades when flying with a tailwind.
 大切なのは安全性を高める具体策だ。海兵隊は既に、飛行マニュアルを改訂したうえ、追い風時の回転翼操作の模擬訓練を操縦士に課す方針を示している。

An Osprey accident threatens the lives of U.S. personnel. It is natural for the U.S. military to earnestly examine how the aircraft can be operated safely. These safety measures should be confirmed by the Japanese side, too.
 事故は米兵の生命に直結する。米軍が安全確保に真剣に取り組むのは当然だが、日本側も、これを確認する必要があるだろう。

The Japan-U.S. Joint Committee has been discussing details of Osprey operations in Japan, such as limiting flights over densely populated areas and low-altitude flights. We hope the committee reaches an agreement that gives utmost consideration to ensuring safety.
 日米合同委員会では、人口密集地上空の飛行や低空飛行の制限など、オスプレイの国内運用の具体策を協議している。安全に最大限配慮した合意を目指したい。

The Defense Ministry plans to put together its final report on the Osprey's safety, including an assessment of an accident in Florida in June, as early as mid-September before deciding whether to give the green light to domestic flights by the aircraft.
 防衛省は9月中旬にも、6月の米フロリダ州での事故評価も含めて、オスプレイの安全性に関する最終的な見解をまとめ、国内飛行の是非の結論を出す予定だ。

Not only Okinawa Prefecture, where the Osprey will be deployed, but also some local governments in Honshu and elsewhere where training flights might be conducted have filed objections with the government against Osprey flights. Isn't this an overreaction?
 オスプレイが配備される沖縄県だけでなく、訓練飛行が行われる可能性のある本州などの一部自治体が飛行反対を政府に申し入れているが、過剰反応ではないか。

===

Deployment in Okinawa vital

This training will be conducted to prepare for emergencies in Northeast Asia, and is linked to the national security of Japan. What must be kept in mind is why the Osprey will be deployed in Okinawa Prefecture.
 訓練は、北東アジア有事などに備えるもので、日本の安全保障につながっている。忘れてならないのは、なぜオスプレイを沖縄に配備するか、という点である。

Compared with the CH-46 transport helicopters deployed at the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in the same prefecture, the Osprey's cruising speed is more than two times faster and its cruising radius more than four times longer. For example, the Osprey could transport personnel and supplies to the Senkaku Islands in slightly less than one hour without refueling.
 オスプレイは、普天間飛行場に配備中のCH46輸送ヘリコプターと比べて、巡航速力は2倍以上、行動半径も4倍以上になる。尖閣諸島まで給油せずに1時間弱で人員や物資を運べることになる。

Deploying Ospreys will tremendously improve the joint operational capability of Japan and U.S. forces, and enhance their military deterrent. It can also be expected to beef up the defense of the Nansei Islands--including the Senkakus, which the U.S. government has committed to defend jointly with Japan--and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.
 日米共同の作戦行動能力を大きく向上させ、抑止力も高まる。米政府が共同防衛の対象と明言する尖閣諸島を含む南西諸島の防衛に加え、人道支援や災害救援にも貢献が期待されよう。

In addition to the safety aspects of the Osprey, the government should explain fully to the public and local governments concerned about the significance of deploying the aircraft to boost the mobility of U.S. troops.
 政府は、オスプレイの安全性に加えて、こうした米軍の機動力向上の意義についても関係自治体や国民に説明を尽くすべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 29, 2012)
(2012年8月29日01時18分  読売新聞)

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河野談話 「負の遺産」の見直しは当然だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 30, 2012)
Kono's 'comfort women' statement must be reviewed
河野談話 「負の遺産」の見直しは当然だ(8月29日付・読売社説)

South Korean President Lee Myung Bak's recent visit to the Takeshima islands has reignited the so-called comfort women issue.
 韓国の李明博大統領の竹島訪問に関連し、いわゆる従軍慰安婦問題が再燃している。

It is undeniable that a 1993 statement by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono is the root cause of the controversy. The government should review this statement, prepare a new concept concerning the issue and convey it to the public and the international community.
 その根底には、慰安婦問題に関する1993年の河野官房長官談話があることは否定できない。政府は、これを見直し、新たな見解を内外に表明すべきである。

At a House of Councillors Budget Committee meeting, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said his administration would adhere to the Kono statement. However, Noda added that the government "was not able to confirm the forcible recruitment [of comfort women] from documents, so the [Kono] statement was based on interviews with comfort women."
 野田首相は参院予算委員会で、河野談話を踏襲するとしながらも「強制連行の事実を文書で確認できず、慰安婦への聞き取りから談話ができた」と説明した。

Jin Matsubara, chairman of the National Public Safety Commission, proposed that ministers should debate the comfort women issue from the standpoint of reviewing the Kono statement.
松原国家公安委員長は談話を見直す観点から閣僚間の議論を提起した。

The 1993 statement said: "The recruitment of the comfort women was conducted mainly by private recruiters who acted in response to a request from the military.
 河野談話は、慰安婦の募集について「軍の要請を受けた業者が主として当たった」とした上で、

"In many cases they were recruited against their own will, through coaxing, coercion, and so on, and that, at times, administrative and military personnel directly took part in the recruitments."
「本人たちの意思に反して集められた事例が数多くあり、更に、官憲等が直接これに加担したこともあった」と記した。

===

No verification

However, the government could find no documents proving the military or other government authorities forcibly recruited comfort women. The Kono statement was based solely on the statements of former comfort women and there were no investigations to verify their remarks.
 しかし、軍や官憲が慰安婦を強制的に連行したことを示す資料は発見できなかった。元慰安婦の証言のみが根拠とされ、これを裏付ける調査も行われていない。

At the time, several South Korean women identified themselves as former comfort women and demanded an apology from the Japanese government. We assume the government took into account Japan's diplomatic relations with South Korea when it issued the Kono statement.
 当時、韓国の元慰安婦らが名乗り出て日本政府に謝罪などを求めていた。談話の背景には、外交的配慮もあったのだろう。

However, as a result of the statement, the international community came to believe things that were not true, such as the Imperial Japanese Army systematically and forcibly recruiting women to make them "sex slaves."
 結果として、旧日本軍が女性を組織的に強制連行して「性奴隷」にしたといった誤解が、世界に定着した。

The U.S. House of Representatives and the European Parliament adopted resolutions condemning Japan on the comfort women issue, and called on the Japanese government to apologize.
米下院や欧州議会などは慰安婦問題で日本政府の謝罪を求める対日批判決議を採択した。

Up to now, however, no evidence proving the forcible recruitment of comfort women has been found.
 だが、その後も、旧日本軍による慰安婦の強制連行を証明する資料は見つかっていない。

When the U.S. House of Representatives was discussing the comfort women issue in March 2007, the Cabinet of then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe approved a written reply to a question posed by a Diet member on the issue. The reply said "descriptions directly indicating forcible recruitments by the military and other government authorities had not been found in documents" unearthed by the government.
 米下院で慰安婦問題が取り上げられていた2007年3月、安倍内閣は「資料には軍や官憲によるいわゆる強制連行を直接示すような記述も見当たらなかった」とする政府答弁書を閣議決定した。

The response clarified the government's stance that documents supporting the Kono statement did not exist, although at the same time it adhered to the statement.
 河野談話を継承しつつ、その根拠となる資料は存在しないという立場を明確にしたものだ。

===

'Negative legacy' of LDP

However, if the situation is left unchanged, it will be difficult to dispel the international community's misunderstandings on the comfort women issue.
 だが、このままでは国際社会の誤解を払拭することは難しい。

It was reasonable for Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto to call on the government to review the contents of the Kono statement after saying the statement--which was not authorized by the Cabinet--and the 2007 written reply contradict each other. He also said the statement was the "main cause" of Japan-South Korea friction.
 大阪市の橋下徹市長が、閣議決定もされていない河野談話と07年の閣議決定は矛盾しており、河野談話の内容を見直すべきだと述べたのは、もっともである。橋下氏は河野談話を日韓の紛争の「最大の元凶」とも批判している。

The government must take measures to prevent misunderstandings on the comfort women issue from spreading further.
 政府は、誤解の拡散を招かぬよう手立てを講じる必要がある。

As there is no conclusive evidence that the Imperial Japanese Army forcibly recruited comfort women, the Noda Cabinet should review the Kono statement--a "negative legacy" of Liberal Democratic Party administrations--and explain the government's stance on the issue to the public and the world in a manner easy to understand.
 野田内閣は、旧日本軍による慰安婦強制連行の確証がないことを踏まえ、河野談話という自民党政権時代の「負の遺産」を見直し、日本政府の立場を内外に分かりやすく説明しなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 29, 2012)
(2012年8月29日01時18分  読売新聞)

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2012年8月29日 (水)

火災保険は人任せにせず自分で検討してから決断し加入するのが良いようです

今から35年も前の話ですが、私はもう少しで30歳と成るところでした。
20代で家を持つというのが私の夢でしたので、その夢を叶えるべく、妻と二人三脚で努力いたしました。30歳になる直前で、当時の住宅金融公庫の融資を受ける事が出来、長年の夢は達成されました。

新築住宅ですから、当然火災保険もセットになっていて加入させられたような記憶が残っていますが、定かではありません。一つだけ言えることは、私自身がアグレッシブに火災保険につき研究した覚えが全くないという事実なのです。大方の新築住宅購入者は私と同じように、セットで火災保険に加入した人が多いのではないでしょうか。
もし、間違っていたらお許し下さい^^。

今朝、火災保険ランキングというサイトを訪問して、火災保険の本質に迫るべく読みあさりました。掲載情報によると、火災保険というのは実に様々な種類があるのですね。驚きました。通常の火災保険ですが、水害保険込みの契約となっています。
例えば、集合住宅の4階や5階の人だったら、間違っても水害で被害を受けることはありません。

火災保険は、その保障項目を絞り込むことにより、掛け金を大幅に節約することができるのです。
家財 火災保険は人任せにせず自分で検討してから決断し加入するのが良いようですね。

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与野党の対立 衆院選改革の放置にあきれる

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 29, 2012)
Failure to address election system reform deplorable
与野党の対立 衆院選改革の放置にあきれる(8月28日付・読売社説)

The current ordinary Diet session closes in less than two weeks and many legislative issues are still pending. Both the ruling and opposition camps must work tirelessly to reach accords on them until the last minute.
 通常国会は会期末まで2週間足らずとなった。なお、数多くの懸案が残っている。与野党は、最後まで合意への努力を続けるべきだ。

The biggest concern is that the Diet has yet to realize the House of Representatives' electoral system reform, although the Supreme Court has ruled the current disparity in the weight of votes between the most- and least- represented constituencies is "in a state of unconstitutionality."
 最大の懸念は、「違憲状態」と司法が判断した衆院選挙制度の改革が実現しないことである。

The Democratic Party of Japan voted on a DPJ-sponsored election system reform bill in a special lower house committee on Monday in the absence of opposition parties. The DPJ is poised to pass the bill in a plenary session of the lower house on Tuesday.
 民主党は、衆院特別委員会で自らが提出した法案を全野党欠席のまま単独で採決し、可決した。28日に衆院を通過させる構えだ。

The opposition bloc, as a matter of course, has opposed the DPJ's actions.
 無論、野党は反発している。

Given that the DPJ will be unable to obtain approval from the opposition that controls the House of Councillors, it is certain the bill will be scrapped when it fails in the upper house. This will leave the state of unconstitutionality unresolved.
参院で多数を占める野党の協力を見込めず、法案の廃案は確実だ。違憲状態を放置するに等しい。

===

DPJ out to put off election

Having the bill hastily approved by the committee is presumably motivated by a desire to shift the blame for failing to achieve electoral reform to the opposition.
 それでも民主党が突っ走ったのは、改革が実現しない責任を野党に押しつけたいからだろう。

DPJ Acting Secretary General Shinji Tarutoko has lambasted the opposition parties for "taking a stand even against rectifying the gap in the weight of votes."
 実際、樽床伸二幹事長代行は、審議を拒否した野党を「『1票の格差』是正さえやりたくない態度だ」と批判している。

The DPJ, however, has persistently spurned the idea of cutting five single-seat electoral districts before other election system issues. This is the only option the DPJ and the major opposition parties, the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito, agreed to on the election reform issue. The DPJ should be held responsible for stalling this reform.
 だが、民主党は、民自公3党が唯一折り合える格差是正の小選挙区「0増5減」の先行実施を拒み、制度改革を停滞させてきた。

In light of the irresponsibility of the DPJ, the party is not qualified to criticize the opposition. The DPJ has employed the tactic of delaying the legislation in a bid to postpone the lower house dissolution and a general election.
無責任な民主党に野党を批判する資格はない。結局、衆院解散・総選挙の先送り戦術ではないのか。

The DPJ-sponsored bill entails not only a five single-seat constituency cut, but also the reduction of 40 proportional representation seats. It also includes the partial adoption of a seat allocation formula in proportional representation contests favorable to small and midsize parties, which Komeito has demanded.
 そもそも民主党の法案は、「0増5減」や比例選定数の40削減、公明党が主張した比例代表連用制の部分導入を盛り込んでいる。

Electoral system reform based on such a hodgepodge of arguments backed by different parties is unintelligible to the public. Introduction of a seat allocation formula designed to give disproportionately preferential treatment to small and midsize parties may be a constitutional violation, according to some analysts.
 各党の言い分をつなぎ合わせた制度は、極めて分かりにくい。中小政党を過剰に優遇する連用制には憲法上の疑義も指摘される。

===

Opposition equally at fault

The LDP is set to submit a censure motion in the upper house against Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda as early as Wednesday.
 一方、自民党は29日にも、野田首相問責決議案を参院に提出する方針だ。

The censure motion will likely pass the upper house by an opposition majority. If the opposition boycotts all Diet deliberations after that, the current session could end with many issues unaddressed.
決議案は野党の賛成多数で可決される見通しで、野党がその後、審議を一切拒否すれば、国会は多くの案件を積み残したまま事実上閉幕することになる。

Citing reasons to censure the prime minister, LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki claims Noda's ability to tackle the problems facing the country "has reached its limit."
 自民党の谷垣総裁は首相問責の理由として「日本の課題に対応する能力が限界に来ている」と言う。

However, the opposition is just as responsible for the turmoil in the nation's politics.
ただ、国政の混迷を招いた責任については野党も同罪だろう。

A case in point is a government plan for a bill to issue deficit-covering government bonds.
 例えば、赤字国債発行を可能とする特例公債法案だ。

Should the bill fail to pass, it would become impossible, at some point, to implement the state budget. The opposition parties have continued to assert they will not cooperate unless the DPJ commits to an exact date for the dissolution of the lower house.
成立しないと、いずれ予算執行は不可能となる。野党は衆院解散と引き換えでなければ協力しないという。

Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada has said, "There is a possibility of a power change [in the next general election] and the opposition should stop these maneuvers."
 岡田副総理は、「与野党が代わることもある。こんなやり方はいいかげんにやめた方がいい」と指摘した。

While Okada is right, the DPJ should remember that, when it sat in opposition, it also used budget-related bills, including one to issue deficit-covering bonds, as bargaining chips.
その通りだが、民主党こそ野党時代に特例公債法案など予算関連法案を駆け引きの材料としたことを忘れてはならない。

If the censure motion is passed by the LDP, Komeito and other opposition parties, the relationship of trust between the DPJ and the two major opposition parties would almost certainly collapse.
 自公両党などによって問責決議案が可決されれば、これまで構築してきた民自公路線は崩壊する。

A censure motion, which has no binding power, must never be exploited in a power struggle.
法的効力のない問責決議を政争に使うべきではない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 28, 2012)
(2012年8月28日01時45分  読売新聞)

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パラリンピック 五輪に続く感動を期待したい

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 29, 2012)
More excitement awaits at London Paralympics
パラリンピック 五輪に続く感動を期待したい(8月28日付・読売社説)

The Paralympic Summer Games, a quadrennial sports event for disabled athletes, will open Wednesday in London, where memories of the thrills and excitement of the recent Olympic Games still linger.
 ロンドン五輪の感動と興奮が冷めやらぬ中で、あす29日、障害者スポーツの祭典・夏季パラリンピックが開幕する。

This year's Paralympics will be the largest ever, with about 4,200 athletes from 166 countries and territories participating. In addition to physically disabled athletes, mentally disabled competitors will take part for the first time in three meets.
 166の国・地域から約4200人が参加する過去最大規模の大会だ。身体障害者に加え、知的障害者が出場する競技も3大会ぶりに復活する。

Since Beijing in 2008, the Olympics and the Paralympics have been staged by the same organizing committee of the host country. This year's entries include Oscar Pistorius of South Africa--a short-distance runner with artificial legs--and other athletes who competed at the London Games.
 4年前の北京大会から、五輪とパラリンピックは同じ組織委員会が運営する態勢になった。両脚義足の短距離走者オスカー・ピストリウス選手(南アフリカ)など、五輪とパラリンピックの両方に出場するアスリートもいる。

===

Athletic abilities rise

Athletic performances have improved at each Paralympics as fewer events are classified according to athletes' degree of disability. Like at the Olympics, participating nations are competing for medals at the Paralympics, making it a stage for raising national prestige.
 障害の程度に応じた種目の数はかなり絞り込まれ、競技レベルは大会ごとに高まっている。五輪と同様、参加国はメダルの獲得数を競い合い、国威発揚の舞台にもなりつつある。

The Paralympics, it can be said, are now regarded as "the second half of the Olympics" rather than "another Olympics."
 今や「もう一つの五輪」というより、“五輪後半戦”と見ることもできるだろう。

From Japan, 135 athletes will take part in 17 events. They aim to exceed the haul of 27 medals won in Beijing.
 日本からは17競技に135選手が出場する。北京大会の27個を上回るメダルの獲得が目標だ。

Wakako Tsuchida, who as captain leads the Japanese athletes, will compete in the wheelchair 5,000 meters and marathon. Japan's squad includes Shingo Kunieda, who is among the world's top wheelchair tennis players, and other athletes capable of winning gold.
 主将として選手団を率いる土田和歌子選手は、車いす陸上の5000メートルとマラソンに挑む。車いすテニスで世界屈指の実力を持つ国枝慎吾選手など、金メダルを狙える選手は少なくない。

Seven players from Miyagi MAX, which lost its practice facility in last year's Great East Japan Earthquake, will take to the court in wheelchair basketball. Their performance on the global stage will certainly boost the morale of people in disaster-stricken areas.
 車いすバスケットボールには、東日本大震災で練習場を失ったクラブ「宮城MAX」から7人の選手が出場する。逆境を乗り越えて世界の舞台に立つ姿は、被災地を勇気づけるに違いない。

===

Tokyo should watch, learn

Britain is the birthplace of the Paralympics. When London hosted the 1948 Olympics, a wheelchair archery event was held in the Stoke Mandeville Hospital in the city's suburbs, marking the first organized athletic event for the disabled.
 英国はパラリンピック発祥の地である。ロンドンが前回1948年に五輪を開催した際、これに合わせて、近郊のストーク・マンデビル病院で車いすアーチェリーの競技を行ったのが始まりだ。

Sixty-four years on, this year's Paralympics will aspire to develop further the world's foremost athletic event for the disabled while upholding its original spirit.
 64年後の今年、障害者スポーツの原点を想起しつつ、さらなる発展を目指す大会ともなろう。

Tokyo, which is a candidate to host the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, should use the London Paralympics as a reference. Both Games must be prepared in tandem from the planning stage and many of their events use the same facilities.
 今大会は、2020年の五輪・パラリンピック招致を目指す東京にとっても、大いに参考になるはずだ。準備段階から五輪と一緒に計画を進め、同じ競技施設で行う種目も多い。

Presenting a vision for holding the Paralympics and the Olympics integrally could be crucial to sealing Tokyo's bid to host the 2020 sports extravaganzas.
 五輪との一体的開催の方向を強めつつあるパラリンピックの将来像を明確に示すことが、東京招致実現の一つのカギになる。

The government needs to expand its assistance for disabled sports athletes. The bidding committee formed by the Tokyo metropolitan government among others must emphasize the features of Tokyo from the viewpoint of the disabled.
 政府は障害者スポーツの支援態勢を拡充する必要がある。東京都などで組織する招致委員会は、障害者に配慮した都市の姿をアピールすることが重要だ。

Public interest in Tokyo's bid for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics will rise provided the capital can explain clearly the point of hosting them.
 東京で開催する意義を分かりやすく提示してこそ、招致への国民の関心も高まるだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 28, 2012)
(2012年8月28日01時45分  読売新聞)

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2012年8月28日 (火)

北極海開発 日本の発言権をどう確保する

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 28, 2012)
Japan needs to gain voice in Arctic Ocean development
北極海開発 日本の発言権をどう確保する(8月27日付・読売社説)

Countries such as Russia and Canada are maneuvering more actively to stake out advantageous positions in using the Arctic Ocean for shipping routes and in developing natural resources there. Japan also should become actively engaged in drafting rules on developing the Arctic Ocean.
 北極海の航路利用や資源開発を巡って、ロシアやカナダなどの駆け引きが活発化している。日本も、北極海のルール作りに積極的に関与していくことが必要だ。

Though long covered with thick ice, the Arctic Ocean recently has attracted attention as its ice is rapidly melting due to global warming.
 厚い氷に閉ざされていた北極海は、地球温暖化に伴う海氷の融解で注目を集めるようになった。

The ocean's shipping routes, possible only in summer, have elicited interest as they are the shortest way to link Asian countries--the world's growth center--and Europe. Not only oil and natural gas but also gold, copper, nickel and other minerals are believed to be in abundance below the Arctic seabed.
 夏場に利用が可能となる北極海航路は、世界の成長センターのアジアと欧州をつなぐ最短輸送路として期待される。さらに北極海の海底には、石油・天然ガスのほか、金や銅、ニッケルなどの鉱物も豊富に眠っているとされる。

The Antarctic Treaty has frozen territorial claims in the Antarctic continent and surrounding seas and prohibits military use of the area, but there is no such treaty for the Arctic Ocean.
 北極海には各国の領有権主張の凍結と軍事利用禁止を定めた南極条約のような取り決めがない。

Due to the lack of an international treaty, eight countries--the United States, Russia and other coastal nations--and indigenous minorities make up the Arctic Council, a forum to discuss rules on use of the Arctic Ocean.
 このため、米露など沿岸諸国を中心とする8か国と少数先住民団体で構成する協議機関「北極評議会」が、北極海の利用に関するルールを話し合う場になる。

===

Blatant moves by China

Meanwhile, China's moves are a cause of concern. Like Japan, China does not border the Arctic Ocean. Nonetheless, China considers shipping routes and natural resources there among its maritime interests and is trying to increase its influence over the ocean as a national strategy.
 目が離せないのは、中国の動きだ。日本と同様に非沿岸国でありながら、北極海の航路や資源などの利用を自国の「海洋権益」と位置づけ、国家戦略として影響力拡大を図っているからだ。

China's large icebreaker Xuelong has been on a research voyage in the ocean since early July. It took a shipping route north of Russia and in mid-August became the first Chinese ship to traverse the Arctic Ocean.
 今年は7月初めから、大型の砕氷船「雪竜号」で調査航海に出航し、8月中旬には、中国として初めて、ロシア北側の北極海航路の横断に成功した。

Beijing is also actively undertaking summit diplomacy with member nations of the council. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited Sweden, which currently chairs the council, and Iceland in April, while President Hu Jintao visited Denmark in June. They were able to reach agreements with leaders of those countries to enhance bilateral relations.
 評議会加盟国に対する首脳外交も活発だ。温家宝首相が4月に、現議長国スウェーデンとアイスランドを歴訪した。胡錦濤国家主席も6月にデンマークを訪れ、それぞれ関係強化で一致した。

However, the efforts by China, which has a massive military force, to promote its maritime interests in the ocean are so blatant that other countries have become vigilant.
 強大な軍事力をもつ中国の露骨な権益獲得の動きは、関係国に警戒感を抱かせるのに十分だ。

Utilization of the Arctic Ocean also is essential for the growth of the Japanese economy. Nonetheless, it is apparent Japan has started out late in the game.
 北極海の利用は日本経済の発展にとっても欠かせない。にもかかわらず、日本の出遅れが目立っているのはどういうことか。

===

Join Arctic Council

Three years ago, the Japanese government applied to the Arctic Council to obtain observer status. China and South Korea completed such applications ahead of this country.
 日本政府は3年前、北極評議会にオブザーバー参加することを申請した。中国や韓国は日本に先駆けて申請済みだ。

How much a country contributes to the council's activities is said to determine approval as an observer. We think the government first should join the council as an observer and then enhance its information gathering activities to secure a voice there. The nation must accelerate its preparations to deal with issues concerning the Arctic Ocean.
 評議会の活動への貢献度がオブザーバー承認のカギを握っているとされる。政府はまず、オブザーバー加盟を果たして情報収集を強化し、発言権の確保に力を入れるべきだ。北極海に取り組む態勢整備を急がねばならない。

The government also must promote summit diplomacy to strengthen Japan's relations with Russia and northern European countries. Japan also needs to undertake full-fledged research activities in the ocean.
 首脳外交の推進によるロシアや北欧諸国との関係強化も重要だ。北極海の調査活動に本格的に乗り出す必要がある。

It is unavoidable that the Chinese and Russian navies will become more active in seas north of Japan. The government will need to discuss with the United States how to build up Japan's defenses against them.
 日本の北方で中露海軍の活動が活発化するのは必至だ。防衛態勢をどう構築するか、米国との調整も今後の検討課題となろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 27, 2012)
(2012年8月27日01時27分  読売新聞)

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電気自動車 超小型で新たな市場の開拓を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 28, 2012)
Use ultracompact vehicles to develop new markets
電気自動車 超小型で新たな市場の開拓を(8月27日付・読売社説)

We hope next-generation small cars will drastically change Japan's motorized society.
 次世代型の小さなクルマが、日本の自動車社会を大きく変える可能性に期待したい。

The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry and automakers have taken steps toward realizing the use of "ultracompact cars" for handy transportation within communities.
 地域の手軽な移動手段となる「超小型車」の実用化に向け、国土交通省や自動車メーカーが動き出した。

Ultracompact cars, which accommodate only a driver or a driver and one passenger, are electric vehicles slightly smaller than compact cars. With a maximum speed of about 80 kph, they are meant for short-distance use of about 10 kilometers a day.
 超小型車は1~2人乗りの電気自動車(EV)で、軽自動車より一回り小さい。最高速度は時速80キロ・メートル程度、1日約10キロの近距離走行を想定している。

In Europe, such ultracompacts are used in cities with narrow streets. In Japan, however, ultracompacts are currently not allowed to travel on ordinary roads, which are restricted to compacts and larger vehicles.
 欧州では、道が狭い街乗り用などに利用されている。日本では、自動車の規格が普通車や軽自動車などに限られ、超小型車の一般走行は認められていない。

Following experiments it launched in fiscal 2010 to allow ultracompacts on roads in a limited number of areas, the transport ministry plans to introduce as early as this autumn a system that would allow such cars to travel on public roads if municipalities request such a change.
 国交省は2010年度に始めた地域限定の実験に続き、今秋にも公道を走ることができる制度を導入し、希望自治体で実施する。

The ministry aims to revise the Road Transport Vehicle Law in several years so ultracompacts can be legally classified as a new category of vehicles and used widely in Japan.
 数年先には、道路運送車両法を改正し、超小型車を新しい規格として法的に位置づけ、全国的な普及を目指す考えだ。

===

Boost for market

Creating a new category of vehicles for the first time in half a century would undoubtedly invigorate the shrinking domestic automobile market. It would provide a tailwind for efforts to expand the use of electric vehicles, a field in which Japanese automakers have an edge over their foreign rivals. We hope the government and private firms will cooperate to expedite the practical use of ultracompacts.
 半世紀ぶりに自動車の新ジャンルが誕生すれば、縮小が続く国内市場の活性化につながる。日本が世界をリードするEVの普及にも追い風となろう。官民が連携して実用化を急いでもらいたい。

The attraction of ultracompacts lies in their potential to develop new demand.
 超小型車の魅力は、新たなニーズを開拓できそうなことだ。

Elderly people can use them to run errands to shops in local communities, many of which are no longer served by public transportation companies. Capable of making small sharp turns, the cars can be used in narrow streets by retailers making deliveries as well as by people visiting tourist spots.
 公共交通機関の撤退が目立つ地方では、高齢者の買い物などの足となるだろう。狭い路地でも小回りが利くため、小売業者の配達や観光地巡りにも使えそうだ。

In urban areas, where parking space is often hard to come by, ultracompacts could be shared by residents of the same apartment complex. Also, their sales to young consumers, who are increasingly shying away from buying vehicles, may steadily increase.
 駐車場確保が難しい都市部ではマンション住民の共同利用が予想され、クルマ離れの進む若者向け販売が伸びるかもしれない。

On the other hand, there are problems that must still be tackled.
 一方で、課題も少なくない。

As the cars are extremely small, it is difficult for drivers of larger vehicles to see them. And there are doubts about their safety if collision do occur.
 車体が極めて小さいため、大型車から見えにくい。衝突した場合の安全確保に不安がある。

===

New standards a must

The ministry must set standards to ensure both the safety and convenience of users of ultracompacts. It should consider introducing safety devices that would make up for any decline in elderly drivers' physical strength and ability to make judgments when driving.
 国交省は、安全性に十分配慮したうえで、超小型車の利便性を損なわないような安全性能基準を策定しなければならない。高齢運転者の体力や判断力の低下を補う安全装置なども考慮すべきだ。

But excessively strict safety standards would push up manufacturing costs and thereby sales prices, hindering the broader use of ultracompacts. This factor is making many automakers think twice about developing such vehicles.
 ただし、安全基準が厳し過ぎると、製造コストがかさんで販売価格を押し上げ、普及が進まない。現時点で多くのメーカーが開発に慎重姿勢なのは、そのためだ。

Tax breaks or other forms of financial incentives to prod consumers into buying the cars should eventually be considered if the government wants ultracompacts to be widely used nationwide.
 本格普及を図るには、いずれ消費者への購入支援策や税制の優遇措置などを検討すべきだろう。

Furthermore, steps must be taken so that ultracompacts do not disrupt traffic. They travel slower than larger vehicles, which could create traffic congestion on ordinary roads. Creating a traffic lane solely for slow-moving vehicles and securing parking space will be crucial points in improving infrastructure for the convenience of people.
 道路交通を混乱させない対策も求められる。普通車などに比べて速度が遅い超小型車が一般道を走れば、交通渋滞の原因となりかねない。低速走行の専用レーンや駐車場の整備など、まちづくりの観点も重要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 27, 2012)
(2012年8月27日01時27分  読売新聞)

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2012年8月27日 (月)

エネルギー選択 「意識調査」はあくまで参考に

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 27, 2012)
Don't take results of nuclear power surveys too seriously
エネルギー選択 「意識調査」はあくまで参考に(8月26日付・読売社説)

It is problematic to decide the nation's energy strategy, which affects the fate of Japan, through an approach that resembles a popularity contest.
 国の命運を左右するエネルギー戦略を、人気投票のような手法で決めるのは問題である。

Since the outbreak of the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, a considerable number of people are demanding the nation break away from its dependence on nuclear energy.
 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所の事故を受け、「脱原発」を求める声は少なくない。

Securing the safety of nuclear power plants is of course important. However, factors such as economic efficiency and a stable energy supply are also important in deciding the nation's energy policy. As a country poor in natural resources, Japan needs to have various sources of electricity, including nuclear power plants, to ensure a stable power supply.
 だが、エネルギー政策では、原発の安全性に加えて、経済性や安定供給なども重要だ。資源小国の日本が電力を安定確保するには、原発を含む多様な電源が要る。

Thus the government should promote a realistic energy policy of utilizing nuclear power plants from a mid- and long-term standpoint.
 政府は、原発を中長期的に活用するという現実的なエネルギー政策を推進すべきである。

The government recently released the results of multiple surveys that asked the public to choose from three scenarios on the percentage of nuclear power generation in 2030: zero percent of all power generation, 15 percent, and 20 percent to 25 percent.
 2030年の電源に占める原子力発電の比率を「0%」「15%」「20~25%」とする三つの選択肢について、政府が行った複数の意識調査の結果がまとまった。

The government conducted 11 public hearings, solicited public comments and held a deliberative opinion poll. In all three methods, those who chose the zero percent scenario outnumbered those who selected the other two.
 11回の「意見聴取会」と「パブリックコメント(意見公募)」、新たな手法の「討論型世論調査」は、いずれの調査も「原発0%」の支持が最多だった。

===

Avoid slipping into populism

However, it is too early to conclude that the results truly reflect public opinion on the nation's nuclear energy policy.
 ただし、この結果をもって原発政策に関する“世論”が示されたと考えるのは早計だろう。

Many people who participate in public hearings and submit comments are eager to express their opinions on the nuclear power plant issue. They tend to prefer a nuclear-free future.
 意見聴取会やパブリックコメントの参加者は、原発問題で積極的に意見を言いたい人が多いため、脱原発に偏る傾向がある。

A random telephone survey was conducted in the first stage of the deliberative opinion poll, and respondents were asked if they wished to participate in the following discussion stage. Only about 300 people participated in the second stage.
 討論型世論調査も、最初の電話調査は無作為抽出だが、その後の討論会は希望者参加で、人数も約300人と少なかった。

It is important for politicians to listen to the voices of the people. However, there is a risk that politicians may slip into populism, depending on how much they rely on public opinion.
 政治が国民の意見を聴くのは大切だが、受け止め方によっては、場当たり的な大衆迎合主義(ポピュリズム)に陥る恐れがある。

A member of an expert panel tasked with analyzing the results of the surveys said, "We don't need politics if opinion polls decide everything."
 調査結果を分析する政府の有識者会議では、「世論調査だけで物事が決まるなら、政治は不要だ」といった意見も出た。

The results of the surveys should be used as one element in discussing the nation's nuclear policy. The government should avoid having the results directly influence its energy policy.
 これらの調査結果はあくまで参考にとどめ、政策へのダイレクトな反映は避けるべきだろう。

===

Risks of zero percent scenario

Meanwhile, the surveys also highlighted a problem the government has to tackle. In the deliberative opinion poll, 41 percent of respondents supported the zero percent scenario before the discussion, but the figure increased to 47 percent after the discussion.
 一方、政府にとっての課題も判明した。討論型世論調査で「原発0%」の支持は、討論前の41%から討論後は47%に上昇した。

At the same time, the percentage of people who gave top priority to "securing safety" in the nation's energy policy increased after the discussion to about 80 percent. This change seems to be the reason why the number of people who chose the zero percent scenario increased.
 エネルギー政策で、「安全の確保」を最重視する人が、討論前より増え、最終的に8割に達したことが影響したようだ。

However, everyone is highly concerned about the safety of the energy supply. We assume that was the reason only a low percentage of respondents chose "stable energy supply" and "prevention of global warming."
 ただ、誰しも「安全」への関心が高いため、「安定供給」や「地球温暖化防止」を選ぶ比率が低くなったのではないか。

If all nuclear power plants were abolished in the nation, it would slow down the economy, resulting in higher unemployment and poverty. Ordinary citizens would be hit hardest, but strangely, understanding of this fact has yet to spread among the public.
 原発ゼロでは、日本経済が失速し、失業増や貧困拡大を招く。最大の被害者は国民だが、なぜかこうした認識は浸透していない。

Along with beefing up its efforts to enhance the safety of nuclear power plants, the government must provide information to citizens that helps them choose appropriate scenarios for the nation's future energy policy.
 政府は原発の安全性向上に一層努めるとともに、的確なエネルギー選択に資する情報を、国民に提供することが求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 26, 2012)
(2012年8月26日01時28分  読売新聞)

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教員養成改革 指導力ある若手の育成を急げ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 27, 2012)
Improve training system to boost young teachers' skills
教員養成改革 指導力ある若手の育成を急げ (8月26日付・読売社説)

A draft report calls on people who wish to become teachers to acquire master's degrees after completing four years of undergraduate education.
 教員になる人には、大学の4年間に加え、大学院で修士レベルの教育を受けてもらう――。

The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry's Central Education Council will shortly submit the report, which includes such a proposal to improve the quality of teacher, to the education minister.
 教員の資質向上策として、中央教育審議会が近く文部科学相に提出する答申案にそんな提言が盛り込まれた。

Public criticism has been mounting that teachers have failed to adequately fulfill their duties in the face of a surge of serious problems at schools such as bullying and truancy.
 いじめや不登校など、学校で深刻な問題が増えているにもかかわらず、教員が適切に対処できていないとの批判は根強い。

In recent years, the training of young teachers has been woefully insufficient because of such factors as veteran teachers--who entered the educational field in large numbers--reaching the mandatory retirement age and the increasing workload of teachers due to an expansion of the scope of their jobs.
 近年、教育現場では、大量採用されたベテラン教員の退職や業務の多忙化などで、若手教員を育てる余裕が失われつつある。

There seems to be little effort among teachers to learn from one another and have the teaching skills of experienced teachers handed down to younger teachers.
教員同士が学び合い、指導法を受け継ぐという雰囲気も乏しいようだ。

Revamping the teacher training system is apparently a pressing task for the entire educational field.
 教員養成システムが手直しを迫られているのは確かだろう。

According to the draft report, university graduates will receive "basic teaching certificates," which will be a type of temporary permit. After they finish the required graduate school courses, they will receive a "general certificate."
 答申案によると、学部4年を修了すると、仮免許ともいえる「基礎免許」、その後、大学院で必要な課程を履修すれば「一般免許」を付与する。

===

Graduate schools too few

Even though people with basic certificates will be allowed to teach, they will be required to obtain general certificates within a certain period of time, the draft says.
基礎免許のみでも教壇に立てるが、一定期間内に一般免許の取得を求めるという。

The education council envisions that teachers with many years of experience, including those who served as school principals, will run the postgraduate teacher training program. Emphasis will be placed on training methods based on on-the-spot teaching practice at schools.
 校長経験者ら実務家が指導にあたり、学校での実習を重ねる養成方法の確立を目指す。

Graduate schools specializing in teacher training, which were launched in 2008, are expected to play a pivotal role in putting the envisaged training system into force.
その中核として想定しているのが、2008年に開設された教職大学院だ。

We support the idea of spending sufficient time to have future teachers acquire practical teaching capabilities through the teacher training courses.
 養成にある程度、時間をかけ、実践的な指導力を身につけさせるという狙いは理解できる。

However, there are only 25 graduate schools that specialize in training teachers in this country at present.
 ただ、教職大学院は現在、25校にとどまる。

Total enrollment at these schools stands at 815, a far cry from the number of newly recruited schoolteachers--about 30,000 every year at publicly operated schools alone. How to fully implement the projected teacher training program is a key task that must be addressed from now on.
定員は計815人で、毎年の教員採用数(公立で3万人)に遠く及ばない。受け皿整備は今後の重要な課題である。

School expenses needed for teacher training at graduate schools are another problem.
 大学院に通う学費負担の問題もある。

Without suitable support measures, including a scholarship system for graduate school students, there is a danger of excellent human resources hoping to become teachers being forced to abandon their aspirations for financial reasons.
奨学金など適切な支援がなければ、優秀で意欲のある人材が経済的な理由から教員志望を断念することになりかねない。

===

Open teaching posts wider

Over the next 10 years, many teachers are expected to retire as they reach the mandatory age limit. One-third of all schoolteachers will have to be replaced, making the training of young teachers a matter of urgency.
 今後10年間は、定年を迎える教員の大量退職が見込まれ、教員全体の約3分の1が入れ替わる。若手教員の養成は喫緊の課題だ。

Along with the introduction of a master's degree system for teachers, it is important for all universities with teachers' courses to rapidly improve their curricula on their own initiatives.
 「修士制」導入の検討と並行して、教員養成に携わる大学が自ら、カリキュラムの改善を早急に進めることが肝要である。

Universities should exchange information closely with boards of education that hire and assign teachers to specific schools.
 大学側は、教員を採用して学校に配置する教育委員会と密接に情報交換を重ねるべきだ。

Through such exchanges, it should be worked out whether teaching content and methods suit the actual needs of teachers and students.
指導内容が現場のニーズに即しているかどうかについても、厳しく点検しなければならない。

It also is important to open the teaching profession to citizens engaged in other work.
 社会人に教員への門戸を開くことも大切だ。

For instance, if a science researcher is given a teaching post at a school, he or she may be able to convey the joy of learning about science to children who have a tendency to shy away from the subject.
例えば、科学の研究者が教員として、その面白さを伝えれば、子供の理科離れを防ぐ一助となろう。

Attention should be also paid to hiring people proficient in English help children improve their English-language skills.
子供の英語力向上に役立つ人材も登用したい。

