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2014年2月27日 (木)

エネルギー計画 「原発活用」への妥当な転換だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 26, 2014
Govt made correct decision to shift back to nuclear power
エネルギー計画 「原発活用」への妥当な転換だ(2月26日付・読売社説)

For Japan, a resource-poor country, the most realistic approach to securing sufficient energy is to continue using its nuclear power plants.
 資源の乏しい日本にとって、原子力発電所の活用を続けていくことが、最も現実的なエネルギー戦略である。

On Tuesday, the government adopted a draft of its new basic energy policy, which will set the course of the nation’s medium- and long-term energy policy.
 政府は、中長期的なエネルギー政策の指針となる、新たなエネルギー基本計画案を決めた。

After an expert panel of the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry compiled the preliminary draft in December, the government worked to reflect opinions from the public and others. The government plans to obtain the approval of the Cabinet in March at the earliest after holding talks with the ruling parties.
 昨年12月に経済産業省の有識者会議が示した原案に、パブリックコメント(意見公募)などを反映させた。政府は与党との調整を経て、3月中にも閣議決定する。

The focal point of the draft was the commitment of the government to nuclear power. In the preliminary draft, nuclear power plants were described as an “important base power source” that would serve as the foundation of a stable supply of electricity. In the latest draft, the phrase was changed to “important base load power source.” A base load power source refers to a power source that continuously provides a certain amount of electricity by operating around-the-clock, thereby providing a country with a stable energy supply.
 焦点だった原発の位置付けについて政府案は、原案の「基盤となる重要なベース電源」を「重要なベースロード電源」に修正した。ベースロード電源とは、昼夜を問わず一定量の発電を続け、安定供給を支える電源を指している。

It clearly shows the government aims to utilize nuclear power as an important power source, a turnaround from the policy of past Democratic Party of Japan-led administrations, which pledged to reduce the country’s reliance on nuclear energy to zero by the 2030s. We believe the government’s draft shows we are headed in the right direction.
 民主党政権の掲げた「2030年代の原発稼働ゼロ」を転換し、原発を重要電源として活用する方針を示したものだ。政府案は、大筋で妥当と言える。

The draft also stipulated the government’s policy of reactivating idle nuclear power plants once the Nuclear Regulation Authority has confirmed their safety.
 原子力規制委員会が安全性を確認した原発について、再稼働させる方針も明記した。

The nation’s dependence on nuclear power should be “reduced as much as possible,” the draft said. At the same time, the government would “carefully consider the scale of the nuclear power plants” it would maintain, suggesting that new nuclear power plants may be built or existing power plants expanded in the future. We believe this is realistic.
 原発依存度は「可能な限り低減させる」としたが、「確保していく規模を見極める」とし、今後の新増設に含みを残した。現実的な判断である。

Energy mix target needed

A long time has passed since the nation’s 48 nuclear reactors were taken offline. Now, nearly 90 percent of our electricity generation depends on thermal power plants, resulting in a sharp rise in fuel costs. Problems related to the surge in electricity rates and huge trade deficits are becoming more serious by the day.
 全原発48基の停止が続き、全発電量の9割近くを火力発電に頼っている。燃料費が増大し、電気料金高騰や巨額の貿易赤字などの弊害が深刻化している。

To establish an optimal energy mix, the government should seek a good balance from diverse energy sources. It is desirable that thermal power, nuclear power and renewable energy—such as solar and wind power—play complementary roles.
 火力と原子力、太陽光や水力などの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の確立が求められよう。

The government has refrained from stipulating a numerical target on its optimal energy mix in the draft. The government should come up with a numerical target as soon as possible.
 政府は、今回は提示を見送った最適な電源構成の数値目標をできるだけ早く示してほしい。

The draft stresses that the government would accelerate the implementation of measures on distributing renewable energy. However, the current plan of requiring utility companies to buy renewable energy at high prices has a serious side effect, as it puts a heavy financial burden on households and companies. The government should drastically review the system as soon as possible.
 政府案は再生エネの導入加速をうたった。ただ、再生エネを高値で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副作用が大きく、制度の抜本的な見直しが急務だ。

Regarding the nation’s nuclear fuel recycling policy, the draft added the word “flexibility” to describe how it would carry out its policy. We are concerned that the wording leaves room for the government to reconsider its recycling policy. The government has been saying that it would steadily promote this policy, and we believe it should stick firmly to it to ensure effective use of uranium resources.
 核燃料サイクルについて「対応の柔軟性を持たせる」との文言を追加し、見直しの可能性を示唆した点には懸念が残る。ウラン資源の有効活用などのため、「着実な推進」というこれまでの政府方針を堅持すべきである。

It is no surprise that the draft stipulated the government would take the initiative in resolving the problem of radioactive waste disposal. It is time for the government to set a course in selecting a location for the final disposal site, a decision long overdue.
 放射性廃棄物の最終処分に「国が前面に立つ」としたのは当然だろう。今度こそ処分場の選定に道筋をつけねばならない。

We are worried about the ruling parties’ response to the nuclear issue. New Komeito, in particular, has pledged to reduce the nation’s dependence on nuclear power to zero as soon as possible. We urge the ruling parties not to be swayed by antinuclear sentiment and make judgments based on Japan’s serious power situation.
 気がかりなのは与党の対応だ。公明党は「速やかに原発ゼロを目指す」と公約している。脱原発論に流されず、厳しい電力事情を踏まえて判断してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 26, 2014)
(2014年2月26日01時31分  読売新聞)

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徳田議員辞職 政界去っても説明責任は残る

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 26, 2014
Resignation is a start, but Tokuda is still accountable for an explanation
徳田議員辞職 政界去っても説明責任は残る(2月26日付・読売社説)

It is only reasonable that lawmaker Takeshi Tokuda has chosen to resign from the Diet, given the seriousness of the recent scandal concerning his relatives’ alleged involvement in massive election irregularities. We feel that his decision comes too late.
 大がかりな選挙違反に親族が関わった以上、辞職は当然である。むしろ、遅すぎた決断だったと言えよう。

On Monday, House of Representatives member Tokuda submitted a letter of resignation in connection with the scandal over violations of the Public Offices Election Law by people tied to the Tokushukai hospital group. His move comes after he left the Liberal Democratic Party in November.
 医療グループ「徳洲会」の公職選挙法違反事件で、自民党を離党した徳田毅衆院議員が、議員辞職願を提出した。

Since the scandal came to light last autumn, Tokuda has been frequently absent from plenary sessions of the lower house and committee meetings of the chamber. In this respect, he should be criticized as an extremely irresponsible Diet member.
 事件が発覚した昨秋以降、徳田氏は衆院の本会議や委員会を繰り返し欠席している。国会議員として無責任に過ぎる。

Shortly after tendering his resignation as a lawmaker, Tokuda gave a press conference in which he issued an apology for the first time in the ongoing scandal. However, he should have sought accountability when investigators first delved into suspicions surrounding individuals involved in his election campaign.
今回、初めて記者会見で謝罪したが、自らの陣営に司直のメスが入った時点で、説明責任を果たすべきだった。

The Tokushukai group is believed to have put more than ¥200 million to use bribing election campaigners and in efforts aimed at securing Tokuda’s win in the December 2012 lower house election.
 徳洲会は一昨年12月の衆院選で、総額2億円超の資金を運動員らの買収に充てたとみられている。

Prosecutors arrested and indicted his mother, two of his sisters and some other figures in connection with the case, though his father, Tokushukai founder Torao Tokuda, has not yet been charged due to his suffering from an intractable illness. The elder Tokuda formerly served as a lower house member as well.
グループ創業者で、徳田氏の父の虎雄元衆院議員は、難病のため立件されていないが、母親と2人の姉らが逮捕、起訴された。

The sentencing session in the trial of one of Takeshi Tokuda’s sisters is scheduled for Wednesday. During the prosecution’s probe into the case, the sister, the family’s second daughter, acknowledged her involvement in the alleged electoral irregularities.
 捜査段階で事件への関与を認めた次姉の判決公判が、3月5日に迫っている。

Tokuda’s resignation comes just as he was set to be stripped of his seat on the basis of the election law’s guilt-by-association provisions. It is believed that the legislator timed his resignation announcement in consideration of the hearing of his sister’s trial.
公選法の連座制の規定により、徳田氏の失職は避けられない状況になっていた。
 辞職表明は、親族の公判日程をにらんでのことだろう。

Tokuda’s selfish hopes

During Monday’s press conference, Tokuda said, “I’d appreciate it if [the judicial authorities] acted with leniency [in passing judgment on the case].” The remark apparently reflected a desire on Tokuda’s part that his voluntary resignation from the Diet would encourage authorities to consider extenuating circumstances surrounding his relatives and other indicted figures in their sentencing decisions. We find this an extremely self-serving attitude.
 記者会見で、徳田氏は「寛大な措置をお願いしたい」と述べ、自発的に議員辞職することで親族らの情状酌量を求めた。虫が良すぎると言うほかはない。

The special investigation squad of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office is investigating the case of the questionable transfer of ¥50 million in cash from Tokuda to former Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose. The focus of the probe, led by the prosecution’s special investigation squad, is whether the cash was intended to help finance Inose’s campaign for the Tokyo governorship in late 2012.
 東京地検特捜部は、現金5000万円が徳田氏から猪瀬直樹・前東京都知事に渡った問題について捜査を進めている。現金の趣旨が都知事選の選挙資金だったかどうかが、捜査の焦点だ。

If the money was offered to Inose to fund his election campaign, he and his election staff could be accused of neglecting to write the fund into a report on income and expenditures incurred through his electoral bid.
 仮に選挙資金であったのなら、選挙運動費用収支報告書に記載していなかった猪瀬氏側の刑事責任が問われる可能性もある。

At the press conference, Tokuda declined to comment on the purpose for which the cash was intended, despite having admitted that he and Inose discussed the gubernatorial election when they dined together. “I cannot talk [about the nature of the money],” he said.
 徳田氏は「猪瀬氏との会食で都知事選の話が出た」と述べたが、使途に関しては「私からはお話しできない」と明言を避けた。

Tokuda also declined to speak about the details of his conversation with Inose. He defended his refusal to comment, saying the scandal is under investigation. However, Inose’s acceptance of ¥50 million in cash from Tokuda is already known to the public. Given this, Tokuda, as a key figure in the case, should provide an appropriate explanation of the nature of the money transfer.
 捜査中であることなどを理由に、猪瀬氏とのやり取りも具体的には語らなかった。だが、5000万円の授受は公知の事実だ。徳田氏は一方の当事者として、きちんと説明すべきである。

The press conference also brought to light discrepancies in the explanations given by Tokuda and Inose about the funds. When asked whether Inose had asked him for the loan, Tokuda said, “I think so.”
 猪瀬氏の説明との食い違いも明らかになった。「猪瀬氏から貸してほしいとの依頼があったのか」との質問に、徳田氏は「そのように認識している」と答えた。

However, Inose has asserted that Tokuda himself made the offer to loan the money.
 猪瀬氏は、逆に徳田氏からの申し出だったと主張している。

Once again, we want Tokuda to explain his position on issues relevant to the scandal, including the Tokushukai group’s failed attempt to buy a hospital owned by the struggling Tokyo Electric Power Co.
 徳洲会が取得に動いた東京電力病院の売却問題も含め、徳田氏の詳細な説明を改めて聞きたい。

Tokuda’s resignation will mandate a by-election for his lower house seat in Kagoshima Constituency No. 2 in April. We hope the lessons learned from this scandal will be put into practice in how the election is conducted.
 徳田氏辞職に伴う衆院鹿児島2区の補選は4月に行われる。事件の反省に立った選挙にしたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 26, 2014)
(2014年2月26日01時31分  読売新聞)

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2014年2月26日 (水)

デートピアが全40曲よりなる 「ガチ涙 ~ALLジャンル泣きMIX~」を発売 これは見逃せません

それにしてもガチ涙とは、よくぞ名付けられました。
あのデートピアが全40曲よりなる 「ガチ涙 ~ALLジャンル泣きMIX~」を発売しました。
私のような団塊の世代のおじいさんでも感動出来るガチ涙演歌だって収録されているんです。
往年のガチ涙の名曲も収録しているので、若い人からお年よりまで、全員が楽しめるような構成になっています。

私はAira Mitsukiさんの「愛し愛されて生きるのさ」が気に入りました。
天使のハーモニー(ソロですが^^)とは、まさにこのような歌のことなんですね。
デートピア の「ガチ涙 ~ALLジャンル泣きMIX~」、気になるお値段ですが、わずか1800円なんです。
これなら私でも無理なく購入できます。

みなさんもいかがでしょうか?



ドリームニュース・ブログメディア参加記事

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ウクライナ政変 安定回復へ欧露の責任は重い

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 25, 2014
EU, Russia have grave responsibility to help Ukraine regain stability
ウクライナ政変 安定回復へ欧露の責任は重い(2月25日付・読売社説)

International cooperation is needed to help Ukraine regain its stability, a country beset by the rival influences of the European Union and Russia.
 欧州とロシアのはざまで揺れるウクライナの安定を回復させるため、国際的な協力が必要だ。

The administration of President Viktor Yanukovych has effectively collapsed, and Yanukovych was forced to leave Kiev in the face of fierce antigovernment protests.
 ウクライナのヤヌコビッチ政権が事実上崩壊した。大統領は、激しい反政府デモの中で、首都キエフからの退去を余儀なくされた。

The parliament has approved opposition leader Oleksandr Turchinov as acting head of state and decided to hold a presidential election in May. Yet, how the current chaotic situation will unfold remains uncertain.
 議会は、野党のトゥルチノフ氏を大統領代行として承認し、5月に大統領選を実施すると決議したが、混乱の行方は不透明だ。

Yanukovych’s downfall was triggered when he reneged on plans to sign an agreement with the EU in November, centering on a free-trade pact.
 ヤヌコビッチ氏失脚のきっかけは、欧州連合(EU)と、自由貿易を柱とする協定で合意したにもかかわらず、昨年11月、署名の段階で見送りを決めたことだ。

Wary of seeing Ukraine move closer to the EU, Russia is believed to have made blatant approaches to the country by promising large-scale economic assistance in return for postponing conclusion of the EU accord.
 ウクライナとEUの接近を警戒するロシアが、協定締結延期の見返りに大規模な経済支援を約束するなど、露骨な働きかけを行ったためと見られている。

The opposition and its supporters strongly protested and launched antigovernment demonstrations. Fighting between the opposition and security forces, which left more than 80 people dead this month, doomed the administration.
 野党とその支持者は強く反発し、反政府デモを始めた。今月に入り、治安部隊との衝突で、80人以上が死亡したことが、政権の命取りとなったと言えよう。

Historically, Ukraine’s western region has been strongly influenced by the West, while the eastern region looks toward Moscow. Ever since its independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991, pro-Russian groups have attached great importance to the country’s ties with Russia, while pro-EU factions have been trying to bring the country closer to the EU. The rivalry between the two groups resulted in repeated changes in administration.
 ウクライナは、歴史的に、西部は欧州、東部はロシアの強い影響を受けてきた。1991年の旧ソ連からの独立以降も、ロシアとの関係を重視する親露派と、EUとの接近を図る親欧州派が拮抗(きっこう)し、政権交代を繰り返した。

Shift to West likely

Yanukovych, seen as pro-Russian, was forced from power by pro-EU groups, and these groups, including former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who had been imprisoned, seized power. Ukraine is likely to shift further toward the EU.
 親露派と見なされたヤヌコビッチ氏が権力の座から追われ、服役中だったチモシェンコ元首相ら親欧州派が実権を握ったことで、ウクライナは今後、EUへの傾斜を強めることになるだろう。

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who hopes to use the success of the Sochi Olympics to move forward with the economic reintegration of the former Soviet bloc, probably feels as if he has been doused with cold water.
 ソチ冬季五輪の成功で、旧ソ連圏の経済的再統合に弾みを付けたいプーチン大統領は、冷水を浴びせられた思いではないか。

If Putin, in an attempt to influence Ukraine, takes such hard-line measures as restricting supplies of natural gas to Ukraine, as Russia has in the past, the current turmoil will only worsen. We hope Russia will be prudent.
 プーチン氏が、ウクライナに影響力を行使しようとして、過去に行った天然ガス供給制限のような強硬措置をとるようなことがあれば、混乱は深刻化するだけだ。自重を求めたい。

The EU should coordinate its views with Russia to prevent the situation in Ukraine from deteriorating. We highly appreciate German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s telephone conversation with Putin in which they agreed that Ukraine’s territorial integrity must be upheld. They also concurred that splitting Ukraine into eastern and western regions should be avoided.
 EUは、事態悪化を防ぐため、ロシアとも調整しつつ関与すべきである。メルケル独首相が、プーチン氏と電話会談し、ウクライナの「領土の一体性維持」の必要性で一致し、東西分裂の回避で足並みをそろえたのは評価できる。

With its massive external debt, Ukraine is said to be in danger of default. Assistance from the international community, including the EU, is the key to the country regaining stability.
 ウクライナは、巨額の対外債務を抱え、債務不履行の危険さえ指摘されている。EUを始めとする国際社会の支援が、安定回復の鍵を握っている。

Ukraine, which experienced the devastating Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident, has inked an accord with Japan on nuclear issues, exchanging information and experts. We should keep a keen eye on how developments will turn out in the days ahead.
 チェルノブイリの原子力発電所事故を経験したウクライナは、日本と協定を結んで情報交換や専門家交流を行っている。政権崩壊の行方を注視したい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 25, 2014)
(2014年2月25日01時24分  読売新聞)

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羽田と成田空港 利便性高めて競争を勝ち抜け

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 25, 2014
Haneda, Narita must enhance availability to win intl competition as hub airport
羽田と成田空港 利便性高めて競争を勝ち抜け(2月25日付・読売社説)

To ride the jet stream of growing Asian air travel demand and help revitalize the national economy, Haneda and Narita airports must enhance their convenience.
 成長するアジアの航空需要を取り込むために羽田と成田の両空港の利便性向上を図り、経済の活性化にもつなげたい。

The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry will expand the annual number of slots for takeoff and landing at Haneda from 410,000 to 447,000 at the end of March. The comparative number of slots at Narita will be increased from 270,000 to 300,000 before the end of fiscal 2014.
 国土交通省は3月末、羽田の航空機の発着枠を年41万回から44・7万回に拡大する。成田も2014年度中に年27万回から30万回に増やす。

As a result, international flights, including those to and from Haneda, are expected to increase, thereby further boosting the number of foreign visitors, which topped 10 million for the first time last year.
 これにより、羽田発着を含めた国際線の増便や、昨年初めて1000万人を超えた訪日客のさらなる増加が期待されよう。

The number of airline passengers in Asia is likely to continue growing in the years to come as the Summer Olympics and Paralympics will be held in Tokyo in 2020. It is necessary for Haneda and Narita to become airports that can be more conveniently used by airlines and passengers.
 アジアの航空旅客数は今後も伸び続ける見通しで、20年には東京五輪・パラリンピックが開催される。羽田と成田を航空会社と利用客がより使いやすい空港にする必要がある。

Haneda and Narita currently lag behind their rival Asian airports, including Hong Kong, Changi in Singapore and Incheon in South Korea, in the number of international flight passengers.
 両空港の課題は、香港、シンガポール・チャンギ、韓国・仁川といったアジアのライバル空港に比べ、国際線の旅客数で差を付けられていることだ。

As Incheon and other Asian rivals have improved transportation links to city centers in addition to expansion of airport facilities, their efforts to lure transit flights to and from Europe and the United States has proved successful. Competition has been heating up among Asian airports to become international hubs in Asia.
 仁川など各空港が設備拡充に加え、都心への交通手段の改善も進めたことから、欧米への乗り継ぎ便などを積極的に誘致した効果が表れた。アジアの国際拠点(ハブ)空港をめぐる競争は、一段と熱を帯びている。

Reduce landing fees

Haneda and Narita must first of all lower their landing fees, which are higher than those of other major Asian airports.
 羽田と成田にまず求められるのは、アジアの主要空港よりも高い着陸料の引き下げである。

If landing fees paid by airlines are reduced, the number of flights linking Asia with Europe and the United States is likely to rise. Narita has lowered the landing fees for specific aircraft, such as low-noise types. But a further cut will be needed.
 航空会社が払う着陸料が下がれば、欧米とアジアを結ぶ乗り継ぎ便が増えそうだ。成田は昨春、低騒音機などの着陸料を下げたが、一段の下げを求めたい。

There is room for improvement as about 50,000 slots are left unused out of the 270,000 slots set annually at Narita. The airport must be utilized to the fullest by increasing flights in nighttime and early morning slots that are sparsely used.
 成田で年27万回の発着枠のうち未使用の約5万回分も改善の余地がある。利用率の低い夜間・早朝帯などの発着を増やし、空港を最大限活用すべきだ。

In cooperation with railway and bus companies, airports and airlines must work to enhance the convenience of ground transportation for passengers, including increasing the frequency of transport services to central Tokyo.
 空港や航空各社は、鉄道やバス会社と連携して都心への便数を増やすなど、利用客の交通手段の利便性向上も図らねばならない。

To reinforce Haneda Airport, the government is studying a plan to construct a new runaway. The plan is expected to lead to a drastic increase in the number of slots, but it will require massive investment to build the runway. The public expense must be minimized by measures such as obtaining funding from the private sector.
 政府は、羽田の強化策として滑走路新設を検討している。発着枠の大幅拡大が見込まれる反面、巨額の工事費用が要る。民間資金の活用などでコストをできるだけ圧縮することが欠かせない。

A matter left pending is how to ease the restrictions for flights over Tokyo. There is much airspace above Tokyo where civilian aircraft are not allowed to fly, thereby limiting available flight routes.
 東京上空の飛行制限の緩和も懸案である。東京上空には民間機が飛行できない空域が多く、飛行ルートが限定されているためだ。

With progress in technology, aircraft noise has been lowered to a certain extent, but efforts must be made to reach agreements with municipal governments and residents around Haneda Airport.
 技術の進歩に伴い、航空機の騒音は一定程度改善しているとはいえ、羽田近隣の自治体や住民側との合意が課題と言える。

If the availability of Haneda and Narita airports is enhanced, it will help spur the participation of fast-growing low-cost carriers in the airline market. This will lead to an increase in options for fares and routes, bringing great benefits to passengers.
 羽田、成田両空港の使い勝手が良くなれば、急成長する格安航空会社(LCC)の参入が進むだろう。価格や路線の選択肢が増え、利用客の恩恵も大きい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 25, 2014)
(2014年2月25日01時24分  読売新聞)

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2014年2月25日 (火)

homework 2014-02-25

เตะ
ใบ
ดี
เกือะ
โบ
จู
แอะ
เปีย
ไต
เจีย
หก
เจ็ด
แปด
เก้า
สิบ
top
kite
robot
ball
doll
balloon
car
airplane
yellow
white
green
orange
blue
pink
yellow

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ソチ五輪閉幕 日本選手の奮闘をたたえたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 24, 2014
Japanese athletes deserve strong praise for their efforts in Sochi
ソチ五輪閉幕 日本選手の奮闘をたたえたい(2月24日付・読売社説)

The Sochi Winter Olympics have come to an end.
 ソチ冬季五輪が閉幕を迎えた。

It was unusual for the Games to be held under the threat of terrorism, but it is wonderful that there was no major trouble.
 テロの脅威にさらされる中での異例の五輪だったが、大きなトラブルがなく競技が実施されたのは、何よりだった。

Japanese athletes won a total of eight medals: one gold, four silvers and three bronzes. Although the Japanese team failed to reach its initial target of winning at least 10 medals—as it did, including five golds, during the Nagano Games in 1998—it marked the second-best performance on record for Japan. We appreciate the athletes’ hard work.
 日本選手は、金1、銀4、銅3の計8個のメダルを獲得した。
 金5個を含む10個のメダルを取った長野五輪(1998年)以上という目標には及ばなかったが、それに次ぐ上々の成績である。選手たちの奮闘をねぎらいたい。

In the last phase of the Games, snowboarder Tomoka Takeuchi won a silver medal in the parallel giant slalom and Ayana Onozuka won a bronze in the freestyle ski half pipe, a new Olympic event.
 大会終盤、スノーボード女子パラレル大回転で竹内智香選手が銀メダル、新種目のフリースタイルスキー女子ハーフパイプで小野塚彩那選手が銅メダルに輝いた。

Noriaki Kasai, 41, became the oldest Japanese medalist at a Winter Olympics by winning a medal in ski jumping. Kasai, whom foreign jumpers respectfully call “the Legend,” can be regarded as the pride of the Japanese team.
 スキージャンプの葛西紀明選手(41)は、冬季五輪の日本勢で最年長メダリストとなった。外国選手に「レジェンド」(伝説)と敬われる葛西選手の存在は、日本選手団の誇りと言える。

The three Japanese female figure skaters failed to win a medal.
 フィギュアスケート女子の3人は、メダルに届かなかった。

Mao Asada’s error-filled short program cost her dearly, but it was splendid she recovered to deliver a fine performance in the free skate, earning a personal-best score.
 浅田真央選手は、ショートプログラムでの失敗が響いた。それでも、気持ちを入れ替えてフリーの演技に臨み、自己最高得点をマークしたのは立派だった。

Her single-minded focus on skating must have invigorated many people. Everyone has felt affectionate toward her and called her by her nickname, “Mao-chan.” Although she could not realize her dream of winning a gold medal, no luster is lost from her past performances.
 ひたむきにスケートに打ち込む姿から、多くの人が元気をもらった。誰もが、親しみを込めて「真央ちゃん」と呼んだ。金メダルの夢はかなわなかったが、これまでの実績が色あせることはない。

Develop new athletes

In addition to Asada, male figure skater Daisuke Takahashi and freestyle mogul skier Aiko Uemura decided the Sochi Games would be the venue to wrap up their athletic careers.
 浅田選手のほか、フィギュア男子の高橋大輔選手、フリースタイルスキー女子モーグルの上村愛子選手らが、今大会を競技生活の集大成と位置付けた。

It is encouraging that young athletes in their teens achieved remarkable performances, including 19-year-old Yuzuru Hanyu, who has developed as a skater by emulating Takahashi and won the Japan team’s only gold medal at these Games.
 高橋選手を追いかけて成長し、日本に今大会唯一の金メダルをもたらした19歳の羽生結弦選手ら、10代の若い力の活躍が目立ったことは、心強い。

How should Japan develop athletes who can be internationally competitive after athletes who have been the driving force in their respective sports retire from the front line? This is an important task that the Japanese Olympic Committee and sports associations face ahead of the next Games four years from now.
 それぞれの競技を牽引(けんいん)してきた選手が一線を退いた後、世界に通用する選手をいかに育てるか。4年後に向けて、日本オリンピック委員会(JOC)や各競技団体の重要な課題である。

The Netherlands’ strength in speed skating was a sight to see. In the men’s 500-meter race, an event that Japanese skaters have excelled at, the three Dutch skaters dominated the winners’ podium.
 圧巻だったのは、スピードスケートでのオランダの強さだ。日本が得意とした男子500メートルでも表彰台を独占した。

Dutch skaters are said to have drawn on the skating techniques of Japanese skaters. Some experts have also said that the rink, which had ice produced by Dutch technicians, proved advantageous for Dutch skaters’ flexible, powerful bodies.
 オランダ選手は、日本の滑走技術を参考にしたと言われる。オランダの技術者が製氷した今大会のリンクは、軟らかく、パワーのあるオランダ勢に有利に働いたという指摘もある。

It is important for sports officials concerned to analyze the efforts made by the countries that performed well during the Games, as well as trends in how judges scored athletes’ performances at the latest Games, and work out appropriate measures.
 各競技の関係者は、好成績を残した国の取り組みや、今大会での採点の傾向などを分析し、対策を練ることが大切だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 24, 2014)
(2014年2月24日01時27分  読売新聞)

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G20共同声明 世界成長2%底上げへ結束を

2013年に無謀とも思われる異次元金融緩和を実施した結果、円はあっという間にその価値を30%も下げてしまいました。
輸入品価格の高騰を考慮すれば、実質的な生活は苦しくなっているか、良くても横ばいだと思います。
自国の通貨の価値が下がって喜んでいるのは世界で日本だけじゃないでしょうか。
安部首相、三本目の矢はからぶりになる可能性が大です。
一番大切なのが三本目の矢なんですが、ない矢は放てないといったところではないでしょうか。
こちらは、ない袖は振れない状態ですが。
お互い、がんばりましょう^^。
(スラチャイ)

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 24, 2014
G-20 economies must stand together to attain 2% global growth target
G20共同声明 世界成長2%底上げへ結束を(2月24日付・読売社説)

Amid such concerns as the declining values of currencies of emerging economies, Japan, the United States and Europe should strengthen their cooperation with such emerging economies as China and Brazil to help accelerate the growth of the global economy.
 新興国通貨安などへの懸念がくすぶる中、世界の成長加速に向けて、日米欧と、中国、ブラジルなど新興国の連携強化が問われよう。

With both industrially advanced nations and emerging market economies taking part, the Group of 20 finance ministers and central bank governors adopted a joint communique at the close of a two-day meeting in Sydney on Sunday.
 先進国と新興国が参加し、シドニーで開かれた主要20か国・地域(G20)財務相・中央銀行総裁会議は共同声明を採択した。

The communique said, “Despite these recent improvements [in such countries as the United States, Britain and Japan], the global economy remains far from achieving strong, sustainable and balanced growth.”
 共同声明は「世界経済は改善しているが、力強く持続的で均衡の取れた成長にはほど遠い」と分析した。

It went on to declare a new target for raising global growth “with the aim to lift our collective GDP by more than 2 percent...over the coming five years,” a potent message for the future of the world economy.
その上で、「今後5年間で世界全体の成長率を2%以上引き上げる」という新目標を明記したことは強いメッセージである。

The G-20 meeting confirmed that each of its member economies will work out an action plan in time for a G-20 summit scheduled to be held in Brisbane, Australia, in November.
 G20は、11月に豪ブリスベーンで開く首脳会議までに「行動計画」をまとめる方針を示した。

This is the first time the G-20 has set a numerical target for global growth.
 G20が成長率引き上げの数値目標を設定するのは初めてだ。

The establishment of this target comes as not all is well with the global economy, although there are some bright signs. It seems the participants in the meeting agreed on the need to demonstrate their resolve to work together for sustainable growth by laying down a numerical goal.
 その背景には、明るさが出てきたとは言え、世界経済への警戒感を拭えないことが指摘できる。2%という数値目標を設け、持続的成長を目指す決意を示す必要があると一致したのだろう。

The International Monetary Fund has released its global economic outlook, forecasting a year-on-year global growth of 3.7 percent in real terms for 2014 and 3.9 percent for 2015.
 国際通貨基金(IMF)の世界経済見通しによると、2014~15年の世界成長率は実質3・7~3・9%が見込まれる。

Fears over ‘Fragile Five’

The U.S. economy is clearly on its way to recovery, while business activities in the eurozone have become positive at last. Japan’s economy, too, is continuing to gradually recover.
 米国の景気回復が鮮明になり、欧州経済もようやくマイナスからプラス成長に転じた。日本の景気も回復基調が続いている。

What is worrying is that the slowdown of emerging economies, which replaced the industrial economies in propping up the global economy after the 2008 world financial crisis, has become increasingly conspicuous.
 一方、08年の金融危機後に先進国に代わって世界経済を牽引(けんいん)してきた新興国経済の減速が最近目立っていることが懸念材料だ。

With the U.S. Federal Reserve Board having launched its “exit strategy” by tapering its quantitative monetary easing, the value of the currencies of the so-called Fragile Five emerging economies, including Turkey and India, are under increasing downward pressure.
 米連邦準備制度理事会(FRB)が量的緩和策を縮小する「出口戦略」に踏み出したのを機に、トルコ、インドなど「フラジャイル5(脆弱(ぜいじゃく)な5か国)」と呼ばれる新興国で通貨安が加速した。

The depreciation of these currencies has been caused by the fact that the massive amounts of cash, which flowed into from abroad while the Fed’s extraordinary monetary easing policy was in place, are now flowing out of them. It is essential to stem the vicious cycle of the global market being pummeled by erratic situations in emerging economies and slides in their currencies.
 新興国に流れ込んでいた緩和マネーが引き揚げているのが要因で、新興国経済の変調や通貨安によって世界の市場が動揺する悪循環を食い止める必要がある。

Apparently focusing on emerging economies affected by the weakening of their currencies, the G-20 communique this time has rightly noted the need to “further strengthen...macroeconomic, structural and financial policy frameworks.” We hope to see them step up efforts to address such challenges as swelling current account deficits and runaway inflation.
 G20声明が通貨安に見舞われた新興国を念頭に、「経済政策や構造改革を強化すべきだ」と指摘したのは妥当だろう。巨額の経常赤字や高インフレといった課題の克服を加速してもらいたい。

Also incorporated in the communique is a passage to the effect that the United States should consider the effects of the handling of its financial policy on the global economy.
 声明は米金融政策に関連し「世界経済に与える影響に配慮する」との文言も盛り込んだ。

In tapering its monetary easing policy, the Fed should exercise ingenuity in its “dialogue with the market” by noting changes in emerging economies.
FRBは金融緩和策縮小に当たって、新興国経済への目配りなど「市場との対話」の工夫が求められる。

High expectations are placed on Japan’s role in accelerating the pace of global growth.
 世界経済の成長を加速するため日本への期待も大きい。

No time should be wasted in beefing up the third pillar of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic policy—growth strategy.
安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」の3本目の矢である成長戦略の強化を急がねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 24, 2014)
(2014年2月24日01時27分  読売新聞)

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2014年2月24日 (月)

TPP閣僚会合 日米互いにカードを切る時だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 23, 2014
Japan, U.S. must play last card to successfully conclude TPP talks
TPP閣僚会合 日米互いにカードを切る時だ(2月23日付・読売社説)

The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks appear to be reaching a make-or-break point over whether a broad agreement can be reached.
 環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉が大筋合意できるかどうか、大きなヤマ場を迎えた。

To break the impasse, we strongly hope Japan and the United States, the two biggest economies in the negotiations, cooperate more closely.
 膠着(こうちゃく)状態を打開するため、今度こそ、交渉を主導する日本と米国の歩み寄りを求めたい。

Ministerial talks with all 12 TPP member nations participating, including Japan, the United States and Australia, began in Singapore on Saturday. The four-day talks are supposed to breathe fresh air into the negotiations for the first time in about two months after the negotiators gave up their efforts to strike a deal in December.
 日米、豪州など12か国によるTPP交渉の閣僚会合が22日、シンガポールで始まった。昨年12月に合意を見送って以来、約2か月ぶりの仕切り直し交渉である。

The TPP negotiations are an ambitious attempt aimed to create a new trade zone with a high degree of liberalization in the Asia-Pacific region.
 TPPは、高い自由化率の新貿易圏をアジア太平洋地域で創設するという野心的な試みだ。

Expectations are high that Japan’s growth strategy will be able to forge ahead if this country is successful in tapping the vigor of the fast-growing Asian economies through a TPP accord. The U.S. administration of President Barack Obama believes a TPP agreement will boost employment and increase U.S. exports.
 TPPをテコにアジアの活力を取り込めば、日本の成長戦略に弾みがつくと期待される。雇用と輸出拡大を狙うオバマ米政権も、TPP重視を掲げてきた。

The failure to arrive at an agreement last year as planned was due mainly to a rift between Tokyo and Washington, which affected overall TPP negotiations.
 しかし、昨年末に合意できなかったのは、日米の対立が交渉全体の足を引っ張ったためだ。

While the TPP aims in principle to abolish all tariffs, the Liberal Democratic Party has insisted that five major farm product categories, including rice and wheat, be regarded as “sanctuaries” that are exempt from trade liberalization. Japan and the United States remain far apart on this issue, with Washington calling for all tariffs to be eliminated.
 TPPは原則、関税撤廃がルールだが、自民党はコメ、麦など農産品5項目を「聖域」として死守するよう主張している。あくまで関税撤廃を求める米国と日本の主張の隔たりは大きい。

Prior to the ministerial talks, Japan’s minister in charge of TPP affairs, Akira Amari, met with U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman following Japan-U.S. talks on the TPP in Tokyo. Before the start of the full ministerial meeting, Amari said, “Both of us must play our last cards,” apparently an indication of his resolve to do his best to find common ground with the United States.
 閣僚会合前、甘利TPP相がフロマン米通商代表と会談したほか、日米協議も東京で行われた。甘利氏が「互いにカードを切る」と意気込んだのは、着地点を探りたい決意の表れだろう。

What Tokyo could do

Before the ministerial meeting, Amari seemed to be sounding out the United States on Japan’s readiness to lower its tariffs on such farm products as beef and pork, but Washington argued that the Japanese-proposed tariff cuts were insufficient and called for further liberalization steps. There are no indications the bilateral talks will be successful, at least for now.
 日本は5項目のうち、牛肉や豚肉の関税率引き下げなどを打診した模様だが、米国はまだ不十分として一層の自由化を求めている。今のところ、日米協議が決着する見通しはたっていない。

