女性大統領誕生 未来見据えた日韓関係構築を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 22, 2012)
S. Korea's new president must seek future-oriented ties with Japan
女性大統領誕生 未来見据えた日韓関係構築を(12月21日付・読売社説)

South Koreans have chosen their country's first female president. We hope she will break through new frontiers and exercise leadership in such matters as revitalization of the country's economy and rebuilding relations with Japan.

Park Geun Hye of the ruling Saenuri Party was elected in a closely fought presidential election, defeating rival candidate Moon Jae In of the Democratic United Party, the largest opposition party.

The key issues during the election campaign were economic problems, including measures to reduce the widening income gap and unemployment.

While Moon emphasized tighter control over family-run conglomerates, Park placed weight on economic growth and securing employment for young people.

We can safely conclude South Korean voters chose economic growth and more employment, rather than restricting the activities of major corporations, which are the locomotive of the country's exports.


Small business measures key

South Korea is now among the top 10 countries in the world in terms of trade volume, due partly to its efforts to promote free trade agreements with the United States, the European Union and others. However, this has not resulted in an increase of jobs. Reinforcing and nurturing small and midsize enterprises, which are crucial to employment, are important issues.

There were also great differences in the approaches of the two candidates to North Korea.

Moon pledged to unconditionally restart large-scale food and fertilizer assistance programs to the North and have summit talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, first secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea, next year. His policy is a return to the "sunshine policy" pursued by left-wing administrations.

In contrast, conservative Park also showed a willingness to reopen dialogue with North Korea, but said full-fledged assistance programs must come after a relationship of trust had been built up between the two countries. Her policy follows the footsteps of the current administration, which has demanded that North Korea take concrete actions to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea is still pursuing its nuclear and missile development programs, as was seen in the recent launch of a long-range ballistic missile despite calls by the international community to cancel it.

The victory of Park, who has vowed to take a stern attitude toward North Korea through cooperation among Japan, South Korea and the United States, is a welcome development for Japan.


Repair bilateral ties

Park is the daughter of former President Park Chung Hee, who braved strong opposition within the country to normalize relations with Japan in 1965 and led the country on a rapid economic growth path, dubbed the "Miracle of the Hanggang river." During the election campaign, Park gave prominence to relations with Japan, including the conclusion of an economic partnership agreement.

Many issues are common to both Japan and South Korea, such as low birthrates and aging populations as well the handling of North Korea and China, which is expanding economically and militarily.

Liberal Democratic Party President Shinzo Abe congratulated Park on her victory. "I hope to deepen bilateral relations further from a broad perspective by maintaining close contacts," said Abe, whose administration will be launched next week.

We hope the two incoming leaders will initially work toward repairing the Japan-South Korean relationship, which deteriorated to the worst-ever level when President Lee Myung Bak visited the Takeshima islands and demanded for an "apology by the Emperor" to victims of Japan's past colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

Of course, there is little ground for optimism, but they need to make efforts to avoid issues of history from negatively impacting on the two nations any further.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 21, 2012)
(2012年12月21日01時29分  読売新聞)

自公連立協議 現実的な原発政策を掲げよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 20, 2012)
LDP, Komeito need to present realistic nuclear power policy
自公連立協議 現実的な原発政策を掲げよ(12月19日付・読売社説)

If the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito are to form a coalition government, it is a matter of course that they will have to make adjustments on important policies as much as possible to prevent discord within the cabinet.

LDP President Shinzo Abe and Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi met Tuesday to launch a series of policy consultations ahead of the inauguration of the second Abe Cabinet next week.

To begin with, they agreed to compile a large supplementary budget for fiscal 2012 to serve as temporary economic stimulus.

LDP Policy Research Council Chairman Akira Amari and Komeito Policy Research Council Chairman Keiichi Ishii are expected to hammer out the details for the budget ahead of an official accord by the end of the week.


Economy a proper priority

The country desperately needs to be lifted out of deflation. The incoming administration is right in its decision to give top priority to economic reconstruction as a symbol of its efforts to move politics forward.

