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2013年1月31日 (木)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:怒りの対象は他にいる? /東京

January 20, 2013(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Could the target of sibling anger be elsewhere?
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:怒りの対象は他にいる? /東京

During consultations in January, I often hear stories about going home for the New Year's holidays. Most of them are negative stories about clashes and hurt feelings among family.
 1月の診察室では、「正月の帰省」をめぐる話題がよく語られる。それも、どちらかというと「家族とぶつかった、傷つけられた」というネガティブな話が多い。

In particular, stories about clashing with siblings stand out. Having become adults and made their own families, there is a newfound inequality among them. Complaints arise over how much they are helping around the house, or treating other family members. At the end, they add, "You know, he/she has been like that since they were a kid."
 中でも目につくのが、実家で久しぶりに顔を合わせたきょうだいと衝突した話だ。とくにお互いおとなになっていたり家族を築いていたりすると、きょうだい間でも“格差”が生まれる。「兄一家が帰省したけれど何もせず、妹の私ひとりが働いた」「妹がウチの子どもにお年玉をくれなかった。私はあげたのに」など、何かにつけ比べては「ひどい、ずるい」と相手を非難する。そして最後につけ加わるのが、「そういえばあの人は子どもの頃からそうだった」というひとことだ。

Psychologist Carl Jung gave these fights and jealousies among siblings a name, a "Cain Complex," after the Old Testament's Cain, who killed his brother Abel for being shown more favor by God.
 きょうだい間の嫉妬、憎み合いなどの葛藤に、心理学者のユングは「カインコンプレックス」という名前をつけた。カインとは旧約聖書に出てくる人物で、「自分よりも神さまに気に入られた」という理由で弟のアベルを殺害してしまう。

Interestingly, though it was God who showed different levels of favor, Cain's disdain was for his brother.
Perhaps it is the same for regular sibling rivalries. Though they don't really hate each other, they feel that their parents love the other more. Or, they may feel like Heaven itself is on their siblings' side, with them always getting the luck in life. Though they should ask their parents, or Heaven, "Why? I'm working hard, so wouldn't it be OK for me to get some attention," they don't. Instead they turn feelings of hatred and resentment toward their siblings who are having all the fun.
 面白いのは、愛情に差をつけたのは神さまなのに、カインは神をではなくて弟を憎んだことだ。
一般のきょうだいもそうかもしれない。もともとはきらいではないのに、親が自分よりもきょうだいのほうを愛しているように感じる。あるいは、天までもきょうだいに味方して、向こうばかりがラッキーに生きている気がする。本来なら親や天に「どうして? 私だって一生懸命なのだから、こっちを向いてくれてもいいじゃない」と抗議すべきなのに、そうしない。そして、良い思いをひとりじめしているように見えるきょうだいに、恨みや憎しみを向けてしまうのだ。

How about if people who are irritated with siblings took a moment to think? Is who you are angry at really your siblings? Perhaps there is someone else to whom you want to say, "Look at me more. Be kinder to me."
 きょうだいに腹が立つ、という人は一度、考えてみたらどうだろう。私が怒っているのは、本当にそのきょうだいに対してなのか。もしかすると、「もっと私のことも見て、やさしくして」と要求したい相手は、どこか別にいるのではないか。

In my consultation room, there was a woman who was always badmouthing her younger brother. Once, over a lengthy talk, she realized that the source of her jealousy was feelings that her brother was loved more by his spouse than she was by hers. She later told me her feelings of frustration disappeared when she resolved to try to better understand her husband.
This New Year's period, if you felt negative emotions toward a sibling, why not consider that they may have been trying to say to you, "You know, isn't there someone else to whom you want to say something?"
 診察室でいつも弟の悪口を言っていた女性は、時間をかけて話す中で、「自分の妬みの原因は、弟がその妻に大切にされているのに、自分の夫は私に無関心なことなんだ」と気づいた。そして「今年はまず自分が夫を理解しよう」と心を決めたら、イライラの気持ちも消えていった、と話してくれた。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2013年01月15日 地方版

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香山リカのココロの万華鏡:新しいプライド /東京

January 27, 2013(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: A new source of pride
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:新しいプライド /東京

I recently read a popular book about the janitors of a certain company on bullet trains. It describes their work as they perfectly prepare the train's interior during what might be a seven-minute stop. What is impressive is not only the janitors' work, but also how the staff line up before and after their work to bow, and how they stop to help passengers in need.
 話題の本、「新幹線お掃除の天使たち」を読んだ。停車中の7分間で新幹線の車内清掃を完璧に仕上げる会社の現場リポートだ。この会社のすごさは、清掃の速さや仕上がりの丁寧さだけではない。清掃の前後にはスタッフたちは一列に並んで深々とお辞儀、ホームで困っている乗客がいれば進んで手を貸す。

With their undying smiles and even the middle- to senior-aged employees wearing hats with accessories like seasonal flowers, they look fashionable and seem to be enjoying their jobs. People who see them even once are impressed and surprised. I, too, had long wondered, "Why can these people work with such energy?"
 笑顔を絶やさず、ミドルからシニアの清掃員たちも制帽に季節の花のアクセサリーをつけるなど、とてもおしゃれで楽しそう。一度でも仕事ぶりを見た人たちは、「すごい!」「どんな会社なの?」と驚き、気になるに違いない。実は私も長いあいだ、「どうしてこんなにイキイキと働けるんだろう」と不思議に思っていたのだ。

After reading the book, I now understand the secret somewhat. The managers respect the workers' opinions, and put their suggestions into practice. But more than anything, those in charge gather good things about the employees into a newsletter called the "Angel Report." Over 70 percent of the company's employees can be complimented in the newsletter.
 今回、このリポートを読んで、その秘密が少しわかった。経営者は現場の声を何より大切にする「全員経営」を目指し、スタッフからの提案、アイデアをすぐに実行する。何よりすごいのは、現場の主任がスタッフの“よいところ”を見つけ、それを「エンジェル・リポート」という壁新聞のスタイルにまとめ、張り出すことにしているのだ。全スタッフの7割以上がこの「エンジェル・リポート」の対象となって、誰かに自分の良さを見つけられ、ほめられている計算になるそうだ。

The book introduces some personal stories from this Angel Report. One woman who began working after passing 60 years of age liked the job but was somewhat embarrassed to be a janitor. However, after being thanked by a passenger she helped and hearing comments from her sister-in-law about how impressive the bullet train cleaners were, she says she started to feel she had gained "a new sense of pride" from the job.
 本には、エンジェル・リポートに基づいたスタッフたちの体験談が紹介されている。60歳をすぎてから働き出した女性は、仕事はすぐ好きになったが「お掃除のおばさん」をしていることをちょっと恥じていた。しかし、荷物運びを手伝った乗客から「ありがとう」と言われたり、偶然、自分が清掃した車両に乗っていた義妹から「新幹線のお掃除はすばらしい、ってニュースでも見た。すごいじゃない」と言われたりしているうちに、こう思うようになる。「私はこの会社に入るとき、プライドを捨てました。でも、この会社に入って、新しいプライドを得たんです」

I think "a new sense of pride" is a nice phrase. It is something you cannot get from money, status, or compliments in society. It is gotten from those around us noticing our efforts, or thinking ourselves that what we are doing is fun and worthwhile. It lets us feel confidence in ourselves.
Even not being employed by such a company, I think that we can get this "new pride" ourselves. It's OK if we mess up or lose heart. We can go on, for ourselves and those around us.
 新しいプライド。いい言葉だ。それはお金や地位、世間からの称賛で得られるものではない。まわりの人たちに「おっ、今日もがんばってるね」と認められ、自分でも「けっこう楽しいな。やってよかった」とうれしくなる。それだけで十分、「そう、これでいいんだ」と自分に自信と誇りを感じることができるものなのだ。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2013年01月22日 地方版

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中国大気汚染―改善は日中の利益だ

--The Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 30
EDITORIAL: Japan, China both stand to gain in tackling air pollution
中国大気汚染―改善は日中の利益だ

Dense, toxic smog often blankets wide areas of Beijing and other Chinese cities. Air pollution in China is a serious problem.
 中国の大気汚染が深刻だ。北京などの広い範囲が、有害物質を含んだ濃霧にたびたび覆われている。

It is also as much Japan's problem as China's as airborne pollution reaches Japan. There is another aspect to the issue. Some 140,000 Japanese now live in China, the result of close economic ties between the two countries. Their health is also at risk.
 ひとごとではない。中国の汚染が風に流されて日本に影響する「越境汚染」も起きている。両国経済は緊密で、中国で暮らす日本人は14万人に上る。

The Chinese government must act quickly. If Japan offers to help with its superior environmental technology, both countries will benefit.
 中国政府は、改善を急ぐべきだ。日本が優れた環境技術で協力すれば、双方の利益になる。

While bilateral relations are still tense over the Senkaku Islands sovereignty issue, this sort of cooperation should be actively promoted. It can be a force to propel bilateral relations forward.
 尖閣諸島の問題で関係はぎくしゃくしたままだが、こうした面での協力はどんどん進めるべきだ。両国の関係を前に進める力にもなり得る。

China has suffered some serious air pollution for quite some time.
 ひどい大気汚染は、今年始まった話ではない。

The main problem is PM2.5, or particulate matter measuring 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter. (One micrometer is one-thousandth of a millimeter.)
 問題になっている汚染物質は直径が千分の2・5ミリ以下の微小粒子状物質、PM2・5だ。

As the particles are minuscule, they can be inhaled deep into the respiratory organs and cause asthma, lung cancer and other diseases.
 粒が小さいため、呼吸器の奥深くまで入り込み、ぜんそくや肺がんなどの病気にもつながるとされる。

Exhaust gases from cars and factories, heating boilers and thermal power plants are the main sources of PM2.5. Air quality tends to deteriorate markedly in winter when many heating devices are used and the air becomes stagnant.
 自動車や工場の排ガス、暖房用ボイラー、火力発電所などが主な発生源だ。暖房が多く使われ、空気が滞る気象条件が重なる冬場に悪化しやすい。

When the air quality is particularly bad, people's daily lives are affected. For instance, schools cancel outdoor activities.
 汚染がひどいときは学校が屋外での活動をやめるなど、日常生活にも支障が出ている。

Just as Japan neglected environmental protection during its pursuit of high economic growth from the late 1950s to the early 1970s, China has done the same. Many corporations are more concerned with making profits than giving consideration to the issue, and are all-too-willing to ignore environmental regulations.
 経済成長に突き進んだ中国では日本の高度成長期のように、環境対策は置き去りにされてきた。もうけを優先し、規制を守らない企業も多い。

However, the public's awareness of environmental issues is changing dramatically.
 だが、環境に対する市民の意識は大きく変わりつつある。

The Chinese government had no intention of disclosing PM2.5 levels. When the Chinese people began to show keen interest in levels disclosed independently by the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, the government had no choice but to release the data.
 中国政府はもともと、PM2・5の数値を明かしていなかった。ところが、北京の米大使館が独自に公表していた数値に市民の関心が高まり、政府も発表せざるを得なくなった。

Movements against factory construction due to environmental concerns are becoming more commonplace across China.
 環境への影響を心配して、工場建設に反対する運動も、各地で相次いでいる。

The Chinese government now welcomes foreign investments in energy-saving and environmentally friendly ventures, having switched from its economic growth-only policy to one that focuses more on the quality of life. The Chinese Communist Party stressed "construction of eco-civilization" in its national congress held in November.
 中国政府は、成長一辺倒から生活の質を重視する方針を掲げるようになり、省エネや環境分野での外資導入も奨励する。昨年11月の共産党大会では「エコ文明建設」が強調された。

China has much to learn from Japan's experiences in fighting environmental pollution. Although the Japanese government has discontinued most of its official development assistance (ODA) programs to China, there are many things the private sector can do.
 公害に取り組んできた日本の経験は、中国にとって大いに参考になるはずだ。中国への政府の途上国援助(ODA)はほとんど打ち切られたが、民間で出来ることも多い。

Some local governments in Japan are beginning to call for joint Japan-China ventures to expand eco-business opportunities. Though Japan needs to protect its state-of-the-art technology, ventures such as these present huge business openings to Japanese corporations. Collaboration among universities and research institutions should also prove beneficial to both countries.
 日本の自治体が呼びかけ、中国との環境ビジネス拡大を目指す動きも出ている。先端技術を守る工夫は必要だが、日本企業にとってビジネスチャンスでもある。大学など研究機関の連携も有益だ。

The Japanese government should draw on its ODA experiences to actively support such efforts.
 日本政府はODAで培った経験も生かし、積極的に橋渡しや後押しをするべきだ。

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13年度予算案 デフレ脱却へ問われる積極策

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 31, 2013)
Govt must impose fiscal discipline even while seeking economic growth
13年度予算案 デフレ脱却へ問われる積極策(1月30日付・読売社説)

 ◆中長期の財政健全化を怠るな◆

The fiscal 2013 budget is aimed at propping up the economy with an expansionary fiscal policy. The ability of the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to revitalize the economy and overcome deflation--its top priority--is now being tested.
 積極財政で景気テコ入れを狙った予算である。安倍政権が最重視する経済再生とデフレ脱却への実行力が問われる。

The Cabinet approved the fiscal 2013 budget Tuesday. General-account spending totals 92.6 trillion yen, marking the first decline in seven years.
 政府が2013年度予算案を閣議決定した。一般会計の総額は92・6兆円で、7年ぶりの減額予算となった。

Tax revenue is expected to surpass new government bond issuance for the first time in four years. Another point of the fiscal 2013 budget is that policy-related spending by ministries and agencies was limited to 70.4 trillion yen.
 歳入では、税収が4年ぶりに新規国債発行額を上回った。歳出も各省庁の政策的経費を70・4兆円に抑えたのがポイントである。

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso said at a press conference: "We compiled the budget with the fiscal policy framework in mind. It's a tight budget."
 麻生副総理・財務相は記者会見で「財政政策の枠組みを頭に置いて編成した。引き締まった予算になった」と述べた。

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Tax hike depends on recovery
 ◆消費増税へ景気回復を◆

However, the budget is actually the largest ever if a separate reconstruction budget, which was increased significantly to 4.4 trillion yen, is included.
 ただし、4・4兆円に大幅増額した別枠の復興予算と合わせると、過去最大規模である。

The Abe administration calls the fiscal 2012 supplementary budget and fiscal 2013 budget "a 15-month budget" and aims to ensure seamless fiscal stimulus.
 安倍政権は、12年度補正予算案と13年度予算案を「15か月予算」と位置付け、切れ目のない財政出動を目指している。

The administration wants to achieve a clear economic recovery before making a final judgment in autumn over whether to raise the consumption tax rate in April next year. It cannot be helped that the government tries to create an environment for the consumption tax hike by compiling a blockbuster budget.
 来年4月の消費税率引き上げを今秋に最終判断する上で、確実に景気回復を成し遂げたい考えだ。超大型予算の編成で、環境整備を図ることはやむを得ない。

However, 46.3 percent of the fiscal 2013 budget will be financed by new government bond issuance, meaning almost a half of the nation's revenue comes from creating new debt. Outstanding long-term debts owed by the central and local governments will reach 977 trillion yen at the end of the next fiscal year. As this is double the nation's gross domestic product, Japan is a major debt-ridden nation, to a more serious degree than even Greece, which is currently in a fiscal crisis.
 だが、来年度の国債依存度は46・3%となり、国の歳入のほぼ半分が借金だ。国と地方の長期債務残高も来年度末に977兆円に達する。国内総生産(GDP)の2倍に相当し、財政危機のギリシャをしのぐ債務大国だ。

We must take the nation's fiscal situation seriously, as it is the worst among developed countries.
 先進国で最悪の財政状況を深刻に受け止めねばならない。

Another problem is that the government juggled many methods to make the fiscal 2013 budget smaller than the initial fiscal 2012 budget, which was compiled by the Democratic Party of Japan-led administration.
 問題なのは、民主党政権が編成した12年度当初予算より規模を抑え込むため、様々な手法でやり繰りしたことだ。

Compressing expenditures was made possible largely by scrapping a reserve fund to deal with an economic crisis, which totaled nearly 1 trillion yen, and by advancing spending by ministries and agencies into the fiscal 2012 supplementary budget.
 歳出規模の圧縮は、1兆円近い経済危機対応の予備費の全廃や、各省庁が今年度補正予算案に支出を前倒しした影響が大きい。

The government projected rather larger tax revenue based on its estimate that the nation's economy will grow 2.5 percent in real terms, which is far higher than private analysts' estimates, but it is uncertain whether the nation can achieve stable growth.
 政府は来年度経済見通しについて、民間予想よりかなり高い実質2・5%成長とし、税収を多めに見込んだが、安定成長の実現は不透明である。

The government also treated bonds to cover state contributions to basic pension benefits separately. But isn't that just a cosmetic measure to make new bond issuance appear lower?
 基礎年金の国庫負担分を賄う国債を別扱いにしたのも、国債発行額を抑える弥縫(びほう)策ではないか。

Also, trimming expenditures is not enough. The government earmarked 5.3 trillion yen for public works projects in fiscal 2013, about 700 billion yen more than in the previous fiscal year. Aging roads and bridges need to be repaired, but the government must not increase inefficient projects in the name of "strengthening national land."
 歳出面の切り込みも不十分だ。公共事業費は前年度比で約7000億円多い5・3兆円を計上した。老朽化した道路や橋などの改修は必要としても、「国土強靱(きょうじん)化」の名の下に、非効率な事業を増やすことがあってはならない。

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Scrutiny vital for public works
 ◆公共事業は精査が必要◆

Without relying only on public works projects as a temporary shot in the arm, it is essential for the government to bolster its growth strategy in an effort to enhance corporate competitiveness and put the economy on a track for growth.
 景気への一時的なカンフル剤である公共事業に頼るだけでなく、政府は企業の競争力を高める成長戦略を強化し、経済を成長軌道に乗せることが重要である。

The Liberal Democratic Party-led government increased spending for land improvement projects, which had been cut by the DPJ-led government. As for income support to farming households, the government earmarked the same level of funds as in the previous fiscal year, only changing the name that the DPJ-led administration had given the system.
 民主党政権が削減した土地改良事業費を積み増し、農家の戸別所得補償制度も名称を変え、前年度並みの予算を計上した。

This is nothing but a handout policy. It is doubtful whether such a fiscal support system will lead to reinforcing the nation's agriculture in preparation for further opening of the market.
これではバラマキに他ならない。一層の市場開放に備えた農業の体質強化につながるのかは疑問だ。

Fiscal inflexibility became more clearly evident when we looked at other items of spending.
 その他の支出項目でも、財政の硬直化が一段と鮮明になった。

Social security spending swells to about 29 trillion yen due to natural increase and other factors, livelihood protection benefits have been cut by a small margin. It will be necessary to further curb fiscal spending on such programs as pension payments and medical expense benefits.
 自然増などで社会保障費は約29兆円に膨らみ、生活保護費を小幅削減する程度にとどまった。年金や医療費の給付抑制など、さらなる圧縮が必要である。

In the category of national security, the budget vividly reflects the intentions of Prime Minister Abe.
 安全保障分野では、首相の意向を反映した予算が目立った。

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Defense budget rise laudable

Defense spending has been increased for the first time in 11 years. It is laudable that the government has clarified its resolve to protect Japan's territory and waters, including the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture.
 防衛費を11年ぶりに増額した。沖縄・尖閣諸島をはじめ、日本の領土と領海を守る意志を明確にしたことを評価したい。

Attaching importance to the defense of the Nansei Islands, extending from Kagoshima Prefecture to Okinawa Prefecture, the government boosted budgets for strengthening patrol and reconnaissance activities and response capabilities for defense of remote islands. Budget allocations for this purpose are reasonable.
 南西防衛を重視し、警戒監視活動や離島防衛の対処能力を強化するもので、妥当な内容だ。

 ◆評価できる防衛費増◆

The government will formulate new National Defense Program Guidelines before the end of this year. It is vital to reform and upgrade the structure and capabilities of the Self-Defense Forces from a medium- and long-term perspective without limiting such efforts to the fiscal 2013 budget alone.
 政府は年内に新たな防衛大綱を策定する。来年度予算限りとせず、中長期的に自衛隊の体制を改革・拡充することが必要だ。

The budget related to the Japan Coast Guard has jumped for the first time in six years. The allocations for maintenance and upgrading of patrol boats and aircraft have been increased by 40 percent over fiscal 2012. Personnel will be augmented, too.
 海上保安庁予算も6年ぶりに増えた。このうち、巡視船艇と航空機の整備費などは前年度比4割増となり、人員も増やす。

China's provocations in connection with the Senkaku Islands have been continuing. It is appropriate that the conventional "scrap-and-build" principle for JCG patrol boats has been abandoned to adopt a policy of increasing the number of such boats.
 尖閣諸島を巡り、中国の挑発行為が続いている。海保の巡視船艇はこれまで「スクラップ・アンド・ビルド」が原則だったが、増加に舵(かじ)を切ったことは適切だ。

A crucial item on the policy agenda for the future will be to pave the way as early as possible for achieving fiscal reconstruction in the medium and long term. If fiscal discipline remains lax, it is feared that Japanese government bonds will lose their international credibility.
 今後の重要課題は、中長期的な財政再建の道筋を早急に付けることにある。財政規律が緩んだままでは、日本国債に対する国際的な信認を失いかねない。

Trimming tax grants to local governments for the first time in six years for the purpose of cutting payments to local government employees, it may be said, is a step forward.
 地方公務員の給与引き下げを念頭に、地方自治体に配分する地方交付税を6年ぶりに削減したのは一歩前進と言える。

The Abe administration has inherited the DPJ-led administrations' policy target of getting the primary balance into the black in fiscal 2020. But the hurdles on the way to this goal are high.
 安倍首相は、民主党政権が掲げた「20年度に基礎的な財政収支を黒字化する」との政府目標を踏襲したが、このハードルは高い。

It will be indispensable to streamline fiscal spending while trying to secure fiscal resources through tax system reforms centering on the implementation of consumption tax hikes. The government must meet the heavy challenge of achieving economic growth and fiscal discipline at the same time.
 消費増税を柱とする税制改革で財源確保を図るとともに、歳出合理化が不可欠である。成長と財政規律の両立という重い課題を克服しなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 30, 2013)
(2013年1月30日02時01分  読売新聞)

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2013年1月30日 (水)

息苦しい日本の税制を逃れてみませんか オフショア投資です

今から15年前くらいですが、日本での生活に見切りをつけてタイに移住いたしました。
50歳で早期退職したので、生きるために、たくさんのお仕事をいたしました。
日本語学校講師、日英英日翻訳業、タイ株式投資、インターネットを使ったアフィリエイトなどです。

アフィリエイトを始めてから、かれこれ7年くらいが経過いたしますが、最初はなんと月収1000円にもなりませんでした。アフィリエイトで収益が得られるようになったのは、つい最近のことなのです。ところがそこには税金という落とし穴が待ち構えていました。

タイでアフィリエイトをしていても実体が日本にあるので日本の税務署に申告しなければならないということなのです。こんなに苦しい思いをして、せっかくアフィリエイトで稼げるようになっても税金を日本の税務署にお金を支払うのは辛いですよね。
そこで、息苦しい日本の税制を逃れられる手法を探してみました。

キーワードはオフショア投資、タックスヘイブンです。
タックスヘイブンの国としてはシンガポールが有名なのですが、投資に限っては香港みたいですね。

オフショア投資とはとは税金が無い、または税率が著しく低い国や地域での投資のことをいいます。香港で投資すれば、なんと、売却益にかかる税金が無い、相続税が無い、贈与税が無いのとても有り難い三(さん)無いシステムらしいですね。タイ株式が一息ついたら、香港を目指します。

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駆け込み退職 教育現場に混乱生じぬ対応を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 30, 2013)
Don't let teachers' early retirements affect classrooms
駆け込み退職 教育現場に混乱生じぬ対応を(1月29日付・読売社説)

An increasing number of local public school teachers have been leaving their jobs ahead of their mandatory retirement day on March 31. The reason for these abrupt resignations is clear: The enforcement of prefectural ordinances that cut the retirement allowances of local government employees is fast approaching.
 定年退職を3月末に控えた公立学校の教職員の退職が相次いでいる。退職手当を減額する条例の施行前に辞める「駆け込み退職」だ。

Students and parents alike will be perplexed if students lose their homeroom teachers just before the end of the school year. We urge local governments to take appropriate steps to prevent the spread of confusion in classrooms, such as securing replacements for departing teachers through temporary employment contracts.
 学年末に担任の教師が不在になれば、生徒や保護者は困惑するだろう。教育現場に混乱が生じないよう、自治体は臨時採用で後任を手当てするなど、適切な措置を講じる必要がある。

The aim of the ordinances is to reduce the gap in retirement allowances between local government officials and private sector workers. The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, which has begun reducing national servants' retirement pay to match levels seen in private companies, has asked prefectural governments to cut their employees' retirement allowances.
 今回の減額条例は、退職金の官民格差を解消するのが目的だ。国家公務員の退職手当を民間並みに引き下げるのに伴い、総務省が自治体にも職員の退職手当引き下げを要請した経緯がある。

According to the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry, about 170 teachers and other school officials are believed to have already quit their jobs, or given notice of their intent to do so soon, owing to the retirement allowance cut in four prefectures including Tokushima and Saitama. The workers include homeroom teachers and vice principals.
 文部科学省によると、条例施行に絡み、既に退職したか、退職予定の教職員は、徳島、埼玉など4県で計約170人に上る。学級担任や教頭も含まれている。

===

1.5 million yen allowance cut

In Saitama Prefecture, for instance, an ordinance mandating cuts to the retirement allowance of prefectural government employees by about 1.5 million yen on average will be enforced beginning Feb. 1. If employees subject to mandatory retirement quit at the end of January, their salaries for two months will be forfeited, yet they will be eligible to receive about 700,000 yen more than if they had worked through until the end of the academic year.
 例えば埼玉県では、条例が2月1日に施行されると、退職手当が平均約150万円減額される。施行前の1月末に退職すれば、3月末まで勤め上げるより、2か月分の給料が減っても、総額で約70万円多く受け取れるという。

Many police officers also have been dashing for the retirement door ahead of schedule. About 230 police officers have shown their willingness to quit before March 31 in Aichi and Hyogo prefectures. We are concerned that this early mass exodus could affect the ability of the police to maintain public order.
 駆け込み退職は警察官にも見られる。愛知、兵庫両県警では約230人が早期退職の意向を示している。治安の維持に悪影響が出ないか心配だ。

Many private companies ask their employees to retire on the day they reach the mandatory retirement age, or at the end of the month in which that day falls.
 民間企業では、定年に達した誕生日か誕生月をもって退職とするケースが多い。

By contrast, because the mandatory retirement date for public workers is set at the end of the fiscal year, employees can continue working even after their birthdays, and receive salaries for the extended period. This is because government offices execute their personnel budget on a fiscal-year basis. On this matter, we can generally conclude that public officials are better off than workers at private companies.
 一方、退職時期が年度末の公務員は、誕生日後も勤務を続け、給料をもらえる。年度ごとに人件費予算を執行するためだが、民間よりも恵まれていると言える。

===

Local govts also at fault

The decisions of workers who chose early retirement apparently stem from certain economic obligations, such as the repayment of housing loans. However, teachers and police officers are engaged in crucial public service. Some people have understandably criticized them as being "irresponsible" for abruptly leaving their jobs.
 住宅ローンなどの経済的な事情はあるにせよ、重要な公務を担う教師や警察官が駆け込み退職することについて、「無責任」との批判が出るのは無理もない。

However, we believe prefectural governments also should share the blame for their misplaced optimism. They failed to predict and prepare for the mass early retirements and only began taking countermeasures after the problem surfaced. We believe a system that results in economic disadvantage for officials who see through their responsibilities to the very end is intrinsically flawed from the outset.
 しかし、同様に問題なのは、駆け込み退職を想定せず、対応が後手に回った自治体の見通しの甘さである。最後まで職責を全うした教師らが損をするような仕組み自体に欠陥がある。

In fact, the Tokyo metropolitan government enacted its ordinance to cut retirement allowances Jan. 1, but a stampede of early retirees did not occur because it has a rule that officials cannot receive the full reduced retirement allowances unless they work until the end of the fiscal year.
 実際、1月1日に条例を施行した東京都では、年度末まで勤めないと規定の退職手当をもらえない制度にしているため、駆け込み退職の動きは見られなかった。

Local governments have no option but to trim personnel expenses in the face of severe fiscal realities. However, only about one-third of 47 prefectural governments have revised their ordinances to cut retirement allowances.
 厳しい財政状況の下、自治体が人件費の圧縮に努めるのは当然のことである。それにもかかわらず、退職手当を減額するよう条例を改正したのは、47都道府県のうち3分の1にとどまっている。

If local governments are found to be delaying their retirement allowance cut due to concerns about the reactions of teachers unions and other organizations, they will not escape the charge of irresponsibility.
 教職員組合などに配慮し、減額時期を遅らせているとしたら、無責任のそしりを免れまい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 29, 2013)
(2013年1月29日01時27分  読売新聞)

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所信表明演説 危機突破へ成長戦略を語れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 30, 2013)
Abe must formulate strategy to boost nation's growth
所信表明演説 危機突破へ成長戦略を語れ(1月29日付・読売社説)

Strong determination and concrete policy measures are imperative in achieving the breakthroughs needed to overcome the crises facing Japan.
 日本が直面する「危機」を突破していくには、強い意志と具体的な政策が重要である。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made his first policy speech since regaining power at the plenary sessions of the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors.
 安倍首相が衆参両院本会議で、政権復帰後初めての所信表明演説を行った。

Abe said the source of his determination to serve as prime minister for the second time lies in his "deep sense of patriotism." He clearly demonstrated his resolve to have his entire Cabinet make utmost efforts to address crises in four areas: the economy, reconstruction from the 2011 earthquake disaster, foreign and security issues, and education.
 首相に再登板した決意の源は「深き憂国の念」だとし、経済と震災復興、外交・安全保障、教育の四つの「危機」に内閣を挙げて取り組む姿勢を明確にした。

What he underscored as the biggest and most pressing issue was economic revitalization. A strong economy will help increase individuals' income and strengthen the foundations for social security systems. The prime minister's recognition of the importance of this issue is appropriate.
 最大かつ喫緊の課題と強調したのは経済再生だ。「強い経済」が国民の所得を増やし、社会保障制度の基盤強化にもつながるとする首相の認識は妥当である。

The government has issued a joint statement with the Bank of Japan that stipulates a 2 percent inflation target. A supplementary budget that includes stimulus measures worth 10 trillion yen will be submitted to the Diet shortly. We praise Abe for setting in motion two of his "three arrows" for economic revitalization--monetary easing and fiscal measures.
 政府は、2%の物価目標を明記した日本銀行との共同声明をまとめた。10兆円規模の経済対策を盛り込んだ補正予算案を近く国会に提出する。首相の掲げる「3本の矢」のうち金融緩和と財政政策が動き出したことは評価できる。

===

Handle divided Diet carefully

The remaining "arrow" is growth strategy. At the Headquarters for Japan's Economic Revitalization, comprising the entire Cabinet, and the Industrial Competitiveness Council, in which relevant Cabinet ministers and outside experts are participating, the Abe administration must hammer out effective policy measures to stimulate private investment to increase synergistic effects with monetary and fiscal policy measures.
 残るのは成長戦略だ。全閣僚参加の日本経済再生本部や、有識者を交えた産業競争力会議で、民間投資を喚起する効果的な政策を打ち出し、金融・財政政策との相乗効果を高めねばならない。

To overcome the nation's crises, the prime minister called on the opposition bloc to cooperate. "Let us mobilize the wisdom of the ruling and opposition parties and demonstrate Japan's strength to the greatest possible extent," Abe said in his speech. It also is essential for the administration to carefully handle the Diet, as the upper house is controlled by the opposition.
 首相は演説で危機突破のために「与野党の叡智(えいち)を結集させ、国力を最大限発揮させよう」と野党に協力を求めた。衆参ねじれ国会であることからも、丁寧な国会運営が欠かせない。

A focal point in the Diet is that the government must obtain approval for its appointment of the successor to Bank of Japan Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa, whose term expires in April. Early passage of budgets and related bills also is of major importance.
 国会の焦点は、4月に任期が切れる白川方明日銀総裁の後任人事の国会同意取り付けと、予算案と予算関連法案の早期成立だ。

Besides holding talks with the Democratic Party of Japan, the largest party in the upper house, the ruling parties should hold discussions with Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Your Party, which share similar views on monetary and economic policy measures. We believe the Abe administration should consider the possibility of joining hands with these parties on a policy-by-policy basis.
 参院第1党の民主党に加え、金融・経済政策で共通点が多い日本維新の会やみんなの党とも協議することが重要だ。政策ごとの連携も視野に入れる必要があろう。

===

How will PM rebuild China ties

In his speech, Abe delivered simple and easy-to-understand messages as he narrowed the points to highlight certain issues.
 今回の演説は、首相がメリハリをつけようと項目を絞り込んだため、シンプルで分かりやすいメッセージになった。

On the other hand, we consider unsatisfactory Abe's failure to refer to many important issues. We want him to clarify his stances on these issues through Diet debates.
反面、多くの重要課題に言及がなかったことは物足りない。国会論戦を通じて見解を明らかにしてもらいたい。

They include the government's policy toward China, one of the nation's biggest pending issues. Abe earlier said the nation would "resolutely protect" the Senkaku Islands. But we wonder how Japan-China relations will be rebuilt.
 例えば、最大の懸案の一つである中国政策だ。尖閣諸島を「断固として守り抜く」とする一方で、日中関係をどう立て直すのか。

Abe also did not touch on energy policy. We think he should have provided a full explanation on the necessity of reactivating idled nuclear reactors so that public anxiety over electricity shortages will not hinder economic revitalization.
 エネルギー政策にも触れていない。電力不足への不安感が経済再生の足を引っ張らないよう、首相が原発再稼働の必要性を丁寧に説明すべきだったのではないか。

He clearly stated in his speech that Japan would play a leading role in economic and security issues in the Asia-Pacific region.
 首相は演説で、日本がアジア太平洋地域で経済や安保の「先導役」となることを明言した。

Therefore, he should have Japan enter negotiations on the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade framework so the nation will be able to take full advantage of growth in other parts of Asia.
 それならば、アジアの成長を取り込むため、米国が主導する環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉への参加を決断すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 29, 2013)
(2013年1月29日01時27分  読売新聞)

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2013年1月29日 (火)

新しいかたちの自己主張型意見交換広場 まずは無料登録

今朝は、まったく新しい発想で誕生した、新しいかたちの自己主張型意見交換広場サイトをご紹介いたします。このサイトの特長は、意見を交換出来るコミュニティーの種類が多いということにつきます。人間の趣味は人により、実に様々です。

私の場合ですが、趣味は多言語学習ですから、ビルマ語やシンハリ語のコミュニティーがあれば参加したいですね。ちなみに英語は翻訳が本業です。
Which now ! は 3 つの軸で意見(オピニオン)をシェアできるソーシャルオピニオンサービスなのです。

使い方は簡単です。
まずはサイトに無料登録いたします。
それから、自分の気になるコミュニティーを探し、そこにエントリーという形で疑問を投稿するのです。

ツイッターやフェイスブックもよいですが、それよりも、お手軽さと言う点で上なのがWhich now !サイトです。この原稿を書き上げたら、すぐに、私も無料登録いたします。
忙しいってことは、幸せなことですね^^。

あなたも、私と一緒にWhich now ! サイトに参加してみませんか。
それでは、サイトでお会いいたしましょう。

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いまどきのナースコールとは 最新情報です

私は持病の関節炎(痛風)で二カ月間都立病院に入院したことがあります。
20年以上も前の話ですが、当時から6人部屋のベッドでも、枕元にナースコールボタンが設置されていました。私を含めた患者たちは、身体の異常を感じるときにこのボタンを押すのです。

当時も今もまったく同じような状態なのですが、看護婦さんたちの数が圧倒的に不足しています。ナースコールボタンを押しても、瞬時に駆けつけてくれるとは限りませんでした。
特に夜間はそうでした。当直の看護婦さんの数が限られていたからです。

で、サイトでいまどきのナースコール情報をチェックしてみました。
最新のナースコールは、スタッフの持つ携帯端末に直接つながるのですね。
驚きました。

これなら、別の部屋で介護にあたっていた場合でも、担当の看護婦さんは、すぐに駆けつけることができます。
昔はナースコールセンター直結型、今は携帯端末直結型なのです。
このシステムなら患者さんたちも安心して眠ることができますよね。

老人ホームに必要なナースコール だって、これでバッチリです。

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難病対策 患者を支える体制が必要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 29, 2013)
Patients with rare diseases need more support
難病対策 患者を支える体制が必要だ(1月28日付・読売社説)

It is important to craft a system to support people battling intractable diseases.
 難病と闘う患者を支える仕組みを整えることが重要である。

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry's Health Science Council has compiled a set of proposals concerning a medical treatment system for intractable diseases and measures to support patients suffering from such illnesses. The ministry aims to establish a law to get these proposals up and running.
 厚生労働省の厚生科学審議会は、難病の診療体制や患者への支援策の提言をまとめた。厚労省は具体化のための法整備を目指す。

Intractable diseases are conditions for which treatments have not yet been established due to the low number of cases and because their cause is unknown. They can impair a patient's daily life for years. There are said to be 5,000 to 7,000 intractable diseases.
 難病は、患者数が少なく、原因不明で治療法が確立していない病気を指す。長期にわたり生活への支障が生じる。全体で5000~7000種類に上るとされる。

Patients are eligible to receive subsidized medical care for 56 such diseases whose diagnosis criteria are well-defined and whose treatment is very expensive, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson's disease.
 このうち、診断基準が明確で、医療費負担が重い筋萎縮性側索硬化症(ALS)、パーキンソン病など56疾患が医療費の助成対象になっている。

===

Subsidies due for review

The main pillar of the proposals is to review the medical expenses subsidies and increase the number of diseases covered by them to about 300.
 提言の柱は、医療費の助成を見直し、対象の病気を300程度に拡大することだ。

The proposals take into account the fact that many patients with intractable diseases--aside from the 56 covered by subsidies--have to pay heavy medical expenses.
 56疾患以外にも、重い医療費の負担を強いられる難病患者が少なくないことを考慮した。

We think it is reasonable to eliminate unfairness in public support between patients eligible for subsidies and those who are not.
助成を受けていない病気の患者との不公平の解消を図ることは、妥当と言えるだろう。

The proposals also call for severely ill patients, whose medical expenses are currently covered entirely by public funds, to bear some of the cost, depending on their income. Lying behind this move is the fact that the number of patients eligible for public support has increased, pushing the state's fiscal burden above 120 billion yen a year.
 さらに提言は、医療費が無料となっている重症患者からも、所得に応じて自己負担を求めた。助成対象者が増え、財政負担が年1200億円を超えた事情がある。

While coming up with fresh ideas for securing the necessary funds is vital, it will be inevitable to lower the subsidies so more patients can receive support.
 財源確保に知恵を絞る必要があるが、より多くの患者を援助するには、医療費助成の給付水準を引き下げることはやむを得まい。

The proposals also call for university hospitals and other medical facilities with specialists in diverse fields to be designated as key hospitals for treating patients with intractable diseases. This is because such patients often require the help of several clinical departments, such as the neurology and cardiovascular departments.
 提言では、多様な分野の専門医がいる大学病院などを、難病医療の拠点病院として新たに指定することも求めている。難病治療には神経内科、循環器科など多くの診療科の連携が必要なためだ。

===

Boost research

The important thing is to build a system that enables patients with intractable diseases to have their cases accurately diagnosed by specialists. It is crucial that specialists be properly placed at these key hospitals.
 重要なのは、難病患者が確実に専門医の診断を受けられる体制を構築することである。拠点病院に専門医を適切に配置することが欠かせない。

As only a few patients have intractable diseases, the number of specialists with ample experience in treating them is limited.
 難病は患者数が少ないために、診療経験の豊富な専門医も限られる。

Many of these patients have had to visit various medical institutions over many years before having their condition diagnosed correctly by specialists.
正しい診断を受けるまで、何年も様々な医療機関を訪ね歩く患者は少なくない。

It might be a good idea to create a database on medical institutions equipped with such specialists that patients can check on the Internet.
 専門医がいる医療機関の情報をデータベース化し、患者が検索できるようにしてはどうか。

If the first medical practitioner to treat a patient with an intractable disease is not an expert on the condition, he or she is required to properly introduce the patient to a specialist. For this, regular doctors will need to deepen their knowledge and understanding of intractable diseases.
 最初に診療する医師は、自身が専門医でなくても、的確に専門医を紹介することが求められる。一般の医師が難病への知識と理解を深めることが大切だ。

The proposals also call for boosting research on intractable diseases. They urge more research on gene analysis to clarify how diseases spread and work, and new treatments utilizing regenerative medicine technology.
 提言は、難病研究の強化も打ち出した。病気のメカニズムを解明するための遺伝子解析や、再生医療技術を活用した新しい治療法の研究を推進する。

We hope the public and private sectors both make efforts to trace the causes of diseases and develop new medicines--two steps eagerly awaited by many patients.
 多くの患者が待ち望んでいる病気の原因究明や新薬開発に、官民で力を入れてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 28, 2013)
(2013年1月28日01時07分  読売新聞)

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オバマ氏2期目 米国再生へ真価が問われる

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 29, 2013)
Can U.S. achieve revival during Obama's 2nd term?
オバマ氏2期目 米国再生へ真価が問われる(1月28日付・読売社説)

The coming four years will be a crucial test of Barack Obama's ability to revive the United States.
 米国再生へ成果が問われる重要な4年間だ。

After his reelection, Obama has launched his second term as U.S. president.
 再選を果たしたオバマ米大統領が、2期目のスタートを切った。

In a speech marking the inauguration of his second term, Obama touted his first-term achievements, saying: "A decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun."
 オバマ氏は新たな任期に臨む就任式で「10年に及ぶ戦争は今、終わりつつある。経済の回復も始まった」と述べ、1期目の成果を誇示した。

U.S. troops in Afghanistan will complete their combat mission shortly and pull out at the end of next year. Stock prices that nosedived after the "Lehman shock" have been rising sharply, exceeding precrisis levels. And the U.S. energy boom is surging due to the so-called shale gas revolution.
 アフガニスタン駐留米軍は戦闘任務をまもなく終え、来年末には撤収する。リーマン・ショックで急落した株価も危機前の水準を超えて大幅に上昇し、シェールガス革命でエネルギーブームだ。

Obama probably takes pride in his achievement of overcoming negative legacies of the previous Bush administration.
 オバマ氏には、ブッシュ前政権の「負の遺産」を克服したという自負心があるのだろう。

However, a bumpy road lies ahead before the United States can attain a full-scale revival.
 ただし、本格的な再生へ、前途はいばらの道である。

===

Fiscal mess must be fixed

The top-priority challenge will be fiscal reconstruction.
 最重要課題は財政再建だ。

Fiscal deficits topped 1 trillion dollars (about 90 trillion yen) for four consecutive years, and government debts ballooned to exceed 16 trillion dollars.
 財政赤字は4年連続で1兆ドル(約90兆円)を超え、政府債務残高も16兆ドル超に膨れ上がった。

The United States has so far avoided the double threats of falling off the fiscal cliff: mandatory spending cuts and the expiration of large-scale tax breaks. A government default will likely be avoided for about three months by raising the ceiling on the issuance of U.S. Treasury bills, which limits federal borrowing.
 大型減税の失効と歳出の強制削減が重なる「財政の崖」からの転落は、ひとまず回避した。連邦政府の借り入れ枠である米国債発行枠(債務上限)を暫定的に引き上げ、デフォルト(債務不履行)も約3か月避けられる方向だ。

However, implementation of drastic fiscal reconstruction measures are being put on the back burner.
 だが、抜本的な財政再建策は先送りされている。

Obama must display strong leadership in passing necessary bills through Congress.
 オバマ氏は、議会で必要な法案が成立するよう、強い指導力を発揮しなければならない。

Partisan confrontation has been intensifying rather than subsiding under a divided Congress in which the House of Representatives is controlled by the opposition Republican Party and the Senate by the Democratic Party. Obama will face a tough job in dealing with Republican representatives on key bills.
 下院を野党・共和党、上院を民主党が制する“ねじれ議会”で、党派対立はむしろ深まっている。議会対策は容易ではあるまい。

To help overcome the challenge, Obama is replacing key Cabinet members--including secretaries of Treasury, state and defense--and has nominated seasoned politicians with broad influence in Congress to fill the posts.
 オバマ氏が、財務、国務、国防各長官ら主要閣僚を交代し、議会に顔が利くベテランを指名したのも、そのための布陣と言える。

===

A host of challenges

Obama faces a host of difficult policy challenges at home. Among them are legislation for gun control in the aftermath of the shooting rampage that claimed the lives of 20 elementary school students, and reform of the immigration system to give the children of illegal immigrants conditional citizenship.
 小学生20人が犠牲となった銃乱射事件を受けた銃規制の法整備、不法移民の子供に条件付きで市民権を付与する移民制度改革など、内政の難題は山積している。

On diplomatic and security fronts, Obama will have to cope with the ongoing nuclear development programs of North Korea and Iran. Washington's active engagement will be indispensable to promote the deadlocked Middle East peace process and deal with the turmoil stemming from the Arab Spring pro-democracy movement.
 外交・安全保障面では、進む一方の北朝鮮やイランの核開発に取り組まねばならない。停滞したままの中東和平や「アラブの春」後の混乱に対処する上でも、米国の積極的な関与は欠かせない。

Above all, the Obama administration's strategy of focusing on Asia is being put to the test.
 とりわけ、アジア重視戦略の真価が問われている。

How will the White House develop a relationship with the Chinese administration led by Xi Jinping while curbing the moves of China, which has been expanding its military and economic power? It will be essential for the United States to buttress relations with Japan and other allies to build a free, open and peaceful Asia-Pacific region.
 軍事的にも経済的にも膨張著しい中国を牽制(けんせい)しつつ、習近平政権とどういう関係を築くのか。自由で開かれた平和なアジア太平洋地域の構築へ、日本など同盟国との関係強化は不可欠である。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit the United States next month and hold a summit meeting with Obama. We hope the two leaders will discuss how to reinforce the Japan-U.S. alliance from a strategic viewpoint focusing on China.
 安倍首相は来月、訪米し、オバマ氏と首脳会談に臨む。中国をにらんだ戦略的な日米同盟の強化策を論じ合ってもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 28, 2013)
(2013年1月28日01時07分  読売新聞)

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2013年1月28日 (月)

高校野球監督 元プロの「恩返し」に期待する

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 28, 2013)
Having ex-pro players as managers should help high school teams
高校野球監督 元プロの「恩返し」に期待する(1月27日付・読売社説)

Moves are afoot to significantly ease the requirements for retired pro baseball players to become managers of high school baseball teams.
 プロ野球OBが高校野球の監督になるための条件が、大幅に緩和されることになった。

We hope increased interactions between instructors of professional and amateur baseball will help develop the baseball world as a whole.
 プロとアマチュア野球の指導者交流を拡大し、球界全体の発展につなげたい。

Retired pro baseball players will qualify to become student instructors if they undergo a training program that will be newly created. This is the main thrust of an agreement reached at a meeting on Jan. 17 of the Japan Student Baseball Association, which presides over affairs relating to high school and university baseball, and pro baseball representatives. The new system could even be introduced before the end of the year.
 新設する研修を受講すれば、プロOBに学生野球の指導者資格を与える――。これが、高校、大学野球を統括する日本学生野球協会とプロ側による合同協議会で基本合意した内容だ。早ければ年内にも新制度が導入される。

An increasing number of university teams have been hiring former pro players as managers under special rules. By contrast, only a handful of high school teams are managed by former professionals. This is because baseball is an extracurricular activity widely regarded as a "part of education," so high school managers have been required to have at least two years experience as a full-time teacher.
 一足先に大学野球では、特別規定によりプロ出身監督が増えている。一方、高校野球の監督にプロ出身者は極めて少ない。部活動は教育の一環との意識が強く、「教諭として2年以上勤務」という条件を課しているためだ。

===

Long years of separation

However, many high schoolers understandably wish to learn high-level skills from a pro. Many people involved in pro baseball also want to show their gratitude for what they learned while playing the game during their high school days.
 だが、プロの高度な技術を吸収したいと願う高校球児は多い。プロ関係者にも「高校野球に恩返ししたい」という思いが強い。

We welcome that the Japan High School Baseball Federation, which is affiliated with the JSBA, has changed course this time to the pro baseball view of seeking expanded interactions with high school baseball.
 日本学生野球協会に属する日本高校野球連盟が今回、交流拡大を求めるプロ側に歩み寄ったことを歓迎したい。

The accord will also go a long way to opening up a new career path for players that ended their pro days without striking it big, as they will have a chance to become a high school team manager.
プロの世界で活躍できずに引退した選手にとっても、高校野球の監督という新たな道が大きく開けるだろう。

Japan's pro and amateur baseball worlds were severed for decades.
 日本の野球界では、プロとアマの断絶が長く続いた。

The Japan Student Baseball Charter created in 1946 banned student teams from playing and training with professionals. The ban was reportedly aimed mainly at preventing the commercialization of student baseball.
1946年制定の日本学生野球憲章は、プロとの試合や練習を禁じていた。学生野球の商業化を防ぐことなどが目的だったとされる。

Their icy ties began to thaw about a decade ago, through such events as symposiums hosted by pro players for high school team members.
 高校球児を対象としたプロ選手のシンポジウム開催などで、雪解けの機運が高まったのは10年ほど前からだ。

In 2010, the Japan Student Baseball Charter was extensively revised, and the ban on interactions between pros and amateurs was lifted in principle. The agreement on allowing retired pro players to become high school baseball managers has ushered pro-amateur ties into a new era.
2010年に学生野球憲章は全面改正され、プロ・アマ交流が原則として解禁された。
 今回、残された課題だった高校野球の監督就任問題に道筋がついたことで、プロとアマの関係は新たな時代に入ったと言える。

===

All coaches will benefit

In the planned training program, former pro players will learn about the history of the ruptured pro-amateur ties and the process through which these relations were mended. The training is vital so both sides will not slide back to the unfortunate situation of the past. It should also include fruitful lectures on such matters as the need to run baseball clubs soundly from an educational point of view and steps to ensure player safety.
 研修で元プロ選手は、断絶の歴史や関係修復の経緯を学ぶ。過去の不幸な関係に戻らないためには必要なことだ。教育的見地から、健全な部活動の在り方や、選手の安全対策などの講義を充実させる必要もある。

High school baseball currently has some excellent managers. We hope their competition with managers from the pro arena will improve the level of coaching as a whole.
 高校野球には、現在も多数の優れた監督がいる。元プロの監督としのぎを削ることで、指導者全体のレベル向上を期待したい。

In a related move, Eijiro Ai, a former pitcher for the Yakult Swallows and the Lotte Marines who managed the baseball team of Kawagoe-Higashi High School in Saitama Prefecture after he retired, has been named head coach of the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters for this season. Many observers will be watching closely to see to what extent Ai can transfer the skills he honed while in charge of a high school team to a professional league.
 ヤクルト、ロッテの元投手で、埼玉・川越東高の監督だった阿井英二郎氏が今季、日本ハムのヘッドコーチに就任した。高校野球で培った指導力をプロでどのように発揮するのか、注目される。

Increased personnel interactions between amateur and pro baseball will undoubtedly strengthen the sense of unity of baseball circles.
 アマからプロへの人材交流も広がれば、野球界の一体感がより強まるに違いない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 27, 2013)
(2013年1月27日01時34分  読売新聞)

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巨額貿易赤字 輸出力の強化と原発再稼動を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 28, 2013)
Restart nuclear power plants, boost exports to recoup trading ground
巨額貿易赤字 輸出力の強化と原発再稼動を(1月27日付・読売社説)

The foundation of Japan as a trading country is eroding. Both government and private sectors must work together to recoup lost ground.
 「貿易立国」としての日本の土台が揺らいでいる。官民で巻き返しを図らねばならない。

The 2012 trading balance--exports minus imports--ran up a record deficit of 6.9 trillion yen, far exceeding 2.6 trillion yen in 1980 that immediately followed the second oil crisis.
 輸出額から輸入額を差し引いた2012年の貿易収支は、過去最大の6・9兆円の赤字だった。第2次石油危機直後の1980年に記録した2・6兆円を大きく上回った。

Last year's trade deficit is 2.7 times more than the 2011 figure, the first trade deficit in 31 years, which was attributable to the negative effects of the Great East Japan Earthquake. This is a very serious situation.
 東日本大震災の影響で31年ぶりに貿易赤字に転落した一昨年と比べても2・7倍に増えた。極めて深刻な事態である。

The trade deficit was caused by a decline in exports due to the European financial crisis and deceleration of the Chinese economy, combined with a sharp increase in imports.
 要因は、欧州危機や中国経済減速に伴い、輸出が減少する一方、輸入が急増したことによる。

After the disaster occurred at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the operations of nuclear reactors were suspended around the country. Since then, only two have been reactivated.
 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所事故後、原発が全国で停止し、再稼働したのは2基にとどまる。

As an alternative electricity source, power companies have been operating thermal power stations at full blast. Consequently, imports of liquefied natural gas, the fuel needed for these power stations, have increased abnormally to a massive 6 trillion yen a year.
 電力各社が代替電源として火力発電をフル稼働した結果、燃料となる液化天然ガス(LNG)の輸入額が年間で約6兆円にも達する異常事態になっている。

