« 2013年10月 | トップページ | 2013年12月 »


2013年11月30日 (土)

NSC法成立 意義深い与野党の幅広い合意

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 29, 2013
Passage of NSC bill vital development in safeguarding nation’s peace, security
NSC法成立 意義深い与野党の幅広い合意(11月28日付・読売社説)

We welcome the passage of a bill designed to establish an organ to play a key role in issuing directives related to our country’s diplomatic relations and national security. This legislation will soon launch a Japanese version of the U.S. National Security Council, with the aim of ensuring the nation’s peace and security and defending its national interests.

On Wednesday, the Diet enacted the NSC establishment law. Our country’s NSC will be inaugurated in early December. The first task of the soon-to-be-launched command center will be drafting a comprehensive national security strategy, the first of its kind for Japan, while also writing a new version of the National Defense Program Guidelines. This will likely be followed by the launch in January of a national security secretariat that will serve as the NSC’s executive office.

The NSC establishment law was endorsed by the governing coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito, as well as the opposition Democratic Party of Japan, Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Your Party. National security policies should be formulated based on suprapartisan consensus. Given this, it is highly significant that more than 90 percent of lawmakers in both Diet chambers united to pass the NSC bill into law.

The envisaged NSC’s central pillar will be a meeting of the prime minister and three key cabinet members—the chief cabinet secretary, the foreign minister and the defense minister. As a general rule, the meeting is to be held once every two weeks, also attended by the deputy prime minister.

It is most significant that a new system will be set up, by which the prime minister and relevant cabinet members will meet periodically to discuss important issues related to our country’s security and develop a common view on such matters. Themes will include situations related to China and North Korea, the ongoing realignment of U.S. armed forces in this country and issues related to our territory.

The NSC scheme will make it possible for top officials at the Prime Minister’s Office to afford a certain amount of time and energy to address diplomatic and security matters even at a time when the government is confronted by a number of tasks to be tackled at home. This task will be supported by the NSC executive office, which will comprise personnel with professional expertise, including senior Self-Defense Forces members.

We hope all these arrangements will do much to ensure that diplomatic and security policies are given higher priority and are better formulated.

Ensuring PM takes the lead

It will be necessary to ensure the Prime Minister’s Office takes the lead in determining the direction of security policy, a task that requires eliminating a lack of coordination among pertinent ministries and agencies.

This can be exemplified by such immediate tasks as responding to China’s recent move to set up an expanded air defense identification zone and the planned relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture. Seeking solutions to both problems requires cooperative relations among several government ministries and agencies. The NSC will be tested over its ability to coordinate and adjust cooperation among these government offices.

Making appropriate decisions about security issues requires improving the ability of all government organs to gather and analyze information.

The NSC establishment law states that relevant ministries and agencies are required to supply the new organ with information related to its function. Information to be managed by the NSC will include government secrets whose confidentiality would be tightly guarded under an envisaged law seeking to stiffen penalties on public servants who leak such information.

With this in mind, relevant cabinet members must give their ministry personnel instructions necessary for facilitating a smooth information supply.

It is also essential that the Diet does not fail to pass the bill designed to prevent the leakage of specified government secrets. The government should also make progress in reforming the Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office, although it has not done so in connection with the NSC scheme.

Some duties of the NSC and the intelligence and research office may overlap, including analyzing the overseas state of affairs and intelligence regarding acts of international terrorism. The two organizations should promote effective cooperation between them.

The Diet has also adopted a resolution supplementary to the NSC establishment law that will require the government to consider producing the minutes of NSC ministerial meetings. This resulted from negotiations between the ruling and opposition parties.

Admittedly, it is necessary to create a system for compiling records regarding how decisions are made about important policy issues, so that each decision-making process could be verified in the future. Nonetheless, whether to produce the minutes of NSC meetings and disclose related information must be considered by putting all relevant government meetings into perspective, including cabinet meetings and conferences attended by cabinet ministers related to the NSC scheme.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 28, 2013)
(2013年11月28日01時34分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

冬の節電 「原発ゼロ」に早く終止符打て

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 29, 2013
Bring nuclear plants out of mothballs as quickly as possible
冬の節電 「原発ゼロ」に早く終止符打て(11月28日付・読売社説)

If a major power outage occurs in the depths of winter, people could die. The government and power companies must exert all possible effort to achieve a stable supply of electricity during the winter.

A power-saving campaign period for the winter will start next Monday. The nation’s electricity companies, except for Okinawa Electric Power Co., will call on their consumers to save electricity to a reasonable degree.

This is a measure that has to be taken as the nation’s 50 nuclear reactors have stopped operating and have no prospect of being restarted even as winter, when power consumption increases for heating, comes rolling in.

To prevent a power failure, it is said that a power company’s electricity supply should be at least 3 percent greater than its total power demand. Due to measures such as the full operation of thermal power plants, all of the nation’s power companies are expected to secure this minimum power supply. Nevertheless, Kansai Electric Power Co. and Kyushu Electric Power Co. is expected to have an extra power supply of only the minimum limits. Kansai Electric has 3 percent, and the figure for Kyushu Electric is expected to be 3.1 percent.

We should all take such power-saving measures as turning off lights when we leave a room and turning temperature settings down both at home and in offices so we can all weather the cold season safely.

It is also necessary for the electric utility industry, as a whole, to prepare for contingencies by, for example, reinforcing the system whereby power companies with ample supply capacity use their extra power to assist areas hit by a power shortage due to a breakdown of a power plant.

Restart Hokkaido reactors first

Among the nation’s utilities, Hokkaido Electric Power Co. is highly likely to be forced to budget its power supply most precariously. Beyond the nationwide call for power saving, Hokkaido Electric will call on its business and household customers to reduce electricity use by more than 6 percent, compared to fiscal 2010, during the hours 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays between Dec. 9 and March 7.

This is the second year in a row that the utility has attached numerical targets to a call for winter power-saving. Behind such calls is the tight conditions of its power supply.

Eight of its 12 thermal power plants have been in service for more than 30 years, with stoppages increasing due to malfunctions. In June, a large-scale power loss of nearly 1.2 million kilowatts occurred.

Hokkaido Electric has only 400,000 kilowatts in surplus generating capacity for this winter. As the transmission capacity of the power cable linking Hokkaido and Honshu is limited, the total amount of extra electricity that other utilities may provide is only up to 600,000 kilowatts. Should a large-scale problem disrupt Hokkaido’s electricity supply, there could be power outages there.

In Hokkaido, there are areas where the temperature falls to minus 30 C. If heating devices cease to function due to a power failure, many people may face the danger of freezing to death.

Also worrisome is a scenario in which infrastructure becomes paralyzed, as it becomes impossible to melt snow off of roads and prevent water pipes from freezing. Such thoughts as, “There is enough power even without nuclear power plants” are too optimistic.

In a bid to restart three reactors at its Tomari nuclear power plant, Hokkaido Electric has filed a request for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to give the plant a safety inspection.

It is now necessary to steadily let not only the Tomari plant but also other nuclear power plants resume operation once their safety is confirmed, thus putting an end to the current situation of no nuclear power plants being in operation.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 28, 2013)
(2013年11月28日01時32分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

2013年11月29日 (金)

シーファーちゃんの宿題29(タイ語) 2013-11-29













| | コメント (0)

シーファーちゃんの宿題28(タイ語) 2013-11-29






v. (จับ, รวบ, คล้อง, เกาะเกี่ยว) hook, seize, catch, fasten, hitch, clasp





the taro or dalo plant,Colocasia esculenta


| | コメント (0)

シーファーちゃんの宿題27(タイ語) 2013-11-29








adj. (สูง) high, high up in the air





| | コメント (0)

シーファーちゃんの宿題26(タイ語) 2013-11-29







n. (ต้นตำลึง, ผักตำลึง) Coccinia grandis (Cucurbitaceae), species of creeper, Coccinia indica (elothria heterophylla)


n. (อึ่งยาง, อึ่ง) bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana

a singlet,a jersey,a T-shirt



| | コメント (0)

シーファーちゃんの宿題25(タイ語) 2013-11-29









Phan(fruit tray)


coconut shell


| | コメント (0)

2013年11月28日 (木)



【セブンインベスターズ】3つのFX取引ツールにログイン可能なアプリ(FXモバイル)をリリース!! 株式会社セブンインベスターズ

| | コメント (0)

シーファーちゃんの宿題24(タイ語) 2013-11-28










| | コメント (0)

秘密保護法案 指定対象絞り「原則公開」確実に

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 28, 2013
Scope of secrecy must be narrowed; more Diet discussions needed
秘密保護法案 指定対象絞り「原則公開」確実に(11月27日付・読売社説)


The House of Representatives’ passage of a bill to tighten the confidentiality of specified government information can be regarded as a clear indication that many legislators believe this country needs such legislation comparable to what has already been enacted in other advanced nations.

The bill is designed to tighten penalties on public servants and others who leak classified information related to national security. On Tuesday, the legislation was laid before a plenary session of the lower house, which approved it with the endorsement of a significant 70 percent of lawmakers in that chamber—those from the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito, as well as Your Party and some other legislators. The bill was then forwarded to the House of Councillors for further discussions.

Members of the opposition Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) left the chamber before the bill was put to a vote, despite its earlier agreement to support the legislation if some modifications were incorporated into it. Ishin no Kai was antagonized by the governing coalition’s decision to vote on the bill Tuesday instead of going along with its calls for more discussions.

Although Ishin no Kai regrettably refused to vote in favor of the bill, we find it commendable that the legislation passed the lower house with the backing of many lawmakers from both the ruling and opposition parties.

Japan NSC comes into play

Still, debates on revisions to the initial bill—an amendment drafted by the ruling parties, Your Party and Ishin no Kai—were far from sufficient. It is also a stretch to say that public anxiety about the nature of the bill has been laid to rest, as shown by the widespread fear that the legislation could restrict the people’s right to know.

The government and the ruling parties should carefully explain how the envisaged law would be applied in actuality during upper house debates on it, with the aim of gaining broad support for it.

Japan’s security environment has become even more difficult in recent years due to such factors as North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and China’s growing military build-up.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had every reason to tell a session of the lower house Special Committee on National Security that “information gathering is critical for defending the safety of the people.”

The Abe administration intends to establish a Japanese version of the U.S. National Security Council that would play a central role in issuing directives related to Japan’s diplomatic relations and national security. Every nation needs to refine its legal framework to ensure none of its secrets are leaked. This is essential for promoting efforts to exchange and share critical information among allies and friendly powers.

Given this, the envisaged NSC and legislation for preserving the secrecy of crucial information are inseparable when it comes to the government’s strategic decision-making function.

The most contentious issue debated in connection with the bill was how the government would actually apply the envisaged law. During debates in the lower house, legislators said it would be impossible to dispel the anxiety that the government could arbitrarily expand the scope of information to be designated under the legislation, thus making it possible to keep concealing such secrets.

The prime minister brushed off that assertion as a mistaken notion about the bill. He insisted that the legislation would be used as a multilayered system by which the government would be prevented from making arbitrary decisions about designating information as secret. Steps to be taken for that purpose include limiting the scope of designation to items stated in a table attached to the bill, and setting standards for secrecy designation based on the opinions of experts.

Information to be classified under the legislation would be removed—as a general rule—from the list of secrets 30 years after its designation. The modified bill stipulates the term of designation for each secret could be renewed by consent of the cabinet, but that the ultimate period would not exceed 60 years, except for areas of critical importance, including secret codes used by the government and sources of confidential information.

The prime minister told the lower house that information whose designation period could be extended beyond 30 years would be limited, as a general rule, to these seven areas.

Debates on the bill in the lower house certainly did much to clarify the government’s thinking about how to apply the law, and also imposed tighter limits on the duration of secrecy designation.

Fend off arbitrary judgment

Nonetheless, bureaucratic organizations, with their ingrained principle of not rocking the boat, are expected to broaden the range of documents subject to protection as specifically designated secrets and become more cautious about declassifying them.

Presently, the government possesses about 420,000 documents containing specially managed secrets. Ninety percent of these documents are said to be related to Japan’s information-gathering satellites. The government should narrow down the range of classified information to be protected when it transfers documents into the category of specifically designated secrets.

If the number of specifically designated secrets grows too large, it would be physically difficult to check every piece of classified information and to declassify them should “the heads of administrative organizations” be replaced through a change of government or a cabinet reshuffle. It is important to work out a structure that prevents bureaucrats from hanging on to specifically designated secrets for too long.

During a Diet session, Abe went so far as to say the government should establish a “third-party body” that would examine the appropriateness of the designation of documents branded as secret. He referred to such organizations as the Information Security Oversight Office within the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

It would be unreasonable for specifically designated secrets to be examined by people outside the organization. It would also give rise to the danger of information leaks. If a third-party organization is to be set up, it would be proper to have an internal unit within an administrative organization do the job, modeled on the setup in the United States.

According to the modified bill, all secret documents that have been declassified “are to be made public, in principle” after a certain period. This modification is an improvement that will enable future generations to examine these documents.

How such documents should be made public, stored or destroyed are major issues to be resolved. The Democratic Party of Japan asserted that certain rules should be established on information disclosure so that courts will be able to look at specific documents when handling a lawsuit that involves classified information. We think this proposal has some merit.

As to the Diet’s involvement in specifically designated secrets, the ruling and opposition parties should stipulate such matters as the management of closed meetings through lawmaker-initiated legislation.

Protecting ‘right to know’

The bill also clearly gave some consideration to the freedom of news gathering and reporting. We welcome the fact that news gathering activity by people in the media will not be considered a crime unless it is conducted illegally or extremely improperly.

Some opposition parties have been up in arms and claimed this bill “will cover the people’s eyes and ears and muzzle their mouths” and “control the state’s information and silence any criticism of the Japan-U.S. alliance.” But such fears are off the mark.

That being said, there is a danger that public servants will become so afraid of leaks that they will reject requests for interviews, making it harder for the media to share necessary information with the public.

How should the protection of classified information for national security be balanced with the people’s “right to know”? This topic also needs in-depth discussion in the upper house.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 27, 2013)
(2013年11月27日02時13分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)


yen-us $ in the morning on 28 November, 2013


| | コメント (0)

2013年11月27日 (水)

NFC技術で有名なオレンジタグスは東京都に認定されました スマホ向けNFC開発キットがおすすめです


( ̄o ̄)え?NFC技術って何だって。

NFCは英語の頭文字なんですが、Near Field Communicationを省略したもので、日本語には近距離無線通信技術と翻訳されています。


小さなカードをNFC端末にそっとかざすだけで、カードやタグの印刷・データ加工 など、大抵のことは出来てしまうという、凄い技術なんです。




| | コメント (0)

中国防空識別圏 容認できぬ一方的な現状変更

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 27, 2013
China’s unilateral attempt to change status quo absolutely unacceptable
中国防空識別圏 容認できぬ一方的な現状変更(11月26日付・読売社説)

China has established an air defense identification zone in the East China Sea, including airspace over the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture.

This is a completely unacceptable unilateral action that changes the status quo in the region.

Air defense identification zones are set independently by nations, including Japan, to prevent foreign aircraft from intruding into their territorial airspace. The zone is set outside territorial airspace, and in some instances fighter jets scramble against unidentified aircraft that breach the zone.

The problem is that the zone set by China includes Japanese territorial airspace around the Senkakus and partially overlaps with Japan’s zone.

Without question, the government was right to summon the Chinese ambassador to Japan to lodge a strong protest and demand that China scrap its zone. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced that Japan will not recognize the zone established by China.

Beijing has threatened to take what it called “emergency measures” that involve the use of force against aircraft that do not comply with orders in its air defense zone.

There are concerns that aircraft of the Self-Defense Forces and the Chinese military that have scrambled could approach each other and accidentally trigger a clash. The danger is palpable.

China has rejected Japan’s protest, arguing that the zone was established “to defend its sovereignty, territorial land and airspace.” China appears to be ramping up pressure on Japan by establishing “new facts on the ground” in connection with the Senkakus.

The administration of Chinese President Xi Jinping is in a fix domestically, as it faces growing public discontent over economic disparities and other issues. It seems the Xi administration is trying to solidify its leadership by inciting nationalism among the Chinese people.

Test for Japan-U.S. alliance

China’s latest action, it may be said, embodies its military strategy of enclosing the East China Sea and other Asian maritime areas as its zones of influence to deny access by the U.S. military. This poses a grave challenge to the Japan-U.S. alliance.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel issued a statement of protest, saying, “We view this development as a destabilizing attempt to alter the status quo in the region.” Hagel emphasized anew that Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, which stipulates the U.S. commitment to Japan’s defense, would apply to the Senkaku Islands.

This is clear evidence of the strong U.S. determination to defend the territory of its ally Japan.

In December last year, a Chinese plane entered the Japanese territorial air zone around the Senkaku Islands for the first time. Air Self-Defense Force aircraft have been scrambling against Chinese planes with increasing frequency. A Chinese drone was confirmed flying near the Senkakus in September this year.

In cooperation with the United States, Japan must bolster the protection of its airspace around the Senkakus. We think the squadron of F-15 fighter jets at the ASDF’s Naha Air Base should be reinforced.

Earlier this month, crew members of Chinese government vessels boarded Chinese fishing boats off the Senkaku Islands and attempted to give the impression the area was in China’s exclusive economic zone. Japan must not relax its maritime surveillance.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 26, 2013)
(2013年11月26日01時45分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

法人税減税 競争力強化へ具体策を詰めよ




The Yomiuri Shimbun November 27, 2013
Tax changes should boost companies’ competitiveness to promote growth
法人税減税 競争力強化へ具体策を詰めよ(11月26日付・読売社説)

Reducing the corporate tax rate is an effective way to enhance the competitiveness of Japanese companies and reinforce the foundations for national economic growth.

At the instruction of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, tax system talks on further reducing corporate tax have gotten into full swing between the government and the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito.

Their commitment to a growth strategy will be tested by how far they go in presenting a specific course of action.

In Tokyo, the effective corporate tax rate, when national and local taxes are combined, stands at about 38 percent. Even if the special reconstruction corporate tax—temporarily imposed on companies to finance post-disaster reconstruction projects—is excluded, companies still face corporate tax up to about 36 percent, which is much higher than the rates in European and other Asian countries, where it is mostly in the 20 percent range.

As long as the corporate tax remains high, not only will much of the vitality of Japanese companies be lost, but the hollowing out of industry—companies moving production overseas to avoid the high cost of operating in Japan— may accelerate. The high tax will also have an adverse impact on employment and wages. Furthermore, to attract investment from abroad, a further reduction in the corporate tax rate is urgently needed.

Abe’s intention of improving the competitive environment for companies and adding impetus to the growth of the national economy is quite appropriate.

More than a few ruling party members take a cautious view about having ordinary households bear a heavier burden due to the consumption tax increase set for next spring, while reducing the corporate tax at the same time.

But it would be more beneficial to create a virtuous circle in which the invigoration of companies would have a ripple effect that would benefit households through wage hikes and other improvements.

Seek new revenue sources

A cut of even one percentage point in the corporate tax rate is projected to reduce government revenue by about ¥400 billion. Therefore, one significant remaining hurdle is finding a tax revenue source to make up for the shortfall.

As the fiscal situation is harsh, the tax base must be broadened so as to collect taxes from a wider range of companies.

Special policy measures to reduce corporate taxes on specific sectors of industry have a worth totaling about ¥7 trillion. As these measures vest interests in certain companies and industries, many criticize them as unfair. It is also argued that the policy effects of these steps are uncertain.

The government and the ruling parties should consider abolishing the special tax-cut measures deemed to have outlived their intended purpose, and cutting the scale of measures whose effect has been lessened.

The fact that more than 70 percent of domestic companies do not pay corporate taxes is also problematic.

One possible idea is to review the system of carrying forward net operating losses, under which companies can reduce their tax expense by applying net operating losses from the past several years to the current year’s profit. With this option it would be possible to have more companies pay their fair share of taxes.

The abolition of the special corporate tax for post-disaster reconstruction one year earlier than initially planned, as worked out by the government, is also an important topic for talks by the ruling parties.

The one-year difference will cut tax revenues by ¥900 billion, lessening the burden on companies.

However, a shortage of funds needed for reconstruction projects because of this measure must be avoided. The government and ruling parties have to clearly state an alternative revenue source and win the understanding of the people so as not to hinder the rebuilding effort.

Also needed is for companies to use their accumulated internal reserves to make their own efforts. We hope to see the reinforcement of a strategy in which surplus funds at companies are used effectively and help rejuvenate the national economy.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 26, 2013)
(2013年11月26日01時45分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

2013年11月26日 (火)

シーファーちゃんの宿題23(タイ語) 2013-11-26















| | コメント (0)

大学に進学したけどお金がない 増田塾の奨学金模試に夢を託しませんか

増田塾の奨学金模試 のお話しなんです。


~2013年12月8日(日)全国で開催! 東北会場は受験料無料~


| | コメント (0)

クラウド環境を利用して高速データバックアップが出来るんです aspera向けパッケージ on ZETA

IT技術のプロ集団により構築されているのが、aspera向けパッケージ on ZETA なんですが、こちらではデーターバックアップが気になりません。



| | コメント (0)

現代に生きる天使の歌声はブラジル二世です 「I SING YOU ~君に歌ってほしいんだ~」

それは、株式会社デートピア主催のオーディション で見事グランプリを得た、「I SING YOU ~君に歌ってほしいんだ~」なんです。


| | コメント (0)



【薩摩なた豆キャラクター なたまめどんFacebook公開記念!第1弾】なたまめどん推奨!大人気!高級「薩摩なた豆歯磨き」を抽選で5名様にプレゼント致します! 刀豆ナタマメ協会

| | コメント (0)

イラン核協議 外交解決への歴史的一歩だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 26, 2013
Breakthrough deal 1st step toward solving Iran nuclear program issue
イラン核協議 外交解決への歴史的一歩だ(11月25日付・読売社説)

A big step forward has been taken toward a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear development program. All parties concerned must make a concerted effort to steadily implement the agreement to ensure the accord leads to an easing of tensions in the Middle East.

Regarding Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons development plans, Iran and six other countries, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council—the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China—and Germany, reached an agreement on a set of “first-phase” arrangements for resolution of the problem.

The period for implementation of the accords is set over the next six months, during which a final solution is to be explored.

This is the first agreement since the start of negotiations in 2008 on Iran’s suspected nuclear ambitions.

Despite a string of Security Council resolutions imposing economic sanctions on Tehran, Iran has refused to halt its uranium enrichment, a destabilizing factor in the Middle East. Tehran’s decision to accept specific measures to curb its nuclear ambitions is of the highest importance.

In the “first phase” agreement, Iran is to bring to an end production of 20 percent enriched uranium—a level that could eventually be used to manufacture nuclear weapons. Tehran also will stop construction work on a heavy-water reactor capable of yielding plutonium, the fissile material for nuclear weapons.

A team of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency will monitor Iran’s compliance with these accords.

The United States and European countries, for their part, have committed to scaling back some of the economic sanctions. As a result, Iran will be able to access, among other things, $4.2 billion (about ¥420 billion) in proceeds from oil exports that have been frozen by financial institutions overseas.

Japan must do its bit

Iran must act with sincerity in putting the accord into action with the cooperation of the IAEA. Building confidence with the United States and European nations through the first-phase implementation of the agreement is undoubtedly Iran’s sole road to resuscitating its economy, which has been seriously affected by the sanctions.

The agreement may prove to be a historic milestone for Washington as it could result in an about-turn in its Middle East diplomacy. The United States severed diplomatic ties with Iran 33 years ago, and the two countries have remained hostile to each other since then.

In a statement Saturday, President Barack Obama hailed the breakthrough deal with Iran as “an important first step toward a comprehensive solution [to Iran’s nuclear program].”

Iran has insisted it has a right to maintain a uranium enrichment program for peaceful utilization of nuclear energy, and no conclusion was reached on this points. Israel and U.S. congressional hard-liners fiercely protested the accord in its entirety.

The international community should hereafter make endeavors to overcome these problems one by one so a full-fledged diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear program can be realized.

If the Iranian nuclear issue moves toward a resolution, there is a greater possibility international pressure will increase on North Korea to abandon its own nuclear program.

On his trip to Iran earlier this month, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida met with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif. They agreed to ensure freedom of navigation in the Hormuz Strait, through which most oil tankers bound for Japan pass.

The Iranian situation directly affects Japan’s energy security. Japan should play a proactive role in helping to achieve a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 25, 2013)
(2013年11月25日01時17分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

COP19閉幕 国際協調で温暖化対策を前へ

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 26, 2013
Push ahead measures to tackle climate change with international cooperation
COP19閉幕 国際協調で温暖化対策を前へ(11月25日付・読売社説)

Due to the conflicting interests of developed and developing countries, including emerging economies, the just-concluded discussions on climate change made hardly any progress. The latest U.N. talks on the issue vividly demonstrated the difficulties facing the international effort to tackle global warming.

The 19th Conference on Climate Change (COP19) has ended in Warsaw. The participants extended the meeting by one day, managing to prevent it from breaking down.

A new greenhouse gas reduction framework to replace the Kyoto Protocol is to be implemented in 2020. By when should the participating countries submit their voluntary greenhouse gas emission targets for the years beyond 2020? As to this major point of contention, the participants agreed on a final draft of their joint communique that encourages their governments to present their targets in 2015.

While advanced countries had tried to put a specific process in motion to build a new framework, developing countries opposed specifying the timing. It can be said that both sides went as far as they could in reaching the agreement. The negotiations on a new framework have a tough road ahead.

