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2013年7月31日 (水)

公的研究費 不正使用の徹底防止を図れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 31, 2013
All-out efforts needed to stamp out misuse of public research funds
公的研究費 不正使用の徹底防止を図れ(7月30日付・読売社説)

Many questions are being raised about how public research funds that sustain the improvement of science and technology should be spent.
 科学技術の向上を支える公的研究費の在り方が問われている。

A professor at the University of Tokyo’s Todai Policy Alternatives Research Institute was recently arrested by the special investigation squad of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office on suspicion of swindling the university and another entity out of 21.8 million yen by reporting fictitious orders placed for research and system development.
 東京大学政策ビジョン研究センターの教授が、架空業務を業者に発注し東大などから2180万円をだまし取ったとして、詐欺容疑で東京地検特捜部に逮捕された。

This money included subsidies provided by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry for the application of information technology to a medical field. The prosecutors suspect the money was misappropriated for personal use.
 引き出された資金には、IT技術を医療分野に活用する研究支援として、厚生労働省が支給した補助金が含まれていた。特捜部は私的流用があったと見ている。

The professor has denied the allegations. But if they are proven to be true, the professor’s actions can only be described as a betrayal of the expectations for and confidence placed in university research projects.
 教授は容疑を否認しているが、事実であれば、大学の研究事業に対する期待と信頼を裏切る行為と言わざるを得ない。

We urge the special prosecutors team to make every effort to get to the bottom of what happened.
 特捜部は、事実関係の解明に全力を挙げてもらいたい。

The illegal use of public research funds has been pointed out as a problem for years.
 公的研究費を巡っては、かねて不正使用が問題視されてきた。

According to survey results released in April by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry, public funds amounting to 361 million yen were confirmed to have been misused by 46 universities and research institutes.
 文部科学省が4月に発表した調査結果によると、46の大学と研究機関で不正使用が確認され、その額は3億6100万円に上る。

One of the more eye-catching methods for pocketing cash was “money depositing.”
 中でも目立つのが、「預け金」と呼ばれる手口だ。

Under this method, researchers pay bills to outside traders for fictitious transactions, entrusting the money to them. The method is used to pool money that researchers can use at their discretion and carry over budgets left unspent within a specified fiscal year to the following fiscal year.
 研究者が物品を購入したように装って、代金を業者に渡し、プールさせておく。自由に使える資金を確保したり、年度内に消化できなかった予算を次年度以降に繰り越したりする目的で行われる。

The practice tends to create cozy relationships between traders and researchers because the former offer cooperation with the latter in the hope the transactions will end up being to their benefit.
 大学との取引が有利になると期待して、業者が研究者に協力するため、癒着につながりやすい。

Many researchers appear to be deeply dissatisfied that public funds should be spent within a specific fiscal year, a condition that limits their flexibility.
 研究者側には、年度ごとに消化することが求められる公的研究費について、弾力性に欠けるといった不満が根強くあるようだ。

Needless to say, research funds come from taxpayers money. Accordingly, misappropriation of this money for an individual researcher’s convenience must never be premitted.
 ただ、研究費の原資は、言うまでもなく国民の税金であり、都合の良い流用は許されない。

More funds likely on way

The government has made the promotion of science and technology a central tenet of its growth strategy. This produces the possibility that budgets related to science and technology will increase, making it even more necessary to ensure that research funds are used properly.
 政府の成長戦略の柱として、科学技術振興が盛り込まれた。今後、予算増額の可能性もあるだけに、なおさら、研究費は適正に利用されなければならない。

Government ministries and agencies have toughened punitive measures against researchers caught misusing research funds. This is a natural step to take.
 各府省が今年度から、不正使用を行った研究者に対する罰則を強化したのは当然である。

The period of suspension from applying for research funds has been extended from five years to 10 years in the case of fund misuse for personal convenience. Senior researchers who supervise research can be suspended from research fund applications for up to two years under a new punitive provision if they fail to perform their necessary supervisory duties.
 研究費の応募資格を停止する期間を、私的流用の場合には5年から10年に延長した。新たに、研究を管理する上司についても、必要な注意義務を怠れば、応募資格を最長2年停止することにした。

Universities’ lenient checking systems are also part of the problem. The education ministry formulated guidelines in 2007 for conducting a thorough audit of public funds to inspect whether goods have been delivered as ordered. But many universities still have yet to do enough in this regard.
 大学側のチェックの甘さも問題だ。文科省は2007年にガイドラインを策定し、発注通りに物品が納品されたか、監査の徹底を求めた。だが、取り組みが依然、不十分な大学が少なくない。

Each university must review how they supervise research funds. The education ministry, for its part, needs to examine how the 2007 guidelines have been observed in an effort to stamp out irregularities.
 各大学は管理体制を再点検すべきだ。文科省もガイドラインの履行状況を検証し、不正の根絶につなげていく必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 30, 2013)
(2013年7月30日01時39分  読売新聞)

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「多弱」の野党 再編は政策論議から始めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 31, 2013
Opposition parties should focus on policies before realignment talks
「多弱」の野党 再編は政策論議から始めよ(7月30日付・読売社説)

The current political climate is described as consisting of the powerful Liberal Democratic Party and many weak opposition parties. Although opposition parties rivaling the huge ruling party are needed, such a prospect appears remote.
 「1強」の自民党と、「多弱」の野党と言われる。巨大与党に対抗し得る野党像を模索すべきなのに、展望は厳しい。

After the recent House of Councillors election, questions were raised over the responsibility of the party leadership of the Democratic Party of Japan and Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party). But it has been decided the top leaders of these parties will stay on.
 参院選後、執行部の責任問題が取り沙汰された民主党、日本維新の会は、ともにトップが続投することになった。

There have been talks about realignment involving the two parties and Your Party. But with party leaders who could not form a united front in the upper house election, it will be no easy task for the parties to unite or realign themselves.
 みんなの党を加えた3党間で野党再編も浮上しているが、参院選で共闘できなかった党首の下、結束や再編は容易ではあるまい。

The DPJ decided that former party leader Naoto Kan, who openly supported an independent candidate in the upper house poll, be suspended from the party for three months. The punishment was lenient given the initial calls to expel him from the party. There is strong discontent over the continued party leadership of Banri Kaieda, and it remains unclear how the party can reconstruct itself.
 民主党は、参院選で無所属候補を応援した菅元代表の処分を「党員資格3か月停止」とした。当初案の「除籍」に比べて後退した。海江田代表の続投に不満が根強く、党再建の道筋は不透明だ。

Since its foundation, there have been significant differences over basic policies among DPJ party members. This has caused a lack of party unity, which is seen as the DPJ’s weakest point. We strongly doubt Kaieda can exercise the leadership needed to overcome confrontations over policies among party members.
 民主党では結党以来、基本政策を巡って隔たりが大きい。最大の弱点とされる党の一体感の欠如を招いている。海江田氏が、路線対立を乗り越える指導力を発揮できるのか、はなはだ疑問である。

Akihiro Ohata has been chosen for the post of DPJ secretary general. Ohata, who was previously acting party president, had belonged to the former Japan Socialist Party and enjoys the strong support of labor unions. Thus, the DPJ’s reliance on labor unions is likely to increase.
 幹事長には、大畠章宏代表代行が就いた。大畠氏は旧社会党出身で労働組合色が濃く、民主党の労組依存体質は強まるだろう。

In the proportional representation segment of the upper house election, six of the party’s seven winners were those who ran with organizational support from the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo).
 参院選の比例選でも、当選者7人のうち連合の組織内候補が6人を占めている。

Unified views lacking

Regarding realignment of opposition parties, Kaieda said, “The important thing is that the DPJ plays the leading role.” But we think he does not understand the party’s current position.
 海江田氏は、野党再編に関し、「大切なのは民主党が中心になることだ」と述べたが、民主党の置かれた状況を理解していない。

Ishin no Kai coleader Toru Hashimoto and some others within the party indeed consider the DPJ’s reliance on labor unions problematic. Ishin no Kai has called for tie-ups with Your Party and conservative DPJ members who are not affiliated with labor unions.
 維新の会の橋下共同代表らは、まさに民主党の労組依存を問題視しており、結束を呼びかける相手は、みんなの党と民主党の保守・非労組系議員だからだ。

Within Ishin no Kai, Hashimoto expressed his intention to resign as party coleader. But the other party coleader Shintaro Ishihara and others persuaded Hashimoto to stay on. Confrontations between party members in Osaka, where Ishin no Kai is based, and party Diet members in Tokyo likely will continue.
 その維新の会では、橋下氏が辞意を表明したものの、石原共同代表らに慰留された。本拠地の大阪と、東京の国会議員団との対立という問題は今後もくすぶろう。

In Your Party, there is discord between party leader Yoshimi Watanabe and Secretary General Kenji Eda. While Eda is eager for the party to take the leading role in opposition realignment, Watanabe is taking a cautious stance, saying, “Hasty realignment will fail, ending with a mere union of convenience.”
 みんなの党には、渡辺代表と江田幹事長の確執がある。江田氏はみんなの党が再編を主導すべきだと前のめりだが、渡辺氏は「拙速な再編は野合に終わり、失敗する」と慎重な構えだ。

The political clout of Ichiro Ozawa, who had long played a central role in political realignments and currently serves as the leader of the People’s Life Party, has significantly waned. Mizuho Fukushima, who led the Social Democratic Party for a decade, has stepped down as party leader.
 長年、政界再編の中心だった生活の党の小沢代表は、政治力の低下が著しい。社民党を10年間率いてきた福島党首も退く。

Political parties are meant to grasp issues both at home and abroad and carry out prescriptive policy measures to address them. Parties should not easily ally or split just for politicians’ convenience, and will not be able to survive without public support.
 政党は本来、内外の課題を把握し、処方箋たる政策を実行していくためにある。政治家の都合で離合集散すべきものではないし、国民の支持なしに生き残れない。

For any new opposition party, it is essential for there to be a consensus among its members over such policy issues as the Constitution under a leader who can establish intraparty governance.
 新しい野党には、ガバナンスを確立できるリーダーの下、憲法など政策での一致が欠かせない。

The next national election will held three years from now at the latest. Each opposition party should start from realistic and steady policy discussions rather than insubstantial talks on realignment.
 次の国政選まで最大3年ある。野党各党は、浮ついた再編論議ではなく、現実的で地道な政策論から始めるべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 30, 2013)
(2013年7月30日01時39分  読売新聞)

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2013年7月30日 (火)

ビッグデータ 宝の情報を適切に活用したい

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 30, 2013
‘Big data’ must be used carefully to protect privacy of individuals
ビッグデータ 宝の情報を適切に活用したい(7月29日付・読売社説)

Vast amounts of electronic data, or so-called big data, accumulate on the Internet and in the systems of business organizations.
 インターネット上や企業のシステムに膨大な電子情報、「ビッグデータ」が蓄積されている。

If these data are utilized wisely, they can become a “mountain of treasure.” On the other hand, it is important to clarify the rules set to protect individuals’ private information and create an environment in which business firms and consumers can make use of the data free from anxiety.
 情報を上手に活用できれば“宝の山”になる。一方で、個人情報保護のルールを明確にし、企業や消費者が安心して利用できる環境作りを進めることが必要だ。

Big data is a collective term for various data such as records of mail-order purchases, information contained in postings on social networking sites and smartphone location information.
 ビッグデータは、通販の購入履歴やSNS(交流サイト)上の書き込み、スマートフォンの位置情報など、様々なデータの総称である。

Advances in information technologies have made it easy to collect and store vast amounts of such data.
IT(情報技術)の進歩で、膨大な量のデータの収集や蓄積が容易にできるようになった。

Product recommendations

In the mail-order business sector, a prevailing practice is to analyze purchase records of customers and then recommend products based on their tastes and preferences.
 通販業界では、購入履歴を分析し、消費者の好みに合う「お薦め商品」を売り込む販売手法が広がっている。

In the pharmaceutical industry, business operators analyze postings on the Internet about the prevalence of colds, and after looking at weather forecasts, provide potential customers with estimates about the spread of colds in their areas.
製薬業界には風邪に関するネット上の書き込みと天気予報を合わせて分析し、流行の目安を提供している例などもある。

NTT Docomo, Inc. estimates the population distribution by area and time based on location information of cell phones. Such data can be used for urban development and disaster-management measures.
 NTTドコモは、携帯電話の位置情報をもとに地域や時間帯ごとの人口分布を推計し、街づくりや災害対策に役立てている。

Many firms have become more aware of the value of using big data.
多くの企業がビッグデータの利用価値に注目し始めたと言える。

This year’s white paper on information and telecommunications, released by the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, estimates that big data could have an economic impact in excess of 7 trillion yen a year in the form of product development and cost reductions.
 総務省の今年の情報通信白書は、ビッグデータを最大限活用すれば、商品開発や経費削減などで年間7兆円超の経済効果が生まれる、という試算を示している。

We hope big data will be more widely utilized in various fields. In this respect, the public and private sectors will have to cooperate in expanding the use of big data in those fields in which information technology is not being fully utilized.
 様々な分野に活用が広がる可能性に期待したい。官民連携で、IT化が遅れている分野での利用を拡大することも求められよう。

A promising business employing big data analytics is to study the soil on productive farmland and agricultural chemicals used on crops to enhance farming productivity.
 豊作時の土壌や農薬の情報を分析し、農業の生産性向上に生かす事業なども有望だろう。

Maintaining privacy crucial

Whatever its application, big data should be used only if individuals’ private information is protected.
 ただ、データの活用は、個人情報の保護が前提となる。

East Japan Railway Co. has reportedly been selling records of the use of its Suica cards, prepaid e-money cards, at railways and subways to business firms that analyze them for market research. But JR East had sold the data without notifying the cardholders, drawing complaints from some card users.
 JR東日本は、ICカード乗車券の乗降履歴を、市場調査などに使いたい企業に売却していた。事前に説明を受けていなかった一部の利用者が反発した。

It has been assumed that such information is anonymous as the names and addresses of individuals are deleted and cannot be identified. Therefore, in principle, the data is not subject to the Personal Information Protection Law, making it unnecessary to gain prior consent of the users when providing such private information to third parties.
 名前や住所を削除して本人を特定できなくした匿名情報は原則、個人情報保護法の対象にならず、第三者に提供する際も本人の同意は要らないと考えられてきた。

But due to the advancement in analytical technology in recent years, in some cases it is possible to identify users by comparing data, even “anonymous” data, with other data such as location information.
 だが、最近の分析技術の向上に伴い、匿名情報でも、位置情報など他のデータと突き合わせると本人を特定できる可能性がある。

Even when information is anonymous, it is essential for business operators to thoroughly explain to those whose information is being used that their data may be provided to a third party.
 匿名化した情報を活用する場合でも、情報提供側への事前説明の徹底などの配慮が欠かせない。

JR East has decided not to sell data to third parties if card users ask it not to. Those businesses planning to utilize big data should learn a lesson from JR East.
 JR東は要望があった人のデータは販売しないことにした。データ活用を計画する企業はJR東のケースを教訓とすべきだ。

It is also important for business firms to handle such data properly. How to monitor the proper handling of data by firms will also become a big challenge in the future.
 企業が情報を適切に扱うことも大事である。監視のあり方も将来的な課題となろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 29, 2013)
(2013年7月29日01時16分  読売新聞)

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パレスチナ和平 米国の仲介努力は奏功するか

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 30, 2013
Israeli-Palestinian talks resumption 1st step in U.S. Mideast peace effort
パレスチナ和平 米国の仲介努力は奏功するか(7月29日付・読売社説)

It is imperative to ensure that emerging positive signs in the Middle East result in a resumption of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians after a hiatus of about three years.
 イスラエルとパレスチナの約3年ぶりの直接交渉の実現へ、つなげることが肝要だ。

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who has pressured Israel and the Palestinian Authority since March, announced on July 19 that both sides “have reached an agreement that establishes a basis for resuming direct final status negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis.” Ministerial-level officials from both parties are to meet in the near future to work out the terms and preconditions for the negotiations, according to U.S. government officials.
 イスラエルとパレスチナ自治政府に和平交渉再開を働きかけてきたケリー米国務長官が、「交渉再開のための基本的な部分で合意に達した」と発表した。
 近く、双方の閣僚級の担当者が詰めの協議を行うという。

The Palestinian Authority has set the goal of establishing a Palestinian state, and Japan, the United States and European nations as well as Arab states have thrown their support behind this goal.
 自治政府側は、パレスチナ国家樹立を目標に掲げており、日米欧やアラブ諸国は支持している。

Kerry’s endeavors pay off

The long-envisaged establishment of a Palestinian state, however, will not be possible without Israel’s agreement. We strongly hope the Israelis and Palestinians hold direct talks to begin the process of having the two sides live side by side in peace and security.
ただ、イスラエルの同意が不可欠だ。イスラエルと自治政府の直接交渉が再開され、平和共存への歩みが始まることを、期待したい。

The broad agreement is the fruit of mediation efforts by Kerry, who, after assuming the post of secretary of state in February, traveled many times to the Middle East.
 今回の基本合意は、2月に就任したケリー国務長官が何度も中東に足を運び、仲介した成果だ。

With upheavals continuing in the wake of the Arab Spring, U.S. policies have been put to the test. While the civil war in Syria has bogged down with no clear end in sight, Egypt, a major power in the Middle East, has been unable to resolve its political problems.
 「アラブの春」の激動が続く中東で、米国の存在感が問われている。シリア内戦は泥沼化し、地域の大国エジプトは政情不安定から抜け出せないでいる。

It appears the United States hopes to play a role conducive to stabilizing the Middle East situation by using its diplomatic leverage to bring about peace between Israel and Palestinians.
 米国は、イスラエルとパレスチナの和平仲介を中東外交立て直しの契機とし、中東の安定に役割を果たしたいのだろう。

The basic accord to hold preliminary talks appears partly due to Israel’s adopting more moderate policies after realizing its inflexible hard-line stance in dealing with the Palestinians left it internationally isolated.
 基本合意の成立は、強硬一辺倒のパレスチナ政策で国際的に孤立したイスラエルが、軌道修正を図ったことにもよる。

In a U.N. General Assembly session last year, a resolution in favor of giving the Palestinian Authority the status of a “nonmember observer state” was adopted by an overwhelming majority vote despite intense opposition from the United States and Israel.
 昨年の国連総会では、米国、イスラエルの反対にもかかわらず、パレスチナに「オブザーバー国家」の地位を与える決議案が、圧倒的多数で可決された。

Israel’s sense of crisis increased when the international community, particularly Israel’s biggest trade partner, Europe, intensified criticism of Israel’s continuing construction of settlements in the West Bank.
 ヨルダン川西岸への入植活動強行に対し、国際社会、とりわけ最大の貿易相手の欧州が批判を強めていることに、イスラエルは危機感を強めている。

A freeze in settlement construction would help pave the way for realizing a resumption of dialogue with the Palestinian Authority.
 イスラエルが入植活動を中止することで、自治政府との対話再開への道も開くのではないか。

The Palestinian Authority, on the other hand, must resolve the current situation in which its authority is limited only to the West Bank, with the Gaza Strip remaining under the control of the Islamist organization Hamas. This is essential for the Palestinian Authority if it wants to show that it is the proper party to negotiate with the Israelis.
 自治政府の側も、交渉当事者の能力を示すには、統治が及ぶのはヨルダン川西岸だけでガザ地区はイスラム主義組織ハマスの支配下のまま、という現状を解消する必要がある。

Japan must help out

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida toured the Middle East region last week. In separate meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, he pressed them to resume peace talks.
 岸田外相は先週、中東を歴訪し、イスラエルのネタニヤフ首相、パレスチナ自治政府のアッバス議長とそれぞれ会談し、和平交渉の再開を促した。

In addition, Kishida conferred with ministers from Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan over ways to utilize an agricultural park to process farm produce. The park is under construction in the West Bank city of Jericho with the support of Japan.
 また、日本の支援でヨルダン川西岸エリコに建設中の農産加工団地の活用を巡って、イスラエル、自治政府、ヨルダンの関係閣僚と4者協議を行った。

The agreement among Kishida and the others on the project should be rated highly.
 岸田外相らが協力緊密化で合意したのは、評価できる。

Japan must continue to make such diplomatic efforts by extending a helping hand to encourage peace moves by the Israelis and Palestinians.
 和平を側面支援するこうした外交努力を、今後も継続したい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 29, 2013)
(2013年7月29日01時19分  読売新聞)

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2013年7月29日 (月)

朝鮮休戦60年 平和妨げる北朝鮮の核武装化

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 29, 2013
Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions continue to be impediment to peace
朝鮮休戦60年 平和妨げる北朝鮮の核武装化(7月28日付・読売社説)

The 60th anniversary of the signing of the armistice in the Korean War comes as North Korea continues to push ahead with its nuclear programs.
 北朝鮮が核武装化を進める中で、朝鮮戦争の休戦協定調印から60年の節目を迎えた。

The Korean War began with the North’s invasion of the South in 1950, and claimed the lives of more than 3 million people before the armistice was signed three years later.
 1950年、北朝鮮の韓国侵攻で始まった朝鮮戦争は、死者300万人以上の惨禍をもたらし、3年後、休戦協定の調印でひとまず収まった。

Fierce fighting between U.S.-led U.N. Command forces backing South Korea and China, which deployed Chinese People’s Volunteer Army troops because it feared North Korea would collapse, ended with a divided Korean Peninsula in the absence of a peace treaty.
 米軍主導の国連軍が韓国を支援し、北朝鮮の崩壊を恐れる中国が人民志願軍を送り込んだ激戦の後始末は、南北分断を固定化しただけで、平和を保障していない。

China’s change of mind

The North and South are continuing their military confrontation across the Demilitarized Zone, and there is a danger the situation could explode into an armed conflict.
南北朝鮮が対峙(たいじ)する状況は、依然、爆発しやすい危険性をはらむ。

North Korea, which falsely claims the armistice was a “victory,” celebrated the 60th anniversary of the signing of the armistice on Saturday with a massive military parade in Pyongyang.
 休戦を「勝利」とごまかす北朝鮮は調印60年の27日、平壌で大規模な軍事パレードを行った。

The scale of the parade was aimed apparently at flaunting the power of Pyongyang’s young leader, Kim Jong Un, the first secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, while diverting the people’s increasing discontent over the country’s wrecked economy.
 若い金正恩第1書記の権威を誇示し、経済の破綻で高まる国民の不満をかわす狙いがあろう。

The biggest concern for Japan and other countries is the beefing up of North Korea’s nuclear programs, which Kim has been promoting. Massive throngs of armed soldiers marched in the Pyongyang parade as if trying to impress the rest of the world with the strength of the North’s ability to wage war with missiles and nuclear weapons.
 日本など国際社会の最大の懸念材料は、第1書記が進める核戦力強化だ。パレードにも、核・ミサイル戦力の向上を印象づけたいかのような兵器部隊が登場した。

As a matter of course, North Korea has been forced to pay the piper. The U.N. Security Council has imposed economic sanctions on Pyongyang for repeatedly carrying out nuclear tests and test-launching long-range ballistic missiles.
 無論、その代償は大きい。国連安全保障理事会は、長距離弾道ミサイル発射と核実験を繰り返す北朝鮮に経済制裁を科した。

China’s recent change from its conventional stance of fully defending North Korea appears to have made the international coalition against the North more solid.
 中国が、北朝鮮擁護の姿勢を転換したことも、北朝鮮包囲網を狭める効果を生んだ。

During the military parade, Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao stood alongside Kim on the podium overlooking Pyongyang’s main Kim Il Sung Square. Li reportedly told Kim that Beijing was determined to maintain its policy of pursuing the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, working to ensure peace and security on the peninsula and resolving tensions through dialogue and consultations.
 軍事パレードの観閲席で金第1書記の横に立った中国の李源潮国家副主席は、「朝鮮半島の非核化実現、平和と安全の維持、対話と協議による解決を堅持する」と第1書記に伝えたという。

This can be taken as a message to Pyongyang to return to the six-nation talks, as Beijing is resolved not to allow North Korea to possess nuclear weapons or engage in military provocations.
 北朝鮮の核保有や武力挑発を許さず、6か国協議への復帰を求めるメッセージだ。

China, as the largest donor country and trade partner of North Korea, has a life-or-death influence over the North. Beijing’s stance on seeking North Korea’s denuclearization will now be put to the test.
中国は、最大の支援国、貿易相手国として北朝鮮の生殺与奪の権を握る。今後、非核化への本気度が問われよう。

In regard to North Korea’s call for a direct dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington, the United States has made such a dialogue contingent on the North abandoning its nuclear ambitions. This condition is quite reasonable.
 米国は、北朝鮮が求める対話には、まず北朝鮮が非核化への具体的な行動を取るよう条件を付けている。北朝鮮の核廃棄が対話目的であるべきで、当然の前提だ。

North must heed others

Pyongyang, for its part, must heed the voices of Japan, the United States and South Korea, which are calling on the North to abandon its nuclear ambitions.
 北朝鮮は、核放棄を促す日米韓の声を真摯(しんし)に聞く必要がある。

The environment surrounding the Korean Peninsula has changed dramatically since the signing of the armistice.
 朝鮮半島を取り巻く環境は、休戦当時とは大きく変わった。

For one thing, South Korea has established diplomatic relations with China, and the value of its trade with Beijing has expanded to such an extent that it has surpassed its combined trade with Japan and the United States.
 韓国は、中国と国交を樹立し、対中貿易額は、対米、対日の貿易総額を凌駕(りょうが)するまでに至った。

North Korea has made the choice of becoming a nuclear power, with the result that it cannot normalize diplomatic relations with Japan or the United States. As it has been driven into a corner, Pyongyang has even declared it is ready to “pull out of the deal” concerning the armistice agreement.
 一方の北朝鮮は、核武装化への道を選択し、米国や日本との国交正常化の展望を開けずにいる。行き詰まった末に、朝鮮休戦協定の「白紙化」まで宣言した。

Japan, the United States, China and South Korea must remain vigilant to prevent North Korea from conducting new nuclear tests, missile launches or military provocations by firmly maintaining stringent sanctions to pressure Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear programs.
 日米中韓など関係国は、さらなる核実験や弾道ミサイル発射、武力挑発への警戒を怠らず、強力な制裁を堅持して、北朝鮮に核放棄を迫っていかねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 28, 2013)
(2013年7月28日01時09分  読売新聞)

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新防衛大綱 自衛隊の機動力強化が急務だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 29, 2013
Increased mobility of SDF power must be realized as a top priority
新防衛大綱 自衛隊の機動力強化が急務だ(7月28日付・読売社説)

To ensure Japan’s peace and security, the government must present measures and visions to deal with a variety of challenges, including strengthening the defense of remote islands, enhancing missile defense, dealing with cyber-attacks and working out precautionary and response measures for large-scale disasters.
 離島・ミサイル防衛の強化、サイバー攻撃や大規模災害への対処――。日本の平和と安全を確保するため、こうした様々な課題に確かな解と道筋を示さなければならない。

The Defense Ministry has released an interim report on the new National Defense Program Guidelines to be compiled in late December. On the issue of defending remote islands, the report pointed out that it is essential to maintain air and maritime supremacy and improve the mobility of the Ground Self-Defense Force’s power and amphibious functions along the lines of the U.S. Marine Corps.
 防衛省が、年末に策定する新防衛大綱の中間報告を発表した。離島防衛について、航空・海上優勢の維持と、陸上自衛隊の機動展開能力や水陸両用機能(海兵隊的機能)の整備が重要と指摘した。

Cuts unacceptable

Since the end of the Cold War, the center of gravity in national defense has been shifting “from quantity to quality,” and defense spending has been cut, forcing the Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Air Self-Defense Force to reduce the number of destroyers, surveillance aircraft and fighter jets. But such cuts are no longer tolerable.
 冷戦終結後、「量から質へ」の発想と防衛費削減の流れの中、海上自衛隊の護衛艦や哨戒機、航空自衛隊の戦闘機などが減らされてきたが、もう限界と言える。

Chinese military ships recently sailed around the Japanese archipelago, and Chinese military planes were confirmed for the first time to have flown beyond the First Island Chain, the defense line set by the Chinese military that includes Okinawa Island and Miyakojima island. In light of the Chinese military’s recent armaments buildup and intensified activities, the decline in the number of MSDF’s destroyers and ASDF’s fighter jets must be reversed.
 中国軍艦船の日本一周や、沖縄本島と宮古島の第1列島線を越えた中国軍機の飛行が初めて確認された。最近の中国軍の装備増強と活動の活発化を踏まえれば、海空自の護衛艦や戦闘機の減少を増加に転じさせる必要がある。

To enhance patrol and surveillance capabilities, it is vital to introduce Global Hawk reconnaissance drones ahead of schedule.
 警戒監視能力向上のため、無人偵察機グローバルホークを前倒しで導入することが重要だ。

The GSDF, for its part, must enhance deterrence by expanding its special units for defense of remote islands and ramping up joint exercises with the U.S. marines.
 陸自も、離島防衛の専門部隊の拡充や米海兵隊との共同訓練の強化によって抑止力を高めたい。

The interim report did not refer to the Liberal Democratic Party’s earlier proposal to look into the possibility of possessing capabilities to attack enemy bases. The report only said “comprehensive capabilities will be enhanced” to respond to missile attacks.
 自民党が先に「検討」を提言した敵基地攻撃能力の保有について中間報告は言及せず、ミサイル攻撃への「総合的な対応能力を充実させる」との表現にとどめた。

The reason for this cautious language is that there are arguments within both the Japanese and U.S. governments for and against the Self-Defense Forces’ adoption of cruise missiles, among other military technology.
 自衛隊が巡航ミサイルなどを導入することには、日米両政府内に賛否両論があるためだ。

Some argue that Japan’s possession of such equipment would supplement the U.S. military’s striking power and enhance Japan’s deterrence capability, while others are wary of that approach and consider it advisable to allocate budget appropriations to buy other priority equipment.
 米軍の打撃力を補完し、日本の抑止力を高めるとの積極論と、そうした予算は他の優先分野に回した方が良いとの慎重論である。

The bottom line is that the SDF and U.S. military must reexamine their roles from the standpoint of buttressing the Japan-U.S. alliance. What military capabilities Japan should possess to that end must be studied.
 肝心なのは、日米同盟を強化する方向で自衛隊と米軍の役割分担を見直すことだ。どの攻撃手段をどんな形で保有するのが目的に適(かな)うのか、検討を進めるべきだ。

As for measures to deal with cyber-attacks, the interim report called for fostering experts and strengthening cooperation with the United States and private companies.
 中間報告は、サイバー攻撃対策として、米国や民間企業との連携強化や専門家の育成を挙げた。

Lessons from Algeria

In view of the Algerian hostage incident in January in which Japanese citizens were victims, the report proposed increasing the number of defense attaches in Japanese embassies overseas to increase human intelligence capabilities.
 1月のアルジェリアでの邦人人質事件を踏まえて、在外大使館の防衛駐在官の増員など人的情報収集機能も強化するとしている。

All these proposals are crucial and should be put into practice steadily.
 いずれも重要な課題であり、着実に実施することが大切だ。

One Defense Ministry reform measure mentioned in the report is worrying.
 懸念されるのは、報告が言及した防衛省改革の行方である。

Under study is the radical idea of abolishing the Operational Policy Bureau, an internal office of the ministry, and integrating it under the SDF’s Joint Staff Office. It is irrational for an organization comprising SDF personnel to deal with Diet matters and to liaise with other government offices. This would create confusion and hurt morale.
 部隊運用を担当する内局の運用企画局を廃止し、自衛隊の統合幕僚監部に一元化するなどの急進的な案が検討されている。自衛官が主体の組織が国会対応や他省庁との調整まで行うのは非合理的で、混乱や士気の低下を招こう。

Reform of the ministry’s organization is not a priority issue now. A prudent approach is called for in this regard.
 組織改革は今の優先課題ではない。慎重な対応が求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 28, 2013)
(2013年7月28日01時09分  読売新聞)

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2013年7月28日 (日)

原発汚染水対策 東電だけに任せておけない

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 28, 2013
Govt must help TEPCO handle polluted water at Fukushima
原発汚染水対策 東電だけに任せておけない(7月27日付・読売社説)

Contaminated water was found to be leaking into the sea from the premises of Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所の敷地から、汚染水が海に漏れ出していることがわかった。

However, the amount of radiation that has leaked is small and the detected density is at most about one-thirthieth of the limit set by national standards. The tainted water is said to remain within the port facility of the nuclear plant.
 漏れた放射能の量はわずかで、検出濃度は、高くても国の基準値の30分の1ほどだ。汚染水も、原発の港湾施設内にとどまるという。

Even so, concern about harmful rumors regarding sea pollution has been spreading, focused on those involved in the fishery industry in Fukushima Prefecture.
 それでも海洋汚染による風評被害を懸念する声が、福島県の漁業関係者を中心に広がっている。

TEPCO must make all-out efforts to stem the leakage.
 漏出を食い止めるため、東電は全力を挙げてもらいたい。

As a countermeasure, the utility is reportedly considering solidifying the ground around the pier with a chemical solution. It also plans to pump out polluted water from a channel in the ground near the pier, which is suspected to be the source of the leakage. Work must be done hurriedly.
 対策として、東電は、岸壁周辺の地盤を薬液で固めるという。漏出源と疑われる岸壁近くの溝内の汚染水もくみ出す方針だ。作業を急がねばならない。

Slow response worrying

The series of measures taken by TEPCO in response to the leakage is worrying. Leakage was first suspected in late May, but due to the delay in confirmation measures, it took more than one month for the utility to report the leakage to the organizations concerned and announce it to the public.
 心もとないのは、今回の問題を巡る東電の一連の対応である。最初に漏出が疑われたのは5月末だった。ところが、確認作業に手間取り、関係機関への報告や公表までに1か月余りを要した。

A surveillance committee consisting of experts and others, which was established by TEPCO, said Friday the utility is naive about risk management and called for improving technological capabilities. The watchdog’s contention is quite right.
 東電が設けた有識者らの監視委員会が26日、リスク管理の甘さを指摘し、技術力の向上を求めたのはもっともと言えよう。

Considering the seriousness of the contaminated water issue at the Fukushima nuclear plant, it is impossible to dispel doubts about whether the matter will be resolved smoothly under the current management system.
 福島第一原発の汚染水問題の深刻さを考えると、今の体制で着実に進むのか、疑問を拭えない。

The utility has continued pouring cooling water into the reactors, and groundwater is also flowing through damaged sections into the area below the facilities housing the reactors. As a result, the contaminated water continues to increase by 400 tons a day.
 東電は、原子炉に冷却水を注ぎ続けている。建屋の地下には、破損部などから地下水も流入し、その結果、1日に400トンもの汚染水が増え続けている。

Nearly 400,000 tons of tainted water have already been stored in tanks built on the plant’s premises. Additional tanks can be built to create a maximum storage capacity of 800,000 tons. But someday the tanks will be full.
 原発敷地内のタンクに貯(た)まった汚染水は、すでに40万トン近い。タンクは最大80万トンまで増設可能というが、いずれ満杯になる。

It is essential to reduce the inflow of groundwater and stop the contaminated water from increasing.
 地下水流入を減らし、汚染水を増やさないことが大切だ。

TEPCO has decided on a policy of pumping up uncontaminated groundwater before it flows into reactors and discharging it into the sea. But approval for the policy has not yet been obtained from the local people and organizations involved in fisheries.
 東電は、地下水を原子炉への流入前にくみ上げ、海に流す方針を決めている。だが、地元の漁業関係者らの了解が得られない。

Cooperation vital

The government must cooperate with TEPCO to win over the local people and organizations concerned.
 政府も、東電に協力し、説得にあたるべきだ。

As a drastic measure to prevent the inflow of groundwater, the utility also plans to build an underground wall to block out water. This will be a key preventive measure.
 地下水流入を防ぐ抜本策として東電は、水を遮る壁を地下に設けることも計画している。有力な手段となるだろう。

One hurdle to clear is how to dispose of the large quantities of contaminated water that have accumulated. If the tainted water is purified, it will reduce the risk when it is stored. It will be indispensable to put the water purification equipment now under development into full operation.
 課題は、大量に貯まった汚染水の処理である。浄化すれば貯水時のリスクが減る。開発中の浄水装置の本格稼働が欠かせない。

The Nuclear Regulation Authority has presented the view that even purified water will have to be discharged into the sea eventually. To obtain public understanding of the safety of purified water, the NRA is asked to give explanations from the viewpoint of experts.
 原子力規制委員会は、浄化した水も、いずれ海に流さざるを得ないとの見解を示している。その安全性について理解を得るため、規制委には、専門的立場から説明することが求められる。

Decommissioning reactors at the Fukushima nuclear plant will not make headway if short shrift is given to measures to handle polluted water. We suggest that the government strengthen cooperation with TEPCO and provide necessary assistance in terms of funds and technology.
 汚染水対策を疎(おろそ)かにしては、福島第一原発の廃炉は進まない。政府は、東電との連携を強化し、資金や技術などで必要な支援策を講じてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 27, 2013)
(2013年7月27日01時26分  読売新聞)

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首相アジア演説 ASEAN重視戦略の表明だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 28, 2013
Abe’s increased focus on ASEAN partnership a strategic move
首相アジア演説 ASEAN重視戦略の表明だ(7月27日付・読売社説)

A speech made by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday served as a strong message to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, a key economic and security partner of Japan.
 経済・安全保障の重要なパートナーである東南アジア諸国連合(ASEAN)に対する強いメッセージだ。

During his visit to Southeast Asia, Abe delivered the speech on the Japan-ASEAN relationship in Singapore.
 東南アジア歴訪中の安倍首相が、シンガポールで日本とASEANの関係をテーマに政策演説を行った。

Using an airplane to describe relations between Japan and the rapidly growing region, Abe said, “Japan and ASEAN are like twin engines on the right and left wings.”
 急成長している東南アジア地域の経済圏を飛行機に例え、「日本とASEANは、左右両翼のツイン・エンジンだ」と述べた。

The prime minister also said his Abenomics economic measures would benefit ASEAN countries as both Japan’s imports from and exports to ASEAN members have doubled over the past decade. Abe is apparently determined to further bolster Japan-ASEAN ties.
 首相は、日本とASEANの輸出入額がこの10年間でそれぞれ倍増したとし、経済政策「アベノミクス」の効果はASEANにも及ぶと語った。さらに関係を強化する決意と言える。

Both Malaysia and Singapore, which Abe visited this week, are participants in negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact. Japan will likely seek ways to partner with them when the TPP talks enter the final stage.
 今回訪れたマレーシア、シンガポール両国は、日本が参加した環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉のメンバーでもある。今後の大詰め交渉で、連携を模索することも課題となろう。

Beyond economic alliance

Abe stressed that the nation’s relationship with ASEAN encompasses more than economic matters, saying the ties are “meaningful in ensuring regional security, particularly freedom of navigation at sea.” This year marks the 40th anniversary of Japan-ASEAN friendship and cooperation.
 一方、首相は、今年で「友好協力40周年」を迎えたASEANとの関係は今や、経済にとどまらず、「地域の安全保障、とりわけ航海の自由に責任を持つ間柄」であることも強調した。

He made such remarks apparently with China in mind, as Beijing has attempted to assume control of the East and South China seas. Especially now, when Japan’s ties with China and South Korea have become strained, it is strategically significant for the government to deepen its partnership with ASEAN.
 東・南シナ海への強引な海洋進出を図る中国を念頭に置いたものだ。中国、韓国との関係が不安定だけにASEANとの連携を深めるのは戦略的に有意義である。

On Friday, Abe also met with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who has been touring Asia. This meeting was seemingly effective in highlighting the Japan-U.S. alliance, which could be conducive to ensuring peace and prosperity in Southeast Asia.
 首相がアジア歴訪中のバイデン米副大統領と会談したことも、この地域の平和と繁栄に寄与する日米同盟の存在をアピールするうえで効果的だったといえよう。

Abe was to meet with Philippine President Benigno Aquino in Manila on Saturday. During the meeting, Abe was expected to express his intention to provide the Philippines with patrol ships through the Official Development Assistance program.
 首相は、27日にはマニラで、フィリピンのアキノ大統領と会談する。政府開発援助(ODA)を活用し、巡視船を供与する考えを表明する見通しだ。

The Philippines has been at loggerheads with China over the sovereignty of the Scarborough Shoal and other territories in the South China Sea. In light of this, helping the Philippines boost its maritime capability could serve as a symbolic aid gesture to benefit the whole ASEAN community.
 フィリピンは、南シナ海のスカボロー礁などの領有権をめぐって中国と対立している。その海上保安能力の向上を日本が後押しすることは、ASEAN全体に対する日本の意思表示にもなる。

Look to China allies

This is already Abe’s third visit to Southeast Asia since returning to power. Of the 10 ASEAN member countries, he has visited seven.
 首相の東南アジア訪問は、就任以来早くも3回目だ。訪ねた国は加盟10か国のうち七つに上る。

Cambodia and Laos, both nations that have close ties to China, are among the ASEAN members. With due consideration for local circumstances in both countries, the prime minister should also visit these nations in a bid to increase their understanding of Japan.
 ASEANの中には、カンボジアやラオスのように中国寄りとされる国もある。首相はこうした国も訪問し、各国の事情に配慮して、きめ細かに日本への理解を拡大していくべきだ。

China has apparently attempted to undermine Japan-ASEAN relations due to its alarm over Abe’s aggressive diplomacy in the region.
 中国側にも、安倍外交を意識して、ASEAN各国を分断しようとする動きが見える。

To prevent military tensions with China from escalating, it is vital for Japan to seek regional stability in line with international regulations and the spirit of the rule of law by working together with the United States and other countries.
 日本は、軍事的緊張を高めないよう、米国などと連携し、国際法と法の支配にのっとった地域の安定を目指すことが肝要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 27, 2013)
(2013年7月27日01時26分  読売新聞)

