<   2012年 10月 ( 31 )   > この月の画像一覧

電気自動車 不毛な規格争いは混乱を招く

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Oct. 30, 2012)
Carmakers shouldn't fight over EV charging systems
電気自動車 不毛な規格争いは混乱を招く(10月29日付・読売社説)

It now seems inevitable that conflict will emerge between Japanese and Western automakers over charging systems for electric vehicles.
 電気自動車(EV)の充電規格を巡り、日本と欧米メーカーの対立が決定的になった。

The difficulties are a blow to the Japanese auto industry, which had aimed to make its battery charging system a global standard. Domestic carmakers are now being urged to review their strategy so they can further promote their electric models.
 日本方式の国際標準化を狙った日本勢には痛手だ。EVの本格的な普及を目指し、戦略の見直しを迫られよう。

EVs are regarded as the ultimate eco-friendly vehicle because they emit no carbon dioxide, while their major disadvantage is a range of only about 200 kilometers per charge.
 EVは走行中に二酸化炭素(CO2)を出さない究極のエコカーとして期待される。ただ、1回のフル充電で走行できる距離が約200キロ・メートルと短いのが難点だ。

Automakers have been competing over improvements in the quality of the lithium-ion batteries EVs run on, as well as over fast-charging technology.
 搭載するリチウムイオン電池の性能と、急速に充電できる技術を各社が競っている。

The Japanese auto industry--including Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Co., both of which mass-produce EVs--has successfully implemented its CHAdeMo system and has called for European and U.S. automakers to adopt it.
 「チャデモ方式」と言われるEVの急速充電器を実用化したのはEVを量産している日産自動車や三菱自動車など日本の業界だ。欧米にも採用を呼びかけた。

===

Incompatible systems

However, the U.S. auto industry has decided on a different system, called Combo, which is being promoted mainly by General Motors Co. of the United States and Germany's Volkswagen AG.
 しかし、米国の業界団体は、米ゼネラル・モーターズ(GM)や独フォルクスワーゲン(VW)などが推進する「コンボ方式」という別の規格の採用を決めた。

The two schemes use different charging connectors and are incompatible with each other.
 双方で使われる充電コネクタは異なり、互換性がない。

Although Combo is still in development (it is expected to be ready in 2013 or later), the U.S. auto industry rejected a proposal from the Japanese auto industry apparently out of fear the EV market would come to be dominated by Japanese firms.
 コンボはまだ机上プランに過ぎず、実用化は2013年以降とされる。にもかかわらず、米業界が日本の提案を退けたのは、EV市場で日本に主導権を握られることを警戒したからだろう。

If the Combo system becomes standard in the West and other markets, Japanese automakers, despite currently being ahead in developing a charging system, would instead find themselves isolated.
 将来、欧米市場などでコンボが標準化されると、先行していた日本勢が逆に孤立化する。

Automakers should make customer convenience their top priority. Having two different systems would confuse people, which could negatively effect EV sales.
 自動車業界が最優先すべきは、ユーザーの利便性向上である。二つの規格が併存すれば、混乱を招き、EVの販売にもブレーキがかかりかねない。

In sales terms, EVs are less popular than hybrid vehicles, which use both gasoline and electric motors. Thus a global tussle over a vital EV technology is highly unwelcome.
 エコカー競争では、ガソリンと電気モーターで走るハイブリッド車が人気を集め、EVの普及は遅れている。それだけに世界の業界が基盤技術の規格で対立することは好ましくない。

===

Adopt flexible approach

We believe Japanese automakers should not only try to promote CHAdeMo, but should undertake initiatives to develop technology to make the two systems compatible.
 日本メーカーは、チャデモの利用拡大を狙うとともに、二つの規格に互換性をもたせる技術開発も主導すべきではないか。

It is also important for Japanese makers to accommodate China--the world's largest auto market--which is developing its own EV charging system.
 独自規格を作ろうとする動きが出ている世界最大の市場である中国を取り込むことも重要だ。

Further, installing many more charging stations and other necessary EV facilities both in Japan and abroad is important to make EVs more popular.
 EV普及に弾みをつけるためには、急速充電できるスタンドなどを国内外で急増させるべきだ。

Despite its technological prowess, Japan has sometimes failed to make its technologies the global standard--typical examples being its analog high-definition broadcasting system and mobile phone technology. No more such failures should be allowed.
 これまでも日本は、アナログハイビジョン放送や携帯電話などの技術開発で先行したのに、世界標準化できなかった。こうした失敗を繰り返してはなるまい。

It is reasonable that the government decided in its strategy for promoting intellectual property to prioritize making Japanese technologies into global standards. The government and the private sector should work together to find ways to achieve this goal so Japanese companies can increase their industrial competitiveness.
 政府が知的財産推進計画で国際標準化を重視する方針を掲げているのは妥当だ。産業競争力を強化するには、標準化を獲得する方策を官民で検討する必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 29, 2012)
(2012年10月29日01時53分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-10-31 06:52 | 英字新聞

公取委員長不在 「市場の番人」務めが果たせぬ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Oct. 29, 2012)
FTC chairman's empty seat must be filled--now
公取委員長不在 「市場の番人」務めが果たせぬ(10月28日付・読売社説)

The Fair Trade Commission chairman's seat has been empty for more than a month.
 公正取引委員会の委員長ポストの空席が、1か月以上に及んでいる。

The government must submit a proposal to fill this vacancy in the coming extraordinary Diet session and obtain approval from both houses of the Diet to resolve this irregularity.
 政府は臨時国会で人事案を示し、衆参両院の同意を得て、異常事態を解消せねばならない。

Kazuhiko Takeshima retired as FTC chairman on Sept. 26 after completing his second five-year term. However, the government did not submit a proposal to fill the vacancy to the ordinary Diet session.
 竹島一彦前委員長は9月26日、2期10年の任期を満了し、退任した。だが、政府は通常国会で後任の人事案を提示しなかった。

The five-member FTC board now lacks two members as one of the members died before Takeshima retired. It is the first time since the FTC was inaugurated for the board to have only three members.
 急逝した別の委員と合わせて2人の欠員が生じ、5人で構成する公取委は初の3人体制を余儀なくされている。

This means that if a single member is unable to attend a meeting, the FTC will lack a quorum. If this situation continues, it may affect the operations of the commission.
委員が1人欠けても委員会は開くことができず、このままでは、公取委の業務に支障をきたしかねない。

The FTC plays a leading role in keeping competition fair through such activities as clamping down on price cartels, bid rigging and illicit activities of administrative organizations as well as by approving corporate mergers.
 公取委は、企業のカルテルや談合、行政組織の不正などにメスを入れ、企業合併にお墨付きを与える競争政策の司令塔である。

Needless to say, the responsibility of the chairman is especially heavy. It is extremely problematic to leave the seat vacant for a prolonged period.
 委員長の責任は特に重い。そのポストを長期間、不在のまま放置するのは問題だ。

