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民進党発足 1強と対峙するには

--The Asahi Shimbun, March 28
EDITORIAL: Minshinto’s task is to become viable foe of 'sole winner' Abe
(社説)民進党発足 1強と対峙するには

Minshinto (The Democratic Party), formed from the merger between the Democratic Party of Japan and the Japan Innovation Party, was officially inaugurated at a party convention on March 27.
The new party’s first task is to try to close the gap between the ardor of its members and the cool indifference of the public at large.
 新たな旗のもとに集った議員の熱気と、国民の冷めた空気。まずは、この差を埋める努力から始めるしかない。

 民主党と維新の党などの議員が合流し、新しい民進党としてきのう党大会を開いた。

Shiori Yamao, a 41-year-old Lower House member who made news headlines for confronting the Abe administration over the problem of children on waiting lists for child-care facilities, has been chosen to head the new party’s policy research committee. But since almost all party executives, including leader Katsuya Okada, have essentially retained their posts from their DPJ days, critics point out that the party name is the only thing that has changed.
 待機児童問題で安倍政権を追及する若手の山尾志桜里氏を政調会長に起用したが、岡田代表らほとんどの役員が民主党からの横滑り。党名以外にどこが変わったのかとの批判もある。

The public’s chilly reaction is quite understandable.
 冷ややかな視線を浴びるのも無理はない。

After coming into power in 2009 to end decades of rule by the Liberal Democratic Party, the DPJ did nothing but repeatedly betray the hopes of voters who were looking forward to a new era in Japanese politics.
 自民党の長期政権に代わる新たな政治への期待を背負って09年に発足した民主党政権は、国民の思いを裏切り続けた。

The DPJ proved itself incapable of living up to its campaign pledges. Its attempts at government led by politicians, rather than by bureaucrats, went nowhere. And the party eventually split over the controversial issue of a consumption tax hike.
 実現できないマニフェスト、空回りした政治主導、そして消費増税をめぐる党の分裂。

The impression cannot be denied that the new Democratic Party did nothing more than welcome back to the fold some of the DPJ members who had broken away at that time.
その時に出ていった議員の一部とよりを戻しただけだ、との印象はぬぐいようがない。

While the DPJ languished after its fall from power, the Abe administration consolidated a “sole winner” political system by winning three national elections in a row, starting with the 2012 Lower House election that was called upon the dissolution of the chamber by then Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.
 政権を失った民主党が立ちすくむうちに、安倍政権は、民主党の野田内閣による12年の衆院解散から3度続けて国政選挙に勝ち、「1強」の政治体制を築いてきた。

Abe stresses that the LDP’s return to power has improved the economy, claiming there are 30 percent fewer bankruptcies on his watch than when the DPJ was at the helm.
 安倍首相は「民主党政権時代より、企業倒産件数は約3割減った」などと、政権交代で経済は上向いたと強調する。

But on the other hand, the public’s discontent continues to run deep over growing social disparities and other issues, including that of children who cannot enter child-care facilities.
半面、格差の拡大や待機児童問題などへの国民の不満は根強い。

And as evidenced by his decision to allow Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense and enact a divisive national security legislation, Abe has been walking a precarious path that may well lead the nation astray from its Constitution.
 首相はまた、集団的自衛権の行使容認や安全保障法制に見られるように、憲法の枠組みを越えかねない危うい道を進む。

What lies at the end of the path is constitutional revision, the sole purpose of which is to change the Constitution itself.
その先に見すえるのは「変えること」を目的とした憲法改正だ。

There are many frustrated voters who are apprehensive of the Abe administration’s style of politics but do not see any alternative. One indication of their frustration is that voter turnout languished just above 52 percent in the 2013 Upper House election as well as the 2014 Lower House poll.
 安倍氏の政権運営に危うさは感じるが、ほかに選択肢が見あたらない――。こんなもどかしさを抱く有権者は多い。安倍政権のもとでの13年参院選と14年衆院選がいずれも52%台の低投票率だったことは、そのひとつの証左だろう。

At the inaugural party convention, Okada expressed “deep remorse” for the DPJ’s failure to live up to the people’s expectations while it was in power. On that note, his party must take the first step forward.
 岡田代表は党大会で、民主党政権時代に期待に応えられなかったことを「深く反省する」と語った。そのうえに、新たな一歩を踏み出すべきときだ。

As the largest opposition party with 156 Diet members, can the Democratic Party become a formidable opponent of the “sole winner” Abe administration? The answer to this holds the key to whether Japanese politics will emerge from its lethargy.
 衆参で156人の野党第1党となる民進党が、1強に対峙(たいじ)しうる存在になれるかどうか。それが、政治に緊張感を取り戻せるかどうかのカギを握る。

“Liberty, coexistence and responsibility for the future” are the Democratic Party’s founding principles. The party promises to rectify disparities in education, employment and gender-related matters, and defend constitutionalism. The party is at least heading in the right direction.
 民進党は「自由、共生、未来への責任」を結党の理念とし、教育、雇用、男女の三つの格差是正や立憲主義の堅持を打ち出すという。方向は妥当である。

But the only way in which it can regain the lost trust of the voting public is to commit itself to what every political party is tasked to undertake with patience, which is to heed the voice of each citizen and challenge the ruling party with concrete and persuasive policies.
 国民一人ひとりの思いをすくいあげ、具体的で説得力ある政策として政権にぶつけ続ける。
 政党にしかできないこの地道な作業を通じてしか、信頼を取り戻すことはできない。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2016-03-31 08:27 | 英字新聞

安全保障法制の施行 「違憲」の法制、正す論戦を

--The Asahi Shimbun, March 29
EDITORIAL: Diet must debate constitutionality of new security legislation
(社説)安全保障法制の施行 「違憲」の法制、正す論戦を

The new national security legislation expanding the scope of Japan’s military operations took effect on March 29.
 新たな安全保障法制がきょう施行された。

The ruling coalition, led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party, rammed the legislation through the Diet in September in the face of anxiety and opposition among many citizens and criticism by constitutional scholars that it is unconstitutional. The controversial set of laws is now in force.
 昨年9月、多くの市民の不安と反対、そして憲法専門家らの「違憲」批判を押し切って安倍政権が強行成立させた法制が、効力を持つことになる。

The legislation, composed of two statutes incorporating the content of 11 bills, significantly expands the scope of Self-Defense Forces operations outside Japan. It allows Japan to exercise its right to collective self-defense by changing the government’s interpretation of the Constitution.
It also enables the SDF to provide logistical support to the forces of the United States and other countries and engage in a wider range of United Nations peacekeeping operations.
 11本の法案を2本にまとめた法制には、憲法解釈の変更による集団的自衛権の行使容認、米軍など他国軍への兵站(へいたん)(後方支援)、国連平和維持活動(PKO)の任務拡大など、幅広い自衛隊の海外活動が含まれる。

The Abe administration railroaded the broad security legislation through just one session of the Diet. Many observers say Abe was in a rush to get the legislation passed because he promised in his April 29 address to a Joint Meeting of the U.S. Congress to “achieve” the legislative reform “by this coming summer.”
 安倍政権はこれだけ広範な法制を、わずか1会期の国会審議で成立させた。背景に、首相自身が昨年4月に訪米中の議会演説で「(法案を)夏までに成就させる」と約束した対米公約があった、との見方が強い。

After the legislation passed the Diet, Abe said he would “make tenacious efforts to explain” it to the public. But he has failed to deliver on his promise.
 法制の成立後、首相は「これから粘り強く説明を行っていきたい」と語ったが、実行されていない。

The Diet debate on related issues since then has been far from sufficient.
その後の国会審議も十分とは到底言えない。