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2013年7月27日 (土)

TPP交渉参加 攻守両にらみ戦略で挽回せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 27, 2013
Hammer out effective strategy to redeem lost time in TPP talks
TPP交渉参加 攻守両にらみ戦略で挽回せよ(7月26日付・読売社説)

At last Japan has entered talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral trade agreement, which have so far been conducted by 11 countries, including the United States.
 日本がようやく、米国など11か国が進める環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉に参加した。

Regarding Japan’s participation in the TPP negotiations, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has stressed, “We will make full use of our negotiating power to protect what needs protecting and push for what we want, to seek the best way to serve national interests.”
 安倍首相は、「交渉力を駆使し、守るべきものは守り、攻めるべきものは攻め、国益にかなう最善の道を追求する」と強調している。

To ensure that this country can make up for the time lost due to its late entry into the TPP talks, the government must beef up its defensive and offensive strategies.
 政府は、出遅れ挽回へ、攻守両にらみの戦略を強化すべきだ。

The latest round of TPP negotiations took place in Malaysia from July 15, and Japan joined the talks as the 12th member for only two and a half days in the final phase of the round that ended Thursday.
 TPP交渉会合がマレーシアで開かれ、日本は12番目のメンバーとして2日半だけ合流した。

By taking part in the talks, Japan received for the first time a pile of texts on the TPP negotiations comprising 29 chapters on such subjects as abolition of tariffs, intellectual property rights and investment.
 関税撤廃、知的財産権、投資など29章に及ぶTPP交渉をまとめた文書が、初めて日本に開示された。

Talks may be prolonged

It is of great significance that Japan can now grasp the entire picture of issues that have been discussed among TPP members.
全体像を把握できるようになった意味は大きい。

The next TPP gathering is scheduled for late August in Brunei, while consultations on the TPP between Japan and the United States will be conducted in parallel with the Brunei round from August on.
 次回会合は8月末にブルネイで開かれ、日米協議も8月以降、並行して行われる。

The government must waste no time working out how to deal with the increasingly accelerating pace of the TPP talks by making a detailed analysis of the assertions of each participant country.
政府は各国の主張を分析し、加速する交渉への対応を急がねばならない。

The United States and some other TPP participants have set a goal of finalizing a basic agreement in the negotiations by October and concluding the talks by the end of the year. The TPP representative of Malaysia said in a news conference on Thursday that his country will energetically engage in discussions to complete them as scheduled.
 米国などは、10月の基本合意と年内妥結を目標に掲げている。マレーシアの代表も25日の記者会見で、「妥結期限に間に合うよう精力的に議論する」と強調した。

However, the TPP countries are still at loggerheads regarding the abolition of tariffs, the main point of contention, which has apparently caused the negotiations to stall.
 ただし、最大の焦点の関税撤廃を巡っては各国が対立し、交渉が停滞している模様だ。

Given the current pace of the talks, it is unlikely they will be concluded by the end of the year. Indications are that the negotiations may continue into next year.
 今のペースでは年内決着は難しく、交渉が越年する可能性がある。

Although Japan, as a late starter, remains in a difficult position in the negotiations, prolonged talks may give Japan more room to make up for lost time.
日本の立場は依然厳しいが、出遅れを取り戻す余地は広がろう。

In its platform for the recent House of Councillors election, the Liberal Democratic Party pledged to “give top priority to securing exemption of five agricultural products,” including rice and wheat, from tariff abolition.
 自民党は参院選で、コメ、麦など「農産物5品目の聖域を最優先する」と主張した。

In the upper chamber election, Toshio Yamada of the Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives (JA Zenchu) secured his reelection as one of the highest-ranking winners in the proportional representation contest. Yamada has pledged to press the government to protect national interests without fail in the TPP talks.
 全国農業協同組合中央会(JA全中)出身の山田俊男参院議員が比例選の上位で再選され、国益を守り抜くよう求めている。

Another upper house member, Hidehisa Otsuji, who ran in the Kagoshima prefectural constituency on a platform of opposing the TPP, won an upper house seat for the fifth time.
TPP反対を掲げた鹿児島選挙区の尾辻秀久参院議員も5選された。

‘Going on the offensive’

While some LDP legislators remain firmly opposed to the TPP, the government and the LDP must buckle down to swiftly push ahead with concrete measures for improving the competitiveness of the nation’s agriculture, in preparation for further opening of the domestic farm market to foreign competition.
 党内にはなおTPP反対論がくすぶるものの、政府・自民党が急ぐべきは、一層の市場開放に備えて、農業の競争力を強化する具体策を推進することである。

Given that the TPP is aimed at a high degree of trade liberalization, protecting rice and other farm products as exemptions from tariff abolition will not necessarily secure Japan’s national interests.
 TPPは高水準の自由化が目標で、コメなど全てを関税撤廃の例外扱いとして守ることが日本の国益に資するとは限らない。

A well-balanced strategy must be hammered out in this respect.
バランスの取れた戦略が必要だ。

Of higher importance for Japan is to “go on the offensive” by increasing exports of motor vehicles and electronics through tariff abolition, as well as establishing an environment conducive to business activity through such steps as lifting restrictions on capital investment from abroad.
 自動車、電機などの関税撤廃による輸出拡大や、外資規制撤廃といったビジネス環境整備での「攻め」がむしろ重要と言える。

The envisaged TPP pact will constitute a huge free trade zone accounting for about 40 percent of the world’s gross domestic product.
 TPPは世界の国内総生産(GDP)の約4割を占める巨大な自由貿易圏である。

Japan must utilize the TPP to tap the vigor of other economies in Asia, to spur the nation’s economic growth.
日本はTPPでアジアの活力を取り込み、成長に弾みを付けねばならない。

How can Japan play a leading role in crafting trade and investment rules in Asia? How to address this challenge is of crucial significance, and could determine the fate of the growth strategy on which the Abe administration has placed such importance.
 日本がアジアの貿易・投資ルール作りをどう主導するのか。安倍政権が重視する成長戦略の行方をも左右する正念場になる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 26, 2013)
(2013年7月26日01時18分  読売新聞)

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「美白」トラブル 相談情報を軽視していないか

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 27, 2013
Kanebo’s disregard for complaints behind rampant cosmetics harm
「美白」トラブル 相談情報を軽視していないか(7月26日付・読売社説)

A series of cases have been reported in which users of skin whitening products manufactured and sold by Kanebo Cosmetics Inc. suffered white blotches and uneven skin tones.
 カネボウ化粧品が製造販売する美白化粧品の使用者の間で、肌がまだらに白くなる「白斑」の被害が相次いでいる。

Such complaints have been filed by more than 6,800 people. Of these, 2,250 users have reportedly experienced relatively serious side effects as they developed white spots in more than three areas.
 これまでに6800人以上から被害の訴えがあった。このうち、2250人は3か所以上に白斑が表れるなど、比較的症状が重いという。

Kanebo must accept a heavy responsibility for having worsened the scale of harm done. The firm must determine the cause of the problems promptly and take all possible measures to compensate for damage.
 被害を拡大させたカネボウの責任は重い。原因解明を急ぎ、被害補償にも万全を尽くすべきだ。

The case was brought to light after a dermatologist reported to Kanebo in May that “three patients who used [Kanebo’s] whitening products have developed white blotches on their skin.”
 問題が明るみに出たきっかけは、今年5月、皮膚科医からカネボウに「製品を使用した患者3人に白斑の症状が表れた」という連絡があったことだった。

Inadequate response

Kanebo embarked on a fact-finding survey but it took nearly two months for the firm to start recalling its whitening products on a voluntary basis. In the meantime, the company did not provide any warnings to consumers.
 カネボウは実態把握に乗り出したが、問題の製品を自主回収するまでに2か月近くを要した。その間、消費者には被害情報を何ら明らかにしなかった。

It is natural that Hisa Anan, director general of the Consumer Affairs Agency, criticized the firm, saying it “should have made the issue public much sooner.”
 阿南消費者庁長官が「もっと早く公表すべきだった」と批判したのは当然である。

The firm’s past response to consumers’ requests for consultations was also inadequate. After reviewing prior consultation cases, the firm found that 39 complaints similar to the recent ones had been made since 2011.
 使用者からの過去の相談対応にも問題があった。カネボウが相談例を調べ直した結果、同様の被害の訴えが2011年以降、39件に上っていたことが判明した。

The employees who received such inquiries did not properly log the information as damage caused by products because the staff “attributed [the problems] to the users’ particular physiological characteristics.”
 相談を受けた担当者は「使用者の体質による病気」と判断し、登録システムに被害として入力しなかった。

This allegedly occurred because there were no previous incidences of white blotches caused by cosmetics.
化粧品による白斑は、過去になかったためだという。

Erroneous assessment of initial complaints, it can be said, led to the current extent of affected users.
 使用者の訴えに対する判断ミスが、被害拡大につながったと言えるだろう。

No system was in place to promptly detect and analyze consumer inquiries and work out countermeasures accordingly.
消費者からの情報を迅速に吸い上げ、対応に生かすはずのシステムも機能しなかった。

Reexamine safety measures

The skin whitening products in question contain ingredients developed by Kanebo that it claims are effective in preventing dark spots and freckles.
 問題の美白化粧品には、シミ、そばかすを防ぐ働きがあるとして、カネボウが独自に開発した成分が含まれている。

No instances of white blotches were reported in tests conducted when Kanebo filed for approval of the ingredients with the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry as effective quasi-drug substances.
これを医薬部外品の有効成分として厚生労働省に承認申請した際の試験では、白斑は発生しなかった。

Nevertheless, there is always the possibility that an unforeseen problem could emerge once a product is put on the market and used by many people. We cannot help but judge that Kanebo was naive about safety precautions as a cosmetics maker.
 だが、市販後に多くの人が使えば、未知のトラブルが判明する場合もあるだろう。化粧品メーカーとして、安全性に対する認識が甘いと言わざるを得ない。

Many consumers use two or more beauty products, including lotions, that contain the same ingredients more than once a day. Unlike drugs, appropriate usage amounts are not clearly mentioned on cosmetic labels.
This could be partly to blame for the escalated number of recent cases.
 化粧水、乳液、美容液など、同じ成分が入った複数の製品を一日に何回も使っていた消費者も少なくない。医薬品と異なり、適切な使用量があいまいな点も、被害が拡大した一因ではないか。

Amid the rise of the skin whitening trend, sales of whitening products accounted for about 200 billion yen of total cosmetics sales of slightly more than 2 trillion yen.
 美白ブームを背景に、化粧品各社の売り上げ2兆円余のうち、美白製品は約2000億円を占める。

Makers have been engaged in fierce competition to develop more effective products to meet consumers’ needs.
より効果の高い製品を、という消費者のニーズに応えようと、開発競争は激しい。

All cosmetics manufacturers should learn a lesson from the Kanebo incident and reexamine their safety measures and contingency plans.
 今回の問題を教訓に、各社は安全性の確保と被害が生じた際の対応を再点検してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 26, 2013)
(2013年7月26日01時18分  読売新聞)

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2013年7月26日 (金)

企業の税金逃れ 実効性ある国際課税ルールを

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 26, 2013
Effective international rules needed to control corporate tax evasion
企業の税金逃れ 実効性ある国際課税ルールを(7月25日付・読売社説)

What measures should be taken to prevent aggressive tax evasion by multinational corporations? Viable international rules should be created so that each country can tax such enterprises appropriately.
 多国籍企業の過度な税金逃れをどう防ぐか。各国が適正に課税できるよう、実効性ある国際ルールが求められる。

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which comprises 34 advanced countries including Japan, the United States and European states, has compiled an action plan for preventing tax evasion by corporations. The Action Plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting says concrete measures will be devised in 15 categories within one year to two and a half years and recommended to member countries.
 日米欧など先進34か国で構成する経済協力開発機構(OECD)が、企業による課税回避を防止するための行動計画をまとめた。15項目の課題について、1年~2年半で具体策を決め、各国に勧告する。

The policy was reported at a meeting of Group of 20 finance ministers and central bank governors held last week in Moscow. The G-20 fully endorsed the action plan.
 この方針は、モスクワで先週開かれた主要20か国・地域(G20)財務相・中央銀行総裁会議に報告され、支持された。

It is a major step forward, for not only advanced countries but also emerging economies such as China and India agreed to cooperate in efforts to create common rules, even though they are not OECD members.
 先進国だけでなく、OECD非加盟の中国、インドなど新興国も協力し、共通のルール作りを目指すことになったのは前進だ。

Corporate tax avoidance by multinational companies has become an international issue after the excessive tax saving strategies used by firms such as Apple Inc. and Starbucks Corp. came to light.
 多国籍企業の税金逃れは、米アップルやコーヒーチェーンの米スターバックスなどの行き過ぎた節税策が発覚したことが契機となり、国際的な問題になった。

Even if their tax-saving measures are legal, it was only natural that such measures be criticized, as they cleverly exploited the rules regarding taxation.
 いくら合法的だとしても、課税ルールを巧みに利用した節税策が批判されたのは当然だろう。

Based on real cases

The action plan lists subjects to be considered based on real cases that have taken place recently.
 行動計画は、最近の実例を踏まえて検討課題を示した。

For instance, there was a case in which a corporation that was headquartered in country A transferred intangible assets such as patents and certain brand names to its subsidiary in country B, where the corporate tax rate is quite low.
 例えば、A国に本社がある企業が、特許やブランドなどの「無形資産」を法人税率が低いB国の子会社に移転するケースだ。

The subsidiary then allowed a second-tier subsidiary in country C to use the intangible assets and profited by receiving patent fees, for instance, in return for bestowing the right to use them.
 子会社はさらに、C国にある孫会社に無形資産の使用を認め、その見返りに特許料などを吸い上げて利益を得ている。

Under this mechanism, neither country A nor C can sufficiently tax the companies. As the tax rate in country B is low, the entire corporate group can save on taxes to a great extent.
 この構図だと、A国もC国もこれらの企業に十分な課税を行えない。B国の税率は低いため、企業全体で大幅に節税できる。

Such practices are eroding the tax revenue of countries that cannot properly exercise their right to tax companies. Sound rules must be put in place for each country to properly collect taxes from multinationals.
 課税権が及ばない国にとっては税源が浸食されている状況と言える。各国がきちんと徴税できるよう、ルールを整備すべきだ。

Another focus of attention is how to handle cross-border electronic commercial transactions. Regulations have not kept up with the reality of online trading in goods and services, which has been growing at a rapid pace.
 もう一つの焦点が、国境を越えた電子商取引の扱いだ。急成長しているネット販売にルールが立ち遅れていることが背景にある。

No consumption tax

When Japanese customers purchase music and movies from foreign companies through the Internet, consumption tax is not imposed as the digital content does not go through customs. Also, the profits of foreign companies that do not have facilities such as subsidiaries in Japan are not subject to corporate tax.
 日本の顧客が外国企業からインターネット上で音楽や映画の配信を受けても、税関を通らないために消費税がかからない。国内に支店などの施設を持たない外国企業の利益も法人税の対象外だ。

OECD plans to impose corporate tax on foreign capital firms according to the amount of e-commerce sales, or impose sales tax on online distribution of digital content, are worth studying.
 電子商取引の売上高に応じて外国企業に法人税を課税したり、ネット配信に消費税をかけたりするOECD案は検討に値する。

The interests of countries tend to conflict, as they are afraid of being at a disadvantage in luring corporations.
 税逃れ防止案を巡っては、企業誘致で不利になることを恐れて、各国の利害は対立しがちだ。

We are worried that if countries only exercise loose rules as a result of such fears, there will be a cat-and-mouse game between countries and corporations that do everything they can to aggressively avoid taxes. Advanced and emerging nations must join hands to create strict rules.
 その結果、取り組みが緩くなると、節税策を工夫する企業とのイタチごっこが懸念される。先進国と新興国が連携し、厳格なルールの設定を目指すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 25, 2013)
(2013年7月25日02時15分  読売新聞)

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憲法改正 実現への布石を周到に打て

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 26, 2013
Prepare carefully for long, winding road of amending the Constitution
憲法改正 実現への布石を周到に打て(7月25日付・読売社説)

Debate on amending the Constitution has taken concrete form since the recent House of Councillors election. It is imperative that discussions on the issue be developed further.
 参院選を機に具体化した憲法論議をさらに発展させたい。

We urge Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his administration to carefully and throughly take steps to gather momentum to realize the goal of amending the Constitution.
 安倍政権は、周到に布石を打ち、改正への機運を高めていくべきだ。

A point of contention during the upper house campaign was whether to change Article 96, which stipulates procedures for constitutional revision. Parties have argued over whether to relax the requirements for amending the Constitution.
 参院選では、憲法改正の手続きを定めた96条の改正発議要件の緩和が大きな焦点になった。

Currently, the approval of at least two-thirds of the legislators in both chambers of the Diet is necessary to initiate amendments to the top law. After the upper house election, the parties that actively support amending the Constitution--the Liberal Democratic Party, Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Your Party--still did not have a two-thirds majority in the chamber. Hurdles remain high for amending the top law.
 憲法改正に積極的な自民党、日本維新の会、みんなの党の議席は合計しても、参院では改正の発議に必要な「3分の2以上」とならなかった。ハードルは高い。

However, if the seats held by New Komeito--which favors adding new philosophies and provisions to the Constitution without changing the existing ones--are factored in, that would achieve the two-thirds requirement. Komeito’s actions hold the key to constitutional revision.
 ただ、憲法の内容を変えずに新たな理念・条文を加える「加憲」の立場の公明党の議席を合わせると3分の2に届く。公明党の対応が極めて重要である。

Komeito should present ideas

According to the party’s pledges for the upper house election, it seeks to discuss a number of issues regarding “adding new elements” to the Constitution: environmental rights, expanding the scope of local autonomy, stipulating the existence of the Self-Defense Forces in the top law and how the nation should contribute to the international community.
 公明党は、参院選公約に「加憲」論議の対象として環境権や地方自治拡充、自衛隊の存在の明記、国際貢献の在り方を挙げている。

We urge New Komeito to hold thorough discussions on the issues and specify its ideas in a draft proposal. That would help clarify the similarities and differences between New Komeito and other parties, such as its coalition partner, the LDP, on the issues. It would also help expand discussions on amending the Constitution.
 党内で検討を重ね、具体的な条文を作成してはどうか。自民党などとの共通点、相違点が明確になり、議論が深まろう。

Meanwhile, Your Party has said there are other things to be accomplished before amending the Constitution, including civil service reform. The party has proposed radical ideas for civil service reform, such as eliminating the jobs of 100,000 national government officials and allowing government officials to be laid off as easily as employees at private companies, in exchange for giving them the right to strike.
 みんなの党は「憲法改正の前にやるべきことがある」として公務員制度改革を掲げた。具体的には「国家公務員の10万人削減」「スト権を付与する代わりに民間並みのリストラを可能にする」といった急進的な案を唱えている。

We can never agree to making such reforms a precondition for amending the Constitution, as the two issues can be dealt with simultaneously.
 これを憲法改正の前提条件にすることは、甚だ疑問である。同時並行で検討すればよい。

Start from pending issues

Abe has said he will deal with constitutional revision “without haste, and move forward on the issue with persistence.” The prime minister stressed he will first deal with unresolved issues involving the National Referendum Law, which was enacted during the first Abe administration. We believe Abe’s decision is appropriate, as those issues will lay the basic groundwork for amending the Constitution.
 安倍首相は、「腰を落ち着けてじっくり進めていく」と述べ、第1次安倍内閣で成立した国民投票法の“宿題”から始める考えを強調している。改正への環境を整えるうえで、妥当な判断である。

The National Referendum Law stipulates procedures for a national referendum for constitutional amendments. It allows those aged 18 and older to participate in such referendums.
 憲法改正のための国民投票法は投票権を18歳以上に与えた。

To be consistent, the law’s supplementary provisions require lawmakers to discuss lowering the minimum voting age for elections, which is stipulated in the Public Offices Election Law, and the age of adulthood stipulated in the Civil Code, from the current 20 to 18. The provisions also call for the review of the National Civil Service Law, which limits the political activities of government officials.
 その付則で公職選挙法の選挙権年齢「20歳以上」や民法の成年年齢を、同じく18歳に引き下げることの検討を求めている。公務員の政治的行為を制限した国家公務員法などの見直しも盛り込んだ。

All the issues are long overdue. Lawmakers were expected to reach conclusions on the issues before the National Referendum Law was put into force in May 2010.
 いずれも、2010年5月の国民投票法施行までに結論を出しておかねばならない課題だった。

We urge both the ruling and opposition parties to start discussions on the unresolved issues as soon as possible.
 与野党は、早急に協議を始めてもらいたい。

Even if the Diet succeeds in initiating constitutional amendments, it is the public that makes the final decision on revising the Constitution via referendums. A majority of all votes cast in a referendum is needed to amend the Constitution--it would never be an easy task.
 たとえ国会が憲法改正を発議できたとしても、最終的に決めるのは国民投票だ。過半数の賛成を得るのは、容易ではなかろう。

LDP Secretary General Shigeru Ishiba has revealed the idea of hosting meetings across the nation aimed at explaining to the public the necessity of amending the Constitution. The meetings would be carried out as easy-to-understand dialogues, according to Ishiba.
 自民党の石破幹事長は、憲法改正についての「対話集会」を各地で開き、国民にその必要性を丁寧に説明する考えを示している。

To amend the Constitution, efforts to nurture public awareness of the necessity of constitutional amendments are essential. There are three years left, at most, before the next national election. The time should be used strategically for the goal of amending the Constitution.
 憲法改正が必要だという国民意識を高める努力は欠かせない。次期国政選まで最大3年という時間を戦略的に使うべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 25, 2013)
(2013年7月25日02時15分  読売新聞)

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2013年7月25日 (木)

夏休みの安全 子どもを犯罪から守りたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 25, 2013
Children deserve to have a safe and crime-free summer vacation
夏休みの安全 子どもを犯罪から守りたい(7月24日付・読売社説)

School is out for summer, and children are free to play outdoors. Yet even at this happy time, measures must be taken to ensure no children fall victim to crimes during their summer vacation.
 学校が夏休みに入り、子どもたちが外出する機会が多くなる。犯罪に巻き込まれることのないよう、改めて安全対策を徹底したい。

In late June, a man with a knife injured three first-grade primary school students in front of the gate to a ward primary school in Nerima Ward, Tokyo. The incident took place while the boys were on their way home from school. In mid-July, a fifth-grade primary school student suffered serious injuries when she was beaten by a man on the street in Ryugasaki, Ibaraki Prefecture.
 東京都練馬区の区立小学校の校門前で6月末、下校する小学1年生の男児3人が男にナイフで切り付けられ、けがを負った。今月中旬には、茨城県龍ヶ崎市の路上で、小学5年生の女児が男に殴られ、重体となった。

National Police Agency statistics remind us of the disturbing reality that not even children under 13 are safe from criminals. Crimes against them include a significant number of serious offenses, such as sexual assaults and attacks resulting in grave injuries.
 警察庁の統計では、13歳未満の子どもが被害者となる事例では、強制わいせつや暴行、傷害など、悪質な犯罪が目立っている。

Parents should immediately call the police if their children have been spoken to or followed by suspicious persons.
 子どもが不審者に声をかけられたり、つきまとわれたりしたら、保護者はすぐに警察へ通報してもらいたい。

Adults must stay on guard

It is essential for the police to thoroughly investigate such cases, while also providing information about suspicious individuals to local organizations likely to be affected by such incidents, including school authorities and neighborhood associations.
警察は捜査に手を尽くすとともに、不審者情報を学校や地域の町内会などに周知し、警戒を呼びかけることが大切だ。

School administrators have taken measures to better protect the safety of their students in recent years. The move was prompted by a stabbing incident that took place in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture, in 2001 at a primary school affiliated with Osaka Kyoiku University. Eight students at Ikeda Primary School were killed by a knife-wielding man, and many others were injured.
 学校の安全対策は、2001年に大阪教育大付属池田小学校で起きた児童殺傷事件を契機に、強化が図られてきた。

Ikeda Primary School has set up a class called “anzen-ka” (safety course) in which students are encouraged to discuss what they should do if they face such situations as total strangers talking to them on the street. An increasing number of schools are adopting similar safety education programs.
 池田小では「安全科」の授業を設け、道で見知らぬ人から声をかけられた場面などを想定し、自分がとるべき行動を児童に議論させている。こうした安全教育を取り入れる学校は増えつつある。

A large number of primary and middle schools have installed security cameras and other protective devices around their buildings and grounds, hoping to detect any suspicious person attempting to intrude.
 不審者の侵入を察知するため、多くの小中学校で防犯カメラなどが設置された。

In other cases, parents accompany their children to and from school, while crime-prevention volunteers from neighborhood associations patrol school-commuting roads. Local communities are making progress in implementing various steps to prevent children from becoming crime victims.
 登下校時に、保護者が子どもに付き添う。町内会の防犯ボランティアが通学路を巡回する。地域の様々な取り組みが進んでいる。

However, defense of children tends to become lax during the summer vacation. Particular attention should be given to the safety of children during certain hours of the day--for instance, when they are playing outdoors, and while they are on their way to and from cram schools and or swimming courses. At such times, it is difficult for grown-ups to keep an eye on children. Given this, it is advisable to make sure children carry crime prevention buzzers with them when they go out, so they can sound an alarm if necessary.
 ただ、夏休み中はどうしても、子どもたちを守る活動は手薄になりがちだ。外遊びのほか、塾や水泳教室の行き帰りといった、大人の目が届きにくい時間帯は特に注意が必要となる。外出の際には必ず防犯ブザーを持たせたい。

Teach kids to be alert

Most importantly, children should be taught how to escape from crimes targeting them. They need to develop such awareness on a routine basis, when it comes to averting potential danger.
 危険を回避する上で何より重要なのは、日頃から子どもたちの防犯意識を高めておくことだ。

For instance, it is a good idea for both parents and children to confirm whether any hazards exist in their neighborhood, such as a vacant house into which children could be taken or an unlit street. Parents would be well advised to tell their children to stay away from such high-risk places.
 例えば、自宅周辺に、子どもが連れ込まれかねない空き家や、街灯のない通りなどがないか、親子で確認し、近づかないようにさせてはどうだろう。

In many areas around the nation, shops, private homes and other buildings have been designated as emergency shelters for children. Those in charge of such shelters agree to provide temporary protection for children who encountered danger, and report it to the police. If they have been taught where such facilities are located, children will be able to run to the shelter when they recognize danger.
 各地域には、「子ども110番の家」がある。危険な目に遭った子を一時的に保護し、警察に通報する役目を担っている。子どもに所在地を教えておけば、いざという時の駆け込み場所になる。

Other facilities that can play a role in crime prevention include convenience stores that stay open round the clock or till late at night.
 夜間でも営業しているコンビニエンスストアは、防犯拠点として活用できる。

It is essential for families and local communities to join hands in making sure children can spend the summer vacation in safety.
 子どもたちが夏休みを安全に過ごすには、家庭や地域が連携して支えていくことが欠かせない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 24, 2013)
(2013年7月24日01時22分  読売新聞)

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海江田民主党 政策と体質を改革して出直せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 25, 2013
DPJ must start over again, reform its policies, character
海江田民主党 政策と体質を改革して出直せ(7月24日付・読売社説)

An extremely tough road lies ahead for the Democratic Party of Japan to revive itself.
It has no choice but to start over again, by refining its policies and drastically reforming its character.
 党再生の道は極めて厳しい。政策を磨き、党の体質を抜本的に改革して出直すしかない。

DPJ Secretary General Goshi Hosono offered to resign from his post to take responsibility for the party’s humiliating defeat in Sunday’s House of Councillors election, and his resignation was ultimately accepted. Hosono will step down in late August after setting a course for the reconstruction of the party.
 参院選で惨敗した民主党の細野幹事長が引責辞任を表明し、了承された。再建への道筋をつけ、8月末に退く。

DPJ President Banri Kaieda announced that he will stay in his post, and no objection has been raised from party leadership.
 海江田代表は続投を表明し、執行部内で異論は出ていない。

Isn’t Kaieda’s sense of crisis over the party’s current situation too weak? The party’s character, in which its leader does not take responsibility for failure, has again been revealed. It is questionable whether it is possible for the DPJ to rebuild itself under Kaieda, whose leadership and communication skills are poor.
 党の現状に対する危機感があまりに薄すぎないか。トップが失敗の責任を取らない党の体質を改めて露呈している。指導力や発信力に乏しい海江田氏の下で、党再建が可能なのか、疑問である。

Party’s decline clear

The DPJ won just 17 of the 44 upper house seats it held before the poll and that were contested in Sunday’s election. Sunday’s results were far below its previous record low of 26 in 2001. The party was defeated in all constituencies with one seat up for reelection and lost its seats in Tokyo, Osaka and Saitama constituencies where multiple seats were up for grabs. The DPJ’s steep decline is evident.
 民主党は今回、改選44議席に対し、過去最低だった2001年の26議席を下回る17議席しか獲得できなかった。1人区は全敗し、複数区も東京、大阪、埼玉などで議席を失うなど、凋落(ちょうらく)が激しい。

According to Yomiuri Shimbun exit polls, the DPJ was fifth in the number of swing votes captured by political parties in the proportional representation segment of the election. Before it came the Liberal Democratic Party, Your Party, Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and the Japanese Communist Party.
 読売新聞の出口調査によると、無党派層の比例選の投票先として、民主党は、自民、みんな、日本維新の会、共産の各党に次ぐ5番目に甘んじた。

The DPJ simply criticized the negative side effects of Abenomics, the economic policies of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration, and was unable to present its own growth strategy and economic policy. It was also unable to strengthen local chapters or cooperate with other opposition parties in election campaigns. All these adversely affected its election results.
 安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」の副作用を批判するだけで、党独自の成長戦略や経済政策を示せなかった。地方組織の強化が進まず、野党間の選挙協力が実現しなかったことも響いた。

Former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama recently said it was unavoidable for China to think that Japan had stolen the Senkaku Islands. Former Prime Minister Naoto Kan supported an independent candidate who lost her status as the official DPJ candidate, and the DPJ’s official candidate lost. Kan’s behavior symbolizes the party’s political culture, in which members do not abide by the party’s decisions.
 鳩山元首相は尖閣諸島について日本が「盗んだと思われても仕方がない」と発言した。菅元首相は公認が取り消された無所属候補を応援し、公認候補が落選した。菅氏の行動は、決定事項を守れない党の政治文化を象徴している。

Even after the DPJ became an opposition party, its founders caused problems. It is only natural that DPJ executives called for the two former prime ministers to be punished at their meeting on Tuesday.
 下野してもなお、党の創始者たちが足を引っ張った。23日の役員会で、両元首相の処分を求める声が上がったのももっともだ。

The DPJ will never be able to make progress in its reform if it cannot decide on strict punishment against them.
 厳しい処分に踏み切れないようでは、党改革も進むまい。

Lessons not learned

In February, the DPJ finalized documents that summed up its handling of the government while it was in power and its crushing defeat in last year’s House of Representatives election. The documents pointed out that the party’s governing abilities were immature and the abilities of each lawmaker were not utilized as a team. However, this self-examination was not reflected in the management of the party.
 民主党は2月、政権運営と衆院選惨敗の総括文書を決定した。政党の統治能力が未熟で、議員個人の能力がチームとして生かされないなどと指摘したが、その反省が党運営に反映されていない。

Reviewing its policies is also an urgent task for the DPJ.
 政策の見直しも急務である。

The DPJ’s campaign pledges for the upper house election lacked specifics and were abstract on many points.
 参院選公約は具体性が欠け、抽象的な内容が目立った。

Without stipulating where the money would come from, the DPJ touted the establishment of a guaranteed minimum pension system that would be funded solely by taxpayers. We believe the party should change it to a plan that is convincing and feasible.
 財源の裏付けもないまま、全額公費による「最低保障年金の創設」を掲げたが、説得力を持つ実現可能な案に変更すべきだ。

On constitutional amendment issues, the party only used ambiguous expressions in consideration of people in the party who support top law revision and others who are cautious or oppose it. The DPJ needs to come up with its own proposal for revision after thorough discussions on the issue within the party.
 憲法改正問題でも、党内の推進派と慎重・反対派の双方に配慮し、玉虫色の表現にとどめた。徹底した党内論議を経て、独自の改正案をまとめる必要がある。

The DPJ’s role as the largest opposition party is to keep a stern eye on the big ruling parties and present constructive counterproposals, thereby keeping everyone in national politics on their toes.
 巨大与党を厳しく監視し、建設的な対案を示すことで、国政に緊張感を持たせる。それが民主党の野党第1党としての役割だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 24, 2013)
(2013年7月24日01時22分  読売新聞)

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2013年7月24日 (水)

安倍政権の課題 国力の向上へ経済に集中せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 24, 2013
Abe administration must focus on economy to enhance nation’s power
安倍政権の課題 国力の向上へ経済に集中せよ(7月23日付・読売社説)

 ◆真価が問われるのはこれからだ

The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe must make all-out efforts to revitalize the national economy and concentrate on enhancing national power.
 日本経済の再生に全力を挙げ、国力を高めることに集中して取り組まねばならない。

The administration has made a new start after the Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner New Komeito scored an overwhelming victory in Sunday’s House of Councillors election.
 参院選での自民、公明両党の圧勝を受け、安倍政権が再始動した。

Abe met with Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi Monday to confirm their policy of strengthening cooperation. It will be necessary for the two parties, which failed to put forth common campaign platforms for the upper house poll, to steadily promote coordination on various policies.
 安倍首相は、連立を組む公明党の山口代表と会談し、連携を強化する方針を確認した。両党は参院選では共通公約を掲げられなかったが、今後は様々な政策調整を着実に進める必要がある。

 ◆消費増税の判断が焦点

In a news conference on Monday, Abe stressed he would put utmost priority on economic policy, saying, “Ending 15 years of deflation will be a historic undertaking.”
 首相は22日の記者会見で、「15年間にわたるデフレからの脱却は歴史的事業だ」と述べ、経済政策を最優先する意向を表明した。

The foundation for social security, diplomacy and security cannot be bolstered unless the country can regain a strong economy and national power. Revitalizing the national economy is a way of meeting the expectations the people expressed in the upper house election.
 「強い経済」を回復し、国力を取り戻さなければ、社会保障や外交・安全保障の基盤を強化できない。日本経済を再生することが、参院選で示された多くの国民の支持に応える道でもある。

Sales tax hike key issue

The biggest focal point for the moment is whether the government will decide to raise the consumption tax from 5 percent to 8 percent in April as scheduled.
 当面の最大の焦点は、来年4月に予定通り消費税率を5%から8%に引き上げるかどうかだ。

Abe said he would make a prudent decision by autumn after analyzing such economic data as the real-term gross domestic product for the April-June quarter, which will be released on Aug. 12.
 首相は、8月12日に発表される4~6月期の実質国内総生産(GDP)成長率などを踏まえて、秋までに慎重に判断するとしている。

The economy has been picking up steadily due to the effect of Abenomics. But raising the consumption tax before a full-scale business recovery may affect the economy adversely. Some of the prime minister’s economic advisers have come out in favor of postponing a tax increase.
 安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」の効果で、経済は着実に上向いてきた。だが、本格的な回復前に消費増税を行うと、景気を腰折れさせかねない。首相の経済ブレーンの間には、消費増税の先送り論も出ている。

On the other hand, the nation’s fiscal condition is the worst among industrialized countries. Japan has made an international pledge to implement midterm fiscal reconstruction. The adverse effect of postponing a consumption tax increase on the government bond market is also a matter of concern.
 一方、日本の財政状況は、先進国で最悪であり、中期的な財政再建は国際公約になっている。消費増税を先送りした場合に国債市場に及ぼす悪影響も心配だ。

In a recent Moscow meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors from the Group of 20 economies, Finance Miniser Taro Aso said the tax increase would be carried out as scheduled. Abe faces a hard policy decision on how to reach a balance between economic growth and fiscal reconstruction.
 麻生財務相は、モスクワでの主要20か国・地域(G20)財務相・中央銀行総裁会議で、予定通り増税する方針を示した。経済成長と財政再建の両立をどう図るか。首相は厳しい決断を迫られる。

Discussions on the consumption tax hike will be also unavoidable from the standpoint of promoting reforms of the social security system. Based on conclusions of the national conference on social security reform to be announced in August, the government needs to set forth policies to curb medical bills and pension benefits, which have been burgeoning due to the graying of society, as well as concrete measures to deal with the declining birthrate.
 社会保障制度改革を進める上でも、消費増税の議論は避けられない。政府は、国民会議が8月にまとめる結論を踏まえ、高齢化で増え続ける医療費と年金給付の抑制策や、少子化対応の具体策を打ち出す必要がある。

The government is being put to the test over how to implement a growth strategy, the “third arrow” of Abenomics after bold monetary easing and fiscal stimulation.
 アベノミクスでは、大胆な金融緩和、財政出動に続く「第3の矢」となる成長戦略をどう具体化するかが問われている。

Abe regards the autumn extraordinary Diet session as an opportunity to realize his administration’s growth strategy and is aiming for early passage of a bill to boost the competitiveness of the Japanese industry, including an investment tax cut to encourage businesses to make capital investment.
 首相は、秋の臨時国会を「成長戦略実現国会」と位置づけ、企業に設備投資を促す投資減税などを盛り込んだ産業競争力強化法案の早期成立を目指している。

Boosting the vitality of Japanese companies could help realize a virtuous circle of wage hikes and an expansion of job opportunities.
 企業活力をさらに引き出し、賃金上昇や雇用拡大などの好循環を実現したい。

In promoting the growth strategy, however, it is essential to secure a stable supply of electricity.
 成長戦略を推進する上で不可欠なのは、電力の安定供給だ。

TPP talks in full swing
 ◆TPP交渉も本番に

The Nuclear Regulation Authority has launched safety checks of nuclear power plants seeking to restart their idled reactors in line with new safety standards. To efficiently implement various kinds of safety checks, the safety examination system of the NRA should be reinforced.
 原子力規制委員会は、原発の再稼働に向けて、新規制基準に基づく原発の安全審査を始めた。多岐にわたる審査を効率的に進めるには、規制委の審査体制を強化・改善すべきではないか。

Abe’s leadership is also needed to win the understanding of local governments and communities to resume the operations of nuclear plants.
 原発再稼働に地元の理解を得るため、首相の指導力も必要だ。

The government should promote a realistic energy policy, while considering its impact on the economy, employment and the global environment.
 経済や雇用、地球環境への影響なども考慮し、政府は現実的なエネルギー政策を推進すべきだ。

Also important are the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, which Japan will join for the first time on Tuesday. Japan should seize the opportunity to promote free trade and bring out the vitality of Asia.
 23日から日本が初参加する環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉も重要である。自由貿易推進によりアジアの活力を取り込む好機としたい。

Efforts must also be made to boost the international competitiveness of our agricultural sector in preparation for market liberalization.
 自由化に備えた農業の競争力強化も急がねばならない。

On the diplomatic front, the biggest issue is how to improve bilateral relations with China.
 外交では、対中関係の改善が最大の課題だ。

Abe said, “The important thing is to have heart-to-heart talks with each other,” emphasizing the importance of dialogue. Also needed are persistent diplomatic efforts by both Japan and China to solve their differences.
首相は「お互いが胸襟を開いて話すことが大切」と、対話の必要性を強調している。
日中双方の粘り強い外交努力が求められる。

China is still behaving provocatively by having its marine surveillance vessels sail around the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture. It was also recently learned that China is developing a new gas field near the median line between Japan and China in the East China Sea, which is escalating bilateral friction.
 中国は依然として沖縄・尖閣諸島周辺に海洋監視船を送り込み、挑発的な行動をとっている。中国による東シナ海でのガス田開発問題も新たに発覚しており、日中間の摩擦は高まる一方だ。

With China’s recent aggressive and intimidating actions and its military buildup, and North Korea’s nuclear and missile development threats, Japan’s security environment has been deteriorating.
 一連の中国の示威活動や軍備増強、さらに北朝鮮の核・ミサイルの脅威など、日本の安全保障環境は悪化している。

Review collective self-defense
 ◆集団的自衛権を見直せ

It is only reasonable for the government to review its interpretation of the Constitution with regard to the use of the right to the collective self-defense, a pending issue for many years. Such a review would strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance.
 政府が、長年の懸案である集団的自衛権行使に関する憲法解釈の変更に取り組むのは当然だ。日米同盟の強化にもつながろう。

An expert panel of the government will compile a new report on the issue by mid-October and is expected to propose that Japan should exercise its right to collective self-defense. Based on the proposal, the government should proceed to change its interpretation of the supreme law.
 政府の有識者会議は、10月前半にも新たな報告書をまとめ、集団的自衛権の行使を可能にするよう提言する。政府はこれを受け、解釈変更を進めるべきだ。

The nation’s security system needs to be strengthened by establishing the Japanese version of the U.S. National Security Council, promoting the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station to the Henoko district in Nago and compiling new National Defense Program Outlines.
 国家安全保障会議(日本版NSC)創設や、米軍普天間飛行場の辺野古移設の推進、新たな防衛大綱の策定と合わせ、安全保障体制を強化しなければならない。

The next national election is not scheduled for three years. It is crucial for Abe to proceed with diplomatic and security issues step by step, together with his economic policy.
 次の国政選までは、最大3年ある。首相は、経済政策とともに外交・安保の課題も段階を踏んで進めていくことが肝要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 23, 2013)
(2013年7月23日01時31分  読売新聞)

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2013年7月23日 (火)

参院選自公圧勝 数に傲らず着実に政策実現を

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 23, 2013
Coalition must not be arrogant but should firmly pursue policy goals
参院選自公圧勝 数に傲らず着実に政策実現を(7月22日付・読売社説)

 ◆日本経済再生への期待に応えよ

The ruling coalition parties have scored a resounding electoral victory following their landslide in the December 2012 House of Representatives election.
 昨年の衆院選に続く圧勝である。

