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2014年5月

2014年5月30日 (金)

衆院集中審議 15事例の安保論議を深めたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun 9:34 pm, May 29, 2014
15 security scenarios should serve as springboard for deeper discussions
衆院集中審議 15事例の安保論議を深めたい

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe must thoroughly explain why it is essential for the government to give Japan the power to exercise its right of collective self-defense and continue his efforts to win broader understanding among the people.
 安倍首相は、集団的自衛権の行使を容認する必要性を丁寧に説明し、国民の理解を広げる努力を続ける必要がある。

The House of Representatives Budget Committee was host to intensive discussions on collective self-defense on Wednesday. Discussions focused in particular on one of the 15 security scenarios recently put forth by the government as examples of situations that would be difficult to address and resolve under the current interpretation of the Constitution.
Abe emphasized that Japan should be allowed to defend foreign vessels, including non-U.S. vessels, transporting Japanese civilians from areas of conflict overseas. He also stressed that Japan should be able to defend U.S. vessels whether they are transporting Japanese civilians or not.
He made his remarks in connection with the defense of U.S. transport vessels carrying Japanese civilians from overseas.
 衆院予算委員会で集団的自衛権の集中審議が行われた。首相は、政府が示した15事例のうち、紛争地から邦人輸送中の米艦防護に関連し、米国以外の船や、邦人が乗船していない米艦の防護も可能にすべきだと強調した。

Former Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada of the major opposition Democratic Party of Japan criticized Abe, saying that including vessels from countries other than the United States within the scope of collective self-defense would create the possibility of that scope expanding without limits.
 民主党の岡田克也前副総理は、米国以外の国も対象にすると、集団的自衛権の対象が際限なく広がると批判した。

Kiyohiko Toyama of New Komeito raised his own doubts regarding the defense of U.S. vessels not carrying Japanese civilians from overseas.
公明党の遠山清彦氏は、邦人が乗っていない米艦の防護に疑問を呈した。

It is a matter of course for the government to attach the greatest importance to the nation’s alliance with the United States, but the government should not adopt such a narrow view that it refuses to exercise its right to collective self-defense to defend vessels from countries other than the United States.
 米国との同盟関係を最重視するのは当然だが、米国以外には集団的自衛権を行使しないという見解を取るべきではない。

Japan’s multitiered defense cooperation with other Asian and European nations serves to ensure the country’s safety. When the situation in Libya deteriorated in 2011, Japanese civilians were able to flee the country on aircraft of the Spanish forces and via a U.S.-chartered vessel.
 アジアや欧州各国との重層的な防衛協力は日本の安全確保に役立つ。2011年のリビア情勢悪化の際は、邦人がスペイン軍機や米国のチャーター船で退避した。

An untenable imbalance

It is not realistic, in the course of an evacuation, for the nation to adopt two different postures toward defending vessels based on whether they have Japanese civilians aboard.
 一連の退避活動の中で、邦人が乗っている船は守るが、乗っていない船は守らないと区別する対応も、現実的ではあるまい。

As long as it is difficult to predict how a situation will unfold, it is desirable for the government to be able to make policy decisions by taking all circumstances into consideration.
 どんな事態が発生するか、想定するのは困難な以上、政府が情勢を総合的に勘案し、政策判断できる余地を残すことが望ましい。

Abe presented his stance of maintaining the elements of the current interpretation of the Constitution that forbid the Self-Defense Forces from providing refueling and transport support to other countries’ forces—support measures that can be integrated into the use of force by those countries.
 首相は、他国の武力行使と一体化する自衛隊の補給・輸送支援などを禁じる現行の憲法解釈について、維持する考えを示した。

As the governmental panel of experts has pointed out, a full-scale change in the government’s interpretation of the Constitution is a potentially viable option for expanding SDF support for U.S. forces.
 政府の有識者会議が提言したように、自衛隊の米軍支援を充実させるため、解釈を全面的に変更するのは一つの選択肢だ。

Concepts held only by Japan, such as the “noncombat zone,” do not have global currency.
「非戦闘地域」といった概念は日本独自のもので、国際的に通用しない。

On the other hand, it is to some extent inevitable for the government to maintain its stance forbidding the possible integration of Japanese support into the use of force by other countries, in order to maintain consistency with its conventional interpretation.
 一方で、従来の政府見解との整合性を保つため、一体化を禁じる考え方自体を維持するのは、やむを得ない面がある。

Instead, the government should limit as much as possible the range of prohibited SDF support activities and thereby expand the areas and variety of activities the SDF is able to take part in.
 その代わりに政府は、禁止される自衛隊の支援活動の対象を極力限定し、自衛隊が活動できる地域や内容を拡大すべきだ。

In discussing national security, it is important to maintain a basis in particular, specific cases, rather than flying into purely abstract arguments.
 安全保障の論議は、抽象論でなく、具体的事例に即して行うことが重要である。

The 15 security scenarios should be used as a springboard for deeper and more substantial discussions.
15事例に基づく議論をさらに深めたい。

Sakihito Ozawa, former environment minister of Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), and Keiichiro Asao, the leader of Your Party, have both expressed their support for a change in the government’s interpretation of the Constitution. Komeito is also positive, in principle, about dealing with the 15 scenarios.
 日本維新の会の小沢鋭仁元環境相やみんなの党の浅尾代表は、集団的自衛権の憲法解釈の変更を支持する考えを表明している。公明党も、日本が15事例に対応することには基本的に前向きだ。

But opinions remain split within the DPJ. This lack of unity is the price the party is paying for having put off internal discussions on security issues, for fear of causing an internal rift. The party needs to start intraparty discussions as soon as possible and must reach a unified party view to put forth.
 民主党は依然、党内の意見が分かれている。亀裂を恐れ、安全保障論議を先送りしてきたツケだ。早急に議論を開始し、党の見解をまとめることが求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 29, 2014)

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子育て新制度 保育士の処遇改善になお課題

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:00 pm, May 29, 2014
New child-rearing support system must better meet parents’ needs
子育て新制度 保育士の処遇改善になお課題

Improving and expanding high-quality childcare suited to the specific needs of families with small children is indispensable to counter the low birth rate. We hope the government will steadily implement such measures through its new system to support children and child rearing, which will be launched in fiscal 2015.
 子育て世帯のニーズに応じた良質な保育サービスの拡充が、少子化対策には欠かせない。2015年度に始まる「子ども・子育て支援新制度」で着実に実施してもらいたい。

The government released its draft plan for the official rates for childcare services to be paid under the new system to childcare and other facilities. The rates are determined by service category. In principle, the central and local governments will pay childcare facilities the amount left over after user charges have been deducted from the official rates.
 新制度で保育所などが受け取る「公定価格」の政府案が公表された。保育サービスの種類別に定められている。公定価格から利用者負担分を差し引いた額が、政府や自治体から施設に給付される。

The government’s draft plan for the official rates is characterized by an increase in the salaries of childcare workers, as well as more benefits to facilities that have increased the number of their staff. It is commendable that the government has begun to take steps toward improving the quality of childcare services.
 政府案の特徴は、職員給与を引き上げたり、職員配置を増やしたりした施設に対する給付を手厚くした点だ。保育の「質の改善」に踏み出したことは評価できる。

If the improvement measures are implemented, it is estimated that the profits of average midsize childcare facilities and kindergartens will increase by about 10 percent from their current levels. We hope each childcare facility will make active efforts.
 改善策を実施すれば、平均的な規模の保育所や幼稚園では、収入が現行より1割程度増えると試算されている。各施設の積極的な取り組みを期待したい。

However, the measures to improve the quality of childcare services cannot be said to be sufficient. The government intends to spend ¥700 billion a year from the additional tax revenue from the hike in the consumption tax rate to 10 percent, and prioritize an increase in the quota of childcare employees to bring to zero the number of children on waiting lists for admission to childcare centers. The funds designated for improving the quality of childcare services are limited.
 ただ、質の改善は、まだ十分とは言えない。政府は新制度に消費税の10%への増税分から年間7000億円を投入する方針だが、待機児童解消へ向けて保育定員の拡大などを優先する。質の改善に振り向ける財源は限られている。

The government has discussed the need to make further efforts to improve the salaries of employees at childcare facilities and increase the number of staff, but these subjects were postponed due to a shortage of revenue. Measures to improve training programs for childcare workers were also scaled down.
 職員の給与や配置について、一層の改善も検討されたものの、財源不足で見送られた。職員研修の充実などの施策も縮小された。

New childcare category

To eliminate the shortage of childcare workers and improve the quality and availability of childcare services, it is necessary to further improve working conditions. The government should make efforts to secure a source of revenue for that purpose, for example by making effective and flexible use of the budget for social security.
 保育士不足を解消し、保育の質と量を向上させるには、さらなる処遇改善が欠かせない。政府は、社会保障予算にメリハリをつけるなど財源確保に努めるべきだ。

The government’s new system to support children and child rearing aims to expand a new category of certified childcare facilities that integrate current childcare centers and kindergartens. The new facilities will be tasked with childcare, education, and support for child rearing in local communities.
 新制度は、保育所と幼稚園を一体化した「認定こども園」の普及を目指している。保育と教育に加え、地域の子育て支援も担う施設だ。

The official rates for childcare services under the new system are intended to cover the costs of appointing more employees in a variety of roles, sources said.
公定価格も、多様な役割に応じた職員配置の費用を賄えるよう設定したという。

However, it is not clear whether privately run kindergartens will shift to the new category of certified childcare facilities, as the decision will be left entirely to each facility.
 だが、私立幼稚園などがこども園に移行するかどうかは、各施設の判断によるため、不透明だ。

If the parents of a child enrolled at a day care facility lose their dual-income status, the child will be forced to leave. But, a new type of certified childcare facility will be offered to all parents regardless of employment status. The new certified childcare facility will be better suited to the actual circumstances of families with small children. The government must strengthen its support for childcare facilities and kindergartens that wish to shift to the new type of certified childcare facility.
 保育所の場合、親が共働きでなくなれば、子どもは転園を余儀なくされる。こども園なら、親の就労状況にかかわらず利用できる。子育て世帯の実情に合うだろう。政府は、移行を希望する施設への支援を強化する必要がある。

Under the envisaged system, local governments will be obliged to establish a framework for childcare services to cope with regional needs. The new system also includes smaller day care centers, to enable finely tuned responses to such needs.
 新制度では、地域のニーズに応じた保育サービスの体制整備が市町村に義務づけられた。小規模保育なども対象事業となり、きめ細かな対応が可能になる。

With the presentation of the government’s draft plan for the official rates for childcare services, it will become possible for local governments to work out the money they need to operate. Local governments need to map out an appropriate plan to establish the framework to launch the envisaged system as early as possible and make preparations in earnest. They must also make efforts to inform local residents in an understandable manner about the details of various services and their usage under the new system.
 公定価格案が提示されたことで、必要な費用の算段がつく。市町村は適切な整備計画を早急に策定し、準備を本格化させねばならない。多様なサービスの内容や利用法を住民に分かりやすく伝える努力も求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 29, 2014)

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原子力規制委―人事で役割ゆがめるな

May 29, 2014
EDITORIAL: Nuclear watchdog must not be made toothless
原子力規制委―人事で役割ゆがめるな

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has a habit of trying to promote policy changes through political appointments. His administration seems to have employed this political ploy to achieve its goals in the area of nuclear safety inspections.
 政策の変更を、人事をテコに進めようとする。安倍政権の「得意技」が、原発審査にも及んできたのではないか――。

This is the only possible way to put proposed replacements for two outgoing commissioners of the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) into perspective.
 原子力規制委員会をめぐり、そう考えずにはいられない人事案が明らかになった。

Of the four commissioners working under NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka, Kunihiko Shimazaki and Kenzo Oshima will retire in September when their terms expire.
The administration has decided to replace them with Satoru Tanaka, a professor of nuclear engineering at the University of Tokyo, and Akira Ishiwatari, a professor of geology at Tohoku University. Tanaka is former president of the Atomic Energy Society of Japan, while Ishiwatari is former president of the Geological Society of Japan.
 田中俊一委員長の下にいる委員4人のうち島崎邦彦委員長代理と大島賢三委員が9月の任期満了で退き、後任に元日本原子力学会長の田中知(さとる)・東京大教授と元日本地質学会長の石渡(いしわたり)明・東北大教授をあてる。

The nominations are expected to be approved by the Diet.
国会で承認される見通しだ。

What concerns us most is Shimazaki’s retirement from his post and the selection of Satoru Tanaka as a new commissioner.
 気になるのは、島崎氏の退任と田中知氏の起用である。

Shimazaki, a seismologist, has been strongly criticized by electric utilities and the business community for applying rigorous standards in assessing whether seismic faults near nuclear facilities are active.
 地震学者の島崎氏は、活断層評価などに関して電力会社や政財界から「審査が厳しすぎる」と強く批判されてきた。

But such criticism is unfair because most seismologists agree with his risk assessments. We hope that Ishiwatari, a geologist, will conduct safety inspections from a purely scientific viewpoint.
 だが、おおかたの地震の研究者が同意する内容で、批判は当たらない。専門の近い石渡氏も科学的な姿勢を貫いてほしい。

Satoru Tanaka, who will effectively replace Oshima, a former diplomat, is an engineer who has been promoting nuclear power generation while serving as a member of government advisory panels related to atomic energy, including the Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).
 元外交官の大島氏に代わる形で就任する田中知氏は、政府の総合資源エネルギー調査会などで原子力推進の旗を振ってきた工学者だ。

The Abe administration apparently intends to eventually promote him to the post of NRA chief to succeed Shunichi Tanaka.
起用には、いずれ田中俊一委員長の後任にすえる狙いがあるようにも見える。

Based on the lessons gleaned from the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the NRA was established as a powerful new nuclear safety watchdog that operates independently of METI, a staunch backer of the nuclear power industry. During its first one year and eight months of operation, the body has reasonably performed its role of enforcing strict regulations.
 規制委は原発事故の反省を踏まえて、原子力推進の経済産業省から切り離され、強い権限を持つ規制機関として誕生した。これまでの1年8カ月、曲がりなりにも「厳格な規制」をめざしてきた。

The question is how Satoru Tanaka will contribute to the NRA’s job performance as the nuclear regulator.
 そこに加わり、田中知氏がどんな貢献をするか。

There are still many challenges that need to be tackled in continuing moves to reform the nuclear power industry, one of which is the empowerment of the Secretariat of the Nuclear Regulation Authority. The NRA is also tasked with helping local governments struggling to develop workable plans for the evacuation of their communities during nuclear emergencies and changing the mind-set of electric utilities.
 原子力規制の改革はまだ始まったばかりだ。実務にあたる原子力規制庁の強化、事故時の住民避難に悩む自治体への支援、電力会社の意識改革など、課題は山積している。

The new nuclear safety standards, which were established last year, need to be reviewed constantly to reflect the latest scientific knowledge. The NRA commissioners have very important roles to play in all these efforts.
 昨年定めた原発の新規制基準にしても、不断に見直して最新の知見を反映しなければいけない。委員の役割は重大だ。

Even after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, Satoru Tanaka has consistently argued that nuclear power generation is necessary technology.
 田中知氏は事故後も「原子力は必要な技術だ」と主張し続けた。

In its final report, the accident investigative committee of the Atomic Energy Society of Japan, led by Tanaka, cited the “lack of sufficient understanding among the experts concerning the roles that they have to perform” and the “lack of sufficient attention to safety among the regulatory authorities.” The report was compiled only through internal discussions within the society, which has been often criticized for its closed nature.
一方、氏が率いた学会事故調査委員会は最終報告書で、事故の背景として「専門家の自らの役割に関する認識の不足」や「規制当局の安全に対する意識の不足」を挙げた。閉鎖性を批判されている学会が、内部の議論だけでまとめたものだ。

Can Satoru Tanaka serve as a fair and unbiased nuclear regulator? Can he do his job purely from the viewpoint of safety, based on soul searching as a specialist of nuclear technology in the face of the Fukushima nuclear disaster? Can he carry out his job as a regulator independently of his personal belief that nuclear power generation and the program to establish a nuclear fuel recycling system should be promoted?
 専門家としての深い反省に基づき、原子力や核燃料サイクルの推進という持論を棚上げしたうえで、安全の観点だけから虚心に原子力の規制にあたれるか。

If he can’t, he is not qualified to sit on the NRA.
そうでなければ、委員を務める資格はない。

The terms of the remaining two commissioners will expire next year and the tenure of the chairman will come to an end in 2017.
 残り2人の委員は来年に、委員長は17年に任期を迎える。

The government should not be allowed to make the nuclear watchdog toothless by nominating experts who are convenient to it and the industry.
 人事で原子力規制を骨抜きにしてはならない。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 29

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2014年5月29日 (木)

規制委人事案 科学的な原発審査につなげよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun 8:06 pm, May 28, 2014
NRA commissioner reshuffle a step toward more scientific safety reviews
規制委人事案 科学的な原発審査につなげよ

The planned reshuffle of the Nuclear Regulation Authority must serve as an opportunity to rectify the institution’s self-centered mind-set.
 原子力規制委員会の独善的な姿勢を改める契機とせねばならない。

After completing their two-year terms as NRA commissioners in September, Kunihiko Shimazaki and Kenzo Oshima will step down from the nation’s key nuclear watchdog body.
 9月に2年間の任期が切れる規制委の島崎邦彦委員長代理と大島賢三委員が退任することになった。

With the makeup of the NRA set to change, the government has submitted personnel proposals to both chambers of the Diet, seeking approval for its envisaged successors to Oshima and Shimazaki, who has also been serving as NRA acting chairman. The government wants to appoint Prof. Satoru Tanaka of the University of Tokyo and Prof. Akira Ishiwatari of Tohoku University.
 政府は、2人の後任として、田中知・東大教授と石渡明・東北大教授を充てる国会同意人事案を衆参両院に提示した。

The NRA was established under the administration of the then ruling Democratic Party of Japan in 2012. The organization’s oversight panel includes Chairman Shunichi Tanaka, and four specialists serving as commissioners. Tanaka’s term of office is five years, and the two remaining commissioners are serving three-year terms.
 民主党政権時の2012年に発足した規制委は、田中俊一委員長と委員4人で構成される。田中委員長の任期は5年、島崎、大島両氏以外の委員2人は3年だ。

The departure of Shimazaki and Oshima will mark the first reshuffle of the panel since the NRA’s inauguration.
今回が初のメンバー交代となる。

Only one of the current NRA commissioners is an expert in nuclear reactor technology, the most essential academic field for understanding and debating pertinent problems. Many critics have said the regulatory body is unable to fully discuss issues from an engineering point of view.
 肝心の原子炉技術を専門とする委員は1人のため、工学的議論が足りないとの批判が多かった。

Over the years, commissioner-in-waiting Satoru Tanaka has specialized in nuclear engineering. He previously served as chairman of the Atomic Energy Society of Japan (AESJ). Some time after the disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant occurred, Tanaka worked to determine the cause of the crisis as head of an AESJ accident investigation panel.
 田中知氏は原子力工学を専攻してきた。日本原子力学会の元会長で、東京電力福島第一原発の事故後、学会の事故調査委員長として原因究明に取り組んだ。

The government’s decision to appoint him as an NRA commissioner apparently reflects its desire to improve the substance of technical discussions at the watchdog committee.
 政府が田中知氏の起用を決めたのは今後、技術的な検討の充実を図るのが狙いだろう。

Ishiwatari is a geological specialist. His area of expertise is indispensable for nuclear power plant safety inspections.
 石渡氏は、安全審査に欠かせない地質研究の専門家である。

Lack of coordination

Explaining the reasoning behind the decision to reshuffle personnel, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga described Tanaka and Ishiwatari as “the best figures capable of fulfilling their duties from an unbiased standpoint.” We hope the planned personnel reshuffle will do much to improve the NRA’s ability as a nuclear oversight committee.
 菅官房長官は、「公正な立場から職務を遂行できるベストな人材だ」と人選の理由を述べた。メンバーの交代で、規制委の能力が向上するよう期待したい。

It is also important to ensure the NRA properly functions as a panel seeking to reach its decisions through discussions among its chief and members. This type of decision-making process is part and parcel of such a committee.
 規制委を、本来求められている合議制の委員会として機能させることも重要だ。

At present, however, each NRA commissioner is tasked with exploring issues related to his or her particular area of expertise, such as equipment and natural disasters, when performing safety reviews. NRA Chairman Tanaka has been frequently heard at meetings saying, “I’ll leave it up to commissioners who have the expertise.”
 現状は、設備、自然災害など分野ごとに各委員が安全審査を担当している。規制委の会合で、田中委員長が「専門家の委員にお任せして」と発言する場面も多い。

In effect, each NRA commissioner is tasked with making a final decision about matters related to his or her academic discipline. Some critics, including the Liberal Democratic Party, have good reason to say the current state of affairs demonstrates a lack of coordination among the NRA chairman and members in performing their duties.
 事実上、各委員が単独で最終判断を担う現状に、自民党などから「縦割り」との批判が出ているのは当然と言えよう。

It should not be overlooked that aspects of safety reviews related to natural disasters, an area assigned to Shimazaki, have only made slow progress, thus prolonging the process.
 島崎氏が担当している自然災害の分野で、審査が長期化していることも看過できない。

During a review regarding the scale of a postulated earthquake, he has yet to disclose what sort of data will be under consideration prior to NRA meetings. Instead, he has issued extremely detailed instructions at nearly every safety review session. Doing so makes progress in conducting efficient safety inspections difficult.
 想定すべき地震の規模に関する審査で、島崎氏は、あらかじめ調査項目を開示せず、審査会合で毎回のように細切れの指示を出している。これでは、効率的に審査を進めるのは難しい。

Shimazaki’s attitude toward safety reviews has been characterized by unscientific thinking. This issue was evident, for instance, in his demand during a review regarding an active fault under Japan Atomic Power Co.’s Tsuruga nuclear power station in Fukui Prefecture. He insisted it must be proven that the fault underneath the facility is never active.
 日本原子力発電敦賀原発の敷地内に活断層があるかどうかの評価の際に、絶対に活断層ではないという証明を求めるなど、非科学的な姿勢が目立つ。

Eleven nuclear power plants are currently undergoing safety review procedures toward resumption of operations. However, it remains unknown when the reviews of each plant will be completed.
 再稼働に向けた安全審査の手続きに入っている原発は11か所に上るが、いずれも審査終了のめどは立っていないのが現状だ。

The NRA needs to reconsider its safety inspection policies under a new team of commissioners. Doing so is essential for speeding up the review process.
 審査を加速させるには、規制委が、新たな陣容で審査方針を再検討することが必要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 28, 2014)

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グレーゾーン 切れ目ない事態対処を可能に

The Yomiuri Shimbun 8:08 pm, May 28, 2014
Seamless SDF response in gray zone needs legal basis, deeper discussion
グレーゾーン 切れ目ない事態対処を可能に

We have come to understand that there are situations that fall between peacetime and crisis that are difficult for Japan to handle under current legislation. The ruling parties should deepen their discussions on how to quickly and effectively deal with such “gray-zone” situations, and hasten their preparations for establishing the necessary laws.
 平時と有事の中間に相当するグレーゾーン事態に対し、いかに迅速で効果的な対処を可能にするか。与党は議論を深め、法整備を急ぐべきだ。

The government on Tuesday presented to the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito 15 security scenarios that could not be dealt with adequately under the current constitutional interpretation and legal framework. Following the presentation, the ruling parties began discussing some of the scenarios that could be said to fall within the gray zone, such as the seizure of a remote island by an armed group.
 政府が、現在の憲法解釈や法制度では十分な対処ができない15事例を自民、公明両党に提示した。与党は、15事例のうち、武装集団による離島占拠などグレーゾーン事態に関する議論を始めた。

China has unilaterally set an air-defense identification zone in the East China Sea. Earlier this month, Beijing’s fighter jets flew abnormally close to Self-Defense Force aircraft. Intrusions of Chinese vessels into Japan’s territorial waters continue in areas near the Senkaku Islands.
 中国は東シナ海に防空識別圏を一方的に設定し、戦闘機が自衛隊機に異常接近した。尖閣諸島周辺では領海侵入が続いている。

The scenario of special forces or an armed group disguised as fishermen landing on Japan’s remote island seems within the realm of possibility. We must prepare adequately for such situations.
 武装した偽装漁民や特殊部隊による離島上陸は、十分起こり得るシナリオだ。きちんとした備えをしておく必要がある。

Of course, primary responsibility for dealing with such emergencies rests with the Japan Coast Guard and police, but there are cases the Maritime Self-Defense Force could handle more speedily, or even more appropriately. Under Japan’s current legal provisions, however, the MSDF could not be mobilized without the issuance of a maritime policing order or a public security operations order.
 無論、一義的に海上保安庁や警察が対応すべきだが、海上自衛隊が対処した方が早く、適切な場合もあろう。だが、現行法では海上警備行動や治安出動が発令されない限り、海自は対処できない。

The issuance of such orders takes time, as procedures such as obtaining Cabinet approval must be followed. Even if the orders are issued, the MSDF’s use of arms would be subject to the same restrictions that apply to police. The gap between such orders and mobilization orders issued for the sake of national defense—through which Japan could exercise its right to self-defense—is huge.
 海上警備行動などの発令には、閣議決定の手続きが必要となり、時間がかかる。発令されても、武器使用は警察権の範囲内に制約される。自衛権を行使できる防衛出動との落差は大きい。

Extend scope of weapons use

What counts is to establish a framework that enables a seamless response to all eventualities, from normality to emergency, appropriate to the severity of each situation. The government needs to establish the legal basis required to ensure the SDF can take effective action, with no shortcomings in timescales or the use of weapons.
 重要なのは、平時から有事への事態の進展に応じて、切れ目のない対処を可能にすることだ。自衛隊の行動に「時間」と「武器使用」の両面で隙間を生じないようにする法整備が求められる。

In particular, the government should assign to the SDF additional duties, including peacetime territorial security. The SDF should cooperate with the JCG and the police to create a system that enables the nation to respond to a full range of circumstances. It is also essential to extend the scope of the SDF’s authority on use of weapons, so that they are able to fire warning shots or even direct shots, if necessary.
 具体的には、自衛隊に平時から領域警備などの任務を与え、海保・警察と連携して、様々な事態に対処できる体制を構築したい。必要に応じて、警告射撃や危害射撃ができるよう、武器使用権限を拡大することも欠かせない。

Extending the scope of the SDF’s authority to use weapons does not mean that the SDF will automatically use weapons in every case. The purpose of the extension is to broaden the SDF’s options with regards to the use of weapons, depending on the circumstances and demeanor of potential adversaries. Such precautions could prevent the occurrence of incidents as well as their escalation.
 武器使用権限の拡大は、必ず武器を使うことを意味するものではない。相手の出方次第で、武器を使える選択肢を広げるのが目的だ。その備えが、事態の発生や拡大を防ぐことにつながる。

U.S. President Barack Obama has said recently that the Senkaku Islands fall under the scope of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, a political message that strengthened deterrence against actions targeting the islets. Establishing laws to deal with gray-zone situations, and training SDF forces on the basis of those laws, would reinforce that deterrence on a practical level.
 オバマ米大統領が尖閣諸島を日米安保条約の適用対象と明言したことは、抑止力を高める重要な政治的メッセージとなった。グレーゾーン事態の法整備や、それに基づく自衛隊の訓練は、現場レベルで抑止力を補強するものだ。

We also would like to stress that preparations of security-related laws should not be limited to gray-zone related issues. Such preparations should be considered together—as a package—with establishing legal provisions regarding Japan’s international cooperation, such as allowing SDF troops to rescue foreign troops during peacekeeping operations, and activities that require changes to the government’s interpretation of the constitution in relation to the right to collective self-defense.
 安全保障の法整備は、グレーゾーン事態対処だけでなく、「駆けつけ警護」など国際協力や、集団的自衛権の憲法解釈変更を伴う活動と一体で進めるのが筋だ。

Considering the fact that there are so many different opinions on each of the 15 scenarios, it is unlikely that LDP-Komeito discussions will proceed at sufficient depth if they are held only once a week for one hour at a time. If the LDP wants to reach a conclusion by the end of June, discussions should be held much more frequently.
 15事例について多くの論点がある中、与党協議が週1回、1時間程度では議論が深まらない。自民党が来月中に結論を出すつもりなら、協議時間を増やすべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 28, 2014)

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人口急減社会の問い―生き方の再検討を迫る

May 28, 2014
EDITORIAL: Japan's shrinking population forces us to reconsider how we live
人口急減社会の問い―生き方の再検討を迫る

Japan's projected population decline conjures up an image of a ball rolling down a steep slope.
 これから先、見込まれる日本の人口減少は、急な坂を転げ落ちるかのようだ。

According to estimates by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, the nation's population will shrink to two-thirds of the current level in the next half-century, and then to one-third 100 years from now.
 国立社会保障・人口問題研究所の推計によれば、人口は約半世紀で3分の2に、1世紀で3分の1に縮む。

Three panels of experts have issued reports on how to put the brakes on the decline.
 どうすればこの流れを緩められるか。官民三つの有識者会議が相次いで報告をまとめた。

All the reports concur that there are obstacles preventing people who want to marry and have children from doing so, and that these obstacles must be removed.
 主張の核心は、どれも同じ。結婚したい、産みたいという希望がかなっていないと指摘し、障害を取り除こうと訴える。

The reports also offer similar solutions, which boil down to expanding support for parents and changing the ways of working.
 対策にも共通点が多い。支援策拡充と働き方の改革である。

The Japan Policy Council, a private research foundation that issued one of the three reports, caught the public's attention by pointing out the possibility of about half of the nation's current rural municipalities ceasing to exist if they keep losing their populations to the big cities. But aside from the JPC's dire warning, the three reports offer no new practical solutions.
 三つのうち、民間の「日本創成会議」分科会が、大都市への人口流出が続けば約半数の市区町村は消滅の可能性があると指摘し、耳目を集めた。それを除けば、さほど目新しい指摘や対策があるわけではない。

This was only to be expected, as what needs to be done is already fairly clear. But the point is whether society and the political community will be receptive to the proposed solutions and follow through.
 当然だろう。元々、やるべきことははっきりしているからだ。焦点は政治と社会に理解を広げ、実現できるかどうかだ。

CHANGING REALITY OF FAMILIES
■変わる家族の現実

What are the problems?
 何が問題なのか。

Our society is solidly established on the traditional concept of the family, which is that the husband is the sole breadwinner and the wife is a full-time homemaker. But this is no longer the reality today, while the social systems, practices and people's mind-sets are still based on the traditional concept.
 夫が「一家の大黒柱」として家族のぶんまで稼ぎ、主婦が家族の世話をする。そんな家族像を前提に、日本社会に張り巡らされた制度や慣行、人々の意識が、家族の現実にそぐわなくなっている。

The situation in Japan is conspicuously different from those in other leading industrialized countries.
 ほかの先進国と比べると、日本の特徴がくっきり浮かぶ。

Despite the growing number of households where both spouses work, policy support for child-rearing families is still far from adequate.
 子育て支援が薄い。共働きの広がりに、支援策が追いついていない。

Long working hours are still routine, partly because the sole breadwinner has always been expected to put in overtime and never complain about transfers. So long as this mind-set remains, husbands will find it difficult to help with household chores and child-rearing. Women who want to work full-time jobs are forced to work long hours just like the men, and tend to put off marrying and starting a family.
 長時間労働が際だつ。「大黒柱」は残業も転勤もいとわず働くのが当たり前だったからだ。その慣行が続いている限り、夫は家事や育児に参画しにくい。男性に負けずに働こうとすれば女性も長時間労働を強いられ、結婚や出産を先送りしがちだ。

Wage levels differ greatly by how one works. In the past, part-time work was only for married women and students, whose wages were kept low on the premise that they could depend financially on their husbands or fathers. But there is a growing number of adult men nowadays who are earning low wages as part-time workers. The current trend for women to remain single or marry late will only accelerate if they keep waiting for men who will meet all their financial needs.
 働き方による賃金格差が大きい。かつて非正社員といえば、主婦のパートと学生のアルバイトだった。夫や父親の稼ぎに頼れる前提で賃金を抑えられていた。だが、その賃金水準で働く大人の男性が増えた。女性がなお「大黒柱」を待ち望めば、未婚・晩婚が進まざるをえない。

PROBLEMS WITH 'JAPAN MODEL'
■「日本型」のつまずき

If that is the case, some people argue, then we should revive the traditional concept of family.
 ならば昔の家族を取り戻せ。

But that is a tall order. The number of households that can survive on the husband's income alone is on the decrease, and in this age of unstable employment, it is too risky to rely on just one breadwinner. Housework is done differently today from the past, too. Families change along with changes in their circumstances.
 そう考える人もいるだろう。だが、難しい。夫の収入だけで暮らせる世帯は減っているし、雇用が不安定なこの時代、「大黒柱」1本に頼るのは危うい。家事の仕方も昔とは違う。環境が変われば家族は変わる。

We already know that the changes cannot be stopped.
 変化をとめられないことは、すでに実証済みだ。

When the government declared "the first year of the welfare society" in 1973, the oil crisis that occurred that year aggravated the nation's fiscal problems. This gave rise to the concept of the "Japanese-style welfare society." The argument then was that Europe's generous welfare handouts took away people's incentive to work, whereas the Japanese spirit of self-help and reliance on one's family, not on government handouts, was truly a virtue.
 1973年の「福祉元年」宣言もつかの間、同じ年に石油危機に見舞われ、財政の悪化が進んだ。そこに登場したのが「日本型福祉社会」論だ。欧州で、手厚い福祉が勤労意欲を減退させたなどと批判し、自助や家族の支えあいこそ日本の「醇風美俗(じゅんぷうびぞく)」だと唱えた。

The Liberal Democratic Party regime of the time took advantage of this argument to curb welfare spending and proceeded to reward households with wives who stayed at home or worked only very little to shoulder burdens of caring for children and elderly parents. Specifically, the government created a system whereby women, who are married to full-time company employees and earn less than a certain level of income themselves, are qualified for old-age pensions of their own without having to pay premiums.
 自民党政権は、これを論拠に福祉を削り、負担を引き受ける主婦の優遇策を進めた。代表例が、会社員の夫を持つ主婦は、収入が低ければ保険料を払わずに年金を受け取れる制度だ。

But even this system did not stop the number of dual-income households from growing. And ironically, although it was designed to benefit low-income married women, the system had the effect of encouraging part-time workers to keep their wage levels low. This became one of the causes of the significant wage gaps that exist today. The Abe administration is currently trying to review this "Japan-style" setup by encouraging women's "active participation" in society.
 それでも共働きは広がった。収入が低い主婦を優遇する制度は低賃金労働を誘い、賃金格差の一因となった。安倍政権はいま「女性の活躍」を掲げ、こうした「日本型」の施策の見直しにとりくむ。

Outside Japan, conspicuous drops in birthrates can be found in countries such as Italy and Spain where people rely on their families for the help they need. It is only natural that when families become overburdened, people hesitate to have children.
 世界をみても、イタリアやスペインなど、家族の力に頼る国々で少子化が顕著だと指摘される。家族に負担がかかりすぎると、家族をつくることをためらうのは、当然の帰結だろう。

SUPPORTING THE NEXT GENERATION
■支える世代を支える

The burden on families will grow even further in the days ahead. In the past, there were multiple working-age people financially supporting one senior citizen under the welfare system. But the nation is fast transforming into a "piggyback" society where there will be only one working-age citizen supporting a senior citizen.
 これから、家族の負担はもっと重くなる。日本は、多くの現役世代で1人のお年寄りを支えた「胴上げ型社会」から、1人で1人を支える「肩車型社会」へと突き進んでいる。

Will the working-age people be able to bear their tax and insurance premium burdens? Will more people be forced to give up work or motherhood in order to care for their elderly parents or relatives? Something must be done to protect both the younger and older generations from collapse.
 現役世代は、税や保険料の重さに耐えられるか。親族の介護のため、仕事や出産を諦める人が増えないか。共倒れを防ぐ工夫が要る。

For one, it is vital to ensure that people will be able to function to their full capacity.
 第一に、人の力を最大限生かせる仕組みである。

This calls for a system that will allow people to work flexibly while caring for their children or elderly family members.
 たとえば、介護や子育てなどの事情に応じて柔軟に働ける制度だ。

In the Netherlands, workers are entitled to demand shorter or longer working hours according to their needs, and employers are forbidden to unfavorably treat workers because of shorter working hours. As a result, the employment rate and birthrate have gone up.
オランダでは労働者が労働時間の短縮や延長を求める権利を定め、短いからといって待遇に差をつけることを禁じた。就業率も出生率も上昇した。

Secondly, it is necessary to provide support to the younger generation that supports the elderly population.
 第二に、お年寄りを支え続けるためにも、「支える世代を支える」ことである。

The three reports from the panels of experts propose that the nation's social security system, which is currently weighted heavily in favor of the elderly, should be revised to take the needs of the younger generation into consideration. Seniors in difficult financial circumstances obviously need help, but the needs of the younger generation cannot be ignored any longer.
 三つの報告は、高齢者に偏る社会保障を見直し、子育て支援などに振り向けよと唱える。貧しいお年寄りへの配慮が前提だが、避けてはいられまい。

The report by the JPC went one step further. Noting that the terminally ill who are no longer able to eat on their own are often fed from a tube, the report urged earnest discussion of issues related to terminal care to explore desirable forms of end-of-life treatment.
 日本創成会議は、口から食べることが難しい場合、胃にチューブを通す胃ろうなど「終末期ケア」のあり方も議論すべき時期だ、と踏み込んだ。人生の最後の時期をどのように過ごすのが幸せなのか、議論を促した。

We are born, and we will all eventually die someday.
 生まれる。死ぬ。

The nation's shrinking population forces us to face life squarely and reconsider how we live. And we cannot move forward unless the entire society engages in discussion.
 人口減少は私たちに、命をみつめることを求めている。生き方、暮らし方の再検討を迫っている。社会全体での議論なしには、前に進めない。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 26

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2014年5月28日 (水)

スマホ初心者の夢を叶える「Fairisia フェアリシア」

スマホを使うのは今度が初めてだという人は意外と多いですね。
高齢者のみならず、若い世代の人たちでもスマホ初心者時代には、それなりに苦労を強いられます。
そんな苦労を肩代わりしてくれるのがクラウド上で操作可能の「Fairisia フェアリシア」なんです。
「Fairisia フェアリシア」を導入することによって、もはや苦しむことなしにスマホライフを謳歌できるようになります。
どんなことができるのでしょうか。
一例だけなんですがご紹介します。

友達とチャットするツールはティティと呼ばれています。
ガールズカメラはデコマニアにはたまらない魅力がある画像処理技術なんです。
スタンプメーカーをつかえば、自分でデザインした画像をチャットアプリのスタンプとして使えます。
個性派ならば、これが一番ですね。
目立つこと請け合いなんです。
このほかにも使えるアプリが目白押しなんです。



コヴィア、メガハウスから発売の親子の『欲しい』を叶えるティーンズスマートフォン「Fairisia フェアリシア」に開発協力
(http://fairisia.jp/)



ドリームニュース・ブログメディア参加記事

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ウクライナ選挙 混迷を脱却する契機としたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:40 pm, May 27, 2014
Election of Ukraine’s new president an opportunity to clear up confusion
ウクライナ選挙 混迷を脱却する契機としたい

We hope that the selection of a new leader will serve as an opportunity for Ukraine to escape from its turmoil. International cooperation is called for to support the country.
 新指導者の選出を、ウクライナが混迷から脱する契機としたい。国際社会には、連携して支援することが求められる。

Pro-Europe Petro Poroshenko, a former foreign minister, will most likely score a runaway victory over his closest rival candidate in the country’s presidential election.
 ウクライナ大統領選は親欧州のポロシェンコ元外相が、対立候補に大差をつけて勝利する見通しとなった。

Attention was focused on whether the election could be held under unstable conditions. Pro-Russia armed separatists obstructed voting in the eastern provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk. Voting was not held in the Crimean Peninsula, which had been illegitimately annexed by Russia.
 今回の大統領選は、投票がきちんと行われるかどうかが焦点だったが、東部ドネツク、ルガンスク2州では、親ロシア派武装集団によって投票が妨害された。ロシアに不法編入されたクリミア半島では投票自体が行われなかった。

Nevertheless, the election was held peacefully as a whole with the voter turnout rate reaching 60 percent. The election was highly commended by the international community, with the European Union issuing a comment that it marked a significant step toward the easing of tensions and restoration of public order.
 だが、全体としては、選挙は平穏に実施され、投票率は60%に達した。欧州連合(EU)が、「緊張緩和と治安回復に向けた主要なステップ」とコメントするなど、国際社会も高く評価した。

It is safe to say the election was legitimate.
 選挙の正統性は保たれたと言えるのではないか。

Poroshenko has experience serving as a cabinet minister of both pro-Europe and pro-Russia administrations. The people may have also placed expectations on the administrative abilities of Poroshenko, who also earned a reputation as a successful entrepreneur.
 ポロシェンコ氏は、過去の親欧州政権だけでなく親露政権でも閣僚を務めた。成功した企業家としても知られ、その実務的な手腕に国民は期待を託したのだろう。

In his victory speech, Poroshenko said the people had “opted for a path to integration with Europe” and announced a policy to work toward deepening relations with the EU both politically and economically.
 勝利宣言の中で、ポロシェンコ氏は、国民が「欧州統合の道を選んだ」と述べ、EUとの政治、経済両面での関係深化を推進する方針を表明した。

Open to dialogue

Poroshenko also gave diplomatic consideration to Russia by expressing his readiness to launch negotiations with Moscow over security issues. He also believes in permitting expanded regional autonomy as a measure to deal with the discontent of ethnic Russian residents in the eastern region of Ukraine.
 一方、安全保障面でロシアと協議を始める意向を示し、ロシアへの外交的配慮を見せた。東部のロシア系住民の不満に対処するため地方自治拡大も図る考えだ。

In light of the election results, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a Moscow news conference, “We’re ready for dialogue with the new president of Ukraine.”
 選挙結果を受けて、ラブロフ露外相は記者会見で、「ロシアは、ウクライナの新しい大統領と対話の用意がある」と述べた。

But it would be unwise to conclude that Moscow has changed its hard-line stance toward Kiev. Russian President Vladimir Putin said he ordered the withdrawal of Russian military forces deployed near Ukraine’s border, but a large portion of them have stayed behind.
 しかし、ロシアがウクライナへの強硬姿勢を改めたと考えるのは早計である。プーチン露大統領は、ウクライナ国境付近に展開した露軍の撤収を命じたと述べたが、大半の部隊は残ったままだ。

Pro-Russia separatists backed by Moscow in the eastern region of Ukraine have occupied such public facilities as an airport and local government buildings, and their stance of seeking separation and independence from Ukraine remains unchanged.
 ロシアの後押しを受けている東部の親露派は、空港や地方政府庁舎などを占拠し、分離独立の方針を変えていない。

For the time being, the international community needs to continue applying pressure through sanctions against Russia.
 国際社会は、当面、ロシアに対して制裁による圧力を維持する必要がある。

Deciding on the right approach to the Ukrainian issue will become a central theme in the summit meeting of the Group of Seven countries set for next month. It goes without saying that the meeting will call for continued assistance to Ukraine, along with a plan to ramp up sanctions against Russia.
 来月開かれる先進7か国(G7)首脳会議では、ウクライナ問題への対応が中心議題となろう。対露制裁強化の検討と合わせ、ウクライナ支援の継続が求められるのは、言うまでもない。

Recognizing Ukraine’s presidential election as a milestone event, Japan took part in an international election monitoring team. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that Japan “will assist the new administration” to be created after the election. Japan needs to play an active role in this regard.
 日本は、今回の大統領選を重要な節目と見て、国際選挙監視団にも参加した。菅官房長官は「新政権が誕生したら支援していきたい」と語った。日本としても積極的に役割を果たす必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 27, 2014)

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竹富町の教科書 単独採択の容認は禍根を残す

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:38 pm, May 27, 2014
Approval for Taketomi town to become independent school district problematic
竹富町の教科書 単独採択の容認は禍根を残す

The latest move in the Okinawa Prefecture school textbook case may become a bad precedent, we are afraid.
 教科書採択の悪あしき前例にならないか。

The Okinawa Prefectural Board of Education has approved the secession of the town board of education in Taketomi from the textbook selection council of the Yaeyama district—comprising the city of Ishigaki and the towns of Taketomi and Yonaguni—in the prefecture.
 沖縄県教育委員会が、石垣市、竹富町、与那国町による八重山採択地区から、竹富町の離脱を認めることを決めた。

The Taketomi Board of Education has been using a textbook of its own choice in public schools for more than two years, in violation of the law on the free provision of school textbooks, which stipulates that a joint textbook adoption district—comprising more than one municipality—must adopt the same textbook throughout.
 竹富町教委は、共同採択地区内で同一の教科書を採択するという教科書無償措置法に違反し、2年以上、独自に採択した教科書を使用している。

The Taketomi Board of Education did not comply with a demand for corrective action that the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry made in March based on the Local Government Law.
3月に文部科学省から地方自治法に基づく是正要求を受けたのに、従わなかった。

As the prefectural board of education has approved the Taketomi Board of Education’s establishment of an independent educational district, the Taketomi board will be able to adopt textbooks of its own choice beginning next fiscal year. We cannot help but feel doubtful about the latest development, as it seems to have caved in to the hard line taken by the town board.
 県教委が竹富町を独立した採択地区と認めたことで、竹富町教委は来年度以降に使用する教科書について、単独での採択が可能になった。ごね得とも言える展開には疑問を禁じ得ない。

We must remember that the current state of unlawfulness will remain until the end of this fiscal year. This development is quite problematic from the viewpoint of legal compliance.
 忘れてはならないのは、今年度いっぱいは、違法状態が続くことだ。法令順守の観点から、極めて問題がある。

Education Minister Hakubun Shimomura said the ministry would not file a lawsuit against the Taketomi town government to formally establish the illegality of the town board’s actions.
 下村文科相は、竹富町を相手とした違法確認訴訟は起こさない方針を表明した。

He has reportedly concluded that even if the education ministry wins the suit and has the town board change the textbook for use at public schools, it would only cause confusion in classrooms in the middle of an academic year. But this does not mean Shimomura approves of the current state of illegality.
これは、勝訴しても年度途中で使用教科書を変えると、学校現場が混乱しかねないと懸念したためだ。現在の違法状態を容認したわけではない。

The prefectural board of education carries a grave responsibility for allowing the confusion to drag on.
 混乱を長引かせた県教委の責任は、重大である。

Dispute over textbooks

In the summer of 2011, the textbook selection council of the Yaeyama district chose a civic studies textbook published by Ikuhosha Publishing Inc. for use in middle schools. The council selected the textbook because it contains a full description of territorial issues.
 八重山地区の採択地区協議会が中学校の公民教科書に育鵬社版を選んだのは、2011年夏だった。領土に関する記述が充実しているといった理由からだ。

Despite the council’s selection, however, the Taketomi Board of Education unilaterally decided to use a textbook published by Tokyo Shoseki Co.
 これに対し、竹富町教委のみが東京書籍版を採択した。

The prefectural board of education has not taken steps to have the Taketomi Board of Education take corrective action. Even when the education ministry instructed the prefectural board of education last October to demand the Taketomi Board of Education conform, the prefectural board did nothing.
 県教委は竹富町教委に、適切な働きかけをしていない。文科省が県教委に対して昨年10月、竹富町教委への是正要求を指示した際も、動かなかった。

The joint textbook adoption system allows small local municipalities with limited personnel to cooperate with each other in selecting school textbooks. Joint textbook adoption districts comprise local municipalities that share the same sense of unity geographically and culturally.
 そもそも共同採択制度は、人員に限りのある小規模自治体が協力して教科書を選ぶ仕組みだ。地理的、文化的な一体性を持つ市町村が共同採択地区を形成する。

The law on the free provision of school textbooks was revised in April as some cases emerged in which the demarcation of the joint textbook adoption district would no longer correspond to the distribution of local communities and their livelihoods due to mergers of cities, towns and villages in recent years.
 近年の市町村合併で、採択地区の線引きが現状に合わない例も出てきたため、4月に教科書無償措置法が改正された。

The revision changed the description of administrative units of joint textbook adoption districts from “cities and counties” to “cities, towns and villages,” allowing textbooks to be selected by educational districts that combine towns and villages more flexibly.
採択地区の設定単位を「市郡」から「市町村」に変え、柔軟な組み合わせができるようにしたのが特徴だ。

The Taketomi Board of Education, apparently by distorting the meaning of the legal revision to its own advantage, demanded that it could break away from the educational district. Yet the ties among municipalities within the Yaeyama district remain strong. There are no special circumstances surrounding the district due to the recent merger of municipalities. The secession of the Taketomi Board of Education was not made in line with the purport of the law revision.
 竹富町教委はこれを逆手に取って離脱を要望した。しかし、八重山地区の結びつきは今も強い。市町村合併といった事情は見当たらない。竹富町の離脱は、法改正の趣旨を踏まえたものではない。

It is only reasonable that the boards of education of Ishigaki and Yonaguni have called for leaving the current framework in place.
 石垣市と与那国町が現行の枠組みの維持を求めたのは当然だ。

It is regrettable that such a natural procedure as the board of education selecting a textbook in compliance with laws and ordinances has been ignored.
 法令を守って、教科書を採択する。当たり前のことがないがしろにされたのは、残念である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 27, 2014)

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企業でメンタルヘルスの大切さが見直されています

メンタルヘルスという言葉を最初に聞いたのは今から30年位前です。
当時、大手建設会社勤務だったのですが、建設現場の作業所の所長がある工事の竣工検査当日に自殺しました。
それから、会社でも社員の心の健康に気配りするようになったのです。
まもなく会社でメンタルヘルスという制度を取り入れました。
専門家をなんと東大から呼んだのですが、彼は大変な喫煙家(ヘビースモーカー)でした。
メンタルヘルスの講習会は10名程度の少数の社員ごとに日程を割り振られていました。
狭い部屋なので、講師の吸うタバコの煙にうんざりした経験がありますが、講義の内容はさすが東大です。すばらしいものでした。
このメンタルヘルス制度を会社が取り入れてから、自殺する社員の数はゼロとなりました。
それでもストレスで会社を早期退職する人たちはあいかわらず多かったですね。
私もそのうちの一人なんです。
うつ状態に陥ったと思ったら、すぐに専門医に相談して抗うつ剤を服用する。
これが有効な手段だとされています。



ドリームニュース・ブログメディア参加記事

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2014年5月27日 (火)

福島原発地下水 海への放出で汚染水を減らせ

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:21 pm, May 26, 2014
Releasing groundwater crucial step toward resolving Fukushima crisis
福島原発地下水 海への放出で汚染水を減らせ

Tokyo Electric Power Co. has released into the sea for the first time 560 tons of groundwater that it pumped out from its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, an essential task toward decommissioning the crippled reactors.
 事故が起きた原子炉の廃炉を進めるうえで、不可欠の作業である。
 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所から、くみ上げた地下水560トンが初めて海に放出された。

The government and TEPCO are hoping to limit the amount of water being contaminated in the destroyed reactor buildings by releasing groundwater into the ocean before it flows into the buildings.
 政府と東電は、壊れた原発建屋への流入前に地下水を海へ放出すれば、建屋内で発生する汚染水を抑制できると期待している。

That they finally managed to release the water represents a step forward in the formidable job of ending the nuclear crisis. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the water release “will considerably reduce the workload required to deal with contaminated water.”
 海洋放出にこぎ着けたことで、難航する事故収束へ一歩前進したと言えよう。菅官房長官も、「汚染水対策の作業量が大幅に減少する」と述べている。

The released groundwater was pumped from wells on the premises of the nuclear power plant and kept in storage tanks. Stringent checks were made on the radioactive level in the water, not only by TEPCO but also by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency and the Japan Chemical Analysis Center, both outside entities.
 今回放出した地下水は先月、敷地内の井戸からくみ上げ、貯蔵タンクに保管していたものだ。水質は、東電だけでなく、日本原子力研究開発機構と日本分析センターも検査し、外部の目で安全性を厳格に確認している。

Based on their findings, the Fukushima prefectural government and local fishermen’s cooperatives approved the water’s release into the ocean.
 この結果を踏まえ、福島県や地元漁協などが放出を認めた。

TEPCO will check whether radioactive substances in fish and shellfish caught off the coast near the plant are within safety standards and report its findings to fishermen and other parties concerned. It will also examine the radioactive level of seawater in the vicinity of the plant, and have its results checked by the Nuclear Regulation Authority.
 東電は今後、沿岸で捕獲した魚介類中の放射性物質が安全基準以下かどうかを測定し、漁業関係者に報告する。周辺海域の水質も検査し、原子力規制庁がその結果をチェックする。

It is necessary for the government and TEPCO to thoroughly explain these safety measures to people in Japan and overseas, so they will have a better understanding of what is taking place.
 政府と東電は、こうした安全確保策を、国内外にしっかりと説明し、理解を得る必要がある。

Ice walls still pending

The problem, however, is that contaminated water will continue to increase in spite of the release of the groundwater. About 350,000 tons of contaminated water is now stored in nearly 900 tanks on the plant’s premises.
 問題は、地下水を海洋に放出しても、汚染水の増加は依然として続くことである。
 敷地内のタンクにたまった汚染水は35万トンを超え、タンク数は900基近くに上っている。

As its trump card to completely shut down the influx of groundwater into the reactor buildings, the government and TEPCO plan to install frozen subsurface soil dams, or underground ice walls, around the reactor buildings.
 政府と東電は、建屋への地下水流入を完全に遮断する切り札として、「凍土壁」の設置を予定している。建屋を囲むように氷の壁を地下に設ける計画だ。

Preliminary experiments for the project have been successful, but TEPCO has not been able to begin installing the walls because the NRA deemed TEPCO’s study on safety measures to be “insufficient.” The NRA raised concerns that contaminated water could flow out if the freezing device to maintain the ice walls malfunctions.
 すでに予備実験は成功しているが、肝心の着工は遅れている。原子力規制委員会が、安全対策の検討が不十分だ、と指摘しているためだ。凍土壁を保持する冷却機能が故障すれば、汚染水が流出しかねないとの懸念も示している。

We hope the two parties will resolve their differences in this area as soon as possible.
 詰めを急いでもらいたい。

Also, work to remove radioactive substances from contaminated water has not progressed as planned. The Advanced Liquid Processing System, a water decontamination device set up by TEPCO, has been plagued by such troubles as malfunctions and operational errors.
 汚染水から放射性物質を取り除く浄化作業も難航中だ。東電が設置した浄化装置「ALPS」に、故障や操作ミスなどのトラブルが続発している。

ALPS should allow TEPCO to remove harmful radioactive substances almost entirely. If water from the plant is decontaminated and stored in tanks, it will drastically reduce the contamination risk in such situations as water leaking from the tanks.
 ALPSを使えば、汚染水からやっかいな放射性物質がほとんど取り除ける。浄化してタンクに貯蔵すれば、漏えい時などのリスクが格段に軽減される。

In the future, releasing decontaminated water into the ocean once its safety is confirmed will be an important issue to consider. The government and TEPCO must focus all their energy on ensuring the stable operation of ALPS.
 将来的には、浄化後の水の安全性を確認し、海に流すことも重要な検討課題となろう。ALPSの安定稼働に向け、政府、東電は全力を挙げねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 26, 2014)

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中国機異常接近 習政権は常軌逸した挑発慎め

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:22 pm, May 26, 2014
China fighters’ abnormally close flying to SDF planes an aberrant provocation
中国機異常接近 習政権は常軌逸した挑発慎め

An incident has taken place that must be condemned as a thoughtless and extremely dangerous provocation, an act that came within a hair’s breadth of a midair collision. We absolutely will not overlook this occurrence.
 一歩間違えば衝突事故につながりかねない、非常識かつ極めて危険な挑発行為である。看過することはできない。

Two Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jets belonging to the Chinese military flew abnormally close to a Maritime Self-Defense Force OP-3C image data acquisition plane and an Air Self-Defense Force YS-11EB electronic intelligence plane Saturday, which were flying over the high seas in the East China Sea.
 中国軍のSU27戦闘機2機が24日、東シナ海の公海上空を飛行していた海上自衛隊のOP3C画像情報収集機と、航空自衛隊のYS11EB情報収集機に異常接近した。

The incident occurred in airspace where Japan’s air defense identification zone overlaps with what China claims as its own ADIZ. One of the Chinese fighters was reported to have flown roughly 50 meters from the OP-3C aircraft, while the other came as close as about 30 meters from the YS-11EB plane.
 現場は、日本の防空識別圏と、中国が主張する防空識別圏が重なる空域である。中国軍機はOP3Cには約50メートル、YS11EBには約30メートルまで近づいたという。

International law does not explicitly stipulate the distance that airplanes should maintain from one another for safety purposes. However, the recent acts of flying extraordinarily close to the SDF planes are an affront to what are considered norms in the international community.
 国際法上、航空機同士が安全のため確保すべき距離は定められていないが、今回のような異常接近は国際常識から外れている。

On Sunday, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera criticized China for its fighters’ aggressive behavior toward the SDF aircraft as “completely aberrant acts.” The Japanese government has lodged a protest over the incident through diplomatic channels, a natural response to the Chinese warplanes’ extremely close approaches.
 小野寺防衛相は「常軌を逸した近接行動だ」と中国を批判した。日本政府は外交ルートを通じ中国に抗議した。当然の対応だ。

The incident took place while China and Russia were conducting joint naval exercises in the East China Sea. The Defense Ministry said that at the time of the incident, the SDF planes were engaged in ordinary warning and surveillance duties at a considerable distance from the China-Russia exercise area. The Chinese Defense Ministry, however, issued a statement Sunday claiming that the SDF planes “monitored and interfered with the joint military drill by the navies of China and Russia.”
 東シナ海では、中国とロシアが合同演習を実施していた。防衛省によると、自衛隊機は演習区域から離れた場所で通常の警戒監視任務中だったが、中国国防省は「自衛隊機が中露合同演習を偵察、妨害した」との声明を発表した。

In the past, there have been several instances in which helicopters and airplanes of China’s State Oceanic Administration flew close to—within 100 meters—MSDF destroyers in the East China Sea.
 中国は過去にも、国家海洋局のヘリコプターや航空機が東シナ海で数回、海自の護衛艦の100メートル以内を近接飛行した例がある。