According to the internationally accepted classification of tariffs, the five farm product categories in question comprise 586 trade items. Where should Japan make concessions and where should this country hold fast? The Japanese negotiators should seek a breakthrough by considering realistic ways to open the domestic market, centering on trade items that are not imported and those that would cause little impact on domestic industries if their tariffs are lowered or abolished.
 関税分類上、5項目は586品目に及ぶ。日本は何を守り、何を譲るか。輸入実績がない品目や影響が軽微なものを中心に、現実的な市場開放策を検討し、交渉の突破口を開いてもらいたい。

The two countries remain far apart in regard to Japan’s call for the United States to clearly indicate its timing for the abolition of tariffs on motor vehicles, while eliminating tariffs on auto parts. Washington has refused the Japanese demand, as it would harm the interests of automakers in the United States.
 日本が自動車関税の撤廃時期明示や部品関税撤廃を求めている点では、国内業界の意向を受けて米国が抵抗し、平行線が続く。

U.S. legislation for a trade promotion law to provide Obama with a mandate to conduct trade negotiations has yet to be enacted by Congress.
 米大統領に通商交渉権を与える貿易促進法案は議会で成立していない。

Apparently, the Obama administration is sticking to a hard-line stance in the TPP talks in an effort to gain congressional support for the legislation.
議会の支持を集めて法案成立を目指そうと、オバマ政権がTPP交渉で強硬姿勢を堅持せざるを得ない事情もうかがえる。

In Singapore, the participating countries are holding bilateral talks in parallel with the multilateral negotiations. Discord is deep-rooted between the United States and such emerging economies as Malaysia concerning such fields as intellectual property rights and competition-related policies.
 シンガポールでは、多国間と日米など2国間の交渉が並行して行われる。知的財産権や競争政策分野でも、米国とマレーシアなど新興国との対立が根深い。

Should Japan and the United States fail to resolve their differences, there will be little hope the stalemate in other sectors of the TPP talks will be broken.
 日米対立が続けば、他の難航分野の打開も厳しいだろう。

The two countries must live up to their responsibilities of leading world trade by crafting a new set of trade and investment rules in the TPP negotiations.
TPPで新たな貿易・投資ルールを作り、世界貿易をリードする道を日米がつぶしてはならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 23, 2014)
(2014年2月23日01時39分  読売新聞)

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竹島の日 内外に訴えよ韓国の不法占拠

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 23, 2014
Japan should present case abroad, at home on Takeshima occupation
竹島の日 内外に訴えよ韓国の不法占拠(2月23日付・読売社説)

The Takeshima islands in Shimane Prefecture are an inherent part of Japanese territory, but South Korea has been illegally occupying them. It is important that many more Japanese people share this understanding.
 竹島は日本固有の領土であるのに、現在は、韓国が不法占拠している。この認識を、より多くの国民が共有することが肝要である。

The Shimane prefectural government has held its ninth “Takeshima Day” ceremony. Yoshitami Kameoka, parliamentary secretary of the Cabinet Office, represented the government at the ceremony and said in a speech, “The government will do its best to solve the Takeshima issue rationally and peacefully.”
 島根県が第9回「竹島の日」記念式典を開催した。政府代表の亀岡偉民内閣府政務官は、「竹島問題の冷静かつ平和的な解決に全力で取り組む」とあいさつした。

Feb. 22 is the day that Japan incorporated the Takeshima islands into Shimane Prefecture in 1905. The prefecture enacted the “Takeshima Day” ordinance in 2005 and has been organizing the ceremony on the day every year since 2006. It is highly praiseworthy that the prefecture has steadily continued its Takeshima awareness campaign.
 2月22日は、1905年に竹島が島根県に編入された日だ。島根県は「竹島の日」条例を制定し、2006年以降、毎年、この日に式典を開いている。竹島に関する啓発活動を地道に実施してきたことを高く評価したい。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government last year sent the parliamentary secretary of the Cabinet Office to the ceremony for the first time. Of course, resolving the territorial dispute is not easy and will take a long time, but the persistence of such awareness activities is important.
 昨年、安倍政権が初めて内閣府政務官を派遣した。無論、領土問題の解決は簡単でなく、時間を要するだろうが、こうした活動を着実に継続することが大切だ。

In the past, Japan used Takeshima as a transit point of maritime traffic and a fishing base, and established sovereignty over the islands in the mid-17th century. After the end of World War II, South Korea demanded the United States include Takeshima among territories Japan should give up, but Washington refused.
 日本は、竹島を海上交通の中継地や漁業に利用し、17世紀半ばには領有権を確立した。韓国は第2次大戦後、日本が放棄すべき領土に竹島を含めるよう米国に要請したが、拒否された。

However, Seoul unilaterally established the “Syngman Rhee Line” in 1952 to demarcate the limits of its waters, including the Takeshima islands within its extended territory. It then illegally occupied the islands. South Korea has refused Tokyo’s proposal to settle the dispute at the International Court of Justice.
 ところが、韓国は52年に一方的に李承晩ラインを設定し、その内側の竹島の不法占拠を始めた。国際司法裁判所に付託するという日本の提案も拒否している。

Raise awareness on islands

Results of a Cabinet Office survey released in August showed that 63 percent of Japanese polled knew that South Korea has illegally occupied the islands, and 61 percent realized they were an inherent part of Japanese territory. It is regrettable to say that these figures are not necessarily high. The government must make a greater effort to spread the correct understanding of the issue among the public.
 昨年8月発表の内閣府世論調査で、韓国の不法占拠を知っている人は63%、竹島を我が国固有の領土と認識している人は61%だった。残念ながら高い数字ではない。政府は、竹島に関する正しい理解を広げる努力が求められる。

In January, the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry revised instruction manuals for its course of study for middle and high schools to stipulate for the first time that the Takeshima and Senkaku islands are inherent territories of Japan. This should help improve the public’s awareness of the government’s views on the Takeshima and Senkaku islands.
 文部科学省は今年1月、中学と高校の学習指導要領の解説書に竹島や尖閣諸島を日本の領土と初めて明記する改定を行った。こうした領土教育は、政府見解の認知度を高める効果を持とう。

It is also important to disseminate Japan’s views on the territorial issues among other countries in the world. The Foreign Ministry last year uploaded to its website video footage explaining the government views on the territories in 12 languages, which attracted more than 1 million hits.
 世界への情報発信も重要だ。外務省が昨年10月、12か国語で政府見解を説明する動画をホームページに掲載したところ、計100万件超の視聴があったという。

South Korea objected to the observance of “Takeshima Day” and demanded Tokyo stop sending a parliamentary secretary to the ceremony. However, its claim lacks legitimacy and is nothing but intervention in internal affairs.
 韓国は「竹島の日」に反発し、政務官派遣の中止を求めている。だが、その主張に正当性はなく、内政干渉にほかならない。

Tokyo decided not to organize a government ceremony to mark the day as the Liberal Democratic Party had stipulated in its policy pledges for the last House of Representatives elections. It also did not send the prime minister or other ministers to the ceremony, though Shimane Prefecture invited them. We think these are appropriate diplomatic considerations made with the South Korean government in mind.
 政府は、自民党が衆院選政策集に掲げた政府式典の開催や、島根県の求める首相や閣僚の式典出席を見送っている。韓国に対する十分な外交上の配慮と言える。

There are many other issues Japan and South Korea should work on together, such as North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade accord. The foreign ministries of both countries should carefully handle the dispute over the Takeshima islands so it does not become a major factor to hinder improvement of their bilateral relations.
 一方で、北朝鮮の核問題や環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)など、日韓が協力して対処すべき課題は多い。竹島をめぐる日韓対立が、両国関係改善の決定的な障害とならないよう、双方の外交当局は慎重に対応すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 23, 2014)
(2014年2月23日01時41分  読売新聞)

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2014年2月23日 (日)

原発安全審査 独善的な先送りは許されない

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 22, 2014
NRA mustn’t delay reactor estarts by insisting on public hearings
原発安全審査 独善的な先送りは許されない(2月22日付・読売社説)

The Nuclear Regulation Authority must not forget that its mission is to promote safety checks smoothly to facilitate the restart of suspended nuclear reactors.
 原子力発電所の再稼働に向けた安全審査を速やかに進める。原子力規制委員会は、自らの使命を忘れてはならない。

The NRA has decided to invite public comments and hold public hearings in the final stage of checking the safety of nuclear power stations. It will reportedly seek public opinions on its technical judgments.
 規制委が、原発の安全審査の最終段階で意見公募(パブリックコメント)と公聴会を実施することを決めた。技術的判断に対する意見を求めるという。

NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka proposed the plan, but the proposal came too abruptly. We urge the nuclear watchdog to reconsider the decision.
 田中俊一規制委員長が提案したものだが、あまりに唐突だ。再考を求めたい。

Inviting public comments and holding public hearings are not provided for by law. Regulation authorities organized such events in the past, but they were held mainly to consider the construction of new nuclear power stations. The NRA is conducting safety checks on 10 idled power plants.
 意見公募や公聴会の実施は、法律に定めがない。過去に規制当局が公開ヒアリングの形で実施した例はあるものの、主に原発新設の際だ。規制委が現在、審査しているのは既設の10原発である。

Public comments were sought when the new regulation guidelines were worked out last year.
 意見公募は、新規制基準の策定時に、既に実施している。

Tanaka says the hearings are designed to fulfill the NRA’s responsibility of giving explanations to society. But this position is dogmatic. In the first place, it is more reasonable for the watchdog to make judgments based on its specialized knowledge and explain the reasons for them in detail to the people.
 田中委員長は「社会的説明」が目的だと言うが、独善的ではないか。まずは規制委が専門的知見に基づき判断し、その理由を国民に丁寧に説明するのが筋だろう。

When it launched safety checks of the 10 plants last July, the NRA said it would likely be able to reach conclusions in about six months.
 規制委は審査に着手した昨年7月、「半年程度で結論が出るだろう」との見通しを示していた。

Of course, it is imperative to fully confirm safety. But the checks have already been delayed considerably, and there are fears that the addition of needless procedures will further delay drawing conclusions on safety.
 無論、安全性の徹底確認は重要だが、審査は、今でも大幅に遅れている。不合理な手続きを取り入れることで、結論がさらに先送りになりかねない。

Furthermore, inviting public comments will require the assignment of personnel to deal with them. Public hearings will reportedly be held upon requests from municipal governments. But it must be noted that more than 100 cities, towns and villages are located within a 30-kilometer radius of the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant alone, the area designated by the NRA for the application of its guidelines on nuclear disaster countermeasures.
 意見公募を行えば、寄せられた意見への対応に人員を割かねばならない。公聴会は、自治体からの要望で開催するというが、規制委の原子力災害対策指針が対象とする原発周辺30キロ圏内の市町村だけで、100以上にのぼる。

Why now?

Coming at this juncture, the NRA’s decision on public comments and hearings can reasonably be criticized as stalling.
 この時期に意見公募や公聴会を持ち出すのは、「後出しジャンケン」と言われても仕方がない。

The lengthy suspension of nuclear reactors has been adversely affecting the national economy and people’s livelihoods. With no end in sight to the safety checks, some electric power companies are studying a plan to raise utility rates again.
 原発の長期停止は、日本経済と国民生活に、悪影響を及ぼしている。安全審査に終わりが見えないことから、料金の再値上げを検討する電力会社もある。

The NRA came up with a new safety check plan this week. It calls for selecting one or two power stations with fewer safety problems next month from among the 10 plants subject to the ongoing checks and assigning inspectors to the chosen plants on a priority basis to conduct checks. This method would then be used as a model for future checks.
 規制委は今週、新たな審査方針も決めた。審査中の10原発から課題の少ない1、2か所の原発を来月にも選び、審査官を重点配置して優先審査する。その後の審査のモデルにするという。

This is an effective method. But if the process is fettered by seeking public comments and holding public hearings, it will not accelerate the pace for safety checks.
 有用な手法だが、意見公募などが足かせになれば、審査のスピードアップにはつながるまい。

The NRA must deal with the utilities sincerely in carrying out checks.
 審査に当たっては、規制委が電力会社と真摯(しんし)に向かい合う姿勢も求められよう。

In past meetings with plant operators concerning safety checks, the NRA often pointed out that the data prepared by utilities was insufficient. The utilities were naturally confused by such an NRA response because the watchdog did not present its thinking in concrete terms beforehand.
 審査会合では、電力会社が用意してきた資料に規制委が「内容が不十分」と指摘するケースが目立つ。規制委の具体的な考え方が事前に示されていないため、電力会社が戸惑うのも無理はない。

Emphasizing dialogue is essential in carrying out the checks.
 対話重視の審査が大切だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 22, 2014)
(2014年2月22日01時22分  読売新聞)

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河野談話 慰安婦証言を検証・公開せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 22, 2014
Govt should publicize comfort women testimony cited in Kono statement
河野談話 慰安婦証言を検証・公開せよ(2月22日付・読売社説)

The government should thoroughly get to the bottom of the manner in which a 1993 statement by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono on so-called comfort women came to be.
 いわゆる従軍慰安婦問題をめぐる河野官房長官談話がどのように作成されたのか。政府はしっかり解明すべきだ。

At a Thursday meeting of the House of Representatives Budget Committee, current Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said he would study whether a government team should be established to examine the process of preparing the Kono statement.
 菅官房長官が、衆院予算委員会で、河野談話の作成過程を検証する政府チームの設置を検討する考えを示した。

The Kono statement expressed “apologies and remorse” to former comfort women. However, it has become clear that testimony by 16 former comfort women from South Korea—on which the statement was based—was not backed up by documents or other evidence.
 河野談話は、元慰安婦に対する「おわびと反省の気持ち」を表明したもので、1993年に発表された。だが、河野談話の根拠となる元韓国人慰安婦16人の証言に、なんら資料的裏付けがないことは、既に明らかになっている。

Suga also said it was desirable to study the issue from academic points of view. It would thus be necessary to make public the transcripts of the former comfort women’s testimony—which are now classified—so historians and other experts can examine their contents.
 菅長官は学術的観点からの検討が望ましいとも述べた。歴史学者らが内容をチェックできるよう、機密扱いになっている元慰安婦の証言録は公開すべきだろう。

Thursday’s meeting was also attended by Nobuo Ishihara, deputy chief cabinet secretary when the statement was issued in 1993.
 委員会には、93年当時に官房副長官だった石原信雄氏も参考人として出席した。

Ishihara, serving as an unsworn witness, said the government conducted interviews with the former comfort women at the urging of South Korea. “The atmosphere would not allow us to demand investigations to back up their testimony,” Ishihara told the committee.
 石原氏は、韓国側の強い要請を受け、元慰安婦から聞き取りを行ったと述べたうえ、「証言の裏付け調査を要求できる雰囲気はなかった」と明かした。

As the statement was issued without solid evidence, the Imperial Japanese Army has been viewed by the world as having forced young women to serve as comfort women.
 だが、確たる証拠もなく談話を発表したため、日本軍が強制的に若い女性を慰安婦にしたという形で世界に受け止められている。

Statement spawns problems

It is undeniable that the Kono statement has spawned many problems.
 河野談話が禍根を残したことは間違いない。

For example, a group of Americans with South Korean roots spearheaded a campaign to erect a statute of a girl symbolizing comfort women last year in Glendale, Calif.
An inscription beside the statue says, “In memory of more than 200,000 Asian and Dutch women who were removed from their homes...to be coerced into sexual slavery...” Such a campaign has started spreading across the United States.
 例えば、韓国系米国人が中心となって米国のグレンデール市に慰安婦像が設置され、碑文には「20万人以上の女性が性奴隷にされた」と記された。米国各地にそうした運動が広がりつつある。

Japan has been unable to wage effective counterarguments against South Korean campaigns, as the Kono statement included expressions that can be construed as acknowledgment by Japan of the forcible recruitment of women.
 河野談話の中に強制連行を認めたかのような表現があるために、日本側は韓国側の主張に有効な反論を展開できない。

As a questioner at the committee meeting, Hiroshi Yamada, a lawmaker from Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restration Party), asked Ishihara to clarify whether the government at that time coordinated the wording of the statement with South Korea while preparing it.
 委員会で質問に立った日本維新の会の山田宏氏は、談話作成の段階で韓国側と文章をすり合わせたのではないかとただした。

“It can naturally be assumed that the wording was coordinated,” Ishihara said, though he said he did not personally confirm it. It is extremely problematic if the core part of the statement—saying that “at times, administrative/military personnel directly took part in the recruitments”—reflected the wishes of the South Korean side.
 石原氏は、直接確認していないが、「すり合わせは当然行ったと推定される」と応じた。談話の核心部分である「官憲等が直接これに加担したこともあった」との表現に、韓国側の意向が働いたとすれば極めて問題だ。

The South Korean government, which had not raised comfort women issues for a while after the Kono statement was released, has brought them up again and again in recent years. South Korean President Park Geun-hye is seeking new solutions from the Japanese government.
 韓国政府は、河野談話が発表された後、しばらくは慰安婦問題を提起することはなかったが、近年、蒸し返している。朴槿恵(パククネ)大統領も、日本政府に対し新たな解決策を求めている。

The government issued the Kono statement to show “good will” toward South Korea in the interest of building a forward-looking relationship between Japan and South Korea. However, it became clear that its intention was never understood. The government must expedite work to examine the Kono statement and correct errors as soon as possible.
 政府は、未来志向の日韓関係を築くために、韓国側に「善意」を示して、河野談話を発表したが、結局は通用しなかったということだ。河野談話の検証作業を急ぎ、誤りを正さねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 22, 2014)
(2014年2月22日01時22分  読売新聞)

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2014年2月22日 (土)

英語教育改革 指導体制の整備が最大懸案だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 21, 2014
Improvement of teaching system key to acquiring communicative English
英語教育改革 指導体制の整備が最大懸案だ(2月21日付・読売社説)

To help children, who will shape the nation’s future, acquire solid English abilities, the teaching system absolutely must be improved.
 将来を担う子供たちに確かな英語力を身に着けさせるには、指導体制の整備が欠かせない。

The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry has come up with a plan to reinforce English education at primary, middle and high schools.
 文部科学省が、小中高校の英語教育の強化計画を打ち出した。

The plan calls for advancing the beginning of English education from the current fifth grade of primary school to third grade and making English an official curriculum subject to be taught from fifth grade. Other reform efforts are aimed at conducting English classes at middle school solely in English, in principle, and enabling high school students to make presentations and hold discussions in English.
 小学校で英語を教え始める時期を現行の小学5年から小学3年に早め、5年生からは正式な教科にする。中学の英語の授業は原則英語で行い、高校では生徒が英語で発表や討論をできるようにする。そんな内容だ。

The education ministry aims to fully implement the new English teaching system in fiscal 2020 after revising the teaching curriculum following discussions by an expert panel.
 文科省は、有識者会議の検討を経て、学習指導要領を改定し、2020年度からの完全実施を目指している。

There is deep-seated criticism of English education in Japan, as many Japanese people cannot use English as a means of communication despite long years of learning it at school.
 日本人は学校で英語を学んだのに、コミュニケーションの手段として使えないといった英語教育への批判が根強い。

It is reasonable that the planned English teaching system is aimed at increasing chances to use English as much as possible in classes to help students acquire practical English skills.
 授業の中で、実際に英語を使う機会をできるだけ増やし、実践的な語学力の習得につなげようという計画の狙いはうなずける。

Considering the school education levels as they stand today, however, it may be said the targets set by the ministry are fairly high. Problems must be sorted out thoroughly from various angles to see whether the plan is reasonable.
 ただ、現状の学校教育の水準を考慮すれば、かなり高めの目標設定と言える。計画に無理はないか。様々な角度から課題を徹底的に洗い出す必要がある。

Biggest hurdle

The most crucial point in implementing the plan in classrooms is whether it will be possible to assign teachers capable of giving adequate instruction at all schools.
 計画を実践する上で、最大のポイントは、すべての学校に、適切な指導を行える教師を配置できるかどうかだ。

Many primary school teachers have not learned English teaching methods sufficiently in teacher training programs at university.
 小学校の教師の多くは、大学の教員養成課程で英語の指導法を十分に学んでいない。

If English is taught as an official curriculum subject, specialized teachers must be secured. It will require time and money to cultivate such personnel.
 正式な教科として英語を教えるのであれば、専任教師を確保する必要が出てくる。その養成には時間とコストがかかる。

To conduct communication-centered English teaching at middle and high schools, teachers are required to acquire English conversation abilities. Even if training programs are strengthened, it will not be easy to enhance the abilities of all English teachers.
 中学や高校の英語の授業をコミュニケーション中心にするには、教師自身の会話能力が問われる。研修を強化するにしても、すべての英語教師のレベルアップを図るのは容易ではあるまい。

It is necessary to boost the number of assistant English teachers to be hired from English-speaking countries. As another idea, we suggest that human resources from outside of conventional education circles, such as former trading house employees with rich experiences in foreign countries, be utilized aggressively.
 英語圏の外国語指導助手を今以上に増やす必要がある。海外経験が豊富な元商社マンなど、外部の人材を積極的に活用するのも一つの方策ではないか。

A matter of concern is whether children will be able to fully understand what they are taught at school.
 子供たちが学習面で消化不良を起こすことも懸念される。

If the number of children who come to dislike English increases after class contents are changed, the reform would be like carrying water in a sieve. When it comes to teaching at primary school, efforts must be made to devise methods whereby children can enjoy learning English.
 授業内容を変更することで、かえって英語嫌いの子供が増えては、本末転倒である。小学校の授業では、楽しく英語を学べる工夫が欠かせない。

Changes in classroom teaching will inevitably lead to a drastic reexamination of English tests for high school and university entrance examinations.
 授業が変われば、高校や大学の入試問題の内容も大幅な見直しを迫られるだろう。

It is imperative to reform the current entrance exam system, which tests students’ knowledge of English grammar and their ability to understand long sentences, into one designed to test their listening and speaking skills.
 文法の理解力や長文を訳読する力を問う現在の「受験英語」から、生徒の「聞く」「話す」能力を見極める入試へと転換していくことが求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 21, 2014)
(2014年2月21日01時31分  読売新聞)

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集団的自衛権 憲法解釈の変更に問題はない

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 21, 2014
Constitutional reinterpretation of collective defense right not problematic
集団的自衛権 憲法解釈の変更に問題はない(2月21日付・読売社説)

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has expressed his willingness to review the government’s current constitutional interpretation to enable the country to exercise its right of collective self-defense.
 安倍首相が、集団的自衛権の行使を可能にするため政府の憲法解釈を見直すことに意欲を示している。

The envisaged reinterpretation is undoubtedly necessary to ensure peace and security for the nation, and we throw our support afresh behind the prime minister’s thinking.
日本の平和と安全の確保に必要であり、首相の考えを改めて支持したい。

In Thursday’s House of Representatives Budget Committee session, Abe indicated his intention to seek Cabinet approval of a new constitutional interpretation of the right of collective self-defense after holding discussions with the ruling camp. The discussions will follow a government feasibility study of the reinterpretation focusing on the Cabinet Legislation Bureau and releasing a report by a government-appointed expert panel in April, he said. Abe also told the committee that his administration will subsequently address such tasks as revising the Self-Defense Forces Law.
 首相は20日の衆院予算委員会で4月に予定される有識者会議の報告後、政府が内閣法制局を中心に解釈変更を検討し、与党との調整を経て、新たな解釈を閣議決定する意向を示した。その後、自衛隊法改正などに取り組むという。

Given such developments as advances in military technology and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the time has come when it is difficult for the country to fully ensure the integrity of its land and territorial waters single-handedly.
 軍事技術の進歩や大量破壊兵器の拡散などにより、日本が単独で領土・領海を守り抜くのは難しい時代を迎えている。

In light of such realities as China’s military buildup and maritime expansionism as well as the threat of North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missiles, it is urgent and essential that Japan beef up its alliance with the United States, as well as other aspects of international cooperation, through changes to the government’s interpretation of the Constitution.
 中国の軍備増強や海洋進出、北朝鮮の核ミサイルの脅威などを踏まえれば、解釈変更による日米同盟と国際連携の強化が急務だ。

In response to an interpellation in a Budget Committee session last week, Abe said: “I am the one who is ultimately responsible [for a Cabinet decision on constitutional reinterpretation]. I, not the head of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau, am also the one who will be evaluated by the people [regarding the reinterpretation issue] in an election.” His remarks, however, elicited objections even from some members of his own Liberal Democratic Party.
 首相は先週、予算委で「(憲法解釈の)最高責任者は私だ。選挙で国民から審判を受けるのは法制局長官でなく、私だ」と答弁し、自民党内からも異論が出た。

Since the government’s interpretation of the supreme law is statutorily up to the judgment of the cabinet as a whole based on advice from the Legislation Bureau, the prime minister’s statement is not wrong. It is regrettable, however, that his remarks seem to have created the misunderstanding that the prime minister can change the constitutional interpretation on his own as long as he can win an electoral victory. The prime minister is urged to be more scrupulous about providing convincing explanations.
 憲法解釈は、法制局の助言を受けて、内閣全体で判断するもので、首相発言は間違っていない。ただ、選挙に勝てば首相が自由に解釈を変えられるかのような誤解を招いたのは残念である。首相には、より丁寧な説明が求められよう。

Examining constitutionality

On the other hand, some parties including the Democratic Party of Japan are far off the mark in lambasting Abe’s acknowledgement of the exercise of Japan’s right of collective self-defense through a constitutional reinterpretation as being tantamount to violating “constitutionalism.”
 一方で、民主党などが、解釈変更による集団的自衛権の行使の容認を「立憲主義」の否定だ、と批判しているのは、的外れだ。

Constitutionalism comprises two key elements: the guarantee of basic human rights and the separation of the three powers of state—executive, legislative and judicial. It places importance on governance in accordance with a constitution. Though a constitution places the government under constraints, it should not be considered the only thing that may be said about the top law.
 立憲主義の基本的指標は、人権の保障と三権分立にある。憲法に従った統治に主眼がある。憲法の役割は権力者を縛るものだ、という考え方がすべてではない。

The process through which the cabinet comes up with a new interpretation of the Constitution, the Diet approves legislation endorsing the reinterpretation and the judiciary adjudicates the legislation’s constitutionality explicitly conforms to constitutionalism.
 内閣が新たな解釈を示し、国会がそれを裏付ける法律を整備し、司法が違憲立法審査を行うのは、立憲主義にも沿っている。

What the government is now considering is a change of constitutional interpretation for the sake of maintaining the nation’s peace and prosperity in the face of a fast-changing security environment by ensuring a degree of logical consistency with the past government views on the matter.
 政府が検討しているのは、過去の政府見解とも一定の論理的な整合性を保ちつつ、安全保障環境の変化に対応して日本の平和と繁栄を維持するための解釈変更だ。

Yusuke Yokobatake, deputy director general of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau, who has been said to be wary of altering constitutional interpretation, has said, “If the conclusion is reached that a reinterpretation of the Constitution should be deemed just and proper, it can no longer be said that no changes of interpretation are ever permissible.”
 解釈変更に慎重とされた横畠裕介内閣法制次長も、「解釈変更が至当だとの結論が得られた場合、変更がおよそ許されないものではない」と指摘している。

Changes of constitutional interpretation, as a matter of course, must not be allowed without limits. Should there be a danger of crossing such bounds, it would be more appropriate to revise the Constitution itself rather than its interpretation.
 無論、解釈変更が無制限に許されるわけではない。限界を超える場合は、解釈変更でなく、憲法を改正するのが適切である。

New Komeito, which has so far been reluctant to acknowledge exercise of the right of collective self-defense, has recently begun to indicate readiness to engage in discussions on the reinterpretation of the top law. Komeito Secretary General Yoshihisa Inoue has said on the record that his party does not “entirely oppose” discussing the issue.
 集団的自衛権の行使容認に慎重な公明党も最近、解釈変更の議論に応じる意向を示し始めた。井上幹事長は「真正面から否定するわけではない」と語った。

To increase public understanding on the matter, the prime minister should advocate the Constitution’s reinterpretation as important and necessary with his head held high.
首相は、解釈変更の意義と必要性を堂々と論じ、理解を広げるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 21, 2014)
(2014年2月21日01時33分  読売新聞)

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2014年2月21日 (金)

homework 2014-02-22

น้องสวมเสื้อสีแดง
ลิงปีนต้นไม้
แม่ซื้อแตงโม
พี่แปรงฟัน
Younger brother wore red
Monkey climbing a tree
Mother bought a watermelon
Elder sister brush teeth

นกบิน
อ๊อดเขียนตัวแลขไทย
ฝ้ายนั่งมองก้อนเมฆ
ต่ายรักเด็กมาก
bird fly
Ood write Thai number
faai sit on the floor and watch clouds
Taai loves children very much

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homework 2014-02-22

ปีก
แมว
จาน
มังคุด
ม้าลาย
สีชมพู
กบ
หอม
องุ่น
สีแดง
ดินสอ
ทหาร
wing
cat
plate
mangosteen
zebra
pink
frog
aromatic
grapes
red
pencil
soldier

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homework 2014-02-22

เอาใจ
ไปไหน
ใบไผ
ไก่ขัน
ผู้ใด
feel
where are you going
bamboo leaves
cock
who

เมฆ
ปีก
อ่าง
เลข
นก
ลิง
cloud
wing
tub
number
bird
monkey

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これからの財務会計はソフトよりもクラウドを使ったERPで

NetSuite (ネットスイート) という会社を発見しました。
私は海外事業が長かったので、ネットスイートがクラウドで提供する海外ビジネス複数拠点を本社から一元管理したい、という項目に惹かれました。

私つくづく思うのですが、意志決定の迅速化というのが日本の会社が一番苦手とする部分なんです。
アメリカで、あるいは東南アジア諸国で、これはというプロジェクトを発見しても、本社で決済されるまでには相当な時間がかかります。
ようやく本社から決済が降りた頃、念願のプロジェクトは中国や韓国の破格の入札で落札が内定しているという状況を何度も経験しました。
海外事業では、意志決定の迅速さが命です。
それを支えてくれるのがプライバシーやセキュリティーが厳重に守られている外注のクラウド技術ERP なのです。

私のように海外事業専門ではなくって、国内向けのERPも充実しているらしいですね。
早急なる導入が会社のその後の運命(発展)を左右します。



ドリームニュース・ブログメディア参加記事

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「もんじゅ」 有効活用へラストチャンスだ

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 20, 2014
Last chance for Monju fast-breeder reactor to be utilized effectively
「もんじゅ」 有効活用へラストチャンスだ(2月20日付・読売社説)

The Monju fast-breeder reactor project still has great potential in Japan’s nuclear policy.
 高速増殖炉「もんじゅ」は、日本の原子力政策の中で今なお可能性を秘めたプロジェクトだ。

For the project to regain public trust, which has been lost over a series of troubles, the government needs to clearly define its Monju-related research goals in its basic energy plan, to be worked out shortly.
 トラブル続きで、失った信頼を回復するためにも、政府は、近く策定するエネルギー基本計画の中に、もんじゅを利用した研究目標を明確に位置付ける必要がある。

The government has advocated that the efficient use of uranium resources will be one of the research targets of the Monju project. Under current circumstances, uranium can be secured in a stable manner, making it difficult to consider the efficient use of uranium as an urgent theme.
 政府はこれまで、もんじゅの研究目標として、ウラン資源の効率的利用を柱に掲げてきた。しかし、ウランを当面、安定して確保できる状況では、切迫したテーマとは言い難くなっている。

Sanae Takaichi, who chairs the Liberal Democratic Party’s Policy Research Council, said, “We are [using the Monju reactor to] study whether we can realize a reduction in high-level radioactive waste and toxicity duration.” The reduction is aimed at cutting the volume of radioactive waste.
 自民党の高市政調会長は「(もんじゅを使って)高レベル放射性廃棄物の減容化、毒性期間の短縮化が実現できるか、検討している」と述べた。減容化とは高レベル放射性廃棄物を減らすことだ。

Spent nuclear fuel is piling up at nuclear power plants across the country. The selection of a candidate site for a final disposal facility of the highly radioactive waste generated when spent nuclear fuel is processed has also been rough going.
 各地の原子力発電所には、使用済み核燃料がたまっている。これを処理した際に出る高レベル放射性廃棄物の最終処分場の候補地選定も難航している。

Taking into account the significance of these issues, we can understand why Takaichi has expressed anew her expectation for the Monju project.
 問題の重要性を考えれば、高市氏が、もんじゅへの新たな期待を表明したことは理解できる。

Reducing toxic waste

The combustion performance of Monju is greater than that of a standard light-water reactor. Monju can use up radioactive materials that a light-water reactor would leave unconsumed, thus reducing the total amount of waste.
 もんじゅは、燃焼性能が一般の原発(軽水炉)よりも高い。軽水炉なら燃え残る放射性物質を燃やし、減らすことが可能だ。

According to an estimate by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry, the volume of radioactive waste can be reduced to one-seventh of what it would be if the spent nuclear fuel was disposed of as it is. Meanwhile, the period for which radioactive waste will remain toxic can be reduced from about 100,000 years to about 300 years.
 文部科学省の試算では、使用済み核燃料をそのまま廃棄するのと比べ、体積は7分の1に減る。有害性が自然状態に戻るのに要する期間は、約10万年から約300年へと短縮できるという。

The reduction of the amount of high-level radioactive waste and the shortening of the period of toxicity can be considered research themes, together with the efficient use of uranium materials, which distinguishes the Monju reactor.
 高レベル放射性廃棄物の減量、毒性期間の短縮は、ウラン資源の効率的利用に加え、もんじゅが、特性を十分に発揮し得る研究テーマと言えるだろう。

If the fast-breeder reactor achieves the desired results and is put into practical use, the ministry said the fast-breeder reactor could generate electricity for more than 3,000 years, while reducing radioactive waste.
 研究の成果を上げ、高速増殖炉が実用化されれば、廃棄物を減らしながら、3000年以上も発電を続けられるという。

Education minister Hakubun Shimomura said, “We must not let this dream [the Monju project] be brought to a standstill.”
下村文科相は「この夢を頓挫させてはならない」と語った。

The problem is that the operation of Monju has been suspended for a protracted period. The mismanagement of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, which operates the Monju reactor, is too glaring, not only causing a series of malfunctions and accidents involving its equipment but also failing to make necessary checkups.
 問題は、もんじゅの運転停止が長期化していることだ。機器の故障や事故ばかりでなく、必要な点検を怠るなど、運営にあたっている日本原子力研究開発機構の不手際があまりにも目立つ。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at the House of Representatives Budget Committee last week, “We, as the government, must consider what should be reflected on and deal with the issue moving forward,” emphasizing the necessity of reforming the agency.
 安倍首相は先週の衆院予算委員会で、「政府として反省すべき点はしっかり反省し、今後対応しなければならない」と改革の必要性を強調した。

It is important to rebuild the organization with a sense of urgency and to pave the way for the resumed operation of Monju. However, preparatory measures necessary for a restart are themselves prohibited by the Nuclear Regulation Authority.
 危機感を持って組織を立て直し、原子力規制委員会から準備作業を禁じられている運転再開に漕(こ)ぎ着けることが肝要である。

Such efforts can be considered the last chance for Monju to be effectively utilized.
 もんじゅを有効に活用するためのラストチャンスと言えよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 20, 2014)
(2014年2月20日01時37分  読売新聞)

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オバマ外交 アジア重視へ日米韓の連携を

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 20, 2014
Ties between Japan, U.S., ROK essential for Obama’s diplomacy
オバマ外交 アジア重視へ日米韓の連携を(2月20日付・読売社説)

To maintain peace and stability in Asia, the United States and its allies, including Japan and South Korea, must deepen their cooperative relations.
 アジアの平和と安定を維持するためには、米国と、同盟国である日本や韓国などが協力関係を深化させねばならない。

U.S. President Barack Obama has started to reshape his administration’s “pivot to Asia” diplomacy in an effort to restructure the currently shaken cooperative relationship among Japan, the United States and South Korea.
 オバマ米大統領が「アジア重視」の外交政策立て直しに乗り出した。揺らいでいる日米韓の連携再構築が重要な課題だ。

Earlier this month, after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida in Washington, he visited South Korea, China and Indonesia. In late April, Obama is scheduled to make a tour of Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines.
 ケリー米国務長官は今月、ワシントンで岸田外相と会談した後、韓国と中国、インドネシアを訪問した。4月下旬には、オバマ氏の日本、韓国、マレーシア、フィリピン歴訪が予定されている。

Within Asia, China has made such conspicuous moves toward expansionism as the declaration of an air defense identification zone. The ongoing instability in North Korea has only heightened the nuclear threat. We believe Obama must have concluded that he ought to place greater emphasis on U.S. engagement with Asia.
 アジアでは、防空識別圏の設定など中国の拡張主義的な行動が顕著になった。北朝鮮では不安定な情勢が続き、核の脅威は増大している。オバマ氏は関与に本腰を入れるべきだと考えたのだろう。

In a meeting with Kerry, Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated his desire to shape a “new type of major country relationship” with the United States. While the United States would like to discourage China from going too far militarily, the two countries’ relationship of mutual economic dependence has served to further increase China’s importance.
 習近平国家主席はケリー氏に、「新しいタイプの大国関係」の構築を再び求めた。米国は中国を軍事的に牽制(けんせい)したい一方で、経済面では中国との相互依存関係が一段と高まっている。

With complicated interests at stake, how can the two countries shape a “major country relationship”? It is indeed a difficult issue.
 複雑な思惑が交錯する両国がどのような「大国関係」を築くのか。難しい課題となろう。

In light of such circumstances, it is all the more indispensable for the United States to beef up cooperative ties with its allies.
 それだけに、米国にとっては同盟国との協力強化が不可欠だ。

Crisis felt by U.S.