Meanwhile, Japan's current account balance, which includes dividends and interest from overseas investment, remains in surplus. However, there are concerns that this balance will eventually fall into the red if the trade deficit continues.
 海外への投資による配当や利子の受け取りを含めた経常黒字は続いている。だが、巨額の貿易赤字が慢性化すると、いずれ経常収支も赤字転落が懸念されよう。

===

Hollowing out of industry

To rebuild its status as a trading nation, Japan first has to strengthen the competitiveness of its manufacturing industry to increase exports.
 「貿易立国」の立て直しにまず必要なのは、輸出拡大につながる製造業の競争力強化である。

Japanese electrical appliance manufacturers have fallen behind their South Korean rivals in the markets of flat-screen televisions, mobile phones and others. Japan also has a 3 trillion yen a year excess in imports for medicine and medical equipment, markets that are growing quickly.
 電機業界は、薄型テレビや携帯電話市場などで韓国メーカーなどに出遅れた。成長市場である医薬・医療機器分野でも、年約3兆円の輸入超過になっている。

Japanese manufacturers must develop attractive products of high value and find ways to capitalize on growing markets in the emerging economies of Asia and other regions.
 製造業各社が、付加価値の高い魅力的な商品を開発し、アジアなど新興国の成長市場を積極的に取り込む工夫が要る。

Behind the huge trade deficit is the rapid hollowing-out of the domestic manufacturing industry, as Japanese firms are moving their production overseas to avoid the high costs of operating in this country.
 貿易赤字の背景には、コスト高を回避するため、製造業が拠点を海外に移転し、国内空洞化が加速している事情がある。

The government should help Japanese companies by such means as lowering corporate tax and giving tax credits for investment so they will be able to take full advantage of manufacturing in Japan. The Industrial Competitiveness Council created recently by the government should devise measures to promote "made-in-Japan" products.
 国内立地の利点を享受できるよう、政府は法人税減税や投資減税などを拡充し、企業を支援すべきだ。新設された産業競争力会議は「メード・イン・ジャパン」のテコ入れ策を示してもらいたい。

===

Make decision on TPP

The government also should not wait any longer to decide on participating in negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact to help Japanese firms compete better in overseas markets.
 海外市場の攻略には、環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)への参加決断も待ったなしだ。

What would be most important to reduce imports would be to reactivate idle nuclear reactors quickly after their safety has been confirmed. The longer Japan depends on thermal power generation, LNG imports will continue to increase and the nation's wealth will flow to countries rich in natural resources.
 一方、輸入を減らすために最も重要なのは、安全性を確認できた原発の再稼働を急ぐことだ。火力発電に依存する状況が長期化するほど、LNGの輸入額が増えて国富が資源国に流出する。

The rising cost of LNG also will eventually result in an increase in electricity charges.
 LNG調達コスト上昇で電気料金値上げに拍車をかけよう。

The excessively strong yen has been corrected and the weaker yen is becoming the norm on foreign exchange markets. This helps exporters, but excessive depreciation of the yen will further increase the prices of imports of LNG and other foreign products. Close attention should be paid to this.
 為替市場で超円高が是正され、円安が定着してきた。輸出企業にはプラスだが、円安が行き過ぎるとLNGなどの輸入額を一段と急増させる。これにも要警戒だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 27, 2013)
(2013年1月27日01時34分  読売新聞)

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2013年1月27日 (日)

習・山口会談 首脳対話に必要な中国の自制

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 27, 2013)
China's restraint a prerequisite for bilateral summit
習・山口会談 首脳対話に必要な中国の自制(1月26日付・読売社説)

To create an environment to resume the stalled Japan-China summit talks, both countries need to make diplomatic efforts.
 途絶えている日中首脳会談が再開できる環境を整えるには、日中双方の外交努力が必要だ。

Natsuo Yamaguchi, leader of New Komeito, the Liberal Democratic Party's ruling coalition partner, visited China to hold talks with Communist Party of China leader Xi Jinping on Friday. This was Xi's first meeting with a senior Japanese politician since he assumed the top post of his party last autumn.
 公明党の山口代表が訪中し、中国共産党の習近平総書記と会談した。習総書記が昨年秋の就任後、日本の政治家と会うのは初めてだ。

Yamaguchi handed Xi a personal letter from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. During the meeting, the Komeito leader said, "To break the deadlock, dialogue between politicians is essential."
 山口氏は「難局の打開には政治家同士の対話が大事だ」として、安倍首相の親書を手渡した。

Xi said he would seriously consider holding high-level talks, as such efforts are important to mend the strained bilateral ties. He also mentioned the need to develop an environment conducive to future bilateral summit talks.
 習総書記は「ハイレベル対話は重要だ。真剣に検討したい」と明言した。首脳会談の環境を整える必要があるとの認識も示した。

China apparently seeks compromise from Japan over the sovereignty of the Senkaku Islands, but that is unacceptable. We rather call on China for restraint.
 中国は尖閣諸島の領有権問題での日本の譲歩を求めているのだろうが、それは認められない。むしろ中国にこそ自制を求めたい。

Since Japan nationalized the Senkaku Islands in September, the intrusion of Chinese government ships into Japanese territorial waters has become commonplace, and there have also been reports of China's intrusion into Japanese airspace.
 昨年9月に日本が尖閣諸島を国有化した後、中国政府による日本の領海侵入は恒常化し、領空への侵犯も起きている。

Beijing first should refrain from taking provocative action to prevent an unexpected contingency and improve the bilateral relationship.
 不測の事態を防ぎ、日中関係を改善するには、まず中国が威圧的な行動を控えるべきだ。

===

Komeito's role as a bridge

Komeito played a key role through diplomatic efforts by its lawmakers when the two countries normalized diplomatic relations in 1972. It is understandable that the party again seeks to act as a bridge between the two governments amid friction.
 公明党は、1972年の日中国交正常化の際、議員外交で大きな役割を果たした。今回も、溝が広がった政府間の橋渡しをしようとする意図は理解できる。

The Senkaku Islands are an integral part of Japan's territory. Thus, a territorial dispute does not exist over the islands. It is vital to stick to this stance taken by the Japanese government, but Yamaguchi's remarks caused concern.
 尖閣諸島は日本固有の領土であり、領土問題は存在しない。日本政府の立場を堅持することが肝要なのに、気がかりな点がある。

Before his visit to China, Yamaguchi referred to the possibility of putting the sovereignty issue on hold, telling a Hong Kong TV broadcaster, "It's one sensible option to leave it to future wisdom."
 山口氏が訪中前、香港のテレビ局に対し「将来の知恵に任せることは一つの賢明な判断だ」と述べ、「棚上げ論」に言及したことだ。

He also proposed that both Japan and China restrain from flying Self-Defense Force jets or military planes over the islands.
日中双方が自衛隊機や軍用機の尖閣諸島上空の飛行を自制することも提案した。

Yamaguchi did not make such remarks at his meeting with Xi, but the comments should not be overlooked. For many years, China called for the two countries to set aside the issue. But Beijing established a maritime territory law in 1992 that stipulates the islands are part of China's territory and has since tried to force a change in the situation concerning the islands.
 山口氏は習氏らとの会談では触れなかったが、看過できない発言だ。棚上げ論は、中国の長年の主張である。ところが、中国は1992年に尖閣諸島領有を明記した領海法を制定するなど一方的に現状を変更しようとしている。

We consider it reasonable that Abe expressed his displeasure with Yamaguchi's statements, saying, "We'll decide whether SDF planes enter [the airspace over the islands]."
 安倍首相が「自衛隊機が入る、入らないは、私たちが決める」と山口氏の発言に不快感を示したのは当然である。

===

Remember national interests

Former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama plans to visit China soon. When he was in office, Murayama made a statement in which he expressed "deep remorse" to China for Japan's wartime occupation and other actions. Beijing appears to draw pro-China comments from Murayama.
 村山元首相も、近く中国を訪れる。村山氏は、過去の侵略などへの「深い反省」を表明した村山首相談話をまとめた。村山氏から中国寄りの発言を引き出したい中国の意図が見え隠れする。

Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, who visited China earlier this month, called the Senkakus "disputed" islands. Because he conceded there is a territorial row between the two countries, Chinese major media reported it widely. We wonder if he is not aware he is being used by China.
 先に訪中した鳩山元首相は、尖閣諸島を「係争地だ」と述べた。領有権問題の存在を認めたことなどから、中国の主要紙が大きく取り上げた。中国に利用されていることが分からないのだろうか。

Remarks that disregard national interests do the nation no good, only causing enormous harm to it.
 国益を忘れた言動は百害あって一利なしである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 26, 2013)
(2013年1月26日01時36分  読売新聞)

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途上国リスク 日本企業が抱える課題は重い

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 27, 2013)
Hostage crisis shows challenges facing Japanese firms abroad
途上国リスク 日本企業が抱える課題は重い(1月26日付・読売社説)

The taking of hostages by Islamist militants at a natural gas plant in Algeria has forced Japanese companies operating abroad to review their security management systems.
 アルジェリアで起きたイスラム武装勢力による人質事件は、海外展開する日本企業に危機管理体制の見直しを迫った。

They have to strike a difficult balance between developing business opportunities abroad and preparing countermeasures against terrorism and other risks.
 ビジネスチャンスを拡大しながら、テロなどのリスクにどう備えるか。難しい課題の両立策を模索しなければならない。

In the recent crisis, 10 employees of major plant construction company JGC Corp. and companies related to it were killed. On Friday, the bodies of nine of them returned to Japan on a Japanese government plane, along with seven survivors.
 犠牲になった大手プラントメーカー日揮と関連会社の社員10人のうち9人の遺体と、無事だった7人が、政府専用機で帰国した。

JGC has developed natural resources in Algeria since the 1960s. It does business not only in Africa but also in many countries in the Middle East, Asia and other regions.
 日揮は1960年代からアルジェリアの資源開発に取り組み、アフリカだけでなく、中東、アジアなど世界に展開してきた。

JGC is a pioneering Japanese corporation in doing business abroad. Over 70 percent of its sales are earned in other countries. We have to take very seriously the fact that even JGC, with its thorough knowledge of operating in developing countries, could fall victim to terrorism.
 売上高に占める海外比率は7割超に達し、海外で稼ぐパイオニア企業である。途上国ビジネスに精通していた日揮ですら、テロに巻き込まれたのは深刻だ。

===

Risks in developing countries

"[The hostage-taking incident] shows the challenge of doing business and securing safety simultaneously," said JGC President Koichi Kawana at a press conference. His words reflect a common challenge for other Japanese firms operating abroad.
 川名浩一社長は記者会見で「安全を確保しながらビジネスを進めていく課題を突き付けられた」と述べた。海外展開する日本企業に共通の課題と言えよう。

About 15 Japanese companies have offices in Algeria. In other African countries that are also rich in natural resources and expected to grow economically, Japanese firms compete with each other in the trade, construction, automobile and many other industries.
 アルジェリアには日本企業約15社の拠点がある。資源が豊富で成長が期待されるアフリカ各地で、商社、ゼネコン、自動車など様々な業界が競っている。

According to a survey by the Japan External Trade Organization, 70 percent of Japanese firms operating in Africa said the continent will become increasingly important. But 90 percent said Africa had problems regarding political and social stability, which undermines security. The figures show the dilemma such firms face.
 日本貿易振興機構(ジェトロ)の調査では、アフリカに進出した日本企業の7割が「アフリカの重要性が増す」と答える一方、9割が「治安など政治的・社会的な安定性」を問題点に挙げた。各社のジレンマがうかがえる。

After the latest incident, Japanese firms operating abroad have taken defensive measures such as prohibiting employees from traveling to countries where security concerns are high and enhancing the security of their offices and plants. We think those are appropriate actions.
 今回の事件後、各社は治安悪化が懸念される国への出張を禁止したり、事務所やプラントなどの警備を強化するなどの自衛策を打ち出した。当然の対応だろう。

===

Coordinate with governments

However, there is a limit to the defensive measures a private company can afford to take. We expect companies to reexamine their security measures by strengthening their coordination with the Japanese government and the governments of the other countries where they operate.
 だが、一企業による自衛策には限界もある。政府や地元政府などとの連携を強化し、安全対策を総点検してもらいたい。

Meanwhile, the government plans to review its own response to the incident while organizing a panel of experts to study ways to protect Japanese nationals abroad. It is important to discuss the risks in developing countries from a broader perspective.
 政府は、事件対応を検証するとともに、有識者懇談会を設置し、邦人保護のあり方を検討する。幅広い観点からの議論が重要だ。

We would like to suggest that both ruling and opposition parties begin talks as soon as possible on establishing a Japanese version of the U.S. National Security Council to enhance the government's ability to systematically gather and analyze intelligence on terrorism.
 テロ関連の情報収集・分析体制を強化するため、国家安全保障会議(日本版NSC)の早期設置へ与野党協議を始めてはどうか。

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner New Komeito plan to discuss revision of the Self-Defense Forces Law. Though it is already possible under the current law to transport Japanese nationals on SDF ships and planes, the parties are considering revising the law so that the SDF can also rescue and transport Japanese people on land in other countries.
 自民、公明両党は自衛隊法改正を検討する。現行法で可能な自衛艦・航空機による邦人輸送に加え外国での邦人救出や陸上輸送を可能にすることを想定している。

However, the advance agreement of the countries concerned will be necessary for the SDF to carry out such missions. The missions will also require a relaxation of the rules on the use of weapons, which is narrowly restricted to immediate self-defense at present. It will also be necessary to specially train Ground Self-Defense Force members in how to protect people in their care.
 しかし、新たな任務の実施は当事国の同意が前提となる。正当防衛などに限定されている武器使用基準の緩和のほか、陸上自衛隊には警護任務の特殊な訓練が求められる。

The ruling parties should have serious and responsible discussions of these issues.
これらの課題について、しっかり論議することが大切だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 26, 2013)
(2013年1月26日01時36分  読売新聞)

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2013年1月26日 (土)

e-sarn top ten Jan2013 test format

e-sarn top ten Jan2013 test format

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教育再生会議 実効性伴う踏み込んだ提言を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 26, 2013)
Abe's new panel must propose effective education measures
教育再生会議 実効性伴う踏み込んだ提言を(1月25日付・読売社説)

The headquarters for the revitalization of education, which is to set the direction of education policy for the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has been officially launched.
 安倍政権の教育政策を方向づける教育再生実行会議が始動した。

We hope the new panel will come up with effective prescriptions to address mounting problems, such as incidents of serious bullying and physical punishments, at the nation's places of education.
 深刻ないじめや体罰など、教育現場に山積する課題へ有効な処方箋を示してもらいたい。

At the headquarters' first meeting Thursday, Abe said the revitalization of education is an important issue on a par with the revitalization of the economy. Abe said the panel's goals would be to guarantee students chances to acquire world-class academic ability and respect for social norms.
 安倍首相は初会合で「教育再生は経済再生と並ぶ最重要課題」と述べ、世界トップレベルの学力と規範意識を身につける機会を保障することを目標に掲げた。

The panel, directly under the prime minister, consists of 15 experts including prefectural governors, corporate executives and scholars.
 会議は首相直属で、知事や企業経営者、学者など15人の有識者で構成される。

We hope the panel will discuss various problems in education, free from the traditional administrative framework of educational practices, and recommend drastic and effective proposals.
 従来の文教行政の枠にとらわれず、実効性を伴う踏み込んだ提言を期待したい。

===

Improvement over old panel

The Education Rebuilding Council, which was created in 2006 under the first Abe administration, produced some achievements such as moving away from "pressure-free education," but its proposals tried to please everyone and quite a few of them could not be realized.
 第1次安倍内閣当時の2006年に設置された教育再生会議は、「脱ゆとり教育」を打ち出すなど一定の成果を上げたが、提言が総花的で、実現に至らなかったものも少なくない。

How its role differed from that of the Central Council of Education, an advisory panel to the education minister, was unclear. This is a point to keep in mind.
 文部科学相の諮問機関である中央教育審議会との役割分担が不明確だったことも前回の反省点だ。

An improvement this time is that the Central Council of Education will be in charge of designing concrete systems to revitalize education based on the headquarters' discussions. We give high marks on this point.
今回、教育再生実行会議の議論を基に、中教審が制度設計を行う形にしたのは評価できる。

At the headquarters, members will have intensive discussions on specific themes and will compile proposals as appropriate. The initial points of discussion will be antibullying measures and a review of the board of education system.
 会議ではテーマごとに集中審議を行い、順次提言をまとめていくという。当面の論点はいじめ対策と教育委員会の見直しである。

The Abe administration reportedly plans to incorporate the results of discussions at the headquarters in a bill for a basic law on measures to prevent bullying, which it aims to pass in the upcoming ordinary Diet session.
 安倍政権は、通常国会で成立を目指している「いじめ防止対策基本法」に、会議の検討結果を反映させたい意向だ。

To prevent bullying, in addition to appropriate instruction by teachers, proper home discipline and improved counseling services offered by local governments are indispensable. We would like the panel to enlist society as a whole to tackle the problem.
 いじめの防止には、教師の適切な指導に加え、家庭でのしつけや自治体などによる相談窓口の整備が欠かせない。社会総がかりでの取り組みを促すような方向性を示してほしい。

Problematic responses to issues such as suicides suspected to have been caused by bullying have drawn attention to the closed nature of boards of education across the country and have revealed that many of them are responsible authorities in name only.
 いじめ自殺の対応などを巡り、各地の教委の閉鎖的な体質や形骸化が次々に露呈している。

===

Review board of education system

It cannot be denied that the system of education boards, which are politically independent from heads of local governments, has obscured where the responsibility for education administration resides. In the physical punishment case at Osaka's municipal Sakuranomiya High School, Mayor Toru Hashimoto and the municipal board of education have clashed over responses to the problem.
 首長から政治的に独立した教委の仕組みが、教育行政の責任の所在をあいまいにしていることは否めない。大阪市立桜宮高校の体罰問題では、橋下徹市長と市教委が対応を巡り対立した。

It is necessary to thoroughly discuss what the ideal relationship between heads of local governments and boards of education should be.
 首長と教委の関係について、議論を尽くす必要がある。

A mid- and long-term issue to be deliberated after this summer's House of Councillors election is a review of the current system in which primary school is six years long, middle and high school are three years each, and university is four. The Liberal Democratic Party picked this as one of its pledges in the latest House of Representatives election.
 今夏の参院選後に審議する、中長期的な課題が「6・3・3・4制」の見直しだ。自民党は先の衆院選で政権公約に掲げていた。

More and more academic institutions are now practicing integrated education under which curriculums flow seamlessly from primary to middle school or from middle to high school. The appropriateness of the current academic system, divided into four separate levels of school, has been the subject of much discussion for years.
 カリキュラムを工夫し、小中一貫や中高一貫の教育を実践する学校は増えている。小学校から中学、高校、大学へと至る現在の学制のままでいいのかという議論は、以前からある。

We believe the time has come to think about a more flexible education system that improves the academic ability of children.
 子供たちの学力向上につながる柔軟な教育制度を検討する時期に来ているのではないだろうか。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 25, 2013)
(2013年1月25日01時20分  読売新聞)

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税制改正大綱 難題先送りでは責任果たせぬ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 26, 2013)
Postponing tax question will not lead to solution
税制改正大綱 難題先送りでは責任果たせぬ(1月25日付・読売社説)

A stopgap approach to resolving a challenge can never lead to reinvigoration of the national economy. Drastic revision of the tax system is urgently needed now.
 その場しのぎの対応では、日本経済は活性化しない。税制の抜本的な改革が急務である。

The Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner New Komeito have decided on an outline of the ruling bloc's tax system revisions for fiscal 2013.
 自民、公明両党が2013年度の与党税制改正大綱を決定した。

With the consumption tax rate scheduled to be raised to 8 percent from April 2014, the posture of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration has drawn much attention.
 14年4月に予定される消費税率の8%への引き上げを控え、安倍政権の姿勢が問われていた。

Regarding the wisdom of applying a reduced rate to such goods as foodstuffs, the two parties have agreed to strive to introduce a lower tax rate when the consumption tax is raised from 8 percent to 10 percent in October 2015.
 焦点となった食料品などの消費税率を抑える軽減税率は、消費税が8%から10%に上がる15年10月導入を目指すことで合意した。

The LDP and Komeito seem to have postponed the introduction of a low tax rate on daily necessities mainly because they took into account objections from small and midsize businesses and others that their business operations would be complicated by the introduction of a reduced tax rate.
 軽減税率導入に伴う煩雑な手続きに不満を抱く中小企業などに配慮したと言える。

To secure public understanding about the consumption tax increase, however, it is definitely desirable to implement a lower rate system when the rate is raised to 8 percent. We believe the decision to put off its introduction is problematic.
 だが、消費増税への国民の理解を得るには、税率を8%にする時から導入する方が望ましい。実施時期の先送りは問題である。

===

Reduced rate must be 5%

The LDP and Komeito have agreed to have the specific rate of reduction, and the range of lower-rate goods, discussed by a panel of experts and to reach a conclusion toward the end of the year when deciding on tax system revisions for fiscal 2014.
 自公両党は、専門委員会で税率や対象品目などを協議し、今年末に決める14年度税制改正で結論を出すという。

Discussions on the issue must be launched promptly to ensure that lower rate arrangements are implemented when the tax is raised to 10 percent.
速やかに検討を始め、10%段階での導入を確実にしなければならない。

When the low tax rate system is introduced, the rate should be set at 5 percent on not only foodstuffs but also newspapers and magazines, which are public goods that serve as pillars of democracy.
 その際、軽減する消費税率は5%とし、対象には食料品のほか、民主主義を支える公共財である新聞・雑誌も含めるべきだ。

Discussions on the motor vehicle acquisition tax and weight tax were difficult to the last, and the question of how to deal with these taxes was narrowly settled as a result of concessions by various sides.
 最後まで調整が難航した自動車取得税と自動車重量税の扱いも、妥協の末に決着した。

Under the LDP-Komeito accord, the motor vehicle acquisition tax will be reduced when the consumption tax is raised to 8 percent and abolished when the rate is increased to 10 percent. As for the weight tax, the current tax breaks on eco-friendly vehicles will become permanent, with a view to using the motor vehicle-related tax revenue for improving and maintaining roads.
 取得税を消費税8%時に引き下げ、10%時に廃止する一方、重量税はエコカー減税を恒久化し、道路整備に充てる方針だ。

The planned abolition of the motor vehicle acquisition tax will reduce local governments' tax revenues by about 200 billion yen a year.
 取得税の廃止により、地方税収が年間約2000億円減る。

The tax system revision outline stipulates that abolition of the acquisition tax will "not adversely affect the finances of local governments." There have been no prospects, however, of how to secure revenue sources to make up for the lost income.
大綱は「地方財政に影響を及ぼさない」と明記したが、代替財源の見通しは立っていない。

===

Simplify motor vehicle taxes

The automobile industry has called for abolition of both the motor vehicle acquisition tax and weight tax. It argues that they will cause a slump in motor vehicle sales if they remain in place after the consumption tax goes up. But local governments, concerned about loss of revenue, have opposed the abolition of the two taxes.
 自動車業界は「消費増税で販売不振を招く」として取得税と重量税の廃止を求め、税収減を懸念する自治体が反対した。

Apparently taking this summer's House of Councillors election into account, the LDP-Komeito agreement is an equivocal one intended to show deference to both the automobile industry and local governments.
今夏の参院選をにらみ、業界と地方双方の顔を立てる玉虫色の決着である。

The purposes for which the automobile weight tax is to be used are also problematic.
 重量税の使途も疑問だ。

The two parties' agreement on the matter could eventually lead to a revival of the tax revenues set aside for road construction that the administration of the Democratic Party of Japan did away with in 2009 in the name of reducing fiscal waste.
無駄な公共事業の温床になるとして、自民党政権が09年に廃止した道路特定財源の復活にならないか。

It is important to thoroughly review and simplify the highly complicated tax structure on motor vehicles, including the gasoline tax.
 複雑な仕組みの自動車課税を、ガソリン税を含めて総合的に見直し、簡素化することが重要だ。

Also envisioned in connection with tax system revisions for next fiscal year are increases in income and inheritance taxes on the wealthy. The effect of the tax hikes in securing fiscal resources for the government, however, is certain to be limited, and they may discourage people in high income brackets from working, lessening the nation's economic vitality.
 来年度改正では、富裕層を対象に所得税と相続税の課税強化を打ち出した。財源確保の効果は限定的で、労働意欲や経済活力をそぐことになりかねない。

Expansion of the tax breaks on housing loans and on some items of business activity has also been incorporated into the tax system revision outline, but it is unclear how effectively these steps will bolster the economy.
 住宅ローン減税の拡充や企業向け減税も盛り込まれたが、どこまで経済をテコ入れできるかは未知数だ。

Such measures as a full-fledged cut in corporate income tax, coupled with a solid growth strategy, must be realized.
成長戦略と連動した法人税減税などが求められよう。

The government should explore ways to balance the tax burdens in each category of income level, assets and consumption.
 所得・資産・消費で均衡のとれた負担のあり方を探るべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 25, 2013)
(2013年1月25日01時20分  読売新聞)

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2013年1月25日 (金)

原発住民投票案 新潟県議会の否決は当然だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 25, 2013)
Niigata made right decision in rejecting nuclear referendum
原発住民投票案 新潟県議会の否決は当然だ(1月24日付・読売社説)

It is the government's responsibility to decide whether to restart reactors at nuclear power plants whose safety has been confirmed. It is unreasonable to leave such a decision up to referendums.
 安全性が確認された原子力発電所の再稼働は、政府の判断で決めるべきである。住民投票に委ねるのは筋違いだ。

The Niigata Prefectural Assembly rejected Wednesday a draft ordinance on holding a referendum to ask residents whether they would support the restart of reactors at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in the prefecture.
 新潟県にある東京電力柏崎刈羽原発の再稼働の是非を問うための住民投票条例案を、新潟県議会が否決した。

Assembly members from the Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of Japan--which hold a majority in the assembly--opposed the draft, saying whether to support resuming the operations of nuclear reactors is not an appropriate topic for a referendum.
過半数を占める自民党や民主党は「再稼働問題は県民投票になじまない」と条例案に反対した。

We think the assembly made a proper judgment.
 妥当な判断である。

The draft ordinance was requested last month of Gov. Hirohiko Izumida by a citizens organization that collected signatures from about 68,000 residents in the prefecture.
 条例案は、住民団体が先月、約6万8000人の署名を添えて泉田裕彦知事に直接請求した。

What is hard to understand, however, is Izumida's reaction to the draft.
 不可解なのは知事の対応だ。

The governor released a written statement on Jan. 16, in which he expressed some concerns about the draft.
"A referendum cannot reflect appropriately the will of residents as it asks them to simply vote yes or no," the statement said. "Holding a referendum would mean that residents living in an area hosting a nuclear plant are asked to make a decision about an issue the central government should deal with."
 知事は今月16日、条例案への意見書を公表し、「二者択一では民意を適切に反映できない」「国に係る問題を一立地地域の住民に問うことになる」と懸念を表明した。

===

Governor's response confusing

We think Izumida made reasonable points.
この指摘はもっともだ。

At the same time, however, the statement said the assembly should amend the draft ordinance by the citizens organization and pass the amended ordinance. The governor also remarked that a referendum should be held.
 その一方で知事は、県議会が条例案を修正・可決する必要があるとの認識も示した。住民投票は行うべきだ、とも発言している。

Izumida appeared to be simultaneously stepping on the gas and the brake regarding the draft ordinance, so it is only natural that some members of the assembly criticized his attitude as difficult to understand.
 条例案に対しブレーキとアクセルを同時に踏むような知事の姿勢に「理解しがたい」との批判が県議会から出たのは無理もない。

The assembly also rejected another draft ordinance that reflected Izumida's statement.
 県議会では、知事の意見書を踏まえた修正案も否決された。

Regarding the assembly's reaction, the governor said: "I understand that [the draft ordinances] were rejected because the assembly believes that [the reactivation of nuclear reactors] is not an appropriate topic for a referendum because the issue involves national policy. It's very disappointing."
 知事は県議会の対応について、「国策だから住民投票になじまないということで否決されたと受け止める。大変残念だ」と語った。

We wonder if Izumida made such a comment out of consideration for the residents who requested a referendum as opponents of nuclear power generation.
住民投票を求める反原発派の住民への配慮なのだろうか。

Referendums should deal with issues that only concern residents within a certain area, such as mergers of municipalities. They should not address energy issues and those related to U.S. military bases, which are closely related to the nation's security.
 住民投票は本来、市町村合併など地域で完結するテーマで実施すべきだ。国の安全保障と密接に関わる米軍基地問題やエネルギー政策ではふさわしくない。

The Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly, the Osaka Municipal Assembly and the Shizuoka Prefectural Assembly have also rejected similar draft ordinances on holding referendums to decide whether to give the go-ahead to restarting nuclear reactors. These developments suggest that the idea that a nuclear issue is not an appropriate topic for a referendum has been taking root.
 原発の再稼働を住民投票で決めようという条例案は、東京都、大阪市、静岡県の各議会でも否決されている。この問題は、住民投票にそぐわないとの理解が定着しつつあると言えよう。

===

Stable energy supply threatened

The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has set a policy of resuming operations of nuclear reactors whose safety has been confirmed by the Nuclear Regulation Authority.
 安倍政権は、原子力規制委員会が安全性を確認した原発を、政府の責任で再稼働させる方針だ。

The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, one of the world's largest facilities of its kind, accounts for more than 10 percent of TEPCO's generation capacity. The plant has relatively new equipment as its first reactor started operating in 1985.
 柏崎刈羽原発は世界最大級の規模で、発電能力は東電全体の1割を超える。運転開始は1985年以降で設備は比較的新しい。

If the plant's seven reactors are not restarted, the electricity supply for the Tokyo metropolitan area could become unstable. TEPCO might raise its electricity charges again because of a further increase in fuel costs for thermal power generation.
 停止中の7基がこのまま稼働しなければ、首都圏への安定的な電力供給は揺らぎかねない。火力発電のための燃料費がかさみ、料金再値上げの可能性もある。

This situation would negatively affect Niigata Prefecture--for example, in terms of employment--even though it is not part of TEPCO's service areas.
新潟県は東電の管内ではないが、雇用などで悪影響が及ぶだろう。

When the safety of the reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant is confirmed, Izumida should work with the government to achieve their smooth reactivation.
 柏崎刈羽原発の安全性が確認された場合、知事は政府と連携し、再稼働の円滑な実現に努力しなければなるまい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 24, 2013)
(2013年1月24日01時07分  読売新聞)

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対「北」制裁強化 安保理決議の実効性を高めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 25, 2013)
Sanctions on North Korea meaningless if not effective
対「北」制裁強化 安保理決議の実効性を高めよ(1月24日付・読売社説)

It is crucial for the international community to make continuous efforts to pressure North Korea and improve the effectiveness of sanctions against the country.
 北朝鮮への圧力の手を緩めず、実効性を高めることが重要だ。

On Tuesday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2087, which boosts sanctions against North Korea.
 国連の安全保障理事会が、北朝鮮への制裁を強化する決議2087を全会一致で採択した。

The resolution condemned Pyongyang's December launch of a long-range ballistic missile, which North Korea claimed sent a satellite into orbit. The Security Council also expressed its "determination to take significant action" if the country launches another missile or conducts a new nuclear test.
 決議は、北朝鮮が「人工衛星打ち上げ」と称して昨年12月、安保理決議に違反する長距離弾道ミサイル発射を強行したことを非難した。新たなミサイル発射や核実験を行う場合、安保理が「重大な行動を取る」とも警告している。

It took time for the Security Council to arrange the details of the sanctions. However, the new resolution means that members of the international community have joined hands to make a tough response to North Korea's provocative actions. This deserves praise.
 制裁内容の調整に時間を要したが、新たな決議採択は、国際社会が結束して北朝鮮の挑発に厳しく対応したものと評価できる。

The latest resolution was a product of compromise between the United States and China, both of whom are permanent members of the Security Council.
 決議は、常任理事国である米国と中国の妥協の結果でもある。

===

Resolution not best, but better

The United States tried to heighten punitive actions against North Korea by adding new sanctions with the help of Japan and South Korea. However, China reportedly opposed this idea and insisted the Security Council should issue a presidential statement--which is not legally binding--instead of a resolution.
 米国は、日本や韓国と連携しながら、制裁の枠組みを広げ、強化することを目指した。これに対し中国は当初、新たな制裁には否定的で、法的拘束力のない議長声明とするよう主張したという。

In the end, the Security Council decided to adopt a resolution but refrained from imposing new sanctions on North Korea. Instead, the Security Council has beefed up existing sanctions stipulated in previous resolutions, such as adding new entities to its travel ban and freeze on assets.
 最終的に決議採択に落ち着く代わりに、中身は、資産凍結や海外渡航禁止措置の対象追加など、既存の決議に基づく制裁強化にとどまった。

The resolution could have been better if it imposed new sanctions, such as obligating member countries to inspect North Korean cargos. However, this is clear progress compared to the Security's Council's response to North Korea's previous missile launch in April.
貨物検査の義務づけなど新規制裁に踏み込まなかった点で物足りなさは残る。
 それでも、昨年4月に北朝鮮がミサイルを発射した際、中国の反対で安保理が北朝鮮を非難する議長声明しか出せなかったのに比べると前進だ。

At that time the Security Council only managed to issue a presidential statement condemning North Korea, due to protests from China. It is clear that the Security Council's lukewarm response has inflated Pyongyang's ego, and is one reason the nation decided to launch another missile in December.
当時の甘い対応が北朝鮮を増長させ、再度の発射を許す一因となったのは明らかだ。

The Security Council's new resolution has drawn an angry response from North Korea. The nation said it will take countermeasures against the resolution and "bolster its military capabilities for self-defense, including nuclear deterrence." This could be interpreted as expressing Pyongyang's intention to conduct a fresh nuclear test.
 北朝鮮は、安保理決議に強く反発し、「核抑止力を含む自衛的な軍事力」を強化する「対応措置」を講じると宣言した。核実験の予告とも受け取れる。

North Korea has twice conducted nuclear tests, both of which took place in response to the Security Council's condemnation of Pyongyang's missile launches. If the international community fails to prevent Pyongyang from conducting a third test, the horror of a nuclear-armed North Korea will become more imminent, further exacerbating regional tensions.
 北朝鮮は、安保理にミサイル発射を非難されたのに対抗して、2回の核実験を強行した。3回目を許せば、核ミサイルの脅威が高まり、地域は一層緊張しよう。

===

China must act

As a permanent member of the Security Council and a regional neighbor, China should strongly urge North Korea to stop threatening the international community.
 中国は、安保理常任理事国として、隣国の北朝鮮に挑発をやめるよう厳しく迫るべきだ。

The underlying reason why China agreed to adopting a U.N. resolution is its strained relationship with the United States over Beijing's territorial claims in the South China Sea and to the Senkaku Islands. We believe China judged it would be an additional burden on the country if it also clashed with the United States over North Korea.
 中国が制裁強化決議に同意した背景には、南シナ海の領有権問題や尖閣諸島を巡って米国とのあつれきを深める中、北朝鮮問題でも対立する事態は重荷となるため、避けたいとの判断もあろう。

Efforts to boost sanctions against North Korea will be meaningless if they fail to produce tangible results. China, which accounts for about 70 percent of North Korea's trade, has a heavy responsibility to strictly comply with and strengthen the sanctions, such as an embargo on commodities related to weapons of mass destruction and luxury goods.
 制裁を強化しても、効果が上がらなければ意味はない。北朝鮮の貿易額の7割を占める中国には、大量破壊兵器関連物資や贅沢(ぜいたく)品の禁輸などの制裁を順守、徹底し、強化する重い責任がある。

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has said the government plans to take independent action against North Korea, such as beefing up Japan's sanctions against the country. We urge the government to come up with ideas that will effectively discourage North Korea's provocations.
 菅官房長官は、日本も独自の制裁を強化する考えを示した。効果的な策を検討してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 24, 2013)
(2013年1月24日01時07分  読売新聞)

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2013年1月24日 (木)

物価目標2% 政府と日銀が挑む「高い壁」

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 24, 2013)
Govt, BOJ must work in unity to achieve inflation target
物価目標2% 政府と日銀が挑む「高い壁」(1月23日付・読売社説)

To lift the nation out of deflation, the government and the Bank of Japan have compiled a joint statement that incorporates a 2 percent inflation target. However, whether they can work closely together to clear the high hurdles needed to achieve the target has been called into question.
 デフレ脱却に向け、政府と日銀が2%の物価目標を盛り込んだ共同声明をまとめた。達成のハードルは高く、連携強化の実効性が問われよう。

After the joint statement was approved at the central bank's Policy Board meeting Tuesday, Bank of Japan Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso and Akira Amari, state minister for economic and fiscal policy, reported to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
 日銀の金融政策決定会合で共同声明を決めた後、白川総裁、麻生副総理・財務相、甘利経済財政相が安倍首相に報告した。

Among other things, the statement stipulates the bank will promote further monetary easing steps by setting a target of a 2 percent year-on-year rise in the consumer price index and aim to achieve that target "at the earliest possible time."
 声明は、日銀が消費者物価の前年比上昇率2%の目標を設けて金融緩和を推進するとし、「できるだけ早期の実現を目指す」と明記したのがポイントだ。

The central bank had previously said the desirable inflation rate in the mid- and long term was "1 percent for the time being." However, it accepted Abe's strong request to set the 2 percent inflation target. It was the first time the bank has set a specific inflation target--a historic turn of events.
 日銀は従来、中長期的に望ましい物価上昇率を「当面1%が目途(めど)」としてきたが、首相の強い要請を受け入れた。日銀が具体的な物価目標を設定するのは初めてで、歴史的な転換である。

In praising the Bank of Japan's decision, the prime minister said, "It's a bold review of monetary policy." He also expressed his resolve to accelerate the revival of the nation's economy--his administration's top priority--by using the joint statement as leverage.
 首相は「金融政策の大胆な見直しだ」と評価した。声明をテコに、政権が最重視する経済再生を加速したい決意の表れだ。

===

Purchasing financial assets

In line with the statement, the central bank decided to take such new monetary easing measures as the purchase of a large amount of financial assets, including government bonds, from 2014 without setting a specific termination date.
 日銀は声明に併せ、2014年から、期限を定めず、国債などの金融資産を大量に買い入れる新たな金融緩和策を決めた。

For the bank, the open-ended monetary easing plan is virgin territory. The decision to take such a step will probably send a message to the market that the bank will more actively implement monetary easing measures.
 日銀にとって「無期限緩和」は未踏の領域だ。より積極的に金融緩和を行うという、市場へのメッセージになるだろう。

In Japan, however, the increase in the consumer price index has been slightly above the zero percent level or in negative territory since the latter half of the 1990s. How this rate can be raised to 2 percent has not been worked out.
 ただ、日本では1990年代後半から、消費者物価上昇率はほぼ0%台かマイナスだ。2%まで上昇させる道筋は描けていない。

Even if prices rise as planned, there is concern people's livelihoods will be threatened if it is "bad inflation" that does not entail expanded employment or pay increases.
 物価がうまく上昇しても、実体経済が浮揚せず、雇用拡大や賃金上昇が伴わない「悪い物価上昇」では、国民生活がかえって脅かされる事態すら懸念される。

It was also decided Tuesday that the Bank of Japan will regularly report on the progress toward reaching the 2 percent inflation target to the government's Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, which will examine the effects of the bank's monetary easing measures. The central bank needs to explain how it plans to end deflation while carefully watching for possible side effects on people's lives.
 日銀が政府の経済財政諮問会議に定期報告し、緩和策の効果が点検されることも決まった。国民生活などへの副作用にも目配りし、どうデフレから脱却するか。日銀に説明責任が求められる。

===

Bank's independence essential

At the same time, it is important to maintain the bank's independence. The government must refrain from excessive political intervention into the bank's methods of carrying out monetary policy.
 同時に重要なのは、日銀の独立性を堅持することだ。金融政策の手法などに対し、政府は過度な政治介入を慎む必要がある。

The government, for its part, must draw on all of its policies to overcome deflation. Even if a large amount of funds is supplied through monetary easing measures, the money cannot be used effectively and consumption will not increase if demand for the funds to create new investments is insufficient.
 デフレ脱却には、政府も政策を総動員しなければならない。
 金融緩和で資金を大量供給しても、新たな投資を生み出す資金需要が乏しければ、有効に活用されず、消費も伸びないからだ。

It is reasonable that the joint statement calls on the government to carry out structural reforms such as "bold regulatory and structural reforms" and "utilization of the tax system," and "to strengthen competitiveness and growth potential." We urge the government to accelerate efforts to implement a growth strategy.
 声明が政府に「大胆な規制・制度改革」「税制の活用」などの構造改革や、「競争力と成長力の強化」を促したのは妥当だ。政府は成長戦略を急いでもらいたい。

International trust in Japan will be shaken if the Bank of Japan's purchase of a large amount of government bonds is viewed as an attempt to cover a budget deficit. As the statement pointed out, the government also should strengthen measures to restore fiscal health.
 日銀による国債の大量買い入れが「財政赤字の穴埋め」と捉えられると、日本の信認が揺らぐ。声明が指摘したように、政府は財政健全化策も強化すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 23, 2013)
(2013年1月23日02時00分  読売新聞)

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邦人死亡確認 人命軽視はやむを得ないか

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 24, 2013)
Was military action only way to end Algerian siege?
邦人死亡確認 人命軽視はやむを得ないか(1月23日付・読売社説)

The Algerian hostage crisis has ended with tragic consequences.
 痛ましい結末だ。

Seven Japanese, including employees of plant engineering and manufacturing firm JGC Corp., were confirmed to have been killed during an attack on an Algerian natural gas plant by a group of Islamist militants.
 アルジェリアの天然ガス関連施設がイスラム武装勢力に襲われた事件でプラントメーカー「日揮」社員ら日本人7人の死亡が確認された。

We condemn the criminal group for targeting "corporate warriors" diligently working in a foreign country under severe conditions.
 過酷な環境の異国で仕事に励む“企業戦士”を標的にした犯罪者集団を強く非難する。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe denounced the terrorist attack Tuesday, saying: "It's extremely heartbreaking. We'll never tolerate terrorism." We agree entirely.
 安倍首相が「痛恨の極みだ。テロを絶対に許さない」と言明したのは、当然である。

The siege was unusual in that more than 30 heavily armed terrorists held hostage scores of people from several countries, including Japan, Britain and the United States.
 30人を超す重武装のテロ集団が日米英など多国籍の外国人多数を拘束する特異な事件だった。

An investigation must be conducted urgently to get to the bottom of this incident. Suspicion has arisen that the assailants had collaborators at the plant who provided information and guidance.
 事件の全容解明と検証が急がれる。施設内に内通者がいて武装勢力を手引きした疑いがある。

At a news conference Monday, Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal said 37 foreigners died and 29 militants were killed in the siege.
 アルジェリアのセラル首相は記者会見で、外国人37人が死亡、犯人29人を殺害したと述べた。

===

Hostages' lives not priority?

The Algerian military operation to bring the situation under control as soon as possible has been criticized for not giving enough consideration to the hostages' lives. Sellal stood by the decision to launch the assault by stressing his government's stance of not yielding to terrorism. His statement also reflects the domestic situation in which long years of civil war killed as many as 150,000 people in Algeria.
 アルジェリア軍の早期制圧作戦には、人質の人命軽視との批判があった。セラル首相が「テロに屈しない」と強調した背景には、長年の内戦で15万人もの犠牲者を出した国内事情もあるだろう。

Sellal said launching the military operation soon after the siege started was necessary because the militants had attempted to flee Algeria with the hostages and planted explosives in a bid to blow up the gas complex.
 武装勢力が人質を連れて国外逃亡を図ったほか、ガス田施設を破壊しようと爆弾を仕掛けており、それを阻止するには早期制圧が不可欠だった、とも説明した。

If the militants had been allowed to get away with their crimes, it could lead to second and third terrorist attacks. The Algerian government apparently felt it had no alternative but to resort to the use of force.
 今回の武装勢力の犯行を許せば、第2、第3のテロを誘発しかねない。アルジェリア政府としては、武力行使以外に選択肢がなかったということなのだろう。

Any unilateral attack on economic activity in a civilized society must be met with return fire.
 文明社会で営まれる経済活動に一方的に攻撃を仕掛けられたら、応戦せざるを得ない。

British Prime Minister David Cameron expressed dissatisfaction over the fact that his government was not told of the military operation in advance. But after the siege ended, he showed a degree of understanding of the early Algerian military operation by saying resolving the crisis would be a very difficult mission for security forces of any country.
 キャメロン英首相は、武力行使の事前通告がなかったことに不満を表明していたが、事件終結後は「どの国の治安部隊にも非常に難しい任務」だったと指摘し、早期制圧に一定の理解を示した。

===

Lessons for Japan

The Abe administration has dispatched a government-chartered aircraft to Algeria to bring home survivors and the victims' bodies. We also urge the government to quickly confirm what happened to three Japanese who remain unaccounted for.
 安倍政権は政府専用機をアルジェリアに派遣し、生存者の帰国や遺体の搬送を進める。なお安否が不明な3人の確認も急ぎたい。

It is important that the Algerian government be asked to give detailed explanations on the circumstances under which the military operation was conducted, and how the Japanese died.
 どういう状況で軍事作戦が行われ、日本人が死亡したのかについて、アルジェリア政府に詳細な説明を求めることが大切だ。

The crisis has brought problems with the Japanese government's crisis management system to the surface.
 一方で、日本政府の危機管理体制上の課題も浮かび上がった。

Like the United States and European countries also affected by the siege, Japan only obtained scant snippets of information while the Algerian forces conducted the military operation.
 アルジェリア軍が軍事作戦を主導する中、欧米諸国と同様、事件情報がほとんど取れなかった。

Japan has 49 uniformed defense attaches stationed overseas, including only two in Africa--one in Egypt and one in Sudan. The number of such attaches in Africa must be steadily increased.
 自衛隊制服組の防衛駐在官は現在、世界全体で49人いるが、アフリカはエジプトとスーダンの2人だけだ。着実な増員が必要だ。

To protect Japanese firms operating in troubled regions, specialists with expertise on these areas and antiterrorism measures should be trained, and the nation's information-gathering and analyzing capabilities strengthened.
 紛争地域に進出した日本企業を守るには、各地域やテロ対策の専門家を育成し、情報収集・分析能力を高めることが急務である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 23, 2013)
(2013年1月23日02時00分  読売新聞)

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2013年1月23日 (水)

桜宮高体育入試 深刻な体罰が招いた中止決定

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 23, 2013)
Corporal punishment must be stamped out at schools
桜宮高体育入試 深刻な体罰が招いた中止決定(1月22日付・読売社説)

With less than one month to go before the high school was to hold entrance exams for a couple of courses, the Osaka Municipal Board of Education made a very unusual decision.
 試験日まで1か月を切る中で、極めて異例の対応である。

The board suspended entrance exams for the physical education course and the sports and health science course at the municipality-run Sakuranomiya High School, which was attended by a student who committed suicide after he was slapped by his basketball coach. The decision was made at the request of Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto.
 大阪市教育委員会は、体罰を受けて男子生徒が自殺した市立桜宮高校で体育系学科の今年の入試を中止することを決めた。橋下徹市長の要請を受け入れた。

The board probably felt the corporal punishment at the school was so serious that suspension of the entrance exams was inevitable.
 入試を中止せざるを得ないほどに、桜宮高の体罰問題が深刻だという判断だろう。

Hashimoto said, "As long as there is a tendency to tolerate physical punishment at the school, it should not be allowed to accept new students."
 橋下市長は「体罰を容認する風潮が残っている状況で新入生を迎え入れることはできない」と主張した。

He even hinted at the possibility of freezing the government's budget for the school's entrance exams by exercising his executive power as mayor if the school held the entrance exams as scheduled.
入試を実施する場合には、市長の予算執行権を行使し、入試関連予算の支出を凍結する可能性にも言及していた。

All members except for the head of the five-member board supported Hashimoto, saying, "If the entrance exams [for the courses] are held as planned, it will not lead to reform of the school."
 5人の教育委員のうち、教育委員長を除く4人が「入試を継続すれば、学校改革につながらない」などと市長に同意した。

===

Anxieties over suspension

In reaching this conclusion, the board placed priority on the need to fundamentally change the school's customs, where corporal punishment was considered normal because victory was everything.
勝利至上主義の下、体罰を常態化させた学校の体質を根本から変えることを重視した結論と言えよう。

However, many people expressed concern about the possible effects of the suspension. It will have a serious impact on middle school students preparing for the school's entrance exam, they said.
 入試の中止に対しては、「受験に向けて準備をしてきた中学生に重大な影響を与える」と懸念の声も少なくなかった。

It is important for the board to minimize possible confusion stemming from the suspension.
市教委は中止による混乱を最小限に抑える措置を講じることが大切だ。

The board plans to have applicants who want to take sports-related courses at the school apply for the general course instead.
 市教委は今回、体育系学科を志望する中学生を普通科に振り替えて受け入れる方針だ。

The number of applicants for the general course will be increased by 120, the number normally allocated to the two sports-related courses.
 普通科の定員に体育系学科計120人を上乗せする。

While the number of subjects for the general course is usually set at five, applicants who wanted to take sports-related exams will be tested in three subjects--the usual number for these courses--plus a practical test.
普通科の受験科目は通常5科目だが、体育系学科の志望者には、3科目と実技での受験を認めるという。

Education minister Hakubun Shimomura said, "As long as some consideration is given to applicants to avoid having [an adverse] impact, I would say, 'That's good.'" This shows his understanding of the board's decision.
The board's decision can be considered realistic in setting a future course for applicants. But will new students be able to shift to sports-related courses in the future?
 下村文部科学相が「受験生に影響がないような配慮であれば、よしとしたい」と理解を示したように、受験生の進路を確保する上で現実的な対応と言える。
ただ、新入生は将来的に体育系学科に移れるのだろうか。

===

Future course for applicants

Behind Hashimoto's call to have the entrance exams suspended is his sense of distrust in Sakuranomiya High School and the board.
 橋下市長が入試中止を求めた背景には、桜宮高や市教委への不信感がある。

The school's basketball coach built the boys basketball club into a powerhouse during the 19 years he has spent there. However, the board has a general principle that a teacher employed at the same school for more than 10 years must be transferred to another school. The length of time the coach spent at the school made it difficult for others to criticize him.
 体罰を加えた男性教師は男子バスケットボール部を強豪に育てた実績から、在籍10年以上で転任させるという市教委の要綱に反し、19年も在籍している。周囲も批判しにくい状況になっていた。

It was also problematic that the school, despite being aware of previous corporal punishment cases, concluded in a perfunctory investigation that there was no abuse.
 学校が体罰情報を得ながら、おざなりな調査で体罰はなかったと結論付けたことも問題だ。

What is most important now is to determine the real state of corporal punishment at the school and explore ways to prevent it from recurring.
 今後、何より重要なのは、体罰の実態解明と再発の防止だ。

Hashimoto has called for the board to have all teachers-cum-coaches of the high school's sports clubs replaced.
 橋下市長は市教委に、桜宮高の運動部顧問の教師を入れ替えることも求めている。

It is necessary at least to take severe disciplinary action against the teacher in question and have him transferred to another school. With appropriate realignment of personnel, corporal punishment must be stamped out.
 少なくとも、体罰を行った教師については、厳しい処分と異動が必要だ。適切な人事配置で体罰の根絶を図らねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 22, 2013)
(2013年1月22日01時34分  読売新聞)

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防衛指針見直し 同盟強化へ日本の役割拡充を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 23, 2013)
Japan's role must be enhanced in defense cooperation with U.S.
防衛指針見直し 同盟強化へ日本の役割拡充を(1月22日付・読売社説)

The effectiveness of the Japan-U.S. alliance cannot be guaranteed through a treaty and documents alone. It is essential to expand the role of the Self-Defense Forces and enhance the relationship of trust between the two nations by having Japan undertake its fair share of responsibilities and burdens.
 日米同盟の実効性は、条約や文書だけでは担保されない。自衛隊の役割を拡大し、日本が応分の責任と負担を引き受けて両国の信頼関係を高めることが欠かせない。

The Japanese and U.S. governments have started reviewing the guidelines for bilateral defense cooperation. Given the Chinese military's recent expanded maritime activities and other factors, the review of guidelines is meant to effectively strengthen cooperation between the SDF and U.S. forces.
 日米両政府が、日米防衛協力指針(ガイドライン)の見直し作業を開始した。中国軍の海洋進出などを踏まえ、自衛隊と米軍の連携を実質的に強化するものだ。

The current guidelines released in 1997 enabled the SDF to provide logistic support to U.S. forces in the event of an emergency in areas surrounding Japan, and led to the establishment of legislation in 1999 on the nation's response to such contingencies.
 1997年策定の現行指針は、日本周辺有事における自衛隊の対米軍後方支援を可能にし、99年の周辺事態法整備につながった。

It was of great significance that defense cooperation was concretely stipulated in preparations for any contingency on the Korean Peninsula--a crisis that could happen on Japan's doorstep--and that a new direction for the Japan-U.S. alliance in the post-Cold War era was clearly spelled out.
 朝鮮半島有事という目の前の危機に備えて具体的な防衛協力を定め、冷戦後の新たな日米同盟の方向性を明示した意義は大きい。