In Sunday’s House of Councillors election, the Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner, New Komeito, garnered a majority in the 242-seat upper chamber, including seats that were uncontested this time.
 参院選で自民、公明両党が、非改選と合わせて過半数の議席を制した。

It is of great significance that the divided Diet, in which the upper house was controlled by opposition parties, has been brought to an end.
国会の衆参ねじれが解消された意義は大きい。

There is no national election scheduled for up to three years.
 次の国政選まで最大3年ある。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration has now acquired an environment that will allow it to buckle down to various policy tasks. Among them are making the nation’s economic recovery compatible with fiscal reconstruction, strengthening the country’s security arrangements and considering the wisdom of revising the Constitution.
安倍政権は、経済再生と財政再建の両立、安全保障体制強化、憲法改正など様々な懸案に腰を据えて取り組める環境を獲得した。

However, neither the LDP nor Komeito should be complacent or arrogant about their newly won political power but instead should engage in managing the Diet considerately and respectfully.
 自公両党は、「巨大与党」の数に傲(おご)ることなく、丁寧な国会運営を心がけてもらいたい。

Voters favor stability
 ◆国民は安定を望んだ

The divided state of the legislature developed six years ago as a result of the first Abe Cabinet’s suffering a crushing defeat in the 2007 upper house contest. Abe’s triumph this time has avenged that defeat.
 衆参ねじれは6年前、第1次安倍政権が参院選で敗北して生じさせたものであり、首相は今回、雪辱を果たしたことになる。

When the outcome of the latest upper house race began emerging late Sunday night, Abe said on a TV program his administration was given a “great voice of encouragement from the public, which wants a political process capable of making decisions, achieving a stable government and moving ahead with our economic policies.”
 安倍首相は、大勢判明後、「決める政治、安定的な政治で、経済政策を前に進めていけという大きな声をいただいた」と語った。

The stagnation and political turmoil caused by the divided Diet were major factors behind the anomaly of a new prime minister every year. Many voters this time favored political stability as pointed out by the prime minister.
 ねじれは、政治の停滞と混乱を引き起こし、首相が毎年交代する異常事態の要因だった。首相の言うように、多くの有権者が政治の安定を望んだと言えよう。

The prime minister’s package of economic policies, dubbed Abenomics, was the focus of contention in the upper house election and can be said to have won the public’s confidence, at least for now.
 最大の争点となった安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」はひとまず国民のお墨付きを得た。

However, Abenomics has not yet produced any conspicuous improvements in the income of ordinary citizens or employment. It remains unclear whether the national economy can really break away from deflation.
だが、まだ所得や雇用にまで顕著な効果は及んでいない。デフレ脱却も不透明だ。

To meet the public’s expectations for economic revival, the prime minister must do his utmost to produce tangible results by mobilizing all available resources of the government and the ruling coalition parties.
 国民の経済再生への期待に応えるためにも、首相は、政府・与党の総力を結集して成果を上げていかねばなるまい。

The resounding win of the LDP, the only party in the latest upper house election that did not call for “reducing nuclear power generation to zero,” can be considered proof that voters favorably evaluated the party’s down-to-earth approach to energy problems.
 エネルギー政策を巡り、唯一「原発ゼロ」を掲げなかった自民党の圧勝は、現実的な姿勢を有権者が評価したからではないか。

Moves for realignment
 ◆野党再編への機運も

The LDP was strong enough in the upper house race to score 29 wins versus two losses in single-seat prefectural constituencies, while also garnering seats in all multiple-seat constituencies. Komeito also performed well in securing upper house seats.
 自民党は、1人区で29勝2敗、複数区では全候補が当選するという強さを見せつけた。公明党も、手堅く議席を確保した。

The LDP’s victory in prefectural constituency contests owed partly to the poor performance of opposition parties, just as in last year’s lower house election, and to the circumstances under which they found themselves scrambling among themselves for upper house seats.
 自民党の選挙区選での勝因は、衆院選と同様、野党が振るわなかったうえ、野党同士が議席を奪い合う構図になったことにある。

Voter turnout, meanwhile, fell well below the level in the previous upper house election. It seems some voters averse to the LDP might have chosen to abstain from voting.
 投票率は、前回を大幅に下回った。反自民票の一部が棄権に回ったという側面もあるだろう。

The DPJ suffered a crushing defeat, the worst since its inauguration, in the upper house election. In many cases, the party was defeated by other opposition parties even in multiple-seat prefectural electoral districts.
 民主党は、結党以来の大惨敗を喫した。複数区でも、他の野党に競り負けるケースが目立った。

There can be no denying that the desire to “punish” the DPJ for a pile of policy blunders while in power remains deeply ingrained among the public.
失政を重ねた民主党政権への「懲罰」感情は根強く残っている。

The election result shows the DPJ, as in the past, lacked solidarity as a party. One such example is that former Prime Minister Naoto Kan openly backed a candidate in the Tokyo constituency who had to run as an independent after the party dropped her from its ticket.
 相変わらず、党としての一体感が乏しいことも印象づけた。菅元首相が東京選挙区で民主党公認を取り消された無所属候補を公然と応援したのは、その一例だ。

Taking into consideration the DPJ’s dogmatic “out-and-out opposition” in the Diet and its ambiguous stance on such key issues as the Constitution, the DPJ failed to attract the votes of those critical of the Abe administration.
 国会での抵抗野党ぶりや憲法など重要政策のあいまいさを見れば民主党は、安倍政権への批判票の受け皿として物足りなかった。

DPJ leader Banri Kaieda expressed his intention to stay on as head of the party. The party leadership has no option but to clarify responsibility and start afresh after reflecting on its crushing defeat in the latest election. If it fails to do so, it may cease to be one of the two major parties in the next lower house election.
 海江田代表は、続投する意向を表明した。執行部は、惨敗を徹底的に総括したうえで責任を明確にし、出直すしかない。そうしなければ、次期衆院選では2大政党の一角から転落しかねない。

Those who bolted from the DPJ also failed miserably in the latest election. People’s Life Party failed to win a seat even in the Iwate constituency, the home base of its leader, Ichiro Ozawa, symbolizing his declining political clout. Green Wind lost its seat in the upper house.
 民主党からの離党組も全く振るわなかった。生活の党は、小沢代表の地元・岩手選挙区でも議席を得られなかった。小沢氏の政治力の衰えを象徴している。みどりの風も、参院で議席を失った。

While Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Your Party saw gains in their upper house seats, the parties cannot be considered to have solidified their foothold as the “third major force” in the upper house.
 日本維新の会とみんなの党は、議席を伸ばしたものの、いずれも参院で「第3極」としての地歩を確かにしたとは言い難い。

During the election campaign, Ishin no Kai coleader Toru Hashimoto criticized the DPJ for being supported by labor unions of public servants and asserted the need of forming a “new opposition party” that has no affiliation with business organizations and “can rival the LDP.”
 選挙中、維新の会の橋下共同代表は、公務員の労働組合の支援を受ける民主党を批判したうえで、業界団体とは無関係の「自民党に対抗する新しい野党」を結成する必要性を主張した。

The opposition camp is certain to reorganize in a bid to explore a way to create a force that can fight the ruling coalition.
 野党間では、自公両党に対抗する勢力の形成を模索する野党再編の動きが出て来るだろう。

The JCP, which advocated “confrontation with the LDP,” made major gains in the election, as it did in the recent Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election. The low voter turnout must have served as a spur to the highly organized party.
 「自共対決」を唱えた共産党は東京都議選に続き、議席を大きく伸ばした。低投票率が組織政党への追い風になったに違いない。

Focus on growth strategy

For the time being, the Abe administration will deal with the tasks of implementing its growth strategy plans, deciding whether to raise the consumption tax rate as planned and reviewing the government’s interpretation of the Constitution with regard to the right to collective self-defense. It also intends to proceed with the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and the establishment of the Japanese version of the U.S. National Security Council.
 安倍政権は当面、成長戦略の具体化をはじめ、消費税率引き上げの判断、集団的自衛権を巡る政府の憲法解釈の見直しに取り組む。環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉、国家安全保障会議(日本版NSC)設置も進める意向だ。

 ◆政策に優先順位が必要

All of these are important issues that affect the nation’s future.
 いずれも日本の将来を左右する重要課題だ。

We hope the administration will realize them by strategically setting priorities.
優先順位をつけ、戦略的に実現してほしい。

Abe said, “Now that the divided Diet has come to an end, we can no longer lay the onus on the opposition parties” if the ruling camp fails to handle these tasks adequately. How well the government and the ruling parties can deal with these issues will be tested in the days ahead.
首相は、「ねじれが解消した以上、野党のせいにできない」と語った。政府・与党の対応が問われよう。

Another focus will be on Komeito’s future actions. During the campaign, the party said it would act as a brake on some of the LDP’s policies.
 注目すべきは、連立を組む公明党の動向である。公明党は、自民党のブレーキ役になると訴えた。

Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi has even said the party would “adamantly oppose” a review of the government’s interpretation of the Constitution to allow Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense, as Abe advocates.
山口代表は、集団的自衛権の解釈見直しに関しては、「断固反対する」とさえ言明している。

Abe needs to consult with Yamaguchi afresh over the tasks facing the ruling coalition. It is vital for both to cooperate by communicating with each other well so they can properly manage the powerful ruling parties.
 首相は、山口氏と連立政権の課題を改めて協議する必要がある。巨大与党をきちんと運営するためにも、十分な意思疎通を図って連携することが欠かせない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 22, 2013)
(2013年7月22日03時38分  読売新聞)

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2013年7月22日 (月)

13参院選 きょう投票 日本の「針路」見据えた選択を

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 22, 2013
Keep Japan’s future in mind when voting in upper house poll
13参院選 きょう投票 日本の「針路」見据えた選択を(7月21日付・読売社説)

 ◆政治と経済を再活性化させよう

Which parties and candidates show that they have solid plans and the competence to tackle the mountain of policy tasks facing the country at home and abroad? We shall cast our valuable ballots after carefully scrutinizing their opinions and track records.
 山積する内外の政策課題に取り組むための確かな処方箋と能力を持つ政党はどこか、候補者はだれか。各党・候補者の訴えや実績を吟味し、大切な1票を託す相手を選びたい。

Voting day has arrived for the 23rd House of Councillors election.
 第23回参院選がきょう、投票日を迎えた。

We must choose the parties and candidates we believe will guide Japan on the right course amid turbulent times in Asia and the rest of the world.
 世界とアジアの情勢が激動する中で、日本の誤りなき針路を見つけなければならない。

 ◆ねじれの解消が焦点だ

The vitality of the private sector must be drawn out to put the economy back on a stable recovery track. The nation’s social security system must be redesigned to become sustainable with the declining population. Also, a diplomatic strategy for pursuing this country’s national interests must be mapped out and implemented.
 民間活力を引き出し、景気を安定した回復軌道に乗せる。人口減社会を乗り切れる社会保障制度を再設計する。国益を追求する外交戦略を練り、実行に移す。

To realize these goals, it is essential that the political sphere be revitalized. The focus of this upper house election is whether the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, New Komeito, can end the divided Diet by securing a majority.
 そのためには、日本政治を再活性化させることが欠かせない。
 参院選は、自民、公明両党が衆参ねじれ状況を解消できるかどうかが最大の焦点である。

Divided Diet resolution key

Due to the divided Diet, in which the ruling bloc lacks a majority in the upper house, it is difficult to pass important bills without cooperation from opposition parties. We can understand why the ruling coalition has given priority to ending the divided Diet in this election.
 ねじれ国会では、野党の協力なしでは、重要法案を成立させることが難しい。与党がねじれ解消を最優先するのは理解できる。

“The end of the divided Diet will let the ruling coalition parties run wild,” officials of the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan said. It is true that the creation of the divided Diet as a result of the 2010 upper house election prevented the then ruling DPJ-led government from freely exercising its will.
 民主党は「ねじれの解消は与党の暴走につながる」と主張した。確かに、2010年参院選で衆参ねじれが生じたことは、当時の民主党政権の暴走に「歯止め」をかけることにつながった。

If the divided Diet is resolved in this election, it might be partly due to the fact that voters do not look positively on the brakes that have been put on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government in the upper house by opposition parties, including the DPJ.
 今回、ねじれが解消されるとしたら、民主党など野党が参院でかけてきた安倍政権に対する「歯止め」が有権者に評価されなかったことが一因と言えよう。

The DPJ suffered a series of crushing defeats in the latest House of Representatives and Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly elections. The upper house vote will presumably decide this party’s fate. However, the DPJ is still caught in a backdraft as a result of policy missteps it made during its reign.
 民主党は、衆院選、東京都議選と続けて大敗し、参院選は「党存亡をかけた戦い」となる。だが、依然として、政権担当時の失政による逆風を受けている。

Cooperation among opposition parties in the Diet and the reorganization of the political world in the future will certainly be affected by the rise or fall of smaller parties in the upper house vote, including so-called third force parties Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Your Party, as well as the Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party.
 第3極の日本維新の会、みんなの党や、共産、社民両党などを含む、各党の参院選での消長は、国会での野党連携のあり方や、将来の政界再編にも影響しよう。

In deciding which party or candidate to vote for, voters should first evaluate the achievements of the Abe administration.
 投票の判断材料とすべきは、まず安倍政権の実績への評価だ。

Responsible nuclear policy
 ◆責任ある原発政策は

As a result of monetary easing and fiscal actions taken under the Abe administration’s so-called Abenomics economic policies, the yen’s excessive appreciation has been corrected, stock prices have gone up and business sentiment has improved.
 経済政策「アベノミクス」による金融緩和や財政出動の結果、円高是正、株価上昇に加え、企業の景況感も改善してきた。

Besides that, the government has decided to participate in negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement. To what extent Japan’s late entry into the talks can be compensated for will depend on the government’s ability to negotiate.
 環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉への参加も決断した。出遅れをどう挽回するかは、今後の政府の交渉力にかかっている。

The DPJ has ramped up its criticism of the adverse effects of Abenomics, such as a rise in prices, while Ishin no Kai and Your Party have expressed support for Abenomics and stressed the need for a drastic easing of regulations.
 民主党は、物価上昇などアベノミクスの「副作用」批判を強めた。維新の会やみんなの党は、アベノミクスを支持しつつ、より大胆な規制緩和の必要性を強調した。

While the opposition parties make some valid points in their claims, we find it regrettable that they have failed to deepen discussions on specific economic measures.
 野党の主張にも一理あるが、具体策に関する経済論戦が深まらなかったのは残念である。

The dearth of such talks was not limited to economic policy issues.
 それは経済政策に限らない。

It is undeniable that the parties shied away from incorporating clear-cut numerical targets and details of budgetary measures for securing revenue sources into their election pledges. This apparently was due to the debacle of the DPJ’s unrealistic platform for the 2009 general election, resulting in lethargic campaigns.
 民主党の非現実的な09年政権公約(マニフェスト)の失敗を踏まえ、各党が公約に数値目標や財源の明示を避けたことが論争を物足りなくした面がある。

The parties even seem to have failed to place due importance on the content of their election pledges. It was symbolic in this respect that the LDP and Komeito did not coordinate their election pledges in the running of their ruling coalition.
 公約自体が重視されなくなっている。自公両党が連立政権の共通公約を見送ったのは象徴的だ。

Regarding what is desirable for the nation’s energy policy, empty arguments touting an end to nuclear power generation were rampant in the run-up to the election.
 エネルギー政策でも、空疎な脱原発論が横行した。

Only the LDP touched the heart of the issue of restarting reactors if their safety is confirmed, stressing that the government will “make the maximum effort” to obtain understanding on the matter from local entities concerned.
 自民党だけは、安全が確認された原発の再稼働について、関係自治体の理解を得るよう政府が「最大限努力する」と踏み込んだ。

The DPJ and Ishin no Kai adopted slogans of reducing to zero the nation’s nuclear power generation “in the 2030s.” The JCP, PLP and the SDP, meanwhile, strongly insisted that a restart of the country’s nuclear reactors should never be permitted.
 民主党と維新の会は「2030年代」の原発稼働ゼロを掲げた。共産、生活、社民の各党は再稼働を一切認めないという。

As long as the parties continue calling for breaking away from nuclear power generation, such arguments should be condemned as irresponsible unless their insistence is coupled with such issues as securing energy alternatives to nuclear power and measures to address the massive increase in fuel costs for thermal power generation.
 脱原発を唱えるなら、代替エネルギーの確保策や火力発電の燃料コスト大幅増の問題と合わせて論じなければ、無責任だろう。

On the diplomatic front, the Abe administration did much to turn around relations between Japan and the United States by pushing ahead with procedures for relocating the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, to the Henoko district in Nago in the prefecture. The Abe Cabinet, on the other hand, has yet to set up summit meetings with China and South Korea, drawing fire from the opposition camp.
 外交面で安倍政権は、米軍普天間飛行場の辺野古移設の手続きを進め、日米関係を立て直した。一方、中国、韓国と首脳会談が開けず、野党の批判を受けている。

With Japan’s security environment becoming increasingly precarious, voters must decide with a measure of vigilance which party makes the best argument.
 日本の安全保障環境が厳しくなる中で、どの党の主張が適切なのか、しっかりと見極めたい。

Constitutional revision
 ◆憲法改正も判断材料に

The issue of revising the Constitution was also a point of contention in the electoral battle.
 憲法改正も論点となった。

Among the major issues were the wisdom of easing the requirements for the Diet to initiate Constitutional revisions; clarification of the constitutional status of the Self-Defense Forces; the addition of stipulations concerning new concepts of human rights such as the right to a good living environment; and the advisability of reviewing the structure of the government as a whole, including the introduction of a so-called doshu system for reorganizing prefectures into larger regional government units.
改正の発議要件の緩和や、自衛隊の存在の明記、環境権など新たな権利の追加、道州制の導入といった統治機構の見直しなどである。

These issues, along with weighing the pros and cons of changes in the government’s interpretation of the Constitution regarding the right to collective self-defense, will undoubtedly be highly significant political tasks after the upper house contest.
 集団的自衛権の憲法解釈の見直しと合わせて、参院選後に重要な政治課題となるのは確実だ。

The weighing of each party’s vision of a “new, desirable shape of this country” should also help voters decide who they should vote for.
 各党がどんな「新しい国のかたち」を描いているかを比較することも、投票の参考になろう。

A ban on Internet use for campaigning was lifted ahead of this election. This increased the ability of parties and candidates to convey information to voters, which likely helped generate greater interest in the election among young people.
 今回、インターネットを利用した選挙運動が解禁された。政党・候補者の情報発信手段が増え、若者などの関心を高めるうえで一定の効果があったのではないか。

Voter turnout in the five previous upper house races was just over 55 percent.
 過去5回の参院選の投票率は、50%台後半にとどまっている。

Politics can never be changed as long as voters only criticize political parties and politicians. Eligible voters are responsible for exercising their right to vote by going to the polls.
 政党や政治家を批判するだけでは政治は変わらない。投票所に足を運び、自らの選挙権を行使する。それが有権者の責任である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 21, 2013)
(2013年7月21日01時27分  読売新聞)

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2013年7月21日 (日)

13参院選 あす投票 参院の意義と役割も考えたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 21, 2013
Upper house's meaning, roles must be reconsidered
13参院選 あす投票 参院の意義と役割も考えたい(7月20日付・読売社説)

Voters go to polls for the 23rd House of Councillors election on Sunday.
 第23回参院選は、あす21日に投開票される。

As the “House of Common Sense,” the upper house is essentially expected to serve as a check and a supplement to the House of Representatives.
 参院には本来「良識の府」として、衆院に対する抑制や補完の役割が期待されている。

In recent years, however, especially under the divided Diet, the ruling and opposition parties have engaged in fierce partisan battles with the upper house becoming a “House of Political Struggle” that stalls and throws national politics into confusion.
 だが、近年、とくに衆参ねじれ国会の下で、与野党が激しく対立し、参院は政治を停滞、混乱させる「政局の府」と化してきた。

Despite this, why are we witnessing almost no debate during election campaigning on what form the upper house should take?
 選挙戦で、参院の在り方についての議論がほとんど聞かれないのはどうしたことか。

Even if the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito win a combined majority in the upper house and resolve this division, we will still have this problem of an overly powerful upper house that is bestowed with almost equal authority to the lower house.
仮に、自公両党が参院で過半数を制し、ねじれを解消できたとしても、衆院とほぼ対等の権限を持つ「強すぎる参院」の問題は残る。

Azuma Koshiishi, the head of the Democratic Party of Japan caucus in the upper chamber, described what his party saw as the merits of having a powerful upper house during a debate program on NHK. “People say the upper house is the main factor resulting in ‘inindecisive politics,’ but it’s true that it helps us to somehow maintain tension in politics,” Koshiishi said.
 民主党の輿石参院議員会長はNHKの討論番組で、ねじれについて「決められない政治の元凶というが、(それにより)かろうじて政治に緊張感が保てているのも事実だ」と、“効用”を説いた。

But we wonder if the political fighting led by Koshiishi that sank the appointment of the Bank of Japan governor during the ordinary Diet session in 2008 can be considered “political tension.”
 しかし、2008年の通常国会で輿石氏が主導して日銀総裁人事を葬ったような政争まで「緊張感」と言えるのだろうか。

Destructive conflict

The last Diet session was also thrown into disarray. The rezoning bill to cut five single-constitutency seats from the lower house was not debated for more than 60 days after being passed by the lower house. The bill was therefore deemed to have been rejected by the upper house in keeping with a constitutional provision, but it was enacted into law after a revote by the lower house.
 先の国会でも混乱が生じた。衆院の小選挙区を「0増5減」する区割り法は衆院通過後、参院で60日以上、審議されなかった。憲法の規定で否決とみなされ、衆院の再可決により成立した。

It was nothing but a suicidal act by the upper house that contradicted its raison d’etre.
 参院の存在意義を自ら否定する「自殺行為」にほかならない。

The opposition parties passed a censure motion against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the upper house and refused to enter debates on bills, abolishing even bills both ruling and opposition parties had earlier agreed to pass.
 加えて、参院野党は首相問責決議を可決し、審議を拒否した。与野党で成立に合意していた法案さえ廃案になった。

When it was in the opposition, the LDP introduced an excessive number of censure motions in the upper house. The LDP should be equally blamed for undermining the upper house’s authority.
 自民党も、野党時代は問責決議を乱発した。参院の権威を貶(おとし)めた点では、同罪である。

There is no doubt that the upper house’s functions should be reviewed. We believe a drastic change to the upper house election system--which is similar to the one adopted by the lower house--will provide momentum to stir up debates on this important issue.
 参院の在り方を見直す必要がある。衆院と似通っている参院の選挙制度を抜本的に改革することが一つのきっかけになろう。

The revised Public Offices Election Law, which reduced four constituency seats from less-populated prefectures and increased four seats for populated prefectures as an emergency measure to rectify the discrepancies in the value of each vote, calls for reaching a conclusion on an overhaul of the upper house election system by the 2016 upper house poll.
 「1票の格差」の緊急是正のために、選挙区定数を「4増4減」した改正公職選挙法は、16年の参院選までに抜本改革の結論を得ると明記している。

Electoral reform needed

Abe proposed the establishment of an independent panel of experts to promote lower house electral reforms. We believe discussion should be held to change the upper house election system as well. It is essential to reform the system so we will be less likely to have a divided Diet, in which the lower house is controlled by the ruling camp and the upper house by the opposition camp.
 衆院の選挙制度改革を進めようと、首相は有識者による第三者機関を設置することを提案した。参院でも、制度改革を検討すべきだ。ねじれが生まれにくい選挙制度にする視点が欠かせない。

Upper house reform is a theme both new and old. Prescriptions to rectify problems--such as allowing upper house members to vote as they wish regardless of their party lines so the influence of political parties in the upper chamber will be weakened--have been duly presented. It is also necessary to debate constitutional revisions to deprive the upper house of the authority to nominate the prime minister and boost the lower house’s superiority over the upper house.
 参院改革は古くて新しいテーマだ。政党の影響力を弱めるため党議拘束を外すといった処方箋は出そろっている。参院の首相指名権を廃止し、憲法の定める衆院の優越規定を拡大するなど、憲法改正に踏み込む議論も必要だろう。

We urge the ruling and opposition camps to start consultations on how to overhaul the upper house after Sunday’s election.
 参院選後は、与野党が参院改革の協議につくことを求めたい。

(The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 20, 2013)
(2013年7月20日01時02分  読売新聞)

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エジプト情勢 民政復帰への道のりは険しい

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 21, 2013
After military coup d'etat, Egypt faces bumpy road to civilian rule
エジプト情勢 民政復帰への道のりは険しい(7月20日付・読売社説)

Egypt’s provisional government has been inaugurated, led by interim President Adly Mansour. Mansour replaced former President Mohammed Morsi, who was dismissed in a de facto military coup d’etat.
 軍による事実上のクーデターによってモルシ前大統領が解任されたエジプトで、マンスール暫定大統領をトップとする暫定政府が発足した。

In fact, it is a military-led government. Defense Minister Abidel Fattah el-Sissi retains his post and doubles as the first vice premier. Many economic experts have been appointed as Cabinet ministers in light of the people’s discontent over the worsening economic situation and to make a show of the government’s emphasis on economic policy.
 実体は軍主導の政府だ。シシ国防相は留任し、第1副首相を兼任する。閣僚には、経済専門家が多数起用された。経済悪化への国民の不満に配慮し、経済重視をアピールする布陣である。

Mohamed ElBaradei, a former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and other leaders of secular groups have been given key government posts.
 エルバラダイ前国際原子力機関(IAEA)事務局長ら世俗派の代表も政府の中枢に入った。

But the Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi’s support base, refused to join the interim government.
 だが、モルシ氏の支持基盤のイスラム主義組織・ムスリム同胞団は暫定政府への参加を拒んだ。

Stability cannot be expected

Given that the Islamist elements are not taking part in the government, it is hardly possible to expect the political situation to stabilize.
 イスラム主義勢力が政府に参加していない以上、政情が安定することはとても望めない。

Since the military took the extralegal step of detaining Morsi, who was elected by popular vote, Brotherhood supporters have continued protests in the streets, demanding Morsi’s reinstatement. Increasingly bloody consequences are feared in the wake of clashes between Brotherhood supporters and government security forces and other incidents.
 軍は、選挙で選ばれたモルシ氏を拘束した。超法規的措置だ。ムスリム同胞団はモルシ氏復職を求め、街頭で抗議行動を続けている。治安部隊との衝突などで流血の惨事が今後も起きる恐れがある。

Mansour has announced a political road map for return to a civilian government, probably with the aim of stabilizing national sentiment.
 暫定大統領が民政復帰への政治日程を発表したのも、民心の安定を図る狙いがあるのだろう。

The road map calls for a committee of experts from legal and other fields to draft a proposal on constitutional revision by October. The proposal will be put to a national referendum by November. A parliamentary election is scheduled to be held by January, and a procedure to elect a president will start after a new parliament is convened.
 10月までに、法律専門家や各界代表から成る委員会が憲法改正案をまとめ、11月までに国民投票にかける。来年1月までに議会選を実施し、議会招集後に大統領選の手続きを開始する。

But will things turn out as planned? A bumpy road lies ahead.
 想定通り進むか、どうか。前途は相当に険しい。

If Islamist forces are eliminated, the process will lack legitimacy. The interim government and the Brotherhood should sit down at a negotiating table as early as possible. Naturally, Morsi’s release is a prerequisite for this.
 イスラム主義勢力を排除すれば、こうしたプロセスも正当性を欠く。早期に暫定政府とムスリム同胞団は話し合いのテーブルにつくべきだ。モルシ氏の解放が、その前提であるのは当然だ。

In addition to restoring public safety and achieving a return to civilian rule, the interim government must strive to overcome an economic crisis. In particular, it is essential to bring back foreign tourists and investments.
 暫定政府は、治安回復や民政復帰だけでなく、経済危機の克服にも取り組まねばならない。とくに、観光客や外国からの投資を呼び戻すことが肝要だ。

Gulf monarchies vow aid

Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf monarchies, which are wary of the growing influence of Brotherhood elements in their own countries, have pledged to provide a huge amount of economic assistance for the Egyptian provisional government.
 ムスリム同胞団の勢力が自国内で伸長することを警戒するサウジアラビアなど、ペルシャ湾岸の君主国は、暫定政府に巨額の経済支援を約束した。

Using such aid as leverage, the interim government must work toward resolving a shortage of foreign exchange reserves and achieving a full-scale economic recovery.
 こうした支援をテコに、暫定政府は外貨準備不足の解消や経済の本格回復に努めねばならない。

Protracted chaos in Egypt would inevitably destabilize the Middle East as a whole, and spikes in crude oil prices and other destabilizing factors would adversely affect the world economy.
 エジプトの混乱が長引けば、中東全体が不安定となるのは避けられない。原油価格の高騰などで世界経済にも悪影響が及ぼう。

Japan, the United States and European countries have not suspended economic assistance to Egypt despite the coup. This is because they put priority on the stabilization of Egypt. They should cooperate in urging the military and interim government to realize national reconciliation and a return to civilian rule as early as possible.
 日本や米欧が、軍事クーデターが起きたにもかかわらず、経済援助を停止していないのも、エジプトの安定を優先するためだ。日米欧は連携して、国民和解と民政復帰の早期実現を、軍や暫定政府に働きかける必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 20, 2013)
(2013年7月20日01時02分  読売新聞)

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性犯罪の起訴状 被害者匿名が必要な時もある

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 20, 2013
Crime victims’ names should be kept anonymous in some cases
性犯罪の起訴状 被害者匿名が必要な時もある(7月19日付・読売社説)

Should the real names of victims of crimes be mentioned in an indictment? In a rare development, the court and prosecutors involved in a case are locking horns on the matter.
 起訴状に被害者の実名を記載すべきかどうか。裁判所と検察が対立する異例の事態である。

In a bill of indictment for an indecent assault charge, the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office left out the name of the victim, who was a minor. The Tokyo District Court disputed the omission and called for the name to be given.
 東京地検が強制わいせつ事件の起訴状に、被害児童の氏名を匿名で記載したことに対し、東京地裁は実名を記すよう求めた。

If prosecutors refuse to comply with the court’s request, it is feared that hearings for the case will be canceled following the dismissal of the prosecution.
検察側が応じない場合、公訴が棄却されて裁判が行われない恐れもある。

The minor in the case was assaulted in an indecent manner in a park restroom. In response to a complaint filed by the child’s parents, the prosecutors indicted a man in his 20s. The parents told the prosecutors up front they would “withdraw the complaint if the child’s name were revealed.”
 児童が公園のトイレで、わいせつ行為をされた事件だ。地検は児童の両親の告訴を受け、20歳代の男を起訴した。両親は当初、「氏名を出すなら告訴を取り下げる」と地検に伝えた。

This is probably because they feared the accused might harbor a potentially dangerous grudge against their child, among other concerns.
逆恨みなどを恐れてのことだろう。

Law murky on issue

Indecent assault is an offense that can only be prosecuted after a complaint is filed. Therefore, indictment is not possible without a complaint. The prosecutors, it may be said, had no choice but to withhold the victim’s name in the indictment to prevent the family from having to bear the burden of the offense on their own.
 強制わいせつ罪は親告罪で、告訴がなければ、起訴できない。被害者側の泣き寝入りを防ぐためにも、地検が起訴状の記載を匿名にしたのは、やむを得ない措置だったと言える。

The child was presumably selected at random by the accused. Even before the assault, the alleged offender was not aware of the name of his victim. Disclosing the name in the prosecution process could become problematic from the standpoint of protecting victims of crimes.
 被告は行きずりで児童を対象にした。元々、児童の氏名を知らない。訴追手続きでわざわざ教えることになるのは、被害者保護の観点からも問題があろう。

The district court took issue with the prosecution’s omission out of concern that withholding the victim’s name would undermine the criminal trial system, which is based on the use of real names. Though there is no such specific requirement in the Criminal Procedure Code, in principle the victim’s name is usually mentioned in addition to other information such as the time and date of the crime committed against that person.
 一方、地裁が疑義を呈したのは、刑事裁判の実名主義が揺らぐことへの懸念からだ。刑事訴訟法に明文規定はないものの、犯行日時などのほか、被害者の実名を起訴状に記すのが原則とされてきた。

Behind this practice is the idea that if the victim’s name, which is an indispensable element in establishing a crime, is not identified, it could disadvantage the accused when the defense is making a rebuttal.
 被害者の氏名は犯罪事実の確定に欠かせない要素であり、それが特定されていなければ、被告側が反論する際に支障をきたすという考え方が背景にある。

In fact, in trials over molestation and other crimes, lawyers have proved the accused’s innocence by constructing an effective defense based on information gathered through acquaintances of people claiming to be victims.
 実際、痴漢事件などでは、被告の弁護人が“被害者”の周辺調査などで反証を集め、被告の無罪を立証した例が複数ある。

Still, it should not be assumed that the names of sex crime victims should always be withheld in indictments.
 性犯罪を理由に、むやみに匿名記載を一般化すべきではない。

Overly strict stance

In the case in question, the accused has not disputed the facts presented. If the child’s name remains hidden, it should not negatively affect the court hearings. The district court’s request for disclosure of the name seems to be an excessively rigid stance.
 今回の事件では、被告側も事実関係について争う姿勢を見せていない。児童の氏名が明記されていなくても、公判に問題は生じないのではないか。実名記載を求めた東京地裁の対応は、杓子(しゃくし)定規に過ぎると言えよう。

The need to protect victims in judicial procedures was highlighted in connection with a stalking and murder case that occurred last autumn in Zushi, Kanagawa Prefecture.
 司法手続きで被害者保護の必要性が指摘されたのは昨秋、神奈川県逗子市で起きたストーカー殺人事件だ。

When police read the victim’s address aloud as written on the arrest warrant, the offender was made aware of the victim’s whereabouts and found the new address after being released from jail. This provoked the final tragedy in which the victim was murdered.
警察が逮捕状に記された被害者の住所を読み上げたため、加害者に転居先を知られ、釈放後の惨劇につながったとされる。

In a trial at the Kobe District Court’s Himeji branch, a victim’s name was written in katakana on an indictment. This is one example showing that trial and error continue on this issue on the judicial front.
 神戸地裁姫路支部の裁判では、起訴状の被害者名をカタカナで表記したケースがある。司法の現場で試行錯誤が続いている。

The Supreme Court’s Training and Research Institute for Court Officials will soon investigate the issue of anonymity by reviewing cases that have set precedents on the matter. It is essential for the results of such research to be utilized to help judges facing these kinds of decisions.
 最高裁の司法研修所は近く、匿名問題に関する事例を集め、検証を行う。その結果を各裁判官の判断に役立てることが肝要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 19, 2013)
(2013年7月19日01時49分  読売新聞)

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13参院選 対中国外交 歴史的事実を浸透させたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 20, 2013
Let facts tell more in diplomacy toward China
13参院選 対中国外交 歴史的事実を浸透させたい(7月19日付・読売社説)

How to face up to our neighbor China, which persists with its aggressive behavior over the Senkaku Islands, is the biggest diplomatic challenge facing Japan.
 尖閣諸島を巡って威圧的行動を繰り返す隣国・中国に、どう向き合うかは、日本外交が直面する最大の難題だ。

In their pledges for the House of Councillors election, most major parties, bearing the Senkakus issue in mind, have made commitments to “act in defense of the nation’s territory.” All of them, however, have fallen short of providing specific steps that should be taken--and how--to ensure the nation’s territorial sovereignty.
 ほとんどの主要政党が参院選公約で、尖閣諸島を念頭に「領土主権を守る」と掲げた。ただ、各党とも、主権をどう守るか、という具体策には乏しい。

The Chinese government has been lashing out at Japan, asserting that the latter’s decision in September to place the Senkakus under state ownership altered the status quo of the Senkaku situation, which Beijing argues had been “shelved” for many years.
 中国政府は、日本が昨年9月に尖閣諸島を国有化したことが、長年「棚上げ」してきた問題の現状を変更したと非難している。

China’s claim contradictory

There can be no room, however, to doubt that the Senkaku Islands are part of Japan’s intrinsic territory, both historically and in the eyes of international law. It is never a territorial problem to be “shelved.”
 だが、尖閣諸島は歴史的にも国際法上も日本固有の領土だ。「棚上げ」すべき領土問題ではない。

In fact, while arguing for “shelving” the issue, it is China that attempted to change the status quo, by enacting the Law on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone of the Republic of China in 1992, which explicitly stipulates China’s sovereignty over the islands.
そもそも、「棚上げ」と言いながら現状変更を図ったのは、1992年制定の領海法に尖閣諸島の領有を明記した中国の方だ。

In addition, it was recently brought to light that China has plans to develop many new gas fields in waters in the vicinity of the Japan-China median line in the East China Sea. These moves are in blatant violation of the Japan-China agreement in 2008 that the two countries will refrain from unilaterally engaging in any developmental projects in the East China Sea.
 最近も、中国が東シナ海の日中中間線付近で、新たなガス田開発を多数進めようとしていることが判明した。東シナ海での一方的な独自開発を見合わせる、とした2008年の日中合意に明らかに反する動きである。

It is only natural that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has criticized China for continuing to act with only itself in mind.
 安倍首相が身勝手な行為を続ける中国を批判するのは当然だ。

That said, if the current state of relations between Japan and China goes unchanged, it would certainly be detrimental to both countries. Strenuous diplomatic efforts aimed at improving bilateral relations must be made.
 とは言え、日中関係がこのままでは、双方にとってマイナスが大きい。関係改善へ向けた粘り強い外交努力も欠かせない。

The Democratic Party of Japan, which nationalized the Senkaku Islands in its then capacity as the ruling party, has said little in its election platform on the issue except to call for “making the East China Sea an area of peace, friendship and cooperation,” a reference that makes the Senkakus issue sound like someone else’s problem.
 政権党として尖閣諸島を国有化した民主党は公約で「東シナ海を平和、友好、協力の海に」とひとごとのようにうたうだけだ。

New Komeito and Your Party, in connection with the Senkaku row, have called for the creation of a Japan-China “maritime liaison mechanism” for emergencies that would comprise working-level officials from the two countries. This idea should be realized swiftly to prevent an accidental clash that could lead to a conflict.
 公明党やみんなの党は、実務者による緊急時の「海上連絡メカニズム」の創設を唱えている。偶発的な衝突事故や紛争を回避するため、実現を急がねばならない。

The Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party, meanwhile, have been insisting that the Senkakus should be dealt with as a territorial problem for both Japan and China. Does their insistence not run contrary to this country’s national interest? If Japan were to acknowledge the existence of a territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands, China would certainly ratchet up its demands, such as pushing for a scheme for placing the islets under joint management by the two countries.
 共産党や社民党は、尖閣諸島を日中双方の領土問題として扱うよう主張している。国益に反するのではないか。仮に日本が認めれば、中国は日中共同管理など、要求を一層強めてくるに違いない。

Intertwining histories

We should never ignore the fact that China has mixed the Senkakus problem up with differing perceptions of history and the countries’ wartime past.
 尖閣諸島の問題で見過ごせないのは、中国が歴史認識を絡めてきていることだ。

The Chinese administration of President Xi Jinping has criticized Japan for “posing a grave challenge to the international order after World War II.”
習近平政権は「戦後秩序に対する重大な挑戦だ」などと日本を批判している。

Which one of the two countries should be blamed for trying to disrupt the international order? Japan must deal with this matter on the basis of international law.
 秩序を乱すのはどちらか。国際法に基づく対処が必要だ。

The Liberal Democratic Party has been stressing the need to establish a new study institute regarding territory and problems of perceptions of history to compile an effective rebuttal and disproof against unsound arguments regarding historical facts. Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) also advocates the nation’s dignity must be secured through such a method.
 自民党は、領土や歴史問題に関する研究機関を新設し、歴史的事実に反する不当な主張に反論、反証すると強調している。日本維新の会も、こうした方法で日本の尊厳を守るべきだと訴えている。

What approach should be considered the best for conveying historical facts throughout the international community in an appropriate manner?
 歴史的事実を国際社会に正しく浸透させるには、どんな方法が効果的なのか。

The ruling and opposition parties must cooperate, using their combined ingenuity, to resolve the problem.
与野党は知恵を出し合うべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 19, 2013)
(2013年7月19日01時49分  読売新聞)

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2013年7月19日 (金)

東大秋入学構想 問題提起は時期尚早だったか

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 19, 2013
Autumn enrollment at universities must be continuously studied
東大秋入学構想 問題提起は時期尚早だったか(7月18日付・読売社説)

The University of Tokyo has decided to shelve for the time being a plan to switch the enrollment period for new students to autumn, which is the standard in many foreign countries.
 東京大学が、海外で主流となっている秋入学への移行を当面、見送ることになった。

It is a major retreat from the idea it initially proposed. Yet we believe discussions toward realizing the autumn enrollment system must continue hereafter.
 当初の構想から大幅に後退した。ただ、秋入学実現に向けた議論は、今後も続けるべきだろう。

There is no prospect of various national and other examinations changing their schedules, which are based on the premise of the current spring enrollment and graduation system. In-depth discussions did not take place on such things as how to utilize the “gap term”--the period between spring, when students pass entrance exams, and autumn, when classes begin--and how to lessen the burden on their parents.
 従来の春入学・春卒業を前提にした国家試験などの日程が変わる見通しが立たない。春に合格してから秋に入学するまでの期間(ギャップターム)の活用法や、保護者の負担などについても、議論が深まらなかった。

As a reason for putting off the autumn enrollment plan, University of Tokyo President Junichi Hamada said, “We concluded it is thoughtless to change our enrollment period alone if society is not ready for it.”
 東大の浜田純一学長は「社会の環境が整わない中で、入学時期だけを変えるのは無謀だと考えた」と、見送りの理由を語った。