Recent spates of climate catastrophes such as the occurrence of super typhoons are said to be caused by global warming. When the delegation from the Philippines, which was hit hard by Typhoon No. 30, appealed for an immediate increase in efforts to tackle global warming, the appeal won the sympathy of other countries.

Developing nations want help

While sharing a sense of crisis over global warming, developing countries repeatedly asserted that advanced countries should proactively support them because of their weak financial position. They did so because they believe the advanced countries are responsible for global warming, as they have emitted a massive amount of greenhouse gas with their industrial production.

Indeed, it will be necessary to extend a certain amount of support to developing countries that cannot afford to take measures to deal with environmental issues on their own.

On the other hand, we should not forget the reality that the total amount of emissions from developing countries as a whole has topped the total amount for advanced countries now. It was quite reasonable for advanced countries, including Japan, to call on developing countries to adopt the stance of reducing emissions on their own initiative.

In particular, such emerging economies as China—the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gas—need to assume their fair share of responsibility for reducing the emissions.

Environment Minister Nobuteru Ishihara emphasized at the COP19 conference that the new framework should be fair and effective and be applied to all countries. It is vital to firmly maintain this course of action.

At the conference, the Japanese government expressed its new goal of “reducing its domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 3.8 percent from the fiscal 2005 level by the end of fiscal 2020,” a target that drew criticism from other countries as being too low.

Yet the 3.8 percent cut is a numerical value set at a time when none of the nation’s nuclear power stations, which do not emit any carbon dioxide when generating electricity, are operating.

The government should expedite its efforts to work out a basic energy plan that specifies a future ratio of nuclear power generation. It is important for the government to raise the emissions reduction target by the end of 2020 based on such a basic plan and to make steady progress in setting a realistic target for the years beyond 2020.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 25, 2013)
(2013年11月25日01時17分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

2013年11月25日 (月)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:人間、脳がすべてじゃない /東京

.November 17, 2013(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Our brains are not everything
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:人間、脳がすべてじゃない /東京

Recently I read a very inspiring magazine article involving an organism called a planarian, a leech-like animal that can be found in water and other places.

The planarian has very powerful regenerative capabilities: even if it is cut into fine pieces, the pieces will develop the planarian organs that correspond to brains and eyes, and the pieces will grow back to the size of the original.

Until now, it was thought that the brains of the original planarian and the newly created ones were totally different things. It seems obvious that a newly-made brain would not have the memories of the original planarian. And, of course, the planarians are not capable of noticing their similarities and deducing that they came from the same planarian.

However, according to the article, recently researchers made a big discovery: when they first taught the planarians simple things like the location of food before cutting them apart, the regenerated planarians appeared to remember the food location.

The brains of the new planarians were completely made anew, so they couldn't have contained the memory of the food location on their formation. However, the memory may have transferred to the new brain from its storage place somewhere else, like the planarian's equivalent of a foot or stomach.

Why do I say this article was inspiring? Because it showed the possibility that living organisms do not think and remember with their brain alone. We often say things like "My arm has got the knack of this job" or "my tongue can tell apart the good tastes," as if we knew that it was our body that was learning these things. Even if logic tells us that thinking and memory can only be done by the brain, we sense that our body can also remember all kinds of things.

The recent finding with the planarians might lend scientific backing to our feelings that the body remembers things. Should that happen, we shouldn't have to be so fixated on the brain anymore, and we can give more attention to our body's memories.

Furthermore, when our brains have weakened in old age, perhaps we can use the memories of our bodies to help restore our lost memories to our brains.

Those tiny planarians offer a lesson on the importance of thinking and remembering with our bodies. I feel a little more positive myself after whispering, "People aren't all about their brains!"

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2013年11月12日 地方版

| | コメント (0)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:ムダな「前置き」大切に /東京

November 24, 2013(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: The importance of doctors using soft words
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:ムダな「前置き」大切に /東京

I recently went to a hospital for a checkup after some health problems, taking the role of patient, rather than my usual role of doctor. Called into the consultation room, I sat in front of the doctor. On a computer monitor on a desk, I could see what were probably my CT scans, and I began to get nervous.

The doctor looked over the data, faced me, and said with a soft smile, "Relax, there are no serious problems. I'll explain."

Thanks to that simple reassurance of "relax," I was able to pull my emotions together and listen attentively to the doctor's explanation. After leaving, I thought to myself, "Those first words when talking to patients are important."

There is no shortage of doctors who are good at the medical side of their job but poor conversationalists, and there are seminars on how to talk to patients that are held for people like that. A textbook that is used for these seminars says, "Words are needed that will allow the patient to psychologically prepare themselves."

For example, when giving bad news, rather than saying it right out, the doctor should remember to soften the blow with words like, "This is something I'd rather not say..." or "I've found something that needs to be treated, so I'm going to explain about it, OK?" The presence of these softening words lets the patient prepare themselves, and makes them feel that the doctor is sincerely dealing with their problem.

I thought back on myself, and how I handle this issue. As a psychiatrist, I do not have to worry about suddenly giving a diagnosis after something like a blood check. However, do I not sometimes, after looking at a patient's filled-out symptom form, say "Let's see ... You can't sleep? Since when?" without so much as a hello? Do I not sometimes, after a diagnosis is over, say without warning, "It's manic-depressive disorder, based on what you've told me."
 私は診察室でどうだろう、と我が身を振り返った。精神科の場合血液検査などでいきなり病名を告げることはないのだが、初めての患者さんに対して記入してもらった問診票を見ながら、あいさつなどもなしに「えーと、眠れないんですか? いつから?」などと切り出してはいないか。また、一通りの診察後に「そううつ病ですね、お話からすると」といきなり診断名を伝えてはいないだろうか。

"You were worried, weren't you?" "It's all right," "There's a problem but we can get over it together." These and other blow-cushioning phrases are sometimes omitted as a waste of time, not only at doctor's offices but at other jobs and in life in general. Some people seem to think that exchanges of only the necessary information are best because they are efficient.

However, people are not made strong enough to withstand getting nothing but cold, hard facts, or nothing but the doctor's conclusion. I myself should be more careful to use soft, cushioning words in my own office.

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2013年11月19日 地方版

| | コメント (0)

邦人陸上輸送 法改正後に残る「武器」の課題

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 25, 2013
Govt must expand list of weapons SDF can carry on rescue missions
邦人陸上輸送 法改正後に残る「武器」の課題(11月24日付・読売社説)

It is undoubtedly important that options have been broadened to allow the Self-Defense Forces to transport Japanese trapped in perilous situations abroad to safety.

A revision of the Self-Defense Forces Law has been enacted to allow SDF members to transport Japanese nationals to safety by land in the event of an emergency situation overseas.

Before the revision, the law limited rescue and transportation operations to sea or air.

In the January hostage crisis in Algeria, the Algerian government transported Japanese victims to In Amenas International Airport, about 50 kilometers from the site of the Islamic militant attack.

If a similar emergency occurs in the future, Japan cannot always depend on a country to respond in the way Algeria did, leaving no option for Japan but to transport victims to safety.

With an increasing number of Japanese companies expanding operations overseas, it is necessary for the government to put a wider range of countermeasures in place to ensure the safety of Japanese living abroad.

Sending SDF troops to foreign territories is contingent of course on an agreement on the part of the country concerned, but the assignment of new missions to the SDF under the revised law is highly significant.

However, thorough preparations are essential as transportation by land could, depending on the area where an emergency occurs, be exposed to a far higher level of danger than sea and air operations.

It is important for the government to create Ground Self-Defense Force teams capable of carrying out transportation by land and train them until they become highly skilled.

Studies should be conducted on the advisability of allowing SDF troops on rescue and transportation missions abroad to carry not only handguns, rifles and machine guns, but also such weapons as recoilless rifles, if the need arises.

Beef up intelligence capability

As the use of weapons by SDF troops is restricted at present to using weapons to the defense of themselves, other Japanese and foreign nationals under their protection, it is indispensable to expand the scope of weapons they can use to ensure the safety of land transportation missions.

In the event antigovernment insurgents operating in an crisis-ridden country set up roadblocks, SDF troops traveling by land would be forced to find an alternative route, as they are not allowed to fire warning shots.

SDF troops are also prohibited from guarding foreign troops operating in the vicinity of a crisis-stricken area despite requests. Such an action would be regarded as “exercise of force abroad,” which is considered a violation of the Constitution.

A government expert panel currently has been studying the wisdom of reviewing the existing constitutional interpretation concerning Japan’s right to collective self-defense. We hope the panel will also address the task of expanding the scope of weapons the SDF can use in operations abroad.

In legislating the revision to the Self-Defense Forces Law, three opposition parties—the Democratic Party of Japan, Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Your Party—supported the revision bill, in addition to the ruling coalition parties.

It is desirable for the ruling and opposition camps to cooperate extensively on the nation’s security policy.

To ensure the safety of Japanese abroad, enhancing the government’s capabilities to collect and analyze information from abroad is equally important.

On the occasion of creating a Japanese version of the U.S. National Security Council, the bill for which is expected to be enacted soon, the government should boost efforts to exchange and share terrorism-related information with countries concerned, while fostering experts in this field from a medium- and long-range viewpoint.

In addition, the number of resident defense attaches at the country’s diplomatic missions abroad should be augmented, and the missions’ information-gathering functions strengthened.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 24, 2013)
(2013年11月24日01時49分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

猪瀬氏に5000万 「個人の借り入れ」は通らない


The Yomiuri Shimbun November 25, 2013
Inose's explanation of why he took Tokushukai funds defies common sense
猪瀬氏に5000万 「個人の借り入れ」は通らない(11月24日付・読売社説)

In a development that left many scratching their heads, Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose was found to have received ¥50 million from the Tokushukai medical group—under investigation by prosecutors for suspected election law violations—just before the December Tokyo gubernatorial race, in which he was elected to the post for the first time.

According to his accounts, Inose visited Torao Tokuda, a former House of Representatives member and the founder of Tokushukai, in November last year to solicit support for his election bid, shortly after which the hospital group offered to provide funds to Inose. He received the ¥50 million directly from Takeshi Tokuda, the second son of Torao and a lower house member, at the Diet members’ building.

What was the purpose of the funds?

If they were meant for election campaigning, Inose was required to declare the ¥50 million in a campaign funds report, in accordance with the Public Offices Election Law. But there was no mention of the funds from Tokushukai in Inose’s report.

At a press conference, the governor said, “I personally borrowed the funds because I worried my savings would be wiped out due to election campaigning.” He is apparently claiming that because the funds from Tokushukai were not for his election campaign, his conduct did not violate the election law.

It is, however, only natural to assume he received the cash with the view of possibly using it for election campaigning as it was just before the start of official campaigning for the Tokyo race when he asked Tokuda to support his candidacy.

Inose said he gave an IOU to Tokuda, but what exactly he scribbled down on the note is unknown, although he claimed the money was a no-interest, no-collateral loan. It was nonetheless a monetary transaction that is far from the social norm.

Disclosure came late

Even if it was a personal loan, as Inose claims, there is a problem. Although a metropolitan government ordinance requires the governor to report any loans, if any, in an asset disclosure statement, Inose did not do so. He revised the statement only after the scandal came to light Friday.

The timing of his returning the money also stokes suspicion. The governor returned the money in full in late September right after the special investigation squad of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office searched Tokushukai’s Tokyo headquarters and other locations, suspecting violations of the election law.

“I told them I would return the money in January or February, but I never got around to it,” Inose explained. But it is hard not to suspect he returned the money hastily as the investigation unfolded.

The metropolitan and prefectural governors have the authority to grant permission to open hospitals and supervise them after they open.  都道府県知事は病院などの開設を許可する権限を持つ。開設後も指導監督する立場にある。

There are a number of hospitals and nursing homes for the elderly run by Tokushukai in Tokyo, but Inose denied providing any quid pro quos to the medical group for receiving the money—an act, in the first place, showing his lack of consciousness about social norms.

The governor is playing a central role in preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. We regret that this scandal has poured cold water on the festive mood of hosting the sports extravaganza.

If the scandal is prolonged, it could have negative ramifications on his management of the Tokyo metropolitan government. He must urgently give every possible explanation to convince doubters.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 24, 2013)
(2013年11月24日01時49分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

2013年11月24日 (日)

モーターショー 「エコ」と「若者」で未来を競え

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 24, 2013
Eco-friendliness, youth key to future of auto production
モーターショー 「エコ」と「若者」で未来を競え(11月23日付・読売社説)

High-flying Japanese automakers are trying to attract attention to their most advanced eco-friendly technologies and next-generation vehicles for young people at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show, which opens to the public on Saturday. This is a chance to demonstrate the resurgence of the national economy.

Thirty-two domestic and foreign automakers are taking part in the major auto show held under the theme of “Compete! And shape a new future.”

The 41st show, held in 2009 amid the aftereffects of the so-called Lehman shock, was lackluster, as was the 42nd installment in 2011 following the Great East Japan Earthquake.

In contrast, this year’s show is being held against the backdrop of a V-shaped recovery by automakers on the tailwind of a business recovery and a weaker yen that were brought about by the Abenomics economic policy promoted by the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Swedish automaker Volvo is showcasing vehicles at the Tokyo show for the first time in six years, while Tesla Motors Inc., an electric vehicle venture of the United States, is participating for the first time ever. Although the Big Three U.S. automakers are not taking part, there are 76 models on show for the first time, giving the show a vibrancy it has not had in years. We applaud this.

Of note is the proactive stance shown by the Japanese car manufacturers. They are emphasizing the car models’ key selling points, such as the pleasure of driving and the unconventional designs, as well as eco-friendly driving performance.

New concept models

Toyota Motor Corp. is unveiling its FCV Concept vehicle, a prototype of a fuel cell car to be marketed in 2015. It is also showing a one-seat vehicle that can be driven intuitively by the driver shifting their weight.

Nissan Motor Co. is unveiling its BladeGlider, an electric vehicle modeled after a delta wing, while Honda Motor Co. is showing an open sports car model, the S660 light vehicle, with the slogan of “continuing production of unconventional models.”

Daihatsu Motor Co. has unveiled a light car model whose doors and other parts can be replaced, while Suzuki Motors Corp.’s small sport-utility vehicle is attracting great attention.

Amid a shrinking domestic car market as young people turn away from driving, automakers are trying to revitalize the market by offering futuristic vehicles produced using innovative concepts.

Also on display is automatic driving technology using things like radio and radar to reduce speed to keep safe distances from cars ahead, or bring the car to a stop upon sensing obstacles.

In addition to Toyota and Nissan, Google Inc., a U.S. information technology firm, is competing with U.S. and German automakers to develop automatic driving technologies. Automatic driving is set to become a revolutionary technology, heralding a new era of vehicles, though many safety issues need to be resolved.

In addition to the Tokyo Motor Show, major auto shows are being held in Los Angeles and Guangzhou, China, cities in two nations with massive car markets. To what extent can Tokyo regain ground it has lost in recent years?

The car industry has a very broad base. We urge domestic automakers to take the lead in manufacturing with an aggressive strategy, and to serve as a driving force behind the growth of Japan.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 23, 2013)
(2013年11月23日01時56分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

秘密保護法案 与野党の修正案は評価できる

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 24, 2013
Modified bill to protect specially designated secrets deserves credit
秘密保護法案 与野党の修正案は評価できる(11月23日付・読売社説)

The Liberal Democratic Party and its ruling coalition partner New Komeito have agreed separately with the major opposition parties Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Your Party on modifications of a bill aimed at strengthening the protection of specially designated state secrets. The bill is intended to stiffen penalties for public servants who leak such information.

This legal arrangement is essential for the envisioned Japanese version of the U.S. National Security Council, which will serve as the headquarters for Japan’s security strategy, to function well. The ruling coalition was right to discuss the matter over and over with the opposition parties without forcing its way with its dominant number of lawmakers.

If Ishin no Kai and Your Party take office, they will also have to designate such secrets and rescind the designations. Thus, it is important that both ruling and opposition parties work together to create the system.

The modifications are designed to enhance information management by the Cabinet through such measures as allowing the prime minister to supervise the secrecy designations and report them to a panel of experts to seek their opinions. The revisions also call for ministries and agencies to lose the authorization to make such designations if they do not exercise it within five years after the secrecy protection law takes effect.

The bill initially stipulated that the period of confidentiality would be up to five years and would be renewable, and that the period could be extended to 30 years or longer with Cabinet approval. However, a stipulation that the period cannot exceed 60 years has been added to the revised bill. Exceptions for this are limited to highly sensitive information in seven categories, such as secret codes, defense equipment and information sources.

The revised bill also stipulates that all the documents not designated as secrets beyond 30 years should be transferred to the National Archives of Japan.

Revisions ease some concerns

It is questionable whether the prime minister’s intended greater role will prove workable. However, it appears to be appropriate that the revised bill stipulates specially classified secrets will eventually be made public “in principle” while referring to exceptions and a system to archive key government documents.

To some extent, the modifications likely will dispel concerns that the government may arbitrarily increase the subjects for designation as secrets and permanently conceal information inconvenient to it from the public.

The ruling parties have also included a supplemental provision in the bill that calls on the government to consider setting up a third-party body to check the appropriateness of the designations.

We understand that this provision is meant to keep the government in check by a third party. But questions have been raised over whether outsiders would be able to make appropriate decisions considering the massive amount of highly sensitive information that affects national security. If more people gain access to such secrets, the risk of leaks is expected to rise.

Unless the composition of the panel and how it will work are determined carefully, such a body could become a mere facade.

The Democratic Party of Japan, the largest opposition party, has decided to oppose the secret protection bill unless the ruling parties accept its proposals.

The DPJ proposes a narrower scope of specially classified secrets and sets the period of confidentiality at 30 years in principle. It also seeks a penalty of imprisonment of less than five years for violators of the law. As for the provision of such state secrets to the Diet, the DPJ says it would address the issue by amending the Diet Law. Such proposals are worth considering.

Both ruling and opposition parties are urged to make efforts to deepen discussions on the matter.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 23, 2013)
(2013年11月23日01時56分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

2013年11月23日 (土)

放射性廃棄物 政府は最終処分に責任を持て

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 23, 2013
Govt must act responsibly to find site for final N-waste repository
放射性廃棄物 政府は最終処分に責任を持て(11月22日付・読売社説)

No time must be wasted in strengthening government efforts to secure a site for a final disposal facility for high-level radioactive waste generated from reprocessing spent nuclear fuel from nuclear power plants.

An expert panel of the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry has hammered out a set of new steps regarding how to secure candidate sites for a final repository, focusing on a recommendation that the government should be at the forefront of efforts to make progress on the issue.

Currently, candidate sites are being sought through open solicitation, inviting volunteer candidates among municipal governments to host a final disposal site for radioactive waste. As a result, the opinions of local communities are being given great weight in the matter. So far, the government has just waited for municipalities to volunteer, but no candidates sites have been found since open solicitation began in 2002.

To break the impasse, it is reasonable for the expert panel to propose that the government take on the responsibility of designating areas where high-level radioactive waste can safely be disposed of. This is the same policy followed by Sweden, which has selected a final disposal site. We hope to see the planned approach result in progress in locating candidate sites.

Authorities envision burying high-level radioactive waste deep underground, at least 300 meters below the surface, by constructing a disposal facility in stable rock formations in an area where there are no volcanoes or other threats.

Similar methods have been employed overseas, since they make it possible to dispose of nuclear waste in a stable manner for more than 100,000 years.

Radioactivity lessens with time, more than 99 percent of it ceasing to exist in about 1,000 years.

Excessive political risks

It should be noted that there is little public understanding of the current technological level and safety of geological disposal, hindering efforts to find a candidate site. Government efforts to widely disseminate correct, scientific knowledge about the matter are indispensable.

Open solicitation of volunteer candidates is problematic in that municipal leaders put themselves at great political risk if they support hosting a disposal facility. When the mayor of Toyo, Kochi Prefecture, applied to be a candidate site, residents fiercely opposed the idea and the mayor was in danger of having to resign. The town’s application was withdrawn.

The selection process of candidate sites can hardly make progress without wide-ranging support from the central government.

On Wednesday, urging the government to redouble its efforts to find candidate sites, the ministry’s expert panel cited the need to boost government efforts to promote the local economies of the municipalities concerned. The panel also proposed a forum in which the government and local residents closely exchange views on the matter. Both suggestions are very important.

The task of establishing a final disposal repository has been undertaken by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan, which was established by power utilities and other organizations under the Specified Nuclear Waste Final Disposal Law enacted in 2000. Reform of the waste management organization, which has failed to produce any tangible results, is also urgently needed.

Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has continued making unrealistic calls to completely stop the nation’s nuclear power generation, saying it is “too optimistic and irresponsible” to assume that a site can be found for a final disposal facility.

Even if the nation’s nuclear power generation should be eliminated, the problem of how to dispose of nuclear waste remains. It is impermissible to pass the burden of inaction on the matter to the next generation.

The Liberal Democratic Party is also studying ways to secure a final disposal facility, and there are moves in the Diet to create a suprapartisan group of legislators to address the problem of a final repository. They should engage in discussions with a strong sense of responsibility.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 22, 2013)
(2013年11月22日01時31分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

日欧EPA交渉 TPPと併せた戦略が必要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 23, 2013
Promote EPA talks with EU along with TPP negotiations
日欧EPA交渉 TPPと併せた戦略が必要だ(11月22日付・読売社説)

In parallel with negotiations with the United States, Australia and other countries on the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral trade framework, Japan must step up efforts to work out an economic partnership agreement with the European Union.

Japan will be urged to implement a strategy that stimulates economic growth by establishing various free trade zones.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Herman Van Rompuy of the European Council, who is EU president, issued a joint statement after their meeting earlier this week.

The statement stressed that the two sides would commit “to the earliest possible conclusion” of an economic partnership agreement, on which negotiations began in April.

The free trade agreement between South Korea and the EU took effect in July 2011, leaving Japan far behind South Korea in free trade talks with the EU. The EU softened its stance after Japan joined the TPP talks, which led to the launching of Japan-EU EPA talks.

However, Japan-EU negotiations on the matter were rocky in the past three rounds of talks. The accord by Abe and Van Rompuy to accelerate the negotiations illustrates their sense of crisis. The EU is very wary it will be left out of the huge free trade zone in Asia.

The focal point is whether the EU will abolish 10 percent and 14 percent tariffs imposed on car and television imports from Japan.

EU tariffs on the same South Korean products will be abolished in 2016 under the bilateral FTA after being reduced in phases. Japan has every reason to call for equal terms to prevent it from facing unfair competition.

Tariff cuts at issue

The EU, for its part, has resisted the Japanese demand and instead called for lowering tariffs on wine, cheese and other products and reexamining nontariff barriers to open the market for railroad carriages and other public transport-related products.

It is also problematic that the EU has put forth a policy of discontinuing negotiations if it judges Japan’s improvement in its stance is insufficient one year after the start of the talks.

TPP talks are entering a critical stage as to whether an accord can be hammered out before the end of the year.

Japan needs to test the nerves of EU members anxious about the progress of TPP talks and call for the correction of unreasonable demands, thereby seeking to find a point of compromise as early as possible.

With the Japan-China confrontation over the Senkaku Islands in mind, the joint statement clearly mentioned that Japan and the EU “shared the concern about current tensions, including in East Asia’s maritime areas” and called for addressing them “based on the principle of the rule of law.” This is laudable.

Security and issues of global interests were also discussed in the latest Japan-EU summit meeting.

It also represents progress that Japan and the EU agreed to launch consultative talks on the prevention of cyberterrorism and the peaceful use of space. The EU seems to aim at taking the lead in working out international rules in these fields.

It is essential to expand the scope of cooperation in addressing such issues as those of global interests. We hope that further strengthening of the bilateral relationship of trust will help break the stalemate in EPA negotiations.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 22, 2013)
(2013年11月22日01時31分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

2013年11月22日 (金)

シーファーちゃんの宿題22(タイ語) 2013-11-22













| | コメント (0)

衆院選違憲状態 国会の裁量に配慮した最高裁





The Yomiuri Shimbun November 22, 2013
Top court respects Diet’s discretionary power over vote-value disparity
衆院選違憲状態 国会の裁量に配慮した最高裁(11月21日付・読売社説)

It was a judgment by the nation’s top court that respected the Diet’s discretionary power over the election system to the maximum extent possible.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that the House of Representatives election in December last year, in which the maximum disparity between the value of votes was 2.43-to-1, was in “a state of unconstitutionality.” The Diet must take the ruling seriously and swiftly tackle election system reform.

“Equality in the value of voting rights is not the absolute standard to determine the framework of an election system,” the top court said.  最高裁は「投票価値の平等は選挙制度の仕組みを決定する絶対の基準ではない」と指摘した。

When deciding the zoning of single-seat constituencies, such factors as local demographics, transportation conditions and geographical circumstances must be taken into account and balanced with equality in the value of voting rights, it said.

‘Plus 0, minus 5’ praised

It was a practical and quite reasonable judgment in which the Supreme Court did not think improvement in the disparity of vote values in single-seat constituencies was an absolute necessity, but it recognized the need to take regional circumstances into consideration.

The Supreme Court previously judged that the 2009 lower house election was in “an unconstitutional state” when the maximum disparity in the value of votes between the least populous constituency and the most heavily populated district was 2.30-to-1. As the disparity was further expanded in the lower house poll in December last year, some experts predicted the top court would judge it was “unconstitutional.”

But was the disparity left untouched for an excessive period of time that could not be overlooked?

That was the deciding factor in its decision whether the 2012 poll was unconstitutional or in a state of unconstitutionality.

In addition to how long the disparity was left untouched, the Supreme Court said that factors such as the content of measures to remedy the disparity and the necessary procedures for such measures should also be taken into consideration from a comprehensive viewpoint. This judgment will be an important index for making court decisions on similar cases in the future.

