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除染作業―工程表作りを急げ

2011/08/30
--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 28
EDITORIAL: Japan needs to quickly compile road map for decontamination.
除染作業―工程表作りを急げ

The Japanese government has finally decided on a basic framework on how to proceed with the decontamination process of radioactive materials spewed from the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
 福島第一原発の事故でまき散らされた放射性物質の除去(除染)について、政府がようやく基本方針を決め、きのう地元自治体に説明した。

The government's plan, explained to local governments on Aug. 27, is to halve the residents' exposure within two years, and in the case of children, to reduce it by 60 percent by conducting thorough decontamination procedures in schools and school routes.
 2年で住民の被曝(ひばく)線量を半減させ、子どもについては、学校や通学路などの除染を徹底して6割減らす。

The center of the plan is to "reduce, step-by-step and rapidly" the number of areas that will measure 20 millisieverts and higher annually.
そして年間の被曝線量が20ミリシーベルト以上の地域を「段階的かつ迅速に縮小」させるのが柱だ。

However, such a target will not put the residents' minds at ease.
 しかし、こんな目標では、住民はとても安心できないのではないか。

The government estimates that even without actively doing anything, the amount of radiation exposure will decrease about 40 percent in two years due to rain and wind.
何もしなくても、雨や風で2年後には約4割減る、というのが政府の試算である。

It is too unambitious for the government to say it will achieve only an additional 10-20 percent reduction on its own.
上乗せ分が1~2割というのはあまりに低い目標だ。

Moreover, the latest framework plan does not tell us, even broadly, when the evacuees can return to their normal lives.
 しかも、今回の基本方針だけでは、避難している人たちがいつごろ元の生活に戻れるのか、大まかなメドも分からない。

The important thing is to have a comprehensive strategy.
 大事なのは、総合的な戦略である。

To that end, it is essential to closely ascertain the exact situation of the contamination.
 そのために、まず汚染の詳しい実態の把握が不可欠だ。

We need to measure it in detail, covering sections whose sides are 100 to 500 meters long.
100~500メートル四方くらいの細かさで調べる必要がある。

People evacuated from their homes are also hoping to learn the radiation levels around their houses.
避難している人たちも自宅周辺の汚染の程度を知りたがっている。

On Aug. 27, Prime Minister Naoto Kan apologized to the Fukushima prefectural governor of the possibility that residents of some areas close to the Fukushima nuclear plant will be unable to return to their houses for a long time.
 菅首相はきのう、福島県知事に対し、原発の近くでは長期間帰れない場合が出てくると述べて、事故について陳謝した。

Of course, it may be possible that in areas with the worst levels of contamination, residents may be forced to give up ever returning to their homes.
 確かに汚染のひどい所では、事実上、帰ることを断念せざるを得ない場合もあるかもしれない。

However, the residents can hardly accept that without sufficient data and some kind of yardstick.
しかし、その基準とデータが示されないままでは、住民は納得できないだろう。

Along with figuring out the actual state of the contamination, the government needs to calculate the cost of the decontamination process and the available level of manpower.
 汚染の実態把握と並行して、除染作業にかかるコストや投入できる人員をはじき出す。

Based on those assessments, the government must hurry to put together a road map that indicates the grand design, and spell out where the process will begin, how it will be conducted and how much time it will take.
そのうえで、どの地域からどう進めていくのか、どの程度の時間がかかりそうか、国は全体像を示す工程表作りを急がなければならない。

Besides, the decontamination work itself must not be haphazard.
 実際の作業も、ばらばらではいけない。

In addition to households, public institutions like schools, roads, as well as farms and nearby forests must also be watched. Otherwise, there is no way residents can return to their normal lives.
住宅に加え、学校などの公共施設や道路、さらに田畑や周辺の森林にも目を配らなければ、住民は安心して元の生活に戻ることはできない。

One major obstacle to the decontamination process is where to store the contaminated topsoil once it is removed.
 一方、除染を進めるうえで大きな障害となっているのが、はぎとった土などの保管場所だ。

According to the framework plan, each local government is to set up a temporary storage place, and the central government will be responsible for securing a disposal site.
基本方針では、各自治体に仮置き場を設け、処分場は国の責任で確保することになっている。

However, Prime Minister Kan told the Fukushima governor that the central government has no choice but to create the "intermediate storage facility" within Fukushima Prefecture.
 ところが、菅首相は福島県知事に対し、同県内に「中間貯蔵施設」を整備せざるを得ないと述べた。

Suddenly talking about a new storage facility at this point will only create confusion.
今の段階で、唐突に新たな保管施設のことを持ち出しても、混乱を招くばかりだ。

Decontamination is not an easy matter, including securing the disposal site.
 処分場の確保も含め、除染は簡単な問題ではない。

The plan must be scrupulous, while also being meticulous about procedure.
きちんと手順を踏みつつ、綿密に計画を作る。

And the process must be done swiftly.
同時に作業は急がなければならない。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2011-08-31 03:32 | 英字新聞

首相退陣、代表選へ―民主党は一から出直せ

2011/08/28
The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 27
EDITORIAL: DPJ needs to reinvent its political future.
首相退陣、代表選へ―民主党は一から出直せ

Prime Minister Naoto Kan officially announced his resignation on Aug. 26, saying, "I've done what I've had to do."
 菅首相がきのう、「やるべきことはやった」と述べて正式に退陣を表明した。

During the two years since the historic regime change, two prime ministers quickly got bogged down in a political quagmire and stepped down.
 歴史的な政権交代から2年。あっという間に2人の首相が行き詰まり、去っていく。

This is undeniably a disastrous failure of politics under the rule of the Democratic Party of Japan.
これは明らかな失政である。

What are the root causes of the dreadful political situation?
 原因は何なのか。

It is not that Kan pushed policy in the wrong direction.
 菅氏が掲げた政策の方向性が間違っていたわけではない。

Kan deserves credit for responding to the Fukushima nuclear disaster by trying to lead the nation toward a future less dependent on atomic energy.
 原発事故のあと、脱原発に踏みだそうとしたのは、菅氏の功績といえる。

We also applaud him for tackling the tough political challenge of developing plans for the unpopular but important proposal of integrated tax and social security reform involving a consumption tax hike.
消費増税を含む税と社会保障の一体改革という不人気な政策づくりに取り組んだことも評価する。

But executing a policy requires building consensus.
 けれど、政治は合意を取りつけなければ前に進まない。

Kan was unskilled at consensus building, and he sometimes didn't even make efforts to win support for his proposals from his Cabinet members.
菅氏は合意づくりの術がつたなく、時に閣内の根回しさえ怠った。

As he simply proposed policies without laying the necessary political groundwork, he was inevitably criticized for practicing off-the-cuff politics.
方針を唱えるだけでは、思いつきの政治だと批判されても当然だった。

But let us hazard a question.
 だが、あえて問う。

Would the Kan administration have lasted much longer if he had been a leader with a broader perspective and a greater ability to build consensus?
もっと視野が広く調整能力のある首相なら、長期政権になったのか。

The DPJ is in such disarray that it is hard to answer the question in the affirmative.
首をかしげざるを得ないほど、民主党は混乱している。

■未成熟な選挙互助会

Kan was constantly hobbled not merely by the opposition control of the Upper House but equally by perennial political wrangling within the ruling party.
 菅氏が苦しんだのは、衆参のねじれとともに、党内の足の引っ張り合いだった。

Kan's efforts to push through such key policy initiatives as a consumption tax hike and a review of the party's election manifesto were met with opposition from party members, especially a group of lawmakers led by former DPJ chief Ichiro Ozawa.
 めざした消費増税やマニフェストの見直しなどに、小沢一郎元代表が率いるグループを中心に反対意見が渦巻き、

