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2014年12月25日 (木)

地震予測地図 日本中どこでも災害は起きる

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Major earthquake disasters could strike anywhere in the nation
地震予測地図 日本中どこでも災害は起きる

What is the probability of a major earthquake striking each part of the nation?

The government’s Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion has unveiled its 2014 version of a geographical forecast for massive quakes nationwide, a color-coded map based on the most up-to-date knowledge and expertise gained through the study of seismic activity in all parts of the country.

The map uses a certain color to indicate the degree of earthquake risk in each area. A glance at the map shows us that no region in this nation is free from the risk of seismic disaster. The map is another sharp reminder that Japan is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone archipelagoes.

With this in mind, it is important to utilize the map as a tool for devising measures to reduce earthquake disaster damage in each part of the county.

One of the stark forecasts given by the map is the probability that a quake registering lower 6 or higher on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 — an earthquake that can destroy some buildings with low quake resistance — will strike within 30 years. The data in question shows that no further delay may be permitted in taking necessary measures.

A case in point is the likelihood that a quake with an intensity of lower 6 or higher will take place around city government buildings in any of the nation’s prefectural capitals. The probability stands at an overwhelming 78 percent in Yokohama, followed by Chiba at an also significant 73 percent, and Mito and Kochi both at 70 percent. The figure for the Tokyo metropolitan government building complex is 46 percent.

Contributing to a higher probability of strong seismic vibrations originating in the Kanto region is a massive earthquake feared to hit an area along the Sagami Trough, which extends from Sagami Bay to waters off the Boso Peninsula.

Despite the urgent need for measures to cope with the situation, some municipal governments have not done enough to improve the earthquake resistance of their buildings. This is disconcerting because these facilities will be used as centers for disaster management in the event of a major earthquake.

These buildings include the Yokohama city government office, which was built more than 50 years ago. There are concerns about its state of deterioration.

We hope all local governments will study the latest seismic prediction map and make steady progress in ensuring their communities can better resist the impact of powerful earthquakes.

Bitter lesson

A similar map was drawn up for the first time in 2005. It has been updated each year to accommodate new findings from the government’s earthquake research. The map has often been used for various purposes, including the calculation of strength for architectural design and the assessment of premium rates for earthquake insurance.

However, the 2010 version of the map incorporated little data needed to predict a quake comparable to the Great East Japan Earthquake, which occurred the following year.

With this bitter lesson in mind, the earthquake research headquarters fundamentally revamped its forecasting method. In 2012 and 2013, the organ put together tentative versions of the prediction map. Its latest version contains all findings from its seismic investigation.

In producing the latest version, the headquarters expanded the scope of the areas with estimated epicenters while also extending the scales for predicted quakes. This resulted in great increases in the perceived probability of a major earthquake striking some areas, including Saitama. The figure for the city marked a 21-point increase to 51 percent.

The previous prediction maps were criticized by some as too technically difficult to understand. With this in mind, the headquarters has released pertinent information on its website, hoping to give detailed instructions on how to use the latest version of its prediction map.

The latest map also provides data related to what kind of quake is feared to hit each region, including one with its focus just below an urban populated area and another with a gigantic earthquake originating from the coastal seabed.

A look at the map provides anyone with data on the degree of vibration originating from a strong quake in an area 250 meters square. To protect one’s life, each person should take necessary steps. Measures include making houses quake-resistant and fitting furniture items with safety devices that prevent them from tipping over.

Next year marks the 20th anniversary of the Great Hanshin Earthquake. Prior to the quake, it was said no major quake would strike the Kansai area. This caused delays in improving the quake resistance of local houses and other buildings.

In this respect, unpreparedness is our greatest enemy.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 24, 2014)Speech

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大学入試改革 山積する課題を克服できるか

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Preparation needed before implementing new university entrance examinations
大学入試改革 山積する課題を克服できるか

Using college entrance examination reform as leverage for improving high school and university education is a reasonable idea, but a vast number of hurdles must be cleared before achieving this goal.

The Central Council for Education has complied a report on reforming the university entrance examination system, including the abolition of the National Center Test for University Admissions and the introduction, instead, of a test to assess applicants’ scholastic achievements, mainly their abilities to think and express themselves.

In addition to reviewing test results, each university would gauge applicants’ abilities to act and think on their own and to cooperate with others through such multifaceted methods as interviews and group debates.

The report is in line with a report released in autumn last year by the government’s Education Rebuilding Implementation Council.

It is difficult to adequately face various problems in society by merely memorizing textbooks, and the entrance examinations thus far have undeniably put too much emphasis on gauging applicants’ abilities to study.

The report pointed out that the entrance examination system needs to go through a sweeping transformation if Japan wants to cultivate people who have flexible ways of thinking and abilities to solve problems, and who are capable of contributing to society. In some respects, we understand the council’s stance.

However, the report lacks specifics on the new assessment test the council wants to introduce, including how it will gauge applicants’ ability to think and make judgments.

According to the report, the new test will pose questions assessing students’ knowledge on more than one subject as well as comprehensive questions that are not bound by the frameworks of subjects. High schools, however, give instructions subject by subject. High school students preparing for entrance examinations will surely be baffled by such an overhaul.

Subjective yardstick

The test results would be roughly shown using several ranks, not a point score. We wonder if eliminating the objective yardstick of point scores will be troublesome for universities in screening applicants, or if it will be accepted by society.

It is unclear, at best, whether each university would be able to adequately select applicants on its own as only a small number of universities possess the know-how to interview applicants and conduct group debates. If their yardsticks to screen applicants are ambiguous, their fairness will come under scrutiny. Also, it is almost impossible for large universities to conduct interviews of all examinees.

Some top-notch universities are opposed to the proposals and said they want to gauge whether applicants have broad knowledge and high academic achievements using their own tests.

The report also proposed introducing basic achievement tests for second- and third-year high school students, designed to grasp the scholastic achievements they have acquired. The tests are regarded as high school versions of the nationwide achievement tests for primary and middle school students. Their results would be used as reference material for college entrance examinations.

The new tests for high school students would be held several times a year. Many high schools are strongly concerned that students will be so immersed in taking and preparing for tests that schools may not be able to secure enough time for school events and club activities.

The report called for starting the new college entrance examination system in the 2020 academic year. However, the nation must not begin implementation without due preparation.

The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry must carefully study if the council’s proposals are viable to avert any confusion schools might face from examination reform.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 24, 2014)Speech

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2014年12月23日 (火)

保育施設の事故 再発防止の体制整備が急務だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Establish system to prevent accidents at day care centers
保育施設の事故 再発防止の体制整備が急務だ

There seems to be no sign of decline in the number of accidents at day care centers and other institutions that take care of children.

We urge the central government, local governments and child care facilities to reinforce their cooperation and take thorough efforts to prevent a recurrence of similar accidents.

According to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, 162 serious accidents took place in 2013 at certified day care centers and other child care facilities, more than triple the figure posted in 2010. Fatal accidents are also on the rise, with 19 of the accidents in 2013 involving deaths.

The situation is similar at after-school care centers, or facilities that take care of primary school students after school is out. More than 200 accidents occur at the facilities almost every year.

There seems to be a wide variety of accidents — cases such as an infant suffering cardiopulmonary arrest during a nap, a child choking on a rice-flour dumpling given as a snack, or a child being caught by a strong current while playing along a river. It is important to carefully assess the cause of the accidents and widely publicize preventive measures.

However, it is quite dubious whether systems to utilize lessons learned from such accidents have been sufficiently established.

The welfare ministry receives reports on serious accidents that occur at day care centers and other child care facilities from prefectural governments, but the ministry announces the total only once a year. The contents of the announcement are merely a general summary mentioning the categories of the accidents and places where they occurred. Some observers say the ministry’s annual report is not useful in preventing similar accidents from taking place at child care facilities.

In addition, municipalities currently do not have legal obligations to report the results of investigations conducted over fatal accidents at child care facilities to the welfare ministry. Given the present circumstances, we have to say it is difficult to share lessons learned from the accidents nationwide.

Efforts must be sped up

The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry is in charge of kindergartens, but the ministry does not have sufficient information on accidents that have occurred at such facilities. The ministry has, so far, not publicized the information it has, nor has it made any analysis.

We urge parties connected to the issue to speed up their efforts in building a concrete framework for collecting and analyzing information regarding accidents, and bring the information to the public’s attention. It is also important to review ways of exchanging information with police.

The central government will start a new program for supporting children and child-rearing from next fiscal year. The program includes a plan to oblige day care centers and other child care facilities that receive government subsidies to report serious accidents to municipalities, in tandem with implementing measures to promote the diversification of child care services and expand the enrollment limit of day care facilities.

We believe the government is making appropriate efforts for clarifying systems on how to collect information on accidents. We urge it to manage the systems properly and use the data to prevent similar accidents from happening again.

Aiming to add to the new program, a government advisory committee has proposed establishing a database on accidents at child care facilities, and then publicizing the status of accidents on a website.

Babysitting will not be covered by the new program, but the advisory committee requested to the government that accidents regarding them should also be reported. We would like to ask the government to steadily implement the committee’s proposals.

It is also important to improve the effects of existing laws and systems, such as the Consumer Safety Law, which covers serious accidents caused by products and services.

In the case of child abuse, the government has established an expert committee in charge of verifying specific child abuse cases. The committee analyzes the causes of child abuse and makes proposals on how to prevent similar abuse from happening again. We believe it is worth discussing the establishment of a similar institution regarding accidents at child care facilities.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 23, 2014)Speech

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朝日慰安婦報道 指弾された「強制性」すり替え

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Asahi’s switching points of contention on ‘coerciveness’ rapped in panel report
朝日慰安婦報道 指弾された「強制性」すり替え

The Asahi Shimbun must seriously accept many criticisms made in a report over its reporting on the issue of so-called comfort women.

The report was submitted to the newspaper’s president, Masataka Watanabe, on Monday after being compiled by a third-party committee to which verification of the newspaper’s coverage of comfort women was entrusted.

Watanabe said: “We’ll sincerely correct those points that need to be corrected. We’ll push reform with a firm determination to remake The Asahi Shimbun from its very foundations.”

The Asahi will be pressed to reexamine its reporting stance as represented by its coverage of the comfort women issue.

At the center of the controversy were the statements of Seiji Yoshida, who claimed to “have hunted” local women from Jeju Island in what is now South Korea, to make them serve as comfort women. The Asahi carried articles based on his statements 16 times from 1982 to the mid-1990s.

Historian Ikuhiko Hata raised doubts about the authenticity of the Yoshida statements in 1992.

In its special pages in 1997 that examined comfort women coverage, the Asahi also admitted that “the authenticity [of Yoshida’s statements] cannot be confirmed,” but stopped short of correcting or retracting past articles on the matter. In special pages it published on Aug. 5 this year, the newspaper finally admitted Yoshida’s statements were false and retracted a series of the articles based on them.