CASTING A WIDE NET
 ■投網をかけるように

This situation represents a crisis of Japan’s constitutionalism, which means the government’s power is defined and limited by the Constitution. This extraordinary and dangerous situation must not be allowed to continue.
 憲法が権力を縛る立憲主義の危機である。この異常事態を放置することはできない。

The “unconstitutional” legislation, not based on broad public consensus, should be rectified. It is necessary to sort out the content of the legislation so that at least the unconstitutional parts will be repealed. The Diet, especially the opposition camp, needs to play a vital role in this undertaking.
 幅広い国民の合意を欠く「違憲」法制は正さねばならない。法制の中身を仕分けし、少なくとも違憲の部分は廃止する必要がある。国会、とりわけ野党が果たすべき役割は大きい。

The Abe administration has maintained that the legislation is constitutional because it only allows Japan to exercise its right to collective self-defense in limited situations.
 安倍政権は、集団的自衛権の行使容認は限定的で、だから合憲だと説明してきた。

On the other hand, the administration has continued giving equivocal answers at the Diet to questions about the limits to the exercise of this right by Japan in an apparent attempt for the government to secure as much discretion as possible in assessing situations.
 一方で、政府の裁量をできるだけ広く残そうと、「限定」の幅についてあいまいな国会答弁を繰り返してきた。

This will allow the government in power to interpret the scope of the limits in any manner it chooses.
時の政権の判断で、いかようにも解釈できる余地が残されている。

The administration’s move to make it possible for Japan to engage in collective self-defense operations was prompted primarily by the challenge of countering the growing military power of China through enhancing the deterrence provided by Japan’s security alliance with the United States.
 集団的自衛権を容認した眼目は、中国にいかに対抗し、抑止力を高めるかにある。

Here’s the idea behind the move. Japan needs to ensure that U.S. forces will maintain their presence in the Asia-Pacific region while compensating for the relative decline in U.S. military power by enhancing the SDF and expanding its security cooperation with other countries in the region.
 米軍をアジア太平洋地域に引き留め、そのパワーが相対的に低下しつつある分は、自衛隊の強化や地域諸国との連携によって補う。そんな考え方だ。

The legislation is designed to allow the SDF to operate in wide areas outside Japan by eliminating a broad range of obstacles and impediments to the SDF’s joint operations with U.S. forces.
This approach can be likened to casting a wide net to catch as many fish in as wide an area as possible.
 米軍との共同行動に支障を来さないよう、投網をかけるように幅広く、海外で自衛隊が動けるようにしておく。

This means the SDF will expand its joint military drills, information sharing and cooperation concerning military equipment with the forces of the United States and other countries. Such efforts will be made not just during security emergencies but in peacetime as well.
有事だけでなく平時から米軍など他国軍との共同訓練や情報共有、装備面での連携が進むことになる。

ARTICLE 9 AS BASIS FOR DIALOGUE
 ■9条を対話の基盤に

The problem is that the administration, to achieve its security policy goals, has relaxed the restrictions that the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution had imposed on the SDF’s overseas operations.
 問題は、そのために自衛隊の海外活動に一定の歯止めをかけてきた「9条の縛り」を緩めてしまったことだ。

At the end of February, the Commission on the Future of the Alliance, a study group comprising Japanese and American experts including Richard Armitage, a former U.S. deputy secretary of state, released a report titled “The U.S.-Japan Alliance to 2030.”
 2月末、アーミテージ元国務副長官ら日米の有識者らによる日米安全保障研究会が「2030年までの日米同盟」という報告書をまとめた。

Stressing the importance for Tokyo and Washington to have a coordinated China strategy, the report urged Japan to “have fully funded, modern and highly capable military forces” and called on the two countries to “at least coordinate, and if possible integrate, their policies and actions elsewhere in Asia and beyond.”
 日米の対中戦略の共有が不可欠だと強調し、「十分な予算に支えられた軍事力」「アジアやより広い地域で日米の政策、行動を可能ならば統合する」ことを日本に求めた。

This is a clear call for integrating the two nations’ security policy development and execution in all aspects, including defense budgeting.
防衛予算の拡大をはじめ、あらゆる面で日米の一体化をめざす方向だ。

But the national interests of the United States don’t necessarily coincide exactly with those of Japan with regard not only to how to respond to China’s rise but also to other key issues.
 だが、中国との関係に限らず、米国の利益と日本の利益は必ずしも一致しない。

The question facing Japan is if it can decline any strong security policy request from the United States, which has a history of launching misguided wars.
 時に誤った戦争に踏み込む米国の強い要請を断れるのか。

Abe has said that Japan will make its own independent decisions as to whether it should exercise its right to collective self-defense. But will this be really possible for Japan when the effectiveness of Article 9 as a protection against the risk of becoming involved in overseas conflict has been seriously undermined?
集団的自衛権の行使について、首相は「(日本が)主体的に判断する」と答弁したが、9条という防波堤が揺らぐ今、本当にできるのか。

Japan should be well aware of the fact that the United States, while wary about China’s military buildup, has been working eagerly to build sturdy multiple channels of dialogue with the country.
 留意すべきは、米国自身、中国を警戒しながらも重層的な対話のパイプ作りに腐心していることだ。

To protect its own peace, Japan should also pursue close dialogue and a broad range of cooperation with China.
日本も自らの平和を守るためには、中国との緊密な対話と幅広い協力が欠かせない。

The Abe administration, however, has been focusing its security policy efforts on bolstering Japan’s alliance with the United States, allowing erosion in the human interactions underpinning the bilateral ties with China.
 それなのに日本は日米同盟の強化に傾斜し、日中関係の人的基盤は細るばかりだ。

Given Japan’s geographical proximity to China and the complicated and troubled history of their bilateral relations, the Japanese government needs to perform a delicate balancing act in dealing with its neighboring giant.
中国に近い地理的な特性や歴史の複雑さを思えば、その関係はより微妙なかじ取りが求められる。

Japan should restrain itself from getting embroiled in U.S. military actions and stick to its traditional strictly defensive security policy to avoid an arms race with China. The functions of Article 9 can, and should, serve as a foundation for Japan’s efforts to strike a proper balance between deterrence and dialogue.
 米国の軍事行動とは一線を画し、専守防衛を貫くことで軍拡競争を避ける。憲法9条の機能こそ、抑止と対話の均衡を保つための基盤となる。

DIET HAS A VITAL ROLE TO PLAY
 ■問われる国会の役割

An Upper House election will be held this summer. Simultaneous polls of both chambers of the Diet appear to be in the cards.
 夏に参院選がある。衆参同日選の可能性も指摘されている。

In a move with significant political implications, the Abe administration has decided to postpone until after the Upper House poll some important new steps based on the security legislation. They include expanding the scope of Japan’s peacekeeping missions to allow SDF personnel to come to the assistance of members of U.N. and private-sector organizations and other countries’ troops who have come under attack during such operations. The administration has also delayed the introduction of a bill to revise Japan’s Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement with the United States to expand the SDF’s logistic support for U.S. forces.
 そんななか安倍政権は、平時の米艦防護やPKOに派遣する自衛隊の「駆けつけ警護」、米軍への兵站を拡大する日米物品役務相互提供協定(ACSA)改定案の国会提出など、安保法制にもとづく新たな動きを参院選後に先送りしている。

The Abe administration is again concentrating its political energy on economic issues before a key election with a clear intention to shift the focus of its policy discourse to security topics after the poll. The administration adopted the same strategy for its initiatives to enact the state secrets protection law and the security legislation.
 選挙前は「経済」を掲げ、選挙が終われば「安保」にかじを切る。特定秘密保護法も安保法制も同じパターンだった。