With the party unable to reach agreement on these and other key policy issues, the Kan administration lost political momentum.
党としての意思決定がままならず、政権は失速していった。

The confrontation within the party came to a head in June, when the Ozawa group threatened to support an opposition-sponsored no-confidence motion against the Cabinet.
 対立が最も先鋭化したのが、6月の野党提出の内閣不信任案に、小沢グループが賛成する構えを見せたときだ。

As he avoided a final Diet floor showdown with his opponents within the party, Kan set the stage for his departure.
 あそこで採決による決着を避けたために、菅氏は辞任への道を歩み始めた。

As the top item in the memorandum he exchanged with his predecessor, Yukio Hatoyama, during their talks for avoid passage of the no-confidence motion against him, Kan promised not to "destroy the DPJ."
その際に、鳩山前首相と交わした覚書の第1項目に「民主党を壊さない」とあったことが、

This fact symbolized the grim reality and limitations of the party.
民主党の現実と限界を象徴していた。

The DPJ was formed as a rugged collection of politicians pursuing sharply different political agendas and approaches.
 もともと民主党は政策も政治手法も、水と油ほど違う勢力が一緒になった。

It was a political alliance among a wide range of lawmakers who didn't belong to the Liberal Democratic Party, which ruled the nation for decades.
衆院小選挙区で勝つために、「非自民」勢力を幅広く抱え込んだ結果だった。

Its principal mission was to secure electoral victories in single-seat constituencies of the Lower House.
要するに、小選挙区制が生んだ「選挙互助会」だったのだ。

In a nutshell, the DPJ was a mutual electoral support group born out of the single-seat election system.
When it was in the opposition, the party managed to put up a united front under the banner of regime change.
 野党のころは「政権交代」の一点で共闘できた。

As soon as it achieved this political goal, however, the party found itself without a shared vision and plunged into an endless cycle of infighting.
しかし、成し遂げた途端に共通の目標を見失う。

The DPJ's track record since it came to power suggests that the group is too politically immature to be called a political party.
そして内紛を繰り返す現状は、政党と呼ぶには未熟過ぎるように見える。

If the party remains as it is, the next administration is sure to repeat the same failure.
 このままでは、次の政権も同じ愚を繰り返すに違いない。

The challenge facing the DPJ is whether it can outgrow its old self as an electoral mutual support group and morph into a full-fledged political party.
 「選挙互助会」から政党に脱皮できるかどうか。

The party leadership election officially announced on Aug. 27 is of critical importance for the political viability of the DPJ.
きょう告示される党代表選は、民主党の存廃をかけた正念場になる。

During the prelude to the election, many prospective candidates talked about unity and reconciliation among party members.
 前哨戦では、盛んに「挙党態勢」「党内融和」という言葉が聞かれた。

Such talk may find a certain resonance among party members who are eager to see an end to the intraparty struggle that continued even after the Great East Japan Earthquake in March.
震災後も繰り広げられた党内抗争は、いい加減にやめようという響きもあって、一定の説得力を持つ。

If, however, "party unity" here means turning a blind eye to differences over policies among members, such slogans only represent an extremely irresponsible answer to the party's problems.
 だが、「挙党一致」に込められた意味が、政策の違いには目をつむろうということなら、あまりにも無責任な対応だ。

If the candidates try to win the leadership race by offering the powerful Ozawa group key posts that control the party's election funds and the right to nominate official party candidates for national elections, the party will inevitably lose the support of even more voters.
 まして、小沢グループにカネと公認権を握るポストを譲るというのなら、有権者の支持をさらに失っていくのは避けられないだろう。

■結集するか分裂か

It is clear what the party should do in the leadership race.
 代表選でやるべきことは、はっきりしている。

It should redefine its political position.
党の立ち位置を定め直すことだ。

 最悪なのは、各候補者が「票目当て」に、あいまいな政策を掲げることだ。代表選は乗り切れても、対立の種は残り、政治が前に進まない。

First, all the candidates should make clear their stances toward the party's manifesto for the Lower House election that led to its ascent to power.
 第一に、政権交代時に掲げたマニフェストへの対応を各候補者が明確にすることだ。

Would they revise or stick to the platform?
見直すのか貫くのか。

Candidates who vow to adhere to the manifesto should say how they would raise the money needed to deliver on the election promises.
順守するなら、どの予算を削って財源を調達するのか。

The DPJ's plan to raise funds through spending cuts has become synonymous with wishful thinking in the past two years.
「歳出削減で賄う」という表現はこの2年で「願望」と同義語になっているのだ。

Secondly, after the leadership election, all party members should come together to support the policies proposed by the winner and contribute to the new leader's efforts to push through his proposals.
 第二に、選挙後は勝者の方針のもとに結集し、政策の実現に協力することだ。

The quality of the manifesto should be improved in line with the new policy agenda.
それに沿ったマニフェストの質向上も要る。

DPJ lawmakers who cannot agree to the new chief's policy agenda should leave the party.
同意できない議員は党を割って出るしかなかろう。

Like the DPJ, the LDP also comprises politicians with widely different political stripes.
 民主党のみならず、自民党も幅広い勢力を抱えており、

There is enough room for political realignment around key policy issues.
政策を軸に再編する余地はある。

Such a development would give voters a fresh opportunity to choose a new government on the basis of policies instead of a simple choice between the LDP and the DPJ.
 有権者にとっても「自民党がだめだから民主党」といった否定形の選択の代わりに、政策本位で政権を選ぶ道が開ける。

■政策本位の政治へ

The worst thing that could happen to the party is a leadership contest without serious policy debate in which the candidates only propose vague policies in order to win as many votes as possible.
Even if the party can choose its new leader without meaningful debate, such a race would plant seeds of future confrontation that hamper progress in politics.
Political styles and ways to run the government should also be among major topics for the party leadership election.
 代表選では、政治手法や政権運営の方法も問われるべきだ。

We believe that politics of partisan confrontation driven by the power of numbers should come to an end.
私たちは「数の力」で与野党が激突するばかりの政治を終わらせるべきだと考える。

When it was led by Ozawa, the DPJ exploited its power as the largest voting bloc in the Upper House to keep making things tough for the government of the LDP-New Komeito coalition.
 民主党は小沢代表のとき、参院第1党の力を使い、徹底して自公政権を揺さぶった。

The DPJ used its political muscle effectively to drive the LDP-led government into a corner through such maneuvers as rejecting the government's nominees for the new Bank of Japan governor and thereby keeping the post of the central bank chief vacant for a while.
日銀総裁を空席にするなどして政府を追い込み、早期の衆院解散、政権交代を迫った。

The DPJ's strategy worked well to pressure the government into an early dissolution of the Lower House for an election to choose the government.
確かに政権交代を果たしたが、

The DPJ came to power as a result, but the party has been suffering from political reprisals by the LDP.
今度は民主党が報復を受け続けている。

During this period, Ozawa boasted that he would be able to raise any amount of money to finance the party's policy proposals and had the party increase the monthly child-care allowance it promised to 26,000 yen per child.
 小沢氏は「財源はなんぼでもできる」と言い、子ども手当は月額2万6千円出すと公約を上積みさせた。

At the heart of such an approach to politics is a single-minded pursuit of power.
こうした政治手法の根っこにあるのは、権力奪取を第一とする発想だ。

Japan should outgrow such old-fashioned politics and move toward a new era of politics in which the ruling and opposition parties try to find common ground through serious and constructive policy debate.
 こんな政治からは卒業して、与野党が政策本位で合意点を探す政治に変えよう。

The principal lesson to be gleaned from the bitter experiences in the past two years is that this is the only way to break the political stalemate in this age of a divided Diet.
それが、ねじれが常態化する時代の政治を動かす道だと、この2年の経験から学ぶべきである。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2011-08-30 04:30 | 英字新聞

