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2014年06月

自民農協改革案 全中の指導体制温存を許すな

The Yomiuri Shimbun
JA-Zenchu structure must not emerge unscathed from LDP reform plan
自民農協改革案 全中の指導体制温存を許すな

How can the JA Group of agricultural cooperatives be drastically overhauled to reenergize Japan’s farming industry? This reform process is about to face a moment of truth.
 日本農業の再生に向けて、農業協同組合(JA)グループの抜本的な改革をどう実現するか。正念場はこれからだ。

The Liberal Democratic Party has completed its agricultural reform plan. The centerpieces of the plan are revamping the leadership of regional agricultural cooperatives, which is currently concentrated in the hands of the Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives (JA-Zenchu), and shifting JA-Zenchu’s structure to a new setup.
 自民党が農業改革案をまとめた。全国農業協同組合中央会(JA全中)を頂点とした地域農協に対する指導体制を改め、全中を新たな組織へと移行させることが柱である。

In response to criticism that the group’s all-encompassing administrative leadership has sapped the motivation of producers, the LDP’s plan would restrict JA-Zenchu’s role to collating the wishes and purposes of agricultural cooperatives, as well as liaising and coordinating among them.
 自民党案は、画一的な経営指導が生産現場の意欲を損なってきたとの批判を受けて、全中の役割を地域農協の意思集約や連絡・調整に限定するとした。

The reforms aim to end JA-Zenchu’s excessive intervention into the affairs of regional cooperatives, and promote the switch to a more “proactive” form of farming that gives greater play to the self-initiative of farmers. We think the direction of the plan makes sense.
 全中による地域農協への過度な介入をやめさせ、自主性を生かした「攻めの農業」への転換を促す改革の方向性は妥当だろう。

The LDP plans to solidify details, such as the group’s new structure after the JA group reviews its organizational makeup, and revise the Agricultural Cooperatives Law and other laws during next year’s ordinary Diet session.
 自民党は具体的な組織の在り方などについては、JAグループ内の検討も踏まえてさらに詰め、来年の通常国会で農協法などの改正を図るとしている。

However, it is disconcerting that essential elements of the reforms remain undecided.
 気がかりなのは、改革の肝心な部分が固まっていないことだ。

Last month, the government’s Regulatory Reform Council proposed that JA-Zenchu be abolished. JA-Zenchu vehemently opposed the idea, stating the move would “lead to the dismantlement of the JA Group.” We cannot escape concerns that the LDP reform plan could be watered down due to such fierce backlash from JA-Zenchu.
 先月、政府の規制改革会議は全中の廃止案を打ち出した。これに対し、全中は「JAグループの解体につながる」と、猛反発した。自民党の改革案が今後、全中の巻き返しによって「骨抜き」にされる懸念は拭えない。

Actions must eclipse titles

One idea being floated was to change JA-Zenchu’s status from a corporate body based on the Agricultural Cooperatives Law to a general incorporated association. But simply changing its status while it retains powerful influence over regional agricultural cooperatives will not improve the effectiveness of the reform.
 全中を農協法に基づく法人から一般社団法人などに移行させる案も浮上しているが、地域農協への強い影響力が温存されれば改革の実効性は上がるまい。

It remains unclear how the LDP will handle JA-Zenchu’s levy system, through which ¥8 billion is collected annually for operating expenses from agricultural cooperatives and other sources nationwide.
 全中が地域農協などから年間80億円の運営費を上納させている賦課金制度の扱いも不透明だ。

We think legal revisions should be made to abolish this collection system for vast sums of money that, along with JA-Zenchu’s extensive administrative authority based on the Agricultural Cooperatives Law, form the base of its power.
 農協法に基づく強い経営指導権とともに、全中の権力基盤となっている多額の集金システムを、法改正で廃止すべきである。

In the reform plan, the LDP said it would “positively consider” converting the group’s National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations (JA Zen-Noh), which runs a shipping and sales network for products grown by farmers, into a stock company.
 自民党案は、農作物の集荷や販売を担う全国農業協同組合連合会(JA全農)の株式会社化を「前向きに検討する」とした。

It is a reasonable objective to support closer ties between JA Zen-Noh and companies through such means as mergers and acquisitions as well as expanding their operations through diversified capital procurement.
 資金調達の多様化による事業拡大や、合併・買収(M&A)の手法も使った企業との連携強化を後押しする狙いは適切だ。

Steadily implementing reforms in areas other than the cooperatives will also be needed. The LDP plan included a call to raise the cap on business investment in agricultural production corporations from “25 percent or less” to “less than 50 percent.”
 農協以外の改革も着実に進める必要がある。自民党案は、農業生産法人に対する企業の出資制限を「25%以下」から「50%未満」に緩和することも盛り込んだ。

About 400,000 hectares of arable farmland in Japan has been abandoned, an area equivalent to all of Shiga Prefecture. We expect the involvement of more companies in agriculture will result in more effective use of farmland and more efficient management of the farming industry.
 国内の耕作放棄地は滋賀県の広さに相当する40万ヘクタールに上る。企業参入による農地の有効利用と、農業経営の効率化に期待したい。

Negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal are within grasping distance of a major agreement. The nation cannot afford to put off strengthening the competitiveness of its agricultural sector. Japan must quickly implement agricultural reforms that reward motivated farmers.
 環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉も大詰めの段階で、日本農業の競争力強化は待ったなしである。意欲ある農家が報われる農業改革を急がねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 11, 2014)

認知症行方不明 関係機関の情報共有が重要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Sharing information on missing elderly people with dementia crucial
認知症行方不明 関係機関の情報共有が重要だ

There is no end to cases of elderly people with dementia going missing. It is crucial that the system used to help identify missing dementia patients functions effectively so they can be reunited with their families quickly.
 認知症が原因で行方不明になる高齢者が後を絶たない。早期に家族の元に戻れるよう、身元特定の仕組みを有効に機能させることが重要だ。

In 2012, police received 9,607 missing-person reports for patients with dementia, and the number rose to 10,322 in 2013. Of them, 258 people were unaccounted for as of the end of April.
 警察に行方不明者として届け出があった認知症の人は、2012年に9607人、13年には1万322人に上った。これらのうち258人が、今年4月末時点で所在不明となっている。

In many cases, elderly people with dementia who went missing were taken into protective custody later by the municipalities and moved into nursing care facilities, ultimately remaining there as they could not be identified.
 無事に保護されながら、身元が分からずに、施設に預かられたままとなるケースが少なくない。

A woman with dementia who had been put into a nursing care facility in Tatebayashi, Gunma Prefecture, was reunited in mid-May with her husband after seven years. Their reunion was made possible thanks to a TV news program featuring her.
 群馬県館林市の介護老人福祉施設に入所していた認知症の女性は5月中旬、7年ぶりに夫と再会した。テレビ番組で取り上げられたのがきっかけだった。