Komeito supports a supplementary budget to the tune of about 10 trillion yen, while the LDP has yet to be specific.

Since at least part of any supplementary budget has to rely on the issuance of additional government bonds, it is important to avoid simple handout policies and choose spending that will have a highly positive economic effect.

Adjustments to energy policy will be another focus of attention during the policy talks between the two parties. While the LDP pledged to "establish the best possible combination of power generation sources within 10 years," Komeito advocates "aiming to reduce the number of nuclear power plants to zero as soon as possible."

However, Komeito also acknowledges the need to give consideration to possible negative effects on the economy and employment, as well as to the securing of nuclear power engineers.

Imports of fuel for the nation's thermal power plants, which are being used as alternative power sources to nuclear power plants, have continued to surge, with 3 trillion yen of national wealth currently flowing overseas per year.

Zero nuclear power would accelerate the hollowing-out of the domestic industrial sector, which we see as contradicting the economic measures Komeito places importance on.


Reactivation a must

We urge both the LDP and Komeito to craft a realistic policy that includes reactivating the nation's nuclear reactors once they are confirmed safe and rejecting the idea of zero nuclear power in the mid- and long term.

The LDP and Komeito also differ over amending the Constitution, but the two parties will unlikely go deeply into the issue during the policy talks this time around, due to its "low priority." This is an inevitable judgment given the limited amount of time before the new administration takes power.

The LDP insists the government's interpretation of the Constitution should be revised so the country can exercise its right to collective self-defense. This would deepen the Japan-U.S. alliance, and is something we believe should be realized.

Komeito has consistently opposed such a move. However, Japan would only be required to exercise its right to collective self-defense in a limited number of situations, such as if a U.S. military vessel was attacked by a foreign country on the high seas or if a ballistic missile headed for the United States passed over Japan.

When should exercising the right to collective self-defense be allowed, and how should it be restricted? We believe it is possible for the two parties to find common ground if they engage in deep, reality-based discussions. We hope they, as ruling parties, will continue to discuss this matter after the new administration is launched.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 19, 2012)
(2012年12月19日01時12分  読売新聞)

中国機領空侵犯 自衛隊への挑発が過ぎないか

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 19, 2012)
China's provocative acts are beyond the pale
中国機領空侵犯 自衛隊への挑発が過ぎないか(12月18日付・読売社説)

How should Japan deal with a China that has repeatedly engaged in brazen provocations both on the sea and in the air near the Senkaku Islands? This is one of the most serious tasks facing the administration of incoming Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

A propeller-driven airplane belonging to China's State Oceanic Administration on Thursday intruded into Japanese airspace near the Senkaku Islands and flew near the islands for about half an hour. It marks the first time a Chinese aircraft has ever intruded into Japanese airspace.

The Chinese government tried to explain the act away by calling it "a three-dimensional patrol both on the water and in the air." But it was probably an intentionally provocative act conducted amid Japan's election campaign for the House of Representatives.

Thursday marked the 75th anniversary of the Nanjing Incident perpetrated by the Imperial Japanese Army. The air intrusion may also have been intended to respond to anti-Japan sentiments in China.

The government lodged a strong protest with China. Washington, acting in concert with Tokyo, also conveyed its concern. When the gravity of the issue is taken into consideration, these are appropriate responses. The Japanese government, in cooperation with other countries, must call on China to exercise self-restraint.


A higher level of hazard

The potential danger posed by an intrusive act differs greatly between those in the air and on the water.

When a Chinese government vessel intrudes into Japanese waters, the Japan Coast Guard takes action, while the Maritime Self-Defense Force does not come to the fore.

When there is an intrusion into the nation's airspace, however, the Air Self-Defense Force scrambles fighters to patrol and issue warnings.

International law does not allow aircraft to fly into the territorial airspace of a foreign country without permission. A country thus intruded upon can take measures to exclude the intruding airplane to protect its sovereignty.

The ASDF scrambled 156 times against seemingly imminent intrusions by Chinese airplanes into Japanese airspace in fiscal 2011, a record high in the past decade. In the first half of this fiscal year alone, the ASDF scrambled 69 times.