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:自己臭恐怖症 /東京

(Mainichi Japan) August 28, 2011
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: In defense of (a little bit of) body odor
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:自己臭恐怖症 /東京

A TV program I happened to see the other day featured clothing with odor-eliminating effects that have been a hit among consumers recently.
 テレビを見ていたら、「消臭効果のある衣料品がブーム」という話題を取り上げていた。

Sales of odor-eating underwear, socks and other clothing -- effective against everything from sweat and tobacco smells to the body odor of older men -- have been rising, according to the program.
汗やたばこのにおい、さらには男性の「加齢臭」といわれるにおいまでを消すという下着、靴下などが売り上げをのばしているという。

Sure, there are unpleasant odors, but do people really want to make everywhere odorless so much?
たしかににおいの中には心地よくないものもあるが、そんなにどこもかしこも「においなし」にしたいだろうか。

If you get too nervous about eliminating odor, that could stress you out in itself.
においを消すことに神経質になりすぎると、それ自体がストレスになるのではないか。

In my consultation room, I sometimes see patients who suffer from a unique condition called "olfactory reference syndrome."
 診察室でときどき、「自己臭恐怖症」と呼ばれる特殊な状態に苦しむ人に会うことがある。

These patients wrongly assume that their body odor is offensive to people around them.
これは「自分からにおいが出て、まわりの人たちを不快にしているのではないか」と常に気になる、という気配り型の神経症である。

They spray air freshener on themselves again and again before they go out, or even refrain from going out at all. 消臭スプレーを何度も振りかけたり外出を控えたりする人もいる。

They usually show up at dermatologists or other doctors first and are then referred to psychiatric clinics.
たいていの場合は「においを消したい」と訪れた皮膚科などから紹介されて、メンタルクリニックにやって来る。

Even if others tell them that they don't smell at all, these patients believe that they are "smelly and disturbing everyone." Many of these cases are difficult to treat.
いくらまわりが「においなんてしてないよ」と客観的に説明しても、「いや、におっている。みんなにいやな思いをさせている」という思い込みが強く、治療は難航する場合が多い。

Olfactory reference syndrome often plagues young people, whose futures remain undefined and who are still overly sensitive about what others think of them.
 この自己臭恐怖症は、自分の評価が定まっていない若い世代に起きることが多い。

Such a trivial thing as a friend turning his or her eyes away from them makes them think they are smelly and making others uncomfortable.
「人からどう見られてるのかな?」と過敏になりがちな年ごろでは、たとえば友だちがたまたま自分から目をそらしただけで「どうして? そうか、私のにおいが苦痛なんだ」と結びつけてしまうのだ。

In contrast, these symptoms tend to disappear naturally when the patients get jobs and gain a certain degree of self-confidence.
"I may have been wrong to worry too much about odor," one such patient said.
 だから逆に、仕事について自分に一定の自信がついてきたりすると「においのことは思いすごしだったかもしれません」と自然に治るケースも少なくない。

The current "odorless" boom, therefore, could be said to show that today even fully-fledged adult members of society lack confidence in themselves, and are always conscious about how others think of them.
 だとすると、誰もが「においを消さなきゃ」と必死になっているいまの時代は、おとなも自分に自信を持てず、常にひと目や人からの評価を気にしている、と言えるのではないだろうか。

Let's say a person became completely odor-free. Would he or she be liked by everybody? Probably not.
もし仮に完全に無臭状態を実現できたとして、それだけで誰からも好かれる人間になるかというと、それも違うはずだ。

Ridding odor is minimal etiquette, but it is nonsense to try to eliminate all your odor.
 最低限のエチケットとしての消臭は必要だが、「なんとしてもにおいをゼロに」などというのはナンセンス。

It is better to try and become someone who, even if smelling a bit sweaty, will be liked by everyone because of a cheerful smile and an even manner.
That's far better for each of us and for society as well.
それよりも、少々の汗のにおいなどはあっても、明るい笑顔やおだやかな口調でみんなから愛される人になることを目指すほうが、自分のためにも社会のためにもずっとよいと思う。

Whenever I see a person who fills up his or her room with deodorizers to remove any trace of bodily scent, I'm tempted to utter an old saying, "Too much of a good thing."
 部屋中、からだ中のにおいを消すために大量のグッズを買い込む人を見ると、つい「過ぎたるは及ばざるがごとし」と古いことわざを口にしたくなる。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2011年8月23日 地方版
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2011-08-29 06:12 | 英字新聞

社説:民主党代表選 どうする外交 瀬戸際の自覚が乏しい

(Mainichi Japan) August 26, 2011
DPJ leadership hopefuls must tackle foreign diplomacy, long-neglected after disasters
社説:民主党代表選 どうする外交 瀬戸際の自覚が乏しい

Since the triple disasters of March 11, Japan has paid little attention to foreign diplomacy.
 東日本大震災以降の日本はずっと外交不在の状態が続いてきた。

As the administration of Prime Minister Naoto Kan struggled to begin rebuilding the devastated Tohoku region, a political battle was waged by ruling and opposition blocs over whether or not Kan should resign.
復興対応で手いっぱいの政権、首相退陣を巡り政争を繰り返す与野党--。

Bringing an end to the stagnation that such political warfare has created and normalizing the course of Japan's foreign policy is one of the most important challenges that awaits the next prime minister.
そうした閉塞(へいそく)感に終止符を打ち、外交を正常な軌道に戻すことは、次期首相の重要な課題である。

In spite of this, however, little has been said about diplomacy and security by politicians expressing an interest in running for the head of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) -- and hence, the next prime minister.
 にもかかわらず、民主党代表選に出馬意欲を示す政治家の口から、外交や安全保障に関する発言がほとんど聞かれないのはどうしたことか。

We must not allow the upcoming election to become an inward-looking election, one solely concerned with political maneuvering for the right number of votes and the nature of the candidates' ties to former DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa.
数合わせや小沢一郎元代表との距離感だけに焦点があたる、内向きの代表選であってはならない。

Meanwhile, other countries are making active and astute steps in their diplomatic affairs.
 周辺では、関係主要国が活発で巧妙な外交を展開している。

Take, for example, the United States and China. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden recently visited both China and Japan, staying six days in China -- during which he poured his energies into establishing strong relations with Xi Jinping, said to be China's next president.
 例えば米中だ。バイデン米副大統領が中国や日本を歴訪して帰国したが、中国には6日間滞在し、次のリーダーである習近平国家副主席との親密な関係づくりに精力を注いだ。

This was in stark contrast to Biden's visit to Japan, which lasted just two days and included a meeting with outgoing Prime Minister Kan as a mere formality.
退陣直前の菅直人首相と儀礼的に会談し、正味2日間の滞在だった日本とは対照的だ。

In addition, China appears to be testing the DPJ's stance toward China, as demonstrated in two Chinese patrol boats' entry into Japanese waters near the disputed Senkaku Islands.
その中国は24日、尖閣諸島周辺で漁業監視船が日本領海に侵入するなど、民主党の対中姿勢を改めて試すかのような行動をみせている。

Furthermore, there have been rising tensions between China and Russia, both battling for political and economic influence in the Far East region.
一方では、極東地域の政治的経済的影響力を競う中露の確執もここにきて目立ってきた。

The year 2012 will be a turning point not only in China, where the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party will change hands, but also in Russia, the U.S., and South Korea, where presidential elections are set to take place.
 来年は中国の共産党指導部交代をはじめロシア、米国、韓国で大統領選が行われる節目の年だ。