SDF must not waver

The fighter jets that made extremely close approaches to the SDF planes were equipped with missiles and capable of flying at a far higher velocity. Beijing’s attempt to unilaterally justify such a dangerous show of force is absolutely unforgivable. While paying due attention to safety, the SDF must be resolute in continuing its warning and surveillance activities.
 今回は、ミサイルを搭載し、速度も速い戦闘機だ。より危険な示威活動を一方的に正当化しようとすることは許されない。自衛隊は安全に配慮しつつ、警戒監視活動をきちんと継続すべきだ。

Behind the unusual approaches by the Chinese fighters may be the hard-line posture of the administration of Chinese President Xi Jinping, which has been pursuing a policy of expanding China’s hegemony in both the East China and South China seas under the banner of building the nation into a maritime power.
 中国機の異常接近の背景には、「海洋強国」建設を掲げ、東・南シナ海で覇権の拡大を目指す習近平政権の強硬姿勢があろう。

It is worrying that the Chinese troops deployed in these areas may repeat such extreme shows of force.
 懸念されるのは、中国軍の現場部隊が今後も、過激な示威活動を繰り返しかねないことだ。

As demonstrated by an incident in January last year, in which a Chinese frigate locked its weaponry radar on an MSDF destroyer in the East China Sea, it is highly likely that the Chinese military has yet to put in place rules of engagement that would clearly prohibit military acts that run contrary to international norms.
 昨年1月の海自艦船へのレーダー照射事件で明らかになったように、軍隊の国際常識に反する行為を明確に禁止する部隊行動基準(ROE)さえ中国軍には整っていない可能性が高いと見られる。

In reference to the radar-locking incident, a meeting of the Western Pacific Naval Symposium held in China in April this year with 21 countries taking part adopted the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea, defining such acts as targeting radar at a foreign naval vessel as “actions to be avoided.”
 レーダー照射に関しては、今年4月、中国で開かれた21か国の西太平洋海軍シンポジウムで採択された行動規範で、「回避すべき行動」に位置づけられた。

Japan, for its part, should draft an international code of conduct and a set of rules regarding military affairs for the prevention of a contingency or a collision of warships or aircraft, in close cooperation with the United States and other relevant countries, with the aim of persistently urging China to participate in the framework of rules.
 日本は、米国や関係国と緊密に連携し、不慮の事故や衝突を防止する軍事的な国際行動規範やルールを策定して、中国に参加を粘り強く促すことが重要だ。

Efforts should also be made to resume currently stalled consultations between Tokyo and Beijing to formulate a bilateral “maritime liaison mechanism” focusing on such matters as the establishment of a hotline between senior defense officers of the two countries, with a view to achieving an agreement on the matter as early as possible.
 制服組幹部間のホットライン設置などを柱とする日中の「海上連絡メカニズム」の協議も再開し、早期合意を目指したい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 26, 2014)

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2014年5月26日 (月)

国会改革 党首討論の定例化から始めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:08 pm, May 25, 2014
Reform of Diet should give priority to regular debates among party heads
国会改革 党首討論の定例化から始めよ

Working-level members from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner New Komeito as well as the Democratic Party of Japan and Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) have compiled measures to make Diet debates more efficient and substantial. The issue, pending from last year, has finally moved forward.
 自民、公明の与党と民主党、日本維新の会の4党実務者が国会審議の効率化と充実に向けた具体策をまとめた。昨年来の懸案が、ようやく前進したことになる。

After coordinating their proposals with other parties, the four parties should seek to have them adopted by the Diet in the next session.
 他党とも調整した上で、次の国会から適用すべきだ。

The pillar of their proposals is to reduce the appearances of the prime minister and Cabinet ministers before the Diet, and, instead, hold debates once a month in principle among the party heads from the ruling and opposition parties on essential issues.
 4党案は、首相や閣僚の国会出席を軽減する代わりに、与野党の党首が論戦する党首討論を原則、毎月1回開催することが柱だ。

The Japanese prime minister and Cabinet members are tied up with Diet schedules far more than their counterparts in the United States and European nations. It is a matter of course for the government to be made accountable, but it is putting the cart before the horse to require these leaders to answer questions in the Diet at the expense of their diplomatic and domestic political duties.
 欧米各国と比べて、日本の首相や閣僚は国会に拘束される時間が突出して長い。政府が国会で説明責任を果たすのは当然だが、国会答弁に追われて外交や内政にしわ寄せが生じるなら本末転倒だ。

It is appropriate to lighten the burdens of the prime minister and Cabinet members so as to allow them to dedicate their energies to their primary duties.
 首相と閣僚の負担を減らし、本来の業務に力を振り向けさせるのは妥当な考え方である。

Under the proposals, the prime minister’s attendance at both chambers’ budget committees would be limited to basic and concluding question-and-answer sessions and “intensive deliberations on certain issues deemed necessary.” Without stretching the interpretation of this stipulation, the prime minister’s attendance in the Diet should be limited.
 4党の案は、首相の予算委員会出席を基本的質疑や締めくくり質疑、「必要と認められる特定の事案に関する集中審議」に限定した。この規定を拡大解釈せず、首相の出席は抑制すべきだろう。

Supplementing the reduced duties of the prime minister with more debates among the party heads is a significant idea. There are many challenges that party heads must debate, such as the revision of the government’s constitutional interpretation over the exercise of the right to collective self-defense, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Abenomics economic policies and reforms of the nation’s social security system.
 負担軽減の一方で、党首討論を活用する意義は大きい。集団的自衛権行使を巡る憲法解釈の変更問題や、安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」、社会保障制度改革など、政党のトップ同士が論ずべき課題は多い。

No debates so far this year

Under the current system, party heads are supposed to hold debates once a week in principle. But there is an agreement among the parties that debates will not be held in weeks when the prime minister has to attend such Diet meetings as plenary and Budget Committee sessions.
 現在も党首討論は、週1回開催を原則としているが、首相が本会議や予算委などに出席する週は開かないとの申し合わせがある。

As the opposition parties prefer Budget Committee sessions, where it is easier for them to secure more time for questioning, debates among party heads have not been held so far this year. Party heads should be required to hold regular debates as part of this reform so party leaders will be able to hold substantial debates from a broader perspective.
 野党は、党首討論より審議時間を確保しやすい予算委を優先していることなどから、今年は一度も開かれていない。今度こそ定例化を実現し、大局的な観点からの論議を充実させるべきだ。

To make Diet deliberations on lawmaker-sponsored bills more meaningful, the proposals call for holding free debates between Diet members. As most bills submitted to the Diet are by the Cabinet, it is essential to promote legislation initiated by lawmakers.
 議員提出法案の審議を充実させるため、議員同士による自由討議を活用するという。多くの法案は内閣提出だ。議員立法の活用も進めねばならない。

Among other recommendations are that overseas trips by Cabinet members be approved in principle and that the senior vice ministers and parliamentary secretaries take charge for absent ministers. Reducing the burden on bureaucrats preparing ministers’ Diet answers by requiring Diet members to submit questions to the government early is also included in the proposals. Since these measures are all expected to make Diet deliberations more efficient, we hope the proposals will be carried out in their entirety.
 閣僚の海外出張を基本的に容認し、副大臣や政務官らが対応するとした。国会議員が質問内容を早い段階で政府に通告し、答弁準備にあたる官僚の負担を軽減させるという。いずれも国会審議を効率化する効果が期待できる。徹底してもらいたい。

Their proposals, however, are unsatisfactory in that they do not address the problem of a divided Diet, a situation in which the House of Councillors is controlled by the opposition, while the ruling camp has a majority in the House of Representatives. During the years of such a split Diet, opposition parties frustrated administrations by rejecting the government’s personnel appointments that required Diet approval. Narrowing the range of personnel appointments requiring Diet approval also merits consideration.
 物足りないのは、衆参のねじれに対応する取り組みを見送ったことだ。ねじれ国会では、野党は衆参両院の同意を必要とする国会同意人事を否決し、政権を揺さぶった。同意人事の範囲を絞るなどの見直しを検討してはどうか。

The ruling and opposition parties should calmly tackle such a challenge now that the Diet is no longer divided.
 与野党は、ねじれが解消した今こそ、こうした課題に冷静に取り組むべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 25, 2014)

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がん患者の就労 治療との両立支援が必要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:07 pm, May 25, 2014
Cancer treatment must be partnered with employment security for patients
がん患者の就労 治療との両立支援が必要だ

The number of cancer patients who have both the motivation and the ability to work has been markedly increasing. It is essential to ensure workplace environments that are conducive to helping people with cancer maintain both their medical treatment and their careers.
 働く意欲と能力のあるがん患者が増えている。働きやすい職場環境を整え、治療と仕事の両立を支えることが重要だ。

The five-year survival rate of people diagnosed with cancer has currently improved to nearly 60 percent due to medical advances, according to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry. The number of those who have undergone treatment while being employed is about 320,000 nationwide, the ministry said.
 厚生労働省によると、医療の進歩により、がん診断後5年の生存率は6割近くに向上した。働きながら治療しているがん患者は32万人に上る。

Meanwhile, the number of working-age people who develop cancer has surpassed 200,000 annually. A survey has shown that one out of every three cancer patients on the payroll at the time of diagnosis has quit work or been fired. Many such patients have presumably been leaving their jobs involuntarily.
 一方で、働く世代でがんになる人は毎年20万人を超えている。診断を受けた時点で勤務していた人の3人に1人が退職や解雇で職場を去ったとの調査もある。多くのがん患者が、やむなく仕事を辞めているのではないか。

The problem is that no more than 10 percent of the nation’s businesses have addressed the task of fully supporting employees with cancer to ensure their employment, such as by exempting them from working overtime. More than half the country’s firms are believed to have failed to even assess how many of their employees have been diagnosed with cancer, mainly because management often finds it difficult to inquire about such personal matters as employees’ health problems.
 問題は、残業の免除など、がん患者の就労支援に取り組む企業が1割にとどまることだ。半数以上はがんと診断された従業員数も把握していない。病気という個人情報に立ち入りにくいためだ。

The fact that cancer has now become a “protracted chronic disease” and that there are a large number of cancer patients capable of working has not been sufficiently recognized by society yet. There seem to be many cases in which workplaces considered it only natural for an employee to quit if diagnosed with cancer. Patients often fail to tell their colleagues or superiors about the disease due to fear of their reactions.
 がんが「長く付き合う慢性病」となり、働ける患者もいることが、社会に十分認識されていない。職場でもいまだに退職して当然と思われていたり、本人が周囲の反応を心配して、病気のことを言い出せなかったりする。

Many success stories

Cancer therapies and changes in a patient’s physical condition can differ among individuals, but there are numerous instances of the disease becoming relatively stabilized after a certain period of time. Many people continue working in posts of responsibility while seeing a doctor regularly. The government should redouble its efforts to disseminate accurate information about cancer and promote public awareness.
 がんの治療経過や体調の変化は人それぞれだが、一定期間を過ぎれば比較的安定する場合が多い。通院しながら、責任ある立場で働いている人も少なくない。政府は、がんの正しい知識の普及・啓発に努めてもらいたい。

For patients in the working-age population, continuing to work can help them find a reason to live and motivate them to continue treatment. In addition, some may find it necessary to keep working due to the high cost of treatment.
 働く世代の患者にとって、仕事は生きがいや治療の励みになる。高額な治療費負担のため、働かざるを得ない事情もある。

Under its Basic Plan to Promote Cancer Control Programs, established by the Cabinet in 2012, the government has cited measures to support working-age cancer patients, such as helping expand their employment opportunities, as a high-priority task.
 政府も、2012年に閣議決定した「がん対策推進基本計画」で、就労支援など働く世代への対策を重点課題に掲げた。

A trial program that began in fiscal 2013 assigns counselors to Hello Work public job placement offices to oversee searches for job openings suited to cancer patients’ circumstances. A system has also been launched to dispatch counselors who specialize in helping cancer patients, sending them to patients’ homes from hub medical institutions for cancer treatment. Such support measures should be expanded.
 昨年度からは、ハローワークに専門相談員を配置し、患者の状況に応じた就職先を開拓するモデル事業が始まった。がん治療の拠点病院で専門相談員が出張相談を行う取り組みも進めている。こうした支援策を広げるべきだ。

Of course, the intermediary role that businesses will play in this area is highly significant.
 無論、企業の役割は大きい。

Many patients appear to want flexible vacation and temporary leave of absence systems designed to accommodate their medical treatment needs, including paid time off on an hourly basis and shorter working hours. Corporate systems should also be created to make it easier for employees with cancer to candidly consult their superiors on such matters as lighter workloads or job transfers, with medical specialists taking part.
 患者側は、時間単位の有給休暇取得や短時間勤務制度など、治療に合わせて使える柔軟な休暇・休職制度を要望している。産業医らを交え、仕事の負担軽減や配置転換などを率直に話し合える体制作りも望まれる。

It is further necessary to beef up efforts for the prevention and early detection of cancer by such means as increasing the percentage of company employees who undergo cancer examinations.
 併せて、がん検診の受診率向上など、予防と早期発見の取り組みを強化する必要がある。

Given that the graying of personnel is certain to advance, as the years of employment have been extended at many workplaces, the number of cancer patients who continue to work is bound to increase further in the future. Enabling patients to keep working in accordance with their motivation and physical strength will also help maintain the vigor of society and the national economy.
 雇用延長で職場の高齢化が進み、働くがん患者は一層増える。意欲と体力に応じて働き続けてもらうことは、社会・経済の活力を維持する上でも役立つだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 25, 2014)

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2014年5月25日 (日)

(社説)年金受給年齢 信頼をこわさぬように

May 24, 2014
EDITORIAL: Securing public confidence vital for pension reform
(社説)年金受給年齢 信頼をこわさぬように

A hot topic in the media is when is the best time for people to start receiving pension benefits.
Interest in the issue surged after Norihisa Tamura, the welfare minister, indicated that the government will consider allowing people to push back the age at which they start receiving benefits to 75.
 「年金を何歳から受け取り始めるか」という議論が、メディアで話題を集めている。きっかけは田村厚生労働相が、75歳まで遅らせる選択肢を検討する意向を示したことだ。

Discussions on the minimum or best age to claim state pension benefits tend to cause misunderstandings. The government should tread carefully in considering any related proposal to avoid undermining public confidence that is vital for the health of the state pension program.
 年金の受給開始年齢をめぐる議論は誤解も生みやすい。公的年金の生命線である「信頼感」を損ねないよう注意深く進めるべきだ。

First of all, it should be noted that Tamura did not say the age of eligibility, or the earliest age at which people can claim benefits, will be delayed to 75.
 まず、厚労相は「75歳からしか受け取れなくする」と言ったわけではない。

Currently, people can freely choose the age to start receiving benefits between ages 60 and 70. The proposal Tamura referred to would raise the maximum age to 75.
 いま、年金を受け取り始める年齢は60歳から70歳の間で自由に選べる。それを最長75歳まで遅らせることを可能にしてはどうかという提案だ。

If you begin receiving benefits earlier, you will naturally receive money over a longer period, but the monthly amount will be smaller. If you delay the start, the monthly benefits will be larger.
 早くから受け取れば、もらえる期間が長くなり、その分、1カ月あたりの年金額は減る。逆に遅くすれば、月額は増える。

People can choose the age at which they become pensioners according to their own life plans.
これは個々人が自分の人生設計に照らして考えればいい。

What is controversial is the proposal to increase the age of eligibility for all recipients as a way to improve the financially troubled pension system.
 問題は、年金財政を好転させるために、受給開始年齢を一律に遅らせる考え方だ。

This approach would increase funds to finance pension benefits for future retirees by reducing current pension payouts.
当面の年金給付額が削減される分、将来世代に年金を払う原資が増えるメリットがある。

But this idea would not necessarily benefit younger generations because the age of eligibility cannot be raised at once.
 ただ、若い世代はみなメリットがあるかと言えば、そうでもない。年齢の引き上げは一気にできないからだ。

Currently, the earliest age retired corporate employees can claim the earnings-linked second tier of benefits under the employees’ pension program is being increased in stages from 60 to 65.
The entire process, from the decision to increase the pension age to the completion of the increase, will take 25 to 30 years.
 現在、厚生年金(報酬比例部分)の受給開始年齢は60歳から65歳に段階的に引き上げられているが、これも決定から完了まで25~30年かけている。

Even if the government decides now to increase the age of pension eligibility to 68 for all retired employees, the decision would not affect today’s elderly pensioners.
 仮に現時点で受給開始年齢を一律に68歳に引き上げることを決めても、今の高齢者には影響を与えない。

Cuts in benefits due to the increase in the age of eligibility would start with young generations who tend to be deeply discontent with the current pension system. That means this idea would not do much to reduce the pension gap between generations.
 給付削減は、年金に強い不信を抱く若い世代から始まることになり、世代間の格差を緩和する効果は薄い。

The step could even increase young generations’ resentment toward the system and create an enormous wave of distrust of the whole social system that is supposed to support people’s retirement.
不満は一層高まり、老後を支える社会システム全体への不信の爆発へと連鎖する恐れがある。

Rather, the government should focus on considering reform measures that also affect people who are already receiving pensions. Ideas that merit serious consideration include a system for macroeconomic adjustment that would reduce pension payouts if the population shrinks, as well as reviews of the taxation on pensions and assets.
 それより、すでに年金を受け取り始めている層にも効く改革案、たとえば人口減少などにあわせ給付を抑える「マクロ経済スライド」の早期発動、年金や資産への課税見直しなどを優先的に検討すべきだろう。

What is crucial is to reassure people that they will receive pension benefits to help support themselves until the end of their lives. To ensure such a sense of security, the government should figure out the levels of benefits that need to be maintained while taking effective steps to increase job opportunities for the elderly.
 生きている限り、生活を支えられる現金が受け取れる――。この安心感を担保するため、高齢者雇用を広げながら、どのくらいの年金水準を維持すべきかを考えていきたい。

If the government rushes into cuts in benefits in its efforts to ensure the financial sustainability of the pension plan, it would risk raising fears among people that they will not receive sufficient pensions in their retirement. That would make absolutely no sense.
 年金財政の帳尻を、給付削減で合わせようとするあまり、多くの国民が「年金がない。あっても低すぎる」と絶望に陥ってしまっては元も子もない。

Policymakers should not forget the importance of combining employment and pension for making people’s retirement financially secure.
 老後の生活は、雇用と年金をあわせて支えていく。この視点を忘れるべきでない。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 24

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歯科の滅菌問題 院内感染防止策を徹底せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:23 pm, May 24, 2014
Thorough measures must be applied to prevent infection at dental clinics
歯科の滅菌問題 院内感染防止策を徹底せよ

A recent survey shows that sterilization measures are inadequate at many dental clinics. There is an immediate need for thorough measures to prevent the spread of infections at such clinics.
 多くの歯科で、医療機器の滅菌処置が不十分な実態が明らかになった。院内感染防止策の徹底が急務である。

Preventative steps are essential to avoid the transmission of viral or bacterial infections when dental instruments, which come into contact with patients’ saliva and blood during treatment, are used to treat other patients.
 患者の唾液や血液に触れる歯科の医療機器には、病原菌を他の患者にうつすのを防ぐ措置が欠かせない。

For example, guidelines set by the Japanese Association for Dental Science stipulate that the handles of dental drills must be changed for every patient and sterilized using high-temperature steam as a measure to prevent infection.
 例えば、歯を削るドリルの柄の部分は、院内感染対策を示した日本歯科医学会の指針で、患者ごとに交換し、高温の蒸気で滅菌するよう定められている。

But in the survey conducted by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, only 34 percent of respondents said that used instruments were always replaced with newly sterilized tools for each patient.
 ところが、患者ごとに必ず交換している歯科医療機関は34%に過ぎないことが、国立感染症研究所などの調査で分かった。

Those who said they do not change instruments at all amounted to 17 percent. It is suspected that many dental clinics use the same instruments repeatedly after simply disinfecting them with alcohol or washing them. These measures fall short of eliminating the risk of viral infection.
 「交換していない」という回答も17%に上った。簡単なアルコール消毒や洗浄で済ませ、繰り返し使っている歯科も多いのではないか。これではウイルス感染の恐れが残ってしまう。

A high proportion of dental patients are children or the elderly, who have weak resistance to infectious diseases. Findings such as those presented by the survey leave the public with a lingering fear of infection risk.
 歯科の患者には、感染症への抵抗力が弱い乳幼児や高齢者も多い。感染防止策の心もとない実態には不安が募る。

Undetected infections feared

With infections acquired at dental clinics difficult to trace to their source, cases have not been reported in Japan. But could there be cases of infection that have not yet been revealed?
 歯科での院内感染は、原因の特定が難しいこともあり、国内では報告されていない。だが、表面化していないケースはないのだろうか。

Cases of clinic-acquired infections with hepatitis B and other viruses have been reported in the United States.
米国ではB型肝炎などの院内感染例がある。

To prevent such infections, it is essential that dentists and clinical staff protect themselves from viral and bacterial pathogens. This is because of the possibility that they will be infected by patients, and transmit that infection, in turn, to other patients.
 院内感染を防ぐには、歯科医ら医療スタッフ自らが病原菌から身を守ることも大切だ。患者から医師らが感染し、他の患者にうつす可能性があるからだ。

The recent survey showed that only about 60 percent of dentists have been immunized against hepatitis B. Measures to protect dentists from patients’ blood and saliva, such as wearing protective glasses and masks, are also not being implemented thoroughly.
 今回の調査では、B型肝炎ワクチンを接種している歯科医は約6割にとどまった。患者の血液や唾液の飛散から防護する眼鏡やマスクの着用も徹底されていない。

There are cases in which even individuals who appear healthy have harbored viral or bacterial infections. It is vital that measures are taken on the premise that every patient could be a source of infection.
 健康に見える人でも、病原菌を持っている場合がある。どの患者も感染源になりうるという前提で対策を講じることが肝要だ。

There have been recurrent cases of infection through medical treatment in Japan. One example of this was hepatitis infections caused by repeated use of syringes for vaccination.
 日本では、医療行為を介した感染被害が繰り返されてきた。代表例が、予防接種の注射器の使い回しによる肝炎感染である。

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry introduced a system in 2010 to provide additional medical remuneration for hospitals if they establish resident teams of specialists in the prevention of infectious diseases.
 厚生労働省は2010年、病院に対し、専門の感染対策チームを常駐させれば、診療報酬を上乗せする仕組みを導入した。

Additional funding is also available to dental clinics if instruments are changed for each patient and sterilized between uses, but by comparison this additional payment is far smaller than that available for hospitals.
 歯科でも、機器を滅菌して患者ごとに交換すれば、診療報酬の加算が認められているが、金額は病院に比べて大幅に少ない。

Due to an increase in the number of dentists, dental clinics have faced severe competition. It is reported that some have inadequate funds to install costly sterilization equipment because of financial difficulties.
 歯科医の増加で、歯科医院は過当競争になっている。経営が苦しく、高額な滅菌装置を設置する余裕のないところもあるという。

To improve the safety of dental treatment, the government and those involved in dental services must examine the tangible measures available, including reform of remuneration for dental services.
 歯科医療の安全性を高めるため、政府と歯科関係者は、診療報酬のあり方も含め、具体策を検討してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 24, 2014)

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タイクーデター 軍の全権掌握に正統性はない

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:23 pm, May 24, 2014
Thai military's takeover of country cannot be justified in any way
タイクーデター 軍の全権掌握に正統性はない

Thailand’s military has staged a coup amid prolonged political turmoil, making the nation’s political prospects even more uncertain.
 政治混迷の続くタイで軍がクーデターに踏み切った。事態の先行きは一層不透明になった。

Thai Army chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha announced Thursday that the military had taken full control of the nation, declaring a coup following Tuesday’s imposition of martial law.
 タイのプラユット陸軍司令官が22日、「軍が国家の全権を掌握した」と発表した。20日の戒厳令発令に続くクーデター宣言だ。

With the collapse earlier this month of the government supporting former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, the National Peace and Order Maintaining Council, which primarily comprises military leaders, will be in charge of running the nation for the time being. Prayuth will assume the post of acting prime minister.
 タクシン元首相派の政権は崩壊し、当面、軍首脳らで構成する「国家平和秩序維持評議会」が国家運営にあたる。プラユット氏が首相代行を務める。

It was a drastic change of government in line with the stance of the anti-Thaksin camp, which had been calling on the administration to resign.
政権退陣を求めていた反タクシン派の立場に沿った政変と言えよう。

This is the first coup since 2006, when Thaksin, who had been under fire for allegedly amassing a fortune illegally, was ousted as prime minister.
 クーデターは、2006年に不正蓄財疑惑で批判されたタクシン首相が失脚させられて以来だ。

Thailand has a history of attempting to end political turmoil by military coups. This coup was probably staged as a military attempt to end the confusion, given the abnormal situation in which the prime minister was sacked while the lower house of parliament had been dissolved.
 タイには、軍がクーデターにより、政治混乱の収拾を図ってきた歴史がある。今回は、下院が解散したまま、首相が失職するという異常事態を受けて、軍が混迷に終止符を打とうとしたのだろう。

The military is thought to be aiming to put the nation on a path to stability before transferring power to civilian control.
 軍は、安定化への道筋を付け、その後に民政移管することを考えているとみられる。

Whatever its reason may be, ignoring democratic procedures and toppling the government by force should never be condoned.
 しかし、どのような理由であれ、軍が、民主的な手続きを無視し、力によって政権を打倒する行為は、到底容認できない。

Military lacks legitimacy

Even though it has seized full power, the military clearly lacks legitimacy. It is suppressing human rights by imposing a nighttime curfew and restricting the freedom to assemble.
 全権を掌握しても、軍に正統性がないのは明らかだ。夜間外出禁止令や、集会の自由の制限なども課し、人権を抑圧している。

It was appropriate for Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida to express regret and say, “We strongly urge [Thailand] to swiftly restore a democratic political regime.” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also sharply criticized the Thai military, saying he was “disappointed” by its decision.
 岸田外相が、遺憾の意を表明した上で、「民主的な政治体制が速やかに回復することを強く求める」と述べたのは当然だ。ケリー米国務長官も、軍の行動に「失望している」と厳しく批判した。

The military should now find a way to realize political stability through persistent dialogue with various political camps.
 軍は今後、政治の安定に向け、各派との粘り強い対話を通じ、着地点を探すことが求められる。

The faction supporting Thaksin has been calling for an election under the current electoral system, which would put the pro-Thaksin camp at an advantage, while the anti-Thaksin camp has been demanding that electoral system reforms be given priority. Under such circumstances, it is no easy task to reach a conclusion that pleases every party concerned, including the military.
 タクシン派は自派に有利な現行選挙制度での総選挙実施を訴えてきたが、反タクシン派は選挙制度改革を優先させるよう求めている。軍を含む各当事者が満足する結論を出すのは容易ではない。

Of concern is the possibility that Thaksin supporters will stage demonstrations and clash with the military, leading to a situation similar to the armed suppression of Thaksin supporters by the military in 2010, which resulted in more than 90 fatalities. Both sides must exercise self-restraint and not repeat such a tragedy.
 懸念されるのは、タクシン派がデモを強行し、軍と衝突することだ。10年には、軍がタクシン派デモを武力鎮圧し、90人以上が犠牲になった。惨事を繰り返さぬよう、双方に自制が求められる。

It is difficult to fathom the consequences that the political imbroglio will have on the Thai economy. Indicators clearly show the Thai economy is already slowing, due mainly to sluggish consumer spending. The government’s failure to function effectively has already hindered budget compilation and the approval of large-scale investments.
 政治の混迷が、タイの経済に与える悪影響は計り知れない。消費低迷などで、既に成長の減速傾向が鮮明になっている。政府機能が十分に働かず、予算編成や大型投資の認可でも弊害が出ている。

The military should take it to heart that foreign investors, including Japanese companies, regard the nation’s political climate with its repeated coups as a risk factor for investing in Thailand.
 日本企業をはじめ、外国資本はクーデターが繰り返される政治風土自体を、タイのリスク要因と見なしている。軍は、そのことを肝に銘じるべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 24, 2014)

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2014年5月24日 (土)

中露接近 米への対抗で思惑が一致した

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:19 pm, May 23, 2014
China, Russia find common ground for closing ranks against Washington
中露接近 米への対抗で思惑が一致した

The top leaders of China and Russia, which have been drawing fire from the international community for their unilateral actions to change the status quo by force, flaunted their close ties during a recent summit meeting.
 力による一方的な現状変更を試みて国際社会に指弾されている中国とロシアの首脳同士が、緊密な連携を誇示した。

It can be said that the two countries emphasized their defiant attitude toward the United States, which has been persistently applying pressure on them.
 中露に圧力をかける米国への挑戦的な姿勢をアピールしたと言えるだろう。

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin met for talks Tuesday in Shanghai. They issued a joint statement declaring that their relationship of bilateral strategic cooperation will be moved into a new phase.
 習近平・中国国家主席とプーチン露大統領が、上海で会談した。共同声明も発表し、両国間の戦略的協力関係を新たな段階に引き上げると宣言した。

Their strategic interests appear to have matched against the background of Beijing opposing Washington’s strategic “pivot to Asia” and Moscow facing sanctions from the United States, European countries and Japan over its annexation of Crimea, a territory of Ukraine. In the joint statement, China and Russia opposed “intervention in internal affairs” and “unilateral sanctions” by other countries.
 米国の「アジア重視」政策に反発する中国と、ウクライナ領のクリミア編入を巡って米国や欧州諸国、日本から制裁を受けるロシアとの思惑が一致したのだろう。他国による「内政干渉」や「一方的制裁」への反対も表明した。

Xi and Putin attended the opening ceremony of a military exercise held jointly by the two countries’ maritime forces, which was timed to coincide with the summit. This could be regarded as a blatant check on the Japan-U.S. alliance.
 会談に合わせて行われた中露海軍の合同演習開幕式にも、両氏はそろって出席した。日米同盟に対する露骨な牽制けんせいとみられる。

It is also of concern that the two leaders held similar views with regards to issues of history.
 両氏が、歴史問題で歩調を合わせたことも懸念材料である。

The joint statement confirmed the two countries will jointly sponsor an event to celebrate victory in World War II against “Nazi Germany and Japan’s militarism” next year—the 70th anniversary of the end of the war. It also stressed “opposition to alterations of history and the destruction of the postwar order.”
 共同声明は、第2次大戦後70年の来年に、「ドイツのファシズムと日本の軍国主義」に対する戦勝祝賀行事を共催することを確認し、「歴史の改ざんと戦後秩序の破壊に反対する」と強調した。

It was natural for the government of Japan, which was named in the statement, to make a rebuttal, saying, “Japan has faced history squarely and built a pacifist nation.” China and Russia should be censured for their attempts to destroy the international order in the East China and South China seas and Ukraine.
 名指しされた日本政府が「日本は歴史と正面から向かい合い、平和国家を築き上げてきた」と反論したのは、当然である。東シナ海や南シナ海、ウクライナで国際秩序の「破壊」を試みているのは、中露の方ではないか。

Same bed, different dreams

However, the closer ties between Beijing and Moscow could be described as the two nations sleeping in the same bed but having different dreams. Russia is wary of China’s moves to expand its maritime presence even into the Arctic Ocean. Meanwhile, China cannot endorse Russia’s annexation of Crimea, as it faces separatist movements by minority ethnic groups domestically.
 ただ、中露接近に同床異夢の側面があることも確かだろう。ロシアは、北極海にまで触手を伸ばし始めた中国の海洋進出を警戒している。中国も、国内に少数民族の分離独立運動を抱え、ロシアのクリミア編入を支持できない。

Of concern is that Xi called for the creation of a new Asian security structure in his keynote speech at a meeting of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building Measures in Asia, which was held after the summit. The envisioned framework is said to make it a rule for Asian countries to promote security cooperation on an equal footing.
 問題なのは、首脳会談後のアジア相互協力信頼醸成措置会議の基調演説で、習氏が、新たな安全保障構想を提唱したことだ。アジア各国が対等な立場で協力を進めることを原則とするという。

Xi also said that “problems in Asia must be dealt with by Asian people and Asian security should be protected by Asians.” His statement could be interpreted as reflecting Beijing’s determination to take the lead—instead of Washington—in ensuring security in Asia.
 「アジアの問題はアジアの人々が処理し、アジアの安全はアジアの人々が守る」とも語った。
 アジアの安全保障は、米国ではなく、中国が主導するとの決意を表明したものと言える。

How should other nations cope with a China that has been ratcheting up its self-righteous stance?
 独善的な姿勢を強める中国と、どう向き合っていくか。

With the Japan-U.S. alliance as an axis, Japan needs to call for other Asian countries to buttress their unity against China.
 日本は、米国との同盟関係を軸に、アジア諸国が結束を強化するよう働きかける必要がある。

Tokyo must make positive use of multinational frameworks to discuss Asian security issues, including the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum.
 東アジア首脳会議や東南アジア諸国連合(ASEAN)地域フォーラムなど、アジアの安全保障問題について協議する多国間の枠組みを積極的に活用すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 23, 2014)

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厚木騒音訴訟 飛行差し止めの影響が心配だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:26 pm, May 23, 2014
Adverse impacts feared over court ruling to suspend flights at Atsugi base
厚木騒音訴訟 飛行差し止めの影響が心配だ

For the first time, a court judgment has been handed down to suspend some flights of Self-Defense Forces aircraft that are of a highly public nature. It is feared that the ruling may have a negative impact on SDF activities.
 高度な公共性を有する自衛隊機の飛行を差し止める初めての司法判断である。自衛隊の活動への悪影響が懸念される。

In the fourth lawsuit involving noise pollution from planes at Atsugi Air Base in Kanagawa Prefecture, which is jointly used by the Maritime Self-Defense Force and the U.S. Navy, the Yokohama District Court on Wednesday ruled that late-night and early-morning flights of SDF aircraft be halted.
 海上自衛隊と米海軍が共同使用する厚木基地の第4次騒音訴訟で、横浜地裁は、夜間・早朝に限って自衛隊機の飛行差し止めを命じる判決を言い渡した。

The court ruling bans flights from 10 p.m. through 6 a.m. the following day, with the proviso of “except for cases in which the defense minister deems [a flight] absolutely necessary.”
 「防衛相がやむを得ないと認める場合を除き」との条件を付けた上で、午後10時から翌午前6時までの飛行を禁じた。

An explanation provided with the ruling stated, “Suspending the flights will create no major impediment to their public nature or the welfare of the public.” Opinions regarding this explanation, however, may differ depending on the person.
 判決は「差し止めても公共性、公益上の必要性が大きく損なわれることはない」と説明するが、評価は分かれるだろう。

At the Atsugi base, which is located in a densely populated area, the SDF has maintained internal regulations to the effect that there should be no exercises involving its planes from late at night to early morning. In practice, however, there have been more than a few cases in which SDF missions involving the base have lasted until the early hours of the morning.
 人口密集地に位置する厚木基地では、夜間・早朝には自衛隊機の訓練飛行を行わないとする内部規則が存在する。しかし、任務が深夜に及ぶことは少なくない。

During fiscal 2013, about 80 such takeoffs and landings were conducted at Atsugi during the period from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
昨年度は約80回の離着陸が午後10時~翌午前6時に行われた。

Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said in a statement that his ministry “cannot accept part of the ruling,” presumably due to concerns that the court judgment will have an adverse impact on the duties of the SDF.
 小野寺防衛相が「受け入れがたい部分がある」と指摘したのは、自衛隊の任務への影響を懸念してのことだろう。

Warning, surveillance affected

The MSDF has deployed about 40 aircraft at the Atsugi base, including P3C patrol planes designed to detect such vessels as submarines, as well as search and rescue amphibious aircraft responsible for the transportation of emergency patients from remote islands. The U.S. Navy, for its part, has stationed at the base such aircraft as the F/A-18, a carrier-based fighter and attack plane, and the E2C airborne early warning aircraft.
 海自は厚木基地に、潜水艦などを探知する哨戒機P3Cや救難飛行艇など約40機を配備し、警戒監視や離島の急患搬送などを担っている。米海軍も、空母艦載の戦闘攻撃機FA18や早期警戒機E2Cなどを配備している。

As China has been expanding the activities of its military and other vessels in the seas off the Pacific coast of Japan, the importance of the Atsugi base has been heightened. Is there a chance the recent ruling will hinder the SDF’s moves in the event of an emergency?
 中国が日本の太平洋側に艦船などの活動範囲を広げる中、厚木基地の重要性は高まっている。判決が、緊急時における海自の活動の足かせにならないだろうか。

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, who live in the vicinity of the Atsugi base, sought the suspension of flights through administrative litigation. In reaching the conclusion to suspend the flights, the ruling acknowledges that SDF aircraft flights at the base constitute the “exercise of administrative authority,” which can be subject to an administrative suit.
 今回、原告の周辺住民らは、行政訴訟により飛行の差し止めを求めた。判決は、自衛隊機の飛行が行政訴訟の対象となる「公権力の行使」に該当すると判断し、差し止めを認めた。

This ruling could affect ongoing aircraft noise pollution court battles involving five bases across the country: Kadena and Futenma in Okinawa Prefecture; Komatsu in Ishikawa Prefecture; Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture; and Yokota in Tokyo. There even are fears that the operation of the bases is at risk of being hampered depending on the results of the lawsuits.
 こうした判断は、嘉手納、普天間、小松、岩国、横田の5基地に関して係争中の騒音訴訟にも影響する可能性がある。基地の運用に支障が生じないとも限らない。

The court judgment said “the noise pollution problem is largely due to U.S. military aircraft,” but stopped short of ordering that the flights of U.S. aircraft be suspended.
 判決は「騒音の大半は米軍機によるもの」と認定したが、米軍機の飛行差し止めについては認めなかった。

It is reasonable that the court has ruled the plaintiffs’ demand for the halting of U.S. flights “is tantamount to seeking suspension of acts by a third party that is not subject to this country’s administrative authority.”
訴えについて、「国の支配が及ばない第三者の行為の差し止めを求めるもの」と判断した点は、うなずける。

The state has been ordered since a ruling finalized in 1996—in the first of the series of Atsugi-related lawsuits—to pay compensation for the noise pollution from aircraft. The amount of damages ordered under the latest ruling has climbed to about ¥7 billion, the largest in the Atsugi base suits.
 厚木基地訴訟で、被告の国は、1996年に確定した第1次訴訟から騒音の損害賠償を命じられてきた。今回の判決での賠償額は、最大の約70億円に上っている。

To mitigate the noise problem, the government must call for the cooperation of U.S. forces in Japan. Soundproofing measures in the neighborhoods near bases should also be enhanced.
 騒音被害の軽減に向け、政府は米軍に協力を求めていく必要がある。周辺地域の防音対策にも一層、力を入れてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 23, 2014)

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(社説)厚木基地訴訟 住民に真摯に向き合え

May 23, 2014
EDITORIAL: Plight of residents neighboring military bases deserves more policy attention
(社説)厚木基地訴訟 住民に真摯に向き合え

Military bases for national defense obviously have great public importance. Even so, it is unreasonable to expect residents around those facilities to simply put up with the noise created by jets taking off.
 国の防衛のための基地には、高い公共性がある。だとしても地元の住民はひたすら騒音に耐えろというのでは理不尽だ。

The Yokohama District Court on May 21 ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in civil and administrative lawsuits concerning noise pollution at Atsugi air base in Kanagawa Prefecture.
The suits were filed against the central government by local residents who said they are suffering unbearable levels of noise from the base, which is used by the Maritime Self-Defense Force and the U.S. Navy.
 米軍と自衛隊が使う厚木基地(神奈川県)の騒音訴訟で、横浜地裁は住民の苦痛の訴えに理解を示す判断を下した。

The ruling not just awarded compensation to the plaintiffs. It also ordered the government to halt flights of SDF aircraft between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. The order represents the first court injunction against flights in the history of litigation against base-related noise pollution.
 損害賠償だけではない。自衛隊機は原則として夜間と早朝は飛んではならない。全国の基地騒音訴訟を通じて、初めての飛行差し止めを命じた。

This is the fourth legal action against noise pollution caused by the Atsugi air base. In the first suit, the Supreme Court in 1993 acknowledged that noise levels in areas around the base were above the maximum permissible limit and ruled that compensation should be paid.
 厚木基地ではこれが第4次の訴訟だ。93年の第1次訴訟で最高裁はすでに、騒音が「住民の受忍限度を超える」とし、賠償すべきだとの考えを示した。

But the government stuck to its position that people living near a military base have to put up with noise. It has done nothing except offer some compensation in stopgap measures.
 なのに国は「基地の近くに住む以上、がまんして当然」との考え方を崩さず、その後も応急的な賠償にほぼ終始してきた。

In the latest case, the district court decided that the payment of compensation was not enough. It was an unusually harsh ruling for the SDF.
 今回の命令は、賠償だけでは不十分との判断に踏みこんだ。これほど自衛隊に厳しい審判が出たのは異例のことだ。

In a 1970s civil lawsuit by local residents around Osaka airport, the lower courts ordered the suspension of flights, but the Supreme Court overturned the ruling in 1981. Since then, no civil lawsuit seeking a court injunction to stop flights has been successful.
 民事訴訟での飛行差し止めは、70年代に大阪空港訴訟の下級審で認められたが、81年に最高裁が覆し、その後は各地で退ける判断が定着していた。

In the latest case, the plaintiffs tried to change the situation by using administrative litigation for the first time in a case of this kind.
 今回、原告団は基地騒音訴訟で初めて、行政訴訟の形をとって変化を促した。

Unlike civil suits, administrative suits basically concern the appropriateness of the government’s actions and decisions. The Yokohama District Court ruling that partially bans SDF flights indicates that an administrative lawsuit can be an effective legal means to seek court judgment on whether the Defense Ministry uses its discretionary power appropriately.
民事と違い、政府の処分や決定の妥当さを問う。防衛省の裁量の適否を判断する有効な手続きになった。

The court, however, avoided handing down a judgment in the administrative suit on flights of U.S. military aircraft, a source of even more severe noise pollution. In civil suits, courts have rejected calls for injunctions against U.S. military flights on grounds that they are not matters under the control of the Japanese government.
 とはいえ、より深刻な騒音をおこす米軍機について判決は、判断を避けた。米軍の飛行差し止めをめぐる民事訴訟では「国の支配は及ばない」と退ける判断が各地で続いている。

The latest ruling of the administrative lawsuit underscores that there is currently no legal means available for the solution of noise pollution caused by U.S. military aircraft.
 行政訴訟でも今回のような結果では、司法による救済の道は八方ふさがりとなる。

A more fundamental problem is that the judiciary has been avoiding making judgments on the constitutionality of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, which is the basis for the presence of U.S. forces in Japan. The courts have cited as a reason the political question doctrine: A highly political issue is not justiciable. In other words, a political issue cannot be decided by legal principles or by a court of justice.
 そもそも米軍駐留の前提となる日米安保条約の合憲性について、司法は「高度な政治性をもつ」として判断を避けてきた。

What is at stake, though, is the right of the people to enjoy a calm and peaceful life. What kind of balance should be struck between the rights of people and the public importance of military bases? If the judiciary refuses to offer an answer to the question, where can the people turn for help?
 だが、問われているのは国民が平穏に暮らす権利だ。軍の公共性とのバランスをどうとるべきか。司法が判断を避けてしまうようでは、国民はどこに救済を求めればいいのか。

The judiciary’s avoidance makes the government’s responsibility all the more heavier. In addition to noise reduction measures at bases, the government should immediately start considering steps for a fundamental solution, such as reducing takeoffs and landings by both SDF and U.S. military aircraft.
 司法が介入を拒む限り、その分、国の責任は重い。各基地の防音対策だけでなく、自衛隊機と米軍機の離着陸を減らすなど抜本措置の検討を急ぐべきだ。

The SDF’s operations and the Japan-U.S. security alliance system are both important for the nation. That is the very reason the government should pay serious attention to the voices of people living around bases in order to ensure the smooth operation of related facilities and systems.
 自衛隊の活動も、日米安保体制も、国にとって重要である。だからこそ、その円滑な運営のために、国は住民の声に真摯(しんし)に耳を傾けねばならない。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 22

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2014年5月23日 (金)

TPP交渉前進 新興国との調整も急ぎたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:19 pm, May 22, 2014
Participating TPP countries must work together toward a speedy conclusion
TPP交渉前進 新興国との調整も急ぎたい

The achievement of a broad agreement in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks has been postponed once again. The 12 participating countries, including Japan and the United States, should strive to make compromises toward a final conclusion.
 環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉は今回も大筋合意を持ち越した。最終決着に向け、日米など12か国は歩み寄りを図るべきである。

In a joint statement issued at the Singapore meeting, ministers from the 12 nations stressed they “cemented our shared views on what is needed to bring negotiations to a close,” and added they had “focused in particular on making meaningful progress on market access and also advanced outstanding rules issues.”
 シンガポールで開かれたTPP閣僚会合は、「交渉妥結に何が必要か、見解を共有した」と強調し、「市場アクセスとルールの課題を前進させた」とする共同声明を発表した。

Akira Amari, state minister in charge of TPP talks, said at a joint press conference: “The fog has started to clear more certainly than before. The negotiations are in their final phase.” It is also meaningful that U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman also praised the two-day meeting, noting that the participating countries have set a precedent for future negotiations.
 甘利TPP相は、「今までよりはるかに霧は晴れてきた。交渉は最終局面にある」と語った。フロマン米通商代表も「今後の道筋を定めることができた」と評価した意義は大きい。

It can be said that they further advanced toward the settlement of the difficult negotiations that have been ongoing for about four years, with the chief negotiators scheduled for another meeting in July. Before that, Japan and the United States plan to resume a bilateral working-level meeting next week.
 約4年間続く難交渉の決着へ、さらに前進したと言えよう。
 7月に次回交渉が行われる。これに先立ち、日米両国は、事務レベル協議を来週再開する。

Bearing in mind the fruits of their bilateral negotiations in April, the two governments should make final adjustments with haste and add an impetus to the TPP talks as a whole. The July meeting will surely be a turning point in negotiations.
 両政府は4月の日米協議の成果を踏まえて最終調整を急ぎ、全体交渉に弾みをつけるべきだ。7月が大きなヤマ場になる。

In Singapore, discussions touched on such issues as five key farm products categories, including beef and pork, which Japan demanded to be treated as exceptions to tariff abolition, and U.S. insistence on wider access to the Japanese car market.
 シンガポールでは、日本が関税撤廃の例外扱いを求める牛肉・豚肉など農産品5項目や、米国が主張する日本の自動車市場への参入拡大などで協議が続けられた。

Domestic pressures

Given the smoldering complaints from affected industries in both Japan and the United States regarding final-stage negotiations, it is important for the two countries’ governments to direct their energy toward the persuasion of the parties concerned.
 これまでの大詰めの交渉に対し、日米の業界で不満もくすぶるだけに、両国政府は関係者への説得に力を注ぐことが大事だ。

Negotiations have yet to be settled in a similar vein between the United States and the emerging economies involved, such as Malaysia and Vietnam, on a range of issues including the reform of state-owned firms and intellectual property rights on the side of the emerging economies.
 米国とマレーシア、ベトナムなど新興国との間でも、新興国の国有企業の在り方や知的財産権に関する交渉が決着していない。

To equalize competitive conditions for foreign capital, the United States has urged the emerging economies to reduce and abolish preferential tax treatment for state-owned companies to protect their own nations’ industries.
 新興国が国有企業に対する税制優遇措置などで自国産業を保護していることに関し、米国は外資の競争条件を対等にするため、縮小・撤廃を求めている。

But the emerging economies show strong resistance to the proposal. The United States should also extend a certain understanding for their domestic situations and attempt to seek common ground.
 新興国の抵抗は強い。米国も新興国の国内事情に一定の理解を示し、妥協点を探るべきだろう。

We are also concerned that the U.S. Congress has yet to pass legislation that will grant trade promotion authority to U.S. President Barack Obama.
 気がかりなのは、米議会がまだ、大統領に通商一括交渉権(TPA)を与える法案を成立させていないことである。

If Congress strengthens protectionist pressure ahead of the U.S. midterm congressional elections in November, the Obama administration’s negotiation stance could be affected and result in prolonging the entire TPP process.
 11月の中間選挙を控えた議会が保護主義的な圧力を強めると、オバマ政権の交渉姿勢に響き、全体の交渉が長期化しかねない。

The TPP pact aims to establish a new free-trade zone in the Asia and Pacific region, creating jobs and promoting economies through an expansion of investment and trade.
 TPPは、アジア太平洋地域で新しい自由貿易圏を構築し、投資や貿易の拡大を通じて、雇用創出や経済振興を図るのが狙いだ。

Taking advantage of vitality in Asia under the pact would become a pillar for Japan’s growth strategy. The nation would reap large economic benefits if rules on trade and investment are established, such as the protection of intellectual property rights.
 TPPでアジアの活力を取り込むことは、日本の成長戦略の柱となる。知的財産権の保護など、貿易や投資ルールを確立できれば、経済効果は大きいだろう。

The final stage of negotiations necessitates a stance with a broad perspective on how the TPP pact can lead to the maximization of Japan’s national interests.
 日本の国益の最大化にどうつなげるか。大局的な姿勢が、交渉の終盤で問われている。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 22, 2014)

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大飯再稼働訴訟 不合理な推論が導く否定判決

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:22 pm, May 22, 2014
Court ruling on Oi nuclear plant restart based on irrational thinking
大飯再稼働訴訟 不合理な推論が導く否定判決

This was an irrational court ruling obsessed with the elimination of every scintilla of risk.
 「ゼロリスク」に囚とらわれた、あまりに不合理な判決である。

The Fukui District Court has ordered Kansai Electric Power Co. not to restart the Nos. 3 and 4 reactors at its Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, which are currently idled for regular safety inspections. The ruling accepted the demands of the lawsuit filed by residents living near the nuclear plant and other plaintiffs.
 定期検査のため停止している関西電力大飯原子力発電所3、4号機について、福井地裁が運転再開の差し止めを命じる判決を言い渡した。原発の周辺住民らの訴えを認めたものだ。

The court said safety measures implemented by Kansai Electric at the Oi plant were “fragile and could only be valid based on optimistic prospects with no solid evidence.” The ruling said restarting the reactors could pose a real danger.
 判決は、関電側が主張している大飯原発の安全対策について、「確たる根拠のない楽観的な見通しのもとに成り立ち得る脆弱ぜいじゃくなもの」との見方を示し、具体的な危険があると判断した。

The ruling also one-sidedly concluded it was “clear” that, because a determination of the causes of the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011 had not been finalized, Kansai Electric could not ascertain the full details of a potential emergency at the Oi plant or implement appropriate countermeasures.
 「福島第一原発の事故原因が確定できていない」ため、関電は、トラブル時に事態把握や適切な対応策がとれないことは「明らか」とも一方的に断じた。

The Fukui court has ignored the new safety standards that came into force for nuclear reactors in July 2013, and exhibited scant scientific knowledge.
 昨年7月に施行された原発の新たな規制基準を無視し、科学的知見にも乏しい。

The ruling stated that however strong an earthquake a nuclear plant operator assumed may strike was merely a “hypothesis,” and that no matter how large this quake is assumed to be, “there is no concrete evidence that an earthquake exceeding that figure might not occur.” We find this line of reasoning difficult to fathom.
 判決が、どれほどの規模の地震が起きるかは「仮説」であり、いくら大きな地震を想定しても、それを「超える地震が来ないという確たる根拠はない」と強調した点も、理解しがたい。

No safety steps could possibly be valid based on such unrealistic thinking.
 非現実的な考え方に基づけば、安全対策も講じようがない。

The Nos. 3 and 4 Oi reactors restarted operations in July 2012 following a political decision by then Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, becoming the first to do so after the Fukushima nuclear accident eventually led to the shutdown of every reactor in Japan. The two reactors in question operated smoothly and were switched off in September 2013 for regular inspections.
 大飯原発は、福島第一原発事故を受けて国内の全原発が停止した後、当時の野田首相の政治判断で2012年7月に再稼働した。順調に運転し、昨年9月からは定期検査に入っている。

Top court precedent shunned

Kansai Electric had applied to the Nuclear Regulation Authority to examine whether the two reactors conformed to the new safety standards. The NRA has determined no active faults run under the premises of the nuclear plant, and its screening was approaching the final phase.
 関電は規制委に対し、大飯原発3、4号機が新規制基準に適合しているかどうかの審査を申請している。規制委は、敷地内の活断層の存在も否定しており、審査は大詰めに差し掛かっている。

On May 9, the Osaka High Court upheld a lower court ruling when it turned down a similar lawsuit filed by a separate group of residents aiming to block the planned reactivation of the two Oi reactors.
 別の住民グループが同様に再稼働の差し止めを求めた仮処分の即時抗告審では、大阪高裁が9日、申し立てを却下した。

At the time, the nation’s top nuclear watchdog was still conducting screenings. Accordingly, the high court said it was “inappropriate for this court to decide on the necessity of blocking the resumption of reactor operations before the NRA has reached its conclusion.” This was a commonsense decision.
 規制委の安全審査が続いていることを考慮し、「その結論の前に裁判所が差し止めの必要性を認めるのは相当ではない」という理由からだ。常識的な判断である。

In a 1992 ruling on the safety of the Ikata nuclear power plant in Ehime Prefecture, the Supreme Court said such matters require “extremely accurate and the newest scientific, technical and comprehensive decisions, and are entrusted to the rational judgment of the government.”
 最高裁は1992年の伊方原発の安全審査を巡る訴訟の判決で、「極めて高度で最新の科学的、技術的、総合的な判断が必要で、行政側の合理的な判断に委ねられている」との見解を示している。

This was a reasonable ruling that recognized how the court’s role in screening reactors should be limited. Since then, court rulings related to nuclear power plants have reflected the view of the top court in cases across Japan.
 原発の審査に関し、司法の役割は抑制的であるべきだ、とした妥当な判決だった。各地で起こされた原発関連訴訟の判決には、最高裁の考え方が反映されてきた。

The Fukui court’s ruling obviously runs counter to the main thrust of the precedent established by the Supreme Court. Kansai Electric plans to appeal the latest ruling. We hope a higher court will hand down a more sensible decision.
 福井地裁判決が最高裁の判例の趣旨に反するのは明らかである。関電は控訴する方針だ。上級審には合理的な判断を求めたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 22, 2014)

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大飯差し止め―判決「無視」は許されぬ

May 22, 2014
EDITORIAL: Court ruling on Oi nuclear plant should be accepted
大飯差し止め―判決「無視」は許されぬ

The Fukui District Court’s ruling May 21 on the Oi nuclear power plant is a sober judgment that fully reflects the lessons learned from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. Both Kansai Electric Power Co., the operator of the plant, and the government cannot afford to ignore the ruling.
 東京電力福島第一原発事故の教訓を最大限にくみ取った司法判断だ。電力事業者と国は重く受け止めなければならない。

The court ordered Kansai Electric not to restart the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors, which are currently offline for regular maintenance.
 関西電力大飯原発3、4号機(福井県おおい町)をめぐり、福井地裁が再稼働の差し止めを命じた。

The court said there was no way of knowing when an earthquake far more powerful than one the electric utility has braced for will strike.
Such an event, the court stated, could have grave consequences for residents living within a 250-kilometer radius of the plant in Oi, Fukui Prefecture.
 関電側の想定をはるかに上回る地震の可能性が否定できず、少なくとも250キロ圏内の住民に重大な被害を及ぼす恐れがある、と判断した。

Presiding Judge Hideaki Higuchi noted that the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant forced the evacuation of 150,000 local residents, which was the catalyst for the deaths of 60 people, including hospitalized patients.
The catastrophic accident three years ago revealed “the true nature of risks inherent in nuclear power technology and the scale of damage” that a serious nuclear accident can cause, Higuchi said.
 裁判長は、福島原発事故で15万人が避難を余儀なくされ、入院患者ら60人の関連死があったことに言及し、「原発技術の危険性の本質と被害の大きさが明らかになった」とした。

“If the court avoided making a judgment on whether there is even a million-to-one chance of such an accident happening (at the Oi plant), it would amount to a dereliction of duty,” he added.
 そして「同様の事態を招く危険性が万が一でもあるか。裁判所がその判断を避けることは、最も重要な責務を放棄するに等しい」と述べた。

Presiding over a case involving nuclear power requires considerable expertise. In past rulings, Japanese courts tended to accept what the plant operator and the government claimed at face value.
 原発は専門性が高く、過去の訴訟で裁判所は、事業者や国の判断を追認しがちだった。

We give high marks to the Fukui District Court’s decision. It suggests that the court is taking its role as vital guardian of the law very seriouslyafter the nuclear disaster.
事故を機に、法の番人としての原点に立ち返ったと言えよう。高く評価したい。

What is especially notable about the ruling is that it is based entirely on the viewpoint of protecting the lives and livelihoods of people.
 特筆されるのは、判決が、国民の命と暮らしを守る、という観点を貫いていることだ。

Kansai Electric argued that the reactors need to be brought back online to ensure a stable supply of electricity and to cut costs.
 関電側は電力供給の安定やコスト低減を理由に、再稼働の必要性を訴えた。

But the court ruling roundly criticized the utility’s argument.
“It is legally unacceptable to discuss people’s rights concerning their very existence and economic concerns about electricity rates in the same terms,” the court said.
これに対し、判決は「人の生存そのものにかかわる権利と、電気代の高い低いを同列に論じること自体、法的に許されない」と断じた。

The ruling also rejected the argument that “suspending nuclear power generation is detrimental to the national interest because it will lead to increasing Japan’s trade deficit and drain of national wealth.”
It said, “National wealth means that people can live lives firmly rooted in rich land.”
 「原発停止は貿易赤字を増やし、国富流出につながる」という考え方についても、「豊かな国土に、国民が根を下ろして生活していることが国富だ」と一蹴した。

Kansai Electric said it will appeal the ruling. The court ruling is also certain to elicit an angry response from the business community and the local governments hosting the nuclear plant, which both had their sights set on the reactors restarting.
 関電は控訴する方針だ。再稼働を望んできた経済界や立地自治体の反発も必至だろう。

The district court’s decision is bound to be welcomed by many Japanese who have been shaken by the great suffering that residents of Fukushima Prefecture have had to endure.
しかし、福島原発事故で人々が苦しむのを目の当たりにした多くの国民には、うなずける考え方なのではないか。

After the nuclear accident, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) was established as a more independent nuclear industry watchdog. This had led to more stringent nuclear safety standards than before.
 事故後、独立性の高い原子力規制委員会が設置され、新しい規制基準が定められた。

