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2013年12月31日 (火)

みずほ追加処分 経営の刷新で一から出直せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 30, 2014
Mizuho banking group must revamp corporate management, compliance
みずほ追加処分 経営の刷新で一から出直せ(12月30日付・読売社説)

Mizuho Financial Group Inc. will be unable to refurbish its tarnished public image unless it thoroughly reforms its erratic corporate structure and revamps its method of conducting business.
 経営を刷新し、今度こそ企業体質を立て直さない限り、失墜した信頼の回復は望めまい。

Because the megabank’s top management failed to address problematic loans extended to gangsters from its lending affiliate, the Financial Services Agency has ordered a second round of punitive actions for Mizuho Bank and Mizuho Financial Group, the bank’s holding company.
 みずほ銀行が暴力団組員らへの融資を放置していた問題で、金融庁はみずほ銀と持ち株会社のみずほフィナンシャルグループ(FG)に対する追加行政処分を下した。

In addressing the loans to gangsters, the financial watchdog ordered the nation’s second-largest banking group to suspend loans through the affiliate for a month, called for clarification of management responsibility and demanded the strengthening of corporate governance. The FSA’s order came only three months after it issued its first round of business improvement instructions to Mizuho in September.
 問題融資のあった提携ローンを1か月間の業務停止とし、経営責任の明確化や管理態勢の強化を命じた。9月の業務改善命令から、わずか3か月である。

Mizuho Bank initially claimed its top management was unaware of the loan irregularities, saying the matter had been left to directors in charge. It was later revealed, however, executives of the bank, including the president, actually were in a position to know about the loans, as they had received reports from subordinates.
 みずほ銀は当初、「問題融資の情報は担当役員止まり」と金融庁に説明していたが、実際には当時の頭取らに報告が上がっていたことが判明した。

It is highly unusual for the FSA to mete out administrative punishments twice against a financial institution in such a short period of time. The agency’s action appears aimed at pressuring Mizuho to terminate irresponsible actions by its management.
 金融庁が短期間に2回も処分するのは異例だ。無責任体質の改善を厳しく迫る狙いだろう。

Mizuho Bank is scheduled to submit a business improvement plan to the FSA by Jan. 17. To ensure that transactions with gangsters do not recur, the bank must come up with effective preventive measures.
 みずほは金融庁に対し、来年1月17日までに業務改善計画を提出する。暴力団取引から決別するため、実効性のある再発防止策を講じる必要がある。

Mizuho’s response to the administrative punishments, however, has been problematic. Although Takashi Tsukamoto, chairman of Mizuho Financial Group, will step down at the end of March to take responsibility for the loan scandal, Mizuho Bank President Yasuhiro Sato will remain in office, while concurrently holding on to the post of president of Mizuho Financial Group.
 疑問なのは、行政処分を受けたみずほの対応だ。みずほFGの塚本隆史会長は3月末で引責辞任するものの、みずほ銀の佐藤康博頭取は、兼務するみずほFG社長を含めて続投する。

End vertical segmentation

At a press conference Thursday, Sato said, “My responsibility is to put into place a corporate governance structure that global markets can trust.”
 佐藤頭取は記者会見で、「国際金融市場で評価されるガバナンス(企業統治)体制を作ることが私の責務だ」と述べた。

In citing reasons for taking punitive steps this time, the FSA lambasted Mizuho, pointing out that the bank’s board of directors had “failed to engage in substantial discussions and had fallen short of functioning properly.” Can Mizuho drastically reform its management structure while keeping the “Sato regime” in place?
 金融庁は、「取締役会は実質的な議論を行っておらず、機能を発揮していない」と、今回の処分理由で厳しく批判した。「佐藤体制」を維持したまま、抜本的な経営改革が進むだろうか。

Ever since its launch in 2000 through the merger of Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank, Fuji Bank and Industrial Bank of Japan, Mizuho has faced a number of serious problems, including large-scale computer system failures.
 みずほは、第一勧業、富士、日本興業の旧3行統合で発足して以来、大規模なシステム障害など不祥事を繰り返してきた。

The sequence of irregularities can be attributed mainly to the banking group’s failure to earnestly address the task of eliminating the prevailing “vertical segmentation,” as there has been insufficient collaboration between leaders hailing from the three merged banks, a problem noted by analysts in the past.
 過去にも指摘された「縦割り意識」の払拭に真剣に取り組まなかったことが、不祥事の連鎖が止まらない主因と言えよう。

Breaking down the old, home-centered mind-set of Mizuho is essential. The balancing act of allocating posts of its top management personnel affairs among those from the three former banks and the bad habit of avoiding interfering with each other must be brought to an end.
 旧行意識の打破が急務である。旧3行で役員ポストを分け合うバランス人事や、相互干渉を避ける悪弊を徹底して排すべきだ。

In line with the FSA’s instructions, Mizuho will introduce a management supervisory committee, the first to be set up in a megabank, and beef up management oversight by external directors. What is at stake is whether Mizuho can sweep away its stuffy management structure by introducing fresh faces from outside.
 みずほはメガバンクで初の委員会設置会社に移行し、社外取締役による経営監視を強める。外部の風を吹き込み、よどんだ空気を一新できるかどうかが問われる。

The Mizuho problem also shone the spotlight on the FSA’s methods of inspecting banking institutions. This is mainly because the watchdog’s regulators in the first round of inspections blindly accepted Mizuho’s explanations on the loans to gangsters, incurring criticism for their sloppy inspection methods.
 金融検査にも課題を残した。暴力団融資に関するずさんな説明をうのみにして、検査の甘さを批判されたからだ。

To regain public trust, the FSA should improve its inspection techniques significantly.
 検査に対する国民の信頼を回復するよう、金融庁は検査手法に一層、磨きをかけてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 30, 2013)
(2013年12月30日01時25分  読売新聞)

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2013回顧・世界 災害への同情と中国への不安

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 30, 2014
Natural disasters, China’s behavior catch public’s attention in 2013
2013回顧・世界 災害への同情と中国への不安(12月30日付・読売社説)

The top 10 international news items selected by Yomiuri Shimbun readers for 2013 indicate that many people are deeply concerned about natural disasters that occurred overseas this year and feel sympathy for their victims. This stands to reason, as this nation is still struggling to rehabilitate areas devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011.
 東日本大震災からの復興途上にあるだけに、国民は、海外で起きた災害にも強い関心と同情を寄せているのだろう。

A powerful typhoon that struck parts of the Philippines in November took first place on the list of this year’s 10 major world news reports. Typhoon Haiyan wrecked Leyte Island and other areas, leaving about 8,000 people dead or missing.
 本紙読者が選んだ「海外10大ニュース」の1位は、「猛烈な台風がフィリピン直撃」だった。レイテ島などで、死者・行方不明者合計約8000人という甚大な被害を出した。

Ranked third was the meteorite that streaked across the sky above Russia’s Ural Mountains in February before fragments of the meteor fell to the ground. Video footage of the meteor’s speeding through the atmosphere was broadcast on TV, and many Yomiuri readers apparently were impressed with the ferocity of this extraordinary natural phenomenon.
 ロシアの「隕石(いんせき)落下」が3位だ。隕石の軌跡をとらえた映像がテレビで流れ、天変地異の凄(すさ)まじさが強い印象を残したようだ。

China’s rise to international prominence has been evident in the number of important news items related to that country in 2013. The past year has generated even more news reports about China than in the past.
 今年は以前にも増して中国を巡る重要ニュースが多く、その台頭ぶりを裏付けた。

Xi Jinping’s elevation to the Chinese presidency in March was awarded fourth place. Backed by its own military muscle, the Chinese leadership has been high-handed in dealing with Japan. All this contributes to the even greater distrust felt by many Japanese toward that nation.
 習近平氏の国家主席就任は、4位に入った。習政権は、日本に対して、軍事力を背景にした強圧的な姿勢を示している。日本の対中不信感は強まるばかりだ。

Today, China is confronted with a host of distortions that have accompanied its rapid economic growth, including widening disparities between the rich and the poor and deteriorating environmental conditions.
 中国は、貧富の格差や環境悪化など、急激な成長に伴うひずみに直面している。

China’s worsening air pollution due to a high density of particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5) came in fifth place, indicating that many readers are deeply worried that China’s atmospheric pollution could affect this country.
 微小粒子状物質(PM2・5)による大気汚染の深刻化が5位になったのは、日本にも汚染の影響が及ぶのではないか、という強い不安の反映でもあろう。

December brought a stunning report that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s uncle, Jang Song Thaek, had been purged as vice chairman of the country’s top military body, the National Defense Commission. This was followed by the astounding news that Jang, long considered the No. 2 power in Kim’s regime, had been executed. The incident was added as an extra to the top 10 list.
 北朝鮮・金正恩政権のナンバー2と言われた張成沢・国防委員会副委員長が失脚して処刑されたという衝撃的な出来事は、12月に報じられ、10大ニュースの「番外」として追加された。

A purge and a prince

North Korea will remain an element of regional instability, given that the reclusive state seeks to set up an even stronger dictatorship through a reign of terror and continues to develop nuclear weapons and missiles.
 恐怖政治によって独裁体制を固め、核・ミサイルの開発を続ける北朝鮮は、来年も、地域の不安定要因であることに変わりない。

The start of U.S. President Barack Obama’s second term in January took ninth place. However, Obama has not made much administrative progress this year, as shown by the numerous difficulties he experienced in dealing with external and domestic affairs.
 米国では、オバマ大統領が2期目をスタートさせた(9位)。だが、外交、内政ともつまずきが多く順調とは言えなかった。

The disclosures by Edward Snowden, a former employee of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, ranked eighth. Snowden, now a suspect in intelligence leakage and other cases, exposed a wide range of wiretapping activities by U.S. intelligence services both at home and overseas. Cited by him as the target of U.S. eavesdropping, some European countries have expressed strong anger at the U.S. administration.
 米中央情報局(CIA)の元職員エドワード・スノーデン容疑者が、国内外における米情報機関の広範囲な通信傍受を暴露した(8位)。傍受対象だとされた欧州諸国からは強い反発が起きた。

The affair has also drawn condemnation from Americans, and Obama is under pressure to reexamine the methods used by his country’s intelligence services to gather information.
 米国民からも批判の声が上がっており、大統領は、情報収集の方法の見直しを迫られている。

In early October, the U.S. government staggered into a partial shutdown due to a deadlock between the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and Democratic-controlled Senate over the federal budget, an incident that came in 13th.
 連邦予算を巡る与野党対立で、10月初めに政府機能の一部が停止する事態も発生した(13位)。

One of the top 10 news items warmed people’s hearts: In July, Britain’s Prince William and his wife, Kate, welcomed a son they named George. The birth of the royal couple’s first son was awarded second place.
 読者の心を和ませた出来事もあった。英国のウィリアム王子の妻キャサリン妃が、長男ジョージ王子を出産した(2位)。

In seventh place was the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in April at the age of 87. Thatcher deserves credit for her successful efforts to revitalize her country’s battered economy during her 11 years in office. In December came news of the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela, an antiapartheid icon who dedicated himself to achieving unity among all races in his country. The achievements of these two political leaders continue to inspire and influence people around the world today.
 一方、英経済を再生させた「鉄の女」サッチャー元首相の死去(7位)に続き、12月は、南アフリカで多人種融和に尽くしたマンデラ元大統領の訃報が伝えられた。2人の指導者の業績は、今日も世界に影響を与え続けている。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 30, 2013)
(2013年12月30日01時25分  読売新聞)

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2013年12月30日 (月)

2013回顧・日本 「五輪」「富士山」に希望がわいた

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 29, 2013
Successful Olympics bid, Mt. Fuji designation bright spots in 2013
2013回顧・日本 「五輪」「富士山」に希望がわいた(12月29日付・読売社説)

Apparently indicating the high hopes many people have for Olympic Games seven years ahead, readers of The Yomiuri Shimbun awarded first place on the list of “Japan’s top 10 news stories” this year to Tokyo winning the bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.
 7年後の五輪開催に希望を見いだした人が多かったのだろう。
 読売新聞の読者が選ぶ今年の「日本10大ニュース」の1位に、「2020年夏季五輪・パラリンピックの開催地が東京に決定」が選ばれた。

This means 56 years will have elapsed since Tokyo hosted the Olympics in 1964.
 東京で五輪が開催されるのは1964年以来56年ぶりである。

The 1964 Olympiad served as a key factor behind the nation’s high economic growth. The coming Games are expected to act as a catalyst for this country’s reinvigoration. Every possible effort should be made to ensure that the Summer Games and Paralympics are successful.
前回五輪は、日本の高度成長を加速させる契機となった。今度の五輪は、日本再生の起爆剤となり得る。ぜひとも成功させたい。

With Naoki Inose being forced to resign as governor of Tokyo over his receipt of a dubious ¥50 million loan—16th on the domestic news list—personnel affairs concerning the organizing committee of the Games and progress on relevant matters have been left up in the air. It is extremely important for all quarters concerned to carry out concerted efforts to make the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics successful.
 東京都の猪瀬直樹前知事が5000万円受領問題(16位)で辞職に追い込まれ、大会組織委員会の人事などに停滞がみられる。オールジャパン体制で着実に開催準備を進めることが肝要だ。

The initial design for the new National Athletic Stadium, the main venue of the Games’ competitions, is scheduled to be scaled down after the original plan came under criticism for being extravagant. It is essential to construct new facilities and refurbish existing ones for the Games without wasteful spending.
 メーン会場の新国立競技場は「巨大すぎる」との指摘で、規模が縮小される見通しだ。無駄のない施設整備も欠かせない。

Second on the list of top 10 news items was UNESCO recognition of Mt. Fuji as a cultural World Heritage site. All components of cultural heritage relating to Mt. Fuji, including the Miho no Matsubara coastline in Shizuoka Prefecture, have been certified as “treasures of the world.”
 僅差の2位は「富士山が世界文化遺産に決定」だった。当初除外される見込みだった「三保松原」を含むすべての構成資産が「世界の宝」と認定された。

The beauty of Mt. Fuji and its environs must be left intact for posterity. Regulations were tightened in summer this year on car traffic in the Mt. Fuji area and a fee was experimentally levied on people who wanted to climb the sacred peak. Further endeavors should be made for the environmental conservation of the country’s loftiest mountain and its vicinity.
 美しい姿を後世に残さねばならない。この夏は、マイカー規制が拡充され、入山料徴収が試験導入された。今後は一層、環境保全に知恵を絞る必要があろう。

Many challenges ahead

In pro baseball, Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles’ victory in the Japan Series for the first time placed fourth in the list, while the unbroken winning streak by Rakuten pitcher Masahiro Tanaka ranked eighth.
 プロ野球では、楽天の「初の日本一」が4位、「田中投手が連勝の新記録」が8位に入った。

The triumph of Rakuten gave a great deal of encouragement to victims in the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011, as its home ground is in Sendai. Tanaka, who was the major driving force of Rakuten capturing the highest accolade in Japan’s pro baseball world, is just entering negotiations on moving to a U.S. Major League Baseball team. We hope to see Tanaka performing brilliantly in the United States.
 仙台が本拠地の楽天の優勝は、東日本大震災の被災者を大いに元気付けた。日本一の原動力となった田中将大投手は、米大リーグ球団との移籍交渉に入る。さらなる活躍を期待したい。

The news that baseball legends Shigeo Nagashima and Hideki Matsui received the People’s Honor Award from the government ranked fifth on the list.
 「長嶋茂雄氏と松井秀喜氏に国民栄誉賞」は5位に入った。

Nagashima has made great contributions to developing professional baseball into Japan’s national sport. Matsui, a former slugger for the Yomiuri Giants and the New York Yankees, thrilled baseball fans with his huge home runs.
長嶋氏はプロ野球を国民的スポーツに発展させた最大の功労者だ。松井氏の豪快なホームランには、多くのファンが熱狂した。

The scene of Nagashima and his disciple Matsui in Giants’ uniforms performing in an opening pitch ceremony in celebration of their winning of the People’s Honor Award must have engraved itself deeply in people’s memories.
 巨人のユニホームを着て始球式を行った師弟の姿は、人々の記憶に深く刻まれたに違いない。

The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s success in ending the divided Diet after the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito garnered a majority of seats in the House of Councillors election in July placed third on the top 10 list. This achievement was conducive to increasing the Abe Cabinet’s stability.
 安倍政権は「参院選で自民、公明両党が過半数獲得、ねじれ解消」(3位)で安定度を増した。

On the other hand, Japan faces many challenges.
 一方で、課題も多い。

The decision to raise the consumption tax to 8 percent, which will be put into force in April, placed seventh. Negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade liberalization, ranked ninth, are destined to continue next year after failing to be concluded this year.
来年4月に消費税率8%への引き上げ(7位)が実施される。越年した環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)の交渉(9位)も大詰めを迎える。

It is imperative for the government to ensure that the signs of business pickup thanks to the Abe administration’s Abenomics package of economic policies will lead to full-fledged recovery of the nation’s business activities. We strongly hope 2014 will prove to be a year when we can really feel the economy rejuvenating.
 経済政策「アベノミクス」で上向いた景気を本格回復につなげる必要がある。来年は、経済再生を実感できる年としたい。

A number of natural calamities occurred this year, such as mudslides on Izu-Oshima Island, sixth on the list.
 今年は、伊豆大島の土石流(6位)など、自然災害が相次いだ。

We must keep up our guard against disasters.
防災対策を怠ってはならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 29, 2013)
(2013年12月29日01時22分  読売新聞)

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参院1票の格差 国会に抜本改革迫る高裁判決

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 29, 2013
High court rulings demand drastic reform of nation’s election system
参院1票の格差 国会に抜本改革迫る高裁判決(12月29日付・読売社説)

Thurday’s ruling at the Akia branch of the Sendai High Court marked the last in a series of 16 lawsuits filed around the country by two groups of lawyers seeking to invalidate the results of the House of Councillors election in July, which had a maximum vote-value disparity of 4.77-1. We think most of the high courts and their branches made reasonable judgments on the issue.
 おおむね妥当な判断が示されたと言えよう。
 「1票の格差」が最大4・77倍だった7月の参院選を巡り、全国の高裁で審理された16件の訴訟の判決が出そろった。

The courts and their branches ruled in 13 of the suits that the upper house election was “in a state of unconstitutionality” and in three cases that the election was unconstitutional. But only the Hiroshima High Court’s Okayama branch, in a case challenging results in the Okayama prefectural constituencies, irresponsibly ruled the election results should be nullified.
 「違憲状態」が13件、「違憲」は3件で、選挙を「無効」とする無責任な判断は広島高裁岡山支部の1件だけだった。

In November, the Supreme Court ruled that the House of Representatives election last year was in a state of unconstitutionality but stressed that not only how long the vote-value disparity was left unaddressed but also what measures would be needed to correct it should be comprehensively considered in handing down a ruling.
 昨年の衆院選を「違憲状態」とした先月の最高裁判決は、格差を放置した期間の長短だけでなく、是正に必要な措置などを総合的に考慮すべきだと指摘した。

Of course, the situations of the upper and lower houses are different, but the recent series of rulings by the high courts that the upper house election was in a state of unconstitutionality are apparently based on the Supreme Court’s view.
 衆参の違いはあれ、今回の一連の「違憲状態」判決は、最高裁の考え方を踏襲している。

Many high courts have recognized it takes some time to drastically review the upper house election system and concluded that the time needed to correct the vote-value disparity has not yet run out. This is a pragmatic judgment that duly considered the discretion of the legislative body.
 多くの高裁が、参院の選挙制度の抜本的見直しには相応の時間がかかることを認め、是正に必要な期間は過ぎていないと結論づけた。立法府の裁量権に配慮した現実的な判断である。

Some high courts gave certain credit to a measure taken by the Diet before the upper house election to add four seats in densely populated constituencies and cut four seats in less populated constituencies.
 選挙区定数を「4増4減」して参院選に臨んだ国会の対応に一定の評価を与えた高裁もある。

The high court rulings on the lower house election last year were much tougher. High courts said in two cases that the lower house election was in a state of unconstituionality and that in 14 cases it was unconstitutional.
 昨年の衆院選を巡る高裁段階の判決は、「違憲状態」2件、「違憲」14件と、より厳しかった。

The ratio of “in a state of constitutionality” to “unconstitutional” is almost the opposite this time because the courts have apparently taken into consideration higher hurdles at the upper house for reapportionment. As half of the seats in the upper house are up for reelection every three years, at least two seats must be allotted to every constituency. It also would not be easy to rezone constituencies since prefectures are currently used as constituency units.
 今回の内訳が逆になったのは、参院における定数是正のハードルの高さも考慮した結果だろう。3年ごとに半数を改選する参院では最低2人を各選挙区に割り振らなければならない。都道府県単位の区割りの変更も困難を伴う。

Additional clause is key

Many recent high court rulings have emphasized an additional clause in the revised Public Offices Election Law that stipulates the addition of four seats and reduction of four seats. The additional clause stipulates that results of the drastic reform must be achieved by the next upper house election in 2016. The rulings demand realization of this stipulation.
 一方、今回の高裁判決の多くが「4増4減」を定めた改正公職選挙法の付則を重視した。付則は2016年の次期参院選までに抜本改革の結論を得るとの内容で、判決はその実現を求めている。

The Diet must keep this in mind. In appeal hearings, the Supreme Court is highly likely to emphasize the additional clause.
 国会はこの点に留意せねばなるまい。上告審で最高裁もこの付則を重視する可能性が高い。

Parties with members in the upper house have already begun discussions on electoral system reform, aiming to hold the next upper house election under a new system.
 既に参院の各党は、次期参院選からの新制度移行を目指して、制度改革の協議を続けている。

For instance, Takeo Nishioka, former president of the upper house, had proposed dividing the nation into nine proportional representation blocs but revised this later to nine multiple-seat large constituencies.
 具体案として、西岡武夫元参院議長はかつて全国9ブロックの比例選を提案し、その後、9ブロックの大選挙区選に修正した。

The main opposition Democratic Party of Japan once proposed merging neighboring prefectures with small populations into one constituency. Some members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party voiced support for the idea.
 民主党は以前、人口が少ない隣接県を一つの選挙区に統合する「合区」を提案したことがある。自民党内に同調する声もある。

Both ideas have advantages for correcting the vote-value disparity easily. The Diet should work on the electoral system reform based on the these ideas. In the process, it should be remembered that the system must not lead to creation of too many parties and must also be able to consolidate the voters’ opinions.
 いずれの案も格差を是正しやすい利点がある。これらを参考に改正作業を急ぐべきだ。その際、多党化を招かず、民意を集約できるようにする視点も欠かせない。

If there are too many parties in the upper house, a ruling party that won a lower house election—a poll in which voters choose which party will take office—will have difficulties winning a majority in the upper house. We must avoid an election system that is likely to create division of the Diet, which would make an administration unstable.
 参院が多党化すれば、政権選択選挙である衆院選で勝利した与党は参院で過半数を取りにくい。ねじれが生じて政権が不安定になる制度は、避ける必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 29, 2013)
(2013年12月29日01時22分  読売新聞)

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2013年12月29日 (日)

辺野古移設承認 日米同盟強化へ重要な前進だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 28, 2013
Nakaima’s approval on Henoko to reinforce Japan-U.S. alliance
辺野古移設承認 日米同盟強化へ重要な前進だ(12月28日付・読売社説)

 ◆沖縄の負担軽減を加速させたい

It was an important advance toward solving the issue of relocating the functions of Futenma Air Station in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, which has faced various twists and turns since Japan and the United States agreed in 1996 on the return of the air station’s site to Japan.
 1996年の日米合意以来、様々な曲折を経てきた米軍普天間飛行場の移設問題の解決に向けて重要な前進である。

Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima has approved the central government’s request to carry out a land reclamation project in publicly owned waters off the Henoko district in Nago in the prefecture, a necessary step for ultimately relocating the air station to the district.
 沖縄県の仲井真弘多知事が、普天間飛行場の名護市辺野古への移設に伴う公有水面埋め立てを承認した。

The Futenma issue has been the biggest pending issue between the two countries for the last 17 years. A huge amount of time and energy has been devoted to it. The problem can be likened to a difficult simultaneous equation, in which many parties such as the Japanese and U.S. governments, Okinawa Prefecture, the city of Nago and the U.S. military have complicated circumstances.
 普天間問題はこの17年間、日米間の最大の懸案で、膨大な時間と精力が注がれてきた。日米両政府、沖縄県、名護市、米軍など多くの関係者が複雑な事情を抱える、困難な連立方程式だからだ。

Resolving this difficult issue without nullifying the past laborious efforts will have the highly significant effect of making the bilateral alliance stronger and more sustainable at a time when Japan’s security environment has been worsening.
 これまでの苦労を無駄にせず、難題を克服することは、日本の安全保障環境が悪化する中、同盟関係をより強靱(きょうじん)で持続可能なものにするという大きな意義を持つ。

Okinawa Gov.’s determination
 ◆知事の決断を評価する

It seems Nakaima finally decided to bite the bullet.
 仲井真知事にとっては、まさに苦渋の決断だったろう。

At first he conditionally supported the Henoko relocation, but he had to raise “relocation outside the prefecture” as an election campaign pledge when running for a second term since Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama of the Democratic Party of Japan inflamed prefectural citizens’ expectations in an irresponsible manner during his 2009-10 administration, calling for “relocation at least outside the prefecture.”
 当初は、辺野古移設を条件付きで支持していたが、民主党の鳩山首相が「最低でも県外移設」と県民の期待を無責任に煽(あお)ったため、2期目の知事選公約に「県外移設」を掲げざるを得なくなった。

However, it is crystal clear that the dangerous situation of Futenma Air Station, located in a densely populated area, would persist for a long time if the reclamation request was not approved.
 しかし、埋め立てを承認しなければ、普天間飛行場の危険な現状が長期間にわたって固定化されてしまうのは確実だ。

During a press conference Friday, Nakaima said he judged that the government’s measures, including those to preserve the environment, “meet the standards [under the law]” for reasons of his approval. But he also emphasized, “My view that relocation of the air station outside the prefecture would be faster has not changed.”
 知事は記者会見で、埋め立てを承認した理由について、「県外移設の方が早いとの考えは変わらない」と強調しつつ、政府の環境保全措置などが「基準に適合していると判断した」と語った。

The issue of bases in Okinawa Prefecture always involves conflicting approaches—whether to aim at drastic removal of bases or to promote a gradual reduction of base-hosting burdens. We praise Nakaima’s decision as a practical choice, giving top priority to steady reduction of the burden.
 沖縄の米軍基地問題では常に、基地の抜本的な撤去を目指すか、段階的な負担軽減を進めるか、という方法論の対立がある。知事が着実な負担軽減を優先し、現実的選択をしたことを評価したい。

The Henoko relocation plan itself is significant, as it will remove a huge airfield from the densely populated area to a sparsely populated district. In addition, it will have the secondary effect of promoting the transfer of U.S. marines stationed in the prefecture to Guam. The relocation will consequently result in a major reduction in the base-hosting burden for the entire prefecture, leading to economic development of the prefecture as well.
 辺野古移設は、広大な普天間飛行場を人口密集地から過疎地に移すうえ、在沖縄海兵隊のグアム移転を促進する副次的効果を持つ。県全体で大幅な負担軽減となり、沖縄の発展にも役立とう。

The prefectural governor’s brave decision has been criticized by those opposing the Henoko relocation plan, but we are sure even such people will highly evaluate his decision in the future.
 知事の決断は、辺野古移設反対派から批判されているが、将来は高く評価されるはずだ。

Abe takes a risk
 ◆リスク取った安倍政権

We also praise the efforts of the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which created conditions to facilitate Nakaima’s decision.
 知事の判断を後押しした安倍政権の努力も支持したい。

It listed a number of measures to ease Okinawa Prefecture’s burden in hosting many U.S. bases. These included advancing the deadline for returning land used by Futenma Air Station and the Makiminato Service Area to the prefecture, the transfer of military training activities to various locations outside the prefecture and the start of negotiations on a new Japan-U.S. agreement concerning on-site environmental surveys by Japanese authorities on the U.S. bases.
 基地負担の軽減策として、普天間飛行場や牧港補給地区の返還期間の短縮や訓練移転、米軍基地内の環境調査に関する新たな日米協定の協議開始などを示した。

The planned return of Futenma Air Station, targeted for fiscal 2022 at the earliest, was the result of arduous negotiations between Japan and the United States. It will not be easy to advance this timetable as requested by the governor, but Tokyo and Washington should make utmost efforts to do so.
 9~12年後の返還目標は、激しい日米交渉の結果で、知事の求める前倒しは簡単ではないが、日米両政府は最大限努力すべきだ。

Concerning the issue of moving the training areas for MV-22 Osprey transport aircraft outside Okinawa Prefecture, the local governments concerned are urged to offer cooperation proactively to share the burdens now heavily shouldered by the prefecture.
 米軍輸送機オスプレイの訓練の県外移転も、沖縄の負担を日本全体で分かち合うため、関係自治体は積極的に協力してほしい。

Washington had been wary about revising the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement, but agreed to enter negotiations on a new agreement that would supplement the SOFA. Environmental surveys of U.S. bases ahead of their return are expected to aid the eventual utilization of their sites. Efforts must be made to work out an agreement under which surveys can be started as early as possible.
 米政府は従来、日米地位協定の改定に慎重だったが、地位協定を補足する新協定の協議には応じることになった。返還予定の米軍基地内での事前の環境調査は跡地利用を促進する。より早い段階から調査できる合意を目指したい。

As measures to promote the development of Okinawa Prefecture, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged to secure a budget of the ¥300 billion level annually up until fiscal 2021, in addition to making an additional allocation in the fiscal 2014 budget, thus showing maximum consideration to the prefecture. For promotion of the prefecture’s northern areas, ¥5 billion will be earmarked every year.
 沖縄振興策でも、安倍首相は、来年度予算の積み増しに加え、2021年度まで毎年3000億円台の予算確保を約束するなど、最大限の配慮を示した。県北部振興策にも毎年50億円を計上する。

With state finances in dire straits, these funds represent exceptionally preferential treatment for the prefecture. But it is an unavoidable step to break the stalemate on the Futenma relocation issue. If the DPJ-led government had not put the issue on such a serpentine path, the people of the nation would not have to bear such a huge expenditure of taxpayers’ money.
 厳しい財政事情の中、異例の優遇措置だが、難局を打開するためにはやむを得まい。ただ、民主党政権が普天間問題を迷走させなければ、これほど巨額の国民負担は生じなかったろう。

The Abe administration was able to obtain the prefecture’s approval on the Futenma relocation plan largely because it consistently worked toward building a relationship of trust with Nakaima even at the political risk of the prefecture’s disapproval. That is why the governor became willing to face criticism from the local people.
 安倍政権が沖縄県の承認を得られたのは、不承認時の政権への打撃というリスクも覚悟し、一貫してぶれずに、仲井真知事との信頼関係を築いたことが大きい。だからこそ、知事も県民からの批判というリスクを取ったのだろう。

Abe must make all-out efforts to secure the continuing deterrent effect of the U.S. military presence in Japan while also reducing burdens on Okinawa and continuing to nurture the relationship of trust with the governor.
 首相は、知事との信頼を大切にしながら、米軍の抑止力の維持と沖縄の負担軽減の両立に全力を挙げなければなるまい。

Secure local support
 ◆地元の理解得る努力を

There is another hurdle to clear before the transfer of Futenma to the Henoko district in Nago can be realized.
 普天間飛行場の辺野古移設の実現までには、まだ課題もある。

A Nago mayoral election, set for Jan. 19, is likely to be a one-on-one competition between the incumbent opposing the relocation plan and a former prefectural assemblyman approving it.
 来月19日の名護市長選は、移設に反対する現職と、容認する前県議の一騎打ちとなる見通しだ。

A former mayor has withdrawn his candidacy, leaving the former assemblyman the only candidate representing the camp approving the relocation plan. But it remains to be seen which side will emerge victorious.
 前市長が出馬を取りやめ、容認派が一本化されたが、選挙結果は予断を許さない。

A scenario in which a local election influences the future course of national security must be avoided. In this sense, too, it was appropriate that Nakaima announced his approval of the relocation plan before the end of the year and ahead of the election date.
 本来、一地方選が日本の安全保障の行方を左右するような事態は避けるべきだ。その意味でも、知事が承認時期を市長選前の年内にしたのは適切だった。

The Nago mayor is not authorized to cancel the relocation plan. But naturally it is desirable to secure the mayor’s cooperation if projects to construct substitute facilities are to be implemented more smoothly.
 名護市長には、辺野古移設を中止させる権限はないにせよ、代替施設の建設工事をより円滑に実施するには、名護市の協力を得られた方が望ましいのは当然だ。

The government and ruling parties must make continued efforts to obtain understanding on the relocation plan from a wider spectrum of local people while explaining the significance and benefits of the relocation to Henoko in minute detail.
 政府・与党は引き続き、辺野古移設の意義と効用を丁寧に説明して、地元関係者の理解を広げる努力を尽くすことが求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 28, 2013)
(2013年12月28日01時32分  読売新聞)

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2013年12月28日 (土)

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remember

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首相靖国参拝 外交立て直しに全力を挙げよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 27, 2013
Abe’s visit to Yasukuni Shrine must be followed by diplomatic rebuilding
首相靖国参拝 外交立て直しに全力を挙げよ (12月27日付・読売社説)

◆国立追悼施設を検討すべきだ

In what could be called a “lightning shrine visit,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a surprise visit to Yasukuni Shrine on Thursday, raising the question of why he took such an action at this particular point in time. A number of other questions should also be asked, including what resolve and preparations were in his mind in making this visit to the shrine.
 “電撃参拝”である。なぜ、今なのか。どんな覚悟と準備をして参拝に踏み切ったのか。多くの疑問が拭えない。

Abe visited Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo on Thursday morning, on the first anniversary of the launch of the current Abe administration. It was his first visit since he assumed the top post of the government and the first visit to the war-related shrine by a sitting prime minister since then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi went there on Aug. 15, 2006.
 安倍首相が政権発足1年を迎えた26日午前、就任後初めて靖国神社に参拝した。現職首相の参拝は、2006年8月15日の小泉首相以来だ。

Regarding his inability to visit Yasukuni during the first Abe Cabinet in 2006-07, Abe is repeatedly on record as saying, “It was a matter of deepest regret.” Thursday’s visit can be said to be the fulfillment of a personal, long-cherished desire of the prime minister.
 安倍首相は、第1次政権の任期中に靖国神社に参拝できなかったことについて「痛恨の極み」と述べていた。その個人的な念願を果たしたことになる。

U.S. ‘disappointed’
◆気がかりな米の「失望」

Abe refrained from visiting the shrine earlier this year on Aug. 15, the day marking the end of World War II, and during the shrine’s spring and autumn festivals. Instead, he only sent offerings of masakaki sacred tree stands and made monetary offerings called tamagushi-ryo.
 首相は終戦記念日と靖国神社の春・秋季例大祭の際、真(ま)榊(さかき)や玉串料を奉納するにとどめてきた。

His decisions on those occasions may have been based on a broad perspective that a visit to Yasukuni would worsen Japan’s already strained relations with China and South Korea, which see Yasukuni as a symbol of Japan’s militarism, a step inadvisable from a diplomatic point of view.
 参拝すれば、靖国神社を日本の軍国主義のシンボルと見る中国、韓国との関係が一層悪化し、外交上、得策ではないと大局的に判断したからだろう。

The United States was also concerned that a visit to the shrine by the prime minister could heighten Tokyo’s tensions with Beijing and Seoul.
 米国も首相の参拝は中韓との緊張を高めると懸念していた。

On their trip to Japan in October, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel laid flowers at Tokyo’s Chidorigafuchi cemetery for the remains of unidentified Japanese who died overseas during World War II. This is believed to have been an attempt to dissuade Abe from making a Yasukuni visit.
ケリー国務長官とヘーゲル国防長官が10月の来日の際、氏名不詳で遺族に渡せない戦没者の遺骨を納めた千鳥ヶ淵戦没者墓苑で献花したのは、そのメッセージだ。

We are especially concerned that the United States, in the wake of Abe’s visit to the shrine, has released an extraordinary statement saying that Washington “is disappointed that Japan’s leadership has taken an action that will exacerbate tensions with Japan’s neighbors.”
 気がかりなのは、米国が「日本の指導者が近隣諸国との緊張を悪化させるような行動を取ったことに失望している」と、異例の声明を発表したことである。

Was this a miscalculation by Abe, who has placed top priority on the United States in his diplomatic policies?
 日米関係を最重視する首相にとって誤算だったのではないか。

China has unilaterally declared an air defense identification zone over the East China Sea, heightening tension in the relations between Japan and China. China may beef up its offensive stance over the territorial sovereignty issue of the Senkaku Islands.
 中国は東シナ海上空に防空識別圏を一方的に設定し、日中間の緊張を高めている。尖閣諸島をめぐって、さらに攻勢を強めてくる可能性もある。

Japan, in tandem with its ally the United States, must continue acting resolutely in defense of the integrity of the nation’s territorial land and sea.
 日本は同盟国の米国と連携して領土・領海を守り抜かねばならない。

We cannot help but wonder whether Abe, at this highly sensitive time, has personally created a destabilizing factor for his administration by visiting Yasukuni Shrine.
この微妙な時機に靖国神社に参拝し、政権の不安定要因を自ら作ってしまったのではないか。

Some of the prime minister’s close aides reportedly prodded Abe to make a Yasukuni visit, saying China and South Korea have criticized Japan even though Abe had not gone there. The situation would remain unchanged even if the prime minister visited Yasukuni, they reportedly told him.
 首相周辺には、「参拝しなくても中韓は日本批判を繰り返している。それなら参拝しても同じだ」と参拝を促す声があったという。

If Abe came to that conclusion as a result of his failure to find a way to improve relations with China and South Korea, we cannot help but feel that is regrettable.
首相が、中韓両国との関係改善の糸口を見いだせず、そうした判断に至ったのであれば残念だ。

New Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi opposed the visit when Abe phoned him immediately before his visit to the shrine, saying bluntly, “I cannot support that.” After Abe’s visit, Yamaguchi said, “As the prime minister presumably acted knowing there would be adverse reactions from both China and South Korea, the prime minister should personally make efforts to ameliorate the situation.”
 公明党の山口代表は首相から参拝直前に電話があった際、「賛同できない」と反対した。「中韓両国の反発を予測しての行動だろうから、首相自身が改善の努力をする必要がある」と述べている。

Abe must do his utmost to rebuild the nation’s diplomacy, which has been marred because of his visit to Yasukuni.
 首相は、外交立て直しに全力を挙げねばなるまい。

Abuse by China, ROK
◆中韓の悪のりを許すな

Regarding his Yasukuni visit, Abe said he chose that day “to report the progress of the first year of my administration and convey my resolve to build an era in which the people will never again suffer the ravages of war.” In regard to China and South Korea, Abe said, “I would like to explain this feeling of mine to them directly.”
 首相は、参拝について「政権発足後、1年間の歩みを報告し、戦争の惨禍で再び人々が苦しむことのない時代を創る決意を込めて不戦の誓いをした」と説明した。中韓両国などに「この気持ちを直接説明したい」とも語った。

