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2013年6月29日 (土)

物言う株主 企業価値向上へ対話の道探れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 29, 2013
Firms, shareholders must pursue dialogue to raise corporate value
物言う株主 企業価値向上へ対話の道探れ(6月28日付・読売社説)

Activist shareholders, including foreign funds that apply pressure on corporate management, have made their presence felt at recent shareholders meetings for the first time in a long time.
 企業経営に圧力をかける海外ファンドら「物言う株主」が、久しぶりに存在感を示した。

Through their resurgence, Japanese firms face a heavy challenge regarding how to improve corporate value through management reform.
 経営改革によって、企業価値をいかに向上させるか。経営陣は重い課題を突きつけられたと指摘できる。

The annual wave of general shareholders meetings of companies with business terms that ended in March has passed its peak. Activist shareholders were at center stage.
 今年3月期決算企業の株主総会がピークを越えた。焦点は「物言う株主」の動向だった。

At a meeting of Seibu Holdings Inc., its largest shareholder, Cerberus Capital Management LP, argued against management policy and proposed eight director candidates of its own. But the U.S. fund failed to gain majority approval for its proposal as all the candidates recommended by Seibu were elected to the board of directors.
 西武ホールディングスでは、筆頭株主である米ファンドのサーベラスが経営方針に異を唱え、独自の取締役候補を提案した。しかし、多数の賛成を得られず、会社提案の取締役が選任された。

Before the shareholders meeting, Cerberus had pressed for reform of Seibu’s management through such moves as a takeover bid. Seibu argued against the Cerberus reform plan, leading to deepened confrontation with the U.S. fund. But Seibu appears to have managed to block the Cerberus offensive for the moment.
 サーベラスは、株主総会前に株式公開買い付け(TOB)も仕掛けるなど経営改革を迫った。西武は反論し、対立が深まったが、攻勢をひとまず退けたといえる。

Nevertheless, Seibu’s reform is still pending as it seeks to be relisted. The company must tackle that difficult challenge while relations with its largest shareholder go unrepaired.
 ただし、再上場を目指す西武の改革は途上である。筆頭株主との関係が修復できないまま、難題に取り組まざるをえない。

Questions to answer

Sony Corp. had been asked by a U.S. fund, one of its major shareholders, to spin off its movie and music business and list the new entity on the stock market. But Sony took a wary stance toward dividing up its businesses, arguing that synergistic effects can be expected with the manufacturing of TV sets and other businesses.
 ソニーは、大株主の米ファンドから映画・音楽事業の分離と上場を求められたものの、テレビ事業などとの相乗効果が見込めるとして分離に慎重だった。

At its shareholders meeting, however, Sony was pressed on the separation issue by other shareholders. As a result, Sony announced a plan to study the demand. Improving earning capacity through reconstruction of its main line of business, including production of TV sets, has now become an important task for the Sony management.
 株主総会では、他の株主からも分離問題を追及され、この要求を検討していく方針を表明した。テレビなどの主力事業を立て直し、収益力を向上させることが重要な経営課題となった。

Stable shareholders, including banks and business customers, account for a majority of shareholders in Japanese firms, so management often lacks a perspective of paying attention to shareholders. Japanese companies tend to put a low priority on earnings power and returning profits to shareholders.
 日本の企業では、銀行や取引先など安定株主が多数を占め、株主の声に耳を傾ける意識に乏しい経営陣が多い。収益力や株主への利益還元が物足りない面もある。

More parties heard from

Abenomics, the economic policy pursued by the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has drawn fresh global attention to the Japanese economy. As a result, the ratio of foreign holders of Japanese equities reached a record high of about 30 percent as of the end of March.
 安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」によって日本経済が注目された効果で、外国人株主の日本株保有比率が3月末に過去最高の約3割に達した。

In addition to foreigners, the number of Japanese shareholders who strongly press demands, such as expansion of profits to improve corporate value, is certain to increase. Management must be prepared to listen sincerely to shareholders’ voices.
 今後、外国人だけでなく、利益拡大など企業価値の向上に一段と厳しく注文を付ける株主は増えるに違いない。経営陣は株主の声を真摯(しんし)に聞く姿勢が必要である。

It is laudable that Toyota Motor Corp. and many other Japanese firms decided at this year’s shareholders meetings to adopt outside board directors, thereby meeting the requests of shareholders.
 今年の総会で、トヨタ自動車など多くの企業が社外取締役の起用を決め、株主の要望に応えた点は評価できよう。

Nonetheless, shareholders’ demands for short-term stock price increases and higher dividends are not always right. Investment in personnel training and research and development is also vital from the viewpoint of enhancing corporate competitiveness in the medium and long term.
 無論、短期的な株価上昇や配当増額を求める株主の主張が、必ずしも正しいとは言えない。人材育成や研究開発など、中長期的に競争力を高める投資も重要だ。

Management has a responsibility to present reasonable policy and continue dialogue with shareholders even if it turns down their specific demands.
 経営陣が株主の主張を退けるにしても、対話を重ね、合理的な方針を示す「説明責任」が要る。

Improving corporate value is a common goal for firms and shareholders. They will be required to accelerate management reform amid their tense relationship.
 企業価値の向上は、企業と株主の共通目標である。互いに緊張関係を保ちながら、経営改革を加速することが求められよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 28, 2013)
(2013年6月28日01時27分  読売新聞)

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iPS臨床研究 再生医療の実用化に近付くか

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 29, 2013
Hopes high for clinical iPS studies
iPS臨床研究 再生医療の実用化に近付くか(6月28日付・読売社説)

A big step has been taken toward realizing regenerative medicine using human induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells.
 iPS細胞(人工多能性幹細胞)を使った再生医療の実施に向けて、大きな一歩を踏み出すことになった。

A panel of the Health, Welfare and Labor Ministry has given the go-ahead to the Kobe facility of Riken, a governmental scientific research institute, and another research organization, to conduct clinical studies using iPS cells in the treatment of age-related macular degeneration.
 厚生労働省の審査委員会は、目の難病である「加齢黄斑変性」をiPS細胞で治療する理化学研究所(神戸市)などの臨床研究を承認した。

This unprecedented clinical research project, scheduled to be launched as early as the summer of 2014, should be conducted to reliably determine the effectiveness and safety of iPS-based regenerative medicine.
 来年夏にも始まる世界初の臨床研究では、有効性と安全性をしっかりと見極めてもらいたい。

Age-related macular degeneration is a currently intractable eye disease that can appear as part of aging. It damages part of the retina cells in the back of the eye and distorts the field of vision, causing loss of sight.
 加齢黄斑変性は、老化に伴って発病する。目の奥にある網膜細胞の一部に障害が生じて、視界がゆがみ、失明の原因にもなる。

Danger of cancer

In the project, iPS cells will be created from a patient’s skin cells and cultivated to form cell sheets that will be attached to the retina. The researchers in the project will select six patients for whom medication and other currently available remedies have not been effective.
 臨床研究では、患者の皮膚からiPS細胞を作り、シート状に培養して網膜に貼り付ける。既存の薬物治療などでは効果がない6人の患者が対象だ。

The planned iPS clinical application will certainly heighten expectations among those who suffer the eye disease, who are estimated to number about 700,000 throughout the country.
 約70万人とされる国内の患者にとっては期待が高まるだろう。

It is believed, however, that five years or more will be required before age-related macular degeneration patients in general can receive iPS treatments, as the clinical research project will be followed by therapeutic trials.
 ただ、臨床研究から治験を経て一般の患者が治療を受けられるまでには、5年以上を要する。

It is especially problematic that iPS cells have the possibility of turning cancerous. This is believed to be because genes that can trigger cancer have to be used in the process of making iPS cells.
 特に問題となるのは、iPS細胞が、がん化する可能性があることだ。細胞を作製する際に、がんを引き起こす恐れのある遺伝子を使うのが原因とされる。

It is appropriate that the ministry’s panel approved the clinical studies on the condition that those genes be eliminated before iPS cell sheets are transplanted onto retinas.
 その遺伝子が移植時には残らないようにすることを条件に、審査委員会が臨床研究を承認したのは適切な判断だろう。

Although the eye is generally considered not to be prone to developing cancer, it is impossible to forecast with 100 percent accuracy what cellular anomalies could take place after the transplant of the iPS cell sheets to patients. As much attention as possible should be paid to the danger of cancer and other risks that are as yet unforeseen.
 目はがんになりにくいとされるが、実際に細胞シートを患者に移植した後、どのような変化が起きるか完全には予測できない。がん化のほか、未知のリスクにも細心の注意を払う必要がある。

Establishing safety is imperative for securing public trust in regenetrative medicine.
 再生医療への信頼を得るためには安全性の確立が欠かせない。

Applications are also planned for the treatment of such conditions as serious heart diseases and spinal cord injuries due to road accidents. Many countries have been engaging in fierce competition in iPS cell reseach and development projects.
 iPS細胞は、重い心臓病や交通事故による脊髄損傷などへの応用が計画されている。各国が研究開発にしのぎを削っている。

As Japan is one of the world’s most advanced countries in basic studies of iPS cells, we hope this country will spearhead international competition in terms of iPS applications as well. It is crucial to steadily advance the project through trilateral cooperation between industry, academia and the government.
 日本は基礎研究分野で世界のトップクラスにいるが、実用化でも先陣を切ってもらいたい。産学官が協力し、着実に研究開発を進めることが大切だ。

Key bills carried forward

Creating an environment more conducive to supporting iPS R&D projects is also a must.
 研究開発を支援するための環境整備も重要である。

The government has deemed regenerative medicine through iPS applications to be one of the centerpieces of the nation’s growth strategies, hammering out a policy of providing 110 billion yen in subsidies for iPS studies in the coming 10 years. The passage in April of a law to promote regenerative medicine for encouraging practical applications of iPS technologies can give a boost to the envisioned goal.
 政府は、iPS細胞による再生医療を成長戦略の一つに位置付け、今後10年間で1100億円を助成する方針だ。実用化を促すための再生医療推進法が4月に成立したのも後押しとなる。

Meanwhile, a bill to revise the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law to simpify screening procedures for regenerative medicine products to speed up government authorization, as well as a bill for a new law to regulate potentially problematic therapies to secure the safety of regenerative medicine, failed to pass the last Diet session. Deliberations on the bills have been carried forward to the next sitting of the legislature.
 一方で、再生医療製品の審査手続きを簡素化し、早期承認を目指す薬事法の改正法案や、問題のある治療を規制する再生医療安全性確保法案は継続審議となった。

The bills should be enacted through in-depth discussions in an extraordinary Diet session to be convened in autumn.
 秋の臨時国会で議論を尽くし、成立を図りたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 28, 2013)
(2013年6月28日01時27分  読売新聞)

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2013年6月28日 (金)

通常国会閉幕 首相問責で野党は何を得たか

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 28, 2013
Opposition parties lost more than they gained through censure
通常国会閉幕 首相問責で野党は何を得たか(6月27日付・読売社説)

The ordinary Diet session has closed in a terribly disorganized manner.
 あまりにお粗末な通常国会の幕切れである。

On Wednesday, the last day of the Diet session, the House of Councillors adopted a censure motion against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The Democratic Party of Japan, Your Party, and other opposition parties voted for the motion in the opposition-dominated chamber.
 参院が安倍首相の問責決議を民主党、みんなの党など野党の賛成多数で可決した。

Then the opposition parties refused deliberations of bills in the upper house, behaving as if such refusal was reasonable. Key bills, such as those to revise the Electric Utility Law and the Daily Life Protection Law, were scrapped as a result. A bill to formulate a basic law on the water cycle, which was submitted as lawmaker-initiated legislation to protect water sources, was discarded as well.
 参院で野党は、当然のように法案審議を拒み、電気事業法改正案、生活保護法改正案や、水源地を守るための水循環基本法案など議員提出法案が廃案になった。

The censure motion was submitted by the People’s Life Party, Green Wind and the Social Democratic Party. They condemned Abe for his recent skipping of deliberations at the upper house Budget Committee, claiming the act “violates the Constitution.”
 問責決議は、生活の党、みどりの風、社民党の3党が提出したもので、参院予算委員会の審議に首相が出席しなかったことを「憲法違反」だと主張していた。

Clear political motive

It is clear the motive of the three parties was to use Abe’s absence from certain Diet deliberations as a tool to launch an offensive against the Liberal Democratic Party ahead of the upcoming upper house election. Do they really think such actions will be welcomed by the public? If so, we have to warn them that they have made a glaring mistake.
 参院選を前に、自民党批判の材料にしたいのが見え見えだ。こうした姿勢が国民に評価されると考えるのなら勘違いも甚だしい。

In the first place, were Abe’s actions really worthy of censure? Abe absented himself in response to the unilateral decision by Budget Committee Chairman Hajime Ishii, a DPJ member, to hold intensive deliberations at the committee meetings, using the chairman’s authority to hold such meetings. The ruling parties said a no-confidence motion against upper house President Kenji Hirata, which had been submitted earlier, should be dealt with first, and boycotted the deliberations.
 そもそも首相を問責するほどの事態だったのか。参院予算委は民主党の石井一委員長が職権で開会を決め、与党は参院議長不信任案の処理が先だとして欠席した。

That was the reason why Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga defended Abe’s actions, saying that the prime minister had “sound justification” for skipping the deliberations. We believe Suga’s explanation has some validity.
 菅官房長官が、首相が出席しないことに「正当な理由がある」と抗弁したのも一理ある。

On the other hand, it is extremely difficult to understand why the DPJ’s upper house caucus decided to vote for the censure motion.
 理解できないのは、問責決議に賛成した参院民主党である。

On Tuesday, the DPJ assured the ruling parties that it would prioritize the passage of important bills and thus will not agree with the censure motion.
 民主党は25日、重要法案の処理を優先し、問責決議案は採決しない方針を与党と確認していた。

However, the next morning, the DPJ abruptly changed its attitude, having been persuaded by Your Party and other opposition parties. If the DPJ had kept its initial stance, the key bills would have been able to pass the Diet smoothly.
 ところが、26日午前になると、みんなの党など他党に同調し、対応が一変した。民主党が採決反対を貫いていれば何の問題もなく、重要法案は成立しただろう。

We believe the DPJ itself still has a vivid memory of being distressed by censure motions, which lack legally binding power, when the party held the reins of government. DPJ Secretary General Goshi Hosono defended the party’s action by saying, “The LDP has no enthusiasm for completing the bills.” This remark is a transparent attempt to dodge the DPJ’s responsibility and shift blame to the LDP.
 民主党は与党を経験し、法的な効力のない問責決議の理不尽さを十分痛感したはずだ。細野幹事長は「自民党に法案を仕上げる熱意が全くない」と自民党を非難したが、責任転嫁にほかならない。

This Diet session’s top political issue was electoral system reform for the House of Representatives. Regarding that issue, the ruling parties exchanged documents with opposition parties confirming that “once the upper house election finishes, parties will immediately resume negotiations and reach a conclusion” on drastic reform, including a reduction in the number of lower house seats.
 今国会での最大の政治課題だった衆院選挙制度改革に関しては、与野党が、定数削減を含む抜本的な見直しについて「参院選後、速やかに各党間の協議を再開し、結論を得る」と文書で確認した。

However, if the parties continue insisting upon only their own ideas for reducing lower house seats and do not compromise, and if they continue their attitude of putting party interest above national interest, making such agreements will be absolutely meaningless.
 だが、各党が定数削減にこだわり、党利党略の主張を繰り返すだけであれば、こんな約束を何度交わしても意味がない。

Creating a third-party body

To break the impasse on the issue, Abe revealed a proposal at a press conference held after the end of the Diet session. “I would like to suggest establishing a third-party organization [on electoral system reform], which comprises experts from the private sector, within the Diet,” Abe said. We believe this is a sound proposal.
 膠着(こうちゃく)状態を打破するために、首相は国会閉会後の記者会見で、「民間の有識者による第三者機関を国会に設けることを提案する」と言明した。妥当な判断だ。

The organization should have binding power so the parties would comply with the conclusion of experts.
 各党が有識者の出した結論を尊重するよう、拘束力をもつ機関とすべきである。

Meanwhile, during the Diet session, the Commission on the Constitution in both the lower and the upper house has vigorously discussed the issue of amending the Constitution, even debating on the specific contents of each amendment. Constitutional amendments are likely to become a major point of contention in the upper house election. We urge parties to make concrete proposals during the election campaign, so that the voters can make informed decisions on the issue.
 今国会では、衆参の憲法審査会が、具体的な憲法改正内容にも踏み込んで論議を重ねた。参院選では憲法改正が大きな争点となる。有権者が判断しやすいよう、具体的な論戦を望みたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 27, 2013)
(2013年6月27日01時17分  読売新聞)

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教科書検定 近隣諸国条項の見直し慎重に

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 28, 2013
Govt must be careful about reviewing sensitve textbook screening provision
教科書検定 近隣諸国条項の見直し慎重に(6月27日付・読売社説)

A special division of the Liberal Democratic Party’s Headquarters for the Revitalization of Education, which has been studying a review of the government’s textbook screening system, has submitted an interim report of its discussions on the matter to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
 教科書検定の見直しを検討してきた自民党の特別部会が、中間報告を安倍首相に提出した。

It demanded improvements in screening standards, saying it has found descriptions obsessed with a “self-deprecating view” in history textbooks. It also asked the government to have the screening standards specify that textbooks should avoid conclusive descriptions about matters of modern and contemporary history on which a definite academic consensus has not yet been reached.
 歴史教科書で「自虐史観」にとらわれた記述が存在するとして、検定基準の改善を要望した。近現代史で学説が定まっていない事項について確定的な記述をしないよう、検定基準に規定すべきだとも求めている。

It is indeed necessary to provide an education that can make people proud of their own country.
 自分の国に誇りを持てるような教育を行うことは必要だ。

Abe showed zeal to review the textbook screening system in April at the Diet, saying that the spirit of the revised Basic Education Law, which emphasizes patriotism and love for one’s hometown, has not been well reflected in the system since it was revised under his first administration. The LDP panel’s interim report is based on the same awareness of that very problem.
 安倍首相は4月に国会で「愛国心、郷土愛を書いた改正教育基本法の精神が生かされていなかった」と述べ、教科書検定制度の見直しに意欲を示した。中間報告も同じ問題意識に基づいている。

As a result of last fiscal year’s textbook screening, changes were made to a description of the Nanjing Incident that initially read, “Well over 100,000 Chinese people were killed.” The revised text read, “There are various views [on the number of people killed], such as about 200,000 or over 100,000, as well as lower figures.”
 昨年度の教科書検定では、南京事件で「少なくとも10数万人が殺害された」との記述が、「約20万人や10数万人、またそれ以下など諸説がある」と修正された。

We understand the aim of securing objectivity in descriptions in textbooks by more thoroughly carrying out the text screening in this way.
 こうした検定をさらに徹底し、教科書の記述の客観性を担保しようという狙いは理解できる。

Consider other countries

The LDP interim report also listed as one of the topics for future consideration a review of a provision requiring the government to pay consideration to Japan’s past relations with neighboring countries in descriptions of modern and comtemporary history.
 中間報告は、今後の課題の一つとして、近現代史の記述で近隣国への配慮を求めた近隣諸国条項の見直しも挙げた。

Following last year’s House of Representatives election, the LDP included the review of the so-called neighboring countries provision among its campaign pledges for next month’s House of Councillors election. This can be said to symbolize the Abe adminsitration’s education policy theme.
 自民党は昨年の衆院選に続き、来月の参院選の公約にも近隣諸国条項の見直しを掲げている。安倍政権の教育政策の象徴的なテーマと言えよう。

The provision was added to the screening standards after the screening in fiscal 1981. It was created in the wake of false reports that a textbook’s description of an “invasion” of China by the defunct Japanese Imperial Army had been changed to an “advance” into the country. It was a measure to quell fierce reactions from China and South Korea on the issue.
 この条項が設けられたのは、1981年度の教科書検定の後だ。旧日本軍の中国「侵略」が「進出」に書き換えられたとの誤った報道が発端だった。中国と韓国の反発を沈静化させる措置だった。

However, the provision has been directly applied to the screening process in only a limited number of cases, including the fiscal 1991 screening, when the description that Japan had “caused trouble” to other Asian nations during wartime was changed to “caused unbearable suffering.” There has been no application of the provision since fiscal 2000.
 実際、条項が直接適用されたのは、日本が戦争でアジア諸国に「迷惑をかけた」という記述が、「たえがたい苦しみをもたらした」と改められた91年度検定など、わずかなケースに限られる。2000年度以降は1件もない。

Some experts argue that excessive consideration paid to countries such as China and South Korea based on the neighboring countries provision would make it difficult to correct biased textbook descriptions.
 一部の識者は、近隣諸国条項によって中国や韓国に配慮するあまり、偏った教科書の記述が是正されにくいと指摘する。

Review necessary?

However, even the current screening standards rule out the presentation of one-sided views without some explanation.
 だが、現行の検定基準でも、一面的な見解をそのまま取り上げることのないよう求めている。

Considering that no big problems have been caused by existence of the provision, we doubt the necessity of reviewing it. Doing so would risk turning history textbooks into a diplomatic problem anew.
 現在、大きな問題が生じていないことを考えれば、近隣諸国条項の見直しを図る必要があるのだろうか。歴史教科書の扱いは、外交問題に発展しかねない。

The interim report also requests the government to study establishment of a “textbook law” to comprehensively deal with screening and adoption of textboooks, among other related issues.
 中間報告は、教科書の検定、採択などを一括して扱う「教科書法」(仮称)の制定も検討するよう要望している。

In advancing discussions of the textbook screening system review, attention must be paid to the intent of the current system, which respects a diversity in textbooks.
 政府は、多様な教科書を尊重する現在の教科書検定制度の趣旨に留意し、議論を進めるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 27, 2013)
(2013年6月27日01時17分  読売新聞)

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2013年6月27日 (木)

民主参院選公約 この政策では説得力に欠ける

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 27, 2013
DPJ manifesto for upper house election campaign far too vague
民主参院選公約 この政策では説得力に欠ける(6月26日付・読売社説)

The policy goals in the Democratic Party of Japan’s new electoral campaign pledges seem to be too passive. The new manifesto’s policy measures are just too abstract. This is because the opposition party lacks self-confidence in advancing specific policies after learning a bitter lesson from its failure to achieve unrealistic numerical targets in the past.
 非現実的な数値目標の失敗に懲りて、臆病になりすぎたのか、政策が抽象的で、「攻め」の姿勢があまりに乏しい。

On Tuesday, the DPJ unveiled its manifesto for the upcoming House of Councillors election, professing that it would “help people protect their livelihood.” The election pledges cite seven priority areas, including economic well-being and social security. They also emphasize the party’s determination to support women, extend child-rearing assistance and provide better education programs.
 民主党が参院選公約を発表した。「暮らしを守る力になる」をキャッチフレーズに掲げ、くらし(経済)、いのち(社会保障)、みらい(女性・子育て・教育)など、7項目の重点政策を示している。

In presenting the opposition party’s economic policy, the new manifesto took a moderate approach in criticizing the economic management of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration. It only expressed concern about the adverse effects of Abenomics, saying Abe’s policy package will increase prices and cause violent fluctuations in interest rates, for instance. The election pledge contrasts with the party’s draft of a new manifesto, which was strongly critical about the harmful effects of Abe’s economic policy. This indicates the opposition party has become ambiguous about where its economic policy differs from the Abenomics package.
 経済政策について、公約は、安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」に関し、物価上昇、金利乱高下などの副作用に懸念を示すにとどめた。草案段階では、副作用への批判をより強く打ち出していたが、争点があいまいになった。

Meaningful debates unlikely

The lack of specifics in the DPJ manifesto is also evident in the party’s own measures for the most essential part of political management--tax, fiscal and financial policies, and growth strategy. The election pledge incorporates few specific plans that rival those advanced by the Abe government. Therefore, the DPJ cannot be expected to hold meaningful debates with the government over economic, fiscal and other crucial issues.
 最も肝心な税財政・金融政策と成長戦略に関する民主党の対案もほとんど盛り込まれていない。これでは経済論争が深まらない。

With respect to nuclear power generation, the new manifesto remains unchanged from the party’s policy pledge for the 2012 House of Representatives election. It states that measures must be taken to ensure no nuclear power plant is in operation “by the end of the 2030s.” However, the DPJ manifesto does not include a road map to achieve that target or measures to secure alternative energy sources.
 原発について、2012年衆院選の政権公約と同様、「30年代の稼働ゼロ」を明記したが、代替エネルギーの確保策など、目標を実現する道筋は示せていない。

This is also true with regard to the party’s social security policy. The manifesto’s social security plan is much the same as the party’s current programs, which are designed to create a system by which citizens would be paid minimum guaranteed pension benefits, with the cost covered entirely by taxpayers’ money. This would be combined with a plan to integrate all public pension plans.
 社会保障も、全額公費による最低保障年金の創設、年金一元化など従来案の再掲にとどまった。

In its policy pledges for the 2009 lower house election, the DPJ said its minimum guaranteed pension scheme would pay “70,000 yen per person monthly.” However, the party’s 2012 manifesto did not give a figure, after its target was found to be unattainable. The new manifesto does not mention an amount, either.
 09年政権公約は最低保障年金を「月額7万円」としたが、財源不足で実現不可能なことが露呈したため、12年政権公約では金額を削り、今回も踏襲した。

Admittedly, the DPJ has reason to omit impractical numerical goals from its election pledge. Still, the opposition party must realize it will never be able to regain its public trust if it only showcases a set of abstract policy measures.
 不可能な数値目標を除外するのは当然としても、具体性を欠く政策を並べるだけでは、有権者の信頼を取り戻せるはずがない。

The DPJ must give serious thought to why it was unable to deliver on its earlier promises, a task that must be complemented by efforts to change its policy measures into practical ones that the public can relate to. The party must overcome these hurdles before holding policy debates with the ruling parties. If it fails to do so, the DPJ will find it difficult to use the upper house election as an opportunity to improve its situation and squarely confront the ruling camp.
 過去の公約の失敗を反省し、財源面も含め、説得力を持つ政策に練り直すべきだ。そのハードルを克服し、与党に論争を挑まなければ、参院選を反転攻勢の機会にすることは難しいだろう。

The new manifesto is reasonable in regard to foreign and defense issues. It emphasizes the DPJ’s determination to steadfastly defend this nation’s territorial integrity by taking advantage of its alliance with the United States as the basis of its foreign policy. Nevertheless, the DPJ’s election pledge appears to be less specific about what actually must be done. It contains fewer explanations than a similar document prepared by the Liberal Democratic Party on how to deepen the bilateral alliance and protect the country’s territory.
 外交・防衛では、日米同盟を基軸とし、領土・領海を断固守る姿勢を強調している。総論に問題はないが、自民党と比べると、同盟深化や領土防衛の各論の記述が少なく、踏み込み不足が目立つ。

Status quo on Constitution

Another important matter addressed by the manifesto is a proposal to revise Article 96 of the Constitution ahead of an attempt to change other provisions in the supreme law. The article in question requires the approval of two-thirds or more of legislators in both chambers of the Diet for initiating amendments to the Constitution.
However, the DPJ manifesto opposes the proposal, saying the two-thirds majority rule is reasonable. It also insists on “conceiving a future-oriented Constitution” by promoting “dialogue with the public” on the nation’s top law.
 憲法では、改正の発議要件を衆参各院の3分の2以上とする96条は合理性があるとして、96条の先行改正に反対した。国民と「憲法対話」を進め、「未来志向の憲法を構想する」とも主張した。

This shows that the DPJ remains unchanged in trying to deal with a conflict of opinions among party members by producing vaguely worded documents acceptable to rival groups. This is also noticeable in the language used in the new manifesto regarding the Article 96 issue. The election pledge has been phrased in a manner that offends neither pro-amendment party members nor those cautious or negative about such reform.
 党内の改正推進派と慎重・反対派の双方に配慮した結果、玉虫色の表現に落ち着く、という相変わらずのパターンだ。

The DPJ lags other parties in addressing constitutional reform. Other parties have already disclosed their versions of how the Constitution should be amended.
既に具体的な改正内容を示している他党よりも2、3周遅れの状況にある。

Indications are that, after the upper house election, the controversy over constitutional reform will become a major bone of contention in political circles. The DPJ should expedite an internal consensus about constitutional change, with a view to putting together its own draft of a new constitution.
 参院選後には、憲法改正問題が大きな焦点となる。民主党も、独自の改正案をまとめる方向で意見集約を急ぐべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 26, 2013)
(2013年6月26日01時15分  読売新聞)

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いじめ防止法 着実な取り組みで子供を守れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 27, 2013
Relentless efforts must be made to protect children from bullying
いじめ防止法 着実な取り組みで子供を守れ(6月26日付・読売社説)

The enactment of a new law represents one step forward in the fight against bullying. The legislation should help deter malicious bullying that traumatizes children.
 法制化により、いじめ対策が一歩前進したと言えよう。子供たちを苦しめている悪質ないじめの抑止につなげたい。

The Diet recently passed a law to promote measures to prevent bullying. It will come into effect as early as autumn. The ruling and opposition parties integrated bills they separately submitted to the Diet and had the law passed because they both recognized measures to cope with bullying need to be strengthened.
 いじめ防止対策推進法が国会で成立した。今秋にも施行される。与野党がそれぞれ提出していた法案を一本化し、成立させたのは、対策強化が必要だという認識で一致したためだ。

The new law calls on local governments and schools to establish counseling centers or rooms, and regularly conduct surveys on bullying. It urges each school to continually deal with bullying by forming an antibullying team of teachers and counselors.
 新法は、自治体や学校に、いじめに関する相談窓口の設置や定期調査の実施などを求めた。学校ごとに複数の教師やスクールカウンセラーらで構成するいじめ対策組織も常設することで、継続的な取り組みを促した。

Progress at last

Many of these steps have been called for in the past, and it is significant that they are now stipulated in the new law. Society as a whole should take this opportunity to share the recognition that bullying must never be tolerated.
 以前から指摘されてきた内容が多いとはいえ、法律に明記された意味は大きい。「いじめは絶対に許されない」という認識を社会全体で共有する契機とすべきだ。

Needless to say, these measures alone will not be able to solve the problem.
 無論、こうした対策だけで、問題が解決できるわけではない。

The father of a boy who committed suicide in Otsu due to vicious bullying said, “If teachers can’t detect bullying, the law will have no effect.”
 大津市のいじめ自殺事件で息子を失った父親は「教師がいじめを発見できなければ、法律の効果は発揮されない」と訴えている。

It is important that all teachers keep an eye on every child and never overlook any possible sign of bullying.
 すべての教師が、子供一人ひとりに目を配り、いじめの兆候を見逃さないことが大切だ。

The new law defines slandering someone on the Internet as bullying. Harassment by posting messages on an online bulletin board and e-mail spoofing is insidious and causes serious psychological damage to the children they victimize, but it is hard to grasp the actual situation.
 新法は、インターネット上の中傷もいじめと定義づけた。掲示板への書き込みやなりすましメールによる嫌がらせは陰湿で、子供に与える心理的なダメージが大きいのに、実態が見えにくい。

The new law appropriately calls on the central and local governments to develop a system to support private organizations that monitor bullying on the Internet.
 国や自治体に対し、ネット上のいじめを監視する民間団体への支援といった体制整備を求めたのは適切だろう。

Slandering someone by their real name online can be considered an illegal act, such as defamation. This point must be drilled into school students.
 実名を挙げて誹謗(ひぼう)中傷するのは名誉毀損(きそん)などの違法行為にあたる。そのことも日頃から学校でしっかりと教えてもらいたい。

Victim must come first

To deal with bullying problems, it is essential to take the viewpoint that the most important thing is to fully protect victimized children. Active use of a system to suspend students who bully others was one punitive step incorporated in the new law. Schools should take an unbending attitude against students who continue bullying even after being instructed to change their behavior.
 いじめ問題では、被害者である子供を守り抜くという視点が欠かせない。新法には、加害生徒に対する出席停止措置の活用が盛り込まれた。指導しても加害生徒に改善が見られない場合、学校は毅然(きぜん)とした姿勢を示すべきである。

It is also understandable that the law emphasizes that good behavior should be taught at home and obliges parents to make efforts to ensure their children to develop an awareness of proper social norms.
 家庭でのしつけを重視し、子供の規範意識を育むことを親の努力義務としたのも理解できる。

It is noteworthy that the law spells out how education boards and schools should respond to a serious bullying case that endangers a child’s life. The law obliges schools to conduct an investigation to find the cause of the incident and explain to the bullied students' parents about the facts it uncovers.
 子供の生命にかかわる深刻ないじめが起きた時、教育委員会や学校がどう対応すべきかを示した点も注目される。原因究明の調査を行い、判明事実を被害生徒の保護者に伝えることを義務づけた。

The closed nature of schools, which has often been a target of criticism, must be changed. As a supplementary resolution to the new law says, it is important to ensure fairness by having a neutral third party with no ties with the school participate in an investigation into bullying.
 度々、批判されてきた教育現場の閉鎖体質を変えねばならない。付帯決議にあるように、調査の際には学校側と利害関係のない第三者を参加させ、公平性を確保することが肝要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 26, 2013)
(2013年6月26日01時18分  読売新聞)

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「0増5減」成立 参院の存在意義はどこにある

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 26, 2013
Upper house role questioned after inaction on electoral reform
「0増5減」成立 参院の存在意義はどこにある(6月25日付・読売社説)

The House of Councillors appears to have abandoned its responsibility as a legislative organ. The meaning of its existence needs to be strictly scrutinized.
 参院は、立法府としての責任を放棄しているに等しい。存在意義が厳しく問われている。

A law to rezone the House of Representatives’ single-seat constituencies, under which the number of the seats will be cut by five, has been enacted after a lower house plenary session passed it in a second vote by a majority of more than two-thirds, with support mainly coming from the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito.
 衆院小選挙区定数「0増5減」を実現する区割り法が、衆院本会議で自民、公明両党などの3分の2以上の賛成で再可決、成立した。

After the bill first passed the lower house, the upper house failed to vote on it within the prescribed 60 days. As Article 59 of the Constitution stipulates, the bill therefore was considered to have been rejected by the upper house. It is the first time since 2008 that a bill has been passed by a second vote by the lower house after being rejected through the upper house’s failure to act on it.
 法案は衆院通過後、参院で採決されないまま60日経過したため、憲法59条の規定で、否決とみなされた。「みなし否決」による再可決は2008年以来である。

The rezoning law is meant to rectify disparities in the value of a vote in the lower house’s single-seat constituency election, which the Supreme Court has judged as being in a “state of unconstitutionality.”
 区割り法は、最高裁が「違憲状態」と判断した衆院小選挙区の「1票の格差」を是正する。

Measures insufficient

The number of single-seat constituencies will be cut in five prefectures, including Yamanashi, and the zoning of 42 constituencies in 17 prefectures, including the five, will be redrawn. The gap in population among constituencies based on the 2010 national census thus will be reduced to less than 2-to-1.
 山梨など5県の小選挙区数を減らし、17都県42選挙区の区割りを改定することで、10年国勢調査に基づく選挙区間の人口格差は、2倍未満に縮小される。

The rezoning law still keeps the so-called one-seat allotment system, in which one seat is allocated to each prefecture first before seats are distributed on the basis of population, although the Supreme Court said this system should be abolished. Some observers have pointed out the law is not enough to correct the disparity. But as the court issued its “state of unconstitutionality” ruling, there was no choice but to take emergency measures.
 最高裁が廃止すべきだとした「1人別枠方式」は、区割り法に残っている。是正には不十分との指摘もあるが、「違憲状態」とされた以上、緊急的な措置を講じないわけにいかない。

The upper house even failed to enter deliberations of the bill. The opposition parties called the ruling camp “arrogant” for just sitting back and waiting for the bill to pass through a second lower house vote. In this regard, the ruling parties’ handling of the matter could be considered problematic.
 参院では法案の審議入りすらできなかった。野党側は再可決という手段で法案がいずれ成立するという「与党のおごり」が根本にあると批判している。与党の対応にも問題はあるだろう。

But passage by a second vote is a democratic move, as it is stipulated under the Constitution. The ruling parties should not hesitate to resort to it.
 だが、再可決は、憲法の定める民主的なルールであり、与党がためらう必要はない。

What makes no sense is the Democratic Party of Japan’s handling of the issue.
 筋が通らないのは、野党第1党の民主党の対応である。

In November, the DPJ agreed to implement a reduction of five seats first and support a law to reform the lower house election system. But after a shift in power, the party opposed the rezoning bill, which was to implement the electoral system reform law.
 民主党は昨年11月、0増5減の先行実施に同意し、衆院選挙制度改革法に賛成した。ところが、政権交代後、その法律を実施するための区割り法には反対した。

The DPJ caucus in the upper house even refused to vote on the bill. The DPJ apparently believed that if the bill was sent back to the lower house for a second vote, the party could criticize the ruling parties’ handling of Diet affairs for forcing the issue.
 参院民主党は、法案の採決も拒んだ。衆院での再可決に持ち込めば、参院選を前に、「与党の強引な国会運営」をアピールできるといった思惑も働いたとされる。

DPJ approach opportunistic

The public will never accept such an opportunistic approach. The humiliating defeat in the recent Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election may not be unconnected with the DPJ’s self-serving stance in the handling of Diet affairs.
 こんな“ご都合主義”に国民から共感を得られるはずがない。東京都議選の惨敗も、独りよがりな国会対応と無縁ではあるまい。

It is regrettable that the ruling and opposition camps failed to reach an agreement over more drastic reform of the lower house election system following the move to reduce the number of seats by five.
 「0増5減」の先にある衆院選挙制度の抜本改革で、与野党が合意できなかったことは残念だ。

Political parties have yet to come up with a written agreement to resume talks on the issue after the upper house election. This is because the DPJ remains unyielding, demanding that the timeline for measures to reduce the total number of lower house seats be disclosed.
 参院選後に協議を再開するための各党間の文書ですら、まとまっていない。民主党が「定数削減の期限の明示」を要求し、妥協しようとしないからである。

To reach an accord on electoral system reform, reducing the number of seats, over which the ruling and opposition parties differ significantly, should be separated from other issues. Any idea of attracting public support by reducing the number of Diet members should be discarded, so discussions on electoral reform can be set on the right path.
 選挙制度改革で合意形成を図るには、与野党の見解の隔たりが大きい定数削減問題を切り離すべきだ。国会議員を減らせば国民に歓迎されるといった大衆迎合的な発想は捨て去り、制度改革の議論をリセットしなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 25, 2013)
(2013年6月25日01時27分  読売新聞)

