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大統領竹島入り 日韓関係を悪化させる暴挙だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 13, 2012)
Lee's visit to Takeshima threatens Japan-S. Korea ties
大統領竹島入り 日韓関係を悪化させる暴挙だ(8月12日付・読売社説)

South Korean President Lee Myung Bak went ahead with a visit to the Takeshima islands in the Sea of Japan on Friday. The islets are part of Japan's sovereign territory but illegally occupied by South Korea.
 日本固有の領土で、韓国が不法占拠している竹島に、韓国の李明博大統領が上陸を強行した。

If a head of state visits an area of land whose sovereignty is also claimed by another country, the act can be considered provocative, as it blatantly disregards the other nation. It is inevitable that Lee's visit will erode the trust Japan and South Korea have built until now and cool bilateral relations.
 係争中の領土を一方の国家元首が踏めば、相手国を度外視した暴挙と言える。日韓関係も、これまで築いてきた信頼は損なわれ、冷却化は避けられない。

Soon after assuming the presidency, Lee focused on cultivating mature relations with Japan. He maintained a pragmatic, forward-looking stance and was dedicated to strengthening ties with his neighbor.
 李大統領は就任当初から「成熟した日韓関係」を重視してきた。実務的で未来志向が強く、日本との連携強化に熱心だった。

However, Lee spoiled his progressive reputation when he brought up the so-called comfort women issue again during talks with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in December last year. We cannot help but feel more disappointment over the South Korean president's latest indiscretion.
 だが、昨年12月の日韓首脳会談で従軍慰安婦問題を蒸し返し、高かった評価を帳消しにした。今回の大統領の短慮には、一層の失望を禁じ得ない。

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Japan should take firm stance

As territorial issues pertain to state sovereignty, the government should not treat Lee's visit lightly.
 領土問題は国の主権に関わる。ゆるがせにしてはならない。

Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba summoned the South Korean ambassador to Japan to file a complaint on the matter and temporarily recalled Japanese Ambassador to Seoul Masatoshi Muto. He also made clear the government's intention to refer the Takeshima issue to the International Court of Justice at The Hague. These were natural diplomatic countermoves.
 玄葉外相が、韓国の駐日大使を呼んで強く抗議し、武藤駐韓大使を一時帰国させた上で、国際司法裁判所に提訴する方針を表明したのは、当然の外交的措置だ。

Noda expressed his strong disapproval of Lee's visit, describing it as "totally unacceptable" and saying the government would "resolutely respond" to the incident.
 野田首相も「到底受け入れることはできない」と不快感を示し、「毅然(きぜん)とした対応」をとる方針を表明した。

The question remains as to how effective the government's response can really be.
問題は、どこまで実効性のある対応をとれるかだ。

The Takeshima islets, known as Dokdo in South Korea, are a symbol of independence and patriotism for South Koreans. However, the country's past presidents--even Lee's predecessor Roh Moo Hyun, who was known for having made many anti-Japan remarks--did not visit the disputed islands out of consideration for Japan and to prevent bilateral relations from deteriorating.
 韓国が「独島」と呼ぶ竹島は、韓国人にとっては独立・愛国の象徴的な存在だ。だが、歴代大統領は、反日的な発言が目立った盧武鉉前大統領ですら、訪問は控えてきた。日本との関係悪化を避けるための配慮があったからだ。

Lee has now crossed the line. The president, in an apparent bid to regain popularity in his last days of presidency, pulled out the anti-Japan card. Lee's leadership has come into question recently as his brother and various close aides have been arrested or resigned from their posts over corruption and other scandals.
 その一線を李大統領は越えた。政権末期で、金銭疑惑などによる実兄や側近らの相次ぐ逮捕、辞任によって求心力が著しく低下する中、人気回復を図ろうと「反日カード」を切った側面があろう。

South Korea's ruling camp might have felt pressured to show hostility toward Japan because opposition parties have been displaying a more confrontational stance against the nation as South Korea's presidential election approaches in December.
 12月には大統領選が行われる。野党側が反日色を強める中、与党陣営で何らかの対応を迫られていた事情もあるのかもしれない。

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Govt's leniency also to blame

Japan is also indirectly responsible for the incident. The Democratic Party of Japan-led government has been lenient in its diplomatic approach toward Russia over the disputed northern territories.
 だが、今回の事態を招いた遠因は、日本側にもある。民主党政権の対ロシア外交にみられる北方領土問題への対応の甘さだ。

The government was unable to prevent former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev from visiting Kunashiri Island, one of the four islets claimed by Japan, two years ago. It also failed to prevent his subsequent visit to the island in July after he became prime minister.
 2年前、当時の大統領だったメドベージェフ氏の国後島訪問を許した。今年7月には、首相となったメドベージェフ氏の再訪を防ぐことができなかった。

The government said it would take "appropriate steps" when Medvedev first visited the island. However, its later stance toward the issue failed to encourage Russia to exercise restraint.
 日本政府は「適切な対応をとる」と口にこそしたが、その後の展開はロシアの自制につながっていない。

It is only natural South Korea has exploited the fact that Japan's diplomatic relations with the United States and China have been faltering.
対米関係も対中関係も弱体化した日本が、韓国から足元を見られても不思議ではない。

It is also concerning that South Korea has been conducting military exercises near Takeshima in recent years. The government should monitor such developments to ensure they do not lead to the acceleration of the islands' position as a strategic military base, while also calling on Seoul to refrain from further provocations.
 懸念されるのは、韓国が竹島の周辺で近年、軍事訓練を行っていることだ。島の軍事化につながる動きなのか、注視するとともに、韓国には自制を強く求めたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 12, 2012)
(2012年8月12日01時36分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-08-14 06:41 | 英字新聞

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