Kerry has strongly urged the Japanese and South Korean foreign ministers to improve their nations’ relationship. The U.S. administration must have felt a heightened sense of crisis over the deterioration of unity among Japan, South Korea and the United States, a cornerstone of its Asia strategy, due to Japan-South Korea confrontations over historical and other issues.
 ケリー氏は、日韓両外相に両国関係の改善を強く要請した。アジア戦略の要となる日米韓の結束が歴史問題などを巡る日韓対立によって損なわれていることに、危機感を募らせたからに違いない。

At a joint press conference with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung Se, Kerry said, “We urge both of them [Japan and South Korea] to work with us together” to find a solution. His statement is regarded as an announcement that the United States will serve as a mediator between Japan and South Korea.
 韓国外相との共同記者会見では「日韓が米国と共に取り組むことを求める」と述べた。日韓の仲裁に乗り出す方針の表明である。

However, remedying the situation will not be easy. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wishes to hold a summit meeting with South Korean President Park Geun-hye with no preconditions. However, Park has put forth various conditions, including that Japan yield to South Korea over the so-called wartime comfort women issue.
 だが、事態打開は容易でない。日韓首脳会談について、安倍首相は無条件で開催する意向だが、韓国の朴槿恵大統領は、いわゆる従軍慰安婦問題での譲歩など日本に様々な条件を付けている。

We are also concerned that the Japan-U.S. relationship has been on the rocks since the United States announced its “disappointment” over Abe’s visit to Yasukuni Shrine in late December.
 昨年末の安倍首相の靖国神社参拝に米国が「失望」を表明して以来、日米関係がぎくしゃくしているのも気がかりだ。

On the Yasukuni issue, Kerry said at the press conference, “I don’t think we need to dwell on it now.” However, the tone of some U.S. media outlets suggests distrust toward Japan.
 靖国問題について、ケリー氏は会見で「これ以上こだわる必要はない」と強調したが、米国内には対日不信を示す論調もある。

The Japanese side has also expressed dissatisfaction. On a video sharing site, Seiichi Eto, a special adviser to the prime minister, made a public statement criticizing the United States, saying, “It was we who were disappointed that the United States said it was disappointed.” Although he later deleted the upload, his actions caused controversy.
 日本側にも不満が残る。衛藤晟一首相補佐官は、その後取り消したものの、ネット上で「我々の方が失望した」と米国を批判する発言を公開して、物議を醸した。

Japanese Ambassador to the United States Kenichiro Sasae made a local plea for the U.S. government to clarify its stance. “We also want to see the United States make clear” who its friends and allies are, and who the troublemakers are, he said.
 佐々江賢一郎駐米大使も米国で「米国は誰が友人で、誰をトラブルメーカーと考えているのかはっきりさせてほしい」と訴えた。

We ask Obama, who is strengthening his administration’s commitment to Asia, to adopt an attitude that recognizes afresh the importance of the Japan-U.S. relationship.
 日米関係の重要性を再認識する姿勢が、アジアへの関与を強めるオバマ氏に問われよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 20, 2014)
(2014年2月20日01時37分  読売新聞)

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2014年2月20日 (木)

記録的大雪 教訓生かして被害を防ぎたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 19, 2014
Bitter lessons from heavy snow must be used to prevent future problems
記録的大雪 教訓生かして被害を防ぎたい(2月19日付・読売社説)

Record-setting heavy snowfalls have ravaged parts of eastern Japan for two consecutive weekends, causing immense damage to various locations, including the Kanto-Koshin and Tohoku regions. The death toll from the extraordinarily heavy snowfalls has risen to 20.
 関東甲信から東北地方などを襲った記録的な大雪は、各地に甚大な被害をもたらした。死者は約20人に上っている。

On Tuesday, the government set up an emergency disaster response headquarters to deal with the situation. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe instructed relevant government ministries and agencies to “unite efforts to defend people’s lives and property.”
 政府は18日、非常災害対策本部を設置し、安倍首相は「関係省庁一体となって国民の生命財産を守る」ように指示した。

Efforts must be made to rehabilitate the affected areas as quickly as possible. It is also essential that the state of the snow damage be thoroughly studied, with findings used to better cope with similar disasters in the future.
 被害の早期復旧を図るとともに、雪害の状況を検証し、今後の対策に生かさねばならない。

The latest heavy snowfalls were generated when an air mass called a southern shore low pressure system passed along the country’s Pacific shore. Due to this low pressure system, record snowfalls were reported in the Kanto region and elsewhere.
 今回の大雪は、太平洋岸に沿った「南岸低気圧」の通過に伴って発生した。関東などの各地で観測史上最大の積雪を記録した。

The snowfalls disrupted traffic on the expressway system, a main artery for the distribution of goods. This has left a number of supermarkets and convenience stores with bare shelves while also forcing many factories into temporary shutdowns as a result of necessary parts not being delivered.
 物流の大動脈である高速道路が通行不能となった。スーパーやコンビニエンスストアで品切れが相次いだ。必要な部品が届かず、一時的な操業停止に追い込まれる工場も続出している。

Devastation caused by the snowfalls seems to show that even areas with scant experience in coping with snowfall must think about how to act in the event of such a natural disaster.
 雪に不慣れな地方が、大雪への対応という難題を突きつけられたと言えよう。

The latest snowfalls left a large number of local communities cut off from neighboring areas, with their roads buried in snow. No one seems to have anticipated this could happen. A task facing the relevant authorities is to think about how to avert such a situation if another heavy snowfall strikes in the future.
 道が閉ざされ、多くの集落が孤立したのは、想定外である。今後の対応が問われる。

We do not find it realistic for local governments to spend a great deal of money buying snow-shoveling and melting equipment if heavy snow is extremely unusual in their areas.
 極めてまれな大雪に備え、自治体が除雪や融雪のための機材整備に多額の費用をかけるのは、現実的ではあるまい。

What, then, is the most efficient measure to minimize any damage inflicted on a given community if it heavily snows? It is important to study measures in a manner that properly reflects the realities of each local government.
被害を最小限にとどめるには、どのような対策が効率的なのか、自治体の実情に応じた対応を検討すべきだ。

Tie-up with SDF important

Self-Defense Forces personnel were sent to various snow-affected areas, where they worked to aid local residents in overcoming the situation. Efforts must be made to shore up the system for establishing communication between prefectural governments and the SDF so the former can ask the latter to dispatch personnel in the future, as required during extreme circumstances.
 自衛隊が各地に派遣され、住民の救援にあたった。今後も、都道府県が臨機応変に派遣要請できるよう、自衛隊との連絡体制を強化しなければならない。

It will also be necessary for each local government to designate locations as areas prone to possible isolation due to heavy snow, a task that requires arranging a means of transporting people and supplies by helicopter, or through other equipment.
 自治体が、孤立しそうな地域をあらかじめ想定し、ヘリコプターなどで人や物資を運べる手段を確保しておくことも必要だろう。

Traffic congestion along arterial highways contributed to the turmoil arising from the recent snowfalls. A number of skidding accidents were reported on the Tomei Expressway, leaving vehicles stranded for more than 40 kilometers.
 幹線道路の渋滞は混乱に拍車をかけた。東名高速ではスリップ事故が続発し、40キロ以上にわたって車が立ち往生した。

Traffic restrictions came too late, as evidenced by the fact the expressway had not been closed to traffic until a major traffic jam erupted there. There were long delays in restoring traffic on the highway even after it stopped snowing, as it took a good deal of time to remove stranded vehicles there.
 規制が後手に回り、通行止めにしたのは大渋滞の発生後だった。雪がやんだ後も車両の移動に時間を要し、復旧を遅らせた。

Alarmed by the latest confusion, Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Akihiro Ota said his ministry will reexamine the current system for imposing traffic controls, adding that highways will be closed at an early stage of traffic congestion due to a heavy snowfall while, at the same time, intensively working to remove the snow from such roads in that event.
 太田国土交通相は、通行規制のあり方を見直し、今後は早い段階で通行止めにして、集中的に除雪を行う方針を明らかにした。

We hope the government will properly consider measures to rectify the status quo, including discussions on the pros and cons of removing cars stalled and deserted on highways without the consent of their owners.
 立ち往生した車両を所有者の同意なしに道路上から移動させることの是非を含め、政府でしっかり改善策を検討してもらいたい。

The latest turmoil on the expressway network was marked by a large number of accidents involving vehicles with ordinary tires, meaning they did not use snow tires or tire chains. We feel their drivers may have failed to carry out precautions against heavy snowfall.
 チェーンやスタッドレスタイヤを使わず、普通のタイヤで走行していた車の事故が目立った。雪への油断があったのではないか。

Everyone should be advised not to drive out if a weather forecast warns of heavy snow. They also should take all possible precautions if they drive despite hearing such a forecast. It is important for each and every driver to exercise extreme caution if heavy snow is imminent.
 大雪の予報が出たら外出を避ける。出かける際には万全の備えを怠らない。一人一人のこうした心がけが大切である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 19, 2014)
(2014年2月19日01時39分  読売新聞)

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国連人権委報告 認定された北朝鮮「国家犯罪」

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 19, 2014
U.N. inquiry finds systematic state-sponsored crimes by N. Korea
国連人権委報告 認定された北朝鮮「国家犯罪」(2月19日付・読売社説)

The United Nations has issued a stern accusation of state crimes committed by North Korea, including abductions of Japanese nationals. The organization’s condemnation is likely to stoke strong international pressure on North Korea, and it will be important to use this international pressure as leverage to bring a resolution to the abduction issue.
 日本人拉致などの北朝鮮の国家犯罪に対する国連の厳しい告発である。北朝鮮には、強い国際的圧力となろう。
 その圧力をテコに、拉致問題の解決につなげていくことが肝要だ。

The U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has issued its report on the state of human rights in North Korea.
 北朝鮮の人権に関する国連調査委員会が報告書を公表した。

The report acknowledges “systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations” and concludes that these behaviors are “based on state policies.” The report finds that the violations constitute “crimes against humanity,” and the investigation panel recommends that the U.N. Security Council refer the domestic situation in North Korea to the International Criminal Court for action.
 報告書は、北朝鮮による「組織的で広範かつ深刻な人権侵害」の存在を認め、「国家政策に基づくもの」と断定した。これらが「人道に対する罪」にあたるとして、国際刑事裁判所に付託するよう国連安全保障理事会に勧告した。

The investigation panel was established by the U.N. Human Rights Council in March last year, the product of a unanimous vote. The panel’s denunciation of state-sponsored crimes by North Korea is of great significance. The international community should not stand as an impassive observer, watching historic and ongoing human rights violations in North Korea.
 昨年3月に国連人権理事会が全会一致で設置した専門家による調査委が、北朝鮮の国家ぐるみの犯罪を糾弾した意味は大きい。国際社会は、今なお続く北朝鮮の人権侵害を座視してはならない。

The report is based on a massive quantity of testimonies made by many protected victims, witnesses and government officials in various countries. The document provided the entire picture of human rights violations in the country in a comprehensive manner.
 報告書は、多数の被害者や目撃者、各国政府関係者らによる膨大な証言に基づいており、人権侵害の全体像を包括的に立証した。

It details the chilling reality of human rights violations including prison camps, arbitrary detention, torture, public executions, starvation as a policy implement, suppression of freedom and discrimination. The report points out, quite persuasively: “The gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a state that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world.”
 強制収容所、恣意(しい)的な拘束や拷問、公開処刑、政策に起因する飢餓、自由の抑圧や差別など人権侵害のおぞましい実態を詳述している。「これほどの人権侵害がまかり通る国は、現代では類を見ない」との指摘には説得力がある。

In particular, the report states unambiguously that abductions of foreign nationals including Japanese “were approved at the level of the Supreme Leader” under the three-generation dynastic regime of “Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un.” Michael Kirby, the inquiry panel’s chair, spoke of the possibility of examining the responsibility of Kim Jong Un, first secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, North Korea’s ruling party.
 特に、日本人を含む外国人拉致は「金日成―金正日―金正恩」の3代世襲の体制下、「最高指導者の承認」で実行されたと明記した。調査委員長は金正恩第1書記の責任を問う可能性にも言及した。

Seeking end to abduction issue

North Korea provided no cooperation at all to the inquiry panel. It reacted strongly against the report, saying that the country “categorically and totally rejects the report.” However, North Korea cannot expect improved relations with the international community, indispensable to the rebuilding of its economy, unless it reverses the current woeful state of human rights in the country.
 北朝鮮は調査委に一切、協力せず、今回の報告書にも「全面的に拒否する」と強く反発した。だが、人権状況を改めない限り、経済再建に不可欠な国際社会との関係改善は望むべくもあるまい。

North Korea must, for example, take very seriously the report’s recommendations calling for the disclosure of complete information on abduction victims and the immediate return of surviving abductees to their home countries.
 北朝鮮は、拉致被害者に関するすべての情報提供や、生存者の速やかな帰国などを求めた報告書の勧告を重く受け止めるべきだ。

The report demonstrated that the abduction issue is a problem not only for Japan, but also a matter of grave concern for the international community as a whole. The panel’s findings can also be seen as one fruit of the diplomatic policies of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who proactively engaged in the establishment of the inquiry panel.
 報告書は、拉致が日本だけの問題ではなく、国際社会の重大な懸念事項であることを示した。調査委設置に積極的に関わってきた安倍首相の外交成果でもある。

We hope the government will seize the opportunity presented by heightened international concern over North Korea’s human rights situation. It must urge North Korea to resume bilateral talks and do its best to realize the immediate return of all abduction victims, the hand-over of the perpetrators of the abductions and the uncovering of the full truth behind the abductions.
 政府は、国際的懸念の高まりを背景に政府間協議の再開を北朝鮮に促し、拉致被害者全員の即時帰国、真相究明、犯人引き渡しの実現に全力を挙げてもらいたい。

There is no end of defectors from North Korea who have been forcibly returned to the country after entering China, and there have been cases in which defectors living in China were abducted by North Korean agents as well.
 中国に入国後、強制送還される脱北者も後を絶たない。中国に居住する脱北者を北朝鮮の工作員が拉致する事件も起きている。

As a major power with influence over North Korea, China has a responsibility of its own to cooperate with the international community to improve the human rights situation in North Korea, including helping to resolve the abduction issue.
 北朝鮮に影響力を持つ大国として、中国には、拉致問題の解決を含めた北朝鮮の人権状況の改善に協力する責任がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 19, 2014)
(2014年2月19日01時39分  読売新聞)

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2014年2月19日 (水)

羽生結弦「金」 あくなき向上心が五輪を制覇

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 16, 2014
Relentless drive for perfection brings Olympic figure skating gold to Hanyu
羽生結弦「金」 あくなき向上心が五輪を制覇(2月16日付・読売社説)

This is a landmark in the history of Japanese sports. We applaud his great achievement.
 日本のスポーツ史に残る金字塔である。栄誉を祝福したい。

Nineteen-year-old Yuzuru Hanyu has won a gold medal in men’s figure skating at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games.
 ソチ五輪のフィギュアスケート男子で、19歳の羽生結弦選手が、金メダルを獲得した。

He is the first Japanese man in history to win an Olympic gold medal in figure skating.
 フィギュア男子の金メダルは、日本の五輪史上、初めてだ。

Hanyu achieved a world-record score in the short program and beat Patrick Chan of Canada, world champion for three years running, in the free skate. Hanyu is inarguably the best male skater in the world.
 ショートプログラムで世界歴代最高得点をたたき出した。フリーでも世界選手権3連覇中のパトリック・チャン選手(カナダ)を抑えた。堂々の世界一である。

He fell on two jumps in the free skate, apparently due to the heavy pressure that is unique to the Olympics. In spite of the mistakes, however, Hanyu never gave up. His outstanding expressiveness, which took advantage of his long limbs, captivated the audience.
 五輪ならではの緊張感からだろうか、フリーの演技ではジャンプの失敗があった。それでもあきらめず、長い手足を生かした見事な表現力で観衆を魅了した。

Hanyu hugged his coach in celebration of his great accomplishment. However, he also said he was disappointed in himself “because I’m not satisfied with my performance.”
 コーチと抱き合って、快挙達成を喜んだ。その一方で、「悔しい。自分の演技に満足していないので」とも語った。

His aspiration to perform perfectly surely enabled Hanyu to win a gold medal.
完璧な演技を追い求める向上心が、羽生選手を金メダルへと導いたのだろう。

Hanyu is from Sendai and started skating at the age of 4. He was practicing at an ice rink in the city when the Great East Japan Earthquake struck on March 11, 2011, and fled the facility while still wearing his skates.
 仙台市の出身。4歳でスケートを始めた。2011年3月の東日本大震災発生時には、市内のリンクで練習中だった。スケート靴を履いたまま逃げた。

After that, he continued to practice skating while appearing in ice shows across the country. Beginning in the 2012-2013 season, Hanyu moved his practice base to Toronto.
 その後、全国のアイスショーに出場しながら練習を積み、12~13年シーズンからカナダ・トロントに拠点を移した。

Salute to disaster victims

Hanyu said he wanted to keep practicing in Sendai if he could. He must have skated on the big stage of the Olympics with his feelings for the people of Sendai in his heart, and his gold medal must have been the ultimate encouragement to people living in devastated areas, where restoration from the damage caused by the disaster has not progressed as much as expected.
 羽生選手は、本来ならずっと仙台で練習を続けたかったという。五輪の大舞台では、仙台の人たちへの思いを胸に滑ったに違いない。金メダルは、復興が思うように進まない被災地に向けたこの上ないエールとなっただろう。

Female figure skater Shizuka Arakawa won the gold medal at the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics. With Hanyu’s gold medal in men’s figure skating, Japan’s figure skating circles have achieved major goals.
 06年のトリノ五輪で、荒川静香さんが金メダルに輝いた。今回、男子でも五輪を制したことで、日本のフィギュア界は大きな目標を達成したことになる。

The Japan Skating Federation has held a training camp every year since 1992 to find promising young athletes from all over the country. The federation has discovered talented primary and middle school skaters through this project, dubbed the Nobeyama camp, and sent them to international competitions to gain experience while they are still young.
 日本スケート連盟は1992年から毎年、「全国有望新人発掘合宿」を開いている。「野辺山合宿」と呼ばれるこの取り組みで、才能豊かな小中学生を見いだし、早いうちから国際大会に派遣して、経験を積ませている。

Hanyu and Arakawa both participated in this camp in the past.
 羽生選手、荒川さんも、かつてこの合宿に参加した。

Japanese skaters have entered the ranks of their rivals from North American and European countries, whose strength is built on a long-standing tradition of figure skating, thanks to strategically planned training measures.
 伝統的な強さを持つ欧米勢に、日本が割って入れたのは、戦略的な強化策の成果と言える。

However, Japan finished fifth in the team figure skating event, which made its official debut at the Sochi Olympics. The federation must nurture more pair skaters and ice dancers, whose numbers are very small in Japan.
 ただ、今大会から正式種目となったフィギュア団体で、日本は5位にとどまった。層が薄いペアとアイスダンスの選手育成が今後の課題である。

The women’s figure skating events will take place in the final portion of the Sochi Olympics. Hanyu’s gold medal will surely serve as powerful encouragement for Mao Asada and other Japanese skaters. We hope they will perform to the best of their ability.
 大会終盤には、女子の競技が控えている。羽生選手の金メダルは、浅田真央選手ら日本選手にとって、大きな励みとなったはずだ。力を存分に発揮してほしい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 16, 2014)
(2014年2月16日00時04分  読売新聞)

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米債務上限問題 不毛な対立の棚上げは前進だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 16, 2014
U.S. Congress takes step forward by shelving showdown over borrowing
米債務上限問題 不毛な対立の棚上げは前進だ(2月16日付・読売社説)

With the turmoil in the U.S. Congress over government finances having been settled at last, the danger of President Barack Obama’s administration plunging into a debt default—the inability to service government bonds—has been averted, at least for the time being.
 米国財政を巡る議会の対立が収束し、政府が国債の元利払いができない債務不履行(デフォルト)に陥る事態は当面回避されることになった。

The ruling Democratic Party and the opposition Republican Party have repeatedly clashed over the debt cap issue, and the resolution for now of the thorny problem that has shackled the U.S. political system can be called a step forward. We welcome the congressional agreement.
 与党・民主党と野党・共和党は混乱を繰り返してきたが、足かせとなってきた難題をひとまず棚上げできたのは前進である。合意の成立を歓迎したい。

The House of Representatives approved by a majority vote last Tuesday and the Senate approved by a majority vote Wednesday an increase in the federal debt limit, with no conditions attached, on the statutory ceiling on government borrowing through March 15, 2015. The ceiling is currently set at about $17.2 trillion.
 議会上下両院は、政府が借金できる限度額を示す法定の債務上限(約17・2兆ドル)について、来年3月15日まで無条件で引き上げる法律を賛成多数で可決した。

Congressional approval was made possible by major concessions from the Republican Party at the initiative of senior Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner, that were in line with the assertions of Obama and his Democratic Party.
 オバマ大統領と民主党の主張に沿って、共和党が、ベイナー下院議長ら幹部の主導で大幅譲歩したのがポイントである。

In October last year, a Democrat-Republican standoff prevented the enactment of the federal budget for fiscal 2014, leading to a partial shutdown of government organizations. Government liabilities subsequently reached the maximum allowed, threatening to cause the United States to default on its debts. Republicans came under particularly heavy fire from the public for continuing to take a hard-line attitude.
 昨年10月、民主、共和両党の対立で2014会計年度予算が成立せず、政府機関の一部閉鎖に追い込まれた。連邦債務も上限に達し、デフォルト寸前に陥った。特に厳しい批判を浴びたのが、強硬姿勢を続けた共和党だった。

The ruling and opposition parties later agreed to temporarily nullify the debt ceiling up until Feb. 7 this year, but they failed to reach an accord to raise the ceiling in time for the deadline.
 与野党はその後、今年2月7日までは債務上限を一時無効とすることで合意したが、期限内に引き上げられなかった。

The congressional impasse came against Republican conservatives’ insistence that any increase in the debt ceiling should be met by spending cuts equivalent to the rise in the limit.
 その背景には、共和党の保守派を中心に、債務上限を引き上げる場合には、それに見合う歳出削減を求めるべきだという強硬論が出ていたことがある。

Republicans under fire

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew warned that the government, even if making the best of budgetary handling, would default on its debts as early as toward the end of February. It seems that renewed turmoil over the debt ceiling would likely intensify public criticism against Republicans.
 ルー財務長官は財政のやり繰りでしのぐとしても、2月末にもデフォルトに陥ると警告していた。混乱が再燃すれば、共和党に対する国民の批判が一層高まるのは避けられなかったのでないか。

Midterm elections will take place in November. Taking public opinion into account, the Republican Party may have found it advisable to lay down its arms at this stage.
 11月には議会中間選挙がある。共和党は世論を意識し、この段階では矛を収めるのが得策と考えたのだろう。

Toward the end of last year, the ruling and opposition parties agreed to set the budget for policy implementation at $1 trillion each in the coming two fiscal years, thus averting the risk of another government shutdown due to failure to pass budget legislation.
 与野党は昨年末、2年間の予算の政策経費をそれぞれ1兆ドルとすることで一致し、予算不成立に伴って政府機関が再び閉鎖されるリスクも回避した。

The settlement of these two issues, which should help stabilize stock and other financial markets, should serve as a tailwind for the U.S. economy, for which signs of recovery have been becoming brighter.
 二つの懸案の決着によって株式市場などの不安要因が解消できたことは、景気回復が鮮明になってきた米国経済にも追い風だ。

Arguments of the ruling and opposition parties, however, have remained wide apart over how the government should steer its fiscal policy. There are said to be people in the Republican Party who still criticize Boehner for being “weak-kneed” toward Democrats.
 ただし、財政政策を巡る与野党の主張は大きく食い違う。共和党内では、ベイナー議長に「弱腰」と反発する声もくすぶる。

As a result, partisan confrontation may intensify all the more toward the midterm elections and the 2016 presidential election.
 このため、中間選挙や16年の大統領選に向け、むしろ党派対立が一段と激化する可能性がある。

Conservatives in the Republican Party, holding up the goal of “small government,” have remained steadfastly opposed to Obama’s health care programs for the elderly and poor.
 「小さな政府」を掲げる共和党保守派では、大統領が推進する医療保険改革(オバマケア)への抵抗が根強い。

We hope to see Democrats and Republicans constructively engaging in policy discussions over a wide range of issues, including measures to the benefit of middle-income families and steps for rectifying economic disparities in the United States.
中間所得層向け施策や経済格差是正策なども含め、建設的な政策論争を期待したい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 16, 2014)
(2014年2月16日00時04分  読売新聞)

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少年法厳罰化へ 凶悪犯罪の抑止につなげたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 18, 2014
Heavier penalties should be given to help deter heinous juvenile crime
少年法厳罰化へ 凶悪犯罪の抑止につなげたい(2月18日付・読売社説)

Imposing harsher penalties on juveniles who commit crime is important to deter heinous crimes.
 罪を犯した少年に、より厳しい刑を科す。それを凶悪犯罪の抑止につなげることが肝要だ。

The government has submitted a bill to revise the Juvenile Law with the hope of having it passed into law during the current Diet session.
 政府は少年法改正案を国会に提出した。今国会での成立を目指す。

The central pillar of the revision is to raise the assessment of culpability for juvenile crimes.
 改正案の柱は、少年犯罪の量刑を引き上げることだ。

With the revision of the Penal Code in 2004, the maximum determinate prison sentence for adults was raised to 30 years, but the assessment of culpability for juvenile offenders was kept unchanged.
 2004年の刑法改正で、成人の有期刑の上限が30年に引き上げられたのに対し、少年法の量刑は据え置かれていた。

For example, if a boy under 18 commits a crime which is deemed not heinous but nonetheless would bring an indeterminate prison sentence with hard labor for adults, he would be sentenced to “up to 15 years” in accordance with the stipulation of the Juvenile Law. With the revision, however, maximum imprisonment would be extended to 20 years.
 例えば、18歳未満の少年が、成人であれば無期懲役に相当する事件を起こした場合、よほどの凶悪犯罪でない限り、少年法の規定により「15年以下」の刑となる。改正案では、これを「20年以下」へと刑期を長くする。

A group of victims of juvenile crimes has asserted, “Compared with adults, the assessment of culpability for juvenile offenders is too light.”
 少年犯罪の被害者団体は「成人に比べ、少年の量刑が軽すぎる」と訴えてきた。

The imposition of heavier penalties could be said to reflect such voices in the law.
厳罰化は、その意向を反映した結果と言えよう。

It goes without saying that the purport of the Juvenile Law, which is primarily aimed at rehabilitating juvenile delinquents, must be respected.
 無論、少年の更生を主眼とする少年法の趣旨は尊重すべきだ。

On the other hand, most people will understand the imposition of harsher penalties on those juveniles who commit atrocious crimes as there have been endless brutal incidents committed by juveniles, such as murder and robbery, even though juvenile crimes have declined recently.
 一方で、凶悪事件を起こした少年に厳しい刑で臨むことについては、国民の多くも納得するのではないだろうか。近年、少年犯罪の件数は減少傾向にあるものの、殺人や強盗などの凶悪事件は後を絶たないからだ。

The discussion over the implementation of harsher penalties on juvenile offenders was triggered by a murder case that took place in Tondabayashi, Osaka Prefecture, in 2009. In the incident, a then 17-year-old boy clubbed a first-year high school boy to death with a wooden bat.
 厳罰化論議のきっかけの一つとなったのは、大阪府富田林市で09年に起きた殺人事件だ。当時17歳だった少年が、高校1年の男子生徒を木製バットで殴り殺した。

Protecting rights of juveniles

At a lay judge trial at the Sakai branch of the Osaka District Court, the boy was sentenced to imprisonment of from five to 10 years, as the prosecution demanded. Apart from the sentence, however, the court added: “The term of imprisonment is not sufficient. We hope the law will be revised appropriately.”
 大阪地裁堺支部は裁判員裁判の判決で、少年に求刑通り懲役5年以上10年以下の不定期刑を言い渡した。そのうえで、「十分でない刑期となった。適切な法改正を望みたい」と注文を付けた。

It is quite unusual for the court handling a criminal case to go so far as to refer to a revision of the law. Citizen judges must also have felt the assessment of culpability in the case did not match the circumstances of the atrocious crime.
 刑事事件の裁判で、法改正にまで言及するのは、極めて異例である。裁判員も、残忍な犯行状況に照らし、量刑が釣り合わないと感じたのだろう。

With penalties becoming heavier and prison terms becoming longer, it will be possible to thoroughly rehabilitate juvenile offenders in such institutions as juvenile prison. Rehabilitation programs must be reviewed to prevent juvenile delinquents from committing a crime again.
 厳罰化で刑期が長くなる分、少年刑務所などで、じっくり矯正教育に取り組むことも可能となろう。少年が二度と犯罪に手を染めないようにするため、矯正プログラムの再検討が求められる。

Also included in the revision bill is expansion of system of having court-appointed lawyers assist juveniles who have committed relatively light offenses at their trials using state funds to protect the juveniles’ rights during the investigations and trial. The expanded system would cover not only such heinous crimes as murder, which are covered by the current law, but also such relatively light offenses as theft and bodily harm.
 改正案には、国費で弁護士をつける国選付添人制度の対象を広げることも盛り込まれた。捜査や裁判の過程で、少年の権利を保護するためだ。殺人などの凶悪事件だけでなく、窃盗や傷害といった比較的軽微な犯罪も対象にする。

In many cases, juveniles are coerced into testifying against themselves during questioning by the words or actions of investigators or by leading questions.
 少年は取り調べの際、捜査員の強圧的な言動や誘導などで、自らに不利な供述をするケースも少なくない。

It is important for lawyers assisting juveniles to listen carefully to what they say and to properly cooperate in determining the facts.
付添人の弁護士は、少年の言い分に耳を傾け、適正な事実認定に協力することが大切だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 18, 2014)
(2014年2月18日00時15分  読売新聞)

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GDP1%増 成長シナリオに狂いはないか

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 18, 2014
Will economy grow as steadily as expected by government?
GDP1%増 成長シナリオに狂いはないか(2月18日付・読売社説)

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic policy package, dubbed Abenomics, is being put to the test in terms of whether it will achieve stable and sustainable growth.
 持続的な安定成長の達成へ、安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」の真価が問われよう。

The nation’s real-term gross domestic product for the October-December period of last year edged up 0.3 percent over the previous quarter, according to the Cabinet Office, marking the fourth straight quarterly growth and a growth of 1.0 percent on an annualized basis.
 内閣府が発表した昨年10~12月期の実質国内総生産(GDP)は、前期比0・3%増となった。4四半期連続でプラス成長を維持し、年率換算の成長率は1・0%だった。

Personal consumption saw significant expansion as the demand for automobiles and other durable goods surged ahead of a consumption tax increase in April. Plant and equipment investments, which had been recovering at a sluggish pace, improved by an annualized 5.3 percent.
 個人消費は、消費増税をにらんだ自動車など耐久消費財の「駆け込み需要」で堅調に伸び、回復の鈍かった設備投資も、年率5・3%増と復調した。

Akira Amari, state minister for economic and fiscal policy, presented an optimistic view of the economy, saying, “Business is picking up steadily, centering on private-sector demand.”
 甘利経済財政相は「民需を中心に景気が着実に上向いている」と、楽観的な見方を示した。

But the annualized growth rate of 1 percent fell far short of the 2 percent to 3 percent widely predicted among the private sector.
 しかし、「1%成長」は2~3%が中心だった民間の事前予想を大きく下回った。

The primary cause for this tepid growth is that public works investments, which had served as an engine for growth, began to level off. Work delays caused by labor shortages at construction sites and sharp rises in material prices have grown more serious.
 伸び悩みの主因は、成長を牽引していた公共投資に一服感が出たことだ。建設現場の人手不足や資材高騰による工事遅延が、一段と深刻化してきたのではないか。

Exports, which were expected to expand thanks to a weaker yen, managed to achieve only a small margin of increase due to business slowdowns in emerging market economies and other factors.
 円安が追い風になったはずの輸出も、新興国の景気減速などの影響で小幅な増加にとどまった。

Another salient point is that exports failed to increase significantly, despite the weaker yen, because many Japanese makers had already shifted production bases overseas in an era of ultra-strong yen exchange rates.
 超円高の時代に多くの日本メーカーが生産拠点を海外に移したため、円安でも輸出があまり伸びなくなった面も指摘できる。

The challenges ahead

Certainly, domestic demand is robust currently, but the biggest challenge ahead is how to overcome the effect of a sales tax hike to 8 percent slated for April.
 確かに足元の内需は堅調だが、最大の課題は、4月の消費税率引き上げのショックを、どのように乗り切るかである。

In the scenario painted by the government to put the economy on a stable path of growth, the drop in demand expected in the wake of the tax hike will be compensated for by the implementation of a ¥5.5 trillion economic stimulus and the recovery of foreign demand. But the latest GDP figure can be seen as indicating that reality is beginning to fall short of government expectations under the scenario.
 政府は総額5・5兆円の経済対策や外需の回復で、消費増税後の「反動減」を補い、安定的な成長軌道につなげるシナリオを描く。だが、今回のGDPは、その目算が狂い始めた兆しも見える。

The government holds public works projects in high regard, treating them as a trump card to ward off the effects of a sales tax increase. But if they are delayed significantly, they may fail to avert a business slowdown.
 消費増税を克服する切り札として政府が重視する公共事業の執行が大幅に遅れれば、景気失速を防げないかもしれない。

Finance Minister Taro Aso has promised to urge government ministries and agencies to accelerate the budget implementation for public works projects, but it remains to be seen what can be done to resolve manpower shortages and other problems.
 麻生財務相は、公共事業の予算執行を急ぐよう各府省に促す考えを示したが、人手不足などを解消する有効策は不透明だ。

The central and local governments, along with the construction industry, must join hands to take all possible measures to ensure the smooth progress and completion of public works projects.
 政府と地方自治体、建設業界の連携により、公共事業の円滑な執行に万全を期さねばならない。

The suspension of nuclear power generation has necessitated massive imports of fuels for thermal power generation, which has had a huge adverse effect on the national economy. The value of imports has ballooned due to the yen’s weakening, as trade deficits pushed the GDP down. It is crucial to steadily proceed with the restart of nuclear reactors once their safety has been confirmed.
 原子力発電所が停止し、大量の火力発電燃料を輸入している悪影響も大きい。円安で輸入額が膨らみ、貿易赤字がGDPを押し下げている。安全性を確認できた原発を着実に再稼働すべきだ。

In addition to government policy, though, efforts by private firms, the main driving force for the national economy, will be indispensable in realizing sustainable growth.
 持続力のある成長を実現するには、政策対応はもとより、日本経済の主役である民間企業の努力が不可欠である。

Businesses that have seen their performance recovering are urged to return profits to workers in the form of pay raises, thereby boosting consumer purchasing power and driving a virtuous economic circle.
 業績の回復した企業が賃上げで利益を労働者に還元することで、購買力を底上げし、「経済の好循環」を後押ししてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 18, 2014)
(2014年2月18日00時15分  読売新聞)

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2014年2月18日 (火)

高速有料の延長 安全確保にはやむを得ない

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 17, 2014
Expressway toll system must be continued to ensure safety
高速有料の延長 安全確保にはやむを得ない(2月17日付・読売社説)

With an extension of up to 15 years, or up until 2065, eyed for the expressway toll-collection system, the government has submitted a bill to the current Diet session for revising the Special Measures Law Concerning Road Construction and Improvement.
 政府は、高速道路の有料期間を最長15年延長して2065年までとする道路整備特別措置法改正案を国会に提出した。

The rebuilding and repair of aging expressways is urgently needed to ensure the safety of their users.
 利用者の安全を守るため、老朽化した高速道路の造り替えや補修は急務だ。

About 40 percent of all expressway sections have been in use for 30 years or longer.
 全国の高速道路のうち、開通から30年以上経過した区間が約4割を占める。

In December 2012, ceiling panels in the Sasago Tunnel on the Chuo Expressway in Yamanashi Prefecture collapsed apparently due to aging, an incident that created many victims.
山梨県の中央自動車道・笹子トンネルでは、老朽化が原因とみられる天井板崩落事故が起き、多数の犠牲者が出た。

Because of its financial woes, the government can hardly afford to invest huge amounts of public funds into maintaining expressways. Extending the toll-collecting period is unavoidable as the expenses involved in renovations and repairs must be covered mainly by toll revenues.
 財政難で巨額の国費を投じる余裕が乏しい中、有料期間の延長で得られる料金収入を更新・修繕費に充てるのはやむを得ない。

Six expressway operators, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway Co., have recently estimated their renovation and repair costs to total ¥4 trillion in the next dozen years or so.
 首都高速道路など高速道路6社は先ごろ、今後十数年で総額4兆円規模の更新・修繕費がかかるという試算をまとめた。