Making use of people from a broad range of fields and with a variety of experiences should help reinvigorate the nation's school education.
 幅広い層の多彩な経験を生かすことが、教育現場の活性化につながるはずだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 26, 2012)
(2012年8月26日01時28分  読売新聞)

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2012年8月26日 (日)

原発と活断層 甚大な被害の防止に力を注げ

Sendaiはないでしょう^^。(誤訳だと思います)

(スラチャイ)

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 26, 2012)
Investigate faults to prevent catastrophic nuclear disasters
原発と活断層 甚大な被害の防止に力を注げ(8月25日付・読売社説)

Efforts to devise safety measures for Japan's nuclear power plants must take into account the fact that this nation is one of the most disaster-prone in the world.
 原子力発電所の安全対策は、日本が有数の「災害大国」であることを前提とせねばならない。

The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has instructed that two nuclear power generation facilities in Fukui Prefecture be reinvestigated to determine whether active fault lines lie beneath their premises.
 経済産業省の原子力安全・保安院が、福井県内の原子力発電所2か所に対し、敷地内に活断層があるかどうかを再調査するよう指示した。

The two facilities are the Mihama nuclear power plant run by Kansai Electric Power Co. and the Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor operated by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency.
 関西電力美浜原発と日本原子力研究開発機構の高速増殖原型炉「もんじゅ」だ。

This means six out of all 18 nuclear facilities in the nation are subject to safety reinvestigations. NISA also has been studying whether additional on-site safety checks should be conducted on three other nuclear complexes.
これにより、再調査の対象は、国内18か所の原発のうち6か所になった。このほか3か所についても、保安院は再調査の必要性を検討している。

The government nuclear watchdog has said there are no active faults beneath the premises of nine facilities. Among them are Japan Atomic Power Co.'s Tokai No. 2 nuclear power plant in Ibaraki Prefecture; Chugoku Electric Power Co.'s Shimane nuclear power plant in Shimane Prefecture; Shikoku Electric Power Co.'s Ikata nuclear power plant in Ehime Prefecture; and the Genkai nuclear power plant in Saga Prefecture and the Sendai nuclear power plant in Kagoshima Prefecture, which are both operated by Kyushu Electric Power Co.
 敷地内に活断層がないとされるのは、日本原電東海第二、中国電力島根、四国電力伊方、九州電力玄海、川内など9か所だ。

===

Definition of faults changed

If fault lines close to or right beneath reactor buildings move due to seismic activity, the reactors and related important facilities could tilt or collapse, possibly leading to their destruction.
 原子炉建屋の直近または真下にある活断層が動けば、原子炉や重要設備が傾いたり、倒れたりして壊れる可能性もある。

To ascertain whether such risks exist, detailed geological surveys must be implemented rigorously and swiftly.
 危険性の有無を見極めるため、地層の詳細な調査を、厳密かつ迅速に実施すべきだ。

The reinvestigations were prompted by the fact that the condition of the Earth's crust in Japan changed because of the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami. Fault lines that were earlier believed to be inactive were subsequently confirmed as active.
 再調査が相次ぐ理由は、東日本大震災で日本の地殻の状態が変わり、動かないとされてきた断層が動く例が出てきたことによる。

Furthermore, the definition of active faults has changed. Due to revisions in 2006 to the government's screening guidelines for the earthquake resistance of nuclear plants, faults are considered active if they have been active in the last 120,000 to 130,000 years, compared to 50,000 years before the revisions.
 活断層の定義も変わった。政府の耐震設計審査指針が2006年に改定され、考慮すべき断層の活動時期が、5万年前以降から、12万~13万年前以降に広がった。

As a result of checks done by NISA in line with the new guidelines, based on relevant data at the time of nuclear plants' construction, geological fractures that must be suspected to be active have been found one after another beneath the premises of nuclear plants.
 これらを受け、保安院が原発設置時の資料などを点検した結果、活断層と疑わざるを得ない敷地内の亀裂が次々見つかった。

Given this development, power companies say they now face higher hurdles for ensuring the safety of their nuclear plants.
 電力会社は、安全のハードルが上がると受け止めている。

If fault lines right below nuclear plants are confirmed to be active, operators will be forced to decommission the reactors, as the plants will fall short of the government's screening standards for nuclear plant operations.
原子炉直下に活断層があることが確定すれば、政府の耐震指針に適合しなくなり、廃炉を迫られよう。

===

Be prepared for the unforeseen

Decommissioning plants would be unavoidable under such circumstances.
 だが、それもやむを得まい。

The crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant is attributable mainly to the fact that both the government and TEPCO made light of the risks deriving from a massive tsunami.
 東京電力福島第一原発の事故は政府と東電が大津波のリスクを軽視してきたことが主因だ。

To make the most of this bitter lesson, it is imperative to take steps to prevent the recurrence of an accident that would wreak tremendous damage, however small the probability of such a huge earthquake and tsunami may be.
教訓を生かすには、発生確率は低くとも、甚大な被害をもたらす事故の再発を防ぐことが欠かせない。

It is of course no easy job, however, to ascertain with 100 percent accuracy the existence or nonexistence of active faults through reinvestigations. A major earthquake once occurred in an area where no active fault line was believed to exist.
 ただ、再調査しても、活断層の有無を100%正しく判断することは容易ではない。活断層はないとされてきた場所で大地震が起きた例もある。

Measures should be devised quickly for dealing with such unforeseen situations. It is indispensable to establish safety arrangements to prevent catastrophic events, such as a reactor core melting down as a result of its tilting.
 こうした「想定外」への対応も急ぎたい。原子炉が傾いて炉心溶融などの破局的な事態になるのを防ぐ安全対策が必須である。

Evaluating the results of NISA's reinvestigations and creating a new set of standards for coping with unforeseeable events will be the job of a new nuclear safety regulatory commission.
 新設の原子力規制委員会が、再調査の結果評価や、想定外への対応の基準作りを担う。

Because of the turmoil in the Diet, however, the legislature has yet to approve the members of the commission, including who should become chairman.
 しかし、国会の混乱で委員長や委員の人事に同意が得られていない。

The commission must be launched as early as possible to ensure the safe utilization of nuclear power plants.
原発を安全に利用するには、規制委の早期発足が必要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 25, 2012)
(2012年8月25日01時29分  読売新聞)

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首相「領土」会見 国際社会へ反転攻勢の一歩に

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 26, 2012)
Govt must stress sovereignty over isles to intl community
首相「領土」会見 国際社会へ反転攻勢の一歩に(8月25日付・読売社説)

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda held a press conference Friday on the dispute involving the Takeshima islands and other territorial issues. This occasion should pave the way for Japan to take the offensive in seeking understanding of the issues both at home and abroad.
 竹島などの領土問題で日本が国内外の理解を求めて反転攻勢に出る一歩とすべきだ。

Noda said at the press conference, "We'll deal with the issues calmly but uncompromisingly with unwavering determination."
 野田首相が領土に関し記者会見し、「毅然(きぜん)とした態度で、冷静沈着に不退転の覚悟で臨む」と述べた。

"They're Japanese territory both historically and under international law," he said, referring to the Takeshima islands. "In keeping with international law and justice, the proper path is to hold debates and settle the matter at the International Court of Justice."
 竹島については、「歴史的にも国際法上も日本の領土だ」と明言した。さらに、「国際社会の法と正義に照らして、国際司法裁判所の法廷で議論を戦わせ、決着をつけるのが王道だ」と強調した。

We consider it highly significant that the prime minister stated explicitly that his government will protect the nation's sovereignty over the islets.
 首相が、国の主権を守ると正面から訴えたのは画期的である。

South Korea has reinforced its illegal occupation of the Takeshima islands through such actions as building a structure there. Japan protested the actions, but it is hard to say that Tokyo has taken effective countermeasures.
 韓国が竹島に建造物を勝手に建設するなど、不法占拠を着々と強化してきたのに対し、日本は抗議はするものの、有効な対抗策を講じてきたとは言えない。

===

Take advantage of legal action

It is vital for Japan to make the legitimacy of its territorial claim and the reasoning behind it widely known to the international community by taking the dispute to the international court. The government also needs to make efforts to help as many people as possible properly understand the Takeshima issue by explaining it thoroughly.
 今回の提訴を機に、日本の領有権の正当性や根拠を国際社会に幅広くアピールすることが大切だ。国内でも、竹島問題に関する過去の経緯を詳しく説明し、より多くの国民が正しい認識を共有するよう努める必要がある。

Noda also spoke about the recent illegal landing on the Senkaku Islands by Hong Kong activists. "The government will make every effort to strengthen the nation's information-gathering ability and take all possible measures to improve its policing and surveillance capabilities in the surrounding waters" to prevent such incidents in the future, he said.
 首相は、香港活動家が不法上陸した尖閣諸島について、再発防止へ、「政府の総力を挙げて情報収集を強化し、周辺海域の監視・警戒に万全を期す」と語った。

To maintain and stably manage the Senkaku Islands, which are under Japan's effective control, the government faces the urgent task of nationalizing the islets. To that end, it is important to closely cooperate with the Tokyo metropolitan government, which plans to purchase the islands.
 日本が実効支配する尖閣諸島に関しては、より安定した維持・管理ができるよう国有化の実現が急務だ。島を購入する予定の東京都との緊密な連携が重要である。

The government must not fail to strengthen the abilities of the Japan Coast Guard and the Maritime Self-Defense Force to swiftly respond to illegal landings on the islands and intrusions into Japan's territorial waters by foreign countries.
 他国による不法上陸や領海侵犯などに迅速に対処するため、海上保安庁や海上自衛隊の体制を強化することも怠ってはならない。

===

Noda letter not re-sent

Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry has decided not to resend the personal letter from Noda to South Korean President Lee Myung Bak that South Korea rejected and returned to the ministry by mail.
 外務省は、韓国側から返送された首相の李明博大統領宛て親書を受理し、再送はしなかった。

Returning a personal letter from a national leader is unusual and considered disrespectful. However, we can understand the decision by Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba and other government officials to accept the returned letter, considering "the dignity" of Japanese diplomacy. The decision was based on the logic that Noda's message, which calls Lee's visit to Takeshima regrettable, has been conveyed to Seoul.
 首脳の親書の返送は異例かつ非礼だが、大統領の竹島訪問を遺憾とする首相のメッセージが伝わった以上、「外交の品位」を考えて受理するという玄葉外相らの大局的な判断は理解できる。

The House of Representatives on Friday adopted a resolution condemning Lee's visit to Takeshima and his remarks seeking the Emperor's apology to Koreans who died while fighting for Korea's independence. The resolution demands that South Korea halt its illegal occupation of the islands and Lee withdraw the remarks about the Emperor. The remarks have sparked criticism not only in Japan but also in South Korea. Seeking the withdrawal is reasonable.
 衆院は、大統領の竹島訪問と天皇陛下「謝罪要求」発言に抗議する決議を採択した。韓国による竹島の不法占拠の停止や、発言の撤回を求めている。大統領発言には、日本だけでなく、韓国国内でも批判があり、撤回要求は当然だ。

We view the resolution as well-balanced because, among other things, it calls South Korea a vital neighboring country of Japan. However, it is disappointing that the resolution was not approved unanimously as the Japanese Communist Party, the Social Democratic Party and others opposed it.
 決議は、韓国を「重要な隣国」と位置づけるなど、バランスのとれた内容だ。共産、社民両党などが賛成せず、全会一致とならなかったのは残念である。

Japan and South Korea share common security interests on such issues as North Korea's nuclear program. We urge Seoul to handle the territorial issue with a cool head without losing sight of the broader significance of the two countries' relations.
 日韓両国は、北朝鮮の核問題など安全保障分野でも利害を共有している。韓国には、日韓関係の大局を見失わず、「大人の対応」をするよう求めたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 25, 2012)
(2012年8月25日01時29分  読売新聞)

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2012年8月25日 (土)

ロシア経済 WTO加盟で自由貿易促進を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 25, 2012)
Russia's WTO entry should promote free trade
ロシア経済 WTO加盟で自由貿易促進を(8月24日付・読売社説)

Russia entered the World Trade Organization on Wednesday as the group's 156th member. It is hoped the entry will promote international free trade and stimulate global economic growth.
 ロシアが156番目のメンバーとして、世界貿易機関(WTO)に加盟した。自由貿易を促進し経済成長に弾みをつけることが期待されよう。

Russia, which applied for membership in the WTO in 1993, has been called the "last major economy" to enter the group. It is significant that Russia has at last joined the free trade system governed by WTO rules.
 1993年に加盟申請したロシアは、未加盟の「最後の大国」と呼ばれた。ロシアがようやく、WTOルールに基づく自由貿易体制に加わった意義は大きい。

Boosted by rising energy prices, including crude oil, Russia is enjoying solid economic growth. However, the country also faces the challenge of shifting its economy away from excessive dependence on energy resources.
 原油などエネルギー価格の上昇を追い風に、ロシアは堅調な経済成長が続いているが、資源依存体質からの脱却が課題だ。

It needs to transform the structure of its economy by implementing market-opening measures to develop international trade and at the same time attract foreign investment.
市場開放による貿易拡大とともに、海外から投資を呼び込み、経済構造を転換する必要がある。

Since entering the WTO in 2001, China has achieved rapid economic growth through the expansion of trade and investment. China can almost certainly serve as a role model for Russia.
 2001年にWTO加盟後、貿易と投資の拡大で急成長した中国が、ロシアのモデルとなろう。

===

New market opportunities

In keeping with the rules of entry into the WTO, Russia has promised to gradually lower import duties on such items as industrial products.
 ロシアはWTO加盟に合わせ、工業製品などの段階的な輸入関税率引き下げを約束している。

For example, the import tariff on automobiles will be lowered from the current 30 percent to 25 percent in the near future, and will be reduced to 15 percent over the next seven years. The tariff on household appliances and electronics will be lowered from 15 percent to a range of 7 percent to 9 percent.
 品目別では、乗用車は現行30%をすぐに25%とした後、7年かけて15%に下げる。家電や電子製品も15%を7~9%とする。

Russia has also adopted a policy of eventually eliminating all tariffs on IT products, including PCs.
コンピューターなどIT(情報技術)製品についても、将来的に関税ゼロとする方針を打ち出した。

We hope the country steadily progresses with these market-opening measures. It is also important for Russia to streamline its complex customs procedures, which will help boost trade with other countries. Furthermore, Russia needs to tackle the reduction of protectionist barriers that hinder foreign investment.
 ロシアは、これらの市場開放を着実に進めてもらいたい。煩雑な通関手続きを改善し、貿易拡大につなげることも大事だ。海外からの投資を妨げる障壁の削減にも取り組まねばならない。

Although the value of trade between Japan and Russia has been on the rise, there is still room for growth to provide more business opportunities for Japanese firms. The automobile sector, one of Japan's leading export areas, is particularly promising. Japanese automakers are urged to amplify their strategies for the Russian market.
 日露貿易額は増えているが、さらに伸びる余地があり、日本企業にはチャンスが広がる。とくに主力輸出品である自動車分野が有望だ。自動車各社は、ロシア戦略を強化してほしい。

===

Abolish unfair restrictions

The fact that Russia has unilaterally introduced unfair trade restrictions, such as a hike in automobile tariffs and a limit on grain exports, is worrisome.
 懸念されるのは、ロシアがこれまで、自動車関税率引き上げや穀物輸出規制など、一方的な不公正貿易措置を導入したことだ。

Russia is also planning to impose a tax on old cars scheduled to be scrapped, to cover the disposal cost of such vehicles. Should Japanese and other foreign automobiles be targeted specifically, the environment will become unfavorable for exporters to the country.
 廃車時の費用を税金として徴収する廃車処理税も新たに準備している。日本車などが狙い撃ちされれば、輸出に不利になる。

With its entry into the WTO, Russia is obliged to follow the group's rules. If the country adopts unfair trade measures that run counter to WTO regulations, it is highly likely other member countries will file complaints against Russia.
 ロシアは加盟とともに、WTOルールを順守する義務を負う。ルールに違反する不公正貿易措置を導入すれば、他国からWTOに提訴される可能性が高いだろう。

We also fear that protectionist measures, taken with increased frequency by governments in emerging economies, may adversely affect Russia's stance on international trade.
 新興国で相次いでいる保護貿易措置が、ロシアの姿勢に影響を与えかねないことも気がかりだ。

Indonesia has introduced an export duty on such items as nickel and copper, while Argentina has adopted an import permission system for certain goods, such as automobiles. Brazil is also demanding its trade partners increase their procurement of locally produced auto components.
 インドネシアはニッケル、銅などに輸出関税をかけ、アルゼンチンは自動車などの輸入に許可制を導入した。ブラジルも、自動車部品の現地調達比率を高めるよう、貿易相手国に要求している。

Japan, in cooperation with the United States and European countries, must call on Russia and other emerging economies to abolish unfair trade measures.
 日本は欧米と連携し、ロシアに限らず、新興国の不公正貿易措置の是正を求めねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 24, 2012)
(2012年8月24日01時23分  読売新聞)

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竹島・尖閣審議 民主は「配慮外交」を反省せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 25, 2012)
DPJ must reconsider overly conciliatory stance on Takeshima
竹島・尖閣審議 民主は「配慮外交」を反省せよ (8月24日付・読売社説)

When handling a territorial issue, it is essential for the government to assert the nation's stance resolutely while keeping a cool head in pursuit of a peaceful solution to the problem.
 領土問題では、毅然(きぜん)として自国の立場を主張するとともに、平和的な解決を冷静に追求することが肝要である。

A session of the House of Representatives' Budget Committee was held on Thursday for intensive deliberations on diplomatic issues.
 衆院予算委員会で外交に関する集中審議が行われた。

In response to an announcement by the South Korean government earlier on the day that it would return a letter Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda sent to South Korean President Lee Myung Bak, Noda expressed his displeasure, telling the session Seoul's action constituted "behavior utterly devoid of reason."
李明博韓国大統領宛ての野田首相の親書を韓国政府が返送すると発表したことについて、首相は「あまりにも冷静さを欠いた行動」と不快感を表明した。

The act of sending back the prime minister's letter, which expressed regret over Lee's surprise visit to the Takeshima islands on Aug. 10, is, without a doubt, particularly disrespectful in terms of diplomatic norms and cannot be overlooked.
 親書は李大統領の竹島訪問に遺憾の意を表する内容だが、それを返送するのは外交慣例上、極めて非礼であり、看過できない。

===

Diplomacy cast aside

No matter how different two nations' views on an issue may be, a bare minimum of etiquette in diplomatic relations must be upheld by each country. South Korea has now crossed the line with this recent development.
どんなに主張が対立しても、外交には最低限守るべきマナーがある。韓国の対応は一線を越えている。

The government should file a firm protest with the South Korean government.
 政府は強く抗議すべきだ。

In doing so, however, it is important Japan conduct itself in full conformity with diplomatic protocol.
ただ、その際は、外交儀礼をきちんと守って対応することが大切だ。

In the Budget Committee session, Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba stressed that South Korea is "illegally occupying" the Sea of Japan islets, known as Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in South Korea.
 玄葉外相は予算委で、竹島の現況について韓国が「不法占拠」していると強調した。

Out of diplomatic consideration for South Korea, the administration of the Democratic Party of Japan has used the expression "rule without legal grounds" in reference to the matter since Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada served as foreign minister. Gemba is the first Cabinet minister to have used the phrase "illegal occupation" to refer to the issue.
民主党政権は岡田外相以降、韓国側への配慮から「法的根拠のない支配」と表現しており、玄葉外相が初めて「不法占拠」との表現を用いた。

The change of wording is seriously overdue.

There can be no denying that disproportionate concern by the DPJ administration about inciting conflict with a partner country, even over an issue affecting the nation's sovereignty, has led South Korea to harbor the misconception that Japan is a country that backs down easily.
 あまりに遅きに失している。国家主権に関する問題でさえ、相手国を刺激しないという民主党政権の過剰な「配慮外交」が、日本は簡単に譲歩するという誤解を韓国側に与えたことは否めない。

Although the issue of compensation for the so-called comfort women in South Korea has been completely resolved, DPJ Policy Research Committee Chairman Seiji Maehara recently unveiled a plan to study the feasibility of "humanitarian measures" related to the matter. This may have caused South Korea to have false expectations about further steps from the Japanese side.
 いわゆる従軍慰安婦問題でも、賠償請求権問題は完全に解決しているのに、前原政調会長が新たな「人道的措置」の検討を表明したことなどが、韓国側に誤った期待感を抱かせた可能性がある。

The government must do some serious soul-searching about the recent string of events in bilateral relations and carefully consider how to deal with the situation effectively.
 政府は一連の経緯を反省し、今後の対応を検討すべきだ。

===

Parties need to work together

In Thursday's Budget Committee meeting, Noda expressed his intention to seek an apology and a retraction of Lee's remarks demanding the Emperor apologize for the wartime past.
 野田首相は予算委で、李大統領の天皇陛下への謝罪要求発言について、謝罪と撤回を求める意向を表明した。

In a similar event, a spokesman of South Korea's Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry has demanded Gemba back down from his statement about South Korea's "illegal occupation" of the islets and pledge to avoid making similar remarks in the future.
韓国外交通商省報道官は、玄葉外相の「不法占拠」発言の撤回と再発防止を要求した。

Given the circumstances, Japan-South Korea relations have now begun a negative course.
 日韓関係は今や、「負の連鎖」に入り始めている。

Even if the two countries confront each other on the Takeshima issue, overall bilateral relations should be prevented from further deteriorating.
竹島問題で対立しても、日韓関係全体が悪化するのは避けたい。

It is evidently important for both nations to continue working-level discussions, including negotiations for concluding a free trade agreement between Japan, China and South Korea.
日中韓の自由貿易協定(FTA)交渉など実務的な協議は継続するよう、日韓双方が努めることが重要である。

During the Budget Committee session, the Liberal Democratic Party lashed out at the government for its failure to prevent a group of activists from Hong Kong from illegally landing on the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. It also criticized the government's failure to charge the activists on suspicion of obstructing Japanese officers from performing their duties.
 集中審議で自民党は、政府が香港活動家による尖閣諸島不法上陸を阻止できず、公務執行妨害罪を問わなかった点を追及した。

It is highly desirable, however, for both the ruling and opposition camps to cooperate in steering the nation's diplomacy, particularly in the case of territorial disputes.
 領土問題では本来、オール日本の体制で外交を展開することが望ましい。

It would be regrettable for the LDP to make a point of finding fault with the government for its handling of territorial disputes.
自民党が政府の揚げ足取りに終始するようでは困る。

There are a host of issues that must be addressed on a suprapartisan basis, such as the proactive expression of Japan's stance on territorial disputes to the international community and the improvement of history lessons in school education.
 日本の主張を国際社会に積極的に発信し、学校での歴史教育を充実させるなど、超党派で取り組むべきことは少なくない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 24, 2012)
(2012年8月24日01時23分  読売新聞)

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2012年8月24日 (金)

首相と反原発派 禍根残す面会パフォーマンス

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 24, 2012)
Noda's meeting with antinuclear group may lead to future problems
首相と反原発派 禍根残す面会パフォーマンス(8月23日付・読売社説)

A recent meeting between the prime minister and an antinuclear group shows the ad hoc populism of the Democratic Party of Japan-led administration.
 民主党政権の場当たり的な大衆迎合主義(ポピュリズム)を象徴する出来事と言えよう。

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Wednesday met with members of the Metropolitan Coalition Against Nukes, a civic group that has staged antinuclear demonstrations in front of the Prime Minister's Office.
 野田首相が、首相官邸前で反原発デモを続ける「首都圏反原発連合」のメンバーと面会した。

In response to the group's demand to shut down the Nos. 3 and 4 reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s Oi nuclear power plant, Noda said, "The government reactivated them after their safety was confirmed."
 関西電力大飯原発3、4号機の再稼働撤回をメンバーが求めたのに対し、首相は「安全性を確認し再稼働した」と説明した。

The prime minister authorized the reactivation of the reactors with the broad view of protecting people's livelihoods. However, the antinuclear group advocates, as its core tenet, that nuclear power is unnecessary. It is impossible for the two sides to compromise.
 国民の生活を守るという大局的見地から再稼働させた首相と、ハナから原発不要論を唱える反原発団体が折り合えるはずもない。

Noda apparently decided to accept this unusual meeting to show his willingness to listen to the public.
 異例の面会に応じたのは、首相が「国民の声に耳を傾ける」という姿勢を示す狙いからだろう。

However, Noda's meeting with the antinuclear group, though short, will likely lead to problems in the future. Noda could be misconstrued as having a certain amount of sympathy for the antinuclear demonstrations. He should not hold such meetings again.
 だが、首相が短時間とはいえ、反原発団体と面会したことは禍根を残したのではないか。反原発デモに一定の理解を示したと誤解されかねない。首相はこうした対応を今回限りとすべきだ。

Of course, it is important to listen to the views of the public, but Noda had already heard various opinions through Diet debates and press conferences, and had thoroughly answered questions from the public.
 むろん国民の多様な意見を聞くことは重要だが、首相はこれまでも国会論戦や記者会見などを通じてさまざまな意見に接し、国民の疑問に丁寧に答えている。

===

Meeting criticized

Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano said prior to the meeting, "If such a meeting is held with only one group, it could cause misunderstandings." He insisted public comments and deliberative opinion polls should be utilized instead.
 枝野経済産業相は、首相とデモ代表との面会について「直接に誰かだけとやれば誤解を招く」として、パブリックコメント(意見公募)や討論型世論調査などを活用すべきだと主張している。

Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto also voiced his doubts about the meeting, saying, "I wonder if it's appropriate for the administrative body to decide whether to meet [with demonstrators] based on the size of demonstrations or the number of demonstrators."
 大阪市の橋下徹市長も「デモの大きさや人数で、会う会わないを決めるのは行政としてどうなのか。

He added, "A certain rule is necessary for democracy."
一定のルールが民主主義には必要だ」と疑問を呈していた。

Both comments are reasonable.
 どちらも妥当な指摘である。

Meanwhile, we find it hard to understand that two former DPJ prime ministers urged Noda to hold the meeting.
 一方で、民主党の首相経験者2人が、面会の実現を首相に求めたことは理解に苦しむ。

Former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama joined the antinuclear rallies in front of the Prime Minister's Office and said in a speech, "I don't think reactors should be restarted."
 鳩山元首相は首相官邸前のデモに加わり、「原発再稼働はやめるべきだと思う」などと演説した。

Former Prime Minister Naoto Kan praised the demonstrations, saying, "They are a growing new way to participate in politics." He also attended Wednesday's meeting.
菅前首相は反原発デモを「新しい政治参加のうねりだ」などと持ち上げ、面会にも同席した。

===

Former PM's actions disturbing

It is highly irresponsible for former prime ministers to openly oppose the incumbent prime minister's policies and back antinuclear demonstrations.
 首相経験者が、現首相の方針に公然と反対し、反原発デモに肩入れするのはあまりに無責任だ。

When he resigned as prime minister, Hatoyama said he would no longer exercise his influence. His actions, which make it seem he forgot his words, are disturbing. Kan caused serious power shortages by halting the reactivation of idled reactors in line with a denuclearization policy that lacks vision.
 鳩山氏は首相退陣時、もう影響力を行使しないと述べた。それを忘れたかのような振る舞いは見苦しい。菅氏も展望なき脱原発路線で再稼働に待ったをかけ、深刻な電力不足を引き起こした。

We should no longer allow Hatoyama and Kan, who do not try to understand the reality that the nation's economy cannot stay afloat without using nuclear power, to toy with us.
 原発を利用しないと経済が立ち行かないという現実をわかろうとしない両氏に、これ以上、振り回されてはならない。

It should be kept in mind a power crisis was averted because Noda decided that reactors should be restarted. We should continue to promote a realistic energy policy.
 首相の判断で原発を再稼働させたことで、電力危機が回避されたのである。引き続き現実的なエネルギー政策を推進すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 23, 2012)
(2012年8月23日01時45分  読売新聞)

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シリア混迷 周辺諸国の不安定化も心配だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 24, 2012)
Syria's civil war could destabilize neighboring countries
シリア混迷 周辺諸国の不安定化も心配だ(8月23日付・読売社説)

With Syria's civil war deepening, there appears to be little chance for a ceasefire in the conflict. There are concerns the civil war could even spill over into neighboring countries.
 内戦の泥沼化で、停戦への機運は生まれそうにない。シリアの混乱が周辺諸国に拡大する事態すら懸念される。

Journalist Mika Yamamoto was shot dead earlier this week in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo while covering the conflict.
 北部の主要都市アレッポでは、取材中の日本人ジャーナリスト山本美香さんが、銃撃を受けて死亡した。

Yamamoto's death highlighted the reality that urban districts, home to ordinary Syrians, have become battlefields between government forces and rebels. The United Nations estimates more than 18,000 people have been killed since the uprising began in March 2011.
 一般市民が暮らす市街地が、政府軍側と反体制派の戦場と化している。山本さんの死は、そうした現実を浮き彫りにした。国連推計で、紛争発生以来の犠牲者数は1万8000人を超えた。

Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, who served as the joint U.N.-Arab League special envoy, failed to broker a ceasefire and members of the U.N. Supervision Mission in Syria have left the country.
 国連とアラブ連盟の共同特使を務めたアナン前国連事務総長の停戦調停は、失敗に終わった。国連停戦監視団も撤退した。

Former Algerian Foreign Minister Lakhdar Brahimi has been named as Annan's replacement. However, it is unlikely he will be able to fulfill his role, considering that the U.N. Security Council has been hamstrung as the United States and other Western countries are at odds with Russia and China over possible solutions.
 アナン氏の後任の調停役にはブラヒミ元アルジェリア外相が就くが、米欧と露中の対立で国連安全保障理事会が機能不全に陥っている以上、役目は果たせまい。

With no end in sight in the country's civil war, it is inevitable the bloodshed will continue to worsen.
 内戦に歯止めがかからず、流血の拡大は不可避である。

===

Sectarian conflicts emerging

Rebels have expanded their hold over more areas of Syria, while government forces have been trying to maintain control of major cities by mobilizing all of their overwhelming forces.
 シリアでは、反体制派が支配地域を広げる一方、政権側は、圧倒的な戦力を総動員して、主要都市の維持を図っている。

However, more and more officials in President Bashar Assad's inner circle have been defecting, including the prime minister who fled the country earlier this month.
 だが、政権中枢からの離反は相次いでいる。今月上旬には、首相が国外に逃亡した。

Despite these developments, Syrian forces still stand by Assad mainly because members of the Alawite community--an offshoot of Shiite Islam that serves as a power base for the president--hold key military positions.
 それでも軍がアサド大統領を見限らないのは、大統領の権力基盤であるイスラム教アラウィ派の人脈が、軍の要職に配置されていることが大きい。

The Alawites, which are a minority in Syria, have been ruling the Sunni majority population and the civil war has increasingly taken on shades of sectarian violence.
 シリアのアラウィ派は、人口では少数派ながら、多数派のスンニ派住民を支配してきた。
 内戦は、両派の宗派紛争の様相を強めている。

===

Refugees becoming a burden

Worrisome is the ever growing possibility that Syria's deepening turmoil could destabilize the entire Middle East.
 懸念されるのは、シリアの混迷が深まることで、中東地域全体の不安定化が現実味を増してきていることだ。

Earlier this week, several people were killed in neighboring Lebanon as Alawite and Sunni militia exchanged gunfire. The fighting shadowed the pattern of Syria's civil war.
 隣国レバノンで今週、アラウィ派とスンニ派の民兵の間で銃撃戦が発生し、死者が出た。シリア内戦の構図が波及したと言える。

Turkey, to the north of Syria, has been watchful to see how Kurds in the country react to the civil war, as it could reignite the Kurdish independent movement in Turkey.
 北隣のトルコは、シリア内でのクルド人の動向に神経をとがらせる。トルコ内のクルド独立運動を刺激しかねないからだ。

The civil war has created more than 170,000 Syrian refugees, according to the United Nations. Accommodating them has placed a great burden on neighboring countries.
 国連統計で17万人を超えた大量の難民流出も、周辺諸国の重荷となっている。

Syria's neighbors face their own possible conflicts. The situation could further deteriorate if Syria distributes the chemical weapons it is believed to possess to terrorist groups and other organizations.
 シリアを取り巻く国がそれぞれに火種を抱える。シリアが、保有しているとされる化学兵器をテロ組織などに拡散させれば、事態はさらに深刻化するだろう。

Russia bears a heavy responsibility as it has long supported the Assad regime. It should work together with the United States and other Western countries to put strong pressure on Syria for an immediate ceasefire.
 これまで、アサド政権を一貫して支えてきたロシアの責任は重大だ。米欧と協力し、停戦の即時実施へ、シリア側に強い圧力をかけるべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 23, 2012)
(2012年8月23日01時45分  読売新聞)

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2012年8月23日 (木)

アプリの開発と作成で、停滞している日本経済を立て直す

私には二人の娘たちがおりますが、それぞれ小学校と幼稚園に通っております。
上の娘には数年前にスマートフォンを買い与えましたが、iPhoneというものが出現してから、その機能のあまりの違いによるものでしょうか、毎日iPhoneを父親である私におねだりいたします。
ついに、根負けして、先週の土曜日にiPhoneを買いに出かけました。
iPhoneはお値段がスマートフォンに比べるとお高いので一瞬躊躇致しましたが、娘の喜ぶ顔が見たくて決断いたしました。清水の舞台から飛び降りる心境ではありました。なにしろ、安月給なものですから。

上の娘にiPhoneを買ってあげると、幼稚園に通う下の娘も父親におねだり。
今はやりのアングリーバードのゲームがしたいと申します。
iPhoneを2台買うと、今月ご飯を食べていくことが出来なくなりますので、すぐ横に展示されていたアンドロイド8インチパッドを購入することにいたしました。こちらはiPhoneの四分の一くらいのお値段なので楽に買えました。

自宅に戻ると、上の娘が、もう自分が使わなくなったスマートフォンを父親の私に譲ってくれました。
これが、実に面白いのです。
ユーチューブの動画なども携帯電話サイズの小さな窓の中でサクサクと動きます。
私はインターネットに接続して自分のサイトに接続しましたが、文字はさすがに小さいですね。
私がうんうん、唸っていると、娘がやって来て言いました。
こうすると大きくなるよって言いながら、画面を引き延ばすように2本の指を上手に使ってスライドいたしました。
大きな文字が瞬時に現れたのを見て、私はおもわず、おーっと歓声を上げてしまいました。

私は今まで何をやっていたのか?
こんな楽しみが世の中にあることをまったく知らなかったのです。
ストアから次々と無料のアプリをダウンロードして遊びました。
これからは、PCよりもiPhone、スマートフォンのアプリの時代が到来するような予感がいたしました。
いや、もうすでに世の中はアプリ全盛期ではないでしょうか。
今時、携帯を所有していない人は珍しいので、アプリがこれだけ人々から受ける理由も理解できます。
アプリの開発と作成は、停滞している日本の景気を改善してくれる最終兵器となるのではないでしょうか。

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衆院選政権公約 実現可能な政策へ論議深めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 23, 2012)
Deeper discussions needed for realistic manifestos
衆院選政権公約 実現可能な政策へ論議深めよ(8月22日付・読売社説)

 ◆ポピュリズムは排除すべきだ◆

Unless policy pledges are feasible, politics will be unable to make any progress. This is the bitter lesson learned from the failed manifesto of the Democratic Party of Japan.
 実現可能な公約でなければ、政治は前に進まない。破綻した民主党政権公約(マニフェスト)の苦い教訓である。

With the dissolution of the House of Representatives and a general election expected to take place "sometime soon," ruling and opposition parties are gearing up for the election. The major issue is how the DPJ will revise its manifesto, a document cynically called "a synonym for lies" that has disgraced the party.
 「近いうち」に衆院解散・総選挙が行われると予想される中、与野党は選挙準備に力を入れ始めた。大きな課題は「ウソの代名詞」と揶揄(やゆ)されるほど民主党がその名を貶(おとし)めたマニフェストをどう作り直すかだ。

The main campaign issues in the next lower house election are shaping up to be the consumption tax rate increase, Japan's possible participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations, and the nation's nuclear and energy policies.
 次期衆院選では、消費税率引き上げ、環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)参加問題、原子力・エネルギー政策などが争点になろう。

===

Specify fiscal resources
 ◆確たる財源を明示せよ◆

Policies quickly cobbled together just before an election tend to become "discount sales" that smack of populism and suck up to voters' interests. We hope each party holds down-to-earth discussions, even during the current Diet session, to come up with realistic policies.
 選挙直前に急ごしらえした政策は有権者受けを狙って、大衆迎合主義(ポピュリズム)色の強い“バーゲンセール”となりがちである。各党とも今国会中から地に足のついた議論を重ね、現実的な政策を掲げてもらいたい。

The most glaring fault of the DPJ manifesto for the 2009 lower house election was the party's insistence that--without mentioning a consumption tax rate hike--it could find 16.8 trillion yen in fiscal resources to implement its policy pledges through such measures as overhauling budget allocations. There was never any prospect this could be achieved.
 民主党の2009年衆院選マニフェストが抱える最大の欠陥は、消費税率引き上げに言及せず、確たる見通しもないのに16・8兆円もの財源を予算組み替えなどで捻出できると主張したことだ。

The DPJ must now be painfully aware just how poorly thought-out its manifesto was.
 いかにずさんな公約だったか、民主党は痛感しただろう。

Referring to the manifesto for the next lower house election, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said at a general meeting of DPJ lawmakers of both Diet chambers on Aug. 8, "It's necessary to thoroughly and carefully discuss these issues within the party and make innovative efforts to ensure these discussions are 'visible.'"
 野田首相は8日の民主党両院議員総会で、次期衆院選マニフェストに言及し、「党内で大いに丁寧な議論をし、それを『見える化』する工夫が必要だ」と訴えた。

Noda's argument sounds reasonable, but it also sounds like words of reflection. It is essential that many lawmakers are involved in the manifesto-compiling process and fight the election with a shared awareness.
 もっともな主張だが、反省の弁でもある。多くの議員が公約作成に参画し、共通認識を持って選挙戦に臨むことは重要だ。

There are probably concerns that if party members openly discuss policy matters, they would reveal their cards to other parties. But this process would be a yardstick voters could use when deciding who deserves their ballot.
 政策をオープンに議論すれば、他党に手の内を明かすことになるとの懸念はあるだろう。だが、そうした経緯も含めて、有権者の判断材料になる。

If the lower house is not dissolved during the current Diet session, both the DPJ and the opposition Liberal Democratic Party should make their presidential elections, both scheduled for September, an opportunity to set the course for their election manifestos.
 今国会で衆院解散がなければ、民主、自民両党は9月の党代表選と総裁選を、それぞれ公約の方向性を打ち出す場とすべきだ。

We also think it necessary to again consider what the point of an election manifesto is. A party that is in opposition may not know well how the system works until it takes power. Unpredictable events may occur, such as major disasters and abrupt changes in economic and international situations.
 政権公約とは何なのか、改めて考え直すことも必要ではないか。野党であれば、政権を担当するまで分からないこともあろう。経済、世界情勢の激変や大災害など予見できない事態も起こりうる。

A party in power should flexibly revise or withdraw its policy pledges if its manifesto obviously becomes unrealistic or difficult to achieve.
 公約が現実にそぐわない、あるいは実現困難と判明した段階で、臨機応変に修正、撤回するのが、政権党の仕事である。

Rather, it is preferable to carry out policies that are necessary and serve national interests, even if they run counter to the manifesto. In this instance, reasons for the policy change must be explained to the people.
 たとえマニフェストに反していても、必要な政策、国益に資する政策を実現することは、むしろ望ましい。その際、有権者に対して、政策変更の理由をきちんと説明しなければならない。

Needless to say, it is essential for politicians to deliver on their pledges. But it is insincere to insist on adhering to policies that are no longer useful. It benefits nobody to fall into a trap of "manifesto supremacism."
 政治家にとって、公約順守が大事であることは言うまでもないことだ。だが、用をなさない公約を金科玉条のごとく守ると言い張るのは不誠実だ。「マニフェスト至上主義」に陥ってはならない。

 ◆参院選との関係明確に◆

A manifesto is supposed to be part of a cycle: parties try to achieve their stated aims, and voters evaluate the party's level of achievement in the next election. However, the DPJ manifesto has caused fundamental problems in state politics.
 マニフェストは、「政党が実現に努力し、有権者はその達成度を次の選挙で評価する」というサイクルが基本だ。ただし、国政の場合には根本的な問題がある。