An elderly man with dementia who was living at a home for the elderly in Sayama, Saitama Prefecture, was identified on June 5 by relatives who had seen news reports featuring him late last month and made contact with him. Eighteen years had passed since he went missing and was placed under protective custody.
 埼玉県狭山市の老人ホームで生活していた男性は、報道に接した親族からの連絡で、今月5日に身元が判明した。保護されてから18年も経過していた。

In both cases, the local municipalities and the police exchanged very little information, and no careful checks were made of the National Police Agency’s database after these elderly people were moved into nursing care facilities.
 いずれも、施設に引き取られた後、自治体と警察の情報交換がほとんど行われず、警察庁のデータベースを活用した身元照会も徹底されなかった。

If such people cannot be identified within 24 hours after they are placed under protective custody, the police, in accordance with the Law concerning the Execution of Police Duties, will put them in the care of the municipalities.
 警察は、保護から24時間以内に身元を確認できなければ、警察官職務執行法に基づいて、自治体に対応を引き継ぐ。

No regulations in place

The problem is there are no regulations concerning the sharing of information between these entities after such people are put in the care of local municipalities. It is inevitable for such inappropriate responses to be criticized as ill effects of bureaucratic sectionalism.
問題は、その後の情報共有などについて、何ら規定がないことだろう。縦割りの弊害と批判されても仕方がない。

The NPA has notified the Metropolitan Police Department and other prefectural police headquarters that they should cooperate with local municipal governments even after they have such elderly people placed in the care of the municipalities.
 警察庁は、対応を自治体に引き継いだ後も、連携を図るよう都道府県警に通知した。

Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Norihisa Tamura said at a press conference on Friday, “We have to build a system to match up those who have gone missing and those who are looking for them,” hinting that the ministry will launch discussions with the NPA and other entities. Such efforts must be expedited to make such ideas a reality.
 田村厚生労働相は6日の記者会見で、「行方不明になっている人と、捜している人をマッチングできる仕組みを作らなければならない」と述べ、警察庁などと検討を始める考えを示した。具体化を急ぐ必要がある。

Also needed is a system that considers the characteristics of those with dementia who are unable to identify themselves.
 本人が名乗れない、という認知症の特性に配慮した照会システムも求められる。

With regards to the police’s missing person database, information searches can be made only by name. The NPA has said it will also utilize its database used for criminal investigations, in which searches can be made using various kinds of information, including physical characteristics and personal belongings.
 警察の行方不明者照会のデータベースは、氏名に頼った検索しかできない。警察庁は、身体的特徴や所持品など、多くの項目から検索できる犯罪捜査用のデータベースも用いる方針を示した。

The NPA will also have such information compiled by local municipalities, including photographs, on those placed under their care distributed among prefectural police headquarters and local police stations, so families searching for their missing relatives can examine them at nearby police stations and other places.
 保護した人の写真を添付した自治体作成の資料を警察本部や警察署に配布し、行方不明の人を捜している家族が最寄りの署などで閲覧できるようにもする。

We hope these efforts can help identify missing dementia patients quickly.
 こうした取り組みを早期の身元特定につなげたい。

More and more local municipalities have registered elderly people who are likely to wander away, and have asked local residents via e-mail to cooperate in finding them in case they go missing. Cooperation among local residents, municipalities and police is also essential.
 徘徊はいかいの恐れのある高齢者を事前に登録し、万一の時、市民にメールで捜索協力を呼びかける自治体が増えている。地域住民と自治体、警察の連携も欠かせない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 10, 2014)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:「昔は昔、今は今」 /東京

April 27, 2014(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: That was then and this is now
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:「昔は昔、今は今」 /東京

When the Olympics last came to Tokyo in 1964, Japan was in the midst of its postwar growth boom. The young parents of those hopeful times have, however, become the seniors of today; the "elder care" generation, so to speak.
 前回の東京五輪の頃、高度成長時代のまっただ中に家庭を築いた人たちが、いまいっせいに“介護される年代”を迎えている。

Members of that generation, joining the workforce as Japanese society basked in its growing wealth, took to their jobs with a vigorous, proactive attitude, building tightknit nuclear families as they went. Their lifestyles began to reflect the benefits of economic success as well, with new cars appearing in driveways and pianos in living rooms. Parents also found they had the time and money to enhance their children's education, and it was in this era that the term "kyoiku mama" (education mom) -- mothers who pushed their children to succeed academically -- was coined.
 その多くは核家族、どんどん成長する社会で前向きに仕事に取り組み、自動車やピアノを買うなどして生活を豊かにしてきた。子どもの教育にもお金や手間がかけられるようになり「教育ママ」という言葉が生まれたのもその世代あたりからだ。

Age has imposed its various frailties on this energetic generation, dementia not least among them. Their children, of course, understand intellectually that their parents are getting old, and that dementia may lay siege to once nimble minds. Still, they find it hard if not impossible to accept this in their own "always energetic" mothers and fathers. One patient of mine, a woman in her 50s caring for a mother with dementia, admitted to me, "I could do something to her, become a 'care abuser,' if things keep on like this.
 そんな人たちも高齢期になればからだも弱くなれば、認知症になることもある。頭ではわかっているのだが、長い間「いつも元気なパパとママ」を見てきた子どもたちは、その事実がどうしても受け入れられない。認知症の母親の介護をする50代の娘が「このままでは“介護虐待”をしそうです」と相談に来たことがあった。

"In my neighborhood, my mother was known as an amazing 'education mom,'" the woman continued. "Now, she has to ask me everything, even what season it is. When I was a little girl, one of her favourite phrases was, 'Try looking it up yourself.' Remembering that now, when my mother depends on me for everything like a little child, I just can't find it within myself to be kind to her. I yell at her without noticing, and sometimes I find myself ready to hit her. I scare myself."
 「近所でも評判の教育ママだった母親が、いまでは季節もわからなくなってなんでも私にきいてくるのです。子ども時代は『自分で調べなさい』が口グセの母でした。それを思い出すと、いま幼児のように私に頼ってくる母親にどうしてもやさしくできません。つい声を荒らげてしまったり手が出そうになってしまうこともあって、自分でもおそろしい」

The problem isn't that the woman hates caring for her mother. Rather, she is deeply saddened and disturbed that her once super-human mom has changed so drastically. These feelings are transformed into anger, into thoughtless verbal attacks and the temptation to do violence.
 介護がイヤなわけではない。ただ、あんなにしっかりしてスーパーマンのようだった親が昔とはさまがわりしてしまった姿を見ると、なんともいえず悲しくなる。それが次第に怒りにかわり、心ない暴言や暴力につながることがあるのだ。