Democratic Party of Japan-led administrations have a bad habit of lightheartedly shelving decisions on important policies and personnel appointments and placing the blame squarely on the divided Diet, in which opposition parties control the House of Councillors. The party should break this habit immediately.
 衆参ねじれ国会を言い訳に重要な政策や人事の決定を安易に先送りするのは、民主党政権の悪癖である。早急に改めるべきだ。

===

Commission's functions stronger

Recently, the FTC has been steadily strengthening its functions as a "guardian of the market."
 公取委はこのところ、「市場の番人」としての機能強化を着々と進めている。

Drastic revisions to the Antimonopoly Law gave the FTC authority to launch legally binding investigations. Financial penalties for companies violating the Antimonopoly Law were raised, while a system was adopted to reduce or exempt surcharges on companies voluntarily reporting bid rigging.
 独占禁止法の抜本改正で、強制調査権を手にした。違反企業への課徴金を引き上げる一方、談合を自己申告した企業の課徴金を減免する制度も取り入れた。

Such changes enabled the FTC board to take a more effective carrot-and-stick approach, leading to a number of serious violations being uncovered. The amount of financial penalties imposed on companies reached a record 72 billion yen in fiscal 2010.
 こうした「アメとムチ」を駆使する執行体制の下で、大型事件を相次いで摘発した。2010年度の課徴金総額は、過去最高の720億円に達した。

Still, illegal business practices show no sign of declining significantly. Bid rigging involving officials of the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry and the Defense Ministry were revealed recently.
 それでも、不正取引は後を絶たない。最近は、国土交通省や防衛省の官製談合が表面化した。

Also noteworthy is the practice of companies abusing their status to "oppress" subcontractors, such as by demanding lower prices or delaying payment. The public places high hopes on the FTC as a watchdog to prevent illegal practices.
 親会社が優先的地位を乱用し、代金の値下げや支払いを遅らせるといった「下請けいじめ」も目立つ。不正に目を光らせる公取委への期待は大きい。

===

Bigger role in corporate mergers

The FTC's role of approving corporate mergers is also gaining weight as the number of mergers that influence the global market is increasing, due to the rapid globalization of the economy.
 グローバル経済の進展で世界的な企業統合が相次ぎ、合併審査も重要度を増している。

The commission recently revised its methods in approving corporate mergers, such as by paying more attention to the global market share of the merging companies as well as simplifying the approval process.
 最近では、世界の市場占有率を重視し、時間がかかると不評だった手続きを迅速化するなど、新たな手法を取り入れた。

The revision has enabled the FTC to more rapidly complete its examination of huge mergers, such as that between Nippon Steel Corp. and Sumitomo Metal Industries, Ltd. and the management integration of the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the Osaka Securities Exchange.
 新日本製鉄と住友金属工業の合併、東京証券取引所と大阪証券取引所の経営統合といった大型案件で、従来よりスピード審査ができたのもこのためだ。

Considering the importance of the FTC role, its leadership must be returned to good working order as soon as possible.
 やはり、公取委の体制を早急に整えるべきである。

The Diet also has not yet approved the government's personnel appointments for the Nuclear Regulation Authority and the NHK Board of Governors. It is time to put an end to the prolonged turmoil caused by the Diet's failure to approve the government's appointments, which is the result of political maneuvering.
 原子力規制委員やNHK経営委員などの国会同意も遅れている。政局が招く国会同意人事の混乱を長引かせてはならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 28, 2012)
(2012年10月28日01時25分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-10-30 07:26 | 英字新聞

石原都知事辞任 国政復帰に何が期待できるか

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Oct. 27, 2012)
Ishihara's dramatic move: What does it portend?
石原都知事辞任 国政復帰に何が期待できるか(10月26日付・読売社説)

Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara announced at a hastily arranged press conference Thursday that he would resign as governor.
 東京都の石原慎太郎知事が急きょ記者会見し、辞任を表明した。

He also said he would form a new political party and run in the next House of Representatives election.
 新党を結成し、次期衆院選に出馬するという。

Five members of both houses of the Diet from the Sunrise Party of Japan will join his new party.
新党には、たちあがれ日本に所属する衆参両院議員の5人らが参加する。

While denying his party plans to cooperation with Ichiro Ozawa, leader of the People's Life First party, Ishihara indicated his intention of joining hands with other political forces, such as Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), led by Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto.
 石原氏は、国民の生活が第一の小沢一郎代表との連携は否定し、橋下徹大阪市長の率いる日本維新の会などと連携していく考えを示した。

With a new party, Ishihara aims to create a third major political force to unite conservatives, drawing a line between his party and the Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of Japan.
自民、民主両党とは一線を画し、保守勢力の結集による「第3極」を狙っている。

Will Ishihara's action, which he calls his "last service to the country," jolt national politics out of the smothering sense of helplessness brought on by unproductive conflict between the ruling and opposition parties?
 「最後のご奉公」という石原氏の行動が、与野党の不毛な対立で閉塞感の漂う国政に一石を投じることになるだろうか。

===

Factors behind his decision

Regarding the scheme of forming a new party, something he had reportedly decided not to do in the past, Ishihara said in April that he would "start it all over." His turnabout in forming a new party is believed to have much to do with the fact that the issue of the purchase of part of the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, which he had sought persistently as governor, was settled with the recent purchase by the national government.
 今回の新党構想について、石原氏は4月、「白紙に戻す」と語っていた。一転して新党結成へ動いたのは、執念を見せていた尖閣諸島の購入問題が国有化で決着したからだと見られている。

Ishihara's decision may also have been influenced by the defeat of his eldest son, former LDP secretary general Nobuteru Ishihara, in the LDP's recent presidential election, which removes a major obstacle to Ishihara's forming a new party that would compete with the LDP.
 自民党総裁選で長男の石原伸晃前幹事長が敗北したため、自民党と対抗する新党の結成に支障がなくなったとの判断もあろう。

Yet it isn't entirely clear what Ishihara, now 80, intends to achieve by returning to the national political fray, especially at an age when he should be concerned about his health.
 80歳の石原氏が健康面も気遣いながら、国政で何を実現したいのかは、必ずしも明確ではない。

At the press conference, Ishihara fiercely criticized the way the nation's bureaucratic system operates, saying, "We must change the rigid system controlled by bureaucrats of the central government."
 石原氏は記者会見で、「硬直した中央官僚の支配する制度を変えなければ駄目だ」と官僚制度の在り方を激しく批判した。

He also emphasized the need to amend the Constitution, his cherished idea, and to work out measures to reinforce the nation's control of the Senkaku Islands.
持論の憲法改正や沖縄県・尖閣諸島の実効支配の強化策なども力説した。

We can agree, to a certain extent, on his awareness of problems concerning the current situation of national politics.
 国政の現状に対する問題意識には、うなずける点もある。

