在沖縄米軍基地 負担減を普天間移設の一歩に

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 27, 2011)
Slowly but surely, ease Okinawa's burden
在沖縄米軍基地 負担減を普天間移設の一歩に(1月26日付・読売社説)

Slow but steady efforts must be made to reduce the burden shouldered by residents of Okinawa Prefecture in hosting U.S. military bases there, a task that needs to be fulfilled to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in the prefecture.
 米軍基地負担の軽減策を地道に積み重ね、普天間飛行場の移設実現につなげねばなるまい。

On Tuesday, the national and prefectural governments held another round of talks on policy issues related to U.S. bases. At a section meeting on how to alleviate the burden of hosting bases, the central government reported on the recent agreement reached between Tokyo and Washington over a plan to transfer some exercises involving fighter planes from Kadena Air Base in the prefecture to Guam. The accord can be viewed as an effort to ease the suffering endured by residents due to noise pollution from the Kadena facility.
 政府と沖縄県による沖縄政策協議会の米軍基地負担軽減部会で、政府は、嘉手納基地の戦闘機訓練の一部をグアムに移転するとの日米合意を報告した。周辺住民の騒音被害の軽減を図るものだ。

Also in Tuesday's meeting, the government told prefectural and other officials it was shifting into high gear in negotiations with the U.S. administration over an earlier bilateral accord on the Gimbaru Training Area. The government emphasized its determination to ensure that the agreement, reached on the return of the training site to Japan in 1996, would be implemented in July.
 1996年に日米が合意していたギンバル訓練場の全面返還についても、政府は、今年7月の実現を目指し、米側との交渉を本格化させていると説明した。

There is no question that residents of Okinawa Prefecture have long been forced to endure an excessive burden, providing an overwhelming 75 percent of the land occupied by U.S. military bases and other facilities in this country.
 在日米軍基地の75%が集中する沖縄が、過重な負担を強いられていることは論をまたない。

Meanwhile, the significance of the U.S. armed presence in the prefecture is even greater today, given the severity of the recent security environment surrounding Japan and East Asia.
一方で、最近の日本と東アジアの安全保障環境は厳しく、米軍が沖縄に駐留する意義は大きくなっている。

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Even small steps important

The latest agreement on the transfer of some exercises from the Kadena base, as well as the envisaged return of the Gimbaru site, point to the significance of making even the slightest headway in reducing the burden on the prefecture and obtaining support and cooperation for these actions from local residents. Doing so is indispensable for securing U.S. forces' stable use of military installations in the prefecture.
 今回のような訓練移転や施設返還を通じて、沖縄の負担軽減を一歩でも進め、周辺住民の理解を広げることは、米軍基地の安定使用を確保するうえで欠かせない。

The Japanese government must continue to explore various ways of alleviating the burden born by residents in the prefecture and eventually achieve those goals.
 政府は引き続き、様々な基地負担軽減策を追求し、実現していくことが求められよう。

Since last month, Prime Minister Naoto Kan and several Cabinet members associated with the base issue have visited Okinawa Prefecture.
 先月以降、菅首相や関係閣僚の沖縄訪問が相次いでいる。

This comes after the Kan administration was often inclined to put off dealing with all intractable base-related problems, so we believe his government merits praise for beginning to seriously address the issue of U.S. bases in the prefecture.
 菅政権は従来、難題をすべて先送りする姿勢が目立っていたが、沖縄の米軍基地問題に真剣に取り組み始めたこと自体は、前向きな動きと評価していい。

There is no doubt that the relocation of the Futenma installation is the most important task for the government in resolving the base issue.
 無論、最も重要なのが普天間飛行場の移設問題である。

It will be no easy task for the Kan administration to make sure the prefectural government retracts its continued demand that the Futenma heliport be relocated outside the prefecture. Still, it is essential for it to make progress in resolving the Futenma dispute, a task that must be accomplished to help reduce the burden shouldered by residents near the heliport and restore trust in the Japan-U.S. alliance.
 沖縄県側は、「県外移設」を主張しており、翻意させるのは簡単ではない。だが、普天間飛行場周辺住民の負担軽減と、日米同盟の信頼性回復の両方の観点から、問題を前進させることが大切だ。

With this in mind, the government must earnestly work to ease the burden shouldered by the prefecture as a whole and at the same time promote the development--economic, industrial and otherwise--of the prefecture, thus mending its tattered relations with local leaders and residents. This should be complemented by persistent efforts to persuade them to accept the government plan to relocate the Futenma base within the prefecture.
 沖縄県全体の負担軽減や沖縄振興に誠実に取り組み、地元との関係を着実に修復する。そのうえで、普天間飛行場の県内移設について粘り強く説得を重ねる――。

All this is an obligation to be fulfilled by the Democratic Party of Japan-led government, which has created the current difficult situation involving the Futenma controversy.
 それが、普天間問題の困難な現状を招いた民主党政権のとるべき道であり、責任だろう。

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Cabinet needs united voice

It is disturbing to see that Cabinet ministers related to the base issue are far from united in addressing the Futenma dispute.
 疑問なのは、関係閣僚の足並みが乱れていることだ。

Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara is hurrying to obtain a final government decision about matters related to the construction of an alternative facility for Futenma. For instance, he has reportedly insisted on dropping one of two alternatives presented in an earlier report compiled by specialists from the Japanese and U.S. governments concerning how to arrange runways at a planned new airfield, and called for adopting the other as the construction method for the project.
The report proposed two possible construction methods--one requiring two runways to be placed in a V-shaped configuration, and the other designed to build an extended runway in what is called the I-shaped format.
Maehara's approach is apparently aimed at laying the groundwork for a successful trip to the United States by the prime minister in the spring.
 前原外相は、V字案とI字案がある滑走路配置方式の一本化など、普天間飛行場の代替施設計画の決定を急いでいる。今春の菅首相訪米の環境整備が狙いである。

The foreign minister's stance contrasts with the negative view expressed about his idea by Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa. "I will not adopt a crude approach in which the Japanese and U.S. governments bypass Okinawa in making decisions," Kitazawa has said.
 だが、北沢防衛相は、「沖縄の頭越しで日米が物事を決める稚拙な対応はしない」と否定的だ。

It should be remembered that the Futenma issue became utterly confused partly because members of former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's Cabinet repeatedly expressed different positions. Kan needs to ensure that Cabinet members related to the issue of relocating Futenma speak with one voice.
 閣僚がバラバラな言動を繰り返したことが、鳩山前政権が普天間問題を迷走させた一因だった。菅首相は、早期に関係閣僚の意思統一を図る必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 26, 2011)
(2011年1月26日01時17分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2011-01-27 06:04 | 英字新聞

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