Should any unexpected incident occur between an ASDF aircraft and an intruding Chinese airplane, it could escalate, in a worst-case scenario, into a military conflict between the two countries.


A troubling radar blind spot

In response to Thursday's intrusion into Japanese airspace, the ASDF scrambled fighter jets but failed to arrive at the spot promptly enough and to fully track the intrusion of the Chinese airplane. As there is no radar site near the Senkaku Islands, the ASDF failed to detect the Chinese aircraft, which was believed to have flown low over the waters close to the islands, early enough.

It is a matter of urgency to reinforce the SDF's warning and patrol system against Chinese aircraft. The ASDF needs to fill in this blind spot in its radar network by deploying more E-2C early-warning aircraft and airborne warning and control system (AWACS) planes to the Nansei Islands.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi has released a paper on China's foreign policy, in which he emphasized that China "will fight with Japan resolutely" against the Japanese government's nationalization of part of the Senkaku Islands.

A Chinese official in charge of diplomatic authorities, who are supposed to function as a window for communication and negotiation with other countries, has taken a hard-line stance. This only hinders a level-headed bilateral dialogue, making it difficult to bring the issue under control.

China must become aware that its self-centered behavior is certainly damaging its international reputation.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 18, 2012)
(2012年12月18日01時22分  読売新聞)

アナリスで究極のアフィリエイトを! 効果は絶大、費用は最小


自民党政権復帰 謙虚に実績積み信頼取り戻せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 18, 2012)
LDP must regain public's trust with achievements
自民党政権復帰 謙虚に実績積み信頼取り戻せ(12月17日付・読売社説)


Voters handed down a stern judgment on the Democratic Party of Japan-led government. They obviously opted for a stable administration from which realistic policies can be expected.

The Liberal Democratic Party and its likely coalition partner New Komeito together garnered more than 320 seats in the 46th House of Representatives election Sunday to secure a return to power. It was an overwhelming victory but was not met with an air of excitement.

The DPJ, on the other hand, suffered a historic, crushing setback after losing a huge number of seats. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda announced Sunday night he would resign as party president.

LDP President Shinzo Abe, who is poised to assume the post of prime minister for the second time, said the election results "do not show the LDP fully regained the people's confidence." The party should not be complacent. It will be essential for it to resolve a host of challenges, including economic revitalization and reconstruction from last year's disaster, so it can regain public confidence.


Ishin no Kai secures foothold

One factor behind the LDP's victory may be that the voters wanted to punish the DPJ-led administration for its blunders.

The Hatoyama administration's haphazard handling of the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture undermined the relationship of trust between the central and local governments and crippled the Japan-U.S. alliance.

The following Kan Cabinet took a winding course in coping with the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake and the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. Public distrust in politics peaked as Prime Minister Naoto Kan clung to his post after announcing his intention to resign.

The Noda administration made some laudable achievements, including the enactment of the law on the integrated reform of the social security and tax systems, but he failed to achieve unity in his party, thereby causing it to split.

The gap between the people's expectations of the DPJ to effect real change in government three years ago and their subsequent disappointment was demonstrated by the huge loss of seats suffered in Sunday's election. The DPJ's humiliating setback was symbolized by former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's decision not to run in the election and Kan's defeat in a single-seat constituency.

Some incumbent Cabinet ministers lost their Diet seats. Among them are Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura, Finance Minister Koriki Jojima, Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Shinji Tarutoko, and Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Minister Makiko Tanaka.

Many voters must have used their votes to express their stern criticism of the DPJ over its campaign platform for the 2009 general election, which incorporated such populist policies as a handout of child-rearing allowances and making expressway tolls free without securing definite sources of revenue.

The DPJ must rebuild itself based on the experience it gained as a ruling party.

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), which had aimed to become a so-called third political force, made a strong showing, securing enough seats to exert a certain amount of influence on the national political scene. Its two popular campaign faces--party leader Shintaro Ishihara and acting leader Toru Hashimoto--were able to successfully appeal to the voters. Your Party, which has a cooperative relationship with Ishin no Kai, also made gains.