The idea of siding with the University of Tokyo did not spread well. Even within the University of Tokyo, quite a few people expressed caution over the idea, saying it is too early to adopt such a system. These factors seem to have affected the university’s decision.
 他大学に同調する動きが広がらなかった。東大内部にさえ時期尚早との慎重論が少なくない。こうしたことも影響したようだ。

Behind the idea of the university coming up with the autumn enrollment plan was a sense of crisis that, if the current system is left unchanged, the university will be left behind in the competition with foreign universities, which has been increasingly intensifying.
 東大が秋入学構想を打ち出した背景には、現状のままでは、厳しさを増す国際的な大学間競争に取り残されてしまうという強い危機感があった。

Low foreigner rates

Compared with major universities in the United States and Europe, the University of Tokyo has lower rates of foreign students and instructors. The university hoped to lure highly capable people from overseas to raise the university’s research levels by changing the enrollment period to the international standard.
 東大は欧米の主要大学に比べて、留学生や外国人教員の受け入れ比率が低い。入学時期を国際標準に合わせることで、海外から優秀な人材を呼び込み、大学の研究水準を高めるのが狙いだった。

Along with the progress of globalization, people with strong language skills and negotiating power who can play important roles in the international arena are required in various fields.
 グローバル化の進展に伴って、豊かな語学力と交渉力を備え、国際舞台で活躍できる人材が様々な分野で求められている。

The autumn enrollment system, which enables more Japanese students to study abroad, has the possibility of responding to such a demand, we believe.
 日本人学生の海外留学を促す秋入学は、その要請に応える可能性を秘めていると言えよう。

Because of such reasons, many supporters of the plan emerged from the business world one after another. The government incorporated in the growth strategy it announced recently a stipulation to create an environment conducive to an autumn enrollment system. The Liberal Democratic Party included the “promotion of autumn enrollment at universities” in one of its campaign pledges for the House of Councillors election.
 だからこそ、経済界からは支持する意見が相次ぎ、政府が公表した成長戦略には、秋入学に向けた環境整備が盛り込まれた。自民党は参院選の公約で、「大学の秋季入学の促進」を掲げている。

The momentum built up around the idea should be maintained.
 せっかく生まれた機運を無にするべきではない。

Easier to study abroad

Instead of shifting to autumn enrollment, the University of Tokyo will introduce a quarter system by the end of the 2015 academic year. By increasing the number of terms to four per academic year, the university will make it easier for students to participate in short-term study abroad programs after each terms.
 秋入学の代わりに東大は、2015年度末までに4学期制を導入する。授業の区切りを年4回に増やすことで、学期終了後の短期留学をしやすくするという。

The university chose the measure apparently because it is more likely to work. However, a quarter system has some problems such as a difficulty having a gap term to allow students to have various experiences before entering the university.
 実現可能性の高い方策を選択したのだろう。だが、4学期制では入学前の学生に多様な経験を積ませるギャップタームの時間がとれないといった問題がある。

It is important for the industry, government and academia to cooperate in solving the problems associated with introducing the autumn enrollment system. For instance, it will be necessary for public offices and private businesses to promote the introduction of a year-round recruitment system to make full use of the experiences of those students who have studied abroad.
 産官学が連携し、秋入学の課題を探っていくことが大切だ。学生の留学経験を生かせるよう、官公庁や企業が、通年採用の導入を進める必要もある。

It is essential for universities and colleges to carry out education to nurture internationally minded people by improving their curriculums and raising the quality of lessons conducted in English.
 大学もカリキュラムの改善や英語による授業の充実を図るなど、国際人の養成につながる教育を実践することが欠かせない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 18, 2013)
(2013年7月18日01時18分  読売新聞)

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13参院選 規制改革 成長促す緩和策を見極めよう

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 19, 2013
We should clearly comprehend parties’ deregulatory proposals
13参院選 規制改革 成長促す緩和策を見極めよう(7月18日付・読売社説)

To foster new industries and put the economy on a growth track, it is necessary to remove excessive regulations. We should form a clear view of which political parties advocate realistic and effective regulatory reforms.
 新しい産業を育て、経済を成長軌道に乗せるには、過剰な規制を取り払う必要がある。
 現実的で実効性ある規制改革を掲げる政党を、しっかりと見極めたい。

The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been leading his Liberal Democratic Party’s campaign for the House of Councillors election by making regulatory reforms the top priority in the administration’s growth strategy.
 安倍政権は、規制改革を成長戦略の「一丁目一番地」に位置付けて参院選に臨んだ。

One of the most important points of contention is a review of employment regulations.
 重要な論点の一つは、雇用に関する規制の見直しである。

Many experts have pointed out that many businesses have redundant staff in loss-making divisions. Such surplus workforce strains companies’ business performance, causing the overall economy to stagnate.
 多くの企業が不採算部門に余剰人員を抱えている。それが企業業績を圧迫し、経済の停滞を招いている一因との指摘は多い。

As a way to deal with such problems, the government is studying the idea of institutionalizing “limited regular workers,” whose job descriptions, job locations and working hours are limited as stipulated in their job contracts, while easing regulations on the ability of employers to dismiss such workers. Abe has also shown an interest in introducing this system.
 その対策として、政府は、職務や勤務地、労働時間を限定する代わりに、解雇の規制を緩める「限定正社員」を制度化することを検討中だ。首相もこの制度導入に意欲を示している。

For companies, it would become easier to close down unnecessary operations and eliminate obsolete job categories. For the limited regular workers themselves, there would be the merit of greater job stability, compared with the status of nonregular workers, although job insecurity would not be fully eliminated.
 企業にとっては、役割を終えた事業所の閉鎖や職種廃止がしやすくなる。労働者側は、雇用不安はぬぐえないものの、非正規社員に比べると雇用は安定するというメリットもある。

Workforce redeployment

Regarding employment issues, the LDP, Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Your Party advocate in their respective election platforms that workers should be shifted from declining industries to sectors with higher productivity. New Komeito advocates the expansion of the system concerning “regular workers with shorter work hours,” showing common ground with these three parties when it comes to increasing the diversity of employment patterns.
 雇用については、自民党はじめ日本維新の会、みんなの党が、衰退産業から生産性の高い分野に労働力を移動させることを公約に掲げている。公明党は短時間正社員の拡充を打ち出した。雇用形態の多様化では共通する立場だ。

The Democratic Party of Japan, meanwhile, opposes the idea of easing employment regulations, such as institutionalizing limited regular workers. People’s Life Party, the Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party take similar stances.
 民主党は、限定正社員など労働規制緩和に反対している。生活、共産、社民の各党も同様だ。

If low-paid nonregular workers are the only category in which numbers increase, the average income of workers will decline, which will not lead to sustainable economic growth.
 賃金の低い非正規雇用が増えるばかりでは、所得は下がり、持続的な成長にもつながらない。

How can the smooth transition of workers from one sector to another be realized while protecting employment security? We should listen carefully to what these parties are saying about related issues, including assistance such as vocational training for those who want to change jobs or rejoin the workforce.
 雇用を守りつつ、いかにして円滑な労働力移動を実現するか。職業訓練などの再就職・転職支援のあり方についても、各党の主張を聞きたい。

Mixed treatment

Regarding the relaxation of regulations in the medical field, the main issue is so-called mixed treatment, meaning the combination of medical treatments that are covered by public health insurance with those that are not. Such combinations are currently allowed only in exceptional cases.
 医療分野の規制緩和を巡っては、公的医療保険で認められた検査や投薬と、保険適用外の治療とを併用する「混合診療」が主要な論点となっている。現在は例外的にしか認められていない。

The LDP advocates the expanded application of mixed treatment so that the most advanced drugs and medical equipment can be used promptly. If renegerative medicine or other cutting-edge techniques that are not covered by public health insurance were approved as part of mixed treatment, it would help patients in terms of their other medical expenses that would remain covered by the insurance.
 自民党は、最先端の医薬品や医療機器が迅速に使えるよう、混合診療の適用範囲の拡大を掲げた。再生医療など保険適用外の先進的医療が混合診療に認められれば、患者の利益にかなうだろう。

Your Party and Ishin no Kai call for complete approval of mixed treatment, while PLP and the SDP oppose expanding it.
 一方、みんな、維新は混合診療の全面解禁を主張し、生活や社民は適用拡大に反対している。

Implementing regulatory reforms would mean addressing a thorny tangle of interests among organizations concerned. Although the political parties make differing assertions on reform, and tend to focus on different aspects, important issues having to do with the future of this nation have been presented.
 規制改革には関係団体の利害が絡み合う。各党の主張の隔たりは大きく、論議は拡散気味だが、日本の将来にかかわる重要な問題が提示されている。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 18, 2013)
(2013年7月18日01時18分  読売新聞)

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2013年7月18日 (木)

13参院選 日米同盟 関係強化の具体論を聞きたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 18, 2013
Parties should present concrete steps to strengthen Japan-U.S. alliance
13参院選 日米同盟 関係強化の具体論を聞きたい(7月17日付・読売社説)

The Japan-U.S. alliance is becoming increasingly important at a time when the security environment surrounding Japan is deteriorating due to military provocations by China and North Korea.
 中国や北朝鮮の軍事的挑発によって、我が国の安全保障環境が悪化する中、日米同盟の重要性は一段と増している。

In their campaign pledges for the upcoming House of Councillors election, the Liberal Democratic Party, the Democratic Party of Japan, Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), New Komeito, Your Party and other parties said they consider the Japan-U.S. alliance to be the linchpin of Japan’s diplomacy, and will strengthen and deepen this partnership.
 自民、民主、日本維新の会、公明、みんなの党など各党は参院選公約で、日米同盟を外交の基軸とし、同盟関係を強化・深化させる方針を打ち出した。

With the exceptions of the Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party, which advocate the abolition of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, all the major parties are in step when it comes to attaching great importance to the alliance in view of the reality of today’s world.
 日米安保条約の廃棄などを唱える共産、社民両党を除き、主要政党が国際社会の現状を見据えて、同盟重視で足並みをそろえた。

Details needed

The key point now is not to waffle in general terms about how to strengthen the alliance, but to provide concrete ideas.
 肝心なのは、同盟強化の一般論ではなく、具体論である。

The LDP election pledges stipulate that it will review Japan-U.S. defense cooperation guidelines, relocate the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station to the Henoko district of Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, and set up a Japanese version of the U.S. National Security Council. The party’s pledges also incorporated the establishment of a fundamental law on national security and a permanent law concerning overseas dispatches of the Self-Defense Forces.
 自民党は公約に、日米防衛協力の指針の見直し、米軍普天間飛行場の辺野古移設、国家安全保障会議(日本版NSC)の設置を明記した。国家安全保障基本法や、自衛隊の海外派遣に関する恒久法の整備も盛り込んだ。

These steps will be of considerable significance in enhancing the deterrent provided by the SDF and U.S. military, which are the backbone of the Japan-U.S. alliance.
 いずれも、日米同盟の根幹である自衛隊と米軍の抑止力を高めるうえで、大きな意義を持つ。

In its campaign pledges, the DPJ at least referred to the establishment of a Japanese NSC and implementation of the agreement between Tokyo and Washington on realigning U.S. forces stationed in Japan, but these ideas alone are not specific enough to strengthen the alliance. The party does not seem to have seriously reflected on the fact that it threw the alliance off course over the Futenma relocation issue while it was in power.
 民主党は公約で、NSC設置や在日米軍再編の日米合意の実施には一応言及したが、同盟強化の各論としては物足りない。普天間問題で同盟関係を迷走させたことへの真剣な反省もうかがえない。

Meanwhile, Ishin no Kai advocates a review of Japan’s three principles of weapons exports, and establishing legislation for national security. We think this is a realistic approach.
 維新の会は、武器輸出3原則の見直しや国家安全保障法制の整備を主張する。現実的な対応だ。

Your Party insists it will build a relationship with the United States in which Japan stands on an equal footing, and calls for revising the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement and reviewing the so-called sympathy budget, or host-nation support, for U.S. forces in Japan.
 みんなの党は、「米国との対等な関係」を構築すると主張し、日米地位協定の改定や思いやり予算の見直しを求めている。

“An equal Japan-U.S. relationship” is an expression that goes down well with the general public. The DPJ touted this slogan in its manifesto for the 2009 House of Representatives election, but failed to translate it into action in the face of diplomatic realities after it came to power. Does Your Party want to repeat the same mistake?
 「対等な日米」は大衆受けしやすい表現だが、民主党はかつて政権公約で掲げて、政権獲得後、外交の現実を前に挫折した。その轍(てつ)を踏もうとするのだろうか。

More discussions required

One focus of attention is the right to collective self-defense. The LDP, Ishin no Kai and Your Party support the idea of changing the government’s interpretation of the Constitution, under which Japan possesses the right to collective self-defense but cannot exercise it. By contrast, Komeito opposes altering the government’s interpretation of the supreme law.
 焦点の一つは、集団的自衛権の問題だ。自民、維新の会、みんなの各党は「保有するが、行使できない」とする政府の憲法解釈の変更に前向きだ。これに対し、公明党は解釈変更に反対している。

We think exercising the right to collective self-defense should be allowed also from the viewpoint of strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance. It is problematic that the LDP and Komeito, which are coalition partners, differ in their views on an important security policy. They need to coordinate their policies immediately.
 同盟強化の観点からも集団的自衛権の行使は容認すべきだ。連立政権を組む自公両党が重要な安保政策で食い違うのは問題であり、早急な調整が求められる。

DPJ Secretary General Goshi Hosono expressed support for allowing Japan to exercise its right to collective self-defense, saying it is better to end these inconclusive arguments. However, the DPJ’s policy on this issue has yet to be decided. The DPJ’s character remains unchanged; because of diverging opinions over foreign and security policies within the party, it cannot present a unified position.
 民主党の細野幹事長は「神学論争はやめた方がいい」と行使を容認する考えを示したが、党の方針は定まっていない。外交・安保政策に関して党内に様々な意見を抱え、統一見解を示せない党の体質が今も続いている。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has indicated that he will work on changing the government’s interpretation of the Constitution based on proposals made by a panel of experts after the upper house election. We urge all parties to have more in-depth discussions on this issue.
 安倍首相は、参院選後に有識者会議の提言を踏まえて解釈変更に取り組む考えを示している。各党はもっと議論を深めてほしい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 17, 2013)
(2013年7月17日01時19分  読売新聞)

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燃料電池車競争 低価格実現が普及のカギ握る

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 18, 2013
Developing budget fuel cell cars is a key task for automakers
燃料電池車競争 低価格実現が普及のカギ握る(7月17日付・読売社説)

The race among carmakers to develop vehicles powered by fuel cells is heating up. With no direct carbon dioxide emissions, electric automobiles with fuel cells are envisioned as the preeminent next-generation eco-car.
 二酸化炭素(CO2)を排出せず、次世代エコカーの本命とも言われる「燃料電池車」の開発競争が白熱してきた。

When will the world’s major automakers be able to reduce the price of such a vehicle through mass production? Drivers around the world are keenly watching to see which carmaker will be the first to achieve an affordable fuel cell car.
 日米欧の主要メーカーが、いつ量産化による低価格を実現できるか。世界のユーザーが注目する先陣争いだ。

Honda Motor Co. and General Motors Co. have agreed to jointly develop a fuel cell-powered vehicle. The Japanese and U.S. carmakers hope technical cooperation in such fields as developing the basic system for a fuel cell car will result in a jointly devised system fit for practical use as early as 2020.
 ホンダと米ゼネラル・モーターズ(GM)が燃料電池車を共同開発することで合意した。基幹システム開発などで技術協力し、2020年ごろの実用化をめざす。

Sharing the burden

The Honda-GM tie-up marks a change in their respective strategies for developing fuel cell electric vehicles. The two corporations have been separately working to develop such automobiles in recent years. Their alliance can be seen as an attempt to reduce the otherwise massive financial burden of developing fuel cell cars, while also completing the development project in a shorter period.
 燃料電池車を独自開発してきた両社にとっては方針転換である。巨額の開発費負担を抑え、開発期間を短縮させる狙いと言える。

The motive behind their decision is a desire not to fall behind alliances formed by their rivals in developing fuel cell vehicles.
 両社に決断を促したのは、燃料電池車の開発を巡るライバル企業の合従連衡の動きだ。

Toyota Motor Corp. and BMW AG have signed an accord on joint development. Nissan Motor Co. has also said it will carry out a similar project with Renault SA, Daimler AG and Ford Motor Co. The Toyota-BMW tie-up aims at mass production in 2020, while the latter group hopes to reach a similar goal in 2017.
 トヨタ自動車と独BMWが共同開発で合意した。日産自動車も仏ルノー、独ダイムラー、米フォード・モーターとの共同開発を決めた。トヨタ・BMWは20年、日産勢も17年の量産化が目標だ。

All this means the development race will be bitterly fought by carmakers around the world, including South Korean and Chinese competitors and other corporations unrelated to the Japanese, U.S. and European manufacturers.
 日米欧3陣営以外の企業や、韓国、中国メーカーなども含めて、しのぎを削ることになる。

The fuel cell vehicle is powered by a motor run by electricity generated through a hydrogen-oxygen reaction. It is comparable to an electric vehicle (EV) in that neither automobile emits carbon dioxide.
 燃料電池車は、水素と酸素を反応させて電気を起こし、モーターを回して走行する仕組みだ。電気自動車(EV)と同じく、走行中にCO2を出さない。

Another advantage the fuel cell car offers is mileage. A hydrogen refill for a fuel cell vehicle enables a 500-kilometer drive, nearly twice the range of an EV car. Moreover, refueling takes only three minutes.
 しかも、1回の水素の充填(じゅうてん)で走れる距離が約500キロ・メートルとEVのほぼ2倍で、充填時間もわずか3分で済むという利点がある。

About 10 years ago, fuel cell cars were priced at a hefty 100 million yen per unit. Although prices have fallen sharply, a fuel cell vehicle still carries a price tag of about 10 million yen today.
 約10年前に1台1億円だった価格は大幅に値下がりしたが、まだ約1000万円と高い。

Toyota and Honda are seeking to lower the price to 5 million yen or so. An important challenge facing each car manufacturer is reducing the price through technical innovation. This task also must be complemented by efforts to ensure the safety of such vehicles.
トヨタ、ホンダの目標は500万円程度だ。各社の技術革新による価格引き下げが課題になる。安全性の確保も求められよう。

Another key task is to expedite efforts to build more hydrogen stations. Companies in the oil and other industries are planning to set up 100 stations nationwide by the end of 2015. However, that would be too few to encourage the spread of fuel cell car use.
 水素ステーションの整備も急がねばならない。石油など関係業界は、15年までに全国で100か所を整備する計画だが、普及に弾みをつけるには、これでは不十分ではないか。

Infrastructure needed

The government’s growth strategy includes a plan to reconsider regulations with regard to the installation of hydrogen stations. It is essential for the government to further support the efforts of related businesses to spread such facilities.
 政府は、水素ステーション整備に関する規制の見直しを成長戦略に盛り込んだ。政府のさらなる後押しが必要である。

As circumstances stand today, hybrid vehicles (HVs) have become a common choice for ecologically friendly vehicles. The race to develop hybrid cars, which combine an internal combustion engine and an electric motor, has been led by Toyota and Honda. The situation contrasts with the slow progress in the spread of EVs, partly due to the short distance covered by such automobiles for each recharge.
 エコカーを巡っては、トヨタとホンダが先行した、電気モーターとガソリンエンジンで走るハイブリッド車(HV)が普及している。一方、EVは走行距離の短さなどから伸び悩んでいる。

We hope Japanese automakers will strive to improve the performance of HVs and EVs while at the same time stepping up efforts to develop fuel cell vehicles, a move that will provide consumers with more choices for an eco-car purchase. If they can lead the development race, it would do much to shore up Japan’s industrial competitiveness in the global market.
 日本各社は、HVとEVの性能向上を目指すとともに、燃料電池車の開発を急ぎ、エコカーの選択肢を増やしてもらいたい。開発を主導できれば、日本の産業競争力の強化にもつながるだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 17, 2013)
(2013年7月17日01時19分  読売新聞)

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2013年7月17日 (水)

米中戦略対話 世界の安定に責任を果たせ

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 17, 2013
China must act responsibly for sake of global stability
米中戦略対話 世界の安定に責任を果たせ(7月16日付・読売社説)

The fifth round of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue was held recently in Washington, D.C. For the stability of not only the Asia-Pacific region but also the entire world, it is vital that cabinet members of the world’s two largest economic powers hold talks to confirm the need for bilateral cooperation in a wide range of areas, including diplomatic relations, national security and economic matters.
 米国の首都ワシントンで第5回米中戦略・経済対話が開かれた。
 世界第1位と2位の経済大国の閣僚が外交や安全保障、経済など幅広い分野で協調を確認することは、アジア太平洋地域のみならず世界の安定にとって極めて重要だ。

This was the first strategic and economic dialogue for the Chinese government under President Xi Jinping since it was launched earlier this year. Building on summit talks held last month, Washington and Beijing hope to deepen bilateral ties.
 中国の習近平政権にとっては、発足後初めて臨む戦略・経済対話となった。先の首脳会談を踏まえて、関係を一層深めたいとの思惑では、米中とも一致している。

Their agreements on drawing up an action plan to fight global warming and starting working-level talks for concluding a bilateral investment accord are positive results of the dialogue.
 地球温暖化防止の行動計画策定や、投資協定締結に向けた実質協議入りで合意したのは成果だ。

In step on North Korea

The two countries also shared the recognition that it is important for North Korea to take concrete steps to end its nuclear development program.
 北朝鮮の核問題でも、非核化へ北朝鮮が具体的措置を取ることの重要性で認識を共有した。

We hope China will not only urge Pyongyang to resume six-nation talks on its nuclear program, but also warn North Korea that sanctions against that country will not be eased unless it takes tangible steps to eliminate its existing nuclear weapons.
 中国は、北朝鮮に対し、6か国協議の再開を促すだけでなく、非核化へ動くまで制裁は緩めないとクギを刺してもらいたい。

However, the United States and China found little else on which their positions matched.
 米中の主張は、その他の分野ではかみ合わない点が目立った。

They have been at loggerheads over cybertheft. The United States condemned China’s actions of illicitly obtaining information of U.S. companies through cyber-attacks. Although both sides agreed to continue discussing the issue at working-level talks, they remain far apart.
 特に激しく対立したサイバー問題では、米国は、サイバー攻撃で米企業の情報を不正入手する中国の行為を強く非難した。作業部会で協議を継続することにはなったが、隔たりは依然大きい。

The Chinese side reiterated its previous assertions that it is also has been a victim of hacking. Yet as long as China only tries to avoid dealing with this problem, it does not deserve to be called a “responsible major power.”
 中国側は「我々も被害者だ」と従来の主張を繰り返した。問題を先送りにするだけなら、「責任ある大国」とは言えまい。

Territorial tussles

Territorial and maritime issues have also been a bugbear in U.S.-China relations.
 領土・海洋問題も対立事項だ。

During the dialogue, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden expressed concern and said the future of “the freedom of navigation” will depend on how China deals with territorial disputes with its neighboring countries.
バイデン米副大統領は、「航行の自由」の将来は、「中国が隣国との領土紛争にどう対応するかで決まる」と、懸念を表明した。

U.S. President Barack Obama, during his meeting at the White House with Chinese officials who attended the dialogue, also urged China to peacefully handle maritime territorial issues with its neighbors, rather than use threats or coercion.
 オバマ大統領も、戦略対話の出席者とホワイトハウスで面会した際、海洋を巡る近隣諸国との争いには威嚇や強制ではなく、平和的に対処するよう注文を付けた。

Chinese surveillance vessels have repeatedly entered Japanese waters around the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture. In January, a Chinese Navy vessel locked its fire-control radar onto a Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer. China’s intimidation of the Philippines and Vietnam over islets in the South China Sea has been escalating.
 沖縄県・尖閣諸島周辺では、中国監視船の領海侵入が相次ぎ、1月には中国海軍のレーダー照射事件が起きた。南シナ海ではフィリピンやベトナムへの中国の威圧行動がエスカレートしている。

The Obama administration has attempted to strongly restrain China, which has threatened U.S. allies and their sea lanes, with intolerable acts of provocation.
 そうした目に余る挑発行為で、米国の同盟国や海上交通路(シーレーン)を脅かす中国を、オバマ政権が強く牽制(けんせい)したものだ。

Not to be outdone, China called on the United States not to meddle in territorial issues in the East China and South China seas. Beijing maintained its stance that it would resolutely defend its territory and that the disputes would be resolved properly through talks with the nations concerned.
 中国は逆に、東シナ海や南シナ海で介入しないよう米国に求めた。「断固として主権を守る。当事国が協議を通じて適切に解決する」との姿勢を崩さなかった。

As long as the Xi administration continues intimidating neighboring countries with shows of force and unilaterally pursues its “pivotal interests,” there will not be stability in the region.
 習政権が近隣諸国を力で威圧し、自国の「核心的利益」を一方的に追求する限り、地域の安定は望めない。

If China genuinely aims to build “a new type of relationship as major powers,” a relationship of coexistance on an equal footing with the United States, it needs to fulfill the responsibilities commensurate to such a power.
中国が米国と対等の共存関係である「新しいタイプの大国関係」を目指すのであれば、相応の責任を果たす必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 16, 2013)
(2013年7月16日01時37分  読売新聞)

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13参院選 農業政策 競争力向上へ具体策が必要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 17, 2013
Agriculture policies should aim to improve intl competitiveness
13参院選 農業政策 競争力向上へ具体策が必要だ(7月16日付・読売社説)

To liberalize trade further, it is imperative to revive Japan’s agriculture sector. Arresting its decline and improving international competitiveness is an important issue for the upcoming House of Councillors election.
 一層の貿易自由化に備え、日本農業の再生が急務だ。いかに衰退に歯止めをかけ、国際競争力を高めるのか。参院選の重要な論点である。

However, the political parties have made proposals that largely highlight handout policies, apparently to win the support of voters in farming communities, while forgoing efforts to build the farm sector into a growth industry. It is revealing that all parties want to expand farm subsidies.
 ところが、各党とも、成長産業としての「強い農業」の実現に向けた議論より、農村票を意識したバラマキ政策の主張が目立つ。そろって補助金の拡大を訴えていることが象徴的だ。

The Liberal Democratic Party has proposed the creation of a “direct payment system” to support the sector in place of the income compensation system for individual farmers, which was introduced under the previous administration led by the Democratic Party of Japan. The LDP’s envisaged system targets projects that involve not only rice paddies but all farmland, including fields and orchards.
 自民党は、民主党政権が導入した戸別所得補償制度を改め、「直接支払い制度」の創設を主張している。水田だけでなく、畑や果樹園も含む農地全般を対象にする。

New Komeito also has pledged to expand assistance.
公明党も支援拡充を唱えた。

Support large farms

The DPJ not only wants to maintain the current compensation scheme, but to expand it to cover the livestock and dairy industries.
 民主党は、現在の制度を維持したうえで、補償対象を畜産、酪農業者にも広げる方針だ。

Other parties, such as the Japanese Communist Party, the People’s Life Party and the Social Democratic Party, also advocate income compensation measures.
共産党や生活の党、社民党なども、所得補償制度を主張している。

The average age of farmers is about 66. With the aging of the farming population, the shortage of successors has become a serious problem. Agricultural income has almost halved over the past two decades. In carrying out agricultural reforms, it is essential to take measures to ensure farmers have a stable source of income and to secure agricultural workers.
 農業従事者の平均年齢は約66歳だ。高齢化が進み、後継者不足は深刻である。農業所得も20年前からほぼ半減した。農家の収入を安定させ、担い手を確保する施策が農業改革には欠かせない。

However, under a uniform support system, consolidation of farmland is unlikely to make headway as small-scale farmers will not give up their farms so they can remain eligible for subsidies. We believe support measures should be made more effective, such as by limiting financial support to large-scale farmers fully engaged in agriculture.
 だが、一律の支援制度では、零細農家が補助金を目当てに農地を手放さず、農地の集約は進むまい。大規模な専業農家に支援対象を限るなどの工夫が必要だ。

Regarding the nation’s food self-sufficiency ratio, which indicates the proportion of domestic products in consumed food, the LDP and DPJ have called for improvement on a calorific intake basis.
 消費する食料のうち、国産品が占める割合を示す食料自給率について、自民、民主両党はカロリーベースの向上などを唱えた。

But there are many problems associated with this indicator. Under this measurement, even beef and pork from animals raised in Japan are not considered domestic products if they consumed imported feed. As for vegetables, the ratio of domestic produce is high, but this does not help much in improving the self-sufficiency ratio as their calories are low.
 しかし、この指標は問題が多い。国内で育てた牛や豚の肉でも餌が輸入品なら国産とみなされないからだ。野菜は国産比率が高いにもかかわらずカロリーが低く、自給率向上にあまりつながらない。

LDP plans unclear

Even though the self-sufficiency ratio does not necessarily represent the actual capacity of the agriculture sector, it has been cited as the reason for putting in place excessive measures for the benefit of rice farmers, with the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry and agricultural cooperatives using the data as an indicator that the nation’s self-sufficiency ratio is declining. This attitude should be corrected.
 自給率は必ずしも農業の実力を示していないのに、農林水産省や農協が自給率低下を強調するなどコメ偏重の政策の理由に使われてきた経緯がある。こうした姿勢は改めるべきだろう。

The LDP says it pursues a policy of consolidating abandoned farmland, which has doubled over the past two decades, to enable large-scale farming, so efficient farming systems can be established. With regard to its target of doubling agricultural income and the value of agricultural exports, the party’s road map to achieve this is unclear.
 自民党は、過去20年で倍増した耕作放棄地を集積して、農地の大規模化を進め、効率的な営農体制を築くとしている。農業所得や農産品輸出額を倍増する目標も、実現への道筋は曖昧だ。

On land improvement projects, the budgets for which were cut by the DPJ-led administration and restored after the LDP returned to power, the LDP has suggested they be further increased. But we fear this may only end up as a lavish spending spree.
 民主党政権に削られ、政権復帰後に予算を回復した土地改良事業を更に拡充する考えも示したが、これでは、単なる予算の大盤振る舞いに終わりかねない。

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Your Party have called for expanding the entry of companies into the agricultural sector, reviewing the rice paddy reduction program and reform of agricultural cooperatives, with the aim of raising productivity in agriculture. We hope the political parties hold in-depth discussions on these matters.
 日本維新の会とみんなの党は、農業の生産性を高める狙いから、企業の参入拡大や減反の見直し、農協改革を主張した。各党でさらに議論を深めてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 16, 2013)
(2013年7月16日01時42分  読売新聞)

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2013年7月16日 (火)

การบ้าน ของไก่จัง

Image002_2

10)

<กคข 6x-3=?
<กขค 5x+8=?
equation
6x-3=5x+8
x=11
so,
<กคข 6*11-3=63 degree
<กขค 5*11+8=63 degree
<ขกค 180-63-63=54 degree

BUT the real situation is,

in this case   
<กคข and <กขค
@ACOS(3.5/6.5)*180/@PI = 57.421 degree
1/2*<ขกค
@ASIN(3.5/6.5)*180/@PI = 32.579 degree
<ขกค
32.579*2 = 65.158 degree
check!
65.158+57.421+57.421 = 180 degree ok!

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食品ロス削減 消費者の意識改める第一歩に

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 16, 2013
New rule should be used to make society aware of immense food loss
食品ロス削減 消費者の意識改める第一歩に(7月15日付・読売社説)

The amount of food loss, or food that is still edible but is discarded, is increasing. Business corporations, consumers and the government must cooperate with each other to reduce this waste.
 まだ食べられるのに廃棄される「食品ロス」が増えている。企業と消費者、政府が連携し、削減に取り組みたい。

Seventeen million tons of food is discarded annually in this country. It is estimated that between 5 million and 8 million tons of the total is food loss. This almost equals the annual domestic rice crop and represents an immense waste.
 日本では年間1700万トンの食品廃棄物が発生し、このうち食品ロスは推計で500万~800万トンに上る。国内のコメの収穫量とほぼ同規模で、あまりにも巨大な損失である。

lst step forward

Under the leadership of the government, which had discussed ways to deal with food loss, about 40 food producers, wholesalers, and retailers such as operators of convenience stores and supermarket chains decided to start reviewing their trade practices concerning the best-before date of processed food. This can be a first step forward in the efforts to reduce food waste.
 対策を検討してきた政府が主導し、食品メーカーや卸業者、コンビニ、スーパーなど約40社が加工食品の賞味期限に関する商慣行の見直しに着手することを決めた。削減に向けた第一歩と言える。

In the food production and retail industries, there is a trade practice called the “one-third rule.” Under this rule, foodstuff is to be delivered to retailers in the first one-third of the period from the food production date to the best-before date, while in the remaining two-thirds of the period, the food is to be sold by retailers.
 食品・流通業界には「3分の1ルール」と呼ぶ商慣行がある。製造日から賞味期限までの3分の1にあたる時期を小売店への納品期限とし、残り3分の2の期間を店頭での販売期間とする。

Food whose time limit for delivery passes is returned from wholesalers to producers, and most of it is discarded, a leading factor behind the increase in food loss.
 納品期限を過ぎた食品は、卸売業者からメーカーに返品され、ほとんどが廃棄されるため、食品ロスが増える要因となってきた。

Starting next month, the 40 companies will change the one-third rule and extend the time limit for delivery to retailers to one-half of the period from the food production date to the best-before date, if only for a certain type of processed food, such as confectionery and beverages.
 約40社は8月から3分の1ルールを改め、菓子や飲料など加工食品の一部の納品期限を賞味期限の2分の1まで延ばす方針だ。

This will reduce food inventories, but it may also reduce the amount of food that is discarded.
 これによって、在庫を削減できれば、廃棄される商品を減らす効果が期待できよう。

Trimming the costs needed for returning and discarding products, and for managing inventories can lower the products’ prices, which would also benefit consumers.
 返品や廃棄、在庫管理にかかる費用を抑えることで、商品の値下げにつながり、消費者にも恩恵が及ぶのではないか。

Unless the review of the one-third rule spreads through the entire industry, however, the effect of reducing food waste will be limited. Therefore, it is important for the government and related businesses to increase the number of those businesses adopting the new rule.
 ただ、ルールの見直しが業界全体に広がらないと、削減効果は限られる。政府と業界は、参加企業の拡大を図ることが大事だ。

Business firms also need to make efforts to develop new technologies to improve such things as containers and packaging to extend the best-before date.
 企業は、容器や包装の改良で賞味期限自体を延ばすなど技術開発にも力を注ぐ必要がある。

It is also necessary to raise consumers’ awareness about food waste, primarily because households account for one-half of food loss. The government must also proactively work to raise consumers’ awareness.
 併せて問われているのは、消費者の意識改革だろう。食品ロスの半分は家庭で発生するからだ。政府は消費者の啓発活動にも積極的に取り組むべきである。

One-third rule deep rooted

The one-third rule has taken root in our society primarily because consumers prefer to buy fresher goods.
 3分の1ルールが定着した背景には、少しでも新しい食品を好む消費者の「鮮度志向」がある。

The best-before date for processed food is considered to mark the end of the period during which the food tastes its best.
Therefore, even if the food passes its best-before date, there is no need for it to be discarded right away.
 加工食品の賞味期限はおいしく食べられる期限であり、期限を過ぎても直ちに捨てる必要はない。

The best-before date is different from the expiration date for perishable food, which means one should not consume it for safety reasons beyond that date.
期限を過ぎたら食べてはいけない生鮮食品の消費期限とは違う。

If consumers seek freshness of foodstuffs excessively, food prices are likely to rise, which would be against the interests of the consumer. Although it is important for consumers to take food safety seriously, they should refrain from seeking food freshness too much.
 鮮度を過度に求めると、価格が割高になって、かえって消費者の利益を損ねる場合もある。消費者が食品の安全性に厳しい目を向けることは大切だが、過剰な鮮度志向は改めてもらいたい。

With the global supply-demand situation of foodstuffs tightening, Japan depends on imports for as much as 60 percent of its food. All of society should continue making efforts to reduce food loss.
 世界の食料需給が逼迫(ひっぱく)する中で日本は食料の6割を輸入に頼る。社会全体で食品ロスを減らす努力を続けていかねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 15, 2013)
(2013年7月15日01時31分  読売新聞)

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国際司法裁判 科学的な調査捕鯨は有益だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 16, 2013
Scientific research whaling performs important function
国際司法裁判 科学的な調査捕鯨は有益だ(7月15日付・読売社説)

It is vitally important for Japan to present a persuasive case to prove that its whaling activities are in accordance with international law.
 国際法に基づく日本の活動の正当性を、説得力をもって主張することが肝要である。

Australia has filed a complaint with the International Court of Justice in The Hague, demanding that Japan halt research whaling in the Antarctic. Oral arguments by the two countries are now under way before the court, which is likely to hand down a ruling before the end of the year.
 南極海における日本の調査捕鯨の中止を求めてオーストラリアがオランダ・ハーグの国際司法裁判所(ICJ)に提訴した裁判で、日豪双方の口頭弁論が行われている。判決は年内にも出る見通しだ。

This is the first time since the 1945 inauguration of the ICJ that Japan has become directly involved in litigation lodged with the primary judicial branch of the United Nations.
 日本がICJの訴訟の当事国になるのは、1945年のICJ発足以来初めてだ。

The main point of contention in the lawsuit is whether Japan’s whaling operations should be regarded as “whaling for scientific research purposes,” which is sanctioned under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling.
最大の争点は、日本の捕鯨が、国際捕鯨取締条約が認める「調査捕鯨」とみなされるかどうかである。

Wide-ranging studies

Australia has been arguing that Japan’s whaling activities are purely for commercial purposes, with the aim of making profits by selling whale meat. In its counterargument, Japan has asserted that its whaling is for scientific research purposes and has never been in violation of international law.
 豪州が「捕鯨の実態は鯨肉を売って利益を得ようとする商業捕鯨だ」と訴えたのに対し、日本は「科学的研究が目的で、国際法に違反しない」と反論している。

In 1982, the International Whaling Commission imposed a moratorium on commercial whaling because of insufficient scientific data on whale populations.
 国際捕鯨委員会(IWC)は82年、鯨資源の科学的データが不十分であることを理由に、商業捕鯨の一時停止を決めた。

Japan complied with the moratorium by imposing a freeze on its commercial whaling starting from 1987, although it has been carrying out whaling for “scientific studies” since then, as this is permitted by the international pact.
 日本もこれに従い、87年から商業捕鯨を凍結し、条約が認める「科学的研究」のための調査捕鯨を行っている。

The subjects for study in research whaling are wide-ranging, including distribution of whale stocks, whale population trends and ecology.
 調査捕鯨の対象は、鯨の集団の分布や増減傾向、生態の把握など幅広い。

Research operations are aimed at obtaining data about whales as marine resources with a view to resuming commercial whaling sometime in the future.
将来の商業捕鯨再開を目指し、海洋資源としての鯨の実態をデータで示す狙いがある。

An accumulation of chemical substances has been detected in the skin and internal organs of minke whales examined by Japanese researchers, indicating the extent of seawater contamination in the Antarctic.
 日本の調査によって、捕獲したミンククジラの皮や内臓に蓄積した化学物質から、南極海の海洋汚染の状況がわかってきた。

The studies also have revealed that the minke whale population has been on the rise year after year and the increasing number of whales are consuming such fish as saury, salmon and Alaska pollack in large quantities, adversely threatening fisheries industries.
 ミンククジラなどが年々増えていることや、増加した鯨がサンマやサケ、スケトウダラなど大量の魚を食べ、漁業を脅かしている実態も明らかになった。

Japan’s defense of research whaling before the International Court of Justice is quite reasonable, as it questions whether “all types of whale are on the verge of extinction and therefore sacrosanct.” Japan also says the surge in antiwhaling actions cannot be acceptable legally and scientifically, although it can understand the emotion behind these activities.
 日本が豪州に対し、「鯨類のすべてが神聖で、絶滅の危機にあるのか。感情的な背景はわかるが、法的、科学的には理解できない」と抗弁したのはもっともだ。

For its part, Australia has criticized Japan because “whale meat has been served at restaurants in Japan.” This criticism is wide of the mark, however.
 豪州は「日本のレストランで鯨の肉が出されている」などと批判した。これは的外れだ。

Catches sharply dwindling

The whaling regulation convention has required that whales killed for scientific purposes should be processed as much as practicable. Using whale meat as a byproduct of research activities for food is in line with the spirit of the convention.
条約は捕獲した鯨を「可能な限り加工」することを求めており、調査の副産物である鯨肉を食用にすることは条約の精神に合致している。

Whale catches in recent years are about 4,000 tons per year, incomparably smaller than the catches during the peak period of commercial whaling, which stood at about 220,000 tons a year in the 1960s.
 近年の捕獲量は年間4000トン台であり、約22万トンだった商業捕鯨最盛期の60年代とは比べものにならないほど少ない。

Due partly to sabotage by the radical antiwhaling environmentalist group Sea Shepherd, whale catches recently dwindled further.
最近は、反捕鯨団体「シー・シェパード」による妨害活動もあり、捕獲量は一層減少傾向にある。

Japan strongly advocates the validity of research whaling as it is linked to the problem of determining how to maintain and manage marine resources.
 日本が主張する調査捕鯨は、水産資源をどう維持・管理していくかという問題だ。

Regarding this problem, attention should also be paid to the need to make preparations to deal with a future world food crisis.
将来予見される世界の食糧危機への備えにつながるという視点も重要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 15, 2013)
(2013年7月15日01時31分  読売新聞)

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2013年7月15日 (月)

13参院選 憲法改正 新たな国家像の議論を深めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 15, 2013
Deepen debate on Constitution to build consensus on revision
13参院選 憲法改正 新たな国家像の議論を深めよ(7月14日付・読売社説)

 ◆与野党の合意形成を図りたい

The supreme law provides the framework of this country, but what form should it take?
 国家の枠組みを定めた最高法規はどうあるべきだろうか――。