===

Clearer vision needed

However, we want Ishihara to spell out his policies in more concrete detail and lay out his strategies to realize them. As Ishihara, who assumed the governorship following 25-plus years of service as a Diet member, quit his job without completing his fourth term--to which he was elected just last year--to return to national politics, we would like to know more about his thinking.
 ただ、かつて25年余も国会議員を務めた石原氏が、昨年4選を果たした知事を途中で辞め、国政復帰を目指すと言う以上、もっと具体的な政策と、それを実現する戦略を語ってもらいたい。

Takeo Hiranuma, leader of the Sunrise Party, apparently hopes to see a new wind start blowing in politics with "the two leading figures" of "Hashimoto from western Japan and Ishihara from eastern Japan." But things won't be so simple.
 たちあがれ日本の平沼代表は「西は橋下、東は石原」の“二枚看板”で風を起こしたいようだが、そう簡単な話ではない。

While Hashimoto said he has many policies that are in accord with those of Ishihara, he has also said some of Ishihara's statements on nuclear power and energy policies are out of line with his own. Clearly, it is vital to reconcile their policies.
 橋下氏は、石原氏と一致する政策が多いとしながらも原発・エネルギー政策などで「軸がずれている」との見解を示した。やはり、政策のすりあわせが不可欠だ。

A new party led by a popular head of a local government, such as Ishihara or Hashimoto, is drawing a certain amount of expectation from the public.
 石原、橋下両氏ら人気の高い首長をトップに据える新党が、国民から一定の期待を集めている。

This is made possible by the people's strong distrust and discontent with the existing political parties, which have been mired in "politics incapable of making decisions."
 これは、「決められない政治」に陥っている既成政党に対する不信や不満が強いことの裏返しでもあろう。

Within the DPJ, there is a sense of danger that Ishihara's new party may prompt more members to leave the party. And in the LDP, there is concern that conservative voters may become divided.
民主党内には、石原新党がさらに離党を誘発することに警戒感がある。自民党にも、保守票の分散への懸念があるという。

We would like to see what sort of ripples of "political reorganization" Ishihara's new party will set in motion.
 石原新党が今後仕掛ける「政界再編」が、果たしてどんな波紋を広げるか見定めたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 26, 2012)
(2012年10月26日01時41分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-10-29 06:40 | 英字新聞

石原都知事辞任 国政復帰に何が期待できるか

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Oct. 27, 2012)
Ishihara's dramatic move: What does it portend?
石原都知事辞任 国政復帰に何が期待できるか(10月26日付・読売社説)

Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara announced at a hastily arranged press conference Thursday that he would resign as governor.
 東京都の石原慎太郎知事が急きょ記者会見し、辞任を表明した。

He also said he would form a new political party and run in the next House of Representatives election.
 新党を結成し、次期衆院選に出馬するという。

Five members of both houses of the Diet from the Sunrise Party of Japan will join his new party.
新党には、たちあがれ日本に所属する衆参両院議員の5人らが参加する。

While denying his party plans to cooperation with Ichiro Ozawa, leader of the People's Life First party, Ishihara indicated his intention of joining hands with other political forces, such as Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), led by Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto.
 石原氏は、国民の生活が第一の小沢一郎代表との連携は否定し、橋下徹大阪市長の率いる日本維新の会などと連携していく考えを示した。

With a new party, Ishihara aims to create a third major political force to unite conservatives, drawing a line between his party and the Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of Japan.
自民、民主両党とは一線を画し、保守勢力の結集による「第3極」を狙っている。

Will Ishihara's action, which he calls his "last service to the country," jolt national politics out of the smothering sense of helplessness brought on by unproductive conflict between the ruling and opposition parties?
 「最後のご奉公」という石原氏の行動が、与野党の不毛な対立で閉塞感の漂う国政に一石を投じることになるだろうか。

===

Factors behind his decision

Regarding the scheme of forming a new party, something he had reportedly decided not to do in the past, Ishihara said in April that he would "start it all over." His turnabout in forming a new party is believed to have much to do with the fact that the issue of the purchase of part of the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, which he had sought persistently as governor, was settled with the recent purchase by the national government.
 今回の新党構想について、石原氏は4月、「白紙に戻す」と語っていた。一転して新党結成へ動いたのは、執念を見せていた尖閣諸島の購入問題が国有化で決着したからだと見られている。

Ishihara's decision may also have been influenced by the defeat of his eldest son, former LDP secretary general Nobuteru Ishihara, in the LDP's recent presidential election, which removes a major obstacle to Ishihara's forming a new party that would compete with the LDP.
 自民党総裁選で長男の石原伸晃前幹事長が敗北したため、自民党と対抗する新党の結成に支障がなくなったとの判断もあろう。

Yet it isn't entirely clear what Ishihara, now 80, intends to achieve by returning to the national political fray, especially at an age when he should be concerned about his health.
 80歳の石原氏が健康面も気遣いながら、国政で何を実現したいのかは、必ずしも明確ではない。

At the press conference, Ishihara fiercely criticized the way the nation's bureaucratic system operates, saying, "We must change the rigid system controlled by bureaucrats of the central government."
 石原氏は記者会見で、「硬直した中央官僚の支配する制度を変えなければ駄目だ」と官僚制度の在り方を激しく批判した。

He also emphasized the need to amend the Constitution, his cherished idea, and to work out measures to reinforce the nation's control of the Senkaku Islands.
持論の憲法改正や沖縄県・尖閣諸島の実効支配の強化策なども力説した。

We can agree, to a certain extent, on his awareness of problems concerning the current situation of national politics.
 国政の現状に対する問題意識には、うなずける点もある。

===

Clearer vision needed

However, we want Ishihara to spell out his policies in more concrete detail and lay out his strategies to realize them. As Ishihara, who assumed the governorship following 25-plus years of service as a Diet member, quit his job without completing his fourth term--to which he was elected just last year--to return to national politics, we would like to know more about his thinking.
 ただ、かつて25年余も国会議員を務めた石原氏が、昨年4選を果たした知事を途中で辞め、国政復帰を目指すと言う以上、もっと具体的な政策と、それを実現する戦略を語ってもらいたい。

Takeo Hiranuma, leader of the Sunrise Party, apparently hopes to see a new wind start blowing in politics with "the two leading figures" of "Hashimoto from western Japan and Ishihara from eastern Japan." But things won't be so simple.
 たちあがれ日本の平沼代表は「西は橋下、東は石原」の“二枚看板”で風を起こしたいようだが、そう簡単な話ではない。

While Hashimoto said he has many policies that are in accord with those of Ishihara, he has also said some of Ishihara's statements on nuclear power and energy policies are out of line with his own. Clearly, it is vital to reconcile their policies.
 橋下氏は、石原氏と一致する政策が多いとしながらも原発・エネルギー政策などで「軸がずれている」との見解を示した。やはり、政策のすりあわせが不可欠だ。