Nippon Mirai no To (Tomorrow Party of Japan) suffered disappointing results. Ichiro Ozawa and other DPJ defectors tried to survive by joining the party headed by Shiga Gov. Yukiko Kada and gathering political forces opposing tax increase and nuclear power generation. Their strategy came up short.


'Zero-nuclear policy' unsuccessful

The LDP's election partnership with Komeito in single-seat constituencies bore fruit. And the LDP gained in districts where "third political force" parties competed with another.

The LDP's advance may also partly be attributed to the fact that its policies appeared more convincing than those of other parties.

The LDP appealed to voters by pledging to carry out bold monetary-easing policies to end the nation's deflationary trend and implement comprehensive reform of the social security and tax system, centering on the hike in the consumption tax rate.

The party also emphasized its energy policy, under which nuclear power plants whose safety is confirmed will be put back online at least for the time being and the best combination of power generation sources will be decided over time. It did not advocate eliminating nuclear power generation.

The fact that the national security environment has become increasingly harsh may also have helped the LDP widen its appeal to voters as it stressed its pledge of rebuilding the nation's diplomatic policy.

The LDP is set to form a coalition government with Komeito. But the coalition cannot secure a majority in the House of Councillors even when the strength of two parties is combined.

It is highly likely the Diet will remain divided with no party holding a majority in the upper house, at least until the next upper house election scheduled for next summer.

Given this, it is essential for a ruling coalition to maintain cooperation among the three parties--the DPJ, the LDP and Komeito--which realized the comprehensive pension and tax reform, and make thorough efforts to form a consensus in policies.

As the LDP and Komeito, when combined, have garnered more than the two-thirds of the total seats in the lower house, bills can be passed into law by a second vote even if they are voted down in the upper chamber.

Yet precedent shows that if they run the administration high-handedly, they will cause a backlash of public sentiment in the next upper house election. The two parties should bear in mind the need to manage the administration with humility.

We were surprised at the wide-ranging swing in the number of seats won by parties, as was seen in the 2005 lower house election contested over the postal privatization issue, the 2009 election that brought a change of government with the DPJ coming into power, and the latest election.


Election reform an urgent task

It is characteristic of the single-seat constituency system that parties tend to win more seats than the percentage of all votes they receive would seem to warrant. We cannot help feeling that the current system needs to be corrected.

Should a large number of Diet members be replaced every time a national election is held, the nation's politics will become unstable as it becomes difficult for policies to be created at the initiative of politicians. Such a development would also weaken the nation's diplomatic power.

We should also keep in mind that the latest election was held with the electoral system in a "state of unconstitutionality" as the Supreme Court has pointed out.

The DPJ, the LDP and Komeito have agreed they would make a drastic review of the lower house election system and make the necessary legal arrangements to reduce the number of lower house seats during the ordinary Diet session next year.

It is necessary to shed light on the problems in the current system, which combines single-seat constituencies and proportional representation, and dare to implement a drastic reform, including re-adopting a multiple-seat constituency system. This could be a faster route to rebuilding the nation's politics.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 17, 2012)
(2012年12月17日04時01分  読売新聞)

衆院選きょう投票 日本再生へ誤りなき1票を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 17, 2012)
National revitalization, end to political stagnation crucial
衆院選きょう投票 日本再生へ誤りなき1票を(12月16日付・読売社説)


Voting today in the 46th House of Representatives election provides people with an important opportunity to choose a new political alignment that will bear the responsibility of charting the nation's future course.

It is hoped voters will cast their precious vote after examining the policies, capabilities and disposition of each party and candidate.

The world is going through drastic changes. This year, new regimes were inaugurated in China, North Korea, Russia, France and a number of other countries. U.S. President Barack Obama was reelected for a second term, and South Korea will elect a new president on Wednesday.


We should not allow only Japan to lag under our nation's climate of political indecisiveness.

Reviving the vigor of the nation's political system is the first and most urgent task if Japan wants to overcome deflation and the strong yen, attain both economic resuscitation and fiscal reconstruction, strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance and rebuild its diplomacy vis-a-vis other Asian countries.