Revision of the Constitution is a major issue in the campaign for the July 21 House of Councillors election. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Your Party support revising the Constitution, and New Komeito is considering it.
 参院選で憲法改正が主要な争点になっている。自民党と日本維新の会、みんなの党は改正に積極的で、公明党も改正を検討する。

Depending on results of the upper house election, political conditions allowing the Diet to propose constitutional revisions could be created for the first time since the end of World War II.
 参院選の結果次第では、国会が憲法改正を発議できる政治状況が戦後初めて生まれよう。

Dealing with Article 96
 ◆ハードル高い発議要件

One bone of contention in the election campaign centers on Article 96 of the Constitution, which stipulates procedures to revise the supreme law.
 参院選の論点の一つが、憲法改正手続きを定めた96条である。

The article says a constitutional revision will be put to a national referendum after the Diet proposes it with a concurring vote of two-thirds or more of all members in each chamber. This requirement is said to be much stricter than that of other countries.
 憲法改正は、衆参各院で「3分の2以上」の賛成により国会が発議し、その上で国民投票にかけられる。改正のハードルは海外と比べても極めて高いと言える。

The LDP advocates that the requirement for the initiative should be lowered to a simple majority so the public can more easily have “an opportunity to participate in a constitutional judgment” through a national referendum.
 自民党は発議要件を「過半数」に緩和し、国民が国民投票を通じて「憲法判断に参加する機会」を得やすくすると主張している。

Ishin no Kai says that Article 96 should be revised first, and Your Party agrees with relaxation of the requirement. The main opposition Democratic Party of Japan and Komeito oppose amending this article first, but they do not disagree with the revision itself.
 維新の会は96条の「先行改正」を唱え、みんなの党も要件緩和に賛成だ。民主、公明両党は先行改正には反対だが、96条の改正自体を否定はしていない。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has taken a flexible stance in consideration of the position of Komeito, the LDP’s coalition partner, suggesting that articles on basic human rights, pacifism and sovereignty of the people would not be subject to the relaxed requirement for revision.
 安倍首相は、公明党の立場に配慮し、基本的人権や平和主義、国民主権に関わる条項を発議要件緩和の対象から除外する案に言及するなど、柔軟に対応する意向も示している。

The LDP needs to coordinate its opinions with the other parties to realize revision of the Constitution. The ruling party should take a pragmatic approach through consensus-building with other parties even if it has to revise its own draft.
 憲法改正を実現するには、他党との調整が欠かせない。自民党案を修正してでも合意形成を目指すのは、現実的である。

The Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party oppose amending the Constitution, including Article 96, based on “constitutionalism,” the idea that harnessing power of the state and protecting the people are the essence of a constitution.
 共産、社民両党は、国家権力を縛り、国民を守るのが憲法の本質だとする「立憲主義」を掲げて96条改正などに反対している。

Abe has hit back at this interpretation of constitutionalism and said it is to rein in an autocratic government. The prime minister pointed out that a constitution will not only harness state power but also show what form a state should be.
 首相は、この立憲主義の解釈について「専制主義的な政府に対する考え方だ」と反論し、憲法は権力を縛るとともに国の姿を示すものだ、と指摘している。

Of course, a constitution can restrict state power but it also provides the philosophy and role of a state.
 憲法には権力の制限規範という側面もあるが、基本的な価値観や国家の役割も明示されている。

Even if the Diet’s requirement for a constitutional revision is relaxed, there will be no change in the need for a national referendum to revise the Constititution. We can hardly understand why some parties consider it incompatible with constitutionalism.
 国会の発議要件を緩和しても、国民投票で改正を決めることに変わりはない。それなのに、なぜ立憲主義と相いれないことになるのか。理解に苦しむ。

Some people claim that revision of Article 96 will allow a person in power to revise the Constitution as easily as ordinary laws. Isn’t this rather simplistic?
 96条改正が実現すると、時の権力者が憲法を一般の法律並みに改正できるかのような論法もある。短絡的に過ぎないか。

 ◆自衛隊の規定が必要だ

Article 9 also is a major point of contention.
 9条も重要な論点だ。

The LDP’s draft, released last year, for revising the supreme law calls for keeping the war-renouncing principle of Article 9 intact, while deleting its second paragraph, which prohibits this country from possessing any war potential. Instead, it calls for newly including a provision in Article 9 for establishment of a “military force for defense” and the state’s obligations for securing the nation’s territorial integrity in cooperation with the public.
自民党の改正草案は、9条の平和主義は堅持しつつ、戦力不保持の2項を削り、「国防軍」設置や領土の保全義務を新たに規定するとした。

Define status of SDF

Abe has stated, “Although the SDF are regarded by other countries as a military force, in this country they are not,” adding, “It is unreasonable for a large-scale organization of forces to have no status in the eyes of the Constitution.” Abe’s argument is reasonable.
 首相が、「自衛隊は外国では軍隊と認識され、日本では軍隊ではないと言っている。大きな実力組織が憲法にないのはおかしい」と主張するのは至極当然である。

Revision of Article 9 is vitally important to deepen the Japan-U.S. alliance as well as to increase Japan’s participation in such international cooperation activities as U.N.-mandated peacekeeping operations.
 9条の改正は、日米同盟を深化し、国連平和維持活動(PKO)など国際的な活動に積極的に参加するうえでも欠かせない。

In this connection, it is a major development that Komeito in its upper house election pledges has said the party’s stand of “reinforcing the postwar Constitution by adding new ideas and articles to the supreme law” does include studies about the wisdom of having the existence of the SDF explicitly stipulated by the Constitution.
 公明党が、憲法の内容は変えずに新たな理念・条文を加える「加憲」を主張し、その中に自衛隊の存在の明記も検討すると公約したのは大きな前進だ。

Ishin no Kai, for its part, has been advocating the need for constitutional revisions “for the sake of solidly establishing the nation’s own security system on the basis of its right to self-defense.”
 維新の会は、「自衛権に基づく自立した安全保障体制確立」に憲法改正が必要と唱えている。

Another opposition party, People’s Life Party, insists that the legal basis for the SDF’s participation in U.N. peacekeeping missions must be clearly laid down.
 生活の党は自衛隊がPKOに参加する根拠を定めるという。

In contrast, the JCP and the SDP have been dead set against any changes to Article 9, arguing that alteration of the article would be tantamount to “turning Japan into a country that could wage war.”
 共産党や社民党は9条改正について「日本を戦争する国に作り替える」と反対している。

It is undoubtedly irresponsible to affix an extremely negative label to parties favoring constitutional revision without squarely facing up to reality. The aim is to unnecessarily stir voters’ anxieties.
 現実を直視せず、極端なレッテル貼りで有権者の不安をあおるのは無責任である。

People’s Life Party leader Ichiro Ozawa, JCP Executive Committee Chairman Kazuo Shii and SDP head Mizuho Fukushima have criticized the LDP’s revision draft because it seeks to delete Article 97, which stipulates the inviolability of basic human rights.
 憲法を巡っては、自民党の改正草案が、基本的人権の不可侵性をうたった97条を削除していることを、生活の党の小沢代表や共産党の志位委員長、社民党の福島党首がやり玉に挙げた。

It seems they are keen to give the public the impression that the LDP is poised to crack down on basic human rights.
 自民党案がいかにも基本的人権を軽視しているかのような印象を与えたかったのだろう。

In a rebuttal, Abe has stressed his party has no intention at all to change the fundamental principles of the Constitution, explaining that in the LDP draft Article 11 “absorbs” Article 97. Article 11 contains provisions that have the same effect as Article 97. Therefore, there seems to be no major problem.
 安倍首相は、基本原則は変えていないと強調し、同趣旨の条文がある11条に「吸収させた」と説明した。それならば、大きな問題ではないのではないか。

Readiness for emergencies
 ◆緊急事態への対処も

Ishin no Kai, Your Party and other parties that are seeking to drastically reform the government structure through revisions of the Constitution have referred to the advisability of creating a system that allows for election of the prime minister by popular vote.
 憲法改正で統治機構の仕組みを抜本的に変えることを主張する維新の会やみんなの党は、いずれも首相公選制に言及している。

A plebiscite for choosing the prime minister, however, could end up as a mere popularity contest. Israel introduced a referendum system for electing the prime minister in 1996, but abolished it in 2001 because of the resulting political turmoil.
 だが、首相公選制は人気投票になりかねない。イスラエルでは導入後政治が混乱し、撤廃した。

The LDP, Your Party and People’s Life Party, meanwhile, have proposed that new provisions be incorporated into the Constitution concerning such contingencies as a massive natural disaster and terrorist attacks.
 自民、みんな、生活の各党は、大規模な自然災害やテロといった緊急事態に関する条項を盛り込むことを提案している。

There must be no stinting in drawing up legal preparations to cope with such possible calamities as an epicentral earthquake focused just below the Tokyo metropolitan area and a mega-quake such as a Nankai Trough earthquake.
首都直下地震や、南海トラフ巨大地震などへの法的な備えは怠れない。

Revision of the Constitution should also take the possibility of these national crises into account. Constitutional discussions must be deepened from this point of view.
 国家の危機的状況も想定した憲法でありたい。こうした観点からの議論も深めるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 14, 2013)
(2013年7月14日01時56分  読売新聞)

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敦賀原発 活断層認定の再検討が要る

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 14, 2013
NRA must reexamine active fault assessment at Tsuruga N-plant
敦賀原発 活断層認定の再検討が要る(7月13日付・読売社説)

The Nuclear Regulation Authority has a responsibility to ensure fair and scientific judgment in its dealings with the nuclear power industry.
 原子力規制委員会に求められるのは、公正で科学的な判断だ。

Japan Atomic Power Co. has submitted a report to the NRA vehemently disputing the authority’s assessment of an active fault below the Tsuruga nuclear power station in Fukui Prefecture.
 日本原子力発電が、規制委による敦賀原子力発電所(福井県)敷地内の活断層評価に真っ向から反論する報告書を提出した。

The nuclear watchdog compiled a report in May saying “a fault just below the No. 2 reactor at the Tsuruga nuclear plant has been judged active.” JAPC countered with its own report based on a subsequent additional survey, which contains new facts that could call into question the foundation of the NRA’s assessment.
 規制委は5月に、「敦賀原発2号機真下の断層は活断層」とする評価書をまとめた。原電の報告書は、その後の追加調査に基づくものだ。規制委の評価の根幹にかかわる新事実を挙げている。

Recognizing solid facts and related data is at the core of scientific judgment. The NRA must earnestly reexamine its assessment.
 事実やデータの尊重は、科学的判断の大前提だ。規制委は、真摯(しんし)に再検討すべきである。

Report counters findings

While conducting its evaluation, the NRA first pointed out a short fault found in a hole dug for inspection on the edge of the plant’s premises. The regulatory body identified the fault as an active one that could trigger an earthquake.
 活断層評価で規制委がまず、注目したのは、原発敷地の端に掘られた調査用の穴で見つかった短い断層だ。規制委は、これが地震を引き起こす活断層と認定した。

JAPC denied this conclusion based on its own supplemental survey. The JAPC survey reportedly showed that a layer of earth accumulated over the fault had not moved in the past 120,000 to 130,000 years, which is the yardstick used to judge the activity levels of faults under inspection.
 原電は、追加調査でこれを否定した。短い断層の上に堆積した地層は、規制委が活断層の活動時期の目安とする12万~13万年前から乱れておらず、断層も動いていないことが示されたという。

The NRA report judged the active fault extended to another found just below the No. 2 reactor building. However, the JAPC document asserts the short fault on the edge of the premises disappears after curving in a different direction away from the reactor, and thus there is no active fault extending from the short one.
 規制委は、この短い断層の延長上に2号機真下の断層があると判定していた。この点についても、原電の報告書は、短い断層は原子炉とは別の方向へ曲がった後で途絶えており、延長上にはない、と結論づけた。

In the NRA meeting where the active fault assessment was approved, Kunihiko Shimazaki, NRA deputy chairman and the person responsible for the assessment, said, “We would have come to a different conclusion if [the short fault] had not been found.”
 活断層との評価を了承した規制委の会合で、評価担当の島崎邦彦委員長代理は「(短い断層が)見つかっていなければ結論は変わっていた」と述べていた。

In light of the JAPC report, whether the NRA’s identification of the active fault had sufficient scientific grounding must be called into question.
 原電の報告書を踏まえれば、規制委の活断層認定は、科学的根拠が十分だったのだろうか。

Give JAPC fair chance

The NRA judged the fault in question as an active one while JAPC was in the process of conducting its own survey. At the time, several people believed the NRA should have waited to make a judgment on the fault until the company had completed its survey. The NRA thus inevitably deserves criticism for jumping to a hasty conclusion.
 規制委が「活断層」との結論をまとめたのは、原電が今回の調査を進めていた最中だ。当時、調査終了まで結論を出すのを待つべきだとの意見もあった。拙速だったと非難されても仕方がない。

Shimazaki also chaired a meeting on active fault assessments but did not allow JAPC a sufficient chance to refute the authority’s determination. Even when he gave the firm an opportunity to speak, he continually interrupted and protested its comments. This is hardly a fair stance.
 島崎氏は活断層評価の検討会合で座長も務めたが、原電に十分に反論をさせなかった。説明させても、それを遮り、自らの持論を展開した。公正とは言い難い。

The NRA has ordered JAPC to reassess the safety of spent nuclear fuel stored at the No. 2 reactor on the assumption that an active fault exists right below the reactor. JAPC plans to file a complaint to dispute the order based on the Administrative Appeal Law.
 規制委は、2号機に保管中の使用済み核燃料の安全性を、真下に活断層があるとの前提で再評価するよう原電に命令している。活断層を否定する原電は、行政不服審査法に基づき、この命令に異議申し立てをする方針だ。

Fukui Gov. Issei Nishikawa called on the government to set up a third-party organization tasked with ensuring the NRA acts in a just manner.
 福井県の西川一誠知事は、規制委の公正性を監視する第三者機関の設置を政府に求めている。

As long as the NRA maintains its self-righteous stance, distrust of the regulatory body is expected to deepen among the central government, ruling parties, relevant local governments and the electric power industry.
 規制委が独善的な姿勢を正さぬ限り、政府・与党や関係自治体、電力業界の規制委に対する不信は今後も深まるばかりである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 13, 2013)
(2013年7月13日01時38分  読売新聞)

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薬効データ改竄 医療現場への重大な背信行為

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 14, 2013
Manipulation of clinical trial data serious betrayal of public trust
薬効データ改竄 医療現場への重大な背信行為(7月13日付・読売社説)

The recently revealed falsification of clinical trial data is a matter of grave concern that could shake the public’s trust in pharmaceutical products.
 医薬品への信頼を揺るがす由々(ゆゆ)しき事態だ。

The Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine has announced the results of its investigation, which found that clinical research data on the effects of Diovan, a drug to lower blood pressure, was manipulated in papers written by a former professor and others.
 降圧剤「ディオバン」の効果に関する臨床研究を巡り、京都府立医大は元教授らによる論文でデータの操作が行われていた、との調査結果を公表した。

Diovan is frequently used by medical institutions, and has been approved in about 100 countries. Such data alteration can be regarded as a serious betrayal of the patients who use the drug.
 この薬は、医療機関で多用されている降圧剤の一つだ。約100か国で承認されている。データ改竄(かいざん)は、服用している患者への重大な背信と言えよう。

The research in question covered about 3,000 patients with high blood pressure. The research papers concluded that Diovan nearly halved the risk of angina and strokes compared with other drugs.
 問題の研究は、約3000人の高血圧患者を対象に実施された。論文では、この薬を服用すると、他の薬剤との比較で、脳卒中や狭心症の発症リスクがほぼ半減すると結論づけていた。

However, the analyzed data was falsified to appear more positive than it did in patients’ medical records. An analysis of the effects of Diovan based on the actual information in the medical records showed little difference from other drugs.
 だが、解析データは、カルテの記載に比べて薬の効果が高くなるよう書き換えられていた。カルテ通りに解析すると、他の薬剤と比べても効果に差異はなかった。

University’s probe insufficient

This is a malicious act in which important data that would help doctors select drugs for their patients was faked.
 医師が薬を選ぶ際の重要情報を改竄した悪質な行為である。

In this clinical study, a former employee of Novartis Pharma K.K., Diovan’s manufacturer, took part in analyzing the patient data. But the university stopped short of concluding whether the former employee was involved in the data manipulation, as it could not question the employee.
 この研究では、メーカーの「ノバルティスファーマ」元社員が患者のデータ解析を担当していた。元社員が改竄にかかわっていたかどうかについて、京都府立医大は本人への聞き取りができず、判断できなかったとしている。

Such a lenient probe is unacceptable. The university should take responsibility for figuring out the whole truth of this case.
 しかし、こうした甘い調査は許されない。大学の責任で実態解明を進めるべきだ。

Annual sales of Diovan have topped 100 billion yen. There is no question that the pharmaceutical company, which profited from the drug, is accountable for the data alteration.
 この薬の売り上げは年間1000億円以上に達している。利益を上げてきたメーカーに説明責任があるのは言うまでもない。

Meanwhile, the actions of the former professor who led the research cannot be overlooked. He released the papers without making public that the Novartis employee was involved in the data analysis.
 看過できないのは、研究をまとめた元教授の対応だ。元社員がデータ解析に関与した事実を伏せて論文を発表していた。

Novartis used the papers to promote sales of the drug while donating more than 100 million yen to his research team through the university. Questions have been raised over whether the former professor and the company developed an excessively cozy relationship.
 ノバルティス社は、論文内容を薬の販売促進に利用する一方、元教授の研究室に大学を通じて1億円以上を寄付していた。元教授とノバルティス社の間に過度な癒着はなかったのだろうか。

It is vital to secure transparency through such methods as disclosing information on companies’ financial support for researchers.
 企業から研究者への資金提供の情報を公開するなど、透明性を確保することが重要だ。

Strict rules necessary

Behind this incident is a lack of rules concerning clinical research.
 今回の問題の背景には、臨床研究を巡るルールの不備がある。

For clinical trials for new drugs, proper procedures must be strictly followed to obtain approval, including submitting details of a clinical study and triple checks of data, in line with the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law.
 新薬の承認審査に必要な治験には、薬事法に基づき、国への届け出や、データの3重チェックなどが義務づけられている。

However, no strict rules have been set for clinical research with drugs already available commercially, like Diovan.
 一方、今回のように薬が市販された後の臨床研究には、そうした厳格な基準はない。

Such clinical research needs guidelines regarding matters such as how to proceed with the study.
研究の進め方などの指針が必要だろう。

The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made medicine one of the pillars of its growth strategy. It is vital for the government to move forward with technological innovation in pharmaceutical products after developing a partnership between the business and academic sectors that will not cause public distrust.
 安倍政権は、医療を成長戦略の柱に位置付けている。不信感を持たれない産学の協力関係を築いたうえで、医薬品の技術革新を進めていくことが大切だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 13, 2013)
(2013年7月13日01時38分  読売新聞)

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13参院選 教育政策 人材育成への具体策を競え

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 13, 2013
Parties must discuss specifics for human resources development
13参院選 教育政策 人材育成への具体策を競え(7月12日付・読売社説)

What must be done to develop outstanding human resources? This is a theme of primary importance when considering the country’s future.
 優れた人材をどのように育成するのか。日本の将来を左右する重要なテーマである。

With the House of Councillors election campaigns under way, voters should be vigilant to know the education policies of the various parties.
参院選では各党の教育政策をしっかりと見極めたい。

Ever since its launch at the end of last year, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration has prioritized revitalizing the nation’s education and reinvigorating the economy.
 昨年末に発足した安倍政権は、教育再生を経済再生と並ぶ重点課題に位置づけてきた。

The Education Rebuilding Implementation Council, a panel reporting directly to the prime minister, has worked out policy recommendations three times so far on such subjects as board of education reform and school bullying.
首相直属の教育再生実行会議は、いじめ対策や教育委員会改革など、3次にわたる提言をまとめた。

Only 2 among top 100

The Abe Cabinet has changed the way the national achievement test is conduted by requiring all sixth-grade primary school students and third-year middle school students nationwide to write the test. This move replaced a reduced application of the test based on a sampling formula put in place under the Democratic Party of Japan-led administration.
 民主党政権下で抽出方式に縮小された全国学力テストを再度、全員参加方式に戻した。

The government has subsequently come out with a policy of reviewing the current five-day school week system, and is considering revising an Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry ordinance to make it easier for local governments to opt for Saturday classes.
学校週5日制を見直し、自治体の判断で土曜日に授業を行いやすくするよう省令を改正する方針も示した。

The pros and cons of the education policies put forward by the government in its first half-year in power will be a key issue in the upper house contest.
 政権交代後、半年間で推進した政策の是非が、参院選ではまず、問われることになるだろう。

The Liberal Democratic Party has said that “fostering human resources capable of competing globally” is a pillar of the party’s upper house electoral pledges, advocating improvement of English education and placing emphasis on math and science.
 自民党は参院選の公約の柱として、「世界で勝てる人材の育成」を掲げ、英語教育の強化や理数教育の充実をうたっている。

The LDP pledges are built on the idea that efforts to produce people capable of being active in the international arena and able to create new frontiers of science and technology will underpin the growth strategy of the government.
 国際社会で活躍したり、新たな科学技術を創造したりする力を育むことが、成長戦略を下支えするという考えが背景にある。

In the World University Rankings, there are only two Japanese universities in the top 100. The LDP, in this respect, has set the goal of increasing the figure to 10 or more within the next decade. The party, however, has fallen short of coming out with specific policies about how to improve the quality of this country’s higher education.
 世界大学ランキングで100位以内に入る日本の大学は、現在2校しかない。それを今後10年間で10校以上に増やす、といった目標も示した。ただ、高等教育の質をどう底上げして実現させるのか、具体策は見えてこない。

The LDP is in favor of a household income limitation on eligibility for a tuition-free high school system introduced across the board under the DPJ administration.
 自民党は、民主党政権が導入した高校授業料の無償化の対象に、所得制限を設ける方針だ。

The LDP and its ruling coalition partner New Komeito, on the other hand, have incorporated into their upper house election pledges a policy of addressing the task of providing early childhood education--education for children aged 3 to 7--for free.
 その一方で、自民、公明両党は3歳から小学校入学までの幼児教育の無償化に取り組むことを公約に盛り込んだ。

Implementation of this policy, however, is estimated to cost as much as 790 billion yen.
実施するには、年約7900億円もの予算が必要だと見込まれている。

The DPJ and People’s Life Party, for their part, are calling for the current free high school education to remain unchanged.
 民主党と生活の党は、高校無償化について、現行のまま継続すべきだと主張する。

Clarify revenue sources

Many parties are stressing the need for creating a scholarship system for university students to provide them with stipends that will not be need to be repaid.
 大学生を対象とした、返済する必要のない給付型奨学金制度の創設を多くの党が訴えている。

To be sure, the ratios of privately funded expenses at kindergartens and univerisities are remarkably high compared to other industrially advanced countries. Alleviation of education expenses in family budgets has become a problem that should be urgently addressed.
 確かに、日本は他の先進国と比べ、幼稚園と大学における私費負担の割合が特に高い。家計の教育費の軽減が課題になっている。

The fiscal conditions of the government, however, have been increasingly stringent. If parties are going to propose policies requiring large budget expenditures, they must come up with specific ways to secure the funds for these policies.
 だが、政府の財政状況は厳しい。多額の予算を要する政策を打ち出すのなら、各党は、財源についても具体的に示す必要がある。

After the upper house election, the Education Rebuilding Implementation Council is scheduled to address the task of reforming university entrance exams and reviewing the existing 6-3-3-4 education system. The figures refer to the number of years spent in primary school, middle school, high school and university. Both are major challenges that must be tackled from a medium- and long-range point of view since they will greatly affect the entire education system. All ruling and opposition parties are urged to have in-depth discussions on these education issues.
 参院選後には、教育再生実行会議で、大学入試改革や「6・3・3・4制」の見直しに関する審議が控えている。いずれも教育現場に大きな影響を与える中長期的なテーマである。与野党の論議を深めてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 12, 2013)
(2013年7月12日01時26分  読売新聞)

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ソウル不当判決 日韓合意に反する賠償命令だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 13, 2013
Seoul court ruling on damages defies 1965 Japan-ROK accord
ソウル不当判決 日韓合意に反する賠償命令だ(7月12日付・読売社説)

A South Korean court has handed down a ruling that could worsen relations with Japan. It was an unjust decision.
 日韓関係の一層の悪化につながりかねない。不当な判決である。

In an appellate case sent back from the Supreme Court, which involved four South Koreans seeking compensation for damages from Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp., a descendant of the companies they had been forced to work for during wartime, the Seoul High Court ordered payment of 100 million won (about 8.8 million yen) to each of the plaintiffs.
 戦時中、日本企業に徴用された韓国人4人が、当時の勤務先の流れをくむ新日鉄住金に損害賠償を求めた訴訟の差し戻し控訴審で、韓国のソウル高裁は、1人当たり1億ウォン(約880万円)の賠償を命じる判決を言い渡した。

This is the first time that a South Korean court has ordered a Japanese firm to pay damages to former forced laborers.
 韓国司法が、日本企業に対し、元徴用工への賠償支払い命令を出したのは初めてのことだ。

The ruling is totally unacceptable because it obviously violates the agreement on property claims and economic cooperation that was reached when the two countries concluded a treaty to normalize relations in 1965. The accord clearly stated that the issue of property claims was “resolved completely and finally.”
 今回の判決が容認できないのは、1965年の国交正常化の際に日韓両国が締結した財産請求権・経済協力協定に明らかに反しているからだ。協定は、請求権問題が「完全かつ最終的に解決された」と断じている。

In its 1976 white paper on funds deriving from property claims, South Korea’s Economic Planning Board listed construction of a steelmaking plant, dams and highways as concrete examples of how $500 million in grants and other funds the country received from Japan in the name of economic cooperation had been used. The white paper clearly stated that “its usefulness cannot be belittled.”
 韓国経済企画院は1976年の「請求権資金白書」で、無償・有償あわせて5億ドルの日本からの経済協力について、製鉄所やダム、高速道路の建設を具体的な使途に挙げた。その上で、「効用を過小評価できない」と明記した。

Erroneous judgment

Nevertheless, South Korea’s Supreme Court said in a May 2012 ruling that “claims by individuals have not yet expired.” The current ruling is based on that erroneous judgment.
 それにもかかわらず、韓国最高裁は2012年5月、「個人の請求権は消滅していない」とする判断を示した。今回の判決はこの誤った判断を踏まえたものだ。

Some of the plaintiffs filed a similar suit in Japan but their loss was finalized by a Supreme Court decision.
 原告の一部は日本でも提訴し、最高裁で敗訴が確定している。

The Seoul High Court’s decision this time demonstrates disregard for the final decision in this country. It is natural that Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said, “We cannot accept a decision that doesn’t comport with Japan’s position.”
 結果として、日本の確定判決が無視されたことになる。菅官房長官が、「日本の立場に相いれない判決であれば、容認できない」と述べたのも当然である。

There are five other similar lawsuits filed against Japanese firms. The latest decision will inevitably have an influence on future court rulings. It is feared that more South Koreans who were once forced laborers will file class action suits, causing new problems between the two countries.
 日本企業を相手取った同様の裁判が他に5件ある。今後の判決への影響は避けられまい。元徴用工らによる集団訴訟が相次ぐ恐れもある。日韓の新たな懸案だ。

In the first place, the South Korean government itself is obliged to pay compensation for damages suffered by South Koreans during Japan’s colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula. The $300 million Japan paid in grants to South Korea contained “the funds to resolve the compensation over forcible recruitment.”
 そもそも、植民地統治に起因する韓国人の補償請求については、支払い義務は韓国政府にある。日本が供与した無償資金3億ドルには「強制動員の被害の補償を解決する資金」が含まれている。

Because the South Korean government did not sufficiently pay out this compensation money, dissatisfaction has been smoldering among many South Koreans who were excluded from compensation for individuals.
 韓国政府の支払いが不十分で、個人補償の対象から除外された人々が多かったために、不満はくすぶり続けていた。

Moreover, the South Korean government has failed to give sufficient explanations to its own people.
 韓国政府が国民に十分な説明をしなかったのが一因だろう。

Fostering ill will

As Seoul has intensified antagonism against Tokyo in recent years, over topics such as sovereignty over the Takeshima islets and perceptions of history, unfounded demands against Japan have been flaring up again.
 近年、竹島や歴史認識を巡る対立が深まるにつれ、根拠が薄弱な日本への要求も再燃している。

A sudden shift by the South Korean judiciary from its conventional stance is not completely unrelated to the rise of anti-Japan sentiment in the country.
 韓国司法が最近、従来の判断から急転換したのも、そうした反日の高まりと無縁ではあるまい。

The normalization of bilateral relations opened the way to tremendous progress for South Korea. The financial resolution of damages from the past was determined diplomatically and is fundamentally a matter to be dealt with domestically in that country. It is unreasonable that South Korea persistently continues to point its accusing finger at Japan.
 日韓国交正常化は韓国の飛躍につながった。過去の清算は外交的に決着し、本来は韓国の内政問題だ。その矛先を執拗(しつよう)に日本に向けるのは筋違いである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 12, 2013)
(2013年7月12日01時26分  読売新聞)

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2013年7月12日 (金)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:別れが悲しいのは病気? /東京

July 07, 2013(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Is mourning the loss of a loved one an illness?
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:別れが悲しいのは病気? /東京

In May, the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders," used by psychiatrists around the world as a basis for making diagnoses, received a major revision that has become a large topic of discussion in psychiatric circles.
 世界の精神科医の多くが使っている診断の基準が、米国精神医学会が作成した「診断と統計の手引き」。5月にそれが大改訂され、精神医療の分野で大きな話題となっている。

Among the revisions made, what bothers me is the deletion of "bereavement exclusion" in the section on depressive disorders. In the previous version of the manual, there was an exclusion saying that when people lost a loved one, they shouldn't be diagnosed with depression for the next two months even if they showed symptoms of it. In the new version that exclusion is gone, and the death of loved ones is generally treated the same as other stress or shock factors, with patients to be diagnosed with depression if they show depression symptoms for two weeks.
 変更点の中で気になるのは、いわゆる「うつ病」の診断から「死別の場合は除く」という箇所が削除されたこと。前のバージョンでは、愛する人などとの「死別後の2カ月間はたとえ症状が出そろっていても『うつ病』と診断してはならない」との注意書きがつけられていた。今回の改訂ではそれがなくなり、「死別」を基本的には他のさまざまなストレスやショックと同じように扱って「2週間いくつかの症状が続いていれば『うつ病』と診断される」ということになったのだ。

To be frank, I am doubtful of the correctness of this change. I myself lost my father over two years ago, and I feel that since then my view of the world has greatly changed. I continue to go to work because I can't leave my job unattended, but sometimes I am struck by indescribable feelings of emptiness.
 はっきり言って、この改訂には疑問を感じる。私自身、2年以上前に父親を亡くしたが、あれから目に映る世界がすっかり変わってしまったような気がしている。仕事に穴を開けるわけにはいかないので出かけてはいるが、時々例えようもないむなしさに襲われる。

I often see people in my consultation room who complain of sadness and regret after the loss of a spouse or child. I sympathize with them greatly, because considering how much I am affected by the loss of my aged father, the loss of one's child seems like it must be unbearable. Except in extreme cases, I don't feel like labeling these people as "depressed." However, if I send them away with a diagnosis of "completely normal," patients having trouble sleeping can't get prescriptions for sleeping medicine, so with no other choice I diagnose them with "insomnia," or with "psychogenic reaction," a response to temporary but harsh psychological stimuli.
 診察室には配偶者やわが子を亡くした後の悲しみや苦しさを訴える人が、しばしばやって来る。私は「年老いた父との死別でさえこれほどこたえるのだから、わが子との別れがつらすぎるのは当然のこと」と深く共感し、よほどのことでない限り「うつ病」などと病名をつける気にはなれない。ただ、「まったく正常」としてしまうと不眠を訴える人に睡眠のクスリを処方することもできないので、仕方なく「不眠症」とか、一過性のこころの激しい反応ということで「心因反応」といった病名をつける。

Perhaps before long, I will have to tell a person who comes complaining that, three weeks after a family death, they feel down and without energy, "That's depression. Let's take some antidepressants and get better."
 もしかすると、これからは「3週間前に家族が亡くなり、それから気持ちが落ち込んで何も手につかない」と語る人にも、「それはうつ病ですよ。ちゃんと抗うつ薬を飲んで治しましょう」と言わなければならなくなるのだろうか。

In our lives, we have many sad and hurtful experiences. That is something all people face, and one might even say the ability to mourn deeply and for a long time is a defining characteristic of humanity. A society that labels that without exception as "depression" is both shallow and dull.
 悲しむこと、つらい気持ちを抱えることを、私たちは人生を生きる中で何度も経験する。それは人として当たり前のことであり、もっと言えば「深く長く嘆き、悲しむことができる」ということこそ、「人間らしさ」の条件なのではないだろうか。それが一律に「はい、それは病気です」と言われ、治療の対象になるような社会は薄っぺらく味気ない。

The Japanese Society of Mood Disorders has not yet announced how it will react to the revised manual, but I hope that they will say, "Being sad because of a family member's death is not an illness."
 日本うつ病学会は、この度の改訂を日本でどう扱うか、まだ指針を発表していない。「家族との別れが悲しいのは病気じゃない」と言ってくれたら、と願っている。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2013年07月02日 地方版

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熱中症予防 過度に節電せず冷房の活用を

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 12, 2013
Preventing heatstroke more important than saving power
熱中症予防 過度に節電せず冷房の活用を(7月11日付・読売社説)

Every day deadly sweltering heat envelops the Japanese archipelago.
 日本列島は連日、猛暑に見舞われている。

We have to get through the summer, taking great care not to suffer heatstroke.
 熱中症に十分注意し、夏を乗り切りたい。

Wednesday was another “extremely hot day,” a day when the maximum temperature reaches 35 C or higher, in many areas. In Koshu, Yamanashi Prefecture, a temperature of 39.2 C was recorded, the highest in the country so far this year. Entering July, many people were taken by ambulance to hospitals due to heatstroke, with some of them dying from the condition.
 10日も各地で最高気温が35度以上の猛暑日となった。山梨県甲州市では、今年になって全国で最も高い39・2度を記録した。今月に入り、熱中症で病院に搬送される人が相次ぎ、死者も出ている。

The extreme heat these days has been caused by “double high pressure systems” over Japan. A high pressure system called the Pacific anticyclone and one dubbed the “Tibetan high,” pushed from China by westerly winds, overlapped over Japan. The current heat wave will last until the end of this week, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.
 連日の猛暑は、太平洋高気圧と、中国大陸から押し出されたチベット高気圧が日本上空で重なる「ダブル高気圧」が原因だ。この暑さは今週末まで続くという。

The agency forecast temperatures for this summer will be higher than normal across the country. We cannot let our guard down even after the double high pressure situation is over.
 気象庁は、この夏の気温は全国的に平年より高めになると予想している。ダブル高気圧が去っても、警戒は怠れない。

Heatstroke occurs when bodies are unable to regulate temperature in a state of extreme heat and high humidity. Heatstroke victims feel nauseous and listless. As it progresses and becomes more serious, victims may faint.
 熱中症は、高温多湿の状態で、体温の調節機能が働かなくなって起きる。吐き気、だるさが表れ、重症になると意識が薄れる。

In 2010, a year with many extremely hot days, more than 1,700 people died from heatstroke.
 猛暑日が多かった2010年には1700人余が死亡した。

An important way to prevent heatstroke is to take in fluid and salt frequently. The elderly should be especially careful as they tend to be less sensitive to heat and thirst. People are advised to drink frequently even if they are not thirsty.
 熱中症の予防で重要なのは、水分と塩分をこまめに補給することだ。暑さや渇きを感じにくくなる高齢者は、特に注意が要る。のどが渇いていなくても、頻繁に水分をとってほしい。

Babies, kids at risk

Babies and toddlers whose regulation of body temperature is underdeveloped are also at high risk of heatstroke. When they go out, parents should put them in caps made with water-absorbent material and wipe their necks with a wet towel often. It is important for family members to observe childrens’ conditions very carefully.
 体温調節機能が未発達な乳幼児も、リスクが高い。外出時は吸水性のある素材の帽子をかぶらせ、ぬれたタオルで首回りなどをふくとよい。家族が子供の状態をよく観察することが必要だ。

Students often suffer heatstroke during school club activities. When they play sports, they should take a break about every 30 minutes. On extremely hot days, students should refrain from heavy exercise. Coaches are urged to keep this point in mind.
 学校の部活動などでの発症も多い。運動の際は30分程度ごとに休息し、猛暑日には激しい運動を控えるべきだ。指導者には、この点の留意が求められる。

We should not drop our guard even indoors. About half of heatstroke cases happen in homes. The risk becomes higher when the room temperature tops 28 C.
 室内でも油断はできない。熱中症の半数程度は住宅内で起きている。室温が28度を超えると危険が高まるという。

It is totally inadvisable for people to endure the sweltering heat by refraining from using air conditioners, saying, “It’s to save power.” Air-conditioning should be wisely utilized to appropriately adjust the room temperature.
 「節電のため」と、エアコンの使用を控え、暑さを我慢するのは禁物である。上手に活用し、室温を調整することが大切だ。

Nighttime precautions

We also must be careful about the possibility of getting heatstroke when we are sleeping. As electricity demand drops in the evening, it is unnecessary for us to excessively save power.
 就寝中の熱中症にも用心しなければならない。夜間は電力の需要が低下することから、過度に節電する必要はない。

Electric power companies have been calling on customers to “save power within a reasonable level.”
 電力各社も「無理のない範囲で節電を」と呼びかけている。

Using an electric fan also enhances air-conditioning’s cooling effect. A rise in the room temperature can be held down using sudare bamboo blinds and yoshizu reed screens to cover windows during the day.
 エアコンに扇風機を併用することで、冷房効果は高まる。日中、すだれやよしずを使えば、室温の上昇を抑えられる。

Let us adopt various wise measures in our daily life to cope with the summer heat.
 暑さを和らげる様々な工夫を生活に取り入れたい。

The Environment Ministry provides daily information on risks of developing heatstroke region-by-region on a special website every day. We hope people try to prevent heatstroke by utilizing various information such as temperature forecasts in newspapers and TV programs.
 環境省は地域ごとに、熱中症の発症危険度をホームページで公表している。新聞、テレビの気温予想など、様々な情報を活用して、熱中症を防いでほしい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 11, 2013)
(2013年7月11日01時25分  読売新聞)

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13参院選 TPP交渉 参加出遅れに危機感が乏しい

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 12, 2013
Political parties lack seriousness over Japan’s late entry in TPP talks
13参院選 TPP交渉 参加出遅れに危機感が乏しい(7月11日付・読売社説)

How should Japan deal with negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement?
 日本は、環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉にどのように対応すべきか。

Each political party is accountable for its stance on the TPP during the ongoing campaign for the House of Councillors election.
 参院選で各党の姿勢が問われている。

The U.S. Congress likely will complete procedures soon over Japan’s entry into TPP negotiations, following Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s announcement of Japan’s intent to join the talks. Eleven countries, including the United States and Australia, are scheduled to hold a new round of TPP talks in Malaysia on July 15-25. For several days toward the end of the round, Japan is expected to finally be able to sit at the negotiating table.
 安倍首相の参加表明を受けて、米国議会の承認手続きが近く終了する。米国、豪州など11か国は15~25日にマレーシアで交渉を行う。その最後の数日間、日本はようやく、交渉のテーブルに着くことができる見通しだ。

With its population shrinking, Japan needs to tap into Asia’s vitality by promoting free trade in an effort to buoy its economic growth.
 人口が減る日本は、自由貿易推進でアジアの活力を取り込み、成長に弾みを付ける必要がある。

Japan must catch up

Aiming to reach a broad agreement within the year, the 11 countries are likely to step up TPP negotiations. Japan has lagged behind in the TPP talks, but it must explore ways to catch up with its negotiating partners in creating trade rules.
 11か国は年内の大筋合意を目指し、交渉を本格化させる。出遅れた日本は通商ルール作りで巻き返す道を探らねばならない。

Although Japan faces these difficult circumstances, the parties’ campaign pledges indicate they do not feel the urgency of the TPP issue. As a result, the TPP has not been a major contentious topic in the campaign.
 そうした厳しい状況にもかかわらず、各党の公約は危機感に乏しく、TPPへの対応は大きな争点になっていない。

Regarding the TPP issue, the Liberal Democratic Party has stressed it would seek the best possible path in line with national interests by protecting what needs protecting and pushing for what the nation wants.
 自民党はTPPについて、「交渉力を駆使し、守るべきものは守り、攻めるべきものは攻めることにより、国益にかなう最善の道を追求する」と強調している。

In its comprehensive policy package, however, the LDP has called on the government to place priority on ensuring that five key agricultural items, such as rice and wheat, will be exempt from tariff elimination in TPP negotiations. It also calls for the government not to hesitate to pull out from the trade talks if the items are not protected. The LDP’s Hokkaido chapter has taken an even tougher stance, saying it will stand firm and not accept tariff elimination without exceptions.
 しかし、総合政策集ではコメ、麦などを念頭に、「重要5品目の聖域を最優先し、それが確保できない場合は脱退も辞さない」と主張した。北海道連は「聖域なき関税撤廃は認めず、北海道の立場を主張する」とさらに強硬だ。

As the prime minister has vowed to enter TPP negotiations “with the determination to secure national interests,” Japan needs to flex its bargaining muscle.
 首相が「国益を確保する決意で交渉していく」と述べたように、日本にはしたたかな交渉力の発揮が求められる。