I have had a number of patients in the same boat, and they always tell me something like, "I can't forget how hardworking my parents were and how good life was at home when I was young." That image of strong and loving parents persists in the minds of their children, even if these parents are now in a very different stage of life. That was then and this is now, as the old expression goes. It's quite frankly odd to pine for the days when "mom and dad could do anything." By the same token, there's also no need to wall up memories of better times because remembering them makes us sad.
 そういう人たちに私はいつも「その昔、念願のマイホームで頑張っていた両親や楽しかった家庭の思い出は消えたわけではない」と話す。それがあくまで両親のメインの姿で、いまはそのときとは別のステージで生きている。あのときはあのとき、今は今。「昔はなんでもできたのに」と比べるのもおかしいし「昔を思い出すと悲しくなるから」と記憶を封印する必要もない。

Watching our parents come to need nursing care is no fun, but we must set that aside. Instead, remember the good times. Perhaps they took you to Expo Osaka 1970, and the whole family had a blast. Maybe your mother was dressed to the nines for the big outing, and oh was she a sight to behold. If we find ourselves thinking, "Yeah, but look at her now," keep that talismanic phrase "that was then and this is now" firmly in mind. Resist the comparison.
 目の前の介護が必要な親のことはさておいて、「家族で大阪万博に行ったわねえ。あのときはみんな生き生きしていて本当に楽しかった。ママも私も精いっぱいおしゃれしてたっけ」と心おきなく昔の楽しかった思い出に浸ったってよいのだ。「それなのに今は」と考えそうになったら、「昔は昔、今は今」というフレーズをおまじないのように唱えてみよう。

Very importantly, when it comes to caring for parents with dementia, we cannot do everything on our own. Make full use of elder care services, and don't be afraid to ask friends for help from time to time. Believe me when I say that the psychological burden must be shared.
そして介護の問題はひとりで背負わず、介護サービスをフル活用したり友人に頼ったり。とにかくシェアの精神が大切、ということもつけ加えておきたい。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2014年04月22日 地方版

マイナス金利 デフレ阻止に動いた欧州中銀

The Yomiuri Shimbun
ECB adoption of negative deposit rate bold measure to prevent deflation
マイナス金利 デフレ阻止に動いた欧州中銀

The European Central Bank has introduced a bold monetary easing policy with a strong will to prevent the European economy from falling into deflation.
 デフレへの転落を阻止したいという強い決意の表れだろう。
 欧州中央銀行(ECB)が大胆な金融緩和策を打ち出した。

The ECB has decided to cut its annual policy rate to a record low 0.15 percent and lower the overnight deposit rate, which is applied to funds commercial banks park at the central bank, to minus 0.1 percent from zero percent. This makes the ECB the first major central bank in the world to adopt a negative bank deposit rate.
 政策金利を過去最低の年0・15%とし、民間銀行がECBに預金する際に適用する金利は、0%からマイナス0・1%に下げる。主要な中央銀行でマイナス金利を採用するのは初めてだ。

A negative deposit rate means that commercial banks have to pay interest at this rate, which is like a handling fee, to place funds at the central bank. The measure is expected to stimulate the European economy by encouraging commercial banks to cut back on parking excessive funds at the ECB and instead use the money to finance companies.
 マイナス金利になると、ECBに資金を預けた銀行は「手数料」のように金利を払うことになる。銀行がECBに預けている余剰資金を企業融資に回し、景気を刺激する効果が期待されている。

It also aims to lower interest rate levels in general and redress the strong euro.
 金利水準全体を引き下げ、ユーロ高を是正する狙いもあろう。

The ECB is also to implement a measure to provide low-interest funds to commercial banks for up to four years. It is commendable that the central bank is trying to use every measure at hand to avoid deflation.
 ECBは低利資金を最長4年、民間銀行に供給する措置なども実施する。デフレの回避へ政策を総動員する姿勢は評価できる。

The European economy remains stagnant, though it has overcome the financial and debt crises of Greece and a few other countries.
 欧州経済は、ギリシャなどの金融・債務危機を乗り切ったものの、停滞状態が続く。

The effects of the low growth rate and the strong euro have kept increase rates of commodity prices in the eurozone at less than 1 percent for eight straight months, far lower than the target of near 2 percent.
 低成長とユーロ高の影響で、ユーロ圏の消費者物価上昇率は、「2%近く」としている物価目標を大きく下回り、8か月連続で1%を切っている。

Avoiding a 2nd Japan

If the situation is left unaddressed, the eurozone will become a second Japan, which suffered from a strong yen and depression under deflation for many years. Such concerns are likely to have pushed the ECB to adopt the unconventional monetary easing measure.
 このままでは、長期にわたり円高とデフレ不況に苦しんだ日本の二の舞いになりかねない。そうした危機感が、ECBに異例の緩和策を決断させた理由だろう。

Now attention is focused on whether the latest measure will achieve its intended effects. Not a few economists say the ECB’s policy rate is already close to zero and a further rate reduction will have only a limited effect.
 今後の焦点は、今回の政策が、期待通りの効果を上げるかどうかである。
 ECBの政策金利は、すでにゼロに近く、利下げの効き目は限定的とする見方も少なくない。

It is also said that the introduction of a negative deposit rate will increase the burden on commercial banks and worsen their finances, leading to a minimization of new loans and higher lending rates.
 マイナス金利の導入については、民間銀行の負担が増し、銀行の財務悪化による融資の抑制や、貸出金利上昇などにつながりかねないとの指摘もある。

Finance Minister Taro Aso said he plans to wait to see the outcome of the move. “I still can’t say whether the results will be good or bad,” he said.
 麻生財務相は、「いい結果になるか、悪い結果になるか分からない」と述べ、影響を見極めていく考えを示した。

Some market observers say the ECB will eventually have to resort to full-fledged quantitative monetary-easing measures like the Japanese and U.S. central banks, which have purchased a huge amount of government bonds.
 市場ではECBがいずれ、国債を大量に購入している日本や米国のように、本格的な量的金融緩和策に踏み切らざるを得なくなるとの観測も浮上している。

However, there are many challenges for the ECB to overcome before implementing tangible measures, including deciding what proportion of government bonds would best be held by the central bank—which is responsible for the financial policy of the 18 eurozone countries—in purchasing them from member governments.
 だが、18か国のユーロ圏で金融政策を担っているECBが、各国の国債をどのような比率で購入すればいいのかなど、具体化に向けた難題は少なくない。

The future of the Japanese economy is looking brighter, while the United States, which has recovered its economic growth, is reducing quantitative monetary easing.
 日本経済は明るさを増し、成長の回復した米国は量的金融緩和の縮小を進めている。

The ECB’s policy management capabilities are now being tested on how the growth of the eurozone economy can be recovered to help achieve the stabilization of the global economy.
 世界経済の安定に向けて、欧州の成長をどう回復するか。ECBの政策運営が問われる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 7, 2014)

福島原発汚染水 「凍土壁」だけでは解決しない

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Radioactive water issue cannot be resolved by ice wall project alone
福島原発汚染水 「凍土壁」だけでは解決しない