The latest top court decision praised the remedy of “increasing no seats, but decreasing five seats” in single-seat constituencies under the revised Public Offices Election Law that was passed by the Diet in June as “a step forward.” The disparity shrank to less than 2-to-1 through the measure.

To change the zoning of constituencies, it was necessary to go through such procedures as having the lower house electoral district council recommend a reform plan to the prime minister and revise the Public Offices Election Law based on that plan.

It is therefore understandable that the top court realized that remedying the situation requires a certain amount of time.

Need to reflect regional voices

However, there are also questionable elements to the decision. In the distribution of the quota of seats for single-seat constituencies in each prefecture, the method of distributing one seat first to each prefecture is still effectively in practice. Touching upon this point, the Supreme Court said, “It is hard to say that the structural problems were definitively resolved.”

However, we feel that an attempt to transform the electoral system into one that does not reflect the rationale behind this formula could mean the opinions of voters in areas with a declining population are not properly represented in the results of lower house elections.

Legislators must step up their electoral reform drive in response to the top court’s ruling.

Instead of finding the vote-value disparities to be unconstitutional, the latest ruling found the gaps to be in a state of unconstitutionality, meaning these differences border on a violation of the vote-value equality guaranteed in the Constitution. However, lawmakers should not be allowed to become blase about debating how to reform the election system, citing the ruling as a reason for their neglect. The need to fundamentally reform the system remains unchanged, though the vote-value disparities fall only within a state of unconstitutionality.

The ruling and opposition parties should actively promote discussions on electoral reform. In debating reform plans, they must take to heart their responsibility to ensure that any changes in the system will help create a stable political environment in a manner that represents the will of the people.

In early November, the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito and the leading opposition party the Democratic Party of Japan held talks over lower house electoral reform. The parties agreed to reduce the number of lower house members while maintaining the current electoral system—known as the heiritsu formula, which combines single-seat constituencies with the proportional representation system—for the time being.

The ruling parties have said they will seek a 30-member reduction in lower house members to be chosen under the proportional representation system, while maintaining the current number of lawmakers in that chamber who are to be elected from single-seat constituencies.
This is in contrast to the proposal advanced by the DPJ, which has insisted on cuts in the number of lower house members in both categories. The ruling parties and the DPJ are no closer to reaching a compromise on the issue.

The LDP, Komeito and the DPJ have said they intend to start discussions with other parties soon. However, Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) insists on reducing the number of lower house members by a sizable 144.

If Ishin no Kai sticks to its guns, it will be difficult to see an agreement emerge from among these parties. However, the total number of legislators in this country cannot be deemed too large if compared with those in other nations. Given this, there is no need to be too obsessed with reducing the number of Diet members.

Political parties should separate a proposed cut in lower house members from the overall issue. Instead, they should reconsider how the system should be operated and reformed.

Consensus difficult

It is difficult for political parties to reach a consensus about how to reform the election system, an issue bound to provoke conflicts of interest among them. We believe the ruling and opposition parties should first hurry to determine what kind of broad course should be adopted in the pursuit of fundamental electoral reform, a task that should be followed by a plan to commission an independent panel of experts to draw up specific reform proposals, as suggested by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Incumbent members of the lower chamber have a bit more than three years to serve in their positions if they complete their terms. They do not have enough time to take on electoral reform, considering the amount of time necessary for amending the legislation and making any changes in the system known to the public.

We believe it will be a viable idea to basically maintain the current system, but work to correct the vote-value disparities, as proposed by the LDP, Komeito and the DPJ.

Electoral reform is not limited to the lower house. The House of Councillors is seeking to adopt a new election system, beginning with an election in 2016. In fact, lawsuits have been filed in several locations in the country over disparities in the value of votes cast in July’s upper house race. Two high courts and a branch of another high court are set to rule on these suits starting late this month. Their rulings are expected to affect the dispute over electoral reform related to vote-value disparities.

The ruling and opposition parties should think about what kind of role the lower and upper houses should play, while at the same time striving to make progress in promoting electoral reform.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 21, 2013)
(2013年11月21日01時36分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

2013年11月21日 (木)


Thai Democratic Party struggled with the ghost of Thaksin Shinawatra







cite from bangkok shuho,





| | コメント (0)

シリア化学兵器 廃棄完遂へ米露の責任は重い

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 21, 2013
U.S., Russia must work harder to destroy Syria’s chemical arms
シリア化学兵器 廃棄完遂へ米露の責任は重い(11月20日付・読売社説)

It remains unclear what can be done to realize the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons. The United States and Russia, both key players, bear a heavy responsibility in dealing with this matter.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, an international organization cooperating with the United Nations to scrap Syria’s poison gas stockpile, has arranged to transport a good part of the arsenal out of the country, a task that would be followed by an effort to completely dispose of the weapons by the end of June.

This initiative reflects fears about having the arsenal disposed of in Syria, where a civil war is raging. Personnel engaged in that task could get caught up in the fighting, or the chemical weapons could be hijacked by armed insurgents.

The problem is that no country has agreed to accept the Syrian arsenal so it can be destroyed. Despite OPCW overtures, both Albania and Norway have refused to accept the stockpile for destruction, citing such reasons as objections raised by their own people over possible environmental pollution.

Russia—a nation that has long supported the Syrian government of President Bashar Assad—remains reluctant to destroy the chemical weapons. Moscow has defended its posture by saying it cannot afford to dispose of the Syrian arsenal because it is in the process of scrapping its own chemical weapons.

The plan to destroy the weapons may have to be put on hold if things remain unchanged. The destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons was initially proposed by Russia. The United States accepted the proposal, which was then approved by the U.N. Security Council. Washington and Moscow should take the initiative in deciding who should destroy the weapons as early as possible, a task needed to ensure progress in carrying out the project.

Indeed, the Assad administration has fulfilled its obligation under the proposal by accepting international chemical weapons inspectors and agreeing to demolish its production facilities.

Excessive demand

However, when it accepted the destruction plan, the Syrian administration made a demand that seems excessive in many respects. According to media reports, the country told the OPCW it wanted to be supplied with armored vehicles, which would be used to transport the chemical weapons by land.

Behind the ongoing international cooperation to scrap Syria’s chemical weapons is that nation’s suspected poison gas attack on its people some months ago, an incident that drew international condemnation.

We believe the Syrian government is mistaken if it thinks its agreement to destroy the weapons has made it possible to deflect international criticism.

There is a pressing need to end Syria’s civil war. Earlier, the United States and Russia agreed to convene an international peace conference on Syria as early as this month. As things stand now, however, it is unclear when such a meeting will take place.

The reason for the gridlock is the Syrian government’s anger over the stance taken by the mainstream opposition Syrian National Coalition. The U.S.-backed coalition has said it will join such a peace conference if Assad steps down.

Failure to convene such a conference will make it impossible to take an initial step toward ending the civil war. This could mean that Muslim extremists might gain the upper hand by using the confusion to increase their power.

The United States must urge the opposition coalition to help resolve the crisis, and Russia should persuade the Syrian government to do likewise. Washington and Moscow should do their utmost to end the civil war.

The Japanese government has said it probably will send three Self-Defense Forces personnel to the OPCW as chemical weapons inspectors. Japan should not only aid in the destruction of Syria’s poison gas stockpile, but also play a role in facilitating peace in that country.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 20, 2013)
(2013年11月20日02時21分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

核燃料取り出し 政府が前面に出て廃炉目指せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 21, 2013
Govt must take lead in Fukushima nuclear reactor decommissioning
核燃料取り出し 政府が前面に出て廃炉目指せ(11月20日付・読売社説)

Decommissioning work at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, which is expected to take 30 to 40 years, is finally under way.

Work has begun to remove nuclear fuel from the plant’s No. 4 reactor, bringing the decommissioning work into a new stage of the timetable drawn up by the government and TEPCO.

There are many unknown aspects to deal with, and work to remove nuclear fuel is difficult, as it will continue to take place in an environment with high radiation levels. TEPCO must give top priority to ensuring safety and tackle this task with utmost seriousness.

The No. 4 reactor was offline for a regular inspection at the time of the outbreak of the nuclear crisis in March 2011. Unlike the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors, a core meltdown did not occur at the No. 4 reactor, as nuclear fuel was kept with unused fuel in a storage pool inside the reactor building.

However, hydrogen believed to have come from the neighboring No. 3 reactor via an exhaust system exploded, blowing off the upper portion of the No. 4 reactor building.

Inside the storage pool, there are 1,331 spent nuclear fuel assemblies and 202 unused fuel assemblies. TEPCO plans to remove all of them by the end of next year.

Although reinforcement work has been carried out at the No. 4 reactor, leaving nuclear fuel in the seriously damaged building brings risks of radiation leaks. Removing nuclear fuel is thus an indispensable part of reactor decommissioning. Nuclear fuel assemblies are to be pulled out of the storage pool one by one with a crane, placed in a shipping container and moved to a shared pool.

During the nuclear fuel removal process, meticulous attention must be given to debris remaining inside the No. 4 reactor’s storage pool. It is necessary to prevent such debris from damaging nuclear fuel assemblies when the assemblies are pulled out of the storage pool.

Thorough NRA checks needed

The Nuclear Regulation Authority will oversee the nuclear fuel removal work under a special system. It is important that the NRA thoroughly check whether its schedule is realistic and ensure that potential sources of trouble have not been overlooked.

As for the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors, damaged areas have yet to be identified and the melted fuel situation is unknown. The amount of water contaminated with radioactive substances apparently leaking from damaged areas has continued to increase.

We urge TEPCO to apply the expertise it gains during the nuclear fuel removal work at the No. 4 reactor to recovering melted fuel and other materials at the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors.

The development of advanced robots that can be used for monitoring the situation inside reactors, as well as technology to repair damaged sections, must be taken full advantage of.

One major challenge is to secure a sustainable workforce for decommissioning the reactors.

The decommissioning work is arduous, since it requires workers to wear a full face mask and protective suit. It remains difficult even now to organize the 2,000 to 3,000 workers believed to be needed for this work.

As the decommissioning work proceeds, workers will face increased levels of exposure to radiation, and some restrictions may be needed to limit access to the sites by experienced technicians.

More than ¥2 trillion is said to be necessary for reactor decommissioning work and measures to deal with contaminated water. The government must move steadily forward with this long-term decommissioning work, by taking the lead in developing the needed technology, securing a sustainable workforce, and providing financial assistance.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 20, 2013)
(2013年11月20日02時21分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

2013年11月20日 (水)

ASEAN外交 安保・経済で戦略的な連携に

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 20, 2013
Build strategic ties with ASEAN in security, economic fields
ASEAN外交 安保・経済で戦略的な連携に(11月19日付・読売社説)

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has stepped up efforts to reinforce ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

We applaud his efforts for serving as a check against China, which has been increasing its military and economic presence, and for their strategic importance in ensuring regional stability.

Abe visited Cambodia and Laos on Saturday and Sunday, completing visits to all 10 ASEAN member nations in less than one year since he took office.

During his latest swing through the region, Abe explained his government’s diplomatic policies, saying Japan will contribute to world peace through proactive pacifism based on the principle of international cooperation.

Leaders of Cambodia and Laos hailed Japan’s postwar progress as a pacifist nation and supported Abe’s diplomatic stance. They also agreed to promote security dialogue between Japan and their countries. Deepening mutual understanding through such endeavors has great significance.

It was also decided that Japan will help train Cambodian personnel who will participate in U.N. peacekeeping operations. Self-Defense Forces personnel were dispatched to Cambodia in 1992 in Japan’s first U.N. peacekeeping mission. Sharing the SDF’s expertise in road construction and maintenance could contribute to deepening bilateral security cooperation.

In a series of meetings, discussions were held on the situation in the South China Sea, where China is locked in territorial disputes with the Philippines, Vietnam and other Asian nations. Abe and the Cambodian and Laotian leaders concurred on the need to finalize as soon as possible the code of conduct that ASEAN and China have been discussing.

A code of conduct, which has legal binding power, would aim to use international rules to curb any Chinese use of force to expand its maritime interests.

Japan, U.S. back code

Japan and the United States support efforts to compile this code, but China has been lukewarm on the matter. Beijing has been trying to curry favor with Cambodia, Laos and other pro-China ASEAN countries, thereby inducing a split among the group’s members.

But now that Cambodia and Laos have shown a positive attitude toward this code of conduct, Tokyo expects it will have a favorable effect on ASEAN’s unity.

The is not a matter of someone else’s business for Japan, given that this nation has been the target of China’s saber-rattling over the Senkaku Islands.

Harnessing the vigor of Southeast Asia’s remarkable economic growth will be indispensable for promoting the Abe administration’s growth strategy. It was natural that Abe said at a news conference in Laos, “Japan’s growth cannot be achieved without ASEAN’s.”

In the health and medical treatment fields, a memorandum was signed on introducing Japanese-style medical care. This is expected to increase exports of Japanese drugs and medical equipment.

Japan plays a major role in ASEAN market integration. Intergovernmental negotiations should be accelerated to create an environment that can facilitate more investment by Japanese businesses.

Japan and ASEAN have a profound relationship, and this year marks the 40 anniversary of bilateral friendship and cooperation. Japan will host a special summit meeting with ASEAN leaders in Tokyo in mid-December. We hope this will be an opportunity to further buttress Japan-ASEAN ties.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 19, 2013)
(2013年11月19日02時17分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

JR北海道 徹底監査で不正を洗い出せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 20, 2013
Thoroughly inspect JR Hokkaido to shed light on all irregularities
JR北海道 徹底監査で不正を洗い出せ(11月19日付・読売社説)

The situation at Hokkaido Railway Co. is so serious that we can only believe the company trivializes safety, a disgraceful attitude for a railway operator.

It has come to light that JR Hokkaido falsified railroad track inspection data, including information concerning gauge measurements, to give the impression the company is complying with regulations.

The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry is conducting a special maintenance inspection that will last for an indefinite period. In light of the seriousness of the latest development, this is reasonable. We hope the ministry will thoroughly probe every corner of the railway operator, which severely lacks discipline.

After a freight train derailed on the JR Hakodate Line in September, it was found that JR Hokkaido had left uncorrected track gauge differences at several places.

During an in-house investigation following this discovery, however, the railroad maintenance and management office in Hakodate reported to JR Hokkaido’s head office that “no irregularities were found,” although they found several that had been left uncorrected. The maintenance office also entered false data into its computer. This gives a general picture of the latest problem.

Earlier, irregularities were said to have been left uncorrected at 270 places. But with the disclosure of the latest problem, the number of irregularities is believed to be even greater. We cannot help but label this as extremely wicked and deceitful.

The data was believed to have been falsified in preparation for the ministry’s special inspection held in September just after the derailment accident. There is a possibility JR Hokkaido’s actions may constitute an obstruction of inspections, especially in view of the false report, both prohibited under the Railway Business Law.

Identify those responsible

The ministry must first identify the employees involved in falsifying the data and those who may have instructed them to do so, while clarifying the chain of command.

Forty-four offices are in charge of railroad maintenance work within Hokkaido. Has any other office provided false data other than the one in Hakodate?

In another scandalous development, a JR Hokkaido driver damaged a switch on his train’s automatic train stop system after causing the system to improperly function, apparently in an attempt to conceal his mistake. JR Hokkaido cannot escape being condemned for its trait of concealing irregularities prevailing within the company.

The ministry needs to take its responsibility seriously for its failure to detect irregularities at JR Hokkaido, despite two special inspections following the derailment, and to investigate the whole problem thoroughly.

JR Hokkaido management has repeatedly issued a public apology every time an irregularity comes to light, and promised to improve corporate culture. However, it has yet to work out any effective measures to prevent irregularities from recurring.

JR Hokkaido President Makoto Nojima has indicated his company will establish a committee to discuss ways to improve operations, with an outside expert included as a member. This comes far too late in the day. It is questionable whether Nojima has any will to reform his company.

It is obvious that the top management lacks awareness of corporate governance, and should be replaced.

Some observers have pointed out that as labor unions have a strong say within the company, managers do not fully command every work site.

JR Hokkaido must expedite its efforts to cure the malady that has run through the company since it was part of the now-defunct, state-run Japanese National Railways.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 19, 2013)
(2013年11月19日02時17分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

2013年11月19日 (火)

温室ガス目標 やっと「25%減」が撤回された


The Yomiuri Shimbun November 19, 2013
Retraction of 25% greenhouse gas emissions reduction target reasonable
温室ガス目標 やっと「25%減」が撤回された(11月18日付・読売社説)

As all the nation’s nuclear power plants, which emit no carbon dioxide in the process of generating electricity, have remained offline, there can be no doubt that it is extremely difficult to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions.

The new target announced by the government for curtailing greenhouse gas emissions can safely be called a down-to-earth decision, though some may deem it too modest.

The new target seeks to trim emissions by 3.8 percent from fiscal 2005 levels by fiscal 2020. With no prospects for the resumption of nuclear power plant operations in sight, the new target was calculated on the assumption that nuclear power would provide none of the country’s power.

Japan’s previous target was to slash emissions by 25 percent compared to fiscal 1990 levels, which was hammered out in 2009 by then Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama. The replacement of the unrealistically high goal that Hatoyama abruptly put out, without building domestic consensus, is a good thing.

Environment Minister Nobuteru Ishihara is to announce the 3.8 percent cutback target as Japan’s international pledge at the 19th Conference of Parties (COP19) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change now under way in Warsaw.

Criticism from abroad that the new target is insufficient is probably inevitable. Reducing emissions by 3.8 percent from fiscal 2005 equals an increase of about 3 percent from fiscal 1990 levels. The reduction figure may well appear inferior to the goal set by the United States of cutting green house gas emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels.

Draw up N-power outlook

Referring to the new target, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has noted that the 3.8 percent reduction has been set “just as a provisional figure.” His statement indicates that this country is prepared to revise upward the reduction target, depending on the future reactivation of nuclear plants.

It is estimated that an increase by 5 points of the percentage of nuclear power output among the nation’s entire power generation would reduce Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions by around 3 percent.

To obtain understanding from other countries about the new target, the government should scrupulously explain that the target is only provisional.

The government has also worked out a diplomatic strategy for “going on the offensive” to fight global warming.

The centerpiece of the strategy is the government’s pledge to provide $16 billion (about ¥1.6 trillion) in combined financial assistance from the government and private sectors over a period of three years from 2013 to help developing countries tackle climate change. The contribution from Japan will account for one-third of all the financial assistance emerging nations have been asking for at COP19.

The strategy also incorporates such projects as the launch of a satellite capable of monitoring greenhouse gas emissions from China and other Asian countries.

It is highly important to stress Japan’s readiness to actively contribute to slashing global greenhouse gas emissions through its high technological capabilities, even though this country cannot currently afford to set a lofty reduction target.

Even more significant in connection with the greenhouse gas reduction goal is what target should be set for beyond 2020. This is because a new framework for fighting global warming to take the place of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol is scheduled to go into effect in 2020.

A focus of the COP19 discussions is when the participating countries should produce their respective reduction targets in line with the new framework.

To push ahead with measures against global warming that take into account the years from 2020 on, the government must clarify in a new version of the Basic Energy Plan its position on what percentage of the nation’s electricity supplies should be provided through nuclear power in the future.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 18, 2013)
(2013年11月18日01時44分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

就職内定率上昇 若者の雇用安定につなげたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 19, 2013
Job stability among youth important goal amid nation’s economic recovery
就職内定率上昇 若者の雇用安定につなげたい(11月18日付・読売社説)

Thanks to the economic recovery, somewhat brighter signs have been emerging in the battle to find jobs. It is important for the upturn to further improve the percentage of graduating students who can secure jobs and to lead to more stable employment for young people.

The percentage of graduating college students who had found jobs as of Oct. 1 stood at 64.3 percent, rising for the third straight year.

Meanwhile, the nation’s real gross domestic product for the July-September period increased from the previous quarter, marking the fourth straight quarter of improvement.

Due to the positive effects of Abenomics, the economic policy championed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, one listed company after another posted rises both in sales and profit, from the corresponding period last year, in their mid-term settlement of accounts in September.

The percentage of college seniors seeking employment has also increased. Amid the so-called ice age for job hunters of the past few years, some seniors gave up hunting for regular jobs. But now students have high hopes as job opportunities continue to expand.

As a result of the economic recovery and improved business performance, many companies have apparently begun increasing recruitment.

The percentage of graduating high school students who have found jobs rose by 4.6 percentage points from a year earlier to 45.6 percent, apparently due to a marked improvement in the ratio of job openings to job applicants.

Yet it can hardly be said the employment environment for graduating students has made a full-fledged recovery.

The increase in the percentage of graduating college students who have secured jobs is only 1.2 percentage points compared with a year earlier, which was smaller than the growth posted last year. The percentage has not recovered to the level posted before the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.

It is also worrisome that some companies remain cautious about increasing hires of newly graduating students, a task that is usually part of a medium- and long-term corporate strategy.

Some firms still cautious

The construction industry has markedly increased recruitment. The increase apparently stems from the rise in post-disaster reconstruction demand and public investment following the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011. Yet it remains uncertain whether the job openings will stay at the current level in the months ahead.

On the other hand, only a limited increase was seen in the number of recruits sought by the manufacturing sector, the nation’s key industry. While the performance of export-oriented companies has been recovering thanks to the yen’s decline against other major currencies, these firms probably remain cautious about prospects.

It is also feared that the hike in the consumption tax rate next spring will bring an economic slowdown. We hope the government will further promote its growth strategy to create an environment in which companies remain willing to recruit workers.

As new recruitment has peaked among leading companies, small and midsize companies hold the key to what the employment rate will be like next April. Colleges and universities must extend their support to students by serving as intermediaries between their graduating students and small and midsize companies so as many students as possible can secure jobs upon graduation.

It is a matter of regret, however that about 30 percent of new recruits quit their jobs within three years after graduation.

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry and the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) are asking companies to regard students who are still looking for work within three years of graduation as new graduates when recruiting. At the same time, the reemployment prospects will be dismal for those who quit jobs before they have acquired certain job skills.

It is important for students to choose their future employers by taking this reality to heart.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 18, 2013)
(2013年11月18日01時44分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

2013年11月18日 (月)

秘密保護法案 将来の「原則公開」軸に修正を

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 18, 2013
Secrets bill should be revised to ensure eventual disclosure
秘密保護法案 将来の「原則公開」軸に修正を(11月17日付・読売社説)

An envisaged law to ensure protection of specially designated state secrets is essential in enhancing the functions of a Japanese version of the U.S. National Security Council, which will play a key role in the nation’s security strategy.

We expect both the ruling and opposition parties to thoroughly discuss the legislation and search for common grounds to avoid public skepticism.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, New Komeito, have begun negotiations on amendments to the special secrets protection bill separately with Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Your Party.
The envisaged law allows for harsher punishments for public servants who leak state secrets.

We believe the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan, which considered similar legislation when it was in office, also should join the negotiations.

With the increasingly severe security environment surrounding Japan, the risk of leaking classified information is growing. A system to prevent secrets from being leaked is necessary for Japan to exchange and share important information with other countries.

Negotiations on amendments to the bill are based on the recognition of such fundamental factors. We will watch the course of the negotiations carefully.

In deliberations on the bill at the House of Representatives Special Committee on National Security and interparty negotiations on changes to the bill, a major point of contention is the extent of information relevant to defense, diplomacy, and antiespionage and antiterrorism efforts to be designated as special secrets.

It is deeply feared that the government might designate as much information as it likes as special secrets to conceal information detrimental to its interests.

Public right to know

According to the bill, the period of confidentiality is set at a maximum of five years with the possibility of extending this period. But some people believe the envisaged law will enable the government to conceal special secrets semipermanently because the period could be extended to more than 30 years with the Cabinet’s approval.

We believe it is important to stipulate in the bill that special secrets be made public as a matter of principle after passage of a certain period of time. If special secrets are to be eventually disclosed to the public, even in the distant future, such a provision is expected to be effective in preventing the government from designating information as special secrets in an arbitrary manner.

Of course, some exceptional secrets cannot be publicly disclosed, such as secret codes and intelligence involving other countries. We believe it would be difficult to include in the bill a stipulation that all secrets should be disclosed without exception.

Meanwhile, creation of a third-party panel that would monitor the appropriateness of the government’s designation of special secrets is under discussion. However, we wonder if outsiders would be able to properly evaluate a huge number of secrets. With their responsibility, heads of administrative bodies are really the only people who can judge whether to designate information as special secrets by considering the nation’s strategy and interest.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed his intention to transfer government documents, including special secrets, to the National Archives of Japan and disclose them to the public after the effective confidentiality periods for such secrets expire. It is important to put rules in place that would enable future generations to check whether the designations were appropriate.

How to guarantee the people’s right to know has also become a point of contention. Asked if the press would become subject to investigation if a special secret is leaked, Justice Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki said it was difficult to generalize.

If the press is investigated at the whim of authorities, the freedom of news gathering and reporting would be significantly hampered. We can never make any concession on this point.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 17, 2013)
(2013年11月17日01時43分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

自動車課税 公平な負担へ議論を尽くせ

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 18, 2013
Broad perspective needed to review fairness of taxes on motor vehicles
自動車課税 公平な負担へ議論を尽くせ(11月17日付・読売社説)

How to review the current tax levies on motor vehicles has emerged as a major point of contention in discussions about next fiscal year’s tax system changes, which will culminate toward year-end.

The government and the ruling coalition parties of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito must do their best to realistically resolve the issue by paying balanced attention to the necessity of securing tax revenues and the possible impact tax changes could have on the economy.