This time, too, the administration will try to push through the related measures all at once if the ruling camp is victorious in the election.
 政権は今回も、選挙に勝てば一気に進めようとするだろう。

The Abe administration has taken a series of foreign and security policy measures aimed at concentrating power in the hands of the government. They include the enactment of the state secrets protection law and the creation of the National Security Council.
 安倍政権は特定秘密保護法、国家安全保障会議(NSC)の創設など、政府への権限を集中させる外交・安保施策を次々と打ち出してきた。

That has made it all the more important for the Diet to perform its function of checking the actions of the executive branch. But the Diet’s performance has been deeply disappointing.
 だからこそ、国会のチェック機能が重要なのに、肝心の国会が心もとない。

The Diet has not even bothered to consider the joint opposition bill to repeal the security legislation or the counterproposals made by the opposition parties. This fact is a clear and undeniable sign that the Diet has become dysfunctional.
野党が共同で提出した安保法制の廃止法案や対案を審議すらしない現状が、国会の機能不全を物語る。

The opposition parties have a crucial mission to carry out. They need to expand electoral cooperation among themselves and strengthen their solidarity with citizens.
 野党の使命は極めて重い。政党間の選挙協力を着実に進め、市民との連帯を広げる。

They also have to protect the nation’s constitutionalism and redress the “unconstitutional” legislation. The mission requires fresh and serious debate on the future of politics in this nation.
立憲主義を守り、「違憲」の法制を正す。それは、日本の政治のあり方を問い直す議論でもある。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2016-03-30 08:47 | 英字新聞

原発停止命令 国民の不安を直視せよ

--The Asahi Shimbun, March 27
EDITORIAL: Nuclear power proponents still scoffing at public safety concerns
(社説)原発停止命令 国民の不安を直視せよ

An Otsu District Court injunction has suspended operations of two reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, one of which was online.
Again, the significance of that development should be taken to heart.
 大津地裁の仮処分決定で、関西電力高浜原発(福井県)の運転が差し止められた意義をいま一度しっかり考えたい。

Proponents of nuclear power, in particular, should squarely face up to the public anxiety that lies in the backdrop of the court decision.
とりわけ原発を推進する立場の人たちは、司法判断の背後にある国民の不安を直視すべきだ。

But instead they are boiling with disgruntlement.
 推進側では不満が渦巻く。

“Why is a single district court judge allowed to trip up the government’s energy policy?” Kazuo Sumi, a vice chairman of the Kansai Economic Federation, said resentfully.
“We could demand damages (from the residents who requested the injunction) if we were to win the case at a higher court,” Kansai Electric President Makoto Yagi said, although he prefaced his remark with a proviso that he is arguing only in general terms.
関西経済連合会の角和夫副会長は「なぜ一地裁の裁判官によって国のエネルギー政策に支障をきたすことが起こるのか」と憤り、関電の八木誠社長は一般論と前置きしつつ、「逆転勝訴すれば(住民側への)損害賠償請求は考えうる」と発言した。

The government is maintaining a wait-and-see attitude.
 一方、国は静観を続ける。

The decision called into question the appropriateness of the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s new regulation standards and government-approved plans for evacuations in case of an emergency.
 決定は、原子力規制委員会の新規制基準や、政府が了承した住民避難計画の妥当性に疑問を投げかけた。

But NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka argued, “Our standards are nearing the world’s top level.”
だが田中俊一規制委員長は「基準は世界最高レベルに近づいている」と反論。

And the government has no plans to review its emergency evacuation plans. It has only reiterated that it will “proceed with restarts of nuclear reactors in paying respect to NRA decisions.”
政府も避難計画は見直さず、「規制委の判断を尊重して再稼働を進める」と繰り返すばかりだ。

The Otsu decision is the third court order issued against the operation of nuclear reactors since the meltdowns five years ago at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
 5年前の東京電力福島第一原発事故後、裁判所が原発の運転停止を命じたのは大津で3件目だ。

There has, in fact, been no fixed trend in court decisions. Another court rejected residents’ request last year for an injunction against reactor restarts at Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai nuclear plant in Kagoshima Prefecture.
But courts appear to be playing a more active role now than before the Fukushima disaster.
九州電力川内原発では昨年、住民側の申し立てが却下されるなど、司法判断も一様とはいえないものの、事故前に比べ、より積極的な役割を果たそうとする傾向は明らかだ。

The nuclear proponents’ reactions reveal an underlying thinking: “The use of nuclear power is indispensable for Japan, which does not abound in energy resources. The government set up the NRA following the Fukushima disaster to increase expert control. Regional utilities have also taken safety enhancement measures. Courts are therefore asked not to meddle.”
 エネルギー資源が乏しい日本に原発は欠かせず、事故後、国は規制委をつくって専門的なチェックを強めた。電力各社も安全性向上に取り組んできた。だから裁判所の口出しは余計だ――。推進側の反応からはそんな考え方が透けて見える。

But they should have a deeper understanding that this argument is no longer convincing to the public and court judges.
 だがそれでは、国民も裁判官も納得しない時代になっていることをもっと理解すべきだ。

Some critics say the latest decision deviated from the 1992 Supreme Court ruling saying that decisions on the safety of nuclear plants should be made by administrative organs on the basis of expert opinions. But that argument is also off the mark.
 「原発の安全性は専門家の意見を踏まえた行政の判断に委ねるべきだ」という92年の最高裁判決を逸脱している、との批判もあたらない。

The ruling, given in a case over Shikoku Electric Power Co.’s Ikata nuclear plant, certainly presented that point of view. But it also stated that the objective of safety regulations based on the Law on the Regulation of Nuclear Source Material, Nuclear Fuel Material and Reactors is to “make sure that no serious disaster will happen by any chance.”
四国電力伊方原発をめぐるこの判決はそういう考えを示す一方で、原子炉等規制法に基づく安全規制の目的について「深刻な災害が万が一にも起こらないようにするため」としている。

A safety net, left in the hands of experts, collapsed all too easily during the Fukushima disaster, turning the phrase “by any chance” into reality.
 福島では、専門家任せの安全網がもろくも崩れ、「万が一」が現実になった。

Courts, which are the guardians of law, should rather be commended for trying to find out independently, to the extent that they can, if there is enough preparedness when a nuclear reactor will be restarted.
再び原発を動かすとき、備えは十分か。法の番人である裁判所が、できる限り独自に確かめるのはむしろ望ましい姿勢といえよう。

The latest alarm bell sounded by the judiciary sector provides an opportunity to ask once again why all the safety measures taken after the Fukushima nuclear disaster are still struggling to win the trust of the public.
 なぜ事故後に積み重ねた対策でも国民の信頼が得られないのか。司法からの警鐘は、それを問い直すきっかけにすべきだ。

The Fukushima disaster changed the awareness of the public. The judiciary sector was also affected.
 原発事故を経て、国民の意識は変わった。司法もその影響を受けている。

It is high time for a change among nuclear proponents.
原発を推進してきた側も、変わるべき時だ。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2016-03-29 09:41 | 英字新聞

香山リカのココロの万華鏡: 「かさじぞう」になろう /東京

March 27, 2016 (Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Recognizing others' kindness
香山リカのココロの万華鏡: 「かさじぞう」になろう /東京

I am often asked which types of people are likely to experience emotional disorders. Truthfully speaking, the answer is "anyone."
 「どんな性格の人が心の病になりやすいですか」という質問をよく受ける。正しく答えるならば「どんな人でもなります」だろう。