It was natural for the panel’s report to denounce the Asahi’s reporting stance as “insincere to readers.”

Wake-up call for media

Initially, the Asahi reported extensively on “coerciveness in the narrow sense,” arguing that comfort women were forcibly taken away directly by the wartime Japanese military. But after doubts were raised about the credibility of Yoshida’s statements, the newspaper began to report “coerciveness in the broad sense,” claiming that the comfort women were taken away by private operators against their will.

The panel’s report condemned such a change in reporting stance as “switching points of contention.” This could be a point that gets to the heart of the matter given that the crux of the issue was whether coerciveness by the military existed in gathering comfort women.

In regard to the international impact of the Asahi’s comfort women reports, one of the seven panel members said that it was “limited.” But some other members pointed out that the Asahi’s reports “incited South Korea to increase its radical criticism [of Japan] over the comfort women issue.”

Referring to the Asahi’s extensive coverage of the Japanese military’s alleged involvement in the establishment of comfort women stations ahead of then Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa’s visit to South Korea in January 1992, one panel member said it “had the effect of turning South Korea’s anti-Japan criticism at once into demands for an apology and compensation.” This is a persuasive argument.

Regarding the refusal to carry a column by journalist Akira Ikegami on a previously arranged date, which criticized the Asahi’s verification articles on comfort women in August, it should be noted that the report determined it was effectively a decision of then Asahi Shimbun President Tadakazu Kimura.

The report pointed out that “should erroneous reports be carried, they must be admitted candidly and humbly” because of the possible huge impact of newspaper reporting. This could be regarded as a warning bell for the media as a whole.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 23, 2014)Speech

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2014年12月22日 (月)



日本製なんですが、エアースキン というスキンカラーが新発売されています。


【2014年12月22日 送料無料で限定販売開始】経済情報番組で紹介され画期的!と話題を呼んだわずか数ミクロンのスキンカラーフィルム『 貼るファンデーション エアースキン(R)』を発売致します。


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米映画中止 看過できぬ北のサイバー攻撃

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Unforgivable for North Korean cyber-attack to hamper movie’s release
米映画中止 看過できぬ北のサイバー攻撃

The release of a movie has been sabotaged through a cyber-attack and the issuance of terrorist threats. These acts are a grave challenge against freedom of speech, which we cannot ignore.

Sony Pictures Entertainment, a U.S. movie company under the wing of Sony Corp., has been driven to cancel its release of a comedy film that depicts the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The cancellation was prompted by a massive, crippling attack on servers belonging to the firm and subsequent terrorist threats warning U.S. movie theaters not to screen the movie.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has judged that North Korea’s government is behind the malicious cyber-activity, its decision based on malware and other materials used in the Sony hacking case. Calling the incident one of “the biggest national security threats,” the FBI has condemned the cyber-attack severely, saying, “Such acts of intimidation fall outside the bounds of acceptable state behavior.”

President Barack Obama indicated at a news conference on Friday his intention to retaliate against North Korea, declaring, “I will make a decision on those [who are responsible for the incident] based on what I believe is appropriate and proportional to the nature of this crime.”

What specific step the president has in mind is not yet known, but some have said the United States could launch a cyber-attack targeted at North Korea. Some in Congress are calling for a toughening of U.S. sanctions against the state.

The movie company’s computer system was damaged in the cyber-attack, which occurred in late November, and confidential company data and personal information about its employees, such as their e-mails, were released onto the Internet.

Building up cybercapabilities

In addition to the colossal financial damage suffered by the film company, it is a grave problem that the right of free speech, which the United States values highly, has been threatened.

Sony’s decision to cancel the movie’s release has prompted a barrage of criticism from the U.S. media that it has given in to intimidation. Obama has also said, “I think they made a mistake.” The film company is said to be considering releasing the movie in some other form than distribution in movie theaters.

The U.S. government’s intention to retaliate is understandable.

The movie includes scenes that mock North Korean leader Kim, and in March the Department of Foreign Affairs in North Korea issued a statement saying the movie was “absolutely intolerable.”

North Korea is free to protest against the content of the film, but such actions as illegal, violent cyber-attacks and contemptible terrorist threats against the safety of moviegoers can of course never be tolerated.

Pyongyang recently set up a cyber-operations command, reportedly making efforts to strengthen its offensive capabilities in cyberspace through such measures as developing a corps of hackers.

When South Korea’s financial institutions and TV broadcasters were subjected to cyber-attacks in March 2013, the South Korean government concluded that the attacks were perpetrated by North Korea’s intelligence agents involved in operations against foreign countries.

The cyber-attack against Sony is a threat that could affect Japan.

Centering on the government’s National Information Security Council, enhancements in Japan’s defense capability against cyber-attacks are urgently needed. This nation must also bolster relevant information exchanges and collaborations with such countries as the United States, a nation with highly advanced cybertechnology, as well as South Korea and European countries.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 21, 2014)Speech

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国際市場の波乱 「逆石油ショック」を警戒せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Nations must be wary of market turmoil caused by ‘reverse oil shock’
国際市場の波乱 「逆石油ショック」を警戒せよ

The recent sharp decrease in crude oil prices has triggered instability in the international money market.

Crude oil prices, which hovered around $100 per barrel three months ago, have dropped below $60. Oil-producing Russia has seen the ruble being sold at less than half its previous value against the U.S. currency.

Earlier, the Russian central bank greatly raised its key interest rate, hoping to defend the ruble. However, the action has done little to achieve its intended goal. Observers have said the ruble’s depreciation may combine with higher interest rates to further worsen the condition of the Russian economy.

Low crude oil prices usually benefit the global economy as a whole. However, many experts see the current flagging demand for crude oil as a sign that the world economy is starting to slow down. Widespread uncertainty over future prospects is causing major stock price fluctuations in not only Russia but also other newly emerging nations, Japan, the United States and Europe.

There is no denying that additional unrest in the money market could develop into a “reverse oil shock,” dealing a serious blow to the world economy.

Monetary authorities in every nation need to keep a closer watch on speculation while also cooperating in stabilizing the market.

A key factor behind the current market fluctuations is the monetary surplus caused by the major monetary easing promoted by Japan, the United States and European nations after the Lehman collapse of 2008.

Massive amounts of funds that have flowed into crude oil markets and newly emerging nations are circulating in search of an investment destination, a situation contributing to accelerated market turmoil.

Eyes on U.S. monetary policies

The immediate focus of attention is on what will result from U.S. monetary policies. In October, the United States ended its quantitative monetary relaxation, and it is believed to have decided to raise interest rates as early as next year.

There are growing concerns that higher interest rates could result in a sudden, massive flow-back of funds into the U.S. market, causing a sharp drop in currency values in the emerging economies and creating a new economic crisis.

A statement issued by the U.S. Federal Reserve Board on Wednesday included a reference to a “patient” approach to raising rates. Similar language was used by the Fed before increasing rates in 2004. However, the latest statement also said the Fed would adhere to its previous stance of keeping the key rate near zero for a “considerable time.”

All this apparently signified an attempt by the Fed to balance the wording of its statement. The Fed seemingly hoped to avoid fueling speculation that it would raise its key interest rate at an early date, while also indicating readiness to opt for a rate increase.

After the Fed’s statement, stock prices sharply rose both in Japan and the United States, indicating the Fed’s response to the current situation has been successful.

We hope the Fed will seek “dialogue with the market” to prevent unnecessary market confusion, while at the same time carefully promoting an exit strategy tied to its zero-interest policy.

Such newly emerging countries as China and Brazil, both of which have served as engines for the world economy, have continued to experience a business downturn.

There is a pressing need for these nations to resolve the problems hindering their growth, including insufficient social infrastructure and excessive restrictions on trade and investment.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 21, 2014)Speech

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2014年12月21日 (日)

社説:STAP否定 論文不正の全容解明を

December 20, 2014(Mainichi Japan)
Editorial: Full disclosure urged over STAP paper scandal
社説:STAP否定 論文不正の全容解明を

Riken institute researcher Haruko Obokata has been unable to recreate stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency (STAP) cells, as has a separate Riken team. With the consistent failure to create the cells, the institute has declared an end to the verification experiments -- hardly a surprise after Obokata herself failed to replicate STAP cells based on the methods detailed in her research papers.

The STAP cell papers were dismissed once again and the purported existence of STAP cells returned to the realm of theory. Obokata is leaving Riken. The move marks a turning point in the STAP paper scandal -- which rocked not only scientific circles but also society at large, and led to the loss of a leading scientist. Still, suspicion remains.

This is because the question of why the papers were released by Riken -- one of Japan's foremost research institutions -- has been unanswered.

A fact-finding committee set up at Riken has been investigating the remaining allegations surrounding the STAP papers. Those questions include what exactly the cells that the research paper authors claimed to have "created" were; what the data and charts in the papers indicate; what steps were taken before the papers were released; and what roles the co-authors of the papers played in that process.

In order to prevent a recurrence of such irregularities and confusion, Riken must get to the bottom of the allegations and be fully accountable.

In addition, the country's scientific circles need to learn lessons from the STAP paper scandal, and make the most of them in preventing misconduct and responding to any allegations in the future.

In retrospect, Riken took too much time to reach its latest conclusion. The institute was also too passive in verifying the papers' problems once they were uncovered. The way the STAP paper co-authors held press conferences individually was also problematic. There's no denying that Riken's poor response to the scandal resulted in prolonging the confusion.

Behind the STAP paper scandal lies a problem with the government's deficient policies on graduate education, despite an increase in PhD holders. An investigation conducted by Waseda University has found that Obokata's doctoral thesis contained material plagiarized from a U.S. website. The university has decided to strip her of her doctoral degree unless she resubmits her thesis.

The incident underscores the fact that she failed to learn the basics of conducting proper research and writing papers -- scientific fundamentals she ought to have learned in her university and graduate school years. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology as well as universities should take the matter seriously and work to improve the situation.

Even if the STAP papers had proved valid, they were no more than basic research using mice. Nevertheless, the papers triggered a wave of high expectations for regenerative medicine, due in part to extensive publicity. That may have affected the responses of Riken and the government. The country's policy on science and technology -- which emphasizes immediate practical application of basic research -- may have played a part in the series of scandals. The STAP incident should serve as an opportunity for Japan to reconsider exactly how basic scientific research is conducted in this country.

毎日新聞 2014年12月20日 02時40分(最終更新 12月20日 10時13分)

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香山リカのココロの万華鏡:ささやかな幸せも大切に /東京

December 21, 2014(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: A good year of small joys
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:ささやかな幸せも大切に /東京

The end of the year is nearly upon us, and many of my patients are now talking about their personal "2014 in review."
It might surprise us to find how many of them look back on 2014 and say, "I've taken some steps forward," or "It was a pretty happy year." Ask for a little detail, and I find that they're often talking about a modest sort of happiness, like, "I used to hate riding the train, but now I'm okay as long as it's a local train," or, "My daughter got into a high school. It wasn't her first choice, but still..." or maybe even, "No one in my family except me got seriously sick."