Tokyo Electric Power Co. has launched the construction of ice walls, a project aimed at curbing the buildup of radioactive water at its crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所の汚染水抑制を目指す「凍土遮水壁」の設置工事が始まった。

Halting the increase of contaminated water is the major task for the moment to end the crisis at the plant. Therefore, the project must be steadily promoted.
 汚染水の増加を食い止めることは、事故収束作業の当面の重要課題だ。着実に前へ進めねばならない。

Pipes to circulate liquid coolants will be buried over a 1.5-kilometer perimeter around the plant’s Nos. 1 to 4 reactor buildings, thereby freezing the soil to a depth of 30 meters below ground to construct ice walls. The government and TEPCO expect the envisaged ice walls to help prevent groundwater from flowing into the reactor buildings, which has caused an increase of contaminated water at the plant.
 1~4号機建屋の周囲1・5キロに冷却材を通す管を埋め込み、地下30メートルまで凍らせて土の壁を築く。政府と東電は、汚染水増加の原因となる建屋への地下水流入を防げると期待している。

Many essential pipes and electrical cables are installed underground around the reactor buildings. If such equipment is accidentally damaged, it could impair the cooling functions of the reactors.
 建屋周辺の地下には、重要な配管や電気ケーブルが数多く埋設されている。これらを誤って傷つければ、原子炉を冷却する機能が損なわれかねない。

Given the high radiation levels at the construction site, it is necessary to minimize workers’ radiation exposure. Due care must be taken in carrying out the work.
 現場は放射線レベルが高く、作業員の被曝ひばくを最小限にとどめる必要もある。作業には細心の注意を払ってもらいたい。

Installation will cost ¥32 billion. The government will bear the cost as a research and development project. Power consumption equivalent to that of 13,000 ordinary households, running more than ¥1 billion annually in simple calculation, will be needed to keep the underground walls frozen.
 凍土壁の設置には、320億円を要する。研究開発事業の名目で政府が費用を負担する。冷却のために消費する電力は、一般家庭の1万3000世帯分、単純計算で年間10億円以上かかる。

Such massive spending aside, the question is whether the ice walls will ensure that groundwater will not flow into the reactor buildings.
 問題は、これだけの巨費を投じた工事で、建屋への地下水流入を確実に抑えられるかだ。

Ice walls have been used as a temporary method of halting the flow of groundwater when tunnels are constructed. The installation of ice walls on the currently planned scale is unprecedented in Japan.
 凍土壁は、トンネル工事の際に地下水を封じ込める臨時の工法として用いられてきた。今回のような規模は国内で例がない。

Fears of subsidence

There are fears that if the soil is not frozen evenly, it could cause subsidence. Experts have warned that if the ice walls melt due to problems with cooling functions, there could be a widespread danger of radioactive water flowing outside the reactor buildings.
 均一に凍らないと、地盤沈下が起きる恐れがある。冷却機能の故障で凍土壁が解けてしまうと、汚染水が建屋から周囲に広がる危険性も指摘されている。

There is no reason to place overly high expectations on the ice walls.
 凍土壁への過度の期待は禁物ということだろう。

Considering the fact that there has been constant trouble with the countermeasures taken so far to deal with radioactive water, it is essential to carry out several measures in parallel.
 これまでの汚染水対策がトラブル続きだったことを踏まえると、複数の対策を同時並行で進めていくことが肝要である。

The amount of contaminated water has increased by 300-400 tons a day. Storage tanks built on the plant’s premises already number about 900, leaving no choice but to assign many workers to maintenance and surveillance duties.
 汚染水は、1日に300~400トンずつ増えている。敷地内の貯蔵タンクはすでに約900基に上り、その保守、監視などに多数の人員を割かざるを得ない。

This hinders work to repair the crippled reactors, which must be given top priority to end the crisis at the plant. This must be taken seriously.
 事故収束へ向けて最優先すべき原子炉の補修作業にも支障が生じている。深刻な状況だ。

Sooner or later, there will be no more sites available for the construction of storage tanks at the plant.
 タンクを設置する場所も早晩、なくなるだろう。

It is vital to reduce the amount of rainwater infiltrating the soil as one of the countermeasures. The decision was made to pave the plant’s site, but little progress has been made due to a delay in land leveling.
 対策の一つとして、地下水の元になる雨水の土壌浸透を減らすことが重要だ。敷地を舗装することが決まっているが、整地に手間取り、ほとんど進んでいない。

Experts have also pointed out the need to purify contaminated water before discharging it into the ocean. But the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) introduced for that purpose has continued to malfunction. It is necessary to achieve stable operation of the ALPS as soon as possible and launch a full-scale study into measures for discharging decontaminated water into the ocean, while seeking to win the support of the local governments and residents concerned.
 汚染水を浄化してから海に放出する必要性も、専門家から指摘されている。だが、浄化装置「ALPS」は故障続きだ。安定稼働を急ぎ、地元の理解を得ながら海洋放出の検討を本格化させたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 6, 2014)

天安門25年―改革になぜ踏み出せぬ

June 04, 2014
EDITORIAL: 25 years after Tiananmen, China must heed calls for democracy
天安門25年―改革になぜ踏み出せぬ

"Remember June 4" is a slogan that is banned in China. But in Hong Kong, Tokyo and other cities around the world, Chinese citizens and their supporters are chanting this mantra.
 6月4日を忘れるな。
 中国で許されぬスローガンを、今年も香港、東京、世界各地で掲げる中国人とその友人がいる。

On June 4 exactly 25 years ago, China's Communist Party regime ordered the military to suppress pro-democracy students who had gathered in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
 民主化を求める学生を中国共産党政権が武力で封じた天安門事件から、25年が過ぎた。

We must never forget this date because the students' demands were absolutely spot on. Another reason is that Beijing is set on erasing the Tiananmen Square bloodbath from history.
 なぜ忘れてはならないのか。彼らが提示した民主化の方向性は正しいからであり、政権が事件を歴史から消そうとしているからである。

Around the time of the crackdown, socialist countries around the world were undergoing painful restructuring of their systems. But the Chinese regime of the time survived the transition, and later spearheaded the country's rapid economic rise.
 あのころ社会主義圏の国々は次々に変革を余儀なくされた。その中で中国の政権はもちこたえ、急速な経済成長を遂げた。

Probably emboldened by this, President Xi Jinping said in a speech during his visit to Europe in April, "Constitutional monarchy, imperial restoration, parliamentarism, a multiparty system and a presidential system, we considered them, tried them, but none worked," adding, "Finally, China took on the path of socialism."
 その自信ゆえか、習近平(シーチンピン)国家主席は4月の訪欧時こう講演した。「立憲君主制、帝政復活、議会制、多党制、大統領制、みな試したがうまくいかない。最後に中国が選んだのが社会主義の道だ」。