===

Problems in DPJ manifesto

The first problem involves a House of Councillors election.
 第一に、参院選との関係だ。

After acknowledging its visions had been overly optimistic, the DPJ revised part of its 2009 election manifesto when it drew up the party's pledges for the 2010 upper house election. In connection with the consumption tax, the 2010 campaign manifesto stated, "Suprapartisan discussions will be started on drastic reform of the tax system, including the consumption tax."
 民主党は、09年衆院選マニフェストの見通しが甘かったことを認めて、10年の参院選公約では、その一部を修正した。消費税については「消費税を含む税制抜本改革に関する協議を超党派で開始する」と明記している。

But afterward, the promises for the 2010 election were put to one side and debate focused on the advisability of sticking to the manifesto for the lower house election.
 だが、その後、参院選公約は議論にならず、消費税の記載のない衆院選マニフェストを守るかどうかに焦点が当たっている。

How can the manifesto for a lower house election be tied to campaign pledges for an upper house election? The DPJ must clarify its stance on this point as well as its handling of the pledges for the upper house election in which it suffered a major setback.
 マニフェストと参院選公約はどういう関係にあるのか。参院選で敗北した時の公約の扱いも合わせて位置づけを明確にすべきだ。

A consumption tax increase was a central point of contention in the DPJ presidential election last summer. Noda was elected after clarifying his position in favor of a consumption tax hike. This also marked a policy change by the party.
 昨年夏の民主党代表選で、消費税率引き上げは焦点の一つだった。野田首相は、消費増税を明確にして勝利し、代表に就任した。これも党の大きな政策転換だ。

Voters cast ballots after not only measuring the extent to which a manifesto has been achieved, but also evaluating whether such a policy change is worthwhile.
 国民が選挙で審判を下すのは、マニフェストの達成度だけではなく、こうした政策変更の是非も含む党の姿勢や実績だろう。

===

Diet will stay divided
 ◆ねじれ国会が前提だ◆

Secondly, the next lower house election will inevitably be fought on the premise that the Diet will remain divided.
 第二に、次期衆院選は、衆参ねじれ国会を前提とした戦いにならざるを得ないことである。

This is because neither the DPJ nor the LDP holds a majority by itself in the upper house. No matter which party wins the lower house poll, it will need to form a coalition with a party--or parties--with similar policies to form a stable government after the election.
 参院では、民主、自民両党とも単独過半数を得ていない。どちらの党が勝っても、選挙後、政権を安定させるには政策の近い党と連立を組まねばなるまい。

Cooperation from opposition parties will be crucial for achieving policy goals.
 政策を実現するには、野党の協力も欠かせない。

It is natural for parties to advocate their policies in lower house elections, but in view of the likelihood of a coalition government and a divided Diet, it is not realistic to give specific promises, such as setting deadlines for implementing policies.
 衆院選で自党の政策を主張するのは当然だが、連立やねじれの状況を考えれば期限などを具体的に約束するのは現実的ではない。

We urge all parties to compile campaign pledges for the next general election without pursuing populist lines so they can take responsibility for Japan's future.
 次期衆院選の公約は、各党が大衆迎合に走らず、日本の将来に責任を持てるよう作成すべきだ。

Voters, for their part, must understand fully that there are limits to the implementation of campaign pledges.
有権者も、公約には限界があることを十分理解する必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 22, 2012)
(2012年8月22日01時51分  読売新聞)

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2012年8月22日 (水)

福島の除染 中間貯蔵施設の実現は急務だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 22, 2012)
Interim storage facilities urgently needed for decontamination work
福島の除染 中間貯蔵施設の実現は急務だ(8月21日付・読売社説)

At a meeting with local governments, the central government has proposed 12 candidate sites for construction of interim storage facilities in Fukushima Prefecture to hold soil and other waste contaminated by radioactive substances released by Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
 政府は、東京電力福島第一原子力発電所の事故で発生した汚染土などを保管する中間貯蔵施設について、地元自治体に建設候補地を示した。

If such facilities cannot be built, decontamination work will grind to a halt, impeding the progress of reconstruction from the March 11, 2011, disaster. The central government must make all-out efforts to obtain the understanding and support of the local governments to realize early construction of the storage facilities.
 施設が建設できないと除染は行き詰まり、復興も進まない。自治体の理解を得て、政府は、早期実現に全力を挙げねばならない。

All 12 candidate sites in the towns of Futaba, Okuma and Naraha, are in the vicinity of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.
 候補地とされたのは、福島県双葉、大熊、楢葉3町内の計12か所だ。いずれも、福島第一原発の近接地にある。

===

A realistic proposal

The original plan to construct a large intermediate storage facility in each of these three towns was revised in consideration of geological and transportation factors, expanding the area for candidate sites. This obviously made the proposal more realistic.
 政府は3町に1か所ずつ大型の中間貯蔵施設を設けるとした従来の案を見直し、地形や搬送する際の交通の便などを考慮して、候補地を分散させた。より現実的な案になったと言えるだろう。

But some local people have expressed concern that their return home will become more difficult if such facilities are constructed near their houses.
 しかし、地元では、自宅の周辺に中間貯蔵施設ができた場合、帰還が難しくなるなどと反発する声が出ている。

After obtaining approval from local governments, the central government plans to conduct a precise geological survey before launching design and construction work on interim storage facilities. The construction of facilities that can thoroughly prevent contaminant seepage must be very well planned.
 政府は今後、地元の同意を得たうえで、精密な地質調査などを実施し、設計・建設に着手する方針だ。汚染土の漏出などを確実に封じ込める施設の設置に向け、手続きを急ぐ必要がある。

According to the Environment Ministry, the volume of soil to be decontaminated in the prefecture will be from 15 million to 28 million cubic meters, or up to 23 times the volume of Tokyo Dome.
 環境省によると、県内の除染作業で出る汚染土などの量は1500万~2800万立方メートル、最大で東京ドーム23杯分にのぼる。

The government plan calls for first collecting contaminated soil and waste at preliminary storage sites to be prepared in various parts of the prefecture. The material will be stored there for about three years, covered with soil to prevent the escape of radiation. It will then be transferred to the intermediate storage facilities and later transported to final disposal sites to be built within 30 years.
 政府の計画では、これらの汚染土などを、いったん県内各地の仮置き場に集積する。放射線を遮るため覆土したうえで、3年程度保管する。その後、中間貯蔵施設に運び、30年以内に県外に新設される最終処分場に運び出す。

However, if construction sites for the interim storage facilities are not decided by next spring, it will become impossible to maintain even the preliminary storage sites, and this will slow down the decontamination work.
 ただし、来春までに中間貯蔵施設の建設場所を決めないと、仮置き場の維持すらできず、除染が滞りかねない。

The local governments have called on the central government to discuss damage compensation and reconstruction plans together with plans to build the intermediate facilities.
 地元自治体は、政府に対し、被害賠償と復興計画も同時に議論すべきだと主張してきた。

The government compiled in July a basic policy for the reconstruction and revival of Fukushima Prefecture that includes fostering renewable energy industries. It has also put forth a policy to build "temporary towns" where evacuees can live before returning to their original homes and has worked out damage compensation guidelines.
 政府は7月、再生可能エネルギー関連産業の育成などを盛り込んだ「福島復興再生基本方針」をまとめた。地域住民が帰還まで暮らす「仮の町」を設ける方針も打ち出し、賠償基準も決めた。

Thus, in policy terms, it can be said that the foundation has been laid for construction of the intermediate storage facilities.
 中間貯蔵施設の建設へ、環境は整ってきたのではないか。

===

Fukushima Prefecture's role vital

The Fukushima prefectural government's role in advancing decontamination work is crucial. We hope the prefecture will take a more active role in coordination work between the central government and local municipalities.
 除染を進めていくうえでは、福島県の役割も重要である。政府と地元の調整に、もっと積極的に参画してもらいたい。

Concern is smoldering among the local municipalities that interim storage facilities will end up as de facto final disposal sites.
 地元自治体には、中間貯蔵施設がなし崩しに最終処分地になるとの懸念がくすぶっている。

Environment Minister Goshi Hosono has said that transportation of contaminated soil outside the prefecture can be achieved within 30 years. With plenty of time remaining in that regard, we suggest that discussions on final disposal sites be launched after observing how the situation develops.
 細野環境相は「30年以内の県外搬出」を実現すると述べている。まだ時間はある。最終処分地の議論は、状況の推移を見守ってから始めるのも一案だろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 21, 2012)
(2012年8月21日02時06分  読売新聞)

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中国反日デモ 邦人の安全確保へ沈静化図れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 22, 2012)
Beijing should ensure safety of Japanese in China
中国反日デモ 邦人の安全確保へ沈静化図れ(8月21日付・読売社説)

Following the illegal landing by Hong Kong activists on one of the Senkaku Islands last week, anti-Japanese demonstrations have spread in China. The Chinese government should quickly take action to calm the situation.
 香港の活動家による尖閣諸島への不法上陸事件を契機に、中国各地で反日デモが拡大している。中国政府は事態の沈静化を急ぐべきである。

Anti-Japanese demonstrators, who support China's territorial claim to the Senkaku Islands, took to the streets in about 25 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, on Sunday. In Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, and other cities, demonstrators became violent and smashed the windows of Japanese restaurants.
 尖閣諸島に対する中国の領有権を主張する反日デモは19日、北京や上海、広州など約25か所で発生した。広東省深センなどでは、デモ隊が暴徒化して、日本料理店のガラスが壊される事態となった。

The large-scale demonstrations imperil Japanese who live in China. The Chinese government has a weighty responsibility for causing turmoil by tacitly approving the demonstrations. We urge the Chinese authorities to do everything they can to secure the safety of Japanese individuals and companies in the country.
 大規模なデモは、中国で暮らす大勢の邦人を脅かした。デモを事実上黙認し、結果的に混乱を招いた中国政府の責任は重大だ。中国当局は邦人や日系企業の安全確保に万全を期してもらいたい。

The Chinese government obviously is trying to counter Japan's moves over the islands, but at the same time it apparently wants Chinese people to vent their frustrations over economic disparities and other domestic issues through the demonstrations. Some observers say the "anti-Japan card" was used as a tool in the power struggle ahead of the National Congress of the Communist Party of China in autumn in which the Chinese leadership will undergo a complete change.
 中国政府には、対日牽制(けんせい)は無論として、経済格差など国民の不満のガス抜きを図る思惑もあったのだろう。指導部交代が予定される今秋の共産党大会を控え、「反日カード」が権力闘争に使われた、との見方も出ている。

===

Attitude unlikely to change

It is highly likely China's anti-Japan attitude will remain unchanged. The Japanese government needs to respond to the situation while keeping in mind that problems stemming from China's domestic circumstances will continually occur.
 中国の反日姿勢は、今後も変わらない公算が大きい。中国側の事情に基づくトラブルは絶えない、ということを日本政府は肝に銘じ対処していく必要があろう。

The Chinese government criticized the landing by 10 Japanese on Uotsurijima island, one of the Senkaku Islands. However, this criticism is way off the mark. Vice Foreign Minister Kenichiro Sasae is correct in rebutting the protest by Chinese Ambassador to Japan Cheng Yonghua by saying, "The latest move [by Japanese individuals] comes against a backdrop of the landing by Hong Kong activists."
 中国政府は日本人10人による尖閣諸島・魚釣島上陸を批判した。だが、これはお門違いだ。佐々江賢一郎外務次官が、中国の程永華駐日大使からの抗議に「香港の活動家による上陸が背景にある」と反論したのは当然だ。

What the Japanese government should do first is gradually strengthen the management of the Senkaku Islands. The Tokyo metropolitan government, which plans to purchase three of the islands, has applied to the central government for permission to land on the islands.
 日本政府がまず取り組むべき課題は、尖閣諸島の管理を淡々と強化することである。購入を計画する東京都は、上陸許可を政府に申請している。

It is essential for the central government to steadily put the Senkaku Islands under state control in cooperation with the metropolitan government.
 政府は、都と連携して、国有化を着実に進めることが肝要だ。

===

Territorial protection essential

Aside from a bill to revise the Japan Coast Guard Law, which would allow JCG officers to apprehend criminals on uninhabited islands, it is also an urgent task to develop a system to protect Japanese territory and territorial waters.
 無人島での海上保安官の犯罪検挙を認める海上保安庁法改正案とは別に、領土・領海を守る体制を整備することも急務である。

Akihisa Nagashima, a special adviser to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, said on a TV program that the government "will review territorial patrol operations, including relevant legislation."
 長島昭久首相補佐官は、テレビ番組で「領域警備の体制を法制度も含めて見直す」と述べた。

Jin Matsubara, chairman of the National Public Safety Commission, said, "We should treat illegal entry into the country to violate Japan's sovereignty separately from ordinary illegal entry and heavily punish the former illegal entrants."
松原国家公安委員長は「領土主権を侵害する目的の不法入国は、通常の不法入国と区別し、重く罰すべきだ」とも指摘している。

Japan's preparedness for national crises such as unlawful intrusions into its territory is woefully inadequate.
 外部からの不法侵入など国家的な危機への備えはなお脆弱(ぜいじゃく)だ。

Japan had to take this problem to heart on a number of occasions after the incursion of North Korean spy ships in 1999. At that time, The Yomiuri Shimbun proposed "territorial patrol operations" as a new duty for the Self-Defense Forces and that the SDF be commissioned to conduct "guard-and-watch" missions.
 1999年の北朝鮮工作船の領海侵犯事件以来、日本はこうした問題点は、幾度となく痛感してきたはずである。当時、読売新聞は「領域警備」を自衛隊の新たな任務とし、警戒監視に当たらせることを提言した。

Illegal landings by anti-Japan organizations, such as in the latest case, may be a frequent occurrence in the future. The government should also consider legislation to beef up territorial patrol operations.
 今回のような反日団体による不法上陸事件は、今後も続発しかねない。領域警備を強化する法制度も検討すべきだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 21, 2012)
(2012年8月21日02時06分  読売新聞)

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2012年8月21日 (火)

原発ゼロ発言 無責任な楽観論を振りまくな

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 21, 2012)
Denuclearization is not a viable option
原発ゼロ発言 無責任な楽観論を振りまくな(8月20日付・読売社説)

It is irresponsible for a Cabinet minister in charge of promoting exports of nuclear power plants as part of Japan's growth strategy to state that the nation's ratio of nuclear power generation to total electricity output should become zero as soon as possible.
 成長戦略として原子力発電所の輸出を推進する担当閣僚が自ら、早期の「原発ゼロ」を主張するのは、あまりに無責任と言えよう。

Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano recently visited Vietnam, where Japanese firms have won tentative orders to construct nuclear reactors, and signed an agreement with the Vietnamese government under which Japan would cooperate to create a system necessary for the introduction of nuclear plants.
 枝野経済産業相が、日本メーカーによる原発建設が内定しているベトナムを訪れ、原発の新規導入に必要な制度作りなどに協力することで合意した。

Edano told the media Japan has a responsibility to contribute to the international community by disseminating nuclear safety technology abroad.
 枝野氏は記者団に、日本は原子力の安全技術で国際貢献する責任がある、などと強調した。

Before visiting Vietnam, however, Edano said he believed the ratio of nuclear power generation in Japan's total electricity output "should become zero as soon as possible." Does this mean he will sell nuclear reactors to other countries while abolishing them quickly in his own country? How can he win international trust that way?
 ところが、ベトナム訪問前には、日本の原発比率を「できるだけ早くゼロにした方がいいと思う」と発言していた。原発を他国には売るが、自国は早くゼロにするというのだろうか。これでは国際的な信用は得られまい。

If this nation decides to abolish nuclear power generation, it will not be able to foster nuclear power experts. This means it would not be able to maintain its contribution to Vietnam in terms of nuclear safety. Edano should withdraw his contradictory remarks on denuclearization.
 日本が脱原発を決めれば原子力の技術者は育たず、ベトナムなどへの安全面の貢献も続かない。枝野氏は矛盾だらけの「原発ゼロ発言」を撤回すべきである。

===

Zero option unrealistic

The government has presented to the public three scenarios on the ratio of nuclear power generation in 2030: zero percent, 15 percent, and 20 percent to 25 percent. Without doubt, the most unrealistic among the three is zero percent.
 政府は2030年の原発比率について「0%」「15%」「20~25%」という三つの選択肢を示している。このうち、「0%」が最も非現実的なのは明らかだ。

If the ratio were reduced to zero percent, the damage to the Japanese economy would be immense. According to the government's estimate, Japan's gross domestic product would drop by 50 trillion yen.
 政府の試算によると、国内総生産が約50兆円減少するなど、日本経済への打撃は甚大だ。

The private sector's outlook in this respect is also bleak. The Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) warned that the number of unemployed would increase by 2 million under this scenario. The steel industry, which consumes huge amounts of electricity, said this scenario suggests their businesses would have to close as electricity bills could increase up to two times.
 民間の見通しも厳しい。経団連は、失業者が200万人も増えると警告している。電力多消費産業の鉄鋼業界は、電気料金が最大で約2倍に上がることから、「廃業勧告に等しい」と訴えた。

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has instructed ministers concerned to study what challenges the nation would face if the ratio became zero and to work out measures to overcome them. We cannot turn a blind eye to his instructions if they are aimed at arming the government with theories justifying denuclearization.
 野田首相は「0%」とした場合の課題やその克服策の検討を関係閣僚に指示している。原発ゼロを正当化する“理論武装”が狙いとすれば、看過できない。

===

Edano irresponsible

We are extremely worried when we hear casual opinions voiced by some members of the Noda government despite painful calls from the economic sector that Japan can do without nuclear plants.
 懸念されるのは、経済界の悲痛な声をよそに、原発ゼロでも何とかなるとする安易な考えが、政権内に出ていることである。

It is particularly distressing when Edano, a minister responsible for both the stable supply of electricity and industrial development, is spreading such overoptimistic views.
 特に、電力安定供給と産業振興に責任を負う枝野氏が、楽観論を振りまいているのは問題だ。

In saying that zero percent is a viable option, Edano said, "It will rather benefit the economy as long as we do it right."
 枝野氏は「0%」を実現可能な選択肢としたうえで、「やり方を間違えなければ、むしろ経済にプラスだと思う」などと述べた。

He meant it would lead to expansion of domestic demand if renewable energy sources replaced nuclear reactors.
原発の代わりに再生可能エネルギーを導入すれば、内需拡大につながるはず、というのだ。

However, the reality is harsher. Germany has decided to promote renewable energy ahead of Japan, but it has come up against a number of negative factors, such as sharply increased financial burdens on households because of higher electricity bills, and the bankruptcy of German solar panel makers overwhelmed by an influx of lower-priced Chinese products.
 現実はそれほど甘くはない。再生エネで先行したドイツでは電気料金の上昇で家計負担が急増し、太陽光パネルのメーカーが安い中国製に押されて倒産するなど、悪影響が顕在化している。

It is extremely dangerous to decide on an energy strategy that affects the fate of Japan on the basis of such uncertain hopes.
 国の浮沈にかかわるエネルギー戦略を、不確実な期待を根拠に決めるのは、極めて危険である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 20, 2012)
(2012年8月20日01時32分  読売新聞)

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2012年8月20日 (月)

概算要求基準 成長を促す事業に絞り込め

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 20, 2012)
Put govt funds in projects that actually boost growth
概算要求基準 成長を促す事業に絞り込め(8月19日付・読売社説)

Japan has taken a big step toward restoring its fiscal health by enacting bills for integrated reform of the social security and tax systems, including key legislation to increase the consumption tax rate.
 消費税率引き上げを柱とする社会保障・税一体改革関連法の成立で、日本は財政健全化に大きな一歩を踏み出した。

Next fiscal year's budget will be a touchstone for whether the nation can set a course to break away from its dependence on borrowing in public finances.
 借金財政から脱却する道筋を示せるかどうか、2013年度予算はその試金石となる。

The government has recently established guidelines for budget appropriation requests for fiscal 2013.
 政府は、13年度予算の概算要求基準を決めた。

The ceiling on policy-related spending, which does not include expenditures for servicing government bonds, was set at 71 trillion yen. Regarding revenues, the government has set a 44 trillion yen limit on issuing new government bonds.
Both figures are about the same as the amounts earmarked for the initial fiscal 2012 budget.
 12年度当初予算並みに、歳出では国債費を除く政策的な経費を71兆円以下、歳入では新規国債発行額を44兆円以下に抑えた。

For the next fiscal year, the government has established a special quota for the three fields of the environment, health care, and agriculture, forestry and fishing, which were given priority in the government's recently adopted plan to rejuvenate the nation, dubbed the "Japan revitalization strategy."
Under the quota, government offices are allowed to request two to four times the amount they trim from existing projects.
 そのうえで、日本再生戦略で示したエネルギー・環境、健康、農林漁業の3分野に「特別重点要求」を認め、各府省が従来の事業を見直して削った額の2~4倍を要求できるようにした。

The government also set a quota in other fields noted in the revitalization strategy, allowing ministries and agencies to request up to 150 percent of the amount they cut from existing projects in these areas.
 それ以外の再生戦略関連は「重点要求」として削減額の1・5倍まで要求を認める仕組みだ。

The aim of reviewing longstanding expenditures and varying the amount of money distributed to each project based on how much it contributes to Japan's growth is not bad.
 硬直化した歳出を点検し、成長に配慮して予算にメリハリを付ける狙い自体は悪くない。

===

Projects often rehashed

However, in the past, ministries and agencies have applied for similar quotas with projects they claimed were new, but in fact were just a rehash of conventional projects. This method is prevalent among government offices.
 ただ、過去の重点要求では、従来と内容が変わらないものを焼き直すような手法が横行した。

The government expects up to 4 trillion yen to be requested by the ministries and agencies for the quotas, but it should strictly narrow down the projects at the request stage, through efforts such as instructing government offices to avoid the overlap of projects.
 政府は最大4兆円の要求を想定しているが、府省間で重複した事業を事前調整するなど、要求段階で厳しく絞り込むべきだ。

We cannot dispel our doubts about whether the money allotted to the quotas will contribute to Japan's growth as expected. This is the biggest issue concerning the government's policy on the fiscal 2013 budget.
 最大の問題は、重点配分する予算がどれだけ成長に資するのか、疑問が払拭できないことだ。

The nation must streamline agriculture-related expenditures. However, the government plans to continue including in the budget the income compensation program for individual farm households, which has been criticized as lavish spending.
 農業予算の効率化が急務であるにもかかわらず、13年度も、ばらまき色の強い戸別所得補償制度に必要な予算を認める方向だ。

We believe this is inconsistent with the growth strategy.
成長戦略に逆行していないか。

The government should instead allocate its budget predominantly to projects that fundamentally strengthen agriculture, based on the hypothesis that Japan will join the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade accord in the future.
 環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)への参加を前提に、農業の体質強化につながる事業に重点配分しなければならない。

Regarding projects to promote renewable energy, the government should refrain from allocating its budget extravagantly to projects unlikely to yield significant benefits.
 再生可能エネルギー関連についても、効果の乏しい事業には予算を大盤振る舞いすべきでない。

===

Curb social security costs

It was totally reasonable for the government to ask the ministries and agencies in the guidelines to trim their regular budgets, such as cutting 10 percent of their public work expenditures.
 概算要求基準が、公共事業費の1割カットなど、通常予算の削減を求めたのは妥当だろう。

The focal point is how to curb the surging costs of social security.
 焦点は、社会保障費の伸びをどう抑えるかである。

Due to the graying of Japan's population, the budget for social security will increase by 800 billion yen in fiscal 2013 from the previous year to just maintain the current system. The government should not treat social security costs as untouchable but take decisive efforts to trim them, such as curbing public assistance benefits, which have ballooned in recent years.
 高齢化の進行に伴い、13年度予算では、現行制度を維持するだけで前年より8000億円増える。社会保障費を聖域扱いせず、受給者が急増している生活保護費の抑制など切り込みが求められる。

After taking power in 2009, the administrations led by the Democratic Party of Japan have touted a slogan of taking control from the hands of bureaucrats in budget compilations.
However, as the DPJ has stuck to implementing projects it pledged to the public in the 2009 House of Representatives election when compiling the past three budgets, the DPJ has failed to cut the nation's expenditures and debts have swelled. The scale of the budget has been increasing year by year.
 政治主導を掲げて民主党政権が臨んだ過去3回の予算編成は、政権公約に固執して歳出カットは進まぬ一方、借金は増えた。予算規模は年々膨らむばかりだ。

There are strong pressures to increase expenditures for fiscal 2013, as Diet members begin worrying about the next general election. This is the time to change the budget's structure from expansion to restraint.
 13年度予算も、衆院選を意識した歳出増圧力が強い。今度こそ、膨張型から抑制型へ、予算構造の修正を図るべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 19, 2012)
(2012年8月19日01時05分  読売新聞)

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社会保障会議 終盤国会で設置の道筋つけよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 20, 2012)
Social security council must be launched swiftly
社会保障会議 終盤国会で設置の道筋つけよ(8月19日付・読売社説)

To ensure the long-term sustainability of the nation's social security system, constructive discussions must be held on the matter.
 持続可能な社会保障制度に改善するため、現実的な論議を速やかに始めるべきだろう。

The Democratic Party of Japan, the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito have agreed on the establishment of a "national council to revamp the social security system."
 民主、自民、公明3党が合意した「社会保障制度改革国民会議」のことだ。

Under the Social Security System Reform Promotion Law, which will go into force shortly, the council will not exist longer than one year from the date of the enforcement of the law.
近く施行される社会保障制度改革推進法の規定は、会議の設置期間を施行日から1年以内としている。

However, some LDP lawmakers argue that the council should be launched by the new government that will be created after the next House of Representatives election.
 ところが、自民党内から、会議設置は衆院選後に新政権が行うべきだ、との声が出ている。

No decision has been made concerning the composition of the council: whether it should exclusively comprise scholars and other intellectuals from outside the Diet or whether representatives from political parties should be included.
 会議の構成という入り口を巡っても、学者ら有識者だけの組織とするのか、政党代表者も加わるのか、決まっていない。

Ironing out the differences in views will likely face rough going.
調整は難しいだろう。

To allow sufficient time to discuss the specifics of the envisioned reform, the timetable to launch the council should be set before the current Diet session ends on Sept. 8.
中身の議論の時間を確保するためにも、今国会中に発足への道筋をつけるべきだ。

===

3 parties closer in opinion

High on the agenda of the new council will be the handling of two items the DPJ set forth in its policy pledges for the 2009 general election. They are creation of a new pension system and scrapping the health care system for the so-called latter-stage elderly--individuals aged 75 and older.
 国民会議で議論になるのは、政府・民主党が先の衆院選で政権公約(マニフェスト)に掲げた「新年金制度の創設」と「後期高齢者医療制度の廃止」の扱いだ。

Although the DPJ's argument leaves something to be desired, the party's stance may lead to constructive debate following its agreement with the LDP and Komeito on the need for reform.
 民主党の主張には無理があるものの、自公両党との一致点を足掛かりにすれば、建設的な議論につなげることは可能ではないか。

Earlier, the DPJ insisted that the social security system should be financed entirely by tax revenues. The DPJ has since modified its position in favor of making individuals' pension insurance premiums the main revenue source for the new system, which the party calls a "common pension plan" that would integrate government and private-sector employee pension schemes.
 新年金制度については、民主党はかつて「全額税方式」と喧伝(けんでん)していたが、今は「保険料を財源とする共通年金が制度の主役」と修正した。

This means the DPJ's position is now closer to that favored by the LDP and Komeito, which seek to apply a premium-levying formula to improve the current pension system.
保険料方式の現行制度を改良すべきだと主張する自公両党と基本線は一致してきた。

The DPJ, however, insists on creating a minimum-guaranteed pension system under which 70,000 yen per month would be paid to every beneficiary in addition to the common pension plan.
 ただし、共通年金を補完する月7万円の「最低保障年金」を提唱している。

If the minimum pension program was funded entirely by tax revenues, the consumption tax rate would have to be raised by a maximum of 7.1 percentage points above the planned doubling of the rate to 10 percent.
これを税財源で賄うと消費税率をさらに最大7・1%引き上げる必要がある。

===

Focus on boosting efficiency

Given the increasingly stringent government finances, the DPJ's idea is hardly feasible.
 厳しい財政事情を踏まえれば、その実現性は極めて乏しい。

Discussions on the national council should center around improving the current premium-based pension system.
国民会議では、現行制度を改善する議論に集中すべきではないか。

The DPJ also wants latter-stage elderly health care replaced by a system designed to put medical expenses for these senior citizens into a separate fiscal category. This is aimed at pressing prefectural and other local entities to address the task of reducing burgeoning medical costs for the aged, a line of thought much in common with the current system.
 後期高齢者医療制度について民主党は、「廃止して新制度を作る」と主張している。その「新制度」は、後期高齢者の医療費を財政上は別枠とし、都道府県単位で膨張抑制に取り組む、とする。現行制度と共通した考え方だ。

Considering that the emotional reaction the public earlier showed to the term "latter-stage elderly" has ameliorated markedly recently, there seems to be no need to do away with the system in the review of health care arrangements for the elderly. What is important is to have debates truly conducive to improving the existing system.
 「後期高齢者」という名称への感情的反発が和らいだことも勘案すれば、あえて廃止してまで制度を見直す必要はあるまい。求められているのは、より良い改善策を探る議論である。

A focal point in discussions on the national council should be how to make the health care system for the elderly more efficient.
 国民会議の重要な検討課題はむしろ、制度の効率化だろう。

Government funding for health care expenses must be prevented from ballooning by having the elderly shoulder more of the financial burden, such as by raising the amount the latter-stage elderly should pay when they seek medical treatment from the current 10 percent to 20 percent, the rate that was in place before the current system was introduced.
1割に据え置いている70~74歳の医療費窓口負担を本来の2割に戻すなど、適正な負担を求めて、費用の膨張を抑える必要がある。

The DPJ, the LDP and Komeito should never forget they are all responsible for ensuring that public trust in the social security system remains unshakable.
 社会保障制度への信頼を揺るぎないものにする責任は、民自公3党が共同で負っていることを忘れてはならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 19, 2012)
(2012年8月19日01時05分  読売新聞)

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2012年8月19日 (日)

personal use

tv thai
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letter counter
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http://kiyoshimatforfc2.blog36.fc2.com/
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http://fanblogs.jp/srachai2009
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http://srachai.blog.shinobi.jp/
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h ref
<a href="http://recochoku.com/newwy/oshiete/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #00ccff;">Newwy(ニウ)</span></a>

dear owner
広告主様、

ご苦労様です。

記事掲載のfc2ブログは現在グーグルページランク2です。
ご確認のうえご承認ください。

記事は精一杯頑張って書きましたが、訂正事項がありましたらお知らせください。

さらに、

twitterに掲載しました。

facebookに掲載し、いいねをクリックしました。

google+ に掲載し、+1をクリックしました。

また、

現在運営中で毎日更新しているもののリストですが、グーグルページランクがリアルタイムで確認できます。
どのブログにもご用命があれば掲載が即可能でございます。

http://kiyoshimatforklog.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/2011/09/google-page-r-1.html

以上、よろしくお願いいたします。 m0m

松井清(スラチャイ)、タイ国コンケン在住

IPhoneにKeyHoleTVをインストールする
 【No 0028】 [2011年03月12日(土) 01時30分56秒]

このたびの東北地方太平洋沖地震で被災された皆様に心よりお見舞い申し上げます。緊急措置として、KeyHoleTVのiPhoneへのインストール方法を記します。アプリケーションファイルは、試聴用ダウンロードにフォルダを作りました。

1 iKeyHoleTV.zipをダウンロード
http://www.keyholetv.jp/Viewer/IPhone_NeedJB/iKeyHoleTV.zip
2 zip ファイルの解凍
3 iPhoneで以下のサイトをアクセスすることでJBができます。

http://jailbreakme.com/
http://jailbreakme.modmyi.com/

4 JB完了後、iPhone再起動
5 iKeyHoleTVをiTunesでインストール
  iTunesのApp を開く
  アプリ本体を、開いたAppへドラッグ
  プロビジョンプロファイルは、認識されているデバ
イスアイコンにドラッグ

尚、プロビジョンプロファイルは、iPhoneの
設定-> 一般 -> プロファイル 
に入ります。インストール後、確認してください。JBされている場合でもプロビジョンプロファイルは必要です。

尚、JBは自己責任でお願いします。

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「竹島」提訴へ 日本領有の正当性を発信せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 19, 2012)
Use ICJ suit to emphasize Japan's Takeshima sovereignty
「竹島」提訴へ 日本領有の正当性を発信せよ(8月18日付・読売社説)

It is highly significant that our country is making a wide appeal to the international community to recognize the legitimacy of Japan's sovereignty over the Takeshima islands.
 竹島に関する日本の領有権の正当性を広く国際社会に訴え、認知させる意義は大きい。

The government has announced plans to take the sovereignty row involving the islets in the Sea of Japan to the International Court of Justice.
 政府が、竹島問題を国際司法裁判所に提訴する方針を発表した。

Japan will shortly propose that the two countries work together to bring the Takeshima issue before the U.N. tribunal in The Hague. If South Korea refuses the overture, Japan will file a suit on its own with the ICJ.
 近日中に日韓両国による共同付託を韓国に提案し、韓国が応じない場合は、日本単独で提訴する方向だ。

Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura stressed in a news conference Friday that Japan wants to "resolve the issue calmly, fairly and peacefully based on international law."
 藤村官房長官は「国際法に基づき、冷静公平かつ平和的な紛争解決を目指す。

He went on to say, "If South Korea believes its claim to the ownership of Takeshima is justifiable, it should accept our government's proposal."
韓国が自国の領有権主張が正当と考えるなら、提案に応じるべきだ」と強調した。

South Korea has rejected going to the ICJ for a ruling on the disputed islets two times so far, and it plans to dismiss the Japanese move this time, too.

 韓国は従来、付託を拒否しており、今回も応じない方針だ。

Given the ICJ is unable to begin proceedings over an international dispute without the consent of all parties concerned, there are no prospects for the main judicial body of the United Nations to start hearings over the Tokyo-Seoul territorial row.
国際司法裁の紛争解決は当事国双方の同意が前提のため、裁判が開廷する見通しは立っていない。

===

Syngman Rhee Line outrageous

Through Japan's planned lodging of a suit, however, South Korea's illegal occupation of the islets and the unconscionability of its claim to Takeshima will become widely known to the international community. It is very important for Japan to calmly proceed with the court proceedings.
 だが、提訴を通じて、竹島が韓国に不法占拠されている現状や、韓国の主張の不当性が国際社会に認識されよう。日本は粛々と手続きを進めることが大切だ。

A look at Takeshima's history makes it indisputably clear that Japan established its sovereignty over the islets in the middle of the 17th century. A Cabinet decision was made in 1905 to incorporate the islets under the jurisdiction of Shimane Prefecture.
 竹島をめぐる過去の経緯を振り返れば、日本は、17世紀半ばに領有権を確立し、1905年には島根県への編入を閣議決定した。

In the San Francisco Peace Treaty signed after World War II, Takeshima was excluded from the list of areas for which Japan was obliged to renounce its territorial claims.
 大戦後のサンフランシスコ講和条約でも、日本が放棄すべき地域から竹島は除外されていた。

In 1952, just before the treaty went into effect, however, then South Korean President Syngman Rhee unilaterally took control of the Takeshima islets by creating the so-called Syngman Rhee Line--in violation of international law--and South Korea has been illegally occupying Takeshima since then.
 ところが、韓国は条約発効直前の52年、当時の李承晩大統領が公海に国際法違反の「李承晩ライン」を設定して竹島を取り込み、それ以降、不法占拠を続けている。

The Japanese government, for its part, must assert from time to time that Takeshima is clearly Japanese territory both historically and under international law.
 竹島は歴史的にも国際法上も日本の領土であると、政府は折に触れて主張していく必要がある。

The responsibility for causing the turmoil this time lies entirely with South Korean President Lee Myung Bak, who brashly visited Takeshima on Aug. 10.
 現在の混乱を招いた責任は、ひとえに、竹島訪問を一方的に強行した李明博韓国大統領にある。

It has been the practice of successive administrations of South Korean political leaders, when beleaguered by domestic politics, to wheel out historical and territorial problems vis-a-vis Japan in the form of political claptrap to exploit nationalistic sentiments of the South Korean people.
 内政面で苦境にある首脳が、日本との歴史認識や領土の問題を持ち出し、国内のナショナリズムに訴えて人気取りを図るのは、韓国歴代政権の常套(じょうとう)手段だった。

===

Avoid irreparable animosity

President Lee's deeds this time, combined with his subsequent demand for an "apology from the Emperor" for the wartime past, is particularly unforgivable. South Korea should be cognizant of this.
 だが、今回の李大統領の行動は、その後の「天皇謝罪」要求発言と合わせて、格段に罪深い。韓国側はそれを自覚すべきだ。

The Japanese side, in a bid to work out further countermeasures against Lee's words and deeds, is considering such steps as postponing a Japan-South Korea summit meeting and intergovernmental consultations scheduled for the near future.
 日本側は、さらなる対抗措置として、日韓の首脳会談や政府間協議の延期を検討している。

Finance Minister Jun Azumi, for that matter, does not rule out the possibility of scaling down a credit line Japan was prepared to set for a bilateral currency swap deal designed for the transfer of foreign currencies to one of the two countries in time of a monetary crisis.
安住財務相は、金融危機時に外貨を融通し合うための日韓通貨交換(スワップ)協定の融資枠を縮小する可能性を否定していない。

Indications are that Japan-South Korea ties will remain stalemated at least for the time being.
 当面、日韓関係の停滞が続くのは避けられまい。

The price for the worsening of bilateral relations will eventually have to be paid by both Japan and South Korea.
 関係悪化のツケは結局、日韓両国に回ってくる。

A prolonged feud between the countries is bound to benefit only North Korea in connection with security affairs in the northeastern Asian region.
北東アジアの安全保障問題でも、日韓の足並みの乱れは北朝鮮を利するだけだ。

Both Japan and South Korea must act with cool heads and keep talking to prevent bilateral relations from irreparably plunging into animosity.
 日韓関係が決定的に悪化しないように、政府間で冷静に対話を重ねることも重要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 18, 2012)
(2012年8月18日01時38分  読売新聞)

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不法入国者送還 「尖閣」管理へ海保の拡充を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 19, 2012)
Govt must boost JCG power to control Senkaku Islands
不法入国者送還 「尖閣」管理へ海保の拡充を(8月18日付・読売社説)

The government should make further efforts to bolster the Japan Coast Guard's policing abilities to maintain and stably manage the Senkaku Islands.
 尖閣諸島を安定的に維持・管理するため、政府は、海上保安庁の警備体制の拡充に一層努めるべきである。

The government on Friday authorized the deportation of 14 people, including anti-Japan activists from Hong Kong, who were arrested earlier this week on suspicion of violating the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law by landing on Uotsurijima island, one of the Senkakus. Judicial proceedings against them were not taken because it was concluded their action did not constitute a serious violation of law, such as the obstruction of public duties.
 魚釣島への不法上陸事件で、政府は、出入国管理・難民認定法違反容疑で逮捕した香港の反日団体活動家ら14人を強制送還処分とした。公務執行妨害などの重大な法令違反はない、として司法手続きは見送った。

Such a decision appears to be inevitable, but it is unlikely to bring down the curtain on this issue.
 やむを得ない対応だが、これで幕引きとはなるまい。

Anti-Japan groups such as the one based in Hong Kong have seen their funding boosted and are likely to step up their activities. There are signs that the latest Senkaku incident could develop into anti-Japan protests throughout China.
 香港などの反日団体は、資金力を高め、活動を活発化させる公算が大きい。中国国内の反日デモも拡大しかねない雰囲気がある。

The government should press China again not to ignore such provocative acts by private groups.
 政府は中国側に、こうした民間団体の挑発行為を放置しないよう改めて強く求めるべきである。

===

Be cautious of China's tactics

Regarding measures to prevent further illegal intrusions onto the islands, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said at a press conference, "Ministers concerned will swiftly deal with the matter."
 藤村官房長官は記者会見で、再発防止策について「関係閣僚で迅速に対応していく」と述べた。

Members of the government must share the same recognition of what is at stake and establish a system to quickly eliminate illegal acts.
政府内で、何が問題なのか認識を共有し、不法行為を速やかに排除できる体制を整えねばならない。

There is concern that the Chinese government could try to take control of events if another incident like this one flares up in the future.
 今回のような事件がエスカレートすれば、中国政府が前面に出てくることも懸念される。

China has expanded its effective control of the South China Sea, where it has territorial disputes with neighboring countries, by having fishing boats enter disputed waters and then deploying fisheries patrol vessels and warships for the ostensible purpose of protecting the fishing boats.
 中国は、周辺国と領有権を争う南シナ海において、まず漁船を出漁させ、これを保護する名目などで漁業監視船や巡視船、軍艦を投入し、実効支配を広げてきた。