The ruling camp is committed to abolishment of the “automobile acquisition tax,” imposed at the time of purchasing a new motor vehicle, if the consumption tax rate is raised to 10 percent in October 2015 as planned.

Some fear the consumption tax hike could cause a drop in motor vehicle sales, slowing the pace of economic recovery.

It should be noted in this connection that the automobile acquisition tax has been under fire from various quarters for being a form of double taxation when combined with the consumption tax. Abolishing the acquisition tax is the right thing to do.

Revenues in fiscal 2013 from the automobile acquisition tax, a local tax, are estimated at ¥190 billion and play an important role as revenue sources of local governments.

The question in this connection is how to secure new sources of revenue to make up for revenue shortfalls caused by the planned abolition of the tax.

The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry has proposed covering the shrinkage in tax revenue by raising the yearly minivehicle tax paid by minivehicle owners, which is now ¥7,200.

The tax burden on minivehicle users is about one-fourth that of owners of small passenger cars for private use with engine displacement of 1,000cc or less, which is ¥29,500 a year.

Respect ‘beneficiaries pay’

The ministry argues that the gap in the tax burdens is “unreasonably out of balance.”

Motor vehicles with engine displacement of 660cc or less are categorized as minivehicles. Recently, the differences between minivehicles and small passenger and other small vehicles have markedly narrowed in such terms as prices and fuel efficiency. Minivehicles have become increasingly popular, now accounting for about 40 percent of the sales of new vehicles.

The ministry-proposed review of the tax burden gaps between minivehicles and other motor vehicles is worthy of consideration.

Auto businesses and the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry, however, have vehemently opposed the idea of the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry.

Leaders of the motor vehicle industry argued in a recent news conference that the envisioned increase in the minivehicle tax would “make abolition of the automobile acquisition tax meaningless,” insisting that drops in tax revenues should be covered by tax levies on things other than motor vehicles.

The auto business leaders also stressed that minivehicles serve as “means of transport tied to the daily lives” of people who live in rural areas, where other means of transportation are meager.

It should be noted, however, that motor vehicles put a burden on roads, which require costly repairs and maintenance, and affect the environment. Coming up with revenue to fund repairs and renewal of older roads is a serious challenge for local governments.

It would be hard to make up for declines in revenue brought by the abolition of the automobile acquisition tax by additional taxes on non-vehicle products alone. It will be inevitable for minivehicle users to assume a heavier tax burden in accordance with the beneficiaries-pay principle.

With taxes related to motor vehicles amounting to nearly ¥8 trillion a year, a widely held opinion is that consumers’ motor vehicle taxes are unreasonably heavy.

There are also calls to expand tax breaks for highly efficient, environmentally friendly vehicles.

Besides addressing the issues of the automobile acquisition tax and the minivehicle tax, the government and the ruling coalition parties should consider the motor vehicle-linked tax system in its entirety when discussing what should be done to realize impartiality in taxation.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 17, 2013)
(2013年11月17日01時43分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

被曝の新基準 場の線量から個人の線量に

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 17, 2013
Radiation evaluation standard must be changed to individual dose
被曝の新基準 場の線量から個人の線量に(11月16日付・読売社説)

The nuclear watchdog’s proposed methods for measuring radioactive exposure doses will move a step toward breaking with the “one-millisievert myth,” which is considered a hindrance to the reconstruction of areas affected by the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority has put together a draft report on basic ideas on measures for dealing with radioactive exposure to prepare for the return of evacuees to areas around the crippled plant.

Notably, the NRA has presented a policy on exposure doses, a matter of concern for affected residents, saying, “It’s essential to evaluate the degree of doses based on individuals making actual measurements with dosimeters.”

Concerning a long-term target of reducing radiation readings to one millisievert a year, the draft report said this goal is also based on measurements of individual dosimeters.

We hope the proposed dose measurement method will lead to reducing the misunderstanding that the “annual air dose of one millisievert” is the borderline between danger and safety.

Air doses measured by devices installed at various places or by aircraft have so far been used to evaluate exposure doses. However, these methods have been criticized as excessive and do not reflect the actual situation.

According to surveys conducted by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry, Fukushima Prefecture and other entities, radiation readings obtained by distributing dosimeters to individual residents measured one-fourth to one-seventh of air doses.

In fact, air doses are not uniform. The exposure to a radiation dose differs depending on individual behavioral patterns, such as how much time a person spends indoors.

Objective info vital

To promote decontamination and other contamination control measures efficiently and steadily to minimize the effects of radiation exposure, it is indispensable to make evaluations based on objective data. The NRA’s proposal on the new method of measurement is rational and valid.

The proposal to accelerate reconstruction in Fukushima Prefecture, which has been submitted by the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito to the government, also calls for distributing dosimeters to individual evacuees for use when they return home. It is understandable that if evacuees use dosimeters when they temporarily return home, their anxiety will ease when they see actual dose readings.

The evaluation of doses based on figures measured by individual dosimeters has already been implemented in some areas of Fukushima Prefecture.

The government-established fund for managing the health of Fukushima prefectural residents is now subsidizing municipalities to distribute dosimeters free of charge. The Environment Ministry has included spending for distribution of individual dosimeters in its budgetary requests for next fiscal year.

Basic dosimeters cost ¥2,000 to ¥3,000 apiece, while those capable of recording radiation doses by the hour are priced at ¥20,000 to ¥30,000 each. These prices are fairly reasonable and should not hinder the distribution of dosimeters to affected residents. Distribution must be accelerated.

It is also important to establish a system under which the government and the municipalities concerned give detailed explanations and conduct consultations about the use of dosimeters, interpretation of radiation readings and other matters. How can we foster and secure a sufficient number of consultants?

The NRA must positively provide assistance by utilizing its specialized knowledge.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 16, 2013)
(2013年11月16日01時32分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

教科書検定基準 領土と歴史の理解に役立つ

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 17, 2013
Review of school textbook screening must help understanding of history
教科書検定基準 領土と歴史の理解に役立つ(11月16日付・読売社説)

It is essential that textbooks children study accurately describe their country’s territories and history.

Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Minister Hakubun Shimomura has announced that the government plans to review its standards on textbook screenings and aims to implement new criteria beginning next fiscal year.

We regard it reasonable that the government has decided to require textbooks to mention its consensus views on historical and territorial issues, a key point of the review.

Japan’s confrontations with China and South Korea over territorial and historical issues have escalated. Teaching Japan’s stance accurately would help children correctly understand the nation’s relationship with other countries. Such efforts are also important for the nation to foster people capable of disseminating the message of the legitimacy of the government’s positions on such issues to the international community.

South Korea has unlawfully occupied the Takeshima islands, an inherent part of Japanese territory, and Tokyo has taken the stance that there is no territorial dispute with Beijing over the Senkaku Islands administered by Japan.

Japan also has frictions with South Korea over the so-called comfort women issue and South Koreans’ rights to seek compensation from Japanese companies for what they claim was forced labor during wartime.

The Japanese and South Korean governments reached an accord on damage claims in 1965 that stipulates the issue “was resolved completely and finally.” Thus, the issue of compensation for individual South Koreans has been settled already.

It is vital that such Japanese government stance will be expressed in textbooks.

Objectivity is key

In revamping textbook screening standards, the government intends to demand that textbook publishers avoid conclusive descriptions on issues for which it has yet to reach a consensus. We believe this is an appropriate call to secure objectivity of textbooks.

For example, the number of people killed in the 1937 Nanjing Incident has yet to be determined. The figures vary widely, with some Japanese estimates citing several tens of thousands to 200,000 while China estimates more than 300,000 people were killed.

When dealing with such sensitive issues, descriptions unbiased by certain historical views are crucial.

In responding to a question in the Diet in April, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed his view that the current textbook screening system does not reflect the spirit of the revised Fundamental Law of Education, which emphasizes the cultivation of patriotism. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s special panel also has called for the screening standards to be improved, saying it has found “descriptions with a self-deprecating view” in history textbooks.

However, the government has stopped short of seeking a review of a provision that requires it to pay certain consideration to Japan’s past relations with its neighboring Asian countries when referring to modern and contemporary history.

This so-called neighboring-countries provision was added to the textbook screening standards in 1982 to mitigate the fierce reactions from China and South Korea following false media reports that the education ministry had forced a change in the country’s textbooks of the description of an “invasion” of China by the defunct Imperial Japanese Army to an “advance.”

The creation of such a provision, however, has produced side effects such as self-restrictions by publishers and writers of textbooks.

In the increasingly globalized contemporary society, the nation should respect not only its neighbors but also other countries.

The historic role played by the provision is apparently coming to an end.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 16, 2013)
(2013年11月16日01時33分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

2013年11月17日 (日)

GDP減速 経済成長の持続力を高めたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 16, 2013
Bolster self-sustaining growth despite decelerated GDP pickup
GDP減速 経済成長の持続力を高めたい(11月15日付・読売社説)

Although the pace of the nation’s economic growth since the beginning of the year has slowed, economic expansion remains in positive territory.

The government, together with the Bank of Japan, should steadily push ahead with the Abenomics economic policy of the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to accelerate fresh economic growth.

The nation’s preliminary real gross domestic product for the July-September period, announced by the Cabinet Office on Thursday, showed a 0.5 percent rise from the previous quarter, the fourth straight quarter of improvement.

On an annualized basis, however, the growth figure is 1.9 percent, half the previous quarter’s 3.8 percent.

A major factor behind the decrease is the sluggish pace of personal spending, which has served as the engine for economic growth.

Exports, which were expected to increase on the strength of the weakening yen, turned to negative growth in the July-September period on declining demand from emerging economies in Asia and elsewhere.

What shored up the growth despite weak domestic and external demand in such major categories was expenditures on public works projects, which increased through a set of emergency economic stimulus measures.

Commenting on the latest GDP figure, Akira Amari, state minister for economic and fiscal policy, expressed a bullish point of view, saying the government believes “domestic demand has remained firm, indicating the economy will continue picking up.” However, this is no time for the government to let its guard down.

Higher growth achieved through public spending cannot last for long.

Price markups looming

Any uptrend will level off sooner or later if public spending-led growth is not replaced with self-sustaining growth through increases in private demand such as consumer spending and capital investment.

What should be of particular concern is rising prices of imported goods such as food and fuel, in addition to increased electricity charges due to idle nuclear power stations.

According to a survey by the Cabinet Office, 90 percent of households believe prices will be “higher than they are now” in the coming year. There are fears that consumer sentiment will ebb due to anxieties over increased prices.

Although consumption will likely become firmer from around the end of the year until the early months of next year due to a last-minute surge in demand ahead of a consumption tax increase on April 1, reactionary drops after the tax hike could be highly problematic.

Should consumer spending run out of steam, the economic recovery could plunge into an alarming state, falling into a serious “consumption slump,” just before realizing the “virtuous economic cycle” the Abe administration has been seeking.

The first-half aggregate profits of listed companies through September are likely to be double those of a year earlier. It is strongly hoped that firms enjoying good business performance will take the bold step of raising wages to help boost household purchasing power.

Boosting income for both regular and nonregular employees of not only large companies, but also second-tier, medium- and small-sized businesses is certain to become a key task.

The current slow pace of capital investment by private businesses is also a matter of concern.

Private-sector companies of course play a predominant role in realizing economic growth. All companies are urged to find a way out of being on the defensive, relying solely on cost curtailment, and instead draw up forward-looking business strategies.

The government, for its part, must redouble efforts to support corporate strategies through such measures as bold deregulation and cuts in effective corporate tax rates, which are significantly higher than those in other advanced economies.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 15, 2013)
(2013年11月15日01時36分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

中国3中総会 力による社会安定図る習政権

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 16, 2013
Xi adopts strong-arm approach to securing social stability
中国3中総会 力による社会安定図る習政権(11月15日付・読売社説)

Economic reforms approved at the latest Central Committee plenary meeting of the Chinese Communist Party could ultimately fall short of expectations both inside and outside the country.

The meeting was the third of its kind held by the Chinese administration of President Xi Jingping since the 18th Central Committee was established at the party’s convention a year ago. Unlike the first and second Central Committee meetings that highlighted leadership personnel matters, the third put forth basic policies of the Xi administration.

Regarding the focus of economic reforms, the statement issued after the plenary meeting asserted that “market principles will play a decisive role” and stressed such steps as accelerating construction of free trade zones where restrictions on foreign companies will be eased.

A glance at the statement shows that the agreement made at the meeting was in line with Premier Li Keqiang’s economic policies aimed at breaking away from attaining growth through unprincipled investments primarily by the public sector.

Concerning state-owned firms that have monopolized such sectors as energy, information and communications, the statement, however, clearly stated that they will continue to “play a leading role.”

This is apparently inconsistent with an economic reform policy line that attaches importance to market principles, as state-owned businesses are integrated with party organizations. The Central Committee was therefore presumably forced to make a compromise, as it could not break through the thick walls of sectors with vested interests.

The Chinese economy is not expected to achieve stable growth without drastic reforms. At the same time, the economy cannot heed the call of the international community for free competition.

Price of ‘public order’

It is notable that the statement stressed the importance of maintaining public order, saying, “The point of paramount importance is to maintain party leadership.” This makes us further concerned about the suppression of democratization movements, as well as activities to support human rights and freedom of speech.

A state security committee to be established in China is expected to serve as a control tower to deal with terrorist attacks and riots through the joint efforts of the party, the government, the military and others. With the National Security Council of the United States in mind, China possibly intends to have the envisaged committee involved in making diplomatic policy decisions.

There are fears China will bolster its saber-rattling actions in such areas as around the Senkaku Islands, as it tries to pander to anti-Japan protests and divert the people’s discontent against the government. Vigilance must be maintained regarding the moves of the envisaged Chinese organization.

About 180,000 mass protests are said to be staged in China annually due to public anger over the gap between the wealthy and poor. Violent incidents took place prior to the Central Committee’s plenary meeting, including one in which a car crashed and was set on fire in front of the Tiananmen Gate in Beijing and another in which a series of bombings occurred at the Communist Party’s provincial committee headquarters in Shanxi Province.

The public discontent demonstrated by the people who perpetrated these incidents could be behind the Xi administration’s effort to maintain public order by force.

While the statement calls for enhancing the independence of judicial organizations, it is doubtful whether this can be done, as they remain under the Communist Party’s supervision.

We have no alternative but to say that China’s social and economic instabilities are likely to continue for a long time.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 15, 2013)
(2013年11月15日01時33分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

2013年11月15日 (金)




久しぶりにクーポンと割引を探せ! サイトでクーポンを物色しましたが、ロックの帝王内田裕也さんをモチーフにしたクーポンには腰が抜けてしまいました。



| | コメント (0)


cite from The Nation, Thailand

PM calls on Thais to allow govt to carry out its work

Anapat Deechuay
The Nation
November 12, 2013 3:25 pm

"If a lot of people strike then who will work? Please think about this," : Yingluck

Yingluck asked protesters to bring a halt to the rallies and thus maintain foreigners' confidence in Thailand.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Tuesday asked that the government be given a chance to continue its work, saying there are many issues that require its attention.

The government has to continue its work, she said. Among the tasks that cannot be carried out without the government in place is the functioning of the joint committee on ThaiCambodian border, she said.

"Please give us time to prove ourselves. We have listened to (people's) opinions so we want the people to return home and stop protesting. We don't want to hear that foreigners change their schedules and don't come to Thailand," she said.

"We believe everybody must campaign for all the people to pay taxes according to the law. This is the government's duty. I'd like to ask the people not to strike as they can still express their (political) opinions after work. If the people don't pay tax, the country will eventually hurt and that will affect the economy and problems will return to hurt us," she said.

She said "asking" is the first step the government will take. She added that the people should support tax payment.

| | コメント (0)

諫早開門問題 司法判断だけでは解決できぬ

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 15, 2013
Isahaya issue cannot be solved solely with judicial decisions
諫早開門問題 司法判断だけでは解決できぬ(11月14日付・読売社説)

Another layer of confusion has been added to the issue concerning the Isahaya Bay land reclamation project in Nagasaki Prefecture. We think it is impossible to solve the problem with only judicial judgments.

The Nagasaki District Court has decided to issue a provisional injunction to the government to stop the planned opening of floodgates of a dike built in the bay.

 The court has judged it is highly probable agriculture and fisheries will suffer damage if the floodgates were to be opened. The court therefore ruled in favor of parties who filed a suit, including farmers, who oppose a government study that would involve opening the floodgates.

It is a conclusion in direct opposition to the one made by the Fukuoka High Court in December 2010. The high court ordered the government to open the floodgates for five years to investigate what impact it could have on fisheries in the area. The high court decision has already been finalized.

It is natural for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi to have commented on the matter, “It is an extremely difficult situation as we are charged with two [conflicting] obligations: ‘We must open the gates’ or ‘We must not open the gates.’”

Because judges base their decisions on the advantages and disadvantages to parties in a lawsuit from evidence submitted, the interests of parties not directly involved in the lawsuit are not taken into consideration.

In cases in which the interests of farmers and fishermen are intricately intertwined with multiple lawsuits underway—as can be seen with the Isahaya issue—conflicting judicial conclusions are sometimes drawn according to evidence submitted to courts.

Political settlement desirable

As a result, judicial rulings will fall short of fully solving the issue. Therefore, we believe it is desirable to settle the Isahaya Bay issue politically rather than through judicial rulings.

However, thorough preparations and coordination are indispensable to politically solve the problem. After the Fukuoka High Court’s ruling in 2010, then Prime Minister Naoto Kan decided not to appeal the high court decision to the Supreme Court although he had not sufficiently examined the impact of opening the floodgates and other factors.

“I have my own knowledge on this issue,” Kan stressed, but he was ultimately unable to point the problem toward a final settlement. Instead, his actions have invited distrust against the politics of parties involved in the issue.

If the government had appealed the high court ruling to the top court, there was a possibility the issue could have ended with a court-mediated settlement. Even if such a settlement was not made, there might have been a different development in the issue’s history if the Supreme Court had handed down its decision on the issue, because top court decisions strongly influence subsequent decisions in trials at lower courts regarding similar cases.

The Fukuoka High Court-ordered deadline to begin the floodgate-opening study, Dec. 20, is now approaching. With the Nagasaki court’s decision, it is unlikely for the government to start the investigation by the date. The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe must do its best to reach out to parties involved in this issue, such as local governments, fishermen and farmers, to find a compromise.

The Isahaya Bay land reclamation project has been regarded as a prime example of a “public works project that cannot be stopped once it has started.” The initial purpose of the project was to create an increase in food production. However, even if the government shifted its policy to reducing rice fields, the project would continue under the pretext of disaster management or securing a water resource.

We suspect the government underestimated the impact of the project on fishermen and farmers as it placed too much priority on simply keeping the project moving. The major lesson from the issue of the Isahaya Bay land reclamation project is how important it is to obtain the understanding of the parties involved.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 14, 2013)
(2013年11月14日01時46分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

軽減税率 政治の責任で導入の決断急げ

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 15, 2013
Govt must follow up tax reform pledge to quickly decide reduced rate
軽減税率 政治の責任で導入の決断急げ(11月14日付・読売社説)

Should the consumption tax rate be raised to 10 percent in October 2015 as planned, it is essential to take measures to ease the financial burdens on people, particularly low-income earners.

The government and the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito should decide on the introduction of a reduced tax rate on daily necessities and other items. They need to start working out a plan for a reduced tax rate system soon.

The ruling parties’ research commission on a reduced tax rate system has compiled an interim report. While it lists the opinions of various economic organizations heard by the commission, it stops short of outlining a course of action to introduce the reduced rate.

In its tax system reform outline released in January, the ruling camp made clear it would “aim at introducing it [a reduced tax rate] when the tax is raised to 10 percent,” and would reach a conclusion by the end of this year.

Despite this, the LDP has been backing away from concluding the matter with Takeshi Noda, chairman of the party’s Tax System Research Commission, saying, “We should decide on what to do about [the reduced tax rate] within about a year.” This is because a cautious view about the reduced rate runs deep within the party.

The ruling parties are probably taking into consideration those small- and medium-sized companies concerned about an increased burden in business procedures related to tax payments. We can presume the LDP does not want to decide on the introduction of the reduced tax rate before the government reaches a conclusion on raising the rate to 10 percent as envisaged.

Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry, which wants to avoid seeing tax revenues fall as a result of the reduced tax rate, has reportedly been making its case to the LDP.

But the point to focus on is the lessening of the “regressiveness” of the consumption tax, which refers to those with lower incomes facing heavier burdens.

Reduction should apply to all

The government plans to provide a benefit to low-income households when the consumption tax rate is raised to 8 percent next spring. Yet such a one-time benefit is limited in its possible effect in underpinning consumption. A reduced tax rate for daily necessities for all consumers would be more effective.

It is quite reasonable that Komeito head Natsuo Yamaguchi has been saying, “The 10-percent hike should be put into effect together with a reduced tax rate.”

Ideally, the tax-reduction measure should be adopted when the rate is raised to 8 percent. If it is not, making the reduced rate sufficiently effective will require setting it at 5 percent when the consumption tax is raised to 10 percent.

Yamaguchi has even indicated he may oppose the 10 percent hike itself if the government fails to put a process in motion to adopt the reduced rate when the tax rate is raised to 10 percent.

Time must not be wasted on internal conflicts within the ruling camp. Following the government’s decision on the adoption of the reduced tax rate, there needs to be a certain period for the decision to be widely disseminated among the public and business sectors.

To dispel concerns over the decline in tax revenues and more cumbersome tax payment procedures expected as a result of the adoption of the reduced tax rate, the LDP and Komeito should accelerate their efforts to narrow the possible items on which the tax rate would be reduced.

In Europe, most countries have adopted a reduced tax rate for their value added tax, which is equivalent to the consumption tax in Japan. There are also many countries that place a reduced tax rate on newspaper and books, which help sustain democracy and the culture of the printed word.

In addition to daily necessities, the reduced tax rate should also be applied to newspapers and books in Japan.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 14, 2013)
(2013年11月14日01時46分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

2013年11月14日 (木)

Me and My Country (3) (タクシン元首相回想録)


cite from Thaksin Shinawatra's official site

Thaksin Shinawatra
October 28

Me and My Country (3)

ผมมาอยู่ญี่ปุ่น 3 วัน มาเห็นเศรษฐกิจญี่ปุ่นคึกคักขึ้นเยอะ สอบถามผู้คนถึงความพึงพอใจ ก็พบว่าคนส่วนใหญ่รู้สึกว่าดีขึ้น พอใจ
I arrived in Japan three days ago, and I saw the Japanese economy more vibrant . I find that most people feel more comfortable .

ก็เลยทำให้นึกถึงตอนที่ผมเป็นนายกฯใหม่ๆ ผมจับทฤษฎีโลกทุนนิยมว่าเศรษฐกิจเป็นจิตวิทยาอย่างหนึ่ง จิตวิทยาที่ว่าจะต้องให้เกิดบรรยากาศแห่งความเชื่อมั่น ความไว้เนื้อเชื่อใจ (Trust & Confident)
It reminds me of the days I was a new prime minister . I beleave a theory that the world capitalist economy is going by a psychological one. Psychology to have an air of confidence. Trust (Trust & Confident).

พอท่านนายกฯ Abe เข้ามา ท่านปรับค่าเงินเยนที่แข็งเกินกว่าเศรษฐกิจที่แท้จริง ถ้าเป็นภาษาของอาชญวิทยา เราเรียกกันว่า Shock Therapy คือการรักษาบำบัดโดยวิธีที่รุนแรง พอดีผมมีโอกาสได้คุยกับท่านนายกฯ Abe ด้วยตัวเอง ก็เลยถามท่าน ท่านตอบดีมาก
The Prime Minister Abe came when yen 's appreciation over the real economy . If the language of Criminology . Called Shock Therapy is a therapy by fierce . I had the opportunity to talk to the Prime Minister Abe himself , so I asked him and Abe responded very well.

ท่านเลี่ยงคำว่าลดค่าเงินซึ่งเป็นการที่อาจถูกต่อว่าจากประเทศคู่ค้าได้ ท่านบอกว่าท่านไม่ได้ลดแค่ค่าเงิน ท่านใช้ทฤษฎี Inflation Targeting ด้วยการตั้งค่าอัตราเงินเฟ้อไว้ที่ 2% เพราะเดิมอัตราเงินเฟ้อของญี่ปุ่นเป็น 0% หรือบางทีก็ติดลบหน่อยๆ ก็เลยทำให้ค่าเงินเยนอ่อนตัวอย่างรวดเร็ว เงินถึงจะเฟ้อขึ้นมาระดับ 2% ได้ ซึ่งเป็นคำตอบที่ถูกทฤษฎี ความเชื่อมั่นจึงเกิดกับเศรษฐกิจญี่ปุ่นอย่างแรง รัฐบาลจึงเป็นที่นิยมของประชาชนซึ่งรอความหวังทางเศรษฐกิจมานาน
Please avoid the devaluation, which may be a matter of international partners. You say that you do not lose your money just by using the theory of Inflation, targeting setting inflation at 2 % , because the original Japanese inflation is 0 % or something a little bit lower than that. It makes the yen weakening rapidly. Money to inflation goes upto 2% , which is the answer of the theory. It is believed that the Japanese economy has hard time. Government preferes Japanese economy to go up.

