終戦の日 平和な未来を築く思い新たに

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 16, 2010)
Renewing our pledge for peace in the future
終戦の日 平和な未来を築く思い新たに(8月15日付・読売社説)

Once again, Aug. 15 has arrived. It is the day on which the nation commemorates its war dead and renews its pledge for peace.
 今年も8月15日を迎えた。戦没者を追悼し平和への誓いを新たにする日である。

Sixty-five years have passed since the end of World War II. However, wars and regional conflicts continue around the world despite efforts by the United Nations and others for nuclear disarmament and peace negotiations. We have yet to see a clear path to global peace.
 第2次世界大戦が終わってから65年。国連を中心に核軍縮や紛争調停の努力が続けられているが、戦争や地域紛争は絶えることがなく、平和への道筋はなかなか見えてこない。

Looking back on the end of the war in the summer of 1945 means reflecting on the origins of postwar Japan, which pledged to follow the path of international cooperation.
 1945年の終戦の夏を顧みることは、国際協調の道を歩むことを誓った戦後日本の原点を問い直してみることでもあろう。

Today, the idea that the end of the war on Aug. 15 brought immediate peace to people's lives seems to have taken root in society.
 終戦と言えば、8月15日を区切りに平和な日々が始まったというイメージが定着している。

Last-minute aggression

However, the Soviet troops that had invaded Japanese-held Manchuria in northeastern China just a week earlier on Aug. 9, in violation of a neutrality pact with Japan, continued their combat operations even after Aug. 15.
 しかし、8月9日に日ソ中立条約を破って満州(現中国東北部)に侵攻を始めたソ連軍は、15日以降も進撃を続けた。

On Aug. 18, Soviet troops landed on Shumushu Island, the northernmost island in the Chishima group of islets, turning the island into a fierce battlefield between a garrison of the Imperial Japanese Army and the Soviet forces. Author Jiro Asada recently published a novel based on the battle, titled "Owarazaru Natsu" (Never-ending summer). The work helped the incident become more widely known to the public.
 18日には千島列島最北の占守(しゅむしゅ)島にソ連軍が上陸、日本軍守備隊との間で激しい戦闘が行われた。最近、これを素材にした浅田次郎氏の小説「終わらざる夏」が刊行されて、一般にも広く知られるようになった。

In Maokacho, a town in Sakhalin under Japanese rule, nine female telephone operators, who stayed on until the bitter end to maintain communications, killed themselves. A film called "Hyosetsu no Mon" (Gate of ice and snow), which is based on the tragedy and takes its title from the name of a monument in Hokkaido, has just been rereleased for the first time in 36 years.
 樺太(サハリン)の真岡町では、最後まで通信業務に携わっていた女性交換手9人が自決した。この悲劇を伝える映画「氷雪の門」も今夏、36年ぶりに劇場公開されている。

Under international law, Japan formally surrendered to the Allied Powers on Sept. 2, 1945, with a signing ceremony aboard the U.S. battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay. However, U.S. forces and most others stopped their attacks against Japan immediately after the Japanese government expressed its intention to accept the Potsdam Declaration on Aug. 14.
 国際法上は、日本が降伏文書に調印した9月2日に降伏は成立した。しかし、日本政府が8月14日にポツダム宣言の受諾を表明したのを受けて、アメリカ軍などはすみやかに攻撃を停止している。

However, the Soviet troops continued their invasion and occupied four islands off Hokkaido, including Kunashiri Island, that are historically an integral part of Japan.
 ソ連軍は侵攻を続け、日本固有の領土である国後島など北方4島を占拠した。

About 600,000 Japanese officers, soldiers and others were captured and sent to concentration camps in Siberia and other parts of the Soviet Union as prisoners of war and forced to engage in harsh labor. About 60,000 of them are believed to have died in concentration camps due to hunger and cold.
 日本軍将兵ら約60万人が捕虜としてシベリアなどの収容所に送られ、過酷な強制労働を強いられた。約6万人が飢えや寒さにより死亡した。

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russian President Boris Yeltsin in 1993 offered an apology for the detention in Siberia, calling it an "inhumane" act.
 シベリア抑留については、旧ソ連崩壊後の93年、ロシアのエリツィン大統領が「非人間的」な行為だったとして謝罪している。

Last month, however, Russia designated Sept. 2 as the anniversary of the end of World War II, effectively stipulating it as the day the former Soviet Union triumphed over Japan. The Russian move is seen as a response to Japan's demand that Russia return the four Russian-held islands off Hokkaido.
 しかし、ロシアは先月、日本が降伏文書に調印した9月2日を第2次世界大戦終結の記念日に定めた。事実上の「対日戦勝記念日」で、日本の北方領土返還要求をけん制したものでもあろう。

In light of such a move, Japan must be persistent in demanding that Russia return the islands.
 政府は、北方4島の返還を今後とも粘り強く要求していかなければならない。

Cruel atomic bombings

Another tragedy in the summer in 1945 was the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
 終戦の夏のもう一つの悲劇は、広島、長崎への原爆投下だ。