The situation of the East China Sea, where the Senkaku Islands are located, differs from that of the South China Sea, but the government needs to be cautious to prevent Beijing from using similar tactics.
 尖閣諸島を含む東シナ海は事情が異なるが、中国に同様の手法を取らさぬよう警戒が必要だ。

China reportedly plans to increase its number of patrol vessels to 520 by 2020, including ones to be deployed in the East China Sea.
 中国は、2020年までに巡視船を520隻へ倍増する方針だ。一部は東シナ海に配備される。

In contrast, the JCG has basically taken a scrap-and-build strategy for patrol vessels. A significant increase from the current fleet of about 360 patrol vessels would be difficult. The JCG is bound to be overtaken by its Chinese counterparts in terms of both quality and quantity. The time has come for Japan to consider plans to expand JCG power.
 これに対し、海保の巡視船艇はスクラップ・アンド・ビルドが原則で、計約360隻体制からの大幅増は困難だ。海保が、中国海洋当局に質、量ともに凌(りょう)駕(が)される事態も否定できない。計画的拡充を検討すべき時期に来ている。

===

Buildup plans for JCG needed

We suggest the government create mid- and long-term buildup plans for the JCG, analogous to the National Defense Program Outline and the Mid-Term Defense Program for the Self-Defense Forces.
 その際、自衛隊の防衛大綱や中期防衛力整備計画のように、海保が中長期的な装備導入計画を策定することも考慮してはどうか。

During a plenary session of the House of Representatives in July, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said, "The government will respond firmly [to intrusions on Japanese territory including the Senkaku Islands] and use the SDF if necessary."
 野田首相は7月の衆院本会議で尖閣諸島などへの不法行為があった場合、「必要に応じて自衛隊を用いることを含め、政府全体で毅然(きぜん)として対応する」と語った。

The SDF needs to speed up work to increase its surveillance of the Nansei Islands to counter China's naval buildup.
 自衛隊は、中国海軍の増強を踏まえ、南西諸島の警戒体制の強化を急ぐ必要がある。

The presence of the U.S. military is also important. The Senkaku Islands fall within areas for Japan-U.S. joint defense.
 尖閣諸島を共同防衛の対象とする米軍の存在も重要である。

The U.S. deployment of new MV-22 Osprey transport aircraft to Okinawa Prefecture would enhance the mobility of U.S. marines in times of emergency. It would also be conducive to protecting the Senkaku Islands. The latest Senkaku incident reaffirms the need for the deployment.
 米海兵隊の新型輸送機MV22オスプレイの沖縄配備は、緊急時の海兵隊の機動力を高め、尖閣諸島の防衛にも資する。今回の事件はその必要性を再認識させたのではないだろうか。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 18, 2012)
(2012年8月18日01時38分  読売新聞)

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2012年8月18日 (土)

尖閣不法上陸 再発防止へ態勢を強化せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 18, 2012)
Beef up measures to prevent future Senkaku intrusions
尖閣不法上陸 再発防止へ態勢を強化せよ(8月17日付・読売社説)

It was an act of blatant defiance against Japan's sovereignty. To prevent the recurrence of such actions in the future, the government should enhance its preparedness to handle such cases.
 日本の主権に公然と挑戦する行為である。再発防止へ、政府は態勢の強化に努めるべきだ。

A boat belonging to an anti-Japan group based in Hong Kong recently traveled to Uotsurijima, one of the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, and some of the group members landed on the island.
 沖縄県の尖閣諸島・魚釣島に香港の反日団体の船が接岸し、活動家が上陸した。

The Okinawa prefectural police and the Japan Coast Guard arrested all 14 members who were aboard--five who illegally landed on the island and nine others who were on the boat--on suspicion of violating the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law.
県警と海上保安庁は、不法上陸した5人、船に乗っていた9人の計14人全員を出入国管理・難民認定法違反容疑で逮捕した。

This group let Hong Kong television reporters accompanying them broadcast the activists' landing live on the Internet. They obviously intended to provoke Japan and whip up Chinese nationalism. They probably attempted to take advantage of a Japan-South Korea standoff over the Takeshima islands in Shimane Prefecture as well.
 この団体は、香港のテレビ局の記者を同行させ、上陸の様子をネット中継した。日本を挑発し、中国のナショナリズムを煽(あお)る意図は明らかだ。竹島を巡る日韓両国の対立につけ込む狙いもあろう。

The JCG and police should be hailed for cooperating on such steps as the deployment of their respective members in advance and promptly making the arrests.
 海保と警察が魚釣島への事前の要員配備などで連携し、速やかに検挙したことは評価できる。

The 14 arrested people likely will soon be deported by immigration authorities after being investigated. The same steps were taken after Chinese activists landed illegally on Uotsurijima in March 2004.
 逮捕された14人は取り調べを受けた上で、入国管理局を通じて強制送還される見通しだ。2004年3月の中国人による魚釣島不法上陸時と同様の措置となる。

===

Smooth actions will bolster control

It is significant that Japan smoothly acted in accordance with the law to maintain order on the Senkaku Islands. It will help Japan bolster its effective control over the islands.
 尖閣諸島の秩序を守るため、日本が法令を円滑に執行するという実績を残した意義は小さくない。尖閣諸島に対する日本の実効支配を補強することになろう。

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said the government would strictly deal with the matter in accordance with the law. We hope the government duly moves ahead with procedures.
 野田首相は「法令にのっとり厳正に対処する」と明言した。手続きを粛々と進めてもらいたい。

After a Chinese trawler collided with JCG patrol ships near the Senkaku Islands about two years ago, the trawler's skipper was sent to prosecutors on suspicion of obstructing official duties, which is a serious crime.
 約2年前の漁船衝突事件では、公務執行妨害という重大な犯罪行為があったため、身柄送検した。

If the activists arrested this time are probed over alleged violations of the immigration law only, it is appropriate, at least for now, to settle the case quickly with their deportation.
今回、入管難民法違反にとどまるのなら、強制送還による早期の事態収拾はひとまず適切だろう。

What is important is not to allow the recurrence of such illegal entries into Japan's territory.
 大事なのは、同様の不法入国を繰り返させないことだ。

Hong Kong authorities could have prevented the departure of the anti-Japan organization's boat, but instead gave it tacit approval. We sense the Chinese government's intention to pressure Japan over the Senkaku issue.
 香港当局は、反日団体の船の出港を制止できたにもかかわらず、事実上容認した。尖閣問題で日本を牽制(けんせい)しようという中国政府の思惑も見え隠れする。

But it is obvious that if turmoil arises, Japan-China relations would be harmed, which would bring disadvantages for China as well.
 だが、混乱が生じれば、日中関係は悪化し、結果的に中国にも不利益となるのは自明の理だ。

The government should make Chinese and Hong Kong authorities understand this point and urge them to take measures to prevent similar acts in the future through such means as strengthened surveillance of anti-Japan organizations.
 政府は、中国や香港当局に対しそのことを理解させ、反日団体の監視強化などの再発防止策を取るよう働きかけるべきだ。

===

Did JCG do enough?

The opposition Liberal Democratic Party and others are stepping up their criticism of the fact that the JCG failed to block the activists' landing. The JCG needs to thoroughly examine whether it was sufficiently vigilant and further beef up its equipment and personnel.
 海保が活動家の上陸を阻止できなかったことについて、自民党などが批判を強めている。海保は、警戒態勢に不備がなかったか、十分に検証し、装備や人員の一層の拡充を図る必要がある。

A bill to revise the law governing the coast guard to strengthen the JCG's power has finally passed the House of Representatives six months after it was submitted to the Diet. We attribute the long delay in passing the bill, which was unanimously approved, to the negligence of ruling and opposition parties.
 海保の権限を強化する海上保安庁法改正案は、国会提出から半年たってようやく衆院を通過した。全会一致の法案をこれまで放置してきたのは与野党の怠慢だ。

It is essential to put the Senkaku Islands under state control to achieve stable administration of the islands. We hope the government expedites procedures for their nationalization by coordinating with the Tokyo metropolitan government, which plans to purchase the islands.
 尖閣諸島の安定的管理を図るには国有化が欠かせない。政府は購入を計画している東京都と調整して手続きを急いでもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 17, 2012)
(2012年8月17日01時36分  読売新聞)

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2012年8月17日 (金)

危険運転罪 事故抑止へ適用要件見直しを

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 17, 2012)
Dangerous driving charge should be applied more often
危険運転罪 事故抑止へ適用要件見直しを(8月16日付・読売社説)

It is important for authorities to discourage reckless driving, which often results in tragic accidents.
 悲惨な交通事故につながる無謀運転を抑止することが大切だ。

Justice Minister Makoto Taki has said his ministry will review the requirements for applying a charge of dangerous driving resulting in death and injury under the Penal Code. He will ask the Legislative Council of the Justice Ministry, an advisory panel to the minister, to examine the issue as early as September, with an eye on revising the law.
 滝法相が、刑法の危険運転致死傷罪について、適用要件を見直す方針を表明した。法改正を念頭に、9月にも法制審議会に諮問する。

The charge of dangerous driving was established in 2001 as part of efforts to impose more severe punishments on reckless drivers. However, there has always been criticism that the requirements for applying the charge are too narrow.
 危険運転罪は、悪質なドライバーに対する厳罰化の一環として、2001年に新設された。しかし、「適用要件が限定的に過ぎる」という批判が絶えない。

We believe it is necessary for the criteria for the charge to be reviewed.
 見直しは必要なことだろう。

===

Kameoka accident triggers review

Taki's move came after an accident that occurred in Kameoka, Kyoto Prefecture, in April, killing two primary school students who were traveling to school in a group, as well as a woman who was accompanying the group.
 法相が見直しに動き出したきっかけは、京都府亀岡市で4月、集団登校中の児童ら3人が犠牲となった事故だ。

The accident was allegedly caused by an 18-year-old who fell asleep at the wheel and plowed into the group of children. The suspect, who did not have a driver's license, reportedly had been joyriding all night long.
当時18歳の無免許の少年が、徹夜で軽乗用車を乗り回し、居眠り運転の末、児童の列に突っ込んだ。

Relatives of the accident's victims called for the driver to be charged with dangerous driving, which carries a punishment of up to 20 years in prison. However, prosecutors indicted him on the lesser charge of negligent driving resulting in death and injury, for which the maximum prison term is just seven years.
 遺族は、懲役が最高20年の危険運転罪の適用を求めたが、検察は、懲役7年が上限の自動車運転過失致死傷罪で少年を起訴した。

As set out in the Penal Code, circumstances in which a dangerous driving charge can be made include the following:
 危険運転罪が成立する要件として、刑法は、

-- The person had no driving skills.
「運転技能を有していない」ことや、

-- The car was traveling too fast for the driver to control.
制御できないほど高速での運転、

-- The driver was seriously impaired by alcohol or drugs.
飲酒や薬物の影響による正常でない状態での運転などを規定している。

Prosecutors for the Kameoka case focused on the first circumstance, but decided it did not apply because the boy had often driven before.
 亀岡市の事故では、検察は、少年が過去にも無免許運転を繰り返していたことから、「運転技能を有していない」との要件に当てはまらないと判断した。

Many people must find such a conclusion hard to understand.
 釈然としない思いを抱く人が多いのではないだろうか。

The case illustrates how difficult it is to apply a charge of dangerous driving.
 危険運転罪を適用する難しさを象徴するケースと言えよう。

===

Fukuoka case illustrates difficulty

Whether to apply the charge was a major issue in a case stemming from an accident that occurred six years ago in Fukuoka, in which a drunk driver struck another vehicle, causing it to fall into the sea. The accident resulted in the deaths of three young children inside the vehicle.
 危険運転罪の適用の是非が裁判の大きな争点となった例が、6年前、福岡市で起きた事故だ。追突され、海に転落した車に取り残された幼児3人が犠牲になった。

The Fukuoka District Court rejected a charge of dangerous driving in the case, but the Fukuoka High Court found that it applied. That decision was finalized by the Supreme Court.
 飲酒運転だった男に対し、1審は危険運転罪を認めなかった。しかし、2審は適用し、最高裁で確定した。

The courts made these opposite decisions because it was difficult to conclude whether the case fit one of the dangerous driving circumstances--in other words, if the defendant was utterly incapable of driving normally.
司法判断が分かれたのは、「正常運転が困難な状態」という要件に該当するかどうかの見極めが難しかったからだ。

For prosecutors to indict a person on a charge of dangerous driving, they have to probe in detail the degree to which the person was drunk and the way he or she was driving at the time of the accident. There are high hurdles to establishing such a case.
 検察が、危険運転罪で起訴するには、運転手の酒酔いの程度や、事故当時の運転状況などを詳細に立証する必要がある。立件の壁は高いと言える。

About 64,000 people were indicted on the charge of negligent driving in 2010, while only 230 were charged with dangerous driving.
 一昨年、自動車運転過失罪で起訴されたのは約6万4000人だったのに対し、危険運転罪での起訴は230人にとどまった。

If a person causes a fatal accident and is indicted on a charge of dangerous driving, his or her case is subject to a trial involving both lay and professional judges.
 死亡事故を起こし、危険運転罪で起訴された被告は、裁判員裁判の対象となっている。

It is necessary to thoroughly clarify grounds for a charge of dangerous driving so that it can be more widely applied. This would help lay judges involved in such trials make fair findings of fact.
 裁判員による公正な事実認定を助けるためにも、要件をより明確に整理し、適用の幅を広げていくことが求められている。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 16, 2012)
(2012年8月16日02時35分  読売新聞)

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韓国大統領発言 日韓関係の停滞化を懸念する

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 17, 2012)
Lee's remarks could paralyze Japan-South Korea relations
韓国大統領発言 日韓関係の停滞化を懸念する(8月16日付・読売社説)

No matter how much South Korea stresses it wants a "future-oriented" relationship with Japan, Seoul's diplomacy toward Tokyo always hits a snag due to historical perceptions and territorial issues.
 どんなに「未来志向」を強調しようとも、結局、歴史認識問題や領土問題で、対日外交が暗礁に乗り上げる。

It seems that South Korean President Lee Myung Bak was unable to escape from this pattern, which has been repeated by his country's previous administrations.
 韓国の歴代政権が繰り返したパターンから、李明博大統領も逃れることはできなかったということだろう。

Following his visit to the Takeshima islands last week, Lee indicated Tuesday that an apology from the bottom of the Emperor's heart to independence activists is a condition for the Emperor to visit South Korea.
 先週の竹島訪問に次いで、今度は、「独立運動家への心からの謝罪」が天皇陛下の訪韓の条件だとする李大統領の発言である。

We have to say Lee's remark is unbecoming to the head of a Japanese ally.
 友邦の国家元首らしからぬ言動と言わざるを得ない。

We are concerned that the Japan-South Korea relationship, which cooled due to Lee's Takeshima visit, will deteriorate further and the estrangement will be prolonged.
 大統領の竹島上陸で冷え込んだ日韓関係が一段と悪化し、それが長期化することも懸念される。

It is very irresponsible for Lee, who has only six months left in his term, to commit himself with words and actions that could create problems for the future bilateral relationship.
 あと半年しか任期が残っていない大統領が、日韓関係の将来に禍根を残すような言動をとるのは、無責任に過ぎよう。

After Japan and South Korea normalized diplomatic relations in 1965, former South Korean presidents, starting with Chun Doo Hwan in 1984, visited Japan and met with the Emperor. In 1990, Seoul formally invited the Emperor to visit South Korea.
 1965年の日韓国交正常化以降、韓国の大統領は、84年の全斗煥氏を最初に、歴代、日本を訪れ、天皇陛下と会っている。90年には天皇訪韓を公式に招請した。

===

President changes tune

Lee himself invited the Emperor to visit his country while he was on an official visit to Japan in 2008. He also showed eagerness to realize the Emperor's visit to South Korea in 2010, the centennial year of Japan's annexation of Korea.
 李大統領自身、2008年の来日時に訪韓を招請した。日韓併合から100年にあたる10年の訪韓実現へ意欲を見せてもいた。

It has been reported that Lee went so far as to say during a meeting with a group of schoolteachers, "The Emperor doesn't need [to visit South Korea] if he is coming just to express his 'deepest regret.'" Lee was apparently referring to a term used by the Emperor at a banquet at the Imperial Palace for then South Korean President Roh Tae Woo during his visit to Japan 22 years ago.
 李大統領は、教員らとの会合で、「『痛惜の念』という言葉だけなら(天皇訪韓の)必要はない」とまで述べたという。22年前、当時の盧泰愚大統領が来日した時の、宮中晩さん会における陛下のお言葉を指したものだ。

The side that invited the Emperor set a condition afterward and said he does not need to come if the condition is not met. Such an attitude is extremely impolite.
 招いた方が、後になって条件をつけ、それが満たされないなら来る必要はない、というのはあまりにも礼を失している。

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Lee's remark was "hard to understand and regrettable." Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said, "Making unconstructive remarks goes against South Korea's own interests."
 野田首相は「理解に苦しむ発言で、遺憾だ」と述べ、藤村官房長官も「韓国側が非建設的な発言をすることは韓国自身のためにもならない」と指摘した。

It is only natural that the Japanese government lodged a protest with the South Korean government.
日本政府が韓国に抗議したのは当然だ。

It is desirable for the Emperor's visit to South Korea to be realized in a way that it can be accepted naturally by the people of the two countries. As a result, there is no option but to shelve a possible visit by the Emperor to South Korea for the time being.
 天皇訪韓は、両国民によって自然に受け止められるような形で実現することが望ましい。
 それなら、天皇訪韓問題は、当面、棚上げにするしかない。

===

'Comfort women' issue settled

In a speech Wednesday during a ceremony to commemorate Korea's liberation from Japanese colonial rule, Lee reiterated his demand that the Japanese government take "responsible measures" on the issue of so-called comfort women.
 李大統領は15日には、日本の植民地支配からの解放を記念する式典で演説し、いわゆる従軍慰安婦問題で「責任ある措置」をとるよう、改めて日本に求めた。

Against the backdrop of South Korean public opinion, Lee has urged Noda to apologize to victims and pay compensation. But as far as the right to claim compensation is concerned, it was fully and finally settled when the two countries normalized diplomatic ties.
 韓国の世論を背景に、大統領が被害者への謝罪や補償などを野田首相に促してきた経緯があるが、請求権問題についていえば、国交正常化の際に、すでに完全かつ最終的に解決ずみだ。

When it comes to territorial and comfort women issues, Japan and South Korea must calmly discuss history based on accurate facts.
 領土問題にせよ、慰安婦問題にせよ、日韓両国は、正確な事実関係を踏まえた冷静な歴史論議をしなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 16, 2012)
(2012年8月16日02時35分  読売新聞)

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2012年8月16日 (木)

8月15日 「史実」の国際理解を広げたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 16, 2012)
Govt must explain historical facts to the rest of the world
8月15日 「史実」の国際理解を広げたい(8月15日付・読売社説)

 ◆日本の発信・説得力が問われる◆

Sixty-seven years have passed since then. Today marks the anniversary of the end of World War II for Japan. This is a day to remember the war dead who laid the foundation for Japan's postwar prosperity.
 あれから67年。終戦の日を迎えた。繁栄する日本の礎となった戦没者を追悼する一日である。

But almost as if to coincide with this day, South Korean President Lee Myung Bak brazenly visited the Takeshima islands in Shimane Prefecture without any hesitation. We consider his visit extremely regrettable.
 ところが、この日に照準を合わせたかのように韓国の李明博大統領が島根県・竹島への訪問を強行して、はばかるところがない。極めて残念だ。

Why did South Korea make such an outrageous move at this particular time?
 なぜ今、韓国がこうした暴挙に出たのだろうか。

Lee flaunted Seoul's effective control of the islets over which Japan and South Korea remain locked in a standoff over territorial rights. He also referred to the issue of the so-called wartime comfort women. He asserted that Japan has failed to show sincerity on the issue, although it has been raised during a summit meeting with the Japanese prime minister.
 李大統領は、領有権をめぐる日韓対立が続く竹島の支配を誇示するとともに、いわゆる従軍慰安婦問題に言及した。首脳会談で提起したのに日本政府が「誠意を示していない」とも語っている。

===

Anti-Japan feeling whipped up
 ◆あおられた反日感情◆

It is generally believed that Lee, who has seen his influence wane as his term as president draws to a close, was attempting to show his "achievement" as the first South Korean head of state to visit the Takeshima islands.
 政権末期で求心力を失った李大統領は、「初めて竹島を訪問した国家元首」という“業績”を残そうとしたとの見方が一般的だ。

Deep-rooted anti-Japan sentiment remains in South Korea, which was once under Japan's colonial rule. Lee's actions also can be perceived as populism designed to tap that national sentiment.
 日本の植民地支配を受けた韓国には根強い「反日感情」がある。そこに訴えた大衆迎合主義(ポピュリズム)とも言えよう。

During the London Olympics, a South Korean soccer player held up a paper sign reading "Dokdo is our land" while celebrating his team's win over Japan in the third-place playoff. The Takeshima islands are called Dokdo in South Korea. The player's act was blatantly a political activity at a games venue, which is prohibited by the Olympic Charter.
 ロンドン五輪で男子サッカーの3位を決める日韓戦の後、勝利した韓国の一選手が「独島(竹島の韓国側呼称)はわが領土」と書いた紙を掲げる一幕があった。五輪憲章が禁止する、競技会場での政治的活動であるのは明らかだ。

There is no doubt that Lee's recent actions have recklessly whipped up nationalism among the South Korean people.
 李大統領の行動が、韓国国民のナショナリズムをいたずらにかきたてたのは間違いない。

Japan-South Korea relations, which appear to be sound, are actually fragile and could suddenly collapse when issues of historical perceptions become politicized. Both sides must make efforts to overcome differences in their perceptions of history and build a constructive relationship.
 良好に見える日韓関係も、政治に歴史認識問題が絡むと、一気に崩れる脆弱(ぜいじゃく)さをはらんでいる。歴史認識の違いを乗り越え、建設的な関係を築いていく努力が日韓双方に必要である。

Meanwhile, South Korea has hosted a summit meeting of the Group of 20 major economies as well as the Nuclear Security Summit. The post of U.N. secretary general is held by a South Korean. That nation has produced many world-class companies, such as Samsung and Hyundai Motor Co., that rival Japanese companies.
 一方、韓国は主要20か国・地域(G20)首脳会議や核安全サミットの主催国ともなった。国連事務総長には韓国人が就任している。サムスンや現代自動車など日本企業に匹敵する世界的な企業も数多く誕生した。

Lee himself said Japan no longer wields the international influence it once did. It should be noted that Seoul apparently is attaching less importance to some aspects of its relations with Japan as a result of confidence bred by South Korea's rapid economic growth.
 大統領自身、「日本はかつてのような国際的な影響力はない」と述べている。韓国が急速な経済成長を遂げた結果、以前ほど日本との関係を重視しなくなった面にも留意しなければなるまい。

Japan intends to file a suit on the Takeshima issue with the International Court of Justice. At the same time, we believe the government should strongly urge Seoul to refrain from making further efforts to impose its illegal occupation of the islands.
 日本は竹島問題を国際司法裁判所に提訴する方針だ。同時に、韓国に対して、不法占拠をこれ以上強化しないよう強く自制を求めるべきである。

===

Territorial dispute with Russia
 ◆領土問題に積極姿勢を◆

A territorial dispute is also causing friction in Japan's relations with Russia.
 ロシアとの関係でも、同様の問題が浮上している。

In November 2010, then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited Kunashiri--one of the four islands off Hokkaido claimed by Japan but which have been held by Russia since the end of World War II. In July this year, Medvedev, this time as prime minister, conducted an inspection tour of the same island.
 一昨年11月、当時のメドベージェフ露大統領は北方領土の国後島を訪れた。今年7月にも再び首相として国後島を視察している。

Moscow probably wants to demonstrate to people at home and overseas that Russia acquired the islands--the northern territories of Japan--as a result of the war and has been promoting development projects there on its own.
 ロシア側は先の大戦の結果として北方領土を領有し、しかも独自に開発を進めていることを内外にアピールしたいのだろう。

Moreover, in view of the fact that Russia's oil and natural gas development projects in Sakhalin in the Russian Far East have been proceeding steadily, Moscow apparently is telling Tokyo it will no longer need Japan's assistance in developing the four islands.
 さらに、極東サハリン州で石油・天然ガス開発は着実に進んでおり、もはや北方領土への日本の支援は必要ない、と日本を牽制(けんせい)する狙いもうかがえる。

In fact, South Korean firms have taken part in development projects on Etorofu and Shikotan islands. If the situation continues like this, the "Russianization" of the northern territories will only advance further.
 実際、択捉島や色丹島では、韓国の企業が開発に参画している。このままでは北方領土の「ロシア化」が進むのは避けられない。

On the other hand, bolstering Japan-Russia relations will be indispensable in countering China, which has been increasing its presence through its growing economic and military might.
 一方で、経済・軍事力で膨張を続ける中国に向き合うためにも、日露関係の強化は欠かせない。

The government must rework its strategy for resolving the territorial dispute with Moscow from many angles.
 政府は、複眼的な視点に立って北方領土問題解決への戦略を練り直さなければならない。

Historical claims made by South Korea and Russia are being heard over the world. The Japanese government should handle these territorial issues with a stronger sense of urgency.
 韓国やロシアの主張する「歴史」が世界に拡散しつつある。日本政府は、もっと危機感を持って対処すべきである。

A cenotaph for the comfort women was installed at a public library in a small town near New York City in 2010. An inscription on the plaque reads: "In memory of the more than 200,000 women and girls who were abducted by the armed forces of the government of Imperial Japan."
 一昨年、米国ニューヨーク近郊の小さな町の公立図書館に「日本軍に拉致された20万人以上の女性と少女のために」などと記された慰安婦の碑が設置された。

Korean-Americans have been promoting the movement to build such cenotaphs in various parts of the United States. The movement is apparently aimed at generating pressure on Japan from the United States.
 韓国系米国人によって、こうした碑を米国各地に建設する運動が進められている。米国発の対日圧力を強めるのが狙いだろう。

The comfort women issue became more prominent following a statement by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono in 1993.
 慰安婦問題がここまで広がっている根底には、1993年の河野官房長官談話の存在がある。

===

Kono's remarks problematic
 ◆誤解広める河野談話◆

His statement included a portion indicating as if the women were systematically and forcibly made comfort women by Japanese authorities at the time. This opened the door to greater misunderstanding on the issue. In the end, no documents that could prove there was any truth to what Kono had suggested have been found.
 日本の官憲が組織的、強制的に女性を慰安婦にしたかのような記述があり、誤解を広めることになった。しかし、結局、こうした事実を裏付ける資料的な根拠は見つからなかった。

It has been widely publicized in the United States that Korean girls and women were abducted by the Japanese military and used as comfort women. Due to the existence of Kono's statement, the Japanese government cannot refute this effectively. This is extremely problematic.
 「日本軍によって拉致され、慰安婦にされた」と米国で喧伝(けんでん)されているが、この談話の存在のため、日本政府が有効な反論ができないことは極めて問題である。

Tokyo should thoroughly explain both at home and abroad the historical facts and background surrounding the Takeshima, northern territories and comfort women issues.
 日本政府は、竹島、北方領土、そして慰安婦などの歴史の事実関係を、国内はもとより、広く海外にも説明すべきだ。

In August, when we remember the end of the war, it is essential to disseminate Japan's position on these issues to the international community in an effort to seek its understanding and support.
 終戦を思い起こす8月の機会に、国際社会に日本の立場を積極的に発信し、理解と支持を獲得していくことが大切である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 15, 2012)
(2012年8月15日01時37分  読売新聞)

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2012年8月15日 (水)

五輪閉幕 奮闘した選手をねぎらいたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 15, 2012)
Olympic athletes deserve a round of applause
五輪閉幕 奮闘した選手をねぎらいたい(8月14日付・読売社説)

The London Olympic Games closed Sunday night with the extinguishing of the Olympic flame, leaving lingering memories of many hard-fought contests.
 ロンドン五輪が閉幕した。数々の熱戦の余韻を残し、聖火は消えた。

It is a relief that the sports festival held once every four years ended without major trouble. Feared terrorist attacks at the Games and other serious problems did not occur.
 心配されていたテロなどの事件は起きず、4年に1度の祭典が無事、終了したのは何よりだった。

For 17 days, we enjoyed watching athletes from around the world display the speed and techniques they had honed for the Olympics. Jamaica's Usain Bolt, who became the first sprinter to win both 100- and 200-meter races in two consecutive Olympic Games, will be remembered by future generations for his splendid achievement.
 17日間、世界のアスリートたちの磨き上げたスピードや技を堪能した。陸上100メートルと200メートルで、史上初の2大会連続2冠を達成したウサイン・ボルト選手(ジャマイカ)の走りは、後世まで語り継がれることだろう。

Japan won 38 medals--seven golds, 14 silvers and 17 bronzes. It is a laudable achievement and we applaud the Japanese athletes' strenuous efforts.
 日本選手団は、金7、銀14、銅17の計38個のメダルを獲得した。見事な成績である。奮闘した選手たちをねぎらいたい。

Japan's Olympic medal haul broke the previous record of 37 at the 2004 Athens Olympics, and ranked sixth in overall medal standings.
 メダル数で最多だったアテネ五輪(2004年)の37個を超え、国別メダル数では6位だった。

What was conspicuous in the London Olympics was the success of Japanese athletes in events in which Japan had never won a medal before or winning a gold medal after a prolonged drought in a particular sport.
 今大会で目立ったのは、メダルを取ったことのない競技や、長年、金メダルから遠ざかっていた競技での頑張りだった。

===

Success after many years

On the last day of the Games, Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu won the gold medal in the men's 66-kilogram freestyle wrestling, becoming Japan's first gold medalist in men's wrestling in 24 years since the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
 最終日、レスリングの米満達弘選手が金メダルに輝いた。男子レスリングでの優勝は、ソウル五輪以来、24年ぶりだ。

Ryota Murata snagged Japan's first Olympic boxing gold in 48 years since the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Japan won its first-ever medals in table tennis and badminton, for both men and women. The women's volleyball team won a medal for the first time in 28 years.
 ボクシングでも、東京五輪以来、48年ぶりの金メダルを村田諒太選手が手にした。卓球とバドミントンは、男女を通して初のメダル獲得だった。女子バレーボールのメダルも28年ぶりだった。

Most of the sports in which Japan won medals were those the government has thrown its support behind. It is apparent that the measures the government took to strengthen sports that promised to bring home medals had the intended effect to a certain degree.
 メダルを取った競技のほとんどは、政府による重点強化の対象となっている。メダル有望種目に的を絞った強化策が、一定の効果を上げたと言える。

===

Few gold medals

This might sound a little too much, but Japan won fewer gold medals in London than we expected. They numbered less than half the 16 Japan obtained at the Athens Olympics.
 ぜいたくを言えば、金メダルが少なかった。16個だったアテネ五輪の半数以下にとどまった。

For the first time, Japan did not win any gold medals in men's judo. This is because judoka from other countries improved their techniques by studying Japanese judo. As judo has become an international sport, we should no longer be surprised when Japanese judoka fail to win all their matches.
 男子柔道は、五輪で初めて金メダルがゼロに終わった。各国選手が日本の柔道を研究して力をつけた結果だ。競技が国際化し、日本選手は勝って当たり前、という時代ではなくなったのだろう。

Japan's male judoka also have had a hard time in international matches in recent years, and there is no denying that Japan's judo world has been slow to respond to the situation.
 近年の国際試合でも、男子柔道は苦戦続きだっただけに、柔道界の対応の遅れは否めない。

Not everything went smoothly at the London Olympics. Eight badminton players were disqualified for purposely trying to lose matches in pool play in the doubles competition to ensure a favorable matchup in the medal round. In judo and other sports, many problems arose over decisions by referees and judges.
 今回の大会運営では課題も残った。バドミントンで8選手が失格処分を受けた。決勝トーナメントで有利な相手と対戦するため、1次リーグで故意に負けようとしたとされる。柔道などでは審判の判定を巡るトラブルも目立った。

The next Olympic Games will be held in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
 4年後の五輪は、ブラジルのリオデジャネイロで開催される。

We look forward to rugby sevens and golf--sports that will be introduced for the first time.
 ゴルフと7人制ラグビーが新たに加わるのは、楽しみだ。

Many people who saw the spectacular efforts of Japanese athletes probably wanted to be at the Olympic Games themselves so they could watch the performances live.
 日本選手の活躍に、「感動を生で味わいたい」と思った人も多いのではないか。

We hope the enthusiasm that remains in the wake of the London Olympics will lead to a buildup in the campaign to bring the Olympic Games to Tokyo in 2020.
ロンドン五輪の余熱を、2020年東京五輪の招致活動の盛り上げにつなげたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 14, 2012)
(2012年8月14日01時32分  読売新聞)

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GDP減速 景気優先の政策対応を急げ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 15, 2012)
Govt, BOJ must act quickly to shore up economy
GDP減速 景気優先の政策対応を急げ(8月14日付・読売社説)

The nation's economic growth, which had been buoyed by demand for reconstruction from last year's earthquake and tsunami disasters, has slowed down.
 東日本大震災の復興需要などに下支えされた経済成長が、減速した。

Concerning the economic outlook, the government said, "Mild growth is expected to continue." But no optimism is warranted.
 今後の景気について政府は「緩やかな成長が続く」としているが、油断は禁物だろう。

The government and the Bank of Japan should strengthen economy-boosting policies and realize stable growth led by private demand.
 政府・日銀は、景気優先の政策運営を強化し、民需が主導する安定成長の実現を図るべきだ。

The real gross domestic product for the April-June period increased 0.3 percent over the previous quarter, marking the fourth straight quarter of growth. But the pace slackened from the 1.3 percent growth recorded in the previous quarter. The nominal growth rate, which reflects economic conditions more vividly than the real economic growth rate, dropped into negative territory for the first time in two quarters.
 今年4~6月期の実質国内総生産(GDP)は前期比0・3%増と、4四半期連続でプラス成長を維持したものの、成長率は前期の1・3%から鈍化した。景気の実感に近い名目成長率は2期ぶりにマイナスに落ち込んだ。

The standstill in growth is attributed to the stagnation of consumer spending, which accounts for a major portion of domestic demand. New car sales were brisk thanks to government subsidies for purchases of fuel-efficient eco-friendly vehicles. But overall consumer spending did not fare well due to the bad weather and the drop in workers' income, among other factors.
 成長が足踏みした要因は、内需の柱である消費の低迷にある。低燃費車の購入を支援するエコカー補助金の効果で新車の販売は好調だったが、天候不順や労働者の所得減少などが響いて、消費全体は振るわなかった。

===

Grim outlook ahead

The eco-car subsidies, which have been a lifeline for domestic consumption, are likely to be cut off in September as the budget set aside for that purpose runs out. This makes it impossible to dispel concern that the economy will slow down further in autumn.
 頼みのエコカー補助金も、9月には予算が底をつき、打ち切られる見通しという。秋から消費がさらに冷え込む懸念は拭えない。

The growth rate for public investment, which had been robust in disaster-stricken areas, shrank. The signs of decline emerging in domestic demand, which is said to be sustained by government spending for purposes such as reconstruction, are a cause for concern.
 被災地などを中心に堅調だった公共投資も伸び率が縮小した。復興予算など財政に支えられているはずの内需に、陰りが出てきたのは気がかりだ。

Prospects are also growing uncertain over foreign demand. Japan's exports slackened due to the slowdown of the world economy, particularly that of Europe, and domestic industrial production declined for the third straight month in June.
 一方の外需も不透明感が増してきた。欧州をはじめ世界経済の減速の影響で輸出が低迷し、国内の工業生産は、6月まで3か月連続で減少した。

To prevent the economy from losing steam, the government should adopt policies that back up private-sector economic activity.
 景気を失速させないようにするには、民間の経済活動を後押しする政策対応が求められる。

It will also be necessary to rectify the strength of the yen, which has risen to historic highs, to save the export industry from the predicament it now faces. We hope the government and the central bank will look into the possibility of market intervention and further easing of monetary policy. We suggest that they positively study measures, such as the central bank's purchase of foreign government bonds, that will lead to selling of the yen and buying of the U.S. dollar.
 歴史的な円高を是正し、輸出産業を窮地から救う必要がある。政府・日銀は市場介入や追加的な金融緩和策を検討してもらいたい。円売り・ドル買いにつながる日銀の外債購入など、新たな方策について前向きに考えてはどうか。

===

Aggressive policies vital

It will be essential to strengthen aggressive policies such as promoting overseas investment by taking advantage of the yen's strength.
 円高のメリットを生かした海外投資の促進など、攻めの政策も一段と強化したい。

Nearly all of the nation's nuclear reactors currently stand idle, leaving the power supply still in limbo. It is feared that the possibility of power shortages will restrain domestic production and investment, further accelerating the hollowing out of industry. Reactors must be put back into operation in rapid succession as soon as their safety is confirmed.
 ほとんどの原子力発電所が運転を再開できず、電力不足は依然として深刻だ。国内の生産や投資が抑制され、産業空洞化が一層加速しよう。安全を確認できた原発を順次、再稼働すべきである。

It will also be important to push ahead with a growth strategy by working to expand free trade through participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade framework talks, lowering the corporate tax rate and promoting deregulation for fostering of new industries.
 環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)の交渉参加による自由貿易の拡大や法人税率の引き下げ、新産業の育成に向けた規制緩和など、成長戦略の推進も重要となる。

The delay in implementing policies due to the confrontation between ruling and opposition parties over a dissolution of the House of Representatives for a snap election is another factor in the uncertain economic outlook.
 衆院解散をにらんで与野党が対立し、政策実現が遅れることも、景気の不安材料だ。

The government and ruling parties must work hard to achieve early legislation of important bills, including a special bill for issuance of deficit-covering bonds that is indispensable to the implementation of the budget for the current fiscal year.
政府・与党は今年度予算の執行に欠かせない特例公債法案など、重要法案の成立を急がねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 14, 2012)
(2012年8月14日01時32分  読売新聞)

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2012年8月14日 (火)

終盤国会 民自公で残る懸案に取り組め

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 14, 2012)
Parties must tackle remaining issues before end of Diet session
終盤国会 民自公で残る懸案に取り組め(8月13日付・読売社説)

The passage rate of bills submitted by the government during the current ordinary Diet session is only 48 percent. Many observers doubt whether it will even reach the record-low 54 percent seen in the 2010 ordinary Diet session.
 政府が今通常国会に提出した法案の成立率が現在、48%にとどまっている。過去最低となった2010年通常国会の54%に届くかどうかも危ぶまれている状況だ。

Poor management of Diet affairs by the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and resistance of the opposition parties, triggered by censure against two cabinet ministers, have stagnated deliberations on bills.
 民主党の稚拙な国会運営や、2閣僚問責を契機とした野党の抵抗が法案審議停滞の原因である。

A large number of issues need to be dealt with in the final phase of the current Diet session. We expect the DPJ, the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito to maintain their current partnership and achieve tangible results.
 終盤国会で処理すべき懸案は、数多い。民主、自民、公明3党は現在の連携を堅持し、具体的な成果を上げてもらいたい。

Only three weeks--if the Bon holiday period is excluded--remain to discuss bills before the end of the current session on Sept. 8.
 お盆休みを除けば、9月8日の会期末まで実質的に審議できるのは3週間程度しかない。

===

Prioritize important bills

Diet members have to identify important bills and deliberate them efficiently. These include a bill to allow the government to issue deficit-covering bonds and bills on the revision of the Public Offices Election Law to alleviate disparity in the value of votes by reducing the number of seats at the House of Representatives by five.
 赤字国債発行を認める特例公債法案や、衆院選の「1票の格差」を是正する「0増5減」の公職選挙法改正案など重要法案を絞り、効率良く審議する必要がある。

For instance, the DPJ, the LDP and Komeito have agreed on the early passage of bills to create a common personal identification number for social security and taxation systems, which is necessary for comprehensive reform of those systems, and to realize an Osaka metropolis.
 例えば、一体改革に欠かせない社会保障と税の共通番号(マイナンバー)を創設する法案や、「大阪都構想」のための法案について、少なくとも民自公3党は早期実現の方向で一致している。

The three parties must also recognize the urgency of Diet agreement on personnel appointments for a nuclear regulatory commission.
 原子力規制委員会人事の国会同意についても、3党は緊急性の認識を共有しているはずだ。

Why has Diet agreement on the personnel appointments proposed by the government in late July been put off?
 にもかかわらず、政府が7月下旬に提案した同意人事案を放置しているのはどうしたことか。

If the launch of the commission scheduled for September is postponed, it might delay the safety inspections necessary for reactivation of idle nuclear reactors.
9月予定の規制委発足がずれ込めば、原子力発電所再稼働の前提となる安全性審査が遅れかねない。

