<   2010年 07月 ( 36 )   > この月の画像一覧



cite from washington post

China Now World's Second-Largest Economy

Surpassing Japan, China's economy is second only to that of the United States, which it is projected to overtake sometime around 2025. The per-capita income, though, is still a paltry $3,800.

by kiyoshimat | 2010-07-31 05:51 | 英字新聞

検索大手提携 グーグルの市場支配が心配だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jul. 31, 2010)
Yahoo Japan-Google tie-up must be monitored
検索大手提携 グーグルの市場支配が心配だ(7月30日付・読売社説)

Internet search giant Google Inc. and Japan's top portal Yahoo Japan have agreed to form a search engine alliance and cooperate in online advertising and other services.

The partnership between Yahoo Japan and Google of the United States will mean the two companies will acquire a dominant 90 percent of the Internet search market in this country. This could reduce the options available to Internet users seeking a more diverse variety of online information. With this in mind, it is necessary to ensure that the alliance does not prevent the Internet market from growing further.

Ironically, while the Japanese portal, in which telecom operator SoftBank Corp. has a major stake, has joined hands with its rival Google, Yahoo Inc. of the United States is struggling to catch up with the world's largest search service provider through a tie-up with Microsoft Corp.

Yahoo Japan's move apparently reflects a decision that it has no choice but to adopt Google's cutting-edge technology if it wants to survive in the search market, the major battleground in the Internet business.

Under the agreement, Google will provide Yahoo Japan with a search engine and technology to display ads associated with the search results.

Will U.S. giant control market?

The search engine appends indexes to vast amounts of data on the Internet, with each piece of information ranked depending on keywords users type in, enabling them to select the data they need instantly. Use of search engines has taken firm root in our daily lives, as is evident by the fact that 50 million people use such Internet tools in this country every month.

Corporations strive to attract customers through the Internet by having their Web sites and ads displayed in the upper ranks of search results, so such information will be easily discerned by users.

However, the Google-Yahoo Japan alliance is problematic as the U.S. search giant could end up monopolizing the market in Japan.

Yahoo Japan has denied this, saying its services will include data and information distinct from that provided by the U.S. firm.
However, some people fear users may be unable to access the information they need because of Google's ability to control search results. Is there no reason to worry? There also is a concern that the Google-Yahoo Japan tie-up could lead to an increase in ad rates.

FTC sees no problem

The Fair Trade Commission has said the partnership between the two giants--both of which operate separately--does not pose a problem in relation to the Antimonopoly Law.

It should be noted, however, that the U.S. Justice Department put a stop to an attempt by Yahoo Inc. and Google to form a tie-up two years ago, saying their alliance would violate the U.S. antitrust law. In Europe, the regulatory authorities are reportedly keeping watch on Google to thwart any bid to control the market.

The FTC needs to keep a close eye on how the Google-Yahoo Japan alliance works out.

The Internet's remarkable development is the result of intense competition among start-up companies in providing a variety of services. This is also the case with Google, which has grown into a huge company providing excellent services through its innovative search engine technology.

Admittedly, access to online search engine services free of charge is great, but there is a danger of information being selected and ranked arbitrarily. Internet users should take this to heart.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 30, 2010)
(2010年7月30日01時27分 読売新聞)

by kiyoshimat | 2010-07-31 05:21 | 英字新聞

防衛白書延期 禍根残す政府の事なかれ主義

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jul. 30, 2010)
Defense report delay unnecessary
防衛白書延期 禍根残す政府の事なかれ主義(7月29日付・読売社説)

The government's decision to put off the release of this year's defense white paper is nothing but an attempt not to disturb the Japan-South Korea relationship. But a retreat to safe ground on this issue is an ill-thought-out move to turn a blind eye to future trouble that could arise between Tokyo and Seoul.

The administration of Prime Minister Naoto Kan has postponed giving cabinet approval to the "Defense of Japan 2010" white paper until September, despite an earlier plan to finalize the annual report Friday.

In explaining the government's decision, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku cited recent actions taken by the United Nations in connection with the sinking of a South Korean naval ship in March. He added the government wanted the white paper to address some issues that will be taken up in a report to be issued in August by a government panel tasked with reviewing the current National Defense Program Guidelines. Sengoku's reasoning is far from convincing.