U.S. President Harry Truman insisted that the U.S. government had no choice other than dropping the atomic bombs on the two cities because Japan had refused to accept the Potsdam Declaration, which demanded unconditional surrender. However, the declaration was issued on July 26, the day after the president issued an order to drop the bombs.
 日本がポツダム宣言を拒否したために、やむなく原爆を投下したとトルーマン米大統領は主張していた。しかし、7月25日に原爆投下命令が出された後、翌26日にポツダム宣言は発表されている。

Yet, if the Japanese government had announced its intention to accept the declaration immediately after the announcement, it might have been possible to avoid the bombings. The then Japanese leaders wasted time, pinning too much hope on the possibility of Soviet mediations for peace.
 それでも、日本政府がポツダム宣言の受け入れを、間を置かず表明していれば、原爆投下を回避できたかもしれない。当時の日本の指導者は、ソ連仲介による和平工作に期待し、時間を空費した。

U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos became the first official U.S. representative to attend the Peace Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima on Aug. 6 this year. However, some in the United States criticized his attendance at the event, saying it could be interpreted as an "unsaid apology."
 今月6日、ルース駐日米大使は広島市の平和記念式典に米政府を代表して初めて参列した。それでも米国内からは「無言の謝罪と受け止められかねない」と批判の声が上がっている。

For the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama, who said the United States has a moral responsibility to lead as the only nation ever to have used a nuclear weapon, it must have been a delicate decision.
 核を使用した米国の道義的責任を認めたオバマ政権として、ぎりぎりの決断だったのだろう。

There are strong arguments in the United States that the dropping of the atomic bombs saved the lives of many Americans by avoiding battles on mainland Japan.
 米国では、「原爆投下で本土上陸作戦が回避されたことにより、多数の米国人の生命が救われた」とする主張が根強い。

However, the use of such cruel weapons deprived more than 200,000 citizens in Hiroshima and Nagasaki of their lives. The gravity of this fact cannot be erased.
 しかし、原爆という残虐な兵器の使用によって、20万人を超える広島、長崎の市民の生命が奪われた事実の重みは消えない。

Remember and reflect

Meanwhile, if Japan does not openly admit its own mistakes of the past and reflect on them, the country will not be able to win the confidence of the international community.
 一方で、日本も過去の誤りを率直に認め反省しなければ国際社会からの信頼は得られない。

Japan misunderstood the world situation of the time and entered a reckless war while becoming increasingly isolated in the international community. It brought immense tragedy to the peoples of China and other East Asian countries.
 日本は世界の情勢を見誤り、国際社会からの孤立を深めていく中で無謀な戦争を始めた。中国はじめ東アジアの人々にも多大の惨害をもたらした。

In 2005, taking the opportunity of the 60th anniversary of the end of the war, The Yomiuri Shimbun reexamined who was responsible for the Showa War.
 読売新聞では戦後60年を機に、昭和戦争の戦争責任の検証を行った。

(The Yomiuri coined the term "Showa War" in connection with its war responsibility series to describe the period of conflict lasting from the Manchurian Incident of 1931 to the end of World War II in 1945.)

As a result, many Class-A war criminals, including former Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, who were tried at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (also called the Tokyo Trial), were among those found to bear responsibility for the Showa War.
その結果、東条英機元首相ら極東国際軍事裁判(東京裁判)の「A級戦犯」の多くが、昭和戦争の責任者と重なった。

This year's Aug. 15 is the first time for the anniversary of the end of the war to be observed by a Democratic Party of Japan-led administration. Prime Minister Naoto Kan and all his Cabinet members were expected to shun the controversial visits to Yasukuni Shrine that have been made by some of their predecessors.
 今年は民主党政権になって初めての「終戦の日」でもある。菅内閣の閣僚全員が、靖国神社への参拝はしないという。

Kan said that he would not visit the Shinto shrine during his term of office, as Class-A war criminals are enshrined there.
 菅首相は、靖国神社に「A級戦犯」が合祀(ごうし)されているため、「首相在任中に参拝するつもりはない」と語っている。

In its policy platform announced last year, the DPJ expressed its intention to tackle the building of a new national memorial facility for the war dead. Full-scale discussion should begin with the aim of building a permanent facility where anyone can pay memorial tribute to the war dead without being troubled in mind.
 民主党は昨年の政策集で、新たな国立追悼施設の設置に取り組む考えを表明していた。誰もが、わだかまりなく戦没者を追悼できる恒久的施設の建立に向けて、本格的な議論を進めていくべきだ。

Also this year, the government was expected to hold its annual ceremony Sunday at the Nippon Budokan hall in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward to mourn the nation's war dead. Although years have passed, the war remains deep in the memories of the Japanese people, which are handed down from generation to generation.
 今年も東京・九段の日本武道館で、政府主催の全国戦没者追悼式が行われる。歳月は流れたが、戦争の記憶は日本人の胸に深く刻まれ、語り継がれている。

We hope that Aug. 15 will be a day to renew our determination to take assertive steps for world peace, seeking international cooperation and taking history into account.
 「終戦の日」は、過去の歴史を踏まえつつ、国際協調の下、世界平和のため積極的に行動する決意を新たにする日にしたい。

By doing so, we would surely carry out the wishes of those who died in the war.
 そのことが先の大戦で亡くなった人々の遺志を生かすことにもなるはずである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 15, 2010)
(2010年8月15日01時10分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2010-08-16 05:20 | 英字新聞

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