社説:原発コスト 「安価神話」も崩壊した

renewable energy 再生可能エネルギー(=自然エネルギー)

(Mainichi Japan) December 29, 2011
Editorial: Gov't should promote renewable energy as myth of nuclear power's cheapness shattered
社説:原発コスト 「安価神話」も崩壊した

"The cost of nuclear power generation is cheap" -- we have repeatedly heard such a line as part of the reasoning for promoting nuclear energy.

The myth of the cheapness of nuclear power generation collapsed following the catastrophe at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.

A government panel set up in the wake of the nuclear disaster estimates that the cost of nuclear power generation now stands at a minimum of 8.9 yen per kilowatt hour -- 1.5 times higher than the figure presented by utilities and the government before the disaster.

If the costs for decontaminating areas affected by radioactive materials, decommissioning the damaged reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant and compensating for damages emanating from the nuclear crisis soar further, the cost of nuclear power generation would be even higher.

Considering the fact that the costs of coal-fired power generation and liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fueled power generation stand at somewhere near 10 yen per kilowatt hour, respectively, the superiority that nuclear power generation had enjoyed in terms of "cost performance" can be said to have been shattered.

Even wind power generation and geothermal power generation could rival with nuclear power generation in terms of cost performance depending on conditions, while the cost of solar power generation is likely to become cheaper in 20 years time.

The government should take this opportunity to proceed with full-scale measures to invest in and promote renewable energy sources, which had previously been shunned for their "high costs."

What makes the government panel's latest estimation significantly different from previous calculations is that the panel took into consideration the social costs emanating from nuclear power generation, such as accident risks, on top of the expenses for the construction, operation and maintenance of nuclear power plants as well as their fuel costs.

In hindsight, it was a mistake that we failed to take into account accident risks involving nuclear plants.

It shows that the myths of the safety and the cheapness of nuclear power generation were closely intertwined with each other.

The government panel has also indicated that energy savings per household are tantamount to generating power and pointed to the potential of a dispersed power system, to which we should pay renewed attention.

The panel's estimates should be indicating the feasibility of the government's policy of cutting down on nuclear power generation.

In the meantime, we should take heed of the fact that the figures currently presented are highly uncertain.  

Experts were sharply divided in their opinions over how nuclear accident risks should be evaluated when they were discussing how they should calculate the latest estimates.

While some experts projected that the odds of such a serious accident as the Fukushima disaster happening were once every 100,000 years, their opinions are way too different from ordinary people's feelings considering the fact that we have seen three major nuclear accidents across the globe -- Three Mile Island in the United States in 1979, Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union in 1986, and Fukushima in 2011 -- over the past several decades.

It should be noted that the government panel has given minimum estimates because it excluded accident probabilities from their estimates for nuclear accident risk-related costs.

The panel has also indicated that the cost of the nuclear fuel cycle -- which the government describes as the core of Japan's nuclear energy policy -- is almost twice that of direct disposal.

The nuclear fuel cycle program, albeit the large amount of money spent on it, should be reviewed from square one.

The panel's estimates should be examined by people from various quarters in order for Japan to come up with the best mix of energy policies.

Those estimates should serve as the first step toward achieving such diverse energy policies.

毎日新聞 2011年12月26日 2時31分



--The Asahi Shimbun, Dec. 28
EDITORIAL: Rethink needed for Futenma relocation plan

In continued disregard of Okinawa Prefecture's vehement opposition to the planned relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to the Henoko district in Nago, the Democratic Party of Japan administration has delivered to the Okinawa prefectural government an environmental assessment report on the construction of a new offshore runway.

In early November, the Okinawa prefectural assembly unanimously adopted a statement demanding that the central government abandon the submission of such an environmental assessment report. Later that month, the director-general of the Okinawa Defense Bureau outraged the people of Okinawa by using a rape analogy to explain Tokyo's reluctance to set the submission date of the assessment report.

Determined to stop Tokyo from having its way, Okinawan protesters gathered outside the prefectural government building on Dec. 27, surrounded the van carrying the report, and prevented the report from being handed over to Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima.