===

Security situation severe

But since then, the security situation in areas around Japan has become even more severe: China is pushing on with a robust military buildup and has engaged in saber-rattling around the Senkaku Islands, and North Korea conducted two nuclear tests.
 だが、その後、中国の大幅な軍備増強や尖閣諸島周辺での示威活動、北朝鮮の2回の核実験などによって、日本周辺の安全保障情勢は一段と厳しくなっている。

This fundamental review of Japan-U.S. defense cooperation, for the first time in 16 years, fits in neatly with the United States' "rebalance" toward Asia, which was clearly expressed in its new defense strategy guidelines released in January last year, and the planned revision of Japan's National Defense Program Guidelines as early as this year. We highly regard the review of bilateral defense cooperation.
 16年ぶりに日米協力のあり方を抜本的に見直すことは、「アジア重視」を鮮明にした昨年1月の米国の新国防戦略や、年内にも日本の防衛大綱を改定する流れと合致しており、高く評価したい。

One focal point in this process will be tightening Japan-U.S. cooperation in times of peace.
 指針見直しの焦点の一つは、平時における日米協力の強化だ。

Since the contingency law was established, an emergency situation has yet to be recognized under the law. It is imperative that the SDF and U.S. forces work closely in sharing information to prevent a crisis from occurring and establish systems to jointly deal with any situation that has become tense but is yet to reach the point of being an emergency.
 法制定後、周辺事態は一度も認定されていない。周辺事態には至らないものの、情勢が緊迫した段階で、自衛隊と米軍が緊密に情報交換して危機を抑止し、共同対処する態勢を築くことが大切だ。

We want more joint exercises by the Ground Self-Defense Force and U.S. Marine Corps for the defense of remote islands, and expanded warning and surveillance operations through joint operations by the Air Self-Defense Force and the U.S. Air Force of Global Hawk unmanned surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft.
 陸上自衛隊と米海兵隊による離島防衛の共同訓練や、航空自衛隊と米空軍の無人偵察機グローバルホークの共同運用による警戒監視活動の拡充を着実に進めたい。

===

Ease restrictions on support

The SDF can provide refueling and transport support to U.S. forces only in emergency situations. We suggest consideration be given to enabling these operations in times of peace as well.
 自衛隊による米軍への補給・輸送支援については、現在の有事限定から、平時も実施可能にすることを検討してはどうか。

Cooperation should not just be limited to the SDF and U.S. forces, but also concrete measures for cooperation involving such organs as the Japan Coast Guard and police, as well as the military forces of South Korea, Australia and India, should be compiled.
 自衛隊と米軍の協力にとどまらず、海上保安庁、警察や韓国、豪州、インド各軍などとの連携に関する具体策もまとめるべきだ。

Another key issue in the spotlight is whether Japan can exercise its right to collective self-defense.
 もう一つの焦点は、集団的自衛権の行使に関する問題である。

The government is expected to soon hear opinions again from an expert panel launched under the first Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and start studying how to handle the right to collective self-defense.
 政府は近く、行使容認を提言した第1次安倍内閣の有識者会議から改めて意見聴取し、集団的自衛権の扱いの検討を始める。

If a U.S. military vessel comes under attack during a joint exercise on the high seas, an SDF vessel will launch a counterattack. If a ballistic missile is heading toward the United States, Japan will intercept it. These are among four scenarios that had been studied by the expert panel. We think it is an urgent task to enable the nation to use its right to collective self-defense in these four scenarios.
 公海上で共同訓練中の米軍艦船が攻撃された際、自衛隊艦船が反撃する。米国に向かう弾道ミサイルを日本が迎撃する――。有識者会議が研究した、これら4類型については集団的自衛権の行使を可能にすることが急務である。

Reflecting such a tangible result properly in the process of reviewing the defense cooperation guidelines will further solidify the Japan-U.S. alliance.
 その結果をガイドライン見直しに適切に反映させることが、日米同盟をより強固にしよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 22, 2013)
(2013年1月22日01時34分  読売新聞)

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2013年1月22日 (火)

刑事司法改革 冤罪防止と捜査力向上を図れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 22, 2013)
Reform investigative system to prevent false charges
刑事司法改革 冤罪防止と捜査力向上を図れ(1月21日付・読売社説)

To regain public trust, prosecutors and police should establish a system to prevent false accusations and enhance investigative capabilities.
 検察や警察の信頼を取り戻すには、冤罪(えんざい)を防ぐとともに、捜査力を向上させる仕組みを確立する必要がある。

A subcommittee of the Justice Ministry's Legislative Council, which studied reform of the criminal justice system following a series of scandals involving prosecutors, has compiled a set of recommendations. On the basis of these proposals, the council will work out how to reform the criminal justice system.
 一連の検察不祥事を契機に、刑事司法制度の見直しを検討してきた法制審議会の部会が、基本構想案をまとめた。これをたたき台に制度作りを進める。

It is appropriate that the panel recommended the introduction of audiovisual recordings of interrogations, a major point at issue.
 焦点となっていた取り調べの録音・録画(可視化)について、導入の方向性を明確に打ち出したのは妥当と言える。

Interrogations in closed rooms could induce investigators to lead suspects into making false confessions, resulting in wrongful accusations.
 捜査官による供述の誘導を招きやすい密室での取り調べが、冤罪の要因になっている。

In a recent case, innocent people who were wrongly arrested on suspicion of sending online threats via their personal computers, which were later found to have been infected with a virus that allowed a third party to control them remotely, were forced to write statements confessing to crimes they did not commit.
無実の人が誤認逮捕されたパソコン遠隔操作事件では、身に覚えのない犯行を認めた供述調書まで作られた。

If audiovisual recordings are made during the questioning of suspects, interrogations can be verified by replaying recorded scenes. This would be effective in deterring high-handed investigations.
 可視化が制度化されれば、取り調べの様子を再生して検証できるようになる。強引な捜査を抑止する効果があるだろう。

===

Recording interrogations

The main sticking point is how much of the interrogations should be audiovisually recorded. To ensure these interrogations can be examined thoroughly, wide coverage is desirable.
 今後の論点は、取り調べのどこまでを録音・録画するかという可視化の範囲だ。チェック機能を高めるには、可能な限り広い範囲とすることが望ましい。

On the other hand, it is possible suspects involved in organized crime may hesitate to testify for fear of retaliation, making it difficult for investigators to solve crimes.
 一方で、録音・録画されていると、組織犯罪の容疑者が報復を恐れて供述を渋り、犯罪を解明できなくなる恐れもある。

It is understandable for the panel to suggest in its draft that a system should be devised to exclude audiovisual recordings of interrogations of suspects that could hinder investigations.
 構想案が、「捜査に支障が生じるような場面を、可視化の対象から除外できる制度が必要」と指摘したのは理解できる。

In deciding when and in what cases recordings should be excluded, it is important to analyze the results of audiovisual recordings of interrogations that have been conducted on a trial basis by prosecutors and police.
どのような場合に除外すべきか、検察や警察が取り組んでいる可視化の試行結果を分析することが大切だ。

The panel also proposed ways to collect evidence that would prevent investigators from relying on interrogations too much.
 取り調べに偏らない証拠収集の方策も提示されている。

===

Expand wiretapping

One method is an expanded use of wiretapping. Under the current law, wiretapping is allowed for certain crimes, such as those involving drugs and firearms. However, the number of cases in which this was permitted has been extremely limited.
 その一つが、電話などの通信傍受の拡大だ。現行法では対象が薬物や銃器による犯罪などに限定され、実施件数が極めて少ない。

The draft proposes an expansion of wiretapping to cover new and fast-rising types of organized crime, such as bank transfer scams. This recommendation is appropriate to ensure public safety.
 構想案は、振り込め詐欺など急増する新種の組織犯罪に対象を広げることを提案した。国民生活の安全を確保する上で適切だ。

The panel has also proposed that plea-bargaining, which is widely used in the United States and Europe, should be studied further.
 欧米で広く行われている司法取引も検討課題と位置づけた。

In plea-bargaining, prosecutors would seek a lesser punishment or decide not to prosecute if suspects reveal crimes committed by their accomplices.
 司法取引は、容疑者が共犯者の犯罪などを進んで明らかにした場合、検察が求刑を軽くしたり、訴追を見送ったりする仕組みだ。

While plea-bargaining is expected to win the cooperation of suspects, there is a possibility the victim of a crime would not understand if a suspect received a punishment not commensurate to the crime.
 捜査協力を促す効果が期待される反面、罪に見合う刑罰が科されないとして被害者の理解が得られない可能性がある。

We hope the issue of whether to introduce such methods will receive in-depth discussion.
 導入の是非について、議論を尽くしてもらいたい。

Also, it is urgent to review so-called hostage justice, under which suspects who deny the charges against them remain in custody. Depriving suspects of their freedom for a protracted period could pressure them into making confessions, one of the factors that have led to false accusations.
 否認した被告を保釈しない「人質司法」の見直しは急務である。長期間、自由を奪うことが、自白を迫る圧力となり、冤罪を招く一因になっている。

Proper rules on the custody of suspects must be drawn up.
適正な身柄拘束のルール作りを検討すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 21, 2013)
(2013年1月21日01時50分  読売新聞)

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邦人人質事件 テロ封じに国際連携が肝要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 22, 2013)
Intl cooperation needed to stamp out terrorism
邦人人質事件 テロ封じに国際連携が肝要だ(1月21日付・読売社説)

The terrorist attack and hostage-taking incident launched by an armed Islamist group in Algeria has come to a bloody end.
 イスラム武装勢力によるテロが引き起こした惨劇である。

It will be essential to get to the bottom of this incident so measures to prevent any repeat occurrence can be devised.
 事件の全容を解明し、再発防止策につなげたい。

The incident at a natural gas plant at Ain Amenas in eastern Algeria ended Saturday, three days after it started, when Algerian special forces stormed the complex to bring the situation under control.
 アルジェリア東部イナメナスの天然ガス関連施設で発生した人質事件は、アルジェリア軍が制圧作戦を強行し、発生から4日間で終わった。

Dozens of Islamist militants and hostages have been confirmed dead, according to the Algerian government. The dead reportedly include Japanese employees of JGC Corp., a major plant engineering and manufacturing firm. We offer our sincere condolences to the victims caught up in this incident and their families.
 アルジェリア政府によると多数の武装勢力と人質の死亡が確認されている。プラントメーカー「日揮」の邦人関係者の死亡情報もある。事件に巻き込まれた犠牲者に哀悼の意を表したい。

Algerian government forces launched an attack on the terrorists Thursday, the day after the hostages were seized. This reflected its sense of urgency that similar terrorist attacks might follow unless the crisis was brought under control immediately.
 アルジェリア政府は、事件発生の翌日の17日、武装勢力への攻撃を開始した。早期に制圧しなければ、同種のテロを誘発しかねないという危機感からだろう。

===

Attack can't be condoned

In the 1990s, about 150,000 people were killed in an internal war between Algerian government forces and Islamist militants. In view of this, the Algerian government was unbending in its refusal of any request for negotiations with the terrorists this time.
 1990年代に政府とイスラム武装勢力との内戦で、約15万人もの死者を出したという事情もある。テロリストとは「いかなる交渉も拒否する」方針だった。

The Islamist group's capture of plant workers and taking them hostage is a despicable act of terrorism that can never be condoned. This is obvious. But a question arises over whether the Algerian military operation was taken after carefully working out a strategy from the viewpoint of rescuing the hostages.
 武装勢力の人質事件は卑劣なテロ行為であり、断じて許すことはできないのは当然だ。ただ、アルジェリア政府の軍事行動は、人質救出の観点から周到に練られたものだったのだろうか。

In talks with Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal over the telephone Sunday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed regret that the crisis had ended in a bloodbath. Abe was quoted as telling Sellal: "Japan had called for giving top priority to the hostages' safety. It was regrettable that we received severe information about the Japanese hostages."
 安倍首相は20日、アルジェリアのセラル首相との電話会談で「人命最優先と申し入れてきた。日本人の安否に関して厳しい情報に接することになったのは残念だ」と軍事行動に遺憾の意を示した。

===

Lack of communication

British Prime Minister David Cameron has expressed dissatisfaction over the fact that his government was not told of the attack in advance. Communication between the Algerian government and countries affected by the crisis was not smooth, and Algeria's release of information on the safety of hostages has been insufficient.
 キャメロン英首相も、事前通告がなかったことに不満を表明した。アルジェリアと関係国の意思疎通は円滑ではなく、安否に関する情報の提供も不十分だった。

The Algerian government must unveil to the international community all the details of the hostage crisis and its rescue operations after investigating why it could not prevent the militants from entering a vital gas plant where many foreigners work.
 アルジェリア政府は、外国人が大勢働く重要な施設に武装勢力の侵入を許した原因や、救出作戦の詳細など、事件の全貌を国際社会に明らかにする必要がある。

Armed Islamist forces are active not only in Algeria but also in northern and western areas of Africa. Unraveling the hostage-taking incident will help shed more light on this situation.
 イスラム武装勢力はアルジェリアだけでなく、アフリカ北・西部一帯を股にかけて活動している。事件の解明により、その実態をつかむ手がかりが得られよう。

The international community must use this incident as a step toward standing firm against terrorism and taking effective steps to stamp it out.
 今回の事件を、国際社会がテロに対して毅然(きぜん)として立ち向かい、有効な手立てを講じるための一歩としなくてはならない。

The siege has left many issues to be addressed by Japanese companies operating overseas. They need to urgently review their crisis prevention and response arrangements.
 一方、事件は、海外展開する日本企業にも課題を残した。危機への備えの再点検が急務である。

Abe took the lead in working out government measures to handle the hostage crisis. It may be said that Japan reacted diligently to the crisis, with the Prime Minister's Office at the heart of the response.
 日本政府は安倍首相が陣頭指揮に当たった。首相官邸を中心に精力的な対応を見せたと言える。

However, the government's information-gathering and analyzing capabilities have been revealed to be inadequate. The government should consider necessary measures including a review of the personnel in diplomatic missions overseas. Further efforts must be made to bolster the country's crisis management system.
 ただ、政府の情報収集・分析が十分とは言えまい。在外公館の陣容の見直しなど必要な措置を検討すべきだ。危機管理体制を一層強化してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 21, 2013)
(2013年1月21日01時50分  読売新聞)

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2013年1月21日 (月)

高齢者施設火災 ずさん管理を戒める判決だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 21, 2013)
Ruling should serve as warning for better nursing care facilities
高齢者施設火災 ずさん管理を戒める判決だ(1月20日付・読売社説)

A court ruling handed down last week should be viewed as a warning against sloppy management at nursing care facilities for elderly people.
 管理がずさんな高齢者施設に対し、裁判所が警鐘を鳴らした。

A fire in 2009 at Seiyo Home Tamayura nursing home in Shibukawa, Gunma Prefecture, claimed the lives of 10 of its residents.
 群馬県渋川市の高齢者施設「静養ホームたまゆら」で2009年に発生した火災により、入居者10人が死亡した。

In Friday's ruling, the Maebashi District Court sentenced a former director of the facility to two years' imprisonment, suspended for four years, after finding him guilty of professional negligence resulting in death.
業務上過失致死罪に問われた運営法人の元理事長に対し、前橋地裁は禁錮2年の執行猶予付き判決を言い渡した。

At the time of the blaze, only one caretaker was on duty, the ruling said. A number of combustibles, such as plastic containers of kerosene and cardboard boxes were left in the hallways of the facility, but no smoke detectors had been installed. The nursing home also had never conducted any emergency drills.
 火災当時、当直者は1人だけだった。通路には燃えやすい灯油ポリタンクや段ボールが置かれ、煙感知器は未設置だった。避難訓練も実施していなかったという。

The court naturally condemned the nursing home for its poor management by failing to take necessary steps to ensure its residents' safety, a responsibility that the ruling said constitutes the basis of the facility's operation.
 判決が「施設運営の根幹である入居者の生命の安全に関わる注意義務を怠っていた」と非難したのは当然である。

The facility was an unregistered nursing home. Single elderly people from Sumida Ward, Tokyo, were accommodated there through arrangements made by the ward government.
 この施設は、いわゆる無届けホームで、東京都墨田区が、生活保護を受ける区内の単身高齢者に入所を斡旋(あっせん)した。

===

Acute shortage of facilities

As the ward government had elderly people taken care of by the unregistered nursing home without first conducting studies on how the facility was run, the authorities concerned should bear part of the responsibility for the tragedy.
 区は施設の管理実態の調査をしないまま、住民を紹介していた。区の責任も免れない。

Unfortunately, the Sumida Ward case is not unique.
 墨田区のケースは、決して例外ではない。

Many other ward governments in Tokyo also have been arranging to have their elderly residents sent to nursing facilities outside the metropolitan area.
東京の多くの区でも、都外の施設に区民の入所を斡旋してきた経緯がある。

Of about 2,800 elderly people from Tokyo wards who are in nursing homes while receiving welfare benefits, about 70 percent have been living in facilities outside Tokyo.
 生活保護を受けながら高齢者施設に入所している東京都区部の約2800人のうち、都外の施設で暮らす人は約7割を占める。

Many nursing homes concerned are unregistered, and like Seiyo Home Tamayura their fees are far less expensive than registered facilities.
 施設の中には、たまゆらのように入所料金が安価な無届けホームも少なくない。

There are about 250 unregistered nursing facilities nationwide, according to a Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry survey.
厚生労働省の調査では、無届けホームは全国で約250か所に上る。

This situation is a result of the acute shortage of nursing facilities in Tokyo and other big cities. High land prices in major urban centers make it difficult to secure plots of land to build new nursing homes.
 背景にあるのが、都市部での介護施設の著しい不足だ。地価が高く、用地確保が困難な大都市での新設は容易でない。

To address this problem, the government has set up a subsidy system for building such facilities in urban areas, with the aim of increasing "low-cost homes for the aged." However, little progress has been made in this respect.
 都市部で低所得者が入所できる「軽費老人ホーム」を増やすため、政府は補助制度を設けたが、建設は思うように進んでいない。

===

Exploit private sector

As long as elderly people are being sent to facilities outside Tokyo, it is imperative that ward governments ensure the safety of the residents by determining how the facilities are managed and carrying out regular safety checks.
 地方の施設への入所が避けられない以上、住民の安全を確保するため、区は施設の運営状況をきちんと把握し、定期的にチェックすることが大切である。

Efforts should also be redoubled to devise plans to enable people in urban areas to continue to live in communities they are used to. Toward this end, new or remodeled housing units friendly to elderly people must be prepared, in addition to expanding in-home care services.
 都市部の人が地元で暮らし続けられるよう知恵を絞ることも必要だ。中でも、高齢者が住みやすい住宅や在宅介護サービスの拡充は急務である。

Making better use of private-sector capabilities is essential for these plans to move forward.
 それには民間の力を活用することも欠かせない。

A notable example of such an initiative is a program by a government-authorized nonprofit organization to lease apartments as housing units to accommodate and provide proper nursing care to elderly people.
NPO法人がアパートを借り上げ、介護サービス付きの高齢者向け住宅として運営している例がある。

If vacant properties in urban areas are converted into facilities for the aging population, the costs involved would likely be much lower than constructing new nursing homes.
 都市部の集合住宅の空室や空き家を高齢者向けに活用すれば、介護施設の新設より低コストで済むのではないだろうか。

Cooperation between local governments and the private sector is key to taking on these tasks.
官民一体となった取り組みが求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 20, 2013)
(2013年1月20日01時41分  読売新聞)

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日米外相会談 中国「力ずく外交」に結束せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 21, 2013)
Japan, U.S. must stand up to China's strong-arm diplomacy
日米外相会談 中国「力ずく外交」に結束せよ(1月20日付・読売社説)

China is trying to forcibly undermine Japan's effective control of the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture by sending government ships and planes to their vicinity. It is significant that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday opposed such strong-arm diplomacy by Beijing.
 尖閣諸島周辺に政府船・航空機を派遣し、日本の実効支配を実力で崩そうとする。そんな中国の「力ずくの外交」を否定した意義は大きい。

"We oppose any unilateral actions that would seek to undermine Japanese administration" of the islands, Clinton said after holding talks with Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida in Washington.
 クリントン米国務長官はワシントンで岸田外相と会談し、尖閣諸島について「日本の施政権を損なおうとするいかなる一方的な行為にも反対する」と明言した。

She also reconfirmed that the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty obliges the United States to defend Japan in the event of hostilities related to the Senkakus.
 日米安保条約に基づく米国の対日防衛義務の対象に尖閣諸島が含まれるとの見解も再確認した。

Acknowledging Clinton's remarks, Kishida stressed Japan would never concede its sovereignty over the islands. But he also said, "We intend to respond calmly."
 岸田外相は、日本の領有権に関しては「譲歩しない」と強調する一方で、日本としては「冷静に対応する」と言明した。

If China's high-handed diplomacy, which is trying to alter the reality of the Senkaku Islands through shows of strength, is allowed to prevail, it would have repercussions for other territorial and maritime interests disputes in the East China and South China seas. This would negatively affect many Asian nations.
 仮に、実力で尖閣諸島の現状変更を仕掛けている中国の強引な手法が通用するなら、他の東シナ海や南シナ海の領土・海洋権益の問題にも波及しかねない。多くのアジア諸国が悪影響を受けよう。

The nations concerned must work together to avoid such a situation from occurring.
 そうした事態は、関係国が結束して、回避せねばなるまい。

Tokyo should explain to the United States and Southeast Asian countries the significance of the Senkaku issue to nurture international opinion opposing China's modus operandi. At the same time, however, Japan must maintain dialogue with China and seek improved bilateral ties.
 日本は、尖閣問題の重要性を米国や東南アジア各国に説明し、中国の手法を拒否する国際世論を醸成することが大切だ。同時に、中国との対話も閉ざさず、関係改善を模索することが求められる。

===

Get moving on TPP talks

Meanwhile, Kishida and Clinton agreed Japan and the United States would continue bilateral talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact. These two-way talks are a precondition for Japan joining TPP negotiations.
 環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)について、外相会談では、日本の交渉参加の前提となる日米協議を継続することで一致した。

However, Kishida said that if abolishing all tariffs without exception is a prerequisite to participating in TPP negotiations, Japan will not join them.
Kishida's explanation went no further than the government's conventional position because many members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party remain strongly opposed to or cautious toward liberalizing the nation's farm market.
 岸田外相が「聖域なき関税撤廃が前提なら交渉に参加しない」との従来方針の説明にとどめたのは自民党内で依然、農業市場開放への慎重・反対論が強いためだ。

However, some observers say Washington wants to exclude tariffs on sugar and other items from being abolished. It is a fact that Japan can only find out how many items it can exclude from tariff abolition after it actually joins TPP negotiations.
 だが、米国も砂糖などを関税撤廃の例外としたい意向とされる。実際にどの程度の品目を例外にできるのかは、交渉に参加してみないと分からないのが実情だ。

Eleven countries participating in the trade talks, including the United States and Australia, aim to conclude the pact by the end of this year. If Tokyo keeps waiting to see what unfolds, delaying its participation in the negotiations, Japan might consequently fail to have its claims reflected in the new trade rules and hurt its own national interests.
 米豪など11か国は年内の交渉妥結を目指している。日本が様子見を続け、交渉参加を遅らせることは、結果的に、自らの主張を新しい貿易ルールに反映させられず、国益を害する恐れがある。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the United States has been set for the latter half of February. Considering this, Abe should do more to create conditions that will enable him to decide on Japan's participation in the TPP. These conditions would include the government officially calculating the economic effects that joining the TPP would produce.
 安倍首相は、自らの訪米が2月後半に決まったことを踏まえ、TPP参加の経済効果に関する政府の統一試算の策定など、参加決断への環境整備に努めるべきだ。

===

Share info on hostage crisis

Kishida and Clinton also agreed both nations would cooperate closely in gathering and sharing information on their nationals taken hostage by Islamist militants at a gas plant in Algeria.
 アルジェリアでのイスラム武装勢力による人質事件について両外相は、情報収集・共有で日米が緊密に協力することで合意した。

Many of the hostages, including foreigners, were reportedly killed during an assault the Algerian Army launched to try to free them. The international community has expressed concern over this hard-line operation.
 同国軍による軍事作戦では、外国人を含む多数の人質が死亡したとされる。今回の強硬策には国際社会から懸念の声が出ている。

Japan and the United States should work jointly with countries concerned to urge the Algerian government to take action that places top priority on protecting the lives of the hostages.
 日米両国は、関係国と連携し、アルジェリア政府に人命優先の対応を促していくことが大切だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 20, 2013)
(2013年1月20日01時41分  読売新聞)

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軽減税率 「消費税8%」で導入すべきだ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 20, 2013)
Daily needs should get lower rate when tax goes to 8%
軽減税率 「消費税8%」で導入すべきだ(1月19日付・読売社説)

The government should make a political decision to apply a reduced consumption tax rate to foods and other necessities when it raises the consumption tax rate from 5 percent to 8 percent.
 消費税率を5%から8%に引き上げるのに合わせて、食料品などの税率を抑える軽減税率を導入すべきである。政治決断が求められよう。

Negotiations on tax system revisions for fiscal 2013 among the Liberal Democratic Party, New Komeito and the Democratic Party of Japan are entering a critical stage. However, we find it a problem that they are not planning to mention details on a reduced tax rate--including when to introduce it--in an outline of tax system revisions to be compiled next week.
 2013年度税制改正を巡る自民、公明、民主3党の協議が大詰めを迎えている。だが、来週まとめる税制改正大綱に、軽減税率の実施時期などを明示しない方向となっているのは問題だ。

The LDP and Komeito have agreed with each other on introducing a reduced tax rate. Though Komeito says it should be introduced when the consumption tax rate is hiked in April 2014, some members of the LDP strongly insist it should be introduced when the consumption tax is raised again in October 2015 to 10 percent.
 自民、公明両党は軽減税率の導入で一致している。ただし、公明党が14年4月に消費税率を引き上げる時からの導入を主張するのに対し、自民党では15年10月の10%段階での導入論が根強い。

===

Problems to solve

LDP Tax System Research Commission Chairman Takeshi Noda said introduction of a reduced tax rate would pose problems for the retail industry and small and midsize companies.
 野田毅・自民党税制調査会長は「流通業界や中小企業が乗り越えるべき課題がある」と述べた。

Calculating the amount of the reduced tax will create a heavy administrative workload for them, and they do not have enough time to deal with it, according to Noda.
軽減税率の導入に伴う納税額算出などの事務負担が重く、それを解消する時間が足りないという。

However, there is still more than one year before the consumption tax rate will be hiked. We think the government and the ruling parties can work out the institutional arrangements for a reduced tax rate in time if all parties work hard.
 消費増税まで1年以上もある。政府・与党が軽減税率の制度設計に精力的に取り組めば、十分間に合うのではないか。

Some are expressing cautious opinions that it is not easy to decide which items should be subject to a reduced tax rate, but we think the government should just narrow them down to such items as rice, miso (soy bean paste), soy sauce, newspapers and other necessities.
 適用対象の線引きが難しいとの慎重論もあるが、コメ、みそ、しょうゆ、新聞など、対象品目を絞り込めばよい。

Reconciling different interests is one of the responsibilities of politicians. We have to say they would be shirking their duties if they tried to avoid the trouble of deciding which items will be subject to a reduced consumption tax rate. As a possible relief measure for low-income earners, a plan to give them cash rebates is the most widely accepted for the first-stage increase. But we think doling out cash is a mere stopgap measure.
 利害が絡む問題をいかに調整するかが政治の役割だ。面倒な線引き作業を避けたいというのでは、その責務を果たしていない。
 低所得者対策として、消費税率8%段階では、現金を給付する案が有力視されている。現金を一時的にばらまいても、その場しのぎでしかないだろう。

The DPJ, which opposes introduction of a reduced tax rate, is proposing a tax exemption for low-income earners in combination with cash rebates. However, we have doubts about its effectiveness.
 民主党は、減税と現金給付を組み合わせた「給付付き税額控除」を主張し、軽減税率に反対している。実効性に疑問が残る。

===

No tax on knowledge

Introduction of a reduced tax rate has the advantage that consumers can experience a lighter tax burden every time they purchase food or other necessities subject to the reduced rate.
 これに対して、軽減税率を導入する利点は、対象となる食料品などを買う際に、消費者が負担軽減を実感できることだ。

Europeans in general do not oppose value-added taxes exceeding 20 percent because reduced tax rates applied to foods and other necessities apparently profoundly affect consumers.
 欧州各国で20%を超える付加価値税が国民に受け入れられているのも、食料品などに適用されている軽減税率の効果が大きい。

Newspapers and books are also subject to reduced tax rates in major countries around the world, including European nations and South Korea, because they are considered public property that sustains democracy.
 欧州各国や韓国など世界の主要国では、民主主義を支える公共財として、新聞・書籍も軽減税率の対象となっている。

It is apparently common sense in the world that reduced tax rates are applied to newspapers because it is widely believed that knowledge should not be taxed.
 「知識には課税せず」として、新聞に軽減税率を適用することは世界共通の認識と言える。

More than 80 percent of respondents to a survey by the Japan Newspaper Publishers and Editors Association favored a reduced consumption tax rate for necessities. And 75 percent were positive about applying a reduced tax rate to newspapers and books. These results are significant.
 日本新聞協会のアンケート調査では、80%超の回答者が軽減税率の導入を求め、そのうち、75%が新聞・書籍を対象とすることに肯定的だった意味は重要である。

Taking such public opinion into consideration, the LDP, Komeito and the DPJ should not hesitate to introduce a reduced tax rate at an early stage.
 自公民3党は、こうした世論を踏まえて、軽減税率の早期導入をためらうべきでない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 19, 2013)
(2013年1月19日01時43分  読売新聞)

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東南アジア歴訪 連携して台頭中国と向き合え

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 20, 2013)
Abe Cabinet must seek cooperation to face China
東南アジア歴訪 連携して台頭中国と向き合え(1月19日付・読売社説)

Keeping Southeast Asia peaceful and open is in the joint interest of the international community. Japan needs to face a rising China by closely cooperating with other countries.
 平和で、開かれた東南アジアを維持することは国際社会共通の利益だ。日本は各国と緊密に連携し、台頭する中国と向き合う必要がある。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia on his first overseas trip after taking office. During summit meetings, Abe and his counterparts agreed to further bolster strategic partnerships, including those concerning security.
 安倍首相が初外遊で、ベトナムとタイ、インドネシアを訪れた。各国首脳との会談では、安全保障を含む「戦略的パートナーシップ」を一層強化していくことで合意した。

The three countries--key members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations--have close trade and investment ties with Japan. Ahead of Abe's visit, Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso visited Myanmar while Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida made a trip to the Philippines and other Asia-Pacific countries.
 3か国は、貿易・投資面で日本との関係が深く、東南アジア諸国連合(ASEAN)の有力国でもある。首相に先立ち、麻生副総理がミャンマーを、岸田外相はフィリピンなどを訪問した。

With such ministerial tours, the Abe Cabinet has demonstrated its stance of focusing on ASEAN countries, a diplomatic push into the region apparently made with China in mind.
 安倍内閣のASEAN重視の姿勢を印象づけた。中国を意識した外交戦略と言えよう。

At a press conference in Jakarta, Abe listed new principles for his administration's Asian diplomacy. They included calls for respect for democracy and other universal values, a free and open economy and developing maritime order not by force but by law and rules.
 安倍首相は、ジャカルタでの記者会見で、アジア外交の新たな原則を明らかにした。民主主義など普遍的価値の尊重や、自由でオープンな経済、「力ではなく法とルールの支配」による海洋秩序づくりなどを挙げた。

===

China's growing presence

As for China, Abe said, "It's important [for that country] to take responsible action in the international community."
 中国については、「国際社会で責任ある行動をとっていくことが重要だ」と指摘した。

Abe was apparently referring to China's repeated diplomatic intimidation using warships over the sovereignty of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. China has also threatened Japan's territorial rights to the Senkaku Islands by taking provocative action to claim sovereignty over the islets.
 中国が南沙諸島の領有権を巡り、軍艦を使った威圧的な外交を続けていることが念頭にあろう。中国は尖閣諸島についても領有権を主張して示威行動を展開し、日本の主権を脅かしている。

Abe's remarks may have engendered sympathy from not only countries that have territorial rows with China but also from nations currently under pressure from Beijing.
 首相の発言は、領土問題に限らず、中国から圧力を受けている国の共感を得たのではないか。

In recent years, China's presence in Asia has increased dramatically. ASEAN has found it difficult to reach a consensus on restraining China over territorial disputes in the South China Sea, as some of its members are close to Beijing.
 アジアにおける中国の存在感は近年格段に強まった。ASEANは、中国寄りの国を内部に抱え、南シナ海問題で中国をけん制する見解をまとめることも困難だ。

A situation in which ASEAN yields to China's might and caters to the country's demands must be avoided.
 ASEANが、中国の「力」に屈し、その意向になびくような事態は避けなければならない。

In light of this, calls are growing for Japan to develop a strategic diplomacy.
 日本は、戦略的外交を展開することが求められている。

One approach is deciding for Japan to participate in the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement and putting the deal into force quickly.
 米国主導の環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)への参加を日本が決断し、早期の発効に努力することもその一つの手段となろう。

===

Materialize diplomatic efforts

Abe is expected to visit the United States as early as February to hold talks with President Barack Obama. For Japan, boosting its relationship with ASEAN is vital also to rebuild trust with the United States, which has rolled out a foreign policy that refocuses on Asia.
 首相は2月にも訪米し、オバマ米大統領と会談する。アジア回帰を打ち出した米国との信頼を再構築するためにも、ASEANとの関係強化は重要である。

On his three-country tour, Abe said Japan will work with these countries to develop their social infrastructure, through means such as exports of high-speed railway systems and nuclear power generation systems. Such cooperation would also contribute to Japan's economic growth, the top priority for the Abe administration.
 首相は今回の歴訪で、原発や高速鉄道の輸出を通じて各国のインフラ整備に協力する考えを示した。安倍内閣が最重要課題とする経済成長にも資するはずだ。

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Japan-ASEAN friendship and cooperation. By taking advantage of various opportunities, we hope the Abe administration will bring its strategic diplomacy into shape.
 日本は今年、ASEANとの友好協力40周年を迎えた。様々な機会を利用し、戦略的外交を具体化してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 19, 2013)
(2013年1月19日01時43分  読売新聞)

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中国大気汚染 成長至上主義の限界露呈した

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 19, 2013)
China's air pollution shows limits of focus on growth
中国大気汚染 成長至上主義の限界露呈した(1月18日付・読売社説)

China now has to pay the price for its distorted policy of ignoring environmental protection measures as a result of its focus on economic growth above all else.
 経済成長至上主義で環境対策を軽視してきたツケと歪(ゆが)みをさらけ出したといえるだろう。

In various Chinese cities, air pollution has become a serious problem. In Beijing, for instance, the concentration of particulate matter 2.5 micrometers in diameter or less--known as PM2.5--found per cubic meter in smoke from factories and exhaust gas from automobiles briefly rose to more than 10 times the recommended environmental standard in China and nearly 40 times the safe limit in the guideline set by the World Health Organization.
 中国の各都市で大気汚染が深刻化している。
 工場の排煙や自動車の排ガスなどに含まれる直径2・5マイクロ・メートル以下の微小粒子状物質(PM2・5)が1立方メートル当たりの観測値で、北京で一時、基準値の10倍以上、世界保健機関(WHO)指針値の40倍近くに達した。

PM2.5 particles can penetrate deep inside the lungs, causing asthma, bronchitis and lung cancer. Thick smog containing these particles has been generated in China, and the number of people with respiratory ailments has sharply increased. Low visibility caused by the smog has greatly affected traffic.
 PM2・5は肺の奥まで入り込み、ぜんそくや気管支炎、肺がんを発症させる物質だ。これを含んだ濃霧が発生し、呼吸器疾患の患者が急増した。視界不良により交通機関にも大きな影響が出た。

===

Environment ignored

The daily life of Japanese living in the country has been also threatened, with two schools for Japanese children in Shanghai recently suspending students' outside activities. This is a serious environmental pollution that cannot be overlooked.
 上海の日本人学校では、屋外活動が中止になるなど、在留邦人の生活も脅かされている。看過できない甚大な環境汚染である。

The main causes of the thick smog are an increase in exhaust gas, the combustion of coal for heating and a lack of strong wind, resulting in the retention of polluted air in the atmosphere. The phenomenon occurs every year around this time, but this year the pollution is extremely bad.
 暖房用の石炭焼却に伴う排ガスが増え、風が弱く空気が滞留したことなどが濃霧の原因だ。毎年この時期に起きる現象だが、今年は特に劣悪な汚染となった。

Factors behind the situation include the disorderly expansion of production activities along with sharp economic growth and a drastic increase in the number of automobiles.
 背景にあるのは、急成長に伴う生産活動の無秩序な拡大と自動車の激増である。

Manufacturers do not observe environmental regulations and regional authorities do not supervise them strictly. The quality of desulfurization devices is said to be poor and some even say many are not operating.
 製造業者は環境規制を守らず、地方当局もそれを厳しく監督していない。脱硫装置の性能は低く、稼働してさえいないとされる。

Under a "scientific development concept" banner, the previous administration of Hu Jintao transformed the country's gross domestic product-centered policy and declared it would aim at sustainable development while also paying consideration to the environment. However, the current reality shows the level of China's environmental pollution has already gone beyond the acceptable limit.
 胡錦濤前政権は、「科学的発展観」を掲げて、それまでの国内総生産(GDP)中心の方針を転換し、環境へも配慮する持続可能な発展を目指すとしてきた。だが、実態は環境汚染が限界に来ていることを示している。

If environmental measures are delayed, the Chinese government will have to pay a great price for its mistaken policy. The Xi Jinping administration must fully recognize this and take measures to sufficiently deal with the air pollution.
 環境対策が遅れれば、その代償は一層大きくなる。そのことを習近平政権は十分に認識し、万全の対策を講じるべきである。

===

Japan's problem, too

For Japan, the air pollution in China is not a fire on the opposite side of the river. Similarly to yellow sand, the particles will disperse into neighboring countries such as Japan and South Korea via westerly winds. So it is unavoidable for the pollutants to cause a certain degree of contamination across borders.
 中国の大気汚染は人ごとではない。黄砂と同様に、偏西風で日本や韓国など周辺国へと拡散し、一定の越境汚染は避けられない。

Although it is not yet determined that they came from China, particulate matter exceeding the Japanese safety level has been observed in Japan. Caution will be necessary hereafter.
 中国からの飛来とは断定できないが、基準を超える微小粒子状物質が日本で観測されている。今後も警戒を要するだろう。

Japan has promoted cooperation with China in energy saving and environmental protection to create a mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests. We wonder to what extent this policy produced results.
 日本は中国との戦略的互恵関係を構築しようと、省エネ・環境協力を前進させてきたが、どこまで効果をもたらしたのか。

More than a dozen nuclear reactors have been operating in China, and the government plans to construct more than 50 additional reactors.
 中国は原子力発電所十数基を運転させ、50基以上の建設を計画している。

If a reactor accident took place, it would have an immeasurable effect on Japan. There must be many ways Japan can cooperate with China in this field.
万一、原発事故が発生すれば、日本への影響は計り知れない。この分野でも日本が中国に協力できることは多いはずだ。

Japan should patiently appeal to China about the importance of environmental problems and needs to call on the country to utilize the know-how of Japan's antipollution measures.
 日本は中国に対し、環境問題の重要性を粘り強く訴え、中国が日本の公害対策のノウハウを活用するよう働きかける必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 18, 2013)
(2013年1月18日02時01分  読売新聞)

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邦人人質事件 イスラム過激派の許せぬテロ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 19, 2013)
Govt must deal sternly with Islamic extremists' terrorism
邦人人質事件 イスラム過激派の許せぬテロ(1月18日付・読売社説)

In a despicable act of terrorism, a group of Islamist extremists seized a natural gas complex in Ain Amenas in eastern Algeria on Wednesday and took a large number of foreign hostages, including Japanese and U.S. nationals.
 卑劣なテロである。
 北アフリカのアルジェリアでイスラム武装勢力が東部イナメナスの天然ガス関連施設を襲撃し、日米など多数の外国人を人質にして立てこもった。

The Japanese taken hostage are apparently employees of or related to JGC Corp., a Yokohama-based plant manufacturer known as Nikki in Japanese. Details about their safety remain unknown.
 日本人は、プラントメーカー「日揮」の関係者が拘束されているようだが、安否の詳細は不明だ。

The Algerian military launched a military attack aimed at rescuing the hostages, but there are reports many of them may have been killed.
人質解放のためにアルジェリア軍が攻撃を開始し、多数の犠牲者が出たとも報じられている。

This is an extremely worrying situation.
 極めて憂慮される事態だ。

It is a matter of course for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, on a visit to Hanoi, to strongly condemn the hostage-taking incident, saying it "can never be tolerated."
 安倍首相が、滞在先のベトナム・ハノイで人質事件について「断じて許すことはできない」と厳しく非難したのは当然だ。

Japan and other countries involved in the hostage crisis must work together and cooperate with the Algerian government to rescue the hostages.
 日本など関係国は連携し、アルジェリア政府に協力して人質の救出に全力を挙げねばならない。

The identity of the hostage-takers has not been fully confirmed. However, they claim their action is in retaliation for the French military's intervention in neighboring Mali and they are demanding French troops cease military operations.
 武装勢力の正体に不明な点もあるが、犯行声明は、仏軍による隣国マリへの介入に対する「報復」だと主張し、仏軍の軍事行動の停止を求めている。

===

Influx of insurgents into Mali

The Mali government has been undermined since a coup d'etat last year by rebels in the country's military. Taking advantage of this situation, armed Islamist extremists streamed into Mali from Algeria and seized control of Mali's northern region. Foreigners have been frequently abducted in Mali, making the country's security situation even more precarious.
 マリ政府は、昨年の軍反乱部隊のクーデターで弱体化した。その隙をついて、アルジェリアからイスラム武装勢力が流入し、北部を支配している。外国人誘拐が相次ぎ、治安が悪化している。

In December, the U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution in response to requests from the Malian government, authorizing military intervention by the country's neighbors.
 国連の安全保障理事会は昨年12月、マリ政府の要請を受けて、周辺国による軍事介入を認める決議を採択した。

It was perhaps inevitable that France, Mali's former colonial power, found it necessary to launch military operations in that country to defeat the armed Islamist forces. Should the stability of North Africa become even more convulsive because of the rampant militancy of the armed extremists, the region's already serious situation could deteriorate.
 旧宗主国フランスが武装勢力を掃討するとして11日から介入に踏み切ったのは、やむを得なかったと言える。武装勢力の跳梁(ちょうりょう)で北アフリカ地域の安定が揺らげば、事態は一層深刻になりかねない。

The hostage crisis is a major challenge for Abe's administration. The capability of the Abe government, which has defined the task of crisis management as one of its three policy pillars alongside resuscitation of the economy and reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake, is now being tested.
 こうした背景下で起きた今回の事件は、安倍政権にとって大きな試練だ。「危機管理」を、「経済再生」「復興」と並ぶ柱に位置づけた政権の能力が問われる。

The initial government response to the hostage crisis was swift.
 事件直後の初期対応は迅速だった。

===

Beef up intl cooperation

In a telephone call to his Algerian counterpart after the crisis began, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida urged that every possible effort should be made to ensure the safety of the hostages. The government lost no time in deciding to send Parliamentary Vice Foreign Minister Minoru Kiuchi, who was on a tour of European nations, to Algeria.
岸田外相がアルジェリアの外相との電話会談で人質の安全確保を要請し、欧州訪問中の城内実外務政務官をアルジェリアに派遣することを決めた。

The government also set up a countermeasures task force comprising ministers concerned to deal with the crisis. In the task force's first session, it confirmed a policy of "making people's lives the top priority."
 政府は、関係閣僚による対策本部を設置し、初会合で「人命第一」の方針で対処することを確認した。

In another conversation over the phone, Abe and British Prime Minister David Cameron agreed on the need for the two countries to cooperate closely in resolving the crisis.
安倍首相はキャメロン英首相と電話会談し、事件解決に向け緊密に協力することで一致した。

Eradicating terrorism cannot be achieved without strengthening the cooperation of the international community to resolutely deal with terrorist acts.
 テロ根絶には、国際社会が連帯を強化して毅然(きぜん)として対応していかねばならない。

Not only in Algeria but also in other countries in the Middle East and Africa, terrorists frequently target foreign nationals.
 アルジェリアに限らず、中東アフリカ各地で外国人を狙うテロが頻発している。

The Foreign Ministry should exert every effort to ensure the safety of Japanese in these areas by remaining in close contact with the United States and other countries so they can exchange pertinent information.
外務省は、米国はじめ各国と情報交換を密にしながら、現地の邦人の安全確保に万全を期してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 18, 2013)
(2013年1月18日02時01分  読売新聞)

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2013年1月18日 (金)

生活保護費 支給基準の適正化が必要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 18, 2013)
Livelihood protection benefits should reflect change in income level
生活保護費 支給基準の適正化が必要だ(1月17日付・読売社説)

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry's Social Security Council has announced the results of a survey examining the nation's livelihood protection benefits.
 厚生労働省の社会保障審議会が、生活保護費の検証結果を公表した。

For some households receiving benefits, the amount of standard livelihood assistance--a program to offset food and other living expenses--exceeded the living expenses of the average low-income household, the council report showed.
 生活保護のうち、食費など生活費を賄う生活扶助の支給額が、一般の低所得世帯の生活費支出を上回る逆転現象が一部に起きていた。

Such inconsistencies stem from the drop in general wage levels under deflation. Following a cut in fiscal 2004, the amount of standard livelihood assistance has remained the same after factors such as the surge in oil prices in recent years have been accounted for.
 背景には、デフレ下で一般の賃金水準が低下したことがある。生活扶助の基準は、原油価格の高騰などを考慮し、2004年度の引き下げ後は据え置かれてきた。

We believe it is necessary to modify the amount of livelihood protection benefits from the perspective of the public, which expects all citizens to be treated fairly by the government. A decrease in livelihood protection benefits to reflect the drop in income level is inevitable.
 国民の公平感を損なわないためにも、生活保護費の適正化は必要だ。所得水準の低下に応じ、保護費の引き下げはやむを得ない。

However, in the case of elderly households, the amount of standard livelihood assistance received was lower than the living expenses of low-income earners who did not qualify for livelihood protection benefits. Thus we believe it would not be appropriate to reduce the amount of livelihood protection benefits indiscriminately.
 ただし、高齢者世帯への支給額については、生活保護を受けていない低所得者の生活費より低いとの結果だった。一律に保護費を引き下げるべきではないだろう。

It must be taken into consideration that the basic amount of livelihood protection benefits is taken account when deciding the minimum wage and other widespread standards. Using cuts in livelihood protection benefits to justify keeping the minimum wage at a low level must be avoided. We urge the government to consider people who work hard without relying on welfare benefits.
 留意すべきなのは、生活保護の基準が最低賃金などに連動している点だ。生活保護費の引き下げが、最低賃金を低い水準にとどめる事態は避けねばならない。
 生活保護に頼ることなく、懸命に働いている人たちへの配慮が求められよう。

===

Effective job support is key

Due to a prolonged recession, there has been a rapid increase in the number of recipients of livelihood protection benefits. Recent cases of working-age welfare recipients--a worrying trend--have drawn national attention. The government must keep in mind the importance of measures helping those suffering from economic hardships to eventually stand on their own.
 長引く不況で、生活保護の受給者は急増している。本来は働ける世代が生活保護を受けるようになる例が目立つのは問題である。経済的に困窮した人たちの自立を後押しする施策も重要だ。

The Social Security Council has drawn up measures to assist poor people with finding jobs.
 厚労省の審議会は、生活困窮者への就労支援策もまとめた。

The measures are aimed at those who do not currently receive welfare benefits but are at risk of becoming recipients in the future due to low income levels. The council deserves praise for setting measures to assist a group that had been relatively neglected by the government in the past.
 生活困窮者は、生活保護を受給していないものの、低所得で生活保護に追い込まれる可能性がある人たちだ。これまで行政の目が届きにくかったケースへの支援策を打ち出したことは評価できる。

A new measure known as "transitional job assistance" targets people unable to find work due to difficulties in building social relationships. The government will provide training through programs such as nursing assistance services, clean-up activities and recycling. The council sees such training as a stepping stone for participants to find stable jobs.
 新たな就労支援の一つが「中間的就労」だ。対人関係を築くのが苦手なために、すぐには就労できない人を対象とする。介護施設での介護補助や清掃、リサイクル活動への参加などで訓練を積み、本格的な就労につなげるという。

It is also important to expand the number of places where job training is available, which is currently limited to certain municipalities and facilities.
 現在は一部の自治体や施設に限定されている職業訓練の場を広げていくことも大切だ。

===

Enrich housing support

It is vital to secure access to housing, as a considerable number of people have lost their homes after being fired from their workplaces, including being evicted from company dormitories.
 住居の確保は欠かせない。離職によって社員寮などから退去を余儀なくされ、住まいを失う人は少なくない。

Since 2009, a government measure has provided housing allowances to such people with a precondition of being engaged in job hunting, and more than half of the recipients have been able to find new jobs. While the housing allowance is a temporary measure, we believe it is worth making into a permanent program.
 求職活動を行うことを条件に家賃を補助する住宅手当が、臨時の予算措置として2009年から導入された。この支給を受けた人の半数以上が再就職できた。手当を恒久制度化してはどうか。

When the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito agreed to form a coalition government, they stipulated in writing that the administration would promote employment support to recipients of livelihood protection benefits. We urge the government to steadily implement this pledge.
 自民、公明両党の連立政権合意では、生活保護受給者の就労支援を進めることも明記している。着実に進めてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 17, 2013)
(2013年1月17日00時34分  読売新聞)

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オウム断定敗訴 公安警察の暴走に強い警告

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 18, 2013)
Aleph defamation ruling a warning to police
オウム断定敗訴 公安警察の暴走に強い警告(1月17日付・読売社説)

The Tokyo District Court has given a strong rebuke to police authorities over their insistence that Aum cult members were behind the 1995 shooting of Japan's top police chief, even though there was not enough evidence to establish a case against them.
 立件できる証拠もないのに、犯行を決めつけた公安警察に対する裁判所の強い警告である。

The court acknowledged Wednesday that the Metropolitan Police Department's announcement on its investigations into the gun attack on the National Police Agency commissioner general defamed Aleph--the new name part of the Aum Supreme Truth cult adopted--and ordered the Tokyo metropolitan government to pay 1 million yen in compensation to the religious group.
 警視庁が発表した警察庁長官銃撃事件の捜査結果は、オウム真理教から改称した「アレフ」の名誉を傷つけた。東京地裁はそう認定し、東京都に100万円の賠償を命じる判決を言い渡した。

In an unusual step, the court also ordered the Tokyo government to submit a written apology to Aleph.
 謝罪文をアレフに提出するよう異例の命令も出した。

The ruling harshly criticized the MPD, describing its announcement as a "grave illegality that runs counter to the principle of presumption of innocence."
 判決は、警視庁の対応を「無罪推定の原則に反する重大な違法行為だ」と厳しく批判した。

The MPD must take the ruling to heart.
警視庁は重く受け止めねばならない。

===

Evidence lacking

The announcement in question was made by the head of the public security section at a press conference on March 30, 2010, when the statute of limitations on the case of the shooting of then Commissioner General Takaji Kunimatsu had expired. Kunimatsu was seriously injured in the attack.
 問題になったのは、警視庁の当時の公安部長が2010年3月に開いた記者会見だ。1995年に国松孝次・警察庁長官が銃撃され、重傷を負った事件が公訴時効を迎えた日だった。

The section chief said the MPD's investigation had determined the incident was an organized and planned terrorist attack by eight Aum members--including two senior members of the cult and an MPD officer who was an Aum member at the time of the shooting--under the control of Aum founder Chizuo Matsumoto, better known as Shoko Asahara. Matsumoto is now on death row.
 教祖の松本智津夫死刑囚の意思の下、オウム真理教元幹部と、信者でもあった警視庁元巡査長ら計8人が関与する組織的・計画的なテロであるという内容だった。

The three were arrested by the public security section, but they were not indicted by prosecutors because they found that the suspects' statements lacked credibility.
 この事件では、公安部が逮捕した容疑者らを、検察が「供述が信用性に欠ける」として不起訴にした経緯がある。

Despite these developments, the MPD's public security section determined--even without hard evidence--that Aum members had committed the shooting. Prosecutors should present a case in a trial, and it is up to courts to decide whether a defendant is guilty. The MPD's announcement strayed far from accepted criminal court procedures.
 それにもかかわらず、公安部は確たる証拠もなしにオウム真理教の犯行と決めつけた。
 公判を請求するのは検察であり、犯人かどうかを判断するのは裁判所の役割だ。公安部の行為は、刑事訴訟の手続きを甚だしく逸脱している。

The incident also suggests that public safety police officers, who must catch members of terrorist organizations, extremists and spies, employ coercive methods in their investigations.
テロ集団や過激派、スパイなどを摘発する公安警察の強引な手法の一端がうかがえる。

It is reasonable that the court ruled that this incident "shook the basic principles of the criminal justice system to the core."
 判決が「刑事司法制度の基本原則を根底から揺るがす」と批判したのも当然である。

===

Who knew what?

