中山国交相辞任

(Sep. 29, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun
Nakayama's remarks immoderate, costly
中山国交相辞任 節度を欠いた発言だった(9月29日付・読売社説)

Too much water drowns the miller. Even when expounding one's opinions as a politician, one must not forget one's position as a cabinet member and keep on making remarks beyond the limits of reasonableness.
 過ぎたるはなお及ばざるがごとし、ということだろう。政治家として持論を展開するにしても、閣僚としての立場を忘れて、矩(のり)をこえた発言を連発してはなるまい。

Construction and Transport Minister Nariaki Nakayama resigned Sunday to take responsibility of a series of verbal gaffes, including his description of those who have engaged in years of struggle against the expansion of Narita Airport as "squeaky wheels."
 中山成彬国土交通相が28日、成田空港拡張への反対を「ごね得」などとした一連の発言の責任をとって辞任した。

Nakayama retracted parts of his remarks, but he reiterated, "I've been thinking the Japan Teachers Union should be disbanded."
 中山氏はいったん発言を部分的に撤回した後も、「日教組はぶっ壊す」などと繰り返していた。

The first Diet debates under the new Cabinet of Prime Minister Taro Aso will start Monday. The opposition parties were unanimous demanding Nakayama's resignation or dismissal. Nakayama's resignation seems to be aimed at minimizing any ill effects on the extraordinary Diet session and the planned House of Representatives election.
 麻生新内閣として初の国会論戦が29日から始まる。野党は辞任や罷免を要求していた。国交相辞任は、国会や衆院選への影響を最小限にとどめるためだろう。

As for a delay in Narita Airport development, Nakayama said: "More or less squeaky wheels, or I believe they are [the product] of bad postwar education. It is very regrettable that the airport has not been able to expand in a milieu in which people lack the spirit of sacrificing themselves to a degree for the sake of the public good and think it good if they care only about themselves."
 中山氏は、成田空港整備の遅れについて、「ごね得というか、戦後教育が悪かった。公のためにはある程度自分を犠牲にしてでも、というのがなくて、自分さえよければという風潮の中で、空港拡張もできなかった」と述べた。

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Accurate, but undiplomatic

In general, the climate Nakayama described seems to exist. In the case of the Narita Airport issue, there is no denying that opposition to the project has harmed the public interest--to construct and maintain an airport that is safe and equipped with sufficient landing capacity.
 一般的に、中山氏の言うような「風潮」は、なくはないだろう。成田空港の場合、反対派の運動がこれまで、安全で十分な発着能力をもつ空港を整備するという「公共の利益」を損ねてきたことも、また、否定できない。

However, describing them as "squeaky wheels" is questionable. As the person responsible for the nation's airport administration that requires dialogue with local residents, it was an inappropriate remark.
 だが、「ごね得」というのはいかがか。地元との対話が必要な空港行政の責任者としては、不適切な発言だろう。

As for the recent bribery scandal involving education board officials and teachers in Oita Prefecture, Nakayama said: "The children of Japan Teachers Union [members] can become teachers even if their grades are bad. That's why scholastic ability in Oita Prefecture is low."
Also, he said: "One of the reasons I have proposed to conduct the nationwide academic achievement examination [for primary sixth-graders and middle school third-graders] was that I thought academic ability could be poor in areas where the teachers union has strong influence. Therefore, I think that the role of conducting the nationwide academic achievement examinations has come to an end."
 中山氏は、大分県教育委員会の汚職事件に関して、「日教組の子どもは成績が悪くても先生になる。だから大分県の学力は低い」「私が全国学力テストを提唱したのも、日教組の強いところは学力が低いと思ったからだ。だから学力テストを実施する役目は終わったと思う」と語った。

Nakayama has criticized the Japan Teachers Union, saying that they do not teach students about the national flag and the national anthem, and oppose moral education.
 中山氏は「国旗・国歌も教えない」「道徳教育に反対している」などとして日教組を批判した。

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Beyond his authority

Even if his remarks may have a point, the educational issue is not under the jurisdiction of the construction and transport minister.
的を射ている点もあるとしても、教育にかかわる問題は、国交相の所管外のことだろう。

By saying that the role of the nationwide academic achievement examination has come to an end, Nakayama especially cannot avoid being blamed for his imprudence.
 とくに、全国学力テストは役割を終えたというのは、軽率のそしりを免れない。

The examination, now in its second year since the Education, Science and Technology Ministry resumed administering it in 2007, has now reached the stage at which its results, at last, are about to be used to improve students' academic performances.
 今年2回目が実施された学力テストは、ようやく、そのデータを学力向上に本格活用していく段階にあるからだ。

As for the government's tourism policy, Nakayama blurted out an apparent factual error, saying, "Japan is very introverted, or what may be called ethnically homogenous, or rather it tends to be inward-looking."
 観光政策に関して、「日本は随分内向きな、単一民族」と口を滑らせた。明らかな事実誤認だ。

The Aso administration's record has been marred by the scandal of the Cabinet minister's resignation only five days after its launch.
 内閣発足5日目にして、閣僚辞任という不祥事で、新政権は出端(ではな)をくじかれた形だ。

Aso must immediately seek to tighten discipline and manage the political situation.
 麻生首相は、早急にタガを締め直し、政局運営にあたることが求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 29, 2008)
(2008年9月29日01時54分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2008-09-29 10:12 | 英字新聞

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