The Abe administration has moved to reactivate idled reactors if they pass the NRA’s safety checks.
安倍政権は規制委の審査に適合した原発は積極的に再稼働させていく方針を示している。

But the court also pointed out the “limit of human ability in the face of (the great forces of) nature.”
 だが、判決は「自然の前における人間の能力の限界」を指摘した。

There are still many unsolved issues with regard to the Fukushima nuclear disaster; for example, what precisely caused the accident and why damage cut across such wide areas.
The ruling was intended as a strong warning against a head-long rush to bring reactors back online based only on limited scientific knowledge.
「福島原発事故がなぜ起き、なぜ被害が広がったか」にすら多くのなぞが残る現状で、限られた科学的知見だけを根拠に再稼働にひた走る姿勢を厳に戒めたといえる。

The operators of nuclear plants, the government and the NRA should offer clear and straightforward answers to the questions raised by the court ruling.
 事業者や国、規制委は、判決が投げかけた疑問に正面から答えるべきだ。

They should not be allowed to ignore them, banking on the possibility that a higher court may overturn the lower court’s decision.
上級審での逆転をあてに、無視を決め込むようなことは許されない。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 22

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2014年5月22日 (木)

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裁判員制度5年 精神的負担をどう軽減するか

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:58 pm, May 21, 2014
Lay judges deserve assistance with psychological, professional burdens
裁判員制度5年 精神的負担をどう軽減するか

Wednesday marked exactly five years since the introduction of Japan’s lay judge system.
 裁判員制度がスタートしてから、21日で5年を迎えた。

More than 49,000 lay judges and supplementary lay judges have sat on the bench over these five years, issuing decisions in cases involving about 6,400 defendants.
 4万9000人以上が裁判員や補充裁判員を務め、6400人の被告に判決が言い渡された。

By and large, the system has been smoothly managed and has served its purpose of reflecting the will of the common people in criminal trials. There has been, so far, no major confusion in the proceedings of the lay judge trials.
 市民感覚を刑事裁判に反映させようという制度は、大きな混乱もなく、おおむね順調に運用されている。

We hope that professional judges, prosecutors and defense counsel will work to ensure the system is more firmly established among the public, a task that demands thorough measures to ensure each hearing is conducted in an easy-to-understand manner. This may be made possible by, for example, making better use of witness examinations.
裁判官、検察官、弁護士は、証人尋問を活用するなど、わかりやすい審理を徹底し、制度の一層の定着を図ってもらいたい。

A noticeable evolution in criminal trials since the adoption of the lay judge system has been the greater severity of penalties imposed on the defendants.
 裁判員裁判になって、変化が見られるのが量刑だ。

The rulings of career judges from before the system was introduced were comparatively lenient. It had been said that judges tended to hand down sentences about 80 percent as severe as what prosecutors called for. However, the lay judge system has produced over 40 cases in which sentencing exceeded the prosecutors’ demands.
 裁判官裁判の時代には、量刑は「求刑の8がけ」などと呼ばれたが、裁判員裁判では、検察の求刑を上回る判決が40件を超える。

The tendency of lay judges to hand down harsher penalties in cases involving sex crimes or child abuse seems to indicate their belief that such despicable crimes should be punished severely.
 性犯罪や児童虐待で刑を重くする傾向があるのは、卑劣な犯罪には厳しい刑を科すべきだという裁判員の意識の表れだろう。

There have also arisen questions about the degree to which sentencing decisions by lay judges should be respected.  裁判員の量刑判断をどこまで尊重すべきかという問題も浮き彫りになってきている。

The Tokyo High Court has overturned three death sentences handed down by lay judges, instead sentencing the defendants to life imprisonment. Two of those cases involved the killing of a single person, a crime for which few career judges would have turned to the death penalty.
 東京高裁は、裁判員裁判の死刑判決3件を破棄し、被告を無期懲役とした。うち2件は裁判官裁判では死刑が選択されることの少ない、被害者1人の事件だった。

These cases seem to imply that the lay judges who examined the cases decided there was scant possibility that the defendants could be rehabilitated, given the viciousness and brutality of their offenses. This conclusion apparently prompted them to opt for the death penalty.
 裁判員裁判は、犯行の悪質性や残虐性から被告の更生可能性は乏しいと判断し、死刑とした。一方、裁判官だけの控訴審は、同種事件で過去に死刑の適用がないことから極刑を回避した。

Lay judges vs precedent

When the cases were brought before the high court, they were reviewed exclusively by career judges. The court apparently decided not to sentence the defendants to death, noting that the death sentence had not been applied in previous cases similar to the three.
 先例踏襲の高裁の姿勢には、国民の意見を生かす制度の趣旨が損なわれるとの批判がある。

Some critics have said that the high court’s stance of seeking to follow precedent would undermine the objective of adopting the lay judge system as a means of reflecting the opinions of the public in criminal trials. However, it should be recognized that if the penalty imposed by the high court on the three cases greatly differed from the severity of the sentences given to similar cases in the past, the fairness of our nation’s judicial system could be put to question. It is important that higher courts should serve as a watchdog responsible for examining the appropriateness of sentences handed down under the lay judge system.
 ただ、過去の裁判と著しく量刑が異なれば、司法の公平性の面で問題が生じよう。上級審がチェック機能を果たすことが大切だ。

Another major task in improving the system will be to reduce the psychological burdens on lay judges.
 今後の大きな課題は、裁判員の精神的な負担の軽減である。

Some lay judges were seriously disturbed by grim color photos of bodies they had to examine during trials. Prosecutors should present cases in a manner that would better consider the feelings of lay judges by, for instance, using black-and-white photos and illustrations.
 凄惨せいさんな遺体のカラー写真を見て、精神的ショックを受けた裁判員もいる。検察官には、白黒写真やイラストを使うなど、裁判員に配慮した立証が求められる。

After passing judgment, a considerable number of lay judges have agonized over whether their decisions were correct.
 裁判終了後、自らの判断が正しかったのかどうか、思い悩む裁判員経験者は少なくない。

Courts of justice across the nation provide consultation services for lay judges free of charge. In light of the situation, some career judges have sought to contact people who sat as lay judges, looking to see whether they are experiencing psychological hardship. Measures should be taken to provide optimal care for lay judges.
 裁判所は無料の相談窓口を設けている。裁判員経験者の精神状態に問題がないか、連絡をとって確かめる裁判官もいる。きめ細かなケアをさらに充実させたい。

It is also worrying to see that increasing numbers of people are declining to serve as lay judges after being appointed by lottery. Between January and March of this year, fully 66 percent declined. As circumstances stand today, lay judges spend an average of nine days examining a case. Among those who have refused to serve may be a number of people who cite business obligations as a reason for their decision.
 裁判員の辞退率が高まっていることも気がかりだ。今年1~3月は66%に上った。平均審理日数は現在、9日間だ。仕事の都合で辞退した人は多いだろう。

Measures must be taken to ensure that people find it easier to serve as lay judges. For example, corporations should be encouraged to grant employees flexible leave so they can participate in lay judge trials. Doing so is essential for the system to take root in society.
 会社が柔軟に休暇を認めるなど、裁判員が参加しやすい環境整備が制度の定着には不可欠だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 21, 2014)

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与党安保協議 個別的自衛権では限界がある

The Yomiuri Shimbun 8:00 pm, May 21, 2014
Individual self-defense limited in addressing situations facing Japan
与党安保協議 個別的自衛権では限界がある

How should the government’s constitutional interpretation be changed to ensure Japan’s peace and safety, and what sort of legal frameworks are necessary to achieve this purpose? We urge the ruling parties to discuss the matter thoroughly and reach conclusions in a timely manner.
 日本の平和と安全を確保するには、どんな憲法解釈の見直しや法整備が必要なのか。与党は、しっかりと議論し、結論を出さねばなるまい。

The Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito have begun discussing key security issues, including a revision of the government’s constitutional interpretation regarding the exercise of Japan’s right to collective self-defense.
 自民、公明両党が、集団的自衛権の憲法解釈の変更などに関する協議を開始した。

The ruling parties will initially talk about so-called gray-zone situations, infringements against the country that do not involve the use of force, such as the seizure of a remote island by an armed group. The second order of business is Japan’s role in international cooperation, such as whether to allow Self-Defense Forces troops to rescue foreign troops and civilians under attack during U.N. peacekeeping operations. The final issue is Japan’s right to collective self-defense.
 武装集団による離島占拠などグレーゾーン事態、国連平和維持活動(PKO)参加中の自衛隊が他国部隊や民間人を助ける「駆けつけ警護」など国際協力、集団的自衛権の順で、論議を進める。

So far, Komeito has been receptive to the establishment of the legal framework necessary to address gray-zone situations, but remains cautious on changing the constitutional interpretation. We understand the ruling parties’ aim to lead off with issues that are likely to reach an agreement. However, the issue on collective self-defense is the linchpin of all related issues, and should not be shelved.
 公明党は、グレーゾーン事態の法整備などに前向きな一方で、憲法解釈の変更には慎重姿勢を崩していない。合意しやすいテーマから議論するのは理解できるが、焦点である集団的自衛権の論議を先送りしてはならない。

When discussing changes in the government’s constitutional interpretation, the three issues should be dealt with as a package. The same is true of preparing the necessary legal frameworks for each of the three issues.
 3分野の憲法解釈の検討や法整備は一体で進めるべきだ。

The ruling parties did not set a deadline for the discussions. The government plans to submit bills to revise laws related to collective self-defense at an extraordinary Diet session this autumn, and to revise the Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation Guidelines by year-end. We urge the LDP and Komeito to take note of these events and deal with them expeditiously.
 与党は意見集約の期限を定めていない。今秋の臨時国会での関連法改正や年末の日米防衛協力の指針(ガイドライン)改定などの日程を念頭に、適切な時期に結論をまとめることが求められる。

Flaws in Komeito’s logic

A government expert panel has called for changes to the existing constitutional interpretation concerning collective-self defense to allow the SDF to protect U.S. military vessels in seas around Japan, engage in minesweeping activities on key sea-lanes and intercept ballistic missiles heading toward the United States using a Japan-based missile defense system. Komeito has conceded the necessity of enabling Japan to handle these situations, but says it can be dealt with through the right to individual self-defense or police authority, not with the right to collective self-defense. However, we can’t help but point out the flaws in Komeito’s ideas.
 公明党は、政府の有識者会議が解釈変更を求めた米艦防護、機雷除去、ミサイル防衛などの事例に対応する必要性は認めつつ、集団的自衛権でなく個別的自衛権や警察権で対応できると主張する。だが、その理屈には無理がある。

For example, SDF vessels usually maintain a distance of several kilometers or more from U.S. vessels when sailing in a convoy. If a SDF ship tries to repel an attack on a U.S. vessel from such a distance, it would apparently exceed the permissible level of interpretation on individual self-defense.
 例えば、日米の艦船は通常、最低でも数キロ離れて航行している。遠く離れた米軍艦船への攻撃を自衛隊艦船への攻撃とみなして反撃することは、個別的自衛権の拡大解釈にほかならない。

In the case of minesweeping, individual self-defense could be seen as applicable if the mines target only Japanese ships. However, that is hardly realistic, as mines are not usually laid to target a specific country.
 機雷除去も、日本船だけを標的に敷設された場合は個別的自衛権の適用もあり得るが、機雷は不特定多数の国を対象とするのが通例で、そんな事態は非現実的だ。

Could the Japan’s right to “exercise police authority to remove dangerous objects” be used to permit the SDF to intercept ballistic missiles heading toward the United States? This is highly unlikely, as Japan’s police authority does not extend to U.S. territory.
 米国に落下する弾道ミサイルの迎撃を「警察権に基づく危険物の除去」と説明することも、日本の警察権が米国に及ばない以上、困難と言わざるを得ない。

Under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter, a nation that exercises its right to self-defense must report to the U.N. Security Council. If the Security Council concludes that Japan went beyond the permissible level of interpretation on individual self-defense—a development the government panel feared—Japan could open itself up to criticism by the international community for violating international law.
 自衛権を行使した際、国連憲章51条に基づき、安全保障理事会への報告義務がある。有識者会議の指摘通り、個別的自衛権を拡大解釈したと受け取られれば、国際法違反と批判される恐れがある。

Any number of developments could arise in the protection of U.S. vessels or minesweeping. If such activities are restricted within the scope of individual self-defense and police authority, it is doubtful that the SDF will be able to respond to every eventuality flexibly and efficiently.
 そもそも米艦防護も、機雷除去も、様々な事例が想定される。個別的自衛権や警察権に限定していては、機動的で効果的な対応を行うことは望めない。

The LDP-Komeito coalition has a history of finding middle ground, even when issues put the two parties in conflict. There is no reason why they should fail to reach an agreement on the issue of Japan’s right to exercise collective self-defense.
 自公政権は、両党が対立する政策でも合意を見いだしてきた歴史がある。集団的自衛権の問題も、きちんと結論を出せるはずだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 21, 2014)

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原発事故証言―再稼働より全容公開だ

May 21, 2014
EDITORIAL: Startling Fukushima testimony raises grave questions
原発事故証言―再稼働より全容公開だ

When faced with a life-threatening crisis, humans do not necessarily behave according to set rules. Some will do anything to save their skins. Without factoring in this possibility, is it ever possible to design something that is guaranteed to be safe?
 危機が極まった局面では、人間は必ずしも規則通りには動かない。自らの命を優先する者もいる。それを計算に入れずに、どう安全を設計できるのか。

We raise the issue because of a document that recently came to light. It is a record of statements made by Masao Yoshida, who was the manager of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant at the time of the March 2011 disaster. Yoshida died last July of esophageal cancer.
This valuable document covers exchanges Yoshida made when he was questioned by the government's Investigation Committee on the Accident at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Stations of Tokyo Electric Power Co.
 福島第一原発の元所長、吉田昌郎(まさお)氏(昨年12月に死去)の証言を記録した「吉田調書」の内容が明らかになった。

The document begs a fundamental question: Is it right to entrust operations of nuclear power plants to electric power companies that are private enterprises?
 貴重な証言を読むと、根源的な疑問が浮かぶ。原発とは、一民間企業である電力会社に任せていいものなのか、と。

According to the document, Yoshida said that on March 15, four days after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima No. 1 plant, fears were being voiced that the plant's No. 2 reactor containment vessel was damaged or destroyed. At that most critical juncture, according to the document, about 90 percent of plant workers defied Yoshida's orders and fled to the Fukushima No. 2 plant, about 10 kilometers away, to seek temporary refuge.
 政府の事故調査委員会による調書によると、発生4日後だった。原子炉そのものが壊れるかもしれない。その最悪の事態が心配されたとき、所員の9割が命令に反して10キロ余り離れた別の原発に一時退避したという。

Doubts have always existed about the efficacy of disaster response measures at nuclear power plants. Would any utility really order its workers to risk their lives and keep performing their duties? How many workers would the utility be able to continue to secure during an accident? At Fukushima, these questions were no longer just theoretical.
 原発の事故対応をめぐる疑問は以前からあった。電力会社は原発運転員らに「命が危なくても残って作業せよ」と命じられるのか。どこまで必要な人員を確保し続けられるのか。そう危惧される事態が実際に起きていたのである。

The safety of commercial nuclear power plants today can be maintained only if plant operators deal appropriately with any mishap. The more serious the situation, the more people are needed to contain the crisis. But unlike Self-Defense Forces personnel, police officers and firefighters, who are all special-status government workers, nuclear power plant operators are private-sector workers.
 現在の商業用原発は、異常が起きた場合、運転員が適切に対応して初めて安全が保たれる。深刻な状況になればなるほど、対応には人手が必要になる。だが、自衛官や警察官、消防士など特殊な公務員と違い、原発運転員は民間従業員である。

The 50 or so workers who stayed at the Fukushima No. 1 plant while the crisis unfolded came to be called the "Fukushima 50" and were lauded around the world for their heroic dedication. But there is no guarantee such heroism will come into play when the next nuclear crisis occurs. The document raises grave questions.
 当時、現場に残って献身的に働いた約50人は「フクシマ・フィフティー」と呼ばれ、世界から称賛された。だが、次の事故でもそんな英雄的精神が発揮される保証はない。吉田調書は重大な問題を投げかけている。

Yet, Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, was reportedly not even aware of the document's existence. We find it extremely hard to understand that the head of this organization, created to prevent a recurrence of nuclear crisis, was not familiar with all the details from the outset of the Fukushima disaster.
 ところが原子力規制委員会の田中俊一委員長は調書の存在自体知らなかったという。事故を繰り返さないために生まれた規制組織が、事故の詳細を把握していないとは理解に苦しむ。

The possibility of plant workers deserting en masse during a crisis was not even raised during discussions last year on establishing new regulatory standards for nuclear power plants.
 原発の新しい規制基準が昨年つくられる過程でも、事故時の運転員たちの離脱は、その可能性さえ議論されてこなかった。

Yotaro Hatamura, an expert in the science of failures and former chairman of the government's investigation committee on the Fukushima accident, stated in the overview of the investigation report: "Whatever may happen will happen. Whatever is thought to never happen will also happen." Has nobody heeded Hatamura's warning?
 失敗学で知られる政府事故調の畑村洋太郎元委員長は、報告書の総括で「あり得ることは起こる。あり得ないと思うことも起こる」と述べた。その反省はどこへいってしまったのか。

The government's investigation committee interviewed 772 individuals in connection with the Fukushima disaster. There must be many valuable opinions that have yet to be made public.
 政府事故調は772人もの関係者から事情を聴いている。ほかにも貴重な論点が隠されているに違いない。

TEPCO must reveal every aspect of the mass desertion, and waste no time in doing so. The utility cannot be entrusted with nuclear power plant operations so long as it refuses to face the issue head-on.
 東京電力はただちに事実関係を明らかにすべきだ。この問題を正面から議論せずに原発運転を任せることはできない。

For its part, the government should disclose all investigation committee materials to the public and make every effort to ensure that people learn lessons from the Fukushima accident. In the absence of any such effort, we firmly oppose the restart of reactors that are currently off-line.
 政府は事故調の資料をすべて公開し、「福島の教訓」を国民的にくみ取る努力を尽くすべきだ。それなしに、再稼働へ突き進むことに反対する。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 21

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2014年5月21日 (水)

南シナ海情勢 対立激化招く中国の独善行動

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:12 pm, May 20, 2014
China’s self-serving behavior fuels territorial conflict in South China Sea
南シナ海情勢 対立激化招く中国の独善行動

The latest conflict between China and Vietnam has developed into a situation in which anti-China protests in Vietnam left some Chinese nationals dead and many others injured. There are fears the situation may deteriorate further.
 中国とベトナムの対立は、ベトナム国内の反中デモで死者が出る事態にまで発展した。一層の情勢悪化が懸念される。

Such bilateral antagonism was triggered when China unilaterally deployed an oil rig earlier this month near the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, over which Vietnam and China have contesting claims.
 双方が領有権を主張する南シナ海・パラセル(西沙)諸島沖で、中国が一方的に石油掘削を始めたのが、対立の発端だ。

In waters near the oil rig, vessels from both countries even rammed into each other. They remain locked in a standoff close to the oil rig.
現場海域では、両国艦船が衝突する事件が起きた。今もにらみ合いが続いている。

The Vietnamese, who have historically harbored anti-Chinese sentiment, probably exploded with rage over the latest self-centered behavior of China. Anti-Chinese protests have occurred in many places, with some protesters attacking factories believed to be run by Chinese companies, resulting in the death of two Chinese nationals. Plants owned by Japanese companies were also damaged, apparently mistaken for plants owned by Chinese companies.
 中国の勝手な振る舞いに、歴史的に反中感情を持つベトナム人の怒りが爆発したのだろう。反中デモが多発し、デモ隊の一部は中国系企業を襲い、中国人2人が死亡した。中国系と間違われた日系企業にも被害が出た。

It is true that the anti-China protests have gone too far. The Chinese government is demanding that Vietnam compensate the Chinese companies and nationals that suffered damage inflicted by the protesters.
 デモに行き過ぎがあったのは確かだ。中国政府は、ベトナム側に、デモの被害を受けた企業や個人への賠償を求めている。

When anti-Japan protests occurred in 2005 and 2012 in China, the Chinese authorities sanctioned many illegal actions by local rioters who, under the slogan that a patriotic act should not constitute a crime, were involved in property destruction and plunder. There was hardly any compensation given to the plants and business establishments owned by Japanese companies that were damaged in the riots.
 ただ、2005年や12年に中国で起きた反日デモでは、中国当局は、「愛国無罪」を叫ぶ中国群衆の破壊行為や略奪の多くを黙認した。被害を受けた日系企業などへの賠償はほとんどなかった。

Unfriendly neighbors

Also, the Chinese government announced that it would temporarily suspend an exchange program with Vietnam.
 一方で、中国政府は、ベトナムとの交流計画を一部停止するとも発表した。

It is clear that Beijing is trying to constrain Vietnam by taking advantage of the anti-China protests, and its demand for compensation is similarly motivated.
賠償要求と同様、反中デモを利用し、ベトナムを牽制けんせいする狙いがあるに違いない。

Vietnamese authorities shifted their stance of sanctioning the riots and launched a crackdown on them instead. China is Vietnam’s largest trading partner and the source of about 30 percent of its imports. Hanoi has apparently taken action to control the protests and prevent them from slowing down its economy.
 ベトナム当局は、デモを黙認する姿勢から一転し、規制に乗り出した。ベトナムにとって中国は、最大の貿易相手国で、輸入の約3割を頼る。デモによる経済悪化を回避しようとしたとみられる。

Even if anti-China protests ease off in Vietnam, there will be no solution to the fundamental problem unless China removes the oil rig.
 デモが沈静化しても、中国が、石油掘削をやめない限り、問題の解決はあるまい。

China’s self-serving acts undermine the stability of Asia and the Pacific region, a concern shared by both Japan and the United States.
そのような中国の独善的行動は、アジア太平洋地域の安定を損なうものであり、日本も米国も懸念を示している。

China is also said to have been unilaterally reclaiming land and building an airstrip on a reef in the South China Sea near the Spratly Islands, which are claimed by Manila. This is extremely provocative behavior.
 中国は、フィリピンが領有権を主張するスプラトリー(南沙)諸島でも、一方的に暗礁を埋め立てて滑走路を建設しているとされる。極めて挑発的な動きだ。

The Philippines and the United States inked a military accord last month, paving the way for U.S. forces to be redeployed in the Philippines. Aiming for control of the South China Sea and the skies above it, China is believed to be attempting to accumulate a number of faits accomplis while gauging Washington’s reactions.
 フィリピンと米国は先月、軍事協定に調印し、フィリピン国内での米軍再駐留への道を開いた。南シナ海とその上空を支配しようとする中国は、米国の反応をうかがいつつ、既成事実を積み重ねようとしているのではないか。

Meantime, it is noted that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations presented a united front and expressed “serious concerns” over worsening territorial disputes in the South China Sea in the chairman’s statement issued following its foreign ministerial meeting and summit talks earlier this month.
 東南アジア諸国連合(ASEAN)が結束し、今月の外相会議と、首脳会議後の議長声明で、南シナ海情勢について「深刻な懸念」を表明したことは注目される。

Both Japan and the United States, which face pressure from China in the East China Sea, declare that freedom of navigation in the Asian seas must be maintained. The two countries should further reinforce their cooperation with ASEAN member countries that share the same concern.
 東シナ海で中国の圧力に直面する日米両国は、アジアの海洋における航行の自由の維持を訴えている。懸念を共有するASEANとの連携を一層強めるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 20, 2014)

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農協改革案 解体的出直しは避けられない

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:14 pm, May 20, 2014
Overhaul of JA Group inevitable for rebuilding national agriculture
農協改革案 解体的出直しは避けられない

A sweeping overhaul of the JA Group is unavoidable for reconstruction of Japan’s agriculture.

The Council for Regulatory Reform, a government advisory panel, has drafted an agricultural reform proposal aimed at revising the Agricultural Cooperatives Law to achieve the main goal of abolishing the current agricultural hierarchy headed by the Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives (JA-Zenchu), which supervises about 700 regional agricultural cooperatives across the country.
 日本農業の再生へ、農業協同組合(JA)グループの大胆な改革は避けられない。
 政府の規制改革会議が農業改革の原案をまとめた。農協法を改正し、全国に約700ある地域農協を指導監督する全国農業協同組合中央会(JA全中)を頂点とした「中央会制度」を廃止することが柱である。

The panel also has proposed transforming the National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations (Zen-noh), which has been engaged in the collection and selling of farm products, into a joint-stock corporation.
 農作物の集荷や販売にあたる全国農業協同組合連合会(JA全農)の株式会社化も提案した。

Zenchu’s management guidance has been criticized as being too uniform and hindering farmers’ efforts to promote innovative agricultural business.
 全中は経営指導が画一的で、生産現場の創意工夫を阻んでいる、と批判されてきた。

It is understandable that the reform panel has come up with such a harsh proposal, questioning Zenchu’s leadership by saying it “fails to play a sufficient role in agricultural promotion.”
 規制改革会議が「農業振興に十分な役割を果たしていない」と問題視し、厳しい案を突きつけたのは理解できる。

The panel appears to believe that the way toward “aggressive farming” can be opened by encouraging the self-sustainability of regional agricultural cooperatives and pushing for independent management based on regional characteristics.
 地域農協の自立を促し、地元の特色を生かした独自経営を進めることで、「攻めの農業」への道が開けると見ているのだろう。

If Zen-noh is converted to a joint-stock corporation as proposed by the panel, it will help procure funds more easily, and it will become possible to expand sales channels and distribute agricultural products more efficiently.
 JA全農の株式会社化で、資金調達が進めやすくなり、販路拡大や流通の効率化も期待される。

The reform proposal calls for deregulation to spur corporate participation in agriculture and review of agricultural committees set up in municipalities, which have the power of authorization over agricultural land transactions.
 改革案は、企業の農業参入を促進する規制緩和や、農地売買の許可権限を持つ農業委員会の見直しも打ち出した。

It is immensely significant that farm minister Yoshimasa Hayashi has highly lauded the reform proposal, saying: “Voices have arisen that agricultural cooperatives have not lived up to the expectations of farmers. There is a common awareness of this problem.”
 林農相が「農協は農業者の期待に応えていないという声がある。問題意識は共通している」と改革案を評価した意味は重い。

Bedrock control

The government plans to incorporate a drastic agricultural reform in its new growth strategy it will compile in June. Agriculture represents a field where so-called bedrock regulations are imposed. It is necessary to work out measures that will have practical effects.
 政府は、6月に策定する新たな成長戦略に大胆な農業改革を盛り込む方針だ。農業は「岩盤規制」の代表格とされる。実効性ある具体策を打ち出す必要がある。

Zenchu vocally opposes the reform proposal, arguing, “There is a big problem with the proposal because it threatens to dismantle the JA Group.” It seems that Zenchu persistently wants to go ahead with a self-reform plan it put together in April.
 全中は、「JAグループの解体につながり、大きな問題がある」と猛反発している。あくまで4月にまとめた自己改革案を推進したい考えとみられる。

However, this reform plan falls far short of presenting decisive steps, and there is no denying that anxiety over the JA Group is superficial. It cannot be helped that the JA Group has been pressured to carry out drastic reform.
 だが、自己改革案はあまりに踏み込み不足で、JAグループの危機感の薄さは否めない。抜本改革を迫られたのは仕方あるまい。

Japan’s agriculture has been in a state of gradual decline. Agricultural income has halved in the past two decades while the fields and rice paddies that have been abandoned during the same period doubled. The average age of farmers has reached about 66, reflecting the aging of the farming population.
 日本農業はじり貧の状態だ。過去20年間で農業所得は半減し、耕作放棄地は倍増した。農業従事者の平均年齢は約66歳に達し、高齢化も進行している。

Greater market access for agricultural trade is a focal point as the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations have entered their final stage. Unless improvement in productivity and competitiveness can be achieved with measures that focus on farmers, the opportunity to rebuild agriculture will be lost.
 大詰めの環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉では、農業分野の一層の市場開放が焦点だ。今、担い手農家に集中する振興策で生産性向上や競争力強化を実現しないと、再生のチャンスを逸する。

Nevertheless, the agricultural cooperatives wield strong political power. Cautious views of a drastic organizational review have been smoldering, centering on Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers elected from agricultural constituencies.
 ただ、農協は強大な政治力を持つ。自民党内では農村部の選出議員を中心に、抜本的な組織見直しに対する慎重論もくすぶる。

Can agricultural reform make progress while at the same time avoid a backlash from the agricultural cooperatives and Diet lawmakers with vested interests in agriculture? The Abe administration is being put to the test in this regard.
 農協や族議員の反発を抑えながら、いかに農業改革を進めるか。安倍政権の真価が問われよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 20, 2014)

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中国の弾圧―理解できぬ言論封じ

May 20, 2014
EDITORIAL: What on earth is the Xi administration afraid of?
中国の弾圧―理解できぬ言論封じ

June 4 will mark the 25th anniversary of China’s bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, mainly students, at Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
 民主化を求める学生らが弾圧された中国の天安門事件から、来月で四半世紀になる。

Lawyers and scholars who gathered for a small meeting to commemorate the event have recently been detained one after another.
 この事件について考える小さな集まりを開いた弁護士や学者が最近、次々に拘束された。

In an unacceptable move, the administration headed by President Xi Jinping is stepping up its efforts to suppress freedom of speech and public gatherings. We strongly urge the Chinese government to release all the detainees immediately.
 言論や集会への締めつけを強める習近平(シーチンピン)政権の振るまいは、看過できない。ただちに全員を釈放するよう強く求める。

Even today, people in China are not allowed to speak about the 1989 incident in public. The Chinese government, which does everything to maintain the Communist Party’s monopoly on power, still rejects the people’s thirst for democracy, just as it did a quarter of a century ago.
 今なお中国では、あの事件を公の場で語ることができない。共産党一党支配を続ける政権は当時と同様に、民主化の要求を受け入れようとしない。

The military opened fire on the Tiananmen protesters as it tried to quash the demonstration, killing many of them. Beijing is trying to place a gag on free speech to cover up this inconvenient historical fact.
 鎮圧に乗りだした軍が国民に銃を向け、多数を殺害した。そんな不都合な歴史にふたをするための言論封じでもあろう。

Chinese intellectuals and the families of the victims have been calling on the government to reveal the truth about the incident and reassess it.
 知識人や遺族らは、真相の解明や再評価を求めてきた。

A dozen or so people gathered for a private meeting held in Beijing on May 3.
今月3日に北京で開かれた会合も、その活動の一つとして、十数人が集まった。

Among them, five central figures, including Pu Zhiqiang, a prominent civil rights lawyer, and Xu Youyu, a liberal intellectual, have apparently been detained. Contact with them has been lost since May 4.
 そのうち人権派弁護士の浦志強氏、自由主義知識人の徐友漁氏ら、中心的な5人が翌日以降連絡がつかなくなっている。

The fact that Pu and the others were rounded up immediately after the gathering indicates that security authorities had been constantly watching their movements.
 会合直後に摘発したという事実は、当局が常に浦氏らを監視していたことをものがたる。

They have been apparently charged with “creating a disturbance.” But it is hard to understand how such a small private gathering can be regarded as a “disturbance.”
 容疑は「騒ぎを引き起こした罪」だとされる。この内輪のささやかな集まりがなぜ「騒ぎ」なのか、理解に苦しむ。

For many years, Pu has been working hard to improve the human rights situation in China. Pu’s biggest achievement so far is his successful campaign for the abolition of the so-called re-education through labor system, which was announced by the Xi administration late last year.
The controversial system, commonly known as "laojiao," was used to detain people for political education through labor for long periods without an open trial.
 浦氏は長年、人権の改善に尽力してきた。最大の功績は、裁判なしに拘束、長期労働させる「労働矯正制度」を昨年末、習政権に撤廃させたことだ。

The program, which dates back to the era of Mao Tse-tung, had also been used to suppress free speech. Pu has long been calling for its abolition. This background has made his detention all the more shocking.
 毛沢東時代以来のその制度は言論弾圧にも使われ、浦氏はずっと廃止を呼びかけてきた。それだけに今回の拘束は大きな衝撃を与えている。

In addition, prominent journalist Gao Yu, a former reporter for Xinhua news agency who was once involved in the Tiananmen movement, has gone missing. Some other domestic and foreign journalists have also been detained.
 ほかにも、天安門の運動に加わった経歴のある元新華社記者の高瑜氏が行方不明になっており、別の内外の報道関係者も複数拘束されている。

Human rights groups and research institutes around the world have issued statements voicing concern about these moves.
 こうした事態に憂慮を深める声明が、世界の人権団体や研究組織から相次いでいる。

A spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry has rejected the international criticism, saying that since China is a nation under the rule of law, any violation of Chinese law is punished according to the law.
 中国外務省報道官は「中国は法治国家である。中国の法律に触れれば、法によって処罰される」と反論している。

But does a country that detains people who only gathered for discussions deserve to be called a nation ruled by law?
 しかし、ただ集まって語り合っただけの人びとを捕まえるような国が法治国家の名に値するだろうか。

Beijing’s abuse of the legal system to silence dissent has only been getting worse. In April, a Chinese appellate court upheld the four-year prison sentence for prominent legal scholar and rights advocate Xu Zhiyong. He was convicted of “gathering a crowd to disturb public order.” Xu has been leading a grass-roots New Citizens’ Movement, which calls for the protection of people’s rights based on the Constitution.
 司法による言論弾圧の動きは強まるばかりだ。憲法に基づく権利を求めた「新公民運動」の主導者、許志永氏は先月、「公共の秩序を乱した罪」で懲役4年が確定した。

What on earth is the Xi administration afraid of? Its adamant determination not to allow any political organizations or dissenting voices that challenge the Communist Party’s grip on power can only be considered a sign of its lack of self-confidence.
 習政権はいったい、何を恐れているのか。共産党以外の政治組織も主張も一切認めぬ、かたくなな態度は、自信のなさを示しているとしか思えない。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 20

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世界に冠たる日本の中小企業 求められるあなたの技術力

つい先日の新聞社説記事なんですが、こんなことが書かれていました。
日本国内で中小企業の占める割合が70%を超えているということなのです。
阿部首相のアメノミクスは大成功なんですが、いまのところ成功しているのは大企業だけみたいです。
今後はその勢いを中小企業に広げようというのが首相の狙いなんですが、日本の景気回復のためには正念場ということが出来るでしょう。
日本国内には膨大な数の中小企業が存在しますが、その技術力は世界のトップクラスなのです。
小さな会社なのに、その会社が世界の技術を支えていたりします。
特に自動車の部品製造などは、ぴか一のナンバーワンなんです。
大企業に就職を果たすだけが選択肢ではありません。
自分の性格やライフスタイルに合った、オンリーワンの中小企業に就職してみるのも悪くないアイデアなんです。



中小企業専門の無料インタビューサイトがオープン ~病を乗り越え、学歴を捨てた23歳の若者がつくり、サイトリリース後すぐに口コミで3万人に広まる~


ドリームニュース・ブログメディア参加記事

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2014年5月20日 (火)

インフラ老朽化 橋とトンネルの点検を着実に

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:13 pm, May 19, 2014
Safety inspections for antiquated bridges, tunnels urgently needed
インフラ老朽化 橋とトンネルの点検を着実に

Inspections of aging infrastructure such as bridges and tunnels are urgently needed to promptly work out and implement safety measures. This is a challenge that weighs heavily on local governments around the country.
 老朽化する橋やトンネルを点検し、迅速に安全対策を講じなくてはならない。全国の自治体にとって重い課題だ。

Effective from July, the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry will make it obligatory for bridges and tunnels under the administration of prefectural governments as well as those managed by city, town and village municipalities to receive safety checks every five years. Local governments are supposed to assess the safety of bridges and tunnels in four stages, and take countermeasures corresponding to the respective stages.
 国土交通省は7月から都道府県道や市町村道にある橋やトンネルを5年ごとに点検するよう、各自治体に義務付ける。自治体は橋やトンネルの安全性を4段階で自己評価し、レベルに応じた対策に取り組む。

If a structure is judged as being in a “state requiring emergency measures,” with impediments to its proper functions or having an extremely high possibility of impediments, the rules laid down by the ministry call for the local government concerned to carry out swift repairs and impose necessary traffic regulations.
 構造物の機能に支障が生じたり、その可能性が著しく高かったりする「緊急措置段階」と診断された場合は、迅速な修繕や通行規制を実施するルールだ。

Up to now, there have been no criteria of safety inspections common to all local governments, such as frequency of inspections and safety evaluation methods. The central government’s action is proper, as it is aimed at obliging local entities to carry out safety inspections and assessments uniformly to resolve the problem of decaying infrastructure.
 自治体には共通の点検基準がなく、検査の頻度や、安全性の評価方法はまちまちだった。政府が点検や安全診断を一律に自治体へ課し、老朽化対策を進めるのは妥当と言えよう。

What is problematic in this connection is that damage to and deterioration of infrastructure, or social overhead capital, such as bridges and tunnels, many of which were built during the period of rapid economic growth, will certainly worsen rapidly from now on.
 懸念されるのは、高度成長期に整備された橋やトンネルといったインフラ(社会資本)の損傷や劣化が今後、急速に進むことだ。

About 40 percent of bridges throughout the country and about 30 percent of tunnels will be more than 50 years old in 10 years from now.
 完成から50年以上が経過する施設は10年後、全国の橋で約4割、トンネルで約3割にも達する。

It should be noted that it is not the central government but local governments that are in charge of administering 90 percent of the nation’s 700,000 bridges and 70 percent of the 10,000 tunnels. Local entities must lose no time in buckling down to the task of dealing with aging infrastructure.
 特に自治体は、全国に約70万ある橋の9割、約1万に上るトンネルの7割を管理している。自治体の老朽化対策は待ったなしだ。

Scarcity of engineers

Infrastructure safety measures taken so far by local governments are inadequate.
 これまで自治体の安全対策は十分だったとは言い難い。

A fact-finding survey the ministry conducted in the wake of the collapse of part of the ceiling of the Sasago Tunnel of the Chuo Expressway in Yamanashi Prefecture in December 2012 revealed that 30 percent of local governments with tunnels under their jurisdiction had never conducted a safety inspection of any tunnel before the Sasago Tunnel collapse.
 2012年12月に起きた中央自動車道・笹子トンネルでの天井板崩落事故を受けて、国交省が実態を調査したところ、事故後になって、初めてトンネルを点検した市町村は約3割に達した。

The reluctance of local governments to carry out repairs on aging infrastructure may be due to a shortage of funds and inadequate technical capabilities.
 多くの自治体が老朽化対策に消極的な背景には、予算や技術力が乏しい事情がうかがえる。

Therefore, the central government’s action simply to oblige local governments to conduct regular safety inspections and come up with safety evaluations may not produce the desired results.
 国が自治体に定期点検や安全性の評価を義務付けるだけでは、対策の効果は十分に上がるまい。

It is necessary for both the central government and local entities to redouble their efforts to secure sources of funds to deal with aging infrastructure and beef up collaboration with private-sector businesses.
 政府・自治体は、老朽化対策の財源確保や民間企業との連携強化に工夫を凝らす必要がある。

It may be inevitable to close down bridges and tunnels that have seen little use in depopulated areas to reduce the number of those to be inspected and repaired to cut expenditures.
 過疎化でほとんど利用されていない橋やトンネルは閉鎖して点検や修繕の対象を絞り込み、費用を抑制することもやむを得ない。

If a number of city, town and village governments got together in issuing contracts to repair aging infrastructure, they would be able to boost the efficiency in budgetary appropriations.
複数の市町村が企業に修繕を一括発注できれば、予算の効率的な執行に役立つだろう。

Meanwhile, local governments also suffer from a serious shortage of engineers to maintain and repair infrastructure. About 50 percent of the country’s town governments and 70 percent of village governments have no engineers capable of inspecting bridges.
 自治体の技術者不足も深刻だ。橋を点検できる職員のいない町は全国の5割、村は7割に上る。

Is it not possible for the central government and businesses to send engineers to local entities plagued by manpower shortages and have them carry out inspections and repairs on infrastructure that require a high level of skill?
 国や企業の技術者を人材難の自治体に派遣し、高度な技術を要する点検・修繕を代行させる仕組みが考えられないか。

Due consideration also should be given to training courses to improve the technical capabilities of local governments so they can carry out infrastructure maintenance and create an ability-based qualification system.
 自治体の技術力を高める研修を充実したり、資格制度を新設したりする方策も検討に値しよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 19, 2014)

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インド政権交代 変化求める声にどう応えるか

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:13 pm, May 19, 2014
After historic election, Modi’s India must play a key role in global affairs
インド政権交代 変化求める声にどう応えるか

Dissatisfied with corrupt politics and an economy that has lost its luster, Indian voters hungry for change have

brought about the first transfer of government in 10 years.
 景気減速や腐敗政治に不満を持つ有権者が変化を求めて、10年ぶりの政権交代を実現させた。

India’s largest opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, captured a majority of the seats in the lower house of the

country’s parliament, delivering a stunning victory over the ruling Congress party.
 インドの下院選挙で、最大野党のインド人民党が議席の過半数を獲得し与党の国民会議派に圧勝した。

Narendra Modi of the BJP is set to be inaugurated as prime minister shortly. Of India’s more than 800 million eligible

voters, a record 66.4 percent made their way to polls, a sign that the people had high hopes for the birth of a new

administration.
 人民党のナレンドラ・モディ氏が近く首相に就任する。8億人を上回る有権者のうち、過去最高の66・4%が投票した。新政権への

強い期待の表れと言えよう。

Economic policy was the focal point of the election, as India’s high-flying economy has drastically slowed to a growth

rate hovering in the 4-percent range in recent months. Both the middle class as well as poor farming communities,

who were discontent with serious inflation and a huge economic disparity, opted to support the BJP and the economic

reforms it has championed.
 選挙戦の争点は経済政策だった。高成長率は急減速し、最近では4%台に低迷している。深刻なインフレや、激しい経済格差に不

満を持つ中産階層や農村の貧困層が、経済改革を訴える人民党の支持に回ったと見られる。

Modi pledged to carry out a bold economic growth strategy and spend a huge proportion of the budget on

developing that country’s infrastructure.
 モディ氏は、インフラ開発に巨額の予算を投じる大胆な経済成長戦略を公約に掲げた。

While serving as chief minister of the western Indian state of Gujarat, Modi was successful in reconstructing his state’s

economy by attracting investment from Japan and other countries with deregulation and infrastructure

improvements. Voters apparently entrusted Modi with India’s future, demonstrating faith in his political visions and his

ability to carry out effective policies.
 西部グジャラート州の首相として、規制緩和やインフラ整備によって、日本など外国企業を誘致し州経済の立て直しに成功したのが

実績である。有権者は、モディ氏の政策手腕と構想に、インドの将来を託したのだろう。

A string of corruption scandals that have surfaced in recent times, including one that led to the resignation of a

Cabinet minister, certainly furnished a tailwind for the BJP in its impressive victory.
 閣僚が辞任に追い込まれるなど相次ぐ汚職の発覚が、人民党勝利の追い風になったのも確かだ。

Religious clash must be prevented

Modi’s reputation as a Hindu supremacist, however, is worrisome. There are lingering criticisms that he failed to take

appropriate steps to deal with the massacre of Muslims in Gujarat while he was the state’s chief minister.
 気がかりなのは、モディ氏にヒンズー至上主義者の一面があることだ。州首相在任中に、イスラム教徒虐殺事件で適切な措置を取ら

なかったという批判は根強い。

India has more than 100 million Muslims. It is imperative for Modi to tread carefully to avoid further intensifying

religious confrontation in the country. Inviting an inter-faith clash would not only deteriorate Indian relations with the

neighboring Islamic state of Pakistan, but could trigger instability in surrounding areas as well.
 インドには1億人以上のイスラム教徒がいる。宗教対立を激化させぬよう、細心の注意を払わねばなるまい。対立を招けば、隣国のイ

スラム国家パキスタンとの関係も悪化し、周辺地域の不安定化を誘発する。

India has maintained cooperative relations with Japan and the United States, two nations with which it shares the

core values of democracy and rule of law, while at the same time exerting influence on China and Russia as an

emerging economy.
 インドは、民主主義や法の支配といった価値観を共有する日本や米国と連携を保ちつつ、主要な新興国として中国やロシアに影響

力を発揮してきた。

In March, Modi said that China, which shares a border with India, should abandon its “expansionary mindset.” India

has an extremely important role to play as a check on a China that is trying to leverage its might to change the status

quo by force. It is hoped that Modi will proactively take on the task of ensuring stability in the region and in the

broader world.
 モディ氏は3月に、国境を接する中国について、「拡張主義を改めるべきだ」と述べた。力で現状を変更しようとする中国を牽制けんせ

いする上でも、インドの役割は極めて重要だ。世界と地域の安定へ、積極的に取り組んでもらいたい。

Japan and India have deepened bilateral ties both politically and economically through mutual visits by their

respective leaders every year.
 日本とインドは、毎年、首脳の相互訪問を実施し、政治、経済両面で関係を緊密化している。

During his visit to India in January, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Indian counterpart reached agreement on

security cooperation, including the continuation of joint drills between the Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Indian

Navy. A nuclear accord, which would enable Japan to export nuclear power generation technology to India, is

currently in negotiations.
 今年1月の安倍首相の訪印では、海上自衛隊とインド海軍の共同訓練継続など、安全保障協力で合意した。日本から原子力発

電技術の輸出を可能にする原子力協定も交渉中である。

We hope Modi will work to elevate the bilateral cooperative ties to new levels.
 モディ氏には、今後も日印協力を深めるよう期待したい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 19, 2014)

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(社説)インド総選挙 発展の果実を草の根に

May 19, 2014
EDITORIAL: India’s new leader needs to bring economic growth to the grass roots
(社説)インド総選挙 発展の果実を草の根に

The ruling party will change in India for the first time in 10 years. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a Hindu nationalist party led by Narendra Modi, won a landslide victory in the recent general election, unseating the Indian National Congress from power.
 インドの政権が10年ぶりに交代する。総選挙でナレンドラ・モディ氏の率いるインド人民党が地滑り的な勝利を収めた。

There was no serious controversy during the casting and counting of ballots, and the Congress party calmly conceded defeat.
 投開票に大きな混乱はなく、敗れた与党国民会議派も淡々と結果を受け入れた。

There were more than 800 million eligible voters for the election, a fact that shows why India can take pride in being the world’s largest democracy.
Let us first pay tribute to the country’s performance in practicing democracy on such an enormous scale.
 有権者数は8億人を超す。世界最大の民主主義国の面目躍如である。壮大な実践に、まずは敬意を表したい。

As chief minister of Gujarat, Modi has provided powerful leadership for infrastructure development and succeeded in eliminating power outages in the western state. He has also stoked economic growth in the state by attracting foreign investments, including those by Japanese businesses.
 モディ氏は西部グジャラート州の首相として、インフラ整備に剛腕を振るい、停電をなくした。日本をはじめ外資を積極誘致して州を発展させた。

His BJP was swept to power by swelling expectations among Indians that Modi may accomplish the development and economic revitalization of India by using the savvy and prowess he demonstrated as the chief of the state.
 その手腕を開発と経済再生に生かして欲しい。そんな願いが人民党を押し上げた。

For the past decade, Indians have been eagerly waiting for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, an economist, to embark on reforms. But his efforts for deregulation have been frustrated partly by resistance from the Congress party’s ruling coalition partners. As a result, the country’s economic growth has slowed. The Congress-led government has also been hit by a series of corruption scandals.
 この10年、政権を担った経済学者のマンモハン・シン首相も改革が期待された。しかし連立他党の抵抗もあって規制緩和は進まず、経済成長は減速した。政府の汚職も次々発覚した。

The Congress party tried to improve its chances in the poll by featuring Rahul Gandhi, a great-grandson of Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister, as the public face of its election campaign. But the party, which has long controlled India’s government, suffered the worst electoral pasting since its foundation.
 国民会議派は、ネール初代首相のひ孫を選挙の顔に押し立てたが、結党以来の惨敗だった。

The Congress party will face tough challenges in rebuilding itself amid strong public criticism of the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty for dominating Indian politics.
政治王朝への批判もあり、立て直しは容易ではない。

With his party now controlling a majority in the parliament to form a government on its own, Modi can exercise strong political leadership for pursuing his policy agenda. The country’s business community is yearning to see the new government take bold reform measures for deregulation and reducing the bureaucracy.
 単独過半数を得たモディ氏は強い指導力が発揮できる。経済界は、大胆な規制緩和や官僚主義の打破を待ち望んでいる。

We hope Modi will put the Indian economy on a steady upward trajectory and ensure that the entire nation will enjoy the benefits of economic growth.
 成長を軌道に乗せ、その果実を国民全体に行き渡らせて欲しい。

India is an IT powerhouse and boasts an advanced space program that can launch satellites. But 60 percent of the people don’t even have access to toilets.
IT大国で人工衛星も飛ばす国でありながら、国民の6割はトイレも使えない状態にある。

The new government needs to fix the distortions in the country’s economic structure and distribute wealth more evenly.
このいびつさを解消して、富を配分しなければならない。

There are also some reasons for concern about his leadership. Once a senior member of a Hindu nationalist group, Modi was criticized for failing to act to stop violence during massive religious riots in Gujarat in 2002. He was accused of doing nothing while hundreds of Muslims were killed during the riots. Because of his response to the mass killings, Modi was once denied entry into the United States.
 懸念もある。かつてヒンドゥー至上主義団体の幹部だったモディ氏は02年にグジャラート州内で起きた宗教暴動を放置し、イスラム教徒の虐殺を止めなかったと非難された。この件で、米国からは入国を拒まれた。

More than 100 million Muslims live in India, which has many Islamic countries among its neighbors. The Indian government should make serious efforts to prevent unnecessary conflicts between Hindus and the minority Muslim population. It should also respond in a calm-headed manner to any crises such as terrorist attacks.
 インドには1億数千万人のイスラム教徒が住み、周りもイスラム国が多い。無用な摩擦を避け、テロなど突発事態にも冷静に対応することが求められる。

Modi has little diplomatic experience and has his work cut out for him in winning the trust of major countries such as the United States and China.
 モディ氏は外交の経験がほとんどなく、米中などとの信頼構築も今後の課題だ。

India is a nuclear power as is neighboring Pakistan. The two countries have been locked in a bitter territorial dispute over control of the Kashmir region. Neither country is party to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).
 インドは、カシミールの領有権問題で対立するパキスタンともども核兵器保有国でありながら、核不拡散条約(NPT)に加盟していない。

During his election campaign, Modi indicated his intention to maintain the policy of not launching preemptive nuclear strikes. In its election manifesto, however, the BJP pledged to “revise and update” India’s nuclear doctrine.
 モディ氏は選挙期間中、核兵器の先制不使用の方針を維持する考えを示したが、人民党は選挙マニフェストで「核ドクトリンの見直し」を掲げていた。

Meanwhile, Japan has been in talks with India for a bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement concerning Japan's exports of nuclear power plants. The Japanese government should not be lured by India's huge market into rushing to strike a nuclear deal.
 日本はそのインドとの間で、原子力協定締結に向けた協議を進めている。巨大市場に目がくらんで、急ぐことがあってはならない。

Tokyo should try to persuade the Modi government to join the NPT.
モディ政権に改めてNPT加盟を説く必要がある。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 18

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2014年5月19日 (月)

5・9%成長 駆け込みの反動減を乗り切れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:12 pm, May 18, 2014
Govt, BOJ must tide over economy’s downturn in the wake of sales tax hike
5・9%成長 駆け込みの反動減を乗り切れ

The national economy’s higher-than-expected growth in the first three months of the year is due primarily to a last-minute surge in demand ahead of the three-percentage-point consumption tax hike to 8 percent in April.
 消費税率引き上げ前の駆け込み需要で押し上げられた高成長である。

To prevent business activities from stalling because of a slowdown of personal consumption in reaction to the tax hike, the government and the Bank of Japan must, without fail, make every possible effort to properly handle economic policy.
 増税後の反動による消費減少で景気失速を招かぬよう、政府と日銀は政策運営に万全を期すべきだ。

According to a report the Cabinet Office released Thursday, the nation’s gross domestic product during the January-March quarter climbed sharply at an inflation-adjusted annual rate of 5.9 percent, and 1.5 percent compared with the previous quarter.
 内閣府が発表した1~3月期の実質国内総生産(GDP)は、前期比1・5%増、年率換算で5・9%増の高い伸びとなった。

The broad expansion in consumer spending served as a major driving force for the jump in GDP—the total value of goods and services produced across the country. Prior to the rise in the tax rate to 8 percent from April 1, there was a large increase in spending on durable goods such as automobiles and home appliances.
 牽引けんいん役は、個人消費の大幅な増加だ。4月から消費税率が8%に上がる前に、自動車や家電などを購入する動きが強まった。

Corporate capital spending, another pillar of domestic demand, also registered a remarkable growth in the first three months of this year, up 4.9 percent from the previous quarter, the highest in about two years. The boost in corporate confidence in capital investment, with companies’ business performances helped by the economic tailwind, including the yen’s weakening, can safely be claimed as a factor favorable to putting the national economy on a full-fledged growth track led by the private sector.
 内需のもう一つの柱である企業の設備投資も、前期比4・9%増と、約2年ぶりの大幅な増加を記録した。円安などを追い風に業績を回復した企業の投資マインドの改善は、民間主導の本格成長への好材料と言える。

It is feared, however, that the pace of growth may plunge, at least temporarily, after April because of the adverse impact of the consumption tax increase. It is imperative to minimize the economic pullback.
 だが、4月以降は消費増税の影響によって、経済成長にいったんブレーキがかかることが懸念される。景気の落ち込みを最小限にとどめる必要がある。

The government should make efforts to steadily implement a fiscal stimulus spending program worth ¥5.5 trillion that was incorporated into a supplementary budget for fiscal 2013.
 政府は、2013年度補正予算に盛り込んだ5・5兆円規模の経済対策の、着実な執行に努めてもらいたい。

Reliance on fiscal spending, however, should be limited. Swift recovery of private-sector demand, such as consumption, is of key importance.
 ただし、財政出動に頼り続けるわけにはいかない。消費など民需の速やかな回復が大切だ。

Fall in exports worrying

Such economic indicators as sales at department stores and purchases of new cars logged negative month-on-month growth figures in April. Although some analysts say the shrinkage is within their expectations, there can of course be no room for undue optimism.
 百貨店の売り上げや新車販売台数は、4月にマイナスに転じた。落ち込みは想定内とする見方もあるが、油断は禁物だろう。

It is necessary to improve the employment and income environment for the populace to shore up domestic demand. The news in this connection is encouraging in that many businesses raised regular monthly pay in the spring by taking into account requests from the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to increase the wages of employees.
 雇用・所得環境をさらに改善して、需要を下支えすることが求められる。安倍政権の要請もあり、多くの企業が今春、ベースアップに踏み切ったのは心強い。

Whether the moves for higher wages will spread to employees of small and midsize companies, as well as part-timers and other nonregular workers, to ensure robust growth is a truly big challenge.
 賃上げの動きを中小企業の社員やパートなどの非正規労働者にも波及させ、力強い成長を実現できるかどうかが課題である。

The aggregate of after-tax profits of companies listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in the settlements of accounts for the year ended March 31 this year were double the figure for the previous year. Decisions by high-performance companies to continue to give back some of their profits in the form of higher wages and bonuses for employees will certainly help expand consumption, which will in turn lead to increased corporate profits, thus creating a driving force to realize a “virtuous economic cycle.”
 今年3月期決算で、上場企業の税引き後利益の合計は、前年から倍増した。好業績の企業が今後も利益を給与やボーナスで社員に還元することが、消費を増やし、それが企業利益を押し上げる「好循環経済」の原動力になる。

It is also important for private enterprises to determine carefully what lines of business should be considered promising to accelerate their capital investment.
 民間企業が将来性のある事業をしっかり見極め、前向きの投資を加速させることも重要である。

What is worrisome, however, is that the nation’s exports have yet to recover despite of the weakness of the yen.
 気がかりなのは、円安が定着しているのに、輸出が思うように回復していない構造的な問題だ。

Given that the growth of China and emerging economies in Asia has slowed down, the uncertainties of future prospects of demand from abroad have been deepening alarmingly.
 中国やアジア新興国の成長率が鈍化し、外需の先行きは一段と不透明になってきた。

It is time for Japan to more effectively use its assets for creatively manufacturing products, including the “one-only” skills that are particular to many small and midsize businesses and a mountain of patents major companies currently possess but have not used, so as to enhance this country’s global earning power.
 中小企業の持つオンリーワン技術や大企業に埋もれる多数の特許など、日本のもの作りの財産を有効活用し、「世界で稼ぐ力」を今こそ高めなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 18, 2014)

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過労死防止法案 働く人の心と体を守りたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:13 pm, May 18, 2014
Legislation needed to prevent ‘karoshi’ death from overwork
過労死防止法案 働く人の心と体を守りたい

The number of people dying from overwork has shown no signs of declining significantly. Working conditions must be improved and further measures are needed to prevent “karoshi,” or death from excessive work.
 働き過ぎのために、命を落とす人が後を絶たない。労働環境を改善し、過労死を防ぐ対策を充実させる必要がある。

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party has compiled a bill to prevent such deaths and will submit it to the current Diet session. Its feature is to make the government responsible for taking countermeasures against death from overwork and carry out a survey on hazardous health conditions caused by excessive work. According to the bill, the government should draft an outline of specific preventive measures and draw up stipulations to carry them out.
 自民党が、過労死防止法案をまとめた。今国会に提出する。過労死対策を国の責務と位置づけ、実態調査の実施を求めた点がポイントである。具体的な防止策については、政府が大綱を作成して規定する。

Meanwhile, six opposition parties, including the Democratic Party of Japan, have jointly submitted a bill with similar contents to the Diet. We expect the opposition and ruling parties to work together and quickly coordinate their bills to realize the legislation.
 民主党など野党6党も、既に同趣旨の法案を提出している。与野党は調整を急ぎ、成立を図ってもらいたい。

In fiscal 2012, as many as 338 workers were recognized as suffering from brain or heart diseases caused by overwork. The number increased for the second consecutive year.
 仕事による過労で脳や心臓の病気になり、2012年度に労災認定された人は338人に上った。2年連続での増加だった。

In addition, a record 475 workers were recognized as suffering from mental diseases, including depression, due to overwork, a rise of nearly 50 percent from the previous year. Of them, 93 people killed or attempted to kill themselves.
 うつ病など精神疾患による労災認定も過去最多の475人に達し、前年より5割近く増えた。うち93人が自殺を図っていた。