The lower house election is for voters to choose an administration to lead the country. The biggest focal point in this poll is whether the Democratic Party of Japan-led alliance will continue to hold the reins of government or a coalition government of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito will retake the helm.

The DPJ is facing a strong headwind. It made a historical achievement when it enabled a package of bills related to the integrated reform of the social security and tax systems to pass through the Diet. But the party's campaign pledges for 2009 lower house election were in tatters, and its pledge of "taking key roles in the decision-making process away from bureaucrats and putting them into the hands of politicians" was only an empty slogan that caused much political confusion. We believe these factors are playing against the DPJ.


12 parties field candidates

We highly commend the LDP with regard to the support it gave to allow the passage of the bills on the integrated reform of social security and tax systems even though it was an opposition party.

But the LDP failed to act like a responsible party in some cases when it resisted entering deliberations on bills and jolted the DPJ-led government by presenting censure motions--all tactics engineered by exploiting the divided Diet, in which the ruling bloc lacks a majority of seats in the House of Councillors.

This election saw candidates fielded by 12 parties--the biggest number since the current election system that combines single-seat constituencies and a proportional representation system was introduced in 1996. This resulted from splits within the DPJ and the inroads into national politics made by regional parties.

Before this election campaign officially kicked off on Dec. 4, new parties vying to form a "third political force" were formed or merged one after another. They undeniably put priority on these moves as an election strategy, with coordination of their policies and political philosophy taking a back seat.

To which party and candidate should we entrust our votes to reflect our will? The credibility of campaign pledges was severely hurt with the DPJ's botched efforts, but we should pay attention most to parties' policies.

With the ever-graying society, declining birthrate and worsening fiscal conditions, the role of the government is shifting from distributing benefits to distributing burdens. We should closely examine if parties' policies are backed up by concrete plans for revenue sources and if they have presented ways to realize their policies.

In regard to economic policy, an area of particular interest to the public, the DPJ in its election platform set the goal of a nominal 3 percent year-on-year growth rate, or around 2 percent after inflation. The party says it will place priority on helping nurture such emerging sectors as renewable energy and medical and nursing care services.

The LDP, for its part, has attached high importance to reinvigorating the national economy and strengthening Japan's industrial competitiveness. Setting an inflation target of 2 percent, the party has committed itself to a bold monetary-easing policy, saying it will consider the advisability of revising the Bank of Japan Law to allow more collaboration between the government and the central bank.


Diplomatic skills vital

The issue of Japan's participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral free trade negotiations had earlier been expected to be a key campaign issue from the viewpoint of the nation's growth strategy. It is disappointing, however, that both the DPJ and the LDP refrained from going into specifics because both have a number of members who either oppose the free trade pact outright or are skeptical about it.

Meanwhile, parties remain sharply split regarding energy policy.

The DPJ has pledged to "reduce the number of operating nuclear power plants to zero by the end of the 2030s." Such parties as Nippon Mirai no To (Tomorrow Party of Japan) and the Japanese Communist Party have taken the position of "doing away with nuclear power generation" within an even shorter time frame. The LDP, for that matter, has avoided producing a definite conclusion, saying the party will "determine the optimum makeup of power generation sources over a 10-year time frame."

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) has officially vowed to "break with" nuclear power, but its stance on the matter is incomprehensible because its leader, Shintaro Ishihara, has publicly denied the party made the antinuclear election pledge.

A party calling for terminating the nation's nuclear power generation should, as a matter of course, propose ways to cope with the adverse impacts of the "no-nuclear" option on the economy and employment, as well as measures to maintain Japan's nuclear energy-related technological levels. There have been no such proposals made in the lower house campaign and no in-depth debates on the matter.

On diplomacy and national security issues, many parties have called for deepening the Japan-U.S. alliance, each pledging to do its best to defend Japan's territorial integrity, including that over the Senkaku Islands.

The environment surrounding the nation's security has been increasingly severe as shown by the latest launch by North Korea of a long-range ballistic missile and China's military buildup and increasingly assertive maritime activities.

