尖閣諸島警備 海保の増強で中国の侵入防げ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Beef up JCG to deter China’s entry into waters around Senkaku Islands
尖閣諸島警備 海保の増強で中国の侵入防げ

China’s self-serving maritime expansion should not become a fait accompli. It is imperative to strategically reinforce the Japan Coast Guard’s surveillance posture.

Intrusions by China Coast Guard vessels into Japanese territorial waters and the contiguous zone around the Senkaku Islands have continued. Despite Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s call for self-restraint during a Sept. 5 bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, four Chinese government vessels entered Japanese territorial waters on Sept. 11.

This is regarded by some people as a spiteful response to Japan’s demand that Beijing abide by international law in resolving territorial disputes in the South China Sea. If this is the case, China’s actions must be regarded as totally misdirected and cannot be ignored.

Navigation by Chinese government vessels through the contiguous zone has become routine since Japan’s nationalization of the Senkakus in September 2012. In August this year, up to 15 government vessels and 200 to 300 fishing boats appeared in the zone at one time. Since December last year, the number of vessels equipped with what appeared to be machine guns has increased.

Crew members from Chinese government vessels have repeatedly been confirmed to have boarded Chinese fishing boats in Japan’s exclusive economic zone. This indicates that on-the-spot inspections of the fishing boats, among other activities, were carried out by the Chinese authorities based on Chinese law.

Chinese fishing boats are permitted to operate in Japan’s EEZ under the Japan-China fishery agreement. But the Chinese government is not empowered under international law to exercise its jurisdiction in regard to fishing in this zone.

Constant vigilance vital

To prevent such actions from becoming faits accomplis, JCG patrol boats must monitor the moves of Chinese government vessels constantly and issue immediate and adequate warnings.

To prevent accidental clashes and illegal landings by fishermen and other Chinese, it is essential that the JCG ensures numerical superiority in the number of its patrol boats compared to its Chinese counterpart.

As things stand now, the JCG’s capabilities are not necessarily sufficient.

This spring, the JCG established a full-time surveillance system involving 12 patrol boats to safeguard the waters around the Senkakus. This was based on the assumption that they would only have to keep an eye on about five Chinese government vessels. In the event that there are more Chinese government vessels, the JCG receives help from patrol boats dispatched from around Japan.

The China Coast Guard has tripled the number of its large patrol boats to 120 in the past three years. The number will be reached to 135 in 2019.

The number of large JCG patrol boats totals only 62. The government appropriated ¥39 billion in the second supplementary budget for fiscal 2016 to build three new patrol boats. This number needs to be increased systematically.

It is essential to increase JCG personnel. At present it has a workforce of 13,500, an increase of about 800 since the nationalization of the Senkakus. Reemployment of former JCG personnel has made progress. It takes several years to train coast guard crew members. Necessary steps must be taken as soon as possible to improve the situation in the future.

To avert an emergency, it is also important to establish a communication channel with the Chinese authorities concerned.

Last year, the JCG and its Chinese counterpart established a contact point in each other’s organization, but this function is not being used. It is necessary to hold talks between the two organizations tenaciously.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 20, 2016)Speech


香山リカのココロの万華鏡 「親のせい」で片付かない /東京

September 4, 2016 (Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: The sins of the son are not the sins of the mom
香山リカのココロの万華鏡  「親のせい」で片付かない /東京

Recently, a 22-year-old actor was arrested on suspicion of rape. The victim was apparently badly injured in the assault. This incident is, in a word, unforgiveable.

This young actor has a famous actress for a mother, who appears frequently in drama series and on variety shows. The suspected rapist was often referred to as "that actress' son" in his professional life. In that way, you could say that he was not entirely separate from his mother, and so perhaps it's unavoidable that some people would wonder what she would do after her son's arrest for such a terrible crime.

What she did was hold a news conference, bow very, very low before the assembled reporters, and apologize.

