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2015年2月28日 (土)


FEB 20, 2015 9:00
cite from bloomberg view.com

Is Japan Asia's Next Autocracy?
By Noah Smith

Earlier this year, I highlighted a troubling trend in many countries around the world -- the move toward illiberal government and away from human rights. Unfortunately, Japan is catching the bug.

This might seem like a strange claim.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has implemented some liberal policies, such as a push for equality for working women, and he has championed increased immigration.

Japan’s society has, in general, become more liberal in recent decades, for example by implementing trial by jury. Furthermore, the country recently repealed a longstanding ban on dancing in clubs.

But all this could become largely irrelevant if Abe’s party changes the nation’s constitution in the ways that it wants.

The Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP), which is one of the most misnamed political parties in existence, has governed Japan for most of its postwar history, with only the occasional brief interruption.

A substantial chunk of the party is philosophically, organizationally and often genetically descended from the political class of Japan’s militarist period. この政党の実質的な部分は哲学的にも、組織的にも、またしばしば遺伝学的にも、日本軍国主義時代の政治的支配者の流れを汲んでいる。

As one might expect, it didn't completely internalize the liberal values that the U.S. imposed on the country during the American occupation.

That faction, once a minority, now appears to be dominant within the party.

The LDP is now campaigning to scrap the U.S.-written constitution, and replace it with a draft constitution.

In a booklet explaining the draft, the LDP states that "Several of the current constitutional provisions are based on the Western-European theory of natural human rights; such provisions therefore [need] to be changed."

In accordance with this idea, the draft constitution allows the state to restrict speech or expression that is "interfering [with] public interest and public order.”

The draft constitution also repeals the clause that prohibits the state from granting “political authority” to religious groups -- in other words, abandoning the separation of church and state.

Even worse, the draft constitution adds six new “obligations” that it commands the citizenry to follow.

Some of these, such as the obligation to “uphold the Constitution” and help family members, are vague and benign. A third, which requires people to “respect the national anthem and flag,” is similar to constitutional amendments advocated by conservatives in the U.S.

But the other three “obligations” are an obvious move toward illiberalism and autocracy. These state:

“The people must be conscious of the fact that there are responsibilities and obligations in compensation for freedom and rights.”

“The people must comply with the public interest and public order.”

“The people must obey commands from the State or the subordinate offices thereof in a state of emergency.”

These ideas wouldn't be out of place in China or Russia. The provision for a “state of emergency” echoes the justification for crackdowns used by many Middle Eastern dictators.

Unfortunately, the deeply illiberal nature of this draft constitution has largely been ignored, especially in the West.

Most people in the West hear only about one piece of Japanese constitutional change: the revision of Article 9 of the current constitution, which forbids Japan from having a military.

It is true that the LDP draft constitution does repeal Article 9. And it is true that repealing Article 9 is a big reason why Abe wants constitutional change.

But focusing on demilitarization is a dangerous distraction.

Repealing Article 9 is a sensible thing to do.

Japan already has a military (called a “Self-Defense Force”), and interprets the demilitarization clause so loosely that it’s unlikely that repealing Article 9 would change much.

It is very doubtful that Japan would invade other countries if the constitution were rewritten.

Japan might as well call its army an army.

But the focus on the military issue has drawn attention -- especially Western attention -- away from the severe blow that the draft constitution would deal to the freedom of the Japanese people.

Japan’s people, of course, don’t want to live in an illiberal state.

More than 80 percent of Japanese people opposed a recent “government secrets” law passed by Abe’s government.
And they also oppose the LDPs attempt to ease the procedures for constitutional revision.

Japanese people have grown extremely fond of the freedom they have enjoyed in the past seven decades, even if that freedom was initially imposed by a foreign power.

The risk is that the Japanese people might be tricked into signing away their own freedoms.

Like Western journalists, they may focus too much on the repeal of Article 9, and ignore the replacement of human rights with "obligations." It doesn't help that Japan’s opposition parties are weak, divided and mostly incompetent, while Abe’s government provides the best hope for resuscitating the economy.

Now, it’s important not to overreact to all this.

A constitution is just a piece of paper, and not all countries take their constitutions as seriously as the U.S. does.

Obviously, if Japan’s leaders want to create an illiberal state, the U.S.-written 1947 constitution isn't going to hold them back; in fact, some revisionist members of the LDP may already silently regard its draft constitution as the “true” law of the land.

Nor is everything in the draft illiberal -- the ban on gender, racial and religious discrimination is preserved, and even extended to the disabled.

But there is real danger in this new constitution.

First, it may be part of a wider LDP effort to crack down on civil society, which has become more obstreperous in the wake of poor economic performance and the Fukushima nuclear accident.

The government secrets law and other crackdowns on press freedom are a worrying sign -- Japan has already slipped from 10th in Reporters Without Borders’ global press freedom ranking in 2010 to 61st in 2015.

Second, adopting the LDP’s draft could be an international relations disaster.

If Japan opts for the kind of illiberal democracy that is currently the fashion in Turkey and Hungary, it could weaken the country’s regional appeal as an alternative to China’s repressive state.

It could also lead to the weakening of the U.S.-Japan alliance -- without the glue of shared values holding the alliance together, the U.S. might be tempted to adopt a more neutral posture between an illiberal China and a mostly illiberal Japan.

The optimal solution would be for Japan to repeal Article 9 of its constitution while leaving the rest untouched.

But politically, that seems to be an impossible trick to pull off -- any measure that would allow the LDP to change Article 9 would also open the door for the authoritarian “obligations” and the weakening of human rights.

The best realistic solution is for Japan to delay rewriting its flawed constitution at all, and wait for a time when the people in power are not still mentally living in the 1940s.

Japan is at a critical juncture in its history.

It has the potential to become a more liberal society, or a much less liberal one.

The former choice is both the wise and the moral choice.

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社説:大臣とカネ 「知らない」では済まぬ

February 28, 2015(Mainichi Japan)
Editorial: 'Ignorance' no excuse for ministers' political funding scandals
社説:大臣とカネ 「知らない」では済まぬ

A string of political funding scandals have hit ministers in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the wake of Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Koya Nishikawa's resignation.

The government is trying to weather the storm by insisting the ministers were "unaware" that state subsidies were being paid to the entities that made questionable donations to their party chapters. The administration is, in other words, pleading ignorance, and we cannot ignore this paper-thin excuse.

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) branch offices headed by Environment Minister Yoshio Mochizuki and Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa, respectively, accepted political donations from a logistics firm that had recently received government subsidies.

The Political Funds Control Act bans companies and organizations from making political donations within a year from a subsidy announcement.

Government subsidies derive from taxpayers' money, and for subsidized companies and organizations to make donations could constitute funneling some of that tax money to politicians.

This goes to the heart of potential collusion between politicians and industries.

Nishikawa resigned his portfolio over a similar donation scandal.

The Political Funds Control Act bans politicians from accepting contributions from donors they know to be subsidy recipients.

In other words, politicians cannot be accused of violating the law as long as they are unaware of the subsidies.

