米原子力空母

(Sep. 26, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun
Aircraft carrier to aid stability in Asia
米原子力空母 アジア安定に役立つ日本配備(9月26日付・読売社説)

The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington arrived Thursday at the U.S. naval base in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, a deployment expected to contribute not only to the defense of Japan but also to peace and stability in the entire Asia-Pacific region.
日本防衛だけでなく、アジア太平洋地域全体の平和と安定に貢献することが期待される。

The carrier replaces the conventional aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk, which was deployed at the base in 1998, but is to be decommissioned due to its age. Its replacement marks the first U.S. nuclear-powered military vessel deployed to Japan.
米原子力空母「ジョージ・ワシントン」が海軍横須賀基地に配備された。1998年に配備された通常型空母「キティホーク」が老朽化し、退役することに伴う交代である。米原子力艦船の日本配備は初めてだ。

Commissioned in 1992, the George Washington is the fourth youngest of the U.S. Navy's 11 aircraft carriers. The ship has 75 planes on board and about 6,000 crew members, including pilots.
92年就役のジョージ・ワシントンは、米海軍の空母11隻の中で4番目に新しい。75機の航空機を搭載し、航空要員を含めた乗組員は約6000人に上る。

It is capable of engaging in military operations longer than conventional carriers as its power is generated by nuclear reactors. Its acceleration when setting sail also is much faster than that of conventional carriers.
動力源が原子炉のため、通常型空母と比べて、より長時間の作戦行動ができる。初動時の加速力も格段に優れている。

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A powerful deterrent

The deployment in Japan of an aircraft carrier with better capabilities strengthens the deterrent potential of the U.S. military. The presence of the U.S. military in Japan is a cornerstone of the Japan-U.S. security alliance, and an aircraft carrier plays a pivotal role.
日本配備の空母の高性能化は、米軍の抑止力の強化につながる。米軍のプレゼンス(存在)は、日米同盟の基盤だ。中でも空母が果たす役割は大きい。

When a presidential election was held in Taiwan in March, the Kitty Hawk and another U.S. aircraft carrier conducted an exercise in waters east of Taiwan as a show of force. The drill was believed to be aimed at preventing China from taking any action similar to a missile drill it conducted in the Taiwan Strait in 1996 to demonstrate its power when Taiwan held its first presidential election.
今年3月の台湾総統選の際には、キティホークなど2隻の米空母が台湾東方海域で訓練を実施し、周辺ににらみをきかせた。96年の初の総統選で中国が行ったミサイル演習のような示威行動を防ぐのが目的とみられる。

Meanwhile, it is necessary to ensure safety regarding the nuclear-powered vessel.
一方で、原子力空母の安全対策には万全を期す必要がある。

In May, unauthorized smoking by a crew member aboard the George Washington sparked a fire, which resulted in the demotions of the captain and the executive officer. Due to necessary repair work, the carrier's deployment to Yokosuka was delayed by more than a month. Though the nuclear reactors were not damaged, it shows that an accident can be caused by simple misdeeds.
ジョージ・ワシントンでは今年5月、乗組員が無断喫煙したたばこの火で火災が起きた。正副艦長は更迭され、修理のため日本配備が1か月以上遅れた。原子炉とは無関係だが、お粗末な事故だ。

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Easing public concerns

It was revealed in August that the nuclear-powered submarine USS Houston had leaked small amounts of radioactive substances from a water valve for more than two years, during which the submarine made Japanese port calls on 11 occasions.
8月には米原潜「ヒューストン」で2年以上にわたる微量の放射能漏れが発覚した。バルブからの水の染み出しが原因だ。この間、原潜は日本に11回寄港していた。

The concentration of leaked radioactive substance was said to be about the same as what exists naturally in the ocean. The total amount of radiation leaked during the Japanese port calls is said to be far less than the amount released during one X-ray of the chest.
漏れた放射能は、海中に自然に存在する放射能と同程度の濃度とされる。日本寄港時の放出総量も、X線胸部撮影の1回分よりも、はるかに少ないという。

Even if this is so, the Japanese government must continue to urge the United States to take the utmost care in safety management of the aircraft carrier if it wants to dispel the anxieties of local residents and other people concerned. It also should proactively respond to requests to disclose information about accidents and other matters of public interest.
それでも、地元住民や関係者の不安を解消するため、日本政府は、米側に空母の安全管理に細心の注意を払うよう求め続けるべきだ。事故などの情報公開に積極的に対応することも必要だ。

The Yokosuka city government approved in June 2006 the deployment of a nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carrier and later signed a memorandum on disaster management with the U.S. military stationed in Japan. Last November, Japan and the United States conducted a joint disaster management drill.
神奈川県横須賀市は06年6月に米原子力空母の配備を容認した。その後、在日米海軍と防災覚書を締結し、昨年11月には日米合同の防災訓練を実施している。

A high-ranking U.S. Navy officer says that the navy's philosophy is to swiftly deal with any matter while it is still small to prevent it from developing into a major problem. To accomplish this, the two nations should make further efforts to establish a relationship of trust through joint drills and candid exchanges of opinions.
米海軍高官は「出来事が小さなうちに迅速に対処し、大きな問題になるのを防ぐのが、我々の哲学だ」と語る。そのためには、日米双方が、合同訓練や率直な意見交換を通じて、信頼関係を構築する努力が大切だろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 26, 2008)
(2008年9月26日01時45分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2008-09-26 09:12 | 英字新聞

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