But the administration of Yoshihiko Noda delivered the report to Nakaima on Dec. 28 because of its earlier promise to Washington to submit it by the end of this year. But the U.S. Congress recently decided to cut expenditures from the 2012 budget for the transfer of Marines from Okinawa to Guam, which was part of the relocation package. Saddled with massive deficits, the Americans are not saving military spending from the ax.

Nakaima was not opposed to Tokyo's submission of the environmental assessment report per se. But he has always stood for Futenma's relocation to outside Okinawa or overseas, and stated his unequivocal opposition to the reclamation of the sea off Henoko.

Although Nakaima welcomed Tokyo's decision to substantially increase its Okinawa promotion budget for fiscal 2012, the fact that he was re-elected governor on his anti-Henoko platform makes it most unlikely that he would go against public opinion in his prefecture on this issue.

May 2012 will mark the 40th anniversary of Okinawa's reversion to Japan, and a prefectural assembly election is slated for June. The Noda administration is looking to file an application for reclamation with Nakaima next summer after the completion of environmental assessment procedures, but to do so would only fan the distrust and anger of the people of Okinawa.

Tokyo and Washington must stop and think.

Henoko was chosen as the relocation site after lengthy negotiations between Tokyo and Washington to reconcile the two conflicting goals of easing Okinawa's burden and maintaining the deterrence power of U.S. forces in Japan. Given the history, we certainly appreciate the difficulty of reviewing the whole plan from scratch to seek a new solution.

But that is the only option if any progress is to be made at all.

Next year, presidential elections or leadership changes will take place in the United States, China, Russia, South Korea and Taiwan. And with the recent death of Kim Jong Il in North Korea, the situation in East Asia has grown less predictable.

An unsteady Japan-U.S. relationship will destabilize the region and weaken the diplomatic bases of both partners.

Seeking a new solution is a daunting challenge that also requires every care along the way. But the leaders of both Japan and the United States must accept the fact that this is their only option.



--The Asahi Shimbun, Dec. 27
EDITORIAL: Fukushima report highlights crisis management flaws

A report on an investigation into the Fukushima nuclear disaster has made us wonder if the operator of the crippled plant put blind faith in the facility because of the "safety myth" created by propaganda to promote nuclear power generation.
The interim report was published on Dec. 26 by a government panel looking into the disastrous accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant triggered by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

At the No. 1 reactor, members of the task force at the plant and the head office of Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the plant, initially failed to recognize that an isolation condenser, which is intended to cool the reactor during a blackout, was not working, according to the report.

The report bitterly criticized TEPCO for lacking sufficient understanding of how the condenser works. "As a nuclear power plant operator, it was highly inappropriate," said the report. The fact indicates how little importance TEPCO engineers placed on such a system to deal with an emergency.

The interim report also addressed problems concerning facilities outside the plant, such as the off-site center located 5 kilometers away. The center failed to perform its functions as the front-line base to respond to a nuclear accident. That's because the center was not designed to function under circumstances of heightened levels of radiation even though it is a facility to be used when an accident has broken out at the nuclear power plant.

The document, naturally, also raised the issue of the fact that data of the government's System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information (SPEEDI), a system to predict the spread of radioactive materials during a nuclear emergency, was not used for the evacuation of residents in areas around the disaster-stricken plant. The government "didn't have the thought of publicizing SPEEDI information," according to the report. Why did the government decide to spend taxpayers' money to build the system in the first place if it didn't think about communicating information it generates to local residents?

The inquiry panel also pointed an accusing finger at the prime minister's office. The report said there was not enough mutual communication between the underground crisis management center, where top officials of ministries and agencies concerned gathered, and the room on the fifth floor where the prime minister and his close aides worked to deal with the situation.

The report painted a distressing picture of how top officials at TEPCO and the government got flustered in the face of the nuclear crisis as they lacked knowledge about what to do in such a severe event. We applaud the investigation panel for shedding light on this disturbing truth. But the report has still left some stones unturned.

