後期高齢者医療

(Sep. 28, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun
Unclear what Masuzoe means by 'drastic review'
後期高齢者医療 意味不明な「抜本的見直し」(9月28日付・読売社説)

The government and ruling parties have been blowing hot and cold over the new medical insurance system for those aged 75 and older.
 後期高齢者医療制度をめぐって、政府・与党が迷走している。

Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Yoichi Masuzoe proposed a drastic review of the system, and Prime Minister Taro Aso backed the idea. However, it is not clear what such a "review" would mean in effect, and some lawmakers even within the ruling parties oppose the move.
 舛添厚生労働相が、現行制度を抜本的に見直すとの方針を表明し、麻生首相も同調した。だが、「見直し」が何を意味するか判然とせず、与党にも反発が強い。

The Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito referred to the system in their latest agreement to maintain the coalition government, saying they would try to improve the system by taking into consideration elderly people's feelings about it.
 自民党と公明党の政権合意では「高齢者の心情に配慮して、より良い制度に改善する」という表現にとどまった。

It goes without saying that governments should strive to improve every policy and system. But this is different from drastically reviewing them.
 すべての施策や制度は絶えず改善することが必要だ。しかし、抜本的見直しとは話が違う。

===

Proposal ill thought out

Masuzoe said his proposal focuses on three principles: not distinguishing those insured only by their age; changing the current system of mandatorily deducting insurance premium payments from participants' pension accounts to a voluntary system; and ensuring that any changes to be made do not exacerbate feelings of inequity between working people and retirees receiving insurance premium payments.
 舛添厚労相は後期高齢者医療制度の見直しについて、ポイントを掲げている。加入者を年齢のみで区分しない、年金からの保険料天引きを強制しない、世代間の対立を助長しない、の3点だ。

The first point may be the most important. The current system was intended to create a united medical insurance system for those aged 75 and older, whose medical fees have increased steeply in recent years, and to support aged people equally, notwithstanding the fact that working generations subscribe to various corporate health insurance plans.
 特に問題となるのは、年齢で区分しない、とする点だろう。
 医療費が急激に増える75歳以上の人を対象に、統一した医療保険制度を作り、現役世代は様々な健保組合に属していても公平に高齢者全体を支えよう、というのが現行制度の精神である。

If the government and ruling parties decide to do away with the new system's age-bracket provisions because they worry overly that elderly people aged 75 and older have loudly protested against being described as koki koreisha (late-stage elderly people)--as the system refers to them--they will have to rebuild the system from scratch.
 「後期高齢者」という呼称が招いた感情的な反発に配慮するあまり、年齢区分そのものを否定するのならば、制度の根幹から作り直さなければならない。

If those who continue to work regardless of their age are allowed to subscribe to corporate health insurance plans as members of the working generations, the government and ruling parties will merely have broadened the options of such people. This does not go beyond the framework of system improvement.
 何歳になっても働き続けている人は現役として企業健保に所属できる、というのなら、選択肢を広げるだけで制度改善の範疇(はんちゅう)だ。

It is difficult to describe the first of the three points of Masuzoe's proposal--not distinguishing between those insured in regard to their age bracket--as a "drastic review" because an "improvement" is not the same as a "drastic review."
 全く次元の異なる話であり、同じ「見直し」とは呼び難い。

===

Alternative plan needed

The third point--aiming at a system that will not worsen feelings of inequity between working people and retirees--also is unclear. After all, the health insurance system for elderly people that lasted until fiscal 2007 hit a wall due to ambiguous rules on sharing burdens between working people and retirees.
 世代間の対立を助長しない制度をめざす、という点も意味不明である。昨年度までの老人保健制度は、世代間の負担のルールがあいまいだったために、行き詰まったのではなかったか。

Masuzoe said he intends to ask an expert panel to discuss the makeup of an ideal new system from square one. But there are too many ambiguous points of contention.
 舛添厚労相は、有識者会議に一から議論を委ねるという。不透明な論点があまりに多い。

In a Yomiuri Shimbun poll held immediately after the launch of the Aso Cabinet, 67.5 percent of respondents said they highly evaluated the agreement between the LDP and New Komeito to review the new medical insurance system for those aged 75 and older. This figure reflects people's dissatisfaction with the current situation.
 麻生内閣発足に合わせて読売新聞が行った世論調査では、自公両党が後期高齢者医療制度の見直しに合意したことを67・5%の人が「評価する」とした。現状に対する不満を反映した数字だろう。

But merely parroting the vague slogan "review" without offering a clear future vision can only be seen as a vote-catching gambit ahead of the forthcoming general election. Under the current situation, the government and ruling parties are in no position to criticize the opposition parties, which have demanded the abolition of the current system without putting forward an alternative plan.
 だが、明確な展望を示さないまま、漠然と「見直し」を唱えるだけでは総選挙をにらんだ人気取りとしか見えない。これでは政府・与党は、代案を出さずに「まず現行制度を廃止せよ」と主張する野党を批判できまい。

A long-range outlook is needed for reform of the social security system, including medical care for elderly people. If the government and ruling parties run about in confusion every time an election approaches, public anxiety and dissatisfaction will accumulate.
 高齢者医療を含め、社会保障制度改革で必要なのは長期展望である。選挙が近づくごとに右往左往していては、そのたびに国民の不安と不満が蓄積される。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 28, 2008)
(2008年9月28日01時42分 読売新聞)
[PR]

# by kiyoshimat | 2008-09-28 08:14 | 英字新聞

首相国連演説

(Sep. 27, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun
Japan's message should be clearly transmitted
首相国連演説 日本の「言葉」を発信せよ(9月27日付・読売社説)

Taro Aso has made his diplomatic debut as prime minister. We hope he will play a leading role in sending a clear message to domestic and foreign audiences concerning what Japan attaches importance to and what it will try to accomplish in the international community.
 麻生外交が始動した。日本は、国際社会で何を重んじ、何をなそうとするのか。麻生首相は、自ら先頭に立ち、明確なメッセージを国内外に発信してもらいたい。

Aso delivered a speech at the 63rd U.N. General Assembly on Thursday, becoming the first Japanese prime minister to address the meeting since 2005.
 麻生首相が25日、ニューヨークの国連総会で演説した。日本の首相の演説は3年ぶりだ。

"Peace and happiness are most certainly within our grasp through the pursuit of economic prosperity and democracy," Aso said. "I am determined to work in solidarity with countries holding fundamental values in common and to share Japan's experiences with nations strongly needing such support."
 首相は「経済的な繁栄と民主主義を希求する先に、平和と人々の幸福が必ずや勝ち取れる」と強調した。基本的な価値観を共有する国々と連帯して日本の経験を各国に伝えたい、とも訴えた。

Aso's remarks reflect the basic stance of Japan's diplomacy: The country will actively support the growth of developing countries' economies and institutions, and contribute to rooting out poverty and terrorism.
 途上国の経済発展や国造りを積極的に支援し、貧困解消やテロ撲滅に貢献する、という日本外交の基本姿勢を示したものだ。

The fact that it is the world's second-largest economy enables Japan to have its voice heard in the international community. But the country slipped to fifth place among official development assistance donors in 2007, mainly due to its deteriorating fiscal condition. If Aso is to strengthen foreign aid, as he has said he wants to do, it is indispensable to ensure Japan's economic growth first.
 国際社会での日本の発言力の源泉は、世界2位の経済力にある。だが、財政事情の悪化で2007年の日本の政府開発援助(ODA)実績は世界5位に転落した。
 首相が目指すような対外支援を強化するには、まず、日本自身の経済成長が不可欠だ。