We urge voters to determine correctly which party has specific measures and ability to negotiate effectively to realize the nation's diplomatic goals.


Quality of politicians falling

The possibility is high that the divided state of the Diet will continue even after the general election.

Voters, in this connection, should also consider whether they should grant a single party a stable majority in the lower chamber.

A coalition government comprising a number of parties might find it easier to reflect diversified views in government policies. However, the process of ironing out conflicting views within the parties in power could be protracted, leading to a political impasse.

Many first-time candidates have been fielded in this general election, including those from the "third political force." If they win the election, they will have to immediately address a pile of policy tasks. Those in power, in particular, must fulfill the responsibility of appropriately using bureaucrats in steering affairs of state.

One major factor behind the stagnancy of politics in recent years is the deteriorating quality of politicians. Candidates' problem-solving capabilities and other personal qualities are therefore sure to be tested.

Voters should make correct choices in casting their ballots by scrutinizing the comparative merits and demerits of policies and assertions of parties and candidates.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 16, 2012)
(2012年12月16日01時21分  読売新聞)







衆院選あす投票 ネット利用が課題として残る

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 16, 2012)
Voters should study policies and vote to change politics
衆院選あす投票 ネット利用が課題として残る(12月15日付・読売社説)

Sunday's House of Representatives election is important in setting the nation's course. We want to prepare for the vote by scrutinizing each political party's platform.

In this election, 12 parties are fighting a close, heated battle. In contrast, voters appear to be less enthusiastic.

According to a nationwide survey conducted by The Yomiuri Shimbun after the official election campaign kicked off, 82 percent of respondents said they were interested in the forthcoming lower house election, down 10 percentage points from a similar poll conducted ahead of the previous 2009 election.

The number of early votes cast so far for Sunday's election was also reportedly lower than that for the previous election.

This is attributable to growing public distrust of politics due to the current political disarray.

New parties, formed to challenge established parties, largely serve as mutual-aid entities designed only to help defectors from the Democratic Party of Japan and lower-profile candidates win seats in the election. Apparently drawn up hastily, their proposed measures hardly address issues that people are dissatisfied about.

In a basic step to change politics, voters must look closely into each party's policies and then exercise their voting right.


Low turnout of young voters

Meanwhile, it is a matter of concern that the voting rate for people in their 20s is always significantly lower compared with other age brackets.

However, we want young people, in particular, to become more interested in politics as they will be forced to shoulder various burdens as a result of the nation's financial difficulties and expanding economic disparity among people.

Parties tend to put measures to support child care on the back burner as they focus on the pension system and health care for the elderly in their social security policies. Some observers say such a tendency reflects the parties' focus on middle-aged and elderly people with higher voting rates.

The nation's economy has worsened. If the parties make wrong policy choices now, job scarcity for university students and other young people could become serious again.

Concerned over the higher youth jobless rate, the parties have proposed employment measures such as making part-time workers known as freeters regular employees and providing young people with assistance to develop job skills. Some parties have pushed for steps friendly to young people and families with small children in their campaign pledges.


Use of Net remains an issue

Voters are being urged to assess what party has proposed realistic measures that are unlikely to pass excessive burdens onto future generations.

To boost the turnout of young voters, the expanded use of the Internet for elections would be effective.

However, even updating the website of a party after the start of an official campaign could violate the Public Offices Election Law if the act is deemed part of election campaign activities.

With the number of Net users nearing 100 million and Japanese expatriates casting their ballots from overseas, such a regulation is unreasonable. It is no wonder that many parties have criticized the outdated law during the latest election campaign.

We hope the parties will work on establishing rules on the use of the Internet for elections before next summer's House of Councillors election.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 15, 2012)
(2012年12月15日01時41分  読売新聞)


原発政策 「稼働ゼロ」の副作用も語れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 15, 2012)
Parties must be honest about risks of 'zero-nuclear' future
原発政策 「稼働ゼロ」の副作用も語れ(12月14日付・読売社説)

Formulating a nuclear energy policy is a vitally important task, one that would not only help ensure a stable power supply, but also protect the environment, and affect the nation's economy, diplomacy and national security--the whole spectrum of matters related to steering the ship of state.

