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2014年10月

2014年10月31日 (金)

新ODA大綱案 平和目的の軍支援は進めたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun
ODA for peace-oriented activities by armed forces should be allowed
新ODA大綱案 平和目的の軍支援は進めたい

It is important to enhance Japan’s diplomatic power by using its official development assistance more strategically.
 政府開発援助(ODA)をより戦略的に活用し、日本の外交力を強化することが重要である。

Revising the nation’s ODA policy for the first time in 11 years, the government released a draft of a “development cooperation outline” that is to replace the current ODA Charter. The government will then invite public opinions on the draft before seeking Cabinet approval in December.
 政府が、ODA大綱に代わる「開発協力大綱」の原案を公表した。大綱改定は11年ぶりで、意見公募を経て12月に閣議決定する。

A main feature of the draft charter is to approve assistance for nonmilitary activities such as the construction of roads and disaster relief by armed forces. The draft says, “the government will pay attention to substantial meanings [of such activities] and study them specifically case by case.”
 原案は、道路建設、災害救助など、軍隊の非軍事目的の活動に対する支援について「実質的意義に着目し、個別具体的に検討する」として、容認したのが特徴だ。

This reflects a proposal made in June by the ministry’s panel of outside experts. They proposed that the use of ODA for projects with civilian purposes to be carried out by armed forces “should not be categorically rejected.”
 外務省の有識者会議が6月、軍隊への民生目的のODAに関して「一律に排除すべきではない」と提言したのを踏まえたものだ。

Under the current policy, ODA for activities involving military forces are strictly restricted. It is also difficult to offer civilian training to military personnel. In developing countries, however, armed forces are often used to deal with large-scale disasters, the reconstruction of countries and combating the spread of infectious diseases.
 現在は、軍隊が関与する活動へのODAは厳しく制限されている。軍関係者に対する研修も難しい。だが、途上国では、大規模災害の対処、復興、感染症対策などで軍隊が活動する例が多い。

We think it is appropriate to use ODA in accordance with such reality.
 こうした実情に合わせて、ODAを活用するのは妥当である。

This envisaged policy change will fit with the “proactive contribution to peace” policy advocated by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration.
 安倍政権が掲げる「積極的平和主義」とも合致しよう。

As part of activities to help build special capabilities, the Defense Ministry has already been sending members of the Self-Defense Forces to other countries to train armed forces personnel, including in East Timor, where automobile maintenance skills are taught. It is a significant move to improve the efficiency of ODA by combining it with such activities.
 防衛省は、東ティモールでの車両整備など、軍関係者の人材育成のために自衛官を派遣し、能力構築支援活動を行っている。こうした活動とODAを組み合わせ、効果を高めることが大切だ。

Universal values stressed

The draft also emphasizes that Japan’s assistance must be based on universal values such as “freedom, democracy, respect for fundamental human rights and rule of law.” With China in mind, it is appropriate to strengthen partnerships with other countries, including those in Southeast Asia.
 原案は重点課題として、「自由、民主主義、基本的人権の尊重、法の支配」などの普遍的価値に基づく支援を明示した。中国を念頭に、東南アジア諸国などとの連携を強化するのは適切である。

As assistance to peace-building activities, the draft lists, for example, helping to enhance developing nations’ capabilities to guard their coastal waters, maintain security and counter terrorism.
 平和構築支援として、途上国の海上保安や治安維持、テロ対策の能力強化などを列挙している。

Such assistance leads to securing the safety of the sea-lanes that Japan relies on for shipping and transportation and thus contributes to its national interests.
 こうした支援は、日本の海上交通路(シーレーン)の安全確保につながり、国益に資する。

The draft also stipulates that middle-income countries, which no longer qualify to receive ODA according to standards set by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, will be added to the group of countries eligible for ODA. This appears to refer to island countries in the Pacific and the Caribbean that are vulnerable to natural disasters.
 原案は、経済協力開発機構(OECD)の基準では「ODA卒業国」となった中所得国も、新たに支援対象とすることを明記した。災害に弱い太平洋やカリブ海の島嶼とうしょ国などを想定している。

The range of Japan’s international contributions could be expanded by defying conventional restrictions on ODA and making its implementation more flexible. That will be an effective diplomatic option to win support for Japan from even more countries regarding reform of the U.N. Security Council and other opportunities.
 従来のODAの枠にとらわれず柔軟な支援を可能にすることは、日本の国際貢献の幅を広げる。国連安全保障理事会の改革などで、より多くの国の協力を得るための有効な外交カードとなろう。

The draft also incorporates a plan to seek synergistic effects by coordinating the investments and loans of private companies and government-affiliated banks, such as the Japan Bank of International Cooperation, with ODA.
 ODAと、国際協力銀行など政府系金融機関や民間企業による投融資を連動させ、相乗効果を上げる考えも原案に盛り込まれた。

“It is vital for the government and private sectors to jointly help [developing countries] improve infrastructure by using ODA as a catalyst,” said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.
 菅官房長官は「ODAを触媒に、官民一体でインフラ整備を支援することは重要だ」と語る。

We expect that win-win relations could be constructed between Japan and countries receiving its assistance by using ODA as a catalyst to improve the overseas business activities of Japanese corporations.
ODAを呼び水に日本企業の海外活動を拡充し、日本と被支援国の双方が利益を得る関係を構築したい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 30, 2014)Speech

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政治資金問題 報告書監査の実効性を高めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Auditing of political fund reports must be made more effective
政治資金問題 報告書監査の実効性を高めよ

There has been a succession of scandals involving Cabinet ministers and Diet members over money in politics. To regain the public’s trust in politics, both the ruling and opposition parties must promptly discuss ways to prevent the recurrence of such irregularities.
 政治とカネを巡る閣僚や国会議員の不祥事が相次いでいる。国民の信頼を回復するため、与野党は、再発防止策を早急に検討すべきである。

A local office of the Liberal Democratic Party in Hiroshima Prefecture, headed by Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yoichi Miyazawa, was found to have received political donations totaling ¥400,000 from a local company that was majority-owned by foreign nationals in 2007 and 2008.
 宮沢経済産業相が代表を務めていた自民党支部は2007、08年に、外国人が株式の過半数を保有する企業から計40万円の政治献金を受け取っていた。

His receipt of the money could constitute a violation of the Political Funds Control Law, which bans political donations from foreign individuals or corporations.
 外国人や、外国資本の企業などからの献金を禁じる政治資金規正法に抵触する可能性がある。

Miyazawa told reporters he was not aware of the actual status of the company. However, there is no denying he failed to manage his political funds strictly enough.
宮沢氏は、企業の実態を知らなかったと説明したが、資金管理が甘かったことは否定できない。

When the Democratic Party of Japan was in power, then Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara resigned to take responsibility for having received political donations from a South Korean resident in Japan. Former prime ministers Naoto Kan and Yoshihiko Noda, both of whom belong to the DPJ, were also criticized for receiving political donations from foreign nationals.
 民主党政権当時は、前原外相が在日韓国人から献金を受けていた責任を取って辞任した。菅、野田両首相も外国人からの献金問題で非難された。

It is regrettable that there appears to be no end to similar scandals in politics.
類似の問題が後を絶たないのは残念である。

Also coming to light recently was the fact that Miyazawa’s fund management organization spent political activity funds at a bar that puts on sadomasochistic shows.
 宮沢氏の資金管理団体がSMバーに政治活動費を支出していたことも発覚している。

Miyazawa must put his political fund management under stricter scrutiny to ensure no further improper spending has occurred, and he must give a detailed explanation on these matters.
これ以外に不適切な支出がないか、厳格な点検と丁寧な説明が求められる。

Growing problem

Meanwhile, a political organization related to Environment Minister Yoshio Mochizuki failed to record about ¥6.6 million in expenses that should have been recorded as entertainment expenses in political fund reports in 2008 and 2009. Instead, the expenses were put down as costs for New Year’s greeting events held by volunteers, which had nothing to do, in principle, with entertainment expenses, and thus did not need to be recorded in the reports.
 望月環境相の関連政治団体は、08、09年分の政治資金収支報告書に交際費として計約660万円を計上すべきだったのに、本来は関係がない賀詞交歓会の経費に付け替えて記載していたという。

Mochizuki explained that as his wife, who was in charge of accounting for the organization, has passed away, he cannot confirm the details as to how the designation of the expenses came to be changed.
 望月氏は、経理を担当していた妻が死去したため、付け替えの理由など詳細は確認できない、と釈明している。

Nonetheless, he cannot evade his responsibility for having failed to properly supervise the management of his funds. He must conduct a full-fledged probe into the case by questioning relevant parties and make public the outcome of the probe.
だが、望月氏の監督責任は免れない。関係者からの事情聴取など、本格的な調査を行い、結果を公表せねばならない。

Opposition parties cannot treat the recent spate of scandals as someone else’s problem.
 野党も人ごとではない。

A political organization of Yukio Edano, the DPJ’s secretary general, failed to record about ¥2.4 million in revenue from a New Year’s party held in 2011 in its funds report. Admitting to a clerical error, Edano apologized.
民主党の枝野幹事長の関係政治団体は、11年の新年会収入約240万円を記載していなかった。枝野氏は、記載ミスを認めて陳謝した。

With the introduction of a system of public funding for political parties, public funds are included in political funds.
 政党交付金制度の導入で政治資金には公金も含まれる。

Even after two female Cabinet ministers resigned over politics-and-money scandals, more and more similar irregularities are cropping up. This is a situation that may heighten public distrust of politics.
 女性2閣僚の辞任後も、問題が続出している。国民の政治不信を助長しかねない事態だ。

Under the Political Funds Control Law that was revised in 2007, a political organization related to a Diet member is obliged to have their political funds audited by a certified public accountant or a certified tax accountant, starting with the 2009 funds reports.
 国会議員の関係政治団体は、07年に改正した政治資金規正法によって、09年分の報告から、公認会計士や税理士らによる政治資金監査を義務づけられている。

In reality, however, the auditing goes only so far as to check, for instance, whether the entries are made in line with the receipts. It falls short of checking the appropriateness of the spending. Enhancing the auditing’s effectiveness must be discussed.
 ただ、実態は、領収書通りに記載されているかなどの確認にとどまり、支出の適正性などはチェックされない。監査の実効性を高める方策を検討してはどうか。

It is also essential to enhance the competence of those in charge of accounting and the secretaries who are supposed to compile political funds reports. The LDP is discussing the possibility of holding a training workshop concerning fund reports, which will be given to secretaries and other officials working for Diet members of the party.
 報告書を作成する会計担当者や秘書らの能力向上も欠かせない。自民党は、所属議員秘書らを対象に、報告書などに関する研修会を検討している。

It is a matter of urgency for such efforts to be promoted proactively and to be widely put in place.
こうした取り組みを積極的に進め、幅広く定着させることが急務である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 30, 2014)Speech

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2014年10月30日 (木)

アジア投資銀 過剰な中国主導で大丈夫か

The Yomiuri Shimbun
What does China’s plan for a new infrastructure bank portend for Asia?
アジア投資銀 過剰な中国主導で大丈夫か

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a new international financial organization led by China, will be established in 2015 based on a basic agreement reached recently by 21 nations, including India and nine Southeast Asian nations.
The establishment of the AIIB has been proposed by China to accelerate infrastructure building in Asia.
 中国の主導する新たな国際金融機関「アジアインフラ投資銀行」(AIIB)が、設立されることになった。
 アジアのインフラ整備促進を目的に掲げ、中国が創設を提唱していた。インドや東南アジアの9か国など21か国が、2015年中の発足で基本合意した。

Demand for investment to build infrastructure, such as railways and roads, in Asia through the end of 2020 will total an estimated $8 trillion, or about ¥860 trillion.
 アジアでは20年までに、鉄道や道路などのインフラ投資の需要が、総額8兆ドル(約860兆円)に上るとの試算もある。

It is true that the existing international financial organizations, including the Asian Development Bank, will face difficulty in shouldering such a huge cost by themselves.
 アジア開発銀行(ADB)など既存の国際金融機関だけで、これほどの巨費を賄うのが難しいのも事実である。

Emerging Asian economies, which want to use infrastructure development as a locomotive for growth, understandably have high expectations for the AIIB.
 インフラ開発を成長の原動力としたいアジア新興国が、AIIBに期待するのは理解できる。

Japan, however, will not participate in the AIIB because its significance and management policy are not clear. Australia and South Korea are also conspicuously absent.
 一方、日本は参加を見送った。AIIBの意義や、今後の運営方針が不透明だからだ。オーストラリアや韓国も不参加だった。

In July, China also decided to set up a new development bank in collaboration with the other emerging economies in the so-called BRICS grouping, which comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
 中国は今年7月、ロシアやインドなどと協力し、新興5か国(BRICS)による「新開発銀行」を創設することも決めた。

China apparently wants to use the AIIB and the BRICS bank to counter Japan, the United States and European countries that lead the International Monetary Fund regime and establish a new order in international financing.
 どちらも、国際通貨基金(IMF)体制を主導する日米欧に対抗し、新たな国際金融秩序を構築する思惑があるようだ。

A bank for China’s benefit?

In particular, the AIIB is aimed at providing China’s domestically struggling state-owned enterprises with opportunities to enter the huge market for building infrastructure in Asia. Furthermore, China apparently has a strategy to increase the number of friendly nations by utilizing its foreign currency reserves, now swollen to as much as $4 trillion.
 特にAIIBは、中国国内で行き詰まる国有企業に、アジアのインフラ整備という巨大な市場を提供する狙いがあるのだろう。
 4兆ドルに膨らんだ外貨準備を有効活用し、「中国シンパ」の国を増やす戦略もうかがえる。

It is also worrisome that China’s influence over the AIIB will likely be overwhelming.
 気がかりなのは、AIIBに対する中国の影響力が、突出して強くなりそうなことである。

The bank will be headquartered in Beijing and aims to procure $100 billion in capital. The ratio of investment will likely be decided in accordance with the scale of each economy, which will make China a majority stakeholder.
 北京に本部を置き、資本金は1000億ドルを目指す。出資比率は経済規模に応じて決める方針で、中国が過半を占める見通しだ。

There are nagging concerns that the AIIB will recklessly provide tied loans — such as requiring Chinese companies to win infrastructure contracts — in the guise of an international financial institution and will put priority on development projects that are beneficial to China. If its loan screening becomes lax, it is feared that development projects neglecting environmental and human rights concerns will be encouraged.
 国際機関の名の下で、中国企業の受注を条件とする「ひも付き」の融資が乱発され、中国を利する開発案件ばかりが優先されることはないか。融資審査が甘くなれば、環境や人権を無視した開発を助長する恐れもある。

A financial support framework that is excessively dependent on China could stall development projects should the Chinese economy stumble.
 中国に過度に依存した金融支援の枠組みでは、中国経済が変調をきたした際に、開発プロジェクトが滞るリスクも大きくなる。

It is essential for Japan, the United States and other nations to jointly beef up monitoring to see if the AIIB will be operated in a way to contribute to the healthy development of the Asian region.
 アジア地域の健全な発展に資する運営が行われているか、日米などが連携して、監視を強めることが重要だ。

Nonetheless, we should take heed of the use of China’s ample funds for Asian growth. Japan, the biggest ADB stakeholder, should work to establish a proper complementary relationship between the ADB and AIIB.
 潤沢な中国マネーを、アジアの成長に生かす視点も忘れてはならない。ADBの最大の出資国である日本は、ADBとAIIBが適切な補完関係を築けるよう、働きかけるべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 29, 2014)Speech

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エボラ熱対策 国内発生に万全の態勢整えよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Foolproof measures needed in case Ebola patient is confirmed in Japan
エボラ熱対策 国内発生に万全の態勢整えよ

We must establish a system capable of swiftly responding to the Ebola virus whenever a patient is confirmed to be infected in Japan.
 日本国内でエボラ出血熱患者が確認された際、速やかに対応できる態勢を築かねばならない。

The Ebola scourge is continuing to spread in West Africa. The gravity of the problem is severe, as the disease has crossed into Europe and the United States. On Tuesday, the Japanese government decided at a meeting of relevant Cabinet ministers to implement thorough measures against the disease.
 エボラ出血熱の感染が西アフリカで拡大し続けている。欧米にも飛び火する深刻な状況だ。日本政府は28日、関係閣僚会議を開き、国内の対策を徹底する方針を確認した。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has ordered Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Yasuhisa Shiozaki, who is in charge of dealing with infectious diseases, to report on developments to the National Security Council. It is highly likely anxiety will spread throughout the nation if a person is confirmed to have the disease in Japan. It may hamper the nation’s economic activities.
 安倍首相は、感染症対策を担う塩崎厚生労働相に対し、国家安全保障会議にも状況を報告するよう指示している。患者が発生すれば、国内に不安が広がるだろう。経済活動にも支障が出かねない。

In this sense, it is quite reasonable for the government to place priority on national security in dealing with the disease.
 安全保障の観点を重視するのは当然と言える。

On Monday, a man who had stayed in Liberia arrived at Haneda Airport via Europe with symptoms of fever. He was transferred to a government-designated hospital and, fortunately, tested negative for the Ebola virus.
 東京・羽田空港で27日、リベリア滞在後に欧州経由で到着した男性に発熱症状が見つかり、政府の指定医療機関に搬送された。検査の結果、幸い陰性だった。

However, the case underscored that in an era when people frequently travel across borders, Japan may not be able to remain free of infectious diseases that erupt in Africa.
 国境を越えた人の往来が活発な中、日本もアフリカ発の感染症と無縁でないことを印象づけた。

Relevant agencies and institutions were able to respond quickly to Monday’s case as the man reported that he had stayed in Liberia. In case of emergency, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry obtained the passenger list of the flight the man used. The inside of the plane that carried the man was sterilized.
 男性は、リベリア滞在を自己申告したため、関係機関が速やかに対応できた。厚労省は、この男性が搭乗していた便の乗客名簿を確保して万が一の事態に備えた。機内の消毒も行われた。

However, if a plane carries a passenger who tests positive for Ebola, the possibility of other passengers and flight crew becoming infected with the virus cannot be ruled out. Concerns remain on how to deal with cases in which passengers do not reveal their travel history.
 ただ、陽性だった場合には、機内で乗客や乗務員に感染する可能性がゼロではない。申告がない場合の対処にも不安が残る。

Improve medical system

The health ministry has begun beefing up quarantine inspections. At international airports, all passengers who arrive in Japan are asked whether they have stayed in countries hit hard by Ebola.
 厚労省は既に検疫を強化している。国際便が到着する空港では、入国者全員に流行国での滞在歴がないかを尋ねている。

As Ebola’s incubation period is long — a maximum of 21 days — those who have been to such countries are required to report their health condition to quarantine stations twice a day until the incubation period expires, even if they do not show symptoms of Ebola. This measure must be thoroughly implemented.
 エボラ出血熱は、発症までの潜伏期間が最長21日程度と長いため、該当者には、症状がなくても1日2回、健康状態を検疫所に報告するよう義務づけている。これを徹底せねばならない。

Quarantine stations and immigration controls must keep in close contact and take every possible measure to contain Ebola at the port of entry.
 検疫所と入国管理局が連携を密にし、可能な限りの水際対策を講じることが求められよう。

Even if the government strictly reinforces quarantine inspections, there is a possibility a person with the Ebola virus will slip through quarantine. It is imperative for the government to improve the medical system in Japan.
 対策を強化しても、検疫のすり抜けは起こり得る。国内の医療体制を充実させることが肝要だ。

Currently, there are 45 medical institutions across the nation designated to provide treatment against Ebola. However, nine prefectures do not have any such institution. These prefectures must establish a system to smoothly transfer patients to designated institutions. Many doctors and nurses have become infected with Ebola while treating patients in West Africa, the United States and Spain. Training is essential at medical facilities in Japan, such as how to put on and remove protective suits.
 全国に45か所の指定医療機関があるものの、9県では未整備だ。他県への搬送態勢を整えておく必要がある。西アフリカや欧米では医師や看護師の二次感染が多い。国内でも、防護服の着脱法などの訓練が欠かせない。

The number of people infected with Ebola has exceeded 10,000 in West Africa, and about 5,000 people have died from the disease. If the epidemic continues at the current pace, the worst-case scenario of patients reaching 1.4 million at the beginning of next year may become reality. The international community must join hands to contain Ebola infections in areas hit hard by the disease.
 西アフリカでは感染者数が1万人を超え、死者は約5000人に上る。来年初めには感染者が140万人にまで増えるという最悪シナリオ通りの勢いである。国際社会が協力し、多発地域での感染封じ込めに当たらねばならない。

Needless to say, Japan should contribute in combating Ebola in such fields as medical assistance, as well as research and development of treatment methods.
 日本も、医療支援や治療法の研究開発などで貢献すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 29, 2014) Speech

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大切な思い出の写真たち、永久に残したい

無料のメルアドを長いこと使っていました。
インターネットを始めてから海外転出しましたが、海外でも無料で使えるメールサービスに大満足していました。
ところが身体の具合が悪くなり半年ほどメールサービスサイトにアクセスできませんでした。
半年ぶりにサイトにアクセスしたら、いままでの大切なデータが全部削除されていました。
大きなショックを受けた覚えがあります。
もしもこれが大切な写真たちだったらたいへんなことになっていました。

フォト蔵という写真保存サイトがすばらしいです。
まずは無料サービスからはじめましょう。
この写真保存サイトは半端じゃない。
写真を永久に保存してくれるんです。
半年入院してサイトにアクセスできなくても、大切な画像データが削除されることはありません。
操作に慣れたらフォト蔵プラスに移行します。
フォト蔵プラス では月額500円 の管理費を支払わなければなりませんが、わずらわしい宣伝広告が一切ありません。
それからSNSとしての機能だってあるので、一枚の写真がきっかけとなり、そこからお付き合いが始まるかもしれないのです。
高齢者たちだって簡単に操作できるので安心です。