On the other hand, outside the confines of my offices, I hear a lot of people saying that "this year was no good." When these people talk about why 2014 was such a letdown, the grandiosity of their targets for the year is pretty astounding; "I wanted to double the number of my company's shops, but only got to 80 percent of the goal," or, "I didn't get to go to our second home in Hawaii very often."

These people are company owners, best-selling authors and other well-heeled folks. When I tell them, "Well, as long as you have your health," they come back with answers like, "Yeah, I guess. But next year I'll try harder," ever striving for advancement.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with having big dreams. Being, to a certain extent, unsatisfied with your present conditions and shooting for something grander is part of personal growth.

However, healthy people with good jobs should not be making faces and complaining it was a "terrible year" when others -- people who've lived through illnesses -- can tell me with a smile that they've had a "good" 2014 for simple reasons close to home. The complainers come off sounding cynical or sarcastic in comparison.

If in life there are fun times, then there are also hard times. If, for example, you feel suddenly sick, a recovery time will follow. There are small joys to be had in everyday life, as well. You could spot a beautiful flower when you're out on a walk, or find your regular cup of tea tastes especially good today, and think, "Ah, what happiness." I think everyone has moments like this. To spend all your time striving to climb the greatest heights of ambition risks missing out on these smaller-scale happy moments, and that is a terrible waste.

A lot's happened this year, but still I somehow made it this far. I got to really relax a few times, and I had a lot of reasons to smile. Based on that, for now I'd say I get a passing grade for 2014. It's this kind of easy-going attitude I don't want to let myself forget, and I'd like to make every day left in this year a good one, an important one.

As for 2015, I think it's a good idea not to set towering goals. Don't load yourself down with heavy expectations of yourself, and remember that next year is simply the continuation of this year. Face the New Year relaxed, and ready for small amounts of happiness.

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2014年12月16日 地方版

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米キューバ接近 冷戦の残滓解消に課題は残る

The Yomiuri Shimbun
U.S.-Cuba thaw ends one vestige of the Cold War, but work remains
米キューバ接近 冷戦の残滓解消に課題は残る

A U.S.-Cuba agreement to normalize relations is a historic shift toward dissolving years of hostility, which is a vestige of the Cold War.

U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro have agreed to move to restore diplomatic relations that have been broken for 53 years.

Bilateral ties were severed in 1961 after the Cuban revolutionary administration led by Fidel Castro, which toppled a pro-U.S. government, confiscated American assets in Cuba. The following year, the United States and the Soviet Union confronted each other over Soviet nuclear missiles deployed to Cuba, bringing the world to the brink of nuclear war. The Cuban Missile Crisis remains an incident symbolizing the Cold War.

Successive U.S. administrations aimed to overturn the “pro-Soviet, anti-U.S.” Fidel Castro regime and did not lift an economic embargo against Cuba even after the end of the Cold War by designating Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism, thereby continuing to isolate Cuba.

Obama denounced such an isolation policy as having “failed.”

Cuba fell on hard times as it lost Soviet aid following the end of the Cold War. Cuba, making scant efforts to carry out economic reform while receiving assistance from the anti-U.S. administration of Venezuela, can hardly be regarded as a strategic threat to the United States.

With progress being made in private-level exchanges between the two countries, centering on the community of immigrants, it has become a general view in the United States that the severance of diplomatic relations is “out of date.”

Concern felt by U.S. political and business circles toward China’s advances into Cuba also contributes to their support to move toward the normalization of bilateral relations.

Regional stability key

True, the U.S. policy on Cuba is a remnant from the days of the Cold War. It is essential to bring about a shift from antagonistic relations toward regional stabilization.

The two countries have exchanged each other’s imprisoned spies. Hereafter, they will reopen embassies and relax restrictions on travel and remittances. A plan for a U.S. communications firm to start business in Cuba will reportedly be coordinated.

However, there are many hurdles to clear in realizing the normalization of diplomatic relations.

There are deep-seated critical views in the U.S. Congress and among middle-aged and older Cuban-Americans. They argue that normalization will condone the single-party rule of the Communist Party, led by the Castro family, and human rights violations.

Removing the Cuban embargo involves many agendas that will require approval by the House of Representatives and the Senate, both controlled by the Republican Party, during Congressional sessions in early January and onward. If Obama tries to take the teeth out of sanctions based on presidential authority, it will intensify a confrontation with Congress.

The Castro administration is wary of the possibility of a long-term economic slump exacerbating the people’s discontent and undermining the foundations of the Communist Party. The Obama administration said it would aim to spur the momentum for democratization through personnel exchanges and the provision of information infrastructure. But no optimism is warranted.

The Democratic Party’s stunning defeat in the midterm elections in November has stuck the Obama administration with lame duck status for the remaining two years of his term, some observers say. We want the U.S. administration to carry out down-to-earth diplomacy without rushing to build a legacy.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 20, 2014)Speech

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STAP作れず 細胞の正体は何だったのか

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Failure to reproduce STAP cells leaves their true nature unknown
STAP作れず 細胞の正体は何だったのか

Results of verification experiments by RIKEN apparently suggest that stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency (STAP) cells, which had been dubbed “dream versatile cells,” are nothing more than an illusion.

RIKEN announced Friday that Haruko Obokata, one of its researchers, had failed in her verification experiments to produce STAP cells by the deadline set in November. The nation’s top science and research institute added that a RIKEN team, which conducted STAP cell verification experiments separately, reached the same result.

The institute decided to terminate the verification efforts. We think the termination is a reasonable judgment because there are no prospects for successful reproduction of the cells shown in her papers.

Articles on STAP cells had already been retracted in July because fraudulent conduct, such as falsification of data, was recognized in the papers. Nonetheless, RIKEN continued the verification tests “to prove whether STAP cells exist or not.”

With Friday’s announcement by RIKEN, the row over the authenticity of STAP cells — which Obokata claimed she succeeded in producing over 200 times — has reached a major milestone. Obokata said she would quit the institute.

Then, what really were the so-called STAP cells trumpeted by RIKEN in January? Some scientists say that they might be embryonic stem (ES) cells, which are versatile cells already known to science.

Was this a mistake caused by Obokata’s lack of expertise? Or was it an intentionally fraudulent claim? Though renowned researchers were listed as coauthors of the STAP cells papers along with Obokata, why couldn’t they detect the anomalies in her research? Many questions are left unanswered.

Lessons must be learned

RIKEN has been investigating how her papers were produced through the establishment of a third-party panel. Results of the investigations should be used to prevent a recurrence of similar incidents.

RIKEN must rebuild its governance and restore public trust in the organization as Japan’s top research institute as soon as possible, by learning a lesson from the fact that its self-checking system failed to function.

The scandal over STAP cells has also highlighted problems in the nation’s science community.

Criticism has mounted against Waseda University, which granted a doctorate to Obokata, since plagiarism was found in her doctoral thesis. The university admitted that there were problems in the process of examining her degree thesis to decide whether she deserved the doctorate.

Not only Waseda but also other universities need to inspect their systems for deciding on the conferment of degrees, and acknowledge once again the significance of teaching students basic rules for research activities.

This summer, the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry compiled new guidelines to prevent research misconduct that incorporate the enhancement of education on ethics. The guidelines should be used effectively to help young people undertake research with a sincere and serious attitude and develop flexible thinking.

The articles on STAP cells made headlines in news media around the world as a discovery that defied common wisdom because they were carried by a prestigious British science journal.

However, we must remember that, when such articles are published, a new discovery is still no more than a hypothesis. While maintaining an attitude of cautious self-criticism, we pledge to report science news in a level-headed manner.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 20, 2014)Speech

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2014年12月20日 (土)

社説:投票率の低下 もはや国民的な課題に

December 19, 2014(Mainichi Japan)
Editorial: Conquering decline in voter turnout has become national challenge
社説:投票率の低下 もはや国民的な課題に

The declining voter turnout could shake the foundations of Japan's democracy. The voter turnout in the Dec. 14 House of Representatives election hit a postwar low of 52.66 percent in single-seat constituencies, down 6.66 points from the previous low in 2012.

It is true that the general election was abruptly called without points of contention that drew much attention from voters. Still, the problem is all the more serious because the downward trend in voter turnout in Japan is seen in both national and local elections. All levels of government should seriously consider measures to halt this damaging trend.

Even though the Dec. 14 lower house election was an opportunity for voters to select which party should take power, nearly half of Japanese voters did not bother to cast a ballot. The turnout did not reach 60 percent in any of the country's 47 prefectures. Moreover, the figure fell below 50 percent in eight prefectures -- Aomori, Miyagi, Toyama, Ishikawa, Ehime, Tokushima, Fukuoka and Miyazaki. It was commonly held that voter turnout tends to be higher in rural areas than urban regions, but this is no longer true.

The voter turnout in national elections declined sharply in the December 2012 lower house election, which swept the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) back into power, and the figure for the 2013 House of Councillors election was the third lowest in history. Experts say this is largely because votes of many of those who do not support any particular political party have nowhere to go.

Additionally, voter turnouts in local elections remain low, as was seen in the last Tokyo gubernatorial election earlier this year. Professor Masao Matsumoto, head of Saitama University's Social Survey Research Center and an expert in voting trend analysis, pointed out that the turnout declined in 14 of 18 mayoral elections held in Saitama Prefecture in 2013 compared to the polls previous. He then warned that it is a serious problem that the number of people casting ballots in elections for public office has been declining. The declining voter turnout should be understood as a structural problem.

If fewer voters go to the polls, it will increase the distance between voters and local and national governments, shaking the foundations of Japanese democracy. To prevent that, it goes without saying that political parties and individual candidates must hold in-depth debate that can draw attention from the public, while voters must be fully aware of the weight of their votes.

In particular, it is an urgent task to implement measures to raise the voter turnout among young people. The minimum voting age should be lowered from the current 20 to 18 from the standpoint of nurturing young people's awareness as sovereign citizens of Japan's democracy, and encouraging these people to make a habit of going out to vote. At schools, students should have more opportunities to learn about elections through mock voting and policy debate so that they become interested in elections before they reach adulthood.

It is also important to create an environment in which voters can cast their ballots more easily. Poll hours should be extended beyond 8 p.m., and the number of polling stations should be increased to encourage voters to use the early voting system.

As the population is aging rapidly, it is feared that a growing number of senior citizens will be unable to go to polling stations. It is indispensable to redistribute polling stations, which have decreased in number as a result of municipal mergers, and take other steps to help elderly people go to the polls. The government should also consider allowing voters to cast their ballots at any polling station in their constituency.