While others have been formulating diplomatic strategies with next year in mind, Japan, due to its internal political skirmishes, has trailed behind both in influencing the establishment of a new regional order and its pursuit of national interests.
各国が2012年を念頭に置く外交戦略を練る中で、政治の停滞が続く日本は、地域の新たな秩序構築や国益競争で大きく後れをとっている。

As such, the diplomatic challenges that the next prime minister must deal with are all urgent.
 次期首相の外交課題はいずれも待ったなしのものばかりだ。

There is the breakdown in talks over the Japan-U.S. joint declaration on bilateral security that needs to be addressed, and a much-needed breakthrough in the issue of relocating U.S. Marine Corps' Air Station Futenma in Okinawa Prefecture.
 仕切り直しとなった日米安保共同宣言の後始末や、宙に浮く米軍普天間飛行場移設問題の打開。

There's also a visit to China by Japan's new prime minister, and a visit to Japan by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, which must take place before the end of the year.
年内の宿題である新首相の訪中と、李明博(イミョンバク)韓国大統領の訪日。

Whoever takes the helm of government will be scrutinized for his ability -- or lack thereof -- to command a presence before other leaders at the East Asia Summit and APEC Summit, both set to take place this fall.
秋の東アジアサミット(EAS)やアジア太平洋経済協力会議(APEC)首脳会議で顔を合わせる各国首脳たちの前で、いかに発言力と存在感を示すかも厳しく問われよう。

Have the DPJ leadership election candidates-to-be taken these responsibilities into consideration?
それらを考え抜いたうえで、首相になる決意を固めているのかどうか。

They are obligated to show how prepared they are for such duties.
候補者は自らの覚悟を語るべきである。

In the two years since the DPJ government came to power, it has downplayed the importance of continuity and botched diplomatic dealings by putting precarious ideals ahead of everything else.
 継続性を軽視し、地に足のつかない理念先行の外交で失敗したのが、民主党政権の2年間だった。

The administration's strategy-building capabilities failed to improve, and diplomats' information and networks were not put to effective use.
官邸の戦略機能強化は実現せず、外交当局の情報とネットワークも活用できなかった。

Japanese foreign policy has veered far off course because the DPJ put a lid on intra-party conflict in order to take over government, and failed to reach a consensus on basic policies such as the Japan-U.S. alliance and a vision for an East Asian community, the "third opening" of Japan, and its stance toward China.
政権をとるため党内対立を封印し、「日米同盟と東アジア共同体」「第3の開国」「対中戦略」といった根幹の政策でコンセンサスづくりを怠ったことが、外交迷走の原因だ。

We hope that those running in the DPJ presidential race will take the mistakes that have been made to heart, realize the crossroads at which Japan is now standing, and carry out a heated debate on diplomatic policy.
 その反省を踏まえ、日本が瀬戸際にあるとの自覚を持って、真剣な外交論戦を聞かせてほしい。

毎日新聞 2011年8月26日 2時31分
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2011-08-28 08:43 | 英字新聞

日本国債格下げ 財政悪化と政策停滞の警鐘だ

Moody's downgrade a warning over fiscal, political ills
The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 26, 2011)
日本国債格下げ 財政悪化と政策停滞の警鐘だ(8月25日付・読売社説)

The major U.S. ratings agency Moody's Investors Service on Wednesday downgraded Japanese government bonds from Aa2, the third-highest rating, to Aa3, the fourth-highest.
 米大手格付け会社ムーディーズ・インベスターズ・サービスが24日、日本国債の格付けを、上から3番目の「Aa2」から「Aa3」に1段階引き下げた。

The move should be taken as a warning regarding the deterioration of Japan's fiscal situation and the paralysis in its political sphere.
 日本の財政悪化と政策停滞に対する警鐘と受け止めるべきだろう。

Now the level of Japanese government bonds is lower than those of Italy and Spain, where concern over government finances has been soaring, and the same as those of China and Chile.
 財政不安が高まるイタリアやスペインを下回り、中国やチリなどと並ぶ水準となった。

In January, another U.S. rating firm downgraded Japanese bonds to the same level.
 今年1月には別の米格付け会社も同水準に格下げした。

These are only independent evaluations by private firms, but they serve as guidelines for the creditworthiness of government bonds in the market.
あくまで民間会社の独自評価だが、市場では国債の信用力の目安となる。

If investors sell off Japanese bonds and force the interest rate to rise because of the downgrade, the government's costs for interest payments will rise, which would aggravate the fiscal situation.
 格下げを材料に国債が売られて金利が上昇すると、利払い費が増え、財政悪化に拍車がかかる。

Speculative moves have to be closely watched.
投機的な動きに注意が必要だ。

===

Fiscal rehabilitation in doubt

As reasons for the downgrade, Moody's named Japan's huge fiscal deficit and its doubts whether the country can become fiscally healthy.
 今回の格下げ理由について、ムーディーズは、日本の財政赤字が巨額で、財政健全化の達成を疑問視していることを挙げた。

The ratings agency said, "Over the past five years, frequent changes in administrations have prevented the government from implementing long-term economic and fiscal strategies into effective and durable policies." It is natural for Japan to receive such a severe evaluation.
 ここ5年、首相が頻繁に交代したため一貫した経済・財政政策がとられなかった、という厳しい指摘を受けたのも当然である。

Because of the divided Diet, confrontations between ruling and opposition parties have intensified, blocking progress on various policies.
 ねじれ国会で与野党の対立が激化し、政策は足踏みしてきた。

The most pressing issue of all--restoration of fiscal health--has been put off, causing the situation to worsen.
最優先で取り組むべき財政健全化が先送りされ、事態は悪化した。

The outstanding long-term debts of the central and local governments combined are expected to be about 900 trillion yen at the end of the current fiscal year, or 1.8 times the gross domestic product.
 今年度末の国と地方を合わせた長期債務残高は約900兆円で、国内総生産(GDP)の1・8倍にのぼる。

The country's debt-to-GDP ratio is worse than that of Greece, which is in a profound fiscal crisis.
債務の比率は、財政危機のギリシャより深刻だ。

According to the government's estimate, outstanding debts will balloon to nearly 1,200 trillion yen at the end of fiscal 2020.
 政府の試算では、2020年度末に債務残高は1200兆円近くに膨らむ見込みという。

The fiscal crises in the West have seriously affected global financial markets, but this situation is not what Japanese would call "a fire on the other side of the river."
 欧米の財政危機が世界の金融市場を揺さぶっているが、日本にとって対岸の火事ではない。

Swift reforms in both revenue and spending must be enforced before it is too late.
歳出と歳入の両面で早期に改革を断行しないと手遅れになる。

===

Political will lacking

However, the politicians of this country have little sense of crisis about the status quo and lack firm determination to move forward with fiscal rehabilitation.
 だが、肝心の政治は、現状への危機感が薄く、財政再建を進める覚悟も足りない。

The key issues in the Democratic Party of Japan's presidential election, in which candidates are competing to replace Prime Minister Naoto Kan, will include tax hikes to secure revenue to rebuild from the Great East Japan Earthquake and a review of the dole-out policies in its manifesto for the 2009 House of Representative election.
 「ポスト菅」を競う民主党代表選は、東日本大震災からの復興財源を得るための増税や、政権公約(マニフェスト)のばらまき政策見直しなどが争点となる。

However, many would-be candidates in the DPJ presidential election are cautious about the early introduction of tax hikes for reconstruction purposes.
 ところが、候補者の多くは早期の復興増税には慎重だ。

Likewise, no one has spoken in-depth about the government policy for integrated reform of the social security and tax systems, which stipulates the consumption tax rate will be raised in stages to 10 percent in the mid-2010s.
2010年代半ばまでに消費税率を段階的に10%に引き上げるとした社会保障と税の一体改革についても、踏み込んだ発言は聞かれない。