The report pointed to the possibility that the core meltdown at the No. 1 reactor could have been at least delayed through an earlier injection of water if the plant operator had had an accurate grasp of the situation. But it failed to make clear how missteps and errors in judgment actually worsened the damage.

We have some advice for the panel as it continues to prepare a final report to be published next summer.

First of all, we urge the panel to be more willing to seek the help of outside experts. That the panel has no expert in nuclear reactors among its members is good from the viewpoint of insulating its work from the influence of the "nuclear village"--a close-knit community of policymakers, industry executives and scientists bent on promoting nuclear power generation. But its lack of necessary expertise could make it difficult for the panel to understand what happened in the reactors.

We also want the panel to interview as many politicians involved as possible. This is also crucial for uncovering the truth about the SPEEDI fiasco.

Yotaro Hatamura, an engineer who heads the panel, advocates the "science of failure." The principal purpose of research in this field is to prevent big failures by examining small ones. It is important to scrutinize the many small failures that must have occurred during the nuclear disaster to learn necessary lessons. We hope the panel will step up its efforts to accomplish its mission during the remaining half year.

反プーチンデモ ロシアに「法の支配」が必要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 27, 2011)
Putin must commit fully to rule of law in Russia
反プーチンデモ ロシアに「法の支配」が必要だ(12月26日付・読売社説)

Mass rallies to protest the high-handed political tactics of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin illustrate public discontent with his long-standing grip on power.

It can be said that the contradictions plaguing Russia have come to the fore 20 years after the collapse of the former Soviet Union.

Demonstrations began immediately after an election for the State Duma earlier this month, as protesters claimed there had been vote-rigging and called for the election to be held again. An image of alleged vote-rigging was posted on the Internet, igniting the rallies.

About 30,000 people gathered in Moscow alone Saturday, according to Russia's Interior Ministry. It was the biggest antigovernment rally of Putin's tenure, surpassing the one held Dec. 10. In addition to decrying the alleged election irregularities, the protesters openly called for an end to Putin's rule, shouting, "Russia without Putin."

During the 12 years of his grip on power as president and prime minister, Russian politics became relatively stable and its economy grew remarkably thanks to high crude oil prices.

The recent series of rallies, however, indicates the people's mounting dissatisfaction with Putin, who is aiming to prolong his rule by running in the presidential election next March.


Anger against corruption

It is noteworthy that many participants in the anti-Putin protests were middle-class and intellectual people whose situations improved due to the economic growth.

They may be prompted by their anger toward the little progress made in modernizing Russian politics. Their indignation is largely targeted at the rampant corruption in the bureaucratic machine, which has collusive ties with the ruling party.

The government made full use of TV media as a publicity tool to lead the campaign in favor of the ruling United Russia party. Lack of impartiality, a prerequisite for elections, spurred criticism of the administration.

Putin has refused demands to hold a new election. He is trying to get out of his present difficulties by pledging to take measures to prevent irregularities in the presidential election.

As no powerful candidate has emerged from the opposition camp, Putin's strategy for returning to the Kremlin remains unshaken.


Legal compliance vital

It is natural, however, that those in power must also comply with rules. Establishment of the full rule of law has been pending since the collapse of the former Soviet Union. Putin needs to face seriously the problems raised by the series of rallies and commit himself completely to the rule of law.

Putin faces challenges on the diplomatic front, too.

He has put forth the idea of creating an "Eurasian Union" aimed at the economic integration of former Soviet republics. But these states have been deepening their relations with European countries and the United States, and remain strongly wary of Russia's attempt to take leadership.

After 18 years of negotiations, Russia will become an official member of the World Trade Organization next year. If it is to earnestly seek capital investment from the West, Moscow will be strongly urged to follow WTO rules and international business practices.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 26, 2011)
(2011年12月26日01時17分  読売新聞)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:いまどきの卒業論文 /東京



(Mainichi Japan) December 25, 2011
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Learning from the next generation
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:いまどきの卒業論文 /東京

Being both a psychiatrist and a university professor, December is always an exciting month for me -- it is this time of the year when my students submit their graduation theses.