Rather than lending an ear to Abe’s statement, China and South Korea have begun to use his Yasukuni visit as material to back their claim that Japan is drifting to the right.
 だが、中韓両国は、安倍首相に耳を傾けるどころか、靖国参拝を日本の「右傾化」を宣伝する材料に利用し始めている。

The Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a statement that Abe’s visit “infringed on the national sentiment of war-victimized countries and defied the justice of history.” The South Korean government also criticized the visit, saying it was “an anachronistic act that would harm the stability and cooperation of Northeast Asia from its very foundation.”
 中国外務省は、「戦争被害国の国民感情を踏みにじり、歴史の正義に挑戦した」との談話を表明した。韓国政府も「北東アジアの安定と協力を根本から損なう時代錯誤的な行為」と非難している。

Their misunderstanding and distortions are excessive.
 誤解、曲解も甚だしい。

Japan has pursued the path of a pacifist nation in the postwar period while upholding the principles of freedom and democracy. It is missing the mark for these two countries to ignore this point and criticize Abe’s Yasukuni visit.
 日本は戦後、自由と民主主義を守り、平和国家の道を歩んできた。中韓が、それを無視して靖国参拝を批判するのは的外れだ。

In the first place, China and South Korea should be blamed for worsening relations with Japan by linking the issue of perceptions of history with political and diplomatic affairs.
 そもそも対日関係を悪化させたのは歴史認識問題を政治・外交に絡める中韓両国の方だ。

Aside from the propriety of Abe’s Yasukuni visit, how the prime minister of one nation mourns its war dead is not a matter for interference from other nations.
 今回の参拝の是非は別として一国の首相が戦没者をどう追悼するかについて、本来他国からとやかく言われる筋合いもない。

Build nonreligious site
◆A級戦犯合祀が問題

The predecessor of Yasukuni Shrine is Tokyo Shokonsha Shrine, which was built in 1869 to console the souls of soldiers from anti-Tokugawa Shogunate domains who died in civil wars to achieve the so-called Meiji Restoration. Samurai warriors in the late Tokugawa period, the war dead from the Sino-Japanese, Russo-Japanese and Showa wars are enshrined together at Yasukuni Shrine. The shrine, however, is not dedicated only to the war dead.
 靖国神社の前身は、明治維新の戦火で亡くなった官軍側の慰霊のために建立された「東京招魂社」だ。幕末の志士や日清、日露戦争、そして昭和戦争の戦没者らが合祀(ごうし)されている。戦没者だけが祀(まつ)られているわけではない。

Behind the fact that worshipping at Yasukuni Shrine has become a political issue is the enshrinement there of former Prime Minister Hideki Tojo and other so-called Class A war criminals who were sentenced to death at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, or Tokyo Trials.
 靖国参拝が政治問題化した背景には、極東国際軍事裁判(東京裁判)で処刑された東条英機元首相ら、いわゆる「A級戦犯」が合祀されていることがある。

Yasukuni Shrine has argued that it is impossible from a religious viewpoint to transfer enshrined souls elsewhere. But criticism of Class A criminals who led Japan into the Showa War is deep-seated, and there are still calls to move their souls to another place.
 靖国神社は、合祀した御霊(みたま)を他に移す分祀は、教学上できないとしているが、戦争指導者への批判は根強く、「A級戦犯」の分祀を求める声が今もなおある。

Abe stressed that he also visited Chinreisha Shrine, which is located on the premises of Yasukuni Shrine. Chinreisha is dedicated to the war dead killed worldwide—not only Japanese but also people of other countries—who are not enshrined at Yasukuni Shrine. If he gave such consideration, we believe he should have rather worshipped at Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery.
 首相は、靖国神社の境内にある「鎮霊社」に参拝したことも強調した。靖国神社には合祀されない国内外の戦死者らの慰霊施設である。そうした配慮をするのなら、むしろ千鳥ヶ淵戦没者墓苑に参るべきではなかったか。

It is difficult even for the Emperor and foreign dignitaries to worship at Yasukuni Shrine as long as it stays in its current status. Measures must be studied to make it possible for everyone to worship without any reserve, centering on a plan to build a national memorial site with no religious affiliation.
 今の靖国神社には、天皇陛下も外国の要人も参拝しづらい。無宗教の国立追悼施設の建立案を軸に誰もがわだかまりなく参拝できる方策を検討すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 27, 2013)
(2013年12月27日01時43分  読売新聞)

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2013年12月27日 (金)

วัว

วัว
cow
บัว
lotus
รั้ว
fence
ถ้วย
cup
กล้วย
banana
มะม่วง
mango
หมวก
hat
มวย
boxing
ขวด
bottle
นวม
mitten
กวน
stir
หัวเราะ
laugh

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วัว
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บัว
lotus
มัว
dim
ตัว
body
รั้ว
fence
ถัว
Period
สัว
sleazy

กวน
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ถั่ว
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PKO弾薬提供 武器輸出の新原則策定を急げ

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 26, 2013
In intl crisis, govt must lay down new weapons-export principles
PKO弾薬提供 武器輸出の新原則策定を急げ(12月26日付・読売社説)

A country working to support nation-building efforts in Africa under rigorous conditions has every reason to help another country engaged in the same task, a duty that has been taken for granted internationally.
 厳しい環境の下、アフリカの国造りに共に取り組む仲間を助けるのは、国際常識である。

The Ground Self-Defense Force, now participating in a U.N. mission in South Sudan—officially called the U.N. Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS)—has provided South Korean forces with 10,000 bullets for rifles without asking for payment in exchange. The bullets were given via the UNMISS authorities. The GSDF’s bullet offer was the first of its kind to occur overseas.
 国連南スーダン派遣団(UNMISS)に参加中の陸上自衛隊が、小銃弾1万発をUNMISS経由で韓国軍に無償提供した。海外での自衛隊の弾薬譲渡は初めてだ。

Amid a rapid decline in the African country’s security situation, South Korean forces were working to protect the safety of about 15,000 refugees in their assigned area, surrounded by armed rebel groups.
 南スーダンの治安情勢が悪化する中、韓国軍は宿営地に1万5000人の避難民を保護し、反政府勢力から包囲されていた。

It is clear the Japanese government had no option but to supply bullets to the South Korean forces. The action was needed from the standpoint of humanity and urgency, given that the lives of South Korean soldiers and local refugees were at risk.
Supplying the bullets was essential for supporting the global significance of U.N. peacekeeping operations. No participants in the UNMISS mission except the GSDF were carrying bullets that could be used for rifles carried by South Korean soldiers.
 韓国兵や避難民の生命にかかわる人道性や緊急性、国連平和維持活動(PKO)という公共性、UNMISS参加部隊で日本以外に同種の弾薬を携行していないことなど、どの観点からも弾薬を提供しない選択肢はなかった。

South Korean forces telephoned the GSDF unit and expressed their gratitude for the bullets.
 韓国軍から現地の陸自部隊に感謝の電話もあった。

There may be cases in which the GSDF asks other nations to support its forces or come to its rescue. Making steady efforts to extend assistance comparable to the recent case of supplying bullets and increasing cooperation with foreign forces will ensure the security of GSDF personnel operating overseas.
陸自が今後、他国に支援や救援を頼むケースもあろう。今回のような協力を重ね、国際的連帯を強めることが、陸自の安全確保にも役立つ。

Regarding the U.N. Peacekeeping Activities Cooperation Law, which was the subject of questions during Diet sessions, the government has long said it does not expect requests from other nations to provide weapons and ammunition, and that if such a request were to be filed, it would reject the request. This line of reasoning apparently reflects the fact that it is extremely unusual for Japan to be asked by any other country to supply weapons and ammunition, even if it is a request that could affect the survival of the requesting nation’s forces.
 政府はPKO協力法に関する国会答弁で、武器・弾薬の提供は想定されず、要請されても断るとしてきた。部隊の生存にかかわる武器・弾薬の提供を他国に要請される事態は極めて異例だからだ。

Civilian control effective

In deciding on the bullet offer, the government held a meeting of four relevant Cabinet members under the National Security Council and a Cabinet conference. In these meetings, the government concluded the bullet supply would be treated as an exception to its three rules on arms exports and its official interpretation of the peace cooperation law.
 政府は今回、国家安全保障会議(日本版NSC)の4大臣会合や閣議を開き、UNMISSへの弾薬提供を、武器輸出3原則やPKO協力法の政府見解の例外扱いとすることを決めた。

Given the lack of procedural defects in the latest decision, it is safe to say our nation’s principle of civilian control has fulfilled its purpose.
 手続き上の欠陥はなく、文民統制も機能したと言える。

In 2011, the Cabinet of then Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda relaxed the principles regarding arms exports, thus making it possible to offer weapons for peace-building and international cooperation purposes. However, the offer of arms was limited to foreign governments, meaning such institutions as the UNMISS authorities were not included in the list of organs to which our country would supply arms.
 一昨年に野田内閣が3原則を緩和し、平和構築・国際協力目的の武器提供は可能になった。ただ、提供先は国に限られ、UNMISSなど国際機関は対象外だ。

The government is currently considering fundamentally reexamining the three principles. Taking the recent bullet supply into consideration, the government should lay down a new set of flexible and realistic principles as quickly as possible.
 政府は、武器輸出3原則の抜本的見直しを検討している。今回の事例も踏まえ、柔軟で現実的な新原則を早期に策定すべきだ。

With the deterioration of the South Sudanese situation in mind, the U.N. Security Council has adopted a resolution to shore up the UNMISS mission to better protect the safety of local residents. About 6,000 staff will be sent to South Sudan, where they will be united with about 7,500 military and police personnel already deployed there.
 国連安全保障理事会は、現地情勢の悪化を踏まえ、住民保護の強化のため、UNMISSを増強する決議を採択した。展開中の軍事・警察要員約7500人に加え、約6000人を増派する。

It is imperative the U.N. resolution be implemented as promptly as possible, to resolve the South Sudanese situation.
 事態の沈静化に向けて、決議を迅速に実施することが肝要だ。

About 30 months after its independence, South Sudan is on the brink of a civil war, as a conflict between its president and former vice president has grown into a tribal conflict. International engagement is essential for preventing the conflict from degenerating into civil war.
 独立から2年半たつ南スーダンは、大統領と前副大統領の対立が部族紛争に発展し、内戦の瀬戸際にある。これを阻止するには、国際社会の関与が欠かせない。

The United States has begun to intermediate between the warring parties with the aim of seeking a solution to the problem through dialogue.
 米国は、当事者間の対話による解決に向けて仲介を始めた。

Japan should contribute to the international peace initiative in South Sudan, a task that should be carried out with close attention to the safety of GSDF personnel operating in that country.
 日本も、陸自隊員の安全に細心の注意を払いながら、国際社会の和平努力に貢献したい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 26, 2013)
(2013年12月26日01時32分  読売新聞)

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徳洲会事件起訴 徳田議員に問われる説明責任

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 26, 2013
Lawmaker Tokuda needs to explain the provision of ¥50 mil. to Inose
徳洲会事件起訴 徳田議員に問われる説明責任(12月26日付・読売社説)

One chapter in the investigation into allegations of election fraud involving the Tokushukai hospital group has come to an end. Yet suspicions over the group’s provision of ¥50 million in cash to former Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose have not yet been cleared up.
 選挙違反事件の捜査には一区切りがついた。だが、猪瀬直樹・前東京都知事への5000万円提供問題の疑惑は、いまだに晴れていない。

A thorough elucidation of this matter is necessary.
 徹底解明が必要だ。

In connection with the alleged election irregularities by Toku-shukai, the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office’s special investigation squad has indicted six people—including the mother and a sister of House of Representatives member Takeshi Tokuda and senior officials of Tokushukai—over allegations of violating the Public Offices Election Law.
 医療グループ「徳洲会」の選挙違反事件で、東京地検特捜部は、徳田毅衆院議員(鹿児島2区)の母親と次姉、徳洲会幹部ら6人を公職選挙法違反で起訴した。

The six allegedly gave money to senior officials of Tokushukai and others for the purpose of securing votes for Tokuda in the lower house election last December. The funds are believed to have gone to senior election campaign members in Kagoshima Constituency No. 2, Tokuda’s electoral district.
 6人は、昨年12月の衆院選で徳田議員を当選させるため、票の取りまとめ目的で買収資金を幹部らに提供したとされる。資金は、地元の選挙運動幹部らに流れたとみられている。

Tokushukai is said to have spent more than ¥200 million to buy votes in this fraud. It is quite surprising that such a large-scale illegality went unchallenged.
 この事件で、徳洲会が投じた買収資金は2億円を上回るという。大がかりな違法行為がまかり通っていたことに驚くばかりだ。

The special squad suspects that the unlawful act was led by Torao Tokuda, a former lower house member and Takeshi Tokuda’s father, whom the prosecutors did not indict because of his serious illness.
 特捜部は、難病のため起訴を見送った徳田議員の父、虎雄元衆院議員が違法行為を主導したとみている。

Tokushukai cannot help but be suspected of perpetrating election fraud in its entire organization from the time when its group founder Torao was a lawmaker.
組織ぐるみの選挙違反は、創業者の虎雄氏の代から続いていたとみられても仕方がない。

Diet seat at risk

Takeshi’s second oldest sister has admitted to allegations that the Tokuda family was at the center of the election irregularities. Takeshi has reportedly denied involvement in the election fraud during questioning by the special squad, but due to the guilt-by-complicity system in the election law, he is increasingly likely to lose his Diet seat.
 起訴された次姉は「徳田家が違法選挙の中心にあった」と容疑を認めている。徳田議員は、特捜部の調べに対し、事件への関与を否定したというが、公選法の連座制の規定により、失職する可能性が高まったと言えるだろう。

Under the guilt-by-complicity system, an elected official may lose his or her seat if family members or campaign managers are found to have broken the law, when a sentence of imprisonment or a financial penalty is finalized by the court.
 連座制が適用されると、候補者の親族、選挙運動幹部の禁錮や罰金以上の罪が確定した場合に、当選が無効となる。

The focus of the investigation is now expected to shift to the provision of the ¥50 million.
 捜査の焦点は今後、5000万円問題に移るとみられる。

Although Inose has said he received the ¥50 million as a “personal loan” from Tokushukai, his words were not convincing and he was eventually driven to resign.
 猪瀬氏は「個人の借り入れ」と釈明したが、説得力を欠き、辞職に追い込まれた。

Takeshi, who reportedly handed the money over to Inose, has seldom appeared in public since he left the Liberal Democratic Party last month.
 猪瀬氏に5000万円を手渡したとされる徳田議員は先月、自民党を離党して以来、ほとんど公の場に姿を見せていない。

Takeshi has to fulfill his responsibility to explain to the voters, as a concerned party, about whether the ¥50 million was intended as election campaign funds for Inose.
 5000万円に選挙資金の意図はなかったのか。徳田議員は当事者として、有権者に対し、説明責任を果たすべきだ。

Deepening the suspicions in connection with the relationship between Tokushukai and Inose is the issue of a hospital in Tokyo run by Tokyo Electric Power Co.
 徳洲会と猪瀬氏の関係について、疑惑を深めているのが東京電力病院の問題である。

When Inose visited Torao at the hospital to ask for his campaign support last November, shortly before the Tokyo gubernatorial election, the topic of selling off TEPCO’s hospital reportedly came up.
 都知事選直前の昨年11月、猪瀬氏が虎雄氏に支援を依頼した際には、東電病院の売却問題も話題に上った。

Tokushukai participated in competitive bidding to take over the hospital but withdrew its bid after it became subject to an investigation by the special squad in September.
東電病院の入札には、徳洲会も参加していたが、今年9月に特捜部の強制捜査を受け、辞退した経緯がある。

How much did Takeshi know about the sell-off of the TEPCO hospital? The special squad has to elucidate the whole matter by going ahead with its questioning of Inose, while also questioning Takeshi over the issue.
 徳田議員は、東電病院問題について、どこまで事情を知っていたのか。特捜部は、改めて徳田議員に事情を聞くとともに、猪瀬氏側からの聴取も進めて、全容を解明しなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 26, 2013)
(2013年12月26日01時32分  読売新聞)

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2013年12月26日 (木)

การบ้านของสีฟ้าจัง

เปีย
เลีย
เสีย
เตียง
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เรียก
เสียง
Spears
lick
waste
bed
argue
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sound

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เสียม
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เสียง
เขียน
เรียก
ผมเปีย
เกี่ยวข้าว
เขียง
เทียน
ทุเรียน
bed
cart
spade
wet
sound
write
call
pigtail
harvest
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candle
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天皇陛下80歳 公務の負担軽減を検討したい

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 23, 2013
As Emperor turns 80, it’s time to consider trimming his duties
天皇陛下80歳 公務の負担軽減を検討したい(12月23日付・読売社説)

The Emperor has marked his 80th birthday.
 天皇陛下が80歳の誕生日を迎えられた。

On this occasion, we express our heartfelt congratulations to the Emperor for reaching this milestone while being hale and hearty.
お元気で過ごされていることを心から喜びたい。

In February last year, the Emperor underwent coronary artery bypass surgery. His recovery has gone as scheduled. The Emperor currently performs official duties at the same pace as he did before the operation.
 陛下は昨年2月に心臓の冠動脈のバイパス手術を受け、順調に回復された。現在は手術前と同じペースで公務に取り組まれている。

The day before his 80th birthday on Monday, the Emperor said at a news conference in the Imperial Palace, “While coming to terms with certain constraints due to my advancing age, I would like to continue playing my role as much as possible.”
 誕生日前の記者会見で、陛下は「年齢による制約を受け入れつつ、できる限り役割を果たしていきたい」と述べられている。

Referring to his official duties, he said, “I wish to maintain my current pace, at least for a while.” This suggests he is rather negative about any move to reduce his official duties on health grounds.
 公務については「しばらくはこのままでいきたい」と語り、健康上の理由による公務の軽減には否定的な考えを示された。

This is presumably because the Emperor, with his best wishes for the happiness of the people, still feels a strong sense of responsibility to continue moving forward with the populace.
 国民の幸せを祈り、国民と共に歩み続けることに強い使命感をお持ちだからだろう。

Accompanied by the Empress, the Emperor visited such places this year as areas devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011, and Minamata, the city in Kumamoto Prefecture that has become known for the mercury-poisoning disease with the same name. The Imperial couple also followed a tight schedule on their recent official visit to India.
 今年も、陛下は皇后さまと共に東日本大震災の被災地や熊本県水俣市などを訪ねられた。先日、インドを公式訪問された際も、過密な日程をこなされた。

Many people want the Emperor to be able to continue to engage in his official duties in good health. For this very reason, however, we believe the burden placed on the Emperor should not be excessive.
 陛下にお元気で公務を続けられてほしいと願う国民も多いことだろう。そうであればこそ、ご負担が過重になってはなるまい。

The Imperial Household Agency should examine how to reduce the load shouldered by the Emperor, perhaps by handing some of his duties to Imperial family members including Crown Prince Naruhito and his younger brother, Prince Akishino.
 宮内庁は、公務時間のより一層の短縮や、皇太子さまや秋篠宮さまへの一部公務の引き継ぎも、検討していくべきだろう。

Adhering to Constitution

The Emperor’s stance of always giving consideration to the people is also represented by his views on his funeral and mausoleum.
 常に国民を思いやる陛下の姿勢は、自らの葬儀や御陵に関する考え方にも表れている。

In November, the Imperial Household Agency announced that the Emperor plans to be cremated, rather than be buried as has been tradition for emperors since the Edo period, and scale down his mausoleum compared to those of the Emperor’s predecessors.
宮内庁は11月、江戸時代から続いてきた土葬を火葬に変更し、御陵は規模を縮小する方針を明らかにした。

These plans fit snugly with the wishes of the Emperor and Empress not to impose an onerous burden on the people in regard to the construction of their mausoleums and their funerals. These decisions can be said to reflect the desire of the Emperor, who has been committed to ensuring the Imperial family can meet the changes of the times while keeping the essence of royal tradition intact.
 御陵の整備や葬儀にあたって、国民に負担をかけてはならないという天皇、皇后両陛下のお考えを踏まえたものだ。伝統を守りつつも、時代に即した皇室のあり方を模索し続ける陛下らしいご決断と言えよう。

During the news conference, a question was asked about the relationship between the Imperial family and politics.
 今回の記者会見では、皇室と政治の関係について質問が出た。

Some media outlets were outraged that Princess Hisako of Takamado attended the general session of the International Olympic Committee in September that chose Tokyo as host city of the 2020 Olympics and Paralympic Games.
 高円宮妃久子さまが、2020年東京五輪・パラリンピックの開催を決めた9月の国際オリンピック委員会(IOC)総会に出席されたことに関し、一部メディアなどが問題視していた。

In reply to the question, the Emperor said when he faces a thorny question, “I have made it a rule to seek the opinions of the Imperial Household Agency director general and the agency’s councillors.”
 陛下は、判断の難しい場合、「宮内庁長官や参与の意見を聴くことにしています」と答えられた。

This statement was intended to emphasize afresh his position of adhering closely to Article 4 of the Constitution, which stipulates the Emperor “shall not have powers related to government.”
天皇は「国政に関する権能を有しない」とする憲法4条を順守し、自らを律するというお立場を改めて強調されたのだろう。

At the IOC session, Princess Hisako only expressed Japan’s gratitude for such things as support extended from many nations after the Great East Japan Earthquake. She refrained from making any direct reference to Tokyo’s Games bid. Some media said her speech amounted to “using the Imperial family for political purposes.” It was nothing of the sort.
 久子さまは、IOC総会で大震災への各国の支援などに謝辞を述べただけで、東京招致への直接的な言及は避けられた。「皇室の政治利用」に当たるはずがない。

This issue must not be allowed to bother the Emperor any further.
 この問題でこれ以上、陛下の心を煩わせてはならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 23, 2013)
(2013年12月23日01時25分  読売新聞)

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14年度予算案 景気重視で消費増税乗り切れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 25, 2013
Fiscal 2014 budget must be utilized to weather consumption tax hike
14年度予算案 景気重視で消費増税乗り切れ(12月25日付・読売社説)
 ◆無駄な歳出の見直しは道半ばだ

The government must do its utmost to strengthen economic growth to prevent the economy from stalling when the consumption tax rate is increased to 8 percent in April.
 来年4月の消費税率8%への引き上げによる景気失速をどう防ぐか。成長力の強化に全力を尽くさねばならない。

On Tuesday, the government adopted a budget for fiscal 2014. The general-account budget, which will be spent in most policy fields and for interest payments on government bonds, has swollen to a record ¥95.9 trillion, up 3.5 percent from the initial budget for fiscal 2013.
 政府は2014年度予算案を決めた。政策や国債の利払いなどに使う一般会計総額は、13年度当初予算比3・5%増の95・9兆円と過去最大に膨らんだ。

Regarding the fiscal 2014 budget and the ¥5.5 trillion supplementary budget for fiscal 2013 as a seamless 15-month budget, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, “We’d like to have the economic recovery spread throughout the country, leading to vigorous economic growth.”
 安倍首相は予算案を5・5兆円の13年度補正予算案と一体の「15か月予算」と位置づけ、「景気回復を全国津々浦々に届けて力強い成長につなげたい」と述べた。

Social security reform urged
 ◆社会保障改革を急げ

Thanks to the positive effects of Abenomics, the economic policy championed by the Abe administration, economic recovery has become more apparent. However, we cannot be overly optimistic about the future. It is therefore appropriate for the government to have compiled a large-scale budget emphasizing stimulation of the economy.
 安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」の効果で、景気回復は鮮明になってきたが、先行きは楽観できない。景気重視で大型予算を編成した狙いは適切である。

Due to the consumption tax hike and economic pickup, the government has projected tax revenues will increase by about ¥7 trillion to ¥50 trillion, allowing it to relax fiscal discipline. As a result, the government has not bothered to drastically review the rigid expenditure structure.
 反面、消費増税と景気回復の追い風で、税収が約7兆円増えて50兆円に達すると見込んだことから財政規律が緩み、硬直化した歳出構造の大胆な見直しには踏み込めなかった。

It appears that the difficulty of both realizing economic rejuvenation and restoring fiscal health, which Abe is aiming at, has been brought to the fore once again.
 首相が目標とする「経済再生と財政健全化の同時達成」の難しさを改めて浮き彫りにしたと言えよう。

Symbolic of this is social security spending—the largest outlay—which has topped the ¥30 trillion mark for the first time.
 象徴的なのが、最大の歳出項目である社会保障費が、初めて30兆円を超えたことである。

Natural increases in health care and nursing care expenses alone have reached more than ¥600 billion. Obviously, spending cuts were woefully inadequate.
 医療や介護などの自然増分だけで6000億円以上に上った。歳出の切り込み不足は否めない。

In line with the aging society, social security expenses are projected to continue to increase by about ¥1 trillion annually. To allay public anxiety about the future, it is necessary to expedite reform to create a sustainable social security system.
 高齢化の進行に伴い、今後も毎年1兆円程度ずつ膨らむ見通しだ。国民の将来不安を和らげるには、持続可能な社会保障制度を目指し、改革を急ぐ必要がある。

It also will be necessary for the government to study the possibility of lowering pension benefits, while at the same time making efforts to hold down health care expenses through the promotion of inexpensive generic drugs and other measures.
 価格が安い後発医薬品の普及などで医療費を抑える努力を続けるとともに、年金の給付水準の引き下げも検討すべきだろう。

Spending on public works totals a little less than ¥6 trillion, up 2 percent in real terms. But when it is combined with the ¥1 trillion outlay included as advance spending in the 2013 supplementary budget, the expenditure represents a significant year-on-year increase.
 公共事業費は実質2%増の6兆円弱だったが、今年度補正予算案で約1兆円を前倒しで計上した分を含めると、大幅増額になる。

There has been an increase in cases in which bidding for public works projects has failed, primarily because of soaring material prices and a shortage of manpower. Some experts have said the effect of such projects on stimulating the overall economy has become weaker.
 資材価格の高騰や人手不足で公共事業の入札が不調となる例も増え、景気を刺激する即効性が薄れてきたと指摘される。

The government should reduce the list of public works projects and concentrate on those most urgently needed, thereby smoothly implementing such projects and increasing their effectiveness.
 必要性の高い事業を絞り込み、円滑な執行によって効果を上げる方策が求められよう。

The government has incorporated in the 2014 budget a ¥1.9 trillion outlay earmarked as a “budget to promote priority issues,” including measures to promote science and technology, as part of its efforts to strengthen the foundation of the nation’s economic growth.
 政府は成長基盤の強化のため、科学技術振興策などを盛り込んだ「優先課題推進枠」に1・9兆円を計上した。

We hope the government will tackle projects deemed highly effective, thus accelerating its growth strategy, together with the promotion of regulatory reforms.
有効な事業を選別し、規制改革の推進と併せて、成長戦略を加速してもらいたい。

The new budget also entails large funding for projects related to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. Spending includes a sharp increase in sports-related appropriations, as well as expenditures for improving highways and other transportation networks in Tokyo and neighboring areas.
 2020年の東京五輪・パラリンピック関連の事業にも力を入れた。スポーツ予算を大幅に増やしたほか、道路など首都圏の交通網整備も充実させる。

However, measures must be taken to prevent wasteful spending, such as in the form of appropriations for massive construction plans for athletic facilities.
ただし、巨大な競技施設の建設などでの無駄遣いを防がねばならない。

Large defense outlay
 ◆防衛費の増額は当然だ

The budget incorporates a second consecutive yearly increase in defense spending, largely in consideration of China’s increased maritime activities and North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats in recent years. Given the deterioration in Japan’s current national security environment, the government has every reason to increase expenditures to improve vigilance and surveillance activities by the Self-Defense Forces.
 防衛費は、中国の海洋進出や北朝鮮の核・ミサイルの脅威などを念頭に2年連続で増やす。日本の安全保障環境の悪化を考えれば、自衛隊の警戒監視体制を強化するための歳出増は当然だ。

Another feature of the budget is unusual growth in appropriations for policies and projects designed to facilitate economic and other forms of advancement in Okinawa Prefecture. In finalizing the budget, the government has approved increases in excess of the amount requested by the Okinawa prefectural government. The government’s decision is apparently intended to create an environment to encourage the local government to approve an offshore reclamation project in the Henoko area of Nago. The prefectural government’s approval is essential to ensure progress in relocating the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station from Ginowan to Nago.
 沖縄振興予算は、要望を上回る異例の増額を認めた。沖縄県の米軍普天間飛行場の移設に必要な名護市辺野古の埋め立てについて、県の承認を得るための環境整備を図っているのだろう。

The budget will also increase funding for projects aimed at resolving problems arising from the disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant. It is reasonable for the national government to play a proactive role in carrying out tasks needed to overcome the problems, including the decontamination of disaster-affected areas, a task that must be fulfilled by bearing its fair share of costs.
 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所の事故に対応する予算も増額する。国が除染費用などで積極的に応分の負担をするのはもっともである。

In making appropriations for agriculture-related policies, the new budget will do little to ensure funds are allotted where truly necessary and curtailed where possible.
 農業予算はメリハリが乏しい。

Undoubtedly, the government has good reason for its reduction of subsidies to farming households that agree to curtail rice production. The move is intended to complement a government plan to scrap its rice production adjustment program based on acreage reductions five years later. This policy will target table-grade rice.
主食用米の生産調整(減反)を5年後に廃止するのに伴い、減反に応じた農家へ一律に支給する補助金を減らしたのは妥当だ。

Meanwhile, though, the budget incorporates new measures comparable to previous grants-in-aid for farmers, including a subsidy system that the government has said will aim to preserve farmland and the environment. However, it should be noted that giving generous subsidies to all farming households will result in failure to improve agricultural productivity.
 一方で、農地や環境の保全を名目にした補助金などを新設した。横並びで手厚い補助を続けていては、生産性は上がるまい。

The budget entails the issuance of new government bonds worth ¥41.3 trillion, meaning the government will take on that amount of new debt next fiscal year. The figure represents a decrease of ¥1.6 trillion from the current fiscal year, reflecting an anticipated tax revenue hike.
 歳入を見ると、税収増により、新たな借金となる新規国債の発行額は41・3兆円で今年度と比べて1・6兆円減った。

This means that the degree of dependence on the sale of government bonds—namely, the ratio of government bond sales to total revenue—will likely decline to 43 percent from 46 percent in the current fiscal year.
その結果、歳入に国債が占める割合を示す国債依存度は、今年度の46%から43%に低下する。

Reliance on debt too great
 ◆歳入4割が借金頼み

The primary balance shortfall is expected to decline by about ¥5 trillion under the next budget, meaning that funding for government policies covered tax and other revenue will decline by that amount.
 政策に使う経費を税収などでどれだけ賄えているかを示す国の基礎的財政収支(プライマリーバランス)の赤字額は、5兆円ほど圧縮される。

The government deserves credit for making some progress in achieving its target of halving the shortfalls by the end of fiscal 2015, compared with fiscal 2010.
 15年度までに10年度比で赤字を半減させる政府目標の達成へ、一歩近づいたことは評価できる。

However, the government’s reliance on debt for more than 40 percent of its revenue must be deemed to be extraordinary. Despite a drop in the value of new government bonds to be issued under the next budget, the total amount of government bond issuance will reach a record ¥182 trillion, including bonds previously issued to raise funds necessary for redeeming such bonds.
 しかし、歳入の4割以上を借金に頼るのは異常だ。新規発行額は減るが、過去に発行した国債の借り換え分を合わせた発行総額は約182兆円と最高額に達する。

If prices continue to rise as a result of the economic recovery, it will likely lead to a rise in interest rates sooner or later, thus resulting in a sharp increase in interest payments on government bonds. It is imperative that the government realize that it must continue to walk a tightrope in fiscal management.
 景気回復とともに物価が上がり続ければ、やがて金利も上昇し、国債利払い費が急増するだろう。財政運営の綱渡りが続くことを深刻に受け止めるべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 25, 2013)
(2013年12月25日01時19分  読売新聞)

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2013年12月25日 (水)

虚偽表示対策 「食」の信頼回復につなげたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 24, 2013
Steps to prevent false food labeling should lead to recovery of trust
虚偽表示対策 「食」の信頼回復につなげたい(12月24日付・読売社説)

We hope the government’s latest step will help recover public trust in food products.
 「食」の信頼を取り戻す契機にしたい。

The government has compiled a series of measures to deal with a spate of false food descriptions and mislabeling recently found on restaurant menus at several well-known hotels and food sold at department stores.
 有名ホテルや百貨店で食品の虚偽表示が相次いだ問題で、政府が対応策をまとめた。

The government will submit to the ordinary Diet session next year a bill to revise the Law for the Prevention of Unreasonable Premiums and Misrepresentation concerning Products and Services.
 来年の通常国会に景品表示法の改正案を提出する。

The main pillar of the revision is reinforcement of the food display monitoring system. Relevant ministries, including the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry and the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry, will be authorized to investigate alleged breaches of the system. This change is necessary because there is a limit to how far the Consumer Affairs Agency can investigate since it has no local outposts.
 改正案の柱は、監視体制の強化だ。農林水産省や経済産業省などに調査権限を付与する。出先機関を持たない消費者庁の調査だけでは限界があるからだ。

Utilizing about 1,300 “food display investigators” of the agriculture ministry stationed across the country, it will be possible to efficiently monitor and detect any false labeling regarding a product’s place of origin.
 産地偽装を監視するため、全国に約1300人配置されている農水省の「食品表示Gメン」などを活用すれば、効率的なチェックが可能になろう。

Meanwhile, prefectural governments, which currently have the authority only to investigate and issue instructions to violators, will be empowered to issue orders to violators and impose penalties on them. Business operators that do not abide by these orders can be fined up to ¥300 million.
 調査・指示の権限しかない都道府県には、罰則を伴った措置命令を出せる権限を与える。命令に従わない業者には、3億円以下の罰金を科すことができる。

We hope the beefed-up system will deter operators from falsely describing their products.
 こうした体制強化が虚偽表示の抑止力となるよう期待したい。

Under the revision, business operators are obliged to stipulate who is in charge of food descriptions on their menus. We think it is appropriate that the revision aims to encourage operators to change their way of thinking by clarifying who is responsible for food descriptions.
 改正案では、業者側にメニュー表示の責任者設置も義務づける。責任の所在を明確にすることで、意識改革を促そうとする狙いは適切と言える。

The government will reportedly consider introducing a system under which violators pay penalties. Yet some observers have suggested that calculating these fines will be complex and time-consuming. Many skeptics doubt such stringent measures are necessary. Prudent discussion is required on this issue.
 政府は、違反業者に金銭を支払わせる課徴金制度の導入も検討するという。だが、課徴金の算定は複雑で時間がかかりすぎる、との指摘がある。そこまで厳しい対応が必要なのかという声も少なくない。慎重な議論が求められる。

Many industries affected

After inaccurate food descriptions on restaurant menus at hotels operated by Hankyu-Hanshin Hotels Co., based in Osaka, came to light in October, such misrepresentations were also found to be widespread among other industries, such as department store operators and sake brewers.
 阪急阪神ホテルズ(大阪市)が運営するホテルで10月に発覚した虚偽表示は、百貨店や酒造業界など様々な業種に広がった。

According to the Consumer Affairs Agency, 307 business operators have admitted to the government that they falsely described some of their products.
消費者庁によると、国に虚偽表示を届け出たのは307業者に上る。

The agency has ordered three companies, including Hankyu-Hanshin Hotels, to work out corrective measures concerning food product misrepresentation.
 消費者庁は、阪急阪神ホテルズなど3社に景表法違反で措置命令を出した。

The widespread falsifications stem from a lack of morals on the part of business operators and their apparent lack of understanding of the law.
 虚偽表示が蔓延(まんえん)した要因は、業者側のモラルの欠如とともに、景表法の理解不足にある。

The agency will soon draw up guidelines showing specific examples of false displays and other infractions. Utilizing these guidelines, the relevant ministries must spare no effort to ensure business operators under their jurisdiction know how to properly label products.
 消費者庁は近く、虚偽表示の具体例などを示したガイドラインを作成する。関係省庁はこれを活用し、各業界に適正な表示のあり方を周知徹底することが必要だ。

Business operators that betray consumers’ trust will be subject to public criticism and punished socially through falling sales and a tarnished brand image. This was the main lesson to be learned from the latest series of false food descriptions.
 消費者を裏切った業者は批判にさらされ、売り上げ減やブランドイメージの低下など、社会的な制裁を受ける。それが一連の虚偽表示問題の教訓と言えよう。

Hotels and department stores have started to exercise more care regarding accurate food labeling at their own initiative, such as by reinforcing checks on food descriptions on their menus and holding lectures on the law concerning food product displays.
 ホテルや百貨店業界では、メニュー表示のチェック体制強化や、景表法に関する講習会の開催など、表示の適正化に努める自主的な動きが出てきている。

Over the New Year’s holidays, many people buy more food and eat out at restaurants more often than usual. We urge business operators to once again check whether any inappropriate food descriptions might have slipped through the cracks.
 年末年始には、食材購入や外食の機会が増える。各業者は、不適切な表示が残っていないか、改めて自己点検してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 24, 2013)
(2013年12月24日01時42分  読売新聞)

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国の権限移譲 地方の意志と能力も試される

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 24, 2013
Local governments’ will, capabilities tested in transfer of state authority
国の権限移譲 地方の意志と能力も試される(12月24日付・読売社説)

It is essential to revitalize regional areas by eliminating the waste caused by dual administration of central and local governments and work out innovative measures to utilize the individuality and characteristics of each region.
 国と地方の二重行政によるムダの排除と、地域の個性や特色を生かした創意工夫を通じて、地方の活性化につなげることが肝要である。

The government has decided to transfer 48 types of clerical work and authority, including the expansion and management of national roads and first-class rivers under its direct control, to prefectures. It also plans to reexamine 18 clerical items, including provision of HelloWork’s job information.
 政府が、国直轄の国道・1級河川の整備・管理など48の事務・権限を政府から都道府県に移譲する方針を決定した。ハローワークの求人情報の自治体への提供など18項目の事務見直しも決めた。

It will submit related bills to the ordinary Diet session convening early next year to realize these goals.
 いずれも来年の通常国会に関連法案を提出し、実現を図る。

The transfer of authority on national roads and rivers has been left pending since the Council for Decentralization Reform, an advisory panel of the Cabinet Office, recommended this action in 2008. However, the Democratic Party of Japan-led government then came up with a wild scheme of “abolishing in principle” local agencies of the central government, thereby adding a serpentine dimension to discussions on decentralization. But the issue was eventually resolved with realistic measures worked out by the Liberal Democratic Party-led administration.
 国道・河川の権限移譲は、2008年の地方分権改革推進委員会の勧告以来の懸案だ。その後、民主党政権が国の出先機関の「原則廃止」といった乱暴な手法を掲げ、分権論議は迷走したが、ようやく現実的な内容で決着した。