It is also intolerable the Diet failed to approve international treaties.
 条約承認の停滞も目に余る。

The government has submitted 11 bills in the current session on international treaties for Diet approval, including the Hague Convention on treatment of children when international marriages fail.
 国際結婚が破綻した場合の子の扱いを定めるハーグ条約など、今国会には11本の条約承認案が提出されている。

However, none have been approved so far, due to confrontation between the ruling and opposition parties in the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee. The Diet cannot escape criticism for being negligent in its duty.
 しかし、衆院外務委員会での与野党対立のあおりを受け、いまだに1本も成立していない。国会として怠慢のそしりは免れまい。

===

TPP, energy also on agenda

There is also a mountain of political issues other than bills, which require consensus building between the ruling and opposition parties.
 法案以外にも、与野党の調整を必要とする重要な政策課題は山積している。

They include possible participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral free trade agreement, the realization of a new energy policy, including the role of nuclear power, and mid- and long-term reform of the public pension system.
 アジアの成長を取り込むための環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)への参加、原子力の活用を含む新エネルギー政策の実現、中長期的な年金制度の改革などである。

None of the issues can move forward without a stable political foundation where the national leader can look resolutely forward.
 いずれも、将来を見据えられる、安定的な政治基盤がなければ、前に動かすことはできない。

It is a grave fact that neither the DPJ nor the LDP and Komeito have a majority in the House of Councillors.  参院では、民主党も自公両党も過半数を握っていないという事実は重い。

Whatever election pledges or policy issues the three parties make in the next lower house election, they cannot be realized and will become empty promises without a tripartite partnership among the DPJ, the LDP and Komeito in the so-called divided Diet where the opposition maintains control of the upper house.
次期衆院選でどのような政権公約や政策課題を掲げても、衆参ねじれ国会が続く状況では、3党が手を組まなければ実現できず、空証文となってしまう。

We believe it is significant for the three parties to maintain a relationship of trust as they must seek a tripartite partnership not only before, but also after the lower house election.
 衆院選をはさんでも3党連携を模索せざるを得ない以上、3党間の信頼関係を維持していくことが肝要ではないか。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 13, 2012)
(2012年8月13日01時17分  読売新聞)

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食料自給率 目標に拘泥せず農業改革を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 14, 2012)
Push agricultural reforms without fretting about target
食料自給率 目標に拘泥せず農業改革を(8月13日付・読売社説)

The nation's food self-sufficiency rate should not be used to secure agriculture-related budget allocations or to justify opposition to trade liberalization.
 食料自給率を、農業予算の確保や貿易自由化への反対を正当化する材料にすべきではない。

The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry recently announced that domestic food sufficiency for fiscal 2011 stood at 39 percent, falling short of the 40 percent mark for the second fiscal year in a row.
 農林水産省が公表した2011年度の食料自給率は39%となり、2年連続で40%を割り込んだ。

Food self-sufficiency is the ratio of food produced at home to all the food consumed in the nation.
 食料自給率は、消費する食料のうち、国産で賄っている割合だ。

The farm ministry attaches great importance to the self-sufficiency rate calculated on the basis of caloric intake. Yet the caloric intake-based figure contains many problems.
農水省は、食物のカロリーを基に算出した自給率を重視しているが、この数値には問題が多い。

For instance, the meat produced from cows and pigs reared in Japan is not considered domestically produced if the animals' feed is imported.
 例えば、国内で育てられた牛や豚の肉でも、餌が輸入品なら国産とはみなされない。

As the country imports huge amounts of feed for cows and pigs, the livestock self-sufficiency rate naturally becomes low.
飼料を大量輸入している日本では、畜産物の自給率はおのずと低くなる。

The domestic production rate of vegetables and fruits is high, but because their caloric content is low, they contribute little to raising the self-sufficiency rate.
 野菜や果実は国産比率が高いが、カロリーが低いため、自給率の上昇にはあまり貢献しない。

===

Dietary habits changing

The caloric intake-based sufficiency rate has been declining for a protracted period, largely because Japanese dietary habits have changed from eating rice as a staple food to eating more meat dishes.
 カロリー基準の自給率が長期低落しているのは、コメ主体から食肉などへ日本人の食生活が変化したことが大きな要因と言える。

If the rate were calculated on the basis of the value of food produced, it would have reached 66 percent in fiscal 2011.
 生産額を基準に算出すると、11年度の自給率は66%になる。

The farm ministry and agricultural organizations tend to deliberately stress the decline of food self-sufficiency in terms of caloric intake to emphasize the idea of a food crisis. They also cite this trend to justify their opposition to Japan's participation in negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade accord.
 農水省や農業団体は、カロリー基準の自給率低下を、ことさらに取り上げ、危機感を強調する。環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉への参加に反対する根拠にも掲げている。

But it is hard to say that the rate of food self-sufficiency reflects the agricultural power of a country.
 だが、自給率の高低が農業の実力を示しているとは言い難い。

Japan has seen its livestock products and vegetables improve in quality to the point that some of them have become brand-name goods.
 日本の畜産や野菜などは、高品質やブランド化に成功し、

These important sectors hold the key to the nation's agricultural reforms, which are aimed at making the agricultural industry more self-reliant.
産業としての自立を目指す農業改革のカギを握る重要分野だ。

Even so, these two sectors have not been taken seriously from the viewpoint of raising the nation's self-sufficiency. Instead, expanded production of rice, soybeans, barley and wheat as food for animals has been made a higher priority.
 にもかかわらず、自給率を高める観点からは重視されず、飼料用米、大豆、麦などの生産拡大が優先課題とされている。

Based on a Cabinet decision, the government has set a target of raising the food self-sufficiency rate to 50 percent by the end of fiscal 2020.
 政府は、20年度までにカロリー基準の自給率を50%に引き上げる目標を閣議決定している。

===

Rate shouldn't be focus

While our country must be prepared for a global-scale food crisis, it is questionable to consider the goal of raising the rate as a key pillar of food policy.
 世界的な食料危機への備えは必要だとしても、自給率向上を食料政策の柱にするのは疑問だ。

Only a few major industrialized countries, including South Korea, have set targets to raise food self-sufficiency as Japan has.
 主要国で、日本流の自給率目標を掲げているのは、韓国など、ごく一部に過ぎない。

The big question for food security is how to maintain a stable food supply that combines domestic production and imports.
 食料安全保障上、問われるのは、国産と輸入を組み合わせた供給力をどう確保するかである。

To secure farm acreage as the basis for agricultural production, we must curb the abandonment of farmland. It is also a matter of urgency to foster manpower to support the nation's agriculture.
 農業生産の基盤である農地を確保し、耕作放棄地をこれ以上、拡大させてはならない。農業を支える担い手育成も急務である。

Meanwhile, we should maintain a stable relationship with countries that export farm products to Japan, diversifying sources and thus reducing the risks related to procurement.
 海外では、複数の輸入先と安定した関係を維持し、調達リスクの分散を図りたい。

Stockpiling is also important. This issue should be dealt with comprehensively and not just left up to costly stockpiling by the state. Production areas, the distribution sector and general households must all cooperate.
備蓄も重要だ。コストのかかる国家備蓄だけでなく、生産地、流通、家庭などで総合的に取り組むべきだろう。

It is important for the farm ministry to promote agricultural reforms from a broad perspective, rather than merely acting as a representative of agricultural organizations.
 農水省は、農業団体の代弁者とならず、大局的観点から農業改革を進めることが重要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 13, 2012)
(2012年8月13日01時17分  読売新聞)

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2012年8月13日 (月)

ロンドン五輪 女子選手の活躍に励まされる

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 13, 2012)
Japan's female athletes inspire at London Olympics
ロンドン五輪 女子選手の活躍に励まされる(8月12日付・読売社説)

The excellent performances of Japan's female athletes have been particularly memorable at the London Olympic Games, which are now in their closing phase. Many people must have been cheered to see them competing boldly and fearlessly with strong, world-class opponents.
 最終盤を迎えたロンドン五輪で際立つのは、日本の女子選手の活躍である。世界の強豪を向こうに回しての堂々とした戦いぶりに、元気をもらった人も多いことだろう。

As of Friday, the 15th day of the Games, four of the five gold medals won by Japanese Olympians had gone to female competitors: three in wrestling and one in judo.
 大会15日目(10日)時点で日本選手が獲得した5個の金メダルのうち、4個までが女子によるものだ。レスリングで3個、柔道で1個を手にした。

"Amazing" is the word for wrestlers Kaori Icho and Saori Yoshida, who became the first Japanese women ever to win three straight Olympic golds. We express our heartfelt admiration for the great effort Icho and Yoshida made to maintain their top-level abilities after winning at the 2004 Athens Games.
 レスリングの伊調馨、吉田沙保里両選手の五輪3連覇は、見事の一言に尽きる。日本の女子では初の快挙だ。2004年のアテネ五輪から、世界トップの実力を維持してきた努力をたたえたい。

We were also moved by Hitomi Obara's life path on the way to capturing an Olympic gold medal in spite of her earlier decision to retire from wrestling.
 いったんは引退しながら、頂点を極めた小原日登美選手のこれまでの道のりも感動的だった。

Japanese wrestling has long addressed the task of nurturing strong female athletes by making the most of the know-how accumulated through training male wrestlers. Japan has taken part in all female wrestling world championships since the first competition in 1987.
 日本のレスリング界は、男子で培ったノウハウを生かし、早くから女子選手育成に取り組んだ。女子の世界選手権には1987年の第1回大会から出場している。

The dominant position of Japan's female wrestlers in the world today can be attributed to their efforts to strengthen themselves through years of rigorous international competition.
 長年、世界の舞台でもまれ、強化を積み重ねてきたことが、今日の地歩を築いたと言える。

===

Good in team contests, too

Women have performed outstandingly not only in individual events but also in team competitions at the London Olympics.
 個人種目だけでなく、チーム戦でも、女子の奮闘が目立つ。

The Nadeshiko Japan soccer team is certainly representative of the splendid achievements of Japan's female athletes.
 その代表格が、サッカーのなでしこジャパンだろう。

Even though they fell short of topping the world again after their World Cup triumph, they should of course be proud of winning the silver medal in London. Opponents from around the world had thoroughly studied Nadeshiko's style of play.
 昨年のワールドカップ(W杯)に続く世界一はならなかったが、各国が、なでしこのサッカーを研究し尽くしてきた中での銀メダルは、胸を張っていい。

Female athletes at the London Games have also impressed us with their superb performances in such team events as table tennis, archery, badminton doubles and volleyball.
 女子は、卓球団体、アーチェリー団体、バドミントンのダブルス、バレーボールなどでも、見事な戦いぶりを見せてくれた。

The medal-winning players showed their happiness and thanked the people who supported them.
 選手は「支えてくれた人たちのおかげ」と喜びを語った。

The Japanese Olympic Committee and related organizations should review the training programs under which athletes produced good results at the London Olympics, with the aim of utilizing the good elements in those programs to boost the abilities of athletes in other areas of competitions.
 日本オリンピック委員会(JOC)などは、好成績を残した競技の選手強化策を検証し、優れた点を他の競技のレベルアップに生かしていくことが必要だ。

===

Beef up training systems

Starting from this fiscal year, the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry has set up a team of staffers exclusively responsible for supporting female athletes' training and efforts to stay in good shape.
 文部科学省は、女子選手の体調管理やトレーニングを専門的にサポートする女性スタッフの整備を今年度から始めた。

This is based on a strategy aimed at beefing up the abilities of female athletes, as it is believed to be easier for Japan to win Olympic medals in women's sports because the number of athletes in women's events is smaller than in men's.
 各競技の選手層は、世界的にみて、男子より女子の方が薄く、女子の強化がメダル増に結び付きやすいという戦略からだ。

Effective support arrangements must be established by incorporating the wishes of athletes so Japanese female athletes can achieve even better results at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics four years from now.
 選手側の要望を採り入れながら、効果的な支援体制を築き、4年後のリオデジャネイロ五輪では、今回以上の女子選手の活躍につなげてもらいたい。

Many girls probably want to compete in the Olympic arena in the future after seeing the outstanding performance of Japan's female athletes at the London Games.
 躍動する女子選手の姿を見て、「私も将来、五輪でプレーしたい」と思った少女もいるのではないだろうか。

We would like the London Olympics to be a good opportunity to expand the scope of women's sports in Japan.
ロンドン五輪を、日本の女子スポーツのすそ野を一層、拡大させる契機にしたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 12, 2012)
(2012年8月12日01時36分  読売新聞)

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大統領竹島入り 日韓関係を悪化させる暴挙だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 13, 2012)
Lee's visit to Takeshima threatens Japan-S. Korea ties
大統領竹島入り 日韓関係を悪化させる暴挙だ(8月12日付・読売社説)

South Korean President Lee Myung Bak went ahead with a visit to the Takeshima islands in the Sea of Japan on Friday. The islets are part of Japan's sovereign territory but illegally occupied by South Korea.
 日本固有の領土で、韓国が不法占拠している竹島に、韓国の李明博大統領が上陸を強行した。

If a head of state visits an area of land whose sovereignty is also claimed by another country, the act can be considered provocative, as it blatantly disregards the other nation. It is inevitable that Lee's visit will erode the trust Japan and South Korea have built until now and cool bilateral relations.
 係争中の領土を一方の国家元首が踏めば、相手国を度外視した暴挙と言える。日韓関係も、これまで築いてきた信頼は損なわれ、冷却化は避けられない。

Soon after assuming the presidency, Lee focused on cultivating mature relations with Japan. He maintained a pragmatic, forward-looking stance and was dedicated to strengthening ties with his neighbor.
 李大統領は就任当初から「成熟した日韓関係」を重視してきた。実務的で未来志向が強く、日本との連携強化に熱心だった。

However, Lee spoiled his progressive reputation when he brought up the so-called comfort women issue again during talks with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in December last year. We cannot help but feel more disappointment over the South Korean president's latest indiscretion.
 だが、昨年12月の日韓首脳会談で従軍慰安婦問題を蒸し返し、高かった評価を帳消しにした。今回の大統領の短慮には、一層の失望を禁じ得ない。

===

Japan should take firm stance

As territorial issues pertain to state sovereignty, the government should not treat Lee's visit lightly.
 領土問題は国の主権に関わる。ゆるがせにしてはならない。

Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba summoned the South Korean ambassador to Japan to file a complaint on the matter and temporarily recalled Japanese Ambassador to Seoul Masatoshi Muto. He also made clear the government's intention to refer the Takeshima issue to the International Court of Justice at The Hague. These were natural diplomatic countermoves.
 玄葉外相が、韓国の駐日大使を呼んで強く抗議し、武藤駐韓大使を一時帰国させた上で、国際司法裁判所に提訴する方針を表明したのは、当然の外交的措置だ。

Noda expressed his strong disapproval of Lee's visit, describing it as "totally unacceptable" and saying the government would "resolutely respond" to the incident.
 野田首相も「到底受け入れることはできない」と不快感を示し、「毅然(きぜん)とした対応」をとる方針を表明した。

The question remains as to how effective the government's response can really be.
問題は、どこまで実効性のある対応をとれるかだ。

The Takeshima islets, known as Dokdo in South Korea, are a symbol of independence and patriotism for South Koreans. However, the country's past presidents--even Lee's predecessor Roh Moo Hyun, who was known for having made many anti-Japan remarks--did not visit the disputed islands out of consideration for Japan and to prevent bilateral relations from deteriorating.
 韓国が「独島」と呼ぶ竹島は、韓国人にとっては独立・愛国の象徴的な存在だ。だが、歴代大統領は、反日的な発言が目立った盧武鉉前大統領ですら、訪問は控えてきた。日本との関係悪化を避けるための配慮があったからだ。

Lee has now crossed the line. The president, in an apparent bid to regain popularity in his last days of presidency, pulled out the anti-Japan card. Lee's leadership has come into question recently as his brother and various close aides have been arrested or resigned from their posts over corruption and other scandals.
 その一線を李大統領は越えた。政権末期で、金銭疑惑などによる実兄や側近らの相次ぐ逮捕、辞任によって求心力が著しく低下する中、人気回復を図ろうと「反日カード」を切った側面があろう。

South Korea's ruling camp might have felt pressured to show hostility toward Japan because opposition parties have been displaying a more confrontational stance against the nation as South Korea's presidential election approaches in December.
 12月には大統領選が行われる。野党側が反日色を強める中、与党陣営で何らかの対応を迫られていた事情もあるのかもしれない。

===

Govt's leniency also to blame

Japan is also indirectly responsible for the incident. The Democratic Party of Japan-led government has been lenient in its diplomatic approach toward Russia over the disputed northern territories.
 だが、今回の事態を招いた遠因は、日本側にもある。民主党政権の対ロシア外交にみられる北方領土問題への対応の甘さだ。

The government was unable to prevent former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev from visiting Kunashiri Island, one of the four islets claimed by Japan, two years ago. It also failed to prevent his subsequent visit to the island in July after he became prime minister.
 2年前、当時の大統領だったメドベージェフ氏の国後島訪問を許した。今年7月には、首相となったメドベージェフ氏の再訪を防ぐことができなかった。

The government said it would take "appropriate steps" when Medvedev first visited the island. However, its later stance toward the issue failed to encourage Russia to exercise restraint.
 日本政府は「適切な対応をとる」と口にこそしたが、その後の展開はロシアの自制につながっていない。

It is only natural South Korea has exploited the fact that Japan's diplomatic relations with the United States and China have been faltering.
対米関係も対中関係も弱体化した日本が、韓国から足元を見られても不思議ではない。

It is also concerning that South Korea has been conducting military exercises near Takeshima in recent years. The government should monitor such developments to ensure they do not lead to the acceleration of the islands' position as a strategic military base, while also calling on Seoul to refrain from further provocations.
 懸念されるのは、韓国が竹島の周辺で近年、軍事訓練を行っていることだ。島の軍事化につながる動きなのか、注視するとともに、韓国には自制を強く求めたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 12, 2012)
(2012年8月12日01時36分  読売新聞)

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初歩の中国語(音声付き)

音声を吹き込んでみました^^。

HTMLファイル:
http://srachai.web.fc2.com/china/china_kaiwa_sound_2.htm

エクセルファイル:
http://srachai.web.fc2.com/china/china_kaiwa_sound_2.xls

スラチャイ

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2012年8月12日 (日)

一体改革法成立 財政健全化へ歴史的な一歩だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 12, 2012)
Tax bill passage historic step toward fiscal soundness
一体改革法成立 財政健全化へ歴史的な一歩だ(8月11日付・読売社説)

 ◆首相の「国益優先」を支持する◆

The nation has taken a historic step toward solving the long-standing task of rehabilitating its heavily indebted public finances.
 借金体質の国家財政を健全化するという長年の懸案の解決に向けて、歴史的な一歩である。

The Diet has enacted legislation to comprehensively reform the social security and tax systems, including a consumption tax hike. The bills were passed by the House of Councillors with support mainly from three parties--the Democratic Party of Japan, the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito.
 消費税率引き上げを柱とする社会保障・税一体改革関連法が参院本会議で、民主、自民、公明3党などの賛成多数で可決、成立した。

After more than 200 hours were spent on deliberations in both chambers of the Diet, the legislation was passed by an overwhelming majority of lawmakers. We regard the move highly and hope it will prove to be a turning point in the nation's stagnated politics.
 審議に200時間以上をかけ、圧倒的多数の賛成で成立させた。高く評価したい。先送りを続けてきた政治に転機をもたらすことを期待する。

===

3 parties share responsibility
 ◆消費増税に共同の責任◆

At a press conference following the enactment of the bills Friday, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda first referred to the DPJ's election manifesto, saying, "I'd like to deeply apologize that the [manifesto] did not mention consumption tax increases."
 野田首相は法成立後の記者会見の冒頭、民主党政権公約(マニフェスト)に言及し、「消費税引き上げを記載していなかったことを深くおわびしたい」と述べた。

The work to implement the reform, which imposes a burden on the public, has just started. The government needs to work sincerely to broaden public understanding of the need for the changes.
 国民に負担を求める改革は緒に就いたばかりだ。真摯(しんし)な姿勢で国民の理解を広げる必要がある。

With the legislation enacted, the consumption tax rate will be raised in two stages from the current 5 percent to 8 percent in April 2014 and then to 10 percent in October 2015.
 消費税率引き上げ法の成立によって、現行5%の税率は2014年4月に8%、15年10月に10%へと段階的に引き上げられる。

Before the tax rate is increased, elections will be held for both houses of the Diet.
 それまでに衆院選と参院選が確実に行われる。

The sales tax hike is expected to become a contentious issue in the elections. Even though the election results may lead to a change of government and tax-hike opponents may gain momentum, the three major parties should continue to share responsibility for doubling the consumption tax.
 消費増税の是非が争点になるだろう。選挙の結果、政権が代わり、反増税の勢力が台頭しようとも、民自公3党は「消費税10%」の実現まで責任を共有するべきである。

LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki has said the agreement reached by the three parties before the bills' enactment also covers economic measures intended to lay the groundwork for the tax increases.
 自民党の谷垣総裁は、3党合意には、消費税引き上げの環境を整えるための経済対策も含まれるとの見解を示している。

Amid growing instability of the world economy, the nation must prevent the value of its government bonds from nosediving. It is vital to boost the credibility of the bonds by drawing up a solid road map for restructuring public finances.
 世界経済が不安定さを増す中、日本の国債が暴落する事態は回避しなければならない。財政再建へ確かな道筋をつけ、国債の信認を高めていくことが肝要である。

The government is now expected to work out measures for low-income earners, which will be aimed at helping offset their burden from the tax increases, through year-end discussions on tax reform steps for fiscal 2013.
 増税に伴う低所得者対策については、年末の13年度税制改正に向けた議論で詰めることになる。

Reduced tax rates for certain items such as food should be introduced when the sales tax is raised to 8 percent. To protect the culture of printed matter and democracy, such measures should also be considered for newspapers and books.
 食料品などの消費税を低くする軽減税率は8%への引き上げ時に導入すべきだ。活字文化と民主主義を守るため、新聞や書籍への適用も検討しなければならない。

Meanwhile, progress is likely to be made in reform of the social security system. A comprehensive child-rearing support plan would aim to reconstruct current social security measures and reallocate budgetary spending that now disproportionately focuses on the elderly. This reallocation would allow every generation to benefit from spending. The pension system is also expected to be revamped significantly by such steps as making part-time workers eligible for employee pension plans.
 社会保障制度改革は、着実に前進する。総合的な子育て支援策は、高齢者向けに偏っている社会保障政策と財源を全世代型に再構築するものだ。年金制度も、パート労働者への厚生年金適用拡大など、懸案がかなり改善に向かう。

Opponents of the reform legislation who criticize "raising the tax before addressing social security system reform" are wide of the mark.
 「増税先行」の批判は当たらない。

To counter such criticism, the three parties must swiftly launch the planned national council for revamping the social security system to start nationwide discussion of the feasibility of mid- and long-term systemic changes in social security arrangements. Discussion of the advisability of cutting back on social welfare benefits to boost efficiency of social welfare services, a subject that was not discussed in the three-party talks, is a must.
3党は社会保障制度改革国民会議を速やかに発足させ、中長期的な制度改革の議論を始めるべきだ。今回見送った給付減などによる効率化も欠かせない。

===

Prize accord of party heads
 ◆党首会談合意を大事に◆

The resolve of Prime Minister Noda--who has said he will stake his political career on realizing the reform--made passage of the tax and social security legislation possible.
 極めて困難と見られた一体改革関連法が成立したのは、まず、野田首相が「政治生命を懸ける」覚悟で取り組んだからだ。

He finally reached a de facto agreement with LDP head Tanigaki on a "dissolution by mutual consent of the House of Representatives," although the timing of the dissolution was left vague in the three-party accord, which used the phrase "sometime soon."
最後は、「近いうちに」という曖昧な表現ながら、谷垣氏と事実上の「話し合い解散」でも合意した。

During debates about the reform legislation, the fact that the DPJ's policy pledges in the 2009 general election were pies in the sky became all the more obvious, and the party was split when the lower house passed the reform bills. Intraparty moves are also growing to oust Noda from the DPJ's top post.
 この間、民主党マニフェストの破綻が露(あら)わになり、法案の衆院通過時に党は分裂した。「野田降ろし」も表面化している。

By making such a big sacrifice, the prime minister has remained unfaltering in his decision to place priority on the national interest. This is admirable.
 首相は、大きな犠牲を払いながら、ぶれずに国益優先の判断を重ねた。その姿勢は評価できる。

When the reform bills were put to a vote in the upper house on Friday, six DPJ legislators voted against them. Noda should quickly take disciplinary steps against the six to strengthen his leadership as head of the ruling party.
 参院での法案採決時には民主党の6議員が反対票を投じた。速やかに処分すべきだ。党首としての指導力を強めることになろう。

Given that the Diet is divided, with the ruling camp lacking a majority in the upper house, the role played this time by the two major opposition parties--the LDP and Komeito--was significant.
 衆参ねじれ国会の下、自民、公明両党の役割は大きかった。

Tanigaki, as chief of the largest opposition party, made a weighty decision when he chose to cooperate with the government and the ruling coalition.
 谷垣氏は野党第1党党首として政府・与党に協力するという重い決断を下した。

Only Noda and Tanigaki could have realized the accord between the ruling and opposition blocs.
野田、谷垣両氏のコンビでなければ今回の合意は実現しなかっただろう。

The DPJ, LDP and Komeito should maintain their cooperation to move the nation's politics forward so the pile of political tasks remaining can be resolved by transcending barriers between the ruling and opposition camps.
 民自公3党は、日本の政治をさらに前に動かすために連携を維持し、与野党の垣根を超えて課題解決に取り組んでもらいたい。

===

Narrowing vote gap essential
 ◆格差是正が解散の前提◆

One problem in this connection is that DPJ Secretary General Azuma Koshiishi, referring to Noda's pledge to the LDP and Komeito that he would "seek the public's mandate sometime soon" by dissolving the lower house over the tax and social security reforms, has publically stated that the prime minister "does not have to stick to" his commitment.
 問題なのは、野田首相が自公両党に「近いうちに国民に信を問う」と、早期解散を約束したことに関し、輿石幹事長がこだわる必要はないと発言したことである。

Koshiishi has even said the three-party agreement would be nullified should the prime minister and Tanigaki fail to win reelection in their respective parties' presidential elections to be held in September.
 輿石氏は、首相や谷垣氏が9月に迎える党首選で再選されない場合には、3党合意は無効になるとの見方も示した。

Tanigaki was understandably enraged by Koshiishi's remarks, saying Koshiishi was "utterly ignorant of the basics of party politics and should be severely criticized," thus ratcheting up the LDP's confrontational stance against the DPJ.
 谷垣氏が、この発言に「政党政治が何たるかを心得ていない。厳しく糾弾しなければならない」と激怒し、民主党との対決姿勢を強めたのも無理はない。

Koshiishi's words and deeds, which are contrary to what the prime minister desires and also make light of the prime minister's promise with the LDP and Komeito, are outrageous.
 首相の意に沿わず、自公両党との合意を軽んじるかのような輿石氏の言動は目に余る。

To ensure an environment conducive to dissolving the lower chamber for a general election, it is indispensable to reform the electoral system.
 衆院解散・総選挙の環境を整えるには選挙制度改革が不可欠だ。

The Supreme Court has ruled that the current disparity in the weight of votes between the most and least represented electoral districts is "in a state of unconstitutionality."
最高裁は現在の「1票の格差」を「違憲状態」と判断している。

Should a lower house election be held without any measures to rectify the vote disparity because the legislature abdicates its duties, the judiciary could nullify the election results because they violate the Constitution.
 国会の怠慢で、格差是正措置を講じずに衆院選に踏み切れば、憲法違反として選挙無効の判決が出る可能性も否めない。

Under the circumstances, the DPJ, LDP and Komeito must act urgently to narrow the electoral disparity by first realizing plans to reduce the number of lower house single-seat constituencies by five.
 民自公3党は、小選挙区の「0増5減」を先行実施し、格差を是正することが急務である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 11, 2012)
(2012年8月11日01時22分  読売新聞)

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一体法案成立へ 首相の求心力回復が急務だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 11, 2012)
Noda must waste no time in restoring his leadership
一体法案成立へ 首相の求心力回復が急務だ(8月10日付・読売社説)

The turmoil in the Diet over the government-envisioned raising of the consumption tax rate has brought to the fore the fragility of the power base of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's administration. It is urgent for the prime minister to restore his leadership.
 消費税政局では、野田政権の基盤の脆(もろ)さが露呈した。首相にとっては求心力の回復が急務だ。

A set of bills for comprehensive reform of the tax and social security systems was set to pass the House of Councillors and become law, Friday.
 社会保障・税一体改革関連法案はきょう、参院で可決、成立する運びとなった。

This is because of an agreement reached Wednesday night between the heads of the Democratic Party of Japan and two major opposition parties, the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito, on the need for early enactment of the reform bills.
8日の民主、自民、公明3党党首会談で、法案の早期成立で合意したことによるものだ。

We welcome this development, in which a worst-case scenario was averted in an 11th-hour compromise to avoid scrapping the bills as a result of bickering among the three parties over when to dissolve the House of Representatives for a general election.
 衆院解散の時期をめぐる3党の駆け引きで成立目前の法案が葬られる、という最悪の事態を避けられたことは歓迎したい。

If the bills had been scrapped, domestic and overseas opinion of Japan's political system would have been irrevocably damaged. That would have triggered various negative repercussions, such as declines in the creditworthiness of Japanese government bonds.
 仮に法案が廃案になれば、日本の政治に対する内外の評価は決定的に悪化し、国債の信認の低下など様々な悪影響が出ただろう。

A major factor that enabled the last-ditch accord may be the fact that Noda and LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki, who have both served as finance minister, concurred on the urgent necessity of rehabilitating the government's debt-stricken finances.
 野田首相と自民党の谷垣総裁がともに財務相経験者で、財政健全化の緊急性で一致していたことが土壇場での合意を可能にした。

===

Both Noda, Tanigaki under fire

On the other hand, there is no denying that Noda and Tanigaki, each facing a party leadership election in September, are facing higher hurdles for reelection as their power bases within their respective parties have weakened because of the tripartite accord.
 一方で、両氏とも、9月に党首選を控える中、今回の合意で党内基盤が弱まり、再選のハードルが上がったのは否定できない。

The commitment Noda was driven to make to seek a mandate from the public by dissolving the lower house "sometime soon" after the Diet passes the bills has drawn fire from such intraparty groups as one headed by former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.
 首相は「近いうちに国民に信を問う」と約束させられたことで、鳩山グループなどの反発を招いた。谷垣氏も、今国会中の解散を首相に確約させられず、党内の主戦論者らに不満を残した。

Tanigaki, for his part, did not win assurance from the prime minister that the lower chamber would be dissolved during the current session of the legislature, which ends Sept. 8. As a result, hard-line LDP legislators who want an early dissolution of the lower house are dissatisfied with Tanigaki.
 首相は、谷垣氏との間では一定の信頼関係を築いたが、両氏の党内統治能力に疑問符が付けられる事態に陥っている。

Although the prime minister seems to have built up mutual trust with Tanigaki, the two men's abilities to steer their intraparty affairs have been called into question.
For example, the prime minister's lack of caution has been conspicuous, as exemplified by his careless remark regarding compilation of a state budget for next fiscal year, which provoked outrage from the LDP.
 首相自身、来年度予算編成をめぐる不用意発言で自民党の怒りを買うなど、脇の甘さが目立った。

To secure cooperation in Diet affairs under the divided legislature, in which the opposition controls the upper house while the ruling camp has a majority in the lower house, the prime minister must watch his step extremely carefully.
衆参ねじれ国会で野党の協力を得るには細心の注意が必要だ。

===

LDP holds bargaining chips

There are also other causes of conflict.
 ほかにも、火種はある。

When a no-confidence motion submitted to a plenary session of the lower house against the Noda Cabinet by six minor opposition parties such as People's Life First and the Japanese Communist Party was voted down Thursday, almost all LDP and Komeito lawmakers were absent or abstained from voting.
 国民の生活が第一、共産など野党6党が衆院に提出した野田内閣不信任決議案が否決された際、自民、公明両党は欠席・棄権した。

This was because the two parties were against the no-confidence motion but did not want to endorse the Noda administration by explicitly opposing it.
不信任案に賛成はできないが、反対して野田内閣を信任することも避けたいという思惑からだ。

The LDP has held such bargaining chips as submission of a censure motion against the prime minister, which it opted not to present this time, and blocking Diet approval of a government plan to issue deficit-covering bonds.
 自民党は、今回見送った問責決議案の提出や、特例公債法案の成立阻止という、政権を揺さぶるカードも手元に残している。

The DPJ and LDP also differ widely in their interpretation of the vague term "sometime soon" regarding dissolution of the lower house.
 「近いうち」の解散という玉虫色の合意をめぐる解釈も、民主、自民両党は大きく隔たっている。

While the LDP has persistently sought dissolution before the end of this Diet sitting, a great majority of the lower house members belonging to the DPJ are for holding a general election later than sooner, as the party's popularity ratings have been low.
自民党があくまで今国会での解散を求め続けているのに対し、支持率の低迷する民主党は、総選挙の先送りを望む声が大勢だ。

The different interpretations of "sometime soon" are expected to rise to the surface sooner or later, in the form of a demand from the LDP for early dissolution of the lower house, thus certainly intensifying the tug-of-war with the DPJ.
 解釈の違いはいずれ、自民党の早期解散要求という形で再び顕在化し、民主党との間で攻防が激しくなることが避けられまい。

Under these circumstances, Noda must swiftly redouble his efforts to consolidate the power base of his administration, to rack up specific achievements by addressing not only tax and social security reform but also other key pending political tasks.
 野田首相は、早急に政権の態勢を立て直すとともに、一体改革以外の重要課題にも取り組み、実績を重ねなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 10, 2012)
(2012年8月10日01時16分  読売新聞)

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2012年8月10日 (金)

発達障害判決 厳罰より支援の拡充が大切だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 10, 2012)
Court misjudged nature of developmental disorders
発達障害判決 厳罰より支援の拡充が大切だ(8月9日付・読売社説)

A recent ruling handed down by the Osaka District Court has made us wonder how well it understood the concept of developmental disorders in choosing such a severe punishment.
 発達障害の実情をどれだけ理解して厳罰を選択したのだろうか。

At a trial involving both lay and professional judges, a man in his 40s was sentenced to 20 years in prison for stabbing his elder sister to death--a penalty that exceeded the 16 years demanded by prosecutors.
 姉を刺殺した40歳代の男の裁判員裁判で、大阪地裁は、懲役16年の求刑を超える懲役20年の判決を言い渡した。

The court acknowledged that the defendant suffered Asperger's syndrome, a kind of developmental disorder, and handed down the maximum definite prison term for a murder charge.
被告を発達障害の一つのアスペルガー症候群と認定し、殺人罪の有期刑の上限を適用した。

"It is feared that the defendant would commit a crime again because society does not have institutions to deal with the disorder properly," the court said as one of the reasons for the sentence.
 「障害に対応できる受け皿が社会になく、再犯の恐れがある」というのが、判決の理由である。

"It is beneficial for society to place him in prison for the longest allowable period for the sake of maintaining social order," it added.
「許される限り長期間、刑務所に収容することが社会秩序の維持に資する」とも指摘した。

The defendant began confining himself to his home when he was a fifth-year primary school student. He believed his social withdrawal was caused by his sister and built up resentment against her, according to the ruling.
 被告は小学5年の頃から自宅に引きこもり、それを姉のせいだと思い込んで恨みを募らせた。

It is inexcusable that he stabbed to death his sister, who took care of him.
世話になった姉を刺殺するという犯行は、許されるものではない。

===

Ruling too simplistic

However, it is too simplistic for the district court to think that it should impose a heavy penalty on the defendant and place him in prison for an extended period just because of a disorder he suffers. The ruling could encourage prejudice against people with developmental disorders.
 だが、障害を理由に重い刑を科し、刑務所に長く収監しておこうという考えは、短絡に過ぎよう。障害者への偏見を助長しかねない判決と言える。

The defendant's disorder was discovered through a psychiatric examination conducted by prosecutors following the incident.
 被告の障害は事件後、検察側の精神鑑定で判明した。

People with Asperger's syndrome, believed to be caused by a congenital disorder in the brain, often find it difficult to develop interpersonal relationships. They also tend to have difficulty demonstrating empathy and expressing their own feelings. However, these characteristics are not directly linked to antisocial behavior.
 脳機能障害が原因とされるアスペルガー症候群の人は、対人関係の構築が難しい。相手の心情をくんだり、自分の内面を表現したりするのが苦手だが、反社会的行動に直接結びつくわけではない。

The ruling has made us doubt whether the professional judges involved in the trial took appropriate steps so the lay judges could properly understand what Asperger's syndrome is.
 裁判員に障害の特性を正しく理解してもらうために、裁判官は十分な対応をとったのか、首をかしげざるを得ない。

The ruling's conclusion that the defendant had not shown deep remorse for his act is also questionable. For people with Asperger's syndrome, it is difficult to express their profound remorse even if they do feel responsible for what they did. We wonder if the court made such a conclusion after fully examining the syndrome's characteristics.
 判決が「被告は十分な反省に至っていない」と断じた点にも疑問が残る。深く反省していても、それをうまく表現できないアスペルガー症候群の特性を慎重に検討したうえでの判断だったのか。

===

Contrary to social efforts

It is also puzzling that the ruling recognized that society has yet to properly deal with those with developmental disorders.
 障害者の「受け皿がない」という現状認識も、不可解だ。

Since 2005, when a law that aims to provide support for people suffering from these disorders was put into effect, support centers have opened nationwide to offer counseling. Support centers of another type have also been set up to provide assistance, such as job placement, to people with these disorders who have been released from prison to help them keep from reoffending.
 2005年の発達障害者支援法施行後、全国に支援センターが設置され、相談に応じている。刑務所を出た障害者らの再犯を防ぐため、就労支援などを行う施設も開設された。

The ruling could discourage such efforts to help them.
 こうした援助の動きにも水を差す判決と言えるだろう。

It is only natural that support groups for people with developmental disorders have criticized the ruling as being based on a misinterpretation of the facts and a lack of understanding of such disorders.
 障害者支援団体から「事実誤認と無理解に基づく判決」との批判が出ているのも、無理はない。

To rehabilitate people with developmental disorders who committed crimes, it is necessary for facilities related to welfare, medical services, education and labor to cooperate much more with each other to provide such offenders with better assistance in such areas as housing and jobs.
 罪を犯した障害者を立ち直らせるには、福祉、医療、教育、労働の各施設が地域で連携を強化し、住居や就労などの支援体制をさらに拡充することが必要だ。

We believe that prisons also should examine providing rehabilitation programs tailored for inmates with developmental disorders.
 刑務所においても、発達障害に対応した矯正プログラムなどの整備を検討すべきではないか。

It is crucial for society to better understand developmental disorders and offer holistic support to those who suffer from them, rather than imposing severe punishments on them.
 厳罰よりも、障害者への理解をさらに深め、社会全体で支えていく姿勢が何より大切である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 9, 2012)
(2012年8月9日01時28分  読売新聞)

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民自公党首合意 一体改革の再確認を評価する

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 10, 2012)
Parties should be commended for reaffirming integrated reform
民自公党首合意 一体改革の再確認を評価する(8月9日付・読売社説)

A crisis in the country's politics was narrowly averted. We commend the Democratic Party of Japan, the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito for acting sensibly in dealing with the recent political impasse.
 日本政治の危機は瀬戸際で回避された。民主、自民、公明3党の党首が良識をもって対処したことを評価したい。

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki and Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi agreed during a meeting Wednesday night to ensure the early passage of bills for integrated reform of the social security and tax systems, the main pillar of which is to raise the consumption tax rate. It is highly significant that the three parties united to realize "politics that do not put things off."
 野田首相と谷垣自民党総裁、山口公明党代表が8日夜会談し、消費税率引き上げを柱とする社会保障・税一体改革関連法案の早期成立を期すことで一致した。「先送りしない政治」の実現を目指して3党が結束したことは、大きな意義がある。

Regarding an assurance that the House of Representatives will be dissolved, which the LDP demanded Noda give, it was agreed during the meeting that the prime minister "will seek the people's mandate sometime soon" after the Diet passes the bills. Tanigaki said after the meeting, "'Sometime soon' is a heavy term."
 党首会談では、自民党が首相に要求していた「衆院解散の確約」について、法案成立後、「近いうちに国民に信を問う」ことで落ち着いた。谷垣氏は「『近いうち』とは重い言葉だ」と語った。