While even intransigent or unkind persons are sometimes known to experience depression, it is also true that a large number of the patients who visit my office could be characterized as people who are considerate and serious.
気が強い人、意地悪な人でも、うつ病などになるときはなる。
 ただ、診察室にいると「やさしい人やおとなしい人が多いな」という気はする。

Despite feeling unwell and suffering from illness themselves, quite a few such persons often say thoughtful things to me such as, "You are looking a little pale. Are you feeling tired?"
つらくて病院に来ているのに「先生、顔色がよくないけれど疲れてませんか?」と気づかってくれる人も少なくない。

I suppose that this is a tendency among kind people to go out of their way to do things for others, even if this means inconveniencing themselves -- and often using up all of their energy in the process.
やさしい人はそうやって、「自分よりまわりの誰か」のために心を砕き、無理をしてでも何かをしてあげて、そしてエネルギーを使い果たしてしまうのかもしれない。

Sometimes I struggle when thinking about this matter, since it would seem as if kindness is somehow a demerit, while those who think exclusively of themselves end up enjoying benefits.
 「では、やさしいというのは短所なのだろうか。結局、自分のことしか考えない人のほうが得をするのだろうか」とときどき悩んでしまう。

To be sure, people who defiantly take an attitude of "I was not the one at fault" no matter what the situation at hand, and who consistently blame others without looking at themselves, likely never end up practicing self-reproach or facing exhaustion.
たしかに、何があっても「悪いのは私じゃない」と開き直り、自分を棚に上げてまわりの人を責めてばかりいれば、自分を責めたり気疲れをしたりすることはなさそう。

Faced with the question of whether one might like to live in a society where everyone thinks only of their own well-being, however, and acts accordingly, I would wager to guess that most people would answer negatively.
 とはいえ、そうやってみんなが「自分さえよければよい」とばかりに自分勝手に振る舞う社会に住みたいかと言われれば、誰もが「それはいやだ」と言うだろう。

Small, thoughtful actions and consideration -- such as allowing others to pass in front of you on the street, or saying you are fine when asked how you are feeling to avoid causing others worry, even though you are actually feeling tired -- seem to help preserve the tranquility of everyday society.
「お先にどうぞ」と道をゆずり合い、疲れていてもときには「私は平気」とにっこり笑って心配をかけないようにする。
「いまこの人は元気かな」と目の前にいる人の様子をさぐってみる。そんなちょっとした気づかいや遠慮、やせがまんがあってこそ、世の中はなんとかうまく穏やかさを保っているのではないだろうか。

So what can be done to avoid thoughtful people becoming hurt, as well as to make sure that persons who are deeply considerate of others do not become tired to the point of exhaustion?
 では、どうすればそんなやさしい人が傷ついたり、遠慮深い人が疲れて倒れたりするのを防ぐことができるのか。

In my view, the answer seems to lie in the act of someone recognizing this type of thoughtfulness -- and then saying something like "Thank you" or "Please don't push yourself" to the person who is exercising it.
私はやはり、その人たちの思いやりに誰かが気づき、「ありがとう」「無理しすぎないでね」と声をかけてあげることではないかと思うのだ。

In reality, however, people these days are so occupied with their own personal issues that they simply pretend not to notice the presence of an overly considerate person -- and many of them will even go as far as to use such persons for the purposes of their own personal benefit.
ところがいまは、誰もが自分のことで精いっぱい、やさしすぎる人がいたとしても見て見ぬふりをして踏み台にする人さえ少なくない。

There is an old Japanese fable titled the "kasa jizou" -- "straw hat bodhisattva" -- which tells the story of an elderly couple who give their last straw hat to a bodhisattva statue to protect it from the snowy cold, and are later rewarded by a visit from the statue bearing gifts of food.
Through this tale, we understand that acts of kindness end up by eventually becoming rewarded. I wonder whether a modern-day version of this scenario exists, wherein people reward others by telling them, "I see your thoughtful actions."
 むかし話なら、「かさじぞう」のようにやさしい人はいつか報われる。現代の世の中に「あなたのやさしさを見ていましたよ」と言って、贈りものなどをしてくれる誰かはいるだろうか。

While I try to do my own part by acting as a "straw hat bodhisattva" in my office, it is unfortunate that the people who come to me are already exhausted and facing conditions such as depression.
せめて診察室の「かさじぞう」になりたい、と思っているが、来る人たちはすでに疲れすぎてうつ病などになっているのが残念だ。

It is my great hope that you, too, will become a "straw hat bodhisattva" by speaking up and letting someone know that their kindness has not gone unnoticed.
「あなたのやさしさ、知っていますよ」と誰かに声をかけてあげる「かさじぞう」に、あなたもなってほしい。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist) (精神科医)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2016-03-28 09:28 | 英字新聞

伊方1号機廃炉 採算より40年ルールだ

March 26, 2016 (Mainichi Japan)
Editorial: 40-year reactor life rule must prevail over profitability
伊方1号機廃炉 採算より40年ルールだ

Shikoku Electric Power Co. has decided to decommission the No. 1 reactor at the Ikata nuclear power complex in Ehime Prefecture, as the reactor will have been in operation 40 years come September next year.
 四国電力は、来年9月で運転開始からまる40年となる伊方原発1号機(愛媛県)の廃炉を決めた。

In the wake of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant disaster, the government has set a new rule limiting the operational life of reactors to 40 years, in principle. An extension of up to 20 years can be granted by the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA). Ikata nuclear plant operator Shikoku Electric Power Co. had sought to have the No. 1 reactor's lifespan extended, but abandoned the idea after finding the enormous safety improvement costs would make it unprofitable to keep the reactor running.
 東京電力福島第1原発事故後、政府は原発の運転期間を原則40年とする新ルールを定めた。原子力規制委員会の許認可を受ければ、最長で20年延長できる。四電は伊方1号機の運転延長を目指したが、多額の安全対策費が必要となるため、採算性がないと判断したという。

Reactor pressure vessels are said to deteriorate in 40 years due to being bombarded by neutrons. From the viewpoint of ensuring nuclear plant safety, reactors over 40 years of age need to be decommissioned, regardless of their profitability. It is hoped that Shikoku Electric's decision will set a precedent for other power companies.
 40年は、圧力容器が中性子の照射を受けて劣化する目安とされる。原発の安全性確保の観点からは、採算性とは関係なく、廃炉にしていく必要がある。今回の四電の決定をルール定着につなげたい。

Five other reactors around the 40-year limit are already set to be decommissioned, including the No. 1 and 2 reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s Mihama nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture, and the No. 1 reactor at Kyushu Electric Power Co.'s Genkai nuclear station in Saga Prefecture -- decisions made in March last year. With the decommissioning of the Ikata plant's No. 1 reactor, the number of reactors in Japan will be reduced to 42.
 運転開始から40年となる老朽原発を巡っては昨年3月、関西電力美浜1、2号機(福井県)や九州電力玄海原発1号機(佐賀県)など5基の廃炉が決まった。伊方1号機も廃炉になれば日本の原発は42基に減る。

The six reactors facing decommissioning are relatively small, with output in the 300,000 to 500,000 kilowatt range. More recent reactors can generate 1 million kilowatts each.
 廃炉が決まった6基はいずれも出力が30万キロワット級から50万キロワット級で、100万キロワット級が主流となったその後の原発と比べると規模が小さい。

The decision over whether to decommission reactors is left up to each utility, and behind Kansai Electric and Kyushu Electric's decisions to decommission the aforementioned reactors also lay the issue of profitability. The smaller the output of a reactor is, the less profitable it is considering the massive cost of safety measures.
 廃炉の判断は電力会社に任されており、四電以外の電力会社が廃炉に踏み切ったのも採算性の問題だ。規模が小さな原子炉では、多額の安全対策費をかけても、それに見合う発電電力量が得られないためだ。

