戦没者遺骨収集 遺族の思いを汲んで速やかに

The Yomiuri Shimbun
As families wait, expedite efforts to retrieve remains of war dead
戦没者遺骨収集 遺族の思いを汲んで速やかに

Seventy years have passed since World War II ended, and the families of Japan’s war dead are growing older. Efforts to find and retrieve remains of those who died in countries far from home must be accelerated.
 終戦から70年を経て、戦没者の遺族の高齢化が進む。異郷の地で死亡した戦没者の遺骨収集を急ぎたい。

This month, a law to promote collection of the remains of the war dead came into force. The law’s main points are that it clearly positions retrieval of these remains as “the responsibility of the state,” and sets a nine-year period starting from this fiscal year as an intensive implemen-tation period for government efforts to find and repatriate remains.
 戦没者遺骨収集推進法が今月、施行された。遺骨収集を「国の責務」と明確に位置づけ、今年度からの9年間を集中実施期間としたのが主眼だ。

The law requires the government to collect remains systematically and effectively. The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry set aside ¥2.1 billion from this fiscal year’s budget to cover costs associated with this undertaking.
 推進法は、計画的かつ効果的な収集を政府に求めている。厚生労働省は、収集事業費として今年度予算に21億円を計上した。

Returning remains to Japan has not progressed as well as hoped. Of 2.4 million Japanese who died on foreign battlefields or in Siberian internment camps after the war, the remains of 1.13 million still rest at sites overseas. In the past 10 years, the government has collected only 28,000 sets of remains.
 遺骨の帰還は、思うように進んでいない。海外の戦地やシベリア抑留で死亡した240万人のうち、113万人の遺骨は、いまだに現地に残されたままだ。政府がこの10年間で収集した遺骨は、2万8000柱にとどまる。

Many people are dissatisfied with the ministry’s efforts, saying they are “not well planned.”
 厚労省の取り組みに対しては、「計画性を欠いている」といった不満も少なくない。

The law was passed as legislation was proposed by lawmakers cooperating across party lines. We applaud the fact that the law promotes attempts to make up for the inadequacy revealed in efforts to date. We hope putting the law into effect will add momentum to the collection of remains.
 推進法は超党派の議員立法で成立した。これまでの不十分だった点を補うよう促していることは評価できる。施行を収集に弾みをつける契機にしたい。

Bumps in the road

An especially important element of the law is the stipulation that greater efforts will be made to study documents stored at public records offices and other facilities overseas to collect information regarding where Japanese war dead are buried. It is clear that the conventional method of relying on the memories and other information provided by fellow soldiers has its limits.
 推進法で特に重要なのは、埋葬地の情報を収集するため、海外の公文書館などで文献調査を進めるよう定めたことだ。戦友の記憶などに頼る従来の手法では、限界があるのは明らかだ。

Spelling out that the health, labor and welfare minister will work closely with the foreign minister and other ministers to ensure smooth progress in negotiations with governments of nations where remains lie is also an appropriate measure.
 現地政府との折衝を円滑に進めるため、厚労相が外相らと連携するよう規定したのも、妥当な措置だと言えよう。

In 2011, it was revealed that remains collected in the Philippines by a nonprofit organization commissioned by the welfare ministry had been mixed with remains of people other than Japanese soldiers.
 厚労省から委託を受けたNPO法人がフィリピンで収集した多数の遺骨の中に、旧日本兵以外のものが混じっていたことが、2011年に判明した。

Reflecting on this, the new law says the government will designate a public corporation as a task force to handle collection of the remains. The new corporation is scheduled to be set up by people involved in groups for families of the war dead. The welfare ministry will establish an expert panel to check progress in these activities.
 この反省から、推進法には、収集にあたる公的法人を政府が指定し、実動部隊とすることも盛り込まれた。新法人は遺族団体の関係者らによって設立される予定だ。厚労省は、活動状況をチェックする有識者会議を設置する。

The government will soon settle on a basic plan encompassing these specific policies, and will launch it this fiscal year. The new structure must function effectively.
 政府は、これらの具体策を網羅した基本計画を近く策定し、今年度中に始動させる。新たな体制を有効に機能させねばならない。

Many problems remain unaddressed. Because DNA examinations are essential for identifying remains, the government is working on a database of samples that can be tested. We hope a system in which these samples can be smoothly compared with DNA provided by relatives will quickly be put in place.
 課題もある。遺骨の身元特定には、DNA鑑定が不可欠なため、政府は、鑑定可能な検体のデータベース化を進める。遺族のDNAとスムーズに照合できる仕組みの構築を急ぎたい。

About 230,000 sets of remains still lie in China, where remains cannot be collected because anti-Japan sentiment has hampered this operation, and North Korea, a nation with which Japan does not have diplomatic relations. At present, there is no timeframe for when remains might be collected from these countries.
 対日感情が障害となって収集ができない中国や、国交のない北朝鮮には、23万柱が眠る。現時点で収集の見通しは立っていない。

Families are ardently waiting for remains to be returned home. With their feelings in mind, we request that every possible effort be made to realize their wishes.
 遺骨が手元に戻ることを待ち望む遺族の思いを汲くみ、可能な限りの取り組みを求めたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 22, 2016)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2016-04-23 13:34 | 英字新聞

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