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2013年4月29日 (月)

再生医療推進法 産学官の連携強化を図りたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 29, 2013
Closer govt-industry-academia ties needed on regenerative medicine
再生医療推進法 産学官の連携強化を図りたい(4月28日付・読売社説)

The fruits of research and development into regenerative medicine that can repair organs damaged by disease or injury should be swiftly utilized for therapeutic purposes. A new law is the first step toward establishing a system for this end.
 病気やけがで傷ついた臓器を復元する再生医療の研究成果は、いち早く治療に役立てたい。新法は、そうした体制を整備する第一歩だ。

A bill promoting regenerative medicine unanimously passed the House of Councillors in a plenary session Friday to become law. With the aim of helping regenerative treatments including those using induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells come into practical use, the law sets the goal of enabling this country to "provide the public with opportunities to benefit from regenerative medicine ahead of the rest of the world."
 再生医療推進法が参院本会議で全会一致により可決、成立した。iPS細胞(人工多能性幹細胞)などを使った治療を実用化するため、推進法は「再生医療を世界に先駆けて利用する機会を国民に提供する」と明記した。

Pillar of growth strategy

Under the law, the government is responsible for mapping out basic policies regarding regenerative medicine R&D projects and extending support to cutting-edge, promising research programs at universities and other institutions.
 研究開発に関する基本方針策定や、大学などでの先進的な研究への助成を国の責務とした。

The government has made regenerative medicine development a major pillar of its economic growth strategy. We welcome the fact that the legal foundation for facilitating this has been put in place through legislation sponsored by a bipartisan group of lawmakers.
 政府は成長戦略の柱の一つに再生医療を掲げている。その実用化促進のための法的基盤が議員立法で整ったことを評価したい。

Regenerative medicine basically works by using the cells or tissues of patients themselves. There is no danger of rejection by the patient, unlike organ transplants.
 再生医療は本来、患者本人の細胞や組織を使うため、臓器移植と違って拒絶反応の恐れがない。

Riken, one of Japan's largest research institutions, has already applied to the Health, Welfare and Labor Ministry for permission to conduct clinical studies using iPS cells for treating age-related macular degeneration, a currently intractable eye disease.
目の難病である加齢黄斑変性については、既に理化学研究所がiPS細胞で治療する臨床研究を厚生労働省に申請している。

Applications involving iPS cells have also been envisioned for a wide spectrum of therapies, such as treatment of heart disease and spiral cord injuries resulting from traffic accidents.
 これ以外にも、交通事故による脊髄損傷や心臓病の治療など幅広い分野への応用が見込まれる。

Kyoto University Prof. Shinya Yamanaka, the creator of iPS cells, won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. This illustrates how Japan is a leading nation in basic research of regenerative medicine.
 iPS細胞を作製した山中伸弥・京都大教授のノーベル賞受賞に象徴されるように、日本は基礎研究では世界のトップ水準だ。

However, the problem is that many impediments still block research results from being used for actual clinical treatments.
 問題は、その成果を実際の治療に活用したくても、障害が多いことである。

Clinical trials that examine the effectiveness of these therapies are extremely expensive and time-consuming. Under the circumstances, enthusiasm could flag among startups and other businesses trying to enter regenerative medicine fields.
例えば、治療効果を調べる治験に費用や時間がかかり過ぎる。これでは、ベンチャー企業などが参入しようとしても開発意欲がそがれてしまうだろう。

Taking this into account, the new law calls for speedy government authorization of regenerative medicine products and prompt screening of such products. The law stipulates the government should "take preferential taxation steps when necessary" to encourage businesses to enter the sector.
 このため、推進法は、再生医療製品の早期承認や審査体制の整備をうたっている。事業への新規参入を促すため、「必要な税制上の措置を講じる」とも定めた。

Currently, this screening primarily covers pharmaceutical products that are foreign substances to the human body. New screening standards will need to be set for regenerative medicine products, which are produced from human cells.
 現行法での審査は、人体にとって異物である医薬品を主な対象にしている。人体の細胞を基にした再生医療製品には、新たな審査基準を設ける必要もあろう。

Safety, bioethics imperative

Competition between Japanese researchers and research organizations and businesses overseas is intense. The government must urgently study detailed measures that will prevent Japan from lagging in terms of yielding practical applications of regenerative medicine technologies.
 再生医療を巡る海外の研究機関や企業との競争は激しい。実用化で後れを取らぬよう、具体策の検討を急ぐべきだ。

We hope the new law's enactment will spur greater cooperation between the government, industry and academia.
 推進法成立を機に、産学官の連携が進むことを期待したい。

By the same token, the new law rightly notes the need for due consideration of bioethics and ensuring regenerative medicine is safe to use. Arrangements must be taken to enable the public to receive regenerative medicine treatment with peace of mind.
 一方で、推進法が「国は安全性を確保し、生命倫理に対して配慮する」とクギを刺したのも当然である。国民が安心して再生医療の治療を受けられるようにしなければならない。

During the current Diet session, the health ministry plans to submit a bill on regulations for regenerative medicine. A proper balance between the accelerator of the regenerative medicine promotion law and the brake of the ministry-envisioned regulatory law will be crucial.
 厚労省は再生医療を規制する法案を今国会に提出する方針だ。アクセルである推進法と、ブレーキとなる規制法を適切に使い分ける法の運用が求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 28, 2013)
(2013年4月28日01時31分  読売新聞)

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中国の尖閣発言 「核心的利益」とはお門違いだ

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 29, 2013
China's 'core interests' comment over Senkaku Islands uncalled for
中国の尖閣発言 「核心的利益」とはお門違いだ(4月28日付・読売社説)

The administration of Chinese President Xi Jinping should refrain from dangerous behavior that could escalate tensions around the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture.
 沖縄県・尖閣諸島周辺の緊張を高める危険な言動を、中国の習近平政権は厳に慎むべきだ。

At a recent press conference of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, a spokeswoman said the Senkaku issue pertains to China's territorial sovereignty. "They are certainly part of China's core interests," she added.
 中国外務省報道官が記者会見で、尖閣諸島について「中国の領土主権に関わる問題で、当然、中国の核心的利益だ」と述べた。

It was the first time a senior Chinese government official has made a clear remark that the Senkaku Islands are considered a "core interest."
尖閣諸島が「核心的利益」の対象だと当局者が明言したのは初めてである。

China uses this term to describe matters of national sovereignty, territorial integrity and other national interests over which it will never make compromises.
 核心的利益とは、国家主権や領土保全など、中国にとって絶対に譲歩できない国益を指す言葉だ。

Beijing has used the expression in reference to Taiwan, Tibet and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region before, but in recent years it has been using the term when referring to the South China Sea.
これまで主として台湾やチベット、ウイグルに用いてきたが、近年は南シナ海にも使っている。

The Senkaku Islands were deemed a core interest by the People's Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China, in January last year. However, the Chinese government never used the expression in its public statements.
 尖閣諸島については、昨年1月、共産党機関紙「人民日報」が使ったが、政府が公式に認めたことはなかった。

A show of maritime might

The latest press officer's remark can be seen as proof that Xi's administration has placed high priority on the islets as it aims to propel China's development as a maritime power.
今回の報道官発言は、「海洋強国化」を図る習政権が尖閣諸島を国家の最優先課題に位置づけたことの証左だろう。

Beijing has been obsessed of late with extending its purported territory and maritime rights and interests, by unilaterally applying the core interest designation to new areas. Such a stance is nothing but self-righteous expansionism.
 核心的利益の対象を一方的に広げて、領土や海洋権益の拡大に固執する中国の姿勢は、独善的な膨張主義にほかならない。

This behavior is totally unacceptable. The Japanese government should continually inform the international community about China's transgressions.
 断じて容認できない。日本政府は国際社会に対し、中国の不当性を粘り強く訴えねばならない。

Beijing is likely to dispatch an increasing number of surveillance vessels from its State Oceanic Administration to intrude into waters around the Senkaku Islands. Japan should prepare countermeasures by assuming every possible contingency.
 今後、中国が国家海洋局の監視船を大挙、尖閣諸島周辺の領海に侵入させることもあるだろう。日本はあらゆる事態を想定して、対応策を練る必要がある。

The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe endorsed the Basic Plan on Ocean Policy during a Cabinet meeting last week. The plan stipulates bolstering the defense system and maximizing surveillance activities in waters around the Nansei Islands, which include the Senkakus. It is crucial that cooperation be reinforced between the Japan Coast Guard and the Self-Defense Forces, among other measures.
 政府は、南西諸島周辺での防衛態勢を強化し、警戒監視活動に万全を期すことを明記した海洋基本計画を閣議決定した。海上保安庁と自衛隊との連携などを強化していくことが肝要である。

It cannot be forgotten that the Chinese military has been increasingly involved in activities in waters around the islands. In January, a Chinese Navy vessel locked its fire-control radar onto a Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer north of the islets.
 看過できないのは、中国軍の関与が着々と強まっていることだ。1月には尖閣諸島の北方海域で、海軍艦艇による海上自衛隊艦艇へのレーダー照射事件も起きた。

The situation in these waters remains tense as a standoff between Chinese Navy and MSDF vessels continues.
 この海域では、今も中国海軍艦艇と海自艦艇がにらみ合う緊迫した状況が続いている。

Military standoff alarming

China, backed by a strong military, seems to be signaling it may use force to knock Japan off balance and erode Tokyo's effective control of the islands.
 中国には、強大な軍事力を背景に武力行使も辞さない方針をちらつかせ、日本を揺さぶったり、実効支配を切り崩したりする狙いがあるのだろう。

Beijing has claimed it will never pursue hegemony in the Asian region. However, its actions have only been viewed as an increasing threat to neighboring countries.
 中国は言葉では「決して覇権を唱えない」と強調するが、その行動は周辺国への脅威を高めるばかりだ。

Abe has expressed his own concerns, saying: "The military balance between Japan and China will totally break down within two years."
安倍首相も「この2年で日本と中国の軍事バランスが完全に壊れる」と懸念を示している。

China has adopted a hard-line stance by putting its military might at the fore. Such an attitude is extremely perilous as it could provoke an unexpected conflict.
 軍事力を前面に出す中国の強硬姿勢は不測の衝突を招きかねず、危険極まりない。

Japanese and Chinese defense officials have resumed talks on creating a maritime communication system to prevent unintended clashes between the two countries' ships and aircraft. Tokyo and Beijing should aim to reach an agreement on this front as soon as possible.
 日中の防衛当局は、艦艇や航空機の偶発的事故を防止する「海上連絡メカニズム」の協議を再開した。早期合意を目指すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 28, 2013)
(2013年4月28日01時31分  読売新聞)

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2013年4月28日 (日)

節電目標見送り それでも電力不足は深刻だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 28, 2013
Potential power shortages remain despite govt decision not to set targets
節電目標見送り それでも電力不足は深刻だ(4月27日付・読売社説)

The government has decided not to set numerical targets for companies and households to save energy this summer.
 政府は今夏、企業や家庭に対し、数値目標を掲げた節電要請を見送る方針を決めた。

The decision came after government projections showed that utilities nationwide could have an average supply surplus of about 6 percent even if the nation is hit by scorching heat and demand for electricity peaks in August. The estimates also showed that even areas served by Kansai Electric Power Co.--which is expected to have the lowest excess capacity among the utilities--would have a 3 percent surplus.
 8月が猛暑でも、電力需要ピーク時に、供給余力が全国平均で約6%、最も厳しい関西電力管内も3%を確保できる見通しのためだ。

Last summer, the government forced companies and households to bear the burden by setting energy-saving targets of 5 percent to 15 percent in areas served by seven utilities. We applaud the fact that the government was able to avoid imposing such targets this summer by boosting supply capacity and energy saving efforts. We hope we will manage to get through this summer with reasonable energy conservation efforts.
 昨夏は7電力管内で5~15%の節電目標を定め、企業や家庭に負担を強いた。電力供給の上積みや節電効果で、数値目標を回避できたことは評価できる。無理のない節電で夏を乗り切りたい。

Walking on a tightrope

However, the current state of the national power supply is like walking on a tightrope, as the nation currently has only two reactors at KEPCO's Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture in operation. The government and utilities must make every effort to secure a stable power supply to avert massive blackouts and other problems.
 とはいえ、稼働する原子力発電所は関電の大飯原発2基だけで、電力供給は綱渡りである。政府と電力各社は、大規模な停電などを起こさないよう、安定供給に万全を期さなければならない。

It is too optimistic to think the national power supply could not be shaken at a time when most reactors are not operating.
 大半の原発が止まっていても電力供給に問題はない、などと考えるのは楽観的すぎる。

Currently, the nation has barely made up for power shortages caused by the shutdown of nuclear reactors, by reactivating thermal power plants. The operation of some of the plants had been suspended for a long time due to the aging of the facilities.
 老朽化で運転を長期休止していた火力発電所も動員し、原発停止で不足した電力をかろうじて補っているのが実情だからだ。

To maintain necessary power generation, utilities have pushed themselves hard and taken actions such as reducing inspections at their thermal power plants. Such actions further raise the risk of malfunction and danger at the plants.
 必要な発電量を維持しようと、火力発電所の検査を減らすなどの無理を重ね、故障やトラブルのリスクは一段と高まっている。

If operations are forced to stop at multiple plants due to emergencies, the nation could experience a power crisis.
 発電所の緊急停止が相次ぐ事態ともなれば、電力需給は一気に逼迫(ひっぱく)する恐れがある。

Concerns are especially strong in areas served by KEPCO. If the operation of the Oi reactors, the anchor of KEPCO's power supply, is suspended, the utilities' service areas would face a power shortage of about 12 percent, a significant worsening compared with the currently estimated 3 percent surplus. Even if electricity is transferred from other utilities, KEPCO could secure a mere 0.6 percent supply surplus. KEPCO is dangerously close to a potential massive blackout.
 特に懸念されるのが関電管内である。頼みの綱の大飯原発が停止すると、「余力3%」から一転して約12%の電力不足に陥る。他電力から電気の融通を受けても、余力0・6%しか確保できない。大停電の危機と紙一重といえる。

Negative impact on economy

Power shortages weigh heavily on the Japanese economy.
 電力不足が日本経済に与えている打撃も極めて大きい。

Additional fuel costs for thermal power generation to make up for power shortfalls due to the suspension of nuclear reactors are estimated to rise to 3.8 trillion yen in fiscal 2013 from 3.1 trillion yen in fiscal 2012. The increases are due to soaring import prices of liquefied natural gas and other energy sources caused mainly by the weaker yen.
 原発停止を補うために必要な火力発電の追加燃料費は、12年度の3・1兆円から13年度は3・8兆円に増えるという。液化天然ガス(LNG)などの輸入価格が、円安で高騰したのが主因だ。

If the national reliance on thermal power generation is prolonged, massive amounts of national wealth will continue to flow out to resource-rich countries, making it difficult to stave off expansion of domestic trade deficits. In such a situation, the nation would be unable to avert additional utility rate hikes, and companies would see their production costs rise. As a result, the firms would relocate their production overseas, accelerating the hollowing-out of industry.
 火力発電への依存が長引けば、資源国へ巨額の国富流出が続き、貿易赤字の拡大に歯止めがかからなくなる。電力料金の追加値上げも避けられず、企業の生産コストは上昇する。工場が海外移転する産業空洞化も加速しよう。

Power shortages could also hamper Abenomics, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic measures. It is therefore vital to steadily restart reactors after their safety is confirmed and secure the electricity needed for the nation's economic growth.
 電力不足は、安倍首相の経済政策「アベノミクス」の障害ともなる。安全を確認した原発を着実に再稼働し、経済成長に必要な電力を確保することが大切である。

With new regulatory standards to be devised in July, the Nuclear Regulation Authority should examine the safety of reactors without delay.
 原子力規制委員会は、7月に策定する新たな規制基準で遅滞なく原発の安全性を審査すべきだ。

We also urge the government to make further efforts to explain to the public the need to restart reactors, to obtain the understanding of local governments hosting nuclear facilities.
 政府も、再稼働へ立地自治体の理解を得られるよう、説明に全力を挙げてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 27, 2013)
(2013年4月27日01時15分  読売新聞)

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体罰緊急調査 再発防止へ問題意識高めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 28, 2013
Strong awareness needed to solve problem of corporal punishment
体罰緊急調査 再発防止へ問題意識高めよ(4月27日付・読売社説)

The reality that corporal punishment is deep-rooted in schools has been confirmed.
 体罰が教育現場に根強く存在する実態が裏付けられたと言えよう。

The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry on Friday released the results of its emergency survey on corporal punishment, which covered public primary, middle and high schools around the country. The survey was conducted in response to the suicide of a student at Osaka municipal Sakuranomiya High School, who was physically punished by a teacher supervising his basketball club.
 文部科学省が、大阪市立桜宮高校の体罰自殺問題を受け、全国の公立小中高校などを対象に実施した緊急調査の結果を公表した。

According to the survey, 752 schools reported that they confirmed the existence of corporal punishment from April last year to January this year. During that period, 1,890 pupils and students were physically punished by a total of 840 teachers.
 調査結果によると、昨年4月から今年1月にかけて、体罰があったと報告した学校は752校だった。計840人の教師から、1890人の児童・生徒が体罰の被害に遭っていた。

Under what kind of circumstances did teachers use corporal punishment? Education boards must carefully examine how and why corporal punishment was meted out and prevent it from recurring.
 教師はどのような状況で体罰に及んだのか。教育委員会はその経緯と原因を丁寧に検証し、再発防止につなげねばならない。

The survey found that physical punishment is particularly common during classes (31 percent) and club activities (28 percent). In many cases, teachers struck students with their bare hands, but there were also cases in which they use such things as sticks.
 体罰が目立ったのは、授業中(31%)と部活動中(28%)だった。素手で殴るケースが多いが、棒などの道具を用いた体罰もある。

Students suffered such injuries as broken bones, damage to their eardrums and bruises in nearly 30 percent of all cases of corporal punishment.
骨折や鼓膜損傷、打撲など、子供にけがを負わせた事例も、実に全体の3割近くに上る。

The School Education Law specifically bans corporal punishment. Physical punishment that injures pupils and students is a malicious act, and teachers who mete out such punishment deserve to be charged with assault or injurious assault.
 学校教育法は体罰を明確に禁じている。児童・生徒を負傷させる体罰は、傷害罪や暴行罪に問われてもおかしくない悪質な行為である。

Punish the perpetrators

Education boards should not only strictly punish teachers who use corporal punishment but also discuss disclosing the names of their schools.
教育委員会は、教師の厳正な処分はもちろん、学校名の公表も検討すべきだろう。

The number of public school teachers identified as having used physical punishment had previously hovered around 400 a year. The number of reported cases jumped in the recent survey because schools uncovered more cases as they raised awareness of corporal punishment following the incident at Sakuranomiya High School.
 体罰が確認された公立校の教師数は、これまで年400人前後で推移してきた。今回、報告件数が大幅に膨らんだのは、桜宮高校の事件をきっかけに、体罰に関する各学校の問題意識が高まり、事例の掘り起こしが進んだためだ。

Some teachers do not fully understand the difference between corporal punishment and strict student guidance. Last month, the ministry conveyed concrete examples to schools to make a clear distinction between the two.
 一方で、体罰と厳しい指導の違いを十分理解していない教師もいる。文科省は先月、両者の区別を明確にするための具体例を通知した。

For example, having a student stand during a class is within the range of guidance, but slapping a disobedient student in the face is corporal punishment.
教室内に立たせるのは指導の範囲内だが、反抗的な生徒の頬を平手打ちするのは体罰になる。

Using violence against students should never be allowed in any circumstances whatsoever. All teachers must engrave this on their hearts.
 どのような事情があれ、教え子に暴力をふるうことは決して許されない。すべての教師は肝に銘じるべきである。

Guide through words

There is an education board that compiled training materials for teachers summarizing how they should deal with students, citing actual examples of corporal punishment. We hope this kind of approach will be widely adopted.
 体罰事例を題材に、教師がとるべき対処方法をまとめた研修資料を作成した教育委員会もある。こうした取り組みを進めたい。

The most important thing is that each teacher has the self-awareness to provide students with guidance that does not rely on violence.
 何よりも大切なのは、教師一人ひとりが、暴力に頼らない指導をするという自覚を持つことだ。

Teachers need to learn how to provide good guidance to students by controlling their own emotions and reprimanding students with words, not violence.
 自分の感情をコントロールし、言葉で叱って、上手に導く教え方を身に着ける必要がある。

Some parents think corporal punishment by teachers can be allowed as long as a relationship of trust exists between teachers and students.
 保護者の中には、生徒との信頼関係が築かれていれば、教師の体罰を認めても構わないという考え方がある。

However, physical punishment hurts children's character and can make them feel humiliated. Parents should recognize that corporal punishment never has educational effects, and is harmful instead.
 だが、体罰は子供の人格を傷つけ、屈辱感を与えかねない。教育効果どころか、害を及ぼすということを保護者も認識したい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 27, 2013)
(2013年4月27日01時15分  読売新聞)

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B787再開へ 安全最優先で世界の空を飛べ

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 27, 2013
Boeing 787s should get airborne once more, with priority on safety
B787再開へ 安全最優先で世界の空を飛べ(4月26日付・読売社説)

Boeing Co.'s newest and most technologically advanced 787s, which were grounded because of a battery fire and other problems, are expected to soon be back in the skies around the world.
 出火トラブルで運航を停止されていた最新鋭の米ボーイング787型機が再び、世界の空を飛ぶ見通しになった。

The highest priority is the safety of the planes. It is critical to regain public trust in the 787s, which was shaken by the problems.
 なにより最優先すべきは安全運航だ。揺らいだ信頼を取り戻す必要がある。

U.S. civil aviation authorities have lifted a grounding order and Japan's Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Industry is also ready to bring the aircraft back into service.
 米航空当局は運航停止命令を解除し、国土交通省も同様に解除する。

In the wake of this, both All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines are scheduled to resume commercial flights of 787 Dreamliners on both domestic and international routes as early as June.
これを受けて、全日本空輸と日本航空は6月にも国内線と国際線の営業運航を始める。

1st order in 34 years

In January, a battery caught fire on a JAL 787 at Boston's Logan International Airport. Later the same month, smoke poured out of a battery on an ANA 787, forcing it to make an emergency landing at Takamatsu airport in Kagawa Prefecture.
 787は今年1月、米ボストンの空港で日航機のバッテリーから出火した。全日空機でも同月、バッテリーから煙が出て、高松空港に緊急着陸した。

Given the severity of the incidents, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration ordered the entire fleet of Dreamliners grounded. This was the first such order in 34 years to be issued for every plane in a fleet. It is extraordinary that about 50 787s, in use by eight airlines in seven countries, have all remained grounded for safety reasons.
 相次ぐトラブルを重視した米連邦航空局(FAA)は、34年ぶりに停止命令に踏み切った。世界の航空会社8社が合わせて約50機の787の運航を一斉に見合わせたのは、異例の事態である。

The aviation authorities' approval of the resumption of Dreamliner flights for the first time in about 3-1/2 months is based on Boeing's efforts to change the design of the batteries.
 航空当局が約3か月半ぶりに運航再開を認めるのは、ボーイングが、問題となったバッテリーの設計を変更する改善策を講じたことを評価したからだ。

In addition to enhancing the heat resistance of the battery's eight cells, Boeing has given each cell additional insulation to ensure that if a cell were to overheat, it would not affect the adjoining cells. Additionally, the entire revamped battery system is now in an oxygen-free environment, Boeing has said.
 バッテリー内に8個ある電池の耐熱性を高め、発熱しても隣の電池に熱が伝わらないよう隔壁を補強した。その上で、バッテリー全体を無酸素状態の容器に入れて発煙を防いだという。

Thanks to the multilayered fire-prevention measures, the safety of the planes has been verified in test flights, likely leading the aviation authorities to the make the judgment in favor of getting the planes back in the air at least provisionally.
 二重三重の出火防止策により、試験飛行でも安全性が確認されたことから、航空当局は、運航再開にひとまず支障はなくなったと判断したのだろう。

Investigations aimed at finding the root cause of the problem conducted by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and others, however, have yet to identify the technological problems with the battery system.
 だが、原因究明を進めていた米国家運輸安全委員会(NTSB)などの調査では、依然として技術的な問題は特定されていない。

There is reportedly a view among some within NTSB that the FAA might have failed to do its best to uncover the battery problems, but this view has not been substantiated.
 NTSB内には、かつてFAAが電池を十分に審査しなかったことが一因とする見方があるが、この真相も不明である。

Japan's land and infrastructure ministry as well as ANA and JAL must do their utmost to ensure safety by taking countermeasures on their own initiative, such as the introduction of a surveillance system to monitor irregularities of in-flight 787 battery voltage and send the data to the ground.
 国交省と全日空、日航は、飛行中の電池の電圧データを地上に送って異常を監視するといった日本独自の対策も含め、安全確保に万全を期してもらいたい。

Such efforts will help alleviate Dreamliner passenger concerns.
 そうした地道な努力が、利用者の不安解消につながるだろう。

Prepare for future problems

The 787, which was built with cutting-edge technologies, is a highly fuel-efficient, energy-saving midsized aircraft. The plane was jointly developed by not only U.S. and European manufacturers, but also Japanese companies, which produced 35 percent of the fuselage, so that the 787 can safely be said to be a "quasi-made-in-Japan" plane.
 最新技術を取り入れた787は燃費性能に優れた省エネ中型機だ。米欧メーカーだけでなく、日本企業が機体の35%を製造した「準国産機」でもある。

Given that the 787 is a high-tech plane produced using the latest current technologies, there can be no denying that there are other possibilities for 787s to have malfunctions in the future that have not been seen in conventional aircraft.
 技術の粋を集めたハイテク機だけに、今後も従来機では想定されないような不具合が発生する可能性は否定できない。

By taking lessons from the 787 battery problems, manufacturers involved in the production of aircraft, airlines and aviation regulators in Japan, Europe and the United States should work together closely to create a system to swiftly cope with potential aircraft problems.
 今回のトラブルを教訓とし、日米欧のメーカーや航空会社、航空当局が密接に連携し、速やかに対応する体制を求められよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 26, 2013)
(2013年4月26日01時40分  読売新聞)

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非核化拒む「北」 警戒も制裁も緩めてはならぬ

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 27, 2013
International community mustn't lower guard, sanctions against North Korea
非核化拒む「北」 警戒も制裁も緩めてはならぬ(4月26日付・読売社説)

North Korea's Chief of General Staff Hyon Yong Chol pledged at the 81st anniversary of the inauguration of the Korean People's Army to mass-produce precise miniaturized nuclear weapons and the means of their delivery.
 「核保有国」の既成事実化を図ろうとする北朝鮮の姿勢が、ますます鮮明になってきた。
国際社会は、警戒も制裁も緩めるべきではない。

His remark reflects the order to develop more powerful nuclear weapons that was given by North Korea's supreme leader Kim Jong Un at a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea in March.
 朝鮮人民軍創建81周年の大会で、玄永哲総参謀長が「精密化、小型化された核兵器と運搬手段」を量産すると表明した。

Pyongyang apparently intends to accelerate development of nuclear warheads. We must stay alert for additional nuclear tests and test-launches of ballistic missiles by the country.
 3月の朝鮮労働党中央委員会総会で、金正恩第1書記が指示した核戦力増強路線を受けたものだ。今後、核弾頭の開発に拍車をかけるつもりだろう。
 さらなる核実験や弾道ミサイル発射に警戒が怠れない。

Members of the international community need to unite to strictly carry out U.N. Security Council resolutions on sanctions against North Korea. They should thoroughly inspect cargo suspected of containing embargoed goods such as those related to nuclear weapons and missiles. They should also tighten monitoring of North Korea's financial transactions.
 国際社会は結束して、北朝鮮に対する国連安全保障理事会の制裁決議を厳格に履行する必要がある。核・ミサイル関連物資など禁輸品の疑いがある貨物の検査や金融取引の監視を徹底すべきだ。

Fang Fenghui, chief of the general staff of the People's Liberation Army of China, has said North Korea might go ahead with its fourth nuclear test and that he resolutely opposes it.
 中国人民解放軍の房峰輝総参謀長は、北朝鮮が4回目の核実験を強行する可能性を指摘し、「断固として反対する」と述べた。

China's responsibility

China, a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, is the biggest aid donor and trade partner for North Korea. Beijing should be aware of its responsibility regarding North Korea and deal with Pyongyang strictly.
 中国は、北朝鮮にとって最大の援助国・貿易相手国で、安保理常任理事国だ。その責任を自覚して厳しく対処してもらいたい。

North Korea is still poised to fire ballistic missiles. Its strategic rocket units maintain the highest level of attack readiness.
 北朝鮮は、弾道ミサイル発射の構えを崩していない。戦略ロケット軍部隊などは最高度の戦闘勤務態勢を維持したままだ。

Japan must cooperate with the United States to stay on alert and maintain surveillance for a Pyongyang missile launch.
 日本は米国と連携し、ミサイル発射に備えた警戒監視態勢を堅持しなければならない。

U.S.-South Korea joint military drills are scheduled to conclude at the end of April. Last week, North Korea responded to U.S. calls for dialogue and presented conditions for the resumption of talks. This might be a strategic move toward starting negotiations with Washington.
 4月末には米韓合同軍事演習が終わる。北朝鮮が先週、米国の対話の呼びかけに反応し、対話再開へ条件を提示したのは、対米交渉へ動く布石とも受け取れる。

However, North Korea's National Defense Commission said in a statement that retraction of the U.N. Security Council's sanction resolutions, termination of U.S.-South Korea military drills and withdrawal of U.S. tools for a nuclear war, such as strategic bombers, were necessary to resume any talks with Seoul or Washington.
 北朝鮮の国防委員会の声明は、対話再開には、安保理の制裁決議の撤回や、米韓合同軍事演習の恒久中止、戦略爆撃機など「核戦争手段」の撤収が必要だとした。

Denuclearization of N. Korea

The demand for the retraction of U.N. sanctions is too much. Pyongyang implies it would hold talks with Seoul or Washington if they recognize North Korea as a nuclear power, but such a stance cannot be tolerated.
 制裁撤回要求は虫がよすぎる。決して容認できないのは、「核保有国」としてなら対話に臨むという北朝鮮の姿勢である。

It is a matter of course that Japan, the United States and South Korea have flatly rejected these conditions, saying the only aim of resuming talks is to denuclearize North Korea.
 日本や米国、韓国などが「対話再開はあくまでも非核化に向けたもの」として、北朝鮮がつけた条件を一蹴したのは当然である。

Recently, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited Japan, China and South Korea. South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung Se traveled to China and South Korean President Park Geun Hye is scheduled to visit the United States next month for talks with U.S. President Barack Obama.
 米国は、ケリー国務長官やデンプシー統合参謀本部議長が日中韓を歴訪した。韓国は尹炳世外相が訪中し、朴槿恵大統領も来月訪米してオバマ大統領と会談する。

More active diplomatic talks among countries concerned would provide valuable opportunities for them to seek a common strategy in dealing with North Korea.
 関係国による外交の活発化は、北朝鮮に対する共通の戦略を探る上で重要な機会となろう。

The nuclearization of North Korea is a grave threat to the safety of Japan. The government must do its best in diplomatic talks with countries concerned to enhance national security.
 北朝鮮の核武装は、日本の安全への重大な脅威だ。日本の安全保障を強化するため、外交にも全力を挙げなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 26, 2013)
(2013年4月26日01時40分  読売新聞)

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2013年4月26日 (金)

危険運転厳罰化 重大事故の撲滅につなげたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 26, 2013
Tougher penalties needed to curb deadly drivers
危険運転厳罰化 重大事故の撲滅につなげたい(4月25日付・読売社説)

Horrific accidents caused by drunk driving, unlicensed driving and other reckless driving seem to occur unceasingly. Planned harsher punishment of such practices must serve to prevent accidents.
 飲酒や無免許など悪質運転による重大事故が後を絶たない。厳罰化を事故抑止につなげたい。

The government has submitted a bill to the Diet to toughen penalties in cases of reckless driving. The bill is designed to take elements relating to reckless driving from the Penal Code, such as definitions of dangerous driving resulting in death or injury, and include them in a new law.
 政府は無謀運転の罰則を強化する法案を国会に提出した。危険運転致死傷罪などを刑法から抜き出し、独立した法律にするものだ。

The heart of the bill is the creation of new provisions on what may be called the offense of "quasi-dangerous driving."
 法案の柱は、“準危険運転罪”と言える規定を新設した点だ。

One requirement for applying the charge of dangerous driving resulting in death or injury is a "state in which it is difficult for a person to conduct normal driving." For example, the subject of the offense must be a person who caused an accident while driving a vehicle at uncontrollable speeds or in a state of extreme intoxication from alcoholic beverages or drugs. The maximum punishment is 20 years in prison.
 危険運転罪は「正常な運転が困難な状態」が適用要件だ。制御できないほどのスピードや飲酒・薬物の影響による酩酊(めいてい)状態で運転し、事故を起こした当事者が対象となる。最高刑は懲役20年だ。

However, it is quite difficult to accurately determine the exact driving speed or precise degree of intoxication at the time of an accident. For this reason, there have been many cases in which investigation authorities had to build their cases on suspicion of "negligent" rather than "dangerous" driving resulting in deaths or injuries. The maximum penalty for this offense is seven years in prison.
 だが、事故当時の速度や酔いの程度を確定するのは難しい。このため、捜査当局は、自動車運転過失致死傷罪で立件せざるを得ないケースが少なくない。最高刑は懲役7年にとどまる。

A great gap

The gap between the punishments for dangerous driving resulting in death or injury and for negligent driving resulting in death or injury is too large.
 危険運転罪と自動車運転過失致死傷罪の刑罰の差は大きすぎると言えよう。

In consideration of the feelings of bereaved families, who have demanded tougher punishments, it is understandable that the government intends to create regulations enabling a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.
厳罰を求める遺族感情に配慮し、最高刑が懲役15年の規定を設けるのは理解できる。

The major problem with the new rules is ambiguity. If a driver was "in a state in which significant obstacles to normal driving might occur," the person can be accused of the offense. However, the standards for defining the situations in which "significant obstacles to normal driving might occur" are not clear.
 問題なのは、新たな規定の適用要件があいまいなことだ。運転手が「正常な運転に支障が生じる恐れがある状態」であれば、罪に問えるが、「支障が生じる恐れ」の適用範囲が明確ではない。

The government needs to make the standards for applying the new rules easy for everyone to understand through Diet deliberations.
 政府は国会審議で、適用基準を分かりやすく示す必要がある。

Under the bill, accidents caused by the effects of medical conditions are designated as dangerous driving acts. The bill targets illnesses and symptoms that may disrupt consciousness, such as epilepsy, in response to a 2011 accident in Kanuma, Tochigi Prefecture, in which the driver of a crane truck suffered an epileptic seizure behind the wheel and killed six primary school students.
 法案は、病気の影響で起きた事故も危険運転の対象とした。てんかんなど意識障害を招く疾病を想定している。栃木県鹿沼市で一昨年、クレーン車の運転手がてんかんの発作を起こし、児童6人を死亡させた事故を受けたものだ。

Epilepsy and other patients' organizations strongly oppose the bill, saying it will invite discrimination against people with certain conditions. It is important for the government to carefully explain to such groups the intent of the bill, which is to prevent accidents.
 病気への差別を招くとして、患者団体は法案に強く反発している。政府は、事故抑止という趣旨を患者側に丁寧に説明することが大切だ。

Patients are also asked to voluntarily refrain from driving if they know they may suffer seizures.
患者側にも、発作などの危険がある場合、運転を控える自律性が求められよう。

The bill also includes a provision to put a heavier penalty on driving without a license. This was prompted by an accident a year ago in Kameoka, Kyoto Prefecture, in which 10 people including primary school students were injured or killed by a car driven by an unlicensed driver.
 法案には、無免許運転に対し、罰をより重くする加重罪も盛り込まれた。京都府亀岡市で1年前、無免許運転の車が小学生ら10人を死傷させた事故がきっかけだ。

Frustrating explanation

The teenage boy arrested over this incident was found to have repeatedly driven a car without a license. Investigative authorities thus did not apply the dangerous driving charge, due to the judgment that "his driving technique was not underdeveloped."
 この事故では、逮捕された少年が無免許運転を繰り返していたことから、「運転技術は未熟でなかった」として、捜査当局は危険運転罪を適用しなかった。

Yet even in the latest bill, the government did not include driving without a license as it judged it is insufficient to establish dangerous driving charges. Having no driving license cannot, by itself, prove the element of "difficulty of normal driving," according to the government.
 今回の法案でも、無免許運転を危険運転罪に組み込むことは見送られた。無免許だけでは、「正常な運転が困難」との適用要件を満たせないためだという。

There must be many people who are frustrated with such an explanation. How to deal with reckless unlicensed drivers is a subject that demands further discussion.
 釈然としない思いを抱く人は多いだろう。無謀な無免許運転の扱いは、今後の検討課題である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 25, 2013)
(2013年4月25日01時45分  読売新聞)

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尖閣諸島 海も空も中国への警戒強めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 26, 2013
Air and marine patrols must increase vigilance to defend against China
尖閣諸島 海も空も中国への警戒強めよ(4月25日付・読売社説)

The need to reinforce patrol and monitoring activities on the water and in the air around the Senkaku Islands to respond to China's perilously provocative acts has grown.
 中国の危険な挑発に対し、海空両面での警戒監視活動を強化する必要性が一段と高まった。

Eight Chinese maritime surveillance ships entered the territorial waters off the Senkakus in Okinawa Prefecture on Tuesday and remained in the vicinity for about 12 hours.
 沖縄県・尖閣諸島沖の領海に23日、中国の海洋監視船8隻が相次いで侵入し、約12時間も航行を続けた。

Since the Japanese government purchased part of the Senkakus in September, Chinese government vessels have intruded into Japanese waters on 40 occasions, often using multiple ships for a total of about 130 intrusions. Tuesday's intrusion marked the largest simultaneous entry.
昨年9月の尖閣諸島国有化以来、中国公船の領海侵犯は40件、延べ約130隻に上る。8隻同時は最多だ。

In its attempt to justify its actions, China claimed they were engaging in "law enforcement" against the "trespassing" of Japanese fishing vessels in the waters. Such an assertion is totally unacceptable.
 中国は、現場海域にいた日本漁船の「侵害行為」に対する「法執行だ」と領海侵犯の正当化を図ったが、到底容認できない。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe strongly cautioned China by saying, "The reasonable response is for us to respond physically [to intruding vessels], with a strong determination to prevent them from landing on any of the islands."
 安倍首相は「絶対に上陸させないという強い決意で、物理的に対応していくことが正しい対応だ」と強く牽制(けんせい)した。

Possible countermeasures

Abe hinted at the possibility of taking such countermeasures as stationing public servants on the islands if Chinese vessels continue such intrusions into Japan's territorial waters.
領海侵犯が続く場合は公務員駐在などの対抗措置をとる可能性も示唆している。

