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2013年2月 8日 (金)

レーダー照射―危険極まる中国の挑発

--The Asahi Shimbun, Feb. 6
EDITORIAL: China’s provocative acts are raising the risk of a military clash
レーダー照射―危険極まる中国の挑発

Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera revealed Feb. 5 that a Chinese warship locked its fire-control radar on a Japanese destroyer operating in the East China Sea last month. In doing so, the Chinese vessel essentially signaled it was preparing to open fire.
 中国軍艦が先月、東シナ海で自衛隊の護衛艦に射撃用の管制レーダーを照射したと、小野寺五典防衛相が明らかにした。

In a separate incident earlier in January, a Chinese frigate apparently locked on to a helicopter belonging to Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force, according to Onodera.
 別の日には、海上自衛隊のヘリコプターにも同様の照射があったとみられるという。

It remains unclear what caused tensions to suddenly ramp up like this. But what is clear is that the Chinese ships engaged in dangerously provocative acts that could easily have triggered a military clash. Thus, the Chinese actions are completely unacceptable. The Japanese government did the right thing when it lodged a strong formal protest with Beijing over these incidents.
 状況に不明な点は多いが、一歩間違えば軍事衝突に発展しかねない危険な挑発行為だ。断じて許されるものではない。日本政府が、中国政府に抗議したのは当然である。

The dispute over sovereignty of the Senkakus has escalated since the Japanese government purchased some of the islands from a private landowner last September. Chinese ships have repeatedly intruded into Japanese territorial waters around the group of islets.
 日本政府が昨年9月、尖閣諸島を購入して以来、中国の公船が繰り返し尖閣周辺の日本領海を侵犯している。

In December, a propeller plane operated by China’s State Oceanic Administration entered Japanese territorial airspace over the islands in the East China Sea. That also added to tensions as China scrambled fighter jets in response to patrolling and monitoring operations by SDF aircraft and U.S. reconnaissance planes.
 昨年12月には、国家海洋局のプロペラ機が領空を侵犯。その後、警戒する自衛隊機や米軍偵察機に対し、中国軍機が緊急発進するなど、空でも緊張が高まっていた。

But the act of putting a radar-lock on a Japanese ship and a helicopter are far more serious in nature than anything that had occurred previously in connection with the dispute.
 ただ、今回のレーダー照射はこれまでとは質が違う。

It has been reported that some members of the Chinese military, as well as the public, are even clamoring to start a war with Japan over the sovereignty issue. It is possible that Beijing is escalating its provocative behavior due to pressure from such belligerent voices at home. If so, this is something we must not overlook. We strongly urge China to exercise self-restraint.
 中国の軍部や世論の一部には「戦争も辞さず」という声さえ上がっているという。そうした声に押され、挑発をエスカレートしているとしたら見過ごせない。自制を強く求める。

We are deeply concerned that current tensions between Japan and China over the island dispute could touch off an accidental armed clash. The governments of the two countries should act swiftly to establish an effective channel of communication to prevent such a crisis from happening.
 心配されるのは、こうした緊張状態が偶発的な衝突につながることだ。まずは危機回避のためのチャンネルづくりを、日中両国政府は急ぐべきだ。

Some encouraging signs of diplomatic efforts by both countries to improve the strained bilateral relations finally emerged recently.
 日中間ではここに来て、関係改善を探る動きがようやく始まっていた。

Last month, Natsuo Yamaguchi, head of New Komeito, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s junior coalition partner, visited China carrying a personal letter from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. In his meeting with Yamaguchi, Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping, the country’s new leader, stressed the importance of acting from a “broader perspective” for the sake of further development of the bilateral relationship.
 先月には、公明党の山口那津男代表が安倍首相の親書を携えて訪中。会談した習近平(シーチンピン)総書記は、日中関係の発展のため大局に目を向けるよう求めた。

But the radar-locking incidents could shut the window of opportunity for constructive dialogue between the two countries that has finally opened.
 ようやく見え始めた対話への糸口が再び遠のきかねない、今回のレーダー照射である。

China’s Communist Party has set up a new organization for coordinated actions concerning the Senkaku Islands dispute among the military, the State Oceanic Administration and other bodies concerned. The new organization is headed by Xi himself.
 中国共産党は、尖閣問題で軍や国家海洋局などが連携して対応するよう、新たな組織を立ち上げた。そのトップは習氏だ。

It is not clear whether Xi was aware of the military’s use of the radar against a Japanese ship and a helicopter. But he is clearly responsible for what happened. What are his thoughts about these provocative acts, which are totally inconsistent with his call for behavior based on a “broader perspective?”
 レーダー照射という行為まで習氏が把握していたのかは不明だが、責任は免れない。「大局」を求める自身の言葉とは全く相いれない今回の事態をどう考えるのか。

Other countries are becoming increasingly concerned about the tense standoff between Japan and China.
 日中の対立に、関係国も懸念を強めている。

Last month, before her retirement from office, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a strong warning against further provocative acts by China in connection with the islands dispute. In a news conference after her meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, Clinton said, “We oppose any unilateral actions that would seek to undermine Japanese administration” of the islands.
 クリントン前米国務長官は退任前の先月、日米外相会談後の記者会見で、尖閣をめぐって「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、中国の挑発行為を戒めた。

Beijing has effectively ignored this message from the U.S. government.
 中国は、この米国のメッセージも無視した形だ。

The international community is becoming increasingly uncomfortable about China’s militant behavior. Beijing should realize that.
 力を振りかざす中国の姿に、国際社会は違和感を強めている。そのことを中国は自覚すべきである。

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