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2013年8月31日 (土)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:不本意なUターン組 /東京

August 04, 2013(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Unwilling returnees
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:不本意なUターン組 /東京

Police arrested a man who is believed to have been involved in a murder-arson case in a remote village of Shunan, Yamaguchi Prefecture. He was reportedly hiding in the woods not very far from the crime scene.
 山口県周南市での連続殺人・放火事件で、重要参考人として行方を捜されていた男性の身柄が確保され、逮捕された。現場からさほど遠くない山中に身を隠していたようだ。

It was a very extraordinary case, wherein five out of the village's total of 14 residents were killed. The suspect himself, however, seems to have lived an ordinary life.
The now 63-year-old was probably one of those young people who leave their hometown to go to the city, hoping to follow their dreams or find a better job.
 住民14人の小さな山あいの集落で5人もの高齢者が殺害されるという、あまりに特異な事件だが、容疑者の63歳の男性の背景は決して珍しいものではないと感じた。

Although once filled with hope, these people's lives become difficult if they have spent several years being unable to secure stable employment, or if they have been laid off. In this case, it becomes very difficult to get married or to stay in a marriage.
 若い頃には夢や仕事を求めて地元を離れ都市部で生活。しかし、なかなか正社員になれなかったりリストラに遭ったりして生活が苦しくなっていく。そうなると結婚も難しかったり、家計を維持できなくなり離婚を余儀なくされたりする。

After these people hit their 40s, they can't work at any job like they used to because their physical strength has worn out. They also feel that they're too old to start a new career. By the time they are in their 50s, folks back home need somebody to take care of them, and ask their children to come back.
 さらに40代を過ぎると体力も衰えてくるので、「どんな仕事でもできる」とはいかない。新しい資格を身につけるのも難しい。そのうち郷里の両親も高齢化し、介護が必要になったり、「心細いから戻ってきて」と頼まれたりする。

Feeling hopeless about living in the city, they decide to go home. There aren't many jobs available in their towns at all, however -- let alone ones that they want to do. Without friends to talk to, they feel insecure about what will happen to them in the future after their parents die.
 「このまま都会にいても先がない」と考え、50歳前後でUターン。もちろん地元には自分がやりたい仕事どころか働き口そのものもほとんどないので、結局は両親の介護や手伝いなどをしながら暮らす。話が合うような友人もできない。そうなると「住む家はなんとかあるけれど、両親が世を去ったら孤独のまま老後を迎えるのか」と、都会にいた時とはまた別の不安が心に湧き上がってくる……。

I have seen many of my patients in their 40s and 50s leave the city to return to their hometown and live with their parents. I have also signed many medical certificates in case these people ever need to see a psychiatrist back home.
 これまで、「親元に帰ることにしました」と話す40代、50代の人が、何かあったら郷里の心療内科にかかれるように何通もの診断書を書いてきた。

I often wonder about how such people are holding up. I worry about them not being able to fit back into the countryside after spending many years in cities, or becoming isolated after their parents are gone.
あの人たちは今ごろどうなっているだろう。「長年の都会暮らしから地元の生活にすんなりなじめているだろうか」「親が世を去って孤独に陥ってはいないだろうか」と気がかりになる。

Of course, I believe that most of them have found a place where they belong, and that they are living peaceful lives. However, I also think that some people struggle, asking themselves, "what was my life all about?" I wonder what these people need in their lives. Is it family, friends, job, hobbies, money or health? Some of them probably don't have any of these things.
 もちろん、ほとんどのUターン組の人たちは、郷里で親の介護などを終えた後、それなりに自分の居場所を見つけて穏やかに暮らしているに違いない。とはいえ、中には「私の人生、何だったの?」と葛藤しながら生活している人たちも、男女に関係なくいるに違いない。この人たちに必要なのは家族、友だち、仕事、趣味、お金、健康のどれだろう。中には、そのすべてがないという人もいそうだ。

I've heard that an increasing number of people are returning to their homes even though they don't want to. Apart from the arson-murder suspect, I think there might be a new social problem with these people living by themselves in large houses in remote areas after their parents are gone.
 「不本意なUターン組」は少しずつ増えている、という話を聞いたこともある。今回の事件とは別に、両親を失った後、地方の大きな生家でひとりひっそり暮らす人たちのことは、今後、大きな社会問題になるのではないだろうか。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2013年07月30日 地方版

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悪ふざけ投稿 ネット交流に潜む危険な誘惑

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 31, 2013
Prank Internet postings can have serious consequences
悪ふざけ投稿 ネット交流に潜む危険な誘惑(8月30日付・読売社説)

It is deplorable that young people are causing serious problems by taking photos of themselves playing pranks and posting them on Twitter and other social media.
 実に嘆かわしい事態である。若者が悪ふざけで撮った写真がツイッターなどSNS(ソーシャル・ネットワーキング・サービス)に投稿され、重大な問題を引き起こしている。

At a convenience store in Kochi, a male employee took a photo of himself lying in a refrigerated case for ice cream and posted it online. The head office of the chain store was inundated with complaints such as “your education of employees is problematic” and “your management of sanitation is doubtful.” The store ended up having its franchise contract terminated.
 高知市のコンビニエンスストアでは、男性店員がアイスクリームの冷凍ケース内に身を横たえた姿を撮影し、投稿した。
 本部には「店員の教育がなっていない」「衛生管理はできているのか」といった苦情が殺到した。この店はフランチャイズ契約を解除された。

At a ramen shop in Osaka where two female employees posted photos of one of them on Twitter with the shop’s frozen ingredients in her mouth, the shop was forced to dispose of the foodstuffs and suspend its business.
 冷凍庫の食材をくわえた店員の写真がツイッターに公開された大阪のラーメン店は、食材廃棄ばかりか、休業に追い込まれた。

Due to rash acts by their employees, stores and franchise management companies lost the confidence of the public. It is not unreasonable for the shops to ask such employees to pay damages in addition to being fired.
 店員の軽はずみな行為により、店や経営企業は信用低下というダメージを受けた。店員は解雇のみならず、店側から損害賠償を請求されてもおかしくはない。

This recent series of pranks includes one that developed into a criminal case. Two 19-year-old boys who posted a photo of themselves on the roof of a parked police car in Hokkaido were arrested on suspicion of damaging property.
 刑事事件に発展したケースもある。北海道で駐車中のパトカーの屋根に乗った場面を投稿した19歳の少年2人が、器物損壊容疑で逮捕された。

Stern action against such malicious acts cannot be avoided.
 悪質な行為を抑止するためには厳しい対処もやむを得まい。

Exhibitionism a factor

The young people who caused these problems seem to be exhibitionists who want to attract others’ attention in cyberspace. The boys involved in the Hokkaido incident posted a message saying, “We trampled a patrol car.”
 一連の問題を引き起こした若者たちからは、ネット空間で他の人から注目されたいという自己顕示欲がうかがえる。北海道の少年は「パトカー荒らしてきたぜ」という書き込みをしていた。

Social media are tools for increasing social contacts by making connections through individuals. If the services are used well, it will be possible to communicate with many people. Some young people may want to show off to get others’ attention, but the problem is how they go about it.
 SNSは友だちの輪を広げる道具だ。うまく利用すれば、多くの人と交流することができる。関心を引くために、自分をアピールしたいという若者もいるだろうが、問題はその手段だ。

If they had considered the consequences of their acts, the incidents would not have occurred.
 自らの行為がもたらす結果に思いを及ぼすことができれば、一連の騒動は起きなかったはずだ。

Why have actions by young people displaying a considerable lack of common sense become rampant?
 なぜ、著しく常識を欠いた若者の行為が目立つのだろうか。

Some experts say that people immersed in the Internet world tend to lose normal judgment. They are preoccupied with what they should say and post on the Internet even at work and are tempted to do things that will attract the attention of friends on the Internet.
 専門家の中には、ネットの世界に浸ると、正常な判断力を失いがちになるとの指摘がある。働いている最中でも、ネット上でどんな会話や投稿をするかが頭から離れず、ネット仲間にうける行動に走ってしまうのだという。

The incidents all happened within a short period, possibly because messages on the Internet encouraged others to follow suit. This could represent a facet of the situation underscored by the recent survey showing that 520,000 middle and high school students are addicted to the Internet.
 騒動が短期間のうちに集中したのは、他の人の投稿を見て刺激を受けた結果だろう。
 中高生だけでも約52万人に達するとされるネット依存問題の一つの側面と言える。

With the rapid spread of smartphones, the number of users of social media and other Internet services is expected to continue rising. It is necessary to instruct people how to properly interact with the Internet world both at school and in employee training.
 スマートフォンが急速に普及し、SNSなどのネット利用者は今後も増え続けるとみられる。学校だけでなく、社員教育の中でも、ネットとの適切な関わり方を指導していくことが必要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 30, 2013)
(2013年8月30日01時28分  読売新聞)

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2013年8月30日 (金)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:もっと「SOS」発信して /東京

August 25, 2013(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Elderly living alone should not hesitate to call for help
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:もっと「SOS」発信して /東京

There have been many people losing their lives to heatstroke recently, particularly elderly couples or elderly people living alone.
 熱中症で命を落とす人が相次いでいる。特に一人暮らし、夫婦二人暮らしの高齢者が目立つ。

Once, an acquaintance of mine, an internal medicine doctor who made many visits to patients, told me something: "In the old, dense residential areas of the city nestled between office buildings, no matter which home you go to you will find an elderly couple or an elderly person living alone. Living at the base of state-of-the-art office buildings, their only friends are their television sets. When I think during my visits how there could be people spending their whole days sitting alone in hot rooms, not talking to anyone, it makes me feel down."
 訪問診療を多くしている内科医の知人が、かつて話してくれたことがあった。「都会のビルの谷間に古くから残っている住宅密集地には、どの家のドアを開けてもお年寄りが一人、あるいは二人で暮らしている。最新のビルのふもとでテレビだけが友だち。ムッとした部屋の中で誰とも話さずに一日中、座っているだけという人がいるかと思うと、往診しながらやるせない気持ちになってしまうね」

That acquaintance said that these elderly people make excuses, like "I like living where I'm used to," or "It's easier being alone," when the truth is that they don't want to impose on others. Even if they have children, they insist they are "fine" and don't let them come and take care of them. They do the same thing when social care workers come to check on them, all because of a deep-seated belief that "one takes care of themselves."
 その人たちは「住み慣れた場所がいい」「独りが気楽」と言いながらも、実は「迷惑をかけたくない」という思いが強いという。子どもがいても「大丈夫だから」と寄せつけない。民生委員やケアマネジャーが訪ねてきても同じ。「自分のことは自分で何とかしなきゃ」という「自助の精神」が、体に染み込んでいるのだ。

Whenever I hear about this kind of thing, I wonder, "Is borrowing the help of others really imposing on them?" After living and growing old, our bodies may not function like they used to and we may lose our spouses and become alone, but that is all normal and not a failure or something to be ashamed of.
 そういう話を聞くたびに、「人の助けを借りるのは、本当に迷惑をかけることなのか」と考え込んでしまう。一生懸命、生きてきて年を取り、体の自由が利かなくなったり配偶者を失って独りになってしまったりする。それはごく当たり前のことで、失敗でも恥でもない。

When we reach such a stage, we should be upfront and say, "What should I do from here on? I leave the reigns for someone else to take," and society should respond by reaching out a helping hand. We should receive both physical care and as comfortable a living environment as possible. Plus, if people didn't have to worry about their wellbeing in their later years, they would be bolder in starting businesses and spending money in their younger years.
 そうなった時に「私はこれからどうしたらいいんですか。後はどなたかお願いしますよ」と、正々堂々とSOSを発信して、社会が「本当にお疲れさまでした。どうぞご心配なく」と手を差し伸べる。そして、体のケアも受けながら、なるべく快適に暮らせるような環境を提供する。高齢になってからの心配がなければ、誰もが若いうちにもっと大胆に起業したり消費したりもできるはずだ。

I once said angrily, "It's really awful that elderly people hole up in their homes and die of heatstroke. Isn't the truly shameful thing that news of these events spreads around the world?" A young acquaintance of mine replied, however, "If we make the services offered to the elderly even nicer than they are now, where will we get the money to pay for it?"
 「高齢者がひっそりと家へこもり、熱中症で亡くなるだなんて本当にひどい。そういうニュースが世界に流れることこそ、恥ずかしいと思うべきじゃない?」と怒っていたら、若い知人に「でも、増え続ける高齢者へのサービスを、これ以上手厚くするとしたら、その財源はどうなるんですか」と言われた。

Always asking about "where the money will come from" and "cost performance" may be the current thing to do, but is that really the right attitude for us to have? Are there not things in the world that are more important than money? Many of those elderly holed up in their homes and not wanting to impose do not raise their voices, so I would like to raise a protest of anger in their place.
 なんでも「財源は? 原資は? 費用対効果は?」と発想するのがイマドキ風なのかもしれないが、果たしてそれは正しい態度なのか。世の中には「何をさておいても」ということがあるのではないか。「迷惑をかけたくない」と家へこもる高齢者の多くは、何も要求せず何も申し立てないので、その人たちに代わって、ここは私が大いに怒りの声をあげたいと思う。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2013年08月20日 地方版

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全国学力テスト 苦手分野をどう克服するか

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 30, 2013
Use findings of achievement tests to correct students’ weaknesses
全国学力テスト 苦手分野をどう克服するか(8月29日付・読売社説)

It is important to determine where children are weak in each school subject, a task that must be complemented by efforts to reflect such findings in methods for guiding them in their studies.
 子供たちの苦手な点を見極め、指導に反映させることが重要だ。

The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry has published the results of a nationwide achievement test conducted in April. The test, which covered sixth-grade primary school students and third-year middle school students, was intended to examine their basic knowledge about the Japanese language, arithmetic and mathematics, as well as their applied skills in these subjects.
 文部科学省が4月に実施した全国学力テストの結果を公表した。小学6年生と中学3年生を対象に、国語と算数・数学の基礎的な知識や応用力を調べた。

The latest achievement test was the first to be administered on all such students in four years, and provided detailed data on the performance of students in each school and each city, town and village. Such data was not obtained from similar tests conducted under the Democratic Party of Japan-led government, as the education ministry conducted achievement tests targeting only about 30 percent of schools chosen as samples during the DPJ’s rule.
 全員参加方式による学力テストは4年ぶりだ。民主党政権下の抽出方式では分からなかった市町村別や学校別の細かなデータが得られたのは収穫だろう。

The latest data can be used by local governments to improve education by, for example, preferentially assigning teachers to schools whose students performed poorly in the latest test. We hope the education ministry will continue to use the participation-by-all formula in administering nationwide achievement tests.
 成績が振るわなかった学校に教師を手厚く配置するなど、自治体はテスト結果を教育施策に活用できる。今後も全員参加方式を継続し、学力を検証していきたい。

What is noteworthy about the findings is a welcome change in the results classified by prefecture. A sign of improvement was evident in the performance of prefectures that had fared poorly in the average percentage of correct answers given by students in previous achievement tests.
 今回の都道府県別の結果では、過去に平均正答率が低迷していた県で改善の兆しが見られた。

In some of these prefectures, improvements in this respect were achieved through a mix of measures, including after-school supplementary lessons and achievement tests administered by local education authorities.
放課後を利用した補充学習や県独自のテストを組み合わせ、成果に結びつけたところもあった。

All this can be seen as a sign that the nationwide achievement test, first conducted in 2007, has encouraged local governments to introduce measures to improve the academic standards of students in their areas.
 2007年から始まった全国学力テストが、各自治体の取り組みを促していると評価できよう。

Poor at expressing opinions

The results of the ministry’s achievement tests, including the latest one, clearly show where students are weak. For example, they fared poorly in writing their opinions about documents they were told to read in the test. They also did badly at logically explaining the reasons for the answers they gave.
 これまでのテストを通し、子供たちの苦手分野がはっきりしてきている。与えられた資料を読んだ上で自分の考えを書く問題や、解答の理由を論理的に説明する問題などだ。

Questions of this kind were incorporated into the latest test. Not surprisingly, the percentage of correct answers was low.
今回も出題されたが、やはり正答率は低かった。

A major task that must be tackled by the authorities is to improve the academic ability of children in fields in which they have a problem answering questions. With this in mind, the education ministry is scheduled to produce documents designed to provide teachers with some innovative ideas, based on the findings from the latest test, while also distributing them to local boards of education and other institutions.
 苦手分野の学力の底上げが大きな課題である。文科省はテスト結果を踏まえた授業のアイデア例を作成し、教育委員会などに配布する予定だ。

We hope teachers and school administrators will utilize these materials to improve the abilities of students to think and express themselves.
学校現場で子供たちの思考力や表現力を磨く指導を工夫してもらいたい。

In administering April’s achievement test, the education ministry also conducted an awareness survey on children. The survey included a question about what they would do if they did not understand what was taught in class. Close to 10 percent of middle school students said they would not ask their teachers or friends to explain, leaving the points in doubt unanswered. This is worrying, given that the respondents are at a crucial time in the final stage of their compulsory education.
 同時に実施された意識調査では、中学生の1割近くが、授業で分からないことがあった時、「先生にも友人にも尋ねずにそのままにしておく」と答えた。義務教育の最終段階の大事な時期だけに、気がかりな調査結果である。

In dealing with middle school students who did not answer questions requiring written answers in the Japanese language exam and proof questions in the math test, the awareness survey asked them why. It was found that a considerable number of such children did not even try to answer the question.
 国語の記述式問題や数学の証明問題で無解答だった子にその理由を尋ねたところ、そもそも最初から解答をあきらめていた中学生も目立った。

Teachers need to pay meticulous care to such students through various means, including teaching methods based on the degree of their academic achievement.
 児童生徒の習熟度に応じた授業を導入するなど、指導にあたって、教師がきめ細かな目配りをしていく必要がある。

Children’s learning at home is another important issue to be addressed in working to improve their academic abilities. The percentage of children who review their school lessons at home has been increasing since they were covered in an awareness survey for the first time. The latest survey shows about 50 percent of primary and middle school students review their school studies at home. This can be seen as a certain measure of progress in encouraging children to study at home.
 子供たちの学力向上には、家庭学習もポイントとなる。
 調査開始以来、家で授業の復習をしている子供の割合が増加している。今回、小中学生とも約5割になったのは、一定の前進だ。

It is important for school authorities and local governments to carefully explain the latest findings to parents while also sharing perceptions with them about what kind of problems need to be overcome to improve students’ academic abilities. Doing so will give parents a better understanding about what needs to be done and improve the quality of children’s home learning.
 学校や自治体がテスト結果を保護者に丁寧に説明し、課題を共有する。それが保護者の理解を深め、家庭学習の充実にもつながる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 29, 2013)
(2013年8月29日01時38分  読売新聞)

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「特別警報」 災害の被害軽減に生かしたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 30, 2013
New system must work to reduce disaster damage
「特別警報」 災害の被害軽減に生かしたい(8月29日付・読売社説)

The Japan Meteorological Agency will start operation of an emergency warning system Friday. Emergency warnings will be issued to alert people of the significant likelihood of catastrophes associated with natural phenomena of extraordinary magnitude, such as torrential rain.
 気象庁が「特別警報」の運用を30日に始める。豪雨などにより、大災害が発生する恐れが著しく高まった際に出す。

Again this summer, there have been localized downpours of heavy rain in various areas. We hope the agency will make the new system function as a means to reduce damage from natural disasters as much as possible.
 今夏も局地的な豪雨が各地で発生している。災害による被害を少しでも軽減する手立てとして機能させてもらいたい。

The agency has so far been issuing an “advisory” when there is a significant possibility of a disaster and a “warning” when there is a strong chance of a major disaster. The new emergency warning system is designed to inform people of danger that surpasses a warning, and will be the most dangerous level of warning that the agency issues.
 気象庁は、災害発生の恐れがある時に「注意報」、大きな災害発生の恐れがある際には「警報」を出してきた。これを上回る危険が迫っていることを知らせるのが、新設する特別警報だ。気象庁が発信する最大の警告と言える。

In case of heavy rains, an emergency warning will be issued when the agency predicts heavy rainfall with a level of intensity observed only once about every 50 years. It will also be used for storms and tsunami. The agency will ask local governments involved to take appropriate actions and simultaneously ask residents in affected areas to “immediately take all steps to protect their lives” through the media.
 大雨では50年に1度程度の降雨量が予想される場合に発する。暴風や津波などにも適用する。気象庁は該当の自治体に対応を求めるとともに、報道でも「直ちに命を守る行動を」と呼びかける。

The agency has decided to employ the new warning system because weather, climate and earthquake information for disaster management purposes issued by the agency has not been fully utilized by the public or local governments. As a result, residents continue to fail to evacuate quickly to safety in various disasters.
 特別警報を出すことにしたのは、気象庁が発する防災気象情報が活用されず、住民の避難が遅れる災害が後を絶たないためだ。

In the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, the risk of gigantic tsunami was not sufficiently conveyed to residents. As a result, many people failed to evacuate. There are many cases of typhoons and heavy rains in which the weather situation worsened to levels at which residents could not evacuate when municipalities issued evacuation instructions.
 東日本大震災では、巨大津波の危険性が十分伝わらず、多くの人が逃げ遅れた。台風や大雨でも市町村が避難指示を出したころには、避難できないほど天候が悪化していた事例は少なくない。

Evacuate immediately

Advisories and warnings are issued slightly before a situation enters its worst stage. Because of this, city, town and village governments, as well as residents, tend to take a wait-and-see attitude because they think there is still time to go. However, when an emergency warning is issued, such a response is life-threatening.
 注意報や警報は、最悪の状況に至る少し前の段階で出される。このため、市町村や住民は、猶予があるだろうと様子見になりがちだ。特別警報が発せられた時、そうした対応は禁物である。

Local governments should play an important role under the new system. The revised Meteorological Service Law obliges local governments that receive an emergency warning to swiftly and thoroughly disseminate information about the warning to residents. Municipalities must decide whether evacuation is necessary and where to go, and inform residents of their decisions.
 重要なのは、自治体の役割だ。改正気象業務法は、特別警報が出された自治体に対し、住民への迅速な情報の周知を義務付けた。市町村は、避難が必要か、どこに避難するかも決め、併せて住民に伝えることになる。

There are many problems to be tackled even at normal times regarding disaster management measures and other issues, such as expanding the means by which information can be distributed and securing evacuation places. The central and local governments must closely cooperate to put such antidisaster meaures in place.
 情報伝達手段の拡充、避難所確保といった防災対策など、平時から取り組むべき課題は山積している。政府と自治体が連携し、体制の整備を急がねばならない。

Current information distribution measures include using the disaster management radio communcation system and municipal vans with loudspeakers. In addition, the government needs to study as soon as possible new measures such as active utilization of the Internet.
 情報伝達の手段としては、既存の防災無線や広報車による呼びかけに加え、インターネットの活用など、新たな仕組みも早急に検討する必要があろう。

The agency’s information for disaster management covers a wide range of subjects, from weather and climate-related areas such as heavy rains and storms to earthquake and volcanic eruptions. Some critics say they are too complicated, and with the addition of the special warning system, we fear they will be even more confusing.
 気象庁の防災気象情報は、豪雨や暴風など気象関連のほか、地震や火山まで多岐にわたり、複雑すぎるとの指摘がある。特別警報が加わることで、さらに分かりにくくなる恐れがある。

It is important to remember that emergency messages should be accurately understood by the public. The meteorological agency is now examining the possibility of reviewing the overly segmented information. We think the agency should improve the situation as soon as possible.
 緊急メッセージは正確に伝わることが重要である。気象庁は、細分化された情報の見直しを検討している。改善を急ぐべきだ。

Needless to say, it is important for the agency to improve its observation and forecast technologies for transmission of accurate information.
 的確な情報発信のためには、気象庁の観測、予報技術の向上が大切なことは言うまでもない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 29, 2013)
(2013年8月29日01時38分  読売新聞)

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2013年8月29日 (木)

シリア内戦 化学兵器疑惑の徹底解明を

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 29, 2013
Uncover the full truth about alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria
シリア内戦 化学兵器疑惑の徹底解明を(8月28日付・読売社説)

The death toll in the Syrian civil war has already exceeded 100,000. With last week’s alleged use of chemical weapons by Syrian government forces in mind, it is all the more imperative that the country’s bloodshed be stopped without further delay.
 シリア内戦では、犠牲者がすでに10万人を超えた。まして化学兵器が使用されたとすれば、一刻の猶予もなく流血を止めなければならない。

President Bashar Assad’s regime forces fired rockets loaded with chemical gas on the suburbs of Damascus last Wednesday, killing and injuring a large number of civilians, according to the opposition Syrian National Coalition. Video footage of children injured in the attack has also been released on the Internet.
 シリアの反体制派組織「国民連合」によると、アサド政権軍は21日、ダマスカス郊外に化学兵器を搭載したロケット弾を撃ち込み、多数の市民が犠牲になったという。負傷した子供たちの動画もインターネットで公開された。

The Assad government adamantly denies using chemical weapons, and insists the attack in question was perpetrated by rebel forces.
 政権側は、これを全面否定し、化学兵器攻撃を行ったのは反体制派だと主張している。

Using chemical weapons is a clear violation of international law. If it is established that regime forces used chemical weapons, the Assad government must be sternly brought to task.
 化学兵器の使用は、明白な国際規範違反である。事実が確認されれば、責任が厳しく問われなければならない。

A U.N. investigation team in Syria has started trying to confirm whether chemical weapons were used. However, the U.N. team is experiencing difficulties in probing the incident. One of the mission’s vehicles was fired on by unidentified snipers.
 シリアに入っていた国連調査団は、現地で化学兵器が使われたかどうかを確認する作業に入ったが、何者かに車両を銃撃される妨害に遭い、難航している。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, during a visit to Kuwait, had every reason to say, “I hope the U.N. investigating commission’s on-site probe will be conducted without disruption, and that all the facts will be established at an early date.”
 安倍首相が、外遊先のクウェートで「国連調査団の現地調査が妨害なく遂行され、事実関係が早期に明らかにされることを望む」と語ったのはもっともである。

Results of the investigation will likely be referred to a session of the U.N. Security Council. The council should implement necessary measures toward Syria after establishing the facts about the alleged use of chemical weapons, based on the U.N. team’s findings.
 調査結果は、安全保障理事会での討議に付される見通しだ。安保理は、調査結果を踏まえて、化学兵器疑惑を解明し、シリアへの対応措置を講じる必要がある。

Military response looming

The United States has started discussions with members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, including Britain and France, regarding whether to launch a military strike on Syrian government targets. Washington has concluded that Assad regime forces used chemical weapons during last week’s attack. Its talks with NATO allies over possible military action came before the U.N. team produces its report.
 米国は、アサド政権側が化学兵器を使用したとみなし、国連の調査結果を待たず、英国やフランスなど北大西洋条約機構(NATO)諸国との間で、政権側に対する軍事攻撃の検討に入った。

U.S. President Barack Obama had initially been cautious about becoming directly involved in the Syrian civil war. However, he is shifting to a hard-line approach.
 オバマ大統領はこれまで、シリア内戦への米国の直接関与について、慎重な態度を取ってきたが、強硬姿勢に転じつつある。

This is presumably because the alleged chemical weapons attack took place despite his repeated warnings to the Assad government that the use of deadly gases would cross “a red line.” Overlooking the latest incident would tarnish the national prestige of the United States. It could also encourage the use of chemical weapons in other parts of the world.
 化学兵器の使用は「越えてはならない一線」とアサド政権に強く警告してきたからでもあろう。化学兵器使用を黙認すると、米国の威信に傷が付く。世界の他の地域にも使用が広まりかねない。

However, it should be noted that the U.S. State Department has emphasized the importance of seeking “a political solution” to the Syrian problem. Needless to say, further diplomatic efforts must be made to resolve the armed conflict before the United States and NATO nations possibly decide to launch a military operation.
 ただ、米国務省は、「政治的解決」の重要性も強調している。軍事行動を決定する前に、一層の外交努力の積み重ねが求められるのは言うまでもない。

Another important task that must complement efforts to uncover the truth about the alleged chemical weapons use is to renew efforts to end the Syrian civil war, a challenge that will require shoring up international pressure on the Assad regime, which has relentlessly attacked the people of its own country.
 疑惑の解明と並行して、自国民への攻撃をやめようとしないアサド政権への国際的圧力をより強化し、内戦の収拾を改めて目指すことも重要だ。

This year’s Group of Eight summit meeting in June agreed that the Syrian government, rebel forces and nations with a stake in the problem would hold an international conference aimed at ending the civil war. Such a meeting would ideally be convened as early as possible.
 6月の主要8か国首脳会議は、シリアの和平に向け、政権と反体制派、関係各国による国際会議の開催で合意している。早期の会議実現が望まれる。

We will be closely watching how the United Nations and the international community handle the Syrian situation.
 シリアをめぐる国連と国際社会の動向を注目したい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 28, 2013)
(2013年8月28日02時13分  読売新聞)

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潘国連事務総長 資質問われる偏向「介入」発言

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 29, 2013
Ban’s bias on history issues incompatible with U.N. post
潘国連事務総長 資質問われる偏向「介入」発言(8月28日付・読売社説)

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s recent remarks are unbelievable.
 耳を疑うような国連事務総長の発言である。

“I think Japanese political leaders need to profoundly reflect on how to perceive history to maintain good-neighborly relations in a future-oriented way, and a vision to look ahead into the global future,” Ban said at a press conference at the South Korean Foreign Ministry on Monday.
 潘基文事務総長が、韓国外交省で記者会見し、「歴史をどう認識すれば未来志向的に善隣友好関係を維持できるのか、日本の政府、政治指導者には、深い省察と国際的な未来を見通すビジョンが必要だ」と述べた。

He made the remarks in response to a question from a South Korean reporter who asked about the United Nations’ view and his own view as U.N. secretary general with regard to the confrontation between Japan and China and South Korea on the perception of history and territorial issues as well as Japan’s moves to revise the Constitution.
 韓国人記者から、歴史認識や領土問題を巡る日中韓の対立と日本の憲法改正の動きについて、国連および事務総長としての見解を質問されて、答えた内容だ。

Ban is a veteran diplomat who served as foreign minister under the administration of former South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun. However, as U.N. secretary general, he is obliged to remain neutral and fair, refraining from siding with any particular country.
 潘氏は、韓国の盧武鉉政権時代に外相を務めたベテラン外交官だ。だが、今は国連事務総長として、特定の国にくみしない中立性、公平性が求められている。

He did not refer to South Korean and Chinese politicians. By restricting his remarks to Japanese politicians, people around the world may believe Japan is the cause of frictions in Northeast Asia. It is obvious his remarks were one-sided and problematic.
 潘氏は韓国や中国の政治家には触れなかった。日本の政治指導者だけへの言及は、あたかも北東アジア地域のあつれきの原因が日本にあるかのように、世界中で受け取られかねない。一方的で、問題ある発言と言わざるを得ない。

Customarily, a U.N. secretary general speaks at a press conference in English or French, two of the United Nations’ official languages, but Ban spoke in Korean throughout most of the press conference. This is extremely unusual.
 事務総長の会見は、国連公用語の英語かフランス語で行われるのが通例だが、今回は異例にも大半が韓国語で行われた。

Ban implicitly demanded that Japan correct its view of history, saying a country only can earn respect and trust from other nations through a correct recognition of history.
 潘氏は、「歴史に正しい認識を持ってこそ、他の国々から尊敬と信頼を受けるのではないか」と、暗に日本に注文も付けた。

Parroting Seoul’s stance

His remarks echo what South Korea has been saying. Seoul has relentlessly demanded that Japan face up to its prewar history by saying it should “have a correct recognition of history.” Ban’s comment therefore supports South Korea. The secretary general, who is supposed to mediate international disputes and conflicts, should not openly fan confrontation.
 「正しい歴史認識を持て」と、日本に戦前の歴史に向き合うよう執拗(しつよう)に求める韓国と同じ言い方である。韓国の肩を持つ発言だ。本来、様々な紛争や対立を調停する立場の事務総長が、対立をあからさまにあおってどうするのか。

History cannot be neatly packaged under the term “correct recognition.”
 歴史は、「正しい認識」でひとくくりにできないものだ。

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshi-hide Suga said, “I strongly wonder whether Secretary General Ban made the remarks while considering Japan’s position.” He cited Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s remark, “It’s necessary for leaders to exchange opinions to maintain regional peace and stability.” It was natural for him to raise objections.
 菅官房長官は、「地域の平和と安定のためには首脳同士が意見交換することが必要だ」との安倍首相の発言を引いて、「こうした日本の立場を認識した上での発言なのか、非常に疑問を感じている」と述べた。当然の反発である。

The Japanese government needs to confirm Ban’s real intentions and to actively convey Japan’s position at such places as the United Nations so that its stance will not be misunderstood around the world.
 政府は、潘氏に発言の真意をただし、日本の立場が世界で誤解されぬよう、国連などの場で、積極的な発信に努める必要がある。

For nearly 70 years since the end of World War II, Japan has consistently made efforts to promote world peace and prosperity. How does Ban evaluate Japan’s postwar history?
 戦後70年近く、日本は一貫して平和と繁栄のために努力してきた。これまでの日本の戦後の歴史を、潘氏はどう評価するのか。

The Japan-South Korea Basic Relations Treaty of 1965 is an established international agreement that defines the bilateral relationship between the two countries after World War II. Even though the issue of compensation rights has been resolved, South Korea keeps raking over the issue of reparations for former forced laborers and on the issue of so-called comfort women.
 1965年の日韓基本条約は、戦後の日本と韓国の関係を規定する国際協定として確立している。請求権問題は解決ずみなのに、韓国は、元徴用工への賠償や元慰安婦問題を蒸し返してやまない。

Ban, as an official of the international organization, should inform Seoul that South Korea’s common sense is irrational in other parts of the world.
 国際機関に籍を置くなら、潘氏は、韓国の常識は世界の非常識であると韓国に伝えるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 28, 2013)
(2013年8月28日02時13分  読売新聞)

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2013年8月28日 (水)

薄煕来被告公判 中国権力闘争の危険な火種だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 28, 2013
Bo trial may become genesis of power struggle in China
薄煕来被告公判 中国権力闘争の危険な火種だ(8月27日付・読売社説)

The administration of Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping has faced a problem, the settlement of which can never be forgotten in consolidating Xi’s power base.
 中国の習近平・共産党総書記が権力基盤を固める上で、この問題の決着は避けて通れない。

Of course, we are speaking of the case in which Bo Xilai, the former top official of the southwestern megacity of Chongqing and former member of the Communist Party’s Politburo, was charged with bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power.
 収賄、横領、職権乱用罪に問われた重慶市党委員会元トップ、薄煕来・元党政治局員の事件のことだ。

In the public hearing of the case held in Shandong Province, Bo thoroughly dismissed all accusations, bringing the five-day trial to an end on Monday, and maintaining his showdown with the Xi administration.
 山東省で開かれたその公判は、薄被告がすべての罪を全面否認し、習政権と真正面から対決する姿勢を崩さぬままに結審した。

The Xi administration, having made a crackdown on corruption a focus of its first year, appears to be attempting to condemn Bo as the embodiment of corruption.
 習政権は腐敗撲滅を強調しており、薄被告を腐敗の象徴として断罪する思惑があったのだろう。

In China’s one-party system the judiciary is controlled by the Communist Party.
 一党独裁体制の中国では、司法も共産党の指導下にある。

The first public hearing of the Bo trial was set following a key conference this summer of party elders, following Xi’s official inauguration in March.
初公判は、習指導部が正式に発足した後、党長老らも加わる夏の重要会議の終了を待って設定された。

Apparently in a bid to emphasize the “fairness” of the trial, Beijing took the extraordinary step of allowing the court proceedings to be reported live on China’s Weibo microblogging service.
 審理の模様を中国版ツイッターで中継する異例の対応をとり、「公正」さもアピールした。

The trial, in the eyes of the Xi administration, should have been a scrupulously prepared “political show.”
 裁判は、周到に準備した「政治ショー」のはずだった。

In the public hearing, however, Bo, who had admitted his culpability on some of the charges during investigations by the Communist Party, changed his stance. A factor behind this may be the strong support for Bo that remains among left-wingers within the Communist Party.
 ところが、党の取り調べで一部容疑を認めていた薄被告は、態度を一変させた。背景には、党内左派の強い支持があろう。

The development may be a major miscalculation by Xi, who appeared to have intended to use the trial to unify different views in the party by making clear Bo’s malfeasance in going against the party leadership.
 党指導部に逆らった薄被告の罪を、裁判で明確にすることによって、党内意思を統一しようとした習氏には誤算だったと言える。

Indignation over disparity

Bo used to be an influential figure among the “princelings,” as high-ranking party officials’ offspring are known. When he was the party secretary in the top post in Chongqing, he achieved fame through such acts as cracking down on the city’s business leaders and branding them “crime syndicate members.” He also used public money to provide the poor with low-priced housing.
 薄被告は高級幹部の子女グループ「太子党」の有力者だった。重慶市トップの書記時代には、経済人らに「暴力団」のレッテルを貼って弾圧する一方、低価格の住宅提供など弱者対策に公金を投入して、一躍、人気を博した。

His apparent goal was to assume one of the seats on the ruling Communist Party’s all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee. Bo’s political style is designed to appeal to the masses who are indignant at economic disparities between rich and poor and at how those with power are able to obtain spoils of office and wealth. His ideas however, came to be seen at odds with the government, resulting in a conflict with the then administration of Hu Jintao.
 狙いは、党最高指導部の政治局常務委員になることだった。だが、権力者が利権と富を支配する格差社会に憤る大衆の歓心を買う政治手法は、政権批判とみなされ、当時の胡錦濤政権と対立した。

Bo himself is far from being called a person of integrity.
 薄被告も清廉潔白には程遠い。

In the wake of an incident in which his close associate ran into the U.S. consulate general in Chengdu in February 2012 in a defection attempt, a case in which Bo’s wife allegedly murdered a British businessman was brought to light. The incidents demonstrated the corruption-prone propensities of the China’s ruling class.
側近が米総領事館に駆け込んだ事件を契機に、妻の英国人殺害事件も発覚した。中国権力層の利権絡みの乱脈ぶりを示すものだ。

However, people are supporting Bo on China’s Internet. This can be considered representing the reality of China, where discontent over disparities has been smoldering across the country.
 にもかかわらず、ネット上では薄被告支持の声が相次いでいる。社会全体に経済格差への不満がくすぶる実情の表れとも言える。

Bo is almost certain to be subject to heavy punishment. The Xi administration, however, appears to fear public criticism if the punishment is deemed too lenient or too harsh. This is because the political style taken by Xi is similar to that of Bo.
 薄被告の重刑は避けられまい。ただ、量刑が軽すぎても重すぎても政権批判を招く恐れがある。習氏も同様の政治手法をとっているからだ。

A mistake in dealing with the situation could lead to a full-scale power struggle in China.
対応の誤りは、権力闘争の本格化に直結しかねない。

Confusion in China’s political arena could have major consequences and possibly destabilize the global economy. We are concerned the Xi administration, in an attempt at deflecting public dissatisfaction, might seek to strengthen its leadership by ratcheting up its intimidatory diplomatic approach to Japan.
 中国政治の混乱は、世界経済に大きな影響を及ぼす。国民の不満をかわし、求心力を強めようとして、習政権が日本への威圧外交を強める事態も懸念される。

We cannot help but keep a close watch on what consequences will eventually come from this trial.
 この裁判の帰趨(きすう)を注視しないわけにはいかない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 27, 2013)
(2013年8月27日02時03分  読売新聞)

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NISA 投資活性化の呼び水にしたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 28, 2013
Use NISA system as pump-priming step water to reinvigorate investment
NISA 投資活性化の呼び水にしたい(8月27日付・読売社説)

We hope the Nippon Individual Savings Account system, or NISA, will help move individual financial assets held in the form of cash and deposits into investment and revitalize the nation’s economy.
 現金や預金として滞留する個人金融資産を投資に誘導し、経済を活性化させる契機としたい。

NISA, a new tax system that offers tax exemptions on capital gains and dividend income from stocks and other investments of up to ¥1 million a year, will be introduced in January next year.
 年間100万円までの株式投資などについて、売却益や配当を非課税とする新税制「NISA(ニーサ)」が、2014年1月にスタートする。

Financial institutions, including securities companies and banks, have already put their efforts to win new customers into full gear.
 証券会社や銀行などの金融機関は、すでに新たな顧客獲得を目指す動きを本格化させている。

We applaud that stock markets will be reinvigorated due to competition over services among financial institutions, but they should refrain from forceful solicitation.
 サービス競争で株式市場が活気づくのは歓迎だが、強引な勧誘などは控えるべきである。

It is essential to carefully foster NISA by listening to investors so that the new system will become a pump-priming measure to help individual investment take root in this country.
 NISAが個人投資を根付かせる呼び水となるよう、利用者の声にもしっかり耳を傾け、大事に育てることが大切だ。

People aged 20 or older and living in Japan can open a NISA account at a financial institutions. The tax exemption period is five years and if ¥1 million is invested every year, the capital gains and dividends on ¥5 million worth of investments will be tax exempt.
 金融機関にNISAの専用口座を開設できるのは、日本に住む20歳以上の人だ。非課税期間は5年間で、毎年100万円ずつ口座を開けば、非課税枠は500万円まで拡大できる。

The total amount of individual financial assets in Japan is estimated at a massive ¥1.6 quadrillion. However, more than half of those are in cash and deposits. The ratio of stocks and other investments used to fund corporate activity is only about 8 percent, which is far lower than the 34 percent in the United States and 15 percent in Europe.
 日本の個人金融資産は約1600兆円と巨額だ。ただし、その半分以上は現金と預金で占められている。企業の活動資金となる「株式・出資金」の比率は約8%にとどまり、米国の34%や欧州の15%よりはるかに低い。

If individual assets, encouraged by NISA, flow into stock markets, it would be beneficial to corporate growth. The spread of long-term investment by individuals for the purpose of asset building will help stabilize stock prices.
 NISAに後押しされる形で、個人資金が株式市場に流入していけば、企業の成長促進にとって有益だ。資産形成のため、個人の長期投資が広がることは、株価の安定にも役立つだろう。

Under Britain’s Individual Savings Account system, which NISA is modeled after, 40 percent of the population opened an ISA account.
 NISAのお手本となった英国の「ISA」の場合、口座開設者が人口の4割に達するという。

Careful explanation essential

To promote wide use of NISA in Japan, it is indispensable for financial institutions to give detailed explanations about the new system to their customers.
 日本でも普及させるには、金融機関が顧客に、丁寧に説明することが不可欠といえる。