It is an ambiguous expression and can be interpreted various ways, but the DPJ and LDP compromised at the last minute.
 玉虫色の表現であり、様々な解釈が可能だろうが、民主、自民両党がぎりぎりで歩み寄った。

===

Specific timing difficult

The agreement is reasonable. The right to dissolve the lower house is solely in the hands of the prime minister and it is difficult to present specific timing in advance. Many within the DPJ oppose dissolving the lower house at an early date, so Noda was unable to be more specific regarding timing.
 妥当な合意である。衆院解散は首相の専権事項であり、事前に具体的に明示することは難しい。民主党内では早期解散反対論が大勢で、首相にはこれ以上踏み込めないという事情もあった。

Tanigaki, meanwhile, laid down his arms at the last minute in keeping with the wishes of veteran LDP lawmakers who feel it would be irresponsible politics not to maintain the three-party agreement on the bills. Also, heart-to-heart talks with Noda seem to have encouraged Tanigaki to make the decision.
 谷垣氏は、土壇場で矛を収めた。「3党合意を守れなければ、責任ある政治ではない」とするベテラン議員らの意向があった。首相との腹を割った話し合いも決断を後押ししたようだ。

Both Noda and Tanigaki have, in their respective parties, groups opposing both integrated reform and their reelection as party leader. It is praiseworthy that Noda and Tanigaki affirmed they will carry out reform while their power bases are weakening.
 野田首相、谷垣氏とも、党内に一体改革や党首再選に反対する勢力を抱えている。権力基盤が弱体化している中、改革実現を改めて確認したことは評価できる。

Yamaguchi has called on the LDP to exercise self-restraint, consistently maintaining that motions such as a no-confidence motion against the Cabinet should not be submitted until the bills are enacted.
 山口氏は、「法案が成立するまでは内閣不信任決議案などを出すべきではない」と一貫して主張し、自民党に自制を促した。

Yamaguchi also said the agreement between the three parties on Wednesday "gave due consideration to the possible impact at home and abroad, and proved that [the nation's] politics is functioning." Komeito showed its dignity as a party that was in power for years.
 「内外への影響を配慮し、政治が機能することを示した」と語ったが、長年政権を担った政党としての矜持(きょうじ)を示したと言えよう。

===

Motions likely to be defeated

As the DPJ, the LDP and Komeito agreed on the early passage of the integrated reform bills, a no-confidence motion against the Cabinet and a censure motion against Noda submitted by small and midsize parties, including People's Life First and the Japanese Communist Party, are expected to be voted down.
 民自公3党が法案の早期成立で一致したことで、国民の生活が第一や共産党など中小野党が提出した内閣不信任案、首相問責決議案は否決される見通しだ。

Noda expressed his appreciation to the LDP and Komeito, saying the decision by the two parties not to submit no-confidence and censure motions was weighty. The three parties should firmly maintain the unity they have reaffirmed.
 野田首相は、内閣不信任決議案などを提出しないという自公両党の決断は重いと述べ、両党に謝意を表した。再確認した3党の結束を今後も堅持してもらいたい。

The DPJ leadership should engage in serious self-reflection for having caused the recent turmoil. Although Noda vowed to stake his political life on passing the bills during the current Diet session, DPJ Secretary General Azuma Koshiishi and other party executives have cast a chill over his efforts.
 民主党執行部は、こうした事態を引き起こしたことを猛省すべきである。首相が今国会での法案成立に政治生命をかけると明言しているのに、輿石幹事長らは水を差してきた。

Noda, though suffering from a low approval rating, is trying to realize the consumption tax hike and seek a mandate from the people. He should be faithful to his beliefs and not be daunted by interference from inside and outside the party.
 野田首相は、低支持率にあえぎながらも、消費増税を実現し、国民に信を問おうとしている。党内外の妨害にひるむことなく、その信念を貫くべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 9, 2012)
(2012年8月9日01時28分  読売新聞)

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2012年8月 9日 (木)

インド大停電 安定成長が懸念される事態だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 9, 2012)
Blackout generates fears about India's stable growth
インド大停電 安定成長が懸念される事態だ(8月8日付・読売社説)

The world's worst power outage blacked out almost the entire northern half of India in late July.
 インド北部を中心に7月末、世界最大規模の大停電が発生し、国土のほぼ北半分に当たる広い地域で送電が止まった。

About 600 million people--half of the country's population--were affected by the suspension of subway and railway services, water supply operations and industrial elevators at coal mines. The blackout can be said to illustrate the fragility of the economic foundation of India, a leading newly emerging economy.
 地下鉄や鉄道の運休、給水設備や炭鉱の作業用エレベーターの停止などで、人口の半数の約6億人が影響を受けたとされる。新興国を代表するインドの経済基盤の脆弱(ぜいじゃく)さを浮き彫りにしたと言えよう。

The Indian government has set up an investigation panel, as the direct cause of the blackout has not yet been determined. Efforts must be made to prevent a recurrence of such a massive blackout.
 大停電の直接の原因は今なお、はっきりしていない。インド政府は調査委員会を設置した。徹底的に原因を究明し、再発防止に努めてもらいたい。

With the high growth of its economy, India's demand for power has increased sharply. It is extremely difficult for power plants and grid systems to be expanded fast enough to keep up with the economic pace. This is the real face of India.
 高度経済成長に伴って電力需要が急増し、発電所や送電網などの整備が追いついていない。それがインドの現状である。

Construction of additional coal-fired thermal power plants, which account for more than half of India's total generation capacity, will not solve this problem because coal supplies will remain insufficient even if domestic production is increased. Relying on coal imports is difficult because it is costly.
 総発電能力の半分以上を占める石炭火力発電の場合、いくら設備を増設しても、肝心の燃料である石炭は、国内産の増産が間に合わず、外国産は高価で輸入が難しい、という事情もある。

===

Grid system inefficient

In addition to electricity leakage due to deteriorating grid systems, such factors as "power theft" by the poor, who siphon off electricity to avoid paying bills, tend to make power transmission inefficient.
 送電網の老朽化による漏電のほか、貧困層が料金を支払わずに勝手に電気を使う「盗電」など送電効率が悪いことも問題だ。

To stabilize energy supplies, the Indian government plans to increase the percentage of nuclear power generation, which currently accounts for a mere 2 percent, to 25 percent by 2050. However, it will not be easy to achieve this goal because of antinuclear power movements.
 インド政府は、エネルギーの安定供給を目指し、総発電能力の約2%に過ぎない原子力発電を2050年までに25%に拡大する計画だ。しかし、反原発運動もあり、目標達成は容易ではない。

If India is to continue to grow stably, it will be indispensable to promote the construction of nuclear and thermal power plants, expand grids and other energy infrastructure and improve the environment to invest in various projects.
 インドが安定成長を続けるには、何よりも、原発や火力発電所、送電網などのインフラ整備を着実に進め、投資環境を改善することが欠かせない。

===

Possible worldwide effect

Companies from Japan, Europe, the United States and elsewhere have set up production centers in India. If major blackouts occur frequently in that country, it will affect the world economy in a way similar to that caused by the massive flooding in Thailand last year.
 インドには、日米欧など外国企業の生産拠点が集中している。大規模な停電が度々起きれば、昨年のタイの大洪水と同様、世界経済全体に影響が及ぶだろう。

Many Japanese companies operating in India have their own generators, so their manufacturing operations were not affected greatly by the blackout. However, they need to adopt stronger measures to prepare for possible prolonged power outages.
 インドに進出した多くの日系企業の工場は自家発電装置を備えており、今回、生産活動に大きな影響はなかったという。停電の長期化に備え、さらに停電対策を強化する必要があろう。

India belongs to BRICS, a club of five newly emerging economies that include China and Brazil. As India's market is expanding rapidly, Japan's investment there is likely to expand. However, it must work out a strategy that includes possible infrastructure risks.
 中国やブラジルなどと新興5か国(BRICS)の一角を占め、急成長するインド市場をにらみ、日本の投資は今後も拡大する見通しだ。ただ、これまで以上にインフラ面でのリスクを念頭に置いた戦略を練ることが重要だ。

The Japanese government should help India expand its power plants and grid systems through official development assistance.
 日本政府は、政府開発援助(ODA)を通じて、インドの発電所や送電網の整備にも協力を強化すべきである。

As Japan is reexamining its energy policy, India's massive blackout could provide this country with a valuable lesson. We have to recognize anew that stable power supplies are of utmost importance.
 インドの大停電は、エネルギー政策の見直しに取り組む日本の教訓となろう。電力の安定供給の重要性を再認識せねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 8, 2012)
(2012年8月8日01時32分  読売新聞)

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内閣不信任案 一体改革を党利党略で弄ぶな

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 9, 2012)
Reform bills shouldn't be exploited as political tool
内閣不信任案 一体改革を党利党略で弄ぶな(8月8日付・読売社説)

The integrated reform of the social security and tax systems is a vital issue that will determine this nation's future. We cannot allow ruling or opposition parties to toy with these matters for the sake of their own interests or political maneuvering.
 社会保障と税の一体改革は、日本の将来を左右する重要案件だ。与野党が党利党略で弄ぶことがあってはならない。

Several minor opposition parties, including the People's Life First, the Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party, have submitted a joint no-confidence motion against the Cabinet of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to the House of Representatives and a censure motion against Noda to the House of Councillors.
 国民の生活が第一、共産、社民などの中小野党が、衆院に野田内閣不信任決議案を、参院に野田首相問責決議案を、それぞれ共同提出した。

In opposing the proposed increase in the consumption tax rate, these parties argue that a tax hike would be a breach of the Democratic Party of Japan's election manifesto and that the Noda Cabinet can therefore not be trusted.
 消費税率引き上げに反対する立場から、「消費増税は民主党の政権公約違反であり、野田内閣は信任できない」と主張している。

We urge the three parties that have reached an agreement on revised bills for the integrated reform--the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and the opposition Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito--to duly vote down the no-confidence and censure motions.
 一体改革関連法案に修正合意した民主、自民、公明の3党は、不信任案と問責決議案を粛々と否決すべきである。

===

LDP position problematic

However, the wrench in the works is an LDP reaffirmation of its hard-line plan to submit its own no-confidence motion against the Noda Cabinet and a censure motion against the prime minister, unless Noda promises to dissolve the lower house soon for a snap election. The LDP following through on their pledge could push the three-party agreement to the brink of collapse.
 問題なのは、自民党が、野田首相から衆院解散の確約が得られない限り、内閣不信任案や問責決議案を独自に提出する、という強硬姿勢を再確認したことだ。自民党が提出に踏み切れば、3党合意は崩壊の危機に直面する。

Any no-confidence motion is certain to be voted down in the lower house, but a censure motion could easily pass the upper house. A censure motion, although not legally binding, could lead to a boycott by opposition parties of upper house deliberations on the reform bills, making passage of the bills extremely difficult.
 衆院で不信任案は否決される見通しだが、参院では問責決議案が可決される公算が大きい。法的拘束力はないが、野党が参院審議を拒否すれば、一体改革法案の成立が極めて困難になる。

We consider it to be the pinnacle of stupidity to push the reform plans back to the drawing board, just when they are on the brink of realization. The resulting logjam would also negatively impact other serious issues, such as leaving personnel appointments for a nuclear regulatory commission to be launched in September up in the air.
 実現目前の一体改革を白紙に戻すのは、愚の骨頂である。さらに、9月に発足する予定の原子力規制委員会の人事も宙に浮くなど、多大な悪影響が出るだろう。

Considering the recent political stalemate with the Diet divided between the ruling camp-controlled lower house and an opposition-controlled upper house, the three-party agreement on the reform bills was seen as a major step toward returning to a political climate where decisions can be made. If the agreement collapses and the reform bills fail to pass, public opinion of existing political parties could nose-dive.
 衆参ねじれ国会で政治が停滞する中、一体改革の3党合意は「決められる政治」に立ち返る一歩となるはずだった。合意が崩れ、法案が成立しなければ、既成政党への国民の評価は失墜しよう。

We see the LDP's willingness to seek an early dissolution of the lower house, even if it sacrifices the integrated reform, as incredibly selfish.
 一体改革を犠牲にすることも辞さずに、早期解散を求める自民党の姿勢は、身勝手すぎる。

===

Promises must be kept

Some political observers believe LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki is insisting on a lower house dissolution during the current Diet session because without one, he will face a difficult reelection fight in his party's leadership race in September.
 谷垣総裁が今国会での解散に固執していることにも、それが実現できなければ、9月の総裁選で自らの再選が困難になるためではないか、との見方が出ている。

The LDP is completely unjustified in preparing to submit a censure motion against Noda without regard to the party's agreement to hold a vote on the reform bills at a Wednesday session of an upper house special committee, as was proposed by the DPJ.
 自民党が参院特別委員会での8日採決の日程に同意しながら、問責決議案の提出の用意をしているのは、筋が通らない。

The three parties' agreement stipulates that they intend to pass reform legislation during the current Diet session. The DPJ's administration of the Diet has been somewhat problematic. Nevertheless, if the LDP unilaterally goes ahead with its plan, it could render any agreement between political parties invalid and wreck mutual trust between them.
 3党合意は、一体改革法案について「今国会で成立を図る」と明記している。民主党の国会運営に問題があったにせよ、自民党が一方的に反故(ほご)にするなら、政党間の合意や信頼は成り立たない。

Even if the LDP returns to power through a snap election, how could it expect opposition parties to cooperate on raising the consumption tax?
 仮に自民党が政権に復帰した場合、消費増税について野党の協力を一体どう得るつもりなのか。

We applaud Komeito's drawing a line in the sand with the LDP, insisting that passage of reform legislation should be prioritized and not used as a tool in political power struggles. We urge Komeito to stick to its position.
 公明党が「一体改革を政局の道具にすべきでない」として自民党と一線を画し、法案成立を優先しているのは、妥当な姿勢だ。今の方針を堅持してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 8, 2012)
(2012年8月8日01時41分  読売新聞)

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スマートフォンの開発を徳島で

スカンジナビア半島に本社のある有名な携帯電話の大手は携帯電話を世界に普及させた元祖ですが、更なる技

術開発を怠ったために世界の檜舞台から落ちてしまいました。

現在はスマホ、iPhoneの時代です。
日本は世界でトップレベルの技術力があるにもかかわらず、販売戦略が貧弱なのではないでしょうか。
これから、スマホの市場はどんどん右肩上がりで延びて行きます。
官民一体で開発を進めるべきだと考えました。

歴史的な円高、長引く不況、低迷する雇用情勢など、暗い話題にことかかない日本ですが、ここはスマホ開発で

一発大逆転してみたいものですね。IT産業は、これから当分の間上り坂なのです。
大いに期待できます。

徳島で学生時代にクラッシクギターのコンクールに出場した経験がございます。
阿波踊りの真っ最中でした。素敵な街並みに魅了された思い出があります。

スマートフォンの開発を徳島で行うというのも素敵なアイデアだと思います。

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2012年8月 8日 (水)

一体改革法案 党首会談で事態を打開せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 8, 2012)
DPJ-LDP talks needed to end Diet impasse
一体改革法案 党首会談で事態を打開せよ(8月7日付・読売社説)

The prospects for passage of bills for integrated reform of the social security and tax systems through the Diet are doubtful.
 社会保障・税一体改革関連法案の成立が危ぶまれる状況である。

This is because of the high-handed attitude of the Liberal Democratic Party, which refuses to help enact the bills unless Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda gives assurance he will dissolve the House of Representatives for a general election immediately after the bills are passed.
 自民党が、野田首相から衆院解散の確約を得られなければ法案の成立を認めない、という強硬路線へ強引に舵(かじ)を切ったからだ。

The lower house passed the bills after some modifications following a three-party agreement among the Democratic Party of Japan, the LDP and New Komeito that the bills were needed to rehabilitate the government's finances.
 民主、自民、公明3党が財政再建の重要性を確認し、修正合意の末に衆院を通過させた法案だ。

It is intolerable for the LDP to treat the three-party accord so lightly at this late date. The bills must be enacted swiftly through a vote in the House of Councillors.
今になって蔑(ないがし)ろにすることは到底許されない。参院で速やかに採決し、成立させるのが筋である。

"To accomplish the task of carrying out the integrated reform, we should seek a public mandate to rebuild momentum," LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki said.
 自民党の谷垣総裁は「一体改革を成し遂げるには国民に信を問い、態勢を立て直すことが必要だ」と述べた。

He indicated that if the LDP's demand for dissolution of the lower chamber was not met, the party would submit a no-confidence motion against the Cabinet or a censure motion against the prime minister as early as Tuesday.
解散要求が通らない場合、内閣不信任決議案や首相問責決議案を7日にも提出する。

===

Public won't understand

The LDP is using a tactic in which it holds the reform bills--the national interest--hostage as it is making support for them contingent on the prime minister pledging to dissolve the lower house.
 法案成立と引き換えに早期の衆院選に持ち込もうとするのは、一体改革という国益を“人質”に取るような手法ではないか。

Should a censure motion against Noda or a no-confidence motion against his administration be submitted, the Diet would almost certainly be thrown into turmoil and the bills would face the danger of being scrapped.
 問責決議案や内閣不信任案が出されれば、国会は混乱し、法案は廃案になりかねない。

Besides the disintegration of the three-party agreement, confidence in Japan's political system would evaporate both at home and abroad.
 その場合、3党合意の瓦解どころか、日本の政治そのものが内外の信用を失うだろう。

In a comment on the LDP's hard-line stance, Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi quite reasonably pointed out that the largest opposition party should be "more circumspect about what consequences would ensue."
 自民党の強硬姿勢について、公明党の山口代表が「どういう結果を招くか、慎重に考えるべきだ」と指摘したのはもっともだ。

The LDP's stance is hardly likely to gain the understanding of most people.
多くの国民の理解は得られまい。

The party must think carefully about the wisdom of submitting a no-confidence motion against the Cabinet. And the idea of using a censure motion, which has no binding power under the Constitution, as a means of toppling an administration would set a bad precedent in the nation's politics.
 自民党は内閣不信任案の提出を再考すべきだ。法的拘束力のない問責決議案を倒閣に使うのも悪(あ)しき前例を残すことになる。

"The three-party agreement is highly important, and I'm determined to do my utmost to enact the bills," Noda said.
 野田首相は、「3党合意は大変重たい。法案を成立させることに全力を尽くす」と語った。

If he really wants to maintain his resolve, the prime minister will have no other recourse but to try to break the impasse through face-to-face talks with Tanigaki.
それなら、谷垣氏との会談で事態の打開を図るしかないだろう。

One major factor behind the current imbroglio is the lack of sincerity on the part of the prime minister and other DPJ executives.
 そもそも、こうした状況を招いた一因は、首相と民主党執行部の不誠実さにある。

===

DPJ move belated

In his talks with Nobuaki Koga, president of the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo), Noda expressed his desire to stay in office for the compilation of next fiscal year's state budget. This struck a nerve in the LDP, which wants the lower house dissolved soon after the passage of the tax and security reform bills.
 首相は、連合の古賀伸明会長との会談で来年度予算編成に意欲を示し、法案成立後の解散を求める自民党の神経を逆なでした。

The DPJ leadership has been cautious about agreeing on an early vote on the bills for fear that a number of legislators could bolt the party.
 民主党執行部は、離党者がさらに出ることを恐れ、法案の早期採決には及び腰だった。

It earlier called for a vote on Aug. 20, arguing that the bills should be voted on at the same time as votes on bills to enable the government to issue deficit-covering bonds and for lower house electoral system reform to rectify the disparity in the weight of votes between the most and least represented constituencies.
当初、赤字国債発行を可能とする特例公債法案の成立や衆院選挙制度の「1票の格差」是正との同時決着を主張し、20日の採決を唱えていた。

Although all this legislation is important, the DPJ's argument can only be seen as a pretext for putting off a vote on the social security and tax reform bills.
 これらが大事なのは言うまでもないが、一体改革関連法案の参院採決を先送りする口実ではないか、と疑われても仕方がない。

The DPJ has finally changed its stance, as it is now making overtures to the LDP to have the relevant committees vote on the tax and social security bills on Wednesday. There can be no denying the DPJ's move is belated.
 ようやく民主党は自民党に8日の委員会採決を提案したが、対応が後手に回ったのは確かだ。

One thing must not happen: The DPJ-LDP brawling and bickering must not lead to scrapping of the reform bills.
 民主、自民両党の駆け引きの揚げ句に、法案を葬り去ることだけは回避しなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 7, 2012)
(2012年8月7日01時52分  読売新聞)

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東電事故映像 条件付き情報公開は不信招く

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 8, 2012)
Restricted public disclosure invites public distrust
東電事故映像 条件付き情報公開は不信招く(8月7日付・読売社説)

Tokyo Electric Power Co. has at long last made public, albeit partially, video images of in-house teleconferences held during the crisis at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant to discuss countermeasures.
 東京電力は、福島第一原子力発電所事故後の対応を記録した社内テレビ会議の映像を、ようやく部分公開した。

The video footage is valuable data for evaluating the crisis management capabilities of the government and the utility.
 映像記録は、政府や東電の危機管理能力を検証する上で貴重な資料である。

But the publicized images were limited to about 150 hours of teleconferences held from March 11, 2011--when the crisis began--to March 16. Such partial disclosure will only feed suspicion that the utility is covering up crucial information.
 だが、公開されたのは事故が発生した昨年3月11日から16日までの約150時間分に過ぎない。ごく一部の映像では、情報を隠しているとの不信を招くだろう。

TEPCO discussed countermeasures against the crisis through the teleconference system linking its head office in Tokyo with the Fukushima Nos. 1 and 2 nuclear power plants, among other locations.
 東電は事故当時、東京都内の本店と、第一原発、第二原発などを結んだテレビ会議システムで対応を協議していた。

A tense atmosphere can be perceived in the disclosed images. When a hydrogen explosion occurred at the No. 1 reactor of the No. 1 plant, images are shown jiggling. At the time of an explosion at the No. 3 reactor of the same plant, multiple voices can be heard exclaiming, "Taihen desu!" (This is terrible!)
 公開された映像からは、緊迫した状況が見て取れる。第一原発1号機が水素爆発した瞬間、衝撃で映像が小刻みに揺れている。3号機の爆発では「大変です」といった声が飛び交った。

There is also an image of then Prime Minister Naoto Kan at TEPCO's head office, behaving as if issuing orders while waving his arms. However, this scene has no audio because the recording capacity had run out.
 記録装置の容量を超えたため、音声はないが、菅前首相が東電本店に乗り込み、腕を振りながら指示しているような場面もある。

===

A choke hold on information

A problematic point is that the utility is disclosing the images in a way that too tightly controls news gathering and reporting by the media.
 問題なのは、映像公開にあたり、東電が取材・報道を過剰に規制していることだ。

Originally, TEPCO planned to allow reporters only five days to view the images and grant access to only one reporter per media company.
 当初、視聴期間はわずか5日間で、生の映像を視聴できる記者も各社1人に限定した。

Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano directed the utility to contemplate improved measures. As a result, the viewing period was extended to about one month. Nevertheless, the recording of live images and voices from the footage is still banned. Nor is reporting of individual names allowed, except for some TEPCO executives.
 枝野経済産業相が改善を指示した結果、視聴期間は約1か月間に延長された。それでも、生の映像の録音・録画は禁止したままで、一部の幹部以外は個人名の報道も認めていない。

The utility even threatens to exclude any media companies that refuse to comply with these terms from attending its news conferences in the future.
 条件に従わなければ、今後の記者会見への出席を認めない「制裁」までちらつかせている。

These regulations could infringe on the freedom of news gathering and reporting. The utility must rescind them immediately.
 こうした規制は取材・報道の自由を侵しかねない。東電は直ちに撤回すべきだ。

As a reason for the delay in disclosing the images and the restrictions set on reporting them, TEPCO asserted that it was designed "to protect the privacy of rank-and-file company employees shown in some images."
 東電は、映像の公開が遅れた上に、一連の規制を設けた理由について、「映像には一般社員が映っており、プライバシーを保護するため」と主張している。

===

TEPCO highly accountable

But it is self-evident that media organizations give the utmost consideration to privacy in their reporting.
 だが、報道機関が報じる際には、プライバシーに最大限、配慮するのは自明のことである。

The utility is responsible for preserving all records concerning the crisis and disclosing them for the benefit of evaluation.
 東電は、事故に関連する全記録を保全し、検証のため、内外に公開する責務がある。

As TEPCO has been virtually nationalized for the reorganization of its management, the utility must remember that it is highly accountable to the people.
 経営再建に向けて国有化された企業であり、国民に対する高度な説明責任が課せられていることを忘れてはならない。

The Japan Newspaper Publishers and Editors Association has filed a request with the utility for free coverage, saying, "The disclosure of the images is highly significant and of great public interest."
 日本新聞協会は「映像の公開は公共性・公益性が高い」とし、自由な取材を申し入れている。

TEPCO recorded images of teleconferences held later than those disclosed this time and submitted them to nuclear crisis investigation panels of the Diet and the government. It should study further public disclosure.
 東電は、今回公開された以降の映像も記録しており、国会や政府の事故調査委員会には提供した。さらに踏み込んだ情報公開を検討すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 7, 2012)
(2012年8月7日01時52分  読売新聞)

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技術の日本、アイフォンのアプリ開発で景気回復、雇傭情勢改善

世はまさにスマホ、アイフォンの時代です。
4人の若者たちで1人の老人を支える騎馬式社会保障から、1人で1人を支える肩車式保障へと時代は激しく流れていますが、スマホ、アイフォンについては一家に一台から、一人一台へと大きく移り変わりつつあります。

スマホ、アイフォンはアプリがなければただの携帯電話です。
爆発的な流行の影には、実はアプリの働きがあったのですね。
そんな訳ですから、アイフォンのアプリ開発というのは将来にかけて極めて有望な職種ということが出来ます。

技術の日本ですから、アイフォンのアプリ開発で景気回復を果たし、雇傭情勢を改善出来るかも知れませんね。
来春大学を卒業予定のエンジニアのたまごたちには、IT産業に飛び込んで欲しいです。
そして、目の覚めるようなアプリを開発して欲しいですね。

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2012年8月 7日 (火)

多重債務状態に陥った人はローンをひとつにまとめて1本化する方法でしのげます

私はアメリカ支社で勤務した経験があります。
アメリカの社会というのはクレジット(信用)重視の社会と言うことが出来ます。
日本のように1社のクレジット会社重視ではなくて、数社のクレジットカードを持っているのが普通なのです。

彼らは借金が返済不能になるとクレジットを失うといった表現を英語でいたしますが、その状態では生きて行けなくなります。通常数社に渡る複数のクレジット会社を上手に使い回して、失業時に生き残りをかけるわけです。アメリカではクレジットを失うということは命にかかわることなのです。

幸い日本では、ローンの返済に行き詰まり、多重債務に陥った人に対し、それらの借金をひとまとめで引き受けてくれる会社が存在いたします。この種の会社は頼りになります。多重債務を1本化するメリットは、それで毎月生活できるようになることなのです。但し、お支払いの期間は2倍とか3倍に伸びるのが通常です。それでも、この手法でなんとか平和な家庭生活を取り戻せるのはとてもありがたいことなのです。

お幸せに!

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体育活動の事故 安全対策徹底し子供の命守れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 7, 2012)
Ensure children's safety in school PE activities
体育活動の事故 安全対策徹底し子供の命守れ(8月6日付・読売社説)

There seems to be no end to the tragic loss of children's lives in physical education activities at school.
 学校の体育活動で、子供の命が失われる悲劇が後を絶たない。

Over a 12-year period ending in fiscal 2009, 470 students lost their lives due to accidents during PE or club activities. In the same period, 120 students suffered injuries that resulted in serious disabilities, according to a report compiled by a panel of experts at the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry.
 文部科学省の有識者会議がまとめた報告書によると、2009年度までの12年間に、体育の授業や部活動の事故で死亡した児童・生徒は470人、重度の障害を負った子も120人を数えた。

The number of these incidents has been declining, but accidents leading to fatal injuries of children must not be allowed to happen at all at school, a place where children should be safe. It is only reasonable that the panel in its report made a renewed call to schools to reexamine their safety measures.
 こうした事故の件数そのものは減少傾向にある。だが、本来、学校は安全な場であり、子供の生命にかかわる事故が起きることはあってはならない。報告書が改めて、安全対策の再点検を学校現場に求めたのは当然のことだ。

Sudden deaths account for more than 70 percent of fatal incidents involving students at schools, particularly in such sports as basketball and running. Most reported sudden deaths occurred when students collapsed during long-distance runs or relays and suffered cardiac arrest.
 死亡事故の7割以上を占めるのが突然死だ。陸上競技やバスケットボールなどで目立つ。持久走やリレーの練習中に倒れ、心肺停止になる例が報告されている。

===

Previous illnesses a factor

Twenty percent of children who died suddenly reportedly had illnesses such as heart disease. If instructors had paid extra attention to such students, fatal incidents could have been avoided.
 突然死した子の2割は心臓疾患などの既往症があった。指導者が注意していれば、事故を防げた可能性がある。

It is important for teachers, parents and family doctors to cooperate to grasp the health condition of children.
教師や保護者、主治医が連携し、子供の健康状態を把握しておくことが重要である。

Countermeasures against heatstroke are also necessary.
 熱中症対策も忘れてはならない。

Due to scorching heat this summer, many students have collapsed during their club activities in the summer recess. To prevent such incidents, it is essential to have students take in an adequate amount of water and salt and take breaks. On extremely hot days, vigorous exercise should be avoided.
今年は猛暑で、夏休みの部活動中に生徒が倒れるケースが相次いでいる。水分や塩分の補給、適度な休憩、さらに、猛暑の日は激しい運動を控えるようにするなど、予防措置が欠かせない。

The report also referred to the danger of brain damage. In particular, such sports as judo and rugby--in which players often come into violent contact with each other--are risky. A shock to the head can tear a vein between the skull and the brain, resulting in a hemorrhage.
 報告書は脳損傷の危険にも言及している。生徒同士が体を接触させる柔道やラグビーなどのスポーツでは、特に危険を伴う。頭部が激しく揺さぶられると、頭蓋骨と脳との間にずれが生じ、静脈が破断することもあるという。

It is important for instructors to acquire adequate medical knowledge and promptly seek an examination at medical institutions if they see any abnormal changes in their students.
 指導者は、必要な医学知識を習得し、生徒に少しでも異変があれば、すぐに医療機関に診断を求めることが大切だ。

===

Martial arts required

From this fiscal year, students will be required to study a martial art as part of PE classes at middle school, with 64 percent of the nation's schools opting for judo. Many of these schools will launch their martial arts class this autumn or later. Female students are also required to take martial arts classes. Extreme attention must be paid to implementing proper safety measures.
 今年度から中学の体育で武道が必修化され、全国の学校の64%が柔道を選択した。その多くが秋以降に授業を開始する。女子も対象になる。安全対策に細心の注意が必要である。

The number of serious injuries and deaths among first-year middle and high school students during judo club activities is particularly high.
 部活動中の柔道の死亡・重症事故では、中学1年と高校1年の件数が突出している。

Attention must be paid to accidents involving beginners of judo who have yet to learn how to fall properly. PE teachers must take a safety-first approach to prevent head and neck injuries.
受け身を体得していない初心者の事故が多いことを注視したい。
 生徒の頭や首を傷つけないよう体育教師に安全最優先の指導法を身に着けさせねばならない。

An education ministry survey revealed that as of the end of April there were about 800 schools whose facilities for judo classes were not safe.
 柔道施設の安全が確保されていない学校が、4月末時点で約800校にも上ったという文科省の調査結果もある。

Local boards of education must strictly monitor the readiness of schools to introduce judo classes, and schools that are not prepared should not be allowed to start the classes.
 教育委員会は準備状況を継続的にチェックし、態勢が整わない学校では柔道の授業開始を許さない厳しい姿勢で臨むべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 6, 2012)
(2012年8月6日01時22分  読売新聞)

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原爆忌 核の脅威阻止へ不断の努力を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 7, 2012)
Ceaseless efforts must be made to prevent nuclear threat
原爆忌 核の脅威阻止へ不断の努力を(8月6日付・読売社説)

Hiroshima and Nagasaki will mark the anniversary of their atomic bombing on Monday and Thursday, respectively. The nation should convey to the world the calamity of the attacks and make a fresh pledge for peace.
 広島は6日、長崎は9日に原爆忌を迎える。被爆の惨禍を世界に伝え、平和への誓いを新たにしなければならない。

It has been 67 years since two atomic bombs were dropped on these two cities. Those who experienced the attacks are now quite old, with their average age nearing 80.
 原爆投下から67年。被爆者の高齢化が進み、平均年齢は80歳に近づいている。

The Hiroshima city government this year started a project to recruit and train next-generation "kataribe," people who will speak about the reality of the bombings to others. The trainees will listen to the experiences of atomic bomb victims and study the historical background of the bombings and the current situation of nuclear weapons, among other things. After finishing the training, they will be officially certified as successors to testify about the experience of the atomic bombing.
 広島市は今年、被爆の実態を証言する「語り部」の後継者を募り、育成していく事業に着手した。被爆者から体験を聞き、原爆投下の歴史的背景や核兵器の現状を学ぶ。そんな研修を終えると、被爆体験伝承者として認定される。

It is extremely important to steadily tell future generations about the tragedy of the days the bombings occurred and the ensuing years.
 あの日の悲劇を次世代に着実に伝えていく意義は大きい。

===

Still many nuclear weapons

U.S. President Barack Obama clearly stated three years ago that the United States has a moral responsibility to realize a "world without nuclear weapons." His speech gave hope to atomic bombing victims.
 オバマ米大統領は3年前、「核兵器のない世界」の実現へ米国は行動する責任があると明言し、被爆者にも希望をもたらした。

However, the circumstances surrounding nuclear weapons have by no means turned in a desirable direction.
 しかし、核兵器を巡る状況は決して好転したわけではない。

In February last year, the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty took effect between the United States and Russia, but there are still about 19,000 nuclear warheads around the world. Further reduction of nuclear arms is necessary.
 昨年2月に米露間で新戦略兵器削減条約(新START)が発効したが、世界には依然として約1万9000発の核弾頭がある。一層の核軍縮が必要だ。

We are also worried about the suspicions that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. Ignoring U.N. Security Council resolutions, Iran has been moving forward with production of enriched uranium, which could lead to the development of nuclear weapons. It has not accepted inspections of suspicious facilities as demanded by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
 一方で憂慮されるのは、イランの核開発疑惑である。イランは、国連安保理決議を無視し、核兵器開発につながる濃縮ウランの製造を進めている。国際原子力機関(IAEA)が求める疑惑施設への査察も受け入れていない。

If de facto nuclear weapons development advances in Iran, which is a member of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the NPT regime itself may be greatly weakened.
 核拡散防止条約(NPT)加盟国でもあるイランで、事実上の核開発が進むなら、NPT体制そのものが大きく揺らぎかねない。

North Korea, which has carried out two nuclear tests in the past, this spring test-launched a long-range ballistic missile despite warnings from the international community. The threat of North Korea's nuclear and missile development is constantly increasing.
 過去2回、核実験を行った北朝鮮は今春、国際社会の警告にもかかわらず長距離弾道ミサイルの発射実験を行った。北朝鮮の核とミサイルの脅威は増すばかりだ。

Given this stark reality, Japan has to depend on the nuclear umbrella of the United States despite being itself a nation that was attacked by nuclear bombs.
 厳しい現実を踏まえれば、日本は、被爆国とはいえ、米国の核の傘に頼らざるを得ない。

But even amid this dilemma, the nation needs to convey to the world the reality of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings and continue its efforts toward arms reduction and nuclear nonproliferation. This is the mission given to Japan.
 そうしたジレンマを抱えながらも、広島、長崎の被爆の実態を伝え、軍縮と核不拡散に向けて努力を重ねていく必要がある。それが日本に課された使命と言える。

===

WMD vs peaceful use of N-power

However, we question why some people have linked their calls for abandoning nuclear power plants to nuclear disarmament and moves for peace since the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant of Tokyo Electric Power Co.
 疑問なのは、東京電力福島第一原子力発電所の事故以来、一部で核軍縮や平和への希求に絡めて脱原発が主張されていることだ。

It is true that a nuclear power reactor invites the proliferation of radioactive substances when a major accident occurs. But fundamentally it is strange to argue that weapons of mass destruction and the peaceful use of nuclear power are on the same level.
 原発も大事故に至れば放射性物質の拡散を招くが、大量殺りく兵器と原子力の平和利用とを同列に論じるのはおかしい。

Nuclear reactor accidents can be prevented if sufficient safety measures are properly taken. It must be rather Japan's responsibility to help improve the safety of nuclear reactors in the world, by taking advantage of lessons learned from the nuclear crisis.
 原発事故は、安全対策をしっかり講じれば防ぎ得る。事故の教訓を生かし、世界の原発の安全性向上に貢献することが、むしろ日本の責務ではないのか。

Plenty of calm discussion needs to be held regarding nuclear power plants, from the standpoint of medium- and long-term energy policies.
 原発については、中長期的なエネルギー政策の視点から、冷静に議論を重ねていく必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 6, 2012)
(2012年8月6日01時22分  読売新聞)

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2012年8月 6日 (月)

おまとめローンで起死回生 借金は返済できる範囲で

消費者金融は街金融とも呼ばれていて何となく暗いイメージがつきまといますが、その本質は日本の一流クレジットカード会社あるいは市中銀行の提携するクレジットカード会社と同じなのです。
すなわち、その本質は、法定金利の範囲内で着実な利益を得るというものです。
結構、手固いビジネスなのです。

法定金利には二種類あり、それで紛らわしいのですが、利息制限法と出資法により管理されています。
利息制限法では貸付金額に応じて15%~20%の限度に制限されている金利ですが、出資法では最高29.2%まで許されています。この20%~30%の間の金利がいわゆるグレーゾーンと称されております。
このグレーゾーン内で営業をしている金融会社はかなり多いのです。

一般的に、金利が高ければ高いほど貸し付け時の審査が甘くなるような印象を受けました。
いずれにしても、お金は借りすぎないことです。
返済可能な範囲で借金するというのがクレジットカードの賢い利用方法なのです。
あなたが、もしも数社の消費者金融に手を染めてしまって、月々の返済が難しくなっている場合、おまとめローンというのを使うのも一つの手です。様々な特典が与えられるからです。

おまとめローン 比較サイトで比較検討するのがよろしいかと思います。

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日米防衛相会談 指針改定で安保協力の強化を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 6, 2012)
Revise defense guidelines to boost security cooperation
日米防衛相会談 指針改定で安保協力の強化を(8月5日付・読売社説)

To maintain peace and stability in Northeast Asia, it is essential to steadily strengthen and expand defense cooperation between the Self-Defense Forces and U.S. forces.
 北東アジアの平和と安定を維持するためには、自衛隊と米軍の防衛協力を着実に強化・拡大することが欠かせない。

Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto and U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta agreed in a meeting at the Pentagon on Friday that the two countries would jointly "study and discuss" the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation, which stipulate methods of cooperation between the SDF and U.S. military during contingencies.
 森本防衛相とパネッタ米国防長官が国防総省で会談し、有事における自衛隊と米軍の協力のあり方を定めた「日米防衛協力の指針(ガイドライン)」について、今後、「研究・議論する」ことで一致した。

The guidelines were drastically revised in 1997 on the assumption of contingencies on the Korean Peninsula. Over the years, however, the security environment in Northeast Asia has dramatically changed, and defense cooperation between the two countries has developed in various ways. It is time for Japan and the United States to seriously consider revising the guidelines again to deepen their alliance.
 朝鮮半島有事を想定した1997年の指針の抜本改定後、北東アジアの安全保障環境は大きく変化し、日米の防衛協力も様々な面で進展している。日米同盟の深化に向けて、そろそろ指針の再改定を本格的に検討する時期である。

In their meeting Friday, the defense ministers also agreed on concrete measures for "dynamic defense cooperation" between Japan and the United States. The two countries will consider conducting surveillance activities in waters around Japan by using the U.S. military's unmanned reconnaissance planes and boost the two countries' joint drills around Guam.
 会談では、日米の「動的防衛協力」の具体策でも合意した。無人偵察機による日本周辺海域の警戒監視活動の実施を検討し、グアム周辺での共同訓練を拡大する。

===

Enhancing deterrent to crises

Dynamic defense cooperation is meant to be a joint undertaking by SDF and U.S. military units. The program aims at enhancing the deterrent against emergencies through repeated joint information-gathering and reconnaissance activities, as well as drills and sharing of facilities.
 動的防衛協力は、自衛隊と米軍の部隊運用を通じた協力だ。日米共同の情報収集・偵察活動や訓練、施設使用を重ね、緊急事態への抑止力を高める狙いがある。