Obviously shocked and despairing, she appeared thin and haggard as she faced the glare of the cameras. It was painful to watch. And then came the questions, quick and sharp as arrows, demanding to know about how she had raised her son.

"I intended to do the very best that I could in my own way, but I think now that the way I raised him didn't go well," she said. I suspect that a lot of people saw this and wondered how far a parent's responsibility extends when it comes to the problems of their children.

Parents naturally have an idea of what kind of people they want their children to be, and convey to them the ideas and rules of the household. However, no matter how much a parent thinks of their daughter or son as "my child," they are in fact separate human beings. It's impossible for any parent to completely control the thoughts and emotions of their child. It's also not something a parent should try to do. What's more, it's impossible for parents to police their kids' actions at every moment.

Occasionally, parents with children who have developed serious problems come to my practice for help. In cases where the child is still quite young, up to about junior high school age, I often counsel that aspects of children's behavior change depending on how parents deal with them, and help the parents with that. For parents of kids in high school or beyond, however, I tell them, "It's difficult to help unless your child comes here in person." Behind this insistence is my belief that once a child reaches the latter half of their teens, their individual character, ideas and opinions should be respected.

Of course, parents and children will always be family, so it's not out of the question for a mother to stand before the public and apologize for the alleged deeds of a son who is now detained and incapable of doing so himself. However, I think it is wrong to demand she admit responsibility, based in the way she raised and supervised her now adult child.

It's a beautiful thing to see parents and children pooling their efforts and helping each other out. However, for people to immediately point the finger at parents and say "It's their fault" as soon as someone causes a problem is good for no one, parent or child. In this recent case, too, I would like to see the man who committed the crime be judged and punished severely. And I'd like to see his mother continue her acting career in much the same way it was before all this happened.

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist) (精神科医)


辺野古判決 それでも対話しかない

--The Asahi Shimbun, Sept. 17
EDITORIAL: Tokyo’s hollow court victory will not end base issue in Okinawa
(社説)辺野古判決 それでも対話しかない
The high court ruling in a lawsuit over land reclamation work to relocate a U.S. military base in Okinawa Prefecture was a total victory for the central government’s argument.

Even so, the government must make determined efforts to win back the trust of Okinawa or it will never be able to find a real solution to the problem.

The Naha branch of the Fukuoka High Court issued its ruling Sept. 16 on Tokyo’s dispute with the southernmost prefecture over a plan to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma from the crowded city of Ginowan to the Henoko district of Nago.

The ruling contended that a replacement base in Henoko is the only way to remove the damage caused by the Futenma air base. This is a highly questionable assertion.

This is a delicate and complicated issue that has a long history of controversy. Experts at home and abroad are widely divided over how the problem should be resolved.

But Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga was the only witness the court permitted to testify on behalf of the prefecture. The court rejected the prefectural government’s requests to call witnesses and concluded the trial after only two sessions.

How could the court reach its surprisingly clear and decisive conclusion on this complex question through such a perfunctory trial? Or why did it have to, in the first place? Setting aside the question of whether the ruling is reasonable or not, the manner in which the court handled the case will undoubtedly provoke controversy.

Since this spring, the central and prefectural governments held a series of talks over the Futenma relocation issue. But no substantial discussions on key topics had taken place in the talks when the central government, immediately after the July Upper House election, filed the suit against Onaga.

The ruling stressed the importance of “the spirit of mutual concessions” and pointed out that there should be “a relationship of equality and cooperation” between the central and prefectural governments.
Nevertheless, it effectively supported the central government’s hard-line, high-handed approach toward the Futenma issue.

In a series of recent elections, people in Okinawa have made clear their opposition to the relocation plan.

During a news conference after the ruling was handed down, Onaga said he will appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. He pledged to accept whatever decision is handed down by the top court.
The governor, however, said, “I myself will continue the fight to block the construction of a new base in Henoko with a firm determination.”

Onaga intends to use his various powers as governor to block implementation of the relocation project. He has the power to refuse the central government’s requests for permission for changes in land reclamation plans.