Rather than placing priority on sales quota or simply stressing NISA’s merits, they must explain risks associated with investments as well as the system’s flaws.
 営業ノルマを優先し、メリットばかり強調するのではなく、投資に伴うリスクや短所も、きちんと伝える姿勢が求められる。

For example, if losses are incurred due to a drop in the value of stocks and investment trusts, investors are not eligible for tax exemptions. Another problem is that if investors open a NISA account at a financial institution that only handles investment trusts, they cannot invest in particular stocks.
 例えば、株式や投資信託が値下がりして損失を出すと、非課税の恩恵は受けられない。投資信託しか扱わない会社で口座を開くと、株式の個別銘柄などには投資できないという問題もある。

We urge people considering a NISA account to think carefully about selecting the financial institution where they will open their NISA account.
 NISAを始める人は、口座をどの金融機関に開くか、よく考えて選択してもらいたい。

One person can only open one NISA account in principle and in the first four years, the individual must keep investing at the same financial institution. This is inconvenient for investors and is believed to be one reason financial institutions are desperately trying to attract and keep customers.
 NISAは原則1人1口座で、当初4年は毎年、同じ金融機関でしか口座を開けない仕組みだ。利用者には不便なうえに、金融機関が顧客の囲い込みに必死になる要因とも指摘される。

It is said that the Financial Services Agency plans to change this regulation so people can switch their NISA accounts to a different financial institution every year. The government should discuss changes to NISA to encourage its use by more people.
 金融庁は、口座を開設する金融機関を毎年変えられるよう改める方針という。NISAの利用拡大を図るためにも、政府は制度の手直しを検討すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 27, 2013)
(2013年8月27日02時03分  読売新聞)

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2013年8月27日 (火)

首相中東訪問 資源確保へ戦略的協力深めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 27, 2013
Deepen strategic ties with nations of GCC to ensure energy security
首相中東訪問 資源確保へ戦略的協力深めよ(8月26日付・読売社説)

To ensure stable supplies of energy resources to this country, it is crucial to deepen strategic cooperation with the member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
 エネルギー資源の安定的な確保に向け、日本が湾岸協力会議(GCC)各国と戦略的な協力を深める意義は大きい。

On Saturday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Bahrain, the chair of the GCC, and had talks with Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa.
 安倍首相がGCC議長国のバーレーンを訪問し、ハリファ首相と会談した。

The two leaders agreed to hold strategic ministerial dialogues between Japan and the GCC, while setting up a framework for working-level security talks. Signs are that the strategic dialogues may begin as early as September.
日本とGCCの閣僚級戦略対話の開始や、事務レベルの安全保障対話の新設で一致した。戦略対話は9月にも開かれる見通しだ。

The GCC, a regional organization comprising six Middle East nations facing the Persian Gulf, groups Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman.
 GCCは、同国と、サウジアラビア、アラブ首長国連邦(UAE)、カタール、クウェート、オマーンの計6か国で構成される。

Abe, who visited Saudi Arabia and the UAE in spring this year, will also visit Qatar and Kuwait on the current trip.
安倍首相は、今春にサウジとUAEを訪れており、今回はカタール、クウェートも歴訪する。

Japan depends on GCC members for more than 70 percent of its annual crude oil imports amid the country’s stringent energy supply-demand situation caused by delays in the resumption of nuclear power plant operations after the March 11, 2011, Great East Japan Earthquake.
 原子力発電所の再稼働が進まずにエネルギー需給が逼迫(ひっぱく)する中、日本が原油の年間輸入量の7割超をGCC各国に依存していることを踏まえたものだ。

The Persian Gulf’s maritime shipping lanes for transporting crude oil and other resources are vitally important to the Japanese economy. Continual consultations must be held on such issues as securing the sea lanes and preparing antipiracy countermeasures as part of the strategic Japan-GCC dialogues.
 原油などを運ぶペルシャ湾の海上交通路(シーレーン)は、日本にとって死活的な重要性を持つ。戦略対話では、シーレーンの安全確保策や海賊対策などを継続的に協議することが大切である。

In January, Japanese nationals were taken hostage in Algeria. As part of the Japan-GCC dialogues, information about terrorist activities by extremists in the Middle East and Africa must be shared.
 1月にはアルジェリアで邦人人質事件が発生した。中東・アフリカの過激派によるテロ情報の共有・交換も着実に進めるべきだ。

Conducive to ME peace

As chances of having summit talks with China and South Korea in the near future appear slim, Abe has focused his diplomatic efforts on the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
 安倍首相は、中国、韓国との首脳会談ができない中、対中東・東南アジア外交を重視している。

Expediting efforts to strengthen ties with these regions’ mid-level countries will most likely earn Japan a precious diplomatic asset from the mid- and long-term points of view.
こうした中堅国との関係を強化することは、中長期的に日本外交の貴重な“財産”となるはずだ。

In the Mideast, the situations in Egypt and Syria have been deteriorating alarmingly amid discussions on the problems of Iran’s nuclear development programs and Middle East peace negotiations. Building up strategic relations between Japan and the GCC nations may indirectly help stabilize the Middle East as a whole.
 中東では今、エジプト、シリア情勢が悪化する一方、イランの核開発問題の協議や中東和平交渉が続く。日本のGCCとの戦略的関係の構築は、中東全体の安定に向けた側面支援にもつながろう。

In Saturday’s talks, Japan and Bahrain agreed to resume talks on a Japan-GCC free trade agreement and expand cooperation in such fields as agriculture, railways and medical services.
 首脳会談では経済分野で、日本とGCCの自由貿易協定(FTA)交渉の再開や、農業・鉄道・医療分野の協力拡大で合意した。

In the current tour of Middle East countries, Abe is accompanied by an economic mission comprising about 50 people, who represent mostly private-sector businesses. This is because a number of large-scale infrastructure development projects have been planned in the GCC countries, including some in Qatar, which will host the 2022 World Cup soccer tournament.
 安倍首相の歴訪には、50人規模の民間企業関係者らが同行している。2022年にサッカー・ワールドカップを開催するカタールをはじめ各国で、大型の社会資本整備が予定されているためだ。

Economic cooperation between the two sides should be encouraged in a way reciprocally beneficial to Japan and the GCC.
 日本、GCC双方の利益となるよう経済面の連携を進めたい。

The prime minister will visit Djibouti on Tuesday to encourage Maritime Self-Defense Force members engaged in antipiracy activities in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia. The MSDF has been enhancing its presence in the region by dispatching destroyers and P-3C surveillance aircraft.
 首相は27日にジブチを訪れ、アデン湾で海賊対処行動に従事する海上自衛隊員を激励する。海自は護衛艦とP3C哨戒機を派遣し、日本の存在感を高めている。

Abe’s words of encouragement will be sure to help improve the morale of the MSDF personnel. The prime minister has often expressed his appreciation of the roles of the Self-Defense Forces, frequently visiting SDF troops in various places. We hope the prime minister will continue this practice.
 首相の激励は隊員の士気を高めよう。首相は従来、自衛隊の役割を高く評価し、各地で部隊訪問を重ねている。今後も、こうした姿勢を維持してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 26, 2013)
(2013年8月26日01時17分  読売新聞)

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「大阪都」構想 自治再生に心許ない制度設計

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 27, 2013
Osaka metropolis plan unlikely to revitalize local autonomy
「大阪都」構想 自治再生に心許ない制度設計(8月26日付・読売社説)

The overall picture of the planned Osaka metropolis is gradually becoming clear. Changing the form of local autonomy would be a huge task, and is considered the fundamental policy of Toru Hashimoto, coleader of Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party). How Hashimoto can bring his plan to fruition will put all his political skills to the test.
 「大阪都」構想の全体像が見えてきた。地方自治の形を変える大きな試みだ。日本維新の会の橋下共同代表の原点と言える政策であり、実現への手腕が問われよう。

The plan for the Osaka metropolis, which was presented by Hashimoto and Osaka Gov. Ichiro Matsui, calls for abolition of the city of Osaka and reorganizing it into five or seven special administrative wards. If realized, there would be no Osaka mayor or city assembly. Instead, ward heads and assembly members would be elected in a way similar to those in Tokyo’s 23 wards.
 橋下氏と松井一郎大阪府知事が提示した制度設計案は、大阪市を廃止し、5か7の特別区に再編する。大阪市長、市議会は姿を消し、東京23区と同様、選挙による区長と区議会が生まれる。

The envisaged Osaka metropolis government was expected to handle a broader-based administration in such areas as the local economy and infrastructure improvement, while the special administrative wards would take charge of community-based policies and measures. The plan aims at a clear division of roles and enhanced administrative efficiency.
 「大阪都」は経済政策や都市基盤整備など広域行政を進め、特別区は地域に密着した施策を担う。役割分担を明確にし、行政効率を高めるのが目的だ。

The Osaka prefectural government and the Osaka city government, which is an ordinance-designated city and has nearly the same authority as the prefectural government, have been undertaking similar tasks.
 大阪では、権限がほぼ同等の府と政令指定都市である大阪市が、似通った事業を続けてきた。

Hashimoto maintains that the harmful effects of “duplicated administration” would be eliminated by abolishing the Osaka city government and integrating the “control tower,” thereby improving the power of local governments to promote urban strategies.
 橋下氏は、大阪市を廃止して司令塔を一元化することで「二重行政」の弊害が解消し、都市戦略の推進力も向上すると主張する。

But would this reform effectively revitalize the local autonomy? This is doubtful.
 だが、自治を再生するために実効性のある制度改革となるのか。この制度設計では心許(もと)ない。

Cost will be massive

The cost of transforming the city into special administrative wards would be massive. The initial cost, such as expenses to renovate government offices and change computer systems, is projected to reach as much as ¥64 billion.
 市から特別区への移行費用は巨額にのぼる。庁舎の改修、コンピューターシステムの変更といった初期費用だけで最大640億円、多数の区議会議員の報酬など新たな経費も発生する。こうした財源をどう捻出するか。

Other expenses include salaries for a large number of new ward assembly members. How to secure revenue sources would be a major problem.
 特別区の間では、立地企業数などによって税収格差が生じる。その差を縮めるための財政調整が課題となる。

There also would be gaps in tax revenues among the newly created special administrative wards, depending on the number of companies in the jurisdiction and other factors. Fiscal adjustments to reduce such gaps would be another issue. To pay for this, the plan counts on using tax grants from the central government. But it would not be easy to win the understanding of the central government.
調整財源として国からの地方交付税も当て込むが、国の理解を得るのは容易ではない。
 肝心の区割りも、4案提示されていて、確定していない。住民感情や市議会議員の思惑が絡み、難航必至である。

A key problem in the Osaka metropolis plan is how to divide the city into wards. Four plans have been proposed, but a decision is a long way off, as the opinions of local residents and intentions of Osaka city assembly members are varied.

The Osaka prefectural and city governments aim to reach a formal agreement based on the final plan by around June next year. The accord would have to receive the green light from the assemblies of both governments. It also would need the approval of a majority of Osaka city residents in a referendum expected to be held in autumn next year.
 府・市は2014年6月頃までに制度設計の最終案を協定書にまとめる。協定書は両議会での承認が必要だ。さらに来秋に想定される大阪市民の住民投票で、過半数の支持を得なければならない。

Regardless, it would be a massive project to disassemble Osaka, which has a long history and traditional culture. It would be difficult to win approval from local residents unless the proponents of the plan carefully and concretely explain not only how administrative efficiency would improve but also the advantages to local residents’ daily lives and what form Osaka would eventually take.
 何しろ、歴史と伝統文化に彩られた大都市を解体する事業だ。行政効率だけでなく、市民生活のメリットや、大阪の将来像も具体的かつ丁寧に説明できなければ、住民から承認は得られまい。

The Osaka metropolis plan envisages that Sakai, an ordinance-designated city adjacent to the city of Osaka, would be transformed into a special administrative ward in the future.
 「大阪都」は、大阪市と同じ政令市で隣接する堺市も将来、特別区とすることを想定している。

In this respect, attention is focused on the Sakai mayoral election scheduled for Sept. 29.
 このため、注目されるのが、9月29日投票の堺市長選だ。

The incumbent mayor, who opposes the Osaka metropolis idea, argues that the plan would result in Sakai city being split up, and runs counter to decentralization efforts that would grant more local autonomy. The local party, Osaka Ishin no Kai (Osaka restoration group), is set to field its own candidate to realize the plan. The election’s outcome will certainly affect the fate of the Osaka metropolis scheme.
 構想に反対する現職は、「堺市の分割につながり、地方分権に逆行する」と主張する。地域政党・大阪維新の会は新人を擁立して、構想実現を訴える構えだ。選挙結果は構想の行方に影響しよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 26, 2013)
(2013年8月26日01時17分  読売新聞)

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2013年8月26日 (月)

医療事故調査 機能する制度へ課題は多い

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 26, 2013
Many problems remain to be solved in medical accident probe system
医療事故調査 機能する制度へ課題は多い(8月25日付・読売社説)

Will the new medical accident investigation system be able to prevent serious medical accidents? We believe many problems remain to be solved.
 重大な医療事故を防ぐための制度となり得るだろうか。解決しなければならない懸案は多い。

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry has decided to create the system to determine causes of death and prevent the recurrence of similar accidents if patients under treatment die.
 病気の治療で患者が死亡した際、原因究明と再発防止を図る「医療事故調査制度」が作られることになった。

Based on a report released by a panel of experts, the ministry plans to draft a bill to revise the Medical Service Law, which stipulates the outline of the new system. The ministry aims to implement the system in fiscal 2015.
 厚生労働省は、専門家による検討会が公表した報告書を基に、制度の概要を定めた医療法改正案を取りまとめる方針だ。2015年度の創設を目指す。

It is very important to make it one that can be trusted by patients.
 患者の信頼を得られる制度にすることが何より大切である。

The number of patients who died because of medical accidents is estimated to be 1,300 to 2,000 a year.
 医療事故による死者は年1300~2000人と推計される。

Generally, if a medical accident happens, the patient’s side demands an investigation to determine the cause through judicial proceedings such as damage suits or a criminal complaint.
 医療事故が起きた場合、患者側は損害賠償請求訴訟や刑事告訴など司法手続きによって原因解明を求めるのが一般的だ。

However, trials normally concentrate on judging whether a doctor or nurse in charge was responsible for the accident. This means lessons learned from the accident would not necessarily be used to prevent a recurrence of similar medical accidents.
 だが、裁判では医師や看護師の責任の有無に判断の力点が置かれる。必ずしも事故の教訓が再発防止に生かされていない。

The new system will oblige a medical institution where a fatal accident happens to conduct an internal investigation. The institution would explain the findings of the internal investigation to the patient’s side and report them to a third-party body to be created under the new system.
 新制度では、死亡事故が起きた医療機関に院内調査を義務付ける。医療機関は調査結果を患者側に説明すると共に、新設される第三者機関に報告する。

If the patient’s bereaved family is not satisfied with the results of the internal investigation, it could request the third-party body to reinvestigate the case.
 遺族が院内調査の結果に納得できない場合は、改めて第三者機関に調査を求めることもできる。

The new system is expected to help medical institutions improve their medical services and ensure safety by obliging them to look into accidents and recognize their own mistakes.
 医療機関自ら事故原因を調べ、落ち度を認識することで、診療態勢の改善や安全確保につなげることは期待できよう。

Guarantee of objectivity

But this raises the question of how to ensure objectivity and transparency in internal investigations.
 問題は、院内調査の客観性や透明性をどう確保するかである。

For example, the medical record of a patient was altered in a past medical accident case. Patients deeply distrust medical institutions that try to hide evidence.
 過去の医療事故ではカルテ改竄(かいざん)の例もある。医療機関の隠蔽体質に対する患者の不信は根強い。

The ministry’s panel of experts has proposed a rule that would in principle require the inclusion of an outside expert in an internal investigation to guarantee the neutrality of the probe. The panel also said the medical institution should ask a university hospital and a local medical association to help secure enough outside experts.
 厚労省検討会は、院内調査の中立性を担保するため、原則として外部委員を加える方針を示している。大学病院や地域の医師会に、外部委員の要員確保への協力を求めるべきだとも指摘した。

However, there are many medical institutions that have doctors dispatched from university hospitals, creating the possibility that a university hospital doctor with a connection to the medical institution may become an outside expert on an internal investigation team. We think the cooperation of lawyers specializing in medical accidents and patients’organizations is necessary to solve this problem.
 だが、大学病院から医師の派遣を受けている医療機関も多く、“仲間内”が外部委員になる可能性もある。医療事故に詳しい弁護士や患者団体の協力も必要だろう。

There are also some problems concerning the third-party body. Since it will be a private entity without legal power, it cannot force a medical institution to cooperate with the request for a reinvestigation made by the patient’s side. The ministry should consider giving the body the legal authority to investigate medical accidents.
 第三者機関のあり方にも課題がある。強制力のない民間組織のため、遺族が調査を求めても、医療機関が協力を拒めば困難になる。法律に基づく調査権限を持たせることを検討すべきだ。

The body would basically depend on subsidies from the government, and a bereaved family seeking a reinvestigation would be required to shoulder a monetary burden. We are afraid some families may decide not to seek a reinvestigation for financial reasons.
 機関の運営は、政府の補助金などで行うが、調査を申請した遺族からも一定の負担を求める。経済的な理由で調査依頼をあきらめる事態は起きないのだろうか。

The new system should be designed to share information on medical accidents gathered by the third-party body among medical institutions, with utmost consideration given to ensuring protection of personal information, so similar accidents can be prevented from happening again.
 患者の個人情報に留意しつつ、第三者機関に集まった情報を事故防止策に生かし、医療界で共有する制度設計が必要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 25, 2013)
(2013年8月25日01時25分  読売新聞)

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「はだしのゲン」 教育上の配慮をどう考えるか

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 26, 2013
Should ‘Barefoot Gen’ be stricted from educational point of view?
「はだしのゲン」 教育上の配慮をどう考えるか(8月25日付・読売社説)

The ripples are spreading after the Matsue Municipal Board of Education requested that the city’s public primary and middle schools restrict student access to “Hadashi no Gen” (Barefoot Gen), the signature work by late manga author Keiji Nakazawa that depicts the horror of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
 原爆の悲惨さを描いた漫画家・中沢啓治さんの代表作「はだしのゲン」について、松江市教育委員会が市立小中学校に閲覧の制限を要請したことが波紋を広げている。

Students in the capital of Shimane Prefecture are now unable to read freely this 10-volume manga series at most school libraries unless they get special permission from their teachers.
 現在、松江市内の大半の学校図書館では、教師の許可がないと子供が自由にこの作品を読むことができない状態が続いている。

The education board judged that the manga’s graphic depictions of the Hiroshima bombing and its aftermath were not a problem. However, it decided that some descriptions of actions involving Imperial Japanese Army soldiers in other Asian nations were extreme and inappropriate.
 市教委は生々しい原爆被害の場面ではなく、旧日本軍にかかわる描写の一部を、過激で不適切と判断した。

The problematic scenes in “Barefoot Gen” included beheadings of non-Japanese Asians just for fun, slicing open the abdomen of a pregnant woman to pull out her baby, and the brutal killing of other women.
アジアの人の首を面白半分に切り落とす。妊婦の腹を切り裂いて、中の赤ん坊を引っ張り出す。女性を惨殺する、といった描写についてだ。

The municipal board of education apparently limited access to the manga in consideration of the nature of libraries at primary and middle schools, where children become familiar with books as they grow up.
 成長過程の子供が本に親しむ小中学校図書館の性格を考えて、市教委がとった措置と言えよう。

The Constitution guarantees the freedom of expression, and states, “No censorship shall be maintained.”
 憲法は、表現の自由を保障し、検閲を禁じている。市民が広く利用する一般の公立図書館で蔵書の閲覧を制限することは、こうした観点から許されない。

Restricting access to books available at an ordinary public library open to citizens can never be permissible in light of the spirit of the Constitution.
 ただ、小中学校図書館を一般図書館と同列に論じることは適切ではあるまい。

However, it may not be fair to treat libraries at primary and middle schools in the same way as ordinary libraries. The possible impact books can have on children must be taken into account. There may be cases in which meticulous care must be taken in accordance with the stages of children’s physical and mental development.
作品が子供に与える影響を考える必要がある。心身の発達段階に応じた細かな対応が求められるケースもあるだろう。

Doubtful claims

Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Minister Hakubun Shimomura said the board’s decision “should be considered as representing one way of thinking.” He added that “due consideration should be paid from an educational point of view” on the matter. We think his view is reasonable.
 下村文部科学相が「市教委の判断は一つの考え方。教育上の配慮はするべきだと思う」と述べたことはもっともである。

“Barefoot Gen” is based on Nakazawa’s own experience of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. The story’s protagonist, Gen, is a boy who bravely overcomes a number of hardships in spite of losing relatives in the bombing.
 「はだしのゲン」は、広島での中沢さん自身の被爆体験が基になっている。肉親を失った主人公の少年が困難に直面しながらも、たくましく生き抜く物語だ。

The manga series started in 1973 in the Shukan Shonen Jump comic weekly and was carried in several magazines during a run that lasted more than 10 years. When published as an independent book, “Barefoot Gen” became a best seller. The story has been translated into about 20 languages and published in many countries.
 1973年に週刊少年ジャンプで連載がスタート、掲載誌を替えながら、10年以上続いた。単行本はベストセラーとなった。約20か国語に翻訳・出版されている。

Initially, some of the scenes depicting Hiroshima just after the atomic bombing were criticized as being excessively graphic, but there can be no doubt such descriptions conveyed the appalling reality of the bombing.
 連載当初は、広島の被爆シーンがリアルすぎるとの批判もあったが、そうした描写こそが原爆の惨禍の実相を伝えてきた。

Given that survivors of the nuclear bombing are aging and passing on memories of the war has become a pressing task, “Barefoot Gen” is definitely a valuable work of literature.
 被爆者の高齢化が進み、戦争体験の継承が大きな課題になっている中、「はだしのゲン」が貴重な作品であるのは間違いない。

On the other hand, the closing stages also make assertions apparently designed to favor a particular political standpoint, making flimsy claims including that the former Imperial Japanese Army “brutally killed more than 30 million people in other Asian countries such as China and Korea in the name of the Emperor.”
 その一方で、作品の終盤では、「天皇陛下のためだという名目で日本軍は中国、朝鮮、アジアの各国で約3000万人以上の人を残酷に殺してきた」といった根拠に乏しい、特定の政治的立場にも通じる主張が出てくる。

While it is, of course, essential to respect freedom of expression, due attention should be paid at the same time to the manga’s impact on children’s education.
 表現の自由を尊重しつつ、同時に教育上の影響にも目配りする。

The decision by the Matsue board of education has brought to the fore the question of where schools should draw the line in exposing children to items of literature as part of their education.
学びの場で児童生徒が様々な作品に接する際、学校側がどこまで配慮すべきかという問題を、松江市のケースは投げかけている。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 25, 2013)
(2013年8月25日01時25分  読売新聞)

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2013年8月25日 (日)

大飯活断層調査 科学的な議論に徹するべきだ

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 25, 2013
Scientific discussions needed to handle Oi N-plant’s fault issue
大飯活断層調査 科学的な議論に徹するべきだ(8月24日付・読売社説)

A team of experts assembled by the Nuclear Regulation Authority has been discussing whether a fault that runs beneath Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture—which has the nation’s only reactors currently in operation—is active and at risk of causing an earthquake. But those discussions have fallen into disarray.
 国内で唯一稼働している関西電力大飯原子力発電所(福井県)の敷地を貫く断層は、地震を起こす活断層かどうか。
 評価している原子力規制委員会の専門家チームの議論が迷走を続けている。

The investigation being conducted by the team will be critical in deciding whether the Oi plant can continue its operations. But the team members have been at odds. One declared, with little evidence, “I believe it is highly likely that the fault under the plant is active.”
 大飯原発の稼働の可否がかかる重要な調査だが、データをきちんと示さずに、「活断層が敷地内にある可能性は高いと思う」と主張するメンバーまでいるためだ。

Can we call such discussions scientific? We have serious doubts.
 これで科学的な議論と言えるだろうか。大いに疑問である。

A scientific approach requires a hypothesis to be tested objectively based on the results of experiments and measurements data. It is outrageous for an NRA inspector to make such a groundless claim.
 科学は、実験や測定に基づき仮説の是非を客観的に検証する営みである。根拠なしに「思う」と唱えるのは、あまりに乱暴だ。

Amid lengthy discussions among the NRA inspectors, a KEPCO official who was responsible for delivering a presentation and fielding their questions said at the nuclear watchdog’s fifth assessment session: “We have been carrying out the investigation [ordered by the NRA] day and night. We hope that you can conclude the assessment as soon as possible.” We understand why the official made this unusual request.
The team consists of five experts, including Kunihiko Shimazaki, acting NRA chairman. Since November, it has carried out three on-site inspections and five assessment meetings.
 チームは、島崎邦彦委員長代理ら5人の研究者からなる。昨年11月から3度現地を調査し、今週まで5回の評価会合を開いた。
 延々と続く議論に、5回目の会合で説明と質疑に当たった関電側が、「(規制委が命じた)調査を昼夜休みなく進めてきた。早く審査してほしい」と、異例の要請をしたのも理解できる。

Shimazaki, who heads the team, should proceed with discussions in line with the NRA’s policy of evaluating the safety of nuclear facilities scientifically.
 専門家チームの座長である島崎氏は、原子力施設の安全を科学的に評価する、という規制委の方針に沿って議論を進めるべきだ。

The fault in question is known as F-6. While KEPCO has argued that its Oi plant would not be seriously affected by an earthquake, some researchers insisted in June last year that the fault running beneath key facilities at the plant is active, prompting the government to launch an investigation.
 問題となっているのは、「F―6」と呼ばれる断層だ。関電は地震とは無縁としてきたが、一部の研究者が昨年6月、原発の重要施設を横切る活断層だ、と主張し、公的な調査が始まった。

Excessive digging

Under guidance by the NRA’s predecessor, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, KEPCO carried out excavations at locations along the F-6 fault. One resulting hole, dug at the orders of Shimazaki, is 70 meters long, 50 meters wide and 40 meters deep.
 関電は、規制委の前身である旧原子力安全・保安院と規制委の指示を受け、F―6断層に沿って複数の場所で掘削調査をしてきた。島崎氏の指示で掘った穴は長さ70メートル、幅50メートル、深さ40メートルに及ぶ。

However, the work did not provide evidence determining that F-6 is active.
 いずれにも、F―6断層は活断層、との証拠はなかった。

One expert on the team strongly criticized the move as haphazard, saying, “Was such massive excavation really necessary?”
 専門家チームの研究者から「こんな巨大掘削が本当に必要だったのか」と、やみくもな掘削を強く批判する意見が出ている。

Shimazaki defended his decision, saying in a monthly magazine, “Utilities usually try to get around such problems without conducting [physical investigations].” He added, “If we reinvestigate thoroughly, we can determine [whether the fault is active].”
It seems the NRA has exhausted all possible ways to investigate the matter.
 島崎氏は月刊誌で「電力会社は掘らないで済まそうとする」と掘削指示の意図を説明し、同時に「徹底した再調査をすれば、はっきりする」と述べている。その調査は尽くされたのではないか。

At the NRA’s fifth assessment meeting, one expert said the discussions “will go on forever unless we arrive at a conclusion at some point.”
The NRA team should not put off reaching a conclusion without good reason.
 5回目会合では、「どこかで決めないとエンドレスになる」と厳しい注文もついた。結論をいたずらに引き延ばすべきではない。

In May, the NRA compiled an assessment report showing that a reactor at Japan Atomic Power Co.’s Tsuruga nuclear power plant sits on an active fault. But in July, the company submitted data to the NRA contradicting the regulator’s conclusion, calling on the body to conduct a reassessment. A scientific approach is likewise essential to deal with the fault issue at the Tsuruga plant.
 活断層調査で規制委は5月、日本原子力発電敦賀原発に活断層があるとの評価結果をまとめた。だが、原電は7月、これを否定するデータを規制委に提出し、再評価を求めている。敦賀原発でも科学的な対応が欠かせない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 24, 2013)
(2013年8月24日01時11分  読売新聞)

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中国海洋強国化 地域の緊張高める覇権主義

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 25, 2013
China’s hegemonic ambition heightening regional tension
中国海洋強国化 地域の緊張高める覇権主義(8月24日付・読売社説)

The administration of Chinese President Xi Jinping, which has been stepping up efforts to make the country a great maritime power, seems to have more fully revealed its hard-line stance through a recent statement by the Chinese defense chief in the United States.
 「海洋強国化」を加速する中国の習近平政権が強硬姿勢を一段と鮮明にしたと言えよう。

In a joint news conference with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel held after their meeting, Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan warned that nobody should have the idea that China would ever relinquish its core interests.
 米国を訪れた中国の常万全国防相は、ヘーゲル米国防長官との会談後の共同記者会見で、「中国が核心的利益を手放すと夢想すべきではない」と強調した。

This was a peremptory statement, as he clearly had in mind the confrontation with Japan over the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture and friction with Vietnam and the Philippines over sovereignty in the South China Sea. Chang went on to say that China’s determination to defend its territory, sovereignty and maritime interests should not be underestimated.
 沖縄県・尖閣諸島を巡る日本との対立や、南シナ海の領有権問題でのベトナム、フィリピンとの摩擦を念頭に置いた威圧的発言である。常氏は「我々の領土、主権、海洋権益を守る決意を過小評価すべきではない」とも語った。

His statement echoes Xi’s remarks at a key conference in late July that “core interests cannot be sacrificed” and his resolve to build a “strong maritime state.”
 習国家主席が7月末の重要会議で、「核心的利益は犠牲にできない」と、「海洋強国」建設へ決意表明したことを受けたものだ。

Chang’s warning could be intended as a check on the Asia-focused military strategy of the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama. It was also likely meant to put pressure on Japan prior to the first anniversary of the Japanese government’s nationalization of the Senkakus in September.
 オバマ米政権の「アジア重視」の軍事戦略に対する牽制(けんせい)だろう。日本政府の尖閣諸島国有化から9月で1年になるのを前に、日本に圧力をかける狙いもある。

On Aug. 15, the 68th anniversary of the end of World War II, the Chinese military conducted live-fire drills and other training with the aircraft carrier Liaoning. These might be intended as threats to Japan.
 終戦の日の8月15日、中国軍が東シナ海での実弾演習と、空母「遼寧」の訓練を実施したのも、日本への威嚇のつもりなのだろう。

Xi has said that China will never seek to reign supreme. But backed by its strong military power, China has been trying to forcibly impound the sea, a common resource, thereby achieving hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region.
 習氏は「中国は決して覇権を唱えない」と言うが、強大な軍事力を背景に公共財である海洋を力ずくで囲い込み、アジア太平洋地域で覇権を握ろうとしている。

Accidental clashes feared

In light of the January incident in which Chinese Navy ships locked weapons-targeting radar onto a Maritime Self-Defense Force vessel near the Senkakus, the Xi administration’s hard-line stance may provoke Chinese troops to engage in radical and provocative actions in the field.
 尖閣諸島周辺で1月、中国海軍艦艇によるレーダー照射事件が起きたように、習政権の強硬姿勢は、現場部隊の過激な挑発行動を煽(あお)る可能性がある。

Japan must tighten its guard around the Senkakus.
 日本は尖閣諸島周辺の警戒を強めねばならない。

To prevent accidental military clashes involving ships and aircraft, it is necessary to accelerate the building of a “maritime communications mechanism” between Japanese and Chinese military authorties. The Xi administration must proceed with talks on the matter as long as it claims to seek “peaceful development.”
 艦艇や航空機の偶発的な軍事衝突を回避するために、日中防衛当局間の緊急連絡体制である「海上連絡メカニズム」の構築を急ぐ必要がある。習政権は「平和発展」を掲げている以上、協議を進めるべきではないか。

The situation is no less serious in the South China Sea. China last year took control of the Scarborough Shoal, over which the Philippines also claims sovereignty, and has its government ships patrol around the shoal.
 南シナ海でも同様に事態は深刻だ。中国とフィリピンが領有権を巡って対立するスカボロー礁では昨年、中国が支配権を確立し、公船の巡回を常態化させている。

The United States and the Philippines entered into negotiations in the middle of this month to conclude a new agreement that would increase the frequency and expand the scale of U.S. military patrols. This is a concrete step to push the new Asia-centered U.S. strategy and a laudable strengthening of deterrence against China.
 米国はフィリピンとの間で、米軍の巡回頻度と展開規模を拡大する新協定締結に向けた協議を今月中旬から始めた。「アジア重視」戦略の具体化であり、対中抑止力を強める動きと評価できよう。

Japan will provide 10 patrol boats to the Philippines. These ships will help improve the country’s maritime security capabilities. Cooperation must also be deepened in terms of personnel development.
 日本は巡視船10隻を供与する。フィリピンの海上保安能力の向上に寄与するだろう。人材養成面でも協力を深めたい。

It is crucial for Japan to emphasize the unjustness of China’s provocations in international forums, including the expanded defense ministerial conference of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to be held later this month.
 今月末の東南アジア諸国連合(ASEAN)拡大国防相会議などで、日本は中国の挑発の不当さを訴えていくことが重要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 24, 2013)
(2013年8月24日01時11分  読売新聞)

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2013年8月24日 (土)

TPP交渉 米国のペースに惑わされるな

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 24, 2013
Japan must proceed with TPP talks without being chafed by U.S. intent
TPP交渉 米国のペースに惑わされるな(8月23日付・読売社説)

The current round of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations is the first in which Japan has taken full part. How will Japan demonstrate its presence to proceed with talks to its advantage? An aggressive stance is called for.
 日本にとっては初めての本格交渉だ。いかに存在感を発揮し、交渉を有利に進めるか。攻めの姿勢が問われよう。

Japan and the 11 other countries that are participating in negotiations on the TPP free trade agreement, including the United States, Australia and Canada, kicked off two days of ministerial talks in Brunei on Thursday. A ministerial statement was scheduled to be announced Friday to confirm that the talks will be accelerated to conclude an agreement before the end of this year.
 日米、豪州、カナダなど12か国による環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉の閣僚会合が、ブルネイで始まった。23日に閣僚声明を出し、年内妥結を目標に交渉の加速を確認する予定だ。

In line with this commitmment, working-level officials will hold negotiations by the end of the month.
 これをもとに、月末まで事務レベルで交渉が行われる。

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, who chairs the ministerial talks, has said that reaching an agreement this year is a top priority for President Barack Obama. With a TPP accord as a leverage, Obama seeks to expand U.S. exports and boost job opportunities.
 閣僚会合の議長を務めるフロマン米通商代表は、「年内妥結はオバマ大統領の最優先事項だ」と強調する。大統領はTPPをテコに輸出を拡大し、雇用を増やすことを目標に掲げている。

The United States probably wants to reconfirm with other countries the policy of concluding the talks this year during the current round of negotiations in Brunei and use it as momentum to reach a broad accord in October.
 米国は、ブルネイで年内妥結の方針を他国と再確認し、10月の大筋合意へ交渉に弾みをつけたい考えだろう。

But if the talks proceed in line with the U.S. scenario, there are fears Japan will not be able to secure sufficient time for negotiations because the country was only able to take part in the TPP talks from the latter half of the previous round of talks.
 それでは、7月の前回交渉の後半部分からようやく協議に参加した日本は、十分な交渉時間を確保できなくなる恐れもある。

Secure chances for assertions

It is necessary to avoid a situation in which Japan will be deprived of opportunities to present its case if the negotiations are cut off early in line with the schedule as planned by the United States. We urge Japan’s negotiators to hold talks separately with other TPP nations in an effort to increase the number of member nations that support Japan’s stance.
 米国ペースで早期に交渉が打ち切られ、日本が主張する機会を奪われる事態は避けねばならない。各国と個別に折衝し、「味方」を増やす努力も求められよう。

Prior to the Brunei round of talks, Japan worked out proposals on tariff abolition and presented them to other participating nations to sound out their responses.
 日本は、今回の交渉に先立ち、関税撤廃に関する提案をまとめ、参加各国に打診している。

The proposals called for abolishing tariffs on about 80 percent of trade items and left pending five categories of farming products, including rice, wheat and dairy products, that the Liberal Democratic Party wants handled as exceptions.
 関税を撤廃する品目の割合(自由化率)を80%前後とする一方、自民党が聖域扱いを求めたコメ、麦、乳製品などの農産品5項目の扱いは「未定」とした。

This was based on the fact that Japan’s degree of trade liberalization has been held to 84 percent to 88 percent in the economic partnership agreements it has concluded with 13 countries and territories. Rice and other items were exempted from free trade.
 日本がこれまで13か国・地域と結んだ経済連携協定(EPA)の自由化率が84~88%にとどまり、コメなどは対象外だったことを踏まえたものである。

In the case of TPP talks, the government opted to set lower liberalization targets in the first place, possibly in preparation for bargaining that is expected to become tougher.
 TPP交渉では、まず低めの目標を示し、今後激しくなる駆け引きに備える作戦だろう。

Froman has said that Washington is aiming for a more ambitious agreement, so the United States is likely to call on Japan to carry out greater liberalization and further market opening.
 フロマン代表が「もっと野心的な合意を目指している」と述べたように、米国はより高水準の自由化率と市場開放を日本に求めてくるに違いない。

Each participating country has crucial fields that they want to protect with high tariffs, including sugar for the United States and dairy products for Canada.
 米国の砂糖、カナダの乳製品など、各国とも高関税で保護したい重要分野を抱えている。

For Japan, protecting all of the five farming product categories would not necessarily serve its national interests.
 日本にとっては、農産品5項目すべてを死守することだけが国益に資するわけではない。

The government needs to expedite coordination of domestic opinions by focusing discussions on which fields Japan should concede and on which it should win concessions. Concerning the formation of rules on intellectual property rights and investment, Japan should actively present its assertions.
 何で譲って、何を勝ち取るのか。政府は絞り込みの国内調整を加速する必要がある。知的財産権や投資などのルール作りでも、積極的に主張を展開すべきだ。

In conjunction with such efforts, the government must earnestly study measures to boost the competitiveness of the agricultural field, as well as to assist sectors that are expected to suffer as a result of opening their markets.
 併せて農業の競争力強化策や、市場開放で打撃を受けることが予想される分野の支援策の検討を本格化しなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 23, 2013)
(2013年8月23日01時31分  読売新聞)

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原発汚染水 原子力規制委は一層の関与を

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 24, 2013
NRA must boost involvement in combating irradiated waterirradiated water
原発汚染水 原子力規制委は一層の関与を(8月23日付・読売社説)

A major leak of water highly contaminated with radioactive substances has once again been discovered at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co.
 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所で、汚染水漏れがまたも判明した。

One leak after another of radiation-polluted water has been found at the complex, and no resolution is in sight.
 汚染水の漏出が相次いで、解決のめどが立たない。

This is truly a grave situation. TEPCO must take every possible step in response.
深刻な事態である。東電は全力で対処すべきだ。

The utility’s capability to cope with the crisis, however, is nearing its limits in terms of both financial and personnel resources. Under the circumstances, a wider range of assistance and cooperation from the government will certainly become more and more important to address the problem.
 ただ、東電の対処能力は資金面でも、人材面でも限界に近い。政府の幅広い支援、協力が今後、ますます大切になるだろう。

The latest leak has been detected from a storage tank of contaminated water, which includes highly toxic radioactive substances, on the premises of the crippled nuclear plant.The volume of the polluted water that leaked stands at about 300 metric tons, equivalent to a 25-meter swimming pool.
 新たに漏出が分かったのは、放射性物質を含む汚染水の貯蔵タンクだ。漏出量は約300トンで、25メートルプール1杯分に相当する。

The water storage tank is a vertical cylindrical structure, comprising steel plates held together by bolts. It was designed to contain a maximum of 1,000 tons of contaminated water. Its weakness lies in the seam joints of the steel plates, which have not been welded. Similar leaks have occurred from the seams several times in the past.
 貯蔵タンクは円筒形で鋼製部品をボルトで接合してある。最大1000トンの汚染水を貯蔵できる。溶接していない継ぎ目が弱点で、過去にも漏出が起きている。

Of the about 1,000 water storage tanks TEPCO has been using at the site, about 350 are the same type as the one that suffered the latest leak. The company must waste no time in conducting thorough inspections of all these tanks.
 敷地内の貯蔵タンク約1000基のうち今回と同型は約350基ある。総点検を急ぐべきだ。

The utility’s inspection method has so far been to ascertain whether there are any traces of water having leaked into the ground close to the tanks. Workers in charge of the inspections, however, admit they tend to be unaware of small leaks. Water-level gauges should be installed in these storage tanks.
 これまでの点検は、地面に漏れた水の跡がないかを見る方式だった。だが、少量だと見逃しやすい。タンクに水位計が必要だ。

Highly radioactive water at the ruined nuclear plant has been increasing day after day. In its current situation, TEPCO can hardly be considered competent to ensure safe storage of the water. Safety checks by the Nuclear Regulation Authority are indispensable.
 汚染水は毎日増え続ける。確実に貯蔵しておくには、今の東電だけでは危うい。原子力規制委員会のチェックが不可欠である。

The Nuclear Reactor Regulation Law stipulates the Fukushima plant as a facility requiring special attention after its March 11, 2011, meltdowns, making it obligatory for the NRA to monitor steps for safety of the plant.
 原子炉等規制法でも、事故後の福島第一原発を特別な施設と位置付け、規制委が安全確保を監視することを責務と定めている。

Stem inflow of groundwater

To undertake this task, 10 officials from the Secretariat of the Nuclear Regulatory Authority, an agency under the NRA, have been assigned to the Fukushima No. 1 plant to be in charge of inspecting safety maintenance there. The agency inspectors are strongly urged to supervise and ascertain whether there is a problem with TEPCO’s safety maintenance plans and whether safety operations have been conducted adequately.
 それを担う人員として、現地には、規制委の事務局である原子力規制庁の職員10人が保安検査官として常駐している。東電の保守点検計画に問題はないか。現場の作業は適切に進められているか。しっかり監督してもらいたい。

There were four major leaks of highly contaminated water prior to the latest incident.
 今回のタンク以前にも、大きな汚染水の漏出が4件起きている。

Given that the storage capacity of contaminated water on the plant’s premises has its limits, the water storage arrangements there are bound to collapse sooner or later, unless effective measures are taken to curb the increase in irradiated water.
敷地内での汚染水貯蔵にも限界がある。汚染水の増加に歯止めをかけないと、いずれ破綻する。