With the expanding use of computers and smartphones, people work whenever and wherever they are. According to some observers, this has contributed to the rise of work-related diseases. When employees face the pressure of work around the clock, they tend to get stressed out and lose sleep.
 パソコンやスマートフォンの普及に伴い、時間や場所にかかわりなく仕事ができるようになった。それが労災認定の増加を招いているとの指摘がある。四六時中、仕事に追われれば、ストレスや睡眠不足をもたらしやすいからだ。

Reduce working hours

The number of deaths officially recognized as work-related likely represents only the tip of the iceberg. We understand the aim of the LDP-sponsored bill to conduct a survey on the hazardous health conditions caused by overwork as a prerequisite to taking effective measures.
 労災と認定される過労死は“氷山の一角”に過ぎないだろう。実効性のある対策を講じる前提として、まずは健康被害の実態を把握しようという自民党の法案の狙いは理解できる。

However, we are not completely satisfied with the bill, as it does not address how working hours could be reduced. Changing long working hours is the most important action that can be taken to prevent deaths and suicides caused by overwork.
 ただ、法案が労働時間の短縮のあり方に触れていないのは物足りない。過労死や過労自殺を防ぐには、長時間労働の是正を進めることが何より重要である。

Japanese work longer than people in other advanced countries. As many as 4.8 million people work more than 60 hours a week in this country. They could be called potential victims of death from excessive work. Working unpaid overtime, which is not reflected in statistics, is also very common.
 他の先進国と比較し、日本人の労働時間は長い。週に60時間以上働いている人は、480万人に上る。過労死の予備軍と言えよう。統計に表れない、賃金不払いのサービス残業も蔓延まんえんしている。

The government should include specific measures to reduce working hours in its outline on the prevention of death from overwork.
 大綱に時短の具体策をしっかりと盛り込むことが大切だ。

It is also necessary to review a stipulation in the Labor Standards Law that allows virtually unlimited extension of working hours if labor and the management sign an agreement.
 労働基準法の規定で、労使が協定を結べば、事実上、際限なく残業時間を延ばせる仕組みについても、再考が求められる。

The LDP-sponsored bill obliges companies to cooperate with the government’s policy measures.
 法案は、企業に対し、政府の施策に協力する責務を負わせた。

The Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy and the Industrial Competitiveness Council, both government panels of experts, have proposed a new labor management system that evaluates employees based on not the length of their work hours, but on their achievements.
 政府の経済財政諮問会議と産業競争力会議は、労働時間ではなく、成果で働きを評価する新たな労働管理制度を提言した。

Though some have criticized the system for prompting employees to work even longer hours, it is also expected to end the inefficient practice of working overtime by remaining late at the office for no particular purpose.
 「長時間労働を助長する」との批判もあるが、一方で、遅くまで漫然と職場に残る非効率な残業を解消する効果も期待できよう。

Some companies have succeeded in reducing overall work hours by prohibiting overtime work at night but encouraging employees to start working earlier in the morning. Companies should work out various measures in an effort to improve productivity and cut working hours.
 早朝勤務の導入で、夜間の残業をなくし、時短につなげた企業もある。企業は生産性の向上と時短の両立に工夫を凝らすべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 18, 2014)

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2014年5月18日 (日)

法人税率下げ 成長志向で具体策をまとめよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun 4:00 am, May 18, 2014
Corporate tax rate cut needed to strengthen firms’ competitiveness
法人税率下げ 成長志向で具体策をまとめよ

A cut in the corporate tax rate is urgently needed if the nation wants to strengthen the competitiveness of Japanese corporations, thereby halting the hollowing-out of its industries. Presenting specific measures is essential to turn the wheels of both economic rejuvenation and fiscal reconstruction.
 企業の競争力を強化して、産業空洞化に歯止めをかけるには、法人減税が急務である。経済再生と財政再建を両立させる具体策が求められる。

The government’s discussion of whether the nation should lower the effective rate of the corporate tax as the centerpiece of its next growth strategy has entered its final phase.
 政府の成長戦略の目玉として、法人税の実効税率引き下げを巡る論議が大詰めを迎えている。

“I’d like you to show directions for reforming the corporate taxation to be growth-oriented,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, instructing it to clearly stipulate a cut in the rate in the Basic Policies for Economic and Fiscal Management and Reform, which will be announced in June.
 安倍首相は経済財政諮問会議で「法人税を成長志向型の構造に変革する方向性を示してほしい」と述べ、6月の「経済財政運営の基本方針」(骨太方針)に税率引き下げを明記するよう指示した。

The effective corporate tax rate stands at 35.64 percent in Tokyo, a rate higher than is seen in many European and Asian nations, whose corresponding tax rates are in the 20 percent range.
 法人税の実効税率は、35・64%(東京都)で、20%台が多い欧州やアジアの国々より高い。

In a speech made in Britain early this month, the prime minister stressed he was concentrating on bringing investment and human resources to Japan. He apparently pins high hopes on the favorable effects a cut in the effective corporate tax rate would bring in attracting foreign investment to this country, which would be a shot in the arm for economic growth.
 首相は英国で今月初め、「日本に投資と人材を呼び込むよう専念している」と強調した。法人減税によって外国から対日投資を呼び込み、成長に弾みを付ける効果にも期待しているからだろう。

Akira Amari, state minister in charge of economic and fiscal policy, has said he wants to lower the effective rate into the 20 percent range in five years or so. A council member from the private sector called for reducing it below the 30 percent mark in a few years and eventually to 25 percent.
 甘利経済財政相は、5年程度で20%台に引き下げたい考えだ。諮問会議の民間議員も、「将来的には25%、数年以内に20%台を目指すべきだ」と主張している。

It is understandable for the government to want to inform the world of its intention to drastically lower the rate by incorporating the cut in its basic policies, which will inevitably attract wide attention from the markets.
 市場が注目する骨太方針で、大胆な引き下げ方針を国際的に発信したい意向は理解できる。

Alternative source needed

At stake, however, is how to secure an alternative revenue source. It is said that lowering the effective rate to below the 30 percent mark will require an alternative source of about ¥3 trillion.
 しかし、最大の問題は減税の代替財源をどう確保するかだ。実効税率が30%を切るには、約3兆円の財源が要る。

However, some quarters of the government and the business sector argue that revenues from the corporate tax itself will be higher than the original forecast as the economy moves onto a steady path toward recovery.
 政府や経済界の一部では、景気回復とともに当初見込みより上振れする法人税収を財源に充てるべきだという意見が出ている。

But tax revenues are at the mercy of economic fluctuations. Using increased revenues from the corporate tax could be one option, but it is problematic to carry out a tax reduction by relying on projected natural increases in revenue from the corporate tax.
 ただ、税収は景気動向に左右される。上振れ分を減税財源の一部に活用する案は選択肢になり得るとしても、自然増収だけを頼りに減税を行うのは問題だろう。

A draft on corporate taxation reform announced Friday by the government’s Tax Commission gives approval to a tax cut before finding alternative sources to fill the shortfall, saying it is not necessary to keep the same level of tax revenues for every single fiscal year. However, it added that it is an invariable principle to have a permanent tax revenue source as long as there is a permanent tax reduction.
 政府税制調査会が16日にまとめた法人税改革の原案は、「単年度での税収中立である必要はない」として、減税先行を容認する方針を示した。併せて、「恒久減税である以上、恒久財源を用意することは鉄則」と明記した。

Japan’s fiscal health is critically deteriorating. It is appropriate for the commission to underscore the importance of securing necessary revenue sources in several years when jump-starting a tax cut in view of economic growth.
 日本の財政悪化は深刻である。成長重視で減税を先行させる場合でも複数年で財源を確保する重要性を明確にしたのは妥当だ。

As about 70 percent of domestic companies do not pay corporate taxes at all, it is indispensable to expand the taxation base to ask more companies to shoulder a small amount of tax burdens.
 国内企業の約7割が法人税を払っていない。欠かせないのが、企業に広く薄く法人税負担を求める「課税ベースの拡大」である。

Special taxation measures that have provided tax breaks for certain industries should be abolished or scaled down if they are deemed no longer effective in terms of policy implementation. It also merits consideration to expand the size-based business tax, which levies tax in accordance with the scale of a business regardless of the deficits many of them are running.
 特定業種の税負担を軽減する租税特別措置については、政策効果が薄れたものは廃止・縮小すべきだ。赤字企業であっても、事業規模に応じて納税する外形標準課税の拡大も検討に値する。

The government should come up with a realistic taxation plan that would help secure a certain level of revenue sources.
 財源に一定のめどをつけた現実的な案をまとめてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 17, 2014)

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「原発ゼロ」の夏 安定供給の回復へ再稼働急げ

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:24 pm, May 17, 2014
Early restart of nuclear reactors crucial for stable power supply
「原発ゼロ」の夏 安定供給の回復へ再稼働急げ

The setting of power-saving targets has been avoided for the second straight year, but power shortages are expected to be more serious than last summer. Power companies must take every possible step to ensure a stable power supply.
 2年連続で節電目標は回避されたが、電力不足は昨夏より深刻だ。電力各社は安定供給に万全を期さねばならない。

We are most likely to greet the arrival of summer, when electricity consumption is heavy, with no nuclear reactors in operation for the first time since the 2011 disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所の事故後初めて「原発稼働ゼロ」で、電力消費の多い夏を迎える公算が大きい。

At a recent Cabinet meeting on power supply and demand, the government decided to call for moderate power-saving efforts without setting numerical targets. Households and businesses, for their part, must cooperate in power-saving efforts as much as they can to get through the coming summer.
 政府は電力需給に関する閣僚会議で、今夏は数値目標を掲げず、無理のない節電を要請する方針を決めた。家庭や企業も、できる範囲で省電力に協力し、暑い夏を乗り切りたい。

The surplus supply capacity that utilities can secure on their own during summer peaks of electricity consumption stands at 1.3 percent more than anticipated demand for Kyushu Electric Power Co. and 1.8 percent for Kansai Electric Power Co., both falling below the 3 percent said to be necessary to prevent power outages.
 原発なしで夏の需要ピーク時に各電力が自力確保できる供給余力は、九州電力が1・3%、関西電力は1・8%にとどまる。停電を防ぐ最低ラインとされる3%を下回る厳しい状況である。

The two utilities plan to secure a surplus supply capacity of 3 percent with power provided by TEPCO. But if the power supply capacity falls due to trouble at a power plant, there will be an immediate risk of a blackout. It will be just like walking a tightrope.
 九電と関電は、東電から電力の融通を受けて3%を確保する計画だが、発電所のトラブルなどで供給力が下がれば、たちまち停電の危機が迫る。まさに綱渡りだ。

A power failure during a hot spell would halt the operation of air conditioners and cause an increase in the number of heat stroke sufferers, possibly endangering the lives of many people.
 猛暑時の停電は、冷房停止による熱中症の増加などで人命にかかわる事態を招きかねない。

To help meet the demand for electricity, the government has asked all power companies to ramp up their supply capacities. But a significant increase cannot be expected, as utilities are struggling to secure a power supply while fully operating even superannuated thermal power stations.
 政府は需給対策として電力各社に供給力の積み増しを要請した。だが、各社は老朽化した火力発電所まで総動員している。大幅な上積みは望めまい。

The decisive factor

In the end, the trump card lies in the restart of nuclear reactors. The Nuclear Regulation Authority has been conducting safety checks on the Nos. 1 and 2 reactors at Kyushu Electric’s Sendai nuclear power plant ahead of other reactors. If those two are restarted, the utility’s surplus supply capacity will exceed 14 percent. This will contribute to resolving the critical power shortage.
 決め手はやはり原発再稼働である。原子力規制委員会が安全審査を優先的に進めている九電川内原発1、2号機が再稼働すれば、九電の供給余力は14%を超え、危機的な電力不足は解消される。

Pushing for the restart of nuclear reactors after their safety is confirmed and rebuilding a stable power supply system must be tackled urgently.
 安全性を確認できた原発の再稼働を進め、電力の安定供給体制を立て直すことが急務である。

But the screening to approve the restart of nuclear reactors has been delayed significantly because the nuclear watchdog has continued to add items for safety checks.
 ところが、原発の安全対策について、規制委が検討項目を次々と追加したため、再稼働への審査は大幅に遅れている。

Kansai and Kyushu economic federations have criticized the NRA’s screening in a joint statement, saying, “It can hardly be said that efficient and responsible decisions have been made promptly.” Their criticism is reasonable. The watchdog’s reluctance to take steps toward improvement should be questioned.
 関西と九州の経済連合会が連名の意見書で、規制委の審査について、「効率的で責任のある意思決定が迅速に行われているとは言い難い」と批判したのはもっともだ。改善に動こうともしない規制委の姿勢が問われている。

Bungled handling of the matter, such as the submitting of flawed documents, has also been seen on the part of the power companies. The utilities are urged to respond to the watchdog’s screening with a greater sense of seriousness.
 提出書類の不備など、電力会社側の不手際も目立つ。もっと緊張感を持って対応してほしい。

The economic effects of the suspended operation of all nuclear reactors are huge. The additional fuel costs of thermal power plants now operating in place of nuclear power plants have swelled to about ¥4 trillion a year. As a result, the utility rates for the average household have risen by about 40 percent for TEPCO and 30 percent for Kansai Electric compared to prices before the nuclear crisis in Fukushima.
 原発ゼロに伴う経済的な負担は大きい。原発を代替する火力発電所の追加燃料費は年4兆円近くに膨らみ、標準家庭の電気料金は、原発事故の前より東電が約4割、関電も3割上がった。

If the restart is further delayed, additional rate hikes will be unavoidable, dealing a great blow to households and businesses. Taking this seriously, the government must strive to achieve a restart of nuclear reactors as early as possible.
 再稼働がさらに遅れれば、追加値上げは不可避となり、家庭も企業も大打撃を受ける。政府は事態を重く受け止め、再稼働の早期実現に真剣に取り組むべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 17, 2014)

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辺野古移設―これが熱望した祖国か

May 17, 2014
EDITORIAL: Heavy-handed approach to Futenma can only antagonize Okinawa
辺野古移設―これが熱望した祖国か

An extraordinary situation concerning the proposed relocation of the U.S. military’s Futenma base is unfolding in Okinawa, which marked the 42nd anniversary of its reversion to Japan on May 15.
 この15日に本土復帰から42年を迎えた沖縄県で、米軍普天間飛行場(宜野湾市)の移設をめぐって、異常ともいえる事態が進行している。

The Japanese government is aggressively pushing ahead with preparations for carrying out its plan to relocate Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in the crowded city of Ginowan to the sparsely populated Henoko district of Nago, another city in the prefecture.
 名護市辺野古への移設をめざす政府が、強引に工事の準備に取りかかっているのだ。

On April 11, the Abe administration took its first step toward building the new base when the Okinawa Defense Bureau, the Defense Ministry’s local bureau in charge of implementing the plan, submitted six requests with Nago Mayor Susumu Inamine. One of the requests was for use of the Henoko fishing port as an open storage yard for construction materials.
 まず動きがあったのは4月11日。政府の担当部局である沖縄防衛局が工事に先立ち、資材置き場として使う辺野古漁港の使用許可申請など6件の申請書を、名護市長宛てに提出した。

The move was made abruptly without any advance consultation. Officials at the defense bureau brought the applications into the Nago city office just before the end of the office hours. Some of the application documents were left with the wrong departments.
 それは事前調整もなく突然のことだった。防衛局職員が持ち込んだのは市役所の閉庁間際。提出先を間違え、他の部署に置いて帰った書類もある。

The documents unilaterally set a May 12 deadline for replying to the requests, although there is no legal basis for such a deadline. There were also many errors in the documents, such as omissions.
 文書には、根拠のない「回答期限」が一方的に設定されていたほか、記載漏れなどの不備が目立った。

Although the Nago municipal government asked the bureau to resubmit the applications, the bureau has refused to do so, saying the documents were in order.
 名護市は再提出を求めたが、防衛局は「適正だった」と拒んだまま。

The unilaterally set May 12 deadline has passed, but the bureau remains intent on forging ahead with the construction plan while assuming that its requests have been turned down by the city.
期限とした5月12日は過ぎた。防衛局は許可が得られなかったものとして、計画を進めるという構えを崩さない。

Bewildered by the bureau’s attitude, the official in charge of the matter at the Nago municipal government said, “Since the applications don’t meet the formal requirements, we can’t start reviewing them.”
 市の担当者は「申請書の形式を満たしておらず、審査に入れない」と戸惑う。

In January, when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke about the plan to move the Futenma air base to the Henoko district, he said, “We intend to proceed with the plan in a sincere manner while trying to win the understanding of the local communities.”
 普天間飛行場の辺野古移設について、安倍首相は1月に「地元の皆様のご理解をいただきながら、誠意を持って前に進めていきたい」と語った。

But the reality belies his words. There has been no sign of good faith in the way the administration has been dealing with the matter.
 ところが、現状は見ての通り。誠意のかけらもない。

The heavy-handed approach the government adopted appears to be an open challenge to Mayor Inamine, who was re-elected in January by running on a campaign to stop the relocation of the Funtenma base to Nago. After his re-election, he pledged to block the start of the construction of the new base by using his powers as the mayor.
 1月の名護市長選で移設反対を訴えて再選され、「権限を行使して着工を阻止する」と表明した稲嶺進市長に挑むような、強硬姿勢だ。

The government plans to start drilling into the seabed for necessary investigations as early as June with an eye on beginning reclamation work next spring.
 政府は6月以降、海底ボーリング調査を開始し、来春にも埋め立て工事に着手する予定だ。

However, the government has offered no convincing answers to concerns about possible major negative effects on the environment and people’s lives. It is feared that in addition to causing noise and other nuisances to local residents, the runways of the envisioned base, which would extend over water from the U.S. military's existing Camp Schwab, would also have a serious impact on the marine ecosystem that nurtures dugong, a rare marine mammal designated by the government as a protected species, and a coral reef community.
 しかし、国の天然記念物のジュゴンやサンゴの群落など、近海の豊かな生態系への影響や騒音など、環境や生活に大きな支障が出るという心配に、政府は納得いく説明をしていない。

If it wants to win the “understanding of the local communities,” the government needs to respond head-on to these concerns.
 「地元の理解」を得るには、まず地元の心配に正面から答えなくてはならない。

There has been growing support for Okinawa’s opposition to the base relocation plan among intellectuals and politicians overseas. American film director Oliver Stone, for instance, has issued a statement opposing the project.
 米国の映画監督オリバー・ストーンさんらが移設反対の声明を出すなど、海外の知識人や政治家の間に、沖縄への理解が広まりつつある。

In an effort to convince the U.S. public of the unfairness of the relocation plan, Inamine left for a trip to the United States on May 15.
米国世論に移設の不当性を直接訴えたいと15日、稲嶺市長が渡米した。

On the same day, Abe announced that the administration will start considering a change of the government’s interpretation of the Constitution to make it possible for Japan to exercise its right to collective self-defense.
 同じ15日、安倍首相は集団的自衛権の行使容認の検討を表明した。

Does this controversial initiative represent the nation to which Okinawa wanted so eagerly to return when it was occupied by the U.S. military and denied the benefits of the pacifist Constitution?
それは、平和憲法の及ばない米軍占領下、沖縄が復帰を熱望した祖国の姿だろうか。

The stern-faced government that is forging ahead with the plan to relocate the base within the prefecture in the face of strong local opposition cannot embody the country to which Okinawa wanted to belong.
 まして、反対いまだ根強い県内移設にひたすら突き進む、こわばった顔つきの国が、望んだ祖国であるはずもない。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 17

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2014年5月17日 (土)

集団的自衛権 日本存立へ行使「限定容認」せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun 8:02 pm, May 16, 2014
Limited use of collective self-defense right essential for nation’s existence
集団的自衛権 日本存立へ行使「限定容認」せよ

 ◆グレーゾーン事態法制も重要だ◆

A set of proposals has been put forth that is most certainly of historic significance for substantially beefing up Japan’s security policy framework and making this country better prepared for a wide range of emergencies.
 日本の安全保障政策を大幅に強化し、様々な緊急事態に備えるうえで、歴史的な提言である。

A government council of experts—the Advisory Panel on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security—presented to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a report on Thursday proposing that the government enable the nation to exercise its right to collective self-defense.
 政府の有識者会議「安全保障の法的基盤の再構築に関する懇談会」が、集団的自衛権の行使を容認するよう求める報告書を安倍首相に提出した。

At a press conference later the same day, Abe stressed, “It has become a common view in the world that peace cannot be maintained [through efforts] by a single country.”
 首相は記者会見し、「もはや一国のみで平和を守れないのが世界の共通認識だ」と強調した。

Citing such examples as the need for the Self-Defense Forces to defend U.S. transport vessels carrying Japanese civilians from overseas, he also urged changing the government’s interpretation of the Constitution for the purpose of enabling Japan to exercise its collective self-defense right. We support the basic direction of the envisaged change of the constitutional interpretation.
 在外邦人を輸送する米輸送艦に対する自衛隊の警護などを例示し、集団的自衛権の行使を可能にするため、政府の憲法解釈の変更に取り組む考えも表明した。その方向性を改めて支持したい。

No problem in changing
 ◆解釈変更に問題はない◆

The Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner, New Komeito, are scheduled to begin consultations on the matter on Tuesday. The government is poised to make a Cabinet decision on the new interpretation of the Constitution and relevant matters as early as the end of June. The acceleration of the pace of the ruling coalition discussions is necessary.
 自民、公明両党は20日に協議を開始する。政府は来月中にも新たな憲法解釈などを閣議決定することを目指しており、与党協議の加速が求められる。

The report by the expert panel, in light of changes in the nature of threats surrounding this country—such as North Korea’s nuclear tests and the growing influence of China, as well as fast-advancing military technologies—pointed out that responses to these threats through the individual self-defense right are bound to be limited, raising the risk of the nation plunging into perilous isolation.
 懇談会の報告書は、北朝鮮の核実験や中国の影響力の増大など、日本周辺の脅威の変化や軍事技術の進歩を踏まえ、個別的自衛権だけでの対応には限界があり、むしろ危険な孤立主義を招く、と指摘した。

Furthermore, the report, giving such instances as the possible defense by the SDF of U.S. vessels in the event of contingencies in the vicinity of Japan, forcible inspections of potentially hostile ships and minesweeping activities on key sea traffic routes, placed great importance on making it possible for Japan to exercise its right to collective self-defense.
 さらに、周辺有事における米軍艦船の防護や強制的な船舶検査、海上交通路での機雷除去の事例を挙げ、集団的自衛権を行使できるようにする必要性を強調している。

Should Japan be unable to adequately deal with such grave situations, the Japan-U.S. alliance, and other nation’s cooperation with Japan as well, could face the danger of crumbling.
 こうした重大な事態にきちんと対処できないようでは、日米同盟や国際協調は成り立たない。

The report presented two different views. One view favors a new constitutional interpretation that would allow the exercise of the full range of Japan’s collective self-defense right, and the other view upholds only what is referred to as a “limited approval of collective self-defense.” Empowering the nation to exercise a minimum level of collective self-defense through the second option would mean limiting use to the minimum extent necessary for ensuring the very existence of the country. The expert panel also said Japan should be allowed to take part in U.N. collective security measures that would be accompanied by the possibility of combat operations.
 報告書は、あらゆる集団的自衛権の行使を認める新解釈と、国家の存立にとって必要最小限の集団的自衛権に限って認める「限定容認論」を併記した。戦闘行動を伴う国連の集団安全保障措置への参加も可能としている。

However, Abe stated explicitly during the news conference that he has no intention of adopting the idea of a full-scale exercise of the nation’s collective self-defense right and full-fledged participation in collective security operations, which the prime minister noted are both logically inconsistent with the government’s conventional interpretation of the supreme law.
 これに対し、安倍首相は、集団的自衛権の全面行使や集団安全保障への全面参加は従来の憲法解釈と論理的に整合しないとして、採用できないと明言した。

Instead, he would pursue a coordination of views between the government and the ruling parties on the basis of a limited approval of collective self-defense.
一方で、「限定容認論」に基づき、与党との調整を進める方針を示した。

It is quite extraordinary for a prime minister to deny part of a government advisory panel’s recommendations immediately after their announcement. The way Abe has refused part of the expert panel proposals, however, can be seen as an admirably well-considered political judgment that pays attention to Komeito, which is wary of the envisioned alteration of the constitutional interpretation.
 首相が有識者会議の提言の一部を直ちに否定するのは異例だが、解釈変更に慎重な公明党に配慮した政治的判断と評価できる。

If it became possible for this country to exercise the full scale of the collective self-defense right, the government would certainly have a wider selection of options in the face of a contingency.
 集団的自衛権の全面行使が可能になれば、有事における政府の選択肢が増えるのは確かである。

However, it is indispensable for Japan as a nation governed by law to secure legal grounds while maintaining consistency with the conventional interpretation of the Constitution. Approving a limited exercise of the collective self-defense right seems to be a realistic way to clear up the misunderstanding that participation in wars overseas would be permitted and build a national consensus with broad backing by ruling and opposition parties and the people.
 ただ、従来の解釈との整合性を保ち、法的な安定性を確保することは法治国家として不可欠だ。海外での戦争参加を認めるかのような誤解を払拭し、幅広い与野党や国民の合意を形成するためにも限定容認論が現実的である。

Changing the constitutional interpretation has been criticized by some people as “an attempt to deny constitutionalism.”
 解釈変更には、「立憲主義の否定」といった批判もある。

But no such problem exists if the Cabinet seeks to change the interpretation within a rational range based on its right to an official interpretation of the Constitution carefully and in line with due procedures.
 だが、内閣の持つ憲法の公権的解釈権に基づき、丁寧に手順を踏み、合理的な範囲内で解釈変更を問うことに、問題はなかろう。

Enhancing deterrence
 ◆主眼は抑止力の強化◆

The panel’s report listed six conditions as the requirements for exercise of the collective self-defense right, including that “inaction would significantly affect Japan’s security” and “Diet approval is granted.” The report clearly stated that exercise of the right “would be studied comprehensively” by taking into consideration the probability of Japan being attacked and the impact on trust in the Japan-U.S. alliance.
 報告書は、集団的自衛権の行使の要件として「我が国の安全に重大な影響を及ぼす可能性」「国会承認」など6項目を挙げた。日本攻撃に発展する蓋然性や日米同盟の信頼性への影響を含め、「総合的に勘案する」とも明記した。

The report’s contents are by and large adequate. As it is difficult to predict what situations will emerge, it is necessary to allow room for government discretion.
 おおむね適切な内容だ。どんな事態が発生するかを事前に予測するのは困難であり、政府に一定の裁量の余地を残す必要がある。

As the report pointed out, collective self-defense is not an obligation but a right. Therefore, it is highly possible that the government would not exercise the right after studying whether to use it.
 報告書も指摘するように、集団的自衛権は権利であり、義務ではない。政府が検討した結果、行使しないとなることも、十分あり得よう。

Changing the constitutional interpretation is aimed primarily at enabling the exercise of the collective self-defense right to reinforce the Japan-U.S. alliance and enhance deterrence, thereby preventing future conflicts. It must be remembered that the right to live peacefully and the principle of international cooperation are stipulated in the nation’s supreme law in addition to pacifism.
 解釈変更は、行使を可能にしておくことで日米同盟を強化し、抑止力を高めて、紛争を未然に防止することにこそ主眼がある。憲法には平和主義に加え、平和的生存権や国際協調主義がうたわれていることも忘れてはなるまい。

As for the so-called gray-zone incidents that do not amount to an armed attack, such as seizure of remote Japanese islands by foreign intruders disguised as fishermen, the report proposed improving the legal system so that a “seamless response” could be made even in peacetime.
 偽装漁民による離島占拠など、武力攻撃に至らない「グレーゾーン事態」について、報告書は、平時から「切れ目のない対応」を可能にするよう、法制度を充実すべきだと主張している。

Abe also said the matter would be studied on a priority basis during the ruling parties’s talks.
 安倍首相も、与党協議で優先して検討する考えを示した。

Seamless responses key
 ◆「切れ目のない」対応を◆

Such gray-zone incidents could happen at any time, given the background of China stepping up its naval presence and making intrusions into Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands an ordinary practice.
 中国が海洋進出を活発化し、尖閣諸島周辺での領海侵入を常態化させる中、グレーゾーン事態はいつ発生してもおかしくない。

Under the current Self-Defense Forces Law, SDF mobilization in line with the self-defense right is limited to cases in which Japan faces an armed attack. According to some observers, the current maritime security operations in which arms are allowed to be used under police authority are inadequate to bring armed special forces under control.
 現行の自衛隊法では、自衛権に基づく「防衛出動」は武力攻撃を受けた場合に限られる。警察権で武器を使う「海上警備行動」では、武装した特殊部隊の制圧などには不十分との指摘がある。

It is crucial to change the system so that the Maritime Self-Defense Force and Japan Coast Guard can respond swiftly and flexibly and use arms effectively.
 海上自衛隊や海上保安庁がより迅速かつ機動的に対応し、効果的に武器を使用できる仕組みにしておくことが重要だ。

Komeito is also showing a positive attitude toward preparing legal arrangements to deal with gray-zone situations, so the LDP should deepen discussions on the matter with its coalition partner.
 公明党もグレーゾーン事態に対処する法整備には前向きな姿勢を見せており、議論を深めたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 16, 2014)

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集団的自衛権―戦争に必要最小限はない

May 16, 2014
EDITORIAL: Collective self-defense a question of whether Japan can go to war
集団的自衛権―戦争に必要最小限はない

A private advisory panel submitted a report to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on May 15, calling on the government to take steps to allow Japan to exercise its right to collective self-defense.
The report drafted by the Advisory Panel on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security said the government should change the traditional interpretation of war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution that prohibits Japan from taking part in collective self-defense, as maintained by successive Cabinets.
 歴代の内閣が憲法9条のもとで否定してきた集団的自衛権の行使を、政府解釈の変更によって認めるべきだ――。
 安倍首相の私的諮問機関「安全保障の法的基盤の再構築に関する懇談会」がきのう、こんな提言を柱にした報告書を首相に出した。

After receiving the report, Abe announced the start of a political process, including talks between the ruling coalition parties, to make it possible for Japan to use its right to collective self-defense.
 これを受けて、安倍氏は集団的自衛権の行使容認に向けた与党協議などの政治プロセスに入ることを表明した。

USING SELF-DEFENSE RIGHT MEANS WAR
■自衛権の行使=戦争

Successive Cabinets have shared a view that Japan has to revise the Constitution before it is allowed to exercise its right to collective self-defense.
 集団的自衛権の行使を認めるには、憲法改正の手段をとらざるを得ない。歴代内閣はこうした見解を示してきた。

Any amendment to the Constitution must be approved by the public in a special referendum under procedures stipulated in Article 96 of the Constitution. However, Abe is trying to skip this procedure and make a fundamental shift in Japan’s postwar pacifist policy only through talks among the ruling parties and a Cabinet decision.
 安倍氏が進めようとしているのは、憲法96条に定める改憲手続きによって国民に問うべき平和主義の大転換を、与党間協議と閣議決定によってすませてしまおうというものだ。

His move represents a radical departure from the principle of constitutionalism under which a government is based on a Constitution and could have seriously harmful effects on the nation.
 憲法に基づいて政治を行う立憲主義からの逸脱である。弊害はあまりにも大きい。

First of all, Abe’s plan will fundamentally change Japan’s postwar pacifism, which emerged after serious national soul-searching about World War II.
 まず、戦争の反省から出発した日本の平和主義が根本的に変質する。

The proposed change will pave the way for the use of armed force by the Self-Defense Forces in situations where Japan is not under attack. That means Japan could join in a war that has not been directly waged against it.
 日本が攻撃されたわけではないのに、自衛隊の武力行使に道を開く。これはつまり、参戦するということである。

The advisory panel has set some conditions for Japan’s exercise of its right to collective self-defense. The report says Japan can use the right only in situations where its safety could be seriously threatened and only if it has received an explicit request or consent (from the country that has been attacked).
 懇談会は、集団的自衛権を行使するには「わが国の安全に重大な影響を及ぼす可能性がある」「(攻撃された国の)明示の要請または同意を得る」といった条件をつけている。

But none of these conditions can be a clear and effective restriction because they are either a simple assumption or a norm under international law.
 だが、いずれも単なる前提に過ぎなかったり、国際法上あたり前のことだったりして、明確な歯止めとはなり得ない。

This is simply a question of whether or not Japan exercises its right to collective self-defense. Both Abe and the panel emphasize that Japan should be allowed to use the right for a minimum required level of defense. But such a quantitative notion is meaningless.
 集団的自衛権を行使するかしないかは、二つに一つだ。首相や懇談会が強調する「必要最小限なら認められる」という量的概念は意味をなさない。

The moment Japan exercises the right, this nation becomes the enemy of the other country involved.
 日本が行使したとたん、相手にとって日本は敵国となる。

Also, changing the government’s interpretation of the Constitution would amount to approving a distorted form of governance that effectively puts the Constitution under the Cabinet’s control.
 また解釈変更は、内閣が憲法を支配するといういびつな統治構造を許すことにもなる。

This prospect inevitably raises concerns that even the basic principles of the Constitution, such as popular sovereignty and respect for fundamental human rights, could be affected by the intentions of the government. That means Japan will no longer be able to claim to be a nation under the rule of law.
 国民主権や基本的人権の尊重といった憲法の基本原理ですら、時の政権の意向で左右されかねない。法治国家の看板を下ろさなければいけなくなる。

Moreover, the Abe administration’s move to forcibly make a virtual constitutional amendment by reinterpreting the Constitution while failing to take effective steps to improve Japan’s relations with its neighbors will exacerbate the already high tensions in East Asia.
 そして、近隣国との関係改善を置き去りにしたまま解釈改憲を強行することで、東アジアの緊張はかえって高まる。

UNACCEPTABLE DOUBLE STANDARDS
■見過ごせぬ二重基準

Abe’s remarks at the May 15 news conference were difficult to understand.
 きのうの記者会見での首相発言は、理解しがたかった。

In addition to calling for changing the government’s position on Japan’s right to collective self-defense, the advisory panel urged the administration to change its interpretation of the Constitution to adopt the position that there are no constitutional restrictions on the use of armed force by the SDF under the United Nations framework of collective security.
 懇談会は集団的自衛権のほか、国連の集団安全保障のもとでの自衛隊の武力行使に憲法の制約はないと解釈するよう、政府見解の変更を求めた。

Abe refused to accept this proposal, saying it is “logically inconsistent with the government’s traditional interpretation of the Constitution.”
 首相はこの考え方を「これまでの政府の憲法解釈とは論理的に整合せず、採用できない」と退けた。

By the same token, the proposal to allow Japan to use its right to collective self-defense is also inconsistent with the government’s traditional interpretation of Article 9.
 それをいうなら集団的自衛権の行使容認も、これまでの政府の憲法解釈とは整合しない。

Even so, Abe invoked the government’s constitutional theory, announced in 1972, that Japan is not prohibited by the Constitution from taking measures for self-defense that are necessary to maintain its peace and safety and ensure its existence. He then claimed that the argument that Japan should be allowed to engage in collective self-defense operations is based on the government’s “basic stance.”
 それなのに首相は、「自国の平和と安全を維持し、その存立を全うするために必要な自衛の措置」は禁じられていないという72年の政府見解を引き、集団的自衛権は許されるとの考えは「政府の基本的な立場を踏まえている」と評価した。

But in 1972, the government said, following the statement quoted by Abe, that the Constitution banned Japan from exercising its right to collective self-defense. Accepting the panel’s proposal without referring to this fact can only be described as deception using double standards.
 だが、72年の見解は、首相の引用部分に続いて「集団的自衛権の行使は憲法上許されない」と明記している。そこには触れぬまま提言を受け入れようというのは、二重基準によるごまかしとしか言いようがない。

Will lawmakers of Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner, New Komeito, accept such a transparent sham in their talks over the proposal? We cannot take our eyes off the political process.
 これから与党協議に臨む自民党や公明党の議員は、こんなまやかしを認めてしまうのだろうか。協議の行方から目を離すことはできない。

DO NOT REMOVE ARTICLE 9 RESTRICTIONS
■9条のたがを外すな

Besides the question of exercising the right to collective self-defense, the panel’s report also deals with other related issues, including whether and when SDF troops should be allowed to use weapons while taking part in U.N. peacekeeping operations and how to respond to intrusions into Japanese territories and territorial waters that are not regarded as armed attacks.
 一方、集団的自衛権の行使容認とは別に、報告書は国連PKOの際の武器使用のあり方や、日本の領土・領海への武力攻撃とまではいえない侵害への対応にも触れている。

The panel’s argument that there are no constitutional restrictions on the SDF’s use of weapons during peacekeeping operations is totally unacceptable. But it is true that these issues demand careful discussions.
 「PKOでの武器使用に憲法の制約はない」という懇談会の提言は論外にしても、PKOなどの問題は、一つひとつ丁寧に検討すべき論点であることは確かだ。

As for the SDF’s use of weapons overseas, the government has been walking on a tightrope in interpreting the Constitution and enacting related legislation in its efforts to respond to international calls for Japan’s active involvement in peacekeeping operations without violating the pacifist principles of Article 9. It is true that this pursuit of mutually conflicting goals has led to some serious inconsistencies concerning the SDF’s peacekeeping activities.
 海外での武器使用に関しては、政府は9条の平和主義と国際社会からの要請とのはざまで、針の穴を通すような憲法解釈や立法を重ねてきた。そうした矛盾がPKOの現場で端的に表れてきたのも事実だ。

But this is a restriction Japanese people have imposed on themselves out of their respect for Article 9 of the Constitution.
 しかし、それは憲法9条を尊重してきた日本国民が自らに課した「たが」でもある。

Few would dispute the need to make more efforts to figure out ways to solve the problems related to the inconsistencies. Obviously, however, measures to be considered should be limited by the restrictions imposed by Article 9 unless the Constitution is amended.
 この矛盾を少しでも解消するため、さらに知恵を絞るべきなのは当然のことである。ただし、憲法を改正するのでなければ、検討は9条の範囲内にとどめるのもまた当然である。

Abe appears intent on using his initiative to enable Japan to exercise its right to collective self-defense as a breakthrough in his quest to eventually remove all restrictions imposed by Article 9.
 首相は集団的自衛権の行使容認を突破口に、やがては9条のしばりを全面的に取り払おうとしているように見える。

If this is the principal goal of Abe’s political agenda for the nation’s “break away from the postwar regime,” it is unacceptable.
 これが「戦後レジームからの脱却」の本質であるならば、看過できない。

For what purpose should Japan be allowed to use its right to collective self-defense? What should be done to ensure Japan’s security and enhance its contribution to international peace? The goals of the government’s security policy and the means to achieve them should be the right ones.
 いったい何のための集団的自衛権の行使なのか。日本の安全確保や国際平和への貢献のために何をすべきなのか。その目的や手順を誤ってはならない。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 16

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2014年5月16日 (金)

オンライン英会話、これからは先生を生徒が選ぶ時代なんです

英会話上達に王道はありません。
上達の秘訣は、少しでも長い時間を掛けてネイティブスピーカーとお話しをすることに尽きます。
英会話の上手な先輩たちを観察すればすぐに分かることなんですが、英会話の上手な人たちは押しなべて英会話学校でネイティブスピーカーたちから、実践英会話を学んでいます。
私もそのうちの一人なんですが、渋谷の英会話学校で4カ月間の研修を受けました。
会社が費用を負担してくれる仕組みだったので、どうにかそれが実現されたくらいのものなんです。

今の若い人たちは、私たちの世代より恵まれています。
英会話はオンラインでも学習できる時代となっているからなのです。
ところで、昨今のオンライン英会話なんですが、先生(インストラクター)を生徒が選ぶ時代に突入しています。
例えばインストラクターの出身大学、専攻、得意分野、資格、趣味や興味などから、自分が気になる先生を逆指名することが出来るんです。
オンライン英会話「スキマトーク」がリニューアルしています。
そのリニューアル記念として10ドル分のスキマトークコインがもらえるんですが、それが簡単なんです。
自分のツイッターでつぶやくだけで10ドル分のスキマトークコインがもらえる仕組みなんですが、このコインでさらにオンライン英会話が学べるという正(せい)の連鎖的発想から生まれたプレゼントなんです。
その発想に腰が抜けてしまいました。



ネイティブオンライン英会話「スキマトーク」がリニューアル!「リニューアル記念!ツイッターでつぶやくだけで1000円!」キャンペーンを開始



ドリームニュース・ブログメディア参加記事

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若田さん帰還 国際政治に翻弄されるISS

The Yomiuri Shimbun 11:00 pm, May 15, 2014
Even after Wakata’s triumph, ISS buffeted by international politics
若田さん帰還 国際政治に翻弄されるISS

Astronaut Koichi Wakata, the first Japanese commander of the International Space Station, returned to Earth aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft on Wednesday.
 国際宇宙ステーション(ISS)で日本人初の船長を務めた若田光一さんが帰還した。

Let us praise him for completing his mission successfully.
 無事に任務を遂げたことをたたえよう。

During his six-month mission, he conducted various scientific experiments, including one to develop a new medicine, and released an ultra-compact satellite into space. He has also successfully carried out the extremely difficult task of having a U.S. supply ship dock with the ISS by maneuvering a robotic arm.
 若田さんは半年間の滞在中、新薬開発実験や超小型衛星の放出を手がけた。ロボットアームの操作で米国の補給船をISSに結合する高難度の作業にも成功した。

It can be said that Wakata’s accomplishments have demonstrated the advanced state of Japanese space technologies.
 日本の高水準の宇宙技術を、世界に示したと言える。

Yet, with the United States and Russia each taking a critical role and 13 other participants involved including Japan, the ISS faces a critical situation.
 だが、米露を中心に、日本など計15か国が参加するISSは厳しい事態に直面している。

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin made clear recently that Russia’s cooperation with the United States on operating the ISS would not extend past the year 2020, implying it would act in retaliation to the U.S. sanctions on Russia over its actions in Ukraine.
 ロシアのロゴジン副首相が、米国の提案する2020年以降のISS利用に応じない方針を明らかにした。ウクライナ問題を巡る米国の制裁への対抗措置という。

Currently, the Russian Soyuz spacecraft is the only vehicle available to transport astronauts between the ISS and Earth. Last month, Rogozin took to social media, saying “U.S. astronauts should use trampolines” rather than Russian rockets to get to the ISS. He also hinted at the possibility of Russia’s operating the ISS single-handedly, saying that the ISS is structured so that Russia can operate it independently.
 宇宙飛行士をISSに運ぶ手段は現在、ロシアのソユーズ宇宙船だけだ。先月、「米国はトランポリンで宇宙に行けばいい」とネットで発信したロゴジン氏は、「ISSはロシアだけで運用できる構造だ」と単独運用も示唆した。

The ISS was launched with a U.S. call for preventing Russia’s space technologies from spreading to countries in conflict, following the collapse of the former Soviet Union. Recent developments have once again brought to the fore the current situation in which the ISS is being tossed about by international politics.
 旧ソ連の崩壊後、ロシアの宇宙技術が紛争国に拡散しないよう、米国の呼びかけで始まったISSが、国際政治に翻弄されている現状を改めて浮き彫りにした。

The United States is considering the possibility of tightening sanctions on Russia. If so, Russia may further solidify its stance.
 米国は、対露制裁の強化を検討している。その場合、ロシアは態度を一層、硬化させるだろう。

Ripples from earthly tension

The aggravated conflict between the United States and Russia will exert a great impact on space development within the international community. There is also a likelihood that Russia’s export of its rocket engines to the United States and bilateral cooperation aimed at improving the accuracy of the global positioning system will both be reviewed.
 米露対立の先鋭化は世界の宇宙開発に大きな影響を及ぼす。ロシア製ロケットエンジンの対米輸出や、全地球測位システム(GPS)の精度向上を目指した米露協力が見直される可能性もある。

China is moving ahead with its own manned space development for military purposes. Rogozin has also made reference to Russia’s reinforcement of its cooperative ties with China. With the collapse of the U.S.-Russia partnership, which has held China in check, the overall structure of the world’s space development may greatly change.
 中国は、軍事目的で独自の有人宇宙開発を進めている。ロゴジン氏は、中国との協力関係の強化にも言及した。中国を牽制けんせいしてきた米露の協力体制の崩壊で、世界の宇宙開発の構図は変貌しよう。

Should such a development occur, Japan’s space strategy will be shaken to its very foundations.
 そうした事態になれば、日本の宇宙戦略は根底から揺らぐ。

Japan contributes ¥36 billion annually to the ISS project. While sending astronauts regularly, it has built and managed a space experiment module.
 日本はISSに年間360億円を投じている。宇宙実験棟を建設・運営し、定期的に飛行士を送ってきた。

Although the financial burden involved is heavy, it is important that Japan has proven itself able to build a livable human habitat in space, an ability that had belonged exclusively to the United States, Russia and China.
財政負担は重いが、米露と中国以外は持たない宇宙滞在の技術を獲得した意義は大きい。

The presence of Japan, which assumes a pivotal role in ferrying supplies to the ISS from Earth, has become indispensable. Japan’s contribution has also proved useful for boosting its ties with the United States, which wants to keep the ISS operational.
 物資輸送の中心的な役割を担う日本の存在は不可欠となっている。ISSを維持したい米国との関係強化にも役立ってきた。

Japan plans to send two astronauts to the ISS in 2015 and 2016. But dark clouds loom over the plan’s realization. There is also the prospect of immense damage to Japan’s space industry, which has promoted robotics and other technological developments on the assumption of the continued operation of the ISS.
 15年と16年には、2人の飛行士をISSに派遣する方針だが、その実現にも暗雲が漂う。ISSの継続を前提に、ロケットなどの技術開発を進めてきた日本の宇宙産業は甚大な打撃を受ける。

The government needs to expedite its efforts to gather relevant information and develop strategies for the days ahead.
 政府は情報収集を急ぎ、今後の戦略を練る必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 15, 2014)

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ナイジェリア 拉致された女生徒救出を願う

The Yomiuri Shimbun 8:00 pm, May 15, 2014
World must quickly help rescue of abducted Nigerian schoolgirls
ナイジェリア 拉致された女生徒救出を願う

One month has passed since the ordeal began, but the whereabouts of hundreds of kidnapped schoolgirls remains unknown. This is a despicable crime that tramples on their human rights. We hope the girls will soon be rescued.
 事件発生から1か月経過したが、拉致された女子生徒たちの行方は不明だ。人権を踏みにじる、卑劣な犯罪である。早期の救出を願いたい。

Boko Haram Islamic extremists raided a girls school in the West African nation of Nigeria and seized more than 200 students. The group has issued a statement claiming responsibility for the attack, and has threatened to sell the girls as “slaves.”
 西アフリカのナイジェリアで、イスラム過激派組織「ボコ・ハラム」が、女子学校を襲撃して、200人を超す生徒を連れ去った。犯行声明を出し、「奴隷として売る」と脅している。

A video released by Boko Haram on Monday showed about 130 of the female students wearing Islamic clothing. The hostages had reportedly been forced to convert from Christianity to Islam.
 12日にボコ・ハラムが公開したビデオには、イスラム式の衣服をまとった約130人の女子生徒が映し出された。キリスト教からイスラム教に改宗させたという。

Boko Haram has said it will free the girls if some of its imprisoned members are released. The Nigerian government has indicated it is willing to hold talks with the group, but there currently is no prospect of the schoolgirls being freed. Even the location where the video was filmed is unknown.
 解放の条件として、獄中の仲間の釈放を求めている。ナイジェリア政府は、協議に応じる意向を示しているが、解放のめどは立っておらず、ビデオに映された場所すら分かっていない。

With the Nigerian government making scant progress in resolving the abduction crisis, it is only natural that the international community has banded together to offer assistance to rescue the girls.
 ナイジェリア政府による解決が難航する中、女子生徒たちの救出に向け、国際社会が連携して動き出したのは、妥当と言えよう。

The United States has deployed a military surveillance aircraft to try to locate the students, and has dispatched hostage negotiation experts and other specialists to Nigeria. Britain also sent a team of experts, and France has proposed holding talks among the leaders of Nigeria and nearby nations to discuss how to handle the situation.
 米政府は、女子生徒の居場所を軍の偵察機で捜索するとともに、人質事件の専門家らを現地に向かわせた。英国も専門家チームを派遣し、フランスは、ナイジェリアと近隣国の首脳が対応を話し合う会議の開催を提案した。

Global outrage swells

It is no wonder international outrage over the abductions has grown as each day passes.
 拉致を非難する国際世論が日々高まっていることも肯うなずける。

On Twitter, a campaign called “Bring Back Our Girls” was launched to show support for the hostages. U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani teenager advocating girls’ right to get an education, are among those who have added their voices to the campaign.
 ツイッター上では、「女の子たちを帰せ」という運動が始まった。ミシェル・オバマ米大統領夫人や、女性の教育の権利を訴えるパキスタンの少女、マララ・ユスフザイさんらが加わった。

Widening economic disparities appear to have been a factor behind the abductions.
 拉致事件の背景には、深刻化する経済格差があると見られる。

Nigeria has earned foreign currency through its vast oil resources and has become Africa’s leading economic power. However, most of this oil wealth has gone to southern Nigeria, which is predominantly Christian, while the northern part of the nation, where most citizens are Muslims, remains poor.
 ナイジェリアは、豊富な石油資源で外貨を稼いで、アフリカ有数の経済大国となった。だが、裕福になったのはキリスト教徒の多い南部で、住民の大半がイスラム教徒の北部は、貧しいままだ。

The name Boko Haram can be taken to mean “Western education is a sin.” The extremist group has exploited the economic disparities to gain support, and has attacked police stations, Christian churches and other targets, mostly in northern Nigeria. Recently, it even launched suicide attacks in the capital Abuja. These attacks have caused thousands of deaths and cannot be brushed off any longer.
 「西洋の教育は罪」という意味の名を持つボコ・ハラムは、こうした格差に付け込み、北部を中心に警察署、キリスト教会などを襲撃し、最近は、首都でも爆弾テロを起こしている。犠牲者は数千人に上っており、看過できない。

The Nigerian government needs to improve public security, proactively take steps to eradicate problems arising from poverty and do more to cut off terrorism at its roots.
 ナイジェリア政府には、治安の改善とともに、貧困問題に積極的に取り組み、テロの根源を絶つ努力が求められる。

In a statement, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said he was “deeply shocked and enraged” by the mass kidnapping. He also indicated Japan was willing to offer assistance to bring stability to the region and prevent violence against women.
 今回の事件について、岸田外相は、「強い衝撃と憤りを覚える」と述べる一方で、地域の安定や、女性に対する暴力の防止に日本としても協力する意向を示した。

It is vital that Japan continues to support the economically developing continent of Africa.
成長大陸・アフリカを引き続き支援することが大事だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 15, 2014)

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避難勧告発令 市町村は「空振り」を恐れずに

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:18 pm, May 14, 2014
Local govts should not hesitate to issue evacuation warnings
避難勧告発令 市町村は「空振り」を恐れずに

Delays in issuing an evacuation advisory and directive if there is imminent danger of a natural disaster could lead to irrevocable consequences. City, town and village governments should not hesitate to issue such warnings before it is too late.
 災害時の避難勧告・指示の遅れは、取り返しのつかない事態を招く。市町村は、早めの発令をためらうべきではない。

The evacuation advisory is intended to encourage residents to move to a safe location if there is a possibility of a disaster, while the evacuation directive is to be issued if residents face imminent danger from a disaster.
 住民に被災の恐れがある時、安全な場所に移るよう促すのが避難勧告だ。避難指示は、さらに危険性が高い場合に発令される。

The Cabinet Office has revised its evacuation guidelines for the first time in nine years.
内閣府は、発令の目安となる指針を9年ぶりに改定した。

The basic principle of the new guidelines is that local governments are being urged to issue evacuation advisories or directives within an appropriate time frame without fear that a warning was made needlessly should no damage occur.
 新指針は、結果的に被害が生じない「空振り」を恐れず、市町村が早めに発令することを基本原則とした。

We find the new guidelines to be reasonable in that they are designed, first and foremost, to secure the safety of residents.
住民の安全確保を最優先する適切な内容と言える。

The motive for the Cabinet Office’s decision to reconsider its old guidelines was the disaster caused by a typhoon-triggered avalanche of rocks and earth on Tokyo’s Izu-Oshima island in October. An evacuation advisory was never issued, and 39 people either died or are still missing.
 見直しのきっかけは、昨年10月に起きた伊豆大島の土石流災害だ。避難勧告が発令されず、39人の死者・行方不明者が出た。

In some previous cases, city, town and village governments hesitated to issue evacuation warnings, fearing they would be criticized by local residents if their warning proved to be a false alarm. We hope the Cabinet Office’s move to revise its guidelines will do much to prevent disaster damage due to delays in issuing evacuation calls.
 過去の災害では、勧告が空振りになった場合の住民からの批判を恐れ、市町村が発令をためらうケースもあった。
 指針の改定を機に、発令の遅れによる被災をなくしたい。

There are concerns that if local residents see a succession of cases in which an early evacuation advisory or directive turns out to be unnecessary, they would stop responding to such warnings and refuse to evacuate.
 早期発令で空振りが相次げば、住民が勧告や指示に反応せず、避難しなくなる恐れもある。

With this in mind, local governments should explain to residents about the importance of issuing early warnings and gain their support, even if no damage from a disaster occurs.
 被害が発生しなかった場合でも、市町村は、早期発令の重要性を住民に丁寧に説明し、理解を得ることが大切だ。

We believe the revised guidelines should deserve praise in that they incorporate a clear yardstick by which an evacuation advisory or directive should be issued. This is in contrast to previous ones, which critics say were ambiguously phrased and not easy to understand.
 「記述があいまいで、わかりにくい」との批判が多かった旧指針に比べ、新指針が、避難勧告・指示を発令する際の目安を明確にした点も評価できる。

Timeline mapped out

The new guidelines are specific in providing the timing for issuing an evacuation advisory. For instance, the guidelines cite such cases as “if a river rises to a dangerous level” at a time when flood damage is feared. In case of landslide damage, the guidelines state a similar warning should be issued “if the pertinent authorities have released alerts and relevant information.”
 水害の避難勧告は「河川が氾濫危険水位に達した場合」、土砂災害については「警戒情報が発表された場合」などと、発令のタイミングを具体的に示した。

The revised guidelines also include detailed instructions to be followed under the disaster management systems operated by city, town and village governments. For example, the guidelines say “the chief of each local government must report for work at his or her office” if a heavy rain warning has been issued. The guidelines also state “all staff responsible for disaster management must report to work at their offices” if a landslide warning has been issued.
 市町村の防災体制についても、大雨警報が出た時には「首長が登庁する」、土砂災害警戒情報の際には「防災対応の全職員が登庁する」と詳細に記した。

However, it is disturbing to realize that a considerable number of local governments have been slow to take measures to address the problem. This is evident in a finding confirmed by the Fire and Disaster Management Agency, an affiliate of the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry.
 問題は、対応の遅れている市町村が少なくないことだ。

About 20 percent of local governments whose areas are prone to flooding, landslide or tsunami damage have not created a yardstick for issuing evacuation warnings, even under the old guidelines. Meanwhile, the lack of such efforts are apparent in close to 40 percent of local governments whose regions could be hit by flooding caused by high tides combined with heavy winds, according to the agency.
 総務省消防庁によると、水害や土砂災害、津波被害の恐れがある市町村の約2割、高潮被害の恐れがある市町村の4割近くが、旧指針に基づく発令基準さえ策定していないという。

The Cabinet Office has urged city, town and village governments to reexamine their criteria for issuing evacuation warnings by the end of the next fiscal year based on its new guidelines. There is no telling when a natural disaster will strike. We hope local governments will quickly work to create criteria appropriate for their areas’ geographical features and the distribution of their residents.
 内閣府は来年度末までに新指針に沿って発令基準を見直すよう市町村に求めている。災害はいつ起きるか分からない。市町村は、地形や住民の分布などに応じた基準作りを急いでもらいたい。

It is also important for individual residents to raise their disaster preparedness levels—a task essential for protecting their own lives. Every member of the public needs to check for possible disaster hazards in their neighborhood, while also making sure of where to evacuate to if an evacuation advisory or directive has been issued.
 無論、住民一人ひとりが防災意識を高め、自らの責任で身を守ることも重要だ。自宅周辺の災害の危険性をチェックし、避難勧告・指示が出た場合の避難場所を確認しておく必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 14, 2014)

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50年後も1億人 大胆な少子化対策へ舵を切れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:19 pm, May 14, 2014
Chronically low birthrate can’t be fixed without bold, genuine effort
50年後も1億人 大胆な少子化対策へ舵を切れ

If Japan is serious about maintaining the dynamism of its economy and society, stemming the nation’s rapid population decrease is an absolute necessity. The government must demonstrate its leadership and launch a full-scale operation to tackle this problem now.
 日本経済と社会の活力を維持するためには、人口の減少を食い止める必要がある。政府が主導し、本格的な対策へと舵かじを切るべき時だ。

The Committee for Japan’s Future, an expert panel under the wing of the government’s Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, recently came up with a proposal on addressing the nation’s population decrease and super graying society.
 政府の経済財政諮問会議の有識者会議「選択する未来」委員会が、人口急減と超高齢化対策に関する提言をまとめた。

The focal point of the panel’s proposal is setting a target population level of 100 million in Japan 50 years from now. The government has been reluctant to set explicit targets for population or birthrate due to persistent criticism that doing so would interfere with the freedom of people to choose their own lifestyle.
 提言の柱は、50年後に1億人程度の人口を維持する目標を打ち出した点だ。人口や出生率の目標設定には、「個人の生き方への介入になる」といった批判が根強く、これまで政府は消極的だった。

However, if the population continues to shrink, it will undermine the foundation of the economy, and the government will find it difficult to maintain the nation’s social security system. It was appropriate for the panel to set a specific target for stemming the population decrease, and for them to urge the government to work on achieving the target.
 だが、人口減少が続くと、経済の基盤が揺らぎ、社会保障制度も維持できなくなる。有識者会議が、目標を定めて政府に実現を求めたのは、妥当である。

Japan’s fertility rate has long hovered around 1.4. If the figure continues to stagnate, Japan’s population is expected to plunge over the next 50 years to 87 million, about two-thirds of the current population.
 日本の合計特殊出生率は1・4前後で低迷している。この水準のままでは、50年後の人口は、現在の3分の2の8700万人にまで減少する見通しだ。