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離島防衛訓練 自衛隊に海兵隊機能が必要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 26, 2013
SDF must be equipped with functions like those of U.S. marines
離島防衛訓練 自衛隊に海兵隊機能が必要だ(6月25日付・読売社説)

To bolster the defense of Senkakus and other remote islands, the Self-Defense Forces urgently require upgraded capabilities similar to those of the U.S. Marine Corps, such as the ability to carry out amphibious landings and rapid deployment.
 尖閣諸島を含めた離島防衛を強化するには、海からの着上陸や緊急展開の能力などの「海兵隊的機能」を自衛隊に持たせることが急務だ。

The SDF and the U.S. military have been conducting joint exercises in California for the defense of remote islands. This is the first time the Ground, Maritime and Air Self-Defense Forces have all conducted overseas exercises with the U.S. military.
 自衛隊と米軍が10~26日に米カリフォルニア州で、離島防衛の共同訓練を実施している。陸海空3自衛隊と米軍による海外での統合訓練は初めてである。

During the training, the U.S. military’s new MV-22 Osprey transport aircraft landed on the deck of an MSDF destroyer. The GSDF’s Western Army Infantry Regiment, which is primarily responsible for the defense of remote islands, was engaged in joint training with U.S. marines to regain remote islands captured by an enemy.
 訓練では、米軍の新型輸送機MV22オスプレイが海上自衛隊の護衛艦に着艦した。離島防衛を主任務とする陸上自衛隊の西方普通科連隊は、海兵隊とともに、敵に占領された離島の奪還も行った。

These are practical exercises to meet the needs of the times, as the defense of remote islands is of increased importance.
 離島防衛の重要性が増す中、時宜にかなう実戦的な訓練だ。

Chinese expansionism

Training has been conducted with the Chinese military as the supposed enemy. China called for the training to be canceled as its timing overlapped with a U.S.-China summit meeting. It is natural that Tokyo and Washington refused the Chinese request.
 訓練は中国軍を対象に想定している。米中首脳会談の時期と重なったため、中国は中止を求めた。日米が拒否したのは当然だ。

Under the banner of making China a maritime power, that country’s navy, air force and State Oceanic Administration have been bolstering their equipment, openly aiming to expand their territorial and national interests in the East and South China seas.
 中国は「海洋強国化」の名の下、海空軍や国家海洋局の装備を増強し、公然と東・南シナ海での領土・権益拡大を目指している。

Intrusions by China’s maritime surveillance ships into Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands can be dealt with by the Japan Coast Guard. But to deter Chinese special forces from occupying the islands, it will be indispensable to improve the quick reaction capabilities that can be acquired through the joint exercises of the SDF and U.S. military.
 海洋監視船による尖閣諸島周辺の領海侵入には海上保安庁が対応するにせよ、中国の特殊部隊による島の占拠などを抑止するには、共同訓練を通じた自衛隊と米軍の即応力の向上が欠かせない。

Military threats to Japan have changed dramatically since the end of the Cold War. Invasions of remote islands can be considered “new threats” along with missile strikes, terrorist attacks and cyber-attacks. SDF personnel allocations, equipment and training must be reexamined in accordance with the changed threats.
 冷戦終結後、日本の軍事的脅威は大きく変化した。離島侵攻は、ミサイル、テロ、サイバー攻撃とともに、「新たな脅威」と位置づけられる。脅威の変化に応じて、自衛隊の部隊編成や装備、訓練を見直さなければならない。

Defense of remote islands will be a core of the new National Defense Program Guidelines to be compiled by late December.
 今年末に策定する新防衛大綱では離島防衛が一つの柱となる。

It will be essential to augment the GSDF’s Western Army Infantry Regiment, which plays a central role in defense of the Nansei Islands stretching from Kagoshima Prefecture through Okinawa Prefecture, as well as to obtain equipment such as amphibious landing vehicles. To secure naval and air supremacy, it will be necessary to increase the number of MSDF destroyers and ASDF fighter jets and early warning aircraft so as to strengthen warning and surveillance activities.
 南西諸島防衛の中核を担う陸自西方普通科連隊を拡充し、水陸両用車など装備を増強すべきだ。制海・制空権の確保へ、海自の護衛艦や航空自衛隊の戦闘機、早期警戒管制機なども増やし、警戒監視活動を強化する必要がある。

New hardware needed

Procurement of the Global Hawk, an unmanned surveillance aircraft, must be accelerated while introduction of Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft must be studied earnestly.
 無人偵察機グローバルホークの取得を急ぐとともに、オスプレイの導入も真剣に検討したい。

Amphibious vehicles and Osprey aircraft will be useful for rescue operations and relief activities in damaged areas in times of major disasters such as earthquakes.
 水陸両用車やオスプレイは、地震など大規模災害時の人命救助や被災地支援にも効果があろう。

The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has boosted the defense budget for the current fiscal year, the first increase in 11 years, reversing the trend of year-on-year erosion in defense spending. Given the worsening of the security environment around Japan, defense spending must be increased next fiscal year and onward. But a huge hike cannot be expected in light of stringent fiscal conditions.
 安倍政権は今年度、削減が続いていた防衛予算を11年ぶりに増加させた。日本の安全保障環境が悪化する中、来年度以降も増加すべきだが、厳しい財政事情を踏まえれば、大幅な伸びは望めない。

It is essential to allocate defense budgets on a priority basis, such as by expanding allocations for bolstering “dynamic defense capabilities” that emphasize troop mobility, particularly for defense of remote islands, while curtailing spending through cuts in the number of GSDF personnel, consolidation and abolition of bases and efficient procurement of equipment.
 離島防衛を含む、部隊の機動力を重視する「動的防衛力」の強化など重点分野は大胆に増やす。一方で、陸自の定員削減や基地の統廃合、装備調達の効率化などで一部の歳出は減らす。防衛予算にメリハリをつけることが大切だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 25, 2013)
(2013年6月25日01時27分  読売新聞)

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2013年6月25日 (火)

首相沖縄訪問 政府一丸で基地負担を減らせ

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 25, 2013
Govt needs to make unified efforts to reduce burden on Okinawa
首相沖縄訪問 政府一丸で基地負担を減らせ(6月24日付・読売社説)

To reduce the excessive burden on Okinawa Prefecture of hosting U.S. military bases, the government must make unified efforts.
 沖縄の過重な米軍基地負担を軽減するため、政府は一丸となって努力する必要がある。

On Sunday, the 68th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Okinawa during World War II, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the prefecture and attended a memorial ceremony held to console the souls of those who died in the battle.
 太平洋戦争の沖縄戦で組織的戦闘が終結したとされる「慰霊の日」の23日、安倍首相が沖縄県を訪問し、沖縄全戦没者追悼式に出席した。

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera and Ichita Yamamoto, state minister for Okinawa affairs, also attended the ceremony. It marked the first participation by foreign and defense ministers since such ceremonies were first held in 1962.
 式典には、岸田外相、小野寺防衛相、山本沖縄相も同席した。外相、防衛相の出席は初めてだ。

To tackle the Okinawa issues, it is essential that the ministries concerned closely cooperate with each other and coordinate views with local governments in a multitiered manner.
沖縄問題に取り組むには、関係府省の緊密な連携と、地元との重層的な調整が欠かせない。

‘Visible’ reduction

Following the ceremony, Abe said his government would implement measures to reduce the burden of Okinawa “visibly.” With regard to the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station, Abe said the Futenma base should not be permanently used. “We’d like to make efforts to realize the relocation of the base as soon as possible,” he said.
 首相は式典後、基地負担軽減について「目に見える形で実施したい」と語った。米軍普天間飛行場に関しては、「固定化はあってはならない。一日も早い移設に努力を重ねたい」と強調した。

The governments of Japan and the United States announced in early April that the tracts of land, more than 1,000 hectares when combined, that are now used for the six U.S. military facilities in the southern part of the prefecture will be returned to Japan over the next 10 to 16 years.
 日米両政府は4月上旬、県南部の米軍6施設について10~16年間程度で計1000ヘクタール以上の広大な土地を返還する計画を発表した。

The quickest way to reduce Okinawa’s burden of hosting the U.S. bases is to steadily implement this plan. It is particularly important to realize the relocation of Futenma Air Station in Ginowan to the Henoko area of Nago.
この計画の着実な実行こそが沖縄の負担を減らす最大の近道だ。
 特に普天間飛行場の辺野古移設を実現することが重要である。

Both governments agreed on June 13 that the return of the residential area of western Futenma used by Camp Zukeran in Ginowan, originally scheduled for next fiscal year, would be carried out within this year.
 日米両政府は今月13日、来年度に予定していたキャンプ瑞慶覧の西普天間住宅地区の返還を年内にも前倒しすることで合意した。

This can be highly evaluated as part of the government’s efforts to improve the environment for Okinawa Gov. Yoshikazu Nakaima to approve the reclamation of land from public waters, planned in line with the relocation of the air station to the Henoko coastal area.
 普天間飛行場の辺野古移設に伴う公有水面埋め立てを、仲井真弘多知事が承認しやすくするための環境整備の一環と評価できる。

It is important for the central and local governments to hold talks over those areas that are to be vacated with the return of the U.S. military facilities and discuss ways to use them more efficiently. Such efforts should be made in tandem with the implementation of various measures designed to promote the local economies of Okinawa. They would certainly enhance the significance of the return of the U.S. bases to Japan.
 大切なのは、基地返還後の跡地について、政府と地元自治体などが協議し、より効率的な利用策を検討することだ。様々な沖縄振興策とも連動させたい。それが基地返還の価値を高めよう。

Promotion of economy

After the ceremony, Abe and Nakaima exchanged views over how to promote the Okinawa economy. While fostering their relationship of trust, Abe should win a broader understanding of Nakaima over the Futenma relocation to the Henoko district.
 首相は式典後、沖縄振興策について知事と意見交換した。信頼関係を醸成しつつ、辺野古移設への知事の理解を広げるべきだ。

On the other hand, the reduction of Okinawa’s burden of hosting U.S. bases should be made, in principle, while maintaining the deterrence of the U.S. forces stationed in Okinawa Prefecture.
 一方で、基地負担の軽減はあくまで、在沖縄米軍の抑止力の維持と両立させなければならない。

This is essential because the ability to respond rapidly and maintain mobility of the Self-Defense Forces and the U.S. forces stationed in Japan has become more important in the light of the nuclear and missile development by North Korea and the rapid military buildup and aggressive actions of China.
 北朝鮮の核・ミサイル開発や、中国の急速な軍備増強と示威活動の拡大を踏まえれば、自衛隊と米軍の即応・機動力の重要性が今、一段と増しているからだ。

The town assembly of Yonaguni, Okinawa Prefecture, approved on Thursday the lease of land to the central government needed for the deployment of a Ground Self-Defense Force unit on the Yonaguni Island to monitor coastal areas.
 沖縄県与那国町議会は20日、与那国島への陸上自衛隊沿岸監視部隊の配備に伴う町有地の国への賃貸を承認した。

The Defense Ministry and the town were once at odds over the payment of cooperation expenses to the town concerning the deployment of the GSDF unit. But they are expected to conclude the lease contract later this week.
防衛省と町は一時、陸自配備に関する町への協力費支払いをめぐって対立したが、週内にも賃貸契約を結ぶ運びだ。

For both the SDF and the U.S. forces in Japan to operate effectively, it is essential for both to build stable and amicable relations with local officials concerned. The Defense Ministry needs to continuously deepen its ties with Okinawa by making use of various opportunities in the days ahead.
 自衛隊や米軍が効果的な活動を行うには、地元関係者と安定的で良好な関係を築くことが前提となる。防衛省は引き続き、様々な機会をとらえ、沖縄との関係を深めることが求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 24, 2013)
(2013年6月24日01時40分  読売新聞)

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都議選自公完勝 アベノミクスへの期待票だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 25, 2013
Abenomics helped LDP, Komeito score huge victory in Tokyo poll
都議選自公完勝 アベノミクスへの期待票だ(6月24日付・読売社説)

The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been given a significant boost. It remains to be seen whether the voters’ verdict this time will affect the outcome of next month’s House of Councillors election.
 安倍政権にとっては大きな追い風だ。
 有権者の政権に対する支持が本物かどうかは、来月の参院選で試されることになろう。

In the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election on Sunday, all of the Liberal Democratic Party’s candidates were elected, and the LDP regained its status as the largest party in the assembly. The LDP’s coalition partner, New Komeito, also succeeded in having all of its candidates elected, and it took over as the second-largest force.
 東京都議選で自民党は候補者全員が当選し、都議会第1党を奪還した。公明党も手堅く全勝し、第2党の座を占めた。

The LDP and Komeito, which form the ruling coalition, threw their support behind Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose and together far exceeded a majority of seats in the 127-seat assembly. The metropolitan government will certainly gain stability.
猪瀬直樹知事の与党である自公両党の議席が過半数を大幅に超え、都政が安定するのは間違いない。

DPJ trounced

As there were few contentious issues on how to steer the administration of the metropolitan government, the assembly election, the first major electoral contest since the second Abe Cabinet was launched in December, focused mainly on the public’s evaluation of Abenomics, the Abe administration’s handling of economic policies.
 第2次安倍内閣の発足後、初の大型選挙となった都議選では、都政に関する大きな争点が不在だったこともあって、もっぱら安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」に対する評価が焦点となった。

Given the landslide victory of both the LDP and Komeito, it can safely be said the Abe administration’s key policies and its government management received a favorable rating from Tokyo voters.
 自公両党の完勝によって、安倍政権の政策と政権運営は、前向きの評価を得たと言える。

However, there have been a number of recent cases in which candidates backed by the LDP have lost to incumbents in local contests, including the June 16 gubernatorial election in Shizuoka Prefecture.
 ただ、静岡県知事選など最近の地方選では、自民党系の候補が現職に敗れるケースが目立つ。

Commenting on the results of the Tokyo assembly election, Abe told reporters, “What we need now is to brace ourselves by deepening our sense of humility.”
安倍首相は選挙後、「今求められているのは、一層謙虚に身を引き締めていくことだ」と語った。

The DPJ, which became the largest party after the previous Tokyo assembly election in 2009, suffered a shattering defeat, plunging to fourth position in the assembly. This appears to reflect the deep-rooted distrust of voters after the party committed a number of serious blunders over the handling of national politics. It is evident that the party has failed to stop its decline in strength.
 前回都議選で第1党に進出した民主党は、地滑り的な大敗を喫し、第4党に転落した。国政で失政を重ねたことに対する有権者の不信感が、いまだに根強いことの証左である。退潮傾向に歯止めはかからなかったと言えよう。

In its latest electoral campaign, the DPJ stressed the negative aspects of Abenomics by taking note of the current erratic fluctuations of stock prices and exchange rates. The party’s unyielding reproach against the government without offering counterproposals apparently failed to satisfy the electorate.
 民主党は、株価や為替相場が乱高下していることなどから、アベノミクスのマイナス面を訴えた。だが、批判一辺倒で説得力に欠けたのではないか。

In the upcoming upper house race, the DPJ should have in-depth policy discussions with the LDP by presenting specific policy measures that offer an alternative to government policies.
 参院選では、具体的な対案を示し、自民党との政策論争を深めてもらいたい。

Despite fielding a large number of candidates in the Tokyo assembly race, Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) fared extremely poorly. This was probably due to remarks by the party’s coleader Toru Hashimoto regarding the issue of so-called comfort women.
 日本維新の会は大量の候補を擁立したにもかかわらず、全く振るわなかった。橋下共同代表のいわゆる従軍慰安婦問題をめぐる発言が響いたのだろう。

During the campaign, former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, the other party coleader, complained about Hashimoto. In response, Hashimoto hinted he might step down from the party’s top post depending on the outcome of the Tokyo contest.
 石原共同代表が選挙期間中に橋下氏に苦言を呈し、橋下氏も都議選の結果次第では辞任もあり得ると発言する事態にまで至った。

It should be noted that Tokyo is Ishihara’s hometown. The disastrous defeat of Ishin no Kai should be attributed partly to the dwindling influence of Ishihara over Tokyo voters.
 ただ、東京は石原氏の地元だ。今回の惨敗は石原氏の影響力低下に負う面も小さくない。

Link with upper house race

Your Party, which withdrew from an electoral cooperation accord with Ishin no Kai because of the Hashimoto remarks on the comfort women issue, did remarkably well considering it fought the election single-handedly. The party seems to have obtained some degree of support from floating voters who are averse to the LDP and the DPJ.
 みんなの党は、橋下発言を機に維新との選挙協力を解消して選挙に臨んだが、躍進した。自民、民主両党に批判的な無党派層の一定の受け皿になったと見られる。

The Japanese Communist Party doubled its seats in the Tokyo assembly to become the third-largest party in the assembly. This may be due to the low turnout compared with the previous Tokyo assembly election as well as its solid support base on the strength of its organizational skills.
 共産党も議席を倍増し、民主党を抜いて第3党に進出した。投票率が前回を大きく下回ったことなどが、組織力のある政党を押し上げたと言えよう。

Attention is now focused on how the respective parties’ vote-garnering capabilities that have been demonstrated in the Tokyo race may affect the electoral landscape for the July upper house election.
 今回の都議選で表れた各党の得票動向が、参院選にどう連動するか注目される。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 24, 2013)
(2013年6月24日01時40分  読売新聞)

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2013年6月24日 (月)

税制改正前倒し 企業減税で経済の再生を図れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 24, 2013
Implement corporate tax cuts to increase capital investment
税制改正前倒し 企業減税で経済の再生を図れ(6月23日付・読売社説)

An increase of capital investment by companies is essential to ensure full-fledged growth of the Japanese economy. The government must accelerate deliberations on tax reduction measures and implement them promptly to encourage more investment.
 日本経済の本格的な成長には、企業の設備投資拡大が欠かせない。
 政府は投資を促す減税策の検討を急ぎ、早期実現を目指すべきだろう。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe instructed the government and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party to hold discussions on tax reform, which normally are held in December, earlier than scheduled. Abe wants to make tax reform a major pillar of his second growth strategy to be announced in autumn.
 安倍首相は、政府・自民党に対し、例年は年末に行っている税制改正論議の前倒しを指示した。今秋に打ち出す成長戦略第2弾の柱にしたい考えだ。

Japan’s real growth rate was as high as 4.1 percent in the January-March quarter, a promising sign for economic recovery. However, a self-sustained recovery driven by the private sector has yet to materialize.
 1~3月期の実質成長率は4・1%と高く、景気に明るさが見え始めたが、民間主導の自律的な回復はまだ実現していない。

Growth strategy criticized

The first growth strategy the government announced in mid-June has been criticized as being insufficient. The strategy incorporates a target under which the government encourages the private sector to make capital investments totaling 70 trillion yen in three years, but it is said to lack concrete measures.
 政府が6月半ばに決めた成長戦略第1弾については、「踏み込み不足」との批判がくすぶる。「3年で年間設備投資70兆円」などの目標が盛り込まれたが、具体策に乏しいためだ。

The prime minister apparently considers it essential to increase willingness of companies to invest and have them lead the economy. Now under consideration is wider application of a measure to write off all costs for capital investment as deductible expenses in their first fiscal year.
 首相は企業の投資意欲を高め、景気を牽引(けんいん)させることが急務と判断したのだろう。

This would lead to a tax reduction in the first year of capital investment, and with the extra funds at hand encourage companies to adopt a new strategy to make additional investments.
 浮上しているのが、設備投資にかかった費用を初年度に全額まとめて損金として計上する「即時償却」の拡充策である。

This measure is currently allowed when companies purchase environment-related equipment, such as solar and wind power generators. We believe it is necessary to expand items for investment subject to this immediate depreciation. This will encourage companies to renew decrepit facilities more actively and decide on new investment. Such companies would eventually be able to improve their productivity and become more competitive.
 初年度に支払う税金が減るため手元の余裕資金が増え、新たな投資に踏み切る戦略を打ち出しやすくなる効果が期待できる。
 現在は、太陽光発電や風力発電など環境関連設備を購入する場合に認めている。
 即時償却できる対象の拡大が必要だ。企業が積極的に老朽設備を更新したり、新規投資を決断したりする呼び水になる。そうした企業の生産性が向上し、競争力強化にもつながろう。

The government also should consider tax reduction measures to encourage investment on research and development, and on development of human resources.
 研究開発や人材育成などの投資を促す減税策も課題だ。

Review tax breaks

Meanwhile, many twists and turns are expected in discussions on a reduction of corporate tax rates that the business sector strongly demands. The LDP pledged to cut corporate taxes during its election campaign for last year’s House of Representatives election. However, the LDP-led government did not refer to corporate tax rates in its growth strategy. The party has again stipulated a drastic reduction of corporate tax in its platform for the upcoming House of Councillors election, but opinions of the government and the LDP on the issue are not necessarily the same.
 経済界の要望が強い法人税率の引き下げを巡る論議は、紆余(うよ)曲折が予想される。
 自民党は昨年の衆院選で法人税減税を公約したのに、政府の成長戦略は「法人税率」に言及しなかった。自民党は参院選公約に再び「法人税の大胆な引き下げ」を明記したが、政府・自民党の姿勢は一枚岩ではない。

Japan’s effective corporate tax rate is about 38 percent, higher than in many countries in Europe and Asia, where the rates are at the 20 percent level. The high rate is said to be a major factor in lowering Japan’s international competitiveness and the hollowing out of this country’s industries.
 法人税の実効税率は約38%で、20%台が多い欧州やアジアに比べて高い。日本の国際競争力を低下させ、空洞化の一因とされる。

We call on the government and the LDP to hold substantial discussions on corporate tax reduction to attract more investment from other countries.
 外国からの投資を呼び込むためにも、政府・自民党は、具体的な検討を進めてもらいたい。

The question is how funds necessary to carry out this can be secured with fiscal conditions in such a dire state. The government needs to examine existing preferential tax treatment for companies and determine whether these breaks have already finished their roles and should be lifted.
 問題は、厳しい財政事情の中で財源をどう確保するかだ。企業向けの税制優遇措置で役割を終えたものを精査する必要がある。

More than 70 percent of companies in Japan do not pay corporate taxes. It is important for the government to review the tax loss carryforward system that allows a company to carry deficits forward and to use them to offset profits in following fiscal years.
 国内企業の7割超が法人税を払っていない。赤字を翌年以降の黒字と相殺できる繰越欠損金制度の見直しも重要なテーマだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 23, 2013)
(2013年6月23日01時32分  読売新聞)

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中国海洋強国化 地域の緊張どこまで高めるか

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 24, 2013
How far is China going to heighten tensions in the region?
中国海洋強国化 地域の緊張どこまで高めるか(6月23日付・読売社説)

As long as China has committed itself to taking a path of “peaceful development,” it must take the initiative and relax tensions in its international relations.
 「平和発展」を標榜(ひょうぼう)するなら、中国は率先して緊張緩和をすべきだ。

The administration of President Xi Jinping, which has declared this year the “first year for making China a maritime power,” has been accelerating moves aimed at forcibly enclosing the East China Sea and South China Sea.
 今年を「海洋強国化」の元年と位置づけた習近平政権が、東シナ海と南シナ海を力で囲い込む動きを着実に加速させている。

In late April, Beijing started cruise tours to the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, triggering a fierce reaction from Vietnam, which has been locked in a territorial dispute with China over the islets.
 ベトナムと領有権を争う南シナ海の西沙諸島では、4月末にクルーズ船ツアーを開始し、ベトナムの強い反発を招いた。

Each cruise tour comprises about 200 passengers who can swim and go sightseeing on the islets, in what appears to be an attempt to make the visitors tangibly feel that China wields effective control over the chain. The scale of the tours is likely to be expanded.
 ツアーは200人規模で、観光や海水浴を通じて乗客に実効支配を体感させる内容だ。今後、規模を拡大するとみられる。

‘Patriotic education’

Beijing launched the cruise tour program after the city of Sansha was placed in charge of administering three island groups--the Paracel Islands, the Spratly Islands and the Macclesfield Bank--in June last year.
 昨年6月に、西沙、南沙、中沙の3諸島を管轄する「三沙市」を設置したのに続く措置だ。

The cruise tours of the Paracels are considered part of China’s “maritime version of the patriotic education program,” along with the planned construction of a national maritime museum in the suburbs of Tianjin, northern China, with a view to broadening public support for Beijing’s bid to secure its maritime interests.
 海洋博物館建設と並ぶ、海洋権益確保への支持を広げる「海洋版・愛国教育」の一環である。

On Wednesday, Xi met with his Vietnamese counterpart on his trip to China. A joint statement released after their talks stated the two countries will “remain calm and avoid action that could complicate or escalate a dispute.”
 習国家主席は19日、訪中したベトナム国家主席と会談した。その後の共同声明では、「争いを複雑化、拡大させる行動はとらない」としている。

That these two countries at loggerheads have agreed to prevent any further deterioration of ties over the dispute should be welcomed. It is crucial, however, that China and Vietnam abide by the accord, rather than just letting it end up as words on paper.
 対立する両国が紛争悪化に歯止めをかける点で一致したことは歓迎できる。言葉だけに終わらせず、順守することが肝要だ。

In May, Chinese surveillance ships started patrols in waters surrounding the Spratly Islands that have been under the effective control of the Philippines. This is similar to China’s regular patrols by surveillance vessels since last year in waters around the Scarborough Shoal near the Macclesfield Bank.
 中国はフィリピンが実効支配している南沙の一部海域で、5月に監視船の巡回を実施した。昨年来、中沙のスカボロー礁で監視船の巡回を常態化させている措置を想起させる動きである。

In February, Beijing’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, docked for the first time at its homeport in Qingdao, Shangdong Provice. China is believed poised to have the Liaoning set out for a long-distance voyage before the end of the year. Flaunting its bolstered naval capabilities may be designed to put pressure on Japan, the United States and other countries.
 2月には、山東省青島を中国初の空母「遼寧」の母港とした。年内にも遠洋航海させる構えだ。海軍力増強の誇示は、日本や米国に圧力をかける狙いがあろう。

Chinese surveillance ships have continued to make regular intrusions in waters near the Senkaku Islands, Okinawa Prefecture.
 沖縄県・尖閣諸島周辺では、監視船の領海侵入が続いている。

In the latest U.S.-China summit meeting, President Barack Obama was quoted as telling Xi that the U.S. government would not accept China intimidating Japan, a U.S. ally. This remark can be interpreted as a warning to China over repeated provocations by its ships in the waters. Obama’s remark is important in that it will solidify the Japan-U.S. alliance.
 オバマ米大統領は先の米中首脳会談で、「同盟国である日本が中国に脅迫されるのを見過ごすことはできない」と述べたという。監視船による挑発を念頭に中国を牽制(けんせい)したものだろう。日米同盟強化につながる重要な発言である。

‘Shelving’ logic irrational

We cannot overlook the fact that high-ranking officials of the Xi administration are trying to change the status quo over the Senkakus by reiterating that the issue “must be shelved.”
 看過できないのは、尖閣について、習政権の要人が度々「棚上げ」論を持ち出し、現状変更を図ろうとしていることだ。

Fundamentally, no territorial problem between Japan and China exists, so there is nothing to be shelved.
 そもそも「棚上げ」すべき領土問題は存在しない。

Back in 1992, China itself did away with the logic of “shelving” the dispute by stipulating explicitly for the first time what it claims to be China’s “sovereignty” over the Senkaku Islands in its Territorial Waters Law.
1992年に初めて領海法で尖閣の「領有」を明記し、「棚上げ」を破棄したのは他ならぬ中国ではないか。

In a series of meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to be held from late this month to early July, discussions will be made on various issues, including the principle of the “rule of law” in the South China Sea.
 今月末から来月初めにかけて開かれる東南アジア諸国連合(ASEAN)の一連の会議では、南シナ海での「法の支配」などを巡る議論が行われる。

At these meetings, the Japanese government must actively explain the historial facts involving the Senkakus and the urgent need to strictly abide by internationally acceptable rules so as to persuasively convey Japan’s position.
 政府は歴史的経緯とルール厳守の緊要性を積極発信し、日本の立場を訴えていかねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 23, 2013)
(2013年6月23日01時32分  読売新聞)

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2013年6月23日 (日)

子宮頸がん ワクチンの情報提供を丁寧に

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 23, 2013
Info on vaccination against cervical cancer must be given thoroughly
子宮頸がん ワクチンの情報提供を丁寧に(6月22日付・読売社説)

Confusion is spreading among women and girls who plan to receive vaccinations for cervical cancer.
 子宮頸(けい)がんワクチンの接種対象者に混乱が広がっている。

This is because the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, which had pushed the vaccination, has now opted to withdraw its recommendation, citing side-effect risks. The ministry needs to provide information on the vaccine’s effectiveness and side effects in a comprehensible manner.
 接種を推進してきた厚生労働省が、副作用を理由に、積極的に勧めるのを見合わせたためだ。厚労省はワクチンの効果と副作用の情報を分かりやすく伝える必要がある。

Cervical cancer, which develops at the entrance to the womb, has been increasing among young women. About 9,000 women a year develop the cancer, with 2,700 dying as a result. The cancer is caused by a virus transmitted through sexual intercourse.
 子宮頸がんは、子宮の入り口にできるがんで、若い女性に増えている。年に約9000人が発症し、2700人が死亡する。性交渉に伴うウイルス感染が原因だ。

The vaccine is effective against the virus, which causes 50 percent to 70 percent of cervical cancer incidences. It has not been verified whether the vaccine is effective in preventing the cancer from progressing over a period of several years to decades. However, it has been confirmed that the vaccine is effective in preventing precancerous mutations in cervical cells and tissue.
 ワクチンは、子宮頸がん全体の50~70%の原因となっているウイルスに効果がある。数年から数十年かかって進行するがんを防ぐ効果は、現時点では証明されていないが、発がん前の組織の変異を予防することは確認されている。

Benefits outweigh risks

The number of cervical cancer cases are expected to be reduced significantly with the vaccination.
 ワクチン接種により、子宮頸がんは大幅に減ると期待される。

The vaccination is given in more than 100 countries in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organization.
 世界保健機関(WHO)が接種を推奨し、100か国以上で接種が行われている。

Japan adopted a system in April under which girls from the sixth grade of primary school to the first year of high school can receive the vaccination at public expense in principle. The vaccination is given for free at medical institutions.
 日本でも今年4月、小学6年から高校1年までの女子を対象に、原則公費で行う定期接種となった。希望者は、医療機関に出向けば無料で接種を受けられる。

The vaccine’s side effects are not especially greater than those caused by other vaccines. Of an estimated 3.28 million females who were vaccinated, 357 developed serious side effects. This suggests that the benefits of the vaccine are greater than the risk of side effects.
 副作用も、他のワクチンに比べて特に多いわけではない。接種を受けた推計328万人のうち、重い副作用の症状が出たのは357人だ。副作用の危険性に比べ、社会全体ではメリットの方が大きいと言えるのではないか。

Of concern is that 43 people complained about chronic pain in various parts of their body after being vaccinated. No cause has been determined yet. The family of a female student who developed side effects, as well as other victims, called for a prompt halt to the vaccination. Their action is understandable.
 問題なのは、43人が接種後、体の広い範囲で慢性的な痛みを訴えていることだ。原因は分かっていない。症状が表れた女子生徒の家族らが、速やかな接種中止を求めたのは理解できる。

As long as many people are voicing concern about side effects, it is inevitable that the ministry would decide to call off recommending the vaccination while continuing to routinely offer it.
 副作用を不安視する声が少なくない以上、定期接種は継続しつつ、勧奨は中止するという今回の措置はやむを得ないと言えよう。

Thorough analysis needed

The ministry must conduct a detailed analysis of the type of women likely to suffer side effects, in addition to determining the cause.
 厚労省に求められるのは、副作用の原因解明はもとより、副作用がどのような人に起きやすいかという詳しい分析である。

Vaccination against influenza, which can spread explosively, is meant to be a “social defense.” In contrast, vaccination against cervical cancer has a stronger aspect of protecting individuals who receive it.
 爆発的に感染が拡大する恐れがあるインフルエンザなどの予防接種は、「社会防衛」の意味合いを持つ。これに対し、子宮頸がんワクチンは接種を受ける人の「個人防衛」の側面が強い。

Since it is up to individuals to decide whether to get vaccinated, it is important that they receive it only after fully grasping its effect and possible side effects.
 接種を受けるかどうかは個人の判断に委ねられているだけに、効果と副作用を理解し、納得して接種を受けることが大切だ。

With the introduction of the routine inoculation system, the number of applicants is expected to increase.
 定期接種の導入で今後、希望者が増えるだろう。

Medical institutions will be asked to give detailed and thorough explanations to applicants with no specialized knowledge.
専門知識を持たない希望者に、医療機関は丁寧な説明を徹底してもらいたい。

This also should apply to vaccinations against other infectious diseases.
 それは、他の疾病のワクチン接種にも共通したことだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 22, 2013)
(2013年6月22日01時33分  読売新聞)

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米核軍縮提案 中国の核増強にも目を向けよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 23, 2013
Obama's call for U.S., Russian N-cuts should help boost stability in Asia
米核軍縮提案 中国の核増強にも目を向けよ(6月22日付・読売社説)

U.S. President Barack Obama’s proposal for Russia to start new negotiations to reduce both sides’ nuclear weapons should lead to enhancement of security in Asia amid a growing mood for nuclear disarmament.
 核軍縮の機運の高まりを生かし、アジアの安全保障環境の改善へつなげることが重要である。

In Berlin, Obama recently made a speech seeking such negotiated cuts with Russia.
 オバマ米大統領がドイツの首都ベルリンで演説し、ロシアに新たな核軍縮交渉を提案した。

Obama said he wants to reduce the maximum number of U.S. and Russian deployed strategic nuclear warheads by one-third from 1,550--set under the New START, which stands for Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty--to about 1,000 each.
 戦略核弾頭の配備数の上限を、現在の米露の新戦略兵器削減条約(新START)が規定する1550個から3分の1減らして、1000個程度にしたいという。

He also intends to target smaller, tactical nuclear weapons, which are less powerful, for the proposed cuts.
 比較的威力が小さい戦術核兵器も、削減対象に加える方針だ。

The U.S. president appears to have used the speech to express his willingness to continue to pursue nuclear disarmament during his second term in office after achieving the conclusion of the New START in his first term.
 オバマ氏は、任期1期目で達成した新STARTに続く核軍縮の成果を、2期目でも引き続き追求する意欲を表明したと言える。

Prospects of N-talks unclear

However, Russia has given the cold shoulder to Obama’s call, with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin saying Moscow “can’t take such a proposal seriously.”
 ロシア側は、ロゴジン副首相が「真剣に受け止めることはできない」と述べるなど、提案の受け入れには否定的だ。

Russia is strongly concerned that U.S. plans for a missile defense system in Europe could weaken its nuclear deterrent capability.
米国が欧州で進めるミサイル防衛(MD)計画によって自らの核抑止力が弱まることを強く警戒しているためだ。

Therefore, prospects of the proposed nuclear disarmament negotiations are dim. But the United States and Russia, both nuclear superpowers, in particular bear responsibility for ensuring world stability.
 軍縮交渉の行方は不透明だ。それでも核大国の米露両国には、世界の安定に特別の責任がある。

At present, there are reportedly more than 10,000 nuclear weapons in the world, of which 95 percent are owned by these two countries. It is not convincing if they urge other countries to refrain from having nuclear weapons or to reduce their nuclear arsenals without making any reductions themselves. We hope the both countries will keep that point in mind and sincerely work on nuclear reductions.
 世界には1万を超す核兵器がある。その95%を保有する両国が、自らの核を削減せずに、いくら他国に核を持つな、核を減らせ、と言っても、説得力は持つまい。その点を自覚して、核軍縮に真摯(しんし)に取り組んでもらいたい。

In making the proposal, Obama also said his country would work together with its North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies to seek cuts in U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear weapons.
 今回の核軍縮提案に際し、オバマ氏は、戦術核の削減へ向け、北大西洋条約機構(NATO)の同盟国とも協力すると述べた。

N-weapons spreading in Asia

Meanwhile, the ability of Obama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his vision and work to seek “a world without nuclear weapons,” likely will be tested over his future efforts in Asia, where nuclear weapons have spread.
 「核兵器のない世界」の理念を掲げてノーベル平和賞を受賞したオバマ氏の真価が問われているのは、核を巡る環境が悪化しているアジアでの取り組みだ。

Currently, China has about 250 nuclear warheads. China, India and Pakistan have been building up their nuclear arsenals while North Korea has conducted three nuclear tests, pressing ahead with its efforts to develop nuclear missiles.
 中国の核弾頭は250個に達している。その中国やインド、パキスタンは核兵器を増強し、北朝鮮は核実験を3度強行して核ミサイル武装化にひた走っている。

In Japan, which depends on the U.S. “nuclear umbrella” amid such circumstances, some people may worry that Washington’s push for nuclear reductions could have adverse effects on regional stability in Asia.
 米国の“核の傘”に抑止力を頼っている日本としては、こうした状況で米国が核軍縮を進めれば、かえって地域の安定が損われはしまいか、とも懸念される。

However, Obama said in the Berlin speech, “I’ve determined that we can ensure the security of America and our allies, and maintain a strong and credible strategic deterrent,” even if the United States and Russia reduce their nuclear weapons in line with Obama’s proposal. Such remarks are reassuring.
 オバマ氏が、今回提案の核削減を実行しても、「米国と同盟国の安全は確保でき、抑止力を維持できる」と述べたことは心強い。

Meanwhile, we urge China to promote nuclear reductions in tandem with the United States and Russia. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Obama have agreed to push for North Korea’s denuclearization. To urge Pyongyang to abandon nuclear weapons, however, Beijing should scale down its own nuclear capability.
 中国には、米露に協調して核削減を進めるよう、強く求めたい。中国の習近平国家主席はオバマ氏と、北朝鮮の非核化で一致した。北朝鮮に核放棄を迫るためにも自らの核軍縮が求められよう。

Also, to allow the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty to come into force as early as possible, Washington and Beijing should work together to build support in their countries to ratify it.
 核実験全面禁止条約(CTBT)の早期発効へ、条約批准を急ぐ点でも米中は協調すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 22, 2013)
(2013年6月22日01時33分  読売新聞)

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2013年6月22日 (土)

自民参院選公約 政権党としては物足りない

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 22, 2013
LDP fails to present concretemeasures in campaign pledges
自民参院選公約 政権党としては物足りない(6月21日付・読売社説)