First of all, the inflow of groundwater into the plant’s damaged reactor buildings must be reduced. The groundwater inflow is the biggest cause of the increase in contaminated water.
 まずは原子炉建屋への地下水流入を減らすことだ。これが汚染水の最大原因と言える。

To prevent the inflow, there is no other means than pumping up uncontaminated groundwater before it reaches the plant’s premises and releasing the water into the sea after ascertaining its safety.
流入前に地下水をくみ上げ、安全確認後に海へ放出するほかない。

Some members of local fisheries cooperative associations have expressed their support for this idea. The government should take a leading role in securing cooperation from the fisheries associations to get the pumping up of water started.
地元漁協には理解を示す声もある。政府が前面に出て協力を求めたい。

Purification equipment for reducing the radioactive substances in contaminated water should be put into operation as early as possible. Such treatment would lessen the risks of toxic water leaks as the storage volume of the water continues to increase.
 貯蔵している汚染水に含まれる放射性物質を減らす浄化装置の稼働も急ぐ必要がある。浄化すれば大量貯蔵時のリスクが減る。

In a meeting of the NRA this week, one major question on the agenda was how Japan should explain to foreign countries about matters involving the highly contaminated water.
 今週の規制委会合では、汚染水問題を海外にどう説明するかが議題となった。

Some in the meeting reportedly proposed that the severity of the leakage of the radioactive water be raised to Level 3 (serious accident) on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale of 0 to 7, with 7 the most severe. Discussions on this point were ultimately inconclusive, however.
今回の漏出を、原子力事故の国際尺度で最大の7から0のうち「レベル3」とする案も出たが、まとまらなかった。

Instead of discussing different views about the evaluation of the severity of the leakage, resolving the problem of the leaks itself is definitely of higher importance.
 あれこれ評価するより、事態の収束が最優先だ。

It will help alleviate concerns abroad over the contaminated water if the entire government buckles down on this challenge as one.
政府一丸でこの問題に臨むことが、海外の懸念を軽減することにつながろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 23, 2013)
(2013年8月23日01時31分  読売新聞)

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กรุณาร่วมให้การเรียนคณิตศาสตร์และวิทยาศาสตร์

กรุณาร่วมให้การเรียนคณิตศาสตร์และวิทยาศาสตร์ นี้คือสำหรับนักเรียนไทยชั้น ป.๓ (สุรชัย)

Let's join me to learn mathematics and science. It is for Thai elementary school students for grade 3. (srachai)

mathematics http://math.blog.wox.cc/ http://math2.blog.wox.cc/ http://math3.blog.wox.cc/ http://math4.blog.wox.cc/ http://math5.blog.wox.cc/ http://math6.blog.wox.cc/

science http://science.blog.wox.cc/ http://science2.blog.wox.cc/ http://science3.blog.wox.cc/

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2013年8月23日 (金)

10年ぶりにタイ語学習再開 タイの小学三年生用副読本です^^

วรรณคดี
literature
ลำนำ
song
บทที ๑
lesson 1
ดอกสร้อยแสนงาม
necklace flower very beautiful
บ่ายวันหนึ่ง คุณครูใจดีนั่งคุยกับเด็กๆ ใต้ร่มไม้
one day, teacher chaidii and children talk together under shade of tree
คุณครูพูดว่า "วันนี้แดดไม่ร้อน สมพัดเย็น
teacher tells "today, it is not so hot, cool wind's blowing
สบาย บนต้นไม้ก็มีนกน้อยมาอาศัย ฟังสิ...เสียง
comfortable, on the tree, there are birds living, listen...sound
นกร้องเพลงช่างไพเราะ เรามาร้องเพลงกันดีไหม"
birds sing elephant song very beautifully, shall we sing along with birds, ok?
เต็กๆ พากันยิ้มดีใจ รีบเข้ามาใกล้ รุมล้อม คุณครู
children are happy to get together, rapidely coming closeer to the teacher

note:

辞書はこちらを参照しました
http://english-thai-dictionary.com/

タイ語の発音はこちらで確認できます
http://translate.google.com/#

タイ語の先生は娘のシーファーちゃんですが、6歳になったばかりの才女です^^。
パパ、うるさいからやめてねって言われました(汗)。

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社会保障工程案 持続可能な制度へ必要な道筋

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 23, 2013
Social security reform bill must show path for sustainable system
社会保障工程案 持続可能な制度へ必要な道筋(8月22日付・読売社説)

Reforms to make the nation’s social security system sustainable must cover a wide variety of areas. It is important for the government to prioritize each area to steadily carry out reform measures.
 社会保障を持続可能な制度にするための改革は多岐にわたる。優先順位をつけて、着実に実行することが重要だ。

The government has approved in a Cabinet meeting the gist of a bill on social security system reform measures, which outlines a schedule for reforms. The government will submit the bill to an extraordinary Diet session in autumn.
 政府は、社会保障制度改革のプログラム法案の骨子を閣議決定した。秋の臨時国会に法案を提出する。

Based on a report compiled by the National Council on Social Security System Reform, the bill indicates plans and timetables for the reform of medical care, nursing care, the pension system and measures to deal with the low birthrate.
 この法案は、政府の社会保障制度改革国民会議がまとめた報告書を踏まえ、医療、介護、年金、少子化対策の各制度改革についての内容と工程を示すものだ。

The main focus of the reforms is to change the current social security system, in which the younger, working generation bears most of the burden of supporting the elderly, to one in which all generations proportionately share the burden.
 今回の改革の主眼は、主に現役世代の負担で高齢者を支えている現行の仕組みを、全世代が負担する形に変える点にある。

Given that the burden of the working generation will become heavier and heavier along with the low birthrate, it is unavoidable to ask elderly and high-income earners to bear more of the burden than they do now in order to maintain the social security system. In this sense we praise the stance of the current administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to tackle reform measures the previous administrations avoided.
 少子化で現役世代の負担が過重になる中、制度を維持していくには、高齢者や高所得者に、より多く負担を求めることはやむを得ない。歴代政権が避けてきた改革に取り組む姿勢は評価できる。

One such measure is to raise the share of medical expenses paid by people aged 70 to 74. Law revisions made in 2008 stipulate that people in this age group pay 20 percent of medical costs, but the then administration of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito kept it at 10 percent as a special measure. The share has remained at 10 percent since then.
 その一つが、70~74歳の医療費窓口負担の引き上げだ。2008年の法改正で2割と定めたが、当時の自公政権が特例として1割に据え置き、現在も続いている。

However, the gist of the bill gives a great deal of latitude over the timing of raising the percentage to the legally stipulated level: sometime between fiscal 2014 and fiscal 2017. The measure should be reviewed as early as possible, taking into consideration that ¥200 billion of tax money is spent annually on the special measure.
 ただ、法定通りの水準に引き上げる時期については14~17年度と大きな幅を持たせている。特例措置のために投入される税金が年2000億円に上ることを考えると、早急に見直すべきだ。

Regarding the nursing care insurance program, the current across-the-board self-pay rate of paying 10 percent for nursing care services will be raised for high-income earners from fiscal 2015. On the other hand, the premiums for low-income elderly will be reduced.
 介護保険では、現在は一律1割となっている利用者の自己負担率を、高所得者の場合、15年度から引き上げる。一方で、低所得高齢者の介護保険料は軽減する。

Fairness among the elderly

There is a large disparity in incomes among the elderly. It is appropriate to increase the burden on high-income earners and reduce that of low-income earners as a way to seek fairness among the elderly.
 高齢者の間でも、所得の格差は大きい。高所得者の負担を増やし、低所得者の負担を減らすことは、高齢世代内の公平を図るうえで妥当と言える。

Concerning pension reform, the bill lists some reform measures requiring further study, but only says, “Necessary measures will be carried out after studying these measures.” The government did not make clear when it will carry out pension reform, probably because it will take time to design concrete reform measures.
 年金改革については「検討を加え、必要な措置を講じる」とするにとどまった。実施時期を明示しなかったのは、具体的な制度設計に時間がかかるからだろう。

The report of the national council made clear the direction of social security reform, such as increasing tax on pensioners with high incomes and introducing a mechanism to hold down pension benefits in response to changes in wage levels even in a deflationary period.
 国民会議の報告書では、高所得者の年金に対する課税の強化や、デフレ下でも賃金水準の変化に応じて年金支給額を抑制できる仕組みの導入といった改革の方向性は明記されている。

People who live on pensions are subject to large tax deductions and can receive greater net incomes than salaried workers receiving the same gross income. To lessen young generations’ sense of being imposed on, it is necessary to impose a heavier tax on high-income earners.
 年金生活者は税の控除が大きく、同じ収入の給与所得者に比べ手取り額が多い。若い世代の負担感を軽減するためにも、高所得層への年金課税の強化は必要だ。

It is indispensable to hold down the payments pensioners receive to stabilize the pension system.
 年金支給額の抑制は年金財政を安定させるうえで欠かせない。

If the government cannot even say when to carry out such important reform, we doubt the sustainability of the pension system.
 こうした重要な改革の実施に見通しを立てられないようでは、年金制度の持続可能性に疑問符がつく。

To formulate concrete pension reform measures, the government must quickly study when to carry out pension reform.
改革案を具体化させるため、実施時期の検討を急ぐべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 22, 2013)
(2013年8月22日01時22分  読売新聞)

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全柔連新体制 子供たちが胸を張れるように

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 23, 2013
editorial 2/ Judo circles must revamp so little judoka can learn pride
全柔連新体制 子供たちが胸を張れるように(8月22日付・読売社説)

A change of leadership appeared to have come too late for the All Japan Judo Federation, which must hasten its reforms and regain the public’s trust, which has been lost over a series of scandals.
 遅きに失した感のあるトップ交代だ。改革を急ぎ、失墜した信頼を取り戻さねばならない。

On Wednesday, the federation’s 23 directors, including President Haruki Uemura, resigned en masse, and Shoji Muneoka, chairman and chief executive officer of Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp., succeeded Uemura.
 全日本柔道連盟(全柔連)の上村春樹会長ら執行部が辞職し、新日鉄住金の宗岡正二・会長兼最高経営責任者(CEO)が会長に就任した。

It marks the first time that the federation’s president has been neither a descendant of Jigoro Kano, the founder of judo, nor an Olympic medalist.
柔道を創始した嘉納家や五輪メダリスト以外からの会長は初めてだ。

The judo world has witnessed a shocking series of scandals, including the alleged physical abuse of female judoka on a national team by a former head coach, misappropriation of a hefty sum of subsidies from the Japan Sports Council and sexual assault on a former female judoka by a director.
 全日本女子前監督による選手への暴力、多額な助成金の不適切処理、元女子選手への理事のわいせつ行為など、信じられないような不祥事が柔道界で相次いだ。

When a third-party panel that investigated the allegations of physical violence on the female judoka urged the federation’s top executives to resign to take responsibility over the spate of scandals, they refused to do so, showing an inability to reform themselves.
 暴力問題を調査した第三者委員会が首脳陣の処分を促しても従わないなど、全柔連の自浄能力の欠如は目に余るものがあった。

Uemura in particular lacked leadership ability as the head of the organization. Postponing his resignation, he said he would carry out the appropriate reforms as his mission, but failed to come up with any actual measures.
 とりわけ上村氏はトップとしての統治能力を欠いた。「改革に道筋をつける」として辞任を先延ばしにしながら、何ら再生策を打ち出せなかった。

What seems most pathetic is that Uemura announced his intention to step down only after the Cabinet Office, which has jurisdiction over the federation and other public interest corporations, issued an ultimatum calling for the federation to revamp its entire organizational structure by the end of August.
 公益財団法人を所管する内閣府から「8月中の改革とりまとめ」という最後通牒(つうちょう)を突きつけられた末の退場はお粗末と言える。

Closed nature

At a press conference on Wednesday, incoming President Muneoka criticized the Uemura regime for having maintained “practices out of touch with common sense,” and said he would aim at creating a more transparent organization. He also indicated that he would establish a reform panel tasked with reinforcing governance.
 宗岡新会長は記者会見で、上村体制を「常識とかけ離れた慣行があった」と批判し、透明性のある組織を目指すと語った。ガバナンス(組織統治)の強化を図る改革委員会を設ける意向も示した。

It has been pointed out that the closed nature of the federation, where past achievements such as Olympic performance and even old school ties often hold sway, has served as a breeding ground for a self-serving logic greatly lacking in common sense.
 五輪での成績や学閥が幅をきかせる閉鎖的な体質が、社会常識を欠いた独善的な論理を生む土壌だと指摘されている。

We hope Muneoka wields a caliber of leadership cultivated through his business world experience and pushes through with reforms.
宗岡氏は実業界で培った手腕を発揮し、改革を断行してもらいたい。

Yasuhiro Chikaishi, former chief of the Osaka prefectural police and Muneoka’s junior in the judo club at the University of Tokyo, their alma mater, has been appointed a senior director to serve as Muneoka’s right-hand man. It is also worth noting that Kaori Yamaguchi has been made an auditor, responsible for supervising the duties of directors. Yamaguchi, a former female judoka, has supported those female judoka who accused the former head coach of physical abuse.
 会長の右腕の専務理事には東大柔道部の後輩に当たる近石康宏・元大阪府警本部長を充てた。理事の職務を監督する監事に、暴力を告発した選手らを支えた山口香氏を起用したことも注目される。

We hope the judo world will become, as new Vice President Yasuhiro Yamashita put it, “one where those children practicing judo can hold their heads up high.”
 山下泰裕・新副会長が言うように「柔道を学ぶ子供たちが胸を張れる柔道界」となってほしい。

There is also an issue of misappropriated subsidies totaling ¥60.55 million, which the sports council ordered the federation to return.
 返還命令を受けた6055万円の助成金問題も課題である。

To make up for a shortfall in funds to cover the subsidies they were asked to return, the former leadership sought “donations” from coaches, including those responsible for training top athletes and having no connections whatsoever to the allegations of mishandled funds. This plan should be reviewed. Any measure that would obscure where true responsibilities lie should not be allowed. The federation must claim damage compensation from those who were actually involved in the illicit activities.
 助成金を穴埋めするため、前執行部は、不正に無関係の強化委員会のメンバーにまで「寄付」を求めたが、これは見直す必要がある。責任の所在をあいまいにした対応は許されない。不正の当事者などに損害賠償を請求すべきだ。

Also questionable is the fact that Uemura, despite his resignation from the federation’s presidency, will remain as the president of the Kodokan Judo Institute, which promotes the martial art by activities such as certifying judoka’s ranks.
 疑問なのは、上村氏が会長は辞めても、段位の認定などにより競技の普及を図っている講道館の館長を続けることである。

The institute is an organization closely connected with the federation, tasked to train top judoka and send them to international competitions. Should Uemura retain his influence in the judo world, the public will continue to cast a critical eye on him.
 講道館は、選手の強化や国際大会への派遣などを担う全柔連とは車の両輪と言える。上村氏が柔道界に影響力を保持するなら、国民は厳しい目を向けるだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 22, 2013)
(2013年8月22日01時22分  読売新聞)

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2013年8月22日 (木)

社説:靖国参拝 首相は見送り継続を

August 16, 2013(Mainichi Japan)
Editorial: PM must steer clear of Yasukuni Shrine
社説:靖国参拝 首相は見送り継続を

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe refrained from visiting Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine, where Class A war criminals are enshrined along with Japan's war dead, on the Aug. 15 war-end anniversary. Instead, in his role as president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Abe contributed money to the shrine through the purchase of a branch of the sacred sakaki tree.
 安倍晋三首相は終戦記念日の15日、靖国神社参拝を見送り、自民党総裁名で同神社に玉串料を納めた。

Visits to the shrine by the prime minister and Cabinet members can become major diplomatic stumbling blocks in Japan's relation with its Asian neighbors. As such, we commend Abe's decision to take the broad view and abandon visiting the controversial shrine on Aug. 15 this year.
 靖国が近隣外交を進める上での大きなネックになっている今、大局的な判断と評価したい。

The money for the sakaki branch was sent by an LDP legislator and special assistant to the party president on behalf of "Shinzo Abe, president of the Liberal Democratic Party." Since Abe used his own money to purchase the branch from the shrine, the donation will not stir controversy over whether it constitutes a violation of the constitutional separation of church and state.
玉串料は私費で、自民党総裁特別補佐の国会議員が代理で納め、「自民党総裁 安倍晋三」と記帳したという。私費であれば政教分離上の問題は生じない。

Abe made the donation out of apparent consideration for his conservative backers. These supporters are holding out hope the prime minister will visit Yasukuni Shrine in his official capacity, as Abe has stated that failing to visit during his previous one-year term in office in 2006-07 was "a matter of the greatest regret." We share their sense of gratitude and respect toward the war dead.
第1次内閣当時に参拝しなかったことを「痛恨の極み」と繰り返し明言していただけに、参拝期待の支持者向けの配慮として理解する。「戦没者への感謝と尊崇の念」は私たちも共有するからだ。

Many years have passed since visits by the prime minister and Cabinet members to Yasukuni became major diplomatic issues. Such visits have drawn fire from not only China and South Korea, victims of Japanese aggression and colonial rule, but United States officials have also expressed grave concerns over the potential for aggravating Tokyo's already strained ties with Beijing and Seoul.
 靖国が外交問題になって久しい。中国、韓国からの反発だけではない。安倍政権になってからは、同盟国の米国からも、中韓との行き過ぎた関係悪化を懸念する声が届いている。

Japan's postwar history began when the San Francisco Peace Treaty -- under which Japan accepted the results of the Tokyo War Crimes Trials in which Class A war criminals were sentenced to death -- came into force in 1952. In the eyes of China, visits by the prime minister to Yasukuni Shrine, where Class A war criminals are enshrined, would represent Japan's justification of its wartime actions. The U.S. could view such visits as a challenge to the San Francisco peace framework that was created on the initiative of Washington.
日本の戦後は、A級戦犯を処刑した東京裁判を受諾した1952年のサンフランシスコ講和条約の発効でスタートした。そのA級戦犯を合祀(ごうし)した靖国に首相が参拝することは、中国から見ればあの戦争の肯定につながり、米国からは、米主導で作られたサンフランシスコ体制に対する挑戦と受け取られる可能性がある。

Yasukuni has become a highly complicated diplomatic problem as successive Japanese administrations failed to do anything to deal with the matter. As such, the government should exercise prudence in addressing the issue. In particular, Japan-China diplomatic relations are already deadlocked because of an intensifying dispute over sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, and there is no prospect that a bilateral summit meeting will be held in the foreseeable future. Japan's relations with South Korea have also deteriorated to new lows over the interpretation of history, although the two countries share many of the same social and political values. In this sense, it is only natural that Prime Minister Abe abandoned visiting the shrine this summer.
 靖国問題は、歴代日本政府が手をこまねいているうちにかくも複雑で難しい外交問題になってしまった。軽々に扱うべきではない。まして、日中関係は尖閣問題で暗礁に乗り上げ、首脳会談の糸口もつかめていない。同じ価値観を共有しているはずの日韓関係も歴史認識問題でかつてない関係悪化を来している。その意味で参拝見送りは当然とも言える。

The question is whether the prime minister will continue to forgo visiting the shrine. He will need to decide whether to pay a visit to the shrine during its autumn and spring festivals, as well as on the war-end anniversary on Aug. 15, 2014. He should make a clear decision if he hopes to stay in power for a long period.
 問題は、今後どうするか、にある。秋には同神社の例大祭への出席問題、来春には春の例大祭、そして、毎年8・15への対応を求められる。長期政権を望むのであれば抜本策を講じるべきではないのか。

Various measures to address the issue have been proposed. One such plan calls for separating the Class A war criminals from the war dead enshrined at Yasukuni, an idea that has been discussed since the government of Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone in the 1980s. There are testimonials stating that Emperor Hirohito, posthumously named Emperor Showa, eventually refrained from visiting Yasukuni because Class A war criminals were enshrined there. Some conservatives support the idea of separating such war criminals. During the tenure of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, a plan to build a non-religious cenotaph for the war dead was considered.
 過去にもいくつかの策が提起され検討された。わかりやすいのが、いわゆるA級戦犯の分祀論である。中曽根康弘政権時から議論されてきた。昭和天皇が参拝を控えた背景にこのA級合祀があったとの証言もあり、保守陣営にも一定の支持者がいる。小泉純一郎政権時には無宗教の国立追悼施設の建設案もあった。

What is the Yasukuni issue about in the first place? How did the enshrinement of Class A war criminals emerge as a point of contention between Japan and its Asian neighbors? Is there any solution to the problem? It is a good idea to set up a panel of experts to consider these matters, and the prime minister should refrain from visiting the shrine until after that panel proposes solutions.
 そもそも靖国問題とは何なのか。A級合祀争点化の経緯はどうか。解決の出口は他にないのか。こういった問題について調査、検証、提言する有識者会議を作るのも一案だ。最低限その結論が出るまで首相は参拝を見送ることだ。悪循環を断つ政治的知恵の出しどころである。

China and South Korea should also watch over the Abe government's response to the issue from a long-term perspective. Japan and these neighbors should avoid intensifying their conflicts with narrow-minded nationalism.
 中韓両国にも注文がある。安倍政権の対応を長い目で見てもらいたい。浅薄なナショナリズムの応酬だけは避けようではないか。

毎日新聞 2013年08月16日 02時31分

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社説:はだしのゲン 戦争知る貴重な作品だ

August 20, 2013(Mainichi Japan)
Editorial: 'Barefoot Gen' restrictions threaten vital peace education
社説:はだしのゲン 戦争知る貴重な作品だ

Schools are where the children of Japan, now so long at peace, learn about war, and about the atomic horror that marked the end of this country's last military conflict. In Matsue, capital of Shimane Prefecture, primary and junior high school students have been deprived of one major chance to learn these things, to understand the disaster of war.
 原爆や戦争を教育現場で学び、その悲惨さを知る機会を子供たちから奪うことになるのではないか。
 自らの被爆体験を基に描いた故中沢啓治さんの漫画「はだしのゲン」が松江市内の小中学校の図書室で自由に閲覧できなくなったことだ。

We speak of course of the Matsue Municipal Board of Education's move in December last year to restrict student access to the 10-part manga series "Hadashi no Gen," or "Barefoot Gen," based on late author Keiji Nakazawa's own experience of the Hiroshima atomic bombing and its aftermath. At present, students at public primary and junior high schools in the city are not allowed to view or check out books from the series without special permission from their teachers.
The restrictions were imposed because the education board, or more specifically its superintendent, believed the manga's graphic depictions of death and violence -- including beheadings and rapes committed by former Imperial Japanese Army soldiers in other Asian nations -- were unsuitable for young students. Thirty-nine of Matsue's public primary and junior high schools have all 10 volumes of "Barefoot Gen."
 市教委は昨年12月、過激な描写があるとして、書庫に収める閉架措置を取るよう校長会で求めた。旧日本軍のアジアでの行動などで暴力的な場面があり、子供が自由に読むのは不適切と判断したという。全10巻を保有する39校全てが応じた。

When the access restrictions were revealed last week, the Matsue education board was flooded with protests from around the country. Many of Matsue's teachers, too, heaped scorn on the measure for violating children's right to know about the events depicted in the manga.
 この措置が先週明らかになると、市教委に全国から抗議や苦情が多数寄せられた。現場の教員からも、子供の知る権利の侵害だという批判が相次いでいる。

Teaching kids about the terror of war and the importance of peace is one of the school system's most important tasks. For a board of education, tasked with sustaining and promoting the study of peace, to close off one major avenue to do this is a serious problem that must be corrected. Moreover, the fact that the Matsue superintendent of education demanded the access restrictions without consulting her fellow education board members is a fact that must be discussed among the staff of every school, including their principals.
 戦争の恐ろしさを知り、平和の尊さを学ぶことは教育の中でも非常に重要な要素だ。平和教育を推進すべき教育委員会がそれを閉ざす対応をとったことには問題があり、撤回すべきだ。また、今回の措置は教育委員が出席する会議には報告していないというが、学校現場の校長らも含めてしっかり議論すべきだろう。

The event that prompted the education board to consider keeping "Barefoot Gen" out of the hands of its students was a petition submitted to the Matsue Municipal Assembly by a local citizen in August last year. The citizen demanded that "Barefoot Gen" be pulled from school library shelved because the series "plants mistaken historical views" in the minds of children. The municipal assembly agreed that the manga contained some extreme depictions, but that as "Barefoot Gen" was widely viewed as an important work for peace education, the assembly could not assent to the citizen's request.
 市教委がこのような判断をしたきっかけは、松江市議会に昨年8月、1人の市民から「誤った歴史認識を子供に植え付ける」と学校の図書室から撤去を求める陳情があったことだ。市議会は、過激な部分がある一方で、平和教育の参考書になっているとの意見があり、陳情を不採択にした。

The education board, however, decided separately that it was inappropriate to allow school children free access to the manga due to "scenes of former Imperial Japanese Army soldiers decapitating people of other Asian nations" and other depictions of extreme violence.
だが、独自に検討した市教委は「旧日本軍がアジアの人々の首を切るなど過激なシーンがある」として小中学生が自由に持ち出して読むのは適切ではないと判断した。

The first installment of "Barefoot Gen" was published in 1973 in a children's weekly manga magazine, and is now considered an invaluable work for its brutally honest portrayal of the horrors of war and how it snatches away our humanity. Now available in some 20 languages, "Barefoot Gen" has also brought the story of the A-bomb to readers the world over. The Matsue education board has said it recognizes the tremendous value of the series to peace education, and that there is no restriction on teachers using the manga in class.
 1973年から少年漫画誌で連載された「はだしのゲン」は、戦争が人間性を奪う恐ろしさを描いた貴重な作品として高い評価を得てきた。約20カ国語に翻訳され、原爆被害の実相を広く世界に伝えている。松江市教委も、作品が平和教育の重要な教材であること自体は認め、教員の指導で授業に使うことに問題はないと説明している。

The scenes of horrific cruelty portrayed in "Barefoot Gen" are there because war and the atomic bombings are themselves cruel. The Matsue education board's excessive restrictions don't just risk violating freedom of expression, but also stealing a chance for children to think about this admittedly shocking but very important subject matter. As such, these restrictions cannot be allowed to set a precedent.
 作品に残酷な描写があるのは、戦争や原爆そのものが残酷であり、それを表現しているからだ。行き過ぎた規制は表現の自由を侵す恐れがあるだけでなく、子供たちが考える機会を奪うことにもなる。今回のような規制が前例となってはならない。

"The theme of war and the A-bomb is very deep," author Nakazawa once said. "If 'Gen' spurs people to read more about the topic, helps them mature through seeking more information, then I'll be more than happy."
 中沢さんは生前、「戦争や原爆というテーマは奥が深い。ゲンを入り口にいろいろと読んで成長してくれれば作者冥利に尽きる」と話している。

The survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs are growing older, their numbers thinning year by year. At the same time, the ranks of our people who have never known war continue to multiply. For this very reason, passing on first-hand accounts of war and the A-bombs is becoming all the more important, and nothing should be allowed to block this vital inheritance.
被爆者が高齢化する一方、戦争を知らない世代が増え、戦争や原爆被害の体験を語り継ぐことがますます重要な時代を迎えている。こうした継承を封じてはならない。

毎日新聞 2013年08月20日 02時33分

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汚染水対策―政府の責任を明確に

The Asahi Shimbun, August 17, 2013
EDITORIAL: Clearer government role needed for Fukushima cleanup
汚染水対策―政府の責任を明確に

The crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant is far from over.
 東京電力・福島第一原発の事故は、まだ終わっていない。

The government has yet to call off the state of nuclear emergency it declared on March 11, 2011, when the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami set off the nuclear accident.
政府は、東日本大震災の日に出した「原子力緊急事態宣言」を、今も解除できずにいる。

Water contaminated with radioactive materials keeps leaking from the crippled plant, polluting underground soil and the sea in the area.
 放射性物質で汚染された水が流出し、地下や海を汚染し続けている。

This fact clearly shows that the nuclear disaster is still going on.
この事実は、原子力災害が今も進行中であることをはっきりと物語っている。

Last week, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the continued leakage of contaminated water is “a pressing problem."
“The government will take effective measures to tackle the problem instead of leaving it entirely to Tokyo Electric Power," he said.
 安倍首相は先週、汚染水問題について「対応すべき喫緊の課題」「東電に任せるのではなく、国としてしっかりと対策を講じていく」と述べた。

Abe made these remarks at a meeting of the Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters, set up in line with the government's declaration of the state of nuclear emergency. Abe is head of the task force.
 緊急事態宣言に基づいて設置されている原子力災害対策本部での、本部長としての発言だ。

By clearly defining the respective responsibilities of the utility and the government organizations involved in responding to the situation, the government needs to make flat-out efforts to contain radiation and resolve the crisis.
 政府は、現場で事故対応にあたる東電、国の関係機関の責任分担を明確にして、放射能の封じ込めなどに全力をあげる必要がある。

The government has made a big mistake by leaving it entirely to TEPCO. As a result, measures to stop leaks of radioactive water have been ineffective, allowing environmental pollution to escalate. The government's move to step in and get involved in the efforts to sort out the problem came far too late.
 大きな反省点は、東電任せにしていた結果、汚染水対策が後手後手に回り、環境汚染が進んできたことだ。むしろ政府の関与が遅かったくらいである。

Abe told industry minister Toshimitsu Motegi to give appropriate instructions to TEPCO as soon as possible. He also called on Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, to ensure that the nuclear regulatory body will direct all its efforts toward identifying the causes of the problem and take effective steps to secure safety.
 首相は、経済産業相に「スピード感を持った東電の指導」を指示した。原子力規制委員長には、「安全確保に向けた原因の究明と有効な対策について、規制当局の立場から全力を挙げて取り組むよう」求めた。

Although TEPCO will remain in charge of cleanup work at the site, the government said it will now take concrete actions to support the efforts. The industry ministry has indicated it will cover part of the costs of implementing a plan to freeze soil around the nuclear facilities to prevent groundwater from flowing into the contaminated areas of the plant.
 現場での対策は引き続き東電が担うが、原発施設を囲むように土を凍らせ地下水流入を防ぐ工事費の一部を負担する方針を経産省が示すなど、新たな取り組みも動き出した。

But the ministry will provide the money to partly finance the measure as research expenses. Given the urgency of the situation, the ministry's commitment to tackling the situation is far too weak.
 ただ、この費用負担は研究費名目である。事態の緊急度を考えると、あまりに腰が引けていないか。

The NRA is not showing an all-out commitment to the challenge, either.
“TEPCO and the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy are playing a central role (in dealing with the problem)," Tanaka said. “Our role is to provide advice (for the efforts) as an observer."
規制委も「東電、資源エネルギー庁が中心になってやっている。(規制委は)オブザーバー的に入っていて助言する立場」(田中俊一委員長)と、一歩引いて構えている。

It would be shameful if TEPCO, the industry ministry, which has been a champion of nuclear power generation, and the NRA, the nuclear regulator, try to shuffle off responsibility onto one another or make their responsibility vague, thereby causing delays in the implementation of necessary measures.
 東電と原発推進サイド(経産省)、規制サイド(規制委)が責任を押しつけ合ったり、あいまいにしたりして対策が遅れるような事態は最悪である。

The NRA's role is crucial.
 カギを握るのは、やはり規制委である。

Ahead of receiving the request from Abe, the nuclear watchdog set up a task force to discuss measures to stop leaks of contaminated water.
 規制委は首相指示に先んじて汚染水対策を検討する作業部会を設けた。

The group has shown a willingness to provide guidance for TEPCO's efforts to deal with the situation by raising some specific questions that need to be answered, such as: “How effective will it be to pump up groundwater?" “How far has polluted water spread in power cable ducts?"
The NRA should demonstrate a stronger commitment to the challenge and offer useful ideas by using all its expertise and other intellectual resources.
「地下水くみ上げの効果は」「電源ケーブル管路などでの汚染水の広がりは」などと具体的な検討事項を示して、東電の対策をリードする動きを見せた。積極姿勢をもっと前面に出し、専門的見地から人知を尽くす必要がある。

The chief of the now defunct Nuclear Safety Commission was not even a member of the Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters, but the NRA chairman is deputy chief of the headquarters. The entity should make the most of the powers vested in it according to lessons learned from the disaster.
 旧原子力安全委員長は原災本部の構成員でさえなかったが、規制委員長は副本部長だ。事故の教訓から与えられたその権能を最大限いかしてほしい。

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食品ロス―消費者から変わろう

The Asahi Shimbun, August 21, 2013
EDITORIAL: Consumers must change way of thinking to reduce food losses
食品ロス―消費者から変わろう

Of roughly 4 billion tons of food produced globally for human consumption per year, one-third is lost or wasted, according to estimates by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.
 人間が食べるために生産される食料は世界で年間ざっと40億トンで、うち3分の1が失われている。国連食糧農業機関(FAO)がそう推計している。

In the estimates, food “losses” and food “waste” are separate categories. The former occurs during the production to retailing stages, while the latter concerns food that is discarded at the consumption stage.
 消費段階で捨てられるものを「廃棄(ウェイスト)」、生産から小売りまでの間を「ロス」と区別している。

Food losses in Japan are estimated at 5 million tons to 8 million tons annually, roughly equivalent to the amount of rice harvested in the country per year.
 日本ではロスが500万~800万トンともいわれ、コメの収穫量に匹敵する。

In an effort to scale back losses of processed foods--confectionery, seasonings, drinks, instant noodles and the like--a six-month experiment kicked off this month that involves 35 big companies, including food makers, wholesalers and retailers.
 そこで菓子、調味料、飲料、即席麺などの加工食品を対象にロスを減らす実験を、大手企業35社が今月から半年間の予定で始めた。

Customarily, retailers refuse to accept processed foods for which one-third of the period from production to best-before dates has passed. Thus, food makers are saddled with growing losses.
 加工食品では、賞味期限までの3分の1を過ぎた商品は、小売店が引き取らない商習慣がある。これがメーカー側でロスを増やす温床になっている。

In the United States and Europe, food makers are able to ship their products until later days of the period. In the experiment, retailers accept processed foods for which up to half of the period from production to best-before dates has passed. This allows the companies to check the level of losses that can be reduced in this manner.
 欧米ではもっと遅くまで出荷できることから、実験では賞味期限の半分まで受け入れ、ロスの減り具合を調べる。

Individual businesses cannot easily change the way they operate in the face of customs that have taken root in the world of commerce. Thus, industry-wide collaboration is necessary.
 商習慣は個々の企業の努力では変えにくい。このため、業界で協調して改善を試みる。

Retailers refusing to accept processed foods for which one-third of the period from production to best-before dates has passed is one problem. But there are others, too. With regard to stocks kept in distribution centers, major retailers often return food items to makers if two-thirds of the period has passed.
 商品の引き取り以外にも課題がある。大手小売店は物流センターの在庫で、賞味期限が残り3分の1を切った品物はメーカーに返品することが多い。

When retailers change goods on their store shelves, they tend to delay placing orders until immediately before making the switch. Because of that, makers tend to hold excessive stocks, fearing they will be unable to supply goods on demand.
 さらに、店頭の商品入れ替えに伴う発注をギリギリまで遅らせるため、メーカーは欠品を恐れて過剰な在庫を抱えがちだ。

We hope the 35 companies involved in the experiment will try to solve those problems.
 こうした問題にもメスを入れて欲しい。

Food banks and other groups that distribute returned food to welfare organizations are becoming more active. We hope to see a transformation in our country's economic and social structures, so that food produced for human consumption is actually eaten as much as possible.
 返品された食品を福祉施設に融通するフードバンクなどの活動が広がっている。いったん作られた食品ができるだけ人の口に入るよう、経済と社会の仕組みを変えていきたい。

We also hope that the experiment will go beyond processed foods to items that have shorter periods until their best-before or expiration dates and are more susceptible to daily supply-demand fluctuations, such as tofu, milk, fresh vegetables, ready-to-eat deli offerings and "bento" box meals.
 加工食品だけでなく、豆腐や牛乳、生鮮野菜、総菜や弁当など賞味や消費の期限が短く、日々の需給変動に左右されやすい分野でも、同様の取り組みに本腰を入れてほしい。

We understand that companies must do their best to satisfy consumer demand for freshness, convenience and variety. But it is also important for them to see the reality of the huge volume of farm produce and other food items that are being trashed to satisfy those demands.
 新鮮さ、便利さ、選択肢の豊富さを求める顧客に応える企業の努力は大切だ。しかし、その代償として大量の農産物や食品が捨てられている現実を直視する必要がある。

Corporations are apparently bound by a sense that it is easier and less costly to discard food items than to create a system to prevent losses. For them to be freed from this spell, we consumers must first change our way of thinking.
 捨てる方が簡単で安上がり、ロスが出ないようにすると売り上げが減る――。そんな呪縛から企業が逃れるには、まず私たち消費者が考えを改めなければならない。

In developing countries, there are many kinds of food that spoil at production sites because of inadequate transportation and storage facilities. To solve the problem, developed countries need to make investments or offer aid.
 途上国では輸送や保存がままならず産地で腐る食料が多い。その対策に、先進国が投資や援助をすることも重要だ。

But more than anything, it is our responsibility as citizens of a developed nation to move away from our distribution and consumption structure that invites losses and waste of precious food resources.
 しかしなにより、資源の無駄遣いを招く流通・消費構造から脱却することが、先進国に生きる私たちの責任である。

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ネット依存 学校や家庭での予防が大切だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 22, 2013
Young people must be warned about dangers of Internet addiction
ネット依存 学校や家庭での予防が大切だ(8月21日付・読売社説)

An increasing number of young people are so obsessed with using smartphones and computers that their health and schoolwork are being undermined. Prompt measures should be taken at school and home to deal with this problem.
 スマートフォン(スマホ)やパソコンに夢中になるあまり、健康や学業に支障をきたす若者が増えている。
 学校や家庭で予防策を急ぐべきだ。

According to a recent survey by a Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry research team, about 520,000 middle and high school students are addicted to the Internet, particularly for online gaming and e-mailing.
 ゲームや電子メールなどの使用をやめられなくなる「インターネット依存」の中高生が、約52万人に上るとの推計が、厚生労働省研究班の調査でまとまった。

The survey shows that 9 percent of middle school students and 14 percent of high school students access the Internet more than five hours each weekday.
 調査では平日に5時間以上インターネットを使う中学生は9%、高校生は14%に上っている。

What should not be overlooked in the survey is that a significant percentage of students are believed to be so obsessed with going online that they cannot restrain themselves from accessing the Internet, as is evident from the irritation they express if they have to stop using it. The figure for middle school students stands at 6 percent, and high school students at 9 percent.
 見過ごせないのは、「ネットの使用をやめようとするとイライラする」など、使用をコントロールできない「依存」とみられる割合が、中学生の6%、高校生では9%に達していることだ。

About 60 percent of those surveyed suffer from sleep dis-orders. Their days and nights tend to be reversed as a result of their absorption in the Internet late at night. In some cases, they skip school and confine themselves to their rooms.
 こうしたネット依存では、約6割が睡眠障害に陥っている。深夜ネットに熱中し、昼夜逆転になりがちだからだ。不登校、引きこもりになることもある。

The addiction of young people to the Internet during their growth period is ruining their minds and bodies. The situation is extremely serious.
 成長期の若者たちの心身がむしばまれる現状は深刻である。

Some young Internet addicts have nutritional disorders due to irregular eating habits. They also show symptoms of deep vein thrombosis, the formation of a blood clot due to long hours of retaining the same seated posture, a condition normally associated with economy-class passengers on airplanes. The deeper the addiction to the Internet, the greater likelihood they will feel depressed.
 食事が不規則になるための栄養失調や、同じ姿勢を長時間とることで血栓ができるエコノミークラス症候群もみられる。依存が強いほど気分の落ち込みも増える。

Specialized treatment sparse

Medical attention is needed for people who are seriously addicted to the Internet. Keeping a daily record of the number of hours spent using the Internet could make young addicts more aware of their problem. At some hospitals, doctors and clinical psychologists provide counseling.
 症状が重ければ、治療が必要になる。依存に気づかせるため、どれくらいネットを使っているか、1日の行動記録をつけることが有効だ。医師や臨床心理士がカウンセリングを行う病院もある。

However, only a few medical institutions have departments capable of providing such people with specialized treatment. It is necessary to nurture specialists with sufficient expertise to cure people hooked on the Internet and create centers to provide consultation services for addicts.
 ただ、専門外来を持つ医療機関は極めて少ない。ネット依存に詳しい専門家の養成や相談窓口の整備が求められよう。

Internet users may feel tempted to gain recognition from or link themselves to others. One example is an online combat game that can be played by a certain number of people. The longer the gamers play, the more skillful they become. In many cases, young people play online games for an inordinate amount of time, hoping to earn praise from other players and experience a feeling of achievement and exaltation. They may find it extremely difficult to give up playing online games.
 ネットでは、「人から認められたい」「人とつながりたい」という心理も働くのだろう。
 例えば、グループ参加の戦闘系などのゲームは、長く続けるほど上達する。仲間からの称賛や、達成感や高揚感を得たいために、ずるずると身を任せ、抜け出せなくなる例が少なくない。

Another example is absorption in Line, an instant messaging system. Some users are unable to take their eyes off their smartphone and computer screens during their use of Line’s chat function, fearing they may be shunned by fellow Line users unless they immediately respond to their messages.
 LINE(ライン)、チャットによる会話では、すぐ返信しないと仲間外れになると思い、画面から目を離せなくなってしまう。

In this day and age, the Internet is an indispensable means of communication for work and daily life. Smartphones are spreading rapidly. There is a strong possibility the number of Internet addicts will increase.
 現代では、ネットは仕事や日々の生活に欠かせない通信手段だ。スマホは急激に普及している。それに伴い、ネット依存は今後も増える可能性が大きい。

In receiving computer-assisted lessons at school, students should not only be taught how to use electronic devices. They also should be encouraged to realize the danger of Internet addition while learning how to appropriately use smartphones.
 学校では、パソコンを使った授業の際に、機器の操作法だけでなく、依存の危険性や、スマホとの付き合い方も学ばせるべきだ。

In buying their children smartphones, parents should lay down rules on how many hours—and for what purpose—they should be allowed to use them each day.
 スマホやパソコンを子供に与える際、使用する時間や目的について、親子でルールを決めることも大切と言えよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 21, 2013)
(2013年8月21日01時29分  読売新聞)

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北方領土交渉 周到な対露戦略を立てて前に

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 22, 2013
Deliberate strategy required to advance northern territories talks
北方領土交渉 周到な対露戦略を立てて前に(8月21日付・読売社説)

