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社説:論調観測 耐性試験 原発の安全、内閣の危機

(Mainichi Japan) July 11, 2011
Time to focus on nuclear power plant issue, not political battles
社説:論調観測 耐性試験 原発の安全、内閣の危機

Ideally, life would be safe, comfortable and prosperous, all at once.
 安全で快適で豊かな生活ができればそれに越したことはないが、

If it is far too difficult to realize all three simultaneously, however, we must close our eyes to some things and place priority on others.
それらを同時に満たすのが難しければ、何かに目をつぶり何かを優先するしかない。

In response to Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Banri Kaieda's announcement last month that the Genkai Nuclear Power Plant in Saga Prefecture was confirmed safe enough to resume its operations, many major Japanese newspapers were skeptical, with the Mainichi arguing that "discussion on nuclear safety was still lacking," the Asahi Shimbun newspaper calling on the government to "not rush to restart nuclear reactors," and the Tokyo Shimbun declaring that a "premature resumption of operations would be problematic."
Meanwhile, the Sankei Shimbun spoke from the standpoint of concern for power shortages, saying: "We welcome the fact that we are heading in the direction of restarting the Genkai plant."
 海江田万里経済産業相の安全宣言と玄海原発運転再開への動きに対し、安全優先の立場からは「安全への議論足りない」(毎日)、「運転再開は焦らずに」(朝日)、「見切り“再開”では困る」(東京)と批判が目立ち、電力不足を懸念する立場からは「再稼働の動きを歓迎する」(産経)との主張が見られたことを先週の本欄は紹介した。

Since then, the Kan administration has done an about-face, announcing the decision to conduct stress tests on all nuclear power plants and bringing the relaunch of operations at the Genkai plant back to square one.
 その後、菅政権は一転して全原発に耐性試験を課すことを決め、玄海原発の再開も白紙に戻った。

Reacting to the news, a Mainichi editorial said: "Though questions remain about the circumstances that led to the decision, at least it is a step toward confirming the safety of the nation's nuclear power plants."
毎日は「ここに至った経過にも疑問は残るが、各原発の安全性を評価する上で一歩前進だ」と主張したが、

The Sankei, however, criticized the government's change in policy, demanding that it "stop messing around with the issue of resuming nuclear power plant operations."
産経は「再稼働問題もてあそぶな」と批判した。

Both arguments make sense, considering the tone of the two dailies up until then.
それまでの論調からすれば当然の流れであろう。

What has complicated the respective newspapers' arguments is the pathetic state of communication within the Cabinet, with Prime Minister Naoto Kan taking the lead in the policy reversal and Economy Minister Kaieda, who lost face in the process, hinting at his own resignation.
 各紙の論を複雑にしているのは、方針転換が菅直人首相の主導で行われ、メンツをつぶされた海江田経産相が辞任を示唆するなど、閣内の意思疎通を欠いたお粗末さによる。

"Even if there is value to the proposed stress tests, the lack of consistency among government officials as exhibited by Kan and Kaieda only leads to the public's distrust toward the government," a Mainichi editorial posited.
毎日は「テスト自体に意義があっても、こうした一貫性のなさは国民の不信につながる」と指摘。

The Asahi similarly pointed out that "Even if leaders show a good direction, politics will not move forward if they cannot properly advance an initiative and the team falls apart.
朝日は「せっかく良い方向性を示しても、進め方が下手でチームが壊れれば、政治は動かない。

It means the end of an administration." The Yomiuri Shimbun, meanwhile, harshly suggested: "Everyone in the political world should find a way to bring an end to the Kan administration as soon as possible."
それは政権の終わりを意味する」と断じ、読売は「菅政権に一刻も早く終止符を打つ手立てを政界全体で考えるべきである」とさらに厳しい。

It is not as if criticism toward the prime minister is a recent development, but the confusion over the safety of nuclear power plants emerged as Kan was already being chastised from both opposition parties and ruling coalition members for recruiting upper house legislator Kazuyuki Hamada from the opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), and the prime minister was being pressured to take responsibility for appointing Ryu Matsumoto to the post of reconstruction minister -- a rocky tenure that ended with Matsumoto's resignation on his ninth day on the job.
 首相批判は今に始まったわけではないが、折しも浜田和幸議員の一本釣りで野党だけでなく与党内からも批判を浴び、就任9日目で辞めた松本龍前復興担当相についても任命責任を問われているさなかである。

It should be pointed out, however, that going back a bit in newspaper editorials, one sees that some papers -- including the Mainichi -- have condemned mere criticism of the prime minister without offering an alternative figure to take his place.
 ただ、各紙論調を少し上流にさかのぼると、菅首相の即時辞任を叫ぶ流れと、私たち毎日のように「代案(後任)の旗もあげず批判するだけではだめだ」とする流れがあることも指摘しておきたい。

Four of the most recent Japanese prime ministers only served for about a year each.
わが国の首相はここ4代続けて1年前後しかもっていない。

One after another, they started off with high ratings but soon found themselves awash in criticism.
高支持率で船出しても批判の濁流にのまれての辞任を繰り返してきた。

In addition, we now see no end in sight to the ongoing nuclear crisis, and rebuilding efforts in disaster-stricken areas have yet to take off.
しかも、今回は原発事故の収束も被災地の復興も見えていない中である。

One gets the sense that the consumer habit of seeking things that prove useful right now and throwing out everything that does not fulfill that desire right away, is having an effect in various arenas.
 すぐに役立ちそうなものを求め、だめと思えば使い捨てる。そのような消費習慣がいろんな所に影響しているようにも思える。

Shouldn't we be focusing and deliberating the issue of resuming nuclear power plant operations?
本来は原発再稼働に焦点を絞って議論すべき時ではないか。

It's unfortunate that everything gets mired in politics.
何もかも政局絡みになってしまうのは残念だ。

(By Kazuhiro Nozawa, Editorial Writer)
【論説委員・野沢和弘】

毎日新聞 2011年7月10日 東京朝刊
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by kiyoshimat | 2011-07-13 07:14 | 英字新聞

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