(社説)ミサイル発射 日朝協議でも説得を

July 29, 2014
EDITORIAL: Japan must tell North Korea that its provocations are pointless
(社説)ミサイル発射 日朝協議でも説得を

North Korea has kept up a series of provocative missile launches this year. In its latest test, apparently a political gesture, North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan off its eastern coast on July 26.

North Korea's history of reckless tests of nuclear weapons and missiles caused the U.N. Security Council to tighten international sanctions against the secretive regime.

Even a short-range missile test is enough to antagonize the international community and deepen Pyongyang's diplomatic isolation. It's time that North Korea came to grips with the absurdity of its actions.

Politically, North Korea appears to be trying to exert pressure on the government of South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

The Park administration has been beset by a string of serious accidents, crimes and scandals at home, and North Korea seems intent on gaining the upper hand ahead of talks it must have with South Korea sooner or later.

The Park administration has pledged to make efforts to improve the North-South relationship but maintained a hard-line stance toward Pyongyang. This policy has not gone down well in North Korea and blighted prospects for dialogue between the two countries.

North Korea has shown that its missiles can reach any part of South Korea. In the meantime, it has announced its intention to send athletes and cheerleaders to the Asian Games in September. The multisport event is slated to be held in South Korea's northwestern city of Incheon.

The North has said a “peaceful environment” needs to be created for its participation, implying that it wants scheduled joint military exercises involving the United States and South Korea in August to be called off. The North Korean regime is trying to put pressure on the Park administration by using both a hard and a soft approach.

As it is pursues this diplomatic strategy, North Korea may be seeking to make tactical use of its talks with Japan over Pyongyang’s past abductions of Japanese citizens and other issues.

Pyongyang’s recent missile tests should be considered also as a tactical move to achieve certain diplomatic objectives concerning relations among Tokyo, Washington and Seoul.

The Japanese government lodged a protest against the missile tests, but intends to continue holding talks with the North after concluding that they did not pose any immediate threat to Japanese territory or the general population.
But the North’s actions have different security implications for South Korea.

That is why both the United States and South Korea are casting a wary eye on Japan’s plan to continue talks with Pyongyang. At the same time, they have expressed their understanding of Tokyo’s motive.

The relationship between Japan and South Korea remains deeply strained mainly over differences in their views about history-related issues and a territorial dispute. If the two countries fail to put up a united front in dealing with North Korea, they risk playing right into Pyongyang’s hands.

Viewed from another angle, it can be said that Japan is currently the only country that is able to engage in direct, head-on diplomatic talks with the secluded regime in Pyongyang. In the bilateral talks on trying to resolve the abduction issue, Tokyo should keep urging Pyongyang to stop provocative acts like missile launches.

There is speculation that North Korea's foreign minister, Ri Su Yong, will attend a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Myanmar next month. The conference may offer a rare opportunity for Japan to communicate with a high-level official of North Korea.

Japan needs to use its official talks with North Korea wisely in its tenacious efforts to make the regime realize that military provocation is not in its best interest.

--The Asahi Shimbun, July 29

(社説)再エネと地域 「主権」育てる好機に

EDITORIAL: Renewable energy promotion a good opportunity to nurture local ‘sovereignty’
(社説)再エネと地域 「主権」育てる好機に

A recent survey jointly conducted by The Asahi Shimbun and Hitotsubashi University has found that 80 percent of municipalities throughout the country that responded to the questionnaire are willing to promote renewable energies for regional development.

More than three years have passed since the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. During the period, the local governments have been “deepening” their efforts from moves to review power sources to attempts to reconstruct their areas by themselves.

For example, some municipalities are using the revenue earned from the sale of electricity to electric power companies to operate welfare facilities. Others are increasing local employment by setting up companies to maintain power generation facilities. The number of power plants established by collecting funds from citizens and others in their local areas apparently exceeds 500.

If electricity sales are liberalized in the future, consumers will be able to choose their electric power company or sources of the electricity when they purchase it. To prepare for such a time, some producers in the agricultural, fishery or forestry industries are considering selling electricity directly to consumers in distant areas along with their products.

There are also some moves that go beyond conventional economic activities.

In Minami-Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, which was affected by the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, an organization is operating not only a solar power plant but also a vegetable farm using electricity from the plant. In addition, it is offering learning opportunities to children in those facilities.

The organization’s representative director, Eiju Hangai, is a former director of Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant. Minami-Soma is his hometown. Reflecting on the nuclear accident, he started the project. His purpose is to nurture people who think and act for themselves through learning of the mechanism of electricity and how to use it.

