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2012年10月11日 (木)

オスプレイ配備 より強固な日米同盟の象徴に

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Oct. 11, 2012)
Osprey should be symbol of stronger Japan-U.S. alliance
オスプレイ配備 より強固な日米同盟の象徴に(10月10日付・読売社説)

The U.S. military's new MV-22 Osprey transport aircraft have been deployed to Okinawa Prefecture.
 米軍の新型輸送機MV22オスプレイが沖縄に配備された。

The government must unbendingly continue its efforts to explain the purpose of the aircraft's deployment and its safety to local people concerned.
 政府は、その意義と安全性を地元関係者に粘り強く説明し続けなければならない。

During a meeting with Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda sought support for basing the Ospreys at the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station. "The major premises of the deployment are that it can be done safely and give utmost consideration to the daily lives of local residents," Noda said.
 野田首相が沖縄県の仲井真弘多知事と会談し、オスプレイの米軍普天間飛行場配備について「安全性の確保や地域住民の生活に最大限配慮することが大前提だ」と述べ、理解を求めた。

Nakaima pressed for the deployment to be reviewed, saying, "The Futenma base is located in a populous area, and it can't be said [the deployment] is safe in some aspects." The governor also handed Noda a written request that demanded the Japan-U.S. agreement on ensuring the safety of Osprey operations be followed to the letter.
 仲井真氏は「普天間基地は街の中にあり、安全と言えない面もある」と述べ、配備見直しを求めた。オスプレイ運用の安全確保に関する日米合意の徹底順守などを求める要請書も首相に手渡した。

To ensure the Ospreys operate safely, the government made various efforts such as conducting examinations of the aircraft, holding consultations in the Japan-U.S. Joint Committee and reaching an agreement on safety measures in the committee.
 オスプレイの安全性を追求するため、政府は、日本独自の検証や日米合同委員会の協議・合意など様々な手段を尽くしてきた。

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Safety risks overblown

Some residents in Okinawa Prefecture have reported witnessing Ospreys fly in the helicopter mode used for vertical takeoffs and landings while in the skies above populated areas. They pointed out that this would be a violation of the Japan-U.S. agreement.
 沖縄では、「市街地上空で垂直離着陸(ヘリコプター)モードの飛行が目撃された。日米合意違反だ」といった指摘がある。

Nevertheless, the safest way to operate aircraft changes depending on such factors as weather conditions. It is out of the question that the U.S. forces would choose dangerous flight operations. We consider it unreasonable to immediately judge, based on the flight mode alone, that the agreement has been violated.
 だが、最も安全な飛行方法は気象条件などで変わる。米軍がわざわざ危険な飛行を選ぶはずもない。飛行モードだけで合意違反と速断するのは無理があろう。

The accident rate for the MV-22 Osprey is lower than the overall average for aircraft operated by the U.S. Marine Corps. In particular, the accident rate for the Osprey's first 100,000 flight hours is the lowest among the marines' aircraft. Based on this data, we think it is wrong to claim the Osprey is an extremely dangerous aircraft.
 MV22の事故率は海兵隊の全航空機平均より低い。特に、導入当初10万飛行時間の事故率は海兵隊では最小だ。データ面から見ても、オスプレイが極めて危険であるかのような主張はおかしい。

More importantly, the deployment of Ospreys strengthens the Japan-U.S. alliance and contributes to stability in Asia.
 さらに重要なのは、オスプレイ配備が日米同盟を強化し、アジアの安定にも寄与することだ。

China is stepping up its naval and air force activities in the East China Sea, which includes waters around the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture. Given the hefty increases in China's defense spending, it can be assumed that Beijing intends to continue beefing up and modernizing its vessels and aircraft over the mid- and long-term.
 中国が、沖縄県・尖閣諸島周辺を含む東シナ海で海空軍の活動を活発化させている。今後も、国防費の大幅な伸びを背景に、艦船や航空機の増強と近代化を中長期的に続けると見るべきだ。

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Wide array of operations

Compared with CH-46 transport helicopters--the U.S. forces' current transport workhorse--Ospreys are far superior in terms of cruising speed and flight range. The new aircraft will help the marines improve their rapid response capabilities and strengthen the deterrent of U.S. military forces in Japan as a whole, not only as part of a strategy toward China.
 従来の米軍輸送ヘリCH46と比べて、オスプレイは巡航速度や航続距離が大幅に上回っている。海兵隊の即応力を高め、対中国戦略の一環だけでなく、在日米軍全体の抑止力の強化につながる。

Furthermore, the Ospreys will do more than just jump into action in the event of a contingency on the Korean Peninsula and when defending remote islands. The aircraft will play significant roles in times of peace, such as disaster response operations and providing humanitarian aid.
 朝鮮半島有事や離島防衛にとどまらず、災害対応や人道支援など、平時に果たす役割も大きい。

Noda should factor these points into his argument as he tries to win over Nakaima and other local government officials concerned.
 野田首相は、こうした観点からも、引き続き仲井真氏や地元自治体を説得すべきだ。

To make maximum use of the Osprey's capabilities, it is essential that U.S. forces conduct joint exercises with the Self-Defense Forces, in addition to drills on their own.
 オスプレイの能力を十分生かすには、米軍単独の訓練に加え自衛隊との共同演習が欠かせない。

In mid-October, the Ospreys are expected to begin full-scale operations in Okinawa Prefecture. Exercises using SDF bases elsewhere in the nation are likely to take place sometime in the future.
 今月中旬には、沖縄での本格運用が始まるほか、日本本土でも、自衛隊基地を使用した訓練がいずれ行われる方向だ。

These exercises should be steadily conducted to help reduce the excessive burden Okinawa Prefecture shoulders in hosting U.S. bases, by sharing the load around the nation.
 沖縄の過重な基地負担の一部を日本全体で引き受ける趣旨からも着実に実施に移したい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 10, 2012)
(2012年10月10日01時09分  読売新聞)

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