Data have indicated that couples in Japan would like to have 2.4 children on average. The gap between this figure and the fertility rate indicates that many people give up on marrying or having children due to financial difficulties and other pressures.
 一方、夫婦が理想とする子供の数は平均2・4人とされる。実際の出生率との差は、経済的理由などで、結婚や子育てをあきらめる人が多いことを物語っている。

The expert panel points out the importance of furnishing a better environment for couples to have and raise children, such as calls for improved working conditions for nonregular employees and better support for households with many children. We wish to express our support for the panel’s proposal.
 提言が、非正規労働者の処遇改善や、子供の多い世帯への支援強化など、子供を産み育てやすい環境作りの重要性を指摘したのは、もっともである。

Shift budgetary focus

A key point of contention is how to secure the revenue needed to implement the panel’s ideas. The proposal suggests that the government boldly shift its focus for budgetary allocation away from programs related to the elderly and toward those associated with children, and double the funding to support couples in having and raising children. We believe this is a realistic approach, considering the government’s severe fiscal restraints.
 問題は財源の確保だ。提言は、予算配分の重点を高齢者から子供へと大胆に移し、出産・子育て支援を倍増させるとした。厳しい財政状況を考えれば、現実的な施策と言えるだろう。

It is important for the government to continue to make efforts to curb ballooning medical and nursing care costs by asking older citizens to bear a greater share of expense, in accordance with their ability to pay. We also urge the government to reinforce measures to promote preventive medicine, including programs to help older people improve their dietary and fitness habits. Greater taxation of pensions is another issue the government needs to tackle.
 医療・介護の費用抑制のため、高齢者にも支払い能力に応じた負担を求める改革をさらに進めることが重要だ。生活習慣の改善など予防重視の取り組みも充実させねばならない。税制面では、年金課税の強化などが課題となる。

Another point worthy of note in the panel’s proposal is its analysis of the population decrease. The panel pointed out that the flow of population from rural areas to Tokyo and its vicinity is accelerating the decline in population. The birthrate in the greater Tokyo area is especially low due to a variety of challenges, including high rents and lack of day care facilities.
 提言が、地方から東京圏への人口流出が日本全体の人口減に拍車をかけていると指摘した点も注目される。東京圏では、高い家賃や保育所不足などから、出生率が極めて低い。

A subcommittee of the Japan Policy Council, a private-sector group of experts, recently released a forecast that 896 cities, wards, towns and villages—roughly half of the nation’s municipalities—will be on the verge of “dissolution” by the end of 2040 due to the outflow of people toward Tokyo.
 民間の「日本創成会議」の分科会も、東京への人口集中により、全国の自治体の半数にあたる896市区町村が、2040年には、「消滅」の危機に直面するという推計を発表した。

The government must act to rejuvenate the nation outside the major urban centers. For example, the government could provide preferential tax treatment to persuade companies to relocate their headquarters in provincial areas, which would increase employment in the main cities of these areas.
 地方の活性化策が急務である。地域の中核都市に雇用を生み出すため、企業の地方移転を税制優遇などで促す。

It should also join hands with these cities as well as surrounding towns and villages so that the positive impact of such moves spread throughout the region. We urge the central government to use such efforts to encourage younger generations to build their lives in their hometowns.
周辺自治体と連携し、地域全体の底上げを図る。こうした取り組みで、若者の地方定着を進めることが求められよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 14, 2014)

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路上の民主主義―自ら考え動き出す人たち

May 15, 2014
EDITORIAL: Citizens taking a stand to protect democracy in Japan
路上の民主主義―自ら考え動き出す人たち

The triple disaster that befell Japan in 2011 was the catalyst for profound reflection among citizens and calls for fundamental changes in our society.
The Great East Japan Earthquake generated towering tsunami that triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant and plunged the nation into a state of shock. Some people likened the catastrophe to a “seconddefeat in war.” Many Japanese took it upon themselves to try to engineer change in society.
 変わらなければ。
 変えなければ。
 東日本大震災と東京電力福島第一原発事故を経験した2011年。「第二の敗戦」といった言葉も飛び交うなか、日本社会は深い自省と、根源的な変革を求める空気に満ちていた。

One visible manifestation of the reflective mood was a massive rally calling for an end to Japan’s reliance on nuclear power generation. It was held in Tokyo about six months after the calamity. An estimated 60,000 people attended the “Sayonara Genpatsu” (Good-bye to nuclear power generation) rally, according to the event’s organizers.
 それを目に見える形で示したのが、震災から約半年後に東京で開かれた「さようなら原発」集会だ。主催者発表で6万人が参加。

In his address to the rally, Kenzaburo Oe, a Nobel laureate writer, stressed the importance of the gathering and demonstrations in general as a means for citizens to express their views. “What can we do? All we have are such rallies driven by the democratic spirit and demonstrations by citizens,” he said. Nearly three years have passed since then.
ノーベル賞作家・大江健三郎さんは訴えた。「何ができるか。私らにはこの民主主義の集会、市民のデモしかない」
 あれから3年近くが経った。

ABE SOWS SEEDS
■首相がまく種

During this time, the Liberal Democratic Party returned to power. The LDP-led government has sought to restart idled nuclear reactors and revived the old-style policy of spending on massive public works projects.
 自民党が政権に戻り、原発再稼働が推進され、大型公共事業が復活する。

The grim realization has dawned on many Japanese that they have failed to bring about change.
 何も変えられなかった。

Some people have become disillusioned. Others have lost heart or simply grown weary.
 冷めた人。折れた人。疲れた人。

There is no denying that the bitter sense of resignation that set in among the people, coupled with their deep disappointment at the performance of the previous government led by the Democratic Party of Japan, has provided much political capital for the Abe administration.
民主党政権への深い失望と相まって膨らんだ諦念(ていねん)が、安倍政権の政治的原資となってきたことは否めない。

A pillar of democracy is a belief in the need to have constructive, in-depth exchanges with people of opposing opinions.
 反対意見に向き合い、議論を深める。民主制の根幹だ。

But Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appears to believe quite the opposite. He seems to think that as the nation’s top leader, chosen through elections, he can have his own way and would be wasting his time listening to others' opinions.
しかし首相はどうやら、選挙で選ばれた、最高責任者の自分がやりたいようにやるのが政治で、反対意見なんか聞くだけ無駄だと考えているようだ。

This, then, explains the Abe administration's outrageous decision to seek an effective elimination of constitutional restrictions on Japan’s use of armed force through nothing more than a Cabinet decision.
 憲法の縛りさえ、閣議決定で「ない」ことにしてしまおうという粗雑さ。

The Diet, which is dominated by the ruling parties, has been showing increasing signs of acting as a rubber stamp body in the face of the administration’s strong-arm approach to policymaking.
これに対し、与党が圧倒的議席をもつ国会は、単なる追認機関と化しつつある。

Are ruling party leaders aware that the prime minister’s heavy-handed tactics for pursuing his political agenda and the pitifully tame Diet are spawning and fostering a new breed of political actors who think and act on their own?
The question is whether this situation is fortunate or unfortunate for this nation’s negligent politicians.
 気づいているだろうか。
 首相の強権的な政治手法とふがいない国会のありようが、自ら思考し、行動する政治的な主体を新たに生み、育てていることに。怠慢なこの国の政治家にとっては、幸か、不幸か。

MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD
■声を響かせる

The English phrase “Fight the power” is the principal slogan adopted for a student demonstration staged in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district on May 3, Constitution Day, against the newly enacted state secrets protection law.
The slogan is “a little too radical, but probably OK because it is in English,” said one of the student organizers.
 「『Fight the power』、これは権力と闘えって意味で、ちょっと過激なんすけど、まあ英語だから大丈夫かなと」

The 400 or so participants practiced chanting in chorus in a park where they gathered before taking to the streets. They took part in the demonstration as individuals, not as members of any organization, in response to calls on the Internet or invitations by friends to turn up for the rally.
 憲法記念日に東京・新宿で行われた「特定秘密保護法に反対する学生デモ」。集合場所の公園で約400人が声を合わせ、コールの練習を始めた。都内の大学生らが主催した、党派によらない個人参加のデモ。ネットや友人関係を通じて集まった。

As they started marching on the streets, led by a car equipped with a loudspeaker beating out a rhythm with heavy bass sounds, the demonstrators kept chanting, “No to the state secrets protection law” and “Protect the Constitution.” These rather stiff phrases, chanted in a rhythmic pace, echoed across Shinjuku.
 出発。重低音のリズムを刻むサウンドカーを先頭に、繰り返される「特定秘密保護法反対」「憲法守れ」。堅苦しい言葉がうまくリズムに乗っかって、新宿の街にあふれ出していく。

Participating students took the microphone in turns.
 大学生たちがマイクを握る。

“I feel happy about being born in Japan, where we can live freely in ways we like,” said one student. “But the state secrets protection law was rammed through the Diet in the face of opposition. As I was concerned that the Japan I love so much could be destroyed if nothing was done, I felt compelled to act.”
 「自分らしく、自由に生きられる日本に生まれたことを幸せに思っています。でも、特定秘密保護法が反対を押し切って成立した。このままじゃ大好きな日本が壊れちゃうかもしれないって思ったら、動かずにはいられませんでした」

“I’m not ashamed of expressing my will to protect my freedom and rights,” said another. “And I believe in making ‘constant efforts’ to do so.”
 「私は、私の自由と権利を守るために意思表示することを恥じません。そしてそのことこそが、私の『不断の努力』であることを信じます」

They all spoke clearly in their own words and from their hearts.
 私。僕。俺。借り物でない、主語が明確な言葉がつながる。

Do they want to change their society? It would seem they are more interested in protecting their society.
 社会を変えたい?
 いや、伝わってくるのはむしろ、「守りたい」だ。

The way the controversial bill was railroaded through the Diet raised many doubts and questions in their minds.
 強引な秘密法の採決に際し、胸の内に膨らんだ疑問。

They asked themselves what democracy really means. One tentative answer they came up with is that it means they need to keep thinking on their own without any fear of making mistakes and continuing to voice their doubts and questions if they think that something is wrong.
 民主主義ってなんだ?
 手繰り寄せた、当座の答え。
 間違ってもいいから、自分の頭で考え続けること。おかしいと思ったら、声をあげること。

That is why they took to the streets and made their voices heard.
 だから路上に繰り出し、響かせる。自分たちの声を。

“Tell me what democracy looks like?” one student shouted. “This is what democracy looks like!” responded the others.
 「Tell me what democracy looks like?(民主主義ってどんなの?)」のコール。
 「This is what democracy looks like!(これが民主主義だ!)」のレスポンス。

One scholar argues that, in a period of upheavals when people find it difficult to envision a bright future, they tend to cling to something by engaging in physical activities.
 ある学者は言う。頭で考えても見通しをもてない動乱期には、人は身体を動かして何かをつかもうとするんです――。

The students are well aware of the harsh reality. They know society doesn’t change easily. But they also know they don’t have to give up. They are more focused on continuing, rather than winning their battle.
 彼らは極めて自覚的だ。社会はそう簡単には変わらない。でも諦める必要はない。志向するのは「闘い」に「勝つ」ことよりも、闘い「続ける」ことだ。

CHANGE IS HAPPENING
■深く、緩やかに

Anti-nuclear demonstrators held their 100th rally in front of the prime minister’s office in Tokyo on the first Friday of May.
 5月最初の金曜日に100回目を迎えた、首相官邸前デモ。

The number of participants has fallen, and the enthusiasm of the regular event has waned. Instead, it has become part of the everyday lives of people still taking part in the event.
 数は減り、熱気は失せ、そのぶんすっかり日常化している。

There are couples sitting on the lawn and eating rice balls and groups singing songs. They enjoy spending time in their own ways in areas around the prime minister’s office, which are “opened to the public.”
植え込みに座って、おにぎりを食べるカップル。歌をうたうグループ。「開放」された官邸周辺を思い思いに楽しんでいる。

Demonstrators have stuck to some basic principles, including keeping their acts peaceful, focusing on core messages and participation as individuals. Without the experiences accumulated through regular, uneventful anti-nuke rallies in front of the prime minister’s office and the wise strategies developed for this new type of demonstrations, there might not have been the waves of people protesting against the state secrets protection law in front of the Diet last December or the recent student rally in Shinjuku.
 非暴力。訴えを絞る。個人参加。官邸前で積み上げられた日常と、新しいデモの「知恵」がなければ、昨年12月に秘密法に反対する人々が国会前に押し寄せることも、学生たちのデモも、なかったかもしれない。

“Its strong roots are not visible/ But they are there even though they are invisible/ Invisible things exist,” Misuzu Kaneko says in her book, “Hoshi to tanpopo” (The star and the dandelion).
 つよいその根は眼にみえぬ。
 見えぬけれどもあるんだよ、
 見えぬものでもあるんだよ。
 (金子みすゞ「星とたんぽぽ」)

Like dandelions, these civic movements have deep roots in people’s daily lives. Like pieces of dandelion fluff, the voices of these people waft off and reach somewhere else. The fallen seeds take root at new places.
 たんぽぽのように、日常に深く根を張り、種をつけた綿毛が風に乗って飛んでいく。それがどこかで、新たに根を張る。

On May 15, the Abe administration will take a step toward allowing Japan to exercise its right to collective self-defense. Probably, many pieces of fluff will swirl up into the air again.
 きょう、集団的自衛権の行使容認に向け、安倍政権が一歩を踏み出す。また多くの綿毛が、空に舞いゆくことだろう。

Society is changing, deeply, quietly and calmly.
 社会は変わっている。
 深く、静かに、緩やかに。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 15

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2014年5月15日 (木)

NPT会議―中国も核軍縮に加われ

May 14, 2014
EDITORIAL: China must not be allowed to put NPT regime at risk
NPT会議―中国も核軍縮に加われ

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) requires the world’s nuclear states to strive in earnest for nuclear disarmament. Unless this requirement is fulfilled, the treaty itself, which prohibits non-nuclear countries from possessing nuclear weapons, could collapse. When that happens, the world will be a dangerous place for all countries, irrespective of whether they have nuclear capabilities.
 核不拡散条約(NPT)は核保有国に、軍縮への誠実な取り組みを義務づけている。その義務が果たされないと、他の国の核保有を禁じるNPT体制は崩れかねない。そんな世界は非核国だけでなく、核保有国さえも危うくする。

Yet, the attitude of the nuclear states makes us doubt that they have any serious interest in averting that sort of global crisis.
 にもかかわらず、核保有国の態度を見ていると、そうした世界の危機を本気で回避しようとしているのか、疑わしくなる。

The third session in New York of the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the NPT closed on May 9 with no results to speak of. The committee failed to narrow the gap between non-nuclear countries and the five NTP-approved nuclear states--the United States, Russia, Britain, France and China.
 来年のNPT再検討会議に向けた準備委員会は、めぼしい成果がないまま閉幕した。核軍縮の進め方をめぐり、NPTで核保有を認められている米ロ英仏中の5カ国と、非核保有国の溝が埋まらなかった。

Based on an agreement reached at the last NPT Review Conference in 2010, the five nuclear states issued written reports for the first time on disarmament trends. The United States, Britain and France stressed that their nuclear capabilities are now way below the levels they were during the Cold War era. But none of them indicated a road map for ending their reliance on nuclear weapons.
 4年前の前回再検討会議での合意に基づき、5カ国は初めて、軍縮の動向を文書で報告した。米英仏は冷戦期より大幅に減らしたと強調したが、各国とも核依存から方向転換する道筋は示さなかった。

China and Russia did not even disclose the numbers of nuclear warheads in their possession.
中国とロシアは核弾頭の保有数すら明らかにしなかった。

The outcome could not have been more disappointing. The nuclear states ought to reawaken to their grave responsibilities.
 あまりに不十分な内容というしかない。重い責任を改めて自覚すべきである。

Our only hope now lies with U.S. President Barack Obama, who has called for a world free of nuclear weapons despite the fact that his country is the world’s most powerful nuclear state.
 期待したいのは、最強の保有国でありながら、「核なき世界」を掲げるオバマ大統領だ。

A U.S. representative who delivered a speech at the session showed an understanding of the inhumanity of nuclear weapons for the first time. This was a notable change, even though the United States does not support the Nuclear Weapons Convention proposed by non-nuclear nations.
 準備委で演説した米国代表は、核の非人道性に初めて理解を示した。多くの非核国が求める禁止条約まで支持してはいないが、注目すべき変化である。

The third Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons will be held in Vienna in December. As an ally of the United States and the only country that has been attacked with nuclear weapons, Japan should urge the United States to participate in this conference.
 今年12月、非人道性を議題とする3回目の国際会議がウィーンで開かれる。被爆国であり、同盟国でもある日本から、米国に参加を働きかけてはどうか。

Last July, Obama called for negotiated arms reduction with Russia, proposing to further reduce their agreed-upon strategic nuclear weapons capabilities by one-third to around 1,000 warheads. But U.S.-Russia relations have since deteriorated over the Ukraine crisis and other issues, leaving the talks schedule up in the air.
 オバマ大統領は昨年6月、戦略核を現行の米ロ条約の水準からさらに3分の1減らし、1千発程度にする交渉を提案した。ただ、ウクライナ問題などでロシアとの関係は冷え込み、交渉開始のめどは立たない。

Since the United States far outpowers Russia in conventional weapons, it should still be able to maintain its deterrence power even if it reduces its strategic nuclear weapons. This is actually what we would like the United States to do voluntarily, and then urge Russia to follow suit. And for Russia, which is having problems with its aging nuclear system, this would not be a bad deal.
 通常戦力で圧倒する米国が先に戦略核をもっと削減しても、抑止力は維持できるだろう。米国が自主的に減らし、ロシアに同調を促してはどうか。核システムの老朽化に悩むロシアにも、悪い取引ではないはずだ。

China, which refuses to disclose its nuclear capabilities, could pose a risk to the maintenance of the NPT regime in the days ahead. But if the United States and Russia forge ahead with further nuclear disarmament at Obama’s initiative, China will become increasingly unable to have its way.
 核戦力の実態を明らかにしない中国が今後、NPT体制を維持していくうえで、リスク要因になる恐れもある。オバマ政権の主導で米ロがいっそうの軍縮に踏み込めば、中国の自分勝手はますます通用しなくなる。

The time has come for Obama to strongly urge China to stop making empty promises and take action for disarmament.
口では軍縮努力を繰り返す中国に、行動で示すよう強く求める時期にきている。

Obama’s approval ratings are not getting any better at home. But he must stand his ground if he really intends to establish a solid path toward a nuclear-free world.
 オバマ大統領の支持率は低迷しているが、核ゼロへの流れを確かなものにするには、今が正念場である。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 14

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2014年5月14日 (水)

豊永貴士さんのビジネス指南書第二段発売開始

今からまだちょっと前の話しなんですが、豊永貴士さんの執筆された風変わりなビジネス書が気に入り、購入して熱心に読んだ記憶があります。本のタイトルが口語調でちょっと変わっているので、なおさら記憶に鮮明に刻み込まれています。
それは「日本人が成功すんなら、アジアなんじゃねえの?」というビジネス書なんです。
その分かりやすい口語調が大いに受けて、ビジネス界で大きな反響がありました。
大変に分かりやすい理論と説明が真骨頂だったのです。

豊永貴士さんなんですが、その続編のビジネス書を刊行されました。
ただいま出版を記念してamazonキャンペーン が行われています。
今度のビジネス書のタイトルも実に変わっています。
タイトルは「年商1億超えの若手経営者以外は読まないでください! 今は儲かっているけど、ホントは怖くてたまらない君へ」なんですが、出版社は一流出版社の講談社なんです。

三つの特典も豊永貴士さんならではの特別な企画なんですが、2回のグループコンサルティング、未公開ビジネス動画、未公開ビジネス原稿が含まれます。
この機会に是非「年商1億超えの若手経営者以外は読まないでください! 今は儲かっているけど、ホントは怖くてたまらない君へ」を読んでみませんか。
第一章だけ、無料で立ち読みが出来ます。面白いですよ。



「今は儲かっているけど、ホントは怖くてたまらない君へ 年商1億超えの若手経営者以外は読まないで下さい! 」【出版記念】
2014年5月14日よりキャンペーンを開始します。



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今日のイチオシDreamNews

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今日のイチオシDreamNews

桐専門の建材メーカー『桐屋』がアクの出ない天然の桐フローリングを発売。  サティスファクション株式会社

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ウクライナ混迷 「住民投票」に法的効力はない

The Yomiuri Shimbun 6:59 pm, May 13, 2014
Referendums in east Ukraine illegal, sure to escalate turmoil in region
ウクライナ混迷 「住民投票」に法的効力はない

The latest referendums in Ukraine are nothing less than illegal. The vote has apparently invigorated the pro-Russian

separatists in Ukrainian regions, which can only aggravate the turmoil there.
 違法な「住民投票」にほかならない。親ロシア派は勢いづいているが、ウクライナの混迷を一層深刻化させるだけだ。

Pro-Russian separatists conducted referendums in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine—regions that

are home to many Russian-speaking people—after raising the issue of the regions’ “sovereignty.” The organizers of

the vote said an overwhelming majority of people opted for sovereignty.
 ロシア系住民が多いウクライナ東部のドネツク州とルガンスク州で、親露派が、両州の「独立」の是非を問う「住民投票」を実施した。

圧倒的多数の賛成票を得たとしている。

But the latest vote has no legal basis. The Ukrainian Constitution stipulates that any change in territory must be

decided with a national referendum and does not allow such a change based on a local referendum.
 だが、今回の投票には、法的根拠がない。ウクライナ憲法は、領土の変更について、国民投票で決めると定めており、地域の住民投

票は容認していないからだ。

Western countries and Japan, as well as the provisional government of Ukraine, have made clear their stance of not

recognizing the vote. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the vote “lacks democratic legitimacy.” Suga’s

remark is quite reasonable.
 ウクライナ暫定政府だけでなく、日本や米欧諸国も投票を認めない立場を表明した。菅官房長官が「民主的な正当性を欠く」と指

摘したのは、当然である。

The pro-Russian separatists in the Donetsk region said voter turnout topped 70 percent and about 90 percent of

voters opted for sovereignty. But we can hardly trust the result of the vote.
 ドネツク州の親露派は、投票率が7割を超え、賛成が約9割だったと発表した。こうした投票結果も到底信用できない。

The referendums were held under an unusual situation in which armed pro-Russian insurgents were unlawfully

occupying local governments’ buildings, blocking the provisional government from governing the regions.
 「住民投票」は、親露派武装集団が地方政府庁舎を不法占拠し、暫定政府の統治を阻むという、異常な状況下で実施された。

In addition to incomplete electoral rolls, no measures were taken to check such acts as double voting. Some have

pointed out that fraudulent voting took place.
選挙人名簿が不完全な上、二重投票防止の措置もとられなかった。不正投票が行われたとの指摘もある。

The voting was so problematic that it is natural to assume it was orchestrated by the pro-Russian separatists.
 あまりにもずさんな投票だ。親露派による工作活動ではないかと疑われても仕方あるまい。

Putin’s agenda

The separatists concluded the results showed local people’s support for making their regions separate and

independent from Ukraine. They went on to say they will block the Ukrainian presidential election, scheduled for May

25, from being held in the eastern regions.
 親露派は、「投票結果」で分離・独立への住民の支持が得られたとして、25日に予定されるウクライナ大統領選の東部での実施を

阻止する方針だという。

If there is no presidential vote in Donetsk and other areas, it would be difficult for the provisional government to

assert the legitimacy of the elected president, sending the country into greater turmoil. There is also a concern that

the conflict between the pro-Russian separatists and the provisional government of Ukraine will intensify, bringing

about more bloodshed.
 ドネツク州などで大統領選の投票ができないという状況に陥れば、選出された大統領の正統性も、主張しにくくなる。混乱に拍車が

かかるだろう。親露派と暫定政府の衝突が激化し、流血が拡大することも懸念される。

Prior to the referendums, Russian President Vladimir Putin had urged the organizers to postpone the vote, as if he

were trying to dampen the pro-Russian separatist movement.
 「住民投票」に先立ち、ロシアのプーチン大統領は、投票を延期するよう主張し、親露派の動きを押しとどめるそぶりを見せた。

After the vote, however, the Russian government announced it would respect the result. This proves that Putin was

only trying to buy time when he sought to delay the vote.
 しかし、露政府は一転、投票結果を「尊重する」との声明を発表した。親露派を後押しするプーチン氏のご都合主義を裏付ける。

On Friday, the day Russia celebrated its victory over Germany in World War II, Putin traveled to Sevastopol in

southern Crimea for the first time since Russia annexed Crimea, and made a speech.
 プーチン氏は9日の対独戦勝記念日に、ロシアへの編入後初めて、南部クリミア・セバストポリを訪れ、演説した。

During the speech, he asserted the legitimacy of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, while emphasizing his stance of

ignoring international criticism.
編入の正当性を訴えて、国際的非難には一切耳を傾けない姿勢を強調した。

The United States and European countries have warned Russia that they would reinforce their sanctions against the

country if it destabilizes the eastern regions of Ukraine further and blocks the presidential election.
 米国や欧州は、ロシアに対し、ウクライナ東部を不安定化させ、大統領選を妨害した場合には、制裁を強化すると警告している。

As long as there is no path in sight for a peaceful solution to be reached through dialogue, the only option for

Western countries and Japan may be to increase pressure on Russia for the time being.
 対話による平和的解決の道筋が見えない以上、当面はロシアに圧力を高めていくしかあるまい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 13, 2014)

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「美味しんぼ」 風評助長する非科学的な描写

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:09 pm, May 13, 2014
Popular manga ‘Oishinbo’ stokes anxiety via unscientific depictions
「美味しんぼ」 風評助長する非科学的な描写

A recent story line in a popular manga includes representations that could stoke anxiety over the potential for health impacts from radiation in the aftermath of the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami of 2011.
 あらぬ不安を煽あおる問題の多い内容である。

“Oishinbo” centers on gourmet food and is serialized in Big Comic Spirits, a weekly comic magazine published by Shogakukan Inc. The manga has sparked controversy over accounts of health problems linked to exposure to radiation.
 漫画誌「週刊ビッグコミックスピリッツ」(小学館)の連載「美味しんぼ」が、放射性物質による健康被害の描写を巡って、物議を醸している。

In the two latest installments of the comic, published Monday and two weeks before, real people—including Katsutaka Idogawa, former mayor of Futaba town in Fukushima Prefecture, and Associate Prof. Takeru Arakida of Fukushima University—were depicted in the comic speaking about “The Truth of Fukushima.”
 12日発売の最新号と前号で、福島県双葉町の井戸川克隆前町長や福島大の荒木田岳准教授ら実在の人物を登場させ、「福島の真実」をテーマに語らせた。

The manga contains a scene in which its leading character gets a nosebleed after completing an inspection tour of Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. Idogawa explains in the comic that “many local people suffer from symptoms such as nosebleeds and severe fatigue” and says this is because “they were exposed to radiation.”
 主人公が、東京電力福島第一原子力発電所の現場を視察した後に鼻血を出す場面がある。井戸川氏は、「鼻血が出たり、ひどい疲労で苦しむ人が大勢いる」と述べ、被曝ひばくを原因と明言している。

Arakida in the manga declares, “You can’t make [Fukushima Prefecture] a place where people can live again.”
 荒木田氏は、「(福島県を)人が住めるようにするなんて、できない」と断じている。

Both of these views are based on personal opinion, rather than scientific knowledge. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference Monday that “it is important to ensure accurate information is disseminated.” We find that position quite reasonable.
 いずれも科学的知見に基づかない独善的な見解である。菅官房長官が「正確な知識をしっかり伝えることが大事だ」と述べたのは、もっともだろう。

The prefecture has established a system for the early detection of potential health effects through surveys covering the entire population. No negative impacts to health caused directly by radioactive substances have been confirmed to date.
 福島県では、全県民を対象とした調査により、健康影響を早期に発見する体制が整っている。これまで、放射性物質による直接の健康被害は確認されていない。

Fear vs facts

A U.N. special committee on the effects of radiation concluded that no definite impacts have been confirmed among local residents.
 国連の専門委員会も、「住民に確定的影響は認められない」との見解を示している。

Decontamination is also making gradual progress. According to the Fukushima prefectural government, radiation levels have declined by more than 60 percent in some areas as a result of decontamination work and the natural abatement of radioactive substances.
 除染も、順次進んでいる。福島県によると、除染と放射性物質の自然減により、放射線量が60%以上低減した場所もある。

There is little doubt that the assertions depicted in “Oishinbo” ignore the mountain of objective facts accumulated by relevant experts, based on research on affected areas and their residents.
 「美味しんぼ」の描写は、専門家が、現場や住民の調査を踏まえて蓄積してきた客観的事実をないがしろにするものと言える。

About 2 million people live in the prefecture today, continuing to work toward reconstruction. This manga has poured cold water over those people and their efforts. The Fukushima prefectural government made a pointed criticism of the story line, which it says “is totally unacceptable as it hurts the feelings of prefectural residents and may fuel radiation-related harmful rumors.”
 福島県では約200万人が生活し、復興を目指している。「美味しんぼ」は、これに冷水を浴びせている。県も、「県民を深く傷つけ、風評を助長するもので断固容認できない」と非難した。

The author, Tetsu Kariya, responded to criticism on his blog, saying: “I don’t understand why I should face such criticism for writing the truth I saw when I did research in the affected areas [in Fukushima].”
 「美味しんぼ」の作者、雁屋哲氏は自身のブログで、「取材をして、すくい取った真実を書くことがどうして批判されなければならないのか」と反論している。

But is it acceptable to amplify the anxiety of prefectural residents by spreading such biased views?
 だが、一方的な見解を拡散させることで、福島県民の不安を増幅させていいのだろうか。

The fact that Shogakukan sought the prefectural government’s views on associated health impacts only after publishing the previous chapter of the comic shows the publisher’s insincerity in efforts to confirm data to back up the manga’s depictions beforehand.
 小学館が雑誌の発売後、健康被害に関する県の見解を求めたことも、裏付けの甘さを物語る。

The latest installment of “Oishinbo” asserts that health problems caused by radiation have emerged among residents of Osaka, which disposed of some debris from disaster-affected areas. The Osaka municipal and prefectural governments have filed a complaint with Shogakukan.
 最新号には、震災がれきの処理を受け入れた大阪の住民に健康異常が出ているとの記述もあり、大阪府などが小学館に抗議した。

Freedom of expression must be respected to its fullest extent. What the author and publisher must take to heart is that such freedom must be accompanied by responsibility for content.
 表現の自由は最大限尊重されるべきだが、作者や出版社には、内容についての責任が伴うことを忘れてはならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 13, 2014)

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(社説)銀輪都市東京 「クルマ脳」を改める

May 13, 2014
EDITORIAL: Tokyo given great opportunity to become more bicycle-friendly
(社説)銀輪都市東京 「クルマ脳」を改める

The bicycle is the most useful tool for making society less dependent on cars.
 自転車は脱クルマの切り札である。

Children, adults and elderly people can use bicycles to improve mobility. Bicycles help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming and offer an effective way to get around when public transportation is disrupted by earthquakes and other natural disasters.
子どもから高齢者までみんなが乗れる。温暖化や帰宅困難者の対策になり、健康にも良い。

Cycling is also good for the health.

Given the aging of the nation’s driving population, the use of bicycles should be promoted as a safer alternative to automobiles.
ドライバーの高齢化を考えても、車から自転車への乗りかえを進めた方が安心だ。

Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe has pledged to reduce the daily flow of cars into central Tokyo as part of the metropolitan government’s efforts to prepare the city for the 2020 Summer Olympics. Masuzoe has also promised to make the capital a more bicycle-friendly city.
 2020年東京五輪に向け、都心に流れ込む車を減らす。自転車で動きやすい街にする。舛添要一知事はそう掲げる。

London was also said to be lagging behind many other major cities around the world in terms of cycle-friendliness. However, London established many bicycle lanes, using the opportunity offered by hosting the 2012 Olympics.
 ロンドンも遅れていると言われていたが、五輪を機に自転車レーン整備が急速に進んだ。

Tokyo also has a great opportunity to promote bicycle transportation in the six years until the 2020 sports event. The Japanese capital should lead other local governments by making the shift from cars to bicycles.
 東京もこの6年が好機だ。首都から自転車シフトを進めて、全国に広げたい。

The big challenge is taking effective measures to reduce accidents involving bicycles.
 それには事故対策が重要だ。

Roads in Japan are much safer today than during the period of rapid economic growth, when the term “traffic war” was used to describe the dangers on the streets. But the percentage of pedestrians and cyclists in all traffic fatalities in Japan remains far higher than the ratios in other industrialized nations.
 交通戦争と呼ばれた高度成長期を思えば、日本の道路はずいぶん安全になった。それでも他の先進国に比べると、事故の死者に占める歩行者と自転車の割合は突出して高い。

Also alarming is that accidents between cyclists and pedestrians have increased by 14 percent over the past decade in Japan, while the number of all traffic accidents has declined by one-third.
 自転車対歩行者の事故の増加も気になる。交通事故全体が10年前の3分の2に減るなかで14%増えている。

In some lawsuits, cyclists have been ordered to pay tens of millions of yen in damages for causing accidents that have killed or seriously injured pedestrians.
死亡や障害を負わせる事故を起こして数千万円の賠償判決を受けた例もある。

The law requires cyclists to ride close to the left side of the road, in principle. But many cyclists still use sidewalks, mainly to avoid the terror of riding on roadways with honking cars speeding past.
 自転車は原則として車道の左側を、と法に明記されていても歩道走行はなかなか無くならない。自転車のすぐ横を車が警笛を鳴らして走り去る。そんな車道には怖くて下りにくい。

The environment for cycling on streets should be improved significantly, with priority placed on the safety of vulnerable road users.
 まず、自転車が車道を安全に走れる環境を整えよう。何より「弱者優先」の徹底が大切だ。

Many people tend to think that bicycle lanes will never gain ground in Japan because the roads are generally narrower.
 日本は道幅が狭いから自転車レーンが広がらない。

“That’s a typical way of thinking that reflects the deep-rooted car-first mentality among people steeped in a car-oriented culture,” says Shigeki Kobayashi, who heads a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting the use of bicycles. “Why would you give the priority to cars in the allocation of space on narrow roads?”
そう考えがちだが、自転車活用を推進するNPOの小林成基理事長は言う。「それは車優先の染みついたクルマ脳の発想です。なんで道幅が狭くても車の取り分から先に考えるんですか?」

We need to reconsider the priorities of road use. Pedestrians should come first, followed by public transportation vehicles and bicycles. Private cars should be last on the priority list.
 まず歩く人。次に公共交通と自転車。最後に私有車。道路を使う優先順位を見直そう。

One effective way to make motorists recognize the principle that cyclists should ride on roads is to create specially painted bicycle-only lanes.
 自転車は、車道を走るもの。ドライバーにそう認識させるために効果的なのは、車道上に色を塗って自転車の通り道を示すことだ。

An experiment conducted in Tokyo by the transport ministry and other organizations showed that bike lanes sharply reduce the number of cyclists riding on sidewalks. Still, many cyclists are afraid to use roadways even with lanes designated for bicycles.
国土交通省などが都内で試みた実験では、歩道走行は大きく減った。
 それでもやはり車道は怖い。そう思う人も多いだろう。

It is important to note that most accidents between bicycles and cars occur at intersections.
 ただ、自転車と車の事故の大半は交差点で起きている。

Cyclists who enter intersections on the road are more clearly visible to drivers than cyclists who suddenly dart into intersections from sidewalks.
歩道から突然交差点に出るより、初めから車道を走る方が、車から見えるから安全と言われる。

Stricter speed limits should be imposed on streets in central parts of Tokyo. Businesses and shopping districts should be required to offer more bicycle parking spaces so that footpaths are not clogged with illegally parked bikes.
 中心市街地は車の速度制限をもっと厳しくすべきだし、違法駐輪で歩道をふさがないよう企業や商店街に駐輪場を増やすべきだ。

And cyclists must never forget the principle that pedestrians have the right of way.
自転車に乗る人も歩行者優先を忘れてはならない。

We hope the Tokyo Olympics will catalyze a radical change of the car-oriented transport culture in this nation.
 強い者勝ちの街を変えるきっかけに五輪がなればいい。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 12

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2014年5月13日 (火)

生殖医療法案 代理出産を巡る議論深めたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun 6:51 pm, May 12, 2014
In-depth deliberations imperative over legislation to allow surrogacy
生殖医療法案 代理出産を巡る議論深めたい

Legal arrangements have regrettably been lagging behind rapid advances in reproductive medicine, such as surrogacy. Both the ruling and opposition camps should engage in thorough deliberations in the Diet on this matter.
 代理出産など生殖医療の急速な進歩に法整備が追いついていない。与野党は、国会で議論を尽くしてもらいたい。

The Liberal Democratic Party’s project team concerning reproductive medicine has put together a bill regarding assisted reproductive technology. The bill, which the LDP team will submit to the current Diet session, allows, subject to certain conditions, such reproductive treatments as external fertilization, or pregnancy through eggs or sperm donated by third parties other than those of the married couple concerned, and surrogate motherhood.
 生殖医療に関する自民党のプロジェクトチームが、生殖補助医療法案をまとめた。夫婦以外の第三者から提供された卵子や精子による体外受精や、代理出産を限定的に容認するもので、今国会に提出する。

According to the bill, those who will be permitted to act as intermediaries for donors and recipients of eggs or sperm are to be limited to government-authorized nonprofit organizations. The procedure of in vitro fertilization will be carried out by medical institutions with the authorization of the health, labor and welfare minister. The proposed bill places a ban on the purchase and sale of sperm and eggs, with penalties for violators.
 法案によると、卵子や精子のあっせんは、国が指定した非営利団体が行う。実際の体外受精は、厚生労働相が認定した医療機関が実施する。卵子や精子の売買は罰則付きで禁止する。

As for surrogate motherhood, a major focus of attention in the reproductive medical assistance bill, such methods are to be acknowledged only if a woman is born without a womb or her womb has been removed through a surgical procedure because of disease.
 焦点の代理出産については、生まれつき子宮がないか、病気で子宮を摘出した女性に限って認めるとしている。

There have been endless cases in which couples head overseas to such countries as India with the aim of having a child through surrogacy. Such couples pay women with low incomes to become surrogate mothers. With a view to changing this state of affairs, the team of LDP lawmakers appears to have reached the conclusion that it is necessary to allow surrogate motherhood under certain conditions in this country.
 インドなどに渡航して代理出産に踏み切るケースが、後を絶たない。低所得の女性に、有償で代理母になってもらっている。こうした現状を変えるには、日本でも一定の制約下で代理出産を認める必要があると判断したのだろう。

2 mothers, 1 baby

However, there are still deep-seated objections among LDP legislators against surrogacy.
 しかし、自民党内には代理出産への反対論がなお根強い。

Their objections are based on such reasons as it being ethically problematic for married couples to have third parties shoulder the risks accompanying childbirth, since the lives of surrogate mothers could be endangered during delivery.
 出産は産婦の命にかかわる場合もあり、そうしたリスクを第三者に負わせるのは倫理的に問題だ、といった理由からだ。

In the event of a couple making use of surrogacy refusing to take in the newborn baby for such reasons as a possible disability in the child, or if a surrogate mother declines to hand over the baby, there will certainly be grave impediments to the growth of the child.
 依頼した夫婦が生まれた子供に障害があるとして引き取らなかったり、逆に代理母側が引き渡しを拒んだりすれば、子供の成育に重大な支障が生じよう。

There is another major problem with assisted reproductive technology: the relationship between a child and the parents can become complicated. Surrogacy is accompanied by the problem that there are two mothers: the “birth mother” who actually gives birth and the “genetic mother.”
 生殖医療には、親子関係が複雑になるという問題もある。代理出産の場合、生まれてきた子供には、出産した「産みの母」と、依頼者である「遺伝上の母」という2人の母親ができる。

In the proposed legislation, a stipulation will be provided in this respect that “the woman who performs the childbirth must be recognized as the baby’s mother.” Can it be easy, however, to clarify, by this stipulation alone, who should assume the responsibility to raise the child if trouble arises over surrogacy?
 この点に関しては、関連法案で「出産した女性を母親とする」と規定する。だが、これだけでは、子供を巡るトラブルが起きた際、誰が責任を持って育てるべきか明確にできないのではないか。

In addition, it is possible a person born through assisted reproductive technology could be shocked to learn after growing up that he or she was born through assisted reproduction involving a third party. What should be done if and when a child born through such reproductive methods wants to know his or her origin? The assisted reproductive technology bill has fallen short of clarifying how to deal with this kind of situation, even though many people are calling for the creation of a system for the disclosure of information on origins.
 生殖医療で生まれた子供が成長して事実を知り、ショックを受ける事態も予想される。子供が出自を知りたい時、どう対応すべきか。生殖補助医療法案は明確にしていないが、出自情報の開示制度を設けるべきだとの声もある。

Regarding reproductive medicine, the health ministry’s advisory council issued a set of proposals in 2003 calling for legislative arrangements concerned. In the more than 10 years since then, fertility treatments in which external fertilization using eggs or sperm from third parties have been carried out with no statutory arrangements at all.
 生殖医療を巡っては、2003年に厚生労働省の審議会が法整備を求める報告書を公表した。その後10年以上も、規制がない状態で第三者からの卵子、精子提供による体外受精が行われている。

The Diet should waste no time in crafting a pertinent system by referring to relevant examples in foreign countries where legal arrangements covering reproductive medicine have advanced.
 生殖医療の法整備が進む先進各国の例も参考に、国会は制度作りを急がねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 12, 2014)

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パイロット不足 格安でも安全運航が大前提だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:20 pm, May 12, 2014
Low-cost carriers must secure, train enough pilots to ensure flight safety
パイロット不足 格安でも安全運航が大前提だ

Securing enough pilots has emerged as an important issue for airlines, particularly low-cost carriers (LCCs), which have grown drastically in recent years by offering cheaper fares than those of major airline companies.
 大手より安い運賃で急成長してきた格安航空会社(LCC)などで、パイロット確保が重要な課題になってきた。

It is essential for airlines to increase the number of flights and routes to better cater to the needs of passengers, but they must give top priority to securing the safety of flight operations and come up with measures to that end.
 増便や路線拡張で利便性を高めることは大事だが、何よりも安全運航を最優先するための対策が求められよう。

Peach Aviation, a domestic LCC, has decided to cancel more than 2,000 scheduled flights from May through October in the worst-case scenario, an unprecedented number of cancellations.
 国内LCC、ピーチ・アビエーションは、5~10月に予定していた運航のうち最大2000便以上を中止する方針を決めた。これほどの大幅な減便は異例である。

As for the reason for the cuts, Peach cited its failure to hire as many pilots as it needed and an increasing number of pilots who are taking leaves of absence because of illness or injury. The airline, therefore, failed to secure a sufficient number of pilots for its operations.
 機長の採用が予定通り進まなかったほか、病気やけがで休むパイロットが増え、運航に必要な人数を確保できなかったのが理由だと説明している。

Peach increased its flights and routes at a fast pace after its inauguration two years ago, a move that many say led to sloppiness in running the company.
 ピーチ社は2年前に就航した。増便や路線拡張を急ピッチで進めてきた結果、経営戦略に甘さが生じたと指摘されても仕方ない。

Recently, there was a serious problem in its flight operations. On April 28, a Peach airliner nosedived abnormally to as low as 75 meters above sea level just before landing at Naha Airport.
 運航面でも深刻なトラブルが起きた。同社の旅客機が4月28日、那覇空港への着陸前に海面から約75メートルまで異常降下したことだ。

The Japan Transport Safety Board, naturally, started investigations into the incident as a “serious case” as it could have led to an accident.
 国の運輸安全委員会が、事故につながりかねない重大事案として調査を始めたのは当然である。

The captain of the flight, an Argentine national in his 40s, possibly misheard what a traffic controller told him. Peach should conduct a thorough investigation to determine if there were problems in the health of crew members or in its operations.
 機長は40代のアルゼンチン人で管制官の指示を聞き違えた可能性がある。乗務員の健康管理や業務体制に問題はなかったか、ピーチ社はしっかり検証すべきだ。

Peach broke own rules

Peach’s in-house regulations stipulate that airplanes must be grounded for inspections and other reasons if there are problems, such as in the latest incident. In spite of this, the aircraft in question flew on to Kansai International Airport after landing at Naha.
 今回のようなトラブル時には、機体点検などのために運航を打ち切る社内規定が同社にはある。この航空機は那覇に着陸後も関西国際空港まで運航を続けていた。

It is problematic if the company’s safety regulations were not observed. Peach should educate its employees to follow the rules to the letter and make an all-out effort to prevent a recurrence of such an incident.
 安全ルールが守られなかったのなら問題だ。社内教育を徹底し、再発防止に努めるべきだろう。

Other LCCs also should take measures to ensure they have sufficient pilots and that there are no operational problems.
 他のLCC各社でもパイロット不足や運航トラブルを起こさないようにする方策が求められる。

Together, more than 15 LCCs operating from Japanese airports have more than a 6 percent share of the domestic market. Competition is expected to intensify further among carriers serving domestic airports.
 日本の空港を発着するLCCは15社以上に達し、国内線のシェア(市場占有率)は6%を超えた。競争は一層激化しそうだ。

However, an excessive emphasis on cost reduction and personnel streamlining by any airline in search of increased profit could hurt public trust in its safety. LCCs have heavy management responsibilities in this regard.
 ただ、利益拡大を求めて過度に経費削減や要員合理化に注力すれば、安全性に対する信頼が揺らぎかねない。LCC各社の経営責任は重いと言えよう。

An increase in civil aviation demand is one factor blamed for the shortage of pilots, which is increasingly becoming a headache for airline companies across the world. An annual shortage of about 9,000 pilots is forecast for the Asia-Pacific region in 2030.
 新興国の航空需要増などでパイロット不足は、世界の航空会社の悩みになりつつある。2030年にはアジア太平洋で年間約9000人が不足すると予想される。

Training pilots requires long hours and massive costs. Airliners should gear up efforts to hire and train pilots based on strategies that consider future situations.
 パイロットの育成には長時間の訓練と多額の費用が要る。各社は将来を見据えた戦略的な採用や育成に力を入れるべきだ。

The government should both expand the number of pilots to be trained at the Civil Aviation College and encourage Self-Defense Force pilots to take jobs in the private sector.
 政府は、航空大学校での育成を拡充する必要がある。併せて、自衛隊パイロットから民間への転身も促進してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 12, 2014)

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原発と火山―噴火の脅威を直視せよ

May 12, 2014
EDITORIAL: Threat posed by volcanic eruptions to nuclear plants must be carefully examined
原発と火山―噴火の脅威を直視せよ

Now is the time to rethink the risk of operating nuclear power plants in Japan, which is one of the most volcanically active countries in the world.
 日本は世界有数の火山国である。そこに原発を抱えるリスクを、改めて熟考すべきときだ。

Kyushu Electric Power Co. is currently aiming to restart the operations of idled reactors in its Sendai nuclear power plant in Kagoshima Prefecture. However, in the Nuclear Regulation Authority's inspection process on whether to permit the restarts, the possible consequences of volcanic eruptions in surrounding areas is attracting attention.
 九州電力が再稼働をめざす川内(せんだい)原発(鹿児島県)の審査で、周辺火山の噴火の影響がクローズアップされている。

Based on the new safety standards worked out in 2013, the NRA is examining the threat posed by eruptions and the effectiveness of measures to deal with them. To tell the truth, it is the first time that Japan has seriously evaluated the safety of nuclear power plants from the standpoint of the danger posed by volcanoes.
 昨年できた新規制基準に基づき、原子力規制委員会が噴火の影響や対策の有効性を検討している。原発の安全性を火山との関係で本格的にチェックするのは、実はこれが初めてだ。

In the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, people in charge had to reflect on the insufficient measures to deal with tsunami. However, disasters at nuclear power plants could be caused not only by tsunami but also by volcanic eruptions and even terrorists. Given the seriousness of disasters caused by these factors, it is a matter of course to think seriously about the risks posed by them, which have been made light of so far.
 福島第一原発の事故で、津波対策の遅れが大きな反省材料になった。津波に限ったことではない。事故の深刻さを踏まえれば、噴火やテロなど従来軽視されてきたリスクも真剣に考えるのは当然である。

The new safety standards require electric power companies to consider possible influences from volcanoes located within a radius of 160 kilometers from nuclear power plants. Therefore, Kyushu Electric examined the effects of eruptions from 39 volcanoes. As a result, it concluded that it is sufficient to take measures based on the assumption that ash from Sakurajima volcano in Kagoshima Prefecture would accumulate in the compound of the Sendai nuclear power plant to a height of up to 15 centimeters.
 新基準は160キロ以内の火山の検討を求めており、九電は39の火山の影響を評価した。その結果、桜島の火山灰が敷地に最大15センチ積もる想定で対策をとれば十分とした。

As one of the measures, the utility will stockpile fuel for emergency generators in preparation for a situation in which power transmission lines were severed due to the weight of volcanic ash. Another measure is that it will clean filters for air ventilation equipment or emergency generators or replace the filters with new ones if they become clogged.
火山灰の重みで送電線が切れた時に備えて非常用発電機の燃料を備蓄したり、換気設備や非常用発電機のフィルターの目詰まりに掃除や交換で対処したりするという。

However, will those measures really work given the possibility that accumulation of volcanic ash to a height of only several millimeters will seriously impede workers and vehicles? If the intake of water to cool nuclear reactors is also impeded, the reactors will be immediately plunged into dangerous situations.
 しかし、数ミリの降灰で人や物の移動が難しくなる恐れが指摘される。対策は実際に機能するだろうか。原子炉を冷やす水の取り込みに支障が出れば、たちまち原発は危険な状態に陥る。

The influences from these mid-scale eruptions must be fully examined as realistic threats.
 こうした中規模の噴火の影響は、現実的な脅威として十分に検討されなければならない。

It is more difficult to assess risks from catastrophic eruptions whose frequency of occurrence is low.
 頻度が低い破局的噴火のリスクは、判断がさらに難しい。

In those eruptions, the pyroclastic flow, which consists of hot gas and rock, travels more than 100 kilometers, causing devastating damage in surrounding areas. In the areas around the Sendai nuclear power plant, there are several calderas, or bowl-shaped depressions, that were formed by the collapse of land caused by catastrophic eruptions.
 高温の火山噴出物が火山ガスと一体となって広がる火砕流が半径100キロ以上も流れ、破滅的な被害を出す。川内原発の周辺には破局的噴火で山が陥没したカルデラ地形が複数ある。

Kyushu Electric assessed that, given those calderas, catastrophic eruptions have occurred at an interval of about 60,000 to 90,000 years. Based on the assessment, it says, “Not much time has passed since the latest catastrophic eruption occurred. Therefore, the possibility is extremely low that the next catastrophic eruption will take place within the coming several decades when the nuclear power plant is operating. There will be no problems if we continuously monitor the signs of eruptions.”
 九電は、カルデラをまとめて破局的噴火が約6万~9万年間隔で起こっていると評価。「最新の破局的噴火からあまり時間がたっていないので、原発が運用される数十年のうちに次の破局的噴火に見舞われる可能性は十分低い。予兆を継続的に監視すれば大丈夫」と主張する。

However, some experts offer contrasting views, saying that forecasts of the intervals of eruptions are not reliable and that it is uncertain whether the signs of an eruption can really be foretold.
 これに対し火山学者らは「こうした噴火間隔の推測には疑問がある」「予兆が観測できるか分からない」と反論する。

Nuclear power plants are not the only facilities that would suffer devastating damage from catastrophic eruptions. If those nuclear plants are destroyed, however, radioactive materials will continue to be scattered throughout the world. It is a challenge not only for the Sendai nuclear power plant but also for many other nuclear power plants in Japan.
 破局的噴火で壊滅的打撃を受けるのは原発だけではない。だが、原発が破壊されれば放射性物質は世界にまき散らされ続ける。川内に限らず、日本の多くの原発に共通する難題だ。

Methods to assess the possible impact of eruptions have yet to be established in the world. The NRA bears responsibility for conveying the potential consequences, including the limits of human knowledge as to forecasting eruptions, to the public in an easy-to-understand manner.
 噴火の影響評価手法は世界的にも確立していない。規制委には火山噴火をめぐる人知の限界も含めて、国民にわかりやすく説明する責任がある。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 11

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2014年5月12日 (月)

これからの時代、クラウドサービスも現地化をめざします

海外事業で現地化ということが叫ばれて久しいのですが、あらゆる分野の企業の海外進出で応用できます。
例えば、私ならば、現役時代は政府開発援助プロジェクト(海外工事)でしたが、現地で入手可能なアイテムは現地で入手するのが基本なんです。
たとえばセメントや骨材などは現地で入手しますし、エンジニアでさえ現地では優秀な資質を備えたものが安い給与で雇えます。

クラウド技術の世界だって、これは、まったく同じことが言えるのではないでしょうか。
欧州、アメリカ、西アジアから東南アジアにかけて、クラウド技術の中継基地があれば、これほど安心できるものはありません。
その中枢が日本国内にあるのはいうまでもありませんが、データは生き物なんです。
一箇所の通信に不具合が生じた場合でも、別の箇所のデータベースが迅速に対応してくれるのが望ましいのです。
それが出来るのがZETA Cloud Private サービスの大きな特徴なんです。
あなたの事業の海外進出を力強く応援してくれます。



ドリームニュース・ブログメディア参加記事

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企業好決算 成長持続へ経営改革緩めるな

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:01 pm, May 11, 2014
Continue pushing corporate reform to ensure nation’s economic growth
企業好決算 成長持続へ経営改革緩めるな

Buoyed by the weakening yen and a surge in demand just ahead of a hike in the consumption tax rate, corporations one after another reported record high profits in favorable settlements of account for fiscal 2013.
 円安や、消費増税前の駆け込み需要などが追い風となり、最高益を更新する好決算の企業が相次いでいる。

Companies should keep a tight rein over corporate management reform with the goal of attaining sustainable growth.
 各社は、経営改革の手を緩めず、持続的な成長を目指してもらいたい。

Late last week saw a peak in the number of companies listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange that publicized their consolidated settlement of accounts for the business year ending March 2014. Overall, the listed companies are expected to have posted a year-on-year increase in their profits for the second consecutive year.
 東証1部上場企業の2014年3月期連結決算の発表がピークを迎えた。企業全体では2期連続の増益となる見通しだ。

Benefiting from the yen’s depreciation over the past year or so that resulted from Abenomics, the economic policies of the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the earnings environment for export-oriented companies has greatly improved.
 安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」効果で円安傾向が続き、輸出企業の収益環境が改善した。

Because of the asset growth from higher stock prices and a surge in last-minute demand before the consumption tax rate hike, personal spending has been robust, greatly benefiting companies that depend on domestic demand.
 株高による資産効果や消費増税前の駆け込み需要で、個人消費が堅調に推移し、内需型企業に及ぼす恩恵も大きかったと言える。

Symbolic of this trend was Toyota Motor Corp., which registered a new high in its profits for the first time in six years.
 象徴的なのが、6年ぶりに最高益を記録したトヨタ自動車だ。

Toyota’s operating profit, or the profit earned from its normal core business operations, reached ¥2.3 trillion for the business year, surpassing that in the business year ending March 2008, before the collapse of the U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers. The Toyota group’s vehicle sales grew in North America as well as in Japan, surpassing the 10 million mark for the first time for any automaker.
 本業のもうけである営業利益は2・3兆円に達し、リーマンショック前の08年3月期を上回った。北米と国内で販売が伸び、グループ販売台数は自動車メーカーで初めて1000万台を超えた。

Toyota should take credit for putting itself on a robust growth path again, after overcoming the adverse effects of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy and the Great East Japan Earthquake.
 リーマンショックや東日本大震災などを克服し、力強い成長軌道に再び乗った点を評価したい。

Panasonic back

Panasonic, meanwhile, made a V-shaped recovery by making its first annual profit in three years after recording massive deficits for two consecutive years.
 2年連続の巨額赤字から、3年ぶりに黒字転換し、V字回復を果たしたのがパナソニックだ。

The success can be attributed to the electronics giant’s bold reform of “selection and concentration,” in which the firm withdrew from the sagging plasma TV business and focused on automobile-related and housing business.
 不振のプラズマテレビ事業などから撤退し、自動車や住宅関連を重視するなど、大胆な「選択と集中」による改革が功を奏した。

SoftBank Corp. surpassed the ¥1 trillion mark in operating profits for the first time, while East Japan Railway Co. posted a record-high profit on the back of increased demand for travel. In addition, a conspicuous number of department stores and trading houses report good earnings in their settlements.
 ソフトバンクが営業利益で初めて1兆円を超えたほか、旅行需要の増大を背景にJR東日本などは最高益だった。百貨店や商社などでも好決算が目立つ。

It is reassuring that companies in wide-ranging fields saw rapid improvement in their earnings. Realizing a virtuous economic circle is essential by allowing good business performances to result in higher wages and more jobs, which in turn will fully rehabilitate the Japanese economy.
 幅広い業界で業績が急伸したのは心強い。賃上げや雇用増につなげる好循環を実現し、日本経済を本格再生させることが大事だ。

Sony Corp., on the other hand, failed to exploit the favorable business environment. The company expanded the estimated scale of its net loss to ¥130 billion, cutting its projected earnings for the third time in fiscal 2013 and underscoring its sagging profit-making prowess.
 一方、経営環境の好転を生かせなかったのがソニーである。税引き後赤字予想を1300億円に引き下げた。3度目の下方修正は異例で、収益力の低迷を示す。

Nintendo Co. also registered operating deficits for the third consecutive year, mainly due to the proliferation of smartphones and the shrinking game console market. The company plans to rebuild its business by game software improvement and development, but it inevitably faces a thorny path ahead.
 任天堂も3年連続の営業赤字だった。スマートフォンの普及に加え、ゲーム機市場の縮小が主因だ。ゲームソフト充実で立て直しを目指すが、茨いばらの道だろう。

The success of a company hinges on how well it can cultivate a new market by capturing the needs of consumers before anyone else to develop competitive products. No matter how excellent a corporation is, it is bound to hit a wall if it takes a delayed response in its business strategy. These loss-making companies should provide weighty lessons for other corporations.
 いかにニーズを先取りして競争力のある商品を開発し、新市場を開拓するか。どんな優良企業でも戦略が後手に回ると、経営は壁にぶつかる。重い教訓である。