===

Reform of UNSC needed

As foreign minister under the administration of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Aso spelled out his diplomatic policy, which upholds universal values, including freedom, democracy and human rights, and supports the economic development and democratization of Eastern Europe and central Asia.
 首相は、安倍政権の外相時代に、自由や民主主義、人権などの普遍的価値を重視し、東欧や中央アジアの経済発展や民主化を支援していく外交方針を掲げた。

Imposing one's values on another country is bound to draw opposition from that country. Diplomacy needs width and depth.
 一方的な価値観の押しつけは相手国の反発を招きやすい。外交には幅や懐の深さも必要だ。

But Aso's willingness to spell out Japan's diplomatic philosophy is important.
 だが、日本の外交理念を「言葉」にして発信しよう、という首相の姿勢は大切だろう。

Reform of the U.N. Security Council, including Japan's bid to gain permanent membership, is important for the national interest. Fresh intergovernmental negotiations on expanding the Security Council will start by the end of February. Japan urgently needs to evolve a strategy centering on "an expansion of both permanent and nonpermanent membership," which Aso stressed in his speech.
 日本が常任理事国入りを目指す安全保障理事会改革は、日本の国益のために重要だ。来年2月末までに新たな政府間交渉が開始される。首相が訴えた「常任・非常任理事国双方の議席拡大」を軸に早急に戦略を練る必要がある。
evolve=
1 〈論理・意見・計画などを〉徐々に発展[展開]させる;〈結論・法則などを〉導き出す
~ a new plan from a casual remark  ふとした発言から新計画を発展させる.
2 〈におい・蒸気などを〉発する,放出する.
3 〔生〕…を進化させる.
━ 昿[Ⅰ(慱)]
1 発展[進化]する;〈作品の筋が〉進展する
The balloon ~d into the airship. [=The airship ~d from [out of] the balloon.]  気球が発展して飛行船ができた.
2 〔生〕進化する.
語源 ラテン語Ivolvere (I-外に+volvere回転する=回転して解く→展開する)
e・vólv・a・ble慝
~・ment慥

If Japan is elected as one of the 10 new nonpermanent members of the Security Council in October, it would serve a two-year term, starting from January.
 日本は、10月の非常任理事国選挙で当選すれば、来年1月から2年間、安保理メンバーとなる。

===

Refueling job must continue

Aso also declared in his speech, "Japan will continue into the future to stand side by side with the international community and participate proactively in the fight against terrorism."
 首相は演説で「国際社会と一体となり、テロとの戦いに積極参画していく」と宣言した。日本が能動的な国連外交を展開するためにも、海上自衛隊によるインド洋での給油活動は継続すべきだ。

To conduct its active U.N. diplomacy, Japan should continue the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean. Japan must shoulder a fair burden if it is to contribute to international peace cooperation activities and maintain the Japan-U.S. security alliance, which Aso clarified in his speech as an "unchangeable cornerstone" of Japan's diplomacy.
 国際平和協力活動に貢献し、首相が演説で日本外交の「不変の基軸」と明言した日米同盟を堅持していくには、日本としても相応の役割を担わねばならない。

Referring to the government's interpretation of the Constitution, which bans the country from exercising the right of the collective self-defense, Aso told reporters in New York on Thursday, "Basically, it should be changed."
 首相は記者団に、集団的自衛権の行使を禁じている政府の憲法解釈について、「基本的に解釈を変えるべきものだ」と語った。

In June, a panel of experts discussing the right of the collective self-defense, which was set up by Abe, submitted a proposal to then Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda calling for a change in the government's current interpretation. The government should tackle this issue seriously.
 政府解釈の変更を求める有識者懇談会の提言が今年6月、福田前首相に提出されている。政府として真剣に取り組むべき課題だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 27, 2008)
(2008年9月27日01時52分 読売新聞)
[PR]

# by kiyoshimat | 2008-09-27 10:27 | 英字新聞

吉田茂

(Mainichi Japan) September 25, 2008
Which politician will be the next cartoon hero?
余録:風刺漫画の主人公

Former Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida was looking for the house of an acquaintance while visiting Kamakura when a child playing baseball on a vacant lot saw him, and shouted, "The prime minister's here!"
吉田茂元首相が鎌倉の知人を訪ね、家を探していると、空き地で野球をしていた子供が見つけて叫んだ。「総理大臣がいるよ!」。

One of his playmates, not taking him seriously, shouted back, "Why would the prime minister come here?" But the child who had seen Yoshida said, "But he looks just like the cartoon character." Yoshida himself was fond of retelling this story.
仲間がバカにしたように「こんなとこに総理大臣がいるもんか」と言うと、見つけた子は「けど、漫画にそっくりだよ」吉田本人が好んで語っていた話という。

Indeed, Yoshida was caricatured in countless cartoons, and when he retired, one cartoonist came out with a cartoon in which cartoonists express their gratitude to the prime minister.
実際、風刺漫画に数限りなく描かれ、引退時には漫画家がこぞって元首相に感謝している漫画まで描かれたという人だ。

His grandson, Liberal Democratic Party President and Prime Minister Taro Aso, who is himself a cartoon fan, has finally acquired the throne that allows him to become the hero of a political cartoon. In a crowded field of five, Aso won two-thirds of the votes cast in the LDP presidential election, and cruised to a landslide victory.
その孫で、自身が漫画ファンという麻生太郎自民党新総裁も、ようやく念願の風刺漫画の主人公の座を手中に収めた
5人の候補乱立となった自民党総裁選で、投票総数の3分の2を集めて圧勝した麻生新総裁だった。

Aso takes the helm of a party that has been peering over the precipice because its two previous leaders abandoned the reins of government. But the new prime minister's plans for opposing Democratic Party of Japan leader Ichiro Ozawa, who on the previous day had unveiled his own platform, are falling into place. Without a doubt, the LDP is reading from a playbook that calls for the selection of a new party president to jumpstart the party's sagging approval ratings, and the pumping up of the new leader's popularity as he heads into the general election.
2代続けてトップが政権を投げ出したガケっぷちの党を率い、前日に政権構想を発表した民主党・小沢一郎代表と対決する構図が固まった
もともと新総裁選びで党の支持率低下をリセットし、新リーダーの人気をもり立てて総選挙に臨むのが自民党のシナリオに違いない。

But in the interim, the U.S. financial crisis and the tainted rice scandal have snowballed. Holding the party presidential election in the midst of these events left people with the impression that Japanese politics was incapable of mustering a response.
だがこの間の米金融危機、汚染米問題の拡大である。そのさなかの総裁選は状況に対応できない日本政治を象徴するかのように国民の目に映った