So far, the development of electricity sources has tended to separate “people who generate electricity” from “those who use it.” In particular, nuclear power has been generated for urban areas where large amounts of electricity are consumed. Places that can serve as good locations to host nuclear power plants have been limited. Therefore, municipalities that can receive benefits from those plants have also been limited.

As for regional development, local governments have so far asked big companies to set up factories in their areas or implemented public works projects with subsidies. One of the typical cases was to ask for construction of nuclear power plants.

Renewable energies have a technical problem from the standpoint of a stable electricity supply. The feed-in-tariff system, in which electric power companies have to buy electricity from renewable energy producers at fixed prices, also has a defect because consumers have to pay higher electricity rates unless costs to develop electricity sources decline.

In spite of that, renewable energies that can be obtained easily in local areas will become catalysts to nurture “sovereignty” in those areas by changing the traditional way of thinking.

If municipalities promote renewable energy projects, they will face various problems and differences of opinions among residents. How will they overcome those difficulties and obtain understanding from them? It will be testing sites for “small democracies.”

A growing number of people are thinking about energies from the context of their areas and lives. We want to support such a move.

--The Asahi Shimbun, July 27

ガザ流血拡大 本格停戦への道筋を探りたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Concessions needed on both sides to secure durable Gaza ceasefire
ガザ流血拡大 本格停戦への道筋を探りたい

The United States, European countries and the United Nations should act in concert with Middle East nations capable of exercising influence over the warring parties to bring about a long-lasting cessation to ongoing hostilities.

The shedding of blood has been escalating in the conflict between Hamas, the militant Islamic group that dominates the Gaza Strip, which is part of the Palestine autonomous territories, and Israel. Although both sides temporarily reached a brief ceasefire in the fighting, there are no immediate prospects at all for an end to the conflict.

In addition to air strikes, Israeli troops have launched a ground offensive in Gaza. This operation is aimed at finding and destroying Hamas’ large number of underground tunnels crisscrossing the Gaza border. This is because the tunnel network has been exploited for firing rockets and across-the-border assaults by Hamas militants against Israel.

As many tunnels have been constructed beneath residential and other civilian facilities, a large number of civilians have been killed. This is a matter of grave concern. The number of people who have been killed on both sides since Israel began its offensive on July 8 has reportedly passed 1,000.

The United Nations has strongly condemned the Israeli offensive in which hospitals, schools and evacuation facilities have been attacked, as well as the despicable means Hamas has of employing civilians as human shields in the conflict, as both possibly “amounting to war crimes.”

Israel, which has a firepower overwhelmingly superior to that of Hamas, justifies its offensive as “exercising our right of self-defense.” This is hardly reasonable. At the very least, Israel must avoid attacking civilian facilities. Hamas, for its part, must promptly stop responses that treat human life lightly.

More efforts essential

Such figures as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon have continued to mediate the situation. On top of their efforts, cooperation not only from the two Arab countries with diplomatic relations with Israel—Egypt and Jordan—but also from countries with influence over Hamas, such as Qatar and Turkey, is indispensable for resolving the crisis.

With many regions in the Middle East being thrown into turmoil because of the civil wars in Syria and Iraq, countries in the environs of Israel and the Gaza Strip have been unable to unite in halting the Gaza conflict. The influence of Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah-Sissi, who has regarded Hamas with hostility for years, is considered limited.

Prior to the latest 12-hour humanitarian truce, Kerry came out with a proposal for a seven-day lull in fighting so consultations could be held to realize a full-fledged accord on a prolonged ceasefire.

Both Israel and Hamas turned down the proposal, but the United States and other countries concerned should persevere. They should tenaciously consider ways to work out a plan acceptable to both Israel and Hamas.

To put a full-scale truce in place, concessions on both sides are essential, with a guarantee of Israel’s security on one hand and steps to help rebuild Gaza, a chronically impoverished region because of a seven-year-long economic blockade by Israel, on the other. The impasse can never be resolved by military power alone.

The fact that Israel and Hamas reached an accord on the truce from a humanitarian viewpoint is praiseworthy, even though it is only for 12 hours. The pause in fighting makes it possible for Gaza residents, including those who have been wounded, to evacuate to safer areas and stock up on such supplies as food and medicine.

Although there is little room for optimism over what lies ahead, the mutual concessions Israel and Hamas demonstrated this time should be made the first step toward a breakthrough for resolving the Gaza crisis.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 27, 2014)

朴・舛添会談 国民の心を遠ざけたのは誰か

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Who caused alienation in hearts of Japanese, South Korean people?
朴・舛添会談 国民の心を遠ざけたのは誰か

It was regrettable to see South Korean President Park Geun-hye continue her anti-Japan position of unilaterally criticizing this nation when she met Tokyo Gov.