Administration of some sections of national roads and first-class rivers has already been transferred to prefectures. It is unreasonable to assert that administration can only be carried out by the central government. Coherent town building may be possible by integrated expansion and administration of national roads and connected local roads.
 国道や1級河川の一部区間の管理は既に、都道府県に委ねられている。政府しか管理できないとの理屈は成り立たない。国道に接続する地方道との一体的な整備・管理により、整合性の取れた町づくりも可能になるのではないか。

It was appropriate for the government to work out measures to secure fiscal resources, including one allocating local tax grants to finance maintenance and management costs incurred by prefectural governments. Decentralization will not make much headway without securing such fiscal resources.
 権限移譲に伴い、都道府県が負担する維持管理費を地方交付税で賄うなどの財源確保策をまとめたのは適切だ。財源の手当てなしには地方分権は進まない。

2-way shift possible

It also will be possible depending on the situation to transfer authority over roads and rivers under the control of local governments to the central government.
 一方で、地方が管理する道路や河川について、実情に応じて国直轄に移すことも可能にした。

Recent years have seen flood damage caused by heavy rain in various parts of the country. In some of these disasters, small municipalities found it difficult to take adequate crisis-management measures for rivers. The central government’s role in times of disaster was recognized anew following the Great East Japan Earthquake and the accompanying huge task of reconstruction.
 近年、各地で大雨による水害が発生し、小規模自治体では河川の管理や危機対応の難しい例が見受けられる。東日本大震災の復旧・復興では、災害時における政府の役割の重要性が再認識された。

Transferring authority in this manner is reasonable, rather than calling for the uniform transfer of authority to local governments.
 地方移譲という画一的な施策にはせず、国への移譲も認める柔軟な制度にしたのは妥当だ。

Noteworthy is a system for handling registration and clerical work to audit nonprofit organizations that will provide paid-for transport services to replace taxis and buses in underpopulated areas.
 注目されるのは、過疎地でタクシー・バスの代わりに有償旅客輸送を行う非営利組織(NPO)などの登録・監査事務の扱いだ。

Clerical work will be transferred to municipalities that apply for the system. If they are reluctant to do this, such work will be transferred to prefectures willing to do so.
 基本は、希望する市町村に国の事務を移すが、市町村が希望しない場合、希望する都道府県に移譲できる仕組みにした。

Thus, municipalities will be asked whether they want to undertake new clerical work or are capable of doing so and to make decisions on their own initiative. This formula can be applied to the transfer of other kinds of clerical work and authority to local governments.
 新たな事務を引き受ける意志と能力があるか、自治体自身に判断を求める制度で、「手挙げ方式」と呼ばれる。他の事務・権限の地方移譲にも応用できるだろう。

It also has been decided to move 29 types of clerical work and authority, including a decision on standards for the composition of primary and middle school classes, to government-designated major cities. These cities will be required to bear the financial burden of paying schoolteachers and administrative personnel, but they will be able to exercise a wider range of discretionary powers, including whether to form small classes.
 小中学校の学級編制基準の決定など、29の都道府県の事務・権限を政令市に移すことも決まった。政令市が教職員給与を負担する一方、独自の判断で少人数学級を編成できるなど裁量権が広がる。

It is indispensable for the government, prefectures and municipalities to continue studying how to divide the various roles to promote practical decentralization.
 政府と都道府県、市町村はどう役割分担すべきか、引き続き検討し、地に足のついた分権改革を進めることが重要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 24, 2013)
(2013年12月24日01時42分  読売新聞)

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2013年12月24日 (火)

การบ้านของสีฟ้าจัง

แข
แจ
แห
แลก
แบก
แอบ
แสง
แมลง
แขน
แตก
competition
closely
net
change
bear
secretly
light
insect
arm
break

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การบ้านของสีฟ้าจัง

แก้ว
แก้ม
แหวน
แยม
แมว
เข้าแถว
แจกัน
แป้ง
คนแก่
กำแพง
แว่นตา
แคน
glass
cheek
ring
jam
cat
line up
vase
flour
old (man)
wall
glasses
khaen

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2013年12月22日 (日)

NHK新会長 偏りなき番組で責任を果たせ

>国外での外国人向け放送の拡充も急務だ。
↓^^
 海外の日本人向け放送の拡充は急務だ。
 民放はネットで世界に向けて無料開放して良いのでは?
 厳しいのは日本だけ。
 これも霞ヶ関の影響力か?
 例えばタイ、全チャンネル無料で見られます^^。

(スラチャイ)

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 21, 2013
New NHK president must promote impartiality, fairness in broadcasts
NHK新会長 偏りなき番組で責任を果たせ(12月21日付・読売社説)

We want NHK’s new president to fulfill his responsibility as the head of the public broadcasting corporation by promoting production of fair and neutral programs.
 中立で公正な番組作りを推進することで、公共放送のトップとしての責任を果たしてほしい。

NHK’s Board of Governors has appointed Katsuto Momii to succeed Masayuki Matsumoto as the public broadcaster’s president. After serving as a vice president of Mitsui & Co., Momii has worked in various positions in the business world, including the post of president of Nihon Unisys Ltd., a major player in IT solutions services.
 NHKの経営委員会は松本正之会長の後任に籾井勝人氏を選出した。籾井氏は三井物産で副社長を務めた後、情報システム会社の日本ユニシスで社長などを歴任した経済人だ。

Momii is the third NHK president in a row from the private sector. He should effectively reform the public broadcaster by using the management abilities he cultivated when he worked with private companies.
 民間出身の会長は3代連続である。企業で培った経営手腕を存分に発揮し、NHK改革の実効を上げることが求められる。

Matsumoto can be credited with such reforms as lowering viewers’ fees and reducing wages for NHK employees.
 松本会長が受信料の値下げや職員給与の削減といった改革に取り組んだ点は評価できる。

However, compared with private broadcasters, NHK must do more to cut manpower and production costs. Momii should bring cost-consciousness home to all NHK employees to overhaul the bloated organization.
 ただ、民放に比べ、要員削減や制作費の使い方などでNHKの合理化努力はまだ甘い。籾井氏はコスト意識を徹底させ、肥大化した組織の見直しを図るべきだ。

Viewers’ fees account for more than 90 percent of NHK’s revenue, but nearly 30 percent of viewers do not pay the fees.
 NHKの収入の9割超を占める受信料は、支払っていない比率が全国で3割近くに及ぶ。

Raising the fee collection rate will be necessary to help alleviate the people’s sense of unfairness.
 国民の不公平感を和らげるためにも、受信料の徴収率をさらに引き上げる必要がある。

Legal compliance is also an important challenge for the new president. NHK’s Science and Technology Research Laboratories was hit by a scandal concerning fictitious orders this autumn. Serious irregularities such as insider trading have been rife in NHK.
 法令順守も新会長の重要な課題だ。今秋には放送技術研究所で架空発注問題が起きた。NHKでは、インサイダー事件など過去にも深刻な不祥事が頻発している。

Enhance awareness

It is essential to enhance employees’ awareness and work toward preventing the recurrence of such incidents.
 職員の意識向上を図り、再発防止に努めることが大切になる。

The political and business worlds have increasingly criticized NHK’s programs and reporting as biased, arguing that they took a negative stance in reporting on the maintenance and restart of nuclear power plants and the deployment of new U.S. Osprey military transport aircraft. This could also be a factor behind Matsumoto’s exit from the post of NHK president.
 原発の維持・再稼働や米軍輸送機オスプレイの配備に批判的だとして、NHKの番組・報道には政財界から「偏っている」との批判が高まっていた。これも松本会長退任の背景にあろう。

Also, in regard to reporting on the law on protecting specially-designated state secrets, it seems that NHK failed to present a diverse range of views, inviting mostly experts with negative views of the law as guest commentators on the matter.
 特定秘密保護法をめぐる報道でも、論点が多岐にわたらず、登場する識者の人選も、反対する側に傾いていたのではないか。

Momii, who will assume the post to take ultimate responsibility for production of programs, should constantly take care to ensure program contents are impartial while attaching importance to presenting views in a balanced manner when the programs take up subjects on which opinion is divided.
 番組制作の最高責任者に就く籾井氏は、見解が分かれる問題を取り上げる場合、バランスを重視し、放送内容が中立かどうか絶えず目配りをしなくてはならない。

NHK’s political neutrality is a major principle stipulated in the Broadcast Law. The relationship of trust with viewers and listeners should be built by providing unbiased programs.
 「不偏不党」は、放送法で定められた大原則だ。偏らない番組を提供し続けることで、視聴者との信頼関係を築くべきだろう。

Expanding and improving broadcasting for people overseas is also an urgent task. It will serve the national interest to actively broadcast programs about Japanese policies, culture and tourism resources overseas.
 国外での外国人向け放送の拡充も急務だ。日本の政策や文化、観光資源を積極的に海外に発信していくことは国益にもつながる。

Momii will be pressed to craft an effective strategy to expand business in such fields as sales of programs to foreign cable television companies. High expectations will be placed on him in this regard because of his personal connections and the experience he accumulated working with a major trading house.
 外国のケーブルテレビ会社への販売促進などで効果的な戦略を立てることが望まれる。商社出身の籾井氏の人脈やビジネス経験に期待したい。

Focusing on technological innovations such as development of next-generation high-definition broadcasting, dubbed “8K,” and simultaneous provision of programs on the Internet is another mission facing the new president.
 次世代高画質放送「8K」(スーパーハイビジョン)の開発や、番組のインターネットへの同時配信といった技術革新に注力することも新会長の使命と言える。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 21, 2013)
(2013年12月21日01時33分  読売新聞)

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診療報酬改定 制度維持へ実質下げは妥当だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 21, 2013
Govt acted reasonably in cutting medical treatment fees for FY14
診療報酬改定 制度維持へ実質下げは妥当だ(12月21日付・読売社説)

To maintain the social security system, it is indispensable to hold down medical expenses, which have continued to increase.
 社会保障制度を維持するには、増え続ける医療費の伸びを抑えることが欠かせない。

The government has thus decided to substantially decrease medical treatment fees, which go to medical institutions as income, by 1.26 percent for next fiscal year. This is the first reduction of such costs in six years.
 医療機関の収入となる診療報酬について、政府は来年度、実質的に1・26%引き下げることを決めた。6年ぶりのマイナス改定だ。

When medical treatment costs increase, health insurance premiums and payments at medical institutions also rise. When coupled with next spring’s increase in the consumption tax rate, the increases in medical treatment costs will put a double strain on household finances.
 診療報酬が引き上げられれば、保険料や医療機関の窓口での支払いも増える。来春の消費税率引き上げと重なれば、家計には二重の負担増になる。

Although the extent of the cut is not sufficient, we believe the government has acted reasonably in having settled the matter by substantially decreasing the medical treatment fees. The cut will likely curb negative effects on spending and business sentiment.
 下げ幅は物足りないが、診療報酬を実質引き下げで決着させたことは妥当だ。消費や景気への悪影響を避けることにもつながる。

In terms of the medical fee structure, the main portion that includes a doctor’s technical fee was raised by 0.1 percent, while the “charge for medicine” category was lowered by 1.36 percent. The latter move reflected the actual trading prices of medicine.
 医師の技術料など「本体」部分は0・1%増にとどめ、医薬品など「薬価」を1・36%引き下げるとした。医薬品の実勢価格を反映させたものだ。

Private hospitals last year posted a ¥76 million surplus on average, up from the previous year. Salaries of doctors working at hospitals have also increased. The government must have judged that it is increasingly unnecessary to raise medical treatment fees.
 民間病院の収支は昨年、平均7600万円の黒字で、前年より改善した。病院勤務医の給与も上昇している。政府は、診療報酬を引き上げる必要性は乏しいと判断したのだろう。

However, costs including the fee charged for a patient’s first visit were raised to supplement the greater financial burden medical institutions are expected to face due to the scheduled increase in the consumption tax rate. As a result, the medical treatment fee was raised by 0.1 percent in this main category, which should be considered inevitable.
 ただし、消費税率引き上げで医療機関の負担が増える分を補填(ほてん)するため、初診料などが加算された。結果的に0・1%の増となったのはやむを得まい。

Various efforts needed

The Liberal Democratic Party proposed increasing the medical treatment fees at the request of parties concerned, including the Japan Medical Association, which has called for improving labor conditions of doctors and mitigating the shortage of doctors. However, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Finance Ministry, both of which aim at keeping medical costs from rising, largely brushed off the request.
 自民党は、医師の待遇改善や医師不足の解消を求める日本医師会などの要望を受け、診療報酬の引き上げを主張した。しかし、医療費抑制を目指す首相官邸と財務省に押し切られた。

Indeed, labor conditions of doctors working at hospitals remain serious. At many hospitals, doctors routinely work long hours, including overnight, and conduct surgeries after their night duties.
 確かに病院勤務医の労働実態は依然厳しく、夜間当直を挟んだ長時間勤務や、当直明けの手術は常態化している。

However, the main cause of the lack of doctors is the uneven distribution of doctors, depending on treatment department and region. A major improvement in labor conditions of doctors cannot be expected by simply increasing the total amount of medical treatment fees.
 だが、医師不足は診療科や地域による医師の偏在が主因だ。単に診療報酬の総額を増やしても、大きな改善は見込めないだろう。

The Central Social Insurance Medical Council, an advisory panel to the health minister, will discuss how to distribute medical treatment fees among various fields in the New Year.
 診療報酬をどの分野に配分するかは、年明けに中央社会保険医療協議会で議論される。

It is important to intensively distribute health care reimbursements to the busiest departments, such as emergency medical service, pediatrics, obstetrics and surgery. It is also necessary to enhance treatment fees at hospitals, which face a more serious doctor shortage, rather than at small clinics.
 大切なのは、激務の救急、小児科、産科、外科などに診療報酬を重点配分することである。診療所より人手不足が著しい病院に報酬を手厚くする必要もある。

Efforts must also be taken to cut wasteful medical expenses. There is a large margin for cuts in drug costs in particular.
 医療費の無駄をなくす工夫もしなければならない。特に圧縮の余地が大きいのは薬剤費だ。

Regarding drugs prescribed by doctors, the percentage of lower-priced generic medicine has been kept at about 40 percent. The use of generic drugs should be further promoted.
 医師が処方する薬の中で、価格の安い後発医薬品の割合は4割程度にとどまっている。さらに使用を促進すべきだ。

Also, the compounding fee for drugs available at pharmacies outside medical institutions is higher than that of the same drugs available at in-hospital pharmacies. This is one reason for the increase in the cost of prescription drugs. We hope this point is also swiftly addressed.
 薬を医療機関外の薬局で受け取る院外処方の調剤料は、院内処方に比べて高い。薬局の調剤医療費が膨張する一因だ。この点も早急に是正してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 21, 2013)
(2013年12月21日01時33分  読売新聞)

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2013年12月21日 (土)

「首都直下地震」 人命と国の中枢をどう守るか

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 20, 2013
Act to protect lives and govt center from major earthquake damage
「首都直下地震」 人命と国の中枢をどう守るか(12月20日付・読売社説)

Paralysis of the nation’s nerve center in a major earthquake is a worst-case scenario that must be prevented.
 大震災で日本の中枢機能がマヒする最悪の事態を防がねばならない。

A panel of the government’s Central Disaster Management Council, which has been studying measures to deal with the aftermath of a major quake whose focus is directly below Tokyo, has compiled a report on the scale of a predicted temblor and the damage likely to be caused.
 首都直下地震の対策を検討してきた政府の中央防災会議の部会が、予想される地震の規模や、それによる被害予測をまとめた。

The predictions were made based on the assumption of a magnitude-7.3 earthquake occurring with its focus in southern central Tokyo. The panel has adopted this scenario because among the various quakes that might happen in Tokyo and its vicinity, there is a 70-percent possibility that a magnitude-7.3 quake will occur within 30 years and it would strike a direct blow to the nation’s nerve center.
 想定したのは、東京都心南部を震源とするマグニチュード7・3の地震だ。首都周辺で起き得る大地震のうち、今後30年間の発生確率が70%と高く、国の中枢を直撃する恐れがあるためという。

The anticipated earthquake would cause shaking at an intensity of upper 6 on the Japanese scale of seven in central Tokyo, even reaching 7 in some areas. In the worst case, 610,000 buildings and houses are predicted to collapse and be destroyed by fire, causing about 23,000 deaths.
 この地震では、震度6強の猛烈な揺れが都心部を襲う。一部地域は震度7になる。最悪の場合、建物61万棟が倒壊・炎上し、約2万3000人もの犠牲者が出る。

This reflects the fragility of a gigantic and overpopulated city. Countermeasures must be taken urgently.
 巨大過密都市の弱点を反映したものだ。対策は急務である。

Above all, fires are of serious concern. Fires are anticipated to break out in various places simultaneously and spread for about two days. It is feared that disaster victims will not be able to escape and will be engulfed by fire.
 特に火災は深刻だ。各所で同時多発し、延焼が2日程度続く。被災者が周囲を火に囲まれ、逃げられない事態も心配される。

Streets will be swamped with people who have lost their homes or are unable to return home. Major roads will become unusable due to the debris while railways and other transport networks will be disrupted.
 住宅を失ったり、帰宅できなくなったりした被災者で街はあふれる。がれきで主要道路は不通となり、鉄道など交通網が止まる。

Losses of power, water and telephone connections may continue for about a week.
 停電や電話の不通、断水が1週間程度も続くかもしれない。

Disruption of official functions

Of special concern is that the Diet, the Prime Minister’s Office and government offices will cease to function. If central coordination and control are lost, the damage will be compounded.
 懸念されるのは、国会や首相官邸、官庁街が機能不全になることだ。震災対応の司令塔が失われれば、被害は一層拡大しよう。

Moreover, if the nerve center for economic activities is destroyed, production and distribution will stagnate, with a major impact across the nation. Economic damage is estimated to total about ¥95 trillion.
 経済活動の中枢が壊滅すれば、生産や流通が滞り、全国に甚大な影響が及ぶ。経済被害の額は、約95兆円に上るという。

 政府や自治体はもちろん、企業や家庭で対策を講じたい。

If the percentage of buildings in Tokyo equipped with earthquake resistance measures is enhanced from the current 87 percent to 94 percent, the death toll would be halved, according to calculations by the panel.
 今回、中央防災会議の部会は、東京都内の建物の耐震化率が今の87%から94%に上昇すると、死者数は半減すると試算した。

Regarding fires, if earthquake-sensing breakers, which stop power supply immediately upon sensing a temblor, were installed in every household to reduce the likelihood of fire, it is said that the fire death toll would drop by 90 percent.
 火災についても、揺れを感知して電気を止める「感震ブレーカー」が全戸に普及し、初期消火できれば、焼死者は9割減るという。

The public and private sectors must cooperate in strengthening such immediately needed countermeasures.
 官民が連携し、こうした足元の対策を強化することが肝要だ。

The Cabinet Office, under which the disaster panel exists, has drafted a program to preserve government functions in the aftermath of a disaster, taking into account the panel’s compilation of disaster damage predictions.
 内閣府は、今回の被害想定に合わせ、政府の活動が震災時にも停滞しないようにする「事業継続計画」の素案をまとめた。

The program calls for quickly grasping the damage situation to begin rescue and relief activities. It also points out the need to disseminate accurate information both at home and abroad and make all-out efforts to carry out emergency measures on such priority issues as financial stability and public safety. It will be necessary to clarify the roles to be played by the government ministries and agencies concerned so that measures can be implemented without fail.
 被災状況の把握を急ぎ、救助救援を展開する。内外への正確な情報発信に努め、金融の安定、治安対策などの非常時優先業務に全力を挙げるという内容だ。関係府省の役割分担を明確にし、確実に実施できるよう備えるべきだ。

A special law was enacted last month to accelerate countermeasures against an earthquake centered directly below Tokyo. Areas will be designated based on the law to accelerate the reinforcement of sewerage and other infrastructure systems with the joint efforts of the central and local governments. Projects must be promoted steadily on a priority basis.
 対策の加速を図る首都直下地震対策特措法も先月、成立した。今後、下水道の補強などインフラ整備を急ぐ地域を指定し、政府と自治体が取り組むことになる。優先順位をつけ、着実に進めたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 20, 2013)
(2013年12月20日01時36分  読売新聞)

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猪瀬都知事辞職 東電病院問題にまで幕引くな

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 20, 2013
Inose’s resignation must not blur TEPCO hospital sell-off problem
猪瀬都知事辞職 東電病院問題にまで幕引くな(12月20日付・読売社説)

Naoki Inose’s announcement that he was stepping down as governor of Tokyo was inevitable, as the administration of the nation’s capital could not be run with a person at the helm who is mired in such enormous problems.
 あまりに多くの疑惑を抱えたままで、都政を担うことはできない。辞職は当然である。

Inose expressed on Thursday his intention to resign as head of the Tokyo metropolitan government over his acceptance of ¥50 million from scandal-hit Tokushukai, the operator of a major chain of medical facilities.
 東京都の猪瀬直樹知事が、医療グループ「徳洲会」側から現金5000万円を受け取っていた問題で、辞意を表明した。

In a news conference that day, Inose reiterated his assertion that the ¥50 million in question was a personal loan.
 猪瀬氏は記者会見し、5000万円は「個人的な借入金」だったと改めて主張した。

However, it is hard to reconcile this with the fact that the cash handover took place just ahead of Tokyo’s gubernatorial election in December 2012. The governor has the authority to approve the opening of new Tokushukai-run facilities, including hospitals, and can wield such powers as directing and supervising management.
 だが、現金が提供されたのは、都知事選を目前に控えた時期である。徳洲会が運営する病院などの施設に対し、知事には開設許可や指導監督の権限がある。

It was clear from the start that Inose’s assertion would not hold up. He gave the impression of being driven into a corner by his haphazard string of excuses.
 猪瀬氏の主張に無理があるのは、初めから分かりきっていた。場当たり的な弁明を繰り返した末に追い詰められた印象が強い。

His statements about his actions the day he received the cash and where it was kept thereafter were inconsistent.
 現金を受け取った日の行動や、その後の保管状況について、猪瀬氏は説明を二転三転させた。

Shortly before the announcement of his intention to resign, suspicions emerged that he may have lied during a session of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly about the sell-off of a hospital run by Tokyo Electric Power Co.
辞意表明の直前には、東京電力病院の売却を巡り、都議会で虚偽の答弁をした疑いも浮上していた。

It is on record that Inose pressed TEPCO to sell the Tokyo hospital in question at a general meeting of the utility’s shareholders in June last year, while serving as vice governor of Tokyo. The metropolitan government is TEPCO’s largest shareholder.
 猪瀬氏には副知事時代の昨年6月、都が筆頭株主だった東電の株主総会で、都内にある東電病院の売却を迫った経緯がある。

Pile of unresolved problems

Tokushukai participated in competitive bidding to take over the hospital, but had to withdraw its bid after it became subject to an investigation by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office’s special investigation squad over election irregularities.
徳洲会は東電病院の競争入札に参加したものの、東京地検特捜部の強制捜査を受けて辞退した。

Ahead of his declaration that he would run in the Tokyo gubernatorial contest in 2012, Inose met with former House of Representatives member Torao Tokuda, Tokushukai’s founder.
 出馬前に猪瀬氏は、徳洲会創業者の徳田虎雄元衆院議員と面会している。

In response to a question posed during the Dec. 6 metropolitan assembly session, Inose said he and Tokuda “did not say anything about the sell-off” of the TEPCO hospital. However, it subsequently emerged through the statements of people concerned that the two did exchange words about the sell-off.
都議会では、この時、「東電病院の売却は話題になっていない」と答弁したが、実際には話題に上っていたことが関係者の証言で明らかになった。

Are we to believe that the delivery of cash two weeks after the Inose-Tokuda talks was unrelated to the sale of the TEPCO hospital?
 2週間後の現金授受は、東電病院問題と関係がなかったのか。

Some of the documents about the hospital bid that the metropolitan government submitted to the metropolitan assembly at its request were entirely blacked out.
 都議会の要請で提出された東電病院の入札に関する都の資料には、全面を黒く塗り潰した文書も交じっていた。

We should emphasize that none of the suspected irregularities involving Inose has been resolved. He would be gravely mistaken if he believes that his accountability has been fulfilled simply by quitting the top post of the Tokyo government.
 疑惑は何一つ解明されていない。辞職で説明責任を免れると考えたとしたら、全くの見当違いである。

The special investigators of the Tokyo public prosecutors office must pull out all the stops to uncover the details of the ¥50 million cash handover from Tokushukai to Inose, in addition to the office’s investigations into the hospital chain’s alleged violations of the Public Offices Election Law.
徳洲会の公職選挙法違反事件を捜査してきた東京地検特捜部には、5000万円疑惑についても詳細な解明を求めたい。

After winning the Tokyo gubernatorial election with 4.34 million votes, a record high for a Tokyo governor, Inose’s methods of steering the metropolitan government became high-handed and self-centered, as shown by such acts as suddenly announcing new policies at news conferences without prior explanations to the metropolitan assembly.
 昨年12月の都知事選で史上最多の434万票を集めた猪瀬氏には、都議会への事前説明なしに新しい施策を発表するなど、強引な都政運営が目についた。

The way he placed a lopsidedly high priority on transmitting his own views via the Internet and other media, while being neglectful of building a relationship of mutual trust with the metropolitan assembly, which should have been of the greatest significance to him, diminished his character as a politician. This was made blatantly clear by his self-righteous responses to interpellations in the assembly over the dubious ¥50 million.
 ネットなどによる情報発信に偏り、肝心の議会との信頼関係構築に積極的でなかった姿は、政治家としての資質を欠いていたと言わざるをえない。それは今回の独善的な議会答弁にも表れていた。

The top post of the nation’s capital requires a person who can properly run a range of related organizations. This should be a key consideration in electing Inose’s successor.
 首都のかじ取り役には組織運営能力も不可欠だ。次の都知事選びの重要なポイントとなろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 20, 2013)
(2013年12月20日01時36分  読売新聞)

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2013年12月20日 (金)

การบ้านของสีฟ้าจัง

คู
ditch

งู
snake

ดู
view

ถูก
cheap

ฟูก
mattress

ผูก
bind

สูบ
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原子力規制委 独善性を排する改革が急務だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 19, 2013
NRA must urgently reform itself to eliminate self-righteous tendencies
原子力規制委 独善性を排する改革が急務だ(12月19日付・読売社説)

The Nuclear Regulation Authority is now being tested as to whether it is qualified to make fair, scientific judgments on the safety of nuclear facilities.
 原子力施設の安全性を科学的かつ公正に判断できる組織たり得るか、が問われている。

Japan’s nuclear regulatory panel has at long last started considering the creation of expert bodies as required under the NRA establishment law: a nuclear reactor safety examination committee, a nuclear fuel safety examination committee and a radiation council. These bodies are indispensable to making professional judgments.
 原子力規制委員会の設置法が定めている専門家組織について、規制委がようやく新設に向けた検討を始めた。
 この組織は、「原子炉安全専門審査会」「核燃料安全専門審査会」「放射線審議会」だ。専門的な判断に不可欠な組織である。

The regulatory panel had put off creating the three bodies. However, it has finally stirred itself to move after the Liberal Democratic Party criticized the NRA for disregarding the law. We urge the NRA to swiftly formalize the groups.
 規制委は設置を先送りしてきたが、自民党から「法の軽視だ」との批判を受け、重い腰を上げた。早期の設置を求めたい。

The authority is now concentrating its energy on safety inspections of idle nuclear reactors. However, among the five members of the NRA—Chairman Shunichi Tanaka and four commissioners—there is only one person with professional knowledge of nuclear reactors. Discussions on safety inspections have not been thoroughly carried out in an expert manner.
 規制委は現在、原子力発電所の安全審査に注力している。ところが、田中俊一委員長と委員4人の中で原子炉に詳しいのは1人しかいない。専門的な議論が尽くされているわけではない。

It is not unusual during discussions of the regulatory panel for members to say such things as, “I’m unversed regarding this problem,” or, “I’ll leave this to the commissioner, who has professional expertise.” Therefore, the opinions of whichever specific commissioner is in charge of a certain issue will be considerably reflected in the NRA’s final decisions.
 実際、規制委の議論でも「私は素人なので」「専門の委員にお任せする」というやりとりは珍しくない。最終判断には担当委員個人の考えが色濃く反映される。

A LDP task force for nuclear regulation has expressed concerns regarding the current situation. “Deliberations, which have to be conducted through discussions, are not being held,” one task force member said. Another said, “The safety examinations are not legally proper.”
 自民党の原子力規制プロジェクトチームは、こうした現状について、「合議制で行うべき検討ができていない」「安全審査が法的に適正でない」などと、安全確保への懸念を示している。

Their opinions are quite reasonable.
 もっともな指摘である。

Will expert organs function?

The law to establish the NRA was enacted in the form of a bill sponsored by lawmakers, led by the LDP, when the Democratic Party of Japan was at the helm of the government. The Japanese regulatory commission is modeled after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission of the United States, the country with the most nuclear power plants in the world.
 設置法は、民主党政権時代に自民党が中心となって議員立法で成立させた。規制委の体制は、原発大国である米国の原子力規制委員会をモデルとした。

The Secretariat of the Nuclear Regulation Authority and the three expert bodies will conduct technical examinations of reactors. Based on the results of their examinations, the authority will make final judgments from a comprehensive viewpoint. This must have been the original assumption about what would happen.
 規制委事務局である原子力規制庁と、専門家組織が技術的な検討を行う。これらを踏まえ、規制委が総合的に判断する。それが、本来の姿のはずだった。

Although the regulation authority has started to move toward establishing the professional bodies, we cannot help but doubt Chairman Tanaka’s stance. He has said, for example, “I don’t want [the bodies] to discuss safety standards,” expressing his intent that they will be barred from the authority’s basic functions.
 専門家組織の設置に向けて動き出したとは言え、田中委員長の姿勢には疑問を禁じ得ない。「規制基準まで議論してもらうつもりはない」などと述べ、規制委の根幹となる業務には関与させない意向を示している。

Can the expert bodies function properly in such a situation? Concerned voices have also been raised within the LDP over the fact that the selection of the members of the three expert bodies will probably take place in line with Tanaka’s wishes.
 これで、専門家組織は機能するだろうか。専門委員の人選についても、田中委員長の意向で進むことに、自民党内には懸念する声が上がっている。

The regulatory commission’s independence is guaranteed under the NRA establishment law. However, it should not be self-righteous or dogmatic.
 規制委は、設置法で独立性を保証されている。しかし、独善的であってはならない。

The LDP has proposed establishing a board of advisers within the government as a watchdog to prevent the NRA from being dogmatic. Plans have also surfaced to establish a committee in each Diet chamber to check the activities of the NRA.
 自民党は、規制委の独善を抑えるため、目付け役となる顧問会議を政府内に創設するよう提言している。国会にも、規制委の活動をチェックするための委員会を設ける案が出ている。

The LDP, which compiled the bill on the NRA establishment law, has a responsibility to revise the current status of the NRA through deliberations at the Diet, among other measures.
 規制委設置法をまとめた自民党には、国会審議などを通じ、規制委の現状を改める責任がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 19, 2013)
(2013年12月19日01時33分  読売新聞)

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イタイイタイ病 「全面解決」までの長い道のり

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 19, 2013
The long road to full settelment of itai-itai pollution disease cases
イタイイタイ病 「全面解決」までの長い道のり(12月19日付・読売社説)

As 45 years have passed since itai-itai disease was recognized by the state as a pollution-related disease, it was indeed a long journey for the issue to have been “fully resolved.”
 公害病と認定されてから45年、「全面解決」までの道のりは、あまりに長かった。

The case of itai-itai disease, an affliction caused by pollution in areas along the Jinzugawa river in Toyama Prefecture, reached its resolution when Mitsui Mining & Smelting Co.—the company that caused the pollution—and a victims group signed a compensation agreement on Tuesday. The company has also made a formal apology to the victims for the first time.
 富山県の神通川流域で発生したイタイイタイ病を巡り、被害者団体と原因企業の三井金属鉱業が被害者救済の合意書に調印した。三井金属鉱業は初めて正式に謝罪した。

The victims have grown old and many victims have died. It appears that the victims and the company responsible for the pollution have mutually conceded and reached a full settlement.
 被害者の高齢化が進む。他界した人も少なくない。被害者と原因企業が歩み寄り、全面解決を実現させたことを評価したい。

The main pillar of the agreement is that Mitsui Mining will pay a lump sum of ¥600,000 per person to those victims of the disease who were not recognized under the Environment Ministry’s criteria as victims of itai-itai disease and so were not eligible for compensation.
 環境省の基準でイタイイタイ病と認定されず、救済から漏れていた被害者に、三井金属鉱業が1人当たり60万円の一時金を支払うのが、合意書の柱だ。

Yet those victims recognized as sufferers by the state were entitled to receive ¥10 million per person.
 認定患者への賠償金1000万円とは大きな開きがある。

For victims who had sought to have their cases settled early, accepting the compensation proposal must have been a bitter decision.
早期解決を目指してきた被害者たちにとって、解決案の受け入れは苦渋の決断だったろう。

Eligible for the lump sum compensation will be those who meet certain criteria, including a degree of kidney dysfunction that is a symptom developed at a stage leading to itai-itai disease. Nearly 1,000 people are believed to be eligible to receive the payments.
 一時金は、イタイイタイ病の前段症状である腎機能低下の度合いなどで、条件を満たした人が対象となる。該当者は1000人近くに上るとみられる。

Mitsui Mining must compensate as many victims as possible.
 三井金属鉱業には、可能な限り多くの人を救済する姿勢で臨むことが求められる。

Recognition difficult

Itai-itai disease is considered to be one of Japan’s four major pollution-related diseases, along with Minamata disease in Kumamoto Prefecture, Minamata disease in Niigata Prefecture, and Yokkaichi asthma in Mie Prefecture.
 イタイイタイ病は、水俣病、新潟水俣病、四日市ぜんそくとともに4大公害病に数えられる。

As nephropathy patients suffered from brittle bones, they moaned in pain, crying “Itai, itai (It hurts, it hurts),” which is what gave the disease its name. It was recognized by the state as the country’s first pollution-related disease in 1968.
体の骨が折れやすくなり、患者が「痛い、痛い」と泣き叫んだことから、病名が付いた。1968年、日本初の公害病に認定された。

The disease was caused by cadmium, a heavy metal, discharged from the Kamioka mine in Gifu Prefecture. The pollutant spread through the consumption of rice and other things contaminated by cadmium in the river and harvested in the affected areas.
 原因は、神岡鉱業所(岐阜県)から排出された重金属のカドミウムだ。汚染流域で収穫されたコメなどを通じて被害が広がった。

Mitsui Mining has cleaned up the polluted soil, in addition to paying compensation to those recognized as victims. The cleanup of soil in the polluted farm land was completed last year.
 三井金属鉱業は、認定患者への賠償金支払いに加え、汚染地域の土壌改善などに取り組んできた。汚染された農地の復元事業は昨年、ようやく終了した。

Once pollution has been set off, it takes the polluter many years and hefty sums to provide relief measures to the victims and restore the environment—one lesson to be learned from itai-itai disease.
 いったん公害を引き起こすと、被害者救済や環境の回復に長い年月と多くの費用を要する。イタイイタイ病の教訓である。

It can be said the criteria for officially recognizing sufferers of pollution-related diseases, set by the ministry, has blocked many sufferers from receiving compensation in a timely manner. As many sufferers of itai-itai disease were not recognized as sufferers until their cases became so serious that they developed the bone-softening disorder osteomalacia, those with relatively milder cases were left neglected.
 環境省の患者認定基準が、早期の幅広い救済を阻んだと言えよう。重症化し、骨軟化症にならないと、イタイイタイ病と認定されないため、比較的、軽症の人が置き去りにされる結果となった。

Minamata disease is similar to itai-itai disease in that the ministry’s criteria for officially recognizing sufferers is rigid.
 認定のハードルが極めて高いという点では、水俣病も同様だ。

In April, the Supreme Court backed a lower court ruling that recognized a sufferer who was not recognized under the ministry’s criteria as a victim of Minamata disease. Lawsuits with sufferers of the disease seeking relief measures are still continuing in the country.
 最高裁は4月、環境省の基準で認定を退けられたケースについて、水俣病患者と認める判断を示した。被害者救済を巡る争いは、今なお続いている。

It is highly important, first and foremost, for sufferers of Minamata disease and others concerned with it to compromise.
 水俣病問題でも、被害者をはじめ、当事者同士の歩み寄りが何よりも求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 19, 2013)
(2013年12月19日01時33分  読売新聞)

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2013年12月19日 (木)

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国家安保戦略 日本守り抜く体制を構築せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 18, 2013
Build defensive system with clear policies under ‘proactive pacifism’
国家安保戦略 日本守り抜く体制を構築せよ(12月18日付・読売社説)

 ◆「積極的平和主義」の具体化が急務

Japan’s security environment situation has rapidly become precarious in recent years. It is therefore significant that the government laid down, for the first time, comprehensive and systematic guiding principles for maintaining peace and security in the East Asian region.
 日本の安全保障環境は近年、急速に悪化している。東アジアの平和と安全の確保へ、包括的かつ体系的な指針を初めて定めた意義は大きい。

The government has decided on its national security strategy, a historic set of guidelines that replaces the nation’s Basic Policy for National Defense adopted in 1957.
 政府が国家安全保障戦略を決定した。1957年の「国防の基本方針」に代わる歴史的文書だ。

The strategy was drawn up by the National Security Council—a Japanese version of the NSC of the United States—launched earlier this month.
 今月上旬に発足した国家安全保障会議(日本版NSC)が策定した。

It is historic that the government has put into process a motion to defend the national interest by marshaling the collective strength of the country, not only its defense capability but also its diplomatic, economic and technological capabilities.
防衛力だけでなく、外交・経済・技術力など国の総合力を駆使し、国益を守る道筋を描いたことは、画期的だと言える。

The strategy touts “proactive pacifism” as its principle, under which Japan will actively contribute to the peace and stability of the Asia and the broader international community.
 戦略は、国際社会とアジアの平和と安定に積極的に寄与するという「積極的平和主義」を基本理念に掲げている。

Defend national interests
 ◆NSC主導で国益守れ

North Korea has repeatedly taken provocative military actions by advancing its nuclear and missile development programs. Meanwhile, China has rapidly built up and modernized its own military capability, while attempting to change the status quo by force in areas near the Senkaku Islands by announcing a new air defense identification zone. We must also remain vigilant against international terrorism and cyber-attack threats.
 北朝鮮は核・ミサイル開発を進展させ、軍事的挑発を繰り返す。中国は軍備を急速に増強・近代化し、防空識別圏の設定など、尖閣諸島周辺で「力による現状変更」を試みている。国際テロやサイバー攻撃への警戒も怠れない。