Along with its coalition partner, New Komeito, the LDP should support the government and reflect national interests in TPP-related policies.
 自民党は公明党とともに、政府を後押しし、TPPに国益を反映させる方針を示すべきだ。

It is also vital for political parties to propose feasible measures to make the nation’s agriculture competitive in preparation for further market liberalization.
 一層の市場開放に備えた「強い農業」の実現へ、現実的な方策を訴えることも重要な課題だ。

Active debate urged

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Your Party, both pushing for Japan’s entry into the TPP talks, have called for a review of a measure to reduce rice production, an overhaul of agricultural cooperatives and other reforms. We urge the parties to have a vigorous debate on these issues.
 TPP推進を主張する日本維新の会とみんなの党は、減反政策の見直しや農協改革などを掲げる。活発な論戦を期待したい。

Meanwhile, the largest opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan, has pledged in its campaign platform to seek high-level economic partnerships and take the lead in drawing up global trade rules. But at the same time, it has also said, “We will take up the TPP issue without hesitating to withdraw [from the TPP talks].” The party’s proposed measures to beef up the agricultural sector appear vague.
 民主党は公約で、「高いレベルの経済連携を推進し、世界のルール作りを主導する」としながら、「TPPは脱退も辞さない姿勢で臨む」と主張している。農業の強化策は抽象的である。

The Japanese Communist Party, the People’s Life Party, the Social Democratic Party and Green Wind all have opposed Japan’s participation in the TPP talks. However, Japan, which thrived as a trading country, is unlikely to be able to develop a vision for the future if it decides to stay away from such a free trade framework in Asia.
 共産党、生活の党、社民党、みどりの風は、そろってTPP反対を主張している。だが、「貿易立国」として発展した日本が、アジアの自由貿易圏から外れる道を選べば、将来展望は開けまい。

The TPP negotiations address not only tariff elimination but also a wide range of other areas, such as rules for investment and intellectual property protection. How can Japan take advantage of the TPP to boost its competitiveness? We urge voters to closely look at each party’s proposal on the TPP.
 TPP交渉は関税撤廃だけでなく、投資ルールや知的財産権保護など幅広い分野に及ぶ。競争力強化にどうつなげるのか。有権者は各党の訴えを見極めてほしい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 11, 2013)
(2013年7月11日01時26分  読売新聞)

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2013年7月11日 (木)

防衛白書 中国の「危険行動」を抑止せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 11, 2013
Dangerous military actions of China, North Korea must be contained
防衛白書 中国の「危険行動」を抑止せよ(7月10日付・読売社説)

The need to maintain a guard against provocative acts by China and North Korea has become more acute, and efforts must be increased to deter such conduct.
 中国と北朝鮮の軍事的な挑発行動を警戒し、抑止力を強化する必要性が一層高まっている。

This year’s white paper on national defense mentions the actions China has taken with regard to its territorial and maritime interests. “China has attempted to change the status quo by force based on its own assertion which is incompatible with the existing order of international law,” according to the paper titled “Defense of Japan 2013.” The white paper adds, “The attempts have been criticized as assertive.”
 2013年版防衛白書は、中国が領土や海洋権益をめぐり、「国際法秩序とは相いれない独自の主張に基づき、力による現状変更の試みを含む高圧的とも指摘される対応」をしている、と明記した。

The white paper’s language is intended to reproach China for its repeated incursions into Japanese waters near the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, while also censuring that country over its discord with neighboring countries that have stakes in the South China Sea.
 尖閣諸島周辺での度重なる領海侵入や、南シナ海での周辺国との軋轢(あつれき)を非難したものだ。

Harsher language justified

The paper also refers to a dispute that arose when Chinese vessels were found to have directed fire-control radar at a Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer and a helicopter in January. Calling that conduct “dangerous actions” that could cause an emergency, it criticized China for denying use of fire-control radar and providing false explanations about the incident.
 今年1月の火器管制レーダー照射については、「不測の事態を招きかねない危険な行動」として、中国が照射の事実を否定し、虚偽の説明をしていると批判した。

The white paper is correct in using harsher language to denounce China’s provocative behavior. Beijing’s self-righteous show of force cannot be overlooked. Japan should cooperate with the United States and other nations in pressing China to abide by international rules.
 白書が従来以上に厳しい表現で指摘した通り、中国の独善的な示威活動は看過できない。日本は、米国などと連携し、国際ルールの順守を中国に促す必要がある。

The document expresses concern about China’s rapid military buildup in recent years, as demonstrated by that country’s commissioning of the Liaoning aircraft carrier and its development of the J-15 carrier-based fighter jet and next-generation J-20 stealth aircraft. The paper also has raised questions about the decline in transparency concerning China’s military. It also states that China’s defense white paper, published in April, did not include any reference to a military budget.
 白書は、空母「遼寧」の就役、艦載機J15やステルス型の次世代戦闘機J20の開発など、中国の急速な軍備増強に「懸念」を示した。今年4月の中国の国防白書から国防予算の記述がなくなるなど、透明性の低下も問題視した。

Japan should insist that China increase its military transparency, while also facilitating confidence-building measures between Self-Defense Forces units and their Chinese counterparts through defense exchanges.
 透明性の向上を中国に求めるとともに、防衛交流による部隊間の信頼醸成を図ることが大切だ。

Regarding North Korea’s nuclear threat, the white paper says it is likely Pyongyang “has already made considerable progress in its nuclear weapons program” through the nuclear test it conducted in February. The paper concludes that the North Korean threat “simply cannot be tolerated.”
 北朝鮮について白書は、今年2月の核実験により、「核兵器計画をさらに進展させた可能性が高い」と分析したうえ、「断じて容認できない」と批判した。

The paper also mentions North Korea’s ballistic missile launch in December. It acknowledges that North Korea has significantly improved its technology to extend the range and the accuracy of ballistic missiles, saying its long-range missiles could reach significant portions of the continental United States.
 昨年12月の弾道ミサイル発射に関しては、「長射程化や精度の向上に資する技術の進展」を認め、「米国本土の中部や西部に到達する可能性がある」と指摘した。

Getting China and North Korea to restrain their dangerous military actions requires not only increased diplomatic efforts to promote multilevel dialogue aimed at easing tensions. It is also essential for Japan to improve its military power to offset the threat these nations present.
 中国や北朝鮮に危険な軍事行動を自制させるには、緊張緩和に向けた様々な対話による外交努力に加えて、軍事的な抑止力を向上させることが欠かせない。

Better protection needed

In recent years, the SDF and U.S. forces have increased their joint exercises and warning and surveillance activities to promote what is called “dynamic defense cooperation,” a task mainly aimed at improving their quick reaction capability.
 自衛隊と米軍は近年、即応力を重視した「動的防衛協力」の一環として、共同の訓練や警戒監視活動を強化している。

It is also necessary to ensure that isolated islands in Okinawa Prefecture receive better protection, now that MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor transport aircraft have been deployed at the prefecture’s Futenma Air Station.
新型輸送機MV22オスプレイの沖縄配備を踏まえ離島防衛も着実に進めたい。

Another essential task facing our nation is to expand the number of SDF personnel and equipment in answer to China’s medium- and long-term military buildup. In the current fiscal budget, the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has increased defense spending for the first time in 11 years--but by a meager 35.1 billion yen, or a 0.8 percent rise.
 中国の中長期的な軍備増強に対抗するには、自衛隊の人員・装備の拡充が不可欠だ。安倍政権は今年度、11年ぶりに防衛予算を増やしたが、増加額はわずか351億円(0・8%)にすぎない。

China’s defense expenditures have sharply increased. In statistics published by the Chinese government, the growth marks nearly a fourfold rise in the past 10 years and more than a 33-fold increase in 25 years. As circumstances stand today, the figure is about double Japan’s defense spending. If the increase goes unchecked, however, the disparity will likely widen to a more than fivefold gap 10 years from now. The situation is extremely serious.
 中国の公表国防費は過去10年で約4倍、25年で33倍以上に増えた。現在は日本の約2倍だが、今の増額ペースが続けば、10年後にはその差が5倍以上にも広がる。深刻な事態だ。

Japan needs to increase its defense spending from now on.
日本は来年度以降も、防衛予算を伸ばす必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 10, 2013)
(2013年7月10日01時52分  読売新聞)

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13参院選 社会保障 負担増の論議は避けられない

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 11, 2013
Don’t shirk discussions on raising the elderly’s social security burden
13参院選 社会保障 負担増の論議は避けられない(7月10日付・読売社説)

Amid a chronically low birthrate and rapidly aging population, Japan’s spending on social security, including pensions, medical care and nursing care, has been continuously increasing.
 少子高齢化が急速に進む中、年金、医療、介護などの社会保障費は増え続けている。

How can a sustainable social security system be built? This is an important issue in the upcoming House of Councillors election.
 持続可能な社会保障制度をどう築いていくか。参院選の重要な争点である。

The Liberal Democratic Party has unveiled policies to promote wider use of cheap generic drugs and prevent people from receiving treatment at more than one medical institution for the same disease or sickness. These policies show the LDP has a sense of urgency on this issue.
 自民党が、価格の安い後発医薬品の使用拡大や、複数の医療機関での重複診療抑制を打ち出したのは、危機感の表れと言えよう。

However, a glance at the campaign pledges of the political parties, including the LDP, reveals that they are hesitant to ask the public to pay more for their social security system.
 だが、自民を含め、各党の公約を見ると、国民に負担増を求めることには及び腰だ。

Elderly should pay more

For example, increasing the proportion of medical expenses that elderly people must pay out of their own pocket is one issue that needs to be addressed.
 例えば、高齢者医療の自己負担率を引き上げる問題である。

The Health Insurance Law and others stipulate that people aged 70 to 74 must pay 20 percent of their medical expenses when they are treated at a hospital. Despite this, government administrations since 2008 have capped this figure at 10 percent as a special measure, apparently for fear of sparking a backlash from the elderly if they increase it.
 健康保険法などは70~74歳の医療費の窓口負担を2割と定めている。それにもかかわらず、2008年以降、歴代政権は特例措置として1割に抑えてきた。高齢者の反発を恐れてのことだろう。

We think this figure should be raised to 20 percent, as set by law, to curtail public spending.
 公費の支出削減のため、法定の2割への引き上げは必要だ。

However, the LDP, New Komeito and the Democratic Party of Japan do not mention this issue in their election pledges. The Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party oppose raising this figure.
 しかし、この問題について、自民、公明、民主各党は公約で言及していない。共産、社民両党は引き上げに反対している。

Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Norihisa Tamura expressed his intention to review the special measure at a press conference Tuesday, but he did not set any time frame for abolishing it.
 田村厚生労働相は9日の記者会見で、特例措置を見直す意向を示したものの、廃止する時期については言明しなかった。

How can snowballing medical spending be rolled back? How can financial resources to fund the medical care system be secured? We urge all parties to deepen discussions on these matters.
 医療費の増加をどう抑えるのか。財源をどう確保するのか。各党は議論を深めてもらいたい。

It is utterly irresponsible of the DPJ, the JCP and the SDP to insist on raising medical fees, which will inflate government spending on medical care, without explaining where the money to cover the cost will come from.
 民主、共産、社民各党が、財源を示さずに、医療費増大につながる診療報酬の引き上げを主張しているのは無責任に過ぎよう。

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) has proposed benefits for the elderly be reduced to more reasonable levels. The proportion of medical bills people are required to pay at hospitals differs between age groups. Ishin no Kai has proposed that this proportion be set at a uniform rate, so people shoulder medical expenses commensurate with their income.
 日本維新の会は「高齢者向け給付の適正化」を提起している。年齢によって異なる現行の医療費の自己負担割合を一律にし、「所得に応じた負担」にする内容だ。

Ishin no Kai also calls for raising the eligibility age for pension benefits. These issues deserve to be discussed in detail.
 年金の支給開始年齢の引き上げもうたっている。いずれも検討すべき課題だろう。

Measures to deal with the low birthrate also are important.
 少子化対策も重要だ。

Help people have kids

The number of births in Japan fell to a record low of 1.037 million last year. A relentless decline in the number of people in the working generation that supports the elderly will imperil the very foundation of the nation’s social security system.
 わが国の出生数は昨年、過去最少の103万7000人にとどまった。高齢者を支える現役世代の減少が続けば、社会保障制度の根幹を危うくする。

It is essential to create an environment in which more people can raise their children while continuing their careers. Amid public calls for eliminating the waiting lists for licensed day care centers, political parties are in step when it comes to improving child care services.
 働きながら子育てできる環境整備が欠かせない。待機児童の解消が求められる中、保育の充実では各党の足並みはそろっている。

The LDP touted that it will ensure child care facilities are capable of accepting 400,000 more children by the end of fiscal 2017. However, many problems need to be solved before this target can be achieved, including how to cooperate with local governments on this matter. The LDP must present specific steps for reaching this goal.
 自民党は、17年度までに40万人の保育の受け皿確保を掲げた。ただ、自治体とどう連携するかなど、懸案は多い。実現への具体策を示すことが大切である。

The nation’s budget for measures to deal with the low birthrate is small compared with those of the United States and European countries. It is necessary to correct the current social security benefit setup, which is generous for the elderly, but relatively light for working and child-raising generations.
 日本の少子化対策予算は、欧米に比べて少ない。高齢者に手厚く、現役・子育て世代に薄い社会保障給付を是正することが必要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 10, 2013)
(2013年7月10日01時52分  読売新聞)

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2013年7月10日 (水)

原発再稼働申請 安全確認は公正で効率的に

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 10, 2013
Nuclear plant safety must be confirmed fairly, efficiently
原発再稼働申請 安全確認は公正で効率的に(7月9日付・読売社説)

The true worth of the Nuclear Regulation Authority is being put to the test.
 原子力規制委員会の真価が問われよう。

New regulation standards for nuclear power plants, which had been compiled based on lessons from the nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, took effect Monday.
 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所事故を教訓とした原発の新規制基準が8日、施行された。

Following the enforcement of these new standards, Hokkaido Electric Power Co., Kansai Electric Power Co., Shikoku Electric Power Co. and Kyushu Electric Power Co. filed applications with the NRA for 10 of their idled reactors at five plants to undergo safety checks, a procedure to obtain approval for restarting the reactors.
 これに伴い、北海道、関西、四国、九州の電力4社が5原発10基の再稼働に向け、安全審査を規制委に申請した。

The new guidelines have significantly increased steps to help prevent a serious problem at a nuclear plant from becoming even worse. The assessment of the impact of earthquakes and tsunami has been bolstered.
 新基準は、万が一の重大トラブルの際に事態の悪化を食い止める手段を大幅に増やした。地震・津波の影響評価も強化した。

Each reactor has many components that need to be inspected, so checking just one unit will reportedly take more than six months. Moreover, several reactors will be checked simultaneously, so the nuclear watchdog will need to conduct its work efficiently.
 点検する項目は多く、1基に半年以上を要するという。しかも複数の原発を同時に審査する。規制委には、効率性も求められる。

New rules not perfect

The new standards, however, still have some shortcomings.
 新基準には課題も残る。

To prepare for possible difficulties keeping a reactor cool, the new guidelines call for installing a filter-equipped exhaust system to reduce pressure inside the reactor and setting up an emergency measures center. Other steps include building new seawalls and watertight doors.
Some critics say these measures rely too much on safety standards for the plants’ “hardware.” Safety must be checked comprehensively, including such “software” factors as operators’ ability to cope with and respond to an emergency.
 原子炉冷却が困難な時に内部の圧力を下げるフィルター付き排気設備や緊急時対策所、防潮堤、防水扉などの新設を求めたが、ハード偏重との批判がある。運転員の緊急時対応能力といったソフト面も加味し、総合判断すべきだ。

A grace period of five years has been set for building some facilities and installing equipment at the plants because improvements have been made in safety arrangements, including the deployment of vehicle-mounted electricity generators. Such a realistic approach will be crucial also in the safety check process.
 一部の設備については、設置を5年間猶予した。各原発で既に電源車などが配備され、安全性が向上したためだ。審査でも、こうした現実的な対応が欠かせない。

The assessment of the potential impact of earthquakes and tsunami on the nuclear plants also is likely to face rough going. The NRA has taken a blatantly biased approach in hastily concluding that topographic strains under some facilities are active faults. Its checks must be based on scientific facts.
 地震・津波の影響評価は難航しそうだ。規制委は、これまでも地形の歪(ひず)みを活断層と速断するなど偏りが目立つ。審査は、科学的な根拠に立脚せねばならない。

Moreover, the NRA has often lacked fairness in making decisions, as it did not give utilities a sufficient opportunity to rebut its assessment of the faults. To ensure the safety screening goes smoothly, the NRA must shed its self-righteous mind-set and hold constructive and repeated dialogue with the utilities.
 さらに、活断層評価で電力会社側に十分な反論の機会を与えないなど、規制委は、しばしば公正さを欠いてきた。安全審査を円滑に進めるには、「独善」を排し、電力会社と建設的な対話を重ねることが不可欠である。

Niigata gov. not bending

Almost all of Japan’s nuclear reactors have been sitting idle for more than one year. Operating thermal power plants to fill the power shortage has cost an additional 4 trillion yen a year. This has led to a series of power rate increases, which has seriously affected the national economy as a whole, including businesses and households.
 ほとんどの原発が1年以上、停止したままだ。代替する火力発電所の追加燃料費は年4兆円に上る。電気料金値上げも相次ぎ、企業や家計など日本経済全体に深刻な影響が広がっている。

We believe nuclear reactors must be restarted as early as possible once they have been confirmed safe to operate.
 安全を確認できた原発は、早期に再稼働する必要がある。

TEPCO did not apply for safety checks on its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture. This is because Niigata Gov. Hirohiko Izumida had strongly opposed the utility’s plan to apply, saying it “disregarded local opinion.”
 東京電力は柏崎刈羽原発(新潟県)の申請を見送った。東電の審査申請の方針に対して、新潟県の泉田裕彦知事が「地元軽視だ」と反発を強めているためだ。

The utility’s president, Naomi Hirose, met with Izumida, but their talks ended with no agreement. Regrettably, the governor’s opposition revolved around the fact that TEPCO did not consult with the prefecture before announcing its plan to apply for safety checks. It is problematic that the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, which holds the key to securing a stable electricity supply to the Tokyo metropolitan area, will not be able to undergo even a safety check.
 東電の広瀬直己社長が泉田氏と会談したが、物別れに終わった。東電から事前相談がなかったといった手続き論に終始したのは残念である。首都圏の電力安定のカギを握る柏崎刈羽原発が、安全審査さえ受けられないのは問題だ。

We urge Izumida and the utility to discuss the matter with cool heads and seek an end to the impasse. The government will need to make painstaking efforts to obtain the understanding of Niigata and other local governments that remain cautious about restarting nuclear reactors.
 泉田氏と東電は冷静に協議し、打開策を探ってもらいたい。他の原発を含め、再稼働に慎重な関係自治体の理解を得るには、政府による説得も重要になる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 9, 2013)
(2013年7月9日01時52分  読売新聞)

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中国とガス田 一方的な開発は認められない

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 10, 2013
China’s unilateral development of gas field cannot be tolerated
中国とガス田 一方的な開発は認められない(7月9日付・読売社説)

The latest development is serious and certain to raise tensions in relations between Japan and China, which are already at loggerheads over the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture.
 沖縄県・尖閣諸島を巡って対立している日本と中国の関係を一層緊張させる重大な事態だ。

It was recently learned that China is developing a new gas field near the median line between the two countries in the East China Sea, an area where a common borderline has yet to be defined.
 日中の境界が画定していない東シナ海の中間線付近で、中国が新たなガス田開発に着手したことが発覚した。

It can be said that China’s hard-line stance under President Xi Jinping has become clear, with his administration trying to expand his country’s maritime interests by force or through a number of faits accomplis.
 既成事実を積み重ね、力ずくで海洋権益を得ようとする中国の習近平政権の強硬姿勢が一段と鮮明になったと言えよう。

In June 2008, Japan and China agreed that both countries would jointly develop the Shirakaba gas field (called Chunxiao in China) located near a median line drawn at equal distances from the coastlines of the two nations. Both countries also agreed they would designate specific waters that straddle the median line to jointly develop, while agreeing to continue negotiations over possible joint development in other waters.
 日中両国は2008年6月、両国から等距離の中間線に隣接する白樺ガス田を共同開発し、中間線をまたぐ特定海域を共同開発区域にすること、さらに、その他の海域での共同開発に向けた協議を継続することで合意した。

China claims wider EEZ

The agreement was made as both countries were unable to close the rift in views concerning the delineation of their respective exclusive economic zones, in which nations have sovereign rights over seabed resources. Japan asserted that a median line should be drawn at equal distances from the coastlines to delineate respective EEZs while China claimed an EEZ that stretches farther east, saying its continental shelf extends to the Okinawa Trough.
 海底資源に主権的権利が及ぶ排他的経済水域(EEZ)の境界線を巡って、中間線を主張する日本と、沖縄トラフまでとする中国の見解の溝が埋まらないためだ。

The area where China has recently been confirmed to have begun establishing a drilling facility is located about 26 kilometers west, toward China, of the median line favored by Japan. The unilateral act of China’s developing the area without a bilateral accord with Japan is intolerable.
 今回、中国の掘削施設の新設作業が確認されたのは、中間線から中国寄り西側約26キロの海上だ。日中間に合意がないまま一方的に開発する行為は容認できない。

It stands to reason that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has criticized China by saying, “We want China to abide firmly by the bilateral accord.” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga also lodged a protest over China’s latest action.
 安倍首相が「合意にはしっかり従ってもらいたい」と中国を批判したのは当然である。菅官房長官も中国に抗議の意を表明した。

But a spokesperson of China’s Foreign Ministry said there was nothing for China to be criticized for as the development activity is in Chinese waters. Does this mean China is saying there is nothing wrong with its developing an area closer to China from the median line?
 ところが、中国外務省報道官は、「中国が管轄する海域での開発活動で、非難される点はない」と開き直っている。中間線より中国側の海域のため、全く問題がないとでも言うのだろうか。

The latest gas field development attests to the Xi administration’s intention of accelerating China’s drive to become a “maritime power,” by promoting natural resource development in the East China Sea, as it is doing in the South China Sea.
 新たなガス田開発は、「海洋強国」化を加速する習政権が、南シナ海同様、東シナ海でも資源開発を推進しようとする表れだ。

China has not only repeatedly had its surveillance ships enter Japan’s territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands but also had its marine research vessels intrude into Japanese waters recently. The country has also dispatched other survey vessels to an area within Japan’s EEZ, about 85 kilometers north of Okinotorishima island. These developments indicate that China is trying to expand its maritime interests even in the Western Pacific Ocean.
 尖閣諸島周辺では、監視船による日本領海への侵入を繰り返すばかりか、最近は海洋調査船まで投入した。沖ノ鳥島から北へ約85キロの日本のEEZ内にも、別の調査船を派遣した。触手を西太平洋にまで伸ばそうという勢いだ。

Japan must press for talks

The recent spate of China’s maritime activities is probably the Xi administration’s attempt to raise pressure on the Abe administration. Japan, in the meantime, should press China to resume the bilateral talks on the joint development of the East China Sea in accordance with the 2008 bilateral accords, while remaining unruffled by China’s pressure.
 海洋での一連の動きは、安倍政権に対する圧力を強める習政権の狙いもあるのだろう。日本としては中国の圧迫に動じることなく、08年の合意に基づき、東シナ海の共同開発交渉を進めるべきだ。

To begin with, it is China that unilaterally discontinued the bilateral talks over an accord on the joint development of a natural gas field in the area in question, following a collision between a Chinese fishing vessel and Japan Coast Guard patrol boats near the Senkaku Islands in 2010. Even since, Beijing has refused to accept Japan’s requests to resume the talks.
 そもそも、ガス田合意を実現するための条約締結交渉を、10年に尖閣諸島沖で発生した中国漁船衝突事件を機に一方的に中断したのは中国である。その後も、日本の交渉再開要請に応じていない。

As long as China continues to take such a stance, its image of being “a power of a different nature” that easily breaks its promises made in intergovernmental accords will remain fixed in the international arena.
 これでは、政府間合意さえ簡単に反故(ほご)にする「異質の大国」としてのイメージが、国際社会で定着するだけではないか。

The Xi administration must suspend the gas field development in question and agree to resume the bilateral talks.
 習政権はガス田開発を中止し、交渉再開に応じねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 9, 2013)
(2013年7月9日01時52分  読売新聞)

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2013年7月 9日 (火)

オリンパス判決 統治機能の欠如が指弾された

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 9, 2013
Lack of corporate governance at Olympus harshly criticized
オリンパス判決 統治機能の欠如が指弾された(7月8日付・読売社説)

In the latest court ruling concernng Olympus Corp., judicial authorities have placed grave responsibility on that company for having shaken, both at home and abroad, investors’ trust in the Japanese market.
 日本市場に対する国内外の信用を揺るがした。その責任を重く見た司法判断と言えるだろう。

The Tokyo District Court found three former Olympus executives, including former chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, guilty of violating the Financial Instruments and Exchange Law in connection with a window-dressing scheme carried out by the world’s leading optical equipment manufacturer.
 世界的な光学機器メーカー「オリンパス」の粉飾決算事件で、東京地裁が、金融商品取引法違反に問われた菊川剛前会長ら旧経営陣3人に有罪判決を言い渡した。

The court ruled the three had inflated the company’s net assets in its financial statements by up to 117.8 billion yen over five business years up to the term ending in March 2011, to hide massive investment losses the company incurred during the bubble economy.
 判決は、バブル期の財テク失敗で抱えた損失を隠蔽するため、3人が2011年3月期までの5年間の決算で、有価証券報告書の純資産額を最大で1178億円も水増ししたと認定した。

‘Systematic crime’

The court concluded the window-dressing was a “systematic crime,” slapping the company itself with a fine of 700 million yen, a record fine for violating that law, which shows how seriously the court took the actions of the former top Olympus executives.
 こうした粉飾工作について、判決は「組織的な犯行」と断じ、法人としてのオリンパスにも、金融商品取引法違反で過去最高額となる7億円の罰金を命じた。歴代トップが関与した粉飾に対する裁判所の厳しい姿勢の表れである。

The ruling also took seriously the fact that the crime was committed after the penalties under the law against false entries in financial statements had been reinforced with a revision. It is quite reasonable that the court criticized the scheme for having “made light of the purport of the law revision.”
 判決は、虚偽記載に対する金融商品取引法の罰則が強化された時期の犯行だった点も重視した。「法改正の趣旨をないがしろにした」と批判したのはもっともだ。

The window-dressing scheme was cleverly contrived, utilizing international financial transactions and using such practices as transferring losses to overseas funds.
 粉飾の手口は、海外ファンドに損失を移す「飛ばし」など国際金融取引を駆使した巧妙なものだった。

The former executives also used funds established in foreign countries, including one known as a tax haven, as well as overseas financial institutions known for their strict confidentiality. The behavior of the former executives was blatantly malicious.
海外の租税回避地や秘匿性の高い金融機関も利用していた。悪質さは際立っていたと言える。

In a related development, former employees of major Japanese securities firms have been indicted on a charge of being accomplices in the scheme for allegedly instructing the executives how to hide the massive losses of the company. They have also been indicted on suspicion of illegally transferring 2 billion-plus yen--believed to be a reward for advising Olympus executives--to bank accounts overseas, in violation of the Anti-Organized Crime Law.
 指南役とされる国内大手証券会社の元社員らは、粉飾の共犯として起訴された。さらに、オリンパスから受領した20億円超の裏報酬を海外に隠したとして組織犯罪処罰法違反でも追起訴された。

Spotlighted in the latest case was a lack of corporate governance. The ruling noted that key company information was concentrated in the hands of a limited number of senior executives, rendering meaningless the board of directors and the board auditors, which were supposed to oversee the corporate management.
 今回の事件で浮き彫りになったのは、企業のガバナンス(統治機能)の欠如だ。判決も「重要情報が少数の幹部に集中し、経営を監視する取締役会や監査役会は形骸化していた」と指摘した。

As such malicious window-dressing practices went unchecked for a long time, the very traits of Japanese companies have come to be doubted. We must not forget this.
 悪質な粉飾決算が長期間、チェックされずに続けられてきたことで、日本企業の体質そのものに不審の目が向けられた。それを忘れてはなるまい。

Outside perspectives

Drawing a lesson from the latest case, companies should establish workable internal management systems. In this connection, an increasing number of listed companies have appointed outside board members. In monitoring corporate management, it would be effective to make use of those outside perspectives.
 事件を教訓に、各企業は実効性のある内部管理体制の構築に努めるべきだ。上場企業では、社外取締役を選任するケースが増えている。経営監視に外部の視点を生かすことは有効だろう。

Another question raised by the latest case is the nature of auditing companies. Two auditing firms for Olympus--KPMG AZSA LLC. and Ernst & Young ShinNihon LLC.--that issued “clean opinion” ratings for Olympus’ window-dressed statements were slapped with a “business improvement administrative order” by the Financial Services Agency last year.
 監査法人の在り方も問われている。オリンパスの粉飾決算に「適正意見」を出したあずさ、新日本の両監査法人は昨年、金融庁から業務改善命令を受けた。

The agency announced new auditing standards in March, calling on auditors to conduct short-notice inspections if there are doubts about a company’s financial statement. It is the auditor’s responsibility to strictly audit client firms and not to overlook any illicit accounting practices.
 金融庁は今年3月、決算に疑念がある場合、抜き打ち的な監査の実施を求める新たな監査基準を公表した。厳正な監査に徹し、不正を見過ごさないことが、監査法人の責務である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 8, 2013)
(2013年7月8日01時42分  読売新聞)

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米機密漏洩事件 問われる情報管理のずさんさ

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 9, 2013
U.S. information leakage shows sloppiness in managing secrets
米機密漏洩事件 問われる情報管理のずさんさ(7月8日付・読売社説)

A single individual has shaken up the world.
 ひとりの男が世界中を揺るがしている。

The individual is Edward Snowden, a former systems analyst with the U.S. National Security Agency whom the NSA has accused of illegally gathering and spreading information.
 米国家安全保障局(NSA)が違法な通信情報収集をしていると告発したスノーデン容疑者のことだ。

Snowden has asked 26 countries in South America, Europe and other regions for political asylum, but he has been stuck in the transit zone of Moscow’s international airport for as long as two weeks.
南米や欧州などの26か国に亡命申請し、2週間もモスクワの空港で待機している。

In Hong Kong a month ago, the 30-year-old former systems analyst leaked to major U.S. and British newspapers that the NSA, using a surveillance and monitoring system it built in strict secrecy, was gathering a large amount of information from e-mails, Internet phone conversations and online video sites.
 スノーデン氏は香港に滞在していた1か月前、NSAが、極秘に構築した監視・傍受システムを使って、電子メールやネット電話、動画サイトの情報を大量に収集していると英米紙に暴露した。

Veil of secrecy

Regarding his motivation for revealing NSA’s global monitoring activities, Snowden, who was not a regular NSA official but an employee with one of its contractors, told the media his conscience did not allow him to remain idle while the privacy of a huge number of individuals was being infringed upon.
 NSA職員ではなく、契約請負企業で働いていた民間人だが、個人のプライバシーが侵害されるのを見て、「良心が許さなかった」と、告発の動機を語っている。

The NSA is an intelligence organization shrouded in secrecy. It has facilities around the world, including Japan.
 NSAは、秘密のベールに包まれた情報機関だ。日本を含む世界各地に施設を保有している。

Even so, we cannot help but feel astounded that the U.S. government’s confidential information can be divulged by an individual in the private sector so nonchalantly.
 それにしても、民間人が機密情報をかくも容易に漏洩(ろうえい)できたことには驚くしかない。

For the purpose of processing the immense amount of information they have collected, U.S. intelligence agencies have reportedly entrusted the task to an increasing number of private-sector IT companies. As a result, the number of people in the private sector who have access to top U.S. government secrets is said to be about 500,000.
 米情報機関では、膨大な情報の処理のため民間企業への委託が増え、最高機密にアクセス可能な民間人は約50万人に上るという。

Only three years ago, a U.S. Army private first class leaked a large amount of U.S. diplomatic information to the WikiLeaks whistle-blowing site. More than 250,000 pieces of information were leaked.
 米国では3年前にも、陸軍上等兵が内部告発サイト、ウィキリークスに大量の米外交公電を流し、25万点以上がそのまま公開される事件があったばかりだ。

The sloppiness of the U.S. government’s information management must be questioned.
 米政府の情報管理のずさんさは問われなければならない。

The administration of President Barack Obama has charged Snowden on a number of counts, including violation of the anti-espionage law, calling for countries concerned to cooperate in handing him over to the United States. This action shows how grave the impact the Snowden case has had on the U.S. government. Washington is apparently doing its best to prevent further confidential information from being divulged.
 オバマ政権は、スノーデン氏をスパイ防止法違反容疑などで訴追し、関係国に身柄の引き渡しへの協力を要請した。米国が受けた衝撃の大きさを物語る。さらなる機密の流出を防ぎたいのだろう。

As this is the age of Internet, gigantic amounts of electronic information travel around the world. The Internet traffic has mostly been through the servers of major U.S. telecommunication firms.
 ネット時代の今日、大量の電子情報が世界を飛び交っている。その多くは、米大手通信会社のサーバーを経由している。

After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, U.S. efforts for beefing up Internet surveillance activities with cooperation from telecommunication firms with the aim of preventing terrorist activities has been an open secret.
 米政府が2001年9月の同時テロ後、テロ防止の目的で、通信会社の協力を得てネット監視を強化したのは公然の秘密だった。

Protect whistle-blowers

The question is whether the widespread monitoring operations are conducted legally.
 問題は、それが合法的に行われているのか、ということだ。

Obama recently went on record as saying the surveillance activities, with the cooperation of telecommunications companies, are “completely legal” and are necessary to protect Americans from terrorist attacks.
 オバマ大統領は、「合法的で、テロから国民を保護する必要な措置」と述べ、正当性を強調した。

The NSA chief stressed the usefulness of the surveillance activities by saying in congressional testimony that the agency has successfully thwarted “more than 50 cases” of terrorist attacks in more than 20 countries.
NSA長官は議会で、「世界20か国以上で50件を超すテロ計画を阻止した」と有用性を述べた。

However justifiable the purpose for surveillance may be, information-gathering operations lacking appropriate constraints could lead to the abuse of power.
 いくら目的が正当でも、適切な歯止めを欠いた情報収集活動は権力乱用につながる恐れがある。

Snowden failed to abide by procedures stipulated for in-house whistle-blowing. He may or may not have feared that he could be ignored and arrested.
 スノーデン氏は、所定の内部告発手続きを踏まなかった。無視され、逮捕されることを恐れたのかどうか。

To stem the divulgence of information, it is also important to protect whistle-blowers.
情報流出の阻止には、内部告発者を保護する仕組みが機能することも重要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 8, 2013)
(2013年7月8日01時42分  読売新聞)

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2013年7月 8日 (月)

13参院選 エネルギー政策 電力安定で経済再生に弾みを

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 8, 2013
Stable supply of power essential for reinvigorating the economy
13参院選 エネルギー政策 電力安定で経済再生に弾みを(7月7日付・読売社説)

 ◆「原発ゼロ」の弊害を直視せよ

Electricity, the “blood” of the economy, must be cheaply and stably secured to revive the Japanese economy.
 日本経済を再生させるには、「経済の血液」の電力を安く、安定的に確保する必要がある。

There are 50 nuclear reactors in Japan, but only two of them, at the Oi nuclear power station of Kansai Electric Power Co., are operating. The nation’s supply and demand of electricity are as shaky as a tightrope now.
 全国の原子力発電所50基のうち、運転中は関西電力大飯原発の2基だけで、電力需給は綱渡りだ。

Nuclear reactors whose safety is confirmed must be restarted one by one to eliminate the power shortage.
 安全性が確認された原発を着実に再稼働し、電力不足を解消しなければならない。

 ◆再稼働は政治の責任

All the parties except the ruling Liberal Democratic Party state in their policy platform for the upcoming House of Councillors election that nuclear power generation should be terminated in the future. But none of them have presented an effective plan to secure power. They should face up to the harmful effects on business, employment and the global environment that denuclearization would cause and discuss more realistic energy policies.
 参院選の公約では、自民党を除く各党が「原発ゼロ」を掲げた。しかし、電力確保について有効な処方箋を示していない。脱原発が景気・雇用や地球環境などに及ぼす弊害を直視し、現実的なエネルギー政策を論じるべきだ。

The LDP stipulates in its election pledges that the state should make utmost efforts to obtain the consent for reactivation from local governments hosting nuclear power plants. This is an appropriate pledge as a responsible government party.
 自民党は、原発再稼働に地元自治体の理解が得られるよう最大限努力するとの方針を公約に明記した。責任ある政権与党として、妥当な対応といえる。

Check N-plants quickly

New safety standards for nuclear power plants become effective on Monday. Based on the new standards, electric power companies will ask the Nuclear Regulation Authority to check the safety of their nuclear reactors for reactivation.
 原発の新規制基準が8日に施行される。これを受け、各電力は原子力規制委員会に、再稼働のための安全審査を申請する。

The authority should carry out safety inspections without delay.
 規制委には遅滞なく審査してもらいたい。

A worrying factor is the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant of Tokyo Electric Power Co. in Niigata Prefecture. Niigata Gov. Hirohiko Izumida has presented difficult demands for restarting the reactors. If the reactors are not restarted, power supply in TEPCO’s service area will not become stable, and this could cause TEPCO to post an ordinary loss for the third straight year, resulting in a management crisis.
 気がかりなのは、新潟県の東京電力柏崎刈羽原発だ。泉田裕彦新潟県知事が、再稼働に厳しい注文をつけている。再稼働できなければ、電力供給が安定しない。東電の経常利益は3年連続の赤字となり、経営危機に陥る恐れもある。

After the House of Councillors election, the LDP and the government must jointly do their best to obtain the consent of local governments hosting nuclear power plants.
 参院選後、自民党は政府とともに、原発立地自治体の説得に全力を尽くさねばならない。

In its policy platform, the LDP has also presented a policy of increasing official assistance for exports of Japanese technologies related to infrastructure, including nuclear power generation. It is important to accelerate exports of infrastructure as a pillar of the government’s growth strategy.
 自民党は、原発などインフラ輸出の支援体制を強化する方針も示した。成長戦略の柱として加速させることが重要である。

The LDP also needs to coordinate policies with its coalition partner, New Komeito. In its policy platform, Komeito has not rejected restarting nuclear reactors, but it stipulates that the party aims to stop the use of nuclear power generation as soon as possible.
 連立を組む公明党との調整も必要だろう。公明党は公約で、原発再稼働の可能性は否定しなかったが、可能な限り速やかな「原発ゼロ」を目指すとしている。

We expect the LDP and Komeito to explain to voters in an easy-to-understand manner to what degree the two parties differ in their perceptions concerning nuclear power generation.
 自民党と公明党の認識に大きな違いがあるのかどうか、有権者にわかりやすく説明してほしい。

DPJ policy unrealistic
 ◆「電気代2倍」どうする

Among the opposition parties, the Democratic Party of Japan, Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Your Party approve the restart of nuclear reactors at present, but they also stipulate they would aim to terminate the use of nuclear power in the future.
 野党のうち、民主党、日本維新の会、みんなの党は、当面の再稼働を事実上容認しつつ、将来的な「原発ゼロ」を掲げた。

The DPJ’s electoral pledge of “reducing to zero the nuclear power generation in the 2030s” is in line with the energy policy adopted by the administration led by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, which ended in December.
 民主党の「2030年代に原発稼働ゼロ」は、野田内閣のエネルギー戦略を踏襲した。

The content of the policy, worked out in the autumn of last year, was unrealistic, so the Cabinet did not adopt the policy because of adverse reactions from various quarters, including the business world and the Aomori prefectural government, which has taken the approach of expediting a nuclear power policy, and even the United States.
昨年秋にまとめられたが、経済界や原子力政策に協力する青森県、米国などの反発を受け、閣議決定できなかった非現実的な内容である。

The Japanese Communist Party and People’s Life Party, for their part, even oppose reactivation of nuclear power plants that have been idled.
 共産党や生活の党などは、再稼働すら認めていない。

The facile argument seeking to break away from nuclear power generation seems to be pandering to the voters. It appears to be aimed at ramping up public support for the parties making the argument by exploiting people’s insecurities caused by the March 11, 2011, accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
安易な脱原発路線は、東電福島第一原発の事故で生じた不安に乗じて支持拡大を狙う、大衆迎合ではないか。

Although no major power blackout has taken place since the Fukushima accident, it is Pollyannaish to assume the nation’s electricity demand can be met without nuclear power. Due attention must be paid to the current stringent supply-demand situation of electricity in which thermal power stations, including superannuated ones, have been run at full blast.
 大停電は起きていないが、「原発なしで電気は足りる」と考えるのは楽観的すぎる。老朽化した火力発電所まで酷使している厳しい現状を踏まえるべきだ。

Additional fuel costs of utilities to make up for power shortages because of the stoppage of their nuclear power stations stand at nearly 4 trillion yen a year. As a result, a colossal amount of the nation’s wealth has been flowing abroad to import fuel for thermal power generation, while electricity charges have continued to rise.
 原発を代替する火力発電所の追加燃料費は4兆円近くにのぼる。巨額の国富流出と、電気料金の上昇が続いている。

TEPCO, KEPCO and Kyushu Electric Power Co. have already raised power rates, while three other utilities, including Hokkaido Electric Power Co., have applied to the government to boost charges.
 すでに東電、関電、九州電力の3社が値上げに踏み切り、北海道など3電力も申請中だ。

According to one estimate, electricity charges could double from the current level in the event of “zero nuclear power generation.”
「原発ゼロ」になると、電気代が2倍に跳ね上がるとの試算もある。