Meanwhile, Kansai Electric has applied to the NRA to extend the service life of the No. 1 and 2 reactors at the Takahama nuclear plant, and the No. 3 reactor at the Mihama plant, both in Fukui Prefecture. The utility decided that those reactors -- which can each generate about 800,000 kilowatts -- will be profitable enough even with the immense safety costs.
 一方、関電は、出力が80万キロワット級の高浜原発1、2号機と美浜3号機(いずれも福井県)の運転延長を規制委に申請中だ。安全対策費をかけても割に合うと判断したからだ。

However, aging reactors are fraught with more problems than deteriorating pressure vessels. The longer it has been since a reactor entered operation, the fewer engineers there are who can pass down legacy technologies. Some experts point out that there is a limit to how much the safety of elderly reactors can be improved because their design concept itself is outdated. The question of decommissioning a reactor and its output and economic efficiency should be considered separately.
 しかし、老朽原発には、圧力容器の劣化以外にも問題がある。運転開始から時間がたつほど、古い技術の継承者はいなくなる。設計思想自体が古いため、安全性の向上には限界があるという指摘もある。廃炉の判断と原発の出力や経済性とは、切り離して考えるべきなのだ。

Furthermore, utilities face a host of other challenges to moving ahead with steady decommissioning.
 廃炉を着実に進めるためには、その他にも課題が山積している。

First and foremost, the final disposal site for the colossal amount of radioactive waste that will be generated by dismantling reactors has yet to be decided. There are not even regulatory standards for disposing of the severely contaminated inner components of reactors.
 まず、原発の解体で生じる大量の放射性廃棄物の最終処分先が決まっていない。原子炉内の部品など汚染が激しいものについては、処分のための規制基準すらまだない。

It is also imperative to secure storage locations for spent nuclear fuel generated by nuclear plants. Under the government's nuclear fuel cycle policy, spent fuel had been destined for the reprocessing plant in Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture. However, the plant is under safety review by the NRA, and there is no prospect of it becoming operational anytime soon.
 原発の使用済み核燃料を保管する場所の確保も重要だ。政府が掲げる核燃料サイクル路線に基づけば、最終的には青森県六ケ所村の再処理工場に運ばれる。だが、再処理工場は規制委の安全審査中で、稼働時期のめどは立っていない。

Power companies and the government need to overcome these challenges.
 電力会社や政府は、こうした問題を克服していく必要がある。

Reactor decommissioning seriously affects regional economies and the finances of local governments dependent on nuclear plant hosting subsidies.  廃炉は、原発関連の交付金などに頼ってきた地元自治体の財政や地域経済にも大きく影響する。

The central government's support is indispensable in associating the decommissioning business with regional revitalization, among other measures.
廃炉ビジネスと地域振興を結びつけるなど、政府の支援も欠かせない。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2016-03-27 09:11 | 英字新聞

政府と沖縄県 分断を埋める協議に

--The Asahi Shimbun, March 24
EDITORIAL: A more sincere attitude needed in new talks on Futenma issue
(社説)政府と沖縄県 分断を埋める協議に

The government and Okinawa Prefecture on March 23 started a fresh round of talks over the plan to relocate the functions of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma from Ginowan, a crowded city in central Okinawa, to the Henoko district of Nago. The two sides held the first of a series of meetings in accordance with a court-mediated agreement they reached earlier in March to stop their legal battle over the plan.
 米軍普天間飛行場の名護市辺野古への移設をめぐる裁判の和解を受け、政府と沖縄県がきのう初めての協議に臨んだ。

The talks should be used to heal the bitter division between the two sides over the issue.
 この協議を両者の分断を埋める機会にしなければならない。

That requires both the Abe administration and the Okinawa prefectural government to offer sincere and straightforward answers to questions posed by the other side as part of serious efforts to find common ground.
そのためには互いの問いかけに正面から答え、接点を見いだす努力が求められる。

Unfortunately, however, the first session ended without any sign of progress toward the goal.
 だが残念ながら、初回の協議はすれ違いに終わった。

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga refused to budge on the government’s official position that building a new military facility in Henoko to replace the Futenma base is the “only solution.”
 菅官房長官は「辺野古が唯一の解決策」との姿勢を変えなかった。

Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga later said he had urged the administration to abandon this position and make sincere efforts to bring the negotiations forward.
これに対し、翁長雄志知事は「辺野古が唯一の解決策というかたくなな固定観念に縛られないで、真摯(しんし)に協議を進めるよう求めた」と語った。

What the administration needs to understand is that without solid support and cooperation from the local communities involved, a security architecture would inevitably stand on a fragile foundation.
 考えるべきなのは、地元の理解と協力を欠いた安全保障の基盤は脆弱(ぜいじゃく)にならざるを得ないということである。

Building a new base in Henoko without an agreement with the prefectural government could jeopardize stable operations of U.S. military bases in Okinawa. That could undermine the stability of Japan’s entire national security system.
 県との合意が得られないまま辺野古に新基地を造っても、沖縄の米軍基地は安定的な運用ができなくなる恐れがある。日本の安全保障は、かえって不安定な状況に陥りかねない。

The administration should use the new talks with the Okinawa government to work out specific steps to fulfill an important promise Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made to Onaga’s predecessor, Hirokazu Nakaima.
At the end of 2013, Abe promised Nakaima, who approved land reclamation to build the base in Henoko, that operations of the Futenma air base would be terminated within five years.
 政府がいま、なすべきは、県との協議にかかる期間を生かし、安倍首相が2013年末に仲井真弘多・前知事に約束した「普天間の5年以内の運用停止」の実現に向けて、具体的な検討に入ることだ。

Even if the relocation plan is implemented, the envisioned new base will be completed in fiscal 2022 at the earliest. The elimination of the danger posed by the Futenma base to the local communities must not be delayed until then.
 辺野古移設が実現するとしても、どんなに早くても2022年度以降。それまでの間、普天間の危険性除去が棚上げされることがあってはならない。

The government has been taking measures to relocate part of the functions of the Futenma base to other places. It should expand the scope of these efforts and start seriously considering dispersing Futenma’s functions to locations outside the prefecture and outside Japan.
 政府はこれまでも普天間の機能の分散を進めてきた。これをさらに進め、県外・国外への分散を真剣に検討すべきだ。

That requires the administration to hold talks not only with local governments in mainland Japan but also with the U.S. government. The administration should show it is committed to making every possible effort to solve the problem.
そのためには、本土の自治体とも話し合い、米国とも協議に入る必要がある。
 そうした姿勢こそ、政府に求めたい。

On March 23, the Abe administration proposed separate talks with Okinawa for an early return of half of the U.S. Marines jungle warfare training area in northern parts of Okinawa island.
 政府はきのう、沖縄本島北部に広がる米軍北部訓練場の半分あまりの早期返還について、県との協議を提案した。

The proposal to return a “major portion” of the training area was included in the final report of the Special Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO), released in 1996. But it has yet to be implemented.
96年の日米特別行動委員会(SACO)の最終報告に盛り込まれたが、実現していない案件だ。

The administration has a duty to reduce the burden on Okinawa, but this should not be linked to the Henoko issue.
 沖縄の負担軽減に努めるのは当然だが、辺野古移設とは別問題である。

To avoid creating unnecessary confusion within the local communities, the central government should carefully discuss the idea without trying to link the proposal to negotiations over the Henoko plan.
両者を関連づけ、地元に無用の混乱を招かないよう丁寧な議論をしてほしい。

One move the administration made after the court-mediated agreement was reached on March 4 has raised questions about its posture toward the talks for settling the dispute.
 和解後の政府の姿勢にも疑問がある。