New challenges are now confronting Japanese industries. There are concerns about the ramifications of drops in sales after the consumption tax rate was raised in April as well as a respite in the effect of the depreciating yen. Businesses should be on alert for any slowdown in the emerging economies, including the Chinese economy.
 産業界は新たな課題に直面している。消費増税による販売減の影響が懸念され、円安効果に一服感がみられる。中国など新興国経済の減速も警戒すべきだ。

It is indispensable for corporations to further hone their business strategies and fight through these trials.
 各社は一段と経営戦略を磨き、試練に立ち向かう必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 11, 2014)

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3Dプリンター 過度な規制は普及を妨げる

The Yomiuri Shimbun 6:59 pm, May 11, 2014
Excesses in gun-related control could hobble dissemination of 3-D printers
3Dプリンター 過度な規制は普及を妨げる

What steps should be taken to prevent a promising, high-level technology from being abused, while ensuring its enhancement? This definitely is a stiff challenge.
 高度な技術を生かしつつ、悪用をどう防ぐか。重い課題である。

A university employee has been arrested by the Kanagawa prefectural police on suspicion of possessing a pair of plastic handguns that he allegedly created using a 3-D printer.
 3D(3次元)プリンターで作られた樹脂製拳銃2丁を所持していた疑いで、大学職員の男が神奈川県警に逮捕された。

The 27-year-old man was quoted by investigators as saying he had downloaded data related to blueprints for the guns from overseas websites and manufactured them on his own by keying the data into a 3-D printer he had purchased for about ¥100,000 on the Internet.
 海外サイトから銃の設計データをダウンロードし、約10万円で購入した3Dプリンターに入力して銃を自作したという。

The police investigation showed that the confiscated guns were able to fire real bullets through 11 to 15 sheets of plywood, each measuring 2.5 millimeters in thickness.
 県警の鑑定では、事件で押収された銃に実弾を入れて発射すると、厚さ2・5ミリのベニヤ板11~15枚をまとめて貫通した。

Handguns capable of killing or wounding people therefore can be made at home based on data available on the Internet. This has grave implications on the nation’s public security.
 殺傷能力の高い銃が、ネット上のデータを基に、自宅で製造できる。治安上、ゆゆしき問題だ。

Law-enforcement authorities should strengthen their surveillance activities and crack down on this type of offense, while at the same time making it widely known that manufacturing firearms with a 3-D printer and their possession violate the Ordnance Manufacturing Law and the Swords and Firearms Control Law.
 警察は、監視、摘発を強化するとともに、3Dプリント銃の製造や所持は、武器等製造法や銃刀法に違反する犯罪にあたることを周知する必要がある。

One problem in this connection is the possibility that the latest incident will lead to moves calling for regulations that would be detrimental to the spread of 3-D printers. Putting the brakes on the nation’s manufacturing for security concerns would be like putting the cart before the horse.
 気がかりなのは、事件を機に、3Dプリンターの普及を妨げるような規制の動きが広がることだ。日本のもの作りにブレーキをかけてしまっては本末転倒だ。

Justice Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki has gone on record as saying, “There may be discussions in favor of strengthening the regulations concerned, but there also will be problems in ensuring the country’s technological and industrial advancement.” The minister’s remarks should be taken to heart as he was stressing the importance of technological development.
 谷垣法相が「取り締まりを求める議論もあり得るが、技術や産業の発展という観点からの問題もある」と語ったのも、技術の有用性を重視したためだろう。

Revolutionizing industry

The technology for making 3-D printers became a focus of worldwide attention at the beginning of the 2000s. By entering such data as the shape and design of an item into the machine, it is possible to create a 3-D object through sequential layering of such material as resin and metal powder.
 3Dプリンターは2000年代に入り、世界的に注目されるようになった。物体の形状やデザインのデータを入力すれば、樹脂や金属粉などを層状に積み重ねて、立体物を作り出せる。

As the printer performs the manufacturing process without a metal mold, the time it takes to process an object can be reduced significantly. There also is a noticeable cost-cutting effect. 3-D printers can be used in a wide number of fields, ranging from manufacturing parts for automobiles and aircraft, making artificial bones to models of internal organs to train would-be surgeons.
 製造に金型などが不要なため、工程期間を大幅に短縮できる。コストの削減効果も大きい。自動車や航空機の部品、人工骨、外科手術練習用の臓器模型など、活用の幅は極めて広い。

The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry envisages that the impact 3-D printers and the products they make will likely be worth about ¥21.8 trillion in the global economy in 2020.
 経済産業省は、3Dプリンターやその製品による経済波及効果は、2020年に世界で約21・8兆円に達すると試算している。

It is natural such high expectations have been placed on the future of 3-D printers, which are expected to revolutionize the world’s manufacturing industries.
 製造業に「革命」をもたらす技術として期待されているのも、当然と言えよう。

As part of its growth strategy, the government has set up a system to extend financial support to companies to expedite their introduction of 3-D printers. In addition, the government has earmarked ¥4 billion this fiscal year for R&D projects through collaboration of the government and private sector to create a next-generation 3-D printer in an effort to catch up with the United States and European countries, which have a technological edge in this field.
 政府は、成長戦略の一環として、3Dプリンター導入促進のための企業支援制度を設けている。技術で先を行く欧米に追いつこうと、今年度予算には40億円を計上し、官民連携による次世代機の開発に乗り出した。

Plans by the government also are under way to expand the usage of 3-D printers in educational institutions. Projects are envisaged to provide universities and other educational establishments with subsidies to cover part of the expenses needed to purchase 3-D printers. Such moves should be encouraged.
 教育機関への普及も目指している。大学などを対象に購入費の補助事業もスタートさせる方針だ。こうした流れを加速させたい。

As the prices of 3-D printers have fallen significantly, even ordinary households are able to afford them. People who use 3-D printers should have high moral standards and abide by laws and regulations when using them.
 低価格化が進み、一般家庭でも3Dプリンターが手に入る時代になった。利用者には、法を守って活用するモラルが求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 11, 2014)

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2014年5月11日 (日)

トキのひな誕生 野生に定着する道のりは長い

The Yomiuri Shimbun 8:30 pm, May 10, 2014
Long road ahead before ibises are well established in the wild
トキのひな誕生 野生に定着する道のりは長い

A baby bird was born to a pair of wild crested ibises on Sado Island, Niigata Prefecture. This event advances the

project to return the crested ibis to the wild into a new phase.
 新潟県の佐渡島で、野生のトキにひなが誕生した。トキの野生復帰へ、新たな段階に入った。

The chick is the first member of a third generation of ibises since birds bred in captivity began to be released on the

island in 2008. Its parents are crested ibises living in the wild; its father was born in the wild on the island in 2012.
 ひなは、人工繁殖を経て、2008年以降、島内に放鳥されたトキから数えて3世代目にあたる。親鳥は、12年に佐渡の自然界で

生まれた野生のトキだ。

“The innate strength found in wild birds has been reawakened in the birth of an ibis,” said an Environment Ministry

official. We sincerely hope the chick will grow up to safely leave the nest.
 環境省は「トキが本来持っている野生としてのたくましさが引き出された」とみている。ぜひ無事に巣立ってほしい。

Crested ibises once lived in many places across the country, but their numbers declined sharply after the Meiji era

(1868-1912) due to the deterioration of their habitat and other factors. Japan’s native population of crested ibises

went extinct in 2003. In 1999, the Environment Ministry began a breeding program using five crested ibises given by

China to release the birds into the wild.
 トキはかつて日本各地に生息していたが、生息環境の悪化などで明治以降、激減した。日本生まれのトキは03年に絶滅した。
 環境省は、トキを野生に復帰させるため、中国から1999年以降に贈られた5羽をもとに、人工繁殖と放鳥を続けている。

Today, about 100 crested ibises live in forests on the island. More than 10 years since their domestic extinction in the

wild, it is a joy to see them returning to Japanese skies.
 現在は約100羽が島内の森林に生息する。絶滅から10年余を経て、日本の空にトキが戻りつつあることは喜ばしい。

However, the progress in the project to return crested ibises to the wild has also highlighted problems with artificial

breeding.
 野生復帰事業の進展とともに、繁殖の課題も見えてきた。

It has been observed that parent birds raised in artificial breeding environments and released into the wild often do

not brood their eggs or feed their babies. Many of the eggs they lay are unfertilized and never hatch.
 人工繁殖で育ち、野生に放たれた親鳥は、抱卵や給餌を放棄する例が目立つ。卵を産んでも、孵化ふかしない無精卵が多い。

Last year, 24 mated pairs of crested ibises built nests, but only two of them saw offspring successfully leave the nest.
 昨年は自然界で24組が巣作りをしたが、ひなが巣立ったのは2組にとどまった。

Solutions to problems

Researchers are finding that hatching the eggs of crested ibis to be released into the wild without the use of artificial

incubators and allowing their parents to feed them while they are still at a rearing facility are effective solutions to

such problems.
 こうした問題を克服するには、放鳥するトキに対し、施設内飼育の段階から、孵化器を使わず、給餌も親鳥に任せるのが有効である

ことが分かってきた。

We hope researchers will deepen their expertise on the biology of the crested ibis so that the birds can be bred and

raised to leave the nest more smoothly.
 繁殖、巣立ちが順調に進むよう、トキの生態について、さらに研究を深めてもらいたい。

The negative effects of inbreeding are also a concern. Last year, four chicks born to a mated pair of sibling birds

were caught to be kept at a rearing facility. They were separated, as it is feared that the reproductive ability and

immunity of the species as a whole could be weakened unless genetic diversity is secured.
 近親交配の影響も懸念される。昨年、兄妹ペアから生まれたひな4羽は飼育施設に隔離された。遺伝的な多様性が確保されないと

、島のトキ全体の繁殖力や免疫力が弱くなる恐れがあるからだ。

Efforts should be made to diversify the blood lines of the birds.
 血統を増やす取り組みが求められるだろう。

The Environment Ministry spends ¥150 million every year on the project to return crested ibises to the wild. The

project aims to realize a constant population increase without releasing artificially bred birds to the wild. But it is not

clear when the final goal can be achieved.
 環境省は、トキの野生復帰事業に毎年約1億5000万円を投じている。放鳥せずに野生のトキが増え続けることが最終的な目標だ

が、その時期は見通せない。

Reviving an extinct species requires a great deal of time and money. The long road to resettling the crested ibis in

the wild is evidence of that.
 絶滅した種を復活させるには、膨大な時間とコストがかかる。トキが野生に定着するまでの長い道のりが、それを示している。

Sado Island residents are helping crested ibis survive in the wild. For instance, they keep water in rice paddies even

during winter to help the birds catch prey such as loaches and frogs. They also moderate their use of chemical

fertilizer and pesticide in rice cultivation.
 佐渡島では、地元住民らがトキの手助けをしている。餌のドジョウやカエルが取りやすいように、冬でも水田に水を張る。化学肥料や

農薬を抑えた米を作る――。

Efforts to coexist with the crested ibis will lead to conservation of the rich natural environment on the island.
 トキとの共生を目指す試みは、島の豊かな自然環境を保全することにつながるだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 10, 2014)

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南シナ海緊張 容認できぬ中国の一方的行動

The Yomiuri Shimbun 8:29 pm, May 10, 2014
Intl community should never accept China’s behavior in South China Sea
南シナ海緊張 容認できぬ中国の一方的行動

Chinese and Vietnamese patrol ships are squaring off in the South China Sea—a situation which could develop into a military clash if one false step is taken. It is, therefore, important for both nations to exercise restraint.
 南シナ海で、中国とベトナムの艦船のにらみ合いが続いている。一歩間違えば軍事衝突に発展しかねない状況だ。両国には自制が求められる。

Over the last several days, many Chinese and Vietnamese ships rammed into each other near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, which are claimed by several nations, including the two. Injuries have been reported on the Vietnamese side.
 中国やベトナムが領有権を主張する南シナ海・パラセル(西沙)諸島の周辺海域で数日間、双方の多数の艦船が船体をぶつけ合う事件が発生した。ベトナム側には負傷者も出ているという。

The series of rammings was triggered by a Chinese move to begin drilling for oil in a sea zone where there are no agreed boundaries, without consent from its rivals. A furious Vietnam sent the Sea Guard and other ships, which was countered by China’s sending government ships to the area in an escalated stand-off.
 事件の発端は、中国が、境界の画定していない海域で、係争相手国の同意なしに、石油掘削を始めたことである。ベトナムは反発して、海上警察などの船を派遣した。中国も公船などを動員し、対立がエスカレートした。

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga called China’s oil drilling activities, “a unilateral and provocative maritime advancement,” while a U.S. State Department spokesperson said China’s action would heighten tensions.
 中国の石油掘削について、菅官房長官は、「一方的かつ挑発的な海洋進出活動」と指摘し、米国務省報道官も「緊張を高める」と述べた。

It is a matter of course for the international community to criticize China, which it blames for this situation.
国際社会が、中国に非があると批判するのは当然だ。

China is insisting sovereignty inside the “nine-dash line,” which it drew to encompass almost the entire South China Sea. But the line has neither any grounds under stipulations of international law nor any approval from nations concerned.
 中国は、南シナ海のほぼ全域を囲い込むように「九段線」と呼ばれる境界線を引き、その内側に主権が及ぶと主張している。だが、これには、国際法上の根拠はなく、どの関係国も認めていない。

The oil drilling was not the first time that China has unilaterally changed the status quo. In a similar move, it required foreign fishing ships to apply for permits for operating in the South China Sea. China’s high-handedness has also been conspicuous in incidents such as Chinese ships obstructing the navigation of U.S. and Philippine ships.
 一方的な現状変更は、今回の石油掘削だけではない。南シナ海で外国漁船に操業許可申請を義務付けたのも、同じ動きである。米国やフィリピンの艦艇への航行妨害という強圧的な行動も目立つ。

Maritime aspirations

Aspiring to become a maritime power, China has also been pushing for gas field development projects in the East China Sea in defiance of Japan’s position and has set up an air defense identification zone in the area. Its actions in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea should never be condoned.
 海洋強国を目指す中国は、東シナ海でも日本を無視し、ガス田開発を進めたり、防空識別圏を設定したりしている。南シナ海、東シナ海いずれにおける振る舞いも、到底許されるものではない。

U.S. President Barack Obama reiterated his policy of placing importance on Asia during his visits to Asian nations in April. Timed with his visit, a U.S.-Philippine military agreement was signed, paving the way for the U.S. military to station itself in the nation again. We regard this as a significant development.
 オバマ米大統領は、4月のアジア歴訪で、「アジア重視」の方針を改めて打ち出した。歴訪に合わせ、米軍のフィリピン再駐留に道を開く米比軍事協定が調印されたことには、大きな意義がある。

Earlier this month, Philippine patrol ships seized a Chinese fishing boat on suspicion of illegally operating in the South China Sea. The Philippines probably could not have taken such a strong action without the strengthened relationship in its alliance with the United States.
 フィリピンの巡視船は今月、南シナ海で中国漁船を違法操業の疑いで拿捕だほした。フィリピンは、米国との同盟強化なしには、強い態度に出られなかっただろう。

There is no doubt that boosting the relationships of alliance between the United States and Asia, along with Pacific nations including the Japan-U.S., U.S.-Australia and U.S.-Philippine alliances, will be the most effective deterrent against China.
 中国に対しては、日米、米豪、米比など、米国とアジア太平洋諸国の同盟関係強化が最も有効な抑止力になるのは、間違いない。

The international community should also set international rules based on the rule of law and draw China into this framework of rules.
 その上で、「法の支配」に基づく国際ルール作りを進め、中国をルールの枠組みの中に取り込んでいくべきである。

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations and China have begun talks to set a code of conduct that is aimed at legally binding the actions of countries concerned in the South China Sea. It is important for the international community to support efforts to establish such a code of conduct.
 東南アジア諸国連合(ASEAN)と中国は、南シナ海における関係国の行為を法的に縛る行動規範の策定に向けた協議を始めている。国際社会も策定を支援することが重要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 10, 2014)

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電力経営―逆境を「変革元年」に

May 10, 2014
EDITORIAL: Time for electric utilities to abandon follow-the-crowd strategy
電力経営―逆境を「変革元年」に

Fiscal 2014, which began April 1, will likely shape up as a crucial year for Japanese electric utilities. The situation surrounding their businesses will sorely test their ability to think unconventionally and make bold strategic moves based on accurate predictions for the sector.
 電力各社にとっては、旧来の思考法から脱し、先を読んで攻めていく力が問われる1年になりそうだ。

Six of the 10 major electric power companies that effectively monopolize the regional retail power markets have reported losses for fiscal 2013. Five of them lost money for the third consecutive year.
 電力会社の今年3月期決算は6社が赤字だった。うち5社は3期連続だ。

Hokkaido Electric Power Co. and Kyushu Electric Power Co. have decided to receive fresh capital from the government-financed Development Bank of Japan.
北海道電力と九州電力は日本政策投資銀行から資本支援を受けることにした。

Even after the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, Japan’s established power utilities, except for the operator of the crippled plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co., have basically maintained their traditional management policies.
 福島第一原発の事故が起きた後も、東京電力以外の各社は基本的に、震災以前の路線を踏襲してきた。

Despite the Liberal Democratic Party’s return to power, things have not turned out the way the companies had hoped. Although the Abe administration has decided to keep nuclear power generation in Japan, it has been cautious about allowing utilities to restart idle nuclear reactors or raise electricity rates because of concerns over a likely public backlash.
 だが、自民党が政権に戻っても、事態は電力会社の都合のいいようには動いていない。原発維持を打ち出した安倍政権も、安易な再稼働や電気料金の値上げは国民の反発を招くことを承知しているからだ。

Some utilities are finally beginning to talk about decommissioning aged reactors that are unlikely to generate sufficient profits to enable them to recoup the huge investment needed to make the reactors meet new tighter safety standards.
 ここにきて、新しい規制基準に見合うよう資金を投じても回収の見込みが立たない老朽化原発について、ようやく「廃炉」の選択肢を口にする会社が出始めた。

In Japan, people have become so sensitive to the issue of nuclear safety that even minor troubles will force utilities to stop the reactors to identify the problems and work out remedial measures.
 日本では今後、小さなトラブルでも原子炉を止めての原因究明と対策とが求められるだろう。

Atomic energy can no longer be claimed to be a cheap and stable power source in this nation.
もはや原発は「安くて安定的」な電源とは言えない。

At some utilities, sections other than the ones in charge of nuclear power operations are beginning to argue that the limited resources of the companies should be used to build state-of-the-art, energy-efficient thermal power plants or reinforce their power grids.
 社内でも原子力部門以外からは「限られた資源を最新鋭火力や送電網の増強に」との声があがり出している。

Given the current harsh business environment for established utilities, it is hardly surprising that anxiety is growing among them about the possibility that sticking to the policy of maintaining nuclear power generation could jeopardize their future.
原発にこだわりすぎると深い傷を負うとの危機感は、厳しい状況を考えれば自然の成り行きだ。

The proposed power market reform will also have a huge impact on the industry. The current pricing system, which allows utilities to pass all costs on to consumers through electricity rates, and their regional monopolies will eventually be abolished as part the reform. That will make it necessary for them to pay attention to even more “variables” than now in mapping out their business strategies.
 電力改革が与えるインパクトも大きい。経費をすべて電気料金から回収できる総括原価方式や地域独占が撤廃されれば、いま以上に多くの「変数」を見極めながら戦略を立てる力が不可欠になる。

Signs of change are emerging within the region served by TEPCO.
 兆しはすでに東電管内での動きに表れている。

Since it cannot build new power plants, the utility, which has received a large injection of public money, is seeking alliances with other companies.
 自力で新たな発電所をつくれない東電は、他社との提携を進める。

The Tokyo metropolitan area, the largest power market in Japan, will become a key battlefield for electricity suppliers as power deregulation proceeds.
国内最大の電力消費地である首都圏が今後は草刈り場になる。

In addition to electric utilities, domestic and foreign companies from different industries, such as gas suppliers, steelmakers and trading houses, are showing interest in entering the market.
 電力業界だけでなく、国内外のガス会社や鉄鋼メーカー、商社といった異業種も関心を寄せる。

The large utilities could make the fatal mistake of failing to keep up with the vital changes in the market if they remain wedded to their traditional follow-the-crowd strategy.
電力大手が従来の横並びに甘んじていると、致命的な出遅れになりかねない。

Chubu Electric Power Co. and Chugoku Electric Power Co. are planning to enter the Tokyo metropolitan power market in partnership with companies with which they have close business ties.
 中部電力や中国電力は、それぞれ関係の深いガス会社や鉄鋼メーカーと組んで名乗りをあげる構えだ。

The situation poses some serious strategic questions to Kansai Electric Power Co., which is struggling to stay above water because of its heavy dependence on nuclear power. As its plight is drawing much attention, the utility that serves the Kansai region around Osaka is finding it hard to make an effective response to the changing business environment.
原発依存率が高く、経営が苦しい関西電力がどう出るのか。注目が集まる中、悩ましさは人一倍だろう。

But the challenges now facing established utilities are basically the same as those that Japanese companies in other industries had to tackle as they responded to such earth-shaking trends as deregulation and globalization while experiencing bitter failures and industry shakeouts.
 とはいえ、それらは他の産業が自由化やグローバル化の中で失敗や淘汰(とうた)を繰り返しながら経験してきた道である。

Utilities need to take the opportunity offered by this make-or-break fiscal year to reinvent their futures and become ordinary companies competing in a free market.
 そんな当たり前の経営へ。逆境の14年度を、ぜひ「変革元年」にしてもらいたい。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 4

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2014年5月10日 (土)

STAP問題 理研は不正の再発を防げるか

The Yomiuri Shimbun 8:11 pm, May 09, 2014
RIKEN must strive to prevent further incidence of research misconduct
STAP問題 理研は不正の再発を防げるか

The nation’s largest comprehensive research institute, RIKEN, has concluded that the papers on stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency (STAP) cells need not be reinvestigated.
 理化学研究所が、STAP論文の再調査は「不要」と結論づけた。

This can be said to be a natural decision, as RIKEN has deemed that the papers do not meet the standards expected of a scientific document.
 科学的な論文としての体を成していないと認定した以上、当然の判断と言えるだろう。

RIKEN compiled a report in April that found the images in the paper on STAP cells were fabricated and modified. Haruko Obokata, the main author of the papers, subsequently filed a complaint about RIKEN’s findings and called for a reinvestigation of the matter.
 理研は4月、STAP論文の画像に捏造ねつぞう、改ざんがあったとの報告書をまとめた。これに対し、主著者の小保方晴子ユニットリーダーが、再調査を求め、不服申し立てをしていた。

Obokata defended her position, saying: “There are authentic images. I used the wrong images in the papers by mistake.” But RIKEN’s investigation committee reportedly could not confirm the conditions or dates of experiments corresponding with the images provided by Obokata.
 小保方氏は、「真正の画像がある。論文には取り違えて掲載した」と主張したが、今回、理研の調査委員会は、示された画像の実験条件や撮影日などを確認できなかったという。

The images were also found to have been altered in scale. This represents a typical example of research misconduct and it was understandable for the committee to point out that “accurate information has been lost.”
 画像の縮尺変更も行われていた。研究不正の典型例であり、調査委が「正確な情報が失われた」と指摘したのは、もっともだ。

The committee criticized Obokata, saying her actions demonstrated “malicious intent.” RIKEN’s board of directors upheld the committee’s view and recommended that she withdraw the papers.
 調査委は「悪意があったことは明らかだ」と小保方氏を批判した。理研も調査委の見解を承認し、論文の撤回を勧告した。

As for her claim that “there was no malicious intent [in using incorrect images], so it does not constitute misconduct,” RIKEN defines “intent [in bad faith]” as equivalent to “malicious intent” and determined once again that there was misconduct in the composition of the papers.
 「悪意はなく、不正には当たらない」という小保方氏のこれまでの反論に対しても、理研は、「悪意」は「故意」と同じ意味であると定義し、改めて、論文には不正があったと断じた。

The basis for RIKEN’s decision in this regard was Obokata’s claim itself—that the images were modified to make them easier to see.
 画像を見やすくするために加工したという小保方氏の主張そのものが、故意に基づく行為を認めているというわけだ。

STAP existence uncertain

Obokata opposes RIKEN’s conclusion, but since the very foundation of her research papers was rejected, she will have no alternative but to withdraw the documents.
 小保方氏は、今回の理研の結論に反発しているが、根幹が否定されたことを考えれば、論文を撤回せざるを得まい。

Now that the decision of misconduct in the papers’ composition has been finalized, RIKEN will consider disciplinary steps for Obokata and the coauthors of the papers. But even after these sanctions have been imposed, the curtain will not fall on the STAP cells issue. RIKEN must accept responsibility for having appointed Obokata to such an important post as research unit leader, and presenting her research results to the media with great fanfare.
 論文の不正が確定したことで、理研は、小保方氏や共著者の処分を検討する。しかし、処分によりSTAP問題が幕引きとなるわけではない。小保方氏を重用し、成果を大々的にアピールした理研の責任は重大である。

RIKEN must delve into the background behind her case to prevent a recurrence of research misconduct.
 理研は、不正が起きた背景にまで踏み込んで調査し、再発防止を図らねばならない。

The crucial question of whether STAP cells exist has been left unresolved. RIKEN is now conducting a yearlong experiment to verify the discovery of STAP cells, as claimed by Obokata and her research team. As the nation’s representative research institution, RIKEN is responsible for bringing the matter to a conclusion.
 STAP細胞が存在するかどうかという肝心の点も、未解明のままだ。理研は1年がかりで検証実験を進めている。真偽に決着をつけるのは、日本を代表する研究機関としての責務である。

RIKEN has lost public confidence due to the turmoil caused by this episode. Suspicions over image modification have also emerged in relation to a member of its investigation committee. It is impossible for this to be regarded as anything other than poor practice.
 今回の問題を通して、理研の信頼は失墜した。調査委のメンバーにさえ、画像加工の疑いが浮上した。お粗末と言うほかない。

RIKEN President Ryoji Noyori has called for papers submitted previously by about 3,000 researchers to be reviewed voluntarily and checked for misconduct.
 理研の野依良治理事長は、所属研究者約3000人の過去の論文について、不正の有無を自主点検するよう指示した。

The volume of work this request will generate is anticipated to be enormous, but it must be carried out in earnest by each and every researcher for confidence in RIKEN to be restored.
 膨大な作業が予想されるが、信頼回復のため、研究者一人一人が真摯しんしに取り組んでもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 9, 2014)

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タイ首相失職 混乱を助長する憲法裁の判断

The Yomiuri Shimbun 8:55 pm, May 09, 2014
Ouster of Yingluck does nothing to open path out of Thailand’s chaos
タイ首相失職 混乱を助長する憲法裁の判断

Thailand’s prime minister has been driven from her post. And no hint of a path out of the chaos of Thailand’s drawn-out political turmoil has yet emerged.
 タイの首相が失職に追い込まれた。長引く政治の混迷を脱する道筋は全く見えない。

The Southeast Asian country’s Constitutional Court handed down a verdict Wednesday finding that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra had intervened illegally in personnel affairs involving the head of the secretariat of the National Security Council in 2011, in order to promote a relative to the position of chief of the Royal Thai Police, and that her behavior was unconstitutional.
 タイの憲法裁判所は7日、インラック首相が、親族を国家警察長官に登用するために、国家安全保障会議事務局長の人事に不当に介入したことが、憲法違反にあたるとする判決を言い渡した。

Because of the highest court’s ruling, Yingluck has been stripped of her office. Nine members of her Cabinet who were in office at the time of the personnel affairs issue were ordered by the court to step down. Deputy Prime Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan, one of the remaining 24 ministers, has been appointed acting prime minister.
 これによって、インラック氏は失職した。人事の閣議決定に加わった閣僚9人も失職し、残った24閣僚のうち、ニワットタムロン副首相が首相代行に決まった。

The House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Thai National Assembly, has remained dissolved after the results of a February general election were pronounced null and void by the Constitutional Court. In the absence of both a prime minister and a functioning lower house, Thailand as a state is in a critical situation.
 タイの下院は、2月に行われた総選挙が、憲法裁によって「無効」と判断されたために、解散したままになっている。首相も下院議員も不在という、国家として危機的な状況である。

In Thailand, forces supporting former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Yingluck’s elder brother, have been locked in fierce rivalry with those who oppose him.
 タイでは、インラック氏の兄であるタクシン元首相を支持する勢力と、それに反対する勢力が激しく対立している。

The pro-Thaksin camp, which draws its support mainly from the poor and from farmers in populous rural areas, has won every general election in recent years. The anti-Thaksin bloc has a larger share of bureaucrats and other empowered elites, as well as support from the urban middle class.
 タクシン派は、人口の多い貧困層や農民を基盤とし、近年の総選挙では連勝中だ。反タクシン派には、官僚など実権を握るエリート層や都市中間層が多い。

Groups opposing Thaksin have staged repeated and vehement anti-government demonstrations since last year, with the aim of toppling the Yingluck administration.
 反タクシン派は昨年来、インラック政権打倒を目指し、激しいデモを繰り返してきた。

Economy badly damaged

This most recent case was brought before the Constitutional Court by a group including members of the upper house of the Thai parliament, where the anti-Thaksin bloc holds great sway. There can be no doubt that the anti-Thaksin forces, facing no chance of winning an electoral victory, have resorted to judicial tactics to force the prime minister from office.
 今回の裁判は、反タクシン派の影響が強い上院の議員らが訴えたものだ。選挙では勝ち目がないとみて、法的な手段によって、首相を辞職に追い込むための戦術だったのは明らかだ。

The Constitutional Court has issued harsh decisions against successive pro-Thaksin administrations. And this latest ruling is clearly in line with the will of anti-Thaksin groups, but it can also be said that this outcome has served only to plunge Thailand deeper into political chaos.
 憲法裁は、これまで、歴代のタクシン派政権に厳しい判決を出してきた。今回の判決も、反タクシン派の求めに沿ったもので、結果的に混迷を深めたと言えよう。

The crux of the problem is that nothing has appeared that might help lead the country toward a resolution of its ongoing imbroglios and impasses.
 問題なのは、事態の打開策が全く見えないことである。

Under the leadership of the acting prime minister, the Cabinet is set to hold a fresh general election, currently scheduled for July 20.
 首相代行の率いる内閣は、7月20日のやり直し総選挙を予定通り実施する方針だ。

Anti-Thaksin forces are demanding that an interim government be established without an election, and stand poised to continue with anti-government demonstrations, indicating as well that they are likely to repeat in July their boycott of the previous election. There also are fears of violent clashes with the pro-Thaksin forces. Each camp is strongly urged to restrain itself and to avoid becoming mired in violence.
 だが、選挙を経ない暫定政権樹立を訴える反タクシン派は、デモを続ける構えで、再び選挙妨害を行うことも示唆している。タクシン派との衝突も誘発しかねない。各派には自制が求められる。

The prolonged political turmoil has exerted further strain on the Thai economy. The country’s tourism industry is suffering an ongoing slump, and a chill hangs over domestic consumption. One estimate warns that the Thai economy for this year may see negative growth for the first time since 2009. Japanese capital investment, which has helped boost Thailand’s economy, is also under threat.
 混乱の長期化は、経済に一層の悪影響を与えている。観光業は不振で、消費も冷え込み、今年は2009年以来のマイナス成長になるとの予測もある。成長を支えてきた日系企業の投資の減少につながる可能性も否定できない。

Under the circumstances, the political heft of Thailand, a nation that has played a leading role in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, is bound to shrink further. It is imperative for Thailand to escape this crisis in its political system and return to normality as soon as possible.
 これまで主導的役割を演じてきた東南アジア諸国連合(ASEAN)内部での政治的発言力も、低下する一方だろう。一刻も早い政治の正常化が必要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 9, 2014)

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高村副総裁訪中 互損から互恵へ転換する時だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:26 pm, May 08, 2014
Komura’s China visit should set stage for renewal of mutually beneficial ties
高村副総裁訪中 互損から互恵へ転換する時だ

It remains to be seen whether this could be the opening needed to overcome the current antagonism between Japan and China, and return to the starting point of “mutually beneficial, strategic relations.”
 日本と中国が対立を乗り越え、「戦略的互恵関係」の原点に立ち返る契機となるだろうか。

Members of the Japan-China Parliamentarians’ Friendship Union, a suprapartisan group of Japanese lawmakers including Liberal Democratic Party Vice President Masahiko Komura, visited China and met with Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.
 自民党の高村正彦副総裁ら超党派の日中友好議員連盟のメンバーが中国を訪れ、張徳江・全国人民代表大会常務委員長と会談した。

The fact that Japanese lawmakers were able to hold talks with the third-ranking official of the Communist Party of China illustrates that both sides believe the current strained relations must not be allowed to fester any longer.
 共産党序列3位である張氏との会談が実現したのは、中国も日本との関係悪化を放置できないと考えているためと言えよう。

Komura told Zhang, “While the relationship between the countries should be a ‘mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests,’ the current relationship is mutually detrimental and tactical in nature.” He made a forward-looking proposal to build ties through which the two countries could share benefits from a broad perspective, even if both sides disagreed over political issues and perceptions of history.
 高村氏は「戦略的互恵関係であるべき両国関係が、今はお互いに損をする戦術的互損関係となっている」と指摘した。政治や歴史認識を巡って対立しても、大局的見地から利益を享受し合う関係を築こうという前向きな提案だ。

It is unfortunate that the Chinese side remained obstinate toward the offer.
 これに対し、中国側の態度がかたくなだったのは残念である。

“The causes of the current deterioration in Japan-China relations lie with the Japanese side,” Zhang said. “I want Japan to address these problems.” He also criticized Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Yasukuni Shrine last December, and insisted that the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture were Chinese territory.
 張氏は「日中関係の悪化は、主として日本側に原因があり、それを取り除くように態度で示してほしい」と求めた。安倍首相の靖国神社参拝を批判し、沖縄県の尖閣諸島の領有権を主張した。

However, we believe most of the causes of the current stalemate in bilateral ties stem from the Chinese side.
 だが、日中関係の停滞は中国側にこそ、多くの原因があろう。

China at fault

China has regularly been sending government ships into Japanese territorial waters near the Senkaku Islands, and in November last year it unilaterally declared an air defense identification zone over the East China Sea, including the Senkakus.
 中国は、尖閣諸島周辺で、日本領海への公船の侵入を常態化させている。東シナ海では防空識別圏を一方的に設定した。

Furthermore, at the request of South Korea, China opened a memorial hall at Harbin Station in Heilongjiang Province dedicated to Ahn Jung Geun, the Korean who in 1909 assassinated Hirobumi Ito, a former Japanese prime minister and the first governor general of Korea. In a recent speech in Germany, Chinese President Xi Jinping took a swipe at Japan by saying “at least 300,000 people were killed” in the Nanjing Incident. This figure is completely baseless.
 さらに、韓国の求めに応じて、伊藤博文を暗殺した安重根の記念館を中国黒竜江省のハルビン駅に開設した。習近平国家主席はドイツで講演し、南京事件で「30万人以上が虐殺された」と根拠のない数字を示して日本を批判した。

Although China is trying to isolate Japan, visible cracks are appearing in its diplomatic strategy of trying to build a “new type” of great power relationship with the United States.
 日本の孤立化を図る一方で、米国とは「新しいタイプの大国関係」を築こうとする中国の外交戦略には、ほころびも見える。

During their recent summit meeting in Tokyo, U.S. President Barack Obama said explicitly to Abe that the Senkaku Islands fall under the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.
 オバマ米大統領は安倍首相との会談で、尖閣諸島は日米安全保障条約の適用対象と明言した。

Reconfirming that the bilateral alliance remains rock-solid is significant because it shows Beijing’s attempts to drive a wedge between Tokyo and Washington are not proceeding as planned.
堅固な日米同盟を再確認したことは、中国の「日米分断」が思惑通り進んでいないという意味を持つ。

Zhang told Komura that the current shrinking volume of trade between Japan and China was “something I don’t want to see.” Japanese investment in China also has plunged.
 張氏は高村氏との会談で日中貿易の不振に言及し、「目にしたくないものだ」と語った。日本の対中投資も急減している。

It appears the Xi administration has started to feel uncomfortable about the negative impact that the deterioration of ties with Japan has been having on the Chinese economy.
 習政権が、対日関係悪化による中国経済への悪影響に不安を感じ始めたのではないか。

Komura sounded out the Chinese side about a meeting between Abe and Xi on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summit meeting due to be held in November. Dialogue between the two top leaders is vital for resolving problematic bilateral issues.
 高村氏は、11月のアジア太平洋経済協力会議(APEC)首脳会議に合わせた日中首脳会談を打診した。日中間の懸案解決には、トップ同士の対話が欠かせない。

Abe also has said both leaders “should have frank talks, without preconditions.”
 安倍首相も「前提条件を付けずに、首脳同士が胸襟を開いて話をすべきだ」と語っている。

It is time China thought seriously about how to bring an end to “mutually detrimental” relations.
 中国は「互損」からの脱却を真剣に考える時である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 8, 2014)

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海自自殺判決 いじめ・隠蔽体質を改善せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:25 pm, May 08, 2014
Defense Ministry must eradicate deep-rooted bullying culture
海自自殺判決 いじめ・隠蔽体質を改善せよ

The government has decided not to appeal to a higher court over a lawsuit involving the cover-up attempt by the Maritime Self-Defense Force over a junior crew member on a MSDF destroyer who committed suicide after being bullied by an officer. The Defense Ministry needs to reflect seriously on the attempt at concealment, and rectify the wrong.
 海上自衛隊による「いじめ隠し」が糾弾された裁判で、被告の国が上告を断念した。防衛省は猛省し、隠蔽体質を改めなければならない。

The bereaved family of the junior crew member, who served on the destroyer Tachikaze, demanded compensation from the state and the officer, who has since left the MSDF. The Tokyo High Court ordered the defendants to pay ¥73 million, acknowledging a causal link between the suicide and the bullying, in which the officer relentlessly harassed the junior crewman through such actions as shooting at him with a toy gun.
 海自の護衛艦「たちかぜ」の乗組員だった男性の自殺を巡り、遺族が国などに損害賠償を求めていた。東京高裁は、男性をエアガンで撃つなど艦内での執拗しつようないじめが原因だったと認定して、7300万円の支払いを命じた。

The high court ruled that the MSDF concealed from the bereaved family the results of an internal investigation into the bullying. It also found that the suicide could have been foreseen, and raised the amount of damages sharply from the ¥4.4 million figure ordered in a 2011 ruling by the Yokohama District Court. The Defense Ministry gave up appealing to a higher court, possibly because the ministry judged it would be impossible to overturn the facts acknowledged by the high court.
 高裁は、海自がいじめの内部調査結果を遺族に隠したと断じた。自殺は予見できたとして、賠償額も1審の440万円から大幅に増やした。防衛省が争いを続けなかったのは、もはや認定事実を覆せないと判断したからだろう。

The Defense Ministry needs to look into the circumstances of what happened, such as how and why the MSDF concealed the survey results and who ordered the cover-up, as well as punishing those involved.
 どのような経緯で調査結果を隠蔽したのか。誰が指示したのか。防衛省は事実関係を究明し、責任者を処分する必要がある。

The MSDF conducted a survey of all crewmen serving on the destroyer in 2004 after the junior member committed suicide. The fact soon emerged that he was bullied on a daily basis by the officer.
 海自は男性の自殺後の2004年、たちかぜの全乗組員にアンケートを実施した。その中で、男性が先輩隊員から日常的に暴行を受けていた事実を把握した。

When the family requested disclosure of the survey results, the MSDF said it already had destroyed the documents when in fact they had been preserved. It is an unforgivable act, as it ignored the information disclosure system.
 遺族の情報公開請求に対し、海自は調査結果を「廃棄した」と回答したが、実際には保管されていた。情報公開制度をないがしろにする許されない対応である。

Cover-up hindered justice

As a result, the bereaved family could not make a sufficient claim at the district court. It was quite right for the high court to criticize the MSDF over the cover-up of such important evidence, which deprived the bereaved family of opportunities to verify the causal relationship between the bullying and the suicide.
 結果的に遺族は1審で十分な主張ができなかった。高裁判決が「重要な証拠が隠されたことで、遺族は立証の機会を奪われた」と批判したのは、もっともだ。

The concealment was first brought to light by an in-house whistle-blower, a lieutenant commander of the MSDF in charge of the lawsuit. In 2012, the lieutenant commander submitted a statement to the high court that the survey results had been concealed. The MSDF suddenly acknowledged the existence of the survey results.
 隠蔽を暴いたのは、海自側で裁判を担当していた3等海佐の内部告発だった。12年になって、アンケート結果が隠されているとする陳述書を高裁に提出した。海自は一転、存在を認めた。

It is extremely problematic that the Defense Ministry considered penalizing the lieutenant commander for revealing in-house documents on the survey results. There is a possibility that these acts could violate the Whistle-Blower Protection Law, which prohibits punitive actions that work against whistle-blowers.
 防衛省が、告発のために内部文書を持ち出した行為をとらえ、3佐の処分を検討したことは、極めて問題だ。告発者への不利益処分を禁じた公益通報者保護法に抵触する可能性がある。

After all, without the whistle-blowing by the lieutenant commander, the truth would never have come to light.
 告発がなかったら、真相は闇に葬られていただろう。

The yearly number of suicides among Self-Defense Forces personnel has hovered in the 80s. The percentage of suicides among SDF personnel is said to be higher than that among ordinary public servants. There have also been past court rulings that declared the suicides of SDF personnel were caused by superiors and their bullying, where the courts ordered the state to pay compensation.
 自衛隊員の自殺者は年80人台で推移している。自殺の割合は一般の国家公務員に比べて高いとされる。上官のいじめが自殺の原因だったと認定し、国に賠償を命じる判決は過去にも出ている。

Many SDF personnel have been penalized for abusing young members. The number reached 47 in fiscal 2012, the highest in the past 10 years.
 後輩らに対して私的制裁を加え、処分される自衛隊員も後を絶たない。12年度は47人に上り、過去10年間では最も多かった。

We must say that the SDF retains a permissive attitude toward violence within its organization. To prevent tragedies like this young man’s suicide from occurring again, the Defense Ministry should make more efforts to manage and educate its personnel.
 暴力を容認する土壌が組織に残っていると言わざるを得ない。今回のような悲劇を繰り返さぬために、防衛省は自衛隊員の管理・教育に一層、力を入れるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 8, 2014)

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南シナ海掘削―中国は直ちに中止せよ

May 09, 2014
EDITORIAL: China must stop oil drilling in South China Sea
南シナ海掘削―中国は直ちに中止せよ

Tensions are escalating dangerously in the South China Sea, where China and Vietnam have conflicting territorial interests. Chinese government vessels rammed Vietnamese patrol boats near an oil rig that China's state-owned company is installing there, and shot water cannons at Vietnamese vessels.
 南シナ海の緊張が高まっている。中国とベトナムが権益を争う海域に中国艦船が集まり、ベトナムの巡視船と衝突した。

This is a very serious situation. China had no right to unilaterally start such an economic undertaking in disputed waters in the first place. The Chinese side must desist immediately.
 中国は国有企業が現場で石油の採掘を始めると表明し、機材を運びこんでいる。その作業のさなか、中国側が衝突や放水などの行動に出たらしい。
 ゆゆしい事態である。そもそも論争のある海域で、大がかりな経済活動に一方的に着手するのは慎むべきだ。中国側は直ちに作業をやめねばならない。

China describes the Paracel Islands, located near the site of the maritime skirmish, as part of its territory and claims it has every right to drill for oil in waters around the islands.
 現場近くの西沙(パラセル)諸島を中国政府は「わが国の領土」とし、近海での掘削に何の問題もないと主張している。

But the entire area falls within the exclusive economic zone established by Vietnam. Although the Paracel Islands have been under China’s effective control, they are also claimed by Vietnam. China's behavior is unacceptable.
 しかしベトナムから見れば、自国が主張する排他的経済水域の完全な内側だ。西沙は中国が実効支配するが、ベトナムも領有権を主張している。一方的な通告で済む話ではない。

The incident marks yet another chapter in the troubled history of territorial disputes in the South China Sea. In addition to China and Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan claim islands and economic interests in the region.
 南シナ海は多くの国々の利害がぶつかる。島の領有権や経済権益を主張しているのは中越のほかフィリピン、マレーシア、ブルネイ、台湾がある。

For its part, China claims most of the South China Sea, encompassed in what is called the “nine-dotted line.” But this U-shaped demarcation line is vague in nature and not clearly based on international law. Beijing seems to believe it holds exclusive rights in the waters within the line.
 そのなかで中国は、南シナ海のほぼ全域を囲む「九段線」と呼ばれる線を引いている。その性格は不明確で、国際ルールでは説明できない。中国は、その線の内側に排他的な権益があると言わんばかりである。

In January, the government of China's Hainan province, which Beijing says has jurisdiction over the South China Sea, introduced a set of rules that require all foreign fishing boats to gain permission from provincial authorities to operate in the vast area claimed by China. The move, unsurprisingly, provoked angry protests from neighboring countries. It appears that China is trying to accumulate a number of faits accomplis concerning its territorial claim over the area within the nine-dotted line.
 南シナ海を管轄するという中国海南省政府が外国漁船の入漁に手続きを義務づける規定を設け、周辺国の反発を招いたのは今年1月のことだった。九段線内での既成事実を積み重ねる狙いがあるのではないか。

China and Vietnam are both communist countries, but the history of their relationship is checkered, as shown by the 1979 Sino-Vietnamese War. Even so, in the 1990s, the two countries devoted considerable time to working together to resolve disputes over their land border and maritime rights in the Gulf of Tonkin. They eventually struck a deal.
 ともに共産国家の中越だが、戦火を交えたこともあって歴史は複雑だ。それでも90年代には陸続きの部分とトンキン湾について、境界線画定の共同作業に時間をかけ、合意に達した。

At that time, the two countries failed to reach an agreement on their territorial claims over the South China Sea. But the deal was viewed as sage move and a way of avoiding conflict that would harm bilateral ties.
 当時、南シナ海部分の同時解決はできなかったが、それは両国関係に悪影響を及ぼす争いを避ける知恵だったはずだ。

In 2002, China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreed on the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, a set of principles for peaceful resolutions to disputes in the region. Both sides are set to work out a detailed code of conduct to achieve the goal outlined in the agreement. China’s latest action tramples on these international agreements.
 東南アジア諸国連合(ASEAN)と中国の間では02年、南シナ海問題の平和的解決をめざす行動宣言で合意し、具体的な行動規範づくりに取り組むことになっている。今回の中国側の行動はそうした国際公約を踏みにじるものでもある。

The U.S. government quickly expressed its concern about this latest flare-up. Washington regards China’s behavior as a potentially serious threat to the principle of freedom of navigation in the entire South China Sea.
 米国政府は早々に懸念を表明した。南シナ海全域で航行の自由の原則が阻害されかねない重大な問題とみるからだ。

If things don’t improve, the seas in East Asia will become theaters of conflict among regional powers. That would be in nobody’s interest. China, which is responsible for this situation, should back down first. We also urge Vietnam to keep calm in responding to the situation.
 このままではアジアの海が力と力のぶつかり合いの場になってしまう。それは誰の利益にもならない。まずは事態悪化を招いた中国が退かなくてはならない。ベトナムにも冷静な行動を望みたい。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 9

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2014年5月 9日 (金)

NHK会長―これで信頼保てるのか

May 08, 2014
EDITORIAL: Momii’s behavior undermining NHK’s credibility
NHK会長―これで信頼保てるのか

As a public and nonprofit entity, Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) should operate solely for the well-being of the public and outside the realm of government control. That is why NHK’s operations are financed by viewing fees paid by the public.
 営利を目的とせず、国家の統制から自立して、公共の福祉のために放送事業を行う。だから視聴者が、受信料を払って支える。公共放送のNHKとは、そんな存在である。

The job of the president is to supervise and manage its operations. But the current president, Katsuto Momii, has been behaving in a way that raises serious questions about NHK’s credibility.
 その業務を統括して管理するのが会長である。なのに、会長自身が、公共放送の信頼に関わる言動を続けている。

Momii triggered renewed controversy April 30 during a meeting of the NHK Executive Board, which he used to criticize a news program on the concerns of elderly citizens over the April 1 rise in the consumption tax rate.
“It is not news if you only say that a tax hike caused anxiety,” he said, arguing that the program should also refer to discussions among policymakers on measures to ease the added financial burden on low-income earners.
 4月30日の理事会でのこと。籾井勝人会長が、消費増税に不安を抱える人を取材したニュース番組について、「困ったというだけではニュースにならない」といった趣旨の発言をし、同じ番組の中で、低所得者への負担軽減策の議論も取り上げるべきだと主張した。

Efforts by the media to present different views about issues in their reports should be welcomed. The Broadcast Law stipulates that programs aired by NHK or any other broadcasters should be “politically fair.” The law also says that when dealing with contentious issues, broadcasters should try to “clarify disputed points from as many different angles as possible.”
 報道の際、異なる見方を紹介するのは歓迎すべきことだ。放送法も、NHKに限らず放送番組は「政治的に公平であること」「意見が対立している問題については、できるだけ多くの角度から論点を明らかにすること」と定めている。

But the widely accepted legal interpretation of these provisions is that whether news coverage of contentious issues is balanced should be judged on the basis of all related programs aired by a broadcaster, not on each single program.
 だが、異論とのバランスは、放送される番組全体で判断するという法解釈が一般的だ。個々の番組だけで考えねばならないということではない。

Even though the board members stressed they are trying hard to report different viewpoints through various programs, Momii would not be convinced.
理事たちが「いろいろな観点を、様々な機会をとらえて報道している」と説明しても会長は納得しなかったという。

As the person responsible for NHK’s programs, its president may sometimes find it necessary to get involved in debate over the content of specific programs.
 責任者として、番組の内容に関する議論に会長が加わることもあるだろう。

In his inaugural news conference in January, however, Momii made remarks that indicated his support of the government’s policies.
だが籾井氏は1月の就任会見で、政府に寄り添うような発言をした。

He later retracted the comments, saying he had expressed his “personal views” in public. He also tried to reassure viewers by promising that NHK’s programs would not be based on his opinions. But he has yet to admit that his ideas are inappropriate, given his position as the top official of a public broadcaster.
「公式の場で個人的な見解を述べた」と撤回し、「私の見解を放送に反映することはない」としたが、公共放送に携わる者として考え違いだったとは認めていない。

Imagine what would happen if such a person started meddling in news programs on the government’s policies. This prospect raises concerns that NHK may not be able to properly perform its journalistic role of monitoring and checking government behavior. This would give rise to suspicions that NHK finds it difficult to broadcast programs that are critical of the government because of concerns about ruffling Momii’s feathers.
 その籾井氏が政策に関わるニュースに注文をつければ、どうなるか。権力を監視するジャーナリズムの役割が十分に果たせるのかといった疑問も浮かぶ。会長の意向を忖度(そんたく)し、政府に批判的な報道がしにくくなるのではないかとの不信感も出てくるだろう。

Momii has also resorted to strong-arm tactics in personnel affairs.
 会長は人事でも、強引な手法を重ねている。

Soon after he took the top job at NHK, he forced all members of the Executive Board to submit undated letters of resignation.
 就任早々、日付のない辞表を理事に提出させた。

In the personnel reshuffle of executive board members in late April, Momii urged two general managing directors, who had just been reappointed in February, to resign for no specific reasons.
4月下旬の理事人事では、2月に再任したばかりの専務理事2人に特段の理由なく辞任を迫った。

When seeking consent for personnel changes from the Board of Governors, the upper-ranked decision-making body, Momii also refrained from disclosing his plan until the last moment on grounds the information could be leaked.
人事案は「情報が漏れる恐れがある」と、意思決定権を持つ経営委員会に直前まで示さず、同意を求めた。

When a governor asked the president to explain his decision for changing the responsibilities of some managing directors, Momii just simply said these were matters that are the “sole prerogative of the president.”
理事の担当替えなどで説明を求めた経営委員には、「会長の専権だ」と応じた。

We cannot help wondering how much consideration he gives to the feelings of people who pay viewing fees to NHK in the belief that a public broadcaster is necessary for the good of society.
 公共放送は必要と期待しながら受信料を払う人たちの思いを、どれほど、くみとっているのだろうか。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 8

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2014年5月 8日 (木)

健診の基準緩和 薬剤費の削減につながるか

The Yomiuri Shimbun 11:00 pm, May 06, 2014
New health criteria should be utilized to trim spending on needless drugs
健診の基準緩和 薬剤費の削減につながるか

New criteria for the acceptable ranges of health checkup results are expected to be introduced soon. Whether the new standards will help people manage their health is an important question. We should also utilize the new criteria to trim ballooning medical expenses.
 健康診断の新基準を健康管理に役立てることが大切だ。医療費の削減にもつなげたい。

Last month, the Japan Society of Ningen Dock (comprehensive health checkups) and the National Federation of Health Insurance Societies revealed a draft recommendation of the new criteria. It is based on the two organizations’ analysis of data on those who have no chronic diseases among the 1.5 million people who underwent ningen dock examinations. The new criteria will be introduced as early as next spring.
 日本人間ドック学会と健康保険組合連合会が新しい基準案を公表した。人間ドックの受診者150万人のうち、持病がない人の測定値を使って解析したものだ。早ければ来年春から適用される。

Currently, figures suggested by academic groups are used as criteria for the acceptable ranges of health checkup results. However, which figures to use is left up to the checkup facilities and medical institutions. The new criteria will serve as the first common standard that will be used nationwide. The massive amount of data collected from people who underwent comprehensive health checkups gives weight to the criteria.
 健康診断の基準値は従来、各専門学会が推奨する数値などが基になっていたが、健診施設や病院によって採用する数値はまちまちだった。今回が初めての全国共通基準である。膨大なデータから得られた指標には重みがある。

The focus of attention on the new criteria is the easing of figures that will be judged abnormal. Under the draft, the easing will occur for more than half of the 27 health checkup indicators.
 ポイントは、27の検査項目中、半数以上で「異常なし」と判定する数値が緩和されたことだ。

The Japanese Society of Hypertension recommends that systolic blood pressure should be lower than 130, but the draft set the upper limit of the acceptable figure at 147. The acceptable ranges of indicators such as cholesterol levels and those determining obesity will also be relaxed.
 最高血圧の上限は147となり、日本高血圧学会が示している現行の数値(130未満)に比べて高くなった。肥満やコレステロールの基準も緩やかになる。

When acceptable ranges are too strict, there is a possibility that healthy people will be regarded as unhealthy, subjecting them to needless anxiety. More than 90 percent of people who underwent comprehensive health check-ups have had some sort of abnormality pointed out to them. If the new criteria come into effect, it is likely that the number of people who are judged to have abnormalities will decrease.
 基準が厳しすぎれば、健康な人まで病人扱いされ、無用な不安を与える恐れがある。人間ドックでは、9割を超える受診者が何らかの異常を指摘されてきた。新基準が適用されれば、「異常」と判定される人は減るだろう。

More flexible indicators

There is another point worth noting in the new criteria. The draft has set different values based on sex or age for many indicators—a significant change from the status quo.
 多くの検査項目で、男女別、年齢別に基準値が設けられたのも大きな変更点だ。

For example, the upper limit for LDL cholesterol, known as “bad cholesterol,” was set at 178 for men, but the upper limit will vary from 152 to 190 for women depending on their age. Values for weight and HDL cholesterol, or “good cholesterol,” will also differ based on sex.
 “悪玉”のLDLコレステロールの上限は、男性の178に対し、女性は年齢により152~190と幅を持たせた。肥満や“善玉”のHDLコレステロールの基準も、性別で差を設けた。

We believe they are appropriate changes considering the fact that the risk of heart disease and stroke vary according to sex and age.
 性別や年齢によって心臓病や脳卒中になるリスクが異なることを考えれば、適切な措置である。

Currently, the acceptable ranges for health checkups are set uniformly regardless of sex or age. As a result, despite the fact that women generally have a lower risk of heart disease, many women have been judged as having an abnormality during a health checkup, meaning they have to then take unnecessary medication. Needless treatments have been carried out, wasting money on drugs.
 従来は老若男女に一律の基準が適用されてきた。心臓病などの発症リスクが低い女性でも「異常」と判定され、多くの人が薬を服用している。過剰な治療が、薬剤費の無駄遣いを招いてきた。

Of course, the easing of the acceptable ranges does not diminish the importance of everyday efforts to manage one’s health. Even when people are within the acceptable ranges at health checkups, if their figures are close to an upper or lower limit, they should regard this to mean they have a higher risk of becoming ill in relative terms. It is important to undergo checkups periodically and watch carefully for changes in health indicators.
 基準が緩やかになったからといって、日頃の節制が大切なことに変わりはない。新基準の範囲内でも、上限や下限に近い場合は、病気のリスクが相対的に高いと受け止めるべきだ。継続的に健診を受け、数値の変化に留意したい。

We want to stress the fact that the new criteria are based on data taken only from generally healthy people, meaning they are not applicable to people dealing with lifestyle-related diseases, such as diabetes. It would be dangerous for people who have chronic diseases to prematurely conclude that they have no health problems by applying the new criteria to themselves and stop their treatments.
 健康な人だけを対象にして作成された新基準は、糖尿病など既に生活習慣病を患っていると適用されないことにも注意が要る。持病のある人が、新基準を基に「異常なし」と自己判断し、治療をやめるのは危険である。

We urge facilities and medical institutions that provide health checkup services to provide thorough explanations of the new criteria to patients to avoid confusion.
 受診者が混乱しないよう、健診を行う施設や医療機関には丁寧な説明が求められる。

(From The Yomiui Shimbun, May 6, 2014)

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中小企業活性化 「攻めの姿勢」で市場開拓図れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun 4:00 am, May 08, 2014
Smaller businesses must aggressively seek more market opportunities
中小企業活性化 「攻めの姿勢」で市場開拓図れ

Small and medium-sized corporations must be invigorated to put the economy back on the road to full recovery. This is essential in that such companies constitute a wide range of businesses in this nation.
 景気の本格回復には、すそ野の広い中小企業の活性化が不可欠だ。

Smaller enterprises must exert their originality and ingenuity in implementing what could be called an aggressive strategy through, for example, increased exports. Doing so is indispensable for their success in finding a means of survival.
 創意工夫を凝らし、輸出拡大などで自らの活路を開く「攻めの姿勢」が求められる。