Both sides apparently share the desire to remove the danger posed by the Futenma base, located in the middle of a densely populated area, as soon as possible.

The quickest way to resolve the problem is to make continuous efforts to reach an agreement through dialogue instead of fighting a head-on battle.

However, the series of strong-arm measures the central government has taken against Okinawa since the Upper House election have made people in the prefecture even more distrustful of the government.

The government has resumed work to build helipads for the U.S. military around the Takae district of Higashi in northern Okinawa, while deploying a massive squad of riot police to block protesters. The administration has also deployed Self-Defense Forces helicopters to transport construction vehicles to the site.

Commenting on budget requests for next fiscal year, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga and other government officials indicated that government expenditures to promote the local economy in Okinawa are linked to the base issue.

The reality the government should confront is that it is difficult to push through the Futenma relocation plan without winning support from the people in Okinawa. The lack of support from the local communities will also make it impossible to ensure stable operations of military bases in the prefecture.

If the central government maintains its recalcitrant attitude toward this challenge without making serious efforts to respond sincerely to the voices of local residents, the prospects for a solution will only become even bleaker.


日米防衛相会談 北の脅威に共同対処を強めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Bolster Japan-U.S. joint actions to cope with North Korean threats
日米防衛相会談 北の脅威に共同対処を強めよ

It is essential for Tokyo and Washington to establish a closer cooperation system for conducting joint operations flexibly and expeditiously amid the increasingly severe security environment around Japan.

Defense Minister Tomomi Inada met with her U.S. counterpart Ashton Carter in Washington to discuss security issues. Regarding North Korea’s repeated nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches, Inada and Carter agreed they pose “grave threats to the national security of both Japan and the United States.”

North Korea has been pushing its nuclear weapons program with the aim of completing and deploying missiles equipped with nuclear warheads. It is necessary to seriously recognize that North Korea’s nuclear miniaturization technology and missile firing accuracy have improved considerably after the repeated tests and launches.

Carter reaffirmed the United States’ nuclear deterrence for the defense of Japan. This can be regarded as enhancing the deterrence against Pyongyang’s provocations.

It is imperative for the Self-Defense Forces and the U.S. military to steadily expand their range of information sharing and joint warning and surveillance activities. We suggest the encirclement around North Korea be strengthened by making greater efforts to conduct multilateral military exercises and promote defense cooperation with countries including South Korea, Australia and India, in addition to Japan and the United States.

With regard to the frequent intrusion of Chinese government vessels into Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands, Inada said it amounted to an “infringement of Japan’s sovereignty,” so “is absolutely intolerable.”

Carter reaffirmed that the Senkakus fall under Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and expressed opposition to China’s unilateral action. This is very significant.

Strengthen encirclement

Regarding China’s militarization of man-made islands in the South China Sea, Inada and Carter shared the view that it amounts to an act that heightens regional tensions and is a matter of concern for the international community.

Beijing has not changed its stance of disregarding an arbitration court ruling in July that invalidated Chinese sovereignty claims in the South China Sea. Any attempt to change the status quo by force and to make it a fait accompli cannot be allowed. Both Japan and the United States should continue assisting coastal nations of the South China Sea to enhance their maritime security capabilities through the provision of patrol boats and fostering personnel.

At a lecture in Washington, Inada strongly endorsed the patrol activities of U.S. military vessels around the artificial islands built by China in the South China Sea. She also mentioned a plan for Japan to increase its engagement there, including through joint naval exercises with the U.S. military.

To prompt China to exercise self-restraint in expanding its maritime advances backed by military force, it is imperative for not only the United States but also Japan and other relevant countries to work together actively and apply pressure on China.

Concerning the issue of relocating the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station, Inada reassured Carter the Japanese government’s position that “the relocation to the Henoko district is the only solution” is unchanged. She called for U.S. cooperation in tackling the issue of moving Osprey transport aircraft training sites outside Okinawa Prefecture. Carter took a forward-looking stance toward her request.