The Chinese government last month unified, under the State Oceanic Administration, maritime surveillance duties, which were performed by various institutions, including the agriculture and public security ministries.
 中国政府は3月、農業、公安両省など複数機関による海上取り締まり任務を国家海洋局の下に一元化した。

This time, together with the maritime surveillance ships that intruded into Japanese waters, two fishery surveillance ships sailed in the contiguous zone in the vicinity, indicating unified management of surveillance.
今回、海洋監視船の領海侵犯に合わせて、周辺の接続水域内を漁業監視船2隻が航行したのも、一元管理の表れだろう。

It is expected a large number of China's surveillance ships will intrude into the territorial waters again in the days ahead, staying there for longer periods than before.
 今後、大量の監視船の領海侵犯が再発し、侵犯時間も長くなることが予想される。

The Japan Coast Guard needs to improve its capability to deal with such intrusive acts, while cooperating closely with the Maritime Self-Defense Force.
海上保安庁は対処能力を拡充し、海上自衛隊とも緊密に連携する必要がある。

Air intrusions also occurring

The tense situation has not been limited to the sea.
 緊迫の状況は海に限らない。

The Air Self-Defense Force scrambled fighter jets to intercept Chinese aircraft intruding into Japan's airspace a record 306 times in fiscal 2012, almost double the number of the previous year. It also marked the first time such flights outpaced those against Russian aircraft.
 2012年度の中国機に対する航空自衛隊の緊急発進(スクランブル)は過去最多の306回に上った。前年度の約2倍で、初めてロシア機への発進を上回った。

The scrambles mostly targeted Chinese Air Force aircraft, including fighter jets, flying north of the Senkakus.
 緊急発進の対象は、戦闘機など中国空軍機が大半を占め、尖閣諸島北方空域に集中している。

As long as the Chinese government maintains its hard-line stance on securing its purported territorial and maritime rights and interests, the Japanese government must make a strenuous effort to take necessary measures and prepare for the tense situation to last into the middle- or long-term.
 中国政府が領土・海洋権益への強硬姿勢を公言する以上、日本政府は事態の中長期化を覚悟して、対策に本腰を入れるべきだ。

The government will review the National Defense Program Guidelines at the end of this year. In the review, it must prioritize its efforts in reinforcing the "dynamic defense capability," which emphasizes force mobility, and in boosting the capabilities of the ships and aircraft in the Okinawa area, as well as increasing the number of SDF personnel there.
 政府は今年末に防衛大綱を見直す。その中で、部隊の機動性を重視する「動的防衛力」を強化し、沖縄方面の艦船・航空機や要員の増強に優先的に取り組まねばならない。

It is also necessary to introduce the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle earlier than planned.
無人偵察機グローバルホークの導入も前倒しが必要だ。

On the other hand, Japan should avoid unnecessarily raising tensions with China. It is important to continue mapping out rules to prevent incidents like the one that occurred when a Chinese frigate locked its weapons-control radar on an MSDF vessel in January.
 一方で、日中間の緊張をいたずらに高めることは避けたい。今年1月の中国海軍艦艇によるレーダー照射事件のような不測の事態や事故を防ぐためのルール作りを進めることが大切だ。

The defense authorities of both countries in June last year reached a basic accord on creating a maritime communication system. It is designed to have information hotlines between the countries' respective defense forces, with the two countries' vessels or aircraft communicating on a common radio frequency when approaching each other. However, the idea has not been implemented.
 日中の防衛当局は昨年6月、海上連絡メカニズムの構築で基本合意した。部隊間のホットラインを開設し、艦艇・航空機が国際緊急周波数で無線連絡する仕組みだが、まだ実現していない。

It is important, first of all, for both countries to put this accord into action, and build a trusting relationship between their respective defense forces.
 まずは、この合意を実行に移し、部隊間の信頼関係の醸成を図ることが重要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 25, 2013)
(2013年4月25日01時45分  読売新聞)

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2013年4月25日 (木)

郵便局の国際キャッシュカード 消費者金融いつでもドットコム

消費者金融いつでもドットコム」というサイトに、私が気になる情報が掲載されていました。
それは、国際キャッシュカードです。
口座が郵便局の貯金口座を使うというところが気に入りました。
郵便局の貯金口座なら、口座維持管理費は無料ですからね。

現在、仕事で海外生活をしていますがシティーバンクのカードを使っております。
大変に重宝しておりますが、唯一の欠点が普通預金に預け入れする最低必要金額なのです。
昔は100万円でしたが、現在では50万円になっています。
預入金額合計が50万円を切ると、毎月高額な口座維持管理費が請求されます。

その点、郵便局なら、残高が少なくても口座維持管理費はかかりませんからね。
大変貴重な情報をありがとうございます。
郵便局の口座はすでに持っていますので、今後切り替える方針です。

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待機児童解消 「横浜方式」をどう生かすか

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 25, 2013
Abe to face test in using 'Yokohama method' to reduce child care waiting list
待機児童解消 「横浜方式」をどう生かすか(4月24日付・読売社説)

Having set better utilization of women in the workforce as a central pillar of his growth strategy, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appears to find it necessary to come up with a measure that can be promptly implemented.
 「女性の活躍」を成長戦略の中核に位置づける安倍首相は、スピード感のある施策が必要と判断したのだろう。

Abe has unveiled a plan to reduce the number of children on waiting lists for certified day care centers to zero by fiscal 2017, when demand for such services is expected to peak. He said his government has pushed forward the previously set deadline by two years to secure day care centers capable of accepting 400,000 more children.
 首相が、保育のニーズがピークを迎える2017年度までに「待機児童ゼロ」を目指す方針を明らかにした。従来の計画を2年前倒しして、40万人分の保育の受け皿を確保するという。

In striving for a society where women can continue to work after having children, it is essential to reduce the number of children who are unable to enter day care centers because their parents cannot find places for them. We urge the government to pursue this issue further, in line with Abe's plan.
 「女性が働き続けられる社会」を実現するには、保育所に入りたくても入れない待機児童を減らすことが欠かせない。首相の方針に沿って、政府は対策に一層、力を注いでもらいたい。

Currently, about 25,000 children are on waiting lists for day care centers nationwide. In recent years, more day care facilities have been built, but the number of parents seeking such services for their children has also increased at a rate that new facilities cannot keep up with. The rapid rise in the number of children on waiting lists is a serious problem, especially in major urban areas.
 全国の待機児童数は約2万5000人に上る。保育所の増設が進められているが、それ以上に入所希望者が増え続けている。特に、大都市では、待機児童の急増が深刻な問題になっている。

Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi's avid efforts on this issue have drawn national attention. In fiscal 2010, 1,552 children could not be enrolled in day care centers in the city, the nation's highest. However, Hayashi managed to significantly lower the figure to 179 two years later.
 注目されるのは、林文子横浜市長の積極的な取り組みだ。10年度の待機児童は、全国最多の1552人に上ったが、2年後には179人に激減させた実績がある。

Given such notable results, the prime minister said he intends to implement the so-called Yokohama method across the nation.
首相も「横浜方式を全国に展開したい」との意向を表明した。

Innovation, flexibility key

In each of the past two years, the Yokohama city government raised the budget for tackling the problem of children unable to enter day care centers by 10 percent. With the higher budget, the city increased the number of certified day care centers by 71 accommodate about 5,000 additional children. Yokohama also has been active in mediating between entities, including companies, that want to open day care facilities and landowners or others who can provide sites.
 横浜市はこの2年間に待機児童対策の予算を年10%ずつ増額した。認可保育所を71増設し、定員を約5000人増やした。保育所開設に意欲的な団体、企業と土地提供者の仲介も行っている。

In addition, the city government has created the post of "day care concierge" to provide information, such as on small private facilities and child care nursery services at kindergartens, to parents seeking day care services for their children.
 専門の相談員「保育コンシェルジュ」を置き、子供の預け先を探す父母を対象に、民間の小規模施設、幼稚園の預かり保育など、多様な保育サービスについてのアドバイスを行っている。

Yokohama's measures are expected to serve as a useful guide for other municipalities.
 他の自治体にとっても大いに参考になるだろう。

Setting up about 150 "Yokohama nursery rooms" certified by the city is also a key feature of the city's steps to tackle the problem. Fees for the service are nearly the same as those for certified day care centers. They have become a good way of accommodating children on waiting lists.
 独自の「横浜保育室」を約150か所に設置していることも特徴の一つだ。利用料は認可保育所とほぼ同額で、児童の貴重な受け皿となっている。

Future of uncertified facilities

Yokohama nursery rooms do not meet the standards for certified day care centers set under a Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry ordinance. The rooms have fewer certified day care workers than certified day care centers.
 横浜保育室は、厚生労働省令で定める認可保育所の基準を満たしていない。配置される保育士も認可保育所より少ない。

However, the current demand for day care services cannot be met by certified day care centers alone. How should uncertified facilities like the Yokohama nursery rooms be regarded by the central government? This is expected to be a key future issue to be addressed by the government in tackling the day care shortage problem.
 認可保育所だけでは、保育の需要に応えきれない現状の中、横浜保育室のような無認可施設を、政府は待機児童対策の中でどう位置づけていくのか。今後の大きな課題と言えるだろう。

In line with three laws enacted last year to provide child-care support for children and their guardians, a new aid program will be launched when the consumption tax rate is raised to 10 percent in 2015. The government plans to finance the program with 700 billion yen from consumption tax revenue.
 昨年成立した子ども・子育て支援3法に従い、15年に消費税が10%に引き上げられる際、「子ども・子育て支援新制度」が発足する。これに消費税から7000億円を充てる予定だ。

We hope the central and local governments will work together to effectively use the fund to resolve the problem of children unable to enter day care centers.
 政府と自治体が連携し、この財源を待機児童対策に有効活用してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 24, 2013)
(2013年4月24日01時38分  読売新聞)

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閣僚の靖国参拝 外交問題化は避けるべきだ

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 25, 2013
Don't let ministers' Yasukuni visits become thorn in diplomatic relations
閣僚の靖国参拝 外交問題化は避けるべきだ(4月24日付・読売社説)

South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung Se's response must have been unexpected for the Japanese government.
 日本政府には予想外の反応だった、ということではないか。

Yun canceled a trip to Japan that was scheduled for Friday and Saturday. This was a protest against visits by three Cabinet ministers, including Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, to Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo. The South Korean Foreign Ministry says the Shinto shrine "glorifies Japan's wars of aggression."
 韓国の尹炳世外相が、26、27日に予定されていた日本訪問を中止した。麻生副総理ら閣僚3人の靖国神社参拝に対し、「侵略戦争の美化」と反発したためだ。

A trilateral meeting between leaders from Japan, China and South Korea, which was originally scheduled for late May, will likely be postponed due to China's unwillingness to participate. South Korea, chair of the meeting, intended for Yun's visit to help create an environment conducive to holding the talks.
 尹外相の来日は、5月下旬の日中韓首脳会談が中国の消極的姿勢で見送られる見通しとなる中で、議長国として会談開催の環境整備を図ろうとしたものだった。

Yun's visit also was expected to provide a golden opportunity for Japan and South Korea to continue their close cooperation in dealing with North Korea's nuclear and missile issues, over which tensions have recently risen. It was also designed to improve the bilateral relationship under South Korean President Park Geun Hye, after ties became strained due to such factors as former President Lee Myung Bak's visit to the Takeshima islands last year.
 緊張の高まる北朝鮮の核・ミサイル問題での日韓連携に加え、李明博前大統領の竹島訪問などで悪化した日韓関係を朴槿恵大統領の下で改善する機会でもあった。

All this makes the cancellation of Yun's visit to Japan very regrettable.
 それだけに、尹外相の来日中止は残念である。

Nagging questions remain about South Korea's diplomatic approach. Although then South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun canceled a visit to Japan in protest after Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visited the shrine, Seoul has never made Yasukuni visits by Cabinet ministers a diplomatic issue to such a serious degree before.
 韓国の外交姿勢には疑問が残る。従来、小泉首相の靖国参拝に反発して盧武鉉大統領が訪日を見合わせたことはあっても、閣僚の靖国参拝をここまで外交問題にしたことはなかった。

A matter for Japanese to decide

On issues concerning the perception of history, the Japanese government said: "Each country has its own stance on different issues. We should not let these matters affect diplomatic relations." We agree entirely.
 日本政府が、歴史認識をめぐる問題について「それぞれの国にはそれぞれの立場があり、影響を外交に及ぼすべきではない」と主張するのは、その通りだ。

How Japanese mourn the war dead is not something that other countries can give orders on. Both Japan and South Korea must make efforts not to let differences in their position on this issue affect overall diplomatic relations.
 戦没者をどう追悼するかは他国に指図される問題ではない。立場の相違を外交全体に極力影響させない努力が双方に求められる。

Meanwhile, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said visits to Yasukuni Shrine are "a matter of the heart." Suga indicated that the government does not particularly regard Yasukuni visits by Cabinet ministers, including Aso, as a problem.
 一方、菅官房長官は「靖国参拝は心の問題だ」と語り、麻生氏ら閣僚の参拝をことさら問題視しない考えを示している。

Ties have been harmed

However, it cannot be denied that the Yasukuni visits by Aso and other ministers have adversely affected Tokyo-Seoul relations. In politics and diplomacy, results are always important and "a matter of the heart" should not be trotted out as an excuse. Shouldn't Aso have been more careful about visiting the shrine while he is deputy prime minister, a key Cabinet post?
 しかし、麻生氏らの靖国参拝が日韓関係に悪影響を与えたことは否定できない。政治も外交も重要なのは結果であり、「心の問題」では済まされない。麻生氏は副総理の要職にある以上、より慎重であるべきではなかったか。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said it was "extremely regrettable" that he could not visit the shrine during the tenure of his first Cabinet several years ago. We hope Abe will handle government affairs with the utmost care so historical issues will not negatively affect diplomatic ties.
 首相は、かつて第1次安倍内閣時代に靖国参拝できなかったことを「痛恨の極み」と述べたが、歴史問題が外交に悪影響を与えないよう細心の注意を払って政権運営してもらいたい。

Amid the tense relationship between Japan and China over the Senkaku Islands, improving Japan-South Korea ties must be the top priority for Abe's diplomacy.
 尖閣諸島の問題で日中関係が険悪になる中、まず日韓関係を改善することは、安倍外交にとって最優先の課題であるはずだ。

The crux of the problem over Yasukuni visits is the fact that "Class-A war criminals," including former Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, who was executed following his conviction by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, also known as the Tokyo Tribunal, are enshrined along with Japan's war dead. There has been severe criticism of the Japanese leaders who led the nation to war, not only from South Korea and China but also from Japan.
 靖国神社参拝をめぐる問題の根底には極東国際軍事裁判(東京裁判)で処刑された東条英機元首相ら「A級戦犯」が合祀(ごうし)されていることがある。韓国や中国だけでなく、日本国内にも戦争を招いた指導者への厳しい批判がある。

The government should resume discussions on the construction of a new national facility where everybody can pay homage to the war dead without resentment or awkwardness.
 誰もが、わだかまりなく戦没者を追悼できる国立施設の建立に向け、政府は議論を再開することも考えるべきだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 24, 2013)
(2013年4月24日01時38分  読売新聞)

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2013年4月24日 (水)

社会保障会議 「節度ある医療」へ議論深めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 24, 2013
Panel should deepen discussions for cost-effective medical system
社会保障会議 「節度ある医療」へ議論深めよ(4月23日付・読売社説)

With Japan facing a so-called super-aged society, the government must arrest sharply increasing expenses of medical and nursing care services and establish a reliable social security system.
 超高齢社会を迎える中で、急増する医療・介護費用の伸びを抑え、信頼される社会保障制度を築くことが急務である。

The National Council on Social Security System Reform, a government panel discussing this issue, has compiled a number of points regarding reform of medical and nursing care services.
 その方策を議論している政府の社会保障制度改革国民会議が、医療・介護について改革の論点をまとめた。

The panel described medical facilities and staff, which are not unlimited, as "assets of the people," and underlined the importance of their proper use. We consider the panel's views reasonable for building sustainable medical and nursing care systems.
 限りある医療の設備や人材について「国民の財産」と位置付け、適正利用の重要性を強調した。持続可能な医療・介護制度を構築する上で適切な指摘である。

The point the panel made was that medical services should be altered to allow patients to "receive proper treatment when needed at a proper place and at a minimum cost."
 ポイントは、国民会議が「必要な時に適切な医療を適切な場所で、最小の費用で受ける」医療への転換を打ち出したことだ。

'Free access' to hospitals

At present, Japan's medical services allow patients to have "free access," meaning that a patient can visit any medical institution at any time without worrying too much about payments.
 日本の医療は、患者側が費用の心配をせずに、いつでも、どの医療機関にもかかれる「フリーアクセス」を特徴としている。

This system has brought about a situation that can be described as chaotic, as patients even visit university hospitals when they have a slight cold. As a result, many doctors are overworked.
 その結果、軽い風邪でも大学病院にかかるなど、無秩序とも言える受診を招いた。これが医師の過重労働にもつながっている。

To rectify the situation, the panel proposed that patients be charged about 10,000 yen if they seek treatment at major hospitals without a referral letter, in addition to regular charges for treatment they receive. The extra charge would not be covered by health insurance.
 こうした状況の改善策として、国民会議では、紹介状を持たずに大病院を受診する場合、診察料に加え、1万円程度の保険外の負担を求めるとの案が示された。

This would sharply increase the financial burden patients would have to shoulder. We consider it well worth considering.
自己負担を大幅に引き上げるものだ。検討に値するのではないか。

Among items discussed, the panel said wider use of generic drugs should be realized as soon as possible, as they are cheaper than their original versions.
 国民会議が示した論点のうち、実現を急ぐべきなのは、価格の安いジェネリック医薬品(後発品)の普及である。

In the United States, Britain and Germany, generic products account for 60 percent to 70 percent of all prescribed drugs. In Japan, the figure is about 40 percent.
 米国、イギリス、ドイツでは、処方薬のうち後発品が占める割合が6~7割に上る。これに対し、日本は4割にとどまる。

The low usage of generic drugs in this country can be ascribed to deep-seated doubts doctors have of their efficacy, although their quality has improved.
 後発品の品質は向上しているが、医師の間では、その効能を疑問視する風潮が根強いことも背景にあるだろう。

Generic drugs are priced at 20 percent to 70 percent of the original products. If generic drugs are used more widely, medical spending will be reduced.
後発品の価格は先発品の2~7割で、普及が進めば医療費の削減につながる。

Regarding prescriptions, which are currently left to the discretion of medical institutions, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry should consider a system in which generic drugs are the main types of medication prescribed.
 現在は医療機関の裁量に任されている医薬品の処方について、厚生労働省は後発品の使用を原則とする仕組みを検討すべきだ。

Treatment at home

The panel also called for an improvement in health and nursing care services at home by suggesting that patients be cured and supported in local communities, rather than relying on hospitals to provide medical treatment.
 国民会議は、「病院で治す」医療から「地域全体で治し、支える」医療への転換をうたい、在宅医療・介護の充実も求めた。

The panel said prefectural governments should take over the national health insurance program, which deals mainly with self-employed people and is currently operated by municipal governments. This position is reasonable as the panel took into account a number of municipalities in which insurance premiums have sharply risen as fiscal conditions have worsened.
 国民健康保険については、運営主体を現在の市町村から都道府県に広域化する方向で一致した。財政事情が悪化し、保険料が高騰している市町村もあることを踏まえた問題提起だ。

However, it is necessary to discuss these issues from various angles to realize the envisaged measures. The panel is expected to wrap up its discussions by August, as stipulated in a law on integrated reform of social security and tax systems. It is vital for the panel to determine priorities and reach viable conclusions.
 ただ、こうした施策を実現するには様々な角度からの議論が必要だ。国民会議は、社会保障と税の一体改革関連法により、8月までに議論をまとめることになっている。優先順位を決め、実効性ある結論を得ることが肝要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 23, 2013)
(2013年4月23日01時26分  読売新聞)

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観光立国推進 もっと高めたい日本ブランド

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 24, 2013
Make Japan a tourism magnet to boost economy, national image
観光立国推進 もっと高めたい日本ブランド(4月23日付・読売社説)

Increasing the number of foreign visitors and turning this into economic growth--this goal of making Japan a tourism-oriented nation will require combined efforts by the public and private sectors.
 外国からの来訪客を増やし、経済成長につなげる。観光立国ニッポンの実現へ、官民一体の取り組みが不可欠だ。

The government is pouring considerable effort into steps to make Japan a tourism magnet. A ministerial conference chaired by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been established for that purpose. The government plans to study comprehensive tourism policies that cross ministerial borders and formulate an action program by summer.
 政府が観光立国の推進に力を入れている。安倍首相を議長とする閣僚会議を発足させた。省庁横断で総合的な観光政策を検討し、夏までに行動計画を策定する方針を打ち出した。

If more tourists and businesspeople visit Japan, it will invigorate consumption and create jobs, thereby promoting the development of regions as tourist spots. We fully support the government's initiative of realizing a tourism-oriented country.
 海外から観光やビジネスの客を呼び込めば、消費が活性化し、雇用も生まれて地域振興が期待できる。観光立国に異論はない。

Long way to go

But we must point out that the government has failed to achieve adequate results despite implementing various programs, including the "Visit Japan Campaign," since 2003.
 ただ、政府は2003年に開始した「ビジット・ジャパン・キャンペーン」など様々な施策を講じてきたが、十分な成果を上げているとは言い難い。

Sustained by the overseas travel boom among middle-class people in Asian nations with spectacular economic growth, 8.37 million foreigners visited Japan in 2012. This figure has almost recovered the level recorded before the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami of March 2011, and is 60 percent higher than the number of visitors in 2003.
 経済成長著しいアジア中間層の海外旅行ブームに支えられ、12年の来日客は837万人で、東日本大震災前の水準にほぼ回復した。03年と比べると6割増えた。

Nevertheless, it is a far cry from the target of 18 million visitors the government hoped to reach by 2016.
 それでも、外国人客を16年に1800万人まで拡大するという政府目標には遠く及ばない。

Japan ranked 39th in the world as a destination for foreign visitors in 2011, trailing far behind China (third), Malaysia (ninth), Thailand (15th) and South Korea (25th). Although the earthquake and tsunami disaster must be factored into the equation, the figures are sobering.
 11年の国別外国人誘客数は、中国(3位)、マレーシア(9位)、タイ(15位)、韓国(25位)と比べ、日本は39位と低迷している。震災の影響があったとは言え、深刻に受け止めねばならない。

Japan's main Asian rivals are pulling out all the stops to lure foreign visitors because tourism is a component of a strategy to enhance their national image.
 ライバルのアジア主要国は、観光を自国のイメージアップ戦略に位置づけ旅行客誘致に懸命だ。

Tourism encompasses a wide range of fields, including transportation, accommodation, food services and distribution. Government ministries and agencies need to put aside their turf battles, revamp promotion project content and step up cooperation with the private sector. The Tourism Agency must be more active in leading the formation of such a strategy.
 観光は交通、宿泊、外食、流通など幅広い分野にまたがる。省庁の縄張り意識を改め、事業の内容や民間との連携を練り直す必要がある。観光庁は、もっと積極的に戦略づくりを主導すべきだ。

Japan is famous for its culture of hospitality and is blessed with many regional treasures such as the natural beauty of its four seasons. However, these have yet to be reflected fully in a strategy to attract tourists.
 おもてなし文化や四季折々の自然など「地域の宝」は多いのに、生かし切れていない。

Providing items and experiences that incorporate traditional local values and tap private-sector wisdom would be more effective than safe tourism campaigns led by administrative offices and designed to please everyone.
 行政主導型の総花的で無難な観光キャンペーンより、民間の知恵を生かした地元ならではの価値を提供する方が効果的だろう。

Make foreigners comfortable

In recent years, more foreign visitors have been traveling individually, rather than in groups. Collecting information through personal computers or mobile phones has become common practice.
 最近の外国人客は個人旅行が増え、パソコンや携帯電話を利用した情報収集が一般化している。

The tourism industry must improve its capability to disseminate information on expenses, facilities and services, and increase the number of places where Internet service is accessible free of charge, thereby improving the environment for foreign tourists to travel easily and comfortably.
 旅行業界は、料金や施設、サービス内容の発信力を向上させ、無料でネット接続できる場所を増やすなど、外国人が気楽に旅行できる環境整備に努めてほしい。

Inviting international conferences that have huge knock-on effects and promoting medical tourism for people who want to receive health checkups and treatments are also promising ways to invigorate the tourism industry.
 波及効果の大きい国際会議の誘致、健康診断や治療を目的とする医療観光の推進も有望だ。

To lift the standard of Japan's tourist trade, the nation also urgently needs to develop industries that are currently relatively unproductive, such as some hotel businesses.
 日本観光の底上げには、生産性の低い宿泊業を始めとする観光産業の育成も急務と言える。

Tourism creates opportunities for encounters that transcend national and regional borders. It can enhance Japan's brand as a nation and is an important barometer of the degree of globalization in Japanese society.
 国や地域を超えた出会いを生む観光は、日本の国家ブランドを高め、日本社会のグローバル化を示す重要な指標である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 23, 2013)
(2013年4月23日01時26分  読売新聞)

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2013年4月23日 (火)

有機性ヨードでがんを防止したい 私はがんの家系です

団塊の世代に属する64才男性ですが、60歳のときに脳梗塞を発症いたしました。
身体が丈夫なだけが取り得のような私ですが、さすがにあの時には死を覚悟いたしました。

自分の健康に関して、ちょっと心配なことがあります。
それは私が、がんの家系だということなのです。
父は末期の肺がんで平成8年に他界、母は大腸がんの手術を受けました。
こんどは私の番ではないかと考えるだけで恐ろしいのです。

で、サイトを色々探していたら、ありました。
アルベルト製薬株式会社の有機性ヨードというサイトなのです。
有機性ヨードは省略して有機ヨードとも呼ばれています。

この有機ヨード、癌細胞を徹底的にやっつけてくれます。
副作用が少ないのも大きな利点なのですね。
有機ヨードは体内の癌細胞「異常細胞」を見つけ出し、それを攻撃して死滅させる効果が期待できるそうです。
特筆すべきは、癌細胞の栄養分である血液から活性酸素を除去する効果が期待されるという事実です。

先手必勝!
普段から生活に有機ヨードを取り入れていれば、もう心配はありません。
これは従来のサプリメントと違いますね。驚きました。

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コンビニの隆盛 地域と共存目指す成長戦略を

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 23, 2013
Convenience stores should reach out to local communities
コンビニの隆盛 地域と共存目指す成長戦略を(4月22日付・読売社説)

Boosted by the positive effects of Abenomics, the package of economic policies under the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, expectations are rising for an economic recovery.
 安倍政権が掲げる経済政策「アベノミクス」を追い風に、景気回復への期待が高まっている。

We hope the convenience store industry helps reinvigorate the economy in its own way by creating more demand.
 コンビニエンスストア業界も新たな消費を掘り起こし、日本経済の活性化につなげてもらいたい。

The three leading convenience store chain operators--Seven-Eleven Japan Co., Lawson, Inc. and FamilyMart Co.--posted record operating profits for the business year ending in February.
 セブン―イレブン・ジャパン、ローソン、ファミリーマートの大手3社は2013年2月期にそろって売上高を伸ばし、最高の営業利益をあげた。

Convenience stores debuted in Japan in 1974 with the opening of a store in central Tokyo. There are now about 50,000 throughout the country.
 1974年に都内に初登場したコンビニは現在、全国約5万店に達する。

Combined convenience store sales exceed 9 trillion yen, greatly surpassing the 6 trillion yen in sales logged by department stores. Convenience stores are visited by about 15 billion customers annually, which can be construed as saying that every Japanese shops at the stores more than 100 times a year.
業界全体の売上高は9兆円を超え、百貨店の6兆円を大きく上回る。年間来客数は約150億人で、日本人1人あたり年100回以上利用する計算だ。

Vanguard of retail industry

These figures show that convenience stores, now deeply rooted in our daily lives, are in the vanguard of the retail industry, while the operators of department stores and supermarkets have been suffering from sluggish sales over the long term.
 長期低迷が続く百貨店やスーパーを尻目に、生活に深く根付いたコンビニが小売業界を引っ張っていることを示す。

The secret of convenience stores' strength lies in their flexibility to expand operations by detecting changing consumption trends earlier than other retailers.
 その強さの秘訣(ひけつ)は、消費の移り変わりをいち早く察知し、事業を広げてきた柔軟さにある。

Their rapid growth is supported by a product mix and stock management that attaches great importance to hot-selling items, and by their just-in-time delivery system.
 「売れ筋」を重視した商品構成と在庫管理、少量多頻度の配送システムなどが急成長を支えた。

The product lineup, which used to center around onigiri rice balls and bento box meals, has expanded to include such items as fresh food, prepared dishes, freshly made coffee and pharmaceutical products, as they test the waters for new lines of business.
 おにぎりや弁当が中心だった品揃(ぞろ)えは、生鮮食品、総菜、いれたてコーヒー、医薬品などに広げ、他業種の分野に踏み込んでいる。

They also market low-priced private brand products one after another, attracting such people as housewives and senior citizens, who earlier shied away from visiting the stores.
低価格の自主開発商品を相次いで投入し、なじみの薄かった主婦や高齢者の利用も増えた。

The stores also have extended their lines of services beyond sales of merchandise to include the handling of utility bill payments, package delivery, ATM services and ticket sales.
 公共料金の納付、宅配便、ATM、チケット販売など物販以外のサービスも伸びている。

However, there is a view that the number of stores operating in Japan has reached the saturation point. Competition with department stores and supermarkets, which are trying to reinvigorate themselves, and Internet mail-order retailers will intensify, making the business environment for convenience store operators harsher.
 ただ、国内店舗数が飽和状態に達したとの見方は強い。巻き返しを狙う百貨店、スーパーやネット通販も含めた競争が激化し、経営環境は厳しさを増すだろう。

Convenience stores face a crucial period ahead.
 これからが正念場である。

In aggressively opening their outlets, convenience store chains have placed priority on opening stores in urban areas. Business operations in rural areas are likely to become a future challenge.
 積極的な出店は都市部が優先されがちだった。地方圏での事業展開が課題の一つではないか。

Many convenience stores are trying to demonstrate their uniqueness by selling products associated with a particular locality. But they will be tested over whether they can provide the goods and services consumers need, and run their businesses in harmony with local communities.
 ご当地メニューなどで独自色を打ち出している店は多いが、必要とされる商品やサービスをさらに見極めて提供し、地域と共存できるかどうかが問われよう。

Role during disasters

With smaller retail stores disappearing from neighborhoods, a large number of shoppers found themselves handicapped because they do not have the means to travel farther afield. Convenience store operators should contribute to local communities, rather than merely pursue their own profits.
 身近な商店が消え、遠出したくても交通手段のない「買い物弱者」は多い。採算一本やりではない地域貢献も求められる。

Following the Great East Japan Earthquake, convenience stores assumed a major role in helping victims recover their daily lives in disaster-affected regions, proving to the general public just how truly convenient they are.
 東日本大震災では、被災地の生活復旧に大きな役割を果たし、コンビニの公共性が注目された。

Convenience store chains have made efforts to emphasize efficient and rational operations through prompt and flexible actions in opening temporary outlets and the use of sales vans.
 効率性と合理性を重視する姿勢が、仮設店舗や移動販売車などの素早い展開に生かせた。

It is essential for them to further improve their capabilities to function as a reliable means of social infrastructure at all times, such as by procuring goods and helping people unable to get home during disasters.
 災害時の物資調達や帰宅困難者支援など、いつでも頼れる社会のインフラとしての機能をさらに高めることが欠かせない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 22, 2013)
(2013年4月22日01時45分  読売新聞)

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中国国防白書 危険過ぎる習政権の強軍路線

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 23, 2013
Xi administration's 'strong army' policy ramps up Chinese threat
中国国防白書 危険過ぎる習政権の強軍路線(4月22日付・読売社説)

The Chinese administration of Xi Jinping has reiterated its intention to push ahead with a "strong army" policy. This policy centers on building China into a maritime power.
 中国の習近平政権が、「強軍路線」を推進していく姿勢を改めて強調した。核となるのは「海洋強国化」である。

In its biennial defense white paper released last week, Beijing declared: "It is an essential national development strategy to exploit, utilize and protect the seas and oceans, and build China into a maritime power. It is an important duty for the PLA (People's Liberation Army) to resolutely safeguard China's maritime rights and interests."
 中国は2年ぶりの国防白書で、「海洋強国の建設は国家の重要な発展戦略であり、断固として海洋権益を守ることが軍の重要な職責だ」と明記した。

The white paper also emphasized China has developed a policy of bolstering cooperation between its navy and the State Oceanic Administration's surveillance vessels and others.
海軍が国家海洋局の監視船などと連携を強めていく方針も打ち出した。

Senkakus remark disturbing

The white paper says China's first aircraft carrier, which was commissioned into the navy last year, has a "profound impact on building a strong People's Liberation Army's Navy and safeguarding maritime security."
 昨年、初の空母を就役させたことについて、「強大な海軍の建設と海上安全保障にとって深遠な意義がある」と指摘した。

There is no doubt China will accelerate efforts to augment its naval capabilities through such projects as building new aircraft carriers.
新たな空母建造など海軍力の増強を加速させるのは間違いない。

In Japan's eyes, China's expansion of its maritime strength is truly alarming.
 日本として、中国の海洋への膨張は警戒すべき動きだ。

What cannot be overlooked is the white paper's reference to the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture. The report denounces Japan by name for "making trouble over the issue of the Diaoyu Islands," the Chinese name for the Senkakus. It opted not to mention such countries as Vietnam and the Philippines that have their own sovereignty issues with Beijing in the South China Sea.
 看過できないのは、沖縄県・尖閣諸島を巡って、白書が「日本が問題を作り出した」と名指しで非難したことだ。南シナ海で中国と対立するベトナムやフィリピンは国名を挙げていない。

Singling out Japan for condemnation is presumably designed to beef up China's military pressure with the aim of eroding Japan's effective control of the Senkakus.
 日本を際立たせたのは、軍事面で圧力を強め、尖閣の実効支配を切り崩す狙いがあるのだろう。

The Japanese government naturally lodged a protest with China, saying this country "can never accept any words and deeds based solely on China's own assertions."
 日本政府が「中国独自の主張に基づく言動は一切受け入れられない」と抗議したのは当然だ。

Waters surrounding the Senkakus have already seen stepped-up muscle-flexing by Chinese naval vessels. On Wednesday, the day after the white paper was released, a Chinese destroyer and a frigate sailed in the vicinity of the Senkakus.
 尖閣周辺海域では中国海軍艦艇の示威行動がすでに活発化している。白書発表翌日の17日も、駆逐艦とフリゲート艦が航行した。

Fears are rising that provocations involving Chinese naval vessels and surveillance ships could escalate.
 海軍艦艇と監視船が一体となった挑発行動の活発化が懸念される事態だ。

Japan, for its part, must increase its vigilance through cooperation with the United States while deepening collaboration between the Japan Coast Guard and the Self-Defense Forces.
日本は米国と協調し、海上保安庁と自衛隊の連携も深め、警戒に当たらねばならない。

Xi, who is general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, has said, "The great dream of the restoration of the nation of China is the dream of a country with a mighty military."
 習近平・中国共産党総書記は「中華民族の偉大な復興の夢とは強軍の夢だ」と語っている。

In January, a Chinese frigate locked its weapons-control radar on a Maritime Self-Defense Force vessel. Xi's hard-line posture might invite the Chinese military to take further extreme actions.
 1月には海自艦艇へのレーダー照射事件が起きた。習氏の強硬な姿勢は、中国軍のさらなる過激な行動を招きかねない。

On April 9, Xi inspected China's latest amphibious assault ship at a naval base on Hainan Island, southern China, and issued an order to the troops to "take to heart the goal of strengthening the army, and devote efforts to realize this goal." We find this remark deeply disturbing.
 習氏は今月9日、海南島の海軍基地で最新鋭の揚陸艦などを視察し、「強軍の目標を心に刻み、その実践に身をささげよ」と命じた。危惧すべき発言である。

Transparency still lacking

China tooted its own horn over the white paper, saying it had disclosed a breakdown of China's ground, naval and air forces. The paper, however, included not one iota of information about personnel in charge of strategic missile operations with nuclear capabilities, or the scale of China's armed police.
 中国は今回の白書について、陸海空軍など兵員数の内訳を公開したと自賛している。だが、核戦力を担う戦略ミサイル部隊や、武装警察部隊の規模などは一切明らかにしなかった。

The report has far fewer pages than a defense white paper published two years ago. Breakdowns of defense expenditures, such as living expenses of military members and equipment outlays, have been omitted this time.
 2年前の前回の白書に比べ、分量も大幅に減った。兵員生活費や装備費など国防費の内訳に関する記述もなくなった。

Although China's swelling defense budget intimidates the international community, the white paper gives no indication that China itself is aware of that.
 国防費の膨張が国際社会に脅威を与えているのに、その自覚が感じられないではないか。

Instead of concealing information, China has an obligation as a major power to enhance transparency of its military.
 隠蔽ではなく、透明性の向上こそが大国としての責任である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 22, 2013)
(2013年4月22日01時45分  読売新聞)

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2013年4月22日 (月)

G20共同声明 円安だけに頼れぬデフレ脱却

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 22, 2013
Japan should not rely solely on yen's depreciation to escape deflation
G20共同声明 円安だけに頼れぬデフレ脱却(4月21日付・読売社説)

Japan's ability to gain the understanding of the Group of 20 advanced and emerging economies that Tokyo's bold monetary easing policy is not intended to induce a weaker yen was significant.
 日本の大規模な金融緩和策は円安誘導ではないとして、先進国と新興国の理解を得られたことは前進である。

The government and the Bank of Japan have assumed a greater responsibility in overcoming deflation and putting the country on a path toward a steady economic recovery.
 デフレ克服と着実な日本経済再生へ、政府と日銀は一段と重い責任を負った。

Finance ministers and central bank heads from the G-20 countries--which include Japan, the United States, some European nations, China and Russia--adopted a communique Friday at the end of a two-day meeting in Washington.
 日米欧と中国、ロシアなど主要20か国・地域(G20)財務相・中央銀行総裁会議がワシントンで開かれ、共同声明を採択した。

The statement first mentioned Japan, whose recent monetary moves were seen as a major issue during the meeting.
 声明はまず、焦点だった日本に言及した。

"Japan's recent policy actions are intended to stop deflation and support domestic demand," the joint statement said, referring to the quantitative and qualitative monetary easing policy that newly appointed Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda has forged.
就任したばかりの黒田東彦日銀総裁が打ち出した量的・質的金融緩和策について、「デフレを止め、内需を支えることを意図したものだ」と明記した。

The rapid pace of the yen's depreciation is a result of what some call "another level" of monetary easing policy, which has prompted criticism from South Korea and other countries.
 「異次元」の金融緩和策を受けて急激に円安が進み、韓国などが日本を牽制(けんせい)していた。