The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry has drafted the 2014 edition of its “White Paper on Small and Medium Enterprises in Japan.”
 経済産業省が2014年版の中小企業白書をまとめた。

The corporate sector’s business performance is beginning to improve nowadays, largely due to the Abenomics policy package being implemented by the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Still, the pace of improvement in the performance of medium and small businesses is slower than that of major corporations.
 安倍政権の経済政策、アベノミクスの効果で企業業績は上向いてきたが、大企業に比べ、回復が遅れているのが中小企業である。

Abe has said: “Medium and small enterprises are the underpinning of the [Japanese] economy. I’ll work to ensure the economic recovery is truly felt everywhere in the nation.”
 安倍首相は「経済を支えているのは中小企業だ。回復の実感を全国に広げる」と述べている。

The prime minister’s pledge to increase the managerial vitality of small and medium-sized businesses is appropriate, considering that these enterprises account for more than 90 percent of the domestic corporate sector.
 日本企業の9割超を占める中小企業の経営力強化に焦点を当てるのは適切だろう。

The latest white paper says that an important task facing the government in this respect is to bolster overseas operations of smaller businesses by, for instance, increasing their exports. Small and medium manufacturers whose business includes exports account for only 3 percent of the total.
 白書が重要な課題として指摘したのは、輸出拡大など海外事業のてこ入れである。中小の製造業のうち、輸出を手がける会社は、全体の約3%にとどまる。

Smaller enterprises should take advantage of vigorous demand in newly emerging and other economically vibrant nations in their struggle to survive and prosper. Such efforts are indispensable in that the domestic market is bound to shrink as a result of this nation’s chronically low birthrate and the resultant aging population.
 少子高齢化と人口減少で国内市場の先細りは不可避なだけに、新興国などの旺盛な需要を取り込み、生き残りを図るべきだ。

China has been selected by a large number of small and medium Japanese companies as the main target of their overseas operations. In recent years, however, there have been growing concerns about the risks involved in business operations in that country, reflecting strained relations between Tokyo and Beijing as well as a lack of transparency in the Chinese legal system.
 海外展開先は中国が多数を占めるが、最近は日中関係の悪化や不透明な法制度を理由に事業リスクが懸念されている。

Diversify export destinations

A task confronting the government in this regard is to support the export drive of smaller companies targeting markets other than China, such as Vietnam, Indonesia and Myanmar, while also assisting service and other nonmanufacturing companies with opening businesses in these nations.
 ベトナム、インドネシア、ミャンマーといった中国以外への輸出や、サービス業など非製造業の進出を支援することが課題だ。

However, there are high hurdles for independent small and medium corporations in finding market opportunities overseas. Overcoming those hurdles requires the creation of a system which would support ambitious businesses in their efforts to join the overseas market.
 ただ、中小企業が単独で海外市場を開拓するハードルは高い。意欲的な企業を後押しする体制づくりが欠かせない。

Attempts should be made to help smaller corporations better pursue their goal of starting operations overseas. Measures may include a close information exchange between the government and the Japan External Trade Organization so companies can be referred to institutions that can properly assist their drive for foreign operations. It is also important to analyze cases of success and failure involving domestic companies operating overseas.
 政府や日本貿易振興機構(ジェトロ)が情報交換を緊密にし、企業に最適な機関を紹介したり、海外での成功・失敗例を分析したりする取り組みを拡充すべきだ。

It is disturbing to see that the government’s assistance measures have not been adequately made known to small and medium corporations. It should also be taken seriously that smaller corporations are dissatisfied with the lack of cooperation among organizations tasked with assisting their drives to start business overseas.
 気がかりなのは、支援策への認知度が低いことである。支援機関の連携不足に不満がくすぶるのも反省点と言えよう。

It is disconcerting as well to realize that there has been an increase in the number of small and medium companies that have been forced out of business due to the rapid aging of their top officials.
 経営者の急速な高齢化に伴い、中小企業の廃業が増えている問題も深刻である。

Also worth considering is the idea of establishing a nationwide system in which companies whose operators have no designated successors would be matched with candidates who wish to run corporations through the mediation of relevant local authorities.
 事業承継を円滑に進めるため、後継者のいない企業と、経営者志望の人材を仲介する制度を全国に整える案などは検討に値する。

Corporations need to undergo constant change in their top management. And society needs to stem a decrease in the number of people hoping to found new companies. This requires the promotion of regulatory reform aimed at easing procedures to be completed in setting up a business.
 企業の新陳代謝は必要である。起業・創業の希望者が減少していることにも歯止めをかけたい。開業手続きを簡素化する規制改革に取り組むことが急務だ。

There is no doubt that smaller businesses will find it difficult to revitalize their operations if they solely depend on assistance measures. Such corporations should deepen relations with their local financial institutions and exercise wisdom in creating new business models. We hope they will discern their advantages and concentrate their financial resources and personnel on their areas of specialty, thus improving their competitiveness.
 もちろん政策支援に頼るだけでは道のりは険しい。中小企業は地元金融機関と連携を深め、新たな事業モデルの構築に知恵を絞るべきだ。自社の強みを見極め、資金や人材を集中的に投入して、競争力を高めてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 6, 2014)

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(社説)リニア新幹線 早めにブレーキを

May 07, 2014
EDITORIAL: Maglev Shinkansen project not something to be rushed
(社説)リニア新幹線 早めにブレーキを

Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) on April 23 submitted its final assessment report to the government on the environmental impact of the new maglev bullet train service, scheduled to start in 2027 between Tokyo's Shinagawa and Nagoya.
 品川―名古屋間で2027年の開業を目指すリニア中央新幹線の環境影響評価(アセスメント)について、JR東海が最終段階の評価書を国に提出した。

The report was compiled with unprecedented speed. It was drawn up less than a month after the governors of seven prefectures along the new Chuo Shinkansen Line gave their feedback on JR Tokai's draft report issued last September.
 前段階の準備書に対し、沿線7都県知事の意見を受けてからわずか1カ月足らずという、異例の早さである。

Why the great haste?
 なぜこんなに急ぐのか。

"We did not act in haste," insisted JR Tokai President Koei Tsuge.
Be that as it may, the final report leaves too many questions unanswered.
 柘植康英(つげこうえい)社長は「拙速とは考えていない」と語るが、率直に言って評価書は疑問だらけだ。

For instance, it gives effectively no consideration to the huge volume of displaced dirt that will result from the civil engineering work, other than to perfunctorily note that JR Tokai will "repurpose part of the dirt."
 土木工事で出る膨大な残土の処理法については、「自社で再利用」としたぐらいで、ほとんどゼロ回答だった。

And with regard to concerns voiced by the Shizuoka prefectural government about a possible landslide at the proposed dirt dumping ground, the report dismisses the threat and refuses to accommodate the latter's request for changes in the plan.
「置き場が崩落する恐れ」を懸念した静岡県からの変更要請も、「安全性は十分」と一蹴した。

The report also rejects the Nagano prefectural government's request that the tracks through Oshika village be laid through a tunnel rather than on a bridge for safety reasons.
JR Tokai's reason for rejecting the change was that it would "delay the project's completion and also produce more displaced dirt."
 長野県は安全上の懸念から、大鹿村の橋梁(きょうりょう)部をトンネルに変えるよう求めたが、「工期が延び、残土も増える」と拒んだ。

The report does, however, show some improvement over last year's draft report. For instance, JR Tokai promises further studies on the impact on local wildlife.
Also, for the first time, it came up with estimates of greenhouse gas emission increases at the time the service starts. This should have been discussed in the draft report. Anyway, better late than never.
 一部の野生動物への影響を追加調査するとしたり、名古屋までの開業時点での温室効果ガス排出増加の見通しを初めて出したりと、前進した点もある。だが全体として、準備書で出しておくべき情報が今になって出てきただけ、との感は否めない。

Under Japan's environmental assessment system, local governments are no longer in a position now to formally voice their opinions to JR Tokai. This makes the responsibility that much greater for the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and the Ministry of Environment, both of which will examine the report. We expect meticulous work from them.
 環境アセスの制度上、自治体が正式に意見を出す機会はもうない。今後、評価書を審査する国土交通省と環境省の責任は重い。厳しい点検を求めたい。

Tsuge said he wants construction to begin as early as this autumn to ensure that operations start on schedule in 2027. Expectation has been voiced that an early start of this service will stimulate the nation's economy. And since JR Tokai is footing the entire bill, which is in excess of 9 trillion yen ($88.6 billion), the company obviously wants to avoid any added expenditures or delays.
 柘植社長は、27年開業に向け、今年秋にも着工したいとの考えを示した。日本経済の起爆剤として、リニアの早期開業への期待もある。9兆円超の事業費を全額負担する以上、開業が延び、経費が膨らむのを避けたいのもJR側の本音であろう。

But unlike the Tokaido Shinkansen project that needed to be completed in time for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, there is no social justification for setting 2027 as the target year for the completion of the new maglev Shinkansen project. Moreover, winning the understanding of residents along the service route, who will be affected in varying degrees, is indispensable to the project's success. JR Tokai must not be stingy with the time this will require.
 ただ、東京五輪に間に合わせる必要があった東海道新幹線と違い、27年という目標に、社会的合理性があるわけではない。他方、建設で大小の影響を被る沿線住民の理解は不可欠である。このためにかける時間を惜しんではならない。

The project will involve digging really deep under central Tokyo and building unprecedentedly long tunnels through the high-altitude Akaishi mountain range, known as the Southern Alps. There may well be unforeseen developments requiring JR Tokai to rework its plans.
 リニア計画は都心部の大深度地下や、隆起が続く南アルプスで、過去に例のない長大トンネル建設に挑む。予想外の事態で計画の練り直しを迫られる展開もありえよう。

We recommend that the company not be obsessed with the target year and be always aware of the importance of applying the brakes early, so to speak, and re-examining the project plan.
時期にこだわらず、早めにブレーキをかけて、計画を再点検することの大切さを忘れないでもらいたい。

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party, which has been strongly in favor of extending the service route beyond Nagoya to Osaka right from the start, has come up with a proposal to fast-track the project by getting the government to extend an interest-free loan of 3.6 trillion yen to help JR Tokai cover the construction costs for the extended section. But considering the time needed just for the assessment of environmental impacts of the Nagoya-Osaka stretch, we doubt that fast-tracking will be technically feasible.
 「大阪までの一括開業を」と主張する自民党は、国に3兆6千億円の建設費を無利子融資させ、工事を急がせる案をまとめた。しかし、名古屋―大阪間の環境アセスにかかる時間だけ考えても、技術的に無理だろう。

The bigger the project, the more thorough the planning must be. Getting JR Tokai to understand this is the responsibility of politicians.
 大事業であればこそ、慎重な計画づくりを促す。それが政治の果たすべき役割である。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 5

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2014年5月 7日 (水)

職場においしい野菜を導入してみませんか

これは画期的な発想の新鮮野菜お届けサービスなんです。
驚きました。
サイトに依頼すれば、新鮮で、農薬等に汚染されていない身体に優しいお野菜が、あなたの職場に毎週配達されるようになります。
職場のイメージアップ作戦としては、様々な種類のものがありますが、これもそのひとつに付け加えることができます。
企業で一番大切なのはやはり社員の健康ではないでしょうか。
社員が健康であれば、それだけたくさんのお仕事がこなせるという道理になります。
お野菜ばかりではなくて、果物も無農薬のものが配達されるので、女性社員のダイエットにも寄与できます。
この通信販売活動は、生産農家だって活性化させます。
農家だって、無農薬で安全な野菜や果物をたくさんつくって、それを販売し、収益を上げたいでしょうからね。
その仲立ちをするのが"OFFICE DE YASAI"なんです。



KOMPEITO、働く人や企業のヘルシー化を促す
オフィス向けプレミアム野菜サービス「OFFICE DE YASAI」を提供開始



ドリームニュース・ブログメディア参加記事

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袴田事件が問うもの―死刑のない社会を考える

May 06, 2014
EDITORIAL: Hakamada case reinforces arguments against death penalty
袴田事件が問うもの―死刑のない社会を考える

The Japanese government can legally end a person’s life as punishment for a crime.
 人の命を、刑罰として国家が奪う。

The Shizuoka District Court’s recent decision to order a retrial for a long-time death-row inmate reminded us afresh of the grave problems inherent in this capital punishment system.
 それがいかに重いことか、世に問いかけたのが、死刑囚袴田巌さんに対する静岡地裁の再審開始決定だ。

Iwao Hakamada was sentenced to death over a 1966 quadruple murder. If his sentence had been carried out, the state would have committed a dreadful and irreparable mistake.
 もし刑が執行されていたら、取り返しがつかなかった。

When he was released in late March after spending 48 years behind bars, Hakamada showed signs of mental illness. His condition highlighted the cruelties of living under the constant fear of being executed.
 48年ぶりに拘束をとかれた袴田さんは、精神を病んでいた。いつとも知れぬ執行と日々向き合う過酷さも垣間見えた。

INEVITABLE HUMAN ERRORS
■誤判は避けられない

Five years have passed since the “saibanin” lay judge system was introduced in Japan. Under the system, randomly selected ordinary citizens are tasked to decide whether the accused should be given a death sentence.
 裁判員制度の導入で、死刑にすべきかどうかの判断を市民が担って5年になる。

More than 80 percent of citizens support the death penalty, according to a government survey.
 政府の世論調査では、死刑の存続を8割以上が支持する。

But it can hardly be said that sufficient national debate has been held on the various issues concerning capital punishment.
 しかし、この究極の刑のあり方について、国民的な議論を十分重ねてきたとは言い難い。

Tough penalties should certainly be meted out for the unpardonable crime of murder. But is the death penalty the only possible option for such cases?
 人の命を奪う許しがたい犯罪には厳正な刑罰で臨まねばならない。だが、その選択肢はいまの死刑しかないのだろうか。

This is a question that all people living in a society that has adopted capital punishment should ask themselves.
 死刑がある社会を生きる一人ひとりが問い直すべき問題であろう。

Hakamada is certainly not the only victim of false accusations.
 振りかえれば、袴田さんだけの問題ではなかった。

During the 1980s, four death-row inmates, including Sakae Menda, were acquitted in retrials. Since 2010, four prisoners serving life sentences have been acquitted in retrials, including Toshikazu Sugaya, who was wrongfully convicted of murdering a 4-year-old girl in Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture, in 1990.
 80年代、免田栄さんら4人の死刑囚が再審で無罪を言い渡された。無期刑でも2010年以降だけで足利事件などの4人が再審無罪となっている。

These cases cannot be simply regarded as the regrettable results of sloppy criminal investigations in the old days. Just two years ago, four people were wrongfully arrested over online threats posted through their computers, which had been remotely manipulated. The four were later found innocent, but two of them had “confessed” to the crime.
 昔の捜査はいい加減だった、と片づけられることでもない。つい2年前のパソコン遠隔操作事件では、のちに無実だと分かった4人のうち2人が「自白」していた。

Some people may think that innocent people would never confess to a crime. But those suspects were held for days after their arrest. They eventually succumbed to pressure from investigators who used leading questions and coercive tactics in the interrogations.
 やってもいない罪を認めるなんてありえない、と思う人もいるだろう。だが逮捕され、連日取り調べられるなか、取調官の誘導や強要に屈して虚偽の自白をすることが現実に起きた。

Humans prosecute and judge others under the criminal justice system, so it must be assumed that false accusations and wrongful convictions can occur.
 人間が犯した罪を、訴追し、裁くのもまた人間だ。誤判はありうるという前提に立って、考えざるをえない。

BEYOND EYE-FOR-EYE JUSTICE
■「報い」を超えて

Since the second half of the 20th century, many nations, mainly in Europe, have abolished capital punishment.
 20世紀後半以降、先進国では欧州を中心に死刑の廃絶が進んだ。

Among industrialized nations today, only Japan and some U.S. states still execute criminals. South Korea and Russia stopped conducting executions in the 1990s, effectively abolishing the death penalty.
執行を続けるのは、米国の一部の州と日本だけだ。韓国、ロシアは90年代に執行を止め、事実上の廃止国になった。

Punishments against crimes are based on each country’s social culture, and simply following the global trend may not be the best answer.
 刑罰はそれぞれの社会文化に根ざしている。世界の潮流に従えばいいというものではない。

Heinous crimes and people demanding severe punishments exist in any country. But many countries have chosen something other than capital punishment as the maximum penalty. Japan would probably be better off learning from their views and opinions.
だが、どの国にも憎むべき犯罪があり、厳しい世論がある状況を抱えつつ、死刑ではない最高刑を選んできた。その知見から学ぶことはあるはずだ。

Under another widely adopted approach, executions are suspended temporarily to allow a public consensus to emerge on the issue through in-depth debate.
 死刑の執行を一時停止し、議論の深まりを待つ方法も広くとられてきた。

In the Japanese government’s poll on the issue, more than half of the respondents who supported the death penalty cited concerns that abolishing capital punishment would lead to an increase in vicious crimes. But there is no clear proof that the death penalty is an effective deterrent to crime.
 政府の世論調査では、死刑存続を支持する人の半数以上が、廃止すると凶悪犯罪が増えることを理由に挙げた。しかし、死刑に特別な抑止力があるかどうかは、立証されていない。

Many respondents also supported the notion that people who have committed heinous crimes should pay with their lives.
 凶悪犯罪には命をもって償うべきだという理由を挙げる人も多かった。

Although atrocious crimes spark broad and strong public demands for heavy punishments, death sentences are not handed down in all of these cases. The difficulty in dealing with the issue lies in the fact that a criminal penalty should not be regarded as merely the price for a crime.
 だが今でも、社会の処罰感情が強い犯罪のすべてに死刑が適用されているわけではない。刑を「報い」としてだけでとらえるべきでない難しさがある。

The suffering is immeasurable among people who have lost family members and loved ones due to criminal activities. Their demands for severe penalties against the culprits are understandable.
 犯罪で家族や愛する人を奪われた遺族らの厳罰を求める気持ちは当然のものだ。その痛みは計り知れない。

But some bereaved families want the offenders to live out their lives making amends for the crimes they have committed.
 一方で、あえて加害者に生きて償うことを要望する遺族もいる。

It is impossible to punish criminals in a way that can satisfy all the diverse feelings of the victims and their families. What is important is to ensure that society provides support for crime victims and bereaved families.
被害者のさまざまな思いを加害者の刑に反映させるには、限界がある。必要なのは、被害者と遺族を社会がいかに手厚く支えていくかではないか。

In some abhorrent cases, families can no longer live in their homes where crimes have taken the lives of family members, and the perpetrators refuse to offer apologies let alone compensation for the suffering they caused.
 突然、犯罪で家族を失い、現場になった自宅にも住めない。加害者からは被害弁済どころか反省の言葉さえない。そんな不条理なことが現にある。

Systems have been established in recent years to allow crime victims to take part in the trials of the suspects and to receive information on how the sentences have been carried out.
 近年になって被害者が裁判に参加する制度や、加害者の刑の執行状況を知らせる制度などが整ってはきた。

But much more needs to be done to ensure that crime victims can receive sufficient financial support and psychological care.
それでも金銭的な支援、心理的なケアなど取り組むべきことは多い。

The government should consider long-term support to help crime victims deal with various difficulties.
 犯罪に起因するさまざまな困難と向き合う、息の長い支援を考えていかねばならない。

LIMITED INFORMATION DISCLOSURE
■限られた情報公開

Japan had 132 inmates on death row at the end of April.
 4月末現在、確定死刑囚は132人いる。

Until seven years ago, the Justice Ministry didn’t publish the names of executed inmates or the locations where the executions were conducted. The ministry showed execution sites to Diet members and journalists, but such efforts for information disclosure proved temporary.
 法務省は7年前まで、死刑執行の対象者の名前や場所などを公にしてこなかった。国会議員や報道機関に刑場を公開したこともあるが、一時的なもので終わった。

The government has been keeping strict control on information concerning executions. Such a show of public authority has serious implications. There is no denying that the government’s reluctance to disclose information about executions has hampered healthy public debate on capital punishment.
 死刑執行がきわめて重い公権力の行使でありながら、政府は情報公開を極度に制限してきた。これが死刑をめぐる議論を妨げてきたことは否めない。

Another issue is whether hanging is an appropriate execution method. Nearly six decades have passed since the Supreme Court ruled that death by hanging did not violate the constitutional ban on cruel penalties. Even some experts who support capital punishment are calling for a review of this method.
 絞首刑という方法がふさわしいかも論点だろう。残虐な刑罰を禁じる憲法に反しないとする最高裁判決から約60年がたつ。死刑存続派の識者からも見直しを求める意見が出ている。

A multipartisan group of lawmakers against the death penalty once considered proposing life imprisonment without parole as an alternative to capital punishment.
 超党派の国会議員でつくる死刑廃止議連は、仮釈放のない無期刑(重無期刑)の新設を検討していた。

It has long been pointed out that the gap is too large between capital punishment and a life sentence, which is actually an “indefinite” prison term with the possibility of parole that may lead to the offender’s return to society.
いずれ社会に戻れるかもしれない無期刑と死刑の落差はかねて指摘されてきた。

The government has been avoiding asking citizens what they think of life imprisonment without parole as an alternative to the death penalty. But this is a question that the government itself should face head-on.
 死刑の代替刑として、重無期刑をどのように考えるか。政府は市民に意見を問うことを避けてきたが、正面から向き合うべき問題ではないか。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 6

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2014年5月 6日 (火)

こどもの日 無限の可能性を大切に育もう

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:09 pm, May 05, 2014
Children need help to ensure their unlimited potential blossoms
こどもの日 無限の可能性を大切に育もう

“That one step, leads to the future, the path to dreams.”
 「そのいっぽ みらいにつづく ゆめのみち」――。

This slogan for child welfare week, which starts on Children’s Day on Monday, was composed by a 7-year-old girl in Chiba Prefecture. The slogan evokes a sense of the unlimited potential of children. We should nurture it with care.
「こどもの日」から始まる児童福祉週間の今年の標語だ。千葉県の7歳の女の子が作った。子供の無限の可能性が感じられる。それを大切に育みたい。

An increasing number of primary schools across the nation have been holding an event, dubbed “one-half coming-of-age ceremony,” to commemorate children reaching the age of 10, half the 20 years they must reach to come of age. The event, for fourth graders, became popular after a Japanese textbook introduced it about 10 years ago.
 各地の小学校で近年、「2分の1成人式」という催しが広まっている。20歳を祝う成人式の半分の10歳を迎えたことを記念して、4年生を対象に行われる。10年ほど前、国語の教科書で紹介されたのを機に盛んになったという。

The event generally features children talking about their future dreams and expressing gratitude to their families in front of an audience, as well as parents handing their children letters that look back on their earlier years.
 子供が将来の夢や家族への感謝の言葉を発表したり、保護者が子供に、その成長を振り返る手紙を贈ったりするのが一般的だ。

A survey of parents revealed that they thought the ceremony provided children an opportunity to move toward becoming independent. Some respondents said their children became more aware of their responsibilities about their own lives and began to do homework and help out at home on their own initiative, while others said their children began to meekly listen to what their parents had to say when they were scolded, although they showed their resentment in the past.
The event significantly helps children’s growth as it provides an opportunity for them to nurture their dreams and set their minds on goals for the future.
 「自分の人生に対する責任を自覚したことで、宿題やお手伝いを進んでやり始めた」「叱っても以前のようにふてくされず、素直に聞くようになった」
 保護者を対象にしたアンケートからは、式をきっかけに自立へ向けて歩み始めた子供たちの様子が伝わってくる。
 自らの夢を膨らませ、将来への決意を新たにする。子供の成長にとって大きな意味を持つ取り組みと言えるだろう。

Financial problems

However, it is true that not all families can provide the stability needed for children to channel their energy into studying without anxiety.
 ただ、子供たちが安心して勉強に励めるような、安定した家庭ばかりではないのも事実だ。

The percentage of children in financially strapped families, whose incomes are less than half of the median income of Japanese households, is on the rise. In 2009, this percentage registered a record 15.7 percent, meaning that about one out of six children came from such families.
 所得が国民全体の中央値の半分に満たない。そうした貧困家庭で暮らす子供の割合は、増加傾向にある。2009年には、これまでで最悪の15・7%に達した。ほぼ6人に1人にあたる。

There is a conspicuous number of cases in which children have been unable to attend high school or university for financial reasons, preventing them from landing stable jobs. This “chain of poverty” from parents to children must be broken.
 経済上の理由で高校や大学に進学できず、安定した仕事に就けないケースも目立つ。親から子への「貧困の連鎖」を断ち切らなければならない。

A law dealing with child poverty, which was put into force in January, obliges the state to take countermeasures to help such children. As early as July the government is expected to decide on a set of specific measures, which we hope will contain effective steps.
 子どもの貧困対策法が1月に施行され、必要な施策を実施することが国の責務となった。7月にも具体策を定めた大綱が決まる。実効性のある内容が求められる。

The Saitama prefectural government has entrusted a private organization to provide free after-school classes to middle school students whose families receive livelihood protection benefits, a measure that has proved effective in raising the ratio of children advancing to high school. Under the program, former teachers and others instruct students or regularly visit their homes. The carefully thought-out support is a model for other municipal governments trying to come up with appropriate measures.
 埼玉県は、民間団体に委託して、生活保護世帯の中学生向けに無料の学習教室を開き、高校進学率を向上させた。教員OBらが勉強を教え、定期的に家庭訪問もする。きめ細かい支援は他の自治体の参考になろう。

Families struggling with poverty and other livelihood problems tend to be isolated, which makes it difficult for public support to reach them. Establishing a regime to keep an eye on parents and children from both the pregnancy and child-rearing stages and then to provide crucial help is an important challenge. The task also is essential to prevent child abuse.
 貧困に限らず、生活上の困難を抱える家庭は孤立しがちで、支援が届きにくい。妊娠・出産期から子供と親を見守り、早期に適切な支援につなぐ体制を作る。児童虐待を防ぐ上でも重要な課題だ。

It is the responsibility of adults to build a society in which all children feel welcome after they enter this world and that they are treated with love.
 生まれてきたことを歓迎され、大切にされていると、すべての子供が実感できる。そんな社会を築くことが、大人の責任である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 5, 2014)

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ウクライナ混迷 国際合意に背を向けるロシア

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:11 pm, May 05, 2014
Russia continues to turn its back on intl accord over Ukraine crisis
ウクライナ混迷 国際合意に背を向けるロシア

The chaos roiling Ukraine continues to intensify. It is inevitable for Russia to find itself under fire in the international community, as the Kremlin continues to make no effort to rein in armed pro-Russian separatist groups that have perpetrated an uninterrupted series of illegal activities.
 ウクライナの混乱に拍車がかかっている。違法活動を続ける親ロシア派武装集団を制止しないロシアに非難が集まるのもやむを得まい。

In the east of the deeply divided country, where Russian-speakers and people of Russian heritage make up a significant part of the populace, illegal occupations of Ukraine’s local government buildings and police stations by pro-Russian gunmen have grown in number.
 ロシア系住民の多いウクライナ東部で、親露派武装集団による、地方政府庁舎や警察署の不法占拠が拡大している。

There have been casualties in armed conflicts that saw troops of the interim authorities attempting to repel pro-Russian militants by force. Many have also died in clashes between pro-Russian activists and forces in support of Kiev in southern Ukraine. These conflicts are signs of an extremely grave situation.
 強制排除しようとした暫定政権の部隊と親露派との間の戦闘で、死傷者が出ている。親露派と暫定政府支持派の衝突は、南部でも激化し、多数が死亡した。極めて懸念される事態である。

On April 17, the United States, Russia, the Ukraine interim government and the European Union reached an agreement in Geneva calling for the illegally armed separatists to surrender their weapons and leave all illegally occupied buildings.
 米国、ロシア、ウクライナ暫定政府、欧州連合(EU)の4者は4月17日、ジュネーブで、不法な武装集団の武装解除や、不法占拠した建物の明け渡しなどを求めることで合意した。

But two weeks after the accord, the situation continues to degenerate.
 しかし、2週間以上が過ぎても、状況は悪化するばかりだ。

Leaders of the Group of Seven major powers have condemned Moscow for failing to take action over the pro-Russian militants to comply with the Geneva agreement, and have decided to impose additional sanctions on Russia.
 先進7か国(G7)首脳は、ロシアが親露派に合意の履行を働きかけていないと批判して、ロシアへの制裁の強化に踏み切った。

There can be no doubt Russia has failed to press the pro-Russian separatists to surrender their weapons and leave the occupied buildings. Strengthened sanctions should be seen as the obvious and natural outcome.
 ロシアが親露派に武装解除や明け渡しを迫っていないのは、事実だ。制裁強化は当然だろう。

The United States has made pointed criticism of Russia, asserting that Russian special operation squads and others have continued their active involvement in campaigns aimed at further destabilizing the eastern region of Ukraine. Russia’s machinations bring to mind the Russian forces that acted in tandem with pro-Russian separatists in the run-up to the annexation of the strategic Crimean Peninsula in March.
 米国は、ロシアの特殊部隊などが、東部の不安定化に積極的関与を続けているとも非難している。ロシアへの編入前のクリミア半島で、露軍兵士が親露派と共に行動したのを想起させる動きだ。

Presidential election a key

Moscow, for its part, has denied any involvement in supporting the separatists, countering that it is the duty of the interim authorities in Kiev to disarm anti-Russian extreme right-wing groups.
 ロシアは、関与を否定し、暫定政府こそ反露的な極右集団の武装解除をすべきだと反論している。

As it stands, Russia continues a large-scale deployment of its troops near its border with Ukraine.
露軍は依然、ウクライナとの国境近くに大規模に展開中だ。

There seems to be no prospect of a breakthrough toward peace so long as things remain as they are. Under these complicated circumstances, the international community must make every possible effort to defuse the situation, not only by strengthening sanctions against Russia, but also by facilitating support for the interim government and for consultations among all parties involved.
 このままでは展望は開けまい。国際社会は、制裁に加えて、暫定政府の支援や関係国間の協議を通じ、事態打開を模索すべきだ。

Ukraine’s presidential election, scheduled for May 25, will undoubtedly be a focus of global attention. The interim authorities, in an apparent nod to demands from Russian-speaking residents for expanded autonomy, is considering a vote concerning the decentralization of authority. If the vote produces a full-fledged administration, there will arise a possibility for resolving the crisis through political processes.
 今後の焦点は、今月25日のウクライナ大統領選だ。暫定政府は、自治の拡大を求めるロシア系住民に配慮し、分権化を問う投票も検討している。本格政権が選出されれば、危機の解決に向けた政治プロセスの始まりともなろう。

The pro-Russian militants in the east, however, have adopted a stance rejecting the presidential election and plan to carry out a “referendum” at the local level concerning secession from Ukraine.
 だが、東部の親露派は大統領選を認めない姿勢を示し、ウクライナからの分離の是非を問う独自の「住民投票」も計画している。

The international community should throw its support behind the interim authorities to enable a nationwide presidential contest, including voting in the eastern regions.
 国際社会は、大統領選が東部でも実施されるように、暫定政府を後押しすることが求められる。

The agreement just reached between U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to mete out additional sanctions against Russia in the event that Moscow attempts to obstruct the presidential election process is an international effort aimed at just that objective.
 オバマ米大統領とメルケル独首相が会談し、ロシアが大統領選を妨害するなら、一層の追加的制裁を行う方針で合意したのも、そうした狙いからだろう。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has expressed his intent to support these ends by sending a team of Japanese officials to join election observers. Our nation, too, should play a role in helping Ukraine to overcome this crisis.
 安倍首相は、選挙監視団に要員を派遣すると表明した。日本も危機収拾のために貢献したい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 5, 2014)

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(社説)中国新疆テロ 民族政策の失敗だろう

May 05, 2014
EDITORIAL: Xinjiang bombing reflects China’s flawed policy toward minorities
(社説)中国新疆テロ 民族政策の失敗だろう

China has been hit by a string of violent incidents linked to problems concerning ethnic minorities in the country.
 中国で少数民族問題を背景とする事件が相次いでいる。

Last week, a bombing incident in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, caused many casualties. The two suspects, who both died, were reportedly Uighur men.
 新疆ウイグル自治区のウルムチで先週、爆破事件があり、多くの死傷者が出た。死亡した2人の容疑者はウイグル族の男性だという。

The attack came at the conclusion of a four-day visit to Xinjiang by President Xi Jinping. During his inspection tour in the region, Xi urged local officials to make every possible effort to ensure public safety.
 その当日まで、習近平(シーチンピン)国家主席が4日間にわたり新疆各地を視察し、治安対策に万全を期すよう指示した矢先だった。

The timing and location of the attack appear to signal a bold challenge to the Xi administration.
 事件の時間と場所の選び方には、習政権に挑みかかるかのような意図すらうかがわれる。

It is infuriating that the attack, carried out in front of a train station, a public place, caused casualties among innocent citizens who happened to be there at the time. Such indiscriminate terrorism, whatever the purpose may be, is absolutely unpardonable.
 駅前という公共の場所で罪のない市民を巻き込むことに強い憤りを覚える。こうした無差別テロは決して許されない。

Having said that, we want to pose a question to the Chinese government. Why do incidents of violence related to Uighurs keep occurring so frequently even though successive governments in Beijing have pledged to respect the rights of ethnic minorities as their policy?
 そのうえで中国政府に問いたい。歴代政権は少数民族の権利を尊重する方針を掲げてきたのに、なぜウイグル族に関係する事件がこうも続発するのか。

In another incident last autumn that is still fresh in our memories, a car with three members of a Uighur family inside plowed into Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
 昨秋、北京・天安門にウイグル族の一家3人が自動車ごと突っ込んだ事件は記憶に新しい。

Since then, reported incidents related to Uighurs have taken place at a rate of about one a month.
以後、伝えられるものだけでほぼ1カ月に1度、ウイグル族に絡む事件が起きている。

These gloomy episodes indicate a failure of the policy toward ethnic minorities adopted by the Communist Party administration, which is composed mainly of Han Chinese, who constitute 90 percent of the country’s population.
 これは、人口の9割を占める漢族主体の共産党政権が、少数民族政策に失敗したことを意味しているのではないか。

Every time such an incident happens, the Chinese government describes the culprits as “violent elements seeking to break up China while acting in concert with an organization based overseas.”
 犯行グループは「国外組織と連絡をとりつつ我が国の分裂を図る暴力分子」。中国政府は事件のたびに、そう説明する。

By issuing such statements, Chinese leaders are effectively claiming that the government is making ardent efforts to promote economic development of Xinjiang, and that its policy toward Uighurs is working. Beijing is trying to characterize the perpetrators of these incidents as heretics isolated in society.
 中国政府は新疆の経済発展に力を注いでおり、ウイグル族への施策はうまくいっている。事件を起こすのは民意から遊離した連中だ――というわけだ。

Indeed, there has been a movement for political independence among Uighurs. There is also an organization to promote the movement outside China.
 確かにウイグル族の間で政治的独立をめざす動きはあった。国外にも組織がある。

But these facts do not necessarily support the argument that all these incidents were politically motivated.
しかし、だからといって、これほど相次ぐ事件は政治的動機だけでは説明しきれない。

Many of the reported incidents were apparently triggered by troubles concerning the daily lives of Uighur people.
むしろ、日常の中でのトラブルから発展する事件のほうが目につく。

Last summer, for example, a standoff between locals and police turned violent in Hotan, a city in Xinjiang. The Chinese government described that incident as rioting by an armed group. But it was actually a disturbance triggered by the move of local authorities to shut down a mosque used by Uighurs.
 例えば昨年夏、同じ新疆の都市ホータンで「武装集団による騒ぎ」とされた事件は、ウイグル族のイスラム教礼拝所が地元当局の圧力で使えなくなったことによる騒動だった。

The family that carried out the Tiananmen Square attack last autumn is said to have repeatedly filed complaints with the local authorities over a certain problem.
 昨秋の天安門突入事件を起こした一家は、地元政府に何らかの不満があって陳情を繰り返していたと伝えられる。

It seems there is deep distrust between authorities and Uighurs stemming from administrative problems.
 行政の現場で、当局者とウイグル族住民との信頼関係が壊れているのではないか。

The distrust will only grow if, under these circumstances, the Chinese government tramples on the social and religious customs of Uighurs under the pretext of anti-terrorist measures.
そのうえさらにテロ対策の名のもとに、生活や信仰上の習慣をふみにじるようなことになれば、不信感の増大を招くだけだ。

The situation cannot improve as long as this cycle of terrorism and suppression continues.
 テロと弾圧の応酬では事態の打開はありえない。

What China, as a multiracial nation, needs now to ensure social stability is not the use of force but a wise and effective policy to bring about reconciliation.
多民族国家中国の安定にいま必要なのは、力の行使ではなく、融和を導く賢明な政治ではないか。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 4

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2014年5月 5日 (月)

大阪の校内人事 教員の規範意識が低すぎる

発音注意、
condone コンドウン(コンダンではない^^)、容赦する、許す
rem-nants of the days 時代の遺物
resorted to rubber-stamping めくら判を押す
(スラチャイ)

The Yomiuri Shimbun 4:00 am, May 05, 2014
Teachers’ respect for rules over personnel affairs extremely low
大阪の校内人事 教員の規範意識が低すぎる

To ensure the smooth functioning of schools, it is vitally important for principals to exercise adequate leadership. The failure of the head of a school to enforce his authority over school personnel affairs cannot be condoned.
 円滑に学校運営を進めるには、校長が指導力を適切に発揮することが重要である。校長が人事権を行使できない状況は看過できない。

At many publicly operated schools in the city of Osaka, as well as Osaka Prefecture and Kobe, it has been revealed that such posts as student counselor, curriculum coordinator and homeroom teacher have been filled following elections among teachers or at teachers’ meetings.
 大阪市、大阪府、神戸市などの多くの公立学校で、生徒指導主事や教務主任、学級担任の校内人事が、教職員間の選挙や職員会議などで決められていた。

The School Education Law stipulates that “Principals shall be in charge of governing school management and supervising teachers and other school staff members.”
 学校教育法は「校長は、校務をつかさどり、所属職員を監督する」と規定する。

The latest revelation shows that school personnel affairs—matters that must be decided on the responsibility and authority of school principals—have been handled in a way contrary to the law.
校内人事は、校長の責任と権限によって決定すべき事項であるにもかかわらず、法に反する運用が横行していた。

Therefore, it was natural for Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Minister Hakubun Shimomura to tell a session of the House of Representatives Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Committee last month that the practice was “extremely inappropriate.”
 下村文部科学相が、衆院文科委員会で「極めて不適切」と述べたのは当然である。

At an Osaka municipal government-run middle school in Ikuno Ward, documents show that it is customary for its principal to appoint teachers to such posts as student counselor and curriculum coordinator after they were chosen in advance through elections by teachers to ensure “school management is conducted democratically.”
 大阪市生野区の市立中学校では、「民主的な校内人事が行われる」ことを目的に、教員が投票で選んだ生徒指導主事や教務主任などを校長が任命する、という内規が文書化されていた。

This is a complete misconstruing of the term “democratic.” It has also been learned that the school’s bylaws allow the principal to allot duties in running the school only after obtaining approval from the personnel affairs coordination committee comprising representatives of the school’s teachers.
 「民主的」の意味を履き違えていると言えよう。校長は教員代表でつくる調整委員会の同意を得て、校務の分担や担任を決定する、という規定さえあった。

Shying away from friction

Such internal rules are believed to have been in place since the 1970s, and can only be considered rem-nants of the days when schoolteachers’ unions engaged in bitter rivalry with those serving in school management posts.
 内規は遅くとも1970年代には設けられた。労働組合が管理職と激しく対立した時代の遺物以外の何ものでもない。

The normative consciousness of the Osaka municipal board of education also is astonishingly low.
 大阪市教育委員会の規範意識の低さにも驚くばかりだ。

Just after being appointed head of the Ikuno Ward middle school from the private sector last year, the principal clashed with its teachers when he tried to abolish the internal rules. The board of education, however, took a hands-off approach. Instead, it criticized the principal for “lacking the ability to manage the school and failing to build good human relations with the teachers.” It even considered dismissing him.
 この中学に赴任して間もない民間出身の校長は、内規の廃止を求めて教員側と対立した。その際、市教委は対応策を示さぬまま放置し、「教員との人間関係が築けず、学校運営の能力が足りない」と校長の更迭まで検討していた。

Similar bylaws concerning how to run schools have been laid down at 101 of 458 municipally operated primary, middle and high schools in Osaka city alone.
 校内人事に関する同様の内規は、大阪市だけでも、市立小中高校など458校のうち、101校で設けられている。

At schools with such rules, principals have been frequently criticized by teachers for being “dictatorial” whenever they try to exercise authority over personnel affairs and find themselves isolated. In some cases, principals probably resorted to rubber-stamping agreements on personnel affairs following illegal elections to avoid friction with teachers.
 内規のある学校では、校長が人事権を行使すると、「強権的」と教職員から批判され、孤立するケースがしばしばあるという。あつれきを恐れる校長が、違法な人事選挙を安易に追認してきた一面もあるのではないか。

These practices could eventually lead to the degradation of the quality of education.
 教育の質の低下が心配だ。

There have been cases in which the results of personnel affairs elections among teachers were reported to have been swayed by organized votes by some teachers, while assignments of competent teachers to the right positions failed to materialize, aggravating classroom problems.
人事選挙の結果が一部教員の組織票に左右されたり、適切な人材が配置されず、学級崩壊を加速させたりした例もあるという。

What schools must do in their day-to-day activities is ensure that principals display leadership in providing children with an educational environment suited to the actual situations surrounding them.
 教育現場に求められているのは、校長がリーダーシップを発揮し、子どもの状況に応じた教育環境を整えることだ。

The education ministry plans to carry out a survey across the country concerning this problem.
 文科省は全国調査の実施を表明している。

It should waste no time in determining the actual situation and rectify problems, if any, to ensure that appointments at schools are carried out properly.
実態把握を急ぎ、適切な人事配置が行われるよう、是正を進めてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 4, 2014)

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首相欧州歴訪 防衛装備協力で連携強化せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun 4:00 am, May 05, 2014
Japan, European countries should strengthen ties in defense equipment
首相欧州歴訪 防衛装備協力で連携強化せよ

Japan and Europe are partners that give priority to keeping international order and promoting free trade. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to six European countries should give momentum to further solidifying strategic relations with Europe.
 日本と欧州は共に国際秩序を重んじ、自由貿易を推進するパートナーである。安倍首相の欧州6か国歴訪を機に戦略的関係を一層強化したい。

During their meeting, Abe and British Prime Minister David Cameron agreed to launch so-called two-plus-two talks between their foreign and defense ministers at an early date and promote joint development of defense equipment and technology. Technology for protective clothing against chemicals was among their immediate joint development projects.
 安倍首相は英国のキャメロン首相との会談で、外務・防衛閣僚会合(2プラス2)の早期開催や防衛装備品・技術の共同開発の促進で一致した。当面は化学防護服の技術などが対象となる。

The agreement was made by applying the new “three principles on transferring defense equipment” that the Cabinet approved last month to replace the previous three principles on arms exports.
 日本政府は先月、武器輸出3原則に代わる「防衛装備移転3原則」を閣議決定している。その新たな原則を適用するものだ。

Abe is scheduled to hold talks with French President Francois Hollande on Monday, during which they are expected to agree on joint development of such defense equipment as unmanned underwater vehicles.
 5日のオランド仏大統領との会談でも、無人潜水機などを念頭に開発協力で合意する見通しだ。

The government has already agreed with Australia to make vessel fluid dynamics a subject for their joint research.
 政府は既に、豪州との間でも、船舶の流体力学分野を研究課題とすることで合意している。

Such bilateral cooperation in the field of defense equipment will not only improve defense technology, but also curb development costs. The efforts are likely to embody a “proactive contribution to peace,” a diplomatic policy pursued by the Abe administration.
 こうした防衛装備面の協力は、防衛技術を向上させるとともに、開発費の抑制にもつながる。安倍政権の掲げる「積極的平和主義」の具体化にもなろう。

The administration should therefore collect intelligence in earnest and carry out the necessary discussions to determine what defense equipment and technology should be developed to maximize the benefits for both parties in an agreement.
 どんな装備・技術の共同研究・開発を進めれば、双方にとってメリットが大きいか、真剣に情報収集し、議論を重ねるべきだ。

Sending a message to China

In separate meetings, Abe confirmed with Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel the importance of obeying international law in connection with the East Asian situation. Moreover, a joint statement by Abe and Cameron clearly stated that the two nations confirmed their commitment to the freedom of navigation and overflight.
 キャメロン首相やドイツのメルケル首相との会談では、東アジア情勢に関連し、国際法を順守する重要性を確認した。日英の共同声明には「航行及び上空飛行の自由」を尊重することも明記した。

These actions were all made in light of China’s attempts to change the status quo by force through such actions as establishing an air defense identification zone. Japan should use every opportunity to gain international solidarity in urging China to abide by international rules.
 東シナ海での防空識別圏の設定など、力による現状変更を試みる中国を念頭に置いたものだ。中国に国際ルールの順守を求めるには、様々な機会を通じて国際社会の結束を強めることが重要だ。

On another issue, it was significant that Abe concurred with the British and German leaders on the necessity of working toward concluding the thorny talks on an economic partnership agreement between Japan and the European Union next year.
 一方、難航する日本と欧州連合(EU)との経済連携協定(EPA)交渉について、英独首脳との会談で、来年の妥結を目指すことで一致した意義も大きい。

The EU is somewhat behind in its talks with Japan compared with the talks between Tokyo and Washington, which made significant progress toward sealing a final accord on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade framework.
 環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉の最終合意へ日米協議が大きく前進したため、欧州には出遅れ感がうかがえる。

Issues including the EU’s removal of high tariffs on automobiles and TVs are at the center of the Japan-EU negotiations. Taking advantage of the current momentum, both sides should expedite talks to find common ground.
 EPA交渉は、EUが自動車やテレビにかけている高関税の撤廃などが焦点だ。この機運を生かし、互いに妥協点を見いだすよう協議を急ぐ必要がある。

At a lecture in London, Abe urged businesses to invest in Japan.
 首相はロンドンでの講演で、対日投資の促進を呼びかけた。

Referring to the nation’s regulatory barriers as solid bedrock, Abe stressed that “the drill bit is spinning at the fastest possible speed” to break through that bedrock. He also indicated his willingness to lower the effective corporate tax, saying, “We’re going to improve our corporate taxation still further.”
 障壁になっている岩盤規制を切り崩す「ドリルの刃は最大速度で回転している」と強調した。法人税についても「改革を一層進める」と明言し、実効税率の引き下げに意欲を示した。

That Abe made international pledges carries weight. The prime minister should exercise leadership in realizing regulatory reform as well as fixing corporate taxation.
 国際公約した意味は重い。首相は指導力を発揮し、規制緩和や法人税改革を実現すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 4, 2014)

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2014年5月 4日 (日)

憲法記念日 集団的自衛権で抑止力高めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun 6:47 pm, May 03, 2014
Collective self-defense a necessity for Japan in a changed world
憲法記念日 集団的自衛権で抑止力高めよ

 ◆解釈変更は立憲主義に反しない

Constitution Day on Saturday marks 67 years since the nation’s supreme law came into force, a period during which Japan has witnessed tectonic changes in the situation surrounding it.
 きょうは憲法記念日。憲法が施行されてから67周年となる。
 この間、日本を巡る状況は様変わりした。

In particular, Japan’s security environment has relentlessly deteriorated in recent years. At a time when U.S. power is in relative decline, North Korea is continuing its development of nuclear arms and ballistic missiles, while China is pursuing a rapid military buildup and aggressively trying to enhance its presence at sea.
 とくに近年、安全保障環境は悪化するばかりだ。米国の力が相対的に低下する中、北朝鮮は核兵器や弾道ミサイルの開発を継続し、中国が急速に軍備を増強して海洋進出を図っている。

It is an urgent task for Japan to improve its defense power and strengthen its alliance with the United States if it wants to protect its land, territorial waters and airspace as well as the people’s lives and property.
 領土・領海・領空と国民の生命、財産を守るため、防衛力を整備し、米国との同盟関係を強化することが急務である。

Being aware of these goals, the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is out to change the government’s constitutional interpretation to allow the nation to exercise the right to collective self-defense. His efforts should be highly praised.
 安倍政権が集団的自衛権の憲法解釈見直しに取り組んでいるのもこうした目的意識からであり、高く評価したい。

It is realistic to take the approach of allowing the exercise of the right by changing the government’s interpretation and having the Diet revise legislation, including the Self-Defense Forces Law, in light of the fact that revising the Constitution takes a long time.
憲法改正には時間を要する以上、政府の解釈変更と国会による自衛隊法などの改正で対応するのは現実的な判断だ。

Contradictory position
 ◆日米同盟強化に資する

The right to collective self-defense allows a nation, even when not under attack itself, to launch an armed counterattack when there is an attack on another nation with which it has close ties. This right, clearly spelled out in the U.N. Charter, is granted to all nations in the world.
 集団的自衛権とは、自国と密接な関係にある国が攻撃を受けた際に、自国が攻撃されていなくても実力で反撃する権利だ。国連憲章に明記され、すべての国に認められている。

The government’s Cabinet Legislation Bureau has a longstanding interpretation that while Japan does possess the right to collective self-defense under international law, it is not allowed to exercise that right under the Constitution. But this position is not viable by any international standard.
 集団的自衛権は「国際法上、保有するが、憲法上、行使できない」とする内閣法制局の従来の憲法解釈は、国際的には全く通用しない。

The government repeated this view over and over again during its answers to the Diet in 1981, showing restraint on the issue in part to weather stormy parliamentary debate between the conservative and progressive camps.
 この見解は1981年に政府答弁の決まり文句になった。保革対立が激しい国会論戦を乗り切ろうと、抑制的にした面もあろう。

Opponents say any change in the government interpretation would be tantamount to negating “constitutionalism that constrains the state’s power to protect the people’s rights.”
 憲法解釈の変更については、「国民の権利を守るために国家権力を縛る『立憲主義』を否定するものだ」という反論がある。

But constitutionalism is a broad idea that encompasses the concepts of guaranteeing the people’s rights as well as moving politics forward in line with constitutional principles, including the separation of powers among the administrative, legislative and judicial branches.
 だが、立憲主義とは、国民の権利保障とともに、三権分立など憲法の原理に従って政治を進めるという意味を含む幅広い概念だ。

It is difficult to fathom criticism that the move would be a denial of constitutionalism when the Cabinet, which has the right to make official interpretations of the Constitution, is taking proper procedures to seek changes in its constitutional interpretations.
 内閣には憲法の公権的解釈権がある。手順を踏んで解釈変更を問うことが、なぜ立憲主義の否定になるのか。理解に苦しむ。

It is worth mentioning that it would not be the first time that the government has changed its constitutional interpretation. The government has previously changed its interpretation of the definition of “civilian” in Article 66 of the Constitution.
 そもそも、解釈の見直しは初めてではない。政府は、過去に憲法66条の「文民」の定義に関する解釈を変えている。

Consensus on limited approval
 ◆限定容認で合意形成を

As a nation’s exercise of the right to collective self-defense does not require an “imminent and unlawful” infringement on the nation itself, some critics say that it would pave the way for Japan to follow U.S. moves to go to war on the other side of the globe. But we have to say this is nothing but a groundless agitation.
 集団的自衛権の行使容認は自国への「急迫不正」の侵害を要件としないため、「米国に追随し、地球の裏側まで戦争に参加する道を開く」との批判がある。だが、これも根拠のない扇動である。

Changing the constitutional interpretation regarding the right to collective self-defense does not mean getting involved in a war but is aimed primarily at enhancing deterrence to prevent war.
 集団的自衛権の解釈変更は、戦争に加担するのではなく、戦争を未然に防ぐ抑止力を高めることにこそ主眼がある。

If the change is reflected in reexamination of the Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation Guidelines scheduled for December, the bilateral alliance would be further strengthened. Elevating deterrence would, in fact, help decrease the possibility of Japan being involved in armed clashes.
 年末に予定される日米防衛協力の指針(ガイドライン)の見直しに解釈変更を反映すれば、同盟関係は一層強固になる。抑止力の向上によって、むしろ日本が関わる武力衝突は起きにくくなろう。

The government and the Liberal Democratic Party are considering allowing the exercise of the collective defense right to limited cases.
 政府・自民党は、集団的自衛権を行使できるケースを限定的にする方向で検討している。

Using the Supreme Court’s 1959 ruling on the so-called Sunagawa incident in 1957 as a basis, LDP Vice President Masahiko Komura calls for enabling the country to exercise its “minimum necessary self-defense right for the purpose of securing Japan’s existence as a nation.” His argument for “limited permission” is persuasive.
 憲法9条の解釈が問われた砂川事件の最高裁判決を一つの根拠に「日本の存立のための必要最小限」の集団的自衛権の行使に限って認める高村自民党副総裁の「限定容認論」には説得力がある。

Even if the Cabinet decides to change the official constitutional interpretation, it would not be possible for the right to be exercised immediately. Legal revisions by the Diet would be required.
 内閣が解釈変更を閣議決定しても、直ちに集団的自衛権を行使できるわけではない。国会による法改正手続きが欠かせない。

As legal requirements, Diet approval and a request for protection from a country under attack would be considered conditions for the exercise of the right.
 法律面では、国会承認や攻撃を受けた国からの要請などが行使の条件として考慮されている。

LDP Secretary General Shigeru Ishiba has said that if exercise of the right to collective self-defense was permitted, strict legal limits would be applied by revising such laws as the Self-Defense Forces Law and the law to cope with situations surrounding Japan that threaten the nation’s peace and security. In addition to the legislative branch, the judicial branch will check whether exercise of the right is constitutional whenever it is exercised. So abuse of the right could be prevented.
 自民党の石破幹事長は集団的自衛権の行使を容認する場合、自衛隊法や周辺事態法などを改正し、法的に厳格な縛りをかけると言明した。立法府に加え、司法も憲法違反ではないか、チェックする。濫用らんようは防止できよう。

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Your Party have expressed support for the change in constitutional interpretation regarding the right to collective self-defense.
 集団的自衛権の憲法解釈変更については、日本維新の会、みんなの党も賛意を示している。

The LDP’s coalition partner, New Komeito, remains wary of the change. The party argues that if a U.S. military ship is attacked in the sea around Japan, it can be dealt with through the exercise of the right to individual self-defense by regarding it as an armed attack on Japan.
 公明党は、依然として慎重な構えだ。日本近海で米軍艦船が攻撃された際は日本に対する武力攻撃だとみなし、個別的自衛権で対応すればいい、と主張する。

But it is difficult to draw the line on the application of the right to individual self-defense in times of emergency. Action must be taken in cooperation with an alliance partner and friendly countries by anticipating every possible situation.
 だが、有事の際、どこまで個別的自衛権を適用できるか、線引きは難しい。あらゆる事態を想定しながら、同盟国や友好国と連携した行動をとらねばならない。

‘Minor self-defense right’
 ◆緊急事態への対処も

It is also possible that emergencies stopping short of armed attacks will happen. It is necessary to study establishing legal arrangements to cope with such cases by exercising what is called the “minor self-defense right.”
 武力攻撃には至らないような緊急事態もあり得る。いわゆる「マイナー自衛権」で対処するための法整備も、検討すべきである。

Seven ruling and opposition parties jointly submitted to the Diet last month a bill to revise the National Referendum Law, which sets the procedures for constitutional revision. The bill is likely to be enacted before the current Diet session ends in June.
 先月、与野党7党が憲法改正の手続きを定めた国民投票法の改正案を国会に共同提出した。今国会中に成立する見通しだ。

Given this view, initiation of a constitutional amendment will become a realistic option. The ruling and opposition parties need to launch debate on revision of specific provisions by cherishing a wide-ranging consensus formed through the joint sponsorship of the revision bill.
 憲法改正の発議が現実味を帯びてくるだろう。与野党は共同提出を通じて形成された幅広い合意を大切にして、具体的な条項の改正論議を始める必要がある。

The Abe administration is urged to proactively explain the need for constitutional revision so that it can win support from a wider range of the people.
 安倍政権には、憲法改正の必要性を積極的に国民に訴え、理解を広げていくことも求めたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 3, 2014)

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安倍政権と憲法―平和主義の要を壊すな

May 03, 2014
EDITORIAL: Abe taking pacifist Constitution away from the people
安倍政権と憲法―平和主義の要を壊すな

Japan’s Constitution cannot be revised with a simple majority vote in the Diet.
 国会の多数決だけで、憲法を改めることはできない。

Any constitutional amendment must first be initiated through a vote of two-thirds or more of all members of each house in the Diet and then approved by the public with a majority vote in a special referendum. This procedure is stipulated in Article 96 of the Constitution.
 憲法を改正するには、衆参両院の3分の2以上の賛成で発議し、国民投票で過半数の承認を得なければならない。憲法96条が定める手続きだ。

Last spring, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe began a political campaign to make it easier to rewrite the Constitution by easing this procedure, but later gave up the idea.
 安倍首相は昨春、この手続きを緩めようとして断念した。

Abe’s attempt was foiled by opposition expressed by many Japanese who became aware of its dangerous implications. They realized that if the government is allowed to change the Constitution at will, the all-important principles of constitutionalism, which restrict the power of government, would be violated.
 時の政権の意向だけで憲法が変えられては、権力にしばりをかける立憲主義が侵される。こう気づいた多くの国民が、反対の声を上げたからだ。

Abe is now seeking to tamper with the supreme law in a different way.
 安倍首相は、今年は違うやり方で、再び憲法に手をつけようとしている。

Instead of pursuing a change in a constitutional provision, the prime minister is working to enable Japan to exercise its right to collective self-defense through a Cabinet decision to change the government’s interpretation of the Constitution regarding the issue. The government’s traditional position has been that Japan has the right to collective self-defense, but is banned by the Constitution from exercising that right.
 条文はいじらない。かわりに9条の解釈を変更する閣議決定によって、「行使できない」としてきた集団的自衛権を使えるようにするという。

This way, even a Diet vote is not needed to make the policy change, which raises some serious constitutional questions.
これだと国会の議決さえ必要ない。

What would be the consequences of that step? The pacifist ideal of the Constitution would lose its spirit even if it remains alive in form.
 その結果どうなるか。日本国憲法の平和主義は形としては残っても、その魂が奪われることになるのは明らかだ。

