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2013年5月31日 (金)

成年被後見人 選挙権の迅速な回復は当然だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 31, 2013
Only natural to restore right to vote for adults under guardianship
成年被後見人 選挙権の迅速な回復は当然だ(5月30日付・読売社説)

The Diet has passed a bill to revise the Public Offices Election Law to give the right to vote to adults who are part of the statutory adult guardianship system due to mental disorders or intellectual disabilities.
 精神疾患や知的障害で成年後見人を付けた人に選挙権を認める改正公職選挙法が成立した。

Passage of the bill will pave the way for 136,000 adult wards with court-designated guardians to vote, starting with the upcoming House of Councillors election in July. We hope as many eligible people as possible will go to polling stations to cast their ballots.
 7月の参院選から、約13万6000人に投票の道が開かれることになった。多くの人が投票所に足を運び、1票を投じてほしい。

The law had not allowed adults under guardianship to vote because they were considered incapable of making the necessary judgments. The Tokyo District Court ruled this provision unconstitutional in March, saying it violated the Constitution’s guarantee of equality before the law.
 公選法は、判断能力に欠けるといった理由から、成年後見人の付いた人の選挙権を認めていなかった。この規定について、東京地裁は3月、「法の下の平等に反する」として違憲判決を出した。

This decision prompted the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior partner, New Komeito, to submit the bill to revise the law by eliminating the provision in question. It is significant that the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors unanimously passed the bill, as the opposition camp went along with the ruling parties. It is also noteworthy that the Diet made a prompt response just a little more than two months after the ruling.
 判決を受け、自民、公明両党は問題の規定を削除する改正案を国会に提出した。野党も同調し、衆参両院とも全会一致で可決した意義は大きい。判決から2か月余という迅速な対応も評価したい。

Uniform ban unfair

People to whom the adult guardianship system applies have different levels of disabilities. The plaintiff in the suit, an intellectually challenged woman, is able to read and write simple characters and communicate with others.
 成年後見人を付けた人の障害の程度には個人差がある。原告の女性は簡単な読み書きができ、意思表示も可能だ。

It was unreasonable that the provision uniformly deprived people of the right to vote once they are placed under the adult guardianship system.
そもそも一律に選挙権を奪う規定自体に無理があったと言えよう。

Under the revised law, it will be important to implement measures to prevent the disabled under guardianship from getting involved in voting irregularities.
 今後の運用にあたっては、不正投票に障害者を巻き込まない対策が重要だ。

The revised law includes a measure against attempts to induce such people to vote for particular candidates.
改正法には、特定候補者に投票を誘導するような不正の防止策が盛り込まれた。

The provision requires two assistants to act on behalf of a voter who cannot fill in a ballot on his or her own--one who writes for the person and the other who checks the ballot. It also stipulates that only municipal government officials should serve as assistants.
 自力で投票用紙に記入できない人を助ける代理投票では、代筆役とチェック役の補助者を付け、この2人については、市町村職員に限定するという規定だ。

This means that family members or others who attend to these voters cannot assist them with casting.
 家族など付き添い人が投票に手を貸すことはできない。

Even though the upper house election is coming up, we hope local election boards will take every possible step to secure enough officials and implement other necessary measures so they can provide voters under guardianship with adequate support at polling stations.
参院選は目前に迫るが、各選挙管理委員会は、投票所で適切なサポートができるよう、人員確保などに万全を期してもらいたい。

The revised law also includes a nonbinding provision that encourages observers chosen by election boards to be present for absentee voting conducted at hospitals, nursing facilities and other locations. It is aimed at preventing facility officials from voting for particular candidates on behalf of residents without their consent.
 病院や介護施設などで行われる不在者投票についても、「選管が選んだ立会人を付ける」との努力規定が設けられた。施設職員が入所者に無断で、特定候補に投票する行為を防ぐのが目的だ。

Many local govts not ready

The revised law does not make this provision mandatory, making it nonbinding instead, because many local governments are believed not to be ready to fully comply with this directive.
 努力規定にとどまり、義務付けが見送られたのは、自治体の体制が整わないとみられるためだ。

However, some local governments have been preparing for the measure. The Tokyo Metropolitan Election Administration Commission, for example, plans to dispatch observers to about 1,200 facilities for absentee balloting. Other election boards are urged to take positive action on this issue.
 だが、東京都のように約1200施設に立会人を派遣する方針の自治体もある。各選管には積極的な対応が求められる。

Nevertheless, we have difficulty understanding why the government has yet to dismiss its appeal against the district court ruling.
 それにしても、違憲判決に対する控訴をいまだ取り下げていない政府の姿勢は不可解である。

At a press conference following the government’s appeal in late March, Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Yoshitaka Shindo expressed his view that the plaintiff, not the government, would drop the case.
“The case would become meaningless if the Diet passes necessary legislation,” Shindo said.
 新藤総務相は控訴した際、記者会見で「立法措置がされた場合、訴えの意味は失われる」と述べ、原告側が訴えを取り下げるとの見方を示していた。

The plaintiff had no choice but to file a lawsuit and the district court acknowledged her claims. The government’s response cannot be called anything but dishonest. It is reasonable for the government to drop its appeal.
 原告はやむなく司法に訴え、主張が認められた。政府の対応は不誠実と言うほかない。政府が控訴を取り下げるのが道理である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 30, 2013)
(2013年5月30日02時06分  読売新聞)

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日印首脳会談 関係発展の柱となる原発協力

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 31, 2013
Striking N-cooperation pact is key to boosting bilateral ties with India
日印首脳会談 関係発展の柱となる原発協力(5月30日付・読売社説)

Japan and India have reached an agreement that could become the key to deepening their bilateral relationship.
 日印両国が一層関係を深めていくための重要な柱となろう。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh agreed to resume negotiations on a nuclear cooperation pact during their summit talks in Tokyo on Wednesday.
 安倍首相が、来日中のインドのシン首相と会談し、日印原子力協定の締結交渉再開で合意した。

The two countries aim to conclude the negotiations within the year. If they reach a deal, Japan will be able to export its nuclear-related technology to India.
 年内妥結を目指す方針で、締結すれば、日本から原子力関連技術が輸出できるようになる。

The negotiations initially began in June 2010, when the Democratic Party of Japan held the reins of government. However, the talks were effectively suspended in the wake of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co.
 交渉は、民主党政権時代の2010年6月に始まったが、東京電力福島第一原子力発電所事故の後、事実上中断していた。

With a population of 1.2 billion people, India has been plagued by power shortages following its rapid economic growth. The country thus intends to build more nuclear power plants.
 人口12億人のインドは、経済の急成長に伴って電力不足が深刻化し、原発の増設を計画している。

If more nuclear power facilities, which do not emit greenhouse gases, are built in countries that rely on coal-fired plants for electricity supply, such as India, that could also help counter global warming.
主力の電力供給源である石炭火力発電所に、温室効果ガスを排出しない原発が加われば、地球温暖化対策にも役立とう。

The Abe administration’s economic policy, dubbed “Abenomics,” focuses on exporting Japanese infrastructure systems under its growth strategy. An increase in exports of nuclear technology and related equipment will significantly benefit Japan as well.
 安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」は、成長戦略としてインフラ輸出を重視する。原発や関連機器の輸出が増えれば、日本にとってもメリットは大きい。

Concerns over India’s N-stance

During their meeting, Abe praised Singh’s commitment to nuclear nonproliferation. However, he also called for India’s early ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, in line with Japan’s global advocacy of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).
 安倍首相は、シン首相に対し、核不拡散の努力を評価するとともに、核拡散防止条約(NPT)体制を推進する立場から、インドの核実験全面禁止条約(CTBT)の早期批准を促した。

Abe apparently made the remarks in consideration of persistent domestic concerns over striking a nuclear cooperation pact with India, which has yet to sign the NPT despite owning nuclear arms.
 NPTに加盟していない核保有国インドとの協定に日本国内で慎重論が強かったことを念頭に置いた発言だろう。

India has halted nuclear testing and allowed the International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect its civilian nuclear facilities. Ahead of restarting bilateral nuclear talks, Japan should confirm that India will maintain such a stance.
 インドは核実験を凍結し、民生用施設は、国際原子力機関(IAEA)の査察も受け入れている。交渉再開にあたって日本は、こうした姿勢の堅持を確認したい。

Meanwhile, the two leaders also made progress in strengthening bilateral ties by agreeing to conduct a joint feasibility study on a plan to build an about 500-kilometer high-speed railway system between Mumbai and Ahmedabad in western India. Hopes are high that the agreement will boost joint efforts by the domestic public and private sectors to expand exports of the nation’s Shinkansen bullet train system.
 両首脳がインド西部のムンバイ―アーメダバード間約500キロ・メートルの高速鉄道計画について、共同調査の着手で合意したことも前進である。日本が官民を挙げて目指してきた新幹線システムの受注につながると期待される。

Japan also decided to extend yen loans for projects such as construction of a subway system in Mumbai. It is highly significant that the two countries agreed to strengthen bilateral ties, particularly in regard to large infrastructure development, which would help India achieve economic growth.
 日本は、ムンバイの地下鉄建設などに対する円借款の供与も決めた。インドの経済発展につながる大型インフラ整備で連携強化を確認した意義は大きい。

Japanese companies have increasingly made inroads into India. Although Japan’s trade with India remains small when compared to that with China, there is potential for further expansion.
 日本企業のインド進出は増加し続けている。貿易額は日中間などに比べればまだ少ないが、一層拡大する潜在力がある。

Security cooperation eyes China

On security cooperation, the two countries agreed to consider exporting the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s amphibious rescue boats to India. If realized, this could become a specific case of bilateral security cooperation in which Japan’s defense equipment is exported for civilian use.
 安全保障面では、海上自衛隊の救難飛行艇の輸出について、両国が検討を始めることで一致した。実現すれば、防衛装備品の民間転用による輸出となり、日印安保協力の具体的な成果となる。

Meanwhile, the MSDF and the Indian Navy will conduct joint exercises on a regular basis. Their first joint drill was conducted in June last year. Such regular military exercises could be effective as a deterrent to China. Security cooperation between Japan and India must be conducive to stability in Asia, particularly in the Indian Ocean.
 昨年6月に初実施した海自とインド海軍の共同訓練も定期化される。中国を牽制(けんせい)する効果もあるだろう。アジアとインド洋の安定に結びつけなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 30, 2013)
(2013年5月30日02時08分  読売新聞)

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2013年5月30日 (木)

小学校の英語 楽しく学べる環境を整えたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 30, 2013
Create enjoyable environment for primary schoolers to learn English
小学校の英語 楽しく学べる環境を整えたい(5月29日付・読売社説)

If Japan wants to hone its competitive edge overseas, it is essential to foster broad-minded human resources with superb foreign language skills. To do so, the government should improve the nation’s educational environment.
 日本の国際競争力を高める上で、豊かな語学力と幅広い視野を備えた人材が求められている。政府は教育環境の整備を進めるべきだ。

The Education Rebuilding Implementation Council, an expert panel under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has compiled a set of proposals that emphasize the necessity of expanding and improving the nation’s English education at all levels, from primary school to university, to foster individuals who can compete globally.
 安倍首相直属の教育再生実行会議が、海外で活躍できる人材の育成に向け、小学校から大学に至るまで、英語教育の拡充が必要だとする提言をまとめた。

One noteworthy proposal suggests that the government consider making English a regular subject at primary schools.
 注目したいのは、小学校で教える英語を正式な教科とするよう検討を促した点だ。

Since the 2011 academic year, “foreign language activity” has become a required course at primary schools. Now, fifth- and sixth-graders take English classes once a week.
 小学校では2011年度から「外国語活動」が必修となり、5、6年生が週1回、英語を学んでいる。

The course is aimed at familiarizing students with the language and places emphasis on nurturing basic conversation and listening skills. Unlike middle school English classes, students do not study grammar.
英語に親しみ、慣れるのが目的で、中学校のような文法の指導はしない。初歩的な会話やヒアリングに重点を置いている。

Hurdles remain

As it is not a regular subject, no textbooks are used. While homeroom teachers are charged with leading foreign language activities, most did not receive sufficient instruction on how to teach English during college-level teacher training courses. As a result, many are concerned about their ability to instruct pupils.
 正式な教科ではないため、教科書は用いない。教員養成課程で英語の指導法を十分学んでいない学級担任が教えることから、指導力に不安を抱える教師も多い。

We duly understand the aims of upgrading the course into a regular subject, making an English textbook available at primary schools and improving the quality of classes.
 教科へ格上げすることで、教科書を作り、授業の質向上につなげようという狙いは理解できる。

However, many hurdles remain.
 ただ、課題は多い。

If English is made into a regular subject, student performance must be graded. But is it fitting to give exams in a class that is aimed at familiarizing students with English? If grammar lessons are required, it may cause some students to dislike the subject from the primary school level.
 正式な教科にすると、成績評価を行うことになる。その際、英語に親しむための授業で、テストによる評価はなじむだろうか。文法学習まで加わるようになれば、小学校の段階から英語嫌いになる子が出てくるかもしれない。

Enhancing the English skills of primary school teachers cannot be accomplished overnight. In addition to improved teacher training, it is necessary to establish a system in which classes are taught by teachers who specialize in English, or native English-speaking assistant language teachers work together with Japanese teachers.
 小学校教師の語学力を高めるのも一朝一夕にはいくまい。研修の充実はもちろん、英語を専門とする専任教師が教えたり、外国人指導助手とチームで指導したりする体制を整えることが大切だ。

In other parts of Asia, such as China, South Korea and Taiwan, students begin learning English when they become third-grade primary school students. Some experts assert that early English education is key to helping students master the language.
 他のアジアの国・地域を見ると、中国や韓国、台湾では、小学3年から英語を教えている。早い時期から学習を始めた方が身に着くと主張する専門家もいる。

On the other hand, many people insist that Japanese, the nation’s mother tongue, should be prioritized over learning English. Whether the government should promote an earlier start to English lessons is likely to become a point of contention in the future.
 一方、母国語である日本語の習得を優先すべきだとの意見も根強い。実施学年を引き下げるかどうかは今後の争点となろう。

Universities lagging

The panel’s proposals also refer to university education, saying “their lagging globalization has reached a critical state.”
 提言は、大学教育にも言及し、「グローバル化の遅れは危機的状況にある」との認識を示した。

The number of Japanese studying overseas is on the decline. There are also fewer foreign students studying in Japan than in the United States and European nations. It is crucial, among other things, to increase the number of courses taught in English to train Japanese students and attract foreigners.
 日本人の海外留学生は減少傾向にあり、日本で学ぶ外国人留学生も欧米諸国に比べて少ない。英語を使った講義を増やすなど、日本人学生を鍛え、外国人留学生を呼び込む取り組みが欠かせない。

The panel also suggested TOEFL, a test that gauges the English proficiency of nonnative speakers, and other outside tests be used for university admission and graduation. We believe this idea merits consideration on the basis of prodding students to acquire practical language skills.
 提言は、英語を母国語としない人の英語力を測る「TOEFL」などの外部検定試験を、大学入試や卒業認定の判断材料に活用することも打ち出した。実践的な語学力の習得を促す観点から、検討に値するのではないか。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 29, 2013)
(2013年5月29日02時07分  読売新聞)

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南海トラフ地震 被害を減じる法整備が急務だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 30, 2013
Legal framework needed to help reduce Nankai quake damage
南海トラフ地震 被害を減じる法整備が急務だ(5月29日付・読売社説)

How can the damage wreaked by a Nankai Trough megaquake, which is forecast to cause up to 320,000 deaths, be reduced? Countermeasures must be quickly taken.
 死者が最大32万人と予想される「南海トラフ巨大地震」の被害をいかに抑えるか。対策を急がねばならない。

A task force of the government’s Central Disaster Management Council has compiled a final report that lists steps to mitigate damage from this expected giant earthquake.
 政府の中央防災会議の作業部会が、この巨大地震の「減災」対策を列挙した最終報告書をまとめた。

The Nankai Trough, the focal area of this quake, stretches from waters off Shizuoka Prefecture to the seas off Shikoku and Kyushu. If a temblor more powerful than the Great East Japan Earthquake occurs in this area, tsunami more than 10 meters high will slam into the Pacific Ocean coast. Inland areas are expected to be jolted by shaking that measures 6 or the maximum 7 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale.
 想定震源域の南海トラフは、静岡県沖から四国、九州沖に及ぶ。東日本大震災を上回る地震が起きれば、太平洋沿岸を10メートル以上の津波が襲う。内陸部でも震度6~7の揺れに見舞われる。

The report stressed the importance of “self-help” and “mutual help” in which individuals and communities protect themselves and help each other in a major earthquake. This is because the government’s relief and rescue operations as well as support between local governments will struggle to function smoothly after such a massive disaster.
 報告書は、個人や地域が自らを守り、助け合う「自助」「共助」の重要性を強調した。国の救援・救助、自治体間の応援などの仕組みが機能しにくくなるためだ。

Considering the assumed devastation from a Nankai Trough megaquake, the report is quite right to raise these points.
 甚大な被害想定を考えれば、適切な指摘である。

If you feel a strong tremor, flee before a tsunami arrives. Homes should be made more earthquake-resistant and fire prevention measures strengthened in densely populated areas. It is also important for communities to stockpile food.
 大きな揺れを感じたら、津波の襲来前に逃げる。住宅の耐震化を進め、住宅密集地では防火対策を強化する。地域として、食料備蓄などの対応も大切だ。

‘Triage’ for evacuees

If such precautions are not taken, a Nankai Trough megaquake could destroy nearly 2.4 million homes and other buildings and injure more than 620,000 people. It is estimated there would be 9.5 million evacuees one week after the quake. There is an obvious shortage of shelters for these people.
 対策が進まないと、住宅など240万棟近くが全壊し、負傷者は62万人を超える。1週間後の避難者は950万人と試算されている。避難所の不足は明らかだ。

The report proposed that triage--the system of sorting and prioritizing people to receive treatment according to the degree of their injuries--be adopted for accommodating evacuees in shelters. The idea is that people will be asked to take shelter at home if their house has suffered only minor damage. We think this is realistic.
 報告書は、負傷の程度に応じ治療の優先順位を決める「トリアージ」の手法を、避難者の収容にも応用するよう提言している。自宅の損壊が軽微であれば、「在宅避難」をしてもらうという考え方だ。現実的な方策と言える。

However, “public help” will still be essential. The government must steadily promote conventional measures against earthquakes and tsunami, such as the development of disaster management headquarters and seawalls.
 「公助」の大切さも無論、変わらない。国が、防災拠点や防潮堤の整備など、従来の地震・津波対策を、今後も着実に推進していくことは欠かせない。

All govts have role to play

In addition, it is important to consider how to urge local governments to set up better defenses against major disasters. It is only natural that the report called for establishing a legal framework under which the central and local governments can jointly take such measures.
 それに加え、自治体の取り組みをどう促すかが、重要な課題である。報告書が、国と自治体が連携して対策を進めるための法整備を求めたのは、もっともだ。

For example, establishing sufficient tsunami shelters will not be possible through efforts by local governments alone. It will be possible only if the central and local governments draw up a comprehensive plan and secure the necessary financial resources.
 例えば津波避難所の確保は、自治体だけでは進まない。国と自治体が、総合的な計画を策定し、財源を確保してこそ可能になる。

A basic bill for strengthening national land that the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito jointly submitted to the Diet will back up these efforts. The ruling and opposition parties should thoroughly discuss the bill.
 自民、公明両党が国会に提出している国土強靱(きょうじん)化基本法案は、これを後押しするものだ。与野党はしっかり議論してもらいたい。

A law on special measures for large earthquakes has been a pillar of the government’s countermeasures against such a disaster. The government has provided, based on predictions, financial assistance to areas that could be affected by a Tokai earthquake.
 これまで対策の柱となってきたのは、大規模地震対策特別措置法だ。地震予知を前提に東海地震の関係地域に財源支援してきた。

However, the report raised doubt over the concept behind the law, saying it is difficult to predict a Nankai Trough megaquake with great accuracy. The report called for reviewing disaster management measures to handle a Nankai Trough megaquake, which includes the Tokai quake.
 だが、報告書は「確度の高い予測は難しい」と、特措法の考え方に疑義を呈した。東海地震を含めた南海トラフ巨大地震の防災対策の見直しを求めたものだ。

The government must also promote antiquake measures that are not premised on predictions of where and when they might strike.
 政府は、予知を前提としない地震対策を進める必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 29, 2013)
(2013年5月29日02時07分  読売新聞)

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2013年5月29日 (水)

放射能漏れ事故 安全意識を欠く研究者の対応

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 29, 2013
Nuclear researchers showed disturbing lack of safety awareness
放射能漏れ事故 安全意識を欠く研究者の対応(5月28日付・読売社説)

We are greatly worried by the recent radiation leak that exposed a lack of safety awareness among researchers in the nuclear sector.
 研究者の安全意識の薄さが気になる。

About 30 researchers suffered internal radiation exposure during last week’s leak inside and outside a facility during an experiment at the Japan Proton Atomic Accelerator Research Complex (J-PARC), a key elementary particle research complex in Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture.
 茨城県東海村にある素粒子研究の拠点施設「J―PARC」で、実験中に放射性物質が施設内外に漏れ、研究者約30人が被曝(ひばく)する事故が起きた。

Only a small amount of radiation has reportedly leaked, and the level of exposure is thought unlikely to endanger the health of the researchers.
 漏れた放射性物質の量はわずかで、被曝量も、健康への影響は考えられない低水準だ。

Nevertheless, we must say that both the way the experiment was conducted and the safety management measures implemented at the facility were quite slipshod.
 だが、経緯をみると、実験の進め方や安全管理がずさんだ、と言わざるを得ない。

Safety overhaul essential

The Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) and the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK), which jointly operate J-PARC, should thoroughly investigate the cause of this incident and overhaul their safety measures.
施設を共同運営する日本原子力研究開発機構と高エネルギー加速器研究機構は、原因を徹底的に究明し、安全対策を抜本的に見直すべきだ。

The experiment was conducted by a KEK research team. They were trying to collide proton beams--accelerated to almost the speed of light by a particle accelerator--with gold to generate various elementary particles.
 実験は、高エネ機構の研究チームが実施していた。粒子加速器で光速近くまで加速した陽子のビームを金にぶつけ、様々な素粒子を作り出すのが目的だった。

Due to an equipment malfunction, the output level of proton beams rose to 400 times more than planned. This caused some of the gold to evaporate, and unexpectedly generated radioactive substances, some of which leaked from the equipment.
 その際、装置が誤動作して出力が予定の400倍も高くなり、想定外の放射性物質が発生して、実験装置から漏れ出た。

The most glaring problem, however, was that even though an alarm indicating an abnormality went off during the test and the equipment stopped accordingly, the researchers resumed operation of the accelerator after erroneously concluding it was a false alarm.
 最大の問題は、実験中に異常を知らせる警報が鳴り、装置が停止したにもかかわらず、研究チームが「誤警報」と判断して、加速器の運転を再開したことだ。

False alarms are nothing new at the facility. The researchers said they resumed their experiment after checking that the equipment was working properly. But their inspection turned out to be insufficient.
 これまでにも誤警報は珍しくなかった。今回も装置の動作を確認して再開したというが、結果として、点検が十分でなかった。

Soon after the experiment restarted, radiation levels inside the facility soared to 10 times higher than usual.
 間もなく、施設内の放射線量が通常の10倍に上昇した。

The researchers again stopped the equipment, ventilated the facility by turning on emission fans and resumed their work. As a result, some radioactive substances were dispersed outside the facility building.
再度、運転を止めて、今度は施設の排気ファンを回して換気し、再び運転を始めた。これにより、施設外に放射性物質が広がってしまった。

By repeatedly making light of the alarms, the researchers made matters worse.
 警報を再三、軽視したことにより、トラブルが深刻化した。

Moreover, the facility operators took well over one day to report the leak to the central and prefectural governments. Their response was far too slow and has generated distrust of the officials concerned.
 しかも、放射性物質の放出を県や国に報告したのは、丸1日以上たってからだった。遅すぎる対応が不信を招いたと言えよう。

Unlike a nuclear power plant, the test facility does not store a large amount of radioactive material. Consequently, it is not subject to the Nuclear Reactor Regulation Law. The facility is required, just as a hospital is, to take less-binding steps to prevent radiation exposure, in accordance with the Radiation Injury Prevention Law.
 原子力発電所と違い、実験施設に大量の放射性物質はないため、法律上、原子炉等規制法は適用されない。病院などと同様、放射線障害防止法に基づく強制力の弱い被曝対策しか求められない。

False sense of security

This might have lulled the J-PARC operators into being lenient when it came to crisis management measures.
 現場の危機管理が甘くなった要因の一つではないか。

The incident also laid bare the impatience of the researchers as they resisted stopping the experiment before it was completed.
 実験を止めたくないとの焦りもうかがえる。

In experiments involving elementary particles, researchers conduct the same operation repeatedly, and analyze the obtained data. Suspending the test for an extended time could mean no valuable data will be gleaned.
素粒子実験は同じ操作を繰り返し、そのデータを分析する。停止が長引くと結果が得られないという事情がある。

Nonetheless, it is questionable whether data obtained through an experiment conducted while alarms were frequently going off can be considered scientifically trustworthy.
 しかし、警報が頻発する中での実験データは科学的に十分信頼できるのか、疑問も生じる。

Japanese researchers from industry, government and academia have been proactively cooperating in the field of elementary particles, which has resulted in six Japanese winning the Nobel Prize in Physics. It is crucial that researchers in this field regain public trust.
 日本の素粒子研究はノーベル賞を6人が受賞するなど、産官学が積極的に推進してきた分野だ。信頼回復を急がねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 28, 2013)
(2013年5月28日01時19分  読売新聞)

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波乱含みの株価 ひるまずアベノミクスを前に

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 29, 2013
Govt should stick with Abenomics despite volatility in stock market
波乱含みの株価 ひるまずアベノミクスを前に(5月28日付・読売社説)

Stock prices have suddenly turned volatile after steadily soaring on the high regard market players have for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic policies, which have been dubbed “Abenomics.”
 安倍首相の進める経済政策「アベノミクス」を好感し、急上昇してきた株価が、一転して波乱含みになってきた。

People should not overreact to daily market fluctuations. The government and the Bank of Japan should steadily proceed with Abenomics and expedite measures to realize a full recovery of the nation’s economy, whose prospects have become increasingly rosy.
 マーケットの日々の変動に、一喜一憂すべきではない。政府と日銀は、アベノミクスを着実に推進し、明るさを増してきた景気の本格的な回復を急ぐべきである。

The key stock average index on the Tokyo market has been stormy since late last week. On Thursday, the index rose to just below 16,000, but then suddenly plunged by more than 1,000 points, triggered by a worsening Chinese economic indicator. On Friday, Tokyo stocks swung wildly.
 東京市場の平均株価は先週後半から荒れ模様となった。23日に1万6000円の目前まで上昇した後、中国の景気指標悪化をきっかけに1000円以上も急落した。24日には激しく乱高下した。

On Monday, the index again sharply dropped 469 points to close at 14,142.
 週明けの27日も、大幅に値を下げ、469円安の1万4142円で取引を終えた。

Locking in profits

In the current state of the market, wary investors are inclined to sell their stocks to lock in profits after experiencing the rapid rise in stock prices that started last autumn.
 昨秋からの急ピッチな株価上昇の息切れを警戒し、市場は利益確保の売りが出やすい状況だ。

It is believed that another factor behind the recent accelerating drops in stock prices is a selling offensive launched by speculators overseas in such things as futures to exploit the bearish mindset of investors.
 弱気な投資家心理に乗じて、海外の投機筋が先物などで売り攻勢を仕掛けたことも、下げを加速させているのだろう。

It will be problematic if this unstable market situation continues for a prolonged period and drags down the real economy. The government and the Bank of Japan need to beef up their oversight of market movements.
 市場の不安定な状況が長引き、実体経済の足を引っ張るようでは困る。政府と日銀は、市場動向の監視を強める必要がある。

Rises in long-term interest rates also are a cause of concern. It had previously been expected that the rates would decline as the amount of government bonds purchased by the central bank increased under its quantitative and qualitative monetary easing policy. Instead, they have been rising to levels higher than those before the monetary easing.
 長期金利の上昇も気がかりだ。日銀の「量的・質的金融緩和」で国債の買い入れ額が上積みされ、長期金利の低下が見込まれたが、逆に緩和前より上昇している。

A continuation of this trend could dilute the effects of monetary easing, putting a damper on firms’ capital investments as well as housing sales, which would result in a cooling down of the economy. The central bank must make all-out efforts to arrest rises in the interest rates.
 このままでは、金融緩和の効果が減殺されて設備投資や住宅販売に水を差し、景気を冷やす恐れがある。日銀は金利上昇の阻止に、全力を挙げねばならない。

Rising stock prices and a correction in the appreciation of the yen since autumn can be attributed to the early expectations for Abenomics. We hope the government will give a boost to the economic recovery with concrete measures to solidify market confidence in economic policies.
 昨秋からの株高や円高是正は、アベノミクスへの期待が先行してきたといえる。具体的な施策で景気回復を後押しすることで、経済政策に対する市場の信認を確かなものにしたい。

Abe’s strategy for economic growth, or the “third arrow” of Abenomics, is particularly important. To enhance the vigor of the private sector and achieve sustainable growth, it is essential to implement reforms to take on vested interests and change regulations that have prevented the entry of newcomers. Policy measures must also be taken to provide support in such areas as research and development.
 特に「3本目の矢」である成長戦略が重要だ。民間活力を高め、持続的成長を実現するには、新規参入を阻む既得権益や規制を改革し、研究開発などを後押しする政策が不可欠である。

We consider it important for the government to hammer out a bold policy and swiftly promote it.
 大胆な方針を打ち出し、迅速に推進することが大切だ。

Road map needed

Given the poor track record of the growth strategies of previous administrations, the government should draw up a road map to realize its growth strategy by establishing systems that are powerful enough to neutralize the negative effects that have resulted from the vertically segmented administrative structure of ministries and other government bodies.
 歴代政権の成長戦略が成果に乏しかった教訓を踏まえ、府省縦割りの弊害を打破する強力な実施体制を構築し、実現への道筋を示すことが求められる。

Meanwhile, private companies--the main drivers of growth--should positively regard the fact that stock prices soared on prospects for recovery in their performance, backed by the yen’s ongoing depreciation.
 主役の民間企業も、円安の進行が追い風となり、業績回復を見込んで株価が急上昇した事実を前向きに受け止めてほしい。

How can they strengthen their profit-earning capacities by opening up new markets with creative and innovative efforts as well as a can-do spirit? They will be tested for their true abilities concerning aggressive business strategies.
 創意工夫とチャレンジ精神で新たな市場を開拓し、いかに収益力を強化するか。攻めの経営戦略の真価が問われよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 28, 2013)
(2013年5月28日01時19分  読売新聞)

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2013年5月28日 (火)

TPP交渉 攻守にらんだ戦略で巻き返せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 27, 2013
Japan needs to go on offensive in TPP talks to defend interests
TPP交渉 攻守にらんだ戦略で巻き返せ(5月26日付・読売社説)

In two months, Japan will finally be able to join negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, though the country has started out late compared to other participating countries.
 出遅れていた日本が、いよいよ約2か月後に環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉のテーブルに着く見通しになった。

The government should enhance its preparations for the negotiations and try to recoup lost ground in the process of devising new trade rules in the Asia-Pacific region.
 政府は、交渉体制を強化し、アジア・太平洋地域での新たな貿易ルール作りで巻き返しを図ることが求められよう。

The United States and 10 other participating countries on Friday concluded the latest round of TPP negotiations in Peru. They decided to hold the next meeting in Malaysia from July 15 to 25.
 米国など11か国がペルーで行っていたTPP交渉が24日終了した。次回は7月15~25日にマレーシアで開く日程を決めた。

The 11 countries approved Japan’s participation in the negotiations in April. However, it could not join the negotiations in Peru because the U.S. Congress has not finalized its approval.
 日本はTPP交渉参加を4月に11か国から認められたが、米国議会の承認手続きが残り、ペルーでの交渉には出席できなかった。

With U.S. approval expected around July 23, Japan is highly likely to attend the Malaysia meeting for up to three days.
 7月23日ごろに米国の承認が得られるため、マレーシアでは最長で3日間参加の公算が大きい。

Disadvantageous situation

The 11 countries are speeding up the pace of their negotiations on such fields as tariffs, services and intellectual property rights with an eye to reaching an agreement by the end of the year. Japan will be able to learn the details of past negotiations and the opinions of each participating country for the first time at the meeting in Malaysia.
 11か国は年内妥結を目指し、関税、サービス、知的財産権などで交渉を加速している。日本はマレーシアで初めて詳細な交渉内容や各国の主張を把握できる。

The government’s TPP task force and other parties concerned must quickly analyze the current situation and work out a flexible game plan.
 TPPの政府対策本部を中心に早急に状況を分析し、したたかな戦略を練ることが重要である。

It is highly likely Japan will be asked to accept what the 11 countries have already agreed on, putting this country in an undeniably disadvantageous position. Japan therefore should focus its attention on whether its wishes can be reflected in fields the participating countries are still in disagreement, such as abolition of tariffs.
 11か国が合意済みの点に関しては、そのまま受け入れを求められる可能性が高い。不利は否めないが、関税撤廃など各国がまだ対立している分野で、日本の主張を反映できるかが焦点だ。

The TPP negotiations scheduled in and after late August, which will follow the House of Councillors election, will be crucial for Japan.
 日本にとっては、参院選後の8月下旬以降に開かれる予定の本格交渉が正念場と言えよう。

The government must come up with a clear policy before joining the negotiations, while accelerating bilateral talks on the accord with the United States and the other participants.
政府は米国などとの2国間協議も並行して加速しながら、明確な交渉方針を固めて臨む必要がある。

Abolition of all tariffs in 10 years is a basic principle of the TPP. But the ruling Liberal Democratic Party is calling on the government to seek exemption for five items--rice, wheat, beef and pork, dairy products and plants used as sweeteners--as “sanctuaries” in the TPP negotiations.
 TPPは「10年間で関税撤廃」が原則だが、自民党はコメ、麦、牛肉・豚肉、乳製品、甘味資源作物の5項目を「聖域」として例外扱いするよう求めている。

The United States, Australia and other countries, however, are poised to press Japan to liberalize the domestic farm market. By merely aiming to defend the five items at all costs, Japan will never be able to break the expected impasse in the negotiations.
 ただし、米国や豪州などは、農業分野の市場開放を強く要求する構えだ。日本が5項目の死守を狙うだけの姿勢では、交渉の難局を打開する展望は開けまい。

Enhance competitiveness

We highly rate Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts to present the idea of “offensive agriculture” as part of his growth strategy and proposing to enhance competitiveness of the nation’s agricultural industry with such measures as consolidation of small farm plots.
 安倍首相が成長戦略の一環として「攻めの農業」を掲げ、農地集約化などを柱にした競争力強化を打ち出した点は評価できる。

Along with the TPP negotiations, the government must quickly implement effective policy measures to prepare for further liberalization of the domestic farm market.
 TPP交渉に併せて、一層の市場開放に備えた実効性ある施策を実施することが急務だ。

The TPP negotiations will test not only Japan’s tactics to defend its interests but also the plan to go on the offensive to boost its growth by creating new markets.
 TPPの本格交渉で、「守り」に加え、新たな市場を創造して成長に弾みを付けるための「攻め」も問われている。

To realize its aims, Japan should try to develop a global environment in which Japanese companies can facilitate business smoothly through such measures as protection of intellectual property rights and establishment of investment rules.
 それには知的財産権の保護や、投資ルールの確立など、日本企業がビジネス展開しやすい環境整備を目指すべきである。

The government must use its bargaining power in both offense and defense to create a free trade area where Japan’s national interests are maximized.
 国益を実現できる自由貿易圏作りに向け、攻守両にらみで交渉力を発揮しなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 26, 2013)
(2013年5月26日01時38分  読売新聞)

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新型ロケット 国際価格競争に勝てる開発を

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 27, 2013
New rocket must be developed to win competition in intl launch market
新型ロケット 国際価格競争に勝てる開発を(5月26日付・読売社説)

This country must not fall behind other nations in the development of new rockets, which has been progressing worldwide.
 世界で活気づく新型ロケット開発に日本も後れを取ってはならない。

An expert panel of the Cabinet Office’s Office of National Space Policy, the body tasked with setting the nation’s space development policies, has worked out a plan that calls for the development of a large next-generation rocket to get into full swing in fiscal 2014.
 国の宇宙政策を決める内閣府宇宙政策委員会の専門部会が、次世代の大型ロケット開発を来年度から本格化させる方針をまとめた。

The goal is to develop an easy-to-use domestically produced rocket that can be launched at a low cost.
 目標は、低コストで使いやすいロケットを開発することだ。

The current domestically made large rocket, the H-2A, costs about 10 billion yen to launch. This is 20 to 30 percent higher than launch costs for large rockets overseas.
 現在の国産大型ロケットH2Aは、1回の打ち上げに約100億円かかる。海外の大型ロケットよりも、2~3割高い。

Lagging behind rivals

The result is that Japan has been performing poorly in the international competition for commercial contracts to launch private-sector satellites for such purposes as telecommunications and broadcasting.
 その結果、通信、放送など民間の人工衛星打ち上げ事業の受注で国際的に苦戦している。

Costs to launch satellites, including intelligence-gathering satellites that only Japan can launch because of national security concerns, are inevitably higher than in other countries with rocket-launching capabilities.
安全保障上、他国には依頼できない情報収集衛星などの打ち上げも、割高にならざるを得ない。

Development of a low-cost rocket should be considered an urgent task to help reinvigorate the nation’s space development industries and mitigate the government’s fiscal burden for space programs.
 宇宙産業の活性化、財政の負担軽減のため、低コストのロケット開発は急務と言えよう。

The United States, Europe, Russia and China have already begun developing next-generation rockets. This comes at a time when demand for launching satellites has been expanding in recent years in emerging economies in Asia, Africa and elsewhere.
 米国や欧州、ロシア、中国はすでに新型ロケット開発に乗り出している。アジアやアフリカの新興国で、人工衛星の打ち上げ需要が拡大したことが背景にある。

The H-2A rocket is among the world’s best in terms of performance and boasts a 95.5 percent launch success rate.
 H2Aは世界最高水準の性能を誇り、打ち上げ成功率も95・5%と高い。

The challenge facing Japan’s rocket development program is to cut launch costs while keeping the H-2A’s high performance.
高性能のままで、低コストをいかに実現するかが、大きな課題である。

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. have jointly produced a blueprint for the development of a new rocket. The plan reportedly aims to cut current launch costs by half, to about 5 billion yen per launch.
 宇宙航空研究開発機構(JAXA)と三菱重工業は、開発計画のたたき台をまとめている。打ち上げ費用の目標は、現在の半分に当たる約50億円だという。

JAXA and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries are working to develop a completely new engine, the most fundamental element of rocket design. To lower launch costs, the plan reportedly calls for studying the advisability of joint manufacture of engines with U.S. companies and others.
 ロケットの根幹部であるエンジンから新規開発に挑む。米企業との共同開発などで量産を図り、単価を下げることも視野にある。

Under the space policy council’s plan, the first launch of the envisioned new rocket will take place in 2020, the year the other rocket-manufacturing countries have set to start launching their new rockets. Specifics of the nation’s rocket development program should be crystallized as promptly as possible.
 新型ロケットの打ち上げは、各国が設定した目標年に合わせて2020年に始める。計画の具体化を急いでもらいたい。

The space policy expert panel has said the new rocket development project should be undertaken mainly by the private sector, and the involvement of JAXA should be minimized. This could considerably reduce the project’s costs in the aggregate, currently an estimated 190 billion yen, according to the panel.
 宇宙政策委の専門部会は、ロケットの開発は民間主導で進め、JAXAの関与は最小限にとどめるとしている。これにより、総額1900億円とされる開発費を圧縮するという。

Make best use of JAXA

Given the stringency of government finances, curbing rocket development expenses is vital.
 厳しい財政事情を考えれば、開発予算の抑制は欠かせない。

However, rocket development always faces potential unforeseeable obstacles: If the private sector takes the lead in rocket development, it may be unable to solve such problems as unexpectedly high development expenses and harder-than-expected technical challenges.
 一方で、ロケット開発では思わぬトラブルも起きる。予想外に費用を要したり、技術的な難題に直面したりして、民間主導では対処できない事態もあり得る。

JAXA has so far played the leading role in the nation’s space development programs, including its first satellite launch in 1970.
 JAXAは、1970年の初の人工衛星打ち上げなど日本の宇宙開発を先導してきた。

In the wake of the November 1999 failure to launch an H-2 rocket, the predecessor of the H-2A, JAXA effectively identified the causes of the failure and improved the rocket’s design, successfully upgrading its performance.
H2Aの前身であるH2ロケットの打ち上げ失敗時には、原因究明と改良に取り組み、性能向上を実現した。

In light of this, a system should be created to address the development of the new rocket by suitably combining private- and public-sector strengths to exploit JAXA’s accumulated technology.
 JAXAの技術の積み上げも生かし、オールジャパンで開発する体制の構築が求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 26, 2013)
(2013年5月26日01時38分  読売新聞)

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行政不服審査 公平性の確保へ法改正を急げ

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 28, 2013
Expedite revision of complaints law to ensure fairness in seeking redress
行政不服審査 公平性の確保へ法改正を急げ(5月27日付・読売社説)

It is a person’s right to seek redress for administrative actions that he or she does not agree with. We hope the latest move in this respect will be a step forward to make it easier for citizens to seek prompt and suitable redress.
 納得できない行政処分に見直しを求めるのは国民の権利である。その権利を迅速で簡便に救済する制度を、より使いやすくする一歩としたい。

The government has begun reviewing the Administrative Complaint Investigation Law and will submit a bill to the Diet next year to drastically revise the law, the first revision since it was enacted in 1962.
 政府が行政不服審査法の見直し作業を開始した。1962年の法制定以来初の抜本改正で、来年の国会への改正案提出を目指す。

With people more aware of their rights, the revision of the law is significant, particularly from the standpoint of having them become more confident in public administration.
 国民の権利意識が変化する中、国民の行政への信頼を確保するうえでも法改正は意義がある。

Besides a costly, time-consuming lawsuit, the administrative complaint investigation system is the only way to reconsider administrative actions by the central and local governments.
 行政不服審査は、費用も時間も要する裁判以外の方法で、国や自治体の処分を見直す唯一の制度だ。