OFF Line社、日本最大級の写真SNS「フォト蔵」にて月額課金サービス「フォト蔵プラス」を提供開始



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今日のイチオシDreamNews

DreamNews
今日のイチオシDreamNews

『第二回イルミネーションアワード』で全国イルミネーションランキング発表! 一般社団法人夜景観光コンベンション・ビューロー

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2014年10月29日 (水)

原発賠償条約 事故収束の加速にも有益だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Intl pact on N-damage compensation would help restoration in Fukushima
原発賠償条約 事故収束の加速にも有益だ

Japan’s participation in an international convention on damages compensation for nuclear accidents will have significant implications.
 原子力事故の損害賠償に関する国際条約に加盟する意義は大きい。

By taking part in the pact, Japan must build closer relationships with the United States and other member nations to help accelerate restoration after the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
 米国などと緊密な協力関係を築き、東京電力福島第一原子力発電所の事故収束の加速にもつなげたい。

The government has decided to join the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage, an international framework on damages compensation for nuclear accidents. It has called for treaty ratification by the Diet and submitted related bills it seeks to pass during the current extraordinary Diet session.
 政府が、原発事故の賠償の枠組みなどを定めた「原子力損害の補完的補償に関する条約(CSC)」に加盟する方針を決め、その承認案と関連法案を国会に提出した。今国会での成立を目指す。

A nuclear accident damages not only the country where it happens, but neighboring countries as well. The convention, known as the CSC, calls for setting international rules whereby compensation can be made smoothly in the event of a nuclear accident.
 原発事故は発生国だけでなく、周辺国にも被害が及びかねない。CSCは、万一の際に賠償などが円滑に進むよう、国際的なルールを決めておく狙いがある。

The CSC has already been joined by the United States, Argentina, Morocco and two other countries. It has yet to take effect because the requirement for combined nuclear power capacity among member countries has not yet been met. However, the condition will be met if Japan becomes a member.
 すでに米国、アルゼンチン、モロッコなど5か国が加盟しているが、原発の出力合計の要件を満たしておらず未発効だ。日本が参加すれば発効条件を満たす。

The convention makes it mandatory for member nations to set aside at least ¥47 billion for compensation. If the total damage estimate surpasses this amount, other signatory countries will provide funds to supplement it. Considering that the damage compensation estimate amounts to as much as ¥5 trillion in the case of the Fukushima accident, the convention is far from being able to provide sufficient funds.
 この条約は原発事故に備え、各国が最低470億円を用意するよう義務づけている。賠償額がそれを超えた場合は、一部を加盟国の拠出金で支援するが、5兆円に迫る福島第一原発の賠償額を考えれば、備えが十分とは言えない。

Liability to be clarified

A huge effect from joining the convention can be expected because it will become clear where liability for compensation lies, among other things.
 むしろ、大きな効果が見込めるのは、賠償責任の所在などが明確化される点だ。

The CSC stipulates that liability for damages should be shouldered entirely by the power company concerned and a lawsuit concerning compensation for nuclear damage can only be filed in the country where the accident occurs.
 CSCは、事故の賠償責任は全て電力会社が負い、裁判は事故の発生国で行うと定めている。

To promote restoration after the accident at the Fukushima plant and the decommissioning of its crippled reactors, utilization of U.S. technology and expertise is called for. But U.S. firms are leery of providing their technical know-how out of concern that they will face the possible lawsuits for huge damage compensation filed in the United States by victims if a new accident occurs.
 福島第一原発の事故収束や廃炉作業は、米国技術の活用が求められている。だが、米国企業は、新たな事故が起きた場合、米国で被害者に巨額の訴訟を起こされると懸念し、二の足を踏んでいる。

If it becomes clear that TEPCO is liable for future damage compensation, U.S. firms’ active cooperation can be expected.
 条約締結で、今後の賠償責任を東電が負うことが明確になれば、積極的な協力が期待できよう。

The restoration work at Fukushima has stumbled over disposal of radioactive contaminated water. There is a limit to what Japan can do single-handedly to decommission nuclear reactors, a project that is unprecedented in this country.
 福島の事故収束は、汚染水処理でつまずいている。前例のない廃炉作業も、日本単独での取り組みには限界がある。

U.S. technology and know-how, which were mobilized to deal with the Three Mile Island accident, must be employed for such difficult operations as the removal of melted nuclear fuel rods.
 スリーマイル島事故に対処した米国の技術やノウハウを、溶融した核燃料の取り出しなど困難な作業に生かしたい。

Participation in the CSC will also benefit Japanese makers in that they will be able to reduce risks accompanying nuclear power plant exports.
 CSC加盟は、日本メーカーにとっても、原発輸出に伴うリスクを軽減する利点がある。

Nearly 200 nuclear reactors are under construction or planned across the world. Japan’s nuclear plant exports have an aspect of spreading their safe performance and safety standards, which are said to be at the world’s top levels.
 世界で建設中や計画中の原発は200基近くに上る。日本の原発輸出には、世界最高レベルとされる安全性能や安全基準を国際的に広める意味がある。

Legal arrangements to deal with the aftermath of nuclear accidents are insufficient in many emerging economies. Turkey and Vietnam, to which Japanese makers are scheduled to export nuclear plants, are not signatories to the CSC yet.
 原発事故が起きた場合に備えた法整備が不十分な新興国も多い。日本メーカーが輸出を予定しているトルコやベトナムも、CSCに未加盟だ。

The government should call on these countries to join the CSC and work toward laying the foundation for international cooperation on nuclear power plants.
政府はこれらの国に加盟を呼びかけ、原発を巡る国際協力の基盤整備に貢献すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 28, 2014)Speech

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「イスラム国」 過激派の勧誘に惑わされるな

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Don’t be fooled by Islamic State propaganda; united front needed
「イスラム国」 過激派の勧誘に惑わされるな

Propaganda by extremist groups justifying terrorism could generate new terrorist outrages in industrially advanced countries.
 テロを正当化する過激派の宣伝が、先進国で新たなテロを生む。

This vicious circle must be severed.
 この悪循環を断ち切らねばならない。

A Muslim convert, who planned to go to the Middle East, was shot dead by Canada’s parliamentary sergeant at arms after the man killed a soldier and then went on a shooting spree inside the parliament building in Ottawa.
 カナダの首都オタワで中東行きを計画していたイスラム教徒の男が、兵士1人を射殺した後、国会議事堂内で銃を乱射した。男は衛視に射殺された。

Near Montreal, soldiers were killed and injured recently in what appeared to be a terrorist attack, while in New York, a man attacked police officers with a hatchet.
 モントリオール郊外や米ニューヨークでも、男が兵士や警官を殺傷する事件が起きた。

In both incidents, the perpetrators were known to be sympathizers of Islamic extremism. The New York attacker had reportedly watched the site of the extremist group Islamic State.
 いずれの事件の犯人も、イスラム過激主義に共鳴していたことが分かっている。ニューヨークの事件の犯人は、過激派組織「イスラム国」のサイトを見ていた。

It is obvious that the radical beliefs of the Islamic State, which is expanding its influence in Iraq and Syria, lie behind the recent spate of attacks.
 イラク、シリア領内で勢力を拡大するイスラム国の過激思想が、一連の事件の背景にある可能性は否定できまい。

Young people from a number of countries have joined the Islamic State as combatants. Advanced countries were alert to the possibility of those fighters launching terrorist attacks when they return to their home countries.
 イスラム国には、各国の若者が戦闘員として加わっている。先進諸国は、戦闘員が帰国してテロを起こす事態を警戒していた。

Yet there has been no indication that any of the perpetrators of the recent attacks was a combatant who had returned home. Nevertheless, these incidents pose a new threat as they can be considered “home-grown” terrorism in advanced countries.
 だが、今のところ、一連の事件の犯人が戦闘員だった形跡はない。先進国における“国産テロ”と言えよう。新たな脅威だ。

The recent spate of incidents is also characterized by the fact that they were each carried out by a person acting alone.
 単独犯であることも特徴だ。

As there appears to be no conspiracy with similar-minded people, investigative authorities have great difficulty in detecting such acts of violence in advance, presenting them with a huge challenge.
仲間との謀議などがないため、捜査当局にとっては、事前の察知が難しい点が大きな問題だろう。

Even Japanese affected

In Japan, a male university student is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department on suspicion of planning to privately engage in military combat by attempting to go to Syria to join the Islamic State as a foreign combatant.
 日本では、イスラム国に外国人戦闘員として加わる目的で、シリアへの渡航を企てたとして、男子大学生が私戦予備・陰謀容疑で警視庁の捜索を受けている。

The student allegedly received assistance on travel to Syria and converted to Islam at the advice of a former university professor, who specializes in Islamic law.
 男子学生は、イスラム法学が専門の元大学教授から渡航方法の助言を受け、イスラム教に入信した。

The student reportedly said: “I want to die as I’ve been fed up with this world. I wouldn’t mind being killed in Syria.” Another man, who was living with the student, was reportedly planning to go to Syria with him.
「この世界が嫌で死にたい。シリアで殺されてもいい」と語っているという。一緒に住んでいた男性も同行予定だったとされる。

Is the clever propaganda that justifies rule by the Islamic State affecting the minds of those who feel alienated in their home country?
 イスラム法による支配を正当化する巧みな誘いが、疎外感を抱く者の心に付け入っているのか。

The Islamic State is a heinous organization that justifies mass murder and slavery. In this year alone, it has received about ¥2.2 billion in ransom money for hostages. Before U.S. warplanes bombed oil refineries operated by the Islamic State in September, the group was said to be earning about ¥100 million a day through the illicit trade of crude oil.
 イスラム国は、大量殺りくや奴隷制を肯定する凶悪組織だ。今年に入り、人質の身代金で約22億円を手にした。米国が9月に製油施設を空爆するまでは、原油の密売で1日約1億円を得ていた。

Supported by unprecedented funding, the terrorist organization is believed to be carrying out an extensive propaganda campaign. It is important for nations to expose the true nature of the Islamic State through such tools as the Internet.
 テロ組織としては類のない資金力を背景に、大がかりな宣伝戦を仕掛けているのだろう。各国は、イスラム国の真の姿をネットなどで広く知らせる必要がある。

Needless to say, the most important thing is to annihilate the Islamic State. The U.S.-led coalition has conducted more than 550 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria. But the fighting is said to be fluctuating, with combatants sometimes advancing and sometimes retreating.
 無論、最も重要なのは、イスラム国の壊滅だ。米国などの有志連合は、イラク、シリア領内で550回以上の空爆を行ってきたが、戦闘は一進一退の状態にある。

There also is disarray in the coalition over strategy. It is essential to restore a united front against the Islamic State.
 有志連合には、戦術面で足並みの乱れもある。共闘態勢を立て直すことが急務である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 28, 2014)Speech

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2014年10月14日 (火)

インターネットに依存しない関係も素敵です AirTalk

いままでお目にかかったことがない珍しいサービスAirTalk に遭遇しました。
自分を中心として半径100メートル以内の人たちと、P2P(Peer To Peer)の無線技術を利用してつながってしまいます。
これは自分が発信局となって、携帯電話やスマホなどの端末と端末とを直接つなげてしまう画期的なサービスなんです。
これはインターネットに依存しない独自のサービスなのでネットを使わない人たちとも交流できるのが最大の特徴なんです。

今日からAirTalk であなたが主人公となれます。
素敵なアイデアだと思いませんか。
利用法は簡単です。
気になるイベント会場などに到着したら、そこから情報発信するのです。
リアルな交際をする確立は圧倒的に高まります。
婚活なんかで利用すれば、すごい効果が期待できるのではないでしょうか。



OFF Line社、世界初のBluetooth Low Energy (BLE)アクセス技術を用いた近距離コミュニケーション スマホアプリ「AirTalk」(iOS版)をリリース



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とくいわざを売り買いできる不思議なフリーマーケットココナラ

ちょっとかわったフリーマーケットなんですが、ココナラ を発見しました。
モノを売るのではなくって、自分たちのとくいわざを売り買いできるフリーマーケットなんです。
どんなものが売り買いされているのでしょうか?気になりました。
自分のとくいわざだって売れるのかも知れないかと、サイトをブラウズしてみることにしました。
ロゴの作成というデザイナーむけのお仕事から翻訳のお仕事までバラエティーにとんでいます。
レベルは低いのですが私は一応プロの翻訳家なのでその分野で活躍できるかもしれません。
登録は簡単です。(無料)
必要なのはメールアドレスだけなんです。
ワンコイン500円で利用できるサービスが満載です。



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2014年10月13日 (月)

「消費税10%」 やはり軽減税率が不可欠だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Lower rate for some items necessary if consumption tax rate hiked to 10%
「消費税10%」 やはり軽減税率が不可欠だ

 ◆家計への過大な負担は避けよ

Will the planned hike in the consumption tax rate heap further pressure on the stuttering economy?
 さらなる消費増税が、景気の停滞に追い打ちをかけることはないか。

The government and ruling parties have stepped up discussions over whether the consumption tax rate should be increased from the current 8 percent to 10 percent as scheduled in October 2015.
 消費税率を予定通り2015年10月に、8%から10%へ引き上げるかどうかを巡って、政府・与党内で論議が活発化している。

While fiscal reconstruction is not an issue that can continually be kicked down the road and dealt with later, the sluggish consumption that has persisted since the tax rate was jacked up from 5 percent in April must not be taken lightly.
 財政再建は先送りできない課題だが、今年4月の消費増税後、消費の低迷が続いていることを軽視してはならない。

If the consumption tax rate is to be lifted to 10 percent, we think the government should introduce a reduced rate for daily necessities such as some food items, to minimize the burden that will be placed on household budgets.
 仮に「消費税10%」に踏み切るのなら、食料品など必需品の税率を低く抑える軽減税率を導入し、家計の負担を和らげるべきだ。

Tough decision looming
 ◆迫られる難しい決断

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to decide by the end of the year whether to go ahead with the planned tax hike. He will make this decision after confirming important economic indicators, such as the nation’s gross domestic product for the July-September quarter.
 安倍首相は7~9月期の国内総生産(GDP)などの経済指標を確認し、年末までに増税に踏み切るかどうか決める方針だ。

If the tax increase is put off, the government’s efforts to lock in revenue sources for Japan’s snowballing social welfare costs will become even more difficult. The likelihood of attaining the government’s goal of a primary budget surplus by the end of fiscal 2020 also will fade.
 見送った場合、社会保障費の財源確保がさらに厳しくなり、20年度までに基礎的財政収支を黒字化する政府目標の達成も遠のく。

That said, however, if the higher consumption tax rate derails the economic recovery and sinks efforts to break out of deflation, everything will be lost.
 かといって、増税の影響で景気が腰折れし、デフレを脱却できなくなっては、元も子もない。

Abe has said, “I will make a decision that will be helpful to the people’s lives.” The prime minister faces a very difficult choice, one in which he must give consideration to the overall picture of the economic recovery and the state of the nation’s finances.
 首相は、「国民の生活に資する判断をしたい」と述べている。景気や財政の状況を総合的に勘案した、難しい決断を迫られよう。

Special attention should be given to the direction of consumption trends, which will be significantly affected if the tax rate is hiked to 10 percent.
 消費税率を10%に上げる場合には、大きな影響を受ける消費の動向に、特段の注意を要する。

The Family Income and Expenditure Survey, a key monthly gauge compiled by the government, revealed that average consumption expenditures by regular households dropped year-on-year for five consecutive months from April, when the tax rate was increased.
 代表的な指標である家計調査では、一般世帯の消費支出が4月から5か月連続でマイナスだ。

While unseasonal weather has played a part, sales at summer bonus time were sluggish in spite of aggressive campaigns. Spending on consumer durables such as air conditioners has plunged. Consumption of travel and other services, which saw barely a bump in last-minute demand before the tax rate was ratcheted up, remains tepid.
 天候不順もあり、夏のボーナス商戦は低調で、エアコンなど耐久消費財への支出が急減した。増税前の駆け込み需要がほとんど見られなかった旅行などのサービス消費も、不調が続いている。

The inevitable fall in response to the tax increase is one reason for this. However, another major cause of these prolonged consumption doldrums is that wage increases have not kept up with rising prices, some of which have jumped by more than the three percentage point margin of the higher tax rate.
 増税後の「反動減」とは別に、消費増税分を含め3%を超える物価上昇率に、収入の伸びが追いついていないことが、消費不振を長引かせている大きな原因だ。

Prices of imported grains and other natural resources have climbed due to the yen’s weakness. Moves to raise prices of food and other items are spreading. There are concerns that more consumers will tighten their purse strings as they take “defensive measures” to protect their daily lifestyles.
 円安で穀物や資源の輸入価格が上昇し、食料品などに値上げの動きも広がってきた。節約による「生活防衛」に動く消費者が、一層増える恐れがある。

When the consumption tax rate was hiked to 8 percent, the government unveiled a ¥5.5 trillion economic stimulus package to cushion the blow. The package centered on public works projects, while measures designed to aid consumers were limited. A special cash benefit of ¥10,000 to ¥15,000 paid to low-income earners was intended to help blunt the impact on family budgets, but was too small to have any tangible effect.
 政府が消費税8%時に打ち出した5・5兆円規模の経済対策は、公共事業が中心で、消費者向けの施策は限られた。低所得者への1万~1・5万円の給付措置も、家計支援としては力不足だった。

Based on lessons drawn from the drop in consumption, the government should consider what effective steps it can take to prevent a “consumer recession.”
 政府は、消費が落ち込んだ教訓を踏まえ、「消費不況」の防止に有効な対策を検討すべきだ。

Winnowing eligible items
 ◆対象品目をどう絞るか

Unlike a single-serving lump-sum payment, lower tax rates for essential commodities can have a long-lasting effect in curbing tax burdens. Every time a consumer purchases an item covered by the reduced-tax-rate system, he or she will actually feel the benefit, so the system is also desirable from the standpoint of keeping consumer confidence from being chilled.
 軽減税率なら、1回限りの給付金とは違い、負担軽減の効き目は持続する。対象品を購入するたびに軽減措置の恩恵を実感できることから、消費者心理の冷え込みを防ぐ効果も期待できよう。

The Liberal Democratic Party and its ruling coalition partner Komeito embarked on full-fledged debates on the advisability of introducing reduced tax rates in a consultative meeting of the two parties on Wednesday.
 自民、公明両党は8日の与党税制協議会で、軽減税率に関する本格的な論議を始動させた。

Although the ruling parties, in adopting a tax system reform outline toward the end of 2013, did refer explicitly to a policy of introducing a reduced-tax-rate system, it is worrisome that a considerable gap remains between the LDP and Komeito regarding their eagerness for realizing lower rates.
 気がかりなのは、昨年末の与党税制改正大綱で、消費税率10%時に軽減税率を導入する方針が明記されたのに、依然として自民党と公明党に温度差があることだ。

Tetsuo Saito, chairman of Komeito’s Tax Research Council, has come out actively in favor of lower rates, saying, “We are determined to address the task of introducing a reduced-tax-rate system with an unflagging resolve.”
 公明党の斉藤鉄夫税制調査会長が、「軽減税率導入に不退転の決意で臨む」と積極姿勢を見せるのに対し、

In contrast, his LDP counterpart, Takeshi Noda, chairman of the party’s Research Commission on the Tax System, is still cautious. Noda has only said, “We haven’t finalized the details [on the reduced rate system] yet.”
自民党の野田毅税調会長は、「これから丁寧に詰めていく」と慎重である。

Groups that support the LDP, such as organizations of small and midsize businesses, have opposed the idea of reduced tax rates, mainly on the grounds that it would raise their administrative costs.
 自民党を支持する中小企業団体などは、事務負担の増加などを懸念して反対している。

If different tax rates are applied to different categories of items, more time and effort will certainly be needed in keeping accounts and following tax payment procedures.
 確かに、品目によって違う税率が適用されれば、帳簿作りや納税事務の手間は増える。

It should be noted, however, that most European nations have introduced reduced rates into their value added taxes (VATs), the European version of Japan’s consumption tax.
 ただ、欧州諸国の大半は、日本の消費税にあたる付加価値税に軽減税率を導入している。

By carefully studying overseas precedents of reduced consumption rates, including VATs, discussions must be deepened about what measures should be adopted to minimize increases in related administrative work for private-sector businesses.
海外の先行事例を研究し、どうすれば民間の事務負担を最小限に抑えられるのか、議論を深めたい。

A lower-rate system applied to all food and beverages would translate to an annual loss of as much as ¥660 billion in consumption tax revenue for every one percentage point cut in the tax rate. How to narrow the scope of items eligible for lower rates is a major challenge.
 軽減税率を全ての「飲食料品」に適用すると、税率を1%軽減するごとに、消費税収は年6600億円も減る。対象品目をどう絞り込むかが課題だ。

Komeito has been working on plans to rein in tax revenue declines by limiting the items to be covered by a reduced rate system to grains and fresh produce. The ruling parties’ deliberations must swiftly address the specifics of how to put a lower tax rate system into practice.
 公明党が、穀物や生鮮食料品に対象を限って、減収額を抑える案を練っている。与党協議で、具体策の検討を急ぐべきだ。

Newspapers deserve lower rate
 ◆新聞と書籍にも配慮を

Food, newspapers and books are subject to lower tax rates in the majority of nations in Europe and elsewhere that apply a lower tax rate on some items.
 欧州諸国など軽減税率を採用する国の大半が、食品と並んで新聞や書籍を対象としている。

In Japan, more than 90 percent of newspapers are home-delivered, and many households receive a newspaper almost every day. This plays a major role in supporting democracy and the culture of the printed word in Japan.
 とりわけ、日本の新聞は戸別配達率が9割以上にのぼり、多くの家庭にほぼ毎日、新聞が届く。これが、民主主義や活字文化を支える大きな役割を果たしている。