The two countries are planning to base their surveillance activities in Guam and utilize the U.S. military's Global Hawk unmanned reconnaissance planes. These steps are expected to help the two countries share information before the outbreak of various incidents, and consider and discuss how to jointly deal with such events as situations develop.
 警戒監視活動では、グアムを拠点とし、米軍の無人機「グローバルホーク」を活用する方向だ。様々な事態の発生前の段階から日米が情報を共有し、事態の進展に応じて共同対処する方策を検討・協議することにつながる。

Also being considered is the preparation of military facilities in Guam and Tinian, part of the Northern Mariana Islands, to be shared by the SDF and U.S. forces, and conducting landing drills and other exercises. We believe such activities will be useful in boosting the defense of remote islands in and around the Nansei Islands, an area of increasing importance.
 グアムや北マリアナ諸島のテニアンでは、自衛隊と米軍の共同施設を整備し、上陸訓練などを行う案がある。重要性を増す南西方面の離島防衛の強化に役立とう。

As for the scheduled deployment of MV-22 Osprey new transport aircraft in Japan, the two defense ministers agreed that the United States will refrain from test-flying the aircraft in Japan until the safety of its flight operations is confirmed. They also agreed that Japan and the United States would give utmost consideration to ensuring the safety of local residents when the aircraft conduct low-altitude flight exercises.
 米軍の新型輸送機MV22オスプレイの日本配備について、両閣僚は、安全性が確認されるまで国内を飛行させない方針で合意した。低空飛行訓練などで周辺住民に配慮することでも一致した。

It is quite significant for the defense ministers to have reconfirmed that they would ensure both the Osprey aircraft's safety and their deployment in Japan.
 閣僚間でオスプレイの安全性と日本配備を両立させることを再確認した意義は小さくない。

===

Make most of Osprey info

Based on the latest agreement, the U.S. government is urged to make utmost efforts to provide information on the aircraft's safety and past crashes, and thoroughly implement effective measures to prevent similar accidents from happening again.
 今回の合意に基づき、米政府は、墜落事故や安全性に関する情報提供や、実効性ある再発防止策の徹底に最大限努力してほしい。

The Japanese government will dispatch a team of analysis and evaluation experts to the United States as early as by the end of this week to receive explanations on a report regarding an Osprey crash in Morocco in April. It will be important to closely analyze and verify the accident's causes from Japan's point of view.
 日本政府は、4月のモロッコにおける事故の報告書について説明を受けるため、今週中にも分析評価チームを訪米させる。日本独自の視点で、しっかり原因を分析・検証することが重要である。

After the bilateral meeting, Morimoto took a flight on an Osprey aircraft. He is scheduled to visit Okinawa Prefecture this month to explain Japan's analysis of the U.S. report on the Osprey accident in Morocco.
 森本防衛相は会談後、オスプレイに試乗した。月内に沖縄を訪問し、事故報告書に関する日本の評価結果を説明する予定だ。

It will not be easy to dispel local governments' concerns over the aircraft's safety, given their already heightened anxiety. But the government must tenaciously continue explaining in an effort to broaden their understanding.
 いったん高まった関係自治体の安全性への懸念を払拭するのは容易でないが、粘り強く説明を続け、理解を広げてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 5, 2012)
(2012年8月5日01時15分  読売新聞)

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自動車海外生産 成長市場の攻略が勝ち抜く道

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 6, 2012)
High-growth markets key to business recovery
自動車海外生産 成長市場の攻略が勝ち抜く道(8月5日付・読売社説)

Despite the increasingly severe export environment because of the yen's soaring exchange rates, the passenger car output of Japanese automakers overseas is booming.
 超円高で輸出環境が厳しい中、日本の自動車メーカーが海外生産を拡大している。

A key to surviving intense global competition lies in capturing high-growth markets such as those of emerging countries.
新興国などの成長市場の攻略が、競争を勝ち抜く道だろう。

Foreign output of passenger cars by the nation's eight major carmakers in the first half of 2012 stood at 7.95 million units, an increase of 28 percent from the same period a year before. Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. all posted record-high production abroad.
 今年上半期の乗用車8社の海外生産台数は、合計で前年同期比28%増の795万台に達しトヨタ自動車、日産自動車、ホンダなどが過去最高を記録した。

As the eight automakers have boosted production in North America, China and Mexico, for instance, their global marketing activities have taken wing, as the sales increase has provided further impetus to an expansion of production.
 各社が北米、中国、メキシコなどで増産した結果、世界販売に拍車がかかり、さらに生産を増やす好循環を生んでいるようだ。

Toyota surpassed General Motors Corp. of the United States in global sales in the January-June period, regaining the world's top ranking for the first time in two years. Toyota's focus on high-growth markets as a marketing strategy apparently has proved successful.
 トヨタは今年上半期の世界販売台数で、米ゼネラル・モーターズ(GM)を抜き、2年ぶりに世界1位に返り咲いた。成長市場を狙う戦略が功を奏したと言える。

===

Export competitiveness waning

While Japanese automakers are strengthening their foreign output, their export competitiveness is declining because of the historically high appreciation of the yen.
 各社が海外生産を増強する背景には、歴史的な超円高が進み、輸出競争力が低下している事情がある。

It is natural for automakers to avoid foreign exchange risks by ramping up overseas production so as not to lose out to rivals from the United States, Europe and elsewhere.
ライバルの欧米企業などに負けないよう、現地生産で為替リスクを回避することは妥当だ。

Many of the Japanese automakers' assumed exchange rates for the period are about 80 yen to the dollar and 105 yen to the euro. The yen's rates recently have exceeded these assumptions, however, threatening to further squeeze the profitability of the automakers.
 自動車各社の今期の想定為替レートは1ドル=80円、1ユーロ=105円程度が多い。最近は、それ以上の超円高水準が続いており、収益はさらに圧迫されかねない。

In an effort to deal with the situation, Toyota will start operating a new factory in Brazil in the near future.
 トヨタは近く、ブラジル新工場を稼働させる。

Others, including Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors Corp., have also been expanding overseas production or shifting domestic production operations abroad.
日産、三菱自動車なども海外生産を拡大したり、国内から海外に生産移管したりしている。

Automakers are certain to accelerate their business priorities to foreign markets by, for example, marketing low-priced vehicles in emerging markets in Asia and other regions.
アジアなど新興国向けの低価格車の投入など、海外シフトは一段と加速するに違いない。

The main problem to boosting overseas production and marketing operations is the effect it will have on the hollowing-out of the domestic industry.
 懸念されるのは、そうした海外展開に伴い、国内で空洞化がより深刻になることだ。

The auto industry comprises broad sectors of businesses, including a wide range of parts manufacturers.
自動車業界は部品企業などすそ野が広い。

Extreme caution must be exercised over the danger that the hollowing-out of the domestic market could lead to a large drop in the workforce, which in turn would deal a heavy blow to the nation's snail-like economic recovery.
空洞化で雇用者数が大幅に減り、もたついている景気回復に打撃を与えることに要警戒である。

===

Market intervention needed

Toyota President Akio Toyoda deserves praise for stressing his resolve to "defend our domestic production level of 3 million vehicles a year at all costs."
 トヨタの豊田章男社長が、「国内生産300万台の死守」を強調している点は評価できる。

All carmakers should make efforts to keep their domestic production bases intact through such means as maintaining key domestic factories for the production of mainstay vehicles and research and development arms.
各社とも、主力車などの基幹工場や研究開発部門を国内に残し、生産基盤の維持に努めてほしい。

The problems facing the nation's manufacturers are not limited to automakers. The situation is equally serious for consumer electronics companies such as Sony Corp. and Sharp Corp., which have planned large-scale personnel cuts.
 製造業の苦境は、自動車業界だけではない。大規模な人員削減を計画中のソニーやシャープなど、電機業界の状況も厳しい。

In addition to extremely high yen rates, such problems as electricity shortages, delays in the nation's moves to form economic partnership agreements and high corporate tax rates are weighing down on the industrial world.
 超円高に加え、電力不足や経済連携協定(EPA)の出遅れ、高い法人税率などが、産業界全体の重荷になっている。

It is imperative for the government to come up with steps to help shore up business activities.
 政府は危機感を強め、支援策に取り組む必要がある。

First of all, it should consider intervening in foreign exchange markets to stem the appreciation of the yen.
 まず、超円高を阻止する為替介入を検討すべきだ。

The government also must waste no time in restarting idled nuclear power plants to counter any power shortages.
電力不足解消へ、原子力発電所の再稼働を急ぐことも不可欠だ。

Besides these moves, Japan must take part in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations so the promotion of free trade can act as a tailwind for the national economy.
日本は環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)への交渉参加を決断し、自由貿易の推進を追い風にしなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 5, 2012)
(2012年8月5日01時15分  読売新聞)

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2012年8月 5日 (日)

浮き沈みの多いソーシャルネットワーキングサービス

ソーシャルネットワーキングの意義について考えてみました。雑感風ですが(笑)。
SNS(ソーシャルネットワーキングサービス)として我々の日常生活に定着しているものがいくつかございます。
フェイスブックとツイッターは、さしずめ、SNSの双璧ではないでしょうか。
アメリカの大統領だって、この二つのSNSに登録して、ほぼ毎日更新されています。

これは大変名誉なことなのですが、フェイスブックの書き込みがもとで、大統領からダイレクトメールを頂いたことがございます。日本人としては珍しいのかもしれませんが、これも英語力のたまものだと考えています。
彼は11月の選挙に向けて精力的に選挙運動を展開しており、こうした、SNSを利用したお金を出来るだけかけない手法には頭が下がります。

昨年の末の話しですが、あるSNSサイトが突然閉鎖されました。
日本人と中国人との交流を主体とするSNSサイトですが、日本人は日本語で書き込みが出来、中国人は中国語で書き込みが出来るような仕組みとなっていました。
自動翻訳機が日中、中日の翻訳を自動で行うすぐれた仕組みでしたが、時代の流れに翻弄されて、ついに閉鎖されてしまったのです。とても淋しかったです。

ソーシャルネットワーキングサービスでの交流でアメリカ大統領からダイレクトメールを頂きました。
中国人と交流できるSNSサイトが突然閉鎖されて淋しい思いをいたしました。

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閣議の議事録 後世の検証が可能な制度築け

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 5, 2012)
Minutes of cabinet meetings needed for posterity
閣議の議事録 後世の検証が可能な制度築け(8月4日付・読売社説)

It is extremely important to preserve documentation of the government's decision-making processes so they can be verified for posterity.
 政府の意思決定の過程を文書として保存し、後世の検証ができるようにする意義は大きい。

The government has embarked on studies of the feasibility of taking minutes of cabinet meetings and other processes, and disclosing them to the public. A study team comprising members of the current Cabinet and intellectuals is scheduled to work out a set of rules on the matter around October.
 政府は、閣議などの議事録作成とその公開の検討に着手した。関係閣僚や有識者らの検討チームが、新ルールを10月をめどにまとめる方針だ。

At cabinet meetings, cabinet decisions are finalized on such issues as the government's personnel affairs, government-sponsored bills to be submitted to the Diet and state budgets.
 閣議は、政府の主要人事や国会に提出する法案、予算案などを内閣が最終的に決定する場である。

However, no minutes of cabinet meetings have been taken since the Meiji era (1868-1912).
にもかかわらず、明治以来、議事録を残してこなかった。

One of the reasons given by the government for this is that matters involving gravely important state secrets and issues of a highly political nature are discussed in cabinet meetings. Another is that the revelation of disagreements between cabinet members could mar the unity of the cabinet.
 その理由として、政府はこれまで「重大な国家機密や高度に政治性を有する事柄」が議論されることや、閣僚の意見の違いが露呈すれば内閣の一体性が損なわれることを挙げてきた。

===

Okada takes initiative

However, Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada, who is in charge of administering government documents, has stated that minutes of cabinet meetings are necessary, "since it is highly important to be able to review specific discussions" in the future.
 公文書管理を所管する岡田副総理は「どういう議論があったかを振り返ることは重要だ」として、閣議こそ記録が必要と言明している。

The government stance of reviewing the long-standing practice of not taking minutes of cabinet meetings should be highly praised.
閣議の議事録を残さないという長年の慣行を、政府が見直すことは評価したい。

If minutes are made public after a set period of time has passed, the confidentiality of many documents will have lessened by that time and there will be no problems such as cabinet members feeling reluctant to express their opinions freely at meetings.
 公開まで一定の期間を設ければ、機密情報の価値は薄れ、閣僚が自由に発言しにくくなるといった弊害はなくなるだろう。

The newly launched study team is reportedly poised to examine ways of making cabinet minutes public by taking into account that documents related to matters of diplomacy have been made public, in principle, after 30 years.
 検討チームは、外交文書が原則30年後に公開されることを念頭に閣議の議事録公開を検討するという。

There is little need, however, to keep documents secret for so many years.
だが、そんなに長期間非公開にする必要はなかろう。

One idea is that the government should judge whether certain information is highly sensitive and make public as much information as possible at the earliest possible date through procedures stipulated by the Freedom of Information Law, as long as doing so is considered not problematic.
 情報公開法の手続きにならい、政府が機微に触れる内容かどうか判断し、問題がなければ早期に公開することも一案だ。

More than minutes of cabinet meetings--which are often little more than perfunctory discussions between cabinet members--minutes of informal meetings of cabinet ministers, in which they are supposed to exchange views freely, and meetings of cabinet ministers such as those belonging to the National Security Council, should be taken and preserved for the future.
 形式的な議論に終始しがちな閣議より、むしろ閣僚同士が自由に意見交換する閣僚懇談会や、安全保障会議といった閣僚会議こそ議事録を残すべきだ。

===

'Culture' of belittling records

The government's move comes amid severe public criticism over the government's "negligence in its duty to preserve records" in connection with the failure to take minutes of government meetings related to the Great East Japan Earthquake.
 今回の取り組みは、東日本大震災関連の会議録が作成されていなかった問題で、政府の「記録軽視」の姿勢が厳しく批判されたことがきっかけとなっている。

Another relevant factor may be the fact that the administration of the Democratic Party of Japan, under the banner of "the leadership of politicians over the bureaucracy," has excluded bureaucrats from the making of key policy decisions.
 民主党が、政治主導の名の下に官僚を政策決定の場から排除したことも一因だろう。

The party's decision-making processes have created imbroglios more than once with policies that were finalized but then brought back for discussions again, as shown in the process of deciding on the consumption tax raise.
 党の政策決定過程でも、消費税率引き上げなど、いったん決めたはずのことが何度も蒸し返され、混乱を招いてきた。

At the root of this propensity of the DPJ may be its "culture" of paying little heed to the need for documentation.
 こうした体質の根底には、記録を重視しないという“文化”があるのではないか。

Minutes should be mandatory not just for cabinet meetings, but also for such meetings as the government-DPJ leadership talks comprising the prime minister and DPJ executives including the secretary general, as well as meetings at each ministry of the minister, senior vice ministers and parliamentary secretaries.
 閣議はもとより、首相や民主党幹事長らでつくる「政府・民主三役会議」や、各府省の政務三役会議についても、議事録の作成を義務づける必要がある。

These gatherings are all important decision-making venues for the DPJ administration and they should not be excluded from the list of meetings for which minutes must be taken and preserved.
 いずれも、民主党政権にとって重要な意思決定の場であり、除外すべきではない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 4, 2012)
(2012年8月4日01時57分  読売新聞)

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エネルギー戦略 現実的な電源構成案に改めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 5, 2012)
The government must make energy scenarios more realistic
エネルギー戦略 現実的な電源構成案に改めよ(8月4日付・読売社説)

The government's scenarios for a national energy strategy have been called into question over their feasibility. It is hard to deny the government has failed to sufficiently explain them to the public. These problems must be tackled.
 政府のエネルギー戦略の選択肢は、実現性に疑問があるうえに、説明不足が否めない。問題点を改善すべきである。

In June, the government presented three scenarios on the ratio of nuclear power in the nation's energy sources in 2030, setting the ratio at zero percent, 15 percent or 20 to 25 percent.
 政府は6月、2030年の原子力発電の比率を「0%」「15%」「20~25%」とする三つの選択肢を示した。

Aimed at overhauling the current basic energy plan, all of the scenarios call for reducing the nation's dependence on nuclear power and making up the difference with thermal power and renewable energy, such as solar power. The government reportedly intends to reach a conclusion on the matter by the end of this month following public hearings and other types of national discussions.
 現行のエネルギー基本計画を見直すたたき台で、いずれも原発を減らし、太陽光など再生可能エネルギーや火力発電で補う内容だ。政府は意見聴取会など「国民的議論」を経て、今月中に結論を出すとしている。

The scenarios appear to offer a wide range of options--from the zero percent plan aimed at denuclearization to the 20 percent to 25 percent plan calling for nuclear power to be used in the mid- and long term. However, all of the scenarios share a critical flaw: They are unrealistic.
 脱原発を図る「0%」から、中長期的に原発を活用する「20~25%」まで、選択の幅は広いように見える。だが、すべての選択肢が現実味に乏しいという、致命的な欠点を抱えている。

===

Optimistic estimates

The ratio of renewable energy appears to have been overestimated. In the scenario calling for no nuclear power, renewable energy sources account for 35 percent of the nation's total electricity generation, while the two plans that include the use of nuclear power call for such eco-friendly energy to supply 25 percent to 30 percent of the nation's electricity. Currently, renewable energy, including hydroelectric power, accounts for only about 10 percent.
 再生エネの見積もりが明らかに過大である。水力を含め約10%に過ぎない再生エネについて、原発ゼロ案は35%に、原発を残す2案も25~30%に増やす想定だ。

The government reportedly plans to install solar panels at more than 10 million homes to make the nation's solar power capacity 20 times greater than it is at present. But it is unclear how this plan will be implemented.
 太陽光を20倍に拡大するため、1000万戸以上の住宅に太陽光パネルを設置するという。この計画を実現する道筋は不透明だ。

Although a renewable energy purchase program was launched in July, there is concern that the program could cause a rise in electricity rates, a side effect that has been seen in Germany. The target ratio of renewable energy should be revised to more realistic figures.
 再生エネの買い取り制度は7月にスタートしたが、ドイツのように電気料金が急騰する副作用も懸念される。再生エネの目標は現実的な水準に改めるべきだろう。

The government has also yet to explain sufficiently how these scenarios would affect daily life. Its estimates show that a regular household would see its monthly utility bill increase by as much as 10,000 yen as a result of the wider use of renewable energy.
 国民生活への影響に関する説明も物足りない。政府は再生エネの拡大などに伴い、標準的な家庭の電気代が最大月1万円ほど増えるといった試算を示している。

However, we suspect the public would face even greater burdens as rising overall costs of power generation could result in price increases and weigh on companies' business operations. The firms could be forced to restructure.
 しかし、負担増はこれにとどまらないのではないか。生産など経済全体の電力コストが上がり、物価上昇や企業業績の悪化を招くと考えられるからだ。リストラの拡大も予想される。

===

Lack of information

According to estimates by the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), which were based on data from a government panel, if the zero percent nuclear power plan is implemented, the number of people unemployed in Japan will rise by 2 million from about 3 million at present. The annual income of working households is estimated to decline nearly 600,000 yen, dealing a serious blow to people's lives.
 経団連が政府の審議会のデータをもとに試算したところ、原発ゼロのケースでは、現在約300万人の失業者が200万人増え、勤労者世帯の所得は年60万円近く減る。国民生活に大打撃となる。

It is vital that people decide on the ratio of nuclear power they want to support, after being properly informed of the negative impact of reducing dependence on nuclear power and extreme energy-saving efforts. The government should provide information that will help them make proper decisions.
 国民が減原発や省エネのマイナス面を正確に把握し、望ましい電源構成を決めることが重要だ。政府は判断材料となる情報を、わかりやすく提供すべきである。

Meanwhile, questions have also been raised about the economic growth rate under the three scenarios, which are all based on the assumption that the nation's economy will grow at a rate of about 1 percent in real terms. This figure is lower than the government's goal of a 2 percent growth rate, set under the national revitalization strategy.
 三つの選択肢が前提とする経済成長率が実質1%前後と、政府の日本再生戦略で目指す2%成長を下回っている点も不可解だ。

Motohisa Furukawa, state minister in charge of national strategy, said the scenarios' assumption is not directly linked to the existing growth strategy. However, his remarks are hardly convincing.
 古川国家戦略相は「選択肢の想定と成長戦略は直接関係しない」と釈明するが、説得力に欠ける。

The government should view a national energy strategy as an important pillar of economic growth and reconsider the three scenarios.
エネルギー戦略は、成長への重要な柱であることを踏まえ、三つの選択肢を再検討すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 4, 2012)
(2012年8月4日01時57分  読売新聞)

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2012年8月 4日 (土)

消費税と新聞 文化と民主主義を守るために

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 4, 2012)
Keep tax on printed matter low to protect culture, democracy
消費税と新聞 文化と民主主義を守るために(8月3日付・読売社説)

A number of European nations have adopted reduced tax rate systems to keep value-added taxes low on newspapers and books.
 欧州諸国では、新聞や書籍に対する付加価値税を低く抑える軽減税率を採用している。

To preserve the culture of print and democracy, Japan should introduce a similar system in the course of its planned consumption tax rate increase.
 活字文化と民主主義を守るため、日本でも今回の消費税率引き上げで、軽減税率を導入すべきである。

Value-added taxes in Europe, which are equivalent to the consumption tax in Japan, have higher rates--at about 20 percent--than Japan. But the tax rates applied to newspapers are just 7 percent in Germany and 2.1 percent in France, while there is no tax on such matter in Britain.
 日本の消費税に当たる欧州の付加価値税は、税率が20%前後と日本より高いが、新聞に適用される税率は、ドイツが7%、フランスが2・1%、イギリスが0%などに軽減されている。

This is because newspapers are recognized as public organs that support democracy by providing information on the policies of central and local governments and carrying various opinions on a number of issues. As a result, they offer material people use to form judgments.
 新聞が、国や地方の政策や多様な言論を伝えて判断材料を提供するなど、民主主義を担う「公器」として認識されているからだ。

In this respect, newspapers have won the trust of many readers in Japan as well. The use of newspapers at schools also has been spreading with Newspapers in Education (NIE) programs, which are aimed at helping schoolchildren improve their reading comprehension abilities and cultivate their abilities to think and make judgments to solve problems.
 日本でも新聞は、こうした観点から多くの読者の信頼を得てきた。子どもたちの読解力を伸ばし、問題解決のための判断力や思考力を養うことを目指して、学校で新聞を活用するNIE(教育に新聞を)活動も広がっている。

We consider it necessary to pay due attention to newspapers' inherent role in serving the public and its interests.
 新聞の公共性、公益性に着目する必要がある。

===

Diet group backs current rate

A Diet group to promote the culture of print, comprising lawmakers from various parties, has issued a statement calling for maintaining the current tax rate at 5 percent for newspapers, books and some other publications.
 超党派の国会議員でつくる「活字文化議員連盟」は、新聞や書籍などに現行税率5%の維持を求める声明を出した。

The statement expressed a strong sense of crisis regarding these types of publications, saying: "Their public nature is extremely strong, in that they have played central roles in maintaining the culture of print in Japan. Consumption tax hikes would accelerate people's moves away from printed matter."
 「日本の活字文化保持の中枢の役割を果たしてきた公共性は極めて高い。消費税率引き上げは国民の活字離れを加速させる」と強い危機感を示している。

In Diet deliberations on bills to raise the consumption tax rate, which are now in the final stage, there has been active discussion of reduced tax rate systems.
 大詰めを迎えた消費税率引き上げ法案の国会審議でも、軽減税率を巡る議論が活発化している。

New Komeito's vice representative, Akira Matsu, called for introducing a reduced tax rate system on printed matter when the consumption tax rate is raised to 8 percent in the first of the envisaged two-stage tax hike plan.
"Reduced tax rate systems [on newspapers and books] are implemented in a number of European nations as they are considered intellectual infrastructure for democracy," Matsu said.
 公明党の松あきら副代表は「欧州では新聞や書籍は民主主義の知的インフラとみなされ、軽減税率が目立つ」とし、日本でも消費税率を8%に引き上げる段階から導入するよう求めた。

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said in response: "[The government] will consider [reduced tax rate systems] from various points of view. It's important that we study the situation in foreign countries."
 野田首相は「様々な観点から検討する。外国の事例の検討も大事な要素だ」と応じた。

===

Be careful of taxing education

Learning from European models, we consider it necessary to give prudent consideration to taxes imposed on knowledge and education.
 欧州の事例に学び、「知識」や「教育」に対する課税は、慎重に考えるべきだろう。

To maintain social security systems in a stable manner, it is inevitable to consider a future additional increase in the consumption tax rate beyond 10 percent.
 社会保障制度を安定的に維持するには、将来的に消費税率を10%超に引き上げる追加増税を視野に入れざるを得ない。

To ease the financial burden on households and obtain the people's understanding, we think it would be effective to introduce reduced tax rate systems.
 家計の負担感をやわらげ、国民の理解を得るためにも、軽減税率の導入が効果的だ。

Opponents of such systems, mainly in the Finance Ministry, argue it would be difficult to set clear lines for which items should be subject to lower tax rates and that the systems might result in lower tax revenues.
 「対象品目の線引きが難しく、税収減につながる恐れがある」として、財務省を中心に軽減税率への反対論がくすぶる。

But if eligibility for lower tax rates is limited, it is unlikely there would be sharp drops in tax revenues.
 だが、軽減対象を限定すれば、大幅な税収減とはなるまい。

To determine what should be subject to lower tax rates, political leaders should be responsible for deciding after a third-party committee or other body studies the issue.
 軽減税率の対象に何を選ぶかは、第三者委員会のような組織で検討したうえで、政治が責任を持って判断すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 3, 2012)
(2012年8月3日01時55分  読売新聞)

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ロンドン五輪 内村選手の「金」に続きたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 4, 2012)
Uchimura's golden Olympic feat may herald more thrills to come
ロンドン五輪 内村選手の「金」に続きたい(8月3日付・読売社説)

In the midst of the 2012 London Summer Olympics, many people have already experienced hope and despair as a succession of heated battles have yielded their results.
 ロンドン五輪は、中盤戦に入った。
 数々の熱戦に、一喜一憂している人も多いのではないか。

On Wednesday, the sixth day of the Games, the number of medals won by Japanese athletes stood at 17: two golds, four silvers and 11 bronzes.
 大会6日目(1日)時点で、日本選手が獲得したメダルは、金2、銀4、銅11の計17個だ。

Although golds have been few, Japan is still third in terms of its total medal count, after China and the United States. We applaud the good fight put up by Japanese Olympians.
金メダルは少ないが、総数では中国、米国に次ぎ3位につけている。奮闘に拍手を送りたい。

Particularly stirring our hearts was gymnast Kohei Uchimura. His winning of the gold in the men's all-around Olympic final is the first such feat by a Japanese in 28 years.
 中でも、大きな感動をもたらしてくれたのが、体操の内村航平選手だ。男子個人総合での金メダルは、日本選手として28年ぶりの快挙である。

Uchimura showed again and again why his technique is said the most beautiful among the world's gymnasts. His perfectly nailed landing after flipping through the air at high speed in the vault event was an amazing spectacle to behold.
 世界一、美しいと言われる技を随所に見せてくれた。高速の回転技の後、ピタリと着地を決めた跳馬の演技は圧巻だった。

The mental fortitude he displayed in clinching the victory and living up to the nation's expectations that he would surely get a gold medal is truly praiseworthy.
 「金メダル確実」という日本中の期待に応え、優勝する強靱(きょうじん)な精神力は、見事なものだ。

===

Matsumoto's gold also great

In judo, a sport regarded as one of Japan's fortes, many Japanese athletes have encountered difficulty in this Olympiad. But the ferocious fighting spirit of Kaori Matsumoto in the women's 57-kilogram category was especially impressive. Her smile when winning Japan's first gold medal of the London Games was dazzling.
 苦戦が続くお家芸の柔道の中で、闘志むき出しの姿が印象的だったのが、女子57キロ級の松本薫選手だ。日本勢初の金メダルを手にした時の笑顔は輝いていた。

There can be no doubt that the gold Matsumoto won boosted the morale of the Japanese team across all sports.
 松本選手の金メダルが、日本選手団全体に弾みをつけたことは間違いない。

The achievements of Japanese swimmers are also remarkable: Both men and women have won bronzes in backstroke, butterfly and breaststroke. Another bronze was taken in the men's individual medley.
 競泳陣の活躍も目立つ。背泳ぎ、バタフライ、平泳ぎで、男女とも銅メダルを獲得した。男子個人メドレーの銅メダルもある。

It is heartening that Japan's swimming lineup includes many who can compete with ace rivals from around the world in every category of competition.
 各種目で、世界と互角以上に戦える選手がそろっているのは、頼もしい限りだ。

Kosuke Kitajima, who was ambitious to win gold medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter breaststroke races for a third straight Olympics, wound up with no medals at all.
 平泳ぎの100メートルと200メートルで五輪3連覇を目指した北島康介選手は、メダルなしに終わった。

Although the feat he dearly hoped to achieve did not become reality, Kitajima definitely deserves to hold his head high for the great leading role he has long played in the world of Japanese swimming.
偉業達成はならなかったが、日本の水泳界を長く牽引(けんいん)してきた功績に胸を張ってほしい。

===

Boost referees' quality

However, a series of problematic decisions by referees and judges in the Games can be said to have thrown cold water on the feelings of many spectators.
 大会序盤で相次いだ判定を巡るトラブルは、観戦する側の興趣をそいだと言える。

In a men's judo match, a flag decision by the judges was overturned because of a protest from jurors in a video-equipped booth, giving the win to a Japanese competitor.
 男子柔道では、審判の旗判定の結果が、ビデオ席にいる審判委員の異議で覆り、日本選手の勝利となった。

In the men's team gymnastics events, the levels of difficulty failed to be evaluated correctly, and an early decision by judges was changed as a result of a video reexamination, adding more points to the Japanese team's score.
体操の男子団体総合では、技の難易度が正しく認定されず、ビデオ判定の結果、日本に加点されるケースがあった。

Improving the competence of referees and judges is a task that should be addressed in every field of competition.
 審判の能力向上は、各競技に共通する課題だろう。

The Games lasts through Aug. 12. Based on the good showing so far, we strongly hope to see further outstanding performances by Japanese athletes.
 大会は12日まで続く。序盤戦の健闘をバネにして、日本選手のさらなる活躍が期待される。

In soccer, both the men's and women's teams have earned the right to advance to the final rounds. Women's wrestling will feature Saori Yoshida and Kaori Icho, both aspiring to accomplish their third consecutive Olympic championships. Track and field events, too, will start soon.
 サッカーは、男女とも決勝トーナメントに駒を進めた。女子レスリングには、五輪3連覇を目指す吉田沙保里、伊調馨選手が登場する。陸上競技も始まる。

We also enjoy seeing the excellent speed and skills of foreign athletes.
 海外の選手のスピードや技も堪能したい。

There is still much to be relished in the quadrennial world sports festival.
 4年に1度の祭典の楽しみは、まだまだ尽きない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 3, 2012)
(2012年8月3日01時55分  読売新聞)

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借金で首が回らなくなったら最後の手段としておまとめローンが効果的です

朝から借金のお話しで恐縮ですが、大切なお話しです。

人間、基本的に毎月入ってくる給与の範囲でつつましやかに暮らすことが大切なのです。
とはいえ、家族は突然の病気や事故に襲われることだってあります。
こんなときには父親として取りあえず生き残る為に必要なお金を集めるのに画策するのではないでしょうか。
私の場合は遊びで貯金を使い果たしたので、決して自慢にはなりませんが、こんなことも長い人生では経験致します。

借金には様々な事情があると思いますが、不幸にしてお金を借りすぎて多重債務者となり、毎月の返済が不能になっている人にはおまとめローンが効果的です。

おまとめローン 借り入れ は多重債務者が生き残りを賭けてする最後の勝負ということが出来ます。

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2012年8月 3日 (金)

防犯カメラ設置は犯罪抑止効果のためだけではありません

今日は、防犯カメラ総合研究所が新しく立ち上げたサイトをご紹介いたします。

防犯カメラといえば、先日の地下鉄サリン実行犯の逮捕劇で、その威力を遺憾なく発揮することが出来ました。
結局逮捕への直接のきっかけは、各所に移っていた防犯カメラの映像が決め手になったのですから、やはり、これは凄い威力と言う他はありません。

防犯カメラを現場に設置しておくだけで犯罪抑止効果があることは広く知られております。
例えば愛知県では駐車場に於ける車の盗難件数が全国一なのですが、駐車場に防犯カメラを数台設置するだけで犯罪の発生を抑止する効果は絶大でしょう。

もっと凄い例もあります。
それは中国高速鉄道の事故現場です。
あの忌まわしい大惨事から一年が経過いたしましたが、遺族は事故現場に慰霊碑を建立して欲しいとの希望を持っています。中国政府はその動きを押さえるべく、事故現場での集会などの規制をするのが目的で、なんと、4台の比較的大きな防犯カメラを据え付けました。その後、事故現場で集会をする人はいなくなったということです。

中国の例は防犯カメラの効果を悪用したものですが、日本ではもっと積極的な防犯カメラの使用用途が考えられます。それは、社内の監視カメラです。この監視カメラでは、スマホや携帯、あるいはPCから、24時間体制で遠隔監視が出来ます。実際に24時間監視カメラにへばりついて社員の監視をするような会社はないと思いますが、それでも監視カメラの設置効果は絶大だと容易に想像できます。

防犯カメラ、監視カメラは中国のようなマイナーな用途ではなくて、日本のようにポジティブな用途で使用したいものですね。

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原子力規制委 最重視すべきは委員の能力だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 3, 2012)
Capabilities top priority for nuclear commission members
原子力規制委 最重視すべきは委員の能力だ(8月2日付・読売社説)

The appointment of members of a planned nuclear regulatory commission, which will be in charge of safety regulations for the nation's nuclear power plants, is at a critical stage.
 原子力発電所の安全規制を担う原子力規制委員会の委員人事が、大詰めを迎えている。

Regarding Diet approval of the appointments, the ruling and opposition parties must place the most importance on candidates' capability and aptitude, and quickly make a final decision.
 与野党は、国会同意にあたり、候補者の能力や適性を最重視し、速やかに結論を出さねばならない。

The rules and administration committees of the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors on Wednesday summoned Shunichi Tanaka, an expert in protection against radiation who was nominated by the government as chairman of the new commission, to hear his opinions. Tanaka has been engaged in decontamination work in Fukushima Prefecture.
 衆参両院の議院運営委員会は、政府が委員長候補として提示した放射線防護の専門家で、福島県内の除染活動に携わってきた田中俊一氏から所信を聴取した。

Commenting on the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, Tanaka stressed he will do his utmost to prevent future nuclear accidents, saying, "As an individual who has been involved in nuclear energy, I cannot chastise myself enough."
 田中氏は東京電力福島第一原発事故について、「原子力に関わってきた人間として、どんなに反省してもしきれる問題ではない」と述べ、再発防止に全力を挙げる考えを強調した。

A humble attitude is necessary in regulatory administration.
規制行政には謙虚な姿勢で取り組む必要がある。

Regarding the restart of nuclear reactors, Tanaka indicated that the commission may reexamine it from an expert point of view. Tanaka said technical examinations of the safety standards set by the government may have been insufficient.
 原発の再稼働に関しては、政府が定めた安全基準が「技術的な点で精査が不十分だった可能性がある」として、専門的な観点から改めて検証する意向を示した。

Tanaka apparently thinks reexamining the restart of nuclear reactors will help alleviate the anxiety felt by people living around nuclear power plants.
 原発の周辺住民の不安感を軽減することにもつながる、と考えているのだろう。

===

Drastically improve regulations

Ceaseless efforts to enhance safety are most important for nuclear energy. After its launch in September, the commission also will have to work on drastic improvement of existing regulations.
 原子力は、安全向上への不断の取り組みが最重要である。規制委は9月の発足後、これまでの規制の抜本的な改善にも着手しなければなるまい。

During Wednesday's hearing in the Diet, questions were raised about Tanaka's former leading positions in organizations that promote nuclear energy, such as acting chairman of the government's Atomic Energy Commission.
 所信聴取では、田中氏が過去に政府の原子力委員会の委員長代理など、原子力を推進する組織で主導的な立場にいたことが問われた。

It was also pointed out that he was a member of the so-called "nuclear power village," which refers to a tight circle of government entities, utilities, manufacturers and others involved in the promotion of nuclear power.
いわゆる「原子力ムラ」の一員ではないか、との指摘も出た。

However, the commission's job is not to discuss nuclear energy policy.
 だが、規制委の職責は、原子力政策を検討することではない。

If a serious accident occurs at a nuclear power plant, the commission will be at the forefront of measures to deal with it. Its chairman may have to decide on countermeasures singlehandedly.
 原発で重大な事故が起きれば、規制委が対策の最前線に立つ。委員長が、単独で対処措置を決定しなければならない場合もある。

A person who does not have any connections with electric power companies or other related organizations, and does not know about situations in the field is unfit for the post.
 電力会社や関係機関などとの接点がなく、現場の実態も知らない人物では務まるはずがない。

As stipulated under the law to create the commission, the appointment of its chairman should be based on whether a person has characteristics necessary for the post, such as integrity, professional knowledge, experience and great insight.
 規制委員会設置法に明記されている通り、委員長として必要な人格の高潔さや専門的知識、経験、識見の有無で判断すべきだ。

===

Proposed members run gamut

The lineup of candidates for the rest of the commission is varied--experts on nuclear reactors, seismology and radiology as well as a former diplomat who is well versed in nuclear energy issues.
 他の委員候補は、原子炉や地震学、放射線医学の専門家、原子力問題に詳しい元外交官と多彩な顔ぶれとなっている。

The government apparently took into consideration the candidates' areas of expertise, as the commission will hold jurisdiction over a wide range of operations such as reviewing radiation safety standards and quake-resistance standards, as well as implementing measures against international nuclear terrorism.
 規制委が、放射線の安全基準や耐震基準の見直し、国際的な核テロ対策など幅広い業務を所管することを踏まえ、政府は委員の専門分野を考慮したのだろう。

The commission will not handle everything from securing nuclear safety at ordinary times to dealing with serious nuclear accidents by itself. It must maintain close cooperation with the Prime Minister's Office, the Cabinet Office and other relevant government ministries.
 平時の安全確保から重大事故への対処まで、すべてを規制委が単独でこなすわけではない。規制委と首相官邸や関係府省との密接な連携が欠かせない。

Judgments on the proposed appointments of the chairman and other members of the commission should be made from a comprehensive viewpoint.
 今回の人事案も総合的な観点から是非を判断すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 2, 2012)
(2012年8月2日01時26分  読売新聞)

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いじめ対策 教育委員会の在り方問い直せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 3, 2012)
Education boards must improve their responses to bullying
いじめ対策 教育委員会の在り方問い直せ(8月2日付・読売社説)

The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry has set up a new office specializing in bullying issues in response to a case in which a second-year middle school student committed suicide in Otsu last October.
 文部科学省がいじめ対策を専門に扱う新組織を発足させた。大津市で中学2年生が自殺した問題を受けた措置だ。

In addition, two other serious middle school bullying cases have recently been revealed--one in Soka, Saitama Prefecture, and the other in Neyagawa, Osaka Prefecture--both of which resulted in severe injuries to the bullied students.
 埼玉県草加市や大阪府寝屋川市でも中学生がいじめで重傷を負っていた。

Bullying-related issues continue to appear. We urge the ministry to make effective use of the new office to deter bullying, which causes serious suffering to children.
 いじめを巡る問題は後を絶たない。新たな対策室を有効に機能させ、子供を苦しめるいじめの抑止に役立ててもらいたい。

The new office, established Wednesday, comprises about 20 officials, including some from the National Police Agency. When serious bullying cases are revealed or students commit suicide as a result of bullying, the office is supposed to provide schools and boards of education with instructions and advice regarding how to probe such cases and prevent their recurrence.
 新組織は約20人の体制だ。警察庁の職員も参加する。深刻ないじめや、いじめを苦にした自殺が起きた際、学校や教育委員会に対し、原因究明や防止策を指導、助言することを想定している。

===

Ministry's commitment needed

The ministry used to leave how to respond to bullying cases up to schools and boards of education whenever they came to light. It can be said that the ministry has responded slowly to bullying issues so far even though it is aware of the overall trend of bullying nationwide.
 文科省は従来、個別のいじめの対応については、学校や教委に委ねてきた。全国的な傾向の把握には取り組んできたが、対策は後手に回っていたと言えよう。