It is difficult to singlehandedly maintain the security of our nation. By contributing to peace in the region and the global community, the situation in areas surrounding Japan will improve, and cooperation with other countries concerned, including the United States, will be strengthened. Such contributions will prove valuable for enhancing Japan’s security.
 日本単独で自国の安全を維持するのは難しい。世界と地域の平和に貢献することで、周辺情勢は改善され、米国など関係国との連携が強化される。日本の安全保障にも役立とう。

As long as Japan holds the position of a major player in the international community, it will have a say in drawing up various international rules, concerning, for instance, maritime activities and free trade.
 日本が国際社会の主要プレーヤーの地位にあれば、海洋活動や自由貿易など、様々な国際ルール作りで発言権を確保できる。

To this end, the promotion of the proactive pacifism will be key.
 そのために重要なのが、「積極的平和主義」の推進だ。

The strategy defines the peace and further prosperity of Japan as its national interests, while citing such challenges as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the rapid rise of China. It also defines strategic defense approaches, such as the formulation of the overall defense system and the reinforcement of the Japan-U.S. alliance.
 戦略は、日本の平和、更なる繁栄などを国益と定義し、大量破壊兵器の拡散、中国の台頭といった課題を列挙した。総合的な防衛体制の構築、日米同盟の強化などの戦略的アプローチも明示した。

It is critical that the NSC swiftly takes charge and reflects this strategy appropriately in concrete policies. Efforts must also be made to create a cycle in which the strategy can be changed in accord with fresh developments, enhancing and improving its content.
 NSCが主導し、この戦略を具体的な政策にきちんと反映させることが急務である。情勢の変化に応じて、戦略を修正し、より良い内容に高めていくサイクルを作り出す努力も欠かせない。

We are gratified that the strategy has referred to a policy of fostering respect for other countries and their people, in addition to love for this country and region.
 戦略が、安全保障の国内基盤を強化するため、国民が「諸外国に対する敬意を表し、我が国と郷土を愛する心を養う」方針に言及したのは前向きに評価できる。

Regarding new diplomatic and foreign policies, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he will clearly present them to the world and to its people.
 安倍首相は、新たな外交・安保政策について「国民、海外に対し透明性をもって示す」と語った。

It is important for Japan to give detailed explanations both at home and abroad to distinguish its diplomatic methods from the self-righteous methods of China.
中国の独善的な外交手法との違いを明確化するためにも、内外に丁寧な説明を行うことが大切だ。

Integrated defense capability
 ◆「統合機動防衛力」整備を

The new version of the National Defense Program Guidelines, which the Cabinet has adopted along with the national security strategy, embraces a concept termed “dynamic joint defense force.” The idea is derived from “dynamic defense power,” a concept framed in the current basic defense program, which was enforced in 2010. The new concept attaches great importance to managing the three arms of the Self-Defense Forces in a flexible and integrated manner.
 安保戦略と同時に閣議決定された新しい防衛大綱は、「統合機動防衛力」という概念を打ち出した。2010年策定の現大綱の「動的防衛力」を発展させたもので、機動力に加えて陸海空3自衛隊の一体運用を重視するという。

The government has good reason to rework its basic defense framework to shore up our nation’s preparedness to deal with “gray-zone situations” that fall between peace and an emergency, a task that must be complemented by efforts to secure both a qualitative and quantitative improvement in the country’s defense capability.
 平時と有事の中間にある「グレーゾーンの事態」への対処を強化し、防衛力の「質」と「量」の両方を確保する方向性は妥当だ。

Japan is witnessing new threats today, even though the end of the Cold War virtually eliminated the danger of foreign armed forces invading the nation. New dangers include the possibility of remote Japanese islands being occupied by other countries, as well as ballistic missile attacks and acts of terrorism. Improving Japan’s defense capacity not only qualitatively but quantitatively is essential to reinforce surveillance efforts aimed at maintaining command of its territorial waters and airspace.
 冷戦後、日本本土への着上陸侵攻の恐れはほぼ消滅したが、離島占拠、弾道ミサイル、テロなど、新たな脅威が出現している。警戒監視活動を強化し、制海・制空権を維持するには、「質」と同様、「量」も確保せねばならない。

It is reasonable that the new defense program guidelines call for an increase in SDF destroyers and fighter planes, after a continuous decline in numbers over the years. The government should quickly introduce Global Hawk surveillance drones while also increasing the number of SDF early-warning aircraft.
 新大綱が、減少が続いていた護衛艦や戦闘機の数を増加に転じさせたのは適切である。無人偵察機グローバルホークの導入や早期警戒機の増強を急ぎたい。

The latest defense framework emphasizes the need to better defend the territorial integrity of isolated islands. It entails the addition of Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft to the lineup of Ground Self-Defense Force equipment and creation of an amphibious rapid deployment brigade.
 新大綱は、離島防衛の強化に力点を置き、陸上自衛隊への新型輸送機オスプレイの導入や水陸両用部隊の新設を明記した。

To defend remote islands, the SDF must improve its ability to swiftly mobilize troops. It is essential for the SDF to carry out joint exercises with the U.S. forces under various scenarios, while also reexamining the appropriateness of current restrictions on the use of weapons by SDF personnel in gray-zone situations.
 離島防衛には、迅速に部隊を動かす機動力の向上が重要だ。様々なシナリオを想定し、米軍との共同訓練を重ねるとともに、グレーゾーンの事態における武器使用のあり方を検討する必要がある。

However, it is questionable whether the number of GSDF personnel should be increased by 5,000 from the current 154,000 as laid out in the new defense program guidelines.
 疑問なのは、陸自の定数を現大綱の15万4000人から5000人増やしたことである。

With the fiscal situation in dire straits, it is impossible to expect a large increase in defense budget appropriations. The nation’s defense capabilities should be improved in a manner that will allot funds where they are truly necessary and curtail appropriations where possible.  厳しい国家財政の下、防衛予算の大幅な伸びは期待できず、防衛力整備のメリハリが不可欠だ。

The new defense policy outline is correct in reducing the number of SDF tanks and firearms. Similar cuts should have been sought in areas of lower priority.
新大綱は、戦車・火砲を減らしたように、優先順位の低い分野は合理化すべきだった。

We feel that maintaining the current level of GSDF personnel in Hokkaido may be intended to help alleviate problems arising from the prefecture’s increasing depopulation.
北海道の陸自定数維持は過疎対策ではないか。

Right to collective self-defense
 ◆集団的自衛権を可能に

The new defense program guidelines state that the government will continue to study the advisability of possessing the capability to attack enemy ballistic missile bases and other facilities.
 敵の弾道ミサイル基地などを攻撃する能力の保有については、検討を継続することになった。

It is imperative for the government to hold in-depth discussions about what kind of ability this country should develop to complement the Japan-U.S. alliance, instead of unilaterally carrying out such a strike.
 日本単独で攻撃するのでなく、日米同盟を補完するにはどんな能力を持つのが効果的か、しっかり議論を深めることが肝要だ。

Another task that must be fulfilled is reconsidering the government’s current stance on the interpretation of the right to collective self-defense under the Constitution.
 集団的自衛権の憲法解釈の見直しも、残された課題である。

The government’s official view on the issue must be reversed to make it possible for the nation to exercise that right in the event of an armed attack, when it comes to carrying out what the new basic defense framework terms as “proactive contribution to peace” and shoring up the bilateral alliance.
 「積極的平和主義」の具体化や日米同盟の強化には、集団的自衛権の行使を可能にすることが必要だ。

To arrive at a conclusion on the matter after next year’s ordinary Diet session ends, the Abe administration should start coordinating its opinions in discussions with key players who are cautious about Japan exercising the right, namely New Komeito—the junior partner in the Liberal Democratic Party-led ruling coalition—and the Cabinet Legislation Bureau.
来年の通常国会閉幕後に結論を出せるよう、安倍政権は、行使に慎重な公明党や内閣法制局との調整に入るべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 18, 2013)
(2013年12月18日01時36分  読売新聞)

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2013年12月18日 (水)

張成沢氏処刑 失政への不満封じる恐怖政治

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 17, 2013
North Korea’s reign of terror aimed at containing people’s frustrations
張成沢氏処刑 失政への不満封じる恐怖政治(12月17日付・読売社説)

The latest developments in North Korea indicate that the country has become even more unstable since former leader Kim Jong Il died two years ago.
 金正日総書記の死から2年を経て、北朝鮮は一段と不安定化しているということだろう。

Jang Song Thaek, vice chairman of the National Defense Commission who was regarded as the No. 2 man in the Kim Jong Un regime, was sentenced to death for allegedly trying to take power by staging a military coup. He was executed the same day, just four days after he was ousted from all his posts and expelled from the Workers’ Party of Korea.
 金正恩政権のナンバー2と目されていた張成沢国防委員会副委員長が、解任・党除名処分の4日後、クーデター目的の国家転覆陰謀行為を働いたなどとして死刑判決を言い渡され、即刻処刑された。

These developments illustrate the coldhearted nature of Kim—the ruling party’s first secretary—who is trying to strengthen his dictatorship through a reign of terror that included liquidating his uncle, in the apparent belief that without doing so he would not be able to maintain control of the country.
 自身の叔父すら抹殺する「恐怖政治」で独裁体制の強化を図ろうとする金正恩第1書記の冷酷な本性と、そうでもせねば国内を統制できないとの危機感の表れだ。

North Korea’s state-run media reported the sentence, handed down at a special military court of the State Security Department—the country’s secret police—accusing Jang of attempting to bring about the collapse of the country’s economy and people’s livelihoods. It also said that if the state was driven to the verge of collapse, Jang believed he could grab the reins of power.
 国営メディアは、秘密警察・国家安全保衛部の特別軍事法廷の判決文を伝え、「国の経済と人民生活を破局に追い込もうとした」と張氏を糾弾した。国家が崩壊寸前になれば、政権簒奪(さんだつ)に成功するとの打算があったとしている。

Jang was accused in court of a diverse range of crimes, including an act of treason by cheaply selling off the country’s land with a 50-year lease to a foreign country—land in a special economic and trade zone in Rason near its borders with China and Russia—and triggering tremendous economic confusion with the redenomination of the currency four years ago.
 挙げられた罪状は、中露との国境に位置する羅先経済貿易地帯の土地を「50年期限で外国に売り飛ばす売国行為」や、4年前のデノミによる「途方もない経済的混乱の惹(じゃっ)起(き)」など多岐にわたる。

To what extent these accusations are true is not known. But the issuance of this statement itself is tantamount to North Korea admitting there are cracks in the regime and economic maladministration. Kim’s regime may be trying to lay all the responsibility on Jang to justify its legitimacy.
 どこまで事実か疑わしいが、こうした発表自体が体制内の亀裂と経済失政を自認したに等しい。全責任を張氏になすりつけ、政権の正当化を図る狙いではないか。

North Korea, which is reinforcing its state control at home, may adopt a policy of external provocations.
 国内統制を強める北朝鮮は、対外的には挑発路線に一層傾斜する可能性がある。

There are strong fears that the country may flaunt its nuclear deterrent by conducting its fourth nuclear test and fire yet another missile under the guise of launching an artificial satellite.
核抑止力の誇示へ、4回目の核実験や、「人工衛星打ち上げ」と称するミサイル発射に踏み切ることへの懸念は強い。

Nuclear missile development

In this respect, it has been learned through analyses of satellite photos that North Korea has restarted a plutonium reactor, while moving ahead with improving nuclear test and missile launch sites. The international community must pay close attention to such developments and cooperate to deal with them.
 事実、プルトニウム生産炉の運転再開や、核実験場、ミサイル発射場の整備を進める様子が衛星写真の分析で判明している。国際社会は、今後の動向を鋭意注視し、連携して対応せねばならない。

Now that Jang has been removed from the scene, Kim apparently intends to carry out economic activities under the Cabinet-led leadership.
 張氏の勢力一掃後、金第1書記は、内閣主導の名の下で、経済活動を展開する意向のようだ。

There are no signs of the country changing its policy of pursuing, in parallel, both economic reconstruction and the strengthening of its nuclear capability.
 経済再建と核戦力強化の二兎(にと)を追う「並進路線」を変える兆しは見られない。

As long as North Korea continues to pursue nuclear and missile development, international economic sanctions against the country will not be relaxed. The country will not be successful in wooing any foreign investment or foreign tourists.
 だが、核・ミサイル開発を続ける限り、北朝鮮への経済制裁は緩和されない。外国からの投資や観光客誘致の成果は上がるまい。

The North Korean people’s frustration will grow as economic hardships continue. The danger of the country collapsing from within is growing.
 経済の困窮によって、国民の不満は高まる。内部から崩壊に向かうリスクは増すばかりだ。

In its efforts to develop the northeastern part of China by helping stabilize North Korea, Beijing has been urging Pyongyang to carry out reforms and open its market. The execution of Jang, who had assumed the pivotal role in this scheme, is probably a major blow to China’s influence.
 中国は、北朝鮮を安定化させて中国東北部の開発につなげようと、改革・開放を促してきた。その中心人物でもあった張氏の処刑は、大きな誤算だろう。

The destabilization of a despotic state developing nuclear weapons could lead to the outbreak of domestic turmoil. This is an important phase when Japan should prepare itself for any emergency by firmly maintaining the Japan-U.S. alliance and reinforcing its defense capability.
 核武装する独裁国家の不安定化は、内乱など暴発の危険を伴う。日米同盟を堅持し、防衛力を強化して備えるべき重要な局面だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 17, 2013)
(2013年12月17日01時35分  読売新聞)

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猪瀬氏と5000万 説明と規範意識が足りない

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 17, 2013
Inose’s explanations of Tokushukai cash lack coherence, common sense
猪瀬氏と5000万 説明と規範意識が足りない(12月17日付・読売社説)

How long will Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose repeat his totally unconvincing explanations? Distrust in him has been growing steadily.
 到底、納得できない釈明を、いつまで繰り返すのか。東京都の猪瀬直樹知事に対する不信感は増すばかりである。

The Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly resumed intensive deliberations Monday on the issue of Inose’s acceptance of ¥50 million from the scandal-tainted medical group Tokushukai.
 猪瀬氏が医療グループ「徳洲会」側から5000万円を受け取っていた問題で、都議会が集中審議を再開した。

The assembly was closed last week, but suspicions swirling around him have increased as he answered interpellations while the assembly was in session. Given this, the assembly’s resumption of intensive deliberations on the matter was inevitable.
 都議会は先週で閉会したが、会期中の猪瀬氏の答弁で疑惑は一層深まった。それを考えれば、当然の対応である。

At issue in Monday’s session was how the ¥50 million in cash had been kept. Inose had claimed he “kept it in a rented safe-deposit box and never touched it,” but he changed his explanations during the session, saying the cash was transferred in May from the box in Tokyo’s Minato Ward to a rental safe-deposit box in Machida, western Tokyo, near his home.
 この日の審議で問題とされたのが、5000万円の保管状況だ。猪瀬氏は「貸金庫に入れて一切、手を触れなかった」と主張してきたが、実は5月に最初の貸金庫から自宅近くの別の貸金庫に現金を移していた、と説明を翻した。

Inose explained that he had transferred the cash in a bid “to return the money promptly.” But his explanations are unconvincing. Why didn’t he say this from the very beginning?
 猪瀬氏は「すぐに返せる状態にしようと思った」と弁明したものの、説得力を欠く。なぜ最初から、そう説明しなかったのか。

He had consistently asserted that the money was “borrowed for personal use.” He stressed that he told only his wife about the money “because it was for personal use.”
 猪瀬氏は「個人的な借入金だった」という主張を変えていない。5000万円受領に関し、「個人の借り入れなので妻以外には伝えなかった」とも強調してきた。

On the other hand, he changed his earlier explanations that he went straight home after receiving the cash from House of Representatives member Takeshi Tokuda at a lower house members office building. It has since been revealed, however, that in fact he briefly visited his office before going home.
 一方で、徳田毅衆院議員から議員会館で現金を受け取った後、そのまま自宅に戻ったとの答弁は変遷している。実際には、自分の事務所に立ち寄ってから帰宅していたことが明らかになった。

Did he keep his secretaries at the office in the dark about the receipt of the ¥50 million?
 事務所では、秘書らに5000万円受領の事実を一切、伏せていたのだろうか。

Governance affected

It was also disclosed that when Inose’s special secretary returned the cash to the Tokushukai group in September, he used a metropolitan government-owned vehicle. The use of such a car obviously runs counter to Inose’s stance of stressing the importance for differentiating between private and public matters.
 猪瀬氏の特別秘書が9月に徳洲会側に現金を返却した際、公用車を使っていたことも判明した。公私の区別を強調する姿勢と公用車の使用は、明らかに矛盾する。

Inose’s campaign office for last year’s Tokyo gubernatorial election is suspected to have included inadequate records in its report on expenses for campaigning. In answer to a question by an assemblyman, Inose said the matter “should be referred to the secretary.” This answer will not convince voters.
 都知事選で猪瀬陣営が作成した選挙運動費用収支報告書に、不適切な記載があった疑いもある。「秘書に聞いてほしい」という答弁では、有権者は納得しまい。

Delays in implementing metropolitan government policies due to this matter are a cause of concern.
 都政の停滞が懸念される。

Inose had mentioned that the president of the organizing committee for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and Paralympics would be “decided by the end of this year.” But because he has been busy answering questions on his money scandal in the assembly, his meeting on the matter with Olympics minister Hakubun Shimomura has yet to happen.
 2020年東京五輪・パラリンピックの運営主体となる大会組織委員会の理事長人事について、猪瀬氏は「年内に決める」と明言していた。だが、議会対応に追われ、下村五輪相との協議はいまだに実現していないという。

The governor’s assessment of the metropolitan budget for the new fiscal year is scheduled for early next year. Despite this, Inose could not set aside time to hear explanations on budget plans from key metropolitan government officials.
 年明けには、都の新年度予算案に対する知事の査定が控える。それにもかかわらず、都幹部から予算案に関する説明を受ける時間さえ、なかなか割けていない。

Assembly members from all groups, with the exception of those belonging to the Liberal Democratic Party—the largest group in the assembly—have called for Inose to resign.
 都議会では、最大会派の自民党以外の各会派の議員から、辞職を促す声が上がっている。

If Inose insists on staying at the helm of the metropolitan government, he must fulfill his responsibility to explicitly explain the issue of the ¥50 million.
 猪瀬氏が引き続き都政のかじ取りを担うと言うのなら、5000万円問題の説明責任をきちんと果たすことが先決である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 17, 2013)
(2013年12月17日01時35分  読売新聞)

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2013年12月17日 (火)

福島汚染水対策 浄化後の海洋放出は不可避だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 16, 2013
Release of water into sea inevitable after purification at Fukushima plant
福島汚染水対策 浄化後の海洋放出は不可避だ(12月16日付・読売社説)

It is imperative to speed up efforts to contain contaminated water at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所の汚染水封じ込めへ、取り組みを加速する必要がある。

A government panel on measures to dispose of contaminated water at the crippled nuclear complex has compiled a set of additional steps aimed at reducing radioactive water collecting there and preventing the water from leaking into the environment.
 政府の汚染水処理対策委員会が、汚染水発生を減らし、漏出を防ぐための追加対策をまとめた。

The source of the contaminated water is groundwater entering the crippled reactor buildings.
 汚染水の元は、壊れた原発建屋に流れ込んだ地下水だ。

According to an analysis by the panel, the groundwater stems from the precipitation of rainwater in the compound of the nuclear plant that sinks into the ground.
対策委の分析によると、この地下水は、原発敷地内に降った雨水が地中に浸透したものとみられる。

To prevent this, the panel proposed paving the compound with asphalt. This would likely result in significantly reducing the volume of contaminated water, which is said to amount to an estimated 400 tons a day.
 浸透防止のため、敷地を舗装するのが追加対策の柱だ。1日約400トンに上る汚染水の発生が、大幅に減ることが期待される。

The government has been in lockstep with TEPCO in a project to create as early as possible “frozen-soil underground water shields” to surround the damaged reactor buildings to prevent groundwater from entering the buildings. Given that the project has never been attempted anywhere else, the risk of the project encountering difficulties cannot be ruled out. Besides the additional measures, it is essential to take many other steps to prepare for unforeseen eventualities.
 政府と東電は原発建屋への地下水流入を防ぐ「凍土遮水壁」設置も急いでいるが、前例のない工事だけに、トラブルも起き得る。追加対策と併せ、二重三重の手立てを講じるのは重要なことだ。

The government panel report has also recommended improving the safety of tanks storing contaminated water in the plant’s compound, such as by doubling the tanks’ walls.
 対策委は、汚染水を貯蔵している敷地内のタンクの壁を二重にするなど、安全強化も求めた。

The tanks’ major weakness is their bolted joints. In one incident, contaminated water leaked through the joints and there is possibility of the water having flowed to some extent into the sea along trenches in the basements of the reactor buildings.
 現在のタンクは接合部が緩いといった欠点がある。接合部から汚染水が漏れ出す事故もあった。漏れた汚染水が排水溝伝いに海へ流出した可能性もある。

Tritium no danger

Although little radioactivity has been detected in seawater in the vicinity of the Fukushima plant, the additional measures worked out by the panel must be steadily put into practice to help alleviate local residents’ uneasiness.
 原発周辺の海で放射能はほとんど検出されていないとはいえ、地元の不安軽減のため、追加対策を着実に実行すべきだ。

The problem, however, is that these measures, even if fully implemented, will not be able to reduce the generation of contaminated water to zero.
 問題は、対策を施しても汚染水の発生はゼロにならない点だ。

The volume of contaminated water currently stored already amounts to nearly 400,000 tons. There are about 1,000 tanks, and the Fukushima plant could run out of space for building new tanks in two or three years.
貯蔵中の汚染水は既に40万トン近い。タンクは約1000基に及び、2~3年で設置場所がなくなる。

Should the tanks be destroyed because of a calamity such as a strong earthquake, there is a danger that a large quantity of contaminated water could spill from them, like the collapse of a dam.
 地震などでタンクが連鎖的に壊れれば、ダムの決壊のように、大量の汚染水が流出しかねない。

Many experts at home and abroad have called for purifying contaminated water before it is released into the sea. The government panel, however, has described the release of water after purification as a “task to be addressed from now on,” stopping short of saying anything of substance, but it did suggest that the task should be discussed by a separate group of experts.
 国内外の専門家の多くは、汚染水を浄化して海に放出するよう提言している。しかし、対策委は放出を「今後の課題」とし、別の専門家チームを設けて検討するよう求めるにとどまった。

Postponement of this problem is the same as leaving it unaddressed.
 懸案の先送りでは、リスクを放置しているのと変わるまい。

The upgraded water treatment machine operated by TEPCO could remove most of the radioactive isotopes. Tritium, a hydrogen isotope, is the exception.
 東電が運転中の放射能除去装置を使えば、水素の一形態であるトリチウム以外の放射性物質は、ほぼ取り除くことができる。

Tritium is generated during nuclear reactor operations. Other Japanese nuclear plants, as well as those in other countries utilizing nuclear power, including South Korea, have released tritium into the sea.
 トリチウムは通常の原発運転でも発生する。国内の他の原発や、韓国など原発利用国は海に放出している。

This is because tritium, with a property similar to hydrogen, is diffused immediately after the release, with no fear of it accumulating in fish and other living things.
水素と同じ性質なので、放出後すぐに拡散し、魚など生物に蓄積する恐れもないからだ。

Since the risk of tritium is not high, the European Union has yet to set safety standards concerning tritium emissions.
 リスクが高くないため、欧州連合(EU)は排出基準すら設けていない。

As Japan has established a certain level of emission concentration standards, there seems to be no problem with releasing tritium based on these standards.
日本は一定の排出濃度基準を定めており、それに基づく放出であれば、問題ないのではないか。

There should be in-depth exchanges of views on resolving the contaminated water problem.
汚染水問題の抜本解決のため、前向きの議論を求めたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 16, 2013)
(2013年12月16日01時22分  読売新聞)

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武器輸出新原則 防衛産業維持にも目を向けよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 16, 2013
Govt must consider how to maintain defense industry, production base
武器輸出新原則 防衛産業維持にも目を向けよ(12月16日付・読売社説)

Japan should reinforce its international cooperation in the area of defense equipment and maintain its defense technology and production base as national security priorities.
 防衛装備面での国際連携を強化し、日本の防衛生産・技術基盤を維持するという安全保障の観点を最重視すべきだ。

The government and ruling parties have started drastically reviewing the three principles on arms exports and drawing up new rules on arms exports.
 政府・与党が、武器輸出3原則を抜本的に見直し、新たな武器輸出の原則を策定する作業を開始した。

The three principles, confirmed in 1967 by the administration of then Prime Minister Eisaku Sato, prohibit Japan from exporting arms to countries in the Communist bloc, countries to which arms exports are banned by U.N. resolutions and countries involved in conflict.
 3原則は、1967年に佐藤内閣が共産圏諸国、国連決議による武器禁輸国、紛争当事国向けの武器輸出を禁止したものだ。

In 1976, the administration under then Prime Minister Takeo Miki went so far as to effectively ban all such exports, saying the nation must refrain from exporting arms to even countries not subject to the three principles.
76年に三木内閣が3原則の対象国以外への輸出も慎むとして、事実上の全面禁輸に踏み込んだ。

Since 1983, however, the government had made one exception after another to the principles, as confirmed in informal remarks made by chief cabinet secretaries, providing the United States with weapons technology, exporting mine detectors and patrol vessels for peace-building efforts and jointly developing and producing missile defense equipment with other countries.
 83年以降、武器技術の対米供与、地雷探知機、巡視船など平和貢献目的の輸出や、ミサイル防衛の国際共同開発・生産について、官房長官談話で次々と例外を設けてきた。

As a result, the whole system has become extremely complex and hard to understand.
その結果、極めて複雑で、分かりづらい制度となっている。

This time, the administration under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to end the total ban and to narrow the list of countries subject to export restrictions, while at the same time making the whole system more consistent. Such efforts to meet the needs of the times are appropriate.
 安倍政権が今回、全面禁輸はやめて、禁輸対象国を絞り込むとともに、全体を整合性ある仕組みにするのは、時代の要請に応じたものであり、妥当である。

Enhance national security

The important thing is to create a standard that will enhance Japan’s national security.
 重要なのは、日本の安全保障に役立つ基準を作ることだ。

In light of the recent military developments in China and North Korea, the international situation surrounding Japan has become ever harsher.
 中国や北朝鮮の最近の軍事動向を踏まえれば、日本の国際情勢は厳しさを増している。

Expanding cooperation in the area of defense equipment with such countries as the United States, an ally of Japan, European countries and Australia will stimulate the improvement of Japan’s defense technology and the reinforcement of international cooperation, thus contributing to the peace and security of Japan.
 同盟国の米国や、欧州諸国、豪州などとの装備面の協力を拡大することは、日本の防衛技術の向上や国際連携の強化を促し、日本の平和と安全に寄与しよう。

It is important to expand international cooperation by making it possible for Japan to export finished products, and parts and components of arms, in addition to joint development and production of arms with other countries.
 武器の国際共同開発・生産に加えて、武器の完成品や部品の輸出も可能にすることで、国際協力を拡大することが大切である。

It is also necessary to establish procedures appropriately to prevent the arms from being transferred to a third country and to tighten export controls on general-purpose parts that can be used either militarily or commercially.
 無論、武器の第三国移転を防止する手続きや、武器に転用されかねない汎用品の輸出管理を厳格化するなどの「歯止め」措置も適切に定める必要がある。

The government and ruling parties must discuss these issues properly and work out a conclusion soon.
 政府・与党できちんと議論し、早期に結論を出すべきだ。

It must be kept in mind that because the government’s defense budgets were cut back for 10 years in a row up to fiscal 2012, Japan’s defense technology and domestic production base has been undermined.
 留意すべきは、昨年度まで10年連続で防衛予算が削減されたことで、日本の防衛生産・技術基盤が揺らぎ始めていることだ。

In the past 10 years, nearly 90 private companies have pulled out of the defense industry, making it hard in some areas to secure technicians with specific skills.
 ここ10年で90社近くの民間企業が防衛分野から撤収し、一部では特殊な熟練技術者の確保が困難になりつつある。

As tanks, destroyers and fighter planes become ever more technologically advanced, the unit price of the equipment rises. Repair and maintenance costs for the equipment have also been rising. As a result, the government has no choice but to reduce the amount of such equipment procured, putting a strain on the management of companies in the defense industry.
 戦車や護衛艦、戦闘機の高性能化に伴い、装備の単価は上昇する。装備品の修理や整備費も増えている。その結果、装備の調達数を減らさざるを得なくなり、防衛産業の経営を圧迫している。

The decline in the nation’s defense technology and its production base will directly lead to the decline in the nation’s overall defense capability. The government needs to discuss ways to maintain and foster the nation’s defense industry in earnest under the constraint of limited defense spending.
 防衛生産・技術基盤の衰退は、国家の総合的な防衛力の低下に直結する。政府は、限られた予算で防衛産業を維持・育成する方策を真剣に検討する必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 16, 2013)
(2013年12月16日01時22分  読売新聞)

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2013年12月16日 (月)

教育委員会改革 首長の暴走食い止められるか

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 15, 2013
Board of education reform could lead to abuse of power by local govt heads
教育委員会改革 首長の暴走食い止められるか(12月15日付・読売社説)

In a move that could lead to far-reaching changes in education administration by local entities, the Central Council for Education, an advisory panel, has submitted recommendations to Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Minister Hakubun Shimomura.
 自治体の教育行政の在り方に、大きな転換を迫る内容である。
 中央教育審議会が、教育委員会制度改革に関する答申をまとめ、下村文部科学相に提出した。

The most conspicuous among the recommendations is that the panel favors transferring final authority on educational matters to local government heads from boards of education, while redefining the status of school superintendents, to be appointed by municipal heads to serve as their subordinates, as chief officials in charge of administrative work.
 教育行政の最終権限者を教育委員会から自治体の首長に移し、首長の任命する教育長を事務執行責任者と位置付けたのが特徴だ。

The proposed revamping of education administration comes in the wake of increasing criticism that the existing board of education system, under which decision-making is made through mutual consent among board members—part-time officials selected from among experts in local entities—fails to determine where the responsibility for decisions lies.
 地方の有識者など非常勤の教育委員が合議で意思決定する現行の教委制度は、責任の所在があいまいだと批判されてきた。

It also has been claimed that boards of education often fail to act swiftly when confronted by a serious situation, such as the case of a middle school boy in Otsu who committed suicide in 2011 because of bullying.
大津市のいじめ自殺事件で露呈したように、重大案件に対し迅速な対応がとれないという指摘もあった。

The panel’s recommendations are timely as they are intended to improve the ability of local entities to cope with various problems occurring at schools by giving municipality heads and full-time school superintendents both the authority and responsibility.
 権限と責任を、首長と常勤の教育長のラインに集中させることにより、教育現場で起きる様々な問題への対処能力を高めようという狙いは理解できる。

If the recommendations are put into practice, boards of education, which are currently independent, will be placed under the direction of local government heads, so board members can engage in discussions about broad education policies laid down by those local government heads.
 答申通りになれば、首長から独立していた教委は、首長の付属機関に性格を変え、首長が定める大きな教育方針の審議にあたる。

At present, boards of education are spending far too much time doing perfunctory jobs such as dealing with education personnel affairs by holding meetings two or more times a month.
 現在の教委は、月2回程度の会議で教職員人事など形式的な決裁に時間を割いている。

Advisories nonbinding

If the subjects of discussion are narrowed down to such key matters as leading education principles, boards of education will be able to hold in-depth deliberations about what local entities should pursue.
審議対象を教育方針など重要案件に絞れば、地域で目指す教育の姿をじっくり議論することが可能になろう。

However, there is a danger that the powers wielded by municipal heads could become too strong, jeopardizing the principle of political neutrality of education administration.
 問題は、首長の権限が強くなり過ぎ、教育行政の政治的中立性が損なわれないかということだ。

During discussions by the advisory panel, a number of members warned of this risk.
 中教審の審議過程でも、複数の委員から首長が“暴走”する危険性を指摘する意見が出された。

To prevent municipal heads from acting arbitrarily on their own authority, the council’s recommendations have limited the scope of directions from local government heads to school superintendents to special circumstances requiring urgent action, such as dealing with serious cases of bullying.
 答申が、首長から教育長への指示を、深刻ないじめ問題への対応など、緊急性を要する特別の場合に限定したのは、首長の独断専行を防ぐためと言える。

Boards of education to be created in line with the recommendations would be in charge of checking and evaluating the enforcement of education administration by local government heads and school superintendents, and issue advisories when necessary.
 新たな教育委員会には、首長や教育長の事務執行を点検・評価する機能を与え、問題があれば、首長に対して改善を求める勧告を出せるようにもした。

The panel’s recommendations, however, fall short of giving the advisories any binding power. For example, in the event of a local government head arbitrarily setting education measures that have not been scrupulously studied, in an irresponsible attempt to secure reelection, it is questionable whether a board of education would be able to stop this.
 ただ、答申は教委の勧告に拘束力を持たせていない。仮に、首長が選挙を意識したパフォーマンスで、十分に検討していない施策を強引に推し進めようとした場合、教委がブレーキ役を果たせるかどうかについては疑問が残る。

Should educational goals and a policy of adopting certain school textbooks be changed every time a new local government head is elected, there is a risk of school education being plunged into total confusion.
 首長が選挙で交代するたびに、教育の目標や教科書採択の方針が変わることになれば、教育現場に混乱を招きかねない。

Having received the panel’s recommendations, the education ministry is scheduled to submit a bill for the revision of the Local Education Administration Law to the ordinary Diet session to be convened next month.
 文科省は答申を受けて、来年の通常国会に地方教育行政法の改正案を提出する方針だ。

New Komeito, the coalition partner of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, is wary of strengthening the powers of local government heads.
だが、与党の公明党は、首長の権限強化に難色を示している。

Many tasks need further study, such as how to create a new framework to ensure stability and continuity of education administration.
 教育行政の安定性や継続性を担保する仕組み作りなど、さらに検討を要する課題は多い。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 15, 2013)
(2013年12月15日01時25分  読売新聞)

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日・ASEAN 海と空で対中連携が強まった

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 15, 2013
Japan, ASEAN strengthen ties in bid to counter China in air and at sea
日・ASEAN 海と空で対中連携が強まった(12月15日付・読売社説)

In a success in his Southeast Asian diplomacy, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe saw a summit meeting of Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations agree to jointly urge China to abide by international rules.
 中国が国際ルールを順守するよう、連携して働きかけることについては認識を共有できた。安倍首相の東南アジア外交の成果と言える。

At a special summit meeting among Japan and 10 ASEAN nations held in Tokyo, the leaders adopted a joint statement saying it is important to ensure the safety of seas and the freedom of navigation as well as to resolve conflicts in accordance with the “universally recognized principles of international laws.”
 日本と東南アジア諸国連合(ASEAN)10か国の首脳らが参加した特別首脳会議が東京で開催され、海上の安全、航行の自由及び、国際法の原則に基づく紛争解決などの重要性をうたった共同声明を採択した。

The statement clearly stated the nations will cooperate to ensure the “freedom of overflight” and “civil aviation safety” in air zones over the high seas—with China’s air defense identification zone in mind, although it did not specifically refer to China.
 名指しは避けたものの、中国の防空識別圏設定を念頭に、公海上空での「飛行の自由」や「民間航空の安全」を確保するため、協力する方針も明記された。

Some Southeast Asian nations, such as Cambodia and Laos, have close ties with China. Nonetheless, it was significant that Japan and the ASEAN member nations issued the joint statement with the aim of holding China in check, which has heightened tensions not only on the seas but also in the air.
 東南アジアにはカンボジアやラオスなど中国と結びつきが強い国もある。だが、海のみならず、空でも緊張を高める中国を牽制(けんせい)する上で、日本とASEAN各国が共同声明を出した意義は大きい。

Without consulting with its neighbors, China unilaterally set its ADIZ over the East China Sea and threatened to adopt “emergency defensive measures” by the Chinese military against any aircraft that refuses to obey its instructions. It also hinted at setting another ADIZ over the South China Sea.
 中国は周辺国と協議せずに一方的に東シナ海に識別圏を設け、全ての航空機を対象に、指示に従わなければ中国軍による緊急措置を取ると威嚇した。南シナ海での識別圏設定も示唆している。

“Without free ocean and air [navigation], we can’t expect to have active trade,” Abe stressed at a press conference.
 安倍首相は、記者会見で「自由な海や空がなければ、活発な貿易は期待できない」と強調した。

‘Proactive pacifism’

During his separate meetings with the ASEAN leaders and during the summit sessions, Abe said Japan will contribute to regional stability based on “proactive pacifism” and proposed holding a meeting of defense ministers from Japan and the ASEAN members.
 首脳会議や各国首脳との個別会談では、「積極的平和主義」に基づき、地域の安定に貢献すると表明し、日本とASEAN各国との防衛相会合も呼びかけた。

It is imperative for Japan to deepen cooperative security ties with the ASEAN countries to deal with China and North Korea.
 中国や北朝鮮と向き合うためには、東南アジア諸国と安全保障での協力を深める必要がある。

ASEAN and China are considering setting legally binding codes of conduct in the South China Sea, where they have prolonged territorial disputes, but Beijing is reluctant to accept such codes. Japan should cooperate with the United States in backing ASEAN efforts to conclude an early agreement on codes of conduct with China.
 ASEANと中国は、領有権争いの続く南シナ海での行動を法的に拘束する「行動規範」を検討中だが、中国は消極的だ。早期策定に向けて、日本は米国と連携し、ASEANを後押ししなければならない。

During the special summit meeting, participants also made progress in the area of economic cooperation. They broadly agreed in the two fields of investment and service in negotiations for a Japan-ASEAN economic partnership agreement.
 特別首脳会議では経済面での協力も前進した。日・ASEANの経済連携協定交渉が、投資とサービスの2分野でほぼ合意した。

Abe expressed Japan’s support for an economic community ASEAN aims to create by the end of 2015 and pledged to actively provide official development assistance to the body.
 安倍首相は、2015年をめどとするASEANの経済共同体設立を支援する意向を表明し、政府開発援助(ODA)供与も積極的に進めると約束した。

Absorbing the vigor of rapidly growing Southeast Asia will provide a springboard for Japan’s economic growth.
 成長著しい東南アジアの活力を取り込むことが、日本の経済成長にも弾みとなる。

The leaders also formulated a mid- and long-term plan for cooperation not only in political and economic fields but also in the area of antidisaster measures. They also plan to have more active exchanges in culture, arts, tourism and sports.
 特別首脳会議で中長期ビジョンもまとまった。政治・経済だけでなく、防災面での協力を強化し、文化・芸術、観光、スポーツなどで交流を促進するとしている。

Japan and ASEAN have just observed the 40th anniversary of their friendship this year. It is hoped that they will strengthen their strategic ties even further.
 日本とASEANの友好協力は40周年を迎えた。戦略的な連携を一層強めていきたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 15, 2013)
(2013年12月15日01時25分  読売新聞)