Shigeru Yoshida hated election campaigns. When his campaign strategists urged him to deliver speeches on the street, he refused, saying, "How can I speak on affairs of state where there is constant horse and car traffic!" But today, the LDP's popularity depends on the constant traffic of new party presidents. It just so happens that Ozawa's father, Saeki Ozawa, a masterful politician, was a close associate of Yoshida's. So of these two party leaders with a connection to Yoshida, who will survive to become the hero of a political cartoon? ("Yoroku," a front page column in the Mainichi Shimbun)
選挙運動嫌いだった吉田茂は、選挙参謀が街頭演説を求めると「車馬絡繹(らくえき)で国事が語れるか」と言って応じなかった。「絡繹」とは人馬の往来が絶えないさまを示した古い言葉だが、今や自民党には新総裁の絡繹での人気が頼りのようである
ちなみに小沢代表の父親、小沢佐重喜(さえき)も吉田茂の側近としてらつ腕を振るった政治家だった。ではこの吉田ゆかりの与野党リーダー2人、どちらが風刺漫画の主人公として生き残るだろう。
[PR]

# by kiyoshimat | 2008-09-26 13:30 | 英字速報

米原子力空母

(Sep. 26, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun
Aircraft carrier to aid stability in Asia
米原子力空母 アジア安定に役立つ日本配備(9月26日付・読売社説)

The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington arrived Thursday at the U.S. naval base in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, a deployment expected to contribute not only to the defense of Japan but also to peace and stability in the entire Asia-Pacific region.
日本防衛だけでなく、アジア太平洋地域全体の平和と安定に貢献することが期待される。

The carrier replaces the conventional aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk, which was deployed at the base in 1998, but is to be decommissioned due to its age. Its replacement marks the first U.S. nuclear-powered military vessel deployed to Japan.
米原子力空母「ジョージ・ワシントン」が海軍横須賀基地に配備された。1998年に配備された通常型空母「キティホーク」が老朽化し、退役することに伴う交代である。米原子力艦船の日本配備は初めてだ。

Commissioned in 1992, the George Washington is the fourth youngest of the U.S. Navy's 11 aircraft carriers. The ship has 75 planes on board and about 6,000 crew members, including pilots.
92年就役のジョージ・ワシントンは、米海軍の空母11隻の中で4番目に新しい。75機の航空機を搭載し、航空要員を含めた乗組員は約6000人に上る。

It is capable of engaging in military operations longer than conventional carriers as its power is generated by nuclear reactors. Its acceleration when setting sail also is much faster than that of conventional carriers.
動力源が原子炉のため、通常型空母と比べて、より長時間の作戦行動ができる。初動時の加速力も格段に優れている。

===

A powerful deterrent

The deployment in Japan of an aircraft carrier with better capabilities strengthens the deterrent potential of the U.S. military. The presence of the U.S. military in Japan is a cornerstone of the Japan-U.S. security alliance, and an aircraft carrier plays a pivotal role.
日本配備の空母の高性能化は、米軍の抑止力の強化につながる。米軍のプレゼンス(存在)は、日米同盟の基盤だ。中でも空母が果たす役割は大きい。

When a presidential election was held in Taiwan in March, the Kitty Hawk and another U.S. aircraft carrier conducted an exercise in waters east of Taiwan as a show of force. The drill was believed to be aimed at preventing China from taking any action similar to a missile drill it conducted in the Taiwan Strait in 1996 to demonstrate its power when Taiwan held its first presidential election.
今年3月の台湾総統選の際には、キティホークなど2隻の米空母が台湾東方海域で訓練を実施し、周辺ににらみをきかせた。96年の初の総統選で中国が行ったミサイル演習のような示威行動を防ぐのが目的とみられる。

Meanwhile, it is necessary to ensure safety regarding the nuclear-powered vessel.
一方で、原子力空母の安全対策には万全を期す必要がある。

In May, unauthorized smoking by a crew member aboard the George Washington sparked a fire, which resulted in the demotions of the captain and the executive officer. Due to necessary repair work, the carrier's deployment to Yokosuka was delayed by more than a month. Though the nuclear reactors were not damaged, it shows that an accident can be caused by simple misdeeds.
ジョージ・ワシントンでは今年5月、乗組員が無断喫煙したたばこの火で火災が起きた。正副艦長は更迭され、修理のため日本配備が1か月以上遅れた。原子炉とは無関係だが、お粗末な事故だ。

===

Easing public concerns

It was revealed in August that the nuclear-powered submarine USS Houston had leaked small amounts of radioactive substances from a water valve for more than two years, during which the submarine made Japanese port calls on 11 occasions.
8月には米原潜「ヒューストン」で2年以上にわたる微量の放射能漏れが発覚した。バルブからの水の染み出しが原因だ。この間、原潜は日本に11回寄港していた。

The concentration of leaked radioactive substance was said to be about the same as what exists naturally in the ocean. The total amount of radiation leaked during the Japanese port calls is said to be far less than the amount released during one X-ray of the chest.
漏れた放射能は、海中に自然に存在する放射能と同程度の濃度とされる。日本寄港時の放出総量も、X線胸部撮影の1回分よりも、はるかに少ないという。

Even if this is so, the Japanese government must continue to urge the United States to take the utmost care in safety management of the aircraft carrier if it wants to dispel the anxieties of local residents and other people concerned. It also should proactively respond to requests to disclose information about accidents and other matters of public interest.
それでも、地元住民や関係者の不安を解消するため、日本政府は、米側に空母の安全管理に細心の注意を払うよう求め続けるべきだ。事故などの情報公開に積極的に対応することも必要だ。

The Yokosuka city government approved in June 2006 the deployment of a nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carrier and later signed a memorandum on disaster management with the U.S. military stationed in Japan. Last November, Japan and the United States conducted a joint disaster management drill.
神奈川県横須賀市は06年6月に米原子力空母の配備を容認した。その後、在日米海軍と防災覚書を締結し、昨年11月には日米合同の防災訓練を実施している。

A high-ranking U.S. Navy officer says that the navy's philosophy is to swiftly deal with any matter while it is still small to prevent it from developing into a major problem. To accomplish this, the two nations should make further efforts to establish a relationship of trust through joint drills and candid exchanges of opinions.
米海軍高官は「出来事が小さなうちに迅速に対処し、大きな問題になるのを防ぐのが、我々の哲学だ」と語る。そのためには、日米双方が、合同訓練や率直な意見交換を通じて、信頼関係を構築する努力が大切だろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 26, 2008)
(2008年9月26日01時45分 読売新聞)
[PR]

# by kiyoshimat | 2008-09-26 09:12 | 英字新聞

政治報道の危機

(Mainichi Japan) September 25, 2008
Poor political reportage promotes poor politics and politicians
ぶら下がりの虚像

Taro Aso, who was elected prime minister on Wednesday, shares his deep feelings with a close friend: "I don't think ordinary people understand the anguish of extremely rich people."
 今日、首相に選出される麻生太郎氏は、心を許した相手には「とてつもない金持ちに生まれた人間の苦しみなんて普通の人には分からんだろうな」としんみり語る。

Even though Aso occasionally assumes a persona where he "pretends" to be a bad guy, it appears that this is actually his true nature.