In the first place, the government does not have to write about the developments cited by Sengoku in the white paper. His account does little to convince the public of the need to postpone the release of the report, more than 14,000 copies of which have already been printed at a cost of about 9.4 million yen.

The real reason behind the decision, according to government sources, is that Tokyo does not want to antagonize Seoul. Previous defense white papers described the disputed Takeshima islets as "an inherent part of our nation's territory."

The sources said the government did not want to stir up anti-Japanese sentiment among South Koreans as this year marks the centennial of the Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty of 1910. On Aug. 29 that year, the treaty took effect, starting 35 years of Japanese rule over the Korean Peninsula.

Takeshima belongs to Japan

However, the government has every reason to incorporate into the white paper its assertion that Takeshima inherently belongs to Japan.

Admittedly, South Korea has protested the Japanese government's view every year, claiming sovereignty over the islet group. However, Seoul's reaction has not been so strong as to undermine bilateral relations. Some people fear anti-Japanese feelings could grow among South Koreans as Aug. 29 marks the 100th anniversary of the treaty. So far, however, no such hostility has surfaced.

We think the government should have adhered to its practice of publishing a defense white paper at this time of year.

Postponing the paper's release and then scrambling for an explanation as to why has proved of no avail. Doing so has only drawn public attention to the Takeshima controversy. We feel all this could adversely affect the Japan-South Korea relationship. The Kan administration made the wrong decision about the release of the report.

The Defense Ministry and the Foreign Ministry had insisted the defense report should be released as initially scheduled. Last week, Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Seiji Maehara and Parliamentary Vice Defense Minister Akihisa Nagashima visited South Korea, where some officials reportedly asked them to reconsider the timing of the white paper's release. After being briefed by Maehara and Naga-shima, the prime minster and the chief cabinet secretary decided to delay the report's release, according to informed sources.

Not the DPJ's first blunder

This episode is yet another perfect example of an ill-advised initiative taken by political leaders--that is, members of the Democratic Party of Japan-led administration--in formulating key policies. Political confusion has erupted frequently since the DPJ came into power, as best exemplified by the turmoil created by the government's ham-handed handling of the dispute over the transfer of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture.

In December, the DPJ government decided not to include a reference to the Takeshima issue in a teacher's manual for high school geography lessons to be given under the education ministry's new course of study. Failure to say what Japan needs to say could be interpreted as a willingness by our government to make concessions on issues that could affect the foundation of the country.

Takeshima belongs to Japan, both historically and under international law. South Korea is an important neighbor, but our government should not easily buckle to Seoul when dealing with territorial issues.

It is entirely possible for Japan to maintain proper relations with other countries despite a conflict over territorial problems. The government should pursue such a diplomatic approach.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 29, 2010)
(2010年7月29日01時08分 読売新聞)

by kiyoshimat | 2010-07-30 05:59 | 英字新聞

概算要求基準 予算編成を人気取りに使うな

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jul. 29, 2010)
Budget compilation isn't popularity contest
概算要求基準 予算編成を人気取りに使うな(7月28日付・読売社説)

The Cabinet has adopted guidelines for fiscal 2011 budgetary requests.

Last year, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's Cabinet decided to drop similar guidelines, which led to the fiscal 2010 budget ballooning to become the biggest ever.

We think the government is right to revive the guidelines for budgetary requests, considering what happened last year. However, the government seems set to charge ahead with the free-spending handout policies the Democratic Party of Japan announced in last year's election manifesto. In stark contrast to planned spending cuts, the government plans to offer income compensation to farmers and partially abolish expressways tolls.

The government also plans to set aside funds to be funneled to growth fields, such as medical and nursing services as well as the environment. It also proposed that determining how to allocate this special budget would be conducted in full view of the public.

The government apparently plans to conduct something along the lines of the budget screening for wasteful spending, which smacked of political grandstanding.


Kan seeking boost?

The plan appears to be an attempt to restore the falling popularity of Prime Minister Naoto Kan. But we doubt whether cool-headed discussions can be carried out in an environment open to the public. The government must not use the budget compilation process as a tool to gain popularity.

The prime minister must sincerely review and retract funding scheduled to be used for the manifesto pledges, and secure revenue sources before the fiscal 2011 budget will be decided at the end of the year.