How will the Abe administration tackle the host of issues it faces at home and abroad six months after the Liberal Democratic Party returned to power?
 政権復帰から半年を経た安倍政権は、山積する内外の課題にどう立ち向かうのか。

The LDP has unveiled its campaign platform for the House of Councillors election in July, placing emphasis on realizing its Abenomics economic policies and pledging to seek tax incentives for capital investment and drastic cuts in the corporation tax. The party’s aggressive stance can be surmised from the campaign pledges, but the party has failed to present concrete measures.
 自民党が参院選公約を発表した。経済政策「アベノミクス」の実現を前面に押し出し、投資減税や法人税の大胆な引き下げを言明した。積極的な姿勢はうかがえるが、踏み込み不足も目立つ。

As for the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, the platform declared that the party will “protect what should be protected and assert what should be asserted in accordance with national interests.”
 環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉については、「守るべきは守り、攻めるべきは攻めることで、国益にかなう最善の道を追求する」とうたった。

Japan is scheduled to take part in TPP negotiations in late July. Even though Japan has yet to enter full-scale negotiations, it is unsatisfactory that the ruling party has not presented concrete measures to prepare for the liberalization of trade, including steps to bolster competitiveness in the agricultural sector.
 日本は7月末から交渉に加わる予定だ。本格交渉はこれからにせよ、農業分野での競争力強化策など、自由化に備えた具体策を明確にしていないのは物足りない。

Warning from farmers

This is probably because opposition to participation in TPP negotiations runs deep in farming areas. In Hokkaido, a political wing of the Japanese Agriculture Group, a traditional support base for the LDP, has decided to allow its members to vote at their own discretion, a warning to the party leadership ahead of the upper house poll.
 TPP交渉参加への反発が農産地で根強いからだろう。北海道ではJAグループの政治団体が自主投票を決めるなど、参院選に向けた牽制(けんせい)の動きが表れている。

The party leadership has reflected the complaints of anti-TPP elements in a policy package dubbed “J-file 2013,” which was compiled as a supplement to the campaign pledge. In the package, the party clearly mentioned that the government “will not hesitate to pull out from the negotiations unless it is certain five agricultural items, including rice and wheat, will be treated as exceptions to free trade.”
 党執行部は結局、公約を補足する総合政策集「J―ファイル2013」にTPP反対派の主張を反映させた。コメや麦といった農産品重要5項目などの「聖域」が確保できなければ、交渉からの「脱退も辞さない」と明記した。

The J-file presents medium- and long-term policy targets. Offering such exceptional treatment can be regarded as a desperate measure to secure farmers’ votes.
 J―ファイルは中長期的な政策目標を示すものだ。苦肉の対応といえよう。

In regard to energy policies, the LDP pledged to make utmost efforts to obtain the understanding of local governments concerned as it seeks to restart nuclear reactors pending approval of their safety by the Nuclear Regulation Authority.
 エネルギー政策では、「地元自治体の理解を得られるよう最大限の努力をする」として、政府の原子力規制委員会が安全性を確認した原発の再稼働を推進する方針を盛り込んでいる。

It is reasonable for the party to clearly mention a policy to restart nuclear reactors, which is indispensable for the country to achieve economic growth. But the party’s platform is far too vague in defining nuclear power generation and the nuclear fuel cycle in its medium- and long-term energy strategy.
 経済成長の実現に欠かせない原発再稼働の方針を明記したのは妥当だ。ただ、中長期的なエネルギー戦略として原発や核燃サイクルをどう位置づけるのか、あいまいな点が多く、わかりにくい。

Concerning the Constitution, the party made a case for the need to revise the supreme law to meet the needs of the time and respond to new challenges. This is natural.
 憲法について、「時代の要請と新たな課題に対応できる」よう改正を訴えたのは当然である。

Constitutional standstill

Regarding Article 96, which stipulates procedures for constitutional amendments, the party stressed that parliamentary requirements for initiating revision should be relaxed, saying it is necessary to “make it easier for the people, with whom sovereign power resides, to have the opportunity to take part in constitutional judgments through national referendums.” The party must explain its stance more thoroughly to win over the people.
 改正手続きを定めた96条については、「主権者である国民が『国民投票』を通じて、憲法判断に参加する機会を得やすくする」と、発議要件を緩和する必要性を強調した。国民の理解を得るため、より丁寧に説明していくべきだ。

The effort to revise Article 96 ahead of other provisions has been postponed due to a wary stance shown by the LDP’s coalition partner, New Komeito.
 「96条の先行改正」は、公明党が慎重姿勢を示したこともあって、見送られた。

The LDP had no alternative but to give up on its plan to work out common campaign pledges with Komeito this time because of differences in their constitutional revision standpoints. After the election, Komeito will possibly hold the key to deciding how the constitutional revision issue will pan out. It is vital for the two parties to continue to discuss the matter tenaciously.
 憲法改正を巡る立場の違いなどから、自民党は今回、公明党との共通公約の策定を見送らざるを得なかった。公明党は参院選後、憲法改正問題のカギを握る可能性がある。自公両党は、粘り強く協議を続けることが肝要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 21, 2013)
(2013年6月21日01時20分  読売新聞)

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FRB出口戦略 市場の混乱防ぐ舵取りが要る

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 22, 2013
Fed needed to steer policy for preventing market turmoil
FRB出口戦略 市場の混乱防ぐ舵取りが要る(6月21日付・読売社説)

The U.S. Federal Reserve Board is poised to begin scaling back by the end of the year its third round of quantitative monetary easing, a huge stimulus program known as QE3 that has helped shore up the U.S. economy.
 米連邦準備制度理事会(FRB)が、米国景気を下支えしてきた異例の規模の量的緩和策第3弾(QE3)を、年内に縮小し始める見通しだ。

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, in a press conference Wednesday following a two-day meeting of the bank's monetary policy panel, the Federal Open Market Committee, revealed for the first time the central bank's “exit strategy” for normalizing its ultra-easy monetary policy.
 バーナンキFRB議長は19日、連邦公開市場委員会(FOMC)後に記者会見し、金融政策を正常に戻す「出口戦略」を初めて明らかにした。

Regarding QE3, under which the the Fed purchases Treasury and mortgage-backed bonds at a monthly pace of $85 billion (about 8.2 trillion yen), Bernanke said it would be “appropriate to moderate the monthly pace of purchases later this year...and we will continue to reduce the pace of purchases in measured steps through the first half of next year, ending purchases around mid-year,” as long as the country sustains its economic recovery.
 景気回復が順調に進めば、米国債などを毎月850億ドル(約8・2兆円)買い入れているQE3について、「年後半にペースを縮小し、来年半ばに購入を終了するのが適切」と述べた。

Sign of confidence

The Fed's announcement of a policy shift toward reducing QE3 and clearly stating a goal for ending it, while predicated on the condition that the U.S. economy continues to grow as expected, received attention worldwide and is certain to have wide-ranging effects.
 条件付きながら、焦点だったQE3の縮小と終了時期を表明した影響は大きい。

Ever since the financial crisis that erupted following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008, the U.S. central bank has carried out quantitative easing three times to end the crisis and prop up business activity.
 2008年のリーマン・ショック後、FRBは、金融危機を収束させるとともに、景気テコ入れのため、量的緩和策を3回にわたって実施してきた。

The long-awaited launch of an exit strategy signals the central bank is ready to make a major change to policies that were aimed at coping with an emergency situation.
いよいよ出口戦略に動き出すことは、非常時に対応した政策の転換を意味する。

Bernanke’s bold remarks appear to be backed by confidence in the fundamentals of the U.S. economy, which have indicated recovery recently. He may also have thought it necessary to dispel a sense of uncertainty in the market over the future of U.S. monetary policy.
 議長の踏み込んだ発言には、最近の米国の景気回復基調に自信を深めていることがうかがえる。金融政策の先行き不透明感を払拭したい狙いもあるのだろう。

Stock prices in New York, however, tumbled on Wednesday with the Dow Jones industrial average closing more than 200 points lower than the previous day, while prices on the Tokyo Stock Exchange also dropped sharply on Thursday.
 しかし、19日のニューヨーク株式市場の株価は、前日比200ドル以上も値下がりし、20日の東京市場の株価も大幅に下落した。

These declines were largely due to a surge in investors selling shares out of fears that cash flowing into the market may dwindle.
 株式市場への資金流入が減少するとの懸念から、日米とも売りが膨らんだのが主因だ。

In the wake of Bernanke’s statement, concerns will likely persist over erratic fluctuations in stock prices and foreign exchange rates in the world's markets, which will present the Fed with the knotty task of preventing market confusion.
 今後も、世界の株価や為替相場の乱高下を招く恐れがある。市場の混乱防止へ、FRBは難しい舵(かじ)取りを迫られる。

Toward the end of last year, the Fed said it would not lift short-term interest rates from zero until the unemployment rate shrinks to 6.5 percent, while also keeping an eye on inflation. The easy-money measure has been in place since December 2008.
 FRBは昨年末、異例策の一環として08年12月から続けるゼロ金利政策の解除については、インフレ率を見ながら、「失業率が6・5%に下がるまで続ける」という方針を示している。

It is widely believed, however, that the U.S. jobless rate will not move from the current 7.6 percent to the Fed's target until 2014 at the earliest. Improvement in the U.S. employment situation has remained slow, making a full-fledged economic recovery uncertain.
 ただし、現在7・6%の失業率が6・5%に低下するのは早くても14年とみられる。雇用情勢の改善は緩慢で、本格的な景気回復は不透明だ。

Learn from U.S. challenges

Moreover, possible adverse impacts on business activities of fiscal belt-tightening by the administration of President Barack Obama cannot be underestimated.
オバマ政権の財政引き締めの悪影響も軽視できない。

Will the Fed be able to lift its zero interest rate policy after bringing QE3 to an end without causing market tumult? In this respect, we urge the central bank to use all the tools at its disposal to maintain a “dialogue with the market.”
 混乱なくQE3を終了させ、それに続いて、ゼロ金利政策解除にいつ踏み切るか。FRBは、「市場との対話」をさらに工夫することが求められよう。

The Bank of Japan, which has also implemented an extraordinary monetary easing policy, should learn from challenges the Fed is now addressing.
 異次元の量的緩和策を続ける日本銀行にとっても、FRBの課題は「他山の石」と言える。

The BOJ needs to maintain its focus on ending deflation and resuscitating the national economy to maximize the effects of its monetary policy. But sooner or later, the central bank will need to seriously examine how it will dial back these policies.
 当面は、デフレ脱却や日本経済再生を最優先し、緩和効果の最大化を図るべきだが、将来の出口戦略に向け、いずれ本格的に検討を進める必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 21, 2013)
(2013年6月21日01時20分  読売新聞)

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原発新基準 効率的で柔軟な審査が必要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 21, 2013
NRA must be flexible in applying safety standards to each N-reactor
原発新基準 効率的で柔軟な審査が必要だ(6月20日付・読売社説)

The Nuclear Regulation Authority has decided on new safety standards for nuclear power plants. The regulatory panel must confirm in an efficient way the safety of nuclear power reactors, which have been idle for a long period of time, toward the restart of their operation.
 原子力規制委員会が原子力発電所の新たな規制基準を決めた。長期間停止している原発の再稼働へ向け、安全性を効率的に確認すべきだ。

The new standards will be enforced from July 8 after they were approved by the government at a Cabinet meeting. Five electric power companies including Kansai Electric Power Co. have expressed an intent to apply to have 14 nuclear reactors examined with the aim of restarting their operation.
 新基準は、閣議決定を経て7月8日に施行される。関西電力など5社が、計14基の原発の審査を申請する意向を示している。

The nuclear crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant began when unexpectedly huge tsunami hit the plant, causing an inability to cool its reactors. As a result, a vast amount of radioactive material leaked from the reactors. The regulatory committee took this lesson to create the new safety standards.
 東京電力福島第一原発事故では想定外の大津波が襲来し、原子炉の冷却ができなくなった。その結果、大量の放射能が漏出した。新基準は、これを教訓とした。

Under the new standards, the regulatory authority calls for taking into consideration natural disasters such as tsunami, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions from broader perspectives than they were previously. The standards also require the reinforcement of water pumping and power source equipment, which are indispensable for cooling nuclear reactors at times of severe incidents.
 津波や地震、火山噴火などの自然災害を従来より幅広く考慮するよう求めた。重大事故時に、原子炉の冷却に欠かせない注水・電源設備を強化することも定めた。

Standards have some flaws

It is indeed necessary to repair weak points in safety measures, which became apparent after the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant crisis.
 事故で顕在化した安全対策の綻びを繕うことは必要だ。

However, there are also problematic points in the new standards. Investigations on active faults under and around the grounds of nuclear power stations are one such example. The new standards require research on any signs of fault activity up to 400,000 years ago. The former standards required research covering 120,000 to 130,000 years ago.
 しかし、新基準には問題点もある。例えば、原発の敷地内外の活断層調査だ。最大で40万年前まで遡って有無を評価させる。旧基準では12万~13万年前だった。

Even if a fault is ancient, if it is located right under important nuclear power plant facilities and judged as active, it will be difficult to restart reactors there.
 太古の断層であっても、原発の重要施設の真下にあり、活断層と判断されれば再稼働は困難だ。

Yet, judging whether faults are active is very difficult. There could be cases of misjudgment. We think it would be more practical to consider some technological countermeasures to prevent a severe accident that may be caused by an active fault, rather than seeking zero risk.
 ただ、その判断は難しい。誤認も起き得る。ゼロリスクを求めるより、活断層による重大事故を防ぐため、工学的な対策を検討する方が現実的なのではないか。

The NRA included, as much as it could, in the new standards requirements related to severe accident countermeasures. Some people criticized that too much emphasis was placed on hardware.
 重大事故対策の設備を考えられる限り列挙したことにも、ハード偏重との指摘がある。

It is understandable that some power company officials criticized the standards as excessive regulatory measures designed to prevent them from restarting reactors.
 電力会社から、原発を動かさないための過剰規制という声が出ているのも、うなずける。

We want the NRA, in examining safety countermeasures at nuclear power plants, to evaluate the effectiveness of safety measures based on each power station's circumstances. We think it is necessary for the regulatory committee to take a flexible stance, such as approving certain facilities even if they do not conform to the new standards if they can ensure sufficient safety features of such facilities.
 今後の審査で規制委に求められるのは、各原発の実情に応じ、対策の実効性を評価することだ。基準に挙げた設備と違っても、十分な性能が確保できるなら認めるなど、柔軟な対応が必要だろう。

Old plants face difficulties

The regulatory panel has decided to allow a five-year grace period for putting in place some safety equipment, as it judged other devices can ensure reactor safety for the time being.
 既に規制委は、一部の安全設備について、他の機器で当面の安全は確保できるとして、設置を5年間猶予する方針を決めている。

At the Nos. 3 and 4 reactors of KEPCO's Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, which are the country's only nuclear reactors currently operating, the NRA will conduct the work to confirm the conformity of the plant's safety features with the new standards through on-site inspections and other procedures. The possibility of approving the continuation of the operations of the reactors has now been reportedly increasing.
 国内で唯一稼働している関電大飯原発3、4号機では、現地調査などで新基準との適合性を確認する作業を進め、運転継続を認める可能性が高まっている。

We would like the NRA to thoroughly pursue rational responses such as this.
 規制委には、こうした合理的な対応に徹してもらいたい。

Implementing the new safety standards will require power companies a huge amount of money. According to a power industry estimate, it will easily surpass 1 trillion yen for the industry as a whole to meet the new standards. In particular, it is not easy to recover costs at nuclear reactors more than 30 years old after they are repaired and reinforced. There are likely some cases in which power companies will choose to scrap reactors.
 新基準への対応には巨費を要する。電力業界の試算では、1兆円を大きく上回る。特に建設から30年以上が過ぎた古い原子炉では、改修・補強してもコスト回収は容易でない。電力会社が廃炉を選択するケースも出るだろう。

Sharing the burden of decommissioning costs of abandoned reactors as well as measures to dispose of nuclear waste are also important subjects to be discussed hereafter between power companies and the government.
 廃炉の費用負担や、廃棄物対策なども、電力会社と政府の今後の重要な検討課題である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 20, 2013)
(2013年6月20日01時28分  読売新聞)

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2013年6月21日 (金)

G8首脳宣言 日本経済が久々に示す存在感

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 21, 2013
Japan, Abenomics grabbed spotlight at G-8 summit meeting
G8首脳宣言 日本経済が久々に示す存在感(6月20日付・読売社説)

For the first time in many years, a Japanese prime minister has grabbed the spotlight in the international arena. Now all eyes are on whether Shinzo Abe can steadily implement his policies to rejuvenate Japan’s economy, a pledge the prime minister presented to world leaders at the recent Group of Eight summit meeting.
 久しぶりに日本の首相が存在感を示した。公約となった日本経済の再生に向け、政策の着実な実行が求められよう。

The summit meeting, held at Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, concluded Tuesday after the adoption of a joint statement. Leaders of Japan, the United States, Germany, and other G-8 nations took part in the meeting.
 英国の北アイルランドで行われた日米独など主要8か国首脳会議(G8サミット)は、首脳宣言を採択し、閉幕した。

“Global economic prospects remain weak,” the statement said, stressing the necessity for countries “to press ahead with the necessary reforms to restore sustainable growth and jobs.”
 宣言は「世界経済の成長見通しは弱い」との認識を示した上で、「持続可能な回復へ断固たる行動が必要」と強調した。

The eurozone economy is still trapped in negative growth, and the growth of China and other emerging nations, which have been serving as the locomotive of the world economy, has lost steam. It was absolutely necessary for the G-8 nations to reconfirm their unity at the summit.
 ユーロ圏はマイナス成長が続き、牽引(けんいん)役だった中国など新興国の景気減速も目立つ。G8が結束を再確認したのは適切である。

Expectations for Abenomics

One of the agenda items discussed at the meeting was Abenomics, the economic policy of the Abe administration. During the meeting, Abe told world leaders that “Japan’s economic development will give a boost to the economic progress of the world.”
 今回、焦点の一つになったのが安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」だ。安倍首相は会議で、「日本経済の発展が世界経済の発展に貢献する」と説明した。

It is noteworthy that the statement referred to the so-called “three arrows” of Abenomics--bold monetary easing, fiscal stimulus and growth strategy. The statement gave a positive assessment to Abenomics, saying that the three arrows would underpin the nation’s growth.
 宣言が大胆な金融緩和、財政刺激策、成長戦略という「3本の矢」に言及し、「日本の成長を支える」と評価した意味は重い。

Japan must work hard to meet this global expectation and speed up its efforts to conquer deflation and rejuvenate its economy.
 日本は期待に応え、世界の成長に寄与できるよう、デフレ脱却と経済再生を急がねばならない。

However, the statement did not forget to make requests of Japan, whose fiscal condition is the worst among advanced nations. Japan needs to “address the challenge of defining a credible medium-term fiscal plan,” the statement said.
 先進国最悪の財政状況にある日本には、厳しい注文も付いた。宣言が「信頼できる中期的な財政計画」を求めたことだ。

The Abe administration plans to draw up a medium-term fiscal plan this summer. It is crucial for the government to show in the fiscal plan a concrete path toward simultaneously achieving the goals of economic growth and fiscal rehabilitation. After announcing the plan, the government must make wholehearted efforts to realize it.
 政府は、今夏策定する中期財政計画で、成長と財政再建の両立への具体的な道筋を示し、その実現を図ることが肝要である。

The statement said open trade is a key engine of global economic growth. It listed ongoing free trade talks, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership framework talks in which Japan is involved, and added that the G-8 nations “aim to finalize all these deals as soon as possible.” In this regard, we urge the Abe administration to speed up its preparations for agricultural liberalization.
 世界が成長するための原動力は自由貿易推進だとして、宣言は、日本が参加する環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉などについて「可能な限り速やかな完結を目指す」と明記した。日本は、農業自由化への対応を急ぐべきだ。

Regarding the problem of tax avoidance, or global companies trying to reduce their tax payments by exploiting low tax rates of certain countries, the G-8 leaders agreed to speed up their efforts to create an international legal framework to prevent such moves. This is an important step forward--we urge Japan to play a leading role in establishing a framework that enables countries to fairly collect taxes from companies.
 グローバル企業が税率の低い国の制度を利用して節税している問題に関し、G8首脳が、課税逃れ防止の国際ルール作りを急ぐことで合意したのは前進だろう。日本などが主導し、適正に徴税できる仕組みを整えてもらいたい。

Pile pressure on N. Korea

The G-8 leaders also agreed to take concerted action on measures against terrorism in North Africa, in light of January’s hostage crisis at an Algerian natural gas complex. This is also a laudable development.
 一方、1月のアルジェリア人質事件を受け、北アフリカ諸国でのテロ対策にG8が協調することで一致したのは評価できる。

The joint statement demanded North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and refrain from taking provocative actions. It also urged Pyongyang to address the concerns of the international community over its human rights violations, including the abduction issue.
 宣言は、北朝鮮に核・弾道ミサイル計画の放棄を要求し、挑発行為の自制を促した。懸案の拉致問題を巡っても、人権侵害に関する懸念の解消に取り組むことを北朝鮮に強く求めた。

We believe it suggests that Abe’s message on North Korean problems was appreciated by the G-8 leaders. Abe has been keen to express Japan’s stance on the issue.
 首相が日本の立場を主張し、理解を得た成果と言える。

The G-8 leaders should also seek to join hands with China to urge North Korea to comply with U.N. Security Council resolutions as well as obligations stipulated in a joint statement issued in six-party talks on Pyongyang’s nuclear program.
 G8は中国とも連携し、北朝鮮に対し、国連安全保障理事会の決議や、核問題に関する6か国協議の共同声明にある義務を履行するよう、強く働きかけるべきだ。

(From the Yomiuri Shimbun, June 20, 2013)
(2013年6月20日01時28分  読売新聞)

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一部執行猶予 更生を促す体制整備が急務だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 20, 2013
New penal system should help criminals rehabilitate themselves
一部執行猶予 更生を促す体制整備が急務だ(6月19日付・読売社説)

It is essential to ensure the newly envisaged penal system is conducive to preventing criminal offenders from committing more crimes, which is essential to improve public security.
 治安向上のため、新制度を再犯の抑止につなげることが大切である。

The Diet recently passed into law a set of penalty-related bills, including one aimed at revising the Penal Code to introduce a system by which people serving terms of imprisonment would be released early. The system is designed to help rehabilitate prisoners by treating them as normal members of society. To this end, they will be discharged after serving part of their terms. The new system will be enforced within three years.
 受刑者を刑期の途中で釈放し、社会の中で更生させる「刑の一部執行猶予制度」を盛り込んだ改正刑法などの関連法が成立した。3年以内に施行される。

The Penal Code incorporates two types of sentence: one requiring a convicted defendant to serve a prison term, and the other that does not oblige the accused to spend time in prison. The latter sentence means, for instance, that a two-year term of imprisonment suspended for three years would allow the accused to remain free unless he or she commits another crime within three years.
 刑罰には現在、被告が刑務所で服役する実刑と、服役しない執行猶予付きの刑がある。「懲役2年、執行猶予3年」の判決なら、被告は3年間、新たな罪を犯さなければ、刑務所に収容されない。

Under the new system, sentencing can be regarded as a cross between a term of imprisonment and a suspended sentence.
 一部執行猶予は、実刑と執行猶予の中間に位置付けられる。

1st-time offenders

For example, a person may receive a three-year imprisonment sentence with a two-year stay of execution of one year. This means the accused will be imprisoned for two years, and then released. The accused will not be sent back to prison to serve the rest of the original sentence unless he or she commits another crime within the next two years.
 例えば「懲役3年、うち1年を2年間執行猶予」という判決の場合、被告はまず2年間、服役する。その上で釈放され、執行猶予の2年間、罪を犯さなければ、刑務所に戻ることはない。

The new system is intended to address problems facing people who have been discharged from prison after serving their terms. In many cases, they find themselves unable to adapt to society, and quite often break the law again. Given this, we understand why the new system is designed to rehabilitate prisoners by releasing them before they serve their full terms.
 刑期を終えて出所しても、社会に順応できず、再犯に走るケースが多い。出所者の社会復帰を図る新制度の趣旨は理解できる。

The system will mainly cover first-time offenders convicted of less serious crimes, such as offenses related to stimulants and other drugs.
 対象となるのは主に、比較的軽い罪で初めて刑務所に入る人や、覚醒剤などの薬物使用者だ。

Without exception, the system will subject drug addicts to probationary supervision during the suspension of their sentences. Probation officers will require them to attend programs aimed at ending their drug dependence. If necessary, they will be treated at medical facilities.
 薬物使用者には猶予期間中、必ず保護観察が付く。保護観察所が薬物依存を断つプログラムを受講させたり、必要に応じて医療機関で治療を受けさせたりする。

This reflects a widely accepted view that drug addicts should live their daily lives as members of society, rather than throwing them into prison. According to experts, drug addicts should be allowed to live with all the temptations of life in the real world and persuaded to resist the lure of drugs again and again. Such an approach is believed to be more beneficial in ending their drug dependency.
 刑務所での服役より、誘惑の多い実社会で薬物を断つ訓練を重ねた方が、薬物使用者の立ち直りに効果的だと言われるためだ。

Hire more probation officers

According to one estimate, the adoption of the new system will entail an increase by 2,000 to 3,000 in the number of people subject to probationary supervision. However, it is distressing to see that our society is not fully prepared to accept such people.
 新制度の導入に伴い、保護観察の対象者は年間で2000~3000人増えると試算される。問題は、社会での受け入れ体制が整っていないことである。

It will be essential to increase the number of probation officers, while also securing a sufficient number of volunteers tasked with aiding in their rehabilitation.
 指導にあたる保護観察官の増員と、更生の手助けをする民間の保護司の確保は不可欠だ。

There also are too few medical institutions specializing in treating drug addicts. With this in mind, the Justice Ministry and the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry should cooperate in establishing more hub hospitals responsible for playing a central role in this task.
薬物依存症の専門医療機関も少なすぎる。法務省と厚生労働省が協力し、拠点病院を整備すべきだろう。

Some private-sector rehabilitation institutions are working to arrange for drug addicts to live together and to help them return to society. We hope the public and private sectors will cooperate in setting up more facilities that accept drug addicts released from prison.
 民間には、共同生活を通じて薬物依存者の社会復帰を支援するリハビリ施設がある。官民の連携で出所者の受け皿を増やしたい。

The new system will also require the courts to adequately examine whether--and how realistically, for that matter--defendants will be able to rehabilitate themselves.
 新制度で、裁判官は被告の更生の可能性をしっかりと見極める必要がある。

The new system is very different from the current release-on-probation system.
The current system decides whether a prisoner should be released on parole, by considering the degree to which he or she has been rehabilitated while in prison. Under the new system, however, judges must reach a crucial conclusion when they hand down their decisions--whether a sentence should be complemented by a partial stay of execution.
刑務所内での立ち直り状況を考慮して決まる仮釈放とは異なり、判決言い渡しの時点で、一部執行猶予の適用について判断を迫られるからだ。

Meanwhile, public prosecutors should properly assess each defendant’s prospects for rehabilitation when they argue their cases.
 検察も、更生の見通しに配慮した立証活動が求められよう。

The new system also challenges members of the public to consider what it means to accept offenders trying to rehabilitate themselves in society. It is essential for people to accept the idea of encouraging offenders to rehabilitate themselves.
 犯罪者の社会復帰を受け入れる国民の意識の在りようも問われている。社会の中で立ち直りを促す社会内処遇の考え方を浸透させていくことが欠かせない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 19, 2013)
(2013年6月19日02時16分  読売新聞)

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G8とシリア 依然見つからない内戦の出口

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 20, 2013
No end in sight for Syrian civil war, as arms support grows on both sides
G8とシリア 依然見つからない内戦の出口(6月19日付・読売社説)

How can the Syrian civil war be brought to an end? Leaders of the Group of Eight major powers should do their utmost to put an agreement on this issue reached in their latest meeting into practice.
 シリアの内戦をいかに終結させるか。各国首脳は、今回の合意実現へ、最大限努力すべきだ。

Regarding the Syrian situation, a focus of attention at the two-day G-8 summit meeting in Northern Ireland, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other leaders agreed to seek an international conference as early as possible to end the bloodshed in the Middle East country.
 英国・北アイルランドで開かれた主要8か国首脳会議(G8サミット)で、安倍首相ら参加国首脳は、焦点のシリア情勢について、流血の惨事を終わらせるため国際会議の早期開催を目指すことで合意した。

The agreement came after U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed in a separate meeting to hold such a conference.
 オバマ米大統領とプーチン露大統領が個別に会談し、一致したことを踏まえたものだ。

Although Obama and Putin reiterated their shared recognition that an international conference is important for dealing with the Syria situation, their views on the matter still differ widely.
 国際会議が重要だという認識を改めて共有したとは言え、米露首脳の見解の差は依然、大きい。

A quagmire of violence

During the summit meeting, Obama and Putin were unable to resolve their differences. While Obama considers the creation of a transitional government in Syria without Syrian President Bashar Assad as a goal of the envisaged international conference, Putin opposes any move to remove Assad from power.
 米露首脳会談では、「アサド大統領抜き」の「シリア移行政府」作りを会議の目的とするオバマ氏と、アサド氏排除に反対するプーチン氏の対立は解けなかった。

The Syrian civil war has turned into a quagmire, with the violence becoming increasingly severe. The death toll has topped 90,000 in the about two years since demonstrations calling for Assad's resignation started. The situation is serious.
 内戦は泥沼化し、厳しさを増している。アサド退陣を求めるデモの発生から2年余りで死者数は9万人を超した。深刻な事態だ。

The international community is divided into pro-Assad and anti-Assad groups.
 国際社会はアサド政権の擁護派と反対派に割れている。

The European Union, which has criticized the suppression of human rights by the Assad administration, lifted a ban on arms exports to Syria, paving the way for supplying weapons to Syrian rebels.
 アサド政権の人権弾圧を批判する欧州連合(EU)は、シリアへの武器禁輸を解除し、反体制派への武器供与に道を開いた。

The United States, meanwhile, has decided to provide military assistance to the Syrian rebels, after saying it had evidence that the Assad administration had used chemical weapons. It is widely believed that Washington will soon provide Syrian rebels with ammunition and other military supplies.
 米国も、「アサド政権が化学兵器を使用したことを確認した」として、反体制派への軍事支援を決めた。近く弾薬などの供与に踏み切るのでは、と見られる。

In contrast, Russia, which backs the Syrian government, argued that the United States’ assertion is groundless and plans to support the Assad administration by offering surface-to-air missiles.
 これに対して、シリア政府の後ろ盾となってきたロシアは、米側の主張には根拠がないと反発し、地対空ミサイルの供与でアサド政権を支える方針だ。

Lebanon’s Hizbollah militia, which is supported by Iran, has recently joined the Syrian government forces. There is no sign of the war subsiding.
 政府軍には最近、レバノンに拠点を置きイランの支援を受ける武装組織ヒズボラも加勢した。戦火が収まる気配は見えない。

It is necessary to get facts about the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Assad government, which is one reason for the mutual distrust between Washington and Moscow.
 米露の相互不信の一因になっている化学兵器問題では、事実関係を検証する必要がある。

Peace talks needed

Unless peace talks get on track, the Syrian civil war may drag on and there also is concern that it could destabilize surrounding countries.
 和平協議が軌道に乗らねば、内戦は長期化して、周辺諸国まで不安定化する事態が懸念される。

Taking advantage of the ongoing civil war, Islamic militants linked to Al-Qaida, an international terrorist network, have expanded their influence. Is there not a risk that some of the large amount of arms to be distributed could land in the hands of terrorist groups?
 国際テロ組織アル・カーイダとつながるイスラム過激派も、内戦に乗じて勢力を拡大している。大量に出回る武器が、テロ組織に拡散する恐れはないのか。

Meanwhile, the number of Syrian refugees who fled to Jordan and other neighboring countries has exceeded 1.5 million. Taking in these refugees is a heavy burden for those countries.
 一方、ヨルダンなど周辺諸国に逃れた難民は、150万人を超えた。受け入れ国の負担は重い。

During the G-8 summit meeting, Abe announced the government will offer $10 million in emergency grant aid to assist evacuees in Syria and refugees, as well as provide yen loans worth $120 million to Jordan.
 安倍首相はG8サミットで、国内避難民や難民を支援する1000万ドルの緊急無償資金協力や、ヨルダンに対する1億2000万ドル相当の円借款供与を表明した。

It is necessary to seek a political solution for ending the Syrian civil war, and G-8 countries must provide as much humanitarian assistance as possible.
 政治的な解決を図るとともに、各国が可能な限りの人道支援を進めることも必要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 19, 2013)
(2013年6月19日02時11分  読売新聞)

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2013年6月19日 (水)

イラン大統領選 対外強硬路線は修正されるか

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 19, 2013
Will Iran’s hard-line stance change under new president?
イラン大統領選 対外強硬路線は修正されるか(6月18日付・読売社説)

How can Iran’s newly elected president live up to the people’s will expressed in the presidential election? We hope the new leader will first tackle the task of mending relations with foreign countries.
 選挙に表れた民意にどう応えるのか。政権交代を機に、まずは対外関係の修復を期待したい。

Hasan Rowhani, a conservative and moderate candidate, emerged victorious in the election held Saturday at a time when Iran has become increasingly isolated internationally due to its nuclear development. Rowhani, a cleric, won overwhelmingly after calling for improved relations with the United States and Europe.
 核開発で国際的孤立を深めているイランで大統領選挙が行われ、米欧との関係改善を掲げた保守穏健派のロハニ師が当選した。

Rowhani garnered more than half of the votes cast to score a stunning victory over a conservative hard-liner who had been billed as the leading candidate.
 50%を超える得票率で、有力と目された保守強硬派の候補に大差をつけての勝利である。

In acknowledging his win, Rowhani said it was “a victory of wisdom over radicalism.” He appears to be willing to follow a line that maintains a distance from that of the current administration.
 ロハニ師は「過激主義に対する知恵の勝利だ」と宣言した。現政権とは一線を画す立場だ。

It will be desirable for the international community if Rowhani shifts from the hard-line diplomatic policy pursued by outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who caused alarm by making provocative statements such as calling for Israel “to be wiped off the map.”
 イスラエルを「地図から消し去るべきだ」など挑発的言動が目立ったアフマディネジャド大統領の強硬な外交路線を転換するなら、国際社会にとっても望ましい。

Behind Rowhani’s resounding victory is a sense of stagnation that is enveloping Iranian society.
 ロハニ師大勝の背景には、イラン社会に広がる閉塞感がある。

During Ahmadinejad’s two terms over eight years, tight controls were placed on reformist politicians and freedom of speech. The United States and Europe have imposed economic sanctions in response to Iran’s continued nuclear development. This led to decreased crude oil exports and skyrocketing domestic prices of goods, which has stung people’s livelihoods.
 現大統領の2期8年の在任中、改革派の政治家や言論は封じ込められた。核開発継続を理由に米欧から科せられた制裁で、原油輸出が落ち込み、物価も高騰して、国民生活は困窮している。

A mandate to end impasse

Iranian voters, it may be said, have given Rowhani a mandate to break the stalemate.
 有権者は、事態打開をロハニ師に託したと言える。

A focal point is how he will deal with the nuclear issue.
 焦点は、核問題での対応だ。

Iran has been pressing ahead with uranium enrichment in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions. Tehran has enriched some uranium to 20 percent, far exceeding the 3.5 percent of nuclear fuel used at nuclear power plants. This unavoidably has stirred suspicions that Iran aims to develop nuclear weapons.
 イランは、国連安全保障理事会の決議を無視してウラン濃縮活動を続けている。濃縮度も原子力発電所の核燃料に使われる3・5%を上回る20%にまで高めた。核兵器開発を狙っているのでは、と疑われても仕方あるまい。

The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany have placed highest priority of having Iran stop production of uranium enriched to 20 percent.
 安保理常任理事国とドイツの6か国は、濃縮度20%ウランの生産停止を最優先で求めている。

It is natural that the United States and European countries have urged Iran anew after the election to quickly resolve the nuclear issue diplomatically.
 選挙後、米欧諸国が核問題の迅速な外交的解決を改めてイランに呼びかけたのは、当然だ。

During the Iranian administration led by reformist President Mohammad Khatami from 1997 to 2005, Rowhani showed flexibility as he conducted nuclear negotiations with Britain, France and Germany. Nevertheless, little optimism can be warranted at this time.
 ロハニ師は、改革派のハタミ前政権下で英仏独との核交渉の責任者を務め、柔軟姿勢を示した経歴があるが、楽観はできない。

Khamenei holds real power

In Iran, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei holds the reins of power, including diplomatic decisions. Under the union of religion and politics in Iran, there can be no change in nuclear policy unless it is approved by Khamenei. Can such a key person change Iran’s policy stance?
 イランでは、外交決定権を含め実権は最高指導者ハメネイ師にある。政教一致体制の下、ハメネイ師の同意抜きに核政策の変更はあり得ない。カギを握るハメネイ師が政策転換できるのかどうか。

Israel has not ruled out the option of a military strike to prevent Iran from possessing nuclear weapons. Military tension in the region will heighten if Iran continues its nuclear development.
 イスラエルは、イランの核兵器保有を阻止するために、攻撃も辞さない構えだ。イランの核開発が続けば、軍事的緊張は高まる。

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga expressed hope that Iran’s change of president will bring about concrete progress toward resolving the nuclear issue. Japan will lean on the new adminisration to achieve that goal by utilizing their “traditional relationship of friendship” as leverage.
 菅官房長官は、イランの大統領交代が、核問題の解決に向けて「具体的な進展」をもたらすことに期待感を表明した。日本としても、「伝統的な友好関係」をテコに働きかける考えだ。

Japan relies on the Middle East for most of its crude oil imports, so ensuring stability in the region is a matter of life and death. The Iranian situation demands constant vigilance.
 原油の輸入を中東地域に依存する日本にとって、地域の安定は死活的に重要だ。イラン情勢から目を離すわけにはいかない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 18, 2013)
(2013年6月18日01時33分  読売新聞)

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地方制度答申 自治体連携で活性化図りたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 19, 2013
Proposals call for local govts to cooperate to cut waste in administrative services
地方制度答申 自治体連携で活性化図りたい(6月18日付・読売社説)