When privatizing then Japan Highway Public Corp. in 2005, the government came up with a projection to make expressways toll-free by having the public corporation’s debt of about ¥40 trillion repaid through toll revenues up until 2050.
 政府は05年の道路公団民営化の際、50年までの料金収入で約40兆円の債務を返済した後、高速道路を無料にする計画を立てた。

The projection, however, failed to fully take into account the colossal expenses of repairs and related work in the future. There can be no denying that the projection was based on overly optimistic estimates.
 しかし、当時は、将来の道路補修などに巨額の費用がかかる事態を十分に想定していなかった。見通しが甘かった点は否めない。

All expressway companies must do their utmost to keep a tight rein on road renovation and repair costs so that expressway users in the future are not forced to shoulder excessively heavy burdens.
 道路各社には今後、将来の利用者の負担が過度に重くならないよう、更新・修繕費を可能な限り抑制することが求められる。

End toll-free policy

The expressway companies also should use their ingenuity for tapping private-sector funds through such measures as selling or renting the rights to use the space above expressways and the ground below elevated ones.
 高速道路の上空や高架下の使用権を企業に売却・賃貸して費用の一部を賄うなど、民間資金の活用に工夫を凝らしてもらいたい。

Another issue of high importance is the renovation of expressways to make them easier and safer to use, such as by making them wider and reducing the number of tight curves, instead of simply rebuilding aged expressways with few design improvements.
 単なる造り替えではなく、車線拡張や急カーブの解消など、道路の使いやすさや安全性を高めるための改修も大切である。

Thus we cannot help but find it questionable that the government has been continuing to uphold the goal of making expressways free of charge in the future.
 疑問なのは、政府が依然として高速道路を将来、無料化する計画を掲げ続けていることだ。

Given that expressways will certainly remain in use regardless of whether they become toll-free, it is evident that additional expenses will be necessary to fund renovation and repair projects in the future. The problem of how to secure new sources of revenue to take the place of tolls is bound to be raised.
 高速道路を利用し続ける以上、将来的に追加の更新・修繕費が必要になる。新たな財源問題が浮上するのは必至だろう。

In light of this, it is unavoidable to thoroughly review the current expressway policy, which is premised on abolishing expressway tolls in the future. It may be a feasible option to continue to levy low tolls for many years to come.
 無料化を前提とする現行計画の再検討は避けられまい。将来にわたって低廉な料金を徴収し続けるのも一つの選択肢ではないか。

It is reasonable that the government has now decided to reduce toll discounts for motor vehicles equipped with electronic toll-collection systems starting in April.
 政府が、自動料金収受システム(ETC)の搭載車を対象にした割引制度を4月から縮小するのは妥当な措置である。

Since 2008, about ¥3 trillion of taxpayers’ money in the aggregate has been used for the toll discount system. Discounts, however, should be carried out as part of expressway operators’ services offered through their business management efforts.
 割引には08年以降、総額3兆円の国費が投入されてきた。だが、道路各社が経営努力の範囲内で実施するのが、割引サービスの本来の姿のはずだ。

The specifics of toll discounts have been changed with every change of administration, and they have become highly complicated and unintelligible in the eyes of drivers.
 割引制度は政権が代わる度に変更され、利用者には複雑で分かりにくい仕組みになっている。

The current discount system should be scrutinized in terms of its effectiveness and be revamped into a new system to make the discounts more useful for such purposes as revitalizing distribution systems and alleviating traffic congestion on ordinary roads.
これまでの効果を検証し、物流の活性化や一般道の渋滞緩和などに、より役立つ制度へ改善すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 17, 2014)
(2014年2月17日00時04分  読売新聞)

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保険金不払い 顧客軽視の悪弊を断ち切れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 17, 2014
Irresponsible practices of insurance firms must be thoroughly addressed
保険金不払い 顧客軽視の悪弊を断ち切れ(2月17日付・読売社説)

It is a problem if practices of making light of customers still remain in corporate culture in a leading nonlife insurer.
 顧客軽視の企業体質が根強く残っているとすれば問題である。

It came to light recently that Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co. had failed to partially pay out automobile insurance benefits that policyholders were entitled to over a period of more than 10 years.
 損害保険大手の東京海上日動火災保険が、自動車保険の保険金の一部を契約者に支払わず、10年以上も放置していたことが判明した。

The unpaid cases concerned special benefits in auto insurance to cover extra costs, such as consolatory money to be paid to victims injured in accidents or otherwise. According to the insurer, there may be more than 100,000 special benefit policies left unpaid.
 不払いが見つかったのは、交通事故でけがをさせた相手への見舞金などを補償する特約で、10万件を超える可能性もあるという。

Through an inspection of the life and nonlife insurance sectors led by the Financial Services Agency in 2005, nonpayment cases were discovered on an alarmingly large scale. The agency imposed a series of administrative punishments, resulting in a wave of corporate manager resignations.
 生命保険と損害保険では、2005年の金融庁検査で大規模な不払いが発覚し、行政処分や経営トップの辞任が相次いだ。

With costly lessons learned, the insurance companies involved have taken measures to prevent a recurrence of nonpayments in the future.
 これを教訓に、保険各社は再発防止策を講じ、新たな不払いは起きにくくなっている。

However, it is a problem that Tokio Marine has decided to exclude the special benefits contracts when the company conducted internal inspections in 2005 and 2006.
 問題なのは、東京海上日動が05~06年に行った社内調査の対象から、これらの特約を除外していたことである。

Claiming that the company had applied the corporate rules of paying out the special benefits only if claims were made, Tokio Marine has still insisted that the company’s previous actions did not constitute nonpayment. However, this argument suggests that the company places the logic within its own circles rather than interests of its customers.
 当時は請求があった分だけに保険金を支払う社内ルールを適用していたとして、今も「不払いにあたらない」との説明を繰り返している。顧客の利益より、内輪の論理を優先した解釈と言えよう。

Some policyholders unfamiliar with insurance contracts failed to claim special benefits, which are in themselves quite diverse.
 保険に詳しくない契約者が、多種多様な特約の請求を忘れることもあろう。

Insurers must explain

Responsibility lies with an insurance company to clearly explain the contract to policyholders, ensuring they do not fail to make their claims when they are most likely to be in a state of confusion after being involved in an accident.
突然の事故に動揺する契約者に丁寧に説明し、請求漏れを防ぐことは、保険会社本来のサービスである。

Tokio Marine said the company changed its policy in July 2003 so that it would pay insurance benefits even if claims are not made. But the company failed to brief policyholders with the change in rules, at a time when they should have solved the nonpayment cases retrospectively.
 東京海上日動は03年7月、請求がなくても保険金を支払うよう対応を変えたという。この時にルールの変更を対外的に説明し、過去の契約にさかのぼって不払いの解消を図るべきだった。

At a press conference, Tsuyoshi Nagano, president of Tokio Marine, said, “We did all we could at the time,” justifying the company’s actions in the past. It is not surprising that the policyholders who were unable to claim their insurance benefits may be left unconvinced with such an explanation.
 東京海上日動の永野毅社長は記者会見で「当時としては最善を尽くした」などと述べ、過去の対応を正当化した。この説明では保険金を受け取れなかった契約者は、納得がいかないのではないか。

Many of them are just as skeptical about the stance of the Financial Services Agency, which considers the insurer’s actions as “not being a problem.”
 金融庁が当時の対応を「問題なし」としている点も、不可解に感じる人は多いだろう。

Consumers may grow more distrustful of insurers that, while they have people sign insurance contracts by capitalizing on various kinds of special benefits, are unwilling to pay insurance benefits when accidents occur. To prevent such feelings, expectations are rising for Tokio Marine to explain itself and sincerely respond to policyholders.
 盛りだくさんの特約を売り物に契約させておいて、事故が起きると保険金を出し渋る――。そんな消費者の保険不信が高まらないよう、東京海上日動には、誠意のある説明と対応を求めたい。

Nagano has said that the company will flexibly deal with benefit payouts if claims are made from now on. But uncertainty hangs in the air because the company stores relevant data for nine years, meaning most of the data related to the unpaid special benefits have already been destroyed.
 永野社長はこれから請求があれば支払いに柔軟に応じる方針を示したが、実効性は不透明である。東京海上日動のデータ保管期間は9年で、当時の記録の大半が破棄されてしまったからだ。

Tokio Marine should do all in its power to remedy the situation by consolidating what details can be gleaned from memory of its employees and examining any remaining copies of relevant documents with great care.
 社員の記憶や書類のコピーなどを丹念に調べ、適正な支払いに全力を挙げねばならない。

Other nonlife insurance companies would do well to heed Tokio Marine’s case not just as “someone else’s misfortune” but as a wake-up call to look out for and address any outstanding nonpayment cases.
 他の損保各社も「対岸の火事」とせず、類似の不払いがないか、念入りに点検してほしい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 17, 2014)
(2014年2月17日00時04分  読売新聞)

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2014年2月16日 (日)

中国漁船長提訴 尖閣の主権を内外に明示した

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 15, 2014
JCG collision lawsuit is logical response to China’s actions over Senkakus
中国漁船長提訴 尖閣の主権を内外に明示した(2月15日付・読売社説)

The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made a logical response to China over the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture.
 安倍政権が、尖閣諸島を巡る中国への対応について、筋を通したということだろう。

The Japan Coast Guard has filed a lawsuit with the Naha District Court against the captain of a Chinese fishing boat that was operating in Japan’s territorial waters off the Senkakus when he intentionally rammed JCG patrol boats in defiance of a JCG order to stop in September 2010.
 中国漁船が2010年9月、尖閣諸島沖の領海内で操業し、海上保安庁の停船命令を無視して巡視船に体当たりした事件で、海保は漁船の船長を相手取り、損害賠償を求める訴訟を那覇地裁に起こした。

The government has repeatedly asked the Chinese side to cover the cost of repairing the JCG boats, but to no avail. It decided to file the lawsuit because the statute of limitations on damages will expire soon.
 政府は、巡視船の修繕費などの支払いを再三求めてきたが、中国側は応じなかった。このままでは法に基づく賠償請求の時効を迎えるため、提訴に踏み切った。

It is natural for the government to seek a judicial judgment based on domestic laws regarding an illegal act committed in Japan’s territorial waters.
 領海で起きた違法行為について、日本の国内法に基づき司法判断を求めるのは当然である。

It is also hugely significant that the lawsuit once again underscores Japan’s sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands.
 尖閣諸島に日本の主権が及んでいることを、改めて明確にする意義も大きい。

When the incident occurred, the administration of then Prime Minister Naoto Kan was subjected to outrageous protests from China. The Naha District Public Prosecutors Office released the arrested captain of the fishing boat—a difficult decision the Democratic Party of Japan administration was forced to make following a series of events, including the detention of Japanese citizens by Chinese authorities in an apparent tit-for-tat.
 事件当時の菅政権は中国の理不尽な抗議を受けた。那覇地検は、逮捕した船長を釈放した。事実上の報復措置とみられる中国当局による邦人拘束もあり、民主党政権は難しい判断を迫られた。

But the government’s excessively conciliatory stance weakened Japan’s assertions of sovereignty, leading China to trumpet its irrelevant claims. This is a lesson Japan should heed.
 しかし、行き過ぎた融和姿勢は日本の主張を弱め、中国が筋違いの言い分を喧伝(けんでん)することにもつながった。教訓とすべきだ。

Since the ramming, China has been escalating its attempts to change the status quo regarding the Senkakus by force. The Abe administration must convey Japan’s assertions abroad to disseminate them widely in the international community. Maritime surveillance activities around the Senkaku Islands should not be neglected.
 漁船衝突事件後も、尖閣諸島を巡って、中国の力による現状変更の試みは勢いを増している。安倍政権は今後も日本の主張を国際社会に発信し、浸透させていく必要がある。尖閣周辺の警戒監視活動も、怠ってはならない。

Video to back claim

“In filing the suit, we will submit video records to prove that the government’s claim is justified,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has said, indicating that the JCG will make the video available to the general public upon request.
 菅官房長官は「提訴にあたって、政府の主張の正しさを立証するための映像記録を提出する」と述べた。海保で、求めがあれば映像を一般にも公開するという。

The video has been widely viewed after a JCG officer posted it on the video-sharing site YouTube and other developments.
 映像は元海上保安官が、動画投稿サイト「ユーチューブ」に流出させたことなどから、今では広く知れ渡っている。

But officially releasing the video to the public is intended to demonstrate to people both at home and abroad how just the Japanese government’s legal action is.
 だが、映像公開は、日本政府の取った措置の正当性を内外にアピールする狙いがある。

Viewing the video will make it clear that the Chinese captain was at fault for intentionally ramming the JCG boats.
映像を見れば、強引に船を衝突させた船長に非があるのは明らかだ。

Furthermore, the latest release of the video is apparently aimed at underscoring the significance of the law on protecting specially designated state secrets enacted last year.
 今回の映像公開には、昨年成立した特定秘密保護法の意義を示す狙いもあるようだ。

The Kan administration deemed the leak of the video by the JCG official unpardonable, which prompted it to consider establishing a legal system to protect state secrets. However, Abe has said that the video showing the ramming should not be categorized as a specially designated secret.
菅政権は、保安官の映像漏えいを許し難い行為とし、これを契機に秘密保護法制を検討した経緯がある。

Instead, as he has emphasized, the enactment of the law will prevent administrations from arbitrarily concealing information as they see fit.
 安倍首相は、衝突時の映像は特定秘密に当たらないと指摘し、秘密保護法の制定により、むしろ、政権の都合で情報が隠蔽されることはなくなると強調してきた。

The government is expected to appropriately distinguish between classified information connected to state security and information that does not cause harm when released to the public.
 安全保障にかかわる機密情報と、公開しても支障のない情報をいかに峻別(しゅんべつ)するか、政府には適切な判断が求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 15, 2014)
(2014年2月15日00時13分  読売新聞)

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出直し市長選 大阪都構想の展望が見えない

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 15, 2014
No breakthrough in sight for Osaka metropolitan govt vision
出直し市長選 大阪都構想の展望が見えない(2月15日付・読売社説)

It is highly questionable whether a mayoral election can break the stalemate regarding the vision of integrating the city and prefecture of Osaka into a single metropolitan administrative unit.
 膠着(こうちゃく)状態を打開できるのか、甚だ疑問だ。

Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, who also serves as coleader of Nihon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), has offered his resignation in the middle of his term and expressed his intention to run in a mayoral election set for March 23.
 日本維新の会共同代表である橋下徹大阪市長が任期途中で辞職し、3月23日投票の出直し市長選に臨む意向を示している。

The Osaka Municipal Assembly, however, on Friday rejected Hashimoto’s resignation. The votes against his move came from assemblymen belonging to the Liberal Democratic Party, New Komeito and the Japanese Communist Party and affiliated with the Democratic Party of Japan. Each party said “there is no cause for his resignation.”
 大阪市議会は14日、橋下市長が提出していた辞職願を自民、公明、共産の各党や民主党系などの多数で不同意とすることを決めた。いずれも、「辞職に大義はない」と主張している。

However, Hashimoto’s resignation will take effect on Feb. 27 in line with the Local Government Law.
 橋下氏は、地方自治法の規定により、27日での辞職となる。

His signature vision of integrating Osaka city and Osaka Prefecture into a metropolitan administrative unit similar to Tokyo is hitting a deadlock.
 看板政策である「大阪都」構想は、行き詰まりを見せている。

Osaka Ishin no Kai, a regional party led by Hashimoto, is short of a majority in both the Osaka prefectural and municipal assemblies.
 大阪府と市の議会で、大阪維新の会は過半数に届かない。

The majority of members of a multiparty legal conference for the establishment of an Osaka metropolitan administrative unit are opposed to the metropolitan plan, making it impossible to iron out differences over demarcation plans on special administrative wards.
それを反映した各派代表らで作る法定協議会の反対多数で、特別区の区割り案が絞り込めないためだ。

Hashimoto has asserted he would replace opposing members of the legal conference with those in favor of pushing the metropolitan plan if he wins a fresh public mandate by winning the special election. He seeks to promote his vision by constituting a new legal conference and asking it to work out a written agreement—a blueprint for the establishment of metropolitan Osaka—by this summer.
 橋下氏は法定協の構成そのものに問題があると考える。
 再選されることで都構想の推進に新たなお墨付きを得て、構想に反対する法定協の委員を推進派に差し替えると主張している。新たな法定協で夏までに「大阪都」の設計図となる協定書を策定し、構想を前に進める方針だ。

But a local government is of a dualistic representative structure, under which its head and assembly members are chosen in different elections. It is not the heads alone that carry out the public will.
 しかし、地方自治体は、首長と議員が別々の選挙で選ばれる二元代表制である。首長だけが民意を背負っているわけではない。

Motive questionable

Hashimoto should have taken the time to win over Komeito, which had shown a cooperative stance, and other parties repre-sented in the municipal assembly in an effort to obtain their understanding of his vision.
 これまで協力関係にあった公明党など議会側に時間をかけて説明し、理解を得る努力を尽くすべきだったのではないか。

However, his criticism of Komeito has been growing stronger, which will have an adverse effect on building consensus with the assembly.
 橋下氏は公明党批判を強めているが、議会との合意形成を図るうえでは逆効果だろう。

The success or failure of the Osaka metropolitan vision will be decided by a plebiscite to be held in autumn and onward. Implementation of a referendum requires approval by Osaka prefectural and municipal assemblies in a written agreement. The compositions of the assemblies will remain unchanged even after the scheduled mayoral election.
 都構想の成否は、秋以降に予定される住民投票で決まる。実施するには、府市両議会から協定書の承認を得ねばならないが、出直し市長選を経ても、両議会の構成は変わらない。

Nihon Ishin no Kai coleader Shintaro Ishihara questioned the advisability of holding a mayoral election to achieve Hashimoto’s goal, saying that “the consequence will be the same.” Ishihara is quite right. The schism between elements in Osaka, where Ishin no Kai is based, and those in Tokyo consisting of Diet members, is feared to widen over how to deal with the Osaka mayoral election.
 日本維新の会の石原共同代表が市長選をやり直しても「結果は同じじゃないか」と、橋下氏に疑問を呈したのはもっともである。維新の会本拠地・大阪の勢力と、東京の国会議員団とのミゾも市長選への対応を巡って深まろう。

Principal parties, including the LDP, the DPJ and the JCP, will sit back and see what will happen without putting up their own candidates.
 一方、自民、民主、共産など主要政党は市長選での候補擁立を見送り、静観を決め込む構えだ。

These parties probably want to make it look as if Hashimoto is tilting at windmills as he has argued that “if voters are opposed to the Osaka metropolitan plan, they should make me lose the election.”
 「都構想に反対するのなら、僕を選挙で落とせばいい」と主張する橋下氏の“独り相撲”を際立たせたいのだろう。

But the real reason for not fielding any candidates may be their failure to find anyone with a chance of winning, not only because they do not want to fight Hashimoto in the same ring. It is deplorable if they cannot promote their positions openly to voters while opposing the Osaka metropolitan vision.
 ただ、同じ土俵には乗らないという理由だけではなく、勝てる候補が見当たらないのが本音ではないのか。大阪都構想に反対しつつ有権者に堂々と訴えられないのなら、それも情けない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 15, 2014)
(2014年2月15日00時10分  読売新聞)

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2014年2月15日 (土)

homework 2014-02-16

หนึ่ง
สอง
สาม
สี่
ห้า
หก
เจ็ด
แปด
เก้า
สิบ
สิบเอ็ด
สิบสอง
สิบสาม
สิบสี่
สิบห้า
สิบหก
สิบเจ็ด
สิบแปด
สิบเก้า
ยี่สิบ

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homework 2014-02-16

ครู
บุรุษไปรษณีย์
พยาบาล
นักร้อง
ชาวนา
ชาวประมง
teacher
postman
nurse
singer
farmer
fisherman

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homework 2014-02-16

หมวกแก๊บ
หมวก
ถุงเท้า
รองเท้า
กางเกง
เสื้อ
กระโปรง
เข็มขัด
baseball cap
hat
socks
shoes
pants
shirts
skirt
belt

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homework 2014-02-16

บอล
ตุ๊กตา
หุ่นยนต์
ว่าว
ลูกโป่ง
ด้านบน
ball
doll
robot
kite
balloon
top

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homework 2014-02-15

ข้าว
นม
น้ำ
ไข่
ซุป
ไอศกรีม
เค้ก
ก๋วยเตี๋ยว
rice
milk
water
eggs
soup
ice cream
cake
noodles

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homework 2014-02-15

หัว
ผม
หน้า
ตา
หู
จมูก
ปาก
แขน
มือ
ขา
นิ้ว
เท้า
head
hair
face
eye
ear
nose
mouth
arm
hand
leg
finger
foot

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homework 2014-02-15

แอปเปิล
ส้ม
มะม่วง
มะพร้าว
เงาะ
กล้วย
มะละกอ
สับปะรด
ทุเรียน
มังคุด
apple
orange
mango
coconut
rambutan
banana
papaya
pineapple
durian
mangosteen

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homework 2014-02-15

เงาะเป็นผลไม้ที่ฉันชอบ
ฉันอยากไปเที่ยวเกาะสมุย
เด็กดีไม่ควรทะเลาะกัน
คุณพ่อกำลังเคาะประตู
น้องนอนอยู่บนเบาะ
เจอะ
เยอะ
เกรอะ
เทอะ
เตอะ
เหนอะ
เคอะ
เรอะ
เบอะ
เถอะ
I'm going to Samui
Children should not quarrel
Your father was knocked
Younger sleep on the couch
meet
much
percolate
bunglingly
very thick
icky
ungainly
Bullring
largely
let's

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JR北海道捜査 組織蝕む病巣をえぐり出せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 14, 2014
Organizational sickness at JR Hokkaido must be revealed, rooted out
JR北海道捜査 組織蝕む病巣をえぐり出せ(2月14日付・読売社説)

The alleged falsification of rail track inspection data by Hokkaido Railway Co. has developed into a criminal case. Organization-wide problems must be thoroughly rooted out through forceful and ongoing investigations.
 保線データの改ざん問題は、刑事事件に発展した。強制捜査により、組織の問題点を徹底的に洗い出してほしい。

Hokkaido police have searched the head office of the railway company—commonly known as JR Hokkaido—and the offices of employees involved in track maintenance on suspicion of violating of the railway business law and the law for the establishment of the Japan Transport Safety Board.
 北海道警が、鉄道事業法と運輸安全委員会設置法違反の容疑で、JR北海道の本社や、改ざんに関与した保線担当部署の一斉捜索に乗り出した。

Police have launched the aggressive investigation after receiving a criminal complaint filed jointly by the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry and the transport safety board against the railway company. JR Hokkaido and its employees are suspected of having falsified reports concerning the company’s rail track inspection data and having blocked regular safety inspections in violation of the two laws.
 国土交通省と運輸安全委員会の刑事告発を受けた強制捜査だ。改ざんは、両法が禁じた虚偽報告や監査妨害の疑いがある。

This is the first complaint of its kind filed against a railway firm in the country. JR Hokkaido received its first supervision order in line with the law on JR companies in January. With the loss of public confidence in the safety of its operations, the company faces the most critical situation ever since its establishment in 1987.
 これらの容疑による告発は前例がない。JR北海道は1月にも、国交省からJR会社法に基づく初の監督命令を受けた。安全運行に対する信頼を失墜し、1987年の会社発足以来、最も危機的な状況にあると言えよう。

The police probe is targeting falsifications of reports on rail track inspections that were allegedly made immediately following a freight train derailment last September.
 道警の捜査は、昨年9月の貨物列車脱線事故の直後に行われた改ざんが対象となる。

The offices in charge of supervising rail track inspections allegedly greatly falsified figures on rail width, which were close to a threshold value, posing a high risk of derailment. Manipulated numerical values were reported to the transport ministry and the transport safety board.
 現場を管轄する部署で、脱線の危険性が高い「限界値」に近づいていたレール幅の計測値が、大幅に改ざんされた。虚偽の数値は、国交省や事故原因を調査する運輸安全委に報告された。

Later data were also allegedly falsified by related employees when the company faced a special safety inspection by the transport ministry.
 その後、国交省の特別保安監査を受ける際にもデータを改ざんした部署がある。

Malicious acts

These acts of falsification are extremely malicious. It was natural that Akihiro Ota, the transport minister, criticized them, saying they “absolutely cannot be tolerated, because they defy the system to ensure transport safety.”
 極めて悪質な行為である。太田国交相が「輸送の安全確保の仕組みを覆すもので、絶対に容認できない」と批判したのは当然だ。

JR Hokkaido has conducted an in-house investigation and confirmed that numerical data were altered by 33 of 44 offices in charge of rail maintenance. Many irregularities came to light even in voluntary in-house inspections that did not involve legally mandated procedures. It is hoped that the primary cause of the sickness affecting the whole of JR Hokkaido will be unraveled through the compulsory investigations.  改ざんを巡っては、JR北海道自身も社内調査を実施し、44の保線担当部署のうち、33部署で数値の書き換えがあったことを確認した。強制的な手続きを伴わない監査や身内同士の調査でさえ、多くの不正が明らかになった。

To further reveal the truth behind these deep-seated falsification issues, testimony from the executives and union members concerned will be indispensable.
 強制捜査により、組織全体を蝕(むしば)む病巣が浮き彫りになることを期待したい。根深い改ざんの実態を解明するには、経営陣や労組関係者の聴取は欠かせまい。

One crucial matter is that JR Hokkaido as a corporate entity faces a criminal complaint. In line with the dual criminal liability provisions of the railway business law and other laws, JR Hokkaido itself will face criminal responsibility as the perpetrator of an illegal act. The firm’s top management must bear an extremely heavy responsibility for bringing about a situation where the company faces criminal investigations.
 重視すべきは、法人としてのJR北海道も告発された点だ。鉄道事業法などの両罰規定により、会社自体が違法行為の当事者として刑事責任の追及を受けることになる。捜査のメスが入る事態を招いた経営陣の責任は極めて重い。

JR Hokkaido has been hit by a string of scandals on top of the alleged data manipulation. For example, an employee was arrested in January on suspicion of destroying an Automatic Train Stop device to cover up an operational error.
 改ざん問題だけでなく、JR北海道では不祥事が相次いでいる。1月には、運転ミスを隠すために自動列車停止装置(ATS)を壊した社員が逮捕された。

President Makoto Nojima and other executives said they would remain in their posts for the time being. But it can hardly be said that they have implemented effective steps to prevent a recurrence of such scandals.
 野島誠社長らは当面の続投を表明している。しかし、不祥事の再発を防ぐ有効な手立てを講じたとは言い難い。

To help reconstruct the organization, JR Hokkaido needs to overhaul its management. It will be important to adopt measures such as importing personnel from outside organizations, including other JR companies.
 組織を立て直すには、JR他社など外部からの人材登用も含め、経営陣の刷新が必要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 14, 2014)
(2014年2月14日01時44分  読売新聞)

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中台閣僚級会談 歴史的な一歩にはなったが

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 14, 2014
Beijing-Taipei ties mark historic advance, but much remains uncertain
中台閣僚級会談 歴史的な一歩にはなったが(2月14日付・読売社説)

Relations between China and Taiwan have entered a new chapter with the recent commencement of direct government-to-government dialogue.
 中国と台湾の関係は、当局同士が直接交流する新たな段階に入った。

We should keep a close eye on whether this latest development will boost stability in East Asia by helping ease tensions in the Taiwan Strait.
これが、台湾海峡の緊張緩和を促し、東アジアの安定に寄与するのかを注視したい。

The chiefs of the highest-level governmental offices in charge of cross-strait affairs—Zhang Zhijun, director of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, and Wang Yu-chi, head of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council—met in Nanjing on Tuesday and agreed to establish a permanent channel of communication between the two sides.
 中台関係の主管官庁トップである、中国の張志軍・国務院台湾事務弁公室主任と、台湾の王郁●・大陸委員会主任委員が、南京で会談し、恒常的な相互連絡ルートを設けることで合意した。(●は王ヘンに奇)

This is the first time a ministerial-level meeting between officials tasked with policies on China-Taiwan affairs has taken place since the 1949 split.
 1949年の中台分断後、中台政策担当の閣僚級会談が行われたのは初めてだ。

There has so far been no framework for dialogue between the Chinese and Taiwan authorities, with Beijing and Taipei refusing to acknowledge the other’s sovereignty. Talks on such subjects as bilateral economic cooperation have been conducted via “quasi-official” organizations on both sides.
 互いに相手の主権を認めていない中台間には、これまで当局同士の対話の枠組みはなく、経済協力などの話し合いは、「民間」の窓口機関を通じて行われてきた。

From now, various forms of direct cross-strait interchanges between the Chinese and Taiwan authorities will be considered, including exchanging permanent representative offices.
 今後、当局間では、出先事務所の相互設置をはじめ、様々な形の直接交流が模索される。

It seems, however, there are major differences in the Chinese and Taiwan governments’ intentions in bringing about the historic ministerial-level talks.
 ただ、歴史的な閣僚級会談を実現させた中台首脳の思惑には大きな食い違いがあると見てよい。

President Ma Ying-jeou may primarily seek to gain China’s agreement to ease its trade regulations so as to expand Taiwan’s business opportunities in China, while pushing for China to acknowledge Taiwan’s status as a party to international economic agreements.
 台湾の馬英九総統の狙いは、対中ビジネス拡大につながる規制緩和を中国当局から引き出したり、国際的な経済協定の当事者としての地位を中国に認めさせたりすることだろう。

Can Xi-Ma talks take place?

Ma may have placed his hopes on restoring his popular support by realizing such outcomes. With unified local elections scheduled for toward the end of the year, the Ma administration’s popularity ratings have been painfully low due to reasons including the slowdown in Taiwan’s economic growth, widening economic disparities, corruption scandals involving Ma’s close aides and internal strife in his governing Nationalist Party (Kuomintang).
 そうした成果を上げられれば、支持回復につながるとの読みがあるのではないか。年末の統一地方選を控えて、経済成長の鈍化や所得格差、側近の汚職、与党・国民党の内紛などにより、馬政権の支持率は低迷したままである。

Chinese President Xi Jinping, in contrast, must have certainly considered the cross-strait talks as a launching point for political consultations for China-Taiwan unification.
 これに対して、中国の習近平国家主席は、今回の会談を中台統一に向けた政治協議への足がかりとみなしているに違いない。

However, Taiwan is wary of having political consultations with China, as a great majority of Taiwan’s residents support the status quo and reject the idea of unification with China.
 だが、台湾側は政治協議には消極的だ。台湾住民の大多数は、現状維持を望んでおり、中国との統一は拒んでいる。

The current focus of attention is on whether a meeting between Ma and Xi can be held at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summit meeting scheduled for this coming autumn in Beijing.
 当面の焦点は、北京で今秋開かれるアジア太平洋経済協力会議(APEC)首脳会議の際に、馬氏と習氏による会談が実現するかどうかだ。

Wheeling and dealing will continue between Taiwan, which places priority on gaining practical benefits, and China, which sees a direct cross-strait channel of communication as a foothold for political consultations for unification.
実益重視の台湾と、統一協議につなげたい中国との駆け引きが続くことになろう。

In spite of the creation of full-scale interchanges between Chinese and Taiwan authorities, there has been no change at all in the basic security situation surrounding Taiwan. China has not given up its long-standing option of eventually taking back Taiwan, by force if necessary. Taiwan, for its part, is dependent on the backing by the United States for such matters as purchasing weapons.
 中台当局間の交流が本格化しても、台湾周辺の安全保障の構図には、依然変化がない。中国は武力統一の選択肢を放棄していない。台湾は、武器購入などで米国からの支援に依存している。

For Japan, Taiwan is most certainly an important neighbor for restraining China’s acts of hegemony in such areas as the East China Sea, including the Senkaku Islands.
 日本にとって、台湾は、尖閣諸島周辺を含む東シナ海などでの中国の覇権的行動をけん制する上でも重要な隣人である。

While watching closely what impact closer China-Taiwan ties will have on the future of the regional situation, Japan should make efforts to further boost its friendly relations with Taiwan.
中台接近が地域情勢に及ぼす影響を見極めながら、台湾との関係を密にしていくべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 14, 2014)
(2014年2月14日01時44分  読売新聞)

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2014年2月14日 (金)

診療報酬改定 「病院依存」から転換できるか

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 13, 2014
Steer patients toward home-based care through revision of medical fees list
診療報酬改定 「病院依存」から転換できるか(2月13日付・読売社説)

Will the latest proposal from a key health ministry panel trigger a retreat from excessive reliance on hospital-based treatment and attach greater importance to home health-care services?
 病院偏重の医療から、在宅ケア重視に転換する契機となるだろうか。

On Wednesday, the Central Social Insurance Medical Council adopted a set of recommendations for revising the list of medical treatment fees. These medical service payments constitute a portion of the income earned by medical institutions.
 医療機関の収入となる診療報酬の改定内容が、中央社会保険医療協議会(中医協)で決まった。

The advisory panel’s proposal calls for tightening requirements for medical care involving the use of beds designated as equipment for patients in the acute stage, a practice that can incur higher bills for seriously ill patients. Meanwhile, the proposal would pay higher fees for services involving beds that are used to place greater emphasis on rehabilitation so patients can leave the hospital at an early date.
 重症者を受け入れる急性期病床の要件を厳しくする一方で、早期退院のためにリハビリを重点的に行う病床の報酬を手厚くする。

The average number of days spent in hospitals by patients in this country is greater than in the United States and Europe. This has contributed to an enormous increase in national medical care expenditures.
 日本の病院は、患者の平均入院日数が欧米に比べて長い。それが医療費の膨張も招いている。

The graying of Japanese society is expected to accelerate. A number of older people suffer from chronic diseases that can be managed with home-based treatment. In light of this situation, it was a sound decision for the advisory panel to call for a reduction in the number of beds for acute stage treatments and for efforts to encourage patients to leave the hospital at an early date.
 高齢化はさらに加速する。高齢者の多くが、在宅医療で対応できる慢性病を患っている現状を考えれば、急性期病床を減らし、早期退院を促す狙いは理解できる。

The question is how to move forward in consolidating hospital beds that are classified by curative purpose.
 問題は、いかに病床の再編を効率的に進めるかだ。

Previous revisions to the schedule of medical treatment fees by the health ministry have caused significant confusion among medical institutions.
 厚生労働省のこれまでの診療報酬改定は、少なからず医療現場に混乱をもたらしてきた。

Revisions made to fees involving beds used to treat acutely ill patients in fiscal 2006 exacerbated this potential for confusion. The revisions set fees for medical services involving acute treatment beds at a higher level, which encouraged many hospitals to set up more of these beds than necessary and contributed to a surplus of them.
 急性期病床についても、2006年の診療報酬改定を機に過剰になった。報酬を高く設定したため、多くの病院が必要以上に急性期病床を設けた結果だ。

This resulted in medical institutions scrambling for nurses, because the use of such beds requires more nurses to provide appropriate care for acutely ill patients. The situation also fostered a tendency among nurses to prefer to work in urban areas, leading to an uneven distribution of such medical workers.
 看護師を多く配置する必要があるため、医療機関の間で奪い合いが生じた。都会に看護師が偏在する傾向も強まった。

Negative impact clear

The adverse impact of the 2006 revisions was also evident in the many hospitals providing elderly people with treatments using beds designated for critically ill patients. However, the fact is that many of them are placed in such beds despite improvements in their conditions.
 急性期病床なのに、入院しているのは病状の落ち着いた高齢者が大半という病院も少なくない。

The ministry needs to acknowledge that it should have been more thorough in designing a new system for medical treatment fees in 2006.
 厚労省は、制度設計が甘かったことを反省すべきである。

There also is cause for apprehension about the latest proposed revisions. If fees for services involving beds for patients undergoing rehabilitation are set at a higher compensation level, it could create a spike in the number of hospitals seeking to take advantage of that. It seems likely that an excessive number of rehabilitation-designated beds could encourage patients to stay in the hospital, despite their ailments being treatable through home-based health services.
 今回の改定でも、同様の懸念は拭えない。リハビリ用病床の報酬を高くすれば、これに転換を図る病院が急増するだろう。リハビリ用病床が多過ぎると、本来は在宅ケアで済む患者が、病院にとどまることにつながらないか。

It is essential that the ministry take adequate measures to prevent a large surplus in beds for rehabilitation treatments.
 リハビリ用病床が過剰にならないよう、厚労省はしっかりとした対策を講じることが肝要だ。

The latest proposal would expand the pricing schedule to include fees for practicing doctors’ management of patients receiving home-based care. The plan is intended to ensure stability in the conditions of older patients receiving home-based treatment. However, because there is a perceived preference among older patients for large hospitals, it is unclear whether they would desire treatment from outpatient doctors as their regular physicians.
 今回の改定では、在宅ケアの患者の主治医となる開業医への報酬も新設される。在宅療養する高齢者の病状を安定させることが目的だが、大病院志向が強いとされる患者が、開業医をかかりつけ医とするかどうかは不透明だ。

Consolidating purpose-classified hospital beds requires more than revisions to the fee schedule. It will also be necessary to accurately determine the number of beds needed in each region for acutely ill patients and patients in rehabilitation.
 病床再編には、診療報酬改定だけでなく、地域ごとに必要な急性期病床やリハビリ用病床数を正確に算出することが大切である。