Deadlocked negotiations over the northern territories off Hokkaido will soon make a fresh start. We urge Japanese and Russian leaders to finally resolve this longstanding issue.
 膠着(こうちゃく)状態にある北方領土問題の仕切り直しである。
 今度こそ、首脳の決断で長年の懸案を解決してもらいたい。

Japanese and Russian deputy foreign ministers met in Moscow on Monday and affirmed their countries’ basic positions on the disputed islands.
 日露の外務次官級協議がモスクワで開かれ、北方領土を巡る原則的な立場を確認した。

They agreed that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold summit talks on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit meeting in St. Petersburg on Sept. 5.
 安倍首相とプーチン露大統領との首脳会談は来月5日、ロシア・サンクトペテルブルクでの主要20か国・地域(G20)首脳会議に合わせて行うことで一致した。

This will be the third tete-a-tete between Abe and Putin this year. It is meaningful that they are meeting frequently to build up mutual confidence.
 今年3度目の会談となる。首脳同士が頻繁に会うのは、互いの信頼醸成のうえで有意義だろう。

Russia insists that the four northern islands became the former Soviet Union’s territories as a result of World War II.
 ロシアは、第2次世界大戦の結果、北方4島はソ連の領土となったと主張している。

Japan’s position is that the Soviet Union seized the four islands by taking advantage of the chaos in the closing days of the war and they have been illegally occupied since then. If the four islands are acknowledged to belong to Japan, the government is prepared to respond flexibly to the timing and manner of their actual return.
 日本は、ソ連が大戦末期の混乱に乗じて4島を占領し、不法占拠を続けているとの立場だ。日本への4島の帰属が確認されれば、返還時期などは柔軟に対応する。

These negotiations are likely to be anything but smooth because wide gaps remain between the two countries’ claims and recognition of the issue. The bottom line is that a solution needs to be found in accord with law and justice.
 日露間の主張や認識の隔たりは大きく、交渉の前途は険しい。あくまで法と正義を踏まえた解決を求めることが必要だ。

The question is what Putin really meant when he said both sides should be willing to accept a “hikiwake” (draw) over the issue.
 問題は、プーチン大統領の言う「引き分け」の真意である。

Putin’s remark is utterly unacceptable for Japan if he thinks he wants to settle the dispute by returning only the Habomai group of islets and Shikotan Island to Japan based on the Japan-Soviet Joint Declaration of 1956, which requires Russia to hand them to Japanese rule after a bilateral peace treaty is concluded.
 「平和条約締結後に歯舞・色丹を引き渡す」とした1956年の日ソ共同宣言に基づき、歯舞、色丹の引き渡しだけで決着させたいと考えているのなら、日本としては到底受け入れられない。

Japan should move ahead with the negotiations while carefully watching the situations inside and around Russia, and work out a deliberate strategy.
 ロシアの内外情勢を見極め、周到な対露戦略を立てて、交渉を前に進めていくべきだ。

Both sides can benefit

Russia wants Japan’s technologies and investment to help develop eastern Siberia and the Far East. Sales of Russia’s natural gas to Europe, its biggest customer, have dropped due to the shale gas revolution in the United States, so Moscow has high expectations Japan will import more of its natural gas.
 ロシアは、東シベリア・極東地方の開発で日本の技術、投資を求めている。米国のシェールガス革命の影響で、天然ガスの最大顧客である欧州での売り上げが減ったため、日本には、その輸出先としても大きな期待を寄せている。

Japan and Russia have common interests in dealing with North Korea, which is pressing ahead with its nuclear development, and putting pressure on China. Beijing has irritated Moscow by advancing into the Northern Sea Route, which is being developed as polar ice melts due to global warming.
 核開発を進める北朝鮮に対処し、中国を牽制(けんせい)するにも、日露には共通の利害関係がある。中国は、地球温暖化の影響で開発されつつある北極海航路への進出を図っており、ロシアを刺激している。

Japan must draw up a blueprint that will convince Russia returning the northern territories will benefit both countries and help develop bilateral relations.
 日本への領土引き渡しが、日露双方にとって利益となり、関係発展にも役立つと思えるような構図を描いていかねばならない。

The “Russianization” of the northern territories has been steadily moving ahead. Last month, Putin visited Sakhalin State and expressed his intention to extend the development of the Chishima Islands, including the four northern islands, under “a program for the social and economic development of the Kuril Islands.” Japan should not just sit idly by.
 北方領土では、「ロシア化」が着々と進んでいる。大統領は先月、サハリン州を訪問し、北方4島を含む千島列島開発「クリル社会・経済発展計画」を延長する意向を明らかにした。日本は、悠長に構えてもいられない。

Last month’s House of Councillors election handed Abe a stable political footing that could last up to three years. He must knuckle down on the negotiations and produce results in his talks with Putin.
 安倍首相は、参院選で最長3年間にわたる安定した政権基盤を獲得した。腰を据えて交渉に取り組み、プーチン大統領との間で成果を出していくことが肝要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 21, 2013)
(2013年8月21日01時29分  読売新聞)

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2013年8月21日 (水)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:どう防ぐ「感情の爆発」 /東京

July 28, 2013(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: How can we prevent emotional outbursts?
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:どう防ぐ「感情の爆発」 /東京

In the recent case of a teenage girl found dead in the mountains in Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, a former classmate who turned herself in and her friends who were arrested were frequent users of a free messaging application.
When the former classmate, accompanied by her mother, turned herself in, she is said to have told her mother, "I got angry because (the dead teenage girl) wrote insulting things about me (through the application)."
 広島・呉市で起きた16歳女子生徒の死体遺棄事件。自首して逮捕された元同級生の少女やその友人たちは、スマートフォンの無料通信アプリを頻繁に使っていた。出頭する際にも付き添っていた母親に少女は「(通信アプリで女子生徒に)悪口を書かれて腹が立った」と語ったともいわれる。

Furthermore, before her arrest, the girl is said to have sent messages to her friends, saying, "Sorry for betraying you."
また、逮捕の前、友人たちに向けて「裏切ってごめんね」などのメッセージも書き込んでいるという。

Compared to email, messages through these kinds of applications are even simpler to send. When even sending a message is too much trouble, one of limitless emoticons can be chosen and sent instead.
 携帯電話などを使ったメールに比べても、このような通信アプリではさらに簡単な操作でメッセージを送ることが可能だ。また文字で表現するのがおっくうなときには、「スタンプ」と呼ばれる無数のイラストから、どれかを選んで送信してもよい。

The appearance of such applications has drastically increased communication opportunities for young people. Without the need to put things in paragraphs and write and rewrite, one can easily send a message to someone the moment they feel something. Those who receive such messages, meanwhile, make short-phrased replies, almost like a conditioned response. The basis of this communication seems to be making things "as fast and short as possible," and when I listen to my students' conversations, I sometimes hear them say things like, "That person is slow in responding to messages," or "Those messages are so long I don't feel like reading them."
 こういったアプリの登場で、若い人たちのコミュニケーションの機会は格段に増えた。あらかじめ文章にまとめたり書いて直したりしなくても、「うれしい」「ガッカリ」と感じた瞬間に、難しい手続きは抜きでそれを誰かに伝えることができるようになった。それを受け取った人たちも、条件反射のように「いいね!」などと短いフレーズで反応する。やり取りの基本は「なるべく速く短く」のようで、学生たちの会話を聞いていると「あの子は(メッセージの)返しが遅い」「(メッセージが)長すぎて読む気がしない」などという友人への不満が時々語られている。

Rather than careful thought and revision, sending messages and replying are the priority.
 熟考、推敲(すいこう)よりもまず発信、そして反応。

As people continue with this kind of communication, I wonder whether they don't, before they even know it, lose some of the habits they had used to control their emotions beforehand. Until recently, even if a person got angry at someone else's comment, while keeping it out of their expression they would first let things stew in their head. While doing this their anger would slowly subside, and by the time they talked to someone else about what had happened, they were considerably calmed down.
 こんなコミュニケーションを繰り返していると、知らない間に自分の感情をコントロールする習慣が失われるということはないだろうか。誰かの発言にカチンと来ても、これまでならそれを顔に出す前に、まずは自分の中で「ひどいなあ」などと感情をかみしめたはずだ。そうやって「時間稼ぎ」をするうちに最初の怒りは少しずつおさまり、誰かに「こんなことがあってね」と話す頃には相当、落ち着いている。

But with devices that allow instantaneously messaging to many people, there is no longer a need to keep one's emotions in check. One can express themselves with over-the-top emoticons, and rather than things settling, emotions may fly even higher than they were at the beginning.
 ところが、瞬間的にそれを多くの人に発信できる装置があれば感情を抑え込む必要はなくなる。それどころか、過剰なイラストなどでその時の気持ちを表現できるので、逆に当初よりエスカレートすることさえあるかもしれない。

Letting the things we feel and think immediately show on our face or in our words is dangerous both to us and those we communicate with. It seems our age has presented us with yet another difficult problem -- how to enjoy our smartphone and messaging applications while also preventing emotional outbursts.
 感じたこと、思ったことを、常にすぐに顔に出し口にするのは、自分にとっても相手にとっても危険なことだ。スマートフォンや通信アプリが実現させる瞬間的なコミュニケーションを楽しみながら、どうやって私たちは「感情の爆発」を防ぐことができるのか。難しい課題が一つ増えた。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2013年07月23日 地方版

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韓国電力大乱―脱原発へ一緒に進もう

The Asahi Shimbun, August 19, 2013
EDITORIAL: Japan, South Korea should work together to cut nuclear power
韓国電力大乱―脱原発へ一緒に進もう

South Korea is suffering from a serious power crunch as it swelters under a powerful heat wave with daily highs topping 40 degrees in some parts of the nation.
 最高気温が40度を超える地域が出るなど、猛暑続きの韓国が深刻な電力不足に陥っている。

The power shortage stems from the suspension of operations of five of the country’s 23 nuclear reactors partly due to revelations of improprieties in domestic nuclear power plants.
 国内の原子力発電所で不正が発覚したことなどから、23基ある原発のうち5基が稼働停止しているためだ。

For years, the South Korean government has been steadily increasing the country’s dependence on nuclear power generation. But the government is now facing an unprecedentedly loud chorus of calls from citizens for reducing electricity production with nuclear energy amid criticism over the revelations.
 韓国政府は原発への依存度をひたすら高めてきた。しかし、今回の騒動を機に、脱原発依存を求める国内の声はかつてなく強まっている。

The administration of President Park Geun-hye has said it will work out by year-end a basic plan for future energy supply that sets targets concerning the shares of nuclear power and renewable energy in the country’s electricity mix. We hope the Park administration will pay serious attention to the people’s wishes and embark on full-fledged efforts to scale down the nation’s nuclear power output.
 朴槿恵(パククネ)政権は年末までに今後の原発と自然エネルギーの比率を盛り込んだ基本計画をまとめる方針だ。切実な声に耳を傾け、脱原発依存に向けた本格的な取り組みを始めてほしい。

The electricity crisis has generated angry whispers about a “nuclear power mafia” among South Koreans.
 電力危機を引き金に、韓国で怒りをこめてささやかれる言葉がある。
 「原発マフィア」だ。

In May, it was revealed that parts used in nuclear power equipment had been supplied using fake performance certificates. Investigations into why the forgery had gone undetected uncovered the existence of a close-knit community of public utilities that operate nuclear power plants, related researchers and the regulatory agency.
 5月、原発に性能証明書を偽造した部品が使われていることが発覚。不正を見抜けなかった理由を探るなかで、原発を運営する公営企業や研究者、規制機関などで作る閉鎖的なグループが存在することがわかった。

Prosecutors have questioned a number of people concerned and made a series of arrests.
 検察当局は次々に関係者を調べ、逮捕者も続出している。

The administration of former President Lee Myung-bak promoted the construction of nuclear power plants and exports of nuclear technologies. It set a policy target of raising the share of nuclear power in overall electricity generation to about 60 percent in 2030, 60 percent higher than the current level. The Lee administration also promised to increase the share of renewable energy in power generation, which is among the lowest in the developed world, but didn’t pin much hope on natural energy.
 李明博(イミョンバク)・前政権は原発の建設・輸出を推進し、発電での原発比率を30年に1・6倍の約6割にするとした。先進諸国では最低レベルの自然エネルギー比率は増加させるものの、大きな期待を寄せない。

The question facing the Park administration is whether it should follow the energy policy set by the previous government.
 朴政権が、この路線を踏襲するのかどうか。

The Fukushima nuclear disaster has made many South Koreans realize that nuclear power generation is by no means cheap, prompting calls for a shift toward renewable energy sources. The number of lawmakers arguing for less dependency on nuclear power has been rising gradually.
 韓国でも、福島第一原発の事故後、原発は決して安くないとの認識が広まり、自然エネルギーへの転換の必要性が叫ばれてきた。脱原発依存を唱える国会議員も徐々に増えてきた。

There are already some campaigns for a cleaner energy future that could serve as a model. Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon has announced a program to replace the electricity that can be supplied by one nuclear reactor with a combination of power generation using renewable energy and power savings by 2014. The goal is almost certain to be achieved.
 手本となる動きはすでに始まっている。ソウルの朴元淳(パクウォンスン)市長は、14年までに原発1基分を自然エネルギーと節電で補う計画を示し、達成はほぼ確実だ。

Under the program, solar panels have been installed on the premises of water purifying plants and on the roofs of bus stops. People’s efforts to reduce power consumption are rewarded with increased points on their IC tickets for transportation means. Officials at many other local governments have taken inspection tours in Seoul to study how it is working.
 浄水場の敷地やバス停の屋根に太陽光パネルをとりつけ、節電などに協力すればIC乗車券のポイントを増やしている。ソウル市には他の自治体からの視察が相次いでいる。

President Park has proposed a “Northeast Asian peace and cooperation initiative” as a key item on her policy agenda. It would involve discussions for regional cooperation in efforts to ensure safety at nuclear power plants and effective responses to natural disasters.
 朴大統領は看板政策に「東北アジア平和協力構想」を掲げている。原発の安全や災害への対策などを地域で話し合おうという提案だ。

If a major nuclear accident occurs in South Korea, Japan and other neighboring countries would also be affected. The risks of nuclear power generation know no borders. Final disposal of spent nuclear fuel is another tough common challenge for all countries with nuclear power plants.
 原発で大事故が起きれば、その影響は日本など周辺地域に広がる。そのリスクはお互いさまだ。使用済み核燃料の最終処分も共通の難題である。

This summer, both Japan and South Korea have been gripped by record heat waves. This is probably a good opportunity for the two countries to start talks for energy cooperation toward reduced dependence on nuclear power as well as for better nuclear safety.
 記録的な猛暑に見舞われたこの夏、原子力の安全はもちろんのこと、脱原発依存に向けたエネルギー協力を日韓で話し合うスタートとしたい。

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はだしのゲン―閲覧制限はすぐ撤回を

The Asahi Shimbun, August 20, 2013
EDITORIAL: All children should have free access to ‘Hadashi no Gen’
はだしのゲン―閲覧制限はすぐ撤回を

The Matsue municipal board of education has instructed public elementary and junior high schools in the city not to make a famous manga about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima freely available to children in school libraries. The board’s move to restrict children’s access to “Hadashi no Gen” (Barefoot Gen) has drawn criticism from all over the nation.
 広島での被爆を主題にした漫画「はだしのゲン」を、松江市教委が小・中学校の図書館で自由に読めなくするよう指示していたことがわかり、全国から批判が相次いでいる。

In the final parts of the book, some atrocities committed by the former Japanese army, such as beheading Asian people, are depicted. In December last year, the municipal education board decided that these descriptions are “extreme expressions” and asked principals to make sure that students cannot read the manga in the libraries without obtaining permission from the schools. It has also been withdrawn from circulation.
 作品の終盤には、旧日本軍がアジアの人々の首を切断するなどの描写がある。市教委は昨年12月、「過激な表現だ」として、学校の許可なしで見られなくするよう校長会に求めた。貸し出しも認めないという。

“Hadashi no Gen” was created by manga artist Keiji Nakazawa, who died in December last year. In addition to the devastation of Hiroshima and people’s sufferings after the war, both of which he experienced himself, Nakazawa described, in shocking detail, various battlefield scenes he learned from historical records and materials. Due to its vivid descriptions of the frightful spectacles of war, the manga drew an immense response.
 「ゲン」は昨年12月に死去した漫画家の中沢啓治(なかざわけいじ)さんの作品だ。実体験した原爆の惨状と戦後の苦難に加え、資料などで知った戦場の様子を強烈なタッチで描いて反響を呼んだ。

Many children became interested in the nuclear attacks against Japan in the closing days of World War II for the first time when they read “Hadashi no Gen,” one of the few manga books among the school library collection.
 学校図書館で読める数少ない漫画として「ゲン」を手に取り、初めて原爆に関心を持った子どもも少なくない。

The education board’s decision could deprive children of a good opportunity to learn about the tragedy. Moreover, the board didn’t follow the rule that it must make any important decision in an open meeting of board members. The decision was made in an opaque manner by the secretariat of the board. The education board should immediately withdraw its directive concerning “Hadashi no Gen.”
 市教委の指示は、子どもたちのそうした出会いを奪いかねないものだ。しかも重要な決定の場合、公開の教育委員会議にかけるべきだが、今回は事務局の判断で決まっており、不透明というしかない。市教委はただちに指示を撤回すべきだ。

The board’s move was made after a man submitted a written petition to the Matsue municipal assembly in August last year. The petition called for the removal of “Hadashi no Gen” from schools, claiming it described fictitious acts of barbarity by Japanese soldiers and had a harmful effect on the minds of children.
 きっかけは、ある男性から昨年8月に市議会に出された陳情書だった。「ありもしない日本軍の蛮行が掲載され、子どもたちに悪影響を及ぼす」とし、学校からの撤去を求めていた。

Although the man’s demands were not accepted, some assembly members argued that the manga should be designated as a “bad book” and asked the education board to take appropriate action. The request led to the board’s move to restrict access to the manga in school libraries.
 陳情は不採択となったが、一部市議から「不良図書」ととらえ、市教委が適切な処置をすべきだとの意見があり、閲覧制限の指示につながった。

Soon after Nakazawa started the manga series in the Weekly Shonen Jump comic magazine in 1973, his descriptions of the war were criticized as “brutal.” Nakazawa once said he had agonized over how to depict the war. Because it bitterly denounces the acts of the army and holds Emperor Hirohito, posthumously known as Emperor Showa, responsible for the war, conservatives criticize the manga as “biased” and “anti-Japanese.”
 「ゲン」には連載当時から「残酷」という声が寄せられ、中沢さんも描き方に悩んだと述懐している。旧軍の行為や昭和天皇の戦争責任を厳しく糾弾している点から、「偏向している」「反日漫画だ」といった批判も保守層の間で根強い。

Still, “Hadashi no Gen” has been widely accepted because Nakazawa’s anti-war message has obtained a favorable response from children. By using all of his skills as an artist to describe the cruelty of war he witnessed, Nakazawa tried to tell children that war must never be allowed to happen again.
 それでも、「ゲン」が高い評価を得たのは、自身が目の当たりにした戦争の残酷さを力いっぱい描くことで、「二度と戦争を起こしてはならない」と伝えようとした中沢さんの思いに子どもたちが共感したからだ。

Teachers, who generally had a negative stance toward manga, also embraced “Hadashi no Gen” and allocated part of the limited school library budget to add the manga to the library’s collection because of its power to send its anti-war message.
 漫画を否定しがちだった先生たちが、限られた図書館予算の中から「ゲン」を積極的に受け入れたのも、作品のメッセージ力が強かったからこそだ。

There are still various views and opinions about the wartime acts of the former Japanese army and Emperor Hirohito’s responsibility for the war. Nakazawa’s historical views about the war as expressed in the work are also open to criticism.
 旧日本軍の行為や天皇の戦争責任をめぐっては今もさまざまな見方があり、「ゲン」に投影された中沢さんの歴史観にも議論はありえるだろう。

“Hadashi no Gen” is exactly the type of material that can be used for discussions among adults and children on these and other issues concerning the war. There is no need to keep children from accessing this material.
 それこそ、「ゲン」を題材に、子どもと大人が意見を交わし、一緒に考えていけばいい。最初から目をそらす必要はどこにもない。

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日本語の普及 海外で知日派を育成するには

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 21, 2013
Greater effort needed to promote Japanese-language learning abroad
日本語の普及 海外で知日派を育成するには(8月20日付・読売社説)

A report compiled by a private panel of experts for the Foreign Ministry calls for promoting the Japanese language in other countries and enhancing Japan’s presence in the international community. The government plans to prepare a budget to propagate the language.
 日本語を海外に普及させ、国際社会での日本の存在感を高めたい。
 外務省の有識者懇談会が、こんな報告書をまとめた。政府は、日本語普及策として予算化を検討する。

The report also wants to make it easier for young people abroad to learn Japanese.
 報告書が求めるのは、海外の若者が容易に日本語を学べるよう環境整備を図ることだ。

The “Cool Japan” strategy, launched by the government to promote the Japanese culture of manga, anime and fashion overseas, is attracting the interest of young people around the world. Proactively concentrating on such trends is the correct thing to do.
 漫画、アニメ、ファッションなど「クール・ジャパン」が世界の若者の心をとらえている。こうした状況を積極的に生かそうという狙いは、的を射ている。

Specifically, the report suggested setting up a Japanese-language course for beginners on the Internet. It is essential to utilize information technology to that end.
 具体策として、インターネット上に初学者向けの講座を開設することなどを挙げている。情報技術(IT)の活用は欠かせない。

It also suggested expanding the program for the long-term dispatch of Japanese-language experts to foreign countries, which the Japan Foundation—the core organization for promoting the Japanese language abroad—has been implementing with the aim of increasing the number of foreigners teaching Japanese in their own countries.
 日本語海外普及の中核的組織である国際交流基金が現地での教師養成を目的として行っている専門家長期派遣事業を、拡充することなども提案している。

If these policy measures prove effective in increasing the number of foreigners learning Japanese, their understanding of Japan will become deeper. This will increase the number of people who are pro-Japanese and knowledgeable about Japan.
 こうした政策によって、日本語を学ぶ外国人が増えれば、日本への理解は深まり、知日派、親日派の層も厚くなろう。

Such measures also should prove useful for Japanese companies, which are increasingly launching overseas operations, to secure local Japanese-speaking staff.
海外進出が増加している日本企業が、現地で日本語を話せるスタッフを確保する面でも役立つに違いない。

Behind the ministry’s discussions to promote the Japanese language abroad is a declining global interest in learning Japanese.
 外務省が、日本語普及策を検討する背景には、海外での日本語熱が冷めてきたことがある。

While the number of foreigners learning or speaking Japanese totals about 3.98 million, a figure 30 times larger than the number 30-plus years ago, the growth in Japanese-language learners abroad has slowed recently.
 日本語を学ぶ外国人は、この30年余りで約30倍に増え398万人に達したものの、近年、学習者の伸び率は鈍化している。

Although the number of people learning Japanese in Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries is rising, it is declining in such countries as South Korea, Britain and Canada.
インドネシアなど東南アジア諸国ではなお増加傾向にあるが、韓国、英国、カナダなどでは減少している。

Interest in Chinese growing

Half of those people studying Japanese overseas are middle and high school students learning it as a second foreign language, with English as their first foreign language. Lately there has been a sharp increase in the number students studying Chinese as their second foreign language.
 海外の日本語学習者の半数は、中学・高校で英語に次ぐ第2外国語として日本語を選択している生徒たちだ。最近、中国語にシフトするケースが急増している。

It is true that interest has grown among non-Chinese because of China’s fast-growing economy. Yet there are other reasons.
 経済成長の著しい中国の魅力が高まっているのは、確かだろう。だが、それだけではない。

China has established government-affiliated educational institutions, such as the Confucius Institute, around the world, made efforts to teach the Chinese language to foreigners, provided them with learning materials and fostered foreigners teaching Chinese in their own countries.
 中国は、孔子学院など、政府系機関を世界各地に配置し、中国語教育や教材提供、教員育成に力を入れている。

Particularly in the area of primary education, the Chinese government is proactively inviting to China foreign teaching staff and school officials.
特に初等教育では、海外の学校関係者を本国に積極的かつ大規模に招いている。

In the United States, some universities, as wells as primary, middle and high schools, have ended Japanese language courses, apparently because of growing interest in the Chinese language.
 米国でも中国語に押されて、一部の大学や小中高校で日本語講座閉鎖の動きがある。

The report stressed that the biggest impediment faced by institutions teaching Japanese overseas is securing a sufficient number of Japanese-language teachers. It also pointed out that Japan had failed to provide foreigners with such advantages as studying in this country or finding jobs in Japanese companies.
 報告書は、海外での日本語教育機関が教師を十分確保できていないことが「日本語普及推進の大きな足かせ」だと強調した。日本への留学や日本企業への就職など、日本語学習のメリットを提供できていないとも指摘している。

We hope the government, in light of the report’s suggestions, drastically rethinks its strategy in promoting the Japanese language overseas.
 政府は今回の提言を踏まえ、日本語普及への戦略を抜本的に立て直してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 20, 2013)
(2013年8月20日02時06分  読売新聞)

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デフレ状況 「なくなりつつある」は本物か

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 21, 2013
Too early to declare an end to the fight against deflation
デフレ状況 「なくなりつつある」は本物か(8月20日付・読売社説)

It would be too early to conclude that Japan is successfully combating deflation. It is essential to see whether the current price situation will lead to “a favorable price increase” to bring about stable growth.
 デフレ退治に成功しつつあると見るのは早計だろう。安定成長をもたらす「良い物価上昇」となるかどうか、見極めることが大切だ。

In its monthly economic report for August, the government judged that “the state of deflation is about to end.”
 政府は8月の月例経済報告で、「デフレ状況ではなくなりつつある」との判断を示した。

The government reportedly attributed the favorable judgment to improvements in price-related indexes, including the fact that the consumer price index, excluding perishables, rose 0.4 percent in June compared with the same month last year.
 生鮮食品を除く消費者物価指数が、6月に前年同月比0・4%上昇するなど、物価関連の指標が上向いてきたためという。

Gasoline and food prices have increased in succession. Many people might have begun to feel the price increase.
 ガソリンや食料品の値上げが相次いでいる。物価高を実感し始めた人も多いのではないか。

Commenting on the extent of progress from deflation, Akira Amari, state minister for economic and fiscal policy, said, “Comparing it to climbing Mt. Fuji, we’re now at the Seventh Station,” showing confidence about the possibility of “reaching the summit.”
 甘利経済財政相は脱デフレの進捗(しんちょく)について、「富士登山でいえば7合目」と例え、“登頂”に自信を見せている。

However, Mt. Fuji climbing becomes more difficult after climbers pass the Seventh Station. It is better not to naively think that approximately 15 years of deflation can be overcome easily.
 ただし、富士登山は7合目を過ぎてからがきつい。約15年間も続くデフレを簡単に攻略できると、甘く考えない方がいい。

The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe must maintain an economy-first policy and take every possible measure to ensure that the country exits from deflation at this time.
 安倍政権は引き続き、景気優先の姿勢を堅持し、今度こそデフレから確実に脱却できるよう、万全を期さねばならない。

Of concern is the fact that recent high prices are primarily caused by import price increases due to high crude oil bills and the weaker yen. Gasoline prices have topped ¥160 per liter on average nationwide and the prices of imported wine and processed foods are expected to soar.
 気がかりなのは、最近の物価高の主因が、原油高や円安による輸入価格の上昇であることだ。ガソリンは全国平均で1リットル=160円を超え、今後も輸入ワインや加工食品の値上げが見込まれる。

The price of liquefied natural gas, the main fuel for thermal power generation, has skyrocketed, thereby accelerating power rate hikes.
 火力発電の主力燃料である液化天然ガス(LNG)も高騰し、電気料金の値上げに歯止めがかからなくなっている。

Adverse side effects

Spikes in the prices of raw materials and utility rates have pushed up prices and created a serious side effect on business.
 原材料や電気料金の急騰は物価を押し上げる一方で、景気に及ぼす副作用が大きい。

Businesses tend to refrain from hiking prices in an effort to prevent sales from declining, even if production and other costs soar.
 企業は、生産などのコストが上がっても、売り上げの減少を避けようと、販売価格の値上げをできるだけ抑える傾向がある。

If corporate performance deteriorates due to dwindling profit margins and wages do not increase, consumption will become sluggish and business performance will decline further. If “unfavorable price hikes” led by rising costs occur as a result, it will have a negative effect on economic revitalization.
 利幅縮小で業績が悪化し、賃金が上がらないと、消費は低迷し、さらに業績が落ち込む。コスト高が主導する「悪い物価上昇」を招けば経済再生にマイナスだ。

Even if total salaries including bonuses have begun to improve, essential basic wages have continued to decline. If household income does not increase in line with price hikes, it will be impossible to expect sustainable economic growth.
 ボーナスを含む給与総額が改善し始めたとはいえ、肝心な基本給などは依然として減少が続いている。物価の上昇とともに家計の収入が増えないと、持続力のある経済成長は望めまい。

It will be necessary to create a virtuous circle in which wages grow stably and prices rise slowly.
 安定的に賃金が伸び、緩やかに物価が上昇する「好循環」を作り出す必要がある。

The government is urged to carry out its growth strategy steadily. It must step up efforts to enhance the vigor of the private sector by carrying out regulatory reforms aimed at fostering new types of industry and tax incentives for investment and lowering the corporate tax.
 政府の成長戦略の着実な実行が求められる。新規産業の育成を図る規制改革や投資減税、法人税実効税率の引き下げなどで、民間活力の向上を急ぐべきだ。

Companies’ internal reserves are said to top ¥200 trillion. It is vital for both the private and public sectors to redouble efforts to have corporate profits reflected smoothly in wage improvements.
 企業の内部留保は総額200兆円を超えるという。利益が円滑に賃金改善に波及するよう、官民の取り組み強化が重要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 20, 2013)
(2013年8月20日02時06分  読売新聞)

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2013年8月20日 (火)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:「撤回」簡単に言うけれど /東京

August 11, 2013(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Politician or private person, words can't easily be erased
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:「撤回」簡単に言うけれど /東京

A Japanese politician yet again made some controversial remarks and quickly retracted them. Every time public figures "retract" what they have said, I wonder what it means. "Retraction" is defined as an act to take back one's comments or expression of the person's intention, and the Civil Code provides for such an act. But can words be retracted once they've been spoken?
 政治家の失言がまた問題になっている。毎回、ちょっと不思議に思うのは「発言を撤回します」という言い方だ。撤回とは「発言や意思表示を取り消すこと」で、民法でも定められている行為のようだが、「言ったことが消える」などということがあるのだろうか。

Many patients come to my clinic because they have been hurt or become depressed because of something someone -- and sometimes that someone is themselves -- has said. For example, one woman started studying another language after she hit her 30s, but her mother told her it was "too late." The woman then started to question herself, thinking, "Is it really too late? When should I have started? Will I be 'too late' for everything I try in the future?" Her self-doubt grew until finally she couldn't even go to work.
 診察室には、自分や誰かがつい口にした一言がきっかけで心が傷ついたり、うつ病にまでなったりという人が多く訪れる。ある女性は30代になってから一念発起して語学の資格を取ろうと勉強していたが、母親に「今さら勉強したって遅いわよ」と言われたという。彼女はそこから「本当にもう遅いの?」「じゃ、いつだったらよかったの?」「この先も何をやってもムダ?」と自問自答を繰り返し、ついには仕事にも行けなくなってしまった。

When the woman came to see me, we decided to include her mother in counseling sessions. The mother explained she made the "too late" comment without thinking much, because her daughter never studied when she was young no matter how many times she told her to. The woman's mother said, "If my words hurt her so much, I'll take them back." The woman was, however, unconvinced, and continued to suffer from psychological pain for some time after that meeting.
 診察室に来た彼女と相談し、母親にも来てもらって話し合いの場を持つことにした。間もなく来院した母親は、「『若いころは、勉強しなさいと、いくら言ってもやらなかったのに』と、つい言ってしまった。そんなに傷ついたなら取り消す」と“撤回”した。しかし、彼女は「一度、口にしたことを消すなんて無理!」と納得せず、その後も心の傷はなかなか癒えなかった。

Of course, we can't treat ill-conceived remarks by politicians in the same way as comments between family members. But I have always felt something was off about public figures taking back what they have said, while private individuals can't undo their words so easily. I imagine how peaceful people's minds could be if they were able to take back what they'd said to their friends, colleagues and families.
 もちろん、政治家の失言と家族間の失言を同じように扱うことはできないが、私はいつも「個人のレベルでも発言の取り消しは難しいのに、なぜ公のレベルで簡単に撤回ができるのか」と、違和感を覚える。そして友人や同僚、家族といった日常のレベルでも時間を巻き戻して、「あの発言は言わなかったことにしよう」と取り消すことができたら、どんなに人の心は穏やかでいられるだろうか、などと想像してしまう。

Nevertheless, not everyone can pretend like nothing happened after a politician retracts a silly or hurtful statement. The international community has been especially critical of the recent comments of that certain Japanese political figure. If people overlook or forgive these comments made by our leaders, the reputation of Japanese society as a whole could be in danger of declining internationally.
 とはいえ、政治家の失言も撤回したからといって、すぐに誰もが「なかったこと」にしてくれるわけではない。特に、国際社会からは厳しい批判、非難の声が寄せられている。もしかすると政治家自身のみならず、国のリーダーがどんなに放言や失言をしても「まあ、あの人には実力があるのだから」と許し、見逃そうとする日本の社会そのものの評価が下がる危険性もある。

We oftentimes feel people shouldn't take careless comments too personally. However, I don't think we should let these remarks made by politicians pass so easily, even if they "retract" them. "Be soft on politicians, hard on ordinary people" is not the way a society should function.
 日常の中の「つい、うっかりな一言」には、私たちは「もう少し寛大でもいいのに。あまり傷つかなくても」と思うことも少なくない。しかし、政治家の失言に対しては「撤回したからもういいじゃないか」と、簡単に水に流してはいけないのではないか。「政治家にはやさしく、身近な人には厳しく」では、話が逆だと思うのだ。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2013年08月06日 地方版

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香山リカのココロの万華鏡:副作用の恐怖 /東京

August 18, 2013(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: The fear of side effects
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:副作用の恐怖 /東京

I recently saw a horror movie titled "Side Effects." Well, it was a horror movie for this psychiatrist! The film was directed by Steven Soderbergh, who has also directed light-hearted entertaining movies such as "Ocean's Eleven."
 精神科医には、いろいろな意味で恐ろしい映画を見た。「オーシャンズ」シリーズなど娯楽作も手がけるソダーバーグ監督の新作「サイド・エフェクト」だ。

The movie plot goes like this -- a woman suffering depression goes to see a psychiatrist. The doctor prescribes a new antidepressant to the woman, of which he had signed a contract with a pharmaceutical company for preferential use. The patient starts feeling better soon after she takes the medication until one day her husband's body is discovered in her house.
 家族を愛する精神科医の前に、ちょっとミステリアスなうつ病の女性患者が現れる。精神科医は、ある新薬を優先的に使用する契約を製薬会社と交わしており、彼女にもその薬を処方する。たちまち彼女を悩ませていたうつ症状は改善するがある日、自宅から夫の刺殺体が発見される。

Police conclude that the woman stabbed her husband while sleepwalking, which was one of the drug's side effects. The doctor is publicly criticized for putting her on such dangerous medication and loses his reputation. In an attempt to clear his name after his family leaves him, the doctor starts an investigation into the case on his own.
 警察は、彼女が新薬の副作用で夢遊病のような状態になって夫を殺害した、と断定。そんな恐ろしい薬を処方した精神科医の社会的信用は地に墜(お)ちる。家族にも見放された彼は「本当に自分が出した薬の副作用による殺人か?」と、独自の調査に乗り出す……。

The story then develops into a social thriller. I won't give away details here, but I was feeling blue seeing the greed of a giant drug company and the medical society, which destroyed an ordinary psychiatrist's life.
 ここから物語は、社会派サスペンスの様相を呈し始める。その詳細は語らないが、平凡な精神科医の背後にうごめく巨大企業や学界の欲望の恐ろしさに気持ちが重くなった。

People who have watched the movie must be worried about side effects from antidepressants. My patients sometimes tell me they are scared of taking drugs I have prescribed as their terrible side effects were listed on the Internet.
一般の人たちは「うつ病の薬にはこんな副作用があるの?」と心配になるに違いない。診察室でも「この間先生に出してもらった薬。ネットで調べたら副作用がすごいみたいで飲むのが怖くなりました」という話を時々聞く。

Major side effects of antidepressants used to include dry mouth, faintness and tiredness. Meanwhile, recently developed drugs rarely cause these symptoms, but they may on occasion cause irritation and impulsive behavior. Certain sleeping pills can cause sleepwalking just like in the movie. These side effects don't happen frequently, but once they do, it's a shocking experience to patients.
 かつて、うつ病の薬の副作用といえば「口の渇き、ふらつき、だるさ」などだった。最近の薬にはそういった副作用はほとんどなくなったが、まれにイライラしたり衝動的に行動したくなったりすることがある。睡眠障害の薬で、この映画のように夢遊病が起きることも。いずれも頻度はとても低いのだが、いったん出現すると本人にとってもかなりショッキングな副作用だ。

Most people benefit from taking antidepressants without having to experience these side effects. We psychiatrists often recommend taking such medication, thinking it's such a waste not to take these drugs in fear of side effects that rarely occur. However, it's only natural for patients to resist taking such medication even if the chance of developing side effects is 1-in-10,000.
 ほとんどの人は恐ろしい副作用なしに、その薬本来の効果で症状を抑えることができる。私たち精神科医は「ほとんど可能性のない副作用を恐れて、せっかくの薬を使わないのは損」と考え、服用を勧める。しかし、患者さんにしてみれば「たとえ1万分の1の確率でも、恐ろしい副作用が出るのは絶対にイヤ」と思うのも当然だ。

I want to tell people who watch this movie that most psychiatrists work for the benefit of their patients, not for pharmaceutical companies. However, psychiatrists should ask themselves if they really provide patient-centered treatment or understand patients' fears of side effects. I myself had to rethink about psychiatric treatment in order to make patients happy.
 この映画を見る人には、「ほとんどの精神科医は、製薬会社のためにではなく患者さんのために医療を行っているんです」と言いたい。しかし、その一方で精神科医はしっかり自分の胸に聞いてみるべきだろう。「私は本当に『患者さん本位』の医療をしているか? 患者さんの副作用の恐怖を理解しているか?」。「患者さんにとって、ハッピーな心の医療」のあるべき姿をもう一度考えてみたい。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2013年08月13日 地方版

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加害責任―歴史から目をそらすな

The Asahi Shimbun, August 16, 2013
EDITORIAL: Abe should not look away from Japan's history of aggression
加害責任―歴史から目をそらすな

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe eschewed visiting Yasukuni Shrine on Aug. 15, the 68th anniversary of the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II.
 68回目の終戦の日だったきのう、安倍首相は靖国神社への参拝を見送った。

Japan’s relations with China and South Korea remain chilly over problems concerning the Senkaku Islands, the Takeshima islets and perceptions of history. A visit to the war-related shrine at this juncture would put off the improvement of relations even further.
 尖閣、竹島や歴史認識の問題で、中国や韓国との関係が冷え切っている折である。ここで参拝すれば、両国との関係改善はさらに遠のく。

Thus, the decision not to visit the shrine was a realistic one.
 見送りは現実的な判断と言えるだろう。

How is the prime minister trying to face up to the past? Not only China and South Korea but also the United States and European countries are keeping a close watch. Visits to Yasukuni Shrine are not the only problem. Behind their misgivings is Abe’s comment earlier this year: “The definition of aggression has yet to be established,” which can be construed as denial of Japan’s war responsibility.
 首相が、過去とどう向きあおうとしているか。中韓のみならず、欧米諸国も目を凝らしている。靖国問題だけではない。先に首相が「侵略の定義は定まっていない」と、日本の戦争責任を否定するかのような発言をしたことなどが背景にある。

A wrong move could cause Japan to become isolated in the international community. The prime minister is urged to take this point to heart.
 対応を誤れば、国際社会で日本の孤立を招く。そのことを首相は肝に銘じるべきだ。

In that sense, there is something we find disturbing.
 その意味で、気がかりなことがある。

While Abe delivered a speech at the government-sponsored memorial service for the war dead on Aug. 15, the address made no reference to reflection on Japan’s responsibility for inflicting damage on Asian nations or any expression of condolences.
 きのうの政府主催の全国戦没者追悼式で、首相の式辞からアジア諸国への加害責任への反省や哀悼の意を示す言葉が、すっぽりと抜け落ちたのだ。

Starting with Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa in 1993, successive Japanese leaders have mentioned the wartime devastation inflicted on Asian countries by Japan in their speeches for the annual ceremony.
 加害責任への言及は、93年の細川護熙首相(当時)から歴代首相が踏襲してきた。

In 2007, during Abe’s first tenure as prime minister, he also stated: “(Japan) caused considerable damage and suffering to the people of Asian countries. … I offer deep remorse and express my heartfelt condolences to those who were killed.”
 第1次安倍内閣の07年には首相自身も「アジア諸国の人々に対して多大の損害と苦痛を与えた」「深い反省とともに、犠牲となった方々に謹んで哀悼の意を表す」と述べていた。

This time, “a pledge not to make war” that had been expressed in the past was not mentioned, either.
 今回は、これまで表明されてきた「不戦の誓い」という表現も使わなかった。

Aides to the prime minister say the memorial address reflects his intention that the ceremony is for the war dead, and that he mentioned consideration toward Asian nations in his responses to questions in the Diet.
 首相周辺は「式典は戦没者のため、という首相の意向を反映した」「アジアへの配慮は国会答弁でしている」という。

But such an expedient response is unacceptable. The ceremony also serves as an occasion to show Japan’s stance toward the war to the world. With the absence of wording about Japan’s responsibility for causing damage, Abe's speech could give the impression that Japan lacks consideration for the people of Asia.
 だが、そんな方便は通用しないのではないか。式典は、先の戦争への日本の姿勢を世界に発信する場でもある。加害責任への言及が消えたことで、アジアの人々への配慮を欠いていると受け取られかねない。

Even though the prime minister declined to visit Yasukuni, wasn’t he sending a message to the opposite effect?
 せっかく靖国参拝を見送りながら、逆のメッセージを発することにならないか。