To ensure the continued and smooth stationing of U.S. troops in Japan — the bedrock of the bilateral alliance — the two countries must make greater efforts to reduce the burden on Okinawa.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 17, 2016)


もんじゅ 政府は廃炉を決断せよ

--The Asahi Shimbun, Sept. 15
EDITORIAL: Monju has run its course and should now be scrapped
(社説)もんじゅ 政府は廃炉を決断せよ
The government is assessing what to do about the Monju prototype fast-breeder nuclear reactor, with one option being to decommission the trouble-prone facility.

It should decide swiftly to scrap the experimental reactor in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture.

Monju has remained mostly idle for the past two decades or so. Restarting it would be hugely expensive. Putting the necessary safety measures in place would require an outlay of hundreds of billions of yen. The obvious solution is staring the government in the face.

Monju was designed to underpin a nuclear fuel recycling program in which plutonium extracted from reprocessed spent nuclear fuel is burned in a fast-breeder reactor. The ability to generate more fissile material than is consumed was regarded as “dream” technology.

But Monju has been mostly offline since a sodium coolant leak accident in 1995.

In 2012, it was revealed that safety maintenance checks had missed about 10,000 pieces of equipment. In response, the Nuclear Regulation Authority halted preparations to bring the reactor back online. It urged the science and technology minister last November to find a new operator for the reactor in place of the government-backed Japan Atomic Energy Agency.

The science and technology ministry has apparently been weighing plans to separate the Monju-related section from the agency and put the unit in charge of maintenance and management of the reactor.
But that would do nothing but change the name of the operator. No wonder this idea has been met with skepticism and criticism within the government.

No one in the electric power industry, which would be the primary beneficiary of the fast-breeder reactor if it ever went into practical use, is calling for early development of the technology.

That’s not surprising, given that producing the necessary fuel and developing the technology to use sodium would require a huge investment in time and money.

The power industry, meanwhile, has been pushing to restart ordinary nuclear reactors, partly because uranium is now easily available and cheap.

With liberalization of the power market making their business environment much harsher, the private-sector companies have every reason to be reluctant to cheer for the Monju program.

The ministry appears to be trying to persuade the electric utilities and related manufacturers to become part of the new Monju operator. But it has been a hard sell.

More than 1 trillion yen ($9.7 billion) has been poured into the development and operation of Monju.

The power industry and other private-sector players provided around 140 billion yen to cover a portion of the construction costs. But the rest of the funding for the beleaguered program has come from the pockets of taxpayers.

The fast-breeder reactor requires 20 billion yen in annual maintenance costs. The government can hardly expect to win public support for such a massive drain in taxpayer money when there is little prospect of the technology coming into practical use.

Research on fast reactor technology and radioactive waste can be accomplished--as long as safety is ensured--by using other existing facilities like the Joyo experimental fast reactor in Ibaraki Prefecture.

It is difficult to secure sufficient human resources for a plan that doesn’t seem to have a viable future. There are also concerns about technology and information management and accident prevention efforts for Monju.

The troubled history of Monju clearly argues against keeping the program alive.

The establishment of a nuclear fuel recycling program itself is becoming a dead letter, and the government needs to reconsider this policy goal from scratch.

As for Monju, there is no doubt that decommissioning the reactor is the only rational choice.


北ミサイル対策 敵基地攻撃能力も検討したい

The Yomiuri Shimbun
To cope with North Korean missiles, discuss SDF’s strike capabilities
北ミサイル対策 敵基地攻撃能力も検討したい

The threat of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal and missiles has entered a new dimension. Japan needs to build up its defense system commensurate with the increased threat.

Committees of both houses of the Diet adopted resolutions denouncing the latest nuclear test by North Korea as a “direct threat to the safety of this country.”