There are some students who rush up to me at the very last moment, saying, "Professor, I can't make it on time," to whom I would say: "Hang in there, you're only a breath away." There are also the self-assured ones, who submit their "works of confidence," in which I later on find plenty of spelling mistakes that sometimes even frustrate me.
直前になって「先生、ダメです! 間に合いません」と泣きついてくる学生を、「大丈夫、あと一息!」と遠泳のコーチのように励ます。「自信作です」と見せに来る学生の論文に大量の誤字脱字を発見して、途方に暮れることもある。

However, as I read my students' works, I realize that there is quite a lot to learn from the way "today's young" think, write, and form their judgments.

Every year, what specifically amazes me is their computer and internet skills. As I read through their works, I often find myself wondering how they created such beautiful graphs or about the meaning of acronyms that I often see online, but never knew what they were for. On such occasions, I feel as if we are "exchanging knowledge," and things such as poor writing or lack of in-depth research stop bothering me.

It is common for educators to criticize the next generation by saying that in the past students studied much more. However, this is only because we are comparing them to ourselves, based on standards that we lived through in our student days. There are things that students nowadays know and can do easily, which we in the past could not -- and I'm not only speaking of their use of computers and mobile phones.

While for many people from my generation reading in English was common, but speaking was nearly impossible, young people these days openly speak to overseas students, using both Japanese and English with no evidence of embarrassment. They are also much more open to sexual and gender differences. It is somewhat more refreshing than surprising to hear someone say: "I like a person from the same sex," to which another person simply replies, "Oh, really?"

At parties, the old rule obliging women to pour drinks for men seems to not exist for many young people -- they act naturally and drink in the style that suits them.

As I watch the young people these days, I think that the traditional way of "measuring" knowledge and quality of graduation theses is, in fact, not that important.

There are times when part of me says, "A graduation thesis is not a personal essay, so writing in the first person is against the rules," while the other me says, "This personal essay-style thesis is so rich and sensitive, and extremely interesting."

I will teach my students everything I know, and hope they would do the same for me. I don't want them to feel afraid of telling me, "Professor, you really don't know something like that?"

As a professor I always try to think in this way. However, at times I blurt out things like: "Really? You haven't read Hermann Hesse? When I was a student, I..." This bad habit seems to be a hard one to shake.
教員としてはいつもそう思っている私だが、それでもつい口にしてしまう。「なに、ヘルマン・ヘッセも読んだことがない? 私が学生の頃は……」。このクセはなかなかなおらないようだ。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2011年12月20日 地方版

放射能「新」基準 食の不安の拡大防止策が先だ




The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 25, 2011)
New food safety rules require time for explanations, preparation
放射能「新」基準 食の不安の拡大防止策が先だ(12月24日付・読売社説)

Stricter limits on radiation in food are meant to make the public feel safe and secure--but what if they have the opposite effect?

The government must be circumspect in its moves in this area.

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry has worked out a set of proposals for new limits on radioactive cesium in food. Following exchanges of views within the government on the proposed standards, the ministry plans to put the new criteria into practice in April 2012.

Currently, "provisional regulatory ceilings" are in place as yardsticks for safe levels of radiation in food. The provisional ceilings were set immediately after the outbreak of the nuclear crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 power plant. The new ceilings proposed by the ministry are far stricter.

For instance, the proposal calls for a ceiling of 50 becquerels per kilogram for milk and baby food items, including baby formula. This is one-fourth the current 200-becquerel limit. The planned limit for general food items such as rice, meat and vegetables is 100 becquerels per kilogram, or one-fifth the current ceiling. The proposed limit on drinking water is 10 becquerels, which is one-twentieth the current 200-becquerel limit.


Risk of worsening anxiety

The ministry says the tightening of the limits is for the sake of "ensuring a sense of safety among the public." Specifically, the risk of "internal exposure to radiation affecting human bodies" would be reduced to less than one-fifth the risk under the provisional ceilings, according to the ministry.

If the new ceilings proposed by the ministry are introduced, decisions on such matters as banning shipments of food would be made on the basis of the toughened criteria.