What we find disturbing is the fact that the words that were not mentioned in Abe’s speech overlap with Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama's 1995 statement that Japan “through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations.”
 気になるのは、式辞からなくなった言葉が、植民地支配と侵略によって「アジア諸国の人々に対して多大の損害と苦痛を与えた」という95年の村山首相談話の表現と重なることだ。

For a long time, Abe has shown an inclination toward re-examining the Murayama statement. If his memorial address reflects such intentions, there is no way we can accept it.
 首相はかねて村山談話の見直しに意欲を示している。そうした意図が今回の式辞に表れたとするなら、とうてい容認できるものではない。

Although the prime minister refrained from visiting Yasukuni Shrine, some members of his Cabinet, as well as a group of many lawmakers, visited the shrine.
 首相は見送ったが、きのうは一部の閣僚や国会議員が大挙して靖国神社に参拝した。

Without looking away from history, Japan needs to use its imagination to understand the pain of other countries. Such an attitude is what Japanese politicians need now more than ever.
 歴史から目をそらさず、他国の痛みに想像力を働かせる。こんな態度が、いまの日本政治には求められる。

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原子力機構 信頼回復へ組織改革が急務だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 20, 2013
JAEA's organizational reform key to regain trust in nuclear energy
原子力機構 信頼回復へ組織改革が急務だ(8月19日付・読売社説)

The nation’s nuclear research headquarters should no longer remain dysfunctional. It is a matter of urgency to rebuild the Japan Atomic Energy Agency to regain public trust.
 日本の原子力研究の総本山を機能不全のままにはしておけない。失墜した信頼の回復へ、組織立て直しが急務である。

The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry has compiled a plan to reform the JAEA, which faces numerous problems—as experts have pointed out—including its stance on ensuring safety in the nuclear energy field.
 文部科学省が、安全確保の姿勢などに次々と問題が指摘された日本原子力研究開発機構の改革案をまとめた。

The agency will work out a time schedule to implement concrete reform plans as early as this autumn, while aiming to impose necessary legal revisions. Drawing up an effective work schedule will test its competence.
 具体的な改革の工程表は機構自らが今秋をめどに策定し、必要な法改正を目指す。実効性ある工程表作りが問われよう。

The organization plays a central role in the nation’s nuclear energy field, conducting basic and safety research, and developing human resources in the field, in addition to operating the Monju fast-breeder reactor in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture.
 機構は、福井県敦賀市にある高速増殖炉「もんじゅ」の運用のほか、基礎・安全研究、これを通じた専門人材育成など、原子力分野で中心的な役割を担っている。

Discussions on reforming the agency were prompted by faulty maintenance checks of the reactor that were disclosed in November. In May this year, radioactive substances leaked following an incident at a laboratory at the Japan Proton Accelerator Research Complex in Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture.
 改革論議のきっかけは、もんじゅで昨年11月、点検漏れが判明したことだ。今年5月には、茨城県東海村の加速器実験施設で放射性物質が漏れる事故も起こした。

Maintenance and inspections are essential elements in ensuring the safety of nuclear power facilities. Containment of radioactive materials is the basic premise.
 保守、点検は原子力施設の安全確保の根幹である。放射性物質は閉じ込めが大前提といえる。

It is only reasonable, therefore, that the ministry’s reform plan has, first of all, called on all agency employees to keep this premise firmly in mind.
 そうした基本原則を徹底できるよう、文科省の改革案がまず、機構の全職員に意識変革を求めたのは当然だろう。

The ministry then hammered out the drastic reforms the agency needs.
 そのうえで、改革案は、組織の抜本的な見直しを打ち出した。

The plan divides the agency’s work into four major sections: research and development of the nuclear fuel cycle, including the Monju reactor; dealing with the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant; enhancement of nuclear safety; and basic nuclear energy research. Other work will be transferred to other organizations, according to the plan.
 重点業務として、もんじゅなど核燃料サイクルの研究開発、東京電力福島第一原子力発電所の事故対応、安全向上、基礎研究の四つを挙げたのがポイントだ。他業務は機構外の組織に移管する。

Concentrate on key tasks

The agency is a huge organization, with an annual budget of ¥180 billion and 3,900 employees. Concentrating its work on key tasks will help strengthen its governance in these fields.
 機構は、年間予算が1800億円、職員数3900人の巨大組織だ。重点業務への集約は統治機能の強化に資するのではないか。

With regard to the Monju reactor, the ministry says the agency’s mixed tasks of carrying out both research and operation of the reactor may have been responsible for the faulty maintenance checks. The ministry has decided to have the agency concentrate on the operational management of the reactor, which will be tentatively renamed “Monju power station.”
 もんじゅについては、研究と運転の業務混在が点検漏れの背景にあるとし、名称を「もんじゅ発電所」(仮称)に改め、運転管理に専念する。

The agency also plans to put a person who has served as head of a power station of an electric power company as an executive in charge of ensuring the reactor’s safety, while research related to the fast-breeder reactor will be assigned to a new organization.
電力会社の発電所長経験者を安全担当役員に迎え、研究は別に設ける組織が担う。

Although about ¥1 trillion has been injected into the fast-breeder reactor, it has long remained idle because of a series of problems. We hope the agency will take full advantage of the organizational reform.
 もんじゅは約1兆円の予算が投じられてきたが、ほとんど運転できていない。組織改編を契機に、現状打開に挑んでもらいたい。

The agency’s responsibilities also have grown further in such areas as carrying out preparations to decommission the crippled reactors at the Fukushima power station. The agency also is expected to improve the safety of other nuclear power plants.
 福島第一原発の廃炉対策などでも、機構の責務は一段と増している。他の原発の安全向上にも、貢献が期待されている。

Yet as the government’s nuclear energy policy and nuclear fuel cycle policy remain in disarray, it is uncertain how to consider the Monju reactor in the overall scheme of things, a situation that may hinder rapid reform of the agency.
 ただ、政府の原子力政策や核燃料サイクル政策の混迷が続く中で、もんじゅの位置付け自体が不明確だ。これでは、機構の速やかな改革にも障害となろう。

Some members of the Nuclear Regulation Authority have pointed out that having the agency operate the Monju reactor, while at the same time carrying out safety research undermines the reliability of that research. In discussing the work schedule, the agency should come up with a framework to ensure the independence of safety research.
 原子力規制委員会には、もんじゅの運営と安全研究が機構内に共存することで研究の信頼性を損なうとの指摘もある。工程表の検討では、安全研究の独立性を確保する仕組みも考慮すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 19, 2013)
(2013年8月19日02時06分  読売新聞)

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大学入試改革 混乱招かぬよう丁寧な議論を

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 20, 2013
University entrance test reforms must be thoroughly discussed
大学入試改革 混乱招かぬよう丁寧な議論を(8月19日付・読売社説)

Reforming the university entrance examination system is an important issue that can greatly affect applicants, teachers, schools and others. The issue should be thoroughly discussed from various perspectives.
 入試制度の改革は、教育現場や受験生に大きな影響を与える重要テーマである。丁寧かつ多角的な検討が求められる。

The government’s Education Rebuilding Implementation Council earlier this month started discussions on reforms of the university entrance examination system, the crux of which is whether an achievement test should be introduced, as pledged by the Liberal Democratic Party during the July House of Councillors election campaign.
 政府の教育再生実行会議で、大学入試に関する議論が始まった。自民党が参院選の公約に盛り込んだ「達成度テスト」を導入するかどうかが焦点だ。

Under the plan being considered, an achievement test for high school students would be conducted several times a year. Students would submit the best score among the tests to the university of their choice. The university would use the score to determine the student’s basic scholastic ability and conduct its own screening test to gauge the student’s ability to think and find problems to solve.
 達成度テストは高校生を対象に、年に複数回実施される。受験生はテストの最も良い成績を大学に提出する。大学はその成績で基礎学力を把握し、思考力や問題設定能力を測る独自の選考も行う。そんな構想のようだ。

The current examination system, which gives students virtually one chance to do well in order to get into the university department of their choice, is criticized for putting excessive burdens on university applicants.
 「一発勝負型」の現行入試に対しては、受験生に過度の負担をかけているとの批判がある。

Giving students more opportunities to take screening tests would make it easier for them to demonstrate their ability without being at the mercy of luck. This works for universities and colleges, too, as it would be an effective way to find excellent students.
 選考の機会が増えれば、受験生は運に左右されずに実力を発揮しやすくなる。大学が優秀な人材を見いだすうえにも有効だろう。

Many have pointed out that more and more students are spending less time studying and fail to acquire the necessary scholastic ability, as a result of the growing practices of screening applicants mainly by interviews in the so-called AO (admission office) admission test and of admitting students based on recommendations by high schools.
 面接などで選抜するAO(アドミッション・オフィス)入試や推薦入試が広がった結果、高校生の勉強時間が減り、学力不足は深刻化したと指摘されている。

The achievement test is aimed at motivating high school students to study and raise their academic ability by establishing a new goal.
 達成度テストという新たな目標を設けることで、高校生の学習意欲を喚起し、学力の底上げにつなげたいとの狙いも理解できる。

Huge expense involved

We understand its aims, but how about its cost-effectiveness? As the achievement test is a totally new way to screen applicants, the costs of making examination questions that can appropriately gauge academic abilities and holding the examinations across the nation would be huge.
 だが、費用対効果はどうなのか。達成度テストは全く新しい選抜方式だけに、学力を正確に見極める問題の作成や、全国一斉に実施する試験の運営には多大なコストがかかると見られる。

How difficult the test should be and how many subjects should be included in it are key issues that must be addressed.
 難易度や教科数をどう設定するかという課題もある。

Another issue that must be tackled is whether the current National Center Test for University Admissions should be kept.
 大学入試センター試験の存廃も検討しなくてはならない。

The national center test, introduced in 1990, is a widely accepted unified test to gauge the scholastic achievement of high school students. It is used by all national and public universities and 90 percent of private institutions for screeing applicants.
 1990年にスタートしたセンター試験は、高校段階の学習到達度を判定する統一試験として、広く定着している。入試に利用している大学は国公立だけでなく、私立大学でも9割に達している。

Abolishing the national center test would inevitably cause tremendous confusion to students, teachers, schools and other parties.
 仮に廃止すれば、現場の混乱は避けられまい。

As for holding one of several achievement tests early in the third year of high school, this may force schools to cram as schools advance their curriculum schedules to prepare students for the tests.
 複数回行う試験が高校3年の早い時期から実施されれば、授業の前倒しによる詰め込み教育が加速することも想定される。

High school teachers and others concerned are worried that school events and club activities could be curbed as students would be busy preparing for the achievement tests. We believe their concerns are reasonable.
 「高校生がテスト対策に追われ、学校行事や部活動に大きな制約が出かねない」と高校関係者が危惧するのはもっともだ。

There is another issue that should not be forgotten: How can achievement tests be given to high school graduates trying to enter university after their previous attempts have failed or those wishing to study at an institution of higher learning after having worked some time?
 浪人生や社会人はどのように達成度テストを受けるのか、という問題も忘れてはならない。

The Education Rebuilding Implementation Council is scheduled to compile a set of proposals as early as autumn, but we believe it must not hastily reach conclusions. It is essential to review the nation’s university entrance examination system from the viewpoint of how we can raise the quality of education both at high schools and universities.
 教育再生実行会議は秋にも提言をまとめる予定だが、拙速な議論は禁物だろう。入試制度の見直しは、高校・大学双方の教育の質をいかに向上させるかという視点で進めることが肝要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 19, 2013)
(2013年8月19日02時06分  読売新聞)

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2013年8月19日 (月)

地銀再編 地域経済の再生へ役割果たせ

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 18, 2013
Regional banks must play role in revitalizing regional economies
地銀再編 地域経済の再生へ役割果たせ(8月17日付・読売社説)

To accelerate the revitalization of regional economies, it is vital to promote the realignment of regional banks, of which there are currently too many, and strengthen their financial functions.
 地域経済の再生を加速するには、数が多すぎる地方銀行の再編をさらに進め、金融機能を強化することが重要である。

The banking industry and the government must expedite their efforts to make regional finances firm and resilient.
 足腰のしっかりした地域金融となるよう、金融界と政府は取り組みを急ぐべきだ。

Tokyo Tomin Bank, a regional bank with a business foothold in Tokyo and neighboring prefectures, and Yachiyo Bank, a second-tier regional bank, have been negotiating a plan to integrate their management in autumn next year.
 首都圏を地盤とする地方銀行の東京都民銀行と第二地方銀行の八千代銀行が、来年秋にも経営統合する方向で交渉を進めている。

If realized, the move would create the sixth-largest regional bank in the Kanto region with combined deposits of ¥4.4 trillion. The merger plan is believed to reflect the strategy of the two regional banks to invigorate their management and survive as a leading regional bank in the Tokyo metropolitan area.
 実現すれば、両行合算の預金額は4・4兆円と関東地方で6番目の地銀になる。経営体力を高め、首都圏の有力地銀として生き残りを図る戦略だろう。

Since financial insecurity heightened in the 1990s, “relief-type” realignments have become prominent. But things are different in the case of Tokyo Tomin and Yachiyo banks. They have started moving toward realignment while they have surplus financial power.
 金融不安の高まった1990年代以降、経営不振の銀行を支える「救済型」の再編が目立ったが、東京都民、八千代の両行は、余力のあるうちに前向きの再編に動こうとしている。

Their case could become a model for the future realignment of regional banks. It is hoped that the two banks will successfully conclude their negotiations, thereby pioneering a new era of realignment of regional banks.
 今後の地銀再編のモデルになりうる。両行は統合交渉をまとめ、新たな地銀再編時代の先陣を切ってもらいたい。

There are more than 100 regional banks, including those in the second tier, across the country. In many prefectures, three or more regional banks are battling to survive.
 全国の地銀、第二地銀はあわせて100行を超える。3行以上が乱立する都府県も少なくない。

In fact, they have been competing continuously with credit unions and other rival banks, scrambling for shares of the “small pie” of various areas.
 信用金庫などのライバルも巻き込んで、各地で「小さなパイ」を奪い合う消耗戦を続けているのが実情といえる。

Gradual decline feared

Regional banks as a whole have been suffering as their profits from lending and fund management have dropped. If the situation is left unchanged, they will inevitably suffer a gradual decline.
 地銀などの業績は総じて厳しく、融資や資金運用で稼ぐ「資金利益」は減少している。このままでは、じり貧になりかねない。

The growth strategy crafted by the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in June calls for regional financial institutions to actively provide funds to revitalize regional business and foster new industries, with a view to reconstructing regional businesses that serve as the foundation for the national economy.
 安倍政権が6月に策定した成長戦略は、日本経済の土台である地方企業を立て直すため、地域金融機関が事業再生や新産業の育成などに、積極的に資金供給するよう求めている。

For the regional banks to play such roles, it is essential to bolster their financial bases, such as self-owned capital, thereby improving their capacity to fulfill loan requests. Management integration could be a leading option in this regard.
 その役割を担うには、銀行が自己資本などの財務基盤を強固にして、融資への対応力を高めることが大切である。経営統合は有力な選択肢となる。

Under the Law on Special Measures for Strengthening Financial Functions, banks are able to receive public funds for capital reinforcement. If banks use this system at the time of realignment, their management vitality can be further augmented.
 銀行が「金融機能強化法」の適用を受け、公的資金で資本増強する制度もある。再編にあわせ、銀行がこの制度を活用すれば、経営体力をさらに強化できる。

Of ¥12 trillion earmarked as public funds, a mere ¥0.6 trillion has been used. To facilitate use of the funds, we suggest the government look into the possibility of easing conditions for injection of public funds.
 12兆円の公的資金枠のうち0・6兆円しか使われていない。利用しやすくするよう、政府は注入条件の緩和を検討してはどうか。

What matters is the management strategy of each financial institution. Some regional financial entities consider they cannot tie up with their rivals for now after long years of fierce competition among themselves.
 肝心なのは金融機関の経営戦略だ。地域金融機関には、同じ地域で長年、激しい競争を続けたライバルと、今さら連携できないと考える向きもあろう。

But if regional economies become more sluggish, regional banks will find it more difficult to keep themselves afloat. Regional banks are urged to devise realignment strategies actively and play a role of financially sustaining the revival of regional economies.
 だが、地方経済が一段と低迷すれば、地銀の経営もさらに厳しくなる。積極的な再編戦略を練り、地方経済復活を金融で支える使命を果たしてほしい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 17, 2013)
(2013年8月17日01時40分  読売新聞)

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学校の耐震化 つり天井の撤去を急ぎたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 18, 2013
Suspended ceilings should be removed to boost quake resistance at schools
学校の耐震化 つり天井の撤去を急ぎたい(8月17日付・読売社説)

Schools must be safe places that protect children at a time of disaster. They can also serve as shelters for local residents.
 学校は災害時に子供の命を守る安全な場所でなくてはならない。地域住民の避難先にもなる。

We call for the disaster prevention capability of schools to be strengthened.
 防災機能を強化することが求められる。

A survey by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry showed that 89 percent of 120,460 school buildings and gymnasiums at public primary and middle schools across the nation met national earthquake-resistance standards as of April. The survey also found that 86 percent of structures at public high schools were quake-resistant.
 文部科学省の調査によると、4月現在、全国の公立小中学校にある校舎や体育館計12万460棟のうち、耐震性が確保された建物の割合は全体の89%だった。公立高校でも耐震性を満たした建物は86%に上っている。

These high percentages, which resulted from a push for reinforcement work and other antiseismic efforts in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake, are laudable. But progress differs among regions. In some municipalities, the percentage of quake-resistant schools remains below 50 percent. Such municipalities should accelerate their efforts.
 東日本大震災を教訓に、補強工事などが進んだ結果と評価できるが、地域差も目立つ。学校の耐震化率が5割に満たない自治体もある。取り組みを加速すべきだ。

One major concern in this connnection is the delay in dealing with suspended ceilings, which experts have pointed out are at risk of collapsing in earthquakes.
 気がかりなのは、地震の際に崩落の危険が指摘される「つり天井」の対策が遅れていることだ。

Suspended ceilings made of gypsum wallboard are effective for noise and heat insulation, but their hanging frames make them vulnerable to movement. Even though the buildings themselves are resistant to quakes, their suspended ceilings could collapse. This requries attention.
 つり天井は、防音や断熱に一定の効果があるとされる一方で、屋根から骨組みや石こうボードをぶら下げた構造になっているため、振動に弱い。建物自体の耐震性は確保されていても落下する可能性があるので、注意が必要だ。

In the March 2011 earthquake, many such ceilings fell in large facilities such as event halls. In school gymnasiums, falling ceilings injured students.
 東日本大震災では、ホールなどの大規模施設で落下事故が相次ぎ、体育館で生徒が負傷したケースも見られた。

The survey, in which the ministry asked about suspended ceilings for the first time, showed that such ceilings were installed in about 8,500 structures, including gymnasiums and auditoriums, at public primary, middle and high schools. The survey found that 90 percent of the structures lacked measures to prevent ceilings from falling. This is a problem.
 文科省が今回初めて、つり天井の実態を調べたところ、公立の小中高校の体育館や講堂など約8500棟に設置されていた。このうち9割で落下防止措置が講じられていなかったのは問題だ。

The collapse of a ceiling at a gymnasium where many students gather could be catastrophic. Even if a collapse happened when no one was there, it could prevent the gymnasium from being used as a shelter.
 多数の児童生徒が集まっている時につり天井が崩落した場合、大惨事につながる。無人の時でも崩落すれば、体育館は避難所としての機能を果たせなくなる。

Safety checks urged

The ministry has drawn up a guide, which includes a list of safety check points, and urged municipal governments to carry out safety checks thoroughly. We believe suspended ceilings should be removed as soon as possible in light of public safety.
 文科省は安全点検の要点をまとめた手引を作成し、各自治体にチェックの徹底を求めた。安全性を考慮すれば、可能な限り早期に撤去すべきだろう。

Meanwhile, many schools are not prepared to serve as local disaster-management centers. Among public schools designated by municipalities as emergency shelters, only 28 percent have in-house power generators, while 34 percent are equipped with water reservoirs and other useful devices.
 学校の防災拠点としての備えも心もとない。自治体から避難所に指定された公立学校のうち、自家発電装置がある学校は28%、貯水槽などを設置している学校は34%にとどまっている。

In the Great East Japan Earthquake, many people were forced to take refuge amid prolonged power outages and cuts in water supply. We urge municipalities’ disaster-management sections and boards of education to work together to make necessary preprations.
 東日本大震災では停電や断水が続き、多くの住民が過酷な避難生活を強いられた。自治体の防災部門と教育委員会が連携して、必要な設備を整えてもらいたい。

It is also crucial to raise public awareness through education. Last year, public high schools in Tokyo began a project in which students stay at their schools overnight, prepare meals outdoors and receive training in conducting rescue activities.
 防災教育などソフト面の対策も重要だ。都立高校では昨年から、生徒が学校に宿泊し、炊き出しや救護の体験訓練を行っている。

If high school students gain experience such as taking care of the elderly through the training, they could play a key role in operating shelters in disasters. Regularly cultivating the spirit of volunteerism could prove to be useful in an emergency.
 高校生がお年寄りの世話などを経験すれば、避難所運営の貴重な担い手になろう。日頃からボランティア精神を育んでおくことが、いざという時に役立つはずだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 17, 2013)
(2013年8月17日01時40分  読売新聞)

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外国人旅行客 日本の魅力高める知恵絞れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 19, 2013
Public, private sectors should do more to attract foreign tourists
外国人旅行客 日本の魅力高める知恵絞れ(8月18日付・読売社説)

A record number of foreign tourists are visiting Japan. We hope both the public and private sectors take measures to better accommodate them and give the nation’s economy a boost.
 日本を訪れる外国人旅行者数が過去最高のペースで増えている。官民で受け入れ体制の充実を図り、日本の景気回復にも弾みをつけたい。

The number of foreign visitors increased by about 23 percent to about 4.96 million in the first half of this year, compared to the January-June period last year, a record high for a half-year period.
 2013年上期(1~6月)の来日客数は、前年同期比で約23%増の約496万人に上り、半期としては最多となった。

In recent years, the number of foreign tourists has remained around 6 million to 8 million. The government aims to increase the number to 10 million as part of its growth strategy. If the pace of tourism in the first half of the year continues, the number likely will reach this target for the first time ever.
 最近、来日客数は年600万~800万人台で推移してきたが、政府は成長戦略の一環として、1000万人に増やす目標を掲げる。今のペースが続くと、初めて大台を達成する可能性が高い。

A breakdown of data for the first half of the year shows about 1.32 million South Korean tourists—the largest number—visited Japan, followed by about 1.03 million from Taiwan and about 540,000 from China.
 今年上半期の内訳をみると、トップは韓国の約132万人だった。台湾が約103万人、中国が約54万人で続いた。

In terms of the rate of increase compared to the same period a year earlier, the number of tourists from Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia each jumped by more than 50 percent. Tourists from the United States and Europe also increased. In contrast, the number of Chinese tourists fell by 27 percent, probably because of a deterioration in Japan-China relations.
 前年同期比の伸び率では、タイ、ベトナム、インドネシアからの来日客数が50%超と急増したほか、欧米も増えた。対照的に、中国が27%減ったのは、日中関係悪化の影響とみられる。

The primary reason for the increase in the overall number of foreign tourists is the yen’s depreciation, which reduces the cost of travel. It also is apparent that foreign tourism has been recovering after sharply declining due to fears of radiation in the wake of the outbreak of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
 外国からの来日客数が全体として増加した主因は、円安で日本旅行に割安感が強まったためだ。原子力発電所事故後の風評被害で一時落ち込んだ日本への旅行客が回復してきた事情もうかがえる。

To further increase the number of foreign tourists, the public and private sectors must join hands and use their ingenuity to enhance the appeal of this country.
 来日客をさらに増やすには、官民で連携し、日本の魅力を高める知恵を絞る必要があろう。

Target Southeast Asia

The key in this regard is to target tourists from Southeast Asian countries, where overseas travel has become increasingly popular due to their growing economies.
 そのカギを握るのは、経済成長で海外旅行に人気が集まる東南アジア諸国への売り込みである。

From this summer, the government has exempted Thai and Malaysian tourists from the need to obtain visas. We hope the government will consider a range of measures to boost the number of foreign tourists, such as by increasing the number of visa-exempt nations and extending the length of stay from about 10 days in many cases to about a month.
 政府は今夏からタイとマレーシアの観光ビザ(査証)を免除した。ビザ免除国を拡大したり、10日前後認めている例が多い滞在日数を約1か月に延ばしたりするテコ入れ策を検討してもらいたい。

There are many Muslims in Southeast Asia. Efforts should be made to carefully consider these people by, for example, listing restaurants that do not serve alcohol or pork, so that Muslims regard Japan as an attractive destination free from hassle.
 東南アジアにはイスラム教徒が多い。酒や豚肉を使わない飲食店のリストを作るなど、日本を「旅行しやすい魅力的な国」にするきめ細かい対応が求められる。

It also is important to develop package tours to enable travelers from Southeast Asian nations to experience Japan’s natural features that change from season to season, such as life in snowy regions that they would not have experienced in their own countries, as well as cultural assets. Expanding low-cost carriers’ flight routes connecting Japan to other parts of Asia is a major challenge that should be addressed.
 東南アジアでは味わえない雪国の生活を体験する旅など、日本の四季折々の自然や文化に触れる旅行商品の開発も大切だ。アジアと日本を結ぶ格安航空会社(LCC)の路線拡大が課題といえる。

It also is indispensable for Japan to make a greater effort to publicize its tourism attributes around the world.
 日本の観光資源を世界へ発信する一層の努力も欠かせない。

A number of Asian nations have directed their efforts to host international conferences to proudly display their attractiveness.The central government should strengthen its systems to gather information abroad and effectively bid for international events, jointly with local governments and other entities.
 自国の魅力をアピールする場として、アジア各国が国際会議の誘致に力を入れている。日本も政府と自治体などが一体となって、海外での情報収集や誘致活動の体制を強化すべきである。

If more foreign tourists become interested in Japan, this nation would not only spread the popularity of its culture, such as traditional cuisine and anime, but also benefit from increases in overseas sales of Japanese-made products such as home appliances and cars.
 日本に関心を持つ外国人旅行客が増えれば、和食やアニメといった文化の普及に加え、家電、自動車など日本製品の販売を海外で伸ばす効果が期待できよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 18, 2013)
(2013年8月18日01時43分  読売新聞)

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選挙制度改革 有識者の議論も聞いてみたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 19, 2013
Outside experts should be involved in reform of natl electoral system
選挙制度改革 有識者の議論も聞いてみたい(8月18日付・読売社説)

It is difficult for political parties to agree on the ideal structure of the electoral system through negotiations because the outcome directly affects their fate. The time has come to have outside experts draft a plan to reform the system.
 選挙制度のあり方は各党の消長に直結するだけに、政党間の話し合いでは合意は難しい。有識者に改革案作りを委ねる時期に来ている。

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party soon will call for other parties to resume discussions on electoral reform for the House of Representatives, which were suspended because of the recent House of Councillors election.
 自民党は近く、参院選で中断していた衆院の選挙制度改革論議の再開を各党に呼びかける。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has proposed the creation of a third-pary advisory panel on electoral reform under the lower house speaker. Attention is focused on whether the opposition parties will agree to the idea.
 安倍首相は衆院議長の下に、有識者による第三者機関を作り、制度改革を諮問することを提案している。これを野党が受け入れるかどうかが焦点だ。

The ruling coalition parties are planning to negotiate with the Democratic Party of Japan and Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), both of which have expressed support for drafting a reform plan by outside experts, with an eye to creating the advisory panel.
 与党は、有識者による改革案作りに理解を示す民主党、日本維新の会などと調整し、諮問機関の設置を目指す方針だ。

It is important to establish concensus among the parties in advance so recommendations submitted by the panel will be respected.
その答申については、各党が尊重するよう取り決めておくことが大切である。

The three years left in the term of current lower house members is not enough time to implement reforms, considering the time needed for discussions among experts, legislative work based on the panel’s report and making the changes public.
 有識者の検討期間や、答申に基づく立法化の作業、国民への周知などを考えると、衆院議員の残り任期が3年余りあっても、十分な時間とは言えまい。

Under the current election system mainly based on single-seat constituencies, a winning party can capture an overwhelming number of seats and produce many lawmakers with insufficient social experience, sometimes referred to as legislative “children.” Indeed, some observers have pointed out that the quality of Diet members has been declining in recent years.
 小選挙区中心の現行制度では、第1党が圧倒的な議席を獲得し、「チルドレン」と称される社会経験の浅い議員が大量に生まれる。政治家の質が低下してきたのではないかとも指摘されている。

Discussions between the ruling and opposition parties focused on the reduction of Diet seats, but the parties refused to make concessions on reductions in the number of seats they had proposed, preventing an agreement. Reduction of Diet seats has many harmful effects such as undermining scrutiny of bills by lawmakers. The issue of reducing parliamentary seats should be kept separate from discussions on electoral reform.
 与野党協議では、定数削減が焦点となったが、各党が削減幅の主張を譲らず、合意形成の障害となった。定数を削れば、国会議員の法案審査がおろそかになるなど、弊害が大きい。定数削減は、選挙制度論議と切り離すべきだ。

Vote value disparity

In lawsuits over the disparity in the value of votes in the 2012 lower house election, one high court after another ruled the disparity was unconstitutional. But electoral reform is more than just equalizing the value of votes.
 2012年衆院選の1票の格差を巡る訴訟では、各高裁から「違憲」判決が相次いだ。ただし、選挙制度は、1票の価値を平等にすればいいというものではない。

Using only the proportional respresentation system in elections would resolve the disparity in vote value. But it would also make it easier for small and medium-sized parties to win seats, increasing the number of parties in the Diet. This would give small and mid-sized parties an initiative in policy decisions and lead to destabilization of Japanese politics.
 完全な比例代表制とすれば、1票の格差は解消される。反面、中小政党が議席を得やすくなり、多党化は不可避だ。中小政党が政策決定の主導権を握るなど、政治は不安定化しかねない。

And if the disparity in the value of votes were eliminated, the voices of people living in rural areas would be heard much less in the Diet because the population is declining rapidly in those areas.
 地方は人口減が著しいだけに、投票価値の平等が行き過ぎると、地方の声が国政に反映されにくくなることが懸念される。

The election system must be reformed with a view to better representing public opinion and realizing stable governance.
 民意を集約し、安定した政治を実現する視点が欠かせない。

In light of court rulings and the need for political stabilitiy, the only options left are to either modify the current combination of single-seat constituencies and proportional representation or return to a multiple-seat constituency system.
 司法の要請と、政治の安定などを考慮すると、小選挙区比例代表並立制の手直しか、中選挙区制に戻すしか選択肢はなかろう。

The Supreme Court has also ruled that disparity of the value of votes in the upper house election was in “an unconstitutional state.” Observers also has pointed out that functions expected for the upper house, such as checking and supplementing the lower house, are undermined by the similarity between the upper house and lower house election systems.
 最高裁は参院選の1票の格差も「違憲状態」と判断している。参院の選挙制度が衆院と似通っていることが、参院に期待される「衆院の抑制や補完」という役割を損ねているとの指摘も出ている。

Before considering the reform of the upper house election system, it is important to study the division of roles to be played by the upper and lower houses.
 衆参両院の役割分担を検討した上で、参院の選挙制度を併せて考えることが肝要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 18, 2013)
(2013年8月18日01時43分  読売新聞)

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2013年8月17日 (土)

韓国大統領演説 日本を重要な隣国と言うなら

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 17, 2013
Is Japan an important neighbor for S. Korea amid unresolved issues?
韓国大統領演説 日本を重要な隣国と言うなら(8月16日付・読売社説)

First, political leaders should make their own efforts to have a direct personal dialogue to restore a relationship of trust between their two nations.
 国家間の信頼関係を回復するには、政治指導者がまず、対話に取り組む努力をすべきである。

For the first time since taking office, South Korean President Park Geun Hye made a speech marking the country’s day of independence from Japan’s colonial rule.
 韓国の朴槿恵大統領が日本の植民地支配からの解放記念日にあたる「光復節」式典で初めて演説した。

Park said in the speech that Japan is an important neighbor South Korea can work with to establish peace and prosperity in Northeast Asia, but she added that recent situation over historical issues is darkening the future of the two countries.
 朴大統領は、「日本は北東アジアの平和と繁栄をともに築いていく重要な隣国」と前置きした上で、「しかし、歴史問題を巡る最近の状況が韓日両国の未来を暗くしている」と述べた。

Her remark is apparently an expression of distrust toward Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration, whose “rightward tilt” South Korea is wary of.
 韓国が「右傾化」と警戒する安倍政権への不信の表明だろう。

However, Park generally kept her criticism of Japan restrained in her independence day speech.
 ただ、光復節演説で、朴大統領の日本への批判は、全体的には、抑制的だったと言える。

She moderated her expressions of emotion and avoided direct references to so-called comfort women and the territorial issue over the Takeshima islands. The president might have wanted to avoid further deterioration of South Korea’s relations with Japan.
 感情的な表現は抑え、慰安婦や竹島問題への直接的な言及も避けた。対日関係のこれ以上の悪化は避けたかったのかもしれない。

Even so, Park demanded that Tokyo take tangible action. The Japanese government should take “responsible and sincere measures to alleviate the pain of those who live with suffering and wounds arisen from past history,” she said in the speech.
 とは言え、朴大統領は、慰安婦問題を念頭に、「過去の歴史による苦痛と傷を今も抱えて暮らす人に対し、痛みを癒やせるよう責任と誠意ある措置を期待する」と、日本に具体的行動を求めた。

The comfort women issue is a thorn in the side of Japan-South Korea relations. It is unreasonable that South Korea has ignored the background of the issue and demanded that Japan alone resolve it.
 慰安婦問題は、日韓関係の喉元に突き刺さる棘(とげ)だ。過去の経緯を無視して、日本に解決策を求められても無理がある。

Japan believes that Tokyo and Seoul agreed to resolve the comfort women compensation issue by signing a bilateral agreement on property claims and economic cooperation in 1965. Moreover, the Japanese government has made an effort to fulfill its moral responsibility on the matter.
 元慰安婦への補償は、1965年の日韓請求権協定で法的に解決済み、というのが日本の立場だ。それでも日本政府は、道義的な責任を果たす努力は示した。

The government collected donations totaling ¥600 million from the public and set up the Asian Women’s Fund, based on which a relief project for former comfort women was begun, including payments of atonement money.
 国民から約6億円の募金を集め、アジア女性基金で始めた元慰安婦に対する「償い金」支給などの救済事業のことである。

However, the South Korean side criticized Japan’s effort as avoidance of responsibility. As a result, many of the former comfort women in South Korea did not accept the atonement money, and the fund was disbanded.
 それを韓国側は、日本政府の責任回避と批判した。韓国では結局、多くの元慰安婦が受け取らないまま、基金も解散してしまった。

Abe, Park should have talks

South Korea has only demanded that Japan make concessions and has refused to have a dialogue or other exchanges. We hope Seoul will change such attitudes.
 歴史認識問題で日本に一方的な譲歩だけを求めて、対話や交流を拒むようなやり方を、韓国は改めてもらいたい。

Meanwhile, Abe opted not to visit Yasukuni Shrine on Thursday but gave a donation from his own pocket to make an offering of a branch of a sacred tree. The prime minister showed a certain consideration for China and South Korea, which are trying to make visits to Yasukuni Shrine a diplomatic issue because Class-A war criminals are enshrined there together with many other war dead. Only three of the Abe Cabinet members visited the shrine.
 一方、この日、安倍首相は靖国神社参拝を見送り、私費で玉串料を奉納した。「A級戦犯」の合祀(ごうし)を理由に、中国や韓国が、靖国参拝を外交問題化させていることを受け、一定の配慮を見せたものだ。参拝した閣僚は3人だった。

As Park admitted, Japan and South Korea are important neighbors. However, abnormal situations have continued between them because no meeting of their top leaders has been held since the governments changed in both countries.
 日韓は、朴大統領も認めた通り、重要な隣国関係にある。しかし、両国の政権交代後も、首脳会談が開かれないという異常な状況が続いている。

The two countries have many significant issues on which they share interests, including joint efforts to deal with North Korea, which persists in developing nuclear weapons, and enhancement of their economic partnership. It would be a problem if their leaders do not talk because Japan and South Korea cannot reach agreements over history and territorial issues. Their attitudes toward improving bilateral relations would be called into question.
 核開発を進める北朝鮮への対応や経済連携の強化など、重要な課題は多い。歴史や領土問題で一致しないからと言って、首脳が協議もしないのは問題だ。関係改善へ、双方の姿勢が問われよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 16, 2013)
(2013年8月16日01時27分  読売新聞)

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エジプト騒乱 流血の拡大をまず食い止めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 17, 2013
International pressure needed to stop bloodshed in Egypt
エジプト騒乱 流血の拡大をまず食い止めよ(8月16日付・読売社説)

Egypt has seen its bloodiest incident since the autocratic rule of Hosni Mubarak ended in 2011.
 2011年のムバラク独裁政権崩壊以降、最悪の流血の事態となった。

An early end to the violence is to be hoped for, but a bumpy road lies ahead.
一日も早い収束が望まれるが、前途は多難だ。

Egypt’s military-led interim government crushed sit-in protests by supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo on Wednesday. His supporters clashed with government security forces across the country, resulting in a death toll that the Egyptian Health Ministry reported as more than 500.
 エジプト軍主導の暫定政府が、カイロで、モルシ前大統領支持派による座り込みを強制排除した。モルシ派は全土で治安部隊と衝突し、保健省の発表で死者数は500人を超えた。

The interim government declared a one-month state of emergency, but there is no prospect of the chaos subsiding. Eyewitnesses say security forces fired live bullets at rally participants. The government cannot escape condemnation for using excessive force.
 暫定政府は1か月間の非常事態を宣言したものの、沈静化へのメドは立っていない。治安部隊がデモ参加者を実弾で撃ったとの目撃証言もある。過度の実力行使をしたとの非難は、免れまい。

Diplomatic efforts by the United States and the European Union to avoid clashes between the military-led government and Morsi’s supporters have come to nothing.
 軍・暫定政府と、モルシ派の衝突を回避しようとした米国と欧州連合(EU)による外交努力は、水泡に帰した。

It was natural that the United States and the EU strongly condemned the interim government over its brutal crushing of the demonstrations. Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida has expressed “strong concern and anxiety” about the bloody incident.
 米国やEUが、強制排除で多数の死者が出たことを強く非難したのは当然だ。岸田外相も「強い懸念と憂慮の念」を表明した。

Secularist Mohamed ElBaradei, a former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, resigned as Egypt’s vice president in protest, saying “there must have been a more peaceful choice.”
 世俗派代表の副大統領だったエルバラダイ前国際原子力機関(IAEA)事務局長は、「より平和的な選択肢があったはずだ」と述べ、辞表を提出した。

The military ousted and detained Morsi in a de facto coup in July. Even after the establishment of the interim government, the military increased pressure on the Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi’s main support base, in such ways as seeking criminal charges against its leaders on suspicion of instigating riots.
 軍は、7月の事実上のクーデターで、モルシ氏を解任し、拘束した。暫定政府の樹立後も、モルシ派の中心であるイスラム主義組織「ムスリム同胞団」に対し、暴力扇動などの疑いで幹部の刑事責任を問うなど圧力を強めていた。

Brotherhood also to blame

The Muslim Brotherhood is also to blame for the situation.
 こうした事態を招いた責任は、同胞団側にもある。

Despite the Morsi administration having made policy blunders that worsened the economy and reduced public safety, the Brotherhood clung to its demand for Morsi’s reinstatement after he was deposed. The Islamist organization rejected dialogue with the military-led provisional government, thereby intensifying confrontation.
 同胞団は、モルシ政権が経済や治安の悪化など失政を重ねたにもかかわらず、モルシ氏復職の要求に固執してきた。軍・暫定政府との対話にも応じず、対立を激化させている。

The interim government has announced a road map for democratization that calls for revising the Constitution within this year, holding a parliamentary election early next year and then calling a new presidential election.
 暫定政府は、年内に憲法を改正し、来年初めには議会選を実施して、大統領選を行うという民主化への行程表を発表している。

But without participation of the Brotherhood, the biggest political force in Egypt, in the process of reinstating a civilian government, it will hardly be possible to realize social and political stability. To help achieve a return to civilian rule, the interim government should take conciliatory steps such as releasing Morsi in preparation for resuming dialogue with its political adversaries.
 しかし、最大の政治勢力である同胞団の民政復帰プロセスへの参加を得られなければ、社会や政治の安定は到底望めない。暫定政府は民政復帰を実現するために、モルシ氏の解放など、対話再開の環境を整えるべきではないか。

The Brotherhood, for its part, should take a more flexible stance toward dialogue.
 同胞団も、より柔軟な姿勢で対話を模索すべきだ。

Arab Spring reforms still have a long way to go. If the chaos is protracted in Egypt, a great regional power, there is concern that the stabilization of the Middle East as a whole will be further delayed.
 「アラブの春」の変革は、なお途上にある。地域大国エジプトの混乱が長引くと、中東全体の安定化が遠のく懸念がある。 

As long as the military-led interim government continues to use force against its opponents, the situation will only go from bad to worse. International pressure must be brought to bear in such ways as suspending military assistance by the United States, Egypt’s biggest aid donor, thereby forcing the interim government to refrain from bloodily quashing its political foes.
 軍・暫定政府が強権行使をやめない限り、事態は深刻化するだけである。最大の支援国である米国が軍事援助を一時停止するなど、国際的圧力を強化して、弾圧をやめさせなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 16, 2013)
(2013年8月16日01時27分  読売新聞)

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2013年8月16日 (金)

終戦の日 中韓の「反日」傾斜を憂える

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 16, 2013
Increasing anti-Japan sentiment in China, S. Korea cause for concern
終戦の日 中韓の「反日」傾斜を憂える(8月15日付・読売社説)

 ◆歴史認識問題を政治に絡めるな

Today marks the 68th anniversary of the end of World War II for Japan.
 68回目の「終戦の日」を迎えた。

It is the day on which the nation commemorates its war dead and renews its pledge for peace so that the tremendous suffering caused by war will never be repeated.
 先の大戦で亡くなった人々を追悼し、戦争の惨禍が二度と繰り返されぬよう平和への誓いを新たにする日である。