The Public Offices Election Act, which places strict regulations on election campaigns -- such as a ban on door-to-door canvassing -- should be reviewed, but there are many things that local governments can improve at their own discretion. Local elections to be held across the country next spring are an opportunity to put the brakes on the decline in voter turnout.

毎日新聞 2014年12月19日 02時30分

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高浜原発「合格」 再稼働に政府支援が不可欠だ


The Yomiuri Shimbun
Government support indispensable for restart of nuclear power plants
高浜原発「合格」 再稼働に政府支援が不可欠だ

Many hurdles remain to be cleared even after passing safety screenings.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority has compiled a draft report of the screening results for the Nos. 3 and 4 reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, effectively indicating that the reactors have passed safety checks for their reactivation.

This brings to four the number of reactors effectively approved as meeting new safety requirements that were established in the wake of the 2011 nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. The four include the Nos. 1 and 2 reactors at Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai nuclear power station in Kagoshima Prefecture, which were approved for reactivation this autumn.

We want the NRA to proceed with safety confirmation of the remaining nuclear reactors without delay.

The NRA will hereafter screen plans for reinforcement work, maintenance and inspection systems and emergency response manuals at the Takahama plant. One year and five months have passed since Kansai Electric applied for safety screenings in July last year. It is natural to put top priority on safety, but an efficient screening process is also important.

With the operations of all its 11 nuclear reactors suspended, Kansai Electric has been walking a tightrope regarding power supply. The utility is considering its second rate hike since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.

This situation will take a turn for the better if operations are resumed at the two reactors at the Takahama plant.

To help ensure the safety of the Takahama plant, Kansai Electric has raised the intensity of its maximum presumed earthquake to 1.3 times the level presumed before the 2011 earthquake. It also raised the height of its maximum presumed tsunami to four times the previous level.

The utility also took into consideration other kinds of disasters, such as tornadoes, that were not subject to conventional examinations, when working out its safety measures. Thus it is safe to say that precautionary and response measures have been bolstered significantly regarding natural disasters.

Safety assurance steps vital

Kansai Electric must steadfastly implement such principal safety measures as construction of seawalls, reinforcement of piping systems and improvement of maintenance and inspection. To help prevent human error in handling newly installed devices and equipment, the utility must repeatedly train its plant workers.

Such steady efforts will be indispensable to obtaining the understanding of relevant local governments in restarting the reactors.

As for the Sendai nuclear plant, the approval given by the Kagoshima prefectural government and the Satsumasendai municipal government has opened the prospect for resuming operations.

Concerning the Takahama plant, Fukui Gov. Issei Nishikawa said “the range of areas that must give approval for restarting the reactors is Fukui Prefecture and the town” where the plant is located. The Takahama municipal government shows a certain understanding about restarting the reactors. Disaster prevention and response measures, as well as evacuation plans, have been worked out by surrounding local governments with the support of the central government.

The Kyoto and Shiga prefectural governments have called for Kansai Electric to ask for their approval for restarting the reactors at the Takahama plant on the grounds that the compilation of evacuation plans has been made mandatory for areas located within a radius of about 30 kilometers from nuclear plants. The two prefectures have also asked the utility to conclude a safety agreement.

But the central government must be responsible for making safety judgments from a highly technical standpoint. To help alleviate local anxiety, it is essential for the government to take the initiative in explaining in detail the safety measures currently in place.

The government must work toward increasing public understanding of the need for restarting reactors as well as disaster prevention and response measures.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 19, 2014)Speech

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パキスタン襲撃 テロ封じへ国際協調を強めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Pakistan school attack shows need for world to unite against terrorism
パキスタン襲撃 テロ封じへ国際協調を強めよ

This was an act of abominable cruelty that cannot be forgiven, no matter what the reasons for it were.

In northwest Pakistan, a group of gunmen from Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), an Islamist militant organization also known as the Pakistani Taliban, attacked an army-run school and killed more than 140 students and teachers.

It was the worst such disaster in Pakistan, where terrorist attacks carried out by extremists happen frequently.

U.S. President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other world leaders have quite rightfully condemned this attack “in the strongest possible terms.”

Malala Yousafzai, who in 2012 was shot and seriously injured by the Pakistani Taliban for her advocacy of women’s right to education and was this year awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, described the attack as “atrocious and cowardly acts … but we will never be defeated.” It is vital that the international community shares her resolve.

The assailants this time reportedly chased and gunned down children who were frantically trying to escape. The Pakistani Taliban claimed this attack was “revenge” for the deaths of family members during operations by the Pakistani military to clear out the militants. However, there can be no justification for a merciless slaughter targeting innocent, vulnerable people.

Even the Taliban that previously ruled neighboring Afghanistan criticized the killings, saying they “are against the basics of Islam.”

Security crumbling

The security situation in Pakistan has deteriorated in recent years. Militant groups such as the Pakistani Taliban that seek to install a harsh form of Islamic law have repeatedly attacked military bases and government organs, and many civilians have been caught up in their terrorist attacks.

Turmoil in Pakistan, which possesses nuclear weapons, destabilizes the entire region. That nation’s counterterrorism strategy urgently needs propping up.

Immediately after the school attack, the Pakistani military launched air strikes on TTP bases. Obama also announced the United States would continue providing military support to Pakistan. This apparently reflects the view that there are limits to Pakistan’s own operations to stamp out terrorism.

However, attacks by unmanned U.S. drones aimed at militants have also resulted in the deaths of nearby civilians, which has stoked anti-U.S. sentiment among the Pakistani people. Washington needs to consider whether there is more effective military assistance it can provide.

U.S. combat troops will pull out of Afghanistan by the end of this year. It is possible the vicious terrorist groups based in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region might step up their activities, which could impede efforts by Pakistan to restore public order.

It has been reported that Arab terrorists in cooperative relations with the TTP also were involved in the school attack. A part of the TTP has tied up with the Islamic State, an extremist group in the Middle East.

The threat posed by terrorism is crossing international borders and continuing to spread.

Solidly unified cooperation among the international community is essential for containing terrorism. The United States and other affected nations should reconsider how to deal with the Pakistani Taliban.

Grappling with the nonmilitary aspects of this issue also is important. This includes cracking down on the terrorists’ sources of funds and eliminating poverty in the tribal areas of northwest Pakistan where the TTP is based. We hope Japan also will play an appropriate role.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 19, 2014)Speech

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2014年12月19日 (金)

おしゃれで機能性に優れたスノーボードウェア KELLAN(ケラン)

おしゃれで機能性に優れたスノーボードウェア といえば、韓国製のKELLAN(ケラン)に勝るものはありません。

それから見逃せないのはKELLAN(ケラン)スノーボードウェア のデザインの良さです。

ライフスタイル×スポーツの併合を実現! KELLAN(ケラン)の新作スノーボードウェアを販売開始!


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2014年12月18日 (木)

南京「哀悼日」 容認できぬ一方的な反日宣伝

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Xi uses Nanjing ‘day of mourning’ as propaganda tool against Japan
南京「哀悼日」 容認できぬ一方的な反日宣伝

Such a one-sided imposition of perceptions of history is only amplifying anti-China sentiment in Japan, and is unproductive. It is totally unacceptable.

On Dec. 13, the anniversary of the Nanjing Incident by the former Imperial Japanese Army in 1937, a commemorative service was held at “The memorial hall of the victims in Nanjing massacre by Japanese invaders” in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu Province. In a speech at the ceremony, Chinese President Xi Jinping once again claimed “300,000 people were killed” in the incident.

Xi emphasized that any attempt to deny this figure was unforgivable. “We must firmly oppose any attitude dismissing the history of the invasion or comments that glorify it,” he said.

However, there is scant objective evidence to back up the claim that 300,000 people were killed. The Japanese government has admitted the fact that civilians were killed by Japanese soldiers, but says it is difficult to determine precisely how many people died.

In Japan, the dominant view is that, based on demographic statistics for Nanjing at that time and other factors, the death toll of 300,000 is far removed from reality. In 2010, a joint research team of Japanese and Chinese historians released a report saying Japanese scholars have stated there are varying estimates on the number of victims in the incident, ranging from 20,000 to 40,000 to as many as 200,000.

If China sticks to its position of “taking history as a mirror,” we think it should develop views based on historical facts that are backed up by internationally credible documents and materials.

Olive branch also extended

Earlier this year, the Xi administration designated Dec. 13 as a “day of national mourning” and Sept. 3 as a national day to “mark the victory in the war against Japan.” Elevating ceremonies held on both these days to state-level events appears aimed at making them “history cards” to be played against Japan in the diplomatic arena.

Xi aspires to bring about the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese people.” His use of “patriotism” and “anti-Japanese sentiment” also appears motivated by a desire to boost the centripetal force of his administration. Xi is also seemingly feeling the need to ensure that his opponents within the Chinese Communist Party and the public are not given any excuse to criticize him.

If this anti-Japan feeling is based on the vagaries of domestic politics, there is no likelihood the Xi administration will take steps to rectify this situation of its own accord in the foreseeable future.

On the other hand, Xi also said at the ceremony, “The peoples of China and Japan must continue their friendship,” and, “We should not hate the [entire] people simply because a small number of militarists started a war of aggression.”

Xi appears to be attaching great importance to the opportunity to repair ties presented by his summit meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in November. Alarmed by the slowdown in China’s economic growth, the president is certainly seeking to improve relations with Japan, especially in the economic field. There is no doubt Xi will continue to switch between “pressure” and “friendship” in his dealings with Japan.

Next year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, and issues of history will come under the spotlight in the international community. There are concerns China will step up its anti-Japan propaganda campaign. China and Russia have agreed to hold joint events to celebrate their victory in the war. Xi has also suggested that China and South Korea form a “united front” on the issue of historical understanding.

We think Japan should hit back at unfair propaganda with a resolute attitude. The nation must work harder to share information with the world to spread a correct understanding about Japan, including the path of a peaceful nation it has taken since the war.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 17, 2014)Speech

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2014年12月16日 (火)

衆院選自公圧勝 重い信任を政策遂行に生かせ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Big win for LDP, Komeito must lead to humble, gracious govt steering
衆院選自公圧勝 重い信任を政策遂行に生かせ


There has now been a clear expression of the people’s will to see the Abenomics economic policy package continue, to ensure that the nation’s economy snaps out of prolonged deflation.

In Sunday’s 47th House of Representatives election, the Liberal Democratic Party and its junior ruling coalition partner Komeito achieved a crushing victory, winning more than 320 seats combined, well exceeding a two-thirds majority in the lower chamber. Following a win in last year’s House of Councillors poll, this occasion marks the second consecutive triumph for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration.

It is very important for the coalition government to effectively utilize this expression of the people’s will as a driving force to push ahead with a range of important policy tasks over which public opinion has been divided — including a new security-related legal framework and the advisability of restarting nuclear power plants — so the nation’s politics can move forward.