North Korea has rapidly been improving its nuclear and missile technologies, conducting two nuclear tests and firing more than 20 ballistic missiles this year alone. It is necessary to prepare for such a contingency as Pyongyang’s deploying missiles mounted with nuclear warheads.

Japan’s missile defense system comprises two tiers of preparedness: Standard Missile 3 (SM3) interceptors carried by four Aegis vessels and the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC3) surface-to-air guided missiles. The government plans to increase the number of Aegis vessels to eight, while also introducing next-generation interceptor missiles.

Reinforcement of the missile defense structure is important. However, if Japan were attacked by a large number of missiles simultaneously, it would be impossible to bring down all the missiles.

To secure its safety, Japan should not rule out the option of the Self-Defense Forces acquiring the capability to attack enemy bases. Under the Constitution, attacks on enemy bases are allowed as self-defense measures if there is an imminent danger of a missile launch.

U.S. cooperation essential

Presently, the SDF serves as a “shield,” engaged only in defense, while U.S. forces serve as a “pike” for retaliatory attacks. U.S. forces, including the U.S. 7th Fleet, maintain a large number of missiles capable of directly attacking North Korea. The SDF supplementing part of the U.S. military’s striking power would enhance the deterrence power of the Japan-U.S. alliance.

In 2013, the government discussed the possibility of acquiring the capability to attack enemy bases. The new National Defense Program Guidelines stipulate that the government will continue to study “a potential form of response capability” to deal with ballistic missiles.

Envisaged means of attack include a cruise missile system guided with the Global Positioning System to strike targets and F-35 stealth fighter jets.

Cruise missiles attacking enemy bases from a distance are considered to entail little human risk and low cost. On the other hand, targets must be inputted in advance to guide missiles, making it difficult for the cruise missile system to strike Rodong and other missiles that can be launched from mobile launching pads.

F-35s that would enter enemy airspace are capable of attacking such mobile targets. But because this would entail the risks of breaking through the enemy’s air defense system, it is vital to have an air force unit that includes support fighter jets, electronic warfare planes and airborne refueling aircraft. This would entail a sizable expense.

It is important to discuss optimal measures by studying both the strong and weak points of each means of attack and considering the cost-effectiveness of each.

Needless to say, it is unrealistic for the SDF to attack enemy bases single-handedly. The cooperation of the U.S. military for such activities as intelligence gathering and detecting potential targets is essential. The important thing is to reexamine the roles to be shared by the SDF and the U.S. military, based strictly on the assumption of close cooperation between Japan and the United States.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 15, 2016)


蓮舫氏の台湾籍 「二重国籍」への認識が甘い

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Renho’s lack of awareness regarding ‘dual nationality’ problematic
蓮舫氏の台湾籍 「二重国籍」への認識が甘い

It is nothing but a sorry state of affairs that a Diet member failed to correctly understand her own nationality.

Renho, acting leader of the opposition Democratic Party, admitted at a press conference Tuesday that she retains Taiwan citizenship. Taiwan is her father’s birthplace.

Until that day, Renho had explained that she had renounced her Taiwan citizenship when she obtained Japanese citizenship in January 1985. After she filed her candidacy for the DP leadership election, it was pointed out that she may have dual citizenship. She then reportedly had the Taiwan side check whether she still possessed Taiwan citizenship, and it turned out she did.

It has transpired that Renho let this abnormal state of affairs go uncorrected for more than 30 years. “I have caused various sorts of confusion because of my inaccurate memory,” she said in apology. Renho said she would retake the procedures to renounce her Taiwan citizenship. This response, however, came too late.

The Japanese government does not allow “dual nationality.” The Nationality Law stipulates that a Japanese national with dual nationality must choose one, in principle, before they reach 22 years of age.

Although there is no provision excluding people with a foreign nationality from becoming a Diet member, they are prohibited from being appointed as diplomatic officials. It is out of the question for a legislator — who is supposed to serve the interests of the nation, including in foreign affairs and national security — to leave their own nationality obscure.

