09回顧・日本 越年となる政権迷走と不況

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 27, 2009)
New govt, economy top stories of 2009
09回顧・日本 越年となる政権迷走と不況(12月27日付・読売社説)

In our annual ranking of the 10 domestic news stories of the year, the change of government tops the list. The administration led by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama was launched after the Democratic Party of Japan's overwhelming victory in the August House of Representatives election, in which it claimed 308 seats.
 年末恒例の、読者が選んだ本紙の「日本10大ニュース」の1位は「衆院選で民主308議席の圧勝、歴史的政権交代で鳩山内閣発足」だった。

Day after day the new administration offered up eye-catching proposals. However, three months since the administration was launched under a banner of change, the high expectations initially held by the public have waned, with a sense of uncertainty and concern about the coalition government creeping in.
 新政権は連日、様々な話題をお茶の間に提供した。だが、変革を旗印に政権が発足して3か月余、当初の期待感も薄れ、連立内閣への危うさや不安を感じ始めた国民も多いのではないか。

 ◆政治ドラマに高い関心◆
Much public attention had been paid to the fate of the DPJ's manifesto pledges, such as the child-rearing allowance program, the abolition of provisionally higher tax rates for gasoline and other auto-related taxes, and government subsidies for high school tuition.
 民主党が政権公約として掲げた子ども手当、暫定税率廃止、高校無償化などの行方に関心が集中した。

Toward the end of the year, however, there was an unexpected development regarding these issues, with DPJ Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa seeking a drastic government review of the pledges. It was as if we were watching a drama unfold on TV.
年の瀬も押し迫り、同党の小沢幹事長が公約の大幅修正を政府に求めるなど、ドラマを見るような展開をたどった。

The Government Revitalization Unit's review of budgetary requests for fiscal 2010, conducted to weed out wasteful spending, was an attention-getter, but it failed to find and cut as much wasteful spending as it hoped.
 予算の無駄を見直す行政刷新会議の事業仕分けは、華々しさに比して削減額は少なかった。

On the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, Hatoyama decided to put off a decision on the issue that had emerged as a hot topic until next year, leaving the Japan-U.S. relationship severely strained.
米軍普天間飛行場移設問題では、鳩山首相が結論を先送りし、日米関係は危機的な状況に陥っている。

Prosecutors have indicted two former secretaries of Hatoyama without arrest over falsified fund reports that violated the Political Funds Control Law. The trial of Ozawa's former secretary over a political funds scandal has recently begun. All of which have brought problems involving politics and money back to the fore this year.
 政治資金収支報告書の虚偽記入事件で鳩山首相の元秘書2人がそれぞれ在宅起訴、略式起訴され、小沢氏の秘書の公判も始まった。「政治とカネ」をめぐる問題が再燃した年でもあった。

===

Expressway issues

Seventh on the top 10 list is the introduction of expressway tolls set at 1,000 yen or lower. Discounted tolls on weekends and holidays for standard-sized passenger vehicles started in March on all expressways except those in major metropolitan areas. This is no doubt a topic close to the hearts of drivers.
 7位には「高速道『上限1000円』スタート」が入った。車を運転する人などには、それだけ関心事なのだろう。

The system was introduced in spring by the then cabinet of Prime Minister Taro Aso. But the new administration sought to go even further, proposing that all expressways be made toll-free.
 前の麻生内閣の施策だが、新政権はさらに進めて無料化を打ち出した。

However, if expressway tolls were done away with, there is concern that free expressways could lead to people in regional areas being deprived of public transport, such as railways, if such forms of transportation were to find themselves unable to make ends meet and were forced to cease operations due to more people opting to travel by car.
地方の公共交通の足が奪われると懸念されている。

The 20th year of the Emperor's ascension to the throne ranks sixth. In the past two decades, the Emperor has resolutely adhered to the philosophy of sharing in the joys and sorrows of the people, always seeking to determine what his role should be as the symbol of the state.
 「天皇陛下即位20年」が6位である。「国民と苦楽を共にする」という考えを貫かれ、「象徴として望ましい天皇の在り方」を求め続けられた20年だった。

Also this year, the Emperor and Empress celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. A variety of events were held to celebrate the 20th year of the Emperor's enthronement and the Imperial couple's 50th wedding anniversary.
 天皇、皇后両陛下のご成婚50年の年でもあり、即位20年と併せて様々な祝賀行事が行われた。

Near the end of this memorable year, controversies emerged over the audience of Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping with the Emperor, after it came to light that the Hatoyama Cabinet had broken with protocol to set up the meeting.
 そんな中で、鳩山内閣が、天皇陛下と中国の習近平国家副主席との会見を特別に設定したことの是非が論議を呼んだ。

===

New-flu fears

The No. 2 domestic news story is the outbreak in Japan of the new type of influenza. The disease spread from Mexico to a host of other countries in spring, and reached Japan in May. The epidemic has yet to abate, and it has become a common sight in this country to see great numbers of people wearing face masks.
 2位に入ったのは「日本でも新型インフルエンザ流行」だ。春にメキシコから火の手が上がった感染拡大の波は日本にも押し寄せ、いまも沈静化していない。マスク姿が目立つのも社会現象だ。

 ◆国民が決める刑の重さ◆
The No. 3 domestic news story is the start of the lay judge system. Under the system, ordinary citizens participate in trying criminal cases as lay judges and, together with professional judges, decide whether the accused is guilty and the level of punishment.
 続いて3位には、「『裁判員制度』スタート」が入った。国民が刑事裁判に参加し、裁判官とともに、有罪か無罪か、さらに有罪の場合の刑の重さを決定する。