Mochizuki and Kamikawa have thus emphasized that they had no idea about the subsidies going to the logistics company, and that the donations were not illegal.

The political funding scandals, however, surfaced after news organizations checked publicly available political funding documents and reported on them.

It shouldn't have been difficult for the politicians themselves to learn of the problems in advance.

If the political funds law provides a seedbed for negligence among politicians and is harnessed merely as a source of convenient excuses, the law should be made stricter so that such donations are held illegal even if politicians were "unaware" of certain subsidies.

Hakubun Shimomura, minister of education, culture, sports, science and technology, is accused of possibly violating the law after his support groups -- known as Hakuyukai -- failed to report themselves as political organizations. Furthermore, an LDP chapter he heads was also found to have accepted funds from non-Japanese citizens -- another violation of the law.

In the meantime, Nishikawa had also received nearly 10 million yen in consulting fees from a state-subsidized company over a four-year period, according to documents filed with the Diet following his resignation.

When Yuko Obuchi stepped down as minister of economy, trade and industry over shady political spending last fall, she remarked, "There's no way I can be spared just by saying I didn't know about it."

Alas, she has yet to file a detailed report over the issue, which she promised to do at the time of her resignation. Is she in the belief that everything is settled because she was re-elected in the December House of Representatives election?

Just like Obuchi, Nishikawa and Mochizuki joined the Abe Cabinet in a reshuffle last fall.

They should by no means have forgotten other funding scandals they faced at the time.

When the third Abe Cabinet was formed following the last lower house election, didn't the ministers and Prime Minister Abe check their financial backgrounds carefully?

While the ministers are trying to slip out of the net with their new favorite refrain, "I didn't know," Prime Minister Abe has only reiterated, "Politicians in both the ruling and opposition camps should fulfill their accountability."

What other motive could they have for putting on that kind of attitude than the arrogance gleaned from a landslide lower house election victory?

毎日新聞 2015年02月28日 02時31分

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あなたの使っているPCやiPhoneやアンドロイドスマホ、あるいはタブレット端末のシステムにあわせて、ソーシャルアルバム iOS  (英語表記)とソーシャルアルバム Android

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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2015年2月27日 (金)

ギリシャ改革案 実効性のある具体策が肝心だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Greek reform plan hinges on providing effective, specific policies
ギリシャ改革案 実効性のある具体策が肝心だ

Will Greece make sincere efforts toward fiscal reconstruction?

Concrete policies need to be properly determined for achieving this objective.

The European Union has approved a structural reform plan submitted by Greece as a condition for the extension of financial aid to that nation.

This aid program was due to expire at the end of February. The EU member nations will now move ahead with domestic procedures necessary to ensure the four-month extension can be ratified.

The Greek reform plan promised to boost tax revenue by stiffening steps to prevent tax evasion and to push ahead with fiscal reconstruction by cutting wasteful government expenditure.

A statement issued by the EU positively welcomed the Greek plan, saying the list of measures was “sufficiently comprehensive.” However, the vital content of the plan still lacks many details.

The International Monetary Fund, which along with the EU has extended assistance to Greece, was quite right to criticize the plan as being “not very specific.”

The Greek government’s cash flow is already in a very tenuous situation.

Due to concern that the nation could be facing financial collapse, financial uncertainty has increased in Greece, where deposit outflows from banks have surged.

The administration of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, which gained public support based on its “anti-austerity” campaign pledges, presumably had little choice but to reach some sort of deal with the EU so it could avert the looming crisis.

Barometer for eurozone

If Greece is unable to conclude an agreement with the EU by the end of April after submitting a more detailed reform plan, the extension of support will be back to square one. At this point, there is no telling how the negotiations will pan out.

Even this latest reform plan has provoked howls of protest from within the Greek ruling party, which has trumpeted an anti-austerity stance.

The austerity policies implemented so far have already produced side effects including a sluggish economy and an unemployment rate of more than 25 percent. There is mounting discontent among the public.

As Greece sets its sights on a deal with the EU, it will not be easy to calibrate the views of the ruling coalition parties about continuing fiscal austerity, nor to convince Greek citizens to go along with these steps.

However, if the talks break down and Athens finds itself in a situation where it defaults, the Greek economy would suffer a devastating blow. The price would ultimately be paid by the citizens of Greece.

The Tsipras administration must quickly settle on a structural reform plan that will be effective.

Under the euro system, each member nation manages its own finances while they all share a common currency.

There is a structural flaw in that policies are not always aligned due to differences in the national strength and economic conditions among the group members. To offset this, strict fiscal discipline is imposed.

If a “straggler” emerges due to discord over fiscal management, the momentum of European unity could be weakened, irrespective of the size of that nation’s economy.

Whether or not the EU can clear the Greek problem will be a litmus test that could foresee the outcome of the euro system.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 26, 2015)

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ひな人形 は、やはり、顔が命なんです。

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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2015年2月26日 (木)

国連「70年」討論 歴史を曲げる中国の反日宣伝

The Yomiuri Shimbun
China’s anti-Japan propaganda distorts postwar history ahead of anniversary
国連「70年」討論 歴史を曲げる中国の反日宣伝

China has begun full-fledged anti-Japan propaganda, in connection with the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

The U.N. Security Council on Monday held an open debate in line with the 70th anniversary of the end of the war and the foundation of the United Nations. The meeting was proposed by China, the chair of the council this month, and representatives from about 80 countries made statements.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi presided at the meeting, saying, “There are still some reluctant to recognize the truth and [who] even attempt to overturn and whitewash past crimes of aggression.” Although he refrained from naming Japan, it is obvious that China had this nation in mind.

We cannot overlook Wang’s remarks, as he ignored the fact that Japan had acknowledged its acts of aggression and expressed remorse and apology over its past conduct. We can also see that China intended to demean Japan.

Oh Joon, South Korean Ambassador to the United Nations, said U.N. member countries need to be wary of the problems that can come from “attempts to disregard lessons of history.” His remarks are considered to be essentially in line with those of China.

Japanese Ambassador to the United Nations Motohide Yoshikawa emphasized that “Throughout its post-war history, Japan has, based on feelings of deep remorse regarding the Second World War ... walked the path of a peace-loving nation.” Yoshikawa also said, “The path we have taken so far as a peace-loving nation is the pride of Japanese people and it will never change.”

It was an appropriate assertion, made on the basis of the pacifist course Japan has followed for 70 years since the end of the war. Japan has made efforts to contribute to the peace and prosperity of the world and steadily won the trust of the international community. Japan has contributed a great deal of money to the United Nations and advocated the reform of the Security Council to strengthen its functions.

Rebut unjustified attacks

Japan should rebut unjustified criticism appropriately and in a level-headed manner. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said, “We will properly assert what we should assert.” It is quite reasonable for him to clarify Japan’s stance of intensifying its message to the international community.

Wang also said that China, as a “victory country” in the “world anti-fascism war,” has supported the role of the United Nations and safeguarded peace and stability. With these words, he meant to tout China’s position of maintaining the postwar international order.