Books also have helped to share a wide spectrum of knowledge.
 書籍も、多様な知識の普及に貢献してきた。

Newspapers and books are not merely consumer products. They can be considered an essential public good for maintaining the affluent lifestyle of the people.
 新聞や書籍は、単なる消費財ではなく、豊かな国民生活の維持に欠かせない公共財と言える。

We think Japan should emulate the example set by other nations and adopt a lower tax rate for newspapers and books.
 海外の例にならい、日本も新聞や書籍について、軽減税率を適用すべきである。

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

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2014年10月12日 (日)

アスベスト判決 「泉南」の教訓を対策に生かせ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Govt must use Sennan case as lesson for future relief of asbestos victims
アスベスト判決 「泉南」の教訓を対策に生かせ

The government’s negligence in failing to mandate necessary regulations has led to extensive damage caused by asbestos — this was the recent judicial decision made on asbestos-related health problems.
 政府の怠慢が、アスベスト(石綿)被害を拡大させた。これが司法の結論である。

The government must accept the ruling seriously and take all possible countermeasures.
 政府は重く受け止め、今後の対策に万全を期さねばならない。

In its ruling on two lawsuits filed by 89 plaintiffs, the Supreme Court on Thursday determined that the state was responsible for the damage suffered by 82 plaintiffs and ordered it to pay them compensation. The 89 plaintiffs comprise former employees who suffered from asbestosis and lung cancer after working at an asbestos spinning mill in the Sennan district, southern Osaka Prefecture, and their bereaved families.
 大阪府南部の泉南地域の石綿紡織工場で働き、石綿肺や肺がんになった元従業員と遺族計89人が国家賠償を求めた2件の訴訟で、最高裁は、82人に対しての国の賠償責任を認めた。

Health damage due to asbestos was discovered in 1958 during a survey conducted by the then Labor Ministry. But it was not until 1971 that the ministry made it mandatory to install ventilation systems at factories and plants. The top court denounced the delay as “quite unreasonable.”
 旧労働省の調査で、石綿による健康被害が判明したのは1958年だ。だが、旧労働省が工場に排気装置の設置を義務付けたのは、71年になってからだった。この対応について、最高裁は「著しく合理性を欠く」と結論付けた。

The ruling harshly criticized nonfeasance on the part of administrative offices. The ruling illustrates the top court’s stance that the damage suffered by patients due to the delay in introduction of regulations must be relieved, as in a 2004 ruling on a lawsuit filed in connection with lung disease caused by dust inhalation inside coal mines in the Chikuho district, Fukuoka Prefecture, and a ruling in the same year on a Minamata disease lawsuit filed by residents in the Kansai region.
 行政の不作為を厳しく批判する判決である。2004年の筑豊じん肺訴訟判決、関西水俣病訴訟判決と同様、規制の遅れによって被害を受けた原告は救済されるべきだ、という最高裁の姿勢が示されたと言える。

Almost all the asbestos factories were operated by small and mid-size companies. The Supreme Court likely gave much weight to the government’s responsibility for leaving the task of ensuring labor safety in the hands of such operators with insufficient funds.
 石綿工場のほとんどは、中小零細企業だ。最高裁は、資金力の乏しい工場に、労働安全の取り組みを任せきりにした政府の責任も重く見たのだろう。

The court sent a case by some of the plaintiffs back to the Osaka High Court in order to calculate the amount of compensation. Of the 89 plaintiffs, 14 have already died.
 最高裁は、一部の原告については、賠償額算定のため、審理を大阪高裁に差し戻した。既に14人の原告が亡くなっている。

Solution needed soon

The government should seek early solutions through such means as out-of-court settlements.
 政府は、和解などで早期の決着を図るべきだ。

Asbestos, which offers superior fire resistance, was imported in large quantities from the 1970s through the 1990s. Used mainly as a housing construction material, it was totally banned in 2006.
 耐火性に優れる石綿は70~90年代に大量輸入され、主に住宅建材に用いられた。使用が全面禁止されたのは、2006年だ。

Many of the buildings in which asbestos was used have become obsolete. There is concern that the substance will be spread when the structures are dismantled. A large amount of asbestos is said to have been dispersed when houses collapsed in the aftermath of the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake and the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.
 石綿が使われた建物の多くは老朽化しており、解体時の飛散が懸念されている。阪神大震災や東日本大震災でも、家屋の倒壊で大量の石綿が飛散したと言われる。

The government enforced the revised air pollution control law in June, making it mandatory for contractors to report plans for demolition work to local governments before it is conducted. Violators will be fined.
 政府は6月、改正大気汚染防止法を施行し、解体工事を実施する際、発注者に自治体への届け出を義務付けた。無届けでの解体には、罰則が科される。

Local governments must work toward preventing health damage from asbestos by implementing such steps as on-the-spot inspections at demolition sites.
 自治体は、解体現場への立ち入り検査を実施するなど、石綿被害の防止に努めてもらいたい。

Relief measures are indispensable for those suffering from such diseases as lung cancer and mesothelioma.
 肺がんや中皮腫などを発症した人の救済も欠かせない。

More than 20,000 sufferers of asbestos-related disease have been recognized for work-related accident compensation or entitlement to benefits under the asbestos relief law. The number of such people is expected to increase further.
 石綿による疾病で、労災認定や石綿健康被害救済法の給付認定を受けた人は2万人を超え、今後さらに増えるとみられる。

After asbestos has been inhaled, it takes 20 to 50 years for the effects to appear. Those who feel uneasy about whether they inhaled the substance in the past are advised to undergo testing.
 石綿を吸入してから発症するまでの潜伏期間は、20~50年に及ぶ。過去に吸い込んだのではないか、と不安に思う人は、検診を受けることが大切だ。

The government, for its part, must provide additional support to develop treatment methods for asbestos-related diseases.
 政府には、治療法の研究開発に一層の支援が求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 11, 2014)Speech

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ノーベル平和賞 テロに屈しない少女への栄誉

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Rights defenders Malala, Satyarthi honored by Nobel Peace Prize
ノーベル平和賞 テロに屈しない少女への栄誉

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has announced that it will give this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to 17-year-old Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai in honor of her determination and courage, which have remained undaunted even after an armed attack.
 銃撃にも屈しない少女の強い意志と勇気が称賛されたのだろう。
 パキスタンのマララ・ユスフザイさん(17)に、今年のノーベル平和賞が贈られることになった。

Malala was critically injured in the attack by Islamic extremists, but even after her recovery she has continued to campaign for women’s right to receive an education.
イスラム過激派の襲撃で瀕死ひんしの重傷を負った後も、女性が教育を受ける権利を訴え続けてきた。

The prize will also be awarded to Kailash Satyarthi of India, 60, who has been rescuing children forced to work under exploitative labor conditions in his country.
 インドで不当な労働を強いられている子供の救出にあたるカイラシュ・サティアルティさん(60)への授賞も決まった。

The committee cited the two “for their struggle ... for the right of all children to education.”
 ノルウェーのノーベル賞委員会は授賞理由について、2人による「全ての子供が持つ教育の権利のための闘い」を挙げた。

Wars and oppression have deprived children of opportunities to receive education. It is hoped that the world will take this occasion to recognize again this reality facing children and renew its determination to solve the problem.
 戦争や、いわれのない抑圧が、子供たちから教育を受ける機会を奪っている。そんな現実を世界が再認識し、問題解決への決意を新たにするきっかけとしたい。

Malala is the youngest-ever winner of a Nobel Prize in any category.
 マララさんは、ノーベル賞のすべての部門を通じ、史上最年少での受賞となる。

In Pakistan, extremists opposing education for women have destroyed many schools and obstructed girls from going to school. Malala was thrust into the global spotlight several years ago when she wrote blog posts to spread knowledge of the situation to the rest of the world.
 パキスタンでは女子教育に反対するイスラム過激派が、多くの学校を破壊し、女子の通学を妨害している。そうした実態を、ブログへの投稿などで世界に発信し、一躍注目を集めた。

Two years ago, she was shot in the head by extremists while riding a bus back home from school. She was on the brink of death at one point but made a miraculous recovery.
 2年前に通学バスで帰宅する途中、過激派の銃弾を頭部に受け、一時は生死の境をさまよったが、奇跡的に回復した。

Education is power

In a speech last year when she was invited to the U.N. Headquarters, she stressed the importance of education. “One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world,” she said. “The extremists are afraid of books and pens. The power of education frightens them.” Her fearless attitude has moved the hearts of many people around the world.
 国連本部に招かれた際の演説では、「1人の子供、1人の教師、1冊の本と1本のペンが世界を変える」「過激主義者は本とペンを、教育の力を恐れている」と、教育の大切さを訴えた。毅然きぜんとした態度が、世界中に感動を与えた。

Her winning the prize sends a strong message that the world will not tolerate the infringement of human rights, including discrimination against women, by Islamic extremists or their repeated acts of violence.
 今回の平和賞授賞は、女性蔑視などの人権侵害や、暴力を繰り返すイスラム過激派の振る舞いは、決して看過できないという、強いメッセージとなろう。

A fund established in line with her mission has been widely used not only for children in Pakistan, but also children who became refugees in the wake of the Syrian civil war and Nigerian women who lack the means to receive an education.
 マララさんの活動に共鳴して設立された基金は、パキスタン国内はもとより、シリア内戦による難民の子供や、教育を受けられないナイジェリア女性の援助などに、幅広く活用されている。

Satyarthi has denounced the exploitation of many young children who are forcibly separated from their parents and made to work at farms and other sites. He has reportedly rescued as many as 80,000 children from forced labor.
 一方、サティアルティさんは、大勢の幼い子供が無理やり親から引き離され、農場などで働かされている問題を糾弾してきた。これまでに8万人とも言われる子供を労働から解放したという。

It is hoped that campaigns to protect the rights of children will be spread worldwide by people inspired by the awarding of the peace prize to Malala and Satyarthi.
 マララさんらへの授賞に勇気を得た人々が立ち上がり、子供の権利を守る運動が、世界に広がることが望まれる。

Promotion of proper education is essential to eradicating prejudice, discrimination and poverty, as well as creating a society in which people solve problems through dialogue.
 正しい教育の普及は、偏見や差別、貧困をなくし、問題を話し合いで解決する社会を作るうえで不可欠である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 11, 2014)Speech

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2014年10月11日 (土)

派遣法改正案 増えるか減るかに終始するな

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Temporary staffing bill debate goes beyond simple ‘increase or decrease’
派遣法改正案 増えるか減るかに終始するな

A government-sponsored bill to revise the Temporary Staffing Services Law has become a legislative cause over which the ruling and opposition parties are locking horns at a newly opened Diet session.
 政府が再提出した労働者派遣法改正案が、臨時国会の与野党対決法案の一つになっている。

The focus of their debate over the bill is what should be done to improve the treatment of temporary employees and guarantee their job security. Legislators need to promote constructive debates on the whole issue during the extraordinary Diet session, which opened on Sept. 29.
The bill was submitted to the new Diet session after similar legislation was scrapped at the last ordinary Diet session, which closed in late June.
 派遣労働者の処遇改善と安定的な雇用確保を、どう実現するか。国会での建設的な議論が求められる。

The main pillar of the bill seeks to enable business corporations to utilize temporary staff in all categories of services for unlimited periods.
 改正案の柱は、全ての業務で、企業が期間の制限なく派遣労働者を使えるようにすることだ。

The current law does not permit corporations to keep temporary workers on their payroll for a period in excess of three years. Professionals in 26 fields, such as interpreters and secretaries, are an exception to this rule.
 現在は、派遣労働者の受け入れ期間を、通訳や秘書など26の専門業務を除き、最長3年としている。

This legal restriction is aimed at preventing companies from replacing regular employees with temporary workers to conduct the work currently carried out by regular employees.
企業が正社員の仕事を派遣労働者に切り替えるのを防ぐためだ。

The amendment bill would authorize corporations to extend the period of employment for temporary workers, provided input is heard from labor unions and other entities affected by proposed measures once every three years. We find it reasonable that the bill will make it easier for companies to use temporary staff as a resource necessary for corporate activities such as expanding the scope of business operations.
 改正案では、3年ごとに労働組合などの意見を聞けば、期間を延長できるようにする。企業が事業拡大に乗り出す際などに、戦力として活用しやすくする狙いは、理解できる。

Nonetheless, the bill will not allow temporary workers to be kept continuously on the payroll at a single business facility. The bill places a three-year upper limit on the term of employment for temporary workers in each job assignment.
 ただし、同じ働き手が同一の派遣先で継続的に働くことはできない。改正案は、一人一人の派遣期間の上限を原則3年に制限した。

The rationale for this rule is that experiencing various job assignments will help improve the skills of temporary employees, thereby enabling them to receive higher wages and other advantageous treatment.
異なる仕事を経験することで能力が高まり、より良い条件で働けるようになるとの考え方に立つ。

These envisaged rules mean temporary staffing agencies will have a greater obligation to fulfill in this respect. For instance, the bill would require such agencies to take measures aimed at increasing the job security of each temporary employee after three years of work at the corporation to which he or she has been assigned. More precisely, a temporary staffing agency must ask the company to directly employ the worker, while also finding a new company to which the worker could be sent.
 派遣会社の責任は重くなる。3年を経過した働き手について、派遣先への直接雇用の依頼や、新たな派遣先の提供などの雇用安定措置を義務づけた。

Systematic training necessary

Another obligation for personnel placement agencies would be to assist temporary workers in improving their career opportunities through measures such as systematic vocational training.
計画的な教育訓練といったキャリアアップ支援も責務とした。

These steps constitute an effort to better protect temporary employees while also guaranteeing them a diversity of work styles. In fact, the current legislation has been insufficient in protecting such workers over the years.
 多様な働き方を確保しつつ、手薄だった派遣労働者の保護を強化する。

Given this, the specifics of the bill can be deemed to be reasonable.
妥当な内容と言えよう。

The Democratic Party of Japan is urging other opposition parties to join hands to oppose the bill, criticizing it as a measure conducive to increasing the number of “life-time temporary workers.” At a session of the House of Representatives Budget Committee, a DPJ member pressed the government for an answer to his question over whether the bill is intended to “increase or decrease” the number of temporary workers.
 民主党は、「生涯にわたる派遣が増える」と改正案を批判し、他の野党に連携を呼びかけている。衆院予算委員会では、「派遣を増やすのか、減らすのか」と、政府に詰め寄った。

In reply, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe emphasized the purpose of the bill by describing it as a set of measures to “aid temporary employees in their career development, including an effort to place them on the regular payroll.”
 これに対し、安倍首相は「正社員化を含むキャリアアップを支援するもの」と強調した。

About 40 percent of temporary workers hope to become permanent regular employees. It is important to reduce the number of people taking up temporary jobs despite their desire to earn a permanent position. However, it should be noted that a considerable number of people have limited time to work because of their family circumstances and other reasons, and, consequently, want to work as a temporary worker.
 派遣労働者の4割は、正社員として働くことを望んでいる。不本意ながら派遣で働く人を減らすのは重要だ。しかし、家庭の事情などで働く時間が限られ、派遣の仕事を望む人も少なくない。

No one should be obsessed with debating the whole issue just from the standpoint of “an increase or decrease” in the number of temporary employees. Such a stance is tantamount to looking negatively at all temporary jobs without exception.
 派遣労働を一律に否定的に捉え、「増えるか、減るか」の議論に終始すべきではない。

What is important is to improve the working conditions of temporary workers. It is essential to discuss pertinent issues from various perspectives, with a view to rectifying the status quo of temporary staff as low-paid workers who have poor job security and cannot expect to receive pay increases.
 重要なのは、派遣労働者の処遇向上である。地位が不安定かつ低賃金で、昇給がほとんどない現状を改善するため、多面的に議論することが大切だ。

The amendment bill would obligate all temporary staffing agencies to operate on a licensing system, meaning they must fulfill more rigorous requirements.
 改正案では、全ての派遣会社を許可制とし、要件を厳しくする。

If temporary staffing firms are consolidated into a group of corporations whose size exceeds a certain level, it will improve their power to better negotiate with the companies to which temporary staff have been sent.
一定規模以上の業者に集約化されれば、派遣先との交渉力が強まろう。

We hope achieving success in realigning the temporary staffing business will do much to improve the treatment of workers in that sector.
業界再編が働き手の処遇改善につながることを期待したい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 8, 2014)Speech

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ノーベル賞 世界変えた青い光を誇りたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun
We are proud that Japan’s bright blue light has changed the world
ノーベル賞 世界変えた青い光を誇りたい

The potential of Japan’s technological development has again been shown to the world.
 日本の技術開発の底力が、世界に示された。

On Tuesday, three Japanese scientists who succeeded in developing blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and putting the technology into practical use were awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics.
 青色の発光ダイオード(LED)を発明し、実用化した日本人研究者3人に、今年のノーベル物理学賞が贈られる。

The three are Prof. Isamu Akasaki of Meijo University; Prof. Hiroshi Amano of Nagoya University; and Prof. Shuji Nakamura of the University of California, Santa Barbara. We would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to them.
 名城大の赤崎勇教授、名古屋大の天野浩教授、米カリフォルニア大の中村修二教授である。栄誉を心から称えたい。

It had long been regarded as impossible to develop blue LEDs.
 青色LEDは「実現は不可能」と言われていた。

Akasaki came up with an idea to form a special crystal based on a substance called gallium nitride, thinking that the crystal would emit blue light. He conducted numerous experiments with Amano, who belonged to Akasaki’s lab at that time as a graduate student, and the two succeeded in developing blue LEDs in 1989.
 赤崎氏は、ガリウムという物質をもとに、特殊な結晶を合成すれば青い光を出すのではないか、と考えた。当時、研究室の大学院生だった天野氏と実験を重ね、1989年に初めて、青い光を出すことに成功した。

The achievement completed the development of LEDs in green, red and blue — the three primary colors of light. It has become possible to form various colors by mixing the three colors.
 既存の赤、緑のダイオードと合わせ、光の三原色がそろい、これらを混ぜ合わせることで多彩な色が表現できるようになった。

However, one problem remained — finding a way to mass-produce blue LEDs. In 1993, Nakamura, who was working at a chemical company in Tokushima Prefecture, succeeded in developing a manufacturing process for blue LEDs, which paved the way for the spread of the light source.
 結晶の大量生産が難題だった。徳島県内の化学会社にいた中村氏が93年、製造法の開発に成功し、普及に道筋をつけた。

We are proud that the entire development process — from idea to practical implementation — was done by Japanese scientists.
 着想から実用化まで、すべての過程が日本人研究者によって成し遂げられたことが誇らしい。

Improving quality of life

LEDs have become fundamental technology that underpins today’s information society. The light source is integral to the mass processing and transmission of information through computers. It is also used in various products around us, such as traffic lights, large-screen displays and camera flashes.
 LEDは、今日の情報社会を支えている基盤技術の一つだ。コンピューターによる大量の情報処理・伝達には欠かせない。交通信号や大型ディスプレー、カメラのフラッシュなど、身近なものにも幅広く使われている。

In addition, LED lamps are now replacing incandescent bulbs and fluorescent lights as a light source that has a longer life span while consuming less power. The technology is also useful in combating global warming.
 さらに、寿命が長く、電力消費量が少ない省エネ型の照明として、旧来の白熱電球や蛍光灯に取って代わりつつある。地球温暖化対策上も、重要な技術である。

There was a legal battle between Nakamura and the company he had belonged to over a patent regarding the manufacturing process. However, the fact that the three academics received the prestigious award at the same time suggests the Nobel committee concluded the three equally contributed to the scientific progress and the development of society.
 製造法に関しては、特許を巡る訴訟もあったが、3人同時の受賞が決まったのは、科学の進歩と社会の発展に等しく貢献したと判断されたからだろう。

There now have been 22 Japanese Nobel Prize laureates, with 19 of them coming from the field of natural science. This is proof of how well Japanese scholars excel in their creativity and technical capability.
 日本のノーベル賞受賞者は、これで22人になる。このうち、自然科学分野が19人を占める。日本の研究者の優れた発想力と技術力の証しと言えよう。

One point of concern regarding everyday research activities in Japan is a lack of talent and a decline in competitive prowess, problems that are becoming increasingly serious. Young researchers have become reluctant to enter technological development fields as it takes time and hard effort to produce tangible results.
 気がかりなのは、日本の研究現場で、人材不足や競争力の低下が深刻化していることだ。成果が出るまでに手間や時間がかかる技術開発分野に、若手の研究者が集まらなくなっている。

As for the number of research papers published in journals, which is regarded as a barometer of the vitality of research activities, Japan ranked second around 2000 but has now dropped to fifth, surpassed by China and other nations.
 科学技術水準の目安となる論文発表数は、2000年前後は世界2位だったが、現在は中国などに抜かれ、5位に低迷している。

The news of three Japanese scientists winning the Nobel Prize should serve as great inspiration to young students who wish to enter scientific fields. We hope it will also help rejuvenate Japan’s manufacturing industry, which is now struggling under cutthroat international competition.
 今回の受賞は、科学を志す若者に大きな夢を与えるだろう。激しい国際競争の中で苦戦を強いられている日本の「もの作り」が再び活性化することも期待したい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 8, 2014)Speech

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再生エネ中断 電力の安定供給が優先される

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Put priority on stable electricity supply over use of renewable energy
再生エネ中断 電力の安定供給が優先される

Under the government’s feed-in tariff system, Japan’s major electricity utilities are obligated to buy power from renewable energy producers at set rates. However, a growing number of utilities are freezing new applications by producers keen to access their grids with electricity generated through solar, wind and other renewable sources.
 太陽光や風力など再生可能エネルギーの固定価格買い取り制度を巡り、大手電力会社が、新たな受け入れを中断する動きが広がっている。