In fiscal 2015 or later, the national government intends to require Tokyo and all prefectural governments to put together new community-based health care plans that must include the number of rehabilitation beds needed by each community. The move is aimed at improving the quality of current community-based care schemes, which were prepared by the local governments. The national government is seeking to establish relevant legislation during the current Diet session.
 政府は、現在の地域医療計画を充実させるために、必要なリハビリ用病床数を盛り込んだ「地域医療ビジョン」を15年度以降、都道府県に策定させる方針だ。関連法案の今国会成立を目指す。

Given the authority possessed by each municipality to supervise medical institutions in its area, Tokyo and all prefectural governments have a significant role to play in achieving a good balance in the consolidation of hospital beds.
 医療機関への指導権限を持つ都道府県が、均衡の取れた病床再編に果たすべき役割は大きい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 13, 2014)
(2014年2月13日01時15分  読売新聞)

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スノボ「銀」「銅」 五輪史に刻まれた10代の快挙

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 13, 2014
Teen snowboarding medalists make history, certain to inspire other athletes
スノボ「銀」「銅」 五輪史に刻まれた10代の快挙(2月13日付・読売社説)

We are very happy that the youngest Japanese medalist in the history of the Winter Games emerged at the Sochi Olympics on Tuesday.
 日本の冬季五輪史上、最年少のメダリスト誕生を喜びたい。

Fifteen-year-old Ayumu Hirano, a third-year middle school student, won a silver medal in the men’s snowboard halfpipe. The bronze in the same event went to 18-year-old Taku Hiraoka, a third-year high school student.
 ソチ五輪スノーボード・ハーフパイプ男子で、15歳の中学3年生、平野歩夢選手が銀メダルに輝いた。18歳の高校3年生、平岡卓選手も銅メダルを手にした。

They are the first Japanese medalists in snowboarding since it became an official event at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics. It is also a remarkable accomplishment in Olympic history that the two Japanese won medals in the same event.
 1998年の長野五輪でスノーボードが正式種目になって以来、日本選手のメダル獲得は初めてだ。二人同時のメダルも、五輪史に残る快挙と言える。

Athletes from Western countries, particularly the United States, were overwhelmingly strong in the snowboard halfpipe. We are glad that youthful Japanese athletes have changed that competitive landscape.
 ハーフパイプは欧米勢、特に米国が圧倒的強さを誇ってきた。その勢力図を、日本の若い力が塗り替えたことがうれしい。

Hirano flew out high and successfully completed his favorite aerial tricks one after another. It was an outstanding performance, with his 160-centimeter-tall body dynamically whirling through the air.
 平野選手は、空中に高く飛び出す得意のエアを次々と決めた。身長160センチの体がダイナミックに宙を舞う見事な演技だった。

He began snowboarding at the age of 4 and signed a professional contract with a U.S. snowboard maker when he was only a fourth grader in primary school.
 4歳の時、スノーボードを始め、小学4年で早くも米国メーカーとプロ契約を結んだ。

His experiences undergoing the rigors of international competitions apparently made Hirano able to perform in an undaunted manner even at his first Winter Olympics.
 国際大会でもまれた経験が、初めての五輪でも、物おじしないプレーを生んだのだろう。

“I was as good as I could be at the Olympics, and I’ve enjoyed it,” Hirano said happily.
「やってきたことを五輪で出し切れて、楽しめた」と喜びを語った。

Good rivalry yields medals

Japan was able to win the two medals in snowboarding because Hirano and Hiraoka have competed with each other and sharpened their skills as friendly rivals.
 良きライバルとして、平岡選手としのぎを削り、互いの技を向上させてきたことが、二つのメダルを呼び込んだ。

At the last Winter Olympics in Vancouver, a male snowboader attracted criticism for his sloppy dress.
 スノーボードを巡っては、前回バンクーバー五輪で、選手の服装の乱れなどに批判が集まった。

The great success of Hirano and Hiraoka may improve the public image of the sport.
 平野、平岡両選手の活躍は、競技のイメージアップに貢献するのではないか。

We hope the number of snowboarders will increase, with more children inspired by the two teenagers enjoying the sport.
刺激を受けた子どもたちがスノボに親しむことで、競技の裾野が広がるといい。

Further development of training areas is essential to nurture stronger athletes.
 強い選手の育成には、練習場の一層の整備も欠かせない。

Meanwhile, Sara Takanashi ended up fourth in women’s ski jumping, which made its Olympic debut. It was an unfortunate outcome since Takanashi was regarded as the Japanese athlete most likely to win a gold medal.
 今大会から正式種目となったスキージャンプ女子の高梨沙羅選手は、4位にとどまった。金メダルの有力候補と期待されていただけに、惜しい結果である。

However, many people must have been moved to see her struggling under heavy pressure.
 重圧を背負いながらの奮闘に感動した人も多いだろう。

Takanashi was superb at World Cup meets this season, but something was a little off when she was jumping at the Games. That is how daunting the Olympics are.
 今季のワールドカップで抜群の強さを見せながら、五輪では、わずかにジャンプの歯車が狂った。それが五輪の怖さだ。

She may have regrets, but Takanashi is just 17. She still has an abundance of time to learn from this bitter experience and to avenge the defeat.
 悔いは残るだろうが、高梨選手も、まだ17歳だ。今回の苦い経験を糧に、リベンジを期す時間はたっぷりある。

In the Nordic combined normal hill event, Akito Watabe won a silver medal. These three medals won by these three Japanese athletes are certain to become the best catalyst to push the Japan team into full gear.
 スキーのノルディック複合では、渡部暁斗選手が銀メダルを獲得した。日本選手団全体が波に乗るには、三つのメダル獲得は最高のきっかけとなるはずだ。

There are still many events to look forward to, such as figure skating and the men’s ski jump. Our hopes are rising for the middle and final portions of the Games.
 フィギュアスケートやスキージャンプ男子など、楽しみな競技はまだまだ多い。大会中盤、終盤への期待が膨らむ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 13, 2014)
(2014年2月13日01時15分  読売新聞)

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2014年2月13日 (木)

タクシン、アピシット、インラック wikipedia で比較してみました

Thaksin Shinawatra
2001年~2006年
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thaksin_Shinawatra

Abhisit Vejjajiva
2008年~2011年
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abhisit_Vejjajiva

Yingluck Shinawatra
2011年~2013年
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yingluck_Shinawatra

断然タクシンですね。
まるでリフォームの申し子みたいに、精力的に様々な政治改革をやりました。
それが反対勢力の怒りを買ったのでしょう。
凄まじい実行力なんです。
スワナプームの入札では、直前に日本よりの援助を断り、その後格安で入札するといった、したたかなビジネスマンぶりを発揮しています。
日本大使が驚いておっとり刀でタクシンに合いに来たということです。
医療補助一回あたり30バーツは貧困層から絶大なる賛辞を受けました。
なんと私のような外国人でもOKだったんです。助かりました^^。
そのぶん、病院やドクターは現金収入のタイミングが遅れたわけで、これらの組織から猛反発を受けました。
全国に数え切れないくらいの低所得者住宅を開発したのもタクシンです。
販売価格が一戸あたり40万バーツほど。(住宅のグレードは低いです)
私の団地の横もタクシンの開発した低所得者向け住宅地が広がっています。
500戸くらいの大規模な住宅建設なんですが、販売されたのはアピシット政権となってからでした。
それでもタクシンの貧困層に対する思いは維持されたのですね。
これもバンコク富裕層がタクシンを嫌う理由のひとつです。
犬(貧困層)に住宅は必要ないといったところでしょうか。

アピシット政権では失業率を増大させたくらいの成果しか見ありません。
2年くらいの在任期間中に、財産を200万バーツ増やしてます^^。
2011年には大洪水にみまわれました。

インラックにもさしたる政治改革はありませんね。
内閣改造をやったくらいでしょうか。
それと、世界の外交で華やかに活躍したくらいでしょう。
ライススキームの不透明な仕組みと、農民への不払いが命取りなのです。

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ソニー不振 背水のリストラで再生なるか

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 12, 2014
Can Sony’s restructuring efforts save the ailing electronics giant?
ソニー不振 背水のリストラで再生なるか(2月12日付・読売社説)

What kind of road map will Sony Corp. draft to bring its technical prowess and brand strength to bear in the pursuit of a new growth strategy, following the company’s latest restructuring plan? It is still unclear what lies ahead in the conglomerate’s efforts to revive business after its recent last-ditch shake-up.
 ソニーが技術とブランド力を生かし、新たな成長戦略をどう描くのか。背水のリストラ後も再生の道は不透明である。

Sony has unveiled a bold restructuring package that will see the company shedding its embattled personal computer business, which had sold its wares under the “Vaio” brand. The scheme also includes a plan to spin off Sony’s television manufacturing division into a separate company.
 ソニーは「バイオ(VAIO)」ブランドで展開してきたパソコン事業からの撤退と、テレビ事業の分社化などの大規模なリストラ策を発表した。

The struggling corporation’s decision to adopt these measures reflects Sony’s failure to improve business performance despite repeated restructuring efforts in the past. In fact, Sony had to revise its forecast for after-tax profits during the consolidated account settlement term ending in March 2014. The figure has been revised downward to a loss of ¥110 billion, meaning Sony is likely to fall into the red for the first time in two business terms.
 何度もリストラに取り組んできたが、業績が上向かないためだ。2014年3月期連結決算の税引き後利益の見通しも1100億円の赤字に下方修正した。2期ぶりの赤字転落である。

There was a time when Sony demonstrated an ability to release a number of successful products like the Walkman portable music player and the Trinitron color TV set. But the company’s prowess in this respect has faded, resulting in a failure to turn out distinctive products that could set Sony apart from other electronics manufacturers.
 ソニーはかつて携帯音楽プレーヤー「ウォークマン」や、トリニトロンカラーテレビなどのヒット商品を次々発売した。今は勢いが鈍り「ソニーらしさ」を欠く。

Sony’s desperate move to shake up two iconic businesses—PC and television manufacturing—is a telling sign of the company’s hardships.
 「顔」であるパソコンとテレビの2大事業が抜本改革に追い込まれたことは苦境ぶりを物語る。

Vaio entered the PC market in 1996. The brand’s lineup was marked by unconventional design combined with an operating environment that enabled users to enjoy recorded music and video clips. The Vaio PC grew to great popularity, and served as a trigger prompting Sony to expand its business as a consumer electronics manufacturer to include full-fledged operations in the field of information technology.
 バイオは1996年に登場した。斬新なデザインに加え、音楽や映像を楽しむというコンセプトが人気を集め、ソニーが家電からIT(情報技術)分野に本格進出する契機になった商品だ。

In recent years, however, sales figures for Sony’s Vaio line have declined as a result of an ongoing contraction in the PC market, ascribed to the rise of smartphones and tablet PCs.
 しかし、最近はスマートフォンやタブレット(多機能携帯端末)の普及でパソコン市場が縮小し、バイオの売り上げも減った。

Will pain bring gain?

Sony President Kazuo Hirai described his company’s restructuring plan as “a painful decision to make.” When he said that the corporation would seek to concentrate its business resources in the production of smartphones, tablet PCs and other new electronic devices, he had good reason. However, there is no cause for optimism about Sony’s plan yet, given the growing offensive on the smartphone market launched by corporations in China and other countries.
 平井一夫社長が「苦渋の決断だった」と述べ、スマホやタブレットなどに経営資源を集中する方針を示したのは理解できる。だが、スマホは中国企業などが攻勢をかけており、楽観は禁物だろう。

Sony is expected to suffer a 10th consecutive year of losses in its television manufacturing operations—which could be considered the company’s inaugural business—during the business term ending in March, largely as a result of sales competition with South Korean and other makers.
 ソニーの祖業とも言えるテレビ事業は、韓国メーカーなどとの競争で10年連続の赤字が見込まれる。

Sony’s decision to transform its television manufacturing division into a separate corporation is aimed at improving business efficiency and making swift managerial decisions.
テレビ事業の子会社化によって、経営効率を高め、迅速に経営判断を下そうという狙いだ。

It is essential for Sony’s shake-up to fulfill its goal by putting an end to the company’s chronic losses. This will demand success in multiple domains, including the marketing of next-generation 4K televisions, which offer ultrahigh-definition images. But competition is heating up among electronics makers seeking to develop 4K televisions. To accomplish this goal, Sony will also need to introduce strategic products targeting consumers in emerging nations.
 鮮明な画像が売り物で開発競争が過熱している4Kテレビや、成長著しい新興国市場向けの戦略商品を投入し、今度こそ、赤字体質を脱却しなければならない。

The foundations of Sony’s business have been supported by profits from its thriving financial services, movie and music businesses in recent years. This has made it possible for Sony to make up for the losses incurred by its television manufacturing and other money-losing divisions.
 好調な金融部門や映画・音楽ビジネスが屋台骨を支え、テレビなどの赤字を穴埋めしているが、

The greatest challenge facing the struggling corporation is to make the right decisions in choosing which kinds of businesses it should pursue as the mainstay of its overall operations, a task essential for achieving growth as a conglomerate.
最大の課題は、今後、何を事業の柱として成長を目指すかである。

There has been fierce competition in business sectors where Sony is a player, including the manufacture of medical equipment and production of video game consoles. Within these market conditions, Sony will be tested as to whether it can achieve success in the implementation of its restructuring plan, which observers say adopts a “selection and concentration” tactic.
 医療機器やゲーム機などの競争も激しい。事業の「選択と集中」の成果が問われよう。

Sony’s current plight contrasts with favorable conditions at electronics industry rivals such as Hitachi, Ltd. and Toshiba Corp. Hitachi, for instance, has a competitive edge in the construction and improvement of infrastructure such as railway facilities. Panasonic Corp. and Sharp Corp., both of which are trying to rehabilitate themselves, have succeeded in improving their business performance. These moves have left Sony the sole underdog in the electronics industry as it trails far behind in reconsidering business operations.
 電機業界では、鉄道などインフラ事業に強みがある日立製作所や東芝が好調で、再建中のパナソニックやシャープも業績を回復させた。事業見直しで周回遅れのソニーが独り負けの状況である。

We hope Sony will use its bold reform plan as leverage to reinvigorate itself as soon as possible, transforming into a corporation built on distinctiveness from competitors as it once was.
 大胆な改革をテコに、ソニーらしい輝きを取り戻し、早期に復活することを期待したい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 12, 2014)
(2014年2月12日01時11分  読売新聞)

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アラブの春3年 新たな政治体制へ模索が続く

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 12, 2014
Nations groping for new political systems 3 years after Arab Spring
アラブの春3年 新たな政治体制へ模索が続く(2月12日付・読売社説)

Three years have already passed since the Arab Spring democracy movements that saw people rising up in search of freedom.
 自由を求めて民衆が蜂起した「アラブの春」から3年が経過した。

In Middle Eastern countries where long-reigning dictatorial regimes were brought down, moves to seek new systems of governance have been ongoing.
 長期独裁政権を倒した中東の国々では、新たな統治体制を模索する動きが続いている。

Egypt and Tunisia have managed to establish new constitutions that stipulate democratic procedures. We can safely say these nations took a step forward toward enhanced freedom and the establishment of a rule of law.
 エジプトとチュニジアは、民主主義的な手続きを定めた憲法の制定にこぎつけた。自由の拡大と、法の支配確立への一歩を踏み出したと言えよう。

In Egypt, there was a prolonged state of confusion after the administration of Hosni Mubarak was brought down. Although Mohamed Morsi from the Islamist organization Muslim Brotherhood was elected as president, he was dismissed by the military as he lost the confidence of the people because he overzealously tried to expand the influence of Muslim Brotherhood.
 エジプトでは、ムバラク政権が打倒された後も、混乱状態が続いた。イスラム主義組織「ムスリム同胞団」のモルシ氏が大統領に選ばれたものの、もっぱら同胞団の勢力拡大を図ったため、国民の信頼を失い、軍に解任された。

Even under such circumstances, countries such as Japan and the United States, as well as European nations, have continued providing assistance to the provisional military-backed government. These actions were based on the common interest of avoiding a situation in which Egypt, a strategically important country in the Middle East region, will be destabilized again.
 こうした状況でも欧米や日本は、軍を後ろ盾とする暫定政府への支援を続けてきた。地域の要のエジプトが再び不安定化する事態は避けたいという認識がある。

The turning point for resolving the disorderly situation was the approval of the revised Constitution, drafted by a committee comprising representatives from various sectors, in a national referendum in January.
 混乱収拾の転機は、各界代表により起草された改正憲法が1月、国民投票で承認されたことだ。

Compared with the previous Constitution, which had strong Islamist elements, the current Constitution is distinguished by its consideration of an appropriate balance between the teachings of Islam and secularism. The new top law retained an article to respect Islamic laws, while it clearly stipulates new human rights protections including “gender equality.”
 イスラム色の強かったこれまでの憲法に比べ、世俗主義とのバランスに配慮したのが特徴である。イスラム法を尊重する規定は残す一方で、「男女平等」など、新たな人権保護規定を明記した。

Countries struggling

The revised Constitution also has an article that requires approval by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces in appointing the defense minister for eight years from now. This means veto power is given to the military when the government forms a cabinet. We believe the people of Egypt approved the revised Constitution as many of them thought it would be impossible to prevent confusion without dependence on the military.
 改正憲法には今後8年間、国防相人事に軍の同意を必要とする規定も盛り込まれた。軍に組閣の拒否権を与えたものだ。改正憲法が承認されたのは、軍に頼らなければ混乱は防げない、と多くの国民が考えた結果ではないか。

In the coming spring, a fresh presidential election will be held and a full-fledged administration will be launched. Still, we are afraid a situation in which part of Muslim Brotherhood, labeled by the provisional government as a “terror organization” and suppressed, will resort to radical action.
 今春には改めて大統領選が行われ、本格政権が誕生する。ただ、暫定政府に「テロ組織」と認定され、弾圧されている同胞団の一部が過激化しないか、心配だ。

In reactivating its economy, it may be indispensable for the country to improve public safety and get foreign tourists and investment back to the country.
 治安が改善し、外国からの観光客や投資が戻ることが、経済の立て直しには不可欠だろう。

In Tunisia, the first country where a dictatorial administration collapsed due to public demonstrations and protests, the National Constituent Assembly recently adopted a new Constitution. Including human rights protection articles such as freedom of religion, the content of the new charter is much more progressive than that of Egypt. The freedom sought by the country's general public was then realized in a form of the Constitution.
 民衆のデモで最初に独裁政権が崩壊したチュニジアでも、新憲法が制憲議会で採択された。信教の自由など人権保護条項が盛られ、エジプト以上に先進的な内容だ。民衆の求めた自由が、憲法の形で結実したと言える。

Yemen and Libya—where dictators were driven away from power—are still in the process of establishing a new top law, while the two countries must deal with tribal and regional hostility.
 独裁者が権力の座から追われたイエメン、リビアは、部族・地域間対立に悩みつつ、新憲法制定のプロセスが続いている。

The situation is most serious in Syria, where the civil uprising turned into a civil war. Dictator Bashar Assad still sits in the seat of president, holding on to power. Although an international peace conference was held, there appears to be no prospect for a ceasefire.
 最も状況が深刻なのは、民衆蜂起が内戦に転化したシリアだ。独裁者アサド大統領が権力の座に居座り、国際和平会議が開かれたが、停戦への道はまだ見えない。

The Arab Spring has brought about complicated changes in the Middle East. Japan, which depends on the Middle East for most of its imported crude oil, also needs to keep a close eye on the country.
 「アラブの春」は中東に複雑な変革を引き起こした。原油輸入を中東に依存する日本も、この地域から目を離せない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 12, 2014)
(2014年2月12日01時11分  読売新聞)

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2014年2月12日 (水)

民主党大会 破綻した政策にまだ拘るのか

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 11, 2014
Will DPJ continue to follow failed policies and oppose needed changes?
民主党大会 破綻した政策にまだ拘るのか(2月11日付・読売社説)

Even if the Democratic Party of Japan works out proposals to counter the policies of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration, or promises to review its key policies, it will be difficult for the party to rejuvenate itself if it fails to reach proper conclusions in such efforts or fails to establish internal unity.
 安倍政権の政策への対案作成や重要政策の見直しを掲げても、きちんと結論を出し、一致団結しなければ、党の再生はおぼつかない。

The DPJ held its party convention in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture. At the convention, party leader Banri Kaieda spelled out the DPJ’s confrontational stance vis a vis the Abe administration, saying: “All our members will work together to pursue politics that will defend the people’s lives, jobs and livelihoods. Our party must play a pivotal role in the opposition force.”
 民主党が福島県郡山市で党大会を開いた。海江田代表は、「いのち、雇用、暮らしを守る政治を全党員が一丸で進める。民主党こそが野党勢力の中心に立たなければならない」と述べ、安倍政権への対決姿勢を打ち出した。

In its action policy for fiscal 2014, the party emphasizes that “the party will properly keep watch, through Diet deliberations, on the Abe Cabinet, which may ‘run roughshod’ by dint of its strength of numbers.”
 2014年度活動方針も、「数を頼みに『暴走』しかねない安倍内閣を国会審議を通じてしっかり監視する」と強調している。

Yet the environment the DPJ is confronting, both within and outside the party, remains severe.
 だが、民主党を取り巻く党内外の環境は相変わらず厳しい。

Discontent runs deep among conservatives within the party over the policy line under Kaieda. They do not like the idea of the party leadership, which they consider to have taken on a strong tint of liberalism, merely reflexively opposing the ruling party for the sake of opposition.
 海江田執行部のリベラル色の強い「抵抗野党」路線には、党内の保守系議員に不満が強い。

Because of this, a number of party members, chiefly among those who failed to win seats in the latest House of Councillors election, left the party in the latter half of last year. Kaieda’s lack of leadership ability is a problem the party must contend with.
昨年後半は、落選議員らの離党が相次いだ。課題とされる海江田代表の求心力は低いままだ。

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Your Party, as “responsible opposition parties,” have shown their positive stance toward policy discussions with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. The joint struggle by opposition parties in the Diet has not made progress. Nor is there any prospect for what the DPJ envisages as “a reorganization of opposition parties centering on the DPJ.”
 日本維新の会やみんなの党は、「責任野党」として、自民党との政策協議に前向きな姿勢を示しており、国会での野党共闘は進んでいない。民主党が描く「民主党を中心とする野党再編」も展望が開けていない。

Professing its principle of “making counterproposals” to the administration, the DPJ had claimed that it would compile its own economic policies to counter those championed by the Abe administration.
 民主党は、「対案主義」を標榜(ひょうぼう)し、安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」に対抗する経済政策をまとめると説明してきた。

Policy review long overdue

Yet even at the latest party convention, the party did not present any concrete plans for solving problems, the most important of which is how to help the nation escape from deflation and grow the economy.
だが、党大会でも、いかにデフレを脱却し、経済を成長させるのかという肝心の具体策は示されなかった。

DPJ Policy Research Committee Chairman Mitsuru Sakurai has made clear the party’s stance of reviewing its seven key policies, which it advocated in its manifesto for the 2009 House of Representatives election. Two of these policies were “saving ¥16.8 trillion a year in fiscal resources by stamping out wasteful spending,” and “establishing a guaranteed minimum pension payment system.”
 桜井政調会長は、09年衆院選の政権公約(マニフェスト)で掲げた「無駄遣いの撲滅による年16・8兆円の財源捻出」「最低保障年金の創設」など7項目の重要政策を見直す方針を表明している。

It is obviously unrealistic for a government to carry out such schemes as the establishment of a minimum pension payment system, which would require a large-scale tax increase. The party should have reviewed these key policies before the 2012 lower house election.
 大幅な増税が不可欠な最低保障年金の創設などが非現実的なのは明白で、重要政策は本来、12年衆院選の前に見直すべきだった。

The pace of the party’s review, which it has said would be concluded by the unified local elections scheduled for spring next year and which the party considers a “vanguard for its counteroffensive,” is too slow.
民主党が「反転攻勢の先陣」と位置づける来年春の統一地方選までに結論を出すのでは悠長すぎる。

Some in the party adhere to the manifesto and are cautious about the policy review, saying there is nothing wrong with the party’s course of action. There has been no improvement in the party’s habitual pattern of struggling to reach a consensus and merely heatedly exchanging views.
 党内には依然、「政策の方向性は間違っていない」などと政権公約に拘(こだわ)る、見直しへの慎重論もくすぶる。活発に議論するだけで、なかなか結論を出せない党の体質は改善していない。

Regarding the change in the interpretation of the Constitution that would enable the exercise of the nation’s right to collective self-defense, which Abe aims to realize, the DPJ earlier attempted to compile a view opposing such a change. But because the party’s conservative members and others have balked at this move, the party has been unable to establish a consensus on the issue.
 安倍首相が目指す集団的自衛権の憲法解釈の変更について、民主党は党大会までに、反対する方向で見解をまとめようとしていたが、保守系議員らが異論を唱え、意見集約は進んでいない。

This is the price the party is paying for having avoided for so long an intraparty discussion on national security policy. The party also needs to change its stance of putting off thorny tasks.
 長年、安全保障政策をめぐる党内論議を回避してきたツケにほかならない。困難な課題を先送りする姿勢も改めねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 11, 2014)
(2014年2月11日01時35分  読売新聞)

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日露首脳会談 信頼醸成を「領土」につなげよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 11, 2014
Abe-Putin confidence-building must lead to resolving territorial dispute
日露首脳会談 信頼醸成を「領土」につなげよ(2月11日付・読売社説)

The confidence-building relationship between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin has deepened, but now it is being put to the test.
 首脳間の信頼関係の深まりを、どう成果につなげるかが問われよう。

Abe met with Putin Saturday after attending the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics for the fifth bilateral summit with the Russian leader since the prime minister returned to the post in December 2012.
 ソチ五輪の開会式に出席した安倍首相が、ロシアのプーチン大統領と会談した。第2次安倍内閣の発足後、首脳会談は5回目だ。

Even though leaders of the United States and major European countries did not attend the opening ceremony citing Russia’s human rights record, Abe decided to visit Sochi on a tight three-day schedule.
 ロシアの人権状況を問題視する欧米の主要国の首脳が開会式を欠席する中、安倍首相はあえて1泊3日の強行日程で訪露した。

Putin gave Abe a warm reception, saying, “I’m very grateful for your attendance at the opening ceremony,” and he hosted a luncheon for the prime minister. The meeting is believed to have been effective in building confidence between the two leaders, as seen by the fact that they called each other by their first names.
 プーチン大統領は、首相に「五輪への配慮に心からお礼したい」と述べ、昼食会を催して厚遇した。互いにファーストネームで呼び合うなど、首脳間の信頼醸成に効果があったと言える。

Putin’s visit to Japan this autumn was decided during the meeting. Hailing the recent expansion of bilateral trade, the Russian leader said he would dispatch his Cabinet ministers in charge of agriculture, railways and energy to Japan, plus top company executives.
 会談では、大統領の今秋の来日が決まった。大統領は、最近の日露間の貿易拡大を歓迎し、農業や鉄道、エネルギーを担当する閣僚と関連企業のトップを日本に派遣する意向を示した。

Development of the Russian Far East and East Siberia is regarded by Putin as “a national project to be undertaken by the country on a priority basis in the 21st century.” Offering cooperation in the development of natural gas and other resources is expected to prove beneficial also for Japan, because of this country’s scarcity of fossil fuels.
 大統領は、極東・東シベリア開発を「21世紀のロシアの国家的な優先課題」としている。天然ガス開発などの協力は、資源の乏しい日本にとってもプラスだろう。

The thing is that negotiations on the return of four Russian-occupied islands off Hokkaido, a major concern for Japan, have made little headway.
 問題は、肝心の北方領土交渉が実質的に進まないことだ。

Resolution remains remote

Abe reportedly said he “wants to carry out talks in concrete terms.” In response, Putin was quoted as saying, “Efforts will be made toward a solution.” However, a political decision on the matter is a long way off.
 首相が「交渉を具体的に進めたい」と切り出したのに対し、大統領は「解決に向けてしっかりと努力したい」と応じ、双方の意欲は確認された。だが、政治決断への環境は整っていない。

In vice foreign ministerial talks in Tokyo late last month, the two countries failed to iron out their differences. Russia has repeated its conventional stance that the four northern islands became part of its territory as a result of World War II.
 先月末、東京で行われた日露の外務次官級協議では、双方の主張が平行線のままだった。ロシアは第2次大戦の結果、北方4島は自国の領土になったとする従来通りの主張を繰り返している。

Japan should insist that Russia’s claim is not based on historical facts.
 日本は、それが歴史的事実に基づかないと強く訴えるべきだ。

The former Soviet Union reneged on the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact and declared war on Japan in the closing days of World War II. It invaded the Kuril Islands after Japan accepted the Potsdam Declaration and it occupied the four islands, which it then unilaterally integrated into its territory. The four islands are not included in the Kuril Islands that Japan relinquished when it signed the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty.
 旧ソ連は大戦末期に日ソ中立条約を無視して宣戦布告し、日本のポツダム宣言受諾後、千島列島に侵攻して4島を占領、一方的に自国に編入した。サンフランシスコ講和条約で日本が放棄した千島列島に、北方4島は含まれない。

Russia’s internal politics are also a matter of concern. To ward off public discontent, Putin has come up with populist policies. The situation does not seem ripe yet for Russia to make a concession on the northern territories.
 ロシアの内政も懸念材料だ。大統領は、国民の不満をかわすため、大衆迎合的な政策を打ち出している。領土問題で譲歩できる政治状況ではないのではないか。

Prior to his summit with Abe, Putin met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and confirmed that the two countries would jointly sponsor events in 2015 to mark the 70th anniversary of their victory in World War II. Japan must realize that Beijing and Moscow are acting in concert in dealing with an issue involving Japan’s history.
 日露首脳会談に先立ち、大統領は、中国の習近平国家主席と会談し、第2次大戦終結70年の2015年に戦勝祝賀記念行事を共催することを確認した。中露が日本を巡る歴史問題で歩調を合わせている点は警戒すべきだ。

To make progress in resolving the territorial issue, it is imperative to closely examine the true intentions of Putin administration’s domestic and foreign policies, while reinforcing Japan-Russia relations from a wide perspective.
 領土問題を進展させるには、日露関係を幅広く強化する一方、プーチン政権の内政・外交の内実も見極めていかねばなるまい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 11, 2014)
(2014年2月11日01時35分  読売新聞)

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2014年2月11日 (火)

東京都知事選 無責任な「原発ゼロ」信任されず

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 10, 2014
Voters in Tokyo gubernatorial election spurn irresponsible antinuclear drive
東京都知事選 無責任な「原発ゼロ」信任されず(2月10日付・読売社説)

 ◆舛添氏は謙虚に政策を推進せよ

The outcome of Sunday’s Tokyo gubernatorial election can be said to attest to the strongly negative reaction by the majority of Tokyo residents to unrealistic arguments for an immediate end to nuclear power generation.
 非現実的な「原発即時ゼロ」の主張に、多くの都民が拒否反応を示したと言えるだろう。

Former Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Yoichi Masuzoe won an overwhelming victory in the race for the top post of the nation’s capital.
 東京都知事選で、元厚生労働相の舛添要一氏が圧勝した。

Masuzoe pledged in the campaign to make Tokyo the world’s No. 1 metropolis, stressing his resolve to do his utmost regarding Tokyo’s social welfare services, antidisaster measures and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and Paralympics.
「東京を世界一の街にする」と述べ、福祉や防災、五輪に全力を尽くすと強調した。

Former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa and former head of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations Kenji Utsunomiya were the two other major candidates in the Tokyo contest, and campaigned against reactivation of nuclear plants by calling for nuclear power generation to be immediately reduced to zero. Utsunomiya finished a distant second to Masuzoe and Hosokawa a distant third.
 原発の再稼働を認めず、即時ゼロを掲げた元首相の細川護熙氏や、前日本弁護士連合会長の宇都宮健児氏は及ばなかった。

Their electoral tactics focused on nuclear and energy issues, which should be dealt with primarily in the arena of national politics. Wasn’t this off the mark in the gubernatorial race, which is a local election?
 国政に関わる原発・エネルギー問題を首長選で争うのは、無理があったのではないか。

‘Single-issue’ campaign
 ◆「単一争点」は奏功せず

Hosokawa’s decision to run immediately before the official announcement of the election dramatically changed the nature of the election drives for a new Tokyo governor. In tandem with fellow former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, whose popularity is still markedly high, Hosokawa focused his campaign efforts on the choice between whether to eliminate nuclear power plants or not.
 都知事選の性格を一変させたのは、告示直前になって細川氏が出馬表明し、人気の高い小泉元首相と二人三脚で、原発ゼロか否かと訴えたことである。

There is precedent of an election campaign focused on a single issue: While in office, former Prime Minister Koizumi led the Liberal Democratic Party to a sweeping triumph in a House of Representatives election by focusing on the pros and cons of postal privatization. However, similar tactics failed to work this time.
 単一の争点を掲げる選挙では、小泉氏が首相時代、衆院選で郵政民営化を訴え、自民党を大勝させた例がある。だが、今回、そうした戦術は奏功しなかった。

According to voting day exit polls by The Yomiuri Shimbun, voters gave considerably less weight to issues related to nuclear plants and energy policy than they did to medical services and social welfare, and business growth and employment.
 読売新聞の出口調査では、有権者の重視した政策として「原発などエネルギー問題」は「医療や福祉」や「景気や雇用」を下回った。

Hosokawa asserted, “There will be little difference in policies regarding anything but the nuclear power problem no matter who is elected to the governorship,” but failed to refer to any specific measures to secure renewable energy sources that would serve as the pillar to replace nuclear power generation. There is no choice but to call that way of campaigning extremely irresponsible.
 細川氏は「原発以外の政策は、誰が知事でもそんなに変わらない」として原発を主要争点に位置づけながら、代替電源の柱とする再生可能エネルギーの確保策について具体的に語らなかった。無責任に過ぎる。

Fuel costs for the thermal power generation currently taking the place of idled nuclear plants have kept ballooning, causing electricity charges to rise repeatedly. Anxiety is also on the rise over the environmental impact of the increasing carbon dioxide emissions resulting from thermal power generation.
 原発を代替している火力発電の燃料費がかさみ、電気料金の上昇が続く。二酸化炭素の排出増による環境への影響も心配だ。

Arguing in abstract terms in favor of reducing nuclear power to zero, without taking these problems into account, can never be convincing.
こうした点を考慮せず、観念的に原発ゼロを唱えても説得力はない。

Masuzoe, in contrast, expressed his belief that energy policy should be handled primarily by the central government, pledging that he would make efforts to enhance the percentage of renewable energy in Tokyo’s total power consumption. In addition, his campaign placed high importance on issues close to Tokyo residents’ daily lives, such as improving the metropolitan government’s support for child rearing.
 これに対し、舛添氏は、エネルギーは国の政策との認識を示しつつ、都の再生可能エネルギーの割合を高めると主張した。同時に、子育て支援など身近な課題に力点を置いた選挙戦を展開した。

Many Tokyo residents may have high hopes regarding Masuzoe’s stance, which was well geared to the realities of their day-to-day lives.
 現実的な姿勢に、都民は期待を寄せたのではないか。

War between Koizumi, Abe
 ◆小泉VS安倍の代理戦争

Earlier on there were some within the LDP who were wary of throwing the party’s support behind Masuzoe, who was expelled from the party for criticizing it. In response to the moves by Hosokawa and Koizumi, however, the LDP eventually embarked on full-scale support of Masuzoe.
 自民党には当初、党を批判して除名された舛添氏を支援することへの慎重論もあった。だが、細川、小泉両氏の動向を受け、全面支援に乗り出した。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, LDP Secretary General Shigeru Ishiba and other party leaders made campaign speeches for Masuzoe. They probably concluded that if Hosokawa gained more votes than expected, it could adversely affect the envisaged restart of nuclear power plants or even the growth strategy championed by the Abe administration.
 安倍首相や石破幹事長らも応援演説に立った。細川氏の得票が伸びれば、原発の再稼働、ひいては成長戦略に影響しかねないとの判断も働いたのだろう。

Koizumi, who can be referred to in a sense as the protagonist on the stage of Tokyo election, has been a political mentor to Abe, and has urged the prime minister since last year to make a political decision to halt nuclear power generation immediately.
 影の主役ともいえる小泉氏は、安倍首相の「政治の師」であり、昨年来、首相に原発ゼロへの政治決断を促してきた。

But Abe did not comply with Koizumi’s call, causing a rift between the two. It cannot be denied that the Tokyo gubernatorial election also became a proxy war between Abe and Koizumi.
だが、首相は受け入れず、両氏の間に溝ができていた。都知事選が、両氏の代理戦争となったことも否めない。

At the Diet, Abe said there was no way for his administration to say, “We will end nuclear power generation now,” citing the possible adverse effects on people’s lives and economic activity.
 安倍首相は、国会で「『原発はもうやめる』というわけにはいかない」と述べ、国民生活や経済活動への悪影響を指摘した。

His administration should consider nuclear power as an important source of electricity in the government’s basic energy plan, which is to be decided on shortly, and squarely tackle the issue of restarting nuclear power plants.
近く決定するエネルギー基本計画で原発を重要電源と位置づけ、再稼働に正面から取り組むべきである。