However, the policy is aimed at pulling the nation out of deflation, not intentionally weakening the yen to boost exports. It is commendable that Japan was able to gain some degree of understanding concerning its stance from other G-20 members.
 しかし、金融緩和策はあくまで脱デフレが目的で、輸出拡大を意図した円安誘導ではない。こうした日本の主張が、一定の理解を得られたと評価できよう。

More pressing global concerns

The joint statement expressed a grim view on the global economy, saying, "Global growth has continued to be too weak" mainly because of fears that Europe's credit unrest may stir once again as the continent has marked a negative growth rate.
 声明は、マイナス成長が続く欧州の信用不安再燃などを踏まえ、「世界経済の成長は引き続き弱すぎる」と厳しい認識を示した。

The G-20 members accepted Japan's stance apparently because they share a sense of crisis over the global economy and agree that the nation's efforts to boost growth may have positive international repercussions.
 各国・地域が危機感を共有し、日本の成長強化が世界経済にも有益だと一致したことも、日本への理解につながったようだ。

It was also significant that G-20 officials reaffirmed they will "refrain from competitive devaluation," in which currencies are guided lower, which was also discussed at the last meeting of G-20 finance ministers and central bank heads in February.
 ただし、前回2月のG20声明に盛り込んだ「通貨安競争の回避」を再確認した点は重要だ。

The nation has successfully averted criticism over the weakening yen from emerging economies and other G-20 members, at least for now. However, similar criticism may reemerge if Japan constrains its focus to the monetary easing policy and depreciation of the yen as measures to improve the economy.
 ひとまず新興国などからの円安批判は避けられたものの、日本が金融緩和策や円安進行に頼るだけでは批判が再燃しかねない。

Japan will need to continue seeking other countries' understanding concerning its revitalization strategies and produce results in its efforts to vanquish deflation as soon as possible.
 日本は今後も経済再生策への理解を求め、速やかに脱デフレの成果を出すことが問われよう。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has unveiled the first package of measures for his growth strategy, the "third arrow" of Abenomics following monetary easing and fiscal policy. The measures aim to maximize opportunities for young people, create more jobs for women and expand the nation's medical industry.
 金融緩和、財政政策に続く「3本目の矢」である成長戦略として、安倍首相が若者の能力向上、女性活用、医療産業育成を第1弾とする方針を示した。

We hope Abe will take the results of the G-20 meeting as an opening to compile additional measures.
これを機にさらなる戦略をまとめてほしい。

Avoid shortsighted tactics

However, the G-20's communique also said, "We will be mindful of unintended negative side effects" stemming from the monetary easing policies of Japan, the United States and Europe. This declaration should be taken to heart.
 日米欧の金融緩和策に関連し、声明が「意図せざる負の副作用に留意する」と強調した点も重く受け止めたい。

Some emerging countries have complained that speculative funds, which have posted huge gains recently due to the monetary easing policies of the developed countries, have been overheating their financial markets. Japan should work with the United States, Europe and other parties to monitor any additional side effects that their policies could cause.
 新興国では、先進国の金融緩和であふれた投機資金が新興国の金融市場などの過熱を招いているという不満がくすぶる。日本は米欧などと連携し、副作用の拡大を警戒する必要がある。

It was natural that the joint statement took aim at Japan by saying it "should define a credible medium-term fiscal plan."
 日本の課題として、声明が「信頼に足る中期財政計画を策定すべきだ」と注文したのは当然だ。

Japan has the worst fiscal situation of all developed countries. Fiscal stimulus measures may be acceptable for an immediate economic boost, but the nation must be careful not to lose international confidence due to efforts that are remiss in addressing fiscal reconstruction over the medium term.
 日本の財政は先進国最悪の状況である。当面は財政刺激策による経済再生を優先するにしても、中期的な財政再建を怠って信認が揺らぐ事態を避けねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 21, 2013)
(2013年4月21日01時13分  読売新聞)

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尼崎事件検証 「民事不介入」の意識を改めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 22, 2013
Police must do away with mind-set of nonintervention in civil disputes
尼崎事件検証 「民事不介入」の意識を改めよ(4月21日付・読売社説)

If only there was no chain of negligence by police authorities, a string of murders could have been prevented from cascading into the worst possible outcome.
 警察による「不作為の連鎖」がなければ、最悪の事態を防ぐことができた。

We cannot help but believe this, given that the police responded to these heinous crimes with abyssal sloppiness.
そう思うほかない、ずさんな対応である。

The Kagawa prefectural police announced Friday results of follow-up investigations into the killings of four members of a Takamatsu family in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, acknowledging that the cases were handled "inappropriately."
 兵庫県尼崎市の連続変死事件で、香川県警は、親族4人が死亡した高松市の一家への対応が不適切だったとする検証結果をまとめた。

Miyoko Sumida, the prime suspect in the slayings, hanged herself in her cell in December at age 64. Sumida and her alleged accomplices had wormed their way into the victims' homes from February 2003.
 事件の主犯で、自殺した角田美代子元被告(当時64歳)らは、2003年から一家宅に居座った。

Vast negligence

Since that time, a male family member and 16 of his relatives and acquaintances sent reports to and sought help from the prefectural police headquarters and five police stations as many as 36 times, according to the announcement.
それ以降、一家の男性や親族、知人ら計17人から、香川県警本部と警察5署に、合わせて36回もの通報や相談が寄せられていた。

However, those pieces of information were not shared among prefectural police authorities. In fact, the police viewed the reports and complaints as concerning separate domestic incidents. As a result, they failed to question Sumida and the others involved even on a voluntary basis.
 ところが、それらの情報は警察内部で共有されなかった。それどころか、別個の家族間トラブルと認識されていた。角田元被告らの事情聴取も行わなかった。

It is only natural for the prefectural police to apologize to survivors of the deceased and others concerned over a string of blunders in the murder cases.
 一連の不手際について、県警が遺族らに謝罪したのは当然だ。

That the police refused to accept a damage report that the male member of the victimized family tried to file is also troubling. According to the announcement, the police failed to act on the reports of violence and harm because they "contained no exact dates or locations, and so could not be investigated as criminal cases."
 男性が被害届を提出しようとしたのに、県警が受理しなかったのも問題である。「暴行や傷害の日時や場所が不明なので、立件できない」との理由からだった。

The police showed outright negligence in the course of their duties. They need to keep in mind the need to adequately assess and respond whenever there arises the possibility that citizens' lives may be in danger or at risk of physical harm.
 怠慢以外の何ものでもない。警察は、住民の生命、身体に危害が及ぶ恐れを常に考慮し、対応に当たらねばならない。

The way the Hyogo prefectural police handled the series of murders suspected to have been masterminded by Sumida must never be overlooked.
 兵庫県警の対応も看過できない。

When the first daughter of the man of the victimized family was taken to Amagasaki from Akashi, Hyogo Prefecture, an acquaintance of the family who witnessed the abduction by a group led by Sumida turned to the police for help. However, they did nothing to resolve the matter, on the grounds that the incident was considered "domestic trouble." The daughter subsequently is believed to have been killed by Sumida and her cohorts.
一家の男性の長女が明石市内から尼崎市内に連れ去られた際、目撃した友人が警察に相談したが、警察は「家族のもめ事」として放置した。長女はその後、角田元被告らに殺害されたという。

Underlying the behavior of the two prefectural police headquarters must be the idea of "noninterference by police in civil matters." This mind-set that disputes between individuals should be settled either by the parties involved or by the courts has firmly taken root among police officers.
 両県警の対応の根底にあるのは「民事不介入」の意識だろう。警察には、「私人間の紛争は、当事者同士か裁判所で決着すべきだ」という考えが根強くある。

Certainly, the police can hardly be expected to respond to every little civil disturbance due to limited manpower. If police wielded their power arbitrarily, they would run the risk of aggravating such disputes.
 確かに、民事上のささいな事案に警察が乗り出すのは、人員面などから無理がある。いたずらに警察権力を行使すれば、かえって紛争をこじらせることもあろう。

However, lessons from the past must not be forgotten in this connection.
 だが、過去の教訓を忘れてはならない。

The murder of a woman by her stalker in Okegawa, Saitama Prefecture, in 1999 took place primarily as a result of the police's failure to launch an investigation on the basis of "nonintervention in civil matters."
1999年の埼玉県桶川市のストーカー殺人事件は、警察が「民事不介入」を口実にして、捜査を怠ったために起きた。

Change modus operandi

In the wake of this case, a council on police reform set up by the National Public Security Commission compiled an emergency proposal calling for eliminating "a misconceived notion of noninterference in civil matters." Unfortunately, this mode of thinking has persisted among police officers, who hold the key to change.
 この事件を契機に、国家公安委員会が設置した警察刷新会議は、「民事不介入についての誤った認識を払拭する」という緊急提言をまとめたが、最も肝心な警察官の意識改革が進んでいない。

Not only stalking cases but also those involving domestic violence and disputes between neighbors have been on the rise. The number of cases in which people seek police assistance over disputes has also been increasing.
 ストーカーだけでなく、家庭内暴力や近隣トラブルなどを巡る事件が増えている。警察への相談件数も、増加傾向にある。

The police force as a whole must change its ingrained mode of thinking that is based on noninterference in civil matters to nip potentially criminal cases in the bud.
 警察全体が民事不介入に対する認識を改め、事件の芽を摘んでいくことが重要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 21, 2013)
(2013年4月21日01時13分  読売新聞)

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2013年4月21日 (日)

邦人陸送法案 自衛隊の活動拡充を着実に

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 21, 2013
Govt should steadily expand scope of SDF's authorized activities
邦人陸送法案 自衛隊の活動拡充を着実に(4月20日付・読売社説)

To ensure competent crisis management, the government must plan for a variety of emergencies and prepare a legal framework that will allow the Self-Defense Forces to properly respond to such situations.
 様々な緊急事態を想定し、その対応に必要な自衛隊の活動の法的枠組みを整えておくことは危機管理の要諦である。

The government has submitted a bill to the Diet to revise the SDF law that would enable the SDF to provide ground transportation for Japanese nationals in the event of emergencies abroad. Under the current law, the SDF can only use aircraft and ships to transport citizens; the use of vehicles is not permitted.
 政府が、在留邦人らの陸上輸送を可能にする自衛隊法改正案を国会に提出した。
 現行法は、自衛隊による海外での邦人輸送の手段として、航空機や艦船の使用を認めているが、車両は認めていない。

The Algerian hostage crisis in January broke out at a location about 50 kilometers from an international airport. In this case, the Algerian government transported Japanese citizens to the airport, but such arrangements may not be available in every country.
 今年1月のアルジェリアの人質事件では、事件現場と国際空港が約50キロ離れていた。アルジェリア政府は邦人を空港に移送したが、国によっては現地政府の対応が期待できないケースもあろう。

In light of the situation, a government task force proposed in a report that the government consider allowing ground transportation by the SDF. A working group of the ruling parties has also called for such legal revisions.
 政府の検証委員会報告書が、自衛隊による陸上輸送を検討するよう提言した。与党の作業部会も、自衛隊法改正を求めている。

Draft revisions encouraging

The draft revisions call for adding overland transportation of Japanese nationals abroad to the scope of SDF missions. With the revisions, eligibility for such SDF protection will extend beyond Japanese expatriates to their families in Japan, who will want to reach them as soon as possible in case of emergencies, as well as company employees and others accompanying such family members, and Foreign Ministry officials. These changes are encouraging.
 改正案は、車両による在留邦人輸送を自衛隊の任務に追加した。防護対象も、在留邦人だけでなく、早期面会を希望する家族や、同行する企業関係者、外務省職員らにまで拡大した。心強い内容だ。

As it is the government's duty to help secure the safety of Japanese abroad, it should strive to swiftly enact the bill.
 在留邦人の安全確保を支援することは政府の責務である。改正案の早期成立を図るべきだ。

In April 2004, a series of kidnappings of foreigners took place in Iraq. At one point, Ground Self-Defense Force members took journalists who were covering their base in the southern Iraqi city of Samawah to a nearby airport. The SDF later had to explain the action, which was technically not allowed by law, saying the ground transportation was a public relations activity.
 2004年4月には、イラクで外国人拘束事件が相次いだため、イラク南部サマワの陸上自衛隊宿営地を取材した報道関係者を陸自が近郊の空港まで輸送した。輸送の法的根拠がないため、「広報活動の一環」と説明した。

The current legal framework that forces the SDF to make such excuses to perform its duties needs to be improved. It is also essential for the GSDF to have the ability to conduct necessary training and research on emergency ground transportation if such rescues are considered part of its official mission.
 こうした理屈を無理にひねり出さなければ、自衛隊が任務を果たせない仕組みは是正する必要がある。陸上輸送を正式任務に位置づけることで、陸自が必要な訓練・研究を行える意義も大きい。

Use of force still up in air

Still other challenges remain that must be addressed.
 一方で、課題も残っている。

The legal revisions do not address the current restriction on the use of force by SDF personnel. The current law allows SDF members to use weapons only for limited purposes such as self-defense. Without a looming physical threat, they cannot use weapons. This means the SDF would also be subject to this restriction during overland transport of Japanese nationals. SDF members would not be able to even fire a warning shot if their vehicle is obstructed during the course of a mission.
 自衛隊員の武器使用権限は従来通り、正当防衛などに制限されたままだ。自分の身に危険が及ばない限り武器を使えないため、輸送が妨害されても警告射撃ができないなど、活動は制約される。

SDF overseas missions must be sanctioned by their host countries. Therefore, the use of force by members cannot be expanded haphazardly.
 無論、外国での活動である以上、自衛隊の活動は相手国の了解が前提となる。武器使用権限を野放図に拡大することはできない。

However, the current legal framework that forbids SDF members from providing aid despite local residents' requests for help has caused many problems.
 だが、近くの住民らに救助を求められても、「駆けつけ警護」ができない現状は問題が多い。

In December 2002, a GSDF unit that was participating in a U.N. peacekeeping mission in East Timor was asked by a Japanese restaurant owner to rescue Japanese nationals caught in a riot in Dili. The unit managed to transport 17 Japanese citizens to its base in the name of securing the safety of its off-duty members.
 02年12月には、東ティモールの国連平和維持活動(PKO)に参加中の陸自部隊が、暴動が発生したディリ市内の邦人飲食店経営者に救助を要請され、「休暇中の隊員の安全確保」を名目に邦人17人を宿営地に輸送した例もある。

Although the government and ruling parties have chosen to postpone a decision on this matter, they should seriously consider expanding the authorized use of force by the SDF in the future.
 今回見送った武器使用権限の拡大についても、政府・与党は本格的に実現を検討すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 20, 2013)
(2013年4月20日01時36分  読売新聞)

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就活期間短縮 「抜け駆け」で骨抜きにするな

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 21, 2013
Ensure that new job-hunting rules for students are not meaningless
就活期間短縮 「抜け駆け」で骨抜きにするな(4月20日付・読売社説)

Creating an environment for university students in which they can concentrate on their schoolwork will contribute to fostering talented human resources. It is therefore appropriate to shorten the job-hunting period for university students.
 大学生が学業に専念する環境作りが、優秀な人材の育成につながる。就職活動の期間短縮は妥当な措置と言えよう。

The start of job-hunting activities, which are currently banned until December of university students' third year, will be delayed until March of their third year under new rules. Also, the start of screenings by companies, including job interviews, will be delayed until August of their fourth year, four months later than now.
 大学生の就活を解禁する時期が、「3年生の12月」から「3年生の3月」へ繰り下げられる。面接などの選考開始も、4か月遅い4年生の8月になる。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday asked leaders of three economic organizations, including Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), to observe the new rules. The business leaders agreed to do so.
 安倍首相が、米倉弘昌経団連会長ら経済3団体の首脳に要請し、経済界も受け入れを表明した。

The new rules are expected to be applied when companies hire graduates now in their second year.
現在の大学2年生の新卒採用から適用される見通しだ。

Students skipping classes

Keidanren stipulates job-hunting rules in its charter on ethical recruitment, a gentleman's agreement among member companies. Currently, when the ban on job hunting ends in December, third-year students become busy preparing statements of reasons for wanting to join companies and going to orientation meetings organized by companies for prospective employees. In the process, they often skip classes. It is only natural that universities are highly dissatisfied with the current situation, which is hindering students' studies.
 就職活動のルールは、経団連が紳士協定の「倫理憲章」で定めている。就活解禁の12月以降、3年生は志望書作成や会社説明会に追われ、欠席も増える。授業に支障を及ぼす現状に、大学などの不満が強いのは当然だろう。

Screenings such as job interviews currently start for fourth-year students in spring. However, many universities abroad offer classes until summer. For fear of starting job hunting too late, many students decide not to study abroad.
 4年生の春からは面接など選考活動も始まる。海外では4年生の夏まで授業のある大学が多い。就活の出遅れを恐れ、海外留学を見送る学生も少なくない。

If the start of the screening process is delayed until August, university students will be able to focus on their studies longer, and it will be easier for them to study abroad as well. This would also benefit companies seeking internationally oriented human resources.
 選考開始が8月になれば、大学生は学業に長く集中でき、留学もしやすくなる。国際的な人材を求める企業にもプラスになろう。

The fact that Keidanren's charter is nonbinding and has no penalties for violators is problematic. Furthermore, only 830 companies among about 1,300 member companies have endorsed the charter. We cannot dispel concerns that foreign companies and others not parties to the charter will rush to corral students before the ban on job hunting ends.
 問題は倫理憲章に拘束力も罰則もないことだ。憲章に賛同する企業は、経団連に加盟する約1300社のうち830社にとどまる。外資系をはじめ、憲章に縛られない企業が、解禁前から人材の囲い込みに走る懸念は拭えない。

A similar employment agreement in the past was abolished after it became toothless because of the practice of "aotagai" (green harvest), which refers to starting recruiting activities earlier than the agreed date. To avoid the same mistake, Keidanren needs to make the charter fully understood and make efforts to increase the number of member companies that endorse it. Companies, for their part, should willingly abide by the charter rather than only deploring a decline in students' academic ability.
 かつての就職協定も、こうした「青田買い」で骨抜きになり、廃止された。同じ轍(てつ)を踏まぬよう、経団連は憲章を周知し、賛同会社を増やす努力が要る。企業も学生の学力低下を嘆くばかりでなく、進んで憲章を守るべきだ。

Examinations for career-track positions for national civil servants are held from April to June. This schedule must be reviewed so that the government does not recruit new employees before companies do.
 国家公務員総合職の試験は4~6月に実施されている。国が人材を先取りしないよう、日程を見直さなければならない。

Concerns over shorter season

Students are concerned that it may become difficult for them to receive an unofficial job offer due to a shorter job-hunting season. And small and midsize companies are worried it will become even more difficult to acquire human resources as only big companies may attract students.
 学生は短期決戦で内定を取りにくくならないか不安視している。中小企業は、大企業に人気が集中し、人材獲得が一段と難しくなることを心配している。

Even if small and midsize companies with good business results try to hire more graduates, there are not many students willing to work in such firms. The government, companies, universities and others need to strengthen cooperation to solve this mismatch.
 好業績の中小企業が採用を増やそうとしても志望者は少ない。この「ミスマッチ」を解消するため、政府と企業、大学などが連携を強化する必要がある。

We also want students to change their mind-set. In a trend that has become conspicuous, many students randomly seek jobs at big companies, probably partly because they can easily submit statements of reasons for application to companies via the Internet. This is worrisome.
 学生にも意識改革を求めたい。インターネットで簡単に志望書を提出できるようになったためか、手当たり次第に大企業に挑むケースが目立つのが気がかりだ。

We want students to find a job suitable for them through job hunting in the original sense of the phrase that focuses on a job they want, not "company hunting," in which they look for any famous company to join.
 有名企業への入社を目指す「就社活動」ではなく、働きたい仕事にこだわる本来の「就職活動」で適職を見つけてほしい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 20, 2013)
(2013年4月20日01時36分  読売新聞)

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ネット選挙へ 「悪意」の発信をどう防ぐか

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 20, 2013
Steps must be taken to prevent malicious online campaign messages
ネット選挙へ 「悪意」の発信をどう防ぐか(4月19日付・読売社説)

The go-ahead has been given at long last in Japan to lift a ban on electoral campaigning over the Internet. The end of the online campaigning ban is expected to encourage political participation by young voters.
 日本でもようやくインターネットを利用した選挙運動が解禁される。若者に政治参加を促す効果が期待できよう。

A bill for revising the Public Offices Election Law for online political campaigning was unanimously approved in a special committee of the House of Councillors Thursday. The bill was set to be passed into law today [Friday], and will be applicable from this summer's upper house election.
 公職選挙法改正案が参院の特別委員会で全会一致で可決された。きょう成立し、夏の参院選から適用される。

The law is aimed at enabling campaigning on websites, including blogs and social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, after the announcement of an election.
 法案は、ホームページやブログのほか、ツイッター、フェイスブックなどによる公示・告示後の選挙運動を可能にする。

Most industrially advanced countries already allow Internet-based campaigning.
 多くの先進国がネット選挙を認めている。

In the 2008 U.S. presidential election, Barack Obama drew fully upon the strength of the Net in getting information out and engaging in dialogue with the public, garnering support from a large number of young voters. Obama's winning campaign was referred to as an "election revolution."
2008年米大統領選で、オバマ氏は情報発信や有権者との対話に駆使して若者に支持され、「選挙革命」と呼ばれた。

Boost in turnout hoped for

Japan has lagged behind in introducing online political campaigning, but the new system should be utilized to help voters make informed decisions and boost voter turnout.
 日本は、周回遅れではあるが、有権者に適切な判断材料を提供し、投票率を向上させる手段として新制度を活用すべきである。

Under the new system, political parties and candidates can no longer depend solely on the conventional style of electioneering such as repeatedly shouting their names from campaign vehicles and distributing leaflets and fliers.
 政党や候補者は、従来のように選挙カーで名前を連呼し、ビラを配るだけでは済まされない。

It has become necessary for them to appeal to voters via the Internet in detail about things that can hardly be conveyed through brief stumping on the street, such as economic and national security policies.
短時間の街頭演説では伝えにくい経済や安全保障政策についてもネットで丁寧に訴える必要がある。

Voters, for their part, will have the advantage of being able to learn about the arguments of parties and candidates in detail. It will also become possible for voters to have dialogues with candidates over the Net and to call on their fellow citizens to support a candidate by sharing information with a wide spectrum of the public through social media such as Twitter.
 有権者のメリットは、政党や候補者の主張を詳しく知ることができる点だ。候補者とネット上で対話することや、候補への支持をツイッターなどで広く呼び掛けることも可能になる。

Campaigning via e-mail, however, is permitted only to parties and candidates, since e-mail is considered prone to be abused in campaigning. The bill's circumspect avoidance of completely lifting restrictions on Internet campaigning shows proper judgment.
 ただし、電子メールを使った選挙運動は悪用されやすいため、政党と候補者に限定された。慎重を期して、全面的な解禁を避けたのは、妥当な判断である。

The ruling and opposition parties are now working out specific arrangements for how to conduct their online political campaigns. The new electioneering methods should be made universally known to the public to prevent confusion on the part of either candidates or voters.
 与野党は具体的な運用指針を作成中だ。候補者と有権者双方に混乱が生じないよう、制度の周知徹底を図ってもらいたい。

One important task facing the Net campaign system is how to prevent people from engaging in slander and libel to defeat candidates, or posing as candidates to make fake statements.
 課題は、特定候補の落選を狙った誹謗(ひぼう)中傷や、候補者本人を装ってウソの主張をする「なりすまし」をどう防ぐかである。

The worst such cases will lead to charges of defamation or false representation under the Public Offices Election Law, but it will be extremely difficult to delete false or erroneous information from the Net, as it can spread very promptly.
 悪質なケースは名誉毀損(きそん)罪や公選法の虚偽表示罪に問われるとはいえ、ネット情報は急速に拡散し、完全に消去するのは難しい。

Watchdog may be needed

The bill makes it mandatory to indicate e-mail addresses or other contact information about message senders when campaigning is conducted using websites or e-mail.
 法案は、ウェブサイトやメールによる選挙運動を行う際にメールアドレスなど連絡先の表示を義務づけた。

Internet service providers will be allowed to delete messages that fail to include such information. This will help curb the spread of malicious messages to some degree.
表示がなければ、プロバイダー(接続業者)は削除することができる。悪質な情報の発信に一定の歯止めにはなる。

Responsibility for monitoring information on the Net and blocking illicit messages is left up to political parties and candidates under the legislation. Whether a public organ should be set up for this purpose has yet to be discussed.
 ネットでの情報を監視し、反論、差し止めをする責任は政党と候補者が担う。公的な監視機関を置くかどうかは検討課題である。

In last year's South Korean presidential election, the Central Election Administration Commission's "cyber election campaign irregularities surveillance team" reportedly deleted more than 7,000 questionable messages online.
 昨年の韓国大統領選では、中央選挙管理委員会の「サイバー選挙不正監視団」が7000件超の不適切なネット投稿を削除したという。

It may become necessary in Japan, too, to create a similar surveillance body, depending on how the Internet-based campaigning develops.
日本でも、こうした機関が必要になるかもしれない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 19, 2013)
(2013年4月19日01時17分  読売新聞)

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スー・チー来日 官民連携で国造りを支えたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 20, 2013
Myanmar nation building must be supported by govt, private sector
スー・チー来日 官民連携で国造りを支えたい(4月19日付・読売社説)

Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of Myanmar's largest opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), has visited Japan at the invitation of the government and had successive meetings with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and others.
 ミャンマーの最大野党である国民民主連盟(NLD)の党首アウン・サン・スー・チー氏が日本政府の招きで来日し、安倍首相や岸田外相らと相次いで会談した。

This is her first visit in 27 years. She was a guest researcher at Kyoto University in the mid-1980s before getting involved in the democracy movement in her home country.
 スー・チー氏の来日は、民主化運動に身を投じる前の1980年代半ば、京大客員研究員として滞在して以来27年ぶりだ。

Suu Kyi confronted the junta and was placed under house arrest for a total of about 15 years. Her Japan visit symbolizes Myanmar's democratization, which has been promoted by the administration of President Thein Sein since the country changed to civilian rule two years ago.
 スー・チー氏は軍政と対立し、約15年間も自宅軟禁を強いられていた。今回の来日実現は、2年前の民政移管後、テイン・セイン政権が推進しているミャンマーの民主化を象徴するものだ。

The Japanese government has welcomed the Thein Sein administration's reform efforts and has been proactively supporting the country through such actions as restarting official development assistance projects, including yen loans, ahead of the United States or European countries.
 日本政府はこれまで、テイン・セイン政権の改革を歓迎し、円借款など政府開発援助(ODA)の再開を欧米に先駆けて決めるなど積極的に支援してきた。

NLD and democratization

The government is trying to strengthen its relationship with the NLD on the thinking that growth of a sound opposition party in the national assembly could lead to further democratization of the country and stability of society. It is also thought that the NLD is likely to further gain strength in a general election to be held in 2015.
 NLDとの関係を強めるのは、議会内で健全な野党が育つことがミャンマーの一層の民主化と社会の安定につながるとの判断があるからだ。2015年の総選挙でNLDが勢力を拡大しそうだという背景もある。

Abe told Suu Kyi during their talks, "We'd like to support your country so that reform can progress further." He then explained to her the government's policy of supporting Myanmar's nation building through ODA and private investment.
 安倍首相は会談で、「改革が一層進展するよう支援していきたい」と述べ、ODAと民間投資の両面でミャンマーの国造りを支える日本政府の方針を説明した。

Suu Kyi responded that she hopes Japan will cooperate with Myanmar in the country's development. She asked for Japan's assistance for her country in vocational and agricultural education, among other fields.
 スー・チー氏も「発展に協力してほしい」と語り、職業・農業教育などでの支援を求めた。

Concrete achievements

Since she was elected in the House of Representatives, the lower house of the Assembly of the Union, in spring last year, she has been trying to transform from a pro-democracy leader outside the government into a pragmatic politician. To respond to supporters' expectations, she needs concrete achievements such as an improvement in the country's standard of living.
 スー・チー氏は昨春の下院議員当選以来、在野の民主化運動指導者から現実的な政治家への脱皮を図っている。支持者の期待に応えるには、生活水準の向上など具体的な成果を必要としていよう。

There is a rough road ahead for Myanmar's nation building. As Suu Kyi insists, the Constitution must be revised for further democratization, including the abolishment of guaranteed seats for the military in the assembly, which are stipulated in the Constitution to secure the military's political influence.
 ミャンマーの国造りの道のりは険しい。さらなる民主化には、スー・チー氏が訴える通り、軍の政治的影響力を保証するために定められた議会の軍人枠の撤廃など、憲法の改正が避けられまい。

Efforts of the Myanmar government to improve relations with ethnic minorities who have confronted it have seen rough going, meaning national reconciliation is not in sight. Also, worsening public security may pour cold water onto Japanese companies' passion for investment in the country.
 対立が続く少数民族との関係改善も難航し、国民和解の道筋はまだ見えない。治安悪化は日本企業の投資熱に水を差しかねない。

Of all countries, Japan is providing the most economic assistance to Myanmar. It is important for Japan that the public and private sectors cooperate in development assistance to Myanmar, which contributes to the stabilization of society, such as raising the standard of living for ethnic minorities and improvement in roads and electricity.
 日本は最大の経済支援国だ。少数民族の生活の底上げや、道路や電力の整備など社会の安定に寄与する開発支援に、官民が連携して取り組む意義は大きい。

The strategic value of Myanmar, which is situated in an important location between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, has been ever increasing. Myanmar has turned away from its exclusively pro-China diplomacy under military rule and has been strengthening relations with such countries as Japan, India and the United States.
 インド洋と南シナ海を結ぶ要衝に位置するミャンマーの戦略的価値は高まる一方だ。ミャンマーは軍政時代の中国一辺倒の外交から転換し、日本や米国、インドとの関係を強めつつある。

To keep China, which has been increasing its influence through military and economic expansion, in check, it is important for Japan to deepen relations with Myanmar.
 軍事・経済両面で膨張し、影響力を増大する中国を牽(けん)制(せい)する上でも、ミャンマーとの関係を深めることが日本には重要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 19, 2013)
(2013年4月19日01時17分  読売新聞)

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2013年4月19日 (金)

党首討論 手詰まり感漂う海江田民主党

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 19, 2013
Don't Kaieda and DPJ know how to say anything other than 'No'?
党首討論 手詰まり感漂う海江田民主党(4月18日付・読売社説)

There was a stark contrast between Prime Minster Shinzo Abe and Democratic Party of Japan President Banri Kaieda during their debate in the Diet. Backed by the recent surge of stock prices and a high public approval rate, Abe looked confident--even relaxed--while Kaieda's attacks on him made no impact.
 株価の急上昇と高い支持率で余裕すら感じられた安倍首相と対照的に、民主党の海江田代表の追及は迫力を欠いた。

As long as the leader of the largest opposition party continues such a lackluster performance, Diet debates will have no vigor.
 これでは国会論戦に緊張感は生まれまい。

On Wednesday, Abe and opposition party leaders had their first debate under the second Abe Cabinet.
 第2次安倍内閣で初めての党首討論が行われた。

Kaieda emphasized the projected side-effects of Abenomics. He said the Abe administration's massive monetary easing would hurt people, especially those living on pensions, by raising the cost of living. He also expressed concern about the government's ongoing discussions on deregulation that could pave the way to increased job cuts at companies.
 海江田氏は、経済政策「アベノミクス」による大規模な金融緩和が物価高を招き、年金生活者らが困窮するという副作用があると指摘した。政府が検討中の規制緩和に伴う企業のリストラ拡大についても懸念を示した。

Abe responded by saying that the amount of pension benefits will go up as commodity prices rise, and stressed that inflation will eventually lead to wage increases.
 首相は、物価が上がれば、年金額も連動して上がり、いずれ労働者の賃上げにも及ぶと強調した。

"We have created 40,000 jobs in the past three months, something the DPJ-led administrations never achieved," Abe said.
「この3か月で4万人の雇用を作った。民主党政権が出来なかったことだ」と切り返した。

Present counterproposals

Since the launch of the Abe administration, the excessive appreciation of the yen has been rectified, and stock prices have been hovering at high levels.
 安倍政権発足以来、超円高が是正され、株高も続いている。

If Kaieda does nothing more than harp on his concerns about Abenomics, we can never expect constructive Diet debates. We expect the DPJ president to express his own views on how to end deflation and spur growth. In other words, Kaieda should present concrete counterproposals.
 懸念を言い募るだけでは建設的な討論にならない。自分ならデフレ脱却や経済成長に向けてどんな手を打つのか、海江田氏は具体的な対策を提示すべきだろう。

It was Abe who brought up the issue of the bill to rezone electoral districts in the House of Representatives by eliminating five single-seat constituencies without adding any. It seemed the prime minister was trying to take the upper hand in debating the topic. Abe, who is seeking to pass the bill ahead of other electoral reform measures, asked for Kaieda's cooperation.
Abe said: "The public has been demanding that we rectify disparities in the value of votes. As members of the legislature, don't we have the responsibility to meet this demand?"
 安倍首相は、先手を打つように、衆院小選挙区定数の「0増5減」を実現する区割り法案に言及した。「国民の声は『1票の格差是正を進めよ』だ。立法府の一員として応える責任がある」と、先行処理への協力を求めた。

Kaieda refused to go along, saying that the main promise [between the DPJ and the LDP] on electoral system reforms was to slash the number of seats. However, we have to say his remarks totally miss the point.
 海江田氏は「定数削減が一番大きな約束だ」と主張したが、これは筋違いと言わざるを得ない。

In November, a lower house electoral reform bill to eliminate five single-seat constituencies was enacted, and we have to remind Kaieda that the DPJ agreed on passing it. However, now the party opposes the rezoning bill, which would prepare an environment for the realization of the first bill, insisting that more drastic reform is necessary. It is apparent that the ruling parties would never agree to such an unreasonable demand from the DPJ.
 民主党は昨年11月に成立した0増5減の選挙制度改革法に賛成した。それに従った区割り法案を差し置き、抜本改革を唱えても与野党が合意できる状況ではない。

The DPJ, saying that eliminating five single-seat constituencies is insufficient to rectify vote-value disparities, has submitted a bill to cut lower house seats by 30 in single-seat constituencies and 50 in proportional representation blocs. However, other opposition parties refused to go along with the DPJ's proposal.
 民主党は0増5減では格差是正が不十分として議員定数を小選挙区で30、比例選で50削減する法案を国会に出したが、他の野党は同調していないではないか。

Parties' divergent interests

The ruling parties have submitted the rezoning bill to a related lower house special committee. However, in protest of the move, the DPJ, Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), Your Party, the People's Life Party and the Social Democratic Party refused to participate in Diet deliberations on Wednesday.
 民主、日本維新の会、みんな、生活、社民の野党5党は与党が区割り法案を特別委員会に付託したことに反発して17日、審議拒否した。

Such actions cannot be expected to work, and only give the impression to the public that the opposition parties are putting party interests before all else and ignoring the issue of rectifying vote-value disparities.
こうした態度は党利党略を優先し、1票の格差是正をなおざりにする姿を印象づけるだけだ。

During Wednesday's debate, Ishin no Kai coleader Shintaro Ishihara emphasized the necessity of amending the Constitution and asked Abe not to make concessions on food safety when the government joins Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks.
 党首討論で、維新の石原共同代表は憲法改正の必要性を力説し、環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉では食品の安全性確保で米国に譲歩しないよう注文した。

After praising Abe's decision to join TPP talks, Your Party leader Yoshimi Watanabe urged the prime minister to proceed with civil service reforms.
 みんなの渡辺代表は、TPP交渉参加の決断を高く評価したうえで、公務員制度改革を促した。

The stance of the two parties is clearly different from that of the DPJ, which is obsessed with confronting the ruling parties. Wednesday's debate clarified the political distance between the ruling parties and each opposition party.
 対決姿勢の民主党とはスタンスの違いがうかがえる。党首討論は、与党に対する野党の距離感も浮き彫りにしたと言えよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 18, 2013)
(2013年4月18日02時04分  読売新聞)

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ボストン・テロ 市街地イベント警備の点検を

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 19, 2013
Thorough checks needed for major events in urban areas
ボストン・テロ 市街地イベント警備の点検を(4月18日付・読売社説)

The recent bombing at the Boston Marathon in the United States was an act of indiscriminate terrorism that targeted a traditional event familiar even to Japanese people. We can never forgive this despicable, atrocious crime that killed and injured many people.
 日本人にもなじみの深い伝統ある米国のボストンマラソンを狙った無差別テロだ。多数の人々を死傷させた卑劣な凶悪犯罪は断じて許せない。

Two bombs exploded successively on a road along the route near the finish line as runners streamed past about four hours after the start of the race. At least three people, including an 8-year-old boy, were killed, while more than 170 others were injured in the horrible incident, some of them seriously.
 スタートから約4時間後、ランナーが続々到着するゴール近くの沿道で2発の爆弾が連続して炸裂(さくれつ)した。8歳の少年ら少なくとも3人が死亡、170人以上が重軽傷を負う惨事となった。

About 23,000 people, including more than 200 Japanese runners, participated in the race, with relatives, friends, Boston residents and many others cheering the participants on.
 レースには、200人を超す日本人ランナーら約2万3000人が参加し、家族や友人、市民ら大勢の人々が応援していた。

U.S. President Barack Obama condemned the attack, saying, "Anytime bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terrorism." Obama expressed his determination to make every effort to arrest those responsible and determine the details of the crime.
 オバマ米大統領は、「罪のない市民を標的にしたテロ行為だ」と非難し、犯人の逮捕と全容解明に全力を挙げる決意を表明した。

It was the first terrorist bombing in the United States since the simultaneous terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
 米国では、2001年9月11日の同時テロ事件後、初めての爆破テロの発生だ。

After the Sept. 11 attacks, the United States placed top priority on reinforcing antiterrorism measures and prevented many incidents from actually taking place. It discovered the hideout of the mastermind of 9/11 and killed him.
 米国は同時テロ後、テロ対策の強化を最優先し、多くの事件を未然に防いできた。同時テロの首謀者も潜伏先を突き止め、殺害した。それだけに衝撃は大きい。

These achievements make the impact of the latest twin bombing particularly strong in the United States. The incident has made the U.S. government and its people keenly aware that terrorism still exists as a real threat in everyday life.
 テロがなお、現実の脅威として身近に存在していることを痛感させられたからだ。

It is still unknown whether the bombing was committed by a terrorist organization or a single culprit. We hope U.S. authorities will conduct a thorough investigation based on material evidence and information.
 テロ組織による犯行なのか、単独犯なのか、犯人像は明らかになっていない。米当局は、物証や情報を手がかりに徹底的な捜査を行ってもらいたい。