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2013年12月15日 (日)

与党税制大綱 家計と景気への目配り十分か

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 13, 2013
Reduced consumption rate system must be at same time as hike to 10%
与党税制大綱 家計と景気への目配り十分か(12月13日付・読売社説)

 ◆消費税10%と同時に軽減税率を

We are concerned that increasing the consumption tax rate to 8 percent from April may dampen personal spending. The latest tax policy agreement between the ruling coalition parties has left unresolved problems regarding measures to shore up business activities.
 来年4月に消費税率を8%に引き上げた後、個人消費の失速を招かないか。景気下支えに課題を残したと言えよう。

The Liberal Democratic Party and coalition partner New Komeito decided Thursday on an outline for tax system revisions for fiscal 2014. The decision signifies the ruling parties’ endorsement of a government budget draft for next fiscal year and a set of tax revision bills to be presented to the Diet early next year.
 自民、公明の与党は2014年度の税制改正大綱を決めた。政府の来年度の予算案と、税制改正法案を裏付けるものだ。

The LDP-Komeito agreement has fallen short of deciding on a specific date to introduce a reduced consumption tax rate system to curb the tax rate on food and other daily necessities to benefit low-income people. The agreement also has incorporated such items as income and residential tax levies on salaried workers. Steps to impose heavier tax burdens on households are conspicuous in the accord.
 低所得者対策として、食料品などの消費税率を低く抑える軽減税率の導入時期の決定を見送ったほか、会社員を対象にした増税などを盛り込んだ。家計の負担を増やすメニューが目立つ。

Specific timing ambiguous
 ◆導入時期は曖昧なまま

The biggest focus in the tax revision discussions was whether a reduced tax rate system should be introduced at the same time as an increase in the sales tax to 10 percent scheduled for October 2015.
 最大の焦点は、政府が15年10月に予定通り消費税率を8%から10%へ上げる場合、同時に軽減税率を導入するかどうかだった。

In January, the ruling coalition reached an agreement to “make efforts to introduce” a tax break on necessities when the planned hike to 10 percent occurs.
 与党は今年1月、10%増税時の「導入を目指す」と合意した。

The ruling parties' accord, this time, however, said a reduced tax rate system “will be introduced at a time when the consumption tax rate is 10 percent, after necessary financial resources and understanding from the public, including businesses, are secured.” It added that the ruling camp will “reach a conclusion on the matter by December 2014.”
 だが、今回の大綱は「必要な財源を確保しつつ、事業者を含む国民の理解を得た上で税率10%時に導入する」と記し、「14年12月までに結論を得る」ことにした。

The proviso added to the ruling coalition’s accord, such as “understanding from the public,” will weigh heavily on future discussions on a reduced tax rate, since the wording in the accord can be interpreted as either “at the same time as the hike to 10 percent” or “sometime after” the hike.
 導入に「国民の理解」などの条件を付けた意味は重く、「10%に引き上げと同時」とも「10%に引き上げ後のいつか」とも解釈できる。

This is the product of compromise between the LDP, which has remained wary of implementing a reduced tax rate, and Komeito, which has strongly insisted the proposed tax break on such items as food and newspapers be introduced when the rate is raised to 10 percent.
 導入に慎重姿勢を崩さない自民党と、10%への増税の時期と合わせて食料品や新聞などを対象に導入すべきだとする公明党との妥協の産物にほかならない。

A reduced tax rate system would mitigate tax burdens on all taxpayers, including lower-income people, helping shore up a broad spectrum of household budgets.
 軽減税率は、低所得層を含む国民全体の税負担を幅広く和らげて家計を下支えする。

It is also problematic that the tax system revision outline this time has come short of discussing specifics, such as which items would be eligible for a lower tax rate.
 今回の大綱が、軽減税率の対象品目など具体的な検討に踏み込めなかったのも問題である。

Decisions on specific items to be covered and plans to put the reduced rate system into practice must not be postponed unnecessarily. A decision should be made quickly to introduce a reduced tax rate at the same time the rate is increased to 10 percent.
 いたずらに対象品目や制度設計などの決定を遅らせてはならない。10%増税と同時の導入を速やかに決断すべきだろう。

During the ruling camp’s tax discussions, the LDP’s Tax System Research Commission and the Finance Ministry pointed out the introduction of the reduced tax rate system would make it necessary to employ an invoice system to log the tax rates and amounts item by item, leading to complicated clerical work for businesses.
 今回、自民党税調と財務省は、軽減税率の導入には、商品ごとに税率や税額を記載したインボイス(税額票)が必要で、企業の事務負担が増すと指摘した。

Given that business deals free from the consumption tax, including land transactions, and those subject to the tax have been in place even under the existing tax system, Komeito refuted that argument in the discussions, noting a reduced tax rate system could be realized without an invoice system. The LDP tax panel and the Finance Ministry should have more aggressively addressed resolving impediments to employing a reduced tax rate.
 ただ、今でも土地売買など非課税取引と消費税を課す取引は混在しており、公明党はインボイスは不要だと反論した。自民党税調と財務省は積極的に課題解決へ取り組むべきだったのではないか。

The tax system revision outline also includes steps to reduce the income tax breaks for company employees and other salaried workers, and raising their income and residential taxes. People whose annual income exceeds ¥12 million will be subject to heavier taxes from 2016, and those whose annual income is more than ¥10 million will be subject to them from 2017.
 大綱は、会社員などの給与所得控除を削減し、所得税や住民税を増税する方針も盛り込んだ。16年から年収1200万円超の人を対象とし、17年からは1000万円超の人まで拡大する。

According to a trial calculation by the Finance Ministry, people with an annual income of ¥15 million are estimated to have an additional tax burden of ¥70,000 to ¥110,000 a year. There are fears this will dampen their motivation to spend in anticipation of an increase in the burden on household budgets.
 財務省の試算では、年収1500万円の場合、年7万~11万円の負担増となる見込みだ。将来の家計の負担増を見越し、消費意欲は減退する恐れがある。

As the planned consumption tax hike is expected to increase the perceived burden on low-income earners, the ruling parties seem to have tried to alleviate the sense of unfairness by imposing increased tax burdens on high-income earners.
 消費増税で低所得者の負担感が増すため、与党は、高所得者への課税強化で不公平感を和らげることを狙ったようだ。

Fast and sloppy
 ◆拙速な所得控除見直し

However, full-scale discussions on the reexamination of tax deductions were conducted for merely a week. It cannot be helped if the ruling parties are criticized for targeting company employees, whose income can be easily ascertained, unlike that of the self-employed, to ensure tax revenue.
 だが、控除見直しを巡る本格的な議論は、わずか1週間だった。自営業者と違い、収入を把握しやすい会社員を狙い撃ちするのでは「取りやすいところから取る」と批判されても仕方がない。

Quite a few people are increasingly dissatisfied over the fact that the ruling parties quickly decided on a tax hike for salaried workers while not presenting a time frame for introducing the reduced consumption tax rates.
 軽減税率の導入時期を示さない一方で、サラリーマン増税を即決したことに、不満を募らせる人も少なくないだろう。

In the case of taxation on automobiles, the tax hike for light motor vehicles was incorporated into the outline of tax system revisions as a measure to secure fiscal resources needed to phase out the automobile acquisition tax from next fiscal year.
 自動車課税では、購入時に課す自動車取得税を来年度から段階的に縮小・廃止するための財源確保策として、軽自動車税の増税などを盛り込んだ。

The tax on light vehicles is less than that on compact cars. As long as light vehicles also impose burdens on roads and the environment, it is unavoidable for the light vehicle tax to be raised in line with the beneficiary-to-pay principle.
 軽自動車税は、小型車の税金に比べて納税者の負担が軽い。軽自動車も道路や環境に負荷をかける以上、受益者負担として引き上げられるのはやむを得まい。

In regard to lowering the corporate tax, which was regarded as a centerpiece of the government’s growth strategy, the outline said merely that the matter will “continue to be studied.” Discussions on concrete measures such as the timing and margin for a tax cut have not deepened.
 成長戦略の目玉とされた法人税率の引き下げは、「引き続き検討を進める」と記しただけで、減税の時期や引き下げ幅などの具体論は深まらなかった。

Japan’s corporate tax rates—even if excluding the special corporate tax for reconstruction from the 2011 disaster, which is planned to be abolished at the end of fiscal 2013, one year ahead of schedule as an economic measure—are higher than those in Europe and many other Asian countries.
 しかし、経済対策で1年前倒し廃止が決まった復興特別法人税を除いても、日本の法人税は欧州やアジアの多くの国より高い。

Cut corporate tax urgently
 ◆法人税率引き下げ急げ

To stem the hollowing out of industry and lure investments from overseas, it will be indispensable to lower corporate tax rates further. The matter must be studied at a faster pace.
 産業空洞化に歯止めをかけ、海外から投資を呼び込むため、税率の一層の引き下げが不可欠だ。検討の加速が求められよう。

Companies that will benefit from the early abolition of the special corporate tax for reconstruction should use improved profits for wage hikes and employment expansion, thereby spreading benefits to households.
 復興特別法人税の前倒し廃止の恩恵を受ける企業は、収益向上を賃上げや雇用拡大につなげ、家計に波及させていくべきだ。

The outline has also put forth a policy of approving up to 50 percent of entertainment expenses used by big businesses to entertain business partners and clients as necessary expenses with no tax levied.
 大綱は、大企業が取引先の接待などに使う交際費の5割までを税務上の経費(損金)として認め、非課税とする方針も掲げた。

It is understandable that the outline aims to expand the tax exemption system, which has been applied to part of the entertainment expenses of small and midsize companies as impairment costs, to big businesses. We hope sales for drinking and eating establishments will increase by making it easier for firms to increase entertainment expenses and that this will prove effective in curbing the adverse effects of the consumption tax hike.
 これまで中小企業の交際費の一部について損金扱いを認めてきた措置を大企業に拡充する狙いは理解できる。企業が交際費を増やしやすくなることで、飲食店などの売り上げが伸び、消費増税の影響を抑える効果に期待したい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 13, 2013)
(2013年12月13日01時39分  読売新聞)

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エネルギー計画 原発の中長期的活用は妥当だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 14, 2013
New plan a break from no-nuke goal, move toward realistic energy policy
エネルギー計画 原発の中長期的活用は妥当だ(12月14日付・読売社説)

A basic energy plan drafted by an industry ministry panel is a major step that signals a clear shift from the policy of phasing out nuclear power generation set by the previous Democratic Party of Japan-led government. We highly praise the current government’s stance of pushing for a realistic energy policy to secure a stable power supply for the nation.
 民主党政権の「原発ゼロ」から明確に転換する大きな一歩である。電力の安定供給へ、現実的なエネルギー政策を推進する姿勢を評価したい。

An Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry committee of experts drew up the draft plan, which will serve as guidelines for the nation’s mid- and long-term energy policy.
 経済産業省の有識者会議が、中長期的なエネルギー政策の指針となるエネルギー基本計画案をまとめた。

Calling nuclear power “a fundamental and important base energy source,” the draft plan urged the nation to continue using nuclear power as long as its safety is ensured.
 安全性の確保を前提に、原子力発電を「基盤となる重要なベース電源」と位置付け、引き続き活用していく方針を明記した。

The draft plan called on the government to reduce the nation’s dependence on nuclear power as much as possible, while proposing that nuclear power generation be maintained to the extent needed.
 原発依存度を「可能な限り低減させる」とする一方、必要な原発は確保する考えも併記した。

Currently, all 50 of the nation’s nuclear reactors are idled, which has caused a serious power shortage. For resource-poor Japan, nuclear power is an essential energy source that can be obtained in a stable manner and at relatively low costs. We thus favorably regard the draft plan.
 現在、全原発50基が停止中で、深刻な電力不足が続いている。資源の乏しい日本にとって、原発は安価で安定した電力を得るために欠かせない電源である。計画案は妥当な内容といえよう。

The government seeks to have the plan approved by the Cabinet in January. It should use the plan to implement a realistic energy policy.
 政府は来年1月に基本計画を閣議決定する。地に足の着いたエネルギー政策を進めるべきだ。

To make up for the shortfall in the nation’s power supply, domestic thermal power plants have been in full operation. With additional fuel costs amounting to ¥3.6 trillion a year, a spike in fuel imports has drained a large amount of national wealth from Japan. Electricity charges have risen by 20 percent from the level before the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster. Greenhouse gas emissions have also rapidly increased. The negative impact of not using nuclear power is significant.
 火力発電所を総動員して電力供給を支えているため、追加燃料費は年3・6兆円にのぼり、輸入増で巨額の国富が海外に流出している。震災前に比べ、電気料金は2割上昇し、温室効果ガスの排出量も急増した。弊害は大きい。

Japan should restart nuclear reactors once their safety is confirmed and speed up work to establish a supply structure with a diversified energy mix, in which nuclear power, thermal power and renewable energy sources such as solar power can complement each other.
 安全性の確認できた原発を再稼働し、原発と火力、太陽光など再生可能エネルギーが補完しあう、多様性のある電源構成を確立することが急がれる。

However, the draft plan did not give numerical targets for the energy mix. We are aware that safety inspections of nuclear power facilities have been delayed, but the government should present a target rate for electricity generated by nuclear power as soon as possible.
 ただ、計画案には電源構成の数値目標が盛り込まれていない。原発の安全審査が遅れている事情はあるが、政府は原発比率の目標を速やかに示すべきだ。

Key issues remain

We also question why the draft plan took a non-judgmental stance on whether the nation should build new reactors.
 原発の新増設の是非について判断を避けた点も疑問である。

If the existing reactors are decommissioned after 40 years of operation without adding new reactors, the nation will have no reactors in 2049. To continue using nuclear energy in the medium- and long-term, it is necessary to build new reactors. We believe switching old reactors to new ones early on would enhance nuclear energy safety and the nurturing of capable professionals in the field.
 新増設せず、原発を稼働40年で廃炉にしていくと、2049年に原発はゼロになる。中長期的に原発を活用するうえで、新増設は不可避のはずだ。古い原発を早めに新型へ更新する方が、安全性向上や技術者育成にもつながろう。

The draft plan also appropriately urged the government to take the initiative in proceeding with the final disposal of highly radioactive waste. The government should promote a sustainable nuclear policy featuring a nuclear fuel cycle and other approaches, and must take charge of such actions.
 高レベル放射性廃棄物の最終処分について「国が前面に立って取り組む」としたのは当然だ。核燃料サイクルを含め、持続可能な原子力政策の推進に、政府は責任を持って当たる必要がある。

The draft plan prodded the government to accelerate its efforts to increase the use of renewable energy sources, but stopped short of proposing specific measures. Renewable power generation has many downsides, including fluctuating output depending on weather conditions. Increased use of renewable energy sources would thus be insufficient as an alternative to nuclear power.
 計画案は再生エネの導入加速を打ち出したが、具体策はあいまいだ。再生エネは天候による発電量の変動など欠点が多く、導入規模を拡大させるだけでは、原発を代替する電源にはならない。

The current government scheme that obliges utilities to purchase electricity generated by renewable energy sources, aimed at spreading the use of such energy, puts a financial burden on households and companies. The government should swiftly review this policy.
 再生エネで作った電気を買い取る現行の普及制度は、家計や企業に重い料金負担を強いる。早急な見直しが求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 14, 2013)
(2013年12月14日01時56分  読売新聞)

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元女性実父認定 最高裁に行き過ぎはないのか

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 14, 2013
Doubt remains about top court ruling on transgender paternity
元女性実父認定 最高裁に行き過ぎはないのか(12月14日付・読売社説)

How can the gap be filled between the progress of reproductive medicine and the existent legal system? A recent controversial decision by the Supreme Court highlighted this question.
 生殖医療の進歩と現実の法制度の差を、いかにして埋めるべきか。議論の分かれる司法判断が示されたと言えよう。

In a case involving a child conceived by the wife of a transgender man through artificial insemination using donated semen, the top court ruled the child was born in wedlock. In other words, the man was determined to be the child’s father.
 性同一性障害で女性から性別変更した男性の妻が、第三者の精子を使った人工授精で出産した子供について、最高裁が法律上の夫婦の子(嫡出子)と認める決定を出した。男性が実父と認定されたことになる。

In the Civil Code, the so-called presumption rule stipulates that “a child conceived by a wife during marriage shall be presumed to be the husband’s child.”
 民法には「妻が婚姻中に妊娠した子は、夫の子と推定する」という「嫡出推定」の規定がある。

The special law on gender change by people suffering from gender identity disorder went into effect in 2004, stipulating that transgender persons shall be legally regarded as persons with changed genders under the Civil Code. The stipulation allows a transgender man to marry as a husband.
 性同一性障害を持つ人の性別変更に関する特例法が2004年に施行され、変更後は新しい性別で民法の適用を受けることが定められた。元女性が夫として結婚するのを認めた規定だ。

The top court judged that “it is inappropriate to reject the application of the presumption rule while at the same time upholding his marriage.”
 最高裁は「婚姻を認めながら、その主要な効果である嫡出推定の規定の適用を認めないのは相当でない」と判断した。

However, it is doubtful whether the presumption rule can be applied to a transgender man to determine that a child is his. A transgender man has no reproductive capability. Given this hard fact, it is impossible to dispel doubts about the top court’s ruling that the transgender man is the child’s real father.
 しかし、今回のケースが果たして「夫の子と推定」できるのだろうか。性別変更後の男性に生殖能力はない。この厳然とした事実があるだけに、最高裁による実父認定には疑問が拭えない。

Two of the five justices at the top court’s Petty Bench argued against the transgender man’s petition to be recorded as the father of the child in question, saying the father-child presumption rule cannot be applied to the case because the rule is premised on the possibility of a wife becoming pregnant by her husband.
 決定では、裁判官5人のうち2人が反対意見に回り、「民法の嫡出推定は、妻が夫により妊娠する機会があることを根拠としており、本件の場合は嫡出推定の根拠がない」などと述べた。

A convincing argument

This minority argued that if the child in the case is considered to be born in wedlock as claimed by a majority of the five-justice bench, it “goes beyond the framework of the Civil Code.” This is a convincing opinion.
 多数意見のように本件を嫡出子と認めれば、「民法の枠組みを一歩踏み出すことになる」と主張した反対意見には説得力がある。

The child will know someday that he has no blood relationship with his putative father. Some experts say consideration must be given to the emotional pain felt by the child at that time. This opinion is worth paying attention to.
 子供はいずれ、法律上の父との間に血縁関係がない事実を知るだろう。その時の子供の苦悩に配慮すべきだと指摘する識者もいる。傾聴すべき見解と言えまいか。

In ruling on a case of surrogate birth in 2007, on the other hand, the Supreme Court denied the parent-child relationship. The case involved TV personality Aki Mukai and her husband, who asked a surrogate mother to deliver a child with the use of Mukai’s eggs.
 一方、代理出産を巡り、最高裁は07年、親子関係の成立を否定している。タレントの向井亜紀さん夫妻が自らの受精卵を使い、代理母に出産を依頼したケースだ。

Unlike the case in which the father-child relationship was recognized, the court did not admit the mother-child relationship although they had a biological relationship, saying the woman who becomes pregnant and delivers “can be regarded as the mother under the Civil Code.”
 「民法上、妊娠・出産した女性が母親」と判断し、今回の実父認定とは逆に、血縁がありながら法的に母子と認めなかった。

With the progress of reproductive medicine, various forms of parent-child relationships that are not presumed by law have emerged one after another. When legal arrangements have not caught up with reality, there is no alternative but to leave the matter up to judicial judgment.
 生殖医療の進歩に伴い、法が想定していない形態の「親子」が次々と生まれている。法整備が現実に追いついていない中では、法的な親子関係を認めるかどうかの判断を、その都度、司法に委ねるしかないのが実情だ。

The number of infertile couples has been increasing partly due to the trend toward late marriage, and there are certain to be more cases in which such couples rely on reproductive medicine in the years to come. To help prevent confusion, discussions must be accelerated to prepare legal arrangements.
 晩婚化などの影響で、不妊の夫婦は増えている。今後、生殖医療に頼るケースがさらに多くなるのは確実だとされる。混乱を防ぐためにも、法整備に向けた議論を急ぐ必要があろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 14, 2013)
(2013年12月14日01時56分  読売新聞)

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2013年12月13日 (金)

初めてハーレーダビッドソンを見たのは映画の世界なんです

私が生まれて初めてハーレーダビッドソン という、大型でかっこいバイクを見かけたのは映画の中でした。
ひとつは、ピーター・フォンダ、デニス・ホッパー主演のアメリカ映画イージー・ライダーの中なんです。
もう一つは日本の映画なんですが、五木寛之さん原作の青春の門という映画です。

前者の映画では主演のピーター・フォンダが運転するハンドルが大きなハーレーに感動しました。結末はあの通り非情で冷酷なるアメリカの現実ではありました。
後者の映画では主人公の伊吹伸介が乗り回しているハーレーに魅せられました。
私は北九州出身なので、その分思い入れが強くて感動した覚えがあります。
弟がオト(バイク)キチでしたが、ハーレーを買うお金がないので、仕方なしに、同じようなカタチをした、カワサキメグロという大型バイクを乗り回していました。

ここタイでもハーレー派をよく見かけますが、若い人はいなくって、私のようなお年寄りばかりなんです。
時々集団でハーレーのツーリングをやっているグループに遭遇しますが、やはりハーレーですね。
ひと味、違うのです。



細身のフォルム、快適なハンドリングなどがもたらす軽快な乗り味で躍動感に満ちたSPORTSTER FAMILYオートバイHARLEY DAVIDSON XL883Rをクリスマススペシャルプレゼント



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整理力を身につけて、過酷な現代ビジネス社会を生き抜けます

会社で自分の周囲をざっと見渡せばすぐに分かることなんですが、自分のデスクの整理さえ出来ていない人たちがたくさんいます。
これには様々な原因があるのですが、ひとつには、生活習慣上で身につけることが出来る整理力というものが備わっていないからなのです。
それでは、優れた整理力 を身につけることは難しいのかと言えば、答えはノーです。
ビジネス書のご紹介なんですが、「一生つかえる整理力が3週間で身につく本」というのを発見しました。
このビジネス書の内容は、まったく素晴らしいです。
どうしたら、あなたの身の回りを、いつもきちんと整理出来るのか、その方法論が細かに記述されいます。
このビジネス書で一番私が気に入っている部分なんですが、それは、第9章 書類・机・情報の整理術なんです。
この手法を使えば誰だって整理が得意になるはずですね。
驚きました。



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これは驚きました お値段なんと1万円の高級ふりかけなんです

食した瞬間口の中でふわっととろける、幻の高級ふりかけを発見しました。
ふりかけと言っても、これはカツオブシなんですが、そんじょそこらで入手出来るカツオブシとは違います。
まず原料となるカツオの種類が、極めて限定されています。
まだ冷凍される前の近海でとれたカツオを使うのですが、日本国内では僅か1%にすぎない超レアものなんですってね。
その貴重なるレアものを使って、さらに5カ月以上かけて熟成させると、ようやく出来るのが幻の高級ふりかけ"口どけ"なんです。
カツオブシを美味しく食べるためには、カツオブシを出来るだけ薄く削る必要があります。
高級ふりかけ"口どけ"は職人技術で一缶ごとに丁寧に削られており、その薄さは驚異の0.01ミリなんですって。
これなら、食した瞬間口の中でふわっととろけるのも道理ですね。
世の中、美味しいものが少なくなって来ている現代ですが、これは久々のヒット商品となり得るでしょう。
高級ふりかけ通販 で簡単に入手出来ます。



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今日のイチオシDreamNews

DreamNews
今日のイチオシDreamNews

「探偵学」でスキルアップ!探偵になりたい方!会社のリスクマネジメントに! 20%OFF開校キャンペーン開始! 一般社団法人 日本調査業適正協議会

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職場の中に一人は必ず居るのが仕事が速い人なんです その秘密は?

既に現役を退いた退職者なんですが、現役時代には大手建設会社で働きました。
官庁や民間のプロジェクトが主体の会社だったんですが、職場と言っても、それはプロジェクトというかたちが基本なので、ひとつひとつのプロジェクト自体は小規模なのです。
現役時代には、様々なかたちのプロジェクトを経験しましたが、職場(プロジェクト)の中には「仕事が速い人」と「仕事が遅い人」の二通りの職員が居ました。
私は入社当初こそ「仕事が遅い 人」の烙印を押されていましたが、仕事(プロジェクト)にパソコンが導入されるようになってからは、「仕事が速い人」に分類されるようになりました。
どんなプロジェクトでも、職場の中に一人は必ず居るのが仕事が速い人なんですが、それには生活習慣上のある秘密が隠されています。
単行本、「仕事が速い人」と「仕事が遅い人」の習慣 (アスカビジネス)で、その秘密が解き明かされています。



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成長戦略の課題 政府は具体策の実行を急げ

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 12, 2013
Swiftly implement growth strategy to revitalize Japanese economy
成長戦略の課題 政府は具体策の実行を急げ(12月12日付・読売社説)

The success of Abenomics, the economic policy of the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, hinges on its growth strategy. The government must implement concrete measures swiftly, so the strategy will not end up as an empty slogan.
 成長戦略は安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」の成否を左右するカギである。看板倒れに終わらぬよう、政府は具体策を急がねばならない。

During the extraordinary Diet session, which Abe has dubbed the “Diet session to implement the growth strategy,” two important laws were enacted: the law on national strategic special zones and the industrial competitiveness enhancement law. During a press conference earlier this week, Abe said his administration will decide on an action plan for the strategy early in the new year.
 安倍首相が「成長戦略実行国会」と位置付けた臨時国会で、国家戦略特区法と産業競争力強化法が成立した。記者会見で首相は、年明けに成長戦略の実行計画を決める方針を示した。

Japan is now at a critical stage as to whether it can beat deflation and achieve stable growth.
 日本はデフレからの脱却を果たし、安定成長を実現できるかどうかの正念場にある。

At such a juncture, it is most important to steadily implement the measures stipulated in the laws and action plan.
 法律や実行計画に盛り込まれた施策を着実に進めることが、何よりも大切だ。

The aim in creating national strategic special zones is to authorize deregulation measures in six fields, including medicine, urban revitalization and education, promote entry into various businesses and bring in foreign capital.
 国家戦略特区は、医療、都市再生、教育など6分野で新たに規制緩和を認め、新規参入や外資の進出を促すのが狙いである。

The government intends to create an advisory council of relevant ministers on the national strategic special zones and select three to five districts, including major urban areas, as such zones in January at the earliest.
 政府は担当閣僚らによる特区諮問会議を新設し、来年1月にも大都市圏など3~5地域を特区に選定する方向という。

The government must strive to make such zones attractive and efficient by fully utilizing the minds and resourcefulness of corporations and local people.
 企業や地元の知恵を生かし、魅力的で実効性のある特区作りを目指さなければならない。

However, the deregulation measures to be introduced in the special zones were considerably watered down due to the resistance of various ministries. It is problematic that the administration was unable to boldly break down the tough, bedrock-like regulations related to employment and agriculture.
 ただ、特区に導入される規制緩和策は、各府省の抵抗でかなり骨抜きにされた。雇用や農業などの強固な岩盤規制を、大胆に切り崩せなかったのは問題である。

Exert strong leadership

We urge the administration to make efforts to add measures to the deregulation menu by using the advisory council as a command center.
 特区諮問会議が司令塔となり、規制改革のメニューを追加する努力が求められる。

To slash away vested interests and conquer the vertically segmented structure among ministries and agencies, we would like the prime minister, who will serve as the head of the advisory council, to demonstrate strong leadership.
 既得権や省庁縦割りを打破するため、諮問会議の議長を務める首相には、強いリーダーシップを発揮してもらいたい。

We praise the policy direction of the government and ruling parties to expand preferential measures—including tax cuts for capital investment—in tax reforms for fiscal 2014 to boost the special zones.
 国家戦略特区の後押しを狙い、政府・与党が2014年度税制改正で、設備投資減税などを拡充する方向なのは評価できる。

Major reduction in the effective corporate tax rate in the special zones is also a subject to be studied.
 特区内の法人税実効税率を大きく引き下げることも検討課題だ。

We hope the government will devise appropriate measures to create a “growth center” that will promote the advancement of domestic and foreign firms into the special zones and rev up the Japanese economy.
内外の企業進出を促し、日本経済を牽引(けんいん)する「成長センター」を形成する方策を詰めてほしい。

The industrial competitiveness enhancement law will launch a so-called special system for corporate field tests, which will ease regulations for companies entering new business fields, and measures to prompt industries hampered by excessive competition to reorganize their businesses, such as preferential taxation. These things must be utilized to revitalize various industries.
 産業競争力強化法によって、先進的なビジネスに挑戦する企業に規制緩和を認める「企業実証特例制度」や、税制優遇などで過当競争の業界に事業再編を促す支援策がスタートする。産業の活性化に生かす必要がある。

The major problem is that many private companies, which should play the main role, are cautious about new investment and expansion of their businesses. Can they fully utilize the industrial competitiveness enhancement law as a good chance to shift to “offensive management”? Each company will be tested as to their aggressive management strategy.
 問題は、主役である民間企業の多くが、新規投資や事業拡大に慎重なことだ。競争力強化法を「攻めの経営」に転換する好機として生かせるか。各企業の積極的な経営戦略が問われる。

The Abe administration must fully mobilize various policy tools, such as taxation, fiscal policy and policy-based loans, and seamlessly come up with effective policy measures to revitalize the Japanese economy by accelerating the growth strategy.
 安倍政権は成長戦略を加速して日本経済の再生を果たすため、税制、財政、政策金融などの政策手段を総動員し、効果的な政策を切れ目なく打ち出すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 12, 2013)
(2013年12月12日01時27分  読売新聞)

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マンデラ氏死去 今こそ継承したい寛容の精神

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 12, 2013
World must learn from, carry on Mandela’s legacy of forgiveness
マンデラ氏死去 今こそ継承したい寛容の精神(12月12日付・読売社説)

About 100 heads of state and other world leaders mourned the death of Nelson Mandela at a memorial service for the former South African president in Johannesburg on Tuesday, showing how Mandela was revered all around the world.
 約100人の国家元首や首脳級の要人が集い、その死を悼んだ。世界中で尊敬される指導者だった証しである。

Mandela, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate honored for his strenuous fight against apartheid and eventual success in ending his country’s system of racial segregation, died last Thursday. He was 95.
 南アフリカで、アパルトヘイト(人種隔離政策)を撤廃に導いて、ノーベル平和賞を受けたネルソン・マンデラ元大統領が、95歳で死去した。

The global dignitaries at the national memorial service held for Mandela at a stadium in South Africa’s largest city included Crown Prince Naruhito and former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda. In a memorial address, U.S. President Barack Obama praised the anti-apartheid icon’s achievements, describing him as “a giant of history, who moved a nation toward justice and in the process moved billions around the world.”
 ヨハネスブルクで行われた追悼式には、皇太子さまが、福田康夫元首相とともに参列された。オバマ米大統領は演説で、マンデラ氏を「歴史上の巨人だった。国家を正義に導き、世界の何十億の人々を揺り動かした」と称賛した。

During the second half of the 20th century, Afrikaner whites, the South African minority that ruled the country, repressed the black majority under legislation based on the apartheid policy. Black members of the population did not possess the right to vote and were even restricted in where they could live.
 20世紀後半の南アでは、支配権を握る少数派の白人が、アパルトヘイトに基づき、多数派の黒人を法的に抑圧した。黒人には参政権がなく、居住地も制限された。

A lawyer, Mandela fought racial discrimination in his country after joining the anti-apartheid activities of the African National Congress, then a political party struggling for the freedom of black South Africans. Mandela’s adherence to his cause despite 27 years in prison for treason provokes amazement.
 弁護士だったマンデラ氏は、黒人解放組織、アフリカ民族会議(ANC)の反アパルトヘイト活動に参加して、人種差別と闘った。反逆罪で、27年間も獄中生活を強いられたにもかかわらず、節を曲げなかったのは、驚嘆に値する。

The true worth of Mandela’s political leadership was demonstrated when and after he was asked by his nation’s white government to help end apartheid. By that time, the South African government could no longer endure the international sanctions imposed on the country.
 マンデラ氏が政治指導者としての真骨頂を発揮したのは、国際社会の制裁に耐えかねた白人政権から、アパルトヘイト撤廃への協力を求められて以降だ。

The power of forgiveness

Mandela ended the ANC’s pursuit of an armed struggle and negotiated with the white government, which resulted in an end to apartheid and a national election open to all races. This enabled the ANC to take the reins of government, with Mandela becoming South Africa’s first black president. However, he urged the black majority not to retaliate against whites.
 ANCの武力闘争路線を終わらせ、政権との交渉で、アパルトヘイト廃止と全人種参加選挙にこぎつけた。ANCが政権を掌握したのに伴い、黒人として初の大統領に選出されたが、白人に対する報復を強く戒めた。

In his inaugural address as South African president in 1994, Mandela pledged to “build the society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without any fear in their hearts.” In fact, the position of vice president was assumed by Mandela’s predecessor, a white president.
 1994年の大統領就任演説で「黒人や白人ら全ての国民が、胸を張って歩ける社会を建設する」と約束し、副大統領には白人の前大統領が就いた。

Mandela’s spirit of tolerance—with which he sought to transform South Africa into a nation in which all ethnic groups could live in harmony—deeply affected people around the world.
多人種共存を目指す寛容の精神が、世界の人々に深い感銘を与えたと言える。

In 1995, South Africa hosted the rugby World Cup. Mandela cheered for his country’s national team, which comprised mostly white players—an episode that helped create a sense of unity among South Africans. The story was later made into an American film that became known to many people around the world.
 南アで開催されたラグビー・ワールドカップ(W杯)で、白人主体の代表チームを自ら応援し、国民の一体感を育んだ逸話は、映画化され、よく知られている。

Mandela’s achievements also included his successful post-apartheid economic policies, which included efforts to skillfully utilize the vitality of white industrialists instead of depriving them of management rights. He did not persist in his own view that his country’s mines should be placed under state control. All this contributed to economic growth.
 白人の企業家から経営権を奪わず、むしろその活力を生かした経済政策も実績である。持論だった鉱山国有化などには固執せず、南アの経済成長につなげた。

However, today South Africa seems to be experiencing what may be regarded as the adverse effects of the ANC’s prolonged rule, including corruption within its administration and abuse of privilege. Little progress has been made in narrowing economic disparities between the white minority and the black majority.
 だが、現在の南アでは、ANC政権が長期化するに伴い、政権内で腐敗や特権乱用の傾向が目立っている。白人と黒人の間の経済格差の解消も進まない。

Ethnic conflicts and bloodshed attributable to religious differences continue to rage in many parts of the world. Not only South Africans but also people around the world must remind themselves of the precious lessons taught by Mandela.
 世界各地では、民族や宗教の違いに根ざす流血が続く。南アに限らず、国際社会全体で、マンデラ氏の残した教訓を改めてかみしめる必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 12, 2013)
(2013年12月12日01時27分  読売新聞)

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2013年12月12日 (木)

北朝鮮No.2粛清 金正恩体制揺るがす権力闘争

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 10, 2013
Vigilance required as power struggle shakes Kim Jong Un regime
北朝鮮No.2粛清 金正恩体制揺るがす権力闘争(12月10日付・読売社説)

The latest development in North Korea probably was the result of a power struggle behind the scenes.
 水面下で続いた権力闘争の結果ではないか。

A close watch must be kept on how the latest housecleaning in North Korea will affect the future course of the reclusive country, which will soon mark the second anniversary of the death of former supreme leader Kim Jong Il.
 金正日総書記の死から近く2年を迎える中、今回の粛清人事が北朝鮮の行方にどう影響するか、注視せねばならない。

In North Korea, Jang Song Thaek, vice chairman of the National Defense Commission and an apparent mentor for the current leader Kim Jong Un, has been ousted from all his posts.
 北朝鮮で、金正恩第1書記の後見人と目されてきた張成沢・国防委員会副委員長が失脚した。

Jang was a member of the ruling Workers’ Party Politburo—together with Kim Kyong Hui, Jang’s wife and a sister of Kim Jong Il—and made his presence felt as the No. 2 man in the young Kim’s regime.
 張氏は、金総書記の妹である夫人と共に朝鮮労働党政治局員であり、甥(おい)の金第1書記を支える政権“ナンバー2”として、存在感を発揮していた。

Jang had also been in the vanguard of Pyongyang’s economic diplomacy. Last summer, for instance, he visited China and proposed to leaders there, including then President Hu Jintao, the joint development of trade zones in North Korea near its border with China.
 昨夏には訪中し、当時の胡錦濤国家主席などに中朝国境の共同開発を持ちかけるなど、率先して経済外交に乗り出してもいた。

At an expanded meeting of the Politburo on Sunday, Jang was denounced as a leader of “antiparty, antirevolutionary factional activities,” dismissed from all his posts, deprived of all his titles and expelled from the party. North Korean TV broadcast an image of Jang being taken from the meeting venue by uniformed guards.
 8日の党政治局拡大会議は、張氏を「反党・反革命的な分派活動」を首謀したと糾弾し、全職務からの解任、一切の称号剥奪、党からの除名を決定した。北朝鮮のテレビは、張氏が会議場から連行される模様も放映した。

Jang was charged with such criminal acts as having immensely hindered the improvement of the country’s economic activity and people’s livelihoods, and committing treason by cheaply selling off the country’s precious resources. He was also accused of corrupt and illicit behavior, including improper relations with women, using narcotics and squandering foreign currency.
 張氏の罪状には、「国の経済活動と人民生活の向上に莫大(ばくだい)な支障をきたした」「国の貴重な資源を安値で売り払う売国行為を働いた」などが挙げられた。女性関係や麻薬使用、外貨蕩尽(とうじん)など、堕落・不正腐敗行為も列挙された。

Jang shown no mercy

The purge of a high-ranking government official is not rare in a country under despotic rule, but the harshness of the punishments in Jang’s case is striking. Two of his close aides were reportedly publicly executed.
 高官の粛清は、専制国家では珍しくないが、張氏の場合は処分の厳しさが目立つ。側近の部下2人は公開処刑されたという。

Kim Jong Un may have felt it was necessary to show no leniency even to a relative over disobedience to his orders and illicit enrichment. The latest purge may reflect Kim’s sense of alarm over the rife corruption among North Korea’s leaders.
 金第1書記には、命令への不服従や不正蓄財に対して、身内といえども容赦しない姿勢を示す必要があったのだろう。指導層に腐敗が浸透している実情への危機感の反映ではないか。

In accordance with Kim’s grand command to build a strong and prosperous nation, organs related to the North Korean Cabinet, the party and military are competing with each other to take credit for earning foreign currency by developing mining resources and wooing foreign investment.
 北朝鮮では、「強盛国家」建設の大号令の下、鉱山資源開発や投資呼び込みなど外貨稼ぎのため、内閣や党、軍の関係各機関が手柄を競い合っている。