To eliminate waste in local government and reinvigorate local economies, it is essential to boost cooperation among local governments and promote the division of labor and sharing of roles.
 地方行政のムダを排して、地域を活性化するには、自治体間の連携を強化し、役割分担を進めることが肝要である。

The government’s 30th Local Government System Research Council has submitted a set of proposals on reforming the governance of major cities. To eliminate overlapping functions of prefectural governments and those of the ordinance-designated major cities within their borders, the proposals call on the prefectural and municipal governments to establish a joint council and to transfer 35 types of administrative jobs, including paying public schoolteachers, from the prefectural government to the ordinance-designated city government.
 政府の第30次地方制度調査会が大都市制度の改革案などを答申した。道府県と政令市の二重行政の解消に向けて、両者の協議会を設置し、教職員の給与負担など35の事務を道府県から政令市に移譲するよう求めた。

The ill effects of overlapping local administrations have been observed in various parts of the country. For instance, there have been cases in which prefectural and major municipal governments have built similar public facilities close to each other, thus diminishing the utilization rate of both facilities.
 道府県と政令市が似通った公共施設を近接地に整備し、ともに稼働率の低下を招く二重行政の弊害は各地で指摘されている。

Such inefficient city planning must be avoided. It is significant that besides the talks to be held between a prefectural governor and a designated city mayor when necessary, a system has been proposed whereby a formal consultative organization is set up for senior officials of both prefectural and municipal governments to discuss policies and coordinate their views in a multitiered manner.
 こうした非効率な街づくりは避けるべきだ。首長が必要に応じて会談するだけでなく、正式な協議機関を設け、両自治体の幹部が重層的に政策を議論、調整する制度を構築する意義は大きい。

The proposals also referred to the vision of “transforming Osaka into a metropolitan administrative unit” like Tokyo, but no specific plans were presented. Instead, the proposals listed certain points to keep in mind. For example, the proposals urge that the transformation be carried out in such a way that changes such as an increase in local tax grants given to Osaka do not have adverse impacts on the fiscal state of the central government and other local governments.
 大都市制度のうち「大阪都」構想について、答申は、地方交付税の増額などで国や他の自治体の財政に悪影響を与えないなど、都移行に伴う「留意点」を示すにとどめ、具体案は示さなかった。

This is because the Osaka metropolis issue has already come to a conclusion of sorts with the enactment last August of a law that authorizes cities of over 2 million people to establish special administrative wards.
 総人口200万人以上の都市に特別区の設置を認める法律が昨年8月に成立し、大阪都構想には一定の結論が出ているためだ。

The proposals also call for boosting the decentralization of government authority within an ordinance-designated city, such as giving a ward mayor a special service status and more authority over personnel decisions and budgets.
 答申は、区長の特別職化や人事・予算権の強化など政令市の「都市内分権」の強化も提言した。

Decentralization realistic

Such ordinance-designated cities as Yokohama are hoping to be transferred into “special cities” independent from the prefectural government. But the creation of a special city involves a number of challenges such as the establishment of special wards and the division of police organizations. It would be more realistic to promote the decentralization of government authority within an ordinance-designated city, at least for now.
 横浜市などは、都道府県から独立した「特別市」への移行を希望している。だが、特別市には、特別区の設置や警察組織の分割などの課題が多い。当面は、都市内分権を進めるのが現実的だろう。

On the other hand, the proposals advocate, as ways to deal with population decline, wide-area cooperation among local governments, which would center around 61 “pivotal local cities,” whose population exceeds the 200,000 mark, with the daytime population in excess of the nighttime population.
 一方で、答申は、人口減社会への対応策として、人口20万人以上で昼間人口が夜間人口を上回る61の「地方中枢拠点都市」を中心とする広域連携を提唱した。

Under such a partnership, a pivotal local city and its neighboring cities, towns and villages will conclude an accord on policies covering issues ranging from health care, transport, industry and employment and have their administrative functions divided and shared. The central government would support them through the grant tax.
 中枢拠点都市と周辺市町村が医療、交通、産業・雇用政策などで協定を締結し、行政機能を分担する。政府は交付税で支援する。

The idea is modeled after the system that started in fiscal 2009 on the “settlement and self-sustaining zones” centering around 84 “central cities” with populations of more than 50,000.
2009年度に始まった、人口5万人以上の84の「中心市」による定住自立圏制度がモデルである。

An era of consolidation

Many local governments are worrying about how to maintain administrative services while the population and tax revenues in their municipalities decline. Now that it has become difficult for a single local government to provide every kind of administrative service to local people, it is essential for such services to be shared through wide-area cooperation among local governments.
 人口や税収が減る中、いかに行政サービスを維持するのか、多くの自治体は頭を痛めている。1自治体であらゆるサービスを提供するのが無理である以上、広域連携による役割分担は欠かせない。

The important thing is for local governments to exert their originality and ingenuity in catering to the actual needs of local municipalities.
 重要なのは、地域の実情に応じた創意工夫である。

In the settlement and self-sustaining zone in northern Miyazaki Prefecture, Nobeoka and eight neighboring cities, towns and villages are promoting cooperation and division of functions among the prefectural-run Nobeoka hospital and other hospitals. Through such efforts, the hospitals have been able to improve their on-duty doctor system for nights and holidays, lessening the burden on doctors at the prefectural hospital by more than 40 percent. Such examples should give ideas to other local municipalities.
 宮崎県北定住自立圏では、延岡市と周辺8市町村が県立延岡病院と他の病院の機能分担と連携を進めている。各病院が夜間・休日当番医体制を充実させ、延岡病院の医師の負担を4割以上も軽減させた。他の地域の参考となろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 18, 2013)
(2013年6月18日01時32分  読売新聞)

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2013年6月18日 (火)

低公害トラック 天然ガス活用の幅広げたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 18, 2013
Govt must introduce measures to popularize use of CNG trucks
低公害トラック 天然ガス活用の幅広げたい(6月17日付・読売社説)

In promoting environmental measures, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it has become a challenge to have trucks, a major means of distributing goods, emit less pollution.
 温室効果ガスの排出量削減など環境対策を進めるうえで、物流を支えるトラックの低公害化が課題となっている。

Trucks fueled by natural gas are drawing attention in this respect, as they are superior to light oil-driven diesel vehicles in environmental performance, emitting 30 percent less greenhouse gases. They also emit far less toxic particles such as nitrogen oxide and black exhaust fumes.
 今後の有望株として注目されているのが、軽油より温室効果ガス排出量が3割も少ない天然ガス車である。
 軽油が燃料のディーゼル車より環境性能に優れ、窒素酸化物や黒煙といった排ガスの有害物質も大幅に削減できる。

While Japan depends on the Middle East for as much as 90 percent of its oil imports, natural gas can be procured from many other areas. Increasing the number of natural gas-driven vehicles on the road is also desirable from the viewpoint of the nation’s energy security.
 石油は輸入量の9割を中東地域に依存しているのに対して、天然ガスの調達先は世界中に分散している。エネルギー安全保障の観点からも普及は望ましい。

Following the shale gas revolution, the global supply of natural gas is expected to increase. The price of this fuel is forecast to fall to about half the price of light oil over the middle to long term, bringing down the cost of transportation.
 シェールガス革命を受けて、世界的にガス供給量が増えていくと見られる。中長期的には、ガス燃料の価格は軽油の半値程度に下がる、との予測もある。輸送コストの削減が期待される。

As these advantages have been recognized, the number of natural gas-fueled trucks and buses are rising sharply around the world. In 2012, global sales of such vehicles reached the 17 million unit level, a threefold increase in six years.
 こうしたメリットが認識され、世界で天然ガス仕様のトラックやバスが急増している。2012年の世界販売台数は1700万台と、この6年で3倍になった。

Sales lagging in Japan

The U.S. government has been promoting the use of natural gas as transportation fuel. In countries in Europe and Asia, vehicles using compressed natural gas (CNG) are increasing in popularity.
 米国は、天然ガスを輸送用燃料に使用するよう促す政策を進めている。欧州やアジアでは、圧縮天然ガス(CNG)車が急速に普及している。

However, the number of CNG vehicles in Japan stands at around the 40,000 level. There are a number of reasons why they are not popular in this country.
 ところが、日本はわずか4万台にとどまる。普及を阻む要因が少なくないためである。

A CNG vehicle can travel only a relatively short distance even on a full tank, so CNG is not considered practical as a fuel for large trucks, which are often used for long hauls. Moreover, there are only about 300 CNG filling stations in the country.
 CNG車は満タンで走れる距離が短いことから、長距離輸送の多い大型トラックでの利用が広がらない。しかも、ガスを補給するためのスタンドは、全国に約300か所とわずかだ。

Most Japanese-affiliated truck makers selling CNG-driven vehicles in other Asian countries and elsewhere no longer produce vehicles for the Japanese market. This has resulted in a catch-22 situation: “As we cannot sell them, we won’t produce them. And as we do not produce them, they won’t become popular.”
 アジアなどでCNG車を販売している日系トラックメーカーも、大半が国内向けの生産から撤退した。「売れないから作らない、作らないから普及しない」という悪循環に陥っている。

Safety standards too tough

There is also the problem concerning high-pressure gas containers, equivalent to a fuel tank, as the safety standards are much higher than in other countries.
 燃料タンクにあたる高圧ガス容器の安全基準が、海外より厳しいという壁もある。

If these safety standards were on a par with those in Europe, the manufacturing cost of a container would be reduced significantly.
 欧州なみに基準が緩和されれば、容器の製造コストは大幅に下げられるという。

This would reduce the cost of CNG vehicles, which now are 3 million yen more than diesel trucks for medium-size vehicles and 10 million yen for large trucks.
ディーゼル車に比べて中型で1台あたり300万円、大型で1000万円ほど割高な車両価格も、ある程度は抑えられるのではないか。

To help expand the use of CNG trucks to transport goods between Tokyo and Osaka, the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry will subsidize part of the purchase cost of vehicles and the cost of building CNG filling stations out of its fiscal 2013 budget.
 国土交通省は、東京―大阪間の長距離輸送でCNGトラックの利用拡大を図るため、車両購入費やスタンド整備費などの一部を13年度予算で補助する。

We hope the government will resolutely introduce measures to promote the use of CNG trucks, including deregulatory steps to make the expansion of CNG stations easier.
 政府は、スタンド増設を容易にする規制緩和も含め、CNGトラックの普及に向けた施策に、粘り強く取り組んでもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 17, 2013)
(2013年6月17日01時21分  読売新聞)

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知財ビジョン 国際競争に勝つための体制に

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 18, 2013
Safeguarding intellectual property rights key to competing globally
知財ビジョン 国際競争に勝つための体制に(6月17日付・読売社説)

Intellectual property rights such as patents and trademarks relevant to cutting-edge technologies are undoubtedly the source of the international competitiveness of the nation’s industries.
 最先端技術の特許や商標などの知的財産権は、日本の産業競争力の源泉だ。

The need has been increasing for further strengthening joint private-public arrangements to effectively utilize the nation’s intellectual properties.
知財を有効活用する官民の体制を一層強化する必要がある。

The government has drawn up a “vision of intellectual property policy” with a view to laying out Japan’s approach toward handling intellectual property rights for the next 10 years, while deciding on a set of “basic principles” on the matter.
 政府は、今後10年間を見据えた「知的財産政策ビジョン」と、その「基本方針」を決めた。

It’s been 11 years since the country laid down an outline of intellectual property strategy.
 2002年に日本が知的財産戦略大綱を策定してから、11年が過ぎた。

In recent years, manufacturing businesses in such countries as South Korea and China have grown stronger, intensifying global competition among companies, including those in the United States and Europe, which place high importance on the protection of intellectual property rights.
最近では、韓国や中国などの製造業が台頭し、知財を重視する欧米企業を含めて、グローバル競争が激化している。

In-house inventions a focus

It is reasonable that the government, having a heightened sense of crisis over the circumstances, has embarked on overhauling the nation’s intellectual property policy in a way well-suited to the times. The envisioned policy shift can be expected to provide impetus to the growth strategy being undertaken by the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
 政府が危機感を高め、時代の変化に合わせて知財政策を練り直したのは適切だ。成長戦略に弾みをつける効果も期待できよう。

Worthy of note in the envisioned policy is a new idea concerning “in-house inventions,” or inventions created by employees while performing research and development activities for their firms.
 今回、注目されるのは、企業の研究者らが仕事上で発明した「職務発明」の特許権に関する新たな方針である。

In the basic principles, the government has proposed two options for discussion: reviewing the current patent system, which stipulates patent ownership belongs to employees, so as to have the ownership belong to companies; or requiring patent ownership to be covered in a contract between the employee and the employer.
 従業員に権利が帰属すると規定した現在の制度を見直し、会社に帰属させるか、あるいは、帰属先を企業と従業員の間の契約で決めるという2案を示した。

There have been many instances in which employees dissatisfied with the compensation paid by their companies in return for their in-house inventions have sued the companies, causing the firms to be ordered to pay huge sums of settlement money. The government-proposed changes of patent ownership is in response to demands from businesses to rectify the situation.
 職務発明の対価に不満を持つ従業員に訴えられ、企業が巨額の和解金を支払う例が多い。是正を求める産業界に配慮したものだ。

If the changes take effect, businesses will find the risks of being subject to patent ownership-related lawsuits mitigated, making it easier for them to craft management strategies by flexibly utilizing patents.
 企業にとっては、訴訟リスクが軽減され、特許権を活用した経営戦略を描きやすくなる。

On the other hand, there are concerns the policy shift would affect adversely the willingness of researchers to engage in R&D and end up in a brain drain overseas.
一方で、研究者の開発意欲を殺(そ)ぐことや、人材の海外流出も懸念される。

The government is set to clarify the pros and cons of the two envisaged steps. Further studies and in-depth discussions should be carried out from the standpoint of beefing up Japan’s industrial competitiveness.
 政府は今後、2案を絞り込む。産業競争力を強化する観点から、さらに検討してもらいたい。

The proposals are worthy of high marks because they seek the enhancement of support for small and midsize businesses, which are delaying charting out intellectual property strategies on their own. These proposals should make it easier for them to develop human resources relevant to patent matters with the support of experts, such as chartered patent agents.
 知財戦略作りが遅れている中小企業向けに、弁理士など専門家による人材育成といった支援策の充実を求めた点も評価できる。

The basic principles have also incorporated steps for sending from Japan patent examiners to emerging economies in such areas as Asia to help them build infrastructure with an eye toward protecting intellectual property rights.
 基本方針は、日本から特許審査官をアジアなど新興国に派遣し、知財保護の基盤作りを支援することも盛り込んだ。

While an increasing number of Japanese companies are branching out abroad, intellectual property right protection is insufficient in emerging countries, which is a major impediment to Japanese firms’ efforts to expand there. Having a “Japan model” spread overseas in this respect will greatly benefit Japanese businesses.
 日本企業の海外展開が目立つが、新興国では知財保護が不十分で、日本企業の事業拡大の足かせになっている。日本モデルを浸透させるメリットは大きい。

Increase patent examiners

A key issue is how to prevent important technological information from illegally flowing out to emerging countries and others.
 課題は、日本の重要な技術情報が新興国などに不正流出することをどう防ぐかだ。

The basic principles have rightly pointed out the need for strengthening the nation’s intellectual property right protection arrangements. Information leakage abroad is a serious problem that could shake the very foundation of Japan’s industries.
基本方針は保護策の強化を指摘した。情報漏えいは日本の産業基盤を揺るがしかねない深刻な問題である。

Steps should be taken to prevent retirees and others from taking technological information out of the country. Such measures as encouraging companies and their employees to conclude an agreement on maintaining confidentiality of corporate secrets should be promptly put into force.
 退職者などが日本の技術情報を持ち出さないよう手立てを講じたい。企業が従業員と秘密保持契約を結ぶことを促す指針を策定するなどの対策を急ぐべきだ。

Compared to the United States and European countries, Japan has few government officials in charge of screening patent applications and related matters. It is critical to increase the number of patent examiners to ensure prompt acquisition of patent ownership and its effective use.
 欧米に比べて、特許などを審査する特許庁の要員は少ない。特許を速やかに権利化し、活用するには審査官増員も欠かせない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 17, 2013)
(2013年6月17日01時21分  読売新聞)

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2013年6月17日 (月)

川重社長解任 合併で混乱招いた社内抗争劇

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 17, 2013
Kawasaki Heavy power struggle keeping market on tenterhooks
川重社長解任 合併で混乱招いた社内抗争劇(6月16日付・読売社説)

It is unusual in Japan to see the head of a major company suddenly dismissed. The market is now watching with a sharp eye the confusion caused by a power struggle within a major company.
 企業トップが突然、解任される異例の展開である。社内抗争による混乱に市場の目は厳しい。

Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. dismissed President Satoshi Hasegawa and two other directors during an ad hoc board meeting on Thursday. The three had been pushing merger talks with Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co. The company also said it decided to scrap the integration talks.
 川崎重工業が13日の臨時取締役会で、三井造船との合併交渉を推進していた長谷川聡社長ら3人の取締役を解任した。交渉の打ち切りも決めた。

Shigeru Murayama, who was promoted to president from senior vice president, said “a strong sense of distrust had developed” regarding their assertive way of pursuing the merger talks because the three had acted as if “the integration was a foregone conclusion.” It was an agonizing decision to dismiss them, he added.
 常務から昇格した村山滋新社長は記者会見で、「合併ありきの姿勢に強い不信感を覚えた。苦渋の決断だ」と述べた。

What happened is in effect a palace coup staged jointly by Murayama and others to stop the merger plan with Mitsui Engineering.
 合併構想を阻止するために、村山氏らが結束した事実上の社内クーデターと言えよう。

In the shipbuilding and heavy machinery industry, Kawasaki Heavy is the nation's second largest company and Mitsui Engineering is the fifth. News reports revealed their integration talks at the end of April. If realized, the integration would have created a giant company with combined consolidated sales approaching 2 trillion yen.
 造船・重機業界2位の川崎重工と5位の三井造船の合併交渉は、4月末の報道で明るみに出た。実現すれば、連結売上高2兆円弱の大型再編になるはずだった。

Japanese shipbuilding companies once dominated the global market. Today, however, Chinese and South Korean rivals have overtaken Japanese companies.
 日本の造船業界はかつて世界を席巻したが、今では、中国や韓国メーカーに追い抜かれている。

It happened mainly because Japanese firms have suffered from a becalmed global shipbuilding market after the so-called Lehman shock and the negative effects of the super strong yen. They are also at a disadvantage to other Asian rivals in cost competitiveness.
 リーマン・ショック後の世界的な造船市況の低迷と、超円高の打撃を受けたうえ、コスト競争力で劣っているのが主因だ。

Surviving fierce contest

Mizuho Corporate Bank, the main bank financing Kawasaki Heavy and Mitsui Engineering, acted as a middleman in their merger planning. The plan can be seen as one tactic aimed at survival in a fierce global contest.
 川崎重工と三井造船の合併構想は、主力取引銀行のみずほコーポレート銀行が仲介役となった。激しい国際競争を生き残るための一つの選択肢だったのだろう。

In January, shipbuilding companies related to JFE Holdings, Inc. and IHI Corp. were integrated. Moves by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and Imabari Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. to enhance their partnership apparently pushed Kawasaki Heavy and Mitsui Engineering toward the possible merger.
 1月にはJFE系とIHI系の造船子会社が統合した。提携関係を深めている三菱重工業と今治造船の動きも、川崎重工と三井造船の背中を押したとみられる。

Within Kawasaki Heavy, however, opinions about the integration were greatly divided. Supporters and opponents to the merger plan apparently had different views on the actual businesses of the company.
 しかし、川崎重工社内は合併の賛否で割れていた。経営実態への感度の差もあったのでないか。

Shipbuilding accounts for only 10 percent of Kawasaki Heavy’s sales. Manufacturing of trains, aerospace equipment and motorcycles is considered the company's major business.
 売上高のうち、造船部門はわずか1割に過ぎない。むしろ主力事業は、鉄道車両、航空宇宙、オートバイなどである。

Many strongly opposed the merger plan, arguing that it was expected to create synergies for the shipbuilding section but would not benefit the other unrelated sections much.
 三井造船との合併で造船部門では相乗効果が期待できても、非造船部門はメリットが薄いとして、合併反対論も強かった。

Industrial reorganization

Against this background, we urge Kawasaki Heavy to reflect on its past conduct of not disclosing important management information to the market at appropriate times. The company initially denied the preliminary merger talks but suddenly admitted them on Thursday.
 川崎重工が重要な経営情報を市場に適時開示していなかった点には反省を促したい。当初、合併交渉を否定しておきながら、13日に一転して認めたからだ。

Attention will now focus on what management strategies the two companies will develop in the wake of the merger talks being scrapped.
 今後の焦点は、合併交渉の白紙を受け、両社がそれぞれ、どんな経営戦略を打ち出すかだ。

The new Kawasaki Heavy president said the company will continue to study the possibilities of integration, merger and acquisition, and partnership, but the specific proposals Murayama will make remain to be seen. It is also important for the company to readjust its relations with the main financing banks.
 「合併・買収(M&A)や連携は引き続き検討する」と述べた村山新社長の具体策が問われる。取引銀行との再調整も課題だ。

Meanwhile, Mitsui Engineering, whose business performance is sluggish, has a rocky road ahead.
 一方、業績が低迷している三井造船の前途は多難である。

The government revealed its policy to support industrial reorganization as a measure to enhance competitiveness of Japanese companies. However, the failed merger negotiations between Kawasaki Heavy and Mitsui Engineering proves that industrial organization is never an easy job.
 政府は、競争力強化策として産業再編を支援する方針を示した。だが、川崎重工と三井造船の交渉破談は、再編が決して容易ではないことを浮き彫りにしている。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 16, 2013)
(2013年6月16日付 読売新聞)

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ストーカー殺人 理不尽な凶行に極刑が下った

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 17, 2013
Court’s capital punishment ruling in stalker-murder case realistic
ストーカー殺人 理不尽な凶行に極刑が下った(6月16日付・読売社説)

Considering the ferocity of the crime and the outrageousness of the perpetrator’s motive, as well as the improbability of rehabilitation, the court had no other choice but to hand down a death sentence Friday in a stalking case in Nagasaki Prefecture.
 犯行の悪質さ、理不尽な動機に加え、更生の余地がないことを考慮すれば、極刑以外はあり得なかったのだろう。

In a lay judge trial at the Nagasaki District Court in a case known as the Nagasaki stalking-murder incident in Saikai, Nagasaki Prefecture, in December 2011, a panel of three professional and six citizen judges sentenced the defendant to death as requested by the prosecution.
 長崎県西海市で2011年12月に起きた「長崎ストーカー殺人事件」の裁判員裁判で、長崎地裁は、被告の男に求刑通り死刑を言い渡した。

The defendant was accused of murder and other charges in the killing of the mother and grandmother of a woman acquaintance, his former girlfriend, whom he repeatedly stalked. He committed the crime after breaking into the home of the mother and grandmother in Saikai in an attempt to have the woman return to him, according to the ruling.
 被告は、ストーカー行為を繰り返していた知人女性を奪い返そうと実家に侵入し、女性の母親と祖母を殺害したとして、殺人罪などに問われた。

Desire to possess woman

Regarding the motivation of the defendant, the court decision said he committed the felony as he was “preoccupied with his desire to possess and control the woman.”
判決は、犯行の動機について「女性への独占欲、支配欲を満たすため」と認定した。

This may be a common trait in stalking offenses. It is only natural that the district court determined the man’s actions were “extremely egoistic and unreasonable.”
 多くのストーカー犯罪に共通するものだろう。判決が「利己的であまりに理不尽だ」と断じたのは、もっともである。

In the ruling, the court said it considered the defendant’s behavior before and after the killings in great detail.
 判決が重視したのは、犯行前後の被告の態度だ。

In the past, the accused had repeatedly stalked two women other than the one at the center of the Saikai incident, the court noted.
 被告は過去にも、別の女性2人につきまとい行為を繰り返していた。

In the place he was being detained after his arrest, he wrote in a notebook such things as “I’ll kill anybody who places obstacles in my way” and “I’m resolved to get the woman back even by using others.”
今回の事件後、拘置所内で「邪魔する者は殺す」「人を使ってでも女性を取り戻す」などとノートに記していた。

Although he pleaded not guilty, the defendant repeated irrational explanations that were defamatory and distressing to the bereaved family members of the victims.
 無罪を主張する被告は、公判で遺族の感情を逆なでするような供述をした。

In view of this behavior, it is quite reasonable for the court to reach the conclusion that there was no hope the defendant could be rehabilitated.
 こうした行為から、判決が「更生改善の兆しは認められない」と判断したのはうなずける。

In her testimony, the stalked woman tearfully told the court, “Although I desperately wanted police to protect me, they failed to apprehend him.” The incident has taught the police many lessons about what they should do in stalking cases.
 女性は、公判で、「警察に守ってもらおうと思ったのに、捕まえてくれなかった」と涙ながらに証言した。事件は警察の対応に大きな教訓を残した。

The woman and her relatives talked to officers from the three prefectural police departments of Chiba, Mie and Nagasaki about their fears, but the three prefectural police departments failed to share their information.
 女性や家族らは、千葉、三重、長崎の3県警に被害を相談したにもかかわらず、県警の間で情報が共有されなかった。

In particular, Chiba prefectural police officials delayed accepting the complaints and instead went off on a pleasure trip to Hokkaido before launching investigations. The police should do some serious soul-searching.
千葉県警は、被害届の受理を後回しにして、北海道に慰安旅行に出かけていた。警察は猛省が必要だ。

The antistalking law must be toughened. The Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito plan to jointly submit a bill for revising the law to the Diet.
 ストーカー規制法の強化も必要だろう。自民、公明両党は改正法案を国会に提出する方針だ。

Law must be strengthened

Currently, organs that have the power to issue a prohibition order or warning against stalking are limited to police in the area where a victim lives and the relevant prefectural public security commission. The proposed bill is designed to enable stalking victims to file complaints also with prefectural police and the public security commission in charge of the area where the offender lives and places where stalking occurs.
 現在、つきまとい行為の禁止命令や警告を出せるのは、被害者の居住地の警察、公安委員会に限られている。これを加害者の居住地や違法行為があった場所の県警、公安委も出せるようにする。

The planned bill is aimed at prompting every prefectural police department to take quick action in response to stalking offenses.
 事件に関連する各県警に迅速な対応を促すのが狙いと言える。

All prefectural police should eliminate the negative effects of the vertically segmented structure in their relations and act in coordination.
県警同士が縦割りの弊害を廃し、連携して対処することが重要だ。

The number of stalking cases reported to police last year stood at a record-high 19,920, up 40 percent from the previous year.
 警察が昨年把握したストーカー被害は、過去最悪の1万9920件だった。前年比で4割も増えた。

Stalking offenses have a high rate of recidivism.
ストーカー犯罪には再犯の可能性が高いという特徴もある。

To prevent stalking tragedies like the one in Saikai from recurring, police should deal with cases by putting themselves in the victims’ shoes.
 今回のような事件を未然に防ぐため、警察には、被害者の身になった対応が求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 16, 2013)
(2013年6月16日01時54分  読売新聞)

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2013年6月16日 (日)

東京都議選告示 参院選を占う先行指標となる

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 15, 2013
Tokyo assembly poll foreshadows result of upper house elections
東京都議選告示 参院選を占う先行指標となる(6月14日付・読売社説)

The results of the June 23 Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election, with about 10 million voters, will be a harbinger of results in the House of Councillors election scheduled for next month.
 有権者約1000万人の首都決戦は来月の参院選の先行指標となる。

A major issue in the metropolitan assembly election will be what judgment parties make on Abenomics, the economic policy of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government.
 安倍政権の経済政策である「アベノミクス」をどう評価するかが大きな争点となろう。

The official campaign period for the election starts Friday. However, the de facto election campaign is already overheating, with presidents and senior officials of political parties running to and fro in Tokyo.
 東京都議選が、きょう告示される。各党の党首、幹部クラスがすでに都内を走り回るなど、事実上の選挙戦が過熱している。

The metropolitan assembly election attracts a lot of attention because in the past it has often foreshadowed the results of national elections held soon afterward.
 都議選が注目されるのは、直後の国政選と連動することが多いからだ。

Will history repeat?

In the previous metropolitan assembly election of 2009, for instance, the Liberal Democratic Party suffered a crushing defeat while the Democratic Party of Japan made a remarkable breakthrough to become the assembly’s largest group. It was as if the poll projected the results of the House of Representatives election the following month, which brought about a change of government.
前回2009年は、自民党が大敗し、民主党が躍進を遂げて都議会最大会派となった。翌月の衆院選での政権交代を告げるような結果だった。

In the upcoming metropolitan assembly election, the LDP is trying to become the largest party in the assembly again and to secure a stable majority with its partner New Komeito.
 今回、自民党は都議会第1党の座を奪還し、公明党とともに、安定した与党勢力の確保を目指している。

Their success or failure will likely predict whether the two parties will win a majority of seats in the upper house election, thus ending the divided Diet in which opposition parties control the upper house.
参院選で過半数の議席を自公で獲得し、衆参「ねじれ国会」を解消できるかどうかを占うことにつながろう。

“[Abenomics] has drastically changed the dark, thick cloud and [negative] atmosphere that had covered Japan,” Abe said during a street speech in Tokyo. “If we keep this course, the economy will grow without doubt.”
 安倍首相は都内の遊説で、アベノミクスについて、「日本を覆っていた暗く厚い雲、空気が大きく変わった。この道を進めば、間違いなく経済成長させていくことができる」と訴えた。

The so-called third arrow of his economic policy, following bold monetary easing and flexible fiscal policy, is growth strategy. Since its outline has only just been announced, it should be allowed time to bear fruit.
 ただ、大胆な金融緩和、機動的な財政政策に続く「第3の矢」の成長戦略は発表した直後で、成果が出るのはこれからだ。

However, what kind of road map to economic recovery is the LDP going to draw? The party needs to provide more detailed explanations.
自民党は、経済再生への道筋をどう描くのか、丁寧な説明が必要だ。

Meanwhile, DPJ President Banri Kaieda stressed risks of Abenomics during his street speech. Abenomics “will raise prices, increase people’s burdens and destroy their livelihoods,” he said.
 民主党の海江田代表は街頭演説で、アベノミクスについて、「物価が上昇し、国民の負担が増え、生活を破壊する」と、そのリスクを強調した。

However, if he only stresses the disadvantages of Abenomics, it will not constitute convincing criticism. We hope Kaieda will engage in a substantial debate with the LDP by presenting a specific counterproposal to Abenomics.
 だが、マイナス面を強調するだけでは説得力のある批判とはいえまい。具体的な対案を示して深みのある論戦を展開してほしい。

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) is losing steam due to remarks by its coleader Toru Hashimoto on so-called comfort women. Your Party, which had been building a coalition with Ishin no Kai, decided to cancel their cooperation in the metropolitan assembly election after Hashimoto made the remarks. The same situation is seen in the upper house election. Attention should be focused on what judgment voters will make on the so-called third force political parties.
 日本維新の会は、橋下共同代表によるいわゆる従軍慰安婦問題の発言を巡り、失速気味だ。共闘体制を構築してきたみんなの党は、選挙協力を解消した。参院選も同じ構図だ。「第3極」に対する有権者の判断が注目される。

In the metropolitan assembly, the LDP and Komeito are ruling parties supporting Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose’s government. The DPJ, the largest group in the assembly, is also strengthening its position as a quasi-ruling party.
 都議会で、自公両党は猪瀬直樹知事の都政を支える与党だ。最大会派の民主党も与党的な立場を強めている。

There thus appears to be no major issue of local Tokyo politics on which the election is likely to turn. How will voters without any party affiliation, who abound in urban areas, respond to the situation? Low voter turnout is one troubling possibility.
それだけに、都政に関しては大きな争点がない。都市部に多い無党派層がどう動くか。投票率の低下も懸念される。

Tokyo facing challenges

In fact, however, the metropolitan government faces more than a few challenges. One of them is to make Tokyo more resistant to natural disasters as soon as possible. For instance, the metropolitan government must make a plan to deal with the huge number of people who would be unable to go home due to paralysis of public transportation after a major earthquake. It also must take fire prevention measures in residential areas crowded with wooden buildings.
Another urgent task for the metropolitan government is to reduce the number of children waiting to enter public day care centers and develop facilities for the elderly.
 しかし、都の抱える課題は少なくない。帰宅困難者対策や木造住宅密集地の解消などの防災面をはじめ、待機児童対策、高齢者施設の整備などは急務だ。

The metropolitan assembly election should be considered as an opportunity to think not only about Tokyo’s relationship with national politics but also about those specific challenges the nation’s capital is facing.
 都議選を、国政の関連だけではなく、そうした首都の現状を考える機会ともすべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 14, 2013)
(2013年6月14日01時35分  読売新聞)

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骨太方針 「再生の10年」への険しい道

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 16, 2013
Nation faces rough road ahead to achieve 'decade of revival'
骨太方針 「再生の10年」への険しい道(6月15日付・読売社説)

 ◆成長と財政再建の両立目指せ

To realize a “strong Japan,” it is indispensable to revive the economy with a growth strategy and fiscal rehabilitation as the driving forces.
 「強い日本」の実現には、成長戦略と財政再建を両輪に経済を再生することが欠かせない。

This is a steep path for Japan, which has the worst fiscal deficit of any industrialized nation, but the most important thing for the nation is to exercise its ability to get things done. In that sense, Abenomics--a set of economic policies of the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe--will be put to the test.
 先進国最悪の財政赤字を抱える日本にとって険しい道だが、肝心なのは実行力である。安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」の真価が問われる。

The government on Friday approved the basic policies for economic and fiscal management and reform at a Cabinet meeting. The policies were compiled by the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, which was revived by Abe in January. It is the first time since the cabinet of Taro Aso four years ago that such basic policies have been compiled.
 政府は14日、「経済財政運営と改革の基本方針」(骨太方針)を閣議決定した。安倍首相が1月に復活させた経済財政諮問会議がまとめた。骨太方針の作成は、麻生内閣以来、4年ぶりだ。

Abe emphasized his administration would “reverse two decades of stagnation for the Japanese economy to a new decade of revival.”
 首相は、「日本経済を停滞の20年から再生の10年へと転換する」と強調している。

Surplus target to stay
 堅持した黒字化の目標

The most important point of the basic policies is that they clearly state the government will maintain its fiscal rehabilitation target of “turning the primary fiscal balance of national and local governments into a surplus by fiscal 2020.”
 最大のポイントは、「国と地方の基礎的財政収支を2020年度までに黒字化する」という政府の財政再建目標の堅持を明記したことだ。

Currently, the fiscal deficit amounts to about 34 trillion yen. This is quite a high hurdle as this red ink must be eliminated in seven years.
現在、約34兆円に上る赤字を7年で解消するのは、極めて高いハードルである。

Furthermore, the basic policies set a new target of realizing “a steady decline in outstanding long-term debts” even after fiscal 2020.
 さらに、21年度以降についても長期債務残高の「安定的な引き下げを目指す」という新たな目標を掲げた。

The Bank of Japan has been purchasing a huge amount of government bonds under its aggressive monetary-easing policy. If this action is taken by markets as merely a way to finance the fiscal deficit and confidence toward the government fiscal policy is shaken, prices of the government bonds may sharply decline, causing long-term interest rates to further rise.
 日本銀行は、大胆な金融緩和策で巨額の国債を買い入れている。市場に財政赤字の穴埋めと受け止められて、財政への信認が揺らげば、国債価格が急落して長期金利が一段と上昇しかねない。

It is quite appropriate that the basic policies emphasize the government’s determination to realize “both sustainable economic growth and fiscal consolidation,” clarifying its stance of emphasizing fiscal discipline.
 骨太方針が「持続的成長と財政健全化の双方の実現に取り組む」と強調し、財政規律を重視する姿勢を明確にしたのは妥当だ。

Lacking concrete content

However, the policies show no concrete path for fiscal consolidation. In that sense, the policies lack depth. This is probably because the administration puts a higher priority on consideration for local governments and industry organizations, with the July House of Councillors election approaching.
 ただ、財政再建の具体的な道筋を描いておらず、踏み込みの甘さは否めない。7月の参院選を控えて、地方や業界団体などへの配慮を優先したためだろう。

The basic policies are especially unclear about cuts in government expenditures, although they do say the government will aim to review all spending for social security--the government’s biggest item of spending--without exception to promote efficiency. However, the policies only list subjects for review such as expenses for medical costs for the elderly not covered by health-care insurance and promotion of the use of generic drugs.
 特に歳出削減は歯切れが悪い。最大の歳出項目である社会保障分野について「聖域なき見直しで歳出の効率化を進める」としたが、高齢者医療費の自己負担の見直しや後発医薬品の使用促進といった課題の列挙にとどまった。

It is rather problematic that the policies do not refer to how much the spending should be cut.
 削減規模などに言及しなかったのは物足りない。

On the other hand, the policies say the government will proactively handle so-called national land strengthening measures such as improvement of aging infrastructure, including roads and bridges, as well as disaster management efforts.
 一方で、道路や橋などインフラ(社会資本)の老朽化対策や、防災などの「国土強靱(きょうじん)化」には積極的に取り組む考えを示した。

We understand the importance of these measures, but public works projects involve a huge amount of expense. It remains ambiguous in the basic policies how fiscal discipline will be maintained in this connection.
 目的は理解できるが、公共事業には巨額の支出が伴う。骨太方針では、財政規律をどう維持するかといった点は曖昧なままだ。

Concerning the planned increase in the consumption tax rate, the policies only say judgment on the raise will be made by comprehensively considering the economic situation.
 消費税率の引き上げも、「経済状況を総合的に勘案して、判断を行う」としただけだった。

Sort out policy priorities
 政策の優先度見極めよ

The focal point for the moment is whether the government will be able to articulate a clear plan for putting state finances on a sound footing when it compiles a midterm fiscal program this summer.
 当面の焦点は、政府が今夏に策定する中期財政計画で、財政健全化を着実に進める姿勢を明確に打ち出せるかどうかだ。

For fiscal rehabilitation to be successful, it is unavoidable to curb spending and promote regulatory reform although these will impose pain on the people.
 財政再建を成功させるには、国民に痛みを強いる歳出抑制や規制改革を避けてはなるまい。

Numerical targets for spending cuts and other factors that can be appreciated by the market will have to be incorporated in the fiscal program.
 財政計画には、市場に評価される歳出削減の数値目標なども盛り込む必要があるだろう。