Grievances wide-ranging

Grievances range from tax problems and social insurance to the disclosure of public information.
対象は、税金や社会保険、情報公開など、多岐にわたる。

In fiscal 2009, the number of public petitions filed with the central government totaled about 23,000, while local governments received about 15,000 petitions.
 2009年度の申立件数は国が約2万3000件、地方が約1万5000件に上る。

The central government reconsidered its position and accepted petitioners’ complaints in 11.9 cases out of every 100 in regard to reducing tax payments or releasing previously undisclosed documents. For these type of problems, local governments accepted 5.4 cases out of every 100 petitions.
課税額の減少、公文書の不開示決定から開示への変更など、処分を見直す認容率は11・9%と5・4%だ。

Under the new plan, the government will appoint examiners from among officials not currently involved in such
administrative matters, so as to ensure fairness in examining petitions.
 政府の見直し案では、審査の公平性を高めるため、対象の行政処分に関与していない職員から選ぶ「審理員」制度を導入する。

Under the current system, there is a possibility officials already involved in dealing with administrative problems could be put in charge of examining grievances.
 現行では、処分に関与した職員が不服審査を担当する可能性がある。

If this happened, it is unlikely that original administrative actions would be withdrawn, unless mistakes are obvious. It is important to ensure that officials currently involved in dealing with complaints are not involved in examining grievances under the revised law.
その場合、よほど明確なミスが発覚しない限り、処分は覆るまい。処分の関係者を審査に関与させない仕組みの担保が重要だ。

When the previous administration led by the Democratic Party of Japan was studying the law revision, one idea was to entrust the examination to private-sector experts.
 民主党政権が法改正を検討した際には、民間有識者に審査を委ねる案が有力だった。

But if these experts examine them independently, different conclusions could be reached on the same complaints, leading to inefficiency. The idea put forward this time is more appropriate.
だが、民間人の独自審査では、同じケースで別々の判断が出る恐れがあるうえ、効率性に疑問があった。今回の案の方が妥当である。

The new plan also proposes establishing an “administrative complaint investigation council,” a third-party panel of experts, and seeking the panel’s advice and recommendations when the examiners do not approve the review of a complaint. We understand the aim of increasing the public’s chance of being redressed through the two-stage examination.
 見直し案は、有識者の第三者機関「行政不服審査会」を新設し、審理員が処分の見直しを認めなかった場合、審査会に諮問・答申を求めることも検討している。2段階の審査によって国民の救済機会を拡大する狙いは理解できる。

However, if all the cases are referred to the third-party panel for deliberation, it would be inefficient and lead to a bloated administration. It may also cause delays in examining complaints. For small local governments, this could become an excessive administrative burden.
 ただ、すべての案件を第三者機関に諮問するのでは、非効率だし行政の肥大化につながる。審査の迅速性も失われかねない。小規模な市町村には、過重な行政負担となる恐れがある。

Narrow down cases

It is more realistic to narrow down cases to be referred to the panel by establishing criteria.
 一定の基準を設けて諮問案件を絞ることが現実的だ。

We hope the examination system will be managed flexibly in accordance with the real state of affairs of local governments. For instance, they could be allowed to establish a panel jointly with other local governments or to entrust prefectural governments with the task of examining grievances.
市町村の場合は、第三者機関の共同設置や都道府県への委託を認めるなど、地域の実情に応じて柔軟な運用が可能な制度にしてもらいたい。

The central government is also studying the possibility of setting a time limit to conclude an examination. At present, it sometimes takes several years to conclude examinations, which means complaints are not always redressed swiftly.
 政府は、審査の結論を出すまでの目安となる「標準審理期間」を設定することも検討している。現在は審査に数年かかる例もあり、必ずしも迅速な救済が実現していないとの指摘があるためだ。

The time limit would not be binding, but it is expected to prove effective to a certain extent in shortening the examination period.
 強制力はないが、審査期間短縮に一定の効果が期待できよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 27, 2013)
(2013年5月27日01時37分  読売新聞)

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ミャンマー訪問 経済支援で日本の存在感を

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 28, 2013
Boost Japan's presence in Myanmar using leverage of economic aid
ミャンマー訪問 経済支援で日本の存在感を(5月27日付・読売社説)

Japan has come out with a massive assistance package for Myanmar, a Southeast Asian country pushing forward with democratization and economic reforms. This is part of Japan’s strategic arrangements for carving out a new market in Asia.
 民主化と経済改革を進めるミャンマーに対し、日本が大型支援を表明した。アジアの新市場を開拓する布石でもある。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Myanmar and held talks Sunday with President Thein Sein in the capital, Naypyidaw.
 安倍首相がミャンマーを訪問し、テイン・セイン大統領と会談した。

Abe’s official visit is historic because it is the first to Myanmar by a Japanese prime minister in 36 years. The last prime minister to set foot there was Takeo Fukuda in 1977.
日本の首相としては、1977年の福田首相以来36年ぶりの歴史的訪問だ。

Abe praised the Myanmar president’s reform efforts, and said Japan is willing to “support Myanmar’s nation-building endeavors by extending all possible assistance from both the public and private sectors.”
 首相は大統領の改革を前向きに評価し、「官民の力を総動員し、国造りを応援する」と語った。

Specifically, Abe pledged to forgive 300 billion yen of the debts Myanmar owes Japan, and offered 91 billion yen in official development assistance for such purposes as developing an industrial park that will become a hub for Japanese companies in the swiftly emerging country.
 具体的には、ミャンマーへの債権のうち3000億円を帳消しとし、日本企業の拠点となる工業団地開発などに910億円の政府開発援助(ODA)を拠出する。

Abe as ‘top salesman’

Abe expressed the government’s readiness to work in tandem with the private sector to develop Myanmar’s infrastructure, such as a large electricity generation plant, an electricity supply grid and a high-speed communication network.
 大型発電所や電力供給網、高速通信網などの整備でも、民間と連携して支援する方針を示した。

Following its transition to a democratic government in March 2011, Myanmar has been drawing attention from all over the world as an attractive investment destination. Competition has been intensifying between many nations, including the United States, seeking to make inroads into Myanmar’s market.
 民政移管後のミャンマーは、有力な投資先として世界中から注目され、米国をはじめ各国の進出競争が勢いを増している。

Abe has played the role of “top salesman” to help Japanese firms expand their business to Myanmar.
首相は、日本企業の進出促進に向けてトップセールスを図ったといえる。

The Myanmar president was quoted as expressing gratitude for Japan’s generosity, and stressed the importance of investment in Myanmar by Japanese companies.
 大統領は謝意を示すと共に、日本の投資の重要性を強調した。

Blessed with an abundance of natural resources, including natural gas, and a high-quality labor force as well as high market growth potential, Myanmar has often been dubbed Asia’s “last frontier.”
 ミャンマーは、天然ガスなどの資源に恵まれ、労働力の質と市場の潜在力の高さから、「アジア最後のフロンティア」といわれる。

Japan’s cooperation for improving Myanmar’s straggling infrastructure will likely give a major boost to the development of its economy.
立ち遅れている社会基盤(インフラ)整備への日本の協力は、経済発展を大きく後押ししよう。

Abe told reporters the government hopes “Japan’s infrastructure-related exports to Myanmar, like those to Russia and the Middle East, will lead to growth in Japan’s economy.” Myanmar will certainly figure prominently in the Abe administration’s growth strategy.
 首相は「ロシア、中東に続き、ミャンマーへのインフラ輸出も日本の成長につなげたい」と記者団に述べた。安倍政権の成長戦略の中で、ミャンマーは重要な位置を占めることになる。

Abe also told the president that Japan intends to help Myanmar improve its legal system and enhance its human resources.
 首相は大統領に、法整備や人材育成を支援する意向を伝えた。

To ensure this wide-ranging economic assistance to Myanmar proves truly effective, improving that country’s legal system will be essential for creating an environment that attracts investment and for acquiring know-how about running businesses.
 多様な経済支援を実効あるものにするには、ミャンマーの投資環境や企業運営などに関する法整備が必要だ。

Abe’s commitment to a program under which about 1,000 young people from Myanmar are to be invited to Japan will be effective in this respect.
ミャンマーから1000人規模の青年を日本に招待する取り組みは効果的だ。

Both leaders reached an accord on bilateral cooperation for measures to eliminate poverty among Myanmar’s ethnic minorities. We hope the agreement paves the way for resolving human rights problems in Myanmar.
 両首脳は、少数民族の貧困撲滅対策への協力でも一致した。人権問題の解決につなげたい。

Bolstering security ties

In addition, the two leaders agreed to bolster bilateral security cooperation. The Maritime Self-Defense Force’s “training squadron” is expected to make a port call in Myanmar for the first time, a move that will activate security interchanges between the two countries. This is extremely significant.
 安全保障協力の強化でも合意した。海上自衛隊の「練習艦隊」がミャンマーに初めて寄港するなど、防衛交流が活発化する見通しだ。その意義は小さくない。

Tucked between China and India, Myanmar sits in a geopolitically important area. In 2014, Myanmar will chair meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
 中国とインドの間に位置するミャンマーは、地政学的に要衝の地である。来年は東南アジア諸国連合(ASEAN)の議長国だ。

Strengthening ties with Myanmar, which has changed course from leaning toward China, is in line with Abe’s diplomatic stance that advocates democracy and freedom.
 中国寄りの外交から転換したミャンマーとの関係強化は、安倍首相が掲げる民主主義や自由を重視する外交路線とも重なる。

Pursuing this line should help hold in check a China that has become increasingly assertive both militarily and economically.
軍事、経済面で自己主張を強める中国への牽制(けんせい)にもなるだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 27, 2013)
(2013年5月27日01時38分  読売新聞)

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2013年5月26日 (日)

共通番号法成立 公正な社会保障へ大きな一歩

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 26, 2013
My Number step toward fair, effective way to manage social security system
共通番号法成立 公正な社会保障へ大きな一歩(5月25日付・読売社説)

 ◆情報漏えい対策に万全を期せ◆

The key foundation for the government to fairly and effectively impose taxes and provide social security benefits is finally set to be established.
 公正で効率的な課税や社会保障給付を行う重要な基盤が、ようやく整うことになった。

It is vital to thoroughly inform people of the new system and make it conducive to improving convenience for the public.
 国民に周知徹底し、利便性の向上に役立てることが肝要だ。

At a plenary session Friday, the House of Councillors passed bills for the so-called My Number system, under which people will be given identification numbers. The bills were supported by three major parties--the Liberal Democratic Party, New Komeito and the Democratic Party of Japan--and other parties. With the legislation passed into law, the system will start operating in 2016.
 全国民に番号を割り振る共通番号制度関連法(マイナンバー法)が参院本会議で、自民、公明、民主3党などの賛成多数で可決、成立した。2016年からシステムの運用が始まる。

Most developed countries already have similar numbering systems. Japan lagged in taking such a step, but we welcome the fact that a numbering system will be launched in Japan, too.
 既にほとんどの先進国が共通番号制度を取り入れている。後れを取ったとはいえ、日本でも導入されることを歓迎したい。

Public concerns eased
 ◆薄らいだ国民の不安感◆

The My Number system is intended to allow administrative bodies to better manage social security and taxation information by issuing a number card with a facial photo and an IC chip to Japanese citizens.
 共通番号制度は、顔写真やIC(集積回路)チップの入った「個人番号カード」を国民一人ひとりに交付し、行政機関が社会保障給付や納税を管理する仕組みだ。

Under the system, personal information about multiple subjects can be obtained simply with the individually assigned numbers. This is expected to improve the efficiency of administrative work.
 この制度を使えば、個人の複数の情報を共通番号で「名寄せ」することによって、行政事務の効率化を図ることができる。

The system can integrate records of people’s income and benefits they receive and premiums they pay for pension, health care and nursing care.
所得のほかに、年金、医療、介護の保険料負担、給付などの記録を結びつけることが可能になる。

It is likely to help prevent failure to pay pension benefits and other administrative errors. To provide substantial administrative services, this system is essential.
 年金の支給漏れの防止などにも役立つだろう。きめ細かい行政サービスを実現するためには、欠かせない制度である。

The benefits are also significant for citizens, as they will not be required to submit documents such as residence and income certificates when applying for pension and other welfare benefits. The system will enable cardholders to check their own records of pension and tax payments on computers.
 国民にとっても、年金給付の申請の際、住民票や所得証明書が不要になるなど、メリットは大きい。パソコンで自分の年金や納税の状況を調べることもできる。

Previously, the introduction of such a system had met with criticism, with opponents saying personal information might not be secure. They also complained that a national code-number system would allow the uniform management of personal data by the government.
 以前は、「個人情報流出の恐れがある」「国が個人情報を一元管理する国民総背番号制だ」といった拒否反応が強かった。

The My Number system bills were enacted in light of the stable operation of the Basic Resident Registration Network, or Juki Net, which was launched in 2002.
 今回の共通番号法が成立した背景としては、2002年に稼働した住民基本台帳ネットワークシステムが、安定的に運用されていることが挙げられる。

Juki Net, which enables the sharing of personal records nationwide by numbering all Japanese citizens, has improved public services for people and the efficiency of administrative work. For the more than 10 years since its introduction, the system has seen no serious information leaks or other trouble. This apparently has eased public concerns over the new system.
 全住民にコード番号を付け、全国ネットで結んだこのシステムは、住民サービスの向上と行政事務の効率化で実績を上げている。10年以上、深刻な情報漏れ事故も起きていない。国民の不安感は薄らいだと言えよう。

The new common number system will be set up based on Juki Net.
 共通番号制度は、住基ネットのシステムを土台に構築される。

The fact that the DPJ, which had opposed the introduction of Juki Net, came to power in 2009 could be a big factor behind the legislation of the common number system. The administration of Yoshihiko Noda compiled bills for the system based on its policy of promoting integrated reform of the social security and tax systems, highlighting a consumption tax hike.
 住基ネットに反対していた民主党が、09年に政権についたことも共通番号の法制化の大きな要因と言える。野田内閣は消費税率の引き上げを柱とする社会保障と税の一体改革を打ち出す中で、共通番号法案をまとめた。

The bills cleared the Diet on Friday after being revised by the LDP, New Komeito and the DPJ. The three parties are responsible for pushing social security reforms together.
 これを自公民3党で修正したのが今回の共通番号法である。社会保障の改革は、3党が協調して進めていく責任がある。

The application of the common number system will be limited to social security and tax procedures for the time being. Care must be taken in applying the system while attaching importance to protection of personal information.
 共通番号制度の利用範囲は当面、個人情報の保護を重視し、社会保障や税の手続きに限定される。まずは運用に慎重を期すということだろう。

Medical care applications
 ◆利用範囲の拡大検討を◆

The convenience of the system can be further enhanced if its application is extended to medical care information.
 診療情報などに利用範囲を広げれば、利便性はさらに高まる。

Resident cards and clinical records were lost after local government offices and hospitals were damaged in the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011, hampering work to rescue disaster victims. If the common number system is used in such an event, access from anywhere in the country would make it possible to confirm victims’ medical history and provide adequate treatment promptly.
 東日本大震災の際、被災した役場や病院で住民票情報やカルテが失われ、被災者の救援に支障が生じた。共通番号を使えば、全国どこからでも被災者の病歴や服薬歴を確認でき、適切な治療を速やかに行えるのではないか。

In ordinary times, use of the system would make it possible for patients to avoid duplication of examinations and medication at two or more hospitals. It would also help prevent the risk of prescribing two or more incompatible medicines to the same patient, which could cause dangerous interactions.
 災害時でなくても、患者が複数の病院で重複して検査や投薬を受ける無駄を省ける。副作用の恐れがある薬の「飲み合わせ」防止にも活用できよう。

The government is studying a plan to introduce a system to cap each household’s expenses for medical treatment, nursing care and child care, thereby curbing their copayments. The common number system is indispensable to achieve this goal.
 政府は、医療や介護、保育などの費用総額に、世帯ごとに上限を設け、自己負担額を抑える制度の導入を検討している。その実現にも共通番号は欠かせない。

The new law stipulates that expansion of the range for application will be studied three years after the law is enforced. The government must strive to realize an effective application of the system.
 新法は付則に、施行から3年をメドに利用範囲の拡大を検討すると明記している。政府は、制度の有効活用を図らねばならない。

In the United States, where the Social Security number system is in place, a number of scams have occurred in which numbers were stolen to take out loans in identity-theft crimes.
 ただ、社会保障番号を導入している米国では、番号が盗用され、勝手にローンを組まれる「なりすまし」被害が多発している。

And in South Korea, resident registration numbers were leaked via the Internet, resulting in a number of cases of fraud in which identity thieves bought things using others’ numbers.
 韓国でも、住民登録番号がインターネット上に流出し、他人が番号を使って買い物をするなどの詐欺事件が相次いだ。

In both cases, insufficient effort was made to ensure proper identification to protect against identity theft.
 いずれも本人確認が不徹底なために起きた問題だ。

A credible system eyed
 ◆信頼性の高い制度に◆

Drawing a lesson from these cases, the government must work out countermeasures.
 こうした事例を他山の石として、対策を講じてもらいたい。

To help prevent identity theft and other crimes, the new law stipulates that individual number cards with ID photos should be presented for over-the-counter identification. The law also stipulates penalties for those who leak information outside.
 新法は、被害防止のため、窓口などでの本人確認は、顔写真入りの個人番号カードで行うよう定めている。情報を外部に漏らした場合の罰則も規定した。

As a third-party organization with a high degree of independence, a specific personal information protection commission will be established. The planned body will have strong investigative authority and be empowered to issue recommendations and orders if irregularities are discovered.
 さらに、独立性の高い第三者機関として、「特定個人情報保護委員会」が新設される。強い調査権限を持ち、不正があった場合には勧告や命令ができる。

All possible measures must be taken to ensure adequate management of personal information so that the common numbering system will be trusted by the people.
 個人情報の管理に万全を期し、国民から信頼される共通番号制度にする必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 25, 2013)
(2013年5月25日01時15分  読売新聞)

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2013年5月25日 (土)

日航支援検証 公正な競争を保つ指針作りを

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 25, 2013
Rules needed to ensure fairness in extending govt aid to airlines
日航支援検証 公正な競争を保つ指針作りを(5月24日付・読売社説)

If corporate rehabilitation of failed companies after the injection of public funds is to be truly successful, the side effects of such aid, which distort fair competition in the market, should not be left unaddressed.
 公的資金の投入で企業の再生が成功しても、公正な競争をゆがめる副作用は放置できない。

Rules are needed for both “assistance” and “competition” to coexist.
 「支援」と「競争」を両立させるルールが必要だ。

An expert panel of the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry has compiled a report to reexamine whether the government’s assistance to Japan Airlines, which went bankrupt in January 2010, was appropriate.
 国土交通省の有識者委員会は、2010年1月に経営破綻した日本航空への公的支援を検証する報告書をまとめた。

Although the report said the government’s aid was necessary to maintain both domestic and international airline networks, it also pointed out: “Measures to secure a fair, competitive environment were insufficient. Consideration for competing companies was lacking.” We think the panel’s findings are appropriate.
 国内線、国際線の航空網を維持するため、政府の支援は必要だったとしながらも、「競争環境を確保する観点が不十分で、競合他社への配慮に欠けていた」と総括した。妥当な認識である。

JAL pushed through business reforms such as personnel cuts and withdrawal from unprofitable routes to achieve a V-shaped recovery in its business performance. In September, the company succeeded in relisting its shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The company’s speedy reconstruction can be said to have been well handled.
 日航は、人員削減や不採算路線からの撤退といった経営改革を進めて業績をV字回復させ、昨年9月には株式の再上場を果たした。スピード再建は評価できよう。

However, it cannot be denied that the injection of about 350 billion yen in public funds and preferential treatment such as exemption from corporate taxes pushed up JAL’s profits far more than the effects of the corporate restructuring measures.
 だが、リストラ効果以上に、約3500億円の公的資金や法人税の免除などの優遇措置が利益を押し上げた面は否定できない。

ANA Holdings Inc.--the holding company of JAL’s rival All Nippon Airways--posted the biggest-ever operating profits in its consolidated financial statement for the business year 2012, which ended in March. However, JAL’s operating profits for the same business year were double those of ANA.
 13年3月期の連結決算で、ライバルのANAホールディングスは最高の営業利益を計上した。ところが、日航の営業利益は、さらにその2倍に達した。

Sound criticism on JAL case

ANA’s criticism of the situation is quite understandable, as fair competition in the market was distorted due to the government’s excessive assistance of JAL. If JAL were to offer new services or price cuts using its current corporate management strength, the operations of rival companies would be hit hard and JAL’s price control power in the market would likely be bolstered further.
 ANAが、日航への手厚い支援で健全な競争がゆがめられていると批判するのももっともである。経営体力を武器に日航が新サービスや値下げなどに走れば、ライバル社の経営に打撃を与え、日航の価格支配力が強まりかねない。

If airline passengers are inconvenienced as a result, it will be problematic.
 利用者の利便性が低下する事態になれば、問題だ。

The panel’s report called on the ministry to continue its monitoring of JAL until the end of fiscal 2016, when JAL’s current medium-term business plan is set to end. The ministry must keep an eye on the airline to avoid a situation in which JAL leverages its advantageous position to further hamper fair competition in the market.
 報告書は、日航の中期経営計画が終了する16年度まで、国交省に日航の監視継続を求めた。国交省は、日航が過度に有利になって公正な競争が阻害されることのないよう目を光らせるべきだ。

We also urge the government to establish an appropriate procedure to follow when failed airlines are given government assistance, and a mechanism for placing limits on their businesses.
 航空会社が公的支援を受ける際の手続きや事業制限の仕組みを整えておくことも求められる。

Increasing policy transparency

It is understandable that the report proposed a system to hear the opinions of parties concerned for consideration when a rehabilitation plan is compiled, based on guidelines from the European Union. The transparency of government policy will be increased if various opinions, including those of rival companies in the airline market, are taken into account.
 報告書が、欧州連合(EU)の指針を参考に、再建計画策定時に関係者に意見聴取する制度を提言したのは理解できる。競合他社などの多様な意見を反映させれば、政策の透明性も高まろう。

On the other hand, the report did not propose restrictions such as those on the expansion of flight routes that are stipulated in the EU guidelines. There may be concerns that excessive restrictions will hinder the rehabilitation of failed companies. We feel this issue should be discussed further.
 報告書は、EU指針のように路線拡大の制限などには踏み込まなかった。行き過ぎた規制は再建の足を引っ張るとの懸念もあるのだろう。検討課題にしてほしい。

The report also pointed out the need for cross-industrial guidelines.
 報告書は、産業横断的な指針を作る必要性も指摘した。

Due to global competition, companies in some fields in the manufacturing industry are facing difficulties in running their businesses. In principle, a firm’s corporate rehabilitation must be carried out under its own steam. It is thus undesirable for the government to extend a helping hand to ailing firms so easily. If rules governing multiple industries are to be created, it is important to ensure that the necessity of extending public assistance is assessed in a fair manner.
 グローバルな競争で、一部の製造業が経営不振に陥っている。再建は自助努力が基本であり、安易な支援は望ましくない。産業界の共通ルールを策定する場合も、支援の必要性を公正に判断できる仕組みにすることが重要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 24, 2013)
(2013年5月24日01時02分  読売新聞)

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日本版NSC 情報収集・分析力も強化せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 25, 2013
Info-gathering, analysis capability must be bolstered in creating NSC
日本版NSC 情報収集・分析力も強化せよ(5月24日付・読売社説)

It has been noted for many years that the existing Security Council of Japan exists as a mere formality.
 政府の安全保障会議の形骸化が指摘されて久しい。

A control tower to discuss and lead the nation’s diplomatic and security policies must be created quickly.
 外交・安保政策を実質的に議論し、主導する司令塔づくりを急がなければならない。

The government has disclosed a draft of a bill to establish a National Security Council, or a Japanese version of the U.S. NSC.
 政府が国家安全保障会議(日本版NSC)設置法案の素案を明らかにした。

The pillar of the planned legislation is a regular meeting of the prime minister, chief cabinet secretary, foreign minister and defense minister. The Japanese National Security Council must be recognized as the decision-making body for Japan’s diplomatic and national security strategies, according to the draft.
首相と官房長官、外相、防衛相の3閣僚による会合を常設し、外交・安保戦略の実質的な決定機関とすることが柱だ。

Periodic talks essential

The framework of the current Security Council of Japan, comprising the prime minister and eight other Cabinet members, would remain intact and deliberate the fundamentals of security policies and related issues, the draft says.
 首相と8閣僚で構成する安保会議の枠組みは残し、安保政策の基本方針などを審議する。

Depending on the matters concerned, a meeting of six or seven Cabinet members, or one made up of the four key ministers, plus such members as the land, infrastructure, transport and tourism minister and the national public security commission chairman, would take place anytime it is needed, according to the draft.
The government plans to submit the bill to the Diet in early June.
 テーマに応じて、中核の4人に国土交通相や国家公安委員長などを加えた6、7人の閣僚会合も随時、開く。来月上旬の法案の国会提出を目指している。

It is considerably difficult for the current council, which consists of as many as nine members, to have in-depth, substantive discussions and reach swift conclusions.
 9人の会議で中身の濃い議論を行い、迅速に結論を出すのは難しい。

Although there have been unofficial meetings of the four key Cabinet members, the envisioned legislation for giving conferences statutory status as an official organ is significant.
従来も4人の非公式協議はあったが、法律上の正式機関と位置づけることの意義は大きい。

On the occasion of launching the government-envisaged NSC, it will be important to solidly establish such arrangements as having major Cabinet members consult periodically, about once every two weeks, to craft strategies and policies from a medium- and long-term perspective as well as comprehensive points of view. All government ministries and agencies concerned will need to fully coordinate to support the NSC.
 NSC創設を機に、主要閣僚が2週間に1回程度、定期的に外交・安保問題を協議し、中長期的かつ総合的な視点で戦略・政策を立案する。関係省庁も連携し、NSCを全面的に支える。こうした体制を確立することが重要だ。

In addition, the posts of the chief cabinet secretary, foreign minister and defense minister must always be filled by highly competent individuals. These important posts should also come with guaranteed term lengths to ensure the right people are in place should they be needed.
 同時に、官房長官や外相、防衛相には、常に実力者を起用し、一定期間は交代させないなど、人事面の工夫も求められる。

The practical operations of crisis management, such as those for coping with emergencies, would be left not to the secretariat of the NSC, but continue to be the responsibility of the Cabinet Secretariat headed by the deputy chief cabinet secretary for crisis management, according to the draft.
 緊急事態への対処など危機管理の実務は、NSC事務局でなく、従来通り、内閣危機管理監が率いる内閣官房が統括するという。

It makes sense that the draft says the NSC would not be in charge of dealing with such matters as a massive domestic disaster.
 NSCが国内の大規模災害などは扱わないのは当然だ。

However, as far as issues relating to the country’s diplomacy and security, such as the hostage crisis in Algeria in January and a North Korea missile launch, are concerned, the NSC secretariat should work closely with the the deputy chief cabinet secretary for crisis management.
ただ、アルジェリアの人質事件や北朝鮮のミサイル発射など、外交・安全保障に関係する事態については、NSC事務局が内閣危機管理監と緊密に連携する必要がある。

National security and intelligence capabilities are inextricably linked together. To beef up the quality of security policies, the enhancement of information-gathering and analysis capabilities is crucial. The government must buckle down and foster experts in intelligence activities.
 安全保障とインテリジェンス(情報)は、車の両輪の関係にある。安保政策の質を高めるには情報収集・分析能力の強化が欠かせない。インテリジェンスの専門家育成に本腰を入れるべきだ。

Learn lessons from Iraq War

The draft has called for the appointment of “information liaison officers” at government organizations concerned, including the foreign and defense ministries and police and public security agencies, making it obligatory that they provide information to the NSC.
 素案では、外務、防衛、警察、公安調査など関係省庁に局長級の「情報連絡官」を置き、NSCへの情報提供を義務づけた。

Japan’s intelligence organizations have long been mocked as being “unable to pass information to superiors, share it with other bodies or keep it from leaking.”
 日本の情報機関は長年、「上がらず、回らず、漏れる」と揶揄(やゆ)されてきた。

This points to the problems of failing to have important information conveyed to the Prime Minister’s Office, not sharing information with other government entities, and not preventing leaks.
重要情報が首相官邸に適切に伝わらず、関係機関に共有されずに、外部に漏洩(ろうえい)しがちだという問題点を指摘したものだ。

By drawing lessons from the failure of the United States in starting a war with Iraq, the government, while abiding by the principle of separation of policy formulation and information analysis, must firmly build a system to ensure prompt conveyance of information.
 イラク戦争開戦時の米国の失敗を教訓に、政策立案と情報分析の分離の原則は守りつつ、情報の迅速な伝達を可能にする仕組みを構築することが大切である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 24, 2013)
(2013年5月24日01時02分  読売新聞)

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2013年5月24日 (金)

中国潜水艦潜航 海自の警戒能力向上が急務だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 24, 2013
Reinforcing MSDF's antisub patrol capability urgent task
中国潜水艦潜航 海自の警戒能力向上が急務だ(5月23日付・読売社説)

We would like to ask China to refrain from taking any more actions that would unnecessarily heighten Japan-China military tensions, even if they do not violate international laws.
 国際法違反ではないものの、いたずらに軍事的緊張を高める行動だ。中国に自制を求めたい。

A series of incidents have taken place this month in which submarines believed to belong to the Chinese Navy conducted submerged passages in the contiguous zone near the Nansei Islands. Japan confirmed a passage on May 2 off Amami-Oshima island, Kagoshima Prefecture, and another off Kumejima island, Okinawa Prefecture, on May 12-13. The Defense Ministry has announced the incidents without identifying the country to which the submarines belong.
 中国海軍所属とみられる潜水艦が南西諸島の接続水域内を海中に潜ったまま航行していた事案が今月、相次いで発生した。
 2日に鹿児島県・奄美大島沖で、12~13日には沖縄県・久米島沖で潜航が確認され、防衛省は国名を伏せて事案を公表した。

It was an unusual response to such incidents, since revealing the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s submarine detection capability violates common sense from a military viewpoint. We believe the Japanese government was trying to send a warning to China.
 海上自衛隊の潜水艦探知能力という手の内を明かすのは軍事的には「非常識」で、異例の対応だ。中国に対し、警告のメッセージを送ることを重視したのだろう。

However, it was revealed that a third submerged navigation incident took place off Minami-Daitojima island, Okinawa Prefecture, last Sunday. The warning proved to be ineffective.
 しかし、19日にも沖縄県・南大東島沖で3件目の潜航が発覚し、警告の効果はなかった。

International law requires submarines to remain on the surface when operating in territorial waters of other countries. But they are allowed to submerge when operating in contiguous zones. If a submarine of another nation enters Japan’s territorial waters while submerged, the Japanese government will order the MSDF to conduct maritime policing activity, as such an action constitutes an emergency.
 国際法上、潜水艦は他国領海では海上に浮上して航行する義務がある一方、接続水域では潜航が認められている。とはいえ、日本の領海に入れば、直ちに海上警備行動を発令する非常事態となる。

Since Japan’s nationalization of three of the Senkaku Islands in September last year, official Chinese vessels have repeatedly intruded into Japanese territorial waters. Chinese Navy vessels even locked weapons-guiding radar on an MSDF helicopter and a destroyer.
 中国は昨年9月の日本の尖閣諸島国有化後、中国公船による再三の領海侵入や、海軍艦船のレーダー照射事件を起こしている。

Aiming at maritime power

China’s intermediate- and long-term objectives are to become a “great maritime power” and expand its territories and maritime interests. It intends to do this by expanding the Chinese Navy’s maritime activity area to the western Pacific, which lies outside its “first island chain” perimeter linking Okinawa Prefecture, Taiwan and other major archipelagoes.
 中長期的には、海軍の活動海域を、沖縄、台湾などを結ぶ第1列島線の外側の西太平洋に広げて、領土・海洋権益の拡大を図る「海洋強国」戦略も掲げる。

The submerged passage incidents this month are believed to be part of its “anti-access/area denial (A2/AD)” strategy, under which China aims to prevent U.S. military deployment, including aircraft carriers, inside the first island chain. They are also considered to be related to China’s provocative actions around the Senkaku Islands.
 今回の潜航は、有事の際に第1列島線の内側に米軍空母などを侵入させない「接近阻止・領域拒否」戦略の一環であり、一連の示威活動とも連動しているようだ。

China’s self-righteous expansionism has invited negative reactions from the international community. Consequently, the philosophy has not benefitted the country. China must seriously grasp the reality and coolheadedly review its strategy.
 中国の独善的な膨張主義は、国際社会の反発を招き、結果的に自らの利益になっていない。中国はその現状を直視し、冷静に戦略を見直すべきではないか。

And Japan must urgently beef up further patrol and surveillance activities against Chinese submarines by the MSDF’s P-3C Orion patrol aircraft and submarines.
 日本は、中国軍の潜水艦に対する海自のP3C哨戒機や潜水艦などの警戒監視活動を一段と強化することが急務である。

The MSDF plans to gradually replace the aging P-3Cs to new P-1 anti-sub patrol aircraft and increase its submarine fleet from the current 16 to 22 in the near future.
 海自は、老朽化したP3Cを新型哨戒機P1に順次更新するとともに、潜水艦を16隻から22隻体制に増やす方針だ。

Beef up quality, quantity

Taking into consideration the Chinese Navy’s rapid equipment buildup and modernization, as well as its excessive provocations against Japan, the priority in the new National Defense Program Guidelines to be compiled at the year’s end must be to reinforce MSDF and Air Self-Defense Force equipment and personnel in both quality and quantity.
 中国海空軍の急速な装備増強や近代化、過度な示威活動を踏まえれば、今年末に策定する新防衛大綱では、海自と航空自衛隊の装備と人員を質・量ともに拡充することが優先課題となる。

Furthermore, the Defense Ministry must advance its schedule for introducing the Global Hawk high-altitude unmanned reconnaissance drone.
 防衛省が検討している高高度無人偵察機グローバルホークの導入も前倒しで実施すべきだ。

Joint Japan-U.S. patrol and surveillance activities using the drone will lessen burdens on the MSDF and ASDF, which are operating at full capacity around the Nansei Islands. Such activities will also improve the SDF capabilities for high-level duties, including the detection of submarines.
 無人機による日米共同の警戒監視活動は、南西諸島周辺でフル稼働中の海空自の負担を軽減し、潜水艦の探索などの高度な任務に取り組む体制を充実させよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 23, 2013)
(2013年5月23日01時14分  読売新聞)

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維新VSみんな 改憲論議が失速しては困る

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 24, 2013
Don't let feud between Ishin no Kai, Your Party affect Constitution debate
維新VSみんな 改憲論議が失速しては困る(5月23日付・読売社説)

The landscape of this summer’s House of Councillors election is changing.
 夏の参院選の構図が変わりつつある。

Your Party recently decided to end its cooperation with Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) for the upper house election.
 みんなの党が、日本維新の会との選挙協力解消を決めた。

“As the two parties have differences in their fundamental values, we have no choice but to review our relationship [with Ishin no Kai] from scratch,” Your Party leader Yoshimi Watanabe said.
みんなの党の渡辺代表は、「基本的な価値観の相違がある以上、関係の全面的な見直しを行わざるを得ない」とその理由を語った。

According to sources, Ishin no Kai coleader Toru Hashimoto’s recent remarks on so-called comfort women are the main reason behind Watanabe’s decision.
 維新の会の橋下共同代表によるいわゆる従軍慰安婦に関する一連の発言が主な理由だという。

Both parties have pledged to amend the Constitution, and they have particularly led debate on revising Article 96, which stipulates the Diet can propose amendments to the basic law only when both chambers of the Diet approve the proposed revision by a two-thirds majority.
 両党は、ともに憲法改正を公約に掲げ、96条の改正論議を牽引(けんいん)してきた。

Thus a point of contention in the coming upper house election is whether the three advocates of constitutional amendments--Your Party, Ishin no Kai and the Liberal Democratic Party--can win a two-thirds majority in the chamber.
参院選では、自民党と合わせて、憲法改正の発議可能な3分の2以上の勢力を獲得できるかどうかが焦点と見られていた。

Feud likely to benefit DPJ

Therefore, it is disappointing to witness Your Party and Ishin no Kai feud with each other ahead of the election. We do not want to see discussions on revising the Constitution, which have been gaining momentum, lose steam because of the quarrel between the two parties.
 それだけに、両党が反目するのは残念である。これによって、高まっていた憲法改正論議が、失速するようでは困る。

Learning from December’s House of Representatives election, the two parties have been working on coordinating the number of candidates they run in some of the upper house constituencies. Now they are expected to again engage in do-or-die battles in the upper house election. The confrontation between Your Party and Ishin no Kai will likely benefit the Democratic Party of Japan in constituencies that have two or three seats up for grabs.
 両党は、衆院選の反省から、参院選挙区で候補者を調整してきたが、またもやつぶしあいを演じることになる。両党の対立は、改選定数2~3の選挙区では民主党を利する結果になろう。

Watanabe and Hashimoto have experienced discord on issues such as how the two parties should cooperate. As the approval rating for Ishin no Kai is sliding, we assume that Watanabe thought now was a good time for his party to split with Ishin no Kai, to start campaigning for the upper house election in better conditions.
 渡辺氏は、両党連携の在り方などを巡り橋下氏と確執があった。支持率が下降傾向にある維新の会とは、これを機に袂(たもと)を分かつ方が選挙に有利と見たのだろう。

Hashimoto apologized for advising a senior U.S. military officer in Okinawa Prefecture that U.S. servicemen in Japan should use the country’s sex industry. “I lacked global perspective,” Hashimoto said.
 橋下氏は、沖縄の在日米軍に風俗業の活用を提案したことについては、「国際感覚が乏しかった」と陳謝した。

However, Hashimoto said he has no intention of withdrawing his remarks on comfort women.
だが、自らの慰安婦発言は撤回しないという。

Some of Hashimoto’s remarks regarding the issue of sex and war could be based on historical facts. However, it is doubtful whether there was any benefit to his insisting that the comfort women system was necessary at that time in history.
 「戦場の性」の問題に関しては歴史的事実を踏まえていても、「当時は必要だった」などと、ことさら主張すべきだったのか。

We must say he is immature as a politician in being unable to assess how his remarks would affect the public and the international community.
内外への波紋も計算できないようでは、政治家として稚拙である。

In addition to the dignity of women, the comfort women issue should be discussed from various viewpoints.
 慰安婦問題には、女性の尊厳をはじめ、様々な論点がある。

One of the issues regarding comfort women is a 1993 statement by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono, which was not based on any historical material. His remarks contained expressions indicating that Japanese administrative and military authorities forcibly recruited women as comfort women.
 事実関係としては、強制連行を裏付ける資料が確認されないのに、1993年の河野官房長官談話で官憲による強制性を認めたかのように記述されたことだ。

Effects of Kono statement

In 2007, the first Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe approved a written answer to Diet questions on the comfort women issue at a Cabinet meeting. In it, the government said there were no descriptions in any documents the government found that directly pointed to forced recruitment of women by the military or government authorities. However, it was not enough to clear up the international community’s misunderstandings on the issue.
 第1次安倍内閣が、2007年に「強制連行を直接示すような記述は見当たらなかった」とする政府答弁書を閣議決定したにもかかわらず、国際社会の誤解は払拭されていない。

The U.S. House of Representatives and the European Parliament have passed resolutions condemning Japan on the comfort women issue, based on the false understanding that the Imperial Japanese Army forced women to be “sex slaves.”
 米議会や欧州議会などは、旧日本軍が「女性を強制的に性奴隷化した」といった、誤解に基づく対日批判決議を採択している。

It is regrettable that the international community is unwilling to accept Japan’s explanations despite its efforts, as Japan has been overwhelmed by the propaganda of South Korea and other countries.
 韓国などとの情報戦で押し込まれ、日本がいくら弁明しても、国際的にはなかなか受け入れられにくい状況は憂慮すべきだ。

The government, ruling and opposition parties need to deal with this harsh reality. A strategic approach is required.
 こうした現実に日本政府と与野党は、どう対処するのか。戦略的に考えていかねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 23, 2013)
(2013年5月23日01時14分  読売新聞)

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2013年5月23日 (木)

直感とは人間の本能に根ざすものなのです

仕事においてもあるいはテレビゲームなどにおいても直感はとても大切なものなのです。
私は思うのですが、現在自分が掴めている直感という特殊能力は過去の苦い体験が元となっているのではないかと。
苦しんだ分、あとで楽が出来るのは、ビジネスの世界だってゲームの世界だって同じだと思うのです。

苦しみと絶望のどん底で、まるで人間の本能のようにそれがひらめく。
そういうものだと思うのです。

深い悲しみの末に生まれる直感こそ、その後の人生の役に立つような気がいたしました。
美しき悲しみを楽しめる人たちだけが、その類い希なる直感能力を付与されるのではないでしょうか。
音楽家、画家、彫刻家なども直感力なしには良い仕事が出来ないのではないかと思うのです。

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暴力団追放訴訟 住民の勇気と安全守ってこそ

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 23, 2013
Safety of residents must take top priority in proxy litigation system targeting gangs
暴力団追放訴訟 住民の勇気と安全守ってこそ(5月22日付・読売社説)

The proxy litigation system, a measure that was introduced as part of efforts to purge organized crime syndicates from this country, should be put to effective use.
 暴力団追放運動の新たな手段を有効に機能させることが肝要だ。

The system envisions that individual prefectural locations of the National Center for the Elimination of Boryokudan, a public foundation tasked with leading an antigang drive, will file lawsuits on behalf of troubled residents to seek an injunction to prohibit gangs from using offices in their neighborhood.
 都道府県の暴力追放運動推進センターが、住民に代わって組事務所の使用差し止めを求める代理訴訟制度で、神奈川、福岡のセンターが今春、国家公安委員会の認定を受けた。

This spring, the National Public Safety Commission authorized two of the centers, in Kanagawa and Fukuoka prefectures, to file lawsuits in lieu of residents, bringing the number of centers sanctioned to serve as proxies to seven. The other centers are in Tokyo and Saitama, Tokushima, Oita and Saga prefectures.
 両県のセンターは訴訟を起こす資格を得たことになる。これで認定を受けたのは、東京、埼玉、徳島、大分、佐賀と合わせて7センターとなった。