Renho said that at 17 she undertook procedures to renounce her Taiwan citizenship at Taiwan’s de facto embassy, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan. She failed to confirm that the procedures were completed. Renho, who also failed to confirm this when she ran in the 2004 House of Councillors election, has such little understanding of what it means to be a politician that her quality as one will be put into question.

Flip-flopping explanations

Although Taiwan is friendly toward Japan, it is in conflict with the Japanese standpoint regarding some issues, for instance, its ownership claims on the Senkaku Islands. If Renho retains her Taiwan citizenship, she could become the target of undesirable suspicions regarding her relations with Taiwan.

That Renho’s explanations have been inconsistent is not to be overlooked.

Initially, she asserted that she “had renounced Taiwan citizenship.” She even showed displeasure, saying: “It is very sad that the rumors are making their rounds.” Later, however, the age she said she took the procedures changed from 18 to 17. An interview carried in a magazine about 20 years ago came to light in which she referred to possessing Taiwan citizenship.

Some have also pointed out that the description she made on an official list of the details of electoral candidates for the upper house election ran counter to the Public Offices Election Law. Her description said she “became naturalized from Taiwan citizenship.”

Saying that “there is no illegality,” Renho emphasized that she will not withdraw her candidacy in the DP leadership election. She must further clarify all the facts and be accountable.

DP leader Katsuya Okada said, “It would be extremely unsound if the recent commotion partly stems from such a way of thinking as, it is inappropriate because her father is from Taiwan.”

That such a twisted interpretation can be heard within the party, whereby criticism toward Renho could be taken as a form of racial discrimination, is hard to understand. What is being considered as problematic lies absolutely with the fact that Renho failed to take necessary procedures in accordance with the law.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 14, 2016)


香港議会選 習氏の圧力が「反中派」生んだ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Xi’s increasing pressure spawns ‘anti-China forces’ in Hong Kong
香港議会選 習氏の圧力が「反中派」生んだ

The heavy-handed posture of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s administration appears to have led to the rise of “anti-China” forces in Hong Kong.

Continuing progress in democratization and political reforms is essential to maintaining Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity, rather than reinforcing a clampdown.

In the recent elections for Hong Kong’s Legislative Council, newly emerging, anti-Beijing forces making such radical calls as “independence” from China have made headway.

For the 70-member legislature, 35 candidates are directly elected by voters, while the remainder are chosen through functional constituencies, mainly those representing particular professions or trades.

The newly emerging forces, which made a strong showing in direct voting, and the pro-democracy camp won a combined total of 30 seats, more than one-third of the seats needed to vote down important bills. The pro-Beijing camp managed to retain a majority, but won fewer seats than in previous elections.

In 2014, student-led demonstrators calling for democracy staged sit-ins on roads. It can be said the latest elections indicate that the Hong Kong people are increasing their watchfulness against China’s ever-growing influence, even after the demonstrations were resolved peacefully.

The newly emerging groups are led by young people, including a former student leader of the demonstration, and those “localists” who, in opposition to China’s political interference, put Hong Kong’s interests first as they consider the territory their “motherland.” Among localists, some even approve of the use of violence.

China has granted Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy under the “one country, two systems” formula. The problem is that autonomy has increasingly become a mere formality.

Anxieties will increase

The Electoral Affairs Commission of Hong Kong took such high-handed measures as pressing candidates to sign a declaration that they agree to the principle that “Hong Kong is part of China” and disqualifying some localists from running.

When five Hong Kong booksellers and other people dealing with publications critical of the Chinese Communist Party disappeared one after another, it was regarded as an instance of “rule by force.” Deep suspicions remain that the Chinese authorities had removed them from Hong Kong, where they had no right to investigate, and detained them in China.

Without a convincing explanation, it is inevitable for Hong Kong people to grow more anxious about their future.