In summer, the government will decide the ceiling on budgetary requests by ministries and agencies for the fiscal 2014 budget. Efforts must be made to devise ways of allocating limited budgets in order of priority to implement policies effectively.
 夏には、14年度予算編成の概算要求基準(シーリング)も決定する。限られた予算にしっかり優先順位を付け、効率的に政策を実施する工夫が求められる。

For fiscal reconstruction to succeed, it is also necessary for business to recover steadily.
 財政再建のためにも、景気を着実に回復させる必要がある。

The gross domestic product for the January-March quarter grew at a high 4.1 percent annual rate in real terms. In its monthly economic report released this month, the government revised upward its business assessment, saying, the economy “is picking up steadily.”
 1~3月期の国内総生産(GDP)の実質成長率は年率4・1%と高い伸びとなった。政府は6月の月例経済報告で、景気の基調判断を「着実に持ち直している」へ上方修正した。

The current economic climate has been brightening, but optimism is not warranted.
 足元の景気は明るさを増してきたが、油断は禁物である。

At the behest of Prime Minister Abe, it was decided to start annual discussions about tax system reforms, such as tax breaks for plant and equipment investment, earlier than in usual years. This is an appropriate judgment.
 首相の指示で、企業の設備投資減税など税制改正の議論を例年より前倒しで始めることにしたのは適切な判断だろう。

Abe expressed his willingness to carry out the government’s growth strategy, saying it “will submit necessary bills in an extraordinary Diet session in autumn, which will be a ‘growth strategy parliament.’”
 首相は「秋の臨時国会を成長戦略国会と位置づけ、必要な法案を提出する」と意欲を見せた。

The growth strategy is designed to realize economic recovery with the initiative of the private sector and to expand business further. An increased growth rate would bring about a rise in tax revenue, thereby putting fiscal management on a sound footing. This would alleviate anxiety about the future, and personal consumption and corporate capital investment would soar. Realizing such a virtuous circle is very desirable.
 成長戦略で民間主導の回復を図り、景気拡大をさらに確実なものにする。成長率を高めることで税収を増やし、財政が健全化する。将来不安が和らぎ、個人消費や投資の意欲も増大する――。そうした好循環を実現したい。

Restart N-reactors
 原発再稼働は不可欠だ

Realization of stable growth is premised on a stable supply of cheap electricity.
 安定成長の実現は、安価な電力の安定供給が前提となる。

Operation has been suspended in almost all of the nation’s nuclear power stations. This has led to increased fuel costs at thermal power plants and a series of hikes in utility bills.
 ほとんどの原子力発電所が運転を停止しているため、火力発電の燃料費がかさみ、電気料金の値上げも相次いでいる。

It is natural that the basic policies clearly state, “The restarting of nuclear reactors will be promoted by respecting the judgment of the Nuclear Regulation Authority.”
骨太方針が原発について「原子力規制委員会の判断を尊重し、再稼働を進める」と明記したのは当然である。

The nuclear watchdog’s new regulation standards will be in place in July. We urge the authority to screen utilities’ applications to restart their reactors without delay.
 原子力規制委の新たな規制基準は7月に施行される。電力会社による再稼働申請について、遅滞なく審査することが求められる。

The government must exercise leadership in winning over local governments, which have administrative authority over sites where nuclear power plants are located, so reactors can be restarted smoothly after their safety is confirmed by the authority.
 規制委が安全を確認した原発の再稼働が円滑に進むよう、政府は率先して立地自治体の説得などにあたるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 15, 2013)
(2013年6月15日01時20分  読売新聞)

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株価急落 相場の変動に振り回されるな

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 15, 2013
Govt, BOJ must stay calm in face of fast-changing market trends
株価急落 相場の変動に振り回されるな(6月14日付・読売社説)

Reflecting the turbulent moves of speculative money on world markets, erratic fluctuations in this country of both stock prices and exchange rates have continued.
 世界的な投資マネーの激しい動きを受け、株価と円相場の乱高下が止まらない。

Confronted with this situation, the government and the Bank of Japan must remain calm and steadily push ahead with down-to-earth economic policies.
 政府と日銀は浮足立たず、地に足の着いた経済政策を推進すべきである。

The 225-issue Nikkei index on the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell sharply Thursday, ending the day at 12,445, down 843 points from Wednesday’s close. The yen’s appreciation, on the other hand, advanced, briefly hitting the 93 yen level against the dollar.
 東京市場は13日、平均株価が前日比843円安の1万2445円に急落した。円相場も一時、1ドル=93円台まで円高が進んだ。

The Nikkei average, however, is still more than 2,000 points higher than it was when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe launched his second administration in late December.
 とはいえ、平均株価は第2次安倍内閣が発足した昨年12月下旬より2000円以上も高い。

3rd arrow fired

The recent strengthening of the yen is not so painful as to deal a heavy blow to export-oriented industries. It should be noted that a stronger yen has the favorable effect of stemming rises in import prices.
 円高は輸出企業に打撃を与える水準ではなく、輸入物価の高騰を抑えるプラス面もある。

The government has mapped out the nation’s growth strategy, meaning that all three arrows of the Abe Cabinet’s Abenomics business stimulus package have been fired.
 政府が成長戦略を策定し、安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」は3本の矢がそろったばかりだ。

Overreacting to market trends could cause declines in confidence in the government and the central bank, and threaten market turmoil.
ここで市場の動きに過剰反応すれば、政府と日銀の政策に対する信認が揺らぎ、かえって混乱に拍車をかけかねない。

Abe and Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda met Thursday to discuss the economic situation prior to the Group of Eight summit scheduled to open in Britain on Monday.
 この日は、安倍首相と黒田東彦日銀総裁が会談し、17日から英国で開かれる主要8か国首脳会議(G8サミット)を前に、経済情勢について意見交換した。

Kuroda was quoted as explaining to the prime minister that the current pace of Japan’s economic recovery “has gradually becoming more buoyant than before.” In response, Abe was quoted as saying the government would take its “share of responsibility by steadfastly implementing growth strategies and relevant policy measures.”
 黒田総裁が「日本経済は、回復の足取りが次第に力強くなっている」と説明したのに対し、首相は「成長戦略など政府の役割をしっかり果たす」と決意を示した。

Their views can be said to represent a correct assessment of the current state of the economy.
妥当な現状認識と言える。

The stock market plunge was attributed to the perception by the market that U.S. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke may have hinted the Fed would wind down its ultra-easy monetary policy sooner than expected.
 そもそも最近の株安は、米連邦準備制度理事会(FRB)のバーナンキ議長の発言が、超金融緩和策の縮小を示唆したと受け止められたことがきっかけだ。

This led market players to move funds away from risky assets such as stocks.
 世界の投資資金が株式などのリスク資産から流出し始めた。

Foreign investors who purchased Japanese stocks in large quantities have started to sell their shareholdings. In addition, speculative moves intended to drive down stock prices and high-speed, automated transactions are two other factors considered responsible for the market plunge.
日本株を大量に買った海外投資家が売りに転じ、売り崩しを狙う投機筋の動きや、コンピューターで瞬時に売買が成立する高速取引の普及などの要因も重なった。

Trying to control the global flow of money simply through Japan’s domestic policy measures is extremely difficult.
 世界的な資金の流れを、日本国内の政策でコントロールしようとしても難しい。

It is incorrect to call the decline in stock prices the result of “insufficiencies in growth strategies” needed to revitalize the economy.
 株安の原因を「成長戦略が踏み込み不足だから」などと決めつけるのは的外れだろう。

However, the government should be partly blamed for misleading the public. When stock prices were on the rise until late May, the prime minister and ministers in charge of economic affairs repeatedly stressed that this was due to the “fruit of Abenomics.” They must engage in serious soul-searching over the new development, as the declines in stock prices could be deemed as representing a failure of the government’s economic policies.
 ただ、誤解を生んだ責任は政権側にもある。5月までの株高を、首相や経済閣僚が「アベノミクスの成果」と強調する場面が目立った。その裏返しに、株安の原因が政策の失敗と見なされやすくなることを、肝に銘じるべきだ。

Vigilance rather than action

Earlier this week, rumors spread that the Bank of Japan might hammer out measures to stabilize long-term interest rates. As soon as it was learned that the central bank has no such intention, the yen began to appreciate and stock prices dived.
 今週は日銀が長期金利の安定化策を打ち出すとの観測が強まり、その実施が見送られるや、円高・株安に振れた。

The stock and financial markets appear to be “wooing” the central bank to come up with additional financial measures to stabilize the markets.
追加策を“催促”するような相場展開である。

It is inadvisable for the bank to adopt any measures that kowtow to market pressures.
 催促されるまま追加策を講じるのは得策ではない。

However, vigilance over market trends must be the order of the day.
今は市場動向を油断なく注視すべき局面だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 14, 2013)
(2013年6月14日01時35分  読売新聞)

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2013年6月14日 (金)

全柔連会長続投 「退場勧告」への感度も鈍い

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 14, 2013
Judo federation must cleanse itself if it hopes to achieve reform
全柔連会長続投 「退場勧告」への感度も鈍い(6月13日付・読売社説)

The only way to revive an entity that lacks the ability to purify itself is to completely change the awareness of its members. We are simply astonished that the head of such an organization has announced he will not resign, despite the many problems plaguing his federation.
 自浄能力のない組織を再生させるには、人心の一新しかあるまい。
 この期に及んでの続投表明には、唖然(あぜん)とする。

Haruki Uemura, president of the All Japan Judo Federation, or Zenjuren--which has been hit with a series of scandals--has announced he intends to stay on as president of the organization, saying, “To carry out appropriate reform is the mission tasked to me.”
 不祥事が相次ぐ全日本柔道連盟の上村春樹会長が、今後も会長職にとどまる意向を表明した。「きちんとした改革をやることが、私に課せられた使命」と続投の理由を語った。

At an about three-hour federation board of directors’ meeting held Tuesday, whether Uemura should resign was reportedly not on the meeting agenda. Uemura and other executive federation members’ intent to take no responsibility over the organization’s management is far removed from societal norms.
 約3時間に及んだ11日の理事会で、会長の進退は議題に上らなかったという。組織運営の責任を取ろうとしない上村会長ら全柔連幹部の意識は、社会通念と大きくかけ離れている。

No end to scandals

Concerning the federation, physical violence and verbal abuse directed toward female judoka on the national team by their then head coach came to light in January.
 全柔連では1月、全日本女子前監督の女子選手に対する暴力・暴言が明るみに出た。

Another problem emerged in March. The federation forced individual members of its support committee, which works to help improve judoka’s skills, to divert a portion of subsidies provided by the Japan Sports Council for that purpose to the committee itself.
 3月には、日本スポーツ振興センターから強化委員に支払われた助成金の一部を強化委員会に上納させている問題が発覚した。

Last month, it was also revealed that a former top female judoka was the target of obscene acts by a member of the board of directors.
 理事による元女子選手へのわいせつ行為も先月、判明した。

Three directors in total were forced to resign over these scandals. It is crystal clear that the president, as the leader of the organization, cannot evade his supervisory responsibility.
 これらの問題で、計3人の理事が辞任に追い込まれた。会長も組織のトップとしての監督責任を免れないのは明らかだ。

In regard to the misused subsidies, the outstanding sum amounted to about 23 million yen as of March. The rest was reported to have been primarily used by the committee for wining and dining expenses.
 プールされた助成金の残高は、3月時点で約2300万円にも上っている。主に飲食費として使われてきたとされる。

Unacceptable behavior

Such behavior should not be allowed in a public interest incorporated foundation, which is entitled to preferential tax treatment. A third-party panel investigating the problem determined in its interim report in April that it was an organizational decision to use the subsidies outside of their intended purposes. The panel criticized the judo federation as “lacking the spirit to observe rules.”
 税制上の優遇措置を受けている公益財団法人として、許されない実態である。第三者委員会も4月の中間報告で、助成金の組織的な目的外使用だと認定し、「順法精神に欠ける」と批判した。

We should not overlook the fact that the subsidies’ obligatory payment system to the committee had already existed when Uemura was chairman of the support committee.
 上村会長が強化委員長だった時代に、既に上納システムが存在していた事実は看過できない。

It is also a major problem that Zenjuren was ordered by the Cabinet Office’s Public Interest Corporation Commission to resubmit a report on the scandals.
 全柔連が、内閣府の公益認定等委員会から報告書の再提出を要求されたことも大きな問題だ。

The commission, which examines applications for public interest incorporated associations and foundations, and supervises approved organizations, requested Zenjuren to submit a report on the problems. However, in its report, the organization pointed a finger at the third-party panel, saying it “felt something was wrong” with the panel’s evaluation of the federation.
 公益法人の審査や監督をする公益認定等委員会が、一連の不祥事の報告を求めたところ、全柔連は第三者委の中間報告の内容に「違和感がある」などと反論した。

The report was submitted to the commission at the discretion of a few executives, including Uemura, without discussing the matter at a board of directors meeting.
 理事会に諮らず、上村会長ら執行部の独断で提出したという。

It is only reasonable for the Cabinet Office commission to point out that the comment “led us to suspect that Zenjuren has governance problems.”
公益認定等委員会が「ガバナンスの在り方に疑念を抱かせる」と指摘したのは、もっともである。

Since the federation was founded in 1949, the post of Zenjuren president has been held by a son and a grandson of Jigoro Kano, judo’s founder. Exercising his influence as the federation’s honorary president, Kano’s grandson acts as a guardian to Uemura, the organization’s first nonhereditary president.
 全柔連会長は、1949年の創設以来、柔道の創始者である嘉納治五郎の子息と孫が務めてきた。その孫がいまだに名誉会長として影響力を保持し、世襲ではない初の会長となった上村氏の後ろ盾となっている。

Zenjuren does not function as a healthy organization should. If Uemura says he will reform the federation, reshuffling its executive members should be a matter of course. Additionally, the federation needs to change its closed nature by employing external and female board members.
 全柔連は組織の体を成していない。改革すると言うなら、執行部の刷新はもちろん、外部理事や女性理事の登用などで、閉鎖的な体質を改めることが必要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 13, 2013)
(2013年6月13日01時27分  読売新聞)

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薬のネット販売 安全性と利便性両立が必要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 14, 2013
Regulation of online drug sales should promote safety, convenience
薬のネット販売 安全性と利便性両立が必要だ(6月13日付・読売社説)

We believe the government’s decision regarding the online sales of nonprescription drugs must please people who have limited means of transportation, such as the disabled and the elderly, and those who live on remote islands or in mountainous areas that lack pharmacies.
 移動手段が限られる障害者や高齢者、薬局のない離島・山間部の住民にとって朗報だろう。

The government will mandate in its growth strategy, which is scheduled to be approved by the Cabinet on Friday, the lifting of a ban on online sales of nonprescription drugs, with certain exceptions.
 政府は14日に閣議決定する成長戦略に、市販薬のインターネット販売の原則解禁を明記する方針だ。

Under the plan, regulations on online sales of nonprescription drugs will be significantly relaxed. Currently, only a limited number of drugs are allowed to be sold online, but consumers will soon be able to purchase most of the 11,400 existing nonprescription drugs through the Internet.
 一部の薬だけだったネット販売の規制が大幅に緩和される。市販薬約1万1400品目のほとんどがネットで買えるようになる。

Although the economic impact of the move remains uncertain, the government expects the plan will be a symbol of its regulatory reform efforts.
 ネット解禁による経済波及効果は未知数だが、規制改革の象徴的な意味合いがある。

The lifting of the ban was prompted by a Supreme Court ruling in January. The top court concluded that the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry’s ordinance banning online sales of drugs--except for a few drugs said to have a low risk of side effects--was “illegal and invalid.”
 今回の規制緩和の契機になったのが、今年1月の最高裁判決だ。副作用の恐れが低いとされる一部の薬を除き、ネット販売を禁止してきた厚生労働省の省令について「違法で無効」と判断した。

The top court said the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law contained no clear indication that nonprescription drugs must be sold face-to-face. Currently, nonprescription drugs are required to be sold at drugstores through pharmacists or registered vendors.
 薬事法からは、薬剤師らによる対面販売を義務付けることは読み取れないとの理由だった。

The growth strategy said the safety of drugs should be discussed rationally and objectively, regardless of whether drugs are sold online or face-to-face, an apparent reflection of the judicial decision. We believe it is absolutely necessary to get rid of excessive regulations.
 成長戦略が、薬の安全性は「ネット販売か対面販売かを問わず合理的、客観的に検討すべきだ」と指摘するのは、こうした司法判断を踏まえた見解だろう。過剰な規制を取り払うのは当然だ。

There has been research suggesting that the quality of communication conducted via the Internet is not necessarily inferior to that of face-to-face communication.
 インターネットによる情報伝達が対面より劣るとは言えない、との研究報告もある。

Some regulations necessary

However, we should not overlook a problem that emerged after the January ruling. Many companies have entered the online drug sales market since then. As a result, the ban on online sales has in effect dissolved along with the restrictions.
 問題は、最高裁判決の後、市販薬のネット販売に多数の業者が参入し、実質的に全面解禁状態になっていることである。

The possibility of nonprescription drugs causing serious side effects is extremely low. However, 24 cases of death resulting from nonprescription medication have been reported in the five years since fiscal 2007.
 市販薬による重い副作用が起きる確率は極めて低いものの、2007年度から5年間で計24件の死亡例が報告されている。

If massive amounts of nonprescription drugs are sold carelessly over the Internet, the risk of accidents will rise. Of course, the same can be said of over-the-counter sales, but we believe a certain amount of regulation of online sales of such drugs is necessary.
 安易に大量販売が行われれば、事故の危険性も高まる。対面販売でも事情は同じだが、一定のルールは必要ではないか。

It was thus appropriate for the government to keep some exceptions to the ban on online sales of nonprescription drugs in tact. Due to safety considerations, the government said experts will further discuss the handling of 25 drugs, such as Loxonin, a prescription antipyretic-analgesic drug that was recently recategorized as a nonprescription drug.
 政府がネット販売解禁にあたって、例外を設けたのは理解できる。安全性を確保するため、医師の処方薬から市販薬に転用されて間もない解熱鎮痛剤「ロキソニン」など25品目については、さらに専門家で扱いを検討するとした。

Learn from foreign examples

The government said it will draw a conclusion on such drugs by the end of autumn, and aims to build a framework for them that is similar to the system for general nonprescription drugs, but which also promotes their careful sale and use. We want to remind the government of the importance of establishing a system that does not confuse consumers.
 「処方薬に準じた形での慎重な販売や使用を促すための仕組み」について、秋ごろまでに結論を出すという。消費者に混乱を招かないよう配慮してもらいたい。

It seems that counterfeit drugs are being sold through some websites that sell privately imported drugs. The government must work out measures to effectively monitor such malicious businesses and eradicate them.
 薬を海外から個人輸入するネット販売では、偽造薬も出回っている。こうした悪質業者をいかに監視・排除するかである。

Britain is a good example to follow. The British government has already lifted its ban on online medicine sales. Business entities there are required to register with a pharmacist organization and obtain a mark of certification.
 例えば、薬品のネット販売を解禁している英国は、業者が薬剤師の団体に登録し、認証マークを取得することを求めている。

The government must make wholehearted efforts so that the safety and convenience of consumers will be achieved simultaneously.
 政府は消費者の安全性と利便性の両立を図るために、知恵を絞らねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 13, 2013)
(2013年6月13日01時27分  読売新聞)

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2013年6月13日 (木)

トルコのデモ 首相の強権姿勢が反発招いた

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 13, 2013
Erdogan's heavy-handed policies fan flames of unrest in Turkey
トルコのデモ 首相の強権姿勢が反発招いた(6月12日付・読売社説)

In Turkey, which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited a month ago, police have fired tear gas and water cannons at demonstrators to quell protests calling for the resignation of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that have continued for more than 10 days.
 1か月前に安倍首相が訪れたトルコで、エルドアン首相の退陣を求めるデモが10日以上も続き、警察が催涙弾と放水で強制排除に乗り出した。

The protests have brought turmoil to the country, leaving several people dead. We hope the serious unrest will be brought under control as soon as possible.
 デモの混乱で死者も出ており、深刻な事態が続いている。一日も早い収拾が望まれる。

Turkey is a strategically important regional power that borders civil war-hit Syria and Iraq, which is in the middle of national rebuilding. If Turkey’s political uncertainty becomes prolonged, its burgeoning economy could suffer a setback. The unrest could also deal a blow to efforts to stabilize the Middle East.
 地域大国のトルコは、内戦が続くシリアや再建途上のイラクと国境を接する要衝だ。政情不安が長引けば、好調だった自国経済への打撃になるばかりか、中東地域の安定化にも影響が出かねない。

The protests were triggered by a heavy-handed crackdown that involved the use of tear gas by police during a protest against a redevelopment plan for a park in the nation’s largest city of Istanbul.
 デモのきっかけは、最大都市イスタンブールの公園の再開発計画に反対する集会を、警察が催涙弾で鎮圧しようとしたことだ。

Angry demonstrators, mostly young people, have harnessed the Internet to call on people to rise up, causing the number of antigovernment protesters to swell into the tens of thousands. The protests have since spread to the capital of Ankara and other cities.
 怒った若者らがインターネットで呼びかけ、数万人規模にふくれあがった。首都アンカラなど他の都市にも広がっている。

Results oriented leader

Despite the criticism, Erdogan has delivered results by rebuilding his country’s economy. In the decade since he took office, Turkey’s gross domestic product has more than doubled, and the nation has raised its international status and become one of the Group of 20 major economies.
 ただ、エルドアン首相は経済再建で実績を上げている。就任以来の10年で、トルコの国内総生産(GDP)は2倍以上になり、主要20か国・地域(G20)の一員として、国際的地位も向上した。

Turkish people apparently gave credit to Erdogan’s achievements, as his Justice and Development Party, a moderate Islamic party, overwhelmingly won in general elections in 2007 and 2011. It is understandable that the prime minister is confident in keeping his administration in power.
 首相が率いる穏健イスラム政党の公正発展党が2007年と11年の総選挙で大勝したのも、高い評価の表れである。首相が政権維持に自信を持つのは理解できる。

However, it is evident that public frustration has grown especially among secular people over his Islamic policy and perceived autocratic political style.
 だが、イスラム色が強い政策と強権的な政治手法に、特に、世俗派の国民が不満を強めているのは明らかだ。

Since its foundation in the 1920s, Turkey has applied the principle of secularism, separating religion from politics.
 トルコは、1920年代の建国以来、政治と宗教を分離する世俗主義を国是としてきた。

But the recent enactment of a law banning alcohol sales from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. has increasingly alarmed secular opponents that the law was enacted to uphold Islamic values.
 最近、酒類販売を午後10時から午前6時まで禁じる法律が成立したことに、世俗派は、イスラム的な価値観に基づく立法だと、一層危機感を募らせている。

In the wake of incidents such as the arrests of journalists critical of the government, questions also have been raised over freedom of speech in the country. Some protesters have criticized Turkey’s media as reporting from a pro-government viewpoint.
 政府に批判的なジャーナリストが逮捕されるなど、言論の自由にも疑問符がつく。デモ参加者は国内メディアを「政府のご用聞き」とも批判した。

Authority challenged

According to his party’s rules, Erdogan, who is serving a third term, is supposed to step down as prime minister after the current term. However, there has been speculation that he will seek the presidency after beefing up the presidential authority by amending the Constitution.
 在任3期目の首相は、党規則によれば今期限りで退くことになるが、憲法改正で大統領権限を強化した上で、大統領に転身するのでは、との疑念がつきまとう。

Referring to protesters as “looters,” Erdogan remains defiant, urging loyalists of his party to take part in rallies in Ankara and Istanbul to counter antigovernment protests.
 首相自身、デモ参加者を「ならず者」と非難し、反政府デモに対抗する集会をアンカラとイスタンブールで開くとして、与党支持者に参加を呼びかける強硬な姿勢を崩していない。

Such a firm stance has fueled concern that the confrontation between secularists and supporters of the ruling party will intensify.
 世俗派と与党支持層の対決色が強まることが憂慮される。

Will Erdogan be able to avert further splits in society by listening to the voices of secular people, whose frustration has turned into protests? His ability to handle this incident will no doubt be tested.
 デモに表れた世俗派の不満に耳を傾け、社会の分裂を回避することはできるのか。首相の舵(かじ)取りが問われよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 12, 2013)
(2013年6月12日01時18分  読売新聞)

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公務員制度改革 政治主導の人事ならいいのか

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 13, 2013
Civil servant system reform must not pander to the public
公務員制度改革 政治主導の人事ならいいのか(6月12日付・読売社説)

Careful discussions are necessary on a review of the civil servant system--one of the foundations of the nation--so problems will not be created in the future.
 国家の土台となる制度の見直しだ。
 将来に禍根を残さないよう、慎重な検討が求められる。

The government will draw up, as early as this month, an overarching picture of the national civil servant system reform. It plans to submit related bills to the Diet after next month’s House of Councillors election. The ruling parties apparently want to emphasize their positive stance toward the reform ahead of the election campaign, but it cannot be denied that their move is somewhat abrupt.
 政府は今月中にも、国家公務員制度改革の全体像をまとめる。参院選後の国会に関連法案を提出する方針だ。選挙戦に備え、制度改革へ積極的な姿勢をアピールしたいのだろうが、唐突の感は否めない。

The government faces several major challenges such as reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake, lifting the economy out of deflation and the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations. We do not think high priority should be given to civil servant system reform.
 震災復興や、デフレ脱却、環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉など、政府は様々な課題に直面している。国家公務員制度改革の優先度が高いとは言えまい。

The Democratic Party of Japan administration’s misguided “lawmaker-led politics” has been overturned, and bureaucrats have reportedly regained a zeal for their work. The government should first explain the point and benefits of the reform, such as what problems bedevil the existing system and why the reform is necessary.
 民主党政権の誤った「政治主導」が見直され、官僚が仕事に前向きになったとされる。現制度のどこに支障があり、何のための改革か、まず意義と効用を示すべきだ。

Back to the future

A bill on this reform was submitted to the Diet by the Cabinet of former Prime Minister Taro Aso in 2009 but was scrapped. Tomomi Inada, state minister in charge of civil service reform, said the government will examine the bill and resubmit it to the Diet.
 稲田公務員改革相は、麻生内閣が2009年に国会に提出して廃案になった法案を精査し、出し直す考えを明らかにした。

The main pillar of the bill was the establishment of a new cabinet personnel affairs bureau that will integrate the personnel affairs of senior officials of the Cabinet Office and ministries. The new bureau will be under the Cabinet Secretariat.
 この法案は、「内閣人事局」を新設し、府省の幹部人事を一元化することが柱だった。

The Cabinet Secretariat would have been able to control senior officials from the Cabinet Office and ministries, and the prime minister or chief cabinet secretary could take the political initiative in appointing or dismissing them.
 内閣官房が幹部を府省横断的に掌握し、首相や官房長官の政治主導で任免できる。

The bill was aimed at rectifying a harmful effect of bureaucratic sectionalism that seemingly placed importance on ministries’ interests above the national interests.
「国益より省益重視」と言われる、縦割り行政の弊害の改善を目指していた。

However, there are about 600 senior official positions, including vice ministers and bureau chiefs. If candidates for those posts and applicants for open recruitment are included, the personnel affairs process becomes enormous. Is it possible to fairly and accurately gauge the performance and skills of so many individuals? There is also concern that politicians could make arbitrary judgments in personnel affairs.
 だが、次官、局長など幹部職は約600に上り、その候補者や公募への応募者も含めれば、膨大な人事となる。個人の業績や能力を公正かつ的確に審査できるのか。政治家の恣意(しい)的な人事が行われないかとの懸念もある。

The envisaged bureau will have jurisdiction over the management of the number of officials in different classes currently classified based on job complexity, responsibility and other factors by the National Personnel Authority. Civil servant salaries are based on this classification. The bureau will manage the structure and number of officials at the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry. We think consolidating the disjointed administration of personnel affairs will make administrative organizations more efficient.
 内閣人事局は、給与をランク付ける人事院の「級別定数」管理や、総務省の機構・定員管理の事務なども所管する。バラバラの人事行政を集約することは行政組織を効率化することにつながろう。

Opposition joining fray

However, the National Personnel Authority in 2009 opposed control of the class-based quota being handed to the Cabinet Secretariat, which manages civil servants.
 ただ、人事院は09年当時、公務員の使用者側である内閣官房が級別定数を担うことに反対した。

Every year, the personnel authority recommends a revision in national civil servants’ salaries to compensate for the fact that their basic labor rights are restricted. The authority has a point in insisting that its function to compensate for this situation will be reduced if it cannot manage the class-based quota, which is a main factor in determining civil servants’ working conditions.
 人事院は、国家公務員が労働基本権を制約されていることの代償措置として毎年、給与勧告を行っている。勤務条件の中で主要な要素である級別定数を管理できなくなれば、人事院の代償機能が損なわれるとの主張も一理ある。

The Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe needs to deal with this matter after closely examining past discussions.
 安倍内閣は論争の経緯を十分踏まえて対応する必要がある。

Opposition parties also are preparing a plan to reform the civil servant system before the upper house election. This is probably because they believe “civil servant bashing” will go down well with the public. Your Party said it will abolish the guaranteed status of national civil servants by granting them basic labor rights, which would make layoffs possible.
 参院選に向け、野党も改革案を準備中だ。「公務員たたき」は国民受けすると見るからだろう。みんなの党は国家公務員に労働基本権を付与して身分保障を撤廃し、リストラを可能にするという。

It would be absurd if the reform lowers civil servants’ morale and accelerates the tendency among young people to shy away from becoming public workers. The reform must not pander to the public.
 制度改革が、公務員の士気を下げ、若者の“公務員離れ”を加速させるようでは本末転倒だ。大衆迎合的な改革にしてはならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 12, 2013)
(2013年6月12日01時18分  読売新聞)

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2013年6月12日 (水)

オスプレイ訓練 沖縄の負担を軽減する一石に

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 12, 2013
Osprey proposal a chance to get ball rolling on easing Okinawa's burden
オスプレイ訓練 沖縄の負担を軽減する一石に(6月11日付・読売社説)

It is important that the unfair burden Okinawa Prefecture shoulders by hosting U.S. bases be reduced and shared by the entire nation. However, the latest proposal designed to make this a reality seems doomed.
 沖縄県の過重な負担を日本全体で分かち合うことは大切だが、実現性には疑問符が付く。

In talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) coleader and Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto and Ishin no Kai secretary general and Osaka Gov. Ichiro Matsui proposed that some training flights of the MV-22 Osprey transport aircraft stationed in Okinawa Prefecture be held at Yao Airport in Osaka Prefecture.
 日本維新の会の橋下共同代表(大阪市長)と松井幹事長(大阪府知事)が安倍首相と会談し、沖縄県に配備中の米軍新型輸送機MV22オスプレイの一部訓練を大阪・八尾空港に移転することを提案した。

Abe instructed Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera to study whether holding Osprey training flights at the small airport is feasible.
 首相は、移転の可否について小野寺防衛相に検討を指示した。

Twelve Ospreys were deployed at the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture last autumn. An additional 12 are scheduled to arrive at Futenma this summer.
 オスプレイは昨秋、米軍普天間飛行場に12機が配備された。今夏に12機が追加配備される予定だ。

Opposition to these deployments remains strong in Okinawa, apparently due to misunderstandings or prejudice that the aircraft is highly accident-prone.
事故の恐れが高いという誤解や偏見が多いためか、沖縄では今も、配備への反対論が強い。

Osaka plan had holes

The aircraft has conducted five training exercises over the main islands of Japan, with the marine corps’ Iwakuni Air Base in Yamaguchi Prefecture as the main base. The Osprey has a long flight range, so it may be possible to transfer more training flights outside Okinawa.
 オスプレイは既に、山口県の米軍岩国基地を拠点に日本本土で5回、飛行訓練を実施している。航続距離が長いだけに、さらに訓練移転を増やすこともできよう。

We applaud Hashimoto and Matsui for their awareness of Okinawa’s excessive burden and their willingness, as leaders of local governments on the mainland, to actively alleviate the load on Okinawa.
 沖縄の負担軽減に本土が積極的に協力したいという橋下氏らの問題意識自体は、評価できる。

Despite this, their proposal was obviously not the product of a thorough study on its feasibility and rationality from a military perspective.
 一方で、今回の提案が、実現可能性や軍事的な合理性を十分検討したものでないのは明らかだ。

The Iwakuni base has an offshore runway. By contrast, Yao Airport sits in an inland residential area. Yao residents are concerned about noise and safety problems, and Mayor Seita Tanaka opposes the proposal.
 沖合滑走路のある岩国基地と違って、八尾空港は内陸の住宅密集地に位置する。周辺住民の騒音・安全対策が課題となり、地元市長も反対している。

The training flights would require hangars and refueling facilities to be upgraded, so the proposal would not be very cost-effective.
格納庫や給油施設などの整備も必要とされ、費用対効果も芳しくない。

Existing U.S. bases such as Camp Fuji in Shizuoka Prefecture and Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture are far more realistic options than Yao.
 キャンプ富士、三沢基地など、既存の米軍施設の方が、はるかに現実的な選択肢だろう。

Hashimoto’s recent controversial remarks on so-called comfort women has triggered a plunge in the popularity of Ishin no Kai in the proportional representation bloc of the upcoming House of Councillors election. Some pundits speculate that the Osprey proposal was merely political opportunism by Hashimoto to recover some lost ground.
 橋下氏の慰安婦発言で、参院比例選投票先で維新の会が落ち込む中、今回の提案は失地回復を目指す政治的パフォーマンスにすぎない、との見方が出るゆえんだ。

When Hashimoto was Osaka governor, he said Kansai Airport in Osaka Prefecture could be used to accommodate some functions of the Futenma air base. But there also were doubts about whether that proposal made sense from a military perspective.
 橋下氏は大阪府知事時代、普天間飛行場の移設先として関西空港を挙げたことがあるが、これも軍事的合理性に疑いがあった。

U.S. bases play vital role

According to political observers, Abe accepted Hashimoto’s proposal primarily because his party, the Liberal Democratic Party, is considering cooperating with Ishin no Kai after the upper house election.
 首相が橋下氏の提案を前向きに受け止めたのも、参院選後の維新の会との連携を視野に入れているため、と見られている。

For all that, Hashimoto’s proposal should not be allowed to end up as a fleeting idea. The central and local governments must deal properly with the issue of reducing the burdens of Okinawa.
 だが、だからと言って、今回の提案を一過性のもので終わらせてはならない。政府と全国の自治体は、沖縄の米軍基地負担の軽減にきちんと取り組む必要がある。

Given North Korea’s nuclear and missile development programs and China’s rapid military buildup, stably maintaining the stationing of U.S. bases to ensure the peace and security of Japan has become even more necessary.
 北朝鮮の核ミサイル開発や中国の急速な軍備増強を踏まえれば、日本の平和と安全を確保するために米軍の駐留を安定的に継続する必要性は一段と増している。

Live drills by U.S. marines stationed in Okinawa Prefecture and training flights of F-15 fighter jets deployed at Kadena Air Base in the same prefecture have been transferred out of Okinawa. We hope moves to shift Osprey training flights will make steady progress.
 これまでも、在沖縄海兵隊の実弾砲撃訓練や嘉手納基地所属のF15の飛行訓練は全国に分散移転されてきた。オスプレイについても着実に分散移転を進めたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 11, 2013)
(2013年6月11日01時18分  読売新聞)

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米中首脳会談 力に依存しては共存できない

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 12, 2013
China's reliance on force hampers its pursuit of coexistence with U.S.
米中首脳会談 力に依存しては共存できない(6月11日付・読売社説)

For stability in the Asia-Pacific region, it is essential that the United States and China--the world’s sole superpower and the second-largest military and economic power--take confidence-building measures.
 超大国の米国と世界第2位の軍事・経済大国である中国が信頼醸成を図ることは、アジア太平洋の安定に欠かせない。

Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the United States and met with U.S. President Barack Obama at a retreat in California. It is unusual for a Chinese president to visit the United States only three months after his inauguration to meet with a U.S. president.
 中国の習近平国家主席が米国を訪問し、オバマ大統領とカリフォルニア州の保養施設で会談した。中国の国家主席が就任後わずか3か月で訪米し、米大統領と会談したのは異例だ。

Through eight hours over two days, the two leaders discussed a new cooperative bilateral relationship. They agreed to step up pressure on North Korea over its nuclear programs and promote measures to address global warming. But their differences in intentions were conspicuous.
 2日間計約8時間にわたる会談を通じ、両首脳は米中両国の新たな協力関係を巡って協議した。北朝鮮の核問題での圧力強化や地球温暖化対策推進で一致したが、思惑の違いも目立った。

The “new model for a relationship between major countries” that Xi is seeking is a relationship with the United States on an equal footing, in which both sides respect each other’s social systems and core interests. Close attention should be paid to Xi’s remarks during the talks that “the vast Pacific Ocean has enough space for the two large nations of China and the United States.”
 習氏が目指す「新型の大国関係」とは、相互の社会制度や「核心的利益」を尊重する、米国と対等の関係である。会談で習氏が「広大な太平洋には両大国を受け入れる十分な空間がある」と語ったことには注意を払わねばならない。

Obama, for his part, called for a “peaceful rise” of China based on the premise that it abide by international rules.
 これに対し、オバマ氏は国際ルールの順守を前提にした「平和的な台頭」を中国に求めた。

Cybersecurity concerns

Xi also requested information regarding U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral trade talks. Beijing apparently is wary that the envisaged trade framework could effectively contain China.
 習氏は、米国主導の環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉に関する情報提供も要請した。対中包囲網への警戒感があるのだろう。

Obama expressed concerns regarding the focal issue of cyber-attacks seeking illegal access to data, saying resolving cybersecurity issues would be key to the future of U.S.-China economic relations. His remarks are based on suspicions voiced in the United States that the Chinese government is involved in such activities.
 焦点のサイバー攻撃による情報不正入手問題で、オバマ氏は、中国政府が関与しているとの米側の疑念を背景に、「この問題の解決は米中経済関係の将来のカギを握る」と懸念を示した。

As long as Xi insists that China is also “a victim of cyber-attacks,” Beijing should take measures to block hacking in cooperation with the United States.
 習氏が「中国は被害者だ」と強調する以上、不正入手阻止の対策を米国と進めてもらいたい。