The proxy litigation system was established in January when the revised Antigang Law took effect. The antigang centers--which provide counseling to residents who have been victims of illegal gang activity such as demanding money for doing business in their “domains” and intimidating debt-collection practices--are now qualified to serve as plaintiffs in place of residents, pending approval from the National Public Safety Commission.
 代理訴訟制度は1月施行の改正暴力団対策法で新設された。みかじめ料要求や不当な債権取り立てなどの被害相談を行う公益財団法人のセンターが、住民の訴えを受け、訴訟の原告となる。

Reduced burden for residents

When residents turn to this system, their burdens of having to negotiate with lawyers and going through legal procedures should be considerably reduced. Litigation costs, said to be at least 3 million yen, will be mostly, if not entirely, covered by each center.
 弁護士との交渉や訴訟手続きの面で、住民側の負担は、かなり軽減されるに違いない。最低300万円はかかるとされる裁判費用についても、全額か大部分をセンターが負担する。

Many of the centers, however, have not applied to the commission for authorization, citing a lack of funding from corporate donations--their main source of operating funds--due to a prolonged economic slump. More than half of the 40 unauthorized centers are not expected to submit an application to the commission this fiscal year.
 問題は多くのセンターで認定申請が遅れていることだ。
 景気低迷が長引き、運営資金となる企業からの寄付金が集まらないのが主な理由という。未認定の40センターの半数以上が今年度内の申請を見送る見通しだ。

It may be advisable for local governments to consider using taxpayer money to support centers in tough financial situations. A case in point is the city of Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture, that has shouldered part of the cost of a lawsuit seeking an injunction to halt the use of an office by gangsters who were engaged in a gang war.
 財政基盤の弱いセンターに対し、自治体が公費で支援することを検討してはどうか。抗争事件を起こした暴力団事務所の使用差し止めを住民が求めた裁判で、福岡県久留米市が訴訟費用の一部を負担したケースは参考になろう。

There have been 24 lawsuits filed by residents seeking an injunction to ban gangs from using an office in their neighborhood. In most cases, the plaintiffs won. In one case, gangs stopped making unjust demands just after a lawsuit was filed. Such litigation can thus be an effective way to weaken organized crime syndicates.
 住民が原告となって組事務所の使用差し止めを求めた訴訟は、過去に24件あり、ほとんどで訴えが認められている。裁判が提起されただけで、不当な要求が止まった例もある。暴力団を弱体化させる有効な手段の一つと言える。

With the public foundations serving as proxies, the number of such lawsuits is expected to increase. We hope the drive to eliminate gangs will gain momentum.
 公的制度への移行で今後、訴訟件数の増加が予想される。暴力団排除の流れを加速させたい。

Protection from reprisal

However, there is a worrisome aspect to the new system: Even though the litigation is done by proxy, a list of residents’ names must be revealed in the lawsuits. This is because the plaintiff must present specific evidence of residents’ mental anguish brought by the existence of a gang office.
 ただ、新制度には心配な点がある。代理訴訟とはいえ、住民の氏名を裁判で明かさざるを得ないことだ。組事務所が存在することで受ける精神的苦痛などを、具体的に立証する必要があるからだ。

In the previous cases, hundreds of plaintiffs’ names and addresses were attached to a complaint submitted to court. Those involved should find a way to minimize the number of residents’ names made public in lawsuits. If they can do this, the police will be able to effectively put residents under their guard.
 従来の訴訟では、原告となった何百人という住民の氏名、住所が訴状に添付された。今後は、公になる住民の氏名を最小限にとどめるよう工夫すべきだろう。それができれば、警察も効率的に住民の警護に当たれるはずだ。

Any harm to residents would shake the system from its foundation. Police must do everything they can to contain any retaliation against residents by organized crime syndicates.
 住民に被害が及べば、制度の根幹は揺らぐ。暴力団の報復を封じ込めるため、警察は全力を尽くさねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 22, 2013)
(2013年5月22日01時31分  読売新聞)

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女性の幹部登用 「なでしこ銘柄」増やしたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 23, 2013
Japan needs more companies that cherish their female workers
女性の幹部登用 「なでしこ銘柄」増やしたい(5月22日付・読売社説)

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has trumpeted women’s active involvement in the workforce as a pillar of the government’s growth strategy. He aims to better utilize women’s abilities to invigorate the nation’s economy.
 安倍首相は、成長戦略の柱の一つに「女性の活躍」を掲げている。女性の能力をもっと生かし、経済の活性化を図るのが狙いだ。

Abe specifically asked for cooperation from the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) and other organizations in urging all listed companies to appoint at least one female executive. Behind the request was Abe’s awareness that women’s participation in corporate management will also be conducive to companies’ growth.
 首相は、その具体策として、全上場企業が女性の役員を最低1人は登用するよう経団連などに協力を求めた。女性の経営参画が、会社の成長にも資するという問題意識がある。

However, this will be easier said than done. In Japan, many companies remain reluctant to appoint women to managerial positions. Women fill about 40 percent of managerial and higher positions at companies and the public sector in other advanced countries, including the United States, France and Britain. This is far higher than Japan’s figure of about 12 percent.
 「言うは易(やす)く行うは難し」である。日本では、女性の管理職登用が進んでいない。民間企業と公務員の管理職以上の女性は、米仏英各国など先進諸国では40%前後なのに対し、日本では約12%と大きく差がついている。

If nothing is done, it will be difficult to achieve the government’s goal of raising the proportion of women in leading positions in every field of society to at least about 30 percent by 2020.
 このままでは、社会のあらゆる分野の指導的地位において女性が占める割合を「2020年までに少なくとも30%程度」とする政府の目標を達成するのは難しい。

‘Nadeshiko issues’

The reaction by stock exchanges to the government’s request merits attention. They urged listed companies to disclose their number of female executives in the corporate governance reports they require the companies to submit.
 注目されるのは、政府の要請に応じた各証券取引所の動きだ。上場企業に提出を義務づけている「コーポレート・ガバナンス(企業統治)報告書」に女性の役員数を開示するよう促している。

The Equal Employment Opportunity Law came into effect in 1986. Women hired for fast-track career positions at that time--part of what has often been called the “equal law generation”--have now climbed to senior positions in their companies.
 男女雇用機会均等法の施行は1986年で、当時企業に採用された「均等法世代」と呼ばれる女性総合職も、幹部になっている。

We believe it is necessary to appoint capable career female workers to executive posts, rather than simply relying on bringing in human resources from outside.
 女性役員には、外部の人材に頼るばかりではなく、生え抜きの女性社員を能力に応じて登用することが必要ではないか。

In February, the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry and the Tokyo Stock Exchange selected and announced the names of listed companies--including Kao Corp. and Toray Industries, Inc.--that excellently utilize their human resources by, for example, creating a better environment for women to continue working. These companies are called “Nadeshiko issues.”
 経済産業省と東京証券取引所は今年2月、女性が働き続けるための環境整備など人材活用を積極的に進めている花王や東レなど上場企業を選定し、発表した。「なでしこ銘柄」と呼んでいる。

“Nadeshiko issues” can be a guide for investors to evaluate a company’s business administration ability to make maximum use of its human resources, as well as its ability to adapt to changes in the business environment.
 投資家が、人材を生かす経営管理能力や環境変化への適応力を評価する目安になるという。

This new description gained traction after the Abe Cabinet took over proposals made by an expert panel during the administration of former Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and made a request to the stock exchange. Fully using women in the workforce is an issue that every administration must address.
 この取り組みは、安倍内閣が野田内閣時代の有識者会議の提言を引き継ぎ、証券取引所に働きかけて実現した。女性活用は、どの政権にも共通する課題と言える。

Longer child care leave

Last month, Abe asked leaders of business associations to let women take child care leave for up to three years. The current Child-rearing and Nursing Care Leave Law allows for one year of leave in principle and a maximum of 1-1/2 years. Abe called on companies to voluntarily extend this period.
 首相は先月、育児休業を3年まで取得できるようにすることを経済界に要請した。現行の育児・介護休業法では原則1年、最長1年6か月となっているが、企業側に自主的な対応を求めたものだ。

Extended child care leave would give working women more options, and is one way to help them balance child-rearing and career. However, three years of child care leave will increase costs for companies, and some women fear it could negatively impact on their career and reduce their income. How can these problems be overcome?
 働く女性の選択の幅は広がる。育児と仕事との両立を支える道を開く一つの方法だろう。だが、3年の育休で、企業負担は増し、女性にとってもキャリアでのマイナスや所得減への懸念がある。こうした課題をどう乗り越えるか。

The government also should steadily deal with the problem of long waiting lists for children to enroll in licensed day care centers. Setting up more such facilities for children aged 0 to 2, demand for which is especially high, would be one place to start.
 需要の多い0~2歳児の保育施設の拡充など、待機児童対策もしっかり進めたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 22, 2013)
(2013年5月22日01時31分  読売新聞)

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2013年5月22日 (水)

シェールガス 米国産輸入で高値買い是正を

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 22, 2013
Shale gas imports from U.S. to help remedy expensive LNG purchases
シェールガス 米国産輸入で高値買い是正を(5月21日付・読売社説)

The United States, which has seen a buoyant “shale gas revolution,” will open the way for the export of inexpensive natural gas to Japan.
 「シェールガス革命」に沸いている米国が、割安な天然ガスの日本向け輸出に道を開く。

In the wake of the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, almost all of the nation’s nuclear reactors have remained idle. Given that Japan has to depend on thermal power generation, it is an important step to diversify the origins from which it imports the fuel for this.
 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所の事故後、ほとんどの原発が停止し、火力発電に依存する日本にとって、調達先を多様化する重要な一歩である。

The U.S. Energy Department has authorized the export of liquefied natural gas by a Texas company, in which Chubu Electric Power Co. and Osaka Gas Co. are participants. Under the project, natural gas, including shale gas extracted from subterranean bedrock, will be liquefied and exported.
 米エネルギー省は、中部電力と大阪ガスが参画するテキサス州の企業の液化天然ガス(LNG)輸出事業を認可した。地中深くの岩盤から採掘したシェールガスなどをLNGに加工して輸出する。

Chubu Electric and Osaka Gas reportedly plan to export up to 4.4 million tons of LNG annually from 2017. The amount is equivalent to 5 percent of Japan’s overall LNG imports.
 中部電力と大阪ガスは、このプロジェクトで2017年から両社合わせて最大年440万トンを輸出する計画という。日本のLNG輸入量の5%にも相当する。

The United States, in principle, had barred LNG exports to nations that it did not have a free trade agreement with, including Japan.
 米国は原則、自由貿易協定(FTA)を結んでいない日本などへのLNG輸出を規制していた。

It is significant, however, that the United States authorized the exports to Japan for the first time as an exception. It was likely judged that increases in domestic prices in the United States could be avoided even if it exports the gas to Japan. This is because prospects on the supply and demand balance have eased due to sharp increases in production thanks to the shale gas revolution.
 しかし、例外的に対日輸出を初めて認めた意義は大きい。シェールガス革命で生産が飛躍的に増大して需給見通しが緩み、日本に輸出しても米国内の価格上昇は避けられると判断したのだろう。

TPP may have swayed decision

Also aided by Japan’s decision to participate in Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral trade negotiations, the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama likely attached weight to Japan-U.S. relations.
 日本が、環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉参加を決めたことも追い風になり、オバマ政権が日米関係を重視したといえる。

Enjoying the benefits of the shale gas revolution, Japan now will be able to obtain cheap gas.
 シェールガス革命の恩恵を享受する日本は、これで安価なガスを調達できるようになる。

The price of LNG Japan imports from Qatar and other nations is about 17 dollars per million BTU (British thermal unit), which is four times higher than the price in North America.
 日本がカタールなどから輸入するLNG価格は、100万BTU(英国式熱量単位)約17ドルと北米のガス価格より4倍も高い。

Japan, which has yet to reactivate idled nuclear reactors, has been forced to purchase LNG at high prices, referred to as a “Japan premium,” as producer nations are taking advantage of Japan’s situation. The trade deficit, which reached a record high of more than 8 trillion yen in fiscal 2012, is mainly attributed to LNG imports.
 原発を再稼働できない日本は、生産国から足元を見られ、「ジャパンプレミアム」という高値買いを強いられている。12年度の貿易赤字が過去最大の8兆円超に達したのも、LNG輸入が主因だ。

Gas brings negotiating power

If the nation imports gas produced in the United States, the price will be cheaper at about 10 dollars, even with liquefaction and transport costs included. Japan also can expect to take an advantageous position in LNG price negotiations with nations in the Middle East and other areas, using cooperation with the United States as a bargaining chip.
 米国産ガスを輸入した場合、LNGへの加工代や輸送コストを加えても約10ドルと割安になる。米国との連携を切り札に使い、中東などとのLNG価格交渉を有利に進める効果も期待できる。

In the United States, the Mitsubishi Corp. and Mitsui & Co. consortium as well as Sumitomo Corp. have been participating in natural gas development projects. The public and private sectors should join together to lobby for early authorization of export projects involving these companies so that Japan could further correct the problem of expensive LNG purchases.
 米国では、三菱商事と三井物産の連合や住友商事が天然ガスの開発に参加している。官民連携でこれらのプロジェクトによる輸出の早期認可を働きかけ、高値買いの構造をさらに是正すべきだ。

It will take about four years for imports of natural gas from the United States to begin. Unless nuclear reactors are reactivated, the situation will remain unchanged as the nation will continue to depend on thermal power generation for the time being, having no choice but to face high fuel costs.
 米国から天然ガス輸入が始まるのは約4年先だ。原発を再稼働できなければ、当面は火力頼みで、燃料コスト高を余儀なくされる状況は変わらない。

To stem the outflow of national wealth, the government needs to steadily reactivate nuclear reactors whose safety has been confirmed. The nation must create a comprehensive strategy for a stable supply of energy.
 国富の流出を食い止めるため、政府は安全性が確認できた原発を着実に再稼働する必要がある。エネルギーを安定供給する総合戦略を構築しなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 21, 2013)
(2013年5月21日01時25分  読売新聞)

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究極の婚活 異業種交流会パーティー

究極の婚活、異業種交流会パーティーのご紹介です。
20代30代40代の男女で理想のベターハーフを探すための究極の方法です。
異業種交流会パーティーは東京地区と、大阪地区とで、それぞれ別々に開催されています。

異業種交流会パーティーとは一体どんなパーティーなのでしょうか?
簡単にご説明致します。
パーティーに出席される男女は、様々なビジネス分野でご活躍中の方が多いのです。
で、パーティーを通して、異なる分野のビジネスパーソンとお話しが出来ます。

そこではビジネス情報交換だって出来るのですが、パーティーの目的は婚活です。
スタイリッシュな高級ホテルなどの会場で、極上の料理とフリードリンクを味わいながら、気軽に異業種の人々とお話しが出来ます。それがきっかけで結婚というゴールインまで到達する人が多いと聞きました。

仕事の忙しさにかまけて、恋人を見つけることが出来なかった人は、異業種交流会パーティーにお集まり下さい。
ホテルで食事なんてなかなか出来ないですからね。
良い機会ではないでしょうか。

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2013年5月21日 (火)

火山災害対策 大噴火へ十分な備えが必要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 21, 2013
Central, local govts must prepare sufficiently for large volcanic eruptions
火山災害対策 大噴火へ十分な備えが必要だ(5月20日付・読売社説)

An expert panel of the Cabinet Office has compiled a proposal calling on the government and other entities to improve measures to deal with volcanic eruptions, and warning that their sense of crisis regarding such disasters has been weakening.
 火山噴火への危機感が薄れていないか。
 内閣府の有識者会議がそう警告し、政府などに火山対策の整備を促す提言をまとめた。

Since the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011, measures to deal with such disasters as earthquakes and tsunami have drawn much attention. In light of such developments, the panel’s proposal emphasizes that sufficient precautions are also needed against volcanic eruptions.
 東日本大震災の後、地震や津波対策が注目されているが、有識者会議の提言は、火山にも十分な警戒が必要だと強調している。

This is a very important point to make.
 もっともな指摘である。

There are 110 active volcanoes in Japan, of which 47 may erupt in the next 100 years or so. The Japan Meteorological Agency has installed seismometers and other instruments on these volcanoes to monitor them and make observations.
 日本には110の火山がある。うち47火山は、今後100年程度の間に噴火する可能性があり、気象庁が地震計などを設置して、監視・観測を続けている。

In 2008, the government called on local governments located near the 47 volcanoes to establish, together with such entities as local meteorological observatories, volcanic disaster prevention councils to discuss evacuation plans. However, such councils have only been established for 26 volcanoes so far.
 政府は2008年、47火山の周辺自治体に、避難計画を検討する「火山防災協議会」を地方気象台などと設けるよう求めた。ところが、まだ26火山にしかない。

Few plans prepared

Meanwhile, the only local governments that have evacuation plans for their residents are those near Sakurajima, a volcano and a former island in Kagoshima Prefecture, and those around Mt. Kirishima, a volcano group stretching over Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures. It is urgent that local governments accelerate their efforts on this matter.
 住民の避難計画があるのは、桜島(鹿児島県)と霧島山(宮崎、鹿児島県)の周辺自治体だけだ。取り組みの加速が急務である。

Japan is a chain of volcanic islands. Mt. Aso erupted 90,000 years ago, leaving the entire island of Kyushu covered with lava.
 火山大国の日本では、9万年前に阿蘇山が噴火し、九州全域が溶岩に覆われた例もある。

Such “massive eruptions” occur only once in 20,000 to 50,000 years. But in the past 1,000 years there have been more than 15 “large-scale eruptions,” whose eruptive volume of ash and other materials is less than one-hundredth of that in a massive eruption.
 こうした「巨大噴火」は2万~5万年に1回程度だが、火山灰などの噴出量が、その100分の1以下の「大規模噴火」は、過去1000年で15回以上あった。

Even in the case of a large-scale eruption, however, the eruptive volume is estimated to top 100 million cubic meters, enough to fill Tokyo Dome 80 times. As a huge amount of volcanic ash would spread over a vast area, it would inevitably cause serious damage.
 大規模噴火でも、噴出量は1億立方メートル(東京ドーム80杯分)を超える。火山灰が広く飛散し、甚大な被害は避けられまい。

Should a large-scale eruption occur on Mt. Fuji, the ashfall is predicted to be massive enough to paralyze the Tokyo metropolitan area.
富士山で大規模噴火が起きれば、首都圏の都市機能がマヒするほどの降灰が予測されている。

Since the 1914 eruption of Sakurajima, however, there have been no eruptions affecting a large area.
 ただ、桜島の大正噴火(1914年)以来、広域に影響が及んだ噴火は起きていない。

This relatively calm period is probably the main reason for the lack of progress in implementing relevant measures against volcanic eruptions. The government should boost its support to local governments in drawing up their evacuation plans.
比較的平穏な時期が続いたことが、対策が進まない主な要因だろう。政府は、自治体の避難計画策定の支援を強化すべきだ。

The central government is not sufficiently prepared, either. The division of the roles to be played by the National Police Agency, the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency and the Defense Ministry are unclear.
 政府自体の備えも不十分だ。警察庁や総務省消防庁、防衛省の役割分担が明確ではない。

The present system of evacuation instructions to be issued for residents may also confuse people. Such instructions are to be issued by the heads of local cities, towns and villages, in accordance with the Basic Law on Natural Disasters, unless the instructions are to be issued for residents in more than one municipality at once. In that case, they are to be issued directly by the central government.
 住民への避難指示も、現状では混乱しかねない。災害対策基本法に基づき市町村長が出すことになっているが、対象が複数の市町村にまたがる場合には、国が直接、指示する必要がある。

Research must be kept up

It is quite reasonable that the panel has called for study on developing legal systems concerning evacuation instructions.
 有識者会議が提言で、避難指示に関する法整備の検討を求めたのは当然と言えよう。

The panel also expressed concern in its proposal about the lag in volcanic studies, saying that there is a shortage of next-generation experts.
 提言は、火山研究の低迷にも懸念を示した。次世代の専門家が不足しているという。

Unless relevant research and studies are maintained at a certain level, the foundation of the nation’s volcanic disaster prevention measures may become shaky.
調査研究を一定水準に維持していかないと、火山の防災対策の足元は揺らぐ。

Experts have pointed out that there have been signs of rising volcanic activity since the 2011 earthquake. The nation should not repeat the mistake of failing to promptly deal with natural disasters that cause unexpected damage.
 東日本大震災以降、火山活動の活発化も指摘されている。想定外の災害に対処が遅れる失敗を繰り返してはならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 20, 2013)
(2013年5月20日01時20分  読売新聞)

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飯島氏の訪朝 「拉致」解決へ糸口つかめるか

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 21, 2013
Can Iijima's trip to North Korea be conducive to solving abduction issue?
飯島氏の訪朝 「拉致」解決へ糸口つかめるか(5月20日付・読売社説)

Is there any chance of finding a toehold to break the long-standing impasse on the problem of Japanese abducted by North Korean agents? The effectiveness of the diplomatic strategy of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration is now being tested over the issue.
 膠着(こうちゃく)状態に陥った日本人拉致問題を打開する糸口はつかめるのか。安倍政権の外交戦略の実効性が問われよう。

Isao Iijima, special adviser to the Cabinet Secretariat, who visited North Korea from Tuesday to Friday, briefed Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga after he returned on Saturday about his trip to Pyongyang. Iijima told the chief government spokesman he held “frank discussions” with senior North Korean officials.
 14日から17日まで北朝鮮を訪れた飯島勲内閣官房参与が帰国し、菅官房長官に、「本音の話をしてきた」と報告した。

Among them was Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly and the country’s No. 2 leader. During the meetings, Iijima was quoted as saying that Japan “will not move an inch until the abductions involving Japanese citizens are resolved.”
 飯島氏は北朝鮮で、序列2位の金永南・最高人民会議常任委員長ら要人と会談し、「拉致問題が解決しなければ、日本政府は動かない」とはっきり伝えたという。

N. Korea moves unpredictable

His visit to North Korea was presumably on behalf of Abe, who has publicly said the abduction problem “must be absolutely resolved under my Cabinet.”
 今回の訪朝は、安倍首相の「拉致問題は安倍政権で絶対に解決しなければならない」との意向を受けたものだろう。

Iijima served as policy secretary for Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and accompanied him on his 2002 and 2004 visits to North Korea. Abe has confidence in Iijima, who has been involved for years in North Korean diplomacy.
 小泉首相の政務秘書官だった飯島氏は、2002年と04年の小泉訪朝に随行している。北朝鮮外交に関与してきた飯島氏に対する安倍首相の信任は厚い。

In 2008, Pyongyang, in working-level talks between Japan and North Korea, committed to the timely launch of a committee for the reinvestigation of Japanese abductees. North Korea, however, failed to live up to its commitment.
 北朝鮮は、08年の日朝実務者協議で、拉致被害者再調査のための委員会を早期に設置することを約束した。だが、北朝鮮は結局、再調査を見送っている。

In November last year, bilateral discussions resumed for the first time in four years under the regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but subsequent sessions have been on hold following the North’s test firing of a long-range ballistic missile.
 昨年11月、金正恩体制下で実現した4年ぶりの日朝政府間協議も、北朝鮮の長距離弾道ミサイル発射で行き詰まったままだ。

The government has demanded all abductees be returned immediately, full information be disclosed about the abductions, and that all perpetrators be handed over to Japan. There is no telling how Pyongyang will react as it has reiterated that the abduction issue “has already been resolved.”
 日本政府は北朝鮮に、拉致被害者の即時帰国、真相の究明、拉致実行犯の引き渡しを求めている。「拉致問題は解決ずみ」と繰り返してきた北朝鮮が、今後、どう応えてくるのか。

The government, for its part, must closely watch Pyongyang’s moves and independently develop diplomatic policies toward North Korea.
 慎重に見極めつつ、主体的な外交を展開しなければならない。

One concern is the fact that Iijima’s surprise visit, which the Japanese government arranged in absolute secrecy, was leaked to the media by North Korea immediately after Iijima arrived in Pyongyang.
 気がかりなのは、極秘裏に進めていたはずの今回の訪朝が、平壌到着のその時から北朝鮮に一方的に明らかにされたことである。

While the prime minister declined to comment on Iijima’s trip, North Korea treated him very well, as if flaunting his visit, publicizing in detail what he did every day. There can be no denying that the trip was exploited by North Korea.
 首相がノーコメントを通す間、北朝鮮側は飯島氏を厚遇し、動静を連日詳報した。結果的に北朝鮮に利用された面は否めない。

Was Iijima accompanied by an interpreter from Japan? Have records of the content of talks he had with North Korean officials been made available to the Japanese government? Wasn’t his visit linked to the issue of auctioning the headquarters building in Tokyo of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon)?
 日本人通訳は付いていたのか。会談記録は日本側にも残っているのか。朝鮮総連中央本部(東京)の競売問題との関係はなかったのか。

There are many questions like these regarding Iijima’s visit.
多くの疑問がある。

Bid to divide alliance

In giving the green-light to Iijima’s visit, North Korea may have aimed at probing the internal affairs of the Abe Cabinet. At the same time, Pyongyang may have been trying to drive a wedge between Japan, the United States and South Korea, which are set to increase pressure on North Korea.
 北朝鮮には、安倍政権の内情を探るとともに、圧力を強めようとする日米韓の連携にくさびを打ち込む狙いがあっただろう。

Glyn Davies, the U.S. special representative for North Korea policy who was in Japan last week, said, “We knew that North Korea would eventually shift their strategy to that of seeking engagement in an effort to split us.” Japan must not give North Korea even the smallest chance of taking advantage of any development in foreign relations.
 来日した米国のデービース北朝鮮担当政府特別代表は、「北朝鮮が我々を分断するため、挑発から対話に戦略転換することは予測していた」と述べた。北朝鮮に、付け入る隙を与えてはなるまい。

The government should redouble efforts to keep international cooperation over North Korea’s missile development ambitions intact, while steadily working to resolve the abduction issue.
 核・ミサイル問題での国際連携を堅持しながら、拉致問題解決へ進展を図っていく。

The Abe administration is urged to produce positive results in addressing these difficult challenges.
その難しい課題に結果を出すことが、安倍政権に求められている。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 20, 2013)
(2013年5月20日01時20分  読売新聞)

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2013年5月20日 (月)

北極海の開発 資源や航路で戦略的関与を

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 20, 2013
Japan should strategically engage in discussions on Arctic development
北極海の開発 資源や航路で戦略的関与を(5月19日付・読売社説)

As an increasing number of countries have clearly demonstrated their interest in the commercial and military potential of the Arctic Ocean, the government should unite relevant parties to draw up a national strategy on the region.
 商業、軍事利用の潜在的な可能性が高い北極海を巡り、各国の利害が交錯し始めた。日本もオールジャパンで国家戦略を練るべきである。

In Sweden, the Arctic Council comprising the United States, Russia and Nordic countries held a ministerial meeting last week for the first time in two years. The council has admitted six countries, including Japan, China and South Korea, as observers.
 米露両国や北欧諸国などによる「北極評議会」が2年ぶりの閣僚会議をスウェーデンで開き、日本や中国、韓国など6か国のオブザーバー資格を新たに承認した。

The Arctic Council is a forum for discussing and coordinating development of the Arctic and protecting its environment. Japan was granted observer status based on its internationally recognized contributions to environmental research and observation of the region. It is significant to be allowed to participate in the council’s meetings as an observer. This will serve Japan’s interests as a maritime nation.
 評議会は、北極圏開発や環境保護を協議する場で、日本は環境研究や極地観測への貢献が評価された。オブザーバーとして協議に参加する意義は大きい。海洋国家としての国益にもつながろう。

Potential for new routes

Since the amount of sea ice has been decreasing every year due to global warming, many countries are focused on whether new regular routes connecting Asia and Europe can be opened in the Arctic Ocean.
 北極海は、地球温暖化に伴って年々海氷が縮小している。アジアと欧州を結ぶ定期航路ができるかどうか、注目されている。

In December, a tanker of a company related to the Russian government transported liquefied natural gas produced in Norway to Kitakyushu in Fukuoka Prefecture. This was the world’s first instance of LNG transportation via an Arctic route.
 昨年12月には、ロシア政府系企業のタンカーが、ノルウェーの液化天然ガス(LNG)を福岡県北九州市に運んだ。北極海航路を利用した世界初のLNG輸送だ。

If such routes become regularly available, Japan will benefit from a reduced navigation distance to and from Europe, as Arctic channels are about 40 percent shorter than those using the Suez Canal.
 こうした航路が定着すれば、日本にとっても、欧州との航行距離がスエズ運河経由より約4割縮まるという利点がある。

However, ships will face a higher risk of grounding in the Arctic Ocean because it is shallow. Vessels will also have to depend mainly on Russian ports for rescue activities in case of contingencies.
 ただ、北極海は海深が浅く、船舶の座礁事故の危険性が高い。救難などの拠点となる港湾は、主にロシアに頼らざるを得ない。

On the pretext of preventing accidents, Russia is gaining commercial control of Arctic routes by, for example, obliging ships traveling on them to pay to have icebreakers lead their vessels.
 事故を防ぐためにロシアは、航行する船舶に砕氷船の随行を義務づけて料金を課すなど、商業的に支配権を握りつつある。

Japan should carefully assess whether stable navigation can be ensured on the routes and if so, if it is worthwhile to use them.
 安定した航行が確保され、採算が取れるかどうか。日本は慎重に見極めるべきだ。

Abundant energy resources such as natural gas and crude oil at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean also make the region very attractive.
 北極海の海底には、豊富な天然ガスや原油などのエネルギー資源が眠っていることも魅力だ。

Exploitation of such resources in the frigid sea will be an extremely large-scale state project. Countries have already begun bargaining for commercial use of the resources in the future. Japan, too, must enhance cooperation between the government and private sector to study the issue.
 酷寒の海での資源開発は大規模な国家的プロジェクトとなる。商業利用に向け、各国の駆け引きが始まっている。日本も官民連携を強化し、検討する必要がある。

Role in national security

It is worrying, however, that Russia, which has been pursuing a policy of southward advancement for decades, may start utilizing the Arctic routes for national defense.
 気がかりなのは、南下政策を長年進めてきたロシアが、北極海航路に安全保障上も目を転じることだ。

There is a possibility Moscow could reinforce its Pacific fleet, including nuclear submarines, and intensify its activities in Northeast Asia.
原子力潜水艦などでつくる太平洋艦隊を増強し、北東アジアでの活動を強める可能性がある。

The United States also declared it vital to expand national security interests in the Arctic, and has unveiled a strategy defining development of the region as beneficial to the country. Additionally, Beijing is escalating activities to secure its own maritime interests.
 米国も「安全保障上の利益拡大が重要だ」として、北極圏開発を国益と位置づける国家戦略を発表した。中国も「海洋権益」の確保を目指し、活発に動いている。

Japan cannot afford to stand on the sidelines of this issue. If more countries begin frequently using Arctic routes, the Soya, Tsugaru and Tsushima straits will become important gateways to China, Russia and other countries.
 日本も無関係ではいられない。北極海航路の使用が国際的に活発化すれば、宗谷、津軽、対馬海峡が中国、ロシアなどの重要な“出入り口”となるだろう。

Other nations’ actions regarding the Arctic Ocean should also be closely monitored in the interest of national security.
 北極圏の動向は、日本の安全保障政策の観点からも注視していくことが肝要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 19, 2013)
(2013年5月19日01時11分  読売新聞)

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いじめ対策法案 社会全体で取り組む契機に

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 20, 2013
Bills must get entire society involved in antibullying fight
いじめ対策法案 社会全体で取り組む契機に(5月19日付・読売社説)

It is time for society as a whole to squarely face up to the challenge of eradicating school bullying by understanding that bullying can never be acceptable.
 いじめは許されないという共通認識の下、社会を挙げて対策に取り組む契機としたい。

On Thursday, the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito jointly submitted to the Diet a bill on antibullying measures. Three opposition parties--the Democratic Party of Japan, People’s Life Party and Social Democratic Party--earlier jointly presented a bill to much the same effect.
 自民、公明両党が、いじめ防止対策推進法案を国会に提出した。民主、生活、社民の野党3党も既に、同趣旨の法案を出している。

The bills submitted by the ruling and opposition parties both incorporate steps for addressing such tasks as the early detection of bullying and a range of possible ways to resolve bullying incidents.
 与野党案とも、いじめの早期発見や問題解決への施策を盛り込んでいる。

Proper definition of bullying

The planned legislation of a new law to prevent bullying is highly significant. It will force the central government, local authorities and schools to step up efforts to constantly clamp down on bullying.
国や自治体、学校に継続的な対策を促す上で、新たな法律を制定する意義は大きい。

The ruling and opposition camps should quickly find common ground to ensure the proposed legislation can be enacted soon.
 与野党は合意点を見いだし、早期成立を目指してもらいたい。

The ruling bloc’s bill defines bullying as “circumstances under which a pupil [at primary school] or a student [at middle or high school] feels physical or psychological pain.”
 与党案は、いじめの定義について、「児童・生徒が心身の苦痛を感じているもの」としている。

The bill deserves praise in that it sets this criterion from the standpoint of children being victimized by bullies.
被害を受けている子供の視点で判断することは評価できる。

The bill also quite rightly provides a clear definition of bullying using the Internet.
 インターネットを使った中傷について、明確にいじめと定義づけたことも適切だ。

Cyberbullying--such as harassment through e-mail sent under a fake e-mail address or name, and posting many slanderous messages on online bulletin boards--has been on the rise in recent years.
 近年、他人のアドレスや名前を偽装する「なりすましメール」で嫌がらせをしたり、ネットの掲示板に大量の悪口を書き込んだりする行為が増えている。

To enhance measures against bullying, the bill sponsored by the ruling parties referred to the responsibility of not only schools but also the central government and local entities. The bill also calls for boosting counseling at schools for bullying victims, improving teachers’ training programs for dealing with bullying, and securing more school counselors to handle bullying and related problems.
 いじめ防止に向けて、与党案は学校だけでなく、国や自治体の責務にも言及した。相談体制の整備や教員研修の充実、スクールカウンセラーの確保を求めている。

It is also reasonable that the bill places more weight on children’s discipline at home. It straightforwardly states that parents or other guardians should be responsible for instructing children to respect social mores.
 家庭でのしつけを重視し、規範意識を養う指導を保護者の責務と明記したのもうなずける。

Every time a serious bullying case comes to light, problems emerge at school authorities and boards of education, such as their closed nature and failure to deal promptly with such incidents.
 深刻ないじめが表面化する度に、閉鎖的で迅速な対応に欠ける学校や教育委員会の問題点が浮かび上がってきた。

It is obvious that resolving bullying problems cannot be left up to schools and boards of education.
いじめ問題の解決を、学校や教委に任せておくことに限界があるのは明らかだ。

In the event of a serious incident such as a student committing suicide because of bullying, one important task is how to clarify the causes of the bullying. Pinpointing why and how the bullying occurred could help prevent further similar incidents.
 いじめを苦にした児童・生徒の自殺などが起きた場合、どのように原因究明を進めるか、という点が重要な課題である。いじめに至った経緯を丁寧に掘り下げていく作業が、再発防止につながる。

The catalyst for the bills was the suicide of a viciously bullied middle school student in Otsu in October 2011. A third-party panel of lawyers, education critics and others was set up to investigate the case. The panel conducted a transparent probe and even briefed the bereaved family on how its deliberations were progressing.
 法案提出のきっかけとなった大津市のいじめ自殺事件では、弁護士や教育評論家らで構成する第三者調査委員会が、遺族に対し審議経過を説明するなど、透明性を確保しながら調査を重ねた。

3rd-party panel essential

As a result, the panel uncovered the true state of affairs: There was a dearth of communication among teachers and the board of education had been reluctant to look into the incident.
 その結果、教師間の意思疎通の欠如や、教委が原因究明に消極的だった実態をあぶり出した。

An independent third party that has no stake in a school or board of education can be effective in investigating and clarifying causes of bullying. This is because investigations by people directly concerned with bullying cases are prone to be lenient with fellow insiders.
 学校や教委と利害関係のない第三者が、外部の視点で調べる仕組みは、有効な手法である。当事者による調査では、どうしても身内に甘くなるためだ。

In this regard, the bill by the opposition parties includes clearer provisions than the ruling parties’ bill about the effective use of third-party panels. This will likely be an important point of contention in Diet deliberations over the competing antibullying bills.
 この点では、与党案よりも野党案の方が、第三者による調査委員会の活用を具体的に規定している。今後の法案審議で重要な論点となるだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 19, 2013)
(2013年5月19日01時11分  読売新聞)

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2013年5月19日 (日)

農業の成長戦略 「所得倍増」へ農地集積を急げ

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 19, 2013
Farmland integration needed to double income of farmers in light of TPP entry
農業の成長戦略 「所得倍増」へ農地集積を急げ(5月18日付・読売社説)

How should Japan revitalize its agriculture to prepare for further market liberalization? The government is likely to face a test on whether its efforts to turn the nation’s agricultural sector from one centering on small farms into one featuring more highly productive large-scale agricultural businesses will prove viable.
 一層の市場開放に備えて、日本農業をどう再生するか。小規模農家から生産性の高い大規模営農へ、転換を促す施策の実効性が問われよう。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday unveiled aggressive agricultural reform plans under the second part of his growth strategy.
 安倍首相は、成長戦略第2弾の柱として「攻めの農業」の実現を打ち出した。

“We’ll definitely carry out agricultural structural reform this time around,” Abe said. “Without farmland integration, we can’t improve productivity.”
「農業の構造改革を今度こそ確実にやり遂げる。農地の集積なくして、生産性向上はない」と述べた。

We believe his envisaged reform is on the right course.
改革の方向性は間違っていない。

The reform plans feature a new intermediate system for farmland, which Abe called a farmland integration bank. The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry is aiming to launch the system as soon as possible.
 目玉となるのは、首相が「農地集積バンク」と呼んだ新たな農地仲介制度である。農林水産省が早期導入を目指している。

Govt eyes new farmland body

The plans call for prefectural agricultural public corporations, which currently handle trading of farmland, to be given greater authority and transformed into a new public body that will manage farmland. The body would lease farmland from small farmers and others and introduce it to potential tenants--farmers seeking to expand farming business and agricultural corporations.
 現在、農地売買などを行っている都道府県の農業公社に強い権限を与え、農地を管理する機構に衣替えする。機構が小規模農家などから土地をいったん借り上げ、大規模化を目指す農家や農業法人に橋渡しする仕組みだ。

In the past 20 years, deserted farmland doubled to a total area almost equivalent to that of Shiga Prefecture. This is a serious matter.
 耕作せずに放置されたままの放棄地は20年で倍増し、滋賀県全体とほぼ同じ規模にまで拡大した。深刻な状況といえる。

The focal point of the reform is whether the new system will be able to foster large farmers.
 焦点は、新制度が大規模農家の育成につながるかどうかだ。

The failure to find tenants would mean the new body would need to pay rent for the farmland. It would also have to cover the cost of maintenance and management of the land as well as the development of irrigation systems.
 借り手が見つからないと機構が農地を丸抱えすることになり、その間も、機構は農地の貸し手に賃料を払い続ける必要がある。農地を維持管理し、用排水路を整備する費用もかかる。

In this case, it is estimated the body would have to shoulder hundreds of billions of yen a year in costs. If this intermediate program proves unsuccessful, it would end up injecting massive public funds without producing results.
 財政負担は年数千億円と見込まれている。仲介がうまく進まなければ、巨額の国費を投入するだけで終わりかねない。

To secure farmland tenants, it is essential that the government draw up a measure to encourage companies and other entities to enter the agricultural sector. The body will also need to offer prime farmland, which can be integrated easily.
 借り手を確保するには、企業などの新規参入を後押しする政策が不可欠だ。集約しやすい優良農地を仲介することも求められる。

Unless the government reviews the role of its agricultural panel tasked with leasing and trading of farmland, the panel could become an obstacle to farmland integration.
 農地の賃貸や売買の許可権限を持つ農業委員会を見直さないと、農地集積の支障となろう。

As long as the prime minister regards agriculture as a key sector in his growth strategy, we urge the farm ministry to devise effective systems that may encroach on the vested interests of entities such as agricultural cooperatives.
 農業を成長戦略と位置付ける以上、農水省はメリハリの利いた制度設計を行い、農協などの既得権に切り込んでもらいたい。

In announcing the next stage of his economic policy, Abe set a goal of doubling farming income during a 10-year period. This is an ambitious goal that will require efforts also by farmers and other players in the sector, propelled by effective measures.
 首相は「10年間で農業・農村の所得倍増目標」を掲げたが、効果的な施策をテコに農業従事者も努力しないと高いハードルだ。

Measures should be consistent

Meanwhile, questions have been raised about the Liberal Democratic Party’s move to consider expanding the current income-support program for certain farming households, such as rice producers, and launching a new program to provide all farmers who maintain farmland with subsidies.
 自民党がコメ農家などを対象とする所得補償制度を拡充し、農地を維持している全農家に補助金を支給する制度を検討していることも問題である。

If even small farmers are eligible to receive subsidies, the government is unlikely to find farmers willing to lease their farmland. We believe measures that could hamper the government’s initiative in farmland integration should be reviewed.
 零細農家でも補助金をもらえるなら、農地の出し手は増えまい。農地集約の方針に妨げとなる政策は再考すべきではないか。

For a long time, the government has failed to expand domestic farmland. Ahead of Japan’s entry into talks for the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact, the government must speed up work on agricultural reform.
 農地の規模拡大は長年実現できなかった。環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉参加をにらみ、改革を加速しなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 18, 2013)
(2013年5月18日01時17分  読売新聞)

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敵基地攻撃能力 日米連携前提に保有の検討を

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 19, 2013
The time has come to consider enabling SDF to attack enemy bases
敵基地攻撃能力 日米連携前提に保有の検討を(5月18日付・読売社説)

It is essential to reexamine the division of roles between the Self-Defense Forces and the U.S. military, in order to boost the deterrence of the Japan-U.S. alliance.
 日米同盟の抑止力を強化する方向で、自衛隊と米軍の役割分担を見直すことが肝要である。

The Liberal Democratic Party has put together a report containing proposals related to the new National Defense Program Guidelines to be compiled by the government in December.
 自民党が、年末に策定する予定の政府の新たな防衛大綱に関する提言案をまとめた。

Regarding whether the SDF should have the capability to attack enemy bases, including missile bases, the report clearly states that it is advisable “to launch a study and swiftly reach a conclusion on the matter.” This statement apparently takes into consideration North Korea’s nuclear and missile development.
 自衛のために相手国のミサイル基地などを攻撃する「敵基地攻撃能力」の保持について、「検討を開始し、速やかに結論を得る」と明記した。北朝鮮の核・ミサイル開発を念頭に置いたものだ。