The post-Kan administration should make progress in reconstructing from the great earthquake and restoring fiscal health.
 新政権には、与野党の協力によって、復興と財政健全化を進展させることが期待されている。

The government has to make the economy steadily recover to realize an early exit from deflation. This is indispensable for recovering confidence in Japanese government bonds.
 景気を着実に回復させ、デフレからの早期脱却を図ることも、日本国債の信認回復に不可欠だ。

In the coming DPJ election we hope the candidates will discuss policies that prioritize economic growth, such as stabilizing the electricity supply and measures to combat the yen's appreciation.
 代表選では、電力の安定化や円高対策など、経済成長を優先した政策を議論してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 25, 2011)
(2011年8月25日01時09分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2011-08-27 06:26 | 英字新聞

金総書記訪露 対「北」協力は核放棄が前提だ

N. Korea must give up nukes to get economic benefits
The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 25, 2011)
金総書記訪露 対「北」協力は核放棄が前提だ(8月24日付・読売社説)

On his first visit to Russia in nine years, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il traveled about 5,000 kilometers by train to meet with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in eastern Siberia on Wednesday.
 往復1万キロ・メートル近い列車による長駆の旅だ。
 北朝鮮の金正日総書記が9年ぶりにロシアを訪れ、東シベリアで24日、メドベージェフ露大統領との初の首脳会談に臨む。

Kim's visit to Russia follows his trip to China in May. This burst of summit diplomacy with Chinese and Russian leaders is probably a calculated attempt by Kim to strengthen ties with two major powers that share borders with his country to help guarantee his regime's survival.
 5月の訪中に続く、金総書記の相次ぐ首脳外交には、国境を接する二つの大国と緊密な関係を築くことが、自国の体制存続を担保するとの計算があろう。

Russia has been particularly positive toward Pyongyang.
 今回目立つのは、ロシアの積極的な姿勢だ。

Ahead of Kim's visit, Moscow decided to offer 50,000 tons of food aid to North Korea, which has been plagued with food shortages.
金総書記の訪露に先立ち、食糧不足に悩む北朝鮮に食糧5万トンの無償援助を決めた。

Russia will host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Vladivostok in autumn next year.
 来年秋、ロシアは、ウラジオストクでアジア太平洋経済協力会議(APEC)を主宰する。

This will be a crucial opportunity for Russia to accelerate resource development in Siberia and its entry into the Asian market.
シベリアの資源開発とアジア市場への参入に、拍車をかける重要な機会だ。

From this strategic viewpoint also, Russia is keen to stabilize the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
その戦略上からも、朝鮮半島の安定を図りたいのだろう。

===

Tripartite cooperation plan

In a congratulatory message he sent to Kim on Aug. 15, the 66th anniversary of the end of Japan's colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula, Medvedev proposed that Russia, North Korea and South Korea cooperate in energy development and railway construction.
 メドベージェフ大統領は、北朝鮮が日本の植民統治から解放された記念日の今月15日、金総書記あて祝電で、エネルギーや鉄道建設の分野で、ロシアと北朝鮮、韓国が協力する計画を提唱した。

This clearly indicates Moscow's intention to strengthen its presence in Asia.
 アジアでの存在感を強めたいロシアの意図が透けて見える。

In concrete terms, the plan calls for building a natural gas pipeline vertically down the Korean Peninsula and opening a North-South railway that would link with the Trans-Siberian Railway.
 具体的には、朝鮮半島を縦断する天然ガス・パイプラインの敷設や、シベリア鉄道と直結する南北朝鮮縦断鉄道の開通などだ。

Based on an agreement reached during summit talks, Russia and South Korea have held consultative meetings to discuss the supply of Russian natural gas, and transport routes via the Trans-Siberian Railway to the European market.
 すでにロシアは韓国と、首脳会談の合意を基に、ロシア産天然ガスの供給や、シベリア鉄道を経由した欧州市場への流通路の確保のため、実務協議を重ねている。

If realized, this ambitious project would ease tensions on the peninsula and stabilize the situation in Northeast Asia.
 実現すれば、朝鮮半島の緊張緩和、北東アジア情勢の安定に寄与するであろう壮大な構想だ。

The project also would greatly benefit North Korea, which could earn rent for land used for the pipeline and receive electricity.
 北朝鮮にとっても、パイプライン敷設地の賃貸料を得るほか、電力供給を受けることも可能になるなど、メリットは大きい。

===

Preconditions for help

However, we think this economic cooperation should go ahead only if two conditions are met.
 だが、そうした経済協力には重要な前提条件がある。

First, North Korea must not launch any military provocations against South Korea.
 第一に、北朝鮮は韓国に武力挑発をしてはならない。

Confidence-building between the two countries is essential.
南北の信頼関係の構築が不可欠である。

Second, Pyongyang must make good on the promise it made in the joint statement issued after six-nation negotiations in September 2005 to abandon its nuclear development program.
 第二に、北朝鮮は、2005年9月の6か国協議の共同声明で自ら約束した核放棄を履行しなければならない。

North Korea should also discontinue its uranium enrichment, which some observers fear could lead to a new nuclear weapons development program.
新たな核兵器開発につながる懸念があるウラン濃縮計画もやめるべきだ。

If Russia wants to push economic cooperation, it should use it as leverage to coax North Korea to abandon its nuclear ambitions.
 ロシアが経済協力を進めたいなら、それをテコに、北朝鮮を核放棄に導かなければならない。

It is important that Medvedev has an opportunity to convey these concerns to Kim.
 メドベージェフ大統領が、こうした懸念を金総書記に伝える機会を持つことが重要だ。

At the very least, Moscow should continue to call on Pyongyang to allow inspections of its uranium enrichment facilities and put on hold nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches.
ロシアは今後も、少なくともウラン濃縮施設への査察受け入れや、核実験と弾道ミサイル発射の凍結などを、北朝鮮に求め続ける必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 24, 2011)
(2011年8月24日01時39分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2011-08-26 06:24 | 英字新聞

社説:放射能汚染対策 説明尽くし国の責任で

(Mainichi Japan) August 23, 2011
Gov't should take responsibility for decontaminating soil tainted with radiation
社説:放射能汚染対策 説明尽くし国の責任で

The Japanese government appears prepared to go ahead with the decontamination of soil tainted with radioactive substances leaking from the tsunami-hit Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant after the ruling and opposition parties agreed to enact legislation to make up for a legal flaw.
 やっと法の不備が見直され、東京電力福島第1原発事故で拡散した放射性物質による環境汚染対策が進む見通しになった。

The ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and two key opposition parties -- the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and New Komeito -- have agreed on the details of a special measures bill on land decontamination and disposal of rubble contaminated with radioactive substances.
 民主、自民、公明3党が、土地の除染や汚染がれきの処理のための特別措置法案で合意した。

The bill likely will be submitted to the Diet as a lawmaker-initiated bill and become law during the ongoing session.
議員立法で今国会に提出され、成立の予定だ。

The Waste Disposal and Public Cleaning Law does not cover the disposal of rubble contaminated with radioactive substances.
 放射性物質に汚染されたがれきなどの処理は、現行の廃棄物処理法の対象外で、処理の方法や主体などがこれまで規定されていなかった。

If enacted, the new law would be the first to cover how to deal with radiation contamination outside the premises of nuclear power plants.
 成立すれば、放射性物質拡散による原発敷地外の環境汚染に対応する初めての法律になる。

Under the bill, the environment minister would designate areas with high levels of radiation as "special areas."  放射性物質を除去し、放射線量を下げる除染は、必要な場所について環境相が「特別地域」に指定。

The national government would decontaminate the designated areas based on a plan it would work out after listening to the opinions of the local governments concerned.
自治体の意見を聞いて国が実施計画を作り、除染する。