The stance of the Democratic Party of Japan is questionable. The party initially indicated it would support Masuzoe but later shifted its stance to back Hosokawa.
 疑問なのは民主党の姿勢だ。舛添氏を推す構えを見せていたが、細川氏に乗り換えた。

The DPJ has advocated halting nuclear power generation sometime in the 2030s, so its stance is actually different from Hosokawa’s desire to halt nuclear power generation immediately. This is nothing less than an ad-hoc response.
民主党は、2030年代の原発稼働ゼロを主張しており、細川氏の「即時ゼロ」とは、本来は相いれない。場当たり的な対応と言うほかない。

With the crushing defeat of Hosokawa in the election, the scheme of reorganizing opposition parties, which some within the DPJ have been advocating and centers on the idea of breaking away from nuclear power generation, will stall.
 細川氏の大敗で、民主党の一部にあった脱原発を軸とする野党再編構想も失速しよう。

There is a mountain of issues that the metropolitan government has to tackle, including how to deal with the aging society and low birthrate, which Masuzoe mentioned in his campaign speeches.
 都政の課題は山積している。舛添氏が演説で時間を割いた少子高齢化対策はその一つだ。

One in every four people in Tokyo will be elderly six years from now. Due to difficulty in securing plots of land, the shortage of facilities for the aged, including homes for elderly people requiring special care, will become ever more serious.
 6年後には東京の人口の4人に1人を高齢者が占めるようになる。用地確保の難しさから、特別養護老人ホームなど高齢者施設の不足は一層深刻化するだろう。

During the campaign, Masuzoe promised to utilize plots of idle land owned by the metropolitan government. He must present concrete steps to that end. We also hope he will fulfill his pledge to reduce the number of children on waiting lists for certified day care centers to zero in four years.
 舛添氏は都の所有する遊休地の活用を約束した。具体策を示す必要がある。4年で待機児童を解消する公約も実現してほしい。

The new governor will also assume a heavy responsibility for making preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. Masuzoe has repeatedly promised that he would aim at realizing the “best Olympics in history.”
 20年東京五輪・パラリンピックの準備にも都知事は重い責任を負う。舛添氏は「史上最高の五輪」を目指すと繰り返してきた。

The metropolitan government has a ¥400 billion fund set aside for preparations for the 2020 Games. Needless to say, the Tokyo government has to move ahead without delay with construction work on athletic arenas and other facilities, while at the same time avoiding waste and securing transparency in the spending of the money.
 都は、五輪準備のために4000億円の基金を保有している。競技場建設などを遅滞なく進めることはもちろん、無駄を排し、使途の透明性を確保すべきである。

Build relations of trust
 ◆都議会と信頼関係築け

It is also important to prepare for a major quake whose focus is directly below Tokyo, a quake that has a 70 percent possibility of occurring within 30 years. It is urgent to boost fire resistance in areas packed with wooden houses and to improve dilapidated infrastructure, measures that are lagging behind.
 30年以内の発生確率が70%と予測される首都直下地震への備えも重要だ。立ち遅れている木造住宅密集地域の不燃化や老朽化したインフラの再整備が急務である。

Former Gov. Naoki Inose often acted too arbitrarily on his own authority. We hope Masuzoe will manage the administration of the Tokyo government in a modest manner, without becoming puffed up from his overwhelming victory.
 猪瀬直樹前知事には独断専行が目立った。舛添氏は、得票結果に傲(おご)らず、謙虚な都政運営を心がけてもらいたい。

For Masuzoe to steadily achieve his campaign promises, it is important to build a solid relationship of trust with the Tokyo metropolitan assembly, in addition to displaying leadership to lead the colossal organization of the Tokyo metropolitan government.
 着実に公約を具体化していくには、都庁という巨大組織を率いるリーダーシップに加え、都議会との信頼関係をしっかり構築することが肝要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 10, 2014)
(2014年2月10日00時15分  読売新聞)

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2014年2月10日 (月)

日米外相会談 強固な同盟をアジアに示そう

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 10, 2014
Japan, U.S. should show strength of their alliance to rest of Asia
日米外相会談 強固な同盟をアジアに示そう(2月9日付・読売社説)

Strained relations between Japan and the United States will only benefit China and North Korea. Tokyo and Washington must show the strength of their alliance to the whole Asian region.
 日米関係がぎくしゃくすることは、中国や北朝鮮を利するだけだ。強固な同盟関係をアジア全体に示すことが肝要だ。

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida visited the United States and held separate talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. They agreed that Japan and the United States will deal jointly with China without accepting the Chinese-claimed air defense identification zone over the East China Sea.
 岸田外相が訪米し、ケリー国務長官、ヘーゲル国防長官らと個別に会談した。中国による東シナ海上空の防空識別圏の設定は受け入れず、日米が連携して対応することで合意した。

“We will deal calmly but resolutely with China’s attempts to change the status quo with force,” said Kishida. Kerry reiterated the U.S. position that the East China Sea, including the Senkaku Islands, is covered by the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty that stipulates the U.S. obligation to defend Japan.
 岸田外相は、「中国の力による現状変更の試みには、冷静かつ毅然(きぜん)として対応する」と語った。ケリー長官は、尖閣諸島を含む東シナ海が、日米安保条約に基づく米国の対日防衛義務の対象になるとの見解を改めて強調した。

Washington expressed its disappointment over Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Yasukuni Shrine late last year, revealing its position to be different from Tokyo’s. At the first foreign ministerial meeting since then, however, it is significant that Kishida and Kerry clearly confirmed enhancement of the Japan-U.S. alliance and coordination of their policies vis-a-vis China.
 昨年末の安倍首相の靖国神社参拝に米政府が「失望」を表明し、双方の立場の違いを露呈して以来初の日米外相会談で、同盟関係の強化や、対中外交での連携をきちんと確認した意義は大きい。

Building strong and stable relations between Japan and U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration with its emphasis on Asia will greatly contribute to peace and prosperity in the whole Asian region. Japan should make Obama’s visit to Japan, scheduled for April, an opportunity to demonstrate the strength of the Japan-U.S. alliance to the rest of the international community.
 「アジア重視」戦略を掲げるオバマ政権と日本が強固で安定した関係を構築することは、アジア全体の平和と繁栄に寄与する。4月に予定されるオバマ大統領の来日を、日米同盟の力強さを国際社会にアピールする機会としたい。

Kishida and Kerry agreed that the cooperation among Japan, the United States and South Korea is important to deal with North Korea’s nuclear ambition and other issues. Kishida indicated his intention to improve Japan-South Korea ties by accumulating successes in working-level, tangible cooperation between the two countries.
 両外相は、北朝鮮の核問題などに対応するため、日米韓3か国の連携が重要との認識で一致した。岸田外相は、「実務に基づく具体的な協力」を積み重ね、日韓関係の改善に努める考えを示した。

Fix Japan-S. Korea ties

It is not clear what North Korea will do next. Pyongyang has shown its emphasis on a willingness to participate in dialogue by agreeing with South Korea to allow reunions of families separated by the Korean War, while strongly opposing the U.S.-South Korea military exercises scheduled late this month.
 北朝鮮の今後の出方は、不透明だ。韓国と朝鮮戦争の離散家族の再会で合意し、対話重視の姿勢を示す一方で、今月下旬の米韓軍事演習には強く反発している。

To urge Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear ambitions, Japan, the United States and South Korea should not march to different drummers. Mutual efforts by both Japan and South Korea are indispensable to repair their bilateral relations, which have become ice-cold due to disputes over the Takeshima islands and the issue of the so-called comfort women.
 北朝鮮に核放棄を迫るには日米韓の足並みを乱さないことが重要だ。竹島やいわゆる従軍慰安婦の問題で冷え切った日韓関係の修復へ、双方の努力が欠かせない。

The Japanese and U.S. foreign ministers also agreed to proceed steadily with the transfer of functions of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station to the Henoko district in Okinawa Prefecture, and to start negotiations on a new bilateral treaty to allow environmental field studies at U.S. bases in Japan that are scheduled to be returned to the Japanese government.
 外相会談では、米軍普天間飛行場の辺野古移設の着実な進展や、返還予定の在日米軍基地内の環境調査などを可能にする新しい日米協定の交渉の開始で一致した。

The envisaged new treaty is expected to smooth the way for the planned return of U.S. bases in Japan. We hope both governments will reach a conclusion as soon as possible to make stationing of U.S. forces in Japan, a foundation of their deterrence in the Asia-Pacific region, sustainable.
 新協定は、基地返還をより円滑に進める効果が期待される。米軍の抑止力の根幹である日本駐留を持続可能なものにするため、早期の合意を目指したい。

Kishida and Kerry also agreed to accelerate bilateral talks in an effort to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact as soon as possible. The negotiations on the trade agreement are now deadlocked.
 膠着(こうちゃく)状態にある環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)について両外相は、早期妥結に向けて日米協議を加速させることを確認した。

Tokyo and Washington have differing opinions over whether to abolish tariffs on five Japanese farm products. It may be time for the United States to review its commitment to a hard-line policy and demonstrate some flexibility from a common strategic viewpoint shared by Japan and the United States to create a new free trade system in the Asia-Pacific region.
 日本の農産品5項目の関税撤廃をめぐる日米対立が続いている。アジア太平洋地域に新たな自由貿易体制を作るという日米共通の戦略的観点から、米国もそろそろ強硬一辺倒の姿勢を見直し、一定の柔軟性を示してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 9, 2014)
(2014年2月9日00時23分  読売新聞)

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ストレス診断 うつ病の予防につなげたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 10, 2014
Workers’ stress diagnosis tests may help prevent depression
ストレス診断 うつ病の予防につなげたい(2月9日付・読売社説)

Can a government-envisaged program help prevent mental illnesses in the workplace and lead to measures to deal with such ailments at an early phase?
 心の病の予防と、早い段階での対処に効果を発揮するだろうか。

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry plans to make it mandatory for businesses to conduct stress diagnosis tests on their employees.
 厚生労働省は企業に対し、従業員へのストレス診断を実施するよう義務付ける方針を決めた。

The ministry will submit a bill to revise the Industrial Safety and Health Law during the current Diet session, with a view to putting the program into force before the end of fiscal 2015.
今国会に労働安全衛生法改正案を提出し、2015年度中の実施を目指す。

Everyone feels some kind of stress at work. If that stress becomes excessive, workers run the risk of developing mental illness, such as depression. It is a serious problem that the number of recognized claims for work-related mental problems under the workmen's compensation insurance system has been rising.
 誰もが多少なりともストレスを抱えて働いている。ただ、過重なストレスは、うつ病などを引き起こす。精神疾患による労災認定が増えているのは問題だ。

The stress diagnosis program is not aimed at winnowing out workers with mental health problems. The ministry says the program is designed to help employees become aware of the signs of depression or other mental problems.
 ストレス診断は、従業員のふるい落としが目的ではない。従業員に、うつ病などのサインに気づいてもらう。

Companies under the program would be expected to throw their support behind treatment of their employees’ mental problems and to help them return to work, while taking steps to improve the workplace environment.
企業は社員の治療や職場復帰を支援し、職場環境の改善を図る。診断を定着させようという厚労省の狙いは理解できる。

Specifically, the program is designed to determine the degree of employees’ fatigue and anxiety once a year through questionnaires that would be evaluated either by a medical doctor or public health nurse. Individual employees would be able to request interviews with and advice from doctors, according to the ministry.
 具体的には、年に1回、医師か保健師が質問票を用いて、従業員の疲労度、不安感などを評価する。本人が希望すれば、医師の面接指導を実施する。

If a doctor suggests a worker needs to have his or her working burden reduced, the company would be obliged to take such measures as job reassignment or cutting the working hours of employees involved.
 勤務の負担を減らす必要があると医師が判断した場合、企業側に配置転換や労働時間短縮といった対策を求める仕組みだ。

Huge costs involved

The business activities of companies can be seriously affected if workers in their most productive years have to leave the workplace because of mental health problems. Arrangements to ensure workers’ mental health are also important from the viewpoint of reducing losses to society and the national economy. One estimate puts the value of losses due to workers’ mental problems at ¥2.7 trillion a year.
 働き盛りの従業員が、症状の悪化により職場を離れれば、企業活動に響く。心の健康対策は、社会や経済の損失を減らすためにも重要だ。損失額は年2・7兆円に上るとの試算もある。

However, there are many problems that must be resolved before making the stress diagnosis program obligatory.
 だが、ストレス診断の義務付けには、課題も多い。

The program, if carried out, will cover all company employees throughout the country, an estimated 55 million. Financial burdens for conducting a single round of stress diagnoses are projected to run to the tune of ¥10 billion for the business world as a whole.
 診断の対象は雇用者全体に及び、約5500万人に上る。診断を実施するには、産業界全体で、1回につき100億円単位の負担が生じるという。

Compared to the huge cost, what are the actual benefits? In-depth Diet deliberations on the bill are essential on the cost-benefit problem.
 コストに比べ、どの程度の効果があるのか。法案審議では、その観点からの議論が求められる。

It will also be difficult to secure a sufficient number of doctors to provide advice during interviews with employees with mental health problems.
 面接指導を行う医師の確保も課題だ。

No more than 47 percent of all companies have mental care systems for their employees. Smaller companies are particularly slow in addressing this problem as they have no physicians with industrial experience on call.
従業員へのメンタルヘルスケアを実施している企業は47%にとどまる。産業医のいない小規模な企業では、特に遅れている。

The health ministry should extend a helping hand to businesses in this matter through such steps as pressing practitioners with the industrial physician qualifications to play “family doctor” roles for small and midsize companies.
 産業医の資格を持つ開業医が中小企業の「かかりつけ医」となるように促すなど、厚労省は企業の対策を後押しすべきだ。

It is also necessary to ensure that support centers for mental health measures set up in each prefecture function effectively so they can help industrial physicians provide companies with expert advice on mental health.
 産業医らが企業に心の健康対策を助言するため、各都道府県に設置されている「メンタルヘルス対策支援センター」を有効に機能させることも必要だろう。

In addition, arrangements to support employees given leaves of absence after developing depression symptoms are highly important. This is because such people may not be able to easily return to work.
 うつ病を発症し、休職した場合の援助も大切である。再発しやすく、スムーズに職場復帰できるとは限らないからだ。

Some companies have produced positive results by having their employees on leaves of absence consult with clinical psychotherapists. Technical know-how relevant to such practices should be broadly shared in the business world.
 臨床心理士らが休職者にカウンセリングを行い、成果を上げている企業もある。そのノウハウを普及させていきたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 9, 2014)
(2014年2月9日00時23分  読売新聞)

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2014年2月 9日 (日)

土曜授業の復活 工夫を重ねて有意義な時間に

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 08, 2014
Educational officials must find ways to make most of students’ Saturdays
土曜授業の復活 工夫を重ねて有意義な時間に(2月8日付・読売社説)

Those involved in education should devise measures that will enable children to use their time on Saturdays in a meaningful way.
 教育現場の工夫によって、子供たちが土曜日を有意義に過ごせるようにしたい。

The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry has revised the enforcement regulations for the School Education Law to facilitate teaching at primary, middle and high schools on Saturdays. Under the five-day school week, Saturday classes were allowed to be held only under exceptional circumstances. The revision has made it possible for each board of education to permit Saturday classes at their own discretion.
 文部科学省が、公立の小中高校で土曜授業を行いやすくするため、学校教育法施行規則を改正した。
 学校週5日制の下で、土曜授業は「特別の必要がある場合」と例外扱いされてきた。これを改め、各教育委員会が自らの判断で自由に実施できるようにした。

Securing sufficient school days is indispensable for sustaining students’ scholastic abilities, and teaching on Saturdays is an effective means of achieving that goal. Some schools are expected to resume Saturday classes this spring.
 子供たちの学力の定着を図るには、授業日数の十分な確保が欠かせない。土曜授業は、その有力な手段と言えよう。今春から実施する学校も出てくるだろう。

Saturday classes have been suspended since fiscal 2002, when the five-day school week was fully implemented. Around that time, class hours and the amount of material taught were curtailed drastically under the cram-free education system.
 土曜の授業がなくなったのは、学校週5日制が完全実施された2002年度からだ。同じ時期、ゆとり路線の下で、授業時間と学習内容が大幅に削減された。

It was discovered afterward that Japanese children’s scholastic abilities have declined in international surveys, including the Program for International Student Assessment conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The education ministry thus changed tactics, breaking away from cram-free education and revising the curriculum guidelines to increase class hours at primary and middle schools by 10 percent.
 その後、国際学力調査などで子供の学力低下が顕在化した。文科省は「脱ゆとり」に舵(かじ)を切り、学習指導要領を改定して小中学校の授業時間を1割増やした。

Voluntary steps adopted

As the five-day school week was maintained despite the 10 percent increase, the class timetable became tight. It is no surprise that some municipalities took voluntary steps to ease the tight timetable, such as moving part of weekday classes to Saturdays.
 一方で、週5日制は維持されたため、時間割が窮屈になっていた。自治体の間で、平日の授業の一部を土曜に移し、時間割に余裕を持たせようという自主的な動きが出ていたのも無理はない。

In Tokyo, for example, Saturday classes have been held at some public primary and middle schools by opening the classes for parents and community residents to view. This move appears to have been prompted by parents’ calls for the same level of education as that found in private schools, many of which hold classes on Saturdays.
 例えば東京都では、保護者や地域住民に公開する形で、土曜授業を実施する公立小中学校が目立つ。土曜授業を行うところが多い私立並みの教育を求める保護者の声も、背景にあるようだ。

According to an education ministry survey, slightly less than 10 percent of public primary and middle schools across the nation held Saturday classes in fiscal 2012. The frequency of implementation ranged from three times a year to twice a month.
 ただ、文科省の調査によると、2012年度に土曜授業を実施した公立学校は、小中とも全国の1割弱にとどまっている。実施頻度も、年3回程度から月2回程度まで様々だった。

With the five-day work week taking root in society as a whole, there are many cases in which sports and community events for children are scheduled on Saturdays. Taking such circumstances into consideration, it is unreasonable to reinstate the six-day school week in a single step. It was sound judgment to leave the question of whether to resume Saturday classes in the hands of each board of education.
 社会全体に週休2日制が定着したこともあり、子供が参加するスポーツ大会や地域行事が土曜に組まれるケースは少なくない。
 こうした現状を踏まえれば、一足飛びに学校週6日制に戻すのは無理があろう。土曜授業の実施の有無を各教委に委ねたのは、現実的な判断だ。

There are some municipalities in which retired teachers and others have continued offering lessons on Saturdays at schools or community halls for students to attend on a voluntary basis, without establishing the classes as regular lessons.
 正規の授業とはせずに、土曜日に学校や公民館を利用し、教員OBらが希望する子供たちに勉強を教え続けている自治体もある。

It is also good to utilize outside human resources in such ways as inviting people from private companies to give lectures.
 民間企業から講師を招き、出前授業を行うなど、外部人材を活用してもいい。

If the education ministry provides successful examples of Saturday lessons, they can be used as reference.
 文科省が、成果を上げた実例を紹介すれば、参考材料になる。

Each board of education should proactively study how to utilize Saturdays effectively for educational purposes while paying heed to the situation and needs of each community.
 各教委は、地域の事情やニーズに目配りしながら、土曜日を有効に使う教育の在り方を積極的に検討してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 8, 2014)
(2014年2月8日01時53分  読売新聞)

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「東海」併記問題 座視できぬ米国での反日活動

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 08, 2014
Govt must do more to make stance known amid anti-Japan movements
「東海」併記問題 座視できぬ米国での反日活動(2月8日付・読売社説)

With anti-Japan activities by Americans of South Korean ancestry expanding, the Japanese government must be tenacious in making strong counterarguments and taking appropriate responses.
 韓国系米国人による反日的な動きがさらに拡大した。日本政府は、粘り強く反論し、適切な対応を取らねばならない。

The Virginia state assembly has approved a bill requiring public school textbooks in the state to refer to the Sea of Japan also as the East Sea, the name the South Korean government insists be used. The bill, which will be enacted after it is signed by the governor, is scheduled to take effect on July 1.
 米南部バージニア州の議会が、公立学校の教科書の中で「日本海」と表記する場合には、韓国政府が主張する「東海」を併記するよう求める法案を可決した。州知事の署名で成立し7月1日に発効する見通しだ。

The Sea of Japan is an internationally established name that has also been approved by the U.S. government. In a show of displeasure, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga naturally called the developments in Virginia “extremely regrettable.”
 日本海の名称は、国際的に確立され、米政府も認めている。菅官房長官が、「極めて残念」と不快感を表明したのは当然である。

The population of Americans of South Korean ancestry residing in Virginia is the fifth largest among the 50 U.S. states. The state assembly’s move was probably the result of strong lobbying of lawmakers by South Korean-related private organizations.
 バージニア州に居住する韓国系米国人の数は、全米50州の中で5番目に多い。韓国系民間団体が州議会議員らに法案成立への強い圧力をかけた結果なのだろう。

In the 1990s, the South Korean government started to urge the international community to call the body of water the “East Sea,” saying the name “Sea of Japan” became widely used during Japan’s colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula. At present, Seoul asserts that both names should be used.
 韓国政府は1990年代から、国際社会に対して、日本海は日本の植民地支配の過程で広がった名称だとし、東海への改称を求め始めた。現在では、両方の名称を併記すべきだと主張している。

However, “Sea of Japan” did not become an international standard because of Japan’s colonial rule. According to the Foreign Ministry, a large majority of maps in European nations and the United States were using the Sea of Japan in the first half of the 19th century, before the Meiji Restoration. It is, therefore, impossible to accept South Korea’s unreasonable assertion, which is clearly an attempt to make the rest of the world dance to its tune.
 だが、日本海の名称が国際的に定着したのは、植民地支配によるものではない。日本外務省によると、明治維新以前の19世紀前半の時点で、欧米の地図の大多数が日本海と記している。韓国の言い分は牽強(けんきょう)付会(ふかい)で容認できない。

‘Sea of Japan’ commonly used

Only the “Sea of Japan” is used in a collection of nautical charts by the International Hydrographic Organization, and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names has it as the sole name for the sea.
 日本海は、国際水路機関(IHO)の海図集では唯一の名称として使われており、米地名委員会も単独名称と定めている。

Of course, some in the Virginia General Assembly opposed the bill, saying state governments should not be involved in debates over the historical geographical names of other nations.
 州議会の中にも、州政治が他国の歴史的地名を巡る議論に関わるべきではないと反対する意見があったのはもっともだ。

The Japanese government was by no means standing idle in the face of the movement at the state assembly.
 州法案を巡る動きを、日本政府も座視していたわけではない。

Kenichiro Sasae, Japanese ambassador to the United States, has sent a letter to the Virginia governor, expressing concern that the move could hinder economic relations with Japan, and met with him in person to urge him not to enact the bill. Japan also used lobbyists to try to sway the assembly to its side, but to no avail.
 佐々江賢一郎駐米大使は、州知事に、日本との経済関係を損ねる恐れがあると懸念する書簡を送ったり、直接面談したりして、法案の成立阻止を図った。ロビイストを使って、州議会にも工作したものの、結果が伴わなかった。

Across the United States, campaigns targeting Japan by South Korean-related private organizations pose a serious concern.
 憂慮されるのは、韓国系民間団体が、日本を狙い撃ちする活動を全米で展開していることだ。

There is also a movement in the state of Maryland urging the use of both the Sea of Japan and the East Sea. In California, which has a large population of residents with South Korean origins, a statue dedicated to the so-called comfort women was erected last year. The chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, who is from California, has since visited the statue to offer flowers.
 「東海」併記を求める動きは、メリーランド州にもある。韓国系の多いカリフォルニア州では、いわゆる従軍慰安婦の少女像が昨年設置され、州内選出の連邦下院外交委員長が献花に訪れた。

As the history of South Korean immigration to the United States is relatively short, such groups still have some allegiance to their origins. If they gain greater political say in the United States, they will be able to back the South Korean government, which is criticizing Japan over historical issues.
 韓国系米国人は移民の歴史が浅く、韓国への帰属意識が強い。米国内で政治的発言力を強めれば、歴史問題で日本を非難する韓国政府を後押しすることになる。

The Japanese government, for its part, must make further efforts to make its stance known to the U.S. Congress and public.
 日本政府は、米国の議会や世論に対し、自らの立場を主張していく一層の努力が必要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 8, 2014)
(2014年2月8日01時55分  読売新聞)

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2014年2月 8日 (土)

homework 2014-02-08

Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
วันอาทิตย์
วันจันทร์
วันอังคาร
วันพุธ
วันพฤหัสบดี
วันศุกร์
วันเสาร์

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homework 2014-02-08

black
blue
cream
red
white
yellow
pink
orange
brown
สีดำ
สีน้ำเงิน
สีครีม
สีแดง
สีขาว
สีเหลือง
สีชมพู
สีส้ม
สีน้ำตาล

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ビットコイン 仮想通貨の実態を見極めたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 07, 2014
Investigate bitcoin system to avert criminal use of virtual currency
ビットコイン 仮想通貨の実態を見極めたい(2月7日付・読売社説)

Bitcoin, a virtual currency circulated on the Internet, has attracted great attention.
 インターネット上の仮想通貨「ビットコイン」が注目を集めている。

The main benefit of the online currency is that it can be remitted at low fees, but unfortunately it can be exploited by criminals.
 安い手数料で送金できるといったメリットがある一方、犯罪への悪用など弊害も浮かび上がってきた。

Unlike regular currencies, bitcoin is not under the control of central banks. We urge the Bank of Japan to investigate the bitcoin system in close cooperation with the monetary authorities of other countries and find out what problems exist.
 ビットコインは通常の通貨と違って、中央銀行の統制を受けていない。日銀は各国の金融当局と緊密に連携し、ビットコインの実態や問題点の検証を急ぐべきだ。

The bitcoin system was reportedly developed around 2008 by a person calling himself Satoshi Nakamoto. Whether this is true is unknown.
 ビットコインは2008年ごろ「サトシ・ナカモト」と名乗る人物がシステムを発明したとされるが、真相は不明である。

Unlike the yen and the dollar issued by the central banks of Japan and the United States, bitcoin is not issued by a specific organization and has no physical bills and coins. The central banks of Japan and many other industrialized countries do not consider bitcoin an official currency, and it is illegal in Thailand.
 中央銀行が発行する円やドルなどの通貨と違い、特定の発行主体はなく、紙幣や硬貨もない。
 日銀など先進国の多くの中央銀行は正式な通貨と認めておらず、タイのようにビットコインを違法と判断した例もある。

Nevertheless, bitcoin has spread around the world online with a circulation equivalent to ¥1 trillion if converted into yen. In the United States, bitcoin use has been increasing in the mail-order business and at stores.
 とはいえ、ビットコインはネット上で世界に拡散し、流通額は円換算で1兆円規模にのぼる。特に米国では、通信販売や商店などでの利用が増えている。

In Japan, bitcoin can be exchanged with other currencies such as the yen and the dollar if accounts are opened through specialized dealers. But the number of shops where bitcoin can be used for payment is limited, so it remains uncertain whether it will become a familiar means of payment and settlement.
 日本でも専門の業者で口座を開けば、円やドルなどの通貨と交換できる。ただし、支払いなどで使える店はわずかで、身近な決済手段として普及するかどうかは、まだ不透明な段階といえる。

Benefits and drawbacks

The main benefit of bitcoin is the ease with which it can be remitted.
 ネット通貨の利点とされるのが、送金の手軽さだ。

For example, if an overseas remittance is made by transferring a certain amount of yen to an overseas account after being converted into bitcoin, recipients do not have to pay local bank fees for conversion into local currencies if they do it themselves.
 例えば円をビットコインに交換して海外の口座に振り込み、受取人がビットコインを現地通貨に換金すれば、銀行に為替手数料を払わなくても海外送金できる。

Fees are necessary to remit bitcoin, but they are much lower than ordinary exchange commissions.
 ビットコインにも一定の送金手数料はかかるが、通常の為替手数料よりかなり安上がりという。

Bitcoin is traded in units of BTC, and has hovered at about $800 per BTC lately. The problem is that the value of bitcoin fluctuates excessively.
 ビットコインの単位は「BTC」で、最近は1BTC=800ドル前後で推移している。
 問題は、相場があまりに激しく乱高下してきたことである。

When it was speculated last November that the Federal Reserve Board would recognize bitcoin, its market value shot up to about $1,200 per BTC from the about $13 recorded at the beginning of 2013.
 昨年11月、米連邦準備制度理事会(FRB)がビットコインを容認するのではないかとの観測が広がり、年初に約13ドルだった相場は約1200ドルに急騰した。

In December, bitcoin plunged to about $500 per BTC after Chinese monetary authorities banned financial services involving the online currency.
 12月には中国当局がビットコインを使った金融サービスの禁止を通知したのを契機に、一転して約500ドルまで急落した。

Risk management is difficult for bitcoin, which stays outside the framework of financial regulations. Bitcoin users must accept responsibility in transactions.
 金融規制の枠外にあるビットコインのリスク管理は難しい。利用者の自己責任が求められよう。

As bitcoin deals are highly anonymous, there is concern they will be abused. In the United States, a trader who gave bitcoin to an illegal drug dealer faced prosecution on charges of money laundering.
 匿名性の高さを悪用される懸念もある。米国では、違法な薬物取引の当事者にビットコインを提供した業者が、マネーロンダリング(資金洗浄)の罪で刑事訴追された。

Boosting the level of oversight is crucial so as to discourage criminal behavior.
犯罪を助長しないよう、監視を強めることが重要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 7, 2014)
(2014年2月7日01時34分  読売新聞)

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ソチ五輪開幕 平和の祭典でテロを許すな

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 07, 2014
Russia should do its utmost to ensure safe Olympic Games
ソチ五輪開幕 平和の祭典でテロを許すな(2月7日付・読売社説)

The Sochi Winter Olympics has kicked off under the threat of potential terrorism. We hope the Games will be held without incident.
 テロの脅威にさらされる中での開幕である。大会が無事に行われることを願いたい。

The opening ceremony was set to take place Friday, with athletes from more than 80 countries and territories competing for 98 gold medals in seven sports through Feb. 23.
 ソチ冬季五輪は7日、開会式を迎える。23日までの期間中、80以上の国・地域から集うアスリートが、7競技98種目で熱戦を繰り広げる。

In contrast to the glowing touches put into place for the opening of the sports event, the Sochi Olympics has been overshadowed by an Islamist radical group announcing its intention to disrupt the Games through terrorist attacks. It is extraordinary that an Olympics has been made the target of such attacks.
 華やかなスポーツの祭典のスタートとは裏腹に、今回の五輪は、重苦しい雰囲気に覆われている。イスラム過激派がテロを予告しているからだ。五輪が標的にされる異例の事態である。

This is the second Olympics that Russia has hosted, following the 1980 Moscow Summer Games during the former Soviet Union days.
 ロシアでの五輪開催は、旧ソ連時代のモスクワ夏季五輪(1980年)以来、2度目となる。

The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan the previous year, and Japan, the United States and many other countries boycotted the Games in protest.
 モスクワ五輪の前年、ソ連はアフガニスタンに侵攻した。これに抗議した日米など多くの国が、五輪をボイコットした。

For Russia, which was humiliated by the boycotts at that time, the Sochi Olympics also serve as a major political event. By making the event successful, Russian President Vladimir Putin apparently aims to show that Russia has overcome the confusion following the collapse of the Soviet Union and has revived itself as a major power.
 屈辱を味わったロシアにとって、ソチ五輪は威信回復をかけた一大政治イベントと言える。プーチン大統領は、五輪を成功させることで、ロシアがソ連崩壊後の混乱を克服し、大国として復活したとアピールしたいのだろう。

Russia spent about ¥5 trillion for the Winter Games—the most ever in the history of the Olympics—in building event venues and related facilities in Sochi, a resort in the south of the country on the Black Sea coast.
 黒海に面した南部の保養地ソチでの競技会場建設などに、五輪史上最大の約5兆円を投じた。

Threat of terrorism

Islamist groups based in neighboring areas, however, oppose the Putin administration’s high-handed political stance toward ethnic minorities. The group that has announced its intention to carry out terrorist attacks has also claimed responsibility for a series of suicide attacks that hit Volgograd, northeast of Sochi, in December.
 これに対し、ソチの近隣地域を拠点とするイスラム過激派は、プーチン政権の強権的な少数民族政策に反発している。五輪テロを予告した一派は、昨年12月にボルゴグラードで起きた連続自爆テロへの関与も認めた。

The tight security surrounding Sochi is proof of the tense situation facing these Olympics. About 40,000 officers have been dispatched from police and other security organizations, while the navy has been put on high alert. Surveillance from the air has also been reinforced.
 ソチに敷かれた厳戒態勢が、緊迫した状況を物語る。警察など治安機関から約4万人が動員され、沖合には海軍艦艇が展開する。空からの監視も強化した。

Visitors to the Olympic Village, in which about 6,000 athletes are staying, have to go through stringent ID checks.
 約6000人が滞在する選手村では、徹底した身元チェックや所持品検査が行われている。

Asked about concerns over possible terrorist attacks against the Sochi Games, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has expressed full confidence in the Russian authorities.
 国際オリンピック委員会(IOC)のバッハ会長は、テロへの懸念について、「ロシアを全面的に信頼している」と語った。

For athletes, the Sochi Olympics will certainly test their mental strength to see how well they can focus on their performances while under such tight security.
 選手にとって、ソチ五輪は、ものものしい警備の中で、いかに競技に集中するかという精神力も問われる大会となるだろう。

Japan has sent a delegation of 113 athletes to Sochi, including 65 women. This is the first Winter Games for Japan to send more women athletes than men.
 今回、出場する日本選手は113人に上る。このうち65人が女子選手で、冬季五輪では初めて女子選手数が男子を上回った。

In terms of medals, the Japanese team has set a target of surpassing its results at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, where Japan won five gold medals and five silver or bronze medals. The latest squad includes some gold medal hopefuls, such as figure skaters Mao Asada and Yuzuru Hanyu, in addition to Sara Takanashi, who will compete in the Olympics’ first women’s ski jumping event.
 目標は、金5個を含む計10個のメダルを獲得した長野五輪(1998年)以上の成績だ。新種目のスキージャンプ女子の高梨沙羅選手、フィギュアスケートの浅田真央、羽生結弦両選手ら金メダルを狙えるメンバーを擁している。

We hope the Japanese athletes fully display their abilities in Sochi.
 選手団が実力を存分に発揮することを期待したい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 7, 2014)
(2014年2月7日01時34分  読売新聞)

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2014年2月 7日 (金)

homework 2014-02-07

แพะ
แปรงฟัน
น้ำแข็ง
ผมแกะ
แกะ
งัดแงะ
คนแคระ
แทะกระดูก
รองเท้าแตะ
ตบมือแปะๆ

ผมแกะ
おさげ
งัดแงะ
housebreaking

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原子力委員会 政策調整機能に問題はないか

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 06, 2014
Nuclear energy panel must have sufficient powers to shape policy
原子力委員会 政策調整機能に問題はないか(2月6日付・読売社説)

It is indispensable for the government to have an organization that can oversee the country’s energy policy and coordinate views among government entities.
 原子力政策を俯瞰(ふかん)し、調整する組織が政府には不可欠である。

The government will submit a bill to the current Diet session to reorganize the Atomic Energy Commission, which has been responsible for the utilization and development of nuclear energy.
 政府は、原子力の利用・開発を担ってきた内閣府原子力委員会を改組する法案を今国会に提出する。

The bill will be compiled in line with objectives decided by the government’s expert panel late last year. According to an outline of the bill, the number of commissioners will be reduced from five to three. Also, its mandate will be narrowed to such important policy measures as the peaceful use of nuclear power, as well as nonproliferation and disposal of nuclear waste.
 法案は、昨年末に政府の有識者会議がまとめた方針に沿って策定される。骨子によると、委員を5人から3人に減らし、任務についても、原子力の平和利用と核不拡散、放射性廃棄物の処分のような重要施策に絞り込む。

However, it is unclear whether the government can smoothly promote nuclear power policy with such an arrangement.
 だが、こうした新体制で原子力政策を円滑に推進できるのだろうか。大いに疑問である。

Nuclear power policy must cover a wide variety of matters, including the export of nuclear power reactors, research on safer, next-generation reactors, the disposal of radioactive waste and the cultivation of nuclear experts. Cooperation among relevant ministries and agencies, research institutions and the nuclear industry will be essential.
 原子力政策は、原子力発電所の輸出や、より安全な次世代原発の研究、放射性廃棄物の処分、専門家の育成など多岐にわたる。関係省庁や研究機関、産業界の連携が欠かせない。

The commission has been devising the nation’s nuclear policy since 1956, when Japan’s nuclear power development started. However, much of its authority was curbed by the Democratic Party of Japan-led administration after the outbreak of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co. As a result, its importance has considerably declined. It is fair to say that the gist of the bill continues this policy direction.
 原子力委は、日本の原子力開発が始まった1956年以来、原子力政策を取りまとめてきたが、福島第一原発の事故後は、民主党政権に権限を削(そ)がれ、存在感が薄れた。法案骨子も、その方向性を引きずったままだと言えよう。