Given the improvement in North Korea’s ballistic missile capabilities, it cannot be denied that deterrence through missile defense has its limits. It would be difficult to intercept all missiles at a time of multiple simultaneous attacks.
 北朝鮮の弾道ミサイル能力が向上する中、ミサイル防衛による抑止に限界があることは否定できない。同時に多数のミサイル攻撃を受けた場合、すべてを完璧に迎撃するのは困難である。

Acting as shield and pike

Japan and the United States have long maintained a system in which the SDF serves as a “shield,” engaging only in defense, while the U.S. military serves as a “pike,” entirely responsible for retaliatory attacks.
 日米両国は長年、自衛隊は専守防衛で「盾」、米軍は「矛」の役割をそれぞれ担い、報復攻撃の打撃力は米軍に全面的に委ねる体制をとってきた。

If the SDF had the capability to attack enemy bases to supplement the U.S. military’s offensive power, it would buttress the bilateral defense system.
 この米軍の攻撃力の一部を補完する形で、自衛隊が敵基地攻撃能力を保有することは、日米の防衛体制の強化につながろう。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, for his part, shows a keen interest in propping up the bilateral defense system. During a Diet interpellation early this month, Abe raised the question of “whether it’s all right for Japan to continue to ask the U.S. military to attack” in the case of an imminent missile strike on this country.
 安倍首相も前向きな姿勢を示している。今月上旬の国会答弁で、日本へのミサイル攻撃が迫っている際に「米軍に攻撃してください、と日本が頼む状況でいいのか」と問題提起した。

It is important to study in concrete terms what equipment the SDF should introduce.
 重要なのは、自衛隊がどんな装備を導入するのが良いのか、具体的な検討を進めることだ。

One option would be adoption of a cruise missile system in which the exact locations of attack targets are inputted to guide missiles under the global positioning system. The other would be striking an enemy missile base with F-35 and other state-of-the art fighter jets equipped with stealth capabilities.
 選択肢としては、攻撃目標の正確な位置を入力し、全地球測位システム(GPS)で誘導する巡航ミサイルの導入や、ステルス性を持つ最新鋭戦闘機F35などによる対地攻撃が想定される。

It is difficult for the cruise missile system to strike Rodong and other missiles launched from mobile launching pads. If F-35s are introduced, it would be necessary to form a large air force unit to help F-35s enter enemy airspace.
 巡航ミサイルは、移動式発射台を使うノドン・ミサイルなどへの攻撃が難しい。F35では、相手国への領空侵入を支援する大規模な航空部隊の編成が必要となる。

Defense of remote islands

In either case, it would be unrealistic for Japan to attack singlehandedly. The two countries would have to closely cooperate in such fields as information-gathering and analyzing operations to detect attack targets, as well as have an adequate division of roles.
 どちらの場合も、日本が単独で攻撃するのは非現実的だ。攻撃目標の探知など情報面の協力を含め日米の緊密な連携と適切な役割分担を前提とせねばなるまい。

To defend Japan’s remote southwest islands, the LDP report calls for giving the Ground Self-Defense Force functions similar to those of the U.S. Marine Corps and establishing amphibious units.
 提言案は、南西方面の島嶼(とうしょ)防衛のため、陸上自衛隊に「海兵隊的機能」を付与し、水陸両用部隊を新設することも求めている。

Given that the Chinese military has been escalating its threatening activities around the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, the need to reinforce the defense of remote islands has increased. The GSDF is proceeding with a plan to have U.S. marine-like functions while conducting joint exercises with U.S. marines. The new defense guidelines must accelerate such a move, including in terms of equipment.
 中国軍が尖閣諸島周辺での示威活動を強める中、島嶼防衛を強化する必要性は増している。陸自は既に米海兵隊と共同訓練を重ね、海兵隊的機能の保有を進めているが、新大綱では装備面を含め、その動きを加速させるべきだ。

It is also a good idea to study introducing the new Osprey transport aircraft to the SDF.
 新型輸送機オスプレイを自衛隊が導入することも、前向きに検討していいだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 18, 2013)
(2013年5月18日01時17分  読売新聞)

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2013年5月18日 (土)

「もんじゅ」 安全意識の抜本改革が必要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 18, 2013
JAEA must drastically improve its safety awareness on Monju
「もんじゅ」 安全意識の抜本改革が必要だ(5月17日付・読売社説)

The de facto “operation ban” to be ordered for the prototype fast-breeder reactor is extremely serious.
 事実上の「運転禁止」となる深刻な事態だ。

The Nuclear Regulation Authority has decided to order the Japan Atomic Energy Agency to suspend preparations for resuming operations at its trouble-plagued prototype fast-breeder reactor Monju in Fukui Prefecture. The decision was made because of slipshod inspections of the reactor.
 福井県にある高速増殖炉「もんじゅ」に対し、原子力規制委員会が、運転再開に向けた作業の停止を命じることを決めた。あまりに点検がずさんだったためだ。

The JAEA, which operates Monju, reported to the Secretariat of the NRA in January this year that the agency had failed to check about 10,000 parts of the reactor during its inspections. Furthermore, the secretariat’s on-site inspection later found the agency had even failed to check important equipment such as an emergency power device.
 今年1月、「もんじゅ」を運営する日本原子力研究開発機構が約1万件の点検漏れがあったことを原子力規制庁に報告した。さらに、その後の規制庁の立ち入り検査で、非常用電源機器など重要設備の点検漏れも判明した。

Inspections of equipment are fundamental to ensuring safety. The JAEA, which is the core organization for nuclear research in this country, seems to have adopted a laissez-faire attitude toward the basics.
 設備の点検は、安全確保の根幹だ。原子力研究の中核組織である原子力機構で、その基本がないがしろにされていたことになる。

It is inevitable for the agency to come under severe criticism.
 厳しい措置はやむを得まい。

Monju is a key reactor for development of a nuclear fuel cycle to effectively utilize uranium resources.
 もんじゅは、ウラン資源を有効活用する核燃料サイクル開発の要となる原子炉だ。

The reactor, however, was suspended for more than 10 years due to a sodium coolant leak in 1995 shortly after a test operation. Operations were resumed in 2010, but were suspended once more after a nuclear fuel in-vessel transfer machine fell. Many people are expressing doubts about the cost of the reactor as a budget of nearly 1 trillion yen has been spent on it so far.
 試験運転から間もない1995年のナトリウム漏れ事故で10年以上、止まった。2010年に運転を再開したが、核燃料交換装置の落下事故で停止が続いている。1兆円近い予算が投じられていることを問題視する声もある。

The agency must handle the reactor in a way that does not cause the public to further lose trust in it.
 だからこそ、信頼を損なうことのない運営が求められよう。

Unbelievable remark

Despite the situation, JAEA President Atsuyuki Suzuki reportedly said during the NRA Secretariat’s hearings, “It is inevitable for mistakes to be made while we carry out formalities.”
 それにもかかわらず、原子力機構の鈴木篤之理事長は、規制庁の聴取に対し、「形式的ミスはやむを得ない」と述べたという。

This is an unbelievable statement as it comes from an expert who once served as chairman of the now-defunct Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. He seems to have little sense of responsibility in ensuring the safety of nuclear power.
 旧原子力安全委員会の委員長まで務めた専門家の発言とは思えない。原子力の安全確保に対する責任感が希薄なのではないか。

Were there no problems in the frequency and methods of the inspections? The activities of the agency should be thoroughly examined to clarify where the problems lie. It is also important to verify whether adequate funds were appropriately secured to ensure optimal allocation of staff, as well as for the inspections.
 点検の頻度、方法に問題はなかったのか。課題を洗い出す必要がある。人員配置や点検に要する予算の確保が適切だったのか、検証することも重要である。

With the idling of Monju, criticism has been raised over the research and development of nuclear power and the nuclear fuel cycle. Under the circumstances, measures must be put in place to keep up the morale of the Monju and related staff.
 もんじゅが動かず、原子力や核燃料サイクルの研究開発に批判が出る中、職員の士気を低下させない対策も求められよう。

Nuclear fuel cycle

Asked about the nuclear fuel cycle at a meeting of the House of Councillors Budget Committee on Monday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said: “Japan possesses a high level of nuclear fuel cycle technology. Japan will cooperate with other countries to continue to promote the cycle.”
 安倍首相は13日の参院予算委員会で、核燃料サイクルについて問われ、「日本は高い技術を有しており、世界と連携し、継続して進めていく」と明言した。

This is a reasonable view if we consider it from the standpoint of the energy security of Japan, a resource-thirsty country.
資源に乏しい日本のエネルギー安全保障を考えれば、もっともな見解だ。

Abe also pointed out, “Each country has been struggling with how to handle spent nuclear fuel.” A fast-breeder reactor can efficiently burn radioactive substances in spent nuclear fuel. This specific reactor should be positioned as the main pillar of the nuclear fuel cycle.
 首相は、「使用済み核燃料への対応に各国が悩んでいる」とも指摘した。高速増殖炉は使用済み核燃料中の放射性物質を効率的に燃やせる。今後も、核燃料サイクルの柱に位置付けるべきだ。

The NRA reportedly will not lift its suspension order until the JAEA confirms it has undergone organizational reforms. To avoid the operation ban being prolonged, the NRA must give the JAEA concrete instructions on what reforms it should carry out to ensure Monju’s operations resume in the near future.
 規制委は、原子力機構の体質改善を確認するまで命令を解除しない方針という。いたずらに「運転禁止」が長引かないよう、規制委は再開を前提に、改革すべき項目を具体的に指示すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 17, 2013)
(2013年5月17日01時16分  読売新聞)

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GDP高成長 「異次元の回復」とは気が早い

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 18, 2013
Jan.-March GDP growth does not equate to full economic recovery
GDP高成長 「異次元の回復」とは気が早い(5月17日付・読売社説)

Thanks to the yen’s depreciation and rising stock prices due to a favorable market response to Abenomics, signs of the nation’s economic turnaround are becoming evident.
 安倍内閣の進める経済政策「アベノミクス」を好感した円安や株価上昇の追い風を受け、景気の持ち直しが一段と鮮明になってきた。

To ensure a genuine, sustained recovery, both the government and the Bank of Japan must continue carefully steering policy measures.
 本格的な景気回復へ、政府と日銀は政策のかじ取りに万全を期さなければならない。

Gross domestic product in the January-March period rose 0.9 percent in real terms from the previous quarter, resulting in the second straight quarter of expansion. This figure translates into a real 3.5 percent GDP gain on an annualized basis, a markedly high growth rate.
 今年1~3月期の実質国内総生産(GDP)は、前期比0・9%増と、2四半期連続でプラス成長となった。年率換算で3・5%の高い成長率である。

In particular, consumer spending was firm during the three-month period, buoyed by such factors as “financial asset effects,” which link surges in stock prices to stimulation of consumer purchases. Exports also strengthened due to the weakening of the yen.
 株高が購買意欲を刺激する「資産効果」などで、個人消費が堅調だった。円安を背景に輸出も回復した。

Not out of the woods yet

It is truly encouraging that both domestic and foreign demand have rebounded.
内需と外需がそろって上向いたのは心強い。

The Nikkei average has also retaken the 15,000 level, indicating continued upbeat market sentiment.
 東京市場の平均株価が1万5000円の大台を回復し、足もとでも明るい動きが広がっている。

Referring to the 3.5 percent growth rate, Akira Amari, state minister for economic and fiscal policy, praised the Abe administration’s economic policy by saying, “Steps toward an ‘extraordinary’ level of economic recovery have begun thanks to the implementation of ‘extraordinary’ policies.”
 甘利経済財政相は3・5%成長について、「異次元の政策投入による、異次元の景気回復への歩みが始まった」と、アベノミクスの効果を強調した。

Still, it seems premature to suggest the economy has fully bounced back.
 だが、日本経済が上昇気流に乗ったと考えるのは早計に過ぎる。

This is because corporate capital spending, a key to robust growth, remains weak. Improvements in the job market are also lagging.
力強い成長のカギとなる企業の設備投資はまだ低調で、雇用の回復も遅れているからだ。

The government must steadily implement the fiscal 2013 budget to prop up the economy with the “two arrows” of budgetary appropriations and the central bank’s quantitative and qualitative monetary easing.
 今年度予算を着実に執行するとともに、日銀の量的・質的金融緩和をあわせた「2本の矢」で、景気をしっかり支えたい。

Whether the recent positive effects will lead to private sector-driven growth hinges on the “third arrow” of the Abe administration’s three-pronged approach to economic revival.
 民間主導の成長にバトンタッチできるかどうかは、「3本目の矢」の成長戦略にかかっている。

The Abe Cabinet has been discussing ways to promote industries with high growth potential through such avenues as the Industrial Competitiveness Council, chaired by the prime minister.
 安倍内閣は産業振興や成長市場の育成策について、産業競争力会議などで論議している。

Several administrations prior to Abe’s also devised growth strategies, but none succeeded in yielding tangible results.
 歴代内閣も成長戦略を打ち出しながら、成果は乏しかった。

We strongly hope this administration’s strategies prove effective in fostering technological innovation and bolstering Japan’s international competitiveness by taking the private sector’s proposals into account.
今度こそ民間の提言を生かし、技術革新や競争力強化に有効な戦略を練り上げてほしい。

Such tasks as lowering corporate income tax, which is considerably higher than in other advanced economies, and trimming employment regulations must also be urgently addressed.
 他の主要国に比べて高い法人税率の引き下げや、過剰な雇用規制の緩和も急務である。

The private sector needs to step up and play a leading role in achieving economic recovery. Companies must break away from defensive management practices that are overly dependent on corporate restructuring and take up the challenge of driving profitability.
 むろん、主役は民間企業だ。リストラ頼みの「守りの経営」から脱却し、収益力の強化を図ることが求められる。

Adverse effects of weaker yen

A further depreciation of the yen, however, is cause for concern. Having fallen to 100 yen to the dollar, the nation’s currency may decline further, which could worsen adverse side effects such as rises in prices of imported raw materials.
 心配なのは、1ドル=100円を突破した円安が勢いづき、原材料の輸入価格上昇といった副作用が深刻化しかねないことである。

If the weaker yen continues to drive up fuel costs for thermal power generation, pressing utilities to raise electricity rates again, households and companies will be severely affected.
 円安で火力発電の燃料費が増大し、電気料金が追加値上げを迫られると、家計や企業への打撃は大きい。

Furthermore, to resuscitate the domestic economy, nuclear power plants should be gradually restarted as long as their safety is confirmed.
経済再生の観点からも、安全性を確認できた原子力発電所を着実に再稼働すべきだ。

Running counter to the Bank of Japan’s monetary easing measures, long-term interest rates are on the rise, which has triggered anxiety over the potential for private sector recovery.
 日銀の金融緩和に逆行して長期金利が上昇し、景気への悪影響も懸念され始めた。

Both the government and the central bank must keep a close watch on trends in the financial market.
政府と日銀は市場動向を注視する必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 17, 2013)
(2013年5月17日01時16分  読売新聞)

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2013年5月17日 (金)

橋下氏発言 女性の尊厳踏みにじる不見識

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 17, 2013
Hashimoto's remarks affront to women, reveal ignorance
橋下氏発言 女性の尊厳踏みにじる不見識(5月16日付・読売社説)

It was a statement that made us doubt his common sense and dignity as a public figure.
 公人としての見識と品位が問われる発言だ。

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) coleader Toru Hashimoto recently told reporters that so-called comfort women were “necessary to maintain discipline in the military forces at that time” by deterring rapes by soldiers.
 日本維新の会の橋下共同代表が、いわゆる従軍慰安婦について、兵士によるレイプを抑え、「軍の規律を維持するには当時は必要だった」と記者団に語った。

Furthermore, Hashimoto revealed that he advised a senior officer of the U.S. forces in Japan to let soldiers “actively utilize” sex-related services.
 さらに、橋下氏が在日米軍幹部に、風俗業の「活用」を働きかけていたことも明らかになった。

On Wednesday, Hashimoto offered the clarification that he “never said the system is necessary now.” And it may be true, as Hashimoto said, that similar systems to provide sexual services were used during the war by armies other than the defunct Imperial Japanese Army.
 橋下氏は15日、慰安婦について「いま必要とは一切言っていない」と釈明した。戦時中、旧日本軍以外にも類似した存在があったという指摘は、その通りだろう。

Nevertheless, it is inevitable that loudly arguing that comfort women were necessary for the military would be seen as making light of women’s dignity.
 とは言え、軍に慰安婦が必要だったと声高に主張することが、女性の尊厳を軽んじるものと受け止められても仕方あるまい。

Strong opposition

It is natural that strong opposition was raised against Hashimoto’s remarks, including from Tomomi Inada, state minister in charge of administrative reform. “I believe the comfort women system violated the human rights of women,” Inada said.
 橋下氏の発言に対し、稲田行政改革相が「慰安婦制度は女性の人権に対する侵害だと思っている」と述べたように、強い反発の声が上がったのも当然である。

Hashimoto made the statement to the press in connection with the stance of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet concerning its recognition of history.
 今回の発言は、歴史認識をめぐる安倍内閣の姿勢に関連して、記者団の質問に答えたものだ。

A 1993 statement by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono concerning the comfort women issue contains expressions indicating that Japanese administrative and military authorities forcibly recruited women as comfort women in an organized manner. His comments were not based on any official or historical materials.
 慰安婦問題に関する1993年の河野官房長官談話には、資料的な根拠もないまま、日本の官憲が組織的、強制的に女性を慰安婦にしたかのような記述がある。

Such expressions, which may invite misunderstandings, need a review based on facts.
そうした誤解を招くような記述は、事実を踏まえた見直しが必要だ。

Irresponsible attitude

Hashimoto advocates a review of the Kono statement. However, to accept the existence of comfort women during wartime as “necessary” may conversely spread misunderstanding on the issue internationally.
 橋下氏は河野談話の見直しが持論である。だが、戦時中の慰安婦の存在を「必要だった」と認めることは、逆に国際的にも誤解を広げることになるのではないか。

Hashimoto criticized the Japanese government over its handling of the comfort women issue, as the government maintains the problem was legally settled with the 1965 Treaty of Basic Relations between Japan and South Korea. He also said “due consideration must be given” to former comfort women.
 橋下氏は、日本政府が1965年の日韓基本条約で慰安婦問題は法的に解決済みだとしていることを批判し、元慰安婦に「配慮すべきだ」とも語っている。

However, it is irresponsible for Hashimoto to advance such an argument without suggesting concrete measures.
だが、何ら具体策もないのに、こうした主張をするのは無責任である。

Meanwhile, the statement about actively utilizing sex-related businesses was advice given to a senior officer of the U.S. forces stationed in Japan when Hashimoto recently visited Okinawa Prefecture.
 一方、「風俗業活用」発言は橋下氏が最近沖縄を訪問した際、在日米軍幹部に進言したという。

Hashimoto told the senior officer that handling soldiers’ sexual desires is an important subject for the military in any era and suggested actively utilizing legal sex-related services in Japan.
 兵士の性をどう制御するかは、いつの時代も軍の課題だとして、日本で合法的に行われている風俗業を活用してはどうかと語った。

The senior officer replied that such activity was prohibited by U.S. forces and closed the subject, according to Hashimoto.
幹部は、軍では禁じられていると答え、この話を打ち切った。

Hashimoto lacks understanding of the disciplinary rules of the U.S. military. Such a statement was probably taken as an insult to U.S. forces in Japan.
 米軍の規律に対する無理解であり、侮辱とも受け止められたのではないか。

Women’s dignity is strongly respected in U.S. society. Among history-related issues in Japan, the U.S. public has turned an especially stern eye on the comfort women issue.
米国社会では、女性の尊厳が重んじられている。日本の歴史問題の中でも、とりわけ慰安婦問題に対する視線が厳しい。

It is only natural that people in Okinawa Prefecture and elsewhere have criticized his remarks as reckless statements that treat women like implements.
 沖縄などからも、女性を道具として扱う暴言と批判の声が上がったのももっともだ。

We cannot help but question why Hashimoto had to make such a proposal and why he had to publicly announce it.
 なぜ、橋下氏がこうした提案をし、それを表明する必要があったのか。首を傾(かし)げざるを得ない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 16, 2013)
(2013年5月16日01時46分  読売新聞)

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敦賀原発 「活断層」との結論は拙速だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 17, 2013
NRA reaches hasty conclusion on 'active fault' at Tsuruga N-plant
敦賀原発 「活断層」との結論は拙速だ(5月16日付・読売社説)

It is highly questionable whether the Nuclear Regulation Authority had sufficient scientific grounds for its conclusion regarding the Tsuruga nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture.
 科学的に十分根拠のある結論と言えるのか。極めて疑問である。

On Wednesday, an NRA expert panel compiled a report on the No. 2 reactor of the plant run by Japan Atomic Power Co., concluding it is located on an active fault.
 福井県にある日本原子力発電敦賀原子力発電所2号機の真下を通る断層について、原子力規制委員会の専門家チームが15日、活断層だと断定する報告書をまとめた。

Government guidelines prohibit the construction of main nuclear plant facilities directly above active faults.
 活断層の真上に原発の重要施設を建てることは国の基準で認められていない。

If the report is approved during an NRA regular meeting to be held next week, it will become less likely that the No. 2 reactor will be reactivated. The possibility the reactor will be decommissioned has also emerged.
来週開かれる規制委の定例会で、このまま報告書が了承されれば、2号機の再稼働は厳しくなる。廃炉の可能性も取りざたされている。

The report focused on a short fault found in a hole that Japan Atomic Power dug at the edge of the plant’s premises, and determined it is an active fault that could trigger an earthquake.
 報告書は、敷地の端に原電が掘った穴で見つかった短い断層に着目し、地震を引き起こす活断層と認定した。

In addition, the report concluded that the fault beneath the No. 2 reactor is an extension of the short fault.
さらに、2号機の真下を通る断層も、この短い断層の延長だと結論づけた。

Insufficient grounds

How can the expert panel assert that the short fault is connected with the fault beneath the No. 2 reactor? The report fails to provide clear grounds for this point.
 しかし、この短い断層が2号機の真下の断層につながると、どうして言い切れるのか。報告書は明確な根拠を示していない。

Japan Atomic Power has been digging holes and conducting other research based on instructions from the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, one of the NRA’s predecessors. The company plans to compile its research results in June at the earliest.
 原電は、規制委の前身である経済産業省原子力安全・保安院の指示を受け、敷地内を掘削するなど調査に取り組んでいる。6月にも調査結果をまとめる方針だ。

At Wednesday’s meeting, Kyoto University Associate Prof. Hiroyuki Tsutsumi, a member of the expert panel, voiced concerns that the report will be treated as the panel’s final conclusion.
“[The report] lacks a considerable amount of fundamental data,” Tsutsumi said. “It would be fruitful for us to hold discussions after we conduct further research.”
 専門家チームの堤浩之京都大准教授は会合で、「根幹にかかわるデータがかなり不足している。調査が進んだ段階で議論した方が実りがある」と、最終結論とすることに異論を唱えた。

We think he expressed a reasonable opinion.
 もっともな見解である。

Tokyo Gakugei University Associate Prof. Koichiro Fujimoto, another member of the panel, admitted that the report lacked sufficient evidence.
“[The report’s content] would be completely unacceptable in an academic paper,” Fujimoto said.
 専門家チームの藤本光一郎東京学芸大准教授も、「学術論文には到底書けないもの」と、報告書の根拠の乏しさを認めた。

NRA Acting Chairman Kunihiko Shimazaki, who chairs the expert panel, has insisted since the panel held its first meeting last autumn that it is highly likely the fault beneath the No. 2 reactor is active.
 専門家チームをまとめる島崎邦彦規制委委員長代理は、会合が始まった昨秋から「活断層の可能性が高い」と強調してきた。

Shimazaki initially allowed Japan Atomic Power officials to make only a few comments during the panel’s meetings. Even when he allowed them to hold briefing sessions, the chair cut their remarks short or started to discuss his own theories.
 当初は会合で原電の発言をほとんど認めず、説明の機会を設けても、発言を遮ったり、途中で持論を展開したりした。

Preconceived notions

We have to say Shimazaki has been chairing the panel with a lack of fairness and based on predetermined conclusions.
 結論ありきの公正さを欠く運営だと言わざるを得ない。

It is natural that Fukui Gov. Kazumi Nishikawa has repeatedly asked the NRA, at prefectural assembly meetings and on other occasions, to listen to a wide range of opinions, both from scientific and technological points of views.
 福井県の西川一誠知事が、「科学と技術の両面から幅広く意見を聞くべきだ」と、県議会などで規制委に対する注文を繰り返してきたのは、当然だろう。

When it comes to the fault beneath the No. 2 reactor, Japan Atomic Power insists it is not an active fault, as it has been inactive for 120,000 to 130,000 years.
 焦点となる2号機の真下を通る断層について、原電は12万~13万年前以降は動いておらず、活断層ではないと主張している。

The operator came to the conclusion based on an analysis of soil in the fault, and has been beefing up its efforts to conduct backup research.
断層中の土壌の分析に基づくもので、裏付け調査を急いでいる。

Scientific evaluations are supposed to be made after experts from various fields hold discussions based on extensive data. The NRA should not reach a hasty conclusion at a time when Japan Atomic Power has been continuing its own research.
 科学的評価は、十分なデータを踏まえ、多彩な専門家で議論することが前提だ。規制委は、原電の調査が継続している段階で、拙速に結論を出すべきではない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 16, 2013)
(2013年5月16日01時46分  読売新聞)

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2013年5月16日 (木)

卵子提供の仲介 子供を守る法整備に踏み出せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 16, 2013
Legal framework needed to protect children born from donated ova
卵子提供の仲介 子供を守る法整備に踏み出せ(5月15日付・読売社説)

The number of children born to women who have undergone reproductive treatment is on the rise. The government should begin creating a legal framework to protect such children.
 生殖医療で子供を授かる女性が増えている。政府は子供の権利を守る法整備に着手すべきだ。

Three women, suffering from infertility due to congenital or other conditions, will receive ova from third-party donors. This will be the first time women will receive ova from third-party donors through an intermediate organization.
 先天性疾患などで卵子ができない3人の女性が第三者から卵子の提供を受けることになった。仲介団体による第三者の卵子あっせんは初めてのケースだ。

When a nonprofit organization, mainly comprising infertile patients and their families and doctors, asked for ova donations, more than 40 people responded, according to the NPO.
 不妊患者の家族、医師らで作るNPO法人が、無報酬で卵子の提供者を募ったところ、40人以上が提供を申し込んだという。

At a press conference this week, the NPO read a message of gratitude from a prospective recipient, and quoted an egg donor as saying, "I'm happy to help someone who's suffering."
 NPO法人は記者会見で、提供を受ける患者の感謝の言葉や、「悩んでいる人の力になれてうれしい」という卵子提供者の声を紹介した。

We can understand the feelings of people who want to help women wishing to have children.
子供が欲しいという女性の願いに、善意で応えてあげようという気持ちは理解できる。

Don't ignore problems

However, a number of potential problems arising from infertility treatment must not be overlooked. First, births from donated ova are expected to complicate family relationships. A child born via reproductive treatment will have two mothers--the mother who gives birth and the "genetic mother" who donates the ova.
 ただし、こうした不妊治療に伴う様々な問題を見過ごしてはならない。まず、家族関係が複雑になることだ。生まれてくる子供には、出産した「産みの母」と卵子提供者である「遺伝上の母」という2人の母親ができる。

Although the Supreme Court has previously ruled that a woman who gives birth is the child's mother, there is no relevant law. To prevent friction over inheritance and other family issues, legal arrangements must be made to clarify parental relationships for children born after reproductive treatment.
 出産した女性を母親とする最高裁の判例はあるが、明文化した法令は存在しない。相続などのトラブルを防ぐには、生まれた子供の親子関係を法的に規定することが欠かせない。

Ensuring children's right to learn about their birth also is an important issue that must be addressed.
 子供が出自を知る権利をどう担保するか、も重要な課題だ。

The NPO has drawn up a set of rules that call for donors' addresses, names and other personal data to be disclosed if the children of recipients request such information when they turn 15. We believe a system should be created to have a public body strictly manage such personal information over the long term.
 NPO法人は、子供が15歳になった時点で、当人が希望すれば、提供者の住所や氏名などを開示するという独自ルールを定めている。それなら、こうした個人情報を公的機関で長期間、厳重に管理する仕組みも必要ではないか。

From an ethical standpoint, regulations on the egg donation business are also needed.
 倫理上、卵子の売買規制も求められよう。

Following the NPO's announcement of the ova donations, Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Norihisa Tamura said: "We'll take our time to consider this issue. We haven't reached the point of setting up a study panel as there are so many opinions to consider."
 今回のケースを受けて、田村厚生労働相は「時間をかけて検討したい。いろいろな意見があり、すぐに検討会を設立する状況ではない」と述べた。

Government slow to act

This position would allow reproductive treatment using donated ova to spread without a legal framework.
これでは、法的なルールのないまま治療が広がるのを黙認することになる。

In 1998, a doctor in Nagano Prefecture conducted the nation's first in vitro fertilization using donated ova. In 2003, a health ministry council compiled a report that gave the green light to egg donations.
 そもそも、国内の卵子提供による体外受精は、長野県の医師が1998年、初めて実施し、厚労省の審議会は2003年、卵子提供を容認する報告書をまとめた。

However, in the 10 years since then, a legal framework for ova donations has yet to be created.
 だが、10年たっても肝心の制度構築は手つかずのままだ。

In the meantime, more than 80 children have been born through in vitro fertilization using ova donated from recipients' families and friends. A growing number of couples also received ova overseas.
 その間にも、家族や友人から卵子の提供を受けた体外受精で、80人以上の子供が誕生している。海外に渡航し、卵子提供を受けて出産するカップルも増えている。

Without any regulations, children born with donated ova may face obstacles when they grow up. The government must act quickly to make the necessary legal arrangements.
 ルールがないままでは、子供が成長した時に不利益が生じる恐れがある。政府は対応を急がなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 15, 2013)
(2013年5月15日01時35分  読売新聞)

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予算きょう成立 まだ懸案の処理が残っている

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 16, 2013
Diet set to pass FY13 budget, but many important bills still pending
予算きょう成立 まだ懸案の処理が残っている(5月15日付・読売社説)

The Diet is set to pass the fiscal 2013 budget Wednesday. The general account budget totaling 92.6 trillion yen is expected to be rejected by the House of Councillors due to objections from opposition parties, but a constitutional provision stipulating the supremacy of the House of Representatives will be applied to pass the budget.
 2013年度予算がきょう成立する。一般会計総額92・6兆円の予算案は、参院では野党の反対により否決される見通しだが、憲法の衆院優越規定が適用される。

Together, the supplementary budget for fiscal 2012 that was passed in February and the fiscal 2013 budget are called a collective "15-month budget." The government should steadily implement this budget to end deflation and revitalize the nation's economy, both of which are goals of Abenomics, the economic policies of the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
 2月に成立した12年度補正予算と合わせて「15か月予算」と位置付けられる。着実な執行により、安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」の目指すデフレ脱却と経済再生を確かなものにしたい。

After passing the fiscal 2013 budget, the government must develop a growth strategy, the "third arrow" of Abenomics to be compiled in June. It must also draw up a basic policy for economic and fiscal reform.
 予算成立後の政府の課題は、6月に「3本目の矢」としてまとめる成長戦略と、「経済財政改革の基本方針(骨太の方針)」だ。

How should the issues of sustainable growth and restoration of fiscal health in the mid- and long term be balanced? This may become a point of contention in the upcoming upper house election.
 持続的な成長と、中長期的な財政健全化の両立をいかに図るか。参院選の争点にもなろう。

Address vote-value disparities

Following passage of the fiscal 2013 budget, the focus of attention at the close of the current Diet session will shift to other pressing bills.
 予算成立に伴い、終盤国会では重要法案の処理が焦点となる。

Above all, to rectify vote-value disparities, lawmakers must quickly deliberate a bill on rezoning single-seat constituencies in the lower house to realize a "plus-zero, minus-five" plan, which proposes the number of seats be cut by five.
 中でも、「1票の格差」を是正するため、衆院小選挙区定数の「0増5減」を実現する区割り法案の審議を急がねばならない。

It is only natural for the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito to say passing the bill ahead of further reforms is the minimum responsibility of the legislature. The parties are poised to push the bill through even if a second vote is forced in the lower house.
 自民、公明両党が、区割り法案の先行成立を立法府としての最低限の責務だとしているのはもっともである。衆院で再可決してでも成立させる構えだ。

On the other hand, opposition forces such as the Democratic Party of Japan insist correction of vote-value disparities and a substantial reduction in the number of lower house seats should be realized simultaneously. Although three weeks have passed since the bill was submitted to the upper house, there still remains no prospect for initiating deliberations on it.
 これに対し、民主党など野党は、格差是正と定数の大幅削減の一体決着を主張する。法案の参院送付から3週間もたつのに、審議入りのメドすら立っていない。

Because parties' opinions widely differ over sweeping reform of the electoral system, it will be difficult to reach a conclusion on the matter during the current Diet session.
 選挙制度の抜本改革について各党の主張はバラバラで、今国会中に結論を出すのは困難だ。

The DPJ and other opposition parties' refusal to accomplish more readily attainable tasks first and insistence on adhering to reaching principles is extremely irresponsible.
 まずできることに取り組まず、原則論ばかりを唱える民主党などの姿勢は無責任に過ぎる。

Another urgent task is the enactment of a bill to revise the Public Offices Election Law to grant adults under guardianship the right to vote. Passage of the bill is necessary before the upper house election this summer.
 このほか、成年後見人が付いた人にも選挙権を認める公職選挙法改正案の成立も急務だ。夏の参院選に間に合わせる必要がある。

Additionally, the Diet is tasked with passing the so-called My Number bill to introduce a system that would assign a unique identification number to residents nationwide, which is aimed at improving social security services and ensuring efficient tax collection. Another bill related to the Hague Convention also must be enacted.
 社会保障サービスの充実と徴税効率化を図るための共通番号制度関連法案(マイナンバー法案)や、ハーグ条約の関連法案なども確実に成立を図らねばならない。

Social security reform urgent

Meanwhile, talks on reforming the social security system between the LDP and Komeito and the DPJ have become stagnant.
 一方、自公民3党の社会保障制度改革の協議は停滞している。

The LDP and Komeito are seeking to improve the pension system by altering the current system. In contrast, the DPJ is demanding drastic reforms such as the introduction of a guaranteed minimum pension. The party is clearly trying to make pension system reform a major subject of debate in the upper house election.
 年金制度を巡っては、自公両党が現行制度の修正による改革を目指している。これに対し、民主党は相変わらず最低保障年金導入など抜本的見直しを主張し、参院選の争点にしようとしている。

If politicians cannot come to a decision, it will be difficult for legislative measures to be taken by Aug. 21, as required under the law to promote social security system reform. Discussions within the government's National Council on Social Security System Reform, which was established based on an agreement between the LDP and Komeito and the DPJ last year, will also remain stalled.
 政治の意思決定がなければ、社会保障制度改革推進法が求める8月21日までの「法制上の措置」を講じることは難しい。昨年の3党合意で設置した政府の社会保障制度改革国民会議の議論も宙に浮くことになる。

The three parties should clarify once more how they will advance reform.
 改革をどう進めていくのか、3党は改めて明確にすべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 15, 2013)
(2013年5月15日01時35分  読売新聞)

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サイバー対話 攻撃抑止へ日米協力を深めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 15, 2013
Japan must deepen cooperation with U.S. to deter cyber-attacks
サイバー対話 攻撃抑止へ日米協力を深めよ(5月14日付・読売社説)

A string of serious cyber-attacks and cyberterrorism incidents have occurred around the world. The government should promote extensive cooperation with the United States and reinforce its countermeasures against such attacks.
 世界各地で深刻なサイバー攻撃・テロが相次いでいる。政府は、米国との幅広い協力を進め、対策を強化すべきだ。

The Japanese and U.S. governments recently held their first bilateral "cyber dialogue." They released a joint statement saying they would cooperate comprehensively to defend such critical infrastructure as telecommunication networks, financial systems and electricity supplies, and to establish international rules on cyber-issues.
 日米両政府が「サイバー対話」を初めて開催し、通信、金融、電力など重要インフラの防御策や国際ルール作りで包括的な協力を行うとの共同声明を発表した。

Both sides agreed to hold a second meeting this autumn and to deepen their dialogue.
今秋に第2回会合を開き、対話を重ねることでも一致した。

Bilateral cooperation in the new field of cyberspace security will help both nations deepen the Japan-U.S. alliance as a whole, just as cooperation on space and maritime security has done. We hope cooperation in the new field will steadily take shape.
 サイバー空間の安全保障という新分野における協力は、宇宙や海上安全保障などの連携と同様、日米同盟全体の深化につながる。着実に具体化させたい。

The threat is real

In March this year, several financial institutions and TV stations in South Korea came under a cyber-attack that caused massive disruptions to users of automated teller machines and personal computers. The South Korean government later concluded the attack had been the work of a North Korean intelligence agency.
 今年3月、韓国の金融機関やテレビ局がサイバー攻撃を受け、現金自動預け払い機(ATM)やパソコンに大規模障害が発生した。韓国政府は、北朝鮮の対外工作機関の犯行と断定した。

Japan should not treat this incident as "a fire on the other side of the river." Major players in the nation's defense industry, such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., as well as courts and government organizations have already been targeted by cyber-attacks.
 日本にとって対岸の火事ではない。既に三菱重工業など防衛産業や、裁判所、政府機関がサイバー攻撃の標的となっている。

It is imperative that Japan share an awareness of the threat posed by the latest cyber-attack and reinforce its defenses through exchanges of information and cooperation with the United States, a "leading nation in cyberspace."
 「サイバー先進国」である米国との情報交換や協力を通じて、最新のサイバー攻撃に関する脅威認識を共有するとともに、防御策の実効性を高めることが急務だ。

Japan also needs to earnestly foster professional engineers in this field and strengthen the protection of infrastructure through joints efforts by the government and private sector.
 専門技術者の育成や、官民一体によるインフラ防御体制の強化にも本腰を入れねばならない。

Working out international rules will be an important task in the days ahead.
 今後、重要になるのは国際ルール作りだ。

Last year, the United Nations established an expert panel on cyberspace security, and 15 countries, including Japan, the United States and Britain, began talks on an international code of conduct.
国連は昨年、サイバー安全保障に関する専門家会合を設置し、日米英など15か国が国際行動規範などの協議を始めた。

In the United States and European countries, the application of international laws of war and the right of collective self-defense against cyber-attacks have been discussed.
 欧米では、サイバー攻撃に対し、戦時国際法や集団的自衛権を適用することも議論されている。

It is important for Japan to cooperate with the countries concerned, including the United States, and get involved in drawing up the international rules.
 日本も、米国など関係国と連携し、国際ルール作りに積極的に関与することが肝要である。

Stand united against China

The Defense Ministry plans to establish what has tentatively been called the "cyberspace defense corps" in the Self-Defense Forces in spring next year.
 防衛省は来春、自衛隊に「サイバー空間防衛隊」(仮称)を新設する予定だ。

Under what sort circumstances will the government be able to invoke the right of self-defense and switch the primary responsibility for repelling cyber-attacks to the SDF from police authorities? Study of such issues from a legal perspective will be needed.
どんな事態になれば自衛権を発動し、対処主体を警察から自衛隊に切り替えるのか、法的な検討が求められよう。

In an annual report released last week on military and security developments involving China, the U.S. Defense Department singled Beijing out for criticism by stating that last year numerous computer systems were targeted for intrusions, "some of which appear to be attributable directly to the Chinese government and military."
 先週発表された中国の軍事力に関する米国防総省の年次報告は、昨年発生したサイバー攻撃の一部に中国政府・軍が関与していたと名指しで批判している。

It is vital for the international community to stand united in guiding China into abiding by international rules, just as it must on security issues in the East China Sea and South China Sea.
 東シナ海・南シナ海での安全保障問題と同じように、国際ルールを順守する方向に中国を導くには国際社会の結束が欠かせない。

It is also significant that the latest Japan-U.S. dialogue was attended by officials not only from the Foreign Ministry, but from other government bodies including the Cabinet Secretariat, the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry, the Defense Ministry and the National Police Agency.
 今回の日米対話は、外務省に加え、内閣官房、総務、経済産業、防衛、警察など関係省庁がそろって参加した点にも意義がある。

In working out and implementing measures against cyber-attacks, it is important for ministries and agencies concerned to act as a single team by sharing relevant information, rather than getting bogged down by bureaucratic sectionalism.
 サイバー対策は、関係省庁が縦割りに陥らず、情報を共有して一丸で取り組むことが大切だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 14, 2013)
(2013年5月14日01時37分  読売新聞)

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福島第一原発 地下水の対策は焦眉の急だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun inShareMay 15, 2013
Fukushima plant's groundwater a problem needing urgent action
福島第一原発 地下水の対策は焦眉の急だ(5月14日付・読売社説)

It is rational for groundwater that flowed into Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant to be released into the ocean after it is confirmed to be safe.
 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所に流れ込んでいる地下水は、安全性を確認したうえで海に放出するのが現実的だろう。

TEPCO intended to do so by the end of this month after obtaining approval from the Fukushima prefectural federation of fisheries cooperatives.
 東電は、福島県漁業協同組合連合会の了解を得て、月内の実施を目指していた。

But after being briefed Monday by TEPCO, the federation postponed a conclusion on the release of the water, saying fishermen were not convinced about its safety.
 だが、東電による13日の県漁連への説明会では、安全性に十分な理解が得られていないとして、結論が持ち越しとなった。

At the Fukushima No. 1 plant, 400 tons of groundwater per day flowed into the damaged reactor buildings from nearby mountains, causing contaminated water to accumulate. Removing the groundwater is a matter of urgency.
 福島第一原発では、1日400トンの地下水が、敷地の山側から壊れた原子炉に流れ込み、汚染水を増やしている。地下水対策は焦眉の急である。

TEPCO must continue to explain how safe it is to release the groundwater into the ocean and how important it is to do so.
 地下水放出の安全性、重要性について、東電は粘り強く説明しなければならない。

Fishermen confused

Under the TEPCO plan, wells would be dug in front of the reactor buildings so the groundwater could be pumped from them and released into the ocean. This would reduce the inflow of the water by about 100 tons per day.
 東電の計画では、原子炉の手前に井戸を掘り、地下水をくみ上げて海に流す。これで1日の流入量を約100トン減らせる。