Seven of the nation’s 10 major utilities, including Hokkaido Electric Power Co., Tohoku Electric Power Co. and Kyushu Electric Power Co., have explained that the surge in applications to provide electricity generated through renewable sources has exceeded the capacity their grids can accept. If this situation is left unaddressed, there are fears it could destabilize the balance of electricity supply and demand and lead to blackouts, according to the utilities.
 電力10社のうち北海道、東北、九州など7社で、買い取り申請が急増し、受け入れ能力を超えた、と説明している。このままでは、電力需給バランスが崩れ、停電を起こす恐れがあるという。

We want more renewable energy to be used as much as possible. Nevertheless, the stable supply of electricity must be given top priority. Shortcomings in the government’s feed-in tariff system must be quickly remedied.
 再生エネはできる限り普及させたいが、電力の安定供給が最優先である。政府は買い取り制度の欠陥を早急に正さねばならない。

If the renewable energy providers approved by the government were all operating, they would have a supply capacity of 70 million kilowatts. This would equate to 90 percent of the government’s target, which is to have renewables provide 20 percent of the nation’s total electricity supply.
 政府が認定した再生エネ発電所がすべて稼働した場合の供給能力は7000万キロ・ワットとなり、全発電量の2割を目指すという政府目標の9割を達成できる計算だ。

A glance at these figures would suggest the introduction of renewable energy is proceeding swimmingly. However, there are pitfalls.
 数字の上では再生エネ導入が順調に進んでいるように見えるが、落とし穴があった。

A major weak point of solar and many other renewable energy sources is that their output can fluctuate sharply depending on weather conditions and the time of day. Failure to maintain a steady balance with demand presents the risk of disrupting the frequency and voltage of electricity supplies, which could in turn cause power outages and damage equipment and facilities.
 太陽光などは、天候や時間帯によって発電量が急激に変動する短所を抱えている。需要量と的確に均衡を保たないと、電気の周波数や電圧が乱れ、停電や設備の故障を引き起こす恐れがある。

Supply-demand balance key

The greater the use of renewable energy, the more adjustments must be made to the supply of electricity generated through such sources as thermal power generation. This can make it difficult to maintain a balance between supply and demand.
 再生エネが多いほど、火力など他の電源の発電量を調整し、需給均衡させることが困難になる。

This is why the special measures law enacted to promote renewable energy stipulates that power companies can refuse to buy electricity generated from renewables if they have concerns that there may be hindrances to the smooth supply of electricity.
 再生エネ特別措置法が、電気の円滑な供給に支障が生ずるおそれがある場合は、電力会社が再生エネの買い取りを拒否できると定めているのは、このためだ。

Power companies feel a sense of alarm that the rapid acceleration of renewable energy provision could jeopardize a steady supply of electricity in the future. We can understand why some have taken the step of limiting access to their grids.
 再生エネ導入の急加速を受け、電力各社が、将来の安定供給に危機感を持ち、受け入れ制限に踏み切ったのは理解できる。

The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry has established a task force of experts that has started to examine what capacity of electricity generated through renewable energy the nation’s utilities can handle. At the House of Councillors Budget Committee on Tuesday, Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yuko Obuchi said, “I hope the task force will finish its work by the end of the year.”
 経済産業省は有識者による作業部会を設け、再生エネ買い取り可能量の調査を始めた。小渕経産相は7日の参院予算委員会で「年内に検証を終えたい」と述べた。

Under pressure from the halt in renewable energy generation plans, many operators have been left in the lurch. We hope this issue will be thoroughly examined based on accurate data.
 再生エネ発電の計画が中断を強いられ、窮地に立つ事業者も少なくない。正確なデータに基づき、しっかり検証してもらいたい。

There are ways utilities could accept a greater amount of electricity generated from renewable energy sources. For example, they could install huge storage batteries and build more transmission lines between their respective areas so surplus electricity could be shared among them as needed. However, implementing these steps on a large scale will reportedly come with a price tag measured in trillions of yen.
 再生エネ発電をより多く受け入れるには、大型蓄電池の設置や、電力会社間の送電線拡充による余剰電力の相互受け入れなどの手段がある。ただ、これらを本格的に実施するには、兆円単位の費用がかかると言われる。

It is expected these costs will mount if the use of renewables expands dramatically. However, right now there are not even rules in place for covering these expenses.
 再生エネを急激に拡大すれば、こうしたコストがかさむことは予想されていたが、それを賄うルールさえ決まっていない。

The root of the problem is the slipshod design of the system, decided when the Democratic Party of Japan was in power several years ago. Its flaws include insufficient screening processes and inflated prices at which utilities must buy electricity. We think the government should review the system from top to bottom, and revise its policies for promoting greater use of renewable energy to make them more realistic.
 高すぎる買い取り価格や審査体制の不備なども含め、民主党政権時代に決めた制度設計の甘さが、問題の根幹にある。政府は制度を抜本的に見直し、現実的な再生エネ普及策に改めるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 9, 2014)Speech

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日米防衛指針 切れ目ない共同対処を可能に

The Yomiuri Shimbun
New defense guidelines must enable seamless, effective joint cooperation
日米防衛指針 切れ目ない共同対処を可能に

It is extremely important for the new defense guidelines to enable the Self-Defense Forces and U.S. forces to act jointly and seamlessly in line with changing circumstances from peacetime to contingencies.
 平時から有事へ、危機の進展に応じて、自衛隊と米軍が切れ目のない共同対処ができる仕組みにすることが肝要だ。

The Japanese and U.S. governments on Wednesday released an interim report on revision of the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation. The revisions focus on better enabling swift, flexible and effective bilateral defense cooperation between the two countries, while eventually eliminating the three classifications of circumstances — peacetime, contingencies Japan may face and contingencies in areas surrounding Japan — stipulated under the present guidelines.
 日米両政府が、日米防衛協力の指針(ガイドライン)見直しの中間報告を公表した。平時、日本有事、周辺有事という現指針の3分類はなくす方向で、より迅速、柔軟で実効性ある日米協力を可能にすることが柱である。

Enacted in 1999 on the basis of the current guidelines that were adopted in 1997, the law concerning the nation’s response to contingencies in areas surrounding Japan is a landmark in security legislation that has established the various forms of cooperation that Japan can extend to U.S. forces, ranging from supplies to transportation, in preparation for a contingency on the Korean Peninsula.
 1997年の現指針に基づいて99年に成立した周辺事態法は、朝鮮半島有事を念頭に、補給、輸送など様々な対米支援を定めた歴史的な安全保障法制だ。

As there are strict criteria for the recognition of circumstances as a contingency in areas surrounding Japan, it can hardly be denied that the law is difficult to invoke.
だが、周辺事態の認定のハードルは高く、活用しづらいのは否めない。

Experts have also pointed out such problems as the fact that the nation cannot supply fuel even to U.S. military vessels on joint alert with the Maritime Self-Defense Force over a ballistic missile launch by North Korea.
 北朝鮮の弾道ミサイル発射を、海上自衛隊とともに警戒中の米軍艦船にさえ給油できない、といった問題点も指摘されていた。

What is urgently needed is an enhanced bilateral security system allowing the SDF and U.S. forces to cooperate closely and respond effectively to so-called gray-zone situations — which are deemed neither peacetime incidents nor contingencies — such as the occupation of remote islands by armed groups.
 武装集団による離島占拠など、平時でも有事でもないグレーゾーン事態の発生時に、自衛隊と米軍が緊密に連携し、効果的に対応する制度を整えることが急務だ。

It is important that the interim report has stipulated that “protection of assets (including equipment)” should be included in the revised guidelines as a specific type of cooperation.
 中間報告が具体的な協力として「アセット(装備品等)防護」を明記したのは重要である。

SDF scope expanded

This stipulation is based on the government’s new interpretation of the Constitution, adopted in July, which allows the SDF to protect U.S. vessels under armed attacks in gray-zone situations, in addition to enabling the nation to exercise, within a limited range, the right of collective self-defense.
 7月の新政府見解が集団的自衛権の行使の限定容認に加え、グレーゾーン事態での米艦防護を盛り込んだのを踏まえたものだ。

The use of weapons, as permitted under such a scenario as MSDF vessels coming under armed attacks, stipulated in Section 95 of the Self-Defense Forces Law, is to be applied to the protection of U.S. military vessels.
海自艦船が攻撃された時と同様の自衛隊法95条に基づく武器使用を、米艦防護にも適用させる。

This should be recognized as an effective move that will facilitate Japan-U.S. joint warning and surveillance activity in areas surrounding Japan, and enhance bilateral relations of trust.
 日本周辺での日米共同の警戒監視活動を円滑にし、双方の信頼関係を高めると評価できる。

Details related to the use of the right of collective self-defense are not included in the interim report. The matter has been put off until the final report, which both governments plan to decide on at the year-end. As the issue constitutes a core element of strengthening the deterrent power of the Japan-U.S. alliance, the new guidelines need to stipulate them clearly and specifically.
 集団的自衛権の行使に関する詳細は中間報告に盛り込まれず、年末の策定を目指す最終報告に先送りされた。日米同盟の抑止力を強化するための中核的要素であり、新指針では、明確かつ具体的に記述する必要がある。

Also included in the interim report are the reinforcement of joint Japan-U.S. cooperation in Asia and in the world, and the promotion of trilateral and multilateral security and defense cooperation with regional allies and partners, with an eye on Australia and South Korea.
 中間報告は、アジアと世界における日米協力の強化や、豪州や韓国を念頭に、地域の同盟国やパートナーとの3か国・多国間の安保協力の推進も盛り込んだ。

Since the current guidelines were worked out, security cooperation between Japan and the United States has expanded on a global scale, ranging from refueling in the Indian Ocean, postwar reconstruction assistance to Iraq, measures to deal with pirates and natural disaster relief efforts.
 現指針の策定後、日米の安保協力は、インド洋での給油、イラク復興支援、海賊対処、災害救援など、世界規模に拡大している。

Reflecting the current state of bilateral ties and diversifying international peacekeeping cooperation in the new guidelines will be significant, as it will strengthen the value of the Japan-U.S. alliance as “a public good” that contributes to regional peace and stability.
 新指針にこの実態を反映し、さらに多様な国際平和協力活動を打ち出すことは、地域の平和と安定に貢献する日米同盟の「公共財」的性格を強める意義を持とう。

Before releasing the interim report, the United States briefed South Korea on the contents and sought its understanding. It is quite an appropriate step. Japan, for its part, must explain in a careful manner to its neighboring countries what the nation intends to do with the guidelines and its policy for developing related legislation so as to enhance transparency in their revision.
 米国は中間報告発表に先立って韓国に内容を説明し、理解を求めた。適切な対応だ。日本も、日本側の意図や法整備方針を周辺国に丁寧に説明し、指針改定の透明性を高めることが欠かせない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 9, 2014)Speech

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東京五輪半世紀 あの感動を2020年にも

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Emotions of 50 years ago return in anticipation of 2020 Tokyo Games
東京五輪半世紀 あの感動を2020年にも

The Olympic flame was lit at the National Stadium in Tokyo on Oct. 10, 1964, a fine autumn day. Just half a century has passed since the Tokyo Olympics opened in exultation on that day.
 1964年10月10日、秋晴れの東京・国立競技場に聖火が灯ともった。歓喜に包まれた東京五輪の開幕から、ちょうど半世紀が過ぎた。

The Tokyo Games, which drew the participation of 93 countries and territories, was the first Olympics held in Asia. It was a major event that showed the world a Japan that had achieved rapid reconstruction from its devastation by war.
 93か国・地域が参加したアジア初の五輪は、焦土からの急速な復興を遂げた日本の姿を世界に示す一大イベントだった。

The women’s volleyball team, dubbed “The Witches of the Orient,” and the men’s gymnastics team won gold medals. These and other spectacular performances by Japanese athletes thrilled the nation.
 バレーボール女子の「東洋の魔女」や体操男子の金メダル獲得などに、日本中が沸いた。

The outstanding performances of foreign athletes — including marathon gold medalist Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia and Soviet women’s gymnastics gold medalist Vera Caslavska — also made a lasting impression in the minds of many Japanese people.
 マラソンのアベベ、体操のチャスラフスカら、活躍した外国人選手の名も、多くの日本人の記憶に深く刻まれている。

The 1964 Tokyo Games left behind a number of legacies, including the National Stadium and other venues for Olympic events, which have been used for various sports since. The Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train service and Tokyo monorail started operation in 1964, and the Metropolitan Expressway running through central Tokyo was also built.
 64年東京五輪は、数々の遺産を残してくれた。国立競技場などの会場は、スポーツの拠点として親しまれてきた。東海道新幹線や東京モノレールが開業した。首都高速道路も整備された。

Thus, the Tokyo Olympics sparked the construction of urban infrastructure that has led to the creation of Tokyo as it is today.
 五輪は、今の東京につながる都市基盤整備の起爆剤となった。

We again feel the passage of time on the 50th anniversary of the Tokyo Games.
 あの五輪から50年の節目に、改めて時の流れを実感する。

Masae Nakamura (whose maiden name was Kasai), captain of “The Witches of the Orient,” died in October last year. The gymnasium at Komazawa Olympic Park, where the final volleyball match between the Japanese and Soviet national teams was held, will be dismantled due to age.
 「東洋の魔女」の主将だった中村(旧姓河西)昌枝さんは、昨年10月に亡くなった。決勝のソ連戦の会場となった駒沢オリンピック公園の屋内球技場は、老朽化のため、解体される。

When final Olympic torch runner Yoshinori Sakai, who lit the Olympic cauldron, died in September this year, many middle-aged and elderly people were said to have been deeply moved.
 開会式で聖火台に点火した坂井義則さんが今年9月に死去した際には、深い感慨を覚えた中高年の人も多かっただろう。

Prepare carefully

On the other hand, the number of people who did not experience that thrilling moment half a century ago has been increasing. So it is all the more delightful that there will be yet another chance to light the Olympic flame in Tokyo.
 一方で、半世紀前の感動を知らない世代が増えている。だからこそ、東京に再び聖火を灯す機会を得たことが、本当に喜ばしい。

Preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics have been put into high gear. It is essential for all those concerned to make concerted efforts to carry out the necessary projects carefully.
 2020年東京五輪・パラリンピックの準備が本格化している。オールジャパン体制で、抜かりなく作業を進めることが重要だ。

The Tokyo metropolitan government has been reviewing plans to build competition venue facilities, as construction costs are estimated to swell significantly due to spikes in material and personnel costs. As long as public money is to be invested, it is natural to work toward reducing costs as much as possible while eliminating wasteful spending.
 東京都は、競技会場の整備計画の見直しを進めている。資材や人件費の高騰で、整備費の大幅な膨張が見込まれるためだ。公費を投じる以上、無駄を排し、コスト削減に努めるのは当然である。

But it must be noted that the main venue facilities will remain as legacies for the future after the Olympics. So care must be taken to make them viable in the long term. It is necessary to accelerate the construction of the new National Stadium, which has been delayed due partly to the cumbersome bidding procedures for the project.
 ただ、主な競技施設は、未来への遺産となる。スポーツ施設として、長く使える機能性は大切にせねばならない。入札手続きの不手際などで遅れている新国立競技場の建設を急ぐ必要がある。

It is essential to improve systems for hosting foreign athletes, players and spectators. Preparations must be made in both the fields of hardware and software to improve information infrastructure and make it easier to access the Internet, to introduce a multilingual system for street guidance signs and signboards, and to improve the public’s abilities in conversational English to deal with foreign visitors.
 海外からの選手や観光客の受け入れ体制の充実も不可欠だ。インターネットに接続しやすい情報インフラの整備や街中の案内表示の多言語化、外国人と接する際の英会話力の向上など、ハード、ソフト両面での準備が求められる。

Such endeavors will become valuable assets for Japan in its aspirations to become a tourism-oriented country. We hope the Tokyo Games will be a fantastic sports extravaganza that presents a model of how the Games should be held in a developed city.
 こうした取り組みは、観光立国を目指す上で貴重な財産となる。成熟都市で開く五輪のモデルとなる素晴らしい大会にしたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 10, 2014)Speech

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産経前支局長 韓国ならではの「政治的」起訴

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Indictment of former Sankei bureau chief suggests political motivation
産経前支局長 韓国ならではの「政治的」起訴

It is an exercise of governmental authority far removed from the reaction expected of a democratic nation.
 民主主義国家が取るべき対応からかけ離れた公権力の行使である。

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office has indicted without arrest the former chief of The Sankei Shimbun’s Seoul Bureau. He has been charged with defamation under South Korea’s information and communications network law. The indictment alleges a column posted on the Sankei website in August damaged the reputation of South Korean President Park Geun-hye.
 韓国のソウル中央地検が、産経新聞の前ソウル支局長を、情報通信網法に基づく名誉毀損きそん罪で在宅起訴した。産経新聞のサイトに8月に掲載した記事で、朴槿恵大統領の名誉を傷つけたという理由だ。

This appears to be a politically motivated indictment following the wishes of the Blue House, which had declared it would pursue criminal responsibility in this case. The pressure being applied to the media is absolutely unacceptable.
 刑事責任の追及を明言していた韓国大統領府の意向に沿った政治的な起訴だろう。報道への圧力は、到底容認できない。

We wonder if this was intended to punish a Japanese media organization that printed an article irksome to the Park administration, against the backdrop of anti-Japan sentiment in South Korea.
 朴政権に不都合な記事を掲載した日本の報道機関に対し、韓国内の反日感情を背景に、制裁を加える意図はなかっただろうか。

Freedom of the press is an essential principle that shapes a democratic society.
 報道の自由は、民主主義社会を形成する上で不可欠な原則だ。

It is conventional wisdom in the international community that in nations where democratic politics have become established, a criminal prosecution based on the content of a media report should be restrained as much as possible.
 民主政治が確立した国では、報道内容を理由にした刑事訴追は、努めて抑制的であるのが国際社会の常識である。

The Seoul Foreign Correspondents’ Club, a club for foreign media organizations with offices in South Korea, announced it was “deeply concerned” about the indictment, and said it could interfere with the freedom of the media.
 韓国に拠点を置く海外報道機関で構成する「ソウル外信記者クラブ」は、報道の自由の侵害につながりかねない、と「深刻な憂慮」を表明した。

The online column in question reported there were “rumors” Park had met with a man on the day of the Sewol ferry disaster in April. The report included quotes from a column in the Chosun Ilbo, a major South Korean newspaper.
 問題の記事は、韓国有力紙、朝鮮日報のコラムを引用し、4月の旅客船セウォル号沈没事故の当日、朴氏が男性と会っていたという「ウワサ」があると報じた。

The Sankei bureau chief also added original information from his own “political sources” that insinuated Park was in a “close relationship” with another man.
 別の男性との「緊密な関係」をにおわせる「政界筋」の情報も独自に付け加えた。

Another strain on bilateral ties

The indictment concludes that these rumors have been confirmed as untrue. It insists the former bureau chief “accentuated false information as being true” through the Internet.
 起訴状は、こうしたうわさが虚偽であることが確認されたと断じている。前支局長がインターネットを通じて、「虚偽の事実を際立たせた」とも主張する。

The former bureau chief has left himself wide open to criticism for readily writing an article based on a rumor. Nevertheless, criminal prosecution in this case is going too far. He has already been banned from leaving South Korea for more than 60 days. This also breaches the basic human right of freedom of movement.
 前支局長が風評を安易に記事にしたことは、批判されても仕方がない。だが、刑事訴追するのは、行き過ぎである。60日以上に及ぶ出国禁止処分も、移動の自由という基本的人権を侵害している。

The Sankei Shimbun has demanded the indictment be retracted, and insists the column about the movements of the South Korean president, a public figure, “had a bearing on the public good.”
 産経新聞は、公人である大統領の動静に関する記事は「公益に適かなう」と強調し、起訴処分の撤回を求めている。

It is only natural that there should be a different response when someone’s reputation has been tarnished, depending on whether they are a public official such as a politician who has opportunities to give their side of the story, or a private individual who does not.
 政治家のように反論の機会がある公人と、それがない私人では、名誉を傷つけられた際の対応に、差があってしかるべきだ。

The Blue House lodged a protest with The Sankei Shimbun. Records that show the president’s movements on the day in question were shown to the National Assembly. We think Park’s reputation should already have been restored on this issue.
 大統領府が産経新聞に抗議し、当日の行動記録を国会に示したことで、朴氏の名誉は既に回復されたはずではないか。

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida has expressed concern about the indictment, saying it could have an impact “on the freedom of the press and Japan-South Korea relations.” In meetings with his South Korean counterpart in August and September, Kishida had urged the South Korean side to handle the matter carefully.
 岸田外相は起訴を受け、「報道の自由と日韓関係に関わる」と遺憾の意を表明した。外相は8月と9月の日韓外相会談で、韓国側に慎重な対応を求めていた。

The forcible indictment of the former bureau chief could develop into a diplomatic problem. That could further complicate efforts to patch up bilateral ties between Japan and South Korea.
 起訴の強行は、外交問題に発展し、日韓関係の修復を一層難しくしかねない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 10, 2014)Speech

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2014年10月 8日 (水)

大学中退調査 経済的な負担を軽くしたい

アベノミクスでやみくもに物価をあげるとこうなります。
われわれが進学したとき国立大学の授業料は月額わずか千円でした。
それでも仕送りだけでは生活できず、アルバイトでしのいでいる学生たちは多かったです。
私も家庭教師の仕事でピンチを切り抜けた経験があります。
今の学生さんたち、アルバイトしなくなったのでしょうか。
(スラチャイ)

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Measures needed to lessen financial burdens of college students in need
大学中退調査 経済的な負担を軽くしたい

More and more college students have given up studying because of the inability to pay tuition fees. Supportive measures are needed to help students who want to learn devote themselves to their studies.
 学費を払えずに、学ぶのをあきらめる大学生が増えている。意欲ある学生が勉学に励める支援策の充実が求められる。