However, China has repeatedly been involved in armed conflicts in the postwar years with its neighboring countries, including India, the former Soviet Union and Vietnam. Even today, China is attempting to change the status quo by force, causing regional instability.

Typical examples are China increasing its effective control — with no basis in international law — over certain waters by building bases on top of reefs in the South China Sea, and by repeatedly entering Japanese territorial waters in the East China Sea.

China considers the open debate as a prelude to its commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of the war and the foundation of the United Nations. It is expected to intensify its anti-Japan campaign internationally in the days ahead.

Conspicuously cooperating with China is Russia, a country that has been trying to unilaterally change the status quo in Ukraine.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Moscow in May to take part in the celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of Russia’s victory in the war over Germany, and Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Beijing in September to attend the celebrations commemorating victory in the war against Japan.

Can this series of developments undermine Japan’s national interests? It is important for Japan to keep a close watch on the cooperative moves between China and Russia, while pursuing strategic diplomacy with both countries.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 25, 2015)

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CD革命のアーク情報システムが画期的な新製品を発売 「BOOT革命/USB Ver.6」

秋葉原のPC量販店でCD革命というソフトを購入したことがあります。今から25年くらい前の話しなんです。アーク情報システムという会社が開発した、まさに革命的なソフトウェアでありました。windows meの時代だったのですが、CD革命を導入してから、パソコンの使い勝手が飛躍的に向上したのを覚えています。私の場合には別に購入した電子辞書ソフトをCD革命でつくられた仮想ドライブに転送して利用しました。その素早さといったらなかったですね。現在の英語力の原動力となったのは間違いのないところです。

さて、時代は流れ、日本でもついに未曽有の高齢化社会時代に突入しました。現役で頑張れている高齢者たちも多いですね。CD革命で有名なアーク情報システムが新製品を開発しました。それは、「BOOT革命/USB Ver.6」 です。どんなメリットがあるのでしょうか。調べていてワクワク状態なんです。

ハードディスクのデータバックアップをとっておくことは、現代ビジネスマンの基本中の基本なんですが、システムの進化にともなって、いろいろと制限が加わってきています。昔のシステムだったら、一発でハードディスク全体のコピーがとれたのですが、いまは、それが難しくなっています。作業の途中で、様々な原因により中断されることが多いのです。こんなときに役立つのが、ワンタッチ操作でハードディスク全体のコピーがとれる「BOOT革命/USB Ver.6」なんです。

また、「BOOT革命/USB Ver.6」 は、複数の起動システムをひとつのPCで利用する人たちには強い味方となります。おすすめです。

USBハードディスクやメモリからWindowsを起動させて、ソフトウェアが使用できる!Windowsをアップグレードする前に使うと便利なソフト「BOOT革命/USB Ver.6」3月6日(金)発売


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シニアタレント になることができれば、老後の収入だって劇的に増大します。



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2015年2月24日 (火)

アフィリエイト広告の限界に挑戦するオプティ広告出稿運用サポート OPTI

そんなときに偶然発見したのが、アフィリエイト広告の限界に挑戦するオプティ広告出稿運用サポート OPTIなんです。


アフィリエイト広告の限界に挑戦するオプティ広告出稿運用サポート OPTI をみて、目から鱗が落ちました。
OPTI では、広告をみる人たちの世代とか、性格、特徴に応じて、最適なアフィリエイト広告を配信できるんです。


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2015年2月23日 (月)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:若者よ気軽に相談を /東京

words in this article,
confide 秘密を打ち明ける

February 22, 2015(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the heart: Young people should reach out to adults more
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:若者よ気軽に相談を /東京

The season of university entrance examinations is now upon us.

Since I am based at a university, I sometimes work as a test monitor who oversees students while they take their exams.

Since this is also the season when people catch colds, many test-taking students can be seen wearing masks -- while others cough, and generally appear to be feeling unwell.

It is written in the test monitor manual that "students who do not feel well, or who need to use the toilet, should raise their hand in order to let the monitor know." This instruction is read out to students prior to the beginning of the examination, as well as every hour after the test has begun.
As monitors, we must then pay attention to see whether any of the students attempt to get our attention by raising their hand.

Even if students appear to be glancing our way, however, it is not up to the monitors to approach them.

Rather, we simply wait for the students to raise their hand.

During one particular examination, there was one student who appeared not to be feeling well -- but who did not raise their hand.

Toward the end of the test session, the student finally raised their hand and said, "my stomach hurts" -- by which time their face had already turned very pale.

I found myself wishing that the student had said something earlier, instead of suffering all that time. From the student's perspective, however, speaking up must have been a very difficult thing to do.

Later, while looking at an Internet discussion board among student test-takers, I saw numerous comments to the effect of, "I really had to go to the bathroom," and "I felt nauseous, but I couldn't just ask to leave the room for a while."

Why, I wondered, were these students unable to simply excuse themselves to use the toilet?

There was no need for them to have endured such feelings in silence.

I found myself wanting to tell these students that there was no need for them to suffer -- and that they should not be afraid to speak up to the test monitor.

After all, we certainly would not get angry or penalize them in any way on their examination score.

This matter is not restricted merely to that of university examinations, moreover.

In a more general sense, it seems that young people feel that if they share something with adults, they will not be understood -- or that they will simply be lectured at or otherwise placed in a disadvantaged position.

As a result, they refrain from sharing their problems or worries with the adults who are close to them -- and instead keep their feelings bottled up inside them.

After becoming an adult myself, however, I can say with certainty that we are not bothered by the thought of young people depending upon us or sharing their feelings of distress with us.

On the contrary, many adults are wondering how they can be of assistance in this regard -- and are waiting for the youth in their lives to open up to them.

So, young people, how about it? Why not feel comfortable enough to confide in an adult?

In some unfortunate cases, the first person whom you choose may not be completely understanding.

In that case, however, rather than give up, it is better to look for someone else.

And it also goes without saying: If you need to go to the toilet or are not feeling well while taking your university entrance examinations, please do not be afraid to raise your hand to leave the room.

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2015年02月17日 地方版

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2015年2月22日 (日)

Last Call for 32Red Sport special offer, WILLIE OR WON'T HE (3/1)

You can get a very big chance once in a year!
Specially for horse racing fan.

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2015年2月21日 (土)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:みなで支え合い心守ろう /東京

February 15, 2015(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: When the world goes to hell in a hand basket...
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:みなで支え合い心守ろう /東京

Tragedy follows heartbreaking tragedy. After the apparent murders of two Japanese men at the hands of the Islamic State militant group, a primary school fifth-grader was slain in a residential area in Wakayama Prefecture.

One visitor to my practice asked, "What can be done to protect kids from being exposed to such shocking news?" This was followed quickly upon by the admission, "Actually, I'm pretty messed up about it, too."
Whether it's a local incident or some terrible world event, it's important for adults to tell the kids around them, "Don't worry, I'll protect you whatever happens."

