アザデガン油田―撤退を新戦略に生かそう

--The Asahi Shimbun, Oct. 4 (2010/10/05)
EDITORIAL: Oil field diplomacy
アザデガン油田―撤退を新戦略に生かそう

A major turning point has come for the government's energy security policy. This policy has been based on the conviction that Japan needs to be actively involved in the development of oil fields overseas in order to secure a stable supply of energy for itself at home.
 日本のエネルギー安全保障には開発で主導権を持つ「日の丸油田」が必須、としてきた政策が転機を迎えた。

In a move symbolic of the shift, a government-affiliated Japanese oil company has decided to withdraw altogether from a project to develop the Azadegan oil field in southwestern Iran.
イランのアザデガン油田から日本企業が完全撤退する方針を固めたことはその象徴である。

In 2004, the predecessor of Inpex Corp. acquired a 75-percent stake in the Iranian oil field, which is believed to be one of the biggest in the world, beating out European and Chinese competitors. As suspicions grew that Iran was developing nuclear weapons, however, Japan reduced its stake to 10 percent in 2006 in response to U.S. concerns about the Tehran's nuclear ambitions.
 2004年に欧州勢や中国との競争に勝ち、世界最大級とされるこの油田の権益の75%を国際石油開発(現国際石油開発帝石)が確保した。その後イランの核兵器開発疑惑で米国に配慮し、06年に権益を10%に縮小した。

Now, Tokyo has decided to pull out of the oil drilling project under intensified pressure from Washington, which is stepping up its sanctions against Iran.
今回は制裁を強める米国の要請を受け、全面撤退となった。

The withdrawal from this oil project is an unfortunate but inevitable result of Iran's refusal to take convincing actions to ease international concerns about its nuclear program.
 撤退は残念だが、イランの核疑惑が晴れない以上、やむをえない。

The importance of the Azadegan oil field for Japan's energy strategy has significantly decreased.
すでにアザデガン油田の意義は小さくなっていた。

Given declining oil consumption at home and the growing trend toward a low-carbon society, it is important for Japan to make a levelheaded response to the situation and use the lessons from the experience for its future energy strategy.
石油消費が減少に向かっている国内情勢や将来の低炭素社会も考えて冷静に受け止め、今後のエネルギー戦略に生かすべきだ。

Japan's efforts for energy security should now focus on becoming a member of an international network of countries that share information about oil through joint development projects and supply resources to each other.
 今後は共同開発などで石油をめぐる情報を確保しつつ、資源を融通し合う国際ネットワークの一員としての資格を得るようにしたい。

This strategy requires Japan to use its energy-related technologies and funds to expand its cooperation with oil-producing countries.
そのためにエネルギー関連技術や資金を活用し、産油国との連携を深めることが必要だ。

It is also important to accelerate efforts to develop a wide variety of energy sources including natural gas and other renewable energies.
 天然ガスや自然エネルギーの活用を含む多角的なエネルギー開発を加速させることも大切である。

Only by continuing such efforts, can Japan find an effective way to help ensure that natural resource markets will perform their core functions properly in this age of globalization.
そうした努力を続けてこそ、グローバルな時代の資源市場の機能を維持するために、日本が貢献できる道が見えてくる。

The grim geopolitical realities highlighted by the withdrawal demand that Japan redouble its efforts to revitalize its independent diplomacy in the Middle East.
 中東での独自外交の立て直しも、今回の撤退に示された厳しい状況を踏まえて進めたい。

Iran is the fourth-largest oil supplier for Japan, which has maintained a friendly relationship with the country even after the Islamic Revolution in 1979 led to the breakdown of Tehran's diplomatic relations with Washington.
 イランは日本にとって第4の原油供給国であり、1979年のイスラム革命後に米国とイランが国交断絶した後も、日本は友好関係をつないできた。

But Japan's diplomacy has failed to exert any significant influence on the issue of Iran's nuclear ambitions.
しかし、これまでの日本の外交は、イランの核問題に対して何ら有効な影響力を持ち得なかった。

This summer, the United States lodged no opposition to a Russian state-run nuclear power company's move to start operating a reactor in Iran.
 米国は今夏、ロシアの国営原子力企業がイランで原子炉を稼働させることを認めた。

In contrast, the U.S. administration has pressed Japan to abandon its involvement in the oil field development in Iran. This underscores the limitation of Japan's independent diplomacy.
それと対照的に日本に撤退を求めたことは、日本の独自外交の限界の表れでもある。

Most of the rights in the Azadegan oil field that Japan has abandoned have been acquired by Chinese companies.
 これまでに日本が放棄したアザデガン油田の権益の大部分は、中国企業が取得した。

The United States, Russia and China, a relatively new diplomatic player in the region, are jockeying for influence in Iran. This diplomatic game is being played out across the Middle East.
イランに対して米国、ロシア、そして新参の中国が影響力でしのぎを削るという構図は、中東全体にもあてはまると考えるべきだろう。

Japan lacks the ability to pursue a national strategy in the Middle East like a major power. The sooner Tokyo acknowledges this reality, the sooner it can figure out what it can do by way of policy in the region.
 日本は、中東で大国のように国家戦略を遂行できる力を持っていない。その現実を認識した上で、今後何ができるかを考える必要がある。

It could serve Japan's diplomatic interest to put on a delicate balancing act from time to time to keep some distance in the region from U.S. diplomacy, which tends to be tilted toward strong-arm tactics including the deployment of armed forces.
 中東では、軍事力の行使を含め強圧的な対応に陥りがちな米国と、時にはうまく距離をとることも賢い外交ではあるまいか。

Meanwhile, Japan needs to do more to build relations based on mutual trust with oil-producing countries through contributions in such areas as technological aid and social development.
一方で、産油国などには技術援助や社会開発の分野でもっと貢献し、信頼関係を築くことだ。

Japan should not spare any effort to become a country that is needed in the Middle East.
 中東に必要とされる国になるための努力を惜しんではならない。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2010-10-06 07:00 | 英字新聞

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