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2014年9月13日 (土)

吉田調書公開 朝日が「撤退」取り消して謝罪

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Asahi bears heavy responsibility over ‘comfort women,’ Fukushima fiascoes
吉田調書公開 朝日が「撤退」取り消して謝罪

 ◆国際的に誤解広めた責任は重い

The Asahi Shimbun has retracted a set of articles concerning the “Yoshida file” on the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
 朝日新聞が、東京電力福島第一原子力発電所事故を巡る「吉田調書」の記事を取り消した。

The crux of the articles — which focused on the words “retreat in violation of an order” and caused wide repercussions not only at home but overseas as well — has now been admitted to be erroneous. The newspaper’s decision to issue a retraction was a matter of course.
 海外まで波紋を広げた「命令違反」「撤退」という記事の根幹が誤りだった。撤回は当然の判断である。

Regarding its reports on the issue of so-called comfort women, the newspaper’s executives also have expressed a formal apology for the first time for the delay in correcting the misreporting. Considering that the Asahi’s series of stories on the comfort women issue has deeply hurt Japan’s national interests, the newspaper’s apology is obviously long overdue.
 いわゆる従軍慰安婦問題報道でも、訂正が遅れたことを初めて明確に謝罪した。朝日新聞の一連の慰安婦報道が、日本の国益を大きく損なったことを考えれば、謝罪は遅きに失した。

Such problems threaten to erode public trust in the newspapers. The Asahi Shimbun bears an extremely heavy responsibility.
 これらの問題は、新聞に対する国民の信頼を失墜させかねない。朝日新聞の責任は極めて重い。

Defaming TEPCO workers
 ◆東電作業員名誉損なう

The Yoshida file is the statement given by the late Masao Yoshida, the manager of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant at the time of the disaster. He was interviewed before his death last year by a government committee tasked with investigating the outbreak of the nuclear crisis. Claiming to have had exclusive access to a copy of the Yoshida testimony, the Asahi in its May 20, 2014, morning edition reported that “90 percent of TEPCO workers who were at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant on the morning of March 15, 2011 ... went against Yoshida’s order to wait for further instructions and withdrew to the Fukushima No. 2 nuclear plant 10 kilometers to the south.”
 吉田調書は、政府の事故調査・検証委員会が、福島第一原発の吉田昌郎元所長から生前に聴取した証言だ。その記録を入手したとする朝日新聞は5月20日朝刊で、「所員の9割が所長命令に違反し、約10キロ離れた第二原発に撤退した」と報じた。

One reading of the Yoshida file, which the government disclosed to the public Thursday, makes it clear that the facts were not as the Asahi reported.
 政府が11日に公開した吉田調書を読めば、そのような事実がないことは明らかである。

Plant chief Yoshida strongly denied using the word “retreat.” He never issued any instruction calling for the workers to withdraw from the nuclear plant and had no perception that the workers failed to comply with an order issued by him, according to the Yoshida file.
 吉田元所長は「撤退」という言葉を強く否定している。撤退の指示も出しておらず、所員や作業員が自らの命令に違反したとの認識もない。

It is a fact widely known both at home and abroad that many TEPCO workers remained at the nuclear plant amid the disaster, courageously confronting the crisis. Since shortly after the publication of the Asahi reports in question, many people have expressed skepticism regarding their contents.
 現場に多くの作業員が残り、事故対応に当たっていたことは、国内外で周知の事実だ。朝日新聞の報道直後から、記事内容について疑問を呈する声が出ていた。

In a news conference Thursday, Tadakazu Kimura, president of The Asahi Shimbun, said, “Since other news organizations also obtained copies of the Yoshida file and began to report factual discrepancies [in Asahi reporting], we started an in-house investigation into the matter and reached the conclusion that our reporting was erroneous.”
 この点について、記者会見した朝日新聞の木村伊量社長らは、「他の報道機関が調書を入手し、事実関係の食い違いを報じ始めたため、社内で調査を始め、誤りと判断した」と説明した。

“A limited number of our staff members shared the document, and our fact-checking system did not operate properly,” the Asahi head stated, announcing the dismissal of the newspaper’s executive editor over the coverage of the Yoshida account. Kimura went on to say he would decide whether he himself should resign as Asahi president after carrying out an in-house reform plan.
 「調書を見る人間が限られ、チェックが働かなかった」とも釈明し、取締役編集担当を解職した。社長自らについても、社内改革後に進退を判断するという。

In the statement, plant manager Yoshida made such remarks as “I thought it proper” that the TEPCO workers decided to evacuate to the Fukushima No. 2 complex. The reporting in question by the Asahi, however, failed to make any reference to that part of the statement, instead highlighting a “violation” of Yoshida’s order.
 吉田元所長は、調書の中で、所員たちが第二原発に退避したことを「正しいと思った」などと述べている。朝日の記事は、その部分に一切触れず、「命令違反」をクローズアップしている。