On top of that, it's best to maintain the family's daily routine. If a child says they're anxious or scared, give them every opportunity to talk about what's bothering them.

Even if you have nothing concrete to say in return, a simple, "So that's what you've been thinking" and similarly soft and gently encouraging remarks will help the child gradually sort through their feelings.

But then how are adults to reassure their kids while at the same time guarding the gates of their own hearts from terrible news and shocking images?  では、そうするためおとなはどうやって自分の心を守ればよいのか。

First and foremost, everyone needs a "somebody" to give them a helping hand.

A spouse or partner makes the best "somebody", but friends, parents or siblings can also likely be counted on to lend an ear.

There are some people out there who would say they have no one they can count on like that.

If you're one of them, you could turn to a teacher, a counselor or another professional shoulder to lean on, and get their help and advice.

Above all, however, it's important not to try to bear the impossible.

Some might say, "I can protect my child on my own," or, "I have to be happy and energetic in front of my kids." But that kind of load on just one pair of shoulders can lead you to a bad state.

Remember to relax. "The world may be a pretty dangerous place, but for now I'm just going to sit back and watch my favorite TV series." Everyone needs a little time like this.

Don't spend all your time looking at things that make you anxious. Instead, get out and about and get some exercise with your kids. Sweat a little, and return home tired but happy.

Of course, relaxing or getting your body moving may only stave off your worries for a time.

You may end your day wondering what horrific thing is going to happen next.

If that's the case, don't get yourself in a tizzy or blame yourself for lapsing back into anxiety. Rather, I think it's better to remind yourself that to worry about the world is natural.

Some of the folks coming to my practice recently simply cannot conceal their agitation, and I tell them this: "This is a little bit embarrassing, but I'm the same. Watching the news can get depressing, right?"

It's usually taboo for a psychiatrist to reveal emotional vulnerability to her patients, but in this case they almost all give me a look of relief.

"Huh, Dr. Kayama's the same," their faces seem to say. Exactly so. Everyone worries about what will become of our society.

The trick is to lend each other the support we all need, and live our daily lives without trying to do the impossible.

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2015年02月10日 地方版

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2015年2月20日 (金)

戦後70年談話 平和貢献の決意を発信したい

The Yomiuri Shimbun
70th anniversary statement must convey Japan’s contributions to world peace
戦後70年談話 平和貢献の決意を発信したい

What roles should Japan play for the world’s peace and prosperity, while taking into account reflections on its past? It is important for Japan to convey a future-oriented message to the international community.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made clear that he intends to establish later this month an expert panel on the statement he will issue this summer on the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. The panel will discuss the content and the expressions to be used in the statement.

In the statement, Abe intends to include reflections on the war, Japan’s postwar path as a pacifist nation and its future international contributions.

It is significant for Japan to specify to the international community not only its historical perceptions of developments before and during the war, but the course this nation will take in the future and its policy direction, after reviewing postwar Japan’s historical path.

After the war, Japan promoted its peace-oriented diplomacy by consistently attaching importance to the Japan-U.S. alliance and international cooperation. Japan’s contributions to the international community through its official development assistance and its participation in U.N. peacekeeping operations have been highly acclaimed.

The international community now faces threats in diverse forms, such as regional conflicts, proliferation of international terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, poverty and environmental destruction.

Japan should spell out specifically its stance in tackling these challenges ever more actively in the days ahead, on the basis of its policy of “proactive contribution to peace.”

In the statement issued on the 50th anniversary, then Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama said Japan “caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of ... Asian nations” through “its colonial rule and aggression,” and expressed “deep remorse” and a “heartfelt apology” over Japan’s conduct before and during the war.

Japan-U.S. alliance as key

The historical perception of Murayama has been inherited by the cabinets that followed. The statement made by then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on the 60th anniversary followed a set of wordings and expressions made in the Murayama statement.

Abe has repeatedly made clear that he would “inherit as a whole” the tone of the statements by the administrations of Murayama and Koizumi.

With regards to such particular wordings as “colonial rule” and “aggression,” however, he has indicated his stance of not necessarily sticking to the previous statements, saying, “If it is modeled on the style used in the past, there could be nit-picking arguments over it.”

Is it appropriate for an administration to apologize for Japan’s conduct during the war every time a prime minister issues a statement? Or is it right for attention to be drawn chiefly to differences in wording from past statements? Abe appears to be aware of these issues. We can understand him on these points.

Abe plans to make an official visit to the United States during the Golden Week holidays, with both governments making arrangements to issue a joint statement that will set forth the future of the Japan-U.S. alliance based on their bilateral relationship over the 70 years since the end of the war.

The joint statement is expected to contain a view that Japan has contributed to the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region and of the world, through the Japan-U.S. alliance after the war and a policy of further reinforcing the bilateral alliance.

The prime minister’s statement on the 70th anniversary will draw much attention among many countries, including China and South Korea, and will likely make a political impact. Therefore, it is important to coordinate in advance the perceptions of both Japan and the United States through the joint statement.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 19, 2015)

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RE雨宮が、『チューニングカーワールドSHOWDOWN2015』に「RE雨宮スーパーロードスターレネシス 13B」と「RE雨宮SUPER ATENZA SKYACTIV-D BY ORC」で出展! NPO法人オプションランド国際交流協会

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2015年2月19日 (木)

ギリシャ支援 危機回避へ延長が不可欠だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Extension of bailout program for Greece essential to avoid European debt crisis
ギリシャ支援 危機回避へ延長が不可欠だ

Can a possible flare-up of the European sovereign debt crisis be prevented? Tensions are building over the current situation.

A meeting of the 19 finance ministers of the eurozone on how Greece can meet its debt commitments ended without an accord.

European creditors asserted that Greece would apply to extend the current bailout program for six months on condition that it would maintain tight budgetary discipline.

But Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis rejected this, saying the current bailout program had failed to stabilize the Greek economy.

Eurozone creditors plan to hold more talks with Greece, possibly on Friday, to reach an agreement, but the views of Greece and other eurozone nations remain far apart.

At this point, it is uncertain whether the current bailout program, which ends on Feb. 28, can be maintained.

Should the bailout be discontinued, Greece will face a lack of funds, raising the risk of the country defaulting on its debts.

If the sovereign debt crisis worsens, not only would the Greek economy go bankrupt but the economy of the entire eurozone would eventually plunge into a financial quagmire. Extending the bailout program is essential to avoid seriously affecting the world economy.

Greece must endure the pain of tightening its budgetary belt in return for financing from other eurozone countries, which helped Greece pay the price of its own loose fiscal discipline over many years.

The Coalition of the Radical Left, led by Alexis Tsipras — now prime minister — won the general election last month and came to power after adopting an anti-austerity position.

By honoring its campaign pledge, the ruling coalition may have no other recourse but to reject the austerity program presented by creditor countries.

Lack of strong industries

Except for tourism and agriculture, the Greek economy has had no strong industries for many years, while the ratio of public service workers to the total working population is high.

As a result of the Greek government’s handling of the economy, which relies heavily on fiscal spending, its society lost much of its vigor, with its debts mounting due to increasing expenditures and sluggish tax revenues.

