防衛白書 脅威を直視し防衛力を高めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Jul. 24, 2009)
Face up to threats, boost defense capability
防衛白書 脅威を直視し防衛力を高めよ(7月24日付・読売社説)

The security environment surrounding Japan gives no ground for optimism. It is vital that the nation steadily strengthen its defense capability by squarely facing up to threats posed by neighboring nations and a myriad of unstable factors.
 日本の安全保障環境は楽観を許さない。周辺の脅威と不安定要因を直視し、防衛力を着実に高めることが肝要である。

The Defense of Japan 2009 white paper, which recently was approved by the Cabinet, stated that North Korea's nuclear test in May and the growing capability of its ballistic missiles are grave threats to this country's security.
 2009年版防衛白書は、5月の北朝鮮の核実験と弾道ミサイル能力の増強について「わが国の安全に対する重大な脅威」と明記した。

The white paper stressed that these elements cannot be tolerated because they significantly jeopardize the peace and security of not only Northeast Asia but also the entire international community. We are not surprised by the recognition of this threat.
 「北東アジアおよび国際社会の平和と安全を著しく害する」として、「断じて容認できない」とも強調している。当然の認識だ。

The white paper said it is difficult to completely rule out the possibility that North Korea will, in the relatively near future, succeed in downsizing a nuclear weapon to the extent that it could be loaded as a warhead on a ballistic missile.
 弾道ミサイルへの搭載を可能にするための核兵器の小型化・弾頭化についても、「比較的短期間に実現に至る可能性も排除できない」と分析している。

Japan must continue its diplomatic efforts to pressure North Korea under the U.N. Security Council sanctions resolutions in cooperation with China, South Korea and the United States.
 日本は、米中韓などと連携し、国連安全保障理事会の制裁決議に基づき、北朝鮮に圧力をかける外交努力を続けねばなるまい。

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Keep eye on China, N. Korea

At the same time, as the white paper pointed out, the nation has to be prepared for the unexpected. It would be folly to forget that the reported health problems of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and the issue of who will succeed him could destabilize the regime in Pyongyang.
 同時に、白書の指摘するように、金正日総書記の後継者問題をめぐり北朝鮮の「体制が不安定化する可能性」がある以上、不測の事態に備える必要がある。

It is extremely important to fortify the Japan-U.S. alliance, thereby strengthening its military deterrence. The nation must not neglect to stay alert to and monitor the activities of North Korea, and should steadily proceed with deploying a missile defense system.
 抑止力を高めるため、日米同盟を一段と強固にすることが極めて重要だ。北朝鮮に対する警戒・監視活動を怠らず、ミサイル防衛の配備を着実に進めるべきだ。

At the same time, the nation should remain wide awake to China's rapid military buildup and expanded scope of activities.
 中国軍の急速な増強と活動範囲の拡大にも注意が欠かせない。

China's defense spending has seen double-digit growth for 21 consecutive years. The white paper said Beijing is working to acquire, maintain and protect its own interests in marine resources as well as to protect its sea lanes, in addition to its national defense and preventing Taiwan's independence.
 中国の国防費は21年連続で2ケタの伸びを示している。白書は、国家防衛や台湾の独立阻止にとどまらず、「海洋権益の獲得・維持・保護や海上輸送路保護」の目的が含まれる、と分析する。

In particular, the white paper expressed caution over China's increasing activities in waters near Japan. This point was epitomized by the four Chinese naval vessels that went around Japan in October by passing through the Tsugaru Strait, going southward in the Pacific Ocean and then sailing between the main island of Okinawa Prefecture and Miyakojima island.
 特に、昨年10月に中国海軍艦船4隻が津軽海峡を通過し、太平洋を南下した後、沖縄本島と宮古島の間を通って日本を周回した事例などを紹介し、海洋活動の活発化に警戒感を示した。

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Budget considerations

The Ground Self-Defense Force is switching its strategy from focusing on contingencies that could affect the northern part of Japan, to an area centered on the southwestern part of the nation. Next spring, the 1st Combined Brigade stationed in Okinawa Prefecture will be upgraded and reorganized, which will entail increasing its personnel from 1,800 to 2,100.
 陸上自衛隊は、北方重視から南西重視への転換を図っている。来春、沖縄に駐在する混成団を旅団に格上げし、隊員数を1800人から2100人に増やす。

We think it is important that this upgrade--and other similar changes--should be promoted in a planned revision of the National Defense Program Guidelines due by the end of this year.
 今年末に予定される「防衛計画の大綱」の改定では、こうした転換を一層進めることが大切だ。

The United States, South Korea, India and Australia are increasing their defense budgets, as are China, North Korea and Russia. By contrast, Japan has trimmed its defense budget by between 0.1 percent to 1 percent annually since fiscal 2003.
 北朝鮮、中国、ロシアだけでなく、米国、韓国、インド、豪州がそろって国防予算を増やす中、日本の防衛費は03年度以降、毎年0・1~1・0%の減少が続く。

If Japan continues pruning its defense budget even while a neighboring country conducts a nuclear test and launches missiles that fly over this country, it could send the wrong signal that Japan takes its national security lightly.
 隣国が核実験を行い、自国上空を飛び越えるミサイルを発射しても、防衛費を削減し続けるのでは安全保障を軽視しているとの誤ったメッセージになりかねない。

While seeking efficiency in equipment procurement is one thing, we wonder if now might be the time to halt the gradual erosion of Japan's defense budget.
 装備調達の効率化は当然としても、そろそろ防衛費の漸減に歯止めをかけるべき時ではないか。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 24, 2009)
(2009年7月24日01時22分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2009-07-24 07:25 | 英字新聞

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