ตอนที่ผมเข้ามาเป็นนายกฯใหม่ตอนนั้น เศรษฐกิจยังไม่ยอมฟื้นจากวิกฤติ หลังจากที่ผมตรวจสอบสภาพคล่องในสถาบันการเงินทั้งของภาครัฐและเอกชน ผมรู้สภาพปัญหาที่เงินของพ่อค้าส่งออกไม่ยอมส่งกลับเข้าไทย และก็สถาบันการเงินต่างประเทศก็ยังไม่มีความเข้าใจและไว้วางใจเศรษฐกิจไทย ผมเลยประกาศความแข็งแรงทันทีว่า เราจะช่วยตัวเอง เราจะฟื้นเศรษฐกิจตัวเอง โดยการไม่ขอความช่วยเหลือทางการเงินจากใคร และจะไม่กู้เงินต่างประเทศเป็นอันขาด ทำให้วงการเงินต่างๆช๊อค นึกว่าเรายังจะวิ่งกู้อยู่ คนไทยก็มีความมั่นใจขึ้นจึงเริ่มมีการขยับตัวทางเศรษฐกิจมากขึ้น
When I took over as the new prime minister at that time. Still not recovered from the economic crisis. After I check the liquidity of financial institutions in both the public and private sectors. I know the problems that the dealer(owner?) was not willing to return to Thailand . And the foreign financial institution is weak for economic understanding as well as trust of Thailand . I noticed immediately one thing (that strength) . We can help themselves. We will revive the economy for ourselves. By not asking for financial assistance from anyone. And will not loan overseas feared. To the financial shocks . Imagine that we have to run the recovery . Thailand is confident more people will begin to move more economic .

ผมเริ่มปฏิบัติการตามนโยบายที่หาเสียงไว้ทันที โดยเฉพาะกองทุนหมู่บ้านที่ถูกดูแคลนว่าจะเอาตังค์ที่ไหนมาทำ และโครงการ 30 บาทรักษาทุกโรค และตามมาด้วยหนึ่งตำบลหนึ่งผลิตภัณฑ์(OTOP) แล้วรีบตั้งบรรษัทบริหารสินทรัพย์ไทย (บสท.) ซื้อหนี้ออกจากธนาคารเพื่อให้ธนาคารเริ่มปล่อยกู้ใหม่อีกครั้งหนึ่ง ซึ่งก็ถือว่าเป็นการ Shock Therapy เช่นกัน หุ้นก็เริ่มขึ้น ค่าเงินบาทก็เริ่มแข็งตัวแบบมีเสถียรภาพ เงินที่พ่อค้าส่งออกไม่ยอมเอาเข้ามาก็เข้ามา
I bigin operational tactics at the time immediately. I arrived to 30 Baht Health Care scheme . And then I start One Tambon One Product (OTOP) and then quickly set up Thailand Asset Management Corporation (TAMC ) to escape from the banks so that the banks started lending again easily. That is considered as Shock Therapy. Money began to form a stable clot (profit) . Money merchant exporters refused to come out the country.

พอเงินสำรองระหว่างประเทศเพิ่มขึ้น ผมจึงประกาศใช้หนี้ IMF เศรษฐกิจจึงแข็งอย่างต่อเนื่องมาหลายปี
We've got enough international reserves. I tried to pay back IMF debt so hard continuously for many years.

ก็ย้ำอีกครั้งหนึ่งว่าเศรษฐกิจจะดีได้ต้องสร้างบรรยากาศให้เกิด Trust and Confident ในระบบเศรษฐกิจเราให้ได้ครับ
I repeat once again that the economy will have to create the Trust and Confident in the economy we have .

ไหนๆผมก็ได้คุยกับท่านนายกฯ Abe แล้ว ผมก็เลยสอบถามเรื่องวีซ่าเข้าญี่ปุ่นที่มีการปล่อยข่าวลือว่าจะยกเลิกการไม่ให้วีซ่า กลับมาต้องมีวีซ่าเหมือนเดิมเพราะมีคนไทยเข้าไปแล้วไม่ออกมาหลายคน ซึ่งก่อนผมจะถามท่าน ผมก็เลยขอข้อมูลส่วนของเราก่อนก็พบว่า การอยู่เกินกำหนดมีทั้งสองฝ่าย คือทั้งญี่ปุ่นมาไทยและไทยไปญี่ปุ่น อัตราของการอยู่เกินของไทยไปญี่ปุ่นมีไม่มากกว่าตอนที่ต้องมีวีซ่ามากนัก และเมื่อเปรียบเทียบจำนวนคนไทยไปญี่ปุ่นที่เพิ่มขึ้นถือว่าน้อยมาก ท่าน Abe ก็ตอบผมว่าไม่ได้วิตกและไม่ได้คิดเปลี่ยนนโยบายเรื่องนี้เลย ก็ไม่รู้ใครปล่อยข่าวลือจนคนไทยตกใจมาถามผมจำนวนมาก ผมก็เลยไปถามมาด้วยตนเองมาเล่าให้ฟังว่าไม่ต้องวิตก
What I was talking about with Prime Minister Abe is about visas to enter Japan, because rumors are prevailing that Japan will cancel the visa .
People returned must have a visa to enter Thailand.
Once coming into Japan, there were not many people out . (overstay)
So I ask of our first finds .
There are two sides to overstay .
Both Japan and Thailand is Thailand to Japan.
The rate of in excess of Thailand to Japan is not much more than I need a visa .
Compared to Japan, Thailand and the increasing number of people are very worried and you Abe replied that I did not think to change this policy at all.
I do not know who let the person rumored to make Thaias shocked and asked me a lot .
I was asked to come in person to tell you not to worry .

คนสิงคโปร์ไปไหนเกือบทั่วโลกไม่ต้องมีวีซ่า ทำไมคนไทยต้องขอวีซ่าอีกตั้งหลายประเทศ ดังนั้นนับวันรัฐบาลก็จะเจรจายกเลิกวีซ่า 2 ฝ่ายกับประเทศหลักๆมากขึ้นเรื่อยๆครับ ปีใหม่ 2014 นี้จีนกับไทยจะยกเลิกวีซ่าต่อกันแล้วครับ
Singaporeans go almost anywhere in the world without a visa. Why people need visa for Thailand and many countries . So, the day the government will cancel the visa dialogue with two major parties increasingly China and Thailand on this new year 2014 will cancel my visa together .

| | コメント (0)

フィリピン台風 被災者救援に日本も力尽くせ

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 14, 2013
Japan, other countries should do more to deal with natural disasters
フィリピン台風 被災者救援に日本も力尽くせ(11月13日付・読売社説)

Destruction from the killer typhoon that struck the Philippines produced a tragic scene reminiscent of areas devastated by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.

Typhoon Haiyan smashed into the Philippines Friday, a catastrophe that is believed to have left as many as 10,000 dead and affected an estimated 11.3 million people. Japan should do its utmost to aid the typhoon-ravaged country.

The typhoon is believed to have registered a maximum wind velocity of 105 meters per second. Tacloban, the main city on Leyte Island, was severely damaged, with tsunami-like waves several meters high striking the area. Surging floodwaters destroyed a huge number of simple wooden houses in the city, and even wiped out some local communities.

No contact has yet been made with many of the 133 Japanese residents on Leyte and neighboring Samar Island.

There is a pressing need to search for and rescue missing people, while also treating those injured in the disaster. This must be complemented by efforts to deliver water, food and medical supplies to survivors.

It is also important to take hygiene measures to prevent people from falling victim to infectious diseases and other ill-effects caused by the typhoon.

Though he reportedly called on his people to evacuate before the typhoon hit, Philippine President Benigno Aquino was unable to prevent a catastrophe. Little progress has been made in determining the extent of the damage. His administration also has been slow to release information about casualties. There is a growing lack of confidence among Filipinos in their government over its failure to take appropriate post-disaster measures.

The international community needs to extend its full support to the Philippines. There is much that can be done to aid the disaster-stricken country—not just rescue work. International assistance may include securing means of communications and transportation, and assembling relief supplies. In fact, Japan, the United States, China, the European Union and other nations have already announced what assistance they will provide.

Set up typhoon info network

The Japanese government has sent a medical team from the Japan Disaster Relief Team to the Philippines, while also deciding to extend $10 million, or about ¥1 billion, in emergency grants-in-aid for that country.

The government was quick to decide it would dispatch Self-Defense Forces personnel in response to a request from the Philippine government. A 50-member advance SDF team is scheduled to arrive first, with the aim of extending medical and other assistance to stricken areas.

In the wake of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Japan received a great deal of assistance from other countries, including the Philippines. Japan has an obligation to aid any disaster-hit nation.
 東日本大震災の際、日本は、フィリピンを含む各国から多大な支援を受けた。 国際的な災害支援は日本の責務と言えよう。

After coastal areas along the Indian Ocean were hit by tsunami generated by a massive earthquake in 2004, the Japanese government took the initiative in establishing a multilateral tsunami warning system covering the region.

Japan’s initiative in this respect also covers typhoons. The Japan Meteorological Agency has provided other Asian nations with data from weather satellites and other weather-related information. A multilateral typhoon information network should be created to reduce damage caused by a disaster comparable to the typhoon.

Asia is one of the world’s most disaster-prone regions. About half of the victims of natural calamities in the past 30 years have been in this part of the world.

Japan, the Philippines and other Asian nations that frequently suffer typhoon damage should further increase their cooperation to reduce and manage devastation caused by typhoons.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 13, 2013)
(2013年11月13日01時52分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

徳洲会選挙違反 「組織ぐるみ」の徹底解明を

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 14, 2013
Get to the bottom of ‘systematic’ election fraud involving Tokushukai
徳洲会選挙違反 「組織ぐるみ」の徹底解明を(11月13日付・読売社説)

A recent scandal appears to involve election violations systematically committed by one of the largest hospital groups in the country. We urge investigative authorities to uncover the full truth of the case.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office’s special investigation squad and the Metropolitan Police Department on Tuesday arrested two elder sisters of House of Representatives member Takeshi Tokuda of the Liberal Democratic Party, and four others, including senior officials of the Tokushukai hospital group, on suspicion of providing monetary benefits to campaign staffers in violation of the Public Offices Election Law.

During the campaign for the lower house election in December last year, the two sisters, both presidents of Tokushukai group companies, and the four others are suspected to have orchestrated large-scale election violations to support Tokuda, who was running in Kagoshima Constituency No. 2.

The six people arrested allegedly sent more than 500 employees of Tokushukai’s affiliated hospitals to the constituency and paid them a total of nearly ¥150 million. During the campaign period, these employees were recorded as being absent from work or taking paid holidays, and were given the remuneration with their year-end bonus.

“The election campaign was completely sponsored by Tokushukai,” one nurse said.

Investigative authorities must build their case carefully by, for example, cross-checking these statements and documents they confiscated from Tokushukai’s affiliated hospitals and Tokuda’s campaign office.

Tokuda, who was an executive director of a Tokushukai-affiliated medical corporation during the campaign period, reportedly denied involvement in the alleged election fraud during questioning. Nevertheless, he has informed the LDP that he will leave the party. This is probably because there are growing calls within the LDP for him to take responsibility for this affair.

Father pulling the strings?

Given that police and judicial authorities have started investigating his campaign activities, Tokuda should fulfill his responsibility as an incumbent lawmaker to explain his side of the story.

The Public Offices Election Law has a guilt-by-association provision that will be applied to a candidate if his or her parents, spouse, children, brothers or sisters violated the law. If a punishment of imprisonment, including a suspended sentence, is finalized for the family members, the candidate’s election result will be annulled. The candidate also will be prohibited from running for election in that constituency for five years.

The focus of attention will be whether Tokuda will be subject to this rule.

Tokuda’s father is Torao Tokuda, the group’s founder and a former lower house lawmaker. He is currently hospitalized due to a serious disease, but he reportedly gave overall instructions concerning his son’s campaign from his hospital room.

Torao was not arrested at this stage because he is in poor health, but the special investigation squad will continue to question him at the hospital as a suspect.

Torao also was involved in fiercely contested election battles during his career as a lawmaker, and many of his campaign staffers were arrested for alleged election violations. Did this disposition remain in the campaign for Takeshi, who took over his father’s electoral turf?

The Tokushukai hospital group expanded by touting it is “open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” It has about 280 hospitals nationwide, many of which are centers of community medicine.

The election scandal must not result in the medical treatment of patients taking a back seat.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 13, 2013)
(2013年11月13日01時52分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

Abe dined with exiled former Thai Premier, Thaksin Shinawatra

cite from msn sankei,
english translation by srachai,

2013.10.26 18:10 [安倍首相]
2013.10.26 18:10 [Abe]

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, dined with exiled former Thai Prime Minister,Thaksin Shinawatra

On October 26, 2013, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met to take a lunch with former exiled Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra at a hotel in Tokyo, discussing about bilateral economic issues between the two countries.

Exiled Thaksin is a brother of Yingluck Shinawatra, the current Prime Minister of Thailand.
Being sentenced tow years' imprisonment at the Thai Court against some bribery scandals involving the illegal purchase of State-owned land, Thaksin exiled him as a fugitive abroad.

Although Thaksin still has great influence in Thailand politics, it is quite an extraordinary case for Japan's Prime Minister to meet an exiled foreign dignitaries.

related story,

| | コメント (0)

2013年11月13日 (水)



"ไอ้การชัยชนะของการปราบไอ้ยาเสพติดนี่ ดีที่ปราบ แล้วก็ที่เขาตำหนิบอกว่า เอ้ย คนตาย ตั้ง ๒,๕๐๐ คน อะไรนั่น เรื่องเล็ก ๒,๕๐๐ คน ถ้านายกฯ ไม่ได้ทำ นายกฯ ไม่ได้ทำ ทุกปี ๆ จดไว้นะ มีมากกว่า ๒,๕๐๐ คนที่ตาย"
"Victory in the War on Drugs is good. They may blame the crackdown for more than 2,500 deaths, but this is a small price to pay. If the prime minister failed to curb [the drug trade], over the years the number of deaths would easily surpass this toll.[86]"



cite from wkipedia,

The 'War on Drugs'[edit]
See also: Policies of the Thaksin administration#Anti-drug policies

Thaksin initiated several highly controversial policies to counter a perceived boom in the Thai drug market, particularly in methamphetamine. Earlier policies like border blocking (most methamphetamine is produced in Myanmar), education, sports, and promoting peer pressure had proved ineffective. In a 4 December 2002 speech on the eve of his birthday, King Bhumibol noted the rise in drug use and called for a "War on Drugs." Privy Councillor Phichit Kunlawanit called on the government to use its majority in parliament to establish a special court to deal with drug dealers, stating that “if we execute 60,000 the land will rise and our descendants will escape bad karma”.[78]

On 14 January 2003, Thaksin launched a campaign to rid "every square inch of the country" of drugs in three months.[79] It consisted of changing the punishment policy for drug addicts, setting provincial arrest and seizure targets including "blacklists", awarding government officials for achieving targets and threatening punishment for those who failed to make the quota, targeting dealers, and "ruthless" implementation. In the first three months, Human Rights Watch reports that 2,275 people were killed, almost double the number normally killed in drug-related violence.[80][81] The government claimed that only around 50 of the deaths were at the hands of the police, the rest being drug traffickers who were being silenced by their dealers and their dealers' dealers. Human rights critics claimed a large number were extrajudicially executed.[82][83] The government went out of its way to publicize the campaign, through daily announcements of arrest, seizure, and death statistics.

According to the Narcotics Control Board, the policy was effective in reducing drug consumption, especially in schools, by increasing the market price.[84]

King Bhumibol, in a 2003 birthday speech, praised Thaksin and criticized those who counted only dead drug dealers while ignoring deaths caused by drugs.[85]

"ไอ้การชัยชนะของการปราบไอ้ยาเสพติดนี่ ดีที่ปราบ แล้วก็ที่เขาตำหนิบอกว่า เอ้ย คนตาย ตั้ง ๒,๕๐๐ คน อะไรนั่น เรื่องเล็ก ๒,๕๐๐ คน ถ้านายกฯ ไม่ได้ทำ นายกฯ ไม่ได้ทำ ทุกปี ๆ จดไว้นะ มีมากกว่า ๒,๕๐๐ คนที่ตาย"

"Victory in the War on Drugs is good. They may blame the crackdown for more than 2,500 deaths, but this is a small price to pay. If the prime minister failed to curb [the drug trade], over the years the number of deaths would easily surpass this toll.[86]"

Bhumibol also asked the commander of the police to investigate the killings.[87] Police Commander Sant Sarutanond reopened investigations into the deaths, and again claimed that few of the deaths were at the hands of the police.

The war on drugs was widely criticized by the international community. Thaksin requested that the UN Commission on Human Rights send a special envoy to evaluate the situation, but said in an interview, "The United Nations is not my father. I am not worried about any UN visit to Thailand on this issue."[88]

After the 2006 coup, the military junta appointed a committee to investigate the anti-drug campaign.[89] Former Attorney General Kanit Na Nakorn led the committee. Concerning the committee's results The Economist reported in January 2008: "Over half of those killed in 2003 had no links to the drugs trade. The panel blamed the violence on a government 'shoot-to-kill' policy based on flawed blacklists. But far from leading to the prosecutions of those involved, its findings have been buried. The outgoing interim prime minister, Surayud Chulanont, took office vowing to right Mr Thaksin's wrongs. Yet this week he said there was insufficient evidence to take legal action over the killings. It is easy to see why the tide has turned. Sunai Phasuk, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, a lobbying group, says that the panel's original report named the politicians who egged on the gunmen. But after the PPP won last month's elections, those names were omitted."[90]

While he was opposition leader, Abhisit Vejjajiva accused Thaksin of crimes against humanity for his alleged role in the campaign. After being appointed Prime Minister, Abhisit opened an investigation into the killings, claiming that a successful probe could lead to prosecution by the International Criminal Court. Former attorney-general Kampee Kaewcharoen led the investigation and the investigation committee was approved by Abhisit's Cabinet. Abhisit denied that the probe was politically motivated. Witnesses and victims were urged to report to the Department of Special Investigation, which operated directly under Abhisit's control.[80][91][92] As of the August 2011 parliamentary elections, Abhisit's investigation failed to find or publicize any conclusive evidence linking Thaksin or members of his Government to any extrajudicial killings.

| | コメント (0)

がん登録法案 患者情報を対策に活用したい

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 13, 2013
Use patients’ data to fight cancer, but avoid leakage of information
がん登録法案 患者情報を対策に活用したい(11月12日付・読売社説)

Measures must be improved to deal with cancer, a disease that afflicts one in every two people in Japan.

A suprapartisan team of Diet members, including those from the Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of Japan, has compiled a bill to promote the registration of cancer patients, making it mandatory for all hospitals to provide prefectural governments with such data.

The bill will be submitted to the ongoing extraordinary Diet session, with enforcement eyed for 2016.

The key element of the bill obliges the central government to unify the management of data regarding cancer patients.

Under the plan, a hospital that has examined a cancer patient will convey to the prefectural government such information as a patient’s name, date of birth, type of cancer, stage of cancer progression and treatment provided.

The National Cancer Center will consolidate the data, upload them on its database and utilize the information, while maintaining patients’ anonymity.

By analyzing a large volume of accurate data, it will be easier to take effective measures to fight the disease.

More appropriate cancer-screening measures would be possible if the center investigates the tendency of certain types of cancer to develop in certain regions, as well as how many and how often.

Through the collation of the results of treatment of large numbers of patients, we can expect progress in unraveling the causes of cancer, developing effective therapeutic methods and researching preventive measures.

Reduced medical costs

Promoting efforts to prevent cancer and treating patients in the early stages of cancer will reduce related medical costs.

The registration of cancer patients is actually a requirement in the United States and European countries. On the basis of collected data on cancer screening and persuading people to quit smoking, these countries have seen a decline in the number of people developing cancer and deaths from the disease.

Cancer registration has been conducted in Japan, but with no legal binding power over hospitals, reliable data have been gathered in only a limited number of districts.

As the bill stipulates, if the registration becomes obligatory, information on cancer patients—about 700,000 people a year are believed to develop the disease—will increase markedly.

It is also noteworthy that the bill calls for data collection results to be made public. It is hoped that a system will be created so patients can use the data as a yardstick to choose a hospital on the basis of the kind of treatment it offers.

The bill’s main drawback is that the hospitals are to provide the prefectural governments with the data, without the patients’ consent. Cancer registration will be carried out on the assumption that it is an exception to the Personal Information Protection Law.

There are surely some patients who will be reluctant to provide personal data to the authorities. In view of this law, we hope the legislators will deliberate thoroughly on this issue in the Diet.

It goes without saying that information on patients must never be leaked to the public domain. It is therefore reasonable that under the bill, the staff at the National Cancer Center and prefectural governments managing the information will be obliged to maintain confidentiality, with penal provisions attached.

It is important to create a system under which patients do not have misgivings.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 12, 2013)
(2013年11月12日01時49分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

国家戦略特区 「看板倒れ」に終わらせるな

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 13, 2013
National strategy special zone plan mustn’t end up as a hollow slogan
国家戦略特区 「看板倒れ」に終わらせるな(11月12日付・読売社説)

The government has offered such a modest menu of minor deregulation measures that its plan to establish special deregulation zones would inevitably come under fire as a hollow slogan for not living up to its billing as a national strategy.

Deliberations have started in the Diet on the bill to promote deregulation in tokku special zones, a policy touted as the centerpiece of the growth strategy of the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Abe has stressed the significance of special national strategy zones, saying that the government “will implement drastic regulatory reforms to create the world’s best environment for conducting business.”

The ruling and opposition parties must hold in-depth Diet debate on the bill.

The bill calls for establishing an advisory council that will designate the tokku zones and make decisions on basic guidelines. The panel, chaired by Abe, is expected to designate three to five areas in the Tokyo metropolitan area as special zones early next year to embark on special zone projects within fiscal 2014, which begins in April.

Projects will be worked out for each designated tokku after deregulation measures are selected from the menus prepared for six fields, including medical treatment, urban revitalization and education.

The bill’s measures include, for example, deregulating the floor area ratio to promote construction of high-rise condominiums. Another measure is expanding the acceptance of foreign doctors to improve the living environment for non-Japanese residents.

To assist projects in special zones, the government must study multilateral assistance measures, such as preferential tax treatment.

Deregulation diluted

The problem, however, is that many of the deregulations to be applied in the tokku zones have already been watered down due to resistance by government ministries and agencies.

Many deregulation measures desired by business circles, including introduction of a flexible employment system, have been shelved. Deregulation steps have been modified and scaled down successively in sectors where medical and agricultural organizations have a strong say.

This inevitably gives us the impression that the government shrank from forging ahead with deregulations that faced strong opposition.

As with delicious dishes that cannot be prepared without excellent ingredients, there would be a slim chance of establishing effective special zones even with the implementation of additional steps, like seasonings, if key deregulation measures fall short.

The advisory panel will serve as a control tower for deregulation after the special zone bill clears the Diet. Cabinet ministers who have jurisdiction over regulations subject to relaxation would be excluded, in principle, from the advisory panel. The panel would be legally authorized to demand submission of data and explanations from the government offices concerned.

We urge the prime minister to effectively utilize the advisory panel’s powers and functions to break the vested interests and the conventionally compartmentalized bu-reaucratic walls. The government will be put to the test regarding whether it can open cracks in the monolithic regulatory edifice.

Local governments and businesses have filed about 200 applications for designation of national strategy tokku zones. But only a fraction of them will be approved. The government needs to make greater deregulation efforts while listening intently to the opinions of local governments and the private sector.

Efforts must be also made to extend deregulation measures that prove effective in the special zones to other parts of the country without delay.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 12, 2013)
(2013年11月12日01時49分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

2013年11月12日 (火)








| | コメント (0)



WIKIPEDIA (Thaksin Shinawatra)なんですが、その膨大な資料と内容の濃さに圧倒されました。





WIKIPEDIA (Thaksin Shinawatra)

| | コメント (0)


電話帳ナビ for Android をインストールしたら準備完了なんです。
このすばらしいアプリ、電話帳ナビ をインストールしてから、もう電話でいちいちドキドキすることがなくなりました。

『電話帳ナビ for Android』レビュー意見を取り入れたバージョンアップ


| | コメント (0)

若田ISS船長 宇宙での夢を広げる機会に

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 12, 2013
Wakata and the ISS encourage children to dream of the universe
若田ISS船長 宇宙での夢を広げる機会に(11月10日付・読売社説)

We hope Koichi Wakata will do a wonderful job of carrying out his important duties, which may determine the future of the International Space Station.

Wakata has begun a six-month mission at the ISS, about 400 kilometers above Earth, which will last until next May.

In his final two months, he will serve as the first Japanese ISS commander, with five U.S. and Russian astronauts working with him.

Eight Japanese astronauts have been sent into space so far. In terms of the combined length of their stay in space, including those at the ISS, Japan ranks third after Russia and the United States.

Wakata probably was chosen to serve as the ISS commander because of Japan’s achievements and his own energetic activities on three previous space missions.

Wakata is an excellent pilot and excels at maneuvering a remote-controlled robotic arm. He is highly trusted by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and has gained a reputation as a personality who values teamwork.

In the past, ISS commanders mostly have been U.S. or Russian astronauts who have served in the military. We hope Wakata will demonstrate that Japanese astronauts have a high level of expertise when it comes to working in space.

The ISS is as big as a soccer stadium. Astronauts carry out space experiments there and make Earth and space observations every few minutes. Wakata will also engage in the maintenance and management of the main unit of the ISS.

Emergencies may occur, such as space junk—debris of satellites and rockets, floating in space—hitting and damaging the ISS. It is a tough workplace.

Dealing with emergencies

Wakata has been trained on Earth to deal with such emergencies.

Besides these tasks, he will also conduct biological experiments using killifish and observe comets from the Japanese module Kibo. By watching footage of him conducting such tasks, children will be given an opportunity to dream about what they can do in the universe.

The ISS will mark the 15th anniversary of the start of its construction this month. Originally, it was a symbol of cooperation between the United States and the former Soviet Union, the two space superpowers.