The way he considers himself to be someone born to a special fate, and his confidence that he has experienced hardships that nobody else knows reveal a deep psychological condition.
How he will control the government appears likely to depend on this warped self-confidence.
 時に偽悪家ぶるところがあるが、これは率直な気持ちだろう。自分を特別な運命に生まれたと信じる自惚(うぬぼ)れと、人知れぬ苦労も積んだという負けん気は、新首相の深層心理をうかがわせて興味深い。今後の政権運営は、この屈折した自負心が左右する気がする。

I talk about such a thing because I wondered why Yasuo Fukuda, who resigned as prime minister on Wednesday, had decided to dump his government in an irresponsible manner and later acted selfishly. It all leads to the conclusion that he was not qualified to be prime minister. Many political reporters realized this fact, but did they clearly report it?
 こんな話を持ち出すのは、今日で首相を終える福田康夫氏の無責任な政権放り出しと、その後の身勝手な言動に考え込んでしまったからだ。首相の器でなかったということに尽きるが、政治記者の多くは、そのことを知っていた。でも、それをきちんと伝えたか。

After Fukuda announced his decision to resign, the Mainichi Shimbun reported that as early as April he was tired of being prime minister. Nevertheless, the Mainichi Shimbun at the same time carried other articles saying that the prime minister was enthusiastic about his work.
Even though Fukuda displayed a mixture of aggressive and feeble attitudes, I cannot help but admit that these reports were incorrect. This is because the reporters failed to get to the bottom of Fukuda's real intentions and simply believed what his aides said.
 退陣表明後、弊紙は福田氏が4月には嫌気が差していたと報じた。ところが、当時の紙面を繰ってみると、「首相は意欲満々」と何度も書いている。強気と弱気が交錯していたにせよ、誤報と認めざるを得ない。

Since Junichiro Koizumi was in office, brief interviews with the prime ministers at their office, which were limited to twice a day, had continued for seven years. This set a bad precedent for political reporters who have now come to believe that such brief interviews are enough to write articles.
Reporters were criticized for failing to ask tough questions during the news conference at which Fukuda announced his decision to resign because they were asking questions as if the news conference was just another one of the brief interviews at the prime minister's office.
People often talk about the political crisis, but it's largely because of the crisis of political news coverage. (By Tomonaga Ito, Political News Writer, Mainichi Shimbun)
 本人の実像に迫れず、秘書官らの煙幕をうのみにしたせいだ。小泉政権で昼夕2度に制限された首相への「ぶら下がり」。7年も続き、あれで済ますのが記者の悪弊になった。突っ込み不足と不評だった福田氏の退陣会見も「ぶら下がり」の延長だったからではないか。政治の危機と言うが、半分は政治報道の危機だろう。【伊藤智永】

毎日新聞 2008年9月24日 東京朝刊
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# by kiyoshimat | 2008-09-25 14:09 | 英字速報

麻生内閣発足

(Sep. 25, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun
Aso must outline plan for 'radiant, strong' state
麻生内閣発足 「明るく強い国」をどう造る(9月25日付・読売社説)

Prime Minister Taro Aso's new Cabinet was inaugurated Wednesday night. But it sets out under unusual circumstances, with the dissolution of the House of Representatives and a subsequent general election just around the corner.
麻生新内閣が発足した。衆院解散・総選挙を間近に控えた異例の船出である。今後も活力ある日本を維持していくには、どうすべきか。麻生首相は、内政、外交の見取り図を、早急に示さねばならない。

The question now is what Aso--the 59th man to serve as prime minister--should do to maintain the nation's vigor.
第92代、59人目の首相に選ばれた麻生首相は24日夜、組閣を終え、新内閣を始動させた。

To ensure he can do so, he must present a blueprint mapping out the nation's politics and diplomacy as quickly as possible.
(麻生首相はこれから先の国内政策と外交政策につき明確な青写真を国民に示さなければならない by srachai)

Announcing the lineup of his Cabinet himself at a press conference, Aso stressed that he is determined to make Japan a "radiant and strong country." He apparently believed it was important to deliver such a message directly to the public rather than leaving it to the chief cabinet secretary.
麻生首相は、自ら記者会見して閣僚名簿を発表し、「日本を明るく強い国にする」と強調した。官房長官任せにせず、国民に対して直接、メッセージを発することを重視したものだ。

===

◆政策推進の3原則◆
3 principles for governance

On appointing his Cabinet ministers, Aso instructed them "to promote policies for the benefit of the people," "to make the best use of bureaucrats" and "to devote efforts to the national interest rather than that of government ministries." These are apparently being dubbed "Aso's three principles" and he said he will make them the cornerstone of his policies.
首相は、閣僚の任命にあたり、「国民本位の政策を進める」「官僚は使いこなす」「省益ではなく国益に専念する」ように指示した。これを“麻生3原則”とし、政策推進の基本に据える考えを示したのだろう。

Aso named former Education, Science and Technology Minister Takeo Kawamura as chief cabinet secretary, a pivotal role in the Cabinet. As with the appointment of Hiroyuki Hosoda as Liberal Democratic Party secretary general, picking Kawamura indicates that Aso took into account his practical skills, which are highly thought of within the party.
内閣の要となる官房長官に、河村建夫・元文部科学相を起用した。自民党の細田博之幹事長と同様、党内で評価の高い実務能力を買ったものといえる。

Aso retained Kaoru Yosano, who was a contender in Monday's LDP presidential election, as state minister in charge of economic and fiscal policy and named former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba as agriculture, forestry and fisheries minister. These appointments suggest Aso also hopes to build a united party by ensuring ministers are matched with positions suited to their policymaking abilities.
総裁選を戦った与謝野経済財政相は再任、石破茂・元防衛相は農相に登用した。両氏の得意分野の政策能力を活用し、挙党態勢にも配慮した人事だ。

In addition, Aso gave Cabinet posts to many of those who contributed to his victory in the party presidential race. Shoichi Nakagawa, finance minister and state minister in charge of financial services; Kunio Hatoyama, internal affairs and communications minister; and Akira Amari, state minister in charge of administrative reform, all supported Aso and contributed to his winning the presidential election.
自民党総裁選で麻生氏の勝利に貢献した議員を多数起用した。中川財務・金融相、鳩山総務相、甘利行政改革相は、麻生支持を打ち出し、早くから流れを作った。

Meanwhile, the prime minister named Yuko Obuchi, 34, who is in her third term in the lower house, as state minister in charge of the declining birthrate. She becomes the youngest ever postwar cabinet member.
戦後最年少閣僚として、34歳で当選3回の小渕優子衆院議員を少子化相に抜擢(ばってき)した。

===

Management in crisis
◆危機管理を怠るな◆

Since former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's abrupt resignation announcement on Sept. 1, there have been serious problems to contend with at home and abroad. The new Cabinet must check the government's crisis management system and try to perfect the management of affairs of state.
今月1日の福田前首相の辞意表明後、国内外で、深刻な問題が発生している。内閣として、危機管理体制を総点検し、国政遂行に万全を期すことが求められる。

The financial crisis that originated in the United States is developing into a cross-border realignment of the financial industry that involves Japanese financial institutions. Meanwhile, the Japanese economy itself is slowing.
米国発の金融危機は、日本の金融機関も巻き込んで、国境を越えた金融再編に発展している。一方で、日本の景気は下降線をたどっている。

Given these difficult circumstances, agile management that unifies fiscal and financial considerations is going to be indispensable in guiding the country's economic policies.
こうした難局にある経済政策の舵(かじ)取りでは、財政と金融の一体的、機動的な運営が欠かせない。

Aso also has asked Finance Minister Nakagawa to serve as state minister in charge of financial services. He says, quite reasonably, that the dual appointment ensures Japan has a state minister responsible for financial services in attendance at meetings of the Group of Seven finance ministers and central bank governors.
首相は、中川財務相に金融相を兼務させた。先進7か国財務相・中央銀行総裁会議(G7)で、日本の財務相が金融行政に関与していない事態を避けるのが狙い、と説明した。当然の判断だろう。