This summer, an animated movie titled “Kaze Tachinu” (The wind has risen) has been attracting attention. Its protagonist is modeled after Jiro Horikoshi, a brilliant designer for the Imperial Japanese Navy who helped create Zero fighters.
 今夏、旧日本海軍の戦闘機「零戦」の天才的な設計者、堀越二郎をモデルにしたアニメ映画「風立ちぬ」が話題を呼んでいる。

Postwar steps applauded
 ◆評価された戦後の歩み

The movie’s protagonist is drawn to the beauty of airplanes as a boy, but after the war breaks out, the Zero fighter planes he was involved in designing are used by suicide attack units. The movie’s last scene is impressive, as the saddened protagonist stands blankly in front of many badly damaged Zero fighters.
 主人公は、少年時代から飛行機の美しさに憧れていた。だが、戦争が勃発し、自ら設計した零戦が特攻隊にも投入されていく。無残に破壊された無数の零戦を前に呆然(ぼうぜん)と立ち、悲しみに包まれる。そんなラストシーンが印象的だ。

For many younger viewers, the movie will probably be a chance to think again about war. The experiences of World War II should never fade from memory.
 この映画を通じ、戦争について改めて考えさせられた若者たちも少なくないだろう。戦争体験を決して風化させてはなるまい。

Based on its reflections on the war in the Showa period, Japan made a fresh start after World War II and peacefully achieved high economic growth. It has also made extensive contributions to the international community, mainly through official development assistance and peacekeeping operations by the Self-Defense Forces.
 戦後、日本は昭和の戦争の反省に立って再出発し、平和裏に高度経済成長を達成した。政府開発援助(ODA)や自衛隊の国際平和協力活動などを通じて、幅広く国際社会に貢献もしてきた。

These steps by Japan have been applauded by the United States and Southeast Asian nations.
 こうした日本の歩みは、米国や東南アジア諸国の評価を得てきている。

In contrast, China and South Korea have been heightening their criticism of Japan regarding perceptions of history. We believe this is an extremely deplorable situation.
 だが、中国と韓国だけは、歴史認識問題に絡めて対日批判をエスカレートさせている。極めて遺憾な事態と言わざるを得ない。

In the United States and elsewhere, South Korean President Park Geun Hye has said Japan should have a correct recognition of history. She has made the remark in connection with sovereignty over the Takeshima islands and the issue of so-called comfort women.
 韓国の朴槿恵大統領は、「日本は正しい歴史認識を持つべきだ」と米国などで喧伝(けんでん)した。竹島の領有権や、いわゆる従軍慰安婦の問題を念頭に置いたものだ。

South Korean courts ordered Japanese companies to pay compensation for damages to South Koreans for being forced to work for the firms during wartime.
 韓国では戦時中に韓国人労働者を徴用した日本企業に対して賠償を命じる判決が相次いでいる。

These rulings are unreasonable because they obviously violate the agreement on property claims and economic cooperation that was reached in 1965, which stated that the issue of property claims was “resolved completely and finally.”
 これもおかしい。日韓間の請求権問題が「完全かつ最終的に解決された」と明記した、1965年の日韓請求権・経済協力協定に明らかに反している。

The South Korean judicial authorities also have been taking advantage of the rising anti-Japan sentiment in their country and disregarding the agreement reached between the two countries. This is a mystifying attitude for a country ruled by law.
 韓国の司法までが、反日世論の高まりに迎合し、国家間の約束をないがしろにしている。法治国家として理解し難い行為である。

When it comes to the Senkaku Islands, China claims that Japan seized the islets from Taiwan during the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895). Beijing also insists that because Japan accepted the Potsdam Declaration, the islands should be returned to China.
 中国は尖閣諸島について、日清戦争で台湾の付属諸島として奪われたとし、日本がポツダム宣言を受諾した以上、中国に返還されるべきだと主張している。

Yet Japan incorporated the islands under the administration of Okinawa Prefecture shortly before the end of the Sino-Japanese War, after confirming that they did not belong to the Qing empire. Is China twisting this historical fact?
 だが、日本は尖閣諸島が清国に帰属していないことを確認したうえで、日清戦争の終結直前に沖縄県に編入した。中国は歴史をねじ曲げているのではないか。

In some respect, the Chinese government is utilizing the anti-Japan sentiments of its people to maintain national unity, while the administration of South Korea is doing so to turn the domestic political situation to its advantage.
 中国は国内の統一を維持するために、韓国は国内の政治状況を有利にするために、「反日」を利用している面がある。

China and South Korea also oppose the prime minister and other state ministers visiting Yasukuni Shrine, where Class-A war criminals have been enshrined together with war dead, saying the shrine symbolizes Japan’s militarism.
 中韓は、「A級戦犯」を合祀(ごうし)した靖国神社を軍国主義の象徴として、首相や閣僚が靖国神社に参拝することにも反対している。

War dead domestic issue
 ◆戦没者追悼は国内問題

How we should pay tribute to the memory of our war dead is, in principle, a domestic affair of Japan, an issue in which other countries have no right to meddle.
 どのような形で戦没者を追悼するかは本来、日本の国内問題である。他国から干渉される筋合いのものではない。

Nor has Japan forgotten the responsibilities of the Japanese leaders who erred in handling the international situation, started a reckless war and caused suffering to people in neighboring countries.
 国際情勢への対応を誤り、無謀な戦争を始めて近隣国に惨禍をもたらした指導者たちの責任を、日本が忘れているわけでもない。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe once said that it was “extremely regrettable” that he did not pay a visit to the shrine during his first term as prime minister. Yet he said he would refrain from visiting the shrine on Thursday, the anniversary of the war’s end.
 安倍首相は、第1次安倍内閣時に参拝しなかったことを「痛恨の極み」と語っているが、終戦の日の参拝は見送る意向だという。

China and South Korea are intensifying their criticism that Japan is failing to reflect on its past militarism, and is instead leaning to the right and returning to the past.
 中韓は、日本が軍国主義を反省せず、「右傾化」して再び過去に戻ろうとしているとの批判を強めている。

They will probably not change their stance even if Abe refrains from visiting Yasukuni Shrine.
 こうした態度は、首相が靖国参拝を見送っても変わることはあるまい。

It is difficult to handle the issue of historical understanding, which cannot be dealt with separately from the international politics of today.
 現代の国際政治と切り離せない歴史認識問題の扱いは難しい。

Abe made a controversial remark during a Diet meeting in April, saying that an academic and international definition of “invasion” had not been fixed.
 首相は、今春の国会で「侵略という定義は、学界的にも国際的にも定まっていない」と発言し、物議を醸したことがある。

It is true, as Abe said, that the definition of invasion has not been fixed. There is no war completely of aggression and no war completely of self-defense.
 確かに、首相が言うように侵略の定義は定まっていない。戦争には、100%侵略戦争も、100%自衛戦争もない。

Yet Abe’s remark was interpreted, both at home and abroad, as rethinking a 1995 statement in which then Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama expressed deep remorse for Japan having caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations, through its “colonial rule and wartime aggression.”
 それでも、「植民地支配と侵略」によって多くの国々に多大の損害と苦痛を与えたとした1995年の村山首相談話を見直すものと内外に受け止められた。

Wisdom needed
 ◆関係構築へ知恵が要る

Abe recently said that discussing perceptions of history in the political arena would develop into a diplomatic issue. He then said such issues should be left up to historians and other experts to discuss. Discussion of such issues should be deepened at venues of experts.
 安倍首相はこのところ、歴史認識問題を政治の場で議論することが、結果として外交問題に発展していくとしたうえで、「歴史家、専門家に任せるべきだ」と語っている。そうした場で論議を一層深めていくべきだろう。

On the other hand, it is imporant for Abe, as a politician, to tenaciously promote his views on national territory and sovereignty to the international community, including his understanding of history.
 一方で政治家として、歴史認識を含めた領土・主権に関する見解を国際社会に対して粘り強く訴え続けていくことも肝要だ。

We should further ensure the peace and prosperity that we have strived to build since the end of the war. To do so, we must also explore ways to reconcile with our neighbors. Never has it been so necessary for us to be wise and work to build constructive relations with our neighbors.
 戦後営々として築いてきた平和と繁栄を、より確かなものとしたい。それには、周辺国と和解の道を探る必要もある。建設的な関係を構築する知恵と努力が、今ほど求められている時はない。 

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 15, 2013)
(2013年8月15日01時41分  読売新聞)

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2013年8月15日 (木)

減胎手術 生命倫理に関する議論深めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 15, 2013
Multifetal reduction surgery problems must be addressed
減胎手術 生命倫理に関する議論深めよ(8月14日付・読売社説)

The dispute over multifetal reduction surgery at a maternity clinic in Nagano Prefecture poses a fundamental question regarding the screening of unborn babies. The controversy must not be left unaddressed.
 「生命の選別」という重い課題が突き付けられたと言えよう。放置することはできまい。

Last Thursday, Yahiro Netsu, director of Suwa Maternity Clinic in Shimosuwa, revealed that he had performed 36 operations called multifetal pregnancy reduction. The surgery was aimed at aborting one or more fetuses found to have diseases and abnormalities in multifetal pregnancies.
 女性が双子以上の多胎児を妊娠した際、病気や異常がある胎児を選んで中絶する減胎手術が、これまでに36例行われていた。実施した長野・諏訪マタニティークリニックの根津八紘院長が公表した。

A multiple pregnancy is liable to occur concomitantly with fertility treatment. These kinds of pregnancies increase the risk of health problems for mothers and babies, including the possibility of premature births.
 多胎妊娠は、不妊治療に伴って起きやすく、早産など母子の健康面でも危険性が高い。

Selective reduction surgery is the practice of aborting one or more fetuses through the use of a chemical substance, thereby reducing the number of fetuses in a multifetal pregnancy. Japan’s first selective reduction operation was performed by Netsu in 1986.
対策として、一部の胎児を薬で中絶し、胎児の数を減らして出産させるのが減胎手術だ。国内では根津院長が1986年に初めて実施した。

The key factor behind the controversy is the technological advancement in prenatal diagnosis used to examine the health of a fetus. The spread of the ultrasonic diagnostic method has made it easier to discover abnormalities. In April, the use of a new prenatal diagnostic method was launched, making it possible, with a good measure of certainty, to determine whether an unborn baby has a disorder such as Down syndrome through a blood test.
 胎児の健康状態を調べる出生前診断技術の進歩が、問題の背景にある。妊娠中の超音波検査が普及し、胎児の異常を見つけやすくなった。4月には、ダウン症などの有無が血液検査でほぼ確実に分かる新型出生前診断も始まった。

In June, the Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology laid down a set of guidelines on the use of prenatal diagnosis. The guiding principles require diagnoses to be limited to cases in which chromosomal aberrations are likely to occur, including late-in-life pregnancy. They also state that such a diagnosis should be carried out only at facilities that can provide adequate counseling for pregnant women. However, the guidelines do not state how these principles should be applied in multifetal pregnancy reduction surgery.
 出生前診断について、日本産科婦人科学会は6月、高齢妊娠など染色体異常が起きる可能性が高い場合を対象とし、カウンセリングの体制が整った施設で実施すべきだとする指針を決めた。
 ただ、指針を減胎手術にどう適用するかは定められていない。

In 2000, an advisory panel to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry compiled a report stating that selective reduction operations should not be performed “as a general rule.” At the same time, however, the report added that there were some cases in which such an operation must be performed to protect the health of pregnant women and their babies. “It is necessary to work out a set of rules,” it said.
 厚生労働省の審議会は2000年、減胎手術は「原則として行うべきではない」としながら、母子の健康を守るために実施がやむを得ない場合もあり、「ルール化が必要」との報告をまとめた。

Wide range of issues

However, it will not be easy to formulate such rules. It is not known whether a consensus can be reached through discussions on the pros and cons of performing selective reduction surgery. This is because the controversy over multifetal pregnancy reduction entails a wide range of issues, including an individual’s view of life, fundamental standpoints peculiar to different religions and ethics.
 だが、ルール作りは容易ではない。様々な人生観や宗教観、生命倫理の問題が広がり、議論が収束する見通しが立たないからだ。

At present, each medical institution decides at its own discretion whether to conduct selective reduction surgery.
 減胎手術を実施するかどうかの判断は、個別の医療機関に委ねられているのが現状だ。

Before undergoing a selective reduction operation at Netsu’s clinic, one woman expecting a multiple birth reportedly visited another medical institution where she was urged to decide whether to give birth to all the babies or abort them. She was not given an explanation about what a multifetal reduction operation entailed. For pregnant women, deciding whether to undergo such an operation is extremely difficult.
 根津院長に減胎手術を受けた妊婦の中には、他の医療機関でこの手術について説明されず、全児を産むか、全児を中絶するか、判断を求められた人もいるという。妊婦にとって酷な選択だろう。

They should be provided with essential information to make an appropriate decision.
 妊婦側が適切な判断をするための情報提供が求められる。

It is also necessary to prevent multiple pregnancies.
 多胎妊娠の予防も重要だ。

In 2008, the obstetrics and gynecology society said only one fertilized egg should be placed in the uterus of a woman. This was in response to an increasing number of multiple pregnancies involving more than one fertilized egg being placed in the uterus during in vitro fertilization.
 複数の受精卵を子宮に戻す体外受精の普及で多胎が増え、産科婦人科学会は08年、移植する受精卵を原則として1個に制限した。

The society’s statement resulted in a decrease in the number of multiple pregnancies through in vitro fertilization. However, there still are a number of multiple pregnancies due to ovulation-inducing drugs. If prenatal diagnosis becomes more common, it will likely lead to a rise in the number of selective reduction operations in the future.
 これにより、体外受精に伴うケースは減ったものの、排卵誘発剤による多胎妊娠はいまだに多い。出生前診断がさらに普及すれば、異常が見つかった胎児の減胎手術は今後も増えるだろう。

Making a decision about whether to perform such an operation should never be left to the medical profession, or medical institutions for that matter. It is time for the public as a whole to consider the problem of multifetal pregnancy reduction.
 医療現場に判断を任せきりにしてはならない。国民全体で考えるべき時期に来ている。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 14, 2013)
(2013年8月14日01時56分  読売新聞)

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中電の越境販売 「地域独占」の壁はなお厚い

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 15, 2013
Electric utilities monopolies show no sign of weakening
中電の越境販売 「地域独占」の壁はなお厚い(8月14日付・読売社説)

Chubu Electric Power Co.’s planned purchase of electricity retailer Diamond Power Corp. marks a step toward changing the status quo of the solid regional monopoly enjoyed by electric power companies, though thick barriers to overcome remain.
 電力会社の強固な地域独占に風穴を開ける一歩だが、壁はなお厚い。

By purchasing Diamond Power, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corp., Chubu Electric will start selling electricity in Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s service area.
 中部電力が三菱商事の電力小売子会社「ダイヤモンドパワー」を買収して、東京電力管内で電力販売に乗り出す。

Chubu Electric also plans to jointly build a new coal-fired power plant in Shizuoka Prefecture with Mitsubishi and others and start supplying electricity in TEPCO’s service area in 2016.
 さらに中部電は、三菱商事などと静岡県に石炭火力発電所も新設し、2016年から東電管内に電力供給を開始する計画だ。

The sale of electricity to large-lot customers, including factories and offices, was liberalized in stages from 2000. However, Kyushu Electric Power Co. is the only major utility engaged in the “cross-border” sale of electricity. Kyushu Electric sells electricity in Chugoku Electric Power Co.’s service area.
 工場やオフィスなど大口向けの電力販売は、00年から段階的に自由化された。それでも、大手電力による「越境販売」の実績は、九州電力が中国電力管内で行っている1件にとどまる。

This is probably because power companies place priority on providing electricity in their own service area, where they are responsible for power supply. However, it is undoubtedly the case that major power companies have avoided competing with each other as much as possible.
 各社が、供給責任のある自社管内への電力供給を優先してきたからだろう。しかし、大手電力同士が、できるだけ競争を避けてきたことも否めまい。

The government plans to resubmit to the Diet during its extraordinary session in autumn a bill for electricity system reform. The sale of electricity, including small contracts with households, as well as small and midsize stores, is expected to be fully liberalized as early as 2016.
 政府は今秋の臨時国会に、電力制度改革の関連法案を再提出する方針だ。家庭や中小商店など小口契約を含む電力販売の全面自由化も、16年をメドに実施される方向となっている。

Chubu Electric apparently aims to expand its revenue base by advancing into the Tokyo metropolitan area as it makes strategic preparations for the upcoming full liberalization of the electricity market.
 中部電は首都圏に進出することで収益基盤を広げ、全面自由化に布石を打つ狙いとみられる。

If more power companies—encouraged by Chubu Electric’s move—enter each other’s turf in the electricity market, it will pave the way for consumers to have a choice among more than one power company. Greater convenience can also be expected amid increased competition over rates and services.
 中部電の動きを呼び水に、各社による電力販売の相互参入が増えれば、利用者には複数の会社から電気を選ぶ道が開ける。料金やサービスの競争が活発化し、利便性が高まる効果も期待できよう。

Ensure competition

So far, however, other power companies are reluctant to engage in cross-border sales of electricity.
 ただ、今のところ、他電力は越境販売に前向きでない。

Chubu Electric’s case is unique. As TEPCO has been mired in financial difficulties due to the crisis at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, it has become difficult for TEPCO to build a power plant on its own. Chubu Electric’s idea of selling electricity beyond its territory was thus able to progress because TEPCO was willing to go along with it.
 中部電のケースでは、進出先の東電が福島第一原子力発電所事故で資金難に陥り、自力での発電所建設は困難という事情がある。東電の意向もあり、中部電の越境販売構想が前進したといえる。

A worrisome factor is that the electricity market will be liberalized, and power generation and transmission will be separated through electricity system reform while major power firms’ regional monopolies are effectively maintained. It is feared this will have various negative effects.
 気がかりなのは、大手電力の「地域独占」が実質的に維持されたまま、電力制度改革によって自由化や発電と送電部門の分離などが実施されることである。その場合、様々な弊害が懸念される。

If the current approval system for electricity rates is hastily abolished, there will be no means to restrain a rate hike under an “unregulated monopoly,” which would seriously undermine consumers’ interests. The government must carefully monitor progress in competition among power companies.
 料金の認可制を性急に廃止すれば、「規制なき独占」のもとで値上げを抑える手段を失い、利用者の利益を著しく損なう。政府が、競争の進展状況を慎重に見極めることが肝心だ。

In the United States and other countries, intensified competition due to market liberalization resulted in cuts to budgets for repairing power lines and other equipment. In one case, defects at power facilities caused a massive blackout.
 米国などでは、自由化による競争激化で送電線などを補修する経費も削られ、設備の欠陥が大停電を招いた例がある。

It is important to ensure a stable electricity supply to promote fair competition in the electricity market. To do so, nuclear reactors must be reactivated steadily once they have been confirmed safe to operate and efforts must be swiftly taken to resolve serious power shortages.
 電力分野の公正な競争を進めるためにも、電力の安定供給を確保することが重要だ。それには、安全性を確認できた原発を着実に再稼働し、深刻な電力不足の解消を急がなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 14, 2013)
(2013年8月14日01時56分  読売新聞)

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2013年8月14日 (水)

日中条約35周年 「平和友好」の精神はどこへ

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 14, 2013
On treaty anniversary, what became of Japan-China friendship?
日中条約35周年 「平和友好」の精神はどこへ(8月13日付・読売社説)

The 35th anniversary of the signing of the Japan-China Peace and Friendship Treaty was observed Monday.
 日本と中国が平和友好条約を締結してから、12日で35周年を迎えた。

Although the day was supposed to be a milestone in the development of peaceful relations between the two countries, neither government held any commemorative events.
 平和的な関係発展を確認し合う節目にもかかわらず、日中両政府の行事は開かれなかった。

Even a meeting of private-sector experts, which would have been the ninth if held this year, was postponed at China’s request. Beijing probably intends to exert psychological pressure on Japan.
 今年で9回目となる日中有識者の民間対話すら、中国側の意向で延期になった。日本側に心理的圧力をかけているつもりらしい。

According to a public opinion survey conducted jointly by Japan and China, more than 90 percent of pollees in each country said they had a “bad” impression of the other. The findings symbolize the abnormal relationship between the two countries, which is at its worst level since diplomatic relations were normalized in 1972.
 日中共同の世論調査では、相手国の印象が「良くない」とする両国民の回答がともに90%を超えた。1972年の国交正常化以来、最悪とされる両国関係の異常さを象徴する結果である。

The biggest reason for deteriorating relations lies in the confrontation over the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture.
 その最大の要因が、尖閣諸島を巡る日中間の対立だ。

The Chinese government under President Xi Jinping has continued to take provocative actions. Chinese government vessels have repeatedly intruded into Japanese waters, and a naval vessel locked fire-control radar onto a Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer near the islands.
 習近平政権は、尖閣諸島周辺で中国公船による領海侵入や海軍艦艇のレーダー照射事件など、危険な挑発行動を続けている。

Beijing recently established the China Coast Guard to conduct maritime surveillance under the State Oceanic Administration. Vessels belonging to the coast guard intruded in Japanese territorial waters near the Senkaku Islands for a record 28 hours early this month.
 国家海洋局の下に、海上監視活動を担う新組織「中国海警局」を設けた。海警局の公船は8月上旬、尖閣諸島周辺の領海に過去最長となる約28時間もとどまった。

With the Senkakus and other islands in the East China and South China seas in mind, Xi recently said his country “cannot sacrifice its core interests.” He is apparently planning to accelerate China’s development as a maritime power and reinforce its high-handed posture.
 習国家主席は最近、尖閣諸島などを念頭に「核心的利益は犠牲にできない」とも語っている。「海洋強国化」を加速し、高圧的な姿勢を強化する考えだろう。

Japan mustn’t lower guard

Japan must not let its guard down. The government must continue to show it will strongly defend the Senkaku Islands with everything in its power.
 日本は警戒を怠れない。政府は尖閣諸島を全力で守り抜く姿勢を示し続けねばならない。

The bilateral treaty says that in the event of a conflict, the two countries would try to “settle it by peaceful means” while “refraining from the use or threat of force.”
 そもそも、日中平和友好条約は、両国間の紛争について、「平和的手段による解決」を図り、「武力または武力による威嚇に訴えない」ことを確認している。

Any attempt to change the present status unilaterally and with the use of force will run counter to the spirit of the treaty. Does China have no intention of respecting the treaty?
 力ずくで一方的に現状を変更しようとする行動は、条約の趣旨に反する。中国は条約を尊重する気がないのだろうか。

As a prerequisite for holding Japan-China summit talks, which have not been held for some time, the Xi administration has called on Japan to first acknowledge the existence of a territorial dispute with China over the Senkaku Islands and that both would shelve the issue for the time being.
 習政権は、途絶えている日中首脳会談開催の前提として、日本側が尖閣諸島を巡る領土問題の存在を認めた上で、双方が棚上げすることを求めている。

But the Senkaku Islands are an integral part of Japan’s territory, so a territorial dispute does not exist. It is reasonable for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe not to comply with China’s demand. The government probably will have to continue to present Japan’s position and persistently seek the understanding of the international community on the issue.
 だが、尖閣諸島は日本固有の領土であり、棚上げすべき領土問題は存在しない。安倍首相が中国側の要求に応じないのは、当然である。政府は、国際社会に日本の立場を訴え、粘り強く理解を求めていかねばなるまい。

Abe has told China, “The window for dialogue is always open.” Will the Xi administration continue to refuse to hold summit talks unless Japan bows to its wishes?
 安倍首相は「対話の窓は常に開けている」と中国側に呼びかけている。習政権はいつまで会談の前提条件を掲げ続けるつもりか。

Both countries have strong economic links with each other. While both countries need to deal jointly with North Korea’s nuclear and missile development programs, there is also plenty of room for them to cooperate on environmental issues.
 両国は経済的に深く結びついている。北朝鮮の核やミサイル問題で共に対処する必要があり、環境分野でも協力の余地は大きい。

Bilateral relations between the two countries are supposed to be of “mutual benefit.” Should the conflict continue, however, “mutual losses” will become widespread.
 本来、日中は「互恵」の関係であるべきなのに、対立が続けば、「互損」が広がるだけである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 13, 2013)
(2013年8月13日01時29分  読売新聞)

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2.6%成長 消費増税に耐えられる体力か

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 14, 2013
Has the economy recovered enough to withstand consumption tax hike?
2.6%成長 消費増税に耐えられる体力か(8月13日付・読売社説)

Although Japan’s economy continued to grow in the April-June quarter, it is worrying that the improvement has begun to lose steam.
 プラス成長を維持したものの、勢いに陰りが見えるのは気がかりだ。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will make a final decision in autumn on whether to raise the consumption tax rate next April as scheduled. The tax increase would be in vain if it harms the economy and spoils an opportunity to escape deflation.
 安倍首相は、来年4月の消費税率引き上げの当否を、今秋に最終判断する。消費増税によって景気が腰折れし、デフレ脱却のチャンスを逃しては元も子もない。

Abe will have to make a difficult judgment on whether the national economy has recovered enough to withstand a consumption tax hike.
 日本経済が消費増税に耐えられる体力を回復しているかどうか、難しい見極めが求められよう。

The nation’s real-term gross domestic product for the April-June period, released by the Cabinet Office on Monday, improved 0.6 percent over the previous quarter, recording a third straight quarter of growth. The growth rate stood at 2.6 percent on an annualized basis, down from 3.8 percent registered in the January-March quarter.
 内閣府が発表した今年4~6月期の実質国内総生産(GDP)は、前期比0・6%増と、3四半期連続でプラスになった。年率換算の成長率は2・6%で、1~3月期の3・8%から減速した。

Personal consumption and exports soared in the April-June quarter due to the effects of Abenomics, the economic policy put forth by the Abe administration. But plant and equipment investment, which had been expected to be a growth engine, declined for the sixth consecutive quarter and housing investment dropped unexpectedly.
 安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」の効果などで、個人消費や輸出は堅調だった。一方、成長のエンジン役と期待された設備投資は6四半期連続で減少し、住宅投資も予想外のマイナスだった。

The growth rate for the April-June period is an important indicator to judge whether the consumption tax rate should be increased from 5 percent to 8 percent as scheduled.
 4~6月期の成長率は、消費税率を5%から8%に上げるかどうか判断する重要な指標だ。

Private-led growth vital

Akira Amari, state minister for economic and fiscal policy, acknowledged the continued growth during a news conference Monday, noting that “favorable figures have continued to be recorded.” But the growth rate figure was far lower than the mid-3 percent level anticipated by economists.
 甘利経済財政相は記者会見で、「引き続きいい数字が出ている」と述べたが、3%台半ばの成長率を見込んでいたエコノミストらの事前予想を大きく下回った。

Abe told reporters the government “will continue to take all possible economic measures.” The goal of ending deflation must be achieved by putting top priority on business revitalization.
 首相は記者団に「今後も経済政策に万全を期したい」と述べた。景気を最優先し、今度こそデフレ脱却を果たさねばならない。

It is important to achieve self-sustaining economic growth led by the private sector. The government must promptly carry out measures such as those to help boost capital investment by private firms. An extraordinary Diet session to be convened in autumn is expected to be a crucial stage for the promotion of the government’s growth strategy.
 重要なのは、民間が主導する自律的な経済成長の達成である。設備投資のテコ入れなどを急ぐべきだ。秋の臨時国会は成長戦略推進の正念場となる。

A tax rate increase of three percentage points is estimated to raise consumer prices by about 2 percent. If prices rise but household income does not, consumption will suffer a blow. The key here is whether corporate profits will be smoothly reflected in wages.
 消費税率を予定通り3%上げた場合、消費者物価は約2%押し上げられる計算だ。家計の収入が増えないまま物価が上がると、消費も打撃を受けよう。企業の利益を円滑に賃金に波及させられるかどうかがカギを握る。

When the sales tax was increased from 3 percent to 5 percent in April 1997, households suffered additional burdens caused by, among other factors, the discontinuation of special tax reductions. This was accompanied by the Asian monetary crisis and serious financial uncertainties, thereby causing the national economy to slow down sharply. It must be remembered that these developments led to long years of deflation.
 1997年4月に消費税率を3%から5%に上げた際は、特別減税の打ち切りなど家計の負担増が重なった。アジア通貨危機と深刻な金融不安も加わり、景気が急減速した。長期デフレの発端となったことを忘れてはならない。

Consumption tax revenue climbed, but revenue from income and corporate taxes dropped, making it more difficult to achieve the key goal of fiscal rehabilitation.
 消費税の税収は増えたが、景気低迷で所得税や法人税が減り、肝心の財政再建も遠のいた。

To prevent a repetition of the past policy blunder, it is of utmost importance to analyze the economic situation from multiple perspectives.
 過去の失政を繰り返さないためには、経済情勢を多角的に分析することが何より大切だ。

It was reasonable that Abe has called for listening to the opinions of experts and corporate managers about the advisability of raising the consumption tax and the likely effects of a tax increase and using that input when making a policy judgment.
 首相が政策判断の材料として、消費税率引き上げの是非や増税した場合の影響について、有識者や企業経営者の意見を聞くよう指示したのは妥当である。

The government must lend an unprejudiced ear to voices from various sectors.
 予断を持たず、各方面の声に耳を傾けてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug.13, 2013)
(2013年8月13日01時29分  読売新聞)

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2013年8月13日 (火)

ケネディ大使 新たな日米関係を構築したい

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 13, 2013
Appointment of new ambassador chance to build new Japan-U.S. ties
ケネディ大使 新たな日米関係を構築したい(8月11日付・読売社説)

We welcome the nomination of the incoming U.S. ambassador as indicating the great importance that President Barack Obama’s administration places on its relations with Japan. This should be used as a step forward to build more mature Japan-U.S. relations.
 オバマ米政権が日本を重視する姿勢の表れとして、歓迎したい。より成熟した日米関係を構築する一歩とすべきだ。

Obama has named Caroline Kennedy, a lawyer and the eldest daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, as ambassador to Japan. Kennedy, 55, will be the first female U.S. ambassador to this nation. She will assume the post as early as this autumn, upon her Senate confirmation.
 オバマ大統領が、駐日大使にケネディ元大統領の長女の弁護士、キャロライン・ケネディ氏(55)を指名した。女性の駐日大使は初めてで、上院の承認を得て、今秋にも着任する。

Kennedy comes from one of the most distinguished families in the United States. Early in 2008, before the presidential election later that year, she gave her support to Obama, helping create the momentum that led to Obama’s selection as the Democratic nominee for president. She also contributed to Obama’s reelection in 2012. Hers is a political nomination, a reward for her outstanding contributions to the Obama administration.
 ケネディ氏は米国屈指の名門の出身だ。2008年大統領選では早々とオバマ氏を支持し、オバマ氏が民主党候補に選出される流れを作った。12年の大統領再選にも貢献した。オバマ政権に目立つ論功行賞による政治任命である。

People with various careers and backgrounds have been apppointed as U.S. ambassadors in the past. These include heavyweight politicians such as Mike Mansfield, scholars like Edwin Reischauer and diplomats such as Michael Armacost.
 米国の歴代の駐日大使には、マンスフィールド氏ら大物政治家、ライシャワー氏のような学者、アマコスト氏ら外交官など、様々な経歴の人物が起用されてきた。

In recent years, the appointments have been based on strong personal relations with presidents, as in the cases of John Scheiffer and John Roos. Kennedy’s nomination can be said to be in this line.
 最近は、シーファー、ルース両氏のように、大統領との強い個人的関係に基づく人選が続いた。ケネディ氏もこの系統と言える。

Kennedy has no experience with diplomacy or politics, leaving her abilities as an ambassador unknown. On the other hand, she has strong connections with Obama and a close relationship with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
 ケネディ氏は外交や政治の経験がなく、大使としての手腕は未知数だ。一方で、オバマ大統領と太いパイプを持ち、ケリー国務長官とも親しいことが強みである。

Kennedy brings big guns

A big-name ambassador is expected to be able to get the president on the phone and explore ways to solve problems when bilateral Japan-U.S. relations reach a critical point. In this sense, Kennedy is equipped with an important “weapon.”
 大物の駐日大使に期待されるのは、日米関係が重大な局面を迎えた際、電話一本で大統領と直接連絡を取り、問題解決の道を探ることだ。その意味で、ケネディ氏は重要な“武器”を備えている。

Yet another of Kennedy’s strong points is her oustanding name recognition and popularity. As an iconic figure for stable Japan-U.S. relations, she will be asked to boost both Japanese and Americans’ interest in each other.
 ケネディ氏のもう一つの長所は抜群の知名度と人気だ。安定した日米関係の象徴的存在として、相手国に対する両国民の関心を高める役割が求められよう。

Both Japan and the United States are facing various important challenges.
 日米両国は現在、様々な重要課題に直面している。

How should they face China, which is becoming an economic and military power, and how should they confront North Korea, which is pursuing nuclear and missile development programs? How should Japan and the United States proceed with the issue of relocating the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, and with bilateral defense cooperation? How should they promote free trade in Asia through such frameworks as the Trans-Pacific Partnership accord negotiations?
 経済、軍事両面で台頭する中国や、核開発を進める北朝鮮に、どう向き合うか。米軍普天間飛行場の移設問題や日米防衛協力をいかに進めるか。環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉などでアジアの自由貿易をどう推進するか。

To solve these thorny issues, it is vital to reinforce intergovernmental relations, including those on the summit level. We hope Kennedy will make a contribution in this area.
 こうした難題の解決には、首脳級を含む、政府間の関係強化が欠かせない。ケネディ氏には、その一翼を担ってもらいたい。

Recently, the number of Japanese students studying in the United States has been on the decline, falling to No. 7 among all the nations that send students to the states and raising concerns that bilateral exchange between the two countries will dwindle.
 近年は、米国への日本人留学生が減少し、出身国別で7位に低下するなど、日米交流の先細りが懸念されている。

If Japan weakens its presence in the United States, while China and South Korea are making ever-greater efforts to transmit information and expand exchanges there, it would harm Japan’s national interests.
中国や韓国が米国での情報発信や交流拡大に努める中、日本の存在感が薄れることは、国益にも悪影響を与えよう。

Expansion in grass-roots exchanges, including exchanges among the next generation of young people, will serve as the foundation for promoting mutual understanding and confidence-building efforts. We hope Kennedy, with her strong ability to communicate, will contribute in this field as well.
 次代を担う青少年などの草の根交流の拡充は、日米の相互理解と信頼醸成を進める基盤となる。この分野でも、発信力の高いケネディ氏の貢献に期待したい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 11, 2013)
(2013年8月11日01時17分  読売新聞)

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体罰最終報告 暴力根絶の意識を浸透させよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 13, 2013
Ending corporal punishment in schools requires greater awareness of issue
体罰最終報告 暴力根絶の意識を浸透させよ(8月11日付・読売社説)

The recent revelation of such a huge number of corporal punishment cases in schools across Japan must be taken gravely by school authorities and teachers. The disclosure must lead to better endeavors to effectively prevent such incidents from happening again.
 これだけ多くの体罰が起きていた事実を、教育現場は深刻に受け止めるべきだ。再発防止につなげなければならない。

A final report compiled by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry on surveys on physical punishment by schoolteachers, which was released Friday, showed there were 6,721 cases at national, municipal and private schools nationwide in which teachers physically punished students during the academic year to March 31. Cases of corporal punishment were confirmed at 4,152 schools, or about 10 percent of the total, and 14,208 students were subjected to it.
 文部科学省がまとめた体罰調査の最終報告によると、昨年度、全国の国公私立の小中高校などの1割にあたる4152校で、6721件の体罰が確認された。被害にあった児童生徒数は1万4208人に上っている。

Previous surveys had been limited to publicly operated schools, and usually found about 400 cases of physical punishment each year.
 これまでの調査対象は公立学校のみで、体罰件数は例年、400件前後で推移してきた。

The ministry report incorporated a far wider range of surveys, including questionnaires completed by students as well as parents and guardians, that were conducted for the first time in the wake of the suicide in December of a second-year student at Sakuranomiya High School, run by the Osaka municipal government, after he was physically punished by his basketball club coach. As a result, it exposed a much greater number of corporal punishment cases.
今回は、大阪市立桜宮高校の体罰自殺問題を受け、児童生徒や保護者へのアンケートなども初めて実施した結果、件数が大幅に膨らんだ。

Notwithstanding the fact that public awareness of corporal punishment has surged after the Sakuranomiya case and efforts to uncover physical punishment have been beefed up, the difference in the findings of the latest and previous surveys is astounding. We cannot help but assume that previous efforts by boards of education and school authorities to gauge the true extent of the problem were terribly insufficient.
 体罰への問題意識が高まり、掘り起こしが進んだとはいえ、件数の差はあまりに大きい。学校や教育委員会の従前の実態把握が不十分だったと言わざるを得ない。

Schools and boards of education must establish arrangements to ensure cases of corporal punishment are detected as early as possible by such means as regular questionnaire surveys and creating a consultation service to accept reports from students subjected to such punishment.
 学校や教委はアンケートを定期的に行ったり、子供たちから体罰に関する通報を受け付ける窓口を設けたりして、被害を早期に察知する体制を整える必要がある。

Misguided ‘tough love’

Actions that inflict physical and emotional pain on students must never be permitted. Eliminating corporal punishment by instilling this awareness in every facet of school education is the most pressing task.
 暴力をふるって子供に肉体的・精神的苦痛を与える行為は許されない。この意識を教育現場に徹底させることが、体罰を根絶するためには何より重要だ。

At primary schools, cases involving students being slapped in class stood out, according to the ministry.
 小学校では授業中、児童を素手でたたくケースが目立つ。

About 40 percent of cases of corporal punishment at middle and high schools happened during extracurricular club activities, the survey found.
 中学・高校では部活動中の体罰がそれぞれ全体の4割を占める。

A mistaken belief that tolerates corporal punishment as “tough love” in the name of sports discipline remains entrenched among instructors of school sports clubs.
運動部活動の指導者の間では、「愛のムチ」を容認する間違った考え方が根強く残っている。

The superviser of a high school baseball club who was disciplined after it was revealed he had physically punished his students reportedly justified his behavior by saying he “wanted to make my club’s members stronger.”
 今回の調査で体罰が発覚し、停職の懲戒処分を受けた高校野球部の指導者は「選手を強くしたかった」と理由を説明したという。

The former Sakuranomiya High School basketball club coach, who also was a physical education teacher, has been indicted without arrest on charges of inflicting violence and injuring the student who committed suicide.
 桜宮高の元バスケットボール部顧問教諭は、自殺した生徒に暴力を加え、けがをさせたとして、傷害罪などで在宅起訴された。

We urge all teachers to bear deeply in mind that corporal punishment is not only prohibited under the School Education Law, but that vicious cases could also result in them facing criminal charges.
 体罰は学校教育法で禁じられているだけでなく、悪質なケースでは刑事責任も問われることを、教師は肝に銘じるべきだ。

It is also essential, however, to help teachers understand the proper distinction between corporal punishment and providing instruction. But if a teacher is softer than necessary when instructing students to the extent they become unable to strictly handle disruptive students, this also could be problematic from an educational point of view.
 体罰と指導の線引きについて、理解を深めることも欠かせない。現場の教師が必要以上に萎縮してしまい、問題行動をとる児童生徒に厳しい態度で接することまで控えるようになれば、教育上かえってマイナスだろう。

In March, the education ministry compiled a set of criteria spelling out what actions constitute corporal punishment. The guidelines say, for example, that teachers are within their rights to pin down a student who kicked a teacher’s leg in an act of defiance.
 文科省が3月に示した体罰の基準では、反抗して教師の足を蹴った子供を押さえつける行為などは問題ないとしている。

We hope boards of education and other relevant organs improve training courses for teachers so they can acquire the instruction capability needed to scold students properly and calmly, and without getting swayed by emotion.
 感情に流されず、冷静に子供を叱る指導力をすべての教師が身に着けるよう、教委などは研修の充実を図ってもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 11, 2013)
(2013年8月11日01時17分  読売新聞)

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2013年8月 9日 (金)

最低賃金アップ 消費拡大の呼び水になるか

実にこそくな手段だと思います。
学校で試験前に出題される問題を教える先生がいましたが、同じようなノリなのでしょう。
当時、先生は生徒たちの試験平均点を上げることに躍起となっていました。
先生がそれで評価されるからなんです。
今回の最低賃金アップも同じです。
まず景気回復のてこ入れをすることが先なんです。
それを怠って賃金を法律で上げさせて、その費用は企業に全額負担させる。
こんなこそくな手段を続けていれば日本経済は遠からず破綻します。
アベノミクス異次元金融緩和も同じノリの失敗なんです。
現実にアメリカで失敗しているではありませんか。
それより、デフレでも国民が幸せに暮らせる社会を目指すべきですね。
急激な円安で迷惑を被っている人は多いのです。
私もその一人です^^。
安倍さんのやり方は異次元金融緩和を除いて、概ね賛同出来ます。
特に海外への発進力は強いですね。
出来ればそのエネルギーの一部分を北朝鮮拉致被害者の為に向けてもらいです。
アントニオ猪木さんが頑張っていますが、所詮限界があります。
(スラチャイ記)

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 9, 2013
Will higher minimum wage help increase consumption?
最低賃金アップ 消費拡大の呼び水になるか(8月8日付・読売社説)

The minimum hourly wage will be increased at the strong urging of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration. Could this be a trigger to bail the country out of deflation?
 安倍政権の強い意向を受け、最低賃金が引き上げられる。デフレからの脱却につなげることができるだろうか。

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry’s Central Minimum Wages Council has decided to set this fiscal year’s target for raising the minimum hourly wage at 14 yen on a national average--nearly 2 percent higher than the current minimum of 749 yen and the first increase of 10 yen or more in three years.
 厚生労働省の中央最低賃金審議会は、今年度の最低賃金の引き上げ幅を全国平均で時給14円を目安とすることを決めた。引き上げ率は約2%で、10円以上のアップは3年ぶりだ。

The minimum wage is the lowest possible rate that companies can pay their employees. After the revision, the average minimum hourly wage nationwide will be 763 yen. This means that a minimum-wage, full-time worker would take home about 120,000 to 130,000 yen per month, an increase of about 2,000 yen.
 最低賃金は、企業が従業員に支払う賃金の下限をいう。改定後の最低賃金は、全国平均で時給763円となり、フルタイムで働いた場合の月収は2000円程度増えて12万~13万円が見込まれる。

While this is still insufficient for maintaining family finances, it is the first step toward implementing increases in the basic wage table.
 家計を維持するうえで、まだ十分ではないものの、賃金底上げの一歩とは言えよう。

