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2014年4月25日 (金)

日米首脳会談―アジアの礎へ一歩を

April 25, 2014
EDITORIAL: With U.S. ties back on track, Abe must do the same with China, S. Korea
日米首脳会談―アジアの礎へ一歩を

The summit meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Barack Obama in Tokyo on April 24 was rather unusual.
 極めて異例の会談だった。

The meeting was followed by a typical joint news conference, but was not accompanied by the usual joint statement from the two leaders. The absence of a joint statement was due to their failure to reach an agreement in time in the bilateral negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact. (The joint statement was released on April 25 just before Obama left Tokyo.)
 きのうの安倍首相とオバマ大統領の日米首脳会談は、環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)の協議がととのわず、共同記者会見に合わせて共同声明を発表するにはいたらなかった。

Typically, such an important agreement is worked out before a bilateral summit through talks between senior government officials of the two countries so that their top leaders can simply endorse the deal in their meeting. The fact that this basic pattern of summit diplomacy didn’t hold this time indicates the two countries have been locked in battles to promote national interests in the trade talks over key issues concerning farm products and automobiles.
 事前の閣僚らの折衝で大筋が詰められ、首脳はその成果を確認し合う。首脳会談のこうした通例とはかけ離れた今回のありようからは、焦点の農産品や自動車の貿易をめぐって、国益むき出しのやりとりがあったことがうかがえる。

As for the area of national security, however, it can probably be said that Abe received a key reassurance from Obama that was close to what he had wanted.
 一方、安全保障分野に限れば、首相は大統領から、ほぼ望み通りの「お墨付き」をもらったということなのだろう。

During the joint news conference, Obama clearly stated that the U.S. commitment to Japan’s security under Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty applies to all territories under Japanese administration, including the disputed Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture.
 共同会見で大統領は、沖縄県の尖閣諸島が、日米安保条約5条に基づく米国の防衛義務の適用対象だと明言した。

Abe also said Obama had “welcomed and supported” the Japanese government’s security policy initiative to enable Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense.
 首相はまた、集団的自衛権の行使容認に向けての政権内の検討について、「大統領から歓迎し、支持するとの立場が示された」と明らかにした。

Although Washington’s position on these issues has been repeatedly expressed by senior members of the Obama administration, the Japanese government sought reaffirmation of the U.S. policies by the president himself in his own words. Tokyo thought Obama’s statements would be an effective warning to Beijing, whose actions have raised tensions in waters around the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. Japan placed much importance on this objective in preparatory talks for the Abe-Obama summit.
 閣僚レベルで何度も確認していることでも、大統領の口からはっきり宣言してもらう。これが尖閣周辺海域で緊張を高めている中国への牽制(けんせい)になるというのが日本政府の狙いだ。首脳会談に先立つ調整でも、そこに力点が置かれた。

But the focus of Obama’s remarks during the news conference as a whole was not exactly where Japan had wanted it to be.
 だが、オバマ大統領の発言の主眼は、日本側の期待とは少しずれていた。

“In our discussions, I emphasized with Prime Minister Abe the importance of resolving this issue peacefully," Obama said, "not escalating the situation, keeping the rhetoric low, not taking provocative actions, and trying to determine how both Japan and China can work cooperatively together.”
 大統領はこう語った。「私が強調したのは、この問題を平和的に解決することの重要性だ。言葉による挑発を避け、どのように日本と中国がお互いに協力していくことができるかを決めるべきだ」。

He also urged Japan and China to take “confidence-building measures.”
さらに「日本と中国は、信頼醸成措置をとるべきだ」とも。

While confirming Washington’s firm opposition to any attempt to change the status quo of the Senkaku Islands by force, Obama sent a clear message to both Japan and China calling for greater efforts by both sides to improve their bilateral relationship.
 尖閣諸島の「力による現状変更」は決して認めないにしても、関係改善に向けてもっと努力すべきだという、日中双方に対するメッセージだろう。

He didn’t forget to add, “We have strong relations with China.”
大統領は「我々は中国とも非常に緊密な連携を保っている」と付け加えるのを忘れなかった。

No matter how passionately Abe rhapsodizes about the bond of security alliance between Japan and the United States, the fact remains that there can be no stability in the Asia-Pacific region as long as there is a deep gulf of mistrust between Japan and China. Neighboring nations also want to see the three major powers of Japan, the United States and China maintain stable relations among them.
 首相がいくら米国との同盟の絆をうたいあげようと、中国との間に太い一線を引いたままではアジア太平洋地域の安定はあり得ない。日米中の三つの大国がそれぞれ安定した関係を保つことが、周辺諸国が求めるところでもあろう。

Abe’s visit to war-related Yasukuni Shrine in December delivered a decisive blow to Japan’s already strained ties with China and South Korea and awakened U.S. distrust of his administration.
 首相の昨年末の靖国神社参拝が、日本と中国や韓国との関係を決定的に悪化させ、米国からの不信も招いた。

Now that Abe has put Tokyo’s relations with Washington back on a solid footing, he should be the one to take a first step toward mending Japan’s ties with its neighbors.
 米国との関係にひとつの区切りをつけたいま、近隣諸国との関係改善への一歩は、安倍氏から踏み出さねばならない。

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 25

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