Various assertions are being made to defend the wisdom of abolishing nuclear power, such as the claims that hikes in electricity charges can be curbed by reforming the current power supply system and that the nation can attain economic growth without nuclear power generation through investment in renewable energy projects such as solar power. These arguments, however, are mostly cases of wishful thinking and lack convincing grounds.
 電力制度改革で料金は抑制される。原発をやめても、太陽光など再生可能エネルギーへの投資で経済成長できる。こうした主張も聞かれるが、多くは期待先行で根拠に乏しい。

The parties advocating abolition of nuclear power must produce credible measures regarding how to avoid the negative impact on the national economy and people’s livelihood that would result from denuclearization.
 脱原発を掲げる政党は、経済や生活への打撃をどう回避するか、説得力ある方策を示すべきだ。

Instead of the futile dichotomous debate over the use of nuclear power versus zero nuclear power, a cool-headed discussion should be conducted in a way that suits the reality of Japan’s energy circumstances.
 「原発ゼロ」か否か、という不毛な二項対立ではなく、日本のエネルギー事情に即した、冷静な議論が求められる。

Renewable energy sources have a number of shortcomings, including the fact that the amount of electricity they produce can erratically fluctuate due to climate conditions. Renewables cannot replace nuclear power generation, at least in the near future.
 再生エネは、天候によって発電量が大きく変動するなど様々な欠点もある。当面は原発に代わる主力電源となり得ない。

Thermal overload
 ◆人材の枯渇が心配だ

Currently, about 90 percent of the nation’s power generation depends on thermal power generation, an extremely precarious situation from the viewpoint of energy security. Under the circumstances, greenhouse gas emissions have been sharply rising.
 発電量の約9割が火力で占められ、エネルギー安全保障の観点で極めて危うい状況だ。温室効果ガスの排出量も急増している。

With a view to concurrently addressing many challenges such as enhancing the safety of nuclear power generation, realizing economic growth and conserving the environment, such options as replacing old thermal power stations with ones of the latest design should be considered.
 安全性の向上、経済成長、環境保全など、複数の課題を解決するため、古い原発を最新型に更新する選択肢も考えるべきだ。

After the Fukushima nuclear plant accident, enrollments of students in faculties and courses related to nuclear energy have fallen below quotas at undergraduate and postgraduate schools.
 原発事故後、大学・大学院では原子力関係の学科や専攻の定員割れが相次いでいる。

If nuclear power generation technologies are not handed down to younger generations, Japan may become unable to solve on its own such problems as settling the Fukushima nuclear accident and decommissioning the plant’s reactors and realizing the final disposal of nuclear waste, still less maintaining and managing existing nuclear facilities.
原発の技術が継承されないと、維持・管理はもとより、福島の事故収束と廃炉、核廃棄物の最終処分などを、日本は自力で解決できなくなる。

Yet another problem is the possibility of this country losing its special status as a nuclear strategy partner of the United States.
 米国の核戦略パートナーという特別な地位を失う問題もある。

In the upcoming upper house election, the electorate should determine which parties have been seriously pondering how to effectively cope with the mountain of problems confronting this country.
 どの政党が、山積する課題の解決を真剣に考えているか、有権者はしっかり見極めてほしい。

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

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2013年7月 7日 (日)

13参院選 領土・主権 対外発信力高める戦略が要る

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 7, 2013
Govt needs strategy to spread territorial assertions abroad
13参院選 領土・主権 対外発信力高める戦略が要る(7月6日付・読売社説)

The sovereignty, territories and territorial waters of our nation have continually been threatened by our neighbors.
 我が国の主権と領土・領海が隣国から脅かされる状況が続いている。

Both ruling and opposition parties surely agree that this nation needs to make its stances widely known to the international community.
 日本の立場を広く国際社会にアピールすることが必要だという認識は、与野党とも一致するはずだ。

It is hoped the political parties will discuss diplomacy from this perspective during the campaigning for the July 21 House of Councillors election.
 参院選では、こうした観点からも外交を論じてもらいたい。

As one of its campaign pledges, the Liberal Democratic Party vowed it would strengthen the capabilities of the Self-Defense Forces and the Japan Coast Guard to defend Japan’s territories and territorial waters and would wage publicity campaigns to make the nation’s position, which is based on law and facts, known at home and abroad.
 自民党は公約に、領土や領海を守るため、自衛隊と海上保安庁の体制を強化し、「法と事実に基づく日本の主張」を国内外に積極的に広報する、と掲げた。

DPJ on the same page

The Democratic Party of Japan, too, pledged it would staunchly protect the nation’s sovereignty and proactively convey Japan’s assertions abroad.
 民主党も、「主権を断固として守る」と強調し、「積極的に対外発信する」とうたっている。

These assertions correspond to a report compiled by the government’s expert panel on propagation of information on territory and sovereignty at home and abroad.
 こんな主張と呼応するのが、政府の「領土・主権をめぐる内外発信に関する有識者懇談会」がまとめた報告書だ。

The report sounded an alarm bell about the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture and Takeshima islands in Shimane Prefecture, saying the volume of information spread to other countries is minuscule, falling far short of what can be regarded as adequate.
 沖縄県・尖閣諸島と島根県・竹島の領有権に関し、「第三国向けの発信が圧倒的に不足している」と現状に危機感を表明した。

The report also recommended the nation drastically improve its capacity to spread information in English, urging it to establish an effective publicity strategy and an appropriate system to realize this.
 「英語による発信」を抜本的に強化する必要があると指摘し、効果的な広報戦略の確立とそのための体制整備を求めている。

The delay in waging a publicity battle over the Senkaku Islands can be partly attributed to Japan’s longstanding position that “there is no territorial dispute” over the islands. As it effectively controls the islands, Japan does not see the issue as a territorial dispute as China claims.
 尖閣諸島に関する広報戦の立ち遅れは、日本が長年尖閣諸島について「領土問題は一切存在しない」との立場を取ってきたことも影響している。島を実効支配しているため、中国と同じ土俵に立たないのが基本的な考え方である。

Of course, that stance should be maintained, but Japan should not lose any more time in its efforts to spread its assertions overseas.
 無論、その方針は堅持すべきだが、情報発信面で手をこまぬいているべきではない。

With its wealth of funds and human resources, China is dispatching government officials and experts who assert China’s stance at symposiums abroad, including the United States and European nations. Last autumn, one of China’s English-language newspapers placed advertorials in U.S. and European media, asserting the Senkakus belong to China.
 中国は、豊富な資金と人材を背景に、米欧など世界各地のシンポジウムに自国の立場を代弁する政府関係者や識者を派遣している。中国英字紙は昨年秋、尖閣諸島が中国に帰属すると明記した広告を米欧メディアに掲載した。

South Korea is also keenly engaging in a propaganda campaign over the Takeshima islands.
 韓国も、竹島の領有権に関する宣伝には熱心だ。

Battle for world opinion

Both China and South Korea are trying to win international opinion to their sides by making assertions not only in English but in various other languages.
 中韓両国はいずれも英語をはじめ、多様な言語を駆使して国際世論を味方にしようとしている。

To counter their moves, Japan should strategically and wholeheartedly put an overseas publicity campaign in place.
 これに対抗するには、日本もよほど戦略的かつ本格的に海外広報対策を講じなければならない。

Rather than merely repeating its official stance, Japan needs to rack its brains to effectively build a logical argument to win recognition of its ownership.
 政府の公式見解を繰り返すだけでなく、どんな論理構成にすれば日本の正当性が国際社会に浸透するか、知恵を絞る必要がある。

Furthermore, Japan should not be seen as divided in opinion over these issues.
 日本の国論が割れているように見られてはなるまい。

During his recent visit to China, former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama commented, “It can’t be helped if people thought [Japan stole the islands from China].” His behavior is deplorable for someone who served as prime minister. Such a comment will fall prey to China’s public relations strategy.
 鳩山元首相が訪中し、尖閣諸島について「(日本が中国から)盗んだと思われても仕方がない」と語った。首相経験者として不見識極まりない。中国の広報戦略に都合良く利用されるだけである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 6, 2013)
(2013年7月6日01時29分  読売新聞)

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エジプト政変 大統領の失政が招いた軍介入

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 7, 2013
Egypt’s leaders must quickly come to terms to guard regional stability
エジプト政変 大統領の失政が招いた軍介入(7月6日付・読売社説)

Mohammed Morsi, who became Egypt’s first democratically elected president one year ago, has been outsted in a de facto coup by the military.
 エジプトで1年前に史上初めて民主的に選ばれたモルシ大統領が、軍による事実上のクーデターで、失脚した。

The country’s transition to democratic rule, which was championed in the wake of a dictatorship, is now facing a critical test. Tensions between the military and Morsi supporters have been rising, inciting concern that a wave of clashes between the two forces could aggravate the turmoil.
 独裁体制の崩壊後、曲がりなりにも前進してきた民主化路線が、重大な危機に直面している。軍とモルシ支持勢力との緊張は高まっており、両者の衝突で混迷が深まることが懸念される。

The military deposed Morsi as president and placed him under arrest, claiming the country was on the verge of a security crisis. Adly Mansour, the supreme justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court, has been sworn in as interim president until a new leader is elected.
 軍は、「国の安全保障が危機に瀕(ひん)している」としてモルシ大統領を解任し、拘束した。マンスール最高憲法裁判所長官を暫定大統領とし、暫定政府を構成する。

The military has suspended the Islamist-drafted Constitution and announced a plan to call a presidential election in the near future, but there has been no indication the chaos will subside.
 憲法を停止し、大統領選を早期に実施すると発表したが、事態収拾の道筋は見えていない。

The coup was triggered by a string of massive demonstrations calling for Morsi’s resignation on the anniversary of his first year in office. Since then, the square in central Cairo has been swamped with protesters every day. The scale of demonstrations is reminiscent of those that led to the toppling of the long-standing regime led by President Hosni Mubarak.
 今回のクーデターのきっかけは、大統領就任1周年にあたって、辞任を求める大規模デモが発生したことだ。カイロ中心部の広場は連日デモ隊で埋まり、2011年2月にムバラク政権を打倒したデモをほうふつとさせた。

Repeated clashes beween pro- and anti-Morsi elements have claimed lives in various parts of the country.
 全国各地で反大統領派と大統領支持派が衝突し、死者も出た。

Policy gaffes sparked crisis

The leading factor behind the rebellion was a series of policy blunders by Morsi.
 混乱を招いた最大の要因は、モルシ氏が失政を重ねたことだ。

Morsi was elected with a campaign pledge to improve Egyptians’ livelihoods, but food prices have been skyrocketing and fuel shortages have reached a dire level.
 「生活の改善」を公約して当選したが、食料品の価格は高騰し、燃料不足が深刻化している。

Additionally, public safety has deteriorated due to an increase in heinous crimes. The number of international tourists and the amount of foreign investment have dropped with no sign of recovery.
 凶悪犯罪の増加で治安が悪化し、外国からの観光客や投資も落ち込んだままだ。

Morsi unilaterally issued a decree to bolster the power and authority of the president. He pushed through the enactment of a heavily Islamic Constitution in line with the policy of the Muslim Brotherhood, from which Morsi hails. His political stance has drawn a backlash from secular and liberal forces.
 モルシ氏は、大統領権限の強化を一方的に宣言した。出身母体のイスラム主義組織「ムスリム同胞団」の方針通りイスラム色の濃い憲法の制定を強引に進めた。こうした政治姿勢が世俗・リベラル派から反発をかった。

Widespread political unrest and a rapid expansion of anti- government movements, it may be said, gave the military a pretense for political intervention.
 こうした政情不安と反政府運動の急激な拡大が、軍に政治介入の口実を与えたと言える。

The military-led interim government will be challenged over its ability to restore stability and resume a democratically oriented process for reconstuction of the country.
 軍主導の暫定統治の課題は安定を回復し、民主化を柱とする国家再建を再開できるかどうかだ。

Calm reconciliation needed

The military has been trying to quell protests by force, including detaining many leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood, for its part, has called for supporters to hold rallies across the nation. It is feared such a defiant stance could further aggravate the situation.
 軍は、同胞団幹部を多数拘束するなど、力で抑え込もうとしている。同胞団は支持者に全土でデモを呼びかけ、抵抗する構えだ。これでは事態は一層悪化しよう。

Europe, the United States and Japan, which have backed the democratization of Egypt, expressed concern about the military’s dismissal of Morsi while avoiding direct criticism of the armed forces and calling for a prompt return to civilian control.
 エジプトの民主化を支援してきた欧米や日本は、軍による大統領解任に懸念を表明しつつも、軍を強く非難することは避け、民政への早期復帰を求めている。

To move forward, the military and the Brotherhood must come to the negotiating table and realize national reconciliation as soon as possible.
 軍と同胞団が、対話のテーブルにつき、一刻も早く、国民的な和解を実現することが必要だ。

In Tunisia and Libya, which are both Egypt’s neighbors, the road to democracy was rocky following the collapse of despotic rule. Syria is still suffering from a civil war.
 周辺国のチュニジア、リビアでは、独裁崩壊後の民主化が難航し、シリアでも内戦が続く。

To ensure regional stability, it is indispensable for Egypt, a major power in the area, to swiftly resolve the internal chaos and continue on the path toward democracy.
地域大国エジプトが、動揺を早期に収拾し民主化の道を歩むことは、地域の安定のために欠かせない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 6, 2013)
(2013年7月6日01時29分  読売新聞)

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2013年7月 6日 (土)

参院選公示 政治の「復権」へ論争を深めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 6, 2013
Deepen debate on issues to revitalize political system
参院選公示 政治の「復権」へ論争を深めよ(7月5日付・読売社説)

◆経済再生の具体策を吟味したい◆

Can Japan restore its national strength? We have come to a critical time, when we have an opportunity to make a choice with the future course of this country at stake. Voters must listen seriously to what political parties and candidates advocate, to get the measure of their policies and competence.
 国力を取り戻すことができるのか。日本の針路を左右する重要な選択の機会である。各政党と候補者の訴えに真摯(しんし)に耳を傾け、その政策と能力をしっかりと見極めたい。

Official campaigning for the 23rd election of the House of Councillors began Thursday.
 第23回参院選が公示された。

Japan is now confronted with many grave, difficult-to-solve problems:
 日本は今、多くの深刻かつ困難な課題に直面している。

How does it break away from decades of a deflation-plagued economy to make compatible its two goals of economic growth and rebuilding its deficit-ridden government? What steps must be taken to create a solidly sustainable social welfare system in the face of the rapidly aging society with a low birthrate? What should this country do to reconstruct its diplomacy amid the increasingly volatile global and Asian situations to ensure Japan’s national interest?
 長年のデフレ経済から脱却し、経済成長と財政健全化を両立させる。少子高齢社会でも持続可能な社会保障制度を構築する。世界・アジア情勢が不安定化する中、日本外交を再建し、国益を守る。

None of these tasks can be accomplished easily.
いずれも簡単には実現できない。

End sense of stagnation
 ◆閉塞感を打破できるか◆

Furthermore, an abnormal state of affairs has continued in which the prime minister changed every year since 2006.
 さらに2006年以降、首相が毎年交代する異常事態にある。

Because the prime minister and cabinet members changed so frequently up until the House of Representatives election last year, the central govenment’s bureaucratic machinery tended to go on the defensive, leaving the nation unable to build relationships of trust with foreign leaders and conduct full-fledged diplomatic activities.
 昨年の衆院選まで、首相や閣僚が短期間で交代し続けたため、官僚は「守り」に陥りがちだった。他国の首脳と信頼関係を築けず、本格的な外交が展開できない。

Because of the divided Diet, in which the opposition controls the upper house, bills of key importance have frequently failed to pass the legislature. As stagnant politics has become commonplace, the public has been enveloped in a sense of stagnation as well.
 衆参ねじれ国会で、重要法案が成立しない。政治の停滞が常態化し、国民に閉塞感が漂う。

Whether it is possible to end this situation is the biggest focus of attention in the upper house election.
 この状況を打破できるかどうかが参院選の最大の焦点だ。

In his first campaign speech for the upper house contest Thursday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared, “We keenly hope to eliminate the divided Diet, and we ask you, the electorate, to throw your strong support behind us,” stressing his goal of garnering a majority in the upper chamber through the combined strength of the Liberal Democratic Party and its ruling coalition partner, New Komeito.
 安倍首相は第一声で、「ねじれを解消したい。大きな力を与えてほしい」と訴え、自民、公明両党で参院の過半数の議席を獲得したい考えを強調した。

To be sure, his government will find it difficult to fully address big policy tasks without stabilizing its power base.
確かに、政権基盤が安定しなければ、大きな政策課題に取り組むのは難しい。

Banri Kaieda, leader of the No. 1 opposition Democratic Party of Japan, emphasized the same day, “We must confront the administration of Prime Minister Abe, which is going to disrupt the livelihood of the people.”
 民主党の海江田代表は、「国民の生活を破壊する安倍政権に対峙(たいじ)しなければならない」と力説した。

The opposition camp is determined to stop the ruling coaliton from gaining a majority in the upper house, arguing the importance of the opposition’s role of holding the ruling coalition in check to prevent it from going astray.
野党は、「与党の過半数阻止」を目指し、政権の暴走をチェックする役割の重要性を主張する。

Rating the Abe Cabinet
 ◆安倍政権をどう評価◆

While a House of Representatives election is a contest in which voters decide which party or parties should take power, an upper house election is an interim evaluation of the ruling parties by voters.
 衆院選が政権選択選挙なのに対し、参院選は与党の中間評価の意味を持つ。

In the upper house races in 2007 and 2010, the electorate handed down harsh verdicts against the government in what seemed like a backlash in reaction to the ruling coalition’s unexpectedly hefty victories in the previous lower house elections. This created the divided Diet.
07年、10年参院選では、衆院選で勝ちすぎた与党に対し、有権者が「揺り戻し」で厳しい審判を下し、ねじれを招いた。

If the Abe administration can reverse these precedents and put an end to the divided Diet, the administration will be able to establish a decision-making framework to decide on key policy matters swiftly and boldly by the next Diet election. It is likely this will lead to the revitalization of the nation’s political system.
 安倍政権が今回、この前例を覆し、衆参ねじれを解消できれば、次の国政選までの間、迅速かつ大胆な政策決定ができる体制を築くことができる。政治の復権につながる可能性があろう。

What voters should bear in mind in making their choice is how to evaluate the achievements of the Abe administration and weigh them against the policies being touted by each political party and candidate in the upper house race.
 有権者が投票の判断材料とすべきは、安倍政権の実績の評価と、各政党・候補者の政策である。

Concerning the current administration’s Abenomics economic policies, the LDP has included in its campaign platform an economic growth target of about 3 percent in nominal terms and a policy of tax incentives for investment and drastic corporation tax cuts.
 安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」に関して、自民党は公約に名目3%程度の経済成長目標を掲げ、投資減税と法人税の大胆な引き下げを打ち出した。

It is laudable that the Abe government has brought about such results as the correction of the yen’s strength and higher stock prices, and achieved Japan’s participation in Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.
 安倍政権が円高是正や株価上昇などの成果を上げ、環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉参加を実現したことは評価できる。

On the other hand, some have said the benefits of Abenomics have only been enjoyed by some of the public.
 反面、その恩恵は国民の一部にとどまっていると指摘される。

Criticizing Abenomics as having caused such side effects as price hikes and radical fluctuations in interest rates, the DPJ asserts that it will seek to expand the income of ordinary citizens and middle-class people.
 民主党は、物価上昇や金利の乱高下などアベノミクスの「副作用」を批判し、生活者や中間層の所得を増やすと主張する。

However, the party’s growth strategy lacks concrete measures. It leaves something to be desired for a party that has been teetering on the brink after its crushing setback in the recent Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election.
 だが、その成長戦略は具体性を欠く。東京都議選で惨敗し、参院選は2大政党にとどまれるかどうかの瀬戸際なのに物足りない。

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) calls for bolstering competitiveness and cuts in income and corporation taxes. Your Party aims to attain a nominal growth rate of 4 percent or more by pushing drastic regulatory reforms.
 日本維新の会は競争力強化や所得・法人税の減税を訴える。みんなの党は大胆な規制改革で名目4%以上の成長を目指すという。

No matter how attractive policies are, they will have no persuasive power unless accompanied by fiscal resources and a roadmap for their achievement. We ask the parties to deepen their debate on economic policies.
 どんなに魅力的な政策も、財源や実現への道筋が伴わないと、説得力を持たない。各党は経済論戦を深めてもらいたい。

In regard to nuclear policy, the LDP takes a positive view of restarting nuclear reactors after they are judged safe and promoting exports of nuclear power plants. This is consistent with the party’s emphasis on economic growth.
 原子力政策について、自民党は、安全と判断された原発の再稼働や原発輸出に前向きだ。成長重視の姿勢と一貫する。

The opposition parties are all in favor of immediately or eventually eliminating all nuclear reactors, including the DPJ’s call for “ending nuclear power generation in the 2030s.” But their stances are vague concerning measures to secure substitute energy sources and in harmonizing their antinuclear positions with measures for economic growth.
 野党は、民主党の「2030年代の原発稼働ゼロ」など、「原発ゼロ」で足並みをそろえた。ただ、代替エネルギーの確保策や経済成長との整合性はあいまいだ。

Probably because of the DPJ’s failure to carry out the policies it presented in its unrealistic campaign platform for the 2009 lower house election, all the parties’ campaign pledges are more like slogans and their abstractness is obvious. They must discuss more concrete measures regarding social security reform and diplomatic and security issues.
 民主党が非現実的な09年衆院選政権公約(マニフェスト)で失敗したためか、各党の公約はスローガン的で抽象的内容が目立つ。社会保障改革や外交・安全保障ではもっと具体策を論じるべきだ。

Constitution at issue
 ◆憲法改正の積極論議を◆

The Constitution is also an important bone of contention.
 憲法も重要な論点である。

The LDP, Ishin no Kai and Your Party call for easing the Diet requirements stipulated in Article 96 of the national charter for initiating constitutional revisions. New Komeito asserts it will discuss the requirement issue along with specific revisions, while the DPJ opposes revising the article ahead of other articles. But their positions leave room to approve easing the requirements.
 96条が定める改正の発議要件について自民、維新の会、みんなは緩和を主張する。公明は「改正内容とともに議論する」とし、民主も「先行改正」に反対だが、ともに緩和への余地も残している。

Whether constitutional revision will become realistic depends on the results of the upper house poll.
 参院選の結果次第で憲法改正が現実味を帯びる展開もあろう。

The parties and their candidates are urged to hold an active debate on how to define the Self-Defense Forces in the Constitution, as well as on such issues as the bicameral system and decentralization of power to find a new desirable governance system for the nation.
 自衛隊の位置づけや二院制、地方分権など、新しい「国のかたち」のあり方をめぐり、各党・候補には積極的な論争が求められる。

Elections, which are the bedrock of democracy, are a joint endeavor by parties, their candidates and voters. It is voters’ vital responsibility to closely examine the assertions of parties and their candidates before casting their valuable votes, without being affected by the mood of the moment.
 民主主義の根幹である選挙は、政党・候補者と有権者の共同作業だ。ムードに惑わされず、各党・候補者の主張をじっくり吟味し、貴重な1票を行使することが、有権者の重要な責任である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 5, 2013)
(2013年7月5日01時35分  読売新聞)

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2013年7月 5日 (金)

横浜の一戸建てを見つけたい

会社を退職したら横浜の一戸建て を購入したいという人々は意外と多いですね。
私もそのうちの一人なんです。
問題は横浜と一口に言っても、そこは実に広いという現実です。
港の見える丘公園付近の高級住宅街は欲しくても手が出ません。
ちょっとだけ田舎のほうに目を向ければたくさんあります。
例えば戸塚とか東戸塚当たりです。
こちらなら私の退職金でも購入出来るでしょう。
もう少し田舎を目指せば、退職金からお釣りが来ます^^。
例えば座間とかいったエリアなら一戸建てでも格安で購入可能ですね。
港の見える丘公園は休日にドライブが出来ます。それで十分なんです。
ついでに横浜中華街で食事なんて素敵だとは思いませんか?
私は断然横浜派なんです。
赤い靴を履いた女の子の像がなつかしいですね。

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9党首討論会 アベノミクスに対案はあるか

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 5, 2013
Can opposition present any clear alternatives to Abenomics?
9党首討論会 アベノミクスに対案はあるか(7月4日付・読売社説)

Political parties’ differing views were recently brought to light in an open debate among the ruling and opposition parties over Abenomics, the set of economic policies adopted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration. Abenomics has become the main point of contention in the upcoming House of Councillors election.
 参院選で最大の争点となる安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」に対する与野党の見解の相違が浮き彫りになった。

During the debate among leaders of nine political parties, held prior to the official start of the election campaign period at the Japan National Press Club on Wednesday, Abe stressed the positive effects of his economic policies. As the leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, he said, “Our policies have boosted the nation’s economic fundamentals while improving the employment situation.”
 公示の前日に開催された日本記者クラブ主催の9党首討論会で、安倍首相は「我々の政策で実体経済が良くなり、雇用にもいい影響が出てきた」と、この半年間の実績を強調した。

Natsuo Yamaguchi, president of New Komeito, the LDP’s ruling coalition partner, said that by securing a majority in the upper house, “We would strive to end the divided Diet and gain enough power to carry out our growth strategy.”
 公明党の山口代表も、与党で過半数を確保し、「国会のねじれを解消して成長戦略を実行できる力を得るのが目標だ」と訴えた。

It is true that the excessive appreciation of the yen has been corrected to a certain extent and stock prices have risen. The “three arrows” of Abenomics--bold monetary easing, fiscal stimulus and a growth strategy--have so far proved largely on target.
 確かに、行き過ぎた円高は是正され、株価も上昇した。「3本の矢」は、おおむね妥当である。

Need to win over the public

Still, the real measure of the growth strategy, the third arrow, has only just begun to be tested. Undoubtedly the high approval ratings the Abe administration has recorded until now have been achieved due to the public’s high expectations for the Abe government.
 ただし、3本目の成長戦略の真価が問われるのはこれからだ。安倍内閣の高い支持率は、期待感に支えられている面が否めない。

In addition to promising the people his administration will steadily implement Abenomics, the prime minister must continue making efforts to win the public’s understanding of his economic policies.
 首相は、アベノミクスの着実な実行を国民に約束し、理解を得る努力を続ける必要がある。

Toru Hashimoto, coleader of Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), and Your Party leader Yoshimi Watanabe indicated their support of the path charted by Abenomics, while calling on the administration to implement thorough deregulatory initiatives.
 日本維新の会の橋下共同代表とみんなの党の渡辺代表は、アベノミクスの方向性には賛意を示し、規制緩和などの徹底を求めた。

Both Hashimoto and Watanabe oppose the envisaged rise in the consumption tax rate next spring. They believe if a price increase induced by monetary easing occurs in conjunction with the tax hike, economic recovery will be hindered.
 両氏は、来春の消費税率引き上げについては否定的な考えだ。金融緩和による物価上昇と増税が重なり、景気回復の支障になるといった問題意識からである。

Speaking about the consumption tax increase, Abe said, “If the tax hike negatively affects the overall economy, leading to a decline in cumulative tax revenues, it will become meaningless.” His comments indicated the administration will prudently assess the economic situation before implementing the hike.
 首相は、消費増税について「経済に影響が出て、税収全体が減っては元も子もなくなってしまう」と述べ、経済状況を慎重に見極める意向を示している。

Meanwhile, the leaders of the five other parties present at the meeting reiterated their strong skepticism regarding the outcome of Abenomics. Banri Kaieda, president of the Democratic Party of Japan, harshly criticized the policies, saying Abenomics “may destroy people’s lives.”
 これ以外の5党は、アベノミクスに強い疑念を表明した。民主党の海江田代表は、「生活破壊の恐れがある」と酷評したほどだ。

DPJ’s proposal unconvincing

How, then, would the opposition DPJ help spur economic growth? When Abe raised this question, the DPJ leader said, “Driving an increase in workers’ take-home pay would lead to a boost in personal consumption, which would eventually bring about sustainable economic growth.” He also referred to child-rearing allowances and tuition-free education at public high schools, both programs the DPJ advocated when in power.
 では、民主党ならばどう経済を成長させるのか。首相の質問に、海江田氏は「手取りを増やすことで消費をしてもらい、持続的な経済成長を目指す」と主張した。民主党政権の子ども手当や高校授業料無償化にも言及した。

Nevertheless, Kaieda’s assertions lack solid backing and are less convincing than the LDP’s. They can hardly be considered counterproposals to Abenomics. Is the DPJ leader still adhering to the party’s handout policies?
 だが、これでは具体性を欠き、説得力にも乏しい。とても対案とは言えまい。まだバラマキ政策にこだわっているのだろうか。

The policy differences between the LDP and Komeito are no small matter either.
 自民、公明両党の政策の違いも小さくはない。

While Abe supports reviewing the government’s interpretation of the Constitution on the right to collective self-defense, Yamaguchi has said his party upholds the current interpretation. Yamaguchi has further made it clear that changing the government’s interpretation would require a convincing call for action, and such a call would need to be backed by a consensus between the two parties.
 集団的自衛権に関する政府の憲法解釈見直しに、首相が積極的な姿勢をとるのに対し、山口氏は政府見解を尊重していると述べた。解釈変更には説得力と合意形成が重要だと、クギを刺した。

The LDP and Komeito also differ in their views on constitutional amendments and policies concerning nuclear power plants. Both parties need to have thorough discussions with each other within the administration over key policy issues and coordinate their stances. It is worrisome that they have still not made sufficient efforts to this end in preparation for the upper house election.
 自公両党間では、憲法改正や原子力発電所についての考え方も異なっている。重要政策は政権内で議論を重ね、すりあわせねばならない。参院選では、それが十分でないことが気がかりである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun,  July 4, 2013)
(2013年7月4日01時36分  読売新聞)

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ARF閣僚会議 国際的に孤立が極まる北朝鮮

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 5, 2013
North Korea must adjust stance in face of heightened isolation
ARF閣僚会議 国際的に孤立が極まる北朝鮮(7月4日付・読売社説)

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the first secretary of the country’s Workers’ Party of Korea, must soberly accept the reality that his country’s isolation under the sanctions of the international community has intensified and shift to a policy of abandoning Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program.
 国際社会の制裁下で孤立を極める現実を、北朝鮮の金正恩第1書記は厳粛に受け止めて、核放棄へ転換を図るべきだ。

A ministerial meeting of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Regional Forum, attended by foreign ministers from 26 countries including Japan, the United States and China, as well as the European Union, was held in Brunei and adopted a chairman’s statement.
 日本、米国、中国など27か国・機構をメンバーとする東南アジア諸国連合(ASEAN)地域フォーラム(ARF)閣僚会議がブルネイで開かれ、議長声明を採択した。

The statement stipulates that most ministers urge North Korea to comply with its obligations under U.N. Security Council resolutions and that most ministers call on North Korea to abide by its commitments under the September 2005 six-party joint statement. The chairman’s statement thus urges North Korea to take action toward abandonment of its nuclear program.
 声明は、北朝鮮に対し、国連安全保障理事会の決議や2005年9月の6か国協議共同声明の「義務を順守するよう大多数の閣僚が求めた」と明記し、核放棄に向けて行動するよう促した。

North Korean Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun made a rebuttal to the ARF statement, saying among other things that the deterioration of the situation on the Korean Peninsula stems from the United States’ deep-rooted policy of hostility toward North Korea.
 北朝鮮の朴宜春外相は、「朝鮮半島情勢の悪化は、米国の敵視政策による」などと反論した。

No supporters

However, none of North Korea’s comments were included in the statement. This has significant meaning, as it symbolizes the fact that not a single country stands with North Korea.
 しかし、そうした北朝鮮の主張が声明に盛り込まれなかった意味は重い。擁護してくれる国もない北朝鮮の現状を象徴している。

The statement is part of a series of international measures to pressure the reclusive country following the U.S.-China summit talks and the Group of Eight summit meeting, both held in June.
 今回の声明は、6月の米中首脳会談や主要8か国首脳会議(G8サミット)に続く、北朝鮮への国際的な圧力の一環だ。

Since last year, North Korea has launched a long-range ballistic missile and conducted a third nuclear test despite international warnings. Each time, the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution to strengthen sanctions against the country.
 北朝鮮は昨年来、長距離弾道ミサイル発射と3回目の核実験を強行し、その都度、安保理は制裁強化決議を全会一致で採択した。

The ARF statement also stipulates that most ministers reconfirmed their nations would “fully implement” UNSC sanction resolutions on North Korea. This can be regarded as a declaration of the participating nations’ determination not to loosen restrictions on Pyongyang.
 議長声明は、制裁決議の「全面的な履行」を大多数の閣僚が再確認したことも併記した。北朝鮮への締め付けを緩めはしない、という決意の表明と言える。

North Korea’s recent shift to a policy of dialogue, away from its brinkmanship strategy of creating crises through provocative remarks and actions, must be proof of its struggle to find a way to escape from its current situation, in which it can barely prop up the economy due to the pressure of sanctions.
 北朝鮮が最近、挑発的な言動で危機を作り出す瀬戸際戦術から対話路線に転換したのも、制裁圧力で経済立て直しが進まない窮状からの出口を、何とか見いだそうと模索している証しだろう。

Take concrete action

North Korea has been asking the United States to accept its proposal for dialogue without preconditions.
 北朝鮮は米国に、前提条件なく対話に応じるよう求めている。

If the United States accepted that by willingly overlooking North Korea’s selfish actions of repeating nuclear tests and missile launches, it would simply be repeating the past. In that sense, it is quite appropriate for Japan, the United States and South Korea to demand North Korea take concrete action toward denuclearization of the country.
 核実験やミサイル発射を繰り返した北朝鮮の身勝手な振る舞いを不問に付して対話に応じれば、同じことの繰り返しだ。まず非核化への「具体的な行動」を北朝鮮に求める日米韓の対応は妥当だ。

North Korea’s Pak resorted to deception over the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korean agents, saying that the issue “has been completely resolved.” Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida flatly rejected Pak’s statement as “in contradiction of the facts,” based on the past sequence of events, including North Korea’s promise to reinvestigate the matter. Kishida further called for concerted action by the international community, claiming other countries than Japan have had people abducted. His actions were quite appropriate.
 拉致問題を巡り、朴外相は「完全に解決ずみ」と詭弁(きべん)を弄した。岸田外相が、再調査を北朝鮮が約束した過去の経緯などを踏まえて「事実に反する」と一蹴し、日本以外にも被害者がいると国際連帯を呼びかけたのは適切だった。

The chairman’s statement also touches upon the importance of addressing international humanitarian concerns. This indirectly reflects Japan’s strong demand for resolution of the abduction issue.
 議長声明は、「国際社会の人道上の懸念事項に対処する重要性」をうたった。拉致問題の解決を強く求める日本の主張が、間接的に反映されたものだ。

There must be no normalization of relations between Japan and North Korea without a comprehensive solution of the latter’s nuclear and missile development programs and the abduction issue. The government needs to firmly maintain this stance and persuade Kim Jong Un to move things forward on the abduction issue, while tightening the noose around North Korea.
 核とミサイル、拉致の包括的解決なしに日朝正常化はない。政府はこの立場を堅持し、北朝鮮包囲網を狭めつつ、金第1書記に拉致問題の前進を迫る必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun,  July 4, 2013)
(2013年7月4日01時36分  読売新聞)

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2013年7月 4日 (木)

米温暖化対策 シェールガス革命が追い風に

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 4, 2013
Will shale gas revolution help combat global warming?
米温暖化対策 シェールガス革命が追い風に(7月3日付・読売社説)

U.S. President Barack Obama has announced an action plan to increase efforts to combat global warming.
 オバマ米大統領が、地球温暖化対策を強化する行動計画を発表した。

The sweeping plan is aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the United States, while also leading greater international efforts to combat climate change, particularly through cooperation with China and India, both major carbon dioxide emitters.
 国内で二酸化炭素(CO2)排出削減を進めるとともに、中国やインドなどとの協力を含めて国際的な温暖化対策を拡充する内容だ。

The world is witnessing a continuous increase in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Obama’s plan indicates the United States, the world’s second-worst greenhouse gas polluter after China, plans to seriously tackle global warming. This should significantly help international efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
 CO2などの温室効果ガスの排出量は、世界で増加の一途をたどっている。中国に次ぐ排出大国の米国が温暖化対策に本腰を入れることは、世界全体の排出量削減の観点からも、意義は大きい。

However, Obama will be tested whether he will be able to demonstrate leadership in fighting global warming and what he can actually do to achieve his goal.
 オバマ氏の指導力と実行力が問われよう。

U.S. plan affirms target

The latest action plan reconfirms an earlier U.S. target for curtailing domestic greenhouse gas emissions by about 17 percent by the end of 2020, compared with 2005 levels. Measures include a plan to impose new and more rigorous emission regulations on existing and envisaged power plants.
 行動計画は、2020年までに温室効果ガス排出量を05年比17%程度削減する、という米国の中期目標を改めて確認している。

The action program also calls for switching to natural gases, an energy source that generates a smaller amount of carbon dioxide than coal and oil.
 国内のCO2排出削減対策として、新規及び既存の発電所に新たに厳しい規制を導入するほか、石炭や石油よりもクリーンな天然ガスへの切り替えを促した。

Obama’s plan incorporates the doubling of such renewable energy resources as hydroelectric and solar power. It also includes a plan to maintain and promote nuclear power generation through, for example, the development of small modular reactors with a generating capacity of less than 300,000 kilowatts per unit.
 水力や太陽光発電などの再生可能エネルギー倍増計画や、出力30万キロ・ワット以下の小型モジュラー炉の開発など原子力発電の維持・推進も盛り込んだ。

The outlook for Obama’s action plan is far from promising. In fact, U.S. electric power companies are already alarmed by the possible impact of his program. They fear that tightening the regulations may force them to close coal-fired power plants, which constitute the mainstay of their electricity business. The action plan is also opposed by Republicans and local governments that could be affected by the planned measures. They are concerned that the program would lead to a loss of many jobs. Many twists and turns are foreseen in a tug-of-war over how carbon dioxide emissions should be regulated at power plants.
 前途は容易ではあるまい。早くも電力会社は、厳しい規制で主力の石炭火力発電所が閉鎖に追い込まれかねないと警戒し、関連自治体や共和党も、雇用が奪われると反発を強めている。規制基準作りを巡り紆余(うよ)曲折が予想される。

A factor behind Obama’s decision to announce new anti-global warming measures is his desire to address the strong concerns of Americans about the increase in natural disasters due to abnormal weather in recent years, including violent storms and massive tornadoes. The action plan lays out specific measures to be implemented to enable local communities to deal more effectively with the impact of such disasters.
 オバマ氏が大胆な温暖化対策の推進を打ち出した背景の一つに、暴風雨や巨大竜巻など異常気象で災害が増加していることへの国民の強い関心がある。行動計画は、災害に耐性の強い地域作りへ具体策を講じることも明記した。

Another significant reason behind the president’s latest move is the fact that the recent increase in natural gas production due to the ongoing shale gas revolution is aiding his battle to reduce greenhouse gases. The U.S. carbon dioxide reduction goal seems to be increasingly realistic due to that country’s drive to shift from coal to natural gas. This is certain to shore up the U.S. position in global negotiations over reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
 シェールガス革命による天然ガス生産の増大が追い風になった点も見過ごせない。石炭から天然ガスへの転換で、CO2削減目標の達成は現実味を帯びてきた。国際交渉で米国の立場も強まろう。

The post-Kyoto Protocol framework is scheduled to take effect in 2020. The primary task facing participants is to ensure that their battle against global warming functions in a manner in which all major carbon dioxide emitters fulfill their share of responsibility in achieving their goals.
 京都議定書後の新たな国際枠組みは20年発効予定だ。すべての主要排出国が応分の責任を負う仕組みにすることが何より重要だ。

Japan role important

The Obama administration will likely seek to lay down a set of loosely defined rules by which each country will set its own reduction target and strive to curtail its carbon dioxide emissions, according to observers. This approach can be regarded as a persuasive method to get newly emerging nations to join the new framework, as they are opposed to reduction obligations that would be imposed on them.
 オバマ政権は、各国が自主的に目標を設定し、削減に努める緩やかなルール作りを目指すと見られる。削減義務を負うことに反発する新興国を引き入れるには、有効な手法と言える。

Japan should play an active role in this respect.
 日本も積極的に関与したい。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has said it will scrap an unrealistic carbon dioxide reduction target abruptly announced by then Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama in 2009. Hatoyama’s plan required this country to achieve a 25 percent reduction from 1990 levels in carbon dioxide emissions by the end of 2020.
 安倍政権は、鳩山元首相が09年に唐突に打ち出した「20年までに1990年比25%削減」という非現実的な目標の撤回を表明している。

It is essential for the Abe administration to replace the 2009 reduction plan with a practical reduction target that would take the nation’s economic activities into consideration, a task that must be complemented by efforts to gain support from other nations for the prime minister’s initiative.
まずは経済活動に目配りした現実的な目標に改め、国際社会の理解を得ていくことが肝要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 3, 2013)
(2013年7月3日01時53分  読売新聞)

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ネット選挙解禁 「違法」の境目をわかりやすく

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 4, 2013
Clear-cut rules necessary for use of Internet in election campaigns
ネット選挙解禁 「違法」の境目をわかりやすく(7月3日付・読売社説)

What will be allowed, and what will not, regarding the use of the Internet in election campaigns? To ensure fairness in elections, clear lines should be drawn and efforts should be swiftly taken to ensure the system allowing the use of the Internet in election campaigns is thoroughly understood by the public.
 何ができ、何ができないのか。選挙の公正さを確保するため、線引きを明示し、制度の周知徹底を急ぐ必要がある。

A ban on election campaigns using the Internet will be lifted in the House of Councillors election, the official campaign period for which starts Thursday. We hope the use of the Internet will help voters--especially young people--take more interest in elections.
 あす4日公示の参院選からインターネットを利用した選挙運動が解禁される。有権者、特に若者の選挙に対する関心が高まることを期待したい。