Bombs simple yet deadly

The Federal Bureau of Investigation suspects the bombs were made from pressure cookers packed with explosives and other materials. The FBI now strongly believes they were placed in a black nylon bag or backpack.
 連邦捜査局(FBI)は、圧力鍋の中に爆薬を詰めた仕掛け爆弾が使用され、黒いナイロン製バックパックに入れられていたとの見方を強めている。

Similar bombs are often used in terror attacks in countries such as Afghanistan, India and Pakistan. They are easily made but highly lethal as nails and other metal objects are mixed with explosives.
 同種の爆弾は、アフガニスタンやインド、パキスタンなどでテロ攻撃によく使われている。製造方法は簡単でも、クギなどの金属を混入するため殺傷力は高い。

It has been reported that the security arrangements for the Boston Marathon were thorough. However, it is difficult to employ baggage inspections and metal detectors over a wide scale to achieve complete security control in outdoor events in urban areas. The culprit focused on this vulnerability in the security arrangements.
 ボストンマラソンでは警備に万全を期していたとされる。だが、屋外の市街地イベントでは、手荷物検査や金属探知機での取り締まりを徹底するのは難しい。その警備態勢の脆弱(ぜいじゃく)さが突かれた。

Japan must be prepared

This terrorist attack is not an event of the other side of the ocean for Japan, as large marathons for ordinary people have already become common here. The Tokyo Marathon in February was a huge sporting event that drew about 37,000 runners. About 1.7 million people watched and cheered them along the route.
 今回のテロは、大規模市民マラソンが定着した日本にとっても人ごとではない。2月の東京マラソンは、3万7000人が走る巨大イベントだった。沿道には170万人が詰めかけた。

Japan also needs to implement measures against terrorist attacks to guard marathons and other major events.
 日本でも、マラソンに限らず大型イベントの警備でテロに特化した対策を講じる必要があろう。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said the government will do its best to ensure safety. "Police are now doing everything they can to ensure security and safety at important facilities and places where many people gather," Abe said.
 安倍首相は、「警察が重要施設の警戒警備や、人が多数集まる場所の警備対策の徹底にあたっている」と、安全の確保に最善を尽くす方針を示した。

Even if security checks become stricter, citizens' cooperation with antiterrorism efforts is indispensable.
 保安検査が厳しくなっても、テロ防止への協力は欠かせない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 18, 2013)
(2013年4月18日02時04分  読売新聞)

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憲法96条改正 首相は参院選へ議論主導せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 18, 2013
Abe should lead debate on top law revision ahead of upper house poll
憲法96条改正 首相は参院選へ議論主導せよ(4月17日付・読売社説)

Japan's current Constitution has not been revised even once since its establishment.
 現憲法は制定以来一度も改正されていない。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is laying the groundwork to ask voters whether the hurdles to constitutional amendment should be lowered. We applaud Abe's willingness to amend the Constitution to respond to changes in Japan and the international community.
 安倍首相は憲法改正のハードルを下げることを有権者に問おうとしている。日本と国際社会の変化に対応できる憲法にするための積極的な姿勢は評価できる。

During an interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun, Abe said he wants to make the issue of revising Article 96 of the Constitution, which stipulates conditions for proposing amendments, a central plank of the Liberal Democratic Party's pledges for this summer's House of Councillors election.
 首相は読売新聞のインタビューで、改正の発議要件を定めた96条について「参院選の中心的な公約として訴えたい」と語った。

Article 96 stipulates that a revision must be initiated by the Diet through an affirmative vote by two-thirds or more of all members of each chamber, followed by a national referendum in which a majority of the public must support the change.
 96条は、衆参各院の「3分の2以上」の賛成で国会が発議し、国民投票で過半数の賛成を得なければならないと規定している。

To make it easier to propose constitutional revisions, the LDP plans to lower the threshold of "two-thirds or more" to "a simple majority."
 自民党は改正を発議しやすくする目的で、「3分の2以上」を「過半数」とする方針だ。

Komeito still cautious

Abe has met with Toru Hashimoto, coleader of Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), and they have already agreed on this point. Abe is trying to pave the way for constitutional revision by first reviewing Article 96, a process that some other parties support. We think his idea is realistic.
 首相は既に日本維新の会の橋下共同代表と会談し、この点で一致した。他党も賛同する96条の見直しから憲法改正への道を開こうという考え方は現実的だ。

For Abe, coordination with the LDP's coalition partner New Komeito will be crucial if constitutional revision is to become a reality. Komeito remains cautious about amending Article 96, saying the time is not ripe to do so.
 首相にとって憲法改正の実現を図るうえでの懸案は、公明党との調整だ。公明党は96条改正について、「熟度が足りない」と依然慎重な構えを見せている。

However, leaders of the LDP and Komeito will reportedly hold regular meetings to discuss this matter. We hope Komeito will deepen its deliberations on revising the nation's supreme law.
 ただ、自公両党は党首会談を定期化し、協議を重ねるという。公明党内で、憲法改正への議論が深まることを期待したい。

The Democratic Party of Japan insists that discussions on concrete details of the revisions, rather than tweaking Article 96 itself, are necessary. But it is the DPJ that should be discussing the content of possible revisions. The LDP has already compiled a draft of constitutional revisions in which the existence of the Self-Defense Forces would be spelled out in Article 9.
 民主党は、96条よりも改正の具体的な中身の議論が必要との見解を示しているが、中身の議論が求められるのは、むしろ民主党の方ではないか。自民党は既に、9条に自衛隊の存在を書き込むなど憲法改正の草案をまとめている。

There might be resistance to changing Article 96. This is because the United States and Germany still require an affirmative vote of "two-thirds or more" in their legislatures as a condition for revisions, although they do not hold national referendums on proposed changes to their constitutions. These countries have altered their top laws many times. Why has Japan been unable to do the same?
 96条の改正には反論もあろう。国民投票はないものの、米国やドイツは議会の「3分の2以上」の賛成などを改正の条件としているからだ。そうした国々が何度も憲法を改正してきたのに、日本はなぜそれができなかったのか。

Systemic obstacles

After World War II, the Japan Socialist Party, which championed the principle of unarmed neutrality, and other political parties held a degree of power in the Diet. They trumpeted that militarism would be revived if the Constitution was revised. The LDP, for its part, promoted policies that put the economy first and shied away from making an active commitment to revise the Constitution.
 戦後、非武装・中立を掲げる社会党などが一定の勢力を占め、憲法を改正すれば軍国主義が復活すると喧伝(けんでん)した。自民党も経済優先路線を推し進めて、憲法改正に積極的に取り組まなくなった。

The electoral system also has hindered constitutional revision. Since the multiple-seat constituency system was introduced, no ruling party has held two-thirds or more of the seats in both Diet chambers. Under the current system, in which proportional representation elections that give consideration to small parties were introduced in parts of both houses, it became difficult for ruling parties to secure at least two-thirds of the seats in either chamber--until the House of Representatives election in December.
 選挙制度も足かせだった。中選挙区制時代から衆参そろって政権与党が「3分の2以上」を確保できた例はない。現行制度も、衆参いずれも小政党に配慮した比例代表選を一部導入しており、昨年末の衆院選までは難しかった。

July's upper house election could, depending on the results, create conditions in which constitutional revision will become realistically possible for the first time. The upcoming election is extremely important because it will also affect Japan's future course.
 7月の参院選は、結果次第で初めて憲法改正が可能な状況が生まれよう。日本の針路にもかかわる、極めて重要な選挙となる。

There are a wide array of points to be discussed regarding the Constitution, including Article 96, the preamble, national security, the bicameral system, local autonomy and environmental rights. Each party should actively debate these matters.
 憲法の論点は96条をはじめ、前文、安全保障、二院制、地方自治、環境権など幅広い。各党は積極的に論戦を展開すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 17, 2013)
(2013年4月17日01時21分  読売新聞)

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水俣病認定判決 争いの終結はなお見えない

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 18, 2013
Top court ruling indicates no end in sight for Minamata disease issue
水俣病認定判決 争いの終結はなお見えない(4月17日付・読売社説)

The Supreme Court has recognized a woman as a victim of Minamata disease after her application for such recognition was rejected under criteria set by the central government.
 国の基準では水俣病と認められなかった被害者について、最高裁は「水俣病患者」と認める判断を示した。

The ruling means the administration and the judiciary have different criteria in recognizing the disease, and such double standards are likely to continue for sometime to come. With sufferers of the disease aging, it is extremely serious that no solution is in sight in the battle over Minamata disease.
 行政と司法で認定の尺度が異なる二重基準の状態が続くことになるだろう。被害者の高齢化が進む中、水俣病を巡る争いに収束の糸口が見えない深刻な事態である。

Bereaved families of two women whose applications for recognition as victims of the illness were turned down by the Kumamoto prefectural government filed lawsuits to reverse this decision. The prefectural government has been appointed by the state as an administrative body to certify Minamata disease victims.
 認定業務を行っている熊本県から水俣病と認められなかった女性2人の遺族が、それぞれ患者認定を求めていた。

The Supreme Court on Tuesday supported a Fukuoka High Court ruling that recognized one of the women as a victim of Minamata disease. In the other woman's case, it annulled an Osaka High Court decision rejecting her claim as a victim of the disease and sent it back to the high court for further deliberation.
 うち1人について、最高裁は、水俣病だと認定した福岡高裁の判断を支持した。もう1人の原告については、水俣病と認めなかった大阪高裁判決を破棄し、審理を高裁に差し戻した。

Judiciary more flexible

The most interesting point in the top court ruling is that it called for recognition of victims of the disease to be decided from a more diversified and comprehensive perspective. This appeared to be an indirect criticism of government-set criteria, which some people regard as too rigid.
 注目すべきは、最高裁が水俣病の認定に関し、「多角的、総合的な見地からの検討が求められる」と指摘した点だ。厳格過ぎると言われる国の認定基準を念頭に置いてのことだろう。

The criteria, introduced in 1977, requires a combination of such symptoms as a sensory disorder, inability to coordinate muscular movements, constriction of the visual field for patients to be recognized as Minamata disease patients eligible for assistance.
 1977年に設けられた国の基準は、水俣病と認定するには、感覚障害や運動失調、視野狭窄(きょうさく)など、複数の症状の組み合わせを一つの条件としている。

However, the Supreme Court ruled that even if a combination of such symptoms is not apparent, the screening of applications on a case-by-case basis should not be rejected out of hand.
 これに対し、最高裁は「組み合わせが認められない場合でも、個別具体的な判断により認定する余地を排除するものとはいえない」との見解を示した。

The judicial branch of government shows it is more flexible than the administration in examining the symptoms and residential history of each applicant and recognizing Minamata disease victims.
 司法として、各被害者の症状や居住歴などを検討し、行政よりも柔軟に水俣病と認定する姿勢を明確に示したと言えよう。

However, the top court's decision could lead to a chaotic situation as patients might rush to file lawsuits seeking recognition and more compensation as Minamata disease victims.
 ただ、判決は新たな混乱を招く可能性がある。より多額の補償を求め、司法に水俣病患者と認定してもらおうという訴訟が相次ぐことも予想されるからだ。

Officially recognized Minamata disease patients are eligible to receive compensation, including payments of 16 million yen to 18 million yen, from Chisso Corp., which was responsible for the mercury poisoning that caused the disease. But the number of recognized victims stands at only 3,000.
 水俣病の認定患者に対しては、原因企業のチッソから1600万~1800万円の補償金などが支払われるが、認定されたのは約3000人にとどまる。

In 1995, the central government implemented assistance measures for uncertified Minamata disease sufferers, such as by paying them a lump sum of 2.6 million yen.
 認定されなかった被害者を対象に95年、260万円の一時金などを支払う政治決着が図られた。

Victims discouraged

In 2009, the Minamata Disease Victims Relief Law was enacted to aid uncertified sufferers under existing redress programs. Such people became entitled to a lump sum payment of 2.1 million yen.
 2009年には、救済の枠から漏れていた被害者に210万円の一時金などを払う水俣病被害者救済法が成立した。

About 65,000 people have applied for the relief aid, but many victims have been discouraged by the government response. In the wake of the Supreme Court decision, the Environment Ministry, which has taken the initiative in helping Minamata disease victims, is expected to face increasing problems.
 これに基づき約6万5000人が救済を申請したが、内容に不満を抱く被害者は少なくない。判決を受け、被害者対策を進める環境省は難しい対応を迫られよう。

The previous relief measures focused on drawing a line between patients regarded as eligible or ineligible for legal aid, resulting in many applicants feeling they were being treated unfairly. The Minamata disease issue has underscored the importance of victims receiving relief more promptly and on a wider scale. This is the main lesson to be learned from the issue.
 これまでの救済策は、被害者の線引きを進め、不公平感を招いた。被害者を幅広く、迅速に救済することが、いかに大切だったか。水俣病問題の教訓である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 17, 2013)
(2013年4月17日01時21分  読売新聞)

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2013年4月17日 (水)

教育委員会改革 機能の立て直しをどう図るか

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 17, 2013
Functions of boards of education must be rebuilt in stable manner
教育委員会改革 機能の立て直しをどう図るか(4月16日付・読売社説)

The Education Rebuilding Implementation Council, which works directly under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has submitted to Abe its second set of proposals calling for drastic reform of the education board system.
 安倍首相直属の教育再生実行会議が、教育委員会制度の抜本的な改革を求める第2次提言をまとめ、首相に提出した。

In the proposals, the council clearly states that the superintendent of a board of education, who is appointed by the head of a local government with the consent of a local assembly, is responsible for educational administration. The head of the local government also has the right to dismiss the superintendent under the proposals.
 提言は、自治体の首長が議会の同意を得て任命する教育長を、教育行政の責任者として明確に位置づけた。首長には教育長の罷免権も付与した。

The proposals are aimed at transforming the education board system. Currently, board members and other experts make decisions without any input from the head of a local government.
 首長から独立し、有識者など複数の教育委員の合議で意思決定を行ってきた現行の教委制度の転換を図る内容と言える。

It has come to light that local boards of education around the country have failed to function properly in dealing with such incidents as one involving an Otsu middle school boy who committed suicide in 2011, apparently due to bullying at school.
 大津市のいじめ自殺事件などの対応を巡り、各地で教委の機能不全が露呈している。

Prompt action essential

The government's Central Council for Education plans to study the proposals further.
政府は提言内容について、中央教育審議会でさらに検討を重ねる方針だ。

We hope the panel's assessment of the proposals will lead to rebuilding the educational administration at the local level.
 地方の教育行政の立て直しにつなげてもらいたい。

Under the current system, local boards of education have a chairperson representing the board and a superintendent in charge of administrative work. This has raised questions about who is responsible for educational administration.
 現行制度では、教育委員会の中に、代表者である教育委員長と、実務を統括する教育長が併存しており、責任の所在があいまいだとの批判がある。

Except for the superintendent, board members are appointed on a nonregular basis, and they hold meetings only a few times a month. The board's deliberations, therefore, tend to be a mere formality.
 教育長以外の委員は非常勤で、会議も月に数回程度しか開かれない。このため、審議が形骸化し、いじめや体罰など重大事案が起きた際、迅速な対応がとれないという弊害も顕在化していた。

It has recently become apparent that they often fail to take prompt action when serious incidents occur, such as bullying and corporal punishment.
 教育長に責任と権限を一元化することで、こうした問題点を是正し、教育行政の機動性を高めようとする狙いは理解できる。

The proposals are aimed at correcting these shortcomings and enhancing the board's maneuverability in implementing educational administration with the responsibility and power centering on the superintendent.
However, under the proposals, the authority for the personnel management of teachers and school officials and the selection of textbooks will be the responsibility of the superintendent.
Certain checks and balances are needed to prevent the superintendent from adopting biased policies.
 新たな教育長には、教職員人事や教科書採択などの権限が集中することが想定される。教育長が偏った方針の下で暴走しないよう、その業務をチェックする仕組みが不可欠だ。

In light of this, the proposals are calling for the maintenance of the education board system, rather than abolishing it. When the superintendent decides on basic policies and other key issues, the proposals call for these issues to be discussed by the entire board.
 提言が、教育委員会を廃止せずに存続させたのは、まさにそのためである。教育長が基本方針などを決める際には、教委で審議することを求めている。

The method of appointing board members also holds the key for the new boards of education to monitor educational administration.
 新たな教育委員会が教育行政に対する監視機能を果たすには、委員の任命方法も重要となる。

Political neutrality

The political neutrality of educational administration is essential, as the head of a local government would be empowered with the right to dismiss the superintendent. It is obvious the intentions of the head of a local government will be reflected, more than ever, in educational administration.
 首長が教育長の任免権を持つことにより、教育行政の政治的中立性が十分に確保できるかという問題もある。従来に比べ、首長の意向がより強く反映されるようになるのは間違いない。

Will the head of a local government appoint someone who exercises little discretion in educational administration merely because he or she shares the same political beliefs?
 首長が自らの政治的信条に合致しているというだけの理由で、教育行政の見識に欠ける人物を教育長に据えるといった事態は生じないだろうか。

Should the educational targets and policies change significantly every time a new head of a local government is elected, it would cause great confusion among teachers at local schools.
 首長が選挙で代わるごとに、教育の目標や方針が大きく変更されるようになれば、学校現場の混乱は避けられまい。

Even if the makeup of an education board changes, it is important to maintain the stability and continuity of educational administration.
 教育委員会の在り方は変わっても、教育行政の安定性や継続性を保つことが肝要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 16, 2013)
(2013年4月16日01時05分  読売新聞)

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ケリー長官来日 対中朝で日米連携を強化せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 17, 2013
Japan, U.S. should cooperate closely to address China, North Korea issues
ケリー長官来日 対中朝で日米連携を強化せよ(4月16日付・読売社説)

To effectively address North Korea's brinkmanship tactics and China's overbearing diplomacy, it is essential for Japan and the United States to step up cooperation further.
 北朝鮮の瀬戸際戦術や中国の威圧的な外交に効果的に対応するには、日米両国が連携を一段と強化することが重要だ。

Visiting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held separate talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida. They agreed to press North Korea to exercise self-restraint on ballistic missile launches. They also agreed not to allow the country to possess nuclear arms and to urge the country to undertake concrete steps toward denuclearization.
 ケリー米国務長官が来日し、安倍首相、岸田外相と個別に会談した。北朝鮮に弾道ミサイルの発射の自制を求めるとともに、北朝鮮の核保有を容認せず、非核化に向けた具体的な行動を促す方針で一致した。

It is a typical tactic of North Korea to intentionally heighten a crisis to try to gain economic assistance through later negotiations. We think Abe rightly pointed out, "It's necessary to make North Korea understand its repeated provocations will not bring about any benefits."
 意図的に危機を高めたうえ、交渉を通じて経済支援を得ようとするのは北朝鮮の常套(じょうとう)手段だ。「北朝鮮が挑発行為を繰り返しても、何ら利益にならないことを理解させることが必要だ」との安倍首相の指摘は適切である。

Japan and the United States must not neglect missile defense and other military preparations. At the same time, the two nations must continue dealing with the issue in a coolheaded and resolute manner, through such means as steady implementation of sanctions against North Korea, without excessively responding to its intimidating actions.
 日米両国は、ミサイル防衛など軍事的な備えを怠らない一方、恫喝(どうかつ)には過剰に反応せず、対北朝鮮制裁措置を着実に実施するなど、冷静かつ断固たる対応を継続しなければなるまい。

Multilateral cooperation

It also is important that Japan and the United States urge China, which wields a certain amount of influence over North Korea, to fulfill its responsibilities in a proactive manner.
 北朝鮮に一定の影響力を持つ中国が前向きな責任を果たすよう、働きかけることも大切だ。

Kerry emphatically said in a speech, "The United States remains open to authentic and credible negotiations on denuclearization."
 ケリー長官は講演で、「米国は実現性のある真剣な非核化交渉の用意がある」と強調した。

It is not an easy task to make Pyongyang abandon its nuclear development. But the international community should continue pursuing this goal. North Korea may eventually return to a dialogue-based approach, such as the six-party talks.
 北朝鮮に核開発を断念させるのは簡単でないが、国際社会は追求し続けるべきだ。北朝鮮がいずれ6か国協議の再開などの対話路線に戻ることもあるだろう。

In such a scenario, economic assistance must not be provided to North Korea unless that country takes concrete actions. It is necessary for Japan, the United States, China and South Korea to carefully hammer out a workable plan so North Korea will not benefit from its diplomacy of threats.
 その際、北朝鮮の具体的行動がないままでの経済支援は禁物だ。北朝鮮の威嚇外交を奏功させないよう、日米中韓4か国が慎重に政策をすり合わせる必要がある。

Territorial, troop issues

In talks with the Japanese foreign minister, Kerry touched on the Senkaku Islands, saying, "We oppose any unilateral or coercive action that would somehow aim at changing the status quo."
 ケリー長官は日米外相会談で、尖閣諸島について「一方的、強制的に現状を変えるような行動に反対する」と明言した。

Similar to remarks made by his predecessor, Hillary Clinton, in January, it is significant that Kerry flatly rejected China's apparent attempts to alter Japan's effective control of the islands by force. We consider this the fruit of prior arrangements made by the Japanese side.
 1月のクリントン前長官の発言と同様、日本の実効支配を中国が実力で変更することを明確に否定した意義は大きい。日本側の事前調整の成果と言える。

China should not be allowed to employ such tactics as blatantly dispatching government ships and others with an eye toward expanding its territorial rights and maritime interests. It is vitally important for Japan to persistently stress that having China abide by international law and rules is a challenge faced by the entire international community.
 強引な公船の派遣などで領有権や海洋権益の拡大を図る中国の手法を通用させてはならない。中国に国際法とルールを順守させることが国際社会にとって共通の課題であると、日本は粘り強く訴えていくことが重要である。

In the foreign ministerial talks, the third of their kind since Kerry assumed the post in February, Kishida and Kerry also confirmed the two nations would steadily move ahead in the process for the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan. This includes the planned relocation of Futenma Air Station to the Henoko district in Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, and the transfer of some U.S. marines from the prefecture to Guam. They also confirmed they would steadily work toward Japan joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks.
 ケリー長官の2月の就任以来3回目となった日米外相会談では、普天間飛行場の辺野古移設、在沖縄海兵隊のグアム移転など在日米軍再編や、日本の環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉参加を着実に進めることも確認した。

On enhancing Japan-U.S. cooperation in policies toward North Korea and China, Tokyo and Washington are expected to make progress on underlying bilateral issues through frequent dialogues.
 北朝鮮、中国政策での日米協調を高めるためにも、頻繁な対話を通じて、日米間の課題を前進させることが求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 16, 2013)
(2013年4月16日01時05分  読売新聞)

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2013年4月16日 (火)

インフル特措法 「新型」流行への備えを万全に

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 16, 2013
Meticulous preparations needed to curb spread of new types of flu
インフル特措法 「新型」流行への備えを万全に(4月14日付・読売社説)

A law concerning special measures to counter new strains of influenza that could trigger an epidemic has been put into force. It requires the central and local governments to meticulously prepare to prevent the spread of the new types of flu.
 従来にないタイプのウイルスが大流行を引き起こす新型インフルエンザの発生に備え、特別措置法が施行された。
 新法を踏まえ、政府や自治体は流行防止への体制整備に万全を期すべきだ。

A new flu virus found in birds and pigs has mutated genetically and is thought to be capable of spreading from person to person.
 新型インフルエンザは、鳥や豚の体内にあるウイルスが突然変異し、人から人へ感染しやすくなったものだ。

As nobody is immune to the new strain of virus, it could spread explosively and possibly claim many lives.
免疫を持つ人がいないため、爆発的に流行し、多くの死者が出る恐れもある。

Some people have been infected with the new strain of bird flu virus in Shanghai, its environs and even in Beijing. But so far there have been no confirmed cases of person-to-person infection. At this moment, the latest type of flu is not among the strains stipulated by the new law.
 中国の上海周辺や北京で鳥インフルエンザウイルスの人への感染が問題となっているが、人同士の感染は確認されていない。現時点では、新法が規定している新型インフルエンザには該当しない。

Remain on guard

The nation must not let its guard down. The government has appropriately put the new law into force earlier than originally planned in order to put relevant systems into place promptly.
 しかし、警戒は怠れない。早期に体制を整えるため、政府が前倒しで特措法を施行したのは、適切な判断と言えよう。

When a new type of flu broke out in 2009, prefectural and municipal governments dealt differently with planned public events, causing confusion.
 2009年に新型インフルエンザが流行した際、集客イベントの開催などを巡って県や市町村の対応が異なり、混乱が生じた。

The law concerning special measures has been established based on the lessons learned from that incident. It obliges the central and local governments to map out action plans.
 特措法は、こうした教訓から制定された。政府や自治体に行動計画の策定を義務付けた。新型インフルエンザの発生で大きな被害が予測される場合には、首相が緊急事態を宣言し、行動計画に基づく対策が講じられる。

If a large number of casualties are predicted with an outbreak of a new type of flu, the prime minister would declare a state of emergency, with the central and local governments taking measures based on their action plans.
One key point is that prefectural governors are authorized under the new law to close local schools and kindergartens. They are also authorized to instruct such venues as theaters, museums, and department stores to limit their hours or suspend operations. Should they fail to follow the instruction, the governor can make their names public.
 ポイントとなるのが、知事の権限で学校や幼稚園を休校・休園にすることだ。劇場や博物館、百貨店などに対しても、営業制限や一時休業を指示できる。従わない場合は、施設名を公表する。

This is understandable because such infections tend to spread instantly when many people gather at one place. While such emergency suspensions could restrict some economic activities, they may be inevitable.
 1か所に多くの人が集まると、感染が広がりやすい。経済活動が制約されることになるが、やむを得ない措置だろう。

Should such measures be prolonged, however, they would adversely affect corporate business activities and the overall economy. Therefore, such restrictions should be minimized, which makes it important for the authorities to accurately determine the virulence of a virus.
 だが、長期化すれば企業経営や景気などに影響が出る。制限は必要最小限にとどめるべきだ。そのためには、ウイルスの毒性の強さなどを正確に把握し、危険性を見極めることが重要になる。

Stable supply of goods

To ensure a stable supply of such necessities as medicines and foods, the central and local governments are also empowered under the new law to oblige private businesses to deliver goods. This step could be considered analogous to dealing with such disasters as a major earthquake.
 医薬品や食品などの安定供給のため、国や自治体は、業者から物資を強制的に供出させることもできる。大地震などの災害時にも応用できる措置と言えよう。

The new law also calls for efficient vaccination, with priority given to medical personnel and workers in the railways, electricity and gas services. This is necessary to allow people to carry on with their daily activities.
 特措法は、効率的なワクチン接種も求めている。医療関係者や鉄道、電気、ガス事業などの従事者に優先接種する。社会活動を維持するためには、必要な対策だ。

Nevertheless, a vaccine cannot prevent people from being infected with the virus. It can only reduce the number of people who develop symptoms or reduce the severity of symptoms that do develop.
 ただ、ワクチンは、発症や重症化の割合を減らすものの、感染自体を防ぐことはできない。

First of all, the government must remind people to take such preventive measures as washing their hands regularly and refraining from going out unnecessarily if they have symptoms of being infected.
 手洗いを励行する。症状の兆しがあれば外出を控える。政府が感染防止の注意点を国民に周知することが、まずは大切である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 14, 2013)
(2013年4月14日01時37分  読売新聞)

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衆院選挙制度 「格差」と定数削減は別問題だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 16, 2013
Don't lump 'vote value disparity' issue with planned cuts in lawmakers
衆院選挙制度 「格差」と定数削減は別問題だ(4月14日付・読売社説)

Both the ruling and opposition camps must place top priority on resolving what the judiciary has described as a "state of unconstitutionality" in the House of Representatives electoral system, and do everything possible to enact a bill that will alleviate the problem.
 与野党は、「違憲」状態の解消を最優先し、法案の速やかな成立を図るべきである。

The government has presented to the lower house a bill that would change the demarcation of the chamber's single-seat constituencies by revising the Public Offices Election Law, with the aim of trimming the number of first-past-the-post districts by five to 295 from the current 300.
 政府が、衆院小選挙区定数の「0増5減」を実現する区割り法案(公職選挙法改正案)を衆院に提出した。

The bill would revamp 42 single-seat districts of 17 prefectures, including Tokyo, based on recommendations submitted in March to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe by an expert panel tasked with rezoning lower house constituencies.
 法案は、衆院選挙区画定審議会が3月に安倍首相に勧告した区割り改定案に基づき、17都県42選挙区を見直すものだ。

If the bill becomes law, disparities in the weight of each vote on the basis of the 2010 national census will fall below 2:1 between the most and least populated districts, the ratio the Supreme Court has ruled as "being within the bounds of reasonableness."
2010年国勢調査に基づく「1票の格差」は、最高裁が「合理的」と判断する2倍未満に縮小される。

No consensus on reform

In 17 administrative lawsuits filed over vote value disparity in the previous lower house election in December, high courts have handed down rulings of "unconstitutionality" in 15 of them. The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the issue as early as this autumn.
 先の衆院選での「1票の格差」を巡る行政訴訟17件のうち、各高裁は15件の「違憲」判断を示した。一連の訴訟について、最高裁は今秋にも判決を出すとみられる。

Given that this will have a bearing on its makeup, it is only natural that the the Diet should rectify state of unconstitutionality.
 国会の姿勢としても、違憲状態の是正を図るのが筋だろう。

However, most opposition parties, including the Democratic Party of Japan, are poised to oppose the bill.
 ところが、民主党など大半の野党は、法案に反対する構えだ。

They say the bill would not abolish the system under which each of the 47 prefectures is automatically allocated one single-seat constituency, and the remainder of seats is apportioned among them, according to their populations. A 2011 Supreme Court ruling said this system should be scrapped because it was a major cause of vote value disparities.
 最高裁は、各都道府県にまず1議席を割り振る「1人別枠方式」が格差の主因だとし、廃止を求めたが、今回の法案には別枠方式が残っているからだという。

DPJ Secretary General Goshi Hosono insists the government-submitted bill for eliminating five single-seat districts "doesn't go far enough to eliminate the state of unconstitutionality." He has called for consultations between the ruling and opposition blocs on drastically reforming the lower house electoral system, including slashing the large number of seats in the chamber.
 民主党の細野幹事長は、「0増5減では、違憲状態の解消には不十分だ」と述べ、大幅な定数削減を含む抜本改革に向けた与野党協議を求めている。

It should be remembered, however, the DPJ agreed in November to a bill that would establish a framework for pruning five single-seat constituencies from the chamber. The party's latest tactic smacks of opportunism.
 だが、民主党は昨年11月、0増5減の大枠を決めた選挙制度改革法には賛成したはずだ。ご都合主義ではないか。

The parties remain far apart in their thinking on how the electoral system should be reformed. Given the slim chances of forming a consensus on this issue, it is the minimum responsibility of the legislature to pass into law as quickly as possible the bill to erase five seats.
 抜本改革に関する各党の主張の隔たりは大きい。合意形成が困難である以上、0増5減の区割り法案を早期に成立させることが立法府の最低限の責務だ。

Fundamentally, the arguments by many parties for advocating reforms by linking them with the issue of reducing lower house seats are not reasonable.
 そもそも、多くの政党が定数削減と絡めた改革案を唱えていること自体がおかしい。

In an apparent bid to justify its position, the DPJ insists Diet members should be willing to put themselves on the line to obtain public support for higher burdens the people will face due to looming increases in the consumption tax rate. The DPJ assertion, however, is completely unrelated to the issue of rectifying vote value gaps.
民主党は消費増税で国民に負担を求めるため、国会議員の身を切る必要があると言うが、「1票の格差」是正とは次元の異なる問題である。

Revote may be inevitable

We have doubts about the debates among the parties that are seemingly vying over the number of seats to be cut. This seems little more than a populist tactic to garner support as the House of Councillors election draws near.
 定数の削減数を競うような議論は疑問だ。参院選を前に国民受けを狙ったポピュリズム(大衆迎合主義)そのものではないか。

Japan has relatively few legislators per head of population compared with other developed nations. The legislature must ensure it functions to properly oversee the actions of the administration by representing the opinions of a wide spectrum of the public.
 日本の国会議員の定数は、他の先進国と比較すると、人口比ではかなり少ない。様々な民意を幅広くすくい上げ、適切な行政監視機能を確保する必要もある。

The ruling parties have floated an idea to make the bill, if it is voted down or is not put to a vote in the upper house due to a failure to agree on terms with the opposition, passed into law through a revote in the lower house in accordance with Article 59 of the Constitution.
 与党内では、野党との合意がまとまらずに参院で法案が否決、あるいは採決されない場合、憲法59条に基づいて衆院で再可決し、成立させる案が浮上している。

Time is running out, as the current Diet session will be adjourned in June. The Diet must not let the "unconstitutionality" issue go unaddressed any longer. Under the circumstances, the government may have no option but to take a revote to legislate the bill as an emergency step.
 6月の会期末まで、時間は限られている。これ以上、「違憲」は放置できない。緊急措置としての再可決もやむを得ないだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 14, 2013)
(2013年4月14日01時37分  読売新聞)

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2013年4月14日 (日)

「北」瀬戸際外交 予測不能な言動に警戒強めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 14, 2013
World must step up vigilance against North Korea's unpredictable actions
「北」瀬戸際外交 予測不能な言動に警戒強めよ(4月13日付・読売社説)

The international community, including Japan, must unite and deal strictly with North Korea, which is trying to strengthen its nuclear arsenal. We must tighten sanctions against Pyongyang if it launches a ballistic missile.
 核戦力強化を図る北朝鮮に、日本を含めた国際社会は足並みをそろえて厳しく対処せねばならない。弾道ミサイルを実際に発射すれば、制裁強化で応じる必要がある。

Foreign ministers from the Group of Eight nations on Thursday adopted a communique urging North Korea to refrain from provocative actions and agreed to tighten sanctions if the country fires a missile. The move is a strong warning to North Korea.
 主要8か国(G8)外相会議は北朝鮮に挑発行為の自制を求める声明を採択し、ミサイル発射なら制裁を強化することで一致した。北朝鮮を強く牽制(けんせい)したものだ。

The international community is now being tested over how it can effectively thwart North Korea's drive to go nuclear.
 国際社会には、核武装化を阻止するため、実効性ある対策をどう講じるかが問われている。

North Korea has threatened Japan, the United States and South Korea by name, saying they are potential targets of its preemptive nuclear strike, and declared that it will reactivate its nuclear facilities. The country appears to be preparing to launch one or more ballistic missiles.
 北朝鮮は、日本、米国、韓国を名指しして先制核攻撃の対象だと威嚇し、核施設の再稼働を宣言した。弾道ミサイルの発射準備と見られる動きも続いている。

Missile threat

There is a possibility that North Korea may fire missiles capable of reaching the U.S. Pacific island of Guam, Japan and South Korea from mobile launch pads.
 米グアム島や、日本、韓国を狙える複数のミサイルを、移動式発射台から撃つ可能性がある。

To prepare for a case in which a missile falls on Japan, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera ordered the Self-Defense Forces to shoot down any missile from North Korea using the missile defense system. The government should take all possible measures to intercept North Korea's missiles.
 日本への飛来、落下に備え、ミサイル防衛(MD)システムで迎撃するため、小野寺防衛相は自衛隊に破壊措置命令を出した。政府は、万全を期してもらいたい。

Repeating threatening words and actions, Pyongyang is seeking nuclear armaments that will menace global peace and security. This is intolerable.
 北朝鮮は、威嚇的な言動を繰り返し、世界の平和と安全を脅かす核武装化を進めようとしている。到底看過できない。

North Korea has continued provocative words and actions, which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said "have reached a level at which they are difficult to tolerate." It is only natural that U.S. President Barack Obama took a firm stance, saying the United States will "take all necessary steps" unless North Korea changes its belligerent attitude.
 安倍首相が言う通り、「許し難いレベルと言ってもよい挑発的な言動」の連続だ。オバマ米大統領が、好戦的な姿勢を改めなければ「必要なあらゆる措置をとる」と強い態度を示したのは当然だ。

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to South Korea, China and Japan, which started Friday, has a significant meaning. It is essential for Japan, the United States, South Korea and China to coordinate thoroughly in dealing with North Korea.
 ケリー米国務長官が開始した韓国、中国、日本の歴訪は、大きな意味を持つ。日米韓中の4か国が、北朝鮮への対応を、よくすりあわせることが肝要である。

It is problematic that Kim Jong Un, North Korea's supreme leader, does not have strong connections with Chinese leaders and therefore it is unclear how well he understands the international situation.
 問題は、北朝鮮の最高指導者、金正恩氏が中国首脳とのパイプも乏しく、国際情勢をどこまで理解しているのか不透明なことだ。

U.S. National Intelligence Director James Clapper said Kim seems "impetuous."
 米国のクラッパー国家情報長官は、金正恩氏には「衝動的な面がある」との見方を示している。

Constant concern hangs over his unpredictable words and actions.
 その予測不能な言動には、常に不安がつきまとう。

During a ceremony to celebrate the first anniversary of Kim's promotion to first secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea on Thursday, a nuclear test and the firing of a long-range ballistic missile were praised as his great achievements.
 金正恩氏の朝鮮労働党第1書記就任1周年の記念式典では、核実験と長距離弾道ミサイル発射が大きな業績とたたえられた。

Menacing weaponry

At a plenary meeting of the party's Central Committee held late last month, Kim gave the order to mass-produce "precision and miniaturized nuclear weapons and the means of their delivery" and actively develop "more powerful nuclear weapons."
 金正恩氏は、3月末の党中央委員会総会で、「精密化・小型化した核兵器とその運搬手段」の量産化と「より威力ある核兵器」の積極的な開発を指示している。

The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Defense, reportedly compiled an analysis that concludes that North Korea has developed a nuclear weapon that can be mounted on a missile.
 北朝鮮がミサイルに搭載可能な核兵器を開発したとの分析を、米国防総省傘下の国防情報局(DIA)がまとめたともされる。

The international community should make efforts to grasp the actual situation of Pyongyang's nuclear and missile development and further strengthen vigilance and measures against the country.
 国際社会は核・ミサイル開発の実態の把握に努め、警戒と対策を一層強化すべきだ。 

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun,  April 13, 2013)
(2013年4月13日01時14分  読売新聞)

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日米協議決着 TPP交渉の勝負はこれから

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 14, 2013
With entry to TPP talks imminent, negotiating challenges await Japan
日米協議決着 TPP交渉の勝負はこれから(4月13日付・読売社説)

How can Japan make up for its late entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations? The government must make all-out efforts in the talks.
 出遅れによる不利な立場をいかに巻き返すか。政府は総力を挙げて交渉に臨まねばならない。

Japan announced Friday it has completed its bilateral preliminary consultations with the United States, which are viewed as the most crucial step for Japan to enter the TPP talks.
 日本の環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉参加に向け、最大のハードルだった米国との事前協議が決着した。

The U.S. administration is now set to notify Congress of its intent to accept Japan's entry into the TPP negotiations. It is expected to obtain formal approval this summer after a 90-day period for congressional procedures.
 米国政府は議会に日本の参加を通知し、90日間の手続きを経て今夏に承認が得られそうだ。

Japan's entry needs to be approved by all 11 countries currently taking part in the TPP talks.
 11か国が進めているTPP交渉に日本が参加するには、すべての国の同意が必要である。

Canada, Australia and New Zealand, which have yet to endorse Japan's participation, are likely to give the green light soon, finally opening the way for the nation to join the talks. We welcome the prospect that Japan likely will go to the negotiating table as early as July.
 態度を保留していたカナダ、豪州、ニュージーランドも近く、同意するとみられ、日本が参加できる条件がようやく整う。7月にも日本が交渉のテーブルに着くめどがついたことを歓迎したい。

Japan makes concessions to U.S.