Before the talks began, the administration instructed Onaga to repeal the nullification of his predecessor’s approval of land reclamation in Henoko.
政府は県との協議を開く前に、辺野古埋め立ての承認取り消しを撤回するよう翁長知事に指示した。

Although the administration’s instruction was made according to the terms of the agreement, the move certainly does not signal a serious pursuit of a true settlement of the dispute.
和解条項に盛られた手続きだとはいえ、真の和解を望む態度とは程遠い。

The new talks should not be used to postpone the problem until a final court ruling on a new lawsuit over the issue is handed down.
 今回の協議を、新たな訴訟の判決が確定するまでの問題の先送りに終わらせてはならない。

The administration has a heavy responsibility for ensuring that the talks will finally bring an end to this conflict.
政府の責任は極めて大きい。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2016-03-26 08:35 | 英字新聞

ベルギーテロ 「欧州の首都」標的にした蛮行

The Yomiuri Shimbun
World must review antiterrorism measures as ‘capital of Europe’ attacked
ベルギーテロ 「欧州の首都」標的にした蛮行

The “capital of Europe” has become the site of a despicable terrorist act that indiscriminately targeted civilians. Such acts cannot be tolerated.
 「欧州の首都」を舞台に、市民を無差別に狙った卑劣なテロである。断じて許されない。

The international community must tighten the noose further to contain terrorism.
 国際社会は、テロ封じ込めに向けた包囲網を一段と強化せねばなるまい。

A series of terrorist bombings rocked the international airport and a subway station in the Belgian capital of Brussels, where the European Union is headquartered. More than 30 people were killed and over 200 others were injured in the attacks.
 欧州連合(EU)本部があるベルギーの首都ブリュッセルの国際空港と地下鉄駅で、爆破テロが相次いで発生した。30人以上が死亡し、200人超が負傷した。

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant group, which is based in Syria and Iraq, has claimed responsibility, denouncing Belgium for participating in the anti-ISIL coalition.
 シリアとイラクに拠点を置く過激派組織「イスラム国」は犯行声明を出し、ベルギーが有志連合による対「イスラム国」攻撃に参加していることを理由に挙げた。

The perpetrators include suicide bombers and a man still at large. Belgian authorities have been urged to speed up their investigation to ascertain the whole picture of the attacks.
 犯行グループには、自爆犯のほか、逃亡した者もいる。ベルギー当局は、事件の捜査を急ぎ、犯行の全容を解明してもらいたい。

French President Francois Hollande said, “The whole of Europe has been struck by these attacks in Brussels.” It is vital for the security authorities of EU countries to enhance intelligence-sharing on terrorism-related matters.
 オランド仏大統領は「ブリュッセルへの攻撃は、欧州全体に対するものだ」と指摘した。EU各国の治安機関によるテロ関連情報の共有を進めることが重要だ。

With districts that are home to many Muslims, Brussels is known as a hotbed of radical Islamists in Europe. Just four days ago, a key surviving perpetrator of last November’s terrorist attacks on Paris was arrested in such a district, where he was hiding.
 ブリュッセルには、イスラム系住民が多数居住する地区があり、欧州のイスラム過激派の温床という一面も持つ。4日前には、昨年11月のパリ同時テロで生き残った実行犯が、この地区の潜伏先で逮捕されたばかりだった。

An alarming point is the failure to prevent the terrorist attacks at the airport, a key facility under tight security by Belgian authorities.
 深刻なのは、ベルギー当局の厳戒下にあった空港という重要施設でテロを防げなかったことだ。

Vulnerability highlighted

One of the perpetrators reportedly blew himself up near a check-in counter of an airline company before security screening for baggage. This appears to be a blind point for airport security. A review of measures against terrorism is needed.
 犯人は、手荷物検査場の前にある航空会社のチェックインカウンター付近で自爆したという。警備の盲点だったのではないか。テロ対策の再検討が必要だろう。

A blast in a subway car took place at a station near the EU headquarters. Some observers speculate that the militant group carried out this outrage of mass killing, which has once again shaken Europe, in revenge for the arrest of the Paris attacks’ mastermind.
 地下鉄の車両の爆発は、EU本部に近い駅で起きた。犯行グループがパリ同時テロ犯の逮捕に反発し、大量殺人で欧州を再び揺さぶる暴挙に出たとの見方もある。

To help suppress terrorist groups, the United States and European countries are being urged to bring an end to the Syrian civil war, which has allowed the rise of ISIL.
 米欧や中東諸国には、「イスラム国」の台頭を許したシリア内戦を収束させ、テロ組織を掃討するさらなる努力が求められよう。

Japanese nationals were also involved in the bombing on the Brussels subway. One suffered serious injury while another was slightly hurt. About 220 Japanese companies have made inroads into Belgium, and about 5,400 Japanese nationals live in the country.
 地下鉄爆破には日本人も巻き込まれ、1人が重傷、1人が軽傷を負った。ベルギーには、日本企業約220社が進出し、在留邦人も約5400人に上る。

As many Japanese expatriates now work overseas, terrorism by radical Islamists is not someone else’s problem for Japan.
 多数の邦人が海外で活動する今日、イスラム過激派のテロは日本にとっても、他人事ではない。

It is natural that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe strongly condemned the attacks in Brussels, saying, “We must work together with the international community in responding [to the attacks].”
 安倍首相が今回の事件を強く非難し、「国際社会と連携して対応しなければならない」と述べたのは当然である。

Participants at the Ise-Shima Group of Seven summit meeting to be held in May face the task of working out specific antiterrorism measures, such as ways to cut off terrorist funding. The government should make every possible effort to review airport security and take other steps to prevent terrorist attacks.
 5月に開かれる主要国首脳会議(伊勢志摩サミット)では、テロ資金源の遮断などの具体策を打ち出すことが課題となる。政府は、空港警備の再点検など、テロ阻止に万全を期すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 24, 2016)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2016-03-25 10:41 | 英字新聞

省庁移転 骨太の理念が見えない

--The Asahi Shimbun, March 23
EDITORIAL: Government's decentralization policy lacking full commitment
(社説)省庁移転 骨太の理念が見えない

The government on March 22 announced its basic policy on the relocation of central government ministries and agencies to outside the greater Tokyo metropolitan area. Now, we have to wonder how serious the government was in the first place about its relocation plans.
 結局どこまで本気だったのか。疑問が残る。

As part of the Abe administration's much touted regional revitalization initiative, the government had widely called on prefectural governments to host the central government ministries and agencies that were being considered for relocation.
But, as it turned out, only the Agency for Cultural Affairs will be moving from Tokyo to Kyoto for certain in a few years.
 政府が関係機関の地方移転に関する基本方針を決定した。安倍政権の地方創生の目玉で、自治体に広く誘致を呼びかけてきたが、中央省庁では文化庁が数年以内に京都へ移転することだけが本決まりとなった。

The government will conduct further studies and make its final decision by the end of August regarding the relocation of the Consumer Affairs Agency and the Statistics Bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which have been invited, respectively, by Tokushima and Wakayama prefectures.
 徳島県が誘致した消費者庁と、和歌山県が求めた総務省統計局は検証を重ね、8月末までに結論を出すという。

But as for the relocation of the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency, the Patent Office, the Japan Tourism Agency and the Japan Meteorological Agency, in which five prefectures have shown interest, the government decided not to pursue the matter any further, noting that "these agencies' functions cannot be expected to be maintained or improved" by moving them out of Tokyo.
だが、5道府県が誘致した中小企業、特許、観光、気象の4庁は「機能の維持・向上が期待できない」などと見送られた。