But this assertion is nothing more than a simplistic perception of history from the Communist standpoint.
しかしこれは、共産党の観点から歴史を単純化した議論にすぎない。

Now that China has abandoned a planned economy to allow market forces to rule, Xi's brand of socialism comes down to a system that does not tolerate any criticism against single-party rule by the Chinese Communist Party. The ranks of the oppressed do not consist only of political activists and intellectuals. All over China, ordinary citizens are unable to speak out against administrative and judicial corruption involving senior party members.
 計画経済を捨て去った今、習氏のいう社会主義とは、共産党の一党支配への批判を許さぬ体制を意味する。弾圧されているのは活動家や知識人だけではない。各地で、党の幹部が絡んだ行政や司法の不正に庶民が声を上げられずにいる。

But Wang Dan, a leader of the democracy movement who played a prominent role in the Tiananmen Square protest, points out that, as a result of the bloody crackdown, Beijing can no longer ignore the public's awareness for human rights. According to a provision written into the Constitution in 2004, the state "respects and guarantees human rights."
 それでも事件の主役の一人、王丹氏は、「人権」の意識を権力が無視できなくなったという成果を指摘する。04年には憲法に「国家は、人権を尊重し保障する」と書き込まれた。

Former Premier Wen Jiabao used to reiterate that Beijing would gradually expand the public's participation in politics and seek to promote individual freedoms through education.
 前首相の温家宝氏は、政治参加を徐々に広げ、教育によって個人の自由と発展を重視することを度々表明していた。

But the direction seems to have been reversed since Xi came to power. Beijing certainly did not act "normal" when it began clamping down rigorously on activists and their supporters prior to June 4, and even applied pressure on foreign media.
 習政権になってから、それが逆流しているようにみえる。6月4日を前に、活動家らの拘束を徹底し、外国メディアにも圧力をかけてきたのは異常だ。

Over the last 25 years, citizens groups have kept alive their resolve to change politics. The popularization of the Internet has promoted solidarity among citizens, enabling them to keep speaking out despite censorship and oppression. And in urban areas, citizens movements are being organized against factory construction and other issues.
 政治を変えようという意思はこの25年、民間で受け継がれてきた。ネットの普及は市民の連帯を促し、監視や弾圧に屈せず発言を続ける人々がいる。都市部での工場立地反対など、市民運動も芽生えている。

Steadily and surely, the ranks of politically and socially aware Chinese citizens are growing. It has been argued that the intellectual level of the public is still too low for democracy and that democracy is not the right system for China. But such arguments are no longer tenable.
 社会にかかわり、政治を考える人びとの層は着実に厚みを増している。国民の水準が低いとか、国情に合わないといった、民主化尚早論は通用しない。

The Xi regime must heed the voices of the people seeking freedom. It is simply wrong to send people to jail for just criticizing the regime.
 自由を求める民の声に、習政権は耳を傾けねばならない。権力批判の発言だけで投獄するのは正義に反する。

Beijing must allow free speech and accept the people's right to form associations to encourage healthy dissent. By skipping such phases of gradual democratization, China will never become a stable nation.
 言論と結社の自由を認め、健全な批判ができる幅を広げる。そんな民主化の段階的な発展なくして、国の安定はない。

The shouted demands of students of 25 years ago are even more legitimate today. They must never be forgotten.
 四半世紀前の学生らの叫びは今なお価値を増している。決して忘れるわけにはいかない。

--The Asahi Shimbun, June 4

(社説)被爆者の援護 国は争いに終止符を

June 03, 2014
EDITORIAL: Time to make peace with hibakusha A-bomb survivors
(社説)被爆者の援護 国は争いに終止符を

The 69th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is looming. The long-running legal battles between hibakusha survivors of the 1945 attacks and the government should be settled as soon as possible. It is the government that should take the initiative.
 広島、長崎への原爆投下からまもなく69年。被害者と国との争いを一刻も早く終わらせたい。動くべきは国である。

The number of A-bomb survivors who have a hibakusha certificate book issued by the government is expected to fall below 200,000 this year. In recent years, the figure has been declining at an annual rate of more than 8,000. It now stands at around half of its peak in the 1980s.
 国の被爆者健康手帳を持つ人が今年、20万人を割り込む見通しだ。最近は年8千人超のペースで減り、ピークだった80年代のほぼ半分になった。

What should be noted here is that people with the certificate book don’t constitute all the victims of the A-bombings or their aftermath. Some people have not applied for the hibakusha book out of concerns that their families may suffer discrimination because of their radiation-related diseases.
Quite a few others have been denied the certificate book on grounds there is no witness who can testify to the truth of their claims of suffering exposure.
 注意したいのは、手帳を持つ人が原爆被害者のすべてではないということだ。家族への偏見を恐れて手帳を取らない人や、被爆体験を裏付ける証人が見つからずに手帳を取れない人も少なくない。

There are people who received high doses of radiation as a result of the “black rain” that fell on suburbs in Hiroshima after the attack. In Nagasaki, many people were exposed to radiation even though they were not in the designated atomic-bombed area. These people have also demanded the same level of aid as that received by the holders of the hibakusha book, but the government has so far rejected their demands.
 広島郊外で「黒い雨」を浴びた人や長崎周辺の国の指定地域外にいた「被爆体験者」も、手帳所持者と同等の援護を訴えているが、国は拒んだままだ。

Over the past 11 years, A-bomb survivors who have the book have filed a series of lawsuits against the government in an effort to change the system by which hibakusha are judged as suffering from radiation-related illnesses. In most of these suits, the courts have handed down rulings in favor of the plaintiffs. It is rare for the government to suffer such a series of defeats in administrative cases.
 手帳を持つ被爆者たちも11年前から原爆症認定をめぐる裁判を相次いで起こした。行政訴訟では異例なことに、国はほとんど負けた。

In December 2013, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare partially revised its criteria for recognition of atomic bomb diseases. Still, since then, three related court rulings have gone against the government.
厚生労働省は昨年12月、認定基準を一部改めたが、その後もすでに3回、国側敗訴の判決が出ている。

Let us think afresh as to what is the greatest wish of A-bomb survivors.
 もう一度考えてみたい。原爆に遭った人たちが、最も願っていることはなんだろうか。

The Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations, which was established in 1956, is dedicated to the cause of preventing further and future suffering from nuclear weapons. The two key goals of the organization have been the elimination of nuclear arms and support for hibakusha.
 1956年に結成された日本原水爆被害者団体協議会は、核兵器による被害を再び繰り返さないことを目標とし、核兵器廃絶と被爆者援護を運動の二つの柱にしてきた。

The lawsuits concerning official recognition of illnesses caused by A-bomb radiation tend to be seen as attempts to obtain greater support. But that’s not the only purpose.
 原爆症認定訴訟は「援護を手厚く」という要求とみられがちだが、それだけではない。