Careful attention should be paid, however, to the possibility of stricter limits instead heightening the risk of social unease.

If the new criteria are enforced, there may be many cases in which food items with "safe" radiation levels under the current limits would be found to contain "excessive" levels of radioactive cesium. It is therefore feared that shipments of foodstuffs could be suspended one after another.

The current provisional ceilings are already markedly strict as they are one-half to one-fourth the regulatory limits in the United States and European countries. Because of this, the government and many experts have said in explaining the provisional ceilings that eating foods whose radiation readings are slightly above the provisional limits does not mean they are "dangerous" to health. Instead, they say, people can eat them without fear.

The health ministry, before implementation of the new ceilings, is set to seek understanding and cooperation from local governments and industries concerned about toughening the limits. For some categories of food, the ministry is considering taking "tentative steps," or measures to delay the application of new ceilings.

To measure radiation levels in accordance with the new ceilings, high-precision instruments capable of detecting radioactive cesium at a single-digit level of becquerels will be needed. Some industries may be unable to obtain such instruments immediately. The switch from the current ceilings to new ones, therefore, should be preceded by sufficient time to make preparations.


Cesium levels dwindling

In its studies of the advisability of introducing the new criteria, the ministry has conducted a series of sampling examinations of a wide range of foodstuffs to find how much radioactive cesium they contain.

According to the investigations, less than 1 percent of food items examined nationwide were found to contain radioactive cesium in excess of the provisional ceilings. Any foodstuffs with radioactive cesium exceeding the ceilings have been prohibited, in principle, from being put on the market.

Moreover, the number of cases in which radioactive cesium has been detected at levels below the provisional ceilings has been gradually shrinking, the ministry says. A fact that should be taken into account is that, due to the characteristics of radioactive material, the quantity of radioactive cesium in food is certain to decline by a wide margin in the year to come.

It is very important for the government to provide detailed explanations of such matters to spread accurate information about food safety among the public.

Government efforts to ensure the safety of foodstuffs in the process of their distribution must continue to be undertaken in a reliable way.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 24, 2011)
(2011年12月24日01時16分  読売新聞)

八ッ場ダム 混乱と無策の果ての建設続行


The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 24, 2011)
Yamba construction to restart after 2 years of meandering
八ッ場ダム 混乱と無策の果ての建設続行(12月23日付・読売社説)

After more than two years of turmoil, the government has finally settled the issue of whether to cancel or resume construction of the Yamba Dam in Gunma Prefecture.

Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Takeshi Maeda has at last decided to resume construction of the dam in Naganoharamachi. The government will earmark costs for building the main structure, funds for which had been frozen, in the fiscal 2012 budget.

The decision was based on a reexamination of the project by the ministry, in which it judged "construction of the dam is most desirable" in terms of flood control and water utilization effects as well as project costs.

We think the decision is quite appropriate.

The concept for the Yamba Dam project dates back about 60 years. It is designed to prevent floods in watershed areas of the Tonegawa river system and provide a water resource for the Kanto region. With a total construction cost of 460 billion yen, the dam will be one of largest in the country.


Maehara started turmoil

Under the slogan "from concrete to people," the Democratic Party of Japan included cancellation of the Yamba Dam project in its manifesto for the 2009 House of Representatives election, which brought about the DPJ-led administration.

Seiji Maehara, now the DPJ's Policy Research Committee chair, became infrastructure minister after the 2009 election. Based on the manifesto's promise, he forcibly terminated the dam's construction without any consultation with local governments involved. That was the start of the turmoil.

In the face of strong opposition by residents and local governments, then Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Sumio Mabuchi in autumn 2010 effectively nullified Maehara's decision on the project. Subsequently, the ministry had been reexamining the project to decide whether the dam should be constructed.

The DPJ has never come up with an alternative plan. Land ministers after Maehara just put off reaching a conclusion, bowing to the "manifesto-supremacism" within the party. This is nothing but political delinquency. The government as well as the DPJ must reflect seriously on their actions.

Maehara bears a particular heavy responsibility.