A new party led by a popular head of a local government, such as Ishihara or Hashimoto, is drawing a certain amount of expectation from the public.
 石原、橋下両氏ら人気の高い首長をトップに据える新党が、国民から一定の期待を集めている。

This is made possible by the people's strong distrust and discontent with the existing political parties, which have been mired in "politics incapable of making decisions."
 これは、「決められない政治」に陥っている既成政党に対する不信や不満が強いことの裏返しでもあろう。

Within the DPJ, there is a sense of danger that Ishihara's new party may prompt more members to leave the party. And in the LDP, there is concern that conservative voters may become divided.
民主党内には、石原新党がさらに離党を誘発することに警戒感がある。自民党にも、保守票の分散への懸念があるという。

We would like to see what sort of ripples of "political reorganization" Ishihara's new party will set in motion.
 石原新党が今後仕掛ける「政界再編」が、果たしてどんな波紋を広げるか見定めたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 26, 2012)
(2012年10月26日01時41分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-10-28 08:17 | 英字新聞

防衛予算 将来見据えて削減に歯止めを

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Oct. 26, 2012)
Stop defense budget cuts, keep eye on future
防衛予算 将来見据えて削減に歯止めを(10月25日付・読売社説)

Improvement of defense capabilities cannot be achieved overnight. It is time to stop slashing defense-related spending and start strengthening the Self-Defense Forces in earnest with an eye to Japan's security environment five to 10 years from now.
 防衛力の整備は一朝一夕にはできない。5年後、10年後の日本の安全保障環境を見据えて、防衛関係費の削減に歯止めをかけ、自衛隊の態勢強化に本格的に着手する時である。

The Defense Ministry has requested 4,585.1 billion yen in budget appropriations for next fiscal year, down 1.3 percent from the previous fiscal year. Is it all right for the defense budget in fiscal 2013 to fall for the 11th year in a row?
 2013年度予算の防衛費の概算要求は前年度比1・3%減の4兆5851億円となった。このまま来年度予算が11年連続のマイナスになっても良いのだろうか。

If part of a request for budget appropriations from the special account for reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake is included, the defense budget will mark an increase from the previous fiscal year. However, that includes funds to restore damaged defense-related facilities and equipment.
 東日本大震災の復興特別会計の分を含めれば、前年度比プラスだが、それには被災した施設や装備の復旧分も含まれている。

The defense budget in the initial fiscal 2012 budget dropped by about 300 billion yen from its peak in fiscal 2002. The total decline over the past 10 years comes to as much as 1.8 trillion yen.
 防衛費は今年度当初予算で、ピークの02年度から約3000億円減少し、10年間の減少額は累積約1兆8000億円にも上る。

Defense spending cuts have caused many problems. The maintenance costs currently necessary to extend the life of ships and aircraft exceed the cost of procuring new equipment, causing equipment procurement to be delayed and the defense industry to decline. Twenty percent of SDF facilities are obsolete, aged 50 years or older.
 防衛費削減は数々の弊害を生んでいる。艦船や航空機の寿命を延ばすため、装備の整備維持費が新規調達費を上回る事態となり、調達の遅延や、防衛産業の衰退を招いている。築50年以上の老朽施設も全施設の2割を占める。

===

Russia and China bulking up

The fact that Russia and China increased their defense spending by 5.3 times and 3.4 times, respectively, over the past 10 years cannot be overlooked. While countries such as the United States, South Korea and Australia have increased their defense spending substantially, only Japan has cut it, due to financial difficulty and other reasons.
 見過ごせないのは、この10年間、ロシアが国防費を5・3倍、中国が3・4倍に伸ばしたことだ。米国、韓国、豪州などもこぞって大幅に増やす中、日本だけが財政難などを理由に減らしてきた。

In particular, vigilance must be exercised regarding the Chinese military's buildup of its equipment and expansion of its activities.
 特に、中国軍の装備増強と活動範囲の拡大は警戒を要する。

In September, an aircraft carrier was commissioned into the navy of the People's Liberation Army. On Oct. 16, seven Chinese naval vessels passed through the contiguous zone near Yonagunijima island. On Oct. 19, Chinese naval ships staged joint exercises with vessels from the State Oceanic Administration and other organizations in the East China Sea on the premise of trouble around the Senkaku Islands.
 海軍は9月、空母を就役させた。艦船7隻が今月16日、与那国島近くの接続水域を通過した。19日には東シナ海で、尖閣諸島周辺でのトラブルを想定した国家海洋局などとの合同演習を実施した。

In light of China's recent high-handed attitude over the Senkakus, the nation must be prepared for Beijing to expand its activities to make its presence felt in the medium and long terms.
 尖閣諸島をめぐる中国の最近の高圧的な姿勢を見れば、中国軍の示威活動は中長期的に拡大していくと覚悟せざるを得ない。

The Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Air Self-Defense Force have strengthened their vigilance and surveillance activities against the Chinese military. However, because patrol planes stationed in Okinawa Prefecture are insufficient, the MSDF and ASDF are only able to engage in those activities by redeploying resources from other parts of the country.
 海上・航空自衛隊は中国軍への警戒監視活動を強化しているが、沖縄駐在の哨戒機では足りず、全国からの応援で対応している。

China's defense spending is currently more than 50 percent greater than that of Japan. If its defense spending continues to increase at the current pace, this gap will widen to 500 percent 10 years from now. The situation is extremely grave.
 中国の国防費は現在、日本の1・5倍強だ。今の増額ペースが続けば、10年後にはその差が5倍に広がる。極めて深刻な事態だ。

===

Make SDF bigger, more dynamic

It is essential to use the defense budget efficiently and review the SDF's current setup. To prioritize a buildup of "dynamic defense capabilities" in the southwestern region of the country, it is necessary to further reduce the number of Ground Self-Defense Force personnel, garrisons, tanks and artillery in other areas, mainly Hokkaido.
 防衛予算を効率的に使い、自衛隊の態勢を見直すことが大切だ。海自や空自など、南西方面の「動的防衛力」の強化を優先するには、北海道を中心に、陸上自衛隊の定数や駐屯地、戦車・火砲の削減を一層進める必要がある。

Since the end of the Cold War, Japan has beefed up Japan-U.S. defense cooperation by continually improving defense capabilities with a focus on quality rather than quantity. But from now on, Japan must seriously consider reinforcing the SDF while giving consideration to its quantity as well.
 日本は冷戦終結後、量より質を重視した防衛力整備を続け、日米の防衛協力を強化してきた。今後は、量にも配慮した自衛隊の拡充を真剣に考えねばなるまい。

