普天間移設 展望なき「越年」決定は誤りだ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 16, 2009)
PM gets it wrong on Futenma
普天間移設 展望なき「越年」決定は誤りだ(12月16日付・読売社説)

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama may go down in history for derailing the reversion of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture to Japan. We cannot but hold such a strong feeling of foreboding over this matter.
 鳩山首相は、米軍普天間飛行場の返還を頓挫させたことで、歴史に名を残すのではないか。そんな深刻な危惧(きぐ)を抱かざるを得ない。

The Hatoyama government on Tuesday officially announced a policy of postponing a decision on where to relocate the helicopter functions of the Futenma airfield until next year at the earliest. The three ruling parties--the Democratic Party of Japan, the Social Democratic Party and the People's New Party--also decided to continue discussing possible new candidate relocation sites for the facility among themselves, eyeing the possibility of reviewing the 2006 deal between Tokyo and Washington regarding the Futenma relocation.
 政府が、沖縄県の普天間飛行場の移設問題について、結論を来年以降に先送りする方針を正式決定した。移設先は、現行計画の見直しも視野に入れ、与党3党で協議していくという。

This decision puts party interests before national interests for the sake of maintaining the current three-party coalition. It also means that the Japanese side has unilaterally scrapped an agreement reached at Japan-U.S. summit talks in November that a speedy conclusion on the relocation issue would be made, running the risk of destroying the relationship of mutual trust Japan and the United States have built up over the years.
 民主、社民、国民新の3党連立政権を維持するため、国益より党益を優先した結論だ。11月の日米首脳会談で合意した「迅速な結論」を一方的に反古(ほご)にするもので、長年積み上げてきた日米の信頼関係を崩壊させかねない。

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Move will hurt Japan-U.S. ties

As Washington has already responded negatively to Tokyo's new policy, future negotiations on the issue between the two countries look sure to sail into rough waters. Besides, the new policy will hinder the start of bilateral talks on deepening Japan-U.S. alliance toward the 50th anniversary of the revision of the Japan-U.S. security treaty next year. We also are concerned that the bilateral relationship as whole will become bogged down.
 米側は日本の新方針に否定的な姿勢を示しており、今後の日米交渉は難航するのが確実だ。来年の日米安保条約改定50周年に向けて同盟を深化させる協議が開始できないだけでなく、日米関係全体の停滞が懸念される。

A relocation site for the airfield must be close to other marine corps bases so troops can be moved quickly. That is why relocating the base within the prefecture has always been a precondition for the reversion of the Futenma base to Japan since the 1996 Japan-U.S. agreement.
 そもそも普天間飛行場の代替施設は部隊運用上、他の海兵隊基地と近接している必要がある。このため、1996年の日米合意以来、一貫して県内移設が飛行場返還の前提条件となっていた。

Reviewing this stipulation and proposing the transfer of Futenma's functions to another prefecture or overseas would void 13 years of collaboration by the two governments and even risk undoing the reversion agreement. Did the Hatoyama administration understand the grave significance of the Futenma issue before making its latest decision?
 この前提を見直して県外・国外移設を提起する場合、この13年間の日米の共同作業は無に帰し、返還合意さえ白紙に戻る。鳩山政権は、その重大な意味を理解し、今回の決定をしたのだろうか。

Of course, the prime minister bears the greatest responsibility for creating the current situation. Although he claimed that he himself would make the final decision on the issue, Hatoyama has continued to vacillate.
 この事態を招いた最大の責任は無論、「最後は私が決める」と言いつつ、優柔不断な対応に終始してきた鳩山首相にある。

On different occasions, he said the United States, Okinawa Prefecture and the SDP were all important--comments intended to appease the respective parties he talked to. That resulted in heightened calls in Okinawa Prefecture and the SDP demanding the transfer of Futenma's functions to outside the prefecture, narrowing the prime minister's options.
 首相は、米国も沖縄も社民党も大切だとして、会談相手ごとに都合のいい発言を繰り返してきた。その結果、県外移設論が沖縄や社民党に高まり、自らの選択肢を狭めてしまった。

Hatoyama also made different remarks on the Futenma problem almost every day, confusing those concerned with the issue. It is doubtful whether he has what it takes to be prime minister.
 本人の発言も、日替わりのようにぶれ、関係者を混乱させた。首相としての資質が問われる。

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No realistic alternative

The problem is that no new perspective can be expected on the issue even though the government has put off deciding where to transfer the functions of the airfield until next year. There is no realistic candidate relocation site for the Futenma base outside the prefecture. It will be extremely difficult and will require a huge amount of time and effort to come up with a concrete relocation plan from scratch and obtain approval for it from the United States, Okinawa Prefecture and the local government of the new relocation site.
 問題は、移設先の決着を来年に先送りしても、何の展望も開けないことだ。県外移設は現実的な候補が見当たらない。一から具体案を検討し、米国と沖縄と移設先の同意を得るのは極めて困難で、膨大な時間と労力を要しよう。

Nevertheless, Hatoyama expressed his intention to seek an option other than the current plan. This apparently contradicts his own government's policy to earmark expenses for the current plan in the fiscal 2010 budget.
 それでも、鳩山首相は、現行計画以外の案を模索する考えを表明した。現行計画の実施費を来年度予算案に計上する、という政府方針と明らかに矛盾する。

It is certain that Hatoyama's remark will cause additional confusion. It is highly questionable whether the prime minister really wishes to alleviate the burdens on residents of Okinawa Prefecture linked to hosting U.S. military installations while at the same time firmly maintaining the Japan-U.S. alliance.
 首相発言が新たな混乱を引き起こすのは避けられまい。首相は本当に、日米同盟を堅持しつつ沖縄の負担軽減を実現したいのか、重大な疑問が残る。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 16, 2009)
(2009年12月16日01時13分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2009-12-16 04:37 | 英字新聞

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