To revitalize Greece, there is no other way but to restructure the nation’s fiscal discipline in accordance with the bailout program of the European Union and other entities, while drastically reforming its inefficient economic structure.

In some other eurozone countries, political parties advocating “anti-austerity” stances are gaining public support, as was seen in Greece.

Worried that loose fiscal discipline may spread to countries in southern Europe and elsewhere, the EU is strongly pressing Greece to toe the austerity line.

Should the bailout talks collapse completely, Greece’s departure from the eurozone will become a real possibility. As this would undermine confidence in the euro system, such a situation must be avoided.

The EU should explore compromises such as easing the terms for repayment, while maintaining, in principle, the current bailout framework.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 18, 2015)

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2015年2月17日 (火)



これはアジアで初の試みなんですが、六本木ヒルズ アカデミーヒルズのアメリカ大豆輸出協会が日本の食品業界向けのサステナビリティセミナーを開催しました。
サステナビリティ とは英語なんですが、日本語に翻訳すると、維持継続能力のことなんです。
アメリカ大豆輸出協会が素敵な英語のロゴを発表していますが、US. SOY SUSTAINABILITY ASSURANCE PROTOCOLと刻まれています。


アジア初!アメリカ大豆輸出協会 六本木ヒルズ アカデミーヒルズにて日本の食品業界向けサステナビリティセミナーを開催しました。Seminar on Sustainable U.S.-grown Soy


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日本と海外の都市が融合する絶景写真。 P.M.Kenの写真展「crosspoint 2015」を代官山で開催。 合資会社サブライム

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社説:日銀政策委員会 「右に同じ」ばかりでは

February 16, 2015(Mainichi Japan)
Editorial: BOJ Policy Board should hold discussions from broader perspective
社説:日銀政策委員会 「右に同じ」ばかりでは

The Policy Board of the Bank of Japan (BOJ), the nation's central bank, consists of nine members including its governor and two vice governors. Why is the governor alone insufficient to make monetary policy?

Any economist can make mistakes in analysis and prediction. Therefore, the board makes policy decisions to prevent serious errors in judgments and policy excesses. The system is significant in that people with diverse personal histories and knowledge gather to express and exchange opinions.

In early February, the government submitted a proposal to the Diet to appoint economist and Waseda University professor Yutaka Harada to replace Ryuzo Miyao, whose term as a board member expires in late March. Harada is in favor of reflation and calls for large-scale quantitative easing. He supports the ultra-easy money policy promoted by BOJ Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda, and does not appear opposed to the central bank further relaxing its monetary grip by buying yet more government bonds.

Moreover, the government needs to pick the successor of board member Yoshihisa Morimoto, whose tenure expires at the end of June. Concerns have been raised over whether the number of pro-reflation members will rise, lessening the significance of the board system.

The term of Policy Board members, including the governor and vice governors, is five years. The Cabinet appoints board members after gaining approval from both houses of the Diet. Since the ruling coalition has a majority in both chambers, the government's nominations are highly likely to clear the legislature.

The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe regards quantitative relaxation as the "first arrow" of the three arrows in its "Abenomics" economic policy mix. It may appear natural in the eyes of the general public that the government selects candidates for the BOJ Policy Board in line with its policies. However, there would be no need for so many board members if they were all to have exactly the same ideas about monetary policy. The government may have become wary when the BOJ Policy Board voted by a narrow margin to further relax its monetary grip in late October last year, with five voting for the proposal and four against.

It is common for the opinion of the governor of the Bank of England, Britain's central bank, to be voted down by its nine-member Monetary Policy Committee. Former Bank of England Gov. Mervyn King was in a minority in five consecutive meetings of the committee, including the last meeting he attended as governor.

The Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee consists of members with various backgrounds.

Namat Shafik, one of two female members of the committee, is deputy governor and comes from Egypt.

She had previously served as vice president of the World Bank and deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund. (Only one of the BOJ Policy Board's seats has been occupied by a woman since the revised BOJ Act came into force in 1998.)

Mark Carney, who is Canadian and once headed Canada's central bank, currently serves as governor of the Bank of England.

The biggest challenge that the BOJ now faces is the eventual exit from its quantitative easing policy, gradually decreasing the amount of government bonds it purchases while avoiding shocks to the financial markets.

If the BOJ Policy Board was dominated by pro-reflation members, it could delay such a policy change, amplify the distortion it causes the markets, and make it impossible to find an exit.

Those who will be appointed to the BOJ Policy Board will face extremely difficult challenges that the central bank has never experienced.

Both the executive and legislative branches of the government should cautiously select members of the panel while keeping in mind that the BOJ has entered a crucial phase, in which its Policy Board needs to have debate from a broad perspective.

毎日新聞 2015年02月16日 02時30分

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2015年2月16日 (月)

ウクライナ停戦 合意順守へ国際圧力が重要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Intl pressure key to ensure Ukraine ceasefire accord delivers peace
ウクライナ停戦 合意順守へ国際圧力が重要だ

To maintain the latest ceasefire, which has finally been reached after marathon negotiations, it is imperative for all concerned to comply with the agreement.

The accord was to take effect Sunday in Ukraine’s eastern states of Donetsk and Lugansk, where there have been fierce clashes between Ukrainian government forces and armed pro-Russia groups.

Military battles between the two sides broke out following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014, but a previous ceasefire was agreed upon in September of that year. However, the fighting resumed this year and pro-Russia rebels have occupied airports and harbor cities.

The death toll since April last year has topped 5,300, with private homes and hospitals being bombarded relentlessly.

Feeling the sense of crisis, German and French leaders conducted shuttle diplomacy before hammering out the latest ceasefire accord, which came after 16 hours of talks with the top leaders of Russia and Ukraine.

The 13-point agreement called for a pullback of heavy weapons, establishment of safety zones spanning 50 kilometers or more, withdrawal of foreign soldiers, ceasefire monitoring and the exchange of prisoners of war. Deadlines were set for all measures.

To begin with, the Ukrainian government, pro-Russia armed groups and Russia ought to exercise restraint on military attacks and faithfully fulfill the agreement on the pullback of tanks and artillery.

But concerns remain. Even on the day when the ceasefire agreement was announced, new military clashes and the transport of arms from Russia to eastern Ukraine were reported. The accord cannot be maintained without halting the movement of soldiers and weapons across the border.

Reconciliation crucial

Another major concern is how monitoring by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe will ensure the ceasefire’s effectiveness.

Ukraine, for its part, faces a difficult challenge domestically — how to reconcile deep-seated confrontation between its eastern regions, where there are many pro-Russia elements, with the other areas, which have strong antipathy toward Russia.

The unity of the nation depends on the reconciliation of its people. Reconciliation must be achieved by granting autonomy to areas controlled by pro-Russia groups and the reconstruction of residents’ lives and the economies of the regions that have seen conflict.

To this end, it is imperative to provide international assistance for Ukraine, whose fiscal condition has been deteriorating rapidly since last year.