The issue of raising the minimum wage received a lot of attention this year in particular because it was associated with Abenomics, a set of economic policies set forth by the Abe administration that aims to lift this nation out of deflation.
 今年、最低賃金引き上げが注目されたのは、デフレ脱却を目指す安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」と関連付けられたからだ。

In its Basic Policies for Economic and Fiscal Management and Reform compiled in June, the government set a goal of hiking wages by more than 2 percent. The minimum wage increase corresponds almost exactly to the government’s wage hike target.
 政府は6月にまとめた「経済財政運営と改革の基本方針」(骨太方針)で、2%を上回る賃上げを目標に掲げた。今回の引き上げ率はほぼこれに相当する。

Business performance has been improving, mainly at major corporations, making the tone of recovery clearer. However, the general public is still complaining about Abenomics, saying it has yet to result in income increases.
 大手企業を中心に業績が上向き、景気回復基調が鮮明になりつつある。だが、アベノミクスに対しては、所得増につながっていないとの国民の不満がくすぶる。

At a press conference, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said, “The council held serious discussions in considering the Basic Policies for Economic and Fiscal Management and Reform.” He welcomed the minimum wage hike, while emphasizing the necessity of creating a virtuous cycle that can build momentum and result in pay raises at each company.
 菅官房長官は記者会見で、「骨太方針に配慮する真摯(しんし)な議論が行われた」と述べた。最低賃金引き上げを歓迎し、企業各社の賃上げに弾みがつく好循環を期待しているのだろう。

Expand consumption

It is generally believed that a high percentage of low-income earners tend to use wage hikes for consumption. The government must utilize the minimum wage hike as a way to prime the pump of consumption and push up economic growth.
 所得の低い人ほど、収入が増えた分を消費に回す割合が高いと言われる。最低賃金の引き上げが、消費拡大の呼び水になり、成長を後押しすることが課題だ。

Currently, minimum wages are less than the livelihood protection benefits in Tokyo, Hokkaido and nine other prefectures--hardly a tool to stoke people’s zeal for work. We would like to applaud the panel’s proposal as its minimum wage review will finally resolve the “reversal phenomenon” between minimum wages and livelihood protection benefits in 10 prefectures, excluding Hokkaido.
 現在、11都道府県で最低賃金が生活保護支給水準を下回り、労働意欲をそいでいるとされる。今回の見直しで、北海道を除く10都府県でようやく「逆転現象」が解消されることは評価したい。

Of course, if the minimum wage is increased, struggling small and midsize firms will have to shoulder a heavier burden. We are concerned about the side effects of raising the minimum wage. For instance, it could deprive young people of job opportunities if such firms decide to cut back on employment to secure the financial resources for pay hikes.
 無論、最低賃金を引き上げれば、経営難の中小企業などの負担は重くなる。そうした企業が賃上げ原資を確保するために人員削減に走れば、若者の雇用を奪うといった副作用も懸念される。

Most importantly, the government should prepare an environment for companies that will help them raise wages. The government must steadily promote its growth strategy, the pillars of which include revitalizing local economies and expanding business opportunities, to prompt small and midsize enterprises to improve productivity.
 大切なのは、企業が賃金を上げやすい環境を作ることだ。政府は地域活性化やビジネス機会の拡大などを柱とした成長戦略を着実に進め、中小企業の生産性向上を促さねばならない。

The labor ministry has been providing assistance to small and midsize firms that actually raised wages through measures such as extending subsidies for introduction costs of accounting systems. We hope the ministry will consider more measures that will create an environment in which companies can comfortably increase wages.
 厚労省は、賃金を引き上げた中小企業に会計システムの導入経費などを助成している。一層の支援策を検討し、賃上げの環境整備を進めてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 8, 2013)
(2013年8月8日01時40分  読売新聞)

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2013年8月 8日 (木)

社会保障会議 制度維持に全世代の負担必要

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 8, 2013
All generations must bear costs to maintain social security system
社会保障会議 制度維持に全世代の負担必要(8月7日付・読売社説)

 ◆民主の3党協議離脱は無責任だ

How can a sustainable social security system be built? Part of a prescription has been presented to achieve this objective, but there is still much to be done.
 持続可能な社会保障制度をどう築くのか。処方箋の一端は示されたが、課題は山積している。

The government’s National Council on Social Security System Reform compiled a final report and submitted it to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday. The government plans to submit a bill that sets forth a road map for the reform to the Diet during an extraordinary session this autumn.
 政府の社会保障制度改革国民会議が報告書をまとめ、安倍首相に提出した。政府は、改革の工程を定めた法案を秋の臨時国会に提出する。

The council discussed the direction of reform to the nation’s pension, medical care and nursing care systems in time for the planned consumption tax increase.
 国民会議は、消費増税に合わせた年金、医療、介護などの改革の道筋を検討した。

A notable feature of the report is that it calls on higher-earning elderly people to shoulder a greater burden of medical costs and taxes. The report called for a change of the current system in which costs are shouldered based on age to one in which costs will be borne based on financial ability.
 報告書の最大の特徴は、所得の高い高齢者に医療費や税の負担増を求めた点にある。現行の「年齢別の負担」から「能力に応じた負担」へと方向性を転換した。

Support from elderly needed
 ◆高齢世代も支え手に

Due to the nation’s low birthrate and rapidly aging population, pension, medical care and nursing care benefits have increased, causing government debt to balloon. It is clear that the principle of the current social security system--according to which the working generation bears the financial burden of supporting the elderly--is no longer feasible.
 急速な少子高齢化で、年金、医療、介護の給付費が増大し、政府の借金は膨らんでいる。現役世代の負担で高齢者を支える現行の社会保障の原則では、もはや制度を維持できないのは明らかだ。

The council naturally recommended that the nation’s social security system be changed to one in which such expenses are shouldered by all generations, including elderly people who can afford it.
 国民会議が、負担を支払い能力のある高齢者を含めた「全世代型」に転換するよう提言したのはやむを得ない。

It is a point of concern, however, whether the government can steadily carry out the reform.
 問題は、政府が着実に改革を実行できるかどうかである。

One problem the government must work on is medical expenses that people aged 70 to 74 pay at hospitals. Medical expenses to be paid by people in this age bracket were set at 20 percent of hospital treatment fees under the Health Insurance Law and other laws revised in 2008. However, the then coalition government of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito kept this figure at 10 percent as a special measure, which is still in effect. As much as 200 billion yen in taxpayer money is spent every year to cover these costs.
 例えば、70~74歳の医療費の窓口負担だ。2008年の健康保険法などの改正で2割と定められたが、当時の自公政権は特例で1割に据え置き、現在も続いている。穴埋めに年間約2000億円もの税金が投入されている。

It is only natural that the council called for raising this figure to 20 percent as stipulated by law by abolishing the special measure--a prime example of unfairness among generations.
 国民会議が、世代間の不公平の典型と言える特例措置を廃止し、法定の2割に引き上げるよう求めたのは当然である。

The council also called on higher-income earners to shoulder a greater portion of nursing care expenses, which is currently set at a uniform rate of 10 percent. We think the proposed measure is realistic. The government should quickly review this rate of self-contribution.
 現在は一律1割である介護保険の利用者負担について、国民会議が高所得者の負担増を求めたことも現実的な方策と言える。政府は負担割合の検討を急ぐべきだ。

The council proposed transferring the management of the national health insurance program, which is mainly used by self-employed people, from municipal to prefectural governments. It also called for raising contributions by health insurance unions of large companies and mutual aid associations for public servants, so they can be used as a resource to rehabilitate the finances of the national health insurance program.
 自営業者らが加入する国民健康保険の運営主体を、現在の市町村から都道府県に移管することも打ち出した。国保財政の健全化の財源とするため、大企業の健康保険組合や公務員の共済組合の拠出金を増やすことも求めた。

However, many corporate health insurance unions have already fallen into the red due to such contributions. It would defeat the purpose if a sharp increase in their burden resulted in the collapse of these unions. It is necessary to design a national health insurance system that will not cause confusion.
 だが、拠出金によって既に赤字に陥っている健保組合は多い。急激な負担増で破綻を招けば、本末転倒だ。混乱が生じない制度設計が必要である。

Benefits must be curbed

To put this nation’s limited resources to effective use, an increase in social security benefits must be curbed.
 限られた財源を有効活用するには、社会保障給付費の伸びを抑えることも不可避だ。

 ◆給付の抑制が急務だ

The ballooning of medical expenses is partly attributable to bills incurred by people who suffer a variety of diseases due to their advanced age and visit more than one medical institution for examinations and treatment, according to observers.
 高齢化で様々な病気を持った患者が、複数の医療機関を重複受診していることが医療費を押し上げている要因の一つとされる。

To prevent this, the council proposed increasing the number of doctors known as general physicians who can diagnose a wide range of illnesses. However, the panel fell short of addressing a key question begged by its proposal--namely, how to train such doctors.
 国民会議はこれを防ぐため、幅広い診療能力を持つ「総合診療医」の普及を提唱した。だが、そうした医師をどう育成するかという肝心な点には言及していない。

Among the issues covered by the council’s report is the starting age for benefit payments under the state-run pension system. However, the report only described the issue as a medium- and long-term task that should be discussed together with what mode of employment could be adopted by elderly people.
 年金の支給開始年齢については、「高齢者の働き方と合わせて議論すべき中長期的課題」とするにとどめた。

It is necessary to push back the starting age for receiving pension payments from the current age of 65, given the higher average life expectancy of Japanese and the deteriorating financial condition of the pension program. The United States and major European countries have already decided to push back their respective pensionable ages to 67 or 68. Japan is aging the fastest among advanced nations in the world. With this in mind, the government should begin considering implementing a similar reform as early as possible.
 平均寿命の延びと年金財政の悪化から、65歳からさらに引き上げる必要がある。欧米主要国は、既に67~68歳への引き上げを決めている。日本は先進国で最も早く高齢化が進んでいるだけに、早期に検討を始めるべきだろう。

The national council also emphasized the need to transform the current social security system into one under which people of all generations would be entitled to benefit. For example, the panel insisted on proactively financing child-rearing support plans and other projects to address various problems arising from the chronically low birthrate.
 国民会議は、社会保障給付の面でも「全世代型」を目指し、子育て支援など少子化対策への積極的な投資が必要と強調した。

Specific measures proposed by the panel include increasing the number of day care centers and improving the quality of their services. The council also suggested setting up centers that offer consultations to pregnant and nursing women.
 具体的には、保育所の拡充に加え、妊産婦に対する相談・支援拠点の設置を掲げている。

This proposal is aimed at extending continuous assistance to such women, not only during their pregnancy but also during child-raising. In promoting this idea, the panel noted the fact that such women begin to worry about how to raise their children and provide other forms of parental care even while pregnant. An important task in this regard is to work out how to ensure such child care support centers help them realize their purposes.
 女性が妊娠時から育児などに不安を持っている点に着目し、子育てまで切れ目なく支援するのが狙いだ。拠点をいかに機能させるかが課題である。

Discussions at the national council coincided with a round of debates among three major parties--the LDP, Komeito and the Democratic Party of Japan--over social security system reform.
 国民会議と並行して、自民、公明、民主の3党は、社会保障改革に関する議論を重ねてきた。

However, the DPJ has decided to pull out of the talks.
 ところが、民主党は、3党協議からの離脱を決めた。

The leading opposition party took this step because of the LDP-Komeito ruling coalition’s refusal to discuss such matters as a DPJ proposal to adopt a minimum guaranteed pension plan. The DPJ also cited the fact that its pension proposal had not been incorporated into the panel’s report.
 民主党が主張する最低保障年金制度の導入などについて、自公両党が議論に応じず、国民会議の報告書にも盛り込まれなかったことを理由に挙げている。

All parties should help out
 ◆改革は与野党の責任で

However, it would not be enough to raise the consumption tax rate to 10 percent if the DPJ-proposed minimum guaranteed pension program was translated into reality. The DPJ plan also requires a large tax increase besides the consumption tax hike.
 しかし、民主党が掲げる最低保障年金の実現には、消費税率の10%への引き上げとは別に、大幅な追加増税が必要となる。

The main opposition party has also insisted on scrapping the health care program for persons aged 75 and over, known as people in the latter stage of advanced age. However, there is little need to abolish the system, given that it has already taken root.
 後期高齢者医療制度の廃止を唱えているが、既に制度は定着している。廃止の必要性は乏しい。

The pension reform plan trumpeted by the DPJ is unrealistic. The party has defended its decision to quit talks with the LDP and Komeito, citing the ruling parties’ refusal to discuss its pension proposal. The DPJ’s stance must be criticized as too self-righteous.
 現実離れした改革案を振りかざし、受け入れられないからといって協議から離脱する。それではあまりに独りよがりだ。

It should be noted that the national council was launched when DPJ senior leader Yoshihiko Noda held the reins of government as prime minister. The opposition party should not shirk its responsibilities.
 そもそも野田政権時代に始まった会議である。民主党は責任を放棄すべきではない。

The ruling and opposition parties should join hands in reforming the social security system--a linchpin of national welfare. Such reform is imperative to ensure that the system is not shaken from its foundations even in the event of a change in government.
 国の根幹である社会保障制度については、政権交代があっても揺るがぬよう、与野党が共に改革に取り組むことが重要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 7, 2013)
(2013年8月7日01時39分  読売新聞)

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2013年8月 7日 (水)

警察白書 犯罪抑止は迅速な対応から

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 7, 2013
Police must respond promptly to prevent crimes
警察白書 犯罪抑止は迅速な対応から(8月6日付・読売社説)

An important duty of the police is to expose crimes. In the interest of maintaining public order, it also is essential for the police to do their utmost to prevent crimes from being committed.
 犯罪の摘発は警察の重要な責務だ。併せて、犯罪の未然防止に全力を挙げることが治安を守る上で欠かせない。

Criminal offenses have been on the decline, with 1.38 million confirmed by police last year, less than half the number logged at their peak in 2002.
 刑法犯は減少の一途である。昨年の認知件数は138万件で、ピークだった2002年の半数にも満たない。

The decline has been chiefly due to a drop in the burglaries of empty houses and car break-ins, thanks to the spread of security cameras and alarm devices.
 防犯カメラや警報装置の普及で、空き巣や車上荒らしなどの窃盗が減ったのが大きな要因だ。

However, according to a Cabinet Office public opinion survey, 80 percent of respondents said, “The state of public security has deteriorated.”
 ところが、内閣府の世論調査では、8割の人が「治安は悪化した」と回答したという。

In analyzing the perceptional gap between the actual decline in the number of crimes and public awareness of crimes, this year’s police white paper noted there had been marked increases in the number of crimes in which “children, women and the elderly” are victims. This kind of analysis is important.
 今年の警察白書は、犯罪件数の減少と国民意識の食い違いについて、「子供、女性、高齢者」が被害者となる事件が目立つため、と分析している。統計を見る限り、もっともな指摘である。

There appears to be no end to child abuse. The police confirmed a record 472 cases of child abuse last year. They also reported about 44,000 cases of domestic violence, in which the victims were mostly women, and about 20,000 stalking cases. Both these figures are records.
 子供に対しては虐待が絶えない。児童虐待の摘発は昨年、472件で最多となった。被害者のほとんどが女性である家庭内暴力(DV)の認知件数は約4万4000件、ストーカーは約2万件に上り、いずれも最多である。

Elderly people have been targeted in bank transfer scams and vicious business practices.
 高齢者は、振り込め詐欺や悪質商法の標的になっている。

If the police act promptly, they probably could prevent the damage from such crimes from becoming serious. It is important for police to heighten their vigilance to prevent crimes.
 警察が迅速に動けば、これらの被害の深刻化を防ぐことができるだろう。犯罪抑止力を警察全体として高めることが肝要だ。

Expand consultations

To improve such efforts, the white paper has proposed boosting the functions of consultation counters at police stations across the country. The aim would be to prevent crimes by utilizing such counters as a gauge to determine the state of local public safety.
 手段の一つとして、白書は全国の警察署にある相談窓口の強化を打ち出した。窓口を地域の安全を探るアンテナとして使い、犯罪防止に努める試みだ。

For this idea to work, personnel capable of dealing with many kinds of inquiries and consultations need to be fostered. It also will be important for the police to work in close cooperation with related organizations, such as local boards of education, child consultation facilities and consumer centers.
 多種多様な相談に対処できる担当者を育成するという。教育委員会や児童相談所、消費生活センターなど、関係機関との緊密な連携もうたっている。

In a case in which a stalker killed two women in Saikai, Nagasaki Prefecture, in 2011, the police failed to respond to repeated stalking complaints lodged earlier by the stalked victim and her relatives. The case ended up in the worst way possible.
 長崎県西海市のストーカー殺人事件では、被害者側からの度重なる相談に適切に対応せず、最悪の事態を招いた。

The white paper emphasized, “Even if an action does not constitute a criminal offense or violate a law or ordinance, the police should provide guidance or issue warnings when deemed necessary.” This statement was stressed probably to remind police of the lesson that should be learned from such a blunder.
 白書が「刑罰や法令に抵触しない場合でも、必要に応じて相手側への指導・警告を行う」と改めて強調したのは、こうした失態からの教訓と言えるだろう。

What is most important is for the police to sincerely listen to complaints made by those who believe their lives are in danger.
 身に危険を感じている人の訴えに、真摯(しんし)に耳を傾けることが何より重要である。

The police face a difficult task in improving consultation services, as there is a chronic manpower shortage. We hope they make an effort to offer consultation services efficiently, for example by publicizing a nationwide uniform telephone number for those services.
 相談業務を充実させるには課題もある。恒常的な人手不足の中、どれほどの警察官を投入できるのか。電話相談用の全国統一番号を周知するなど、効率的な相談対応に努めてもらいたい。

In regard to serious complaints lodged by possible victims, the Metropolitan Police Department, prefectural police headquarters and local police stations should share relevant information.
 寄せられた深刻な相談内容については、都道府県警本部や各署で情報を共有することが必要だ。

The police, which have been tainted by a spate of recent irregularities, must maintain public safety by responding promptly to complaints. Only by doing so will they be able to regain public trust.
 不祥事が続く警察の信頼回復のためには、迅速な対応で住民の安全を守ることが求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 6, 2013)
(2013年8月6日01時28分  読売新聞)

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原爆忌 一段と高まる核兵器の脅威

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 7, 2013
Japan must take realistic option in face of increasing nuclear threat
原爆忌 一段と高まる核兵器の脅威(8月6日付・読売社説)

On Tuesday, Hiroshima marks the 68th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city. Nagasaki will do the same Friday.
 広島は6日、長崎は9日に、それぞれ68回目の原爆忌を迎える。

As the only nation ever to have been attacked with atomic weapons, how will Japan pass on the accounts of the terrible devastation wrought by the bombings and entreat the world to prevent nuclear weapons, which are inhumane by themselves, from being used again? The average age of atomic-bomb survivors has already passed 78.
 唯一の被爆国として、いかに原爆の惨禍を語り継ぎ、非人道的な核兵器が二度と使用されないよう世界に訴えていくか。被爆者の平均年齢は既に78歳を超えた。

In a declaration of peace to be announced Tuesday at a peace memorial ceremony, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui will pledge his utmost efforts to work toward the elimination of nuclear arms by 2020.
 広島市の松井一実市長は、きょうの平和記念式典で発表する平和宣言で、2020年までの核廃絶に全力を尽くすことを誓う。

But in light of the harsh realities of today’s world, high hurdles lie on the road to nuclear abolition.
 しかし、世界の現状は厳しく、廃絶へのハードルは高い。

The number of nuclear weapons, which totaled about 70,000 at the peak of the Cold War, has been cut significantly due to nuclear reduction talks between the United States and Russia. But more than 17,000 such weapons reportedly still remain.
 冷戦時代のピーク時に世界で計約7万発もあった核兵器は、米露核軍縮交渉で大幅に削減されたものの、なお1万7000発以上も残っているとされる。

In a speech he made in Berlin in June, U.S. President Barack Obama proposed cutting the respective number of strategic nuclear warheads deployed by the two nuclear superpowers by about one-third. We hope negotiations on this matter will proceed steadily.
 今年6月、オバマ米大統領はベルリンで演説し、米露が配備している戦略核弾頭数を現在の3分の2程度にまで、それぞれ削減することを提案した。着実に推進してもらいたい。

Needless to say, nuclear disarmament is not an issue to be dealt with by Washington and Moscow alone. China and other nuclear powers should actively get involved in the issue.
 無論、核軍縮は米露だけの問題ではない。中国など他の核保有国も積極的に取り組むべきだ。

The nuclear control system under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which bans possession of nuclear arsenals by countries other than the United States, Russia, Britain, France and China, has been noticeably frayed for years.
 米露英仏中の5か国以外の核保有を禁止した核拡散防止条約(NPT)体制に、ほころびが目立つようになって久しい。

N. Korea’s moves worrying

Of particular concern is North Korea’s attempt to make its possession of nuclear weapons a fait accompli. Following its test-firing of a long-range ballistic missile in December, North Korea charged ahead with its third nuclear test in February. It is accelerating efforts to develop nuclear warheads small enough to be mounted on a missile capable of reaching the continental United States.
 特に懸念されるのは、核保有の既成事実化を図る北朝鮮の動向だ。昨年12月の長距離弾道ミサイル発射に続き、今年2月には3回目の核実験を強行した。米本土に届くミサイルと、搭載可能な小型核弾頭の開発を急いでいる。

All of Japan lies within range of Rodong intermediate-range ballistic missiles deployed by Pyongyang. If North Korea successfully develops nuclear warheads, it is highly likely Japan could become the target of its first nuclear strike.
 北朝鮮が実戦配備中の中距離弾道ミサイル「ノドン」は、日本のほぼ全域を射程に収める。核弾頭が完成すれば日本が先制核攻撃の標的となる確率は小さくない。

This concern is behind the emergence of support in the Liberal Democratic Party and elsewhere for the view that Japan should possess the capabilty to attack missile bases and other enemy facilities in self-defense.
 自民党などで、自衛のために相手国のミサイル基地などを攻撃する「敵基地攻撃能力」を保持すべきだという議論が起きているのはそのためである。

In cooperation with the United States and South Korea, as well as Beijing and Moscow, Japan must relentlessly urge Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear ambitions.
 米韓や中露と連携し、北朝鮮に対しても核放棄をねばり強く求め続けねばならない。

The U.S. nuclear umbrella is the bedrock of Japan’s national security policy. We believe its importance is increasing all the more.
 日本の安全保障政策の根幹にある米国の「核の傘」の重要性も高まっていると言えよう。

Since three years ago, Washington has been providing Tokyo with information on some nuclear facilities in the United States.
 米政府は3年前から、米国内の核施設の一部を日本政府に開示するようになった。

Promoting Japan-U.S. consultative talks on nuclear deterrence is essential for the bilateral alliance to function. This also will reinforce the deterrence policy.
 核抑止をめぐる日米協議の進展は、日米同盟を機能させる上で必須である。抑止力政策の強化にもつながる。

Telling the world about the awful devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and using the U.S. nuclear umbrella to protect national security from nearby nuclear threats: This is the realistic option Japan can take as an atomic-bombed nation and a country without nuclear weapons.
 広島、長崎の惨状を訴える一方で、周囲の核脅威には米国の核で安全を担保する。それが、被爆国であり、非核保有国としての日本が取り得る現実的選択である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 6, 2013)
(2013年8月6日01時28分  読売新聞)

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2013年8月 6日 (火)

ネット銀行被害 ハッカー集団の解明が急務だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 6, 2013
Crackdown of hackers urgently needed to stem on-line banking fraud
ネット銀行被害 ハッカー集団の解明が急務だ(8月5日付・読売社説)

Online banking fraud by hackers must be contained.
 ハッカーの暗躍を封じ込めねばならない。

There appears to be no end to incidents in which hackers steal money after illicitly gaining access to other people’s bank accounts via the Internet.
 インターネットバンキングを巡り、何者かが利用者の口座に不正にアクセスして預金を盗み取る事件が後を絶たない。

According to the National Police Agency, money was illicitly transferred to perpetrators’ accounts in about 400 cases during the January-July period. The money involved was estimated at 360 million yen and 12 banks, including major ones, were compromised.
 警察庁によると、今年1~7月には大手銀行を含む12行で約400件、計3億6000万円が犯人側の口座に不正送金された。

Illicit money transfers by hackers are reportedly occurring at a record pace.
過去最悪のペースだという。

The number of people using banking services via the Internet, which is convenient for shopping and tax payments, is said to be growing sharply. Many small and medium-sized companies also use Internet banking for settlement of funds. As Internet banking is becoming more widely used, the system has become a magnet for hackers.
 ショッピングや納税などに便利なネットバンキングの利用者は、急増中とされる。資金決済に使う中小企業も多い。利用の広がりとともに、ハッカー集団の標的になっていると言えよう。

To gain access to a victim’s bank account online, hackers use computer viruses, often surreptitiously inserted in e-mails sent by unknown originators or in free software available online. When a personal computer is infected with such a virus, the ID number and password of a user making an online banking transaction is leaked to the perpetrator.
 ハッカー集団が使うのはコンピューター・ウイルスだ。発信元が不明のメールやネット上の無料ソフトに仕込まれている。これにパソコンが感染すると、利用者が取引時に入力したIDやパスワードが犯人側に流出してしまう。

People affected by perpetrators using forged cash cards are compensated through the deposit protection law. Banks also provide compensation when damage occurs via online banking services. However, there are cases where users are not compensated if they are found to be grossly negligent.
 キャッシュカードの偽造などによる被害は、預金保護法で補償される。ネットバンキングの被害についても、銀行側は同様に対応している。ただ、利用者側に重い過失がある場合には、補償に応じないケースもあるという。

It is essential for users of online banking services to protect themselves on a regular basis by, for instance, refraining from downloading software from dubious sites and constantly updating antivirus software.
 不審なサイトからのダウンロードを徹底して避ける。駆除ソフトをこまめに更新する。利用者自身が日ごろの自衛策を怠らないことが、何より大切である。

The banking industry and the police authorities must cooperate in taking effective measures against hackers.
 銀行業界と警察が連携し、有効な対策を講じることも重要だ。

Cooperation essential

Last year, the Japanese Bankers Association agreed to introduce passwords in which numeric combinations changed every time an online banking transaction was made.
 全国銀行協会は昨年、取引ごとに毎回、数字の組み合わせが変わる可変式パスワードの導入に努めることを申し合わせた。

However, there are already cases involving accounts at some of the banks in which a new type of virus has made such efforts ineffectual. A major task in the future will be working out how to deal with the extremely sophisticated and complex tactics employed by hackers.
 だが、それさえ骨抜きにする新型ウイルスによる被害が一部の銀行の口座で確認されている。高度化、複雑化する手口への対策は、今後の大きな課題だ。

According to an NPA analysis of the online banking damage wrought by hackers, 70 percent of bank accounts into which illicit money has been transferred are believed to be held by Chinese nationals.
 警察庁がこれまでの被害を分析したところ、不正送金の受け皿となった口座のうち、7割が中国人とみられる名義だった。

The Kanagawa prefectural police headquarters last month arrested several Chinese on suspicion of computer fraud and abuse. All of them allegedly withdrew money, which had been transferred illicitly via hackers, from automated teller machines. According to their confessions and records of their cell phone communications, the arrested Chinese were found to have been in contact with hackers based in China.
 神奈川県警は7月、電子計算機使用詐欺容疑で複数の中国人を逮捕した。いずれも現金の引き出し役だった。供述や携帯電話の通信記録から、中国に拠点を置くハッカー集団と連絡を取り合っていたことも判明した。

As long as the ringleader of a hackers group can evade the long arm of the law, similar crimes will occur, as others will be used to withdraw money from the ATMs. Authorities must first identify the main perpetrators of the crime, including those responsible for creating viruses.
 組織の元締に捜査の手が及ばなければ、末端の引き出し役を代えて、犯行は繰り返されるだろう。まずは、ウイルス作成者など実行犯を特定することだ。

After that, the Japanese police authorities should seek assistance from their Chinese counterparts via the International Criminal Police Organization to crack down on such crime organizations.
 その上で、国際刑事警察機構(ICPO)を通して中国の捜査当局に捜査共助を求め、犯罪組織の全容解明につなげたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 5, 2013)
(2013年8月5日01時43分  読売新聞)

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公共事業予算 防災や成長分野に重点配分を

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 6, 2013
Use FY14 public works budget to repair aging infrastructure
公共事業予算 防災や成長分野に重点配分を(8月5日付・読売社説)

The nation’s roads and bridges must be improved and comprehensive disaster countermeasures developed without fail by utilizing the government’s limited sources of revenue.
 限られた財源を有効に活用し、道路や橋などの整備や防災対策を実現しなければならない。

To this end, efforts should be redoubled to enhance the efficiency of public works projects.
公共事業の一層の効率化が問われよう。

The government, in working out guidelines for estimated budget appropriation requests from ministries and agencies for fiscal 2014, is set to reduce their allocations for discretionary spending for policy implementation, including public works projects, by about 10 percent compared with the fiscal 2013 initial budget.
 政府は2014年度予算案の概算要求基準で、公共事業などの裁量的経費を13年度当初予算から10%ほど減らす方針だ。

In the budget for this fiscal year, the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has earmarked 5.3 trillion yen for public works spending, the first year-on-year increase in four years, with a view to realizing the Abenomics policy package for refloating the national economy.
 安倍政権は、経済政策「アベノミクス」を推進するため、今年度予算で公共事業を5・3兆円と4年ぶりに増やしている。

Given that Japan’s government finances are in the worst shape of all industrially advanced economies, however, the government cannot simply continue to expand outlays for public works projects.
 だが、先進国で最悪の財政事情を抱える中、安易に公共事業の拡大を継続することは許されない。

It is reasonable that the government plans to impose curbs on public works spending based on the stringent guidelines for budget appropriation requests for the next fiscal year.
厳しい概算要求基準を課し、歯止めをかけるのは妥当と言える。

But at the same time, the government is poised to create special, expensive budgetary allocations that will not be subject to the envisioned across-the-board spending cuts. Sufficient cost-benefit considerations are a must in scrutinizing what policy measures should be included in allocations not subject to budgetary curbs.
 政府は、一律の削減対象としない多額の特別枠も設ける方向だ。これについても費用対効果を吟味する必要がある。

Such anti-disaster measures as boosting earthquake resistance of buildings and strengthening the aging infrastructure are indispensable for ensuring the public’s safety. The pace of projects aimed at recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake, which have been delayed because of such factors as shortages of manpower and construction materials, must be swiftly accelerated.
 建物の耐震化などの防災対策や老朽化した社会資本(インフラ)の更新は、国民の安全を守るために不可欠だ。人手と資材の不足などで遅れている東日本大震災の復興も加速しなければならない。

‘Selection, concentration’

As part of the government’s growth strategy, it is essential to improve infrastructure, especially such things as arterial road networks in urban areas and airports that can serve as international hub airports.
 成長戦略を後押しするうえで都市部の基幹道路網や国際拠点となる空港など、インフラの整備も求められる。

To smoothly carry through these projects, the principle of “selection and concentration” should be thoroughly employed.
 こうした公共事業を着実に進めるため、「選択と集中」を徹底すべきだ。

We want to see urgent anti-disaster projects and measures to improve infrastructure given high priority in budget allocations for fiscal 2014.
緊急性が高い災害対策や老朽化対策へ重点的に予算配分してもらいたい。

Costs for improving antiquated infrastructure will reach an estimated 190 trillion yen during the next 50 years, according to the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry. Under the circumstances, it is unrealistic to entirely rebuild aging infrastructure.
 国土交通省は、老朽化したインフラの更新費用が今後50年間で約190兆円に上ると推計している。インフラをすべて造り直すことは現実的ではない。

The idea of excluding low-use public facilities and bridges from repair and improvement projects is worthy of consideration.
 利用率が下がった公共施設や橋などは更新しないという考え方も検討に値しよう。

It is worrying that the old-fashioned style of implementing public works projects may return. In this connection, the Liberal Democratic Party vowed in its election platform in the House of Councillors election in July to “promote projects for enhancing national land resilience.”
 懸念されるのは、自民党が7月の参院選で、防災対策などの「国土強靱(きょうじん)化」を推進する公約を掲げたことに乗じて、旧来型の公共事業が息を吹き返すことだ。

It should never be forgotten that previous construction of unneeded roads, airports and other projects touted under the banner of large-scale development programs ended up worsening government finances.
 かつて大規模な開発事業のもとで、必要性の乏しい道路や空港を造り、財政悪化を招いたことを忘れてはなるまい。

To cut back on costs, due constideration must be paid to ways public works projects are undertaken.
 費用を抑制するには、公共事業の進め方にも工夫が要る。

For example, information technologies should be used to enhance the efficiency of inspection and repair of such facilties as roads and bridges. To this end, automatic collection and analysis of data obtained through high-performance sensors could lead to cost reduction as well as longer life spans of such facilities.
 センサーから得た情報を自動的に収集・分析するなど、IT(情報技術)を活用して道路や橋の点検や補修を効率化すれば、低コストで長寿命化が図れるだろう。

It could also be effective to integrate such public facilities as schools and libraries into single entities, while expediting diversification of their functions.
 学校や図書館などの公共施設を1か所に集約し、施設の多機能化を進めることも有効だ。

In addition, sufficient attention should be given to the wisdom of making the best use of the private finance initiative formula of the central and local governments to entrust construction and management of public facilities to private businesses.
国や自治体が公共施設の建設や運営を民間に委ねる「PFI」の活用にも知恵を絞るべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 5, 2013)
(2013年8月5日01時43分  読売新聞)

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2013年8月 5日 (月)

ネット選挙解禁 功罪を検証し政治に生かせ

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 5, 2013
Benefits of online campaigning should be closely examined
ネット選挙解禁 功罪を検証し政治に生かせ(8月4日付・読売社説)

The ban on the Internet’s use in election campaigning was lifted starting with the House of Councillors election in July. What were the advantages and disadvantages of using this campaign method?
 7月の参院選で解禁されたインターネット利用の選挙運動は、どんな功罪があったのか。

All parties must examine these points and consider how to encourage the public to participate more in politics.
各政党はその点を十分検証し、国民の政治参加のあり方を考えてもらいたい。

In the upper house election, political parties and candidates placed a great deal of emphasis on sending such information as election platforms, profile data, stumping photos and video messages to the electorate through websites, blogs and other means.
 参院選で、各政党や候補者はホームページやブログを通じ、公約やプロフィル、遊説写真、動画などの情報発信に力を入れた。

As for social networking services, which allow senders and recipients to communicate interactively, the Liberal Democratic Party mainly employed Facebook, while New Komeito and the Japanese Communist Party used LINE and Twitter, respectively, as new campaign tools.
 発信者と受け手の双方向性を持つソーシャル・ネットワーキング・サービス(SNS)では、自民党が主にフェイスブック、公明党はLINE(ライン)、共産党はツイッターなどをそれぞれ駆使した運動を展開した。

The volume of information available to voters during the campaign period increased significantly.
 選挙中に有権者が得られる情報量は、格段に増加した。

However, online campaigning appeared to have had a limited effect on the election outcome.
 ただし、その効果は、限定的であったと言えよう。

In exit polls The Yomiuri Shimbun conducted on the polling day, those who said they checked online to decide who to vote for averaged only 11 percent of people who cast their ballots in the election. The corresponding figure for voters in their 20s was no more than 24 percent.
 投開票日の読売新聞の出口調査では、ネット情報を参考にしたと答えた人は、わずか11%だった。20歳代でも24%にとどまった。

Voter turnout overall was lower than in the previous upper house election.
 全体の投票率も低下した。

This means that the main aim of online campaigning--getting young people interested in politics and having them go to the polls--failed to materialize.
 有権者とくに若者の関心を高め、投票所に足を運ばせるという狙い通りには行かなかった。

A major factor behind this may be that the parties and candidates were more or less working in the dark when they were campaigning online, mainly because they did not seem to have a good command of the Internet.
 背景には、各党や候補者がまだ手探りの段階で、ネットを使いこなせなかったことがあろう。

Meager information

Information posted online generally was limited to such items as time schedules of stumping tours and videos of speeches on the street, while information about policies and policy discussions among the parties was sparse.
発信内容も、遊説日程の告知や街頭演説の動画にとどまり、政策に関する訴えや議論は少なかった。

The dearth of policy discussions in online campaigning might be due partly to fears that clarifying positions concerning policies on such issues as nuclear power generation over which voters’ views are divided sharply could have incurred what is called “flaming,” a flood of criticism and counterarguments.
 原子力発電所問題など賛否が大きく分かれる政策を掲げると、批判や反論が集中する、いわゆる「炎上」を招きかねない。そんな警戒感もあったようだ。

There were no instances of such malicious cases as impersonating candidates or tampering with their websites, which had been feared with the introduction of online campaigning, according to the National Police Agency.
 一方、警察庁によると、懸念された候補者の「なりすまし」やホームページ改ざんといった悪質な選挙違反の摘発はゼロだった。

It also should be noted in this connection that a safety-first approach was taken in the online campaigning. Various restrictions were imposed, such as a ban on the use of e-mail for electioneering purposes by anyone except the parties and candidates.
 政党と候補者以外の一般有権者には電子メールでの投票呼びかけを認めないなど、今回は制度面で安全運転を期したのも事実だ。

To ensure fair campaigning, it is imperative to prevent illegal actions, so measures to that end must be implemented continuously.
 公正な選挙を実施するうえで、違法行為を防止することが必要だ。そのための手だては、引き続き講じていかねばならない。

However, there were some cases in which slanderous and defamatory messages were directed at certain candidates. More enlightened use of online campaign tools is indispensible.
 特定の候補者に対して誹謗(ひぼう)中傷が集中する事例はあちこちで起きた。節度ある利用についての啓発活動も欠かせない。

It has been pointed out that the distinction between what is lawful and unlawful under the Public Offices Election Law is unclear in regard to online campaigning, making the system a bit of a mystery to many voters. Both the ruling and opposition camps should consider ways to resolve the ambiguity of online campaign methods from a legal point of view.
 ネットによる選挙運動は、公職選挙法上の合法と違法の線引きがあいまいで、有権者にとって分かりにくいとの指摘もあった。与野党は、法律面でも、改善策を検討する必要がある。

Use of the Internet in campaigning will most likely be expanded to local elections, bringing politics closer to voters than ever before.
 地方選でも今後、ネットの利用が拡大していくだろう。
有権者にとってより身近な選挙となる。

All parties and candidates must use their ingenuity to determine how to use online campaigning in the best way possible.
各政党や候補者は、利用の仕方に一層知恵を絞らねばなるまい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 4, 2013)
(2013年8月4日01時22分  読売新聞)

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国民健康保険 都道府県移管は必要な方策だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 5, 2013
National health insurance program should be managed by prefectures
国民健康保険 都道府県移管は必要な方策だ(8月4日付・読売社説)

The financial condition of the national health insurance program, which was originally started as medical insurance for the self-employed, has taken a serious turn for the worse. The program must be rehabilitated as soon as possible.
 自営業者らの医療保険制度として発足した国民健康保険(国保)の財政悪化は深刻である。立て直しが急務だ。

The National Council on Social Security Reform will propose in an upcoming report that the national health insurance program, currently managed by cities, towns and villages, should be run by prefectures.
 政府の社会保障制度改革国民会議は近くまとめる報告書で、国保の運営主体を市町村から都道府県に移すことを求める。

The biggest aim of the proposal is to enhance the financial foundation of the program. We think having prefectural governments, which are larger than city, town and village governments, manage the program is a necessary means to maintaining the program.
 財政基盤の強化が最大の眼目だ。運営の広域化は国保を維持する上で必要な方策と言えよう。

There are about 35 million subscribers to the national health insurance program. With a decrease of farming families and private shops, about 70 percent of the subscribers are now nonregular workers and the unemployed.
 国保加入者は約3500万人に上る。農家や商店の減少に伴い、全体の約7割を非正規労働者や無職の人が占めている。

Because more and more low-income earners are joining the program, revenues from insurance premiums remain low. In fact, less than 30 percent of the more than 11 trillion yen in national health insurance payouts a year is covered by premiums.
 低所得の加入者の増加で、保険料収入は低水準にとどまっている。11兆円余の医療給付費のうち、保険料で賄えているのは3割に満たないのが現状だ。

To cover revenue shortages, the program must depend on financial assistance from employees’ insurance programs such as those operated by corporate health insurance unions and on public money from the national and prefectural governments. Nonetheless, this does not cover the deficits. To compensate for the deficits, 350 billion yen is allocated to the insurance program every year from the general accounts of municipal governments. The structure of the insurance program apparently ensures it will lose money.
 財源不足を補うため、健康保険組合など被用者保険からの支援金や国、都道府県の公費に頼っているが、それでも赤字を解消できない。穴埋めに市町村の一般会計から年3500億円も繰り入れている。構造的な赤字体質である。

Besides, small municipalities that operate the program easily find themselves in the red with high medical costs from advanced treatments. Depopulation worsens this situation.
 高度医療で高額な医療費がかかれば、人口が少ない市町村の国保会計はすぐさま赤字に転落してしまうという事情もある。過疎化がこの傾向に拍車をかけている。

Adjust insurance premiums

Another problem is that premiums have become a heavy burden on subscribers.
 加入者の保険料負担が重いことも問題である。

As a percentage of income, subscribers to national health insurance pay twice as much in premiums as do subscribers to health insurance programs run by corporate health insurance unions and mutual aid societies for public servants. And even among cities, towns and villages within the same prefecture, the difference between the most and least expensive national health insurance premiums is up to 2.8 times.
 1人当たりの所得に占める保険料の割合は、健保組合や公務員の共済組合の約2倍だ。同一都道府県内でも、市町村ごとの保険料には最大2・8倍の格差がある。

If management of the national health insurance program is transferred from cities, towns and villages to prefectures, its financial foundation would be improved by economy of scale.
 国保の運営を市町村から都道府県に移せば、規模の拡大によって財政は強化される。

And the difference in premiums among subscribers would become smaller if prefectural governments recalculated premiums necessary to sustain the national health insurance within their jurisdictions.
 都道府県単位で保険料を算出し直すことで、加入者の保険料格差は縮小するだろう。

Of course, a reduction in medical spending is important to rehabilitate the finances of the national health insurance program.
 無論、国保財政を健全化するには、医療費の削減が重要だ。

If they run the programs, prefectural governments will be able to gather a great deal of information about medical treatment within their jurisdictions. Analysis of such information would enable them to monitor wasteful spending such as expenses for unnecessary medical tests and excessive administration of drugs.
 都道府県が運営主体になれば、管内の多くの診療情報が集約される。その情報を分析することで、過剰な検査や投薬といった無駄を把握できるようになる。