The public security section faced many difficulties while investigating Kunimatsu's shooting. On the other hand, other serious incidents in which the criminal investigation section played the leading investigative role--including the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system and the 1990 murder of lawyer Tsutsumi Sakamoto and his family--have been proven to be acts committed by Aum.
 長官銃撃事件では公安部の捜査が難航した。一方、刑事部が主導した地下鉄サリン、坂本堤弁護士一家殺害など他の重大事件はオウム真理教の犯行と立証された。

We wonder if the public security section was more concerned about saving its own face when it went ahead with the announcement, even though other MPD officials and prosecutors opposed it.
 公安部が警視庁内部や検察の反対を抑えてまで発表に踏み切ったのは、組織のメンツを優先したからではないのか。

A close watch should be kept over Aleph, since some of its facilities still display Matsumoto's portrait. The group has been put under surveillance based on the Subversive Organizations Control Law. The order to pay compensation from public funds and apologize to such an organization is a huge black eye for the police. It will not be easy for the police--which have been hit by a series of scandals--to restore people's trust in the force.
 アレフは松本死刑囚の肖像を掲げる施設があるなど、今も警戒を要する集団だ。団体規制法に基づく観察処分が続いている。
 そのアレフに対し、警察が公金からの賠償と謝罪を命じられたことは大きな汚点と言えよう。不祥事の続く警察が、国民の信頼を回復するのは容易ではあるまい。

Why could the head of the public safety section not be dissuaded from making the announcement? How much did top officials at the MPD and the NPA know about what he would announce? Thorough reviews will have to be made to prevent a recurrence.
 なぜ、公安部長の発表を止められなかったのか。警視庁や警察庁の首脳は内容をどこまで把握していたのか。再発防止のためには、徹底した検証が必要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 17, 2013)
(2013年1月17日00時34分  読売新聞)

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2013年1月17日 (木)

787トラブル 「夢の翼」も安全であってこそ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 17, 2013)
Safety must come first for Boeing 787 operators
787トラブル 「夢の翼」も安全であってこそ(1月16日付・読売社説)

Japanese and U.S. aviation authorities have launched investigations into a recent series of glitches, including fuel leaks, with Boeing Co.'s latest midsize aircraft, the 787.
 米ボーイング社の最新鋭中型機「787」で燃料漏れなどのトラブルが相次ぎ、日米の航空当局が調査に乗り出した。

Are there fears these small problems could lead to a serious accident? Safety must be the top priority. Authorities in both countries must conduct exhaustive investigations to determine the cause of the faults.
 小さなトラブルが重大事故につながる恐れはないか。最優先しなければならないのは安全である。日米当局には、徹底した原因解明を求めたい。

Made of lightweight carbon fiber, the 787 passenger plane's light body makes it more fuel-efficient. It has been dubbed "Dreamliner."
 787は炭素素材を使って機体を軽量化し、燃費を大幅に改善した省エネ旅客機だ。「ドリームライナー」と呼ばれる。

The 787 is widely expected to contribute significantly to improving airlines' earnings because it can fly long-distance routes at a lower cost. The U.S. aircraft maker has received orders for 800 Dreamliners from around the world. In autumn 2011, All Nippon Airways became the first airline to introduce the 787 into commercial service.
 低コストで長距離の路線に投入できるため、航空会社の収益拡大に貢献するとの期待が高い。世界中から800機の発注があり、2011年秋、世界に先駆けて全日本空輸が運航を開始した。

ANA has 17 of the aircraft in its fleet and Japan Airlines has seven, accounting for almost half of about 50 787s in service worldwide.
 現在、運航されている約50機のうち、主力機と位置づける全日空が17機、日本航空が7機と両社でほぼ半分を保有している。

===

'Dreamliner' trouble-ridden

The recent spate of problems started Jan. 7, when a small fire started in the battery pack of an auxiliary power unit of a JAL 787 parked on the tarmac at Boston's Logan International Airport.
 米ボストンの国際空港で7日、駐機中の日航機の補助動力用バッテリーから出火したトラブルで、問題が表面化した。

The following day, a fuel leak was found in the main wing of another JAL 787 as it taxied toward takeoff at the same airport.
These incidents were followed by problems with Dreamliners operated domestically by ANA, including an oil leak and a cracked cockpit window.
 8日には、この空港を走行していた別の日航機の主翼から燃料漏れが見つかり、その後、国内でも全日空機でオイル漏れや操縦席の窓のひび割れなどが発生した。

Aren't six incidents involving the 787 just this month alone too many?
 今月だけでトラブル6件は多すぎるのではないか。

Last year, a United Airlines 787 made an emergency landing due to a fault with its electronic system, and Qatar Airways also reported problems with the same model.
昨年には、米ユナイテッド航空機が電子系統の故障で緊急着陸し、カタール航空機の不具合も報告されている。

The U.S. Federal Aviation Authority announced it will conduct a comprehensive investigation into the 787's safety in terms of its design and manufacturing process. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said his agency wanted the review "to find out why safety-related incidents were occurring."
 米連邦航空局(FAA)は、787の設計や製造工程など安全性に関する包括的な調査を行うと発表した。FAAのフエルタ長官は「何が起きているのか把握する」との見解を示した。

In Japan, the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry has established an expert team to conduct an independent investigation.
 国土交通省も専門チームを設置し、独自の調査を始めた。

===

Many Japanese parts used

Newly introduced passenger planes, and not just the 787, are said to often be afflicted by small troubles. But we think both the Japanese and U.S. authorities were correct to take a serious view of the spate of incidents involving the Dreamliner.
 787に限らず、新型機は就航後、細かな不具合が生じるとされるが、日米当局が事態を重視したのは妥当な判断と言えよう。

The 787 was trouble-ridden from its development stage. The first 787 was delivered to ANA more than three years behind schedule.
 787は開発段階からトラブル続きだった。全日空への1号機納入も予定より3年以上遅れた。

Boeing has trumpeted the reliability of its 787, but it will be necessary to pinpoint whether cutting-edge technologies on the high-tech aircraft are connected to the spate of problems.
 ボーイングは787の信頼性を強調するが、新技術を満載したハイテク機であることが今回の不具合と関係しているかどうかを究明する必要がある。

Carbon fiber and many parts used for manufacturing the 787's main wing, fuselage and tires are made in Japan. We hope Japanese makers of these components and the authorities concerned will work together to resolve the problems as early as possible.
 炭素繊維、主翼や胴体、タイヤなど787に使われている部品の多くが日本製だ。製造に関わった日本企業と当局が連携し、問題を早期に解決してもらいたい。

Some observers say the ongoing investigation is very unlikely to lead to a revision of the plane's design, but we urge airlines operating Dreamliners to regularly check these aircraft.
 今回の調査は設計の見直しなどに発展する可能性は低いとする観測があるものの、787を運航する航空会社には不断のチェックを求めたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 16, 2013)
(2013年1月16日00時16分  読売新聞)

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ドイツ「脱原発」 再生エネ普及に高いハードル

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 17, 2013)
Spread of renewable energy faces many hurdles
ドイツ「脱原発」 再生エネ普及に高いハードル(1月16日付・読売社説)

Many obstacles must be surmounted before the nation can introduce renewable energy, such as wind and solar power, on a full scale. Japan should learn from Germany's trial-and-error approach.
 風力や太陽光など再生可能エネルギーの本格的普及へハードルは高い。日本はドイツの試行錯誤に学ばねばならない。

Germany has adopted a policy of ending nuclear power by abolishing all nuclear plants by 2022. Berlin pins its hopes on renewable energy as alternative power sources.
 ドイツは、2022年までの原子力発電所全廃を決め、「脱原発」を打ち出した。代替電力として再生エネに期待をかけている。

The main pillar of this policy to promote renewable energy in Germany is a fixed-price purchase system that was established in 2000. Under this system, power companies are obliged to purchase electricity generated from renewable energy sources at high fixed prices for a specific number of years.
 普及策の柱は、2000年に制定した再生エネの「固定価格買い取り制度」だ。電力会社が、再生エネの電力を一定年数、高値の固定価格で買い取る制度だ。

This resulted in a surge of companies entering the solar power generation and other renewable energy markets. The percentage of electricity generated by renewable energy sources to total electricity increased from 7 percent in 2000 to 20 percent in 2011.
 これによって太陽光発電などへ参入が急増し、再生エネが発電総量に占める割合は、00年の7%から11年の20%まで伸びた。

However, this has resulted in a continuous increase in electricity rates because the cost of purchasing electricity from renewable energy sources is added to the rates.
 問題は、買い取り費用を上乗せするため、電気料金の引き上げに歯止めがかからない点にある。

Germans naturally complained after it was announced in October last year that in 2013 their average annual electricity bills were expected to rise by about 100 euros, or about 12,000 yen, per household.
 昨年10月、13年の年間電気代が1世帯あたり100ユーロ(約1万2000円)程度上昇する見通しが発表されるや、国民の不満が一気に高まったのも当然だろう。

===

Negative impact on business

Industrial circles also oppose the electricity rate hike because they are concerned about the negative impact the higher costs will have on their businesses.
 産業界も、料金引き上げに反発する。コスト高による経営への打撃を懸念するからだ。

Admitting shortcomings in the fixed-price purchase system, German Environment Minister Peter Altmaier announced in the same month that the government would drastically review its renewable energy policy. The system, therefore, is now at a major crossroad.
 アルトマイヤー独環境相は昨年10月、固定価格買い取り制度の欠点を認め、再生エネ政策を抜本的に見直す方針を表明した。制度は大きな岐路に立たされている。

The spread of renewable energy has not necessarily led to the promotion of related industries or employment in Germany. It is symbolic that German solar panel makers collapsed one after another when they lost out to cheap Chinese-made solar panels.
 再生エネ普及は、必ずしも関連産業の振興や雇用につながっていない。安い中国製の太陽光パネルに押され、ドイツのメーカーの破綻が相次いだことは象徴的だ。

Wind power generation, a major renewable energy source, also has problems. Wind power plants have been set up mainly in the northern part of Germany, but areas that consume large amounts of electricity are industrial zones in the south. New power lines from north to south are needed, but their construction faces difficulty due to opposition from environmental groups.
 主力の風力発電にも問題がある。発電所が設置されているのは主に北部で、電力の大量消費地は南部の工業地帯だ。北から南へ送電線の新設が必要なのに、環境保護団体の反対で難航している。

In Japan, a fixed-price purchase system was launched last July under the Democratic Party of Japan-led administration of then Prime Minister Naoto Kan. It was modeled on Germany's system.
 日本では民主党の菅政権が、ドイツを参考に再生エネの固定価格買い取り制度導入に踏み切り、昨年7月、制度はスタートした。

===

Learn from Germany

However, there are a number of problems with a system in which power companies purchase electricity from renewable energy sources at prices higher than normal for a maximum of 20 years. If the system is only advantageous to companies able to purchase a large quantity of solar panels, technological innovation will suffer. Revision of Japan's system, based on Germany's situation, is an urgent task.
 しかし、最長20年間も通常より高い固定価格で買い取る仕組みには問題が多い。安価な太陽光パネルを大量に購入する企業が有利になるだけでは、技術革新も進みようがない。ドイツの現状を踏まえ、制度修正が急務である。

The German government allows nine nuclear reactors to continue operating after confirming their safety, even though public opinion supports the abolition of nuclear power plants in the wake of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. Germany's stable power supply is supported by electricity imported from neighboring countries and by ensuring that nuclear reactors will operate for nearly 10 more years.
 独政府は、福島第一原発の事故で世論が「脱原発」に傾いた中でも、安全性を確認した上で、原発9基の稼働を続けている。近隣諸国から電力は輸入できるし、あと10年近く原発を動かすことで、電力の安定供給を支えている。

In Japan, only two nuclear reactors are operating. Stable power supplies may suffer a blow unless the government quickly reactivates safe reactors.
 日本では、稼働中の原発は2基だけだ。政府が安全な原発の再稼働を急がなければ、電力の安定供給体制が揺らぐ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 16, 2013)
(2013年1月16日00時15分  読売新聞)

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2013年1月16日 (水)

ルネサス再建 政府主導で甘え断つ改革を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 16, 2013)
Ailing chipmaker Renesas must reform, achieve self-reliance
ルネサス再建 政府主導で甘え断つ改革を(1月15日付・読売社説)

Even if a company is indispensable to Japan's manufacturing industry, it will face difficulty reconstructuring itself under the government's initiative. Such a company needs to reform its management in a way that does not depend on government support.
 日本の製造業に不可欠な企業だとしても、政府主導で再建する道は険しい。甘えを断ち切る経営改革が求められよう。

The Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ), a state-backed investment fund, has decided to buy about 70 percent of shares in Renesas Electronics Corp., a major but financially troubled chipmaker, and put the company under its umbrella. Eight companies including Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. will hold a combined 6 percent of shares in the chipmaker.
 官民投資ファンドの産業革新機構が、経営不振に陥った半導体大手ルネサスエレクトロニクスの株式の約7割を買収し、傘下に収める方針を決めた。トヨタ自動車、日産自動車など8社も計6%の株主となる。

With total public and private investment amounting up to 200 billion yen, a rare "hinomaru coalition" support system has been established.
 官民合わせた出資額が最大2000億円という「日の丸連合」による異例の支援体制である。

Renesas was founded by Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Hitachi Ltd. and NEC Corp., and is the world's largest maker of microcontroller chips, with a share of about 30 percent in the global market. The product controls the functions of motors in automobiles and home appliances.
 ルネサスの母体は三菱電機、日立製作所、NECの電機3社だ。自動車や家電のモーターを制御するマイコンの首位メーカーで、世界シェア約3割を占める。

The Great East Japan Earthquake caused major damage to Renesas' main factory. Many domestic companies were forced to halt production because they were unable to procure microcontrollers.
 東日本大震災では、ルネサスの主力工場が被災したため、日本各社がマイコンを調達できずに生産停止に追い込まれた。

===

Inefficient management

This shows manufacturers are largely dependent on Renesas. However, Renesas has chalked up losses for seven consecutive years--including a period under one of its predecessors--and the company is expected to register a massive deficit this fiscal year.
 ルネサス頼みの実態を示すが、それでもルネサスは前身企業時代から7年連続で最終赤字となり、今期も巨額赤字の見込みだ。

The poor business performances seem to be caused by inefficient management under a motley collection of different companies and discount sales of a variety of products, kept in small volumes, to cater to the requests of clients.
 寄り合い所帯で非効率な経営が続いた上、納入先からの要求に合わせて少量多品種の安値販売を続けてきたことが要因だろう。

A U.S. investment fund once offered to provide financial assistance. But if Renesas were placed under the umbrella of a foreign firm, it may result in an outflow of technology abroad or disruptions in the procurement of parts by domestic companies.
 一時、米系投資ファンドによる支援の動きも出たが、ルネサスが外資傘下に入れば、技術が海外流出したり、日本各社の部品調達に支障が出たりしかねない。

The public and private sectors share a sense of crisis over Renesas because it is a key company in the manufacturing field. Therefore, they took action to counter the foreign fund's buyout offensive.
 官民が「ルネサスは日本のものづくりを支える重要企業」として危機感を共有し、外資の買収攻勢を巻き返したと言えよう。

The INCJ, which has taken over the management of Renesas, said it would help the company "build up a strong constitution capable of competing globally."
 経営権を握る革新機構は、「グローバルで競争できる筋肉質の体質を作る」と表明している。

But even if the company boasts of high-level technology, optimism on its future outlook may not be warranted.
 ただ、高い技術力を持っていても、先行きは楽観できない。

The government bears a grave responsibility in extending assistance to a private company by injecting a huge amount of public funds. The government must accelerate its efforts to make the company profitable.
 巨額の公的資金を投入して民間企業を支援する政府の責任は重大だ。黒字体質に転換する戦略を加速しなければならない。

===

Don't sell products cheaply

If client companies that have become major shareholders continue to ask Renesas to develop and produce microcontrollers cheaply, it will be difficult for the company to operate in the black. We believe it is necessary for the company to expand its sales channels overseas.
 主要株主になった顧客企業がルネサスに安価なマイコン開発や生産を求め続けるなら、ルネサスの収益向上は難しい。海外にも販路を拡大する工夫が要る。

While additional restructuring measures, including job cuts, should proceed, efforts should be made for the company to invest vigorously in growing fields.
 人員削減など追加リストラを進めるとともに、成長分野への積極的な投資で活路を開くべきだ。

Elpida Memory Inc., another major chipmaker in which the government injected public funds, went bankrupt about three years after the assistance was extended. A repetition of this failure is unacceptable.
 政府が公的支援した別の半導体大手、エルピーダメモリは約3年で経営破綻した。失敗を繰り返すことは許されない。

The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attaches importance to strengthening the nation's industrial competitiveness and has proposed the INCJ be used for this purpose. It also has called for the creation of a new fund to support companies so they can expand their overseas businesses. However, the point is not to launch a number of funds, but to ensure immediate tangible achievements.
 安倍政権は産業競争力強化を重視し、革新機構の活用のほか、企業の海外進出を支援する新たなファンド創設も打ち出した。ファンドの乱立に終わらせず、速やかに成果を上げる必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 15, 2013)
(2013年1月15日00時16分  読売新聞)

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センター試験 大学は当事者意識持って臨め

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 16, 2013)
No room for glitches in unified college entrance exams
センター試験 大学は当事者意識持って臨め(1月15日付・読売社説)

Officials of the unified college entrance exams and universities that use the test for screening students must not allow a repeat of last year's confusion. They should double-check whether their preparations are foolproof.
 昨年のような混乱は二度と許されない。万全の準備体制が必要だ。

About 570,000 applicants will take the test to be held Saturday and Sunday. A record 840 universities and junior colleges--national, prefectural, municipal and private--will use the test as part of their screening process.
 大学入試センター試験が19日と20日に実施される。志願者数は約57万人。参加大学・短大は国公私立で840校に上り、過去最多だ。

We urge the National Center for University Entrance Examinations and the universities to stay vigilant to ensure the test goes off without a hitch.
 大学入試センターと各大学は、緊張感を持って試験の運営にあたってもらいたい。

Last year, about 7,000 students were affected by mistakes during the test, such as errors in distributing test books for geography and history, and civics, which were mainly caused by a change in the test system. The test start time was delayed at a venue in Miyagi Prefecture--one of the prefectures hit hardest by the Great East Japan Earthquake--after devices for a listening test failed to arrive on time.
 昨年の試験では、試験方法の変更に伴い、「地理歴史」と「公民」で問題冊子の配布ミスなどが続出し、計約7000人の受験生に影響が出た。被災地・宮城の会場では英語のリスニング用機器が届かず、試験開始を遅らせた。

===

Lessons of last year

The national center has reviewed the process of distributing test books this year. Universities that provide venues for the test also have taken steps to prevent mistakes from happening, such as holding more briefing sessions for test supervisors and conducting rehearsals.
 大学入試センターは今回、問題冊子の配布方法を見直した。各大学も試験監督者向けの説明会数を増やしたり、予行練習を重ねたりするなどの対策を講じている。

However, it is still too early for them to let their guard down. After reading a report by an Education, Culture, Sports and Science and Technology Ministry panel tasked with pinpointing why the errors occurred, universities that provided venues for last year's exams can only be described as lacking a sense of awareness as one of the parties involved.
 だが、油断は禁物だ。文部科学省の検証委員会報告書を見ると、大学側の当事者意識が乏しかったと言わざるを得ない。

According to the report, about 30 percent of the universities that bungled the distribution of test books failed to properly instruct test supervisors who did not attend briefing sessions, and instead only provided them with written documents in advance. In one case, a supervisor reportedly noticed a mistake when reading a supervising manual after the exams had started.
 配布ミスをした大学の3割が、説明会を欠席した試験監督者に事前に資料を配布しただけで済ませていた。試験開始後に監督要領を読み直し、初めて配布ミスに気付くお粗末な事例も見られた。

It is astonishing that some universities failed to understand the basic fact that the exams are managed jointly by the National Center for University Entrance Examinations and universities that use the exams.
 センター試験が入試センターと参加大学の共同実施だとの基本認識に欠ける大学すらあったことには驚かされる。

===

Test has become 'too big'

The current exam format was introduced in 1990, remodeling a similar test called the Joint First-Stage Achievement Test. Universities that use the exams have increased each year. It has become a national barometer for assessing the level of scholastic achievements of high school students. The fact it has become widely accepted deserves praise.
 センター試験は、共通一次試験から衣替えして1990年に導入された。参加大学数は年々、増えている。高校段階の学習到達度を判定する統一試験として、定着してきたことは評価できる。

This year, more than 100 public universities will use the exams to complement their admission screening based on recommendations from high schools, or interview- and essay-based tests known as "admission office exams," a system that puts more focus on assessing a student's personality.
 面接などで人物重視の選抜を行うAO(アドミッション・オフィス)入試や推薦入試と、センター試験を併用する国公立大学が今回、100校を超えた。

Japanese students' worsening academic ability has become a serious problem. We believe there is a growing tendency among universities to use the unified exams to accurately gauge whether students have basic academic skills.
 学生の学力不足の深刻化で、基礎学力がついているかどうかを、センター試験によって見極める傾向が強まっているのだろう。

The main role for universities in the test is to provide venues where it can be taken. Because this burden is light, some private universities use the unified entrance exams as a tool to acquire applicants at low cost.
 試験会場などの提供だけで参加できるため、私大の中には、低コストで受験生を獲得する手段として、センター試験を使っているところも少なくない。

Under the current system, universities can freely choose which and how many exam subjects they use. This enables universities and colleges to tailor a wide variety of admission systems. However, at the same time, some students have been baffled by the complexity of the system.
 利用する科目や科目数を大学が自由に決められる現行のアラカルト方式により、大学側は多様な入試方式の設定が可能になった。一方、科目選択が複雑になり、受験する側が戸惑うケースもある。

Critics have long pointed out that the unified exams have become too big to be conducted all at once. It is important to bring problems with the test to light from various perspectives so it can be improved.
 一度に滞りなく実施するには、試験規模が膨らみすぎたとの批判も根強い。様々な角度からセンター試験の課題を洗い出し、改善につなげることが大切だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 15, 2013)
(2013年1月15日00時16分  読売新聞)

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2013年1月15日 (火)

薬のネット販売 安全確保するルール作り急務

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 15, 2013)
Rules needed urgently on online sales of safe drugs
薬のネット販売 安全確保するルール作り急務(1月14日付・読売社説)

The Supreme Court's recent ruling will essentially lift the ban on drugs sold through the Internet without a doctor's prescription.
 医師の処方なしで買える市販薬のインターネット販売を事実上、解禁する司法判断である。

Online retailers had demanded that the government acknowledge their right to sell nonprescription drugs, arguing that the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry's ordinance banning the sale of such drugs with a relatively high risk of side effects was illegal.
 市販薬のうち、副作用の危険が比較的高い医薬品のネット販売を禁じた厚生労働省令は違法だとして、通販会社がネット販売できる権利の確認などを国に求めていた。

The top court last week rejected an appeal filed by the state against the Tokyo High Court decision that upheld the claims of two online retailers.
 最高裁は国の上告を棄却する業者側勝訴の判決を言い渡した。

Under the revised Pharmaceutical Affairs Law that came into effect in 2009, the health ministry classified nonprescription drugs into three categories based on possible side effects. The ministry's ordinance made it mandatory for pharmacists to sell some digestive medicines, hair growth agents and other products over the counter, while banning their online sales.
 厚労省は2009年の改正薬事法で市販薬を3分類した。このうち、一部の胃腸薬や発毛剤などの医薬品については、省令で薬剤師らによる対面販売を義務付け、ネット販売を禁じている。

===

Deregulation upheld

Arguing that the revised Pharmaceutical Affairs Law indicates no clear intention to make over-the-counter sales mandatory, the top court ruled that "the ordinance is illegal and invalid." The ruling, it may be said, criticized the ministry's action to regulate online sales without any legal basis.
 判決は「改正薬事法からは対面販売を義務付ける趣旨は明確に読み取れず、省令は違法で無効」と結論付けた。法的な裏付けがないまま、省令でネット販売を規制した措置を批判したと言えよう。

The two retailers that won their case have resumed online sales. The online sales market is expected to further expand with the participation of other such retailers.
 勝訴した業者はネット販売を再開した。他の通販各社も参入し、市場拡大が見込まれる。

Health minister Norihisa Tamura expressed his intention to establish a panel that will study measures to relax control on online sales. The ministry plans to put forth a new policy before the end of this year, but rules on online sales must be worked out as soon as possible.
 田村厚労相は、ネット販売の規制緩和に関する検討会を設置する意向を表明した。年内にも方針を打ち出す考えだが、販売ルール作りは急務である。

An advantage of the online sale of nonprescription drugs is that such drugs can be obtained by people living on remote islands and in mountain areas that do not have pharmacies or drugstores. It would also be benefit the disabled or the elderly, whose mobility is limited.
 市販薬のネット販売の利点は、薬局や薬店がない離島や山間部でも市販薬を入手できることだ。移動手段が限られる障害者や高齢者には便利だろう。

If the online sale of nonprescription drugs becomes common, it will reduce the burden on people working on the front lines of medicine. There are many cases in which people have been rushed to emergency hospitals for treatment of light colds. This has overtaxed doctors at such hospitals.
 ネット販売が普及すれば、医療現場の負担を軽減する効果も期待できる。軽い風邪でも救急病院に駆け込むケースが多く、医師を疲弊させているからだ。

===

Lack of consistency

While stressing the need for self-medication to treat nonserious conditions at home, the ministry bans the online sale of nonprescription drugs. This obviously represents a lack of consistency in its policy stance.
 厚労省は、軽症なら自分で薬を買って養生する「セルフメディケーション」の必要性を訴えていたのに、一方でネット販売の禁止は明らかに一貫性を欠く。

It must be remembered, however, that the top court did not give a stamp of approval to the safety of nonprescription drugs sold online.
 ただ、最高裁がネット販売の安全性にお墨付きを与えたわけではないことを忘れてはならない。

Side effects of some nonprescription drugs have been reported to the health ministry. There have also been deaths reported, although the number is small.
 市販薬でも、厚労省に副作用が報告されており、数は少ないながら死亡例もある。

So it is all the more important to formulate rules on online sales while considering how to achieve a balance between convenience in buying drugs and drug safety.
 それだけに重要なのは、薬を購入しやすい利便性と、薬の安全性をどう両立させ、ネット販売ルールを策定するかだ。

The symptoms and conditions of drug buyers cannot be confirmed online. The online drug retailing industry is studying a method in which drugs cannot be purchased unless retailers' explanations on proper use and information about side effects are verified.
 ネットでは薬を買う人の顔色や症状などを確認できない。販売業者が適正な薬の使い方や副作用情報を丁寧に説明し、その内容を確認しなければ購入できない案を検討する動きも業界などにある。

It is also essential to work out measures to deal with bulk purchases and illegal retailers that do not employ pharmacists.
 大量購入する場合の対処法や、薬剤師を配置していない違法業者対策なども課題だ。

To realize a convenient and safe online system of drug sales, the private and public sectors should rack their brains together.
便利で安全なネット販売を実現するため、官民で知恵を絞ってもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 14, 2013)
(2013年1月14日01時27分  読売新聞)

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成人の日 若い力で停滞を打ち破ろう

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 15, 2013)
Let the power of youth snap Japan out of its funk
成人の日 若い力で停滞を打ち破ろう(1月14日付・読売社説)

Today, the second Monday of January, is Coming-of-Age Day. We congratulate about 1.22 million people who were born in 1992 and turned 20 years old this year to become new members of adult society.
 きょうは成人の日。
 1992年に生まれた122万人の新成人が、大人の仲間入りすることを祝いたい。

They are of the generation who has grown up during the "two lost decades" that followed the bursting of the bubble economy.
 新成人は、バブル経済崩壊後の「失われた20年」が成育期に重なった世代だ。

During this period, Japan's economy has languished, and its gross domestic product has been overtaken by that of China. Japan has surrendered its position as the world's second-biggest economy.
 この間、日本は景気が低迷し、中国に国内総生産(GDP)で抜かれ、世界第2位の座を明け渡した。

While the proportion of students going on to university remains above 50 percent, the employment situation is still grim. This is a period when young people are struggling to stay optimistic about their prospects.
大学進学率が50%を超える一方で、就職難が続く。明るい展望を持ちにくい時代と言える。

But precisely because this is a tough situation, we have high expectations for the power of youth. We hope new adults who have already started their careers and those yet to join the workforce will work and study hard with pride that they are "vital" members of society.
 だが、厳しい状況だからこそ、若い力への期待は大きい。既に働いている新成人も、これから社会に出る人も、「社会から求められている」という自負心を持って仕事や勉学に取り組んでほしい。

===

Mostly satisfied with life

In a 2012 survey by the Cabinet Office, as many as 75 percent of people in their 20s-- those slightly older than the new batch of adults--said they were "satisfied" with their current lifestyle. This figure was the highest of all age brackets.
 内閣府の昨年の世論調査で、「今の生活に満足している」との回答が、どの年代よりも高い75%に上ったのが、新成人の先輩にあたる20歳代である。

Sociologist Noritoshi Furuichi, author of the book "Zetsubo no Kuni no Kofukuna Wakamono-tachi" (The Happy Youth of a Desperate Country), believes the survey results indicated that people of this age "have little expectation that things will get better tomorrow, so they focus on spending joyful times with their peers here and now."
 その背景について、「絶望の国の幸福な若者たち」の著者で社会学者の古市憲寿さんは「明日が良くなると期待できないから、今、ここで、仲間と過ごす幸せを大事にするしかない」と分析する。

Possibly reflecting their sense of despair over the future, an increasing number of young people are seeking jobs that offer employment stability. According to a survey in 2012 by Japan Productivity Center, a government-backed think tank, 60 percent of newly recruited employees--an all-time high--said they "want to work at my current company for life."
 将来への閉塞感を反映してか、就職には安定志向が強まっている。日本生産性本部の調査では、「今の会社に一生勤めようと思う」と答えた新入社員は昨年、過去最高の60%に達した。

Nevertheless, large firms cannot necessarily guarantee employment for life. Symbolic of this is the fact that many major home appliance manufacturers are groaning under huge deficits. Their quandary has been caused by such factors as intense international competition and their failure to keep up with foreign rivals in developing business strategies well suited to fast-changing market conditions.
 とは言え、大企業なら安泰とは限らない。家電大手が巨額の赤字に苦しんでいるのは、その象徴である。激しい国際競争や、市場の変化に合わせたビジネス展開で後れをとったことなどが要因だ。

Many companies in the home appliance industry and other sectors have been doing their utmost to survive by exercising their ingenuity in boosting their technological capabilities and improving their services.
 家電業界に限らず、各企業が技術革新やサービス向上を工夫し、生き残りを目指している。

===

Harnessing the Internet

The day will come when today's new adults take up the role of reinvigorating their companies and society.
 新成人たちが、いずれ日本企業や社会を元気にする役割を担う日も来るはずだ。

One promising sign is that a number of young people have been actively starting businesses on their own. Many have designed new products on their websites, sent orders to production service firms to make them, and marketed the products on the Internet. This way of doing business, which originated in the United States, is spreading in Japan.
 希望を持てる動きの一つが、若者による起業が活発になっていることだ。ウェブサイト上で新商品をデザインし、製造サービス会社に製作を発注し、販売もインターネットで行う。米国発のこのビジネスが日本にも広がり始めた。

Since their childhood, new adults have been accustomed to using cell phones and personal computers. We hope they come up with flexible ideas unbound by conventional thinking.
 新成人たちは、子供の頃から携帯電話やパソコンに親しんできた。従来にはない柔軟なアイデアを発揮してもらいたい。

All the residents of Katsurao, Fukushima Prefecture, have had to evacuate due to the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. On Jan. 2, the village government hosted a Coming-of-Age Day celebration in the district where the residents have moved.
 東京電力福島第一原発事故で全村避難が続く福島県葛尾村は今月2日、移転先で成人式を開いた。

At the ceremony, a new male adult spoke of his determination to work hard in the future. "I'll do my best to give other victims of the disaster hope for the future, and never forget the earthquake and tsunami catastrophe and the preciousness of my hometown."
新成人の男性は「震災や故郷を忘れず、被災者の希望になれるよう頑張りたい」と決意を述べた。

We sincerely hope each new adult, while cherishing their own dreams and hopes, has the courage to carve out a new era.
 それぞれの思いを胸に、時代を切り開いてほしい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 14, 2013)
(2013年1月14日01時27分  読売新聞)

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2013年1月14日 (月)

中国紙記者スト 言論は統制強化で抑え込めぬ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 14, 2013)
China should relax government control of media
中国紙記者スト 言論は統制強化で抑え込めぬ(1月13日付・読売社説)

It has become clear that China's new leadership headed by Xi Jinping intends to tighten government control over Chinese media.
 中国メディアに対する統制を強化する習近平政権の姿勢が鮮明になったといえよう。

The New Year's editorial of the Southern Weekend, a weekly newspaper in Guangdong Province that is highly popular for its aggressive investigative reporting of corruption and other irregularities, was replaced at the order of the propaganda department of the Communist Party Committee of the province. The editorial writers of the Southern Weekend, also known as the Southern Weekly, went on strike to protest the action.
 腐敗追及などの調査報道で人気のある中国広東省の週刊紙「南方週末」の新年社説が、お目付け役である省共産党委員会宣伝部の指示で書き換えられ、これに抗議する記者たちがストを起こした。

Management of the Southern Weekend and the editorial writers subsequently held negotiations over the matter, with the province's Communist Party Committee acting as arbitrator.
The issue was settled with the editorial writers agreeing to stop the walkout and the weekly's management agreeing not to punish them. It could be inferred that the way the problem was settled represented a concession on the part of the Xi administration, which is wary about expansion of democracy movements.
 南方週末の経営陣と記者側が省党委員会の調停で事態収拾へ協議した結果、記者たちはストを中止し、経営陣は記者の責任を問わないことで決着した。民主化運動の拡大を警戒する習政権がひとまず譲歩したとみてよい。

However, on the heels of the incident, the Communist Party's Central Propaganda Department instructed media across the country to republish an editorial of the party's mouthpiece People's Daily that warned that any media that publicly criticized the government would be "certainly defeated."
 だが事件後、党中央宣伝部は、メディアが政府に公然と対抗すれば「必ず敗れる」と警告する党機関紙・人民日報系紙の社説を転載するよう各新聞社に指示した。

===

Action counters Constitution

The Chinese government probably considered it essential to toughen its control over the freedom of speech in order to maintain the Communist Party's dictatorial rule.
 一党独裁を維持していく上で、むしろ言論統制は強める必要があると考えているからだろう。

The weekly's editorial that instigated the latest incident was titled "China's Dream, the Dream of Constitutionalism" and published on Jan. 3.
 今回、当局が検閲で問題視したのは、「中国の夢、憲政の夢」と題する3日付の南方週末の社説だ。

The editorial urged Chinese leaders to uphold the importance of steering the government democratically based on China's Constitution. The party must have regarded the editorial as tantamount to rejecting the Communist Party's dictatorship, and the weekly was ordered to replace it with another.
憲法に基づく民主的な政治の重要性を訴えた内容が、共産党独裁を否定するものと受け止めて、差し替えさせた。

China's Constitution guarantees freedom of speech. The reality, however, is that the party's propaganda department has the power to reassign media personnel, a power it wields extrajudicially.
 中国憲法は「言論の自由」を保障している。しかし、メディアの人事権を握る党宣伝部が超法規的な存在としてにらみを利かせているのが実態である。

Interference in the content of articles has become an everyday event, but open challenges to the authority of the propaganda department are extremely rare.
 記事への介入は日常茶飯事だが、今回のように記者が統制に反発し、宣伝部と激しく対立したのは極めて異例だ。

In this case, maybe the editorial writers were testing the attitude of the newly inaugurated Xi administration toward the media.
記者の行動には、発足直後の習政権の出方をうかがう意図もあったのだろう。

When the incident was reported on the Internet, more than 150 former media employees posted protest letters online, and human rights activists and scholars released protest statements one after another.
 事件がインターネットで伝わると、元記者ら150人以上が連名で抗議書簡をネットに公開したほか、人権活動家や学者らも抗議声明を出す事態に発展した。

===

Accept changes in society

An influential newspaper in Beijing also resisted the propaganda department, temporarily refusing to republish the editorial of the People's Daily.
北京の有力紙も宣伝部に抵抗し、警告社説の転載を一時拒否した。

Given that the number of people using the Internet in China has surpassed 500 million, it must already be very hard for Beijing to suppress voices calling for the freedom of speech by means of conventional iron-fisted oppression.
 ネット人口が5億人を超えた中国で、言論の自由拡大を求める声を従来の強権的手法で抑え込むのはもはや難しいのではないか。

Meanwhile, income disparities in China have become increasingly egregious, and dissatisfaction among ordinary people has neared a breaking point.
 中国の所得格差は深刻で、民衆の不満は極限まで膨らんでいる。

Apart from this problem, easing media control is indispensable to clamping down on corruption by high-ranking party officials.
幹部の汚職摘発を進めるためにも報道統制の緩和は欠かせない。

The United States has expressed its concern over the Chinese authorities' censorship of the Southern Weekend.
 南方週末に対する中国当局の検閲には、米政府が懸念を示した。

The Xi administration should be aware that the suppression of freedom of speech has marred China's image as the world's second-largest economic powerhouse.
習政権は、言論弾圧が世界第2位の経済大国のイメージを損なっていることを自覚すべきである。

If the Chinese authorities want social stability, they must respond sincerely to the rapid diversification in society that comes with the globalization of the economy.
 中国当局が安定を求めるなら、経済のグローバル化に伴い価値観が多様化してきた社会の変化を、真摯(しんし)に受け止めねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 13, 2013)
(2013年1月13日01時41分  読売新聞)

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東京五輪招致 日本の総合力で実現したい

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 14, 2013)
Japan must unite behind Tokyo's Olympic bid
東京五輪招致 日本の総合力で実現したい(1月13日付・読売社説)

We strongly hope Tokyo will win the international battle to host the 2020 Summer Olympics so it can hold its second Games.
 招致レースを制し、ぜひとも2度目の東京五輪を実現させたい。

Tokyo, Istanbul and Madrid, the three cities vying for the right to host the Olympic and Paralympic games in 2020, submitted their candidate files, which detail plans to organize the world's biggest sporting event, to the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne on Jan. 7.
 2020年オリンピック・パラリンピックの開催権獲得を競う東京、イスタンブール(トルコ)、マドリード(スペイン)の3都市が、詳細な開催計画である立候補ファイルを国際オリンピック委員会(IOC)に提出した。

The IOC has officially lifted the ban on international publicity activities for the candidate cities. The host city will be chosen at the IOC's general meeting in Buenos Aires on Sept. 7. The three cities will intensify their activities to win the support of IOC members with voting rights.
 これにより、国際的なPR活動が解禁された。開催地は9月7日のIOC総会で決まる。投票権を持つIOC委員の支持を得るため、今後、3都市の駆け引きが活発化するだろう。

On Thursday, just three days after Tokyo submitted its candidate file, Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose held a press conference for the international media in London, which successfully held the Summer Olympics last year.
"The Tokyo Olympics will be a dynamic event held at the center of the safest and most advanced city in the world," Inose told the press.
 東京都の猪瀬直樹知事は10日、昨夏の五輪を成功させたロンドンで海外メディア向けの記者会見を開き、「東京大会は、世界で最も安全で先進的な大都市の中心で開催されるダイナミックな祭典になる」と訴えた。

===

Games will revitalize nation

According to estimates, a total of 7.8 million spectators from inside and outside Japan will visit Tokyo if it hosts the Olympics and the event's economic ripple effect for the country will be 3 trillion yen. The Olympics certainly will provide a spark for Japan to regain its vitality.
 東京五輪が実現すれば、国内外から780万人の観客が訪れ、経済波及効果は全国で約3兆円と推計される。五輪は日本を元気づける起爆剤となるに違いない。

We expect not only the Tokyo metropolitan government but also the central government, Japan's national Olympic committee and others to work hard together to bring the Games to Tokyo.
 都だけでなく、政府や日本オリンピック委員会(JOC)などが一体となって、招致に全力を挙げてもらいたい。

For Tokyo, which hosted its first Olympics in 1964, this is the second straight bid for the Olympics after failing to win the 2016 Games.
 東京は16年五輪招致に続く2回目の挑戦だ。

Like the last bid, the highlight of Tokyo's organizing plan is a "compact Olympics," with most of the venues for major events within an eight-kilometer radius of the Olympic village. The National Stadium, the main venue, will be drastically renovated so it can accommodate 80,000 spectators.
開催計画の特長は、今回も「コンパクトな五輪」で、選手村を中心に半径8キロ圏内に主要な競技会場を集中させる。メーン会場の国立競技場は、8万人収容のスタジアムに大改修する。

Compared to the previous plan, some details of the 2020 plan have been improved, such as expansion of the Olympic village.
 選手村の面積を前回よりも拡充するなど、内容に磨きをかけた計画になっている。

However, Istanbul, which aims to be the first Islamic country to host the Olympics, and Madrid, a major European city, are both strong rivals. Tokyo will not have an easy task to win the Games.
 イスラム文化圏初の五輪開催を目指すイスタンブール、欧州の有力都市であるマドリードは、ともに強力なライバルだ。東京が開催を勝ち取るのは、決して簡単ではないだろう。

===

Advantages over rivals

But Tokyo's rivals have weak points, too. The development of urban infrastructure has been delayed in Istanbul, and Madrid has financial problems resulting from Spain's economic crisis.
 だが、イスタンブールは都市インフラ整備の遅れ、マドリードはスペインの経済危機による財政問題という弱点を抱える。

Tokyo has strong advantages, including an advanced transportation network, a large number of accommodation facilities and financial stability, such as 400 billion yen in reserve funds. It is important for Tokyo to emphasize these advantages effectively.
 対照的に、東京が有する充実した交通網や宿泊施設、4000億円の基金をはじめとする安定した財政基盤は強力な武器となる。東京の優れた点を効果的にアピールしていくことが重要だ。

According to the results of a survey, however, public support to host the Olympics is lower in Tokyo than in its two rivals.
 五輪開催に対する国民の支持率で、東京は他の2都市より低いという調査結果が出ている。

Even so, 500,000 people gathered in Tokyo's Ginza district to cheer the Japanese medalists during a parade held after the London Olympics. The whole of Japan was in a frenzy of excitement over the performance of Japanese athletes last summer.
 一方で、日本中が熱狂したロンドン五輪の後、東京・銀座で行われたメダリストたちのパレードには50万人もが集まった。

Tokyo's bid committee has to show the IOC that the Japanese public is very interested in having the nation's capital host the Olympics.
日本で五輪への関心がいかに高いかをIOCに示していくことも必要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 13, 2013)
(2013年1月13日01時41分  読売新聞)

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2013年1月13日 (日)

安倍・橋下会談 政権安定化への布石となるか

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 13, 2013)
Abe meets Hashimoto in quest for stable government
安倍・橋下会談 政権安定化への布石となるか(1月12日付・読売社説)

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seems to be preparing carefully for the upcoming ordinary Diet session.
 安倍首相が通常国会に向けて周到な布石を打っているように見える。

Abe visited Osaka on Friday to have talks with Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, who is acting president of Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), and Osaka Gov. Ichiro Matsui, secretary general of Ishin no Kai, for the first time since his Cabinet was inaugurated.
 首相は大阪市を訪れ、日本維新の会の橋下代表代行(大阪市長)、松井幹事長(大阪府知事)と内閣発足後初めて会談した。

Referring to emergency economic measures, the prime minister asked them to help pass the fiscal 2012 supplementary budget in the Diet as soon as possible, while the two asked Abe to realize drastic structural reform including deregulation in medical fields.
 首相は、緊急経済対策に言及し、2012年度補正予算案の早期成立に協力を要請した。橋下氏らは医療分野の規制緩和など大胆な構造改革の実現を求めた。

This exchange of opinions is unusual because the prime minister has not yet held official talks with Banri Kaieda, president of the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan.
 野党第1党の民主党の海江田代表と正式に会談していない段階での今回の意見交換は異例だ。

Abe was exchanging opinions with Hashimoto even before he was elected president of the Liberal Democratic Party last autumn, showing his willingness to join hands with him on issues of national politics such as revision of the Constitution. The latest meeting is apparently the first step toward realizing their alliance.
 昨年秋の自民党総裁選前から、首相は橋下氏と意見交換を重ね、憲法改正など国政課題での連携に意欲を示してきた。それを具体化するための一歩とも言える。

Abe will face many important issues in the ordinary Diet session to be convened at the end of this month, including the fiscal 2012 supplementary budget and the fiscal 2013 budget.
 今月末に召集される通常国会では補正予算案、13年度予算案をはじめ重要課題が控えている。

===

Partnership with opposition

Under the Abe administration, the ruling parties hold more than two-thirds of the seats in the House of Representatives. However, they have less than half in the House of Councillors. The prime minister will have to seek a "partial alliance" or temporary partnerships on a policy-by-policy basis with opposition parties if he wants to pass important bills without being criticized for managing the Diet high-handedly.
 安倍政権で与党は、衆院で3分の2を超える議席を有しているが、参院では過半数に届かない。「強引な国会運営」との批判を避けつつ、重要法案を成立させるには、政策ごとに野党と連携する「部分連合」を図らねばなるまい。

Whether it can win support from Ishin no Kai, Your Party, New Renaissance Party and other smaller opposition parties will be particularly important for the government to succeed in appointing a new governor for the Bank of Japan, which requires the approval of both chambers, if it fails to gain the cooperation of the DPJ.
 とくに、衆参両院の同意が必要な日銀総裁人事では、民主党から協力を得られればいいが、そうでなければ、維新の会やみんなの党、新党改革などの賛成を取り付けられるかどうかがカギとなる。

After talking with Abe, Hashimoto expressed again his party's position of deciding whether to support the government's policies based on their individual merit.
"We will not become an opposition party that disagrees with everything," Hashimoto told the press. "We'll discuss every policy carefully and agree on what we can agree on."
 橋下氏は首相との会談後、記者団に「何でも反対という野党にはならない。政策ごとにしっかり議論し、まとめるものはまとめる」と述べ、是々非々の立場で臨む意向を改めて示した。

===

Ishin in eye of storm

In the past, opposition parties tended to refuse deliberation on bills or needlessly drag them out. We expect them to show different reactions this time. The government and the ruling parties could make concessions on quite a few issues with Ishin no Kai.
 従来の野党は審議の拒否や引き延ばしに走りがちだった。それとは違う対応を見せてもらいたい。政府・与党と維新の会が歩み寄れる課題は少なくないはずだ。

In the lower house, Ishin no Kai has 54 seats and is the second largest opposition party. But, the difference between it and the main opposition DPJ is only two seats. Movements by Ishin no Kai certainly will have some effect on the behavior of the ruling parties and the other opposition parties in the Diet.
 維新の会は、衆院では54議席で野党第2党だが、民主党との差はわずか2議席しかない。維新の会の動向は、与野党の国会対応にも一定の影響を与えよう。

Meanwhile, another apparent aim of Abe in his meeting with Hashimoto was to drive a wedge into talks started among opposition parties on forming a coalition for the upper house election scheduled in July.
 一方、首相にとって橋下氏との会談は、7月の参院選に向けて始まった野党間の共闘論議にくさびを打ち込む狙いもある。

The DPJ is seeking election cooperation with the other opposition parties in efforts to prevent the LDP and New Komeito from winning a majority of seats in the upper house election. However, Ishin no Kai and Your Party have expressed skepticism about it because their policies are quite different from those of the DPJ, which is supported by the Japan Teachers' Union and other labor unions.
 民主党は参院選で自公両党の過半数獲得を阻止するため、他の野党との選挙協力を模索している。だが、維新とみんなの両党は、日本教職員組合(日教組)など労組に支援される民主党とは政策で違いが大きいとして否定的だ。

Meanwhile, the DPJ has finally started intraparty discussions on rebuilding the party from its crushing defeat in the last lower house election. How will it respond to the prime minister's preemptive attack on the main opposition party? The DPJ's strategy for that remains to be seen.
 民主党は再生に向けた議論をようやく開始した。首相の“先制攻撃”にどう対応するのか。その戦略はまだ見えてこない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 12, 2013)
(2013年1月12日01時32分  読売新聞)

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緊急経済対策 「強い日本」取り戻す第一歩に

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 13, 2013)
Stimulus package expected to be 1st step in restoring Japan
緊急経済対策 「強い日本」取り戻す第一歩に(1月12日付・読売社説)

The emergency stimulus package approved by the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday is the first step in "Abenomics," which aims to spur growth and pull the nation's economy out of its period of prolonged deflation. The government must boost recovery efforts by implementing the planned measures swiftly.
 成長を重視してデフレ脱却を目指す「アベノミクス」の第1弾である。迅速に実行し、日本経済の再生に弾みを付けなければならない。

The Abe administration has endorsed the urgent economic package of projects worth more than 20 trillion yen, which will be undertaken by central and local governments.
 安倍政権が、国・地方合わせた事業規模が20兆円超にのぼる緊急経済対策を決定した。

The administration will draw about 10 trillion yen from state coffers for the stimulus, which takes a three-pronged approach consisting of reconstruction and disaster management, creation of wealth through economic growth, and ensuring the happy livelihood of the public and the revitalization of regional areas. The package is intended to boost the nation's gross domestic product by 2 percent in real terms and create 600,000 jobs.
 復興・防災対策、成長による富の創出、暮らしの安心・地域活性化の3本柱に約10兆円の国費を投入する。対策は、実質国内総生産(GDP)を2%押し上げ、60万人の雇用を創出するという。

A draft supplementary budget for fiscal 2012, which will finance the economic measures, totals about 13 trillion yen, coming close to the size of the first extra budget for fiscal 2009 formulated by the Cabinet of then Prime Minister Taro Aso to counter a recession following the "Lehman shock."
 対策の裏付けとなる2012年度補正予算案の総額は約13兆円に達し、リーマン・ショック後の不況対策で麻生政権が策定した09年度第1次補正予算に迫る。

At a press conference Friday, Abe said the government would shift from a policy of redistributing wealth amid economic contraction to a favorable cycle of growth and wealth.
 首相は記者会見で「縮小均衡の再配分から、成長による富の創出へ転換を図る」と語った。

We urge the government to take quick action to pass the extra budget early and bring about a robust economy.
政府は補正予算案を早期に成立させ、「強い経済」の実現を目指すスピードが問われよう。

===

Excessive focus on public works

We highly regard the Abe administration's stance, shown in the stimulus package, to push for companies' growth through such measures as promoting investment in the private sector.
 対策が、民間投資の活性化など企業の成長力を強化する姿勢を打ち出したのは評価できる。

However, the package as a whole appears to rely on public works projects seeking to immediately buoy the economy. The state spending on public works projects that the government plans to include in the fiscal 2012 supplementary budget amounts to about 5 trillion yen, exceeding that for the year's initial budget.
 ただ、総じて、景気浮揚への即効性を重視するあまり、公共事業頼みとなった感は否めない。補正予算案に盛り込む5兆円強の公共事業費は、12年度当初予算の公共事業費を上回る規模だ。

Only a one-time effect can be expected from a stimulus package centering on public works projects. In light of this, concerns linger over the extent to which Abe's stimulus will shore up the economy and boost employment.
 公共事業主体の景気刺激策は一過性の効果しか期待できない。成長の底上げや雇用拡大にどこまで結びつくか、懸念される。

The government also needs to speed up working out a comprehensive strategy to achieve sustainable growth. It is also essential for the government and the Bank of Japan to join hands to carry out bold monetary easing.
 持続的成長につなげる総合的な戦略の策定を急ぐ必要がある。政府と日本銀行の連携による大胆な金融緩和の実現も欠かせない。

Striking a balance between driving growth and rehabilitating public finances must be a key aspect of such efforts.
 忘れてならないのは、成長と財政再建をどう両立させるかだ。

As a result of high government spending, the issuance of government bonds for fiscal 2012, including both the initial and extra budgets, is expected to be about 50 trillion yen. This figure is significantly higher than the annual cap of 44 trillion yen set under the Democratic Party of Japan-led government to maintain fiscal discipline.
 大規模な財政出動に踏み切る結果、12年度の新規国債発行額は当初予算と補正予算を合わせて約50兆円に膨らむ。民主党政権下で財政規律維持の目安としてきた年44兆円を大きく上回る。

===

Fiscal health must be improved

To raise the consumption tax rate in April 2014 as scheduled, steady economic recovery is needed. It is thus inevitable for the government to focus on stimulus efforts with aggressive spending for the time being.
 14年4月に消費税率引き上げを予定通り実施するには、着実な景気回復が必要になる。当面は積極財政で景気のテコ入れを重視するとの判断はやむを得まい。

Nevertheless, it is important to prevent lavish spending and reduce expenditures, given that the nation' fiscal health is the worst among major industrial countries. Questions have also been raised over the Abe administration's apparent move to revive public works projects that were cut drastically by the DPJ-led government.
 そうであっても、先進国で最悪の財政事情を考えれば、ばらまき型予算を排除し、歳出を絞り込むことが重要だ。民主党政権で大幅カットされた公共事業の復活を目指す動きも問題である。

The Abe administration must not allow a fiscal 2013 budget to finance public works projects with low investment efficiency in the name of disaster-management measures.
 13年度予算編成では、投資効率の低い公共事業を防災名目で潜り込ませてはならない。

The government should set specific goals to improve its fiscal health and quickly work on medium- and long-term measures to achieve sound public finances.
 政府は、具体的な財政再建目標を設定し、中長期的な財政健全化への取り組みを急ぐべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 12, 2013)
(2013年1月12日01時32分  読売新聞)