After the Soviet Union collapsed and Russia fell on hard economic times, there were efforts to prevent Russia’s space technology from falling into the hands of warring countries.

It can be said the ISS has contributed to material development and unraveling the mystery of life through space experiments utilizing zero gravity. It also has brought about various benefits, such as the space station’s water-purification technology, which is widely utilized in developing countries.

However, some people say the ISS has reached a turning point, because countries participating in ISS-related projects have become increasingly concerned over the huge operational expense of the space station.

Japan contributes about ¥40 billion a year for such expenses as launching rockets to carry cargo to the ISS. Yet quite a few people question whether the results are commensurate with the contribution.

The international community is watching whether Wakata and his colleagues in the ISS can produce sufficient results despite such criticism.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 10, 2013)
(2013年11月10日01時58分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

会計検査院報告 杜撰なインフラ管理を見直せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 12, 2013
Board of Audit warning must lead to better infrastructure management
会計検査院報告 杜撰なインフラ管理を見直せ(11月10日付・読売社説)

The improper and ineffective use of taxpayers’ money remains strikingly conspicuous.

The Board of Audit, in its auditing report for the fiscal year that ended on March 31 this year, has pointed out 630 cases of improper, questionable use of ¥490.7 billion of government funds.

Japan has long had the worst fiscal deficits among industrially advanced countries. No time should be wasted in buckling down to the challenge of fiscal reconstruction.

All ministries and agencies that have been asked by the board to rectify problematic use of public funds must squarely address the task of proper budgetary implementation.

The public funds watchdog this time focused its inspections on how public infrastructure has been maintained and managed because infrastructure is closely linked to the public’s safety.

The fact that the board’s inspections have uncovered a large number of cases of sloppy infrastructure management cannot be overlooked.

A case in point is problems with the management of overpasses across expressways.

The board’s inspections of all the nation’s approximately 4,500 overpasses have revealed that 635 of them have been left unchecked. In addition, it remains unconfirmed whether another 548 overpasses have been checked.

It is astonishing that no steps have been taken to prevent concrete pieces from becoming detached at 968 overpasses built 30 years or more ago. If pieces of concrete hit a passing motor vehicle, the result could be disastrous. In fact, such an accident happened on the Tomei (Tokyo-Nagoya) Expressway.

The collapse of an overpass in a major earthquake could sever expressway networks, rendering them unable to function as arteries for transporting emergency supplies.

Past lessons unheeded

Expressway companies built the overpasses to connect communities separated by the construction of thoroughfares, and their management is up to the relevant local municipalities.

Given that the structures were not built at the expense of the municipalities, local governments apparently tend to lack awareness of their responsibility to maintain and repair the overpasses.

Expressway operators and municipalities must heighten their collaboration to ensure the safety of the structures.

There also are a pile of problems with tunnels on national highways. The board’s inspections have revealed that no regular checks have been conducted on at least 11 of them during the past 10 years or so.

No lessons have been utilized from the collapse of the Toyohama Tunnel near Yoichi, western Hokkaido, in 1996, which killed 20 people. It is only natural that the Board of Audit has demanded that the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry thoroughly inspect national highway tunnels to ensure their safety.

Shikoku Railway Co. (JR Shikoku) has left 56 of its railway bridges unrepaired for more than three years despite knowing they needed repairs, according to the board. One railway bridge has been left without repairs for as long as 23 years, the board said. It naturally came under fire for having little safety awareness.

We are also astonished by the sloppiness, as uncovered by the board, of the central and local governments in reinforcing infrastructure to improve earthquake resistance.

In one instance, antiseismic ferroconcrete slabs were installed around pillars of bridges, but it was later learned that doing so weakened the quake-resistance of the bases of the pillars because of the additional load the pillars had to bear as a result of the reinforcement, the board noted.

The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has hammered out a policy of boosting national land resilience.

The sloppy rudimentary inspection and maintenance of existing infrastructure revealed by the Board of Audit could damage the trustworthiness of Abe’s policy.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 10, 2013)
(2013年11月10日01時58分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

2013年11月11日 (月)

シーファーちゃんの宿題21(タイ語) 2013-11-11













| | コメント (0)


cite from kao-sot newspaper 2013-11-11

Struggle to find a solution

ดังนั้นเป้าหมายของทุกฝ่าย จึงน่าจะอยู่ที่การร่วมกันหยุดยั้งสิ่งไม่ถูกต้อง และเพื่อหาทางออกให้กับประเทศชาติ
Thus, the goal of all parties. It is common to stop what is wrong. And to find a solution to the nation.

การร่วมกันเคลื่อนไหวต่อสู้ เพื่อช่วยกันคลี่คลายบรรยากาศให้ผ่านพ้นความรุนแรงผ่านพ้นความไม่ปกติ ให้กลับสู่ความเป็นปกติในที่สุด
Common struggle movement. To help each other through the atmosphere to be solved through violence not usual To return to normal eventually.

บ้านเมืองเป็นของเราทุกคน ยามเกิดปัญหาต้องช่วยกันหาทางออก ไม่ใช่ผลักสถานการณ์ไปสู่จุดอับไม่สิ้นสุด
Our country is all. I need help to find a solution to the problem. Not to push the point, not the end, unfortunately.

| | コメント (0)

soy story (大豆のおはなし)のビデオに感動しました

アメリカ大豆輸出協会 については、過去に何度か記事を書いた経験があるので、大まかな知識はあります。
サイトが様変わりしており、トップページ上段にsoy story (大豆のおはなし)というタイトルがついたビデオが掲載されていました。


アメリカ大豆輸出協会 の果たす役割は大きいのですね。


| | コメント (0)

美しいキャンドルにメッセージを添えて StoneGrow ボタニカルコレクション

贈りMONO サイトで通販にて簡単に購入出来ます。



| | コメント (0)



サーバー管理のコスト削減とトラブル回避を両立!!サーバー保守代行サービス(24/365監視、障害対応、構築、設定)を月額5,000円で代行致します。 株式会社サイバービジョンホスティング

| | コメント (0)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:見る人の心奪う「野球」 /東京

.November 10, 2013(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: The power of baseball
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:見る人の心奪う「野球」 /東京

This year's professional baseball Nippon Series really generated a buzz. The Yomiuri Giants and Rakuten Golden Eagles came to the plate with very different histories. Some people were moved to give the Golden Eagles their fervent support simply because they were a team from the disaster-hit northeast.

Baseball fans were excited elsewhere as well. In American Major League Baseball the Boston Red Sox won the World Series, with Japanese pitchers Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa greatly contributing to the victory and grabbing the attention of fans in Japan, as well as those in the United States.

This talk about baseball reminds me of the 1976 Academy Award winner "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."

Set in a 1960s American mental institution, a man pretending to be a psychiatric patient is admitted there and rebels against the administration. During a "discussion therapy" session that is anything but, he suddenly requests that the institution staff change the building's schedule so the patients can watch the World Series.

Although the other patients at first say they want to watch baseball, when a vote is held only two others agree with the man.

Afterwards, the man convinces the other patients that it's OK for them to express their opinions, and in a second vote on the baseball issue all the participating patients vote in favor of the man's proposal.

However, the medical staff turn down the idea on the grounds that not all the patients participated in the vote, and in the end they refuse to allow them to watch the games.

The movie was a heavy critique of mental institutions of the time that ignored patients' rights, and there are many things that can be learned from it. When I first watched it as a university student, I was moved by the power of baseball to motivate people to act, even when they were resigned to other things.

When I became a psychiatrist myself and began working in a hospital ward, I started experiencing that power again and again.

Back then, many baseball games, Giants games in particular, were broadcast on television. When the clock went past 6 p.m., patients would gather around the television to watch games.

There were many times when I was surprised by a patient who, though normally reticent, would give swift responses when asked about their favorite baseball team or baseball player.
他の話題には乗ってこないような人に「好きな球団は? ひいきの選手は?」と問いかけると即座に答えが返ってきて、驚くこともしばしばだった。

Afterwards, soccer replaced baseball as the more popular sport, and baseball games became a less common sight on TV.

However, the roles of the different players in baseball are more clearly defined than in soccer, and the rule of changing batting and fielding roles every three outs, along with other aspects of the sport, give it ups and downs that continue to entertain audiences.

I no longer work in the hospital where I watched the baseball games with the patients, but I think nostalgically about whether those patients watched and enjoyed the Nippon Series this year.

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2013年11月05日 地方版

| | コメント (0)

2013年11月10日 (日)


Crowd near Democracy Monument.

แสดงออกถึงความรักชาติและประชาธิปไตยอย่างเต็มที่ ก่อนที่จะมีการยกระดับการชุมนุมอีกครั้งตั้งแต่วันที่ 10-11 พฤศจิกายน เป็นต้นไป
Expression of patriotism and democracy fully. Prior to upgrading to rally again from 10 to 11 November onwards.

แสดงออก sà-daeng òk express ; demonstrate ; exhibit
ถึง tĕung to reach ; to arrive ; to get to
ความรัก kwaam rák love
ชาติ châat nation ; country
และ láe and
ประชาธิปไตย bprà-chaa-típ-bpà-dtai democracy
อย่างเต็ม yàang dtem  full way
ที่ têe to ; at
that ; which ; who
ก่อนที่จะ gòn têe jà before
มี mee have ; there is
การยก gaan yók lifting ; raising
ระดับ rá-dàp class ; grade ; level
การชุมนุม gaan chum-num congregating
อีกครั้ง èek kráng again ; another time
ตั้งแต่ dtâng dtàe since ; from
วันที่ 10 wan têe sìp on the 10th
11 พฤศจิกายน sìp èt préut-sà-jì-gaa-yon 11th of November
เป็นต้นไป bpen-dtôn bpai from now on ; henceforth ; hereafter

| | コメント (0)

食の偽装拡大 「日本ブランド」を傷つけるな

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 10, 2013
Scandal involving false food labeling could harm Japan brand reputation
食の偽装拡大 「日本ブランド」を傷つけるな(11月9日付・読売社説)

The scandal involving the false labeling of food seems to be endless. It has spread from the hotel industry to restaurants and the food sections of department stores, among other businesses.

We are astonished by the lack of morals in these industries as a whole.

Black tiger shrimp was labeled “kuruma ebi” Japanese tiger prawn, ready-made juice in cartons was presented as “fresh juice” and Australian beef was called “Japanese beef,” to name a few examples of misrepresentation.

After the revelation of such cases, executives of hotels and department stores made such excuses as “We had little understanding of how precisely we should label [the products]” or “We didn’t check raw materials.”

There is no end to cases in which executives concerned do not admit they falsely labeled products, but insist the food items were “mistakenly labeled.” Clearly, they are simply trying to say they did not intentionally misrepresent products.

However, the Law against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations does not address whether an act was done intentionally or negligently in cases of “representations that may mislead consumers as to the quality of goods.”

It is illegal to deceive customers into believing that a consumer good is far better or more advantageous than it is in reality. We think the current series of false representations falls under this category.

Consumers deeply trust hotels and department stores. That is why they pay relatively high prices in exchange for high-quality services. These businesses should be keenly aware of the heavy responsibility they bear for deceiving consumers.

Among the various false representations, "restructured" meat was mislabeled as genuine “beef steak.” Restructured meat contains such ingredients as milk constituents, wheat and soybeans, all of which can cause allergic reactions in consumers. The menus did not explain that fact. Some hotels even served dishes without knowing what raw materials were contained in the food.

In the worst cases, food allergies can result in death. We are shocked by such sloppy behavior.

Industries must reflect

A ryokan Japanese-style inn in the city of Nara also served restructured meat to customers as Japanese beef. Ryokan staffers asked guests whether they had food allergies without telling them they would be served restructured meat. They then served the actual Japanese beef listed on the menu only to guests who had food allergies. There is no justification for such behavior.

The Consumer Affairs Agency, which has started an investigation into the false-labeling cases, this week asked industry organizations of hotels and department stores to compile and submit reports to the agency one month from now on their efforts to appropriately represent food on menus and in other situations. These entire industries must respond sincerely to the situation.

One factor behind the endless false representations is a lack of knowledge among those involved in the industries. The Consumer Affairs Agency has issued a guidebook to the industries describing concrete examples of violations of the law against misleading representations and what constitutes misleading representations, and asked them to improve the situation. It is important to make every person working in the industries thoroughly aware of the rules regarding representation.

The government will hold an emergency meeting of ministries and agencies related to the matter at the beginning of the week.

If the current fiasco is prolonged, business opportunities such as year-end sales are likely to be adversely affected. Such a situation may also harm the credibility of “Japan brand” products and services, which are praised by foreign countries and tourists for their safety and security.

Administrative instructions by the government are necessary, but what is primarily required is that all food-related industries change their behavior and make efforts to regain the trust of consumers.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 9, 2013)
(2013年11月9日01時30分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

中国連続爆発 共産党統治への反発の表れか

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 10, 2013
Do Shanxi bombings reflect anger at Chinese Communist Party rule?
中国連続爆発 共産党統治への反発の表れか(11月9日付・読売社説)

Another violent incident has occurred in China, underscoring the seriousness of the social unrest in the country. Does this represent repugnance over the Communist Party’s rule?

A series of explosions occurred at the Communist Party’s provincial committee headquarters in the inland city of Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, on Wednesday, killing one person and injuring eight others.

The provincial authorities have detained a 41-year-old Taiyuan resident. Handmade explosive devices and other material evidence were reportedly found at his home, but the background and motives behind the bombings are not yet known. The Communist Party’s provincial committees have supreme power in their respective provinces, and the Taiyuan incident apparently stunned the party.

The latest incident came after a car crashed and exploded in flames in a deadly attack late last month in front of Tiananmen Gate in central Beijing, which features a huge portrait of Mao Zedong.

Investigative authorities determined that the attack was committed at the direction of an international terrorist organization. But there are strong suspicions among some people that the attack was committed by Uygurs with personal grudges against the Communist Party.

Shanxi Province, where the latest incident took place, is known for its huge coal mining industry. Like other regions in China, the gap between rich and poor is wide.

Mine operators are known for using their financial muscle to buy up real estate in such urban areas as Beijing and Shanghai. Corruption has long been said to involve officials with the power to grant mining rights.

Many coal miners work in poor environments, and many of them are believed to have lost their jobs as coal prices have fallen due to the slowdown in economic growth in recent years.

Coal miners are not the only Chinese who are discontent. The petition counter at the provincial committee’s headquarters building, the scene of the latest incident, is said to be overflowing with petitions from residents protesting unfair court decisions and forcible expropriation of land.

In the eyes of workers and farmers, party leaders appear to be using their power to enrich themselves.

Huge number of protests

Public discontent against the Communist Party and the government has triggered numerous incidents in various parts of the country. According to some sources, there are about 180,000 mass protests a year.

In April, about 4,000 residents of Xiamen (Amoy) in Fujian Province stormed into the provincial government building to protest unfair land transactions by the authorities concerned. In August, about 10,000 residents of Guanxi Zhuang Autonomous Region clashed with police during a protest rally over deaths allegedly caused by the discharge of water at a dam.

To deal with these incidents, the administration of President Xi Jinping has ordered thorough implementation of antiterrorist measures. In line with this harsh approach, the president has inspected poor farming communities in an effort to show his concern for local residents. But it is open to question whether these efforts have had the desired results.

The Xi administration, which will shortly enter its second year, opens the third plenary meeting of the Chinese Communist Party’s 18th Central Committee on Saturday. Focal points of discussion at the meeting will be economic structure reforms aimed at correcting the gap between rich and poor, among other issues.

Can China achieve stable growth while reining in public anxiety? The Xi government faces a difficult job steering the country.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 9, 2013)
(2013年11月9日01時30分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

2013年11月 9日 (土)

秘密保護法案 後世の検証が可能な仕組みに

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 9, 2013
Establish framework to guarantee posterity can verify validity of ‘secrets’
秘密保護法案 後世の検証が可能な仕組みに(11月8日付・読売社説)


Classified information related to the nation’s security that could affect the survival of this country must certainly be protected. It is very important to establish a solid legal system to protect information while also paying due attention to the people’s right to know.

Diet deliberations started Thursday on a bill to ensure protection of specially designated state secrets.

Under the proposed legislation, the government will designate information that is believed to require especially high confidentiality as “special secrets” in the four fields of defense, diplomacy, counterintelligence and counterterrorism. The envisaged law allows for harsher punishment of public servants who leak such secrets.

Key to security strategy

The aim of the bill is to ensure the creation of a structure that will prevent important information related to the country’s security from being casually divulged.

The situation surrounding Japan is increasingly severe, including North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile development programs and moves by China to augment its arsenal.

To ensure the nation’s peace and security, the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been seeking to establish a Japanese version of the U.S. National Security Council as a control tower for the government’s diplomatic and security policies.

A bill to launch the Japanese NSC passed a plenary session of the House of Representatives on Thursday.

For the Japanese NSC to function properly, it is indispensable for it to share important information with Japan’s allies and other friendly countries.

All countries will be understandably reluctant to provide information to another nation where there are fears that classified information will be leaked. In this regard, the special secrets protection law will be of great significance in improving the mutual trust between Japan and allies, such as the United States.

According to the government-submitted bill, the designation and lifting of the special secrets classification will be conducted by “chiefs of relevant organs of government administration,” such as the defense minister and foreign minister. This can be safely called an adequate arrangement, as decisions involving secrets must be made from a comprehensive point of view based on national strategy and national interests.

Situations must be avoided, however, in which ministries and agencies designate information as special secrets only to conceal information that is detrimental to their interests.

The bill calls for the government to establish a set of operational standards for designating and lifting the special secrets classification, by holding hearings to listen to opinions from experts. The envisioned standards must be used as criteria for not expanding the scope of secrets more than necessary.

Prevent arbitrary operation

Some have expressed concern that designated secrets will be kept confidential permanently, and never be disclosed to the public.

The bill sets the period for the designation of special secrets at a maximum of five years, stipulating designated secrets should be disclosed when confidentiality becomes unnecessary. However, the legislation also allows the government to extend the confidentiality period, and secrets could be kept undisclosed for 30 years or longer, depending on approval by the Cabinet.

Secrets should be made public as a matter of principle after the passage of a certain period of time, to make it possible for posterity to verify the validity of the secrets’ designation.

If secrets are publicly disclosed in the future, we believe concerns about administrative organs arbitrarily classifying information as special secrets can be eliminated for the most part.

There could of course be highly confidential state secrets that are difficult to disclose even in the future. The government is examining the requirements for extending the designation of such secrets beyond 30 years. Included in this category are secret codes and weapons used by the Self-Defense Forces.

Extreme care must also be taken with information provided by other countries.

Another challenge is the preservation and administration of documents.

The Public Records and Archives Management Law calls for setting a preservation period for all administrative documents. The law also makes it mandatory to transfer documents with historical value and significance to the National Archives of Japan and obtain the prime minister’s approval if such documents are to be destroyed.

Currently, however, defense secrets kept under the Self-Defense Forces Law are excluded from the Public Records and Archives Management Law. Over a five-year period up until 2011, about 30,000 items containing defense secrets that had exceeded their mandatory period of preservation were destroyed at the discretion of senior Defense Ministry officials.

If the secret protection bill is enacted, defense secrets will be included among special secrets. So it was appropriate that Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera issued an order not to destroy defense secrets until the secret protection law is enforced.

Special secrets also should be administered strictly under the Public Records and Archives Management Law.

Public’s right to know

Fulfilling responsibilities to the people is a natural obligation of the government of a democratic country.

Concerns about the bill possibly interfering with the people’s right to know were expressed even by ruling party members during a plenary session of the lower house Thursday.


As a result of negotiations between the Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner New Komeito, the bill was modified to add a statement that consideration should be given to freedom of news coverage and reporting. Concerning news gathering activities by the media, the bill stipulates that they are “regarded as legitimate practice, as long as they are not illegal or excessively unjust,” thus excluding any criminal charge against them in principle.

However, public servants would be subject to punishment if they leak special secrets. The bill calls for up to 10 years in prison for violators, which is far stricter than the maximum of one year under the National Civil Service Law and the maximum of five years under the SDF law.

There is concern that public servants will not comply with interview requests due to fear of punishment, thereby making it impossible for the media to provide information that the public needs to know. We urge the ruling and opposition parties to deepen discussions about whether they can prevent such a situation.

Debate on how the Diet will be involved in dealing with special secrets also cannot be overlooked.

The bill would allow for the communication of secrets to Diet committee members, among others, on condition that they hold closed-door sessions. Whether to provide secrets would be decided by the head of the administrative organization.

Is it appropriate for lawmakers to decide on the future course of the nation without knowing important information on national security? The legislature might not be able to conduct proper oversight of the administration. The Diet must study a system under which it can share secrets.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 8, 2013)
(2013年11月8日01時50分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

2013年11月 8日 (金)


( ̄o ̄)え?ポスティングってなんだって。

ポスティング 代行では、チラシの街頭配布だってできるんです。



| | コメント (2)

シーファーちゃんの宿題20(タイ語) 2013-11-08


พ่อของพ่อ เรียกว่า ปุ่
พ่อของแม่ เรียกว่า ตา

แม่ของพ่อ เรียกว่า ย่า
แม่ของแม่ เรียกว่า ยาย

น้องของพ่อ เรียกว่า อา
น้องของแม่ เรียกว่า น้า

พี่ชายของพ่อ เรียกว่า ลุง
พี่ชายของแม่ เรียกว่า ลุง
พี่สาวของพ่อ เรียกว่า ป้า
พี่สาวของแม่ เรียกว่า ป้า

ปู่ プー(low)
ตา ター(flat)
ย่า ヤー(falling)
ยาย ヤーイ(flat)
อา アー(flat)
น้า ナー(high)
ลุง ルン(flat)
ป้า パー(falling)


| | コメント (0)

企業の好決算 賃上げの実現に弾みつけたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 8, 2013
Positive corporate earnings must translate into higher wages
企業の好決算 賃上げの実現に弾みつけたい(11月7日付・読売社説)

Many companies are reporting good corporate earnings, backed by the tailwind created primarily by Abenomics, the economic policies of the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which turned the hyper-appreciation of the yen into depreciation.

Companies must now take preparatory steps for future growth.

If companies with healthy earnings take the brave step of raising wages and expanding job opportunities, and household budgets sufficiently increase, corporate performance will improve even further. Bringing about such a virtuous cycle would guarantee a self-sustaining business recovery led by private sector demand.

Announcements are in full swing now of the interim consolidated settlements of accounts for the first half for fiscal 2013 for companies listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

About 60 percent of the companies reported increases in both revenue and profits, with many companies reporting record profits. About 30 percent of the firms revised upward their earnings outlooks for the entire business year ending March 2014.

The Japanese economy has faced such headwinds over the last several years as the collapse of the Lehman Brothers shock, the Great East Japan Earthquake and the hyper-appreciation of the yen.

However, a number of factors have since pushed up corporate income, including a round of corporate restructuring and other necessary structural reform measures, as well as the depreciation of the yen, higher stock prices and recovery in personal consumption brought about by Abenomics. The business recovery in the United States also helped increase corporate income.

We can safely say now is the turning point for major corporations to escape their weak performances.

The prime examples are export-oriented industries that fully utilized the advantages of the yen’s depreciation.

Riding the wave

Toyota Motor Corp. has massively increased its profit due to healthy sales of hybrid vehicles in North America and elsewhere. It forecasts an operating profit of ¥2.2 trillion for the current business year, recovering to the ¥2 trillion level for the first time in six years.

Honda Motor Co., which is strong in the eco-cars currently popular among drivers, also made good earnings, while companies like leading minivehicle maker Suzuki Motor Corp. recorded their largest profits ever.

In the electronics industry, Panasonic Corp., which suffered from huge deficits for two consecutive years, returned to the black in a V-shaped recovery. The company beefed up its competitive sectors, withdrew from the deficit-ridden plasma display TV business, and took a scrap-and-build approach to unprofitable businesses. The effects of such reform measures are apparently being seen.

However, some export-oriented companies continue to face hardships as they cannot ride the wave of recovery.

Nissan Motor Co.’s business expansion strategy is spinning its wheels. Although it counted on rapid growth in emerging economies such as Russia and Brazil, it was unable to get the results it expected from such countries. Sony Corp. saw poor sales in liquid crystal display TVs and digital cameras, largely affected by the business slump in emerging countries.

The companies need to accurately grasp growth markets and concentrate their management resources in such markets and decide how to sell strategic commodities. The “selection and concentration” strategy in businesses is now increasingly vital.

Among companies fueled by domestic demand, East Japan Railway Co. and Oriental Land Co., the operator of Tokyo Disney Resort in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, achieved positive earnings, but retailing businesses in general were unable to increase their earnings to a satisfactory extent, revealing the gap in earning capability between them.

There is concern regarding the future of the economies in emerging countries, as well as anxiety over possible further increases in electricity rates due to the delay in reactivating idle nuclear reactors. No company should let its guard down in the days to come. It is indispensable for them to reinforce their business strategies from both offensive and defensive standpoints.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 7, 2013)
(2013年11月7日01時36分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

薬のネット販売 やむを得ない最低限の規制

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 8, 2013
Minimum restrictions necessary for online sales of OTC drugs
薬のネット販売 やむを得ない最低限の規制(11月7日付・読売社説)

The government has made a decision that places importance on balancing the convenience of purchasing general over-the-counter drugs and ensuring their safety.

It has formulated a policy to lift the ban on Internet sales of OTC drugs within three years after they have been switched from prescription to OTC status. This will result in 99.8 percent of OTC drugs becoming available online.