As long as North Korea continues pursuing nuclear weapons development and economic construction in parallel, there is no way the international community will ease its sanctions on the country.
 もとより、核兵器開発と経済建設の二兎(にと)を追う「並進路線」を続ける限り、国際社会が制裁を緩和することはない。

If North Korea is serious about pursuing honest economic activity, the only option is to abandon its nuclear and missile development.
 まっとうな経済活動を目指すのであれば、核・ミサイル開発を放棄するのが唯一の道である。

With the abrupt downfall of Jang, Choe Ryong Hae, director of the Korean People’s Army General Political Bureau, who was seen as a rival of Jang, will gain more clout.
 張氏の突然の失脚により、今後は、張氏のライバルと見られてきた崔竜海・朝鮮人民軍総政治局長の影響力が強まろう。

Some observers in Japan had held expectations that Jang could be a go-between with direct ties to Kim over the issue of Japanese abducted by North Korean agents. Now that Jang has been ousted, it is essential that Japan carefully analyze the internal situation in North Korea.
 日本には、拉致問題解決を図る上で、第1書記に直結するパイプ役として張氏に期待する向きもあった。張氏までもが粛清された今、まずは北朝鮮の内部事情を慎重に分析することが肝要である。

There are fears the Kim regime may resort to such acts as a nuclear test to deflect and suppress unrest within the country. Japan must remain vigilant.
 金体制が国内の動揺を抑えるために核実験などの挙に出ることも懸念される。警戒は怠れない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 10, 2013)
(2013年12月10日01時45分  読売新聞)

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TPP交渉 日米対立が招いた合意先送り

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 11, 2013
Final TPP accord postponed due to conflict between Japan, U.S.
TPP交渉 日米対立が招いた合意先送り(12月11日付・読売社説)

As participating countries failed to reconcile a variety of conflicts, including one between Japan and the United States, an accord on creating a new free trade zone in Asia and the Pacific region has been postponed till next year. A rough road lies ahead for the negotiations.
 日米などの対立が解けず、アジア太平洋地域での新たな自由貿易圏作りの合意は、来年に先送りされた。交渉の前途は多難である。

A ministerial meeting of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks ended in Singapore on Tuesday.
 シンガポールで開かれていた環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉の閣僚会合が閉幕した。

Japan, the United States, Australia and nine other nations in the talks abandoned their goal of reaching an accord by the end of this year, which they originally hoped for. The countries will continue intensive discussions and hold a ministerial meeting again in January, they said in a joint statement issued after the meeting.
 日米、豪州など12か国は、当初目指した年内妥結を断念し、「交渉の妥結に向けて集中的に作業を続ける。閣僚会合を1月に開く」との声明を発表した。

As the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama had given the highest priority to reaching a final accord within this year, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman continued pressing Japan and emerging countries on tariff elimination and market liberalization.
 オバマ米政権は年内合意を最優先し、フロマン通商代表が、日本や新興国に関税撤廃や市場開放を求める圧力をかけ続けた。

But it is difficult to settle negotiations on issues on which the participants’ interests are complexly tangled. It can be said the latest talks highlighted the reality that the talks will not proceed as Washington hoped.
 しかし、参加国の利害が複雑に絡み合う交渉のとりまとめは難しい。米国の思惑通りに進まない現実を浮き彫りにしたと言える。

In particular, the conflict between Japanese and U.S. interests became clear. There is no denying that the conflict between the two countries may have held up negotiations as a whole.
 とくに鮮明になったのが日米両国の対立だった。全体の交渉も停滞させた印象が否めない。

Sticking points

The Liberal Democratic Party has been asserting that rice, wheat and barley, and three other sensitive agricultural products should be regarded as “sanctuaries” exempt from tariff elimination. Bearing this in mind, Japan rejected the U.S. call for full tariff elimination, with no exceptions.
 自民党はコメ、麦など農産品5項目を関税撤廃の聖域扱いとするよう主張している。これを踏まえた日本は、全品目の関税撤廃を求める米国の要求を拒否した。

Instead, Japan reportedly proposed, as a concession, to the U.S. side that it would raise its liberalization rate—the percentage of trade items that will be tariff-free—to about 95 percent. But the United States reportedly rejected the proposal.
 その代わり、全品目のうち関税撤廃に応じる自由化率を約95%に引き上げる譲歩案を提示した模様だが、米国は拒んだという。

On the other hand, Washington, which aims at expanding sales of U.S. automobiles in Japan, called on Tokyo to ease regulations on vehicle safety and environmental standards. But Japan steadily refused.
 一方、米国車の販売拡大を目指す米国が日本市場での自動車の安全や環境の基準緩和を求めた点では、日本が拒否を続けた。

With midterm elections slated for next November, the Obama administration, which wants to showcase a final TPP accord as its achievement, is not in a position to make easy compromises.
 来年11月の中間選挙を控え、TPP合意を成果としてアピールしたいオバマ政権には、安易に妥協できない事情があるのだろう。

Yet Japan needs to proactively tap into the vitality of fast-growing Asian economies and fuel its own growth, rather than merely maintaining a defensive stance.
 だが、日本も守りに徹するだけでなく、成長著しいアジアの活力を取り込み、成長に弾みをつける攻めの姿勢が必要である。

While trying to reinforce the international competitiveness of agriculture, a sector Japan has been called on to liberalize further, the government must make a strategic plan to promote free trade, centering around the TPP.
 一層の市場開放を求められる農業の競争力強化を図りつつ、TPPを軸に自由貿易を推進する戦略を練らなければならない。

Fierce conflicts between the United States and such emerging economies as Malaysia and Vietnam over the protection of intellectual property rights and competition policies can also be cited as reasons why the participating countries gave up on the final accord in Singapore.
 シンガポールでの妥結を断念した一因として、知的財産権や競争政策を巡り、米国と、マレーシア、ベトナムなど新興国が激しく対立した事情も挙げられる。

The conflicts among the 12 countries are deep-rooted, so there is little cause for optimism that they will be able to reach an accord at next month’s ministerial meeting. The major focus will be how flexibly the United States can respond to other countries’ assertions.
 12か国の対立は根深く、1月の閣僚会合での決着は楽観できない。米国がどこまで柔軟に対応できるかが最大の焦点になろう。

Meanwhile, South Korea’s next moves deserve close attention, as that country has made clear its intention to participate in the TPP.
 注視すべきは、TPPへの参加意向を表明した韓国の動きだ。

For South Korea to join the negotiations, it needs to win the approval of the 12 participating countries. That could happen as early as the spring. Before that happens, Japan needs to take the lead in formulating the trade rules and aim to reach an early accord to best take advantage of having already been a member.
 韓国の合流には12か国の同意が必要で、早くても来春になるが、日本はその前に貿易ルール作りを主導して早期妥結を図り、先行メリットを生かしたい。

Japan must demonstrate tough bargaining power in pursuit of its national interests.
 国益の追求へ、したたかな交渉力が日本に求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 11, 2013)
(2013年12月11日01時43分  読売新聞)

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韓国防空識別圏 拡大は地域緊張高めぬように

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 11, 2013
Expanded South Korean ADIZ should not heighten tensions
韓国防空識別圏 拡大は地域緊張高めぬように(12月11日付・読売社説)

The South Korean government has announced it will expand its air defense identification zone effective Sunday to include a disputed submerged rock, over which both Seoul and Beijing claim jurisdiction, in a protest to China’s unilateral creation of an ADIZ that includes the rock.
 韓国政府が防空識別圏の拡大を決め、15日から発効すると発表した。
 中国が、韓国と管轄権を争う暗礁の上空を含む防空識別圏を一方的に設定したことに反発し、暗礁上空を含める形で拡大した。

The ADIZ to be established by South Korea partially overlaps that of Japan, and all three nations’ ADIZs overlap the rock.
 これにより、日本と韓国の識別圏が一部重なるほか、日本の識別圏である暗礁上空付近では、日中ばかりか韓国の識別圏も重複することになる。

South Korea’s move concerns air zone over the East China Sea, over which tension has already escalated as a result of China’s outrageous creation of its ADIZ. It is hoped South Korea will exercise prudence and self-control in operating its expanded ADIZ, to prevent unwanted friction or an emergency.
 中国の乱暴な識別圏設定で、ただでさえ緊張を高める東シナ海の空域である。無用の摩擦や不測の事態を生まぬよう、韓国は、拡大する識別圏で慎重かつ自制的な運用を心掛けてもらいたい。

South Korea made a point of giving prior notice to Japan, the United States and others of the expansion of its ADIZ. It also has made it clear that it would hold talks separately with Japan and China to prevent accidental clashes that might occur as a result of overlapping ADIZs.
 韓国は、今回の識別圏拡大にあたって日本や米国などに事前通告した。その上で、「識別圏の重複に伴う偶発的衝突を防止するため、日本、中国と個別に協議する」という姿勢を取っている。

The expanded zone falls under the Incheon Flight Information Region, a zone in which South Korea controls commercial airline traffic. There will thus be no change: Airlines will not need to resubmit their flight plans after the expanded zone takes effect.
 拡大部分は、民間機航空管制の韓国担当空域である仁川飛行情報区に合致させているため、民間機が新たに飛行計画を提出する必要はなく、現状と変わらない。

South Korea’s move must not hamper cooperation among Tokyo, Washington and Seoul, which have taken concerted actions to reject China’s ADIZ. Hindering cooperation would play right into China’s hands.
 今回の韓国の措置のために、中国の識別圏を認めないことで足並みをそろえた日米韓の連携が損なわれては、中国の思うつぼだ。

It was unavoidable that Japan and the United States made a political decision to condone South Korea’s ADIZ.
 日米両国が韓国の拡大を政治判断で認めたのもやむを得まい。

Disregarding international norms, China has threatened to take an emergency, armed response to any airplane that passes through its ADIZ without obeying instructions.
 中国は、識別圏を通るすべての航空機を対象に、指示に従わなければ武力による緊急措置を取ると常識はずれの威嚇をしている。

It is hard to dismiss concerns about a possible accidental clash with Chinese military aircraft when Self-Defense Force and South Korean military planes come dangerously close to them after being scrambled and sent into the overlapping air zone.
 重複する識別圏へ、緊急発進した自衛隊機や韓国軍機が、中国軍機と接近して偶発的衝突が起きないか、との懸念は拭えない。

ADIZ is not airspace

Japan and South Korea already report to each other prior to SDF and South Korean military planes entering each other’s ADIZ. A mechanism must be set up to ensure the safety of such airplanes flying through overlapping air zone.
 日韓は、すでに相手側識別圏内に自衛隊機や韓国軍機が入る際に事前通報し合っている。重複空域を巡る日韓協議では、安全を確保する制度を作る必要がある。

An active exchange of information over security matters between the two nations will contribute to stability in the region.
 日韓が安全保障を巡って情報交換を密にすることは地域の安定に役立つだろう。

In South Korea, initial discussions over expanding its air zone were heated because the issue was linked to control of the submerged rock and airspace above small islands. Such a stance is seen on a par with that of China’s handling of its ADIZ, as if it were airspace.
 韓国における防空識別圏の拡大論議は当初、暗礁の管轄権や小島の領空と絡めて過熱した面があった。識別圏を領空扱いする中国の姿勢に通じかねない。

We must be clear on this matter: An ADIZ is not airspace. It is established outside airspace as an alert zone, so the nation concerned can deal with aircraft that threaten to violate its airspace by monitoring aircraft passing through the ADIZ.
 防空識別圏は、領空ではない。領空の外側に設け、圏内に入る航空機に目を光らせることで、領空侵犯しようとする航空機に対応するための警戒空域である。

As an ADIZ has nothing to do with territorial rights, Japan’s ADIZ does not include airspace over the Takeshima islands and the northern territories. The same goes for the Ogasawara Islands, which were reverted from U.S. control in 1968.
 領有権と無関係だから、日本は、竹島や北方領土を識別圏には含めていない。米国から返還された小笠原諸島も同様だ。

It is imperative that Japan and South Korea closely cooperate in operating the overlapping air zone.
 日韓は、重複する識別圏の運用で密接に協力すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 11, 2013)
(2013年12月11日01時43分  読売新聞)

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2013年12月11日 (水)

みんなの党分裂 「江田新党」は野党再編序章か

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 10, 2013
Eda’s split from Your Party may trigger political realignment
みんなの党分裂 「江田新党」は野党再編序章か(12月10日付・読売社説)

Four years and four months after its inception, Your Party has split. This event has the potential of leading to a realignment of opposition parties.
 みんなの党が、結党4年4か月でとうとう分裂した。野党再編への序章となる可能性がある。

Former Secretary General Kenji Eda and 13 other members of the party have submitted letters of resignation to the party and announced plans to establish a new party before the end of the year. The 14 defectors—eight from the House of Representatives and six from the House of Councillors—account for 40 percent of the party’s 35 lawmakers. Mito Kakizawa, an independent in the lower house, will join the planned new party.
 江田憲司前幹事長らが離党届を提出し、年内に新党を結成する方針を表明した。離党するのは14人の衆参両院議員で、党所属35人の4割に上る。新党には無所属の柿沢未途衆院議員も加わる。

The primary reason for the split was a feud between party leader Yoshimi Watanabe and Eda over the party’s future course.
 分裂の主因は、路線を巡る渡辺代表と江田氏の確執である。

Watanabe has insisted on cooperating with other parties in one political bloc, while maintaining the independence of Your Party. Eda, on the other hand, does not hesitate to run the risk of dissolving the party to help realign opposition forces. Watanabe scorned Eda’s move as an “antiparty action.”
 渡辺氏は、みんなの党を存続させたまま、他の野党と連携する「政党ブロック」の構想を主張する。野党再編のためなら、解党も辞さないとする江田氏の動きを「反党行為」と攻撃してきた。

Watanabe removed Eda from the post of party secretary general in August and forced Eda’s close follower, Kakizawa, to leave the party later that month.
 8月には、江田氏を幹事長から外し、その後、江田氏の側近である柿沢氏を離党に追い込んだ。

The situation was brought to a head over the party leadership’s handling of the government-proposed legislation on protecting specially designated state secrets.
 特定秘密保護法を巡る対応が、分裂の直接の引き金となった。

Eda vehemently criticized Watanabe’s role in working out an agreement to amend the bill through talks with the Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, New Komeito, as “wooing the LDP.”
 江田氏は、渡辺氏が主導した自民、公明の与党との法案修正合意について、「自民党へのすり寄り」と厳しく批判している。

Attention will be focused on whether Eda’s action will evolve into interparty tie-ups or a realignment of opposition parties involving the Democratic Party of Japan and Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party).
 今後の焦点は、江田氏の動きが、民主党や日本維新の会を巻き込み、政党の枠を超えた連携や野党再編に発展するかどうかだ。

After submitting his letter of resignation to the party Monday, Eda said at a news conference that political forces should work together to compete with the LDP. This probably means he wants his new party to act as the foundation for future realignment of opposition parties.
 江田氏は離党届提出後の記者会見で、自民党に対抗する政治勢力を結集する必要性を指摘した。「江田新党」も将来の野党再編への布石とする考えなのだろう。

Fighting a behemoth

Given that the current political map is dominated by the LDP, leaving small and weak parties far in its wake, the unity of opposition parties is being put to the test. It is understandable that the opposition parties will try to rally their forces to increase their voice against the behemoth ruling party.
 自民党が突出した「1強多弱」の状況の下、野党の結束が問われている。巨大与党に対抗し、発言力を高めるために、野党が勢力結集を目指すのは理解できる。

But the question remains whether they can agree on political ideals and policies. Ishin no Kai’s acting secretary general, Yorihisa Matsuno, plans to form a parliamentary group with Eda’s new party. This is a realistic option.
 だが、政治理念、政策で一致できるのか。維新の会の松野頼久幹事長代行が、維新と「江田新党」による統一会派結成という緩やかな連携を呼び掛ける意向を示しているのは、現実的と言える。

Ishin no Kai, which was founded before the lower house election in December last year, is not a monolithic party either, as policy differences have emerged between its Osaka-based members, led by party coleader Toru Hashimoto, and a group of lawmakers in Tokyo.
 昨年の衆院選前に結党した維新の会も、橋下共同代表ら大阪の勢力と東京の国会議員団との間で政策の違いが表面化しており、一枚岩ではない。

If a unified parliamentary group can be realized by Eda’s party and Ishin no Kai, it will surpass the DPJ in strength in the lower house to become the second political force after the LDP. As the biggest parliamentary group of the opposition camp, it will have the strongest voice among opposition groups in the Diet.
 統一会派が実現すれば、衆院議席で民主党を上回り、自民党に続く勢力となる。野党第1会派として、国会での発言権は増そう。

Your Party, under Watanabe’s leadership, is expected to increase its cooperation with the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Watanabe will reportedly offer advice to the Abe Cabinet in its reexamination of the constitutional interpretation of the right to collective self-defense.
 一方で、みんなの党の渡辺氏は、安倍政権と政策面での協調姿勢を強めるのではないか。集団的自衛権の憲法解釈見直しについても近く安倍内閣に提言するという。

DPJ President Banri Kaieda cannot sit back and calmly watch the split of Your Party without taking action. Quite a few DPJ members also lean toward a realignment of the opposition parties. Unless something is done to change the status quo, the DPJ’s leadership will see its power further wane.
 みんなの党の分裂劇を静観する構えの民主党の海江田代表も安閑とはしていられまい。党内にも野党再編を志向する議員は少なくない。今のままでは、執行部の求心力が一層弱まる可能性がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 10, 2013)
(2013年12月10日01時45分  読売新聞)

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2013年12月10日 (火)

アンドロイド版ゲームで遊ぼう 200体を超すモンスターたち

たまには子供に戻ってゲームだって息抜きに必要なんです。
これは、どんなに年を重ねても変わらないのではないかと思います。
現役時代は、仕事を抱えているのに夜遅くまでドラクエにはまった経験があります。
モンスター対決型アドベンチャーゲームに、あそこまではまったのには理由(わけ)があります。
キーワードは経験値です。
様々なモンスターたちとの対戦を重ねて、相手の弱点を探ったりする手段が取れるのがたまらない魅力でしたね。
モンスター対戦型ゲームが懐かしくなって、サイトを物色していたら、すぐにひとつ見つかりました。
これは対戦型ではなくって、育成型のゲームなんですが、同じように楽しく遊べそうな感じがします。
モンスター育成RPGゲーム「みっくすりとる」 というゲームなんですが、アンドロイド版ゲームとして無償配布されています。
私は幸いなことに8インチのアンドロイドタブレットを持っています。
さっそく今からDLして遊んでみようかと思います。
こちらのモンスターたちは、ドラクエと違って、全部可愛いのですね^^。



スマートフォンゲーム「みっくすりとる」
◆SNSエンジン「Revolver」を採用した『みっくすりとる』専用コミュニティをオープン
&12月5日(木)大型アップデートに伴い4つのイベントを実施!



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不要になったiPhoneはダイワンで買い取ってもらえます

iPhoneのデザインの移り変わりはめまぐるしいですね。
昨年やっとの思いで購入したiPhoneなんですが、今年はもう新型が出てしまっており、それに乗り換えたいのです。
不要になったiPhoneはiPhone買取 専門店ダイワンで買い取ってもらえます。
私のように新型に固執する人たちにとっては、ありがたいサービスなんですね。
ダイワンの買取システムはとてもシンプルです。

僅か三つのステップで楽々買い取りをしてもらえます。

(1) ネットの管理画面から見積もりをしてもらいます
(2) 査定金額で折り合いがついたら、商品を発送します
(3) 商品の到着から最短1日でお金が振り込まれます

不要になったiPhoneの処分ならば、ダイワンがおすすめです。




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婚外子格差撤廃 配偶者の権利も尊重したい

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 9, 2013
Spouse’s rights must be respected despite change on inheritance rights
婚外子格差撤廃 配偶者の権利も尊重したい(12月8日付・読売社説)

The Diet has approved a bill to revise the Civil Code that will delete an article that discriminates against the inheritance rights of children born to unmarried parents.
 婚姻届を出していない男女の間に生まれた非嫡出子(婚外子)の相続格差をなくす改正民法が成立した。

For now, we can only praise the Diet’s swift action following a ruling by the Supreme Court’s Grand Bench that said the article “runs counter to the Constitution, which guarantees equality under the law.”
 「法の下の平等を保障した憲法に違反する」という最高裁大法廷の判断を受け、国会が速やかに対応したことを、まずは評価したい。

The revision will delete the article limiting the inheritance an out-of-wedlock child receives to half that of a child born in wedlock. Among major advanced nations, Japan was the only country that maintained such a discriminatory regulation.
 婚外子の遺産相続分を法律上の夫婦の子(嫡出子)の2分の1とする民法の規定を削除したのが、今回の改正である。このような格差が残っていたのは、主要先進国の中では日本だけだった。

In its ruling in September, the Supreme Court stressed, “Children born out of wedlock should not be at a disadvantage as a result of their parents not being married, a situation the children had no control over.”
 最高裁は9月に出した家事審判の決定で、「父母が婚姻関係になかったという、自ら選択・修正する余地のない事柄を理由として、子に不利益を及ぼすことは許されない」と強調した。

The number of so-called de facto marriages and single mothers has increased, and the narrow social view of perceiving children born out of wedlock as different has declined considerably. The court’s decision is in line with changing public awareness.
 事実婚やシングルマザーが増え、婚外子を特別視する風潮も薄れてきている。国民の意識の変化に沿った判断だったと言える。

At the same time, the court’s ruling does not diminish respect for de jure marriages, in which couples follow all legal procedures.
 しかし、最高裁決定は、法律上の手続きを経た「法律婚」の尊重まで否定したわけではない。

We should bear in mind that there is no change in this way of thinking under the revised Civil Code.
改正後の民法でも、この考え方自体には変更がない点に留意したい。

During discussions on the revision, strong concerns were voiced within the Liberal Democratic Party that the family system based on legal marriage could be undermined and that adultery could be encouraged.
 改正に向けた議論で、自民党内には「法律婚に基づく家族制度が揺らぎかねない」「不倫を助長する」といった懸念が強かった。

Even if a spouse of a deceased person has no previous acquaintance with an out-of-wedlock biological child, that child is still entitled to receive the same inheritance as the spouse’s child.
 仮に故人の配偶者と婚外子の間に面識がなかった場合でも、突然現れた婚外子が配偶者の子供と同じ額を相続することになる。

If the only asset is a house, some people have said there may be an increase in cases of a spouse selling the house to pay a portion of the inheritance to an out-of-wedlock child.
 家屋以外に財産がない相続では、配偶者が家屋を売却し、婚外子に相続分を支払うケースが増えるとの見方も出ている。

Importance of family ties

We can understand to some extent the concern expressed by the LDP and other parties that the deletion of the article could undermine the rights of a spouse—who had lived with his or her spouse for many years before that spouse died, built up their family and accumulated wealth together—and those of the spouse’s child.
 故人に長年連れ添って家庭を築き、共に財産を形成してきた配偶者と、その子供の権利が損なわれるという自民党などの指摘には、うなずける面がある。

To deal with these problems and to maintain the family system founded on legal marriage, other measures must be taken, besides those concerning discriminatory inheritance between in-wedlock and out-of-wedlock children.
 こうした問題に対処し、法律婚に立脚した家族制度を維持していくためには、嫡出子・婚外子の相続格差によってではなく、別の仕組みや手段を講じるべきだ。

The government and the LDP have decided to study what form the legal system for inheritance should take, particularly in regard to spouses, in an effort to protect family bonds, and to come up with a conclusion one year from now.
 政府・自民党は「家族の絆を守るための諸施策」として、配偶者に配慮した相続法制のあり方などを検討し、1年後をめどに結論を取りまとめることを決めた。

Granting a higher share of inheritance to a spouse than under the current system is a good option.
 配偶者の相続分を現行より手厚くすることも、有力な選択肢の一つではないか。

The family will remain the foundation of society. During and after the Great East Japan Earthquake, people once again recognized the importance of the family ties.
 家族が社会の基礎を構成することは、これからも変わるまい。東日本大震災では家族の絆の大切さを国民が再認識した。

We should deepen our discussion on family ties now that the Civil Code has been revised.
 今回の民法改正を機に、改めて家族のあり方に関する議論を深めていきたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 8, 2013)
(2013年12月8日01時23分  読売新聞)

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臨時国会閉幕 与野党は不毛な対立解消せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 10, 2013
Both ruling, opposition blocs must stop engaging in unfruitful debate
臨時国会閉幕 与野党は不毛な対立解消せよ(12月8日付・読売社説)

With the latest Diet session now adjourned, there can be no denying that a streak of futile showdowns between the ruling and opposition blocs made what could have been constructive policy discussions recede into the background.
 与野党の不毛な対立で政策論議が後景に追いやられた感がある。

The extraordinary Diet session was virtually brought to a close Friday before the end of the session, which was extended to Sunday.
 臨時国会は、会期末の8日を前に事実上閉幕した。

As a law for establishing a Japanese equivalent to the U.S. National Security Council that will oversee foreign diplomacy and national security policies and one for the protection of specially designated state secrets have been enacted, the foundation for crafting national strategies has been significantly bolstered.
外交・安全保障政策の司令塔となる国家安全保障会議(日本版NSC)の設置法と、特定秘密保護法が成立し、国家戦略を立てる基盤が強化された。

In addition, bills ensuring mainstays of the growth strategy of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration, such as one to ramp up the nation’s industrial competitiveness and another to create national strategy special zones, have become law.
Other important bills, including those related to social welfare reform and revisions of the public livelihood assistance law, have also passed the legislature.
 また、産業競争力強化法、国家戦略特区法など安倍内閣の成長戦略の柱となる法制や、社会保障改革法、改正生活保護法といった重要法案も成立した。

The Diet can be said to have produced a degree of achievement within this short period of its sitting. This is due mainly to the fact that the state of a divided Diet was brought to an end as a result of the House of Councillors election in July.
 短期間で一定の成果を上げたと言えるだろう。7月の参院選で衆参のねじれが解消したことが、その大きな要因である。

The face-off between the ruling and opposition parties over the bill on specially designated state secrets near the close of the Diet session, however, took on the appearance of a mudslinging contest. Indications are that something must be done to address the task of fixing the soured ruling-opposition relations to pave the way for the ordinary Diet session to be convened early next year.
 ただ、会期末の秘密保護法を巡る与野党の対立は、“泥仕合”の様相を呈した。来年の通常国会に向けて、与野党の関係修復も課題となるのではないか。

What we believe should be brought into question is the attitude adopted by the Democratic Party of Japan toward the end of the Diet session, as if it had become a party entirely for out-and-out opposition.
 疑問なのは、最終局面で抵抗野党と化してしまったかのような民主党の態度である。

The DPJ presented a no-confidence motion to the House of Representatives against the Abe Cabinet on Friday night, protesting that the Cabinet was rushing relentlessly to enact the state secrecy law.
 民主党は6日夜、秘密保護法の成立を急ぐ安倍内閣に対する不信任決議案を衆院に提出した。

Opposition camp in disarray

Under the circumstances, it was quite reasonable that Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) opposed the DPJ move on the grounds that the act of submitting a no-confidence motion against the Cabinet as a way of steering the Diet agenda “should be ruled out as pointless.” The difference in views between the two parties brought to the fore the failure of the opposition camp’s attempt to act as one in fighting the coalition government.
 これに対し、日本維新の会が「議事運営の問題で内閣に不信任を出すのはピントがずれている」として反対したのはうなずける。野党共闘の不調を印象づけた。

When it came time to vote on the state secrecy law in an upper house plenary session, the DPJ lawmakers at one point walked out. They, however, ended up taking a detour, eventually returning to the floor due to a spate of objections against the walkout from among party members, casting dissenting votes against the legislation.
 参院本会議での秘密保護法採決の際、民主党はいったん退席した。ところが、党内から異論が相次いだため会議場に戻り、反対票を投じるという迷走ぶりだった。

Though Ishin no Kai and fellow opposition Your Party were in favor of cooperating with the ruling camp regarding amendments to the law, both parties fell into internal disarray, resulting in a walkout just before the vote to protest the speed with which the ruling bloc handled the legislation.
 維新の会とみんなの党は、法案修正で与党との協調姿勢を示しながら、それぞれの党内で足並みが乱れ、採決時には与党の姿勢を理由に退席した。

There were schisms before the voting within both parties, but the intraparty rifts seemed to have been aggravated over pros and cons regarding the state secrey law. This will likely have some implications for moves to realign opposition parties.
 維新、みんな両党は、いずれも以前から亀裂があったが、秘密保護法の賛否を巡って、それがさらに拡大したと言える。野党再編の動きにもつながるだろう。

The way the ruling parties ran the Diet agenda was forceful and clumsy.
 与党の国会運営も、強硬かつ稚拙だった。

Up until the voting on the state secrecy law at the upper house’s special committee, it cannot be denied that the parties in power incurred unnecessarily adverse reactions from the opposition through such actions as the unilateral setting of the committee’s deliberation schedules at its chairman’s discretion, abruptly halting interpellations on the issue and holding a lopsided public hearing on the divisive legislation.
参院特別委員会での秘密保護法採決に至るまで、委員長職権による審議日程設定や、質疑打ち切り、一方的な地方公聴会開催など、いたずらに野党の反発を招いたことは否定できない。

Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Shigeru Ishiba likened demonstrations against the state secrecy bill around the Diet building and elsewhere to “terrorism,” a comment that he had to rescind later.
 自民党の石破幹事長は秘密保護法に反対する国会周辺などでのデモを「テロ」にたとえ、その後撤回した。

The demonstrations were carried out using loudspeakers, creating a possibility of infringing on the law requiring maintenance of peace in the vicinity of the Diet building. The remark by Ishiba, however, resulted in providing the opposition with ammunition for attack.
デモは拡声機を使用し、国会周辺静穏保持法にも抵触する可能性がある。しかし、結果的に野党の攻撃材料となった。

Given the Diet’s current configuration of power, which can be characterized as “a single dominant party with all others hot on its heels,” the LDP should never be arrogant about its the numerical advantage, instead bearing in mind the importance of running Diet affairs humbly and politely.
 「1強多弱」の国会であるからこそ、自民党は今後、「数の力」におごらず、謙虚で丁寧な国会運営を心がける必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 8, 2013)
(2013年12月8日01時23分  読売新聞)

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2013年12月 8日 (日)

秘密保護法成立 国家安保戦略の深化につなげよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 8, 2013
Make use of intelligence protection law to strengthen national security strategy
秘密保護法成立 国家安保戦略の深化につなげよ(12月7日付・読売社説)

 ◆疑念招かぬよう適切な運用を

A law to protect state secrets, comparable to those in other advanced countries, has finally been enacted in Japan.
 日本にもようやく米英など他の先進国並みの機密保全法制が整った。

The government must use the law to strengthen diplomatic and national security policies. At the same time, it should pay special attention in applying the law, so the general public does not feel as if its right to know will be limited.
 外交・安全保障政策の強化につなげる一方で、「知る権利」が損なわれるという疑念を国民から抱かれぬよう、政府は運用に十分配慮しなければならない。

The specially designated intelligence protection law, which strengthens punishments of public employees who leak classified information concerning national security, was enacted after a bill on the law passed a House of Councillors plenary session late Friday, with a majority of votes by the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito.
 安全保障に関わる機密情報を漏らした公務員らの罰則を強化する特定秘密保護法が6日深夜、参院本会議で自民、公明両党の賛成多数によって可決、成立した。

With the ruling and opposition parties in fierce confrontation over the bill, members of Your Party—which agreed to passage of the bill in the House of Representatives—walked out of the plenary session, criticizing the ruling camp’s way of managing Diet business as “high-handed.” We regret that this extremely important law was born in such unusual circumstances.
 与野党が激しく対立する中、衆院で賛成したみんなの党が与党の「強引な国会運営」を批判して退席した。極めて重要な法律が異例の事態で誕生したのは残念だ。

Unified rules clarified
 ◆統一的なルール明確に

As epitomized by China’s recent declaration of an air defense identification zone, the national security environment surrounding Japan has become increasingly severe.
 中国の防空識別圏設定の動きが象徴するように、日本の安全保障環境は厳しさを増している。

Japan needs to obtain important intelligence on the matter from the United States and other countries and must strengthen its cooperation with them. To do so, it is indispensable to enhance the credibility of its efforts to protect secret information.
 米国はじめ各国から重要な情報を入手し、連携を強めねばならない。それには、秘密保護への信頼を高めることが不可欠だ。

Japan already had rules in place to protect state secrets, including obligations for public officials to protect secrets under the National Civil Service Law, rules for special defense secrets in line with the Japan-U.S. Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement of 1954, and another set of rules for defense secrets under the Self-Defense Forces Law revised in 2001.
 既に国家公務員法の守秘義務や1954年の日米相互防衛援助協定に伴う特別防衛秘密、2001年の改正自衛隊法による防衛秘密などの法制はある。

However, these rules have not adequately protected important intelligence, and it has been pointed out that intelligence is easily leaked in Japan. With the new law, unified and full-fledged rules covering the entire government have been put in place to protect state secrets concerning defense, diplomacy and anti-espionage and antiterrorism activities.
 それでも十分ではなく、日本は情報が漏れやすいと指摘されてきた。今回、防衛、外交、スパイ活動防止、テロ防止に関する、政府全体の統一的かつ本格的な秘密保全ルールが整ったと言える。

The Japanese version of the U.S. National Security Council was launched Wednesday. To enhance the council’s intelligence gathering and analysis abilities, the new law is indispensable.
 今週発足した国家安全保障会議(日本版NSC)の情報収集と分析の能力を高めていく上でも、欠かせない法制度である。

However, the legislative intent of the law, which is to protect the Japanese people, has been made light of by some people.
 ところが、国民を守るための立法趣旨が軽んじられている。

We were surprised that during Diet deliberations on the bill some opposition party members criticized the legislation, even comparing it to the prewar public order maintenance law, which was used to clamp down on ideological criminals. That is an extremely irrational opinion that ignores Japan’s postwar history as a democratic nation as well as changes in the political system and media coverage.
 審議の中で戦前、思想犯の弾圧に用いられた治安維持法になぞらえた批判まで出たのには驚く。戦後の民主主義国家としての歩みや政治体制、報道姿勢の変化を無視した暴論と言うほかなかろう。

In answer to a question during Diet deliberations on the bill, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said: “The general public won’t have access to specially designated secrets, so prosecution of citizens under the law won’t be possible.” As he said, ordinary citizens will not be subject to the law.
 安倍首相が「一般国民が特定秘密を知ることはあり得ない。ゆえに処罰されることはあり得ない」と答弁したように、普通の国民が対象となることはない。

Yet, it cannot be denied that the people’s distrust of the government increased through the deliberations of the bill. The government must explain the intent of the secret intelligence protection law carefully to the people and seek their understanding.
 ただ、法案審議を通じ、政府に対する国民の不信感が増したことも否めない。政府は、秘密保護法の趣旨を国民に丁寧に説明し、理解を求めていくべきである。

Through discussions between the ruling parties and the opposition parties Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Your Party, the range of subjects that can be designated as special secrets was narrowed further, and the principles for disclosing them after they are declassified was made clear. This is praiseworthy.
 与党と維新の会やみんなの党との協議で、秘密指定対象がより絞られ、指定解除後の公開原則も明確になったことは評価できる。

Concern over right to know
 ◆知る権利とのバランス

The biggest point of contention in the upper house deliberations was whether bureaucrats would arbitrarily expand the range of secrecy.
 参院審議の最大の論点は、官僚が恣意(しい)的に秘密の範囲を拡大するのではないかという点だった。

Abe pledged to establish a third-party surveillance committee to check the validity of confidentiality designations. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga also mentioned that an information oversight office with about 20 members will be established in the Cabinet Office. These appear to be the results of concessions made by the government thus far.
 秘密指定の妥当性をチェックする第三者機関として、首相は「保全監視委員会」を設けると約束した。菅官房長官も、内閣府に20人規模の「情報保全監察室」を発足させると言明した。政府側が次々と妥協を図ったと言える。

It is essential that the proposed third-party organ be equipped with functional capabilities. Due heed must especially be taken of the public’s strong concern about secrets handled by such organizations as the National Police Agency and the Public Security Investigation Agency, which are involved in dealing with terrorism and espionage activities.
 第三者機関には実効性を持たせることが肝要だ。特に、警察庁や公安調査庁などテロやスパイ活動を取り締まる分野での秘密については、国民の不安が強いことに留意しなければならない。

The Democratic Party of Japan has maintained that a third-party body, if established within the government, would be unable to perform its functions. However, it is doubtful whether a third-party committee comprising experts nominated by both the ruling and opposition parties, as proposed by the DPJ, would be able to adequately judge the secrecy of information.
 民主党は、政府内の組織では、機能を果たせないと言うが、民主党の提案するように与野党が指名した有識者による委員会で的確に検証できるのか、疑問だ。

High-level judgments on how to handle highly confidential state secrets can be made only in light of government policy and national strategy. We thus believe an oversight body established within the government is desirable in view of the high risk of an information leak.
 秘匿性の高い情報をどう扱うかという高度の判断は、政府の方針や国家戦略に基づいてこそ可能になる。情報漏えいリスクが高まる観点からも、政府内の監視組織の方が望ましい。

The biggest concern is whether government employees will become apprehensive about answering questions from the media out of fear of severe punishment, namely up to 10 years in prison imposed on people who violate the secrecy law. They also might use the law as an excuse to hide information.
 最も懸念されるのは、公務員が懲役10年以下という厳罰を恐れ、報道機関の取材に対して萎縮しかねないことだ。秘密保護法を理由に情報を秘匿する恐れがある。

Due to such overreaction to the Personal Information Protection Law, it is already difficult to share even information that needs to be shared for the good of society. This trend should not be accelerated.
 個人情報保護法に対する過剰反応で、社会に必要な情報まで流通しにくくなった。その傾向に拍車をかけてはなるまい。

Concrete steps needed
 ◆「原則公開」も問われる

The law calls for highly confidential state secrets to be disclosed in principle after 30 years of secrecy designation. An extension of up to 60 years will be allowed, with a few exceptions. Concrete measures, such as how to disclose or destroy documents after the secrecy period ends, have been left up in the air.
 特定秘密の公開は原則30年後だ。延長する場合も一部例外を除き最長60年である。指定解除後の文書をどう公開・廃棄するのか、具体的な方策はこれからだ。

There are also problems related to the freedom of information system that is supposed to be linked with the protection of secrets. The current system makes it difficult for people to access information because of the narrow range of disclosure.
 秘密保護とセットであるべき情報公開制度にも問題がある。現行の制度では公開の幅が狭く、国民が情報にアクセスしにくい。

Unless the system is changed to allow judges to see relevant documents in the event of a lawsuit filed over highly confidential secrets, the courts will be unable to fulfill their roles.
 特定秘密に関する訴訟が起きた場合、裁判官が対象文書を見ることができるようにしなければ裁判所としても役割を果たせない。