Although it was crystal clear there would be enormous side effects to canceling the construction, he did not accept the results of the ministry's reexamination of the project--which concluded construction is appropriate--to the end.

"If the government forces the construction costs through in the budget, the party won't approve it. I won't let the Cabinet approve it," Maehara said Thursday. This is going too far. It is unbelievable that these are statements of the policy chief of the ruling party. He should not cause further turmoil.


Residents made sacrifices

Years ago residents and local governments made a painful decision to accept the dam construction, and many residents moved from areas that were to be submerged under the planned dam lake. While the dam construction was up in the air, residents suffered more economic losses--a number of hot spring inns closed their doors, for example.

If construction had actually been canceled, plans to revive areas around the dam as tourism spots might have been scrapped.

Already 80 percent of the total project costs have been spent on related works, such as construction of roads to replace ones that will become unusable. If the project had been axed, the government would have had to return funds to Tokyo and five other prefectures of the Tonegawa basin, which had paid out more than half of these costs.

We do not think anyone in the DPJ can say the party fully took such factors into consideration while the party was creating the manifesto. The government needs to flexibly review policies if defects and misjudgments become clear. It must learn this lesson from the Yamba Dam issue.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 23, 2011)
(2011年12月23日01時38分  読売新聞)





● 完全無料のルーレットゲームはこちらです。


● 完全無料のスロットマシンはこちらです。


● 完全無料のブラックジャックはこちらです。



--The Asahi Shimbun, Dec. 22
EDITORIAL: Clock is ticking on tax reform to finance the future

The tax debate among government and ruling party policymakers involved in the development of a draft plan for integrated tax and social security reform is coming to a head. This is an important process to secure financing of the social security reform plan recently drawn up by the government.

The government and the ruling Democratic Party of Japan decided in June to gradually raise the consumption tax rate to 10 percent by the mid-2010s as part of the integrated reform. The first thing is to decide on specifics of the proposed consumption tax hike--the timing and scale of each of the tax increases.

The ruling camp has made it clear that all the revenue from the consumption tax will be used to finance growing social security spending. This policy is based on the notion that the consumption tax, which everyone pays at the point of purchase, is suitable as a revenue source to fund the social security system, the principal social safety net based on mutual aid among all members of society.

But raising the consumption tax rate to 10 percent alone will not put social security on a firm and sustainable financial footing.

The government’s social security spending, including health care, pension, nursing care and child care benefits, will reach 108 trillion yen ($1.383 trillion) in fiscal 2011, which runs through March 2012.

Of that total, nearly 60 trillion yen is financed by social security premiums collected from taxpayers. The revenue from a 10-percent consumption tax is less than 30 trillion yen, while social security spending keeps growing by 3 trillion yen every year. The consumption tax hike now being discussed will only be one landmark in the long process of making the social security system financially sustainable.

That is why it is vital to start a serious and in-depth debate on taxes other than the consumption tax from the viewpoint of the future of the nation’s tax system.

The government has already decided to lower the effective corporate tax rate in response to intensifying international competition companies are facing. So the debate on the future of the tax system should focus on such key levies as income and inheritance taxes.

One proposal would change the current six income tax brackets--ranging from 5 to 40 percent--and raise the top tax rate to 45 percent.

The government is also considering shrinking various tax deductions, which reduce the amount of income subject to tax.

The draft bill for tax changes for the next fiscal year already includes a provision to impose a ceiling on the standard income deduction applied to corporate employees. This provision was first proposed as part of the tax changes for the current fiscal year but later dropped amid partisan confrontation at the Diet.

The state general-account budget is in dire straits, with the amount of government bond issues, or the government’s overall borrowing, exceeding the total tax revenue.

It is now inevitable that the tax burden on high-income earners will be increased in addition to raising the consumption tax.

But effective efforts should be made to avoid putting an excessive load on the working population, or people who bear the burden of swelling social security spending in an aging society.

It is also necessary to debate the question of what would be the best balance between premium payments for health-care, pension and nursing care programs and income tax payments.