A survey taken by the education ministry found that, in the 2012 academic year, the number of those who dropped out of universities, junior colleges and similar institutions totaled 79,000.
 文部科学省の調査によると、2012年度に全国の大学や短大などを中途退学した学生は7万9000人に上った。

One out of five students who left school before graduation did so for financial reasons, up six percentage points from the previous survey taken in the 2007 academic year.
 このうち、経済的理由での中退が20%を占める。前回の07年度調査より6ポイント増加した。

The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry has analyzed the cause as “a widening economic disparity among households, against a backdrop of the lingering effects of an economic slowdown.”
文科省は「不況の影響が続き、家庭の経済的な格差が広がったことが背景にある」と分析する。

It is essential for universities to take flexible approaches, such as giving students more time to pay tuition fees.
 授業料の支払い猶予など、大学側の柔軟な対応が欠かせない。

Also important is to make student loans extended by the government more accessible for students.
 政府の奨学金を利用しやすくすることも大切だ。

The education ministry aims to introduce student loans with repayment linked to a recipient’s postgraduate income, so the amount of monthly repayments would be adjusted in line with annual income.
文科省は、大学卒業後の年収に応じ、毎月の返済額を変えられる「所得連動返還型奨学金」の導入を目指している。

Such a flexible framework is expected to lessen the burden of repayment on loan recipients.
弾力的な仕組みは、返済の負担を軽くする効果が期待できよう。

There are more interest-bearing student loans than those with no interest. To help students in financial straits gain easier access to such loans without anxiety, it would be prudent to increase interest-free loans.
 奨学金は、無利子に比べて有利子の方が多い。経済状況の厳しい学生が安心して利用できるようにするには、無利子の貸出枠を増やしてもいいのではないか。

Also worrisome is the fact that many students are dropping out of school because of poor academic performances.
 気がかりなのは、学業不振での中退も目立つことだ。

It was the third most-cited reason by those who left school before graduation, following those who quit school for economic reasons and those who changed schools.
経済的理由、転学に次いで多い。

Promote studying abroad

In recent years, many experts have pointed out that the academic ability of college students is continuing to decline.
 近年、大学生の学力低下が指摘される。

In their attempts to survive in light of the dwindling number of school-age children, colleges and universities have given priority to meeting intake quotas, resulting in an increasing number of students who are unable to keep up with classes.
少子化の中で生き残りを図る大学が、定員確保を優先した結果、授業についていけない学生が増えている可能性がある。

With colleges and universities falling short in filling their intake quotas, some students who do enroll lose their academic motivation and perform poorly.
 大学全入時代を迎え、取りあえず入学したものの、意欲がわかず、学業不振に陥る学生もいる。

Colleges and universities should organize systems in which faculty members would counsel students and treat them sensitively in handing out advice, in addition to providing remedial classes and other assistance.
 各大学は、補習などの支援に加え、教職員が学生の相談に乗り、きめ細かくアドバイスする体制を整えてもらいたい。

To prevent a mismatch between what a college can offer and what a student expects out of a school, a college or university should improve the dissemination of information and presentations to students to show clearly what kind of students they want to see enrolled and what sort of educational content they can offer.
 大学と学生のミスマッチを防ぐためには、大学が情報発信を充実させ、求める学生像や教育内容を明確に示す必要もある。

Students preparing for an entrance exam should decide which school or department they want to study at by locking their sights on the future. High schools also should give students appropriate career guidance.
 受験生は将来の進路を見据えた上で、志望する大学や学部を決めることが望ましい。高校側にも適切な進路指導が求められる。

The number of college students who were absent from school with official approval in the 2012 academic year totaled 67,000. Of them, only 10,000 students were absent because they were studying abroad.
 12年度に休学した学生は、6万7000人だった。そのうち、海外留学を理由にした休学は1万人にとどまる。

Study abroad offers an important opportunity for young students to grow, as they will come into contact with different cultures and undergo various experiences in another country.
 海外で異文化に接し、様々な経験を重ねる留学は、学生が成長する上で貴重な機会だ。

Yet there is strong concern among students that studying abroad means they will have to graduate from school later than other students and may be at a disadvantage when they look for a job. We hope business firms will positively evaluate students who have studied abroad.
 ところが、「卒業が遅れ、就職で不利になる」といった懸念が、学生には根強い。企業の間に、留学体験を積極的に評価する意識が広がってほしい。

It is also important to build an academic environment in which students will feel more at ease in studying abroad by having credits earned at foreign schools qualify for graduation at Japanese universities.
 学生が留学時に取得した単位を、日本の大学が卒業単位に認定するなど、留学しやすい環境を整えることも重要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 7, 2014)Speech

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日中「海上連絡」 偶発的衝突の回避に不可欠だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Japan-China hotline indispensable to avert accidental military clashes
日中「海上連絡」 偶発的衝突の回避に不可欠だ

Efforts must be stepped up to establish a hotline between Japan and China to prevent accidental clashes.
 不測の事態を防ぐため緊急時の連絡体制の構築を急ぐ必要がある。

Tokyo and Beijing will resume negotiations before the end of this year to establish a maritime liaison mechanism between the two countries’ defense authorities.
 日中両政府が年内にも防衛当局間の「海上連絡メカニズム」作りの協議を再開する。

The agreement to resume talks came during the bilateral working official-level talks held in late September to discuss maritime issues. The mechanism is aimed at preventing accidental clashes between naval vessels and aircraft of the two countries in and over the East China Sea, including the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture.
 尖閣諸島を含む東シナ海での艦船や航空機による偶発的な軍事衝突を避けるのが目的で、9月下旬の事務レベル協議で一致した。

The mechanism will consist mainly of regular conferences between the defense authorities of the two countries, establishment of a hotline between their senior defense officials and direct radio communications between naval vessels and aircraft.
 海上連絡メカニズムは、防衛当局の定期協議や、幹部間のホットライン開設、艦船・航空機間の直接の無線通信が柱となる。

The Japanese and Chinese defense authorities reached a broad agreement in June 2012 on the establishment of the mechanism incorporating these plans. China, however, unilaterally discontinued talks in protest against Japan’s nationalization of the Senkakus in September that year.
 日中の防衛当局は2012年6月、こうした内容で大筋合意したが、同年9月の日本による尖閣諸島の国有化に中国が反発し、一方的に協議を打ち切っていた。

A Chinese Navy vessel locked fire-control radar onto a ship of the Maritime Self-Defense Force in the East China Sea in January 2013. In May and June this year, Chinese fighter jets ventured abnormally closed to Self-Defense Forces planes.
 東シナ海では、13年1月に中国海軍が海上自衛隊艦船に火器管制レーダーを照射した。今年5、6月には、中国軍戦闘機が自衛隊機に異常接近するなど、危険な挑発行為を繰り返している。

If a multilayered liaison system is in place, it will help prevent an incident, whether accidental or not, from escalating into a military clash. The system will benefit both countries in light of crisis management.
 緊急時の重層的な連絡体制があれば、偶発的な事故や、事故がさらなる軍事衝突などに拡大することを防ぐのに役立つ。危機管理上、日中双方に利益がある。

Beneficial for both sides

China has agreed to comply with Japan’s repeated requests for resumption of the talks probably because it wants to show off its proactive stance toward easing tensions with Japan ahead of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit set for November in Beijing.
 中国が日本の協議再開の求めに応じたのは、11月の北京でのアジア太平洋経済協力会議(APEC)首脳会議を控え、日本との緊張緩和に前向きな姿勢をアピールする思惑からだろう。

Adm. Katsutoshi Kawano, chief of staff of the MSDF, stood talking with a top Chinese Navy officer during an international conference in September with both agreeing on the need to deepen communications to avert a bilateral military clash.
 9月には河野克俊海上幕僚長が国際会議の際に中国海軍トップと立ち話をし、衝突回避へ意思疎通を深めることで一致している。

By taking advantage of the planned resumption of bilateral defense talks, Tokyo and Beijing should work toward building confidence in each other and improving relations.
 日中両国は、防衛当局の協議再開を足がかりにして、信頼醸成と関係改善を進めるべきである。

But it should not be overlooked that China has been intruding into Japan’s territorial waters around the Senkakus on a regular basis and trying to establish a fait accompli for changing the status quo by force.
 一方、看過できないのは、中国が尖閣諸島周辺で領海侵入を常態化させ、力による現状変更の既成事実化を図っていることだ。

Violation of Japanese territorial waters by Chinese government vessels have occurred at a pace of four to 10 vessels a month this year. Intrusions by Chinese fishing boats have increased sharply as the Japan Coast Guard issued warnings to 208 such vessels as of the end of September to leave the area, more than double the 88 last year.
 今年、中国公船の侵入は月4~10隻のペースで続く。漁船の侵入は急増しており、海上保安庁の退去警告は9月末現在で208隻と、昨年の88隻の2倍以上だ。

Chinese military, government and fishing vessels are said to make concerted actions by cooperating with each other. The government must not loosen its warning and monitoring activities.
 中国は軍艦、公船、漁船が相互に連携し、一体で活動しているとされる。政府は、警戒監視活動を緩めてはならない。

The JCG will establish a specialized surveillance system for the Senkakus in fiscal 2015, which will involve 12 large patrol ships. In its spending request for fiscal 2015, the JCG called for a budget to introduce four small and highly mobile patrol boats.
 海保は15年度中に、大型巡視船12隻による尖閣専従体制を整備する。15年度予算の概算要求では、小回りの利く小型巡視船4隻の整備費を計上した。

The MSDF, for its part, has plans to beef up its force, including one to introduce two new types of small destroyers with low construction costs in a few years.
 海自も、数年後に小型で建設費の安い新型護衛艦2隻を導入するなど、部隊を増強する。

Close cooperation among the JCG, MSDF and police could serve as a deterrent against accidental clashes.
 海保、海自、警察などが緊密に協力することが、不測の事態に対する抑止力となろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 7, 2014)Speech

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2014年10月 7日 (火)

ダイエー消滅 新たな流通革命につながるか

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Daiei’s demise must be followed by next distribution revolution
ダイエー消滅 新たな流通革命につながるか

The trade name of Daiei Inc., a pioneer in supermarket operations that revolutionized Japan’s distribution industry, is disappearing for good.
 スーパーマーケットの先駆けとして日本の流通業界に変革をもたらした「ダイエー」の名前が消えることになった。

Its parent company, Aeon Co., has announced that it will make a full acquisition of Daiei, whose outlets will consequently be operated under the Aeon brand by the end of 2018.
 親会社のイオンがダイエーを100%子会社とし、2018年をめどにイオンブランドに切り替えるという。

Launched in Osaka in 1957 by the late Isao Nakauchi, Daiei won the support of consumers with its discount sales, which were made possible through bulk purchasing under its strategy of selling “quality products at ultralow prices.”
 中内功氏が1957年に大阪で創業したダイエーは、「良い品をどんどん安く」をスローガンに掲げ、大量仕入れによる安売りで消費者の支持を集めた。

Riding the tide of Japan’s high economic growth, Daiei achieved remarkable growth thanks to its strategy of aggressively expanding its outlets.
 高度経済成長の波に乗り、積極的な出店戦略で目覚ましい成長を遂げた。

In 1972, its sales surpassed those of the Mitsukoshi department store chain to become Japan’s largest retailer, reaching the ¥1 trillion mark for the first time in 1980.
72年に売上高が三越を抜いて小売業日本一となり、80年には初の1兆円を達成した。

Daiei succeeded in cutting purchasing costs by bypassing wholesalers and buying products directly from makers. It also boldly challenged the business practice of makers setting uniform retail prices. Daiei thus achieved a revolution in the distribution sector by winning the right to set retail prices on the back of its astonishing sales records. The great contribution it has made should be applauded.
 卸売業者を通さない直接仕入れでコストを下げ、メーカーの決めた定価で販売する商慣習にも果敢に挑戦した。圧倒的な販売実績を背景に価格決定権を勝ち取り、「流通革命」を遂げたダイエーの功績は大きい。 

Things appeared to be going smoothly for Daiei until the firm suffered financial problems in the wake of a fiasco in hotel operations, which it entered during the bubble economy period of the late 1980s. In a strategic blunder that dealt the company a serious blow, Daiei sold one of its rapidly growing subsidiaries, the Lawson convenience store chain, losing vital revenue from the promising convenience store business.
 順風満帆に見えたダイエーも、バブル期に手を広げたホテル事業の失敗などをきっかけに、深刻な経営難に陥った。伸び盛りだった子会社のローソンを売却し、コンビニという有力な収益源を失うなど、戦略ミスも響いた。

Challenges in Internet age

After embarking on a tortuous path that included resorting to financial support from the governmental Industrial Revitalization Corporation of Japan, Daiei became an Aeon subsidiary in 2013.
 産業再生機構の支援を受けるなど曲折の末、2013年にイオンの子会社になった。

After the full acquisition is completed, Aeon aims to streamline operations by integrating Daiei and Aeon supermarkets. Merely changing the signboard from Daiei to Aeon, however, will not win customers.
 イオンは、ダイエーと自社スーパーを一体的に運営し、効率化を目指すという。だが、ダイエーの看板がイオンに変わるだけでは、消費者の支持は得られまい。

The distribution industry has shifted from the age of supermarkets to a golden era of convenience stores. In addition, online sales have dramatically increased.
 流通業界はスーパーの時代からすでにコンビニ全盛期に移行し、さらに近年はインターネット販売が勢いを増している。

Goods and services purchased on the Internet by households have increased about fivefold over the past 10 years. The sales made on websites operated by Rakuten Inc. have already surpassed those of major department store and supermarket chains.
 一般世帯のネットショッピングは10年で約5倍に増えた。楽天の販売サイトを通じた取扱高は、すでに大手の百貨店やスーパーを超える規模になっている。

It is hoped that another distribution revolution will emerge to create new business models that meet consumers’ needs by using realignments that transcend industries as leverage.
 業種の垣根を越えた再編をテコに、消費者ニーズに合ったビジネスモデルが生まれる、新たな「流通革命」に期待したい。

It is worrying, however, that new supermarkets and convenience stores are being opened mostly in Tokyo and its vicinity, where stable earnings are projected. As things stand, it is feared that the trend will further fuel cutthroat competition over limited shares.
 気がかりなのは、スーパーやコンビニの出店が、安定した収益を見込める首都圏に集中していることだ。このままでは、限られたパイを奪い合う過当競争に拍車がかかる恐れがある。

In contrast to urban areas, rural communities, where supermarkets and convenience stores are few and far between, have seen a steep increase in the number of people who have difficulty visiting such outlets, including elderly residents who do not drive.
 一方、店舗網が都市部より手薄な地方では、自動車を運転できない高齢者など、「買い物弱者」が急増している。

The revival of the retail industry hinges on how it can adequately respond to such changes in the social structure as depopulation, a graying society and a gap between urban and rural areas.
 人口減や高齢化、都市と地方の格差といった社会構造の変化に、いかに的確に対応していくかが、小売業再生のカギとなろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 6, 2014)Speech

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「イスラム国」 テロ戦闘員の流入を阻止せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Intl community must stem flow of extremists drawn to Islamic State
「イスラム国」 テロ戦闘員の流入を阻止せよ

In an alarming trend, terrorists and others espousing extremist beliefs have been coming together from all parts of the world to join the Islamic State group of extreme militants in the Middle East. Such a highly dangerous state of affairs can never be tolerated.
 中東のイスラム過激派組織「イスラム国」に、世界各地のテロリストや過激思想の持ち主が合流する。そんな危険な現状は放置できない。

The U.N. Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution compelling all members of the world body to make new laws and restrictions to punish citizens who try to go overseas for terrorist purposes, as well as people who support such citizens.
 国連安全保障理事会が、テロ目的の外国渡航者やその支援者を処罰するための法整備を加盟国に義務づける決議を採択した。

The resolution is aimed at preventing the inflow of foreign fighters into the Islamic State, also known as the ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), which has been expanding its influence across wide swaths of such countries as Syria. The Security Council action is also designed to prevent fighters who have returned from the ISIS to their home countries from engaging in terrorist activities.
 シリアなどで勢力を拡大するイスラム国への外国人戦闘員の流入を阻止するのが目的だ。イスラム国から出身国に戻った戦闘員によるテロを防ぐことも目指す。

U.S. President Barack Obama has pointed out that “more than 15,000 foreign fighters from more than 80 nations have traveled to Syria” in recent years. Youths and others sympathizing with the causes of the ISIS have been answering its recruitment campaigns through the Internet and other means.
 オバマ米大統領は「80か国以上から1万5000人以上の外国人戦闘員がシリアに渡った」と指摘した。イスラム国の思想に共鳴する若者らがインターネットなどによる勧誘に応じている。

The international community shares a sense of urgency in the face of the menace posed by the Islamic State group. In particular, European nations, which have large numbers of Islamic immigrants, are eager to make new legal arrangements in response to the Security Council resolution.
 国際社会は、イスラム国の脅威に対する危機感を共有している。特に、多数のイスラム教徒移民を抱える欧州諸国は、決議を受けた法整備などに熱心だ。

France’s National Assembly has passed a bill centering around such purposes as temporarily seizing the passports of French nationals planning to commit radical activities and restricting access to websites that justify terrorism. Britain has been considering such steps as temporarily depriving radicals of their passports and prohibiting them from boarding passenger airplanes.
 フランス下院は、過激な活動を計画する仏国籍者の旅券の一時剥奪や、テロを正当化するウェブサイトの閲覧制限を柱とするテロ対策法案を可決した。英国も、過激派の旅券の一時剥奪や旅客機搭乗拒否などを検討している。

Infiltrating Asian Muslims

The Japanese government is set to clamp down on people traveling abroad for terrorist purposes through existing laws and regulations, including the Penal Code. The government is also poised to coordinate opinions to legislate a new law aimed at cutting off the flow of funds to terrorist organizations. Japan must also implement measures to effectively contain terrorist moves.
 日本政府は、テロ目的の渡航を刑法など現行法で取り締まる方針だ。テロ組織への資金の流れを遮断する新法も制定する方向で調整している。日本でも、テロリストの動きを封じたい。

It is worrying that the ISIS’ influence has been rapidly spreading among Muslims in the Asia-Pacific region.
 懸念されるのは、イスラム国がアジア太平洋地域のイスラム教徒に急速に浸透していることだ。

According to the commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, an estimated 1,000 people from this region are believed to have headed for such countries as Syria and Iraq to join the ISIS.
 米太平洋軍司令官によると、この地域から約1000人が、イスラム国への参加を目的にイラクやシリアに向かったという。

Multiple extremist groups in Southeast Asia, including some in Indonesia, which has the world’s largest Muslim population of about 200 million, have expressed support for the ISIS. Some have engaged in fund-raising activities in support of the Islamic State.
 世界最多の約2億人のイスラム教徒を抱えるインドネシアなど東南アジアの複数の過激派組織がイスラム国支持を表明している。支援金を集めている組織もある。

There have reportedly been a number of Muslims who have joined the ISIS from China’s Xinjang Uygur Autonomous Region, where clashes between Uygur and Chinese authorities have continued unabated.
 ウイグル族と当局との衝突が続く中国・新疆ウイグル自治区からイスラム国に参加したイスラム教徒も一定数いるとされる。

A note of warning was sounded against the spread of terrorism on Sept. 18, when police took 15 ISIS supporters into custody in Australia. They were said to be plotting the indiscriminate killing of ordinary citizens.
 テロ拡散の警鐘となったのは、オーストラリア当局が国内でイスラム国支持者15人を拘束した事件だ。市民を標的にした無差別殺人テロを企てていたという。

There is no doubt that the spread of sympathy in Asia for the ISIS comes against a background of poverty and rampant corruption that has fomented deep discontent among the populace over the unfairness of society.
 アジアでイスラム国に対する共感が広がる背景に、貧困や腐敗の蔓延まんえんなど、社会の不条理への強い不満があるのは間違いない。

To prevent further infiltration by the ISIS, it is essential to reform such deep-seated maladies in Asian nations over the mid- and long term.
 イスラム国の更なる浸透を防ぐには、こうしたアジア各国の土壌を中長期的に改革する、粘り強い努力も欠かせない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 6, 2014)Speech

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2014年10月 6日 (月)

原発避難解除 帰還者をしっかりと支えよう

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Shore up returnees’ lives after Kawauchi evacuation advisory lifting
原発避難解除 帰還者をしっかりと支えよう

An evacuation advisory issued in the wake of the March 2011 crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant was lifted this month for the eastern part of the village of Kawauchi, Fukushima Prefecture.
 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所事故を受け、福島県川内村東部に出されていた避難指示が今月、解除された。

The lifting of the advisory applies to an area in which 139 households registered their residences. Although those who have actually returned to Kawauchi currently account for only a portion of the registered residents, there are rising expectations that the lifting of the evacuation advisory will serve as an incentive to expedite moves to resuscitate the village community. Both the central government and the Fukushima prefectural government must help in the task the returnees face in rebuilding their livelihoods.
 対象地域には139世帯が住民登録している。今のところ、帰還した世帯は一部にとどまるものの、避難解除が復興の契機となるとの期待は大きい。政府と福島県は、帰還者の生活再建をしっかりと支えねばならない。

The area is within a 20-kilometer radius of the crippled nuclear plant. Immediately after the outbreak of the nuclear crisis, all of the community’s residents were forced to evacuate.
 この地域は、原発の20キロ・メートル圏内にある。事故直後に全住民が避難を余儀なくされた。

Subsequently, through such efforts as radiation decontamination, radioactivity levels in the village have been lowered to those similar in the city of Fukushima. Kawauchi’s infrastructure systems, such as its electricity and gas supplies, which are essential to daily life, have been restored. Progress has also been made in rebuilding stores dealing in daily necessities and medical institutions in the community.
 その後、除染などにより、放射線レベルは福島市と同程度に下がった。生活に不可欠の電気やガス供給などのインフラ設備が復旧した。日用品を扱う商店や医療機関の整備も進んでいる。