The Diet’s role also needs to be discussed. The ruling and opposition parties must deepen discussions on how to steer closed-door meetings in which highly confidential state secrets are provided, and how to relate such meetings to parliamentary rights to investigate state affairs.
 国会の関与のあり方も、検討課題である。特定秘密の提供を受ける秘密会をどう運営するか、国政調査権との関係をどう考えるか、与野党は議論を深めるべきだ。

The law will take effect within a year after its promulgation. We urge the ruling and opposition camps to hold consultations to improve the legal system regarding secrets.
 公布後、1年以内に施行される。与野党は協議を重ね、より良い法制に仕上げてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 7, 2013)
(2013年12月7日01時42分  読売新聞)

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2013年12月 7日 (土)

経済対策5兆円 消費増税後の景気失速を防げ

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 7, 2013
Govt must take steps to prevent slowdown after tax hike in April
経済対策5兆円 消費増税後の景気失速を防げ(12月6日付・読売社説)

The government must take every step it can regarding economic management to prevent the national economy from losing steam due to the consumption tax increase set for April.
 来年4月の消費増税で景気が失速しないよう、政府は経済運営に万全を期さねばならない。

The government has decided on a package of economic measures in preparation for the tax hike from 5 percent to 8 percent, calling for fiscal spending of about ¥5.5 trillion. If expenditures by local governments and other entities are included, spending will amount to ¥18.6 trillion.
 消費税率5%から8%への引き上げをにらんだ政府の経済対策が決まった。国の歳出は約5・5兆円で、地方自治体などの支出と合わせた事業規模は18・6兆円に上る。

Backed by tailwinds from the Abenomics economic policy promoted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration and the weaker yen, the national economy has been picking up but has not yet achieved strong growth led by the private sector. The nation’s exit from deflation is still ongoing as well.
 安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」や円安を追い風に、景気は上向いているが、民間主導の力強い成長には至っていない。デフレからの脱却も道半ばだ。

A last-minute surge in demand for durable consumer goods is anticipated ahead of the tax hike, but consumption and investment are expected to turn sluggish in reaction to the tax raise.
 増税前は耐久消費財などの駆け込み需要が見込まれるものの、増税後はその反動などで消費や投資が低迷するとみられる。

According to projections by private institutions, annualized growth in the gross domestic product for the April-June quarter of 2014 is widely anticipated to drop by five percentage points from the previous quarter. It is proper that the government will take steps to prevent the economy from slowing down.
 民間の予測では、2014年4~6月期の実質国内総生産(GDP)成長率は、年率換算で前期比マイナス5%程度に落ち込むとの見方が多い。
 景気腰折れを防ぐため、経済対策を打つのは適切と言える。

One of the core measures is to utilize corporate vigor.
 対策の柱の一つは、企業の活力を引き出す取り組みである。

The special corporate tax for reconstruction will be abolished at the end of fiscal 2013, one year ahead of schedule, to reduce the corporate tax burden by about ¥800 billion, and the financing system to support the operation of small and midsize companies will be expanded. The government will support businesses, as it expects them to be a driving force behind growth.
 復興特別法人税を1年前倒しで13年度末に廃止し、企業の税負担を8000億円規模で軽減する。中小企業の資金繰りを支援する融資制度も拡充する。政府が企業を支援するのは、成長のけん引役として期待しているからだろう。

Companies have roles to play

For their part, companies are urged to actively expand investment and projects. It is hoped that their improved profits will be used to raise wages and expand employment, spreading the benefits to household finances.
 企業は、積極的な投資や事業展開を図ってほしい。収益向上を賃上げや雇用拡大につなげ、家計へ波及させることが望まれる。

The second pillar of the economic measures is implementation of public works projects. The projects will center on safety and anti-disaster measures such as strengthening school buildings’ earthquake resistance and renewal of superannuated roads and bridges.
 対策の2本目の柱は、公共事業である。学校の耐震化や老朽化した道路、橋の更新など防災と安全対策が中心になる。

However, it is worrying that many tenders on public works projects have recently ended unsuccessfully due to a labor shortage and surges in material prices. Smooth implementation of the projects is needed to ensure stimulus measures are effective. It is also indispensable to closely scrutinize the projects to determine which are nonessential and which are nonurgent.
 ただ、最近、人手不足や資材価格の高騰で公共事業の入札が不調となる事例も目立つ。景気刺激を効果あるものにするには、事業の円滑な執行が求められる。不要不急の事業の精査も不可欠だ。

Enhancing the policy to sustain personal consumption will also be necessary to ease the adverse effects of the tax increase. This is because the planned cash handouts to low-income earners, which have been incorporated in the government’s economic steps, are expected to have only a limited effect.
 増税の悪影響を和らげるには、個人消費を下支えする政策の充実も必要ではないか。
 低所得者への給付措置などが盛り込まれたが、一時的な支給の効果は限定的とみられるからだ。

It would be more beneficial to adopt reduced tax rates for such items as food so that benefits can be offered to a wider range of consumers in a lasting manner.
 食料品などの税率を低く抑える軽減税率を採用し、より幅広い消費者に恒久的に恩恵が行き渡るようにする方が有益だったろう。

If the consumption tax is to be raised further to 10 percent in October 2015 as scheduled, it will be indispensable to adopt reduced tax rates. The ruling parties need to decide on the introduction as early as possible.
 予定通り15年10月に消費税率を10%へ引き上げる場合には、軽減税率が欠かせない。与党は早急に導入を決断する必要がある。

To put the economy on a path to full-scale recovery, it is essential to steadily realize a growth strategy in addition to the economic measures. Deregulation and other reform measures that would lead to expanding new business opportunities must be carried out urgently.
 景気の本格回復には、経済対策に加え、成長戦略を着実に実現することが大切となる。新たなビジネス機会の拡大に結びつく規制改革などを急ぐべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 6, 2013)
(2013年12月6日01時26分  読売新聞)

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中国防空識別圏 習主席は日米の懸念に応えよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 7, 2013
President Xi must pay heed to Japan, U.S. concerns over ADIZ
中国防空識別圏 習主席は日米の懸念に応えよ(12月6日付・読売社説)

China must take seriously the explicit declarations by Japan and the United States of their intentions regarding Beijing’s announcement of its new air defense identification zone.
 日米両国の明確な意思表示を中国は重く受け止めるべきだ。

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday in Beijing, declaring that the United States does not recognize or accept the ADIZ recently established by China over the East China Sea, expressing Washington’s “significant apprehension.”
 米国のバイデン副大統領が、中国の習近平国家主席と北京で会談し、東シナ海に設定された中国の防空識別圏を認めないと述べた上で「深い懸念」を表明した。

In the talks, Biden reportedly called for Beijing to take measures to reduce tensions with countries concerned, prodding the Chinese leadership to exercise self-restraint to prevent a crisis over the zone.
 バイデン氏はさらに、中国に対し、関係国との緊張緩和に向けた措置を取り、この問題で危機を誘発するような行動を自制するよう要請したという。

Both of Biden’s calls were in line with what was confirmed in his talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe the previous day.
 いずれも、安倍首相との会談で確認した内容に沿ったものだ。

It was especially significant that Biden conveyed directly to Xi the strong sense of apprehension both Japan and the United States have over the way China declared the ADIZ and the rules of its implementation, which both Tokyo and Washington said deviate from international norms.
 中国の防空識別圏の設定の仕方や運用が国際常識から外れているとの日米両国の強い懸念を、習氏に直接伝えた点に意味がある。

In declaring the ADIZ, which changes the status quo in the East China Sea, China failed to consult with countries concerned beforehand. Rather, it unilaterally implemented the zone and abruptly announced it.
 中国は、現状を変更する識別圏設定に当たり、周辺国との事前調整をせず、一方的に発表した。

The means by which China implemented the new ADIZ strays from implementation protocol for air defense identification zones of other countries.
 その運用方法も、国際社会のやり方とは大きく異なっている。

In the ADIZs of countries other than China, including Japan, only aircraft found to be heading toward the countries’ territorial airspace are subject to alert. China, however, made it mandatory for all aircraft passing through its new ADIZ to report flight plans to Chinese authorities. Also, Beijing has warned it will make planes that fail to comply with its ADIZ rules subject to unspecified “defensive emergency measures.”
 日本などの防空識別圏では、領空に向かう航空機だけが警戒の対象となる。だが、中国は、識別圏内を飛行する全航空機に、飛行計画の提出を義務付けたばかりか、従わないと、「防御的緊急措置」の対象になると警告している。

Dangerous mind-set

Although most of the ADIZ is set above high seas, China’s warning is tantamount to treating the zone as part of its own airspace. We believe this is an illegitimate and dangerous mode of thinking.
 識別圏の大半は公海上空に設定されているのに、自らの領空のように扱っている。不当かつ極めて危険な考え方である。

In reply to calls from Biden, Xi was cited as reiterating China’s “principled stance” that its new ADIZ was established “in accord with international law and practice.” Does China intend to continue treating its air zone in its own fashion?
 バイデン氏に対し、習氏は、中国の「原則的な立場」を繰り返し、識別圏は「国際法や国際慣例に合致している」と述べたという。識別圏を引き続き、自己流で運用し続けるつもりなのだろうか。

As long as China takes such an attitude, it will never win the understanding of countries concerned, including Japan and the United States. First, Beijing should do away with its hard-line stance, which could invite the risk of an accidental military conflict.
 こうした態度では、日米をはじめ関係国の理解は得られまい。中国は、偶発的な軍事衝突を引き起こしかねない強硬な姿勢を、まず改める必要がある。

In his talks with Xi, Biden was also quoted as calling for China to create a crisis management mechanism in cooperation with Japan, with which China has an ongoing sovereignty row over the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, and other countries surrounding the new air zone.
 バイデン氏は習氏に、不測の事態を回避するために、沖縄県・尖閣諸島をめぐり対立する日本や周辺国と危機管理メカニズムを構築するよう促した。

It is crucial to expedite the opening up of communication channels among the countries concerned. The Chinese government has made an overture to the Japanese government to hold consultations with the aim of “securing safe flights” in the airspace where the two countries’ ADIZs overlap.
 関係国間で、意思の疎通を図ることは欠かせない。中国政府も日本に対して、「識別圏が重なっている空域での安全な飛行」のための協議を呼びかけている。

We worry, however, that in the process of such consultations, China will insist that Japan acknowledge China’s ADIZ, including airspace over the Senkakus, as if it were a fait accompli.
 ただ、気がかりなのは、話し合いの過程で、中国が、尖閣諸島上空を含む自らの防空識別圏を既成事実であるかのように主張してくると見られることだ。

Even if such consultations take place, Japan must not give up its stance of refusing to recognize China’s declaration of the air defense identification zone.
協議を行う場合でも、識別圏を認めないとの立場を崩してはならない。

In dealing with the ADIZ, it is important that Japan work closely with the United States in taking strategic measures against China.
 防空識別圏の問題を巡っては、米国との足並みをそろえながら、中国に戦略的に働きかけることが肝要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 6, 2013)
(2013年12月6日01時26分  読売新聞)

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2013年12月 6日 (金)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:母と娘、複雑で面白い関係 /東京

December 01, 2013(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Untangling complicated mother-daughter relationships
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:母と娘、複雑で面白い関係 /東京

So many of my patients come to see me about family issues. In many cases, they have problems with their parents, saying, "I can't open up to them," or, "They've hurt me."
 診察室に来る人の悩みで、圧倒的に多いのは「家族のこと」。
 特に、子どもが親に対し、「心を許せない」「傷つけられた」と悩むパターンが多い。

Daughters, in particular, seem to have difficulties dealing with their mothers. Their ages vary widely, from teenagers to women in their 50s and 60s. In fact, I met a woman in her 70s who told me that she had been rejected by her mother ever since she was young. The mother, if I remember correctly, was in her late 90s.
その中でも目につくのが「母の問題」で苦しむ娘たち。娘といっても10代もいれば50代や60代もいる。一度、「若い頃から母親に否定され続けてきた」と話す70代の女性に会ったことがある。母親は、たしか90代後半だった。

The other day, I was reading a magazine that mainly targets male white-collar workers, and came across an article in which male athletes and scholars talked about their mothers. These men said their mothers had always been proud of them and had given them all the love they could provide. Even when they became successful in their professions, their mothers always cared for them.
This may sound blunt, but I was impressed by how simple a mother-son relationship is.
 先日、男性ビジネスマンが多く読む週刊誌を読んでいたら、プロスポーツ選手や学者の男性たちが「母の思い出」を語る記事が載っていた。彼らは母親にとって「自慢の息子」で、あふれんばかりの愛情を注がれて育ち、社会的に成功してからも母だけは自分を心配してくれた−−といった尽きせぬ思慕を語っていた。失礼な言い方だが、「母と息子って単純な関係なんだな」と感心した。

Mother-daughter relationships, on the other hand, are complicated. Many women who come to my clinic because they have problem with their mothers don't actually hate them.
 それに比べると母と娘は複雑だ。診察室にやって来る娘たちにしても、多くは心底、母親が嫌いなわけではない。

I asked one patient who had rocky relationship with her mother (because the mother once told her that she couldn't do anything right) about her plans for the weekend and she said she was going to see a musical with her mother.
「あなたは何をやってもダメな子ね」と子どもの頃、母親に否定された傷がいつまでも消えないと苦しむ女性に「この週末はどんな予定ですか」と聞くと、にっこりして「母とミュージカルを見に行く」という答えが返ってきて驚いたことがあった。

She explained that although she couldn't seem to forgive her mother, they shared the same pastimes now, and she didn't mind spending time with her mother if they were enjoying what they both liked.
「許せない母ですが今は同じミュージカルスターにハマっていて。趣味だけは妙に一致するので、その時だけは一緒に行動してもいいかな、と思ってます」と言う。

"I can't stand her, but I can't help caring about her" -- this might be how daughters feel toward their mothers. Women are constantly asking themselves, "Do I or do I not like my mother?" "Do I want to spend time with her?" Unable to answer these questions, they become stressed out.
 わだかまりはあるけれど、気になる存在。許せないけれど、わかりすぎるくらい通じ合ってもいる。だからこそ、「私は母が好きなの? 嫌いなの? 一緒にいたいの? いたくないの?」と自分でも分からなくなり、余計に娘たちはイライラするのかもしれない。

The Japanese novel "Showa no Inu" (A Dog in the Showa Era) by Kaoruko Himeno tells the story of a woman who grows up never really getting along with her parents. Her father always yells at her and her mother is never sympathetic toward her daughter. When the father dies, however, the mother's personality transforms completely and she becomes a cheerful person. The mother eventually becomes ill and has to be admitted to a local rest home, but the daughter comes to see her mother from Tokyo every weekend.
 小説家、姫野カオルコさんの「昭和の犬」の主人公は、両親としっくりこないまま大きくなった娘の物語だ。父には怒鳴られ続け、母にも受け入れてもらえない娘だが、父が他界すると母は「それこそ『インベーダー』に乗っ取られたのではないかというほど人柄を変え」、朗らかになって娘も幸せな時期を過ごす。その後、母は体を壊して介護が必要となり、地元の施設に入るが娘は毎週末にせっせと東京から面会に通う。

Although they never settle their differences, the daughter and the mother even talk about their past, and the daughter starts to feel that she has been blessed to be raised in her family.
母親と昔のことまで話し合い、和解したわけではないのだが、介護の日々の中で娘の心に「自分は恵まれていた」という実感がふつふつと湧いてくる。

Mother-daughter relationships can be complicated, but at the same time, they're intriguing.
 母と娘の、すぐに説明できない関係。難しいけど面白いと思う。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2013年11月26日 地方版

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秘密保護法案 「監視委」の実効性が問われる

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 6, 2013
Surveillance panel on state secrets must have sufficient efficacy
秘密保護法案 「監視委」の実効性が問われる(12月5日付・読売社説)

We praise the recent move concerning a bill on protecting specially designated state secrets as a certain degree of advancement in terms of protecting people’s “right to know.”
 国民の「知る権利」を守るうえで、一定の前進と評価できよう。

During deliberations on the bill in the Diet, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the government will establish a secrecy preservation surveillance panel to verify the appropriateness of the designation of state secrets within the Cabinet Secretariat before enforcement of the proposed law.
 安倍首相が特定秘密保護法案の国会審議で、秘密指定の妥当性を検証する機関として、内閣官房に「保全監視委員会」を法施行前に設置する方針を表明した。

Abe said that together with an “advisory council on information preservation,” an expert council to offer opinions when the government compiles enforcement rules for designating state secrets; and independent public document and archive management officials, posts to be newly created, the government will conduct “triple checks” on secrets.
 秘密指定の運用基準の策定時に意見具申する有識者会議「情報保全諮問会議」や、秘密文書の廃棄の可否を判断する「独立公文書管理監」の新設と合わせて、「三重のチェック」を行うという。

To strike a good balance between the preservation of state secrets concerning national security and such things as the freedom of the press, it is indispensable to have a mechanism to prevent the subjects of secret designations from being easily expanded. We hope the surveillance panel and the council will put the brakes on arbitrary designations of secrets by government ministries and agencies.
 安全保障に関する機密保全と、報道の自由などを両立させるには秘密指定の対象が安易に広がることを防ぐ仕組みが欠かせない。保全監視委などには、各省庁による恣意(しい)的な秘密指定への「歯止め」の役割が期待される。

The most important thing is to secure the efficacy of the organizations and the new posts.
 肝心なのは、各組織やポストの実効性を確保することである。

The surveillance panel reportedly will include the chief cabinet secretary, deputy chief cabinet secretaries and administrative vice ministers from relevant ministries and agencies.
 保全監視委は、正副官房長官や関係省庁の次官級の官僚などで構成するとされる。

The Democratic Party of Japan has proposed the surveillance panel be independent from the government. However, that proposal is impossible to realize, as it would put the task of judging whether the designation of secrets is appropriate in the hands of outsiders. Therefore, it is reasonable to keep the panel within the government.
 政府から独立した機関にするとの民主党の主張は、部外者に判断を委ねることになり、無理がある。政府の機関とするのは妥当だ。

Yet, it is necessary to prevent the panel from becoming an organization to merely approve secret designations by various ministries and agencies.
 一方で、保全監視委が各省庁の秘密指定の“追認機関”に陥らないようにする必要がある。

It is important for the government to enhance the functions of the secretariat of the surveillance panel. At the same time, it should nurture people with expertise concerning the preservation of state secrets and information disclosure.
 政府は、保全監視委の事務局体制を充実させるとともに、秘密保護や情報公開に関する専門的な人材を育成することが重要だ。

Main topic for leaders’ debate

The bill on the protection of specially designated secrets was the main theme during Wednesday’s debate between Abe and leaders from other parties.
 秘密保護法案は、党首討論でも中心的なテーマとなった。

“At present, there are no rules for designating state secrets and declassifying them,” Abe said, emphasizing the significance of clarifying the criteria and rules for preserving important information.
 安倍首相は、「現在は秘密の指定・解除の規則がない」と述べ、秘密保護法案によって、情報保全の基準やルールが明確化される意義を強調した。

DPJ President Banri Kaieda dubbed the bill a “faulty product” since it does not contain stipulations for the surveillance panel, for instance. He criticized it as a “bill to hide information of the bureaucrats, by the bureaucrats and for the bureaucrats.”
 民主党の海江田代表は、保全監視委などが明記されていない法案は「欠格製品」で、「官僚による官僚のための官僚の情報隠しの法案だ」などと批判した。

Regarding the panel to verify the appropriateness of designations of secrets, the stipulation that the establishment of a verification organization will be examined was added to the bill’s supplementary provisions as a result of discussions on the bill’s amendment between the ruling parties, Your Party and Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party). There is nothing wrong with a government-sponsored bill having its content improved during a Diet session.
 秘密指定の妥当性に関する検証機関は、与党とみんなの党、日本維新の会との修正協議の結果、設置を検討すると法案付則に追加された。政府提出法案が、より良い内容になるよう国会で修正されることに、問題はなかろう。

Ishin no Kai coleader Shintaro Ishihara praised the bill as “very important legislation to meet the needs of the times.” Your Party leader Yoshimi Watanabe said deliberations on the bill in the House of Councillors were conducted “with an iron fist,” and demanded the current Diet session be extended.
 維新の会の石原共同代表は「時代に即応した非常に重要な法律」と法案を評価した。みんなの党の渡辺代表は、参院審議の進め方が「強権的」だとして、賛否を留保し、国会会期の延長を求めた。

To sweep away such an extreme opinion that the bill will threaten citizens’ lives, the government must double its efforts to explain the content of the bill in detail and in an understandable manner.
 政府・与党は、法案が市民生活を脅かすかのような極論を払拭するためにも、法案内容について、丁寧かつ分かりやすく説明する努力を倍加させるべきだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 5, 2013)
(2013年12月5日01時50分  読売新聞)

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男性の育児休業 働く母親支える環境作りを

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 6, 2013
Encouraging men to take child-care leave would benefit society
男性の育児休業 働く母親支える環境作りを(12月5日付・読売社説)

Increasing the amount of child-care leave taken by men will help create a social environment more conducive to child-rearing.
 男性の育児休業をより増やすことが、社会全体で子育てを支援する環境作りにもなるだろう。

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry has started discussions highly likely to result in raising the child-care benefits paid through employment insurance.
 厚生労働省が、雇用保険から育児休業の取得者に支払われる給付額を増額する方向で検討に入った。

The anticipated change is designed to increase the number of working men who take child-care leave. Fewer than 2 percent do so now.
わずか2%足らずの男性の育児休業取得率を引き上げるのが目的だ。

The ministry plans to submit a bill to revise the Employment Insurance Law to the ordinary Diet session next year.
来年の通常国会に雇用保険法改正案を提出する。

Under the current system, a working couple is able to take child-care leave, in principle, until their baby is 14 months old if the leave is taken by only one parent at a time. A parent taking leave is entitled to receive benefits worth 50 percent of the wages earned before taking the leave.
 育児休業は、夫婦がそれぞれ取得する場合、原則として、子供が1歳2か月になるまで認められる仕組みだ。その間、休業前賃金の50%が支給される。

The government is likely to raise the child-care leave benefit to 67 percent of wages for at least the first six-month period for each parent.
 政府は、この育児休業給付を最初の半年に限って67%に引き上げる方針だ。

For example, if a new mother takes two months of maternity leave after giving birth, followed by child-care leave for six months, and then her husband takes child-care leave for the next six months, the couple would be assured of a full year of child-care benefits worth 67 percent of the wages of whichever parent was taking leave at the time.
例えば、妻が子供が2か月になるまで産休を取った後に半年育児休業を取得し、続いて夫も半年の育児休業に入れば、1年間は67%を維持できる。

The government hopes that by boosting such economic assistance, the child-care leave taken by men will increase.
 政府は、こうした経済的な支援の強化によって男性の育児休業が増えると期待している。

Companies must help

Yet there is also a sense of unwillingness in business circles.
 だが、経済界には抵抗感もある。

While the central government pays for a little under 7 percent of the child-care leave benefit, the rest is to be covered by insurance for which employers and employees pay equally. Therefore, the increase in the benefit is likely to raise the financial burden on both labor and management.
育児休業給付の7%弱は国が負担し、残りを事業主と被保険者である労働者が折半するため、給付増で労使の負担が増すことになりかねないからである。

It is also unlikely that a hike in child-care leave benefits alone will be sufficient to increase the amount of child-care leave taken by men.
 育児休業給付の増額だけで男性の休業取得が増える、とも考えにくい。

An opinion survey taken by the ministry found that men most often cited “workplace atmosphere” as a reason for not taking child-care leave.
厚労省の実施した世論調査によると、男性が育児休業を取得しなかった理由としては、「職場の雰囲気」が最も多かった。

If more working men were to take child-care leave, even for a very short period, it would give mental support to working women. We think it important for businesses to understand this well and to start creating environments in which men feel it is easier to take their child-care leave.
 短期間でも男性が育児のために休暇を取るようになれば、働く女性の精神的な支えとなろう。企業がそれをよく理解し、休業を取得しやすい環境作りから始めていくことが大切ではないか。

At leading consumer products maker Kao Corp., winner of the grand prize of the “Ikumen Company Award 2013,” the rate of men taking child-rearing leave has been hovering in the 35-40 percent range in recent years. (“Ikumen” is a recently coined word for fathers who actively take part in raising children.)
 厚労省の「イクメン企業アワード」のグランプリを受賞した日用品メーカーの花王では、近年の男性社員の育児休業取得率は、35~40%で推移している。

The company has established a system of giving its male employees fully paid child-care leave for up to five days. It encourages them to take the leave more actively by holding seminars. Although the average period of child-care leave taken by male employees is only 11 days, the company said its employees’ attitudes have been changing.
 最高5日間の有給の休業制度を設けたほか、セミナーを開催するなど積極的な活用を呼びかけてきたという。男性の取得期間の平均は11日間と短いものの、社員の意識も変わってきている。

Since earlier this year, the Tokyo Stock Exchange has selected listed companies that excel at utilizing women, calling these companies “Nadeshiko issues” and recommending their stock to potential investors. The rate of male workers taking child-care leave is one yardstick for the TSE’s selection.
 東京証券取引所では、今年から女性を積極的に活用する企業を選定し、「なでしこ銘柄」として推奨している。男性の育児休業取得率も選定基準の一つだ。

Hiroshima Prefecture Gov. Hidehiko Yuzaki provided another positive example with his announcement that he was taking child-care leave himself, apparently pushing up the rate of men taking such leave at companies in the prefecture to 7 percent.
 広島県のように知事の「育休宣言」が一つのきっかけとなり、県内企業の男性の育児休業取得率が7%にまで伸びた例もある。

Measures to deal with the low birth rate are a matter of urgency.
 少子化対策は喫緊の課題だ。

Both the public and private sectors need to consider ways to broadly support child-rearing, including the child-care leave taken by men.
男性の育児休業も含め、官民で幅広い子育て支援策を考えたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 5, 2013)
(2013年12月5日01時50分  読売新聞)

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2013年12月 5日 (木)

全国学力テスト 結果公表を教育改善に生かせ

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 2, 2013
Use disclosure of natl achievement test results to improve education
全国学力テスト 結果公表を教育改善に生かせ(12月1日付・読売社説)

Boards of education, teachers and parents should share results of the nationwide achievement test for schoolchildren as much as possible. This will lead to better understanding and cooperation in society concerning school management.
 子供の学力テストの結果はできる限り、教育委員会や教師、保護者で共有する。それが、学校運営への理解と協力を得ることにつながろう。

The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry recently revised implementation procedures for the achievement test for primary school sixth-graders and middle school third-graders. Under the revised procedures, municipal boards of education will be able to release school-by-school results of the test, starting next fiscal year. Prefectural boards of education will also be able to disclose results of the test by municipality and school.
 小学6年生と中学3年生が参加する全国学力テストについて、文部科学省が実施要領を見直した。来年度から、市町村教委は学校別の結果を公表できる。都道府県教委による市町村別や学校別の結果公表も可能になる。

The education ministry had prohibited announcing results of the test by municipality and school to avoid creating excessive competition among schools, and to prevent schools from being ranked according to the results.
 文科省がこれまで市町村別や学校別の結果公表を禁じてきたのは、過度な競争や序列化を防ぐとの理由からだ。

However, results of the test, which costs more than ¥5 billion from state coffers to administer, provide valuable information for ascertaining the current education situation. It is appropriate to disclose the results to the public and not allow education boards to monopolize the information.
 だが、50億円以上の国費を費やして実施する全国学力テストの結果は、教育の現状を知る上で貴重なものだ。教委が独占せず、公表するのは妥当な措置である。

Many parents want to know the academic standards at schools their children attend and in the communities they live in. Some municipalities want to announce the test results to fulfill their accountability to their residents.
 子供の通う学校や地域の学力水準を知りたいと願う保護者は少なくなかった。住民への説明責任を果たすため、公表を要望する自治体もあった。

It is important for each board of education to reveal results of the test with an eye to improving teaching methods.
 大切なのは、各教委が教育の改善に生かすという視点でテスト結果を公表することだ。

We understand the education ministry’s stipulation in the revised implementation procedures that data regarding the test, such as the average rate of correct answers, should be revealed together with analyses of test results and measures to improve teaching.
 文科省が実施要領で、平均正答率などの数値だけでなく、分析結果や改善方策を併せて公表するよう求めたのは理解できる。

For instance, it is important to clarify what kind of questions students tend to get wrong. After clarifying issues raised by test results, each board of education will be required to present remedial measures such as teaching methods to overcome students’ weak points and the assignment of more teachers.
 どんなところで子供たちはつまずいているのか。各教委はテストで判明した課題を示した上で、弱点を克服するための指導方法や、教師を手厚く配置するといった支援策を提示する必要がある。

Discuss how to reveal results

If year-on-year changes in test results are studied and the measures taken to improve education at schools that have achieved noticeable improvements are announced, not only will other schools be able to learn from them but the motivation of teachers in general will be improved.
 成績の経年変化をたどり、顕著な向上が見られる学校の取り組みを紹介すれば、他の学校の参考になるだけでなく、教師のやる気を喚起するのではないか。

So far, prefecture-by-prefecture data on the test have been revealed. This has helped prefectures with lower test results learn teaching methods from those with higher test results and improve their performance. A moderate level of competition through the test is expected to vitalize education.
 これまで、都道府県別のデータは公表されてきた。成績下位の県が上位の県に指導法を学び、成績を向上させた例もある。
 学力テストを通した適度な競い合いは、教育現場を活性化させる効果が期待できよう。

It is also important for boards of education and schools to sufficiently discuss how to reveal test results.
 教委と学校側が公表方法を十分に協議することも重要だ。

In September, Shizuoka Gov. Heita Kawakatsu revealed names of principals at schools with students recording higher test results without advance agreement with the other parties concerned.
 静岡県の川勝平太知事は9月、学力テストの成績上位校の校長名を事前の了解なしに公表した。

We believe that a unilateral action like this will only cause confusion in schools. Boards of education and teachers at each school must share a common goal in announcing test results. This will also increase the educational effects of the announcement.
 このような一方的行為は、教育現場に混乱を生じさせるだけだ。公表の際、教委と各学校の教師が共通の目的意識を持つことが大切である。それによって、教育効果も高まるだろう。

It is impossible to gauge every aspect of children’s academic abilities with the achievement test alone. Their parents and residents in their communities must understand this and accept the announcement of test results.
 学力テストで子供たちの学力のすべてを測定できるわけではない。保護者や地域住民は、こうした点も理解した上で、公表結果を受け止めることが求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 1, 2013)
(2013年12月1日02時14分  読売新聞)

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タクシー減車法 顧客重視の競争を忘れずに

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 3, 2013
Law to reduce taxis must not hamper competition, services
タクシー減車法 顧客重視の競争を忘れずに(12月2日付・読売社説)

The toughening of regulatory measures for the taxi industry could hinder fair competition among operators and adversely affect services for users. We are concerned about the negative impact that may result from a revision of the law regulating the industry.
 タクシー規制強化が公正な競争を損ない、利用客に不利益をもたらさないか。法改正による悪影響が心配だ。

A bill, jointly sponsored by the Liberal Democratic Party, New Komeito and the Democratic Party of Japan and aimed at “normalizing and reinvigorating the taxi industry,” was recently enacted. The revised law is aimed at designating “special areas,” such as central Tokyo and the downtown areas of other major cities, that will be subject to mandatory taxi reductions because the number of cabs is regarded as excessive.
 自民、公明、民主の3党が提出していた「タクシー適正化・活性化改正法」が成立した。都心部や地方の大都市などタクシーの台数が多すぎる地域を「特定地域」に指定し、減車を義務づけるのが目的だ。

New entries into the taxi industry and fleet expansions will be prohibited for a certain period under the law in the special areas.
 特定地域では、新規参入や増車を一定期間禁じる。

A council comprising taxicab operators, the municipal government concerned and other entities in each special area is to formulate plans aimed at reducing taxi fleets and restricting business hours. The legislation empowers the government to issue orders to carriers, including owner-driver taxis, that fail to comply with these plans.
地域内の業者や自治体などで構成する協議会が、減車や営業時間を制限する計画を作成する。個人タクシーを含めて従わない場合には、政府が命令を出せる。

The revised law also has introduced a system to set permissible ranges of fares by areas, enabling the government to order noncompliant carriers to change their fares.
 地域ごとに運賃幅を設定し、守らない業者には、政府が料金の変更を命じることができる仕組みも導入した。

The tough restrictions on competition and setting the bar high for new entrants into the taxi business appear to be in response to appeals from existing taxicab companies.
 競争を厳しく制限し、タクシー業界への新規参入のハードルを高くするのは、既存業者から強い要請を受けたからだろう。

The taxi industry was liberalized in 2002 to allow new entries in the field, but a law enacted in 2009 called on taxi operators to voluntarily reduce their fleets on the ground that the soaring number of taxis had resulted in excessive competition. Some companies, however, failed to reduce their fleets as the law had no binding power.
 タクシーの新規参入は2002年に原則自由化されたが、台数が増えて過当競争を招いたとして、自主的な減車を促す法律が09年に施行された。強制力がないため減車に協力しない会社もある。

Self-help efforts essential

The LDP, Komeito and DPJ argued that unless fleets were reduced drastically, cutthroat competition among taxi firms would intensify, leading to a drop in income for taxi drivers because they work on a commission basis and a continuation of long work hours.
Improving working conditions of taxi drivers should be urgently addressed, as their work hours are significantly longer and their wages lower compared to workers in other industries.
 もちろん、他産業に比べて一般的に労働時間が長く、収入も低いタクシー運転手の労働環境の改善は重要な問題である。

Working conditions could be improved primarily through taxi companies’ efforts to boost profits through cost-cutting measures.
タクシー業者が、コスト削減などの経営努力によって収益を伸ばし、運転手の待遇見直しを図るのが基本だ。

We fear the tougher regulations in the revised law will not lead to a reduction in taxi fares, and the possibility of a deterioration in services could produce an adverse reaction from users.
 台数をより厳しく制限しなければ、競争が過熱し、歩合制を基本とするタクシー運転手の収入減や長時間労働に歯止めがかからないというのが、3党の主張だ。

If the taxi industry became solely dependent on the regulatory measures and became less competitive, potential passengers may be inclined to shy away from using taxis, aggravating the business performance of taxi operators even further.
 今回の規制強化で料金が高止まりし、サービスが低下すると利用客の反発を招く恐れがある。
 規制に頼るだけで競争を怠るようになれば、顧客離れが進み、かえって経営が悪化しかねない。

In putting the law into practice, the government should bear in mind the need to handle matters carefully through such means as reducing the list of competition-restricting “special areas.”
 競争を制限する特定地域をできるだけ絞り込むなど、政府は慎重な運用を心がけるべきだろう。

It is also extremely important to carefully determine whether taxi fleets are excessively competing in certain areas.
 台数が過剰かどうかなどを判断するための基準作りも課題である。

By laying down objective and intelligible criteria, the government must ensure taxi fleets’ impartiality and transparency.
政府は、客観的で分かりやすい基準を設け、公平性や透明性を保たねばならない。

Taxi operators have started using smartphones so they can dispatch taxis located nearest to a prospective passenger. In addition, an increasing number of operators are equipping their taxis with rails and other means to allow aged users to get into and out of the vehicles more easily.
 業界では、利用客のスマートフォンから位置情報を取得し、一番近い車を配車するサービスが登場している。高齢者が乗降しやすい手すりなどを備えた車を用意する業者も増えてきた。

It is important for taxi operators to make full use of their ingenuity and redouble competitive efforts to attract passengers.
 タクシー各社が、それぞれに創意工夫を凝らし、新規需要の開拓競争に励むことが肝要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 2, 2013)
(2013年12月2日02時06分  読売新聞)

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消費税転嫁 混乱を防ぐ手立てが必要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 4, 2013
Steps needed to avert confusion over prices when consumption tax hiked
消費税転嫁 混乱を防ぐ手立てが必要だ(12月3日付・読売社説)

Businesses are required to smoothly pass along increases in the costs of products and services resulting from the three-percentage-point consumption tax hike, which goes into effect next April.
 2014年4月の消費税率引き上げ時には、企業が3%の増税分を円滑に価格転嫁することが求められる。

When the rate is raised from the current 5 percent to 8 percent, the price increase will be passed on through retail prices and assumed by consumers.
 消費税率が5%から8%になると、その分は最終的に販売価格に転嫁され、消費者が負担する。

Developments that must be avoided are confusing consumers over whether the retail price includes the effects of tax hike, and large companies’ rejection of requests from small and midsize suppliers of goods and services to pass the effects of tax increase on to the prices of their products.
消費者が価格設定に戸惑ったり、中小・零細の納入業者が大企業に転嫁を拒まれたりする混乱を防がねばならない。

East Japan Railway Co. and Tokyo Metro Co. plan to include the higher tax in units of ¥1 if passengers use prepaid IC cards at automated ticket gates. The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry is prepared to accept the plan.
 JR東日本と東京メトロは、運賃をICカード乗車券に限って1円単位で転嫁する方針で、国土交通省も容認する考えだ。

With ticket machines, however, the fare system remains unchanged, and tax will be added to tickets in units of ¥10. As a result, there will be a “two-tier fare” system in which fares differ depending on whether IC cards or cash is used.
 券売機では、従来通り10円単位の運賃体系とするため、同じ区間なのに、IC乗車券と切符で価格が異なる「二重運賃」が発生する場合がある。

Central Japan Railway Co. and West Japan Railway Co. are unlikely to pass the tax increase on to passengers using IC cards in units of ¥1.
 JR東海とJR西日本などは、IC乗車券での1円単位の転嫁を見送る方向だ。

The government and the mass transit system operators must fully explain to passengers the different methods being used by operators in passing on the tax hike.
政府と業界は、会社によって転嫁方法が違う点を利用者へ十分説明してほしい。

When buying railway tickets, there is a possibility passengers may pay more than the total amount of the tax hike. Transit system operators must not be allowed to gain such a windfall by collecting money in excess of the consumption tax increase.
 現金で切符を買う場合、乗客が増税分以上の金額を支払う可能性もある。全体で増税幅を超える増収は避けるべきであろう。

Cartels approved

The government has put into force special measures to ensure the consumption tax hike is passed on through prices. These include allowing suppliers to form a cartel for the purpose of passing the price increase on through their prices, an exception to the Antimonopoly Law.
 政府は、消費税転嫁対策特別措置法を施行した。納入業者がそろって増税分を価格に上乗せする「転嫁カルテル」を、独占禁止法の例外として認める内容だ。

Soon after the special measures were put into force, the soft drink and other industries applied to establish a cartel. With vending machines, it is difficult to change prices in units of ¥1. Therefore, it is deemed appropriate for industries to divide products into two categories—one in which the tax hike is to be passed on in units of ¥10 and the other in which the prices will remain unchanged—while setting the average price increase margin at about three percentage points. The special measures also allow retailers to display prices that exclude the consumption tax.
 すでに清涼飲料業界などがカルテルを申請した。自動販売機では1円刻みの価格変更が難しい。10円単位で転嫁する商品と、値段を据え置く商品を設け、値上げ幅の平均を増税分の3%と同程度にするという考えは妥当である。
 特措法は、小売店での税抜き価格表示も容認した。