Many parties in the current House of Representatives campaign, held in the aftermath of the nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, have adopted "zero nuclear" pledges. These parties, however, have neglected to explain the wide-ranging risks of eliminating nuclear power.

We urge voters not to be swayed by slogans only aimed at winning the election, but to determine calmly which parties and candidates would pursue a realistic nuclear power policy.

Parties including Nippon Mirai no To (Tomorrow Party of Japan) and the Japanese Communist Party have taken the position of never allowing any of the nation's nuclear reactors to resume operating.


Fuel cost up 3 tril. yen a year

Their assertion that this country could "do without nuclear power" on the grounds that there were no blackouts this summer is far off the mark.

The truth is that the nation walked a shaky tightrope in terms of the power supply this summer. With all reactors but two idle, power outages were only narrowly averted by mobilizing all thermal power stations available, including some outdated ones. The result was an increase of 3 trillion yen for the year's fuel costs for power generation, causing one power utility after another to announce rate hikes.

Anyone who ignores the adverse impacts of power shortages deserves to be called irresponsible.

Parties including the Liberal Democratic Party, the Democratic Party of Japan and Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), on the other hand, have acknowledged the need to restart the nation's nuclear power plants to ensure a stable supply of electricity, as long as the reactors can be confirmed safe. We see these positions as valid and reasonable.

However, it is problematic that many party platforms promise to walk away from nuclear power inside a certain time frame, such as the DPJ's pledge to "reduce the number of operating nuclear power plants to zero by the end of the 2030s."

Replacing nuclear power with solar and other renewable sources of energy while boosting energy efficiency would cost the nation more than 100 trillion yen, according to one government projection. This would have to be funded either by higher electricity rates or more taxes. How can the hollowing-out of the nation's industrial sector be stopped in the face of increased production costs, and bankruptcies of small and midsized businesses caused by this policy?

The simplistic argument that introducing renewable energy sources would stimulate the economy is hardly convincing.


Reveal 'inconvenient truths'

We commend the LDP for not setting a zero-nuclear goal, as the party is apparently aware of its position as a responsible party aiming to win back the reins of government. However, the LDP's 10-year time frame for "determining the optimum makeup of power generation sources" is much too slow.

The municipalities that host nuclear power facilities of course deserve consideration. Aomori Prefecture, the site of a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant, is particularly anxious about the possibility of being forced into becoming a final resting place for nuclear waste.

The political parties contesting the election must revise their positions to support the continued, but safe, use of nuclear power. They should also quickly devise a plan to keep the nuclear fuel recycling program going, and determine how radioactive waste should be finally disposed of.

If Japan recklessly adopted a zero-nuclear goal, it would soon cease to be a partner of the United States in its nuclear nonproliferation strategy. This would cause a fissure in the Japan-U.S. alliance, possibly to the detriment of our national interests.

Every political party needs to have the honesty and candor to tell voters "inconvenient truths" about a possible zero-nuclear Japan.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 14, 2012)
(2012年12月14日01時31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.

[ English Newspapers ]
Japan Times
Washington Post
Newyork Times
Bangkok Post
The Nations
Phuket Gazette

[ 英字新聞の英和対訳学習 ]

[ スラチャイ編集の辞書 ]

[ 英字新聞リンク ]
ocn cafe


[ 32レッドカジノ ]

[ online casino ]

[ 32red casino mobile ]
for iPhone, Android
Roulette Game
Blackjack Game
Slots Game

[ my favorite way ]
Earning some money on the commuting train is fantastic.
roulette game

[ 32red casino iPhone & Android ]
Mermaids Millions
Royal Derby
Tomb Raider
Blackjack Game
Major Millions

Tomb Raider iTunes App
Blackjack iTunes App
Roulette Game
Android & iPhone Direct Registration

[ sellection for mobile ]
32Red Web App (iPhone & Android) Casino - Homepage

[ 32red download for PC ]

[ online casino for PC ]
Online Slots

[ zipang casino ]
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 ]
yahoo geolog

[ 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

  • ライブドアブログ