The government will submit a bill to revise the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law during the extraordinary Diet session so the new rules can be put into practice next spring.

The Supreme Court ruled in January that the ministry ordinance banning Internet sales of OTC drugs, with some exceptions, was illegal. As online sales of OTC drugs have been left unregulated since the ruling, we are glad legal action will be taken at last.

There are 23 OTC drugs that were recently switched from prescription status and will be designated as drugs requiring the full three years for the ban on their sale to be lifted. Among them, the painkiller Loxonin S and some other drugs will complete the three-year period for confirming their safety by next spring.
Thus the ban on their online sale is likely to be lifted shortly after the enactment of the law. The Internet sale of five powerful drugs will be banned.

The latest decision by the government was based on opinions compiled by a study panel of medical and pharmaceutical experts for the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

Regarding prescription drugs that are to be changed to OTC status, the panel said, “Pharmacists must make individual decisions in light of the symptoms of a potential user” to avoid dangerous side effects.

Although the number of cases has been limited, even OTC drugs sometimes cause fatal side effects. Once-prescription drugs that are made available over the counter are particularly strong in both their direct effects and their side effects.

Confirmation period needed

To confirm there are no problems, it is inevitable for online sales of OTC drugs to be regulated for a certain period. During that period, they can be purchased only in person at a pharmacy. Whether pharmacists appropriately explain the possible side effects to users and properly confirm their symptoms during that period will come into question.

The ministry should make efforts to shorten the restriction period by promptly assessing the safety of such switched drugs.

The appropriateness of online sales of general OTC drugs has been a focal point of the government’s regulatory reform.

“The Internet is the safest sales channel for drugs,” said Hiroshi Mikitani, president of major online retailer Rakuten, Inc., expressing his opposition to the government’s latest decision. Mikitani said he would file a complaint with a court if the law is revised.
He also said he would resign as a private-sector member of the government’s Council on Industrial Competitiveness, which discussed this issue.

However, his stance, which appears to give priority to convenience and business advantage, is questionable.

The problem is how to prevent damage from side effects. The ministry is asking businesses that sell general OTC drugs online to also have brick-and-mortar stores licensed as pharmacies or drugstores by the ministry. The ministry is further requiring measures to be taken to prevent bulk purchases of particular drugs.

Surveillance must also be reinforced on malicious business operators that run dubious sites for online drug sales or sell fake drugs.

It is also important for general users to purchase drugs online after sufficiently confirming on the Internet such information as the possible side effects of the drugs they plan to buy.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 7, 2013)
(2013年11月7日01時36分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

2013年11月 7日 (木)




さあ、私も、もう一つの気になるiPhoneアプリ をダウンロードしてみます。



| | コメント (0)



アンケート サイトが簡単に構築出来るサイトなんです。
creative survey(クリエイティブサーベイ)というサイトなんですが、メルアドのみで無料登録出来ます。


| | コメント (0)

経団連政策評価 企業の政治参加を促す契機に


The Yomiuri Shimbun November 7, 2013
Keidanren’s resumption of ratings for political parties a welcome move
経団連政策評価 企業の政治参加を促す契機に(11月6日付・読売社説)

The Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) has resumed assessing political parties’ policies for the first time in four years. But will the assessments serve as a tool for translating policies into action through close cooperation between business circles and political parties?
Keidanren aims to examine the degree to which its earlier policy proposals have been carried out while also exploring what remains to be done.

In 2004, Keidanren started an annual assessment of key policies advanced by the Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of Japan, hoping to exercise greater influence on economic policy. Keidanren intended its policy assessment as a yardstick to be used by business corporations and industrial associations in making decisions about donations to political parties.

In 2010 and after, however, Keidanren did not carry out a policy assessment, following the inauguration of the DPJ-led government, which insisted on abolishing corporate donations to political parties—a move that made its 2009 assessment the last one. The DPJ administration advanced a series of policies that seemed to play down the importance of economic management, including a so-called “from-concrete-to-humans policy” that entailed large cuts in funding for public works projects. Another policy of that nature was a call to eventually end the country’s reliance on nuclear power. All this prompted the corporate sector to greatly reduce its political donations.

We find it reasonable that Keidanren has resumed its policy assessment with the hope of seeing the business community’s opinions reflected in Abenomics, the policies pursued by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to revitalize the nation’s economy. Keidanren apparently wants to narrow the distance between the prime minister and itself, after relations were initially strained due to a difference in opinion over his administration’s monetary easing policy.

Good grades for ruling parties

Keidanren’s latest policy assessment has rated the ruling parties’ economic policies as generally satisfactory. “[The ruling parties] are actively promoting the policies advocated by Keidanren, and we think highly [of their efforts],” its assessment report said.

In assessing the ruling coalition’s growth strategy, Keidanren said Abenomics has produced such achievements as a high economic growth rate. The federation also cited some additional steps to complement these accomplishments, including reducing the effective corporate tax rate—the ratio of corporations’ national and local tax payments to their taxable incomes—and implementing bold deregulatory measures.

Another focus of Keidanren’s policy assessment was energy policy. The business organization said nuclear reactors whose safety has been confirmed should be reactivated at an early date. Keidanren also insisted on drawing up a road map for securing a stable and inexpensive supply of energy.

These measures are essential for advancing economic growth. The Abe administration must expedite efforts to carry out such policies.

It is disappointing that Keidanren has stopped using a five-level grading method. Previously, it graded policies in each category on a scale of A to E. This change has made it difficult to determine just how favorably—or unfavorably—Keidanren evaluated individual policies.

The latest policy assessment did not cover opposition parties, either. We believe Keidanren should reconsider this approach, given that the policies of the ruling parties and those of the opposition parties cannot be compared under that formula.

Keidanren did not treat its latest assessment as a criterion that might be used by corporations and industrial associations to determine how much they would give in political donations. Nonetheless, many companies and other organizations will refer to the latest policy assessment when it comes to considering which party they will donate to and how much should be offered.

In advancing a set of policy proposals in January, Keidanren said “political donations are important as a form of contribution to society” by corporations. It is still significant that the corporate sector, a major constituent of society, should become involved in politics through clean donations given to political parties according to the rules.

We hope Keidanren will strive to improve the quality of its policy assessment, thus making it easier for business corporations and others to use it as a basis for judging how much to offer in political donations, and to whom.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 6, 2013)
(2013年11月6日01時32分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

公務員制度法案 「省益より国益」実現できるか

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 7, 2013
Civil servant system reform must serve national interests
公務員制度法案 「省益より国益」実現できるか(11月6日付・読売社説)

Reform of the civil servant system is intended to strengthen the leadership of the Prime Minister’s Office in the personnel affairs of bureaucrats. The ruling and opposition parties should discuss the matter thoroughly so the system will function properly.

The government has submitted to the Diet a set of bills on national civil servant system reform. Its centerpiece is the establishment of a new “cabinet personnel affairs bureau” aimed at integrating the personnel affairs of about 600 senior officials, including administrative vice ministers, bureau chiefs and deputy directors general of the Cabinet Office and ministries.

The chief cabinet secretary will play the key role in examining the aptitude of senior civil servants and discuss appointments and dismissals with the prime minister and cabinet ministers.

Under the new system, the personnel affairs of bureaucrats will be cross-sectional in the Cabinet Office and among ministries rather than vertically segmented. If the system takes root it will help rectify the harmful effect of Kasumigaseki, the country’s bureaucratic nerve center, which is said to place ministries’ interests above national interests. The Prime Minister’s Office has a point in pursuing strategic personnel arrangements in light of the changing times and dealing with immediate administrative tasks.

The question is whether it is possible to make fair and accurate judgments in personnel affairs based on the ability and accomplishments of bureaucrats. The number of civil servants subject to personnel affairs is enormous if the candidates for top official spots are included. Consideration must be given to concerns that personnel affairs carried out arbitrarily may become common.

During the coordination of opinions on the bills, discussions on how to treat the so-called class-based quota, a system under which the number of officials, or quota, is set for each classification based on salary levels, faced serious rough going. The Liberal Democratic Party and the National Personnel Authority strongly opposed a plan to transfer administrative work related to the class-based quota from the personnel authority to the envisaged cabinet personnel affairs bureau.

No change in class-based quota

If the Cabinet, as an employer of civil servants, receives a demand from labor unions to determine the class-based quota, which is a major factor in deciding civil servants’ working conditions, it will be nothing less than de facto labor-management negotiations. The LDP and the personnel authority say this would please labor unions, as it would be a step toward granting basic labor rights to civil servants.

After the discussions, lawmakers compromised and agreed to stipulate in the bills, “The personnel authority’s opinions will be fully respected.” Therefore, there will be no major changes in the class-based quota, with the personnel authority giving its opinion on the quota and the cabinet personnel affairs bureau deciding on it.

It is unlikely the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will give civil servants basic labor rights, including the right to conclude labor agreements and the right to strike. Therefore, it is reasonable to create a new system giving consideration to the personnel authority, which has the function of compensating for restrictions on basic labor rights for civil servants.

The bills also incorporate a provision for creating the post of “assistant to minister”—up to six officials in the Cabinet Office, and one at the Reconstruction Agency and each ministry—“when it is particularly necessary.” Lawmakers and people from the private sector can be assigned to this post. These assistants will serve as government officials to strengthen politicians’ leadership.

However, the government must not appoint an excessive number of officials to this post. If it sets up the post, the government should explain why it needs it and determine what roles the ministerial assistants, senior vice ministers and parliamentary secretaries should play.

The administration led by the Democratic Party of Japan emphasized “lawmaker-led politics,” demoralizing bureaucrats and causing confusion and stagnation in public administration. We urge the government to reflect on this as it tries to realize lawmaker-led politics.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 6, 2013)
(2013年11月6日01時32分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

2013年11月 6日 (水)

米軍無人機攻撃 民間人の犠牲拡大を阻止せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 6, 2013
Civilian casualties in drone attacks must be prevented from expanding
米軍無人機攻撃 民間人の犠牲拡大を阻止せよ(11月5日付・読売社説)

Drone strikes that kill civilians have been drawing a backlash against U.S.-led operations to eliminate terrorist groups. The goal of the U.S.-led counterterrorism campaign may be threatened unless the number of victims of wrongly targeted drone attacks is prevented from increasing.

A U.N. expert tasked with investigating drone attacks conducted by the United States and Britain as antiterrorist operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan has issued a report through the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly.

Since 2004, civilian deaths in drone attacks have reportedly exceeded 450.

The United States is said to have started strikes against terrorists with missile-firing drones around 2001.

After the whereabouts of strike targets are determined in cooperation with informants, a drone remotely controlled from a base on the U.S. mainland is sent into the skies over the targeted spots. The strike is launched after the target is spotted by the built-in radar and an onboard camera.

Drone attacks have the advantage of not causing U.S. casualties. In addition, drones offer airborne access to areas that are otherwise only accessible over land routes that pass through tribal areas in Pakistan and are very difficult to traverse. Capable of long flights and instant attacks, drones have proved effective in eliminating hiding terrorist suspects.

One example is the recent strike that killed the supreme leader of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.

As pointed out by the U.N. report, drones are designed to access and strike targets with precision-guided weapons, thereby minimizing collateral casualties.

But if there have been as many erroneous drone strikes as reported, it will be necessary to follow targets precisely via intelligence gathering activities on the ground.

Enhance transparency

The U.N. report recommended that the United States disclose information about drone strikes that result in civilian casualties. Although Washington has revealed almost no information about its drone strike program, it should disclose information about drone strikes suspected to have led to civilian casualties.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called for an end to drone strikes during a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama last month.

But Obama plans to continue the attacks as the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan approaches. Before the withdrawal is completed next year, the United States presumably wants to eliminate as many leaders of terrorist groups escaping from Afghanistan into Pakistan as possible.

Pakistan has joined in antiterrorist campaigns. The United States and Pakistan are urged to cooperate in mopping up terrorist groups for the benefit of regional stabilization.

U.S. drone strikes have been declining since peaking in 2010. Obama has already announced his intention to scale back on such attacks and enhance their transparency.

It is worrying, however, that more and more countries have been introducing drones. Drones must not be left uncontrolled as lethal stealth weapons. International efforts must be accelerated to work out global rules on such matters as public disclosure.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 5, 2013)
(2013年11月5日02時10分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

2013プロ野球 東北を元気付けた楽天日本一

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 6, 2013
Rakuten Eagles Japan Series win encourages disaster-hit Tohoku
2013プロ野球 東北を元気付けた楽天日本一(11月5日付・読売社説)

We would like to congratulate the Tohoku Rakuten Eagles on winning their first Japan Series title in their ninth season since joining the league.

In the Japan Series, the Eagles beat the Yomiuri Giants in Game 7, clinching the title with four wins and three losses. Eagles manager Senichi Hoshino expressed his joy saying, “Please give credit to the players who encouraged the people suffering [in the Tohoku region].”

While 32 months have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake hit in March 2011, post-disaster reconstruction of the affected areas has not progressed as hoped. For those whose prospects for the future still remain gloomy, the tenacity of the Eagles must have encouraged them greatly.

The Eagles, based in Sendai, were created as the first expansion team in 50 years, following the merger of the Pacific League’s Orix BlueWave and the Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes.

Being a newly created and relatively weak team, the team was forced to endure some tough games in the beginning. But since the 2011 season when Hoshino took the helm, the team has seen its number of wins steadily increase.

In the Japan Series, their starting pitchers did their job well and the batters worked hard to drive in runs.

The Giants were denied in their attempt to become the first team to win back-to-back titles in 40 years, since Yomiuri won the last of nine straight titles in 1973 under manager Tetsuharu Kawakami, who recently passed away.

In the latest series, the Giants allowed the Eagles to score first, leaving themselves a step behind in several of the games. The poor showing of top of its batting order was also bad for the team.

Yomiuri manager Tatsunori Hara said, “After all, we’re still developing.” We have high hopes for the team to wipe out the disgrace of this defeat next year.

A season to remember

This season the number of spectators rose 3.5 percent from a year earlier in the Central League, while rising 2.8 percent in the Pacific League. It can be said that this year has enjoyed a season full of new records, which will be remembered in the history of Japan’s pro baseball.

The record of straight 24 wins and no losses, since the beginning of the season, achieved by pitcher Masahiro Tanaka of the Eagles was simply amazing.

Tanaka, having become a pitcher to represent all of pro baseball in Japan, surely helped the Eagles win the Japan Series.

The Nippon Professional Baseball single-season home run record of 60 achieved by Wladimir Balentien, a slugger for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows, was also a season highlight.

After all, a home run is the glory of baseball. We hope there will be a Japanese player who will churn out homer after homer, just as Balentien did. There must be many baseball fans who are hoping so.

In Major League Baseball, Boston Red Sox pitcher Koji Uehara contributed greatly to his team’s winning the World Series. If a Japanese player has success in the Majors, Japanese pro baseball’s strength will gain further recognition. Uehara’s remarkable work should provide motivation to players in Japan.

Regrettable was the issue of a newly introduced unified ball for NPB, which ultimately led to the resignation of NPB Commissioner Ryozo Kato. The NPB has to tackle the issue of its organizational reform to reinforce its governance and expedite its efforts to regain the trust of people.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 5, 2013)
(2013年11月5日02時10分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

2013年11月 5日 (火)


ツーリンログ であなたの素敵なログを残してみませんか?



| | コメント (0)







| | コメント (0)


屋根瓦を遮熱塗料 を塗布するといった簡単な作業で住むんですが、その効果は絶大なんです。

| | コメント (0)

武器輸出3原則 国際協力推進へ一層の緩和を


The Yomiuri Shimbun November 5, 2013
Ease arms exports principles further to promote international cooperation
武器輸出3原則 国際協力推進へ一層の緩和を(11月4日付・読売社説)

In keeping with the times, it is essential for the government to deepen international cooperation with such countries as the United States in the area of defense equipment by further easing its three principles on arms exports.

The government has included a policy of reviewing the three principles in its draft of a national security strategy to be drawn up next month, the first of its kind.

It is reasonable for the government to review the defense equipment policy so that Japan’s defense technology and the domestic production base, which has been declining for many years, can be maintained at a certain level and support national security.

In December 2011, the administration of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda eased the three principles, making it possible for Japan to export arms or send them abroad for peace-building efforts, and to jointly develop and produce them with other countries.

Relaxation of the principles was historically significant. But various problems emerged as the eased principles were applied.

The government gave heavy machinery to Haiti for peaceful purposes after Self-Defense Forces personnel sent to the country for U.N. peace-keeping operations completed their mission there. The government has also decided to provide the Philippines with patrol vessels.

Yet the provision of such equipment requires the signing of an intergovernmental agreement under which Japan calls on the recipient country to “strictly manage the equipment” so it cannot be used for other than intended purposes or transferred to a third country.

Furthermore, the equipment cannot be offered to international or nongovernmental organizations.

More transfers expected

In the future, there are likely to be situations in which Japan’s international disaster relief teams will leave behind heavy equipment in a disaster-affected country, or Japan will offer chemical hazard suits to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. It is important to review the principles so they can be applied more flexibly.

With regards to the joint development and production of weapons with other countries, it is mandatory that the transfer of such arms to a third country be formally approved beforehand by Japan.

It is reasonable to require prior consent from Japan for the transfer of such things as the new U.S. F-35 stealth fighter jet, as 40 percent of its parts are Japanese-made. But it would be realistic to simplify the prior consent for products that have only a few Japanese-made components.

As a matter of fact, the United States has sounded out Japan over the export of surface-to-air missile parts, whose production has been discontinued in the United States. But because of the prior-consent requirements, this has not been realized.

The export of these parts is the embodiment of international cooperation, and would reinforce the Japan-U.S. alliance in the area of defense equipment. And widely expanding joint development with other countries such as Britain, France and Australia would enhance Japan’s defense technology. Excessive restraints should be removed.

The repair of aircraft of the U.S. forces by Japanese firms overseas or the export of finished arms products, for instance, could also be considered international cooperation. The government should review the three principles from a broader perspective.

On the other hand, the export of general-purpose parts, such as a warship’s engine parts, which can be used either militarily or commercially, comes under an approval system stipulated by the foreign trade control law but is not subject to the three principles.

To prevent these general-purpose products from being transferred to China and North Korea via a third country, which could adversely affect Japan’s national security, it is necessary to reinforce screening more than ever.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 4, 2013)
(2013年11月4日01時49分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

国会改革 党首討論の活用軸に協議せよ


The Yomiuri Shimbun November 5, 2013
Diet deliberation reform must center around debates between party heads
国会改革 党首討論の活用軸に協議せよ(11月4日付・読売社説)

It has long been noted that the prime minister and Cabinet ministers have been tied down by Diet deliberations, which has hampered the handling of state affairs. We think the ruling and opposition camps should quickly craft new rules that improve the conducting of Diet deliberations.

The secretaries general of nine parties from the ruling and opposition blocs have agreed that their Diet affairs committee chiefs will jointly study concrete measures for Diet reform.

The Liberal Democratic Party and its junior ruling coalition partner, New Komeito, and the largest opposition Democratic Party of Japan and Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), have worked out their respective reform drafts. The upcoming discussions among the parties will focus mostly on these drafts.

The ruling parties have been seeking more fruitful one-on-one debates between party leaders in the Diet, while proposing that the prime minister’s attendance at committee sessions be limited only to those of each chamber’s Budget Committee. Ishin no Kai also has called for placing higher impor-tance on Diet debates between party chiefs.

Japan’s prime minister attends parliamentary sessions considerably more often than prime ministers of other industrially advanced democracies.

This appears to be commonly recognized by all ruling and opposition parties. The ruling parties have often grumbled that the prime minister’s Diet attendance requirements make it difficult to draw up his diplomatic schedule and gives him little time to deeply ponder policy formulation.

The prime minister should be allowed to attend fewer Diet committee sessions than is currently required. Instead, one-on-one debates between party leaders should be held more frequently and the debates lengthened significantly from the current 45 minutes. Putting these rules in place would enrich Diet deliberations with the prime minister attending, while minimi-zing the adverse impact on the administration of state affairs.

DPJ too opportunistic

As the ruling parties and Ishin no Kai have proposed, senior vice ministers should be more effectively used to expedite Diet business. This would alleviate the burdens on Cabinet ministers in dealing with Diet affairs.

The DPJ’s position on the proposed reduction of the prime minister’s attendance at Diet committee sessions is difficult to fathom.

The DPJ has argued that a “set of stringent rules based on a consensus among the ruling and opposition parties must be laid down to ensure proposed cuts in the prime minister’s Diet attendance will not be used as an excuse for avoiding Diet deliberations.”

The DPJ also lashed out at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for being absent from deliberations on the government-submitted bill for boosting Japan’s industrial competitiveness because he was on a visit to Turkey.

However, while the DPJ was in power, it proposed bringing more flexibility to Diet business and more effective use of senior vice ministers out of consideration for trips overseas by the prime minister and other Cabinet members. Flip-flopping on this issue only because it has gone into opposition is nothing but opportunistic behavior.

The DPJ has proposed the Diet stay in session all year round so it can get more done. This idea would be commendable if it helps the Diet become a venue of truly in-depth deliberations, where the government and ruling parties and the opposition could compromise through productive discussions for amending, if necessary, bills and other items on the agenda.

If interpellations are hijacked for out-and-out antigovernment criticism based on irresponsible pandering to the public, there is little likelihood of productive Diet discussions. There also is concern that the DPJ-proposed full-year Diet session would jeopardize policy implementation because preparing answers to questions from the opposition would generate an excessive burden on the government.

Ishin no Kai has demanded that the number of personnel appointments requiring the approval of both the House of Representatives and House of Councillors, which currently stands at more than 250, be slashed. The party says the Diet’s function of checking the appointment of each government-nominated official can be strengthened by cutting the number of people subject to Diet approval. We think this proposal deserves consideration.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 4, 2013)
(2013年11月4日01時49分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

2013年11月 4日 (月)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:「恋愛外来」があれば… /東京

October 20, 2013(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Psychiatry needs a stalker action plan
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:「恋愛外来」があれば… /東京

There has been yet another heartbreaking case of stalking and murder in Japan. The victim this time was a high school girl, and the suspected killer her ex-boyfriend.

It seems likely that many of us have at some point in our lives been heartbroken by the mere thought of our exes finding someone else, getting married and moving on. But to go from there to following around an old flame, threatening their family and romantic partners and, finally, causing physical harm is beyond explicable behavior for a person of sound mind.

Stalkers sometimes imagine backstories justifying their actions, like, "She's only being so cold to test my love." They also sometimes create reasons to lash out at the people around their obsession, like, "The police and her parents are just trying to get in the way of our pure love." If the ex says that they are not interested in continuing the relationship, the stalker can suddenly lose all emotional control and lash out violently.

The stalker's every moment is possessed by thoughts of his ex, by resentment, anger and reconciliation fantasies. In many such cases, by this point reasoned advice -- you should stop; this won't help anyone -- no longer gets through the storms of emotion raging in the mind of the rejected lover.

So what can be done when the situation gets this bad? If there's a chance the stalker could go from constant phone calls and emails to appearing at someone's house, then the person on the receiving end must make sure they are never alone and be prepared to flee to the home of a relative. What they shouldn't do is try to resolve the situation entirely alone. Rather, they must seek the intervention of a rational, adult voice to try and calm the stalker down, listen to their feelings and, if necessary, recommend medical help.

I have to admit, however, that the psychiatric profession cannot claim it has triumphed over delusional behavior born of romantic obsession. If the stalker comes in asking for help, lamenting an inability to deal with their fixation, then a psychiatrist can give them the mix of drugs and counseling they need. If, however, the stalker insists that they are merely in love and need no treatment, then the best a doctor can do is try to keep them coming back every week, to keep talking, keep getting help.

Pain and confusion in relationships are hardly uncommon. But while there are those who fall into depression and suicidal thinking, there are also those who vow never to give up on their lost love and become stalkers. If mental health clinics set up "romantic problem outpatient" sections, might people unable to let go of the anger and resentment of rejection make enthusiastic use of the service? We need to think hard about what the mental health profession can do to help prevent stalkers from inflicting yet more pain and loss.

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2013年10月16日 地方版

| | コメント (0)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:「困り感」の理解から /東京

October 27, 2013(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Understanding how patients view their problems
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:「困り感」の理解から /東京

I recently read an essay by pediatrician Kiyoshi Takaya at the children's disability center "Biwako Gakuen" in Shiga Prefecture about understanding how patients view their problems.

When a person without a disability looks at a person with one, they compare the other person to themselves. They imagine, "They must be very restricted in their life." To that other person, however, their condition is "normal" and "everyday." At some point they realize that their life is not normal compared to others, and they develop their own unique view of their situation. Takaya suggests that understanding this view is what it means to understand a disabled person's condition.

Reading Takaya's essay, I was reminded of a patient I dealt with around 20 years ago. A man with schizophrenia, he had an unending symptom of auditory hallucinations, and after quitting his job he completely holed up in his home. I thought that if his symptoms would clear he could return to his job and that he must be living an unfulfilling life. Every time he came for treatment I would try a new prescription, and I urged him to go to a workplace for the disabled to help him rehabilitate.

I had probably been seeing him for about a year when he told me one day, hesitantly, "Doctor, you seem to worry that my life is dull, but it is the opposite. I hear all kinds of voices, and as I think about what they mean, the day is over before I know it. What I want is to do something to end this busy feeling so I can relax."

I had been thinking that a life busy with work was normal, and trying to quickly return the man to this "normal life." However, the way he had perceived his problem was completely different. I had been trying to force a model of what a person's "healthy lifestyle" was on the man, without trying to understand how he felt.