The outline for the budgetary request guidelines is in line with the fiscal management strategy compiled in June. The government will cap general-account spending, excluding debt-servicing costs, below 71 trillion yen and new government bond issuance below 44 trillion yen, just as in the fiscal 2010 budget.

Based on these figures, the Cabinet approved a natural increase of 1.3 trillion yen in social security costs. An expected rise in these costs from the graying population and declining birthrate will be unavoidable, but the child-rearing allowance should be reviewed from scratch.


Growth fields

The focus of the budget will be the special allocation for growth fields. The DPJ initially proposed to the government that 2 trillion yen be earmarked for the scheme. The two parties eventually settled on the ambiguous expression of "an amount far above 1 trillion yen."

Combined with the natural increase in social security costs, the government will need an additional 3 trillion yen or so. The government said this could be covered by a uniform 10 percent cut in policy-related spending for all ministries and agencies--including spending on education, defense and public works projects.

However, the government likely will struggle to secure the revenue it needs, given that ministries and agencies have bristled at the across-the-board 10 percent cut plan, and manifesto-related budgets are to be handled separately.

The government used more than 10 trillion yen in nontax revenue, including surplus funds in special accounts, dubbed "buried treasure," for the fiscal 2010 budget. However, the buried treasure chest is almost empty. If nontax revenue drastically declines, the government may be forced to issue more government bonds than it did in the current fiscal year, rather than capping the issuance at 44 trillion yen as planned.

But this would make a mockery of Japan's international pledge to put state finances back on a sound footing. Securing revenue sources will be essential to reducing the budget deficit.

The fiscal 2011 budget compilation process is spelling out in black and white that the government must urgently tackle tax system reform--including an increase in the consumption tax rate.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 28, 2010)
(2010年7月28日01時18分 読売新聞)

by kiyoshimat | 2010-07-29 05:32 | 英字新聞

video clips of kai chan and seefaa chan

I’ve just posted family video clips of kai chan and seefaa chan.

english version

thai version

by kiyoshimat | 2010-07-28 19:47 | 英字新聞

名古屋場所閉幕 「賜杯なき優勝」を繰り返すな

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jul. 28, 2010)
Learn from tourney lacking Emperor's Cup
名古屋場所閉幕 「賜杯なき優勝」を繰り返すな(7月27日付・読売社説)

The Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament, which was rocked by a scandal over illegal betting on professional baseball games, ended Sunday with a remarkable accomplishment by yokozuna Hakuho--he became the first wrestler since the end of World War II to claim three consecutive championships without losing a single match.

Since the Japan Sumo Association refrained from accepting any awards from outside organizations due to the gambling scandal, Hakuho received only the championship flag and a certificate at the award ceremony.

Hakuho also extended his winning streak to 47 bouts, exceeding legendary yokozuna Taiho's record of 45, but said with tears in his eyes that the Nagoya tournament was "very difficult."
"On behalf of [all] wrestlers, I wish I could've received just the Emperor's Cup," he added.

To prevent such situations in the future, the JSA must proceed with reforms and regain the trust of sumo fans as soon as possible.


More problems arise

Regrettably, however, a few cases suggesting close ties between sumo officials and gangsters were revealed during the Nagoya tourney. One of them involves stablemaster Matsugane and is too serious to overlook.

A former ozeki who wrestled under the name Wakashimazu, Matsugane has used a building rented from the president of a gang-related real estate agency as lodgings for his wrestlers during spring tournaments in Osaka. He has done so since he started his own stable 20 years ago.

The company president in question was arrested in 2008 over land sharking, the practice of forcing people to sell their residences so a land shark can resell consolidated plots of land for large development projects. Despite knowing this, however, Matsugane continued to rent the building.
"I thought he was a businessman," Matsugane said.

Nevertheless, he should have at least stopped using the building when the president was arrested. This is a scandal caused by insufficient risk management.

Securing lodgings for wrestlers is certainly an important issue for a stable, and stablemasters badly need offers of help. But sumo officials must not forget that this is one way gangsters approach them.

Gangs use their close ties with the sumo world to flaunt their influence. We strongly feel that gangs are spreading their tentacles into everything.


Rules not enough

Also, a serious problem has surfaced over special ringside seats at sumo tournaments, the kind primarily allocated to financial supporters of the JSA. It was discovered that a gang boss obtained a ticket for a ringside seat via a chain of people that included an acquaintance of a member of the special panel investigating the gambling scandal.