Water to be released into the ocean has not flowed into the reactor buildings. However, some fishermen reportedly confuse "groundwater" with "contaminated water."
 海に放出するのは、原子炉に流入する前の水だ。ところが、一部に「地下水」と「汚染水」を混同する漁業関係者もいるという。

TEPCO has conducted tests and found a small amount of radioactive hydrogen (tritium) and other substances contained in the groundwater. It is believed contaminated substances on the ground infiltrated into the groundwater when it rained.
 東電の検査では、地下水には放射性水素(トリチウム)などが少量含まれる。地表の汚染物質が雨水とともに浸透したらしい。

But there is only a maximum of 450 becquerels per liter in the water, far below the 10,000 becquerels allowed in the World Health Organization's guidelines on drinking water quality.
 ただ、1リットル当たり最大450ベクレルで、世界保健機関(WHO)が定める飲料水の水質ガイドラインの同1万ベクレルよりはるかに低い。

Not only TEPCO, but also the government should release data and other information on safety levels. It also would be beneficial if the Secretariat of the Nuclear Regulation Authority regularly monitored the quality of groundwater to confirm its safety.
 安全性を示すデータについて、東電だけでなく、政府も情報発信に努めてもらいたい。原子力規制庁が地下水の水質を常時、監視して、水質に問題がないことを確認するのも有用ではないか。

Some members of fisheries cooperatives have voiced concern that releasing groundwater into the ocean could reignite groundless fears regarding marine and other products.
 漁協関係者からは、海への放出により、水産物などに対する風評被害が再燃することを懸念する声も出ている。

Food has been thoroughly checked for radioactive contamination, and only safe products are being shipped. Consumers also should exercise sound judgment.
 食品の放射性物質の検査は徹底されており、安全な食品しか出荷されない。消費者も、冷静に対応することが求められる。

The Consumer Affairs Agency said it would instruct 2,000 people to give them accurate knowledge of radioactive substances this fiscal year, and ask them to hold a series of small gatherings with consumers. We think extending this kind of indirect support steadily is important.
 消費者庁は今年度、放射性物質の正しい知識を持つ専門家を全国で2000人養成し、各地でミニ集会を重ねる方針という。こうした地道な側面支援も重要だ。

Not much storage space

It also is essential for long-term and comprehensive measures on contaminated water to be adopted at the Fukushima No. 1 plant.
 福島第一原発の長期的かつ総合的な汚染水対策も欠かせない。

Contaminated water is being kept in storage tanks on the plant's premises. This is worrisome, as the contaminated water could leak and spread. Eventually, there will be no room left to store this water.
 汚染水は、敷地内の貯蔵タンクに保管中だが、汚染されたままでは漏出事故などが心配だ。いずれ保管場所も足りなくなる。

First and foremost, decontamination equipment, which now is being run on a trial basis, should be employed to safely store the water.
 まずは、試運転中の汚染除去装置を完成させ、安全に「水」を保管できるようにしたい。

After the radioactive contamination in the water has been reduced to the required safe level, it should be considered for release into the ocean. This important issue must be dealt with.
 さらに、安全なレベルにまで処理した水については、海洋に放出する必要性も生じよう。今後の重要な検討課題である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 14, 2013)
(2013年5月14日01時37分  読売新聞)

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2013年5月15日 (水)

美しい日本の文化七五三 記念写真をスタジオシモムラで

今朝はかなり気合いを入れて、神奈川県川崎市にある写真館「スタジオシモムラ」の七五三写真を紹介いたします。
まずは七五三とは何か、簡単にご説明いたします。七五三の由来です。

日本では江戸時代の昔から子供が3歳になると剃っていた髪をのばしはじめる「髪置の式」という儀式を始めました。
男の子は5歳になると碁盤の上で吉方に向けて袴を着ける「袴着の式」という儀式を行い、それを祝いました。
女の子は7歳になると、着物がそれまでの付け紐を取り去り着物の脇をふさいで帯を締める「帯解の式」という儀式を行い、それを祝いました。
これらすべては、子供たちの健やかな成長を祈って行われる神聖な儀式だったのです。

また江戸時代では七歳までの子供は神の子とされていました。
七歳になって初めて社会の一員として武家社会に認められていたのです。
そんな伝統が母体となり、やがて男女を問わず、子供たちが三歳、五歳、七歳になるのを機会(節目)として、ここまで無事に育ったことを祝い、今後のさらなる末長い成長を祈る儀式として、広く社会に定着したのです。
現代の七五三では、近くの神社や氏神様にお参りをするのが習慣となり、その伝統が継承されています。
七五三の行事は世界でも珍しい、日本が誇るべき美しい文化なのです。

類い希な美しい文化である七五三。
この機会は、ただ近くの神社や氏神様にお参りをするだけで済ませてはなりません。
健やかな子供の成長を記念し、今後の更なる健やかな成長を祈念して、ここは記念写真を撮るべきシーンなのです。
男の子は3歳と5歳、女の子は3歳と7歳の年の11月15日に、成長を祝って神社・寺などに詣でますが、最近のトレンドでは七五三で男女区別無くお祝いするのが増えて来ています。
是非、子供たちの一生の思い出に残るような立派な写真を撮影してあげてください。
せっかくの機会です、出来れば、一流の写真館で、一生の思い出に残るような立派な結婚写真を残したいものですね。

神奈川県川崎市にある写真館「スタジオシモムラ」で素敵な七五三記念写真を撮影してあげてください。
まず撮影衣裳ですが、総数700着以上をほこります。
スタジオシモムラは創業73年の老舗です。歴史と伝統のスタジオシモムラなのです。
スタジオで使われる撮影機器や設備は現代最高水準です。
極め付けの撮影機材は世界一と言われる機材を使用しています。
さらに、印画紙も銀園写真でプリントしていて写真のクオリティーには、一流のこだわりがあります。

撮影に使われる場所がまた超一流なんです。
天上の高さがなんと4mの本格的なスタジオです。多彩なバックスクリーンがあります。
幅が3m50cmなのですが、この幅の広さは日本最大級だそうです。
さらに着付けですが、保健所認可を受けた美容室で、専任の美容師、着付師がヘアーメイク、着付をしてくれます。

七五三写真なら、神奈川県川崎市にある写真館「スタジオシモムラ」をおすすめいたします。

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2013年5月14日 (火)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:家族のことから離れよう /東京

April 21, 2013(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Put family concerns aside for awhile and look after yourself
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:家族のことから離れよう /東京

Since the start of this month, I have felt like there has been an upshot in the number of consultations I receive. There must be a lot of people wanting to take care of long-standing problems now that a new fiscal year has begun.
 4月に入り、診察室の中でも外でも、相談の件数が増えた気がする。「長く悩んできたけれど、新年度こそは何とかしたい」と思う人が多いのだろう。

In particular, I have received a lot of consultations from people wanting to do something about their father's alcoholism, their mother's depression, their brother's reclusiveness, their sister's anorexia, and other family problems.
 中でも目立つのは父親のアルコール依存症、母親のうつ病、弟の引きこもり、妹の拒食症など、家族の問題を何とかしたいという相談が後を絶たない。特に、「長女」にあたる人が相談に来るケースが多い。

Eldest daughters, or people in a role like one, especially come for help a lot.
実際の長女ではないが、「長女役を果たしている誰か」という場合もある。

With a strong sense of duty and responsibility, they think they have to do something to help their struggling family members.
責任感も使命感も強い彼女たちは、「父を何とかするのは私の役目」「悩んでいる姉を身捨てるわけには」と自分の事のように苦しみ、自分が動くことで何とかしたいと真剣だ。

However, no matter how much effort they expend, if those other family members themselves do not want to change, and if there is not cooperation from other family members as well, nothing will happen.
 しかし、実際にはいくら健気で賢明な娘たちががんばっても、本人がやる気を持たなければ問題は解決に向かわない。また、他の家族の協力も不可欠だ。

Still, those who visit me think that if they just get themselves straight things will turn out right. They slowly, however, start to notice the obstacles in front of them and feel restlessness and anxiety.
 そういう中で、最初は「私さえしっかりすれば」と意気込み、希望を胸にやって来た娘たちは、次第に自分の前に立ちはだかる壁に気づいて焦りや不安を感じ始める。

"I'd like you to bring your father and mother along too," I repeat, and they first enthusiastically answer, "I will!" but gradually speak more quietly as our meetings continue. They then say things like, "My father yelled at me, 'Why should I have to go to a psychiatrist?"
「やっぱり問題のお父さん本人にも来ていただきたいですね。できればお母さんもいっしょに」と繰り返す私に、「やってみます!」と元気で答えていた娘たちの声が、面接を重ねるうちに小さくなってくる。「どうしてオレが精神科なんかに行かなきゃならないんだ、と怒鳴られました……」

To these concerned people, I say, "Are you taking time for yourself? Do you have fun and release your stress?" and the answer is usually, "Now is not the time for that."
 疲れた顔を見せる娘に、私は言う。「ところで、自分の時間も大切にしてますか? 楽しみやストレス解消は?」。すると、ほとんどは「それどころじゃないですよ」と首を振る。

My response is, "The more you think that way, the more you need a break or release. Take a rest from your family concerns and meet with friends, or take a trip."
私はすかさず、「そう思うのであればあるほど、むしろ息抜きや発散も必要ですよ。ちょっと家族のことから離れて、友だちと会ったり旅行に出かけたりしてみるのはどうでしょう」と勧める。

Everyone is saddened when family members are troubled or sick and want to do what they can to help. However, the individual lives of the people in a family do not stop, and this of course holds true for those trying to help their families as well.
 そう、誰だって家族に悩んでいる人や、病と考えられる人がいれば心が重くなるし、できれば自分が何とかしてあげたいと思うだろう。しかし、家族全体とは別に、そこにいる一人一人の人生も続いている。もちろん、その感心な娘たちにも自分自身の人生があり、それ自体は家族の問題とは別のものであるはずだ。

To these people, who may be motivated and pushed to try and fix their families now that a new fiscal year has begun, I want to say, "You are doing fine, but there is a limit to how much we can solve on our own. Why not look after your own life, instead?"
 「あなたは十分よくやっています。でも、一人で全部を解決するには限界もあるよね。それよりも自分の人生、見直してみませんか」。家族のために孤軍奮闘する娘たちは「この春こそ」と、やる気と焦りを感じているかもしれないが、私はあえてそう伝えたい。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2013年04月16日 地方版

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香山リカのココロの万華鏡:歯を食いしばらない /東京

April 28, 2013(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Don't clench your teeth
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:歯を食いしばらない /東京

I recently went to see a dentist because I had a toothache and also pain in my gums. My dentist said after examining x-ray photos and checking inside my mouth, "It appears that you clench your teeth."
 歯や歯ぐきが痛くて歯科を受診したときのこと。レントゲンを撮ったり、口の中の状態を見たりして、歯医者さんはこう言った。「これ、歯の食いしばりが原因ですね。知らない間に随分力を入れてかみしめているみたいですよ」

I was surprised. I knew that people could hurt their jaw joints by clenching their back teeth, which sometimes even causes heartache, but I never thought I would experience that. Since I've heard that stress is one of the causes of jaw clenching, I said to my doctor, "What should I do? I live a stress-free life.
 私は驚いた。特に奥歯をガッチリ食いしばり、顎(がく)関節が痛くなったり空気を飲み込んで胸が苦しくなったりする人がいることは知っていたが、まさか自分がそうなるとは。しかも、かみしめはストレスが原因とも聞いている。私は焦って歯医者さんに聞いた。

Should I make one of those mouthpieces that protects my gums from clenching?"
 「先生、私ストレスとは無縁の生活なんですよ! いったいどうすればいいのですか。食いしばり防止のマウスピースがあると聞きましたが、それを作ればいいのでしょうか」

My dentist then calmly replied, "People do clench their teeth even without stress. You don't need to make a mouthpiece, but you just have to relax your jaw when you find yourself clenching."
 すると、歯医者さんは少々あきれたような顔をしながら、こう答えたのだ。「ストレスがなくてもかみしめちゃう人もいます。いきなりマウスピースを作らなくても、『食いしばっている』と気づいたら、ちょっと緩めて上と下の歯を離すだけで効果ありますよ」

From then on, I have tried to relax my jaw whenever possible and sure enough, my toothache has gone.
 なるほど、そのつど力を抜くだけでいいのか。それから意識して口の中を緩めるようになった。すると、確かに歯の痛みは消えた。

After this incident, I have been paying more attention to my patients' faces, checking to see if they are clenching their teeth or making tense expressions.
 その経験をして以来、診察室で患者さんの顔を見ると、「歯を食いしばっていないかな。顔に力が入りすぎていないかな」と気になるようになってきた。

People who come to see a psychiatrist usually wear serious looks, but even among them, there are those who strain themselves too much that it shows in their wrinkled foreheads and stressed cheeks and jaws.
精神科の診察室に来る人は深刻な表情をしている場合が多いが、中でも額にしわを寄せ、頬やあごにグッと力が込められているのがわかる人がいる。

I tell those people how to relax by loosening their jaws, opening their mouth a little and breathing.
 そういう人には、「ちょっと顔や口の中を緩め、だらーんとしてみては?」と促してみる。
「ほら、ちょっとポカンと口を開け、ほわっとため息をついて……。そうそう、顔が緩んだでしょう」と、「にわか講師」になってリラックス法を指導することもある。

We all live under stress and many people tense up their faces, clenching their teeth without even realizing it.
 私たちは日ごろ、緊張の連続で知らない間に顔全体に力がこもり、グッと歯を食いしばっているという人も少なくないだろう。

For these people, I recommend relaxing their face muscles.
そういう人にはぜひ、顔の力をフッと抜くだけで楽になる「顔緩め健康法」を勧めたい。

If somebody asked me whether they could be healthier by just loosening their faces, I would have to say I don't have enough data, but I think it's a nice easy way to relax.
「顔を緩めるだけで健康になれるんですか?」と聞かれたら、「いや、まだデータは集めてなくて」と正直に言うしかないのだが、簡単にできるリラックス法としてはなかなかいいのでは、と思っている。

Now let's loosen up our faces and breathe.
 さあ、皆さんも一、二の三で、顔をだらーんと緩めてホッとため息。

You'll find your stiff heart and body more relaxed.
ガチガチの体とココロが少しほぐれるはずです。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2013年04月23日 地方版

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香山リカのココロの万華鏡:「心」置き去りにしないで /東京

May 05, 2013(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Don't neglect psychological care
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:「心」置き去りにしないで /東京

From April 1, a new fetal test began in Japan, allowing detection of chromosomal defects in unborn babies through analysis of the mother's blood.
 4月1日から、新型の出生前診断が日本でも始まった。妊娠している女性の血液で、胎児に染色体異常があるかどうかがわかるという検査だ。

Currently, the test is only being carried out on women who will be 35 or older at the time their baby is born, and when ultrasound tests or other methods have already given cause for suspicion that the fetus has chromosomal defects. The tests are only being carried out at medical facilities approved by relevant academic societies. However, in the future the test will probably be more commonplace.
 現在のところ、検査の対象は「出産時に35歳以上で、超音波検査などで胎児に染色体異常が疑われる妊婦」とされており、学会が指定した医療機関でのみ行われることになっているが、将来的には、より一般的な検査になるのではないか。

Compared to tests using amniotic fluid, the new test is much easier on the mother's body. However, because of the reduced burden, more women will take the test, and there will be more cases of potential parents agonizing over whether or not to continue with a pregnancy. If couples are merely handed a paper with test results that show a chromosomal defect and told, "Here, you figure out the rest," then they will surely be at a loss over what to do.
 これまでの羊水検査に比べ、体にかかる負担は著しく小さい。しかし、手軽にできるということは、それだけ多くの女性が受け、「出産か、それとも……」と悩むケースも増えるということにもつながる。その場合、検査結果が記された紙を1枚渡されて「はい、あとは自分で判断して」と言われても、夫婦はどう判断すべきか途方に暮れるだけだろう。

It is at this point that gene counselors get involved. Knowledgeable about gene medicine and given recognition by academic societies, the main job of these counselors is to provide information, from explanations about chromosomal defects to social service help the parents can receive. They give the couple the information they need to make their decision on whether or not to continue the pregnancy, and of course, do not force them on their decision.
 そんな時に判断する手助けをするのが、遺伝カウンセラーだ。遺伝医学の知識を持ち、学会が認定したカウンセラーの第一の仕事は情報提供。対象となる疾患の詳しい情報から、誕生後に受けられる社会サービスまで、多くの情報をその夫婦に提供する。そして、彼らが正しい知識のもとで出産するかしないかを選択できるよう慎重に見守る。もちろん、決めるのはその夫婦であり、カウンセラーが「こうしなさい」と指示を出すことはない。

Some people may wonder, shouldn't a "counselor" be offering psychological support? Apparently, the psychological support of the gene counselors is limited to what they give while providing the information, and it ends, at least officially, as soon as the couple makes their decision about the pregnancy.
 「え? カウンセラーというからには『心の支援』じゃないの」と思う人もいるかもしれないが、心理的な支援は、遺伝カウンセリングではあくまで情報提供とともに行われるもののようだ。また、その仕事は検査で異常があった場合、妊娠を継続するかどうかの意思決定までで、その後の「心のケア」は、正確には含まれない。

However, there are surely still problems a couple faces after making that decision. If they gave up on the baby, they may be emotionally scarred, and suffer from repeated bouts of regret. If they continued with the pregnancy, however, they will surely continue to feel anxiety and uncertainty about whether what they are doing is right. In particular, the mother would face a major crisis, and yet I suspect there is very little psychological care after the chromosomal defect test is over.
 しかし、問題は「こうしよう」と決めた後にもあるはずだ。妊娠の継続を断念した場合に夫婦の心は傷つき、繰り返し後悔が押し寄せるかもしれない。出産を決意した後も不安が湧き上がってきたり、「これでいいのか」と心が揺らいだりするだろう。特に女性の心は大きな危機に見舞われると思うが、出生前診断のアフターケアは、まだほとんど手つかずと言ってもよい。

So far there are only around 300 people in Japan who can truly provide gene counseling. As more of these counselors are trained, we also need to produce psychological counselors who can provide care after a couple makes their decision about a pregnancy. New medical technologies always bring new psychological problems, and I don't want technology alone to run unchecked.
 そもそも遺伝カウンセリング自体、日本で本格的にできるのはわずか300人と言われる。これからその育成と同時に、アフターケアができる心理カウンセラーも育てる必要がある。新しい医療技術とともに必ず新しい心の問題が生まれる。それを置き去りにして、技術だけがひとり歩きしないようにしたい。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2013年04月30日 地方版
〔都内版〕

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香山リカのココロの万華鏡:「待ち疲れ」ならぬように /東京

May 12, 2013(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Waiting on benefits from 'Abenomics' can bring stress
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:「待ち疲れ」ならぬように /東京

Major tour companies announced before this past "Golden Week" holiday period that the number of Japanese expected to travel during the period was a record high. Experts said this is because the economic mood in Japan has been recovering thanks to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's policies, known as "Abenomics." I think the point here is that Japan's economy, or people's incomes, aren't actually improving, but rather their "mood" about the economy is gaining a lift.
 旅行会社が大型連休前に発表したところでは、この休みの期間中の旅行者は過去最高なのだとか。理由は「安倍政権の経済政策『アベノミクス』で景況感が改善しているから」と分析されていた。ここでポイントになるのは、実際に景気が良くなり現実にお金がたくさんあるのではなく、あくまで景気の状態に対する印象の「景況感」が改善しているだけ、ということだろう。

Meanwhile, weekly magazines are saying only some people are becoming richer under the Abenomics scheme and the economic bubble will burst before most people can benefit from it. They warn that people's lives may become even more difficult. If that is true, we can't be too optimistic that our salaries will increase just because stock prices are on the rise.
 一方、週刊誌のコラムなどには、「もうかるのは一部のお金持ちだけ。大半の人たちは恩恵を受ける前にバブルがはじけ、生活がより苦しくなる危険も」とも。もしそうなら、「株価が上がったから、そのうち私の給料も上がるはず」などと浮かれてもいられない。

So far I haven't heard any of my patients claiming they are making a fortune because of Abenomics. Instead, I am hearing the usual negative stories such as "I can't make ends meet with my pay from my part-time job," "I was laid off" and "I have to let go of my house because I can't pay the mortgage."
 診察室で会う人からは、まだ「アベノミクスで大もうけです」といった言葉は聞こえてこない。相変わらず「このバイト代では生活できない」「パートの仕事を打ち切られた」「ローンが払えないので家を手放す」など“景気の悪い話”ばかりだ。

Although the media is reporting that large firms are making profits, I suspect most of us are just waiting, half excited and half worried, to see how Abenomics will affect our lives.
誰もが「大手企業の業績が好転」というニュースを横目に「その効果は私まで回ってくるのか」と期待半分、不安半分で待っているというところだろう。

Of course, it's better than not having any hope at all, but there is a limit to "just waiting." There was an old Japanese song that portrayed a mother waiting for her son to come home from a battle field for 10 years. However, that is a rare case. For how long in general do we have to wait? Just waiting alone can cause stress. It can cause even greater stress when there is a possibility of not receiving any benefits from Abenomics.
 もちろん、不安一色よりはいいのかもしれないが、それでも「ただ待つ」のには限界がある。歌謡曲「岸壁の母」の母親は、戦地から帰らぬ息子を待ち続け10年間、港に通い続けるという設定だが、これは特殊なケースだろう。一般的にどれくらい待てばよいのか。期間も示されずにただ待つということ自体、私たちには大きなストレスになる。しかも、待ったあげく「あなたへの恩恵はありませんでした」と、外れる場合もあるとなれば、ストレスはさらに倍増。

Those who are waiting with hope of getting a raise in their pay at their part-time job, just like stock prices, will be disappointed when they realize that their lives are not getting any easier. Then they may gradually become psychologically unstable due to stress caused by waiting. By the time they give up on waiting, many in society may have fallen into a crisis.
 「株価がどんどん上がっている。私は株を持っていないが、今にきっとバイト代も上がるはず」と、楽しみに待っている人も「あれ? まだ生活が苦しいままだぞ」と疑問を抱くようになり、「いつまで待てばいいのか」と、次第に待つストレスから気持ちが不安定になっていく。そのうち、「待ってもダメみたい」とあきらめが生じる頃には社会全体がパニックになるかもしれない。

Because people's expectations of Abenomics have been growing, I think it is time for the government to indicate just how long people will have to wait until their salaries and lives will improve and tell them what they should work on until then. I don't want to see people lining up at my clinic because they got depressed waiting.
 アベノミクスへの期待が膨らむ一方の今だからこそ、政権には一般の人たちにも、「いつ頃まで待てば給料や生活にこういう改善があります。それまでにこんな努力をしてくださいね」というロードマップを示してほしいと思う。そのうち診察室に「待ち疲れうつ」の人があふれることだけは避けたいものだ。

(Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2013年05月06日 地方版

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全国学力テスト 指導の改善に役立つ全員参加

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 14, 2013
Only full national achievement test will help improve teaching in school
全国学力テスト 指導の改善に役立つ全員参加(5月13日付・読売社説)

The national achievement test was conducted recently with all students in the sixth year of primary school and in the third year of middle school participating, the first in four years to be held with all children in these grades taking part.
 小学6年と中学3年を対象にした全国学力テストが、4年ぶりに全員参加方式で行われた。

About 2.28 million students from about 30,000 primary and middle schools took part in the test, with the sixth graders tested on Japanese and arithmetic and the middle schoolers on Japanese and mathematics.
約3万校の228万人が、国語と算数・数学の問題に取り組んだ。

Thanks to the revival of the nationwide achievement test with all primary and middle schools taking part, boards of education and schools will be able to correctly assess students' academic abilities. By finding out what needs to be done to enhance students' abilities, they need to make use of the results to improve teaching methods.
 全員参加方式の復活により、教育委員会や学校は、子供たちの学力状況を正確に把握できる。課題を見つけ、指導の改善に役立てていく必要がある。

The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry introduced the national achievement test in fiscal 2007 as part of efforts to enhance children's scholastic abilities. For three years to fiscal 2009, the exam was given to all children in these two grades.
 全国学力テストは、学力向上策の一環として2007年度から始まり、09年度までの3年間は、全員参加方式で実施されていた。

Test change had adverse effects

The then Democratic Party of Japan-led administration switched from full-scale exams to sample exams held at about 30 percent of schools from fiscal 2010, justifying this in the name of budget cuts. The DPJ-led administration paid too much attention to criticism from the Japan Teachers' Union, a large supporter of the party, saying that the test could "fan excessive competition."
 ところが、民主党政権は経費削減を理由に、全小中学校から3割を抽出する方式に切り替えた。有力支持団体である日本教職員組合の「競争をあおる」といった批判に配慮し過ぎた結果だ。

The adverse effect of the switch was enormous.

The result was that only the average rate of questions answered correctly by each prefecture was available. Relevant data comparing schools or different municipalities was no longer available.
 その弊害は大きかった。抽出調査では都道府県別の平均正答率しかわからない。市町村別や学校別のデータは途切れてしまった。

Although those schools not designated by the ministry to take part in the sample tests could choose to take part in the exams, they had to score the tests on their own. Despite being the same tests, there were inequalities between the designated schools and the others. This should not be overlooked, either.
 抽出に漏れた学校には希望参加の道が残されたが、採点は独自に行わねばならなかった。同じテストなのに、抽出校との不公平が生じたことも見過ごせない。

Following the change of government late last year, the administration under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appropriately decided to hold the national exam every year, with all children in these classes taking part. It was an appropriate decision.
 政権交代後、安倍政権が再び全員参加方式で毎年実施することにしたのは、適切な判断である。

The important thing from now is analyzing the enormous amount of data obtained from the tests from various angles and utilizing it to enhance children's scholastic abilities.
 今後、大切なのは、テストで得られる膨大なデータを様々な角度から分析し、児童・生徒の学力向上につなげることだ。

The education ministry will compare the results of those schools with reduced class size with those schools with the number of students not reduced and examine the correlation between class size and academic abilities of students.
 文部科学省は、少人数学級を導入している学校と、そうでない学校の成績を比較し、学力との関連性を検証する。

By empirically showing the approximate size of classes, the ministry will need to secure the necessary number of teachers.
クラスの適正な人数は何人程度なのかを実証的に示した上で、必要な教員数を確保していくことが求められよう。

A problem with the implementation of the full participation test is how to make the test results public.
 全員参加で問題となるのが、テスト結果の公表方法だ。

Data should be shared

The education ministry, in its implementation procedure of the tests, forbids prefectural boards of education to publicize the test results between schools and those between different municipalities. It also forbids municipal boards of education to publicize test results comparing schools.
 文科省は実施要領で、都道府県教委には市町村別と学校別、市町村教委には学校別の結果の公表を禁じている。

The bans are to avoid spawning excessive competition and grading among municipalities and among schools.
過度な競争や序列化を防ぐとの理由からだ。

Yet some local governments hope to publicize the test results, as part of their responsibility for explaining the appropriateness of school lessons to students' parents.
 これに対し、保護者などへの説明責任を果たす立場から、一部の自治体は公表を希望している。

There were cases whereby relevant data, including the average rate of correct answers by municipality was made public, in response to freedom-of-information requests made by local citizens.
過去には情報公開請求に応じて、市町村別の平均正答率などが開示されたケースもある。

Implementing the test cost the government 5.5 billion yen. By sharing the valuable data with parents and local citizens, rather than having local boards of education monopolize it, public understanding of--and their cooperation with--school management can be won.
 テストの実施には55億円の国費が使われている。学力を映し出す貴重な情報を教委で独占するのではなく、保護者や地域住民と共有してこそ、学校運営への理解と協力も得られるのではないか。

The ministry plans to discuss ways to publicize the test results for fiscal 2014 and after, by gathering opinions from local governments. The ministry should review its public-disclosure restriction.
 文科省は来年度以降の公表の仕方について、自治体の意見も聞きながら検討する方針だ。公表規制の見直しを図るべきだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 13, 2013)
(2013年5月13日01時09分  読売新聞)

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東電再建迷走 政府は国有化の責任を果たせ

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 14, 2013
With TEPCO racking up massive deficits, govt should do more to help
東電再建迷走 政府は国有化の責任を果たせ(5月13日付・読売社説)

A year has passed since the government approved Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Comprehensive Special Business Plan centering on a decision to place TEPCO under state control.
 東京電力の国有化を柱とした「総合特別事業計画」を政府が認定して1年になった。

The circumstances surrounding the utility's management have deteriorated, however.
ところが、東電の経営は厳しさを増すばかりである。

TEPCO's financial difficulties must not result in delaying resolution of the aftermath of the meltdowns at Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant and compensation payments. The government should take a more realistic approach by revamping the current framework for TEPCO's bailout and shoulder an appropriate share of the burden.
 経営難で福島第一原子力発電所の事故収束や損害賠償が遅れる事態は避けねばならない。国も応分の負担をする現実的な支援制度に改めるべきだ。

The company racked up a colossal deficit for the third straight year in its settlement of accounts for the business year ending in March. TEPCO's goal of swinging back into the black by the end of fiscal 2013 will be extremely difficult.
 東電の今年3月期決算は3年連続で巨額赤字となった。今年度に黒字転換する目標の達成は、極めて難しい。

Inaction flagrant

If the utility fails to chalk up a profit, the utility's creditor banks could cut off lending. If the situation is left unchanged, the company's financing problem could become ever more critical.
黒字化しないと、銀行が東電への融資を打ち切る恐れもある。このままでは、資金繰りが行き詰まりかねない。

Under the current framework, a maximum of 5 trillion yen in public funds would be loaned to TEPCO by the government to temporarily help the utility pay the compensation, under condition that the firm continue repaying the loan.
 現行の支援制度は最大5兆円の公的資金で原発事故の賠償費用を一時的に立て替え、東電が長年にわたり返済を続ける仕組みだ。

The problem is that besides the inadequate amount of government financial assistance, the current plan assumes that all costs involving the nuclear crisis must be borne by TEPCO alone.
 問題なのは、支援額が足りないうえに、最終的にすべての費用を東電に負担させることである。

In November, TEPCO produced an estimate that aggregate costs, including those for decommissioning the Fukushima plant's reactors and decontamination of irradiated areas, are expected to swell to more than 10 trillion yen. It called on the government to extend additional assistance.
 東電は昨年11月、福島第一原発の廃炉や除染を含む総費用が10兆円規模に膨らむと見積もり、政府に追加支援を求めた。

The previous administration, led by then Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, turned a deaf ear to the utility's appeal.
だが、当時の野田内閣はこれを放置した。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet also has done nothing to alleviate the situation. As TEPCO is now under state control, the government's position on the matter is flagrantly irresponsible.
 安倍内閣も、何も対処していない。東電を国有化しているのに、あまりにも無責任だ。

In response to the request for expanded government help, Abe said at a recent meeting with TEPCO Chairman Kazuhiko Shimokobe and others that the government was "prepared to take a step forward in doing what is necessary." The prime minister, however, failed to offer specific measures.
 安倍首相は、支援を訴える東電の下河辺和彦会長らに「国も一歩前に出て力を尽くしたい」と述べたが、具体策は語らなかった。

TEPCO's management problems have worsened alarmingly because the depreciation of the yen has caused a sharp increase in the cost of fuel for thermal power plants that have replaced idled nuclear plants.
 原発を代替する火力発電の燃料費が円安で一段とかさみ、東電の経営悪化は加速している。

Under the circumstances, the government must waste no time in expanding assistance to TEPCO.
支援の実現を急いでもらいたい。

The cost of running nuclear plants is much lower. Restarting a single plant will reduce the utility's fuel expenditures by about 80 billion yen a year.
 原発は燃料費が安く、1基再稼働すれば経費を年800億円ほど節約できる。

TEPCO plans to reactivate four of the seven reactors at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power plant in Niigata Prefecture this fiscal year, but no decision has been made on when this will happen.
東電は、新潟県にある柏崎刈羽原発7基のうち4基を今年度中に再稼働する方針だが、全く進んでいない。

Because Niigata Gov. Hirohiko Izumida and others are dead set against restarting the reactors, bringing them back online will be difficult.
 新潟県の泉田裕彦知事らが反対していることもあって、再稼働へのハードルは相当に高い。

Reactor reactivation vital

With only two reactors in the nation operating--at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s Oi plant in Fukui Prefecture--many other utilities are recording massive red figures. As electricity rates have been raised, the burden on households and companies has increased.
 関西電力の大飯原発2基以外の原発がすべて運転を停止している影響で、東電以外でも多くの電力会社が大幅な赤字に転落した。各社の電気料金の値上げで、企業や家計の負担は増している。

Although it is important for utilities to rein in rate hikes as much as possible through cost-cutting, there are limits to what they can do to restructure their businesses.
 電力会社が合理化で値上げをできるだけ抑える努力は重要だが、リストラにも限界があろう。

After the Nuclear Regulation Authority ensures the safety of reactors on the basis of new regulatory standards to eliminate power shortages, the reactors should be gradually brought back online to resuscitate the economy.
 やはり、原子力規制委員会の新たな規制基準で安全性を確認した原発を着実に再稼働し、電力不足を解消することが、日本経済再生のためにも不可欠といえる。

The government must redouble its efforts to resume nuclear power plant operations as early as possible by explaining to local entities hosting these plants about the safety measures taken and the country's need for nuclear power generation.
 政府は、原発の安全性や必要性について立地自治体へ丁寧に説明するなど、早期の再稼働に向けて積極的に取り組むべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 13, 2013)
(2013年5月13日01時11分  読売新聞)

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2013年5月13日 (月)

温泉爆発事故 判決契機に一層の安全向上を

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 13, 2013
Spa explosion ruling should be used to improve the safety of such facilities
温泉爆発事故 判決契機に一層の安全向上を(5月12日付・読売社説)

The recent court ruling handed down on a deadly explosion at a spa in Tokyo should be taken to mean that the blast was a man-made disaster.
 温泉施設のガス爆発事故は人災だった、と認定した判決と言えよう。

The explosion at Shiespa in Tokyo's bustling Shibuya district in 2007 left six people dead or injured, including employees of the facility.
In handing down the ruling, the Tokyo District Court sentenced the person in charge of designing the facility to three years in prison suspended for five years. The designer was accused of professional negligence resulting in death and injury.
 東京都渋谷区で2007年、従業員ら6人が死傷した温泉施設「シエスパ」の爆発事故で、東京地裁は、業務上過失致死傷罪に問われた設計担当者に禁錮3年、執行猶予5年の有罪判決を言い渡した。

The ruling blamed the designer, who worked at a major contractor in charge of building the facility, for failing to take "adequate safety measures despite being fully aware of the danger of an explosion." It seems the court took into account the gravity of the results of the huge explosion.
 「爆発の危険性を認識しながら、十分な手立てを講じなかった」と設計担当者の落ち度を批判した。大爆発を引き起こした結果の重大性も考慮した判断である。

Convey accurate info

In the trial, the court gave heavy weight to the fact that the facility's exhaust system for methane welling up in the process of pumping up hot spring water was structurally defective and therefore prone to malfunction.
 判決が重視したのは、温泉のくみ上げに伴ってわき出るメタンガスの排出装置が不具合を起こしやすい構造になっていた点だ。

A methane discharge pipe was U-shaped in the middle, causing condensation in that portion of the pipe, which filled with water, the ruling said. The result was that the discharge of methane was blocked, causing the gas to accumulate to the point of explosion, according to the ruling.
 排出管は途中がU字形で、発生した結露によって、U字管の底部が水で満たされてしまった。その結果、ガスが排出されず、施設内に充満して爆発に至った。

The person charged with designing the facility anticipated this risk and had a valve attached to the pipe for water removal, but he failed to explain the need to drain the water to the facility's operator, the court pointed out.
 設計担当者は、この危険性を予測して、水を抜くバルブを管に取り付けていた。それにもかかわらず、水抜きの必要性を施設側に一切説明していなかったという。

It is natural and reasonable that the court concluded this omission constituted gross negligence.
 判決が「適切な情報伝達を怠った過失は重い」と結論づけたのは、もっともである。

On trial in this case was an employee of Taisei Corp., but the ruling also said "the company's crisis management was insufficient."
 裁かれたのは施工を請け負った大成建設の一人の社員だが、判決は「会社としての危機管理も不十分だった」との見解も示した。

The ruling should be considered a warning for the whole contracting industry. Every piece of information necessary for the safe management of structures must be imparted to clients in detail. All construction companies should thoroughly adhere to such basic rules.
 建設業界全体への警鐘とも言える。安全管理に必要な情報は、漏らさず施主に伝えねばならない。建設会社に求められるのは、そうした基本の徹底だ。

The court found a former executive of the spa, who was also accused of professional negligence resulting in death and injury, innocent of the charges, because he had not been informed of the necessity to drain the pipe.
 一方、同じ業務上過失致死傷罪に問われていた温泉施設運営企業の元取締役は、水抜き作業の必要性を知らされていなかったという理由で無罪となった。

We wonder, however, if the company that operated the facility should be considered completely absolved of responsibility for the explosion.
 ただ、運営企業側に何ら責任はなかったと言い切れるだろうか。

The prosecution noted that the operator--despite learning that methane was leaking from a well linked to the source of hot spring water just before opening the facility--failed to install gas detectors.
開業時に源泉の井戸口からガス漏れが見つかりながら、検知器を設置しなかったことなどが、検察によって指摘されている。

It is vital for both contractors and operators to ensure the safety of structures.
 建設業者、運営業者が一体となって、施設の安全確保に取り組むことが重要である。

Daily checks essential

The spa explosion brought home the perils lurking even at a spa, a place that normally provides us with comfort.
 この事故は、安らぎの場である温泉施設に危険が潜んでいることを見せつけた。

Because of the accident, the government thoroughly reviewed the law on hot springs, which had focused on the components of the water. Under the revised law, hot spring operators are required to take such safety steps as measuring gases and installing security alarms and ventilation devices.
 源泉の成分表示に比重を置いていた温泉法が大幅に見直される契機となり、温泉事業者には、ガスの測定や、警報機、換気装置の設置などが義務づけられた。

Since the revised law was enforced in October 2008, there have been no major explosions at spas, according to the Environment Ministry. All people concerned, however, must stay on their guard. Spa operators should never neglect to conduct daily checks to ensure safe management.
 環境省によると、改正法の施行後、大きな爆発事故は起こっていないというが、油断は大敵だ。温泉事業者は、日々の安全点検・管理を怠ってはならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 12, 2013)
(2013年5月12日01時28分  読売新聞)

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企業決算 好調自動車と苦境電機の明暗

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 13, 2013
Despite strong FY12 results, firms should seek new business strategy
企業決算 好調自動車と苦境電機の明暗(5月12日付・読売社説)

The weaker yen and other economic factors have helped many Japanese companies achieve solid financial results. Now, their ability to implement aggressive strategies that can enhance their core businesses and promote growth stands to be tested.
 円安などを追い風に、好業績の企業が相次いでいる。経営体質をいかに強化し、成長に弾みを付けるか。各社の攻めの戦略が問われよう。

Many companies listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange recently announced their consolidated settlements of accounts for fiscal 2012, and their average earnings are projected to grow for the first time in two fiscal years. It is also notable that several firms project a large or record increase in profits in fiscal 2013, which ends next March.
 東証1部上場企業の2013年3月期連結決算の発表がピークを迎えた。企業平均では、2期ぶりの増益となる見通しだ。14年3月期に大幅な増益や最高益を予想する企業も目立つ。

Many of those companies have overcome challenges such as damage caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011 and massive floods in Thailand that inundated their factories the same year. Correction of the yen's excessive appreciation due to Abenomics, the economic policies of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government, and other measures have had tremendous effects on the improved earnings. Personal consumption has also embarked on a gradual path toward recovery.
 多くの企業が、東日本大震災やタイ洪水といった試練を克服した。安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」などで、超円高が是正された効果は大きい。個人消費の回復傾向もでてきた。

We commend these improvements in the business environment that have led to increased profitability.
 経営環境の好転で、収益改善が進んだことを歓迎したい。

Automakers leading recovery

A prime example of the economic upswing is the auto industry.
 その代表が自動車業界だ。

Toyota Motor Corp. reported its operating profit in fiscal 2012 reached 1.3 trillion yen, 3.7 times higher than the previous fiscal year and exceeding 1 trillion yen for the first time in five fiscal years. The automaker projects an increase to 1.8 trillion yen in operating profit this fiscal year, approaching the peak recorded before the so-called Lehman shock in 2008.
 トヨタ自動車は13年3月期の営業利益が前期比3・7倍の1・3兆円となり、5期ぶりに1兆円を超えた。今期は1・8兆円に増える見込みで、2008年のリーマン・ショック前に記録した最高益に迫る勢いである。

Toyota President Akio Toyoda has said his company is standing at the starting line to realize sustainable growth. His remarks suggest the firm believes recovery is nigh due to an increase in exports.
 「持続的成長のスタートラインに立てた」という豊田章男社長の発言からは、輸出をテコにした復活への手応えがうかがえる。

Meanwhile, Nissan Motor Co. said its annual profit came in nearly flat due to floundering sales in the Chinese market resulting from the deterioration of Japan-China relations. However, other automakers such as Honda Motor Co. and Suzuki Motor Corp. reported rosier results. The companies' improved performance is expected to have a positive ripple effect on the broader Japanese economy because the auto industry relies on various supporting industries such as parts manufacturers.
 日産自動車は、日中関係の悪化で中国市場が低迷して伸び悩んだが、ホンダ、スズキなども好業績だった。部品など自動車産業の裾野は広く、日本経済全体に及ぼす好影響が期待できる。

Increased domestic demand is reflected in the results of major department store operator Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd. The firm marked a record operating profit due to brisk sales of luxury goods on the back of high stock prices, which stimulated consumption. Many housing construction firms have also achieved solid results, apparently benefitting from a rush of demand before the consumption tax increase takes effect next year.
 内需関連では、株高による資産効果で高額品販売が好調だった三越伊勢丹が、営業利益の過去最高を更新した。住宅も好業績が多かった。消費税増税を控えた駆け込み需要に支えられたのだろう。

On the other hand, the electric appliance industry has fallen on hard times, failing to reap any benefits from the weaker yen.
 対照的に、円安などの波に乗れず、依然として苦境に立たされているのが電機業界である。