Among the highlights of the bilateral accord between Japan and the United States, the two countries agreed that U.S. tariffs on imports of Japanese passenger cars and trucks will be phased out over the longest period possible. This is an apparent effort to ease the U.S. auto industry's concerns over expected increases in Japanese auto imports.
 日米合意は、米国が日本から輸入する乗用車とトラックにかけている関税率の引き下げと撤廃時期を「最大限に後ろ倒しする」ことがポイントだ。輸入増を警戒する米自動車業界に配慮した。

The two countries also agreed that Japan will refrain from approving new products of Japan Post Insurance Co., the life insurance unit of Japan Post Holdings Co. This agreement addressed a concern among the U.S. insurance sector that business expansion of Japan Post, which is partially funded by the government, would impede fair competition.
 日本郵政グループ傘下のかんぽ生命保険による新規事業は凍結する。政府出資が残る日本郵政の業務拡大は「公正な競争を阻害する」という、米保険業界の主張に沿った決着と言える。

In the U.S. Congress, some lawmakers had begun coordinating with the U.S. auto and insurance sectors and other entities to put the brakes on Japan's entry into TPP talks. We think it inevitable for Tokyo to place top priority on early entry into the TPP talks even if that results in making concessions to Washington in the bilateral consultations.
 米議会では、自動車や保険業界などと連携して日本参加を牽制(けんせい)する動きが出ていた。日本政府が早期参加の実現を最優先し、米側に譲歩したのはやむを得ない。

The 11 countries are aiming to conclude the TPP negotiations by the end of this year. There is not much time left for Japan. The nation will lose room to maneuver in making trade rules in the TPP framework if its participation is delayed further.
 11か国はTPP交渉の年内妥結を目指している。残された時間は少なく、日本の参加が遅れれば遅れるほど、通商ルール作りに関与できる余地が狭まるからだ。

Meanwhile, Japan and the United States also confirmed in their bilateral consultations that Japan has certain trade sensitivities regarding agricultural products.
 一方、事前協議で「日本には一定の農産品といった慎重に扱うべき事柄がある」とも確認した。

The Liberal Democratic Party has called on the government to treat five agricultural items, including rice and wheat, as exceptions to the tariff elimination being sought under the TPP framework. However, calls for trade liberalization have been strong from participating countries. Japan will be tested on the extent to which it can take advantage of its bilateral agreement with the United States to push for its stance in the negotiations.
 自民党はコメ、麦など農産品5項目を関税撤廃の例外扱いとするよう政府に求めている。各国からの自由化圧力は強く、米国との合意をテコに日本の主張がどこまで認められるかが焦点となろう。

Tough strategy needed

Japan should be wary of Australia and other countries taking up the call to postpone lowering tariffs on Japanese auto imports. This could hamper growth of Japan's exports.
 自動車の関税引き下げ先送りを日本に求める動きが豪州などに広がり、輸出拡大にマイナスとなることにも要注意である。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a meeting of key ministers Friday: "We'll face a real challenge to realize our national interests from now on. We'll participate in the negotiations as soon as possible and aim to take the lead in the talks."
 安倍首相は12日の関係閣僚会議で、「国益を実現する本当の勝負はこれからだ。一日も早く交渉に参加し、交渉を主導していきたい」との決意を明らかにした。

We hope the government will enter the negotiations with a tough strategy. Above all, Japan should boost its growth by expanding free trade and taking advantage of the vitality of Asia and other regions.
 政府は、したたかな戦略で交渉に当たってもらいたい。なにより大事なのは、自由貿易の拡大でアジアなどの活力を取り込み、日本の成長に弾みを付けることだ。

In parallel with the TPP negotiations, Japan needs to accelerate efforts to beef up its agricultural sector to prepare for global competition that will come after opening markets further.
 交渉と並行して、一段の市場開放による国際競争に備え、農業強化策を急ぐ必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 13, 2013)
(2013年4月13日01時14分  読売新聞)

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2013年4月13日 (土)

BSE対策 自治体は全頭検査を打ち切れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 13, 2013
EDITORIAL / Local govts should eliminate blanket testing of cattle for mad cow disease
BSE対策 自治体は全頭検査を打ち切れ(4月12日付・読売社説)

The inspection standard for testing domestic cattle for mad cow disease, which the central government has tasked to the local governments, are expected to be eased as early as July.
 国が自治体に求めている国産牛のBSE(牛海綿状脳症)検査の基準が7月にも緩和される。

An expert panel of the Cabinet Office's Food Safety Commission approved Wednesday a draft report to raise the age limit for domestic cattle subject to testing for the disease, formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, from the current "31 months old or older" to "more than 48 months old."
 内閣府・食品安全委員会の専門調査会が、検査対象を現行の「月齢31か月以上」から「48か月超」へ引き上げる答申案を了承した。

The panel concluded that the risk posed to humans of easing the inspection standard would be "negligible," based on data showing that the majority of cows in Japan and other countries confirmed to have BSE were older than 48 months.
 国内外で確認されたほとんどのBSE感染牛が48か月超だったデータなどから、検査基準を緩めても、「人の健康への影響は無視できる」と結論付けた。

BSE on decline worldwide

We believe the panel's conclusion is appropriate, as it is based on scientific knowledge and the latest situation regarding mad cow disease.
 科学的知見と最近の状況を踏まえた妥当な判断である。

In Europe, where mad cow disease was once rampant, cattle younger than 72 months old are exempted from BSE test, far more relaxed than Japan's planned inspection standard. Moreover, it is being discussed with a view toward further easing the regulation.
 BSEが猛威を振るった欧州では、日本の新基準より緩い72か月超だった検査対象を、さらに絞り込む方向になっている。

About 1.2 million cattle are slaughtered a year for meat consumption in this country, most of which range from 20 months old to less than 40 months. When the proposed age limit for cattle is introduced, most cows will become exempt from the inspections.
 国内で1年間に食肉処理される約120万頭の大半は20~30か月台だ。新基準の導入後、ほとんどが検査対象外になるだろう。

Since the first case of BSE in Japan was reported in September 2001, incidence of the disease has drastically declined worldwide thanks to regulations that ban the use of ruminant feed mixed with meat-and-bone meal.
 2001年9月に国内で初めて発見されたBSEは、牛の餌に混ぜられた肉骨粉の使用を禁止する飼料規制によって世界的に激減した。

No BSE-infected cow has been found in Japan since the last, a cow born in January 2002.
日本では02年1月に生まれた牛を最後に見つかっていない。

An international watchdog on the incidence of BSE, the World Organization for Animal Health, is expected to designate Japan as having "negligible risk" of mad cow disease.
 BSEの発生状況を監視する国際獣疫事務局も来月、日本をBSEのリスクが無視できる国として正式決定する見通しだ。

Under these circumstances, the nation's domestic BSE problem can be said to have almost been brought to an end.
 これで国内のBSE問題は、ほぼ終息したと言えよう。

However, a related problem is the blanket testing of beef from domestic cattle that local governments have continued to impose.
 気がかりなのは、自治体が実施している全頭検査である。

Even after the central government has gradually eased the testing criteria, prefectures, including Tokyo and Hokkaido, and other municipalities in charge of meat inspections, continue to test cattle, including young cows with no risk of BSE, at their discretion. The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry still doles out about 500 million yen a year in subsidies for the tests.
 国の基準が段階的に緩和された後も、食肉検査を受け持つ都道府県などは、安全性に問題のない若い牛も含めて検査対象にしてきた。厚生労働省も依然、年約5億円の補助金を出している。

Many local governments say the testing is necessary to "secure consumers' sense of safety."
 多くの自治体は「消費者の安心のため」と理由を説明する。

However, the local governments are presumably reluctant to terminate the blanket inspections prior to other municipalities because they are concerned that the spread of unfounded fears could lead to sagging sales of locally produced beef.
だが、実際は、他自治体に先行して全頭検査を終了すれば、風評被害で地元産牛肉の販売不振につながることを恐れているのだろう。

Fears of negative rumors

Japan is the only country in the world that has kept blanket cattle inspections in place to mitigate the spread of BSE.
 BSE対策で異例の全頭検査を実施しているのは日本だけだ。

However, if such inspections continue, they could end up backfiring, leading to a misperception abroad that Japanese beef may not be safe.
これを継続することは、かえって、日本の牛肉は安全ではない、といった誤解を与えかねない。

It has already been shown that there is no need to stick to blanket testing of domestic cattle at the expense of precious budgetary appropriations and human resources. We believe local governments should end their blanket testing as soon as possible.
 大切な予算と人員をつぎ込んでまで、全頭検査にこだわる必要はもはやない。自治体は、全頭検査を早期に終了すべきである。

The ministry, for its part, must provide full explanations to consumers that terminating the blanket inspections poses no significant risk to human health. Subsidies the ministry has been providing for local governments to do the testing at their own judgment must also be done away with.
 厚労省は、全頭検査を終了しても安全性に問題がないことを消費者に十分説明することが求められる。自治体が独自に行う検査への補助金も打ち切るべきだ。

The central government, which in February eased import restrictions on foreign beef, should consider further easing based on the scientific risk evaluation.
 政府が2月から見直した外国産牛の輸入規制についても、科学的なリスク評価に基づき、さらなる緩和を検討してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 12, 2013)
(2013年4月12日01時42分  読売新聞)

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老いる大都市圏 介護の担い手をどう確保する

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 13, 2013
EDITORIAL / Secure nursing care staffers as major urban areas go gray
老いる大都市圏 介護の担い手をどう確保する(4月12日付・読売社説)

How to respond to the need for medical and nursing care in major urban areas, which will sharply rise in coming years, is a grave theme in social security policy.
 大都市圏で急増していく医療・介護のニーズにどう対応するか。
 社会保障政策の重い課題だ。

In the 30 years from 2010, Tokyo and the prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba and Aichi, among others, will see huge jumps in the number of residents aged 65 or older. This was revealed in a recent survey by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research on population projections for specific regions.
 東京、神奈川、埼玉、千葉、愛知――。2010年から30年間で、65歳以上の人口が増える比率の高い都県だ。国立社会保障・人口問題研究所がまとめた「地域別将来推計人口」で明らかになった。

In Saitama and Kanagawa prefectures, the number of residents who are 75 or older--a group with higher need for medical and nursing care services--will double during the period.
 中でも埼玉、神奈川両県では、医療や介護の必要性が高まる75歳以上の人口が倍増する。

Urban areas will gray as generations who moved there from regional areas during the period of rapid economic growth become senior citizens. Rural society is already graying as depopulation has steadily continued in farming village areas, and the trend will spread to major urban areas.
 都市部の高齢化は、高度成長期に職を求めて地方から都会に出てきた世代が高齢期を迎えるためだ。過疎化の進む農村部で先行していた地域社会の高齢化の波が、大都市圏にも押し寄せる。

In such a situation, it is indispensable to improve facilities for the aged, including special nursing care homes for the elderly. Such facilities have the advantage of being able to take care of many elderly people with a limited number of nursing care staff.
 特別養護老人ホームなど高齢者施設の拡充が欠かせない。限られた介護職員で多数の入所者をケアできるというメリットがある。

However, it is not easy to construct new facilities in urban areas, where land prices are high. The lack of facilities for the aged will worsen in the future.
 ただ、地価が高い都市部で施設の新設は容易でない。施設不足は今後一段と深刻になるだろう。

We hope each local government will wisely prepare facilities for the aged by, for instance, utilizing the buildings of schools that are no longer in use.
 各自治体は、廃校になった校舎を活用するなど、施設整備に知恵を絞ってもらいたい。

Home care needed

It is also important to create an environment in which people can receive sufficient medical and nursing care at their homes. Expectations are running high for the 24-hour home-visit nursing care service that the government launched last year. Nurses or nursing care staff visit the homes of aged people several times a day, and can also respond to emergency calls.
 在宅で十分な医療・介護を受けられるようにすることも重要だ。政府が昨年始めた「24時間型訪問介護サービス」への期待は大きい。介護職員や看護師が高齢者宅を1日数回訪問し、緊急の呼び出しにも応じる仕組みだ。

However, this service has not been used widely: Less than 10 percent of local governments in the nation have introduced it so far.
Nursing care service providers are hesitant to adopt the service due to such burdens as responding to midnight calls. Difficulty securing nurses, a condition for entering the market, is said to be another cause.
 ところが、このサービスは普及していない。導入した自治体は全体の1割に満たない。夜間の呼び出しなどが負担で事業者が敬遠している。参入条件である看護師の確保が難しいのも一因という。

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry must study measures to improve the situation, such as easing conditions for participating in the market.
 厚生労働省は、参入条件の緩和などを検討すべきだ。

It is also important to secure nursing care staff. Even people who have experience in this area often stop working due to marriage and childbirth. An environment has to be created in which such people can continue to work in nursing care while rearing their children, by solving the problem of the long waiting list to enroll children in licensed day care centers, among other things.
 介護職員の確保も重要である。介護のノウハウを持っていても、結婚や出産で辞める人は多い。保育所の待機児童の解消など、子育てをしながら働き続けられる環境を整えねばならない。

It is also necessary to improve salaries in this business sector, which are lower than in other industries.
 他の産業に比べ低い賃金水準を改善する必要もある。

Single men face isolation

The number of elderly men living alone in urban areas will sharply increase in the future, much more than single elderly women. This is going to be a big problem.
A major reason is that the percentage of unmarried men currently in their 30s and 40s is rising due to such factors as the increase in non-regular employees, who are paid less than regular full-time workers.
 都市部では今後、独り暮らしの高齢男性が女性以上に急増することが大きな問題となろう。収入が低い非正規雇用の増加などで、現在30~40歳代の男性の未婚率が上昇していることが要因だ。

Single people cannot expect family members to provide nursing care when they become old. They tend to have tenuous connections to their neighbors and become alienated.
 単身者は家族による介護が期待できない。近隣との結びつきが乏しく、孤立しがちだ。

The urban graying problem must be discussed, including such factors as employment, salaries and an appropriate way for the public to bear the burdens. We hope the government's National Council on Social Security System Reform will deepen its discussions on these issues.
 都市部の高齢化問題については雇用や賃金制度、さらに国民の負担のあり方も含めて検討することが欠かせない。政府の社会保障制度改革国民会議は、こうした視点からも議論を深めてほしい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 12, 2013)
(2013年4月12日01時42分  読売新聞)

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2013年4月12日 (金)

原発新規制基準 ゼロリスクにとらわれるな

[The Yomiuri Shimbun] April 12, 2013
NRA should not get caught up in myth of completely 'risk-free' reactors
原発新規制基準 ゼロリスクにとらわれるな(4月11日付・読売社説)

The Nuclear Regulation Authority has approved the final draft of new safety standards to be applied to the nation's nuclear power plants.
 原子力規制委員会が、原子力発電所に適用する新たな規制(安全)基準の最終案を決めた。

Taking lessons from the nuclear crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the new standards will require operators of nuclear power plants to prepare for earthquakes and tsunami larger than those they had estimated prior to March 11, 2011.
Measures to prevent critical accidents, such as meltdowns of nuclear reactors, were also incorporated in the new standards, including energy supplies from multiple power sources and reinforcing reactor cooling systems.
 東京電力福島第一原発事故を踏まえ、従来の想定より大きな地震や津波への対策を求めた。原子炉が壊れる重大事故を防ぐため、電源や冷却機能の拡充も盛り込んだ。

It is indeed necessary to correct the weaknesses of the old safety standards in place before the nuclear crisis. However, although many people--including those inside the NRA--complained during the deliberation process that the nuclear regulatory body was going too far in seeking to reducing the risk from nuclear power plants to zero, their views were hardly reflected in the final draft.
 事故前の基準の欠陥を改めることは必要だろう。だが、新基準の検討過程で内外から相次いだ「ゼロリスクを求め過ぎだ」との批判はほとんど反映されなかった。

New standards overly strict

It is clear that the final draft has a number of flaws.
 問題をはらむ基準案である。

One of them is the requirements on active faults found under nuclear power plants. In the previous safety standards, faults that were confirmed to have moved within 130,000 years were judged as active faults. However, the final draft will require operators to expand the scope of investigation significantly--movements within the past 400,000 years will be subject to investigation.
 その一つは、原発敷地内の活断層の扱いだ。これまでは12万~13万年前以降に動いたものを対象としていたが、最大40万年前まで遡って調査することを課した。

The nuclear regulatory body has already adopted the new criteria for researching active faults at idle nuclear power plants. While conducting the research, Acting NRA Chairman Kunihiko Shimazaki has repeatedly called on power companies to prove that they are "100 percent sure" that there are no active faults. A clause reflecting Shimazaki's requirements is expected to be included in the new safety standards.
 規制委はすでに、これを先取りして原発敷地内の活断層を調査している。この際、島崎邦彦委員長代理は繰り返し、「活断層が100%ない」という証明を求めており、新基準にも同様の項目が設けられることになった。

However, it is obvious that Shimazaki's demands are extremely unscientific. Power companies should pursue approaches based on engineering, such as reinforcing the safety equipment at nuclear power plants so the power plants will be able to withstand seismic activity.
 あまりに非科学的な要求だ。むしろ、活断層が動いても大丈夫なよう安全設備の強度を増す工学的な対応を優先すべきである。

Some experts have raised concerns about other measures laid out in the final draft, pointing out their "excessiveness." One example is the requirement of filtered vents, which would help release pressure from nuclear reactors in the case of a serious accident.
 専門家が「過剰」と指摘する項目もある。典型例が、重大事故時に原子炉内の圧力を逃す手段であるフィルター付きベントだ。

The new safety standards will obligate all of the nation's nuclear power plants to install filtered vents. However, last month, the United States concluded it is unnecessary to install the filtered vents in its nuclear reactors for the time being, after hearing expert opinion. It is understandable that a senior official of the U.S. Energy Department raised concerns that Japan's strict standards may affect nuclear power plants in other countries.
 新基準は全原発に設置を義務づけたが、米国は先月、専門家の議論を経て、米国の原発には当面、不要とした。米エネルギー省幹部が「日本の厳しい基準が海外にも影響しかねない」と懸念を示したのは、もっともである。

After collecting public opinion on the final draft, the nuclear regulatory body plans to put the new standards into effect in July, or earlier if possible. Based on the new standards, the NRA will check whether the nation's idled nuclear reactors are suitable for restart.
 規制委は意見公募を経て、7月までに新基準を施行する。これに基づいて、停止中の原発の安全性について審査する。

Restart of N-plants urgent

What is important is to improve the efficiency of inspections. According to the NRA, it will only be able to check three nuclear power plants at a time due to a shortage of officials possessing sufficient expertise. The nuclear regulatory body must reinforce its inspection framework by taking such steps as recruiting talented people.
 重要なのは、審査の効率を上げることだろう。技術に詳しい職員が限られ、同時に審査できるのは3か所の原発だけという。人材確保など体制強化が必要である。

Flexibility is also crucial. Measures should be introduced in accordance with the specific conditions of each nuclear power plant. It is not realistic to demand all nuclear power plants have the same amount of fire extinguishing equipment, for example.
 原発ごとの柔軟な対応も不可欠だ。一律に消火設備などの数を決めるのは現実的ではない。

To pass inspections, nuclear power plants will be required to introduce retrofits reflecting the latest safety measures for nuclear reactors. Improving safety is important, but we are concerned that the plan would lead to higher costs, forcing power companies to shut down some reactors.
 審査では、各炉に最新技術の導入を義務づける「バックフィット制度」を適用する。安全向上は大切だが、費用がかさみ、廃炉を迫られる例も出るのではないか。

The nation's power supply faces a tough situation. The price of electricity has gone up after the price hike for fuel for thermal power plants. It is urgent to restart power plants once their safety is confirmed.
 原発の停止で電力供給は綱渡りだ。火力の燃料費高騰で電気料金も上がっている。安全を確認した原発の再稼働は急務である。

We ask the NRA to judge whether nuclear power plants are eligible for restart, without being swayed by the current public desire for the absolute safety of nuclear power plants.
 規制委は、100%の安全を求める風潮にとらわれることなく、各原発の再稼働の可否を判断してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 11, 2013)
(2013年4月11日01時30分  読売新聞)

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日台漁業協定 戦略的外交で「尖閣」を守れ

[The Yomiuri Shimbun] April 12, 2013
Japan-Taiwan fisheries pact strategic diplomacy tool to protect Senkakus
日台漁業協定 戦略的外交で「尖閣」を守れ(4月11日付・読売社説)

The Japan-Taiwan fisheries agreement will have a significant impact on preserving Japan's sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture.
 沖縄県の尖閣諸島における日本の主権を守る上で大きな意味を持つ。

It also demonstrates the direction of the diplomacy being pursued by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to reinforce strategic relations with China's neighbors to keep the country in check.
 中国の周辺国・地域との戦略的関係を強化し、中国を牽制(けんせい)する安倍外交の方向性を示したと言える。

Japan and Taiwan reopened official negotiations for the first time in four years over fishing activities in waters near the Senkaku Islands and signed a bilateral agreement on private fishing activities.
 日本と台湾が、4年ぶりに尖閣諸島周辺の漁業を巡って本交渉を再開して「日台民間漁業取り決め」で合意し、調印した。

The pillar of the agreement is the establishment of a zone exempt from the fishing-related laws of both Japan and Taiwan within Japan's exclusive economic zone, set outside Japan's territorial waters. This will allow Taiwan fishermen to operate in the zone, in addition to another special cooperative operational zone specified in the agreement.
 日本の領海の外に設定された排他的経済水域(EEZ)の一部に「法令適用除外水域」などを設け、台湾漁船の操業を認めることが柱だ。

The agreement does not allow Taiwan fishing boats to operate in Japanese territorial waters.
日本領海への台湾漁船の立ち入りは、認めていない。

Concerning the Senkaku Islands, both China and Taiwan have claimed territorial rights on the islets. In September last year, many Taiwan fishing boats entered the Japanese territorial waters near the Senkakus. China had called on Taiwan's cooperation in confronting Japan.
 尖閣諸島を巡っては、中国だけでなく台湾も領有権を主張している。昨年9月には、台湾の漁船が大挙して尖閣諸島周辺の日本領海に侵入した。中国は、台湾に共闘を呼びかけてもいた。

The latest agreement is aimed at blocking such cooperation between China and Taiwan. The Chinese side immediately expressed "grave concern" over the agreement as it must have felt displeasure over the Japan-Taiwan cooperation.
 今回の合意は、こうした中台の連携にくさびを打ち込む狙いがある。中国側がさっそく「重大な懸念」を表明したのは、日台連携への不快感にほかならない。

Negotiations over fishing have been held intermittently between Japan and Taiwan since 1996, but a compromise could not be reached as the two sides butted heads over operational zones and rules, for example.
 日台間では1996年から漁業交渉が断続的に行われたが、操業水域やルールなどで主張が対立し、折り合えなかった。

The Japanese government asked Taipei to reopen the negotiations in autumn last year, immediately after the Japanese government nationalized some of the Senkaku Islands.
 日本政府が台湾に交渉再開を持ちかけたのは昨年秋、尖閣諸島を国有化した直後のことである。

Priority on islands' sovereignty

The call to reopen the talks was based on Japan's diplomatic strategy. Negotiations were led by the Prime Minister's Office. It was a major compromise for Japan on fishing rights as it prioritized protecting the Senkaku Islands. As Taiwan gains practical benefits in expanding its fishing area, the pact thus provides advantages for both sides.
 日本の戦略が根底にある。首相官邸主導で、漁業権では譲歩し、尖閣諸島を守ることを優先した。台湾にとっても漁業水域が広がり、実利がとれる。双方にメリットのある内容だと言える。

Yet, the problem is whether the terms of the agreement will be smoothly carried out in the actual fishing areas. Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima was vocal in his protest against the Japanese government.
"It is extremely regrettable a major compromise was made. We'll face fierce competition and the shrinkage of quality fishing areas," Nakaima said.
 問題は、合意の内容が、漁業の現場で円滑に運用されるかどうかである。沖縄県の仲井真弘多知事は、「大幅な譲歩は極めて遺憾だ。漁業競合の激化や好漁場の縮小が余儀なくされる」と日本政府に抗議の意を表明している。

In spring, fishing activities pick up and the waters around the Senkaku Islands are good for catching Pacific bluefin tuna and flame snapper, in addition to other fish. The number of fishing boats to work in the zones and the catches must be coordinated to prevent overfishing.
 春は漁業が活発化する。尖閣諸島周辺は、クロマグロやハマダイがとれる豊かな漁場だ。出漁する漁船数や漁獲量を調整し、乱獲を防がねばならない。

Japan and Taiwan will establish a joint fisheries committee to put the finishing touches on the agreement.
 日台双方は、漁業委員会を設けて詰めの交渉に入る。

To appropriately control fisheries resources, which are common assets for coastal nations, both sides need to proceed with the talks while keeping a broad perspective.
 沿岸国の共通の財産である漁業資源を適切に管理することを前提に、双方ともに大局的見地に立って協議を進める必要がある。

Improvement in relations

Fundamentally, Taiwan has been taking a pro-Japanese stance. At the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake, Taiwan provided huge donations. Abe has been taking into consideration the improvement in relations with Taiwan. For instance, at a ceremony to commemorate the second anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, a place for an official representing Taiwan was prepared alongside seats for the representatives of foreign countries.
 台湾はもともと親日的だ。東日本大震災の際には、巨額の義援金を提供した。安倍首相は先月11日の大震災2周年追悼式で、台湾代表の席を各国代表団と同じ場所にするなど、日台間の関係改善に配慮している。

The latest fisheries agreement will consequently result in reinforcement of the entire scope of Japan-Taiwan relations.
 今回の漁業合意は、日台関係全体の強化にもつながろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 11, 2013)
(2013年4月11日01時30分  読売新聞)

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2013年4月11日 (木)

福島原発汚染水 漏出対策に知恵を結集せよ

[The Yomiuri Shimbun] April 11, 2013
Combined wisdom needed to deal with leakages of contaminated water
福島原発汚染水 漏出対策に知恵を結集せよ(4月10日付・読売社説)

Leakages of water contaminated with radioactive substances have recently been discovered in rapid succession at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所で、放射能により汚染された水の漏出が相次いでいる。

TEPCO must make every effort to quickly resolve the problem.
 東電は早期収拾に全力を挙げねばならない。

The leaks were initially found in two of the seven underground storage pools on the plant's premises. In response, TEPCO attempted to transfer the contaminated water from the two pools to another pool, which was also later found to be leaking radioactive water.
 漏水が起きたのは敷地内の地下貯水槽だ。七つのうちの二つでまず漏水が見つかり、ここから汚染水を移そうとしていた貯水槽でも漏水が確認された。

The amount of leaked contaminated water is believed to have greatly exceeded 100 tons, making it the largest radioactive leakage since the government declared the plant's damaged reactors had entered a state of cold shutdown in December 2011.
 漏水量は、100トンを大幅に上回るとみられる。2011年12月に冷温停止状態を宣言して以来、最大規模の放射能漏れ事故だ。

The Fukushima No. 1 plant produces about 400 tons of contaminated water daily. This is because a large amount of groundwater seeping into damaged sections of reactor buildings mixes with water used to cool the reactors.
 福島第一原発では毎日、約400トンの汚染水が発生している。原子炉の冷却水に、建屋の損壊部分から流れ込んだ大量の地下水が混じり、汚染されるためだ。

Act swiftly

First and foremost, it is important to prevent the leakages from spreading. TEPCO must quickly secure water storage pools or tanks to replace pools where polluted water is leaking.
 何より、漏水の拡大を防ぐことが大切だ。漏れている貯水槽に代わる別の貯水槽やタンクの確保を急がねばならない。

At the same time, TEPCO also needs to discern the cause of the leakages.
 これと並行して漏水の原因究明も進める必要がある。

The storage pools are lined with a three-layered waterproof sheet to prevent such leakages. TEPCO said it had tested the pools by filling them with water before storing contaminated water. Did TEPCO design, construct and inspect the storage pools appropriately? The utility must quickly review these points.
 貯水槽は、3層の止水シートで漏水対策を施している。使用前に水を張り、検査もしたという。その際、設計や工事、検査は適切に行われたのだろうか。早急な再点検が求められよう。

The rainy season is approaching, meaning the volume of groundwater will substantially increase. There is no time to waste in strengthening measures to deal with the leakages.
 地下水の量が大幅に増える梅雨も迫っている。汚染水漏れの対策強化は待ったなしである。

It is apparent that there has been a recent decline in the level of urgency among workers at the Fukushima No. 1 plant, as a series of blackouts have also occurred. TEPCO should brace itself.
 福島第一原発では、最近、停電事故が続発するなど、緊張感の緩みも見られる。東電は気を引き締めてもらいたい。

However, TEPCO's finances and human resources are limited. The government and the industrial world should combine their wisdom and discuss ways to actively support TEPCO in reducing the amount of contaminated water and dealing with the leaks.
 ただ、東電の資金、人材には限界がある。政府、産業界の知恵を結集し、汚染水の減量や漏水対策などで、東電を積極的に支援することも検討すべきだろう。

However, the Nuclear Regulation Authority's attitude is problematic.
 問題があるのは、原子力規制委員会の姿勢だ。

Pointing to doubts regarding the strength of a water purification system to clean contaminated water, the NRA spent more than six months on a safety review of the system. TEPCO's request that the NRA finish the review early was ignored, and the system only began operating on a trial basis in March.
 規制委は、汚染水の浄化装置の強度に疑問があるとして、安全審査に半年以上を費やした。東電は早期の結論を求めたが、聞き入れなかった。浄化装置は3月、ようやく試運転を始めた。

Purification system a priority

TEPCO had originally planned to store purified water in the storage pools. However, it had no choice but to store contaminated water because the safety review of the purification system was delayed.
 貯水槽にはもともと、浄化した水を入れる方針だったが、審査の遅れで、汚染水のまま貯(た)めざるを得なくなった経緯がある。

Given that the amount of contaminated water continues to increase, a fully operational purification system is urgently needed. The NRA must not make the mistake of failing to prioritize the safety review.
 汚染水が増え続けている状況を踏まえれば、浄化装置の稼働は急務だ。規制委は、審査の優先順位を見誤ってはならない。

A long-term vision is essential in devising measure to deal with contaminated water. Space to set up storage tanks and pools at the plant is limited--sooner or later, it will run out.
 汚染水対策には長期的な視点も欠かせない。貯水タンクや貯水槽を設置する敷地は限られている。早晩、限界を迎える。

Releasing contaminated water into the sea in accordance with safety standards once it has been purified should also be discussed. The government has a major role to play in obtaining public understanding on this matter.
 浄化後、安全基準に沿って海に放出することの検討も求められよう。国民の理解を得るために、政府が果たす役割は大きい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 10, 2013)
(2013年4月10日02時00分  読売新聞)

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サッチャー死去 今なお生きる国家再生の教訓

[The Yomiuri Shimbun] April 11, 2013
EDITORIAL / Thatcher leaves indelible lesson on how to revitalize a nation
サッチャー死去 今なお生きる国家再生の教訓(4月10日付・読売社説)

Margaret Thatcher was a female politician who not only revitalized a sinking Britain but changed the world by playing a key role in ending the Cold War.
 衰退しつつあった英国を蘇生させたばかりか、冷戦終結に重要な役割を演じ、世界を変えた女性政治家だった。

Thatcher, who served as British prime minister for 11 years from 1979, died Monday at the age of 87.
 1979年から11年間の長きにわたり、英首相を務めたマーガレット・サッチャー氏が8日、87歳で死去した。

In expressing his condolences, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said she was "a great leader who demonstrated a force of will and was a respected politician who devoted herself to her country and people."
 安倍首相は「意志の力を身をもって示した偉大なリーダーであり、国家国民のためにすべてをささげた尊敬すべき政治家であった」と、弔意を表した。

Even today, Japan can learn many lessons from Thatcher. Her greatest achievement was carrying out drastic reforms known as Thatcherism.
 今なお、日本がサッチャー氏から学ぶべきことは多い。最大の業績は、サッチャリズムと呼ばれる大胆な改革を推進したことだ。

She stood firm against the "British disease"--a reference to the country's recession and financial woes--by promoting a small government. She embraced privatization and took a series of deregulation steps, including the "Big Bang" that transformed financial markets. She also boldly pushed through unpopular measures such as reducing generous welfare services and streamlining the coal mine sector.
 「小さな政府」によって、経済停滞と国家財政悪化という「英国病」の病根にメスをいれ、民営化や、金融市場の「ビッグバン」などの規制緩和を断行した。手厚すぎる福祉の抑制や炭鉱合理化など不人気な政策も果敢に進めた。

However, as her economic policy focused mainly on the financial sector, Britain's manufacturing industry waned, widening the rich-poor gap. Despite the negative impact, her reforms are regarded to have laid the groundwork for the country's economic growth from the 1990s.
 金融に比重を置くあまり、製造業は弱体化し、貧富の格差が拡大したという負の側面もあったにせよ、改革は90年代からの経済成長の基礎を作ったと言える。

Impact on Japan

In the wake of Thatcherism, the state-owned Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Public Corporation and Japanese National Railways were privatized under the administration of then Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone, and Japan's version of the "Big Bang" financial reforms were carried out under the administration of then Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto.
 中曽根政権の電電公社や国鉄の民営化、橋本政権の掲げた日本版ビッグバン(金融制度改革)もサッチャリズムの系譜に連なる。

Along with Reaganomics, the economic policies promoted by former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, Thatcher managed the remarkable achievement of resuscitating the global economy.
 サッチャー氏が、レーガン米大統領のレーガノミクスとの連携で、世界経済の停滞を打開した功績は大きい。

Currently, Japan is trying to turn its economy around under Abenomics. Abe must exert his leadership to implement the necessary measures.
 日本は今、アベノミクスで経済再生に取り組んでいる。安倍首相にも実行力が求められよう。

Thatcher's educational reforms have also influenced Abe. In a book, the Japanese prime minister praised her commitment to boosting Britain's educational levels by correcting a "self-deprecating" view of history in education.
 サッチャー氏の教育改革は、安倍首相にも影響を与えた。首相は自著で、歴史教育の「自虐的」な偏向の是正と、教育水準の向上を図ったと評価している。

Thatcher's role in international politics is also unforgettable.
 サッチャー氏が、国際政治で果たした役割も忘れられない。

When the United States and European countries were divided over U.S. plans to deploy intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe and other issues, Thatcher stressed the need to counter the Soviet Union militarily. She played a pivotal role in unifying the West and ending the Cold War.
 米国による中距離核の欧州配備などを巡って米欧の足並みが乱れかけた時、ソ連に軍事面で対抗する必要を説いた。サッチャー氏は、西側陣営の団結、そして冷戦終結の立役者であった。

Maintaining rule of law

The world's spotlight was directed on Thatcher in April 1982 when Argentine forces invaded the British territory of Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic. She did not hesitate to send a naval fleet to retake them.
 世界が注目したのは82年4月、アルゼンチン軍が南大西洋の英領フォークランド諸島に侵攻した時のことだ。サッチャー氏は、直ちに英軍艦隊を派遣して諸島の奪還に成功した。

In his recent policy speech, Abe quoted Thatcher who, on reflecting on the Falklands War, said Britain was defending the principle that international law should take precedence over the use of force.
 「何よりも国際法が力の行使に勝たなくてはならないという原則を守ろうとしていた」というサッチャー氏の言葉を、安倍首相は施政方針演説で、引用している。

She strongly advocated the protection of territories and sovereignty while abiding by international law. Japan should adopt this kind of firm attitude.
 国際法を順守しつつ、領土、主権を断固守る。その強い信念が、今の日本にも問われている。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 10, 2013)
(2013年4月10日02時00分  読売新聞)

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2013年4月10日 (水)

食物アレルギー 給食の事故防止を徹底したい

[The Yomiuri Shimbun] April 10, 2013
Strong measures needed to prevent food allergy cases occurring at schools
食物アレルギー 給食の事故防止を徹底したい(4月9日付・読売社説)

How can we prevent children with food allergies from experiencing allergic reactions during a pleasant lunch at school?
 学校での楽しい給食の時間に、子供の食物アレルギーによる事故をいかに防ぐか。

As a new term has begun at schools, school administrators are asked to do their utmost to ensure their safety measures for school lunches are flawless.
 新学期が始まったのを機に、教育現場は改めて給食の安全対策に万全を期してもらいたい。

Those with food allergies can develop such symptoms as eczema and respiratory difficulties if they eat certain foods, such as eggs, milk, wheat, peanuts, shrimp or crab.
 卵や牛乳、小麦、落花生、エビ、カニなど特定の食べ物を口にすると、湿疹、呼吸の乱れなどの症状が表れるのが食物アレルギーだ。

There are also life-threatening allergic reactions, such as a sudden drop in blood pressure or impairment of consciousness.
血圧低下や意識障害を引き起こし、命を落とす危険もある。

According to a survey taken by the education ministry, 2.6 percent of students in the country suffer from food allergies. This means almost one student in every class has a food allergy.
 文部科学省の調査によると、全国の児童・生徒の2・6%に食物アレルギーがある。ほぼクラスに1人の割合である。

There has been an increase in cases of students mistakenly eating food containing an allergen and requiring medical treatment. In fiscal 2011, such cases topped 300. Thoroughly implementing countermeasures is an urgent matter.
 給食でアレルギーの原因食材を誤って口に入れ、治療を受けるケースは増加傾向にある。2011年度には300件を超えた。対策の徹底が急務だ。

Allergic reactions can be fatal

At a municipality-run primary school in Chofu, western Tokyo, a fifth-grade girl died in December last year after consuming dairy products she was allergic to.
 東京都調布市の市立小学校では昨年12月、乳製品にアレルギーがある5年生の女児が死亡する事故が起きた。

A report compiled last month by a local board of education examination committee pointed out a series of mistakes on the part of the school.
市教委の検証委員会が3月にまとめた報告書は、学校のミスの連鎖を指摘している。

On the day of the incident, the school provided her with a special meal without cheese, to which she was allergic. When she asked for seconds, her teacher mistakenly gave her an ordinary portion containing cheese. The teacher should have checked the list of those foods she was not supposed to eat.
 学校は女児に、アレルギーの原因のチーズを除いたおかずを出した。だが、女児がお代わりを求めると、担任教諭はチーズ入りのおかずを配ってしまった。その際、担任は、女児が食べられない食材の一覧表を確認すべきだった。

