社説:震災1年・未来のために 「NPO革命」を進めよう

(Mainichi Japan) March 11, 2012
Editorial: Japan must lead in NPO revolution
社説:震災1年・未来のために 「NPO革命」を進めよう

We have reached the one-year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami -- let us pray once again for the souls of those who lost their lives to the disaster, and for the recovery of the devastated Tohoku region and Japan as a nation.
 東日本大震災の発生から、きょうで1年を迎えた。改めて多くの犠牲者の冥福を祈るとともに東北、そして日本の復興を誓う日としたい。

The fact that victims deeply affected by the disasters and the ensuing nuclear crisis have made it this far despite the sluggish response of the central government is a testament to their perseverance and the backbreaking efforts of local governments. There is, in addition, another contributing factor: an unprecedented influx of donations from across the country, and continued assistance provided by various organizations. Of that, we should be proud.
 国の政治がもたつきながらも、どうにかしのいできたのは被災者のみなさんの忍耐強さと地元自治体の努力があったからだ。さらにもう一つ見逃せない点がある。全国からかつてない巨額の寄付が寄せられる一方、今もさまざまな支援活動が続いていることだ。私たちはそれをもっと誇っていい。

Seventeen years have passed since the Great Hanshin Earthquake struck Kobe and Japan witnessed a full-scale emergence of volunteerism. The range of activities that are now being undertaken by volunteers and organizations -- not limited only to the removal of debris or distribution of food and clothing -- is striking.
 「ボランティア元年」と言われた阪神大震災から今年で17年。被災地でがれき処理を手伝ったり、食料や衣料を配るだけでなく、活動範囲の広がりは目を見張るほどだ。

 ◇官・民の壁を超えて

A major pillar of continued support to disaster-struck northeastern Japan has been nonprofit organizations (NPOs).
 その重要な担い手がNPOだ。

Fukushima Kids, for example, offers sleepaway camps for children from Fukushima Prefecture, where the nuclear crisis has yet to be brought under control. The children are invited to stay in Hokkaido and other areas of Japan -- where they are free to play outside without fear of radiation exposure -- during their school holidays. Last summer and this past winter, 518 and 190 children, respectively, participated in the program, away from home and their parents. Preparations are underway for another round during the upcoming spring break. Various NPOs, private companies and local governments have cooperated to make this program possible, and the amount of donations has reached approximately 80 million yen.
 例えば、原発事故の影響を今も受ける福島県の子供を夏休みと冬休みの長期間、北海道など各地で受け入れて林間学校を開いた「ふくしまキッズ」。夏は518人、冬も190人の小中学生が親元を離れて参加し、今は近く始まる春休みの準備が進む。多くのNPOと企業、自治体が協力し、これまで集まった寄付金は約8000万円にもなる。

In the program, volunteer college students look after the children on a day-to-day basis. As soon as organizers started seeking volunteers in the spring, some 200 students applied. In addition to college students, some high school students also offer their services, coming in to help when they don't have classes at school.
 子供の世話をするのは主に学生ボランティアだ。春の活動にも瞬く間に約200人が応募。大学生だけでなく補習授業の合間に手伝いに来る高校生もいる。

One of the program's founders and its director, Hirohiko Yoshida, 59, recalls the painful memories of trying to set up a similar program when Mount Oyama on Miyakejima Island erupted in 2000, leading to the evacuation of the island's residents. The program did not last long then, and because of this, Yoshida is even more determined to make the current program a success.
発起人の一人、NPO「教育支援協会」の吉田博彦代表理事(59)は、00年の三宅島噴火の時も同じ試みをしながら長続きしなかった苦い経験を持つ。

"We're going to keep this going for at least five years. We can't just complain (and hope that someone else will do something)," Yoshida says. "We want to nurture children who become the future of Fukushima."
それだけに「5年は続ける。誰かに文句を言うだけではいけない。福島の未来を担う子供を育てたい」と話す。

Last summer, Katariba, a nonprofit organization run by people in their 20s and 30s, set up a free "collaborative school" in the Miyagi Prefecture town of Onagawa, which suffered catastrophic damage from the March 2011 tsunami. It hires cram-school teachers who lost their jobs due to the disasters, and is also supported by volunteer college students and former Onagawa residents living in the Tokyo metropolitan area who have taken a leave of absence from their jobs to offer their support. The instructors use empty rooms in an elementary school to teach about 200, or roughly one-third, of the town's elementary and junior high school students.
 20代、30代の若者が運営するNPO「カタリバ」は、津波で壊滅的被害を受けた宮城県女川町で昨夏、無料の学習塾「女川向学館」を始めた。小学校の空き教室を利用し、震災で職を失った塾講師を雇用する一方、休職して首都圏から駆けつけた同町出身の会社員やボランティア大学生らが町の小中学生全体の3分の1に当たる約200人を教える。

The key to this set-up is full-on collaboration between the NPO and the Onagawa Municipal Government, as well as the local board of education and schools -- which have traditionally been in competition with so-called cram schools. Parents have also been approaching the group recently to ask how they can help.
 女川町役場、そして従来、塾とは競合してきた地元教育委員会と学校が全面的にNPOとコラボ(協同)しているのがミソだ。最近は親たちも「何かできることはないか」と協力を申し出るようになった。

"When the children who have experienced the disasters overcome their hardships, they're going to be stronger and more compassionate than most people," says Katariba director and Tokyo resident Kumi Imamura, 32, who has been spending most of each month in the disaster areas. "Our job is to provide them with learning opportunities that will help them become those people."
 東京を離れ、月の大半を現地で暮らすカタリバの今村久美代表理事(32)は「震災の試練を経験した子供たちは、もしそれを乗り越えたなら誰よりも強く優しくなれるはず。私たちの役目はそのための学習機会を作ってあげること」という。