It cannot be helped if people think that the Asahi’s approach was designed to select only those portions of Yoshida’s statement that the newspaper considered convenient.
 都合の良い部分だけを取り上げて記事にした、と受け取られても仕方があるまい。

The Asahi coverage of Yoshida’s account has damaged the reputation of TEPCO employees domestically and internationally, even though they did their utmost to combat the worst phase of the crisis, even risking their lives, in the extraordinarily harsh conditions at the time of the nuclear disaster.
 朝日の記事は、事故当時の過酷な状況の中で、体を張って最悪の事態と闘っていた作業員たちの名誉を国内外で傷つけた。

National interests hurt
 ◆国益害した慰安婦報道

The Asahi also said it would issue a retraction of the article in question overseas. It is essential to correct the misperception that has spread globally due to the article.
 朝日は、記事撤回を海外にも発信するという。海外での誤った認識を正すことが重要だ。

The newspaper’s erroneous reports on the comfort women issue have also had an impact both at home and abroad.
 朝日新聞の誤った報道が、内外に大きな影響を及ぼしたのは、慰安婦問題も同様である。

In a special feature in its Aug. 5 morning edition, the Asahi carried the results of an in-house investigation into its past reports on comfort women.
 朝日新聞は8月5日朝刊の特集面で、これまでの慰安婦報道についての検証結果を掲載した。

The newspaper admitted that the account given by Seiji Yoshida — who said comfort women had been forcibly gathered on South Korea’s Jeju island — was false and retracted at least 16 articles that were based on it. But it did not offer any apology for publishing the articles, drawing a barrage of harsh criticism.
 その中で、韓国・済州島で慰安婦を強制連行したとした吉田清治氏の証言が虚偽であったことは認め、証言をもとにした少なくとも16本の記事を取り消した。しかし、それに対する謝罪の文言はなく、厳しい批判を受けていた。

Kimura apologized Thursday, saying, “I apologize to our readers for carrying the erroneous articles and being too late in making the correction.”
 この点について、木村社長は「誤った記事を掲載し、訂正が遅きに失したことについて、読者におわびする」と謝罪した。

The Asahi said it would establish a third-party panel consisting of lawyers, historians and journalists to conduct a thorough review of the impact of its comfort women coverage on Japan-South Korea relations and the international community.
 今後は、社外の弁護士や歴史学者、ジャーナリストらで構成する第三者機関を設け、慰安婦報道が日韓関係や国際社会に与えた影響などについて徹底検証していく方針という。

At the same time, Kimura stressed that he “has confidence” in the results of his company’s vetting of the articles.
 一方で、木村社長は、自社の検証結果に「自信を持っている」と強調している。

Global media impact
 ◆新聞の影響自覚したい

The essential problem with The Asahi’s articles on comfort women is that the newspaper brushed aside doubts about Yoshida’s account — which claimed the forcible state recruitment of comfort women — and did not rectify its reports based on the account for a long time, thereby seriously hurting Japan’s national interests.
 朝日新聞慰安婦報道の問題点の本質は、国による強制連行があったという吉田氏の証言に疑義が持たれても、それを黙殺し、修正しなかったことによって、日本の国益を大きく損ねた点にある。

Yoshida’s account was quoted in the report that Radhika Coomaraswamy submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Commission in 1996.
 国連人権委員会に1996年に提出されたクマラスワミ報告でも吉田氏の証言が引用された。

The Asahi’s argument that it is important that there was coercion in a broad sense is simply switching the point of contention.
 広い意味での強制性があったことが重要だとの朝日の主張は論点のすり替えにほかならない。

During a radio program on Thursday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said: “Media reports have a great impact both at home and abroad. [Media organizations] are constantly asked to provide accurate and credible reports while fully recognizing that they might harm the reputation of our country.” This is a reasonable view.
 安倍首相は11日のラジオ放送で、「報道は国内外に大きな影響を与える。時として我が国の名誉を傷つけることもあると十分に認識しながら、正確で信用性の高い報道が常に求められる」と述べた。もっともな指摘である。

News media bear a heavy responsibility to serve “the people’s right to know.”
 報道機関は「国民の知る権利」に奉仕する重い役割を担う。

The Asahi is suspected of deviating significantly from the principle of accurate reporting that is fundamentally required of media organizations, as it has spread a misperception around the globe through articles written based on sloppy news gathering and fact-checking.
 ずさんな取材により、誤解を世界に広めた朝日新聞は、事実を正確に伝えるという報道機関としての基本を大きく踏み外したのではないだろうか。

The Yomiuri Shimbun will endeavor to provide quality reports while taking care not to make errors similar to those made by The Asahi.
 読売新聞も十分に自戒しながら、質の高い報道に取り組んでいきたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 12, 2014)Speech

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