(社説)諫早湾干拓 有明海再生は開門から

June 16, 2014
EDITORIAL: Open floodgates to restore the Ariake Sea
(社説)諫早湾干拓 有明海再生は開門から

The government is being forced to pay 490,000 yen (about $4,900) to plaintiffs per day as a penalty because it is not abiding by a finalized court ruling.
 確定した判決に従わない政府が、罰として1日あたり49万円を原告に支払うことになった。

Needless to say, the fine is coming out of taxpayer money. The unbelievable penalty stems from a 2010 Fukuoka High Court ruling.
 いうまでもなく、国民の税金である。耳を疑うような公金支出のもとになったのは、2010年の福岡高裁判決だった。

In 1997, Nagasaki Prefecture’s Isahaya Bay, located in the western part of the Ariake Sea in the Kyushu region, was closed off from the sea by a wall of floodgates for a government land reclamation project. As a result, a wide area of tidal land disappeared.
 舞台は九州・有明海の西部、長崎県の諫早湾。国の干拓事業で17年前、湾が堤防で閉め切られ、広大な干潟が消えた。

The 2010 court ruling ordered the government to open some of the floodgates within three years to assess the impact the opening will have on the environment in the sea. Though the deadline for the opening came in December 2013, the government has yet to comply.
 判決は、有明海の環境変化を見きわめるため、堤防の排水門を3年以内に開くよう命じた。しかし、政府は昨年12月に期限が来ても開門しなかった。

Subsequently, the plaintiffs, many of whom are engaged in the local fishing industry, filed a petition with a court to require the government to abide by the ruling. As a result, the fine was assessed until the government complied.
 そこで原告の漁業者らは裁判所に申し立てをし、判決に従うよう促す強制金が決まった。

Why does the government refuse to comply? The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries says that the Nagasaki prefectural government and people engaged in farming the reclaimed land are opposed to the opening of the gates.
 なぜ判決に従わないのか。地元の長崎県や干拓地の営農者らが開門に反対しているからだ、と農林水産省はいう。

In November 2013, the Nagasaki District Court issued an injunction that sided with the farmers’ request barring the opening of the floodgates. The farmers also filed a petition to force the government to comply with the court's decision. Their demand that the government be forced to pay 490,000 yen to the plaintiffs per day if it opens the gates was also approved by the court.
 なるほど、営農者らが訴えた開門差し止めは、昨年11月に長崎地裁で認められた。営農者らもその決定が守られるよう申し立て、開門すれば政府が1日49万円を払うことも認められた。

Whether it opens the floodgates or not, the government has to pay a penalty. Saying, “Opening the floodgates or being prohibited from opening the floodgates, we cannot take sides on the two opposing positions,” the government is caught in a dilemma.
 どちらに転んでも強制金。「開門と開門禁止。二つの義務の一方には立てない」と、政府は板挟みを演じている。

However, behind the conflicting court rulings is the government’s stubborn stance.
 だが、そもそも裁判所の判断が割れた背景には、政府のかたくなな姿勢があった。

The government has yet to acknowledge the causal relationship between the closing of the bay and damage to the local fishing industry. The stance worked to the disadvantage of people engaged in fishing in the hearings at the Nagasaki District Court.
 高裁判決が認めた漁業被害と湾閉め切りの因果関係を、政府は今も認めない。それが長崎地裁の審理のなかで漁業者側の不利にはたらいた。

It is futile to spend more time for arguments in courts. It is the time to leave the judicial system for now and turn attention to the situation in the bay.
 これ以上、司法論争に時間を費やすのは不毛である。ここは訴訟合戦から一度離れ、現場に目を向けるべきだ。

In the huge reservoir set up in the closed bay, the water quality has deteriorated, where noxious blue-green algae is being generated in large quantities every year. When the water level in the reservoir rises, the water there is discharged outside the closed bay. As a result, the reservoir has become a source of pollution in the Ariake Sea.
 干潟をつぶしてできた調整池では水質が悪化し、毎年有毒のアオコが大量発生する。水位が上がると湾へ流すため、池が有明海の汚染源になり果てた。

After the bay was closed, benthos, such as lugworms, decreased sharply in the entire Ariake Sea. Some researchers show that the decrease could be one of the causes of the damage to the fisheries industry.
 湾閉め切り後、有明海全域でゴカイなどの底生生物が激減した。これが漁業不振の一因では、と指摘する研究もある。

In 2002, the agriculture ministry opened the floodgates for a short period. Then, the number of benthos increased sharply in less than a month. If seawater is allowed to flow into the reservoir, part of the purification function of the tidal land will be restored. As a result, a way to improve the environment in the reservoir and the Ariake Sea will be gained.
 農水省は02年に短期開門調査をしている。1カ月弱で底生生物は一時的に急増した。池に海水を入れれば、干潟の浄化機能の一部がよみがえり、環境改善のヒントが見えてくるはずだ。

Opponents of opening the gates say that if they are opened, the livelihoods of farmers will be damaged. However, the ministry is showing confidence in measures to prevent adverse effects. If farmers have anxieties over these preventative steps, the ministry will be able to strengthen the measures.
 開門反対派は、開門すれば農業に支障が出る、と恐れる。だが、農水省は対策に自信を示している。不安ならば、さらに対策を強化すればいい。

What we cannot understand is the Nagasaki prefectural government's insistence on continuing to refuse even discussions on opening the floodgates. How much longer will it allow the conflict between local people to continue?
 理解に苦しむのは、開門の話し合いさえ拒み続ける長崎県の対応だ。地域の対立要因をいつまで放置するつもりなのか。

Now is the time for all the people concerned to combine their wisdom toward the restoration of the environment in the Ariake Sea and reconciliation between local people.
 有明海の環境再生と、地元の和解へ向けて関係者全員が真剣に知恵を結集するときだ。

--The Asahi Shimbun, June 15
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2014-06-17 12:36 | 英字新聞

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