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朝鮮学校―無償化で改善の回路を

--The Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 9
EDITORIAL: Pro-Pyongyang schools should be included in tuition waiver program
朝鮮学校―無償化で改善の回路を

The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided to exclude high schools affiliated with North Korea from eligibility for a program that provides free high school education.
 安倍政権が、朝鮮学校を高校無償化の対象から外す方針を決めた。

No school should be excluded from the tuition waiver program given that its principal objective is to create a society where all children are given access to high school-level education, regardless of the economic conditions of their families.
 家庭の経済力にかかわらず、安心して高校に進み、学べる社会にする。この無償化の趣旨を考えると、例外を設けるべきではない。

In explaining the government's decision, education minister Hakubun Shimomura said it is difficult to win public support for making North Korean high schools eligible for the program. Shimomura cited two main reasons: the influence of the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon) on the curricula at these schools and the lack of progress in Japan’s talks with North Korea over the issue of Pyongyang’s past abductions of Japanese citizens.
 教育内容に朝鮮総連の影響が及んでいること、拉致問題の進展がないことなどから、現時点では国民の理解が得られない。下村博文文部科学相はそう説明している。

Indeed, there is a strong distrust of North Korea among Japanese not only because of the abduction issue, but also because of Pyongyang’s effective test launch of a ballistic missile in December, the latest of the isolated country’s provocative acts related to its arms programs.
 たしかに拉致に加え、事実上のミサイル発射実験などから北朝鮮への国民の不信は強い。

The education policies and programs at North Korean schools have also aroused public suspicions. It is unacceptable if these schools are trying to educate students, in classrooms hung with portraits of North Korean leaders, to be supporters of the dictatorship in Pyongyang.
 朝鮮学校も教育のあり方が疑念を招いてきた。北朝鮮指導者の肖像画を教室に掲げ、独裁体制を肯定するような授業をしているとすれば受け入れがたい。

But the tuition waiver program is designed to benefit individual students, not schools. Many of the students at North Korean high schools in Japan go on to Japanese universities upon graduation. They are children who will grow up to become legitimate members of Japanese society.
 ただ、制度の対象は生徒個人であって、学校ではない。卒業後は日本の大学に進学する生徒も多い。日本社会の一員となる子どもたちだ。

The government should keep trying to make sure that these students will learn about the basic values of Japanese and international society while at the same time guaranteeing that they will be given access to education.
 生徒たちの学びを保障し、かつ日本や国際社会の価値観をきちんと学んでもらう。両立の手立てを探りつづけるべきだ。

The education ministry has been saying that it will draw up a list of "points to note" that these schools will be required to keep in mind if they are made eligible for the tuition waiver program. The ministry has promised to urge them to make voluntary efforts to improve their curricula, such as adding Japanese textbooks on politics and economy to their teaching materials.
 これまで文科省は、無償化を認める場合には「留意事項」をつけ、日本の政治・経済の教科書を教材の一つとするなどの自主的改善を促すとしてきた。

It will be more beneficial for society if the ministry opts to exhort these schools to take such steps to improve their education while making them entitled to the tuition waiver.
 無償化の対象にして回路を保ちつつ、こうした改善を働きかける。その方が、社会全体にとって有益ではないか。

In 2011, when Kanagawa Prefecture provided prefectural subsidies to North Korean schools within its boundaries, it also raised questions about some elements of what and how students learn at these schools, such as textbook descriptions of the abduction issue and the 1987 bombing of a Korean Air jetliner by North Korean agents.
 神奈川県は一昨年、県内の朝鮮学校に県として補助金を出すにあたり、拉致や大韓航空機の爆破事件をめぐる教科書の記述などの疑問点を指摘した。

As a result, the descriptions in question have been revised partially, if not sufficiently.
 その結果、十分でないにせよ記述は一部改訂された。

Additionally, a documentary film about the abduction of Megumi Yokota, who has become a symbol of the tragedies, has been shown in classes to teach students about the abduction issue.
横田めぐみさんを題材にしたドキュメンタリー映画を使い、拉致問題を教える授業も行われた。

These improvements have been made because the prefectural government has maintained a channel to seek positive action from these schools.
働きかけの回路をもつことで一歩前に進んだといえる。

The proposed procedure for excluding North Korean schools from the tuition waiver program is also questionable.
 朝鮮学校を対象から外す手続きにも疑問がある。

Foreign schools are able to apply to the program according to rules laid down by an education ministry ordinance. The government now plans to delete only the provision in the ordinance that makes pro-Pyongyang schools eligible to be screened for the program.
 外国人学校への無償化適用は文科省令に定められている。そこから、朝鮮学校を審査対象とする根拠の条項だけを削除するというものだ。

These schools applied for the program according to the provision more than two years ago.
 この条項に基づいて、朝鮮学校からは2年以上も前に申請が出ている。

The government has been postponing the screening of the applications and is now planning to abolish the provision itself to reject the applications without screening. This is an unfair and unreasonable way to deal with the matter.
ところが、その審査をずっと先送りした末に、条項そのものをなくして審査を打ち切る。これはおかしい。

Even if it considers changing the rules, the ministry should first complete the screening of the applications submitted by these schools and announce the results.
 ルールの変更を検討するにしても、まず審査の結論を示すのが先だろう。

A government that is demanding education in line with the values of a democratic society should not make any move that arouses doubts about the fairness of its procedures.
 民主主義社会の価値観に合う教育を求める側が、手続きの公正さに疑問をもたれることがあってはなるまい。

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2013年1月12日 (土)

大阪体罰自殺 教師による犯罪ではないのか

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 12, 2013)
Physical punishment of students must never be allowed in schools
大阪体罰自殺 教師による犯罪ではないのか(1月11日付・読売社説)

A place of education has been desecrated by an incident that should never have occurred.
 教育現場であってはならない事態が起きた。

A second-year student of an Osaka municipal high school committed suicide a day after he was given corporal punishment by a male teacher who is the head coach of the school's basketball club, to which the student belonged.
 大阪市の市立高校2年の男子生徒が、所属するバスケットボール部顧問の男性教師から体罰を受け、その翌日に自殺した。

A letter he left for the teacher says, "[The teacher's] physical punishments are too painful." The Osaka City Board of Education currently sees the corporal punishments as the main factor behind the boy's suicide. The police have started an investigation into the matter. The truth must be thoroughly uncovered.
 生徒が残した教師あての手紙には「体罰がつらい」という内容の記述があった。大阪市教育委員会は、体罰が自殺の主な要因とみている。警察も捜査を始めた。事実関係の徹底解明が求められる。

According to the city's board of education, the teacher had punished the boy by slapping him in the face when he made mistakes in basketball games. On the day before his suicide, the boy reportedly told his mother: "I was slapped 30 to 40 times."
 市教委によると、教師はこれまで、試合で生徒がミスをすると、頬を平手でたたく体罰を加えた。自殺した前日にも、生徒は母親に「30~40発ぐらいたたかれた」と話していたという。

===

Inexcusable violent acts

The teacher explained himself to the education board by saying, for example, that he was trying to "motivate" the boy. However, such clearly violent acts go beyond coaching students, and should not be allowed for any reason.
 教師は市教委に「発奮させようと思った」などと説明している。しかし、指導の一線を越えた許されぬ暴力行為というほかない。

The School Education Law clearly prohibits physical punishment. Instruction through violence cannot foster a normal sense of ethics in children. To the contrary, it may implant fearful emotions or a rebellious spirit in children's minds.
 学校教育法は体罰を明確に禁じている。暴力による指導では、子供たちの正常な倫理観を養うことができず、かえって恐怖心や反抗心を植え付けかねないからだ。

After the student's suicide, the high school took a survey of 50 members of the basketball club, to which 21 students replied they were also given physical punishments. This fact raises the suspicion that the teacher had regularly given corporal punishments. The supervisory responsibility of the school's principal and other teachers superior to the teacher involved must also be strictly questioned.
 生徒の自殺後、学校が部員50人に行ったアンケートでは、「自分も体罰を受けた」と回答した部員が21人もいた。体罰が常態化していた疑いが強い。校長らの管理責任も厳しく問われよう。

Information on physical punishment by this teacher was given to the Osaka municipal government two years ago. Despite this, the school only interviewed the teacher and did not ask students in the club about the punishments. The school concluded there was no corporal punishment. The city's board of education accepted a report by the school at face value.
 この教師については、一昨年にも体罰情報が市に寄せられていた。それにもかかわらず、学校側は教師から事情を聞いただけで、部員からの聞き取りをせず、「体罰はなかった」と結論づけた。市教委も報告をうのみにした。

These responses were quite sloppy. If a more in-depth investigation had been conducted at that time, the recent tragedy could have been avoided. It was quite natural for Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto to have remarked, "This is the worst catastrophe for a place of education."
 極めてずさんな対応である。この時、踏み込んだ調査をしていれば、今回の悲劇を防ぐことができた可能性もある。大阪市の橋下徹市長が「教育現場の最悪の大失態だ」と指摘したのは当然だ。

===

Not the 1st case

At the same municipal high school, nationally known for its powerful sports teams, a case of physical punishment by another male teacher, a volleyball club coach, was revealed previously. The teacher was disciplined with a three-month suspension from work.
 スポーツの強豪として知られるこの市立高校では以前にも、男子バレーボール部顧問の男性教師による体罰が発覚した。教師は停職3か月の懲戒処分を受けた。

There might have been a tendency at the school to allow physical punishments in the name of winning-is-the-only-thing coaching.
 行き過ぎた勝利至上主義によって、指導の名の下に体罰を容認する風潮があったのではないか。

Every year about 400 teachers and other education-related personnel at public primary, middle and high schools are disciplined nationwide for giving physical punishments. The number has shown no tendency to decline.
 体罰を理由に処分された教職員数は、全国で毎年400人前後に上る。減少傾向は見られない。

The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry must once again thoroughly instruct schools to enforce the prohibition on physical punishments.
 文部科学省は体罰の禁止を改めて徹底すべきだ。

At schools, cases of students using violence against teachers are a timeless problem. There are surely occasions when teachers must be stern in their dealings with students.
 教育現場では生徒が教師に暴力を振るう事例も後を絶たない。教師が毅然(きぜん)とした態度で指導しなければならない場面もあろう。

Yet teachers must recognize afresh that corporal punishments, which inflict physical pain on students, should never be allowed under any circumstances.
 ただ、肉体的苦痛を与える体罰は、いかなるケースでも認められないことを、教師は再認識する必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 11, 2013)
(2013年1月11日01時20分  読売新聞)

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安保政策見直し 「動的防衛力」構想は推進せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 12, 2013)
Abe Cabinet must promote 'dynamic defense' concept
安保政策見直し 「動的防衛力」構想は推進せよ(1月11日付・読売社説)

Improving and expanding the Self-Defense Forces' equipment and structure is an urgent task, but it should be remembered that this must be done based on the principle of "choice and concentration," which calls for choosing a field of priority and concentrating on it.
 自衛隊の装備と体制の拡充は急務だが、重点分野を決めて、「選択と集中」を徹底することを怠ってはなるまい。

The Abe Cabinet has set forth a policy of reexamining the National Defense Program Guidelines and the five-year defense buildup program for fiscal 2011 to 2015, which were formulated by the government under the Democratic Party of Japan. The Abe administration aims to work out new defense guidelines and a midterm defense program by the end of this year.
 安倍内閣が、民主党政権下で策定した「防衛計画の大綱」と中期防衛力整備計画(2011~15年度)を見直す方針を打ち出した。新しい大綱と中期防の年末の決定を目指す。

In view of repeated intrusions into Japanese territorial waters and airspace by Chinese government-operated ships and aircraft, the Abe administration will try to bolster Japan's defense capabilities.
 沖縄・尖閣諸島周辺での中国の政府船や航空機による相次ぐ領海・領空侵犯などを踏まえ、領土を守る体制の強化を図るものだ。

Security conditions surrounding Japan have become increasingly tense, as China has been rapidly strengthening and modernizing its military and expanding its maritime activities while North Korea has been promoting nuclear development programs and fired a ballistic missile last month.
 中国の急速な軍備増強・近代化や海洋進出、北朝鮮の核開発・ミサイル発射など、日本の安全保障環境は厳しさを増している。

In addition to China and North Korea, the United States and Japan's neighboring nations such as South Korea and Russia have been increasing their defense spending. Japan's defense budget, on the other hand, declined for 10 consecutive years. It is laudable that the Abe administration is trying to reverse the trend. It is urgent to correct the present situation, in which Japan cannot afford to repair the ships and aircraft it needs for its defense.
 中朝に加え、米国、韓国、ロシアなど周辺国が国防費を伸ばす中、日本だけが10年連続で防衛費を漫然と減らしてきた状況の転換を図ろうとすることは評価できる。艦船や航空機の修理もままならない現状は、早急に改善すべきだ。

===

Boost surveillance capability

It is crucial to bolster the defense system in southwestern Japan, including the Senkaku Islands. The surveillance activities of the Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Air Self-Defense Force must be upgraded both qualitatively and quantitatively. The number of SDF ships and aircraft has been reduced considerably since the end of the Cold War. It is essential to halt and reverse this trend.
 重要なのは、尖閣諸島を含む南西方面の防衛体制を強化することだ。海上・航空自衛隊の警戒監視活動を質・量とも充実させねばならない。冷戦終結後の艦船や航空機の大幅な数量削減に歯止めをかけ、反転させることが重要だ。

In addition to the U.S. high-altitude unmanned surveillance aircraft Global Hawk, which has superior intelligence-gathering capabilities, we suggest that the government consider acquiring the new U.S. transport aircraft Osprey, some of which were deployed last year by the U.S. military in Okinawa Prefecture.
 優れた情報収集能力を持つ高高度無人偵察機グローバルホークに加え、在沖縄米軍が昨年配備した新型輸送機オスプレイの導入も、前向きに検討してはどうか。

The Osprey's high transport capacity and extensive operational capabilities are said to be well suited to the defense of remote islands, such as the Nansei Islands.
 オスプレイの高い輸送力や機動力は、南西諸島などの離島防衛に大きな威力を発揮しよう。

It will be vital to strengthen ties between the SDF and the U.S. military by reviewing the Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation Guidelines as well as to establish a Japanese version of the National Security Council that will serve as the control tower of diplomacy and security policy. These are top-priority challenges.
 日米防衛協力指針(ガイドライン)見直しを通じた自衛隊と米軍の連携強化や、外交・安保の司令塔となる国家安全保障会議(日本版NSC)創設も優先課題だ。

===

Setting spending priorities

Given the nation's dire fiscal straits, however, the defense budget cannot be allowed to grow limitlessly. While setting priority orders for spending, it will be required to steadily carry out such measures as cutting the number of Ground Self-Defense Force personnel, abolishing and consolidating SDF facilities and enhancing efficiency in equipment procurement.
 一方で、厳しい財政事情を考えれば、防衛予算を野放図に伸ばすことはできない。優先順位を定めて、陸上自衛隊の定数削減、施設の統廃合、装備調達の効率化などは着実に進める必要がある。

The government and the Liberal Democratic Party are reviewing the concept of the "dynamic defense capability" that is the core of the current National Defense Program Guidelines. This review must be called into question.
 政府・自民党が、現大綱の柱である「動的防衛力」構想の見直しを検討しているのは、疑問だ。

The dynamic defense capability represents a concept of national security that attaches importance to capabilities to deal with various situations and the display of deterrent power by engaging defense force units in such activities as warning and surveillance operations and training. Designed to replace the previous concept of "fundamental defense" that regards the possession of equipment and the existence of defense personnel as a deterrent, the concept of dynamic defense capability sets the right direction.
 動的防衛力は、多様な事態への対処能力を重視し、警戒監視や訓練など、部隊の運用を通じて抑止力を利かせる概念である。装備の保有や部隊の存在を抑止力とする「基盤的防衛力」構想に代わるもので、その方向性は正しい。

Highly appreciating the dynamic defense concept, the United States has been proceeding with "dynamic defense cooperation" with Japan by conducting joint warning and surveillance operations and training.
 米国も高く評価し、共同の警戒監視活動、訓練など日本との「動的防衛協力」を進めている。

If the Abe Cabinet considers a review of the dynamic defense concept just because it was a brainchild of the DPJ-led administration, it would be an instance of facile thinking.
 民主党政権の構想だから取りあえず見直そう、という発想なら、安易に過ぎよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 11, 2013)
(2013年1月11日01時20分  読売新聞)

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大型補正予算―昔の自民のままですか

--The Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 11
EDITORIAL: LDP remains unchanged in its return to power
大型補正予算―昔の自民のままですか

We cannot help thinking that the Liberal Democratic Party has not changed.
 自民党は変わっていない。そう思わざるをえない。

The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided the outline of a supplementary budget for fiscal 2012, which ends in March 2013.
 安倍政権が、今年度の補正予算の概要を固めた。

The total government expenditure in the budget is slightly more than 13 trillion yen ($146 billion), which is close to the record high of 14.7 trillion yen set by the supplementary budget compiled in spring 2009 by the administration of then-Prime Minister Taro Aso.
 国の支出総額は13兆円強と、09年春に麻生政権がまとめた過去最大の補正予算に迫る。

Excluding planned government expenditures for the basic pension programs from the 13 trillion yen, the remaining 10 trillion yen will be used for "emergency economic measures." Of that amount, half will be spent on public works projects. The funds for those public works will be covered with the issuance of government bonds. As a result, the total amount of government bonds issued in fiscal 2012, including that of the initial budget for that year, is expected to come close to 50 trillion yen.
 基礎年金の国庫負担分を除いた10兆円余の「緊急経済対策」のうち、公共事業が半分を占める。財源は国債の発行だ。当初予算と合わせた今年度の国債発行額は、50兆円に近づく見通しだ。

At present, the government’s total debts stand at around 1,000 trillion yen. In such a situation, the Abe administration is emphasizing that its fiscal policies will first realize economic growth to increase tax revenues. “We will deal with the (serious fiscal) situation flexibly in the short term and with discipline in the mid- to long term,” he says.
 国の借金残高が1千兆円に達するなか、安倍政権は財政運営について、「まず経済成長を実現し、税収を増やす」「短期は柔軟に、中・長期は規律をもって」と強調する。

We are not going to deny such thinking completely. However, we get the impression that the Liberal Democratic Party is going on a spending spree out of elation that it was able to take back the reins of the government.
 そうした考えを頭から否定するつもりはない。しかし、政権復帰に浮かれたかのような大盤振る舞いがすぎないか。

Under names such as “reconstruction and disaster prevention” and “establishment of safe living conditions and revitalization of local communities,” the amount of public works projects in the supplementary budget was increased to a level comparable to that of an annual budget. Since there is no way the entire amount can be spent within fiscal 2012, the budget is virtually reserved for fiscal 2013 and beyond.
 公共事業は「復興・防災」や「暮らしの安心・地域活性化」を名目に、年間予算に匹敵する額に積み上げられた。今年度中に使い切れるはずはなく、先々への予約の様相だ。

In the area of defense, the cost for purchasing missiles from abroad is positioned as part of the economic measures on grounds that Japanese companies are involved in their production process.
 防衛分野でも、生産に日本企業がかかわるとして、ミサイル購入費などが経済対策に位置づけられるという。

Those “unreasonable” expenditures were approved because the LDP had first decided that the amount for the economic measures should be as large as 10 trillion yen.
 「まず金額ありき」で、与党が早々に「10兆円規模」を打ち出したことの弊害である。

The decision reminds us of the supplementary budgets compiled in the autumn of 2011 in response to the Great East Japan Earthquake and in the spring of 2009 to stimulate the economy.
 思い出すのは、東日本大震災を受けた11年秋、そして09年春の補正予算だ。

The LDP and New Komeito, both of which were opposition parties at the time, had much to do with the compilation of the post-quake supplementary budget. But far-fetched “piggyback” expenditures not directly related to the recovery of stricken areas became prevalent.
 震災復興の補正には、野党だった自民、公明両党も深くかかわったが、被災地再建とは直接関係のない便乗・こじつけ型の支出が横行した。

The supplementary budget of spring 2009, decided under the Aso administration in response to a sudden economic slowdown caused by the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers in September 2008, also put priority on the total budget amount. In fact, it was so lavish that it eventually led the Board of Audit to point out various wasteful expenditures.
 麻生政権の09年春の補正も、リーマン・ショックによる急激な経済の落ち込みを受け、規模が優先された。その後、会計検査院からさまざまな無駄が指摘される始末だった。

In the Dec. 16 Lower House election, the LDP advocated “the strengthening of the national land” as a mainstay of its election pledges. Now, the LDP headquarters is busy dealing with officials of industry associations who are flocking there with petitions. Is this large-scale supplementary budget a gift of gratitude to them for supporting the LDP in the Lower House election and also a means to obtain their support in the Upper House election slated for summer 2013?
 先の衆院選で自民党は「国土強靱(きょうじん)化」を公約の柱に掲げた。いま、党本部は陳情に訪れる業界団体の関係者らで大にぎわいだ。大型の補正予算は、衆院選での支持のお礼と夏の参院選に向けた期待料なのか。

The big supplementary budget was also compiled to boost the economy in the first half of fiscal 2013 as economic growth in that period is believed to be necessary to make the final decision in the autumn of this year on the consumption tax hike scheduled for spring 2014.
 大型補正には、13年度前半の景気を押し上げる思惑もある。来春の消費増税の実施をこの秋に最終判断する際、その数値がカギを握るからだ。

If even the Finance Ministry--which is supposed to play a leading role in reducing the government's debts--is falling into step with plans to increase spending in order to be able to raise the consumption tax, the situation is truly deplorable.
 財政再建の旗振り役であるべき財務省までが増税実現のための歳出増で歩調を合わせたのなら何をかいわんや、である。

In the beginning of this year, an income tax increase started for the advancement of post-quake reconstruction activities. Going forward, consumers will be required to shoulder heavier financial burdens one after another, including a consumption tax hike.
 年明けから所得税で震災復興増税が始まった。今後も消費増税など負担増は目白押しだ。

In such a situation, taxpayers are sure to raise objections if the government keeps compiling such generous budgets.
 こんな予算編成を続けていては、納税者が黙っていまい。

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2013年1月11日 (金)

もしもこうなら、そこはタイランド(11種類のもしも)

今年でタイ在住14年目です。あっという間ですね^^。
タイ人は個人の自由(わがまま)をとても大切にする国です。
バンコクはおろか全国各地で交通法規はあって無きごときなのです。
もしも交差点におまわりさんがいないと道路はたちまち大渋滞です。
自動車、バイク、歩行者がそれぞれ我が道を行く、勝手気ままに行動する傾向があるからです。
もちろんそうでなくって交通法規を守る律儀なタイ人だっていることはいるのですが^^。

この論説を読んで何度もうなずきました。
こういう状況、出来事、動き方、傾向等々を経験するならば、そこはタイであるという論説です。
11項目の、もしもは、タイを一度でも旅行したことがある人であれば素直に納得できるのではないでしょうか。
こんな欠点だらけのタイが、実は世界一住み心地が良い国なのですね^^。納得させられました。
文章は英語日常会話の文体なので、最初はひっかかりましたが^^。

You may be in Thailand if...
もしもこうなら、そこはタイランド(11種類のもしも)

Published: 28/12/2012 at 12:00 AM
Newspaper section: News 

This week, Bangkok Post's guest columnist Songkran Grachangnetara wrote about "11 simple ways to tell if you're really Thai", his follow-up piece to "How to Tell Whether You're a Farang".

His articles prompted me to share my own take on a similar subject: how to know if you are in Thailand.

You know you're in Thailand when a cabinet minister is so confident in the security of his cabinet post that he'll tell you to your face that he is "a liar" and will lose no sleep over it.

You know you're in Thailand when the colours you wear are of utmost importance. Don't be caught wearing the wrong colour at a certain gathering, or you could risk offending others.

You know you're in Thailand if you are driving and encounter this warning sign: "Drive carefully. You have entered an area where traffic law is strictly enforced." What does that say then about other areas?

You know you're in Thailand when you see pedestrians crossing the road beneath a flyover even though motorists feel no need to halt for you at zebra-crossings. A good, kind-hearted motorist who does stop suffers impatient honks from trailing motorists who can't be bothered to wait a moment. And take note, this happens in the areas of "strict enforcement of traffic rules".

Only in Thailand are pedestrians forced to walk on the roads with the motorists because the pavements are jammed full of vendors with their goods.

You know you're in Thailand when you encounter a traffic-rule violator - say, one who parks in a non-parking zone - but when you notify a nearby police officer he plainly tells you, "Sorry. Not my jurisdiction".

Only in Thailand do bandits, when hunting for victims, disguise themselves as police officers.

You know you're in Thailand when road signs leading you to your destination suddenly disappear when you're only halfway there.

You know you're in Thailand when road works suddenly appear in front of you without any prior warnings whatsoever. And by that time, you are frustratingly trapped in traffic amid hundreds of other motorists scrambling for limited road surface. The same problem exists for utility work sites like water and electricity. Would it hurt to put up a sign?

You know you're in Thailand when all the motorists around speed up to outrun an approaching train even though the warning lights at the cross-junction are blinking.

You know you're in Thailand if a movie star's car is stolen but is found by police shortly thereafter. Good luck to anyone else who hopes to get a stolen car back.

Only in Thailand do restaurant and food shop operators post notices claiming their food is "safe and hygienic" and will not harm you.

Trust me, the signs don't prove anything.

I am sure few, if any, food shop owners, know what san (substances) they are protecting you from. But what choice do you have?

The signs show that no one really cares about taste and authenticity - the main selling point restaurants across the world use to attract would-be patrons.

You know you're in Thailand if a taxi driver refuses to take you somewhere because it's either "too near" or "too far".

You know you're in Thailand if a temple near your house promotes its activities by turning its speakers up to the highest volume at six in the morning. The same goes for vendors on pickup trucks who also feel free to blast their speakers, ruining your peace on the weekend.

You know you're in Thailand if your neighbours do not think it is necessary to respect your rights by keeping quiet at night, or see no problem in letting their pet dogs use your front gate as a toilet.

You know you're in Thailand when you are not allowed to buy a bottle of beer or wine for the sole reason that its either between 2-5pm or after midnight. Yet, it's perfectly acceptable to buy a dozen bottles or more during that restricted time. But since this is Thailand, and despite all these things, it's still the best place to live in the world.

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iPS研究 再生医療実用化へ支援充実を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 11, 2013)
Provide more govt support for practical use of iPS cells
iPS研究 再生医療実用化へ支援充実を(1月10日付・読売社説)

The ultimate goal of medicine is to completely heal disease and injuries. Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, which can be grown into different body cells, could become a pivotal technology that helps achieve this goal.
 医学の究極目標は、病気やケガを根本から治療することである。
 その要の技術となり得るのが、様々な細胞に変化できるiPS細胞(人工多能性幹細胞)だ。

The functions of organs needing treatment could be restored if iPS cells made from the patient's skin cells are grown into those of the organs and then implanted in the patient's own body. Patients would have no risk of rejecting the organ because the injected cells are from their body. We hope such treatment--which once seemed like the stuff of dreams--will be put into practical use.
 患者の皮膚細胞から作り出したiPS細胞を治療対象の臓器の細胞に育てて移植すれば、臓器の機能は再生できる。元は患者の細胞なので拒絶反応はない。夢のような治療の実現を期待したい。

Kyoto University Prof. Shinya Yamanaka, the creator of iPS cells, won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine last year. Japan is among the leading nations in the basic research of regenerative medicine.
 iPS細胞を生み出した京都大学の山中伸弥教授が昨年、ノーベル生理学・医学賞を受賞した。日本は、再生医療の基礎研究で世界の先頭集団にいる。

The government's recent announcement that it will help beef up iPS research must be music to the ears of many patients. The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry has revised its road map on iPS cell research and development, moving up the previous schedule and now aiming to establish treatment methods for patients with nerve damage within five years, among other targets.
 政府がiPS細胞の研究を加速する方針を打ち出したことは、多くの患者に朗報だろう。
 文部科学省は、研究開発のロードマップを改定した。従来の計画を前倒しして、神経損傷患者の治療を5年以内に実現するなどの目標を掲げた。

===

Fierce competition

A supplementary budget for the current fiscal year ending in March, which the government will endorse next week, is expected to feature measures for improving research facilities and supporting studies by universities and companies. The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry has reportedly been examining how it can help develop related industries.
 政府が来週決める今年度補正予算案にも、研究施設の整備や、企業や大学への支援策を盛り込む方針だ。経済産業省は、関連産業の育成策などを検討中という。

International competition to put iPS technology into practical use is fierce. The United States, which regards iPS cells as a priority field in bioscience research, allocates a huge budget for research and development in this area. In European nations, the business and academic sectors have been rapidly accelerating their joint projects. Japan must not be left behind in this race. It should revitalize its medical industry by putting innovative medical technology into practical use.
 実用化を目指す国際競争は激烈だ。米国は、iPS細胞を生命科学研究の重点に位置づけ、巨額の研究開発予算を投じている。欧州でも、産学による研究開発が急速に拡大している。
 日本も遅れてはならない。革新的な医療技術の実用化により、医療産業の活性化につなげることが求められる。

Massive investments are needed for research and development of medical science and treatments. It is vital for the government to provide continuing support to these fields as researchers inevitably go through failures before achieving success and putting their studies to practical use. A framework also should be established promptly to encourage companies and universities to take on bold challenges in these fields.
 医学、医療の研究開発には巨額の投資が必要だ。実用化までには試行錯誤は避けられず、政府の継続的な支援が欠かせない。
 企業や大学が果敢に挑めるような体制の構築も急ぎたい。

===

Cancer fears

Some observers have voiced fears about the safety of iPS cells, saying they might turn cancerous when used for treatment. However, there are signs this concern could be resolved, as Yamanaka and other researchers have developed technology to eliminate factors that could turn iPS cells cancerous.
 iPS細胞については、実際に治療に使うと、がん化する恐れがあるとして、安全面での課題を指摘する声もある。この点については、がん化する要因をなくす技術を山中教授らが開発し、解決への道筋は見えてきた。

The Riken national research institute will start clinical research on retinal treatment using iPS cells by the end of this year, which will be the nation's first clinical application involving such cells. Kyoto University, meanwhile, plans to create a bank to stock frozen iPS cells made from cells from a number of people. We hope these institutions will speed up their research.
 理化学研究所は年内にも、iPS細胞による網膜治療の臨床研究に乗り出す。国内の臨床応用は初めてだ。京大は、多数の人のiPS細胞を作って凍結保存する「ストック計画」も予定している。研究を加速してもらいたい。

The biggest issue is surely how clinical research--which is conducted to ensure a treatment under development is safe and effective--can be streamlined. Japan's clinical research system has been criticized for taking far longer to approve research results than those of other countries.
 最大の問題は、安全性、有効性を確かめる臨床試験をどう効率化するかだろう。日本の臨床試験は海外に比べ、承認に年月がかかると批判されている。

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry should knuckle down to the task of improving the clinical research system.
 厚生労働省は、臨床試験制度の改善に本腰を入れるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 10, 2013)
(2013年1月10日01時21分  読売新聞)

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諮問会議復活 政府と日銀の協調深める場に

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 11, 2013)
Govt, BOJ should work together on reactivated panel
諮問会議復活 政府と日銀の協調深める場に(1月10日付・読売社説)

To conquer deflation and rejuvenate Japan's economy, the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe must make full use of a government panel it recently reactivated as a "control tower" for economic policies. Producing steady results is essential.
 日本経済の再生や、デフレ脱却に向け、経済政策の司令塔を十分に機能させ、着実な成果を上げねばならない。

The Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy resumed operations Wednesday after being dormant for about 3-1/2 years. The panel is chaired by Abe, and its members include key Cabinet ministers such as Akira Amari, state minister for economic and fiscal policy, and Bank of Japan Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa. Four members were appointed from the private sector, including Toshiba Corp. President Norio Sasaki.
 政府の経済財政諮問会議が3年半ぶりに再開した。安倍首相が議長を務め、甘利経済財政相ら主要閣僚と白川日銀総裁がメンバーだ。民間から佐々木則夫東芝社長ら4人も加わった。

Administrations led by the Democratic Party of Japan had virtually suspended the panel, and instead the party established the Council on National Strategy and Policy. However, as the administrations' economic and financial policies vacillated, this council failed to produce sufficient results.
 民主党政権は諮問会議を休眠状態とする代わりに、国家戦略会議を新設したが、政策が迷走し、十分な成果を得られなかった。

We believe the Abe administration was right to reactivate the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy to rebuild the economic and financial policymaking mechanism, which will be implemented with help from the private sector.
 安倍政権が諮問会議を復活させ民間の知恵も生かして政策決定プロセスを立て直すのは妥当だ。

===

Following Koizumi's footsteps

During the administration of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, the panel was used to promote economic and fiscal policies under the initiative of the Prime Minister's Office. Like Koizumi, Abe probably aims to rebuild a strong economy by giving the panel the role of a "control tower" on economic policy.
 かつて小泉政権時代、諮問会議は官邸主導で政策を進めるエンジンとして活用された。安倍政権も諮問会議を司令塔とし、「強い経済」を取り戻す狙いがあろう。

Panel members will discuss macroeconomic policies, such as fiscal management. The panel's first task will be to draw up basic policies for economic and fiscal management and structural reform by around June, which will set the Abe administration's basic course on such issues for the medium and long term.
 諮問会議は、財政運営などのマクロ政策を議論する役割を担う。まず、中長期的な経済財政運営の基本方針となる「骨太の方針」を6月をメドに策定する。

To boost the flagging economy, the administration plans to implement emergency economic measures that involve massive fiscal spending. However, if the administration fails to maintain fiscal discipline at the same time, concern about a further deterioration of Japan's fiscal condition may grow.
 政府は景気てこ入れのため、緊急経済対策に大型の財政出動を盛り込む方針だが、一方で財政規律も堅持しないと、日本の財政悪化への懸念が高まりかねない。

We want the council to draw up scenarios for rebuilding the nation's finances, under the goal of attaining economic growth while restoring fiscal health.
 諮問会議は、景気と健全財政の両立を目指し、将来の財政再建シナリオを描いてもらいたい。

It is noteworthy that the panel will provide opportunities for Abe and Shirakawa to exchange their opinions periodically.
 諮問会議がとくに注目されるのは、首相と日銀総裁が定期的に議論する場にもなることだ。

Abe has been asking the central bank to implement bold monetary easing measures, such as setting an inflation target of raising consumer prices by 2 percent annually. The prime minister also asked the bank to conclude a policy accord with the government that includes achieving this target.
 首相は大胆な金融緩和を求め、消費者物価の2%上昇を達成する物価目標の設定や、政府と日銀の政策協定締結を要請してきた。

At a panel meeting Wednesday, Abe asked Shirakawa to implement monetary policies that "sufficiently reflect" such requests. "I'm eager to further deepen cooperation between the government and the central bank," Abe said. Shirakawa said the bank has "already been working enthusiastically" on monetary easing. "We will continue such efforts," the governor added.
 諮問会議で首相は、「日銀はこれを十分踏まえた金融政策を実施してほしい。政府と日銀の連携を一層深化させる」と発言した。
 白川総裁は「精力的に(金融緩和策に)取り組んできたが、これからも取り組む」と述べた。

===

All eyes on bank meeting

It seems this meeting marked the first step in efforts by the government and the central bank to deepen their cooperation to defeat persistent deflation.
 長期化しているデフレからの脱却へ、政府と日銀が協調を深める一歩となったのではないか。

Based on Wednesday's discussions, we expect the central bank to announce additional measures on monetary easing, in collaboration with the government, at the bank's Policy Board meeting to be held Jan. 21 and 22.
 日銀は今回の議論を踏まえ、21~22日に開く金融政策決定会合で政府と連携した追加策を打ち出すことが期待されよう。

According to the government, the panel will play a complementary role with the recently established Headquarters for Japan's Economic Revitalization, which will discuss microeconomic policies. The government plans to establish a council under the headquarters that will be tasked with boosting the nation's industrial competitiveness. The council will draw up industrial policies, such as a growth strategy.
 政府は諮問会議を、ミクロ政策を検討する「日本経済再生本部」とともに、経済政策を推進する両輪と位置づける。再生本部に産業競争力会議を設置し、成長戦略など産業政策を立案させる。

It will be crucial for the administration to promote smooth, steady cooperation between the headquarters and the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy and break the shackles of sectionalism in government ministries. Abe and Amari should exercise strong leadership to quickly implement practical and effective economic policies.
 両輪をうまく連携させ、各府省の縦割り行政の弊害を打破することが肝要だ。首相と経済財政相が主導し、実効性の高い政策を速やかに実施すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 10, 2013)
(2013年1月10日01時21分  読売新聞)

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中国の検閲―言論の自由とめられぬ

--The Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 10
EDITORIAL: China cannot keep suppressing calls for freedom of speech
中国の検閲―言論の自由とめられぬ

In China, where the Communist Party maintains an outright monopoly of power, a newspaper’s recent fight with the authorities over censorship has set off a growing chorus of calls for freedom of speech.
 共産党による一党独裁が続く中国で、言論の自由を求める声が強まっている。

The greatest of tributes should be made to the journalistic integrity of the paper’s editors and reporters who have voiced protests despite the threat of punishment, and to the courage of citizens who have expressed their support for the journalists. The Chinese government’s attempt to crack down on the protest deserves to be strongly criticized. Beijing should realize that it cannot silence voices for freedom through oppression.
 処罰を恐れずに声を上げた記者たちの志や、市民の勇気に心から敬意を表したい。他方、それを抑えこもうとする中国当局の振る舞いは、強い非難に値する。自由を求める声は弾圧で消せるものではないことを、知るべきである。

The censorship dispute broke out after an article in a New Year's special edition of the Southern Weekly, a newspaper based in Guangdong province, was rewritten in response to an order by the local propaganda authorities without the knowledge of many reporters on the paper.
 発端は、広東省を拠点とする週刊新聞「南方週末」の新年特集号に掲載された記事が、多くの記者が知らぬうちに当局の指示で書き換えられたことだ。

Angry reporters published the original article on the Internet and criticized the authorities. A wave of support for the newspaper’s editorial staff arose and spread across the country.
 怒った記者らが、もとの文章をインターネットで公開し、当局を批判した。賛同の声がうねりのように広がった。

Expressions of support have not been limited to posts on the Internet. A large number of citizens gathered in front of the headquarters of the newspaper to protest the propaganda authorities' action in a rare display of public anger in a country where demonstrations are strictly controlled.
 支援はネット上にとどまらなかった。大勢の市民がこの新聞の本社前に集まり、当局に抗議した。デモが厳しく管理されている国で異例だ。

Other media have also expressed their solidarity with the protesters. At the Beijing News, journalists resisted an order from the propaganda authorities to print an editorial carried in a different paper.
 他のメディアにも、連帯する動きが出た。北京の「新京報」は、宣伝部の意向に沿った別の新聞の社説を転載することに、記者たちが抵抗した。

In China, news media are seen as the mouthpiece of the party and the government. The authority’s intervention in editorial content has long been the norm. Even so, the latest move by the propaganda authorities to rewrite the Guangdong paper’s content apparently went beyond the limit of journalistic tolerance.
 中国では、メディアは党や政府の代弁者と位置づけられている。当局による報道内容への介入は普段から行われてきた。それでも、今回の書き換えは記者たちの我慢の限度を超えたのだろう。

The Communist Party’s Propaganda Department has started taking steps to tighten its grip on the media, claiming that hostile foreign forces are involved in the campaign for media independence. There have been reports that activists supporting the Southern Weekly have been detained on suspicion of “incitement to subvert state power.”
 共産党中央の宣伝部は「海外の敵対勢力が介入している」として、引き締めを始めた。南方週末を支援した活動家が「国家政権転覆扇動罪」の疑いで拘束されたとの情報もある。

The gap between rich and poor has been widening rapidly in the country’s economic development, creating a growing sense of inequality among citizens. The Communist Party fears that its power base could be undermined unless it keeps a tight control on the press.
 経済成長のかげで貧富の格差が急速に広がり、市民の間で不公平感は大きく膨らんでいる。共産党には、報道を統制しないと政権の足元が揺らぎかねないとの不安がある。

Even if its efforts to keep a tight rein on the media prove effective in the short term, the government will not be able to suppress the growth of public demand for freedom of speech for long periods as the amount of information available to the people keeps exploding due to the development of the Internet.
 だが、短期的に引き締めの効果が出たとしても、ネットの発達で情報の量は激増し、自由な言論への欲求が強まることは押しとどめられまい。

Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping visited Guangdong province in December, immediately after taking office, and announced his intention to promote reforms and an open-door policy. Xi has also called for efforts to change the party’s culture, such as avoiding excessive wining and dining and making meetings simpler.
 習近平(シーチンピン)総書記は就任直後の12月に広東省を訪れ、改革開放に力を入れる姿勢を打ち出した。過度な接待を戒め、会議の簡素化を呼びかけるなど、党の体質を変えるよう求めてもいる。

The Southern Weekly’s original article before it was rewritten was headlined, “China’s dream, the dream of constitutional rule.”
 「中国の夢 憲政の夢」。それが、南方週末の書き換え前の記事の題だった。

The opinion piece was apparently regarded by the propaganda authorities as a criticism of the political and social reality of the country, where the law often tends to be ignored amid arbitrary rule by men in power. But Xi has stressed the importance of respecting China's Constitution.
 人治が横行し、法がおろそかにされがちな現状への批判と受け止められたようだ。だが憲法の重視も、習氏自身が強調していたことではないか。

The latest conflict is shaping up as a litmus test of whether Xi is really serious about his calls for change to secure the long-term political viability of the party or if he is only paying lip service to the cause.
 今回の事態は、党の生き残りをかけて変化を訴える習氏の言動が本物なのか、うわべだけなのかを問いかけている。

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2013年1月10日 (木)

エジプト混迷 分裂を回避して経済再建を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 10, 2013)
Morsi must unite Egypt, rehabilitate economy
エジプト混迷 分裂を回避して経済再建を(1月9日付・読売社説)

Can Egypt promote democratization under its new Constitution and end the country's economic crisis? The great Middle East power is walking a tightrope as it works to rehabilitate itself.
 新しい憲法の下で民主化が進み、経済危機の混迷から抜け出せるのか。中東の大国エジプトで、国家再建への綱渡りが続いている。

The country's new Constitution was enforced after winning the approval of 64 percent of voters in a two-stage national referendum held late last year.
 エジプトの新憲法案が昨年末、国民投票の結果、64%の賛成で承認され、施行された。

The new Constitution was established under the initiative of President Mohamed Morsi, who was a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. The democratization process--launched after the ousting of former President Hosni Mubarak in the Arab Spring movement and a brief period of military rule--has entered a new dimension.
 新憲法制定は、イスラム主義組織「ムスリム同胞団」出身のモルシ大統領が主導した。「アラブの春」によるムバラク前大統領の退陣後、軍政を経て進められてきた民主化プロセスは、新たな次元に入ったといえよう。

Regrettably, however, the voter turnout in the referendum stood at a low 33 percent. So it cannot be said that the new Constitution was supported by a wide range of people.
 ただ、投票率は33%にとどまった。幅広い国民から積極的に支持されたとは言えない。

The new Constitution limits the president to no more than two terms of four years each to forestall autocratic rule. There were no restrictions under the old constitution.
 新憲法は、大統領の任期を2期8年として、無制限だった旧憲法に比べ独裁に歯止めをかけた。

===

Secular-Islamist rift widens

Secular and liberal elements have protested vigorously against the new Constitution as it strongly emphasizes Islamic values, such as prohibiting "insults to the Prophet Mohammed." There have been deaths in clashes with Islamist forces during demonstrations.
 しかし、「預言者への侮辱」を禁ずるなどイスラム色が強まったことに、世俗・リベラル勢力が強く反発し、抗議デモでイスラム勢力と衝突して、死者も出た。

It is lamentable that the rift between Islamism and secularism has widened over the establishment of the new Constitution, which was expected to promote national integration.
 国民統合を進める効果が期待された新憲法を巡り、「イスラム主義」と「世俗主義」の亀裂が広がったのは残念だ。

Morsi must apply the Constitution carefully to prevent the confrontation from worsening. It is vitally important to smoothly hold a lower house election scheduled for the first half of this year under the new Constitution.
 大統領は、対立が深刻化しないように、慎重に憲法を運用しなくてはならない。新憲法に基づき今年前半に予定される下院選挙を、円滑に実施することが肝要だ。

Another important task for the Morsi administration is economic reconstruction.
 モルシ政権にとって、もう一つの重要な課題は、経済再建だ。

The turmoil that followed the regime change seriously damaged the country's key tourism industry and slowed foreign investment. Foreign exchange reserves dropped sharply as the external balance of payments deteriorated.
 政変による混乱で、主要産業の観光が受けた打撃は大きく、外国からの投資も低迷した。対外収支が悪化し外貨準備は激減した。

===

Fix fiscal mess

In an effort to avert a default on debts, the Morsi administration has concluded a basic agreement with the International Monetary Fund on loans totaling 4.8 billion dollars (about 420 billion yen). However, this aid has strings attached, as Egypt will receive the assistance only if it pursues fiscal reconstruction through measures such as tax increases and spending cuts.
 債務不履行を回避しようと、モルシ政権は国際通貨基金(IMF)との間で、48億ドル(約4200億円)の融資を受けることで基本合意した。ただし、政権が増税や歳出削減などで財政再建を図るのが条件である。

The problem is that the Morsi administration is reluctant to implement such measures for fear of a public backlash. The value of the country's currency has declined, given the uncertain prospects of receiving the IMF's financial assistance.
 問題は、国民の反発を恐れるモルシ政権が実行できずにいることだ。IMFが支援する見通しも不透明であるため、通貨下落など動揺が広がった。

The Egyptian government must tackle fiscal reconstruction swiftly and restore public safety quickly in an effort to bring back foreign tourists.
 政権は、迅速に財政再建に取り組み、治安回復を急いで観光客を呼び戻さねばならない。

In the medium and long term, competitiveness in the marketplace is of paramount importance. Fair competition has been impeded because military-related business groups receive preferential treatment.
 中長期的には、競争原理が働く市場作りが求められる。軍関連の企業群が優遇され、公正な競争が妨げられてきたのが実情だ。

The special privilege that allows the military to bypass parliamentary approval on the defense budget has been left intact under the new Constitution. Will the Morsi administration have the courage to ax this privilege as it works toward economic reform?
 国防予算に国会承認は不要とする軍の特権は、新憲法でも事実上、維持された。今後、経済改革に向けてモルシ政権が軍の利権にメスを入れることはあるのか。

The president's leadership in dealing with the military also will be put to the test.
 軍との関係でも、大統領の指導力が問われよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 9, 2013)
(2013年1月9日01時03分  読売新聞)

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税制改正論議 自公で軽減税率を実現せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 10, 2013)
Govt should introduce reduced consumption tax rate system
税制改正論議 自公で軽減税率を実現せよ(1月9日付・読売社説)

To achieve the economic revival trumpeted by the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, tax system reforms that bring in sufficient tax revenue and are conducive to the nation's economic growth are now needed.
 安倍政権が掲げる「経済再生」へ、税収を確保し、成長に資する税制改革が問われている。

The Liberal Democratic Party's Tax System Research Commission and New Komeito's Tax Research Council have begun full-fledged discussions on tax system revisions for fiscal 2013.
 自民、公明両党の税制調査会が、2013年度税制改正に向けて本格的な議論をスタートさせた。

Discussions on tax system revisions for the next fiscal year have been delayed by more than one month compared with regular years due to last month's House of Representatives election. The LDP and Komeito aim to draw up an outline for the revisions later this month, but little time is left.
 来年度の税制改正論議は、衆院選の影響で例年より1か月以上遅れている。自公両党は1月下旬の税制改正大綱の策定を目指すが、残された時間は少ない。

The government will make a plan approved by the ruling parties' tax panels its final tax system revision plan. It is of great significance that panel members will tap their expertise to discuss how to craft an ideal tax system, which should be fair, neutral and simple.
 政府は与党税調の決定を最終的な税制改正案とする。税調メンバーの専門知識を生かし、公平・中立・簡素という税制のあるべき姿を議論する意義は大きい。

Priority should be placed on creating an environment that will enable the consumption tax rate to be increased from 5 percent to 8 percent in April 2014.
 優先すべき課題は、14年4月の5%から8%への消費税率引き上げをにらんだ環境整備である。

===

2-stage plan has merits

Measures to support low-income earners when the tax increase is implemented have been left unaddressed since the Democratic Party of Japan was in power. The planned tax system revisions for fiscal 2013 should clearly spell out the introduction of a reduced tax rate system under which the consumption tax rate on daily necessities and some other goods is kept low.
 民主党政権時代から低所得者対策が積み残しのままだ。税制改正では、生活必需品などの消費税率を低く抑える軽減税率の導入を明確に打ち出す必要がある。

A similar system has been implemented in European countries. It has the advantage of being easy for consumers to feel its benefits, such as a limited tax burden on daily shopping.
 軽減税率は欧州各国が実施している。日常の買い物での負担が限定的になるなど、消費者に恩恵が分かりやすいことが利点だ。

Komeito has presented a plan to introduce the reduced tax rate system in two phases. We think this is worthy of consideration.
 公明党が提示している2段階の導入論は、検討に値する。

Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Akihiro Ota, a former Komeito leader, proposed reduced tax rates be applied only on such items as rice, miso, soy sauce and newspapers when the consumption tax rate is raised to 8 percent, and then the range of items subject to the lower rates be expanded when the consumption tax is increased later to 10 percent.
 公明党前代表の太田国土交通相は、「消費税率を8%に引き上げる段階で軽減税率の対象をコメ、みそ、しょうゆ、新聞などに限定し、10%への引き上げ時に対象を拡大する」との案を示した。

Wariness about the reduced rate system persists in the LDP, but we urge the party to coordinate its members' opinions quickly. The LDP then must talk with Komeito and the DPJ, and steadily carry out integrated reform of the social security and tax systems, which the three parties have agreed on.
 自民党には慎重論が根強いものの、調整を急いでほしい。そのうえで自公民の協議に入り、3党で合意した社会保障・税一体改革を着実に進めなければならない。

===

Alleviate other burdens

It is also necessary to consider areas in which people will have to shoulder an increased burden due to the consumption tax hike. We urge the government to discuss the extension of housing loan tax breaks, which will expire at the end of this year, as part of its support for home purchases.
 消費増税で負担が増える分野への目配りも必要だ。住宅購入支援としては、今年末で期限切れとなる住宅ローン減税の延長を検討してもらいたい。

The automobile industry wants the vehicle acquisition and weight taxes abolished, claiming that vehicle owners would have to shoulder a heavier burden imposed by the double taxation with the increased consumption tax. However, canning these taxes would generate huge tax revenue shortfalls, so a decision should not be rushed on this matter.
 自動車業界は、消費税との二重課税でユーザーの負担が重くなるなどとして、自動車取得税と自動車重量税の廃止を求めている。だが、巨額の財源不足をもたらすため、慎重に対応すべきである。

A review of income and inheritance taxes is also a focus of attention in the fiscal 2013 tax system revisions. Ideas floated so far include raising the top income tax rate from 40 percent to 45 percent and to reduce various tax deductions in inheritance tax, which are subtracted from taxable assets, and to raise inheritance tax rates.
 13年度改正では、所得税と相続税の見直しも焦点だ。所得税では最高税率を40%から45%に引き上げ、相続税については課税対象から差し引く控除の縮小や税率引き上げなどが浮上している。

These proposals are apparently intended, by squarely aiming at the wealthy, to alleviate the discontent of low-income earners, who will have to bear a relatively large increased burden when the consumption tax is hiked.
 富裕層を狙い撃ちにすることで、消費増税に伴って負担が重くなる低所得者の不満を和らげようとする思惑があるのだろう。

However, only an extremely small number of people will be subject to the higher taxes, and therefore the government cannot expect any boost in tax revenues from them. Ideas that simply pander to the public should be avoided.
 しかし、こうした課税強化は対象者が極めて少なく、税収を増やす効果は期待できない。大衆迎合的な発想は避けるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 9, 2013)
(2013年1月9日01時03分  読売新聞)

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2013年1月 9日 (水)

社説:2013年を展望する 「外交の勘」を磨きたい

January 07, 2013(Mainichi Japan)
Editorial: Japan should brush up its diplomatic instincts
社説:2013年を展望する 「外交の勘」を磨きたい

Japan's diplomatic policy for the New Year is set to begin. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is responsible for the new agenda, is the grandson of former Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, while Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso, who supports Abe, is the grandson of former Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida.
 新しい年の外交が始動する。それを担う首相・安倍晋三氏は岸信介元首相の孫、安倍氏を支える麻生太郎副総理兼財務相兼金融担当相は吉田茂元首相の孫だ。

Yoshida signed the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty with the United States, which has served as the foundation for Japan's postwar development and stability, and Kishi revised it into its current form.
戦後日本の発展と安定の基盤をなしてきた日米安保条約は吉田元首相が結び、岸元首相が改定して現在の形にした。

The grandsons of these two former prime ministers are set to work closely in breaking the diplomatic impasse amid growing concern about what is widely perceived as a diplomatic crisis.
外交危機が叫ばれる今、2人の血を受け継ぐ孫がコンビを組んで難局打開にあたることになったわけである。

Kishi based his governing of Japan on the country's security policy.
 岸元首相は国家を運営する基礎を安全保障に置いた。