Also, many local governments had offered to host various research and training institutions that are now in Tokyo, but only one institution will be fully relocating.
研究・研修機関も多くの自治体が誘致したが、全面移転は1機関のみだ。

Japan's declining population renders the decentralization of government functions an urgent matter. Shigeru Ishiba, the minister in charge of regional revitalization, pointed out the symbolic significance of doing so when he said, "The government cannot make any persuasive case (in favor of the relocation of its ministries and agencies) if it doesn't do anything about it and only asks businesses to move out of Tokyo."
But such an argument seems to have petered out.
 人口減少時代に入った日本で、東京一極集中の是正は急務だ。政府機関移転には「自分たちが何もしないで企業に地方移転をお願いしても説得力がない」(石破茂地方創生相)という象徴的な意義があったはずだが、尻すぼみの印象だ。

The biggest problem seems to be that the government lacked any big-picture perspective on how to redefine government functions in their entirety.
 最大の問題は、政府全体のあり方をどう見直すかという視点が欠けていたことではないか。

Without a clear, firm idea of which ministries and agencies should be relocated where, the relocation policy lacks substance.
一極集中を是正するにはどの機関をどこへ再配置すべきか。しっかりした理念がなければ、形だけに終わりかねない。

Ministry and agency officials are kept busy by Diet-related duties, and the adverse effects of forcing them to commute long hours have been discussed for years. Such concerns should have led to discussions on coordinating inter-ministerial responsibilities and transferring functions that do not have to be carried out in Tokyo to outside the capital.
 国会対応に縛られる省庁の職員が、長時間勤務を強いられる弊害は言われて久しい。省庁同士の役割を整理したり、東京で担う必要がない業務を地方に移管したりすることを考えるきっかけにもできたはずだ。

But discussions within the government were effectively limited only to how to maintain the current functions after the ministries or agencies move out of Tokyo, and failed to address broader issues, such as organizational reforms.
 しかし政府内の議論は、省庁を地方に移しても、現状の機能が維持できるかにほぼ終始し、組織や業務のあり方を改革する方向に踏み込まなかった。

The government's just-announced relocation policy includes the reinforcement or even creation of local offices of some of the ministries and agencies. This gives us concern that the government may even be thinking of organizational expansion.
 基本方針には一部の省庁・機関の地方拠点の強化や新設も盛り込まれた。これでは組織肥大化の懸念さえぬぐえない。

The Cultural Affairs Agency, which is the only entity relocating out of Tokyo, is a successful case of the Kyoto business community's persistent efforts to bring the agency there. Kyoto is the heart of Japan's traditional culture. We hope the parties concerned will carefully proceed with the relocation, with close attention to every detail, to ensure that the agency will take advantage of being located in Kyoto and enrich the administration of cultural affairs.
 唯一移転する文化庁は、京都政財界の強い働きかけが実った。京都は伝統文化の集積地だ。現場に身を置くメリットを生かし、移転が豊かな文化行政につながるよう、詳細設計を丁寧に進めてほしい。

Under Minister Taro Kono, the Consumer Affairs Agency is as interested as the Cultural Affairs Agency in moving out of Tokyo. However, its planned relocation to Tokushima Prefecture has been put on the back burner for now "for fear that the move may negatively affect the agency's intended function as a consumer protection organ."
 文化庁と並んで河野太郎消費者相が移転に前向きな消費者庁は、「消費者保護の機能が低下するのでは」という懸念から、徳島移転の結論が持ち越された。

We hope the final decision will be made after thorough debate, not in a top-down manner, so that the public will support the decision.
トップダウンで決めず、国民が納得できるような形で議論を尽くしてもらいたい。

It is unfortunate that the most powerful ministries were never considered for relocation, and there were no offers from regional governments to host them, either.
 残念なのは、特に大きな権限を持つ府省本体が、移転候補にあがらなかったことだ。地方側に誘致の動きもなかった。

The announcement of the government's relocation policy should not be the cue for ending all conversations on the subject. We must continue striving to define the sort of government organizations that meet the needs of our times.
移転論議をこれで終わりにせず、時代に合った政府機構のあり方をしっかり考えていくべきだ。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2016-03-24 09:22 | 英字新聞

朝鮮学校補助 子どもらに責任はない

--The Asahi Shimbun, March 21
EDITORIAL: Politicians bully Korean school students for acts of Pyongyang
(社説)朝鮮学校補助 子どもらに責任はない

Korean schools across Japan are attended by Korean residents’ children, who are taught subjects in line with Japan’s official curriculum guidelines and also learn Korean language and culture.
 全国各地にある朝鮮学校は、在日コリアンの子どもたちが通っている。日本の学習指導要領に準じた各教科のほか、民族の言葉や文化も学ぶ。

Almost all of these schools are in financial distress. Many local governments of areas hosting Korean schools provide the institutions with subsidies similar to the financial support received by private Japanese schools and other international schools.
 どの学校も財政的に運営は厳しく、所在地の自治体の多くが他の私学や国際系の学校と同じように、補助金を出している。

But some politicians of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and other parties are calling on the education ministry to terminate public subsidies to Korean schools.
これに対し、自民党などから補助を打ち切るよう文部科学省に求める声が出ている。

These lawmakers are casting their proposal as part of Japan’s sanctions against North Korea, which has failed to respond to Tokyo’s demands concerning Japanese citizens abducted by Pyongyang decades ago and has refused to stop its provocative actions, such as nuclear tests.
 拉致問題に加え、核実験などを繰り返す北朝鮮への制裁の一環だという。

Some local governments have already suspended their subsidies to Korean schools.
いくつかの自治体はすでに補助を止めている。

But children attending Korean schools are not at all responsible for North Korea’s nuclear weapons program or the abduction issue.
 だが、朝鮮学校に通う子どもたちには、核開発や拉致問題の責任はない。

Punishing schools that educate young Korean residents of Japan for North Korea’s actions is tantamount to bullying of the weak driven by misplaced anger.
北朝鮮の国に問題があるからといって、日本で暮らす子どもの学びの場に制裁を科すのは、お門違いの弱い者いじめというほかない。

It is inappropriate, in the first place, for the education ministry to interfere in the issue, which is under the jurisdiction of local governments concerned.
 そもそも地方自治体が権限を持つこの問題について、文科省が介入するのは適切ではない。

The Japanese government started offering tuition-free high school education six years ago, when the Democratic Party of Japan was in power. But this benefit has not been applied to Korean schools.
 日本では、民主党政権だった6年前から高校の無償化が始まったが、これも朝鮮学校には適用されていない。

The DPJ-led government kept dragging its foot on abolishing tuition fees at Korean schools. And the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which was inaugurated in December 2012, swiftly removed Korean schools from the list of institutions eligible for the program.
民主党政権は適用を保留し続け、その後の安倍政権は発足後すぐに無償化対象からはずしてしまった。

Students at Korean schools and other people concerned have sued the government in Tokyo, Osaka and other cities, arguing that the exclusion of their schools from the program due to political reasons is illegal.
 政治的理由による除外は違法だとして、朝鮮学校の生徒らが国を相手どり、東京や大阪など各地で裁判に訴えている。

In the international arena, some U.N. agencies, including the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, have criticized the Japanese government’s policy concerning the issue. These organizations have recognized the exclusion of Korean schools from tuition-free high school education as a form of discrimination. They have also urged the Japanese government to apply the program to these schools and exhort local governments to continue the subsidies.
 国際的にも、人種差別撤廃委員会など国連の場では、高校無償化の適用除外は「差別だ」と認めたり、日本政府に対し、無償化の適用や、地方自治体に補助の維持を勧めるよう求めたりする見解が相次いでいる。