‘Blitz dissolution’ a success

During an unusual period that saw a new prime minister every year from 2006 to 2012, Japan’s politics remained mired in stagnation and dysfunction as a result. A majority of voters in the latest lower house contest have given passing marks to the second Abe Cabinet’s work in the two years since that period ended. This verdict by the electorate can be seen as a decision to give the prime minister a mandate, at least for the time being, to take the helm of government with a stable power base.

Abe’s decision to postpone by 18 months a consumption tax rate hike from 8 percent to 10 percent that had been scheduled for October 2015 can also be said to have gained popular support in the election.

Tailwinds did not seem to be blowing for any particular political party in Sunday’s general election. Under the circumstances, Abe reiterated his campaign slogan of “This is the only way,” defending his policy initiatives. His tactic of stressing the phrase to note his administration’s achievements while calling for the electorate to compare them with those of the Democratic Party of Japan — which was unresourceful during its time in power when it came to addressing such problems as the stronger yen — has undoubtedly produced a certain degree of favorable results for the ruling camp.

Abenomics has brought about the depreciation of the Japanese currency, sending stock prices soaring. The employment situation has also improved, with wages having entered an upward phase.

The flip side of the policy package, such as widening gaps between major companies and small and midsize enterprises, as well as economic disparities between urban and rural regions, and rising import costs, has been pointed out. Yet expectations that the benefits of Abenomics will eventually spread across the country have remained markedly high.

It can safely be said that the realistic and effective handling of economic policy must be continued to maintain the basic direction of the ruling camp’s policy goals, while certain aspects of the package, such as growth strategies, should be beefed up.

Caught off guard by the prime minister’s sudden dissolution of the lower house, the DPJ was slow to prepare for the electoral fight and could not avoid fielding the smallest number of lower house candidates in the party’s history, failing to capture swing voters and others. The DPJ leadership of Banri Kaieda should be severely brought to task for failing to recognize the need to “always be ready for combat” in the political arena.

The DPJ’s attempts to coordinate with the Japan Innovation Party and others to field jointly backed candidates fell far short of yielding tangible results.

Abe, for his part, is in no position to comfortably celebrate his success in maintaining a political landscape where the LDP is the sole dominant party.

This is partly due to the fact that the ruling parties, which have a solidly organized support base, are believed to have been aided by the fact that the Dec. 14 voter turnout plunged to a record low for the postwar era, and by blunders on the part of the opposition bloc.

The ruling parties must be keenly aware that current public support for them is not so much proactive as based in the more or less negative judgment that the ruling camp may be “slightly better” than the opposition parties.

Opposition forces incompetent

The prime minister is set to launch a new Cabinet on Dec. 24, the third to be formed under his leadership. We believe Abe’s next Cabinet should first and foremost continue to pursue the goal of revitalizing the economy.

With the overall picture of the election results becoming clear after Sunday’s vote, the prime minister said, “I’m determined to avoid arrogance. I want to carefully explain my policies to the people and then try to make progress in carrying them out.” It is important for Abe to avoid using coercion in running his government, which is essential in fulfilling his words.

The DPJ took more lower house seats than in the 2012 general election, which inflicted a historic defeat on the then ruling party. However, the leading opposition party still struggled in Sunday’s race, falling far short of its preelection target of 100 seats. The DPJ’s failure in this respect was symbolized by party leader Kaieda’s unsuccessful reelection bid.

The major opposition party is poised to elect a new leader after Kaieda steps down as DPJ president. This should be complemented by efforts to explore what went wrong with the party’s election campaign.

The DPJ blasted the Abe administration during its campaign, parading slogans meant to be pleasing to voters, such as promises to “restore an affluent middle-class segment” and “invest [resources] in people.” However, these policy pledges were hardly convincing as alternative for the Abenomics policy package.

The DPJ’s inadequacy also seemed to hold true with its national security policies. The fact remains that the main opposition party has not even been able to form an official view about our nation’s right of collective self-defense, because of conflicting opinions among party members regarding the pros and cons of exercising the collective self-defense right. We feel voters may have seen through the DPJ in this respect.

It is still difficult for the DPJ to regain the public’s trust, which declined because of a number of errors during the party’s time in power.

Sunday’s election was also an uphill battle for so-called third pole parties. They were the center of hope among voters discontented with the LDP and DPJ in the 2012 lower house election. However, this was followed by repeated mergers and breakups, a major factor behind their failure to accomplish tangible achievements as political parties.

During its election campaign, the Japan Innovation Party emphasized its readiness to promote reforms that would inflict pain on the public sector. However, it is difficult to say that the party put forward a convincing road map for that reform. The JIP also remains unsure about what should be done to realign opposition forces, though it indicated a willingness to achieve the target even before the lower house was dissolved for a general election.

The Party for Future Generations lost a considerable number of seats in the latest election. The People’s Life Party also made a poor showing.

Meanwhile, the Japanese Communist Party achieved a remarkable advance. The JCP successfully attracted a number of voters who were uncertain about which party they should vote for, in a protest against the government.

However, it should be noted that if the JCP continues to insist just on stopping the Abe administration from doing whatever it pleases, the JCP may find it difficult to increase its strength.

Electoral reform pending

The latest election was called despite the lack of measures to fundamentally rectify the geographical disparities in the relative weight of one vote. The zero-increase, five-reduction formula adopted in the election’s single-seat constituency race was all that was carried out to address the issue. It is therefore highly probable that judicial authorities will conclude that the results of the latest election are in “a state of unconstitutionality,” if a lawsuit is filed to challenge the validity of the outcome.

No time must be wasted in reforming the lower house election system, an issue linked to the legitimacy of the status granted to elected members of the chamber. Drastic reform of the electoral system should be promptly accomplished through expedited efforts to discuss pertinent issues at an independent panel of experts.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 15, 2014)Speech

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2014年12月15日 (月)

ジョギング大好き人間に朗報です 全米No.1のランナーポーチ


【全米No.1】 にかがやくランナーポーチなんですが、その美しデザインと機能性にしびれました。


【アマゾンNo.1】獲得のお知らせ ランナーポーチ「フリップベルト」


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【アマゾンレビュー数 No.1】獲得のお知らせ ペット消臭&しみとりスプレー「フィジョン」


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サイトで無料通話ができるアプリブリッジコール android というのを見かけたので、さっそく試してみました。

私が3G通話にこだわっていたのは、やはり、音質なんですが、同じレベルの音質で無料通話 ができます。

ブログで口コミプロモーションならレビューブログ  レビューブログからの情報です

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きょう投票 日本の将来創る確かな1票に

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Diet members need vision, insight on issues both at home and abroad
きょう投票 日本の将来創る確かな1票に


When it comes to ensuring Japan’s future prospects as a peaceful, thriving country, which political parties and candidates can be said to have come up with realistic, appropriate solutions and shown the ability to achieve them? Every voter must be thoroughly scrupulous in rendering a judgment on this issue as they exercise the invaluable right to vote.

Today, Sunday, is the polling date for the 47th House of Representatives general election.

Can the nation exit the long tunnel of deflation to put its economy on a growth track? What can be done to overcome the challenges of a rapidly shrinking population and the declining strength of regional communities? What steps can be taken to deal with the security environment surrounding this country, which has seen an alarming deterioration?

This is an election of great importance. The trustworthiness of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration, which has addressed a mountain of problems at home and abroad for the past two years, is at stake.

Trust in Abe govt the focus

It is unusual for the lower chamber to be dissolved for a snap general election two years before its members’ term of office has expired. However, the prime minister’s seeking of a public mandate afresh through the lower house contest may be instrumental in boosting his administration’s momentum so that it can carry through with its policy tasks.

The biggest focal point in the race is whether the Liberal Democratic Party will maintain its overwhelming dominance in the powerful chamber, or if there will be a shift from the preelection political landscape — in which the LDP has been the sole predominant force in the legislature.

The past three lower house elections saw landslide victories by the LDP and then the Democratic Party of Japan, followed by the LDP again. Two successive changes of power took place through the three electoral battles. But this time, the circumstances are substantially different.

Due to delays in the DPJ’s preparations for the election campaign, the number of candidates on the party’s ticket has fallen short of a majority in the 475-seat lower house.

The major opposition party is at a crossroads in terms of whether it can recoup enough lost ground from its devastating defeat in the 2012 poll to gain a foothold for retaking the helm of government in the future.

The so-called third-pole parties, which made remarkable headway in the previous lower house contest, have since undergone rounds of alliance formation and rupture that have resulted in the disbanding of Your Party.

Will two opposition parties — the Japan Innovation Party and the Party for Future Generations — ultimately be formidable enough to represent the non-LDP and non-DPJ voter segments through this lower house election?

The yardstick for judgments at the polls lies in how voters rate Abe’s leadership of the government.

In the past two years, the Abenomics package of economic policies has pushed up stock prices and improved the employment situation. The nation’s economy, however, has continued to log negative growth due to such factors as a consumption tax rate hike from 5 percent to 8 percent in April.

Stressing the need to push ahead with Abenomics, the prime minister declared in his campaign, “Nothing good can come out of the country going back to dark periods of chaos, such as when the DPJ was in power.”

For his part, DPJ leader Banri Kaieda has underscored a need to change key policies by highlighting problems with the Abe administration, including the widening economic disparities within society. The DPJ has placed great emphasis on “investment in people,” such as increasing government assistance for child rearing.

Meanwhile, the JIP has been arguing for the need to beef up growth strategies through such means as deregulatory reform.

There are also divergent views among political parties on how to deal with issues related to the consumption tax hike.

Breakdown of issues

The ruling parties have decided on a policy to postpone the consumption tax hike to 10 percent, originally scheduled for October 2015, for 1½ years. The DPJ and the JIP both approve of the postponement, but have not indicated when the tax should be raised again. The Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party have called for the tax hike plan to be revoked and repealed.

A steady supply of electricity is also essential to economic revitalization.

The LDP has presented a policy to utilize nuclear power plants whose safety has been confirmed. The policy stipulates that renewable energy will be introduced to reduce dependence on nuclear energy.

The DPJ has called for the reduction of the nation’s nuclear power generation to zero in the 2030s, while the JIP has argued for ending reliance on nuclear energy.

We hope voters will closely examine which parties have expressed responsible, forward-looking views on the coexistence of economic growth and fiscal rehabilitation, along with well-balanced energy policies.

Security has also been a point of contention in the election.

The intrusion of Chinese government vessels into Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands has become a frequent occurrence. The first Japan-China summit meeting in about three years was realized in November, though the Japanese government has remained on alert in the waters. The nuclear threat from North Korea has not changed.

Aiming to heighten deterrence by strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance and international cooperation, the Abe administration approved in July a new government interpretation of the Constitution that allows the nation to exercise the right of collective self-defense in limited situations.

The LDP has presented a policy to promptly prepare a security-related legal framework on the basis of the government’s new interpretation. The DPJ and others have called for a repeal of the Cabinet decision on the collective self-defense right.