In his book, "Oiso Zuiso" ("Essay from Oiso"), Yoshida quoted Colonel Edward House, a foreign policy adviser to former U.S. President Thomas Woodrow Wilson, as saying that countries that have no diplomatic instincts would fail.
吉田元首相は自著「大磯随想」で「外交の『勘』のない国民は亡(ほろ)びる」とのウィルソン元米大統領側近エドワード・ハウス大佐の言葉を紹介している。

 ◇対症療法外交は限界だ

Prudent diplomatic policy is indispensable for not only the survival of countries but also to allow governments to put their utmost efforts into domestic policy issues, including economic revitalization, social security and education. Moreover, intensifying friction with other countries could fuel the public's anxiety and eventually give rise to exclusive nationalism. To prevent such a situation, it is necessary for the Japanese government to reconfirm that diplomatic policy is the basis for ensuring the country's stability.
 賢明な外交は単に国家の生存にとどまらず、経済再生や社会保障、教育などの内政課題に政権が全力を注ぐためにも不可欠な条件であろう。また、外国との摩擦が激しくなれば国民の不安感が強まり排他的なナショナリズムが勢いを増しかねない。そうした状況を作り出さないためにも、外交が国の安定を支える根幹であることをまず確認したい。

A diplomatic crisis, which should be dubbed a "national crisis," has continued in Japan in recent years as tensions between Japan and its neighbors heightened over territorial issues. The year 2013 must be the year when the wisdom of the whole nation will be fully utilized to break the deadlock.
 そのうえでここ数年を振り返るなら、領土で係争を抱えた近隣諸国すべてと緊張が高まり、国難とも言うべき外交危機が続いてきた。今年はその局面転換に国の知恵を総結集する年にしなければならない。

Prime Minister Abe took over the reins of government after bitterly criticizing as a "diplomatic defeat" Japan's friction with China, South Korea and Russia over the Senkaku Islands, the Takeshima Islands and the Northern Territories, respectively, as well as the meandering over the relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa Prefecture under the previous administration. There is no denying that the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)-led previous administration that lacked diplomatic instincts brought about the mess. However, no one can tell for sure that Japan would not have suffered the same diplomatic defeat if the LDP had been in power.
 尖閣諸島や竹島、北方四島の領土摩擦や普天間飛行場移設をめぐる日米同盟の迷走などを安倍首相は「外交敗北」と厳しく批判し、政権を奪還した。確かに「外交の勘」のない民主党政権の不手際がこうした混乱を招いた面は否定できない。
 だが、自民党なら外交敗北はなかったと言い切れるだろうか。

The current diplomatic crisis is attributable to the ambiguous diplomatic policy carried out by the longstanding LDP-led administration. It was when the LDP was in power that China enacted a law on its territorial waters in 1992 to recognize the Senkaku Islands as part of its territory, which was an overture to its provocative acts around the area. The dispute over the relocation of the Futenma base is the result of the past LDP-led administration's longstanding appeasement policy in which it forced Okinawa to host an excessive number of U.S. bases in return for massive financial assistance.
 今日の外交危機は、長年の自民党政権のあいまいな外交がもたらしたものでもあろう。中国が92年に領海法を制定して尖閣諸島を自国の領海に組み込み、今に至る挑発行為の先触れとしたのは自民党政権の時代だった。沖縄の問題も、経済支援を組み合わせて重い米軍基地負担を事実上固定化する懐柔策のツケがここにきて噴出しているのである。

The world is undergoing rapid changes. The current international situation is different from that when the LDP was in power until 2009 when the DPJ took over the reins of government. The United States' influence on the world has relatively declined while China, which has replaced Japan as the No. 2 economic power, is also showing military ambitions. South Korea now needs to rely less on Japan. Russia and India have also been increasing their presence as new regional players. Simply responding to changes in the situation in its neighboring countries and complying with U.S. wishes is no longer effective.
 世界の動きは速い。今の国際情勢は自民党が政権を担ってきた数年前までと同じではない。米国の国力が相対的に落ち、日本を抜いて世界第2の経済大国となった中国が軍事面でも野心を隠さず、韓国はかつてほど日本を必要としなくなっている。地域の新しいプレーヤーとしてロシア、インドの存在感も大きくなってきた。周囲の変化や米国の意向に合わせた対症療法的な外交では、もはや日本は立ち行かないのだ。

As such, Prime Minister Abe is required to work toward rearranging and stabilizing Japan's diplomatic policy that fits with the times instead of rehashing the LDP's previous diplomatic policy. He should begin efforts to strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance by seriously considering the purpose of the agreement.
 よって安倍首相は自民党時代の焼き直しではなく、新しい時代に合わせた発想と行動で外交の立て直しと安定に取り組む必要がある。再三強調する日米同盟強化についても、何のための同盟かを常に自問自答することから始めるべきである。

Former Prime Minister Yoshida wrote in his book that both Japan and the United States should hold frank discussions on enforcing the Japan-U.S. security treaty, noting that both countries signed the accord from the standpoint of their respective national policies.
"I think the United States signed the bilateral security treaty out of the need for its Pacific strategy and from the standpoint of a broad U.S. national policy. Japan, for its part, also signed the treaty from the standpoint of its own defense and broad national policy," he wrote. "In enforcing this treaty, our two countries should frankly discuss a wide variety of matters."
 吉田元首相は日米安保を「アメリカがただ日本が可愛くて結んだものではないだろう。アメリカの太平洋の戦略的必要から、またアメリカの国策的な見地から結んだものであろうと思う」として、「日本も、日本自身の防衛と、国策的な考え方から結んだものである」「この条約を実施して行く上に、もっと率直にいろいろ話し合っていいのではないか」と書いた(「大磯随想」)。

 ◇歴史問題でつまずくな

The Japan-U.S. alliance will remain solid as long as the two countries need each other. However, the pact will collapse if either side deems that such cooperative relations detrimentally affect their national interests. Japan should clearly show its policy of responding to the Senkaku Islands issue and the relocation of U.S. bases in Okinawa and pursue a solution that will contribute to both countries' national interests and to the stability in the whole region through frank dialogue. Japan and the United States are required to transform the bilateral alliance from one in which Japan unilaterally follows and relies on the United States.
 日米が互いに必要だと考える限り日米同盟は強力であり、どちらかが国益にプラスにならないと判断すればその命運は尽きる。尖閣諸島への対処も沖縄の基地移設も、まずは日本側の方針を明確に示し、率直な話し合いを通じて日米双方の国益と地域全体の平和と安定にプラスとなるような道を探るべきだ。米国の言いなりでも、日本が一方的に頼るのでもない同盟のあり方を、改めて作り上げることが求められよう。

At the same time, Japan should strengthen its solidarity with the entire international community. Media outlets throughout the world have expressed grave concern and criticism of China's provocative acts over the sovereignty of the Senkaku Islands. Japan's position over the issue has been supported by the international community. Behind such support is the world's understanding that Japan is a country that peacefully settles its disputes with other countries through negotiations and that Japan attaches importance to broad-minded nationalism, in which it seeks to peacefully coexist with other countries, rather than narrow-minded nationalism.
 同時に、国際社会との連帯をいっそう深めたい。尖閣諸島の問題では中国の乱暴な振る舞いに世界のメディアが「中国が差し控えるべきことは武力で現状を変えることだ」(米紙)、「日本は外交解決を追求し続けているが中国は軍事力の行使を好む」(イタリアの通信社)などとして懸念と批判を強めている。
 日本の立場と主張は国際社会に支持されている。その背景にあるのは日本が外国との係争を平和的に話し合いで処理する国であり、偏狭なナショナリズムより、相手と共存を図るナショナリズムを大事にする国だという世界の理解であろう。

Japan must respect such international opinion. The advantage of Japan, which does not measure national strength by military capability, is its close bonds with the international community. Whether the Abe administration can manage relations with countries that are difficult to get along with by increasing its supporters and decreasing its enemies is being called into question.
 こうした国際世論を大事にしなければならない。軍事力を国力のバロメーターにしない日本の強みは国際社会との絆の深さである。敵を減らし、味方を増やしながら、付き合いの難しい国家との関係をいかにうまく管理するかが肝心である。

The image a leader of a country portrays to the international community is a crucial matter that can largely affect national interests. It has been largely pointed out in the international community that Japan has been leaning toward the right following the House of Representatives election in December last year. Under the circumstances, the Abe administration must be cautious about the interpretation of Japan's history of wartime atrocities by its Asian neighbors. In the LDP's previous administrations, gaffes by Cabinet members over the matter often ended up damaging Japan's national interests. The new administration must not repeat these mistakes. The Abe administration should exercise prudence, brush up its diplomatic instincts and break the diplomatic impasse in 2013.
 一国の政治指導者がどのような国際イメージを浸透させるかは、その国の国益を左右するほど重要だ。衆院選を受け日本の右傾化を指摘する声もあるだけに、歴史認識問題では慎重さが大切である。閣僚の軽率な言動が結果として国益を損なってきた歴代自民党政権の失敗は繰り返してはならない。注意深く賢い振る舞いで「外交の勘」を働かせ、局面を打開する一年にしてほしい。

毎日新聞 2013年01月07日 02時30分

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エネルギー戦略 現実的な原発政策を推進せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 9, 2013)
Government must promote realistic nuclear power policy
エネルギー戦略 現実的な原発政策を推進せよ(1月8日付・読売社説)

 ◆政府は再稼働の準備を着実に◆

Revitalizing the Japanese economy will require a stable supply of electricity. This year will be important in that the energy and nuclear power policy, on which the nation's fate rests, needs to be drastically reformulated.
 日本経済の再生には、電力の安定供給が欠かせない。国家の命運がかかったエネルギー・原子力政策を、抜本的に再構築する重要な1年だ。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has shown his intention to review the "Innovative Strategy for Energy and the Environment" drawn up by the Democratic Party of Japan-led administration, which set a target of having zero nuclear reactors operating by the end of the 2030s. Abe also expressed support for allowing the construction of new nuclear plants with enhanced safety features. We think his position on these issues is reasonable.
 安倍首相は、「2030年代に原発稼働ゼロ」を目指す民主党政権の革新的エネルギー・環境戦略の見直しや、安全性を高めた原発の新設に意欲を示している。妥当な認識と言えよう。

The government should immediately craft a realistic energy strategy that includes the use of various sources of power generation--including nuclear energy.
 政府は、原発を含む多様な電源の活用を盛り込んだ現実的なエネルギー戦略を、速やかに打ち出すべきである。

===

Restore stable power supply
 ◆安定供給の回復が急務◆

A severe accident like the one at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant must never be allowed to happen again. In saying that, if Japan, as a nation with scarce energy resources, hastily changes track and breaks away from nuclear power, the resulting electricity shortage would seriously affect the economy and people's daily lives.
 東京電力福島第一原発のような重大事故は再び起こしてはならない。とはいえ、性急に脱原発へとカジを切れば、資源小国の日本は電力不足で経済や国民生活に重大な打撃を受ける。

Of the nation's 50 nuclear reactors, only two at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s Oi nuclear plant are generating power. Although no major blackout has occurred while all these reactors are offline, the power supply continues to walk a tightrope. Nuclear power opponents are missing the point when they argue that enough electricity has been provided even without nuclear power generation.
 全原発50基のうち稼働中は関西電力大飯原発の2基に過ぎない。大停電こそ起きていないが、綱渡りの電力供給が続く。「原発なしでも電気は足りている」という脱原発派の主張はあたらない。

Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Toshimitsu Motegi has said the government, on its own responsibility, would proceed with the processes to restart reactors whose safety has been confirmed by the Nuclear Regulation Authority. His remarks are heartening.
 茂木経済産業相が「原子力規制委員会が安全性を確認した原発は、政府の責任で再稼働を進める」と述べたのは心強い。

Still, the nuclear authority will begin screening reactors no sooner than this summer, when new safety guidelines are expected to be compiled. The government should not waste anytime during that period. It must not neglect intensive preparations such as establishing confidence-building measures with local governments and residents in the areas concerned, and devising procedures to ensure reactors can be restarted without delay.
 ただし、規制委の審査は、新たな安全基準ができる今夏以降となる。政府はそれまでの期間を空費せず、地元との信頼醸成や、遅滞なく再稼働する手順作りなど、入念な準備を怠ってはならない。

Because even aging thermal power generation facilities have been fired up to compensate for the idled nuclear reactors, the costs of liquefied natural gas and other fuel have increased by 3 trillion yen a year.
 原発の代わりに、老朽化した火力発電所まで動員しているため、液化天然ガス(LNG)などの燃料費は年3兆円も増えた。

Although it is natural for power companies to strive to cut costs through restructuring, there are limits. TEPCO started raising power rates from April last year. KEPCO and Kyushu Electric Power Co. also have asked the government for approval to hike their power rates from this spring.
 電力会社がリストラでコスト削減に努めるのは当然としても、限界はある。昨年4月から東電が料金値上げを開始し、関西、九州の2電力も今春からの値上げを政府に申請している。

Kawaguchi, Saitama Prefecture, is known as a metalworking industry city. In a survey conducted last autumn by the Kawaguchi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, one in four companies said their business would collapse or be badly affected if power rates are increased. The survey covered midsize and smaller companies that are members of the chamber.
 鋳物の街・埼玉県川口市の商工会議所が昨秋、会員の中小・零細企業に電気料金値上げの影響を聞いたところ、4社に1社が「経営が立ち行かなくなる」「多大な影響を受ける」と答えた。

If nuclear reactors cannot be restarted within fiscal 2013, TEPCO and other utilities will likely be forced to further raise power rates. A crisis in employment caused by mass bankruptcies and closures of smaller companies is becoming an ever more realistic prospect.
 2013年度中に原発を再稼働できないと、東電などがさらなる値上げを迫られる恐れが強い。中小企業の大量倒産・廃業による雇用危機が現実味を増す。

===

Don't overly rely on renewables
 ◆再生エネ過信は禁物◆

According to a government estimate, electricity charges would double if nuclear power generation was abandoned. This would impose a heavy burden on household finances. Low-income households have little scope for reducing their electricity use because they already have been making power-saving efforts. We should be keenly aware that a policy of no nuclear power would hurt the weaker members of our society the most.
 政府試算では「原発ゼロ」にすると電気代は2倍になる。家計の負担も大きい。普段から節約している低所得世帯は節電の余地が少ない。弱者ほど脱原発による痛みが強いことにも留意したい。

There are high expectations that renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, will be able to replace nuclear power. However, as things stand now, there is no visible prospect of renewable energy becoming a major power source. Electricity produced through renewable energy sources is unstable because it depends on weather conditions, and it is expensive.
 原発の代替電源として太陽光や風力など再生可能エネルギーへの期待は大きい。だが、現時点では主要電源に成長する展望が見えない。天候などによって発電量は不安定で、コストも高い。

Especially problematic is the system introduced in July under which the government obliges power companies to purchase renewable energy at fixed prices. The system is intended to encourage the spread of renewable energy.
 特に問題なのが、普及促進のため昨年7月に導入した再生エネ発電の「固定価格買い取り制度」である。

Indeed, solar power output has increased under the new system. However, the system imposes additional burdens on consumers, as the power companies' cost of purchasing renewable energy is passed on through power bills.
確かに太陽光発電は拡大したが、買い取り費用は電気料金に上乗せされ、利用者負担が増える仕組みだからだ。

In Germany, which introduced a similar system before Japan did, power charges for households have doubled as the cost of purchasing renewable energy swelled. The cost of buying renewable energy in Japan is about twice as high as that of Germany. The government should cut the purchase price to prevent power charges from surging.
 先行するドイツでは買い取り費用が膨らみ、家庭の電気代が倍増した。ドイツより日本の買い取り価格は約2倍も高い。電気料金の急騰を防ぐため、政府は買い取り価格を引き下げるべきだ。

Due to the DPJ administration's wavering attitude on nuclear power, local governments that host nuclear plants have become increasingly skeptical about the central government's nuclear policy.
 民主党政権の迷走に振り回され、原発立地自治体は国の原子力政策への不信感を強めた。

It is important that the Abe administration carefully explain to these local governments how it will put the nation's nuclear policy back on track after the repeated missteps by the DPJ.
 これまでの失政をどう軌道修正するのか、政府が自治体側に丁寧に説明することが重要だ。

The government has tightened safety inspections on nuclear power plants, which could lead to the early decommissioning of some of them. If this happens, the government will need to consider how to find employment for plant workers who lost their jobs and provide alternative methods for boosting the local economy.
 安全審査の厳格化で、早期の廃炉を迫られる原発も出かねない。雇用対策や新たな地域振興などでも特段の配慮が求められる。

The Nuclear Damages Compensation Law requires electric power companies to bear all liabilities for nuclear accidents. We believe this is another reason why the credibility of the government's nuclear policy has crumbled. A review of the law was shelved by the administration of Abe's predecessor, Yoshihiko Noda. Abe should quickly start this review.
 原子力損害賠償法(原賠法)は、原発事故の賠償責任をすべて電力会社に負わせている。これも国の原子力政策の信頼を低下させる一因だ。野田政権が先送りした原賠法の見直しを急ぐ必要がある。

The financial cost of decommissioning the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant and decontaminating areas polluted with radioactive substances remains unclear, but it is apparent TEPCO will be unable to pay the entire amount by itself. Drawing up new measures to support the utility also will be a task for the Abe administration.
 福島原発事故の除染・廃炉の総費用は不明だが、東電だけで全額を払えないのは明らかだ。新たな支援策作りも課題となろう。

===

Show clear future vision
 ◆技術磨き国際貢献を◆

We want to remind the administration of the need to secure talented people who underpin the safety of nuclear power. If experienced employees in charge of field-work management at power suppliers and their related companies leave their jobs, it would hinder the smooth restart of idled reactors.
 重要なのは、原子力の安全を支える人材確保だ。現場管理を担ってきた電力会社や関連企業の熟練作業員が他の仕事に転じれば、原発再稼働などに支障が生じる。

Unless the government shows a clear future vision on nuclear power, such as whether to continue the nation's nuclear fuel cycle program to recycle spent nuclear fuel, people who aspire to work in the nuclear sector will eventually dwindle. If such a thing happened, it would become difficult to maintain the nation's nuclear power technologies and hand them down to future generations. It will also mean that Japan will become unlikely to resolve the long-standing issue of the final disposal of spent fuel by itself.
 核燃料サイクル継続を含めた原子力政策の将来戦略を明示しないと、原子力分野への志望者もいなくなり、技術の維持・継承は困難だ。核廃棄物の最終処分という宿題も自力で解決できなくなる。

An increasing number of emerging economies have started nuclear power generation or are increasing their nuclear power plants. We believe the best way for Japan to contribute to the international community is to refine its nuclear technologies to build power plants more resistant to not only natural disasters but also to accidents and terrorist attacks.
 新興国では原発の新増設が相次いでいる。日本が技術を高め、自然災害はもちろん事故やテロにも強い安全な原発を作ることが、正しい国際貢献の道と言えよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 8, 2013)
(2013年1月8日01時15分  読売新聞)

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定数訴訟―「無効」の備え欠く国会

--The Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 8
EDITORIAL: Diet must establish procedures to deal with ‘invalid’ election results
定数訴訟―「無効」の備え欠く国会

Next week, trials will start across the nation concerning the gap in the value of a vote between the most and the least populous Lower House constituencies. Lawsuits seeking nullification of the results of the Dec. 16 Lower House election have been filed in 34 single-seat electoral districts.
 衆院の一票の格差をめぐる裁判が来週から全国ではじまる。計34の小選挙区で選挙の無効を求める訴えがおきている。

Immediately before the Lower House dissolution in November for the snap election, the Diet passed bills to reduce the number of single-seat constituencies by one in each of five prefectures to reduce the disparity gap. However, there was not enough time to redraw the boundaries of constituencies. As a result, the Dec. 16 election was held under the current allocation of seats, which was declared by the Supreme Court in March 2011 to be “in a state of unconstitutionality” and “against the equality under the law.”
 昨年の総選挙は、いわゆる0増5減をうけた区割り作業が間に合わず、最高裁が「法の下の平等に反する」とした議員定数配分のままおこなわれた。

The Diet failed to correct this inequality for as long as one year and eight months after the top court’s ruling. There is no doubt that the legislature could have taken some remedial measures during the period. It is clear that the Dec. 16 election was unconstitutional.
 国会は、その最高裁判決から1年8カ月もの間、格差をたださなかった。手直しは十分できたはずで、憲法違反の選挙だったのは明らかだ。

If a court hands down a ruling that shows sympathy to the lawmakers’ excuse that more time was needed to tackle the problem, the public’s criticism will be directed beyond the Diet and at the court.
 「なお時間が必要だった」といった言い訳に耳をかす判決が出るようであれば、人々の批判は、国会を通り越して裁判所にむかうことになるだろう。

Attention is now focused on which direction the courts will take. The courts could rule that the election results are valid although the election itself is unconstitutional. Such a decision would take into consideration concerns that nullifying the election would cause serious confusion. Or the courts could rule that the results of the election are invalid.
 焦点は、違憲選挙という判断にたったうえで、「とはいえ無効にすると国政が混乱する」という事情をくみ、選挙自体は有効とする「事情判決」を言いわたすか、それとも無効判決に踏みこむか、にある。

The Supreme Court has never declared the results of an election to be invalid in similar vote-value disparity cases. There is no denying that the top court’s cautious attitude in dealing with the issue has allowed the Diet to drag its feet on tackling this serious problem, disappointing public expectations in the judiciary.
 最高裁はこれまで、定数訴訟で選挙無効を宣告したことはない。この慎重な姿勢が国会を甘やかし、ひいては司法への失望を呼んだ面は否定できない。

To be fair, however, we should also consider one important factor that has been behind the top court’s attitude: The Diet has yet to enact legislation on procedures to be taken when the results of an election are ruled invalid.
 だが、そうした結論にいたった背景にも目をむける必要がある。無効となった場合、その後の段取りを定めた法律を、国会はつくっていないのだ。

If the results of an election for specific districts are finally confirmed invalid in the judicial process, the Diet members elected from the districts will lose their seats, making it necessary to hold a fresh election to fill the vacancies. This process will require revising the law concerning allocation of seats and zoning of electoral districts.
 無効判決が確定すると、提訴された選挙区の議員は身分を失い、補充の選挙が必要になる。そのためには、まず、定数の配分方法や区割りに関する法律を改めなければならない。

In such a case, only lawmakers who have retained their seats will deliberate the bills. But is such a situation tolerable? Besides, what will they set as the time limit for the fresh election? Since the election system as a whole has so many shortcomings, this is not a problem that can be solved by simply holding an election again for certain districts. The most reasonable way to deal with the situation is to call another Lower House election after making necessary revisions. But this approach would raise questions concerning the Cabinet’s right to dissolve the Lower House.
 残った議員だけで法案の審議をすることになるが、それでいいのか。再選挙の期限をいつに設定するか。制度が全体としてゆがんでいたのだから、一部の選挙区だけやり直してすむ問題ではない。総選挙で再出発するのが筋だが、内閣の解散権との関係をどう考えるか――。

Measures should also be worked out to address the same problem with the Upper House, which is not dissolved for a snap election.
 解散の制度がない参院についても、あわせて対策を考えておかなければなるまい。

These issues have been pointed out since more than 30 years ago. But the Diet has left them as they are.
 こうした問題は30年以上前から指摘されていたが、この間、国会は放置し続けてきた。

The judiciary has been reluctant to declare election results invalid in consideration of various concerns, while the legislature has been neglecting to take necessary actions despite being well aware of the problem. As a result, Japanese voters have been denied their right to equal treatment in elections. This outrageous situation must end immediately.
 あれこれ目配りして無効判決にためらいを感じる司法。それを知りつつ手当てを怠る政治。いつまでも権利が全うされない国民。そんなおかしな図とは決別しなければならない。

The Diet has a duty to establish a fair election system that doesn’t raise any questions on constitutionality or validity.
 もちろん違憲・無効とされないよう、公正な選挙制度をつくっておくのが国会の務めだ。

But the Diet would not be acting inappropriately if it decided on procedures that minimize the resulting confusion after elections are declared invalid.
 しかしそのことと、「無効」に備えて必要な手続きを決め、混乱を最小限におさえることとは矛盾するものではない。

Such an effort is a totally reasonable response that should be taken by the legislature of any nation under the rule of law.
 法治国家としてとるべき、至極当たり前の対応である。

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2013年1月 8日 (火)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:12月が身にしみる /東京

December 16, 2012(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Surviving another year
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:12月が身にしみる /東京

While some people might be delighted about Christmas and the approaching end of the year, I suspect that there are many people who do not share their joy.
 クリスマスや年末が近くなり、楽しい気分の人もいるかもしれないが、そうではないという人も多いだろう。

I hardly meet people who are looking forward to Christmas or end-of-year parties, especially when I'm at my clinic. Many people would rather not have a month like December, like the woman who sheds tears of loneliness when she hears a Christmas song; a company employee who is troubled because he has to go to parties with customers though he's very shy around people; a young man who wears a sarcastic smile worried about what he should write in his new year cards though still unemployed; and a housewife who claims that even the thought of visiting her husband's family over the break gives her a headache.
 とくに診察室にいると、「忘年会にパーティーでウキウキします」などという人に会うことはまずない。クリスマスソングを耳にすると孤独が身にしみると涙ぐむシングルの女性、人前に出ると緊張するのに取引先の忘年会に出なければならずにつらいと訴える会社員、年賀状に「今年も無職です」と書くのかと苦笑する青年、夫の実家への帰省を考えるだけで頭痛がしてくると顔をしかめる主婦。みんな「12月なんてなければいいのに」とため息をつく。

When I meet people like them, people who are depressed and down about the end of the year, I always say, "Well, it's December, that means we've survived this year somehow." I say this because I mean it.
 実は私も12月は好きではない。「今年もできないことのほうが多かった」と自己嫌悪に陥るからだ。しかし、診察室で肩を落とす人たちには、必ずこんな話をすることにしている。「この季節、きらいですか。でも12月になったということは、今年もなんとか乗りきったということじゃないですか」

As you get older, hitting my age, you see close friends and relatives who get sick or even pass away. Although we may feel like "it's just another Christmas" and can't really enjoy the season, if we have survived the year somehow, even that mediocre feeling about Christmas isn't so bad.
 これは慰めで口にしているわけではない。私のような年齢になると、毎年、身のまわりでたくさんの知人や親族が病気になったりこの世を去ったりする。「いよいよ仕事が立ち回らなくなったので、実家に帰ってひっそり暮らす。もう連絡することはないと思う」などと言って、突然メールアドレスを変える友人もいる。とにかくなんとか無事に1年を乗りきり、この季節までたどり着き、「今年もクリスマスか。あまり楽しくないな」などとつぶやけるのは、実はとても幸せなことなのではないだろうか。

We need to feel we are carrying out a "life worth living" that many may not even call "happiness." Although we hear many stories about the upcoming election that talks about "hundreds of lower house seats" or about "a strong coalition government after the election," we can't relate to such comments.
 そんな幸福とも呼べないようなささやかな「生きる喜び」を味わわなければならない私たちにとっては、「議席が何百まで伸びるか」「選挙後は連立で強大な政権を」といった“景気のいい話”にはあまり現実味が感じられない。

Shinya Yamanaka, a Japanese scientist who just received the Nobel Prize in Sweden, said to reporters, "I felt like I was in a dream the whole time." This obviously is a good dream but after the Great East Japan Earthquake last year, or maybe even before that, many people who live in Japan have felt like they're stuck in a bad dream all the time.
 ノーベル賞の授賞式のためにスウェーデンを訪れた山中伸弥教授は、「ずっと夢の中にいるよう」と語っていた。もちろんこれは「いい夢」だが、大震災以降、いやそれよりかなり前から、日本にいる人たちの多くは「ずっと悪い夢の中にいるよう」と感じているのではないか。

While such a mood is certainly present, we cannot live without finding even a little joy or happiness. I find myself getting more depressed as I hear a candidate with a big smile shouting from a car, "We're almost there!"
でも、その中でも、ささやかな喜び、幸せを見つけなければ、私たちは生きていけない。満面の笑みをたたえた候補者を乗せた選挙カーが、「あと一歩です!」と大声を残しながら走り去る師走の街並みの中で、自分はどんどんテンションが下がっていくのを感じてしまった。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2012年12月11日 地方版

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香山リカのココロの万華鏡:高齢者も若者も大変 /東京

December 23, 2012(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Feeling too helpless to help
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:高齢者も若者も大変 /東京

Now that the House of Representatives election is over, I suspect many people are wondering about how the result will affect our lives.
 選挙が終わり、「さて私たちの暮らしはどうなる」と気になっている人も多いのではないか。

In the election campaign, some candidates pledged to work for a society in which the elderly don't have to worry about their lives. On the other hand, there were candidates who emphasized policies for the younger generation. It seemed as if the candidates were making us voters decide which side we should take -- the elderly or the young. However, it is clear, at least in my clinic, that both of them are having difficult times in today's society.
 選挙戦では「高齢者が安心して暮らせる社会を」と言う候補者もいれば、「若い人にツケを回してはいけない」と主張する候補者もいて、なんだか高齢者と若者、どちらに肩入れするかを選ばせようとしているようにも見えた。実際には「高齢者も若者もどちらもたいへん」ということなのだが。

In fact, the "difficult times" both generations are facing is an urgent matter that needs addressing. A patient of mine talks to me about a hospital possibly kicking her parent out but the person doesn't know where else to go. Another younger patient who quit his job because of depression from stress after working at a "sweatshop" now can't find work or get welfare. Both of them need help "today," they have no time for thinking about what the future will bring for Japan.
 しかも、この「たいへんさ」がもう目の前に迫っているところも、実は高齢者も若者も同じだ。診察室にいると「高齢の親が入院中だが、病院からすぐ転院させて、と言われ行き場所がない」といった“介護難民”の家族からも、「ブラック企業でうつ病になり、退職したら再就職先もなく、生活保護も断られた」という“就職難民”というより“生活難民”の若者からも相談が寄せられる。いずれも「今日、なんとかしないと」と切羽詰まった話ばかり。「さて、この国の未来はどうなる」などと悠長なことなど言っていられない。

I feel like I'm slowly losing my sense of humanity when I have to suggest to my patients to go talk to the local government office as I escort them out of my clinic while they cry out of misery because they have no place to go from here. I do want to tell them that I will take care of them, but in reality, I'm not capable of supporting them in any way. I can't help but feel powerless, though I know such a feeling won't help my patients. I have to move on or give up sometimes in order to focus on the next task.
 「この部屋を出たら次に行くところがない」と診察室で泣き崩れる人に「まずは役所に相談に行ってみて」などと退室を促しながら、なんだか自分がどんどん人間性を失っていくような気になる。「私がなんとかしてあげる」と言いたいのだが、自分にはその度量も能力も心のゆとりもない。「なんのために精神科医をやっているのか」と自己嫌悪に陥るのは患者さんたちのためにもよくないとわかっていても、どうにもならない。かといってそこで立ち止まっては次の仕事にさしつかえるので、「これ以上、考えても仕方ない」とどこかで考えをストップせざるをえない。

As a psychiatrist, I meet people facing difficult times. I want to help them but I know I sometimes can't. Feeling powerless, I pretend like I don't see them.
 困難に直面している人に出会う。「なんとかしてあげたい」と思うが、自分にはどうにもできない。無力感にさいなまれ、結局は「見なかったことにしよう」と切り捨ててしまう。

I am probably not the only one who is feeling this way -- a feeling of helplessness and self-hatred as the situation slowly breaks one's heart.
 こんなことを繰り返しているのは、私だけではないはずだ。そして、そんな繰り返しの中で心がどんどんすり減るのを感じているのも、私に限ったことではないだろう。

The kanji (Chinese character) "kin" -- meaning gold -- was chosen as this year's best kanji that represented national traits for 2012, but I can't find anything shiny as gold in my heart. I truly wish for the next year to be as bright as a gold medal, and wonder if those elected candidates know anything about my hopes, or anybody's for that matter, for the next year.
 今年の漢字は「金」だそうだが、自分の心にはそんな輝きはどこにも見つからない。来年こそは「私の心にも金メダル!」と堂々と胸を張れる年になってほしいと心から願うが、今回、選挙で選ばれた人たちにはこの思いがどれだけ伝わっているだろうか。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2012年12月18日 地方版

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香山リカのココロの万華鏡:簡単ではない“人間支援” /東京

December 30, 2012(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Is 'just being alive' good enough?
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:簡単ではない“人間支援” /東京

I recently read a very interesting book called "Okan no Hirugohan" (Mom's lunch). It's written by Zoonie Yamada, who has a unique profession: "instructor in written expression." A newspaper ad I saw for this book said it "expresses the confused feelings people encounter when facing their parents' old age." Being interested in the topic, I immediately purchased the book.
 とてもおもしろい本を読んだ。文章表現インストラクターというユニークな活動を続ける山田ズーニーさんの「おかんの昼ごはん」。親の老いに直面したときの戸惑いを記した本、といった新聞広告を見たので、その問題に切実に関心のある私はすぐに買った。

While the book provided realistic information on how to deal with aging parents, it actually devoted more attention to the task of choosing a job. Although this wasn't what I had expected, I found it interesting anyway.
 老いた親とどう向き合うかというパートもとてもリアルだったのだが、それよりもこの本は「仕事をどう選び、どう決めるか」という問題に多くが割かれていた。当初の期待とは違ったのだが、それがおもしろかったのだ。

I was surprised when I saw my name in the book. According to Ms. Yamada, after the Great East Japan Earthquake she had been impressed by my words "Just being alive is good enough!"
 読んでいて、自分の名前が出てきてギョッとした。教育分野で仕事をしてきたズーニーさんは、大震災のときにこう思ったというのだ。「『生きてるだけでいいんです!』という精神科医の香山リカさんの言葉が、どんなにかっこよく感じたか」。

Since I'm a doctor and curing the sick and saving lives is the ultimate goal for us doctors, I can confidently say to people, "If you're alive, you're OK!" However, as an educator, Ms. Yamada's job is to make things better and help people move forward. In this respect she said she felt helpless after the earthquake disaster.
つまり、「医療」の現場にいる私は、「病気を治し、命を救う」ということをゴールとしているから「生きていればオッケー!」と力強く言えるが、教育の場にいるズーニーさんは、「命はある」という前提で、そこから「より良く」「さらに先に」と導かなければならない、だから大震災のときには自分の無力さを感じた、というのだ。

In fact, "just being alive is good enough" is the title of a book that features this "Kaleidoscope of the Heart" series, and the book happened to be published right after the earthquake. Although I do tell my patients, "The mere fact that you're alive and could make it to the clinic today is wonderful," and I say this because I believe it, reading Ms. Yamada's book made me question myself. Maybe this way of thinking is unique to doctors.
 実は、「生きてるだけでいいんです」は、この連載をまとめた本のタイトルだ。それがたまたま大震災の直後に出版されたのだ。たしかに私は震災とは関係なく、日ごろから診察室で「生きていて今日も診察日にここに来れた。それだけでもすばらしいじゃない」などと言っていた。それは私が個人的に本当にそう思っているからだと信じていたのだが、ズーニーさんの指摘を読みながら「やっぱりこれは“医者ならでは”の発想なのか」と考え直した。

Nevertheless, I understand that the human psyche is not so simple as to think just being alive is good enough. What truly helps patients in my clinic is thinking that they've helped somebody else or they can do things they couldn't do before -- which could be regarded as "making things better" and "moving forward." Unless you're a monk who has attained enlightenment, it's difficult to be satisfied with yourself just being alive.
 とはいえ、人はなかなか「生きてるだけでオッケー」などとは思えない存在、ということもよくわかる。診察室でも本当にその人を救うのは、「誰かの役に立った」「以前、できなかったことができるようになった」といった「より良く」「さらに先に」だからだ。悟りを開いた修行者でもなければ、「何もしなくても自分に満点」などとは思えないだろう。

Accepting people as the way they are is just the first step. We then need to push them a little further and help them blossom and live up to their potential. The best approach is to have medical, welfare and education teams work together in the name of "human support," but I know that this is no easy task.
 まず「あなたはそのままでいい」とその人の存在そのものを認め、それから「でも、もう一歩、先に行けるよね」と背中を押し、自分の中にある力を花開かせる手伝いをする。医療、福祉、教育が一体となった“人間支援”ができるようになるのがいちばんだが、それはもちろん言うほど簡単ではない。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2012年12月25日 地方版

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アジアの国境―繁栄わかちあう知恵を

--The Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 6
EDITORIAL: East Asian countries must overcome hardships to share peace, prosperity
アジアの国境―繁栄わかちあう知恵を

Nearly 100 years ago, the saga of a territorial dispute began over the Aland Islands in the northern part of the Baltic Sea.
 今から100年近く前、北欧を舞台に始まった話である。
 バルト海の北方に浮かぶオーランド諸島。

The combined land area of the small islands is slightly larger than that of the main island of Okinawa Prefecture.
小さな島を全部あわせれば、沖縄本島をひとまわり大きくした広さになる。

Finland based its sovereignty claim over the Aland Islands on the historical fact that they had been under its control for long periods, while neighboring Sweden pointed to the sentiment among residents of the islands, who spoke Swedish in their daily lives. The sovereignty dispute was submitted to the League of Nations.
 この島々の領有権をめぐってフィンランドと隣国スウェーデンとの間で争いがおきた。フィンランドは古くからの統治の実績を言い、スウェーデンは自国語を日常生活で使う住民の思いを理由にあげた。両国の対立は国際連盟に持ち込まれた。

‘DEMILITARIZED ISLANDS’ IN NORTH EUROPE
■北欧の「非武の島」

In June 1921, the League of Nations decided that Finland should retain sovereignty over the islands but they should be made an autonomous, demilitarized and politically neutral region.
 1921年6月、連盟の裁定が下った。フィンランドへの帰属を認めるかわりに、島を非武装中立とし、住民の自治を認めるべし――。

Both countries accepted the ruling and concluded an international treaty to make Aland “demilitarized islands.”
 両国はこれを受け入れ、オーランドを「非武の島」とする国際協定が結ばれた。

Inazo Nitobe (1862-1933), a Japanese educator who was an undersecretary general of the league at that time, said the settlement over the Aland Islands will establish a precedent for dealing with future territorial problems that may disturb amicable relations of countries, whether large or small. But the significance of the ruling goes beyond that.
 当時の国際連盟事務次長、新渡戸(にとべ)稲造は「将来、諸国間の友好関係を妨げる類似の問題が生じた場合、大小にかかわらずその処置の先例を確立することになる」と語った。だが裁定の意義はそれにとどまらない。

National borders, by nature, separate nations from nations, people from people.
For the 28,000 residents of the Aland Islands, however, the national border now exists only by name, and it works to link countries and people.
 国境はもともと、国と国、人と人を隔てる。しかし2万8千人の島民にとって、いまや国境はあってなきがごとき存在だ。
 むしろ国と国、人と人とをつなぐものにさえなっている。

The passengers of ferries traveling between the islands and Sweden are not required to carry passports. Seventy percent of young people who have graduated from high school on the islands go on to universities in Sweden. Camilla Gunell, current premier of the autonomous government of Aland, says the economy of the islands benefits from an increase in people who cross the border. The decision by the League of Nations that settled the dispute has helped make the islanders richer, Gunell says.
 海を渡るフェリーの乗客にパスポートは必要ない。島の高校を出た若者の7割が隣国スウェーデンの大学に進む。自治政府のカミラ・グネル首相は「国境を越える人が増えれば島の経済も潤う。あの裁定が私たちを豊かにしてくれた」と話す。

An important undertaking to change the meaning of a national border has been also made in Germany, which faces the southern part of the Baltic Sea.
 バルト海南方にあるドイツでも国境の持つ意味を変えようとする努力が払われてきた。

Frankfurt (Oder) is a town located on the German-Polish border, a one-hour train ride from Berlin. Before World War II, the whole region around the town was part of Germany. Following Germany’s defeat in the war, however, the area on the opposite side of the Oder River became Polish territory. Many Germans, driven out of the area that had become part of the Soviet bloc, crossed the Oder River into Germany.
 首都ベルリンから電車で1時間の国境の街フランクフルト・オーデル。第2次世界大戦前、一帯はドイツ領だった。しかし敗戦によってオーデル川の対岸はポーランド領となった。多くのドイツ人が旧ソ連陣営となった地域から追われ、オーデル川を越えてきた。

SETTLING HISTORY ISSUES
■歴史問題の清算

An attempt to make the border less of a barrier to exchanges between people of the two countries started in 1970.
 国境の壁に穴をあけようという試みは1970年に始まる。

In that year, Willy Brandt (1913-1992), chancellor of West Germany, visited Poland and other countries in the Soviet bloc and announced his country’s acceptance of the borderline drawn after the war. There was opposition to Brandt’s decision within West Germany, but he made the move to ensure the coexistence and the stability of Western and Eastern Europe.
 旧西ドイツのブラント首相がポーランドなど旧ソ連陣営を訪問し、敗戦後に引かれた国境線を受け入れた。国内には不満があったが、東西欧州の共存と安定を手にするためだ。

Viadrina European University, on the German side of the Oder River, was established in 1991, after the Cold War ended. The university has started a program to help people visit their hometowns in the former German territory. The project is part of the university’s efforts to accomplish its mission of serving as a bridge between the East and the West in Europe. Under the program, students at the university make necessary arrangements for people’s trips to their hometowns in the Polish side of the Oder River, including finding interpreters. It is an attempt to build links between people living on both sides of the border.
 オーデル川沿いのドイツ領にあるヨーロッパ大学を訪ねた。冷戦が終わった後の91年に創設された。「東西のかけ橋」になるとの校是の下に取り組んでいるのが、故郷訪問プロジェクトだ。旧ドイツ領へ帰郷する人々の旅行や通訳の手配を学生たちが引き受ける。国境を超えて人と人とをつなぐ取り組みだ。

These developments in Europe are different from the path that has led to the current situation in East Asia.
 欧州がたどってきた歩みと、東アジアの現状は異なる。

Last year, tensions flared between Japan and its two neighbors--China and South Korea--over islands. The differences between the governments’ sovereignty claims seem unbridgeable. The conditions are not right for the kind of settlement worked out through diplomatic efforts in which Nitobe was involved.
 日本は昨年、領土問題で中国や韓国との対立を深めた。政府間の主張はすれ違ったままだ。新渡戸が関わった裁定をあてはめる条件は整っていない。

Despite increased interdependence among countries due to economic globalization, territorial disputes in areas around Japan continue to generate acute international tension because of history issues related to World War II.
 経済グローバル化による相互依存の深まりにもかかわらず、日本の近隣で領土をめぐる緊張が高まる背景には、先の戦争をめぐる歴史問題がある。

After the end of the war, Germany totally admitted to the war crimes committed by the Nazis. This made it possible for Germany to cooperate with neighboring countries in leading Europe toward regional integration.
 ドイツはナチスの戦争犯罪を全面的に認め、周辺国とともに欧州の統合を引っ張ってきた。

On various occasions, Japan has also expressed its regret and apologies for its past invasion of neighboring countries. As a result, Japan has managed to obtain an understanding from Southeast Asian nations.
 日本も、過去の侵略に対する反省と謝罪の意をさまざまな機会に表し、東南アジアでは日本への理解が広がった。

But mutual trust between Japan and its close neighbors has been eroded repeatedly by some Japanese politicians’ indiscreet remarks and actions related to history issues.
 ところが肝心の近隣国との信頼関係は、歴史認識をめぐる一部政治家の浅慮な言動によって何度も揺るがされた。

The shift in the balance of power between Japan and China, caused by China’s rise, has also widened the gaps in perceptions of people in both countries.
 中国の台頭による日中の力関係の変化も、双方の人々の意識の溝を広げている。

TACKLING STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS BEHIND DISTRUST
■不信の構造を断つ

How should we solve the structural problems behind such mutual distrust?
 こうした不信の構造をどうすれば崩せるのか。

There have been a variety of steady, low-profile efforts to tackle this challenge.
 地道な試みは続いている。

For example, a discussion forum called “Jing Forum” was created for regular debates between students of the University of Tokyo and Peking University. Every year, around two dozen students from both universities lodge together to discuss a wide range of issues in English. The forum’s seventh debate camp took place last autumn at the height of tensions between Japan and China over the Senkaku Islands, a group of islets in the East China Sea.
 東京大と北京大の学生による「京論壇」というフォーラムがある。双方二十数人の学生が毎年合宿し、英語で討論する。7回目の開催にあたる昨年秋、日中関係は緊張の極にあった。

Still, the participating students chose the Senkaku Islands dispute as a topic for discussions in one of the subcommittees. In Beijing, where anti-Japanese protests were raging, and in Tokyo, the students of the two universities spent two weeks or so examining the claims of both governments and engaged in heated debates. They also listened to the opinions of academics and visited companies.
 それでも学生たちは分科会の一つで、あえて尖閣問題を取り上げた。反日デモが繰り広げられた北京、そして東京と2週間余り、両政府の主張を吟味し、議論をぶつけた。学者の意見を聞き、企業も訪ねた。

In the end, none of the students totally accepted the arguments of the other side. As they discussed factors related to the educational and media environments where the claims of both countries have been generated, however, some students said they were not convinced of their governments’ arguments in the dispute. In a debriefing session, students stated their own opinions, instead of those of their governments.
 最終的に、相手国の言い分をそのまま認める学生はいなかった。ただ、それぞれの考えが生まれた教育やメディア環境を話すうち、「政府の意見に確信が持てない」という声も出た。報告会では、政府ではなく、学生それぞれの意見を述べた。

“Although we didn’t reach an agreement, we understood each other and created a sense of trust between the two sides through discussions,” says Daiki Komatsu, a 21-year-old student at the University of Tokyo who heads the forum. “In order to improve relations between Japan and China, I believe it is important for us to develop stronger links between us.”
 「折り合いは見つからなかったけれど、議論を続けることで相手を理解し、信頼感が生まれた。日中関係を良くするには僕たちがつながっていくことが大事だと思う」。代表の幸松大喜さん(21)はこう振り返る。

The 21st century is an age of Asia, where countries like China, India and Indonesia will expand their power and influence. We should never allow the region to return to an era of military confrontation. The countries in the region need to overcome the challenges facing them to share peace and prosperity.
 中国やインド、インドネシアなどが台頭する21世紀はアジアの時代だ。軍事対立の道に舞い戻ってはならない。平和と繁栄を分かちあうため、困難を乗り越えていこう。

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日本経済再生 デフレ脱却の成果が問われる

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 8, 2013)
Government, BOJ must lead Japan out of deflation
日本経済再生 デフレ脱却の成果が問われる(1月7日付・読売社説)

 ◆活性化へ企業競争力を高めよ◆

The Abe administration has set economic revitalization as the top priority on its policy agenda.
 安倍政権が最優先課題に掲げているのが、日本経済の再生だ。

Can it bring about a business recovery and lead Japan out of deflation to lay the foundation for stable growth in the medium and long term? The "two lost decades" that followed the bursting of the economic bubble must be brought to an end this year.
 景気回復とデフレ脱却を実現し、中長期的な安定成長に道筋をつけられるかどうか。今年こそ、バブル経済崩壊から続く「失われた20年」にピリオドを打ちたい。

The government needs to come up with concrete measures for what Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has touted as "economic policy on a different level from previous ones," and implement them flexibly.
 安倍首相が掲げる「これまでとは次元の違う経済政策」の具体策を早急にまとめ、機動的に実行することが肝要だ。

===

Overcome zero growth
 ◆ゼロ成長に甘んじるな◆

Nominal gross domestic product, which more accurately represents sentiment felt by households and businesses, stands at about 470 trillion yen, unchanged from two decades ago. In contrast with China, whose GDP expanded by about 20 times during the same period, Japan has meandered along as a "zero-growth state."
 家計や企業の実感に近い名目国内総生産(GDP)は約470兆円で、20年前と変わらない。同じ期間にGDPが約20倍に急拡大した中国とは対照的な「ゼロ成長国家」に甘んじている。

Many experts point out it will become increasingly difficult for Japan to attain economic growth due to its shrinking and aging population and chronically low birthrate. Growth can no longer be simply expected for Japan. Some people probably hold such a pessimistic view.
 今後は少子高齢化と人口減少で経済成長はさらに難しくなると、多くの専門家も指摘する。もはや日本で成長は望めない。そう将来を悲観する人もあろう。

But is it any use to sit back and do nothing?
 本当にそれでいいのだろうか。

At a news conference held after he assumed the post of prime minister, Abe said, "There is no future for a country that abandons hope for growth." He is right. If the people lose their hopes and aspirations, this nation will never regain its economic vigor.
首相は就任後の記者会見で「成長をあきらめた国に未来はない」と訴えた。その通りだ。国民が希望と意欲を失えば、経済の活力は決して戻らないだろう。

First and foremost, it is necessary to conquer deflation, which has dragged on for more than 10 years. Failure to do this will kill future prospects for growth before they get off the ground. This is because deflation curbs corporate profits and household income, thereby accelerating economic contraction.
 まず、10年以上に及ぶデフレを退治しないことには、展望は開けない。デフレは企業の利益や家計の収入を減らし、経済の縮小を加速させるからだ。

The Abe administration will try to rebuild a robust economy by implementing the "three arrows" of combined policy initiatives--drastic monetary easing, flexible fiscal management and a growth strategy to encourage private investment. This prescription for growth is reasonable.
 大胆な金融緩和、機動的な財政政策、民間投資を喚起する成長戦略の「3本の矢」で、強い経済を取り戻すという、安倍政権の処方箋は妥当である。

Since late December, the Nikkei Stock Average has been rising sharply and the yen has weakened against the dollar, falling to the 88 yen level to the greenback. This underscores the high hopes pinned on the new administration's economic package.
 年末から年始にかけて、東京市場の平均株価が急騰し、円相場も1ドル=88円台まで円安が進んだ。新たな経済政策に対する期待の大きさを示している。

 ◆物価目標で連携強化◆

In parallel with the Bank of Japan's monetary easing, the government will need to make up for weak demand through such steps as effective public works projects.
 日銀の金融緩和と並行して、政府が効果的な公共事業などで需要不足を補うことが求められる。

===

Stronger cooperation vital

Most important in this respect will be to bolster cooperation between the government and the bank.
 特に重要なのが、政府と日銀の連携強化である。

Abe asked central bank Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa to agree on setting a 2 percent inflation target and conclude a policy accord. The bank is likely to introduce an inflation target sometime this month. The government and the bank must set a clear inflation target and share responsibility for achieving it.
 首相は日銀の白川方明総裁に、2%の物価目標と政策協定の締結を要請し、日銀は今月中に導入する見通しだ。明確な物価目標を定め、その達成に政府と日銀が連帯して責任を負うべきである。

Worryingly, Abe and some other Cabinet members have been forward in calling for the central bank to conclude the policy accord and other matters, by linking them with a revision of the Bank of Japan Law and the appointment of Shirakawa's successor.
 気がかりなのは、首相などが日銀法改正や総裁の後任人事と関連づけて、政策協定などを日銀に求める場面が目立つことだ。

During World War II, the government made the central bank buy government bonds, triggering a plunge in government bond prices and hyperinflation.
 戦時中、政府が国債を日銀に引き受けさせ、国債暴落や超インフレを引き起こした歴史がある。

If the Bank of Japan's independence is eroded, it could cause government bond prices to nosedive. We urge the Abe administration to strictly refrain from making comments and taking actions that could be misconstrued as attempts to exert political pressure on the central bank.
 日銀の独立性が揺らげば、国債の急落を招く恐れもある。日銀に政治圧力をかけていると誤解される言動は厳に慎しんでほしい。

Tackling fiscal reconstruction will require ending dole-out policies and steadily raising the consumption tax rate. Such efforts also will be essential to ensure market confidence in government bonds.
 バラマキ政策をやめ、消費税率を着実に引き上げて、財政再建に取り組むことは、国債の信用を維持するためにも大切だ。

===

Consider corporate tax cut
 ◆法人税下げの検討を◆

Besides deflation, the Japanese economy is riddled with many problems.
 デフレ以外にも日本経済は多くの課題を抱えている。

It is welcome news that the historically high value of the yen is being corrected. But if the yen falls too far, there will be such side effects as an expansion in the trade deficit.
 歴史的な超円高が解消されつつあるのは朗報だが、円安も行き過ぎれば、貿易赤字拡大などの副作用がある。

In particular, imports of fuel including liquefied natural gas are rising sharply to keep thermal power plants operating at full capacity in place of the mostly idled nuclear power plants.
 特に、原子力発電所の代わりに火力発電所をフル稼働しているため、液化天然ガス(LNG)など燃料の輸入は急増している。

The weaker yen will push up the costs of importing fuel, which will flow on to higher electricity bills. We hope such "bad price increases" can be avoided. Restarting nuclear reactors whose safety has been confirmed is important from the standpoint of easing such side effects of the weaker yen.
 円安で燃料の輸入費が上がり、電気料金の上昇に拍車がかかる。そんな「悪い物価上昇」は避けたい。安全を確認できた原発の再稼働は、円安の副作用を緩和する意味でも重要である。

It is certain that domestic consumer and other markets are heading for contraction as the working generations shrink. Should the number of workers fall, economic growth will slow down.
 現役世代の減少につれて、消費などの国内市場が縮小に向かうのは間違いない。働き手が減れば経済成長力も低下しよう。

Provide more government support to people raising children to help stop Japan's population from declining; Prevent the labor market from shriveling by promoting the employment of women and elderly people; Enhance Japanese companies' international competitiveness by lowering the excessively high corporate tax rate.
 子育て支援の充実で人口減少に歯止めをかける。女性や高齢者の就労促進で労働市場の縮小を防ぐ。高すぎる法人税率を引き下げて企業の競争力を高める――。