Meanwhile, police on Wednesday searched the headquarters of Osaka-based rice processing and sales firm Mikasa Foods on suspicion of selling tainted rice meant for industrial use as edible rice. The latest incident revealed government administrative processes are not functioning properly.
農薬などに汚染された事故米の不正転売問題で、警察当局は、米穀加工販売会社の強制捜査に踏み切った。行政の機能不全を露呈する不祥事だ。

Incoming agriculture minister Ishiba should exercise leadership in cooperation with Seiko Noda, who retained her post as state minister in charge of consumer affairs, to ensure the safety of the nation's food and to regain the public's trust in the ministry.
石破農相は、再任された野田消費者相と協力し、「食の安全」の確保と農水省の信頼回復に指導力を発揮すべきだ。

Recent reports of the deteriorating health of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il have caused confusion over the future direction of this autocratic state's decision-making.
北朝鮮の金正日総書記の健康不安説で、独裁国家の意思決定の行方に不透明感が漂っている。

Against this backdrop, North Korea recently began work restoring its Yongbyon nuclear facility that it had previously agreed to disable.
そうした中で、北朝鮮は、無能力化に合意していた寧辺の核施設の復旧作業に着手した。

Meanwhile, there is currently no prospect of Pyongyang resuming its reinvestigation into Japanese abducted by North Korean agents.
日本人拉致問題も、被害者の再調査入りのめどが立っていない。

Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone and Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada need to reaffirm coordination with the United States and other countries concerned and give full attention to North Korea's actions.
中曽根外相、浜田防衛相は、米国など関係国との連携を再確認し、北朝鮮の動向に細心の注意を払う必要がある。

Meanwhile, an agreement reached between the LDP and its coalition partner New Komeito on Tuesday incorporates economic stimulus measures, including fixed-amount income and residential tax cuts that were demanded by New Komeito. The two parties also agreed to review an unpopular health care insurance program for people aged 75 or older.
麻生政権発足に先立つ自公両党の政権合意には、公明党が求めた所得・住民税の定額減税など当面の景気対策や、国民に批判の強い後期高齢者医療制度を見直す方針が盛り込まれた。

However, the agreement does not call for the financial burden the nation faces to be shouldered by the public, including through a consumption tax rate hike. And as for securing financial resources to fund ballooning social security costs, it simply refers to administrative reforms, including abolishing and consolidating local offices of the central government and ensuring budgetary allocations are not squandered.
一方で、消費税率の引き上げなど国民に負担を求める施策は見あたらない。財源確保策は、国の出先機関の廃止・縮小や、予算のムダの洗い出しなどの行政改革を掲げているだけだ。

===

Tackling economic challenges
◆責任ある説明を◆

Having said, "The Japanese economy needs three years to recover," Aso has accepted the government's fiscal stimulus measures to turn around the flagging economy. He also has suggested he will push back the target of achieving a surplus in the primary balance, originally eyed for fiscal 2011, saying, "Conditions have changed."
首相は「日本経済は全治3年」として経済対策のための財政出動を容認し、2011年度に基礎的財政収支を黒字化する目標については「前提条件が変わった」と先送りする考えを示唆した。

A review of the health care insurance program for people aged 75 or older was unexpectedly floated during the closing stages of the LDP presidential election. But this raises the question of how the LDP and New Komeito will remain consistent with their previous insistence that the scheme is necessary. Aso and Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Yoichi Masuzoe should explain this properly to ensure there is no confusion among the public.
後期高齢者医療制度の見直しは、自民党総裁選の終盤に唐突に浮上した。必要性を訴えてきた政府・与党の従来の説明と、どう整合性をとるのか。首相と舛添厚生労働相は、国民を混乱させないよう、しっかりと説明すべきだ。

At his first press conference on assuming the premiership Wednesday night, Aso clarified that the government would raise its share of the burden for the basic pension to half from the current one-third from fiscal 2009. However, he did not present details on the financial resources available for doing so.
首相は、就任後初の記者会見で、来年度から基礎年金の国庫負担割合を2分の1に引き上げると明言しながら、財源については、明示しなかった。

The new Cabinet should urgently discuss concrete measures for securing such resources.
早急に具体的な財源措置を検討すべきである。

If Aso's administration is to achieve the goals it has laid out, the LDP clearly must prevail in its upcoming electoral battle with the Democratic Party of Japan, headed by Ichiro Ozawa.
近づく衆院選は、麻生首相が率いる自民党と、小沢代表の民主党との決戦となる。
麻生政権が実績を上げていくには、まず、小沢民主党に勝利しなければならない。

Aso is responsible for presenting clearly defined principles for the country's rejuvenation and outlining concrete policies for the public in his policy speech scheduled to be delivered at the Diet on Monday.
首相は、29日の所信表明演説で、日本再生のためのより明確な理念と、具体的な政策を国民に示す責任がある。

We hope Aso will engage in lively and constructive debates with Ozawa and other opposition parties leaders during their interpellation.
代表質問でも、小沢代表をはじめ野党党首と、活発な論戦を展開してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 25, 2008)
(2008年9月25日02時24分 読売新聞)
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# by kiyoshimat | 2008-09-25 09:53 | 英字新聞

石見銀山遺跡

(Mainichi Japan) September 24, 2008
Environmental challenges ahead for Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine world heritage site
石見銀山遺跡:世界遺産へ観光客押し寄せ、「環境との調和」仕切り直し

◇石見銀山の挑戦
Shimane -- In July 2007, Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine in Oda, Shimane Prefecture, became the first Japanese industrial site to be registered as a world heritage site. It gained high appraisal during the World Heritage Committee investigation for its "coexistence with nature" and "harmony with the environment."
However, environmental problems subsequently arose due to an increase in the number of tourists to the area. In response, local residents have made the bold decision to abolish a local bus service, which has been a precious means of transportation for them.
From this autumn, the people of Oda will make a fresh start with an even greater respect for the environment.
日本初の産業遺跡として昨年7月、世界文化遺産に登録された石見銀山遺跡(島根県大田市)。世界遺産委員会の審査では「自然との共存」「環境との調和」が高い評価を受けた。だが、観光客の増加で、環境破壊という問題が浮上。住民は地域の足でもある路線バスの廃止を決断した。この秋、「環境」というキーワードに立ち返った仕切り直しが始まる。【大田通信部・船津健一】

◆観光客倍増
Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine is valued for three main features: The remains of the silver mine, the town itself, and the routes to the port. The core zone of the heritage area covers 442 hectares, encompassing the towns of Omori, Nima, and Yunotsu. The most popular site is Omori, where people can see the shaft of the silver mine and areas of the residential town that remain from the Edo period. Most tours planned by travel agencies focus on this town. An amazing 714,000 tourists visited the site in 2007 when it was registered as a world heritage site, almost double the number of the previous year. This year, the number of visitors reached 560,000 by the end of August, which is equivalent to a 1.7-fold increase on the previous year.
石見銀山遺跡を構成する要素は大きく三つ。銀鉱山跡、町並み、街道と港だ。大森町、仁摩(にま)町、温泉津(ゆのつ)町の市内3町に点在するそれらの総面積は約442ヘクタールになる。中でも、銀採掘坑道や江戸時代の区割りを伝える町並みが残る大森町には観光客が押し寄せる。旅行代理店のツアーもここに集中する。世界遺産に登録された07年の観光客数は前年の2倍近い71・4万人。今年は8月末で56万人に迫り、前年同期比1・7倍と衰える気配がない。