The minister would also designate areas where radioactive rubble must be disposed of, and the national government would collect such waste, and transport, store and dispose it at its own responsibility.
汚染がれきについても、環境相が対策地域を指定し、収集や運搬、保管、処分は国が行う。

The bill would require Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the operator of the crippled Fukushima power plant, to bear the costs of decontamination and disposal of rubble contaminated with radioactive substances as part of its compensation for the nuclear accident.
 いずれも費用は、原発事故の賠償対象として東電が負担する。これが法案の柱である。

Even though the bill would clarify the central government's responsibility for radiation contamination countermeasures, many hurdles must be cleared before such measures are implemented.
 国の責任は明確になるが、前途は多難だ。

In particular, it is difficult to predict when the environment of the areas where residents have been evacuated can be improved to a level where they can come back and live safely because such a large-scale decontamination operation is unprecedented anywhere in the world.
特に、住民が帰宅することを前提にした大掛かりな除染は世界にも例がなく、先は見えにくい。

Therefore, the national government is required to fully release information on how far it intends to reduce radiation levels in affected areas based on its monitoring and provide a thorough explanation.
 どの地域をどれくらいの放射線量まで低減させるのか。モニタリングに基づく情報の公開と、徹底的な説明責任が国には求められる。

The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry has for the first time released its estimation of annual cumulative radiation levels at 50 locations in no-entry areas within 20 kilometers from the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.
 文部科学省は、福島第1原発から半径20キロ圏内の警戒区域での事故発生1年間の推計積算放射線量を先日、初めて公表した。

At 35 of the locations, the amount surpassed 20 millisieverts -- a level that requires residents to evacuate -- suggesting that extensive decontamination operations will be needed over a long period.
50地点中35地点で、避難対象である20ミリシーベルトを超えた。広範囲の除染の必要性をうかがわせ、今後の除染作業が長期かつ継続的になることが予想される。

The government should also fully release information suggesting that evacuated residents cannot easily return home.
 だが、たとえ住民の帰宅にとってマイナスの情報でも、事実を知ってもらうことが大前提だ。

Moreover, depending on radiation levels, it might not be realistic for residents to come home soon even if their neighborhoods were decontaminated in accordance with the bill.
 また、地域の放射能汚染の程度や範囲によっては、法案に沿って除染をして帰宅することが現実的でないこともあり得るだろう。

Prime Minister Naoto Kan is expected to travel to Fukushima Prefecture later this week to explain to the local governments concerned as well as residents that even if decontaminated, some areas will likely remain unfit for living for many years.
 菅直人首相は今週末にも福島県入りし、警戒区域内で相当長期間にわたり居住が難しい地域が残ることを直接、説明するとされる。

If so, the prime minister must show concrete data and explain how long evacuated residents must wait until they are allowed to return home in order to win their understanding.
 そうだとすれば、データをしっかりと示し、居住ができないと想定される期間などについて住民に十分説明し、理解を得なくてはならない。

Furthermore, Kan should also explain specific measures to extend assistance to residents of such areas, including where they will live for the time being.
さらに、今後どこで生活してもらうのかを含めた支援策についても考え方を示してもらいたい。

Difficult challenges to removing rubble will likely emerge in the future, such as how to secure a site for the disposal of ash generated after rubble contaminated with radioactive substances is incinerated.
 汚染がれきの撤去についても、今後難しい問題が浮上する。撤去後に焼却した後の汚染灰の最終的な処分場所である。

Questions also remain as to whether the final disposal site should be created in Fukushima Prefecture or other areas.
処分場を福島県内にするのか、他の都道府県にするのか。

The national government must take all possible measures to ensure safety in disposing of contaminated rubble and gain the understanding of local residents.
国は安全対策に万全を期したうえで、地元の理解を得る努力をしなければならない。

毎日新聞 2011年8月23日 東京朝刊
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2011-08-25 07:50 | 英字新聞

リニア新幹線 最先端技術を国益に生かせ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 23, 2011)
Maglev train project must serve national interests
リニア新幹線 最先端技術を国益に生かせ(8月22日付・読売社説)

Central Japan Railway Co.'s ongoing project to build a maglev train system linking Tokyo and Osaka is finally in full swing.
 JR東海が進めているリニア中央新幹線の構想が、いよいよ本格的に動き出した。

Early this month, JR Tokai released a list of probable locations for intermediate stations in four prefectures--Aichi excluded--through which its envisaged magnetically levitated train would run on the Tokyo-Nagoya section of its route.
The proposed sites include one on the border between Takamorimachi and Iida in Nagano Prefecture.
 東京―名古屋間の4県に作る中間駅の候補地域が、高森町・飯田市(長野県)などに決まった。

Aiming to begin construction of its Chuo Shinkansen system in fiscal 2014, the railway firm is set to start an environmental impact study covering areas along the planned route as early as the end of this year.
2014年度の着工を目指し、年内にも沿線の環境影響調査に入る。

JR Tokai plans to start service along a portion of the envisaged route in 2027, extending its maglev train services to Osaka in 2045. The megaproject, which would link Tokyo and Osaka through a 67-minute ride, would cost a staggering 9 trillion yen.
 27年に開業し、45年に大阪まで延伸する計画で、東京―大阪間を67分で結ぶ。総建設費9兆円もの巨大プロジェクトだ。

The safety of buildings and facilities is under increasing public scrutiny due to the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing nuclear crisis.
 東日本大震災や原発事故を受けて、安全性に対する国民の目は厳しさを増している。

Therefore, JR Tokai's first priority should be to ensure the new train system will operate safely.
最優先課題は安全運行である。

The ultrahigh-speed train line would also serve as a bypass for the current Tokaido Shinkansen line.
 リニア新幹線は、東海道新幹線の代替機能も持つ。

Given this, thorough safety measures must be taken so the new system will be able to serve as Japan's main transportation artery if a major natural disaster strikes.
大規模な自然災害の発生時に大動脈としての役割を果たせるよう徹底した安全対策を講じねばならない。

===

Hitting the brakes at 500 kph

The new Shinkansen--in which magnetic force is used to levitate a train about 10 centimeters above the ground--runs at 500 kph.
 リニア新幹線は磁力で地表から10センチ程度浮上し、時速500キロで走行する。

A focus of particular attention is how the system would respond to such emergencies as a powerful earthquake and power outage.
特に注目されているのが、大地震や停電への対策だ。

According to JR Tokai, the system would apply multiple types of brakes if it detected seismic waves, thus safely halting trains at a deceleration speed double that of the current Shinkansen system.
 JR東海によると、地震波を検知すれば、各種のブレーキが作動し、現行新幹線の2倍の急減速で安全に停止する。

This is also true with a safety mechanism that would be triggered in the event of an electric power failure. The new bullet train would maintain levitation on the strength of magnetic force, supported by side walls along a railway track to prevent a derailment.
停電しても、磁力で車両は浮いた状態に保たれ、側壁が脱線を防ぐという。

After studying the earthquake resistance of the maglev train, an advisory body to the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry has confirmed that the system's safeguards will serve their intended purposes.
 リニアの耐震性を検証した国土交通省の審議会は、こうした安全対策にお墨付きを与えた。

However, a major disaster could hit facilities to an extent beyond the expectations of the operators, as illustrated by the series of accidents at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
 だが、原発事故で明らかになったように、事業者の想定を超えた災害が発生する可能性もある。

With this in mind, we hope JR Tokai will continue to make technological improvements in the safety of the new Shinkansen system.
 JR東海は、安全面での技術改良を続けてもらいたい。

The proposed route runs through the Southern Japanese Alps. About 70 percent of the line would be in underground tunnels.
 計画ルートは南アルプスを貫き、全路線の7割が地下トンネルである。