Last year, the bar association of Saitama Prefecture rebuked Saitama Governor Kiyoshi Ueda for his move to suspend the prefectural government’s subsidies to Korean schools within the prefecture. The association warned that Ueda’s action constitutes an “extremely serious violation of human rights.”
 国内でも、埼玉弁護士会が昨年、補助を止めている埼玉県の上田清司知事に「極めて重大な人権侵害」と警告した。

At many Korean schools, members of the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon) are involved in school administration.
 朝鮮学校では、在日本朝鮮人総連合会(朝鮮総連)の関係者が運営にかかわっているケースは多い。

But education should be kept insulated from politics. Kanagawa Governor Yuji Kuroiwa has continued subsidies to individual Korean students instead of their schools. Kuroiwa has said children are blameless.
だが、政治と教育は別だ。神奈川県の黒岩祐治知事は「子どもたちに罪はない」として、学校ではなく、生徒たち個人への補助を続けている。

Aside from differences in perceptions about history, problems with the curricula at Korean schools, if any, should be solved through talks between the government and the institutions.
 歴史観の違いはともかく、教育内容に問題があれば話し合いで解決すべきだ。

In fact, the content of education at Korean schools has been changing significantly.
実際、朝鮮学校の教育も変化してきている。

The community of Korean residents in Japan has become diversified. At many Korean schools, children of South Korean nationality make up a majority.
 在日コリアンの社会は多様化しており、多くの朝鮮学校で、韓国籍の子どもが過半数となりつつある。

It is wrong to think that Korean schools are attended only by children of people who worship the North Korean regime.
北朝鮮の体制を崇拝している人々の子どもだけが通うと考えるのは誤りだ。

More than anything else, students at Korean schools are also members of our society.
 何より朝鮮学校の子どもたちも私たちの社会の一員だ。

Any attempt to close the door to children who can build bridges between Japan and its neighbors would only increase the number of people who harbor antipathy toward Japan.
日本と隣国の懸け橋になりうる子どもたちを排除しようという思想であれば、逆に日本に反感を持つ人々を増やすだけである。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2016-03-23 09:00 | 英字新聞

マイナス金利 弊害広げない方策を

--The Asahi Shimbun, March 20
EDITORIAL: BOJ needs exit strategy for negative interest rate policy
(社説)マイナス金利 弊害広げない方策を

One month has passed since the Bank of Japan took the risky and controversial move to introduce negative interest rates after it had almost run out of policy tools to enhance its aggressive “quantitative” monetary easing program.
 日本銀行がマイナス金利政策を導入して1カ月が経過した。量的緩和のカードをほとんど使い果たした日銀が、新たな緩和手段として賭けに打って出た政策である。

It is hardly possible to claim that this policy gamble has produced the expected positive results overall.
現状では、その賭けが良い結果をもたらしているとはとても言えない。

The BOJ’s action has achieved a further decline in long-term interest rates from their already record-low levels.
 この政策でもともと史上最低水準だった長期金利は一段と下がった。

But the move to push interest rates below zero has given an unexpectedly big jolt to financial markets, causing wild fluctuations in both stock prices and currency exchange rates in the ensuing weeks.
そこまでは日銀の狙い通りだ。ただ、株価や為替相場が乱高下を繰り返したところに金融市場の動揺が見て取れる。

The banking sector has criticized the negative interest rate policy, which is expected to deliver a blow to the earnings of lenders. Commercial banks are facing an increase in costs as the BOJ charges them 0.1 percent for their excess reserves at the central bank.
 この政策で収益悪化が見込まれる金融界からは批判の声があがっている。銀行が日銀に預ける当座預金の一部にマイナス金利がかかるので負担が増える。

Banks have also come under strong pressure to further cut their lending rates, which are already at historical lows.
 歴史的な低さの貸出金利をもう一段下げる必要にも迫られている。

That would be fine as long as lower lending rates goose demand for loans. But that doesn’t seem to be what is happening.
それで融資需要が増えるならいい。だが必ずしもそうではないようだ。

Banks have found that lower-rate mortgages have led to an increase in refinancing but failed to stoke demand for new housing loans.
住宅ローン金利を下げて増えたのは、安いローンに借り換える人たちばかりで新規需要は少ないという。

The monetary easing policy was intended to prompt banks to expand their lending and encourage companies to ramp up their business investments. But the BOJ’s latest move seems counterproductive because it has only made things harder for commercial banks.
 銀行貸し出しを増やし、企業の投資を活発にする。それが金融緩和の目的のはずだった。こうして銀行経営を萎縮させてしまっては逆効果ではないか。

The negative interest rate policy is also beginning to blight the BOJ’s efforts to awaken inflationary expectations among consumers and businesses through its “different dimension” easing.
 日銀が異次元緩和で盛り上げようとした人々の「インフレ期待」にも影響が出ている。

In an Asahi Shimbun opinion poll conducted in February, 60 percent of respondents said they do not expect the negative interest rate policy to lead to economic growth.
朝日新聞が2月に実施した世論調査では、マイナス金利政策による景気回復が「期待できない」と答えた人は6割にのぼった。

Foreign regulators and policymakers have voiced concerns that any expansion of the negative interest rate policies that are in place in Japan and Europe could trigger a global currency war, or competitive devaluations of currencies among major economic powers to gain a trade advantage.
 一方、海外当局からは、日本や欧州のマイナス金利政策が強化されれば、世界的な通貨安競争の引き金にならないかという懸念が示されている。

The biggest beneficiary of the BOJ’s surprise policy move is probably Japan’s public finances. A further decline in long-term rates reduces the debt-servicing costs of the government, which has run up more than 1,000 trillion yen in debts.
 政策の恩恵を最も受けているのは日本の財政だろうか。長期金利の一段の低下で、1千兆円を超える国の借金の利払い費が抑えられるからだ。

As a result, however, there seems to be growing political momentum for relaxing fiscal discipline.
ただ、その結果、財政規律を緩めるムードが強まってはいないか。

Under ordinary circumstances, the central bank should not adopt the extremely radical approach of buying huge amounts of government bonds for monetary expansion.
 日銀による国債の大量買い入れは本来は禁じ手だ。

The BOJ’s unconventional policy, however, has been condoned as a measure to allow the government to buy time to fix its finances.
そこを財政立て直しの時間を稼ぐためだとして許されている面がある。

But some policymakers within the Abe administration are now openly arguing for postponing the consumption tax hike slated for next year. The administration appears to have the wrong idea about what should be the top fiscal policy priority.
ところが、いま政権内で消費増税見送り論が公然と語られているのは本末転倒である。

The BOJ’s monetary policy is now beginning to cause significant harm to the Japanese economy. If the BOJ continues this extraordinary monetary expansion program in a desperate effort to achieve its seemingly unrealistic 2-percent inflation target, the range of challenges confronting the Japanese economy will only become more serious and complicated.
 日銀の金融政策そのものが日本経済に弊害をもたらし始めている。現実的とは思えない2%インフレ目標にこだわり異常な緩和政策をこのまま続ければ、かえって日本経済が抱える問題は大きく複雑になっていく。

The central bank cannot quickly terminate its unprecedented policy even if it wants to because an abrupt end to the program would cause unacceptably large harmful effects on financial markets regarding interest and exchange rates.
 異次元緩和はやめたくなっても、すぐにはやめられない政策である。金利や為替など市場への影響が大きすぎるためだ。

Instead of wading deeper into uncharted waters, the BOJ should start working out a strategy for winding up the program while minimizing the negative consequences.
これ以上、深入りするのをやめ、影響を最小にとどめつつ撤退する方策を練るべきだ。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2016-03-22 21:45 | 英字新聞