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said he will protect the nation's territorial land and sea "with unwavering resolve." He should reflect that resolve in the budget.
 野田首相は「不退転の覚悟で」領土・領海を守ると言う以上、その覚悟を予算に反映すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 25, 2012)
(2012年10月25日02時03分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-10-27 08:36 | 英字新聞

米大統領選 対中圧力で一致した外交討論

Obama, Romney agree on applying pressure on China
The Yomiuri Shimbun (Oct. 25, 2012)
米大統領選 対中圧力で一致した外交討論(10月24日付・読売社説)

Which candidate will win the closely contested U.S. presidential election?
 接戦の米大統領選を制するのはどちらか。

President Barack Obama, a Democratic candidate seeking reelection, and Republican candidate Mitt Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, crossed swords in a heated third and final nationally televised debate Monday.
 再選に挑む民主党のオバマ大統領と、政権奪還を目指す共和党候補のロムニー前マサチューセッツ州知事が、最後のテレビ討論会で熱の入った論戦を展開した。

Polls taken immediately after the debate suggested Obama won the verbal joust. This, combined with the unemployment rate's recent fall to 7.8 percent, could provide Obama with a tailwind.
 終了直後の世論調査ではオバマ勝利と見る結果が出た。失業率が7・8%に改善されたのと合わせオバマ氏に追い風となろう。

But the two candidates remain locked in a dead heat in public support rates. The fierce battle will certainly continue until Election Day on Nov. 6.
 だが、支持率は拮抗(きっこう)している。11月6日の投開票まで、激しい競り合いが続くのは間違いない。

The topics for the final debate were diplomatic and security issues.
 討論会のテーマは、外交・安全保障問題だった。

The Middle East situation has become chaotic in the aftermath of the Arab Spring revolutionary movement and as the civil war in Syria intensifies. In Asia, North Korea forges ahead with its development of nuclear weapons and China has expanded its military presence in the East China Sea and the South China Sea. How will the next U.S. president handle these issues? The attention of Japan and many other countries was focused on the debate in this respect.
 「アラブの春」やシリア内戦で混沌(こんとん)とする中東情勢、北朝鮮の核武装問題、東シナ海や南シナ海における中国の軍事的膨張などに、超大国・米国の次期大統領はどう対処していくのか。日本はじめ世界中が注目した。

===

Is U.S. power ebbing?

Romney criticized Obama's diplomacy as weak-kneed, saying that "nowhere in the world is America's influence greater today than it was four years ago."
 ロムニー氏は「この4年間に米国の影響力は世界で弱体化した」と“弱腰”外交を攻撃した。

Obama, who gave a lackluster performance in the first debate on the economy, was more eloquent as he discussed diplomatic issues.
 オバマ氏は、経済をテーマとした討論会では精彩を欠いたが、外交問題では雄弁だった。

The president boasted of his diplomatic achievements such as ending the war in Iraq, paving the way for withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan and listing the effects of tough sanctions imposed on Iran to check its nuclear development program. Citing these points to refute Romney's contention, Obama said the United States "is stronger now than when I came into office."
 イラクでの戦争を終わらせ、アフガニスタンでも米軍撤収に道筋をつけた。イラン核開発の阻止へ制裁強化が効果をあげている。こうした実績を示しながら、「米国は強くなった」と反論した。

However, Romney was correct in the sense that U.S. influence has declined in relative terms due to the rise of China and other newly emerging countries.
 だが、中国など新興国の台頭によって相対的に米国の影響力が弱まっているという意味では、ロムニー氏の指摘は正しい。

Obama said China is "both an adversary, but also a potential partner in the international community if it's following the rules."
 その中国を巡り、オバマ氏は、「敵であると同時に、ルールに従うなら国際社会でのパートナーになり得る」と述べた。

Beijing is a principal trade partner for Washington. The United States is running the biggest trade deficit with that country among its trade partners. China is now the nation holding the most U.S. Treasury bonds after it overtook Japan. Therefore, China must be closely watched by the United States, but at the same time their relationship is interdependent.
 米国にとって中国は、主要な貿易相手国であり最大の貿易赤字相手国である。米国債の保有残高では日本を抜き世界最大の債権国となった。警戒すべき相手であると同時に相互依存の関係にある。

===

Compliance with rules

Obama stressed his policy line of pressuring Beijing to conduct economic activities based on international standards and bolstering cooperation with allies in carrying out security policies.
 オバマ氏は、経済では国際基準に従うよう圧力をかけ、安全保障政策では同盟国などと連携を強化する路線を強調したと言える。

Romney, for his part, stated he would deal with China strictly if it violated international rules, declaring he would label China "a currency manipulator" on his first day in office. He displayed a harder line toward Beijing than Obama did.
 ロムニー氏も、中国のルール違反には厳しく対処し、「就任当日に為替操作国に指定する」と明言した。オバマ政権より強硬な対中姿勢を示したものだ。

Obama reconfirmed that the United States, as a Pacific Rim nation, would attach importance to Asia. Romney basically shared this stance. This was welcome news to Japan.
 オバマ氏は、米国が太平洋国家としてアジアを重視することを再確認した。ロムニー氏も基本的な認識は一致している。日本としては、歓迎できる。

Japan, together with the United States, should urge China to comply with international rules. Japan needs to make all-out efforts to maintain its territorial integrity and ensure the freedom of navigation and trade.
 日本は、米国と共に、中国に国際ルールを順守するよう求め、領土の保全や、航海、貿易の自由の確保に万全を期す必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 24, 2012)
(2012年10月24日01時33分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-10-26 06:06 | 英字新聞

危ない自転車 運転マナー欠如が事故を招く

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Oct. 24, 2012)
Rising tide of bicycle accidents calls for education, enforcement
危ない自転車 運転マナー欠如が事故を招く(10月23日付・読売社説)

Bicycling through gaps between pedestrians at high speed. Furiously ringing a bell at people walking ahead. Such dangerous and reckless behavior by bicyclists continues without end.
 歩行者の間を猛スピードですり抜ける。前を歩く人に向かって、ベルを激しく鳴らす。自転車の危険で無謀な運転が後を絶たない。

Urgent measures must be taken to make bicycle riders obey traffic rules.
 自転車の利用者が交通ルールをきちんと守るよう、有効な対策を講じることが急務だ。

There were about 140,000 accidents involving bicycles last year, accounting for 20 percent of all road traffic accidents and reflecting a recent uptrend in the percentage of such accidents.
 自転車がかかわった事故は昨年1年間で約14万件に上った。全交通事故に占める割合は増加傾向にあり、昨年は2割に達した。

Accidents include those between bicycles and automobiles, bicycles and pedestrians and bicycles and bicycles. Showing a remarkable increase are accidents involving bicycles and pedestrians. Last year saw 2,800 such accidents, a 50 percent rise over the past decade.
 自転車と自動車、自転車と歩行者、自転車同士という事故パターンがあるが、増加が著しいのは、自転車が歩行者に衝突する事故だ。昨年は2800件に上り、この10年で1・5倍に増えた。