Since this could erode public trust in the investigation panel, the JSA was quite right to dismiss that member.

An independent panel of the JSA tasked with improving the association's governance and implementing organizational reforms is planning to compile measures to eliminate gangsters' influence, including a provision that would penalize sumo wrestlers and officials severely if they associate with gangsters.

Of course, strict rules are necessary. But, it is more important that sumo wrestlers and stablemasters learn lessons from the commotion during the Nagoya tournament and strengthen their determination to sever their ties with gangsters.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 27, 2010)
(2010年7月27日01時17分 読売新聞)

by kiyoshimat | 2010-07-28 05:52 | 英字新聞

アフガン会議 支援とともに監視が必要だ


srachai from khonkaen, thailad

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jul. 25, 2010)
Aid to Afghanistan must be accounted for
アフガン会議 支援とともに監視が必要だ(7月24日付・読売社説)

For the past nine years, the international community has continued to provide reconstruction assistance to Afghanistan to keep the country from becoming a nest of terrorists again.

The administration of Afghan President Hamid Karzai must respond to this steady flow of support with action.

At an international donor conference recently held in Kabul, Karzai declared the Afghan government would take responsibility for its own security, for which it currently relies largely on foreign troops, across the country by the end of 2014. Countries participating in the conference welcomed the initiative.

Karzai's declaration likely matched the intentions of Western leaders who are eager to draw up an exit strategy as soon as possible amid growing opposition at home to the continued deployment of their troops in Afghanistan.

Given the status quo, however, we must say that such a scenario is unlikely to occur.


Is the end really in sight?

An increase of U.S. troops by 30,000 is expected to be completed next month, bringing the total number of foreign troops stationed in Afghanistan to 150,000. But their operations to hunt down members of the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban, which has sheltered members of the international terrorist organization Al-Qaida, have been unable to make progress in the face of the ongoing insurgency. Meanwhile, the number of casualties among the international troops continues to rise.

The recent dismissal of Gen. Stanley McChrystal as the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan after he criticized the U.S. government's handling of Afghanistan is probably not unrelated to the deadlock seen in that nation.

To transfer security responsibility, it is essential to train Afghan security forces. The Afghan government plans to increase the number of personnel in the military and police to more than 300,000 by October next year. But the question is the quality of the security forces. Afghan security forces are not only ill equipped, they are also known for a low literacy rate and a lack of discipline.

To improve the security situation, job creation projects and the establishment of infrastructure related to daily life also must proceed. There are too many issues that must be resolved before the Afghan government can be entrusted with maintaining security.


Where does the money go?

Since 2002, more than 35 billion dollars (about 3 trillion yen) in aid money has been poured into Afghanistan. Most of the funds were provided directly to international nongovernmental organizations and other entities engaged in reconstruction work.

An agreement was made at the conference that up to half the aid money would be channeled through the Afghan government in two years. Donor nations accepted Karzai's request that his government be given discretion to more effectively use aid money.

But we still frequently hear about corruption and irregularities involving senior officials of the Afghan government. It is unacceptable for aid funds to be embezzled or misappropriated.

Karzai has expressed an intention to strengthen corruption countermeasures, such as the creation of a special tribunal to try those accused of corruption. We hope to see these measures producing results as soon as possible.

Japan pledged to provide 5 billion dollars in aid during the five years from 2009. Donor nations, including Japan, need to strictly check whether aid money is properly used.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 24, 2010)
(2010年7月24日01時07分 読売新聞)

by kiyoshimat | 2010-07-25 06:42 | 英字新聞

入安居(いりあんご)= カオパンサー


入安居(いりあんご)= カオパンサー

入安居はタイ語ではカオ パンサーと呼ばれている。
入安居の発祥の地はお釈迦さま(ゴータマ シッタルータ)の生れたインドで仏僧は雨季の間約3ヶ月間、外出を控え、お寺にこもり修行に専念する。
あと3ヶ月したら、今度は出安居(であんご:オーク パンサー)の行事があり、そのあとには、灯篭流し(ローイ クラトーン)がやってくる。
タイ国の国王のお名前はプミポーン アドンヤデートといわれる。


by kiyoshimat | 2010-07-24 17:54 | 英字新聞

臨時国会 強引な運営はもう通用しない

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jul. 24, 2010)
No room for arrogance in Diet affairs
臨時国会 強引な運営はもう通用しない(7月23日付・読売社説)

The ruling and opposition parties have agreed to open Budget Committee meetings in both Diet chambers during an extraordinary session to be convened at the end of this month.

