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2014年4月19日 (土)

日韓局長級協議 関係修復へ粘り強く接点探れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:10 pm, April 18, 2014
Tokyo, Seoul must work tenaciously toward resolving gaps, mending ties
日韓局長級協議 関係修復へ粘り強く接点探れ

Restoring the now completely chilled relations between Japan and South Korea is not an easy task, but recent talks between senior officials of both governments should be used as the first step toward restructuring a future-oriented bilateral relationship.
 冷え切った日韓関係を修復することは簡単ではないが、未来志向の関係を再構築するための重要な一歩としたい。

Junichi Ihara, director general of the Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, met with Lee Sang Deuk, director general of the South Korean Foreign Ministry’s Northeast Asian Affairs Bureau, in Seoul on Wednesday to discuss the so-called comfort women issue.
 外務省の伊原純一アジア大洋州局長と韓国外交省の李相徳東北アジア局長がソウルで会談し、いわゆる従軍慰安婦問題について協議した。

“We could exchange opinions sincerely, so it was a significant meeting,” Ihara said afterward, but the two countries remain far apart in their assertions on the issue.
 伊原局長は会談後、「真摯しんしな姿勢で意見交換ができ、有意義な協議だった」と語った。
 ただ、慰安婦問題をめぐる日韓双方の主張の隔たりは大きい。

South Korea has called for Japan to make “sincere” responses, such as recognition of its legal responsibilities and compensation by the Japanese government. The Japanese government’s position is that the comfort women issue is already resolved, meaning it is not obliged by any international law to comply with any request for state compensation over the matter.
 韓国政府は、日本の法的責任の認定や政府による補償など「誠意ある措置」を求めている。
 日本政府は、慰安婦問題は「解決済み」との立場だ。国家補償に応じる国際法上の義務はない。

The bilateral agreement of 1965 states that issues involving compensation claims, including those by individuals, “have been completely and finally resolved.”
1965年の日韓請求権協定は、個人も含めた賠償請求権問題について「完全かつ最終的に解決された」と明記している。

Despite that, Japan established the Asian Women’s Fund in 1995 to make compensation payments and provide medical and welfare assistance as humanitarian measures for former comfort women. A letter of apology by the Japanese prime minister was also delivered.
 それでも日本は90年代にアジア女性基金を創設し、「償い金」の支払いや医療福祉支援、首相のおわびの手紙など、元慰安婦に対する人道的な措置を講じた。

Such measures did not seem to be fully appreciated by those in South Korea, who strongly opposed the fund’s provision of “compensation money”—based on a perceived distinction from state compensation—and maintained their stance of pursuing recognition of what they regard as Japan’s legal responsibility.
 韓国側が国家賠償と区別された形の「償い金」支給に強く反発し、日本の法的責任の追及にこだわったため、この措置はあまり評価されなかったという経緯がある。

New steps difficult

South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s adamantly anti-Japan stance has aggravated national sentiments in the two countries, and in view of that fact, it is politically difficult for Tokyo to take new measures toward resolving the comfort women issue.
 朴槿恵大統領の頑かたくなな反日姿勢が日韓双方の国民感情の悪化を招いている現状も踏まえれば、日本政府が慰安婦問題で新たな措置を講じるのは政治的には困難だ。

Meanwhile, the extraordinary lack of summit meetings between Park and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe continues.
 一方で、安倍首相と朴大統領がまだ一度も首脳会談を行えないという異常事態が続いている。

The U.S. government’s earnest efforts as an intermediary to improve Tokyo-Seoul relations were presumably made because Washington considered it necessary to restructure the tripartite relationship amid the continued military provocations by North Korea and China’s military buildup.
 米政府が日韓関係の改善を本格的に仲介してきたのは、北朝鮮の軍事的挑発や中国の軍備増強が続く中、日米韓の連携を立て直す必要があると考えたからだろう。

It is likely that both Japan and South Korea’s willingness to participate in the recent meeting at the director general level was intended to portray a mutual openness to dialogue ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama’s tour of the two countries next week.
Even so, the meeting must be used as an opportunity to repair bilateral relations.
 今回の局長級協議も、来週のオバマ米大統領の日韓歴訪を前に、日韓双方が対話姿勢を演出した面があるが、この機会を関係改善に役立てるべきである。

The next round of talks is scheduled for May in Tokyo. Matters other than the comfort women are also likely to be discussed. Many issues have been left pending between Japan and South Korea, including lawsuits related to payment of compensation and unpaid wages filed by Koreans who were conscripted to work in Japanese factories during wartime. The two countries must make strenuous efforts to find a workable compromise as they continue to discuss the various issues involved.
 次回協議は、5月に東京で開かれ、慰安婦問題以外の議題も取り上げる見通しだ。日韓間には、元徴用工による賠償請求訴訟、竹島問題など懸案が多い。様々な問題を協議する中で、双方が歩み寄れる接点を粘り強く探りたい。

Next year’s 50th anniversary of the normalization of Japan-South Korea relations and 70th anniversary of the end of World War II are highly likely to bring renewed attention to historical issues.
 来年は日韓国交正常化50周年かつ戦後70年のため、歴史問題が改めて注目される可能性が高い。

Achieving a summit meeting between Japanese and South Korean leaders is necessary—by arranging the schedule to coincide with international conferences, such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting scheduled for this autumn. Greater efforts must be made by both countries in this regard.
 今年秋のアジア太平洋経済協力会議(APEC)などの国際会議に合わせて、日韓首脳会談を実現する必要がある。双方が一層努力を重ねなければなるまい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 18, 2014)

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