According to the National Police Agency, accidents in which bicycle riders are at fault have been significant. Behind such accidents are reckless cycling on walkways, ignoring traffic signals, drunk riding, riding with a passenger and bicycling while talking on a mobile phone.
 警察庁によると、歩道での暴走、信号無視、飲酒運転、2人乗り、携帯電話で話をしながらの運転など、自転車側に落ち度のある事故が目立っている。

===

Pedestrian-first rules vital

Lack of riding manners, it can be said, cause accidents.
 運転マナーの欠如が事故を誘発していると言えよう。

Bicycles are vehicles that are easily available. But they are classified as light vehicles by law and riders are obliged to observe the Road Traffic Law. The law makes it mandatory for bicycles to run on the road. But as an exception, bicycles are permitted to use sidewalks when riding on roads is deemed dangerous, as in the case of thoroughfares.
 自転車は手軽な乗り物だが、法令上は軽車両とされ、利用者は道路交通法を守る義務がある。道交法上、自転車は車道走行が原則だ。ただ、幹線道路などで車道走行が危険な場合には、例外として歩道走行が認められている。

Speeding on sidewalks is prohibited. Pedestrian-first rules must be thoroughly driven home.
 歩道では、スピードの出し過ぎはご法度だ。歩行者優先の運転を徹底したい。

Police launched a crackdown on dangerous bicycle riding in October last year. Almost a full year has passed since then but the number of accidents has not shown the hoped-for decline.
 全国の警察では昨年10月から、危険運転の摘発強化に乗り出した。間もなく1年になるが、事故は思うように減っていない。

As for traffic violations by bicycle riders, there is no system in place to impose fines on violators, as there is for violations by drivers of automobiles. Even if violators are caught, punishment is no more than a caution in almost all cases. For this reason, simply strengthening enforcement would not deter dangerous riding.
 自転車の交通違反には、自動車のように反則金を科す制度が存在せず、摘発されても、注意にとどまるケースがほとんどだ。このため、取り締まりの強化だけでは、危険運転の抑止にはつながりにくいのではないか。

===

Seminars eyed for violators

The NPA established an expert panel earlier this month to begin studying a system that would make it mandatory for violators to attend safety seminars.
 警察庁は今月、有識者会議を設置し、違反者に安全講習を課す制度の検討を始めた。

The proposed seminars would teach that bicycles are vehicles that may pose threats to pedestrians. The seminars would introduce cases in which people died after being hit by bicycles and the riders ended up paying damages. If the seminars serve as an opportunity to learn the danger of bicycle riding, they will contribute to enhancing riders' awareness of safety.
 講習では、自転車が歩行者の脅威となる乗り物であることを教える方針だ。自転車で人をはねて死亡させ、多額の賠償金を請求された事例なども紹介する。自転車の危険性を学ぶ機会になれば、安全運転の意識も高まるだろう。

A system has been introduced in Mitaka and Musashino, both in Tokyo, to give preference in the allocation of rights to bicycle parking spots to those who voluntarily take part in safety seminars. The response to these offers exceeded the capacity of the seminars. The number of bicycle accidents has reportedly dropped by 30 percent in the two cities since the system was introduced.
 東京の三鷹市と武蔵野市では、自転車利用者の講習会に参加すれば、駐輪場の利用権を優先的に割り当てる制度を導入した。定員を上回るほどの参加者が集まり、両市内では自転車事故数が実施後に3割減少したという。

With the Mitaka and Musashino cases as a reference point, we suggest that police and local governments cooperate in studying measures to prevent dangerous riding.
 講習に参加したいと思わせる、こうした取り組みを参考に、警察と自治体が連携し、危険運転の抑止策を検討してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 23, 2012)
(2012年10月23日01時21分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-10-25 07:56 | 英字新聞

EU首脳会議 危機克服へ統合を深化せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Oct. 23, 2012)
EU must deepen integration to overcome crisis
EU首脳会議 危機克服へ統合を深化せよ(10月22日付・読売社説)

The European Union has hammered out a policy of boosting solidarity and deepening its unity in a bid to weather its fiscal crisis. This is one step forward in solving the crisis. However, the EU's ability to quickly realize its plans has yet to be tested.
 財政・金融危機の克服に向け、欧州が結束を強めて統合を深化する方針を打ち出した。一歩前進だが、問われるのは、迅速な行動である。

At a summit meeting, EU leaders agreed to have the supervision of eurozone banks--presently carried out by each member country--carried out unitarily under the European Central Bank, starting next year and continuing in stages. It can be said that the accord came in line with the plan of pushing the eurozone toward a "banking union," which would integrate the financial administration of EU members.
 欧州連合(EU)の首脳会議は、各国に委ねていた銀行監督を来年から段階的に欧州中央銀行(ECB)に一元化することで合意した。金融行政を統合する「銀行同盟」構想に沿った措置と言える。

Although European countries have been unified in their use of the euro, financial administration has been handled by each member country.
 欧州は通貨ユーロで統一されたが、金融行政や財政はバラバラという弱点がある。

Bank supervision has been lax, allowing fiscal deficits of some member countries to expand. Learning from this, the European countries have taken a step forward in deepening its integrity. This is quite appropriate.
銀行監督が甘く、財政赤字を拡大させた要因となった。その反省から欧州が統合深化に踏み出したのは妥当だ。

To provide a permanent financial stability net, the European Stability Mechanism was inaugurated on Oct. 8.
 恒久的な金融安定網として、欧州安定メカニズム(ESM)が8日に発足した。

For the ESM to shore up banks in financial difficulties through a direct capital injection, it is a prerequisite for the ESM to precisely grasp the management condition of banks.
ESMが経営悪化の銀行に直接資本注入して支援するには、銀行の経営状況を正確に把握することが前提になる。

With a single supervisor overseeing banks, the way will be opened to utilize the ESM to assist shaky banks. The supervision by one body is expected to stop a "negative chain reaction," whereby a member country rescues its banks through public funds, deteriorating its fiscal health and sending the market into disarray.
 銀行監督の一元化によって、ESMを銀行支援に活用する道が開かれる。各国が銀行を公的資金で救済して財政が悪化し、市場が混乱するという「負の連鎖」を断ち切る効果が期待されよう。

===

EU countries must act quickly

Yet it remains uncertain as to when the single supervisor for banks will be created.
 ただ、銀行監督がいつ一元化されるか曖昧な点も残る。

For the eurozone to complete the banking union, it is necessary to work out a deposit insurance system for the EU countries as a whole and measures for the disposal of failed banks.
銀行同盟を完成させるには、欧州全体の預金保険制度や、銀行が破綻した場合の処理策も必要となる。

Although Germany, wary of an increase in its financial burden, remains cautious over the creation of the supervisor, EU countries must seek a point of compromise swiftly.
負担増を警戒するドイツは慎重だが、早急に妥協点を探るべきだ。