Up to now, retailers have been required by law to display the total price, including the consumption tax, which is easy for customers to grasp.
従来は、支払額が一目で分かる税込み表示(総額表示)を義務づけていた。

Although this measure is designed to lessen the burden of retailers as they can avoid changing price tags when the tax hike goes into effect, it will lead to a situation in which marked prices differ among retailers, confusing customers. Retailers need to come up with ideas so consumers can easily understand which method retailers are using in displaying their prices.
 増税時の表示変更の負担を減らす目的だが、複数の表示が混在し、顧客が混乱しかねない。各店がどんな表示方法を採用しているか、消費者に分かりやすく伝える工夫を凝らしてもらいたい。

The government also forbids large companies—due to their clout—to refuse to accept the price increases made by their suppliers that would allow the tax hike to be tacked on to their prices. We must give credit to such government efforts as reinforcing the system at the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency and the Fair Trade Commission by having about 600 inspectors tasked with ensuring the tax hike is passed on.
 政府は、大企業が強い立場を利用して、価格転嫁を拒む行為も禁じた。転嫁対策調査官(転嫁Gメン)を約600人配置するなど、中小企業庁や公正取引委員会の体制も強化したのは評価できる。

The government should make absolutely sure that everything is aboveboard where actual deals are made. Some businesses may be reluctant to provide information concerning the improper actions of their trading partners to the relevant authorities. The government should spare no effort to publicize the special measures to create an environment in which smaller businesses are not compelled to accept what their stronger business partners want.
 取引現場の不正を防ぐため、万全を期すべきだ。取引先の不当行為の情報提供をためらう業者が出ることも予想される。特措法の趣旨を周知徹底し、泣き寝入りさせない環境を作るべきだろう。

It is also difficult to tell the difference between unfair actions of a purchaser and a price reduction made through a corporate effort. Suppliers also need to keep detailed data of price negotiations.
 不当な買いたたきか、企業努力による値引きかの判断も難しい。価格交渉の詳細な記録を残すなど納入業者にも対策が必要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 3, 2013)
(2013年12月3日01時34分  読売新聞)

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国際学力調査 「脱ゆとり」が生んだV字回復

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 5, 2013
Departure from cram-free education key behind higher academic ability
国際学力調査 「脱ゆとり」が生んだV字回復(12月4日付・読売社説)

The education ministry’s departure from its previous cram-free education policy has apparently resulted in a sharp recovery in the academic ability of Japanese children. The results of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s latest academic achievement test can be regarded as an indication that the ministry’s effort to change its education program has accomplished what it set out to do.
 「脱ゆとり」教育によって、学力がV字回復を果たした。教育施策を見直した効果が表れたものと言えるだろう。

On Tuesday, the OECD unveiled the results of its Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) worldwide survey for 2012. The PISA survey covers 15-year-old students, an age group at the end of compulsory education.
 経済協力開発機構(OECD)が、義務教育修了段階の15歳を対象に、昨年実施した国際学習到達度調査(PISA)の結果を公表した。

Japan was ranked fourth among 65 nations and territories in reading performance and scientific applied skills, and seventh in mathematical applied skills.
 平均得点で見ると、日本は参加65か国・地域の中で、「読解力」と「科学的応用力」が4位、「数学的応用力」が7位だった。

Since it debuted in 2000, the PISA survey has been carried out every three years. Japan achieved favorable results in the inaugural PISA assessment. However, the nation’s ranking in reading performance plunged to 14th in 2003 and 15th in 2006. Japan’s ranking improved slightly in the 2009 survey. The outcome of the latest PISA assessment points to an improvement in both the average scores and rankings of Japanese students in all three categories.
 この調査は2000年以降、3年ごとに行われている。日本は1回目は好成績だったが、03年と06年の調査で読解力が14、15位に落ち込んだ。09年調査で改善の兆しが見られ、今回、3分野ともに平均得点、順位が上昇した。

A probable factor behind the improved performance of Japanese students is an attempt by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry to shift the focus of its policy from pressure-free education in 2008. In revising its official teaching guidelines that year, the ministry increased the volume of study content and the number of class hours.
 成績アップの背景として考えられるのは、文部科学省が08年の学習指導要領改定で、ゆとり教育からの転換を目指し、学習内容と授業時間を増やしたことだ。

The ministry’s new policy attached greater importance to providing lessons aimed at improving the ability of primary and middle school students to think and express themselves through such activities as debates and report writing. Since 2007, the ministry has also conducted nationwide academic achievement tests in the hope of encouraging teachers and school administrators to examine and improve their teaching methods.
 小中学校で討論形式やリポート作成といった、思考力や表現力を育む授業が重視されるようになった。教育現場に指導の検証・改善を促す目的で、07年以降、全国学力テストも実施されている。

It is important that steady progress be made in these efforts to help students fully assimilate what they have learned and further improve their academic skills.
 こうした取り組みを着実に進め、学力の定着とさらなる向上を図ることが重要である。

What was noteworthy about the latest PISA results was an increase in the percentage of high achievers in mathematics, reading and science among Japanese students, combined with a decline in the percentage of low-achieving children in these subjects.
 今回注目したいのは、数学、読解力、科学のすべての分野で、成績上位層の割合が増え、下位層の割合が減った点だ。

Key factor behind success

The education ministry believes the nationwide use of a method aimed at teaching students according to their level of proficiency was a key factor behind raising the overall level of Japanese students’ academic ability.
 生徒の理解度に応じてグループ分けする習熟度別指導の全国的な普及が、学力水準を底上げするのに役立ったのではないか、と文科省は分析している。

However, in a survey covering the attitude of students, taken alongside the PISA assessment, it appeared that Japanese students have less interest in mathematics than their counterparts overseas.
 一方、同時に行われた意識調査では、日本の生徒の数学に対する関心が国際的に見て低い実態が浮かび上がった。

This was evident from a questionnaire about whether respondents were interested in what they learned in mathematics. The percentage of Japanese students who answered positively was the fourth-lowest.
 例えば、「数学で学ぶ内容に興味がある」と答えた生徒の割合は参加国中、下から4番目だった。

Japanese students also fared poorly in the percentage of children who found it worthwhile to learn mathematics as a means of expanding the scope of possibilities in their future jobs. Those who agreed it would help them ranked second from the bottom in the survey.
「将来の仕事の可能性を広げるから数学は学びがいがある」と思う生徒の割合も2番目に少ない。

This attitude was also noticeable in the results of a Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study conducted in 2011.
 同様の傾向は、一昨年に実施された国際数学・理科教育動向調査でも確認されている。

These results are worrisome as the country seeks to prosper on the strength of its ability to create new technology.
日本が「科学技術創造立国」を目指す上で気がかりな結果である。

We hope educators will use their imagination to teach mathematics and science in a manner that will help students recognize that learning these subjects is an enjoyable experience while also letting them know that knowledge gained from studying these areas is extremely useful when they start out in the world. By doing so, educators should stimulate their intellectual curiosity. All these measures will help produce future workers who will achieve great things in the field of science and technology.
 数学・科学の面白さや、実社会における有用性を伝え、生徒の知的好奇心を刺激する授業を工夫してもらいたい。それが、科学技術分野で活躍する人材を数多く育てることにもつながろう。

It is also important to improve the skills of educators by enhancing the quality of teacher training courses at colleges and universities and training programs for people already teaching students on a daily basis.
 教師の資質を高めるために、大学の教員養成課程や教育現場の研修を充実させることも大切だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 4, 2013)
(2013年12月4日01時50分  読売新聞)

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バイデン氏来日 対中国で日米同盟強める時だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 5, 2013
Japan, U.S. must reinforce alliance to deal with China’s forceful methods
バイデン氏来日 対中国で日米同盟強める時だ(12月4日付・読売社説)

We heartily applaud the clear political message sent from a high diplomatic level that Japan and the United States will not tolerate any self-righteous step taken by China.
 中国による独善的な措置は認めない、という明確な政治的メッセージを高いレベルで発信したことを評価したい。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and visiting U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday held talks in Tokyo. They agreed both countries would not recognize China’s newly established air defense identification zone, which they called an “attempt by China to change status quo unilaterally by force,” and would cooperate closely on the issue.
 安倍首相とバイデン米副大統領が東京で会談し中国の防空識別圏設定について、中国の「力による一方的な現状変更の試み」を黙認せず、日米が緊密に連携する方針で一致した。

They also confirmed they “will not condone any action that could threaten [the] safety of civilian aircraft.”
 「民間機の安全を脅かす行動は許容しない」ことも確認した。

Biden is expected to present the opinions of Japan and the United States when he holds talks Wednesday with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
 バイデン氏は4日の中国の習近平国家主席との会談で、こうした日米の考えを提起する予定だ。

Allowing China’s latest move to go unchallenged could set a bad precedent, as China is using strong-arm methods to back up its own assertions. This would send a message that China might misconstrue.
 今回の措置を看過すれば、中国が強引な手法で主張を押し通すという悪(あ)しき前例を残しかねず、中国に誤ったシグナルを送る。

To halt Chinese diplomatic moves that deviate from existing international rules and threaten the regional peace and stability of Asia, it is vital that Japan and the United States reinforce their alliance and calibrate their diplomatic policies.
 既存の国際規範を逸脱し、アジアの平和と安定を脅かす中国外交に歯止めをかけるには、日米両国が同盟関係を強化し、外交政策を調整することが欠かせない。

The Japanese version of the U.S. National Security Council, which is to be launched Wednesday, should assume a pivotal role in this task.
 4日に発足する国家安全保障会議(日本版NSC)がその中核的な役割を担うべきだろう。

It is also important to seek support on this issue not only with South Korea, whose air defense zone overlaps with the one China is claiming, but also with countries in Southeast Asia and Europe. A broad consensus must be built, based on the conviction that ensuring China abides by international rules is a common challenge for the global community.
 防空識別圏が重なる韓国だけでなく、東南アジアや欧州各国とも共同歩調を取ることも大切だ。中国に規範を守らせることが、国際社会の共通課題だという幅広い合意形成を図らねばならない。

Move Futenma issue forward

During their talks, Abe and Biden confirmed they would “push forward with a strong resolve” the planned relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station to the Henoko district in Nago, Okinawa Prefecture.
 会談では、米軍普天間飛行場の辺野古移設について「強い決意で進める」方針を確認した。

The Futenma issue has been like a splinter stuck in the Japan-U.S. alliance since 1996. If Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima approves land reclamation necessary for the relocation off the Henoko district, the issue will take a great step forward. The issue is at a crucial juncture.
 普天間問題は、1996年以来、日米同盟に突き刺さったトゲのような存在だ。沖縄県の仲井真弘多知事から辺野古埋め立ての承認を得られれば、問題は大きく進展するだけに、今が正念場である。

Making the relocation to Henoko a reality will eliminate the possibility of the Futenma base remaining where it is for years and years, and also accelerate the planned transfer of U.S. marines stationed in Okinawa Prefecture to Guam.
 辺野古移設の実現は、普天間飛行場の長期の固定化を避けるだけでなく、在沖縄海兵隊のグアム移転も加速する効果を持とう。

Biden also emphasized that Washington would cooperate with Japan so the Futenma base can be moved soon.
 バイデン氏は、米側も早期移設に協力する考えを強調した。

To create conditions in which Nakaima would find it easier to approve the reclamation, both Tokyo and Washington must do more to quickly alleviate Okinawa Prefecture’s burden of hosting U.S. military bases. Steps for this could include agreeing to allow prior on-site inspections of U.S. bases planned to be returned to the prefecture, and partially lifting restrictions in waters U.S. forces use for training exercises.
 知事が承認しやすい環境整備のため、日米両政府は、米軍訓練海域の一部制限解除に加え、返還予定の基地への事前立ち入り調査の合意など、沖縄県の基地負担軽減策の具体化を急ぐ必要がある。

Abe and Biden agreed both countries would continue cooperating on a process to conclude Trans-Pacific Partnership trade accord negotiations by the end of the year.
 環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉に関して、首相と副大統領は、年内の妥結へ道筋をつける方向で協力を続けることで合意した。

However, Japan is poised to refuse the total scrapping of tariffs on items in five key categories of rice, wheat and other farm products, leaving the talks between Japan and the United States with nowhere to go.
 ただ、日本は、コメや麦など農産品の重要5項目の全面的な関税撤廃には応じない方針で、日米協議は平行線が続いている。

It is important for Japan to aim at concluding the TPP talks by reminding itself from a broader perspective that, while maintaining tariffs that are vital for Japan, reaching an agreement as a whole would serve the common interests of the 12 participating countries.
 日本としては、守るべき関税は守りつつ、TPP交渉全体の妥結は参加12か国の共通の利益となるとの大局的観点を忘れず、交渉決着を目指すことが重要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 4, 2013)
(2013年12月4日01時50分  読売新聞)

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年金制度改革 課税の見直しも議論したい

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 4, 2013
Review of taxation must also be discussed in pension system reform
年金制度改革 課税の見直しも議論したい(12月3日付・読売社説)

Finding ways to alleviate the sense of unfairness regarding financial burdens to be shared by pensioners and working generations is a crucial challenge for the nation that must be tackled to maintain the pension system with limited fiscal resources.
 年金受給者と勤労世代の間にある負担の不公平感をいかに和らげるか。限られた財源の中で、年金制度を維持するために重要な課題である。

A bill that will set the procedures for a package of social security system reform programs is likely to pass the current session of the Diet. But the bill only says that pension system reform is necessary. The government must step up efforts to study ways to create a solid system and a timetable for its implementation.
 社会保障制度改革の手順を定める「プログラム」法案は、今国会で成立する見通しだ。ただ、年金改革については、その必要性を明記するにとどまっている。政府は具体的な制度設計と実施時期の検討を急がねばならない。

In its August report, the National Council on Social Security System Reform, which laid the foundation for the bill, pointed out that “even the elderly must be asked to sustain the system in accordance with their burden-sharing ability.”
 この法案の土台となった社会保障制度改革国民会議は、8月の報告書で「高齢者にも、負担能力に応じて制度の支え手になってもらうべきだ」と指摘している。

Pension payments amount to about ¥52 trillion, which is about half of social welfare spending. Welfare expenses are anticipated to increase year after year as the population ages. To ensure the system remains stable, pension benefits and payment burdens must be reexamined.
 年金給付額は社会保障費の半分に当たる約52兆円に上る。高齢化で社会保障費は年々増えていく。制度を安定させるには、給付と負担の見直しが欠かせない。

One concrete reform step would be to bolster pension taxation on high-income earners.
 改革の具体策の一つが、高所得者に対する年金課税の強化だ。

For example, in the case of single people aged 65 or older who receive public pensions, at least ¥1.2 million is deducted when their tax payment is calculated. No income tax is imposed on a married couple when their annual income is no more than about ¥2.05 million.
 例えば、公的年金を受給している65歳以上の高齢者には、課税の際、最低でも120万円の控除が適用される。夫婦世帯では通常、年金収入が年間約205万円までなら所得税がかからない。

In the case of salaried workers, however, total tax deductions from their income amounts to ¥650,000, and the minimum taxable income is set as low as about ¥1.57 million.
 一方、サラリーマンの給与所得控除は65万円で、課税最低限は年収157万円程度と低い。

Unfair taxation

Many people, including low-income irregular workers who pay taxes while supporting their families, apparently consider the current situation, in which no tax is levied on pensioners even with the same amount of income as theirs, as unfair.
 低賃金の非正規労働で家計を支えながら納税している人など、同じ年収でも年金受給者には課税されない現状を不公平に感じる人も少なくないのではないか。

Various measures for low-income earners are applied to pension-receiving households. For households with no resident tax imposed, their nursing care insurance premiums are reduced. In addition, a lower financial ceiling is set on treatment expenses they must pay to medical institutions.
 非課税の年金受給世帯には様々な低所得者対策も適用される。住民税非課税世帯の場合、介護保険料の軽減措置を受けられる上、医療機関に支払う治療費の限度額も低く設定されている。

However, many senior citizens possess a large amount of assets even if their income is low. It would not be proper to regard tax-exempt pensioners in the same way as the socially vulnerable.
 だが、低収入でも多額の資産を有する高齢者も多い。非課税の年金受給者を一律に社会的弱者とみなすのは適切ではなかろう。

Half of the basic pension is financed by state coffers. Even so, pension financing will remain difficult unless something is done. It is unavoidable to bolster taxation on pensioners to a certain extent so as not to impose an excessive burden on working generations.
 基礎年金の2分の1は国庫負担で賄われているが、それでも、このままでは年金財政は厳しい。現役世代の負担を過重にしないためにも、年金受給者に対する一定の課税強化はやむを得まい。

Raising the age for beginning to receive pension payments is also a major challenge.
 年金の支給開始年齢の引き上げも大きな課題である。

The age of people entitled to receive corporate employees pension benefits will be raised, in phases, to 65.
The United States, Britain and Germany have already decided to raise the entitlement age to 67 or 68.
 厚生年金を受け取れる年齢は段階的に65歳に引き上げられているが、米英やドイツは既に67~68歳への引き上げを決めている。

However, the population is aging faster in Japan than in these three countries. Raising the starting age for pension payments, therefore, is an inevitable course of action that Japan must take.
 日本は、これらの国より高齢化が進んでいる。支給開始年齢の引き上げは避けられないだろう。

The next national election will be held almost three years from now at the latest. The ruling and opposition parties should work tenaciously and earnestly toward building a consensus on pension system reform.
 次期国政選挙まで最大3年近く時間がある。与野党は、じっくりと腰を据えて合意形成への道を探るべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 3, 2013)
(2013年12月3日01時34分  読売新聞)

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2013年12月 4日 (水)

脱法ドラッグ 規制強化で若者への蔓延防げ

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 3, 2013
Apply new law effectively to curb use of quasi-legal drugs by young people
脱法ドラッグ 規制強化で若者への蔓延防げ(12月2日付・読売社説)

The use of so-called quasi-legal drugs must be checked from spreading further among young people.
 いわゆる「脱法ドラッグ」が若者の間にこれ以上、蔓延(まんえん)するのを食い止めなくてはならない。

A bill to revise the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law designed to ban the possession, use and purchase of these hazardous substances has passed through the House of Representatives.
 脱法ドラッグの所持や使用、購入を禁止する薬事法改正案が衆院を通過した。

The bill provides for imprisonment of up to three years or a fine of up to ¥3 million for violations. It should be passed into law as soon as possible so its provisions can be enforced.
 違反者には、3年以下の懲役または300万円以下の罰金が科される。規制強化のため、早期の成立が望まれる。

Quasi-legal drugs are not subject to laws and regulations, despite the fact that people who use them hallucinate or develop other symptoms similar to those caused by narcotics or stimulant drugs.
 脱法ドラッグとは、麻薬や覚醒剤に似た幻覚、興奮作用がありながら、法による取り締まりの対象にならない薬物を指す。

The drugs can cause serious health problems such as disturbed consciousness and breathing difficulty. There have been a spate of fatal cases. Last year, 209 people were taken to the hospital by ambulance in Tokyo alone after using the drugs, a marked increase from the 11 such cases in the previous year.
 使用すると、意識障害、呼吸困難など深刻な健康被害を招く恐れがある。死亡例も相次いでいる。昨年は東京都内だけで209人が救急車で搬送され、前年の11人から大幅に増えた。

In some cases, drivers who had used the drugs struck and killed pedestrians. In one case, a man who had used them intruded into the premises of a primary school and chased students around. The use of the drugs should be considered a threat to public safety.
 吸引して車を運転し、歩行者を死亡させた例がある。小学校に侵入して児童を追い回す事件も起きた。治安面でも看過できない。

Also worrisome is the fact that the use of such substances has spread among minors.
 未成年者に乱用が広がっていることも憂慮される。

According to a survey of about 50,000 middle school students, 120 said they have taken quasi-legal drugs. Sixty percent of the users said they also took stimulant drugs.
 約5万人の中学生を対象に行われた調査では、120人が「脱法ドラッグを使った経験がある」と回答している。そのうち6割が覚醒剤を使用していた。

This shows quasi-legal drugs may be “gateway drugs,” as people who casually take them face a risk of eventually using narcotics and stimulant drugs.
 脱法ドラッグが麻薬や覚醒剤に手を染める「入り口」になっていることを示すデータだ。

Measures urgently needed

To prevent young people from being trapped in a vicious circle of drug abuse and addiction, measures must be urgently taken.
若者が薬物依存の深みにはまるのを防ぐためにも、対策は急務である。

These substances are sold almost openly under such names of “legal herbs” and “legal aroma” in entertainment areas and on the Internet. Many of them can be bought for several thousand yen.
 「合法ハーブ」「合法アロマ」などと称し、繁華街やインターネットで半ば公然と売られている。数千円で買えるものが多い。

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry categorizes quasi-legal drugs as “designated items” based on the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law. Currently, however, the drugs are regulated only for their production, import and sales.
 厚生労働省は、脱法ドラッグを薬事法に基づく「指定薬物」としているが、規制の対象は現在、製造や輸入、販売に限っている。

Probably behind the abuse of such substances is the ease of their use, which so far has not been legally penalized. Punishing both sellers and users is appropriate. Penalties under the revised law are nearly as severe as those for violations of the Stimulant Drugs Control Law and the Narcotics Control Law.
 使っても刑罰が及ばない気安さが、乱用の背景にあるのだろう。売る側だけでなく、使う側も処罰の対象とするのは適切な措置だ。法改正により、覚醒剤取締法や麻薬取締法に次いで重い罰則が科されることになる。

It is important to properly teach young people, both at home and at school, the danger and illegality of quasi-legal drugs.
 家庭や学校で、脱法ドラッグの危険性や違法性について、きちんと教えることが大切だ。

Some illegal substances whose chemical structures have been slightly changed to avoid being categorized as illicit drugs have been put on the market one after another, frustrating authorities.
 脱法ドラッグを巡っては、薬物指定を逃れるため、化学構造を少し変えた薬物が次々に登場し、イタチごっこが続いてきた。

This spring, the ministry imposed a comprehensive ban on substances that do not have the exact chemical structures as substances subject to punishment but share their primary components. The ban makes it possible for narcotics officers to apprehend violators.
 厚労省は今春、類似薬物に一括して網をかける「包括指定」を導入した。麻薬取締官による摘発も可能にした。

If the revised bill is passed into law, the overall framework of regulations will have been changed to make it possible for related measures to be implemented steadily.
今回の改正案が成立すれば、規制の枠組みが整い、対策は着実に前進しよう。

The reinforcement of regulation is also considered an effective way to contain crime syndicates, which use drug trafficking as a source of funds.
 薬物を資金源とする暴力団を封じ込めるためにも、規制強化は有効と言える。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 2, 2013)
(2013年12月2日02時06分  読売新聞)

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2013年12月 3日 (火)

危険運転処罰法 悲惨な事故減らす「抑止力」に

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 2, 2013
Stronger penalties against dangerous driving must help deter road tragedies
危険運転処罰法 悲惨な事故減らす「抑止力」に(12月1日付・読売社説)

A new law—the law on penalties for injury or death inflicted by motor vehicle operators—has been enacted to make punishments stiffer against such reckless, serious driving offenses as drunk driving.
 酒酔いなど、悪質な運転で死傷事故を起こした際の刑罰を重くする自動車運転死傷行為処罰法が成立した。来年5月までに施行される。

The law, which will take effect in May 2014, should serve as a turning point in reducing the number of victims in traffic accidents caused by dangerous driving.
 危険運転による事故の犠牲者を減らす契機としたい。

The enactment of the law means the revamping of the judicial system regarding dangerous driving. Stipulations in the Penal Code regarding “penalties against dangerous driving resulting in injury or death” have been separated in the new law and the sphere of application has been expanded significantly.
 今回の立法措置は、危険運転に関わる法体系を見直したものだ。刑法の危険運転致死傷罪を新法に移し、適用範囲を広げた。

Under the Penal Code, a maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment for injury or death due to dangerous driving, such as under the influence of alcohol or drugs, was handed down only when it could be substantiated that the driver was “in a state in which the ability to safely operate a vehicle is seriously impeded” at the time of an accident.
 最高刑が懲役20年の危険運転致死傷罪は、飲酒や薬物摂取で、運転手が「正常な運転が困難な状態」であることが適用条件だ。

Judging whether a driver’s ability was “seriously impeded” was extremely difficult for law-enforcement authorities, and dangerous driving cases under the Penal Code were strictly limited to offenses when the driver was totally inebriated.
 しかし、「困難な状態」だったかどうかの線引きは難しく、泥酔状態での運転など立件されるケースは限られていた。

This resulted in drivers—regardless of the grave accidents they caused—facing the lesser charge of “negligence resulting in injury or death,” the maximum penalty for which is seven years in prison.
Many victims and bereaved families understandably criticized the law as far too lenient.
 悪質な運転にもかかわらず、懲役7年の自動車運転過失致死傷罪となることが多く、被害者側は刑罰が軽すぎると批判していた。

The new law will make it possible to expand the definition of dangerous driving when an accident is caused by a person behind the wheel whose “ability to drive normally is impeded.” Driving offenses in this category are subject to prison sentences up to 15 years.
 新法は、「正常な運転に支障が生じる恐れ」でも危険運転致死傷罪を適用可能とした。この場合、最高刑は懲役15年となる。

The creation of a penalty falling between seven and 20 years’ imprisonment can be called a step forward.
懲役20年と7年の中間的な刑罰を設けたのは、一歩前進と言えよう。

Stop hit-and-run deceptions

The Justice Ministry believes the new stipulations can be applied to an accident caused by a person driving who is slightly drunk. It is important to ensure the new law is publicized widely to deter dangerous driving.
 法務省は、酒気帯び運転の事故にも、新たな規定が適用できるとの見解を示している。ドライバーに新法を周知し、危険運転の抑止につなげることが重要だ。

A new punishment of up to 12 years in prison has been created under the law in an effort to stop drivers from fleeing the scene of an accident and turning themselves into police later when indications of drunkenness have worn off. Allowing such hit-and-run drunk drivers to turn themselves in later after sobering up would deprive the new law of the effectiveness of the tougher penalties. Police must clamp down on such offenses.
 飲酒運転などで事故を起こした運転手の逃走行為を罰する「発覚免脱罪」(懲役12年以下)も新設された。酔いがさめてから出頭するような逃げ得を許しては、厳罰化の効果が失われる。積極的に立件してもらいたい。

Also characteristic of the new law is that drivers with “certain ailments” are now subject to penalties for dangerous driving resulting in injury or death.
 「特定の病気」で運転に支障が生じた場合を危険運転致死傷罪の対象としたのも、新法の特徴だ。

This stipulation was inserted in the new law after the driver of a crane truck suffered epileptic seizures in Tochigi Prefecture in 2011, killing six children.
栃木県でクレーン車の運転手がてんかん発作を起こし、児童6人を死亡させた事故を教訓とした。

A list of specific ailments subject to the punishment is expected to be worked out by government ordinance. In compiling the list, sufficient consideration must be paid to patients’ groups and others who fear prejudices toward certain conditions might be aggravated because of the planned ordinance.
 具体的な病名は今後、政令で定める。病気に対する偏見の助長を懸念する患者団体などの声に十分配慮することが求められる。

The law also includes heavier penalties against accidents caused by anyone driving without a license.
 新法には、無免許運転による事故の刑罰をより重くする規定も設けられた。

In 2012, a boy driving a minivan killed or injured 10 people in Kameoka, Kyoto Prefecture. It was later learned that the boy had frequently driven without a license.
 京都府亀岡市で昨年、少年が軽自動車で児童ら10人を死傷させた。以前から無免許運転を繰り返していた。

In this case, the prosecution failed to apply charges of dangerous driving resulting in injury or death because the boy could not be considered “lacking in driving skills.”
検察は「運転技術は未熟ではない」として、危険運転致死傷罪の適用を見送った。

Public criticism subsequently mounted against the prosecution for failing to punish him severely in spite of his driving without a license.
 無免許でありながら、厳罰に問えないことが問題となった。

Even under the new law, however, cases similar to the one in Kameoka cannot be covered by the penalty against dangerous driving resulting in injury or death unless a driver is drunk or high on drugs.
 だが、飲酒や薬物摂取がなければ、新法でも亀岡市のようなケースは危険運転致死傷罪に問えない。

Even after the implementation of the new law, there should be further discussions about what penalties are considered adequate for driving without a license.
悪質な無免許運転の刑罰について、施行後も議論が必要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 1, 2013)
(2013年12月1日02時14分  読売新聞)

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2013年12月 2日 (月)

猪瀬氏の5000万 「借用証」でも疑念は消えない

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 1, 2013
Suspicions haunt Tokyo Gov. Inose over borrowing from Tokushukai
猪瀬氏の5000万 「借用証」でも疑念は消えない(11月30日付・読売社説)

Why did Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose borrow a huge amount of money? Even one week after his first press conference on the scandal, suspicions have not been diminished.
 巨額の借入金の趣旨は何だったのか。最初の釈明記者会見から1週間が過ぎても、疑念は一向に消えない。

Concerning the ¥50 million he received from the Tokushukai medical group, which faced a compulsory investigation over a suspected violation of the election law, Inose stressed in his general policy speech at the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly on Friday that he “borrowed the money for personal use.”
 強制捜査を受けた医療グループ「徳洲会」側から5000万円を受け取っていた東京都の猪瀬直樹知事が、都議会の所信表明で改めて「個人の借り入れだった」と強調した。

His explanation, which went no further than his earlier explanations, drew boos and jeers from the floor. It was natural that various groups of assembly members expressed anger at his explanations, denouncing them as insufficient.
 これまでの釈明の域を出ない内容に、議場から激しいヤジが飛んだ。各会派が「説明不足だ」と反発したのはもっともだ。

In his press conference Tuesday, he displayed an IOU he wrote when he received the money, which he said he had kept in a safe-deposit box.
 猪瀬氏は26日の記者会見で、現金授受の際に記入したとする「借用証」を公開した。貸金庫に保管していたという。

The IOU contained only the lender’s name, House of Representatives member Tsuyoshi Tokuda; the date; the amount of money and the governor’s name. There was no mention of a repayment date or an interest rate.
 貸し手の徳田毅衆院議員の名前と日付が印字されているほかは、金額と知事の署名があるだけだ。返済時期や利子の記載もない。

Even if the IOU is authentic, it is not enough to prove that the money “was not for election campaigning” as claimed by Inose.
 これが本物であるとしても、借用証だけでは、「選挙運動のためではない」という猪瀬氏の主張が証明されたとは言えまい。

Inose dined with Tokuda six days before he received the money on Nov. 29 last year, before the campaign for a Tokyo gubernatorial election kicked off. During the meeting, there was reportedly talk to the effect that elections are costly. Inose revealed in the news conference that Tokuda proposed lending him money, quoting him as saying, “If you can’t prepare enough money, I’m ready to lend you some.”
 猪瀬氏は現金受領の6日前に徳田議員と会食し、その際、選挙には金がかかることが話題に上ったという。徳田議員が「お金がないなら、いつでも貸します」と語ったことも、猪瀬氏は記者会見で明らかにしている。

Money for electioneering?

Taking this conversation into consideration, it would be natural to assume the cash was provided for financing Inose’s election campaign.
 このやり取りを踏まえれば、選挙のために現金が提供されたと考えるのが自然だろう。

The Public Offices Election Law makes it mandatory for a candidate’s campaign funds manager to record revenues and expenses in election campaign financial reports. Writing financial records, if done without awareness of falsehood, does not constitute an illegal act.
 公職選挙法は、選挙運動に関する収入と支出を選挙運動費用収支報告書に記載するよう、候補者の出納責任者に義務づけている。出納責任者に虚偽記載の認識がなければ、違法行為にはならない。

There was no mention of the ¥50 million in Inose’s campaign financial report. He stressed he had not told his funds manager that he had received the money, probably out of consideration of the law’s stipulation.
 猪瀬氏の報告書に5000万円の記載はなかった。猪瀬氏が出納責任者に現金受領を伝えていなかったと強調するのは、公選法の規定を意識してのことだろう。

Inose needs to give sufficient explanations to dispel suspicions still surrounding him.
 疑念は払拭されていない。猪瀬氏は説明を尽くす必要がある。

He said he “didn’t know” the Tokushukai group operated a hospital and a nursing care and health facility in Tokyo when he received the controversial money.
 知事は現金受領の際、徳洲会グループの病院と介護老人保健施設が都内にあることを「知らなかった」とも述べている。

The group received about ¥850 million in subsidies from the metropolitan government over the past five years. Having served as a vice governor of Tokyo since 2007 to 2012, Inose cannot escape the charge of dereliction of duty.
 グループには、過去5年間に都から約8億5000万円の補助金などが出ている。2007年から副知事の要職にあった人物として無責任のそしりは免れまい。

General employees of the metropolitan government face punishment if they borrow money from outsiders related to their duties. Naturally, a stricter code of conduct is necessary for a governor and a vice governor, whose authority extends over all metropolitan administrative matters.
 都の一般職員が、職務上の利害関係がある業者から借金をすれば、懲戒処分の対象になる。都政全般に職務権限が及ぶ知事や副知事が、一般職員以上に襟を正さねばならないのは当然である。

Next week, the metropolitan assembly is scheduled to hold question-and-answer sessions involving representatives and rank-and-file members from various groups of assembly members. The groups must play a major role in digging into the facts of the scandal.
 都議会では来週、代表質問と一般質問が予定される。真相究明に向け、各会派の役割も重い。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 30, 2013)
(2013年11月30日01時43分  読売新聞)

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2013年12月 1日 (日)

自民県連転換 辺野古移設へ環境整備を急げ

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 30, 2013
Step up efforts to pave way for Futenma base relocation plan
自民県連転換 辺野古移設へ環境整備を急げ(11月29日付・読売社説)

An important step has been taken to resolve the issue of relocating the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture, which was left pending for a long time.
 長年の懸案である米軍普天間飛行場の移設問題を解決するうえで、重要な一歩と言える。

The step was a decision by a group of Liberal Democratic Party members of the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly to approve the station’s relocation to the Henoko district in Nago after reversing its stance of pushing for relocation outside the prefecture. Five LDP Diet members belonging to the prefectural party chapter had earlier shifted their stance to back the Henoko relocation plan. The chapter will soon make a formal decision on its relocation approval policy.
 自民党の沖縄県議団が従来の「県外移設」の方針を転換し、名護市辺野古への移設を容認することを決めた。沖縄県連所属の国会議員5人も辺野古移設を容認しており、県連は近くこの方針を正式決定する。

Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima is scheduled to decide in December whether to approve a request made by the central government for a land reclamation project in public waters necessary to achieve the Henoko relocation plan.
 沖縄県の仲井真弘多知事は12月中にも、政府が申請した辺野古移設に伴う公有水面埋め立てについて、可否を判断する予定だ。

If the plan falls through, it is highly likely to solidify the status quo, in which the danger posed by the Futenma base being located in a residential area will continue for a long period. Behind the prefectural chapter’s about-face could be its realistic judgment to avoid the worst-case scenario.
 仮に辺野古移設が頓挫すれば、住宅地にある普天間飛行場の危険な現状が長期間、固定化する公算が大きい。県連の方針転換の背景には、この最悪の状況は避けたいという現実的な判断がある。

The policy shift by the LDP’s prefectural chapter, which backs the governor as the ruling party in the prefectural assembly, is expected to push the governor to make a proactive decision on the relocation issue.
 知事与党の自民党県連が辺野古移設容認に転じたことは、知事の前向きな決断を後押ししよう。

The government and ruling parties must continue such efforts as urging New Komeito’s Okinawa prefectural headquarters to reverse its stance of opposing the Henoko relocation plan as they try to obtain approval from a wider spectrum of local people.
 政府・与党は、「県外移設」を唱える公明党県本部の翻意を促すなど、地元関係者の理解を広げる努力を続けねばなるまい。

Nago Mayor Susumu Inamine has submitted a letter of opinions to the Okinawa prefectural government, in which he argues against the reclamation plan, saying environment conservation measures are insufficient.
 移設先である名護市の稲嶺進市長は、環境保全策が不十分などとして、埋め立てに反対する意見書を沖縄県に提出した。

In addition to Inamine, two other politicians who both endorse the Futenma relocation plan have announced their candidacy for the Nago mayoral election set for January. Like the past four mayoral elections, the biggest issue is likely to be the relocation.
 来年1月の名護市長選には、稲嶺市長と、辺野古移設を容認する2氏が出馬表明している。過去4回の市長選と同様、移設の是非が最大の争点となる見通しだ。

Security a matter of state

In the first place, national security should not be influenced by the outcome of a local election. Although it is necessary to give due consideration to the will of local residents, the central government should be primarily responsible for security policies based on a comprehensive view.
 日本の安全保障が一地方選の結果に左右される事態は本来、あってはならない。地元の民意は十分勘案すべき要素であっても、安保政策は、政府が総合判断し、責任を持つべきものだからだ。

The mayor is not authorized to refuse the relocation plan, but to promote the plan smoothly, it is desirable to obtain the mayor’s approval. The LDP should step up efforts to make the two pro-relocation candidates to form an alliance and have just one run.
 市長に移設を拒否する権限はないが、移設を円滑に進めるには無論、市長が容認している方が望ましい。自民党は、容認派の2人の一本化を急ぐべきだろう。

The government, for its part, needs to make all-out efforts to have Nakaima give reclamation the green light before the election.
 政府も、仲井真知事が市長選前に埋め立てを承認できる環境整備に全力を挙げる必要がある。

It is essential to accelerate the efforts to decrease the prefecture’s burden for hosting the U.S. military.
 重要なのは、沖縄県の米軍基地負担の軽減を加速することだ。

The Japanese and U.S. governments will soon lift a ban on partial fishing operations in the waters used by the U.S. military for training. It is also important to steadily expand training areas for the new U.S. Osprey transport aircraft outside Okinawa Prefecture.
 日米両政府は近く、米軍の訓練海域における漁船操業の一部を解禁する。新型輸送機オスプレイの訓練の県外移転も、着実に拡大することが大切である。

If the Futenma relocation plan gets moving, it will give momentum to the transfer of U.S. marines in Okinawa Prefecture to Guam and the return of U.S. military facilities to Japan.
 普天間飛行場の移設が動き出せば、在沖縄海兵隊のグアム移転や米軍施設返還にも弾みがつく。

Efforts must also be made to promote prefectural development.
 沖縄振興にも力を入れたい。

The Cabinet Office has asked for a budgetary allocation of ¥340.8 billion for fiscal 2014, up 13 percent over the current fiscal year. The government should think hard to work out more effective local revitalization policies, such as establishing national strategy special zones and effective utilization of U.S. base sites.
 内閣府は来年度予算で、今年度より13%も多い3408億円を要求している。国家戦略特区の創設や基地跡地の有効活用など、より効果的な地域活性化策となるよう大いに知恵を絞るべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 29, 2013)
(2013年11月29日01時32分  読売新聞)

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