The International Monetary Fund has decided to offer a huge financial assistance package — totaling $17.5 billion (about ¥2.1 trillion) over a period of four years — to Ukraine on the condition that it will carry out fiscal reform and eradicate corruption.

It is essential for the international community to continue applying pressure on Russia to honor the ceasefire accord, by imposing additional sanctions if necessary in addition to maintaining those already in place.

At a meeting of its leaders Thursday, the European Union decided to invoke, as scheduled, additional sanctions against Russian government officials and others on Monday, the day after the ceasefire accord was to take effect.

Japan is a principal donor of assistance for Ukraine and has imposed sanctions against Russia. From the standpoint of not accepting a “change in the status quo by force,” we support the Japanese government’s efforts to reinforce maintenance of the ceasefire and achieve peace, while maintaining close cooperation with the United States, Europe and others.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 14, 2015)

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2015年2月14日 (土)

対「イスラム国」 オバマ氏は地上戦に道開くか

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Is Obama opening door toward a ground war against ISIL militants?
対「イスラム国」 オバマ氏は地上戦に道開くか

The United States will deploy more potent military operations aimed at wiping out the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant extremist group. We positively welcome this change in U.S. policy.

U.S. President Barack Obama has presented to Congress a draft resolution that would authorize the use of military force, including limited-scale ground operations, against ISIL.

Obama denied the U.S. military will participate in a long-term, major ground combat operation, such as the Iraq War. Rather, the plan is premised on operations such as using U.S. special forces in attacks against ISIL leaders and ramping up tactical support for airstrikes. The validity of the proposed legislation would be limited to three years.

In an announcement of the plan, Obama declared, “Our coalition is on the offensive ... and ISIL is going to lose.”

As well as beefing up the strike power being aimed at ISIL, which still controls swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria, the draft resolution is also intended to solidify unity among the about 60 nations that are members of this coalition of the willing. We think this course of action is reasonable.

More than 2,000 airstrikes have been conducted by the U.S.-led coalition since they started more than six months ago. The airstrikes have reportedly killed about half of ISIL’s leaders and about 6,000 fighters, so they have produced some results.

Rescue missions vital

Meanwhile, one grim reality is that, so far, more than 20,000 foreign fighters have gone to join ISIL. These fighters have come from at least 90 nations. No optimism is warranted over the prospects for the mopping-up operations ahead.

If the draft resolution is adopted, it will become possible for the United States to commit special operations forces to missions directly targeting the ISIL leadership. If this can accelerate the weakening of the extremist group, its military significance would be huge.

There are expectations that having U.S. military personnel on the ground to help select airstrike targets will substantially improve the accuracy of these strikes.

The Iraqi military, Kurdish military forces and moderate Syrian forces are engaged in ground fighting with ISIL. It is also crucial that greater information and planning support be extended to these forces.

If military personnel or citizens from the United States or other members of the coalition are captured by ISIL, U.S. special forces also will play a role in conducting rescue operations.

Coalition members’ concerns about the safety of their military personnel have mounted since ISIL captured and then murdered the pilot of a Jordanian military plane that crashed in Syria while on an airstrike operation. The draft resolution apparently also aims to be a response to these anxieties.

With the number of victims from different countries increasing as ISIL murders its hostages, such rescue operations are growing more important to preserve solidarity among the international community.

The Iraqi military and Kurdish forces are forecast to launch an operation sometime this spring or later to retake Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, which is currently under ISIL control. The question will be just how much the U.S. military will contribute to this fight, given that it could sway how the battle develops in the future.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 13, 2015)

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2015年2月12日 (木)



ITILファンデーション試験などの資格試験の団体受験・全国出張試験サービスを開始! 株式会社IT&ストラテジーコンサルティング

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Get a big chance with 32red special offer i.e. Willie Mullins

Willie Mullins

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Get a big chance with 32red special offer i.e. Willie Mullins

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2015年2月11日 (水)

社説:旅券返納命令 前例にしてはならない

February 10, 2015(Mainichi Japan)
Editorial: Exercise prudence in restricting overseas travel
社説:旅券返納命令 前例にしてはならない

Passports serve as the most effective official identification cards for their bearers when they travel overseas. The Foreign Ministry describes passports on its website as the second most important things for their bearers next only to their lives. Therefore, the ministry's confiscation of the passport of a freelance photographer who had planned to visit Syria in late February to gather news should not be regarded as a precedent.
The ministry took the action under Article 19 of the Passport Act, which allows authorities to order individuals to return their passports if it is necessary to force them to call off their planned overseas trips to protect their lives or assets. This is the first time that the clause has been invoked to confiscate a passport since the law came into force in 1951.

Article 22 of the Constitution guarantees citizens the freedom to travel overseas along with the freedom to change their residence and choose their occupation as their inherent rights. Moreover, freedom of the press is inevitable in a democratic society, which is guaranteed by journalists' news-gathering activities.

On the other hand, the ruthless Islamic State (IS) militant group now rules some areas of Syria. The photographer had intended to go to northern Syria in a bid to cover refugee camps and other places that are not under the rule of the militants. However, it would be almost impossible to completely eliminate risks of being targeted by the militants.
 他方でシリアは、イスラム過激派組織「イスラム国」(IS=Islamic State)がまだら状に支配している。カメラマンはシリア北部に入り、ISの支配下にない難民キャンプなどを取材するつもりだったというが、リスクを完全に遮断できるとは思えない。

The IS has released the painful images of two Japanese hostages, whom the group claims it has murdered, and threatened to target any Japanese national wherever they are. Should the photographer be confined by the Islamic State group, it would not only endanger his life but also adversely affect Japan's diplomatic policies. In the latest hostage crisis, the Jordanian government got involved in the case, demonstrating that the adverse effects of terrorism could spread to the international community.

The photographer's plan to visit Syria was reported by some media outlets after the hostage crisis came to a tragic end. It was only natural that the Foreign Ministry urged the photographer to call off his trip, considering that the timing of his planned visit to Syria was so close to the time of the recent hostage crisis and that if he were to be attacked by terrorists, it would have a serious political impact on Japan.

What is regrettable is how the ministry forced the photographer to cancel his trip.

The fact that the Foreign Ministry had never ordered anyone to return their passports under Article 19 of the Passport Act highlights the seriousness of the impact of such an order. Without a passport, it is impossible for anyone to travel overseas. As such, the ministry should have sought other methods to avoid forcibly imposing restrictions on the freedom to travel overseas guaranteed by the Constitution, though there was little time to act.

The Foreign Ministry has so far urged members of the public to refrain from visiting certain countries or evacuate depending on the countries' levels of danger. There are calls within the ruling coalition for more effective measures to force members of the public to refrain from visiting dangerous countries or areas. However, such measures would allow the government to intervene more deeply in people's daily lives under the pretext of protecting Japanese nationals. It could also lead to indirect media regulations.

The government should exercise prudence in restricting Japanese nationals' overseas travel and treat the latest measure as an exception.