At the summit meeting, EU leaders also agreed to discuss measures for fiscal integration, including the introduction of a "common budget for eurozone countries" designed to shore up members in fiscal crisis, with the discussions to continue at their next summit slated for December. We hope they expedite their effort in working out a concrete action schedule.
 首脳会議は、財政危機国を支える「ユーロ圏共通予算」の導入など、財政統合の方策も協議し、12月の次回会議まで議論を重ねることになった。具体的な行程表作りを急いでもらいたい。

===

Woes continue in Spain, Greece

A matter of concern is that EU leaders have deferred assistance measures for Spain, a key issue at the moment. This is because the Spanish government, which is in a serious fiscal crisis, has not sought assistance from EU authorities.
 懸念されるのは、当面の焦点であるスペインへの支援策が見送られたことだ。深刻な財政危機に陥ったスペインがまだ欧州当局に支援要請していないためだ。

Even though the yields on Spanish government bonds have been relatively stable lately, it is too early to relax. It is vital to work out assistance measures for the country and tackle fiscal reconstruction quickly.
 スペイン国債の利回りが最近、比較的落ち着いているからと言って、油断してはなるまい。速やかに支援策をまとめ、財政再建に取り組むことが肝要である。

Also worrisome is the outlook for the fiscal reconstruction of Greece, the epicenter of the European fiscal crisis. EU leaders at the summit talks put off a decision on whether they should agree to postpone the target date for putting that country's fiscal house in order, as Greece had requested.
 危機の震源地ギリシャの財政再建の先行きも懸念される。首脳会議は、ギリシャが求めた財政再建目標の先送りに応じるかどうかについて決着を持ち越した。

The EU won the Nobel Peace Prize this year for its role in contributing to the peace and reconciliation of Europe and the promotion of democracy and human rights.
 EUは今年のノーベル平和賞の栄誉に輝いた。授賞理由は「欧州の平和と和解、民主主義と人権の促進への貢献」である。

The prolonged European financial crisis has been slowing down the global economy. The award is probably meant as a morale booster for the EU as it struggles to deepen its integration to overcome the crisis. Each member country must fulfill its responsibilities.
 長びく欧州危機が、世界経済の減速を招いている。平和賞は危機克服に向け、統合を深化させようと苦闘するEUへのエールの意味合いがあろう。欧州各国が責任を果たすことが求められている。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 22, 2012)
(2012年10月22日01時19分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-10-24 14:54 | 英字新聞

中国GDP 景気減速をどう食い止める

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Oct. 22, 2012)
Can China rise to the challenge of stemming GDP slowdown?
中国GDP 景気減速をどう食い止める(10月21日付・読売社説)

With the impact of the European debt crisis still being felt and Japan-China ties remaining chilled, there is little sign of a reversal in the slowdown of China's economy. All eyes are on what policies the Chinese government will hammer out to get its economy sizzling again.
 欧州危機の影響や、日中関係の冷え込みなどから、中国経済の減速に歯止めがかからない。中国政府の景気テコ入れ策が焦点になってきた。

China's gross domestic product slowed for a seventh straight quarter in the July to September period, growing 7.4 percent after inflation from a year earlier, according to preliminary government data. Growth for the July-September quarter fell below the government-set target of 7.5 percent for the full year.
 中国の2012年7~9月期の国内総生産(GDP)の速報値は実質で前年同期比7・4%増となり、7四半期連続で減速した。政府が掲げてきた今年の成長目標7・5%を下回った。

Economists say 8 percent annual economic expansion is the "minimum requirement" for China to ensure its economic health and generate enough jobs for its workers. However, it is difficult to tell when China's falling growth will bottom out. Indications are that growth through 2012 will likely dip under 8 percent for the first time in 13 years.
 中国にとって、8%成長は経済や雇用を維持する「最低ライン」とされる。だが、景気底入れの見通しは立たず、12年通年の成長率も13年ぶりに8%を割る公算が大きくなったと言えよう。

The slowdown of China's economy, which has been a locomotive of the global economy as one of the world's key growth centers, must be closely watched because it could hurt the economies of Japan and other nations.
 成長センターとして世界経済を牽引(けんいん)してきた中国経済のもたつきで、日本などに悪影響が広がることを警戒しなければならない。

===

Risk factors surging

China's downturn can be attributed mainly to falling exports to Europe, its biggest export market, where financial uncertainty has spread. Consequently, the output of China's export industries and related sectors has been sluggish.
 中国の景気減速は、最大の輸出相手である欧州の信用不安が拡大し、欧州向け輸出が不振だったことが主因だ。このため、輸出企業などの生産が停滞している。

The deterioration of ties between Tokyo and Beijing over the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture also has contributed to China's slowdown. Boycotts of Japanese-made products, including motor vehicles, spread across China, hitting sales of Japanese goods. In addition, personal consumption--an engine of China's growth--has been losing steam.
 沖縄県・尖閣諸島を巡って日中関係が悪化している影響もある。中国で自動車などの日本製品の不買運動が広がって販売が落ち込んだ。エンジン役である個人消費の勢いも鈍っている。

Due to the surge in such risk factors in China, many Japanese companies have decided to cut production there. Cracks have started to emerge in the production framework based on a division of labor in which Japan exports parts to China, where they are assembled into finished products.
 中国リスクの高まりで、多くの日本企業が中国での減産を決めた。日本から部品を輸出し、中国で完成品に組み立てるという分業体制にも支障が出始めている。

If these trends spread, in addition to the tepid production of Japanese firms in China, employment and income conditions of Chinese workers at Japanese factories and other places will deteriorate. This could spell even more bad news for China's economy.
 こうした動きが広がれば、生産低迷に加え、日系工場などで働く中国人の雇用や所得環境が悪化し、景気は一段と冷え込もう。

After Lehman Brothers collapsed four years ago, the Chinese government implemented a massive stimulus package that generated, albeit temporarily, a V-shaped recovery. The stimulus measures created several downsides, such as leading to a real estate bubble. As a result, Chinese authorities are reportedly circumspect about launching a similar large-scale package to deal with the latest slowdown.
 中国政府は4年前のリーマン・ショック後、大型景気対策でV字回復をいったん達成した。反面、不動産バブルなどの副作用を招いたため、当局は今回、同じような大型対策には慎重とされる。

===

Boost Japan-China trade

Amid all this, China is in an unstable period as it prepares for a transition of power. Vice President Xi Jinping is set to take the helm of a new government in November. If the business slowdown cannot be halted, the very foundation of the government could be shaken.
 ただ、中国は来月、習近平国家副主席が最高指導部を率いる新体制に移行する不安定な時期にある。景気減速を食い止めないと、政府の基盤が揺らぎかねない。