Hibakusha have urged the Japanese government, which started the war, to recognize correctly the damage caused by the atomic bombings and pay appropriate compensation to the victims because they believe these actions should be a first step in the effort to prevent a recurrence of the tragedy.
 被爆者は、戦争を起こした日本政府が原爆被害の実態を正しく認め、被害者に償うことが、悲劇を繰り返さないための第一歩になる、と訴えてきた。

But the health ministry has limited the eligibility for the government’s hibakusha relief program mostly to people suffering from the effects of exposure to radiation. As for people who are believed to have been exposed to relatively low levels of radiation, the ministry is reluctant to recognize them as A-bomb disease sufferers even if they are showing related symptoms. The ministry has refused to change its stance despite a string of court rulings that criticized its position on the issue as inconsistent with the spirit of the atomic bomb survivor relief law.
 だが厚労省は、救済対象を放射線による健康被害にほぼ限定した。浴びた線量が低いとみられる人たちが病気になっても、原爆症となかなか認めない。こうした線引きが被爆者援護法の趣旨に反するという司法判断が続いても、姿勢を改めようとしない。

Is the government waiting for these people to die? We urge the administration headed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to respond sincerely to the question asked by angry hibakusha. The administration should acknowledge the government’s responsibility and take steps to end the legal battles. A radical revision to the criteria for recognition of A-bomb diseases would be a good place to start.
 「死に絶えるのを待っているのか」という被爆者らの憤りの声に安倍政権は向き合ってほしい。国の責任を認め、争いに幕を引くべきだ。まずは認定基準の抜本改定である。

The inhuman nature of nuclear weapons is attracting serious attention from the international community. If hibakusha, who are living witnesses to the inhuman nature of nuclear arms, and the government of the country that has experienced nuclear attacks can work together harmoniously, such cooperation would contribute greatly to the efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons.
 国際社会では核兵器の非人道性が注目されている。非人道性を身をもって知る被爆者と、被爆国がわだかまりなく共に歩めれば、核兵器廃絶に向け、このうえない力になるはずだ。

Abe is expected to visit the two cities this summer once again. Boilerplate speeches and superficial conversations will be meaningless. Abe needs to pay serious attention to the true wishes of hibakusha and take action immediately in response to their voices.
 安倍首相はこの夏も被爆地を訪れることになろう。通り一遍の対話では意味がない。被爆者らの真の願いに耳を傾け、ただちに行動をとってもらいたい。

--The Asahi Shimbun, June 3

(社説)給食と牛乳 望ましい食事とは何か

June 02, 2014
EDITORIAL: Removal of milk from school lunches sparks debate over dietary habits
(社説)給食と牛乳 望ましい食事とは何か

Milk doesn’t go well with Japanese cuisine, called “washoku,” does it? This simple question has provoked a heated controversy over school lunch menus.
 和食に牛乳は合わないのでは――そんな素朴な問いかけが、思わぬ反響を呼んでいる。

Sanjo, a city in Niigata Prefecture known as a rice production area, has decided to stop serving milk in its school lunches for four months from December this year on a trial basis. The decision represents a departure from a national tradition. School meals in this country almost always are served with milk.
 米どころで知られる新潟県の三条市が、学校給食につきものだった牛乳を試験的に停止すると決めた。

Sanjo’s decision was a response to complaints by parents that milk doesn’t fit in well with the washoku meals featuring mainly locally produced rice and vegetables that had begun to be offered at schools in the city.
地元の米や野菜を使った和食中心の給食を提供し始めたところ、保護者らから「牛乳と合わない」の声が出たことがきっかけだった。

The menu for one day in May, for example, consisted of Japanese royal ferns and bamboo shoots boiled slowly in soy broth, a trout that has been sprinkled with salt and broiled, white rice steamed with red adzuki beans, plus green peas and clear soup with steamed egg custard.
 例えば、5月のある日の献立はこんなふうだ。ぜんまいと筍(たけのこ)の煮しめ、マスの塩焼き、豆入り赤飯、卵豆腐入りすまし汁。

Even such traditional Japanese-style meals are always served with milk at school.
こんな昔ながらの和食にも、必ず牛乳がつく。

This is a tradition that started soon after the end of World War II when powdered skim milk began to be served at schools nationwide. Since then, milk has been an essential part of school lunches in this country.
学校給食では、戦後始まった脱脂粉乳の提供以来、当たり前の風景だ。

Sanjo’s move, which has been seen as a rebel against convention, has brought on spirited debates over the pros and cons in discussion forums on the Internet and in TV talk shows.
 それだけに、常識を覆す試みとしてネットやテレビなどで賛否両論がうずまいた。

Proponents say Japanese-style meals should be served with miso soup and green tea. But critics argue that this is a matter of personal preference.
 「やはり和食にはみそ汁、お茶」と賛同する声の一方で、個人の好みの問題だと反発の声が上がる。

Some people voice nutritional concerns that the elimination of milk from school lunch menus could result in calcium deficiency among children in their growth periods. But others contend that milk doesn’t suit the physical makeup of Japanese.
栄養面でも「成長期の子がカルシウム不足になる」と懸念する人がいれば、「そもそも牛乳は日本人の体質に合わない」と主張する人もいる。

Lurking behind this milk controversy, it seems, are the anxiety and doubts that Japanese people are feeling about their dietary habits despite the abundance of food in this country.
 背景には、豊富な食事情の裏で、人々が抱える不安や迷いがひそんでいるのではないか。

The history of school lunches in Japan dates to the Meiji Era (1868-1912). Originally, they were intended for students from poor families who were unable to bring their own lunches to school.
 日本初の学校給食は、弁当を持参できない貧しい生徒のため、明治時代に始まった。

A typical menu was made up of rice balls, grilled fish and pickles. Such frugal meals were common among Japanese households in those days.
おにぎりに焼き魚、漬物。家庭でもこんな素朴な献立が当たり前だった。

As the Japanese economy started growing rapidly after the war, triggering the massive migration of the rural population to urban areas, the nation’s culinary tradition began to fade amid a plethora of foodstuffs of all kinds, from high-end items to junk food. Since that era, a growing number of Japanese have become confused by a flood of information for fine food lovers and health conscious consumers.
それが高度成長期に入り人々が都会に集中し始めると、高級品からジャンクフードまであらゆる食べ物があふれる一方で、食の伝統は細り、グルメ情報や健康情報に振り回されて右往左往する人が増えはじめた。

The situation appears to have increased public expectations for school lunches, which have a good nutritional balance.
 だからこそ、栄養バランスが取れた学校給食に対する期待が高いのだろう。

Let us stop to think what desirable meals mean in the first place.
 立ち止まって考えたい。望ましい食事とはいったい何か。

The news that washoku was added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list in December 2013 is still fresh in our memory.
 ユネスコの無形文化遺産に「和食」が登録されたことは記憶に新しい。