For instance, Panasonic Corp. said its after-tax loss exceeded 700 billion yen for the second consecutive year. Sony Corp. is back in the black for the first time in five fiscal years. However, it was only able to return to profitability thanks to restructuring measures such as the sale of some of its buildings, and has failed to pull its TV and other divisions out of the doldrums.
 パナソニックは2期連続で税引き後利益が7000億円台の赤字に陥った。ソニーは5期ぶりに黒字に転じたが、自社ビル売却などリストラ頼みで、テレビ事業などの不振から抜け出せない。

Toshiba Corp. reported a decline in operating profit because the weakened yen negatively impacted earnings on its liquid crystal display televisions imported to Japan from the firm's factories abroad.
 東芝は、円安で逆に、海外工場から輸入する液晶テレビなどが打撃を受けて営業減益だった。

Firms project turnaround

These companies project their businesses will recover this fiscal year, but competition with foreign rivals such as South Korean firms remains intense.
 各社とも今期の業績回復を見込むが、韓国企業などとの競争は激しい。

The Japanese players have to recoup lost ground by focusing on strategic, profitable products and rethinking their selection of and concentration on core businesses. They should aim to accelerate efforts to gain market share in emerging economies and other nations.
事業の「選択と集中」を練り直し、収益を稼ぐ戦略商品で巻き返す必要がある。新興国などの市場取り込みを加速すべきだ。

The Japanese economy has only halfway recovered thus far; the government's role in supporting private companies is still important. Effective growth-strategy measures are essential, such as a reduction of corporate tax rates and relaxation of regulations. Cooperation must also be enhanced between the government and the private sector to boost infrastructure exports.
 経済再生は道半ばで、企業を後押しする政府の役割は重要である。法人税率引き下げや、規制緩和などの効果的な成長戦略が不可欠だ。インフラ輸出での官民連携を強化しなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 12, 2013)
(2013年5月12日01時28分  読売新聞)

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2013年5月12日 (日)

アジアFTA TPPと両輪で交渉力発揮を

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 12, 2013
Japan should use TPP, RCEP talks to improve its global trade position
アジアFTA TPPと両輪で交渉力発揮を(5月11日付・読売社説)

In addition to the ongoing U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership talks, negotiations for the formation of a huge new free trade framework in Asia have also got moving.
 米国主導の環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉に続き、アジアで別の巨大な自由貿易圏作りが動き出した。

To pursue national interests, Japan must bolster a strategy to promote the two sets of negotiations simultaneously.
 日本は国益を追求するため、二つの交渉を同時に推進する戦略を強化すべきである。

The first meeting of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), consisting of 16 countries, began Thursday in Brunei. The 16 members are Japan, China, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India, plus the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
 日中韓と、東南アジア諸国連合(ASEAN)、豪州、ニュージーランド、インドの16か国による包括的経済連携(RCEP)の初交渉がブルネイで始まった。

The RCEP would be a free trade framework covering almost all of Asia. Its members' gross domestic products total 20 trillion dollars, accounting for 30 percent of the world's total.
 RCEPは、アジアのほぼ全域をカバーする自由貿易協定(FTA)である。国内総生産(GDP)は計20兆ドルに達し、世界全体の3割を占める経済圏だ。

The 16 nations will hold negotiations on a wide field of issues, including lowering tariffs and reducing investment barriers, as they try to reach agreement by the end of 2015. It is very significant to establish an Asian free trade agreement involving China and India.
 16か国は、関税引き下げや投資障壁の削減など幅広い分野で交渉し、2015年末の妥結を目指している。中国とインドを含めたアジアFTAの意義は大きい。

U.S.-China rivalry

China, which is not taking part in the TPP talks, has a strong sense of crisis over the idea that it will be left out in the cold in forming trade rules in Asia. China's active participation in the RCEP framework indicates its intention to compete with the United States.
 TPPに不参加の中国は、アジアの貿易ルール作りから取り残されることへの危機感が強い。RCEPに積極的に関わり、米国に対抗する狙いがうかがえる。

Compared with the TPP, which will call for abolishing tariffs in 10 years in principle, the RCEP seeks a milder level of liberalization.
 原則として10年間で関税を撤廃するTPPに比べ、RCEPで求められる自由化の水準は低い。

Nevertheless, once the RCEP framework is formed, it will make it easier for Japan to arrange a supply chain to link production bases in Asia. It will also help expand Japan's exports, thereby giving momentum to the country's growth strategy of tapping into overseas demand.
 とは言え、構想が実現すれば、日本企業がアジアの生産拠点をつなぐサプライチェーン(供給網)を整えやすくなる。輸出拡大にもプラスで、海外需要を取り込む日本の成長戦略に弾みがつく。

On the issue of lowering tariffs, Japan aims to reach an accord next year, one year earlier than scheduled. We hope Japan will exercise leadership to establish a free trade zone that will have a deeper degree of cooperation.
 日本は関税引き下げでは、来年の前倒し合意も目指す構えだ。日本が主導し、より連携を深める自由貿易圏の実現を望みたい。

The RCEP talks are expected to favorably affect the TPP negotiations, which are entering a final stage.
 大詰めを迎えるTPP交渉に与える好影響も期待される。

The United States and 10 other countries are holding talks with the aim of reaching an agreement before the end of this year. Japan is likely to take its place at the negotiating table around July. Undeniably, Japan as a latecomer is in a disadvantageous position.
 米国など11か国はTPPの年内合意を目指して交渉中で、日本も7月ごろに交渉のテーブルに着く見通しだ。ただし、遅れて参加する日本の不利は否めない。

Tough negotiations lie ahead for Japan, which wants to have five agricultural products, including rice and wheat, exempted from tariff abolition.
 コメ、麦など農産品5項目を関税撤廃の例外扱いにしたい日本には厳しい交渉が予想される。

Advantages of entry in 2 talks

We want Japan to take advantage of its position as a participant in both the RCEP, from which the United States is absent, and the TPP, from which China is absent.
 米国が加わらないRCEPと、中国抜きのTPPに加わる日本の立場を生かしてもらいたい。

It is essential for Japan to promote TPP and RCEP negotiations for its own advantage by winning concession from the United States, which is cautious about Chinese moves, while also calling for China to open its market wider by using the TPP as leverage.
 中国の動きを警戒する米国の譲歩を引き出したり、TPPをテコに中国の市場開放を求めたりするなど、交渉を日本ペースで進めることが重要である。

Japan must make all-out efforts to have its opinions reflected in the formulation of rules.
 日本の主張を反映させたルール作りに全力を挙げるべきだ。

RCEP and the TPP will serve as the initial framework of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific which Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation members, including Japan, China and the United States, seek to establish.
 RCEPとTPPは、日中や米国などアジア太平洋経済協力会議(APEC)が目指すアジア太平洋自由貿易地域(FTAAP)の母体になるだろう。

Japan must display its bargaining power in both sets of trade negotiations to open up the vision for a future strategy.
 日本が今、交渉力を発揮することが将来の戦略にもつながる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 11, 2013)
(2013年5月11日01時20分  読売新聞)

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1ドル=100円台 円安テコに経済再生を急げ

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 12, 2013
Govt should revive economy quickly on back of yen's persistent weakness
1ドル=100円台 円安テコに経済再生を急げ(5月11日付・読売社説)

The yen, which had been on the verge of passing the 100 yen mark to the U.S. dollar for a while, broke the key threshold for the first time in about four years this week. The Japanese currency has also weakened against the euro, drifting around 130 yen.
 1ドル=100円の直前で一進一退の攻防が続いていた円相場が、約4年ぶりに100円台に下落した。対ユーロでも約130円の円安・ユーロ高水準で推移している。

Correcting an excessively strong yen will provide a boost to ending the nation's persistent deflation. The government and the Bank of Japan must speed up work to revive the economy by taking up this opportunity.
 超円高の是正は、デフレからの脱却に追い風となる。好機を生かし、政府と日銀は経済再生を急がなければならない。

The yen's surpassing of the 100 yen line was triggered by dollar-purchasing and yen-selling mainly on upbeat U.S. jobs data and growing expectations of a U.S. economic recovery.
 米国の雇用指標が改善し、米景気の回復期待で、ドル買い・円売りが強まったことが、100円突破の直接の引き金となった。

On the back of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Abenomics economic measures and bold monetary easing steps taken under central bank Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda, the exchange rate, which was about 80 yen to the dollar six months ago, has weakened significantly.
 安倍首相の経済政策「アベノミクス」と、黒田東彦日銀総裁の大胆な金融緩和が奏功し、半年前に80円前後だった円相場は、大きく円安に振れていた。

In favorable response to the yen's weakness, the Nikkei Stock Average recovered to the 14,000 yen mark for the first time in about five years this week. Also, on the New York Stock Exchange, the Dow Jones industrial average soared above 15,000 for the first time. It is encouraging that rapidly rising stock prices in Japan and the United States have provided brisk news for the economy.
 円安を好感し、東京市場の平均株価は約5年ぶりに1万4000円台を回復した。ニューヨーク市場の株価も、初めて1万5000ドル台に上昇した。日米の株価急騰で、経済に明るさが広がってきたのは心強い。

Recovery with a virtuous cycle

Propelled by the yen's depreciation, Japanese exporters, such as automakers, have seen a boost in their international competitiveness, as well as increased profits.
 円安をテコに、自動車など日本の輸出企業は国際競争力が向上し、収益が拡大している。

If growing demand overseas leads them to increase production and capital investment, the benefits could spill over to the domestic economy, as employment and consumption are likely to improve. We have high hopes of a solid economic recovery with such a virtuous cycle.
 外需主導で生産や設備投資が活発化すれば、雇用は改善し、消費など内需にも恩恵が波及しよう。こうした好循環による、本格的な景気回復に期待したい。

However, caution is called for regarding possible side effects of the yen's continuing weakness. One potential concern is criticism from other countries of the yen's independent slide.
 ただし、円安がさらに加速した場合は、副作用への注意も怠れない。まず、円の独歩安に対する海外の批判が懸念される。

In an April meeting of Group of 20 major economies' finance ministers and central bank governors, Japan gained a measure of understanding for its explanation that the Bank of Japan's aggressive monetary easing has not been aimed at manipulating its currency downward but tackling prolonged deflation.
 4月の主要20か国・地域(G20)財務相・中央銀行総裁会議で、日銀の大胆な金融緩和はデフレ脱却が目的で円安誘導ではないとの説明に、一定の理解は得られた。

Japan also needs to further clarify its policy to fight deflation at a meeting of the Group of Seven nations' finance chiefs and central bank governors, which started Friday in Britain.
 英国で10日に始まった先進7か国(G7)財務相・中央銀行総裁会議でも、デフレ克服に向けた日本の政策運営について、丁寧に説明する必要がある。

But it is also important that in the meeting, the G-7 countries will reconfirm the view that excessive exchange rate fluctuations are undesirable.
 G7各国が、過度な為替変動は望ましくないとの認識を再確認することも重要だ。

Side effects of yen's weakness

The yen's rapid descent is expected to result in price increases for imported materials and products, weighing on profits of companies that rely on imports. Such companies cannot help but raise prices of their products and services if they find it difficult to cover rising costs with cost-cutting efforts.
 急激な円安は、輸入原料や製品の価格を上昇させ、輸入品に頼る企業の利益を圧迫する。企業努力で吸収できない分は、値上げせざるを得ない。

Prices of flour, cooking oil and other imported items have already been on the rise. With costs of imported fuel for thermal power production soaring, utilities have also announced a series of electricity rate hikes, hitting both businesses and households.
 実際に小麦粉や食用油などの値上げが相次いでいる。火力発電向けの輸入燃料も高騰し、電力各社は電気料金を次々に値上げしている。企業にも家計にも痛手だ。

Price increases caused by rising costs are likely to have a negative impact on companies' performances. As a result, wages would not go up. Such side effects could create a drag on the government's envisaged growth strategy. By taking advantage of the yen's weakness, we urge the government to boost demand and eventually achieve sustainable growth.
 コスト高が原因の物価上昇だけでは企業業績は低迷し、賃金も増えない。かえって成長戦略の足かせとなろう。円安を生かして需要を拡大し、持続的な成長を実現することが求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 11, 2013)
(2013年5月11日01時20分  読売新聞)

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2013年5月11日 (土)

二つの力で癌細胞を死滅させる有機性ヨード

私が有機ヨードというものを知ったきっかけは福島原発事故直後でした。
新聞紙上で、汚染された地区の人々が帰宅を果たすために有機ヨードを与えるというような記事を読んだからです。
有機ヨードには、放射能をも遮断するような不思議な力があるのではないかと思った次第です。

それともうひとつ、これも新聞紙上で見かけた情報なのですが、ガン治療に有効な有機性ヨードというものがあるらしいですね。
確か、生命医科学情報センターというところが発信している情報だと思います。
で、さらに有機性ヨードにつき調べてみました。
凄い力をもっているのです。
二つの力で癌細胞を死滅させるというではありませんか。驚きました。

ひとつめは、有機性ヨード を服用するとNK細胞が活性化するために癌にかかりにくくなります。これは身体の免疫力が増大するということなのです。
ふたつめは、有機性ヨード自体が癌細胞やウイルスを攻撃して、それらを死滅させるということです。こちらは、まさに攻撃隊ですね。癌細胞自体に果敢な攻撃をしかけるのです。

さらに、有機性ヨードを服用すると体内の活性酸素を除去し無毒化いたします。
その結果、癌の栄養分である血液も正常化してしまうということなのです。
有機性ヨードは癌細胞撲滅の切り札といえるのではないでしょうか。

一番安心なのは、この有機ヨード、服用しても副作用がほとんど無いことなのです。

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沖縄の「領有権」 中国の主張は誇大妄想気味だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 11, 2013
Claim in Chinese newspaper over Okinawa sovereignty megalomaniac
沖縄の「領有権」 中国の主張は誇大妄想気味だ(5月10日付・読売社説)

The People's Daily recently carried a shocking article that makes us feel China's expansionism has gone too far.
 中国の膨張主義もここまで来たかとあきれ返る言いがかりである。

The article, carried in the Wednesday edition, was based on a paper written by two researchers that suggests China has sovereignty over the prefecture, claiming the matter remains unsettled.
 8日付「人民日報」が沖縄県の帰属について、「未解決」とし、中国に領有権があると示唆する研究者の論文を掲載した。

We question the motive for carrying such a megalomaniac argument in the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China, which reflects the stance of the Chinese government led by Xi Jinping.
 こんな誇大妄想的な暴論を、習近平政権の意向を忠実に反映する中国共産党機関紙が掲載した意図を怪しまざるを得ない。

The paper contends that "Taiwan, its integrated islands [including the Senkakus], Penghu Island, and the Ryukyu Islands [Okinawa] were taken by Japan when the Shimonoseki Treaty was concluded in 1895 following the end of the Sino-Japanese War....the time has come to discuss the Ryukyu issue again, which remains unsettled."
 論文は、日清戦争後の1895年の下関条約調印の際、「台湾と(尖閣諸島を含む)付属諸島、澎湖諸島、琉球(沖縄)が日本に奪われた」と指摘した上で、「歴史的に未解決の琉球問題を再び議論できる時が来た」と主張した。

Govt refutes dubious claim

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga countered the argument by saying: "Okinawa is irrefutably a Japanese territory from a historical and international perspective. Japan won't tolerate such a claim if it represents the Chinese government's position." It is understandable that he lodged such a strong protest with the Chinese side.
 菅官房長官が、「沖縄は歴史的にも国際的にも我が国の領土であることは紛れもないことだ」と述べ、論文が「中国政府の立場であるならば、断固として受け入れられない」と、中国側に厳重に抗議したのは当然である。

Declarations of China's sovereignty over Okinawa have surfaced in past slogans at anti-Japan protests and in academic papers. But the Chinese government itself has never claimed sovereignty over the prefecture or taken concrete actions. This is probably because even Beijing recognizes the claim is groundless.
 沖縄への「領有権」主張は中国で反日デモのスローガンや一部学者の論文には登場していた。だが中国政府が領有権を主張したり、具体的な行動を起こしたりしたことはない。さすがに根拠がないことを認識しているからだろう。

Referring to the paper during a news conference, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman did not directly state the government's stance on the sovereignty issue, only saying, "It's an issue that has attracted the attention of academia for a long time."
 中国外務省の報道官は記者会見で論文に言及し、「学術界が長期間注目してきた問題だ」としただけで、領有権に触れなかった。

Provocation cannot be ignored

Beijing reportedly told Tokyo the article was "written by researchers in a private capacity."
 中国政府は日本政府に対し、「研究者が個人の資格で執筆したもの」と説明したという。

Nevertheless, the article's contention cannot be taken lightly.
 だが、今回の人民日報の論文を軽視するわけにはいかない。

This is particularly true because it was also the People's Daily that first referred to the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture as one of China's "core interests" in January last year. This term is used to define issues of national interest such as state sovereignty and territorial integrity, over which China has vowed not to make any concessions.
 沖縄県・尖閣諸島を、国家主権や領土保全など絶対に譲歩できない国益を指す「核心的利益」の対象に初めて位置づけたのが昨年1月の人民日報だったからだ。

The Chinese government had avoided using the phrase until the same Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman used it to officially refer to the Senkakus in April.
 その後、中国政府はこの言葉の使用を避けていたが、今年4月には、外務省報道官が公式に明言する事態となった。

The latest article comes less than two weeks after her remark. This could stem from Beijing's desire to pressure and upset the Abe administration, which has stood firm on Japan's claim to the Senkaku Islands.
 それから2週間足らずで今回の論文を掲載した背景には、尖閣諸島をめぐって対立する安倍政権に圧力をかけて揺さぶろうとする習政権の狙いがあろう。

In an attempt to shatter Japan's effective control of the islands, the Xi administration has been increasingly confrontational by repeatedly sending Chinese surveillance ships into Japanese territorial waters around the Senkakus.
 習政権は最近、日本の尖閣諸島に対する実効支配を切り崩そうと、尖閣周辺の領海に監視船を侵入させる示威活動を一段とエスカレートさせている。

It is necessary to maintain heightened awareness should China attempt to implement a propaganda campaign claiming sovereignty over both the Senkakus and the rest of Okinawa Prefecture in addition to its defiant maritime actions.
 中国が示威活動と並行して、尖閣と沖縄を組み合わせた独自の主張を展開する宣伝戦に出てくることを警戒する必要がある。

Tokyo must convey the extreme malfeasance of China's territorial claims to the international community.
 日本政府は中国の主張がいかに不当であるかを、国際社会で積極的に訴えていかねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 10, 2013)
(2013年5月10日01時39分  読売新聞)

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憲法96条改正 発議要件緩和の論議深めたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 11, 2013
Discussions must be deepened over easing top law revision requirements
憲法96条改正 発議要件緩和の論議深めたい(5月10日付・読売社説)

Debates between the ruling and opposition camps are taking place over Article 96 of the Constitution, which outlines procedures for revising the supreme law.
 憲法改正の手続きを定めた96条を巡って、与野党の論戦が活発化してきた。

We hope on this occasion to see widespread public understanding of the necessity of constitutional changes and various tasks relevant to them.
この機に、憲法改正の必要性と様々な課題に関する国民の理解が、広がることを期待したい。

The House of Representatives Commission on the Constitution held discussions on Article 96 for the first time on Thursday.
 衆院憲法審査会が初めて96条を議論した。

Regarding the revision of the Constitution, Article 96 stipulates the Diet can propose amendments to the basic law only when both the lower house and the House of Councillors approve proposed revisions by a two-thirds majority. Furthermore, the initiative must then garner a majority vote in a national referendum. The biggest issue is whether to ease these strict requirements for the legislature's ability to propose constitutional changes.
96条は憲法改正について衆参各院の「3分の2以上」の賛成で発議し、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。厳しい発議要件の緩和の是非が最大の論点だ。

JCP argument irrelevant

The Liberal Democratic Party has pointed out that while such countries as the United States and Germany have similar requirements to make constitutional changes, those that require approval in a national referendum for amending constitutions are very few, including South Korea and Spain.
 自民党は、米国やドイツなどで改正に議会の3分の2以上の賛成といった制約を設けているが、国民投票まで課しているのは韓国とスペインぐらいだと指摘した。

The LDP also notes that the Diet cannot initiate amendments to the Constitution as long as one-third or more of the members of one of the two chambers are opposed to the amendments, which the LDP stresses means that the will of the people cannot be reflected in the Constitution. The ruling party has been demanding that the two-thirds requirement be changed to a simple majority of the members of both houses.
 その上で、日本の現状では「国会のどちらかの院の3分の1以上の議員の反対で発議できず、憲法に国民の意思が反映されない」として、「3分の2以上」を「過半数」に改めるよう求めた。

Japan's Constitution is extremely hard to revise due to the rigorousness of requirements for revision.
 日本の憲法は世界でも指折りの改正困難な硬性憲法である。

The fact that the Constitution has never been changed since its enactment attests to this.
制定後、一度も改正されていないのはその証左だ。

We support the idea of easing the requirements for constitutional revisions as changes are necessary for the country to be able to cope adequately with fast-changing domestic and international situations.
内外情勢の変化に的確に対応するには発議要件緩和が必要との考え方は支持できる。

The Japanese Communist Party has brought up constitutionalism on the basis that a constitution is meant to rein in the powers of the state and guarantee the rights of the people.
Based on this stance, the JCP in the lower house commission on possible constitutional changes opposed the revision of Article 96, arguing, "Those in power must never be allowed to reduce the requirements for initiating constitutional amendments to the same level being applied to laws in general."
 共産党は、憲法は国民の人権を保障するために国家を縛るものとする立憲主義の理念を強調し、「権力者が憲法の発議要件を一般の法律並みに引き下げるのは禁じ手だ」と96条改正に反対した。

The JCP has also insisted that the LDP-proposed procedural changes for constitutional amendments are "obviously aimed at revising Article 9" of the Constitution.
 「狙いが9条改正にあることは明白だ」とも主張している。

An argument saying that curbs on excesses in government power would be jeopardized simply by lowering hurdles for constitutional amendment requirements should be considered a wild leap of logic.
 だが、発議のハードルを下げるだけで権力に歯止めがかからなくなるという論理には飛躍がある。

A final decision on the matter will, as a matter of course, remain in the hands of the people, and the JCP's assertion that the planned change of Article 96 would bring the status of the Constitution down to the level of ordinary laws cannot be considered appropriate.
最終決定権は、あくまで国民にあり、通常の法律と変わらないとの指摘も当たらない。

Raising the theory of constitutionalism in this context is wide of the mark.
ここで立憲主義を持ち出すのは的はずれだ。

More national debate needed

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Your Party are in line with the LDP on the idea of changing Article 96. When it comes to specifics of amendments, however, there are wide gaps between the LDP and the two opposition parties. The two parties have made changing the article contingent on such matters as converting the Diet into a single-chamber legislature and the introduction of a "doshu-sei" government system of wider regional blocs.
 日本維新の会とみんなの党は、96条改正を目指す点においては自民党と一致するが、具体的な改正内容に関しては一院制や道州制など食い違いも少なくない。

The major opposition Democratic Party of Japan and the LDP's junior coalition partner New Komeito admit there are some within the parties who back a revision of Article 96. However, they said that the parties must be "cautious about letting arguments over constitutional change procedures precede discussions about substantial and specific amendments to the Constitution."
 民主党と公明党はいずれも、96条改正を容認する意見が党内にあるとしながら、「憲法改正の中身の議論の前に改正の手続き論が先行することに対しては、慎重であるべきだ」と主張した。

As pointed out by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, discussions about revising Article 96 can hardly be said to be deepening among the public.
 安倍首相が懸念するように、96条改正については国民的議論が深まっているとは言えまい。

It is also undeniable that uncertainties remain regarding what specific amendments to the Constitution would be pursued after easing revision requirements.
憲法改正の発議要件を緩和した後、どんな改正を目指すのか、不透明なのも確かだろう。

The LDP has already produced a draft for revising the Constitution.
 自民党は、既に憲法改正草案を提示している。

The party should provide detailed explanations about the content and processes of its envisioned constitutional changes, while making redoubled efforts to reach agreement with other parties on the matter.
実際の改正に向けて内容と手順を丁寧に説明するとともに、他党との合意形成に努力する必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 10, 2013)
(2013年5月10日01時39分  読売新聞)

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2013年5月10日 (金)

米韓首脳会談 対「北」包囲網の強化に繋げよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 10, 2013
Reinforce coalition to deter North Korean provocations
米韓首脳会談 対「北」包囲網の強化に繋げよ(5月9日付・読売社説)

The United States and South Korea must closely cooperate with Japan, China and Russia to formulate a strategy to pressure North Korea into renouncing its ambition to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
 米韓両国は今後、日本や中国、ロシアとも緊密に連携し、北朝鮮に核兵器と弾道ミサイルの開発断念を迫る戦略を立てるべきである。

This strategy should build a stronger coalition network committed to containing North Korea.
 それを、堅固な北朝鮮包囲網の形成に繋(つな)げねばならない。

U.S. President Barack Obama had his first summit meeting with South Korean President Park Geun Hye in Washington this week. North Korea was the main focus of their talks. The leaders agreed to patiently continue their efforts to compel the Kim Jong Un regime to comply with its international obligations and move toward denuclearization.
 オバマ米大統領が、韓国の朴槿恵大統領と初めて会談した。焦点の北朝鮮を巡っては、金正恩政権に国際規範順守と非核化を粘り強く求めていくことで一致した。

The U.S. and South Korean leaders also issued a joint declaration to deepen their bilateral alliance, the 60th anniversary of which is marked this year.
 米韓首脳は会談後、60周年を迎えた米韓同盟の深化をうたう共同宣言も発表した。

Intl cooperation crucial

The declaration declares the U.S.-South Korean alliance a "linchpin of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific" and stipulates the promotion of cooperation in a wide variety of fields such as energy security, antiterrorism measures and nuclear nonproliferation. Concerning actions against North Korea, the declaration specifies cooperation with partner nations involved in six-party talks.
 宣言は、米韓同盟をアジア太平洋の平和と安定の要と位置付け、エネルギー安保やテロ対策、核拡散防止など広範な分野の協力推進を盛り込んでいる。北朝鮮への対応では、6か国協議の関係国との協調を明記した。

The true test of the renewed U.S.-South Korean alliance will be whether the partners can pull the reclusive nation into the spotlight of the international community.
 新たな次元に入る米韓同盟の真価は、北朝鮮を国際社会に引き出せるかどうかで問われよう。

At a joint press conference after the summit talks, Obama said the two countries will strengthen their deterrence against the North and clearly indicated the United States is ready to have a dialogue with Pyongyang if it moves toward denuclearization.
 オバマ氏は、会談後の共同記者会見で、北朝鮮への抑止力を強化して、「北朝鮮が非核化に向かえば、対話に臨む」と明言した。

Park highlighted that the international community must unite to send a strong message to North Korea. She also talked about the important roles China and Russia must play in achieving the denuclearization of the North.
 朴氏も、国際社会が一致して北朝鮮に強いメッセージを発する必要があると指摘した。北朝鮮の非核化へ、中国とロシアが果たす役割の重要性にも言及した。

The Bank of China, a major Chinese bank, has reportedly notified the Foreign Trade Bank of North Korea that its account has been shut down and its transactions halted. If this is true, we applaud the action as a symbol of China's cooperation with sanctions imposed by the United States and Japan against Pyongyang.
 中国の主要銀行が、北朝鮮の貿易銀行に取引停止と口座閉鎖を通知したというのが確かなら、中国が米国や日本の制裁に同調したものと肯定的に評価できよう。

No mention of Japan

We question, however, Park's neglect to mention the necessity of cooperation with Japan in dealing with North Korea.
 疑問なのは、朴氏が記者会見で、日本と協力する必要性について触れなかったことだ。

According to South Korean sources, Obama acknowledged during the talks that close cooperation among Japan, South Korea and the United States is necessary to address the North Korea issue, but Park replied, "For peace in the Northeast Asia region, Japan should have a correct recognition of history."
 韓国側によると、首脳会談で、日米韓の緊密な連携が必要との認識を示したオバマ氏に対し、朴氏は「北東アジア地域の平和のためには、日本が正しい歴史認識を持つべきだ」と述べたという。

It is quite rare for a national leader to refer to a third nation's "recognition of history" during a bilateral summit meeting. Park's remark apparently stemmed from strong opposition within South Korea to visits to Yasukuni Shrine by ministers in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, among other matters.
 首脳会談の席で、第三国の「歴史認識」に言及するのは異例だ。韓国内で、安倍内閣の閣僚らの靖国神社参拝などに反発が強いことが背景にあるのだろう。

Park has made two proposals for peace in the region. The Korean Peninsula Trust Process aims to build confidence between the two Koreas, and the Northeast Asian Peace and Cooperation Initiative is a means for relevant countries to discuss ushering in a new era for regional peace and cooperation.
 朴氏は、北朝鮮と信頼醸成を図る「朝鮮半島信頼プロセス」や、平和と協力の新時代を開くために関係国が協議する「北東アジア平和協力構想」を提唱している。

Even if South Korea is able to open the door to dialogue with the North, the regional peace initiative will become meaningless if Seoul is unable to communicate with Japan. This is surely not Park's intention.
 北朝鮮に対話の扉を開いても、日本とは対話ができないとなれば「平和協力構想」も画餅に帰す。朴氏の本意ではあるまい。

Japan and South Korea should not allow controversial historical and territorial disagreements to get in the way of cooperation on bigger issues. Such a situation would only benefit North Korea.
 日韓両国が、双方で見解の異なる歴史認識や領土問題を理由に、連携を図れないということがあってはならない。それは北朝鮮の立場を利するだけだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 9, 2013)
(2013年5月9日01時28分  読売新聞)

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川口氏訪中 委員長の「解任」は行き過ぎだ

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 10, 2013
Demanding dismissal of Kawaguchi over China trip is going too far
川口氏訪中 委員長の「解任」は行き過ぎだ(5月9日付・読売社説)

Is this a matter really worth demanding the dismissal of the chairwoman of a House of Councillors standing committee? We doubt the appropriateness of this abrupt demand.
 いきなり参院常任委員長の解任を求めるほどのことなのか。

On Wednesday, the Democratic Party of Japan and six other opposition parties jointly submitted to the upper house a resolution demanding the removal of Yoriko Kawaguchi as chairwoman of the chamber's Environment Committee.
 民主党など参院の野党7党は、自民党の川口順子環境委員長の解任決議案を参院に共同提出した。

The opposition parties blamed Kawaguchi, a Liberal Democratic Party member, for extending her trip to China by one day without obtaining approval from opposition parties, resulting in the adjournment of an Environment Committee meeting.
"It's impossible to overlook her act, as it's tantamount to abdicating her duty as chairwoman," the opposition parties said.
 中国への出張を許可なく1日延長した結果、環境委員会が流会となったことを問題視し、「委員長としての職責を自ら放棄したも同然で、断じて容認できない」と指摘している。

The resolution will be put to a vote Thursday, and is likely to be adopted as opposition parties hold a majority in the chamber. If adopted, it will be the first case in Japan's constitutional history of such a resolution being passed against the leader of a standing Diet committee.
 9日の参院本会議で採決され、野党の賛成多数で可決される公算だ。常任委員長に対する解任決議案の可決は憲政史上初となる。

Reason for extension

Initially, Kawaguchi was scheduled to stay in China on April 23 and 24, and the main purpose of the trip was to attend a meeting of former foreign ministers of Asian countries. However, after arriving in China, a meeting with Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi, a vice prime minister-level official, was set for April 25. Kawaguchi extended her trip to take the meeting.
 川口氏は、4月23日から2日間の予定で訪中した。アジア各国の元外相らの会合などに参加するのが目的だったが、渡航後、副首相級の楊潔チ国務委員との会談が25日に設定された。このため、帰国を1日延ばして会談に臨んだ。

There is an agreement between ruling and opposition parties to ask leaders of Diet standing committees to refrain from going abroad when the Diet is in session. Kawaguchi had to obtain approval from the executive board of the upper house's Rules and Administration Committee for her two-day trip to China.
 参院には、国会開会中、常任委員長などに海外渡航自粛を求める与野党合意がある。2日間の訪中についても、議院運営委員会理事会の事前了承が必要だった。

Despite failing to obtain approval from opposition parties to extend her trip, Kawaguchi decided to stay for the additional day. It is clear she broke a rule. Opposition parties have also questioned the effectiveness of the meeting, saying it was meaningless for her to meet with a key Chinese official, as Kawaguchi is not in charge of diplomatic policy.
 川口氏は、1日延長については野党の了承を得られないまま、強行した。ルール違反であることは確かだ。野党側には、政府の外交責任者でもない川口氏が中国要人と会談して何の役に立つのか、といった批判もある。

However, due to confrontations between Japan and China over the Senkaku Islands, exchanges and direct communications between the two nations' key government officials have almost completely stopped. We believe a meeting with Yang, who presides over China's diplomacy under the regime of President Xi Jinping, was meaningful to some degree.
 だが、尖閣諸島をめぐる日中対立により、両国間の要人往来や直接対話はほぼ途絶えている。習近平新体制で外交全般を統括する楊氏との会談には、一定の意義があっただろう。

After apologizing, Kawaguchi said, "I couldn't turn my back on an opportunity that could serve national interests, which include protecting our sovereignty and land."
 川口氏は陳謝した上で、「主権と領土を守る国益に背中を向けられなかった」と釈明している。

We believe opposition parties should have accepted Kawaguchi's apology, instead of adopting the heavy-handed approach of demanding her dismissal. If Kawaguchi had committed a mistake over an important bill, for example, demanding her dismissal would be understandable. This is not the case and the opposition parties have apparently overstepped.
 野党側は解任決議という“強権発動”ではなく、陳謝を受け入れるべきではなかったか。重要法案に関する不手際でもないのに解任とは行き過ぎだろう。

Opposition's motives

Under upper house rules, it is possible to appoint a standing committee member to act as a proxy. It was possible for the Environment Committee to host their meeting on April 25 under a proxy.
 参議院規則では、委員長の代理を立てることが認められている。25日の委員会は、代理による議事運営も可能だったはずだ。

We assume opposition parties intend to reinforce their confrontational approach against the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ahead of this summer's upper house election. Some DPJ members said they expect this incident to become a foothold toward setting up a common front between opposition parties. However, voters are unlikely to be impressed with the opposition parties' tactics.
 野党側は、夏の参院選に向けて、安倍政権との対決姿勢を強めたいのだろう。民主党には、野党共闘構築の足がかりになるという声もある。だが、こんな国会対応では有権者の共感は得られまい。

In protest of the opposition's resolution, the LDP and New Komeito boycotted an intense deliberation of an upper house Budget Committee meeting on Wednesday. It is unusual for ruling parties to skip budget deliberations--and quite irresponsible as well.
 自民、公明両党は、野党の解任決議案提出に反発し、8日の参院予算委の集中審議を欠席した。予算審議での与党欠席は極めて異例であり、無責任だ。

Instead of focusing on attacking each other's missteps, both ruling and opposition parties should rather focus on competing fairly with their policies.
 与野党は、相手の揚げ足取りばかりでなく、政策論争で正面から勝負すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 9, 2013)
(2013年5月9日01時28分  読売新聞)

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2013年5月 9日 (木)

医療改革提言 競争力高めて成長の原動力に

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 9, 2013
Enhance Japan's medical care competitiveness to boost growth
医療改革提言 競争力高めて成長の原動力に(5月8日付・読売社説)

 ◆最先端技術を早く役立てたい

Japan's medical care is in a precarious situation. It is winning in the technology field, but losing when it comes to business.
 日本の医療は、技術で勝って、ビジネスで負ける深刻な状況だ。

Although the nation has superb technologies, it lags when it comes to the practical use of drugs and medical equipment.
 優れた技術を持ちながら、医薬品や医療機器の実用化で後れをとっている。

These concerns were behind The Yomiuri Shimbun's decision to propose reform plans that would make Japan's medical care more competitive internationally and boost the country's economic growth.
 読売新聞が、医療の国際競争力を高め、日本の成長に弾みをつけるための改革案を提言した背景には、こうした危機感がある。

Fostering the medical care industry is one pillar of a growth strategy that the government will compile in June. We urge the government to map out concrete and effective policies.
 医療関連産業の育成は、政府が6月にまとめる成長戦略の柱の一つだ。具体的かつ実効性のある政策を打ち出してもらいたい。

The core of The Yomiuri Shimbun's five-point proposal is to strengthen medical care as an industry and harness it as an engine for economic growth.
 提言の核心は、医療を産業として強化し、経済成長のエンジンとして活用するところにある。

Excess of imports hits 3 tril. yen
 ◆輸入超過は3兆円にも

Japan's rapidly graying population has increased demand for medical and nursing care, and imports of drugs and medical equipment are growing. On the other hand, exports of drugs and medical equipment remain anemic, with imports exceeding exports by about 3 trillion yen in 2011. A colossal amount of Japan's wealth is being sucked overseas. Sitting idly by is not an option.
 急速な高齢化で医療・介護の需要が伸び、医薬品や医療機器の輸入額が増えている。一方で、輸出は振るわず、2011年は約3兆円の輸入超過だった。巨額の富が国外に流出している。手をこまねいていてはならない。

As exemplified by Kyoto University Prof. Shinya Yamanaka, who won the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research on induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, Japan is a world leader in the field of basic research. However, the country straggles in the application of technology and relies heavily on foreign products.
 山中伸弥・京大教授のiPS細胞(人工多能性幹細胞)研究がノーベル生理学・医学賞を受賞したように、日本は基礎研究の分野で世界をリードしている。だが、応用では立ち遅れ、外国製品に頼っているのが実情だ。

An episode involving a surgical robot named "da Vinci" epitomizes Japan's current situation.
 「ダビンチ」と呼ばれる手術ロボットを巡るエピソードは、日本の現状を象徴している。

Manufactured in the United States, the computer-controlled da Vinci moves more delicately than a doctor's hands and fingers. By operating the robot instead of directly holding a scalpel, the surgeon can perform more accurate surgery. The da Vinci surgical system is being used in hospitals around the world.
 コンピューター制御のダビンチは米国製で、医師の手や指より繊細な動きをする。外科医はメスの代わりにロボットを操作し、より精密な手術が可能になった。今や世界中の病院で使われている。

But as a matter of fact, a Japanese researcher studying artificial organs made a drawing that looked identical to the da Vinci robot in the 1970s. Unfortunately, the researcher's idea never came into practical use and was forgotten. The drawing was discovered among the researcher's possessions in 2011.
 実は、ダビンチとそっくりな図面を、日本の人工臓器の研究者が1970年代に描いていた。残念なことに、実用化されることなく、その構想は埋もれ、一昨年、研究者の遺品から見つかった。

The reason such a valuable and outstanding idea did not get off the drawing board is because various obstacles clog the system for commercializing such devices. These obstacles must be cleared so Japan's medical care industry can grow.
 せっかくの卓越したアイデアが実を結ばないのは、製品化へ制度上の様々な障害があるからだ。それを克服し、日本の医療関連産業を成長させる必要がある。

Cooperation necessary
 ◆必要な産学官の連携

The Yomiuri Shimbun proposed excellent research results be used through collaboration between the medical and engineering fields. The government plays an important role in encouraging companies with technological expertise to enter the medical care market and in strengthening cooperation between business and academic circles.
 読売新聞は「医工連携」によって優れた研究成果を生かすよう提言した。技術力を持つ企業に参入を促し、産学連携を強めるため、政府が果たす役割は重要だ。

The time and cost required for clinical trials to ensure the safety of drugs and medical equipment in Japan are far longer and greater than in foreign countries. This saps corporate enthusiasm for developing medical products.
 海外に比べ、日本では医薬品や医療機器の効果、安全性を調べる治験に時間と費用がかかりすぎ、企業の開発意欲をそいでいる。

For example, South Korea has huge hospitals with more than 2,000 beds, allowing each hospital to comfortably secure enough patients for its own clinical trials. Japan, on the other hand, has smaller hospitals, most of which are not equipped to carry out such trials.
 例えば、韓国には2000床を超える巨大病院があり、治験に参加する患者を1施設だけで容易に確保できる。これに対し、日本の病院は規模が小さく、治験の環境が整った施設はほとんどない。

A cluster of research institutions, hospitals and corporations have been set up in a special zone in Kobe designated by the government to develop advanced drugs and other medical products. However, current regulations restrict the number of beds at each hospital, so it is impossible to construct large hospitals there. It is imperative that the government quickly ease these regulations so a core hospital can be built to conduct clinical trials.
 新薬開発などを目指し、政府が認定した神戸市の「先端医療産業特区」には研究所や病院、企業が集まるが、病床数は制限され、大規模病院を建設できない。政府は規制を緩和し、治験の中核病院を整備することが急務だ。

Safety screening of medical equipment does not require as much data as that of new drugs, which must be backed up by a huge volume of research figures. Despite this, the time required for a medical device to win government approval after being developed is about two years longer than in the United States.
 医療機器の場合、安全性の審査に医薬品ほど膨大なデータを必要としない。それにもかかわらず、開発から承認までの期間が、日本は米国より約2年も長い。

We think it would be worthwhile to let a private institution, rather than regulatory authorities, screen and approve the use of new medical equipment, as is the case in Europe.
 承認審査は、規制当局ではなく、欧州のように民間の認証機関に任せることも検討すべきだ。

The government should expand the scope of tax cuts for investments geared to research and development in this field, paving the way for venture companies to enter the business.
 ベンチャー企業などが参入しやすくなるように、研究開発の投資減税の拡充も求められる。

Also, there must be an institution that directs Japan's medical technology development.
 医療技術開発の司令塔も欠かせない。

A good model for Japan is the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), which orchestrates medical research and development in the United States. We welcome the government's move toward establishing a Japanese version of the NIH.
 米国で医療研究開発を統括している国立衛生研究所(NIH)の機能は、大いに参考になるのではないか。政府が「日本版NIH」の設立へ動き出したことは評価できよう。

Above all else, Japanese medical researchers will need to change their perspectives for boosting the medical industry.
 医学研究者に何よりも求められるのは、医療の産業化へ向けた発想の転換である。

Japanese universities tend to give more weight to basic medical research. We believe, however, they should give higher appraisal to clinical research results, which are useful to actual treatment.
 日本の大学では、基礎研究を偏重する風潮が根強い。実際の治療に役立つ臨床研究の成果こそ高く評価されてしかるべきだ。

Expand mixed treatment
 ◆混合診療を拡充せよ

Under Japan's universal medical insurance system, anybody with a medical insurance card can receive treatment at any institution. The Yomiuri Shimbun's five-point proposal calls for maintaining this system so people can be assured that they can still get medical treatment.
 日本の医療は、保険証があれば、どの医療機関にもかかれる国民皆保険制度だ。国民が安心して医療を受けられるよう、読売新聞の提言では制度の堅持を求めた。