The town of Omori is home to 390 people among 170 families. These people requested a "Park and Ride" system to Iwami Kotsu (headquarters in Masuda) last April to reduce the number of tourists' cars entering the town. People park their cars in a new free parking lot (with a capacity of 400 cars and 11 buses) 2.5 kilometers south of the area, and take a shuttle bus to the town. People are also discouraged from visiting the most popular site, the "Ryugenji Mabu (Mine Shaft)" at the foot of the mine by car. Instead, public buses (with a capacity 43 people) shuttle to and from the town area. Due to the increase in the number of tourists, the original nine round trips were increased to 18 roundtrips for weekdays and 35 for weekends and holidays. Along the narrow road where even passenger cars can barely pass, residents and visitors alike are suffering from exhaust fumes from the buses.
 大森の町並み地区は、170世帯390人が暮らす「生活の場」でもある。観光車両の流入を防ぐため、市は昨年4月末、石見交通(本社・益田市)に要請して「パーク&ライド」を始めた。同地区の2・5キロ南に新設した無料駐車場(乗用車400台、観光バス11台)に車を置き、同社の路線バスに乗り換えて町へ入ってもらう仕組みだ。一方、銀鉱山のふもとにある一番人気の「龍源寺間歩(まぶ)」(坑道)へも一般車両は乗り入れ禁止とし、町並み地区から路線バス(43人乗り)を使ってもらうことになった。
従来は9往復だったダイヤを平日18往復、土日祝日は35往復と大幅に増便。普通車でもすれ違うのがやっとの市道で、住民も観光客も追い越していくバスの排ガスを浴び、顔をしかめた。

◆混雑、混乱
During the autumn tourist season, people flood into the town. "Weekday overcrowding turns into weekend chaos," sighs a community association official.
Although it is only 30 minutes on foot from the town to the mine shaft, many tourists choose to wait for the bus. Many full buses go by until we can get on," the official added.

秋の行楽シーズンには観光客が殺到。「平日は混雑、土日は混乱」(自治会役員)という状態になった。町並み地区から坑道へは徒歩でも30分程度だが、観光客の多くはバスを利用する。「何台待ってもバスに乗れない」。

Responding to the complaints, the bus company has increased the service, resulting in nearly 100 shuttles on weekdays. The buses are always overcrowded and the residents can't use them. Moreover, the residents have to put up with exhaust fumes, noise, vibrations, etc.
"It's not a local bus anymore -- it's turned into a tourist bus," complains the official.
It didn't take long before the residents called for action.
苦情に応えて臨時便を増やしたため、多い日には平日でも100台近くがピストン運行した。
いつも満員のバスには住民も乗れない。「もはや路線バスじゃない。 観光バスだ」。加えて排ガス、騒音、振動。住民が悲鳴を上げるまで時間はかからなかった。

In December last year, Omori Community Council decided to petition the city of Oda to abolish the running of the local bus.
どうすればいいか。町民集会を重ねた末、大森町自治会協議会は昨年12月、路線バスの廃止を大田市に陳情した。

One week after the petition, a 110 cm by 50 cm rock weighing 80 kg rolled down the slope alongside the bus route, right in front of the mine shaft. It was midnight, and luckily no one was injured, but the falling rock was exactly what the petitioners had predicted might occur as a result of the vibrations from the buses. An investigation confirmed that work to prevent falling rocks would take about two years to complete, which added pressure to do away with the local bus.
その1週間後、坑道の手前のバス道に面した斜面から全長110センチ、幅50センチ、重さ約80キロの岩が落ちる落石事故が発生。深夜の発生でけが人はなかったが、陳情書が指摘した「バスの振動による落石」が現実になった。市は現場付近を通行止めとし、路線バスは手前の停留所で折り返すことになった。調査の結果、落石防止の工事に約2年かかることも判明。これが路線バス廃止へ向けた動きを後押しした。

◆「歩く」観光へ
So it was decided that the local bus service that shuttles people between the mine shaft and the town would be abolished. Although there were pros and cons to the decision, one resident stated flatly, "If we get rid of the buses, tourists and physically challenged people may be (negatively) affected. Still, we residents live here all our lives. We can't live with such anxiety."
市と石見交通は来月1日から、坑道と町並みを往復していた路線バスを全廃する。決定までには賛否両論あったが、ある住民は集会でこう言い切った。「バスを廃止すれば、観光客が減ったり障害者に迷惑をかける。でも住人は死ぬまでそこに住み続ける。不安を抱えながら過ごすことはできません」

On the second autumn after its registration as a world heritage site, Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine will switch its policy to promoting sightseeing on foot. It has plans to introduce two hybrid buses that use both electric motors and conventional combustion engines along the "Park and Ride" routes from next fiscal year.
登録から2度目の秋を迎えた石見銀山は「歩く観光」にかじを切る。来年度からは、パーク&ライド路線にモーターとエンジンを併用する「ハイブリッドバス」2台を導入する計画もある。

There are also plans to introduce emission-free electric buses, although not as a replacement for the lost local buses. Instead, they will cruise around the world heritage sites, limited to a walking speed of 5 km/hour and yielding to pedestrians. On Sept. 21, the "ultimate eco-car" was launched at the site, too. Three velotaxis (motorized tricycle taxis) with the capacity for two adults and one child were introduced. The driver also acts as a tour guide.
一方、排ガスを出さない電気バス導入計画も進んでいる。廃止路線のバス代わりではなく、歩行者優先の遺跡内を時速5キロ程度の歩く速さで遊覧する乗り物だ。遺跡内では21日から「究極のエコカー」も登場した。大人2人と幼児1人が乗れる有料のベロタクシー(電動アシスト付き三輪自転車)3台で、運転手が観光ガイドも務める。

The decision of this small town in the Sanin area was heard throughout the nation. The aim for "coexistence of a world heritage site with the environment" has also been included in the residents' charter of Omori town: "Our residents have to live here every day of their lives. We are committed to serving the people and Iwami Ginzan. We dedicate ourselves to conserving our history, relics and nature for future generations."
山陰の片隅の小さな町が全国に発信する「環境と共生する世界遺産」への決意は、世界遺産登録後に大森町が定めた「住民憲章」にも表れている。「この町には暮らしがあります。私たちはこの町で暮らしながら、人とのきずなと石見銀山を未来に引き継ぎます。未来に向かって歴史と遺跡、そして自然を守ります」

Yukio Nishimura, a professor at Tokyo University specializing in city planning, cites an example from 1995 when another travel spot, Shirakawa-go in Gifu Prefecture, had to build a parking lot over paddy fields following a rapid increase in the number of tourists after its registration as a world heritage site. "I hope that Iwami Ginzan will study the 'good' of various areas while avoiding the 'bad,' and become a place where people from across the nation can visit and learn."
都市計画などが専門の西村幸夫・東京大教授は、岐阜県の白川郷が95年の世界遺産登録後、観光客の急増で合掌造り集落の水田を駐車場に変えた例を引き、「石見銀山は各地のいいところを学び、悪いところはうまく避け、日本中から学びに来る場所になってほしい」と期待を寄せる。

毎日新聞 2008年9月22日 東京朝刊
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# by kiyoshimat | 2008-09-24 18:28 | 英字速報