When the student complained about feeling sick, neither her teacher nor a nurse gave her an injection, which could have mitigated her allergic reaction.
 さらに、女児が体調不良を訴えた時、担任教諭、養護教諭とも、アレルギーのショックを和らげる注射薬を打たなかった。

At the same school, another student had an allergic reaction during lunch three months earlier. Later the school conducted an instructional program on food allergies for teachers and other school officials. It is quite regrettable that the lesson was not learned.
 この学校では、3か月前にも別の児童が給食でアレルギーを起こし、その後、教職員向けの研修を実施していた。教訓を生かせなかったことが何とも悔やまれる。

To prevent such tragic incidents from recurring, it is important for schools to cooperate with students' parents and doctors and to have accurate knowledge of possible allergy symptoms of food-allergic children and take careful steps.
 悲劇を繰り返さないためには、学校が保護者や医師と連携して子供の症状を正確に把握し、きめ細かな対応をとることが大切だ。

With regard to measures to be taken for food-allergic students, a guideline was worked out in 2008 under the supervision of the education ministry. However, the reality is that schools differ from one another in how they deal with food allergies.
 アレルギー対策を巡っては、文科省監修の指針が2008年に作られたが、学校ごとに、対応に差があるのが現状と言える。

Schools must be vigilant

It is important for every school to thoroughly take such fundamental measures as distributing in advance lists of school lunch ingredients to parents, while arranging special meals for students with food allergies.
 給食の食材リストをあらかじめ保護者に配布する。アレルギーのある子供用の献立を工夫する。各校がこうした基本的対策の総点検を行うことが重要である。

Parents also need to always remind their food-allergic children of those foods that they should not eat.
 保護者も日頃から子供に「何を食べてはいけないか」ということを繰り返し教える必要がある。

When a child suffers an allergic reaction to food, the initial response is crucial. Teachers and other school staff need to be trained so that they can administer an injection properly to someone having an allergic reaction.
 子供がアレルギー反応を起こした場合、初期対応がカギを握る。教職員が注射薬を適切に投与できるよう訓練を重ねるべきだ。

The education ministry will examine how schools across the country are coping with food allergy issues. We hope any problems can be cleared up to help to prevent further accidents from occurring.
 文科省は今後、全国の取り組み状況を調査する。問題点を洗い出し、事故防止につなげたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 9, 2013)
(2013年4月9日01時12分  読売新聞)

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日メキシコ会談 TPP外交に本腰を入れよ

[The Yomiuri Shimbun] April 10, 2013
Proactive diplomatic approach needed to realize entry into TPP talks
日メキシコ会談 TPP外交に本腰を入れよ(4月9日付・読売社説)

Diplomacy must be put into full gear for the nation to successfully enter the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.
 環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉への参加に向けて外交を本格化しなければならない。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with visiting Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Monday. It was the first time since Abe announced Japan's intention to join the multilateral free trade negotiations that he has held a summit meeting with a leader of one of the countries participating in the talks.
 安倍首相と来日中のメキシコのエンリケ・ペニャニエト大統領が会談した。首相の交渉参加表明以降、参加国首脳との会談は初めてだ。

The Mexican president expressed his support for Japan's joining the negotiations. Mexico entered the talks in December. It was significant that the two leaders agreed to promote free trade in the Asia-Pacific region.
 大統領は、日本のTPP交渉参加を支持する意向を明らかにした。メキシコは昨年12月に交渉に参加している。両首脳が、アジア太平洋地域における自由貿易の推進で一致した意義は大きい。

At a press conference after the meeting, Abe called the talks with the Mexican leader "the first step for my administration toward developing full-fledged Asia-Pacific diplomacy."
 首相は、会談後の記者会見で、今回の会談を「安倍政権の環太平洋外交を本格的に展開する第一歩だ」と位置付けた。

Leaders urge more dialogue

Mexico was the first nation with which Japan signed an economic partnership agreement. After the accord was signed in 2005, many Japanese-affiliated companies, mainly in the auto industry, advanced into the Mexican market. Trade volume increased by about 50 percent in what was seen as an exemplary success.
 日本にとってメキシコは本格的な経済連携協定(EPA)という意味で締結第1号の国である。2005年の締結後、自動車を中心に日系企業が多数進出し、貿易量も約1・5倍になるなど「先駆的成功例」とされている。

In a joint statement, the Japanese and Mexican leaders called for further expansion in economic cooperation, saying the two nations would increase dialogue to improve their business environments and boost trade and investment opportunities.
 日メキシコ両首脳は、共同声明で「ビジネス環境の整備や貿易・投資機会の拡大に向けた対話を増進する」と、経済分野での一層の連携拡充をうたった。

Mexico ranks 14th in the world in terms of gross domestic product. There are high hopes that nation will successfully achieve economic development in the footsteps of such emerging nations as China and India. Mexico is a strategic production base for Japan's auto industry. Harnessing Mexico's vitality is indispensable for Japan's economic growth as well.
 メキシコは、国内総生産(GDP)が世界14位で、中国、インドなど新興国に続く経済発展が期待されている。日本の自動車産業の戦略的生産拠点でもある。メキシコの活力を取り込むことは、日本の経済成長にも欠かせない。

Cooperation between the two nations in the TPP talks, to which both are latecomers, will generate positive effects when each tries to have its positions reflected in free trade rules. Cooperation between the two nations, which are already deepening ties, on issues of common interest will help them bargain with other nations such as the United States.
 関係を深める両国が、TPP交渉でも“後発組”として協調していくことは、自国の主張を自由貿易のルールに反映させるうえでプラスに作用する。共通する利害関係で連携すれば、米国などとの駆け引きにも役立とう。

The United States, Australia, New Zealand and Canada have yet to clarify their positions on Tokyo's bid to join the TPP negotiations. Japan has had a series of preliminary working-level talks with all those nations.
 日本の交渉参加については、米国、オーストラリア、ニュージーランド、カナダの4か国が態度を保留し、事務レベルによる事前協議を重ねている。

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida is considering visiting Peru and other TPP negotiating nations during the Golden Week holidays that start from late this month. It also is necessary to accelerate bilateral EPA negotiations with Australia. We hope the government will pursue multifaceted diplomacy to serve Japan's national interests.
 岸田外相は今月末からの大型連休にペルーなどTPP参加国訪問を検討している。日豪2国間のEPA交渉も加速する必要がある。日本の国益に資するため、多角的な外交を展開してもらいたい。

Common strategic vital

The government last week set up a headquarters for TPP affairs at the Cabinet Secretariat, headed by Akira Amari, minister in charge of TPP negotiations.
 政府は先週、甘利TPP相を本部長とする政府対策本部を内閣官房に設置した。

Placed under a council of key cabinet ministers dealing with TPP issues, Deputy Foreign Minister Koji Tsuruoka has been tasked with leading negotiations with other participating nations. Toyonari Sasaki, former assistant deputy chief cabinet secretary, has been put in charge of domestic coordination. The headquarters' secretariat is expected to soon be staffed with 100 members.
 主要閣僚会議の下、対外交渉の責任者に鶴岡公二外務審議官、国内調整の総括に佐々木豊成前官房副長官補を充てた。近く100人体制の事務局を構えるという。

It is vital that members of the headquarters work out common strategies and stand together by eliminating sectionalism among ministries and other government bodies concerned. This will enhance the nation's negotiation capability.
 共通の戦略を練り、関係府省間の縦割りを排して結束することが重要である。それが、日本の交渉力を強めることになる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 9, 2013)
(2013年4月9日01時12分  読売新聞)

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2013年4月 9日 (火)

日本船警備法案 海賊対策強化へ早期成立を

[The Yomiuri Shimbun] April 9, 2013
Enact antipiracy law soon to protect nation's access to vital sea lanes
日本船警備法案 海賊対策強化へ早期成立を(4月8日付・読売社説)

It is vitally important for Japan, a trading nation, to secure the safety of sea lanes stretching all the way from the Middle East, the main artery for the transportation of energy resources to this country.
 貿易立国・日本にとって、エネルギー輸送の大動脈である中東からの海上交通路(シーレーン)の安全確保は、死活的な重要性を持つ。

The government has submitted to the Diet a bill concerning special measures that would allow armed security guards from the private sector to board Japanese tankers and other types of vessels to protect them from pirates off Somalia.
 政府が、アフリカ・ソマリア沖の海賊対策として、武装した民間警備員のタンカーなどへの乗船を認める日本船舶警備特別措置法案を国会に提出した。

Pirates have expanded their sphere of activity in recent years, and the areas where pirates' attacks have been reported have spread to the Arabian Sea and the northern Indian Ocean.
 海賊は近年、行動半径を広げ、被害海域はアラビア海やインド洋北部に拡大している。

The use of private-sector security guards is an effective tool to cover those areas, where the Maritime Self-Defense Force cannot escort ships. Therefore, it is necessary to get the bill passed into law as quickly as possible.
海上自衛隊の護衛活動では対応できない海域をカバーするため、民間警備員の活用は有効な手段であり、法案の早期成立を図る必要がある。

The bill enables private-sector security guards armed with rifles to board Japanese flag carriers though in limited waters such as the Arabian Sea, a hot spot for piracy.
 法案は、海賊行為が多発するアラビア海などに限定し、ライフル銃を持つ民間警備員が日本籍船に乗船し、警備することを可能にする。

If enacted, the law would require maritime shipping companies that own the vessels to draw up a security plan in advance and have it approved by the transport minister.
船主の船舶会社が事前に警備計画を作成し、国土交通相の認定を受けることを義務づける。

Major countries already have armed security guards aboard their ships. But private-sector security guards cannot carry firearms aboard Japanese flag carriers, which are subject to the Firearms and Sword Control Law.
 主要国は既に武装警備員を乗船させているが、日本籍船は銃刀法が適用されるため、民間警備員は銃を所持できない。

Firearms would be controlled

According to the bill, the ship's captain would normally keep the firearms under his management and hand them over to the security guards if the ship is pursued by a suspicious vessel, thus enabling them to fire warning shots or fire at the vessel's body.
 法案では、平時は船長が銃を管理し、不審船の追跡を受けた段階で警備員に銃を渡し、警告射撃や船体射撃などを可能にする。

The bill assumes as an example that a team of four security guards working for a British security company boards a ship off Saudi Arabia or Oman, and gets off the ship off Sri Lanka after completing its mission. Shipping companies would bear the cost of hiring the guards.
 英国の警備会社の警備員が4人1組でサウジアラビアやオマーン沖で乗船し、任務終了後にスリランカ沖で下船するという想定だ。費用は船舶会社が負担する。

Such an arrangement would be appropriate as it would be compatible with the Firearms and Swords Control Law, by not allowing firearms to be brought into Japanese territory.
 日本国内に銃を持ち込まないようにすることで、銃刀法との整合性を取る仕組みは妥当だ。

The number of reported incidents of piracy off Somalia surpassed the 200 mark every year from 2009 to 2011, but it dropped to 75 last year and totaled four as of the end of last month for this year.
 ソマリア沖での海賊の発生件数は2009~11年は各200件を超えたが、12年は75件、今年も3月末現在で4件と急減した。

The sharp decline is believed to have much to do with the self-defense measures taken by ships themselves and the patrolling activities of the naval forces of the countries concerned.
各国船舶の自衛策や、海軍の護衛活動の成果と見られている。

Efforts highly regarded

Japan's MSDF vessels have escorted more than 2,900 vessels, including foreign ones, providing escorts on about 450 occasions since 2009 in the Gulf of Aden. Meanwhile, P3C patrol planes have provided Japanese and foreign vessels with information on suspicious vessels in at least 7,600 cases through about 870 flights.
 海自艦船は09年以降、アデン湾で約450回、外国船を含め2900隻以上を護衛した。哨戒機P3Cも、約870回の飛行で7600件以上の不審船情報を各国艦船などに提供している。

The MSDF has accounted for about 60 percent of the total number of patrol flights and assumed a leading role in anti-piracy measures taken by the international community, winning high regard for its efforts. We hope the MSDF continues to steadily fulfill its mission.
 海自は、哨戒飛行全体の6割を占めるなど、国際社会の海賊対策の中心的役割を担い、高い評価を得ている。引き続き任務を着実に果たしてもらいたい。

For truly effective antipiracy measures, however, it is essential for Somalia to enhance its law-enforcement capabilities and for those coastal states of the Gulf of Aden, including Yemen, to improve their maritime security capabilities.
 ただ、抜本的な海賊対策としては、ソマリアの法執行能力や、イエメンなどアデン湾沿岸国の海上保安能力の向上が欠かせない。

Japan, through international organizations, has offered financial assistance and technical guidance to improve public safety in Somalia and establish a maritime security training center in Djibouti.
 日本は、国際機関を通じて、ソマリアの治安向上策やジブチの海上保安訓練センター設立に資金協力や技術指導を実施している。

It is important for Japan to continue its assistance to these nations, in cooperation with countries concerned.
今後も、関係国と連携し、支援を継続することが大切である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 8, 2013)
(2013年4月8日01時14分  読売新聞)

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消費税転嫁 中小企業の泣き寝入りを防げ

[The Yomiuri Shimbun] April 9, 2013
Don't let small firms get pushed around over consumption tax hike
消費税転嫁 中小企業の泣き寝入りを防げ(4月8日付・読売社説)

To ensure the consumption tax rate increase is smoothly implemented in April 2014 as scheduled, it is essential that small and midsize companies and other entities add the additional amount to their prices.
 2014年4月の消費税率引き上げを円滑に進めるには、中小企業などが増税分を価格に上乗せすることが重要だ。

The government has submitted a bill to the Diet for special legislation that would make it easier for businesses to absorb the higher consumption tax by raising prices.
 政府は、消費増税分を転嫁しやすくする特別措置法案を国会に提出した。

We urge ruling and opposition parties to cooperate to pass the bill swiftly to create an environment conducive to implementing the tax hike as planned.
与野党は法案を早期に成立させ、増税への環境整備を急ぐべきである。

When the tax rate is raised, the markup should be passed on through the purchase prices retailers pay, and then eventually paid by consumers.
 消費税率が上がると、本来は、その分を仕入れ価格に転嫁し、最終的には消費者が負担する。

There are concerns, however, that major retailers such as supermarket chains might exploit their dominant positions in price negotiations and refuse requests to pay the increase in prices at which they buy goods from small and midsize suppliers.
 しかし、スーパーなど大手業者が強い立場を利用し、中小納入業者の価格転嫁を認めないケースが懸念される。

Ban unfair practices

The bill aims to prohibit major companies from abusing their superior positions to refuse higher purchasing prices, and also such illicit practices as agreeing to pay these higher prices only if companies down the chain buy other goods from the larger firms in return.
 法案は、大企業が優越的地位を乱用し、価格転嫁を拒否したり、転嫁を認める代わりに、別の商品を購入させたりする行為を禁止した。

The legislation would empower the Fair Trade Commission to warn violators to urge them to pass the higher tax on prices. The FTC could make these companies' names public.
公正取引委員会が違反企業に対して、転嫁に応じることを勧告し、社名を公表する内容だ。

The bill would allow smaller companies to form a "price cartel" through which they can in concert pass the tax hike on through their prices to level the playing field in negotiations with large firms.
 中小企業が大企業と交渉できるよう、一致して転嫁を進める「価格カルテル」も容認した。

It is hoped the legislation will prevent companies in weak positions from being forced to silently bend to pressure applied by large firms. The bill rightly includes a range of measures to meet this objective.
 交渉力の弱い企業の泣き寝入りを防ぐ効果が期待される。様々な対策を打ち出したのは妥当だ。

According to a Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry survey, when the consumption tax rate was increased from 3 percent to 5 percent in 1997, two-thirds of businesses with annual sales of 15 million yen or less said they could not pass the tax hike on in their prices.
 日本商工会議所の調査では、1997年に消費税率が3%から5%に上がった際、年商1500万円以下の事業者の3分の2が転嫁できなかった、と答えた。

Intensifying price-cutting competition amid the prolonged period of economic deflation has generated huge pressure on small and midsize companies to keep prices down. If they cannot soak up the higher consumption tax through increased prices, their business conditions may deteriorate all the more.
 デフレの長期化で安売り競争が激化し、現在、中小企業への値下げ圧力は強い。転嫁できなければ経営は一段と悪化しかねない。

The tax increase in April next year will be followed by another in October 2015. The bill allows prices of goods and services to be displayed separately from the amount of tax levied on them. This would be handy for smaller companies because they could skip some cumbersome procedures involved in changing their pricing.
 14年4月に続き、15年10月にも税率が上がるため、法案は、本体価格と税額を別表示する方法も認める。煩雑な手続きを省略でき、中小企業などに便利だろう。

Stay out of ad campaigns

One possible shortcoming of the bill is that it would ban retailers from conducting "consumption tax discount sales" and similar advertising campaigns in which prices are lowered by a margin equivalent to the consumption tax.
 気になるのは、法案が「消費増税分を値引きする」などと銘打った「消費税還元セール」を禁止したことである。

The government claims the ban will prevent large companies from unfairly squeezing suppliers to cut prices. However, we think the government should not meddle excessively in businesses' advertising campaigns, which should be left to the ingenuity of private firms.
 政府は、納入業者への不当な値下げ圧力を防ぐためだとしているが、民間の創意工夫に委ねるべき販売促進策に行政が必要以上に口を出すことは避けるべきだ。

The government will start working out details of how prices should be labeled after the tax is bumped up. Care must be taken to avoid confusion among retailers.
 政府が今後策定する表示の指針で、小売り現場の混乱を招かないよう対応してもらいたい。

The government should be more concerned about vigilantly monitoring major companies that might refuse to pass the increased tax on through their prices, and to clamp down on illegal practices relating to it.
 むしろ重要なのは、大手企業の転嫁拒否の実態に目を光らせ、違法行為を取り締まる方策だ。

Ministries and agencies will reportedly set up consultation services with local governments and others at which businesses and consumers can ask about consumption tax issues. They also plan to write reports on compliance with the planned law.
 各省庁は自治体などと連携して相談窓口を設け、書面調査も行うという。

Small and midsize firms, however, are more worried about keeping good relations with business partners than reporting any dishonest practices by their customers. There are fears that losses incurred by smaller firms will stay hidden in the dark.
だが、中小企業は、実態の報告よりも取引上の関係を優先しがちだ。被害が水面下に隠れてしまう懸念もある。

The consumption tax hike will kick in less than a year from now, and price negotiations are getting into full swing. The government must not overlook any "bullying of subcontractors" by major companies.
 増税まで1年を切り、価格交渉が本格化する。政府は「下請けいじめ」を見逃してはならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 8, 2013)
(2013年4月8日01時14分  読売新聞)

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2013年4月 8日 (月)

裁判員制度 国民の信頼高める見直しを

[The Yomiuri Shimbun] April 8, 2013
EDITORIAL / Improve lay judge system's reliability by conducting a thorough review
裁判員制度 国民の信頼高める見直しを(4月7日付・読売社説)

A panel of academics, legal professionals and other experts tasked by the Justice Ministry with reviewing the lay judge system has produced a draft report of its proposals. They include ways to reduce the burden of citizens named to serve as lay judges.
 裁判員制度の見直しについて、法務省の有識者検討会が報告書案をまとめた。裁判員の負担軽減などを提言している。

The Citizen Judge System Law, which came into effect in 2009, calls for the law to be reviewed, if deemed necessary, three years after its implementation.
 2009年に施行された裁判員法は付則で、必要があれば3年後に見直しを検討すると定めている。

The draft report by the panel will be used as a basis for discussions about the advisability of revising the law. The report should be effectively utilized to improve the lay judge system.
報告書案は今後、法改正のたたき台になる。制度の改善に生かしてもらいたい。

One of the report's proposals is to discuss making it obligatory for courts to ensure the privacy of victims of sex crimes. Specifically, the draft calls for courts to ensure that lay judge candidates are not given access to names, addresses or other relevant information about sex offense victims during the selection process.
 報告書案は、性犯罪被害者のプライバシー保護への配慮を裁判所に義務付けることを盛り込んだ。裁判員の選任手続きで、被害者の氏名や住所が裁判員候補者に知られないようにする。

Keep system's purpose intact

The draft also calls for a revision of the the lay judge law that would excuse citizens living in areas stricken by such natural disasters as the Great East Japan Earthquake from serving.
 東日本大震災のような大災害が発生した場合、被災地に住む裁判員候補者に対し、裁判所への呼び出し状を送付しない規定が必要だとも指摘している。

We consider these suggestions reasonable from the viewpoint of enhancing the system's reliability.
 こうした改善は、制度の信頼を高める上で妥当と言えよう。

But one proposal in the draft report is questionable. It seeks to exclude lay judges from serving in lengthy trials and suggests a new arrangement in which such trials would be handled only by professional judges.
 疑問なのは、報告書案が、長期化が見込まれる裁判を裁判員裁判の対象から外し、裁判官だけで審理する仕組みを新たに設けるよう求めている点だ。

If trials are protracted, the burden on citizen judges will naturally become heavier.
 審理期間が長くなれば、裁判員の負担が増すのは確かだ。

It is noteworthy, however, that the lay judge system was introduced to reflect the common sense of ordinary citizens in trials involving cases with a major social impact such as homicide.
 だが、そもそも裁判員制度は、殺人など社会的影響の大きな事件の裁判に、国民の判断を反映させるという趣旨で導入された。

In two separate trials at the Saitama District Court and the Tottori District Court last year, the lay judges served as long as 100 days and 75 days, respectively.
 昨年、さいたま地裁や鳥取地裁では、裁判員の任期が100日と75日に及ぶ裁判が行われた。

Some lay judges said after the rulings were handed down that the lengthy process allowed them to thoroughly discuss the case.
期間が長かったからこそ、濃密な議論が出来たと、判決後に感想を語った裁判員もいる。

When the panel made this proposal, its members were apparently thinking about trials that can take a year or more to conclude. But wouldn't this logic result in excluding cases of high interest to the public from the lay judge system?
 検討会は、除外対象として審理期間が年単位に及ぶケースを想定しているようだ。しかし、国民の関心が高い事件が結果的に除かれることにつながりはしないか。

Reduce burden on lay judges

It is important indeed to make efforts to reduce the burden of lay judges, but a step that could contravene the intent and purpose of the lay judge system would be a step backward.
 裁判員の負担軽減に配慮することは大切だが、制度の趣旨を損なっては本末転倒だ。

Sorting out evidentiary issues in pretrial discussions and being as flexible as possible about excusing lay judge candidates from serving are key to the effective operation of the system.
 公判前に争点を絞り込み、審理期間の短縮を図る。裁判員候補者の辞退を柔軟に認める。こうした運用上の工夫を可能な限り重ねることが重要である。

Yet another task that should be addressed is how to deal with the confidentiality requirement that has been statutorily imposed on lay judges.
 裁判員に課せられる守秘義務の在り方も課題だ。

The law stipulates that lay judges must keep information they obtain during trials confidential for the rest of their lives. The draft report did not address this issue.
 裁判員法は、判決を決める評議のやりとりを生涯にわたって漏らしてはいけないと定めている。報告書案は、その見直しの必要性を認めなかった。

It should be noted, however, that it would be most helpful for ordinary citizens, who can be called at any time to serve as lay judges, to hear what such duty is like directly from those who have served.
 ただ、いつ裁判員に選ばれるかわからない国民にとって、最も参考になるのは経験者の声だ。

Discussions among lay and professional judges about such matters as determining punishment must remain subject to mandatory confidentiality, but the issue of whether there may be room for reviewing the scope of confidentiality and its duration should be studied.
 量刑判断など評議の核心部分についての守秘義務は必要だとしても、その範囲や期間を見直す余地はないか、検討すべきだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 7, 2013)
(2013年4月7日01時32分  読売新聞)

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中国鳥インフル 感染実態を迅速に開示せよ

[The Yomiuri Shimbun] April 8, 2013
EDITORIAL / Chinese govt must promptly disclose full details of new bird flu virus
中国鳥インフル 感染実態を迅速に開示せよ(4月7日付・読売社説)

It has been confirmed for the first time that humans have been infected with a new type of avian influenza, the H7N9 virus, in Shanghai, Jiangsu Province, and neighboring areas in China.
 中国の上海市や江蘇省などで、新型の鳥インフルエンザウイルス「H7N9型」の人への感染が初めて確認された。

The infection is spreading, and has caused several deaths. An epidemic of this flu might erupt not only in other parts of China, but also on a global scale.
 感染は次第に広がり、死者も出ている。中国だけでなく、世界に蔓延(まんえん)する恐れもある。

To contain the spread of this disease, it is important for the Chinese government to beef up countermeasures and make sure all necessary information is properly disclosed.
中国政府は感染拡大を防ぐため、対策を強化し、情報開示を徹底することが重要だ。

It remains unknown how the victims became infected. Some reportedly were engaged in selling pork or processing chicken meat. The H7N9 virus has been detected in pigeons and chickens at Shanghai's wholesale market.
 感染経路はまだ明らかになっていない。感染者には豚肉販売やニワトリの食肉処理に携わっていた人もいるという。上海の卸売市場では、ハトやニワトリからH7N9型のウイルスが検出された。

The Chinese government must confirm the true extent of the spread of this new strain as quickly as possible.
 中国政府は、実態把握を急ぐ必要がある。

A major problem is that the Chinese government has failed to promptly provide enough information thus far. It first announced H7N9 infections about one month after the first known human death from the strain.
 問題なのは、情報開示が遅く、十分ではないことだ。中国政府が感染の事実を公表したのは、最初の患者の死亡から1か月近くたってからだった。

Media controls a concern

When China was gripped by the SARS epidemic in 2003, its government initially concealed the truth, which caused the disease to spread and triggered widespread social turmoil.
 中国では2003年に新型肺炎(SARS)が流行した際、政府の情報隠蔽が感染拡大と社会不安を招いた。

The Chinese government is apparently more willing to share information this time, but its control over media coverage is still a cause of concern.
当時より改善は見られるが、報道統制が気がかりだ。

Although China has become the world's second-largest economy, its supervisory systems to ensure food safety and hygiene remain inadequate.
 世界第2位の経済大国にもかかわらず、中国ではもともと、食品の安全管理や衛生状態の監督体制が十分でない。

In March, thousands of pig carcasses were dumped in a river that flows through Shanghai. China should implement stricter safety control measures.
3月には、上海市を流れる河川に大量の豚の死骸が投棄される事件が起きた。安全管理を厳格化すべきだ。

China is not the only one whose response to the new flu strain is in the spotlight.
 対応が問われているのは、中国だけではない。

According to analysis by the World Health Organization and other bodies, the H7N9 virus is completely different to the H1N1 and other new strains that affected many parts of the world in the past 10 to 20 years, and it also spreads in different ways.
 世界保健機関(WHO)などの分析では、今回のウイルスは、この10~20年間に世界各地で出現したH1N1型などの新型インフルエンザとは、型も感染形態も全く異なるタイプだ。

Japan should be prepared

The H7N9 strain is believed to have a cocktail of genes of the three types of avian flu that became epidemics in China, South Korea and other areas. The virus seems to have become potent enough to infect humans due to genetic mutations that occurred while it was transmitted repeatedly among birds and other animals.
 これまで中国、韓国などで蔓延していた3種類の鳥インフルエンザウイルスの遺伝子が入り混じったものと見られている。鳥などの間で感染を繰り返すうちに、遺伝子が変異して、人に対する感染力を持ったようだ。

The H7N9 strain is remarkable in that infected birds and animals do not show any symptoms. There are fears that more people could become infected while abnormal situations--such as mass bird deaths--do not occur.
 感染した鳥などに症状が表れないのも特徴である。鳥が大量死するといった異変が生じないまま人への感染が広がる恐れがある。

It is crucial that researchers from around the world work together in assessing and analyzing the new bird flu.
 新たなウイルスの評価、分析のためには、各国の専門家の協力が欠かせない。

We hope the Japanese government also will take every possible step to combat the new strain. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has quite rightly told the Health, Welfare and Labor Ministry to gather information related to this outbreak.
 日本政府も対策に万全を期してもらいたい。菅官房長官が厚生労働省に情報収集に努めるよう指示したのは当然である。

Under a law for dealing with new types of influenza that comes into effect later this month, the central and local governments, in accordance with action plans they will compile, can urge the public to stay indoors to help contain the spread of the disease. This law should play the central role in this nation's response to the disease.
 新型インフルエンザ対策特別措置法が、今月中にも施行される。感染拡大を防ぐため、政府や自治体が、行動計画に基づき、外出自粛などを求めることを盛り込んでいる。対策の柱とすべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 7, 2013)
(2013年4月7日01時32分  読売新聞)

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2013年4月 7日 (日)

北朝鮮ミサイル 「不意打ち」への備えは万全か

[The Yomiuri Shimbun] April 7, 2013
EDITORIAL / Make thorough preparations for N. Korean surprise missile launch
北朝鮮ミサイル 「不意打ち」への備えは万全か(4月6日付・読売社説)

North Korea's threatening words and actions have escalated even further recently.
 北朝鮮が威嚇的な言動を、さらにエスカレートさせている。

We're no longer at a stage where Pyongyang's rhetoric and behavior can be considered mere provocations. Japan needs to make preparations to swiftly address any contingency by strengthening cooperation with the United States and South Korea.
 もはや挑発行為と受け止めるだけで済む段階ではあるまい。日本は米国や韓国と連携を強化し、不測の事態に迅速に対応できる態勢を整える必要がある。

South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan Jin said Thursday that North Korea has moved a medium-range ballistic missile to the Sea of Japan coast. This missile is a Musudan type that has a range of more than 3,000 kilometers, capable of reaching the U.S. Pacific island of Guam.
 韓国の金寛鎮国防相が、北朝鮮が中距離弾道ミサイルを日本海側に移動させたと明らかにした。
 推定射程3000キロ・メートル以上のムスダン・ミサイルで、米グアム島に到達可能とされる。

The United States has since dispatched a sea-based high-performance X-band radar, which has early warning capability, and two Aegis-equipped destroyers to the western Pacific and areas near the Korean Peninsula. Washington also decided to deploy a state-of-the-art missile defense system to Guam to be ready within weeks.
 米国は、早期警戒能力を持つ海上配備型の高性能Xバンドレーダーやイージス艦2隻などを西太平洋や朝鮮半島付近海域に派遣した。グアム島には、最新鋭のミサイル防衛(MD)システムを数週間以内に配備すると決めた。

'Real and clear danger'

The United States has apparently taken seriously the enhancement of North Korea's nuclear attack capability, described by U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel as a "real and clear danger," as a threat to itself and its allies, Japan and South Korea.
 ヘーゲル米国防長官が「現実の、明白な危機」と述べた通り、北朝鮮の核攻撃能力の向上を、米国や日韓など同盟国への脅威として、深刻に受け止めた結果だろう。

Late last month, Kim Jong Un, the first secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea, approved a plan to attack the U.S. mainland, Hawaii and Guam if the United States attacks the country. The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of North Korea's ruling party, listed U.S. military bases in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture; Misawa, Aomori Prefecture; and Okinawa Prefecture as potential attack targets.
 北朝鮮の金正恩第1書記は先月末、「米国が攻撃すれば」との条件付きながら、「米本土やハワイ、グアム島」などへの攻撃計画を承認した。朝鮮労働党機関紙は、横須賀、三沢、沖縄の在日米軍基地も攻撃対象に挙げた。

By flaunting North Korea's strike capability at home and abroad, Kim probably also aims to bolster his authority. However, any moves that raise tensions in Northeast Asia should not be taken lightly.
 攻撃能力を内外に誇示し、自らの権威を高める狙いもあろう。だが、北東アジアの緊張を高める動きを看過することはできない。

Japan is within the reach of North Korea's Rodong medium-range ballistic missiles, which have already been deployed in a war scenario. Japan must ratchet up its vigilance and surveillance activities another notch.
 日本は、北朝鮮が実戦配備済みの中距離弾道ミサイル・ノドンの射程に入っている。監視と警戒を一段と強化する必要がある。

Unlike North Korea's test-firing of long-range ballistic missiles in 2009 and 2012, which it announced in advance as a satellite launch, it is highly likely the country would launch a missile without prior notice about the timing and where the missile is expected to fall.
 「人工衛星打ち上げ」の事前通告があった2009年と12年の長距離弾道ミサイルとは異なり、時期や着弾地の予告もないままに発射される可能性が高い。

The government must assume various possible contingencies and take all possible measures to prepare for a North Korean missile launch.
 政府は様々な事態を想定し、備えに万全を期さねばならない。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe instructed the deputy chief cabinet secretary for crisis management to take action on three points: thoroughly collecting and analyzing information on North Korea's moves; quickly and accurately providing information to the public; and ensuring people's safety and security. We think these measures are appropriate.
 安倍首相が、北朝鮮に関する情報収集・分析の徹底、国民への迅速・的確な情報提供、国民の安全・安心の確保――の3点を徹底するよう内閣危機管理監に指示したのは適切な措置だ。

Defenders must be on guard

In preparation for a possible missile launch by North Korea, the government has begun discussions toward issuing an order that would authorize the Self-Defense Forces to intercept a missile with a missile defense system. Preparations should also be made without delay for the J-Alert system to be used to warn of a possible missile launch.
 政府はミサイル発射に備え、MDシステムによる迎撃を自衛隊に認める「破壊措置命令」の発令の検討に入った。全国瞬時警報システム「Jアラート」の速報態勢の準備も遅滞なく進めるべきだ。

Taking on a policy of strengthening its nuclear arsenal capability, North Korea also announced that it will restart all mothballed facilities at its Yongbyon nuclear complex.
 北朝鮮は、核戦力強化路線を打ち出し、停止中の核施設の再稼働も発表した。

To prepare for contingencies on the Korean Peninsula, the Japanese government must discuss measures in close consultation with the South Korean government, with the protection of Japanese nationals in South Korea also in mind.
 朝鮮半島有事に備え、韓国の邦人保護を念頭に置いて、韓国政府とも緊密に協議し、対応策を検討しておくことが欠かせない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 6, 2013)
(2013年4月6日01時24分  読売新聞)

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米軍施設返還案 普天間移設と好循環を目指せ

[The Yomiuri Shimbun] April 7, 2013
EDITORIAL / Japan must seek 'virtuous cycle' in plan for Futenma relocation
米軍施設返還案 普天間移設と好循環を目指せ(4月6日付・読売社説)

The newly unveiled plan on the return of land used by U.S. military forces in Okinawa Prefecture is highly significant as it reduces the excessive burden imposed on the prefecture.
 沖縄の過重な米軍基地負担を軽減するうえで、画期的な意義を持つと高く評価したい。

On Friday, the Japanese and U.S. governments announced their plan to return six U.S. military facilities and areas in southern Okinawa Prefecture to Japan.
 日米両政府は、沖縄県南部の米軍6施設の返還計画を発表した。

The plan stipulates that the land used by the U.S. Futenma Air Station can be returned in fiscal 2022 or later on condition that the Futenma facility is relocated to the Henoko district in Nago in the prefecture. It also calls for the return of the Makiminato Service Area in Urasoe, which local residents have strongly requested, as early as fiscal 2025.
 普天間飛行場は、名護市辺野古への移設を前提に、「2022年度またはその後」に返還が可能と明記した。地元の返還要望が強い牧港補給地区は、25年度にも返還できるとしている。

The two governments will aim to complete the return of land covering the other four facilities, such as Camp Zukeran and part of the Naha Port area, from fiscal 2022 to 2028.
 キャンプ瑞慶覧、那覇港湾施設など他の4施設は、22~28年度の返還完了を目指すと記載した。

The land used by the six U.S. military facilities totals more than 1,000 hectares. It is significant that the plan includes a time frame and procedures for returning such a large amount of land in populous southern areas.
 6施設の返還面積は計1000ヘクタール超にも上る。人口の多い県南地域の広大な土地の返還期限と手順が明示された意味は大きい。

Conditions must be met

Various regional developments will be possible through effective use of the returned land. The Makiminato Service Area, in particular, occupies a prime location near Naha.
 跡地を有効利用すれば、様々な地域振興が可能になるだろう。特に、牧港補給地区は、那覇市と近いなど、立地条件が良い。

It is vital for the central government to win the trust of the Okinawa prefectural government and municipalities concerned through constructive discussions on how the returned land should be used.
 政府と沖縄県、関係自治体は、各施設の跡地利用策について、建設的な協議を行い、信頼関係を深めることが重要である。

However, the return of the land is premised on the construction of replacement facilities and relocation of U.S. marines to Guam.
 一方で、返還には、代替施設の整備や在沖縄海兵隊のグアム移転などの前提条件が付いている。

In the case of the Naha Port facilities used by the U.S. military, for example, Japan and the United States agreed on their return in 1974. However, this has been delayed because little progress had been made in relocating U.S. military functions there to Urasoe.
 例えば、那覇港湾施設は、1974年に日米が返還に合意しながら、浦添市への移設が進まず、今なお返還が実現していない。

To implement the announced plan as scheduled, the Japanese and U.S. governments should cooperate more closely with local governments as well as make strenuous efforts to meet conditions concerning the return of the land, which include building replacement facilities.
 今後、計画通りに各施設の返還を進めるには、日米両政府と自治体が従来以上に緊密に協力し、代替施設の建設などの返還条件を満たす地道な努力が求められる。

The Japanese government apparently hopes that drawing up the plan will help obtain Okinawa Prefecture's approval of land reclamation necessary for the relocation of Futenma functions to Henoko.
 政府は、計画策定を、普天間飛行場の辺野古移設に必要な公有水面の埋め立てに関する沖縄県の許可を得る一助としたい考えだ。

Last spring, Tokyo and Washington agreed to handle the Futenma relocation and the transfer of Okinawa Prefecture-based U.S. marines to Guam separately. This was seen as an inevitable step to prevent a vicious cycle in which a stalemate over the Futenma relocation could delay the transfer of U.S. forces to Guam.
 日米両政府は昨年春、普天間移設と海兵隊のグアム移転を切り離して進めることで合意した。普天間移設の停滞がグアム移転を遅らせる「悪循環」を防ぐための、やむを得ない措置だった。

Mention of the timing of the return of the land was apparently possible because the United States responded favorably to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's filing of an application for land reclamation and his eagerness to carry out the Futenma relocation. Progress on the Futenma issue appears to pave the way for the return of U.S. military facilities, which is part of the U.S. forces realignment.
 今回の計画に返還時期を明示できたのは、安倍首相が埋め立て申請に踏み切り、普天間移設に本気で取り組む姿勢を示したことに、米側が呼応したためだ。普天間問題の進展が、海兵隊移転に伴う施設返還を後押ししたと言える。

U.S. deterrence important

It is vital for the Japanese and U.S. governments to appropriately coordinate and cooperate with local governments to create a "virtuous cycle" of three issues--the Futenma relocation, the transfer of U.S. marines and the return of facilities and land used by the U.S. military.
 普天間移設、海兵隊移転、施設返還という三つの要素が前向きの「好循環」を生むよう、日米両政府と自治体がきちんと連携・協調することが大切である。