But financial constraints will make it difficult to cover all new medical technology under the medical insurance system. It is necessary to expand the scope of so-called mixed treatment, in which medical tests and drugs are administered--and covered by public insurance--and advanced treatments, which are not covered by insurance, are provided.
 ただ、新しい医療技術をすべて保険で賄うのは、財源の制約から難しい。公的医療保険で認められた検査や投薬とともに、保険が適用されない治療を併用する混合診療を拡充する必要がある。

At present, this mix is allowed for about 100 kinds of treatment designated by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, such as a heavy ion radiotherapy, a form of high-precision radiation therapy.
 現在、混合診療は、高度放射線療法の重粒子線治療など、厚生労働省が指定した約100種類の治療法にしか認められていない。

The unregulated expansion of allowable mixed treatments must be avoided. But if the procedures involve such state-of-the-art treatment as regenerative medicines that have been confirmed safe, we think they should be approved.
 混合診療の野放図な拡大は避けねばならないが、安全性が確認された再生医療などの先端的医療であれば認めるべきだ。

Building a robust medical industry and maintaining the medical insurance system will certainly serve the best interests of patients.
 強い医療産業を育て、医療保険制度もしっかり守っていく。それが患者の利益につながる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 8, 2013)
(2013年5月8日01時21分  読売新聞)

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2013年5月 8日 (水)

アジア開銀 責任重い9代目の日本人総裁

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 8, 2013
9th Japanese ADB president must tackle a number of tough challenges
アジア開銀 責任重い9代目の日本人総裁(5月6日付・読売社説)

Takehiko Nakao, former vice finance minister for international affairs, has taken office as the ninth president of the Asian Development Bank.
 アジア開発銀行の新総裁に、中尾武彦前財務官が就任した。

Since the bank's establishment in 1966, its president has always been Japanese.
日本人総裁は、1966年の設立以来、9代連続である。

While it is hoped that Asia will become "a growth center of the world," it lags in developing infrastructure such as roads and power supply systems. The region is also beset with many problems, including rising inequality and poverty.
 アジアは「世界の成長センター」として期待される一方、道路や電力などのインフラ整備の遅れ、経済格差拡大、貧困といった多くの課題に直面している。

Comprising 67 member nations and territories, the bank plays a great role in supporting the economic growth of the Asia-Pacific region.
 67か国・地域が加盟し、アジア太平洋の経済発展を支えるアジア開銀の役割は大きい。

At its annual meeting held recently in India, Nakao said, "It's important to reduce poverty and keep up Asia's growth momentum." We hope he will demonstrate strong leadership.
 中尾総裁は、インドで開かれたアジア開銀総会で、「貧困層を減らし、アジアの成長の勢いを維持することが重要だ」と述べた。指導力を発揮してもらいたい。

Appointment shows trust

Nakao's appointment came after former ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda became governor of the Bank of Japan in March, before the end of his term.
 総裁交代は、黒田東彦前総裁が3月、任期途中で日銀総裁に転じたことに伴うものだ。

Japan has shown leadership in establishing the bank, and is one of the ADB's largest shareholders along with the United States. For these reasons, former senior officials from the Finance Ministry and the Bank of Japan have assumed the post of ADB president.
 日本はアジア開銀の設立を主導し、米国と並ぶ最大の出資国である。このため、歴代総裁を旧大蔵省や日銀OBが務めてきた。

However, whether or not a Japanese official would succeed Kuroda was the focus of much attention.
 ただ、今回は、日本から選ばれるかどうかが注目された。

In regard to top officials at other international economic organizations, some observers have criticized the traditions of appointing a European managing director for the International Monetary Fund and an American president for the World Bank. Similarly, there were concerns that the tradition of appointing a Japanese ADB president would be questioned.
 国際金融機関を巡っては、国際通貨基金(IMF)専務理事を欧州が、世界銀行総裁を米国が独占していることが批判されている。アジア開銀総裁は日本人との慣例を問題視される恐れもあった。

Yet Nakao was uncontested for the post. His unanimous appointment showed not only member nations' approval of Japan's contributions, but also high expectations for a Japanese president who would have a relatively easy time forming partnerships with other advanced economies.
 しかし、中尾氏の対立候補は出なかった。全会一致での選任は日本の貢献に対する評価だけでなく、先進各国との連携が容易な日本人総裁への高い期待を示す。

While it is possible that emerging economies such as China and India could put forth their own candidates, it can be said the prevailing view is that it is still too early for such a development.
 いずれは、経済大国になった中国やインドから総裁候補が出てくる可能性もあるが、今は時期尚早との見方が強かったと言える。

Many obstacles ahead

The major challenge facing Nakao as ADB president is boosting economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region through loans to member nations and territories, as well as providing assistance for various development projects.
 中尾総裁が取り組むべき課題は、加盟国・地域への融資や、様々な開発プロジェクト支援などを通じて、アジア太平洋地域の経済発展に弾みを付けることだ。

According to ADB's economic outlook for the Asia-Pacific, regional economic growth will rise to 6.6 percent in 2013 and reach 6.7 percent in 2014.
 アジア開銀の経済見通しによると、地域全体の今年の実質経済成長率は6・6%で、来年も6・7%の高成長が見込まれる。

On the other hand, there are concerns that countries such as China, Indonesia and Thailand may fall into the so-called middle-income trap.
 その一方で懸念されるのは、中国、タイ、インドネシアなどが「中所得国の罠(わな)」に陥る事態だ。

This term refers to stagnation in a middle-income nation that relies on export growth fueled by cheap labor. In such a situation, a country would be unable to become advanced due to declining cost competitiveness.
 低賃金労働をテコに輸出を拡大し、貧困国から中所得国に脱皮できても、その後は伸び悩み、先進国へ飛躍できない状況を言う。

To prevent becoming stuck in the trap, it is vital for such countries to accelerate growth based on innovation and infrastructure development.
 そうした“罠”から脱するには、一層のイノベーションや、インフラ整備の加速が欠かせない。

Nakao needs to put his best foot forward in tackling these issues by cooperating with other international economic organizations and being more aggressive in bringing in private-sector funds.
 中尾総裁は他の国際機関などとの連携や、民間資金の積極的な取り込みを図り、課題克服に全力を挙げる必要がある。

He will also be tested on such issues as fostering bond markets in Asia to make better use of funds available within the region and formulating preventive measures to avoid a currency crisis.
 域内の資金をアジアで活用する債券市場の育成や、通貨危機の防止策でも手腕が問われよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 6, 2013)
(2013年5月6日01時32分  読売新聞)

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トルコ原発受注 官民でインフラ輸出の加速を

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 8, 2013
Accelerate nuclear, infrastructure exports with public-private efforts
トルコ原発受注 官民でインフラ輸出の加速を(5月6日付・読売社説)

A consortium of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and major French nuclear firm Areva SA is set to receive an order from Turkey for the construction of a nuclear power plant.
 トルコが計画する原子力発電所の建設を、三菱重工業と仏原子力大手アレバの企業連合が受注することになった。

The agreement was made during a summit meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The two nations also signed a nuclear cooperation agreement, which serves as a prerequisite for nuclear plant exports.
 安倍首相とトルコのエルドアン首相が首脳会談で合意し、両国は輸出の前提となる原子力協定にも調印した。

This economic diplomacy, in which the prime minister himself acted as the top sales promoter, is laudable.
 首相が自らトップセールスした経済外交の成果を評価したい。

In the wake of the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in 2011, the then Democratic Party of Japan-led administration announced a policy of abandoning nuclear power. This caused concern that Japan's nuclear plant exports could be stalled, including an order already received from Vietnam.
 2011年の東京電力福島第一原発事故後、民主党政権が「脱原発」を掲げたため、受注の決まっていたベトナムの案件も含め、原発輸出の停滞が懸念された。

1st deal since 2011 quake

The Turkish project marks the first time since the start of the Fukushima crisis that a deal has been struck over nuclear plant exports through public-private joint efforts.
 官民の連携で輸出が決まるのは事故後で初めてだ。

This successful regaining of lost ground came after the Abe Cabinet clearly showed it would promote nuclear plant exports.
 安倍内閣が、原発輸出を推進する姿勢を明確にしたことで、巻き返しに成功した。

The project in Turkey is a major one involving the construction of four nuclear reactors at a cost of 2 trillion yen. It is significant that Japan's technology, including that related to quake resistance, has been highly evaluated, beating out Chinese and South Korean rivals. It is hoped the success of receiving the order will boost Japan's nuclear plant exports.
 今回の受注は、原発4基を新設する2兆円の大型案件だ。中国や韓国と競争の末、耐震性など日本の技術力が評価された意義は大きい。これを機に、原発輸出に弾みがつくことが期待される。

It is estimated that as many as 180 nuclear reactors could be built globally by 2035, mainly in Asia and the Middle East, where energy demand is certain to grow.
 2035年までに世界で建設される原発は、エネルギー需要の増えるアジアや中東を中心に約180基にのぼるとの試算もある。

Exports of nuclear plant technology and other infrastructure, for which a huge amount of external demand can be expected, could serve as a key piece in the growth strategy of the nation, where the domestic market is shrinking due to a declining population.
 巨額の外需獲得が見込める原発などのインフラ(社会基盤)輸出は、人口減少で国内市場が縮小する日本にとって、成長戦略の切り札といえる。

Regarding nuclear plant construction projects in emerging nations, negotiations in many cases have the strong commitment of the governments concerned and also involve aid and security issues. Japan may lag behind such rivals as Russia, whose leader is active in sales promotion in those countries.
 新興国の原発建設には政府が強く関与し、援助や安全保障を絡めた交渉になる例が多い。首脳が売り込みをかけるロシアなど、ライバルに後れを取りかねない。

The government should remain at the forefront and extend comprehensive policy support by fully utilizing public financing and other means.
 日本政府が今後も前面に出て、公的金融などを駆使した総合的な政策支援を行うべきだ。

Setting up a council on overseas economic cooperation and infrastructure export strategies comprising Cabinet members in March, the government has just begun discussions on prospects of nuclear projects and other businesses overseas. We hope the government closely cooperates with the private sector to hammer out effective measures.
 政府は3月、関係閣僚による「経協インフラ戦略会議」を設け、原発ビジネスの展開などについて論議を始めたばかりだ。民間と緊密に連携し、実効性のある施策を打ち出してもらいたい。

Policy vagueness worrying

A cause of concern is the vagueness of the nation's mid- to long-term policy direction on nuclear power.
 気がかりなのは、日本の中長期的な原発政策の方向性が、あいまいなことである。

If the nation enthusiastically promotes sales of Japan-made nuclear plants overseas while refraining from building new nuclear plants or expanding existing facilities at home, it will be difficult to win the confidence of partner nations.
 日本製の原発を海外に熱心に売り込む一方、日本国内では新増設しないというのでは、相手国の信頼は得られまい。

Replacing old reactors at home with the most advanced, safer models one after another would also contribute to significant improvements in the nation's nuclear technology and the nurturing of high-caliber human resources. The government must clarify its energy strategy, which should realistically acknowledge that nuclear power will continue to be used as a major power source.
 国内の古くなった原発を順次、安全性の高い最新型に更新することで原子力技術は一段と向上し、優秀な人材も育つ。原発を主要電源として活用し続ける現実的なエネルギー戦略を、政府は明確に打ち出さなければならない。

The nation should export nuclear plants whose safety has been enhanced with the use of knowledge obtained from dealing with the Fukushima crisis and cooperate with other nations in operating those plants. We consider this is a duty Japan is required to fulfill.
 福島第一原発事故の知見で安全性を高めた原発を輸出し、運用にも協力する。これが日本に求められる責務のひとつである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 6, 2013)
(2013年5月6日01時32分  読売新聞)

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2013年5月 6日 (月)

こどもの日 「イクメン」が世間を変える

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 6, 2013
Getting more fathers involved in raising kids can change society
こどもの日 「イクメン」が世間を変える(5月5日付・読売社説)

May 5 is Children's Day. Masaru Ibuka, the late founder of Sony Corp. known for putting his heart into educational activities, once said of parenthood, "Nothing is more noble and wonderful than the work of raising children."
 きょう5日は「こどもの日」。育児について、ソニー創業者で教育にも情熱を注いだ井深大氏は「これほど崇高で素晴らしい仕事はない」という言葉を残している。

We were reminded of this sentiment by a prizewinning essay titled "Oyaji no kyaraben" (Dad's bento inspired by popular characters) in this year's annual Children's Future Award essay contest, which is sponsored by The Yomiuri Shimbun and other organizations.
 それを実感させるのが、今年の「こども未来賞」(読売新聞社など主催)に選ばれた「親父(おやじ)のキャラ弁」という作文だ。

The essay was written by Ryutaro Nakamura, a 38-year-old company employee of Saitama Prefecture. He made bento for his daughter, who had just started kindergarten, while his pregnant wife was laid low by a bad case of morning sickness.
 幼稚園に入った長女のために、つわりのひどい妻に代わって弁当作りをした埼玉県の会社員中村竜太郎さん(38)が書いた。

Nakamura's daughter was very shy around strangers. He hoped she would be able to make new friends at kindergarten if he made bento in which the side dishes were decorated to resemble popular anime character Ampanman and animals.
 人見知りする長女が友達を作るきっかけにと、おかずでアンパンマンや動物を描いた。

The daughter, presumably in a gesture to her father, always ate all her lunch, and told him it was "delicious."
父の気持ちを察してか、長女はいつも残さず食べ、「おいしい」と言った。

However, the father later learned the bento contained too much food for the small girl. Sometimes, with tears in her eyes, she would shovel her lunch into her mouth, even after the other kids had finished eating.
 小さな体には量が多い弁当を、皆が食べ終わった後も涙目でほおばっていたのだと後に知る。

Nakamura's essay ends by saying, "Making bento was truly a precious time I shared with my daughter."
 作文は、弁当を作った時間は「長女と私だけの宝物の時間である」と結ばれている。

When receiving the prize, Nakamura expressed his delight, saying, "I feel thankful to my children for teaching me many things, and I'll keep growing together with them."
 中村さんは「いろいろなことを教えてくれた子供たちに感謝し、これからも一緒に成長していきたい」と受賞の喜びを語った。

By affectionately raising children, parents also can grow. Some data indicate the more time a husband spends caring for a child, the higher the probability the couple will have a second child. It is important for Japan to produce more fathers dubbed "ikumen" (men actively involved in child rearing) like Nakamura.
 愛情を持って子供を育てることで、親も成長する。夫の育児時間が長い夫婦ほど、第2子を持つ割合が高いというデータもある。中村さんのような「イクメン」を増やすことが大切だ。

Abe for longer care leave

A growing number of local governments are arranging courses on daily household chores for fathers, such as cooking and ironing lessons. Nonprofit organizations have been hosting more gatherings at which fathers can talk with each other about the joys and difficulties of rearing children.
 父親向けに、料理やアイロンのかけ方などの家事講座を開く自治体が増えてきた。父親同士で子育ての楽しみや苦労を語り合う会合などを開くNPO法人の活動も広がっている。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called for the business world to voluntarily extend child care leave, which under current law can be taken for a maximum of 1-1/2 years, up until a child becomes 3 years old, both for male and female employees.
 安倍首相は、現行法では最長1年6か月までの育児休業期間について、子供が3歳になるまで男女とも取得できるよう、経済界に自主的な取り組みを要請した。

Some companies allow male workers to take paid child care leave for about two weeks. We think every company should make further efforts to encourage male employees to get more involved in child rearing.
 男性社員に2週間程度の有給での育児休業を認める企業もある。男性の育児参加をさらに促す企業努力を各社に求めたい。

Beef up community ties

The ties between parents of small children and communities that look warmly after child-rearing couples are also important.
 育児中の家庭を温かく見守る地域とのつながりも重要だ。

There have been cases in which parents playing with their kids at a park have been told by neighbors they are "noisy." So what are they supposed to do?
 親子が公園で遊んでいても「うるさい」と言われることがある。これでは居場所がない。

A Children's Future Foundation survey found 34 percent of mothers felt "alone and isolated from society" while raising children.
 こども未来財団の調査では、母親の34%が育児中に「社会から隔絶され、自分が孤立しているように感じる」と回答している。

Japan should set up more places where parents and kids can casually get together. Parents can chat and let their kids play at local facilities that support child rearing, such as community centers and children's centers. We hope people whose children have left the nest will help run these facilities.
 親子が気軽に集える場を増やすべきだ。公民館や児童館を利用した「地域子育て支援拠点」では、親同士が語り合い、子供を遊ばせている。運営に、子育てを終えた人たちの協力を期待したい。

Having communities lending a hand and providing more support to mothers with children will greatly help people going through parenthood.
 地域で子供を見守り、母親を支えることが育児の力になる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 5, 2013)
(2013年5月5日01時00分  読売新聞)

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猪瀬知事発言 東京五輪実現へ失点挽回せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 6, 2013
Tokyo Olympic bid committee must do its best to overcome Inose's gaffe
猪瀬知事発言 東京五輪実現へ失点挽回せよ(5月5日付・読売社説)

How can Japan recover from the damage caused by the Tokyo governor's thoughtless remarks on the other bidders for the 2020 Summer Olympics? With less than five months before the International Olympic Committee chooses a host city, Japan's bidding campaign for the Games is entering a crucial stage.
 東京都知事の非常識な発言による失点を、どう挽回するか。五輪の招致活動は、これからが正念場である。

"Islamic countries, the only thing they share in common is Allah and they are fighting with each other, and they have classes," Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose, who also chairs the Tokyo bid committee, was quoted as saying during an interview with a U.S. newspaper.
 「イスラム諸国が唯一、共有するのはアラーだけだ。互いに争い事をしているし、階級もある」。2020年東京五輪の招致委員会会長である猪瀬直樹都知事が、米紙とのインタビューで語ったとされる発言だ。

He apparently was referring to Tokyo's rival bidder--Istanbul, Turkey's capital. We think his remark lacked respect for a different culture.
 招致のライバルであるイスタンブール(トルコ)を念頭に置いたことは明らかで、異文化への敬意が感じられない。

We also believe Inose violated the IOC's Rules of Conduct forbidding bid committee members from directly criticizing rival cities or comparing their own cities with other bidders.
 招致活動に関し、他の立候補都市の批判や比較を禁じた国際オリンピック委員会(IOC)の行動規範に違反していると言える。

Abe apologizes to Turkey

When he visited Turkey last week, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe apologized to his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Abe told Erdogan he was afraid Turkey was offended by Inose's remarks and that he hoped the two countries would do their best to win their bids in a spirit of fair play.
 トルコを訪問した安倍首相は、エルドアン首相との会談で「トルコ側として不快に感じたのでないか」と陳謝し、「フェアプレーの精神にのっとり、お互いベストを尽くしていきたい」と述べた。

The Turkish prime minister thanked Abe for his remarks. We praise Abe for calming the situation in a very friendly manner.
 エルドアン首相は「(安倍首相の)発言に感謝する」と応じた。安倍首相が友好的に問題を沈静化させたことを評価したい。

Turkey is a country friendly to Japan and is an important economic partner. Inose is deeply responsible for causing a situation that forced the prime minister to apologize to Turkey.
 トルコは親日国であり、経済的にも重要なパートナーだ。安倍首相が陳謝する事態を招いた猪瀬知事の責任は重い。

We notice Inose has done and said many things unfit for the head of the 7.5 billion yen bidding campaign.
 それにしても、猪瀬知事には、75億円をかけた招致活動のトップとは思えない言動が多い。

In addition to Tokyo and Istanbul, Madrid is also bidding for the 2020 Games.
 2020年五輪には東京、イスタンブールのほか、マドリード(スペイン)が立候補している。

Inose was also quoted as saying in the interview: "Compare the two countries where they have yet to build infrastructure, very sophisticated facilities." This remark apparently violated the rules of conduct, too.
 知事はインタビューで「インフラが未整備で、非常に洗練された施設もない二つの国と比較してほしい」とも語ったという。これも行動規範に反しているだろう。

Inose initially claimed several of his remarks quoted in the interview "failed to express my true intentions." But he later changed his mind and said he wanted to "apologize for making some inappropriate remarks."
 知事は一連の発言について、「真意が正しく伝わっていない」とのコメントを出し、一転して「不適切な発言があり、おわびしたい」と謝罪した。

Responses questionable

We think Inose's response was questionable in terms of settling the problem quickly.
事態の早期収拾には疑問が残る対応だった。

We also cannot understand why he wrote on Twitter after the apology that the latest incident taught him a good lesson about who his friends and enemies were. This might make one suspect Inose may not really regret what he said.
 謝罪後、ツイッターに「今回の件で誰が味方か敵か、よくわかったのは収穫」と書き込んだのも不可解だ。反省しているのか、疑われかねない。

We wonder if winning a record 4.34 million votes in the Tokyo gubernatorial election at the end of last year has made Inose arrogant.
 昨年末の都知事選で、史上最多の434万票を獲得したおごりはないのだろうか。

It is now important to figure out how Tokyo can recoup its lost ground before the committee decides on a host city for the 2020 Games on Sept. 7. We are very concerned how the Tokyo governor's remarks will affect the voting behavior of IOC members of other countries, particularly those from Islamic countries.
 今後の課題は、9月7日の開催地決定に向け、東京がどう巻き返すかである。知事発言がイスラム諸国などのIOC委員の投票行動に影響を及ぼすことが心配だ。

The Tokyo bid committee must overcome the negative impact caused by Inose's gaffe and carefully explain Tokyo's plan for the Olympics to bolster support for the city.
 招致委としては、今回の舌禍問題を乗り越え、東京の開催計画を丁寧に説明して、支持を拡大していくことが大切である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 5, 2013)
(2013年5月5日01時00分  読売新聞)

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2013年5月 5日 (日)

イタリア新政権 危機克服へなお険しい道のり

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 5, 2013
Even with Italy's new government, eurozone crisis remains daunting
イタリア新政権 危機克服へなお険しい道のり(5月4日付・読売社説)

With the launch of a new administration, the political vacuum that has existed in Italy since the general election in February finally came to an end. One major step toward ending the political turmoil has been taken, but the prospects for the future still warrant no optimism.
 イタリアで新政権が発足し、2月の総選挙以降続いていた政治空白に、ようやく終止符が打たれた。混乱収拾へ一歩前進だが、前途はいまだ楽観を許さない。

New Prime Minister Enrico Letta is deputy leader of the Democratic Party, which belongs to the center-left, the largest force in parliament, and will lead a grand coalition government.
 新首相として大連立政権を率いるのは、議会最大勢力・中道左派に属する民主党のエンリコ・レッタ副党首(46)だ。

Letta, 46, a former Italian European affairs minister, is well versed in European policies. Expectations are high that he will promote rehabilitation of the country's economy by closely cooperating with the European Union.
 レッタ首相は、元欧州担当相で欧州政策に通じており、欧州連合(EU)と緊密に連携して経済再建を進めることが期待される。

The birth of the Letta administration was the result of compromise after difficult negotiations.
 レッタ政権の誕生は綱渡りの末の妥協の産物だった。

The new administration consists of the center-left, the center-right led by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, which opposes fiscal austerity, and a political force headed by former Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, which supports austerity.
 新政権は、中道左派と、緊縮財政に反対するベルルスコーニ元首相率いる中道右派、緊縮路線のモンティ前首相の陣営からなる。

Coalition a motley crew

There are large gaps between the groups' positions. The new coalition government was formed simply to achieve the necessary numbers and is a motley collection of parties with different opinions.
各派の立場の隔たりは大きく、数合わせで連立した寄り合い所帯の色彩が濃い。

Although the center-left pledged to take over the former Monti administration's austerity policy, Letta said in his policy speech in parliament that Italy "will die of fiscal consolidation alone." This appears to indicate that his administration will place importance on pursuing economic growth and increasing employment.
 中道左派はモンティ前政権の緊縮路線の継承を公約していたはずが、レッタ首相は、議会での所信表明演説で、「財政再建だけではイタリアが死んでしまう」と述べた。経済成長や雇用増大に軸足を置く方針を示したと言える。

It is cause for concern that Letta promptly announced the government will freeze the property tax, which was introduced under the previous administration. His administration also postponed an increase in the value-added tax rate, which was originally scheduled for July.
 懸念すべきは、首相が、前政権下で導入された財産税の凍結を早々と表明したことだ。7月に予定されていた付加価値税の引き上げも先送りした。

These policy shifts are a compromise with Berlusconi and run counter to the fiscal reconstruction drive.
 いずれもベルルスコーニ氏の要求に歩み寄ったもので、財政再建には逆行する。

European and other financial markets are stable likely because market players think well of the launch of Italy's new administration, at least for the time being.
 欧州などの金融市場が落ち着いているのは、新政権発足をひとまず好感しているためだろう。

However, if the new administration recklessly implements handout policies that pander to the public under the banner of "placing importance on growth," prospects for the country's fiscal reconstruction will become uncertain. Such policies will incur mistrust in markets.
 だが、「成長重視」の名の下に大衆迎合的なばらまき政策を乱発すれば、財政再建の先行きは不透明になり、市場の不信を買う。

It is only natural that German Chancellor Angela Merkel reminded Letta when they met to promote fiscal reconstruction. Letta needs to swiftly work on tough reform that balances fiscal reconstruction and economic growth.
 首相と会談したメルケル独首相が、財政再建を進めるようクギを刺したのは、もっともだ。レッタ氏は、財政再建と経済成長のバランスを取る難しい改革に、迅速に取り組むことが求められる。

The fiscal and financial crisis in Europe is currently in a lull, but the cause of the turmoil still remains.
 欧州の財政・金融危機は小康状態にあるが、火種はくすぶる。

European unity threatened

The EU has just decided to offer support to Cyprus, which is mired in a financial crisis triggered by the deterioration of its banking industry. It is also a matter of concern that a major U.S. ratings company lowered to junk the credit rating of government bonds of Slovenia, which has a shaky banking sector.
 銀行経営の悪化から金融危機に陥ったキプロスに、EUは支援を決めたばかりだ。銀行不安を抱えるスロベニアの国債格付けを米大手格付け会社が投資不適格級に引き下げたのも、不安材料だ。

Europe's unity could be disturbed if confrontation intensifies between Germany, which is calling on other European countries to maintain fiscal discipline, and southern European countries that want austerity measures to be eased.
 欧州各国に財政規律を求めるドイツと、緊縮策緩和を主張する南欧諸国の対立が強まれば、欧州の結束が乱れかねない。

The European Central Bank cut its key interest rate Thursday to prop up the European economy. Countries around the world need to maintain their watch on the European economy.
 景気を下支えするため、欧州中央銀行(ECB)は追加利下げした。世界各国は今後も、欧州経済の行方を警戒する必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 4, 2013)
(2013年5月4日02時05分  読売新聞)

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高速道路の改修 「造る」から「守る」への転換を

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 5, 2013
Focus should move from rebuilding expressways to ensuring their safety
高速道路の改修 「造る」から「守る」への転換を(5月4日付・読売社説)

How should the nation's aging expressways be maintained and managed? It is crucial that the focus of expressway maintenance be shifted from building new roads to ensuring the safety of existing ones.
 老朽化が進む高速道路をどう維持、管理していくか。「造る」から「守る」へ、整備の重点を転換することが重要だ。

Three major expressway operators--East Nippon Expressway Co., Central Nippon Expressway Co. and West Nippon Expressway Co.--have estimated renovation costs needed for the continued use of their expressways over the next 100 years.
 東日本、中日本、西日本の高速道路3社が今後100年間、道路を利用するために必要な改修費用を試算した。

They estimate a total of 5.4 trillion yen will be required: 2 trillion yen for the major rebuilding of aging expressway bridges and tunnels and 3.4 trillion yen for repair work on roads and other facilities. If the operators rebuild all the aging sections instead of repairing them, the total cost will exceed 10 trillion yen, equivalent to seven years of their highway toll revenues.
 老朽化した橋やトンネルの大規模な建て替えに2兆円、道路設備などの修繕に3・4兆円の計5・4兆円が必要という。補修箇所をすべて造り替えると10兆円超で、7年分の料金収入に相当する。

Construction of the expressways operated by the three companies picked up speed after the 1960s. The length of the roads now extend to about 9,000 kilometers in total. Forty percent of the expressways are 30 years old or older.
 3社の高速道路は1960年代以降、建設が進み、全長約9000キロに及ぶ。このうち30年以上経過した路線が4割を占める。

The growing size of vehicles, corrosion from salt used for deicing and other factors have damaged the roads.
 車両の大型化や、凍結防止剤に含まれる塩分による腐食などが道路の損傷を招いている。

Late last year, a ceiling collapsed in the Sasago Tunnel on the Chuo Expressway in Yamanashi Prefecture, shedding light on the serious deterioration of infrastructure that is endangering people's lives. It is evident the current maintenance and inspection system needs to be revamped drastically.
 昨年末には、中央自動車道の笹子トンネルで天井板の崩落事故が起き、利用者の命にかかわる劣化の実態が浮き彫りになった。従来の保守・点検を抜本的に改める必要があるのは明らかだ。

First of all, the expressway operators should conduct inspections to determine the actual conditions of their aging roads. Based on clear-cut standards, they should determine whether the roads should be repaired or rebuilt and set priorities for the work. They also need to accelerate work to swiftly draw up long-term maintenance plans.
 まず、点検で老朽化の現状を把握すべきだ。修繕するか、造り直すか、明確な基準に基づいて判断し、優先順位を決める。長期計画の策定を急ぐ必要がある。

Funding is biggest challenge

Estimates also show that renovation work for the Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway and the Hanshin Expressway would cost up to 910 billion yen and 620 billion yen, respectively. These figures must be scrutinized to determine if they are reasonable.
 首都高速道路が最大9100億円、阪神高速道路も6200億円が必要との試算をまとめている。こうした試算が妥当かどうかも精査しなければならない。

The biggest challenge the operators face is how to finance repairs and rebuilding.
 最大の問題は、財源である。

Under a plan launched when the highway public corporations were privatized in 2005, their debt of about 40 trillion yen would be repaid by 2050. After the full repayment, the plan calls for the expressways to be tollfree.
 2005年の道路公団民営化時に決めた計画では、旧公団時代に抱えた約40兆円の借金を50年までに全額返済し、その後は道路を無料開放することになっている。

However, the plan does not include costs for major repair work on expressways. Due to the current dire fiscal straits, taxpayers' money cannot be used for the work, but drastic toll increases would spark a public backlash.
 ところが、これには大規模な改修を行う費用は盛り込まれていない。厳しい財政事情で税金投入は難しく、大幅に値上げすれば利用者の反発が強いだろう。

In light of this, we view a funding method in which the operators would set aside a certain amount of money from toll revenues for the renovation work as feasible. By reducing the annual amount of repayment, the operators could use the money to maintain the aging roads, but this would inevitably push back the repayment deadline.
 料金収入から一定額を改修費用に積み立てる方式を導入するのが現実的ではないか。毎年の返済額を減らすことで、老朽化対策に資金を回せる。債務の返済期限を延長するのもやむを得まい。

Discuss future toll system

However, the companies should not increase the number of wasteful projects in the name of repair and rebuilding. The idea of tapping private funds in tandem with regional development projects and keeping the costs down appears to be viable. Future projects should be decided from the perspective of cost-effectiveness.
 とは言え、改修名目でムダな事業を増やしてはならない。地域開発と合わせて民間資金を活用し、費用を圧縮する案も有望だ。費用対効果の見極めが必要である。

To deal with aging expressways, a future toll system should also be addressed. The operators should consider many matters, including a review of toll discounts introduced in fiscal 2008 as part of stimulus measures and the consistency of tolls across the nation, with the tolls on Honshu-Shikoku bridge expressways significantly higher than in other regions.
 老朽化対策は、高速料金のあり方も問い直す。08年度に景気対策で始めた料金割引の見直し、料金が割高な本四架橋との整合性など検討すべき課題は多い。

The highway toll system has undergone flip-flops: A 1,000 yen ceiling was set for tolls for some time, and tolls were once temporally dropped. It is high time for the nation to thoroughly discuss an ideal expressway toll system.
 1000円走り放題や無料化など、迷走を続けてきた高速料金政策を本格的に議論する時期だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 4, 2013)
(2013年5月4日02時05分  読売新聞)

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2013年5月 4日 (土)

日米防衛相会談 安保協力を着実に強化したい

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 2, 2013
Japan-U.S. security cooperation must be steadily strengthened
日米防衛相会談 安保協力を着実に強化したい(5月1日付・読売社説)

To respond to China's rapid military buildup and risky threatening behavior as well as North Korea's military provocations, it is vital to strengthen the Japan-U.S. security alliance and enhance its deterrent capability.
 中国の急速な軍備増強と危険な示威活動や、北朝鮮の軍事的な挑発に対処するには、日米の防衛協力を強化し、抑止力を高めることが肝要だ。

Defense Minister Itsunori

Onodera held talks with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in Washington on Monday. After the meeting, Hagel said the defense chiefs had confirmed that the Senkaku Islands fall under the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. He also said the United States "opposes any unilateral or coercive action" that aims to change the status quo.
 小野寺防衛相がワシントンでヘーゲル米国防長官と会談した。長官は尖閣諸島について、日米安全保障条約の適用対象になることを確認し、「現状の変更を試みる、いかなる一方的な行為にも反対する」と言明した。

Hagel also revealed that U.S. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, conveyed a similar message to Beijing when he visited China last week, a warning intended to keep China in check.
 米軍トップのデンプシー米統合参謀本部議長が先週の中国訪問で同様の見解を伝えたことも明らかにし、中国を牽制(けんせい)した。

Hagel's remarks came after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry expressed a similar view during his visit to Japan in April. It is significant that Hagel, who commands the U.S. military, and other top U.S. leaders are united in their firm stance against China's provocations.
 ケリー国務長官が4月の来日時にこの見解を示したのに続き、米軍を指揮するヘーゲル長官らが足並みをそろえた意義は大きい。

Intrusions by Chinese government ships into Japanese territorial waters near the Senkaku Islands have been handled by the Japan Coast Guard. On this matter, the Self-Defense Forces do not act on the front lines. However, protecting Japanese land and waters will require the SDF to work closely with the U.S. military even in peacetime.
 中国公船の尖閣諸島周辺の領海侵入には海上保安庁が対応し、自衛隊が前面に出るわけではない。だが、領土・領海を守り抜くには自衛隊と米軍が平時から緊密に連携しておくことが不可欠だ。

N. Korea 'most obvious threat'

Hagel called North Korea's provocative behavior "the most obvious threat" to stability in Asia, while Onodera said, "I have not received any information that would allow" Japan to lower its alert level with regard to North Korea for the time being.
 北朝鮮の挑発行為について、ヘーゲル長官は、アジアの安定に対する「最も明白な脅威」と指摘した。小野寺氏も「警戒レベルを下げる情報はない」と語った。

Pyongyang has been putting off a plan to fire a ballistic missile, but Japan must not relax its monitoring of that country. We urge the government to steadily implement plans agreed by Tokyo and Washington, such as the additional deployment of the U.S. military's early warning radar to Kyotango, Kyoto Prefecture.
 北朝鮮は弾道ミサイル発射を先送りしているが、監視は怠れない。日米が合意した米軍の早期警戒レーダーの京都府京丹後市への追加配備などを着実に進めたい。

As a joint working group on defense intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance has been set up, both countries will need to work out specifics for dynamic and practical defense cooperation, such as joint operation of Global Hawk unmanned surveillance aircraft.
 情報収集・警戒監視・偵察活動に関する日米作業部会の設置を踏まえ、無人偵察機グローバルホークの共同運用など、日米の動的防衛協力の具体化が重要である。

During their talks, Onodera and Hagel confirmed 12 more of the U.S. military's new MV-22 Osprey transport aircraft will be deployed to Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture this summer. This will raise the number of Ospreys at the Futenma base to 24.
 会談では、米軍の新型輸送機MV22オスプレイ12機を今夏、普天間飛行場に追加配備し、24機体制にすることを確認した。

Compared with the CH-46 transport helicopters previously stationed at Futenma, the Osprey offers significantly better performance in terms of speed, cargo and combat radius, raising the U.S. military's deterrent ability. We welcome the fact that the Osprey will reinforce the defense of the Senkaku Islands.
 オスプレイは、従来の輸送ヘリCH46に比べて速度、搭載能力、行動半径が大幅に優れており、米軍の抑止力を高める。尖閣諸島の防衛にも役立つと歓迎できる。

The deployment of the first Osprey squadron to Japan last autumn was met with protests due to misunderstanding over its safety. The government should provide local governments concerned with accurate information and make further efforts to dispel misapprehension about the tilt-rotor aircraft.
 昨年秋の配備の際は、安全性に問題があるかのような誤解から反対運動が起きた。政府は、関係自治体に正確な実態を説明し、誤解を解く努力をすべきだ。

Future of security cooperation

The Japanese and U.S. defense chiefs also agreed on a range of other issues, such as reviewing the guidelines for the Japan-U.S. defense cooperation, speeding up work to relocate the Futenma base to the Henoko district in Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, and making progress on transferring some U.S. marines in the prefecture to Guam.
 今回の会談では、日米防衛協力の指針(ガイドライン)の見直しや、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を進めることでも一致した。

These matters are crucial to deepening trust between Japan and the United States and beefing up the bilateral alliance. In reviewing the defense cooperation guidelines, both countries should look ahead and prepare for what Northeast Asia will be like 10 years or 20 years from now, as well as consider the future of Japan-U.S. security cooperation. Expanding the roles of the SDF also will be essential.
 いずれも、日米の信頼関係を高め、同盟をより強固にするうえで重要な課題である。ガイドラインの見直しでは、10年後、20年後の北東アジア情勢や日米防衛協力のあり方を見据え、自衛隊の役割を拡大させることが大切だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 1, 2013)
(2013年5月1日01時44分  読売新聞)

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日露首脳会談 領土交渉に「魔法の杖」はない

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 2, 2013
There's no magic wand in resolving Japan-Russia territorial dispute
日露首脳会談 領土交渉に「魔法の杖」はない(5月1日付・読売社説)

Prime Minister Shinto Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin have confirmed their intention to push Japan-Russia relations forward by resolving the dispute over the northern territories at their meeting in Moscow. They must use diplomatic finesse to break the impasse in the bilateral relations.
 北方領土問題を解決して日露関係を前に進めようという双方の意志が確認された。首脳外交で打開を探る必要がある。
 安倍首相がモスクワでプーチン露大統領と会談した。

Both leaders agreed that it is "extraordinary" that the two countries have not concluded a peace treaty 67 years after the war.
 戦後67年たってなお日露平和条約が締結されていないのは「異常」との認識で一致した。

They have also concurred on the long-standing territorial dispute over four islands off Hokkaido, saying the two countries should spur negotiations to find a "solution acceptable to both."
懸案の北方領土問題については、「双方に受け入れ可能な解決策」への交渉を加速化することで合意した。

We welcome the restart of negotiations toward a peace treaty, which have been deadlocked.
 暗礁に乗り上げていた平和条約交渉の再開は歓迎したい。

A joint statement issued by Abe and Putin stipulates that the two nations will negotiate a solution based on "all documents and accords adopted before." These documents include the 2001 Irkutsk Statement, which calls for settling the island dispute before a peace treaty is concluded.
 両首脳が発表した共同声明は過去の「諸文書及び諸合意」に基づき交渉すると明記した。北方4島の帰属問題を解決して平和条約を締結するとした2001年のイルクーツク声明などが含まれる。

Resolution to be tough going

It is natural for the two nations to restart negotiations by respecting decades of negotiation process.
 長年にわたる交渉の経緯を尊重して、仕切り直すのは当然だ。

However, a huge gulf remains between the two nations over the issue.
 だが、日露間の隔たりは大きい。

It is believed Putin aims to settle the dispute by returning the Habomai islets and Shikotan Island as stipulated in the 1956 Japan-Soviet Joint Declaration. However, the return of only two of the islands is unacceptable to Japan.
大統領は、1956年の日ソ共同宣言に明記された歯舞、色丹両島の引き渡しで決着を図る意向とされる。日本とすれば、2島返還だけでは到底受け入れられない。

"There's no magic wand to resolve [the dispute] in a breath," Abe said at a joint press conference with Putin. He is right in this regard, for the current situation does not make progress over the dispute easy.
 首相は共同記者会見で、「一気に解決する魔法の杖(つえ)はない」と語った。その通りだ。今、領土問題は容易に動く状況にはない。

During their meeting last June, then Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Putin agreed to revive territorial talks, but no progress was made. To the contrary, Russia has allocated budgets to develop the northern territories to pursue the Russianization of the islands.
 昨年6月、野田前首相もプーチン大統領と会談し、交渉の「再活性化」で一致しながら、何ら進展はなかった。それどころか、ロシアは北方領土に開発予算を投じ、「ロシア化」を進めている。

Finding a solution to this increasingly thorny dispute requires strong initiatives by the top leaders. It also calls for their political shrewdness to build a consensus in their respective countries. For this, a relationship of trust must be built between Abe and Putin. We strongly urge Abe to come up with tangible results that bring this goal closer.
 困難さを増す領土問題を解決に導くには、高度な政治決断と国内をまとめる政治力が必要だ。そのために、首脳間の信頼関係の構築が欠かせない。安倍首相には、具体的な成果を求めたい。

Solidifying his political foundations and revitalizing the Japanese economy will certainly boost Abe's negotiating power.
 首相にとっては、政権基盤を固め、日本経済を再生させることが交渉力の強化につながろう。

Brisk economy an advantage

Putin's keen interest in Asia will be a plus in negotiations. Russia has high expectations of Japan's investment in the development of Eastern Siberia and the Russian Far East. In addition, Russia sees Japan not only as a destination for its natural gas exports, but also as a provider of medical and agricultural technology.
 大統領の関心がアジアに向いていることは、日本にプラスに働く。ロシアは、東シベリア・極東地域の開発で日本の投資に期待している。天然ガスなど資源の供給先としてだけでなく、医療や農業分野での技術力に関心が高い。

Abe was accompanied by a large delegation of corporate leaders on his visit to Russia in a gesture to live up to Russia's expectations.
 首相も今回、大勢の企業経営者らを同行させ、ロシア側の要請に応える姿勢を示した。