メラミン汚染牛乳

(Sep. 24, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun
Tighten inspections on China-made food
メラミン牛乳 中国産食品の検疫を厳格に(9月24日付・読売社説)

It is hard to believe that a mildly toxic chemical could get mixed in with milk. But this is exactly what happened in yet another food scandal in China.
 牛乳の中に有害な化学物質を混ぜるとは、にわかには信じがたい出来事だ。またしても中国の食品である。

Several babies died, and tens of thousands of children reportedly have been sickened in the country, after consuming powdered milk tainted with melamine.
 中国では有害物質「メラミン」を含んだ粉ミルクが原因で乳児が死亡し、何万人もの子どもが健康被害を訴えている。

Adding melamine to milk can make it appear to be richer in protein, and Chinese dairy producers allegedly "supplemented" protein levels in milk by adding melamine to it after the milk was diluted with water.
 メラミンを混ぜると、蛋白(たんぱく)質を多く含む牛乳のように見せかけられる。酪農業者が原乳を水増しした後、薄まった蛋白質をメラミンで“補って”いたらしい。

This latest tainted food scandal has not been confined to China's shores.
 隣国だけの問題ではない。

Although barely any fresh milk or other dairy products are imported from China, a substantial volume of processed foods made using Chinese milk already have entered the Japanese market.
中国の牛乳や乳製品は日本にほとんど輸入されていないものの、牛乳を原料とする加工食品の形では、かなり入り込んでいる。

Marudai Food Co., a leading manufacturer of ham and sausages based in Takatsuki, Osaka Prefecture, voluntarily announced Saturday that some of its products contained milk contaminated with melamine, and started recalling items already on the market.
 菓子などに使用していた丸大食品は自主的に公表し、商品の回収を始めた。

According to the company, the amount of tainted milk used in the products was extremely small, and so far there have not been any reports of people being sickened after consuming them. It does not appear the widespread health problems in China will be replicated in Japan.
 同社によれば、使用された牛乳は微量で、これまでのところ健康被害の報告はない。中国で懸念される状況が、そのまま日本で生じるわけではないだろう。

However, concerns among consumers will continue to grow as long as they are not able to distinguish between products that contain milk tainted with the chemical and those that do not.
 だが、問題のある牛乳がどのような商品に使われているのか、全く分からない状況では、消費者の不安は膨らむ。

===

Time to tighten up checks

It is important that all of the concerned food production companies quickly grasp what is going on and announce the results of these investigations as soon as possible.
 関連する食品メーカーは、実態調査を急ぎ、すべてを迅速に公表することが重要だ。

It also is necessary to review the way in which imported foods are dealt with at quarantine stations. At present, inspectors look only for pesticide residues and bacteria, not chemical contamination.
 検疫のあり方も見直しが必要である。現状は、残留農薬や細菌の有無を調べることが目的で、化学物質の混入を想定していない。

Many cats and dogs died last year in the United States after eating pet food containing ingredients made in China. The culprit was found to be melamine. Yet Japanese quarantine authorities have not added melamine to their list of substances to be inspected for. This relaxed attitude toward potential chemical contamination must be abandoned and the possibility of such contamination must be assumed when checking imported foods.
 昨年、米国で中国製原料のペットフードを食べた犬や猫が多数死んだ問題は、やはりメラミンが原因だった。にもかかわらず、メラミンを検査項目に加えていなかった。化学物質は想定外、との甘い姿勢は改めねばなるまい。

===

China withholding information?

The latest food contamination scandal only surfaced after the Beijing Olympics had finished. Suspicions have been raised that the Chinese government might have suppressed revelations about the damage done, even though the effects were known about for quite some time, out of concern over the possible impact the scandal might have had on the Games.
 今回の問題は北京五輪が閉幕してから顕在化した。健康被害の訴えはかなり以前からあったのに、五輪への影響を考えて公表を抑えていたのではないか、との疑念をぬぐえない。

The World Health Organization also said somebody obviously withheld information on the scandal. It is interesting to note that a major dairy products manufacturer that sold milk powder containing melamine was one of the sponsors of the Beijing Olympics.
 世界保健機関(WHO)も「誰かが一定期間、情報を隠していたことは明白だ」との見解を示している。メラミン入り粉ミルクを販売した大手乳製品メーカーは、五輪のスポンサー企業だった。

In addition, the truth about the problem of tainted Chinese-made frozen gyoza in Japan has not yet been clarified. The government should urge China more strongly to improve the safety of Chinese-made foods and to disclose information on food contamination quickly.
 冷凍ギョーザ事件も、真相はいまだに究明されていない。中国に対して日本政府は、もっと厳しく事態の改善を求め、迅速な情報開示を要求すべきである。

Meanwhile, a series of food safety scandals also have been occurring in Japan, including pesticide- and mold-tainted rice designated by the government as suitable only for industrial use being sold for human consumption.
 一方で、日本においても事故米が不正転用されるなど、食をめぐる不祥事が相次いでいる。

Concerned ministries, agencies and the food industry must thoroughly investigate these problems originating in our own country. Failure to do so will undermine Japan's ability to blame China for shortcomings on food safety.
中国に毅然(きぜん)としてモノを言うためにも、関係官庁、食品業界は足元を総点検し、襟を正す必要があろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 24, 2008)
(2008年9月24日02時11分 読売新聞)
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# by kiyoshimat | 2008-09-24 12:14 | 英字新聞

農水省腐敗

(Mainichi Japan) September 23, 2008
Regulator tip-offs defeat purpose of safety inspections
発信箱:何も変わらない=玉木研二

Some baffling facts are emerging over how the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries conducts its inspections -- specifically, giving companies warning in advance.
 汚染米問題は農水省の不可解な検査実態を露呈した。

Giving advance warning of inspections is like a pitcher warning a runner on base that he's going to throw a pickoff. He has no chance of getting the runner out; no, it's as if the pitcher doesn't even want to get him out.
予告するとは、野球なら「投げるぞう」と塁上走者に知らせてけん制球を投げるのと同じ。刺せるわけがない、いや、ハナから刺す気がない。

Think back 40 years. In the Kanemi-oil PCB poisoning scandal, where polychlorinated biphenyls were mixed in with rice bran oil, there were vast numbers of chickens dying on poultry farms months before reports of humans falling ill.
 ちょうど40年前。PCB(ポリ塩化ビフェニール)使用の熱媒体が製造工程の米ぬか油に混入したカネミ油症事件は、人体被害が広がる数カ月前、養鶏の大量死を起こした。

When it was discovered that cooking oil used to create their feed was the cause, the ministry went down to their factory in Kitakyushu to perform an inspection, since animal feed is part of their jurisdiction. But after the operator told them the oil was "OK," they simply left it at that.
食用工程から派生した油が用いられたエサが原因と分かり、飼料を所管する当時の農林省が北九州の工場に立ち入り検査していた。だが、食用油の方は「大丈夫」という業者の説明でそのままにした。

If, at the time, the Farm Ministry had contacted the then-Ministry of Health and Welfare, which was in charge of food hygiene, asked it to have a look -- just to be on the safe side -- the contamination could have been confirmed, and the damage to humans limited. However, they say that they were just staying within their jurisdiction.
 もしその時、農林省が自ら踏み込まずとも食品衛生を所管する厚生省(当時)に「念のため調べるべきだ」と速やかに連絡し、省を超えて徹底調査をしていたら、食用油の汚染も判明し、人体被害は相当回避できたはずだ。ところが、彼らは「所管」と「権限」の中で忠実に職務を果たしたというのである。

