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社説:辺野古環境委 公正に監視できるのか

October 21, 2015 (Mainichi Japan)
Editorial: Company donations put fairness of Okinawa environmental watchdog in doubt
社説:辺野古環境委 公正に監視できるのか

Three members of an expert panel tasked with monitoring the environmental impact of construction work off the Henoko district of Nago for the planned relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma received donations from contractors involved in the project.
 沖縄県の米軍普天間飛行場の辺野古移設計画をめぐり、工事が環境に与える影響を監視するため設けられた専門家委員会の委員が、受注業者から寄付金を受け取っていた。

Of the 13 members on the panel, Yokohama National University graduate school professor and panel chair Yoshiyuki Nakamura, along with two others, were found to have accepted donations between 500,000 yen and 8 million yen each following their appointments to the body.
 受領が判明したのは、委員13人のうち、委員長の中村由行(よしゆき)・横浜国立大大学院教授ら3人。委員就任の決定後にそれぞれ50万円から800万円が渡っていた。

The donations were given by contractors for the relocation project and an environmental consulting firm, the latter of which now runs the day-to-day office functions of the panel.
 寄付金を出したのは、移設事業を受注した建設会社や環境コンサルタント会社だ。委員会の運営業務もコンサル会社が請け負っていた。

The previous Okinawa governor, Hirokazu Nakaima, requested the formation of the expert panel in December 2013 as a condition for approving landfill work off Henoko. The Defense Ministry then established the environmental oversight committee in April the following year. The panel is tasked with providing scientific and technical advice to the Defense Ministry on environmental protection, and is responsible for environmental reviews of a drilling survey at the Henoko site -- a preliminary step to the land reclamation work -- all the way through a post-construction survey.
 委員会は、沖縄県の仲井真弘多(ひろかず)前知事が2013年12月に辺野古埋め立てを承認した際に条件として求め、防衛省が14年4月に環境監視委員会として設置した。環境保全について、同省に科学的・専門的助言をするのが目的だ。現在の準備段階から、本体工事が完了した後の事後調査まで担当する。

When the Okinawa Prefectural Government pointed to the possibility that large concrete blocks that the Defense Ministry sank into the waters off the Henoko coast for a seabed survey had destroyed coral reefs, and demanded a halt to the work this past spring, the expert panel stated that the impact of the seabed survey on the reefs was "minimal." The committee played an important role as a source of expert opinion.
 今春、防衛省が移設作業のため辺野古の海底に沈めた大型ブロックがサンゴ礁を損傷した可能性が高いと沖縄県が指摘し、作業停止を求めた際は、委員会が「サンゴ礁全体への影響は軽微」との見解を示すなど、重要な役割を果たした。

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has said that the government sees no problem in the three panel members receiving donations from companies involved in the base relocation work, insisting, "The panel is being managed in a fair and just manner." The panel members also claim that the donations have not affected the body's discussions and judgment.
 3委員の寄付金受領について、菅義偉官房長官は「公平公正に委員会は行われている」として、委員会の運営に問題はなかったとの考えを示す。委員らも、委員会での議論や判断に影響はなかったとしている。

Even if the truth is as Suga and the committee members have claimed, however, the situation has unfolded in the midst of the controversial U.S. base relocation plan, which has developed into a very public clash between the central and Okinawa governments. Members of the expert panel should not have accepted money that could have been seen as suspicious in any way. As an old Chinese proverb says, "If you don't want to be mistaken as stealing a plum, you should not adjust your crown under a plum tree," i.e. don't leave any room for scandal or doubt.
 菅氏や委員が言う通りだったとしても、政府と県の主張が鋭く対立する辺野古移設問題が舞台である。委員は疑いを持たれるようなカネを受け取るべきではない。「李下(りか)に冠を正さず」だ。

University of the Ryukyus professor emeritus Seiji Azuma, vice chairman of the expert committee, told the Mainichi Shimbun that most of the panel members from mainland Japan have no experience in environmental research in Okinawa.
 副委員長の東(あずま)清二・琉球大名誉教授は毎日新聞の取材に「本土から来た委員は、沖縄の環境調査を一度もしたことがない人ばかり。

"I'm dubious of their ability to conduct environmental monitoring in Okinawa. The central government is probably looking to go ahead and build the new base with a green light from the panel," Azuma added, casting doubt on the purpose of the committee itself.
どうやって沖縄の環境を監視できるのか疑問だ。委員会のお墨付きを得て基地を造るのが本音だろう」と委員会そのものへの疑問を語る。

Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga revoked his predecessor's approval for the land reclamation work off Henoko last week. However, the central government is trying high-handedly to push ahead with the landfill work, and the conflict between the two sides has heightened. If the committee remains a group tailor-made to endorse the central government's plans, it will fail to fulfill its stated role as an environmental watchdog.
 翁長雄志(おながたけし)知事は先週、辺野古の埋め立て承認を取り消した。政府は工事を強引に進めようとしており、県と全面対決している。「お手盛り委員会」の疑いをかけられたままでは、環境を監視する役割は果たせないだろう。

The Defense Ministry should disclose all minutes from the panel meetings.
 防衛省は委員会の議事録をすべて公開すべきだ。

Not accepting money or goods from interested parties is the least that can be expected, morally speaking, from members of an expert panel like the environmental monitoring committee in question. The Nuclear Regulation Authority, for example, checks whether outside experts have received remuneration of 500,000 yen a year or more from nuclear business-related organizations in the previous three years when asking their opinions.
 審議会などの委員は、利害関係者から金品を受け取らないのが最低限のモラルだろう。原子力規制委員会は、外部有識者から意見を聞くにあたって、直近3年間に関連業者から年50万円以上の報酬を受け取っていないかなどを審査している。

The Defense Ministry should consider introducing such a system for the environmental monitoring committee in Okinawa.
 防衛省も環境監視委員会にこうした仕組みの導入を検討すべきだ。

毎日新聞 2015年10月21日 東京朝刊
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by kiyoshimat | 2015-10-22 08:58 | 英字新聞

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