Setting up the new office suggests that the ministry has concluded it would be difficult to solve bullying cases as long as it leaves them up to schools and boards of education.
 対策室の設置は、現場任せでは問題は解決しないと判断した結果だろう。

It is necessary for the ministry to gather information related to bullying and establish a framework that will allow it to swiftly respond to emergency cases.
文科省はいじめに関する情報を集約し、緊急を要する事案に対処できる体制を構築していく必要がある。

It is also important for the ministry to dispatch experts to schools and boards of education to give them appropriate advice on preventing children from killing themselves.
 子供の自殺防止のため、専門家を派遣して、適切なアドバイスをすることも重要だ。

It would, however, be unreasonable to expect the ministry to directly respond to every single bullying case. Only schools and boards of education are responsible for dealing with the issue firsthand.
 ただ、文科省がすべてのいじめに直接対応するのは無理がある。最前線でいじめ対策を担うのは、やはり学校や教育委員会だ。

The Otsu case has revealed how dysfunctional the city's board of education was in responding to the problem. Reforming education boards is an urgent task.
 大津市の問題では市教委の機能不全が浮き彫りになった。教委の立て直しは喫緊の課題である。

The Otsu Municipal Board of Education rushed to wrap up its investigation even though many students at the public school the boy attended told how he was bullied when the board surveyed them following his suicide.
 大津市教委は生徒の自殺後に実施したアンケートで、多くの生徒からいじめに関する情報を得ながら、早々に調査を打ち切った。

===

Board showed no understanding

Members of the board, moreover, reportedly did not raise any questions or express any opinions regarding the case during their regular meetings following the suicide. The board did not show that it understood the seriousness of the case or that it was committed to probing the cause of the suicide.
 自殺後に開かれた市教委の定例会では、教育委員からいじめ問題への質問や意見は出なかったという。市教委には、問題の重大性の認識も、自殺の原因を究明しようという姿勢も感じられない。

This seriously calls into question whether boards of education are really necessary.
 教育委員会の存在意義が厳しく問われている。

It has long been said that boards of education--most of whose members are appointed from among local communities--lack substance. Although the boards are independent from the heads of local governments, it is often the case that the majority of board members simply rubber-stamp decisions made by their secretariats, which handle practical affairs.
 地域住民から任命された委員らで構成する教委については、かねて形骸化が指摘されている。首長から独立した機関であるにもかかわらず、実務を担う事務局の方針を追認するケースが目立つ。

Many boards of education have former teachers as their superintendents--the heads of the secretariats. A common criticism is that such superintendents fail to respond properly when problems arise because they feel camaraderie with the teachers involved.
 事務局を統括する教育長の多くは教師出身者だ。学校で問題が生じた際に、「仲間意識」が働いて適切な対応がとれていないとの批判も絶えない。

Some observers strongly feel that boards of education are unnecessary.
 教委不要論も根強い。

Some heads of local governments insist that it should be up to them to decide whether to even have such boards, in light of moves toward the decentralization of power.
地方分権の観点から、教委の設置を自治体の選択制にすべきだと主張する首長もいる。

Should boards of education be left as they are?
教育委員会は現状のままでいいのか。

It is necessary for the ministry to review the system.
文科省はその在り方を再検討する必要があろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 2, 2012)
(2012年8月2日01時26分  読売新聞)

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2012年8月 2日 (木)

防衛白書 中国軍の活動に警戒を怠るな

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 2, 2012)
Defense paper rightly highlights need for caution over China
防衛白書 中国軍の活動に警戒を怠るな(8月1日付・読売社説)

In response to the Chinese military's rapid modernization and increased activities, it is imperative that the Self-Defense Forces steadily strengthen their surveillance and patrol activities.
 中国軍の急速な近代化と活動の活発化に対し、自衛隊は警戒・監視活動を着実に強化することが肝要である。

The government's 2012 white paper on defense stated, as last year's report did, that China's military movements are "a matter of concern" for the Asia region and the international community, and "should require prudent analysis." It is natural for the government to point this out.
 2012年版防衛白書は中国の軍事動向について、昨年に続き、アジア地域と国際社会の「懸念事項」と明記し、「慎重に分析していく必要がある」と指摘した。当然の認識である。

China's defense spending has jumped to more than double the level it was five years ago and 30 times that of 24 years ago. Its official defense budget is now more than 1.6 times that of Japan's. The gap will almost certainly continue to widen. Some observers have suggested China could match the United States as a military power by about 2050.
 中国の国防費は過去5年間で2倍以上、24年間で30倍に急増した。日本の1・6倍超に達し、今後、この差は拡大することが確実だ。50年頃には「米国の対等なライバルになる」との見方もある。

Besides China's sea trials of an aircraft carrier and development of next-generation fighter jets possessing stealth capabilities, Japan must not underestimate the implications of China's advance into the Pacific Ocean, where its naval vessels are operating increasingly frequently, and test-flights of reconnaissance drones.
 空母の試験航行、ステルス性を持つ次世代戦闘機の開発に加え、海軍艦船による太平洋進出の常態化や偵察用無人機の飛行訓練なども軽視できない。

===

Beef up SDF capabilities

Given such factors as senior Chinese military officials making remarks on security issues more often than before, the white paper said relations between the Chinese Communist Party leadership and the People's Liberation Army have "been getting complex." The paper said it is a "risk management issue," and expressed caution over the growing influence of China's military.
 白書は、安全保障問題に関する軍幹部の発言の増加などを踏まえ「共産党指導部との関係が複雑化している」と分析し、「危機管理上の課題」として、中国軍の影響力増大に警戒感を示した。

The lack of transparency in China's military capabilities and decision-making process has long been a source of unease. It is crucial that close attention is paid to this issue.
 中国の軍事力や意思決定プロセスについては、かねて透明性の欠如が指摘されている。引き続き注視することが欠かせない。

The Maritime and Air Self-Defense Forces in recent years have been placing greater emphasis on the defense of the Nansei Islands. But due to growing activities by Chinese forces, the SDF are being stretched when dispatching patrol aircraft and other vessels as needed.
 海上・航空自衛隊は近年、南西諸島防衛を重視しているが、中国軍の動きが激しいため、哨戒機などのやり繰りが厳しいという。

We believe it is urgent for the nation to strengthen the "dynamic defense cooperation" with the U.S. military, which is renewing its focus on the Asia region. Improving the deployment formation and equipment of the SDF's maritime and air wings is also a pressing matter. The government should end its paring of defense spending, which has continued for 10 consecutive years.
 「アジア重視」を鮮明にした米軍との「動的防衛協力」を強化するとともに、海空自の部隊配置や装備を充実させることが急務だ。防衛費の10年連続の減少にも、歯止めをかけるべきである。

On the other hand, it is important to step up confidence-building efforts between Japan and China through such measures as reactivating bilateral defense exchanges, which have stalled in the past few years, and establishing an emergency contact system between forces of both nations to deal with a maritime accident.
 一方で、ここ数年停滞している日中防衛交流を再活性化し、海上事故発生時の部隊間の緊急連絡体制を構築するなど、双方の信頼醸成を図ることが重要だ。

===

N. Korea text needs update

With regard to North Korea, the white paper said following the failed test of a ballistic missile in April, Pyongyang "is likely to attempt similar launches" in the future.
 北朝鮮について、白書は、4月の弾道ミサイル発射の失敗を受けて「今後も同様の発射を行う可能性が高い」と指摘した。

Japan must enhance its deterrent capability by expanding the scope of military information sharing with the United States and South Korea and conducting joint exercises with them. The government should quickly conclude a general security of military information agreement with Seoul, the signing of which has been delayed due to domestic issues in South Korea.
 日本は、米韓両国との軍事情報の共有を拡大し、共同演習を通じて抑止力を高めねばならない。韓国の国内事情で延期されている軍事情報包括保護協定(GSOMIA)の締結を急ぐ必要がある。

We find it baffling that since 1994 the white paper has not changed the language it uses to assess North Korea's military movements, saying only that it "constitutes a serious destabilizing factor for security in the entire East Asia region."
 疑問なのは、白書が1994年以来、北朝鮮の軍事動向に関する評価を「東アジア全域の安全保障にとって重大な不安定要因」とし、一切変更していないことだ。

Over this period, Pyongyang has conducted two nuclear tests and test-fired long-distance ballistic missiles and carried out other military provocations that have significantly endangered Japan's security environment. We think the white paper should use expressions that more accurately reflect the changes in North Korea's posture.
 この間、2回の核実験や長距離弾道ミサイル発射などが行われ、日本の安全保障環境は格段に厳しくなっている。北朝鮮情勢の変化を適切に反映した評価の表現を工夫しなければなるまい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 1, 2012)
(2012年8月1日01時13分  読売新聞)

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東電OL殺害 再審を開始し速やかな決着を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 2, 2012)
Mainali retrial must start quickly to resolve case
東電OL殺害 再審を開始し速やかな決着を(8月1日付・読売社説)

In its second ruling on a retrial request in the murder case against Govinda Prasad Mainali, the Tokyo High Court on Tuesday once again expressed the opinion that the real perpetrator may have been someone else. Given the decision, a retrial on the case must be started soon to settle the case promptly.
 真犯人は別にいる可能性があると、裁判所が再び判断した。再審を開始し、速やかに決着をつけるべきだ。

Concerning the case in which a female employee of Tokyo Electric Power Co. was killed in 1997, the Tokyo High Court rejected prosecutors' objection to its earlier decision to grant Mainali a retrial, making it likelier that such a retrial will be held and he will be acquitted.
 東京電力の女性社員殺害事件で、東京高裁は、再審開始決定を不服とする検察の異議申し立てを棄却した。ネパール国籍のゴビンダ・プラサド・マイナリ元被告が、再審無罪になる公算が大きくなったと言える。

Tuesday's decision marked a second loss for the prosecutors following the one they suffered in the court's June decision to grant Mainali a retrial. Since their arguments to show that Mainali was the perpetrator were totally denied, the prosecutors must reflect seriously on their methods of investigation and evidence evaluation.
 6月に東京高裁が再審開始を決定したのに続く、検察の敗北である。元被告が犯人だとする主張を、またも全面否定された検察は、捜査や証拠評価のあり方を猛省しなければならない。

The prosecutors are believed to have decided to comply with the start of a retrial without filing a special appeal with the Supreme Court. This is a reasonable move.
 検察が、最高裁に特別抗告せず、再審開始に応じる方針を固めたのは、当然である。

===

DNA evidence crucial

The original ruling that sentenced Mainali to life imprisonment was shaken to its foundations by the results of DNA tests conducted after retrial request hearings started.
 元被告を無期懲役とした原判決は、再審請求審になってから実施されたDNA鑑定の結果により、根底から揺らいだ。

DNA in evidence collected from various parts of the victim's body was determined to be that of a man other than the former defendant. About 80 samples, including bodily fluid, have been collected for DNA tests, but none of them proved definitively that the murder was committed by Mainali.
 遺体の複数箇所から検出されたDNA型は、元被告とは別の男のものだった。鑑定を行った体液などの試料は約80点に及んだが、元被告の犯行を明確に物語るものは、一つもなかった。

In its decision to reject the prosecutors' objection to the earlier decision, the high court said these DNA test results "serve as new evidence to be used for handing down a not-guilty decision." The court also pointed out that "there remains a suspicion that a third person committed the crime."
 今回の異議審でも、高裁は、これらの鑑定結果を「無罪を言い渡すべき新証拠」と認定した。「第三者が犯人であるとの疑いが残る」とも指摘した。

The prosecutors will reportedly continue their efforts to establish Mainali's guilt.
 検察は、再審の法廷でも争う構えは崩さない方針という。

Is there any new evidence that can prove Mainali to be the perpetrator? The prosecutors should refrain from prolonging the retrial unnecessarily.
 だが、元被告が犯人であることを示す新たな証拠は存在するのだろうか。再審を無用に長引かせるのは避けるべきである。

Leaving Mainali, who has already been released from prison, in a state of limbo in which he has been found neither guilty nor not guilty is troubling from a human rights viewpoint.
 既に釈放された元被告を、無罪か有罪かが確定しない立場に長くとどめておくのは、人権上、問題があろう。

===

Police probe problematic

There might have been problems with the investigation by the Metropolitan Police Department. Mainali, who is from Nepal, was arrested on suspicion of overstaying his visa in violation of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law just four days after the woman's body was found.
 検察だけでなく、警視庁の捜査にも問題があったのではないか。女性の遺体発見から4日後、元被告を入管難民法違反(不法残留)で“スピード逮捕”した。

Later, he was arrested again on suspicion of robbery and murder. In the meantime, investigators secured the cooperation of Mainali's roommate, who had also overstayed his visa, by helping him find a job.
 強盗殺人容疑で再逮捕するまでの間、捜査員が、やはり不法残留だった元被告の同居人に働き口を紹介し、捜査に協力させていた問題も浮上している。

The investigators have no leg to stand on if they are criticized for having decided Mainali was the perpetrator before collecting the necessary evidence.
 証拠を集めるより先に、元被告を犯人だと決め付けていたと言われても仕方がない。

Courts are also heavily to blame.
 裁判所の責任も重い。

Initially, the Tokyo District Court handed down a not-guilty decision for lack of evidence, but the Tokyo High Court overturned the decision, and this guilty decision was upheld by the Supreme Court.
 1審・東京地裁は、証拠不十分で元被告を無罪としたが、東京高裁が逆転有罪として、最高裁もそれを支持した。

Errors in the evaluation of evidence led to the situation as it is now.
 証拠評価の誤りが、今回の事態を招いたと言える。

It must be remembered that trust in the judicial system as a whole is being tested by the Mainali case.
 司法界全体の信頼が問われていることを忘れてはならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 1, 2012)
(2012年8月1日01時13分  読売新聞)

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2012年8月 1日 (水)

社説:原発と民意 不信のマグマがたまる

July 31, 2012(Mainichi Japan)
Editorial: Poll results, nuke protests show public's distrust in gov't at boiling point
社説:原発と民意 不信のマグマがたまる

Members of the general public have almost simultaneously sent signals from two locations that their distrust in politics has heightened to an alarming level.
 原発再稼働問題を中心に国民の政治不信の高まりを示すサインがほぼ同時に発せられた。

In the Yamaguchi gubernatorial election on July 29, a candidate who ran on an anti-nuclear power platform had a strong showing even though he was narrowly defeated by a former bureaucrat backed jointly by the largest opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its former ruling coalition partner New Komeito.
山口県の知事選で「脱原発」を掲げた候補が善戦し、

Meanwhile, a large number of people surrounded the Diet Building during a major anti-nuclear power demonstration in Tokyo on the same day.
東京では反原発を訴える大規模なデモが行われ、参加者が国会議事堂を取り囲んだ。

The fact that an anti-nuclear power candidate gained strong support from those who back no particular political party in a conservative stronghold, and that a huge number of citizens participated in a movement regardless of their party affiliation, have sounded an alarm bell to established political parties, including the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and the LDP.
 保守地盤の厚い地域で「脱原発」候補が無党派層に支持を広げたり、政党を超えた人々の運動が起きたりしていることは民主、自民など既成政党への重い警告と言える。

In particular, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who is trying to resume operations at idled nuclear power stations, should face up to the reality that the public's distrust in politics is at boiling point.
とりわけ、原発再稼働を進める野田佳彦首相は不信のマグマがたまっている現実を直視すべきだ。

The gubernatorial election was a race too close for comfort for the LDP.
 自民にとって冷や汗ものの選挙だったはずだ。

The party won seats in three of the four single-seat constituencies of the House of Representatives in Yamaguchi Prefecture in 2009 when the DPJ scored a landslide victory.
山口県は民主党旋風下の09年衆院選ですら四つのうち3選挙区を自民が制している。

The LDP-New Komeito alliance fielded Shigetaro Yamamoto, a former high-ranking bureaucrat of the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry, while the DPJ was unable to field any candidate. Under ordinary circumstances, it would have been an easy win for the LDP and Komeito.
自公は国土交通省OBの山本繁太郎氏を擁立したが民主は候補擁立に至らず無風でもおかしくない構図だった。

However, the candidacy of Tetsunari Iida, who is an advocate of a breakaway from nuclear power and was the brains behind Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto's political rise, drastically changed the situation.
 だが「脱原発」論者で橋下徹大阪市長のブレーンだった飯田哲也氏の出馬で、様相は一変した。

During his campaign, Iida demanded that Chugoku Electric Power Co.'s plan to build the Kaminoseki Nuclear Power Plant in the prefecture be scrapped altogether.
飯田氏は中国電力上関原発の建設計画の白紙撤回を主張、

The LDP and Komeito was alarmed by the growing support Iida gained from prefectural residents by staging a campaign in a way similar to that of Hashimoto's Osaka Restoration Association.
「山口八策」など大阪維新の会を連想させる選挙を展開した。

Yamamoto, who is in favor of the promotion of nuclear power, insisted that the Kaminoseki nuclear plant project be frozen in a desperate bid to prevent the issue from emerging as a major point of contention during the race.
自公は危機感を募らせ、原発推進だった山本氏も計画「凍結」に修正、争点化の回避を迫られた。

Even though Yamamoto was elected, no one should downplay the fact that Iida, who launched a grass-root election campaign without the backing of any established political party, only trailed Yamamoto by about 67,000 votes.
 結局山本氏が当選したが、草の根選挙で約6万7000票差に飯田氏が追い上げたことは軽視できない。

According to exit polls by news organizations including the Mainichi Shimbun, 53 percent of voters who support no particular political party, voted for Iida.
 毎日新聞などの出口調査では無党派層の53%が飯田氏に投票した。

The possibility cannot be ruled out that prefectural residents directed their criticism of the Noda Cabinet for trying to reactivate nuclear plants and approving U.S. forces' introduction of the Osprey vertical takeoff and landing aircraft to Japan at the LDP and Komeito, which are established political parties.
原発再稼働や米軍機オスプレイの搬入問題など野田内閣への批判が同じ既成政党勢力として自公推薦候補に向かった可能性がある。

Following the election, these established parties appear to be increasingly wary of any new political parties, including the Osaka Restoration Association, that are planning to field candidates in the next House of Representatives election in a bid to form a third bloc in the Diet.
次期衆院選で大阪維新の会など「第三極」進出への既成政党側の警戒は強まろう。

These moves are closely related to steady growth in the number of participants in anti-nuclear power demonstrations staged in front of the Prime Minister's Office in Tokyo.
 こうした動きは毎週、首相官邸前で行われる反原発デモの広がりと決して無縁ではない。

A massive number of citizens spontaneously participated in the July 29 demonstration organized by a citizens' network despite the scorching heat, filling streets around the Diet Building.
市民ネットワークが呼びかけた29日の大規模デモ行進には猛烈な暑さの中、幅広い年齢層の人たちが自発的に参加し、国会議事堂周辺を埋め尽くした。

Large-scale, nonpartisan movements, which had not been observed in Japan for decades, should be viewed as citizens' extremely important expression of their will.
 日本で久しくみられなかった脱政党、脱組織型の大規模な市民行動はとても重要な意思表示だ。

These movements reflect citizens' growing concerns that the Noda administration is trying to take the opportunity of the reactivation of two idled reactors at the Oi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukui Prefecture to resume operations at other nuclear plants one after the other and that the government will give up its policy of decreasing Japan's reliance on atomic power to revive its nuclear power promotion policy.
The movements also illustrate citizens' anger at the lack of a system under which they can directly reflect their concerns in politics.
関西電力大飯原発をきっかけに野田内閣がなし崩しに原発再稼働を進め、政府のエネルギー政策がかつての状況に後戻りする懸念、そうした思いを直接政治に反映するすべのない怒りの表れであろう。

However, top government officials' response to these moves is extremely slack.
にもかかわらず、官邸の反応はあまりに鈍い。

The Mainichi Shimbun's latest opinion poll shows that the approval rating for the Noda Cabinet hit a record low of 23 percent since its inauguration.
 毎日新聞の最近の世論調査では野田内閣の支持率は23%と、発足以来最低を記録した。

The sharp decline in the approval rating is attributable to various factors, such as a split of the DPJ and the public's opposition to the consumption tax increase.
民主党分裂や消費増税問題などさまざまな要因はあろうが、

Noda and members of his Cabinet should take its declining popularity seriously as the public's warning against the high-handed manner in which the Noda administration has decided on policy measures, such as the reactivation of nuclear plants and the introduction of the Osprey aircraft.
原発再稼働、オスプレイ配備など手荒な政権運営に陥りつつあることへの世論の警告を真剣に受け止めるべきだ。

毎日新聞 2012年07月31日 02時31分

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国会を包囲する人々―民主主義を鍛え直そう

--The Asahi Shimbun, July 30
EDITORIAL: Anti-nuke protests offer an opportunity to move democracy forward
国会を包囲する人々―民主主義を鍛え直そう

A myriad of lights cast a soft glow around the Diet building as dusk fell on July 29.
 夕暮れの国会議事堂を、無数の灯(ともしび)が取り囲んだ。

Thousands of anti-nuclear protesters formed a human chain around most of the Tokyo landmark in the latest of a continuing series of demonstrations against the reopening of nuclear power plants following the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The "Encircle the Diet" rally was organized by a coalition of citizen groups.
Participants demanding the phaseout of nuclear power generation in Japan chanted slogans against the restart of idled nuclear reactors, holding candles and flashlights.
 きのう、市民グループの呼びかけであった「国会大包囲」。脱原発を求める人々が、キャンドルやペンライトを手に「再稼働反対」を連呼した。

The massive demonstration came after several months of Friday night protests at the prime minister's office and the Diet building. Tens of thousands of people have joined the growing movement.
 ここ数カ月、毎週金曜の夕方には、首相官邸と国会の前でも何万という人々が抗議の声をあげている。

Never have so many Japanese participated in a movement against a government policy since a wave of protests against the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty swept the nation half a century ago in 1960.
 1960年の安保闘争から半世紀。これほどの大群衆が、政治に「ノー」を突きつけたことはなかった。

This loud chorus of objections to nuclear power generation that has risen among the silent majority is an amazing change triggered by the March 11, 2011, disaster and the subsequent reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
 「もの言わぬ国民」による異議申し立て。3・11と福島原発事故がもたらした驚くべき変化である。

MOVEMENT FUELED BY REACTOR RESTARTS
■原発再稼働で拡大

The weekly anti-nuclear protests in front of the prime minister's office began at the end of March with just 300 participants. The number of protesters swelled after the government decided in June to bring two idled reactors at the Oi nuclear power plant back online.
 官邸前の抗議行動は、3月末に300人ほどで始まった。それが、6月に政府が大飯原発の再稼働を決めた前後から、みるみる膨らんだ。

One participant in the July 29 rally, a 60-year-old, self-employed woman from the city of Shimanto, Kochi Prefecture, expressed her indignation at Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's remarks at the news conference to announce his decision to reactivate the two reactors.
 「大包囲」に来た高知県四万十市の自営業の女性(60)は、再稼働を表明した野田首相の記者会見に憤る。

"I can't forgive him for saying he had decided (to restart the reactors) for the people's sense of security," the woman said. "He should have been honest and said (his decision had been) for money."
「国民の安心のために決断したという言葉が許せない。正直に金もうけのためといえばいいのに」

Most of the protesters who were interviewed by The Asahi Shimbun shared the feeling that the government and electric utilities, which are in a rush to restart reactors, are hiding the truth.
 再稼働を急ぐ政府や電力会社は「本当のこと」を語っていない――。話を聞いた参加者にほぼ共通する思いだ。

First of all, they find it hard to believe the claim that nuclear power plants in Japan are basically safe.
 まず、「安全だ」という説明が信じられない。

That's hardly surprising. The causes of the accident have yet to be fully identified, while it is suspected that the Oi plant in Fukui Prefecture, operated by Kansai Electric Power Co., could be sitting atop an active fault.
 当然だろう。事故原因も判然とせず、大飯では活断層の存在も疑われている。

We wonder how many Japanese are willing to accept Noda's assertion that the nation is equipped with a reliable system to prevent a recurrence of nuclear accidents.
首相が「事故を防止できる体制は整っている」と力んでも、真に受ける人がどれほどいるのか。

The protesters are also suspicious of the claim that there will be a serious power shortage unless reactors are reactivated.
 「電気が足りなくなる」という説明にも疑問の目を向ける。

They say that there was a sufficient power supply last winter and that no shortage is emerging this summer despite repeated warnings about a power crunch.
 足りない、足りないと言いながら、昨冬もこの夏も余裕があるではないか。

They suspect that the real motive behind the hasty move to restart reactors is to protect the financial health of the electric utilities, which are suffering from higher fuel costs due to increased thermal power generation.
再稼働の本当の理由は、電力会社の経営を守るためではないのか。

Some of the protesters accept that nuclear power generation can only be phased out through a time-consuming process.
 参加者の中には、原発ゼロを実現するにはある程度時間がかかると考える人もいる。

If Noda had clearly committed his administration to weaning Japan from dependence on atomic energy and mapped out a plan to decommission reactors over time, starting with the most dangerous ones, his efforts to reopen reactors might not have stirred such a huge wave of public outrage.
 もし首相が「脱原発」の立場を明確にし、危険度の高い原発から順次廃炉にする行程を示していたら、ここまで怒りが燃え広がることはなかったのではないか。

DEEP-ROOTED DISTRUST OF ESTABLISHMENT
■根強い体制不信

But the Noda administration's actions concerning nuclear power generation are not the only problem.
 ただ、問題は野田政権のふるまいだけにとどまらない。

At the root of the protest movement is strong distrust of the way indirect democracy is practiced in this country.
抗議の根っこにあるのは、間接民主主義のあり方に対する強い不信感である。

One of the protesters, a 77-year-old woman from the city of Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture, said: "Democracy is supposed to be politics based on people's opinions. Politics that ignores people's voices is nothing more than fascism."
 兵庫県姫路市の女性(77)は「民主主義は民の声を聴く政治のはず。声が届かないのはファッショだ」と語った。

This viewpoint has been expressed time and again at the protest rallies.
 こんな声は抗議の場のあちこちで聴かれる。

Indirect democracy should allow voters to realize the policies they favor through their elected representatives, or legislators. Many Japanese seem to feel that the nation's system of indirect democracy is not functioning properly in that their voices are rarely heeded by policymakers.
 有権者が、選挙で選んだ自分たちの代表(議員)を通じて政策を実現する。その間接民主主義の回路が機能せず、自分たちの声が政治に届かない。

This sense of frustration appears to have been driving people into actions that seem closer to direct democracy.
 そんないらだちが、人々を直接民主主義的な行動に駆り立てているのではないか。

The Fukushima nuclear disaster was clearly the last straw.
 そして、これを決定づけたのが原発事故だった。

Many Japanese believe it was not a natural disaster but the result of human error due to failures by the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operated the plant.
 これは天災ではなく、電力会社や政府による人災だ。

They criticize the government and TEPCO for not immediately disclosing the facts of core meltdowns nor information about the release of radioactive materials from the plant into the environment.
メルトダウンの事実も、放射性物質の飛散情報もすぐに公表しなかった。

They don't trust news organizations either, which they believe base their reports mostly on information provided by the government.
そんな政府の情報をもとに報道するメディアも信用できない――。

People are not just distrustful of politics. They are also critical of newspapers and TV networks, which they regard as part of the establishment.
 政治不信にとどまらず、新聞やテレビまで「体制側」とみなして批判の目を向ける。それほど不信の根は深い。

COMPLEMENTARY ROLES OF POLICYMAKERS AND PEOPLE
■補完しあう関係築け

The trend toward direct democracy will only accelerate in coming years.
 直接民主主義の流れは、今後も強まるだろう。

Large-scale political movements like the one against the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty have not been seen in Japan for decades. This was most likely because Japan was preoccupied with rapid economic growth.
 安保闘争のような大規模な政治行動は、高度経済成長とともに70年代以降、影を潜めた。

But Japan has entered an era of economic decline. We are now in danger of losing the wealth and even the safety we have long taken for granted.
 いまは右肩下がりの時代。手にしていたはずの豊かさも、安全までも、ポロポロとこぼれ落ちる。

Politicians have to be held accountable for policy problems in various areas. This is an essential part of the democratic process.
さまざまなテーマで、政治の責任を追及する声がやむことはあるまい。

But no good would come from political confrontation between the establishment and the people, separated by the wall of the prime minister’s office and alienated from each other by mutual distrust.
 そんなとき、官邸の壁を隔て、「体制」と「民衆」が相互不信に凝り固まって対峙(たいじ)していては何も生まれない。

Direct democracy is an effective means to ensure that people's voices are reflected in policymaking during periods between elections.
 直接民主主義は、選挙と選挙の間の民意を映す方法としては有効だ。

It is the job of political parties and politicians to incorporate their views into actual policies.
しかし、その声を政策に落とし込むのはあくまでも政党や政治家の役割である。

There is a communication breakdown between policymakers and the people. This needs to be quickly addressed by establishing a mutually complementary relationship.
 国民との間の詰まったパイプを修繕し、新しい回路をつくることで相互補完の関係を築く。

One of the leaders of the coalition organizing protest rallies says the movement has prodded some lawmakers into action as the scale of public opposition to nuclear power is plain for all to see.
 一連の抗議行動を呼びかけた市民グループのリーダーの一人は「大規模な抗議行動で、数を可視化することで議員が動き出した」と語る。

As the wave of protests swelled, lawmakers of both the ruling and opposition camps started joining the rallies.
 抗議の人波が膨れあがるのにあわせて、与野党の議員が行動に加わるようになった。

A group of local assembly members have formed a new environmentalist party, Midori no To (Greens Japan), under the banner of immediate abolition of all nuclear power plants.
地方議員らが「原発の即時全廃」を掲げて「緑の党」を立ち上げた。

Some of these moves among politicians are probably attempts to garner votes in the next national election by jumping on the anti-nuclear bandwagon.
But there is no denying that people's voices are beginning to influence politics.
 中には選挙目当ての便乗組もいるだろうが、人々の声が政治を動かしつつあるのは確かだ。

The organizers of the protest rallies are asking for meetings with top officials at the prime minister's office.
 抗議行動の主催者らは、官邸側に面会を申し入れているという。

We think Noda should invite protesters in all age groups to his office for a discussion.
この際、老壮青の参加者も招き入れて、首相みずから話し合ってはどうか。

That would be a good start for fresh efforts to change "negative democracy," driven by distrust, into "positive democracy" based on trust and dialogue.
 それを手始めに、不信に動かされる「負の民主主義」を、信頼と対話に基づく「正の民主主義」に鍛え直していくのだ。

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地震の研究 観測強化を防災対策に生かせ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 1, 2012)
Upgrade earthquake research to protect lives and property
地震の研究 観測強化を防災対策に生かせ(7月31日付・読売社説)

Earthquake research must be promoted effectively to protect people's lives and property.
 国民の生命や財産を守るために、今度こそ、有効な研究を進めたい。

The government's Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion--headed by Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Minister Hirofumi Hirano--has put together a proposal to revise its fundamental policy on earthquake and tsunami research.
 政府の地震調査研究推進本部(本部長・平野文部科学相)が、地震や津波の調査研究に関する「基本方針」の見直し案をまとめた。

As part of measures to prevent and reduce disaster damage, the headquarters has been researching and evaluating seismic activity to assess where and how temblors are most likely to occur. The basic policy describes research and evaluation methods and the tasks to be shared by the government offices concerned.
 推進本部は、防災・減災対策の一環として、どこで、どんな地震が起こるかを調査、評価している。基本方針は、その手法や関係府省の分担を定めたものだ。

The revision proposal includes a policy of strengthening a seismic monitoring network by installing additional seismometers on the seabed and taking other measures on the assumption that a mega-earthquake will occur. The revision is aimed at making it possible to assess in advance the scale of earthquakes and tsunami wherever they may occur in this country.
 見直し案は超巨大地震の発生を前提に、海底に地震計を増設するなど観測網の強化を打ち出した。各地の揺れや津波が、どれほど大きくなるかを、あらかじめ見積もれるようにするのが目的だ。

The basic policy calls for improving and upgrading the technology to forecast earthquakes and tsunami for the issuance of emergency bulletins. The height of tsunami forecast by the Meteorological Agency before the Great East Japan Earthquake was lower than what actually occurred, and erroneous emergency earthquake bulletins were issued.
 速報の予測技術の改良や高度化にも取り組む。東日本大震災では当初、気象庁が津波の高さを低く予報したり、余震の緊急地震速報が誤ったりした。

The revision proposal is reasonable in light of the lessons from the major earthquake, which registered a magnitude of 9.
 マグニチュード9だった大震災の教訓を踏まえれば、妥当な内容と言えよう。

===

Research results weren't useful

The current basic policy was formulated in 2009, but almost none of the existing research results could be utilized in the case of the March 11, 2011, disaster.
 現行の基本方針は2009年に策定されたが、大震災では、それまでの調査研究の成果をほとんど生かせなかった。

This is because the occurrence of a mega-earthquake and a huge tsunami was not assumed. The basic policy was shaken to its foundations due to the occurrence of events that were totally "beyond assumptions."
 超巨大地震の発生も、巨大津波の襲来による大規模な被害も、予測されていなかったためだ。全くの「想定外」続出で、基本方針は根底から揺らいでいた。

It is essential to utilize research results to bolster earthquake and tsunami countermeasures. The Central Disaster Prevention Council, which serves as the government's control tower for disaster prevention measures, must cooperate closely with the Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion.
 調査研究の成果を、地震・津波対策の強化につなげることが重要だ。防災対策の司令塔である中央防災会議は、推進本部と密接に連携すべきである。

The tectonic conditions below the Japanese archipelago changed in the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake, threatening to trigger a new gigantic temblor. Such induced earthquakes in fact occurred frequently following the earthquake that took place off Sumatra, Indonesia, in 2004.
 大震災で日本列島の地下の状況が変わり、これが新たな巨大地震を誘発するとの懸念もある。04年のインドネシア・スマトラ島沖地震の後、実際、こうした誘発地震が続発している。

On the Pacific coast of western Japan, there is concern that an earthquake may occur in the Nankai Trough, with its magnitude and the size of a subsequent tsunami threatening to exceed even those in the case of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
 西日本の太平洋沿岸では、地震や津波の規模が東日本大震災を上回ると言われる南海トラフ巨大地震の発生が心配されている。

Enhancing earthquake research is of vital importance.
 地震の調査研究の充実は待ったなしと言えよう。

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A shortage of experts

The proposals worked out this time for revision of the basic policy incorporate new initiatives, such as conducting research of the past tsunami traces along the coasts in various parts of the country. The fact remains, however, that there are almost no experts available to carry out such research. No effort should be spared in fostering human resources and improving the research system.
 今回の見直し案には、過去の津波の痕跡を各地の沿岸で調べるなど新たな視点も盛り込まれた。だが、ほとんど専門家はいないのが現状だ。人材の育成や体制の整備も忘れてはならない。

Earthquakes are extremely difficult to predict precisely because their occurrence depends on a variety of overlapping factors. A huge earthquake with a magnitude exceeding any assumption could happen at any time in an unexpected place.
 地震は複雑かつ、多様な要因が重なって発生するため、完璧な予測は困難だ。思わぬ場所で思わぬ巨大地震が発生する「想定外」の恐れは常にある。

The envisaged new basic policy calls on experts to explain in detail, to people within and outside the government, the practical limits to earthquake research. It is also necessary to devise ways to improve the distribution of information.
 新たな基本方針は、そうした限界を専門家が政府内外に丁寧に説明することを求めている。情報発信の工夫も必要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 31, 2012)
(2012年7月31日01時57分  読売新聞)

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被災地集団移転 官民の知恵と能力を結集せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 1, 2012)
Use private sector to carry out mass relocation projects
被災地集団移転 官民の知恵と能力を結集せよ(7月31日付・読売社説)

Time is of the essence in carrying out reconstruction projects in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake. The greater the delay in reconstruction, the more likely residents will abandon their hometowns and move elsewhere.
 東日本大震災の復興事業は時間との闘いでもある。復興が遅れるほど、故郷を見限り、離れる住民が増えてしまう。

It is essential to offer disaster victims hope for the future so they will want to continue living in their local communities. They could, for example, be presented a timetable for each reconstruction project.
 事業別に工程表を示すことなどで、被災者が将来に希望を持って地元に住み続けるようにすることが大切だ。

More than 16 months after the March 11, 2011, disaster, projects aimed at the mass relocation of residences as a disaster prevention measure will finally begin in tsunami-hit areas. On Sunday, residential land development will start in areas to which six communities in Iwanuma, Miyagi Prefecture, will be relocated. This project has shown the most progress.
 大震災から1年4か月以上を経て、津波被災地での防災集団移転促進事業がようやく動き出す。最も進捗(しんちょく)が見られる宮城県岩沼市の6集落の移転事業で、移転先の宅地造成が8月5日に始まる。

According to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey conducted in early July, among about 26,000 households in 26 cities, towns and villages in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures that are subject to relocation, only 22 percent have received the central government's approval for subsidized relocation projects.
 読売新聞の7月上旬の調査によると、岩手、宮城、福島3県の26市町村で約2万6000戸が集団移転の対象だが、このうち政府の同意を取り付け、事業化が決まったのは22%にとどまっている。

This is because it takes time to build a consensus among residents and procedures to secure relocation sites are delayed due to shortages of local government technical staff.
 住民の合意形成に時間を要したり、自治体の技術系職員の不足から移転先の土地確保などの手続きが遅れたりしているためだ。

===

Large amount of funds unused

Of about 15 trillion yen in reconstruction-related budget in fiscal 2011, 6 trillion yen has not been used. This symbolizes the delay in reconstruction projects.
 昨年度の復興関連予算約15兆円のうち6兆円が未消化なのも、復興事業の遅れを象徴している。

The damage caused by last year's disaster was far greater than in past natural disasters.
 過去の災害と比べて、今回は被害の規模がはるかに大きい。

After the Niigata Prefecture Chuetsu Earthquake in 2004, it took about two years to relocate 115 households. This time, more than 200 times that number of households have to be relocated.
 集団移転事業は、新潟県中越地震の際、115戸で約2年を要したのに対し、今回は、その200倍以上が対象になる。

In the wake of the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake, 20 districts with an average 12.8 hectares each were subject to land readjustment projects. That compares with 58 districts and an average of 90 hectares this time.
 土地区画整理事業も、阪神大震災では20地区、平均12・8ヘクタールだったのに対し、今回は58地区、平均90ヘクタールに上っている。

Once massive residential land development and housing construction projects go into full swing in disaster-hit areas in the Tohoku region, securing sufficient workers and materials will become difficult. This could prolong the projects and increase costs.
 今後、東北の被災地で、膨大な宅地造成や住宅建設の事業が本格化すれば、作業員や資材の確保が困難になり、事業がより長引き、費用も膨らみかねない。

Deregulation also should be quickly implemented and relevant guidelines drawn up to simplify procedures to allow forest reserve development necessary for residential land creation and to carry out research into the possibility cultural property may be buried on land selected for relocation.
 宅地造成に必要な保安林の開発許可や埋蔵文化財調査などの作業を簡素化するため、規制緩和や指針策定を急ぐことが必要だ。

===

More support staff needed

Many small localities in coastal areas of the Tohoku region suffer from depopulation. Even if large amounts of funds are used to relocate residences, there is a possibility this may create more underpopulated areas as well as genkai shuraku--depopulated communities in which more than half the residents are 65 or older.
 東北の沿岸部は、過疎に悩む小規模自治体が少なくない。多額の予算を費やして集団移転しても、新たな過疎地や限界集落を作り出す可能性がある。

Discussions are needed to work out comprehensive measures, including how to view the future of areas where residences are relocated.
移転先の将来像をどう描くのか、総合的な対策の検討が求められる。

To accelerate mass relocation projects, it is critical to increase the number of responsible employees at local governments. Though it will require patience, it is important to increase the number of support staff from the central government as well as city, town and village governments in other parts of the country. We think retired employees should be rehired and sent to local governments in disaster-hit areas.
 集団移転の作業を加速するには自治体の担当職員の数を増やすことが欠かせない。地道ながら、全国の市町村や政府が派遣する応援職員をさらに積み増すことが重要だ。OB職員を積極的に再任用し、派遣してはどうか。

The governments of Higashi-Matsushima and Onagawa in Miyagi Prefecture plan to implement town development projects under the design-build system in which the design and order placement normally carried out by local governments will be entrusted to general contractors and consulting companies.
 宮城県東松島市や女川町では、本来は自治体が行う設計・発注業務もゼネコンやコンサルタント会社に委任する設計・施工一括発注方式の町づくり事業を予定している。

Relocation projects should be accelerated by making the best use of the wisdom and capability of the private sector.
民間の知恵や能力を最大限活用し、事業を加速させたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 31, 2012)
(2012年7月31日01時57分  読売新聞)

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