The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe needs to have a discussion to reconsider the content of the bill to renew the authority of Atomic Energy Commission in a way that is conducive for realizing necessary policy measures.
 安倍政権には、原子力委が、必要な施策の実現に資する組織として再生するよう、法案の内容を練り直す議論が求められる。

The mandate of the commission was narrowed down in the gist of the bill, as relevant ministries and agencies are already engaged in their own tasks. For instance, the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry is in charge of nurturing human resources in the nuclear energy field, while the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry is studying use of nuclear power within the area of energy policy.
 法案骨子が原子力委の任務を絞り込んだのは、すでに担当省庁が施策に取り組んでいることが理由という。例えば、原子力の人材育成は文部科学省だ。経済産業省は原子力の利用をエネルギー政策の中で検討している。

Beef up panel’s authority

We doubt whether such tasks can be efficiently carried out if they are simply left up to each ministry or agency. It is important that the new Atomic Energy Commission be equipped with a mechanism to offer appropriate advice on problems with various policy measures.
 各省庁に任せるだけでは、効率的な遂行は困難ではないか。新生原子力委には、政策の課題について、的確に助言できる機能を持たせることが肝要である。

Certainly, themes such as the peaceful use of nuclear power and the problem of disposing radioactive waste, both listed as part of the mandate of the panel in the bill’s gist, are important.
 無論、法案骨子が原子力委の任務に挙げている平和利用や放射性廃棄物の問題は大切だ。

Regarding the export of nuclear power plants and technology, which has been led by the government, careful and detailed explanations are necessary at home and abroad from the viewpoint of peaceful use of the power. Close communication with prefectural governments is crucial concerning the issue of waste disposal.
 政府が先導する原発の輸出に関しては、平和利用の観点から国内外に丁寧な説明が求められる。廃棄物問題では、都道府県との意思疎通が欠かせない。

Nuclear power policy has to be shaped not only by the commission but also by the entire government in an integrated manner.
 原子力委だけでなく、政府一体となって進めねばならない。

Toward this end, it is necessary to stipulate in the bill that the right to make recommendations will be given to the panel, so the views expressed by the commission will be respected within the government. To conduct discussions on nuclear energy policy from a wide range of aspects, the bill should also stipulate that the commission will have the right to hear reports from relevant ministries and agencies.
 その際、必要なのは、原子力委の見解が政府内で尊重されるよう、法案に勧告権を盛り込むことだ。幅広い議論のためには、関係省庁から報告を聴取できる権限も法案に明記すべきだろう。

It is also important to establish a system to appoint commissioners who can fulfill these roles, as well as secure enough staffers at the panel’s secretariat. We hope the government will consider enabling the panel to extensively utilize expert knowledge, through such measures as inviting researchers to be advisers to the panel.
 こうした役割を果たせる委員の任命や、事務局の職員確保といった体制整備も重要である。大学の研究者を参与に招くなど、専門家の知見を幅広く活用できる仕組みも検討してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 6, 2014)
(2014年2月6日01時16分  読売新聞)

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4Kテレビ 日本メーカー復活の原動力に

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 06, 2014
4K TVs could power revival of Japanese manufacturing
4Kテレビ 日本メーカー復活の原動力に(2月6日付・読売社説)

Market competition over so-called 4K ultrahigh-resolution TVs has grown fierce.
 画像がより繊細な「4Kテレビ」を巡る競争が激しくなってきた。

We hope Japanese manufacturers, with their technological prowess, will lead this growth market and make it a driving force for the recovery of their TV businesses.
 日本メーカーは技術力を生かして成長市場を牽(けん)引(いん)し、テレビ事業の復活の起爆剤にしてもらいたい。

The main feature of 4K TVs is their greater number of pixels, which influence the brightness and clarity of images. 4K TVs have as many as about 8 million pixels, four times more than full high-vision TVs.
 4Kテレビは、画像の明暗や鮮明さを左右する画素数が、フルハイビジョンの4倍の約800万もあり、高解像度が売り物だ。

The 4K models that Japanese makers began marketing two to three years ago were mainly large models measuring nearly 80 inches, costing as much as about ¥1 million. As a result, 4K TVs remained far from popular, with global shipments in 2012 below 10,000 units.
 メーカー各社が2~3年前から売り出した機種は、80型に近い大型が中心で、価格も約100万円と割高だった。2012年の世界出荷台数は1万台弱にとどまり、普及にはほど遠かった。

However, the atmosphere has changed markedly as manufacturers dubbed 2014 the “first year of 4K TVs” and put out new models to fully promote 4K TVs. Their offensive stance has become ever more apparent.
 ムードが一変したのは、各社が本格普及に向け、今年を「4Kテレビ元年」と位置づけて、新製品を発表しているためだ。攻めの姿勢が目立ってきたと言える。

Sony Corp. will expand its 4K TV lineup from five models last year to nine this year, ranging from 49-inch to 85-inch TVs. Panasonic Corp., Sharp Corp. and Toshiba Corp. have also put their latest models on the market.
 ソニーは4Kテレビを49~85型の9機種とし、昨年より倍増させる。パナソニック、シャープ、東芝も最新機種を発表した。

There are expectations within the TV industry that 4K models will account for more than 40 percent of 50-inch and larger models in fiscal 2015. The development of new models that are smaller and more reasonably priced will boost promotion of 4K TVs.
 業界には、15年度は50型以上での4Kテレビ比率が4割を超えると期待する声がある。より小型で手頃な価格の新商品の開発が、普及への後押しとなるだろう。

Futuristic technology

Sony will shortly put on the U.S. market a small, lightweight 4K video camera for home use. Panasonic has announced a small video camera capable of recording 4K ultrahigh-resolution images as a wearable terminal.
 ソニーは近く、米国で小型軽量の家庭用4Kビデオカメラを発売する。パナソニックも、身に着けて利用できる「ウエアラブル端末」として、4K画質で録画可能な小型ビデオカメラを発表した。

Wearable terminals are expected to record sharp growth among next-generation home appliances. If highly innovative mobile devices featuring 4K ultrahigh-resolution and wearable technology hit the market one after another, the home appliance market is certain to be invigorated further.
 次世代家電の中で、ウエアラブル端末は急成長が見込まれる。4K技術を生かしたユニークな派生商品が次々と誕生すれば、市場が一段と活気づくに違いない。

South Korean rival Samsung Electronics Co. and Chinese rivals have also announced new models, including 4K models. Even though Japanese makers currently lead the 4K market, they need to be on the alert for a war of attrition in which price-cutting competition will intensify.
 韓国サムスン電子や中国企業などライバルも、4Kテレビをはじめとした新製品を発表している。今は日本各社がリードしていても、値下げ競争が激しくなる消耗戦には要警戒である。

Japanese makers were overtaken by their South Korean rivals in the sales battle over flat-panel TVs, the primary factor that sent their TV businesses into the red. They should avoid allowing that to happen again.
 薄型液晶テレビ商戦では、日本各社は韓国勢に追い抜かれ、テレビ事業が赤字に陥る主因となった。その二の舞いは避けたい。

How can they retain their technological superiority and develop such products in anticipation of consumers’ needs, while at the same time enhancing their production efficiency? Japanese manufacturers must apply all their brainpower to win out in the international rivalry.
 技術優位を維持し、消費者ニーズを先取りした商品を開発するとともに、生産効率化をどう図るか。競争を勝ち抜く知恵が要る。

To promote 4K TVs in this country, it is essential to improve the related software, including TV programs that utilize ultrahigh-resolution images.
 もちろん、国内で4Kテレビを普及させるには、画質を生かす番組などソフトの充実が必須だ。

Test broadcasting compatible with 4K ultrahigh-resolution is expected to start within the year, but there is a shortage of visual content. TV makers and broadcasting stations need to cooperate to create programs and image software appealing to consumers.
 4K対応の試験放送が年内にも始まる予定だが、映像コンテンツは不足している。魅力ある番組やソフト作りで、メーカーと放送局などは連携する必要がある。

There is a wide range of supporting industries for the home appliances sector. If Japanese home appliance makers can take the lead in this growth market by wielding their competitiveness, it will also help rejuvenate the Japanese economy.
 家電業界は産業の裾野が広い。日本の各社が競争力を発揮し、成長市場で主導権を握れば、経済再生にも好影響を与えよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 6, 2014)
(2014年2月6日01時16分  読売新聞)

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2014年2月 6日 (木)

法人税率下げ 成長加速へ踏み込んだ検討を

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 05, 2014
Step up corporate tax cut debate to boost economic growth
法人税率下げ 成長加速へ踏み込んだ検討を(2月5日付・読売社説)

To solidify the foundations of Japan’s economic growth, the nation’s tax system needs to be revamped in a way that can exert the hidden vitality of companies. The government should speed up discussions on the issue.
 日本経済の成長基盤を強化するため、企業活力を引き出す税制への見直しが必要だ。政府は検討を急がねばならない。

Under the initiative of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, talks regarding corporate tax reform will shift into high gear at the government’s Tax Commission and other institutions.
 安倍首相の強い意向で法人税改革の議論が政府税制調査会などで本格化する。

“We will put tax incentives into place in a way completely different from before,” Abe said at January’s meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
 首相は1月のスイス・ダボス会議で「異次元の税制措置を断行する」と強調した。

Abe also pledged to “make the tax system for companies internationally competitive.”
「法人税の体系を国際相場に照らして競争的なものにする」とも述べた。

Abenomics has put Japan’s economy on an upward trajectory, but the Abe administration has yet to show a growth strategy strong enough to further boost the economy.
 経済政策「アベノミクス」の効果で景気は上向いたが、成長戦略はまだ力不足だ。

Abe aims to incorporate his plan on corporate tax reduction into the Basic Policies for Economic and Fiscal Management and Structural Reform, to be drawn up in June, as part of his efforts to reinforce his growth strategy. His efforts are commendable.
首相が6月にまとめる「経済財政運営と改革の基本方針」(骨太方針)で減税の方向性を明示し、成長戦略を強化しようとする狙いは理解できる。

After the special corporate tax levies to help resuscitate areas hit by the March 2011 disaster are removed at the end of March, Tokyo’s effective corporate tax rate will be lowered to 35.64 percent.
 復興特別法人税が3月末で廃止された後、法人税の実効税率は35・64%(東京都)に下がる。

However, Japan’s effective corporate tax rates will still be substantially higher than in Europe and other Asian nations, where countries generally set the rate at the 20 percent level. It will be necessary for the government to further cut the corporate tax rate to curb the hollowing out of the nation’s industries and increase foreign investment.
 それでも日本の税率は、20%台が多い欧州やアジアの国々より高い。産業空洞化に歯止めをかけ、海外から投資を呼び込むには、一層の引き下げが求められよう。

Securing alternative revenue

The question is how to secure funds for the corporate tax reduction. The Finance Ministry and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s Tax System Research Commission have claimed that about ¥470 billion will be necessary to cover the loss in tax revenues caused by a 1 percentage point corporate tax reduction. If the government wants to cut the corporate tax rate by 10 points, about ¥5 trillion will be necessary.
 問題は減税財源をどう確保するかだ。財務省や自民党税制調査会は、法人税減税には1%下げで約4700億円の代替財源が要ると主張する。10%引き下げる場合、5兆円規模に膨らむ。

Abe has suggested he will not necessarily stick to the idea of securing an alternative revenue source. However, we believe it will be a point of contention in discussing the reduction.
 首相は減税規模に見合う財源確保にこだわらない考えを示唆したが、今後の議論の焦点となる。

The issue that must be discussed first is how to broaden the tax base to collect taxes from a wider range of companies, including reviewing special policy measures to reduce corporate taxes on specific sectors of industry.
 まず検討すべきは、特定業種の税負担を軽減する租税特別措置(租特)の見直しなど幅広く税収を得る課税ベース拡大である。

There is long-standing criticism that the measures have become a source of vested interest for certain industries and give them an unfair advantage. The measures were designed to expire within a certain time frame, but in many cases, their terms have been extended. The government should reexamine the impact of each measure, and downscale or abolish those that have become less effective.
 一部業界で租特が既得権益化し、不公平だとする批判が根強い。時限措置だったはずが、継続されている制度も目立つ。政策効果を改めて分析し、効果が薄れた租特は廃止・縮小すべきだろう。

Currently, more than 70 percent of Japanese companies do not pay corporate taxes. It is worth discussing the review of a system allowing companies to deduct the deficits of one fiscal year from the surpluses of the following years.
 国内企業の7割超が法人税を払っていない。ある年度の赤字を翌年以降の黒字から差し引ける繰越欠損金制度の見直しも一案だ。

However, there is a possibility that such measures will not be enough to cover the loss in tax revenue caused by the corporate tax reduction. It is said that in Europe, the earnings of companies have improved due to the corporate tax cut, resulting in a rise in tax revenue.
 だが、こうした対応だけでは十分な財源を捻出できない恐れもある。欧州では、税率を下げることで企業の収益が上向き、税収が増える現象が起きたとされる。

In contrast, although the Japanese government has already conducted a small-scale corporate tax rate cut, the corporate tax revenue in the 2013 April-December period has shown no marked increases.
 一方、日本ではすでに法人税率の小幅引き下げを行ったにもかかわらず、2013年4~12月の法人税収は横ばいにとどまった。

We urge the Tax Commission and the other institutions to examine such domestic and European examples of corporate tax reductions and further discuss the issue.
 日欧の実例を検証し、政府税調などで議論を深めてほしい。

To rejuvenate Japan’s economy, it is also essential for the government to steadily promote other measures on its growth strategy platform, such as deregulation.
 経済の活性化には、政府が規制改革など他の成長戦略を強力に推進することも大切である。

In addition, to avoid criticism that companies are given preferential treatment by the government, companies that enjoy solid results should increase their employees’ wages to help create a virtuous economic cycle.
 企業優遇と批判されぬよう、好業績の企業は賃上げにつなげ、経済の好循環に貢献すべきだ。

(From the Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 5, 2014)
(2014年2月5日01時37分  読売新聞)

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北陸新幹線談合 官民癒着の徹底解明が必要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 5, 2014
Possible collusion in Shinkansen bid-rigging case must be clarified
北陸新幹線談合 官民癒着の徹底解明が必要だ(2月5日付・読売社説)

Do the new allegations over bid-rigging on Shinkansen-related engineering work mean that competitive bidding on infrastructure improvement projects essential for the safety of bullet train services was derailed through a collusive relationship between entities in the public and private sectors? Investigating authorities must uncover the full truth.
 新幹線の安全運行に欠かせないインフラ工事の入札が、官民の癒着でゆがめられていたのか。捜査当局には徹底解明が求められる。

The allegations have arisen over projects to prevent snow damage along the Hokuriku Shinkansen line. On Tuesday, the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office and the Fair Trade Commission searched offices linked to the case on suspicion of a violation of the Antimonopoly Law. The locations searched by the prosecution’s special investigative squad and the FTC included equipment installation companies that participated in the bidding, as well as the Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency (JRTT), a government-affiliated independent administrative institution that placed orders for the projects.
 北陸新幹線の雪害対策工事で談合の疑いが浮上した。東京地検特捜部と公正取引委員会は入札に参加した設備工事会社と、発注元の独立行政法人「鉄道建設・運輸施設整備支援機構」を独占禁止法違反容疑で捜索した。

The projects under investigation cover a route that is being constructed to connect Nagano and Kanazawa along the Hokuriku Shinkansen line. The Nagano-Kanazawa route is scheduled to open late in fiscal 2014.
 捜査の対象は、2014年度末に開業予定の長野―金沢間の工事だ。

The cost of the projects is to be covered by such resources as national government subsidies and contributions from local governments affected by these plans. If prices tendered for construction projects are exorbitant due to bid-rigging, the corporations involved in the scheme will reap unlawful profits, thus requiring excessive public expenditures.
工事費は、国の補助金や自治体の負担金などで賄う。談合で入札価格がつり上がれば、業者が不正な利益を獲得し、その分、余計な公費が支出される。

Given the seriousness of the latest bid-rigging case, the special investigation team and the FTC had every reason to embark on a probe aimed at establishing the criminal responsibility of the corporations involved and JRTT.
 談合の悪質性を考えれば、特捜部と公取委が刑事責任の追及に乗り出したのは当然と言える。

It will be particularly disconcerting if the case is found to involve collusive bidding at the initiative of such a government-affiliated institution as JRTT.
 特に問題なのは、官製談合だった可能性が高い点だ。

However, this seems likely as bidding on the projects included more than one case in which the price of a successful bid on a construction project was equivalent to 99 percent or more of the price anticipated by JRTT. It is apparent that the prices must have been leaked to potential contractors as the bids on the projects were accepted at prices nearly equal to those JRTT anticipated.
 工事の入札では、予定価格に対する落札額の割合を示す落札率が99%を超える複数のケースがあった。予定価格にほぼ等しい落札が相次げば、価格が漏洩(ろうえい)されていたと見るのが自然だろう。

Tough penalties

Possible irregularities have been brought to light through the investigative squad’s questioning of some company employees responsible for the bidding procedures. They reportedly told investigators that JRTT officials, who held positions comparable to section chief, gave them hints as to anticipated prices ahead of the bidding sessions.
 これまでの特捜部の任意の事情聴取に対し、一部業者の担当者が、入札前に支援機構支社の課長クラスから予定価格を示唆されたと供述しているという。

Another probable factor behind the latest case is that JRTT wanted to smooth progress in the bidding process so it could complete the construction projects in time for the opening of the Nagano-Kanazawa route. If no bidder had won a contract for a project, it would have taken about two months for a new bidding session to take place. This would have led to delays in the JRTT projects.
 機構側には、北陸新幹線開業に間に合わせるため、入札を円滑に進めたいとの思惑があったとされる。入札が不調に終わると、再入札までに2か月程度かかり、工事の遅れにつながるからだ。

If JRTT put its own convenience ahead of everything else by becoming involved in bid-rigging and accommodating bidders’ interests, it would undermine the essential nature of competitive bidding. It would also impair people’s trust in public works projects.
 こうした自らの都合で、機構が談合に手を染め、業者側に便宜を図れば、入札は骨抜きになる。公共事業に対する信頼も損なう。

In December 2006, the Public Sector Bid-Rigging Prevention Law was revised to impose criminal penalties on public service employees and others. The law would apply to employees at JRTT, an institution wholly financed by the government. We hope the investigative team will carry out a thorough probe into all aspects of the case, including whether top-ranking JRTT officials were involved in the affair.
 官製談合防止法は2006年12月の改正で、公務員ら個人への刑事罰が導入された。政府が100%出資する機構の職員にも適用される。特捜部は、機構上層部の関与の有無を含め、厳正に捜査を進めてもらいたい。

JRTT’s undertakings include construction work on new Shinkansen lines in Hokkaido and Kyushu in addition to the Hokuriku Shinkansen. Prompt measures should be taken to determine whether there were any suspicions about bidding for projects on these lines. It is also essential to confirm whether JRTT is properly managing information about its anticipated prices.
 支援機構は、北陸新幹線のほかにも、北海道や九州の整備新幹線の建設工事を手がけている。不自然な入札はなかったか、予定価格の情報管理は適正に行われているか。早急に再点検すべきだ。

The latest case has highlighted the depth of industry-wide collusion. The targets of Tuesday’s search included a large corporation that has expertise in installing snow-melting equipment.
 業界ぐるみの談合体質の根深さも浮き彫りになった。捜索を受けた会社には、融雪設備工事のノウハウを持つ大手が含まれる。

The latest bid-rigging case is not an isolated one in the engineering industry. In 2006, action was taken in a case involving an order placed by the now-defunct Defense Facilities Administration Agency for air-conditioning equipment installation work.
 この業界では、06年にも当時の防衛施設庁発注の空調設備工事で、談合が摘発された。

All corporations in the engineering industry need to eliminate collusive relationships and comply with the law.
 業界全体で馴(な)れ合いを排し、法令順守を徹底する必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 5, 2014)
(2014年2月5日01時37分  読売新聞)

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2014年2月 5日 (水)

派遣労働見直し 待遇改善に知恵を絞りたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 4, 2014
Temp staffing system reform must lead to better labor conditions
派遣労働見直し 待遇改善に知恵を絞りたい(2月4日付・読売社説)

Reform of the temporary staffing system must lead to stable employment conditions for temporary workers.
 派遣労働者が安定して働ける制度改正につなげることが肝要だ。

An advisory panel of the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry has compiled a report permitting companies to employ temporary workers indefinitely if certain conditions are met.
 企業が派遣労働者を受け入れる期間について、厚生労働省の審議会が、条件を満たせば無期限で認める報告書をまとめた。

Currently, the employment period for temp staffers at companies to which they are dispatched is set, in principle, at a maximum of three years. The system will be changed to make it possible for firms to employ temp staffers continuously in any type of job if they are replaced every three years.
 現在、企業の派遣受け入れ期間は「最長3年」が原則だが、3年ごとに働く人を代えることで、すべての職種で継続的に派遣労働者を受け入れられるようにする。

As part of the growth strategy promoted by the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the reform is aimed at making it easier for companies to hire temp workers when they expand production and undertake new projects.
 安倍政権の成長戦略の一環として、企業が生産拡大や新規事業を展開する際、派遣労働者を使いやすくするのが目的だ。

The labor ministry will work out a basic plan and submit to the current Diet session a bill to revise the Worker Dispatching Law, with implementation of the new system targeted for the spring of 2015.
 厚労省は具体的な制度設計を進め、今国会に労働者派遣法改正案を提出し、2015年春の実施を目指している。

Lengthening the term of employment for temp staffers is the right thing to do. What is important in working out a basic plan is to devise measures that will lead to better labor conditions for temp workers.
 派遣労働の活用拡大自体は妥当である。ただ、制度設計で重要なのは、派遣労働者の待遇改善につながる方策を練ることだ。

The dispatch law was amended by the Democratic Party of Japan-led administration in March 2012 to prevent the practice of laying off temp workers, which was rampant in the aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers. The revision resulted in tougher regulations such as banning, in principle, the short-term dispatch of workers for up to 30 days. The revision was aimed at protecting dispatched workers.
 労働者派遣法は、リーマン・ショック後に相次いだ「派遣切り」を防ぐため、民主党政権下の12年3月に改正され、30日以内の短期派遣を原則禁止するなど規制が強化された。派遣労働者の保護に重点を置いた施策だった。

Cheap labor source

Contrary to the DPJ-led government’s effort to secure stable employment for temp workers, the reform did not lead to improved labor conditions for these staffers. The situation remains unchanged as dispatched workers can be hired for relatively low salaries and no annual pay hikes, which are set according to the number of years of work experience.
 だが、雇用の安定という政権の意図に反し、派遣労働者の待遇改善にはつながらなかった。派遣労働者は経験年数に応じた昇給がほとんどなく、企業にとって、安価な労働力という実態は今も変わっていない。

If only the employment of temp workers expands without the system being reformed, the hiring of regular workers may be restricted.
 このまま派遣労働者の活用拡大だけが進めば、正社員の採用が抑制される可能性もある。

Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), hailed the panel’s report, saying it will “help change the system into a more understandable one.”
The Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo), on the other hand, criticized the proposed reform, arguing it may lead to “backpedaling on the protection of workers.”
 今回の報告書について、経団連の米倉弘昌会長が「分かりやすい制度になるのではないか」と歓迎しているのに対し、連合は「労働者保護の後退を招く恐れが大きい」と反発している。

The report’s call for balancing the treatment for dispatched workers and regular employees probably reflected labor’s concern. To improve conditions, it may be necessary for the government to help establish a permanent framework for talks between firms dispatching and hiring temp workers.
 報告書が、派遣労働者と正社員の待遇を均衡させるよう求めたのは、労働側の懸念を反映したものだろう。派遣労働者の待遇改善のため、派遣元と派遣先の企業による協議の恒常化を政府が後押しすることも必要ではないか。

It also will be indispensable for temp staffers to acquire skills in keeping with improved labor conditions. The report is praiseworthy for its demand to make temp agencies carry out vocational training programs for the workers they dispatch.
 派遣労働者が待遇改善に見合った技能を習得することも欠かせない。報告書が、派遣労働者への計画的な職業訓練の実施を派遣会社に義務付けるように求めたのは評価できる。

It is also crucial to expand the possibility of hiring temp workers with many years of experience as regular workers. The government has decided to start providing subsidies to job placement firms if temp workers are dispatched on the premise that they will become regular workers and gain that status eventually. Implementation of this policy must be accelerated.
 実績を積んだ派遣社員が、正社員として登用される道を広げることも大切である。政府は、正社員になる前提で労働者を派遣し、実際に正社員に採用された場合、派遣元に助成金を支給する方針を決めた。具体化を急ぎたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 4, 2014)
(2014年2月4日01時00分  読売新聞)

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タイ総選挙 依然見えない混乱収拾への道

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 4, 2014
No end in sight to chaos in Thailand as situation continues to deteriorate
タイ総選挙 依然見えない混乱収拾への道(2月4日付・読売社説)

The political situation has been deteriorating in Thailand, and it is not easy to find even a clue as to how to end the current crisis.
 タイ政治の混迷は一層深まっている。局面打開の糸口を探るのは容易ではない。

Amid antigovernment protests, a general election was held on Sunday. There were no large-scale clashes between protesters and government supporters, as had been feared, but due to disruptions by protesters, the voting was canceled in about 20 percent of the electoral districts.
 反政府デモが続くタイで総選挙が行われた。懸念された大規模な衝突はなかったものの、デモ隊の妨害により、全体の約2割にあたる選挙区で、投票が中止された。

As things stand now, there will not be enough elected parliamentarians to convene parliament. And in those electoral districts where the voting was canceled, there is no clear prospect for holding another vote.
 このままでは、国会を開会するのに必要な議員数を選出できない。投票中止になった選挙区では、再投票の見通しも不透明だ。

Still calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, protesters continue occupying major intersections in Bangkok. It is imperative to be on the lookout for worsening discord.
 デモ隊は依然インラック首相の辞任を求め、バンコク市内で座り込みを続けている。混乱拡大を引き続き警戒する必要がある。

In the latest election, the Yingluck administration took its case to the voters by dissolving parliament, a move that took place amid overwhelming support from farmers and poor people—a group of supporters Yingluck inherited from Thaksin Shinawatra, her brother and former premier, who now is in self-imposed exile.
 今回の選挙は、首相が、兄のタクシン元首相から受け継いだ農民や貧困層における圧倒的支持を背景に、議会を解散し、国民に信を問うたものだ。

Meanwhile, Thaksin’s opponents, comprising the wealthy and urban-based middle-class, have called for an unelected council to govern as an interim government, as they are overwhelmed by Thaksin’s supporters in terms of number.
 これに対して、富裕層や都市中間層などからなる反タクシン派は、支持者数ではタクシン派に遠く及ばないこともあり、選挙を経ない暫定統治を要求してきた。

The major opposition Democratic Party, which supports Thaksin’s opponents, has boycotted the vote, in step with the voting disruption by protesters.
 反タクシン派の最大野党・民主党は、デモ隊の選挙妨害に合わせて、選挙をボイコットした。

As voting was canceled in a number of electoral districts, the party has shown its readiness to appeal to the Constitutional Court to invalidate the vote on the grounds it counters the constitutional stipulation requiring elections to be held on one day.
 多くの選挙区が投票中止になったことを巡り、今回の選挙は、「全国で同じ日に行う」とする憲法の規定に違反したとして、憲法裁判所に無効を申し立てる構えも見せている。

Legal overthrow?

Thaksin’s opponents may be aiming to lawfully overthrow the government outside the election.
 反タクシン派が目指しているのは、このような選挙以外の合法的手段による政権打倒だろう。

Under the Constitution, enacted in 2007, the Constitutional Court and the National Anticorruption Commission have strong authority over parliament and public administrative organizations.
 というのも、2007年制定の憲法では、憲法裁や国家汚職防止委員会などが、国会や行政に対し強い権限を有しているからだ。

Thaksin’s opponents have a majority in all such organizations. Some years ago, the Constitutional Court caused the pro-Thaksin administration to collapse by ruling that electoral fraud rendered an election unconstitutional.
 いずれの組織も反タクシン派が多数を占め、なかでも憲法裁は、違憲判決などでタクシン派政権を崩壊に追い込んだ例もある。

The dynamics of the political conflict are expected to remain for the time being, with Thaksin supporters calling for the principle of majority rule in running the country, while Thaksin’s opponents who attach importance to the “rule of law” by such entities as the Constitutional Court.
 統治方法を巡り、多数決で決着を図るべきだとするタクシン派と憲法裁などによる「法の支配」を重視する反タクシン派が対立する状況が当面続くとみられる。

Meanwhile, the 86-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who has often served as a mediator in times of political instability in the past, has been receiving medical treatment. There is a limit to his influence over the current turmoil.
 過去の政情不安で調停役を果たしてきたプミポン国王も86歳となり、療養生活を送っている。影響力行使には限界があろう。

It is also worrisome that adverse effects on the economy have become apparent. The tourism industry, the country’s major industry, has been hit hard by the political unrest, with Thailand’s central bank revising downward this year’s projected national growth rate from 4.8 percent to 3 percent.
 経済への悪影響が目立ち始めたことも懸念される。主要産業の観光業は大打撃を受け、タイ中央銀行は今年の成長率見通しを4・8%から3%に引き下げた。

Under the current caretaker government of Prime Minister Yingluck, the government cannot compile a fiscal budget or approve any large-scale investment.
 選挙管理内閣のインラック現政権下では、予算編成や、新規の大型投資認可は行えない。

As Japanese-affiliate companies are expected to shy away from investing in the country, Thai authorities will continue to face a severe ordeal.
 日系企業などが投資を控える動きも予想され、タイ当局にとっては、厳しい試練が続くだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 4, 2014)
(2014年2月4日01時00分  読売新聞)

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2014年2月 4日 (火)

TPP交渉 日米は膠着状態の打開に動け

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 3, 2014
Japan, U.S. must go all out to break TPP talemate, preserve momentum
TPP交渉 日米は膠着状態の打開に動け(2月3日付・読売社説)

Efforts to create a new free trade framework in the Asia-Pacific region must not remain at a standstill. To break the impasse, we urge the governments of both Japan and the United States to reach an agreement at the earliest possible time.
 アジア太平洋の新たな自由貿易圏作りを停滞させてはならない。膠着(こうちゃく)状態を打開するために、日米両国が早期合意を目指す必要がある。

Twelve countries including Japan, the United States and Australia are participating in negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral free trade agreement. However, a ministerial meeting in Singapore toward the end of 2013 ended up abandoning the goal of reaching a conclusion before the end of last year. No substantive TPP talks have taken place since then.
 日米や豪州など12か国による環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉は、昨年末にシンガポールでの閣僚会合で、目標だった年内合意を見送った。その後、実質交渉が中断している。

It can be said that the process of TPP negotiations is teetering on the edge of success or failure. An upcoming ministerial meeting, which is likely to be scheduled for late February, will be of crucial significance to the future development of the talks.
 交渉は瀬戸際に立っていると言える。2月末の開催で調整中の閣僚会合が重要な節目になろう。

The biggest factor behind the prolonged delay is the standoff between Japan and the United States over such problems as the abolition of tariffs.
 もたついている最大の要因は、日米両国が関税撤廃などを巡って対立していることだ。

There are no signs of the United States softening its tough stance against the Liberal Democratic Party’s assertions that five categories of agricultural products, including rice and wheat, should be exempted from tariff elimination.
 自民党がコメ、麦などの農産品5項目を関税撤廃の例外扱いとするよう主張している点では、米国が強硬姿勢を崩していない。

Akira Amari, the minister in charge of TPP negotiations, had talks over the phone with U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman on Jan. 20, but there was no progress on concluding the broad trade agreement.
 甘利TPP相とフロマン米通商代表が先月20日に電話協議したが、実質的な議論はできなかった。

Talks on Jan. 25 in Switzerland between Froman, Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi also failed to take any step forward other than confirming to continue bilateral cooperation toward an early conclusion of the TPP talks.
スイスで行われた25日の茂木経済産業相、林農相とフロマン代表の協議でも、早期合意への協力を確認しただけにとどまった。

As long as Tokyo and Washington continue to stick steadfastly to their respective “basic principles,” the two countries will have difficulty achieving a breakthrough in the stalled negotiations.
 日米が互いに原則論に終始するなら、難交渉を打開する糸口は見いだせまい。

Farming reform worthwhile

In his State of the Union speech on Jan. 28, U.S. President Barack Obama emphasized his resolve to work toward expansion of U.S. exports and employment, using the envisioned TPP pact as leverage. Obama may be intent on concluding TPP negotiations with the aim of realizing a full-scale recovery of the U.S. economy, thereby reviving his administration’s power base.
 オバマ米大統領は一般教書演説で、TPPをテコにした輸出と雇用拡大を目指す考えを強調した。本格的な景気回復を実現するとともに、政権の浮揚へ、TPPの決着を図りたいのではないか。

The Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, for its part, has put weight on the TPP talks as part of its strategy to boost the national economy, in particular to tap the vigor of Asian economies.
 安倍政権も成長戦略としてTPPを重視し、アジアの活力を取り込む方針を掲げてきた。

It is obviously of high significance for Japan and the United States to beef up their cooperation as allies.
 日米が同盟国として連携を強める意義は大きい。

It is most urgent for the United States to aim for a meeting point with Japan from a broader perspective.
何よりも今、求められるのは、米国が大局的な見地から、日本との妥協点を探る姿勢を示すことである。

The TPP negotiations, which have lasted about four years, have mostly reached accords in fields such as measures for expediting trade and formulating rules in such areas as investments.
 約4年に及ぶTPP交渉は、すでに貿易円滑化や投資分野などのルール作りではほぼ合意した。

In addition to the Japan-U.S. conflicts over tariffs, however, the United States and emerging economies such as Malaysia have also remained far apart in such areas as protection of intellectual property rights and competition rules involving state-owned enterprises.
 しかし、関税撤廃を巡る日米対立に加えて、米国とマレーシアなど途上国の間でも、知的財産権保護や国有企業に関する競争政策を巡って主張の隔たりは大きい。

The 10 other TPP member countries are keeping a close eye on progress in the Japan-U.S. talks, and there are fears that negotiations in other areas could also be impeded if these talks remain stalled. We must avoid at all costs a situation that could destroy the momentum of the TPP negotiations as a whole, jeopardizing early conclusion of the talks.
 他の10か国は、日米協議の進展を注視しており、日米が対立を解消できなければ、他分野も停滞する恐れがある。交渉全体の勢いを失速させ、早期妥結を危うくする事態は避けるべきだ。

On the other hand, the Japanese government deserves praise for hammering out steps to reform the farming sector, such as integration of farming plots and a review of the conventional rice acreage reduction policy, in preparation for opening the farm sector further to international competition.
 一方、政府が農業分野の一層の市場開放に備えて、農地集積や減反見直しといった農業改革を打ち出している点は評価できる。

The government should waste no time in working out specific measures for encouraging Japan’s farming industry to “go on the offensive,” not only to deal with the TPP negotiations but also to ensure rejuvenation of the national economy.
 TPPなどの通商交渉への対応はもとより、日本経済を活性化させるため、「攻めの農業」の具体化を急がねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 3, 2014)
(2014年2月3日01時48分  読売新聞)

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相撲協会改革 公益法人に恥じぬ組織運営を

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 3, 2014
Sumo association must work hard as new entity to win support of public
相撲協会改革 公益法人に恥じぬ組織運営を(2月3日付・読売社説)

Now that it has become a public interest incorporated foundation, the Japan Sumo Association must make the most of this opportunity to transform itself into an organization with a self-purifying power.
 公益財団法人への移行を機に、自浄能力を持つ組織に生まれ変わることが求められる。

The Cabinet Office has certified the association as a public interest incorporated foundation, and the association has officially registered itself as the new type of legal entity.
 内閣府は、日本相撲協会を公益財団法人に認定した。協会は登記手続きを行い、新法人に移行した。

The sumo world was rocked by a series of scandals, including the fatal assault of a sumo wrestler by stablemates, gambling on baseball, and bout-fixing. The association has been told by such entities as the sports ministry, which has jurisdiction over the JSA, to implement organizational reform, greatly delaying the procedures for the transformation into the new incorporated foundation.
 相撲界は、力士の暴行死事件や野球賭博、八百長問題など、相次ぐ不祥事に揺れた。相撲協会は所管の文部科学省などから組織改革を求められ、移行への手続きが大幅に遅れていた。

With its new status, the JSA will continue to be entitled to preferential tax treatment, and revenue from the grand tournaments and tournaments in provinces will remain tax-exempt.
 従来、公益法人だった相撲協会は、新制度に基づく公益財団法人に認定されたことで、今後も税の優遇措置を受けられる。本場所や巡業の収入は非課税扱いだ。

While taking to heart its responsibility of carrying on the tradition of sumo wrestling, the JSA had to make an effort to enhance the transparency of its businesses.
 大相撲の伝統を継承していく責務を肝に銘じ、事業の透明性向上に努めねばならない。

The most typical example of its opaqueness is the issue of how to deal with the JSA’s “elder shares.”
 不透明な実態の最たる例が、年寄名跡の扱いだ。

At present, there are 107 elder shares. Unless a sumo wrestler obtains an elder share upon retirement, he cannot become a stablemaster.
現在、107の年寄名跡がある。これを保有しなければ、力士引退後、親方になることはできない。

Trade of elder shares

Elder shares have been traded for huge amounts of money. There are said to have been such deals involving several hundred millions of yen. Generally speaking, the trading of rights to gain income from the association as a stablemaster is a custom hard to understand.
 年寄名跡は高額で売買されてきた。億単位の金銭のやり取りもあったとされる。親方として協会から収入を得る権利の売買は、一般的には理解し難い慣習だ。

In its switch to a public interest incorporated foundation, the JSA has stipulated, in its articles of association, that the elder shares are to be placed under its centralized control. Elders who are to retire are able to recommend their replacement, but the transfer of money is prohibited at the time of succession. Those who violate the rule will be severely punished.
 公益財団法人への移行にあたり、相撲協会は年寄名跡を協会で一括管理することを定款に明記した。退任する年寄は、後継者を推薦できる一方で、継承に際し、金銭の授受は禁止される。違反者は厳重処分を受ける。

This is a step forward, but a concern remains. Those who succeed to an elder’s name can pay a “guidance fee” to a former elder for advice on how to manage a stable, on condition of notifying the JSA.
 一歩前進であるが、懸念は残る。名跡の襲名者は、部屋運営のノウハウなどを学ぶため、協会に申告するのを条件に、前親方に指導料を支払うことができる。

Will the trade of elder shares effectively continue under the guise of guidance fees? The JSA must develop a strict system to scrutinize this possibility.
 指導料が隠れみのとなって、名跡売買が実質的に続くことになりはしないか。協会の厳格なチェック体制の整備が必要である。

It is praiseworthy that the relationship between the JSA and each stable has been clarified. With regards to the training of sumo wrestlers, the association will conclude a commission contract with stablemasters.
 協会と各部屋の関係を明確にした点は評価できる。力士の養成に関し、協会は、部屋の親方と委託契約を結ぶ仕組みになる。

When irregularities occurred in the past, the association often tried to put an end to scandals by blaming the stables, saying, for instance, “The stablemaster’s way of nurturing the wrestler was wrong.” From now on, the association’s responsibility to consign training of wrestlers outside stables will be put to the test.
 不祥事の際、協会は「親方の教育が悪い」などと、各部屋の責任にして幕引きを図ることが多かった。今後は契約上の委託元として、協会の責任も問われよう。

The form of the JSA’s council of the board of trustees, the highest decision-making organization for the incorporated foundation, will also change. The majority of the five- to seven-member council will comprise outside experts. It is important to respect the opinions of those outside the sumo world to correct long-standing evils.
 最高意思決定機関である評議員会の形態も変わる。5~7人のメンバーの過半数が外部有識者となる。角界外の意見を尊重し、旧弊を改善することが肝要だ。

For the JSA to win public support as an entity to operate the “national sport,” sumo wrestlers must give performances to meet the public expectations. Hopes are growing for the advent of a Japanese yokozuna. We hope both the JSA and sumo stables will make further efforts in fostering strong sumo wrestlers.
 「国技」の運営母体として、協会が国民から支持されるには、土俵の充実が欠かせない。日本人横綱を待望する声は高まっている。協会と各部屋は、強い力士の養成に一層、力を注いでほしい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 3, 2014)
(2014年2月3日01時48分  読売新聞)

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2014年2月 3日 (月)

アイフォンでもアンドロイドでも遊べるみっくすりとる モンスターを育てるゲームです^^

アイフォンでもアンドロイドでも遊べるみっくすりとるゲームは、世界に生息するモンスターを発掘して育てるゲームなんですが、なんといっても極めつけは2体のモンスターの合体ではないでしょうか。

モンスターたちはゲームの戦いを経験しながら、その経験値を高めていきますが、モンスターごとに必殺技があるし、反対に弱点もあります。

ここはお気に入りのモンスター2体を発掘してから、合体させましょう。
合体に成功すると、通常の戦いでは負けない強いモンスターに育てることが出来るんです。

ゲームでモンスターを育てることにより、ついでに自分まで成長しちゃうという不思議な魅力を持っているゲームなんです。

二人の娘たちは幼稚園と小学校に通っていますが、長女はアイフォンで、次女はアンドロイドタブレットを使って遊んでいます。
どちらのソフトも該当の場所をワンクリックするだけで簡単にDL出来ちゃいます。

ただ今みっくすりとるオリジナルスタンプ で遊んでいます。
楽しそうですね^^。



SNS「Revolver」とスマホアプリ「みっくすりとる」のコラボスタンプ実装!!