It is important to establish a system that enables the nation to envision various possible situations and execute seamless security responses in peacetime. It is regrettable that each party did not deepen discussions on the subject by providing appropriate concrete examples.

Urgency in critical times

The state of the world at large, which offers no cause for optimism, has remained unpredictable.

China’s military buildup and other factors have destabilized East Asia. In the Middle East, the extremist militant group Islamic State has expanded its forces, and the situation in Ukraine has yet to emerge from chaos.

In Japan, where a low birthrate and the aging population are serious concerns, there is an increasing number of issues where interests must be coordinated through the political leadership so that they are not passed down to subsequent generations.

What is now required of Diet members is a high level of vision and insight into trends in Japan and abroad, as well as problem-solving abilities. It is also the responsibility of eligible voters to choose talent that can meet such requirements.

It is feared that the voting rate will fall even lower in this election.

Public indifference toward electoral politics will not cause any anxiety for political parties and politicians. We hope as many people as possible will exercise their right to vote.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 14, 2014)Speech

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2014年12月14日 (日)

再生医療 安全性の確保が普及の前提だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Ensuring safety an indispensable step in promoting regenerative medicine
再生医療 安全性の確保が普及の前提だ

Regenerative medicine, in which cells and tissue are transplanted to restore functions lost due to disease and injury, must be promoted to benefit as many patients as possible.

It is essential to make effective use of the law on medical drugs and equipment and the law for securing the safety of regenerative medicine, which went into force in November.

The drug and equipment law, previously known as the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law, added the new category of regenerative medical goods to the existing conventional categories of drugs and medical equipment.

For tissue-engineered medical products, a new system has been introduced to allow their conditional approval for a designated period of time once their safety is confirmed after a certain minimum number of clinical trials and their effectiveness has been assured.

The quality of regenerative medical products tends to vary, and their effectiveness differs from patient to patient. With these characteristics taken into consideration, an approval system differing from that for mass-produced drugs and medical equipment has been adopted. This course of action can be deemed reasonable.

Japan has, so far, approved two products using skin and cartilage tissue as regenerative medical treatments. It took five to eight years to complete the screening for approval of these products. Under the new system, the screening period is likely to be nearly halved.

Applications have been filed for the approval of two products — tissue sheets used to treat heart failure and cellular medicine to reduce complications after bone-marrow transplants. If approved, the two products are very likely to be covered by medical insurance. The treatments, which have thus far been restricted to clinical research at university hospitals, are expected to enter general use.

Fair screening crucial

The Japan Medical Research and Development Agency, which will be inaugurated next spring to supervise the allocation of research budgets, will set the development of tissue-engineered medical products using such materials as iPS (induced pluripotent stem) cells as one of its goals. We hope that the new organization will be able to fulfill its task for putting basic research into practical use.

As regenerative medicine is still in its early stages of development, it is important to verify the safety of such practical applications. The law for securing the safety of regenerative medicine has been newly established to ensure the quality of medical treatment.

The law requires medical institutions providing regenerative medicine to submit treatment plans to government-authorized committees for screening. Violators will be punished.

Such committees, which are to be established by university hospitals and academic societies, will comprise doctors, lawyers and others. It is imperative that the panels avoid cozy relationships with medical institutions and conduct screenings fairly.

Unregulated medical treatments provided by some private clinics and not covered by health insurance, including cosmetic surgery using tissue and cancer immunotherapy, have also become subject to screening. With an expanded net of regulation, medical treatments whose safety has not been established can be eliminated in the evaluation process.

The government has listed regenerative medicine as a pillar of its growth strategy. To expand the market in this field, it is critical to win the public’s confidence.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 13, 2014)Speech

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あす投票 ネット情報も有効活用しよう

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Online information is effective tool for voters in lower house election
あす投票 ネット情報も有効活用しよう

With voting day for the House of Representatives on Sunday, we hope voters will closely examine the policies of each political party and candidate before going to the polls.

It is an important election not only for its judgment on what the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has achieved in the past two years, but also because the result will set the nation’s future course. There are many points of contention, including economic policies. Amid a declining and aging population, how should the costs for social security be covered? How should the nation’s peace and safety be maintained?

A ban on using the Internet for election campaigns was lifted in the House of Councillors election last year. The Internet is being utilized in this election as a means of activating policy debates among each party.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party added a feature to its website on which voters can access pictures and comments from each party candidate sent through Twitter and Facebook. The major opposition Democratic Party of Japan used a video-sharing website to give out information on candidates’ election campaigns.

The two coleaders of the Japan Innovation Party have introduced party candidates through Twitter. Komeito, a ruling coalition partner, made a site to ask for support for introducing a reduced consumption tax rate system when the tax is raised to 10 percent. The Party for Future Generations and the Japanese Communist Party use animated characters on their websites to promote their policies to younger generations.

Eligible voters can easily confirm the stances of political parties and candidates through personal computers and smartphones without going to places where the candidates make speeches. We encourage browsing these sites before going to the polls.

Lack of interest problematic

However, it seems interest in the election among eligible voters has not necessarily increased.

According to surveys by The Yomiuri Shimbun conducted after the official start of election campaigning, only 69 percent said they are interested in the lower house election, 12 percentage points lower than found in the previous lower house election in 2012. Respondents who said they will go to the polls no matter what stood at 62 percent, six points lower than that in the previous election.

The voting rate in the 2012 lower house election was 59.32 percent, the lowest it has ever been since the end of World War II. But observers warn voter turnout for this election could go even lower.

The background of the expected lower voting rate is the DPJ’s inability to field enough candidates to achieve a majority in the lower house, which left voters further uninterested in “the choice of administration” in the election. The large decrease in the number of candidates running also narrows voters’ choices.

Especially worrying is that young people are becoming more and more alienated from elections. According to the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, the voting rate of those in their 20s in the 2012 lower house election was 38 percent, 21 percentage points lower than the average of all the generations and half of the rate for people in their 60s.

Now, policies for fiscal rehabilitation and social security will greatly influence the burdens on young people in the future. However, if the number of young people who express their will through elections is small, political parties will not think highly of these young people and each party could attach too much importance to policies for the elderly.

The ruling and most opposition parties have agreed to lower the minimum overall voting age to 18 from the current 20, and the votes of young people will take on added significance. We hope they will act in accordance with such a situation.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 13, 2014)Speech

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2014年12月13日 (土)

สสวท math ป.6 15 Oct 2014

สสวท math ป.6 15 Oct 2014

1. จงหาจำนวนนับที่น้อยที่สุด ซึ่งเมื่อคูณด้วย 53 แล้ว ได้ผลคูณเป็นจำนวนที่ลงท้าย
ด้วย 169

53 และ 169 คือเลขสำคัญ (prime number)
ดังนั้น 53*169=8957
ตัวคูณร่วมน้อย (Least common multiple)

2. หนังสือเล่มหนึ่ง 289 หน้า ในการพิมพ์เลขหน้าตั้งแต่หน้า 1 ถึงหน้า 289
(เช่น หน้า 112 จะพิมพ์เลขโดด 1, 1 และ 2 รวม 3 ตัว)

หน้า 1-หน้า 9  มี 9 หน้า        1ตัว*9หน้า=9 ตัว
หน้า 10-หน้า 99  มี 90 หน้า     2ตัว*90หน้า=180 ตัว
หน้า 100-หน้า 289  มี 190 หน้า  3ตัว*190หน้า=570 ตัว
9+180+570=759 ตัว

3. อาคารของโรงแรมแห่งหนึ่งมีทั้งหมด 5 ชั้น เต่ละชั้นมี 16 ห้อง ในการกำหนด
หมายเลขห้องจะ ไม่มีเลขโดด 2 หรือเลข 4 ปรากฏอยู่
เช่น ไม่มีห้องพักหมายเลข 2,4,12,14,...
หากหมายเลขห้องเรียงจากน้อยไปมาก ดังแบบรูป

5*16=80 ห้อง
If: 10進法 Decimal system ระบบทศนิยม
If: 8進法 สัญกรณ์ Octal Octal notation
หมายเลขห้องลำดับสุดท้ายคือหมายเลข 100

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(社説)ヘイトスピーチ 社会も問われている

--The Asahi Shimbun, Dec. 12
(社説)ヘイトスピーチ 社会も問われている
EDITORIAL: Japanese society needs serious self-reflection over ‘hate speech’

The Supreme Court has upheld a lower court ruling that a right-wing group that repeatedly blared discriminatory “hate speech” to harass a school for ethnic Koreans in Kyoto was guilty of “racial discrimination.”

The Osaka High Court’s ruling was confirmed by the top court’s decision on Dec. 9 to reject an appeal filed by Zainichi Tokken wo Yurusanai Shimin no Kai (Group of citizens who do not tolerate privileges for ethnic Korean residents in Japan), known more commonly as Zaitokukai. The group now has the legal obligation to pay more than 12 million yen in compensation to the school.

The Supreme Court dismissed Zaitokukai’s claim that its rally activities “fall within freedom of speech” and supported the Osaka High Court’s judgment that the group’s main intention was to appeal to the public a sense of discrimination against ethnic Koreans living in Japan.

The top court’s decision should be seen as a clear message that the Japanese judiciary shares the globally accepted values that reject any form of anti-foreignism.

Using handheld microphones and loudspeaker trucks near what was then the Kyoto Chosen Daiichi Elementary School, Zaitokukai hurled ugly racist abuse at the school, such as “Go home to the Korean Peninsula.” The school later merged with another to create the Kyoto Chosen Elementary School.

Children at the school felt such profound horror and suffered such huge psychological damage that the group’s racist slander could even be described as violence.

The Japanese courts held Zaitokukai legally liable to pay compensation to the Korean school because of its specific act--discriminatory speeches against the institution. They ordered an unusually high compensation amount for a defamation lawsuit in line with the standards set by the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, to which Japan is a signatory.

The courts didn’t make any judgment about hate speech in general.

Still, it is significant that the Supreme Court has established a judicial precedent by ordering the group to pay a large amount of compensation for shouting racist abuse.

The ruling must be encouraging for hate speech victims who have been too intimidated to protest the one-sided verbal attacks they have faced.

Groups committing hate speech should take the top court ruling seriously and completely stop all their demonstrations involving violations of human rights.

Japan has no law that bans hate speech per se. But some countries, including Germany and France, have legislation that restricts hate speech and remarks that encourage discrimination.

Some Japanese lawmakers are trying to take the initiative to establish such a law.

Nobody would dispute the importance of efforts to build a society that doesn’t tolerate discrimination. But the proposal to impose legal restrictions on discriminatory language should be considered from the viewpoint of freedom of speech as well.

Many related issues need to be sorted out, such as where the line should be drawn.

What is troubling is the fact that this nation seemingly has no solid social consensus on rejecting hate speech.