It is already known what policies are needed to revitalize the economy.
 活性化に必要な政策のメニューは、すでに分かっている。

In such sectors as health and nursing care, where demand will grow in step with the aging population, there is potential demand for higher-quality services even if they come at a higher cost. We think the government should press ahead with reviews of the rigid rules and regulations in these sectors.
 高齢化で需要の増える医療や介護などの分野には、もっと高額でもいいから質の高いサービスを求める潜在需要がある。硬直化した規制の見直しも進めたい。

The government must inject money and manpower intensively and boldly into effective projects, and implement them quickly.
 政府は効果的な施策に大胆に予算や人員を集中投入し、実行を急がねばならない。

By making good use of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy--which is to be reinstated under the Abe administration--and the newly established headquarters for Japan's economic revitalization, the government must eradicate the evils of bureaucratic sectionalism at government ministries and break down entrenched vested interests.
 再起動する経済財政諮問会議と新設する日本経済再生本部を活用して、府省縦割りの弊害や、さまざまな既得権益を打破することが求められる。

It is essential for Japan to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade framework led by the United States so it can harness demand in foreign markets, including in Asia.
 アジアなど海外の需要を取り込むため、米国が主導する環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)への参加は不可欠である。

Business circles, including the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), are imploring the government to take part in the TPP negotiations soon so as to promote growth. The government should quickly decide on Japan's joining the talks and get involved in formulating the partnership's rules on trade and investment. That will indeed serve the interests of the nation.
 経団連をはじめ経済界は、成長促進のため早期参加を強く求めている。政府が決断を急ぎ、貿易・投資のルール作りに関与することこそ国益にかなう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 7, 2013)
(2013年1月7日01時26分  読売新聞)

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2013年1月 7日 (月)

企業の挑戦―個性に裏打ちされてこそ

--The Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 4
EDITORIAL: Companies must meet challenges with originality
企業の挑戦―個性に裏打ちされてこそ

The first domestically produced passenger jet is set to take off as early as this autumn.
 初の国産ジェット旅客機が、この秋にも大空を舞う。

It is the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), a small plane designed to carry up to 100 passengers that was developed by Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp., a Nagoya-based subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (MHI).
 三菱重工業の子会社、三菱航空機(名古屋市)が開発する乗客100人以下の小型機、三菱リージョナルジェット(MRJ)だ。

Unlike the market for medium to large passenger planes dominated by the U.S. manufacturer Boeing Co. and the European maker Airbus SAS, there is much room in this small-plane market for new entrants. According to industry sources, there is demand for about 5,000 small airplanes.
 この市場は米ボーイングと欧州エアバスが牛耳る中大型機とは違い、参入余地が大きい。需要は5千機ほどに及ぶという。

MHI has long been supplying Boeing and Airbus with parts. However, partly due to the advancement of rival Asian companies that are beginning to catch up, Mitsubishi decided to make inroads into the market of finished aircraft, taking the current opportunity as its last chance to do so.
 両社に長く部品を供給してきた三菱だが、アジアの後続企業の追い上げもあり、完成機メーカーに脱皮する最後の機会と見て勝負に出た。

‘SALES EFFORT’ PAYS OFF
■「売る努力」の結晶

Because Japan excels in manufacturing, no concerns about the plane are heard from the airlines purchasing them.
 日本のモノづくりの粋であり、客先の航空会社からも機体への不安は聞かれない。

But that alone does not explain why these passenger planes are selling well. The orders that Mitsubishi Aircraft has received for 330 of its MRJ planes are the fruit of its "sales effort."
 ただ、旅客機はそれだけでは売れない。すでに330機を受注したMRJは「売る努力」の結晶でもある。

A determining factor for sales is the standard of after-sale service to promptly resolve problems on a global scale. If the standard is high, airlines can use the aircraft efficiently and increase their profits. And because used planes can be sold at reasonable prices, the manufacturer can sell the new planes to airlines at high prices.
 販売の決め手は、世界規模で迅速にトラブルを処理するアフターサービスの水準だ。ここが優れていれば航空会社は機材を効率よく使って収益を上げられる。中古も良い値で売れ、いきおい新品も高く売れる。

If Mitsubishi Aircraft had tried to do business on its own, it would have been left behind. It has tied up with Boeing to learn its know-how and selected companies from around the world that excel in such areas as repairs and training to team up with.
 自前主義では間に合わない。ボーイングと提携してノウハウを学び、補修や訓練など分野ごとに世界から優良企業を選んでチームを組む。

While products are still the main pillar, the manufacturer has become a leading player in the market by building sales and service systems to fully meet the needs of customers. This is a path that any Japanese company seeking global advancement should follow.
 モノが主軸ながら、顧客のニーズに最大限に応える販売・サービス体制を構築し、主導権を確立していく。グローバル化を目指す日本企業の進むべき一つの道がここにある。

Peter Drucker (1909-2005), the Austrian-born American authority on management, observed that the true nature of corporate management lies in technical innovation and the creation of markets.
 経営学の大家ドラッカーは、企業経営の本質は技術革新と市場創造だと看破した。

However, it seems that Japanese companies became overconfident about their manufacturing abilities and lost sight of their directions in the effort to sell what they made. Because their products have not sold at list prices, they have been forced to make discounts, which has led to the deflation plaguing them.
 だが、日本企業はモノづくりへの自信に溺れ、売る努力の方向性を見失った感がある。正価で売れず値引きし、デフレに苦しむ。

Once again at this juncture, they need to find the wisdom to make the world recognize the value of their products and services, in other words, to recover the strength of their brands. Otherwise, they will be swallowed up as newly emerging countries advance and companies compete with each other more on the basis of their "uniqueness."
 いま一度、自らの製品やサービスの価値を世界に認めさせる力、つまりブランド力を取り戻すために知恵を絞らなければならない。新興国が台頭し、ますます「個性」が競い合う世界の中で埋没しないために。

DEPARTURE FROM OVERCONCENTRATION
■一極集中からの脱却

A private event called "Ippen mitaroka, eeyan bunraku" (Bunraku is cool, why not go see it?) was held in Osaka in December.
 「いっぺん観(み)たろか、ええやん文楽」という民間イベントを師走の大阪でのぞいた。

The municipal government's review of its subsidies for bunraku, a form of traditional Japanese puppet theater, led a group to organize the event with an aim to take a new look at bunraku. Before the actual performance, a talk was held between puppeteer Kiritake Kanjuro, writer Arisu Arisugawa and fashion designer Hiroko Koshino.
 市の補助金見直し問題を機に、文楽を考え直そうという催しである。実演に先立ち、人形遣いの桐竹勘十郎さんと作家の有栖川(ありすがわ)有栖さん、ファッションデザイナーのコシノヒロコさんが対談した。

"Cutting off subsidies on the grounds that puppet shows are attracting fewer people is not what needs to be done. Rather, we must secure producers who can bridge the gap between tradition and current trends to increase the number of customers," Arisugawa said.
 有栖川さんいわく、「客足が悪いから補助金を切るのではなく、伝統と時代感覚をマッチさせ、お客を増やすために行動するプロデューサーが必要だ」。

Koshino has been familiar with bunraku since her childhood because her grandfather used to take her to see it.
 コシノさんは子どものころから祖父に連れられ、文楽に親しんできた。

"I gained much from that experience. Individuality that comes out naturally is appreciated globally. It is difficult to obtain that even if you deliberately aim to produce something Japanese," she said.
 「それが肥やしになり、自然ににじみ出る個性が世界で評価される。意識して日本的なものを狙ってもダメ」

In other words, only true individuality can be appreciated. The same thing can be applied to companies. Anyone can cut costs. The job of managers is to develop their company within its society.
 血肉になった個性でなければ評価されないのは、企業も同じだろう。コストを削るだけなら誰でもできる。経営者の仕事は社会のなかで会社を発展させていくことだ。

French, Italian and Swiss companies that have firmly established themselves in Japanese markets have strong brands backed by their unique character.
 日本市場に深く浸透しているフランスやイタリア、スイスの企業には、個性に裏付けられた高いブランド力がある。

In Japan, too, whether a company is located in urban or rural areas has no bearing. Rather, local companies that can steadily do business blessed by tradition and nature may be in a more desirable environment to create value.
 日本でも、会社が都会にあるか地方かは関係ない。むしろ、伝統や自然に恵まれ、腰をすえた経営ができる地方企業は、価値の創造には望ましい環境にあるかもしれない。

Companies should protect work that requires human labor and play a social role to distribute income. Instead of sticking to shrinking domestic markets, they should deal directly with the world. If a place in which companies can stimulate each other is nurtured locally, it will also attract people who work in major urban areas.
 人手をかける仕事を守り、所得を分配する社会的な機能を果たす。縮小する国内市場にこだわらず、直接、世界を相手にしていく。そんな企業が触発し合う「場」が地方に育てば、大都市の人材も引き寄せられよう。

In the 21st century, there must be a model of success different from the postwar one that led to overconcentration in Tokyo.
 21世紀には、東京一極集中の戦後とは異なる成功の形があるはずだ。

A CHAIN OF GOOD IDEAS
■優れた着想の連鎖を

Starting this autumn, Kyushu Railway Co. (JR Kyushu) will operate "Nanatsuboshi" (Seven Stars), a luxury sleeping car excursion train. A three-night, four-day tour (with two nights spent in the train) that travels across five prefectures and visits such tourist destinations as Yufuin (Oita Prefecture), Kirishima (Kagoshima Prefecture) and Aso (Kumamoto Prefecture) costs up to 1.1 million yen (about $13,000) per couple. Inquiries from travel agents in other countries have also been increasing.
 JR九州は、今秋から豪華な周遊列車「ななつ星」を走らせる。由布院(大分)や霧島(鹿児島)、阿蘇(熊本)など5県をめぐる3泊4日コース(2泊は列車泊)は2人で最高110万円。海外の旅行会社からの引き合いも増えている。

By positioning the railway, which is essentially a means of transportation, as "a place to stay," JR Kyushu broke new ground. It took a hint from luxury cruise liners.
 移動手段である鉄道を「滞在場所」と位置づけたことで新境地が開けた。ヒントは豪華客船の旅だ。

However, deluxe train cars and in-car services alone are not enough to complete the picture. Collaboration with various forms of hospitality offered by tourist destinations along the way provides the key.
 もっとも、立派な車両や車内サービスだけでは完結しない。立ち寄り先のさまざまな接遇との相乗効果こそ生命線だ。

There is no way rich people from around the world can be fooled. One must strictly ask oneself, "What is 'real' travel?" More than anything else, the ability to come up with good ideas is needed.
 世界の金持ちを相手にごまかしはきかない。「本物は何か」という厳しい自問と、何より優れた着想力が求められる。

JR Kyushu has accumulated a wealth of experiences by running unique tourist trains in the past. Nanatsuboshi is the result of that accumulation, and at the same time, it has the role of creating new value by linking unique regions that have devoted themselves to attracting tourists.
 これまでユニークな観光列車で経験を積んできたJR九州にとって、ななつ星は集大成だ。同時に、アジアからの観光客誘致に取り組んできた個性ある地域を結んで、新たな価値を創造する使命も帯びる。

When beautiful jewels are strung together, they make an even more beautiful necklace. There are, without a doubt, many more clues to the challenge of creating such a desirable cycle.
 美しい宝石をつなげれば、より一層きれいなネックレスになる――。そんな好循環をつくる挑戦の糸口は、まだまだあるに違いない。

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民主主義を考える―「私たち」を政治の主語に

--The Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 5
EDITORIAL: Citizens should play the leading role in democracy
民主主義を考える―「私たち」を政治の主語に

Let us reflect on the state of democracy in this nation.
 民主主義を考えたい。

We want to do so because Japan's political ills appear to indicate that democracy in this country itself has a cold, so to speak.
 政治の病は、民主主義じたいが風邪をひいている表れのように思えるからだ。

Japanese people's distrust of politics has deepened to an alarming degree, and the number of voters who support specific political parties has dwindled. It seems polls are determined not by voters' "support" but by their "nonsupport." Parties that no longer have a strong base of supporters inevitably go adrift, tossed about by the vicissitudes of politics.
 政治不信は深まり、政党の支持者は細った。人々は「支持」よりも「不支持」で投票行動を決めているようにみえる。根の枯れた政党は漂い、浮き沈みを繰り返す。

Does democracy work well when it is fueled by the negative sentiment of disapproval?
 不支持という負の感情を燃料に、民主主義はうまく動くのだろうか。

An illuminating insight is offered by a political philosopher from an age in which political parties lost the support of people who used to sympathize with them.
政党が「共感を寄せてくれた大衆を失ってしまった」あの時代を体験した、政治哲学者の著作をひもとこう。

When communities collapse and social ties are severed, the masses feel discarded and turn hostile toward the "establishment," including political parties and the representatives of interest groups. And when a defeat in war and unemployment have spread anxiety among them, those masses seek stories that fulfill their desire to escape from reality.
 ――共同体が壊れて人とのつながりを失い、見捨てられた思いを抱く大衆は、政党や利益団体の代表を始めとする「体制」に敵意を示す。敗戦や失業で不安が広がると、現実から目を背けさせてくれる物語を求める。

That's why people in Germany believed the fiction of a Jewish world conspiracy that the Nazis created for their propaganda. This keen observation was made by Hannah Arendt, a German-born Jew, in her book "The Origins of Totalitarianism," published in 1951.
 だから、大衆は「ユダヤ人の陰謀」と戦うというナチスの虚構を信じた。ドイツ生まれのユダヤ人、ハンナ・アーレントは「全体主義の起原(きげん)」(1951年)で、そう読み解いた。

GATHERING 'IDEAS OF AMATEURS'
■「素人の知恵」集める

How can we build connections between people and politics based on positive sentiments?
 どうすれば、人々と政治は、正の感情でつながれるのか。

Some Japanese may think that politics is a "service industry" and they are its customers. Such people would say that if they become dissatisfied with the services provided, they need only change the provider (the ruling party).
 政治はサービス産業で、私たちは顧客。不満なら業者(政党)を代えればいい――。

Such a notion can only cause us to suffer disillusionment with politics again and again.
 そんな感覚なら、幻滅を繰り返すだけだ。

In today's Japan, where the population is aging rapidly amid low birthrates, it is difficult for any party in power to keep providing satisfactory services.
少子高齢化が進むいまの日本。だれが政権を担っても、満足なサービスを提供し続けるのは難しいのだから。

First of all, are citizens customers?
 だいいち、市民は客なのか。

Citizens lodge petitions, while politicians try to secure budgets for projects and programs they favor. Toshinari Yokoo, a 31-year-old member of the Minato Ward assembly in Tokyo, is working to change this traditional relationship between citizens and politicians in Japan into a constructive partnership for tackling challenges.
 市民は陳情し、政治家は予算を引き出す。そんな関係を、ともに課題解決にとりくむ仲間に変えよう。東京都港区議の横尾俊成さん(31)はそう試みる。

Yokoo's election manifesto is composed of policy proposals that emerged from his conversations with citizens.
 選挙公約には、市民との対話で出た提案を列挙した。

One of the proposals is to scrap the restrictive rules on what children can do in parks, designed to prevent them from getting injured, so that they can play in an unrestrained manner. Another is to establish a system that allows citizens to rent a bicycle at one bicycle parking lot and return it at another.
 けがをさせまいと遊び方を制限したりせず、やんちゃし放題の公園。駐輪場で自転車を借り、別の駐輪場で乗り捨てられる仕組み。

As these proposals get into the process of implementation, those who have proposed them get excited about the fact that their ideas can really become a reality.
実現に動き出すと、提案者から「できるんだ!」と喜びの声が上がる。

Yokoo also uses the Internet to solicit ideas from ordinary citizens. He has posted calls for ideas about, for instance, how to raise the ratio of young people voting in elections and new ways to use community notice boards. He then brings ideas offered by citizens to the ward assembly for consideration.
 インターネットでも、「若者の投票率を上げる施策」や「まちの掲示板の新しい使い方」を一緒に考えようと呼びかけ、議会につなぐ。

"Traditionally, the will of the local residents means the opinions of the representatives of neighborhood associations and local interest groups, and little attention has been paid to the voices of young people," says Yokoo. "But it is young people who are most familiar with the problems facing them. We should try to gather ideas from 100 'thinking amateurs' rather than relying on one biased representative."
 「これまでは自治会や利益団体の代表の声が『民意』で、若い人の声は届かなかった。でも若者の課題を知っているのは若者自身。1人の偏った代表者より、100人の『考える素人』の知恵を集めることです」

Yokoo believes the principal role of politicians is to extract ideas from citizens.
 知恵を引き出すのが、政治家の役割だと横尾さんは考える。

If people want to carve out a wonderful future for themselves on their own, they need media that focus more on communicating great ideas than on providing distressing news.
 自分たちですてきな未来を創るには、暗いニュースより優れたアイデアを伝えるメディアが必要だ。

That's the idea behind the publication of web magazine "greenz.jp" by Nao Suzuki, 36, who heads Greenz, an incorporated nonprofit organization.
NPO法人「グリーンズ」の鈴木菜央代表理事(36)はそう考えて、ウェブマガジン「greenz.jp」を発刊した。

An article published in the online magazine tells about a unique way to connect consumers to workers who make products.
 たとえば、こんな事例を紹介している。

SOLUTION THROUGH REBUILDING TIES
■つながり直しで解決

The website of a French designer allows shoppers to choose the old lady who knits the hat or the muffler they order. Buyers chose one of the knitters based on their pictures and personal information, like a love of rock music. Purchasers express their gratitude to the old ladies who have knitted their hats and mufflers, and thus begin exchanges between the consumers and the knitters.
 フランスのデザイナーのウェブサイトでは、帽子やマフラーを編んでくれるおばあちゃんを指名できる。ロックが好き、といった情報や写真で選ぶ。客が感謝を伝え、おばあちゃんとの交流が始まる。

"As social ties between people become weak in this society, there are growing signs that people are seeking to solve problems through rebuilding those ties," observes Suzuki. "Share houses and networks to exchange clothes are just two examples. But the enormous distance between citizens and politics makes it difficult to propose policies to support this trend."
 「人のつながりが希薄な社会になり、『つながり直し』で課題を解決する動きが広がっている。シェアハウスも、洋服を交換するネットワークもそうだ。ただ、そんな動きを後押しする政策を提言しようにも、市民と政治の距離はあまりに遠い」

In order to narrow that distance, Suzuki has launched the "Senkyo (Election) CAMP" campaign. His organization rented one floor of a building in Tokyo's Shibuya district for a period of one month that included the Dec. 16 Lower House election for use as a venue for discussions open to everybody.
 距離を埋めるため、「せんきょCAMP」運動を始めた。衆院選前後の1カ月間は東京・渋谷のビルのフロアを借り、だれもが参加できる対話の場に仕立てた。

The discussion forum was designed to change people's attitude toward politics from "It's somebody else's business" to "It's our own business." Participants had discussions with guests, including politicians, on topics such as the kind of future they want and what they can do to change the situation.
 「他人ごと」な政治を「自分ごと」にするため、「ほしい未来は」「あなたは何ができる」を話し合い、政治家を含むゲストと意見を交わす。

Similar moves have emerged in 15 places nationwide. Suzuki hopes to expand this movement during the run-up to the Upper House election next summer.
呼応する動きは全国15カ所に。参院選に向け、さらに広げたい考えだ。

When asked about the current state of politics in Japan, he gave the following answer.
 いまの政治について尋ねると、こんな答えが返ってきた。

"It is meaningless to keep repeating the process of planting carrots in sterile land in the narrow farm called Nagata-cho (Japan's political power center) and then replacing them with red turnips when they wither.
 「永田町という狭い農場で、痩せた土にニンジンを植え、枯れたら赤カブに換える、なんてことを繰り返しても仕方ない。

"What we need to do is to expand conversations (on politics) among citizens, create countless venues for such public discussions and nurture rich democratic ecosystems all over the nation."
市民の対話を広げ、参加の場を無数に用意し、各地に豊かな生態系を育むことです」

FROM VOTERS TO SOVEREIGN MEMBERS OF SOCIETY
■有権者から主権者へ

It is futile and dangerous for us to bewail the failure of politics to meet our expectations and wait longingly for saviors. We should be wary of politicians who talk about easy solutions to the thorny problems facing the nation.
 期待に応えぬ政治を嘆き、救世主を待つのは不毛だし、危うい。簡単な解決策を語る者は、むしろ疑うべきだ。

Citizens need to confront the challenges facing them and try to make politicians take effective steps to tackle them. Politicians, for their part, should promote information disclosure and create effective systems to seek ideas and proposals from citizens.
 市民みずから課題に向きあい、政治に働きかける。政治は情報公開を進め、市民の知恵を採り入れる仕組みを整える。

Japanese citizens must change themselves from voters who only cast ballots at the polls into participants in the sovereignty of their nation. They must take a first step toward realizing a true democracy in which the people play the leading role.
 投票するだけの有権者から、主権者へ。「民」が主語となる本来の民主主義へと一歩、踏み出すしかない。

Yokoo is also the chief of NPO corporation Greenbird, a group of young people dedicated to cleaning up their communities.
There are a total of 43 teams of young people working for the cause across Japan and overseas.
 横尾さんは、街を掃除する若者たちのNPO法人「グリーンバード」代表でもある。全国や海外で43チームが活動する。

"We really enjoy working in teams and receiving positive reactions from people," says Yokoo. "I hope we can also get involved in politics in an enjoyable and cool way."
 「みんなで汗をかき、周りから『いいね!』と言ってもらえるのは楽しい。政治もみんなで楽しく、かっこよくやりたい」

We agree. Democracy can be fun if we play the leading role.
 賛成だ。私たち自身が主語ならきっと、民主主義は楽しい。

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裁判員裁判 検証結果を制度定着に生かせ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 7, 2013)
Top court's review should lead to improved lay judge trials
裁判員裁判 検証結果を制度定着に生かせ(1月6日付・読売社説)

To ensure the lay judge system becomes well-established, it is important to steadily rectify every shortcoming that was mentioned in the latest review of the system.
 裁判員制度を定着させるためには、検証で浮かび上がった問題点を着実に改善していくことが大切である。

More than 34,000 people have so far served as lay judges or supplementary lay judges. In December, the Supreme Court compiled a review of how the citizen judge system has performed in the three years since its launch in May 2009. This was the first review of its kind.
 これまでに裁判員や補充裁判員を務めた人は、3万4000人を超える。最高裁は昨年12月、2009年5月の制度施行から3年間の実施状況について、初の検証報告をまとめた。

Lay judge trials have tended to hand down punishments that are either the same as or more severe than sentences sought by the prosecution. In particular, lay judge trials have tended to mete out heavier penalties than demanded by prosecutors in cases involving despicable sexual offenses, according to the review.
 量刑では、検察側の求刑と同じか、求刑を上回る判決の割合が増え、特に、卑劣な性犯罪事件で刑を重くする傾向が見られた。

This is probably because citizen judges have tended to draw conclusions that better reflect the sentiments of ordinary people. They are not bound by conventional trial practices in which professional judges generally hand down sentences 20 percent lighter than demanded by the prosecution.
 「求刑の8掛け」とも言われた従来の量刑にとらわれず、市民感覚を反映させた結論が導き出された結果と言えるだろう。

===

Speed up pretrial arrangements

The average number of days spent on court proceedings from the start of a court session to sentencing is about six, according to the top court's review. The trial process, which took an average of about six months when carried out by only professional judges, has been greatly sped up.
 初公判から判決までの日数は、平均6日ほどだった。平均で約半年かかっていた裁判官だけの裁判の時代と比べると、大幅にスピードアップした。

On the other hand, pretrial arrangement proceedings that judges, prosecutors and defense lawyers hold before opening court hearings with the aim of narrowing down points of contention have been getting longer. In cases last year in which defendants denied the charges against them, pretrial arrangement proceedings took an average of nearly nine months, the review showed.
 一方で、初公判前に裁判官、検察官、弁護人が争点を絞り込む公判前整理手続きが長期化している。被告が起訴内容を争う事件では昨年、整理手続きだけで平均9か月近くを要した。

A certain period of time is certainly required to clarify the main points of dispute in a trial. But the longer it takes for court hearings to start, the more witnesses' memories can fade. This raises concerns that questioning in court could be impeded.
 争点を明確にするには、ある程度の準備期間は必要だ。だが、一方で、裁判がなかなか始まらないと、証人の記憶が薄れ、法廷での尋問に支障を来す恐れがある。

To correct this situation, prosecutors need to be more willing to disclose items of evidence, and defense lawyers to complete their arguments as swiftly as possible.
 検察が積極的に証拠を開示し、弁護側も主張を手早くまとめるといった努力が欠かせない。

It is also problematic that prosecutors in public hearings spend a considerable time reading out documents, including depositions by the accused.
 検察官が公判で、供述調書などの書面の読み上げに多くの時間を費やしているのも懸念材料だ。

Many people who have served as lay judges were cited in the review as saying that reading out these documents took too long and was monotonous, and that they were unable to maintain their concentration and remember what the prosecutors said.
 裁判員経験者からは「朗読は単調で、集中力が続かず、印象に残らない」との意見が多く寄せられた。

This alarming situation runs counter to the very basis of the lay judge system, which was intended to make court proceedings easier to understand for ordinary citizens.
分かりやすい裁判の実現という裁判員制度の趣旨からすると、ゆゆしき事態である。

===

Lessen burden on citizen judges

We think prosecutors should focus more on substantiating their assertions primarily through testimony from the accused, witnesses and others to make it easier for lay judges to make decisions, instead of depending on documents.
 検察は書面に頼らず、被告や証人の証言を通して裁判員が判断できる立証を心がけるべきだ。

In addition, more consideration must be given to prevent citizen judges from being weighed down by their heavy workload.
 裁判員の過重な負担への配慮も大切だ。

In the trial in which the Tottori District Court on Dec. 4 gave a female defendant the death penalty for her involvement in two mysterious deaths, lay judges had to sit at a trial that lasted 75 days--the second longest since the lay judge system started.
12月4日に鳥取地裁で女性被告に死刑判決が言い渡された連続不審死事件の裁判では、裁判員の在任期間が過去2番目に長い75日間にも及んだ。

The defendant was indicted on charges of drowning two male acquaintances, but there were no direct items of evidence such as a confession by the defendant, who remained silent during questioning through the hearings.
 被告は知人男性2人を溺死させたとして起訴されたが、自白などの直接証拠はなく、検察側の質問に黙秘を続けた。

Looking back at the proceedings, one lay judge said at a news conference after the trial, "Sentencing [the defendant to death] was painful and severe." This comment indicated the citizen judges may have felt pressured to make an extremely difficult judgment.
裁判員は判決後の記者会見で「つらく重い判決だった」と振り返った。難しい判断を迫られたことがうかがえる。

To help alleviate lay judges' fatigue, courts should be considerate enough to let them take regular breaks, and show photographic evidence not in color but in black and white to lessen the psychological impact of traumatic images.
 裁判員の疲労対策として、こまめに休憩を入れる。証拠写真をカラーでなく白黒にして精神的衝撃を和らげる。裁判所にはこうした心配りが求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 6, 2013)
(2013年1月6日01時21分  読売新聞)

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靖国放火容疑者 韓国の引き渡し拒否は不当だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 7, 2013)
South Korean refusal to extradite Yasukuni arson suspect unjust
靖国放火容疑者 韓国の引き渡し拒否は不当だ(1月6日付・読売社説)

An unjust decision by the South Korean judicial authorities could seriously affect relations with Japan.
 日韓関係を損なう韓国司法の不当な決定だ。

Japan's request to the South Korean government to extradite a Chinese suspected of setting fire to the Shinmon main gate of Yasukuni Shrine was turned down by the Seoul High Court, which called the arson attack a "political crime." The suspect is now back in China.
 東京の靖国神社の神門に放火した疑いで日本政府が韓国政府に身柄引き渡しを求めていた中国人容疑者について、ソウル高裁が「政治犯」と認定して引き渡しの拒否を決定し、容疑者は中国に帰国した。

Beijing openly requested that the suspect be repatriated to China, arguing that he should be handled like a "political prisoner." The South Korean decision to comply with that request indicates the country shows more consideration to China than Japan.
 容疑者の身柄引き渡しを巡っては、中国が政治犯としての処遇を求めて強制送還を公然と要求していた。日本より中国への配慮が強くにじみ出た決定と言えよう。

It was natural for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to say: "South Korea effectively ignored the bilateral treaty on extradition. It is extremely regrettable and I would like to strongly protest."
 安倍首相が「韓国の対応は日韓犯罪人引き渡し条約を事実上、まったく無視したものだ。極めて遺憾で、強く抗議したい」と述べたのも当然である。

The suspect was sentenced to 10 months in South Korea for throwing a Molotov cocktail at the Japanese Embassy in Seoul in January last year. During questioning, he reportedly confessed to setting a fire at Yasukuni in December 2011.
 この容疑者は、昨年1月にソウルの日本大使館に火炎瓶を投げ込んだ罪で韓国で懲役10月の実刑判決が確定し服役した。取り調べ中に、一昨年12月の靖国神社への放火についても自供していた。

===

'Comfort woman' motive

Asked for a motive for the series of attacks on Japanese facilities, the suspect reportedly said his grandmother was a so-called comfort woman and he was angry over the Japanese government's views on history and its responses.
 日本の施設を連続して狙った犯行の動機について、容疑者は、祖母がいわゆる従軍慰安婦で、日本政府の歴史認識や対応への怒りからだと供述していたという。

The Seoul High Court said Yasukuni enshrines war criminals convicted for leading a war of aggression and the shrine is a "political symbol" as it is used as a national facility and is visited by cabinet ministers and other people.
 ソウル高裁は、靖国神社について、「侵略戦争を主導し、有罪判決を受けた戦犯が合祀(ごうし)」され、閣僚らが参拝するなど国家施設として使用されている「政治的象徴性がある」と指摘した。

The court ruled that the arson attack on Yasukuni was a crime with the political purpose of changing Japan's policies. It turned down extradition on the grounds that the arson was tantamount to a "political crime."
 そのうえで、放火は日本の政策変更を狙った政治的な目的による犯行で、引き渡しを拒否できる「政治犯罪」にあたるとした。

This is a surprising ruling, as it equates the exoneration of an arsonist with absolving a person who commits a serious crime in the name of a political cause based on historical events. This is the same as saying that anything can be done to Yasukuni Shrine.
 驚くべき判断だ。これでは、過去の歴史と絡めて、放火という重大な犯罪に“政治的大義”を認め、放免したに等しい。靖国神社には何をしても許されると言ったも同然ではないか。

We are concerned that the court ruling may induce other people to commit similar crimes.
 同種の犯罪を誘発しないかと危惧せざるを得ない。

===

Gap in historical views

A huge gap exists in the views on historical events between Japan and South Korea. However, it is totally unreasonable to imply that arson is a political crime.
 日本と韓国の間に過去認識を巡って大きな溝が存在するのはまぎれもない事実だ。だが、放火という犯罪に政治的な意味合いを持たせるのは明らかにおかしい。

The South Korean judicial authorities have ruled on other historical issues.
 歴史問題に絡んだ韓国の司法当局の判断は他にもある。

In August 2011, the South Korean Constitutional Court ruled it was unconstitutional for the South Korean government to have failed to make an effort to solve the issue of compensation rights of former comfort women.
 一昨年8月に憲法裁判所は、韓国政府が元慰安婦の賠償請求権について解決に努力しないのは憲法違反にあたると判断した。

In May last year, the South Korean Supreme Court ruled that the individual compensation rights of former Korean laborers who were brought to work at Japanese companies during World War II were valid.
 昨年5月には最高裁が、第2次大戦中に日本企業に徴用された韓国人元労働者の個人の賠償請求権は有効とする判断を示した。

The issue of such compensation rights was settled "completely and finally" under one of the bilateral agreements concluded when bilateral relations were normalized. The Japanese government should continue to firmly maintain this position.
 請求権問題は国交正常化の際の協定で「完全かつ最終的に」解決されている。その立場を、日本政府は今後も堅持すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 6, 2013)
(2013年1月6日01時21分  読売新聞)

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2013年1月 6日 (日)

転機の日本政治 試される安倍政権の統治能力

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 6, 2013)
Abe administration's ability to tackle problems faces test
転機の日本政治 試される安倍政権の統治能力(1月5日付・読売社説)

 ◆参院選前に着実に成果を示せ◆

With the change of government, positive signs have emerged for the nation's prospects for this year.
 政権交代して迎えた今年を展望すれば、やや明るい兆しも見える。

Since just before the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was launched, the super-strong yen has weakened and stock prices have jumped, apparently reflecting high hopes for the Abe administration's economic measures. On Friday, the first trading day of 2013, most stocks on the Tokyo Stock Exchange climbed, recovering levels seen before the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011.
 安倍政権の発足前後から、超円高が修正され、株価も急上昇した。経済政策への期待感がうかがえる。新年初日の取引だった4日の大発会は、ほぼ全面高で東日本大震災前の水準を回復した。

Can Abe restore a "strong Japan" and put an end to the nation's revolving-door politics, which has seen the prime minister change about once a year?
 安倍首相は「強い日本」を取り戻し、ほぼ1年ごとに首相が代わる政治に終止符を打てるのか。

If the public's high hopes turn into disappointment, the Abe Cabinet is expected to face a strict verdict in the House of Councillors election scheduled for July. The prime minister must produce results swiftly.
 期待が失望に変わると7月の参院選でたちまち国民から厳しい審判が下されよう。首相は迅速に成果を上げていかねばならない。

===

End practice of handouts
 ◆バラマキ復活させるな◆

Referring to 2013 as the Year of the Snake, Abe said at his first press conference Friday: "The snake symbolizes prosperous business. I'll work hard for the nation so we can take a big step forward toward boosting and reviving the economy."
 安倍首相は年頭の記者会見で「巳年(みどし)のヘビは商売繁盛のシンボルでもある。景気が上向いていくよう、経済再生の大きな一歩をしるせるよう頑張る」と語った。

His government plans to draw up emergency economic measures and submit a large-scale supplementary budget for fiscal 2012 to the Diet. It has also said it intends to work out bold monetary measures in cooperation with the Bank of Japan.
 緊急経済対策をとりまとめ、大規模な補正予算案を国会に提出する。日銀と連携して大胆な金融政策を打ち出す意向も表明した。

First of all, the government needs to put the teetering economy on a recovery track.
 まずは、もたつく景気を回復軌道に乗せることが必要だ。

It reportedly aims to decide on a draft budget for next fiscal year by late this month. It must ensure smooth Diet deliberations and prevent delays in implementing the budget. We want the government and ruling parties to make every effort to pass the budget early.
 来年度予算編成については1月中の政府原案決定を目指すという。国会審議の難航で予算執行が遅れてはなるまい。政府・与党は、本予算の早期成立にも全力を挙げてもらいたい。

Meanwhile, the Abe administration has announced in rapid succession a series of policy changes. They include dropping an income guarantee for individual farming households and a review of a program to end tuition for high schools. Both are key measures of the Democratic Party of Japan. We regard the new administration's decision to correct such handout measures as reasonable.
 安倍政権は、民主党の目玉政策だった「高校授業料無償化」の見直しや、農家に対する戸別所得補償制度の廃止など、矢継ぎ早に政策転換の方針を打ち出している。バラマキ政策を修正するのは妥当な判断だと言える。

However, it would be problematic if the Abe administration continued handout policies in different forms. It is vital for the government to recreate a growth strategy to boost the nation's industrial competitiveness.
 ただし、形を変えたバラマキの復活になっては困る。産業競争力を高める成長戦略を再構築することが肝要である。

Taro Aso, deputy prime minister and finance minister, has indicated the new government has no intention to stick to the 44 trillion yen cap on new bond issuance set under the DPJ-led government. However, he should not forget the government needs to balance its policy measures with fiscal discipline.
 麻生副総理・財務相は、新規国債発行額を44兆円以下に抑えるとする民主党政権の目標にはこだわらない意向のようだが、財政規律との両立を忘れてはならない。

===

Focus on electoral system reform
 ◆選挙制度改革に本腰を◆

During the ordinary Diet session that will start late this month, the Abe administration will be tested on its ability to manage the Diet, which will continue to be divided at least until the July upper house election. The government and ruling parties should focus on passing legislation by trying to form alliances with opposition parties on a policy-by-policy basis.
 今月末に召集される通常国会では、国会運営能力が問われる。参院選までは衆参のねじれが続く。政府・与党は、政策ごとに部分連合を実現し、法案を成立させることに専念する必要がある。

One task that cannot wait is reform of the electoral system of the House of Representatives.
 もはや待ったなしの課題が、衆院の選挙制度改革である。

The Liberal Democratic Party, New Komeito and the DPJ have agreed to discuss drastic reform, including a reduction in the number of lower house seats. With regard to the current system that combines single-seat constituencies and proportional representation blocs, many problems have been pointed out, such as the huge gap between votes and seats won. These problems tend to destabilize politics.
 自民、公明、民主3党は、定数削減を含む抜本改革を検討することで一致している。現行の小選挙区比例代表並立制では、得票数と獲得議席数の隔たりが大きく、政治が安定しないなど、様々な問題点が指摘されている。

Political parties should start to discuss as quickly as possible how to improve the current electoral system.
 制度をどう改善するか、各党は早急に議論を開始すべきだ。

If they cannot discuss the issue because of partisan interests involved in the electoral system, we propose a forum be established for experts to discuss the matter.
 選挙制度には党利党略が絡むため、政党協議で議論を出せないのであれば、有識者による議論の場を設けることも考えたい。

Meanwhile, the Abe administration faces many pending issues that require coordination within the LDP, between the ruling and opposition parties or with local governments.
 一方、安倍政権は、自民党内あるいは与党間、自治体との間で調整が必要な懸案も抱えている。

One of the issues is participation in negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade framework.
 その一つは環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)への参加問題だ。

The LDP is divided over participation in the TPP talks due to strong opposition from agricultural organizations. With this in mind, LDP Secretary General Shigeru Ishiba said, "We have to decide some kind of party policy [on the TPP issue] before the House of Councillors election."
 自民党内では、農業団体が強く反対していることもあって、参加への賛否が割れている。これを念頭に、石破幹事長は「参院選までに党として何らかの対処方針を決めないといけない」と述べた。

However, it will be too late if the LDP does not take the issue seriously, saying only it must come up with a policy "before the upper house election." It is urgent for the LDP to coordinate opinions within the party with the aim of joining the TPP talks.
 だが、「参院選まで」と悠長に構えていては手遅れになる。交渉参加へ党内をまとめることは急務だ。

Japan will not get anywhere unless it sits down at the negotiating table with the 11 countries that will participate in the TPP. The government should exercise its negotiation ability and promote the creation of trade rules that will serve the national interests.
 TPPに参加する11か国との交渉の席につかなければ何も始まらない。交渉力を発揮し、国益にかなう貿易ルール作りを進めるべきである。

For economic growth, it is indispensable to restart idled nuclear reactors once they have been confirmed to be safe. The Abe administration must clear many hurdles such as persuading local governments hosting nuclear power plants.
 経済成長のために、安全性が確認された原子力発電所の再稼働は欠かせない。安倍政権は、自治体の説得など様々なハードルを越えなければならない。

If the ruling parties win a majority in the upper house election, an environment will be created in which they can take their time to face such issues as constitutional revisions and exercising the right to collective self-defense. At that time, the LDP's ability to coordinate opinions with Komeito will be put to the test again.
 参院選で与党が過半数の議席を獲得すれば、憲法改正や集団的自衛権の行使を巡る問題にじっくりと向き合う環境が整うだろう。その際には、改めて公明党との調整力が試される。

===

Coordination with Komeito key
 ◆公明党との調整も重要◆

In spring last year, the LDP compiled a second draft of its proposed constitutional revisions. Almost all LDP members are in step as far as exercising of the right to collective self-defense is concerned. Komeito remains cautious about both issues.
 自民党は昨年春に第2次憲法改正草案を取りまとめた。集団的自衛権の行使についても、党内でほぼ足並みがそろった。公明党はいずれも慎重な構えだ。

However, the security environment surrounding Japan has been drastically changing. China has intruded into not only the territorial waters off the Senkaku Islands but also the airspace above them. North Korea successfully launched a long-range ballistic missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland. We must not look away from these crises.
 しかし、日本の安全保障環境は激変している。中国が尖閣諸島を巡り、領海だけでなく領空まで侵犯し、北朝鮮が米本土への到達も可能な長距離弾道ミサイルの発射に成功した。そんな危機から目をそらしてはならない。

The Constitution, which cannot deal with the ever-changing situations at home and abroad, needs to be revised. Also, it is quite right to take measures to strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance.
 内外の情勢の変化に対応しきれなくなっている憲法は改める必要がある。日米同盟強化のための手立てを講じることも当然だ。

The Abe administration must maintain the political power to boldly tackle constitutional revisions and exercising the right to collective self-defense.
 安倍政権には、憲法改正や集団的自衛権の行使にも果敢に取り組む政治力が求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 5, 2013)
(2013年1月5日01時46分  読売新聞)

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2013年1月 5日 (土)

試練の世界経済 欧州危機の収束はまだ途上だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 5, 2013)
Deeper EU integration needed as European crisis drags on
試練の世界経済 欧州危機の収束はまだ途上だ(1月4日付・読売社説)

 ◆財政再建緩めずに「統合深化」を◆

Europe's protracted fiscal and financial crises appear to have escaped their worst phases, but there is no knowing what lies ahead. Indications are that difficult times for the world economy will most likely continue this year as well.
 長期化している欧州の財政・金融危機は、最悪期を脱したかのように見えるが、先行きは不透明である。世界経済の試練が今年も続くだろう。

The European crisis must be overcome by every possible means, to enable the global economy to get on track for a full-fledged recovery.
 欧州危機を封じ込め、本格的な景気回復を実現しなければならない。

The World Economic Outlook released last autumn by the International Monetary Fund reduced its world growth forecast for 2013 to 3.6 percent after inflation, and it seems the pace of the recovery in the world economy will remain sluggish.
 国際通貨基金(IMF)は昨秋、2013年の世界経済見通しを実質3・6%成長に下方修正した。緩慢な回復にとどまりそうだ。

The biggest factor behind this is that growth in the eurozone will likely be a meager 0.2 percent from the year before, meaning growth will be close to zero. Some observers even say Europe's growth may fall below zero for the second consecutive year.
 最大の要因は、ユーロ圏が前年比0・2%増とほぼゼロ成長に低迷することだ。2年連続でマイナス成長に陥る観測すらある。

===

Break the negative chain
 ◆負の連鎖を断ち切れ◆

The European crisis, which has lasted for more than three years, has had a harmful influence on the economies of Japan, the United States and other countries, while slowing growth in newly emerging economies, too, as shown by conspicuous declines in China's exports to Europe.
 3年以上続く欧州危機は、米国や日本経済に悪影響を及ぼし、中国の欧州向け輸出が減少するなど新興国経済も減速させた。

As long as these negative chain reactions continue, there can be no prospects for the world economy to regain its buoyancy.
 こうした「負の連鎖」を断ち切らない限り、世界経済が再浮上する展望は開けない。

It was a welcome development that the European Central Bank and the European Union beefed up steps, though belatedly, to contain the crisis from last autumn through the year-end.
 欧州中央銀行(ECB)と欧州連合(EU)が昨秋から年末にかけ、遅ればせながら、危機封じ込め策を強化したのは前進だ。

The ECB has decided to employ the extraordinary measure of purchasing government bonds of crisis-stricken countries without limitations, in addition to a bold monetary easing policy.
 ECBは大胆な金融緩和策に加えて、危機国の国債を無制限に買い取るという異例の方針を決めた。

As a permanent safety net for extending assistance to crisis-ridden nations, the European Stabilization Mechanism has been launched. On top of this, an additional bailout package for Greece has also been put in place.
 危機国支援の恒久的な安全網として欧州安定メカニズム(ESM)も発足した。ギリシャに対する追加支援も実施された。

It is highly commendable that Europe's credit unrest has eased and the market has begun to regain stability.
 信用不安が和らぎ、市場が落ち着いてきたことは評価できる。

===

Still many things to do

Optimism that the eurozone crises have ended, however, should not be allowed.
 だが、「ユーロ危機は終わった」と楽観するのは禁物だ。

For one thing, Greece has yet to emerge from a serious recession. The path to slashing its government debts as planned is very treacherous.
 ギリシャは深刻な景気後退から抜け出せない。計画通りに政府債務を削減する道は険しい。

In Spain, the bursting of a property bubble has caused banks to suffer from a mountain of nonperforming loans, while government finances have kept deteriorating. It is problematic that the Spanish government is still hesitant about whether to officially request assistance from the EU.
 スペインでも、不動産バブル崩壊で銀行が不良債権を抱え、国家財政は悪化した。EUへの支援要請を躊躇(ちゅうちょ)しているのは問題だ。

As Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti has expressed his intention to step down, a general election scheduled for February may be turbulent.
 イタリアで財政再建を主導してきたモンティ首相が辞意を表明したため、2月に実施される総選挙も波乱要素になりうる。

Under the circumstances, every European country must avoid the folly of easing measures to cope with the crisis. In order not to rekindle the crisis, steady, continuous efforts should be made to rebuild government finances. At the same time, policies should be implemented to place priority on reinvigorating business activities by making the most of the framework for extending assistance to countries in trouble.
 各国がここで対応を緩めるのは愚策だ。危機が再燃しないよう、財政再建を着実に進め、支援の枠組みを活用するとともに、景気を重視する政策も肝要である。

Efforts to deepen the integration of the eurozone must continue in order to solve its structural problem of having a single currency but different fiscal policies among member countries.
 「通貨は一つで財政はバラバラ」という構造問題の解決へ、ユーロ圏は「統合深化」の取り組みを足踏みさせてはならない。

A policy to unify banking supervision in the region has been decided. However, concrete measures for fiscal integration have been postponed. The key to the issue is what Germany decides.
 域内の銀行監督を一元化する方針は決まったが、財政統合の具体策は先送りされている。カギを握るのは大国ドイツの決断だ。

Within the European economic giant, there is strong opposition to giving further assistance to southern European nations struggling with fiscal crises and fiscal integration.
 ドイツでは、財政危機に陥った南欧諸国への一層の支援や財政統合に反対論が根強い。

Germany's general election in autumn this year will be a focal point for whether the eurozone can deepen its integration.
 ユーロ圏が統合深化にさらに踏み込めるかどうかは、今秋のドイツの総選挙が焦点になる。

===

Fiscal cliff avoided

For U.S. President Barack Obama, whose second term in office is to start soon, fiscal rehabilitation and economic revitalization will continue to be weighty pending issues.
 2期目がスタートするオバマ米大統領にとって、引き続き、財政再建と経済再生が重い課題だ。

 ◆回避された米財政の崖◆

Negotiations between Obama and congressional leaders to avoid the fiscal cliff, a term describing the expiration of major tax cuts and large automatic spending cuts, went into the New Year. However, they finally reached an agreement on an extension of tax cuts for middle-class earners and a tax increase for the rich.
 大型減税失効と予算の強制削減が重なる「財政の崖」を巡る大統領と議会の協議は、越年した末、中間所得層の減税延長や富裕層増税などでようやく決着した。

Avoiding falling off the cliff brought relief to financial markets. However, there are many issues still pending, such as drastic fiscal rehabilitation measures and an increase in the U.S. debt ceiling--the quota for issuing U.S. government bonds.
 崖からの転落を土壇場で回避できたことは市場に安心感を与えたが、抜本的な財政再建策や米国債発行枠(債務上限)引き上げなど先送りされた課題も多い。

As the confrontation between Obama and Congress is still dragging on, there will probably be twists and turns ahead.
 大統領と議会の対立は尾を引いており、波乱含みである。

The U.S. economy has been on a moderate recovery path with the housing market picking up. However, the unemployment rate is still hovering at a high level of just under 8 percent, and thus it is still difficult to find jobs.
 米国経済は住宅市場が好転し、緩やかに持ち直しつつあるとはいえ、失業率は8%弱に高止まりして雇用情勢は厳しい。

In a rare move, the U.S. Federal Reserve Board has decided to keep interest rates near zero until the jobless rate is stabilized at 6.5 percent or below. We hope the U.S. government and the FRB will strengthen their cooperation to improve employment and realize a powerful U.S. economy.
 米連邦準備制度理事会(FRB)は、失業率が6・5%程度に安定するまで、ゼロ金利政策を継続する異例の金融緩和策を決めた。政府とFRBが一段と連携を強化し、雇用改善と力強い米国経済を実現してもらいたい。

Expectations are running high for the "shale gas revolution," development of the nontraditional natural gas that has been going on in North America. When shale gas is used on a regular basis, the U.S. manufacturing industry likely will revive, making U.S. industries more competitive.
 北米で非在来型天然ガスの開発が進む「シェールガス革命」への期待が高まっている。本格的に普及すれば米製造業が復活し、産業競争力の強化につながろう。

===

Stabilizing Japan-China relations
 ◆日中関係安定が重要◆

In China, where real economic growth for 2012 is suspected to have gone below the 8 percent target linked to sustaining sufficient employment levels, the pace for economic recovery is slow. Economic growth in China this year is expected to stay around 8 percent.
 12年の実質経済成長率が、雇用維持に重要な目安の8%を割ったとみられる中国では、景気回復の足取りが鈍い。今年の成長も8%程度にとどまりそうだ。

After the Lehman Brothers shock in autumn 2008, the Chinese government realized a V-shaped recovery leveraged by large-scale economic stimulus measures, serving as a locomotive for the global economy.
 中国政府は08年秋のリーマン・ショック後、大型景気対策をテコにV字回復を実現し、世界を牽引(けんいん)した。

However, there are no signs that China will come up with similar large-scale economic measures this time.
だが、中国が今、同じような対策を打つ気配はみえない。

A key issue for China is transition from an economy excessively dependent on exports to one led by domestic demand such as individual consumption.
 中国の懸案は、過度に輸出に依存する経済から、個人消費など内需主導型経済への転換だ。

If Japan-China relations get chillier, due to intensification of the confrontation between the two countries over the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, Japanese companies will stop investing in China, an outcome that would also seriously affect the Chinese economy. Chinese leaders must recognize anew the importance of stabilizing bilateral relations.
 尖閣諸島を巡る日本との対立激化で日中関係が冷え込めば、日本企業による中国投資にブレーキがかかり、中国経済にも響く。両国関係を安定させる重要性を中国当局は再認識すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 4, 2013)
(2013年1月4日01時20分  読売新聞)

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2013年1月 4日 (金)

高校生の皆さんへ―支え合いに取り組もう

--The Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 3
EDITORIAL: A letter to high school students
高校生の皆さんへ―支え合いに取り組もう

To the 214 first-year students at Kagawa Prefectural Takamatsu-Kougei High School:
 香川県立高松工芸高校1年生214人の皆さんへ。

Thank you for writing essays on our editorial about the issue of integrated tax and social security reform in Contemporary Social Studies classes.
 現代社会の授業で「社会保障と税の一体改革」に関する社説に感想文を書いていただき、ありがとうございました。

The editorial titled "Do adults understand?" was published on Dec. 28, 2011. It was written from the point of view of a member of a future generation who was lamenting the fact that their generation would be forced to pay for the huge debt the Japanese government had piled up to finance its spending.
 おととし12月28日付の「オトナはわかってる?」という社説でした。日本の政府が大きな借金をしていることを、そのツケを回される将来世代になりかわって嘆く内容でした。

When we responded to your essays on the article, you all again took the trouble of writing what you felt. We were very happy because we found in this correspondence great hope for the future of this country.
 返事を出したら、また一人ひとりが感想を書いてくれて。
 とてもうれしく思いました。この交流を通して、大きな希望を見いだせたからです。

IT'S NO LONGER SOMEONE ELSE'S PROBLEM
■「お任せ」はもう限界

One of you wrote, "It is important for us all to think about 'what today's adults have failed to do' instead of simply complaining about their selfishness."
 こんな一文がありました。
 《大人は自分勝手だと文句をいうだけでなく「今の大人ができなかったこと」を考えることが、私たちにとって大切だ》

What is it exactly that today's adults have failed to do?
 今の大人ができなかったことって、何だろう。

Sociologist Shinji Miyadai offers good insight into this question.
 社会学者の宮台真司さんの言葉がヒントになります。

"Japan is a society where people complain and leave matters to others, not a society where people take on matters and think about them," he writes.
 「日本は、引き受けて考える社会でなく、任せて文句を言う社会」

Here are some typical examples of how Japanese tend to think:
 具体的には、こんな考え方じゃないだろうか。

* It is the responsibility of bureaucrats and politicians to make policy decisions on such difficult issues as social security and tax. All we ordinary people can do is gripe about how things stand.
 ――社会保障と税なんて難しい問題は、官僚や政治家が決めること。普通の私たちは文句をいうことしかできない。

* We left the problem for politicians to handle when we cast our ballots at the polls. In the end, people in power will work things out, right?
 ――選挙で政治家に任せた。最後はエライ人がつじつまを合わせてくれるんでしょ。

For many years in Japan, the amount of money the government spends and distributes has been bigger than the amount of money collected by the government through taxes. To make up the difference, the government has been piling up more and more debt.
 日本では、税金で集めるお金より、国が使ったり配ったりするお金が多いので、つじつま合わせに借金をしてきました。

Obviously, however, the government cannot continue running up debt forever. But it is not easy to increase taxes, either, whether the consumption tax or other levies.
 でも、借金はいつまでも続けられない。消費税とか、税金を増やすのも簡単じゃない。

Meanwhile, the number of elderly people who need social security services like nursing care and pensions continues to grow at an alarming pace.
 一方で、介護や年金など社会保障を必要とするお年寄りはどんどん多くなる。

It seems that we can no longer afford to leave this important problem for people in power to deal with. As a first step toward abandoning this attitude, let us learn how the social security system works.
 「お任せ」は、もう限界みたい。そこから脱するために、まず社会保障がどうやって成り立つのか、考えてみる。

BUILDING TIES
■つながりをつくる

When you look around you, don't you find that there is a growing number of lonely people in your neighborhood?
 君たちが暮らすご近所を見回してみると、孤独な人が増えてませんか?