This makes it necessary to implement measures aimed at guiding passengers to safety in the event that the maglev train comes to a sudden stop.
急停車した場合、乗客を安全に誘導する対策が必要だ。

===

Stations will be expensive

Another task for JR Tokai is to achieve a consensus with local governments affected by the project over the construction costs for the intermediate stations.
 中間駅の建設費を巡って、地元自治体との調整も課題となる。

JR Tokai plans to pay for the construction of three key facilities: one terminal in Tokyo, another in Osaka and another major station in Nagoya. However, the railway firm has asked the four prefectural governments--each of which would host one intermediate station along the route--to pay the full cost of constructing those stations.
 JR東海は、東京、名古屋、大阪の3駅は自前で整備するが、沿線県に1駅ずつの中間駅は自治体に全額負担を求めている。

It would cost an estimated 35 billion yen to build an aboveground intermediate station.
The bill for the construction of an underground station would amount to a hefty 220 billion yen.
 だが、費用は地上駅でも350億円、地下駅なら2200億円かかる。

The local governments have demanded a reduction in their financial burdens, citing their own fiscal straits.
自治体は財政難を理由に、負担の軽減を要求している。

The maglev Shinkansen system is expected to provide a great economic boon, contributing to the economic and other development of areas along its route.
 リニア新幹線の経済効果は大きく、地域振興に役立つだろう。

It is important for JR Tokai and the local governments to fully discuss every aspect the project and build cooperative relations.
両者が、よく話し合って協力関係を築いていくことが大切だ。

It is also necessary to pay full consideration to the environmental impact of the project.
 環境にも十分配慮する必要がある。

Areas along the proposed route are dotted with rich natural surroundings.
沿線には豊かな自然が残る。

We hope every effort will be made to minimize the impact of construction work on the ecosystem, water sources and all other environmental assets.
工事では、生態系や水源などへの影響を最小限に抑えたい。

The maglev train system is a remarkable feature of Japan's state-of-the-art technology.
The system's technological excellence is bound to boost the nation's infrastructure export drive.
 リニアは、日本のインフラ輸出に役立つ最先端技術だ。

It is essential to obtain support and trust from the public for the Chuo Shinkansen project if the maglev train--which many regard as "a superexpress of the 21st century"--is to benefit the whole nation.
「21世紀の超特急」を日本全体の利益とするには、国民の理解と信頼を得ることが何より重要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 22, 2011)
(2011年8月22日01時03分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2011-08-24 07:37 | 英字新聞

風知草:かすみ始めた「脱原発」=山田孝男

(Mainichi Japan) August 22, 2011
Race to replace Kan as prime minister an opportunity to display national will, vision
風知草:かすみ始めた「脱原発」=山田孝男

Denuclearization," or the idea of reducing and eliminating Japan's dependence on nuclear energy, is becoming increasingly hazy.
 「脱原発」がかすみ始めた。

As the countdown for Prime Minister Naoto Kan's resignation begins, many potential candidates for the next president of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) -- and hence the next prime minister -- are expressing their willingness to either maintain the current nuclear policy or to further promote nuclear power.
菅直人首相の退陣が秒読みに入り、原発の維持・推進に理解を示す後継候補が増殖している。

What I believe matters in the next DPJ presidential election is not so much whether Kan's successor is or is not a charismatic leader, but what his or her views are on the nuclear issue.
民主党代表選は、候補者の器量がB級かどうかよりも、この側面が重要だと思う。

In an essay titled "Gimon darake no Kan oroshi" (Calls for Kan to step down that leave a trail of doubts) that well-respected literary critic Norihiro Kato contributed to the Mainichi in the Aug. 11 Tokyo evening edition, Kato slams the lacking rhetoric of those who criticize the now anti-nuclear Kan.
 高名な文芸評論家が「疑問だらけの菅降ろし」と題する一文を毎日新聞に寄せ、脱原発首相に対する批判勢力の言葉の貧しさを酷評した(加藤典洋、11日夕刊東京本社版)。

According to Kato, the most important political challenge we now face is the issue of nuclear power.
 それによれば、いま最大の政治課題は原発である。

Kan has explicitly put forth the new goal of denuclearization, but his detractors have not contributed any clear proposals short of maintaining the status quo, i.e. the promotion of nuclear power.
首相は脱原発という新しい価値を明示したが、反対派は現状維持(原発推進)以外に提案がない。

How to deal with a lack of electricity is a problem of economics.
足りぬ電力をどうするかは経済の問題だ。

Kan's critics have dodged the real work of much-needed political debate, working merely to undermine Kan's political efforts, Kato writes.
反対派は真に必要な政治論戦をサボり、首相の政治努力を空洞化しようとしているにすぎない--という。

Indeed, successor candidates have shown acceptance toward the preservation of nuclear power plants.  実際、後継候補たちは原発の維持に理解を示している。

Frontrunners in the race for DPJ presidency including Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda, former Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Sumio Mabuchi and Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda have respectively said: "It is realistic to amass nuclear power technology," "We will adopt the world's most stringent safety standards," and "It is dangerous to allow a simplistic notion of denuclearization to take a life of its own."
「原子力技術を蓄積することが現実的」(野田佳彦)、「世界最高の安全基準を策定する」(馬淵澄夫)、「短絡的な脱原発というイメージの独り歩きは危険」(海江田万里)……。

Some DPJ presidential hopefuls are in fact for denuclearization. But there's a sense that they're not as invested in it as Kan is.
 脱原発志向の候補もいるにはいるが、菅をしのぐまでの執念は感じられない。

"Corruptio" (corruption), a novel written by Jin Mayama and published in July, is set in the not-so-distant future in which a political realignment takes place in a post-quake Japan, resulting in a pro-nuclear coalition government.
 原発と政治を描いて話題の近未来小説「コラプティオ」(真山仁著、文芸春秋7月新刊)は、震災後の日本で政界再編が起き、原発推進派の連立政権が生まれるという話だ。

Under current circumstances, such a plot is not entirely unthinkable.
このイメージがあながち荒唐無稽(むけい)とも言えない現状なのである。

Kan doesn't seem to think that will happen, however. "I think we've come to a point of no return," he told an acquaintance. "But (denuclearization) is a major policy that affects the entire social structure. So in that sense, there's still a long ways to go."
 菅はどう見ているのか。知人の問いにこう答えた。
 「もう逆戻りできないところまできたとは思うんですよ。ただ、これ(脱原発)は、社会構造全部にかかわる大政策ですからね。そういう意味では、まだまだこれからですよ」

Asked whether he had any lingering regret about leaving his post, Kan responded, "If I waited until I had no more regrets, I'd have to continue (to be prime minister) for another 10 years.
 政権に未練はないかという質問には、「そんなこと言ったら10年やってなくちゃいけない」。

" Kan is said to have read through Kato's essay, and said, "Somewhere out there, there are those who understand."
先に引いた加藤典洋の文章にも目を通しており、「見てくれている人は、見てくれている」と自負を語ったという。

It is not that post-Kan candidates are outright against denuclearization.
 「ポスト菅」候補の面々も脱原発を否定しているわけではない。

It's that their campaign strategies involve refraining from making any concrete pro- or anti-nuclear power statements.
脱原発とも原発推進ともつかぬ玉虫色へ逃げ込むことが選挙対策になっている。

Only with votes can they win the post of DPJ chief and prime minister.
代表(首相)の座も票次第。

One can imagine how one of these candidates-turned-prime minister will fare when he or she comes head-to-head with the pro-nuclear government-industrial complex.
察しはつくが、それで原発推進の官産複合体と相撲が取れるか。

Pro-nuclear advocates argue that the promotion of nuclear energy is a major trend around the world, with an unsophisticated Japan the only one left wavering.
 原発推進派の世界観にしたがえば「世界の主流は原発推進であり、青臭く迷っているのは日本だけ」である。