In Akira Kurosawa's "Ikiru," the protagonist is a local bureaucrat hopelessly dedicated to his job yet stricken with an incurable disease. Making a fresh start, he vows to "stand first for the people, and go the extra mile as a bureaucrat, working beyond his jurisdiction."
 黒沢明監督の映画「生きる」は、ひたすら無遅刻無欠勤を守るだけの無気力な市役所課長が主人公だ。不治の病が彼を「市民のため先頭に立ち、縄張りを超えて働く役人」に生まれ変わらせる。だが、現実の役人世界が生まれ変わることは相当難儀らしい。

At his funeral, his boss remarks smugly: "That's the kind of thing someone who knows nothing about local government would say." His fellow desk jockeys nod their assent.
 「そんなこと言ったって、キミ、それは役所の機構を知らない素人の言うことであってね」。映画の葬式のシーン。市役所の幹部がしたり顔で言い、周囲がうなずく。

The film was made in 1952. So much time has passed, yet the reality has not lost its color, because nothing much has changed. (Column by Kenji Tamaki, Expert Senior Writer, Mainichi Shimbun Editorial Board)
 1952年の作品。リアリティーが色あせないのはこれほど長い時が流れても何も変わっていないということだ。(論説室)

毎日新聞 2008年9月23日 2時32分
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# by kiyoshimat | 2008-09-23 20:09 | 英字速報

アフリカの子供たちのために

(Mainichi Japan) September 15, 2008
Japanese diners enjoy 'Table for Two' with African children
知りたい!:広がるTFT ランチから20円、アフリカの子供に

◇日本発の活動、現在61企業・団体で
Masahisa KogureWorried about metabolic syndrome? Why not curb your calories at lunch while subsidizing food aid for children in Africa?
社員食堂でカロリー控えめのランチを取って食事代の一部をアフリカの子供への給食支援に充てる「テーブル・フォー・ツー(TABLE FOR TWO=TFT)」運動が広まっている。

Such a fantastic idea has been made reality through a scheme called "Table for Two (TFT)." The movement, initiated in Japan, has been adopted in India and has prompted the United States and Britain to follow suit.
Through the program, diners at cafeterias of companies and other establishments participating in the project donate 20 yen each time they have lunch, which becomes food aid for African children. Why 20 yen? That is about what it costs to provide one meal in Africa.
So far, 61 companies and organizations in Japan are participating in the program, which is expected to improve their employees' health while making an international contribution.
社員の健康対策と国際貢献を両立する日本発のユニークな活動として、現在61企業・団体が参加しているという。TFTはどう役立っているのか?

While about 850 million people are suffering from starvation in developing countries, approximately 1.6 billion people around the world are overweight, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
世界保健機関(WHO)などによると、途上国では約8億5000万人が飢餓に苦しむ。その一方、世界では約16億人が太りすぎだという。

In order to balance such a disparity, Masaakira James Kondo, associate professor at the University of Tokyo, and other young leaders from political and business circles in Japan hatched the idea for the campaign. They named it "Table for Two," with the image in their mind of sharing a dining table with children in developing countries.
そんな「食の不均衡」を解消できないかと、近藤正晃ジェームス・東大特任准教授ほか若手政財界のリーダーらが集まり、「TFT」を発案した。
ちょうどアフリカの給食1食分にあたる20円を食事代から寄付する仕組みで、途上国の子供と一緒に食卓を囲むイメージから名付けた。

The donations are collected by the TFT secretariat and are then distributed to Uganda, Rwanda and Malawi by way of the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) and other international organizations.
 社員食堂などから届いた寄付金は「TFT」事務局(03・5771・4117)が取りまとめ、世界食糧計画(WFP)などを通じウガンダ、ルワンダ、マラウイの3カ国で学校給食費を支援する。

Masahisa Kogure, 35, chief of the TFT secretariat, visited Uganda in early June. Driving for five hours from the country's capital, he reached a poor village in a mountainous area, where the only way to make a living is by growing bananas and corn.
事務局長の小暮真久さん(35)は6月上旬、ウガンダを訪ねた。首都から車で5時間のルヒイラ村。山あいに集落が点在し、バナナとトウモロコシ栽培で生計を立てる貧しい地域だ。

At a primary and secondary school he visited, porridge was being distributed to children for breakfast. Their lunch was corn flour paste with soup of beans and vegetables.
訪問先のニャカムリ小中学校では始業前、朝食のおかゆが子供たちに配られていた。トウモロコシの粉を練り、豆と野菜のスープをかけた食事は昼食になる。

Because children in the village are an important labor force for fetching water and taking care of goats, enrollment at the schools had been poor. However, the number of students sharply increased from about 380 to about 630 two years ago after the school started to provide meals to children.
この地域で子供たちは、水くみやヤギの世話など貴重な労働力だ。就学率は低かったが、2年前に給食を始めてから生徒数は約380人から約630人と大幅に増えた。

"Our students started to talk about their future jobs and dreams," the principal of the school told Kogure, referring to the change that was brought about by providing school meals to children.
同校のフローレンス校長は、小暮さんに「生徒は将来の仕事や夢を語るようになった」と、給食が与えた変化の大きさを語った。

In 2000, the United Nations set the Millennium Development Goals, which are aimed at reducing poverty in developing countries. Seventy-nine villages in 10 African countries were designated as model regions called "Millennium Villages." The village that Kogure visited is one of them.
国連は00年に途上国の貧困削減計画「ミレニアム開発目標」を設定。アフリカ10カ国の79の村をモデル地域の「ミレニアム村」に指定、ルヒイラ村もその一つだ。

The recent rising food prices, however, appears to pose a threat to the U.N. program. Instead of using costly corn, the school started to reduce the amount of school meals and serve biscuits instead.
計画の障害となりかねないのが、食糧高騰。トウモロコシの調達に費用がかさむため、給食の配給量を減らしたり、ビスケットの配給でしのいでいる。

The school also started growing saplings of vegetables in the schoolyard in order to relieve the adverse effect from the rising grain market. The school also gives out saplings to local residents and asks them to bring in part of the harvested vegetables to the school as ingredients for school meals. Parents of the students also participate in cooking school meals.
同校は、校庭で野菜の苗木を栽培。地域住民にも苗木を配り、収穫後は一部を食材として持ち寄ってもらう。保護者も調理に参加する。

"School meals prompted local residents to form a new community centered around the school. I strongly felt the importance of school meal aid," said Kogure.
「給食をきっかけに、学校を核にした地域づくりが進んでいる。給食支援の重要性を痛感した」と小暮さん。

Sumitomo Chemical Co., one of the participants of the TFT campaign, has donated about 600,000 yen through the program since the company joined the drive in May this year.
今年5月から本社や工場など8カ所でTFTを始めた住友化学(東京都中央区)は、これまで約60万円を寄付した。

The TFT secretariat has so far made about 185,000 meals worth of donations to Africa, according to the organization. For more information, call the TFT secretariat at: 03-5771-4117.
TFT事務局が集めてアフリカに送った給食費は約18万5000食分。日本発の運動はインドに伝わり、米国や英国でも準備が進められている。

毎日新聞 2008年9月13日 東京夕刊
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# by kiyoshimat | 2008-09-23 11:01 | 英字速報