As for the Japan-China confrontation over the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, Obama called for dialogue through diplomatic channels rather than actions on the East China Sea. This was meant to persuade China--which continues its saber-rattling by allowing its marine surveillance ships and other vessels to enter Japan’s territorial waters near the Senkaku Islands--to exercise self-restraint.
 沖縄県・尖閣諸島を巡る日中対立について、オバマ氏は「東シナ海での行動ではなく、外交ルートを通じた対話」を求めた。海洋監視船などを尖閣周辺の日本領海に侵入させる示威行動をやめない中国に自制を迫ったものだ。

But Xi said he hopes those concerned, apparently referring to Japan among others, will stop taking provocative actions and promptly return to a track of settling problems appropriately through dialogue. This is an extremely self-serving stance. It is China that must restrain its excessive provocations.
 だが、習氏が逆に日本などを念頭に、「挑発を停止し、対話を通じ適切に問題を解決する軌道へ早期に戻るよう望む」と語ったのは身勝手に過ぎる。中国こそ、過激な挑発行動を控えるべきだ。

Must behave responsibly

China’s attempts to unilaterally expand its maritime interests in the East China Sea and the South China Sea appear to contradict the “peaceful development” policy it vocally advocates.
 中国が「核心的利益」とみなして、東シナ海や南シナ海で一方的に海洋権益拡大を図っているのは、自らが標榜(ひょうぼう)する「平和発展」に矛盾する行動ではないか。

If China seeks an equal relationship of coexistence with the United States, it must behave responsibly to achieve that end. Complying with international rules is a minimum obligation for Beijing.
 米国と対等の共存関係を主張するなら、それに見合った責任ある態度が求められる。国際ルールの順守は最低限の義務である。

The Japanese and U.S. governments are planning to set up a bilateral summit meeting to coincide with an upcoming Group of Eight summit meeting of major nations. Japan needs to reconfirm the importance of the Japan-U.S. alliance without lowering its guard against China, which is trying to reassure itself that it is indeed a major nation by relying on its mighty power.
 日米両政府は、主要8か国首脳会議(G8サミット)に合わせて首脳会談を開く方向だ。日本は、力に依存した大国意識を高める中国への警戒を緩めず、日米同盟の重要性を再確認する必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 11, 2013)
(2013年6月11日01時18分  読売新聞)

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2013年6月11日 (火)

中国・欧州摩擦 世界経済を損なう不公正貿易

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 11, 2013
Unfair trade practices, protectionism hurting growth of world economy
中国・欧州摩擦 世界経済を損なう不公正貿易(6月9日付・読売社説)

International trade disputes have been erupting frequently. It is important to correct unfair trade practices and revitalize the world economy.
 貿易を巡る国際紛争が頻発している。不公正な貿易慣行は是正し、世界経済を活性化させることが重要である。

The European Union recently reached a provisional decision to impose antidumping levies on imports of Chinese solar panels in two stages, saying that Chinese firms are exporting them at improperly low prices.
 欧州連合(EU)は、中国企業が太陽光パネルを不当に安値で輸出しているとして、中国製パネルに2段階で反ダンピング(不当廉売)関税をかける仮決定を下した。

The EU will impose a tariff of about 12 percent on imported Chinese solar panels until early August, and increase this to an average of 48 percent later if Beijing does not take corrective measures to resolve the issue. The EU will decide by the end of the year on whether to keep the levies in place.
 8月初めまで約12%を課税し、中国側が是正措置を取らない場合は約48%に引き上げる。EUは年末に最終決定する方針だ。

According to the EU, Chinese exporters sell their solar panels for as much as 90 percent below a fair market price. They have apparently been trying to increase sales in the EU market, the biggest export market for their products, with scant regard for making a profit.
 EUによると、中国企業は市場価格より9割も安値で販売していた。採算を度外視しても、最大の輸出先であるEU市場に販売を拡大する狙いだったようだ。

Battered by China’s low-priced sales drive, business conditions for their European counterparts have deteriorated. Some have gone bankrupt.
 安値攻勢にさらされて経営が悪化し、倒産に追い込まれた欧州企業も出ている。

EU position understandable

We can understand the EU stance of trying to rectify an unfair trade practice, in line with international rules of the World Trade Organization.
EUが世界貿易機関(WTO)の国際ルールに沿って、不公正貿易慣行の是正を目指す姿勢は理解できる。

The EU will impose a low tariff in the first stage, as it attempts to elicit concessions from China amicably. It also took into account the caution some member nations such as Germany feel about taking tough measures against Beijing.
 EUが第1段階として低率関税をかけるのは、対中強硬策に慎重なドイツなどメンバー国に配慮する一方、中国から穏便に譲歩を引き出したいとの判断がある。

However, China reacted sharply and announced it would launch an investigation into the possible dumping of European wine on its market. This appears to be a tit-for-tat response.
 だが、中国は反発し、EU産ワインのダンピング調査を発表した。対抗措置とみられる。

As it remains uncertain whether European wine exports actually caused any actual loss to the Chinese market, Beijing’s forceful action can hardly be considered as adhering to international rules.
実害があるのか不透明なだけに、中国の強硬姿勢は、国際ルール逸脱と受け止められても仕方ない。

China and the EU also are at loggerheads over China-made mobile telecommunications equipment. The EU has launched an investigation into possible dumping by Chinese makers. The current situation could degenerate into the mutual imposition of sanctions.
 中国とEUは、中国製の通信機器でも対立し、EUがダンピング調査に入った。制裁の応酬に発展しかねない事態である。

EU countries and China have become key trading partners. Should their trade conflict escalate, it would adversely affect the global economy. We hope the EU and China try to settle their disputes as soon as possible through dialogue.
 欧州と中国は互いに主要な貿易相手になっている。対立がエスカレートすれば、世界経済にも悪影響が及ぼう。対話を通じ、早期収拾を目指してもらいたい。

The growing trend toward protectionism in various parts of the world is a cause for concern. This is apparently designed to assist domestic industries while the world economy dawdles toward a full-fledged recovery and some newly emerging economies face a slowdown in growth.
 懸念されるのは、世界経済の本格回復が遅れ、新興国の成長が減速する中、自国産業の支援を意図した保護貿易主義的な動きが各地で強まっていることだ。

Japan claim upheld

In May, the WTO upheld Japan’s claim against a controversial feed-in tariff program introduced by the Canadian province of Ontario. Only companies that meet certain local content levels for renewable energy-related equipment can take part in the program, in which electricity generated from renewable energy sources is sold to power companies at fixed prices.
The WTO ordered the province to take corrective measures.
 カナダ・オンタリオ州が再生可能エネルギーの固定価格買い取り制度で地元企業を優遇した措置について、WTOは5月、不当だとする日本の主張を認め、カナダに是正を勧告した。

Japan, together with the United States and the EU, have filed claims against China’s export controls on rare earth minerals, as well as Argentina’s import permission system for certain goods, such as automobiles. They referred the issues to the WTO because they wanted action to correct these unfair trade practices.
 日本は米国、EUとともに、中国のレアアース(希土類)の輸出制限措置や、自動車などを対象にしたアルゼンチンの輸入許可制度についても、不公正措置と問題視し、WTOに是正を訴えた。

The rise of trade protectionism is detrimental to development of the world economy. Japan has to devise a strategy to cooperate with the United States and European countries, while holding on to the WTO rules as fundamental to promoting the global economy.
 保護貿易主義の台頭は、世界経済の発展にマイナスだ。自由貿易推進へ、日本は今後もWTOルールを基本とし、米欧と連携する戦略を練らねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 9, 2013)
(2013年6月9日01時45分  読売新聞)

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出生数過去最少 結婚・出産支援も強化したい

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 11, 2013
Marriage, child-bearing assistance needed to combat low birthrate
出生数過去最少 結婚・出産支援も強化したい(6月9日付・読売社説)

A number that makes us keenly aware of the crucial need to lift the nation’s low birthrate has been released.
 少子化対策がいかに急務か。それを改めて実感させる数字である。

According to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry’s demographic statistics for 2012, which were made public Wednesday, the number of babies born in Japan last year stood at 1,037,000, the lowest figure since the government started compiling population statistics in 1899.
 厚生労働省が公表した2012年の人口動態統計によると、昨年、生まれた赤ちゃんは103万7000人で、統計を取り始めた1899年以降、最少だった。

The year’s population decline, calculated by deducting the number of births from the number of deaths, totaled 219,000, the largest on record.
 人口の自然減は最多の21万9000人に達した。

The fertility rate--the number of children a woman is expected to give birth to in her lifetime--slightly increased in 2012 to 1.41 from 1.39 the previous year.
 1人の女性が生涯に産む子供の数の推計値である合計特殊出生率は、前年の1・39から1・41に上昇した。

Population to shrink further

A major factor behind the slight rise in fertility is that an increasing number of so-called second-generation baby boomers--people around 40 years old--are having babies, the statistics show. The marginal rise in the fertility rate is hardly something to become ecstatic about.
「団塊ジュニア」と呼ばれ、人口の多い40歳前後の出産が増えたのが要因だが、出生率のわずかな上昇だけでは喜べない。

As there are fewer people in the generation below the second-generation baby boomers, the number of newborns is expected to decline.
 団塊ジュニアより若い世代の人口は少なく、出生数は今後さらに減少すると予想される。

If the population continues to shrink, the burden of working people supporting the elderly will become heavier. The decline in the workforce will also create a drag on the nation’s economic growth.
 人口減少が続けば、高齢者を支える現役世代の負担は重くなるばかりだ。働き手の減少は経済成長の足かせともなる。

Effective measures are essential to stop the birthrate from falling further.
 少子化に歯止めをかける実効性のある施策が求められる。

On Friday, the government approved a set of steps to deal immediately with the low birthrate on the basis of measures to deal with the “national crisis of the low birthrate” drawn up late last month by a panel of academics and experts.
 政府は7日、少子化に関する当面の対策を決定した。有識者会議が先月末に提言した「少子化危機突破のための緊急対策」を踏まえたものだ。

In addition to conventional government assistance for child rearing and improving working conditions for women with small children, the panel said support for “marriage, pregnancy and childbirth” should act as pillars to stem the decline in the birthrate.
 緊急対策の特徴は、従来の「子育て支援」「働き方改革」に加え、「結婚・妊娠・出産支援」を対策の柱として打ち出したことだ。

The measures included strengthening assistance in local communities at such facilities as postnatal care centers to provide mothers immediately after giving birth and their babies with better breast-feeding and mental care services.
 例えば、出産直後の母子の授乳支援や心身のケアを行う「産後ケアセンター」など地域の支援体制の強化を挙げた。

They also called for improving the quality of counseling services at these facilities to help eliminate anxieties women may have during their prenatal and postnatal periods.
産前・産後の不安を解消できるよう相談窓口の改善を求めている。

The measures also emphasize the importance of providing information about pregnancy and childbirth.
 「妊娠・出産に関する情報提供」の重要性も強調している。

The government has abandoned a plan to distribute a handbook about life and women, or so-called women’s handbook, in light of criticism that the government was trying to dictate to women when they should have children, through descriptions in the handbook about the appropriate age for pregnancies and relevant information.
 具体策として検討していた「生命と女性の手帳」の配布は見送られた。妊娠適齢期などについての情報の記載に対し、「国が出産時期を押しつけるのか」といった批判が相次いだためだ。

There are, however, many women who regret missing the suitable child-bearing age from a medical point of view.
 だが、医学的に出産に適した時期を逸して悔やむ人は少なくない。

It is obviously up to the individual whether or when to have a child. But it is highly important to disseminate knowledge about childbirth.
出産するかしないか、いつ出産するかということは個人の自由ではあるが、出産に関する正しい知識の普及啓発は必要だろう。

Steadily enforce steps

Some local governments have had success in dealing with the birthrate decline. The Yokohama municipal government, for example, has reduced to zero the number of children on the waiting list for day care nurseries.
 少子化対策では、横浜市が保育所の「待機児童ゼロ」を実現したように、地方では成果を上げた事例もある。

Other local governments have set up “courses for prospective fathers” while some sponsor programs to provide men and women with a meeting place for possible matchmaking.
男性向けの「父親教室」や、若い男女のための「婚活」の場を設ける自治体もある。

Arrangements to assist in marriage, pregnancy and child-bearing are expected to be incorporated into recommendations by the government’s Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, a basic policy of which is scheduled to be worked out shortly.
 政府の経済財政諮問会議が近くまとめる「骨太方針」にも、結婚・妊娠・出産支援が盛り込まれる見通しだ。

Measures that should be put into force to stem the decline in the birthrate have been worked out in full.
少子化対策で打つべき手は出そろっている。

These measures must be steadily put into effect.
肝心なのは着実に実行に移すことである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 9, 2013)
(2013年6月9日01時42分  読売新聞)

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2013年6月10日 (月)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:リワークプログラム /東京

June 02, 2013(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Making a gradual comeback from depression
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:リワークプログラム /東京

It's not uncommon these days to hear of people who have had to take a long time off work due to depression. About 60 percent of companies and other workplaces in one survey said their staff ranks included people with mental health problems.
 会社勤めをしていたが、うつ病で長期にわたり休職しなければならなくなった。これは今、珍しいことではない。職場を対象にした調査で、6割前後が「メンタルヘルスに問題を抱えている社員がいる」と回答している。

What do workers do after succumbing to such problems? The first thing is probably to see a psychiatrist or visit a department of psychosomatic medicine, and if necessary, obtain a doctor's certificate saying the person needs time off work. The person will then likely receive appropriate treatment, resting at home.
 その人たちはその後どうするのか。まず精神科や心療内科などを受診し、必要なら休職の診断書をもらい心身を休めながら適切な治療を受けるだろう。

When the patient shows signs of recovery and expresses a desire to return to work, their doctor is likely to tell them, "It's dangerous to return to work right away. You should get used to returning to work a little at a time."
回復の兆しが見えてきて、本人にも「また働きたい」という意欲が出てきたら、主治医はこう言うに違いない。
 「いきなり復職するのは危険だから、少しずつ『慣らし出勤』したほうがいいですね」

Why, exactly, is it dangerous for someone to return to work right after recovering? Though the person's symptoms may have disappeared, there's a big difference between resting at home and commuting to work and performing one's job. Patients who have recovered from depression, in particular, have to avoid overexerting themselves mentally and physically. It's therefore undesirable for them to use up a great deal of energy stemming from the tension of suddenly working fulltime once more.
 なぜ「治ったから復職」は危険か。症状が治まったとはいえ、家で休んでいる状態と通勤して仕事をしている状態とでは大きな差がある。特にうつ病では、回復後もしばらくは「心身のエネルギーの使いすぎ」を避けなければならないので、急にフルタイムで働き出すことでの緊張感で大きなエネルギーを消耗してしまうのは望ましくない。

In that case, the person should first get used to commuting to work. Before making a full return to work, the person needs to gradually get used to working once more, meeting their colleagues face-to-face, for example.
だから、まずは通勤に慣れる。それから短時間の単純業務や同僚との顔合わせなど、慎重な「慣らし出勤」を経てからの復職が必要なのだ。

This said, quite a few firms and business establishments will tell the person, "We don't have any system for a gradual return to work." Some people wanting to return to work therefore first want to set a lower hurdle for themselves and undergo rehabilitation.
 とはいえ企業や事業所には、「ウチには『慣らし出勤』なんて制度はない」というところも少なくない。また、実際に職場へ行く前に、もう少しハードルの低いリハビリをしたいという人もいる。

Medical institutions, administrative bodies or nonprofit organizations can help these patients through so-called "rework programs." Under these, the patients first practice getting on the train at a set time each day and traveling to a specified location. They practice speaking with people other than family members, work at computers and perform research, acquiring the skills that will prevent them from succumbing to depression. Recently such programs have attracted much attention in mental health circles.
 そういう人たちのために医療機関や行政、あるいはNPO法人などで提供するのが、復職支援(リワーク)プログラムだ。そこでまず、毎日決まった時間に電車などに乗り、決められた場所に行く練習。家族以外の人と話をする練習。さらにはパソコンや調べものに取り組んだり、うつの気分に陥らないためのスキルを身につけたりして復職に備える。そんなリワークプログラムが、最近のメンタルヘルスの世界で熱い注目を受けている。

The clinic where I work doesn't have such a program, so I seek the assistance of other medical institutions in treating patients thinking of returning to work. At those times, I always think about how dangerous it is to rush full steam into anything after once having slowed one's pace down. And that goes for things besides depression.
 私が勤務する診療所にはこのプログラムがないので、復職を考える患者さんを別の医療機関などにお願いしながら、いつも思う。うつ病で休職した場合に限らず、何事も一旦ペースを落としたら、突然またバリバリ再開するのは危険なのだ。

It's the same after a worker has been sick from a cold or other ailment, when someone has taken time off due to bereavement, or after a period when they have been unable to concentrate on their work due to the death of a family member or other personal circumstances. During such times, rather than thinking "I'm going to make up for the time I was off," how about instead making an effort to return to one's original pace step by step?
 風邪など体の病気。身内の不幸で休んだ場合。失恋など個人的な事情で仕事に集中できない日々を送った後だって同じだ。焦らず慌てず、「休んだ分を挽回しよう」なんて思わずに、少しずつ元のペースに戻していく。普段からそう心がけてはどうだろう。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2013年05月28日 地方版

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2013年6月 9日 (日)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:「年相応」の生活楽しんで /東京

June 09, 2013(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Enjoy life in old age, but don't push too hard
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:「年相応」の生活楽しんで /東京

Recently, 80-year-old Yuichiro Miura made the news for climbing to the top of Mt. Everest. At a news conference held right after his return to Japan, he revealed yet another goal, saying, "Next I will ski down an 8,000-meter mountain."
 80歳でエベレスト登頂を果たした三浦雄一郎さん。帰国早々の記者会見では「次は8000メートル級の山でスキーを」と、新たな夢を語っていた。

The energy of people like Miura in their 80s and 90s nowadays is surprising. When I go to the bookstore, I see best sellers by authors in their 80s and autobiographies by pianists and photographers in their 90s. Meanwhile, I know a woman who in her 70s decided to study a foreign language abroad, and was a little taken aback by a friend's reaction who had heard it was popular among grandmothers who had finished caring for their grandchildren. It seems no one is surprised these days if someone in their 70s starts something new.
 最近の80代、90代の「元気っぷり」はすごい。書店に行くと80代の作家の本がベストセラーになっていたり、90代のピアニスト、写真家の自叙伝が出ていたり。私の知人で70代になってから語学留学を決意して友人に相談したら、「それ『グランママ留学』って言うんでしょ? 孫の世話が一段落した祖母たちの間ではやっているんですって」と言われ、拍子抜けしてしまったという女性がいた。今や70代で新しいことを始めても、誰も驚かない時代になったのだ。

However, not everyone enters into old age with good health and strong curiosity. For fiscal 2010, the average "healthful life expectancy" -- the age through which one lives a normal, unhindered lifestyle -- in Japan was 70 for men and 74 for women. We can see that the 82-year-old who starts learning ballet, or the 91-year-old who goes mountain hiking every week, are very much exceptions to the norm.
 とはいえ、誰もが健康に恵まれ好奇心も旺盛のまま、高齢になるわけではない。「日常生活に制限のない期間」を「健康寿命」と呼ぶことがあるが、2010年度の日本の調査では男性の平均がおよそ70歳、女性は74歳。「バレエを習い始めた82歳」や「毎週、山歩きを続ける91歳」というのは、例外中の例外ということがわかる。

Once, a woman in her 80s visited my consultation room. "I don't feel like doing anything. Do I have depression?" she asked. Her husband had died and she lived with her son's family. She also had a bad back and other chronic conditions. However, she was articulate, she didn't look like someone in their 80s, and she didn't seem to have any significant difficulties living her day-to-day life.
 かつて、私の診察室に「何もやる気になれなくて。うつ病じゃないでしょうか」と訴える80代の女性が来たことがあった。その人は夫に先立たれ、今は息子一家と同居しているのだが、慢性の腰痛などの持病を抱えていた。しかし、話の内容はしっかりしているし、見た目も80代とは思えない。今のところ、特に支障なく生活できているようだった。

"I don't think it's depression. Don't worry too much, listen to music, talk on the phone to friends, and do what you want," I advised, but she didn't look convinced. In her mind, people in their 80s were supposed to be energetic, contributing to society and pursuing new goals.
 「うつ病とは思えませんよ。あまり心配なさらずに、音楽を聴いたり友だちと電話したり、好きなようにすごせばいいんじゃないですか」とアドバイスをしたのだが、それでも納得のいかない顔をしている。その人の頭の中にある80代とは、「はつらつと社会貢献をしたり、新しい夢に向かって走り続ける」イメージのようなのだ。

Of course, it is wonderful if people can continue with their jobs or hobbies into their 80s and 90s. I want people to pursue their goals without holding back because of their age. But not everyone has to climb Mt. Everest or publish a best seller. It is precisely because those people are rare that they gain such public attention. In recent years the phrase "appropriate for one's age" has gained negative connotations, but there should be nothing wrong with living our elderly lives quietly in accordance with the illnesses and other effects of our age.
 もちろん、仕事にせよ趣味にせよ、現役のままで80代、90代を迎えるのは素晴らしい。やりたいことがあれば「年だから」と遠慮せずに挑戦してほしいもの。でも、誰もがエベレストに登ったりベストセラーを出版したりする必要はない。そういう人はとても珍しいからこそ、世間から注目されるのだ。「年相応」というのは近ごろはなんだか否定的な言葉にも聞こえるが、その年なりの病や老いとも向き合いつつ、静かにすごす高齢ライフがあってもいいはずだ。

To seniors I would like to say, enjoy yourselves without pushing too hard.
 楽しむけれど、無理はしすぎない。そんな生活を楽しんで、と人生の先輩たちには伝えたい。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2013年06月04日 地方版

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自民地域版公約 普天間「県外移設」は二枚舌か

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 9, 2013
LDP, Okinawa chapter out of sync on Futenma air base relocation plan
自民地域版公約 普天間「県外移設」は二枚舌か(6月8日付・読売社説)

It is irresponsible for the Liberal Democratic Party’s Okinawa prefectural chapter to include policies in its campaign pledge that go against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s weighty political decision and the policies of the party’s headquarters.
安倍首相の重い政治決断や党本部の方針と相いれない県連の政策を公約に掲げることは、政権党として無責任である。

The chapter has decided to mention its demand for relocating the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station to a site outside the prefecture in the prefectural version of the party’s manifesto for the House of Councillors election scheduled for July.
 自民党沖縄県連が、7月の参院選の地域版公約(ローカルマニフェスト)に米軍普天間飛行場の「県外移設を求める」と明記することを決めた。

LDP Secretary General Shigeru Ishiba and Policy Research Council Chairwoman Sanae Takaichi repeatedly tried in vain to persuade the chapter not to include the “outside-the-prefecture relocation” pledge in the local manifesto.
 自民党の石破幹事長や高市政調会長が再三、「県外移設」を盛り込まないよう県連幹部に説得を試みたが、不調に終わった。

Originally, the prefectural chapter supported a plan to relocate the Futenma Air Station in Ginowan to the Henoko district in Nago. But as calls grew louder among prefectural residents to relocate the base outside the prefecture, in a backlash against the Democratic Party of Japan-led government’s bungled handling of the relocation issue, the chapter changed tack to call for an outside-the-prefecture relocation plan, as Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima did.
 県連は元々、普天間飛行場の名護市辺野古への移設を支持していた。だが、民主党政権の失政への反発から県外移設を求める県内世論が高まってしまったため、仲井真弘多県知事と同様、「県外移設」に方針転換した経緯がある。

The LDP plans to field a rookie candidate in the Okinawa prefectural constituency of the upper house election against an opposition-affiliated incumbent. Some in the chapter contend it will be impossible to win the election if its candidate insists on relocating the base to Henoko.
 参院選沖縄選挙区では、自民党公認の新人が野党系の現職に挑戦する予定だ。県連には「辺野古移設を主張しては選挙に勝てない」との声が出ている。

However, it must be noted that the Futenma relocation is a crucial issue deeply tied to Japan’s diplomatic and security policies. The upcoming poll is a national election, so the chapter should not decide on a campaign pledge based only on regional factors, even if it is intended for the local version of the manifesto.
 しかし、普天間移設は日本の外交・安全保障政策に深く関わる重要問題だ。国政選である以上、地域版公約とはいえ、地域事情だけで判断すべきではあるまい。

2-tongued approach baffling

The party headquarters plans to promote the relocation of Futenma to Henoko in its campaign pledge. If the chapter puts forward a policy that is inconsistent with this party line, it will only lead to confusion among voters.
 党本部が「辺野古移設」を公約に明記する方針なのに、県連が矛盾する政策を掲げ、使い分けるのは、有権者を惑わすだけだ。

The Futenma issue is in an extremely critical phase of determining whether the longstanding issue can be resolved.
 普天間問題は今、長年の懸案が解決するかどうかの極めて重大な局面を迎えている。

In a summit meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in February, Abe confirmed a policy to push forward the Futenma relocation. In March, the government filed an application with the Okinawa prefectural government for approval of reclamation of the Henoko coastal area for this purpose.
 安倍首相は2月の日米首脳会談で辺野古移設を推進する方針を確認し、3月に辺野古沿岸部の埋め立てを沖縄県に申請した。

The Abe administration must stand fast on its plan to accelerate the relocation to Henoko. The Nago Fisheries Cooperative, which agreed with the reclamation plan, has said it “will withdraw the approval if the relocation to Henoko is not mentioned in the LDP’s campaign pledge.”
 重要なのは、安倍政権が、辺野古移設を推進する今の立場から決してぶれないことだ。埋め立てに同意した名護漁協は「自民党公約に辺野古移設が明記されなければ同意を撤回する」としている。

If the reclamation is not permitted, this would be a serious blow to the Abe administration.
 仮に埋め立てが不許可となれば政権への打撃は避けられない。

Not a smart choice

The LDP must take seriously that the prime minister made a political decision with high stakes. It is only natural that the party as a whole cooperate in his bid to promote the relocation to Henoko.
 自民党は、首相がそのリスクを取る政治判断をしたことを重く受け止め、一丸となって辺野古移設に協力するのが筋である。

First of all, the plan to relocate the base outside the prefecture is unlikely to be realized because it contains no concrete measures. The plan will most certainly lead to extending the status quo for a long time, during which the Futenma base will continue to pose a risk to the surrounding areas. This cannot be a smart choice for the prefecture.
 そもそも県外移設は何の具体案もなく、実現性が乏しい。普天間飛行場の危険な現状を長期間、固定化させるのは確実だ。沖縄にとって賢明な選択ではない。

Some members of the LDP Okinawa prefectural chapter--including Kosaburo Nishime, a House of Representatives member, and upper house member Aiko Shimajiri, a parliamentary secretary of the Cabinet Office--have been indicating they will approve relocation to Henoko. The government and party headquarters must join hands with local entities who have yet to voice their approval of the relocation plan.
 県連内には、西銘恒三郎衆院議員や島尻安伊子内閣府政務官など辺野古移設を容認する動きが出ている。政府・自民党は、まだ声を上げていない地元の容認派などと積極的に連携すべきだ。

The first thing to do is to reverse the chapter’s decision in favor of relocation outside the prefecture. This could be the first step to laying the foundation for Gov. Nakaima to approve reclamation of the Henoko coastal area.
 まず県連を翻意させることが、仲井真知事が埋め立て許可を決断する環境整備の一歩となろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun June 8, 2013)
(2013年6月8日01時49分  読売新聞)

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日仏首脳会談 互いに有益な原発・安保協力

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 9, 2013
Closer nuclear, security ties will benefit both Japan, France
日仏首脳会談 互いに有益な原発・安保協力(6月8日付・読売社説)

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and visiting French President Francois Hollande met Friday. After their meeting, the two leaders issued a joint statement saying their countries would work together in a wide range of areas including security and nuclear technology.
 安倍首相が、来日中のオランド仏大統領と会談した。両首脳は、原子力や安全保障分野など幅広い協力をうたった共同声明を発表した。

On nuclear power generation, the statement pledged comprehensive bilateral cooperation in areas such as ensuring the safety of nuclear facilities and conducting the final disposal of nuclear waste. It also referred to joint projects to promote the nuclear fuel cycle and develop a next-generation, high-speed reactor.
 原子力発電については、原発の安全確立や放射性廃棄物の最終処分など包括的な協力に言及している。核燃料サイクル推進と、次世代の原子炉である「高速炉」の共同開発も盛り込んだ。

It is highly significant that Japan and France agreed to work together by taking advantage of their accumulated technologies and experience.
 日仏が技術や経験の蓄積を生かして協力する意義は大きい。

The two countries agreed to expand partnerships between the public and private sectors to clean up the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co. France is known for its high-level technology for processing water and soil contaminated with radiation. Closer ties between Japan and France in this area likely will become a model for internationally handling a nuclear crisis.
 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所事故の処理も、官民で連携を一層拡大する。フランスは、汚染水や土壌の処理などで高い技術を持つ。両国の連携強化は、原発事故処理を国際的に進める一つのモデルにもなろう。

The joint statement also noted the Japanese and French governments will work with the private sector to export nuclear power plants to third countries.
 原発輸出に関しては、第三国への輸出に向けて、日仏が官民連携で取り組むことを明記した。

Last month, a consortium of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and French nuclear giant Areva SA clinched its first order from Turkey to build a nuclear plant there. This international strategy will benefit both countries’ economies.
 三菱重工業と仏原子力大手アレバの企業連合は先月、トルコからの受注に初めて成功した。こうした国際戦略の展開は、双方の経済にとっても有益だ。

United front against China

Security was the other main pillar of the joint statement. Japan and France agreed to strengthen security cooperation “to deal with new issues caused by a rising power.” This apparently was a reference to China, which has become increasingly assertive in recent times.
 共同声明のもう一つの大きな柱である安保では、「新たな大国の台頭で生じる課題に対応する」として、強硬姿勢を強める中国に対する連携強化を打ち出した。

In particular, the statement sought respect for the principles of the Law of the Sea. Japan has high hopes it will be able to work with France, which has island territories in the Pacific Ocean, to stand firm against China on maritime matters.
 特に、「海洋法の原則の尊重」といった海洋関連の項目には、太平洋に自国領の島々を持つフランスと、対中国で協調できるとの日本側の期待がある。

However, a French company recently signed a deal with China to sell equipment that helps helicopters land on ships even in bad weather. The government has voiced concern to France over China’s increased maritime capability, as Chinese government vessels have repeatedly intruded into Japanese waters around the Senkaku Islands.
 ただ、仏防衛企業は先般、悪天候でもヘリコプターが着艦できる装置の輸出契約を中国と結んだ。日本側は、尖閣諸島周辺で中国公船が領海侵入を繰り返しており、中国の船の能力増強は好ましくないと仏側に懸念を伝えてきた。

During Friday’s meeting, Abe and Hollande agreed to launch intergovernmental dialogue to discuss exports of equipment that could have military applications. We view this agreement as a step forward. But Tokyo needs to press Paris further to strictly curb exports of defense equipment to China.
 両首脳が、武器転用が可能な装備品の輸出を協議する政府間対話の開始で合意したのは一歩前進だ。今後も対中輸出に、厳しく抑制を求めていく必要がある。

Regional rows concern Paris

After the summit talks, the French president addressed the Diet, during which he mentioned Japan’s tensions with China and South Korea over differences in historical perceptions. “A line must be drawn for past issues,” he said, citing the improved relationship between his country and Germany, which waged war against each other for years in the past.
 大統領は会談後、国会で演説し、日本と中韓両国との関係が歴史認識を巡って緊張していることを念頭に「過去に対しては一線を引かねばならない」と述べた。長年戦争を続けた仏独両国が関係を改善したことを例に挙げた。

Japan must thoroughly explain to France its position on the issue of historical perceptions.
 歴史認識の問題については、日本の立場を仏側にも丁寧に説明していかねばなるまい。

Hollande is the first French president to visit Japan as a state guest since Jacques Chirac 17 years ago. Hollande’s predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, seemed unenthusiastic about Japan as he placed more importance on building closer economic ties with China. We hope Hollande’s visit to Japan will be an opportunity to make a fresh start in deepening Japan-France relations.
 今回のオランド氏の訪問は、仏大統領としては、シラク氏以来17年ぶりの国賓訪問だ。サルコジ前大統領は、中国との経済関係を重視し、とかく日本に冷ややかだった。オランド氏の来日を日仏関係再出発の機会としたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun June 8, 2013)
(2013年6月8日01時49分  読売新聞)

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2013年6月 8日 (土)

パキスタン情勢 対米修復が地域の安定を導く

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 8, 2013
Pakistan must improve relations with U.S. for regional stability
パキスタン情勢 対米修復が地域の安定を導く(6月7日付・読売社説)

If political instability is to continue in Pakistan, on the frontline of the United States’ war against terrorism, regional stability is almost hopeless.
 米国の対テロ戦争最前線のパキスタンで、政情不安が続くようでは、地域の安定は覚束(おぼつか)ない。

Nawaz Sharif, former prime minister of the country and the leader of the largest opposition party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, which won the May general election, was elected as prime minister after his party won support from many independents to gain a majority in the National Assembly.
 5月の総選挙で勝利した最大野党の党首のナワズ・シャリフ元首相が、無所属議員を取り込んで議会過半数を制し、首相に選出された。

In a country that has seen repeated coups, a military government did not come into power again and a peaceful administrative change was realized. This shows the country’s democratization movement has further taken root.
 クーデターが繰り返されてきたパキスタンで、軍政が復活せず平和的な政権交代が実現した。民主化がさらに定着したことを示すものである。

The winning factor for Sharif was that he criticized the administration of President Asif Ali Zardari as blindly following the United States and succeeded in currying favor with anti-U.S. voters.
 シャリフ氏の勝因は、米国と連携して対テロ作戦を進めたザルダリ政権を「対米追従」と批判し、反米票を吸収したことにある。

Two years ago the United States killed Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, who was hiding in Pakistan, without informing the Zardari administration of the attack. In addition, the United States continues drone bombings against Taliban armed antigovernment rebels in areas bordering Afghanistan.
 米国は一昨年、パキスタン国内に潜んでいた米同時テロの首謀者ウサマ・ビンラーディンを、ザルダリ政権への通告なしに殺害した。加えて米軍はアフガニスタンとの国境地帯で反政府武装勢力への無人機空爆を続けている。

In his inauguration address, Sharif emphasized, “The drone attacks must now stop.” However, he avoided naming the United States in the speech. We think he is trying to mend relations with the United States, which extends the most assistance to Pakistan, while considering the anti-U.S. sentiment strongly rooted in the nation.
 シャリフ氏は首相就任演説で、無人機空爆について「すぐにやめるべきだ」と強調したが、米国を名指しすることは避けた。国内に根強い反米感情に配慮しつつ、最大の援助国、米国との関係修復を図ろうとしているのだろう。

Sharif’s leadership test

The U.S. military’s withdrawal deadline from Afghanistan is the end of next year. Will it be possible for Pakistan to improve the security situation in the country, which is aggravated by the terrorism of the armed rebels, by the deadline and contribute to regional stability?
 米軍のアフガンからの撤退期限が来年末に迫っている。それまでに、武装勢力のテロによって悪化した治安を立て直し、地域の安定に貢献できるようになるのか。

Sharif’s leadership ability is now under scrutiny. To demonstrate strong leadership, it is critical for him to establish a relationship of mutual trust with the military forces, which have been engaged in operations to clear out the rebels.
 シャリフ氏の指導力が問われよう。それにはまず、武装勢力の掃討作戦に当たっている軍と、信頼関係を築くことが不可欠だ。

Sharif emphasized during his campaign the importance of having dialogues with the Taliban rebels. However, the Taliban refused to enter into dialogue with the Sharif administration because one of its top commanders was killed in a recent U.S. drone attack. The future of the policy of holding dialogues faces a difficult challenge.
 シャリフ氏は選挙戦で武装勢力との対話を訴えたが、武装勢力は米軍の無人機攻撃で最高幹部が殺されたとして対話を拒否した。対話路線の前途は険しい。

Relations with India, a neighbor Pakistan has fought in three wars, have been rocky. We hope tensions between India and Pakistan, which both have nuclear weapons, will ease as soon as possible.
 3度の戦争を経た隣国インドとの関係もぎくしゃくしている。核兵器を保有する印パ両国の緊張緩和が望まれる。

Balanced diplomacy key

Meanwhile, Sharif has also announced a plan to complete the construction of a road and a railway network connecting Gwadar Port, a strategically important facility, with China, with assistance from that country.
 シャリフ氏は、中国の支援で、戦略的要衝のグワダル港と中国を結ぶ道路や鉄道の建設を完成させる方針も表明している。

It is important for Pakistan to improve relations with the United States and India, while not overly strengthening relations with China further, to develop a well-balanced diplomacy.
 これ以上、中国への傾斜を強めることなく、米国やインドと関係を改善し、バランスある外交を展開することが重要だ。

It is also an urgent task for the country to boost the economy. With a low economic growth rate of less than 4 percent a year, the country’s foreign currency reserves have sharply declined. Power shortages are also a serious problem. Expectations are running high for Sharif, a former business owner with experience tackling the country’s economic reforms, to restart a suspended International Monetary Fund loan package.
 経済へのテコ入れも、急務である。年率4%を下回る低成長で外貨準備が減少し、電力不足も深刻だ。中断した国際通貨基金(IMF)の融資再開に向けて、実業家出身で経済改革の経験があるシャリフ氏への期待は大きい。

The Japanese government needs to extend indirect support for the country’s economic reconstruction, by deepening cooperation with the country in such ways as helping to provide a stable supply of electricity.
 日本政府は電力の安定供給などの分野で協力を深め、経済再建を側面から支援する必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 7, 2013)
(2013年6月7日01時35分  読売新聞)

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消費増税転嫁法 「還元セール」の混乱を防げ

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 8, 2013
Govt must take measures to prevent pricing confusion after sales tax hike
消費増税転嫁法 「還元セール」の混乱を防げ(6月7日付・読売社説)

The government has been urged to make its best efforts to take measures to ensure that the planned two-stage consumption tax hike starting next year does not cause confusion among consumers and businesses.
 消費者や企業に混乱を招かぬよう、政府は消費税率を引き上げる準備に万全を期すべきだ。

Special legislation passed Wednesday when a bill for the law, with modifications made by the ruling and opposition camps, cleared the House of Councillors. The bill encourages businesses to smoothly reflect the tax hike from April 2014 in the prices of goods and services.
 2014年4月の消費増税に合わせ、増税分を商品価格に円滑に転嫁するための特別措置法が、与野党の修正を経て、参院で成立した。