The deterrent effect of the U.S. military in Okinawa Prefecture has taken on increasing importance following North Korea's nuclear and missile threats and China's provocations near the Senkaku Islands. Japan needs to strike a balance when working on the two issues of reducing Okinawa's burden of hosting U.S. bases and maintaining the deterrent effect of the U.S. military.
 北朝鮮の核・ミサイルによる軍事的威嚇や中国の尖閣諸島周辺での示威活動などで、在沖縄米軍の抑止力の重要性は高まっている。沖縄の基地負担軽減と米軍の抑止力維持の両立が重要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 6, 2013)
(2013年4月6日01時24分  読売新聞)

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2013年4月 6日 (土)

新たな緩和策―歯止めを壊すだけでは

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 5
EDITORIAL: BOJ needs self-control in implementing bold easy money policy
新たな緩和策―歯止めを壊すだけでは

The Bank of Japan under new Governor Haruhiko Kuroda on April 4 decided on a new monetary-easing policy as part of efforts to "do everything possible" to achieve a 2-percent annual inflation target in two years.
 日本銀行が、年2%のインフレを2年で達成するために「やれることは何でもやる」という黒田東彦新総裁のもと、新たな金融緩和を決めた。

The BOJ has changed its policy indicator from an uncollateralized overnight call money rate to a monetary base, or the total amount of cash in circulation and commercial banks' reserves with the BOJ.
The central bank said "it will enter a new phase of monetary easing both in terms of quantity and quality."
 「量・質ともに次元の違う金融緩和」を掲げ、政策の指標を金利水準ではなく、市中に出回る現金と銀行の日銀への預金を合わせた金額(マネタリーベース)に変えた。

By buying larger quantities of government bonds and other commodities, it plans to bolster the monetary base by 60 trillion yen to 70 trillion yen a year. By the end of 2014, the amount is expected to reach 270 trillion yen, nearly double the balance at the end of last year.
 国債などを大量に買うことでマネタリーベースを年間60兆~70兆円増やす。14年末には270兆円と、昨年末のほぼ倍になる見込みである。

To achieve that goal, the BOJ removed some long-standing rules.
 問題は、その実現のために、これまで日銀が設けてきた決まりを一挙に取り払ったことだ。

For example, long-term government bonds that it could buy were limited to those that would mature in three years or less. But that restriction has been lifted.
 たとえば、買い入れる長期国債は満期まで3年以内のものに限るとしてきたが、その制限を撤廃する。

Moreover, the asset purchase program for monetary easing purposes will be absorbed into its bond purchases for ordinary monetary control operations. In addition, the BOJ decided to temporarily suspend the "banknote principle," a rule that sets the upper limit on the outstanding amount of government bonds it holds to the outstanding balance of banknotes issued.
As a result, the BOJ can now purchase an unlimited amount of government bonds.
 さらに、金融緩和のために国債などを買い入れてきた基金を日銀本体に統合する。そのうえで、日銀本体が国債を買う際には、お札の発行残高を上限にするというルールを一時凍結し、日銀本体でいくらでも国債を買えるようにする。

It is true that in some respects, the past rules left the impression that the BOJ is passive about monetary relaxation.
 確かに過去の決まり事は「金融緩和に消極的な日銀」という印象を与えてきた面がある。

However, the measures that were in place played a significant role in showing the central bank's policy of preventing government bond prices from nosediving by removing any suspicion that it was trying to finance government budget deficits.
 しかし、一連の措置は日銀が政府の財政赤字の尻ぬぐいをしていると疑われ、国債が暴落するような事態を招かないよう、中央銀行としての意思を示す役割があった。

This helped to prevent problems in everyday monetary control, which could consequently lead to wild fluctuations of long-term interest rates. Such a situation could easily arise if the BOJ makes excessive purchases of long-term government bonds.
 日銀が長期国債を買いすぎることで、日々の金融調節に支障が出たり、結果的に長期金利が乱高下したりするのを避ける手立てでもあった。

We fear that the BOJ under Kuroda's leadership doesn't have any intention of coming up with new measures to prevent it from crossing the line.
 黒田日銀に、これらに代わる歯止めを設ける姿勢が見られないのには、危惧を感じる。

The BOJ also has a responsibility to show how it will deal with difficulties that may arise in the future, such as rising interest rates.
 金利が上昇する際の対応など、今後予想される困難な局面への基本姿勢もあらかじめ示しておく責任がある。

In the past, however, even when the monetary base increased, deflation continued. This is because capital needs do not grow in the private sector unless there are attractive investment destinations.
 過去の経験では、マネタリーベースが増えてもデフレは解消しなかった。民間経済に有望な投資先がなければ、資金需要は増えないからだ。

Given such circumstances, excessive dependence on monetary easing alone could give rise to a distorted situation such as an asset price bubble and “bad inflation” caused by the weak yen that pushes up import prices.
 そうしたなかで金融緩和ばかりに依存する経済運営では、円安に伴う輸入物価の上昇だけがもたらされる「悪いインフレ」や不動産バブルなど、いびつな現象が広がりかねない。

The government has an important role to play by implementing drastic regulatory reform to improve the real economy. Wage increases and expanded employment will help achieve this goal.
 賃金の上昇や雇用の拡大を通じた実体経済の改善に向けて、思い切った規制改革をするなど政府の役割は大きい。

As for Kuroda, he needs to prod the government and the private sector to make all-out efforts to secure fiscal discipline and forge ahead with reforms. Only then will the central bank's bold monetary-easing policy become the effective tool that it is intended to be.
 黒田総裁は大胆な緩和の効果がきちんと引き出されるよう、財政規律の確保や改革への努力を、政府や民間に促す責任も果たしてほしい。

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黒田日銀緩和策 デフレ脱却に向けた第一歩だ

[The Yomiuri Shimbun] April 6, 2013
EDITORIAL / BOJ's bold fiscal package marks 1st step toward busting deflation
黒田日銀緩和策 デフレ脱却に向けた第一歩だ(4月5日付・読売社説)

In an effort to raise the national economy out of protracted deflation, newly appointed Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda has forged a new package of quantitative and qualitative monetary easing steps.
 デフレ脱却に向けて、黒田東彦日銀総裁が、新たな量的・質的金融緩和策を打ち出した。

It is only right that the central bank's new leadership has taken such bold action so soon after taking control.
 新体制の発足からすぐに、果敢に動いたのは妥当である。

The government and the bank must deepen their cooperation to steadily guide the nation onto a favorable course.
政府と日銀が連携を強化し、着実に成果を上げねばならない。

The bank's newest monetary easing measures are designed to achieve its 2 percent inflation target in two years, primarily by means of doubling the bank's holdings of long-term government bonds and nongovernment assets such as ETFs, or exchange-traded funds.
 今回の緩和策は、政府と合意した物価上昇率2%のインフレ目標を2年で達成するとし、長期国債や上場投資信託(ETF)の保有額を倍増する内容だ。

In addition, the bank has shifted the focus of its monetary measures from interest rate adjustment to the monetary base--the amount of cash it pumps into the economy--and is determined to nearly double the amount of money in circulation to 270 trillion yen by the end of 2014.
 金融調節の目標も短期金利から資金供給量(マネタリーベース)に切り替え、2年で約2倍の270兆円に拡大する。

A 'different level of policy'

In a news conference after the central bank's policy meeting Thursday, Kuroda said the bank took "all the available and necessary steps we could think of, instead of an approach that implements remedies one by one."
 黒田総裁は記者会見で、「戦力の逐次投入をせず、現時点で必要な政策をすべて講じた」と述べた。

Kuroda's statement can be seen to signal a drastic transformation in the bank's way of thinking that takes into account the failure of its conventional monetary policy for combating deflation, which until now has consisted of incremental steps.
小出しの対応を繰り返し、デフレ退治に失敗した従来の金融政策を、抜本的に転換する考えを示したと言えよう。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who appointed Kuroda to the top post, highly praised the bank's latest decision, saying, "Mr. Kuroda is just the person to usher in a different level of monetary policy," adding that the governor has "lived up splendidly to expectations."
 黒田氏を総裁に起用した安倍首相は、「次元の違う金融政策に取り組んでもらえる人だ。見事に期待に応えてもらった」と、決定を高く評価した。

The Nikkei 225 index in the Tokyo market climbed sharply Thursday, while the pace of the yen's depreciation was spurred rapidly.
 東京市場の平均株価は大幅高となり、為替相場も急速に円安が進んだ。

It seems the market has reacted favorably, at least for the present, to the implementation of bold monetary easing, which is referred to as the "first arrow" in the quiver of the Abe's administration's economic policy, dubbed Abenomics.
安倍政権の経済政策・アベノミクスの「1本目の矢」である大胆な金融緩和の実現を、市場はひとまず好感したのだろう。

It is also significant that the central bank under Kuroda has specified a time in which it hopes to realize the concrete inflation target at which its policy is aimed. The bank has elucidated the reasoning behind its quantitative easing steps, making it easy for the public to understand the direction in which it intends to head.
 黒田日銀が、政策の達成時期や量的緩和の目標を具体的に示し、金融政策の方向性をわかりやすくしたのも大きな前進だ。

We hope to see the central bank under Kuroda's leadership use ingenuity to enrich its dialogue with the market to ensure that the desired effects of its policy percolate through to the farthest reaches of the market.
 黒田総裁のリーダーシップのもと、「市場との対話」を工夫し、政策の意図をさらに浸透させることを期待したい。

The central bank has temporarily suspended its self-imposed rule of capping its holdings of government bonds at the equivalent value of bank notes currently in circulation. This measure should be understood as having been undertaken with the aim of preventing the rule from constraining the bank's ability to boldly push forward with the envisioned quantitative easing.
 今回日銀は、国債の保有額を日本銀行券(お札)の発行高までとする「銀行券ルール」を一時停止した。このルールが天井となり、量的緩和を積極的に進めにくくなることを避ける狙いだ。

There has been concern in the market and elsewhere, however, that the bank's purchases of government bonds could spin out of control, a situation in which such purchases would be used to cover deficits in the government's finances.
 ただし、市場などでは、日銀の国債購入に歯止めがなくなり、財政赤字の穴埋めにつながるとする懸念も出ている。

Monetary easing not enough

It is necessary for the government to demonstrate in a tangible way its resolve to exercise fiscal discipline by such means as cutting back on wasteful fiscal spending to prevent the development of mistrust in government bonds.
 国債の信認が失墜する事態を招かぬよう、政府はムダな財政支出の削減など、財政規律の確保を行動で示す必要がある。

Although the first faint glimmers of a silver lining around the economy can be seen, the lingering dearth of demand means that ongoing efforts against deflation remain in shackles.
 景気は明るさを増してきたが、依然として需要不足がデフレ克服の足かせとなっている。

It can hardly be possible to achieve the 2 percent inflation target in two years solely by means of monetary easing.
金融緩和だけで、2%のインフレ目標を2年で達成するのは難しい。

To materialize a "favorable boost in prices," accompanied by improvements in business activities and employment, it is imperative for the government to push ahead with a growth strategy through such measures as helping nurture new, promising kinds of industry and working to foster external demand in Asia and elsewhere.
 景気・雇用の改善を伴う「良い物価上昇」を実現するため、政府が新産業の育成やアジアなど海外需要の拡大に向けて、成長戦略を推進することが不可欠だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 5, 2013)
(2013年4月5日01時49分  読売新聞)

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イレッサ訴訟 重い教訓を薬事行政に生かせ

[The Yomiuri Shimbun] April 6, 2013
イレッサ訴訟 重い教訓を薬事行政に生かせ(4月5日付・読売社説)
EDITORIAL / Govt must use lessons in Iressa suit?to make drug administration sound

The government should consider the problems that became clear in the Iressa case as bitter lessons. It now faces a test as to whether it can effectively utilize those lessons in its administration of pharmaceutical affairs hereafter.
 裁判で浮き彫りになった問題点を教訓とし、今後の薬事行政にどう生かすかが問われよう。

Claiming that patients died from side effects of the lung cancer drug Iressa, bereaved family members filed a damages lawsuit against the government and AstraZeneca K.K., the importer and seller of the drug. It is clear now the suit will end in a total defeat for the plaintiffs.
 肺がん治療薬「イレッサ」の副作用で死亡したとして、患者の遺族が国と販売元のアストラゼネカ社に損害賠償を求めた訴訟は、原告の全面敗訴で終結することが確実になった。

The Supreme Court has decided to dismiss an appeal by the plaintiffs against the state. The decision confirmed the ruling by the Tokyo High Court in not holding the government liable for damages for the deaths. The court is also expected to render a decision in favor of AstraZeneca shortly. The case, which has lasted about eight years, raises questions about how the government should administer pharmaceutical affairs.
 最高裁が、国に対する原告側の上告を受け付けないことを決め、国の勝訴が確定した。ア社の勝訴も近く確定する見通しだ。約8年間にわたり、薬事行政の在り方が問われた裁判の区切りである。

Iressa is an orally administered tablet, which was approved by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry in July 2002, before its approval in other countries. It was an unusually quick process, with approval coming just five months after the application was filed. The reputation of the drug being easy to swallow with few side effects was widespread and its usage spread quickly.
 イレッサは錠剤の飲み薬で、2002年7月、厚生労働省が世界に先駆けて承認した。申請から5か月という異例のスピード承認だった。「飲みやすく、副作用が少ない」との評判が広がり、医療現場で一気に普及した。

However, many patients began dying one after another after undertaking Iressa treatment. The number of deaths suspected to have been caused by Iressa side effects, such as interstitial pneumonia, has reached about 860.
 ところが、服用後に死亡する患者が相次いだ。間質性肺炎など、イレッサの副作用が疑われる死亡例は約860件に上っている。

A major bone of contention in the trial was whether AstraZeneca's provision of information on Iressa's side effects to medical institutions was sufficient. Another issue was whether the health ministry had given appropriate instructions to the pharmaceutical firm.
 裁判の争点となったのは、ア社の医療機関への副作用情報の提供は十分だったか、という点だ。厚労省がア社に適切な指導を行っていたかどうかも争われた。

Many problems must be solved

With the decision, we can say the Supreme Court has found no fault requiring compensation by either the firm or the state. However, the case highlighted mounting problems that the company and government must reflect upon.
 最高裁は、ア社、厚労省には賠償を命じるべき落ち度はないと判断したと言える。だが、反省すべき問題は山積している。

During clinical tests, Iressa's side effects were already known. Despite this, AstraZeneca emphasized the efficacy of the drug in its advertising. The question remains whether this attitude may have exacerbated the problem.
 臨床試験段階で、イレッサの副作用は既に確認されていた。にもかかわらず、新薬の効き目にPRの比重を置いたア社の姿勢が、問題を大きくした側面はないか。

Although the correlation between the consumption of Iressa and the deaths was not clear, it took three months after approval for the health ministry to issue instructions to the drug firm to issue emergency information advising doctors to carefully administer the drug.
 死亡とイレッサの因果関係は明確でなかったにせよ、慎重な投与を求めるため、厚労省がア社に緊急情報を出すよう指示したのは、承認から3か月も後だった。

Another problem is that the risks of side effects were not thoroughly made clear to doctors, creating a situation in which sufficient explanations were not provided to patients.
 副作用の危険性が医師に周知されず、患者に十分な説明がなされなかったという問題もある。

The health ministry must use this trial as a signal to its pharmaceutical affairs administration, which consequently did not respond seriously enough to the side effects of the drug.
 今回の裁判について、厚労省は、副作用への対応を結果的に軽んじた薬事行政に対する警鐘と受け止めるべきだ。

Speedy approval still necessary

However, on the other hand, the ministry should not be excessively cautious in approving medicines. Accelerated approval of drugs suits the current times.
 ただ、一方で、医薬品の承認が過度に慎重になってはならない。承認のスピードアップは、時代の要請である。

In cases where patients have severe diseases, such as terminal cancer, many of them want to take new drugs, even being keenly aware of possible side effects. Regarding Iressa, last year about 7,500 patients began taking the drug.
 末期がんなど、重篤な患者の場合、副作用を承知した上で、新薬を望むケースは少なくない。イレッサについても、昨年は新たに約7500人が服用している。

The health ministry must create a situation in which drugs are available to patients as quickly as possible. For their part, pharmaceutical firms need to ensure doctors thoroughly understand all information on new drugs, including the negative factors such as side effects. It is important for the government to thoroughly observe these basics of pharmaceutical administration.
 厚労省は、新薬を患者にできるだけ早く投与できるようにする。製薬会社は、副作用などのマイナス面を含む全ての情報を周知する。こうした薬事行政の基本を徹底することが重要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 5, 2013)
(2013年4月5日01時49分  読売新聞)

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海洋基本計画 資源開発へ産官学の連携図れ

[The Yomiuri Shimbun] April 5, 2013
Industry, govt, academia cooperation needed on resource development
海洋基本計画 資源開発へ産官学の連携図れ(4月4日付・読売社説)

The development of marine energy resources in the seas around Japan needs to be accelerated through cooperation between the industry, government and academic sectors to secure a stable energy supply for the nation's future.
 日本近海に眠る海洋資源の開発を産官学の連携によって加速し、将来の安定的なエネルギー確保につなげたい。

The government has unveiled a draft of its "basic maritime plan," which will serve as the nation's marine policy for the next five years.
 政府が、今後5年間の海洋政策の基本方針となる「海洋基本計画」の原案を公表した。

The Cabinet under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to decide on the policy within the month, making the development of Japan's marine resources a pillar of its growth strategies by considering it "an innovation to bring about new potential."
今月中に閣議決定し、海洋資源開発を「新たな可能性をもたらすイノベーション(技術革新)」と位置付けて成長戦略の柱とする。

With the aim of commercializing resources such as rare earths and methane hydrate, known as "burnable ice," which contains methane gas, the draft lays out the government's plan to improve the system to develop these resources together with the private sector.
 原案は、天然ガスの主成分メタンを含んで「燃える氷」と言われるメタンハイドレートや、レアアース(希土類)などの商業化を目指し、「官民を挙げた開発体制の整備に取り組む」と明記した。

It is entirely appropriate for Japan, which lacks abundant domestic natural resources on land, to make genuine efforts to develop its marine resources.
 資源に乏しく、石油などを輸入に頼る日本が海洋資源開発に本腰を入れるのは、妥当である。

Securing an advantage

To this end, the government succeeded last month in its experimental extraction of methane hydrate from the seabed off the coast of Aichi and Mie prefectures.
 政府は3月中旬、愛知・三重県沖でメタンハイドレートの試験採取に成功した。

The seas near Japan are thought to hold enough methane hydrate to supply it with natural gas for 100 years at current domestic consumption levels.
日本周辺には、国内の天然ガス消費量の約100年分が埋蔵されているという。

Almost all of the nation's nuclear power plants have stopped operating, pushing up the cost of electricity generation.
 日本では、ほとんどの原子力発電所が運転を停止し、電力コストが増大している。

Securing a new domestic energy source would give the nation an advantage when negotiating the price of liquefied natural gas, which continues to hover at high levels, and that of shale gas, which is expected to be imported from North America and elsewhere.
 新たな国産エネルギーを確保できれば、高値が続く液化天然ガス(LNG)や、北米などからの輸入が期待されるシェールガスなどの価格交渉でも有利に働こう。

Yet these marine resources lie under the deep seafloor, and little is known about their topographical distribution. It is therefore vital to develop technologies to probe for and extract these valuable resources in a stable and economically feasible manner.
 ただし、資源が埋まっているのは、深い海底である。その分布さえ正確に把握できていない。安定的かつ経済的に資源を探査・回収する技術の開発が急務だ。

With regard to methane hydrate, the draft sets the goal of "enhancing the relevant technologies so as to commercialize methane hydrate by fiscal 2018."
 メタンハイドレートについて、原案は「2018年度を目途(めど)に商業化の実現に向けた技術の整備を行う」との目標を掲げている。

It is thus seen as vital to make use of the private sector's technology and knowledge.
 それには、民間の技術や知見の活用が重要だ。

It will probably take a very long time for the resources to be developed on a commercial basis, and the development costs are likely to be sizable. Close cooperation between industry, government and academia is crucial.
実際の商業化までには長い時間がかかり、開発コストも巨額に上るだろう。産官学の緊密な連携が欠かせない。

Having attached great importance to the development of their own marine resources, China and South Korea are also making efforts through public-private sector cooperation. The further escalation of international rivalry in this field is inevitable.
 中国や韓国も海洋資源開発を重視し、官民一体で取り組んでいる。国際競争が一層激化することは不可避である。

Legal infrastructure needed

The draft has pointed out that to implement all relevant measures, it is necessary to create laws to support Japan's resource development activities within its exclusive economic zone.
 原案は、諸施策を具体化するには、排他的経済水域(EEZ)内での開発活動の裏付けとなる法整備が必要だと指摘した。

The development of legal foundations for dealing with various issues related to marine resource development, such as the coordination of issues related to fishing rights, are also called for in the draft.
漁業権との調整など、海洋開発に特有の様々な事項について法的基盤をつくることを目指す。

Japan is the sixth-largest country in the world in terms of the total area of its territorial waters and exclusive economic zone. For Japan to demonstrate to other countries its basic stance on marine resource development, legislative improvements are needed.
 日本の領海とEEZの合計面積は世界6位と広大だ。資源開発に関する基本姿勢を対外的に示すためにも法整備を進めるべきだ。

In light of China's claim to the Senkaku Islands, demonstrated by the repeated incursions of its vessels in waters near them, the draft also lists measures to protect Japan's territorial land and waters.
 沖縄県の尖閣諸島周辺で続く中国の示威行動などを念頭に、領土・領海を守る施策も列挙されている。

An upgrade to the current arrangements of the Japan Coast Guard and the Self-Defense Forces is urgently needed to reflect these changing realities.
海上保安庁や自衛隊の体制拡充を急がねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 4, 2013)
(2013年4月4日01時25分  読売新聞)

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電力改革方針 性急では成長戦略に反する

[The Yomiuri Shimbun] April 4, 2013
Hasty electric power system reform could hinder economic growth
電力改革方針 性急では成長戦略に反する(4月3日付・読売社説)

Will the government's reform to the electric power system spur economic growth? There is good reason to doubt it.
 この電力システム改革で、経済成長を促進できるのだろうか。疑問の残る内容である。

The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a basic policy for electric power system reform. It proposed full liberalization of retail sales of electricity, including that for households, in 2016.
 政府が、電力制度改革の基本方針を閣議決定した。3年後の2016年に家庭向けを含め電力小売りを全面自由化する。

The policy also calls for separating the power generation from the power transmission and distribution businesses in five to seven years by requiring power companies to set up separate group firms for such businesses.
5~7年後には電力会社の発電と送配電を分社する「発送電分離」を実施するとしている。

The Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe regards electric power reform as a central pillar of its overall growth strategy. It probably expects such reform will lower electricity rates through increased competition and spur growth in related industries.
 安倍内閣は電力改革を成長戦略の柱とする考えだ。競争促進による電気料金の低下や、関連産業の成長を期待しているのだろう。

However, if the cheap, stable supply of electricity is disrupted as a result of the hasty reform, economic growth will not result, and it will only deal a blow to the country's economy.
 ただし、性急な改革が引き金となり、安価で安定した電力の供給が揺らぐようでは、成長どころか経済に打撃を与えかねない。

We believe the positive effects, as well as the side effects, of the electric power system reform must be properly assessed.
制度改革の効果と副作用を、しっかり見極めることが重要だ。

Reform with caution

In particular, pushing through the reform while the power supply situation remains on a tightrope must be avoided. The Liberal Democratic Party has called on the government to make efforts to ensure a stable electricity supply. This request is appropriate.
 特に、電力供給が綱渡りのまま改革を強行するのは避けねばならない。自民党は政府に、電力の安定供給の確保に努めるよう求めた。当然の指摘といえる。

Top priority should be given to resolving the serious power shortage situation by reactivating idled reactors once their safety has been confirmed.
 安全を確認できた原子力発電所を再稼働し、深刻な電力不足を解消することが先決である。

The concern is that the separation of power generation and transmission, which is the centerpiece of the reform, could disrupt the stable supply of power. Finely tuned responses allowed under the current integrated supply system, such as adjustments to the amount of power generated according to such factors as weather temperature, could become difficult if power generation and transmission are handled by different companies.
 改革の目玉とされる発送電分離は、電力供給の安定を損なう懸念もある。気温の変化にあわせた発電量の調節など、現在の一貫供給体制で行われているきめ細かな対応が、分社化で難しくなると見られるためだ。

Indeed, in the United States and South Korea, a lack of cooperation due to the separation of power generation and power transmission have caused massive blackouts. To avoid similar problems in this country, great care must be taken in mapping out a new electric power system.
 実際に米国や韓国では、発送電分離による連携不足が、大停電を招いた。同じ轍(てつ)を踏まぬよう入念な制度設計が必要となる。

Rates could increase

Following an electricity rate hike by Tokyo Electric Power Co. in September, Kansai Electric Power Co. and Kyushu Electric Power Co. also will raise their rates for households starting in May.
 昨年9月の東京電力に続いて、関西、九州の両電力も5月から家庭向けの電気料金を値上げする。

People's frustration with a "regional monopoly system" that does not allow them to choose a power company freely will likely grow. We expect the liberalization of retail sales of electric power will at least bring fresh air into the monopoly system.
自由に電力会社を選べない「地域独占」への不満は強まろう。小売りの自由化は、地域独占に風穴を開けることが期待できる。

The liberalization, however, will not necessarily lead to substantially lower electricity rates, as seen in telecommunications charges. In fact, if the current power supply shortage remains unchanged, rates are likely to increase.
 だが、自由化によって、通信料金のような大幅な値下げが実現するとは限らない。電力の供給不足が続けば、むしろ料金が上昇する可能性が大きい。

Also, it would be difficult to promote entry into the market by new electric power suppliers and realize active price competition. Large-lot electricity sales to companies have been gradually liberalized since more than 10 years ago, yet the market share held by new entrants is only at about the 3 percent level.
 電気事業者の参入を促し、活発な価格競争を実現させるのも、容易ではない。企業向けの大口電力は10年以上前から順次、販売の自由化が進められた。それでも、新規事業者のシェア(占有率)は、わずか3%台にとどまる。

If the electric power market is further liberalized while power companies maintain their overwhelming influence, an unregulated monopoly could damage consumers' interests.
 電力会社が圧倒的な力を持ったまま、さらに自由化すると、「規制なき独占」が消費者の利益を損なう恐れがある。

The government's approval system for household electricity rates has the effect of preventing rates from surging, as seen in recent cases where power company rate hikes were limited by government screenings. Careful judgment must be exercised in deciding whether to abolish the approval system.
 家庭向け料金の認可制は、電力各社が申請した値上げ幅を審査で圧縮したように、一定の歯止め効果がある。認可制廃止の是非は、慎重に判断すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 3, 2013)
(2013年4月3日01時19分  読売新聞)

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2013年4月 5日 (金)

新・歌舞伎座 花形役者が拓く新たな時代

[The Yomiuri Shimbun] April 4, 2013
New Kabukiza provides great stage for rising generation of kabuki stars
新・歌舞伎座 花形役者が拓く新たな時代(4月3日付・読売社説)

The opening of the new Kabukiza theater has raised the curtain on a new era for the performing art. We look forward to watching traditional and creative performances at the new theater.
 歌舞伎の新時代の幕開けだ。伝統と創造の芸に期待したい。

The Kabukiza, a center of traditional entertainment, reopened Tuesday in Tokyo's Ginza district after three years of construction.
 伝統芸能の殿堂、東京・銀座の歌舞伎座が3年間の建て替え工事を終えて装い新たに開場した。

On the first day, living national treasure Sakata Tojuro and other well-known kabuki actors performed celebratory dances. Many fans had been eagerly counting down the days until this moment.
 初日のこけら落とし公演では、人間国宝の坂田藤十郎さんらによる祝いの舞踊などが披露された。この日を心待ちにしていたファンは多かっただろう。

The current Kabukiza is the fifth incarnation of the building first constructed on the same site in the Meiji era (1868-1912). The new theater has inherited much of its former exterior and interior designed in the Momoyama style.
 完成した劇場は、明治時代、現在地に開場した初代歌舞伎座から数えて5代目となる。桃山様式の外観や内装は先代のものをほぼ忠実に継承した。

The new Kabukiza offers unobstructed views of the hanamichi platform, which runs from the back of the theater to the stage, even from lower-priced seats on the third floor. The audience has small personal monitors that provide information such as lines of the plays.
 料金が安い3階席からも花道が見えるようになった。小型モニターで、せりふなどを確認できる。

It is typical of the Kabukiza to absorb sophisticated ideas while protecting its traditional style.
「型」を守りつつ、「粋」なアイデアを取り入れたところが、いかにも歌舞伎座らしい。

A Japanese-style garden on the theater's roof is open to the public for free. The adjacent Kabukiza tower affords a view of both the theater's splendid roof tiles and the garden. It is indeed "zekkei kana" (what a superb view!)--a famous line from a kabuki drama.
 劇場の屋上に設けられた日本庭園は無料開放される。併設の歌舞伎座タワーからは劇場の華麗な瓦屋根と庭園を見下ろせる。まさに「絶景かな」の光景だ。

A new landmark

The Kabukiza likely will become a new landmark that will be fondly visited not only by elderly kabuki fans but also young people and foreign tourists.
 年配の歌舞伎ファンだけでなく、若者や外国人観光客にも親しめる新名所となるだろう。

Last December, Nakamura Kanzaburo XVIII, a popular kabuki actor who led the Heisei Nakamura-za troupe, died. Ichikawa Danjuro XII, another kabuki icon, died suddenly in February.
 昨年12月、「平成中村座」を率いた人気役者の十八代目中村勘三郎さんが亡くなった。今年2月には、象徴的存在だった十二代目市川団十郎さんも急死した。

The deaths of these leading stars were great losses to the kabuki world. But the younger stars, including Kanzaburo's sons, Nakamura Kankuro and Shichinosuke, and Danjuro's son Ichikawa Ebizo, who have inherited performing styles and techniques from their fathers, have improved their performing skills.
 大看板役者を失ったのは、確かに痛手だが、二人の芸を継ぐ中村勘九郎、七之助兄弟や市川海老蔵さんら、息子たちの世代が実力をつけつつある。

Ahead of the theater's reopening, a parade of kabuki actors was held on Ginza's main street. Many spectators cheered for the young kabuki stars, on whose shoulders the future of kabuki rests. These scenes hinted at the generation change coming to the kabuki world.
 歌舞伎座開場に先立ち、銀座の目抜き通りで行われた「お練り」では、新時代を拓(ひら)く若手の花形役者に大きな声援が飛んだ。世代交代の息吹が感じられた。

We hope both eminent and young kabuki actors will cherish the wishes of Danjuro and Kanzaburo and improve their skills by learning from each other to enthrall spectators at the refurbished Kabukiza.
 団十郎さんと勘三郎さんの遺志を継ぎ、名優と若手が切磋琢磨(せっさたくま)して、再開場した歌舞伎座で観客を魅了してほしい。

Seeking new in old form

Kabuki originated in the Edo period (1603-1867) as entertainment for commoners. The term kabuki is believed to have derived from the old word "kabuku," which refers to showy outfits and bold and rambunctious acts.
 江戸時代から庶民に親しまれてきた歌舞伎の語源は、古語の「傾(かぶ)く」だ。派手な衣装や奔放な行動を指し示す言葉だった。

"Super Kabuki" plays initiated by then Ichikawa Ennosuke III, who has since been renamed Eno, successfully incorporated many innovative features. These plays, such as "Yamato Takeru," fit snugly with the idea of "kabuku."
 三代目市川猿之助(現・猿翁)さんが始めた「ヤマトタケル」などのスーパー歌舞伎は、「傾く」という言葉がふさわしい斬新な演出で大当たりした。

Now all eyes are the kabuki actors in the current Heisei era as they grace a new stage.
 これからも、平成のかぶき者たちが発信する「ひのき舞台」に熱い視線が注がれよう。

Kabuki has been designated as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO. In recent years, kabuki has been acclaimed internationally after successful performances in Europe and the United States.
 歌舞伎は世界無形文化遺産に登録されている。近年、欧米公演が成功を収め、その芸は国際的にも広く認められている。

We hope the performing art will evolve further from its base in the Kabukiza.
 歌舞伎座を拠点に一層発展してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 3, 2013)
(2013年4月3日01時19分  読売新聞)

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資金力不足の人でも優勝のチャンス FXトレードコンテスト

2013年4月4日、エイプリルフールから僅か三日目ですが、私はFX取引関連で、まだエイプリルフールが続いているような感覚に襲われました。
それは、日銀の黒田総裁が今後二年間の大胆な金融緩和政策を発表した直後に起こりました。

僅か半日で、ドル円為替レートが4円も円安に振れたのですからね。
正直言って、腰が抜けてしまいました^^。
一晩に1円変動というのは、アベノミクスで何度も経験いたしました。

ですが、4円というのはいかがなものでしょうか。
日銀、男、黒田の真骨頂というところですが、素直に喜ぶことが出来ませんでした。
今後の副作用を考えると、身震いを禁じ得ませんでした。

でも、これはFX投資の千載一遇のチャンスということが出来ます。
米国のヘッジファンドは裏の裏、そのまた裏を読んでポジジョンをしかけてきます。
日本人としては、ここは負けていられないところなのです(マジで)。

FXトレードコンテストのご紹介をいたします。
このコンテストでは、私のような資金不足のトレーダーだって勝つチャンスがございます。
期間中に口座内のご資金を何%増やす事ができるか(収益率)で競争するルールなのです。
これなら私にも勝利のチャンスはあります^^。

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2013年4月 4日 (木)

近隣諸国条項―成熟した国の姿を示す

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 2
EDITORIAL: Textbook screening provision is testament to Japan’s maturity
近隣諸国条項―成熟した国の姿を示す

How should sensitive issues concerning modern and contemporary history and territorial disputes be taught at school? This question is debated almost annually at this time of the year, when the results of the education ministry’s screening of school textbooks are announced.
 近現代史や領土の問題をどう教えるべきか。教科書検定の結果が公表されるこの季節、毎年のように議論がくり返される。

The question is particularly relevant this year because it was the first textbook screening since the Liberal Democratic Party returned to power. During its campaign for the December Lower House election, the LDP promised to review a provision requiring the government to pay consideration to Japan’s past relations with neighboring countries when screening school textbooks.
 とりわけ今回は、自民党が総選挙で「近隣諸国条項の見直し」を掲げて政権についてから初めて出される検定だった。この機会に改めて考えたい。

The stipulation is part of the screening standards. It calls for “necessary consideration from the viewpoint of international understanding and cooperation” in dealing with topics concerning Japan’s relations with its Asian neighbors in modern and contemporary history.
 この条項は検定基準の一項目であり、アジア諸国との近現代史の扱いに「国際理解と国際協調の見地から必要な配慮」をすると定めている。

Critics argue that this regulation makes it easier for foreign countries to interfere with the content of Japanese school textbooks and helps create textbooks with “self-deprecating and biased” content.
 これが外国からの教科書への口出しをしやすくし、教科書を「自虐的で偏向した」内容にしているとの批判がある。

Indeed, we inevitably feel uncomfortable when our own school textbooks are criticized by other countries.
 たしかに教科書の書きぶりを他国からあれこれ言われるのは気持ちのよいものではない。

But there is no denying the importance of teaching children both light and dark sides of history and thereby helping them develop respect for other countries, not just in Asia but all over the world.
 しかし、そもそも子どもたちに歴史の光と影の両面を教え、アジアに限らず世界の国々を尊重する態度を養うことが大切なのは当然である。

Rather than as part of the screening standards, the stipulation in question has been serving as a declaration of our country’s commitment to seeking international cooperation and teaching history in an objective manner without lapsing into self-righteousness.
 わが国は国際協調を重んじ、独善に陥ることなく、客観的に歴史を教える。この条項は実際の検定基準としてより、内外にその姿勢を示す宣言として働いてきた。

This stipulation reflects Japan’s soul-searching about its militarist education before and during World War II. Abolishing this proviso would send neighboring countries the message that we will stop considering their feelings.
もちろん、そこには戦前の教育への反省が込められている。
 条項を削れば、近隣諸国にわざわざ「配慮をやめる」とメッセージを送る意味を帯びる。

In addition, it is hard to claim that Japanese school textbooks are written in a way dictated by other countries because of this stipulation.
 また、条項があるゆえに日本の教科書が外国の言いなりに書かれているとは言いがたい。

This year, for instance, a passage saying that the Senkaku Islands, the source of a bitter territorial dispute between Japan and China, belong to Okinawa Prefecture was added to descriptions in a textbook after the education ministry urged the publisher to make it clear that the islands are Japanese territory.
 たとえば、今回は尖閣諸島が日本の領土とわかるようにとの意見がつき、「沖縄県に所属する」と加筆された例がある。

In recent years, both China and South Korea have repeatedly protested descriptions concerning territorial issues in Japanese textbooks. But the education ministry has not sought changes in the criticized descriptions in response to their protests.
 領土の記述には近年、中韓から抗議が繰り返されているが、文部科学省はそれを受けて書きかえを指示してはいない。

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology says that, to the best of its knowledge, the last time it issued a screening instruction based on the provision was in fiscal 1991, and there has since not been a single case to this day.
 文科省によると、条項に基づいて検定意見がついたのは確認できるかぎり91年度が最後で、今回もなかった。

The stipulation was established more than three decades ago after China filed a protest against a reported revision to textbook descriptions concerning Japan’s war with China during the screening in fiscal 1981.
At that time, many Japanese media, including The Asahi Shimbun, reported that Japan’s “invasion of north China” had been changed to Japan’s “advance to north China.”
 この条項は81年度検定で「華北を侵略」が「華北に進出」に書きかえられたと朝日新聞を含む多くのメディアが報じ、中国などから抗議を受けてできた。

Behind the argument for reviewing the provision are the views that there was actually no such change and that the rule was born out of a misunderstanding of fact.
実際は書きかえはなく、事実誤認から生まれた条項だという見方が見直し論の背景にはある。

News media should regret their false reports. But the ministry has acknowledged that there were actually cases in which the word “invasion” in textbook descriptions of Japan’s wartime acts was changed to “inroads” or “advance” as a result of screening in that and other years.
 誤報は反省しなければならない。ただ、「侵略」を「侵入」「進出」などに変えた事例はこの年や過去の検定で他にあったと文科省は説明している。

It would be unfair to say the decision to establish the provision was based on a mistaken judgment.
条項を作った当時の判断までが誤りだったとはいえない。

If misguided protests are made over Japanese textbooks, the government can simply dismiss them by providing detailed explanations based on accepted academic theories.
 的外れな抗議があったときはきちんと学説をふまえて説明すればよい。

If Japan acts as a calm and mature nation, Japanese children will grow to be proud of their country in due course.
冷静で成熟した国の姿を示せば、子どもたちの誇りはおのずと育まれる。

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日本の科学力―研究の場を育てる意味

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 1
EDITORIAL: Japan losing competitiveness in science sector
日本の科学力―研究の場を育てる意味