ドリームニュース・ブログメディア参加記事

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大型企業買収 国際化に布石打つサントリー

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 2, 2014
Suntory shows remarkable ambition by making huge acquisition abroad
大型企業買収 国際化に布石打つサントリー(2月2日付・読売社説)

While waging a war of attrition in the shrinking domestic market, a company relying mainly on domestic demand has gone on the offensive abroad in an effort to boost growth.
 縮小する国内市場で消耗戦を展開している内需型企業が、海外での成長に活路を見いだす「攻めの戦略」を決断した。

Suntory Holdings Ltd. has announced it will purchase Beam Inc., the largest spirits company in the United States, for $16 billion (about ¥1.6 trillion). It is the biggest overseas acquisition undertaken in Japan’s food industry.
 サントリーホールディングスが米蒸留酒最大手のビーム社を160億ドル(約1・6兆円)で買収し、完全子会社化すると発表した。食品業界では、過去最大規模の海外企業買収である。

Beam is known for a broad lineup of products, including such famous bourbon whiskeys as Jim Beam, as well as vodka and tequila. The company’s sales outlets have spread extensively around the world, including Russia and Brazil.
 ビーム社は、「ジムビーム」などの有名ウイスキーのほか、ウオツカやテキーラなど品ぞろえが豊富だ。ロシアやブラジルなどにも販路を広げている。

The takeover will make Suntory the world’s third-largest maker of distilled drinks in terms of revenue, up from 10th place.
 買収によってサントリーは、蒸留酒の売り上げで世界10位から3位の企業に浮上する。

It seems Suntory has taken the acquisition action to strengthen its business operations in the United States and emerging economies by making effective use of Beam’s high brand recognition and international marketing networks.
 ビーム社の高いブランド力と、国際的な販売網を活用し、米国や新興国への事業展開を一気に強化する狙いがあるのだろう。

The earnings potential of domestic beverage firms has been dwindling because of intensifying price competition in addition to a shrinking market due to the nation’s graying society and low birthrate.
 少子高齢化に伴う市場の縮小に加え、価格競争の激化で国内の収益環境は厳しい。

In contrast, the number of middle-income consumers has been on the rise in China and the emerging economies in Southeast Asia and elsewhere. Prospects for expanding sales in these areas are bright for whiskey and other relatively high-priced alcoholic drinks.
 対照的に海外市場では、中国や東南アジア諸国などの新興国で中間所得層が増加している。ウイスキーなど比較的高額なアルコール飲料の販売拡大が見込まれる。

Suntory’s strategy of pursuing the goal of morphing into a global company by swiftly building a foothold overseas by putting a powerful foreign firm under its control can be said to be in line with the needs of the times.
 有力企業を傘下に置いて海外進出の足場を迅速に築き、グローバル企業への脱皮を目指そうという戦略は時代の要請だろう。

The cash needed for the takeover, ¥1.6 trillion, is massive enough to be close to the Suntory group’s annual sales.
 ただ、1・6兆円は、サントリー・グループ全体の年間売上高に迫る金額である。

Promising option

A number of market analysts point out that the huge corporate acquisition may prove to be a bad bargain, saying Suntory’s management has taken a major gamble.
市場では、巨額買収は「割高な買い物だ」として、今回の経営判断を大きな賭けと見る向きも少なくない。

To prevent its investment from becoming a gigantic burden, Suntory must further enhance its operational efficiency and boost profitability.
 サントリーは、大規模投資が重荷とならぬよう、一層の経営効率化や増収を図る必要がある。

All member firms of the Suntory group must act together to craft a marketing strategy by taking the global market into account, while at the same time exercising ingenuity to develop new products and reduce distribution costs. These efforts are essential to take full advantage of the acquisition.
 グループ一体で世界市場をにらんだ販売戦略を練り、商品開発や物流コストの削減を進めるべきだ。それが買収メリットを最大限に引き出すことになる。

On the strength of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s business expansion policy, signs are emerging that the national economy is picking up. All businesses have been thinking hard about how to expand markets for their key merchandise.
 安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」によって日本経済は上向いてきた。戦略商品の販路拡大に各企業が知恵を絞っている。

In the eyes of companies seeking to grow, the purchase of overseas firms like that by Suntory is one of the most promising options.
 成長を目指す企業にとって、サントリーのような海外企業の買収は有力な選択肢となろう。

We hope to see companies in such sectors as the food industry and distribution services accelerating their moves to tap demand abroad, particularly in other Asian countries.
食品や流通業界は、アジアなどの外需取り込みを狙った動きをさらに加速することが求められる。

As the yen is likely to remain weak, there are concerns that the cost of corporate acquisitions may swell. Because of the effects of the Bank of Japan’s monetary easing policy, however, companies are favorably positioned to secure funding from financial institutions.
 円安定着で円建ての買収金額が膨らむことが懸念されるものの、日本銀行による大胆な金融緩和の効果により、企業が金融機関から資金を調達しやすい環境にあることも追い風である。

Companies should consider the current state of affairs a good opportunity to improve their operations by breaking away from their inward-looking mode of thinking and make a leap forward in the global arena.
 企業は事業拡大の好機ととらえ、内向き志向から脱し、グローバルに飛躍してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 2, 2014)
(2014年2月2日01時25分  読売新聞)

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維新党大会 政策実現へ結束強化できるか

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 2, 2014
Can Ishin no Kai strengthen solidarity to realize its policies?
維新党大会 政策実現へ結束強化できるか(2月2日付・読売社説)

Is it possible for Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) to strengthen its solidarity by overcoming the differences in policies between its Tokyo and Osaka members?
 東西の路線の違いを乗り越えて、結束を強化できるだろうか。

Ishin no Kai held its second party convention at a Tokyo hotel on Saturday.
 日本維新の会が、2回目となる党大会を都内のホテルで開いた。

The party’s action plan for this year stipulates that it will “engage in Diet deliberations as an opposition party that decides whether to support the government on an issue-by-issue basis, rather than oppose everything the government does.”
 2014年の活動方針には「何でも反対の野党ではなく、是々非々の野党として、国会に臨む」と明記した。

This action plan also emphasizes that the party should improve its ability to realize its policies. Reviewing the constitutional interpretation that prohibits the nation from exercising the right to collective self-defense, revising the Constitution and reforming the nation’s education system are among policies included in the action plan.
「政策実現力の強化」も強調し、具体的には集団的自衛権の憲法解釈見直しや憲法改正、教育改革などを挙げている。

Under the current Diet situation that can be described as “a single overwhelmingly strong party versus a host of weak ones,” Ishin no Kai has taken up the position of being a responsible opposition party that will work together with the ruling party on policies it can support.
 自民党が突出した「1強多弱」の状況の中で、同調できる政策には協力する「責任野党」の立場を選択したと言える。

At last year’s extraordinary Diet session, Ishin no Kai had discussions with the ruling camp on revising the draft for protecting specially designated state secrets, thus having the party’s own views included in the legislation.
 昨年の臨時国会で、維新の会は与党と協議して特定秘密保護法案を修正し、自らの見解を反映させた。

It apparently aims to promote its achievements by realizing its policies, rather than just criticizing the ruling camp, considering that the next national election will be held in 2½ years at the latest.
国政選挙まで最大2年半あるため、批判ばかりではなく政策を実現し、その実績をアピールしようという狙いだろう。

During the current Diet session, the LDP and its junior partner, New Komeito, plan to submit a bill to revise the National Referendum Law, which stipulates procedures for constitutional revisions.
 今国会では、自民、公明両党が、憲法改正の手続きを定める国民投票法改正案を提出する予定だ。

We hope that Ishin no Kai will proactively discuss the issue with the ruling camp and play a certain role in passing the bill in the Diet. This will pave the way for revising the Constitution.
維新の会も与党側と積極的に協議し、改正案の成立に一役買ってもらいたい。それが、憲法改正への道筋をつける一歩にもなる。

Meanwhile, the 2014 action plan also stipulates that it is “high time to realign opposition parties.” “We will seek genuine reform-minded forces in an attempt to come up with a viable alternative to take the reins of government,” it said, adding that the party will have policy debates with other opposition parties.
 一方で、活動方針には「今こそ野党を再編し、政権交代の受け皿となる真の改革勢力を結集する」とも盛り込んだ。他の野党と政策協議を進めるという。

These phrases have been included in the action plan by taking into consideration the fact that Toru Hashimoto, the party’s coleader and Osaka mayor, has started policy debates with Yui no To leader Kenji Eda, who calls his party a catalyzer for political realignment.
 橋下共同代表(大阪市長)は、再編のための「触媒政党」を自任している結いの党の江田代表と政策協議を始めている。それも念頭に置いた表現である。

Conflicting issues

However, Yui no To is calling for an end to the nation’s use of nuclear power. For this reason, Shintaro Ishihara, Ishin no Kai’s other leader who advocates the use of nuclear power, has said he will leave his party if it works with Yui no To.
 ただ、結いの党は「原発ゼロ」を掲げている。これに対し、原発の活用を唱える石原共同代表は、結いの党に同調するなら、離党も辞さない構えだ。

There are differences between Ishin no Kai members functioning in Osaka and party Diet members operating in Tokyo over nuclear and other policies. The party is based in Osaka.
 維新の会の本拠地である大阪と東京の国会議員団との間には、原発などの政策に隔たりがある。

During a speech at the convention, Hashimoto said he would encourage party members to discuss conflicting issues among themselves once again, before the party makes decisions on its policies by majority vote. Ishin no Kai should change its stance to concentrate on down-to-earth policies.
 橋下氏は党大会のあいさつで、党内で意見の対立する問題に関しては議論し直し、最後は多数決を採って方針を決定する考えを示した。維新の会は、現実的な政策に舵(かじ)を切るべきだ。

The party convention attracted a great deal of attention when Hashimoto expressed his intention to resign as mayor after his plan to transform Osaka Prefecture and Osaka city into an Osaka metropolis like Tokyo ran into opposition from prefectural and municipal assemblies.
 注目されたのは、橋下氏が、議会の抵抗で「大阪都構想」が行き詰まっているとして、市長を辞職する意向を明らかにしたことである。

Hashimoto apparently hopes to win public support for his Osaka metropolis plan through an election, similar to the backing he received in the November 2010 mayoral poll, and thus use the upcoming election to overcome the impasse.
出直し市長選で都構想の信を改めて問い、事態の打開を図る考えとみられる。

Ishin no Kai was established with the Osaka metropolis plan as its fundamental policy. However, can Hashimoto’s tactics gain the understanding of Osaka citizens?
 都構想は結党の原点とも言える政策だが、橋下流の戦術は市民の理解を得られるだろうか。

As Hashimoto’s popularity serves as a unifying force for Ishin no Kai, the outcome of the mayoral election will significantly influence his party’s strength.
 維新の会は、橋下氏の人気が求心力だけに、市長選の行方は党勢にも大きな影響を及ぼそう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 2, 2014)
(2014年2月2日01時25分  読売新聞)

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2014年2月 2日 (日)

STAP細胞 理系女子の発想が常識覆した

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 1, 2014
Female researcher’s innovative idea leads to breakthrough discovery
STAP細胞 理系女子の発想が常識覆した(2月1日付・読売社説)

An international research team’s discovery of a new method for obtaining pluripotent cells represents an epoch-making achievement that may defy well-established theories in biology.
 生物学の常識を覆す画期的な発見である。

The team, led by Haruko Obokata of the Kobe-based Riken Center for Developmental Biology and including researchers from Harvard University in the United States, has successfully produced pluripotent cells that can grow into mature tissues or organs of any sort.
 理化学研究所の小保方晴子さんのほか、米ハーバード大などのチームが新たな手法で、様々な組織や臓器の細胞に育つ「万能細胞」を作り出すことに成功した。

Lymphocytes collected from mice were bathed in acid solution to produce the cells. They were also created through another method of applying stimulus to mouse lymphocytes by exposing them to toxins or passing them through a narrow glass tube.
 マウスの細胞(リンパ球)を弱い酸性の液に漬けた。毒素を加えたり、細いガラス管に通したりと別の刺激でも作製できた。

If the new method proves successful for human cells, it could be applied for regenerative medicine to bring damaged tissue or organs back to health. We want to laud the new discovery for opening up a wide array of possibilities.
 ヒトの細胞でも成功すれば、傷んだ組織や臓器を蘇(よみがえ)らせる再生医療に応用できる。幅広い可能性を開く成果を称(たた)えたい。

The team calls the new method “stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency (STAP)” and the cells it produces “STAP cells.”
 研究チームは、こうして作り出した万能細胞を「STAP細胞」と呼んでいる。STAPとは、「刺激によって引き起こされた多能性の獲得」という意味だ。

Many living things start with fertilized eggs that differentiate into tissues and organs. It was conventionally believed that differentiated tissues could not return to the undifferentiated state of a fertilized egg. So it is no wonder that STAP cells have captured the world’s attention.
 生物は、受精卵から始まり、組織や臓器に分化していく。分化後は受精卵に逆戻りしないとされてきただけに、STAP細胞に世界が注目するのはうなずける。

The team contributed the initial version of its research paper to a science journal last year. But thanks to highly unexpected method for producing pluripotent cells, the publisher swiftly sent it back, reportedly saying that the paper mocked the history of cell biology. Undaunted, team leader Obokata and other researchers tenaciously pushed on with experiments to reinforce the data, thereby realizing the publication of their discovery in the journal.
 意外な手法に、研究チームが一昨年、科学誌に論文を初投稿した時は「細胞生物学の歴史を愚弄している」と突き返された。だが、研究リーダーの小保方さんたちは粘り強く実験を重ね、データを補強して発表にこぎ着けた。

There are two other well-known types of such versatile cells: embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. Production of these two types of pluripotent cells requires going through a complicated process, including gene manipulation.
 万能細胞には、ES細胞(胚性幹細胞)やiPS細胞(人工多能性幹細胞)がある。作製には遺伝子操作など複雑な工程を経る。

The STAP cell, which is a third type of pluripotent cell, can be produced by utilizing the latent potential inherent in living cells.
 これに対し、「第3の万能細胞」であるSTAP細胞は、生物の細胞にもともと備わった能力を生かして作られる。

Fleshing out the process

What happens to the cells after they are stimulated? A detailed elucidation of the mechanisms behind the process is an important task to tackle in the future. Such findings could be expected to contribute to research into the mechanisms that cause the growing and aging of living things as well as diseases.
 刺激を加えたことで細胞に何が起きたか。その詳しい仕組みの解明が今後の重要課題だ。生物の成長と老化、病気の仕組みの探求にも貢献するだろう。

Behind this breakthrough discovery is the priority assistance given to research on regenerative medicine by the government. The Riken Center for Developmental Biology, to which Obokata belongs, is a research center for regenerative medicine established with such government aid.
 今回の成果の背景には、政府が再生医療研究を重点支援してきたことがある。小保方さんが所属している理研発生・再生科学総合研究センター(神戸市)も政府が整備した再生医療の研究拠点だ。

International competition in the field is fierce, and the government’s continued assistance will be a must.
 この分野の国際競争は激しい。引き続き支援が必要だ。

At 30, Obokata is still a young researcher. She will be a role model for young researchers in displaying creative power and building cooperative relationships with veteran researchers.
 小保方さんはまだ30歳の若い研究者だ。発想力に加え、ベテラン研究者と協力関係を築く行動力など若手研究者の模範となろう。

Her achievement may encourage other female researchers and women majoring in the sciences who aspire to become researchers.
 女性研究者や、研究者を目指している理系女子「リケジョ」の励みになるかもしれない。

Women account for a mere 14 percent of researchers in Japan today, the lowest ratio among industrialized countries. The government’s basic plan for science and technology targets boosting that figure to 30 percent, but many women still leave work in research laboratories after having children and for other reasons.
 日本の女性研究者の比率は14%にすぎず、先進国で最低だ。政府の科学技術基本計画は30%を目標に掲げるが、出産などを機に研究現場を去る女性は多い。

Needless to say, family support is crucial to female researchers. So are good government policies to aid them.
家族の協力はもちろん、リケジョの活躍を後押しする政策が重要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 1, 2014)
(2014年2月1日01時37分  読売新聞)

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衆院予算委 安全保障の論争を活性化せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 1, 2014
Lower house budget panel must debate national security vigorously
衆院予算委 安全保障の論争を活性化せよ(2月1日付・読売社説)

How can Japan maintain its peace and prosperity amid increased challenges in the regional security environment? We want Diet members to further deepen their discussions on foreign and security policy.
 日本の安全保障環境が一層厳しくなる中、いかに平和と繁栄を維持するのか。外交・安保政策の議論を掘り下げたい。

Question-and-answer sessions at the budget committee of the House of Representatives started Friday.
 衆院予算委員会での質疑が始まった。

Former Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, an influential member of the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan, raised issues related to a Japan-U.S. secret pact that allowed U.S. vessels with nuclear arms to enter Japan and the law to protect specially designated state secrets. Okada placed the blame on past prime ministers who led Liberal Democratic Party governments for denying the fact that U.S. nuclear weapons were brought into the country.
“Even if a law [on state secrets] is made, it won’t be effective if a prime minister really tries to hide something,” Okada said.
 民主党の岡田克也元外相は、米軍の核持ち込みの日米密約と特定秘密保護法の問題を取り上げた。自民党の歴代首相が核持ち込みを否定していたと指摘し、「首相が隠すとなると、法律を作っても、うまくいかない」と追及した。

Replying to Okada, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe admitted it was a mistake for past LDP governments not to inform the public about the existence of the secret pact. Abe then made a counterargument against Okada’s criticism, saying the state secrecy law offers the advantage of allowing the prime minister and cabinet members an opportunity to classify and declassify state information based on their own judgment.
 安倍首相は、自民党政権が密約の存在を「国民に示さずにきたのは間違いだった」と認めた。一方で、秘密保護法については、首相や閣僚が秘密指定・解除を自ら判断する機会を持てるといった利点を挙げ、反論した。

Making false statements in the Diet is not tolerated, of course, and it will not become permissible under the state secrecy law. It was not reasonable for Okada to bring up the secret pact issue to criticize the law to protect specially designated state secrets.
 国会での虚偽答弁が許されないのは当然であり、秘密保護法もそれを容認するものではない。岡田氏が密約問題に絡めて秘密保護法を批判するのは、無理がある。

Make functional watchdog

Okada also claimed that a 20-member task force of the Cabinet Office is not enough to check the appropriateness of the classification of state information. But, the prime minister stressed that the creation of the watchdog organ marks an improvement in the government’s capacity to check the appropriateness of information classification.
 岡田氏は、秘密指定の妥当性をチェックする内閣府の「情報保全監察室」が20人規模では不十分だと主張した。首相は、チェック機関の新設により、「今までより良くなる」と強調した。

The government must make the watchdog organ highly functional to prevent bureaucrats from easily concealing inconvenient information.
 官僚が都合の悪い情報を安易に隠すことがないよう、チェック機関の実効性を高めることが大切だ。

The public remains deeply concerned about restricting people’s right to know. The government must clarify standards and operations on classification of state information and give detailed explanations on them to the public.
国民には依然、知る権利の制約への懸念が強い。政府は秘密指定の基準や運用方法を明確化し、丁寧に説明する必要がある。

We also expect the Diet to study a system under which it would become involved in the protection of state secrets. The DPJ, too, must make a constructive proposal on the issue.
 国会も、秘密保護制度に適切に関与する仕組みを検討してもらいたい。民主党も建設的な提言をすることが求められよう。

Okada also used the enshrining of Class-A war criminals with other war dead at Yasukuni Shrine and the souring of Japan’s relations with China, South Korea and the United States to criticize Abe’s visit to the shrine.
 安倍首相の靖国神社参拝について、岡田氏は、A級戦犯合祀(ごうし)の問題や、中韓両国や米国との関係悪化に言及し、批判した。

“The Japan-U.S. alliance has not wavered at all [with my visit to Yasukuni],” the prime minister replied. “I hope to explain my true intentions to the United States.”
首相は、「日米同盟が揺らいでいるわけでは全くない。米国にも私の真意を説明したい」と語った。

Abe said he visited Yasukuni Shrine to pray for the souls of the war dead and to pledge that Japan must never again wage war. However, a politician must be judged only by the effects of his actions. It is undeniable that his visit to Yasukuni Shrine served to benefit the anti-Japan diplomacy of China and South Korea. The prime minister must do his best to bring Japan’s foreign relations back into good form.
 首相は、参拝の趣旨を戦没者の追悼や「不戦の誓い」と説明するが、政治は結果が問われる。中韓両国の「反日外交」を利したのは否めない。首相は外交の立て直しに全力を挙げねばなるまい。

Meanwhile, Seoul and Beijing must seriously consider holding summit talks with Japan without preconditions.
 中韓両国も、前提条件なしの首脳会談を真剣に検討すべきだ。

As for the right to collective self-defense, Abe said he would consider making changes to the government’s interpretation of the Constitution after receiving an expert panel’s report on the issue to be made in April.
 集団的自衛権に関して、首相は4月に予定される有識者会議の報告を受けて、政府の憲法解釈の変更を検討する考えを示した。

Taking into consideration China’s maritime expansion and North Korea’s development of nuclear missiles, it is an urgent task to increase deterrence capabilities by allowing the nation to exercise its right to collective self-defense and enhancing the Japan-U.S. alliance as well as Japan’s partnership with other countries. The prime minister’s leadership will be tested.
 中国の海洋進出や北朝鮮の核ミサイル開発を踏まえれば、集団的自衛権の行使を可能にし、日米同盟や国際連携を強化して、抑止力を高めることは喫緊の課題だ。首相の指導力が問われよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 1, 2014)
(2014年2月1日01時37分  読売新聞)

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2014年2月 1日 (土)

新興国通貨安 FRBは「出口戦略」を慎重に

The Yomiuri Shimbun January 31, 2014
FRB must carry out ‘exit strategy’ on quantitative easing prudently
新興国通貨安 FRBは「出口戦略」を慎重に(1月31日付・読売社説)

The currencies of emerging markets have been sharply dropping across the board, threatening to cause a global stock market crash.
 新興国通貨が軒並み急落し、世界同時株安の様相を呈している。

The stock market turmoil was triggered by the downscaling of U.S. quantitative monetary easing, and efforts must be made to prevent side effects of the turmoil from expanding while aiming to achieve market stabilization.
 発端は米国の量的緩和策の縮小である。副作用の拡大を防ぎ、市場安定を図ることが求められよう。

 米連邦準備制度理事会(FRB)が、金融危機後に導入した量的緩和策第3弾(QE3)をさらに縮小することを決めた。米国債などの毎月の購入規模を100億ドル減らし、2月から650億ドル(約6・7兆円)とする。

The U.S. Federal Reserve Board has decided to further shrink its Quantitative Easing program 3 (QE3)—the third of its kind, adopted in September 2012 in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.
The FRB will cut its monthly purchases of bonds and other assets beginning in February by $10 billion to $65 billion (about ¥6.7 trillion).
The decision to reduce asset purchases has been made for two consecutive months since the FRB launched a QE3 exit strategy in December.
 昨年12月、QE3の「出口戦略」に踏み出して以来、購入規模の減額決定は2か月連続である。

In a statement, the U.S. central bank notes that “growth in economic activity picked up in recent months” and “household spending and business fixed investment advanced more quickly in recent months.”
 FRBは声明で、「経済活動は上向いてきた。失業率が低下し、個人消費と企業投資の勢いが増した」と指摘した。

The Federal Reserve presumably deemed it proper to step forward in decreasing asset purchases as it has become more confident regarding business recovery.
 景気回復の動きに自信を深めたFRBは、もう一歩踏み出すことが妥当と判断したのだろう。

The statement revealed anew that the FRB will “make a further measured reduction in the pace of its asset purchase.” The QE3 is expected to conclude before the end of this year.
 声明は、今後について、一定のペースで規模縮小を進める方針を改めて明らかにした。年内にもQE3の終了が見込まれる。

Of concern is the fact that investment money abundant in emerging economies due to the U.S. quantitative easing will flow out of those nations in search of higher returns in the United States, leading to selling of their currencies.
 ただ、懸念されるのは、新興国にあふれていた「緩和マネー」が、QE3縮小とともに引き揚げられて米国などに逆流し、新興国通貨が売られていることだ。

Steps to defend currencies

The value of Argentina’s currency, the peso, plunged last week. In a chain reaction, the currency values of Turkey, Brazil, India and Indonesia also depreciated.
 先週、アルゼンチン通貨ペソが急落した。それが連鎖し、トルコ、ブラジル、インド、インドネシアなどの通貨も下落している。

In an effort to defend their currencies, the central banks of Turkey and India raised key interest rates to prevent investment money from fleeing their borders. South Africa followed suit by increasing interest rates for the first time in 5½ years.
 自国通貨を防衛しようと、トルコとインドの中央銀行が政策金利を引き上げ、投資マネーの引き留めを狙ったのに続き、南アフリカも約5年半ぶりに利上げした。

Owing to these emergency measures, monetary uncertainty seems to have abated, but the tendency for currencies of emerging economies to be sold remains, thus leaving optimism unwarranted.
 こうした緊急策によって、ひとまず通貨安は一服した模様だが、新興国通貨が売られやすい状況は続いており、楽観は禁物だ。

Since the financial crisis, emerging economies have served as a driving force for the world economy, backed by their high economic growth.
 金融危機後、成長著しい新興国は世界経済を牽引(けんいん)してきた。

However, there is a strong sense of wariness toward countries like Argentina, which has been suffering from high prices and current account deficits due to a slowdown in its economy. There is no denying that such countries have been targeted by market investors.
だが、最近は景気が減速し、物価高や経常赤字にも苦しむアルゼンチンなどへの警戒感は強い。市場に狙い撃ちされている面が否めない。

Emerging economies face a dilemma in that if they raise rates to defend their currencies, it will lead to a business slowdown.
 新興国が通貨防衛のために利上げすれば、かえって景気を冷やすというジレンマも抱える。

Drops in stock prices have not ceased in New York, Tokyo and elsewhere likely out of a sense of uncertainty over emerging economies, which has been rattling the markets.
 ニューヨークや東京、アジアなどの株価下落が止まらないのも、新興国経済への不安感が市場を揺るがしているからだろう。

Future focus will be on the pace at which the FRB will promote an exit strategy to phase out quantitative easing. Janet Yellen, who will replace Ben Bernanke as FRB chairman Saturday, will bear a heavy responsibility in this regard.
 今後の焦点は、FRBが出口戦略を進めるペースだ。バーナンキ議長の後任として1日に就任するイエレン新議長の責任は重い。

The exit strategy must be implemented meticulously so that rapid shrinkage of monetary easing does not cause confusion in global stock and exchange markets. To this end, having a “dialogue with markets” will be an indispensable step.
 出口戦略は、急ピッチな緩和縮小で世界の株式・為替市場の混乱を招かないよう、慎重な舵(かじ)取りが欠かせない。「市場との対話」を工夫してもらいたい

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 31, 2014)
(2014年1月31日01時18分  読売新聞)

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都知事選討論会 公約の実現性を競うべきだ

The Yomiuri Shimbun January 31, 2014
Tokyo gubernatorial candidates must focus on policy feasibility
都知事選討論会 公約の実現性を競うべきだ(1月31日付・読売社説)

Progress has been made, at least to some degree, on letting voters know how thoroughly candidates in the ongoing Tokyo gubernatorial election campaign have considered the measures that must be taken to realize their respective pledges.
 公約実現への道筋を、各候補がどこまで具体的に考えているか。それを知るうえで、一定の意義はあったと言えよう。

Four major candidates in the Tokyo contest appeared on an NTV news program Thursday: former Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Yoichi Masuzoe; former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa; former Japan Federation of Bar Associations President Kenji Utsunomiya; and former Air Self-Defense Force Chief of Staff Toshio Tamogami.
 東京都知事選に立候補している元厚生労働相の舛添要一氏、元首相の細川護熙氏、前日本弁護士連合会長の宇都宮健児氏、元航空幕僚長の田母神俊雄氏の4人が、日本テレビの報道番組に出演した。

It was the first time that the major candidates in the Tokyo race had held a face-to-face debate since the campaign officially kicked off Jan. 23.
 今回、ようやく主要候補が一堂に会した。

The delay in holding a discussion with all the major candidates sitting side by side was due mainly to Hosokawa’s refusal to do so in the days before the poll’s official announcement. Exchanges of views among the candidates on the future of the metropolis are considered extremely useful in providing voters with information on which they can base their decisions.
細川氏が告示前から討論会出席を断ってきたためでもあるが、候補者同士が都の将来像を議論することは、有権者に判断材料を提供しよう。

Regarding the issue of nuclear power plants, Masuzoe said in the TV debate that “all related matters, including both power consumption and supply areas, should be up to central government policy,” while noting that Tokyo should boost the percentage of renewable energy sources it uses.
 原子力発電所問題について、舛添氏は「消費地、供給地の全部合わせて国の政策」としながらも、都の再生可能エネルギーの割合を高めると語った。

Tamogami said, “It is definitely possible to secure a power supply by ensuring the safety of nuclear power plants.”
田母神氏は「原発の安全を確保しながらの電力供給は可能だ」と指摘した。

Both the views of Masuzoe and Tamogami can be deemed realistic.
 いずれも現実的な考え方だ。

Hosokawa and Utsunomiya, both of whom have advocated an immediate break from nuclear power generation, declared emphatically that they, if victorious in the Tokyo poll, would have the metropolitan government exercise its influence to the fullest extent as a shareholder in Tokyo Electric Power Co. to make the elimination of nuclear power generation a reality.
 原発の即時ゼロを掲げる細川氏と宇都宮氏は、その実現のために東京電力の株主としての影響力を行使すると強調した。

The stake the Tokyo metropolitan government has in TEPCO, however, is no more than 1.2 percent of the utility’s outstanding shares. Given this, the argument that Tokyo could wield a decisive influence over the abolition or continuation of the use of nuclear energy is highly questionable.
 だが、東電の発行済み株式総数に占める都の所有分は、1・2%に過ぎない。それなのに原発の存廃を左右できるかのように主張するのは疑問である。

In-depth debate lacking

Hosokawa has made the issue of nuclear power generation the most significant contention of his campaign, on the grounds that “apart from the nuclear power question, other issues facing Tokyo will be dealt with in much the same way regardless of who is elected to the governorship.”
 細川氏は、原発以外は誰が知事になっても変わらないとして、原発を最大の争点に位置づけた。

Securing energy sources to replace nuclear power is of central importance to the elimination of nuclear power dependence. However, Hosokawa in the debate cited the case of Tokyo Metropolitan University, established in 2005 through the merger of four Tokyo metropolitan government-run schools, saying the task of hammering out measures to solve the problem “must be undertaken by such an institution,” leaving the hard task entirely up to the university.
 しかし、肝心の代替エネルギーの確保策に関しては、旧都立大などが前身の首都大学東京を挙げ、「そういうところで対策を考えていただきたい」と丸投げした。

Such a way of thinking is extremely irresponsible.
 これでは無責任に過ぎる。

On Tokyo’s hosting of the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, Masuzoe stressed his resolve to make them among “the greatest events in history,” pledging to upgrade Tokyo’s transportation infrastructure and enhance public safety. Hosokawa and Utsunomiya, for their part, argued that portions of the current projects for the Games, if considered excessive, should be reconsidered.
 2020年東京五輪・パラリンピックについては、舛添氏が「史上最高の大会にする」と訴え、交通網の整備や治安対策の充実を約束した。細川氏と宇都宮氏は、現在の計画案の過大な部分は見直すべきだと主張した。

It is presumably impossible, however, to make drastic changes to key elements of the plans that Tokyo has shown the International Olympic Committee in the bid to become the host, including the capacity of the new National Stadium. What the new Tokyo governor must do is make efforts to reduce wasteful budgetary spending, if any, while proceeding based on those plans.
 新国立競技場の収容人数など、招致段階で国際オリンピック委員会(IOC)に示された計画案の根幹部分の大幅変更は認められまい。新しい知事に求められるのは、計画案を前提としつつ、無駄があれば改善する姿勢だろう。

In the televised debate, the idea was floated of making better use of vacant lots owned by the metropolitan government as a step toward solving the problem of waiting lists for children to enter day care centers.
 討論では、待機児童の解消策について、都が保有する遊休地活用といったアイデアが出された。

None of the candidates, however, came up with any in-depth proposals in connection with such key problems as what measures should be taken in response to Tokyo’s rapidly graying population and the need for making preparations for a massive earthquake with its focus just beneath the Tokyo metropolitan area. We urge the candidates to clarify their views about specific steps to cope with these challenges.
 ただ、急速に進む高齢化への対応や、首都直下地震対策などの重要課題で、踏み込んだ見解は示されなかった。各候補の具体策をもっと聞きたい。

Discussions among the candidates must be deepened further toward the polling day, Feb. 9.
 2月9日の投票日に向け、さらに論議を深めてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 31, 2014)
(2014年1月31日01時18分  読売新聞)

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homework for siifaachan 2014-02-01

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