That means Japanese culinary culture, which makes the most of fresh food in season grown in a favorable natural environment, has been internationally recognized as healthy and delicious.
豊かな風土で育まれた季節の素材を生かした食文化が、ヘルシーでおいしいと世界的な評価を受けた。

The key question is not whether milk goes well with Japanese food. Milk is an efficient source of calcium that has contributed significantly to the physical development of Japanese children as it has been served with school lunches.
 肝心なのは牛乳の是非論ではなかろう。牛乳は効率の良いカルシウム源で、給食を通じて子の成長に寄与してきた。

But food is not a supplement. Another major cause of the calcium deficiency among Japanese is the decline of the traditional diet, which contains fish or sesame.
だが食品はサプリメントではない。日本人のカルシウム不足は、魚やゴマなどを取る伝統的な食生活が失われたことも大きい。

To make up for the elimination of milk from school lunches, Sanjo is tweaking other elements of the menu, such as the amount of rice and the contents of dishes accompanying the rice, to ensure the meals contain all the necessary nutrients.
 牛乳をなくした分、米の量やおかずの内容を工夫して、米どころらしい献立で必要な栄養を満たす。

We are willing to see how the city’s attempt to develop a well-balanced menu that reflects its reputation as a major rice production area will pan out.
そんな三条市の試みに、素直に注目したい。

That’s because truly luxurious meals may be something we are quite familiar with.
本当にぜいたくな食事とは、実は私たちの身近なところにあるのかもしれないのだから。

--The Asahi Shimbun, June 1

首相アジア演説 積極平和主義の実行が重要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:44 pm, June 01, 2014
Abe’s Singapore address stresses need for ‘proactive contribution to peace’
首相アジア演説 積極平和主義の実行が重要だ

To ensure freedom of navigation and overflights in Asia and the maintenance of the rule of law in the region, Japan must pursue to the fullest a policy of engagement and international contribution. How the country addresses the challenge will be a key touchstone to Japan’s “proactive contribution to peace” being upheld by the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
 アジアにおける航行・飛行の自由や法の支配を実現するため、日本は、最大限の関与と貢献をすべきだ。安倍政権の「積極的平和主義」の重要な試金石となろう。

On Friday, Abe delivered a keynote address titled “Peace and prosperity in Asia, forevermore” at the Asia Security Summit being held in Singapore.
 安倍首相が、シンガポールで開催中のアジア安全保障会議で、「アジアの平和と繁栄よ永遠なれ」と題して基調講演を行った。

In the speech, he emphasized the importance of peaceful solutions to international disputes based on international law and not dependent on the use or threat of force. Abe also expressed his support for the idea of upgrading the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to a legally binding code of conduct.
 力や威圧に頼らない、国際法に基づく紛争の平和的解決の重要性を強調した。中国と東南アジア諸国連合(ASEAN)の南シナ海行動宣言を拘束力のある行動規範に格上げすることも支持した。

Abe’s reference to the declaration was made in light of the current confrontation between China and Vietnam concerning the sovereignty over the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.
 南シナ海・パラセル(西沙)諸島の領有権を巡る中国とベトナムの対立を念頭に置いた主張だ。

China has unilaterally started oil-drilling operations in disputed waters near the islands, and caused a Vietnamese fishing boat to sink in a collision with a Chinese fishing vessel.
 中国は一方的に石油掘削を開始したばかりか、漁船の衝突によりベトナム漁船を沈没させた。

These are in the same vein as Beijing’s efforts to consolidate changes to the status quo through such means as the unilateral establishment in November 2013 of an air defense identification zone and having two Chinese fighter jets fly extraordinarily close to two Self-Defense Forces planes on May 24.
 東シナ海に防空識別圏を設定したうえ、戦闘機を自衛隊機に異常接近させ、既成事実化を図ろうとする手法と同様のものだ。

To stem China’s attempts to “change the status quo through force,” it is imperative for this country to work closely with the United States and ASEAN member countries to tenaciously push China into restraining its behavior.
 中国の「力による現状変更」の試みを阻止するためには、日本は、米国やASEAN各国と緊密に連携し、中国に粘り強く自制を促すことが欠かせない。

Expand multilateral framework

In the keynote address, Abe unveiled a proposal for reinvigorating the East Asia Summit in which 18 countries—including Japan, the United States and China—have taken part, while calling for the creation of a permanent organization aimed at studying methods of multilayered collaboration between the EAS, the ASEAN Regional Forum and defense ministerial meetings in Asia.
 首相は講演で、日米中など18か国が参加する東アジア首脳会議(EAS)の活性化や、EASとASEAN地域フォーラム(ARF)、アジア国防相会議との重層的な連携を検討するための常設組織の設置を提案した。

For the purpose of crafting a set of international rules for regional security and pressing China to abide by the rules, Abe’s aim of beefing up the framework for multilateral consultations of the region, including China, should be deemed reasonable.
 地域の安全保障の国際ルールを策定し、中国に順守を迫るため、中国を含む多国間協議の枠組みを強化する狙いは適切だろう。

The country should continue its diplomatic efforts to obtain understanding from countries concerned through a series of talks to realize Abe’s proposals toward an ARF meeting scheduled for this summer and an EAS meeting scheduled for autumn.
 今夏のARFや今秋のEASに向けて、首相提案を具体化するため、関係国との協議を重ねて理解を求める外交努力を続けたい。

It is also important to help boost the maritime security capabilities of Southeast Asian countries.
 東南アジア各国の海上保安能力を高めることも大切である。

Abe, for that matter, expressed in the keynote speech Japan’s readiness to provide Vietnam with coast guard patrol ships, in addition to making a similar pledge to Indonesia and the Philippines.
 首相は、インドネシア、フィリピンに続き、ベトナムにも巡視船を供与する意向を表明した。

The prime minister also indicated Japan’s plans to enhance defense equipment cooperation with ASEAN members through arms exports for such purposes as search and rescue operations, warning and surveillance, and transport on the basis of the three principles on transfer of defense equipment and technology that the government adopted in April.
 4月に決定した防衛装備移転3原則に基づき、救難、警戒監視、輸送などを目的とする武器輸出を通じてASEAN各国との装備協力を進める考えも示した。

Extending support for ASEAN in the field of security to make contributions to peace in Asia will surely be conducive to helping ensure Japan’s own peace and security. Achieving a “proactive contribution to peace” is of key significance.
 安全保障分野でASEANを支援し、アジアの平和に貢献することは、日本自身の平和と安全の確保に役立つ。「積極的平和主義」を具体化することが重要だ。