The foundation for rebuilding the livelihoods of village residents can now be said to be in place.
 生活再建へ向けた基盤は整いつつあると言える。

Three businesses, including a manufacturer, have moved into the area in response to requests by the village government. The number of students enrolled at primary and middle schools in the village has increased after related facilities were improved.
 村内の近隣地域には、村の誘致に応えて、製造業など3社が進出した。小中学校では、児童・生徒が増え、施設が拡充された。

In April, an evacuation advisory was lifted for the eastern area of the Miyakoji district of Tamura, a city neighboring Kawauchi on the north. The overall number of households in Tamura has recovered to a little more than 70 percent of that before the accident. As a number of families with children have returned, the city has reportedly begun to regain its vitality.
 4月には、田村市の都路町地区東部の避難指示が解除された。田村市全体では、事故前の7割余りまで世帯数が回復している。子供のいる家族が戻ったことで、街には賑にぎわいが出てきたという。

The resumption of the livelihoods of as many registered returnees as possible is certain to lay the foundation for the restoration of disaster-affected areas.
 少しでも多くの住民が古里に戻り、生活を再開する。それが復興の礎となるだろう。

‘Fukushima Vision’ promising

To facilitate the evacuees’ return, it is imperative to review the current arrangements for compensation payments to these people. Under the current system, monthly compensation payouts by TEPCO cease only one year after an evacuation advisory is lifted. Because of the uncertainty of their future livelihoods, evacuees have difficulty in accepting the lifting of the advisory.
 帰還促進には、避難住民に対する賠償のあり方も見直す必要がある。現行システムでは、避難指示解除の1年後に、東電からの毎月の支払いが打ち切られる。将来が見通せない中、住民が解除に応じにくい要因になっている。

The government should consider the advisability of creating a new framework, such as making TEPCO provide evacuees with lump-sum payments to allow them to secure sufficient funds to rebuild their lives.
 生活再建に必要な資金を東電が一括支給するなど、政府は新たな仕組みを検討してもらいたい。

Before the crisis, the region’s major industries were the nuclear plant and related businesses. Building a new industrial base to ensure job opportunities is another important task that must be undertaken in the area.
 この地域は、原発とその関連企業が主な産業だった。新たな産業基盤を築き、雇用を確保することも重要な課題である。

Research and development related to the decommissioning of the nuclear reactors, which is expected to take at least 40 years, can become a potent industry that can help reinvigorate the region’s economy.
 40年はかかるとされる廃炉関連の研究開発事業は、地域再生の有力な産業となり得る。

A blueprint for rehabilitation of the area is already in place, since a report titled “Fukushima Innovation Coast Vision,” also referred to as the “Fukushima International Industry City Vision,” was worked out in June with the collaboration of such entities as the central and Fukushima prefectural governments and city, town and village municipalities around the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
 青写真はある。政府と福島県、第一原発周辺の市町村などが6月にまとめた「福島・国際研究産業都市(イノベーション・コースト)構想」の報告書だ。

In order to push forward with the decommissioning work smoothly, it is essential to conduct analyses of the actual conditions of the crippled reactors and develop technologies for making robots capable of working in places that humans cannot access because of high radiation hazards. The Fukushima Vision report was designed to aid the development of such R&D facilities in municipalities in the plant’s vicinity. The report can be safely described as practical in light of the area’s realities.
 廃炉をスムーズに進めるには、壊れた原子炉の分析や、人が近づけない所で作業するロボット技術などが欠かせない。周辺自治体にこれらの開発拠点を整備することを目指している。地域の実情に合った現実的な構想である。

Work to construct facilities for carrying out analyses and R&D programs envisaged in the Fukushima Vision report has already started. Further efforts should be made to accelerate the undertakings.
 分析・研究施設などの建設がすでに始まっている。取り組みを加速させたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 5, 2014)Speech

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新幹線50年 安全で正確な運行これからも

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Efforts must be made to extend life of safe, punctual Shinkansen lines
新幹線50年 安全で正確な運行これからも

Wednesday marked the 50th anniversary of the Tokaido Shinkansen line. When it was put into service, the bullet train was called “the superexpress train of our dreams.”
 「夢の超特急」と呼ばれた東海道新幹線が、開業から50年を迎えた。

Shinkansen service at a speed of up to 210 kph reduced the time required for a train trip between Tokyo and Osaka to four hours, compared with the 6½ hours the same trip took on a limited express train.
 特急で6時間半かかった東京―大阪間を、最高時速210キロの新幹線が一気に4時間へと縮めた。

The latest Shinkansen model, which runs at 270 kph, has shortened the time to less than 2½ hours. A train evolving through incessant efforts, the Shinkansen should be considered a good example to other nations seeking to build similar high-speed railway systems.
 270キロで疾走する最新型の新幹線は、2時間半を切るまでになった。たゆまぬ改良で今も進化を続ける新幹線は、世界の高速鉄道のお手本と言えよう。

The Tokaido Shinkansen line served as the main artery connecting the Tokyo metropolitan area and the Kansai region, a development essential for underpinning our country’s successful efforts to achieve high economic growth.
 東海道新幹線は、首都圏と関西を結ぶ大動脈として、日本の高度経済成長を支えた。

Later, the Shinkansen system was expanded to include the Sanyo, Tohoku and Joetsu routes, which tremendously widened the range of destinations for one-day trips. All this greatly contributed to improving the efficiency of doing business in this country while also promoting tourism in many parts of the nation.
 さらに、山陽、東北、上越へと路線が延びるにつれて、鉄道で日帰りできる範囲は飛躍的に広がった。ビジネスの効率化や、観光振興への貢献度は大きい。

A popular topic of conversation related to the Shinkansen was a TV commercial featuring a young couple who had a long-distance romantic relationship. The serialized “Cinderella Express” spot depicted the couple using the Shinkansen to meet over the weekend and say bittersweet goodbyes to each other on the platform before taking Sunday’s last Shinkansen to return home. The commercial seemed to show that the Shinkansen service had considerably affected the lifestyle of people in this country.
 遠距離恋愛のカップルによる再会や惜別の姿を描いた「シンデレラ・エクスプレス」のCMも、話題を呼んだ。生活スタイルに与えた影響は少なくない。

It deserves special mention that the Shinkansen network has maintained a high degree of safety over a half century. During that period, not one passenger has died due to such accidents as derailments or crashes on the high-speed network.
 特筆すべきなのは、半世紀にわたって、脱線や衝突などの列車事故で死亡した乗客がゼロという安全性の高さである。

Nevertheless, in 1995 a schoolboy died after his fingers were caught in a closing Shinkansen door and he was dragged by the train. Derailments also took place in the 2004 Chuetsu Earthquake and the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.
 とはいえ、1995年にはホームで新幹線のドアに挟まれ、引きずられた人が死亡した。2004年の中越地震と11年の東日本大震災では、脱線事故も起きた。

Safety mustn’t be assumed

The Shinkansen network should never be considered perfectly safe, which could lead to dangerous complacency about the system’s safety. We hope consistent efforts will be made to further improve the safety of the Shinkansen network.
 「安全神話」に陥ってはならない。さらなる安全性の向上へ、不断の努力を続けてもらいたい。

Another feature of the Shinkansen system is its precise operation control system. No parallel can be found among railway systems in other nations.
 世界に類を見ない正確な運行管理も、新幹線の特長である。

For instance, delays in Tokaido Shinkansen services average less than one minute, including those caused by bad weather. This precision makes it possible to run Shinkansen trains at high speeds. But it also guarantees an extremely congested schedule for Shinkansen operations, as indicated by the fact that such trains depart once every three minutes during peak hours.
 東海道新幹線は、悪天候の影響を含めても、遅延は平均1分以内だ。この緻密さが、高速運転と、ピーク時に3分間隔という過密ダイヤの両立を可能にしている。

It is said that many foreign visitors to Japan are amazed to see a Shinkansen train arrive at its last stop and its interior immediately cleaned during a period of less than 10 minutes for a new run.
 終点に着いた列車が、わずか10分弱で車内の清掃を終え、折り返し運転する様子に、驚く外国人客も少なくないという。

Not only the capacity and safety of Shinkansen trains but their excellent operational control system is something Japan can boast to the rest of the world as one of the nation’s assets.
 新幹線の性能や安全性だけでなく、優れた運行管理も、日本が世界に誇る貴重な財産である。

It is essential to properly pass on our nation’s accumulated Shinkansen technology and expertise to the next generation.
 これまで培った技術やノウハウを、次世代にしっかりと伝えていくことが大切だ。

Projects have been prepared to build and improve high-speed railway systems in more than 10 locations around the world. The Shinkansen technology can become a centerpiece of our nation’s infrastructure export drive as a pillar of the growth strategy pursued by the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The government and the private sector need to join hands to succeed in this endeavor.
 世界の10か所以上で、高速鉄道の整備が計画されている。新幹線は、安倍政権が成長戦略の柱とするインフラ(社会資本)輸出の「目玉」と期待される。官民を挙げて売り込みたい。

The government and the ruling parties are studying the idea of opening three new Shinkansen routes that will cover Hokkaido and the Hokuriku and Kyushu regions, respectively, earlier than initially planned. If the idea is translated into action, it would increase the amount of construction costs by a sizable ¥540 billion.
 政府・与党は北海道、北陸、九州の3整備新幹線の開業前倒しを検討しており、建設費が5400億円も増える見込みという。

We believe priority should be placed on projects to repair and refurbish obsolete railway tracks and bridges instead of hastening to complete the new routes, thereby making it possible to safely extend the life of the existing Shinkansen lines.
 完成を急ぐより、老朽化した線路や橋の補修・更新を充実させ、既存の新幹線を長く、安全に使うことを優先すべきではないか。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 5, 2014)Speech

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2014年10月 5日 (日)

衆院予算委 現実的な安保論議を深めたい

民主党政権時代、多少の円高とデフレ傾向でも庶民の暮らしは、今よりはましでした。
ばらまきと悪評の教育への投資は、庶民の暮らしを助けたはずです。
アベノミクスはすでに失敗しています。
数年先に給与が上がる前に、いったいどれだけ庶民は搾取されるのか分かりません。
民主党のばらまきのほうが良かった。
自民党は農家へのばらまきはやめたほうがよいし、TPPには農家の反対などきかず大胆に参加したほうが庶民は幸せになれる。
(スラチャイ)

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Now is the time to deepen realistic deliberations on national security
衆院予算委 現実的な安保論議を深めたい

How does Japan boost its deterrent capability to ensure the nation’s peace and security? The ruling and opposition parties should deepen discussions based on a realistic view of national security.
 いかに抑止力を高め、日本の平和と安全を確保するのか。与野党は、現実に即した安全保障論議を深めるべきだ。

Interpellations have started in the House of Representatives Budget Committee. This is the first full-on Diet debate for the recently reshuffled Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
 安倍改造内閣で初めての本格的な国会論戦となる衆院予算委員会での質疑が始まった。

Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General Yukio Edano blasted the government’s new interpretation of the Constitution that allows Japan limited exercise of the right of collective self-defense. “By attaching conditions that could be read in many different ways, just how far will this [limited scope] extend?” he asked.
 民主党の枝野幹事長は、集団的自衛権行使を限定容認する新政府見解について「どうにでも読める要件を付け、(容認範囲が)どこまで広がるのか」と批判した。

Edano continued his questioning on the specific example of minesweeping by the Self-Defense Forces in the Middle East. “Would this correspond to a case of an attack by another country [in which the exercise of the right of collective self-defense would be permitted]?" he asked.
 特に、中東での自衛隊による機雷除去の事例に関して「(集団的自衛権行使が認められる)他国から攻撃を受けた場合に準ずるケースなのか」と疑問を呈した。

In response, Abe asserted: “For example, the Hormuz Strait is a vital lifeline for Japan’s energy security. This is a situation that could meet the conditions [for exercising the right].”
 安倍首相は「例えば、ホルムズ海峡は、日本のエネルギー安全保障の生命線だ。(行使容認の)事態は生じ得る」と主張した。

Preparing the legal and implementation systems that allow Japan to foresee various threats and respond appropriately to them will be key to the nation’s security. The DPJ held the reins of power not too long ago, so it should have keenly appreciated this necessity.
 様々な危機を想定し、適切に対処できる法制と実施体制を整えるのは、安全保障の要諦だ。民主党も、政権を担当し、その必要性を痛感したはずではないか。

We think that the government’s new constitutional interpretation enabling the SDF to conduct minesweeping operations before hostilities have ended is reasonable.
 新見解が停戦前の機雷除去を可能にしたのは、適切である。

DPJ should make up its mind

The DPJ has been putting off establishing a party view on the appropriateness of allowing limited exercise of the right of collective self-defense. The main opposition party should face up to the deteriorating security environment surrounding Japan and quickly come to a conclusion on this matter.
 民主党は、日本の安全保障環境の悪化を直視し、先送りしている行使容認の是非の党見解について早急に結論を出すべきだ。

Abe emphasized that the new interpretation has a settled consistency with the government’s previous stance. He also clearly stated that the SDF would not participate in a military operation such as the Iraq war.
 首相は、新見解について、従来の憲法解釈と一定の整合性が取れていると強調した。イラク戦争のようなケースで軍事的作戦に参加することはないとも明言した。

Under the new interpretation, the exercise of the right of collective self-defense is restricted to conditions including where there is a “clear danger to fundamentally overturn the [Japanese] people’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The prime minister needs to carefully explain the significance of this wording to the public so that they better understand what it really means.
 新見解で、集団的自衛権の行使は「国民の権利が根底から覆される明白な危険がある場合」などに限定されている。首相は、この内容と意義を丁寧に説明し、国民の理解を広げねばならない。

Seiji Maehara, a former leader of the DPJ, took a swipe at the Abe administration’s “Abenomics” economic policies. “Real wages have gone down, and salaried workers and other people are finding it tougher to get by,” he said.
 安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」について、民主党の前原誠司元代表は「実質賃金が下がり、サラリーマンらの暮らしは苦しくなった」と非難した。

“I want to help wages catch up [with rising prices] as fast as possible,” Abe replied. “I’ll push ahead with flexible fiscal policies and economic growth strategy.”
 首相は「(物価上昇に)なるべく早く賃金が追いつくようにしたい。機動的な財政政策、成長戦略を進めていく」と反論した。

To realize a “virtuous economic cycle” in which rising corporate profits lead to higher wages and increased consumption, it is vital to boost employment and improve the working conditions of nonregular employees. The ruling and opposition parties need to discuss what policies can best give impetus to these issues.
 企業の収益増を賃上げや消費拡大につなげる「経済の好循環」の実現には、雇用の拡大や非正規労働者の待遇改善が欠かせない。どんな政策でこれを後押しするか、与野党は議論する必要がある。

Regarding the planned increase in the consumption tax rate to 10 percent, Abe said, “I’ll give priority to dragging the economy out of deflation, and make a decision while watching the state of the economy, which is a living thing.”
 首相は、消費税率の10%への引き上げについて「デフレ脱却を優先しており、生き物である経済を見ながら判断する」と語った。

The prime minister will need to make a political decision on whether to hike the consumption tax rate by the end of the year. As a signatory to the three-party deal — along with the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito — that agreed to the tax hike, the DPJ also should hold responsible discussions in the Diet on this matter.
 首相は年内に、消費増税の是非について政治決断が求められる。民主党も、増税の民自公3党合意の当事者である以上、責任ある議論を国会で展開してほしい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 4, 2014)Speech

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産経前支局長 韓国は出国禁止を続けるのか

これはセウォル号事件当日に大統領が男と密会していた事実の裏返しかもしれません。
大統領だって男と密会する権利はあります。
とやかく言われる筋合いはないのです。
ですが、その後の対応は非常に問題です。
政府は中国人の消費税非課税品目を増やしたりするよりも、韓国に抑留されている記者を救出すべきです。
豊かな中国人をますます豊かにしてどうするつもりなんでしょうか。
儲かれば何でもやってよいという手法が気に入りません。
解散総選挙を!
(スラチャイ)

The Yomiuri Shimbun
How long will S. Korea keep Sankei’s ex-Seoul bureau chief from leaving?
産経前支局長 韓国は出国禁止を続けるのか

The attitude of the South Korean Office of the President, or Blue House, toward human rights and freedom of the press has been called into question.
 韓国大統領府の人権と報道に対する姿勢が問われている。

South Korean prosecutors are still investigating the criminal responsibility of a former chief of The Sankei Shimbun’s Seoul bureau on suspicion of defaming President Park Geun-hye in an article he wrote.
 韓国の検察当局が、産経新聞前ソウル支局長の刑事責任の追及を今なお続けている。朴槿恵大統領に対する名誉毀損きそんの容疑だ。

The prosecutors banned the former bureau chief from leaving the country in early August. The ban has been in place for more than 50 days, as it has been extended six times.
 検察は前支局長に8月上旬、出国禁止を科した。延長を6回重ね、禁止措置は50日を超える。

The former bureau chief was ordered to move to Tokyo in a personnel transfer effective Wednesday, but he was unable to do so. The continued ban is hindering his reporting activities.
 前支局長には、今月1日付で東京への異動が発令されていたが、帰国できない状態だ。報道活動にも支障を来している。

Freedom of movement, which is a fundamental human right, has been infringed. It was natural for the former bureau chief’s lawyer to call for the ban to be lifted, saying, “Bans on leaving the country should be kept to a minimum.”
 移動の自由という基本的人権が侵害されている。前支局長の弁護人が、「出国禁止処分は必要最低限の範囲で行われるべきだ」と解除を求めたのは当然だろう。

The article in question was carried on the newspaper’s website on Aug. 3.
 問題の記事は、産経新聞のサイトに8月3日に掲載された。

He reported that there was a rumor Park met with a man on April 16, the day when the Sewol ferry capsized. Quoting from a column carried by the Chosun Ilbo, a leading newspaper in South Korea, he incorporated information he obtained independently as he wrote the story.
 4月に旅客船セウォル号沈没事故が発生した当日、朴氏が男性と会っていたという「ウワサ」があると報じた。韓国有力紙の朝鮮日報に掲載されたコラムを引用し、独自の情報も盛り込んでいる。

Four days after the story’s publication, the Blue House announced it would inquire into the criminal responsibility of The Sankei Shimbun. The Blue House seems to have thrown itself wholeheartedly behind the prosecutors’ tenacious investigation.
 記事掲載から4日後、大統領府は、産経新聞の刑事責任を追及する、と明言した。検察の執拗しつようとも言える捜査の姿勢に、大統領府の強い意向が働いているのは、間違いあるまい。

Allegations denied

The Sankei denied the alleged defamation, arguing that the article had no intention whatsoever of defaming or slandering the president.
 産経新聞は、記事には大統領を誹謗ひぼう中傷する意図はないとして、名誉毀損を否定している。

The newspaper, on the other hand, said it would “sincerely comply with the requests during the investigation.” In fact, the former bureau chief has voluntarily complied with the prosecutors’ request for questioning on three occasions.
 その一方で、「捜査には真摯しんしに応じる」と表明しており、実際、前支局長は、3回にわたり事情聴取に応じた。

The Sankei has also insisted that no related evidence would be de-stroyed and the former bureau chief would not become a fugitive after he returns to Japan.
 証拠隠滅や、帰国後の逃亡の恐れはないとも主張している。

It is rare in South Korea for a foreign reporter to face criminal responsibility after writing an article.
 韓国で、記事を基に、外国人記者の刑事責任が追及されるのは、異例のことだ。

Little can be done if the current commotion means the Blue House is imposing de facto sanctions on a foreign reporter through the prose-cutors’ investigation.
 今回の事態は、韓国大統領府が、検察の捜査を名目に、外国人記者に事実上の制裁を加えていると受け取られても、仕方がない。

The article in question, however, can be criticized in that it did not verify whether the rumor was true or false, while referring to the man by his real name.
 前支局長の記事は、うわさの真偽を検証せず、実名入りで伝えた点で、批判の余地はある。

But if South Korea is a democratic country, it should be extremely prudent in investigating criminal responsibility in connection with media reporting. If an investigation and prosecution are conducted without thorough consideration, there is a risk of violating freedom of the press — essential for a democratic society.
 だが、民主国家であれば、報道を対象とした刑事責任の追及には、極めて慎重であるべきだ。安易に捜査や訴追が行われれば、民主主義社会に不可欠な報道の自由が侵されかねない。

The Blue House submitted to the parliament the president’s detailed itinerary on the day of the deadly Sewol ferry accident. Can it believe this refutes the rumor and her reputation has been restored?
 大統領府は、事故当日の大統領の詳細な行動記録を国会に示した。こうした措置で、うわさが否定され、名誉が回復されたとは考えられないのだろうか。

South Korea’s probe into the former bureau chief’s case is being closely watched by Japanese and other foreign media organizations. Coolheaded judgment is called for on the part of the Blue House.
 前支局長に対する捜査を、日本をはじめ、海外の報道機関が注視している。韓国大統領府には、冷静な判断を求めたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 4, 2014)Speech

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2014年10月 4日 (土)

御嶽山惨事 火山情報の発信に工夫が要る

> 安倍首相は国会で、「火山活動の監視を強化するなど、対策にスピード感を持って取り組む」と述べた。惨事を繰り返さぬよう、防災体制を再点検すべきだ。

無理でしょう。
民主党にあんないいがかりをつける議員すら存在するくらいですから。
処分されないのかな^^。
(スラチャイ)

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Mt. Ontake tragedy shows volcano information must be better conveyed
御嶽山惨事 火山情報の発信に工夫が要る

There may be no escape if a climber becomes enveloped in the plume spewed out by a volcano. Once again, we have been reminded of just how terrifying a volcano can be.
 噴煙に巻き込まれたら逃げようにも逃げられない。火山の恐ろしさを改めて思い知る。