毎日新聞 2015年02月10日 02時30分

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2015年2月10日 (火)

華やかな競馬騎手になって活躍したい 中央競馬・地方競馬



騎手課程受験対策 は、東関東馬事高等学院の競馬騎手養成コースのご利用をおすすめいたします。

競馬の騎手養成コースがある高校「東関東馬事高等学院」では、平成27年度 JRA競馬学校騎手課程合格1名 地方競馬教養センター騎手課程4名の計5名の合格者誕生。設立以来6年連続(通算22名)の合格者誕生


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質問なるほドリ:バックカントリースキー 人気だけど、危険なの?=回答・巽賢司

February 08, 2015(Mainichi Japan)
News Navigator: How dangerous is backcountry skiing?
質問なるほドリ:バックカントリースキー 人気だけど、危険なの?=回答・巽賢司


The Mainichi Shimbun answers common questions readers may have about the sport of backcountry skiing, and its possible dangers.

Question: So, just what exactly is backcountry skiing?
 なるほドリ バックカントリースキーという言葉を聞いたよ?

Answer: It is a sport that involves skiing or snowboarding in mountainous areas that are not maintained in the way that areas such as ski resorts are. It attracts people because it allows them to interface directly with the awesomeness of nature, such as skiing on slopes of soft, powdery snow, and weaving in between snow-covered trees.
 記者 スキー場などの整備された場所ではなく、山の中をスキーやスノーボードで滑ることを言います。さらさらのパウダースノーの斜面や、雪化粧(ゆきげしょう)した木々の間を滑るなど、自然の雄大さを感じられるのが魅力です。

Q: Is it different from the sport of "yama ski" (literally "mountain skiing")?
 Q 山スキーとは違うの?

A: No, it is the same thing. The sport grew in popularity in the United States during the 1970s, with its name referring to unexplored mountainous areas. In Japan, mountain skiing was regularly practiced even during the pre-war era -- but the term "backcountry skiing" did not become popularized until the 1990s. With the quality of skis now improving, the sport continues to attract growing numbers of enthusiasts.
 A 同じです。国内でも戦前から山スキーが楽しまれていましたが、最近になって、バックカントリーという名称が使われ始めました。英語で「未開地(みかいち)、裏山」などの意味で、米国で1970年代に流行し、日本でも90年ごろから広がり始めました。最近はスキー板の品質も向上し、関心が高まっています。

Q: How is backcountry skiing practiced?
 Q どうやって楽しむの?

A: It is first necessary to climb the mountain where one wishes to ski. This must involve rigorous planning, and participants must have both understanding and technical know-how regarding mountain climbing in winter conditions, as well as any necessary equipment. Activities must also be adjusted in accordance with factors including geography and weather.
 A 滑るために、まずは山を登らなければなりません。しっかりとした登山計画を立て、地形や天候の状況に応じて行動できるかなど、冬山に登る技術や知識、装備も必要です。

Since the areas where backcountry skiing takes place are not maintained, some will be covered in soft snow, where skiers may find themselves tripping. In other places, meanwhile, the snow may be frozen. Backcountry skiers should have a high level of technical competence, due also to the presence of obstacles such as trees and rocks.

Q: Is the sport dangerous?
 Q 危険もあるのかな。

A: According to the Nagano Prefectural Police Department, a total of 87 people ran into distress while backcountry skiing between 2008 and 2014 -- among whom 17 died. Three people also went missing in the Northern Alps of Nagano Prefecture this year in January, while two people suffocated to death in avalanches on two different mountains in the city of Myoko, Niigata Prefecture, that same month. In an incident in November 2013, seven people were killed by an avalanche on Mt. Masago in the Tateyama Mountain Range of Toyama Prefecture.
 A 長野県警によると、長野県内では2008〜14年、87人がバックカントリーで遭難(そうなん)し、このうち17人が死亡しました。今年1月には、長野県の北アルプスで3人が行方不明になりました。同じ月、新潟県妙高(みょうこう)市の別々の山で2人が雪崩(なだれ)に巻き込まれて窒息死(ちっそくし)しました。13年11月には富山県の立山連峰・真砂岳(まさごだけ)で7人が雪崩で亡くなりました。

Avalanches may be triggered when skis introduce a cleavage into snow slopes that have not been compacted. Because backcountry skiing can entail traveling at very high speeds along areas without ski courses, it may also be possible for skiers to become lost and die from exposure to the cold.

Q: I've heard that many people go backcountry skiing by entering unmaintained terrain from established ski resorts.
 Q スキー場からエリア外に出る人も多いと聞くけれど。

A: Many enthusiasts enter mountainous areas by taking ski lifts. However, even the slightest deviation from delineated skiing courses means entering into uncharted wintry mountainous territory, so skiers are urged to submit mountain climbing registration forms. Entering into the mountainous backcountry is not a matter that should be taken lightly.
 A リフトを使ってスキー場から入山する人も多いですが、コースを一歩離れるとそこは冬山で、登山届の提出が必要。安易な入山は避けるべきです。

Q: Does being an experienced backcountry skier ensure that one will not encounter any trouble?
 Q 経験があれば遭難しない?

A: This is not necessarily the case. The three individuals who went missing in the northern Alps were apparently very experienced winter mountaineers and backcountry skiers, so it is clear that even seasoned practitioners can find themselves in situations of distress.
 A そうとも言い切れません。北アで行方不明になった3人は、冬山やバックカントリーの経験は豊富だったといいます。ベテランでも遭難はあり得ます。

A Nagano Prefectural Police Department representative commented, "Carelessness, as well as poor weather conditions, can lead to people encountering trouble."

(Answers by Kenji Tatsumi, Nagano Bureau)
毎日新聞 2015年02月04日 東京朝刊

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2015年2月 9日 (月)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:ニュースからのトラウマ /東京


February 08, 2015(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the heart: News-induced trauma
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:ニュースからのトラウマ /東京

The abduction of Japanese nationals by the so-called "Islamic State" militant group ended in the worst way possible. Moreover, people who watched the videos or listened to the recorded messages associated with this incident likely experienced an enormous amount of fear.

An increasing number of my clients have told me that they became afraid after watching the news regarding these recent events. In terms of figures, this is in fact the highest number of patients who have reported such feelings to me since the time period following the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Parents with children have also asked me, "Is it okay to let our kids watch the news about these types of incidents that involve hostage-taking and killing?"

My response in such cases has been, "Don't let your children watch the videos -- but it is probably a good idea if you do show them the newspaper articles and explain to them what occurred."

I also commented via Internet channels that "children should be protected from the trauma of such shocking videos." This statement was met with numerous objections, however, from people saying things like, "Don't look away from reality," or "Don't prevent children from finding out information that they wish to know about," or "Hiding these televised images from children is counterproductive, since they will just go and try to find them on the Internet."

I agree that it is never good to overly conceal or distort the truth -- even when we are talking about children. It is also clear that we must not attempt to shield our children from media or news reports that we find shocking. To the contrary, the recent incident could provide an opportunity for a very meaningful experience in terms of parents and children sitting down together in front of an atlas and discussing together what happened.

