大陸棚延長 戦略的に海洋資源を開発せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Tap Japan’s extended continental shelf for strategic development of resources
大陸棚延長 戦略的に海洋資源を開発せよ

A move has been taken that is highly important for further consolidating Japan’s status as a maritime nation.
 海洋立国としての立場を一段と強固にするうえで、重要な前進だ。

The government has decided to lay down an ordinance to designate two sea areas, including the area north of the island of Okinotorishima, which constitutes the southern extremity of the country, as part of the nation’s continental shelf. The ordinance will cover further two areas, such as that in the vicinity of the Ogasawara Islands, after consulting with the United States on the matter.
 政府は、日本最南端・沖ノ鳥島の北方など2か所の海域を、日本の大陸棚として政令で定めることを決めた。小笠原諸島周辺など2か所も米国と調整したうえで、政令に規定する予定だ。

The U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea stipulates that each coastal state has sovereign rights over an area 200 nautical miles from the coastline as its continental shelf for exploring and developing resources, such as those on the seabed, and for other purposes. It is possible for a state under the convention to expand the limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles if and when it can prove that the extended continental shelf can be construed as having formed naturally.
 国連海洋法条約は、沿岸から200カイリまでを大陸棚とし、海底の資源開発などに関する沿岸国の主権的な権利を認めている。自然な地続きであると証明できれば、200カイリを超えて延長できる。

The government’s plans for designating the continental shelf this time are in the wake of the acknowledgement in April 2012 by the U.N. Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) that the expansion of the limits of the nation’s continental shelf should be recognized as valid.
 政府が今回制定する大陸棚は、一昨年4月に国連の大陸棚限界委員会から延長を認められた。

The total area to be covered by the expansion of the nation’s continental shelf will stand at an estimated 310,000 square kilometers, equivalent to about 80 percent of the nation’s entire land area. It is said precious resources exist on the continental shelf including methane hydrate, which contains natural gas. The expansion of the oceanic interests of Japan, a country poor in natural resources, is definitely of high significance.
 総面積は計31万平方キロ・メートルに及び、日本の国土の約8割にも相当する。大陸棚には、天然ガスを含有するメタンハイドレートなどの貴重な資源が存在するとされる。資源の乏しい日本が、海洋権益を広げる意義は大きい。

Commenting on the continental shelf expansion, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has stressed, “It is possible that the resources from the expanded sea areas will have a great impact on the future of Japan.” It is also important from the viewpoint of ensuring this country’s energy security.
 安倍首相は「広い海からもたらされる資源は、日本の未来を切り開く可能性を秘めている」と強調している。エネルギー安全保障の観点でも重要である。

Objections from China, ROK

Resource developmental projects on the seabed, however, are extremely expensive and many technological challenges exist. Long-term plans should be formulated at the initiative of the government.
 ただ、海底での資源開発は、巨額の費用を要し、技術的な課題も多い。政府主導による長期的な取り組みが必要である。

The CLCS, meanwhile, has been postponing judgment of Japan’s application seeking the U.N. body’s acknowledgement of the nation’s expansion of the continental shelf of the Southern Kyushu-Palau Ridge Region located to the south of Okinotorishima. This is because China and South Korea have opposed Japan’s submission of the application, claiming that Okinotorishima should not be deemed an island but “rocks,” meaning that it should not be considered a base point for determining the limits of Japan’s continental shelf.
 一方、大陸棚限界委員会は、沖ノ鳥島の南方にある「九州パラオ海嶺南部海域」の大陸棚延長申請について結論を先送りしている。中国と韓国が「沖ノ鳥島は『島』でなく『岩』で、大陸棚の基点にならない」と反対したためだ。

Under the circumstances, the government should appeal to the international community to support the legitimacy of Japan’s assertion about the continental shelf expansion.
 政府は国際社会に、日本の主張の正当性を訴えていくべきだ。

Around Okinotorishima is a vast exclusive economic zone, providing Japan with a wealth of marine products and seabed resources. The government should forge ahead with the task of preserving the island by pushing ahead with such projects as port and harbor construction.
 沖ノ鳥島の周囲には、広大な排他的経済水域(EEZ)が広がり、水産・海底資源を日本にもたらしている。政府は、港湾施設の整備などを進め、島を確実に保全することが肝要である。

China’s heavy-handed maritime advances are not limited to the East China and South China seas, but have been spreading to the western Pacific region. It has been pointed out that there is a possibility Beijing, on the strength of extending support for construction projects of ports and harbors to island states in the region, might build naval bases there in the future. Through these moves, China most likely has taken into account the U.S. military base on Guam.
 中国の強引な海洋進出は、東・南シナ海にとどまらず、西太平洋に及ぶ。島嶼(とうしょ)国の港湾整備を支援し、将来、中国海軍の拠点とする可能性も指摘される。グアムの米軍基地をにらんだ動きである。

Beefing up Japan’s efforts to ensure adequate oceanic administration in the seas in the environs of Okinotorishima, as well as such islands as Minami-Torishima and the Ogasawara Islands, will certainly have strategic significance on holding China’s moves in check.
 日本が沖ノ鳥島や南鳥島、小笠原諸島の周辺海域で適切な海洋管理に努めることが、中国に対する戦略的なけん制効果を持とう。

In April last year, the government laid down the Basic Plan on Ocean Policy that is intended to serve as the basis of maritime measures for a period of five years. The plan sets key policy goals, including development of maritime resources, preservation and administration of remote islands, and technological development projects for oceanic, renewable energy sources.
 政府は昨年4月、5年間の海洋政策の基本方針となる「海洋基本計画」を定めた。海洋資源開発や離島の保全・管理、海洋での再生可能エネルギーの技術開発などを重点的に推進する内容だ。

By working closely with the private sector, the government should address these objectives from a broad range of perspectives.
 民間とも緊密に連携し、多角的に取り組むべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 21, 2014)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2014-07-23 12:30 | 英字新聞

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