Widening income disparities between urban and rural regions and increasing unemployment among young people have become serious social problems in China. Under these circumstances, maintaining China's stable growth could be the most urgent task for its leaders.
 都市と農村の経済格差や、若者の失業増大なども社会問題化している。安定成長を維持することが何よりも求められよう。

Specifically, front-loading and accelerating projects to improve infrastructure such as expressways, in tandem with steps to boost personal spending, will be indispensable.
 具体的には、すでに進めている高速道路などインフラ整備の前倒しを加速するとともに、個人消費の活性化策が欠かせない。

Additional monetary easing measures may be another option. We hope China promptly takes steps to lift its economic growth while preventing a reemergence of the bubble economy.
追加の金融緩和策も選択肢となる。成長とバブル再燃阻止を両にらみし、迅速に対応してもらいたい。

China needs to expand trade with Japan and encourage more investment by Japanese companies. Chinese authorities should change their hard-line policy toward Japan and quickly bring bilateral ties back to normal.
 日中貿易を拡大し、日本からの投資を呼び込むことが必要だ。中国当局は対日強硬姿勢を改め、関係正常化を急ぐべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 21, 2012)
(2012年10月21日01時30分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-10-23 08:54 | 英字新聞

民自公党首会談 首相が守り一辺倒では困る

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Oct. 21, 2012)
Prime minister should compromise on dissolution
民自公党首会談 首相が守り一辺倒では困る(10月20日付・読売社説)

The three major political parties--the Democratic Party of Japan, the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito--finally held a summit meeting Friday, but it quickly broke down. The three parties should seriously try to find common ground to resolve a mountain of issues.
 ようやく開催された民主、自民、公明3党の党首会談は、あっさりと物別れに終わった。山積する課題を解決するため、3党は、もっと積極的に妥協点を探るべきだ。

During the meeting with LDP President Shinzo Abe and New Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda asked them for their cooperation to tackle key issues such as the passage of a bill allowing the government to issue deficit-covering bonds.
 野田首相が自民党の安倍総裁、公明党の山口代表と会談し、赤字国債発行を可能にする特例公債法案の成立などへ協力要請した。

However, Noda was coy about the timing of a dissolution of the House of Representatives for a general election, saying only, "It's a grave matter" that must be considered. During three-party talks in August, Noda said the dissolution of the lower house would be carried out "sometime soon." The opposition party leaders urged him to specify the timing Friday as a condition for their cooperation, but he did not do so.
 首相は焦点の衆院解散・総選挙について、8月の3党首会談での「近いうち」との自らの発言を「重たい確認事項」と述べるにとどめた。安倍氏らは政権への協力の前提として解散時期の明示を求めたが、首相は応じなかった。

===

Discuss issues in Diet

It is understandable that Abe and Yamaguchi argued Noda's "sometime soon" statement concerning dissolution of the lower house is a pledge to the people.
 首相が明言した「近いうち」の解散は「国民との約束」だとする安倍氏らの主張は理解できる。

The opposition party leaders said they would not cooperate in passing the legislation without a definite pledge to dissolve the lower house and would boycott Diet deliberations after submitting to the House of Councillors a censure motion against Noda. This stance is unlikely to win public support for their parties.
 ただ、衆院解散の確約なしでは法案成立に協力しないとか、参院の首相問責決議を理由に国会審議を拒否する、といった姿勢では、国民の理解は得られまい。

An extraordinary Diet session is expected to start on Oct. 29. We think the opposition parties should grill the government about problems, such as what appears to be misuse of the budget for disaster reconstruction, through Diet discussions.
 臨時国会は29日に召集される方向だ。むしろ論戦を通じて、震災復興予算の「転用」など、政府の問題点を追及する方が、自公両党にとっても得策のはずである。

Meanwhile, we view the maneuvers currently taken by the Noda side as more problematic. More than three weeks have been wasted between the time Noda met with the then LDP leader and the three-party talks Friday. This apparently resulted from Noda's stance of placing priority on delaying a decision on a general election to buy time.
 より問題なのが、野田首相側の対応だ。民主、自民両党の党首選から党首会談の開催まで3週間以上が無為に経過した。苦戦が予想される衆院選の先送りを優先し、“時間稼ぎ”を続けた結果だ。

His instruction to his Cabinet members to draw up a new economic stimulus package by the end of November is also a tepid move. This is no doubt part of his strategy to put off the dissolution of the lower house.
 11月中の緊急経済対策の策定も中途半端で、解散先送り策の一環だろう。

If he wants to effectively stave off an economic slowdown, the prime minister should ensure the extraordinary Diet session is long enough to formulate and then pass a more substantial supplementary budget, instead of tapping budget reserves.
景気減速に本格的に歯止めをかけるのなら、予備費の活用でなく、臨時国会の会期を十分確保し、実効性のある補正予算を編成・成立させるのが筋だ。

===

Noda's 3 proposals

During the meeting Friday, Noda proposed the opposition leaders work together with him on three issues to pave the way for the lower house dissolution: drawing up rules for handling a draft budget and a deficit bond bill together; correcting the wide disparity in the value of votes in lower house elections; and setting up a national council for debate on social security system reforms.
 野田首相は会談で、衆院解散に向けた「環境整備」として、特例公債法案と予算案の一体処理のルール作り、衆院選の「1票の格差」是正、社会保障制度改革国民会議の設置の3点を挙げた。

The idea of making rules on the deficit bond bill is praiseworthy as it seems to be a constructive proposal that could avert blocking the issuance of deficit-covering bonds in the divided Diet.
 特例公債法案に関するルール作りは、衆参ねじれ国会の下、赤字国債が発行できない事態を回避する建設的な提案と評価できる。

As for the vote disparity, Noda only proposed that the issue, which includes reducing the number of lawmakers, be discussed again by party secretaries general. Can such discussions lead to an agreement between the DPJ and the opposition parties?
 だが、「1票の格差」是正では、定数削減問題も含めて幹事長協議に再び委ねるという提案にとどまった。これで野党と合意できるのか。

The ruling party should give the nod to the proposal by the LDP and other opposition parties to reduce five single-seat constituencies of the lower house as a first step for electoral reforms.
自民党などの主張する小選挙区の「0増5減」の先行処理に同意すべきである。

After Friday's talks, Abe expressed his disappointment with Noda for his failure to present a new proposal on the timing for the lower house dissolution. Noda will not be able to break the current deadlock if he remains defensive.
 安倍氏は会談後、衆院解散の時期に関する「新提案」がなかったことについて「失望した」と語った。首相も、守りの姿勢一辺倒では今の局面を打開できまい。

The government and ruling party cannot fulfill their responsibility as long as they regard pushing back the dissolution as the best answer.
 「解散先送りが第一」では、政府・与党の責任を果たせない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 20, 2012)
(2012年10月20日01時52分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-10-22 08:53 | 英字新聞