Effective through March 2017, the law prohibits major companies from using their strong positions to engage in dishonest practices such as pressuring suppliers and others not to reflect the tax hike in transactions to keep prices down.
 特措法は、大企業が強い立場を利用し、取引業者などに増税分を上乗せさせず、買いたたくなどの行為を禁じた。

Protecting small firms

When the consumption tax was raised in 1997, many small and midsize companies dealing with such major firms as supermarket chains were unable to compensate for the tax increase by raising their prices and had to absorb the burden themselves.
 1997年に消費税率を引き上げた際には、スーパーなど大手業者の取引先だった多くの中小企業が、商品に価格転嫁できず、負担をかぶる結果になった。

To prevent a similar situation, the new law rightly aims at allowing smaller companies to reject pressure from major companies without fear of reprisal.
 この反省を踏まえ、立場の弱い業者の泣き寝入りを防ごうとする狙いは妥当である。

We also welcome the fact that the special measure has taken into full consideration the possibility of a “tax shift cartel” whereby wholesalers and other suppliers would act in concert to increase their prices to offset the tax hike.
 納入業者がそろって消費増税分を価格に上乗せする「転嫁カルテル」を、特措法が例外的に認めた点も評価できよう。

One concern that emerged in the process of deliberating the legislation was what types of advertising by retailers for goods and services should be permitted when the consumption tax is raised.
 焦点となったのは、消費増税の際、小売業者などの宣伝の表示をどこまで認めるかだった。

Initially, a government bill for the law banned adverts such as “3 percent price cuts on all our goods,” which can be taken as sales that do not pass the tax burden on to customers. The government later withdrew the plan, amending the bill in favor of sales campaigns as long as the term “consumption tax” is avoided.
 政府は当初、「全品3%値下げ」など、消費税還元を連想させる表示を禁止する案を示したが、「消費税」という言葉が含まれなければ、容認する内容に修正した。

Under the legislation, such wording in adverts as “3 percent price cut” and “discount sales for supporting livelihood in spring” would be permitted. However, ads that aim at not reflecting the tax hike in prices, such as, “We’re offsetting the consumption tax hike,” are forbidden.
 「3%値下げ」や「春の生活応援セール」という表示は認められる。ただし、「消費税還元」など増税分を価格に上乗せしていないかのような宣伝は禁じた。

We think it was quite reasonable that the initial bill was reviewed in response to negative reactions from retailers and others concerned.
 小売業者などからの反発を踏まえ、見直したのはもっともだ。

Depending on cost-cutting efforts made by businesses, their after-tax prices could remain unchanged even after passing the tax hike on to consumers.
 企業の経営努力で、増税分を転嫁しても、税込み価格を据え置ける場合もあるだろう。

Still, the government must avoid unnecessarily restricting price competition among businesses, as well as their respective sales promotion activities. It is essential to avoid stifling businesses’ motivation to engage in fair competition.
 企業の自由な価格競争や販売促進活動を政府が必要以上に制約してはならない。何よりも大切なのは、企業の健全な競争意欲を萎縮させないことだ。

It is not easy to detect unfair practices in business transactions. Such watchdogs as the Fair Trade Commission and the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency must do their utmost to be vigilant regarding dishonest practices.
 商取引で起きる不正を見つけるのは難しい。公正取引委員会や中小企業庁などは、監視に全力を挙げてもらいたい。

Simple guidelines a must

Under the new law, the obligation on the part of retailers to comply with the “aggregate pricing method,” or repricing to include the consumption tax hike, has been relaxed. As long as companies make it known to the public that their prices do not contain the tax, they are allowed to display before-tax prices.
 税込み価格を表示する「総額表示」の義務も緩和する。税を含まないことを明示すれば「税抜き」の価格表示も容認される。

However, a situation in which some retailers explicitly display after-tax prices while others do not may lead to confusion among consumers.
 とは言え、税込みと税抜きの店が混在すれば、消費者の間に戸惑いが広がりかねないだろう。

The government intends to work out in the near future guidelines on how to implement the new law, as well as price display methods. They should be specific and easy to understand, and the government should make efforts to familiarize the public and businesses with the new law.
 政府は今後、特措法の内容や価格表示方法などについて、指針を作成する。具体的で分かりやすい内容とし、国民や企業に周知徹底を図る必要がある。

The decision to raise the consumption tax rate has naturally been premised on thorough consideration of business trends and other relevant factors. Still, the government must not neglect the need to sufficiently prepare for the tax hike’s execution.
 消費税率引き上げは、あくまで景気動向などの慎重な見極めが前提となるが、環境整備を怠ってはならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 7, 2013)
(2013年6月7日01時35分  読売新聞)

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2013年6月 7日 (金)

成長戦略 民間活力の爆発で日本再生を

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 7, 2013
Utilizing power of private sector key for 'third arrow' to hit target
成長戦略 民間活力の爆発で日本再生を(6月6日付・読売社説)

 ◆「3本目の矢」を的中させよ

Will Abenomics really be able to boost the competitive power of domestic companies and rejuvenate Japan’s economy? Can Japan win in the global market? The true value of the Abe administration’s economic policies will be finally tested.
 企業の競争力を高め、世界に勝てる日本経済へ再生できるか。安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」が、いよいよ真価を問われる。

On Wednesday, the government’s Industrial Competitiveness Council finished compiling a draft of the administration’s growth policy, which is touted as the “third arrow” of Abenomics. Now almost all the elements of Abenomics have been revealed to the public.
 政府の産業競争力会議が5日、アベノミクスの「3本目の矢」である成長戦略の素案をまとめた。これで具体的な政策メニューは、ほぼ出そろった。

On the same day, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivered a speech on the growth strategy at a hotel in Tokyo, stipulating deregulation as the heart of his economic reforms. Abe expressed his resolve to rebuild the nation’s economy, citing the “eruption of the private sector’s vitality” as a key factor of his growth strategy.
 安倍首相は成長戦略について講演し、規制緩和を改革の「一丁目一番地」と位置付けた。「民間活力の爆発」をキーワードに日本経済を立て直す決意を示した。

In his speech, Abe also revealed the mid- and long-term goals of his economic policies, such as increasing per-capita gross national income by 1.5 million yen over the next decade.
 1人当たりの国民総所得を10年後に150万円増やすなど、中長期的な目標も掲げている。

Full picture of Abenomics
 ◆メニューは出そろった

The growth strategy has three pillars: to restore the nation’s industries, strategically create new markets and help Japan’s businesses expand abroad. After Abe’s speech, the Tokyo Stock Exchange plunged due to criticism including the notion that the growth strategy lacked originality, but we believe the growth strategy is pointed in the right direction.
 政府の成長戦略は「産業再興」「戦略市場創造」「国際展開」が3本柱である。5日の東京株式市場では、内容に新味がないとの見方などから株価が急落したが、戦略の方向性は妥当だ。

Regarding the goal of restoring the nation’s industries, the government will designate the next five years as an emergency period for structural reforms, focusing on measures such as utilizing the untapped potential of the female labor force and promoting private investment.
 産業再興は、今後5年間を緊急構造改革期間と定め、女性の人材活用や、民間投資促進などの施策を重点的に実施する。

The centerpiece of the measures is a plan to create “national strategic special deregulation zones,” which Abe revealed Wednesday. The plan aims to create cosmopolitan cities that attract companies and talented workers from all over the world by boldly relaxing regulations in the special zones.
 首相が打ち出した「国家戦略特区」はその目玉といえる。大胆な規制緩和を断行し、世界から企業や人材が集まる国際都市をつくる構想だ。

We urge the government to swiftly prepare concrete measures to materialize the plan, so Japan will become a country that provides the best working environment for companies.
 日本を「世界で一番企業が活躍しやすい国」とするため、具体化を急ぐ必要がある。

Regarding the goal of strategically creating new markets, the government plans to find and nurture new business opportunities from problems facing Japan, such as the stagnant birthrate, graying of society and aging social infrastructure. It also targets the nation’s medical industry, which is lagging behind foreign competitors, and its agricultural industry, which suffers from low productivity. The agricultural industry has long been urged to enhance its international competitiveness.
 戦略市場創造は、少子高齢化やインフラの老朽化など日本が抱える課題を逆手に取り、新たなビジネス育成を目指す。海外に後れを取っている医療産業や、生産性が低く、国際競争力の強化が急務の農業などがターゲットだ。

On deregulation, the growth strategy includes a plan to lift a ban on the online sales of nonprescription drugs. The government also intends to expand the scope of so-called mixed treatments, a combination of medical practices covered in part by public health insurance and in part by patients, which is currently limited to exceptional cases. We believe these measures will lead to important progress.
 規制改革では、市販薬のインターネット販売解禁や、保険診療と保険外診療を併用できる範囲の拡大が打ち出された。一定の前進として評価できる。

Japan now faces many difficulties. But let’s turn misfortune into blessings by riding the wind of such deregulation measures and combining the wisdom and innovation of the government and the private sector.
 政策支援を追い風に、さらに官民の知恵や工夫を結集し、ピンチをチャンスに変えたい。

Joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade framework will be the first step in promoting the overseas advancement of Japanese businesses. The government needs to work hard to make up for the lack of progress in commerce policies.
 国際展開では、環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)への参加が、その第一歩となる。出遅れた通商政策を挽回しなければならない。

Japan’s domestic market has begun to shrink due to the declining population. In such a situation, it is essential for the nation to attract foreign demand to sustain economic growth by boosting infrastructure-related exports, such as nuclear power plants and Shinkansen bullet trains.
 人口減で国内市場が縮小している日本が成長を維持するには、原子力発電所や新幹線などインフラの輸出を加速し、海外の需要を取り込むことも不可欠だ。

Beef up control tower functions
 ◆司令塔の強化が必要だ

All the numerical targets Abe has revealed--including 70 trillion yen in private capital investment, 30 trillion yen in infrastructure exports and 35 trillion yen in direct investment to Japan by foreign companies--are ambitious and lofty goals.
 「民間投資70兆円」「インフラ輸出30兆円」「対日直接投資35兆円」――。首相が次々に挙げた政策別の数値目標は、どれも野心的な高い目標である。

His enthusiasm appears genuine, but such goals are meaningless if they end up as empty promises. The Abe administration must steadily carry out measures to achieve its goals and produce real results.
 意気込みは頼もしいが、「空手形」では意味がない。着実に実行し、成果を出すことが大切だ。

Achievements were made in less than 10 percent of the policy measures stipulated in the New Growth Strategy two years after it was adopted by the administration of then Prime Minister Naoto Kan in June 2010. A well-detailed timetable that listed when each goal was to be achieved, for instance, was just window dressing.
 菅内閣が2010年6月に決めた「新成長戦略」は、2年後に成果を出せた施策が1割に満たなかった。達成時期などを示した綿密な工程表も見かけ倒しだった。

The same mistake should not be made again. The management capabilities of the Prime Minister’s Office should be reinforced to block resistance from individual ministries and avoid jurisdictional disputes among ministries over deregulation measures.
 同じ轍(てつ)を踏んではならない。官邸の司令塔機能を強化し、規制緩和に対する各府省の抵抗や縄張り争いを監視すべきだ。

Abe said his Cabinet will verify every year the level of achievement of each policy, based on new indicators. If a policy is found to be behind the timetable, the administration will not casually lower the target, but introduce additional measures to achieve the goal. We urge the administration to review the programs continually and improve its measures to achieve goals whenever necessary.
 安倍内閣は毎年、政策の達成度を新たな指標で検証するという。進行が遅れた場合は目標を安易に下げず、達成への追加策を講じる仕組みとする。事業を不断に見直し、改善してもらいたい。

We are concerned, however, because many policy measures demanded by business circles were not included in the growth strategy.
 気がかりなのは、経済界が要望したのに盛り込まれなかった政策が目立つことである。

For example, businesses sought a reduction in the corporate tax rate, which is higher than those of other major countries, and drastic agricultural reform, including lifting the ban on the possession of farmlands by corporations. However, these measures were shelved.
 例えば、他の主要国より高い法人税率の引き下げや、企業による農地所有の解禁などの抜本的な農政改革は見送られた。

The House of Councillors election is just around the corner and a hike in the consumption tax rate is scheduled for April next year. In this situation, Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party probably wanted to avoid policies that could prove unpopular with voters.
 参院選や来年4月の消費税率引き上げを控え、有権者の反発を招きかねない政策を避けたかったという事情もあろう。

However, to break the nation’s economic deadlock, the administration needs the determination to bravely challenge the barrier of vested interests. We hope the Abe administration will accelerate discussions on pending issues that it put off dealing with.
 だが、日本経済の閉塞状況を打破するには、既得権益の壁に果敢に挑む決意が要る。先送りした懸案の議論を加速してほしい。

To improve the efficacy of the growth strategy, it is important for the Abe administration to improve individual policy measures as well as remove barriers to hamper the economic activities of the private sector.
 成長戦略の実効性を上げるには、個々の政策の充実はもとより、民間の経済活動を妨げる障害を除去することが重要となる。

Stable power supply essential
 ◆電力安定は経済の礎

After the launch of the current Abe Cabinet, the hyper-appreciation of the yen that had afflicted the Japanese economy was corrected. However, many issues still remain unsolved.
 安倍内閣の発足後、日本経済を苦しめてきた超円高は是正されたが、課題は山積している。

The shortage of power is a particularly serious problem. As the fuel costs for thermal power stations snowball, national wealth continues to steadily flow out of the country and power rate hikes go on.
 特に電力不足は深刻だ。停止している原発を代替する火力発電所の燃料費が膨らみ、国富流出と電気料金の値上げが止まらない。

Electricity is the lifeblood of the economy. Unless the days of stable supply of inexpensive electric power return, it will be difficult to achieve stable growth in the economy.
 電気は経済の血液である。安価な電力の安定供給を回復しない限り、安定成長は難しい。

In that sense, it is natural for the administration to have clarified in the growth strategy that the “entire government will make maximum efforts” to reactive idle nuclear reactors after their safety is confirmed.
 安全を確認できた原発の再稼働に「政府一丸となって最大限取り組む」との方針を、成長戦略に明記したのは当然である。

The government must take the initiative to explain the necessity of this policy to local governments hosting nuclear power plants and make its utmost effort to realize a stable supply of electricity.
 政府は率先して立地自治体の説得にあたり、電力安定供給の実現に全力を挙げるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 6, 2013)
(2013年6月6日01時21分  読売新聞)

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2013年6月 6日 (木)

W杯出場決定 いざブラジルへ高まる期待

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 6, 2013
Expectations high for men's soccer team after clinching World Cup berth
W杯出場決定 いざブラジルへ高まる期待(6月5日付・読売社説)

It is great to see Japan’s national soccer team secure a World Cup berth for the fifth consecutive time. We are looking forward to seeing how the national team players will fare in the big event one year from now.
 5大会連続でのワールドカップ(W杯)出場を喜びたい。
 1年後の大舞台で選手たちは、どのようなプレーを見せてくれるのか。今から楽しみだ。

It was the first time ever for Japan to secure a World Cup berth in a home game. The elated team members shared their jubilance with more than 60,000 cheering spectators at a packed Saitama Stadium. It was a moving scene that could only be seen at a home game.
Japan tied with Australia 1-1 on Tuesday in the final round of World Cup qualifiers, winning a ticket to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
 サッカーの2014年W杯ブラジル大会アジア最終予選で、日本はオーストラリアと引き分け、本大会出場の切符を手にした。
 国内で行われた試合でW杯出場を決めたのは、今回が初めてだ。埼玉スタジアムを埋めた6万人以上のサポーターと選手は、喜びを分かち合った。ホームゲームならではの感動的な光景だった。

Japanese first qualified for the World Cup in 1998 held in France--a feat the team had been struggling to accomplish for many years.
 日本代表がW杯初出場を果たしたのは、1998年のフランス大会だ。日本サッカー界の長年の悲願だった。

Since then, Japan has won a berth in the finals for Germany 2006, South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014. It qualified automatically for the 2002 event because it was one of that year’s two cohosts, along with South Korea.
 以来、開催国として予選が免除された2002年の日韓大会を除き、06年ドイツ大会、10年南アフリカ大会、そして、今回もアジア予選を見事に勝ち上がった。

J.League serves as springboard

This means the squad has maintained its top-tier status in Asia, which can be attributed to the team’s expanded player depth and smooth introduction of younger, up-and-coming players.
 日本代表は、アジアの中でトップクラスの実力を維持し続けているということだ。選手層に厚みが増し、世代交代が比較的、順調に進んだ結果でもあるだろう。

A springboard for Japan’s national team has been J.League, which marked the 20th anniversary of its inception this year. J.League players have intensely competed for their survival in the glamorous but highly competitive professional league.
 日本のサッカーが躍進する土台となったのは、今年で発足20年を迎えたJリーグだ。華やかながらも、競争の激しいプロリーグで、選手たちは生き残りをかけ、しのぎを削ってきた。

An increasing number of successful J.League players have opted to play for teams overseas, which has helped them develop their agility, techniques and other qualities in demanding environments. Such a trend has surely raised Japan’s level of soccer.
 Jリーグで実績を残した選手は、海外のクラブに移籍するようになった。より高いレベルの技を要求される中で、選手はもまれ、さらに力を付ける。こうした流れが、日本サッカー全体の底上げにつながったと言える。

Players belonging to foreign clubs have become a majority on the national team. Among them, Keisuke Honda, Makoto Hasebe and Yuto Nagatomo--who spearheaded the team’s advance to the Round of 16 of the last World Cup--now lead the team.
 現在の代表チームを見ても、海外組が多数を占める。中でも、本田圭佑、長谷部誠、長友佑都選手ら、前回W杯でベスト16入りの原動力となったメンバーが、今回もチームを引っ張っている。

Honda, who slotted the penalty kick that leveled the score against Australia on Tuesday night, displayed outstanding mental strength. Shinji Kagawa, who was not selected for the national team in the last World Cup, has developed into a core member.
 豪州戦で同点のPKを決めた本田選手の精神力は見事だった。
 前回は代表メンバーから漏れた香川真司選手は今や、日本代表の中核にまで成長した。

Fancy footsteps to follow in

Nadeshiko Japan, the women’s national soccer team, became World Cup champions two years ago. The achievement, which stirred up the entire nation, must have served as an impetus for the men’s squad.
 女子の日本代表(なでしこジャパン)は2年前にW杯を制した。国中が沸き立ったあの快挙は、男子選手にとっても大きな刺激となったはずだ。

Japan’s defense and organizational skills proved to be sufficient in the last World Cup. The challenge for now is scoring. We hope the Japanese side will be strong enough to miss no scoring opportunities.
 日本代表の守備力、組織力は、前回W杯でも十分に通用した。課題はやはり、得点力だろう。本大会までに、チャンスを逃さずものにする力を蓄えてほしい。

If each player does what is required of him, it is not unthinkable that Japan could reach the quarterfinals for the first time in the World Cup next year.
 選手一人一人が、自らの役割を確実に果たせば、W杯で初のベスト8入りが見えてくる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 5, 2013)
(2013年6月5日01時26分  読売新聞)

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憲法改正論議 公明党は現実路線で一歩前に

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 6, 2013
Komeito must take realistic tack on constitutional amendments
憲法改正論議 公明党は現実路線で一歩前に(6月5日付・読売社説)

Ahead of the House of Councillors election this summer, ruling and opposition parties are ramping up preparations, including those for their campaign pledges.
 参院選を控え、与野党は、公約の策定などの準備を加速させている。

Their positions on the nation’s basic law are being put under scrutiny through issues related to constitutional amendment.
 憲法改正問題を通じ、国家の基本に対する政党の姿勢が問われよう。

As a pledge concerning constitutional revision, New Komeito will likely advocate that adding new provisions it considers necessary--such as those regarding a human right to a decent and healthy environment--to the nation’s supreme law is the most realistic and reasonable approach.
 公明党は、参院選の公約として憲法改正に関しては、環境権など新たに必要な条文を憲法に加える「加憲」が、「最も現実的で妥当な方式」だと主張する方針だ。

Referring to Article 9 of the Constitution, Komeito will stipulate that the party will carefully discuss adding the existence of the Self-Defense Forces and how the SDF should contribute to the international community to the top law, while keeping the existing provisions of the article intact.
 9条にも言及し、現在の条項を残したまま自衛隊の存在や国際貢献の在り方を加えることを「慎重に検討する」と明記する。

The fact that there is no stipulation of the SDF in the Constitution has given rise to the unrealistic interpretation that the SDF are not military forces, and has hampered efforts to extensively formulate national security policy.
 憲法に自衛隊の規定がないことが「自衛隊は軍隊ではない」との現実離れした解釈を生み、安全保障政策の深まりを妨げてきた。

Articles 9 and 96

How will Komeito consider the status of the SDF while keeping Paragraph 2 of Article 9, which states, “land, sea and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained”? Although doubt remains over some of the specifics, Komeito can be commended for squarely facing up to amending Article 9.
 「陸海空軍その他の戦力は、これを保持しない」という9条2項をそのままにして、自衛隊をどう位置付けるのか。疑問は残るものの、公明党が9条改正に向き合った点は評価できる。

We hope Komeito will take further action to formulate provisions to be added to the Constitution.
 加憲の条文化へとさらに踏み込んでもらいたい。

Komeito is cautious about changing Article 96, which stipulates procedures for constitutional revision, ahead of other revisions. The party insists it is appropriate for this change to be discussed with other revisions. This is one reason why the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito have failed to make common campaign pledges.
 公明党は、改正手続きを定めた96条について、他の改正内容とともに議論するのがふさわしいとして先行改正に慎重論を唱えた。この点は、自公両党が共通公約を作成できなかった要因でもある。

However, it is difficult for the Diet to propose an amendment to the Constitution to the public under the current requirement that the revision must be supported by at least two-thirds of lawmakers in both chambers. This hurdle is far too high compared with other countries. More discussions are needed on easing this requirement.
 だが、衆参各院の総議員の「3分の2以上」という発議要件では国会が憲法改正を国民に提案することは難しい。諸外国と比べてもハードルが高すぎる。要件緩和へ議論を重ねる必要がある。

Depending on the result of the upper house election, the relative importance of Komeito in discussions over constitutional amendment could grow. Komeito must coordinate its position with the LDP, which is trumpeting its own draft of constitutional revisions.
 参院選次第で、憲法改正論議における公明党の比重が高まろう。憲法改正草案を掲げる自民党との調整を進めなければならない。

DPJ’s stance as clear as mud

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party of Japan’s stance remains unclear. In its campaign pledge draft, the DPJ says it will promote “a constitutional dialogue” with the public, deepen discussions on what should be added and what should be changed, and craft the concept of a future-oriented constitution. This is tantamount to advocating nothing.
 一方、民主党の立場は依然、明確ではない。公約原案には「国民とともに『憲法対話』を進め、補うべき点、改めるべき点への議論を深め、未来志向の憲法を構想する」とある。これでは、何も主張していないに等しい。

Voters will be unable to make an informed judgment unless the DPJ concretely presents which clauses it wants to be reviewed and how. Discussions over many years have made it evident what should be added or what should be changed in the top law are the existence of the SDF, environmental rights, a provision concerning responses to an emergency, and the upper house’s excessive authority.
 どの条項をどう見直すのか、具体的に示さなければ有権者も判断しようがない。「補うべき点」や「改めるべき点」は、自衛隊の存在、環境権、緊急事態条項、強すぎる参院の権能など、長年の議論で既に明らかではないか。

The DPJ, which has not presented its own alternative plan, lashed out at the LDP draft, deriding it as “an anachronism” and “reactionary.”
 民主党は、自らの対案は示さずに、自民党案には「時代錯誤」「復古調」とかみついている。

During the campaign for the December House of Representatives election, the DPJ strategy was to fan the people’s anxiety of the LDP. In one extreme case, they raised the specter of whether the LDP might “turn the SDF into an organization that can launch intercontinental ballistic missiles.”
 昨年の衆院選でも、民主党は「自衛隊を大陸間弾道弾を飛ばすような組織にするのか」などと、極端な議論で自民党への不安をあおる選挙戦術が目立った。

The DPJ should not just slap labels on the LDP, but actually hold constructive debates on key matters.
 民主党は、“レッテル貼り”に走るのではなく、建設的な論戦を展開すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 5, 2013)
(2013年6月5日01時30分  読売新聞)

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2013年6月 5日 (水)

検察の懲戒請求 報道の自由が侵されかねない

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 5, 2013
Prosecutors' action may limit freedom of news reporting
検察の懲戒請求 報道の自由が侵されかねない(6月4日付・読売社説)

Recent action by prosecutors may have a chilling effect on those who would cooperate with reporters as news sources.
 取材協力者の萎縮を招きかねない。検察の対応は問題である。

The Osaka District Public Prosecutors Office has asked the Osaka Bar Association to impose disciplinary action against a lawyer who provided NHK with video footage of questioning by prosecutors, disclosed earlier as evidence in court.
 裁判の証拠として開示された取り調べの録画映像をNHKに提供した弁護士について、大阪地検が大阪弁護士会に懲戒請求した。

The prosecutors called for disciplinary action as they considered the provision of the footage to be use of evidence for other than its original purpose, which is prohibited by the Criminal Procedure Law.
刑事訴訟法が禁じる証拠の目的外使用にあたるとの理由からだ。

The prohibition was established when the range of evidence to be disclosed by the prosecution to the defense was expanded under a revision of the law in 2004.
 この禁止規定は、2004年の法改正で、検察から弁護側への証拠開示の範囲を広げた際に新設された。

Remember law’s purpose

It is designed to prevent evidence leaks from leading to intimidation of witnesses or invasion of privacy of those involved with the case.
証拠流出により、証人への威迫や事件関係者のプライバシー侵害が起きるのを防ぐためだ。

This can be considered a provision necessary to secure fair judicial procedures. But it is questionable whether the application of this provision to the latest case is justifiable.
 公正な司法手続きを担保する上で、必要な規定とは言える。だが、今回のケースにこの規定をあてはめることには疑問がある。

The footage recorded a verbal exchange that appeared to contradict a statement made on the basis of a “confession” of a defendant charged with inflicting bodily injury resulting in death. This turned out to be one reason for the court to hand down a not-guilty ruling.
 映像には、傷害致死罪に問われた元被告が“自供”した供述調書の内容と矛盾するようなやりとりが記録されていた。無罪判決の根拠の一つとなった。

The lawyer offered the footage to NHK only after the ruling was finalized. The footage had been replayed at a public trial, with the courtroom spectators seeing it. The lawyer reportedly obtained prior consent of the former defendant before handing the video to the broadcaster.
 弁護士が映像を提供したのは、判決が確定した後だった。映像は公開の法廷で既に再生され、傍聴人も目にすることができた。弁護士は提供にあたり、元被告の承諾を得ていたという。

When airing the footage in its program, NHK took measures to protect the defendant’s privacy by obscuring the face and changing the voice.
 NHKは番組で放映する際、顔をぼかしたり、音声を変えたりするなど、プライバシーに配慮する措置をとっていた。

It is unlikely that the provision of the footage and its broadcast on TV adversely affected the court ruling or defamed those concerned.
 映像の提供と放映によって、裁判への影響や関係者の名誉侵害が生じたとは考えられない。

The lawyer has explained that he “wanted to inform the public about the real situation of the prosecutors’ questioning.”
 弁護士は「検察の取り調べの実態を社会に伝えたかった」と説明している。

It can be said that providing such evidence for the purpose of examining how criminal investigations should be conducted is sufficiently within the public interest.
捜査の在り方を検証するという提供目的には、十分な公益性があると言えよう。

Regarding the prohibition on the use of evidence for other than its original purposes, the Japan Federation of Bar Associations called for, at the time of the law revision, allowing exceptions to the prohibition in cases when there is a good reason.
 目的外使用の禁止を巡っては、法改正時に、日本弁護士連合会が正当な理由があれば禁止対象から外すよう求めた。

The Japan Newspaper Publishers & Editors Association has also expressed its opinion saying, “There is a great fear [of the prohibition] leading to the restriction of news gathering.”
日本新聞協会も「取材の制限につながる危惧が大きい」との見解を表明した。

Consider the context

The issue has also been taken up for discussion in the Diet, where it has been proposed that a clause be added to the law to state that in suspected cases of its violation, “the purpose of the action, the way the action is taken, or whether there is a possible defamation of those concerned, should be taken into consideration.”
 国会でも議論となり、違反が疑われる場合にも、「行為の目的や態様、関係者の名誉侵害の有無などを考慮する」との条文が追加された経緯がある。

Did the Osaka prosecutors office sufficiently examine the case from these perspectives?
 大阪地検はこうした観点からの精査を十分行ったのだろうか。

In March, a man was indicted for allegedly posting on a video site some disclosed evidence, including crime scene photos showing a victim. Such a malicious case should be dealt with strictly.
 3月には、被害者が写っている実況見分写真などの開示証拠を動画サイトに投稿したとされる男が起訴された。悪質なケースについては厳しく対処すべきだ。

But if the provision of information in the public interest is deliberately put into question by prosecutors, it may lead to infringement on the freedom of reporting and news gathering.
 しかし、公益目的の情報提供まで検察が殊更に問題視するのであれば、取材・報道の自由を侵害することにつながろう。

It should not be forgotten that evidence gathered through the use of public authority is not the exclusive property of the prosecutors. It is public goods.
 公権力を使って収集した証拠は検察の独占物ではなく、公共財であることも忘れてはならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 4, 2013)
(2013年6月4日01時12分  読売新聞)

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限定正社員 制度導入への課題はなお多い

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 5, 2013
Not so fast on introduction of 'limited regular employees'
限定正社員 制度導入への課題はなお多い(6月4日付・読売社説)

Will it be a step toward expanding employment and better allocating human resources to growth areas?
 雇用を拡大し、成長分野に人材を振り向ける一助になるだろうか。

The government’s Regulatory Reform Council is set to propose that so-called “gentei sei-shain” (limited regular corporate employees) be systemized as part of the nation’s growth strategies.
 政府の規制改革会議は成長戦略の一環として、「限定正社員」の制度化を答申する方針だ。

These employees would be limited in the types of duties they could perform, work locations and working hours. Just like full-fledged regular employees, workers holding this position would be covered by corporate welfare benefit programs and would not be subject to a set period of employment. These workers also are called “job-based” regular employees, which are common in the United States and Europe.
 限定正社員は、職務や勤務地、労働時間が限定されている。正社員と同様、福利厚生が受けられ、雇用期間にも定めがない。「ジョブ型正社員」とも言われ、欧米では一般的である。

Although limited regular employees would be paid less than regular workers, their job status is considered more stable than that of nonregular employees. This category is expected to enable workers, who spend a considerable amount of time on child-rearing and nursing care, to choose a way to work that better fits their wishes.
 正社員より賃金は低いが、非正規社員に比べると、身分は安定していると言える。子育てや介護を抱える人は、自分の希望にあった働き方を選択できる。

Firms would also benefit

Many companies have introduced similar systems. But employment rules for such workers have not necessarily been established yet.
 こうした雇用形態を採用している企業は多いが、必ずしも雇用ルールは確立されていない。

Institutionalizing limited regular workers is expected to bring nonregular employees, who now account for 35 percent of Japan’s workforce, a step closer to regular workers. The growing number of nonregular employees, whose salary is low and who can easily be shown the door during corporate restructuring, is considered a factor behind the nation’s sluggish consumption.
 限定正社員を制度化することで期待されるのは、雇用者全体の35%に膨らんだ非正規雇用が正規雇用に近づく一歩となることだ。給料が低く、リストラの対象にされやすい非正規雇用の増大は、消費低迷の要因とされている。

If work duties are limited to certain areas, employees’ specialized fields would be clarified. Some could utilize the system to build their careers, and it could be an advantage if they change jobs.
 職務が限定されれば、従業員の仕事の専門性が明確になる。人によってはキャリアを積むことができ、転職の際に強みになろう。

Furthermore, if the system of limited regular employees takes root, it would benefit companies. When companies shut down some outlets or abolish certain job categories whose objectives have been completed, they could dismiss those employees more easily than regular workers, whose employment would be protected through such steps as transfers to different departments.
 一方、限定正社員制度が定着した場合、企業側にもメリットがある。役割を終えた事業所の閉鎖や職種の廃止に踏み切る際に、配置転換などで雇用が保護される正社員とは違って解雇しやすい。

The envisaged system would remedy the current situation in which unprofitable divisions groan under an excess of workers.
 不採算部門に余剰人員を抱え込む現状の改善につながる。

But many challenges remain before the new position can be institutionalized. The Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) has taken umbrage with the fact that the limited regular employee system is being studied to ease rules covering worker dismissal. The labor organization has voiced opposition, saying that companies could fire employees just for their own convenience when factories or offices are shuttered. It denounced the system as “a liberalization of policies on firing workers.”
 だが、制度化への課題は多い。連合は、限定正社員が解雇規制の緩和という側面で検討されたことを問題視し、「工場や事業所の閉鎖に伴い、企業が勝手に社員を解雇できる」「首切りへの自由化策だ」と反発している。

Clear rules needed

Many companies are worried about the increasing risk of facing a lawsuit over staff dismissals.
 企業にとっては、解雇を巡る訴訟リスクの増加も懸念材料だ。

The Regulatory Reform Council is calling on the government to establish clear rules on such matters as in what cases companies could dismiss limited regular employees.
 規制改革会議は、どのような場合に解雇できるか、といったルール作りについて、政府に結論を出すことを求めている。

We think the envisaged system should not be allowed to facilitate easy restructuring, which would rather destabilize the employment situation.
 安易なリストラを助長し、かえって雇用の不安定化を招くような事態は避けるべきである。

How can shifting labor from structurally depressed industries to growth industries be promoted without increasing unemployment? Crafting a highly fluid labor market is essential for the revival of the nation’s economy.
 失業を増やさずに、構造不況業種から成長産業へ、いかに労働力の移動を図るか。流動性の高い労働市場を形成することが、日本経済の再生には欠かせない。

To help laid-off workers find new careers, the government and companies also need to strengthen job placement and training services.
 従業員が解雇された際の再就職を支援するため、政府や企業は就職先のあっせんや職業訓練にも力を入れる必要があろう。

We hope discussions will deepen from broad viewpoints, not only regarding employment but also including economic growth and the international competitiveness of Japan’s industries.
 雇用だけでなく、経済成長や産業の国際競争力など幅広い観点から議論を深めてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 4, 2013)
(2013年6月4日01時12分  読売新聞)

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2013年6月 4日 (火)

南スーダン支援 地元連携で効果的なPKOに

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 4, 2013
Work with locals to enhance effect of Japan's PKO in South Sudan
南スーダン支援 地元連携で効果的なPKOに(6月3日付・読売社説)

It is important for Japan to adopt a strategy that enhances the effectiveness of its contribution to U.N. peacekeeping operations in South Sudan, by closely cooperating with local people.
 地元の住民と緊密に連携し、国連平和維持活動(PKO)の効果を高める戦略が重要である。

The government has decided to extend the area of engagement by the Ground Self-Defense Force engineering unit taking part in the U.N. Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS).
 政府が、国連南スーダン派遣団(UNMISS)に参加している陸上自衛隊の施設部隊の活動地域を拡大することを決定した。

Since January last year, about 330 personnel of the unit have been improving major trunk roads and an airstrip in the capital Juba, which is in Central Equatoria State. After Bangladeshi units pull out of Eastern and Western Equatoria shortly, the GSDF unit will also operate in these two states.
 陸自部隊の約330人は昨年1月以降、中央エクアトリア州にある首都ジュバで道路や空港を整備している。バングラデシュ軍が近く東・西エクアトリア州から撤退した後、両州でも活動する。

The GSDF engineers have withdrawn from the Golan Heights in the Middle East and Haiti, leaving South Sudan as the only country where the unit is engaged in peacekeeping operations.
 陸自は中東・ゴラン高原とハイチから撤収し、現在は南スーダンが唯一のPKOだ。

Unit stars in engineering

Extending the unit’s area of engagement is quite appropriate for enhancing Japan’s presence in and reinforcing ties with Africa, which is expected to grow markedly in the future.
今後の成長が期待されるアフリカでの日本の存在感を高め、関係を強化するうえで、活動地域の拡大は妥当だ。

China, South Korea and India also have dispatched engineering units to South Sudan. In northern South Sudan, where the units of these three Asian nations conduct their peacekeeping activities, rebel forces still operate actively. In April, rebels attacked a U.N. convoy and killed 12 people, including five Indian peacekeepers escorting the convoy.
 南スーダンには中国、韓国、インドも施設部隊を派遣している。3か国が活動する北部の州は、反政府勢力の活動が活発だ。4月にPKOの車両が襲撃され、インド兵5人を含む12人が死亡した。

The public security situation is relatively stable in the three southern states where the GSDF unit will operate. Nonetheless, it is necessary to remain vigilant to ensure the safety of the unit by, for instance, constantly gathering information on the movements of rebel forces.
 日本が活動する南部3州は、治安が比較的安定している。だが、反政府勢力の動向の情報収集に努めるなど、部隊の安全確保に引き続き注意する必要がある。

South Sudan became independent from Sudan in July 2011, but little progress has been made in its nation-building efforts. From May to October, heavy rainfall makes roads impassable in many areas. Therefore, it is hugely significant that the GSDF unit is helping to improve a road network that will serve as a foundation for that country’s economic development.
 南スーダンは2011年7月に独立し、国造りはまだ進んでいない。5~10月は激しい雨期で、道路が各地で寸断される。経済開発の基盤となる国内の交通網整備に陸自が貢献する意義は大きい。

The unit has achieved tangible results in repairing and improving roads--its specialty area--in such nations as Cambodia and East Timor. The unit has earned a reputation for its precise and diligent work. Its attention to detail includes adjusting the camber of a road and the width of side gutters in line with rainfall of a specific area.
 陸自の施設部隊は、カンボジア、東ティモールなどのPKOで実績を上げており、得意分野だ。道路に勾配をつけ、雨量に応じて側溝幅を調節するなど、きめ細かで堅実な仕事ぶりには定評がある。

The important thing is for the unit to have numerous dialogues with local people to accurately grasp their true needs. This will enhance the effect of Japan’s assistance.
 大切なのは、現地住民と対話を重ね、ニーズを正確に把握し、支援の効果を高めることだ。

The GSDF unit began building a 1.7-kilometer community road in Juba in February. The unit proposed this project to the UNMISS after actively determining what locals need and want. The road is funded from about 84 million yen of grassroots grant aid of Japan’s official development assistance, which is used to procure necessary materials.
 陸自は今年2月、ジュバ市内で1・7キロの生活道路の整備を始めた。住民の要望を積極的に聞き取り、国連に提案した事業で、政府開発援助(ODA)の草の根無償資金協力約8400万円を活用し、資材を調達している。

