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2012年8月 1日 (水)

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。

===

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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