Since science represents humanity's collective intelligence, it has no national borders. As such, it does quite fine without contributions from researchers in some countries.
 科学に国境はない。どこかの国の研究者が貢献しなくても、人類の集合知としての科学はいっこうに困らない。

But those countries will have to accept the inconvenience of having to part with some of their collective wealth in exchange for importing goods that require high-level scientific knowledge and technology to produce.
 ただ、そんな国でくらす人々は少々困るかもしれない。高度な知識や技術による製品は輸入するしかなくなり、お代として国の富が流れ出す。

With the distance between science and industry shrinking, competition has become severe in the world of science. But Japan appears to be lagging behind, according to the National Institute of Science and Technology Policy, which analyzed the databases of science and technology papers published around the world.
 産業との距離が縮み、競争が激しい科学の世界で、日本の地盤沈下を思わせる調査がまとまった。

The institute, affiliated with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, found that the volume of papers and monographs, authored or co-authored by scientists at Japanese universities, research organs and private corporations, has not increased much in and after the 2000s.
文部科学省の研究所が科学技術論文のデータベースを分析したところ、2000年代に入って日本の大学や研究機関、企業の研究者が名を連ねる論文の数が伸び悩んでいた。

Globally, the output of science and technology papers and monographs has risen by 48 percent in the last decade. But in Japan, the increase was a paltry 3 percent.
 10年間で全世界が48%も増えたのに日本はわずか3%増だ。

China and South Korea have registered phenomenal growths of 360 percent and 192 percent, respectively. The corresponding figures were 20 to 30 percent for the United States and European nations. In global rankings, Japan tumbled from second place to fifth place, having fallen behind China, Germany and Britain. Japan's share fell from 9.5 percent to 6.6 percent.
 中国の360%増や韓国の192%増はおいても、欧米先進国も20~30%増。日本は国別順位で中国、ドイツ、英国に抜かれ2位から5位に、シェアも9・5%から6・6%に下げた。

Similar trends are seen in the rankings and shares of Japanese papers and monographs that are frequently quoted around the world.
 他の論文での引用が多い注目論文の数やシェアでも同様だ。

One of the reasons for this decline is that Japanese scientists have been slow to participate in international joint studies, whereas their European counterparts have made a point to actively engage in multinational research undertakings. In the case of Chinese scientists, who have become the most frequent co-authors of American scientists, many have studied in the United States and have continued to collaborate with U.S. scientists after returning to China.
 原因の一つは国際共同研究の流れに乗り遅れていることだ。欧州各国は意識的に「多国籍研究」を進めている。米国の共著相手トップに躍り出た中国は、米国留学組が帰国後も共同研究するケースが多い。

Another reason for Japan's decline is its weak ties to "hot" areas of research that are rapidly emerging from increased interdisciplinary pursuits. One such field is so-called complex network science, which spans the disciplines of mathematics, engineering, biochemistry and infectious disease medicine.
 もう一つは、学際・分野融合的な部分で次々に生まれているホットな研究領域へのかかわりが弱いことだ。たとえば、数学や工学、生化学、感染症学などの境界ですすむ「ネットワーク科学」への関与は薄い。

We suspect departmental turfs at Japanese universities are too rigidly defined. It is vital that universities become more open and try to keep abreast of global trends.
 大学の学部や学科の壁が強固すぎるのではないか。内向きの姿勢をあらため、世界の潮流を見失わないことが重要だ。

As for research and development expenditures by university departments around the world, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) statistics and others show that the real growth rate in Japan was 5 percent in the 2000s, compared with 30 to 60 percent in the United States and Europe, a whopping 335 percent in China and 134 percent in South Korea. The numbers correspond almost exactly to the growth in the volume of published papers and monographs.
 くわえて、経済協力開発機構(OECD)の統計などによると、各国の大学部門の研究開発費は00年代、日本が実質5%増だったのに対し、欧米諸国は30~60%増、中国は335%増、韓国は134%増。論文数の伸びとうり二つなのだ。

Also, in the amounts spent on research and development in terms of ratios against gross domestic product, Japan fell behind the United States, Britain and Germany.
 絶対額の水準も、国内総生産(GDP)比でみると、日本は米英独などを下回っている。

Unlike in most developed nations of the world, about half the research and development costs in Japan are borne by household budgets--university students or their families. At private universities, the costs are almost entirely covered by tuition.
 日本の場合、ほかの先進国と違い、研究開発費の約半分を家計が負担している。私立大学では、ほとんどが授業料などでまかなわれているためだ。

The central and local governments invest little on research at universities. At 0.8 percent of GDP including scholarship funds, which is below the OECD average of 1.4 percent, Japan ranks among the lowest in the world. Public investments in universities are growing not only in China and South Korea, but in the United States and Europe as well.
 国や自治体から大学への投資は少ない。奨学金などを含めてもGDPの0・8%で、OECD平均の1・4%を下回り最低水準だ。中国や韓国はむろん、欧米先進国も大学への投資を充実させている。

Deciding where to position scientific research under the current fiscal restraints is a matter that needs to be seen from a long-term perspective.
 限られた財政のなかに科学力をどう位置づけるか。長い視野で見るべき課題である。

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2013年4月 3日 (水)

長嶋氏と松井氏 師弟の国民栄誉賞を祝いたい

[The Yomiuri Shimbun] April 3, 2013
Editorial / Awards for 2 baseball legends a cause for celebration
長嶋氏と松井氏 師弟の国民栄誉賞を祝いたい(4月2日付・読売社説)

"Mr. Pro Baseball" and "Godzilla" will simultaneously be given an award. This is glad tidings for spring, the start of the professional baseball season.
 「ミスタープロ野球」と「ゴジラ」のダブル受賞だ。
 球春にふさわしい朗報である。

The government decided Monday to grant the People's Honor Award to Shigeo Nagashima, the Yomiuri Giants' honorary lifetime manager, and Hideki Matsui, a former slugger for the Giants and New York Yankees.
 政府は、プロ野球の長嶋茂雄・読売巨人軍終身名誉監督と、巨人や米大リーグ・ヤンキースなどで活躍した松井秀喜氏に国民栄誉賞を贈ることを決めた。

Both players have made shining achievements and contributed greatly to the development of Japanese pro baseball. Both are widely loved in Japan. Everyone would surely agree they deserve this award for these reasons.
 両氏は輝かしい実績を残し、プロ野球の隆盛に大きく貢献した。多くの国民から愛されている。こうした点が高く評価されての受賞には、誰もが納得するだろう。

We congratulate both men on being selected for this prestigious accolade.
 栄えある受賞を祝福したい。

Sadaharu Oh and Sachio Kinugasa are the only other pro baseball players who have won this award. The names of Oh and Nagashima--Yomiuri teammates whose feats formed the cornerstone of pro Japanese baseball--will now sit alongside each other in the records of the award.
 プロ野球界では過去に、王貞治氏と衣笠祥雄氏に国民栄誉賞が贈られている。
 長嶋氏の受賞により、日本の球界を支えたONがそろって賞の歴史に名を連ねることになる。

'Mr. Baseball' the mentor...

Nagashima has of course made a remarkable contribution to the development of pro baseball as a national sport. Nagashima spell-bound fans with a number of memorable performances, including a game-ending home run in 1959 at the first game attended by the Emperor.
 長嶋氏は言うまでもなく、プロ野球を国民的スポーツに発展させた最大の功労者である。1959年の天覧試合でのサヨナラ本塁打をはじめ、記憶に残るプレーでファンを魅了した。

Many children began playing baseball after being inspired by Nagashima and his uniform with the number "3" on the back.
Nagashima's constant cheerfulness also greatly contributed to his tremendous popularity.
 背番号「3」に憧れ、野球を始めた子どもたちは多い。絶大な人気を誇ってきたのは、持ち前の明るさによるところも大きい。

During his retirement ceremony following his final game in 1974, Nagashima told the crowd, "My Giants are eternally indestructible." Old-time baseball fans still speak of this moment.
 「わが巨人軍は永久に不滅です」との言葉を残した74年の引退セレモニーは、今でも語り草だ。

During his managerial career at the Giants from 1974 to 1980 and from 1992 until 2001, his team won the Central League pennant five times and the Japan Series twice.
 2度にわたる巨人の監督時代には、リーグ優勝5回、うち2回は日本一に輝いた。

Nagashima suffered a stroke in 2004 and is still doing intensive rehabilitation exercises. After the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, Nagashima said, "Compared with the hardships people in disaster-affected areas are going through, my illness is a trivial matter." His invariably positive attitude must have encouraged many people.
 2004年に脳梗塞で倒れ、今も懸命のリハビリを続けている。長嶋氏は、東日本大震災の後、「被災地の方に比べれば、僕の病気なんて小さなことだと思う」と語っている。
 常に前向きの姿勢は、多くの人の励みとなっているだろう。

...and 'Godzilla' the mentee

Matsui has looked up to Nagashima as a mentor throughout his career.
 こうした長嶋氏を師と仰ぐのが松井氏だ。

During his time with the Giants, Matsui led the Central League in home runs and RBI three times, and was the league's leading hitter once. His prodigious hitting made him the face of Japanese professional baseball.
巨人在籍時には、本塁打王と打点王を各3回、首位打者を1回獲得するなど、日本を代表する強打者として活躍した。

Matsui's sincere dedication to improving his skills has been quite impressive.
 野球に取り組む真摯(しんし)な姿が印象的だった。

In 2003, Matsui moved to the Yankees, and in the 2009 World Series, he unleashed some spectacular performances that made him the first Japanese to become the Most Valuable Player in a series. Matsui's achievements undoubtedly helped Japanese baseball win higher recognition in the United States.
 03年、ヤンキースに移籍し、09年のワールドシリーズでは、日本人初のMVPという快挙を成し遂げた。これにより、日本野球の評価が米国で一層、高まったことは間違いない。

We hope Matsui, who has retired from active competition, helps foster younger players as a coach by handing down his superb hitting technique.
 現役を引退した松井氏にはこれから先、指導者として、自らの優れた打撃術を受け継ぐ選手を育ててもらいたい。

The award for Nagashima and Matsui will also be a source of pride for Japanese professional baseball, which has just started this season's pennant race. We hope the award adds some extra spark to baseball, which has become firmly entrenched as Japan's national sport.
 両氏の受賞は、ペナントレースが開幕したばかりのプロ野球界全体にとっても誇りとなるだろう。国民に根付いたプロ野球のさらなる盛り上がりにつなげたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 2, 2013)
(2013年4月2日01時21分  読売新聞)

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北朝鮮威嚇外交 「核攻撃」予告は度が過ぎる

[The Yomiuri Shimbun] April 3, 2013
Editorial / North Korea will gain nothing from its nuclear intimidation
北朝鮮威嚇外交 「核攻撃」予告は度が過ぎる(4月2日付・読売社説)

North Korea's decision to boost its nuclear capability is a blatant provocation made in defiance of a U.N. Security Council resolution, which prohibits Pyongyang from conducting further nuclear tests or ballistic missile launches.
 核戦力の強化方針は、核実験や弾道ミサイル発射のさらなる実施を禁じた国連安全保障理事会決議への露骨な挑発だ。

The international community needs to answer this provocation by strengthening sanctions against North Korea.
 国際社会は、北朝鮮への制裁を一層徹底するなど、対応を強める必要がある。

At a general meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, the party's first secretary, Kim Jong Un, unveiled a new strategic policy aimed at boosting its nuclear capability both in quality and quantity, along with economic reconstruction. He also indicated Pyongyang would continue test-firing de facto long-range ballistic missiles.
 北朝鮮の朝鮮労働党中央委員会総会で、金正恩第1書記が、経済建設と並行して、核戦力を「質も量も拡大、強化する」という新たな戦略的路線を打ち出した。事実上の長距離弾道ミサイルの発射を続ける方針も示した。

The decision to strengthen both its economy and its nuclear arsenal was approved by the Supreme People's Assembly on Monday.
 経済建設と核戦力強化の“二兎(にと)を追う”路線は、1日に開かれた最高人民会議で追認された。

China loses face

Kim's decision made China lose face. China, a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, supported the U.N. resolution imposing sanctions on Pyongyang.
 常任理事国として対北朝鮮制裁決議に賛成した中国のメンツは、金第1書記につぶされた形だ。

China is North Korea's largest trading partner and aid donor. It also is a major supplier of energy.
 中国は、北朝鮮にとって最大の貿易相手国かつ援助国だ。エネルギーの供給元でもある。

The administration of Chinese President Xi Jinping is duty-bound to implement the sanctions resolution and apply pressure on North Korea by all available means. This would mean strengthening restrictions and monitoring the flow of money, goods and people, as well as halting the supply of crude oil and other steps.
 習近平政権は、制裁決議を確実に履行し、カネ、モノ、ヒトの移動の制限・監視を強化するのは無論、原油供給の停止など、あらゆる手段で圧力をかけるべきだ。

There also is concern that North Korea's rhetoric and actions aimed at intimidating the international community have become excessive, going far beyond conventional norms.
 国際社会を威嚇する北朝鮮の言動が、従来の次元を超えて過激になっている点も懸念される。

North Korea has torn up the armistice that halted the Korean War, and the country's supreme military command has said it will put its armed forces on the highest level of alert to ensure they are combat ready. The nation therefore has placed itself on a war footing, with Kim himself touring the front lines.
 朝鮮戦争の休戦協定の「白紙化」や、軍最高司令部による最高度の戦闘勤務態勢発令など、戦争前夜のような雰囲気を醸成し、金第1書記自らが前線を回っている。

Boasting of its nuclear weapons, Pyongyang even mentioned making preemptive nuclear strikes not only on South Korea but also on the U.S. mainland and Japan. By playing around with its nuclear arsenal, Pyongyang is acting extremely dangerously.
 核兵器保有を誇示し、韓国ばかりか米国本土、さらには日本への核先制攻撃にまで言及した。核を弄ぶ態度は危険極まりない。

The United States' unusual announcement on the participation of B-52 strategic bombers and its most advanced B-2 stealth bombers in joint military exercises with South Korea was meant to rein in North Korea.
 米国が異例にも、米韓合同軍事演習に米軍の戦略爆撃機B52と最新鋭ステルス爆撃機B2を参加させたことを公表したのは、北朝鮮を抑止するのが狙いだ。

Japan and other nations concerned must keep a close eye on North Korea's behavior and make preparations to deal with any contingency.
 日本はじめ関係国は、北朝鮮の行動を注視し、不測の事態への備えに万全を期さねばならない。

Kim solidifying power

Behind North Korea's moves is Kim's apparent desire to solidify his power base as it has been a year since he was formally named successor to his late father, Kim Jong Il.
 こうした北朝鮮の動きの背景には、父の金正日総書記の死後、後継者に正式に推挙されて1年たった金第1書記が、権力基盤を固めようとしていることがあろう。

Only 30 years old, the inexperienced North Korean leader has trumpeted the nation's most recent nuclear test and missile launch as proud achievements. Little progress has been seen in reconstructing the country's failed economy. He probably has no choice but to strengthen his influence and authority as the top leader by pursuing a military-first policy through such means as further nuclear armament.
 まだ30歳の経験不足の指導者は、核実験とミサイル発射を業績として喧伝(けんでん)している。破綻した経済の再建が少しも進まない。核武装の推進など、軍事最優先の「先軍政治」で求心力と権威を高めるしかないのだろう。

As a result, sanctions against North Korea have been strengthened, further isolating the country in the international community. Its efforts to diversify trade and invite investment are hardly likely to meet with success.
 その結果、制裁は強化され、国際社会で北朝鮮の孤立は深まるばかりだ。貿易多角化や投資呼び込みにも強いブレーキがかかる。

Kim should be keenly aware that the pursuits of nuclear armament and economic reconstruction are incompatible.
 核武装化と経済立て直しの両立はあり得ないことを、金第1書記は厳しく認識すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 2, 2013)
(2013年4月2日01時21分  読売新聞)

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2013年4月 2日 (火)

4・28記念式典 「主権」の大切さ考える日に

[The Yomiuri Shimbun] April 2, 2013
A pertinent occasion to ponder the preciousness of 'sovereignty'
4・28記念式典 「主権」の大切さ考える日に(4月1日付・読売社説)

 ◆沖縄の苦難も分かち合いたい◆

After Japan's defeat in the Showa War--a series of wars dating back to the 1931 Manchurian Incident that was followed by the Sino-Japanese War and World War II--the nation rejoined the international community as an independent state when the San Francisco Peace Treaty came into force on April 28, 1952.
 昭和の戦争に敗れた日本が独立国として国際社会に復帰したのは、サンフランシスコ講和条約が発効した1952年4月28日である。

On that day, this country was freed from the occupation by the Allied Powers that lasted about six years and eight months.
 連合国による約6年8か月の占領から解放された。

In a Cabinet meeting in March, the government decided to sponsor the first-ever ceremony on the 28th of this month to commemorate Japan's regaining of its sovereignty and return to the international community.
 政府は先の閣議で、主権回復と国際社会復帰を記念する式典を今月28日に初めて主催することを決定した。

The ceremony, to be held at Kensei-kinenkan (Memorial Hall of Constitutional Politics) near the Diet Building, will be attended by representatives from a wide spectrum of fields, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The Emperor and Empress also will be in attendance.
憲政記念館に天皇、皇后両陛下をお迎えし、安倍首相はじめ各界の代表者が出席する。

Looking back on history, we should regard this event as an opportunity to once again consider the significance of the existence of a sovereign state and living in peace.
 歴史を振り返りつつ、主権国家と平和の持つ意味を改めて考える機会としたい。

Censorship wide-reaching
 ◆「言論の自由」にも制約◆

As stipulated in Article 1 of the peace treaty, the state of belligerency between Japan and the Allied Powers under international law was brought to an end that day.
 講和条約第1条に明記されているように、日本と連合国の国際法上の戦争状態は、この日に終了した。

April 28, 1952, can therefore be regarded as the "day the war ended" in a true sense.
真の意味での「終戦の日」と位置付けることが出来よう。

Regarding Japan's postwar democratization processes, there is a strong tendency to consider that such democratic principles as "people's sovereignty" and "freedom of speech" became firmly established when the existing Constitution came into force on May 3, 1947.
 戦後の民主化と言えば、47年5月3日の新憲法施行と同時に「国民主権」や「言論の自由」が確立されたと考えられがちだ。

During the occupation by the U.S.-led General Headquarters of the Allied Powers, however, directives issued by GHQ were absolute imperatives.
 しかし、占領期の米国主体の連合国軍総司令部(GHQ)の指令は絶対的なものだった。

Voices critical of the fact that the Constitution was written under the GHQ's initiative were rigorously muzzled.
 憲法がGHQ主導で制定されたことへの批判は封じられた。

Soon after the Constitution took effect, three members of the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida, including Finance Minister Tanzan Ishibashi, were among public servants purged for failing to comply with GHQ directives.
施行直後も第1次吉田内閣の石橋湛山蔵相ら3閣僚がGHQの意に沿わず、公職追放されている。

Censorship by GHQ was wide-reaching, from criticism against occupation policies to references to international situations. When a U.S. soldier was involved in a criminal incident, Japanese media had no option but to use such euphemisms as "large man" instead of identifying the soldier by name.
 検閲の対象は、占領政策への批判から国際情勢への言及まで多岐にわたった。米兵が事件を起こしても「大男」などと婉曲(えんきょく)な表現で報道せざるを得なかった。

Photos taken just after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were shown to the public only after the Occupation ended.
 原爆が投下された直後の広島、長崎の写真が国民に開示されたのは、占領終了後だった。

The Memorial Ceremony for the War Dead sponsored by the government was first held on May 2, 1952, shortly after Japan regained independence.
 政府主催の全国戦没者追悼式は独立回復直後の52年5月2日になって初めて実施された。

Memories of the days when this country had been stripped of its sovereignty seem to be gradually fading from the minds of the Japanese people. It is crucial under the circumstances to ask again why this country lost its sovereignty and independence, in the context of Japan's history before the war.
 主権を喪失していたあの時代の記憶は日本人の間で脳裏から次第に薄れてきている。
 日本がなぜ、主権、独立を失ったのか、戦前の歴史も含めて問い直すことが大切なのである。

Disapproval in Okinawa
 ◆分離された沖縄の20年◆

In Okinawa Prefecture, the upcoming commemoration ceremony has been met with a chorus of disapproval.
 政府主催の記念式典に、沖縄では批判の声が上がっている。

This is primarily because the prefecture, along with the Amami Islands in Kagoshima Prefecture and the Ogasawara Islands, which are administered by Tokyo, was separated from the rest of Japan on April 28 61 years ago, and placed under the administration of U.S. forces. Tracts of land were seized and U.S. bases were built one after another.
 61年前の4月28日、沖縄は奄美群島(鹿児島県)、小笠原諸島(東京都)と共に日本から分離され、米軍施政下に置かれたからだ。
 土地の強制収用が進められ、米軍基地が次々と建設された。

While the movement to have Okinawa returned to the homeland grew rapidly in the 1960s, Okinawa residents even started calling April 28 "the day of humiliation."
60年代に入って祖国復帰運動が急速に盛り上がる中で、沖縄の人々は4月28日を「屈辱の日」とさえ呼ぶようになった。

The Amami Islands were handed back to Japan in 1953 and the Ogasawara Islands in 1968. But it was 1972--20 years after Japan recovered its independence--when the Okinawa Islands were returned to Japan.
 奄美群島は53年、小笠原諸島は68年にそれぞれ返還された。沖縄が祖国復帰を果たすのは、日本の独立から20年後の72年だった。

A national assembly to commemorate the recovery of sovereignty was held by the Liberal Democratic Party and others at LDP headquarters on April 28 last year. Former Deputy Okinawa Gov. Noriaki Kakazu was invited as a guest. In his address, Kakazu referred to the turbulent history of Okinawa, which went from a bloody battlefield to an occupied territory, and called for Japan to become "a nation that shares both joy and sorrow together," and for April 28 to be "a day when the people make that resolution afresh."
 昨年4月28日、自民党などが党本部で開いた主権回復記念日国民集会には、沖縄県元副知事の嘉数昇明氏が来賓として招かれた。
 嘉数氏は、戦場から被占領地になった沖縄の苦難の歴史を語り、「喜びも悲しみも共に分かち合う日本でありたい」「4・28はその覚悟を新たにする日であってほしい」と訴えていた。

 ◆「お祝いの日」ではなく◆

In its campaign pledges for the recent House of Representatives election, the LDP created a stir by spelling out its intention to hold a ceremony to celebrate "the day of the return of national sovereignty."
Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima has been lukewarm about the planned ceremony. "It would be difficult to attend if it was meant to be a celebration," he said.
 自民党が先の衆院選公約に政府主催で「主権回復の日」を祝う式典を開くとしたことも物議を醸した。沖縄県の仲井真弘多知事は、式典をめぐって「お祝いであるとすれば、出席しにくい」と慎重な姿勢を示している。

No such ceremony can be held without understanding the mixed feelings of Okinawa residents.
 沖縄県民の複雑な思いへの理解なしに式典は成り立たない。

Security situation severe

Abe has called for the ceremony "to renew our resolution to carve out a future for our country, including Amami, Ogasawara and Okinawa." His remarks clearly took into consideration the sentiments of residents of Okinawa.
 安倍首相が政府主催の式典について、「奄美、小笠原、沖縄を含めた我が国の未来を切り開いていく決意を新たにしていく」と意義付けたのも、こうした沖縄の声を踏まえてのことだろう。

The security situation surrounding Japan is severe. Our sovereignty has been jeopardized almost daily.
 日本を取り巻く環境は厳しい。統治権は日々脅かされている。

In waters near the Senkaku Islands of Okinawa Prefecture, China, which belatedly started claiming sovereignty over the islands, has repeatedly sent patrol vessels to the area, intruding into Japan's territorial waters.
 沖縄県の尖閣諸島周辺では、尖閣の領有権を主張するようになった中国が、監視船を送り込んで領海侵犯を繰り返している。

Meanwhile, the Takeshima islets of Shimane Prefecture remain illegally occupied by South Korea. Under the San Francisco Treaty, the islets were excluded from the areas that Japan had to relinquish. But just before the treaty came into force, South Korea unilaterally established the Syngman Rhee Line, a boundary established by the then South Korean president, and declared it possessed the islets.
 島根県・竹島は韓国の不法占拠下にある。サンフランシスコ講和条約では、日本が放棄すべき地域から除外されていたが、韓国が条約発効直前、一方的に李承晩ラインを設定し、領有を宣言した。

Russia has tightened its effective control over the northern territories off Hokkaido, even though 56 years have passed since Tokyo and Moscow restored diplomatic relations in 1956.
 北方領土は1956年の日ソ国交回復から56年を経た現在、ロシアの実効支配が強まっている。

There is also the issue of sovereignty infringements by North Korea, with dozens of Japanese, including Megumi Yokota, being abducted by Pyongyang agents.
 横田めぐみさんらが北朝鮮の工作員に拉致されて主権が侵害された問題も、今なお続いている。

These pending issues remain unresolved probably because Japanese people as a whole are scarcely aware of the nation's sovereign rights.
 これらの懸案が解決されないのは、国全体で主権に対する意識が希薄だからではないだろうか。

Japan is now one of the world's wealthiest countries. As a responsible, sovereign state, it must continue its efforts to maintain peace, prosperity and freedom.
 日本は今、世界で最も豊かな国の一つだ。責任ある主権国家として、平和と繁栄、自由を維持する努力を続けねばならない。

The Japanese people should deepen their understanding of sovereignty issues and see them in a new light. We hope the ceremony to commemorate the return of this nation's sovereignty will become an opportunity to do just this.
 日本人が主権に対する認識を深め、新たにもする。主権回復の記念式典をその契機としたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 1, 2013)
(2013年4月1日01時17分  読売新聞)

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3Gだったら24時間どこでもネット接続^^ Wi-Fiは経済的で便利ではありますが

自宅や会社の無線ランとか、たまに出張するとホテルの無線ランを利用して無料でネット接続してビジネスや遊びに活用していました。
Wi-Fiはお金がかからず、経済的でまったく便利ではありますが、欠点がひとつございます。

女心と秋の空という表現がぴったしなのです。
Wi-Fiの電波の状態が、ご機嫌斜めだと、もういけません。
どんなに接続しようとして設定をチェックしても、接続できないことが多いのです。

私はネットで株式投資をやっていますので、その瞬間が命です。
3Gだったら24時間どこでもネット接続なので、私は3Gを予備として併用しています。
Wi-Fiの電波の状態が悪くなったときに、すぐに3Gに切り替えるのです。

この手法で株式投資でチャンスを逃すことがなくなりました。
現在仕事でタイ在住ですが、タイでは3G通信がものすごく発達しています。
タイの3G通信はSIMカードを利用したプリペイド方式のものもあります。
これは便利ですね。必要なときに賢く使えますし、それでチャンスを逃しません。

日本ではプリペイド方式はマイナーな方式ですね。
こちらのSIMレンタルサービスがおすすめです。
ものすごく便利なのです。

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私もそうしました 住宅ローン借り換えローンを活用

もうすぐ30歳になるという日のちょっと前に、公団の分譲住宅を購入いたしました。
返済期間は35年と長く、月々の返済金額は無理なく返せる範囲でした。
ですがこの公庫からの借入には欠点がございました。

1) 金利が高い
2) 繰り上げローン返済ができない(まとまったお金が貯まったときにまとめて返済)

で、低利で利用できる消費者金融 から融資を受けようかと考えていました。
色々比較検討してから、ある市中銀行から融資を受ける事にしました。
金利が安いのと、ローン組み替えの手数料がかからないことが気に入り、決断出来ました。
この銀行の返済は繰り上げローン返済も出来ましたので、35年返済の期間は20年ほどに短縮されたのです。

今の消費者金融は明るい雰囲気です。
前は事務所に出向き、審査を受けなければなりませんでしたが、今は違います。
携帯電話かPC、あるいは窓口のATMで自動審査がなされる時代なのです。

便利な時代になりました。 かしこく利用いたしましょう。

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2013年4月 1日 (月)

維新党大会 自民の対抗勢力になり得るか

[The Yomiuri Shimbun] April 1, 2013
Can Ishin no Kai boost its strength to eventually take on LDP?
維新党大会 自民の対抗勢力になり得るか(3月31日付・読売社説)

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) has clear aspirations to revise the Constitution.
 憲法改正への強い意欲はうかがえた。

Is there any prospect of Ishin no Kai becoming a conservative party large enough to be a formidable rival to the Liberal Democratic Party?
自民党に対抗し得る保守政党に成長できるだろうか。

On Saturday, Ishin no Kai held the first convention in Osaka since its inauguration last September, adopting a party platform and endorsing an action policy for 2013.
 日本維新の会が、昨年9月の結党後初めての党大会を大阪市で開き、党綱領や2013年活動方針を決定した。

The platform says the existing Constitution is an "occupation constitution forced on [Japan by the United States] to make the Japanese people believe in the unrealistic idea of absolute pacifism, thereby thrusting the nation into isolation and making it the object of disdain [in the eyes of the international community]."
 綱領は現行憲法について「日本を孤立と軽蔑の対象に貶(おとし)め、絶対平和という非現実的な共同幻想を押し付けた占領憲法」と指摘した。

It pledged to drastically revise the Constitution "to help resuscitate the country."
憲法を大幅に改正して、「国家を蘇生させる」とうたっている。

At the convention, party coleader Toru Hashimoto, who also serves as mayor of Osaka, emphasized the significance of revising the Constitution by saying, "Japan must rise to the important challenge of remolding the Constitution with its own hands."
 共同代表の橋下大阪市長は「自分たちの手で憲法を作ることが日本にとって絶対に重要だ」と改正の意義を強調した。

Constitutional revision

Hashimoto said Ishin no Kai would seek as many seats as possible in the House of Councillors election this summer to ensure that the party, the LDP and minor opposition Your Party have a combined two-thirds majority, so they would be able to initiate constitutional amendments.
参院選では、自民党、みんなの党などと合わせて憲法改正の発議に必要な3分の2の議席を目指すとも語った。

Depending on the outcome of the upper house election, a political landscape may emerge allowing the Constitution to be revised for the first time since its promulgation.
 参院選の結果次第で、初めて憲法改正が可能な政治環境が整う。

Hashimoto's speech can be interpreted as indicating his party would work with the LDP under these circumstances.
その場合、維新の会は自民党と連携する方針を明示したと言える。

One of the major issues in the upper house race will be whether to revise the Constitution.
憲法改正は、参院選の最も大きな争点の一つになる。

Apparently based on some soul-searching after its failure to increase its House of Representatives seats as initially expected in the general election in December, Ishin no Kai has taken steps to cooperate in the upper house election with Your Party, which also wants to revise the supreme law. How many seats the two parties can win in the upper chamber will hinge on the effectiveness of their cooperation in the specifics of their electoral campaigns.
 維新の会は、衆院選で当初の期待ほど議席を伸ばせなかった反省を踏まえ、憲法改正でも一致できるみんなの党との選挙協力を進めている。実質的な協力に踏み込めるかが獲得議席を左右しよう。

In his speech, Hashimoto said his party would support Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture and negotiations for Japan's participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral free trade talks.
 党大会で橋下氏は、米軍普天間飛行場移設問題や環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉に取り組む安倍首相を応援すると述べた。

On the other hand, Hashimoto stressed his goal of preventing the LDP and New Komeito from taking a majority of seats in the upper house. He argued that Ishin no Kai was the only party that could rise to the political challenges of eliminating vested interests and reorganizing the nation's government machinery.
 その一方で、参院選では「自民、公明両党の過半数阻止を実現しよう」と訴え、既得権打破や統治機構の変革は、維新の会にしかできないと強調した。

With some critics saying Ishin no Kai is no better than "an LDP auxiliary force," what can it do to prove it is different from the LDP as a party dedicated to reform?
 「維新は自民党の補完勢力」との批判もある中、自民党と違いを出し、改革の党としての存在感をどう発揮するのだろうか。
 
According to a survey by The Yomiuri Shimbun, the support rate for Ishin no Kai, which stood at the same level as the Democratic Party of Japan at 8 percent immediately after the inauguration of the Abe Cabinet, has now plunged to as low as 2 percent.
 読売新聞の世論調査では、安倍政権の発足直後、民主党と並んで8%あった維新の会の支持率は2%にまで低下している。

Difference in views

Among its problems, Ishin no Kai has to grapple with the disparate views between Hashimoto and his party's Diet members in Tokyo on such issues as a desirable future electoral system and how the party should deal with Diet affairs in connection with the Bank of Japan's executive appointments requiring the consent of the legislature.
 維新の会の課題には、橋下氏と、東京の国会議員団との間で、選挙制度や日銀同意人事など軋轢(あつれき)が表面化していることもある。

Coordination between the party headquarters in Osaka and the Tokyo-based group of Ishin no Kai legislators has begun through such means as teleconferences. To become a party with a sense of unity, it is imperative for Ishin no Kai to end the schism between the two.
 大阪市の党本部と東京の国会議員団本部をテレビ会議システムでつなぐなど、連携強化の模索が始まっている。両者の溝を埋めていくことは、維新の会が一体感をもった政党になるために必要だ。

The other coleader of the party, former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, meanwhile, was absent from the convention because of a "slight stroke." He took part in the gathering via an online live broadcast from Tokyo. Hashimoto did not respond to Ishihara's suggestion that he run in the upcoming upper house election.
 一方、石原共同代表は「軽い脳梗塞」のため、党大会を欠席した。ネット中継の形で参加し、橋下氏に参院選への出馬を促したが、橋下氏は応えなかった。

Whether Hashimoto will decide to run in the election seems to depend on whether the party can ramp up its strength.
 橋下氏が参院選に出馬するか否かは、今後の党勢もにらんでの判断になるに違いない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 31, 2013)
(2013年3月31日01時43分  読売新聞)

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安倍外交 モンゴルと戦略関係の強化を

[The Yomiuri Shimbun] April 1, 2013
Japan should fortify strategic partnership with Mongolia
安倍外交 モンゴルと戦略関係の強化を(3月31日付・読売社説)

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Mongolia became an opportunity for Tokyo to strengthen its strategic partnership with an Asian country friendly to Japan.
 親日友好国モンゴルと日本が戦略的な連携を強化する一歩になった。

On Saturday, Abe held separate meetings with Mongolian Prime Minister Norov Altankhuyag and President Tsakhia Elbegdorj.
 安倍首相がモンゴルを訪問し、アルタンホヤグ首相、エルベグドルジ大統領と相次いで会談した。

During the meeting with Altankhuyag, both leaders agreed Japan and Mongolia will start vice foreign minister-level talks to discuss diplomatic and security issues. Moreover, they agreed to hold a policy dialogue with the United States.
 両国首脳は、外交・安全保障分野での外務次官級の対話を開始することで一致した。さらに、米国も加えた3か国の政策対話を行うことでも合意した。

Abe's trumpeted principles for his administration's Asian diplomacy include calls for a free and open market economy and respect for democracy and other universal values.
 安倍首相は、アジア外交の原則として民主主義など普遍的価値の尊重や自由でオープンな市場経済を掲げている。

Japan's diplomatic strategy also will benefit if Mongolia, which sits between Russia and China, becomes even more democratic and develops a market economy. It could act as a check against China, which has been threatening the sovereignty of neighboring nations through diplomatic intimidation.
 中国とロシアに挟まれたモンゴルが、民主化と市場経済を発展させることは、日本の外交戦略にもプラスである。威圧的な外交で周辺国の主権を脅かす中国へのけん制にもなるだろう。

Abe asked for Mongolia's cooperation on North Korea issues, particularly Pyongyang's abduction of Japanese. His Mongolian counterpart expressed support for and understanding of Tokyo's position.
 安倍首相は北朝鮮問題、とくに日本人拉致問題での協力を求めた。モンゴル側も日本の立場への理解と支持を表明した。

Resources wait to be tapped

Mongolia was a North Korean ally during the Cold War and still maintains high-level exchanges with that country.
 モンゴルは、冷戦時代には北朝鮮とは盟友関係にあり、今も高いレベルで交流を続けている。

Thanks to Mongolia's cooperation, Japan and North Korea were able to hold talks in Ulan Bator in November 2012.
 2012年11月に日朝協議がウランバートルで開かれたのも、モンゴルの協力があったからだ。

The government should take maximum advantage of its ties with Mongolia to resolve the abduction issue, which has been deadlocked for years.
 政府は膠着(こうちゃく)状態にある拉致問題解決に向けて、モンゴルとのパイプを大いに生かす必要がある。

Partnership with Mongolia will be valuable also in the field of energy security, as Japan lacks natural resources.
 資源に乏しい日本にとって、モンゴルとの関係は、エネルギー安全保障の観点からも貴重だ。

Mongolia possesses abundant high-quality natural resources, such as coal and minor metals. It recorded sizzling economic growth of an annualized 17 percent in 2011, mainly thanks to the development of its mines.
 モンゴルは、石炭やレアメタルなど良質で豊富な天然資源に恵まれている。鉱山開発などをテコに11年は年率17%を超える高度経済成長を達成した。

At Abe's meeting with Altankhuyag, the leaders discussed joint development of Tavan Tolgoi, the world's largest coalfield, in the Gobi Desert in southern Mongolia. "We'd like to provide Japan with a stable supply of coal over the long term," Altankhuyag reportedly said.
 首脳会談では、モンゴル南部のゴビ砂漠にある世界最大級のタバントルゴイ炭田の共同開発についても意見を交換した。モンゴル側は、「長期にわたり安定的に日本に石炭を供給できるようにしたい」との意向を示したという。

In Mongolia, there is a plan to ship coal to ports in Russia and China, which would then be exported to Japan and South Korea. To achieve this, it is essential to build railways to transport Mongolia's resources to the coasts.
 モンゴルには、日本や韓国に石炭を輸出するため、中国やロシアの海港へ運ぶ構想がある。それには資源を輸送するための鉄道を建設することが欠かせない。

Sumo stars just the start

However, Mongolia needs to improve its investment climate so Japanese companies can start doing business there to develop natural resources and social infrastructure. The Japanese and Mongolian governments should discuss this issue.
 ただ、日本企業が開発やインフラ整備で進出するにはモンゴル側の投資環境の整備が必要だ。日本とモンゴルの当局間で協議を重ねる必要がある。

During his meeting with the president, Abe mentioned the superb performances of yokozuna Hakuho and other sumo wrestlers from Mongolia. Japanese have become more interested in Mongolia thanks to these wrestlers, while many Mongolians reportedly regard Japan as their "third neighboring country" after China and Russia.
 会談で、安倍首相は横綱白鵬らの活躍ぶりにも言及した。日本では、大相撲を通じてモンゴルへの関心が高まっている。モンゴルにとっても日本は中露に次ぐ「第3の隣国」だという。

We hope both countries will boost exchanges not only in politics and economics, but also in culture and sports.
 政治、経済とともに文化・スポーツでも交流を深めたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 31, 2013)
(2013年3月31日01時43分  読売新聞)

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