At the same time, however, recent research has revealed cases whereby people -- particularly children -- have experienced trauma from seeing images from disasters and incidents that occurred in far-away places, after they were broadcast on sources including television.

I have additionally heard compelling comments from university students who told me, "I suffered an enormous shock 10 years ago when a young Japanese man was taken hostage and killed in Iraq -- and all of that fear just came flooding back to me again on the occasion of the recent hostage-taking incident."

At the time, those students would have been elementary school and junior high school-aged students.

Images of the Japanese youth being kidnapped and killed have a different impact upon young minds than upon adults -- and some of these young students likely did indeed experience lingering trauma as a result.

The question of how much shocking news should be shown to children is one that should be considered carefully in each individual household.

This does not mean, however, simply showing children such images in a point-blank manner.

Rather, we must know that we have the choice to avoid such images in order to protect our own mental stability. This goes for adults, moreover, just as much as children.

In my view, praying for the souls of the dead -- while also protecting the feelings of oneself and one's family -- is another way through which we can work against terrorism.

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2015年02月03日 地方版

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2015年2月 6日 (金)

対「イスラム国」 国際社会は包括的戦略を探れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
International community must explore comprehensive strategies against ISIL
対「イスラム国」 国際社会は包括的戦略を探れ

To contain the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant group, which has repeatedly carried out atrocious criminal acts, the international community must devise and implement a comprehensive strategy.

ISIL, which is believed to have brutally murdered two Japanese hostages in Syria in recent days, released an online video showing its slaying of a captured Jordanian Air Force pilot.

Through the barbaric method of burning the captive alive in a cage, the group expressed its vengeance against Jordan, which is participating in the U.S.-led bombing raids against ISIL. Designed to instill terror in the hearts of those who watch it, the footage serves as part of the militant group’s heartless propaganda campaign.

The video also appears to show photos of other Jordanian pilots, and calls on them not to join the U.S-led airstrikes against ISIL, shaking the Jordanian side.

In retaliation, the Jordanian government executed Sajida al-Rishawi, a death-row convict who was taken into custody by Jordanian authorities as a failed suicide bomber in the 2005 Amman attacks. The militants had allegedly demanded Jordan release Rishawi.

The Jordanian government also said it will take additional measures militarily.

ISIL seeks to bring down the existing international order, and has called for overthrowing the Jordanian monarchy. Tension between ISIL and Jordan is certain to grow through a chain of hatred. It is feared that the situation in the Middle East may be destabilized.

The international community must unite to support Jordan, a country that stands at the forefront of the war against terrorism.

U.S. President Barack Obama and King Abdullah II of Jordan held talks at the White House on Tuesday and vowed to strengthen cooperation between their two countries to eradicate ISIL.

Rally for global action

British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande strongly condemned ISIL’s actions. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also expressed solidarity with the people of Jordan.

The U.S.-led international “coalition of the willing” of more than 60 countries against ISIL needs to cooperate and take concrete action to thwart the extremist group.

At an international ministerial meeting on counterterrorism to be held in Washington on Feb. 19, ministers must affirm the need to strengthen the coalition’s military campaign, to cut off the flow of funds to terrorists, stop would-be militants from joining ISIL, and expand assistance to Jordan and other moderate Arab nations.

During his talks with the Jordanian king, Obama emphasized that the United States and its allies “are determined to see the extremist group and their hateful ideology banished to the recesses of history.” We will watch how the U.S.-led coalition follows through with its determination.

The U.S. Defense Department has requested $5.3 billion for its fiscal 2016 budget, up about 4 percent from fiscal 2015, to finance operations against ISIL. To eliminate the militant group, it is essential to train Iraq’s military and Kurdish fighters as well as provide military assistance to bolster their equipment and conduct airstrikes.

The leadership of the United States is greatly needed.

Deep-rooted problems in the Middle East, such as poverty, social disparity and political corruption, are behind the fact that many combatants have flocked to join ISIL. Therefore, it is also important to promote mid- and long-term strategies, such as extending support to Middle Eastern countries to help reform their governance.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 5, 2015)Speech

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2015年2月 4日 (水)

「人質」国会論戦 対テロで冷静な検証が重要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Objective analysis of hostage crisis essential to study antiterror measures
「人質」国会論戦 対テロで冷静な検証が重要だ

We want the Diet to deeply discuss concrete measures to prevent recurrences of hostage incidents as much as possible and effectively respond to such incidents.

Interpellations were held on the Japanese hostage incident at the House of Councillors Budget Committee on Monday. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said: “If we yield to terrorist threats, it may stoke another act of terrorism. Japan will perform its responsibility resolutely as a member of the international community that is fighting terrorism.”

Containing the militant group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which has repeatedly carried out atrocious terrorist acts, is an agenda shared by the international community. Japan needs to perform its fair share of responsibilities without being daunted by the incident.

Masayoshi Nataniya, a Democratic Party of Japan member in the upper house, said that “review of the incident is also necessary from the viewpoint of preventing recurrences of the [hostage] incident.”

To help bolster the government’s crisis management system, it is necessary to objectively review and analyze how the government dealt with the incident. The government is required to explain in detail during Diet sessions and other occasions the information it acted on as well as its response.

Of course, the government cannot place all their cards on the table as doing so would destroy relations of trust with other countries concerned and benefit radical groups.

ISIL is a fanatic militant group that has repeatedly engaged in despicable criminal acts based on its self-righteous logic to expand its areas of influence. The fact that commonsense negotiations do not work with the group must be taken into consideration.

However, it was questionable of Nataniya to indicate that an exercise of the right of collective self-defense would increase the danger of Japan being targeted for terrorism.

Trap of one-nation pacifism

The exercise of the collective self-defense right is widely approved in the world. The government’s approval is aimed at strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance as well as international cooperation, which is indispensable for fighting terrorism. Japan will fall into the belief of one-country pacifism if the nation sticks to the idea that everything is all right if Japan is safe.

If Japan overreacts to the risk of terrorism, it would be regarded as a weak country and only become an even more likely target for terrorism. It is imperative to study measures that will be taken when Japanese nationals encounter terrorist attacks and kidnapping, while stepping up security measures for nationals in foreign countries.

Abe clearly denied the idea of logistic support being provided by Self-Defense Forces regarding an air campaign against ISIL by the coalition of the willing.

“It’s far from being a paradigm that pits Islamic countries against the world,” Abe said. “Fighting on the front line against ISIL are Muslim countries.” By emphasizing this, Abe expressed an idea of expanding humanitarian assistance toward Middle Eastern countries.

There has been no request from the international community for the dispatch of SDF forces, and new legislation would be needed to realize the SDF’s logistic support. As the situation currently stands, engaging in nonmilitary cooperation is a realistic option for Japan.

Reinforcing relations with Middle Eastern nations, including Jordan, which worked closely with Japan in dealing with the hostage incident, will help ensure the safety of Japanese nationals overseas.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 3, 2015)

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