During election campaigns, political parties and candidates will be allowed to post their opinions, speech schedules, and video and photos of their street speeches to websites. Their ability to convey information will be considerably enhanced.
 政党や候補者は、選挙期間中、ネット上に自らの主張をはじめ、演説会の日程、街頭演説の動画、写真などを掲載できる。情報の発信力が大幅に強化されよう。

Voters will be able to compare policies of political parties and candidates on their websites.
 有権者側も、各党、各候補者のホームページ(HP)を通じて、政策を比較できる。

Social networking services, including Twitter, Facebook and LINE, can also be used. Such services have great advantages, including allowing voters, parties and candidates to engage in two-way communication.
 ツイッター、フェイスブック、LINE(ライン)などソーシャル・ネットワーキング・サービス(SNS)も利用可能だ。双方向のやりとりが容易になるなど利点は大きい。

In preparation for the upper house election, the ruling and opposition parties in late April drew up guidelines for the use of the Internet in election campaigns. The rules provide specific examples of prohibited actions and expressions.
 参院選に備え、与野党は4月末、ネット利用のガイドライン(指針)を策定し、違法に当たる行動や表現の具体例を示した。

Rules confusing

For example, printing materials such as election flyers and policy pamphlets that are carried on election campaign websites is allowed, but distributing them to a third person is illegal. This is because the Public Offices Election Law strictly restricts the use of printed materials for election campaigns.
 例えば、選挙運動用のHPにある選挙ビラや政策集などを印刷するのは問題ないが、それを第三者に渡せば違法だ。公職選挙法は、配布できる選挙運動用の印刷物を厳しく制限しているからだ。

Regarding e-mail, permitted contents differ for political parties and candidates, and voters. For instance, voters are not allowed to ask other voters by e-mail to vote for a candidate or forward campaign-related e-mail they received. People who break these rules could face a fine or imprisonment for violating the Public Offices Election Law. Their civil rights can also be suspended in some cases.
 電子メールについては、政党・候補者と有権者が使える内容が異なる。一般有権者は、メールによる投票依頼や、選挙運動用のメールの転送はできない。公選法違反で禁錮や罰金が科され、公民権が停止される場合もある。

Careful consideration should be given in allowing the use of e-mail for election campaigns, as it can easily be abused, by such means as spoofing, in which a sender poses as a candidate. The purpose of the restriction is understandable.
 メールは候補者本人を装う「なりすまし」などに悪用されやすいため、慎重を期す必要があろう。その趣旨は理解できる。

However, many restrictions are difficult for voters to understand. We do not think the government has provided thorough explanations regarding revisions to the Public Offices Election Law. The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry and local election administration commissions should make efforts to raise public awareness of the use of the Internet in election campaigns to prevent confusion.
 だが、有権者にとってはわかりにくい点が少なくない。公選法の改正について、政府による情報提供は不十分ではないか。総務省や各地の選挙管理委員会は、混乱が生じないよう、制度の啓発活動に力を入れるべきである。

Monitoring needs boost

Another major problem is how to deal with malicious acts such as slander and spoofing that are aimed at causing a specific candidate to lose in an election.
 特定候補の落選を狙った誹謗(ひぼう)・中傷や「なりすまし」など悪質な行為の対策も大きな課題だ。

The National Police Agency has already strengthened measures to crack down on such acts. Internet service providers and political parties must enhance their monitoring capability.
 警察庁は取り締まり体制を強化した。プロバイダー(接続業者)各社、及び各政党も監視を強めねばなるまい。

The upcoming upper house election will be the first case in which the Internet is used in an election campaign. Unforeseen problems could emerge.
 今回の参院選は、ネット利用の初めてのケースとなる。予期せぬトラブルが起きかねない。

The use of the Internet will be gradually allowed in local elections in the future. Its merits and demerits must be thoroughly examined after the upper house election, and the government should work on revising the Public Offices Election Law again and improve the utilization of the system that allows Internet use in election campaigns.
 ネット利用は今後、地方選にも順次適用される。そのためにも、参院選後に功罪をしっかり検証して、公選法の再改正や制度の運用改善に取り組んでもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 3, 2013)
(2013年7月3日01時53分  読売新聞)

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日銀短観プラス 企業心理好転を成長の弾みに

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 3, 2013
The favorable turn in corporate investment must lead to growth
日銀短観プラス 企業心理好転を成長の弾みに(7月2日付・読売社説)

Corporate business sentiment has obviously been picking up.
 企業の景況感が、明確に上向いてきた。

How can the private sector be invigorated to bring about a full-fledged business recovery? The government’s growth strategy is being put to the test in this regard.
 民間活力を引き出し、景気の本格回復をどう実現するか。政府の成長戦略の真価が問われる。

According to the Bank of Japan’s short-term Tankan survey of corporate sentiment in June, the diffusion index for large manufacturers improved to plus 4, a huge improvement from minus 8 in the March survey, marking the first time in one year and nine months that the index has turned positive.
 日銀の6月の企業短期経済観測調査(短観)は、大企業・製造業の業況判断指数がプラス4となり、3月調査のマイナス8から大幅に改善した。指数のプラスは1年9か月ぶりだ。

The index, which is calculated by subtracting the percentage of firms with a negative outlook from that of those with positive expectations, rose by six points to stand at plus 12 for major nonmanufacturers--recording a high figure for the first time in five years.
 大企業・非製造業の指数も6ポイント上昇し、プラス12と約5年ぶりの高水準となった。

Exports have been recovering since the yen’s super-high strength was corrected. Business sentiment has improved across a wide range of industrial sectors as public investments envisioned in the government’s emergency economic package were received favorably.
 超円高の解消を背景に輸出が回復している。緊急経済対策による公共投資も好感され、幅広い業種で景況感が改善した。

2 arrows on target

It may be said that drastic monetary easing and flexible fiscal management, which are two of the “three arrows” of the Abenomics economic policies pursued by the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, have brought about successful results.
 安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」のうち、大胆な金融緩和と機動的な財政出動の「2本の矢」が奏功したといえよう。

Next, to turn the favorable corporate sentiment into growth led by the private sector, it will be essential to steadily carry out a growth strategy, the third arrow of Abenomics.
 企業マインドの好転を民間主導の成長につなげるには、「3本目の矢」である成長戦略の着実な実行がカギとなる。

According to the Tankan report, plant and equipment investments planned by major enterprises for the current fiscal year jumped 2 percent over the previous fiscal year. It is encouraging that a corporate desire to expand investment has emerged.
 短観によると、今年度の設備投資計画は全体で前年度比2%増とプラスになった。投資拡大の機運が出てきたのは心強い。

The government’s growth strategy calls for boosting the private sector’s annual capital investment from 63 trillion yen to 70 trillion yen in three years.
 政府の成長戦略は、年間63兆円の民間設備投資を、3年で70兆円に増やす目標を掲げている。

It will be important for the government to add assistance measures to promote replacement of superannuated facilities and stimulate corporate willingness to expand new business projects. The government plans to put forth a second package of growth strategy measures as early as autumn, highlighting tax incentives for investment. This could be a reasonable response.
 老朽化した設備の更新や新規事業拡大の意欲を刺激する政策支援を追加することが大事だ。政府は秋にも、投資減税などを柱とした「成長戦略第2弾」を打ち出す方針だ。妥当な対応といえる。

Lower corporate tax rate

It is important for the government to implement effective measures on a priority basis to live up to the expectations of the private sector.
 重要なのは、民間の期待にしっかり応え、効果的な施策を重点的に実施することである。

Serious consideration must be given to lowering the corporation tax rate, which is higher than those in other major countries.
 主要国より高い法人税率の引き下げも、真剣に検討すべきだ。

Cutting the tax rate would not only reduce the tax burdens on domestic companies but also encourage more foreign companies to set up operations in Japan, thereby bolstering the foundation for national economic growth.
 国内企業の税負担を軽減するだけでなく、海外からの企業進出を促し、日本の成長基盤を強化する効果も期待できる。

It is worrying that the recovery of business sentiment among small and midsize companies lags that for major firms. These companies sustain the Japanese economy, as they employ 70 percent of the nation’s salaried workers.
 気がかりなのは、大企業に比べて中小企業の業況回復が遅れていることだ。サラリーマンの7割が働いている中小企業は、日本経済を支える土台である。

Efforts must be made to realize a virtuous circle in which small and midsize firms will be invigorated, boosting employment and income and further enhancing corporate perfomance.
 中小企業が活性化し、雇用や所得の回復が消費を押し上げ、さらに企業業績が改善する好循環を目指したい。

Not a few midsize and small companies have settled for the status of subcontractors despite their possession of high technology, thereby missing a chance for business expansion.
 高い技術を持ちながら下請け仕事に甘んじ、飛躍の機会を逃している中小企業も少なくない。

We urge the government to steadily implement measures to support effective reform of their management.
 政府は、中小企業の経営改革をきめ細かくサポートする施策を、粘り強く続けてほしい。

A big challenge ahead will be to boost the national economy as a whole by achieving economic recovery not only in major urban districts but also in regional areas.
 大都市圏だけでなく、停滞する地方経済にも景気回復を波及させて、日本経済全体を底上げすることが大きな課題である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 2, 2013)
(2013年7月2日01時26分  読売新聞)

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2013年7月 3日 (水)

ゼロシステムズで仲介手数料を無料にしてみませんか?

首都圏で新築建て売り住宅を購入予定の人たちに朗報です。
ゼロシステムズで仲介手数料を無料になるかも知れないのです。
仲介手数料無料 については若干の条件がありますので、サイトで確認してください。
ゼロシステムズの「売り」をご紹介いたします。

まずは、耐震診断です。
木造住宅の耐震設計について診断をいたしますが、診断できるのは木造2階建の在来工法の新築一戸建に限られます。2×4(ツーバイフォー)造、S造、RC造および中古住宅は耐震診断の対象外です。日本の従来の木造建築なら大丈夫です。

次に建物診断サービスです。
これはゼロシステムズ社員の田中氏が長年の経験と努力で独自に開発したシステムです。
田中式建物診断は多くの専用機器を使用して具体的な数値や画像で建物を診断するので分かりやすいのです。

首都圏で新築建て売り住宅を購入予定の人たちにはゼロシステムズのご利用をお勧めいたします。

昨年の7月ですが、特許庁よりゼロシステムズの商標登録が認められました。
これがまた素晴らしいロゴのデザインなんです。
さすがゼロシステムズです。




Image001

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日韓外相会談 関係再構築へ双方が歩み寄れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 3, 2013
Japan, S. Korea should compromise to reconstruct vital relationship
日韓外相会談 関係再構築へ双方が歩み寄れ(7月2日付・読売社説)

At a time when the situation in East Asia has become increasingly unstable, cooperation between Japan and South Korea is becoming even more important. Both sides should step closer to each other to put bilateral relations back on a more normal footing.
 東アジア情勢が不安定化する中、日韓協力は一段と重要になっている。両国関係の正常化へ、双方が歩み寄るべきだ。

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung Se recently held talks in Brunei and agreed to stably develop a “future-oriented” bilateral relationship.
 岸田外相と韓国の尹炳世外交相がブルネイで会談し、「未来志向の日韓関係」を安定的に発展させる方針で一致した。

These were the first such talks between Japanese and South Korean foreign ministers in about nine months. It was extraordinary that the neighoring nations had not held any summit or foreign ministerial meetings since the administration of South Korean President Park Geun Hye was launched in February.
 日韓外相会談の開催は約9か月ぶりだ。2月の朴政権発足後、隣国間で首脳・外相会談が一度もなかったのは異常な事態だった。

There are many issues that Japan and South Korea should jointly address, such as North Korea’s nuclear and missile development programs and China’s rise in the military and economic spheres. The stalemate over economic issues, as exemplified by the prolonged suspension of talks for a bilateral free trade agreement, also cannot be overlooked.
 北朝鮮の核・ミサイル問題や中国の軍事、経済両面での台頭など、日韓が連携して対処すべき課題は多い。自由貿易協定(FTA)交渉中断の長期化など、経済分野の停滞も看過できない。

China playing hardball

Meanwhile, the United States has been indirectly trying to improve Japan-South Korea ties apparently because it believes the deterioration in the bilateral relationship would undermine peace and prosperity in East Asia.
 米国が日韓関係の改善を側面支援するのも、両国の関係悪化は東アジアの平和と繁栄の障害だとの問題意識があるためだろう。

China has reportedly stated that it will only hold a Japan-China summit meeting on the condition that Tokyo acknowledges a territorial dispute exists over the Senkaku Islands. Once again, a meeting between the foreign ministers of Japan and China was not held this time. Given the possibility that high-ranking officials of Tokyo and Beijing cannot hold talks for an extended period, the necessity of rebuilding Japan-South Korea relations takes on even greater importance.
 中国は、尖閣諸島の領土問題の存在を認めることを日中首脳会談の条件にしているとされる。今回も外相会談は見送られた。日中高官が会談できない状態が長く続く事態も想定すれば、日韓関係を再構築する必要性は一段と高い。

Japan and South Korea have been trading jabs over territorial and historical perception issues involving the Takeshima islands and so-called wartime comfort women. The South Korean foreign minister told his Japanese counterpart that if Japan “fails to carefully deal with the history issue, it will hurt the soul of the [Korean] people.”
 日韓間には、竹島、いわゆる従軍慰安婦問題など領土や歴史認識をめぐる対立がある。尹外相は、歴史認識の重要性を強調し、「歴史問題を細心に扱えない場合、民族の魂を傷つける」と述べた。

But we believe that an intrinsic role of diplomacy in this context is to ensure both nations have substantive cooperation over North Korea and other issues while keeping their differences to the absolute minimum.
 だが、両国が意見の相違を最小限に抑えつつ、北朝鮮問題などで実質的に協力することこそが、外交本来の役割のはずである。

Lee started the chill

The current chilly state of relations between Japan and South Korea was originally caused by a visit by former South Korean President Lee Myung Bak to the Takeshima islands and his demand for “an apology” from the Emperor last summer.
 そもそも現在の日韓関係の悪化は、昨年夏の李明博前大統領の竹島訪問と天皇陛下「謝罪」要求発言が発端となっている。

South Korea should resist the temptation to bring up issues regarding differences over historical perception with Japan at such occasions as summit talks with U.S. and Chinese leaders. Japan, for its part, should give some consideration to the impact of visits by Cabinet ministers to Yasukuni Shrine. It is essential that both sides tenaciously engage in dialogue and make efforts in areas in which they disagree and search for common ground.
 韓国は、米中両国との首脳会談などで日本との歴史認識の問題を持ち出すのは自制する。日本も、閣僚の靖国神社参拝で一定の配慮を行う。双方が、対立する分野でも粘り強く対話と努力を重ね、接点を探ることが欠かせない。

We urge both nations to make the latest Japan-South Korea foreign ministerial meeting a stepping stone that can expedite coordinations to realize a bilateral summit meeting later this year.
 今回の日韓外相会談を足がかりに、今年後半には、首脳会談が実現するよう調整を急ぎたい。

At a trilateral meeting between the foreign ministers of Japan, the United States and South Korea, which was held prior to the Kishida-Yun talks, the three top diplomats confirmed they would not accept the possession of nuclear weapons by North Korea and would urge it to take concrete actions toward denuclearization.
 日韓外相会談に先立つ日米韓外相会談では、北朝鮮の核保有を容認せず、非核化への「具体的な行動」を求める方針を確認した。

North Korea recently has shown a greater willingness to hold dialogues with other nations that have a stake in the nuclear issue. However, more important than resuming six-nation talks and other channels of dialogue is having North Korea take tangible steps to abandon its nuclear weapons.
 北朝鮮は最近、関係国との対話に前向きの姿勢を示している。しかし、肝心なのは、6か国協議などの対話の再開ではなく、核放棄を具体化することである。

Japan, the United States and South Korea must hold a series of consultations and maintain their current solidarity to keep pressuring North Korea through Chinese channels to make Pyongyang take substantive actions toward its denuclearization.
 非核化に向けて実質的な行動を取るよう、中国を通じて北朝鮮に圧力をかけ続けるためにも、日米韓が協議を重ね、現在の結束を維持しなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 2, 2013)
(2013年7月2日01時26分  読売新聞)

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2013年7月 2日 (火)

節電スタート 省エネ頼みでは停電が心配だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 2, 2013
Reliance only on energy saving won’t stop power outage fears
節電スタート 省エネ頼みでは停電が心配だ(7月1日付・読売社説)

The government-designated summer electricity-saving period began Monday.
 夏の節電期間がきょう1日、スタートした。

Idled nuclear power plants have not been reactivated in time for summer, and the nation’s power supply-demand situation remains shaky at best.
 今夏は、停止している原子力発電所の再稼働が間に合わなかった。電力需給は綱渡りである。

Both businesses and households should devote reasonable efforts to conserve electricity to get through the summer heat.
 企業も家庭も、無理のない節電に努め、夏を乗り切りたい。

The risk of a sudden, extensive blackout heightens in summer when power consumption rises sharply with increased use of such appliances as air conditioners because of the onslaught of scorching heat. It is extremely important to ensure there is a power supply surplus by refraining from wasting electricity.
 夏は急な猛暑で冷房などの電力消費が跳ね上がり、突発的に大停電を起こすリスクが高い。ムダな電力消費を控え、一定の供給余力を確保することは大切だ。

Last summer, a power-saving target of a maximum of 15 percent was set for the service areas of seven electric power companies in Kansai, Kyushu and other regions.
 昨夏は関西、九州など7電力で最大15%の節電を強いられた。

Nuclear plants indispensable

This summer, no electricity-saving target has been set because electric power companies have managed to augment their power supplies by making full use of old-fashioned thermal power stations. Power-saving efforts that have taken root in businesses and households have contributed to this.
今夏、目標設定を回避できたのは、電力各社が古い火力発電所も動員して供給力を増強したからだ。企業や家庭で、節電が定着した効果も加わった。

It is overly optimistic, however, to assume that the nation’s electricity demand can be met only by means of power-saving efforts.
 ただし、節電をすれば原発がなくても電気は足りる、などと考えるのは楽観的すぎる。

For instance, Kansai Electric Power Co.’s supply reserve ratio, or the percentage of surplus power supplies in excess of assumed maximum power demand, is barely above 3 percent, the lowest possible ratio that would preclude a power outage, even taking into account reactors Nos. 3 and 4 of the utility’s Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, the only ones operating in the country.
 関西電力は供給力の予備率(余力)が、大飯原発3、4号機を含めても、不測の停電を防ぐ最低ラインとされる3%ギリギリだ。

If the Oi plant’s reactors are halted, KEPCO’s supply reserve ratio will drop to no more than 1 percent. In that event, the utility would find it inevitable to set a power-saving target and take other measures.
 大飯原発が止まると予備率は約1%しか確保できない。節電目標の設定などを迫られよう。

The government’s Nuclear Regulation Authority is reported to be in favor of permitting the Oi plant’s two reactors to operate until September, when they are scheduled to undergo a routine safety check. The NRA’s policy in this respect is reasonable.
 政府の原子力規制委員会は大飯原発2基について、定期検査に入る9月まで稼働を認める方針という。妥当な判断といえる。

Other utilities must not let their guard down, as an increasing number of thermal power stations have failed to operate properly because they have been running at full blast.
 関電以外も油断できない。酷使してきた火力発電所のトラブルが増えているためだ。

After suffering a succession of emergency stoppages of its thermal power plants late last month, Hokkaido Electric Power Co. narrowly avoided a serious situation by securing electricity from Tohoku Electric Power Co. to make up for the shortfall. Sufficient precautionary steps must be taken to ensure no major blackout takes place due to trouble occurring at more than one power plant as electricity demand soars during summer.
 北海道電力では6月下旬、火力発電所の緊急停止が続発し、東北電力から電力の融通を受けた。電力需要の多い夏にトラブルが同時多発して大停電が起きないよう、十分な対策を取る必要がある。

The immense economic losses from stopping nuclear power plants must not be overlooked. The cost of fuel to cover power shortages due to idled nuclear power plants through thermal power generation is expected to reach nearly 4 trillion yen this fiscal year. This means a colossal amount of the nation’s wealth has been flowing out into resources-rich countries, exacerbating the huge trade deficits.
 原発停止による経済的な損失の甚大さも忘れてはならない。原発を補う火力発電所の追加燃料費は今年度、4兆円近くに達する。資源国に国富が流出し、巨額の貿易赤字が続いている。

All power utilities have been naturally keen to procure fuels such as liquefied natural gas at lower costs, but they are in disadvantageous positions in price negotiations as they have no other alternative but to depend on thermal power generation.
 電力各社が液化天然ガス(LNG)などの安価な調達に努めるのは当然だが、火力に頼らざるを得ない弱みを抱えているため、価格交渉で不利な立場にある。

Drops in jobs, income

If this situation remains unchanged, electricity rates are certain to rise further, placing a greater burden on both family budgets and businesses. Besides this, there is a danger that the hollowing-out of industries will increase, possibly leading to a decline in employment and wages.
 このままでは電気料金が一段と上がり、家計も企業も負担が増えるだろう。産業空洞化が加速し、雇用や所得も減少しかねない。

To avoid the double whammy of a rise in the financial burden and a shrinkage of income, it is imperative to put nuclear power plants back into operation once their safety is confirmed, thereby securing the power generation necessary for this country. This should be the final summer that the threat of power shortages hovers over us.
 負担増と収入減のダブルパンチを避けるには、安全を確認した原発を再稼働し、必要な電力を確保することが不可欠だ。電力不足の夏は今年限りとしたい。

A set of new safety standards for nuclear power plants is scheduled to be put into force soon. The NRA should proceed to screen the safety of nuclear power plants without delay.
 原発の新規制基準が近く施行される。規制委は遅滞なく審査を進めるべきである。

The government, for its part, must do its utmost to obtain the understanding of local entities hosting nuclear power plants about the wisdom of reactivating those plants.
政府も原発立地自治体の理解を得るよう、説明に全力を尽くさねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 1, 2013)
(2013年7月1日01時35分  読売新聞)

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中国金融リスク 「影の銀行」を野放しにするな

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 2, 2013
Chinese authorities must control nation’s shadow banking sector
中国金融リスク 「影の銀行」を野放しにするな(7月1日付・読売社説)

The volume of transactions in China’s shadow banking sector, in which financial transactions are handled outside the traditional commercial banks, is growing fast. The potential ill effects of this explosive supply of opaque money in the market are immense. We must remain on the lookout for possible disarray in the Chinese economy.
 中国で銀行を介さない金融取引の「シャドーバンキング」(影の銀行)が急拡大している。
 不透明なマネー膨張の弊害は大きい。中国経済の混乱に要警戒だ。

The Shanghai Composite Index plunged last week, falling below the 2,000 benchmark for the first time in about half a year. On June 24, it recorded the steepest single-day drop in four years.
 上海総合株価指数が先週、急落した。約半年ぶりに2000の大台を割り込み、24日は4年ぶりの大幅な下落率だった。

The decline was triggered when the short-term interbank offered rate suddenly spiked to an all-time high, causing concerns over the worsening cash flow of banks and prompting the sell-off of stocks.
 きっかけは、中国の銀行同士が資金を融通し合う際の短期金利が一時、過去最高水準に急騰したことだ。銀行の資金繰りの悪化が懸念され、株が売られた。

Despite the decline, the People’s Bank of China, the country’s equivalent of a central bank, did not expand its injection of cash into the market, an unusual case of not helping to lower the interbank offered rate.
 にもかかわらず、中央銀行に相当する中国人民銀行が、市場への資金供給を拡大せず、金利低下を促さなかったのは異例だ。

Bubbles forming

For the time being, the bank will apparently allow some increase in the rate, an attempt to apply de facto monetary tightening.
 当面は、一定の金利上昇を容認し、事実上の金融引き締めを図ろうとしているのだろう。

Behind the bank’s reaction is the spread of various forms of shadow banking, causing economic bubbles in some sectors.
 背景に、シャドーバンキングが蔓延(まんえん)し、一部でバブル現象が起きている事情がある。

For instance, investment firms affiliated with municipal governments have been expanding their real estate development and public works projects by using a massive amount of funds borrowed at high interest rates outside the traditional banking institutions.
 例えば、地方政府系の投資会社は銀行を介さずに高金利で借りた巨額の資金を使って、不動産開発や公共事業を拡大している。

Many of those municipal governments are burdened with huge amounts of debt. Their inability to repay their debts could spark repercussions in the management of businesses that have extended loans to them.
 多額の債務を抱える地方政府は多い。借入金の返済が滞れば、資金の貸し手である企業などの経営危機に飛び火しかねない。

It is also problematic that loans extended to such entities as local governments are refinanced by bundling them and repackaging them as “small-lot wealth management products,” by offering a much higher rate of return than bank deposits.These products have been massively sold to private business firms and individuals by nonbank institutions. In such cases, there is a risk of a loss of principle.
 地方政府向けなどの貸出債権を小口化した「理財商品」と呼ばれる高利回りの財テク商品が、ノンバンクなどから企業や個人に大量販売されていることも問題だ。売り手が償還資金を手当てできず、元本割れするリスクがある。

The current situation resembles the so-called subprime loan crisis that occurred in the United States, sending the world economy into disarray.
 かつて世界経済を混乱させた米国のサブプライムローン問題を彷彿(ほうふつ)とさせる状況と言えよう。

The size of the shadow banking sector is estimated at 30 trillion yuan (about 480 trillion yen). But the real scale of off-balance sheet financial transactions of the sector is hardly known. Even the Chinese authorities may not be able to grasp the reality.
 シャドーバンキングの規模は総額30兆元(約480兆円)に上るとの推計があるが、取引の実態は見えない。中国当局ですら、正確には把握できていないだろう。

A senior official at the People’s Bank of China said, “Imps must be punished,” suggesting the shadow banking sectors must be dealt with strictly. We can understand the authorities’ policy of curbing excessive growth of the money supply and accelerating moves to stamp out the economic bubble.
 人民銀行幹部は、「悪い子供は罰するべきだ」と述べ、厳しく対処する姿勢を示した。マネーの膨張を食い止め、バブル退治を急ごうとする方針は理解できる。

Slowdown continues

If the shadow banking sectors are left uncontrolled, the bubble will eventually burst, raising fears of major havoc triggered by China spreading the world over.
 シャドーバンキングを野放しにすれば、膨れたバブルがいずれ崩壊し、世界に波及する「中国発の大混乱」が起きる恐れもある。

Meanwhile, the country’s real economic growth has fallen below 8 percent, and its economic slowdown continues. But it would be a mistake for the authorities to cause the country’s economy to further lose momentum by too rapidly curbing the shadow banking system.
 ただ、中国の実質経済成長率は8%を割り、景気減速が続く。当局の急激な締め付けで、景気を失速させては本末転倒だ。

It is indeed a difficult situation. The Chinese authorities must be very careful in steering the economy.
 難しい局面だが、中国当局の細心の舵(かじ)取りが求められる。

It would also be serious if the Japanese economic recovery were stalled by such factors as a decline in its exports to China. This is not someone else’s problem. We need to be watchful for any abnormality in China’s economy.
 日本も中国向け輸出減少などで景気回復がもたつく事態となれば大変だ。対岸の火事ではない。中国経済の変調に注意したい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 1, 2013)
(2013年7月1日01時35分  読売新聞)

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2013年7月 1日 (月)

幹事長討論会 安易な「原発ゼロ」は無責任だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 1, 2013
Simply calling for end of nuclear power is irresponsible
幹事長討論会 安易な「原発ゼロ」は無責任だ(6月30日付・読売社説)

Full-fledged debates for the House of Councillors election have kicked off before its official campaign period starts on July 4.
 参院選は、7月4日の公示を前に本格的な論戦がスタートした。

In Osaka, the Kansai Press Club hosted a meeting on politics with the secretaries general and their equivalents of nine ruling and opposition parties.
 大阪では29日、関西プレスクラブの主催で、9政党の幹事長クラスによる政治討論会が開かれた。

At the meeting, there were striking divergences in opinions on nuclear power plants. Asked if they aim to end the use of nuclear power generation, every attending party except the ruling Liberal Democratic Party replied yes.
 目を引いたのは、原子力発電所政策の違いだ。「原発ゼロを目指すか」との質問に対し、自民党以外はすべて賛成した。

To reduce the nation's use of nuclear power to zero, the proportion of electricity generated by alternative sources such as thermal power generation and renewable energy sources such as solar power must be increased drastically. This will require increased imports of fuel for thermal power plants, which will inevitably hollow out domestic industries due to higher production costs.
 原発をゼロにするには、代替の火力発電や太陽光など再生可能エネルギーの割合を大幅に増やす必要がある。火力発電の燃料輸入が増大し、生産コスト上昇による産業空洞化も避けられまい。

There also are concerns about the increased carbon dioxide emissions produced by thermal power plants. Japan will be tested on how to overcome global issues, including nuclear nonproliferation, if it chooses the zero nuclear power generation option.
 火力発電による二酸化炭素(CO2)排出量の増大も懸念される。核不拡散など、世界的な課題をどう克服するかも問われよう。

Balance of sources important

Referring to those issues, LDP Secretary General Shigeru Ishiba said at the meeting, “A responsible political party must not consider reducing the nation’s dependence on nuclear power generation without thinking about the balance of its power sources.” We think his view is quite reasonable.
 自民党の石破幹事長は、こうした課題に言及し、「バランスを考えたうえで、原発依存度を減らすことを考えなければ、責任ある政治とは言えない」と指摘した。妥当な見解である。

The LDP stipulated in its election pledges that the state should take responsibility for trying to obtain the consent of local governments hosting nuclear power plants, which have been checked and judged safe, so they can be reactivated.
 自民党の公約は、「安全と判断された原発の再稼働については、国が責任を持って地元自治体の理解が得られるよう努力する」としている。

We applaud the LDP on this point, but the party also should clarify the prospects for its medium- to long-term nuclear policies.
この点は評価できるが、中長期的な原発政策についても見通しを明らかにすべきだ。

Details on specific steps to deal with nuclear fuel recycling and nuclear waste disposal also need to be discussed.
 核燃料サイクルや核廃棄物処理への取り組みに対して、具体的な方策を詰める必要がある。

At the meeting, no party supporting the abolition of nuclear power generation gave a detailed and convincing explanation on the denuclearization process. How can Japan, a nation with few natural resources, end its use of nuclear power generation? Parties supporting zero nuclear power generation must answer this question properly.
 「原発ゼロ」を掲げるどの党からも、その道筋について具体的かつ説得力のある説明はなかった。資源の乏しい日本で「原発ゼロ」をどう実現するのか。疑問にきちんと答えてもらいたい。

Exports of nuclear plants

Goshi Hosono, secretary general of the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan, criticized efforts led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to promote exports of Japanese nuclear reactors to other countries. “It makes me feel uncomfortable,” Hosono said.
 民主党の細野幹事長は首相が率先して原発輸出を推進することに「違和感がある」と批判した。

However, exports of infrastructure, including nuclear reactors, are a pillar of the government’s growth strategy and require partnership between the government and private sectors. What does the DPJ think about the high expectations other nations have for Japanese technology?
 だが、原発などインフラ輸出は成長戦略の柱であり、官民の連携が重要だ。国際的にも日本の技術に対する期待が高いことを民主党はどう考えるのか。

In Tokyo, party leaders held a meeting Friday to discuss issues related to the upper house election.
 参院選をテーマに28日、東京では党首討論会が開かれた。

In their discussions, Abe’s remarks on relations between Japan and China, which have been at loggerheads over the Senkaku Islands, attracted considerable attention. “The Chinese side told us it would not agree to have a bilateral summit meeting unless Tokyo accepts a certain condition,” the prime minister revealed.
 安倍首相が、尖閣諸島を巡って対立が続く中国との関係について、「中国側は、ある一定の条件をのまなければ首脳会談をしないと言ってきている」と明らかにしたことが、注目された。

Of course, there is no need to hold a summit meeting with Beijing if it comes at the expense of Japan’s national interest. However, it is also true that both Japan and China will lose out if they do not improve bilateral ties.
 国益を損なってまでも首脳会談を実現する必要がないのは当然である。ただ、関係改善できないことは、日中ともにマイナスだ。

We expect all political parties to also have constructive discussions on diplomatic and national security strategies, and on measures to handle territorial issues.
 外交・安全保障戦略や領土問題の対処についても、各党の建設的な議論を望みたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun,   June 30, 2013)
(2013年6月30日01時29分  読売新聞)

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参院選へ 「ねじれ」に終止符打てるか

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 30, 2013
Can Abe put an end to divided Diet in coming upper house poll?
参院選へ 「ねじれ」に終止符打てるか(6月29日付・読売社説)

 ◆デフレ脱却へ具体策を競え◆

How will voters judge the performance of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration over the past six months?
 安倍政権半年の実績を有権者は、どう審判するだろうか。

The government has formally decided to hold a House of Councillors election on July 21, with official campaigning to start Thursday.
 政府は、参院選の日程について7月4日公示、21日投開票とすることを正式に決定した。

The number of constituencies in which one upper house seat is up for grabs has increased by two to 31 following the implementation of a measure to narrow vote-value disparities. The results of the battles in these constituencies are likely to determine the outcome of the whole election. The upcoming poll will also be closely watched as the nation’s first national election in which the use of the Internet will be allowed for campaigns.
 参院の選挙区は「1票の格差」の是正措置により、1人区が従来より2増の31となった。その勝敗が全体の趨勢(すうせい)を決めるだろう。インターネットを利用した選挙運動が初めて導入されることでも、注目される国政選挙となる。

Abe to face a test
 ◆安倍政権の実績に審判◆

The key focus of the election is expected to be whether the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito will be able to secure a majority of seats in the upper house and thus put an end to the current divided Diet.
 最大の焦点は自民、公明の両党が参院で過半数を制し、衆参のねじれを解消できるかどうかだ。

If the ruling camp achieves this goal, the Abe administration will be on firmer footing, making the nation’s politics more stable. After the July upper house race, a national election will not be held for as long as three years. This would help create an environment in which the Abe administration can tackle issues thoroughly without worrying about elections.
 解消できれば安倍首相の政権基盤は強まり、政治が安定する。次の国政選挙まで最大3年あるため、選挙を意識せず、課題にじっくり取り組む環境が生まれる。

Abe was in office when the Diet became divided after his LDP lost in the upper house election held six years ago. Abe said the divided Diet has thrown politics into confusion, significantly weakening Japan’s national power. “We must put an end to the divided Diet,” he said.
 安倍首相は、6年前の参院選で敗北して衆参のねじれが生じた時も首相だった。ねじれによる政治の迷走で国力が大きく失われたとし、「衆参のねじれに終止符を打たねばならない」と主張している。

In the meantime, the ruling and opposition parties have repeatedly confronted each other. In light of this, deliberations on bills were often stalled, particularly in the upper house, including when the LDP itself was an opposition party.
 この間、与野党は対立を繰り返した。自民党の野党時代も含め、とくに参院では法案審議が滞った。

On Wednesday, the closing day of the ordinary Diet session, the opposition-controlled upper house passed a censure motion against the prime minister. Four key government-sponsored bills, including one to revise the Electricity Business Law, were scrapped as a result. This is a prime example.
 通常国会閉会日の26日、参院の野党が首相問責決議を可決し、その影響で電気事業法改正案など政府提出の重要4法案が廃案になったことは象徴的だ。

The nature and purpose of the upper house should be also addressed in the upcoming election, as the chamber has turned into a stage for political maneuvering.
 参院選では「政局の府」と化した参院の在りようも問われる。

For the Democratic Party of Japan, the election is likely to be a battle in which its very existence is at stake. The DPJ is likely to face a test of voter sentiment on efforts by President Banri Kaieda and its other leaders to rebuild the party, as well as on its handling of Diet affairs as the largest opposition party.
 民主党は党の存亡をかけた戦いになる。海江田執行部による党再建の現状や、野党第1党としての国会対応を有権者が判断する。

Opposition comeback?
 ◆民・維の巻き返しは◆

The House of Representatives election last December boosted the presence of Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) in the Diet, but the party has since lost strength for reasons such as the controversial remarks on so-called comfort women by its coleader Toru Hashimoto. In the July election, Hashimoto and fellow coleader Shintaro Ishihara will be tested on their ability to solidify its position in the upper house.
 日本維新の会は、衆院選後、国会で一定の存在感を示したが、橋下共同代表のいわゆる従軍慰安婦問題を巡る発言などで失速気味だ。石原共同代表との二枚看板で、参院に地歩を築けるかどうか。

Meanwhile, both Your Party and the Japanese Communist Party significantly increased their seats in the recent Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election. They now aim to expand their public support in a national election.
 東京都議選で議席を大幅に伸ばしたみんなの党、共産党は、全国でも支持拡大を狙っている。

The parties likely will clash over Abenomics, a set of economic measures promoted by the Abe administration.
 政策で争点になるのは、まず安倍政権が推進している経済政策「アベノミクス」の評価だ。

To get the national economy out of deflation and achieve growth, Abe has emphasized that there is no alternative to carrying out his so-called three-arrow policy package of drastic monetary easing, flexible fiscal measures and a growth strategy.
 首相は、デフレから脱却し、日本経済を成長させるには、大胆な金融緩和、機動的な財政政策、民間投資を喚起する成長戦略の「3本の矢」を進める道しかないと強調している。

However, as Abe has acknowledged, the people have yet to feel an economic recovery. So to win public understanding it is necessary to explain to them in detail about the aims and effects of the economic revitalization to be brought on by the full implementation of Abenomics.
 首相が言うように、国民が景気回復を実感するまでには至っていない。アベノミクスによる経済再生の狙いと効果を国民に丁寧に説明し、理解を得る必要がある。

The DPJ, on the other hand, has criticized the government’s economic measures, saying they have caused “strong side effects” such as price hikes amid no raise in wages and an increase in housing loan interest rates.
 一方、民主党は、賃金が上がらない中での物価上昇、住宅ローン金利の上昇など「強い副作用」が起きていると批判している。

How would the DPJ reconstruct the economy, then? Its argument will lack persuasive power unless it presents concrete measures. The party said it would “take good care of workers, boost income and enrich and expand the middle class.” But such abstract imagery falls short of explanations.
 では、民主党ならどのように経済を立て直すのか。具体策を示さねば説得力はない。「働く人を大切にし、所得を増やし、中間層を厚く豊かにする」といった抽象論では、説明不足である。

In its campaign platform, the DPJ points to hikes in electricity and gas rates as “a rash of price increases” under the Abe administration. But these were largely caused by a sharp increase in fuel imports for the operation of thermal power plants that substituted for the nation’s nuclear power plants, most of which had their operations suspended under the DPJ-led administration.
 民主党の公約は「値上げラッシュ」として電気やガス料金の値上げを強調しているが、民主党政権でほとんどの原子力発電所が止まり、代替の火力発電用燃料の輸入が急増した影響が大きい。

The DPJ’s criticism of price hikes must be questioned in terms of its consistency with its policy to end reliance on nuclear power generation.
 脱原発政策との整合性も問われよう。

Worth watching in the upcoming upper house election will be whether the LDP, Nippon Ishin no Kai and Your Party, which show a keen interest in revising the Constitution, will be able to secure two-thirds or more of the seats. If this threshold is cleared, it will create a political environment in which initiating constitutional revision will be possible for the first time under the current national charter.
 参院選では、自民党、日本維新の会、みんなの党など憲法改正に積極的な政党が参院で3分の2以上を確保するかも見所だ。改正の発議が可能となる政治環境が現行憲法下で初めて整うことになるからである。

Debate in concrete terms
 ◆憲法は具体案の論議を◆

Concerning Article 96, which sets out procedures for constitutional amendments, the LDP, Ishin no Kai and Your Party call for easing the requirements to initiate such revisions. The DPJ, Komeito and People’s Life Party either wish to maintain the article or oppose its revision ahead of other articles.
 憲法改正の手続きを規定した96条の改正問題については、自民、維新、みんなの3党が発議要件の緩和を訴えている。民主、公明、生活の党は、96条堅持、あるいは先行改正に反対の立場だ。

Issues regarding the the Constitution are wide-ranging.
 憲法を巡る論点は幅広い。

In its draft for constitutional revision, the LDP proposes revising Article 9 to call for the establishment of a national defense force while retaining the article’s spirit of pacifism, and to oblige the state to secure Japan’s territorial integrity.
 自民党は憲法改正草案で、9条について、平和主義を継承した上で国防軍の設置、領土の保全義務などを規定すると提案した。

Among constitutional provisions, the current Article 9 is the most distant from reality. The existence of the Self-Defense Forces should be clarified. Komeito, which aims to add new provisions to the current Constitution, has said it will study how to recognize the SDF in the national charter. This is a laudable move.
 9条は最も現実と乖離(かいり)している。自衛隊の存在を明確にすべきである。公明党が、現行憲法に新しい条項を加える「加憲」の立場ながら、自衛隊の位置づけを検討課題としたのは評価したい。

Ishin no Kai calls for merging the two chambers of the Diet into one and adopting a system to elect a prime minister by popular vote. Your Party proposes a provision on states of emergency. The JCP and Social Democratic Party stress their stance of maintaining the Constitution as it is.
 維新の会は、衆参合併による一院制や首相公選制を掲げた。みんなの党も非常事態条項を盛り込むことを明記した。共産党、社民党は護憲を強調している。

This is the first time that concrete points of constitutional revision will become bones of contention in an upper house poll. Discussing the national charter is tantamount to thinking about the national security environment, the system of government and the status of human rights.
 参院選で、憲法改正の具体的な内容が争点になるのは初めてだ。憲法を論じるのは、安全保障環境や統治機構、人権の現状を考えることでもある。

The parties will be asked to deepen debate on the matter during a campaign period.
選挙戦の中で大いに議論を深めてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 29, 2013)
(2013年6月29日01時28分  読売新聞)

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