In June last year, a bill designed to elect the next chief executive of Hong Kong through “universal suffrage” was rejected by a majority of pro-democracy lawmakers. Although the bill was aimed at directly electing the chief executive through a one-man, one-vote formula, it was a system under which only pro-Beijing candidates could declare candidacy. This proposed method was naturally rejected as “phony universal suffrage.”

Regarding the outcome of the latest elections, the Xi administration released a statement saying that Beijing would “resolutely oppose any form of Hong Kong independence activities inside or outside the legislature.” It appears that the Xi administration intends to drive a wedge between the pro-democracy camp and newly emerging forces, and stop them from joining hands.

It would not be implausible for localists and other groups to become offended by Beijing’s hard-line posture and become increasingly antagonistic to Hong Kong authorities.

What Xi should do is respect Hong Kong’s autonomy and win the trust of the international community.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 13, 2016)


日比首脳会談 中国の海洋権益拡大に警戒を

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Japan, Philippines must stay watchful over China’s maritime expansion
日比首脳会談 中国の海洋権益拡大に警戒を

Countries concerned should take concerted action and strengthen their cooperation over how to handle China’s continuing self-serving maritime advances.

In Laos, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has held his first talks with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and unveiled a plan to provide two 90-meter patrol vessels to Manila. The vessels will be constructed in Japan, financed through yen loans totaling up to about ¥16.4 billion and delivered to the Philippine Coast Guard.

The poor maritime security capabilities of nations facing the South China Sea have allowed China to unilaterally establish a military foothold in the region. Duterte expressed gratitude for the new ships, saying they would enable the Philippines to strengthen its patrols and boost its presence in the area.

Japan also is providing 10 40-meter patrol boats to the Philippines. Combined with these larger vessels, which are capable of traveling long distances, they should be effective in keeping China in check to a certain extent.

During the Abe-Duterte talks, Japan formally decided to lend up to five of the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s TC-90 training aircraft to the Philippines. Japan will also help train the flight crews and maintain the aircraft, which will be useful in disaster relief operations and transporting supplies. We hope this support will be expanded in the future.

During the meeting, Duterte said the ruling handed down by an arbitration court that rejected China’s claims over the South China Sea should be respected. However, Duterte also said he was willing to have talks with China.

Scarborough Shoal a concern

It is said that China has refused to recognize the ruling and wants to bring about an advantageous agreement through bilateral negotiations with the Philippines. If Manila easily yields concessions on this issue, China’s construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea, and the militarization of those islands, could become an accomplished fact.

Establishing the rule of law in the South China Sea will benefit the entire international community. The Philippines needs to work closely with Japan, the United States and other nations with a stake in this issue.

It is worrying that China has dispatched dredging vessels and other equipment near Scarborough Shoal, which is close to the Philippines. There are fears China might start reclamation work around the shoal and construct an artificial island.

If China installs radar installations and builds a runway on the shoal, the range of its fighter jets would grow to cover the entire South China Sea. It also could lead to the establishment of an air defense identification zone.

It was regrettable that a bilateral meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Duterte was canceled after Duterte insulted Obama with an offensive remark.

Strained U.S.-Philippine ties will only benefit China. We hope they quickly normalize relations.

Duterte’s foreign policies have yet to become clear, and a new administration will soon take office in the United States. It appears China is aiming to expand its maritime interests during this period.

The Obama administration has warned China that it will take unprecedentedly tough steps if China starts building an artificial island at Scarborough Shoal. To more effectively urge China to exercise self-restraint, it is important that the international community — not just the United States — shows unity and speaks up about this issue.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 8, 2016)


日中首脳会談 関係改善には緊張緩和が要る

The Yomiuri Shimbun
First ease tension to start improving bilateral ties between Japan and China
日中首脳会談 関係改善には緊張緩和が要る

For all the differences in what both sides assert, it is essential for Japan and China to make efforts to build trust through constructive dialogue.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Hangzhou, China, on Monday and both agreed to work to improve ties between the two countries. It was their third bilateral talk and the first since April 2015.

