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防衛白書延期 禍根残す政府の事なかれ主義

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jul. 30, 2010)
Defense report delay unnecessary
防衛白書延期 禍根残す政府の事なかれ主義(7月29日付・読売社説)

The government's decision to put off the release of this year's defense white paper is nothing but an attempt not to disturb the Japan-South Korea relationship. But a retreat to safe ground on this issue is an ill-thought-out move to turn a blind eye to future trouble that could arise between Tokyo and Seoul.
 日韓関係に波風を立てたくない、という無責任な事なかれ主義であり、今後に禍根を残すと言わざるを得ない。

The administration of Prime Minister Naoto Kan has postponed giving cabinet approval to the "Defense of Japan 2010" white paper until September, despite an earlier plan to finalize the annual report Friday.
 政府が、30日に予定していた2010年版防衛白書の閣議了承を9月に延期した。

In explaining the government's decision, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku cited recent actions taken by the United Nations in connection with the sinking of a South Korean naval ship in March. He added the government wanted the white paper to address some issues that will be taken up in a report to be issued in August by a government panel tasked with reviewing the current National Defense Program Guidelines. Sengoku's reasoning is far from convincing.
 仙谷官房長官は、延期の理由について、韓国の哨戒艦沈没事件に関する国連の動きや、防衛大綱見直しの報告書などを新たに記載することなどを挙げた。到底、納得できる説明ではない。

In the first place, the government does not have to write about the developments cited by Sengoku in the white paper. His account does little to convince the public of the need to postpone the release of the report, more than 14,000 copies of which have already been printed at a cost of about 9.4 million yen.
 本来、こうした動きをいちいち追加する必要性はない。既に約940万円をかけて、1万4000部以上を印刷した白書の公表を延期する理由として不十分だ。

The real reason behind the decision, according to government sources, is that Tokyo does not want to antagonize Seoul. Previous defense white papers described the disputed Takeshima islets as "an inherent part of our nation's territory."
 政府関係者によると、本当の理由は韓国側への配慮だとされる。防衛白書は例年、竹島を「わが国固有の領土」と明記している。

The sources said the government did not want to stir up anti-Japanese sentiment among South Koreans as this year marks the centennial of the Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty of 1910. On Aug. 29 that year, the treaty took effect, starting 35 years of Japanese rule over the Korean Peninsula.
今年は8月29日に日韓併合条約発効100年を控えており、反日感情を刺激したくなかったという。

Takeshima belongs to Japan

However, the government has every reason to incorporate into the white paper its assertion that Takeshima inherently belongs to Japan.
 だが、政府の白書が、竹島は日本固有の領土という政府見解を盛り込むのは当然のことだ。

Admittedly, South Korea has protested the Japanese government's view every year, claiming sovereignty over the islet group. However, Seoul's reaction has not been so strong as to undermine bilateral relations. Some people fear anti-Japanese feelings could grow among South Koreans as Aug. 29 marks the 100th anniversary of the treaty. So far, however, no such hostility has surfaced.
 竹島の領有権を主張する韓国側は毎年、抗議しているが、日韓関係を損なうほどではなかった。日韓併合100年を前に、反日感情の高まりを懸念する向きもあるものの、現時点で、そんな動きは表面化していない。

We think the government should have adhered to its practice of publishing a defense white paper at this time of year.
 政府は、例年通り、白書を淡々と公表すべきだった。

Postponing the paper's release and then scrambling for an explanation as to why has proved of no avail. Doing so has only drawn public attention to the Takeshima controversy. We feel all this could adversely affect the Japan-South Korea relationship. The Kan administration made the wrong decision about the release of the report.
 公表直前に異例の形で延期し、姑息(こそく)な説明を加えたことで、かえって竹島問題が注目を集めてしまい、日韓関係にも逆効果ではないか。菅政権の判断ミスである。

The Defense Ministry and the Foreign Ministry had insisted the defense report should be released as initially scheduled. Last week, Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Seiji Maehara and Parliamentary Vice Defense Minister Akihisa Nagashima visited South Korea, where some officials reportedly asked them to reconsider the timing of the white paper's release. After being briefed by Maehara and Naga-shima, the prime minster and the chief cabinet secretary decided to delay the report's release, according to informed sources.
 防衛、外務両省は、白書を予定通り公表するよう主張していた。前原国土交通相と長島昭久防衛政務官が先週韓国を訪問した際、一部の関係者から配慮を求められた。その報告を受けた菅首相と仙谷長官が延期を決めたという。

Not the DPJ's first blunder

This episode is yet another perfect example of an ill-advised initiative taken by political leaders--that is, members of the Democratic Party of Japan-led administration--in formulating key policies. Political confusion has erupted frequently since the DPJ came into power, as best exemplified by the turmoil created by the government's ham-handed handling of the dispute over the transfer of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture.
 米軍普天間飛行場移設問題などで露呈した民主党政権の「悪(あ)しき政治主導」の典型例と言える。

In December, the DPJ government decided not to include a reference to the Takeshima issue in a teacher's manual for high school geography lessons to be given under the education ministry's new course of study. Failure to say what Japan needs to say could be interpreted as a willingness by our government to make concessions on issues that could affect the foundation of the country.
 民主党政権は昨年12月にも、新学習指導要領の高校地理の解説書で竹島問題への言及を見送っている。このように、言うべきことを言わない対応を続けては、日本は国の根幹にかかわる問題でも譲歩すると見られかねない。

Takeshima belongs to Japan, both historically and under international law. South Korea is an important neighbor, but our government should not easily buckle to Seoul when dealing with territorial issues.
 竹島は、歴史的にも国際法上も日本の領土である。韓国は、日本にとって重要な隣国だが、領土問題で安易な妥協は禁物だ。

It is entirely possible for Japan to maintain proper relations with other countries despite a conflict over territorial problems. The government should pursue such a diplomatic approach.
 領土問題で主張が異なっても、2国間関係をきちんと維持することは十分可能なはずであり、そうした外交こそ追求すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 29, 2010)
(2010年7月29日01時08分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2010-07-30 05:59 | 英字新聞

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