It is also of great importance for Japan to heighten the effectiveness of supporting ASEAN through cooperation with the United States, rather than acting single-handedly. In addition, efforts are needed to expand the country’s assistance to ASEAN not only in material terms such as the provision of patrol boats, but also nonmaterial aspects such as helping to train and nurture coast guard service personnel.
 日本単独でなく、米国とも協力し、ASEAN支援の効果を高めることが大切だ。巡視船供与などハード面に限らず、沿岸警備隊員の研修・育成などソフト面の支援を拡充することも求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 1, 2014)

維新の会分裂 野党再編は政策本位で進めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:07 pm, May 30, 2014
Split of Ishin no Kai must lead to policy-based opposition realignment
維新の会分裂 野党再編は政策本位で進めよ

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party)—the party that has so far been at the core of the so-called third force in the Diet—will soon be split in two.
 第3極勢力の中核だった日本維新の会が分裂する。

Given the deepening intraparty schism over how it should address the challenge of realigning the opposition camp and handle basic policy affairs, the breakup of Ishin no Kai should be seen as a natural consequence of the course of things.
野党再編の進め方や基本政策で足並みが乱れてきた以上、当然の帰結と言えよう。

In a meeting on Wednesday, party coleaders Shintaro Ishihara and Toru Hashimoto agreed to split Ishin no Kai. Following the breakup, Ishin no Kai members will likely form new parties that separately center around Ishihara and Hashimoto.
 維新の会の石原慎太郎、橋下徹両共同代表が会談し、維新の会を「分党」することで一致した。石原、橋下両氏を中心に、それぞれ新たな政党を作ると見られる。

What triggered the split was the issue of a party merger—an idea initiated by Hashimoto—with minor opposition party Yui no To.
 分裂の引き金は、橋下氏が主導する結いの党との合流問題だ。

Ishihara demanded that an agreement on the “creation of a new Constitution truly based on the will of the people” be explicitly incorporated into a policy platform that would be adopted in the merger of the two parties. Yui no To leader Kenji Eda, however, opposed Ishihara’s demand, which Eda pointed out could hamper moves for rallying a broad range of opposition forces. The two parties’ merger consultations therefore reached a stalemate.
 石原氏は、結いとの政策合意に「自主憲法制定」の明記を求めたが、結いの江田代表は、幅広い野党結集の妨げとなると反対した。協議は行き詰まっていた。

In a news conference after the talks with Hashimoto, Ishihara said he felt a “major, unbridgeable gap” regarding how to handle such key issues as constitutional revision and the nation’s right to collective self-defense. As Hashimoto has made the merger with Yui no To a top priority, the split of Ishin no Kai was inevitable.
 石原氏は記者会見で、憲法や集団的自衛権の扱いに関し、結いと「大きな齟齬そごを感じた」と語った。橋下氏が結いとの合流を優先したため、分裂はやむを得ない。

Ishin no Kai was founded in September 2012 by Hashimoto and his associates. It subsequently merged with Taiyo no To (The Sunrise Party) led by Ishihara. After the merger, the party gained notable headway with Ishihara and Hashimoto as a prominent duo in the House of Representatives election in December 2012, but it fared poorly in last year’s House of Councillors election.
 維新の会は2012年9月、橋下氏らが結成し、その後、石原氏率いる旧太陽の党が合流した。両氏を二枚看板に12年12月の衆院選では躍進したが、昨年の参院選は振るわなかった。

Past conflicts

While Ishihara is in favor of forging ahead with nuclear power generation, Hashimoto and his followers have been steadfast in pursuing a policy of “reducing to zero” the nation’s reliance on nuclear power. There were often “east-west conflicts” over energy policies and other major issues between backers of Osaka-based Hashimoto and those supporting Ishihara and his mostly Tokyo-based allies.
 石原氏は原発を推進する立場なのに対し、橋下氏らは「原発ゼロ」を持論としている。党内では、エネルギー政策などを巡る「東西対立」が絶えなかった。

The recent breakup can be said to be the price for a political marriage of convenience that placed priority on electoral tactics while disregarding policy differences.
 今回の分裂は、政策の違いに目をつむり、選挙戦術を優先して合流したツケが回ったと言える。

Moves to realign the opposition parties appear likely to accelerate. Both Hashimoto and Eda have said they will jointly launch a new party as early as July to waste no time in preparing for unified local elections in spring 2015.
 今後は、野党再編が加速しよう。橋下、江田両氏は7月にも新党を作り、来春の統一地方選に向けた準備を急ぎたいとしている。

Hashimoto has been stressing the necessity of marshaling opposition parties to join forces against the Liberal Democratic Party. He is poised to call for part of the Democratic Party of Japan and Your Party members to join his envisaged new party.
 橋下氏は、自民党に対抗するため、野党結集の必要性を強調する。民主党やみんなの党の一部にも新党参加を呼び掛ける構えだ。

The DPJ, for its part, is said to be unable to sit on the fence regarding the unfolding situation. In the largest opposition party, there have been voices calling for the resignation of Banri Kaieda as party head due to his lack of leadership. The split of Ishin no Kai may lend an impetus to antileadership moves within the DPJ.
 民主党も、傍観してはいられまい。党内では、海江田代表は指導力に欠けるとして、辞任を求める声が出ている。維新の分裂が、民主党内の反執行部の動きを後押しする可能性もある。

Meanwhile, Ishihara is set to seek constitutional revision, with an eye on eventually working in tandem with the LDP. He is also expected to probe for opportunities to cooperate with Your Party, whose security policy is similar to Ishihara’s.
 一方、石原氏は、将来の自民党との連携を視野に、憲法改正の実現を目指す意向だ。安全保障の考え方が近いみんなの党との協力も模索すると見られる。

In making efforts to realign the opposition camp, it is of key importance to ensure that political ideals and key policies are shared among the parties involved.
 肝心なのは、野党再編を進める際に、政治理念や政策を共有することだ。

Even after its split, Ishin no Kai should never be neglectful of its role as a “responsible opposition party,” or a party in opposition that is prepared to extend cooperation to the ruling camp on policies that are considered appropriate.
維新の会は分裂後も、合致する政策については政権と協力する「責任野党」の立場を忘れるべきではあるまい。

In the Diet, the David and Goliath scenario has remained unchanged, with the LDP dominating since the upper house election in summer 2013.
 昨夏の参院選以降、自民党だけが突出した「1強多弱」の状況が続く。

The opposition parties have failed to ramp up their presence.
野党は存在感を示せていない。

The opposition camp must play its role of maintaining tension in the political arena by adequately pointing out problematic issues with policies being steered by the government and the ruling parties.
政府・与党の政策の問題点を指摘し、政治に緊張感を持たせる役割を果たさねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 30, 2014)

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2009年の9月15日に脳梗塞を発症、右手が少し不自由になりました。
MRAで脳梗塞の部位を特定でき、素早い処置をとれたので大事に至りませんでした。
快復にむけてリハビリ中です。
(2011/01/01更新)

■自己紹介・リンク

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[ 名前 ]
松井 清 (スラチャイ)

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