Think outside the box

The GSDF’s reconstruction activities in postwar Iraq were made in cooperation with locals, and were highly praised. We hope such assistance will be expanded.
 イラク復興支援でも、地元と連携した活動は高く評価された。こうした支援を拡充したい。

The Foreign Ministry, for its part, must think hard about how to enhance the synergic effects of Japan’s official development assistance and peacekeeping operations. This might involve extending not only small-scale grant aid but also larger-scale assistance, such as the improvement of facilities, in tandem with the GSDF unit’s operations.
 外務省も、小規模な無償支援に限らず、施設整備など、より大型の援助を陸自の活動と連動させ、ODAとPKOの相乗効果を高めることに知恵を絞るべきだ。

The GSDF has dispatched three majors, including intelligence staff, to UNMISS headquarters. For Japan to have a bigger say in peacekeeping operations, it will be necessary to dispatch higher-ranking SDF officers and have them placed in posts higher up the chain of command.
 陸自は、UNMISS司令部に情報幕僚など3人の3佐を派遣している。日本がPKO分野で発言力を強めるには、より高位の自衛官を派遣し、幹部ポストを確保することが課題となろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 3, 2013)
(2013年6月3日01時17分  読売新聞)

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財政再建目標 達成と景気回復の両立を図れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 4, 2013
Govt must make fiscal rebuilding compatible with business recovery
財政再建目標 達成と景気回復の両立を図れ(6月3日付・読売社説)

To reinvigorate the national economy and put it on a sustainable growth path, it is imperative to restore fiscal soundness.
 日本経済を再生し、安定した成長軌道に乗せるには、財政健全化が不可欠だ。

The government must address the challenge of ensuring compatibility between fiscal reconstruction and business recovery.
政府は財政再建と景気回復の両立を図らねばならない。

The Fiscal System Council, an advisory organ to the finance minister, has compiled a report calling on the government to hold fast to its avowed goal of rebuilding public finances. Regarding the primary budget balance deficits of the central and local governments, it sets a target of “halving the ratio of the budget deficits to gross domestic product in fiscal 2015 from the level in fiscal 2010, and achieving a primary budget surplus in fiscal 2020.”
 政府の財政制度等審議会は報告書をまとめ、国と地方の基礎的財政収支を国内総生産(GDP)比で「2015年度に10年度から半減し、20年度に黒字化」という財政再建目標の堅持を求めた。

Worst debt burden

Japan’s public debt burden is the worst among industrially advanced economies. The outstanding balance of the combined long-term debts of the central and local governments stands at slightly less than 1 yen quadrillion, twice the size of the nation’s GDP.
 日本の財政は、国と地方の長期債務残高がGDPの2倍の1000兆円弱に達し、先進国最悪の状態にある。

Primary budget balance figures represent the extent to which government spending on policy implementation, excluding debt-servicing costs, can be funded with tax revenues without depending on debt. The combined deficit of the central and local governments for fiscal 2013 is expected to swell to a level equivalent to 6.9 percent of GDP.
 基礎的財政収支は、政策的経費を借金に頼らず税収でどれだけ賄えているかを示すもので、13年度の国と地方の赤字はGDP比6・9%に拡大する見通しだ。

Under the circumstances, it appears extremely difficult to attain the goal of halving the deficits in fiscal 2015 and returning the budget to a primary surplus by fiscal 2020.
15年度半減や20年度黒字化の目標達成は高いハードルと言えよう。

In addition, the Bank of Japan, in line with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic policies to end deflation, has embarked on bold monetary easing steps by purchasing massive amounts of government bonds.
 加えて、安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」の一環で、日本銀行が大胆な金融緩和を実施し、大量の国債を購入している。

The council’s report released on May 27 correctly warned that the government must take adequate precautions to avoid giving rise to suspicions that Japan may attempt to offset the public debt through the central bank’s bond purchase.
 報告書が、財政赤字の穴埋めをしているという疑念を招かないよう警告したのは、もっともだ。

If confidence in government finances is shaken, government bond prices could drop precipitously, possibly causing interest rates on long-term loans to climb further. As a result, the willingness of companies to spend on capital investment could decline, chilling business prospects that have finally become brighter, while jacking up government bond-servicing costs. The government must remain alert to avoid fiscal deficits swelling further.
 財政の信認が揺らげば、国債価格が急落して長期金利が一段と上昇しかねない。企業の投資意欲が減退して明るさが見えてきた景気を冷やし、国債の利払い費も増大する。財政赤字がさらに膨らむことに警戒が必要だ。

Based on the council’s report, the government plans to incorporate its aim to achieve fiscal discipline into a “Basic Policy for Economic and Fiscal Reform,” scheduled for release this month.
 政府は、今回の報告書を踏まえて、6月に発表する「経済財政改革の基本方針(骨太の方針)」に目標達成の決意を盛り込む。

In a joint statement at a meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors from the Group of 20 major economies in April, Japan was pressed to come up with a credible medium-term fiscal plan.
 日本は、4月の主要20か国・地域(G20)財務相・中央銀行総裁会議の共同声明でも、「信頼に足る中期財政計画を策定すべきだ」と指摘された。

While it is important to assist current business conditions through flexible fiscal measures, medium-term fiscal reconstruction steps also should be worked out.
 機動的な財政政策で足元の景気をテコ入れすることは重要だが、中期的な財政再建の道筋を描かねばならない。

The report also emphasized the need for curbing social welfare expenditures and a growth strategy aimed at increasing tax revenues. A growth strategy is vital to resuscitate the national economy.
 報告書は、社会保障費の抑制や税収を増やす成長戦略の必要性も強調した。経済再生を確実にするカギは、成長戦略にある。

Spending pressures

To make this a reality, it is essential to adopt policies aimed at acquiring new markets through deregulatory steps, while at the same time expediting technological innovations in the private sector. The government now faces the task of bringing about a steady business recovery, as it moves toward raising the consumption tax rate.
 それには、規制改革で新たな市場を開拓するとともに、民間の技術革新を促進する政策が欠かせない。景気回復を着実に実現しながら、消費税率の引き上げを目指していくことが政治の課題だ。

With the House of Councillors election scheduled for July, the government faces mounting pressure to expand outlays for public works projects. It is also being pressured to provide more support as for farming and other sectors due to Japan’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral free trade negotiations.
 7月の参院選を前に、公共事業や、環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉参加をにらんで農業分野などで歳出圧力が高まっていることが懸念される。

The government must make careful decisions on government-subsidized project spending by weighing whether they are really necessary and make efficient use of budgetary appropriations.
 政府は事業の必要性や効率性を十分に吟味し、メリハリのついた支出を徹底すべきだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 3, 2013)
(2013年6月3日01時17分  読売新聞)

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2013年6月 3日 (月)

運動部活動 暴力に頼る指導は許されない

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 2, 2013
Sports club coaches must not resort to physical punishment of students
運動部活動 暴力に頼る指導は許されない(6月1日付・読売社説)

It is essential to drive home the point that coaches should never use physical punishment in school sports club activities. They should instead focus on developing students’ capabilities.
 暴力に頼らず、生徒の能力を伸ばす指導を学校の運動部活動で徹底することが必要だ。

An expert panel of the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry has compiled instruction guidelines for sports club activities. This came in response to a series of incidents of corporal punishment meted out by coaches of such clubs since the suicide of a student who attended Osaka municipal Sakuranomiya High School. The student killed himself after suffering corporal punishment at the hands of a teacher who served as the coach of the school’s basketball club.
 文部科学省の有識者会議が、運動部活動の指導指針をまとめた。大阪市立桜宮高校バスケットボール部の体罰自殺問題以降、特に部活動の体罰事例が相次いで発覚したためだ。

Some coaches of school sports clubs still tend to have the wrong idea that physical punishment is acceptable as a “strict form of instruction.” The panel’s guidelines must be used to change their thinking.
 部活動の指導者には、いまだに暴力などの体罰を厳しい指導とはき違える傾向がある。指針を指導者の意識改革の契機としたい。

Sports club activities are part of school education. Sixty percent of middle school students and 40 percent of high school students participate in such activities. These activities provide students with a valuable chance to learn the importance of working hard through sweating together as well as to cultivate the ability to cooperate and develop a sense of responsibility.
 運動部活動は、学校教育の一環である。中学校で6割、高校で4割の生徒が参加している。仲間と汗を流すことを通じて、努力する大切さを学び、協調性や責任感を身に着ける貴重な時間だ。

But the wrong instructional method can hurt students mentally and physically. It is natural that the guidelines clearly reject the use of strong-arm instruction, saying, “It is totally wrong to think physical punishment can be allowed if a relationship of trust is established with students.”
 しかし、指導法を間違えれば、生徒の心身を傷つける結果となる。暴力について、指針が「生徒との信頼関係があれば許されるという認識は誤りだ」と、明確に否定したのは当然である。

Excessive practice harmful

While saying there is no problem with seeking victory per se, the guidelines recommend not forcing excessive practice by sticking to a victory-is-everything doctrine.
 指針はさらに、勝利を目指すこと自体は問題ないとしつつ、勝利至上主義に陥って、行き過ぎた練習を強要しないよう求めた。

As concrete examples, the guidelines say repetitive practice to acquire skills can be allowed, but forcing students to run for a long time under a hot sun without supplying them with water is not permissible. They also ban the use of violent and offensive language that may violate students’ sense of integrity.
 具体例として、技術を習得させる反復練習は許されるが、炎天下で水も飲ませずに長時間ランニングをさせることなどは認められないとした。威嚇的で人格を否定するような暴言も禁じた。

A report based on a survey on corporal punishment compiled by the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education last week shows the necessity for the guidelines.
 東京都教育委員会が先週まとめた体罰調査の報告書を見ると、指針の必要性を実感させられる。

A teacher advising a Tokyo metropolitan high school’s baseball club made students run as far as 40 kilometers without a lunch break as a punishment for the team’s defeat in a game. The teacher reportedly said the purpose of the punishment was for the students “to reflect on reasons for the defeat.” This could be a case of excessively egocentric thinking.
 ある都立高野球部の顧問教師は、試合に負けた罰として、生徒に昼食抜きで40キロも走らせた。「敗因を考えさせるためだった」と理由を語ったという。あまりに独りよがりな考え方だ。

Imposing excessive training may lead to such serious consequences as heatstroke and cardiopulmonary failure.
 限度を超える運動を課せば、熱中症や心肺停止など重篤な事故につながりかねない。

In addition to teachers, people with athletic experience also serve as coaches for school sports clubs. These outside instructors must be thoroughly taught about the educational significance of club activities and the ban on corporal punishment.
 部活動では、教師以外の外部の競技経験者が指導にあたることもある。研修を通じて、外部指導者にも部活動の教育的意義や体罰禁止を徹底させるべきだ。

A chain of violence

There are not a few cases in which students with outstanding records of performance in club activities become athletic coaches when they grow up.
 学校の部活動で活躍した選手の中には、スポーツ界で指導者の道を歩むケースも少なくない。

Those who have suffered physical punishment may use force when they become instructors. This linkage could be behind the widespread use of force not only in school club activities but in the sports world as a whole.
 体罰を受けた経験があると、自らが指導する立場になった際、同じように暴力を振るう。その連鎖が、部活動にとどまらず、スポーツ界全体に暴力的な指導がはびこっている要因だろう。

Sports organizations, including the Japan Sports Association, issued a belated declaration in April that acts of violence must be stopped.
 日本体育協会などのスポーツ団体は4月、遅ればせながら「暴力行為根絶宣言」を行った。

We suggest that the sports and educational worlds join hands to improve the ability and quality of coaches and establish effective coaching methods.
スポーツ界と教育界は協力して、指導者の資質向上と適切な指導法の普及に取り組んでもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 1, 2013)
(2013年6月1日01時19分  読売新聞)

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対「北」防衛協議 日韓関係改善の一歩にしたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 3, 2013
Use 3-way defense talks on N. Korea to help thaw Japan-South Korea ties
対「北」防衛協議 日韓関係改善の一歩にしたい(6月2日付・読売社説)

To respond effectively to North Korea’s military provocations, it is essential that Japan, the United States and South Korea firmly stand shoulder to shoulder. By sharing information in a wide range of fields, Tokyo, Washington and Seoul must closely coordinate their security policies to bolster the deterrent capabilities of their military forces.
 北朝鮮の軍事的挑発に効果的に対処するには、日米韓3か国の結束が欠かせない。情報を広く共有し、安全保障政策を緊密に調整して、部隊の抑止力を高めたい。

Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and their South Korean counterpart, Kim Kwan Jin, met in Singapore on Saturday. They later issued a joint statement calling on North Korea to comply with U.N. Security Council resolutions that demand it abandon its nuclear weapons and development program.
 小野寺防衛相、ヘーゲル米国防長官、韓国の金寛鎮国防相がシンガポールで会談した。

The statement also said Japan, the United States and South Korea are committed to strengthening cooperation to counter North Korea’s provocations.
 国連決議に基づく核兵器・開発計画放棄の義務の履行を北朝鮮に強く求めるとともに、北朝鮮の挑発を抑止するため日米韓が協力するとの共同声明を発表した。

Never yield to intimidation

In April, North Korea appeared to be preparing to launch a ballistic missile. However, the launch did not eventuate.
 北朝鮮は4月に弾道ミサイル発射の構えを見せたが、見送った。

In late May, a special envoy of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was dispatched to China, signaling Pyongyang could be poised to shift from its bellicose stance to seeking dialogue with nations concerned.
5月下旬に金正恩第1書記の特使を中国に派遣し、関係国との対話に前向きな姿勢に転じている。

To produce positive results in diplomacy toward North Korea, Japan, the United States and South Korea must stand united and ensure nations such as China and Russia join a coalition that can effectively apply pressure on Pyongyang.
 対北朝鮮外交で成果を上げるには、日米韓が足並みをそろえ、中国やロシアを巻き込んだ北朝鮮包囲網を構築して、実効性ある圧力をかけることが必要である。

Conducting regular joint military exercises and reinforcing surveillance and patrol activities will also be crucial so Japan, South Korea and the United States do not buckle in the face of North Korea’s diplomatic intimidation.
 北朝鮮の恫喝(どうかつ)外交に動じないよう、日米韓が部隊の共同訓練を重ね、警戒監視活動を強化しておくことも大切である。

In addition to steps to deal with North Korea, trilateral defense cooperation has steadily expanded to various fields ranging from disaster relief and humanitarian assistance, countermeasures against piracy and activities to help Southeast Asian nations boost their military and maritime security capabilities.
 日米韓の防衛協力は、対北朝鮮以外にも、災害救援・人道支援や海賊対策、東南アジアに対する軍事・海上保安能力構築支援など、様々な分野に広がっている。

In addition, Japan should step up efforts to build trilateral frameworks of cooperation with the United States and Australia, and the United States and India, for example. These multilateral webs would help preserve the stability of Asia as a whole.
 日米韓に加え、日米豪、日米印など3か国の協力の枠組みをそれぞれ重層的に拡充することが、アジア全体の安定に役立とう。

In the triangle linking Japan, the United States and South Korea, it is a matter of concern that cooperation between Tokyo and Seoul remains unsatisfactory compared to Tokyo-Washington and Washington-Seoul ties.
 一方、日米韓3か国の中で、日米・米韓に比べて、日韓の連携が不十分なのは懸念材料だ。

Tokyo-Seoul relations chilled after then South Korean President Lee Myung Bak visited the Takeshima islets in August last year. Many observers expected ties would thaw with the launch of the administration led by President Park Geun Hye in February.
 李明博前大統領の竹島訪問で悪化した日韓関係は、今年2月の朴槿恵政権発足を機に、改善に向かうことが期待されていた。

Regrettably, bilateral ties have deteriorated further due to a string of events such as Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso’s visit to Yasukuni Shrine, and remarks by Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, coleader of Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), regarding the “comfort women” from Japan’s wartime past. Making matters worse, a column in an influential South Korean newspaper recently described the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as “God’s vengeance.”
 だが、麻生副総理らの靖国神社参拝や日本維新の会の橋下共同代表の従軍慰安婦発言、日本への原爆投下を「神の懲罰」と評した韓国大手紙コラムなどで、むしろ関係が悪化しているのは残念だ。

Address strategically key task

Under Park’s administration, Japan and South Korea have not held summit talks or a foreign ministerial meeting. Planned bilateral talks on the sidelines of the Singapore meeting also were canceled. We think both sides should seek to rebuild bilateral ties on the strength of the latest three-way meeting of defense chiefs. Japan and South Korea should ramp up diplomatic efforts to set the stage for bilateral summit talks or ministerial-level meetings, by making use of international conferences and other opportunities.
 朴政権下では首脳・外相会談が1回も開かれていない。今回も日韓会談は見送られたが、3か国会談をテコに日韓関係を再構築したい。国際会議などの機会も活用し、首脳・閣僚会談を開けるよう、両国は外交努力を重ねるべきだ。

Boosting cooperation between Japan and South Korea is a strategically key issue for the sake of squarely dealing with not only North Korea, but also the rapidly rising strength of China. The United States strongly wishes to see Japan-South Korea cooperation boosted in this connection.
 北朝鮮だけでなく、台頭する中国ときちんと向き合うためにも、日韓の連携強化は戦略的課題であり、米国も強く望んでいる。

Tokyo and Seoul have continued to exchange military information, including on movements by the North Korean military. To materialize full-scale bilateral security cooperation, however, both nations urgently need to sign a General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) and an Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA).
 日韓間では、北朝鮮軍の動向など軍事情報の交換は続いている。より本格的な安保協力には、軍事情報包括保護協定(GSOMIA)や物品役務相互提供協定(ACSA)の締結が急務である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 2, 2013)
(2013年6月2日02時23分  読売新聞)

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アフリカ会議 日本の顔見える支援拡大せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 3, 2013
TICAD 5: Opportunity to expand Africa aid that shows Japanese flag
アフリカ会議 日本の顔見える支援拡大せよ(6月2日付・読売社説)

The fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 5), a summit meeting of Japanese and African leaders, began Saturday in Yokohama. It is a wonderful opportunity for Japan to strengthen its partnership with Africa, an emerging continent.
 日本とアフリカの首脳級会合である「第5回アフリカ開発会議(TICAD5)」が1日、横浜市で開幕した。“成長大陸”アフリカと連携を強化する絶好の機会だ。

The conference is held every five years, and representatives from 51 of Africa’s 54 countries are attending TICAD 5.
 5年に1度の会合で、今回はアフリカ51か国が出席した。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at the meeting that Japan and Africa have become partners who are helping each other grow. He also pledged to provide Africa with up to 3.2 trillion yen in aid from the private and public sectors over the next five years. The amount will include 1.4 trillion yen in official development assistance, the prime minister said.
 安倍首相は、「互いに成長し合う仲間になった」と述べ、官民連携により、今後5年間で最大3・2兆円をアフリカに支援すると表明した。1・4兆円は政府開発援助(ODA)を充てる。

A wealth of resources

Africa is rich in natural resources, and its annual growth rate remains high at 5 percent or more. The continent has a population of about 1 billion and is a promising market in which the number of middle-income people is increasing.
 アフリカは天然資源が豊富で、5%台の高成長が続く。人口は10億人と多く、中間所得層が増加する有望市場である。

However, electricity shortages remain a serious problem in Africa, and underdeveloped infrastructure such as roads, ports and railways is also a challenge.
 一方、電力不足は深刻だ。道路、港湾、鉄道などインフラ整備の遅れも課題と言える。

Africa has high expectations of Japan. We agree with the government’s plan to expand aid and investment for Africa in cooperation with trading houses, manufacturers and other private companies.
 アフリカの日本への期待は大きい。商社、メーカーなど民間企業と足並みをそろえ、アフリカへの支援や投資を拡大しようとする政府の狙いは妥当だ。

The growth strategy of Abenomics will be boosted if Japan can promote development of natural resources in Africa such as natural gas, which are essential for the country, and speed up the export of infrastructure to African countries.
 日本に不可欠な天然ガスなどの資源開発を促進したり、インフラ輸出を加速したりできれば、経済政策「アベノミクス」の成長戦略にも弾みをつけよう。

Be wary of China’s moves

However, Japan must be cautious about China’s moves on the African continent, where it is stepping up its presence.
 警戒しなければならないのは、アフリカでの存在感を増大させている中国の動きである。

Beijing has been sending its leaders to African countries one after another and rapidly increasing loans and investment on the continent.
 中国は、首脳らが相次いでアフリカを訪問し、アフリカ向けの融資や投資を急拡大している。

China last year announced it would extend a total of 20 billion dollars in loans to African nations over three years, but the reality on the ground is not clear. We cannot ignore China’s policy toward Africa, which is noticeably aimed at monopolizing natural resources there while focusing only on China’s own interests.
 昨年、「3年間で200億ドル融資」という新たな方針を表明したが、実態は不透明だ。資源囲い込みや自国の利益を最優先する姿勢が目立つ点も看過できない。

Abe pledged at the conference to visit Africa as soon as possible. We think it is appropriate for the prime minister to lead Japan’s policy for Africa to vie with Beijing.
 安倍首相は、できるだけ早期にアフリカを訪問する意向も表明した。中国に対抗し、首相が先頭に立つことは適切だろう。

It is important for Japan to help Africa become more self-reliant and to build a mutually beneficial friendship with it through aid that shows the Japanese flag.
 重要なのは、「日本の顔が見える支援」を通じてアフリカの自立を促し、互いに利益になる良好な関係を築くことである。

Africa is still suffering from poverty and diseases such as AIDS. Japan should help Africans boost their agricultural productivity to alleviate poverty by teaching them Japanese skills to grow more rice.
 アフリカは貧困や、エイズなど疾病の問題を抱える。コメ作り支援で農業の生産性を高め、貧困を減らす方策を強化すべきだ。

The government should take strategy measures to help Africa that only Japan can do, by making effective use of its ODA. Such measures include supporting human resource development programs by helping 30,000 people find jobs and promoting transfer of technology.
 3万人の就業支援による人材育成や、技術移転を後押しするなど、ODAを有効に活用する日本ならではの戦略が求められる。

In Algeria, a hostage crisis involving Japanese nationals took place in January, and security continues to deteriorate in some parts of Africa. We think the governments of African countries should take the initiative in developing an environment in which Japanese companies will find it easy to invest.
 1月にアルジェリアで人質事件が起きた。一部では依然、治安が悪化している。政府の主導で、日本企業が投資しやすい環境を整備することが急務だ。

The government should not forget that it is significant for Japan, which aims to reform the U.N. Security Council, to expand the foundations of its diplomacy in a way that will redound to the country’s benefit as it enhances its ties with African nations.
 国連安全保障理事会の改革を目指す日本にとって、アフリカとの関係強化で外交基盤を拡大する意義も忘れてはなるまい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 2, 2013)
(2013年6月2日02時23分  読売新聞)

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2013年6月 2日 (日)

李克強首相発言 歴史を無視した言いがかりだ

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 2, 2013
Chinese premier's outrageous claim to Senkakus has no historical grounds
李克強首相発言 歴史を無視した言いがかりだ(6月1日付・読売社説)

Japan needs to strengthen its guard against China’s propaganda, especially in light of that country’s selfish claim of sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture.
 日本は、沖縄県・尖閣諸島を巡って身勝手な主張を展開する中国の宣伝戦に対する警戒を一段と強める必要がある。

In a speech in the German city of Potsdam on May 26, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, the No. 2 figure under the government of President Xi Jinping, made an apparent reference to the islands, saying, “Territories Japan stole from China must be returned.”
 習近平政権ナンバー2の李克強首相が5月26日、ドイツのポツダムで演説し、尖閣諸島を念頭に、「日本が盗み取った中国の領土は返還されねばならない」との見解を示した。

Japan absolutely cannot accept the claim that the Senkaku Islands are part of China’s territory. It stands to reason that Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga rebutted Li’s remarks, saying, “They were comments that completely ignored history.”
 尖閣が中国の領土だとする主張は日本として到底受け入れられない。菅官房長官が「あまりにも歴史を無視した発言」と中国を非難したのは当然である。

Referring to the Potsdam Declaration that Japan accepted at the end of World War II, Li said the declaration called on Japan to abide by the Cairo Declaration, which stipulated that Chinese territories “stolen” by Japan--such as the northeastern region, Taiwan and other islands--must be restored to China.
 李首相は、第2次大戦終結時に日本が受諾したポツダム宣言について、「日本が盗み取った中国東北地方や台湾などの島嶼(とうしょ)を中国に返還すると規定したカイロ宣言の条項を必ず履行すると指摘している」と語った。

China’s reasoning is that the Senkakus were taken over by Japan during the Sino-Japanese War, and that as long as Japan accepted the Potsdam Declaration, the islands should be returned to China along with Taiwan. Beijing claims the Senkakus belong to Taiwan.
 尖閣は日清戦争中に日本に奪われたもので、日本がポツダム宣言を受諾した以上、尖閣も台湾の付属島嶼として返還されるべきだというのが中国の論法だ。

Beijing’s intention

While there is nothing new in Li’s remarks, why did he make them at the location where the Potsdam Declaration was issued?
 李首相の発言に目新しさはないが、なぜポツダム宣言の地で語ったのか。

By asserting that the defeated country Japan has been disrupting the international order since World War II, the Xi administration is apparently trying to convince Europe that there is a territorial dispute to be resolved between Japan and China over the Senkaku Islands.
習政権には、敗戦国の日本が第2次大戦後の国際秩序を乱していると主張することで、尖閣を巡って領有権問題があることを欧州にも訴える狙いがあろう。

After confirming that there is no evidence that the Senkakus were under the control of the Qing Dynasty of China, Japan formally incorporated the islands into Okinawa Prefecture after Cabinet approval. This action was taken before Taiwan was ceded to Japan after the Sino-Japanese War.
 尖閣諸島は、清国に帰属する根拠がないことを踏まえ、日清戦争後の台湾割譲以前に日本が閣議決定で沖縄県に編入した。台湾に付属する島嶼とする中国側の主張には、歴史的な根拠がない。

China’s claim that the Senkakus are part of Taiwan thus has no historical grounds.

Furthermore, the San Francisco Peace Treaty, which legally demarcated Japan’s territory after World War II, does not include the Senkakus in a list of territories Japan should renounce.
 第2次大戦後の日本の領土を法的に確定したサンフランシスコ講和条約に尖閣への言及はない。

Furthermore, the Republic of China (Taiwan), which was recognized as a country by Japan at that time, did not raise the issue of the Senkakus during negotiations that resulted in their peace treaty.
日本が当時承認していた「中華民国」(台湾)は日華平和条約の交渉過程で尖閣を持ち出さなかった。

On top of that, neither the Cairo nor Potsdam declarations mention the Senkaku Islands. These declarations also bear no legally binding power in defining Japan’s postwar territory.
 そもそもカイロ、ポツダム両宣言は、尖閣に言及していない。戦後の領土確定に最終的な法的効果があるわけでもない。

For about 75 years since Japan incorporated the Senkakus into its territory, Taiwan and China had never objected to Japan’s control of the islands. This fact also points to a clear contradiction in Li’s reasoning for China’s sovereignty of the islands.
 日本が編入してから約75年間、台湾も中国も日本の領有に異議を唱えなかった。このことからも李首相の論理矛盾は明白である。

Japan needs own appeal

Remarks by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi are also problematic. Wang rebuffed Suga’s criticism of Beijing’s claim, saying the top Japanese government spokesman should not make comments that betray common sense. We strongly believe it is China that has behaved deviantly.
 中国の王毅外相が「常識外れの話をしてはならない」と菅長官に反撃したのも問題だ。常軌を逸しているのは中国の方である。

Li’s remarks in Potsdam came after the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China, published an article suggesting the country has sovereignty even over Okinawa Prefecture. These moves are apparently intended to place added pressure on the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
 李首相の発言は、共産党機関紙「人民日報」が中国には沖縄県の領有権すらあると示唆する論文を掲載したのに続く安倍政権への新たな揺さぶりといえよう。

The Japanese government should not only call for efforts by all of its diplomatic missions abroad but also use every possible opportunity, such as international conferences, to make Japan’s stance on the islands better known to the world.
 日本政府は在外公館を総動員するのは無論、国際会議などあらゆる機会を利用して、日本の立場を積極的に発信すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 1, 2013)
(2013年6月1日01時19分  読売新聞)

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2013年6月 1日 (土)

選挙制度論議 政治の安定へ衆参同時改革を

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 1, 2013
Lower and upper houses must be reformed at the same time
選挙制度論議 政治の安定へ衆参同時改革を(5月31日付・読売社説)

 ◆定数削減競争は大衆迎合だ

Although the current Diet session will end in less than one month, discussions on the comprehensive reform of the electoral system of the House of Representatives remain bogged down.
 今国会会期末まで1か月を切ったのに、衆院選挙制度の抜本改革論議は行き詰まったままだ。

There seems to be no desire in either the ruling or opposition camps to reach an agreement on the matter. This indicates that reform of the lower house election system is unlikely to happen before the end of the current Diet session on June 26.
 与野党に合意形成の機運がなく、実現はもはや困難な状況にある。

A bill jointly submitted by the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito for rezoning lower house electoral districts by slashing five seats in the single-seat constituencies is to become law even if the House of Councillors does not discuss on it, through a second vote in the lower house before the end of the Diet session.
 自民、公明両党が国会に提出した、衆院小選挙区定数の「0増5減」を実現する区割り法案は、参院で審議されなくても、衆院で再可決され、成立する見通しだ。

The legislation, however, is nothing but a stopgap measure.
 だが、0増5減は、あくまでも緊急避難的な措置に過ぎない。

Now is the time for both blocs to start fresh and renew discussions for realizing comprehensive reform of the lower house election system.
 選挙制度の抜本改革を実現するために、与野党は、議論を仕切り直す時期に来ている。

Fears of Diet functions’ decline
 ◆立法機能低下に懸念

Among factors hampering formulating an accord between the ruling and opposition forces, the biggest is the disagreement over the number of lower house seats to be reduced.
 与野党の合意形成を妨げている最大の要因は、衆院議員の定数削減を巡る足並みの乱れだ。

The Democratic Party of Japan has insisted the number of seats, currently 480, be slashed by 80. They argue the parties “must accept some pain” through the seat reduction at a time when they are asking the public to bear the burden of a higher consumption tax.
 民主党は、消費増税に国民の理解を得るには国会議員自ら「身を切る」必要があるとして、定数80の削減を主張している。

The issue of cutting the number of lower house seats, however, has nothing to do with rectifying the current disparity in the value of individual votes between the least and most represented constituencies--the issue behind electoral reform discussions.
 しかし、定数削減は、選挙制度改革のきっかけとなった衆院小選挙区の「1票の格差」是正とは無関係である。

If the DPJ feels the need to “accept some pain,” it should focus on such steps as curtailing the annual salaries of Diet members and reducing government subsidies for political parties. These measures would certainly be more effective than reducing the number of lower house legislators.
 身を切ると言うなら、歳費や政党交付金を削るべきだろう。その方が効果も大きい。

The LDP is in favor of cutting 30 lower house seats in the proportional representation. This would leave 150 seats, 60 of which would be preferentially allotted to parties other than the top vote-getter. The LDP-envisioned reform plan is apparently in consideration of the wishes of its junior coalition partner Komeito. Can it be considered a fair and adequate electoral system to create preferential seat allocations for medium- and small-sized parties?
 自民党は比例定数を30削減して150とし、その中に60の中小政党優遇枠を設ける考えだ。公明党への配慮だが、中小政党に特別な枠を与えることが公正な制度と言えるのか。

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Your Party, for their part, have proposed that the number of seats be reduced by 144 and 180, respectively.
 日本維新の会は144減、みんなの党は180減を唱えている。

It is almost as if the parties are vying for public attention simply over the extent of seat reduction.
削減幅を競うかのようである。

The fact that the parties seem to have found it effective to curry public favor merely by advocating a larger reduction in the number of lower house seats is deplorable, as these tactics smack of populism. The issue of reducing lower house seats must be discussed separately from the task of reforming the electoral system.
 国会議員を減らせば国民に歓迎されると政党が考えていること自体、大衆迎合主義的な発想で嘆かわしい。定数削減は選挙制度と切り離して議論する必要がある。

It is worth noting that the number of Japan’s legislators is relatively low compared with other industrially advanced democracies.
 そもそも、日本の国会議員数は先進国の中では少ない方だ。

The parties in power under the nation’s existing parliamentary system send their lawmakers into the government as Cabinet members, senior vice ministers and parliamentary secretaries.
 与党は閣僚ら政務三役を政府に送り込んでいる。

If the number of Diet seats is reduced, those who have to oversee multiple committees will increase. Additionally, small- and medium-sized parties will face the danger of losing the opportunity to voice their views. The result would be that the legislative powers of the Diet and its function of overseeing the administration could decline.
定数を削れば、国会では委員会を掛け持ちする議員が増える。中小政党も発言の機会を奪われる。立法能力や行政監視機能が低下しかねない。

In March 2011, the Supreme Court ruled the disparity rate in the value of votes in single-seat districts in the 2009 general election, which stood at a maximum 2.3-to-1, was in “a state of unconstitutionality.”
 最高裁は2011年3月、小選挙区の「1票の格差」が最大2・30倍となった09年の衆院選を「違憲状態」と判断した。

In handing down the decision, the top court pointed out that the current formula of uniformly allotting one single-seat electoral district seat to each of the 47 prefectures is a major cause of the vote-value disparity. It called for the formula to be abolished.
各都道府県にまず1議席を割り振る「1人別枠方式」が格差の主因と指摘し、廃止を求めた。

The Supreme Court’s ruling can be seen as the judiciary stepping into the sphere of the discretionary powers of the legislature.
 立法府の裁量権に司法が大きく踏み込んだと言えよう。

Gap correction not absolute
 ◆格差是正絶対視するな

In 14 lawsuits over the vote-value disparity in connection with the lower house election in December, high courts and their branches across the nation found the gap to be “unconstitutional” in their rulings.
 昨年12月の衆院選を巡る「1票の格差」訴訟では全国の高裁・支部で「違憲」判決が相次いだ。

Even the election itself was ruled to be “invalid” in two of these court decisions. However those rulings could be said to be irresponsible in light of the fact that no rules have yet been devised governing the holding of further elections to address such a problem.
一部には選挙無効という判決もあったが、再選挙のルールも確定しておらず、無責任ではないか。

The equality of vote values is not the only measure of the electoral system. Constituency elections are held based on administrative zones. Populations in rural areas have been dropping phenomenally in recent times. There are also problems peculiar to specific areas as well as extenuating economic and cultural circumstances that cannot be resolved simply by having constituency seats be a proportional reflection of the population.
 投票価値の平等は選挙制度の絶対的な基準ではない。選挙区選は行政区画を基に成り立っている。地方では人口減が著しい。人口比例だけで片づかない地域特有の問題や経済・文化的事情もある。

The establishment of an election system that can harmonize judicial rulings with real politics on the ground is what is needed.
 司法の判断と現実の政治を調和させる選挙制度が求められる。

If the proportional representation system is adopted fully for the lower house election, as advocated by the Japanese Communist Party, the will of the public can be more accurately reflected in the number of seats, thus eliminating the gap in vote value.
 共産党などが主張するような完全な比例代表制とすれば、確かに民意がそのまま獲得議席に反映されて、1票の格差はなくなる。

But it could make it easier for small and midsize parties to gain more seats, resulting in the creation of many small parties. Coalition governments would become the norm, destabilizing politics and creating a situation in which small and midsize parties hold the key to making policy decisions.
 しかし、中小政党も議席を得やすいだけに、多党化が避けられない。連立政権が常態化し、中小政党が政策決定のカギを握るなど、政治の不安定化を招く。

The most crucial question is how to translate the will of the people into a stable government.
 民意をいかに集約し、安定した政権を作るかという観点が最も重要だ。

To achieve this goal, the only realistic option is the revision of the current single-seat constituency plus proportional representation system, as advocated by the LDP and the DPJ, among others, and the reinstatement of the multiple-seat constituency system as demanded by some small parties.
 それには、自民、民主両党などが主張する現行の小選挙区比例代表並立制の手直しか、一部の小政党が求める中選挙区制の復活以外に、現実的な選択肢はないだろう。

The electoral system for the upper house must also be reviewed. We face an extraordinary situation in which the election systems of both chambers of the Diet have been judged to be in a “state of unconstitutionality.”
 参院の選挙制度も、併せて考えなければならない。今は、衆参両院いずれもが「違憲状態」にあると司法が断じる異例の事態だ。

Viewed optimistically, now is an excellent opportunity to reexamine the electoral systems of both Diet houses simultaneously.
 裏を返せば、衆参両院の制度を同時に見直す好機と言える。

Both systems are similar in that they comprise of elections in constituencies and elections held under proportional representation systems.
 衆院も参院も選挙区選と比例代表選を組み合わせる点で、似通った制度になっている。

Roles under bicameral system
 ◆二院制の役割議論せよ

An additional problem is that the upper house is said to have become “too strong.”
「強すぎる参院」の問題もある。

To put an end to “indecisive politics,” it is essential to engineer electoral systems for both houses that are less liable to cause a divided Diet in which the upper house is controlled by the opposition parties.
 「決められない政治」を脱するため、衆参のねじれが生じにくい制度を設計すべきだ。

First and foremost, it is crucial that fundamental discussions on the division of roles and authority between the two Diet chambers are held. We suggest that debate on revision of constitutional provisions on the bicameral system is also deepened.
 まずは、衆参各院にどんな役割と権能を持たせるかという根本的な議論が欠かせない。憲法の二院制に関する条項の見直し論議も深めてもらいたい。

As long as both houses continue to insist on their own uniqueness and political parties stick to partisan interests, it will be difficult to reach consensus on this issue, regardless of how much time is spent.
 衆参両院が従来のようにそれぞれ独自性を主張し、各党が党利党略にとらわれる限り、いくら時間をかけても合意は困難だ。

If the current situation continues unabated, there will be no alternative but to refer the matter to an independent third-party organization comprising experts with no partisan affiliations.
 今の状態が続くなら、各党の利害から離れた有識者による第三者機関に諮問するしかない。

In that instance, it would be vital that both the ruling and opposition parties work out legislative arrangements decisively by respecting the recommendations of such a panel.
その際、与野党は、答申を尊重して立法化することをしっかり取り決めておくことが肝要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 31, 2013)
(2013年5月31日01時15分  読売新聞)

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