More than 360 demonstrations and street rallies involving hate speech were held in Japan last year, according to a survey by a citizens group. The trend is spreading to rural areas.

Many Japanese websites are awash with words expressing raw hatred toward foreigners.

Would we be mistaken to think that hate speech hasn’t disappeared from this nation because the trend reflects discriminatory sentiments lurking in the collective mind of Japanese society?

The situation requires us to ask ourselves some serious questions.

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雇用問題 非正規の処遇改善に具体策を

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Parties must come up with concrete steps to buoy nonregular employees
雇用問題 非正規の処遇改善に具体策を

Improving working conditions for the steadily growing number of nonregular employees, and rectifying long work hours to create pleasant job environments for all — these are major challenges in the field of employment.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been emphasizing that the number of people on payrolls has risen by 1 million since the change of government in December 2012. Opposition parties have been criticizing this, arguing that the job growth is solely due to an increase in the number of nonregular workers. The prime minister has drawn up additional data for a rebuttal, stating “the number of regular employees has in fact increased.”

The ruling and opposition camps are waging a fierce war of words over the current state of employment in the ongoing election campaign for the House of Representatives. Both blocs, however, agree on the importance of improving labor conditions for nonregular employees.

The percentage of nonregular workers among the nation’s employees has risen markedly since the 1990s, reaching as high as 37 percent in 2013.

There are, of course, people who prefer flexible work arrangements. On the other hand, that nonregular employment has resulted in people working in unstable jobs for low wages, making it difficult for them to rise in their careers, is also a reality. Many people must abandon their hopes of getting married or having children for financial reasons, which is a major factor in the country’s low birth rate.

These are all problems that cannot be overlooked.

The Liberal Democratic Party and its ruling coalition partner Komeito have pledged in their election platform to expedite measures to help nonregular workers who wish to make a transition to regular employment. The ruling parties are also promising to boost government support for young people’s job search activities and for businesses that offer friendly working environments for young employees. These policies should continue to be put into force.

Status boost for temporary staff

Opposition parties including the Democratic Party of Japan, the Japan Innovation Party and the Party for Future Generations have taken a stand calling for improvement in the working conditions of nonregular workers, by introducing the principle of “equal pay for work of same kind,” to eliminate wage differentials based on type of employment.

It is extremely hard to achieve working conditions for nonregular employees who get paid by the hour that are equal to those of regular workers, who have been under a seniority-based wage system that presumes lifetime employment. The opposition parties must come up with specific processes to realize the same-job-same-wage principle.

Another issue in the election battle is what would be best for workers from temporary job placement agencies, which provide a type of nonregular employment. The government and the ruling parties still aim to revise the Temporary Staffing Services Law.

The revision bill that was aborted due to the lower chamber’s dissolution for the general election contained measures to abolish restrictions on how long temporary staff can be used, while creating arrangements to provide stable employment for such workers and enhance their job skills.

The DPJ, the Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party have opposed the proposed law revision on the grounds that it would lead to an increase in the number of people working as temps for life.

The current state of affairs involving temporary employees can probably not be resolved merely by viewing such work from a negative viewpoint. Boosting the job status of temp workers should be given top priority.

Regarding regulations on working hours, the government is poised to introduce a system in which it will not be necessary for companies to pay overtime. The system is designed to encourage working with high efficiency during shorter hours, but the DPJ and others have raised objections, arguing that the government plan would further aggravate the issue of long working hours.

It is also essential to address the challenge of rectifying long working hours from the standpoint of empowering women, which is being called for by all parties.

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

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2014年12月12日 (金)

社説:衆院選 ここを問う 日米のつながり

December 12, 2014(Mainichi Japan)
社説:衆院選 ここを問う 日米のつながり
Editorial: Politicians must envision long-term Japan-U.S. relationship


Located on opposite sides of the Pacific Ocean, Japan and the United States have long been tied to each other through common interests. It was U.S. Ambassador to Japan Mike Mansfield who said, "The U.S.-Japan relationship is the most important bilateral relationship in the world, bar none."

However, for countries with such disparate cultures and histories to maintain an alliance, human exchange and connection are indispensable, and it's questionable whether Japanese politicians are working to lay the foundations necessary for such bonds.

In their campaigns leading up to the House of Representatives election on Dec. 14, Japan's various political parties are all pledging to strengthen and deepen the Japan-U.S. alliance. But none of the campaign platforms expand on that relationship beyond military cooperation, or in terms of long-term prospects.

Japan and the U.S. have found themselves on different wavelengths of late.

The New York Times addressed Japan's treatment of the "comfort women" issue in an editorial Dec. 3, criticizing the Abe government for "playing with fire in pandering those demanding a whitewash of wartime history." The U.S. government also expressed disappointment in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Yasukuni Shrine late last year.

If there are any unfounded criticisms, Japan should make appropriate rebuttals.

But myopic stopgap measures are insufficient. We need to look back to the late 19 century, to the early years of the relationship between our two countries, to determine how to go forward.

The Japan-U.S. relationship can be divided into six periods.

Bilateral relations were amicable from the 1853 arrival of U.S. Commodore Matthew Perry in Japan to the signing of the Treaty of Portsmouth in 1905 marking the official end of the Russo-Japanese War. The subsequent period saw a mixture of cooperation and antagonism, but after the Manchurian Incident in 1931, relations deteriorated. After World War II, friendly ties returned, peaking with Okinawa's reversion to Japan. This was followed by an ambiguous period that entailed a strengthening alliance and economic friction. After overcoming a crisis in the post-Cold War era, we arrive at where we are now, with each country searching for ways to deepen bilateral ties.

History shows us that prior to World War II, it was tensions over China that split up Japan and the U.S. Lessons from that experience should inform how we in the 21st century maintain the Japan-U.S. alliance while also developing a strategic relationship of mutual benefit with a growing China.

Former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and influential Japanese and American figures from politics, industry and academia gathered for the first time in Washington on Dec. 5 to work toward compiling recommendations for a new bilateral relationship as the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II approaches. We praise the momentum that both countries have created to expand the network of people -- which can so easily become limited to the same few -- working on such an initiative.

Efforts to cultivate ties between young people of both countries are also important. According to the U.S. State Department, at least 47,000 Japanese students were studying at American universities in the 1997 academic year, but that number dropped by at least half in the next 15 years.

Today, many countries find themselves deeply intertwined with the U.S. on security issues, and with China on economic issues. The late Masataka Kosaka, an expert on international politics who advocated friendly ties between Japan and China wrote in his book, "Kaiyo kokka Nihon no koso" (Vision of Japan as a maritime nation), "Japan must ponder the difficulty of taking a unique stance while at the same time being neighbors to the rest of Asia."

We urge our political parties to build a vision that has Japan and the U.S. at its foundation.

毎日新聞 2014年12月12日 02時33分

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麻生財務相発言 子供を産める環境が大事なら

The Yomiuri Shimbun
After recent Aso remarks, measures must be offered on fertility issue
麻生財務相発言 子供を産める環境が大事なら

An important member of the Cabinet has repeatedly made inappropriate remarks during a recent week.

The figure in question is Finance Minister Taro Aso, who is also deputy prime minister. One of his controversial comments was made during a speech in support of a candidate for the upcoming House of Representatives election in Sapporo on Sunday.
“Though many people have a negative image of elderly persons, the problem is that [some women] do not bother to have children,” Aso said in connection with our nation’s low birthrate and aging population.

His comment was probably intended to emphasize the severity of a decrease in the percentage of those of working age, the generations who must shoulder the financial burden of supporting elderly people. The decline comes at a time of difficulty in securing the financial means to deal with a sharp rise in social security costs.

However, there is no denying that Aso’s comment lacked consideration to the feelings of women who want to have children but find it impossible to do so for one reason or another.

Japan’s fertility rate — the number of children an average woman will have in her lifetime — has continued to hover around 1.4, a major factor in its population decrease. However, most married couples are thought to consider an average of 2.4 children to be ideal. These figures indicate there is a gap between the nation’s actual birthrate and the average number of children married men and women want to have in life. This is related to the fact that a large number of people do not marry and have children for economic and other reasons.

It cannot be gathered from Aso’s remark that he is paying close attention to the harsh realities surrounding these people. In fact, some members of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet have raised questions about Aso’s comment, which they say could even be regarded as “meddling in people’s lives.”

On Tuesday, Aso acknowledged the inappropriateness of his remark. “It is important to create an environment in which women can have children without worry. I happened to omit an explanation [about his real intention] because of limited time, which gave people the wrong impression,” he said.

If he truly thinks so, Aso should present a road map and measures aimed at creating such an environment. That is what he must do as a politician who assumes a role in the government.

‘Incompetence’ irrelevant

During a speech on Saturday, meanwhile, Aso said, “Failure to turn profits is just due to hard luck or because a business is run by an incompetent person.” He made this remark in connection with government economic policies, saying a number of corporations are making profits nowadays.

In making that comment, Aso emphasized the accomplishments achieved through the prime minister’s “Abenomics” package, including success in raising stock prices and correcting the over-appreciation of the yen.

However, the fact is that the benefits of Abenomics have been limited to some quarters of business, not reaching small and medium-sized corporations as well as the regional economies. In fact, a considerable number of companies are also groaning under such adverse effects of Abenomics as a sharp rise in the prices of imported raw materials due to the weak yen.

It was rather unreasonable for Aso to dismiss the failure of companies to improve their business performance as the results of bad luck or incompetence.

Aso defended himself by saying, “Anyone who runs a company must make efforts to adjust their business approach to any changes in their environment.” However, we feel Aso may have been oblivious to his position as a Cabinet member responsible for striving to ensure the benefits of government economic policies widely permeate the economy.

Priority policies pursued by the Abe administration include measures to fight the drop in the birthrate and correct economic disparities among people. The series of careless remarks by Aso are probably bound to adversely affect the government’s pursuit of economic and other policies.

We feel the Liberal Democratic Party’s apparent lead in campaigning for the lower house race may be a factor behind the finance minister’s controversial comments. There is good reason to presume Aso’s speech and behavior point to a good measure of carelessness and arrogance resulting from his party’s standing in the race.

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

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2014年12月10日 (水)

สสวท math ป.6 15 Oct 2014

สสวท math ป.6 15 Oct 2014

1. จงหาจำนวนนับที่น้อยที่สุด ซึ่งเมื่อคูณด้วย 53 แล้ว ได้ผลคูณเป็นจำนวนที่ลงท้าย
ด้วย 169

2. หนังสือเล่มหนึ่ง 289 หน้า ในการพิมพ์เลขหน้าตั้งแต่หน้า 1 ถึงหน้า 289
(เช่น หน้า 112 จะพิมพ์เลขโดด 1, 1 และ 2 รวม 3 ตัว)

3. อาคารของโรงแรมแห่งหนึ่งมีทั้งหมด 5 ชั้น เต่ละชั้นมี 16 ห้อง ในการกำหนด
หมายเลขห้องจะ ไม่มีเลขโดด 2 หรือเลข 4 ปรากฏอยู่
เช่น ไม่มีห้องพักหมายเลข 2,4,12,14,...
หากหมายเลขห้องเรียงจากน้อยไปมาก ดังแบบรูป

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1ドル=120円台 差益還元で痛みを和らげたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Big firms must pass on exchange rate gains to households, smaller firms
1ドル=120円台 差益還元で痛みを和らげたい

The decline in the yen’s exchange value is a boon for the Japanese economy as a whole, but as things stand, many smaller businesses and consumers are suffering due to the weakness of the nation’s currency.