Last December, Katariba opened their second "collaborative school" in the Iwate Prefecture town of Otsuchi. The organization promotes learning without depending entirely on local governments or schools -- a set-up that is slowly beginning to take root.
昨年12月には岩手県大槌町に2校目も開校した。役所や学校任せにしない新しい学びの形が生まれつつある。

Upon learning that autistic children affected by the disasters were having difficulties at evacuation centers, Hiromoto Toeda, 43, director of Musou, a social welfare corporation based in Aichi Prefecture, and Yusuke Ohara, 32, director of nonprofit organization Yuyu based in Hokkaido, moved into action. With volunteer students in tow, they descended upon Tanohata village in Iwate Prefecture, and tried to launch a daycare service for children with disabilities. Iwate prefectural officials, however, were unenthusiastic about the endeavor, saying that there were only five children requesting such care in the entire prefecture.
 愛知県半田市の社会福祉法人「むそう」の戸枝陽基理事長(43)と北海道当別町のNPO「ゆうゆう」の大原裕介理事長(32)は震災直後、「自閉症児らが避難所で苦労している」と聞き、学生らを連れて岩手県田野畑村に駆けつけた。障害児や家族を支援する児童デイサービスを始めようとしたが、当初、県の担当者は「県全体でも5人しか希望者がいない」と渋ったという。

However, when Toeda and Ohara began daycare services anyway without the support of local government bodies, over 20 children in a village of around 4,000 people began using them. Users were happy with the program for closely catering to the needs of individual children, leading to the launch of a similar program in the Iwate Prefecture city of Miyako, which also has over 20 participants. Many local residents have said that they were not aware of such programs, and now the local government has changed its position and is set to officially place the programs under its jurisdiction.
 ところが戸枝さんらが自主的に活動を始めると人口約4000人の同村だけでも20人以上が利用。障害特性に合った活動が評判を呼び、同県宮古市で始めた事業も20人以上が利用する。地元では「こんなサービスがあるとは知らなかった」と多くの人がいう。今では行政も協力し、近く正式に役所の事業となる予定だ。

 ◇政治が頼りないのなら

Local governments had heretofore viewed NPOs as contractors, but the growing trend of the private sector taking action ahead of public bodies is hard to ignore.
 今まで行政側には「NPOは下請け」の意識があったのは事実だ。だが、こうして「民」が「官」をリードする動きも広がっている。

Due to a law revision last year, taxpayers can get back up to 50 percent of a donation to an NPO from the national or municipal governments. This, too, is a huge step forward.
 昨年の法改正でNPO法人に寄付をすれば最大で国や自治体から寄付額の5割近い税金が戻ってくるようになった。これも大きな前進だ。

Collecting taxes and making decisions on how they are used was originally the job of the national and local governments. However, public bodies are not the only ones responsible for the public sector. The involvement of nonprofit organizations into education and social welfare is gradually becoming the norm. Members of the public are increasingly donating money to NPOs that they would prefer to support over public bodies, receiving tax deductions in return. Though still in the beginning stages, this signals an era in which we get to choose how our tax money is spent.
 税金を徴収し、使い道を決めるのは従来、政府や自治体の仕事だった。だが、公共を担うのは官だけではない。教育や福祉などNPOの活動は拡大し定着してきている。そんな中、国民それぞれが「役所より、このNPOを応援したい」と寄付をし、減税される。それは一部とはいえ税金の使い道を国民自らが選択できる時代になったことを意味する。

The Japanese government's general account budget is approximately 90 trillion yen. Suppose 10 trillion yen in donations are made in a year, with NPOs taking charge of increasingly more in the public sector without being bogged down by the sectionalism of the bureaucracy, while overcoming community and generational boundaries. Imagine that. The government will slim down considerably, inevitably bringing changes to the Diet.
 国の一般会計予算は約90兆円。仮に寄付金が年に10兆円に上り、役所の縦割りや地域、世代の壁を超えてNPOが活躍する社会を想像してみよう。行政は一気にスリム化され、国会もおのずと変容するはずだ。

Let us call this the "NPO revolution." Of course, continued recovery from the triple disasters requires further support from the public. With politics at a standstill, each and every one of us must take action and do what we can. Over the past few years, the idea that others' happiness leads to one's own happiness has been gathering momentum among our youth. This is certainly a foundation on which a revolution can be built.
 私たちはこれを「NPO革命」と呼んでみたい。もちろん震災支援を継続させるには、今後ますます国民の後押しが必要だ。しかし政治が立ち止まっているのなら、一人一人が自分のできることから動き始めるしかない。この数年、特に若い世代の間に「他人の幸せになることが自分の幸せになる」という機運が広がっている。「革命」の土壌はある。

We will never forget the day that filled the entire country with untold sadness and shattered our values -- including our belief in the "safety" of nuclear power. From here on out, let us imagine a future in which Japan leads the world in realizing a new "public" society.
 日本中が悲しみに包まれ、「原発安全神話」をはじめ、これまでの価値観が崩れ去ったあの日を私たちは忘れない。そして、これからはまったく新しい「公共社会」を日本が実現させて世界をリードする。そんな未来を思い描こう。

毎日新聞 2012年3月11日 2時30分
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by kiyoshimat | 2012-03-12 02:42 | 英字新聞

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