Abe and Xi also agreed that the two countries will accelerate discussions on soon putting into operation a “maritime and air liaison mechanism” aimed at preventing accidental clashes between the Self-Defense Forces and Chinese forces in the East China Sea.

Included among the mechanism’s main pillars are establishing a hotline between the Japanese and Chinese defense authorities, and enabling naval vessels and aircraft of both countries to communicate directly on site if they get close to each other.

There was a series of incidents around the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture in June, in which Chinese military vessels sailed in the contiguous zone around the islands and its military aircraft flew close by.

To avoid any untoward incident, the defense authorities of both countries should put the finishing touches on the talks so as to hurry the launch of the mechanism’s operations.

Regarding such incidents as Chinese government vessels entering Japan’s territorial waters, Abe said they would be construed as “actions that will unilaterally escalate tension,” rightly calling on China to improve the situation.

Take concrete action

Xi responded by saying that the two countries should “properly handle the issue via dialogue and consultation.” But it would only be reasonable for China to first restrain itself in terms of deeds. To fully mend the bilateral relations between Japan and China, it is vital to ease tension.

During the talks, Abe and Xi also agreed that the two countries will hold discussions on resuming negotiations on the joint development of gas fields in the East China Sea.

China has been developing the fields unilaterally, reneging on a 2008 bilateral accord. The accord must be carried out sincerely.

Referring to China’s moves to militarize artificial islands in the South China Sea, Abe urged China to abide by the international law and make efforts to dispel concern among neighboring countries.

It is unacceptable that Xi hit back against Abe’s call by saying, “Japan should exercise prudence in its words and deeds.” Ensuring the safety of sea lanes is a common benefit to the international community.

During the talks, Abe brought up the issue of North Korea firing three ballistic missiles into waters off the coast of Hokkaido. He called on Xi to cooperate in “taking concrete steps against North Korea’s repeated provocations.”

China, which is a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, has a certain amount of influence on North Korea. China fulfilling its responsibilities could constitute a step forward in the bilateral cooperation between Japan and China.

China has suffered a series of diplomatic setbacks in its foreign policy lately: a ruling by the court of arbitration categorically dismissed Beijing’s claim of sovereignty in the South China Sea; and its relations with South Korea have deteriorated.

The success of the summit of the Group of 20 major economies, which Xi chaired, was a challenge vital for China to recover its own prestige.

Some believe that after the end of the G-20 summit talks, China will take a more hard-line stance in both the East China Sea and the South China Sea. Wouldn’t it be to China’s advantage to contribute to the stability of Asia, rather than intensify friction with its neighboring countries?

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 7, 2016)







[ はじめに ]

[ 名前 ]
松井 清 (スラチャイ)

[ 略歴 ]
・99/10 タイ全土を旅行
・00/10 タイに移住
・03/07 カイちゃん誕生
・07/06 シーファーちゃん誕生

[ 座右の銘 ]
Slow and steady wins the race.

[ 学習の手引き ]
・Think in English.

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Bangkok Post
The Nations
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01 あいさつ
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05 謝罪の言葉と答え方
06 聞き直すとき
07 相手の言うことがわからないとき
08 うまく言えないとき
09 一般的なあいづち
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23 日時・場所・天候を尋ねるとき
24 その他

01 あいさつ
02 別れのあいさつ
03 声をかけるとき
04 感謝の言葉と答え方
05 謝罪の言葉と答え方
06 聞き直すとき
07 相手の言うことがわからないとき
08 うまく言えないとき
09 一般的なあいづち
10 よくわからないときの返事
11 強めのあいづち
12 自分について述べるとき
13 相手のことを尋ねるとき
14 頼みごとをするとき
15 申し出・依頼を断るとき
16 許可を求めるとき
17 説明してもらうとき
18 確認を求めるとき
19 状況を知りたいとき
20 値段の尋ね方と断り方
21 急いでもらいたいとき
22 待ってもらいたいとき
23 日時・場所・天候を尋ねるとき
24 その他

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