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)
[PR]

# 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
[PR]

# 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
[PR]

# by kiyoshimat | 2008-09-23 11:01 | 英字速報

麻生新総裁

(Sep. 23, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun
Aso must speak out, seize political spotlight
麻生自民党総裁 「何をなすか」明確に発信せよ(9月23日付・読売社説)

Now is a critical time for the Liberal Democratic Party. Taro Aso, the newly elected party president, needs to get serious and face up to important issues in a speedy and bold manner.
 自民党にとって危急存亡の秋(とき)である。麻生太郎新総裁は、そんな危機感をもって、迅速果敢に、重要課題に立ち向かう必要があろう。

Aso scored an overwhelming victory in Monday's party leadership election to become the 23rd LDP president, defeating four other candidates--Kaoru Yosano, state minister in charge of economic and fiscal policy; Yuriko Koike, former defense minister; Nobuteru Ishihara, former chairman of the LDP Policy Research Council; and Shigeru Ishiba, former defense minister.
 自民党総裁選は22日、投開票の結果、麻生幹事長が、与謝野馨経済財政相、小池百合子・元防衛相、石原伸晃・元政調会長、石破茂・前防衛相の4氏に、大差をつけて勝利し、第23代総裁に就任した。

Aso is set to be named prime minister at an extraordinary Diet session that convenes Wednesday.
 麻生氏は、24日に召集される臨時国会で首相に指名される。

 ◆責任感と耐久力を示せ◆
Aso's grandfather is Shigeru Yoshida, who served as prime minister for a number of years just after World War II.
 麻生氏は、戦後、長期にわたり政権を担当した吉田茂・元首相の孫にあたる。

The prime minister's post has most recently been held by scions of political dynasties, Yasuo Fukuda and Shinzo Abe, both of whom abruptly resigned. Aso needs to demonstrate his strong sense of responsibility and staying power.
 世襲議員の首相が2代続けて政権から中途退場した後を継ぐ総裁である。今度こそ、最高リーダーとして、強い責任感と耐久力を発揮してもらいたい。

Why did Aso defeat the other four candidates by such a big margin?
 それにしても、麻生氏がこれほど圧勝したのはなぜか。

This was the fourth time for Aso to run for party president. Having his own small faction as a stronghold, Aso gained support from members of all of the party's factions as he went through three campaigns for the party's top post since 2006.
 麻生氏の総裁選への挑戦は今回で4回目だ。小派閥である麻生派を拠点に、2006年から3年連続して総裁選を戦ううちに全派閥に横断的な支持を広げた。

His upbeat and unique character attracted popular support. In recent opinion polls, Aso was ranked as the person most suitable for the prime minister's post.
 明るい独特のキャラクターが大衆受けし、「首相に最もふさわしい人」を聞く世論調査でも、最近はトップに立っていた。

Party members are pinning their hopes on Aso as the face of the party with the dissolution of the House of Representatives and a general election expected soon.
 とくに党内から期待されたのは、近づく衆院解散・総選挙での「党の顔」としてだろう。

Unlike Fukuda, who lacked the ability to convey strong messages, Aso was evaluated highly for his communication skills.
「発信力」不足の福田康夫・前総裁に比べて、高いコミュニケーション能力が買われたともいえよう。

Many LDP Diet members and local chapter representatives decided to support Aso in hopes of being on the winning side. As the cases of Abe and Fukuda showed, however, an overwhelming victory in a party race does not necessarily mean the winner can expect stable support from party members.
 国会議員も地方代表も、「勝ち馬」に乗ろうと雪崩を打って麻生支持に回った。だが、安倍、福田政権のように、圧勝は必ずしも、党内基盤の安定を意味しない。

===

Face of party

In appointing four main party executives, Aso retained incumbents in three of the four posts. For the post of party secretary general that he previously occupied, Aso picked Hiroyuki Hosoda, acting secretary general of the party. By retaining the previous executive lineup, Aso appears to be trying to ensure a smooth transition.
 麻生総裁は、党役員人事で党四役のうち3人を留任させ、幹事長に細田博之幹事長代理を充てた。前体制を継承することで、スムーズな移行を図ったといえる。

Having elected Aso as party president, LDP lawmakers have a responsibility to support the new leader by building party unity.
 麻生氏を選んだ以上、自民党国会議員は、挙党態勢の下、新総裁を支える責任があるだろう。

The relationship with the LDP's junior coalition partner New Komeito is also important. The ruling parties' relationship soured in the final days of the Fukuda administration over such issues as a bill to revise the new Antiterrorism Law to allow the Maritime Self-Defense Force to continue its refueling mission in the Indian Ocean and envisaged fixed-sum tax breaks.
 公明党との関係も大切だ。福田政権の末期は、インド洋での海上自衛隊による給油活動を継続するための新テロ対策特別措置法改正案や定額減税などをめぐり、自公関係がギクシャクした。