This would eventually help prefectures exercise leadership in the operation of medical institutions after scrutinizing the contents of treatment.
 都道府県が、医療機関の治療内容を点検した上で指導力を発揮することにもつながるだろう。

However, there are still many problems in transferring management of the national health insurance program to prefectures.
 都道府県に移管するにしても、様々な課題がある。

For example, the National Governors’ Association demands the central government increase its financial assistance to them before they will agree to manage the program. But where is that money going to come from?
 全国知事会は、都道府県への移管を受け入れる前提として、政府に財政支援の強化を求めている。財源をどう確保するか。

According to the proposal, cities, towns and villages will likely keep collecting premiums for the national health insurance program. However, it is doubtful that municipalities no longer running the national health insurance program will collect premiums in a responsible manner.
 保険料徴収については引き続き市町村が担う見込みだ。国保を運営しなくなる市町村が、責任を持って徴収業務を行うだろうか。

It will be necessary to create a system to prevent the rate of national health insurance premium payments from declining further.
 納付率を低下させない仕組み作りが必要となろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 4, 2013)
(2013年8月4日01時22分  読売新聞)

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2013年8月 4日 (日)

輿石参院副議長 反省踏まえて国会改革進めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 4, 2013
Diet must be made more efficient with reforms based on experience
輿石参院副議長 反省踏まえて国会改革進めよ(8月3日付・読売社説)

Ruling and opposition parties should take advantage of the end to the divided Diet to embark on Diet reform to enhance the substance and efficiency of deliberations.
 衆参のねじれが解消されたのを機に、与野党は審議の充実と効率化を図るための国会改革に乗り出すべきだ。

An extraordinary Diet session was convened Friday, the first parliamentary session held after the July 21 House of Councillors election. Masaaki Yamazaki of the Liberal Democratic Party, which became the biggest party in the upper house following the election, and Azuma Koshiishi of the Democratic Party of Japan, which saw its strength in the chamber fall behind that of the LDP, were elected president and vice president of the chamber, respectively.
 参院選後初めての臨時国会が召集された。参院は、第1党となった自民党の山崎正昭氏を議長、第2党の民主党から輿石東氏を副議長に選んだ。

In consultations before the election, the LDP was relectant to install Koshiishi as vice president in view of the fact that he had played a pivotal role when the DPJ hampered the LDP-led government by dint of its numerical superiority in the upper house.
 事前調整の段階で、自民党は輿石氏の副議長就任に難色を示した。かつて民主党が、参院第1党の数の力で、自民党政権を揺さぶった際、中心的な役割を果たしたのが輿石氏だったからだ。

Koshiishi reportedly said, “I’ll reflect on what should be reflected on.” It was inevitable that the LDP appreciated his remarks and accepted the DPJ’s bid to install him as vice president.
 輿石氏は「反省すべき点は反省」すると語ったという。自民党がこれを評価し、副議長就任を容認したのはやむを得まい。

The installation of Koshiishi, who had been regarded as a symbol of the divided Diet, as vice president should be used as a chance to end futile confrontations between the ruling and opposition parties.
 ねじれの象徴ともみられた輿石氏の副議長就任を、不毛な与野党対立を終わらせる契機としなければならない。

We call for both camps to work out rules to deal with situations in which different deicisons are made by the two Diet chambers.
 取り組んでもらいたいのは、再びねじれが生じ、衆参の議決が異なった場合に、いかに問題を解決するかというルール作りだ。

The management of a joint committee of both houses, which has become dysfunctional, needs to be reexamined.
 機能不全に陥っている両院協議会の運営を見直す必要がある。

As for personnel appointments requiring approval by both chambers, there is room for improvement, such as narrowing the range of personnel matters that require bicameral endorsement.
 衆参両院の賛同を要する国会同意人事についても、その対象とする人事案件を絞り込むなど、改善を図る余地がある。

Rules should be changed

There are many rules and customs concerning Diet management that should be rectified.
 このほかにも、改めるべき国会運営のルールや慣例は多い。

It has long been pointed out that the prime minister and cabinet ministers are excessively occupied with Diet deliberations, adversely affecting their diplomatic and internal political activities.
 首相や閣僚が国会審議に縛られ、外交や内政に支障を来していると長年、指摘されている。

It is also necessary to reconsider the conventional practice of holding question-and-answer sessions with the prime minister and all cabinet ministers in attendance when the government’s budget is discussed at the House of Representatives Budget Committee. Some of the ministers have almost no chance to answer questions. Obviously, this is one of the negative results of formalism.
 政府の予算案は衆院予算委員会で、首相と全閣僚が出席して基本的質疑を行うという慣例も再考すべきだろう。答弁機会がほとんどない閣僚もいる。形式主義の弊害であることは明らかだ。

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) insists, “[Rules on] Diet management should be changed to enable the prime minister to go overseas for up to 100 days a year.” To this end, the party proposes that debate sessions with opposition party leaders be used as the principal opportunity for the prime minister to answer opposition questions. It also calls for introducing a system that would allow senior vice ministers to answer questions on behalf of the prime minister and cabinet ministers.
 日本維新の会は「首相が年間100日、海外に行ける国会運営」を主張する。その方策として、首相との質疑は党首討論を主に活用し、首相や閣僚に代わって副大臣が積極的に答弁できる制度を導入するよう提案している。

Utilization of senior vice ministers for such purposes could lessen the burdens of the prime minister and cabinet members. The DPJ made a similar contention when it took office, so agreement on this issue can be hammered out by the ruling and oppositon parties.
 副大臣を活用すれば、首相や閣僚の負担は軽減されよう。政権を担当していた当時の民主党も同様の主張をしていた。与野党で合意できるのではないか。

Under current practices, opposition parties ask the government to explain many government-proposed bills in plenary Diet sessions, delaying the start of substantial discussions in Diet committees. Diet business must be managed more efficiently.
 政府提出法案の多くは、野党が本会議での趣旨説明を要求するため、実質的な委員会審議に入るまでに時間がかかる。もっと効率的な運営であるべきだ。

Many parties have experience in both ruling and oppositon roles through several government changes in the past and can be assumed to know sufficiently where problems lie. The parties are urged to formulate new rules on Diet management unconstrained by past practices.
 幾度かの政権交代を経て、多くの政党が、与党、野党双方の立場を経験した。問題の所在は十分、分かっていよう。慣例にとらわれず、新しい国会のルールづくりに取り組んでもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 3, 2013)
(2013年8月3日01時49分  読売新聞)

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麻生財務相発言 ナチスにどう改憲を学ぶのか

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 4, 2013
How can we learn from Nazis about constitutional revision?
麻生財務相発言 ナチスにどう改憲を学ぶのか(8月3日付・読売社説)

Was this something a person who has held the prime minister’s post should say? We cannot help but doubt his qualification to be an important minister in the current administration.
 これが首相経験者の言うことなのか。現在の重要閣僚としての資質も疑わざるを得ない。

Referring to the approach to constitutional revision taken by the former Nazi regime in Germany, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso made remarks to the effect that we should learn from its technique to amend the country’s Constitution.
 麻生副総理・財務相が憲法改正を巡って、ドイツのナチス政権を引き合いに出し、その手法を学べという趣旨の発言をした問題である。

Many people took this statement as expressing a positive view of Nazi Germany. Widespread revulsion was rapidly expressed, not only in Japan but also by parties including a Jewish human rights organization in the United States. China and South Korea have also criticized the statement, linking it to their existing disagreements with the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over recognition of history.
 ナチスを肯定的に語ったものと受け止められ、国内だけでなく、米国のユダヤ人人権団体などにも、反発が広がった。中国や韓国も、安倍政権の歴史認識の問題と重ねて批判している。

Aso retracted his statement, saying: “It was taken differently from my real intent. It is regrettable that I invited a misunderstanding.” However, the situation is so serious that it may even damage Japan’s national interests.
 麻生氏は、「真意と異なり、誤解を招いたことは遺憾」として撤回したものの、日本の国益も損ないかねない事態だ。

The statement came out on Monday during a speech Aso made in Tokyo, in the context of his attempt to describe how cool-headed discussions are necessary for constitutional revision.
 今回の発言は7月29日、都内の講演会で、憲法改正は冷静な議論が必要という文脈で出てきた。

He referred to the circumstance in which Adolf Hitler emerged under the Weimar Constitution and said: “The Weimar Constitution was changed to the Nazi Constitution before people realized it. Why don’t we learn from that technique?”
 ヒトラーがワイマール憲法の下で台頭したことに言及し、「ワイマール憲法もいつの間にかナチス憲法に変わっていた。あの手口を学んだらどうかね」と述べた。

However, while the Weimar Constitution was rendered a dead letter, nothing called the “Nazi Constitution” ever existed.
 しかし、ワイマール憲法は形骸化されただけで、「ナチス憲法」なるものは存在しない。

Hitler seized the reins of government by legitimate means and built the foundation of his dictatorial regime through such things as the Enabling Act, by which the government was empowered to enact laws without parliamentary deliberation or approval. He sent Jewish people to concentration camps and caused the Holocaust.
 ヒトラーは、合法的手段によって政権を掌握し、政府が国会審議を経ずに立法できる全権委任法などで独裁体制の基礎を築いた。ユダヤ人らを強制収容所に送り込み、大虐殺を引き起こした。

Inappropriate expression

At his press conference Friday, Aso explained: “The Nazis emerged in the midst of an uproar before people realized it. I meant to say we have to learn from that as a bad example.” If it was his real intent, the expression “Learn from the technique” is totally inappropriate.
 麻生氏は、2日の記者会見で、「狂騒の中で、いつの間にか、ナチスが出てきた。悪(あ)しき例で、我々は学ばないといけないと申し上げた」と釈明した。それが真意というなら、「手口に学べ」という表現は全く不適切だ。

It is also not understandable at all why he picked the Nazi Germany case in relation to revision of the Constititution. In Japan a national referendum is needed to amend the Constitution, and that is only after an amendment has been initiated by both houses of the Diet. Therefore, it cannot be amended “before people realize it.”
 憲法改正に絡めて持ち出した意図も全く理解できない。憲法改正には国会の発議だけでなく、国民投票が必要であり、「いつの間にか」改正できるはずがない。

Democratic Party of Japan President Banri Kaieda criticized Aso, saying: “Revision of the Constitution is an issue that should be debated in the most vigorous way. His remarks ignore democracy, as he said it’s OK to do it secretly.”
 民主党の海江田代表は、「憲法改正は侃々諤々(かんかんがくがく)の議論をすべき問題だ。こっそりやってしまえばいいなどという、民主主義を無視した発言だ」と批判している。

There is no doubt that Aso’s speech was a serious blow to the Abe administration, which aims at constitutional revision.
 麻生氏の発言が、憲法改正を掲げる安倍政権にとって、打撃となったのは間違いない。

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said: “Cabinet ministers must fully recognize their positions and should make statements carefully, so as not to be misunderstood.”
 菅官房長官は、「閣僚は立場を十分承知し、慎重に誤解されないよう発言すべきだ」と述べた。

That is something which is too obvious. However, Aso repeatedly made gaffes and irresponsible remarks when he was foreign minister or prime minister such as, “Even people with Alzheimer’s can understand it,” or, “There are many doctors who lack common sense.”
 言うまでもないことである。だが、麻生氏は、外相、首相時代にも「アルツハイマーの人でもわかる」、「医師は社会的常識が欠落している人が多い」といった失言や放言を繰り返している。

Due to the Liberal Democratic Party’s landslide victory in the recent House of Councillors election, we suspect the the administration has let its hair down. Aso’s remarks also reveal the arrogance of a party winning big.
 参院選での大勝で政権のタガが緩んできたのではないか。麻生氏の発言には傲(おご)りも垣間見える。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 3, 2013)
(2013年8月3日01時49分  読売新聞)

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2013年8月 3日 (土)

大阪誤認逮捕 ずさんな捜査に驚かされる

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 3, 2013
Mistaken arrest by Osaka police apalling result of sloppy probe
大阪誤認逮捕 ずさんな捜査に驚かされる(8月2日付・読売社説)

Police and prosecutors are urged to seriously reflect on and make a thorough probe of their handling of a theft case that can only be described as extremely sloppy.
 ずさん極まりない捜査と言うほかない。警察と検察には、猛省と徹底検証を求めたい。

In connection with the theft that happened in January at a gas station in Sakai, the Osaka District Public Prosecutors Office’s Sakai branch has nullified the indictment against a male company employee and apologized to him. Osaka prefectural police, for their part, have admitted it was a mistaken arrest.
 堺市のガソリンスタンド(GS)で1月に起きた窃盗事件で、大阪地検堺支部は男性会社員の起訴を取り消し、男性に謝罪した。大阪府警も誤認逮捕だったことを認めた。

The man was detained for 85 days--even though he did not have any connection with the case. He wound up suspended from work. During interrogations, investigators frequently addressed him harshly, without the customary honorific title after his name, and insulted him by saying, “You’re not normal.” This can be seen as a serious infringement of human rights.
 男性は、事件と無関係だったのに、85日間も勾留され、休職を余儀なくされた。取り調べの際には、捜査員から何度も呼び捨てにされ、「あなたは普通じゃないんですよ」などと侮辱もされた。重大な人権侵害である。

The biggest reason for the mistaken arrest was simply an investigation based on the presumption that he was the perpetrator.
 誤認逮捕の最大の原因は、男性を犯人と決めつけた見込み捜査に尽きると言っていい。

A credit card stolen from a parked car was used at the gas station. Osaka prefectural police checked security camera images and found that the man was shown at the gas station at the time when the card was used to buy gasoline. Police decided this image was sufficient evidence to arrest him.
 駐車中の車から盗まれたカードが、GSで使われていた。府警が防犯カメラを調べたところ、ガソリンが販売された時刻に男性の姿が映っていた。府警はこの画像を逮捕の決め手とした。

However, an investigation by his lawyers found that the clock on the security camera was fast. Just one minute after the theft was committed, the man was found to have driven his car through a highway entrance about six kilometers away from the gas station.
 ところが、弁護人の調査で、防犯カメラの時刻がずれていたことが判明した。犯行があった時刻の1分後、男性は約6キロ離れた高速道路の入り口を乗用車で通過していたことも明らかになった。

This means that it was actually impossible for him to have committed the crime. He had an alibi that could prove his innocence. Osaka police neglected to conduct a corroborative probe that should be a basic part of an investigation. They reportedly failed to recognize their mistake until it was uncovered as a result of the lawyers’ investigation. This is truly outrageous.
 男性が犯行に及ぶのは事実上、不可能なことになる。無実を証明するアリバイだ。府警は基本である裏付け捜査を怠った。弁護人が調査するまで誤りに気づかなかったという。あきれるばかりだ。

A bitter lesson missed

Overreliance on a single piece of evidence led to the mistaken arrest. Osaka police committed the same mistake they made last year in connection with an incident in which threatening e-mails were sent from remotely controlled personal computers infected with viruses. An anime director was arrested for allegedly sending an e-mail threatening mass murder via his home computer. Police made the mistaken arrest because they attached too much importance to a single piece of evidence--the computer’s IP address. When dealing with the theft case, police showed they had failed to learn what should have been a bitter lesson.
 一つの証拠を過大評価して、誤認逮捕する。府警は昨年のパソコンの遠隔操作事件と全く同じ過ちを犯した。IPアドレスを重視し過ぎて、パソコン所有者のアニメ演出家を誤って逮捕した。苦い教訓がまるで生かされていない。

What both cases have in common is that the Osaka police would not listen to the suspects’ denials of the allegations.
 関与を否認する供述に耳を貸さなかった点も共通する。

Prosecutors should also be strongly blamed. They indicted the man without closely examining the evidence offered by police. They failed to fulfill their function of checking police investigations.
 検察の責任も重い。警察の証拠をよく吟味せず、男性を起訴した。警察の捜査に対するチェックが機能していない。

They opposed the man’s request to be released and refused to let family members visit him. The man would have spent even more time being illegitimately detained if the lawyers had not proved his alibi.
 保釈請求にも反対し、家族との接見も一時、禁じた。弁護人がアリバイを証明しなければ、不当勾留はさらに長引いただろう。

The man persistently denied being involved in the crime. But there have been many instances in which suspects have admitted to crimes after being detained over a long period.
 今回、男性は一貫して犯行を否認した。だが、無実の人が長期の身柄拘束により、罪を認める供述をしたケースは少なくない。

“Hostage justice,” the practice of not releasing defendants who deny the charges against them, is a big factor behind false charges.
 否認した被告を釈放しない「人質司法」は、冤罪(えんざい)を招く大きな要因である。

How detention should work is under discussion at a special panel of the Justice Ministry’s Legislative Council that is promoting a review of the criminal justice system. This is because the existing detention rules have been called ambiguous. The latest incident must be used to reexamine the practice of hostage justice.
 身柄拘束の在り方については、刑事司法制度の見直しを進める法制審議会の部会でも議論されている。ルールがあいまいとの指摘があるからだ。今回の事件を、人質司法を見直す契機とすべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 2, 2013)
(2013年8月2日01時36分  読売新聞)

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米金融緩和策 縮小へ問われる「市場との対話」

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 3, 2013
Fed must cleverly pursue exit from quantitative easing policy
米金融緩和策 縮小へ問われる「市場との対話」(8月2日付・読売社説)

The U.S. Federal Reserve Board has been assessing the appropriate timing for an exit strategy to scale back the current phase three of its quantitative monetary easing policy, known as QE3.
 米連邦準備制度理事会(FRB)が、異例の量的緩和策第3弾(QE3)を縮小する「出口戦略」の時期を巡り、模索を続けている。

What should the U.S. central bank do to begin tapering off the QE policies as soon as September without wreaking havoc on the market? The Fed is certain to tread a thorny path going forward in steering its monetary policy.
 混乱を招くことなく、9月にも踏み出せるのかどうか。難しい舵(かじ)取りを迫られよう。

A two-day meeting of the Fed’s policy-making Federal Open Market Committee was held Tuesday and Wednesday. During the meeting, a decision was made to continue QE3, which entails purchasing Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $85 billion (about 8.3 trillion yen) a month and a near-zero interbank interest rate policy.
 FRBは、連邦公開市場委員会(FOMC)を開き、米国債などを毎月850億ドル(約8・3兆円)買い入れているQE3と、ゼロ金利政策の維持を決めた。

Chairman Ben Bernanke announced in June the central bank’s plan for an exit strategy to start slowing down the pace of bond purchases “later this year,” contingent upon ongoing positive economic data. Specifically, he said bond buying could wrap up “by mid-2014.”
 バーナンキFRB議長は6月、景気回復が想定通りならば、「年後半に資産購入ペースを縮小し、来年半ばに終了する」という出口の道筋を明らかにしていた。

Market players were closely watching the latest policy meeting to see whether the Fed would solidify further steps for scaling back the bond-buying program. The FOMC statement that was released on Wednesday, however, did not mention anything of the sort, instead saying the committee “is prepared to increase or reduce the pace” of its purchases to maintain appropriate policy accommodation. As for the commercial sector, the Fed slightly downgraded its economic outlook for the United States.
 今回注目されたのは、さらに踏み込んだ方針だったが、FOMC声明は言及せず、「購入ペースを増減する準備ができている」と指摘するにとどまった。米国の景気認識はやや下方修正した。

In response to heightened speculation that the central bank may start backing off of QE3 in September, Bernanke said “there is no preset course” for ending the Fed’s bond buying. He added, “Highly accommodative monetary policy for the foreseeable future is what’s needed” for the U.S. economy.
 議長は最近、9月にQE3を縮小するとの観測が台頭していることに対し、「あらかじめ決まった道筋はない」とか、「予見しうる将来まで、極めて緩和的な金融政策が必要だ」と述べていた。

Caution promotes stability

Based on the latest FMOC statement and a series of remarks by the Fed chairman, it seems the U.S. central bank wants to prevent volatile market reactions yet maintain the flexibility to gradually curtail its ultraeasy monetary policy.
 FOMC声明と、一連の議長発言から読み取れるのは、市場の先走りを牽制(けんせい)し、条件が整えば緩和縮小に動くフリーハンドを握りたいという思惑である。

Stock prices on the New York exchange have been stable, with market players likely reacting favorably to the Fed’s cautious stance on implementing its exit strategy, which they see as conducive to stimulating business activity.
 ニューヨーク株価は落ち着いている。出口戦略を急がない姿勢は景気にプラスだと好感されたのだろう。

Given the circumstances, theories have begun emerging about the winding down of QE3 being postponed beyond the middle of next year.
QE3縮小の先送り説も市場に出始めた。

The Fed’s decision on when to scale back quantitative monetary easing will largely depend on the near-term outlook for the U.S. economy, which is still short of achieving a full-scale recovery.
 本格回復が遅れている米国景気の動向が、縮小時期の判断を左右することになろう。

A preliminary report on the United States’ inflation-adjusted gross national product for the April to June period showed an annualized 1.7 percent rise from the previous quarter. The positive figure was due mainly to such factors as strengthening of the housing sector and corporate capital investment in addition to robust personal spending.
 2013年4~6月期の実質国内総生産(GDP)の速報値は、年率で前期比1・7%増を記録した。住宅投資や企業の設備投資が牽引(けんいん)役となり、個人消費も堅調だったのが主因である。

While the U.S. economy’s modest pace of expansion is encouraging, the national growth estimate for the January-March quarter was sharply revised downward to a 1.1 percent annual rate from the previously estimated 1.8 percent. It seems the economic prospects of the United States in and after the last half of 2013 remain uncertain.
 緩やかな回復基調にあることは好材料だが、一方で、1~3月期の成長率は1・8%から1・1%に下方修正された。下期以降の見通しは不透明と言えよう。

The fact that the U.S. labor market is still strained is worrying, as a rise in personal consumption is a prerequisite for comprehensive economic recovery.
 依然厳しい雇用情勢が懸念される。本格回復には、個人消費の勢いが強まることも欠かせない。

The Fed also takes issue with the country’s persistent annual inflation rate of about 1 percent, a rate significantly below the FOMC’s long-run objective of 2 percent inflation.
 FRBは、インフレ率が1%程度と、長期目標の2%を大きく下回っている点を問題視する。

Foreign markets have become increasingly susceptible to developments in U.S. monetary policy. Some observers have expressed anxiety that the winding down of QE3 could cause an outflow of cash from emerging economies.
 米金融政策を材料に、世界の市場が動揺しやすい展開が続いている。QE3縮小で新興国からのマネー流出を懸念する声もある。

Now is the time for the Fed to exercise its ingenuity to help stabilize the global economy by exploring means of further communication with the market.
 FRBが「市場との対話」をさらに工夫し、世界経済の安定を図ることが求められる局面だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 2, 2013)
(2013年8月2日01時36分  読売新聞)

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2013年8月 2日 (金)

「慰安婦」像設置 憂うべき米国での「反日」拡大

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 2, 2013
Refute recent moves in U.S. to distort comfort women issue
「慰安婦」像設置 憂うべき米国での「反日」拡大(8月1日付・読売社説)

 ◆強制連行巡る誤解を正したい

A distorted view of historical facts involving Japan is starting to be spread in the United States. We believe the situation is extremely serious.
 歪曲(わいきょく)された歴史が、全米に喧伝(けんでん)されようとしている。極めて憂慮すべき事態である。

A statue of a girl symbolizing so-called comfort women was unveiled Tuesday in a ceremony in Glendale, Calif.
 米カリフォルニア州のグレンデール市内の公園で30日、「従軍慰安婦」の少女像の除幕式が行われた。

A private group of Korean-Americans led the move to erect the statue. It has the same design as a monument set up by an anti-Japan group in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul in 2011.
 韓国系民間団体の主導による慰安婦像だ。反日団体が一昨年、ソウルの日本大使館前に設置した像と同じデザインである。

The city of Glendale has designated the day, July 30, as “Korean Comfort Women Day.” The day’s origin is July 30, 2007, when the U.S. House of Representatives adopted a resolution calling on Japan to apologize over the comfort women issue.
 この日をグレンデール市は「慰安婦の日」とした。6年前、米下院が慰安婦問題で日本に謝罪を求める決議を採択した日に因(ちな)む。

Overblown descriptions
 ◆性奴隷という誇張歪曲

A plaque beside the statue says, “In memory of more than 200,000 Asian and Dutch women who were removed from their homes...to be coerced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Armed Forces of Japan between 1932 and 1945.”
 慰安婦像の傍らの碑には「1932年から45年まで、日本軍に連行され、強制的に性奴隷にされた20万人以上のアジア人、オランダ人の女性たちを記憶にとどめるために」と記されている。

The distorted and exaggerated phrases “sexual slavery” and “more than 200,000” are enough to significantly degrade the honor of Japan.
 「性奴隷」「20万人以上」という誇張歪曲した表現だけでも、日本の名誉を著しく傷つける。

The private group plans to set up similar statues elsewhere in the United States.
 韓国系民間団体は、こうした慰安婦像をさらに米国内に設置していく方針だ。

It is clear that the group aims to disseminate false information that the former Imperial Japanese Army forcibly recruited young Korean women, even minors, as comfort women during World War II.
 戦時中、旧日本軍が韓国の若い女性や少女さえも慰安婦として強制的に連行したという誤ったイメージを米国に広めようとしている。

The move calls to mind the way Chinese-American author Iris Chang depicted the Nanjing Incident in her book as an act of genocide equivalent to the Holocaust perpetrated by the German Nazi regime.
 かつて中国系アメリカ人のアイリス・チャン氏が著書で南京事件を、ナチス・ドイツのユダヤ人虐殺と同じような大虐殺として描いたことを想起させる。

The topic of comfort women became a diplomatic issue between Japan and South Korea in 1992. It was triggered by an Asahi Shimbun report that stated the Imperial Japanese Army controlled and supervised the establishment of so-called comfort stations as well as recruitment of comfort women.
 そもそもいわゆる従軍慰安婦問題が日韓間の外交問題に浮上したのは、92年のことだ。朝日新聞が「日本軍が慰安所の設置や、従軍慰安婦の募集を監督、統制していた」と報じたのが発端だった。

No evidence confirmed
 ◆証言の裏付けはない

Another passage in the article suggested that “Joshi Teishin Tai,” a wartime labor mobilization system for women, served as a means of forcible recruitment of comfort women, arousing resentment in South Korea.
 記事には、戦時勤労動員の「女子挺身(ていしん)隊」があたかも慰安婦の強制連行であったかのような表現もあり、韓国で反発が強まった。

The government has conducted an intensive investigation on the issue, but found no documents backing up the claim that the Japanese military forcibly recruited comfort women.
 政府は徹底的に調査したが、日本軍による強制連行を裏付けるような文書は発見できなかった。

In 1993, the Cabinet of then Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa approved a statement issued by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono to express “apologies and remorse” to former comfort women, apparently with the aim of politically settling the dispute between the two countries.
 宮沢内閣は翌93年、元慰安婦へのおわびと反省の意を表した河野官房長官談話を決定し、政治決着を図ろうとした。

The statement said that “at times, administrative/military personnel directly took part in the recruitments.”
談話には「官憲等が直接これに加担したこともあった」と記されている。

The statement included the sentence because when the government conducted interviews with 16 former comfort women, at the request of the South Korean government, there was testimony from one of them that police officers of the then Government-General of Korea took part in the recruitment of comfort women and intimidated them. Nobuo Ishihara, deputy chief cabinet secretary at the time, later revealed the finding.
 韓国政府の要望を受け、16人の元慰安婦から聞き取り調査を行った際、その中に、朝鮮総督府の巡査が慰安婦募集に立ち会って威嚇した旨の証言があったからだという。当時、官房副長官だった石原信雄氏が明らかにした。

However, no steps were taken to confirm the former comfort woman’s testimony. It cannot be denied that excessive diplomatic deference to South Korea was in the background.
 証言の裏付け調査は行われなかった。韓国への過剰な外交配慮が背景にあったことは否めない。

The Kono statement became a source of misunderstanding. Countries like South Korea took it to mean the Japanese government had admitted the comfort women were recruited forcibly.
 この河野談話が誤解の火種となった。慰安婦は強制連行であったと日本政府が認めたかのように、韓国などは受け止めた。

Issues of property and claims were settled under international law when the two countries normalized their relations in 1965. The Japanese government’s position is that compensation to former comfort women was also settled at that time as a matter of course.
 日韓間の財産・請求権問題については、1965年の国交正常化で国際法的には解決済みである。日本政府は元慰安婦への補償も当然含まれるとの立場だ。

The government later established the Asian Women’s Fund and provided 2 million yen in “atonement money” to 285 former comfort women in Taiwan, the Phillipines and South Korea. A letter of apology from then Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto was also distributed to them.
 政府はその後、「アジア女性基金」を設け、台湾やフィリピンなど285人の元慰安婦に1人200万円の「償い金」を支給し、首相のおわびの手紙も届けた。

However, the South Korean side reacted fiercely, saying this did not count as state compensation, and many former South Korean comfort women refused to receive the money.
 だが、韓国側は国家による補償ではないと反発し、多くの韓国人元慰安婦も受け取りを拒んだ。

It is also problematic that Japan’s atonement project was not accurately introduced to the public in South Korea and therefore went unappreciated.
 日本の償い事業が韓国できちんと伝えられず、評価されなかったことにも問題がある。

On the problem of comfort women, which has grown ever more knotty, the government needs to reexamine the issue from its roots, including the Kono statement.
 こじれ続ける慰安婦問題への対応について、政府は、河野談話を手始めに、根本から再検証する必要があるだろう。

Review Kono statement
 ◆河野談話の見直しを

At the Glendale City Council on July 9, many Japanese-American residents and Japanese nationals in the United States participated in a public hearing on the installation of the statue. Some said the city must present evidence of forcible recruitment, if it has any. They thus opposed the installation of the statue as baseless.
 グレンデール市では7月9日、慰安婦像設置に関する公聴会に、多くの日系住民や在米日本人が参加して「強制連行の証拠があるのなら示してほしい」と意見を述べ、根拠なき像の設置に反対した。

The Korean-American residents of the city rebutted the opinions of the Japanese-American residents. The U.S. House of Representatives and the European Parliament adopted resolutions criticizing Japan on the comfort women issue, claiming the Japanese government itself had admitted forcible recruitment in the Kono statement.
 韓国系住民は「米下院も欧州議会も慰安婦問題で対日批判決議をした」「日本政府も河野談話で強制連行を認めた」と反論した。

After the residents’ opinions were heard, a vote among four council members and Glendale’s mayor came out 4-to-1 in favor of the installation of the comfort woman statue, it has been reported.
 意見陳述を聴いた市議ら5人の間で採決が行われ、4対1で慰安婦像の設置が決まったという。

No doubt the ethnic Korean residents regard the Kono statement as the basis for their claims on the forcible recruitments of comfort women.
 河野談話を慰安婦強制連行の論拠にしているのは間違いない。

It is true there were actions by the Japanese government in wartime that injured the honor and dignity of many women. If the comfort women issue were to be judged under the standards of human rights awareness that exist today, there would be no chance for Japan to politically win the issue.
 戦時中に多数の女性の名誉と尊厳を傷つける行為があったことは確かだ。現在の人権感覚で慰安婦問題が裁かれれば、日本は政治的に勝ち目はなかろう。

Even so, Japan must continue to transmit all accurate facts regarding whether there was forcible recruitment of comfort women or not.
 それでもなお強制連行の有無に関しては、正確な事実関係を示し続けていくべきである。

There is no course open to the Japanese government other than explaining its handling of the comfort women issue carefully and tenaciously at home and abroad. It is especially important to transmit information in English.
 日本側は慰安婦問題での対応について、内外に丁寧に粘り強く説明していくしかない。英語による発信が特に重要だ。

To correct the distortion that the women were “sex slaves,” it is indispensable for the Japanese government to review the Kono statement of 20 years ago.
 「性奴隷」との曲解を是正するためにも、20年前の河野談話の見直しが欠かせない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 1, 2013)
(2013年8月1日01時29分  読売新聞)

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2013年8月 1日 (木)

郵政保険提携 企業価値の向上占う試金石だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 1, 2013
Japan Post-Aflac deal a chance to revive postal sector profits
郵政保険提携 企業価値の向上占う試金石だ(7月31日付・読売社説)

The recent agreement by Japan Post Holdings Co. and Aflac Inc. to expand their business alliance should serve to improve the profitability of the nation’s postal services but not hamper fair competition in the domestic insurance market.
 郵政事業の収益を向上させ、日本の保険市場の公正な競争を阻害しない提携が求められる。

On Friday, the Japan Post Group’s holding company and the major U.S. insurance firm announced their decision to strengthen their partnership in the insurance business.
 日本郵政と米保険大手のアメリカンファミリー生命保険(アフラック)が、がん保険の提携強化で合意した。

Aflac’s market share in Japan’s cancer insurance sector is currently 70 percent. The U.S. firm was firmly opposed to Japan Post Holding’s entry into the market, considering the Japanese government’s equity investment in the holding company.
 アフラックは日本のがん保険市場の7割を占める最大手で、日本政府が出資する日本郵政のがん保険参入に強く反対していた。

In light of this, the recent deal seems unusual in that the two corporations will now fully cooperate in marketing their cancer insurance policies.
 それが一転して、がん保険を本格的に共同販売するという異例の提携劇である。

The agreement will result in an increase in the number of post offices selling Aflac cancer insurance to 20,000 from the current 1,000. This will be complemented by a similar marketing plan at shops directly managed by Japan Post Insurance Co., another arm of the holding company.
 具体的には、アフラックのがん保険を販売する郵便局を、現在の1000局から2万局へ拡大し、かんぽ生命保険の直営店でも取り扱うようにする。

The accord also requires Aflac to develop a new cancer insurance instrument that will be marketed by Japan Post Holdings.
 アフラックは、日本郵政が販売するがん保険の専用商品を開発するという。

At a press conference Friday, Japan Post Holdings President Taizo Nishimuro emphasized the significance of the two corporations’ expanded business partnership. “It will both benefit customers and increase the value of the Japan Post Group,” he said. Nishimuro was named president of the holding company in June.
 6月に就任した西室泰三・日本郵政社長は記者会見で、「顧客の利便性を高め、グループの企業価値を高められる」と述べ、提携拡大の意義を強調した。

Going forward, it is important that Japan Post Holdings makes the most of the recent deal to further develop its insurance business. If it envisions the fortified partnership as a mere tool for boosting sales commissions, it will scarcely gain from the deal. To this end, Japan Post Holdings must continue fine-tuning the agreement.
 重要なのは日本郵政の保険ビジネスの成長につなげることだ。販売手数料を得るだけではメリットは乏しい。アフラックと提携内容をさらに詰める必要がある。

In negotiations with Japan over the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact, the United States disapproved of an attempt by the holding company to expand the scope of its insurance services. This recent deal should nullify Washington’s concerns and remove a potential hindrance to progress in sideline TPP talks between the two nations. The move will likely prove advantageous in TPP negotiations as they shift into high gear.
 環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)を巡る日米交渉で、米国は日本郵政の保険事業拡大に難色を示していた。両社の提携で支障の一つがなくなる。これから本格化するTPP交渉には追い風となろう。

Ensure fair competition

Meanwhile, the domestic life insurance industry is still apprehensive about what it sees as “a domineering partnership” between Japan Post Holdings and Aflac. Because the government owns shares in the holding company, some critics have called the arrangement a tacit government guarantee. Domestic life insurance firms fear the latest accord could eventually strain the private-sector insurance industry, just as the state-run postal business did before its privatization.
 一方、日本の生保業界には、国の後ろ盾がある日本郵政とアフラックの“巨大提携”が、新たな民業圧迫につながるのではないかとの懸念がくすぶっている。

To invigorate the insurance market, it is essential to ensure fair competition. To achieve this, the government must keep a close watch on movements in the market.
 保険市場の活性化を図るには、公正な競争が確保されていることが不可欠だ。政府はしっかり監視してもらいたい。

The holding company hopes to list the government-held postal shares on the stock market in fiscal 2015. Profits from the sale of the listed shares will be used to help finance revitalization projects for areas devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. Steady progress must be made in ensuring the shares are listed.
 日本郵政は、政府が持つ日本郵政株を2015年度に上場することを目指している。上場に伴う政府保有株の売却益は、東日本大震災の復興財源に活用される。着実な上場の実現が望まれる。

However, the shrinking scale of Japan Post Holdings’ operations is alarming, as the situation could impede the government’s efforts to list its postal stock.
 気がかりなのは、日本郵政の事業が縮小傾向にあることだ。上場の障害となりかねない。

Furthermore, Japan Post Insurance has seen an ongoing decline in its number of active contracts. There has also been a large drop in the quantity of mail, postcards and other related business handled by the Japan Post Group. To add insult to injury, the value of outstanding deposits at Japan Post Bank Co., another unit of the group, has steadily decreased in the wake of postal privatization.
 かんぽ生命の保有契約件数は減少が続き、郵便の取扱数や、ゆうちょ銀行の残高も民営化前より大きく目減りした。

Japan Post Holdings hopes to improve its profitability through such measures as an entry into the housing loan business. However, there are lingering concerns over its evaluation system for loan applications and supervision of internal operations.
 日本郵政は、住宅ローンなどへの参入で収益向上を図りたい考えだが、融資審査や内部管理などの体制は依然として心もとない。

Can Japan Post Holdings turn its business around to achieve tangible financial results? Nishimuro’s management skills will soon be tested.
 長引く低迷から脱却し、目に見える成果を出せるか。西室体制の経営手腕が問われよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 31, 2013)
(2013年7月31日02時10分  読売新聞)

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原子力委員会 司令塔の役割強化する改革を

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 1, 2013
Commission must become command center to rebuild N-energy policy
原子力委員会 司令塔の役割強化する改革を(7月31日付・読売社説)

Japan needs a robust, comprehensive command center within the government to reconstruct its nuclear energy policy, which has been mired in confusion since the Great East Japan Earthquake.
 東日本大震災以降、混迷が続いてきた原子力政策を立て直すには、政府内に確固たる総合司令塔が必要である。

A government panel of experts has begun studying how to reform the Cabinet Office’s Japan Atomic Energy Commission, the structure and functions of which are now under the microscope.
 組織や権能の在り方が問われている内閣府の原子力委員会を、どう改革するか。政府の有識者会議が検討に乗り出した。

The commission, which has been in charge of drawing up the nation’s nuclear energy policy and ensuring that this energy is used for peaceful purposes, is an administrative arm promoting and maintaining the use of atomic energy.
 原子力委は、原子力政策大綱の立案や平和利用の確認作業を担ってきた。原子力利用を推進、維持する行政組織だ。

Together with the Nuclear Regulation Authority, launched last year to guarantee the safety of nuclear power plants, the commission plays an integral role in the nation’s nuclear energy policy.
 原子力発電所の安全確保を担うため、昨年発足した原子力規制委員会とは車の両輪と言える。

However, the Democratic Party of Japan-led government, which championed a policy of phasing out nuclear energy, deprived the commission of its policy drafting authority. Instead, it transferred these functions to the Energy and Environment Council, comprising Cabinet ministers concerned, although this action was not backed by law.
 ところが、「脱原発」政策を掲げる民主党政権は、原子力委から政策立案の権限を奪った。その上で、法的根拠がないまま、関係閣僚らで組織するエネルギー・環境会議に権限を移した。

Last October, the Cabinet of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda established a panel to consider how to reform the commission. One option was abolition, but no conclusion was reached.
 野田内閣は昨年10月、原子力委の廃止も視野に見直し会議を設けたが、結論は出なかった。

We believe it is appropriate for the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which has distanced itself from a policy of ditching nuclear energy, to set up the new panel of experts with the aim of rebuilding the commission.
 脱原発とは一線を画す安倍内閣が、新たに有識者会議を設け、原子力委の立て直しに乗り出したことは適切な判断である。

We hope the panel will conduct in-depth discussions on what responsibilities the commission should have within the government by clearly defining its administrative role.
 政府内で、原子力委にどのような責任を持たせるのか。行政組織としての役割を、有識者会議でしっかりと議論してもらいたい。

Key role essential

Established in 1956, the commission was initially headed by the director general of the Science and Technology Agency--a cabinet member--and entrusted with overall nuclear energy policy from selecting the locations for nuclear power plants to regulating their safety.
 原子力委は1956年に発足した。初期には委員長を閣僚である科学技術庁長官が務め、原発立地から安全規制まで、原子力政策全般を一手に担った。

Later, the safety regulation function was detached from the commission to deal with the increasing number of nuclear power plants and to strengthen the government’s ability to deal with problems at those plants. Since the 2001 reorganization of government ministries, the commission has been headed by an expert outside the government and its authority has been drastically reduced.
 その後、原発の増加やトラブル対応強化のため、安全規制部門が分離された。省庁再編の後には、有識者が委員長職に就き、権限も大幅に縮小した。

These days, however, it is more important than ever for the commission to play key roles in drafting and promoting nuclear energy policies, which require high levels of expertise.
 だが、専門的な知識を要する原子力政策の立案、推進における役割は今こそ大きい。

At the first meeting of the new panel Tuesday, many members called for revitalizing the commission’s functions.  30日の初会合でも、メンバーから原子力委の機能を再活性化させる必要性を説く声が相次いだ。

With Japan’s efforts to export nuclear power plants in mind, some members said international cooperation was essential. They also suggested that the commission should have “accountability at home and abroad on the use of plutonium” and oversee the “decommissioning of nuclear reactors.”
 日本の原発輸出の取り組みを踏まえ、「国際協力が重要」との指摘があった。「プルトニウム利用について、国内外への説明責任を担う」「廃炉も重要な仕事だ」といった見解が示された。

These opinions are all reasonable, considering that Japan has one of the largest number of nuclear power plants in the world.
 日本が世界有数の原発保有国であることを考えれば、もっともな意見である。

To ensure that the opinion of the commission is reflected within the government, it might be a good idea to have a Cabinet minister head the commission again and to clearly define its responsibility.
 原子力委の意見を政府内で反映させるためには、委員長を閣僚に戻し、責任を明確にした組織にすることも十分考えられよう。

With the government aiming to map out a basic energy plan by the end of this year, where should Japan’s nuclear power plants figure in the plan?
 政府は年内をめどにエネルギー基本計画を策定する方針だ。
 その中で原発をどう位置づけるべきか。

To come up with a realistic strategy, it is indispensable to have experts at the commission examine Japan’s strategy.
現実的な戦略を作るためには、原子力委の専門的な検討が不可欠である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 31, 2013)
(2013年7月31日02時10分  読売新聞)

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