The eruption is now the worst volcanic disaster in Japan since the end of World War II. Its death toll has exceeded the 44 people known or thought to have died in pyroclastic flows caused by the 1991 and 1993 eruptions of the Fugendake volcano on Mt. Unzen.
 御嶽山噴火は戦後最悪の火山災害となった。死者は、1991年、93年に計44人の死者・行方不明者を出した雲仙・普賢岳の火砕流を上回る。

Mt. Ontake is popular with climbers and is on the list of Japan’s 100 most famous mountains. The eruption occurred on a weekend during a season when many people travel to the mountain to see its vibrant autumn foliage, and began around the time many climbers had reached the summit and were preparing to eat lunch. These factors combined to push up the death toll. Many of the victims died after being struck by volcanic rocks that rained down during the eruption.
 御嶽山は、日本百名山に数えられる人気の山だ。紅葉シーズンの週末、山頂に人が集まる昼食時間帯の噴火が被害を広げた。噴石が当たり、亡くなった人が多い。

Firefighters, Ground Self-Defense Force personnel and police are continuing their meticulous search for more victims. The area has been blanketed by volcanic ash, and toxic volcanic gas is being generated. The risk of another eruption and streams of mud and ash caused by rain cannot be ruled out. We hope the utmost caution will be exercised to ensure a secondary disaster does not occur.
 警察や陸上自衛隊、消防などが懸命の捜索を続けている。火山灰が積もり、有毒ガスも発生している。再噴火や、降雨による土石流の恐れもある。くれぐれも二次災害には注意してもらいたい。

Information about whether climbers had escaped the eruption changed again and again, which confused families waiting for the return of their loved ones. This may be the result of search-and-rescue operation details being released before they were properly confirmed, due to a lack of coordination between the disaster headquarters established by the Nagano prefectural government, and by the prefectural police and firefighters.
 遭難者の安否情報は二転三転し、帰還を待ちわびる家族は振り回された。長野県の災害対策本部と県警、消防が連携を欠き、確認が不十分なまま、捜索状況が伝えられた結果だろう。

Japan is dotted with 110 active volcanoes. Local governments near a volcano that requires close attention because it is highly active should strengthen preparations for the possibility it could erupt.
 国内には110の活火山がある。活動性の高い要注意の火山を抱える自治体は、万一の噴火を想定した備えを強化すべきだ。

The Mt. Ontake eruption has highlighted the importance of climbing registration forms. These notifications contain information including the name of a climber and any companions, their planned trekking route and emergency contact details. They can be submitted at post boxes installed at various locations, including the base of routes up a mountain.
 今回の噴火で、重要性が浮き彫りになったのが登山届である。登山者や同行者の氏名、行程、緊急連絡先などを記入し、登山口のポストなどに入れておく。

Onus on climbers

In the event of an accident in the mountains, this information enables the police and local government authorities to quickly ascertain who is on the mountain. Hiking plans provided by climbers are useful for identifying which areas rescuers should check.
 遭難時に、自治体や警察などは、誰が入山しているかを迅速に把握できる。登山計画を基に、遭難地点の割り出しにも役立つ。

Many climbers have met with misfortune on Mt. Tanigawadake in Gunma Prefecture and Mt. Tsurugidake in Toyama Prefecture. The Gunma and Toyama prefectural governments have adopted an ordinance that requires mountaineers to submit a climbing notification before they tackle these peaks. These are the exceptions, however — on other mountains, it is currently left up to the climber to register. Many climbers begin their ascent without submitting such a form.
 遭難者が多い群馬県の谷川岳や富山県の剱岳では、県条例で登山届の提出を義務づけている。これらは例外で、他の山では登山者の自主性に任せているのが現状だ。未届けで入山する人は多い。

Even now, authorities are spending considerable time and energy trying to determine how many hikers were on Mt. Ontake when it erupted, which has hampered search operations. This is a bitter lesson.
 御嶽山でも、噴火時にどれだけの人がいたか、今も把握に手間取り、捜索に支障が生じている。苦い教訓である。

The Japan Meteorological Agency had been monitoring Mt. Ontake’s activity around the clock. In mid-September, the agency detected a rise in the number of volcanic earthquakes around the mountain, and on three occasions passed this information to nearby local governments and posted it on its website.
 気象庁は、御嶽山の活動を24時間体制で監視してきた。9月中旬には、火山性地震を観測したと、3度にわたり周辺自治体に伝え、ホームページにも掲載した。

However, there was not always a concrete explanation of what these earthquakes could indicate, so the local governments did not regard the information as important.
 ところが、この地震が何を意味するか、具体的な解説がないこともあって、自治体側が重要視することはなかった。

If the agency detects changes in the activity of a volcano, it is essential that it figure out how to pass this on in easy-to-understand terms. It would also be helpful if such information was displayed at the start of mountain trails and in huts on the mountain. We also urge climbers to pay close heed to information about volcanoes.
 異変を把握したら、その内容を分かりやすく伝える工夫が不可欠だ。登山口や山小屋に表示することも役立つだろう。登山者も、火山情報には十分留意したい。

In the Diet, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, “The government will quickly work on countermeasures, such as strengthening the monitoring of volcanic activity.” A reexamination of the nation’s disaster-prevention systems is needed to ensure the tragedy on Mt. Ontake is not repeated.
 安倍首相は国会で、「火山活動の監視を強化するなど、対策にスピード感を持って取り組む」と述べた。惨事を繰り返さぬよう、防災体制を再点検すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 3, 2014)Speech

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大学への脅迫文 言論封じを狙う卑劣な行為だ

> 読売新聞は、紙面で朝日の慰安婦報道を分析し、いかに甚大な影響を及ぼしたかを示した。誤報の背景を探り、徹底検証することが、傷つけられた日本の名誉を回復し、報道機関の信頼を取り戻すためには必要だと考えるからだ。

産経新聞のばくろ記事がなければ朝日は謝罪しなかったでしょう。
読売にはえらそうな発言をする権利はありません。
30年前に分析、反論すべきだった。
(スラチャイ)

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Threatening letters over Asahi report are vile acts violating freedom of speech
大学への脅迫文 言論封じを狙う卑劣な行為だ

Acts of intimidation that attempt to suppress freedom of speech can never be overlooked.
 脅迫で言論を封じ込めようとする行為を看過することはできない。

Threatening letters have been sent to Tezukayama Gakuin University in Osaka Prefecture and Hokusei Gakuen University in Sapporo demanding the dismissal of two faculty members, both former reporters for The Asahi Shimbun, on the grounds that they were involved in the newspaper’s reporting about so-called comfort women.
 かつて慰安婦報道にかかわった元朝日新聞記者が教員として勤務する帝塚山学院大学(大阪府)と北星学園大学(札幌市)に、2人の退職を要求する脅迫文が送りつけられた。

The letters sent to each university included such statements as “If you fail to dismiss him, your students will get hurt” and “A gas bomb containing nails will be set off.”
 「辞めさせなければ、学生に痛い目に遭ってもらう」「クギを入れたガス爆弾を爆発させる」

Nails were said to have been enclosed in some of the letters.
 脅迫文には、そうした文言が書かれ、クギが同封されたものもあった。

Attacking the two Asahi reporters and threatening to harm the universities’ students is despicable.
元記者を攻撃するだけでなく、学生にも危害を加えると脅す行為は、極めて卑劣だ。

Police are investigating the case on suspicion of forcible obstruction of business. We urge investigators to do their utmost to capture the perpetrator or perpetrators of this intimidation.
 警察は威力業務妨害容疑で捜査を始めた。犯人の摘発に全力を挙げてもらいたい。

The former Asahi reporter who was a professor at Tezukayama Gakuin University wrote an article concerning claims by the late Seiji Yoshida that he forcibly rounded up and took away women in Korea during World War II. The Asahi Shimbun recently retracted the articles.
 帝塚山学院大教授だった元記者は、韓国で女性を強制連行したと虚偽の証言をした吉田清治氏(故人)に関する記事を書いた。

Ever since the Asahi ran a set of articles in August about verification findings regarding its coverage of the comfort women issue, the university has been flooded with such inquiries as “Why hasn’t the professor been dismissed?” The former Asahi reporter resigned as a professor on Sept. 13, the day one of the threatening letters was delivered to the university.
 朝日新聞が8月に自社の慰安婦報道の検証記事を掲載して以降、大学側に「教授を辞めさせないのか」といった問い合わせが相次いだ。元記者は脅迫文が届いた9月13日付で辞職した。

The other former Asahi reporter, who now is a part-time lecturer at Hokusei Gakuen University, was the first to report the statements of Korean women who claimed to be former comfort women.
 北星学園大で非常勤講師を務める元記者は、韓国人元慰安婦の証言を他紙に先駆けて報道した。

Slander on Internet

There have even been slanderous postings on the Internet identifying the names of people believed to be relatives of the former reporters. They have made the family members, who have no connection to the reporting, the object of attacks. This behavior is simply outrageous.
 ネット上では、元記者の家族とされる名前を挙げて、中傷する書き込みすら見られる。報道には何の関係もない家族をも攻撃の対象にしている。言語道断だ。

The Asahi’s series of comfort women reports have spread the misunderstanding in the international community that Korean women were forcibly taken away by the Japanese government during wartime.
 朝日新聞の一連の慰安婦報道は、国による強制連行があった、という誤解を世界に広めた。

The Asahi bears a heavy responsibility for seriously damaging Japan’s national interests and helping foment anti-Japanese sentiment among people in South Korea.
 日本の国益を著しく害し、韓国側の反日感情をあおった責任は重大である。

Doubts about the veracity of the “Yoshida statements” had been raised since around 1992. Nevertheless, the Asahi made no review of its reports on the issue, finally retracting the articles in question in August this year.
 「吉田証言」については、1992年頃から、内容に疑義が呈されていた。それにもかかわらず、朝日は見直さず、今年8月にようやく記事を取り消した。

There can be no denying that the fiasco has greatly damaged public confidence in news media.
 報道機関に対する信頼を大きく損ねたことは間違いない。

However, it is never permissible to resort to intimidation because the Asahi’s reports on the issue are objectionable. When one encounters a problem in the realm of speech, it should be refuted through speech as a matter of principle.
 だが、朝日の報道が意に沿わないからといって、脅迫行為に訴えることが許されるはずもない。言論に問題があった場合は、あくまで言論で反論していくべきだ。

The Yomiuri Shimbun analyzed the Asahi’s comfort women stories to show the immensity of their harmful impact. We believe that thoroughly reviewing the Asahi’s erroneous reports, in order to explore their background in depth, is necessary to redeem Japan’s tarnished reputation in the international community and restore the nation’s trust in news organizations.
 読売新聞は、紙面で朝日の慰安婦報道を分析し、いかに甚大な影響を及ぼしたかを示した。誤報の背景を探り、徹底検証することが、傷つけられた日本の名誉を回復し、報道機関の信頼を取り戻すためには必要だと考えるからだ。

Freedom of speech is a fundamental principle that is essential to building and maintaining a democratic society. This principle must be upheld under all circumstances.
 言論の自由は、民主主義社会が成り立つための基本原則である。いかなる場合にも、この原則は堅持されなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 3, 2014)Speech

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2014年10月 3日 (金)

香港抗議デモ 混乱の長期化が懸念される

The Yomiuri Shimbun
As Hong Kong protests drag on, Beijing should consider dialogue
香港抗議デモ 混乱の長期化が懸念される

In the years since Hong Kong reverted from British rule to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, the territory has never witnessed such scenes of chaos. The administration of Chinese President Xi Jinping has found itself with a major political problem on its hands.
 1997年に英国から中国に返還されて以降、香港がこれほどの混乱に陥ったことはない。習近平政権に、政治的難題が突き付けられている。

Students demanding greater democracy in the election of Hong Kong’s chief executive, and supporters of other pro-democracy groups, are continuing to occupy a commercial district, the financial district, areas around government buildings and other parts of central Hong Kong. On Wednesday, which was China’s National Day holiday, many students and other protesters gathered in the central part of the city.
 香港行政長官選挙の民主化を求める学生や、民主派団体の支持者らが、中心部の政府庁舎周辺や金融街、繁華街などを占拠する状態が続いている。中国の建国記念日にあたる1日も、大勢の学生らが中心街に集結した。

The demonstrations have snarled some transport networks and caused other disruptions to people’s daily lives. This is an extremely serious situation.
 交通機関がマヒするなど、市民生活にも支障が生じている。憂慮すべき事態である。

The protests have their origin in the August decision by China’s National People’s Congress on a new system for the 2017 election of Hong Kong’s chief executive.
 中国の全国人民代表大会(全人代)が8月、香港の2017年行政長官選挙の新制度を決定したことが、混乱を招いた発端だ。

Although the Xi administration approved, for the first time, the introduction of a “normal election” in which eligible voters in Hong Kong can directly elect the territory’s leader, any candidate who is essentially not pro-Beijing will not be allowed on the ballot.
 習政権は、有権者が直接投票する「普通選挙」導入を初めて認めたものの、親中派以外は事実上、立候補できない仕組みにした。

Hong Kong is legally guaranteed a high degree of autonomy in all matters under the “one country, two systems” formula. We can understand why the students have slammed the 2017 plan as a “fake election.”
 香港は一国二制度の下、「高度な自治」が法的に保障されている。学生たちが「偽の普通選挙だ」と反発したのは理解できる。

A White House spokesman even said, “The United States supports universal suffrage in Hong Kong ... and we support the aspirations of the Hong Kong people.”
米大統領報道官も「香港市民の強い願いを支持する」と表明した。

Hong Kong authorities have responded by using tear gas and pepper spray against the protesters, and tried to clear away the students who have boycotted classes and repeatedly taken part in street demonstrations. Many arrests have been made.
 これに対し、香港当局は、催涙弾や催涙スプレーを使い、授業のボイコットや街頭デモを繰り返す学生らの排除に乗り出した。多数の逮捕者も出ている。

Attrition warfare

Leung Chun-ying, Hong Kong’s chief executive, has said he expects the protests to continue “for quite a long time.” His comment embodies the uncomfortable state of affairs for authorities that have no effective options to quickly bring an end to the situation.
 梁振英・行政長官は、今回の混乱について、「長期間に及ぶ」との見通しを述べた。早期収拾に有効な手立てを持たない当局の苦しい内情が見てとれる。

The approach of the Xi administration will hold the key to how this situation pans out. Beijing has denounced the occupation of Hong Kong’s streets as “illegal activities that undermine social stability.” The Chinese leaders are likely concerned that swallowing the students’ demands would render them unable to exercise sovereignty over Hong Kong as they would like.
 カギを握るのは、習政権の出方である。占拠を「社会の安定を破壊する違法行為」と断じている。学生らの要求をのめば、香港統治が思うようにできなくなるとの懸念があるのだろう。

They are undoubtedly also gripped by a sense of alarm that these protests could rekindle demands for greater democracy in the rest of China, which have been bottled up since the Tiananmen Square Incident in 1989.
 1989年の天安門事件以来、封じ込んできた国内の民主化要求の再燃につながるとの危機感があるのも間違いない。

Events in Hong Kong could also derail any unification strategy for China and Taiwan that would seek to apply the “one China, two systems” policy. We wonder if demands for greater self-rule in regions home to ethnic minorities will grow stronger.
 台湾に一国二制度の適用を図る中台統一戦略にも、狂いが生じよう。少数民族地域では自治要求が一層、強まるのではないか。

The ability to impose Beijing-orchestrated governance appears to be reaching its limit. The current situation in Hong Kong vividly illustrates this point.
 北京主導の強引な統治が限界に達しつつある。香港の現状が、それを如実に物語っている。

The worst-case scenario of using armed force to suppress the protests must be avoided. The Xi administration should show serious consideration for Hong Kong’s autonomy, and resolve this situation through dialogue.
 武力鎮圧という最悪の事態は避けねばならない。習政権には、香港の自治を尊重し、対話によって解決する姿勢が求められる。

Worryingly, the protests are starting to have an impact on the economy. Stock prices have fallen, and several banks have suspended operations.
 混乱の影響が、株価の下落や銀行の休業など、経済面にも及び始めているのは気がかりだ。

Hong Kong is one of the world’s foremost international finance centers. If the demonstrations there drag on, they could even become a destabilizing factor for other financial markets around the world ― including those in Japan.
 国際金融センターの一角を占める香港の混乱が長引けば、日本を含む世界の金融市場の波乱要因にもなりかねない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 2, 2014)Speech

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日銀短観 景気回復の足取りはまだ重い

トヨタやホンダのような大企業を救済する措置がアベノミクスだと思います。
どんどんインフレにして、国の借金を帳消しにする。
この発想は明治時代にとられた政策ではないでしょうか。
借金したら、同じ次元の苦労をして返さないと意味がありません。
借金承知で予算を組む体質が改まらないのは、官僚制度と深く関連しています。
税収の範囲で予算を決めるのはとても辛い作業なんですが、それをやらない限り国と地方の借金は減りません。
自民党はいけません。
前の小泉、竹中平蔵コンビもひどかったですが、今の安部、黒田コンビはまったく救いようがありません。
安部さんは外交の面ではしたたかで、それなりに活躍されてはいますが。
早く政権交代しないかな。
(スラチャイ)

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Central bank’s survey result shows pace of economic recovery still slow
日銀短観 景気回復の足取りはまだ重い

The findings of the latest economic survey give cause for concern that the economic slowdown in the wake of the consumption tax rate hike may continue for a protracted period.
 消費税率引き上げ後の景気減速は長引くのではないか。そんな懸念を抱かせる内容である。

The Bank of Japan’s Tankan economic survey for September showed that the diffusion index for large manufacturers’ current business conditions stood at plus 13, against plus 12 in the previous survey taken in June.
 9月の日銀企業短期経済観測調査(短観)は、景況感を示す大企業・製造業の業況判断指数が13と、前回6月調査より1ポイント改善した。

The DI for current business conditions among large nonmanufacturers, including those in the retail and service sectors whose performance depends largely on domestic demand, was down 6 points to plus 13. The DI for small and medium-sized businesses declined, in both the manufacturing and nonmanufacturing sectors, for two consecutive quarters.
 小売りやサービスなど国内需要への依存度が高い大企業・非製造業は、6ポイントの大幅悪化だった。中小企業は製造業、非製造業とも2四半期連続で指数が低下した。

The December business outlook DI for both large businesses and small and medium-sized companies was found to be flat, indicating that many companies are making a cautious forecast that the economy will remain at a standstill for the time being.
 3か月先の予想は、大企業も中小企業も、景況感の変化が横ばい圏内だった。しばらく景気の足踏み状態が続くと、先行きを慎重に見る企業が多いようである。

Business sentiment remains dull, mainly because private consumption has stayed sluggish. Private consumption soared due to a last-minute surge in demand on the eve of the April consumption tax rate hike, but then plunged, with the pace of economic recovery remaining slow.
 景況感がさえないのは、個人消費が低迷しているためだ。消費税率引き上げ前の駆け込み需要で急増した後、反動減で落ち込み、回復の足取りは重い。

Domestic consumption has been affected somewhat by unseasonable weather in the summer, including unusually heavy rain. But lackluster consumer spending can be primarily attributed to the fact that rises in income have not caught up with the price increase of about 3 percent, stemming from the hike in the consumption tax rate.
 大雨など夏の天候不順の影響もあるが、消費増税分を含め約3%の物価上昇に、収入の伸びが追いついていないことが、消費を冷え込ませている主因と言える。

The government and the central bank have an expectation that the economy will pick up moderately. But they should not be overly optimistic. We hope both will raise their guard against any abnormal developments in the domestic economy and remain thoroughly committed to policy management that prioritizes economic recovery.
 政府・日銀は、景気の緩やかな回復シナリオを描いているが、楽観は禁物だ。日本経済の変調に対する警戒を強め、景気最優先の政策運営に徹してもらいたい。

No signs of virtuous cycle

It will be hard to realize sustainable economic growth led by private-sector demand as long as there is no virtuous cycle created, a cycle in which increases in corporate profits are passed on to workers in the form of wage hikes, and rises in household income boost overall consumption.
 企業の利益が賃上げとして働く人に還元され、家計の所得増が消費を押し上げる「好循環」を生み出さないと、民需主導の持続的成長は実現できまい。

The survey also found perceptions of a labor shortage among businesses to be at a high unseen since 1992. This is expected to make it more likely for wages to rise.
 短観では、企業の「人手不足感」が、1992年以来の高水準になったことが分かった。賃金は上がりやすくなると期待される。

Yet there is also fear that a lack of manpower could result in such effects as business contraction. It is important to keep a close watch for adverse effects.
 ただし、人員不足による事業縮小など副作用の恐れもある。影響を注視することが重要だ。

On the currency exchange market, the yen has continued to slide against the dollar, with the dollar briefly rising above ¥110 in Tokyo for the first time in about six years. The yen’s depreciation serves as a tailwind for export-oriented industries. But for businesses driven by domestic demand and small and medium-sized companies that do not export products or do business abroad, the currency’s decline will send the prices of imported raw materials soaring, thus weighing heavily on their business performance.
 円相場は一時、約6年ぶりに1ドル=110円台まで円安が進行した。輸出企業には追い風だが、輸出や海外事業を手がけない内需型産業や中小企業は、輸入原料の高騰などで経営が圧迫される。

The government needs to steadily implement its growth strategy to improve the domestic business environment through reductions in the effective corporate tax rate and eased regulations.
 政府は、法人税実効税率の引き下げや規制緩和など、国内の事業環境を改善させる成長戦略を、着実に推進する必要がある。

The plans for promoting regional revitalization and supporting women’s active participation in society, which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe advocates, are intended to enhance the growth potential of the economy, by taking measures to deal with changes in the composition of society such as population decline. The government needs to expedite its efforts to map out effective and concrete plans.
 安倍首相の提唱する「地方創生」や女性の活躍支援は、人口減など構造的な変化への対応策を講じ、成長力を底上げする狙いがある。政府は、実効性のある具体策作りを急がねばならない。