Take old people, for instance. As they grow physically weaker, they find it increasingly difficult to go out. They also feel sad as their memory dims, making it harder for them to keep following what is happening around them.
 お年寄り。体力がなくなって外出が難しくなる。記憶力が衰え、周りのことがわからなくなると悲しいだろう。

Young people who have quit their jobs or left school usually see their circles of acquaintances shrink, and those who have withdrawn from society after being bullied at school must endure solitude.
 若者。仕事や学校をやめてしまうと、つきあいが減る。いじめられて、引きこもったりしたら、孤独だろう。

Parents of young children feel lonely and frustrated if they have to spend all of their time at home with their children.
 子育て中の親。家の中で、子どもとだけ過ごしていたら寂しく、イライラすることもある。

The most unfortunate thing that can happen to a person is probably to become isolated from society. It is, therefore, vital to help people avoid such a situation by building ties with others.
 人とのつながりがなくなるのが一番、不幸せじゃないかな。 そこをなんとかする。人と人のつながりをつくっていく。

Your writings included some heartening comments on this problem.
 《ああ、そんなことでいいんだ。ふだんからできそう》

One of you wrote, "Such simple things will help. I can probably do them in my daily life." Another said, "I think more people will become happy if we fix the problems one by one." "I have realized that my surroundings are also part of the country," commented a third.
 《一つひとつ直していけば、幸せな人が増えるのでは》
 《自分の身のまわりも国の一部なんだ、と気づきました》

The spirit of mutual aid and support expressed in these remarks is the very foundation of social security.
 君たちが感想文に書いた、こんな「支え合いの思い」。これこそ、社会保障の土台です。

If we understand the importance of mutual aid and support, we should first do what we can do immediately, either on our own or together with our neighbors. Then, we need to contribute money to pay for the professional medical and nursing-care services that some people need.
 支え合いが必要だと思えば、まず自分たちやご近所で、できることをやる。専門的な医療や介護は、プロにやってもらうため、お金を出し合う。

But people generally develop a tendency to think from a standpoint of profits and losses as they grow older.
 ところが、オトナになると、損得勘定に敏感になる。

Many adults say they are having a hard time trying to make ends meet and demand that people in better financial conditions pay for social security. Others say they deserve to receive more aid because they are so badly off. Still others argue that people should not be given a "free ride" under the system of mutual support.
 ――自分は生活が苦しい。お金は、もっと余裕がある人に払ってもらいたい。
 ――こんなに困ってるのだから、もっと助けてほしい。
 ――支え合いに「ただ乗り」している人を甘やかすな。

There are various conflicting opinions on social security issues, and it is difficult to find solutions acceptable to a majority of people.
 対立する意見があり、あちらが立てば、こちらが立たず。この調整が難しい。

EVERYBODY HAS A ROLE TO PLAY
■みんなに出番がある

"Politicians who appear on TV don't listen to what others say at all once they start stating their own opinion," one of you wrote. That's exactly true and unfortunately so because working out compromises between people with conflicting opinions and interests is what politics is all about.
 《テレビに出る政治家は、自分の意見を言い始めたら、人の意見をまったく聞かない》
 なるほど、そうだ。政治とは本来、対立する意見を調整する仕事なのにね。

Some politicians promise to improve the social security system without increasing the financial burden on the public.
 ――みなさんの負担を増やさず、社会保障をよくします。
 そういう政治家もいる。

But there can never be such a magic solution to the problem.
 でも、そんな夢のような解決策はありっこない。

The only effective way for us to tackle the problem is to stop leaving the work to politicians and bureaucrats and start considering and discussing it as our own challenge. We may have to set aside our wishes and opinions in consideration of others from time to time.
 お任せをやめ、自分たちに引きつけて、よく考え、話し合うしか道はない。自分が「こうしたい」と思っても、相手のことを考えてゆずったり……。

We also need people who listen carefully to what others say and carry out what they can do quietly.
 人の話を聞いて、黙々と行動する人も欠かせない。

"I'm not good at making arguments and usually do nothing but listen to other people's opinions. But it seems that I have to express my opinions on important issues," one of you wrote.
 《私は主張するのが苦手で、他の人の意見を聞いてばかりいるけど、大切なことは言わないといけないのかな》

That's right. We urge you to pluck up your courage and voice your opinions on issues that you think are important.
 そう。大切だと思うことは勇気を出して言ってみる。

Everybody has a role to play. If we roll up our shirt sleeves and get down to tackling the situation, we will probably be able to work out solutions to the problems through constructive discussions.
 みんなに「出番」がある。腕まくりして取り組み、話し合うなかから、「問題解決」が色々な場所で起こってくる。

"I don't think there are any politicians who are trying to make things worse," one of you said.
 《政治家だって国を悪くしようとしている人はいないと思います》

That's also true. You should act on this belief and start by doing what you can do.
 確かにね。そんなぎりぎりの信頼感を胸におさめて、まず自分ができることを引き受ける。

If you become voters who recognize the power and importance of mutual support among members of society, politics of this nation will no doubt begin to move in the right direction. That's because politics mirrors what is happening around us.
 支え合いの力と思いを身につけた君たちが有権者になれば、政治もきっとよくなるはずだ。政治は私たちの周りで起きていることの鏡なのだから。

We have high expectations of all of you.
 おおいに期待しています。

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Another Attempt to Deny Japan’s History

ニューヨークタイムスの新年3日の社説を引用いたしました。
最初と最後のフレーズだけ意訳しておきます。
英文と完全に相関性をもたせる翻訳は時間の浪費なのです^^。
ここは、英文のまま、味わうのが趣(おもむき)というものです。
謝ったり、開き直ったり、これも人間の性(さが)でしょう。
それでも、自由にものを言う権利は、まだ保証されております。
中国ではこうは行かないのです。

cite from Newyork Times Editorial

Another Attempt to Deny Japan’s History
歴史を歪曲する阿部首相の問題発言
Published: January 2, 2013

Few relationships are as important to stability in Asia as the one between Japan and South Korea. Yet Japan’s new prime minister, Shinzo Abe, seems inclined to start his tenure with a serious mistake that would inflame tensions with South Korea and make cooperation harder. He has signaled that he might seek to revise Japan’s apologies for its World War II aggression, including one for using Koreans and other women as sex slaves.
日韓関係はアジアの安定にとって、とても大切なものである。
安倍首相の不用意な発言で韓国との関係の緊張が高まっている。
すでに決着している慰安婦問題、日本の戦争責任、謝罪を見直そうとしているのだ。

In 1993, Japan finally acknowledged that the Japanese military had raped and enslaved thousands of Asian and European women in army brothels, and offered its first full apology for those atrocities. A broader apology by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama in 1995 conceded that “through its colonial rule and invasion,” Japan had caused “tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations.”

In an interview with the Sankei Shimbun newspaper, Mr. Abe, a right-wing nationalist, was quoted by Reuters on Monday as saying he wants to replace the 1995 apology with an unspecified “forward looking statement.” He said that his previous administration, in 2006-7, had found no evidence that the women who served as sex slaves to Japan’s wartime military had, in fact, been coerced. However, at a news conference last week, the chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, said that Mr. Abe would uphold the 1995 apology but hinted he may revise the 1993 statement.

It is not clear how Mr. Abe, the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, might modify the apologies, but he has previously made no secret of his desire to rewrite his country’s wartime history. Any attempt to deny the crimes and dilute the apologies will outrage South Korea, as well as China and the Philippines, which suffered under Japan’s brutal wartime rule.

Mr. Abe’s shameful impulses could threaten critical cooperation in the region on issues like North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Such revisionism is an embarrassment to a country that should be focused on improving its long-stagnant economy, not whitewashing the past.
安倍首相の、この恥知らずの発言はいただけない。
関係諸国との関係を悪化させるし、それで北朝鮮核ミサイルの抑止措置等にも支障が出る。
歴史の事実を歪曲するようなうわべだけの手法で日本が再生できるのか!
日本を再生させるために、もっと他にやることがあるはずだ。

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習政権と日本 戦略的外交で「互損」の脱却を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 4, 2013)
Strategic approach important to deal with aggressive China
習政権と日本 戦略的外交で「互損」の脱却を(1月3日付・読売社説)

 ◆中国の強硬・膨張路線を牽制せよ◆

China's policy of avidly increasing its national prosperity and military strength is destabilizing East Asia. However, the existence of China as a giant yet expanding market is also vital for Japan's economic growth.
 富国強兵路線を突き進む中国が東アジア情勢を不安定化させている。同時に、中国は発展する巨大市場として日本の成長にも欠かせぬ存在だ。

The mission of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration will be to implement its foreign policy in a strategic manner. The administration needs to increase pressure on China to check the nation's expansionism, but at the same time tenaciously persuade its Asian neighbor to engage in international cooperation.
 安倍政権は、戦略的な外交を展開し、中国の力まかせの膨張を牽制(けんせい)するとともに、国際協調に向かうよう中国に粘り強く促していくことが、課題となろう。

In November, Xi Jinping became the head of the Chinese Communist Party by assuming the post of general secretary. Xi, who also heads the military, is scheduled to become president during the National People's Congress in March.
 昨年11月、共産党トップの総書記に就任した習近平氏は3月の全国人民代表大会(国会)で、党と軍の最高ポストに加えて国家主席にも就任する。

 ◆課題山積の国内情勢◆

The Xi administration's top concern is to maintain the Communist Party's sole grip on power. The key to achieving this goal is securing sustainable economic growth.
 習政権にとって、最優先事項は一党独裁をいかに維持していくかであり、そのためには持続的な経済発展がカギを握る。

However, a mountain of problems lies ahead of the administration.
 だが、問題は山積している。

===

Xi faced with internal problems

It has become difficult for China to sustain the high level of growth the nation had enjoyed, so public anger regarding the nation's chronic problems--such as serious income disparities, a corrupt bureaucracy, an unfair judicial system and environmental pollution--is primed to explode. Violent demonstrations are occurring frequently across the nation. The scale of the demonstrations is growing, and their actions are becoming more destructive.
 これまでのような高成長が望めない中、深刻な所得格差をはじめ、官僚腐敗や不公正な司法、環境問題などに対する民衆の不満は爆発寸前の状態にある。各地で頻発する暴動はより大規模化し、破壊行為はますます激化している。

Xi, the son of a former deputy prime minster, is known as the leader of the so-called princelings, the influential offspring of high-ranking party officials. It seems unlikely he will be bold enough to act against the vested interests of the privileged classes by carrying out drastic reforms to rectify income disparities and other problems. Xi's hard-line diplomacy is a reflection of the unstable internal domestic situation.
 元副首相を父に持つ習氏は高級幹部の子女グループ「太子党」の代表だ。既得権益層にメスを入れてまで、格差是正など大胆な改革に踏み切るようには見えない。習氏の対外強硬姿勢は不安定な国内情勢の裏返しでもある。

Since launching his administration, Xi has touted the slogan "great renewal of the Chinese nation." Though once a great empire, China could not stop the world powers from invading during the closing years of the Qing dynasty, partly due to its neglect of maritime interests. Xi's slogan is believed to reflect China's modern history of humiliation.
 習氏は政権発足以来、「中華民族の偉大な復興」というスローガンを掲げている。かつて大帝国だったにもかかわらず、海洋権益を軽視したため、清朝末期に列強の侵略を招いたという屈辱の近代史を踏まえたものだ。

Xi expressed his policy of expanding China's military capability when he inspected military troops in December. He said the nation's dream of "great renewal" means a dream of becoming "a great power" and possessing "a strong military."
 習氏は昨年12月、軍部隊を視察した際、「中華民族の偉大な復興の夢とは、強国の夢であり、強軍の夢だ」と語り、軍の強大化を目指す方針を表明している。

In a recent report, Japan's National Institute for Defense Studies said cooperation between China's military and marine authorities is deepening.
"If countries around China send their militaries to protect their [maritime] interests, it is likely Chinese forces will be dispatched," the institute said in the report.
 日本の防衛研究所は最近の報告書で、中国軍と海洋当局の連携が進展していることを指摘し、「周辺国が権益保護のために軍を派遣すれば、中国軍が投入される可能性が高い」と警鐘を鳴らした。

===

China's maritime ambitions
 ◆「海洋強国」建設が加速◆

China has surpassed Japan in gross domestic product, and is now chasing the world's largest economy, the United States. For China, a prerequisite to obtaining the status of a world superpower is to first become a major maritime power.
 国内総生産で日本を抜き、米国に迫ろうとする中国にとって、超大国への必須条件が「海洋強国」の実現である。

Backed by massive military forces, China will likely strengthen its policy of aggressively pursuing its maritime interests, such as resources and sea lanes.
強大な軍事力を背景に、資源や海上交通路(シーレーン)などの海洋権益を追求する姿勢は今後も強まるだろう。

The situation is extremely volatile, with China taking a hard-line stance supported by the nationalism that is growing as the country becomes a major economic power. China is likely to assert its presence more aggressively in the East China Sea and the South China Sea. The U.S. strategy of attaching greater importance to Asia is aimed at putting a brake on such attempts by China.
 経済大国化に伴うナショナリズムの高揚が政権の強硬路線を支える構図は極めて危険だ。東シナ海と南シナ海で中国が一層大胆な示威行動を展開すると見てよい。米国の「アジア重視」戦略には、これを牽制する狙いがある。

Japan should establish a long-term framework to allow authorities to do everything they can when conducting patrol and surveillance activities for the waters and airspace around the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture.
 日本は、尖閣諸島周辺の海域・空域の警戒監視活動に万全に取り組めるよう長期的な体制作りをしなければならない。

It is reasonable for Abe to regard Japan-China relations as "the biggest issue in the nation's foreign and security policy in the 21st century" and advocate the necessity of establishing strategic diplomacy in cooperation with other concerned countries.
 安倍首相が日中関係を「21世紀の外交・安全保障政策上最大の課題」と位置づけたうえで、関係各国と連携する戦略的な外交の必要性を主張するのは妥当だ。

===

Deterrence should be upgraded
 ◆日米連携で抑止力強化◆

It is most important for Japan to call on China to exercise self-restraint, in cooperation with Southeast Asian countries, India, Australia and other nations, while at the same time making the Japan-U.S. alliance much stronger.
 日米同盟をより強固にしつつ、東南アジア各国やインド、豪州などと協調し、中国に自制を促すことが何よりも大切である。

Japan-China ties today are the most strained since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1972, and this situation has seriously affected the Japanese public's sentiment toward the neighboring country.
A public opinion survey conducted by the Cabinet Office last autumn found that a record 80 percent of Japanese "do not feel close to China."
 日中関係は1972年の国交樹立以来、最悪だ。国民感情に与えた影響も甚大で、昨年秋の内閣府の世論調査では、中国に「親しみを感じない」とする回答が過去最高の80%に達した。

China, which publicly claims sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands, has been dispatching ships and aircraft to intrude into the Japanese waters and airspace around the islets.
 中国は尖閣諸島に対する領有権を公然と主張し、日本の領海・領空への侵犯行為を行っている。

It is against international law for China to try to forcibly and unilaterally change the status quo regarding the Senkaku Islands, which Japan effectively controls. Japan should present China's false and improper actions and demonstrate the legitimacy of Japan's territorial claim to the islands to the international community.
 日本が実効支配する尖閣諸島に対し、中国が力によって一方的に現状を変更しようとするのは国際社会のルールに反する。日本は中国の不当な行為と日本の尖閣諸島領有権の正当性を国際社会に訴えていかねばならない。

The U.S. Senate has approved an amendment to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act confirming that the Senkaku Islands are subject to Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty obliging the United States to defend Japan in case of hostilities.
This should serve as a significant deterrent against China.
 米議会は、日米安保条約5条に基づく米国の対日防衛義務が尖閣諸島に適用されることを確認する国防権限法案を可決した。中国への重要な抑止力となろう。

Japan's participation in the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership multinational trade framework also could help keep China's influence from ballooning.
 米国主導の環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)に日本が参加することも、中国の影響力の膨張を食い止めることにつながる。

It is important to include China in an economic partnership framework for the Asia-Pacific region in the future.
 将来的には、その中国をアジア太平洋圏の経済連携の枠組みに取り込んでいくことが肝要だ。

China's recent boycott against Japanese goods has dampened investment sentiment in Japan toward that country.
 中国による日本製品の不買運動は対中投資機運に水を差した。

More and more Japanese companies are seeking to do business in countries other than China, as it has been losing its advantages as a manufacturing base.
 中国の生産拠点としての魅力が薄れ、中国以外に活路を模索する動きが広がっている。

China should be aware that the boycott has damaged not only the Japanese economy but also its own.
日本だけでなく、自国経済も損害を受けていることを中国は認識すべきだ。

Japan and China have to resume exchanges between their leaders. It is important for the two countries to maintain a mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests by separating the Senkaku dispute from other political, economic and cultural ties.
 日中両国は首脳交流を再開する必要がある。尖閣問題と、その他の政治、経済、文化関係を切り離すことで、戦略的互恵関係を維持していくことが重要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 3, 2013)
(2013年1月3日01時14分  読売新聞)

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2013年1月 3日 (木)

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社会保障政策 全世代で応分の負担が必要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 3, 2013)
Sustaining social security system requires all generations to chip in
社会保障政策 全世代で応分の負担が必要だ(12月31日付・読売社説)

 ◆活力回復へ少子化に歯止めを◆
Japan's rapidly aging population and chronically low birthrate have cast a dark shadow on the nation's social security system--it has become unclear whether pension, health care, elderly care and other services can be maintained in the future.
 急速な少子高齢化で、年金、医療、介護など社会保障制度の維持に黄信号がともっている。

Due to anxiety about the future, the public has become caught up in a mentality to curb spending and increase savings, which has been one reason for the economic slump. We urge Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Cabinet to speed up their efforts to rebuild public trust in the social security system.
 将来への不安から、消費を控えて貯蓄に回そうとする心理が、景気低迷にもつながっている。安倍内閣は、社会保障制度に対する信頼の回復を急がねばならない。

The Cabinet must give top priority to steadily implementing integrated reform of the social security and tax systems, centering on raising the consumption tax rate. Additional tax revenues will become a funding source for basic pension payments, health care and other welfare services. It will be a major step toward maintaining the social security system.
 最優先すべきは、消費税率の引き上げを柱とする社会保障と税の一体改革を着実に進めることだ。消費増税分は、基礎年金や医療などの財源に充てられる。制度を維持していくための大きな一歩になるだろう。

 ◆改革は長期的な視点で◆

However, it is obvious that such reform--although necessary--is not sufficient to resolve the problem. It will be crucial to implement steps to turn around the low birthrate as a part of long-term reform based on a farsighted viewpoint.
 無論、これだけでは不十分だ。将来を見据えた長期的な改革として、少子化対策が重要である。

===

Spend more on children

Japan's social security programs have so far provided solid services to the elderly, such as substantial pension payments. On the other hand, measures to tackle the low birthrate have been poor.
 これまでの日本の社会保障は、年金額などで高齢者に手厚い反面、少子化対策が貧弱だった。

The state coffers are expected to collect an additional 13.5 trillion yen due to the consumption tax increase, and under the integrated reform, 700 billion yen will be used to support child-rearing. However, the money to be spent on child-rearing is nowhere near what was spent by France, Sweden and other nations that successfully conquered their own low birthrate problems.
 社会保障と税の一体改革によって、消費増税分13兆5000億円のうち、7000億円が子育て支援策の財源となる。それでも、フランスやスウェーデンなど、少子化の克服に成功した国々に比べると相当見劣りする。

Japan's most recent total fertility rate--the average number of children each woman has in her lifetime--was 1.39, one of the lowest among advanced nations. Due to the low birthrate, the nation's population is expected to drop by more than 30 percent over the next 50 years, and by about two-thirds in 100 years.
 日本は、1人の女性が産む子供の数を示す合計特殊出生率が1・39で、先進国では最低のレベルだ。出生率の低下で、人口は今後50年間に3割以上も減り、100年後には3分の1の規模に縮むと予測されている。

If the government is unable to increase the birthrate, the labor force will drop significantly. As a result, the working generation will have to bear a heavier burden to keep social security programs running. It also will hurt economic growth and diminish social vitality.
 少子化に歯止めがかからなければ、労働力人口が減少し、現役世代の社会保障費負担は重くなる。経済成長にもマイナスで、社会の活力をそぐことにもなる。

Many women are still forced to quit their jobs when they have babies. This situation must be changed. Concern about losing their jobs has become one reason some women hesitate to have children. The government must urgently create an environment in which women can work without anxieties, such as by boosting child care services and increasing income compensation for women taking child care leave.
 出産を機に退職を余儀なくされる女性が多い現状を改善したい。失職への不安が、出産をためらう一因だ。保育サービスの拡充や育児休業中の所得保障の強化など、安心して働き続けられる環境を整えることが急務だろう。

During a recent press conference, Abe said one of his administration's tasks is to make Japan a nation where more women can have successful careers and feel comfortable having and raising children. During the administrations of the Democratic Party of Japan, 10 politicians held the post of state minister for measures for the declining birthrate in three years and three months. We urge the Abe administration to learn from this awful example and powerfully promote measures to rectify the low birthrate.
 安倍首相は記者会見で、女性が活躍し、子供を産み育てやすい国を作っていくことが政権の責務だと強調した。3年3か月で少子化相が計10人も入れ替わった民主党政権を反面教師とし、強力に少子化対策を進めてもらいたい。

===

Help nonregular workers
 ◆非正規雇用対策が課題◆

The increase in nonregular workers has also become another problem for social security. The ranks of nonregular workers, such as part-time and temporary workers, recently exceeded 18 million--35 percent of the total workforce.
 少子化と並び、非正規雇用の増大も社会保障を危うくしている。パート、契約社員などの非正規労働者は1800万人を超え、被用者の35%に達した。

Many businesses do not apply social insurance programs--such as pension, medical and employment insurance--to their nonregular employees. The increase in the number of workers not obliged to pay social insurance premiums undermines the foundation of the social security system that is sustained by these premiums.
 非正規労働者については、年金、医療、雇用など社会保険を適用していない企業が多い。社会保険料の徴収対象でない労働者の増加は、保険料収入で成り立つ社会保障制度の根幹を揺るがす。

There is wide concern these nonregular workers will face severe lifestyle constraints if they lose their jobs or become ill, and will end up being entitled to only a small pension--or no pension at all.
 失業や病気が生活困窮に直結し、将来は無年金・低年金になる恐れも強い。

Nonregular workers are more likely to be axed first in corporate restructuring. Many find it difficult to get married due to financial reasons. The proportion of married nonregular workers in their 30s is about half that of regular employees in the same age bracket. This causes a vicious circle that accelerates the decline in the birthrate.
 非正規労働者は、リストラの対象にもなりやすい。経済的な理由で結婚が難しく、30歳代男性の既婚者の割合は正社員の半分ほどにとどまる。それが少子化を加速させる悪循環を招いている。

Expanding employee pension plans and social insurance programs to nonregular workers and correcting the gap in wages between regular and nonregular workers are major challenges.
 非正規労働者に対する厚生年金など社会保険の適用拡大や、正社員との賃金格差の是正は大きな課題である。

At a news conference after his recent appointment as health, labor and welfare minister, Norihisa Tamura said his ministry "will also deal with the employment issue wholeheartedly" to revitalize the economy. This is a reasonable statement. We hope the labor ministry will knuckle down to the task of improving the treatment of nonregular workers.
 田村厚生労働相が記者会見で、経済再生のため「雇用についてもしっかり対応したい」と述べたのは妥当だ。非正規労働者の処遇改善にも積極的に取り組んでもらいたい。

===

Bearing appropriate burdens

To ensure the social security system is sustainable, every member of the population--young and old, regardless of generation--will need to bear a burden commensurate with their financial abilities. In particular need of an overhaul is the pension system.
 社会保障制度を持続可能にするには、若者から高齢者まで、世代を問わず、能力に応じて負担することも求められる。特に見直しが必要なのは、年金税制である。

Tax deductions from public pensions are considerable, so pensioners pay far less tax than do employees whose income is around the same as that of pensioners. It will be necessary to rectify this gap by strengthening taxation on pensioners.
 公的年金は税額控除が大きく、年金生活者の納税額は、同じ収入の勤労所得者に比べて大幅に少ない。年金課税を強化し、現役世代との格差を是正すべきだ。

This is not the sole problem. Patients aged 70 to 74 have been temporarily allowed to pay 10 percent of their medical bills from their own pocket, instead of the legally set rate of 20 percent. As a consequence, the proportion of income people in this age bracket use for medical expenses is smaller than that used by people in age groups on either side of them. We think the burden should be raised to 20 percent for people in the 70-74 bracket, as is legally provided for.
 問題はそれだけではない。70~74歳の医療費の窓口負担は、法定では2割のところ、1割に抑えられている。その結果、前後の年代に比べ、収入に占める負担額の割合が小さい。本来の2割負担に引き上げることが求められる。

 ◆給付の抑制も不可避◆

Under the current nursing care insurance system, service recipients who need only relatively little help pay 10 percent of the costs--the same level as people requiring a higher level of assistance. Consideration must be given to raising the rate shouldered by the former.
 介護サービスは現在、比較的症状が軽い要支援者でも、自己負担率は重度の要介護者と同じ1割だ。今後は負担率の引き上げも検討課題になる。

Cuts in pension benefits will be unavoidable.
 給付の抑制も避けられない。

A system was introduced in 2004 to keep the growth rates for public pensions below those for wages and prices. But the system has never been enforced. It should be implemented as early as possible.
 公的年金には、賃金や物価の変動率より年金の伸び率を低く抑える仕組みが2004年に導入されたが、一度も発動されていない。早期に実施する必要がある。

In reality, however, there are large income gaps among pensioners, and many of them rely on basic pension benefits for living expenses. So when the consumption tax rate is raised, it will be crucial to implement measures for low-income earners, such as introducing lower rates for daily living necessities.
 ただ、年金生活者の所得格差も大きく、生活費を基礎年金だけに頼る低年金の高齢者も少なくない。消費増税の際、生活必需品の軽減税率を導入するなど、低所得者対策が欠かせない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 31, 2012)
(2012年12月31日01時15分  読売新聞)

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2013年1月 2日 (水)

社説:2013年を展望する 骨太の互恵精神育てよ

January 01, 2013(Mainichi Japan)
Editorial: Japan's 2013 to be shaped by power of its economy, power of peace
社説:2013年を展望する 骨太の互恵精神育てよ

2013 will be a year of new approaches for Japan, and we believe the nation's new ways of being will come in two facets.
 2013年は、戦後日本の生き方が、二つの意味で試される年になるのではないだろうか。

The first: Japan's latent economic power. Economic policy will grapple with ways to enlarge the economic pie, and then decide how that pie will be sliced.
 一つは、日本経済の底力だ。経済政策には、全体のパイをどう増やしていくか、という側面と、それをどう分配するか、と2通りある。

The previous Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) administration put the most emphasis on the latter half of that equation, distributing generous support to young people and those in agriculture in the form of child allowances, free high school tuition, and farming household subsidies.
民主党政権は後者の分配政策を重視、子ども手当、高校授業料無償化、農家への戸別所得補償といった形で若年層、第1次産業に手厚く予算を配分した。

The newly minted Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)-led administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, on the other hand, is intensely focused on the size of the pie, championing sweeping monetary easing and public investment under the name of breaking away from deflation.
これに対し安倍政権は、前者の成長政策を前面に押し立て、デフレ脱却の名の下に大胆な金融緩和と公共投資の必要性を唱えている。

 ◇若者へ所得移転を

Of course, just about everyone ought to be happier if there's more pie to go around, and here at the outset we have no intention of speaking ill of the idea.
 確かに、全体のパイが大きくなれば誰もがハッピーになるはずで、のっけからくさすつもりは毛頭ない。

However, we must point out that it's not as if preceding administrations have done nothing towards that goal in the 20 plus years since the economic bubble burst.
They pushed zero interest rates, went ahead with major monetary easing measures of their own, and poured money into mostly public works projects as emergency economic measures on numerous occasions.
ただし、指摘すべきは、バブル崩壊後の20年余り、歴代政権は何もしてこなかったのではなく、金融政策としてはゼロ金利や量的緩和、財政政策としては公共事業を中心とした数次に及ぶ緊急経済対策を打ってきた。

In the end, quite similar strategies were piled one atop the other, amassing a quadrillion yen national debt in the process.
いわば類似政策を積み重ねてきた結果が、1000兆円にものぼる借金財政を生んだ、という事実だ。

Behind Japan's lack of growth are its low birthrate and aging population, the rise of emerging economies, and environmental limitations on our supply and use of energy and resources. These are all structural causes, and we want to see the Abe administration tackle them head-on.
 成長できない背景には、少子化による人口減と高齢化、新興国の台頭、資源・エネルギーの環境制約があるのだが、安倍政権にはこういった構造的要因にも手をつけてほしい。

Japan's population is greying at the fastest rate in the world, and already one in four Japanese is 65 or older. This fact makes a well-considered and solid plan to deal with the aging society especially important.
 特に、すでに4人に1人が65歳以上となっている世界最速の高齢化には、腰を据えた対策が必要だ。

Furthermore, to create an environment where young people are confident they have the financial wherewithal to have and raise children of their own, we believe it's time that a part of our limited economic pie -- employment and income -- be shifted to those young people from the older, wealthier segment of society.
若い人たちが自分たちの子どもを産み育てることのできる環境を整備するためには、限られたパイの中で、豊かな高齢者層から雇用も所得も不安定な若年者層へのより明確な所得移転が必要になるのではないだろうか。

What we'd like people to bear in mind here is the importance of mutual concessions and reciprocity.
 その際に心がけたいのは、互譲と互恵の精神である。

We need to think that, in yielding to another, we ourselves are blessed and enriched. We also need to make this a mutual process, repeated many times.
相手に譲ることで自らが恩恵を受ける、豊かになる、それを相互に繰り返す、そういった心の持ちようだ。

To make use of Japan's young people to the full extent of their abilities will in turn revitalize all of society, the benefits of which will flow back to the elderly.
若い人たちを生かすことが社会全体の活力につながり、めぐりめぐって高齢者層の利益になる。

Even if the economic pie does not grow, can we not create such a positive redistribution cycle?
全体のパイが増えなくてもそんなプラスの分配サイクルはできないか。

To that end, we'd like to see some of the DPJ's policies that never got off the ground pushed forward by the new administration.
民主政権では踏み込めなかった政策をぜひ前に進めてほしい。

As Japan has held to its postwar focus on light armament and economy-first policy, its economy has managed to survive the calamities of the currency crisis, the oil shock and the end of the bubble economy.
 戦後軽軍備・経済重視路線を堅持する中で、為替危機、石油ショック、バブル崩壊などいくつもの激変を乗り切ってきた日本経済である。

Now is the time to use the economic potential so evident in this resilience to shift gears, to deal with the mature economy that Japan enjoys.
今こそ、その底力を発揮して成熟経済対応にギアチェンジする時である。

The spirit of reciprocity must not only be applied to intergenerational relations, but to foreign relations as well.
 互恵の精神は、世代間対立だけでなく、国と国との関係にも応用できる。

The second facet of Japan's new way of life in 2013 lies here, in the power of peace bound up in a national government that has never pursued war.
二つ目に試される日本政治の平和力とも関わってくる。

The greatest issue facing Japanese diplomacy is how to deal with the rising power of China.
 日本外交の当面の最大の課題は、台頭する中国とどう向き合うか、にある。

There is talk in international circles that Chinese incursions into Japanese territorial waters and airspace over the Senkaku Islands dispute could lead to an armed clash.
尖閣諸島をめぐる対立は、中国側の領海、領空侵犯で武力紛争の可能性まで取りざたされるに至っている。

As a country that hasn't fired a shot in anger in some 67 years, all Japanese must now reconfirm the peace power of our nation and discuss how we can avoid Japan-China relations from worsening.
戦後67年間一回も戦争をせずにこられた我が国の平和力を今一度点検し、どうすれば最悪の事態を回避できるか、国民的議論が必要だ。

Japanese postwar pacifism is built on two main premises: a vow grounded in reflection on World War II to never again launch a war of aggression, and on the deterrent embodied in the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.
 戦後の平和を支えてきたのは、あの戦争に対する反省からきた二度と侵略戦争はしないという誓いと、現実的な抑止力として機能する日米安保体制であろう。

Japan strives to solve all its international disputes through dialogue.
係争はあくまでも話し合いで解決する。

Of course for the sake of deterring potential enemies, Japan must prepare itself militarily.
もちろん、適正な抑止力を維持するための軍事上の備えは怠らない。

For this reason, we must reconfirm the meaning and the function of the security treaty.
そのためには、日米安保体制の意義、機能を再確認しておくことが大切だ。

On top of this, we believe it important to study the history of the 1920s.
そのうえで1920年代の歴史から学びたい。

 ◇あくまで国際協調で

The Taisho period (1912-1926) saw the formation of two major political parties, and the national discourse rang with the voices of democracy.
 日本で初めて2大政党が定着し大正デモクラシーが高らかに宣言された時代である。

In the end, however, party politics couldn't protect the peace.
だが、結果的に政党政治は平和を守り切れなかった。

The Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 combined with a global financial crisis sent the Japanese economy into turmoil. Calls for imperial expansion on the Asian continent intensified, and bellicose, xenophobic hardliners drowned out the good sense of those calling for international cooperation and compromise. Militarism took over, and in the name of supporting Imperial rule, the government led our nation into reckless war.
関東大震災や世界恐慌で経済が混乱し中国大陸に対する帝国主義的な領土拡張競争が激化する中、排外主義的対外強硬路線の大声が、妥協主義的国際協調路線の良識をかき消し、軍部独走、大政翼賛政治が私たちを無謀な戦争に追いやった。

What our very own history teaches us is that when two countries cannot compromise over a territorial or sovereignty dispute, useless escalation follows.
領土や主権をめぐる争いは双方がどちらも譲歩できないことにより、いたずらに対立がエスカレートするのも歴史が教えるところである。

We believe Japan must discard cheap anti-foreign sentiment and seek big-picture international cooperation.
 安直な排外主義を排し、大局的な国際協調路線に立ちたい。

Japan is doing its best now to deal with the Senkaku dispute with China through dialogue based on legal principles. China, meanwhile, which had it examined the history of the Senkaku dispute ought to have shelved its claims to the islands, is obviously trying to change the present reality with a show of sheer power.
尖閣を巡る一連の経緯を振り返ると、棚上げされてきたはずのこの問題に対して、力による現状変更を仕掛けてきているのは明らかに中国側であり、日本はあくまで対話と法理で問題解決を図ろうとしている。

Japan must explain carefully and persistently what's going on to the world and to Asian nations in particular, and thereby make friends and allies in its confrontation with China. We should not end up alone in this.
こういった日本の立場と主張をアジア諸国を中心に世界に対し粘り強く丁寧に説明し理解を得て仲間を作る。決して孤立化しないことだ。

With China itself, we must constantly reassert the merits of the strategic partnership of mutual benefit.
 中国との間では、戦略的互恵路線がいかに両国関係にメリットをもたらしたかを改めて確認したい。

First of all, Japan must tolerate the tension involved in dispensing with any hardline talk and sticking to the status quo.
まずは、強硬路線の悪循環を排し現状維持の緊張に耐え抜くことだ。

A chance for compromise will emerge from therein.
そして、対話と妥協の機をうかがう。

If, for example, China stopped sending government ships to the waters around the Senkakus; if Japan admitted that the islands dispute was in fact a diplomatic issue, then the parties could finally sit at a table and talk about it.
例えば、中国は公船の派遣をやめる。日本も外交問題はあることまでは認め話し合いのテーブルにつく。

We'd like to see leaders from both China and Japan show resourcefulness and courage.
両国首脳の知略と勇気に期待したい。

Distributing the economic pie and the continuation of peace in East Asia -- for these things we call for a spirit of reciprocity that will make this era one of conciliation.
 パイの配分と平和の継続。時代は互譲の裏付けのある骨太な互恵精神を求めている。

If we look back on all the steps we've taken since the end of World War II, we have built up all the power we need to respond to the demands of the postwar era.
戦後の歩みを振り返ると、私たちにはその時代の要請に応える力は十分に備わっているように思える。

While it is undoubtedly the politicians who will have to work the hardest to put that power to use, we would like all Japanese citizens to remember once more that their jobs are given to them by us.
実現に汗をかくのは一義的には政治家だが、彼らにそういう仕事をさせるのは、私たち国民であることを改めて胸に刻みたい。

毎日新聞 2013年01月01日 02時30分

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2013年1月 1日 (火)

政治の安定で国力を取り戻せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 1, 2013)
Regain national strength through political stability
政治の安定で国力を取り戻せ (1月1日付・読売社説)

 ◆成長戦略練り直しは原発から◆

Japan stands at a crossroads of whether it can maintain its national strength and retain its status as a major power.
 日本は、国力を維持し、先進国の地位を守れるかどうかの岐路に立たされている。

National strength is the total power of a country, comprising such elements as economic and military might, and technological prowess. The primary task of the administration led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is to maintain and enhance Japan's strength through political stability.
 国力は、経済力、防衛力、技術力などで構成される、その国の総合力だ。安倍政権の使命は、政治の安定によって、国力を維持・向上させることにある。

Boosting national strength will lead to improved social security systems, including pension and health care programs, and reinforce national security policy. That will also shore up disaster management measures and solidify social infrastructure, while accelerating reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake.
 それが、年金・医療などの社会保障制度の充実、安全保障政策の強化につながる。防災対策や公共インフラの維持、東日本大震災からの復興も加速しよう。

Political stability is also important for Japan to regain its voice and presence in the international community.
 政治の安定は、国際社会における発言力や存在感を回復するにも重要だ。

As former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama created strains in the Japan-U.S. alliance while he was in office, Japan's relations with China, South Korea and Russia also deteriorated. Reorganizing the nation's diplomatic strategy is a matter of urgency.
鳩山元首相が日米同盟を不安定にしたため、中国、韓国、ロシアとの関係も悪化した。外交の立て直しは喫緊の課題だ。

===

Upper house poll a key moment
 ◆参院選が最大のヤマ場◆

The Abe administration's biggest political objective this year is for the Liberal Democratic Party he leads and its coalition partner, New Komeito, to win a majority in the House of Councillors election scheduled for this summer, thereby bringing an end to the divided Diet.
 安倍政権の今年最大の政治目標は、夏の参院選で自民、公明両党で過半数を占め、衆参ねじれ国会を解消することである。

Depending on the outcome of the election, Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Your Party might join the ruling coalition. But this will be premised on the assumption that it will add stability to the administration.
 選挙結果次第では、日本維新の会やみんなの党が新たに連立に参加することもあり得るが、政権の安定に資することが前提だ。

If Abe's administration retains a majority in the upper house, the nation's political arena will enter a "stable phase," as there will be up to three years before the next national election is to be held, and more than two years before the next LDP presidential election.
 安倍政権が参院で過半数を確保すれば、次の国政選挙まで最大3年、次期総裁選まで2年余あるため、政治は「安定期」に入る。

This will make it possible for the administration to tackle its major political agenda and pending policy issues without being tripped up by resorting to populism.
 大衆迎合(ポピュリズム)に足をすくわれることもなく、大きな政治テーマや懸案の政策に取り組むことも可能になろう。

For instance, the administration will be able to propose the enactment of a "Basic Law on National Security" that would enable the nation to exercise its right to collective self-defense, although the LDP will need to coordinate views with Komeito on this issue.
 例えば、公明党との調整が必要だが、集団的自衛権の行使を可能にする「国家安全保障基本法」の制定を提案することもできる。

It is crucial for the government to approve the use of the right to collective self-defense and to reinforce the Japan-U.S. alliance so it can deal better with the nuclear and missile development of North Korea, and tensions that have emerged with China since the government nationalized some of the Senkaku Islands last year.
 尖閣諸島国有化をめぐる中国との対立、北朝鮮の核・ミサイル開発などに対処するためには、集団的自衛権の行使を容認し、日米同盟を強化することが必要だ。

We hope ruling and opposition parties hold thorough discussions and reach a common understanding on the issue.
こうした認識を共有できるよう、与野党で議論を重ねてもらいたい。

===

Manage administration moderately
 ◆節度ある政権運営を◆

In last month's House of Representatives election, the LDP and Komeito together won more than two-thirds of the seats in the lower house. This will enable the coalition to have bills voted down in the upper house enacted by a second vote in the lower chamber.
 先の衆院選で自民、公明両党が法案の再議決が可能な定数の3分の2を超える議席を獲得した。

The fact of the matter is that voters opted for stable politics and politics that can move forward, under the administration of the LDP and Komeito, both of which have extensive experience in managing the government.
政権担当経験がある自公両党による安定した政治、前に進める政治を、有権者が選択した結果にほかならない。

Further political dithering can be averted now that the DPJ has been kicked out of power. In addition, it may be said that political instability that could have arisen if a strong third political party had joined a coalition government has been prevented.
 民主党政権のさらなる迷走だけでなく、第3極の政権参加による混乱も回避したと言えよう。

The Democratic Party of Japan was demoted to an opposition party after suffering a crushing defeat in the general election, but it still has the second-largest number of seats in the lower house and remains a party with a plurality in the upper house. For the time being, the LDP-Komeito coalition government will need to obtain cooperation from the DPJ while exploring ways of forming a partial coalition involving third political forces.
 民主党は大敗して下野したが、衆院でなお第2党にある。参院では引き続き第1党を占めている。当面、自公民3党の連携を軸に、第3極を含めた部分連合を模索する必要がある。

The DPJ is expected to step up its confrontational stance toward the Abe administration in a bid to regain ground in the upper house election set for this summer.
 民主党は参院選での巻き返しを期して、安倍政権への対決姿勢を強めてくるだろう。

In the 2007 upper house poll, the Abe-led LDP suffered a bitter defeat, handing the opposition camp control of the upper chamber and creating a divided Diet. Recent years have seen repeated cases of the party that won big in the lower house suffering a setback in the next upper house poll due to a swing in public support.
 安倍首相には、2007年の参院選で苦杯を喫し、衆参ねじれを作った過去もある。衆院選で大勝した政権が、民意の揺り戻しによって、次の参院選で敗北するケースが続いている。

Abe must maintain disciplined management of his administration by diligently seeking to build consensus.
 首相に求められるのは、丁寧に合意形成を目指す、節度ある政権運営である。

First and foremost, he must tackle the tasks of resuscitating Japan's economy and restoring economic growth.
 真っ先に取り組むべき課題は、経済再生と成長力回復だ。

===

3 core policy initiatives
 ◆「3本の矢」をどう放つ◆

With price increases being held to almost zero, the nominal growth domestic product that reflects more closely sentiment felt by households and businesses has declined by 40 trillion yen compared with five years ago. Consequently, the nation's economic size is stuck at about the same level as it was two decades ago.
 物価上昇率はゼロに等しく、家計や企業の実感に近いといわれる名目国内総生産(GDP)は5年前に比べて40兆円も減少した。日本の経済規模は20年前とほぼ同水準にとどまっている。

All possible policies must be carried out to correct the super-strong yen and defeat deflation so the nation can achieve stable growth.
 円高とデフレを解消し、安定成長に向け、政策を総動員しなければならない。

Abe said he will try to lift the country out of deflation by implementing three core policies--credit easing, fiscal stimulus and a growth strategy. His thinking is reasonable.
 首相は、「金融緩和」「財政出動」「成長戦略」の3本の矢で、デフレ脱却を図るとしている。妥当な考え方だろう。

The yen has recently weakened against the dollar and stock prices have risen.
 為替相場は円安に振れ、株価も上昇してきている。

Setting a 2 percent inflation target, the prime minister has called for concluding a policy agreement between the government and the Bank of Japan to carry out drastic monetary easing. The central bank plans to set an inflation target this month. Stronger cooperation between the government and the central bank will be called for.
 首相は、消費者物価の前年比2%上昇を達成するインフレ目標を掲げ、大胆な金融緩和、政府と日銀の政策協定を求めている。日銀は、今月にもインフレ目標を導入する方針だ。政府と日銀の連携強化が問われよう。

Masaaki Shirakawa's term as central bank governor will expire in April. Abe has expressed his intention to appoint as Shirakawa's successor a person who shares his policy of setting a 2 percent inflation target.
 4月に白川方明日銀総裁の任期が満了する。首相は、後継総裁にインフレ目標を共有できる人物を充てる意向を示している。

Appointment of the central bank governor requires Diet approval. Under the divided Diet, if Abe's appointee is rejected by the opposition-controlled upper house, the post could be left vacant. We urge the ruling and opposition parties to work together to avoid this possibility.
 日銀総裁は、国会同意人事だ。ねじれ国会では、参院が反対すると、空席になる恐れもある。与野党で調整を図りたい。

Fiscal action also is important. The government has been compiling a supplementary budget for fiscal 2012 in parallel with the fiscal 2013 budget.
 財政出動も重要だ。政府は12年度補正予算案と13年度予算案の編成を並行して進めている。

The government will decide in autumn whether to raise the consumption tax rate from the current 5 percent to 8 percent in April 2014, in line with integrated reform of the social security and tax systems.
 社会保障と税の一体改革に沿って、消費税率を来年4月に5%から8%に引き上げるかどうかは、今年秋に政府が判断する。

One factor to be taken into account in making this decision will be GDP growth for the April-June quarter. Abe indicated the tax hike could be put off, depending on the GDP figure.
 判断材料の一つが4~6月期のGDP成長率だ。首相は、その数字次第で、引き上げの先送りもあり得るとしている。

For the tax increase to be surely implemented, we hope the government takes all possible measures to defeat deflation and shore up the economy, by compiling a large supplementary budget worth about 10 trillion yen.
 消費税率を確実に引き上げるためにも、10兆円前後の大型補正予算を組み、デフレ脱却と景気てこ入れに万全を期したい。

In the ordinary Diet session, the fiscal 2013 budget likely will be passed as late as sometime after the Golden Week holiday period in May. It will be inevitable to compile a stopgap budget. To ensure budgets can be seamlessly implemented, it is essential to create an environment in which ruling and opposition parties can cooperate.
 通常国会では13年度予算案成立が5月の連休後にずれ込む見通しだ。暫定予算の編成も必至だ。切れ目のない予算執行の実現へ、与野党が協調できる環境を整えることが大切である。

===

Power rate hikes serious issue
 ◆深刻な電力料金値上げ◆

To promote a growth strategy, the government needs a "control tower" with strong authority and coordination capabilities. We highly regard the prime minister's reinstatement of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy and plan to integrate its functions with the newly established "headquarters for Japan's economic revitalization."
 政府が成長戦略を進めるうえで不可欠なのが、強い権限と調整力を備えた司令塔だ。首相が経済財政諮問会議を復活させ、新設の日本経済再生本部と一体的に運営することは評価できる。

We want productivity in the private sector to be increased through deregulation in various fields and investment in such growth areas as the environment and medical and nursing care services.
 各種規制の緩和、環境や医療・介護など成長分野への投資によって、民間の生産力を高めたい。

Securing electricity cheaply and stably also is essential for growth.
 安価で安定的な電力の確保も、成長に欠かせない。

Due to the DPJ's policy direction of weaning the nation off nuclear power, reactors at nuclear power plants, whose output accounted for 30 percent of the nation's power generation, were shut down one after another. Of the 50 commercial reactors in Japan, only two at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s Oi plant are operating.
 民主党政権の「脱原発」路線のために、全発電量の3割を占めていた原子力発電所が次々停止し、全国50基のうち関西電力大飯原発の2基しか稼働できていない。

Thermal power generation has been ramped up to cover the severe electricity shortage. Imports of liquefied natural gas and other sources have surged, causing national wealth totaling about 3 trillion yen per year to flow out to countries that produce these energy sources. Many electricity utilities, including KEPCO, have fallen into the red and filed for approval to increase their rates.
 深刻な電力不足を火力発電でカバーするため、液化天然ガス(LNG)などの輸入が急増し、年3兆円もの国富が資源産出国に流出している。関電など多くの電力会社は赤字に転落し、電力料金の引き上げを申請している。

The steel industry has estimated it would face additional burdens of more than 90 billion yen if electricity bills were raised by KEPCO and others. This would accelerate the hollowing out of Japan's industries and inevitably affect the people's daily lives, including employment.
 鉄鋼業界は、関電などの電力料金値上げが実現すれば、業界全体で900億円を超える負担増になると試算している。産業空洞化が加速し、雇用など国民生活が脅かされるのは避けられない。

We consider it necessary to restart idled nuclear reactors after their safety is confirmed under new safety guidelines to be established by the Nuclear Regulation Authority.
 原子力規制委員会が新たに作る安全基準に従って安全性を確認した原発は、着実に再稼働していく必要がある。

In the latest lower house election, the LDP, which criticized the "zero-nuclear policy" as irresponsible, scored a landslide victory. Now, the Abe administration will be required to work out the best mix of power sources--including nuclear power--as soon as possible.
 先の衆院選で、「原発ゼロ」を無責任だとして否定した自民党が大勝したことで、安倍政権には、原子力を含む電源のベストな組み合わせを早急に検討することが求められよう。

Excluding hydropower, renewable energy, such as solar power and wind power, currently accounts for only a little more than 1 percent of Japan's entire power generation. It is still premature to expect renewable energy can be immediately used as a main power source that can replace nuclear power.
 太陽光や風力など再生可能エネルギーは、水力を除けば、全発電量の1%強に過ぎない。すぐに原発に代わる主要電源として利用できると期待してはならない。

More than 100 trillion yen will need to be invested on steps to save energy and expand renewable energy. In reality, the public will be forced to shoulder this cost in the form of higher power bills and taxes.
 省エネと再生エネ拡大の投資費用は100兆円を超える。電気料金または税金として国民が負担せざるを得ないのも現実である。

The world will continue using nuclear power and building more reactors. China, in particular, has put more than 10 nuclear reactors into operation and plans to build at least 50 more.
 世界は引き続き原発を活用し、増設する。特に中国は、十数基を運転させ、50基以上の原発建設を計画している。

It will be necessary for Japan to firmly maintain its nuclear technology, which is among the best in the world. Abe has expressed determination to build safe nuclear power plants. To secure and nurture talented human resources in this field, the nation should not exclude the option of building next-generation nuclear reactors.
 日本は、原子力分野で世界有数の技術力を、今後も保持する必要がある。首相は、安全な原発の新設へ意欲を示したが、有為な人材を確保・育成するうえでも、次世代型原発の新設という選択肢を排除すべきではない。

From the standpoint of the country's growth, it will be desirable to promote exports of nuclear infrastructure.
 成長の観点からは、原発のインフラ輸出も促進したい。

===

TPP key to economic growth
 ◆TPP参加で反転攻勢◆

Japan's nuclear power policy also will affect its defense capability, which centers on the Japan-U.S. alliance.
 原発政策は、日米同盟を軸とする防衛力にも影響を与える。

Under the Japan-U.S. nuclear power cooperation agreement, Japan is allowed to possess plutonium, which can be converted to nuclear weapons. But the principle to end the use of nuclear power, which was decided under the administration led by former Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, would mean that Japan will lose not only this privilege but also its status as a U.S. partner for promoting the peaceful use of nuclear power and nuclear nonproliferation.
 日米原子力協定によって、日本には核兵器にも転用できるプルトニウムの保有が認められている。野田政権が決定した「原発ゼロ」方針の下では、その特別な権利も、原子力の平和利用や核不拡散をめぐる米国のパートナーとしての地位も、失うことになる。

The Abe administration has good reasons to review the country's nuclear and energy policy.
 安倍政権が原発・エネルギー政策を練り直すのは、当然だ。

Generating sustainable growth will require harnessing demand from overseas nations such as those in Asia. As such, participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership multinational free trade framework has been a pending issue since the DPJ-led government was in power.
 持続的成長には、アジアなど海外の需要を取り込む必要がある。環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)への参加問題が、民主党政権からの懸案になっている。

Member nations of the TPP, which aims to promote free trade under U.S. initiatives, plan to conclude their negotiations by the end of this year. Japan must get involved in the process of drawing up rules on eliminating and reducing tariffs as well as trade and investment to reflect its national interests. We urge the prime minister to announce Japan will take a seat at the TPP talks as soon as possible.
 米国主導で自由貿易を推進するTPPは、今年中の交渉妥結を目標としている。日本は関税撤廃・引き下げ、貿易・投資のルール作りに関与し、国益を反映させなければならない。首相は、早期に参加を表明すべきである。

By steadily working on these policy agendas for regaining Japan's national strength, the new administration will gradually be able to restore public trust in politics.
 こうした国力を取り戻すための政策課題を着実にこなすことで、政治への信頼も徐々に取り戻すことができるだろう。

We hope this year will see Japan solidify its footing and become more assertive.
 今年を日本が足元を固め、反転攻勢をかける年にしたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 1, 2013)
(2013年1月1日01時12分  読売新聞)

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