It is unusual for the legislature to call Budget Committee sessions so soon after a House of Councillors election. However, the ruling camp has bowed to strong demands from the opposition bloc to hold such discussions.

These meetings should have been convened during the last ordinary Diet session--namely, before the July 11 upper house election. This would have enabled Prime Minister Naoto Kan to wage a battle of words with the opposition parties for the first time since he took office.

However, the ruling Democratic Party of Japan rejected opposition demands for Budget Committee sessions, and refused to extend the last Diet session. The DPJ's move apparently reflected its belief that the party would fare better in the election if the poll took place while the Cabinet was buoyed by high popular support generated by Kan's replacement of his unpopular predecessor, Yukio Hatoyama.

The DPJ also refused to open a plenary session of the upper chamber, turning a deaf ear, in effect, to a no-confidence motion submitted against upper house President Satsuki Eda by the opposition camp. The DPJ feared the motion would be narrowly adopted.

The DPJ's high-handed approach to Diet management was a ploy repeatedly used by the party's preceding top brass led by former party Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa and others.


Move came too late

The DPJ's concession to opposition demands for Budget Committee meetings comes too late. The ruling party should seriously reflect on its conduct in steering Diet sessions. The DPJ must end its overbearing attitude toward the opposition bloc and, instead, seek a dialogue with the rival camp.

A spate of politics-and-money scandals involving some DPJ members--most notably Ozawa--remain unresolved. During its days in power, the Liberal Democratic Party accepted opposition demands for scandal-tainted party members, including former prime ministers, to testify in the Diet about their problems. Given this, the DPJ has no reason to keep rejecting demands for its scandal-hit lawmakers and others to be summoned before the legislature.

The DPJ forcibly arranged for a plenary session of the House of Representatives to vote on a postal reform bill after only six hours of discussions on the legislation at a lower house committee. The bill was eventually scrapped in the last Diet session. Nevertheless, the DPJ should stop slighting Diet debates.

The DPJ's defeat in the July 11 election created a divided Diet. This has made it difficult for the DPJ to bulldoze bills through the Diet.

These circumstances have apparently encouraged the DPJ to maintain a low profile in dealing with the opposition camp. What is truly required of the DPJ, however, is to end its arrogant Diet management, an approach resulting from its numerical strength in the lower house.


Opposition must play ball

Meanwhile, we hope the opposition parties will behave sensibly. While an opposition party, the DPJ repeatedly rejected government proposals on personnel affairs at important institutions subject to Diet approval. In those days, the LDP-New Komeito coalition had an overwhelming majority in the lower house, while the upper chamber was controlled by the opposition camp.

The LDP and other opposition parties should not act out of spiteful retaliation toward the DPJ under the circumstances.

The upper house will elect its new president and vice president at the outset of the forthcoming extraordinary Diet session.

The opposition camp has insisted Eda not be reelected as upper house president, saying he failed to steer the chamber fairly.

However, the opposition parties' bid to choose a new upper house president from their camp is little more than an abuse of their numerical strength for deciding Diet matters. This would run counter to the long-running practice of selecting the upper house president from the predominant party in the chamber--currently the DPJ--and choosing the vice president from the second-largest party in the house.

The election of the upper house president and vice president will be the first test of whether the Diet can become a citadel of cooperation between the ruling and opposition parties. We hope both sides will properly discuss the selection of the upper chamber's president and vice president.

The upcoming Budget Committee sessions are expected to focus on such issues as the politics-and-money scandals and Kan's recent remarks about a possible increase in the consumption tax rate. We hope lawmakers will engage in lively verbal battles during the all-too-brief extraordinary session.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 23, 2010)
(2010年7月23日01時55分 読売新聞)

by kiyoshimat | 2010-07-24 05:42 | 英字新聞



photo by srachai from OCNフォトフレンド


by kiyoshimat | 2010-07-23 19:15 | 英字新聞