Within this year, Abe will make a decision on whether to raise the consumption tax rate to 10 percent starting in October next year. If his administration goes ahead with yet another hike in the consumption tax rate, it must then introduce reduced tax rates for daily necessities, including foodstuffs, to reduce the burden on the average household.
 首相は年内に、消費税率を来年10月から10%に引き上げるかどうか判断する。再増税に踏み切るのなら、今度こそ食料品などの生活必需品に軽減税率を導入し、家計の負担を和らげるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 2, 2014)Speech

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2014年10月 2日 (木)

衆院代表質問 民主党は対案示して論争せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
DPJ should offer own proposals, lock horns with govt responsibly
衆院代表質問 民主党は対案示して論争せよ

Merely criticizing the government in the Diet will do little to give depth to parliamentary discussions.
 批判するばかりでは、国会論戦が深まらない。

To fulfill its duty as the largest opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan should present counterproposals that could be an alternative to important government policies.
民主党は、野党第1党の責任として、重要政策の対案を示したうえで、論争すべきだ。

On Tuesday, representatives from the ruling and opposition parties started questioning Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over his key policy speech at the House of Representatives.
 衆院で安倍首相の所信表明演説に対する代表質問が始まった。

DPJ President Banri Kaieda criticized the prime minister’s Abenomics economic policy as “an approach aimed at placing priority on helping business corporations gain profits.” The DPJ leader also expressed a negative opinion about the government’s desire to lower the corporate tax rate, citing the need to secure a massive amount of revenue to offset the reduction.
 民主党の海江田代表は、安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」について「企業が儲もうけるのが最優先という考え方だ」と批判した。政府が目指す法人税率引き下げに関しても、多額の財源が必要として否定的な考えを示した。

The prime minister refuted Kaieda’s argument by saying that his Abenomics policy is “starting to produce a virtuous economic cycle.” With the recent rise in prices, Abe also emphasized his determination to “create a situation in which wages will increase every year.”
 首相は、アベノミクスによって「経済の好循環が生まれ始めている」と反論した。物価上昇を踏まえて、「賃金が毎年増える状況を実現する」とも強調した。

Ending deflation requires a virtuous economic circle where an increase in corporate earnings will help raise wages and create more jobs, thereby boosting consumption and, consequently, improving the economy. It should also be noted that a reduction in the corporation tax is helpful in bolstering the international competitiveness of our nation’s corporate sector.
 企業の収益増により賃金上昇や雇用拡大を実現し、消費拡大を景気回復につなげる「経済の好循環」は、デフレ脱却に欠かせない。企業の国際競争力を強化するには、法人減税が有効である。

It is essential to make progress in the economic management of Abenomics, a task that needs to be complemented by paying careful attention to its potentially adverse effects, including a widening disparity in income levels.
 所得格差の拡大など、副作用にも目配りしつつ、アベノミクスを推進することが重要だ。

In May, the DPJ put together an economic policy package aimed mainly at reviving the middle-class segment of the population and regional economies. However, Kaieda did not discuss the details of his party’s policy package.
 民主党は今年5月、中間層と地域経済の再生を柱とする経済政策をまとめているが、海江田氏はこの詳細には触れなかった。

The DPJ leader also referred to an envisaged increase in the consumption tax rate to 10 percent, arguing that measures should be taken to improve the quality of social security systems when the tax is raised. In reply, the prime minister revealed his intention to finance new social security policies with 20 percent of the revenue increase to be accrued from the tax rate hike.
 消費税率の10%への引き上げについて、海江田氏は、増税時の社会保障の充実を求めた。首相は、増収分の2割を新規の社会保障政策に充てる考えを示した。

Security plans blasted

By the end of the year, the prime minister is scheduled to decide whether to increase the tax rate to 10 percent after considering the economic situation and other factors from a comprehensive perspective. His decision will be significant in that it is bound to greatly affect the economy and the progress in fiscal reconstruction. Given this, legislators should debate pertinent issues from various points of view.
 首相は年内に、経済状況などを総合的に勘案し、増税の是非を判断する予定だ。景気や財政再建にも大きな影響を与える重要な判断となる。国会でも、多角的な議論を行うことが求められる。

The themes addressed by Kaieda at Tuesday’s Diet session included a government plan to create and revise laws for national security that would permit this country to exercise its right of collective self-defense. He told the lower house that “the dispute [over the government’s new stance on the right] is being set aside without offering any necessary explanations to the public.” His condemnation targeted a government intention not to submit security legislation to the current Diet session and, instead, present them at next year’s ordinary session.
 集団的自衛権の行使を容認する安全保障法制の整備について、海江田氏は「国民には何も説明のないまま議論が棚上げされようとしている」と述べた。関連法案の提出を来年の通常国会に先送りする政府の方針を非難したものだ。

The blame for “postponement,” however, should fall on the DPJ. The opposition party is still unable to form an intraparty consensus about the pros and cons of the latest government decision on the limited exercise of the right of collective self-defense. The DPJ should hold internal discussions on the issue as soon as possible.
 だが、「先送り批判」は民主党にこそ当てはまる。民主党は行使容認の是非について、今なお党の見解を集約できないでいる。早急に党内論議を行う必要がある。

Meanwhile, Ishin no To (Restoration Party) coleader Kenji Eda told the Diet that the consumption tax rate hike could serve as “a decisive trigger for a failure resulting from Abenomics.” He also said the Abe administration is “entirely inadequate” in trying to curtail wasteful government spending.
 維新の党の江田共同代表は、消費増税について「アベノミクスの失敗への決定的な引き金を引くかもしれない」と語った。安倍政権は「歳出のムダ削減が全く不十分だ」とも指摘した。

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), the predecessor to Ishin no Kai, had been poised to support the Abe administration if any government policies could be deemed commendable, while opposing the government if any of its policies were unacceptable. This is in contrast to the stance adopted by Ishin no To toward the government. The party is increasingly confrontational against the Abe administration.
 前身の日本維新の会は安倍政権に是々非々の立場だったが、維新の党は対決姿勢を強めている。

If Ishin no To changes its position as an opposition party that thinks and acts responsibly, the party should remain committed to dealing with controversial policy issues in a constructive manner.
仮に「責任野党」から転換する場合でも、健全な政策論争を仕掛ける姿勢は維持すべきだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 1, 2014)Speech

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拉致再調査 「北」の時間稼ぎは許されない

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Don’t let Pyongyang buy time with its abduction investigation
拉致再調査 「北」の時間稼ぎは許されない

How can North Korea’s dishonest attitude be changed so that progress can be made on the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by the country? The government should be wise and tough in its diplomatic efforts with the reclusive nation.
 北朝鮮の不誠実な対応をいかに改めさせ、日本人拉致問題を前進させるか。政府には、したたかな外交が求められる。

On Monday, Tokyo and Pyong-yang held talks between foreign affairs officials at the director general level. Song Il Ho, North Korea’s ambassador in charge of normalization talks with Japan, told Japan that Pyongyang’s reinvestigation of abduction victims is “not at a stage to give a report.” He added, “Details should be given directly through the special investigation committee in Pyongyang.”
 日朝の外務省局長級協議が中国・瀋陽で行われた。北朝鮮の宋日昊日朝交渉担当大使は、拉致被害者らの再調査について「報告できる段階にない。詳細は平壌で特別調査委員会から直接聞いてほしい」と要請した。

The government is now working to send senior Foreign Ministry officials to Pyongyang. It is important to scrutinize what kind of measures would be effective in urging North Korea to make full-fledged efforts on the reinvestigation so as to produce tangible results.
 政府は、外務省幹部らを平壌に派遣する方向で調整している。北朝鮮に真剣な調査を迫り、具体的な成果を上げるには、どんな措置を取るのが効果的なのか、慎重に見極めることが重要である。

In Monday’s talks, Junichi Ihara, director general of the Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, asked North Korea to carry out the investigation on abduction victims as soon as possible, and promptly announce the results.
 外務省の伊原純一アジア大洋州局長は協議で、拉致被害者らの調査を迅速に行い、その結果を速やかに報告するよう求めた。

“We are making steady progress in our scientific and objective investigation,” Song replied. He also reiterated North Korea’s claims that the investigation is at its initial stage and that results will not be revealed individually.
 宋大使は「科学的かつ客観的な調査に着実に取り組んでいる」と語った。調査は「初期段階」にあり、個別結果を伝えることはできない、との主張も繰り返した。

Releasing information little by little is Pyongyang’s conventional tactic to maximize returns. The government must not allow the nation to continue buying time.
 より多くの見返りを狙って、情報を小出しにするのは北朝鮮の常套じょうとう手段だ。そうした時間稼ぎを続けることは、許されない。

“Every topic covered by the investigation is important, but the abduction issue is especially significant,” Ihara told Song.
 伊原局長は、「すべての調査が重要だが、特に拉致問題が最重要だ」と宋大使に伝えた。

Maintaining ‘action for action’

The investigation is being conducted on topics including abduction victims, other missing Japanese suspected of being abducted by North Korean agents and remains of deceased Japanese nationals. Ihara’s remark was a clear message that Japan wants North Korea to put its focus on confirming the safety of abduction victims.
 調査は、拉致被害者のほか、拉致の可能性のある特定失踪者や日本人遺骨問題なども対象となる。この中で拉致被害者らの安否調査を優先するよう促したものだ。

Tokyo formally recognizes 17 people as being abducted by North Korea. Among them, 12 people, including Megumi Yokota, have yet to return Japan. North Korea’s past explanations over the safety of the 12 people mostly lack credibility. It is completely reasonable for the Japanese government to assign top priority to confirming the safety of the abduction victims.
 政府は、北朝鮮による拉致被害者として17人を認定している。このうち横田めぐみさんら12人が未帰国だ。その安否に関する北朝鮮の過去の説明は信ぴょう性が乏しいものが多い。政府が最重点に位置づけたのは当然である。

“Doors of negotiation [with North Korea] should not be closed so easily,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said. “We would like to conduct dialogue along with applying pressure.”
 菅官房長官は「(北朝鮮との)扉は簡単に閉ざさない方がいい。対話と圧力の姿勢で臨んでいきたい」と語っている。

North Korea’s relationship with its traditional ally, China, has deteriorated, and talks with Seoul have been stalling. Nuclear talks with the United States have ceased for a while. We suppose Pyongyang still has the intention of improving its ties with Japan to address its isolation within the international community.
 北朝鮮は、伝統的な友好国とされる中国との関係が悪化し、韓国とは対話が進んでいない。米国との核協議も途絶えている。国際的な孤立から脱却するため、対日関係を改善したいとの思惑が依然としてあるのだろう。

We urge the government to take advantage of such a situation to make tangible progress on the abduction issue.
 この構図を踏まえ、拉致問題の具体的な進展につなげたい。

What is important is to maintain the principle of “action for action.” North Korea should first demonstrate positive action over the abduction issue, and Japan should then take measures that match those actions.
 重要なのは、「行動対行動」の原則を貫くことである。北朝鮮が前向きな対応を取れば、日本も見合った措置を取りたい。

Japan lifted some of its sanctions on North Korea when Pyongyang started the investigation in July. If North Korea continues its insincere attitude, the Japanese government should discuss the option of resuming the sanctions at their former scale.
 政府は、7月の調査開始時に北朝鮮に対する制裁の一部を解除した。北朝鮮が誠意のない対応を続けるなら、制裁を復活させることも選択肢となろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 1, 2014)Speech

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2014年10月 1日 (水)

交流サイト被害 便利な機能には危険も潜む

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Parents should be alert to predators who lurk in their children’s phones
交流サイト被害 便利な機能には危険も潜む

Measures are urgently needed to protect children who use social networking sites, where they can exchange information with people they do not know, from falling victim to such despicable crimes as sexual assault.
 見知らぬ人と情報交換する交流サイトをきっかけに、性暴力などの被害に遭う。子供を卑劣な犯罪から守る対策を急ぐ必要がある。

Social networking sites may appear to be alike, but they come in various types.
 一口に交流サイトと言っても、種類は様々だ。

There are social networking services such as Facebook, and free phone call and messaging applications such as Line and Kakao Talk, and online message boards for users to seek like-minded friends.
 フェイスブックなどのソーシャル・ネットワーキング・サービス(SNS)や、LINE、カカオトークといった無料通話アプリ、友人を募る掲示板などがある。

According to the National Police Agency, 698 children under 18 were victimized in the first half of this year by criminals they encountered via social networking sites. The figure is the highest seen in the first half since the NPA began collecting such data in 2008. More than 90 percent of the victims were young girls. This is indeed a serious situation.
 警察庁によると、交流サイトで知り合った相手から被害に遭った18歳未満の子供が、今年上半期に698人を数え、2008年に調査が始まって以来、最多となった。被害者の9割以上が少女だ。深刻な事態である。

There have been many cases in which girls ended up getting involved in sexual misconduct, commercial sexual exploitation of children and child pornography. In Kumamoto Prefecture, a female high school student was killed by a man she got in contact with via an online site.
 淫行や児童買春、児童ポルノなどの犯罪に巻き込まれるケースが多い。熊本県では女子高生が殺害される事件も起きた。

The advent of message boards, where people can exchange user IDs for popular, free-call and free-message apps with the general public, has helped such crimes spread.
 人気の無料通話アプリの利用者IDを不特定多数の人と交換できる掲示板が登場したことが、被害を広げている。

With free calls and messaging apps, people can make free calls and exchange messages as long as they know the recipient’s user ID, without having to know the other person’s phone number or e-mail address.
 無料通話アプリは、IDさえ分かれば、電話番号やメールアドレスを知らなくてもメッセージの交換や通話ができる。

There have been notable cases in which people too casually shared their user IDs in public on message boards, started exchanging calls or messages with a stranger and then were tricked into meeting that person, who victimized them.
IDを安易に掲示板に公開したことがきっかけで、やりとりが始まり、誘い出されて被害に遭う例が目立つ。

Evil in disguise

Some perpetrators have lured young girls into meeting them by falsely representing themselves through photos of a completely different and much younger person. There have been other cases in which young girls sent messages apparently offering “compensated dating.”
 面識がないことに乗じ、若い別人の写真を送信して、少女をおびき出す手口もある。少女の方から援助交際を持ちかけるような書き込みも見られる。

The Line service operator, by the end of last year, took measures so that users under 18 could no longer make calls and exchange messages with parties the users know only by IDs.
 LINEは昨年末までに、18歳未満の利用者について、IDしか知らない相手との通話やメッセージ交換をできないようにした。

As a result, the number of victims is said to be declining. We hope other app operators will take similar measures.
その結果、被害は減少傾向にあるという。他のアプリ事業者にも対策を講じてもらいたい。

Regarding dating service websites, a law has been enacted to prevent children from falling victim to sexual crimes through them. There are also regulations that require site operators to notify relevant authorities and prohibit those under 18 from posting any content or information on the site.
 出会い系サイトに関しては、子供の性被害を防ぐ規制法が設けられている。サイト運営業者の届け出や18歳未満の書き込み禁止の規制がある。

Yet social networking sites where people search for hobby companions and friends are not subject to regulations.
しかし、趣味仲間や友達の募集などをうたう交流サイトは、規制の対象外だ。

A social networking site is convenient when it functions as a tool of communication. But it is essential that children be made to understand, at home and at school, the potential risks involved.
 交流サイトの機能は、連絡手段などとしては便利だが、危険も潜んでいることを、家庭や学校できちんと教える必要がある。

Also effective is the use of content filtering programs for children’s mobile phones to block objectionable apps and sites.
 子供の携帯端末から特定のアプリやサイトに接続できないようにする「フィルタリング」も有効だろう。

According to a Cabinet Office survey, the utilization rate of content filtering programs remains at about half of all mobile phones used by children. Approximately 20 percent of parents with young children were “unaware of” whether the program was installed in their children’s mobile phones.
内閣府の調査では利用率は半数程度にとどまっている。設定しているかどうか「わからない」という保護者も約2割に上る。

Parents should make themselves aware of how their children are using their cell phones or smartphones.
 子供が携帯電話やスマートフォンをどう使っているのか。親はしっかりと把握しておきたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 30, 2014)Speech

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所信表明演説 地方創生の具体論が問われる

異次元、次元の異なる・・・
為替も政策も同じ、大金をはたいての大博打となります。
短気な若者たちには受ける政策なんですが、リスクをともないます。
何も出来なかった民主党政権時代、暮らし向きはよかったですね。
自民党が政権をとると、庶民が潤うことはないと断言します。
そろそろ物価の値上げラッシュなんですが、アベノミクスのねらいはこれなんです。
庶民は目を覚ましたほうが良い。
(スラチャイ)

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Govt must devise concrete measures for successful regional rejuvenation
所信表明演説 地方創生の具体論が問われる

It is understandable that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe aims to recover the nation’s economic growth through regional revitalization and the creation of what he describes as “a society in which women shine.” But what is crucial is what concrete measures his government will take to implement such plans.
 地方創生や「女性が輝く社会」の実現を通じて日本の成長力回復を目指す。安倍首相の狙いは理解できる。肝心なのは、その具体論である。

Abe made a policy speech before the plenary sessions of both houses of the Diet on Monday. Calling the extraordinary Diet session an opportunity to discuss regional revitalization, Abe said the government would “implement bold measures that are completely different from steps taken in the past” to reinvigorate regional areas and deal with population decline.
 首相が衆参両院本会議で所信表明演説を行った。臨時国会を「地方創生国会」と位置づけ、地方の活性化と人口減対策のため、「これまでとは次元の異なる大胆な政策」を実行すると強調した。

Saying young people hold the key to halting the crisis of rural depopulation, Abe presented his ideas for creating communities attractive to young people as well as to promote tourism and local industries.
 「若者こそが危機に歯止めをかける鍵」と語り、若者に魅力的な町づくりや観光・地場産業の振興などに努める考えも示した。

Abe was able to convey his determination but discussions on each measure have just begun. The prescriptions for what ails the nation have not yet been made clear. The bill on the rejuvenation of local “communities, people and jobs,” which the government seeks to enact in the current Diet session, does not go beyond defining the basic ideals and the role of the state.
 首相の決意は伝わってくるが、各論の議論は始まったばかりだ。処方箋は明確ではない。今国会で成立を図る「まち・ひと・しごと創生法案」も、基本理念や国の役割などを定めるにとどまる。

Japan’s population is estimated to drop to 87 million in 50 years, two-thirds of the current level, leading to the demise of half of the nation’s municipalities. It is not easy to attain the government’s target of keeping the nation’s population at about 100 million.
 日本の人口は50年後に8700万人と、現在の3分の2に落ち込み、全国の自治体の半数が消滅するとの推計もある。1億人程度の人口構造を保つ、という政府目標の達成は容易ではない。

The government needs to come up with measures that can meet the needs of local communities by exchanging opinions with local governments and the private sector.
 政府は、自治体や民間とアイデアを出し合い、地域の実情に応じた対策を講じる必要がある。

If the government resorts to carrying out the conventional type of public works projects and handing out subsidies, such as with past national land development projects, it will have a limited effect. It is essential to look into past successful cases of community building and, on a priority basis, allocate budgets to promising cost-effective measures.
 過去の国土開発計画のように旧来型の公共事業や交付金をばらまくのでは効果は限られる。町づくりの成功事例を検証し、費用対効果の観点で有望な政策に重点的に予算配分することが大切だ。

Pillar of growth strategy

To help support greater participation of women in the workplace and society, Abe said the government will expand aid for child rearing and study the introduction of a system that would make it mandatory for listed companies to make public the number of female board directors. The utilization of women’s capabilities could become a pillar of the government’s economic growth strategy.
 首相は、女性の活躍を支援するため、子育て支援の拡充や、上場企業への女性役員数の公表義務づけに取り組む意向を表明した。女性の能力の活用は、成長戦略の一つの柱となろう。

We want the government to make good on placing top priority on an economic policy, while steadily carrying out drastic regulatory reform and restarting nuclear reactors whose safety has been confirmed.
 大胆な規制改革や、安全性の確認された原発の再稼働も着実に進め、「経済最優先」の方針に有言実行で取り組んでもらいたい。

Abe made no reference to raising the consumption tax rate to 10 percent. He must decide before the end of this year whether to carry out the tax increase in October next year, as scheduled. He will have to give a detailed explanation of the procedure and thinking leading to the conclusion he draws on the matter.
 首相は、年内に是非を判断する消費税率の10%への引き上げに言及しなかった。どんな手続きと考え方で判断するのか、今後、丁寧に説明することが求められる。

On the diplomatic front, Abe presented his idea of pushing for international economic cooperation strategically through such frameworks as a Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. Abe has visited 49 countries since taking office in December 2012 as he attaches importance to economic diplomacy while serving as the top salesman for Japan’s nuclear power plants and rapid-transit railway system.
 外交面では、環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)など、経済連携を戦略的に進める考えを示した。首相は就任以来、49か国を訪問し、原発、高速鉄道のトップセールスなど経済外交を重視してきた。

Utilizing the vigor of emerging economies will help boost the growth of the economy, and the country’s greater economic clout can then be used as a diplomatic card. A virtuous circle of diplomacy and economy is vital.
 新興国の活力を取り込むことは日本経済の成長に資するし、経済力は外交カードとなる。外交と経済の好循環を目指したい。

Improving soured relations with China and South Korea must also be tackled urgently. Given the signs of favorable responses from both Beijing and Seoul, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum set for November in Beijing will be a good opportunity for Abe to hold talks with his Chinese and South Korean counterparts. Arrangements for the realization of these talks must be made via low-key diplomacy with the two Asian neighbors.
 中国、韓国との関係改善も急務だ。中韓両国にも前向きな兆候があり、11月の北京でのアジア太平洋経済協力会議(APEC)は首脳会談の好機となる。静かな外交で中韓との調整を進めたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 30, 2014)Speech

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