It is necessary to strengthen the relationship with New Komeito to foster cooperation in the next lower house election. Reconfirming the two parties' ties is an urgent task for Aso.
 公明党との関係強化は、衆院選での選挙協力のうえでも不可欠だろう。麻生総裁にとって、両党連携の再確認が急務である。

 ◆「麻生VS小沢」◆
Aso faces mounting problems. In the midst of the LDP presidential election, U.S. financial giant Lehman Brothers Inc. failed and stock prices violently fluctuated worldwide. Uncertainty over the economy has been growing due to commodity price hikes pushed by surging prices for raw materials.
 自民党総裁選のさなか、米証券大手のリーマン・ブラザーズが経営破綻(はたん)し、日本の株価も乱高下した。原材料高による物価上昇もあって、景気の先行き不安が強まっている。

There were news reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il was facing health problems. Ahead of the news, North Korea halted its denuclearization process, which had been based on agreements reached in the six-party talks. It also postponed a reinvestigation into the abduction of Japanese nationals to North Korea by its agents.
 北朝鮮の金正日総書記の健康不安説も流れた。それに先立ち、北朝鮮は6か国協議の合意に基づく核施設の無能力化作業を中断し、日本人拉致被害者の再調査についても先送りした。

The problem of illegal trade in agricultural chemical- and mold-tainted rice has expanded and developed to the point that the agriculture minister and the administrative vice farm minister resigned.
 農薬などに汚染された事故米の不正取引問題は拡大し、農相、事務次官の辞任へと発展した。

All of these are serious problems.
 深刻な問題ばかりである。

===

Political priorities

Aso, after he is named prime minister on Wednesday, has to pick people who are trustworthy and immediately respond to such difficult issues in forming his cabinet.
 麻生氏は、内閣人事では、これらの難問に即応できる、有能で信頼に足る人材を起用していかねばならない。

Yet, to fulfill his responsibility as LDP president, Aso's most basic task is to lead the LDP to victory over Ichiro Ozawa's Democratic Party of Japan in the next lower house election.
 麻生総裁が、職責を果たしていくには、まず、次期衆院選で小沢代表が率いる民主党に勝利することが前提になる。

Aso had been labeling the LDP presidential race as an election to choose a "warrior" to face off against Ozawa. Immediately after he was elected the new LDP head, he emphasized, "I'll be able to say I fulfilled my destiny when we win in the next [lower house] election."
 麻生氏は、総裁選を小沢代表と「戦う人」を選ぶ選挙と位置づけてきた。自民党大会で総裁に選出された直後には、「次の選挙に勝って初めて『天命』を果たしたことになる」と強調した。

 ◆政策の真贋が問われる◆
The lower house election, termed the Aso vs Ozawa election, will be a battle to determine the next ruling party. It will be fought on the basis of which party's policies are real and which are false.
 政権の座をかけた「麻生VS小沢」の衆院選は、両党の政策の真贋(しんがん)を問う戦いになる。

In the LDP presidential race the five candidates debated various issues, which in some ways served as preparation for policy debate with the DPJ in the election.
 総裁選では、5氏が論争を展開し、民主党との政策論戦への備えを固めるものにはなったろう。

However, there are quite a few issues that were not satisfactorily discussed.
 しかし、なお消化不良に終わった論点は少なくない。

For instance, how should the government fund its plan to take on a greater portion of the burden of paying basic pension benefits from fiscal 2009?
 09年度から基礎年金の国庫負担割合を2分の1にするための財源をどう手当てするのか。

Raising the consumption tax rate may not be possible for the next fiscal year, but is it acceptable for the ruling party not to discuss the issue at all for now?
 消費税率の引き上げは、当面は無理にしても、まったく議論すらしなくていいのか。

Doesn't the LDP have to show at least a blueprint for drastic reform of the pension, health care and nursing care systems to cope with the declining birth rate, graying society and declining population?
 少子高齢化、人口減社会における年金、医療、介護制度の抜本改革について、青写真を示すべきではないか。

What should be done to pass a bill to revise the new Antiterrorism Law to fulfill Japan's responsibility to the international community?
 国際社会での責務を果たすための新テロ特措法改正案の成立を図るため、どんな手立てを講じなければならないのか。

As LDP president, Aso must provide a concrete and comprehensible answer for each of these questions.
 麻生総裁は、これら一つ一つに、具体的でわかりやすい答えを示すことが求められる。

Aso's unique characteristics will not shine if he repeats mealy-mouthed remarks out of an excessive fear of being nailed down on undesirable pledges.
 言質をとられるのを恐れるあまり、奥歯にものが挟まった発言を繰り返したりすれば、麻生氏の持ち味は失われかねない。

As a national leader he needs to elucidate his policy goals and explain how he will achieve them.
 国家指導者として、これから「何をなすか」を明確に発信し、それを具体化するプロセスを説明していく必要があるだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 23, 2008)
(2008年9月23日01時54分 読売新聞)
[PR]

# by kiyoshimat | 2008-09-23 10:54 | 英字新聞