In planning an increase in the social security burden, the emphasis should be placed on taxation of assets.

Another proposal for fiscal 2011 tax changes that fell through would have reduced the basic deduction for the inheritance tax and lifted the top rate to 55 percent from 50 percent. This is a good place to start.

With economic inequality widening in this nation, it would make sense, also from the viewpoint of fairness, to increase the tax burden on people who have a significant amount of assets coming, for example, from a large inheritance from their parents.

The government and the ruling party first need to draw up a vision for the overall tax reform focused on the consumption tax. Then, they need to develop a specific plan and timetable for pushing through the reform.

日米外相会談 「核」「拉致」進展へ協力強化を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 22, 2011)
Beef up international cooperation on nuclear, abduction issues
日米外相会談 「核」「拉致」進展へ協力強化を(12月21日付・読売社説)

We hope the change of leadership in North Korea will be a chance to resolve the long-pending issues of that country's nuclear development program and abduction of Japanese nationals.

During their meeting in Washington on Monday, Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton agreed it was important to ensure that the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il did not negatively affect peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Gemba and Clinton also agreed that the two countries would cooperate and promote information-sharing with other countries concerned, including South Korea, China and Russia.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and U.S. President Barack Obama spoke on the phone Tuesday and confirmed that their two countries would work together toward stabilization of the Korean Peninsula.

The immediate common interest for not only Japan and the United States but also the other countries concerned, including China and South Korea, is ensuring that unpredictable events such as a coup d'etat or military provocation do not happen in North Korea. Close, multilayered cooperation is needed among the countries concerned.


Give up nuclear ambition

From a medium- and long-range perspective, it is essential to convey to Kim's successor Kim Jong Un and other leaders of the new North Korean regime that relinquishing its nuclear ambition is indispensable to reconstructing the battered economy. The countries concerned must lead North Korea in that direction.

The key element in this area could be cooperation with China, which exerts influence over North Korea through food and energy assistance.

Tokyo and Washington must hold consultative talks with Beijing to devise concrete strategies on how to work on Pyongyang.

Recent U.S.-North Korea talks saw a certain degree of progress on food assistance and halting uranium enrichment activities. It will be important for the countries concerned to move in step with each other toward the next round of U.S.-North Korea talks, which may be held as soon as early January, and the six-nation talks on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula to be held afterward.


Tripartite dialogue significant

In his meeting with Clinton, Gemba proposed creating a framework for dialogue involving Tokyo, Washington and Beijing, and Clinton concurred. China is wary of such a move, but tripartite dialogue would have great significance for peace and prosperity in Asia. Strenuous efforts are needed to achieve that goal.

For Japan, moving forward on the deadlocked abduction issue is a top priority.

There have been no negotiations on the issue since September 2008, when North Korea unilaterally broke its promise to reinvestigate the abductees' cases.

In the Washington meeting, Gemba also sought U.S. cooperation in resolving the abduction issue. His request reflected expectations among the families of abductees that Kim's death will contribute to progress toward a resolution.

If progress is made on the nuclear issue, it is also possible regarding the abductions. There used to be differences in the level of interest regarding a solution among Japan and its allies the United States and South Korea. But in recent years Washington and Seoul have consistently supported Japan's position on the matter. So the international environment is not unfavorable for Japan.

Of course, we cannot be too optimistic when it comes to North Korea. But now is the time for the government to make utmost efforts to work toward resolving the abduction issue.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun Dec. 21, 2011)
(2011年12月21日01時17分  読売新聞)









[ 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.

seesaa100 英字新聞s HPs





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

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

01 雨の日にも傘をささないタイ人
02 勉強熱心なタイ人女性たち
03 タイ人は敬謙な仏教徒
04 タイの市場
05 タイの食堂
06 タイ人は外食が大好き
07 果物王国タイランド
08 タイ人の誕生日
09 タイの電話代は高い
10 微笑みの国タイランド



[ 英字新聞リンク ]
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[ HPリンク ]
cocolog 家族のアルバム
fc2 家族のアルバム
Preliminary Japanese lessons for Thai students

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