The system, which began in May, has faced problems, with many people saying they do not want to participate in a trial. It could become necessary to flexibly review the operation of the system if a problem arises.
 「参加したくない」という声もある中で始まった。課題が浮かび上がれば、柔軟に運用方法を見直していく必要があるだろう。

In another change to the legal system, prosecutors and police have begun to make audio and video recordings of the questioning of criminal suspects to ensure it can be proven at lay judge trials that confessions had not been coerced. However, many people have called for the entire questioning process to be recorded.
 検察・警察は、裁判員裁判で被告の自白が強制されたものでないことを立証するため、取り調べの一部録音・録画を始めたが、全面可視化を求める声も多い。

The public call has come because there has been an unending stream of false accusations, including the Ashikaga incident in which Toshikazu Sugaya was freed from prison, having spent 17-1/2 years behind bars, after DNA tests showed he is not guilty. Sugaya's release is the No. 10 domestic news story.
 それというのも、10位に入った「『足利事件』の菅家さん釈放 DNA鑑定に誤り」など、冤罪(えんざい)事件が絶えないからだ。

In the case, DNA retesting using the latest technology was used to overturn a result based on a less-accurate DNA test conducted during the initial investigation.
 足利事件では、最新技術を使ったDNAの再鑑定で、精度が低かった捜査段階での鑑定が否定される結果となった。

Meanwhile, it was decided earlier this month to hold a retrial regarding the so-called Fukawa incident, a robbery-murder that occurred in 1967 in Ibaraki Prefecture, for which two men were sentenced to life in prison.
今月に入り、茨城県で42年前に起きた布川事件の再審開始も決まった。

Police and prosecutors must examine problems pertaining to these cases and thoroughly conduct an appropriate investigation.
 検察・警察は、これら事件の問題点を検証するとともに、適正捜査を徹底しなければならない。

The arrest of popular actress Noriko Sakai on suspicion of possessing stimulant drugs comes in at No. 5 and was given a lot of coverage by TV shows.
 5位は「酒井法子容疑者、覚せい剤所持で逮捕」だった。人気女優の逮捕は、テレビのワイドショーなどの格好の題材となった。

Drug use in show business circles and cannabis use among youths have become matters of growing concern.
芸能界の薬物汚染、若者の大麻汚染などが懸念されている。

===

Recession blues

Meanwhile, "recession" was a word that cast a shadow over society throughout the year. The news story that ranks 16th on the list was Toyota Motor Corp.'s posting of its first operating loss in 71 years and losses incurred by major firms, including automakers and electrical appliance makers.
The No. 19 news story is the yen's surge to the 84 yen level for the first time in 14 years.
The No. 20 news story is that the unemployment rate climbed to 5.7 percent and the job-offers-to-seekers ratio hit 0.42, the worst on record.
 1年を通して「不況」の文字が社会を覆った。経済関連は「トヨタが71年ぶり営業赤字 自動車、電機など大手赤字相次ぐ」が16位、「『円』急騰、約14年ぶり1ドル=84円台」が19位、「失業率5・7%、求人倍率0・42倍 過去最悪を更新」が20位だ。

Many high school and university students who will graduate in spring have yet to find jobs.
 就職先が決まらない来春卒業予定の高校生や大学生も多い。

The phrase "employment ice age," referring to an extreme scarcity of jobs for new graduates, has resurfaced in conversations.
「就職氷河期」の再来である。

"Deflation crisis" and "bonus cuts" also are heard here and there, and there is a growing concern the economy could enter a double-dip recession.
 「デフレ危機」や「ボーナスカット」の言葉も飛び交い、「二番底」の到来が心配されている。

Some within the industrial circle have strongly criticized the government for not drawing up an effective growth strategy.
産業界などには、政府の成長戦略のなさに対する批判も強い。

 ◆感動を与え続けた野球◆
The three sports stories that make the top 10 are all related to baseball.
 上位10位までに野球関連が3本も入った。

Japan's back-to-back victory in the World Baseball Classic came in fourth and Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki becoming the first player in major league history to reach 200 hits in nine straight seasons is eighth. The Yomiuri Giants winning their 21st Japan Series title, their first in seven years, ranks ninth.
4位に「日本がWBC連覇」、8位に「イチロー選手が大リーグ史上初の9年連続200安打」、そして「巨人が7年ぶり21度目日本一」が9位だ。

The No. 14 news story is about New York Yankees Hideki Matsui becoming first Japanese-born World Series MVP.
 「ヤンキース松井選手、日本人初のWシリーズMVP」も14位に入っている。

The popularity of these stories prove that baseball truly is a sport loved by people right across this country.
野球が国民的スポーツであることの証しでもある。

At a time when people are uncertain about their future lives, there is no doubt that the superb showing of the Samurai Japan team at the WBC moved people across the nation and infused them with a can-do spirit.
 暮らしの先が見えない時代にあって、WBCの「侍ジャパン」の活躍などから勇気や感動をもらった人も多かったことだろう。

Most at stake now are the issues facing new administration.
 問題は新政権である。

The task that the Hatoyama administration should focus on next year is to revive the vitality of both this nation and its people by taking aim at the clouds over the hill, just as occurs in the Ryotaro Shiba's historical novel "Saka no Ue no Kumo" (Clouds Over the Hill), a book that has found a new and growing audience today.
再ブームとなっている司馬遼太郎の「坂の上の雲」ではないが、この国と国民に、坂の上の雲を目指すような活力を蘇(よみがえ)らせることこそ、来年の課題ではないか。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 27, 2009)
(2009年12月27日00時53分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2009-12-27 06:36 | 英字新聞

<< 指導要領解説書 「竹島」に触れ... 来年度予算 公約優先では財政が... >>