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普天間作業部会 年内決着で対日不信を解け

Restore U.S trust by settling relocation issue
The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 18, 2009)
普天間作業部会 年内決着で対日不信を解け(11月18日付・読売社説)

If Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama continues putting off a final decision on the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture, it will only amplify U.S. distrust of the Japanese leader, pushing the Japan-U.S. relationship to the brink of crisis. It is vital to resolve the issue by the end of this year.
 米海兵隊普天間飛行場の移設問題の結論をこのまま先送りし続ければ、鳩山首相に対する米国の不信は増幅され、日米関係が危機に陥ろう。年内の決着が不可欠だ。

The Japan-U.S. ministerial-level working group started discussing the relocation issue Tuesday. The two parties reaffirmed that they would expeditiously reach a conclusion, without specifying a time frame.
 移設問題に関する日米の閣僚級の作業部会が始まり、時期は明示しないまま、「迅速に結論を出す」方針を再確認した。

While the Japanese side indicated its intention to focus on reviewing the current plan, including the process of drawing it up, the United States reiterated its position that the current plan is the only feasible option.
 日本側は、現行計画が決まった経緯などの「検証」を重視する考えを示した。だが、米側は「現行計画が唯一実現可能な選択肢」との立場を改めて強調した。

The Hatoyama administration has spent a long time reviewing the relocation issue. Given this, is it truly necessary to start over again? As agreed upon in the recent Japan-U.S. summit talks in Tokyo, we believe the two countries should make expeditiously reaching a conclusion a top priority.
 鳩山政権は既に、「検証」に相当な時間を費やしている。改めてやり直す必要があるのか。先の日米首脳会談の合意通り、「迅速な結論」を最優先すべきだろう。

What cannot be overlooked is that Hatoyama continues making statements that can be interpreted as reversing the agreement. We find this highly regrettable.
 看過できないのは、鳩山首相がオバマ大統領との合意を翻すような発言を繰り返していることだ。極めて憂慮すべき事態である。

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Role of current plan questioned

The prime minister stressed that the current relocation plan is not a premise for discussions at the high-level working group. He even suggested that the discussions start from scratch, saying that there was absolutely no prerequisite. This logic is hard to understand.
 首相は、作業部会は現行計画を前提としないと強調する。「すべての前提を置かない」と、白紙で議論するかのような発言もしている。この理屈は理解しがたい。

U.S. President Barack Obama stressed in the summit talks that the working group should adhere to the basic agreement. In a joint press conference with the prime minister, the president also said that the working group would be focused on implementing the 2006 Japan.-U.S. accord to relocate the marine base from Ginowan to Nago, both in Okinawa Prefecture. The prime minister did not object to this statement.
 オバマ大統領は首脳会談で「基本は守るべきだ」と強調した。首相との共同記者会見でも、「作業部会は日米合意の履行を焦点とする」と述べた。だが、鳩山首相は特に異論をはさまなかった。

It is no wonder that the president views the current relocation plan as the premise for the high-level working group. If a rift opens between the Japanese and U.S. leaders, it may seriously damage Japan's national interests.
 大統領が現行計画を作業部会の前提と考えるのは無理もない。日米首脳間の信頼に亀裂が生じるような事態になれば、日本の国益を大きく損ねかねない。

Furthermore, if the negotiation starts from scratch, it would be like turning the clock to 1996, when Japan and the United States agreed on the return of the Futenma Air Station. In that case, the return of the airfield will highly likely be delayed by more than a decade and decisively damage the Japan-U.S. relationship.
 さらに、白紙で議論するとなれば、普天間飛行場の返還に日米が合意した1996年にまで、時計の針を逆戻りさせる。返還は10年以上遅れる可能性が大きいし、日米関係も決定的に悪化しよう。

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Time of the essence

As for the timing of an expeditious conclusion, Hatoyama said that he might decide which direction to take in line with the outcome of the Nago mayoral election scheduled for January.
 「迅速な結論」の時期について鳩山首相は、来年1月の「名護市長選の結果に従って方向性を見定めることもある」とも語った。

However, the prime minister said last month, "I didn't mean that [the decision would be made] after the mayoral race." As such, Hatoyama's remarks have been inconsistent.
 首相は先月、「市長選の後と言ったつもりはない」などと述べており、発言がぶれ続けている。

In the first place, the prime minister, as the one who takes charge of national security, should avoid leaving such a key issue concerning the fundamentals of the Japan-U.S. alliance to the result of a mayoral election.
 そもそも日米同盟の根幹の問題を市長選に委ねることは、国の安全保障の最高責任者として避けるべきだ。

Some in Okinawa Prefecture are also critical of the prime minister's policymaking style, saying that it is "unreasonable" to put the responsibility for making a key diplomatic decision on local governments.
沖縄からも、外交問題を地元に押しつける手法は「理不尽だ」との声が出ている。

If the prime minister wishes to respect the feelings of people in Okinawa, he has to sincerely listen to these voices, too.
 首相が「沖縄の気持ちが大事」というなら、こうした声こそ真剣に受け止める必要がある。

Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada and Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa called for settling the issue by the end of the year from the viewpoint of appropriating necessary funds in the fiscal 2010 budget. Their opinions are quite right, and the prime minister should respect the views of the relevant ministers.
 岡田外相と北沢防衛相は、来年度予算に必要経費を計上する観点から、年内決着の必要性を指摘している。当然であり、首相は担当閣僚の見解を尊重すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 18, 2009)
(2009年11月18日01時02分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2009-11-18 08:14 | 英字新聞

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