We tend to force a simple model of how people "should be" on ourselves and others, thinking, "How sad, this person has a disability. Surely they want to be able to run free," or, "If only this person wasn't depressed, surely they'd want to work hard and take on the world."

Regardless of whether we have a disability, we all probably have some opinion of the gap between ourselves and the world's expectations. We should understand this part of ourselves, which is where I wish to start from.

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2013年10月22日 地方版

| | コメント (0)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:精神論の限界、広めたい /東京

November 03, 2013(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Ending the idea that mental strength can overcome anything
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:精神論の限界、広めたい /東京

Recently, it seems like typhoons hit Japan every week. The loss of life on Izu Oshima Island was widely reported, while I've also had patients in my consultation room affected by the typhoons in their own ways.

The most common worry amongst these patients is, "What will I do if we get a direct hit from a typhoon?" After the Great East Japan Earthquake, I see more people who are unable to relax, afraid of when the next major natural disaster will hit, or who cannot sleep at night without first making preparations to evacuate. For these people, the repeated typhoons are their fears realized, and with the many unpredicted natural disasters this year like mudslides and sudden tornadoes, many people are anxious about "what will come next." Though I reassure them, "It'll be OK. Just stay inside," I myself get uneasy thinking that there could indeed be some unexpected disaster.

Furthermore, there are people who complain of symptoms tied to the changes in air pressure associated with approaching typhoons. These symptoms include headaches, stiff shoulders, blood pressure changes and worsening depression. There are a variety of opinions on the connection between weather and health, but listening to my patients, I feel I can say there are indeed people with bodies sensitive to changes in air pressure and humidity. According to these people, the times when symptoms are worst are when the weather changes suddenly, such as with typhoons.

Despite these problems, I think that typhoons and heavy rains have also brought a good thing in increased society vigilance against natural disasters. Companies and factories that used to not let their employees stay home "just because of a little rain and wind" are now having employees wait at home or encouraging them to head home early when typhoons are predicted. Similarly, schools are being quicker to make the decision to close when typhoons are approaching. The mistaken idea that rough weather can be overcome just by having mental toughness is finally disappearing.

However, outside of the realm of natural disasters, people continue to push that idea. There is an endless amount of people seeking psychiatric help after being driven to the edge at school or work by the idea that they can "do anything if they just try" or can "work more if they just have the will." There are cases where even a prescription from a doctor for a two-month rest will be rejected by a patient's boss.
 とはいえ、台風や地震など以外では、まだまだこの精神論を振りかざす人がいる。学校や職場で「頑張れば何でもできる」「気合があればもっと働ける」などと追い込まれ、ボロボロになって診察室に駆け込む人は後を絶たない。「うつ病で2カ月の自宅療養が必要」という診断書を書いても、「経営者に見せたら『長期の休み? とんでもない』と一蹴された」というようなケースも実際にあるのだ。

Timely precautions and careful responses are needed to deal with typhoons, and mentally toughing it out will not allow one to win over a natural disaster. Though these ideas are spreading, I wonder whether there will also be a spread of the idea that timely precaution is needed against overwork, and that we mustn't force the idea that mental toughness always prevails.

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2013年10月29日 地方版

| | コメント (0)

日露2プラス2 「領土」への信頼を醸成したい

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 4, 2013
Japan-Russia 2-plus-2 meeting likely to advance northern territories talks
日露2プラス2 「領土」への信頼を醸成したい(11月3日付・読売社説)

Enhancement of security cooperation between Japan and Russia will greatly contribute to peace and stability in East Asia. We expect confidence building between the two countries to lead to solving the dispute over the Russian-held northern territories.

Tokyo and Moscow held their first “two-plus-two” meeting of foreign and defense ministers in Tokyo on Saturday. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to hold the meeting during their summit talks in April.

It is the third two-plus-two framework for Japan following those with the United States and Australia. The two-plus-two framework has propelled Japan-Russia relations to a new phase.

The two nations agreed at the meeting to develop search-and-rescue exercises in the Far East, and conduct joint antipiracy and counterterrorism exercises in seas off Somalia between the Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Russian Navy.

Meanwhile, China is ramping up its efforts to become a maritime power and taking a hard-line stance in waters around the Senkaku Islands and the South China Sea. The country has also taken an interest in the Arctic, irritating Russia. In that sense, a closer security partnership of Japan and Russia is also significant as a means to put pressure on China.

Besides, North Korea’s nuclear and missile ambitions are common problems for Russia and Japan. Improvement of mutual communications between them will serve their national interests.

Japan and Russia also agreed to launch bilateral cybersecurity talks to counter cyber-attacks, which are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Japan has already held cybersecurity talks with the United States. Deepening discussions with Russia is essential to establish international rules on cybersecurity.

The Russian side has also shown its understanding for specific Japanese security policies such as Abe’s idea of making Japan a proactive contributor to peace and a planned revision of the nation’s National Defense Program Guidelines.

Further dialogue needed

However, the Russian side expressed strong concern about a missile defense system being advanced jointly by Japan and the United States because, it said, the system “could disrupt the strategic balance in the Asia-Pacific region.” This concern is related to Moscow’s worries that its nuclear deterrence could be undermined with the missile defense program the United States is developing in Europe.

It is necessary to deepen mutual understanding by having the two countries’ defense ministers exchange visits. Russian military planes intruded in Japanese airspace in February and August. Tokyo and Moscow should have more talks to avoid a dangerous confrontation.

Prior to the two-plus-two talks, the Japanese and Russian foreign ministers held a meeting and agreed to hold vice-foreign-ministerial talks early next year to discuss issues related to the northern territories. Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida is scheduled to visit Russia next spring.

His Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, said at a press conference that a dialogue should be held in an environment in which participants could be constructive and unemotional without making challenging remarks. It is true that talks on the northern territories will never advance if Japan-Russian relations deteriorate.

As Abe said, negotiations on the northern territories have to be advanced in the process of expanding Japan-Russia cooperation to a wider variety of fields. The two-plus-two framework will be a basis for the territorial negotiations, which face a bumpy road ahead.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 3, 2013)
(2013年11月3日01時35分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

無形文化遺産 世界に認められた和食の魅力

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 4, 2013
UNESCO recognition of washoku for heritage list may preserve Japan food
無形文化遺産 世界に認められた和食の魅力(11月3日付・読売社説)

A wonderful opportunity has arisen to savor afresh Japan’s splendid cuisine.

A preliminary screening by UNESCO has recommended that Japanese cuisine, which is known as washoku, be put on the U.N. body’s world Intangible Cultural Heritage list. A final decision on the listing is scheduled for December.

UNESCO designation of the world’s intangible cultural heritage assets is a system to preserve refined elements of cultures such as performing arts, social customs and traditional crafts.

We are pleased washoku has been acknowledged as an intrinsic part of human culture with universal value.

The recommended designation of washoku for UNESCO’s food-related cultural heritage list follows listings of such cuisines as French fare, Mediterranean dishes and traditional Mexican food.

Using many delicacies from land and sea, washoku is not only rich in taste but also superbly well-balanced nutritionally. As washoku represents the beauty of nature and a sense of the season, its table presentation is magnificent and the use of eating utensils meticulous. It is closely linked with such annual events as New Year’s celebrations and harvest festivals.

In citing its reason for its recommendation, the UNESCO body that screens cultural asset candidates said in effect that washoku played an important role in ensuring the cohesion of Japan’s society.

Dietary habits vanishing

Regrettably, however, Japan’s traditional dietary habits appear on the verge of becoming a thing of the past. Even the basic style of washoku cuisine called “ichiju-sansai,” comprising a soup, a main dish and two side dishes, seems to be on the way out.

Recently, some people have noted that there is a “breakdown of habits at the table,” with breakfast generally taking the form of snacks and family members separately eating food they favor at any time of the day.

If this situation does not change, the washoku culture could eventually vanish. Measures should be devised to have washoku handed down to future generations in a way suitable to its U.N.-designated status as an intangible cultural heritage asset.

The charm of washoku should be conveyed to children as part of their school education.

It might be a good idea to include traditional local dishes in school lunch menus and have professional washoku chefs give cooking demonstrations as part of dietary education at school.

Also important is to nurture washoku experts. For example, the Kyoto prefectural government is considering creating a course in a university on washoku, with the aim of nurturing washoku chefs and teachers in charge of washoku-related lessons.

According to the findings in a survey conducted by the Japan External Trade Organization in seven countries and territories, Japanese meals topped the list of dishes respondents cited as their favorite. There are more than 55,000 Japanese restaurants overseas, apparently a reflection of worldwide popularity and the refined taste of Japanese meals.

Washoku’s broth, noted for its deliciousness and referred to as umami, has drawn the attention of chefs from around the world, having been incorporated into French and other cuisines.

Sending messages overseas about the quality of Japanese meals is one of the major pillars of the government’s “cool Japan” action programs, and is part of the country’s economic growth strategy.

We look forward to seeing more visitors from abroad enjoying “omotenashi,” or the Japanese style of hospitality, through washoku.

(The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 3, 2013)
(2013年11月3日01時35分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

2013年11月 3日 (日)

山本議員の直訴 天皇の政治利用に自覚がない

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 3, 2013
Attempt by Yamamoto to use Emperor for political purposes is outrageous
山本議員の直訴 天皇の政治利用に自覚がない(11月2日付・読売社説)

To what extent is Taro Yamamoto aware as a lawmaker? His outrageous behavior at an Imperial garden party makes us doubt his qualifications.

Yamamoto, a member of the House of Councillors, handed a letter directly to the Emperor at the autumn Imperial garden party held Thursday in the Akasaka Imperial Gardens in Motoakasaka, Tokyo. After his unprecedented action, the grand chamberlain received the letter from the Emperor.

The letter referred to health problems of children and the labor environment surrounding workers in the aftermath of the radioactive emissions at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, according to Yamamoto. “I wrote the letter out of the desire to tell His Majesty about the real situation,” he said.

But the reasonable way for him to behave as a lawmaker is to take up the issue in a question-and-answer session in the Diet. It is natural that his action has been criticized as intended to “use the Emperor for political purposes.”

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga expressed displeasure, saying, “Common sense informs us whether handing a letter directly [to the Emperor] in such a situation is appropriate.” It is no wonder that lawmakers from both the ruling and opposition parties uniformly criticized Yamamoto’s action as outrageous for a lawmaker.

Yamamoto, a former actor, ran as an independent in the upper house election in July from the Tokyo constituency, calling for “ending nuclear power generation,” and was elected to his first term. He is known as a staunch opponent of restarting the nation’s nuclear reactors. He presumably handed the letter to the Emperor to promote his political stance.

Passing the buck

He said, “I wasn’t aware my action violated the rules.” He passed the buck to the media, saying: “[My action] has been denounced as one intended for political purposes because the matter was played up by the media. The mass media are the ones that are using [the Emperor] for political purposes.”

However, only a limited number of people are allowed to attend the Imperial garden party. Yamamoto was able to attend because he was invited as an upper house member. His action was taken up by the media because he petitioned the Emperor in the presence of cameramen and photographers by taking advantage of his status as Diet member.

In the first place, what did Yamamoto intend to do by taking up the nuclear issue in a letter to the Emperor?

Under the Constitution, the Emperor does not have any political function. Even allowing for the principle of sovereignty residing with the people, Yamamoto’s behavior can only be considered outrageous.

It is appalling that a man who does not know the meaning of his action and cannot imagine its consequences is occupying a Diet seat.

After hearing explanations from Yamamoto about his behavior, the upper house Rules and Administration Committee unanimously agreed his action can be construed as unpardonable for a lawmaker and discussions are necessary to prevent a recurrence.

The committee stopped short of deciding on punishment. But acts such as Yamamoto’s cannot go unpunished.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 2, 2013)
(2013年11月2日01時32分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

福島復興策 現実を直視した自民党の提言

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 3, 2013
LDP draft proposal for delayed Fukushima reconstruction realistic
福島復興策 現実を直視した自民党の提言(11月2日付・読売社説)

How can the badly delayed work to reconstruct Fukushima Prefecture be accelerated? A proposal drafted by the Liberal Democratic Party could serve as a prescription for that.

An LDP task force, tasked with speeding recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake, has drafted a package of measures, titled “Toward acceleration of reconstruction from the nuclear crisis.” The ruling party is expected to submit it to the government as early as next week.

Even two years and eight months after the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant broke out, about 150,000 remain evacuees. The LDP proposal is intended to urge the government to boost efforts to bring evacuees’ lives back to normal.

A key point in the draft is that the LDP has drawn up a plan to extend aid to people who plan to stay where they currently live or settle in new areas instead of returning home. The draft calls on the government to consider ways of compensating these people, such as by helping them obtain new homes easily.

Areas near the Fukushima nuclear power plant have been divided into three zones according to annual radiation exposure levels. The decontamination methodology has yet to be established for the zone with the highest radiation readings among the three, where residency is prohibited.

It is reasonable that the draft proposal prods the government to take a realistic view on the zone and as accurately as possible provide the prospects of residents’ return. This would help many evacuees decide whether to settle down in a new location or return home.

More people would give up rebuilding their old lives if they realize they will not be able to return home for many years.

The government is aiming to rebuild municipalities near the nuclear power plant to allow all evacuees to return home. In reality, however, it has not even able to develop a plan to make that happen.

Given the situation, the proposal appears to highlight the importance of devising more realistic reconstruction measures.

Govt’s greater role urged

The draft proposal is also significant as it calls on the government to play a greater role in the nuclear cleanup.

The LDP has proposed the government shoulder costs if additional decontamination work is needed in the event that radiation levels go up despite decontamination efforts. As for expenses to build temporary facilities to store soil generated from the decontamination work, the proposal recommends the government “consider all possible measures” to ensure the money is available.

We also view it as reasonable that the LDP has urged the government to take the initiative in the decommissioning of the reactors and the cleanup of contaminated water at the plant.

Under the current plan, TEPCO is supposed to proceed with the decommissioning at its own expense while it eventually has to repay compensation payments and decontamination costs shouldered by the government.

Although TEPCO is the operator of the plant behind the nuclear crisis, the utility faces massive financial burdens. Delays in reconstruction cannot occur because of the deterioration of TEPCO’s business.

A key issue is securing funds. Decontamination work alone is estimated to require several trillion yen. The government and ruling parties should waste no time considering matters, including revisions of the existing special law that requires TEPCO to reimburse the government for decontamination costs.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 2, 2013)
(2013年11月2日01時33分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

2013年11月 2日 (土)

シーファーちゃんの宿題4(英語) 2013-10-19



fire engine






| | コメント (0)

大学入試改革 人材の発掘・育成に繋がるか

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 2, 2013
Planned college entrance exam reform must help nurture promising youths
大学入試改革 人材の発掘・育成に繋がるか(11月1日付・読売社説)

A drastic reform of college and university entrance examinations will certainly be a costly undertaking. An envisioned entrance exam overhaul should be carefully scrutinized over whether it will deliver any real benefit.

A government panel, the Education Rebuilding Implementation Council, has worked out proposals for exam reform.

The proposals focus on changing the current entrance exam system, known as the national center test and given by the National Center for University Entrance Examinations, with two achievement tests of differing difficulty, to be called “basic” and “advanced” exams. The national center test has been in place since 1990.

The basic exam will gauge high school students’ basic scholastic abilities. The panel wants universities to consider the results of the basic test for recommendation-based admissions and for admission office (AO) exams, which include interviews and other criteria.

Many people have pointed out increases in the number of university admissions based on recommendations or AO exams have led to waning motivation among high school students to study and a decline in academic performance.

If the envisaged entrance exam reform encourages high school students to study and leads to enhanced academic abilities, the reform will be worthwhile.

The advanced examination is aimed at assessing academic abilities necessary to enter university.

Unlike the national center test, the planned exams will categorize test takers based on a rough stage assessment, classifying them into groups based on score levels, rather than highlighting every single point of difference, a system currently used.

Individual universities will consider these test results and conduct their own screening, including having applicants write essays and engage in group discussions under given themes, while also taking into account their high school extracurricular activities, according to the panel proposals.

Effectiveness uncertain

Another proposal introduces the idea of having professionals from the business world interview applicants.

The conventional mode of judging applicants solely by scores on written exams has been criticized for having overly emphasized academic abilities and failing to evaluate applicants’ eagerness to learn and potential creativity.

During a time of extreme change, university education must help nurture human resources with flexible thinking and problem-solving abilities.

It can therefore be said to be sufficiently meaningful to study ways of changing the assessment of applicants from comprehensive and multiple points of view.

There are, however, many problems to address before employing new assessment methods.

The applicant selection process would require far more time and effort as well as manpower than the current system. Could large universities cope with a large number of applicants?

Given that a clear evaluation yardstick in the form of test scores would be lost in the advanced exam, applicants may complain over the impartiality in applicant selection.

The planned tests would presumably be conducted multiple times. The tests, if conducted around autumn of the third year of high school, could have an adverse effect on ordinary classwork and school events.

What is of greatest concern is whether the introduction of advanced exams could really lead to fostering human resources with real potential. The Central Council for Education, an advisory panel to the education minister, must have in-depth discussions on this.

Many universities in Japan have been falling short of conducting strict academic evaluations of students for their advancement and graduation.

The circumstances under which students, once admitted, can graduate fairly easily have hardly changed.

In addition to entrance exam reform, drastically strengthening university education as a whole must be addressed.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 1, 2013)
(2013年11月1日01時45分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

米情報機関盗聴 不信持たれぬルールが必要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 2, 2013
U.S. must establish new rules for intelligence gathering
米情報機関盗聴 不信持たれぬルールが必要だ(11月1日付・読売社説)

The reported eavesdropping by the United States on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s telephone conversations underscores the cold reality that the country’s intelligence gathering activities have even reached as far as the top leader of a friendly country.

Germany and other European allies of the United States have strongly protested the apparent tracking of Merkel’s mobile phone and other communication tools by the National Security Agency, whose main job is to gather intelligence via wiretapping.

Merkel is believed to have been a target of NSA eavesdropping for more than a decade, since before she assumed the current post. It was no surprise that she expressed strong displeasure toward the United States.

Director James Clapper of National Intelligence, which supervises all U.S. intelligence agencies and organizations, testified before Congress that it is part of the intelligence agency’s basic operations to ascertain the intentions of a top leader.

There are reports that the NSA has eavesdropped on as many as 35 world leaders. Actually, the United States effectively admitted to listening in on the communications of other countries’ leaders.

If distrust toward the United States grows stronger among its allies, this could have an adverse effect on U.S. diplomacy. The administration of President Barack Obama should do its best to mend relations with Germany and other countries.

Still, it is unthinkable to expect the United States to scale back its eavesdropping activities. It would also be dangerous to believe this.

With the spread of Internet and mobile phone services, intelligence gathering via wiretapping has become more important for intelligence organizations. Especially since the Sept. 11, 2011, terrorist attacks on the United States, the NSA has continued to be at the forefront in wiretapping in terms of technology and scale.

U.S. intelligence gathering activities have certainly benefited allies regarding antiterrorist measures, which is why they have offered their cooperation, including data sharing.

Key to national security

Intelligence gathering is vital to ensuring national security.

If the United States curbs its eavesdropping activities, this would end up benefiting China and Russia, which have been engaged in their own intelligence gathering. Terrorists fearful of U.S. monitoring would also benefit.

We believe the United States should review the methods of its intelligence gathering activities both at home and abroad, as well as rules on keeping secrets.

Washington has announced that it will reexamine the nation’s intelligence gathering activities as a whole by the end of this year. Congress will go along with this move. We will be closely watching whether the review will lead to the establishment of a new intelligence gathering system.

Countries believed to be targets of U.S. eavesdropping will always need to devise anti-espionage measures. There is always the possibility that any country will conduct eavesdropping on leaders of what they perceive as hostile countries. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is no exception, though the government has denied he was a target of such activities.

We live in a time when communication can be tracked at any time and place. It is essential that diplomacy be conducted based on this premise.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 1, 2013)
(2013年11月1日01時45分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

2013年11月 1日 (金)

天安門突入事件 中国社会の不安定さが見える

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 1, 2013
Instability of Chinese society made visible with the latest incident
天安門突入事件 中国社会の不安定さが見える(10月31日付・読売社説)

The recent fatal car crash in Tiananmen Square in central Beijing is believed to have been a suicide terrorist attack by an ethnic minority group. They may have been expressing opposition to the Chinese Communist Party’s rule.

Five people, including three in the vehicle, died, while about 40 others, including one Japanese, were injured. Local authorities said they found gasoline containers, which the car’s occupants set ablaze, inside the vehicle.

The square, featuring a huge portrait of Mao Zedong, former chairman of the Communist Party of China, is located near the Zhongnanhai district, where the party headquarters is located, and is symbolic of one-party rule. A number of antigovernment activities, including the 1989 Tiananmen Square incident, took place in nearby areas.

Local authorities have announced they are treating the incident as a terrorist act and that they have arrested five suspects. The five arrested and the three who died in the car are believed to be Uighur.

The Uighurs are a Turkish minority group of Muslims who mainly live in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.

In Uighur, local police have repeatedly attacked “armed mobs” of Uighurs in the name of antiterrorism campaigns. After President Xi Jinping’s administration was launched, there was an incident in which more than 10 people died. The latest incident may have something to do with rising tensions in Xinjiang.

Separatist sentiment rising

The Uighurs have been effectively placed under the control of the Chinese Communist Party politically, and under the control of the Han people, the majority group in China, economically. Autonomy and freedom of religion exist in name only for the Uighurs. The average income of Uighurs remains low, with people having limited means of support.

Among the Uighur people, antagonism toward the party and the Han has been increasing, and a movement toward Xinjiang independence, which has long been smoldering, is now active.

The recent developments appear to suggest that control over the Uighurs has become ever more difficult under the party’s ethnic minority policy, which comprise two pillars of control by force and through fiscal actions such as infrastructure development.

Following the latest incident, the communist government has placed strict controls on news reports and deleted related information on the Internet. News aired by NHK satellite broadcasting has been blocked. This is probably because they are worried that such news coverage would trigger other antigovernment action.

In the Tibet Autonomous Region, adjacent to Xinjiang, the ethnic minority opposes the control of the party and the Han people the same way as in Xinjiang. More than 100 Tibetan monks and others in the region have set themselves on fire in protest, or attempted to do so.

Aside from ethnic minorities, people’s frustration and anger over Chinese society is spreading even among the Han people, who account for more than 90 percent of the population. Chinese society is becoming ever more unstable, with as many as 180,000 mass protests, including demonstrations and riots, believed to occur each year.

The general assembly of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee, which decides key party policies, will convene Nov. 9. We have to pay close attention to the meeting to see what policies to address social stability President Xi comes up with, on the basis of the latest incident.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 31, 2013)
(2013年10月31日01時31分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

首相トルコ訪問 インフラ輸出に弾みつけたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 1, 2013
Govt, private sector should add impetus to infrastructure exports
首相トルコ訪問 インフラ輸出に弾みつけたい(10月31日付・読売社説)

Newly emerging countries such as Turkey, which has seen remarkable economic growth, offer very attractive opportunities for Japan, which has made infrastructure exports a major pillar of its growth strategy.

The public and private sectors should beef up their joint efforts to boost Japan’s exports to such countries.

At a summit meeting in Turkey with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe welcomed an agreement reached between an international consortium including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and the Turkish government on the construction of nuclear power reactors there.

“It’s our nation’s duty to strengthen nuclear safety by sharing lessons learned from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant crisis with the world,” Abe declared at a joint press conference with Erdogan after their meeting in Istanbul.

It is an important pending issue for Turkey to satisfy the growing electricity demand that has accompanied its economic growth. Construction of nuclear power plants is a project of national importance.

Amid fierce international competition over an order to construct four reactors, the Japan-led consortium succeeded in winning the bid largely as a result of the “top salesmanship” strategy of Abe, who visited the country again following a trip in May.

We praise the stance of the prime minister, who aims to make international contributions through nuclear power generation technology. By exporting reactors and related technology, it may be possible for Japan to secure nuclear engineers for the medium and long term.

During the summit meeting between Abe and Erdogan, the two leaders agreed on the joint establishment of a science and technology university in Turkey. As one purpose of the school’s establishment is to foster nuclear industry experts, the university should serve as a base for technological assistance from Japan to Turkey.

Progress on EPA needed

In addition to the field of nuclear power, bilateral cooperation has also been promoted in the area of transportation infrastructure, where projects include a railway.

Abe attended the opening ceremony of an underwater subway tunnel connecting Asia and Europe across the Bosporus. The underwater tunnel was constructed through a joint venture between Taisei Corp. and Turkish companies. Of the total construction costs of about ¥390 billion, 40 percent was financed through yen loans from Japan.

As Turkey is situated at a geographically important location, the country can serve as an export base to Europe and elsewhere for Japanese companies that have set up operations in the country, including Toyota Motor Corp., or plan to do so.

It is necessary to accelerate bilateral negotiations on the conclusion of an economic partnership agreement. By creating an environment that promotes trade and investment, the cooperative relationship can be strengthened.

Turkey has been confronted with the administration of President Bashar Assad of Syria, a neighboring country where a civil war continues to rage. Cooperation between Japan and Turkey is significant in terms of providing assistance to Syrian refugees and supporting the country’s abandonment of chemical weapons.

It is worrying that Turkey, a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, has been negotiating with China on the introduction of a China-made air defense system. If Turkey enters military cooperation with the country, NATO military secrets could be leaked to China.

Among NATO member countries, there have been voices of concern, including those who say Turkey should think twice about negotiating with a Chinese company. Turkey should exercise caution in handling the matter.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 31, 2013)
(2013年10月31日01時31分  読売新聞)

| | コメント (0)

« 2013年10月 | トップページ | 2013年12月 »