It is essential to make efforts to ensure that the weak yen’s benefits spread to a wide spectrum of society, while exercising further caution about exchange market trends.

The dollar has risen above ¥120 for the first time in seven years and four months, or since July 2007.

The yen has slumped at an unexpectedly rapid pace, with the currency’s rates dropping by ¥10 against the dollar in a little more than a month in the wake of the Bank of Japan’s surprise announcement of additional monetary easing toward the end of October.

Given the increasingly bright outlook for the U.S. economy, some observers say the Federal Reserve Board will shift to a policy in favor of raising interest rates next year. More than a few market analysts have forecast that the yen’s decline will likely continue against the backdrop of the strengthening of the dollar, at least for the time being.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average has been soaring near the 18,000 mark. Expectations are high that business performance will be boosted by a pickup in exports and weak yen-induced gains in dollar-based overseas earnings, which are swelling in yen terms.

Japan’s eight major automakers, for instance, are expected to see a total gain of ¥80 billion per business year for every ¥1 depreciation against the dollar.

It is believed that many companies listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange are likely to log record high profits this fiscal year, due partly to the favorable effects of the yen’s depreciation. In addition, crude oil prices have dropped by a large margin, serving as a tailwind to drive corporate profits higher.

Winners must aid others

The retained earnings, or internal reserves, of top-performing companies have continued to increase, having already surpassed ¥300 trillion in total. It is hoped that such firms will be ready to help raise the overall level of the national economy through such means as wage raises for their employees and the expansion of capital investment.

The government, for its part, should consider beefing up policy measures to throw its support behind these efforts in the private sector.

On the other hand, small and midsize enterprises not directly engaged in export operations and overseas business activities have hardly benefited from the yen’s depreciation. Instead, a growing number of smaller firms have seen their profitability threatened by surging import costs for raw materials and other items.

In this regard, it is worth noting that Toyota Motor Corp., which usually asks its parts manufacturers to lower their product prices every half a year, broke away from the practice in October and refrained from making such a request. This can be considered a thoughtful move.

Diverse midsize and smaller Japanese companies with highly specialized technological capabilities are a precious asset that support the foundations of the domestic manufacturing sector. Joint public-private efforts should be made to protect such companies as a critical base for Japan’s industrial development.

The weakening yen’s impact on households is also worrying. Markups have been made one after another on such goods as frozen foods, which rely on imported raw materials. With consumers tending to tighten their purse strings even further, concerns remain over the possibility of a recovery from sluggish consumption being delayed all the more.

The government plans to hammer out as early as the turn of the year a new policy package of economic measures centering around steps to extend support to smaller businesses and low-income earners who are experiencing financial hardship due to the yen’s decline. While this can be deemed right and proper, it is extremely important to narrow the list of measures down to those that can be considered truly effective.

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

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2014年12月 8日 (月)

homework kai chan 2014-12-08

(1) Fill in the blanks with the present continuous form of the vervs in brackets:

1. I am reading an interesting adventure novel.
2. Susie is watching a comedy show.
3. The children are sitting on the porch.
4. The driver is waiting for the passengers.
5. He is talking about his vacation.
6. You are using the wrong tools!
7. We are spendng too much time at the mall.
8. The new students are arriving tomorrow.
9. I am seeing a doctornext week.
10. He is running every morning to keep fit.
11. She is thinking about changing her job.
12. We are having a party next Saturday.
13. Mary and Mark are playing in the park.

(2) Give the  -ING form on the following verbs:

1. fit - fitting
2. picnic - picnicking
3. have - having
4. begin - beginning
5. age - aging
6. hurry - hurrying
7. give - giving
8. hide - hiding
9. bet - betting
10. wet - wetting
11. use - using
12. drive - driving
13. upset - upsetting

(3) Turn the following sentences into the negative:

1. I am going to the theatre tonight.
    I am not going to the theatre toningt.
2. Peggy is picking some flowers for her friend.
    Peggy is not picking some flowers for her friend.
3. The teachers are discussing the timetabele.
    The teachers are not discussing the timetabele.
4. You are wearing a short-sleaved sweater.
    You are not wearing a short-sleaved sweater.
5. My father is coming home at 7 o'clock.
    My father is not coming home at 7 o'clock.
6. They are buying a new sports car.
    They are not buying a new sports car.
7. He is looking for a smaller dining room table.
    He is not looking for a smaller dining room table.
8. The wind is blowing hard today.
    The wind is not blowing hard today.
9. The bus is leaving in half an hour.
    The bus is not leaving in half an hour.
10. Her fragrance is filling the entire house.
      Her fragrance is not filling the entire house.

(4) Turn the following sentences into  the interrogative:

1. We are getting ready for school right now.
    Are we getting ready for school right now?
2. She is preparing a chocolate cake for his birthday.
    Is she preparing a chocolate cake for his birthday?
3. I am always forgetting to bring my notebook.
    Am I always forgetting to bring my notebook?
4. It isn't raining too heavily for a walk outside.
    Isn't it raining too heavily for a walk outside.
5. You are painting your house yellow.
    Are you painting your house yellow?
6. He is decorating his room for the party.
    Is he decorating his room for the party?
7. The workers are thinking about going on strike.
    Are the workers thinking about going on strike?
8. They are thinking about moving from this town.
    Are they thinking about moving from this town?
9. He is getting ready for his job interview.
    Is he getting ready for his job interview?
10. We are planting some yellow rose bushes.
    Are we planting some yellow rose bushes?

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「経済も外交・安全保障も この道しかない」












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2014年12月 7日 (日)

สสวท math ป.6 15 Oct 2014

สสวท math ป.6 15 Oct 2014
each question to be solved within 4 minutes (120minutes for 30 questions)

คำถาม 4
จงหาค่าของ 15△5

คำตอบ 4

คำถาม 5
การเลือกตั้งประธานนักเรียนมีผู้สมัคร 2 คนคือ นายสงบ และนายสงัด
โดยบัตร 1 ใบ แทนคะแนนเสียง 1 คะแนน
ผลปรากฏว่า นายสงบได้คะแนนมากกว่านายสงัด 425คะแนน และมีบัตรเสีย 35 ใบ
ถ้านายสงัดใดคะแนนร้อยละ 30 ของผู้มาลงคะแนนทั้งหมด แล้วนายสงบได้กี่คะแนน

คำตอบ 4
นายสงบได้ B คะแนน
นายสงัดได้ D คะแนน
ผู้มาลงคะแนนทั้งหมด A คน

B-D=425 คะแนน (บัตรเสีย 35 ใบ)
B=770 คแนน

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2014年12月 6日 (土)



パーティションの分割、結合とサイズの変更が自由自在にできる、HD革命シリーズ最新版2製品 はまったくたよりになります。


Windows対応ソフト2製品の最新版「HD革命/CopyDrive Ver.6」、「HD革命/Partition EX3」を12月12日(金)同時発売


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名古屋テレビ塔60周年記念イベント『NAGOYA LOVE STORY』が開催! 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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DAIGOの歌うグロップCM というのをみました。
株式会社GROP という人材派遣会社のコマーシャルソングなんですが、これがちょっとすごい。

DAIGO「GROW UP」 を聞いていたら、なんだか明るい希望で夢が広がりました。

ブログで口コミプロモーションならレビューブログ レビューブログからの情報です

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สสวท math 15nov2014

สสวท math 15nov2014


ในแบบรูปต่อไปนี้ มีจำนวน 11 ปรากฏอยู่ทั้งหมดกี่ครั้ง





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การบ้านของสีฟ้าจัง 2014-12-06

การบ้านของสีฟ้าจัง 2014-12-06








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2014年12月 5日 (金)

การบ้านของสีฟ้าจัง 2014-12-06

การบ้านของสีฟ้าจัง 2014-12-06

ยายเลี้ยงแมว2ตัว เลี้ยงหมามากกว่าแมว5ตัว ยายเลี้ยงหมากี่ตัว
ประโยกสัญลักษณ์ 2+5=7
ตอบ 7ตัว

ตุ้ยเลี้ยงนก2ตัว เลี้ยงปลากัด8ตัว ตุ้ยเลี้ยงนกน้อยกว่าปลากัดกี่ตัว
ประโยกสัญลักษณ์ 8-2=6
ตอบ 6ตัว

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การบ้านของสีฟ้าจัง 2014-12-06

การบ้านของสีฟ้าจัง 2014-12-06

ยายเลี้ยงแมว2ตัว เลี้ยงหมามากกว่าแมว5ตัว ยายเลี้ยงหมากี่ตัว
ประโยกสัญลักษณ์ 2+5=7
ตอบ 7ตัว

ตุ้ยเลี้ยงนก2ตัว เลี้ยงปลากัด8ตัว ตุ้ยเลี้ยงนกน้อยกว่าปลากัดกี่ตัว
ประโยกสัญลักษณ์ 8-2=6
ตอบ 6ตัว

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การบ้านของสีฟ้าจัง 2014-12-06

การบ้านของสีฟ้าจัง 2014-12-06

เขียว green
เคียว sickle
เที่ยว trip
เปีย braid ; plait ; queue
เสียง sound
เปียก wet
เชื่อม join ; connect ; weld cook in syrup
เพื่อน friend
เลือด blood
เดือด boil


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การบ้านของสีฟ้าจัง 2014-12-05

การบ้านของสีฟ้าจัง 2014-12-05





Red cheeks










1. หนูส้มโอทำอะไร

2. ทำไมหนูส้มโอจึงเป็นลม

3. ใครพาหนูส้มโอไปหามอ

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2014年12月 4日 (木)

การบ้านของสีฟ้าจัง 2014-12-04

การบ้านของสีฟ้าจัง 2014-12-04



father goes to the district

grandfather sleepwalks

he/she is a child who doesn't speak drivel

we work and get money

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การบ้านของสีฟ้าจัง 2014-12-04

การบ้านของสีฟ้าจัง 2014-12-04


suda has butter


ships ground at beach


siidaa cut baitaai


uncle chases hen


deechaa walk through field

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2014年12月 3日 (水)

การบ้านของสีฟ้าจัง 2014-12-03

การบ้านของสีฟ้าจัง 2014-12-03





go into cave



read and copy of the words













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