However, domestic distrust toward nuclear power has been smoldering respectively in the U.S., Russia, Britain and France.
だが、米露英仏といえども国内で原発不信がくすぶっている。

After all, one of the world's largest nuclear power plants -- with three times the output of Chernobyl -- in the world's third largest economic superpower had collapsed.
 なにしろ、世界3位の経済大国で世界最大級の原発(出力でチェルノブイリの3倍)が崩壊したのだ。

The world has watched as some 100,000 people have fled their homes because of government-sanctioned or voluntary evacuations.
世界注視の中、強制退去と自主避難を合わせ、10万人が故郷を追われて流浪している。

There's no reason for Japan to speak about its future in hushed tones out of regard for those who are a part of some "major trend around the world."
「世界の主流」の皆様に気兼ねして小声で将来を語る必要など、どこにもない。

I also have a problem with the know-it-alls who remark the decision for denuclearization has already been made, and that all that remains is "just" a schedule for its implementation.
 「脱原発は決まった、後はスケジュールの問題だ」という訳知り顔の解説もひっかかる。

Sure, but who's actually going to do the scheduling?
ごもっともだが、そのスケジュールを誰が詰めるのか。

Setting a deadline for five years from now or 50 years from now is as different as denuclearization and the promotion of nuclear power.
刻限が5年と50年では、脱原発と原発推進ほどの違いがある。

It is worrisome that we do not know where Ichiro Ozawa, who leads the biggest faction within the DPJ and has the power to make or break the election for party president, stands on nuclear energy policy.
 党内最大グループを率いて代表選を左右する小沢一郎元代表の原発観が不明な点も気になる。

Let us hope that he comes clean with his views.
明確にしてほしい。

The DPJ presidential race is not an election in which to select a leader "with common sense" to counteract Kan, who has been characterized as lacking in that area.
 これは「非常識な菅」の代わりに常識家を選ぶ選挙ではない。

Nor is the election one in which to select a puppet leader that can be manipulated by a former DPJ head.
元代表の操り人形を選ぶ選挙でもない。

Rather, the election is a chance to choose a leader who will challenge the pro-nuclear government-industrial complex, possessing both the will and ability to implement reforms.
原発推進の官産複合体に挑み、改革する意志と実力を備えた指導者を選ぶ。

The election must be seen and used as an opportunity to display Japan's national resolve to the world.
その国家意思を世界に示す機会にしなければならない。

(By Takao Yamada, Expert Senior Writer)
(敬称略)(毎週月曜日掲載)

毎日新聞 2011年8月22日 東京朝刊
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2011-08-23 06:38 | 英字新聞

発信箱:送り火に祈る=布施広

(Mainichi Japan) August 20, 2011
Saga over using firewood from tsunami-hit area in Kyoto bonfire shows cultural gap
発信箱:送り火に祈る=布施広

When I was living in Kyoto as a student decades ago, I often climbed Mount Daimonji, one of the sites for Gozan no Okuribi, a traditional bonfire festival in this ancient capital.
 学生時代を京都で過ごしたので大文字山にはよく登った。送り火の大文字保存会も身近な存在だった。

It is hard labor, but a significant event to bring a large quantity of firewood up to the mountain and set it alight in the shape of the kanji character, "dai" ("big").
夏の盛り、大量のまきを山に運び、火床を配して燃やすのは大変だが、意義深い行事である。

When I heard that firewood from a pine tree from the tsunami-hit city of Rikuzentakata in Iwate Prefecture would be used for the bonfire I was impressed as it is a good ceremony to express condolences to disaster victims. 今年は岩手県陸前高田市の松を燃やすと聞いた時は、鎮魂の儀式としていい考えだと感心した。

Gozan no Okuribi is a ceremony to send off the spirits of the dead, who Buddhists believe come home to stay with their relatives during the Obon holiday period in mid-August before returning to heaven.
(祇園の送り火はお盆に天国より戻った祖先たちの魂をなぐさめるための儀式なのだ。 ・・・スラチャイ訳)

However, the plan was cancelled after the organizer of the event as well as the local government wavered over whether to go ahead with it due to radiation concerns.
 この計画が二転三転、結局中止されたのは周知の通りだ。

In the end, small amounts of radioactive cesium were detected in the surface of the firewood, and the organizer and the local government had no choice but to bow to some local residents' arguments that burning Rikuzentakata firewood could spread radiation in the city and that it could taint water in Lake Biwa, which is used for drinking.
松材からセシウムが検出され、「放射能をばらまくのか」「水がめの琵琶湖が汚れる」などの声に抗しきれなかったらしい。

It is highly questionable whether such criticism has any scientific basis, but Gozan no Okuribi is a religious festival.
科学的根拠は疑問だが、もともと宗教的な伝統行事だ。

Scraping the surface of the firewood to remove cesium would never convince local residents who long for "pure" fire.
「松材の表皮を削れば問題ないのに」という感覚では、「きれいな火」を求める人々とは分かり合えまい。

It is difficult to coordinate views between the festival organizer and worried local residents.
調整はなかなか難しい。

Takeo Kuwahara, a French literature expert who lived in Kyoto for many years, wrote in his book, "Gakumon no Sekai" ("The World of Academics") that Kyoto residents are often described as "wicked," "individualistic," "cold" and "calm," just like the French.
 京都に長く住んだ仏文学者の桑原武夫によると、京都はフランスに似て「意地が悪い」「個人主義」「冷たい」「冷静」などと言われるそうだ(講談社学術文庫「学問の世界」)。

But let's put aside comparisons between Kyoto residents and French people now.
フランスとの比較はともかく、

Some people have criticized the Kyoto Municipal Government and the organizer as being "narrow minded" over the latest case, while others have appreciated their decision as "calm judgment not being overwhelmed by emotion."
今回の一件では京都市や保存会を「心が狭い」と批判する人もいるし「情に流されない冷静な判断」を評価する声もある。

Others may call the decision a typical response by Kyoto.
いかにも京都らしいともいえようか。

Personally, I think the decision is regrettable because I wonder whether they should have been so afraid of such small levels of radiation.
 私自身は「そんなに恐れる必要があったか」と残念だが、

At the same time, however, I have no intention of making light of the ancient capital's sensitiveness and culture.
古都の生活感覚を軽く見る気もない。

As a former resident, I have the impression that Kyoto, which is situated in a basin, forms a unique space both topographically and culturally, and that various things -- both tangible and intangible and good and evil -- gather and accumulate there, just like a satellite dish facing the sky.
元住民として言わせてもらえば、盆地の京都は地形的にも文化的にも独特の空間を形成し、空に向けた巨大なパラボラのように有形無形、善悪正邪、いろんなものが集まって堆積(たいせき)する感覚がある。

Therefore, careful behind-the-scenes efforts to persuade relevant parties to accept the burning of Rikuzentakata firewood in the festival should have been made in advance.
 だからこそ今年の送り火には入念な根回しが必要だったのだが、

But rather than blame the relevant parties, I would like to think the latest case has called into question how the entire nation should wisely handle radiation.
関係者だけを責めるより、全国的に放射線との賢明な付き合い方が改めて問われたと考えたい。

I prayed to the Kyoto bonfire on Aug. 16 that firewood from quake- and tsunami-hit areas can be burned in the Gozan no Okuribi festival next year and that the ongoing nuclear crisis, which continues to release radiation into the air, will be settled at an early date.
16日の送り火に祈った。来年は被災地の松を燃やせるように。何よりも、この「放射能時代」が早く終わるように。

(By Hiroshi Fuse, Expert Senior Writer)
(論説室)

毎日新聞 2011年8月18日 東京朝刊
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2011-08-22 07:28 | 英字新聞