Furthermore, Abe and Putin agreed on the establishment of a two-plus-two forum, involving each government's foreign and defense ministers. The two nations share the same interests in keeping China in check and dealing with North Korea's nuclear development program.
 両首脳は、外務・防衛閣僚会議(2プラス2)創設で合意した。中国を牽制(けんせい)するうえでも、北朝鮮の核開発問題に向き合うにも、日露は共通の利害を有している。

Vice ministerial talks are scheduled to be held soon to discuss how the two nations can find a way to resolve the territorial dispute, while broadening and enhancing the scope of the bilateral relations. Japan should work out strategies to this end thoroughly and without undue haste.
 日露関係の幅を広げ、強化する中で領土問題解決の糸口をどう見いだすか。早速、次官級で交渉を始めるという。焦らず、じっくり腰を据えて戦略を練るべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 1, 2013)
(2013年5月1日01時44分  読売新聞)

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憲法記念日 改正論議の高まり生かしたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 4, 2013
Growing debate in Diet on revision of basic law should be put to good use
憲法記念日 改正論議の高まり生かしたい(5月3日付・読売社説)

 ◆各党は参院選へ具体策を競え◆

In the current Diet session under the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, discussions about the wisdom of revising the Constitution are unusually animated.
 安倍政権下の国会では憲法改正を巡る論議がいつになく活発だ。

Depending on the outcome of the House of Councillors election this summer, revision of the Constitution, which Abe has committed to including in the upper house election platform, may become more likely.
 夏の参院選の結果次第で、安倍首相が公約に掲げる憲法改正がいよいよ現実味を帯びてくるだろう。

May 3 is Constitution Day, marking the 67th year since the enforcement of the current supreme law.
 きょうは、日本国憲法が施行されてから67年目の憲法記念日。

Despite drastic changes in the domestic and international environments since it was put into force, the Constitution has never been changed.
日本の内外情勢は激変したにもかかわらず、憲法はまだ一度も改正されていない。

We should make this day an opportunity to think about what the Constitution should be.
そんな憲法の在りようを考える機会としたい。

 ◆まずは発議要件緩和を◆

Ease revision requirements first

Lying at the root of the constitutional debates is the fact that the Japanese have had "no experience at all writing a constitution on their own," as the prime minister has pointed out.
 憲法改正論議の根底にあるのは安倍首相が指摘するように、「日本人は自身の手で憲法を作ったことがない」という事実である。

The prewar constitution--the Constitution of the Empire of Japan of 1889--commonly called the Meiji Constitution, was granted by the Emperor. And the current Constitution was produced based on a draft worked out under the Occupation after the end of World War II by the General Headquarters of the Allied Powers.
 戦前の大日本帝国憲法は天皇の定めた欽定(きんてい)憲法だ。現行憲法は占領下、連合国軍総司令部(GHQ)の草案を基に制定された。

The idea of the Japanese people themselves discussing fundamentals of the nation and revising the Constitution in a way suited to the changing times is natural and reasonable indeed.
 国民自ら国の基本を論じ、時代に合うよう憲法を改正するという考え方は、至極もっともだ。

In nationwide opinion surveys conducted by The Yomiuri Shimbun, respondents who favor changing the Constitution have consistently outnumbered opponents since the 1993 survey.
読売新聞の世論調査でも1993年以降、ほぼ一貫して憲法改正賛成派が反対派を上回っている。

The core of constitutional revision, as is widely known, lies in the advisability of changing Article 9.
 憲法改正の核心は、やはり9条である。

The stipulation in the second paragraph of the article that "land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained" has diverged greatly from reality.
 第2項の「陸海空軍その他の戦力は保持しない」は、現実と乖離(かいり)している。

To end the fiction that "the self-defense forces are not military forces," the SDF must be given explicit constitutional status.
「自衛隊は軍隊ではない」という虚構を解消するため、自衛隊を憲法に明確に位置付けるべきだ。

Article 96 of the Constitution, which sets down requirements regarding amending the supreme law, has also emerged as a major point of contention in discussions about the Constitution.
 憲法の改正要件を定めた96条も主要な論点に浮上してきた。

Not only the Liberal Democratic Party but also such opposition parties as Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Your Party have made public commitments to revising Article 96. The two opposition parties' commitments are noteworthy as they point toward possible cooperation with the LDP over constitutional revision after the coming upper house election. This opportunity must not be missed.
 自民党だけでなく、日本維新の会やみんなの党も96条の改正を公約している。参院選後の連携を図る動きとしても注目される。この機を逃してはなるまい。

Article 96 states the Diet can initiate amendments to the Constitution with approval of "two-thirds or more" of all members of both chambers of the legislature and the amendments must thereafter gain approval by a majority of all votes cast in a special referendum.
 96条は、憲法改正について衆参各院の総議員の「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定めている。

Given these procedures, Japan's Constitution can be considered much more difficult to revise than the supreme laws of other countries. It seems the GHQ might have thought when drafting the Constitution that it would take a long time for democracy to take root in Japan.
 世界でも改正難度の高い硬性憲法と言えるだろう。GHQは、日本で民主主義が確立するには時間がかかると考えたようだ。

The LDP's draft of constitutional revisions calls for easing the "two-thirds or more" requirement of Article 96 to a simple majority of both houses of the Diet.
 自民党の憲法改正草案は、96条の「3分の2以上」という要件を「過半数」と改めている。

The LDP-envisioned revision of the article would make it easier for the Diet to initiate constitutional revision, but there would be no change at all in the subsequent process, in which a final decision on the matter is up to a national referendum.
 国会が改正案の発議をしやすくなるだけで、最終的にその是非を決めるのは国民投票であることに変わりはない。

The major opposition Democratic Party of Japan has been arguing that not procedural matters for amending the Constitution but discussions about which specific parts of the Constitution should be changed must come first.
 民主党は改正手続きよりも、どの条項を改めるかという内容の議論が先だと言う。

The LDP and some others, however, have already publicly suggested concrete plans to revise the Constitution.
だが、自民党などは既に具体的な改正方針を国民に示している。

The DPJ is urged to engage fully in intraparty discussions concerning the advisability of changing the Constitution and come up with a unified party view on the matter.
民主党こそ憲法改正について論議を尽くし、党としての見解を明らかにすべきだ。

Roles of Diet chambers
 ◆必要な衆参の役割分担◆

Another urgent task is to review the roles of both Diet houses.
 衆院と参院の役割を見直すことも、喫緊の課題である。

Under the current situation of the "divided Diet," both the ruling and opposition parties must be keenly aware of how much the existence of "an excessively strong upper house" has stagnated national politics.
 衆参ねじれ国会の下で、「強すぎる参院」の存在がどれほど国政を停滞させてきたか、与野党とも痛感しているはずだ。

One possible solution is to revise Paragraph 2 of Article 59. The current paragraph stipulates that a bill passed by the lower house but voted down by the upper house becomes law when passed a second time by the lower house with a majority of "two-thirds or more" of the members present. This should be changed to a simple majority. That would make passage of bills in the lower house on a second vote easier and better clarify the lower house's superiority over the upper house.
 解決策の一つが、59条2項の改正だ。参院が衆院と異なる議決をした法案は、再び衆院で「3分の2以上」の多数で可決すれば成立する、という現行の規定を「過半数」に改めればよい。再議決による法案成立が容易になり、衆院の優位性もより明確になる。

We question why the LDP's constitutional revision draft does not refer to this point.
 自民党の憲法改正草案がこれに言及していないのは疑問だ。

In 2000, a private body of advisers to the upper house president compiled a Diet reform plan that includes relaxation of the conditions for a second vote in the lower house and abolition of the upper house's right to designate a prime ministerial candidate. The reform would require constitutional revision.
 2000年に参院議長の私的諮問機関が、衆院での再議決要件緩和のほか、参院の首相指名権の廃止など憲法改正も伴う改革案をまとめた。

The plan, which aims at shrinking the authority of the House of Councillors to reduce its participation in the administration of the national government, is still worth considering.
 参院の権限を縮小し、政権から距離を置く。今でも十分、検討に値する。

Concerning electoral system reform to correct the disparity in the value of votes, both chambers' electoral systems should be reviewed simultaneously.
 「1票の格差」是正のための選挙制度改革も、衆参の制度を同時に見直すべきだろう。

What functions should the upper house and lower house each have? In what way should people's wills be reflected in politics to form a desirable administration? Electoral systems must be reformed from such viewpoints.
 衆院と参院がどういう機能を分担すればよいか。望ましい政権を形成するためには、どう民意を集約するか。そうした観点から選挙制度を検討する必要がある。

This year's Constitution Day comes shortly after a series of high court rulings in lawsuits challenging the disparity in the value of votes in December's House of Representatives election in which the courts ruled the election was "unconstitutional." The Supreme Court will rule on the matter as early as this autumn.
 今年の憲法記念日は、先の衆院選での「1票の格差」を巡る訴訟で高裁による「違憲」判決が相次いだ直後に迎えることになった。秋にも最高裁が判断を示す。

At this critical stage, the Diet, the legislative branch of the nation, must at least pass a lower house rezoning bill designed to cut five seats from the lower house.
 ここに至った以上、立法府として最低限、0増5減の区割り法案を成立させるのが筋である。

Avoid a race to cut seats
 ◆定数削減競争は避けよ◆

The Democratic Party of Japan and other parties are currently competing with their plans to aggressively cut the number of Diet seats, saying "reforms in which the government as well as Diet members share the pain" are necessary. This is nothing but populism disguised as reform.
 民主党など各党は国会議員も「身を切る改革」が必要だと主張し、定数削減を競っている。これは改革を装ったポピュリズム(大衆迎合)と言うほかない。

The number of members in Japan's Diet members is not excessive when compared with other nations based on population. Cuts in personnel costs for Diet members would have only a limited effect in reducing the government's fiscal expenditures. Such an action would rather deteriorate the Diet's legislative functions. If Diet members want to feel pain, it would be better to cut their annual salaries and subsidies to political parties.
 日本は、人口当たりの国会議員数では国際比較でも決して多くはない。国会議員の人件費を減らしても財政削減効果は限定的だ。かえって立法機能が低下しよう。身を切るなら、歳費や政党助成金をカットすればよいではないか。

Some believe the Constitution should stipulate measures the nation can take in response to emergency situations and the right to a healthy environment for the people. We think these are very important viewpoints.
 憲法に関しては、緊急事態対処や環境権などを規定すべきだとの主張もある。重要な視点だ。

With the upper house election just around the corner, we hope each party will positively engage in the debate.
 参院選に向け、各党とも積極的に論戦を展開してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 3, 2013)
(2013年5月3日01時05分  読売新聞)

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世界遺産登録へ 海越えて広がる富士山の裾野

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 3, 2013
Mt. Fuji listing will help spread Japanese culture around the world
世界遺産登録へ 海越えて広がる富士山の裾野(5月2日付・読売社説)

Mt. Fuji, which has been adored as a symbol of Japanese culture since ancient times, will most likely be registered as a World Cultural Heritage Site.
 古くから日本文化の象徴として親しまれてきた霊峰「富士山」が、世界文化遺産に登録される見通しとなった。

The official decision on the registration will be made at a meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee next month.
 来月、開催される国連教育・科学・文化機関(ユネスコ)の世界遺産委員会で、正式決定される。

It is gratifying that Mt. Fuji is set to become a global treasure. With the listing, Mt. Fuji will be the 13th World Cultural Heritage Site in Japan, and the first since the Hiraizumi historical area in Iwate Prefecture was listed in 2011.
 富士山が世界の宝となるのは、喜ばしい。国内では、2年前に登録された「平泉」に続いて13件目の世界文化遺産となる。

The government had applied for Mt. Fuji to be registered as a heritage site, with 25 asset components including religious monuments at its peak, Fuji-goko five lakes at the base, and the Fuji Sengen shrines.
 政府は世界遺産の構成資産として、富士山頂の信仰遺跡群や富士五湖、冨士浅間神社など25件を申請していた。

The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), an advisory panel to UNESCO, recognized in its recommendation a distinguishable universal value to the asset components--with the exception of the Miho no Matsubara pine grove in Shizuoka Prefecture.
 ユネスコの諮問機関は勧告の中で、「三保松原(みほのまつばら)」以外の構成資産について、顕著な普遍的価値を持つことを認めた。

Boon for cultural diplomacy

ICOMOS also said in its opinion that the significance of Mt. Fuji reaches far beyond Japan.
その意義は「日本をはるかに越えて(世界に)及んでいる」との見解も示した。

The Japanese people have long worshiped the beautiful, towering Mt. Fuji as an awe-inspiring mountain. During the Edo period (1603-1867), commoners would climb the mountain en masse as members of a religious association centering around Mt. Fuji.
 日本人は、美しくそびえ立つ富士山を、神秘的な山として信仰の対象としてきた。富士講と呼ばれる富士登山に、江戸時代の庶民はこぞって参加した。

Since ancient times, the mountain has also been the subject of literature and poetry. This includes waka, traditional 31-syllable Japanese poems, as contained in the works of Manyoshu, the oldest existing collection of Japanese poetry.
 古代から万葉集などの和歌をはじめ、様々な文学作品に取り上げられてきた。

It has also been an indispensable theme in ukiyo-e woodblock prints and paintings from the Edo period and other artworks that have greatly influenced foreign artists, such as "The 36 Views of Mt. Fuji" by
葛飾北斎の「富嶽三十六景」など、海外にも大きな影響を与えた浮世絵や美術作品の欠かせない題材にもなっている。

Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849).

Should Mt. Fuji, which is an integral part of the Japanese spirit, be listed as a World Cultural Heritage Site, it would help promote a deeper appreciation of Japanese culture around the world.
 日本人の心の拠(よ)り所である富士山が世界文化遺産に登録されれば、日本文化をより深く世界に知ってもらう契機となるだろう。

Protect environment

The governments of Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures, where Mt. Fuji is located, initially tried to register the mountain and its surrounding areas as a World Natural Heritage Site. However, serious environmental problems, due mainly to illegal garbage disposal, caused them to give up on the plan.
 地元の山梨、静岡両県は当初、自然遺産としての登録を目指していた。しかし、ゴミの不法投棄などによる環境問題が深刻化していたため、断念した経緯がある。

It can be said that switching gears toward gaining registration as a cultural heritage site has proven effective.
 文化遺産に方針を転換した戦略が功を奏したと言えよう。

Nonetheless, ICOMOS' concerns over environmental problems should not be taken lightly.
 ただ、今回の勧告が、環境問題に懸念を示したことを重く受け止めなければならない。

In its recommendation, the panel pointed out that curbing the expansion of development in the surrounding area, as well as limiting the increasing number of visitors to Mt. Fuji, were urgent tasks. ICOMOS also requested a report on the site's conservation status by 2016.
富士山とその周辺の開発抑制や登山者対策を緊急の課題として挙げ、2016年までに保全状況の報告書を提出するよう求めている。

During the peak season, approximately 300,000 people climb Mt. Fuji. That number is sure to increase once it is registered as a heritage site.
 富士山にはシーズンになると、約30万人が入山する。世界遺産に登録されれば、その数はさらに増えるだろう。

To stem environmental degradation, the central and local governments need to discuss issues such as admission fees and ways to restrict entry into the area.
環境破壊を食い止めるため、政府や自治体は入山料の徴収や入山規制について議論していく必要がある。

The panel recommended the exclusion of "Kamakura, Home of the Samurai" in Kanagawa Prefecture, which was also put forward by the government as a candidate for heritage site registration. One reason cited by the panel is that the significance of samurai culture of the Kamakura shogunate is not fully evidenced in the asset components.
 一方、富士山と共に世界文化遺産登録を目指していた「武家の古都・鎌倉」に対しては、不登録が勧告された。鎌倉の武家文化の重要性を示す文化財が少ないことなどが理由として挙げられた。

This will serve as a lesson for other domestic candidate sites that aim to be recognized as World Cultural Heritage Sites.
 今後、世界遺産の登録を目指している国内の候補地にとって、教訓となるだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 2, 2013)
(2013年5月2日01時04分  読売新聞)

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集団的自衛権 憲法改正前に解釈を変更せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 3, 2013
Govt should change interpretation of right to collective self-defense
集団的自衛権 憲法改正前に解釈を変更せよ(5月2日付・読売社説)

In light of the deteriorating national security environment, changing the government's interpretation of the Constitution to allow Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense is becoming increasingly vital.
 日本の安全保障環境が悪化している今、集団的自衛権を行使できるように改める必要性は一段と増している。

The government has reinstated the Advisory Panel on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security, which was established under the first cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The panel is tasked with compiling a new proposal on legislation concerning national security.
 政府は2月、第1次安倍内閣で設置した「安全保障の法的基盤の再構築に関する懇談会」を再始動させた。秋に安全保障法制の新提言をまとめる予定だ。

In June 2008, it proposed the government's interpretation of the Constitution be altered to enable Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense. The proposal assumed four categories of contingencies, including an attack on U.S. military vessels on the high seas and the launch of a ballistic missile aimed at the United States.
 懇談会は既に2008年6月、集団的自衛権の行使を可能にするため政府の憲法解釈の変更を提言している。公海上で米軍艦船が攻撃されたり、米国へ弾道ミサイルが発射されたりした場合など、4類型の事態を想定したものだ。

If this country cannot stage a counterattack or intercept a missile in such circumstances, the Japan-U.S. alliance will be futile and it will be impossible to assure the safety of Japan.
 こうした事態に直面しても、日本が反撃・迎撃できないようでは日米同盟は成り立たないし、日本の安全を守ることはできない。

Last month Abe revealed his goal to make a decision on the right to collective self-defense before the government compiles the new National Defense Program Guidelines at year-end. It is the duty of politicians to allow the nation to exercise this right.
 安倍首相は先月、年末の新防衛大綱策定までに集団的自衛権の問題に結論を出す考えを示した。政治の責任で、集団的自衛権の行使を可能にしなければならない。

A recent spell of events have threatened Japan's peace, including North Korea's nuclear test and launch of a ballistic missile, and China's strengthening of its navy and air force and escalating provocative actions around the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture. The Japan-U.S. alliance must be urgently reinforced to steel its deterrence capability.
 北朝鮮の核実験や弾道ミサイル発射、中国海空軍の装備増強や尖閣諸島周辺での活動活発化――。最近、日本の平和を脅かす事態が相次いでいる。日米同盟を強化し、抑止力を高めることが急務だ。

Ripe political environment

The Liberal Democratic Party argues that Japan should be allowed to exercise the right to collective self-defense, and Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Your Party are also receptive to the idea. Even Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General Goshi Hosono made some comments Tuesday that indicate the party would back allowing Japan to exercise the right.
 自民党は集団的自衛権の行使を容認すべきだと主張し、日本維新の会、みんなの党も前向きだ。民主党の細野幹事長も先月30日、容認する考えを示した。

Thus the political environment is becoming ripe for reviewing the awkward official interpretation of the Constitution on the right to collective self-defense. The official view now is that Japan has the right but cannot exercise it.
 集団的自衛権を「保有するが、行使できない」とする奇妙な政府の憲法解釈を見直すための政治的環境は整いつつある。

Abe has said he wants to make constitutional revision a major issue in the House of Councillors election in July. Specifically, he wants to relax the rules on amending the Constitution by revising Article 96 of the top law.
 首相は、憲法改正を7月の参院選の争点とし、まず96条の改正発議要件を緩和したい考えを示している。

If constitutional revision is promptly realized, it would make sense to recognize the nation's ability to exercise the right to collective self-defense at the same time.
憲法改正が早期に実現するなら、同時に集団的自衛権を容認するのが望ましいのは確かだ。

National security can't wait

Still, waiting to amend Article 9, which concerns the right, until after conditions are relaxed by amending Article 96 could take too long. Does Japan really have time to wait for two separate revisions of the Constitution?
 だが、96条の改正発議要件を緩和した後、自衛権に関する9条を改正するまでには相当な時間を要しよう。2回の憲法改正を待つ余裕が今の日本にあるだろうか。

It would of course be more practical to review the interpretation of the Constitution on the right before revising the top law.
 やはり憲法改正に先立ち、憲法解釈を見直すことが現実的だ。

However, any revision to the current interpretation could be reversed if Abe is replaced as prime minister. To stabilize the legal basis for national security, legislation must be improved to secure the interpretational change, such as the establishment of a basic law on national security.
 ただ、解釈変更の場合、首相が交代すれば、再び解釈を元に戻す可能性もある。安全保障の法的基盤を安定させるには、安全保障基本法の制定など、解釈変更を担保する法整備が欠かせない。

Further study is also required on the occasions that would justify exercising the right to collective self-defense and the permissible forms of this type of defense. Opinions may be split over whether Japan would have to join in an assault on an enemy country if the U.S. mainland was attacked, as in the case of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.
 どんな場合に、どんな形で集団的自衛権を行使するかについても検討が必要だ。米同時テロのように、米本土が攻撃され、相手国を攻撃する際に日本が参加するかどうかは賛否が分かれよう。

Both the ruling and opposition parties should move the debate on the right to collective self-defense into high gear.
 与野党は、集団的自衛権の議論を本格化させる時である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 2, 2013)
(2013年5月2日01時04分  読売新聞)

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2013年5月 1日 (水)

核燃料サイクル プルトニウムの確実な利用を

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 1, 2013
Nuclear fuel cycle must be used in way that ensures proper use of plutonium
核燃料サイクル プルトニウムの確実な利用を(4月30日付・読売社説)

Uranium-plutonium mixed oxide (MOX) fuel, which will be used for the No. 3 reactor at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, is en route from France to Japan by sea. It is expected to arrive in June or later.
 福井県の関西電力高浜原子力発電所3号機で使うウラン・プルトニウム混合酸化物(MOX)燃料がフランスから海路、日本に向かっている。6月にも到着する。

This is the first transport of MOX to Japan since the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
 東京電力福島第一原発の事故後、初めての輸送だ。

Japan has promoted the nuclear fuel cycle program as part of the nation's energy policy. The system reuses uranium and plutonium extracted from spent nuclear fuel used at nuclear power plants. The core of the system is the use of MOX fuel.
 日本は、エネルギー政策の一環として、核燃料サイクル計画を進めてきた。原発の使用済み核燃料から取り出したプルトニウムやウランを再利用するものだ。その柱がMOX燃料の利用である。

The nuclear fuel cycle allows effective use of uranium resources and reduces radioactive waste. But because plutonium can be used to make nuclear weapons, stockpiling unused amounts of the material could trigger unnecessary suspicions both at home and abroad.
 核燃料サイクルは、ウラン資源の有効活用や放射性廃棄物量の軽減といった利点がある。
 プルトニウムは核兵器の材料にもなる。利用されないままでは、国内外で無用な疑念を引き起こしかねない。

KEPCO needs to ensure it uses all the MOX fuel transported.
 関電は、輸送されたMOX燃料を確実に利用する必要がある。

Japan has entrusted the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel to France and Britain because there is no large-scale reprocessing facility at home. The amount of plutonium extracted so far has exceeded 20 tons.
 日本には大規模な再処理施設がないため、使用済み核燃料の再処理をフランスや英国に委託してきた。すでに取り出されたプルトニウム量は20トンを超える。

Using plutonium a duty

Neither France nor Britain can keep such spent fuel for a prolonged period. Japan must receive the reprocessed fuel to maintain its international credibility. We consider it the nation's duty to use the plutonium.
 仏英とも預かったままにできない。引き取りは国際的な信義にかかわる問題だ。プルトニウム利用は、日本の責務と言えよう。

After the outbreak of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 plant, the Democratic Party of Japan-led administration halted most of the nation's nuclear reactors and declared a policy of abandoning nuclear power generation without presenting workable alternatives, causing total confusion. The administration also made the nuclear fuel cycle program a target for drastic review.
 福島第一原発の事故後、民主党政権はほとんどの原発を停止させ、展望がないまま「脱原発」の方針を打ち出すなど混乱を拡大させた。核燃料サイクル計画も抜本的な見直しの対象とした。

Even under the current administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, there has not been any progress in discussions over the matter. If this situation remains unchanged, there will be no prospect for using plutonium.
 安倍政権でも議論は進んでいない。このままではプルトニウム利用の見通しが立たない。

In Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture, Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd.'s reprocessing plant is nearly completed. But plans on its utilization have yet to be fully worked out. The government should consider the issue as soon as possible.
 青森県六ヶ所村では日本原燃の再処理工場が完成間近だが、その利用計画も定まっていない。政府は早急に検討すべきだ。

No other country in the world has established high-level nuclear fuel reprocessing technology without developing nuclear weapons. Japan cannot easily abandon the technology it has accumulated.
 核兵器を保有せずに、高度な再処理技術を確立する国は、日本以外にない。これまで積み上げてきた技術を簡単に捨てられまい。

Reactivating reactors crucial

First and foremost, it is necessary to figure out how many reactors could be reactivated after their safety is ensured. The Nuclear Regulation Authority must expedite the confirmation of the safety of idled reactors.
 まずは、何基の原発が安全に再稼働できるのか、割り出す必要がある。原子力規制委員会は、安全確認を急がねばならない。

The nuclear watchdog's stance on the reprocessing plant is also problematic.
 再処理工場に対する規制委の姿勢にも問題がある。

At the Rokkasho plant, only the process used to vitrify highly radioactive liquid waste has yet to be checked to confirm its safety.
 この工場で安全確認が済んでいないのは、放射能が高い廃液をガラスに固める工程だけだ。

It would be much safer to solidify the liquid waste generated in test operations than to keep it in a tank as it is at present. But the authority has put off safety confirmation processes, saying there is no need for the time being to operate the reprocessing plant itself.
 試験過程で発生し、タンクに保管中の廃液は固めた方が格段に安全だが、規制委は、工場そのものを当面動かす必要がないとして確認作業を後回しにしている。

We wonder if the authority is fully aware of its roles and responsibilities. Its duty is to steadily proceed with processes to improve nuclear safety.
 規制委は自らの役割や責任を十分認識していないのではないか。安全性の向上を着実に進めることが規制委の職務である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 30, 2013)
(2013年4月30日01時17分  読売新聞)

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ハーグ条約 子供のために体制作り急げ

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 1, 2013
Systems needed to help children of failed international marriages
ハーグ条約 子供のために体制作り急げ(4月30日付・読売社説)

Japan will finally join the international convention dealing with children taken to another country by a parent without the consent of the other parent after an international marriage breaks down. The government should expedite efforts to establish systems to support Japan's adherence to the convention.
 国際結婚が破綻し、配偶者が一方的に子供を国外に連れ去ったら、どう対処するか。そのルールを定めた条約にようやく日本も参加する。国内の体制整備を急ぎたい。

The House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill to have Japan join the Hague Convention. As the House of Councillors is certain to approve the bill, there will be no legal obstacles to this country joining the convention.
 ハーグ条約の承認案が衆院で全会一致で可決された。参院でも可決が確実で、事実上、条約加盟が決まった。

Related bills specifying domestic judicial procedures are also likely to be passed into law shortly.
国内の関連法案も、近く成立する見通しだ。

The convention stipulates that if a parent takes a child under the age of 16 back to his or her home country without the other parent's consent following the failure of an international marriage, the child should, in principle, be returned to the country of habitual residence if the other parent requests it within one year.
 条約は原則として、16歳未満の子供が無断で片方の親に連れ去られた場合、1年以内にもう一方の親から申し立てがあれば、子供を元の国に返すとしている。

Many cases abroad

Among the Group of Eight major economies, Japan is the only country that has yet to join the convention.
 主要8か国(G8)で、条約に未加盟なのは日本だけだった。

The number of Japanese marrying foreigners is on the rise. There are about 100 cases in the United States in which Japanese parents have taken their children to Japan without their spouses' consent following the breakup of their marriages.
 日本人の国際結婚が増加する中で、米国では、別れた日本人が子供を日本に連れ去る事例が約100件に上っている。

The issue has become a diplomatic problem, leading to mounting demands from the United States and European countries for Japan to quickly join the convention. Japan's move to join the convention has been rather slow.
外交問題にも発展し、米欧から日本に早期加盟を求める声が高まっていた。
 条約加盟は、遅すぎたとも言えるだろう。

By joining the convention, a Japanese parent can request the return to Japan of children taken by the other parent to his or her home country without the Japanese parent's consent.
 加盟により、日本人の子供が外国に連れ去られた場合も、返還を要求する道が開ける。

As Japan had not signed the convention, there have been cases where Japanese parents had to leave their children behind when they returned to Japan. By joining the convention, this problem will be resolved.
条約未締結のために子供を連れての日本への帰国が制限される例もあったが、そうしたトラブルもなくなる。

Japan lagged other countries in joining the treaty primarily because of concerns over protecting the human rights of a large number of Japanese women who brought their children to Japan--without their spouses' consent--to escape violent foreign husbands.
 日本の加盟が遅れたのは、外国人の夫の家庭内暴力(DV)から逃れようと同意なく子供を連れ帰る日本人の女性が多く、こうした日本人の人権を守れるかどうか懸念する声があったからだ。

Diet deliberations on the issue focused on what conditions were necessary to refuse a child's return, even when an appeal is made by a foreign spouse.
 国会審議でも、夫などの申立人に対し、例外的に認められる「子供の返還拒否」の条件をどう規定するかが焦点になった。

The convention stipulates that the return of a child can be refused when there is a grave risk that physical and mental harm could be inflicted on the child.
条約は「子の心身に害を及ぼす重大な危険がある場合」としている。

Related domestic bills specifying conditions for refusing the return of a child include cases in which a petitioner may use violence toward the mother, which would have an adverse impact on the child, as well as cases in which the petitioner may physically abuse a child.
 国内の関連法案は、申立人が「子供に暴力を振るう恐れがある場合」に加え、「子に悪影響を与えるような暴力」を母親に対しても加えかねない場合を含めた。

Support needed abroad

The wording "have an adverse impact on the child" was added to the bill, because the convention is primarily aimed at the child's happiness. Yet it will be difficult to prove domestic violence has an adverse effect on a child.
 あえて「子に悪影響を与える」と条件をつけたのは、条約があくまで「子供の幸せ」を中心に考えているからである。ただ、DVが子に悪影響を与えているかどうかの立証は難しいだろう。

Family courts in Tokyo and Osaka, which will accept such petitions, must make judgments after fully considering children's feelings.
 申し立てを受ける東京と大阪の両家庭裁判所には、子の心情に十分配慮した判断が求められる。

Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry has to put in place a support system abroad to assist Japanese in court cases involving parental rights, in line with the convention.
 条約に従い、親権を巡って日本人が現地での裁判に臨む場合に備えて、外務省は、海外での支援体制を整える必要がある。

Some Japanese diplomatic establishments overseas have already set up consultation offices.
 日本の在外公館の一部では、すでに相談窓口を設けているという。

It is essential to painstakingly prepare proper responses, including the provision of a lawyer and an interpreter and cooperation with local organizations to assist victims of domestic violence.
弁護士や通訳の提供、現地のDV問題支援団体との連携など、きめ細かな対応が必要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 30, 2013)
(2013年4月30日01時17分  読売新聞)

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参院山口補選 安倍政権の勢い映した前哨戦

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 30, 2013
By-election victory for LDP candidate reflects strength of Abe administration
参院山口補選 安倍政権の勢い映した前哨戦(4月29日付・読売社説)

Sunday's upper house by-election result appears to reflect the current strength of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration, which was inaugurated four months ago.
 発足から4か月を経た安倍政権の勢いを、そのまま反映したかのような結果である。

In the by-election of the Yamaguchi constituency of the House of Councillors--the first Diet election held since the second Abe Cabinet was launched--Kiyoshi Ejima, a first-time candidate on the Liberal Democratic Party ticket, won by a wide margin. His opponents included newcomer Hideo Hiraoka, a former justice minister endorsed by the Democratic Party of Japan.
 第2次安倍内閣の発足後、初の国政選挙となった参院山口選挙区補欠選挙は、自民党公認の新人、江島潔氏が民主党などの推薦で元法相の新人、平岡秀夫氏らを大差で破った。

Kingdom of conservatives

Yamaguchi Prefecture is where Abe's electoral district is located and is known as the "kingdom of conservative forces," with all four single-seat constituencies held by LDP members.
 山口県は、安倍首相の地元で、衆院全選挙区を自民党が独占する「保守王国」だ。

Ejima, who also was endorsed by New Komeito, waged a strong campaign.
江島氏は公明党の推薦も取り付けて、選挙戦を終始優位に展開した。

Abe himself paid his constituency a visit to support Ejima, appealing to local voters' expectations for an economic recovery. "The only way to save the nation from deflation is the current path we're taking. Let's recover Japan's vigor from here in Choshu," Abe said, referring to the name of a feudal domain of the Yamaguchi district during the Edo period.
 首相もお国入りし、「今進んでいる道以外にデフレからの脱却はできない。長州から日本を取り戻そう」と、県民の景気回復への期待感に訴えた。

The Abe administration is working hard to rebuild the Japan-U.S. alliance in light of the growing threat of North Korea's development of nuclear weapons and missiles, while China has repeatedly intruded into Japan's territorial waters. Such a stance by the administration may have supplied a nice tailwind for Ejima.
 北朝鮮の核・ミサイルの脅威が高まり、中国が領海侵入などを繰り返す中、安倍政権の日米同盟の立て直しを急ぐ姿勢も、江島氏への追い風になったといえよう。

On the other hand, Hiraoka advocated "rallying the strength of political forces to counter the LDP," and heavily criticized the Abe administration's Abenomics economic policy, Japan's participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade accord talks and the policy of amending the Constitution.
 一方、平岡氏は「自民党に対抗する政治勢力の結集」を掲げ、安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」や、環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉への参加、憲法改正の方針をことごとく批判した。

Yet Hiraoka failed to win wide support from voters.
だが、支持は広がらずに終わった。

The DPJ failed to build a campaign alliance with other opposition parties to fight the LDP by running an "independent candidate endorsed by the parties," led by the DPJ.
 民主党を中心に「無所属・党推薦」候補を擁立し、野党各党が結束して自民党と戦う、という構図も作り切れなかった。

Supported by such politicians as former Prime Minister Naoto Kan of the DPJ, Hiraoka advocated "abandoning nuclear power generation" and attacked Chugoku Electric Power Co.'s planned construction of the Kaminoseki nuclear power plant in the prefecture.
 平岡氏は、民主党の菅元首相らの支援を受け、山口県内で中国電力が進める上関原発の建設計画を争点に据えようと、「脱原発」を主張した。

N-issue did not catch on

Although Hiraoka attempted to present a common front with the Social Democratic Party and Midori no Kaze, or Green Wind Party, against nuclear power generation, the issue apparently failed to gain traction.
社民党やみどりの風との共闘を図ったものの、主要な争点にならなかったといえる。

His stance of rejecting nuclear power, while presenting no prospect of securing alternative sources of energy, apparently failed to convince voters.
 代替エネルギー確保の見通しもなく、原発を否定するだけでは説得力を持たなかったのだろう。

DPJ President Banri Kaieda, who considered the Yamaguchi by-election a prelude to the coming elections of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly and the upper house, appealed to voters by saying, "Let's say 'No to Abe politics' from this land of Yamaguchi," but to no avail.
 民主党の海江田代表は、山口補選を都議選や参院選への前哨戦と位置づけ、「山口の地から『安倍政治ノー』という声をあげたい」と訴えたが、浸透しなかった。

The DPJ needs to rethink its campaign strategy for the upcoming upper house election.
 民主党は、参院選戦略の練り直しが迫られよう。

As the result of the latest election, the LDP parliamentary group in the upper house will gain an additional seat. Meanwhile, DPJ members are deserting the party one after another. As a result, the DPJ, which holds the largest bloc in the upper house, may soon find itself tied with the LDP in the number of seats they hold in the house at 84 each.
 今回の補選の結果、参院の自民党会派は1議席増える。民主党で離党者が相次いでいることもあって、参院では近く、最大会派の民主党と自民党の議席がそれぞれ84で並ぶ見通しだ。

Inevitably, the DPJ will see its clout in the management of the Diet business weaken, too.
 国会運営でも、民主党の発言力低下は避けられない。

It is even possible that more DPJ members may come to think they no longer have a fighting chance in this summer's election as long as they remain in the party.
 参院選に向け、もはや民主党の看板では戦えないと考える議員がさらに出てくる可能性もある。

Far from rebuilding itself from its devastating defeat in the House of Representatives election, the DPJ has instead been thrown into increasing chaos. It must squarely face the reality that it is failing to regain voters' support.
 民主党は衆院選惨敗から立ち直るどころか、むしろ混迷を深めるばかりだ。なぜ支持を回復できないのか、現状を直視すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 29, 2013)
(2013年4月29日01時10分  読売新聞)

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主権回復の日 国際社会復帰の重み忘れまい

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 30, 2013
Don't forget importance of Japan's return to international community after WWII
主権回復の日 国際社会復帰の重み忘れまい(4月29日付・読売社説)

The San Francisco Peace Treaty took effect April 28, 1952, freeing Japan from the postwar Occupation by the Allied Powers. That date is of deep significance as the day Japan pledged to become a responsible member of the international community.
 日本が、サンフランシスコ講和条約の発効によって戦後の占領支配から解放されたのは、1952年4月28日だ。国際社会の責任ある一員になると誓った意義深い日である。

On Sunday, 61 years later, the government sponsored a ceremony to commemorate the restoration of Japan's sovereignty and its return to the international community at the Memorial Hall of Constitutional Politics near the Diet Building.
 政府は61年後のこの日、主権回復と国際社会復帰を記念する式典を憲政記念館で開いた。

Delivering a speech at the ceremony, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, "I wish to make this a day on which we renew our hopes and our determination toward the future, as we reflect on the path we have followed until now."
 「これまでの足跡に思いを致しながら、未来へ向かって希望と決意を新たにする日にしたい」

Memories fading

Looking back on the Occupation, the prime minister noted, "In the long history of this country, those days marked our first and longest-lasting age of discontinuity and hardship."
 そう語った安倍首相は、占領期を、「わが国の長い歴史で初めての、そして最も深い断絶であり、試練だった」と振り返った。

Under the Occupation, the nation could not make any decisions on such matters as appointing cabinet members and enacting laws against the wishes of the General Headquarters of the Allied Powers (GHQ). The GHQ also limited freedom of speech.
 占領下では、閣僚人事も国の予算や法律も、連合国軍総司令部(GHQ)の意に反しては決められなかった。言論統制もあった。

These historical facts, however, are now on the verge of being forgotten by the public.
 こうした歴史が、国民の間で忘れ去られようとしている。

It is highly important for each of us to coolly review the past once more, including how and why this country plunged itself into circumstances that resulted in losing its sovereignty.
主権を失う事態に至った経緯も含め、冷静に見つめ直すことが肝要だ。

The wars Japan fought in the Showa era, which caused tremendous suffering to many people at home and abroad, were started by Japanese leaders who had lost their international perspective. The nation's defeat in World War II and the subsequent Occupation were the end result of their mistakes.
 内外に惨禍をもたらした昭和の戦争は、国際感覚を失った日本の指導者たちの手で始められた。敗戦と占領は、その結末である。

After restoring its sovereignty, Japan joined the United Nations and achieved remarkably high economic growth, thus successfully building today's affluent, peaceful society.
 日本は主権回復後、国連に加盟し、高度成長を成し遂げて、今日の豊かで平和な社会を築いた。

Japan's sovereignty over its land and territorial waters, however, is still threatened even today. This country is confronted by such challenges as the repeated intrusion of Chinese surveillance vessels into Japan's waters off the Senkaku Islands, Okinawa Prefecture, and the unlawful occupation by South Korea of the Takeshima islets, Shimane Prefecture. In addition, Russia is currently taking steps apparently meant to perpetuate its seizure of Japan's northern territories off eastern Hokkaido.
 だが、沖縄県・尖閣諸島沖での中国監視船の領海侵入や、韓国の竹島不法占拠、北方領土で進行する「ロシア」化など、領土・領海を巡る問題は今もなお、日本の主権を揺さぶっている。

The government-sponsored ceremony this year is a milestone for making us consider the issues now affecting the nation's sovereignty.
 今年の政府式典は、そんな主権の現状を考える節目となった。

Meanwhile, a protest rally was held in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, against the government-backed ceremony. The municipal assembly's opposition forces, which sponsored the protest, called it a convention on a "day of humiliation" for Okinawa.
 一方、沖縄県宜野湾市では、政府式典に抗議する「屈辱の日」沖縄大会が県議会野党会派などの主催で開催された。

At the same time the San Francisco Peace Treaty took effect, Okinawa Prefecture, along with the Amami Islands and the Ogasawara Islands, was separated from the mainland of Japan and put under the administration of the U.S. military.
 沖縄は、奄美、小笠原と共に講和条約発効と同時に日本から切り離され、米軍施政下に置かれた。

Okinawa Prefecture was the country's fiercest battlefield in the last stage of the war. It nevertheless was excluded from the restoration of Japan's sovereignty and U.S. military installations were built on large tracts of land there.
かつて戦場となり、主権回復からも取り残され、米軍基地建設が進んだ。

April 28 is called a "day of humiliation" for the prefecture for this reason.
このため沖縄では4月28日は「屈辱の日」と呼ばれる。

It can be said, however, that the Japanese government was able to negotiate with the United States for the reversion of Okinawa Prefecture to Japanese rule, realized in 1972, precisely because Japan recovered its sovereignty.
 しかし、日本が主権を回復したからこそ、米国と交渉し、沖縄返還を実現できたことも事実だ。

Think again about Okinawa

It goes without saying that this year's ceremony was never intended to belittle the sufferings of Okinawa Prefecture.
 沖縄を軽視した式典でないことは言うまでもない。

Abe referred in his speech to the prefecture, saying, "Any casual statement would be meaningless in light of the suffering the people of Okinawa had to endure, both during and after the war."
首相は式辞で「沖縄の人々が耐え忍ばざるを得なかった、戦中戦後のご苦労に対し、通り一遍の言葉は意味をなさない」と沖縄にも言及した。

Okinawa Deputy Gov. Kurayoshi Takara, who attended the ceremony in place of Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima, expressed his understanding of the ceremony to a certain extent, saying he understood the prime minister was trying to "face up, relatively, to the problems of Okinawa."
 仲井真弘多沖縄県知事の代理で式典に出席した高良倉吉副知事は「首相は比較的、沖縄の問題に向き合って発言された」と語り、式典に一定の理解を示した。

This occasion should be utilized as an opportunity to consider a path toward resolving the issue of U.S. military bases in Okinawa Prefecture, based on the vicissitudes of Okinawa's history.
 沖縄の歴史も踏まえて、米軍基地問題の解決への道筋を考える機会にもしたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 29, 2013)
(2013年4月29日01時10分  読売新聞)

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