COLLECTIVE SELF-DEFENSE MEANS DEFENDING ALLIES
■本質は他国の防衛

Some policymakers within the government have proposed to make it clear that Japan’s exercise of its right to collective self-defense would be limited to the minimum necessary--only in areas surrounding Japan and in situations where it is needed to ensure the nation’s existence.
 政権内ではこんな議論がされている。集団的自衛権の行使は日本周辺で「わが国の存立を全うする」ための必要最小限に限る。

They argue that the 1959 Supreme Court ruling over the so-called Sunagawa Incident, which concerned the constitutionality of the presence of U.S. forces in Japan, didn’t ban Japan from using its right to collective self-defense. The ruling actually said, “It is indisputable that, as an act of exercising its proper powers as a nation, Japan is allowed to take self-defense measures that are necessary for maintaining its own peace and security and ensuring its existence.”
それは59年の砂川事件の最高裁判決も認めている――。

These policymakers are making the case for allowing Japan limited use of its right to collective self-defense.
いわゆる「限定容認論」だ。

One example often cited in this argument is a situation in which a U.S. warship comes under attack in waters near Japan. Abe and other proponents of the proposal ask whether it is acceptable that the Self-Defense Forces are not allowed to come to rescue when a U.S. naval vessel operating to defend Japan comes under attack. They warn that the SDF’s failure to help a U.S. ship in such a situation would mean an end to Japan’s security alliance with the United States.
 しばしば例示されるのは、日本近海での米艦防護だ。首相らは日本を守るため警戒中の米艦が襲われた時、自衛隊が救えなくていいのかと問う。それでは日米同盟は終わる、とも。

But many people in and outside the government believe the SDF can respond to such cases as part of Japan’s exercise of its right to individual self-defense or its police authority.
 しかし、これは日本の個別的自衛権や警察権で対応できるとの見解が政府内外に根強い。

In other words, this problem can be solved without treating it as the constitutional issue of collective self-defense. There is no need to use a distorted interpretation of the Supreme Court ruling over the Sunagawa Incident, which only acknowledged Japan’s right to individual self-defense, as a tool to promote the case for collective self-defense.
 ことさら集団的自衛権という憲法の問題にしなくても、解決できるということだ。日本の個別的自衛権を認めたに過ぎない砂川判決を、ねじ曲げて援用する必要もない。

A decision to allow Japan to use its right to collective self-defense, even if the use is limited to the minimum necessary, would amount to a total about-face on the traditional security policy.
 仮に集団的自衛権の行使を認めれば、どんなに必要最小限だといっても、これまでの政策から百八十度の転換となる。

Collective self-defense, by nature, involves the defense of other countries. But a small leak can eventually sink a great ship.
 集団的自衛権の本質は、他国の防衛という点にある。アリの一穴は必ず広がる。

It is difficult to impose an effective restriction on Japan’s use of its military power that is clearer than the current rule that Japan can only use armed force when it is directly attacked.
「日本が攻撃された時だけ武力を行使する」という以上に明確な歯止めを設けることは困難だ。

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s draft proposal to revise the Constitution calls for making the SDF full-fledged national defense forces that can take part in collective self-defense operations.
 自民党の憲法改正草案は、自衛隊を集団的自衛権も行使できる「国防軍」にするという。

What the Abe administration is trying to achieve is realizing this proposal without making an amendment to the Constitution through the established formal procedure.
安倍政権がやろうとしていることは、憲法を変えずにこれを実現しようというに等しい。

The administration is making an outrageous attempt to push through an effective constitutional amendment based on a government proposal merely through discussions within the ruling camp.
 政府が方針を決め、与党協議だけで実質的な改憲をしてしまおうという乱暴さ。

Why is the Abe administration getting away with such unacceptable behavior?
なぜ、こんなことがまかり通ろうとしているのか。

NO EFFECTIVE CHECKS ON GOVERNMENT BY LEGISLATURE
■行政府への抑止なく

The most obvious factor behind this distressing political landscape is the inability of the Diet to do its job properly. It is failing to perform its role of clarifying important policy issues through discussions in order to provoke meaningful public debate.
 真っ先に目につくのは国会の無力だ。論争によって問題点を明らかにし、世論を喚起する。この役割が果たせていない。

Abe has been making little effort to offer serious answers to questions from opposition parties in the Diet, and the wretchedly weakened opposition has been letting him get away with it.
 対立する政党の質問にまともに答えようとしない首相。それを許してしまう野党の弱さは、目を覆うばかりだ。

Some LDP lawmakers who initially voiced skepticism about Abe’s initiative have quickly become extremely quiet, apparently after the prime minister started signaling the possibility of a Cabinet and party leadership reshuffle.
 自民党内にあった慎重論も、内閣改造や党人事がちらついたのか、またたく間にしぼんだ。

The nation’s legislature is totally impotent to monitor and check the behavior of the administration in any effective way to prevent its dangerous moves.
 立法府から行政府への監視や抑止がまるで利かない現状。

What would happen if, to top it all, the constitutional restriction on Japan’s use of its military capabilities is removed?
そのうえ、憲法の歯止めがなくなればどうなるか。

Japan has been following U.S. military policy. It doesn’t take a huge leap of faith to foresee the scope of SDF operations expanding beyond the “minimum necessary” under pressure from Washington.
米国の軍事政策に追従し続けてきた日本だ。米国の要請に押され自衛隊の活動が「必要最小限」を超えるのは想像に難くない。

In 2003, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi supported U.S. President George W. Bush’s decision to declare war on Iraq and, in response to a U.S. request, sent SDF troops to the Middle East to support reconstruction efforts.
 03年のイラク戦争で、小泉首相はブッシュ大統領の開戦の決断を支持し、自衛隊を復興支援に派遣した。

Koizumi justified his decisions simply by repeating that supporting the United States was in Japan’s best interest. The Koizumi administration showed no signs of making objective, cool-headed assessments of the situation.
小泉氏の理屈は「米国支持が国益にかなう」の一点張り。情勢を客観的に判断する姿勢は見えなかった。

Abe has established the National Security Council. But the minutes of its meetings have not been published, and the newly enacted state secrets protection law is likely to allow the government to keep the public in the dark about the process of making policy decisions to mobilize the SDF.
 安倍首相は国家安全保障会議を発足させた。だが、議事録は公開されず、特定秘密保護法によって自衛隊を動かす政策決定過程は闇に閉ざされそうだ。

Under these circumstances, would the government be able to make the right decision should it be asked to send SDF troops to battlefields of another U.S.-led war? Would the Diet and the public be able to stop such a deployment of the SDF?
 こんな体制のもと、第二のイラク戦争への参加を求められたら、政府は正しい判断を下せるのか。国会や国民がそれを止めることができるのか。

DON'T TAKE CONSTITUTION FROM THE PEOPLE
■憲法を取り上げるな

Some administration officials are saying the government should try to win the support of as many members of the public as possible for the initiative, which would allow the government to mobilize SDF troops for participation in collective self-defense operations.
 「自衛隊員に出動命令を出すからには、一人でも多くの国民の理解を得たい」。政権の中からはこんな声が聞こえる。

If the government insists on making it possible for Japan to exercise its right to collective self-defense, there is only one path it should take.
 集団的自衛権の行使をどうしても認めたいというのならば、とるべき道はひとつしかない。

It should present a draft amendment to the Constitution to take the step and follow the formal procedure--initiating the amendment through a vote of a two-thirds majority in each house of the Diet and then getting it approved by the people with a majority vote at a special referendum.
そのための憲法改正案を示し、衆参両院の3分の2の賛成と国民投票での過半数の承認を得ることだ。

To be fair, the security situation in East Asia is certainly becoming dangerous due to North Korea’s development of nuclear arms and China’s aggressive military buildup. We can understand that the government is pursuing this initiative out of a desire to ensure Japan’s security.
 北朝鮮の核開発や中国の軍備増強などで、東アジアの安全保障環境は厳しくなっている。いまの議論が、日本の安全を確実にしたいという思いからきていることはわかる。

If so, the government should first start debate on legislative moves needed to deal with specific issues, instead of immediately touching the Constitution.
 ならば一足飛びに憲法にふれるのでなく、個々の案件に必要な法整備は何かという点から議論を重ねるべきではないか。

Even if the government’s proposal is reasonable from the viewpoints of policy and military needs, that doesn’t justify distorting key constitutional principles through a change in the government’s interpretation of them.
 仮に政策的、軍事的合理性があったとしても、解釈変更で憲法をねじ曲げていいという理由にはならない。

The way the Abe administration is pursuing this controversial initiative is totally inconsistent with the prime minister’s pledge to put the Constitution back in the hands of the people. Instead, it is tantamount to taking the Constitution away from the public.
 いまの政権のやり方は、首相が唱える「憲法を国民の手に取り戻す」どころか、「憲法を国民から取り上げる」ことにほかならない。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 3

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2014年5月 3日 (土)

ODAリベート 国際的な信用を損ねる行為だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun 6:47 pm, May 02, 2014
Japan firm’s illicit kickback payments harm nation’s international reputation
ODAリベート 国際的な信用を損ねる行為だ

A kickback scandal has been brought to light involving a Japanese company participating in the nation’s official development assistance projects in Asian countries.
 アジア諸国への政府開発援助(ODA)事業を巡り、不正なリベート提供が発覚した。

ODA, which is designed to help boost the economies of developing countries through the distribution of taxpayers’ money, is a key international contribution effort that Japan has been involved with for decades. Irregularities in ODA projects serve only to exacerbate corruption in recipient countries, and are bound to undermine international trust in Japan.
 公金を投入して、開発途上国の経済発展を支援するODAは、日本が長年取り組んできた重要な国際貢献活動である。その事業における不正は、相手国の腐敗を助長し、日本の国際的な信用も損ねる。

The Foreign Ministry and the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the governmental body responsible for the integrated administration of ODA projects, must be thorough in preventing irregularities from occurring again.
 外務省や、ODAを一元的に実施する国際協力機構(JICA)は、再発防止を徹底すべきだ。

The company that offered questionable kickbacks is Japan Transportation Consultants, Inc., a consulting firm mainly engaged in railway construction projects.
 リベートを提供したのは、鉄道コンサルタント会社「日本交通技術」(JTC)だ。

According to investigations by a JTC-commissioned third-party committee, the company paid kickbacks worth a total of ¥160 million to civil servants in Indonesia, Vietnam and Uzbekistan in connection with ODA-funded projects from 2009 to earlier this year.
JTCの第三者委員会の調査によると、インドネシア、ベトナム、ウズベキスタンの政府関係者らに、計1億6000万円を支払ったという。

The kickbacks are believed to have been paid in return for such things as contracts to design railway systems that the ODA recipient governments awarded to JTC. The kickbacks are suspected to have violated the Unfair Competition Prevention Law, which prohibits companies from offering bribes to foreign government officials. The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office’s special investigation squad that has just embarked on a probe of the case should make every effort to uncover the whole truth of the kickback scandal.
 資金提供は鉄道建設の設計などを受注する見返りと見られる。外国公務員への贈賄を禁じた不正競争防止法に違反する疑いがある。捜査を始めた東京地検特捜部には、全容解明を求めたい。

Officials of JTC have been quoted as saying they were under extremely strong pressure from government officials in the recipient countries to pay kickbacks. In reply to queries by the third-party committee, JTC employees involved reportedly said they were afraid of failing to win contracts if they turned down the kickback demands.
 JTCは相手国の政府関係者から、執拗しつようにリベートを要求されていた。第三者委の調査に対し、JTC社員は「要求を断れば、受注できなくなる恐れがあった」と釈明している。

U.S., Europe stringent

Payment of unlawful cash behind the scenes in connection with ODA-funded projects is rampant in many countries. JTC may have seen the clandestine kickbacks as a necessary evil.
 交渉の裏で不正な金銭のやりとりが横行する国は少なくない。JTC側には、「リベートは必要悪」との認識があったのだろう。

Providing cash to foreign government officials with the authority to issue orders for ODA-related projects is obviously illegal. It is quite natural that the third-party committee has pointed out JTC “is not a victim, subject to demands for bribes, but an accomplice in wrongdoing that promotes corruption in these countries.”
 だが、事業発注の権限を持つ公務員への資金提供は、明らかな違法行為だ。第三者委が「JTCは被害者ではなく、不正の共犯者」と批判したのは当然である。

A case was revealed in 2008 in which a Japanese company gave bribes to a Vietnamese senior government official. The incident prompted Japan’s Foreign Ministry to set up sections in 2009 at diplomatic establishments abroad and elsewhere that were exclusively tasked with providing relevant information and accepting inquiries concerning pecuniary wrongdoing.
 ODAを巡っては、2008年にベトナム高官への贈賄事件が摘発された。これを機に、外務省は翌09年、不正に関する情報や相談を受け付ける専用の窓口を在外公館などに設置した。

The president of JTC, however, was reportedly unaware that such sections even existed. It is highly regrettable that the lessons from past incidents failed to be used effectively. The ministry must redouble its efforts to ensure that the information and inquiry sections effectively prevent irregularities.
 JTCの社長は、この窓口の存在すら知らなかったという。過去の事件の教訓が生かされなかったのは残念だ。外務省は相談窓口を有効に機能させ、不正防止につなげる必要がある。

The export of infrastructure to developing countries has been defined as a major pillar of the growth strategy of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration. It is indispensable for the Foreign Ministry to scrutinize the situation in recipient countries from the planning and design stages of ODA-funded projects, and check carefully for problems with the projects’ implementation.
 開発途上国へのインフラ輸出は政府の成長戦略の柱に位置付けられている。外務省は、ODAの企画・立案段階から相手国の実情を把握し、執行状況もしっかりチェックすることが欠かせない。

Investigative authorities in the United States and European countries have taken stringent stands toward offering bribes to foreign civil servants. Some Japanese companies have been fined huge amounts over bribes abroad.
 外国公務員への贈賄に対し、欧米の捜査当局は厳しい姿勢で臨んでいる。日本企業が巨額の罰金を支払わされる事例も出ている。

Companies illegally providing funds to foreign government officials will find the practice carries a higher price than they know. Japanese firms operating overseas must take this to heart anew.
 不正な資金提供は、極めて大きな代償を伴う。海外で事業展開する日本企業は、改めて肝に銘じなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 2, 2014)

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新疆爆発事件 中国の少数民族政策に綻びも

The Yomiuri Shimbun 6:47 pm, May 02, 2014
Chinese president’s policy regarding minority ethnic groups coming apart
新疆爆発事件 中国の少数民族政策に綻びも

A bombing attack occurred recently that seemed to be aimed at President Xi Jinping’s inspection tour in a far western region of China. The incident, it may be said, highlighted the Chinese Communist Party’s difficulty in governing regions dominated by minority ethnic groups.
 習近平国家主席の視察を狙ったかのように、爆発事件が起きた。中国の少数民族地域における共産党統治の難しさを浮き彫りにしたと言える。

The incident happened at a railway station in Urumqi in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Wednesday afternoon. More than 80 people were killed or wounded. The Chinese authorities immediately deemed the fatal attack to be “an act of terrorism by mobsters.”
 新疆ウイグル自治区の区都ウルムチの鉄道駅で、4月30日午後、爆発があり、80人以上が死傷した。当局は早々に、「暴徒によるテロ事件」と断定した。

Earlier in the day, Xi inspected the Xinjiang region for the first time since becoming general secretary of the Communist Party in November 2012. He visited a mosque near the site of bombing in the morning. The bombing is strongly believed to be a premeditated attack made in tandem with Xi’s inspection schedule.
 この日、習氏は、党総書記に就任後初めて、新疆を視察しており、午前中には、爆発現場に近いイスラム教礼拝所を訪れていた。習氏の視察日程を踏まえた計画的犯行の可能性が濃厚である。

In the Xinjiang region, where nearly half the population are Uygur—a Muslim minority ethnic group—clashes have occurred between armed groups and police.
 イスラム教徒の少数民族・ウイグル族が人口の半数近くを占める新疆では、最近、武装集団と警察との衝突が相次いでいる。

Elsewhere in China, a car with Uygur people inside crashed and burst into flames in front of Tiananmen Square in Beijing in October last year, and an incident of indiscriminate killings alleged to have been committed by Uygur people took place in Yunnan Province in March.
 新疆以外でも、昨年10月、北京の天安門前にウイグル族の乗った車が突入した。今年3月には、雲南省でウイグル族とされる集団による無差別殺傷事件が起きた。

The Xi administration has been tightening its control on the Uygur minority group, as it determined the series of attacks to be acts of “separatists.”
 習政権は、ウイグル族の「分裂主義者」の犯行として取り締まりに躍起になっている。

Through the inspection tour of the Uygur region, Xi most likely aimed to show his determination to maintain public safety as head of the newly established State Security Committee.
 習氏にとって今回の新疆視察は新設の中央国家安全委員会の主席として、治安維持に向けた決意を示す狙いがあったに違いない。

Xi loses face

During his inspection tour, Xi ordered the bolstering of antiterrorism measures, saying, “The stability of Xinjiang is key to ensuring state security and a great resurgence of the Chinese race.” As if to fan anti-Japan sentiment, Xi inspired police by referring to the methods used to repel “Japanese pirates” active in East Asia from the 13th to the 16th centuries.
 習氏は視察で「新疆の安定は、国家の安全と中華民族の偉大な復興にかかわる」と述べ、テロ対策強化を指示した。反日感情をあおるつもりなのか、歴史上の海賊集団「倭寇」を撃退した方法にも言及して警察を鼓舞した。

But Xi completely lost face due to the bombing incident that took place immediately after he wrapped up his inspection tour. His order to crack down thoroughly on “terrorists” as part of the “struggle against separatists” can be interpreted as displaying his sense of frustration.
 しかし、その直後の爆発事件によって、習氏のメンツは丸つぶれとなった。「分裂主義者との闘争」の一環として「テロリスト」を徹底的にたたくよう命じたのは、習氏の焦燥感の表れだろう。

Simply tightening control cannot be expected to solve the issue.
 ただ、締め付け一辺倒では、問題の解決は見込めない。

This is because the incidents stemmed from the strong discontent of the Uygur minority people regarding the rule of the Communist Party and the majority Han Chinese.
 事件が続出する背景には、共産党と漢族の支配に対するウイグル族の強い不満があるからだ。

Like other Chinese autonomous regions, Islamic and other religious activities in the Xinjiang region are under the strict control of the Communist Party. The Han bureaucrats keep a political grip while national corporations and Han entrepreneurs hold a large portion of the economic interests. Many Uygur people live in poverty.
 新疆では、他地域と同様、イスラム教を含む宗教活動は党の厳しい管理下に置かれている。漢族官僚が政治権力を握り、国有企業や漢族企業家が、経済的利権の大半を手にしている。ウイグル族の多くは貧困状態にある。

As long as this structural gap is left unresolved, it will be impossible to halt the series of incidents. It could also evolve into a chain of retaliations between the Chinese government and armed groups.
 この構造的な格差を放置している限り、相次ぐ事件に歯止めがかからないばかりか、政権と武装集団の間の「報復の連鎖」へと発展しよう。

In the Tibet Autonomous Region, antagonism has been deepening between the Communist Party and Han Chinese on one side and the minority ethnic Tibetan people on the other.
 チベット自治区でも、党や漢族と、少数民族のチベット族との間で、対立が深まっている。

The Xi administration’s strong-arm policy against minority ethnic groups seems to be coming apart.
力に頼る習政権の少数民族政策に、綻びが見えてきたのではないか。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 2, 2014)

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朝日支局襲撃―「排他」に立ち向かう

May 02, 2014
EDITORIAL: On a mission to stop growing trend toward intolerance
朝日支局襲撃―「排他」に立ち向かう

May 3, Constitution Day, is a date that is etched into our memory. On this day 27 years ago, a man wielding a shotgun stormed The Asahi Shimbun’s Hanshin Bureau in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, and opened fire, killing 29-year-old reporter Tomohiro Kojiri and seriously injuring another reporter.
 あす憲法記念日は、私たちにとって忘れがたい日である。27年前、兵庫県西宮市の朝日新聞阪神支局が散弾銃を持った男に襲撃され、小尻知博(こじりともひろ)記者(当時29)が殺された。

In a statement claiming responsibility for the attack, the assailant, who called himself a member of “Sekihotai,” said the “anti-Japanese Asahi must return to its former self 50 years ago.”
 「赤報隊」を名乗る犯人は犯行声明で「反日朝日は50年前にかえれ」と主張した。

In an editorial published immediately after the attack, we pledged to “defend a democratic society where diverse values of members are respected and remain committed to freedom of speech.”
 事件直後、社説は「多様な価値を認め合う民主主義社会を守り、言論の自由を貫く」と誓った。

To our deep regret, the 15-year statute of limitations on the case expired in 2002 with no culprit apprehended. Still, our determination has remained unshakable.
残念ながら、事件は未解決のまま時効を迎えてしまったが、その決意にいささかも揺るぎはない。

With that said, our democratic society, where people should respect the values of others, even when they differ, appears to be under threat. The disturbing fact is that there is a growing trend toward refusing to accept people with different ideas and attacking them.
 その「多様な価値を認め合う民主主義社会」がいま、揺らいでいる。深刻なのは、自分たちと違う価値観の人々の存在そのものを否定し、攻撃する動きが勢いを増していることだ。

People who are intolerant toward others with differing views often like to use the phrase “anti-Japanese” when launching verbal attacks. The term, which was often used by those individuals attempting to demonize The Asahi Shimbun, is now part of the wider narrative.
 こうした言説の中で、かつて朝日新聞を攻撃するキーワードだった「反日」のレッテルはすっかり一般化してしまった。

Claiming Korean residents in Japan enjoy unfair “privileges,” some people repeatedly take to the streets to stage what can only be described as hate-speech protests. In Shikoku, known for its popular Buddhist pilgrimage route that covers 88 temples, signs saying, “Let’s protect our pilgrimage course from the hands of Koreans,” were discovered.
 在日コリアンに「特権」があるとして、街頭で激しいヘイトスピーチ(憎悪表現)を繰り返す人たち。四国では「遍路道を朝鮮人の手から守りましょう」との張り紙が見つかった。

Books intended to incite hatred against South Korea and China are gaining popularity, and headlines seemingly designed to promote racial discord appear in certain media almost daily.
 韓国や中国への嫌悪感をあらわにした本が人気を集め、一部メディアにも連日、それをあおるかのような見出しが躍る。

In a lawsuit filed in Kyoto against an anti-Korean organization that held hate-speech protests, the group has tried to defend its actions and the language it used claiming a constitutional right to freedom of expression. But, should speech designed to ostracize and hurt other members of society be respected? For all the arguments and efforts we have made championing free speech and expression, we cannot help but feel compelled to say no to that question.
 ヘイトスピーチをめぐる京都での訴訟で、訴えられた市民団体側は「表現の自由の範囲内だ」と正当性を主張した。だが、他人を排除し、傷つける言葉は許されるのか。表現・言論の自由の大切さを説き続けた私たちとしても、「それは違う」と言わずにはいられない。

Since the 1987 murder of our colleague, we have received strong support and encouragement from many of our readers. And with the support of those voices, we are always striving to protect freedom of the press.
 事件以来、多くの読者から叱咤(しった)激励をいただいた。その声にも支えられ、私たちは自由な言論を守ろうと努力してきた。

In particular, we believe we have made every effort to fight against any attempt by the powers that be to restrict people’s freedom. We did just that, for instance, during Diet deliberations on the state secrets protection bill. These efforts have been based in part on a lot of painful soul-searching that has taken place as a result of our news organization’s regrettable cooperation with the government before and during World War II.
 特に、戦争に協力した戦前への痛切な反省から、権力が自由を制約する動きには、全力で立ち向かってきたつもりである。特定秘密保護法案の審議のときもそうだった。

We cannot help but wonder if we could have done more to prevent this proliferation of hateful language plaguing our society today.
 ただ、これだけ排他的な言葉が世にあふれる前に、できることはなかったか。

Needless to say, we are committed to stand up for the victims of unwarranted attacks. We are also determined to pay close and serious attention to the backgrounds of those hatemongers who use and promote abusive language and those who support them so that we can help heal the widening rift in our society.
 理不尽に攻撃される人たちを守る側に立つことはもちろんである。そのうえで、攻撃的な言葉を繰り出す人、そうした主張に喝采を送る人々の背景にも目を向け、日本社会に広がる溝を埋めていきたい。

We don’t just want to promote the slogan “freedom of expression and speech,” we want to help create a society where everybody can live with dignity and live a life free of anxiety.
 求めたいのは、スローガンとしての「表現・言論の自由」ではない。誰もが尊厳を保ち、のびやかに生きられる社会そのものである。

On the anniversary of the day our colleague was slain, we remember afresh our principal mission as a news organization.
同僚の命が絶たれたこの日、その原点を改めて胸に刻みたい。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 2

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2014年5月 2日 (金)

取り調べ可視化 対象事件の範囲をどう絞るか

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:45 pm, May 01, 2014
Audiovisual records of interrogations should support efforts to seek truth
取り調べ可視化 対象事件の範囲をどう絞るか

To avoid false charges, how should the audiovisual recording of interrogations be conducted? A system that acknowledges the necessity to preserve investigative capabilities and effectiveness is being sought.
 冤罪えんざいを防ぐために、取り調べの録音・録画(可視化)をどう進めるか。
 真相を解明する捜査力の維持にも目配りした制度設計が求められる。

The Justice Ministry has presented a draft proposal at a subpanel of the ministry’s Legislative Council, which has been discussing possible legislation for a system to increase the transparency of the interrogation process in the wake of a series of irregularities involving prosecutors. The draft proposal will become the basis for further discussion on the issue.
 一連の検察不祥事を契機に、取り調べの可視化の法制化を検討してきた法制審議会の部会で、法務省が試案を示した。今後の議論のたたき台になる。

Central to the draft proposal is that when an investigator’s record of an oral statement is used as evidence in court, audio and video recordings of the entire interrogation process should have been made.
 試案の柱は、供述調書を裁判で証拠として使う場合には、取り調べの全過程を録音・録画しておかねばならないとした点だ。

The audiovisual recordings will be key materials when judges and lay judges determine in court whether interrogators forced suspects to confess or asked leading questions.
 取り調べの映像は、捜査官による供述の強要や誘導がなかったかどうか、公判で裁判官や裁判員が判断する有力な材料となろう。

Regarding the proposal, there are concerns that suspects will be too conscious of audiovisual recording equipment to tell the truth, or will be reluctant to testify in fear of reprisals from organizations with which they are affiliated.
 録音・録画に対しては、容疑者が、カメラを意識して真相を語らなかったり、所属する組織からの報復を恐れて供述を渋ったりする事態が懸念されている。

It is appropriate that the draft proposal permits exceptions for cases in which a suspect directly refuses audiovisual recording of the interrogation process, or where an organized crime syndicate is involved.
 試案が、容疑者本人が録音・録画を拒んだ場合や暴力団犯罪を例外としたのは妥当である。

The next point under scrutiny is the scope of cases that will be subject to audiovisual recording. The draft proposal presents two alternatives. One is that use of audio and video recordings should be limited to cases that will be tried by lay judges. The other is for audiovisual recordings to be required for police interrogations for lay judge trials and all criminal investigations by prosecutors in which suspects have been arrested.
 今後の焦点は、可視化の対象とする事件の範囲だ。試案は二つの選択肢を示した。裁判員裁判対象事件に限定する案と、警察の取り調べは裁判員裁判対象事件、検察の場合は容疑者が逮捕された全事件を対象にする案である。

Recording scope under debate

As 3 percent of all cases are subject to lay judge trials, it has been pointed out that introducing the rules only for this category will lead to recording being used in too few cases. On the other hand, it is questionable whether the requirement would be workable for prosecutors were it applied to all cases. A realistic debate is necessary.
 裁判員裁判で審理されるのは全事件の3%で、可視化の対象としては少なすぎるとの指摘がある。一方で、全事件を対象にした場合、検察は対処できるのか、疑問が残る。現実的な議論が必要だ。

It is worth noting that the draft proposal includes the broadening of investigative methods.
 試案に捜査手法の拡充が盛り込まれたことは注目される。

One is the introduction of plea bargaining, which is already widespread in the United States and Europe. Under the system, prosecutors and lawyers enter an agreement that if a suspect provides information about an accomplice, the suspect will not be indicted.
 一つが欧米で普及している司法取引の導入だ。容疑者が共犯者の情報を提供すれば、本人の起訴を見送る。そうした合意を、検察と弁護側が交わす仕組みである。

It is expected that plea bargaining will make it easier to foster investigative cooperation in cases such as corruption, where a conspiracy is formed behind closed doors. If plea bargaining is adopted, it will be important to pay attention to the risk that suspects may point to individuals unrelated to the crime in an attempt to lighten their own criminal responsibility.
 密室で謀議が行われる汚職などの犯罪で、捜査協力を得やすくする効果が期待できよう。導入する場合には、容疑者が自らの刑事責任を軽くしてもらうために、無関係な人を事件に巻き込む危険性にも留意することが大切だ。

The draft proposal also presents the necessity to expand wiretapping—currently limited to criminal investigations of drug and gun related investigations—to cases of organized theft and fraud. Considering how such crimes have become more harmful and sophisticated, it could be said that the adoption of such investigative methods is necessary.
 薬物や銃器などの犯罪捜査に限られている通信傍受を、組織的な窃盗や詐欺などの捜査に拡大する方向性も示された。犯行が悪質、巧妙化する現状を考えれば、必要な措置と言えよう。

Under the draft proposal, prosecutors will be obliged to present a list of evidence that has been preserved before trials in criminal cases. This can then be assessed with a view to protecting defendants’ rights.
 試案が、検察に対し、公判前に保管証拠の一覧表の提示を義務づけたのは、被告の防御権を保障する観点から評価できる。

Evidence collected by prosecutors using public funds is not the exclusive possession of prosecutors. All evidence—including those advantageous to the defendant—should be disclosed by prosecutors, and used to help reveal the truth in cases under investigation.
 公金を使って集めた証拠は、検察の独占物ではない。被告に有利な証拠も含めて開示し、事件の真相解明に役立てるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 1, 2014)

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日銀物価見通し デフレ脱却へ楽観は禁物だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:58 pm, May 01, 2014
Central bank must keep guard up, increase cooperation with government
日銀物価見通し デフレ脱却へ楽観は禁物だ

It is reassuring that the Bank of Japan has shown confidence in bailing the nation out of deflation. But at all costs it must not let its guard down. The central bank must further reinforce its cooperation with the government.
 日銀がデフレ脱却に自信を示したことは心強いが、楽観は禁物だ。
 政府との連携を一段と強化しなければならない。

At its policy board meeting Wednesday, the central bank decided to maintain its policy of monetary easing of “a different dimension,” which was adopted in April last year.
 日銀は金融政策決定会合を開き、昨年4月に打ち出した「異次元の金融緩和」の維持を決めた。

The bank also released its semiannual Outlook for Economic Activity and Prices Report, in which it estimates the outlook for economic growth and the consumer price index, as well as its first outlook for fiscal 2016.
経済成長や物価の先行きを予想する「展望リポート」を発表し、2016年度の見通しも初めて示した。

Last April, the central bank adopted a target of achieving 2 percent inflation in two years.
 日銀は昨春、物価上昇率を「2年で2%」とする目標を掲げた。

In its outlook report, the bank estimates that the nation’s core consumer price index, excluding the impact of the consumption tax hike on April 1, will rise 1.9 percent in fiscal 2015 and 2.1 percent in fiscal 2016. The report can be seen as the bank’s scenario for pulling the nation out of deflation, in accordance with the target.
展望リポートは、消費増税の影響を除く物価上昇率について、15年度は1・9%、16年度は2・1%を見込んだ。目標通りデフレを克服するシナリオと言える。

Central bank Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda said at a press conference Wednesday that the nation is “on a steady track” to achieve the 2 percent inflation target. By showing the central bank’s strong resolve to achieve the target, it also aims to enhance the effect of its policy decision.
 黒田東彦日銀総裁は記者会見で、物価目標の達成へ、「道筋を順調にたどっている」と述べた。強い決意を示すことで、政策効果を高める狙いもあろう。

But the central bank’s estimates may be too optimistic, which is worrying.
 気がかりなのは、日銀の見立てが甘すぎないかという点だ。

Private research organizations have given a median forecast of 1 percent growth in the core consumer price index for fiscal 2015, only half the increase predicted by the central bank. Also, more than 70 percent of economic research organizations expect the central bank to take additional monetary easing measures by August.
 民間調査機関の予測する15年度の物価上昇率は平均1%と、日銀予想の半分にとどまる。さらに7割超の調査機関が、今年8月までの追加緩和策を予想している。

It further needs to be noted that three members of the nine-member policy board expressed opposition to the wording in the outlook report concerning the timing for achieving the 2 percent inflation target.
 日銀の決定会合メンバーのうち3人が、目標の達成時期などで展望リポートの表現に反対論を述べた点も注目される。

Outlook uncertain

Behind these critical opinions is uncertainty about the nation’s economic outlook.
 こうした厳しい見方の背景には景気の先行き不透明感がある。

The financial burden on ordinary households has increased as one month has passed since the consumption tax rate was raised from 5 percen to 8 percent. We cannot dispel concern that there will be a fall in consumer sentiment and that real consumer prices, excluding the effect of the consumption tax hike, will be pushed down.
 消費税率が5%から8%に上がって1か月がたち、家計の負担は増している。消費心理が冷え、増税分を除く実質的な物価が押し下げられる懸念は拭えない。

Price increases in recent months have mostly stemmed from “detrimental price increases” that will pull down the overall economy. The yen’s weakness has markedly pushed up the purchase prices of imported raw materials, and power companies have had to raise their utility rates because they must import more fuel for thermal power generation since all nuclear reactors remain halted.
 これまでの物価上昇は、円安を背景とした輸入原材料の高騰や、原子力発電所の停止に伴う電気料金値上げなど、景気の足を引っ張る「悪い物価高」の面が強い。大きな不安材料だ。

The central bank must examine the effect of its policy measures properly, and take additional appropriate measures if necessary.
 日銀は政策効果をしっかり点検し、必要ならば、適切な追加策を講じるべきである。

However, the market will often overreact when expectations abound for the central bank to take additional monetary easing measures. To avoid sending the market into disarray, the central bank needs to communicate detailed information to the market.
 ただし、追加緩和の期待が高まると、市場は過剰反応しがちだ。日銀は丁寧に情報発信し、混乱の回避に努めてもらいたい。

Needless to say, the central bank’s monetary policy alone cannot fully bail the nation out of deflation. It is essential for the government to promote an effective growth strategy and realize a sustainable growth led by the private sector.
 むろん、日銀の金融政策だけでデフレの完治は望めまい。政府が実効性のある成長戦略を推進し、民間主導の持続的な成長を実現することが不可欠となる。

The bottom line is that the government needs to create the kind of environment that will help private-sector companies seize new business opportunities, through such measures as drastically easing regulations.
 肝心なのは大胆な規制緩和などで、民間が新たなビジネスに挑戦しやすい環境を整えることだ。

The key to the elimination of deflation lies in the acceleration of innovative actions taken by private companies to produce goods and services that consumers will want to purchase, even if they have relatively higher costs.
 価格が割高でも消費者が買いたくなる製品やサービスを生み出すイノベーション(技術革新)の加速が、デフレを退治できるかどうかの重要なカギを握る。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 1, 2014)

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(社説)護憲後援拒否 霞を払い議論をひらけ

May 01, 2014
EDITORIAL: Timid public servants have a lot to answer for
(社説)護憲後援拒否 霞を払い議論をひらけ

In a cherry blossom viewing party he hosted on April 12, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe composed a haiku.
“Kyuryo no agarishi haru wa yaezakura” (This spring/ with pay increased/ double cherry blossoms are particularly beautiful)
When he attended a central May Day rally organized by the Japanese Trade Union Confederation on April 26, an incident occurred that made people uneasy.
 「給料の上がりし春は八重桜」。自身主催の「桜を見る会」で面妖な俳句を披露した安倍首相が出席した、メーデー中央大会。こんなことがあった。

Police officers stuck close to four male participants in the rally carrying signs that read: “Consumption tax: Pay it by youreslf.” They told the men not to hold up the signs. When the men refused, the officers kept on at them, saying they were hoisting the signs too high and other excuses.
 「消費税お前が払え」というプラカードを持った男性4人に警察官が張り付き、「掲げるな」に始まり、高く掲げ過ぎだなどと圧力をかけ続ける。

When Abe started speaking in front of the microphone, the four shouted, “No to unpaid overtime!” Immediately, the police officers surrounded them and shoved them out of the venue.
 そして首相がマイクの前に立ち、男性らが「『残業代ゼロ』絶対反対!」と声をあげた途端、警察官が一斉に彼らを取り囲み、会場の外に押し出した。

The men repeatedly asked the officers what was wrong with hoisting the signs and the reason for them being forced out of the site by police. They wanted to know the legal grounds for these actions. But they received no clear answer.
 なぜプラカードを掲げてはいけないのか。なぜ警察に会場から出されなければならないのか。何の法的根拠に基づいているのか。男性らは何度も問うたが、確たる返答はなかった。

The episode appears to be another troubling sign of the growing trend toward suppressing dissenting views and debate on politically delicate issues since Abe took office.
 安倍政権下、異論や議論が霞(かすみ)の奥に追いやられていないか。

Since last year, many local governments have refused to support events that were planned to underscore the importance of protecting the war-renouncing Constitution.
 昨年から、自治体が「護憲」にまつわる行事の後援を拒否するケースが相次いでいる。

The city of Chiba declined a request for support to a pro-Constitution rally held in January.
 千葉市は1月に開かれた集会の後援申請を断った。

The gathering featured a lecture on the implications of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s draft proposal for the Constitution. In explaining its decision not to support the event, the municipal government said it had judged that “subjective views would be expressed in the lecture on an issue that is sparking a nationwide debate.”
「自民党の改憲案で何が変わるか」という講演が予定され「国民的な議論がある問題で、主観的な考えを述べる講演会と判断した」。

Similarly, the city of Kobe took the same position for a gathering of supporters of the Constitution in its current form to be held May 3, which is Constitution Day.
 神戸市は、憲法記念日に開かれる護憲集会の後援を断った。

The municipal government said its political neutrality could possibly be undermined if it supported the event, according to the organizing committee for the gathering. And yet, the city supported two similar events in the past.
実行委員会によると「政治的中立性を損なう可能性がある」が理由だったが、過去2回は後援を受けていたという。

Article 99 of the Constitution says, “The Emperor or the Regent as well as Ministers of State, members of the Diet, judges, and all other public officials have the obligation to respect and uphold this Constitution.”
 憲法99条はこう規定している。「天皇又(また)は摂政及び国務大臣、国会議員、裁判官その他の公務員は、この憲法を尊重し擁護する義務を負ふ」

It is odd to see public servants who are obliged to uphold the Constitution refuse to back a meeting held to protect the Constitution.
 憲法擁護義務を負う公務員が、憲法を守ろうという趣旨の集会の後援を拒否する。なんとも不可解な現象である。

What does “political neutrality” mean? Could there be any lecture in which no “subjective view” is voiced?
 政治的中立とは何か。主観的考えを述べない講演があり得るのか。

It is hard to believe that the decisions by the municipal governments were made after weighing the matter carefully.
およそ真剣に考え抜いて出した結論とは思えない。

What is likely to be behind these episodes is a pathetic attitude of local government officials acting on their desire not to rock the boat. These officials are probably excessively sensitive to what they deem as the wishes and feelings of the Abe administration, which has made constitutional amendment a priority on its political agenda, and its supporters. They apparently fear that supporting a pro-Constitution meeting could provoke a backlash.
うかがえるのは、改憲を掲げる安倍政権と、それを支持する人たちの意向を過剰に忖度(そんたく)し、護憲集会を後援することにクレームがつくことを恐れ、事なかれ主義に走る情けない姿である。

Some local governments are now reconsidering their criteria for lending support to events. Previously, the city of Shiroi, Chiba Prefecture, for instance, made a point of not offering support for events that serve “political or religious purposes.” But in April, the municipal government decided to expand the scope of events covered by the rule to eschew anything that has a “political or religious tinge.”
 後援基準を見直す動きも出ている。千葉県白井市はこれまで「政治的・宗教的目的を有する行事」は後援しないとしていたが、4月に「目的」を「色彩」に変えた。

The decision indicates the city’s reluctance to support or get involved in any event that could be controversial in any way.
要は、できれば後援したくない、面倒には関わりたくないということなのだろう。

But dissenting opinions and serious, lively debates on important issues are key factors for the resiliency and resourcefulness of society. Local governments should rather be willing to take on the trouble of promoting diversity of thought.
 だが、異論が出て、議論が交わされることで社会は強く、豊かになるのである。自治体はむしろ面倒を引き受けるべきだ。

Society can break up a fog of intolerance when local governments perform their roles in opening up and encouraging debate on important issues for people.
 議論を開き、拓(ひら)いていく。その役割を自治体が担ってこそ、社会の霞は払われるのだ。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 1

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2014年5月 1日 (木)

携帯端末でWindowsアプリケーションを自由自在にあやつる

私にはひとつの夢がありますが、もしかしたら生きているうちにそれが実現されるかもしれません。
あるサイトで「デスクトップ仮想化」というキーワードをみたときに、もしかしたらとひらめきがありました。
もう少し具体的に分かりやすく説明します。

海外勤務が多い私の特技はPCを使いこなすことです。
海外出張や勤務時には、必ず小さなサイズのノートパソコンを持ち歩いて、Windowsアプリケーションを徹底的に活用します。
ビジネスにインターネットを利用するのは当たり前の時代なのです。
前から考えていたことがあります。
iPhoneやスマホなどの携帯端末を使って、Windowsアプリケーションが動かせないかと。

海外出張なので滞在するのはホテルに限られます。
いまどきのホテルには標準でLEDかLCDの大型薄型液晶テレビが設置されています。
それらを携帯端末の出力スクリーンとして使うのです。
小型のキーボードとマウスさえ接続すれば、携帯端末を使って、あたかもノートパソコンのように利用できるのではないでしょうか。
いや、そうなりつつあります。
そうなるのを確信しました。

デスクトップ仮想化とWindowsアプリケーションのモバイル化で夢がかないそうなんです。
これは大きな事件なんです。



シトリックス、「Citrix XenDesktopデスクトップ仮想化&アプリケーション仮想化実践ガイド」プレゼントキャンペーンを開始(毎月20名様)



ドリームニュース・ブログメディア参加記事

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「小1の壁」 解消へ学童保育拡充が急務だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:05 pm, April 30, 2014
Better after-school childcare essential to breaking down ‘first-grade wall’
「小1の壁」 解消へ学童保育拡充が急務だ

When children enter primary school, parents are sometimes unable to find anyone to take care of them after school and they must quit their job as a result. There is a pressing need to address problems arising from this so-called first-grade wall.
 子供が小学校に入ると預け先がなくなり、親が仕事を辞めざるを得なくなる。「小1の壁」への対策が急務である。

There have been delays in creating and improving facilities tasked with providing adequate after-school care for children including primary school students from two-income families. This has made it difficult for some parents to continue working after their children enter primary school.
 共働き世帯の小学生などを放課後に預かる学童保育の整備が遅れている。それが、親の就労継続の壁となっている。

At after-school childcare centers, supervisors keep watch while children engage in such activities as doing their homework and having a snack. The care of children outside of school time is governed by the Child Welfare Law, and there are about 21,500 after-school childcare facilities nationwide, 80 percent of which are operated by local governments.
 学童保育では、子供たちが宿題をしたり、おやつを食べたりして過ごすのを、指導員が見守る。「放課後児童クラブ」とも呼ばれ、児童福祉法に定められている。全国に2万1500か所あり、公設が8割を占める。

Such centers, and the number of children they look after, have continued to sharply increase, partly because of a decrease in children’s play areas. Today, about 890,000 primary school children—mainly those in their first to third years—spend their after-school time at these facilities.
 子供の遊び場が減ったこともあり、設置数、利用児童数とも急増してきた。現在、1~3年生を中心に89万人が利用している。

However, demand for after-school childcare services is outpacing the provision of new facilities, particularly in urban areas. The government has said it will seek to increase the capacity of after-school childcare centers nationwide to a total of 1.11 million children by the end of the current fiscal year. However, the current capacity falls far short of that target.
 だが、都市部を中心に開設が追いついていない。政府は今年度末までに受け入れ数を111万人に増やす目標を掲げてきたが、現状は遠く及ばない。

About 8,700 primary school students are on waiting lists, meaning they have been denied access to such services despite their parents’ desire to have someone look after them outside of school.
 希望しても利用できない待機児童は、把握されているだけで8700人に上る。

The figure only covers children whose inability to use after-school services has been confirmed. If other children with a similar problem are included, the figure could reach several hundreds of thousands, according to observers.
潜在的には数十万人に達するとの指摘もある。

It is also necessary to extend operating hours at after-school childcare centers. Many such facilities close at around 6 p.m., which does not suit the circumstances of parents who work full-time. This is evident in the large number of parents who have had to quit work or switch to a part-time job when their children enter primary school, despite having worked full-time while their children were at preschool age. They previously had their children looked after at day nurseries.
 開所時間の延長も必要だ。午後6時前後に閉まってしまう施設も多く、フルタイムで働く親の事情に合っていない。就学前は子供を保育所に預けて働いてきた親が、退職やパートへの転換を余儀なくされるケースが目立つ。

Utilize empty classrooms

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had good reason to issue instructions to study specific measures aimed at breaking down the first-grade wall, combined with efforts to create more day-care centers for children.
 安倍首相が、保育所の拡充に加え、「『小1の壁』を乗り越えなくてはならない」と具体策の検討を指示したのは、もっともだ。

It is indispensable to utilize empty classrooms and other unused facilities, with a view to making progress in increasing the number of after-school childcare centers. Doing so would not only help achieve the goal at a lower cost, it would also be desirable when it comes to securing the safety of children.
 学童保育の整備促進には、学校の空き教室などの活用が欠かせない。設置費用が安く済み、子供の安全面でも望ましい。

However, a considerable number of school administrators are reluctant to open after-school childcare centers inside their facilities. This is likely because they could be held responsible for any accidents involving children at their buildings.
 しかし、開設に消極的な学校は少なくない。万一、事故が起きた際に、学校の責任が問われかねないためだろう。

Necessary steps should be taken by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry—the organ charged with overseeing after-school childcare programs—in cooperation with the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry to implement measures, including laying down clearly defined rules on the establishment of childcare centers at unused classrooms.
 学童保育を所管する厚生労働省と、文部科学省が連携し、校内に設置する場合のルールを明確化することなどが求められる。

Another important task is to improve the quality of after-school childcare programs. In its guidelines for such programs, the welfare ministry says the appropriate capacity of a facility is about 40 children. However, some facilities accommodate children greatly in excess of that figure.
 学童保育の「質の改善」も課題だ。厚労省は指針で適正規模を40人程度としているが、それを大幅に上回る施設がある。

Children cannot spend their time in a relaxed manner at overcrowded facilities, and supervisors will also find it difficult to keep a close watch on the children. All this will make facilities prone to trouble.
過密状態では、子供が伸び伸びと過ごせない。指導員の目も行き届かず、トラブルが起きやすい。

The government has incorporated after-school childcare services into the list of projects covered by a child-rearing support program scheduled to start in fiscal 2015, requiring city, town and villages governments nationwide to improve their after-school childcare programs in a manner that will meet the needs of their communities. Standards for personnel distribution and other matters will also be set up.
 政府は、2015年度に始まる「子ども・子育て支援新制度」の対象事業に学童保育を組み込み、地域のニーズに応じた整備を市町村に義務づけた。職員配置などの基準も設ける。

The national and local governments should unite efforts to address pertinent issues, a task essential for breaking down the first-grade wall.
 「小1の壁」を解消するためには、政府と市町村が一体となって取り組むことが重要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 30, 2014)

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米のアジア重視 対中牽制に同盟諸国を生かせ

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:06 pm, April 30, 2014
Obama’s reinforcement of Asian ties sends strong message to China
米のアジア重視 対中牽制に同盟諸国を生かせ

As U.S. President Barack Obama—known for his “Asia pivot” policy—reconfirms his nation’s unity with its Asian allies, the significance of his moves should not be underestimated.
 「アジア重視」政策を掲げるオバマ米大統領が同盟国との結束を確認した意義は大きい。

Obama recently finished his Asian tour, leaving his footprints in Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines.
 オバマ氏が、日本、韓国、マレーシア、フィリピンのアジア4か国への歴訪を終えた。

The U.S. president has made his country’s presence felt in the Asia-Pacific region during the trip, stressing his unyielding stance against China’s expansion into Asia-Pacific waters where Beijing is unilaterally attempting to change the status quo, as well as his stand against North Korea’s nuclear development program. We welcome these moves.
 一方的な現状変更を伴う中国の海洋進出や、北朝鮮の核開発に対し、断固たる姿勢を鮮明にして、アジア太平洋における米国の存在感を示したことは評価できる。

One of the highlights of Obama’s Asian trip was the signing of a military pact between the United States and the Philippines, which paves the way for the re-stationing of U.S. troops in the Southeast Asian nation. Manila is currently engaged in territorial disputes with Beijing in the South China Sea.
 今回の訪問で注目されるのは、南シナ海での領有権を巡り中国と対立するフィリピンにおける、米軍再駐留に道を開く軍事協定に、米比両国が調印したことだ。

The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement will give U.S. forces access to Philippine military bases. The pact will also enable the temporary rotation of U.S. troops through the country, and the deployment of fighter jets and warships.
 協定で、米軍はフィリピン軍基地の使用を認められる。常駐ではないが、部隊の巡回派遣や戦闘機、艦船の配備も可能となる。

The Philippines was once a strategic foothold of the United States. However, the island country refused to extend the stationing of the U.S. forces after the end of the Cold War, and U.S. troops withdrew from the country by the end of 1992.
 米軍はかつてフィリピンを戦略拠点としていたが、冷戦終結後、フィリピンに駐留延長を拒まれ、1992年までに撤収した。

After the U.S. withdrawal, China began reinforcing its influence in the South China Sea as if the country were aiming to fill the power vacuum. For example, Beijing has extended its control of a shoal over which the Philippines claims sovereignty. More recently, China has obliged fishing boats operating in the South China sea to obtain a license from the Chinese government, further raising tensions in the area.
 その後、フィリピンが領有権を主張する環礁に支配を拡大するなど、力の空白を埋めるように、南シナ海での勢力増強に乗り出してきたのが、中国だ。最近も、外国漁船に操業の許可申請を義務付けて、一段と緊張を高めている。

U.S. as stabilizer

The U.S.-Philippine pact will serve as a great opportunity to restore the influence of U.S. forces in the South China Sea. If U.S. forces enhance their cooperation with the forces of Asian allies, through efforts such as joint military exercises, this can be expected to work as a deterrent to China’s activities in the area. It is understandable that Obama said the purpose of the pact is “to promote regional stability such as in the South China Sea.”
 協定は、南シナ海での米軍のプレゼンスを回復する契機となる。共同演習などで、米軍が各国軍と協調を強めれば、中国の活動を牽制けんせいする効果を持とう。オバマ氏が、協定で「地域の安定を促進する」と述べたのは、うなずける。

In the Japan-U.S. joint statement issued during Obama’s trip to Japan, Obama reaffirmed that the Senkaku Islands, which are located in the East China Sea, are within the scope of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. It is very meaningful that Obama expressed his intention not to condone China’s moves to seek hegemony also in the South China Sea through the U.S.-Philippines pact.
 オバマ氏は日米共同声明で、東シナ海の尖閣諸島が日米安保条約の適用対象だと確認した。米比協定によって、南シナ海でも中国の覇権主義的な行動は許さないとの意思を表明したことは重要だ。

Meanwhile, in South Korea, Obama agreed with South Korean President Park Geun-hye to reinforce the two countries’ cooperation to prevent further provocations by North Korea, which continues its nuclear development activities. “We will not hesitate to use our military might to defend our allies and our way of life,” Obama said during a speech at a U.S. military base in the nation.
 一方、オバマ氏は、韓国の朴槿恵大統領と、核開発を進める北朝鮮による「挑発を阻止する」ための協力強化で合意した。さらに、在韓米軍基地での演説では、「同盟国を守るためなら軍事力行使もためらわない」と断言した。

Specifically, Obama has stated that the United States will continue to have the right of command over U.S.-South Korea coalition troops during contingencies for the time being. We believe it was appropriate for the United States to show that it will maintain responsibility in deterring North Korea’s movements.
 具体的措置として、有事における米韓連合軍の指揮権限を米軍が当面維持することも認めた。北朝鮮抑止に、米国が今後も責任を持つ姿勢を示したのは、適切だ。

Park has recently been increasing her inclination toward China. However, in a written reply to questions from a South Korean newspaper, Obama said that Seoul’s alliance with the United States serves as the foundation of South Korea’s security and prosperity, an apparent message urging to the nation to shift its focus onto cooperation with the United States and Japan.
 朴大統領は中国への傾斜を強めているが、オバマ氏は韓国紙への書面回答で、「米国との同盟が韓国の安全と繁栄の基盤だ」と述べた。日米韓の連携を重視するよう韓国にくぎを刺したと言える。

It is unlikely that the tensions in the Asia-Pacific region will end anytime soon. It will be essential for the United States and its allies to join hands and accumulate specific actions one by one.
 アジア太平洋の緊張は今後も継続するだろう。米国と同盟国が協力して、具体的な行動を積み重ねていくことが求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 30, 2014)

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ダンスの自由―法律でしばれるのか

April 30, 2014
EDITORIAL: Outdated law makes dancing a crime
ダンスの自由―法律でしばれるのか

As it stands, the Adult Entertainment Business Regulation Law is in need of a radical overhaul because it is so outdated. The law enables police to clamp down on entertainment establishments where customers dance on the premises.
 営業として客がダンスを踊れるようにしているなら、規制の対象とする。こんな時代遅れを残す現在の風俗営業法は、抜本的に見直した方がいい。

In recent years, a number of nightclubs have come under police investigation for allowing dancing without permission from local public safety commissions. Most of these investigations were conducted in response to complaints from neighborhood residents about noise and acts of violence at the clubs.
 警察は近年、公安委員会の許可を得ずに客を踊らせていたクラブを次々に摘発してきた。騒音や暴力などで近隣からの苦情が続出したことが背景にある。

However, the Osaka District Court on April 25 acquitted a former club operator in Osaka, who had been charged with violating the entertainment business law by allowing customers to dance without permission from the authorities.
 だが大阪地裁は、無許可営業していたとして、風営法違反の罪に問われた大阪のクラブの元経営者に無罪を言い渡した。

The ruling stated in no unclear terms that since the purpose of this law is to prevent problems related to the sex industry, it is not designed to address public concerns about neighborhood noise, violence or drug issues. The court effectively disapproved of the police roundups to clamp down more harshly on nightclubs by invoking this law.
 判決は、風営法の規制目的は性風俗にかかわる問題の防止にあり、騒音や暴力、薬物への懸念ではない、と明示した。風営法をたてにクラブに幅広い網をかけようとした捜査のあり方は反省を迫られる。

When the law took effect in 1948, it targeted dancing as an activity to be regulated apparently because prewar dance halls were often hotbeds of prostitution.
 1948年に制定された風営法がダンスを規制の指標にしたのは、戦前のダンスホールが売春の温床にもなった時代背景があったとされる。

At the trial, the prosecution argued that the defendant's guilt or innocence depended on whether his establishment "encouraged an atmosphere of excessive indecency" among men and women on the dance floor.
 裁判で検察側は「男女の享楽的な雰囲気を過度にかもし出す」かどうかが、違法と判断する基準だ、と主張した。

In this case, however, the Osaka prefectural police investigated the club even though the customers were dancing without touching each other. At the end of the day, any investigation of nightclubs is done at the discretion of the police. Clearly, an objective standard by which to determine whether the investigation is warranted is lacking.
 ただこの裁判のケースでは、男女の客は触れ合ってもいなかったのに、大阪府警は摘発に踏み切った。結局のところ、違法の線引きは捜査側の裁量に委ねられ、あまりに判断基準があいまい過ぎる。

The thinking of the police could not be more divorced from the legal principle that the law must clearly define; that is, what kinds of deeds should be punished as crimes.
 「どんな行為が犯罪かは明確でなければならない」という罪刑法定主義の考えにはとてもそぐわない。

Dancing is a form of self-expression based on the movement of one's body. Freedom of expression is guaranteed under the Constitution, and quite obviously, this freedom must not be casually denied. The court ruled the Adult Entertainment Business Regulation Law itself to be constitutional, but any restriction on constitutionally guaranteed freedoms must be kept to the minimum.
 ダンスは身体の動きが表現の手段である。言うまでもなく、憲法が保障した表現の自由を最大限に享受すべきである。判決は風営法の規制自体は合憲としたが、自由への制約は、できる限り小さくすべきであろう。

Young people around the world enjoy hip-hop, reggae, salsa and so on, while dancing in pairs, which brings partners of the opposite sex into physical contact, is popular among senior citizens today.
 ヒップホップ、レゲエ、サルサ……。世界各地のさまざまなダンスを若者が楽しむ。男女が触れ合うペアダンスも、高齢者に人気を集める時代だ。

In this day and age, it simply does not stand to reason to regard dancing as an "obscene" activity.
ダンスを、風俗を乱す指標とみる考え方に、もはや合理性はない。

In reaction to the police roundups of nightclubs in recent years, Japan's cultural leaders and others have begun calling for amendments to the entertainment business law. A suprapartisan federation of Diet members is expected to propose a revision bill during the current session of the Diet. We hope the Osaka District Court verdict will encourage further debate.
 一連の摘発をきっかけに、文化人らの呼びかけで風営法改正を求める運動が高まった。超党派の国会議員連盟も今国会に改正案を出す構えだ。判決を機に、議論を加速させたい。

Obviously, the understanding of neighborhood residents is indispensable to creating an environment where people can dance freely. Unfortunately, some of the clubs that came under police investigation were inexcusably lax in this respect, and that was one of the reasons the neighbors became concerned.
 むろん、自由に踊れる環境をつくるには、周囲の理解が欠かせない。この点への気配りをおろそかにしたクラブもあったことが、近隣住民が不安を強めた要因である。

The adult entertainment industry needs to prove itself fully willing to rid itself of crimes related to drugs and violence. For the industry to continue enjoying freedom, it must live up to the responsibility of voluntarily making every effort to win the trust of the public.
 暴力や薬物などの犯罪の排除に進んで乗り出す。業界は自由を享受する一方で、自主、自律で努力を重ね、信頼を広げていく責任もある。

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 29

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