Yoichi Masuzoe for talks in Seoul on Friday.

Park stressed that the deterioration in Japan-South Korean relations stemmed from the “words and acts of some politicians,” and added that it was necessary for the two nations to share a correct perception of history if they want their relationship to develop. These comments are a repetition of her pet opinion critical of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s historical perception.

Park also indicated that she would put top priority on solving the issue of so-called comfort women, which she said was “a matter related to universal human rights.”

Ahead of Masuzoe’s talks with Park, Abe asked him to convey a message to the president. The message said, “The door for dialogue is always open,” indicating his desire to hold a bilateral summit meeting. Park’s comments, however, can be taken to show her continued determination to make the settlement of the comfort women issue and other issues a precondition for meeting with Abe.

Park did hail an exchange project under consideration between Tokyo and Seoul and supported a plan for parties concerned to cooperate in hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

But such exchanges will inevitably be limited under this abnormal situation, in which Park has been refusing to meet Abe ever since she was inaugurated nearly 1½ years ago.

Park part of the problem

“It’s regrettable that a difficult political situation seems to be alienating [Japanese and South Korean] people’s hearts from each other,” Park said during her talk with Masuzoe. We found it odd for her to speak as if she were not a party to this problem.

Her backbiting diplomacy of criticizing Japan in front of foreign dignitaries has provoked ire in Japan. What does she think about her own responsibility for this?

After the March summit meeting among Japan, the United States and South Korea, which was mediated by U.S. President Barack Obama, Tokyo and Seoul started talks by foreign affairs officials at the director general level.

The South Korean officials are seeking concessions from their Japanese counterparts over the comfort women issue, while the Japanese side took up the issue of lawsuits filed by South Koreans conscripted to work in factories in Japan during World War II. No progress has been made in their talks.

Early this month, a Seoul hotel abruptly refused to provide a venue for an event commemorating the inauguration of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces, in response to a flood of protests it received after an influential South Korean newspaper blasted the event.

This was a result of Park spreading anti-Japanese sentiment throughout South Korean society.

What should not be overlooked is her stance of joining forces with China’s leadership over historical issues. During her talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Park and Xi jointly expressed alarm over recent progress in Japan-North Korean talks.

In addition to North Korean issues, there are many issues that require cooperation between Japan and South Korea, including the conclusion of a bilateral economic partnership agreement and the implementation of measures to deal with air pollution from China. We wonder if Park believes no efforts are necessary to break the impasse over bilateral relations.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 26, 2014)

中国期限切れ肉 外資企業にも及んだ背信行為

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Expired meat scandal in China a betrayal of Japan’s safety efforts
中国期限切れ肉 外資企業にも及んだ背信行為

Yet again, a problem that greatly damages the trustworthiness of Chinese-made food products has been exposed. This is a matter of enormous concern.

Shanghai Husi Food Co., a Shanghai-based subsidiary of a major U.S. food processing company, was revealed to have shipped meat products that had passed their expiration dates.

As a result, McDonald’s Co. (Japan) and leading convenience store chain FamilyMart Co., both of which had imported chicken meat from Husi Food, have been forced to suspend sales of some of their products.

 Chinese police authorities have concluded that the selling of meat past its sell-by date was the result of illegal production led by Husi Food’s management. They detained five people, including the factory’s quality manager. The full scope of the situation must be elucidated promptly.

According to the Chinese TV reports that revealed the meat shipping irregularities, the Husi Food factory repackaged meat products that had been returned unsold by turning them into ground meat. The chicken meat, which investigators said required frozen storage, was handled in a warehouse at room temperature.

Regarding the mixing of out-of-date meat into ordinary ground meat, one factory employee was quoted as making the remarkable assertion, “People won’t die from consuming expired foods.” That sentiment is emblematic of the many words and deeds pointing to the total moral failure at food-processing facilities, where the safety of consumers should have been the absolute top priority.

In a 2008 incident in China, baby formula was tainted with a toxic chemical, affecting the health of about 300,000 babies and toddlers. There has been a seemingly uninterrupted stream of food-related problems in China, including the revelation last year of the distribution of rice contaminated with cadmium.

 The tendency to disregard consumers’ health and put profits ahead of all else is likely behind this succession of problems.

Dependence on China foods

 The Chinese public is extremely dissatisfied with this state of affairs, in which the need for safe food receives little scrutiny. The leadership of the Chinese Communist Party administration, eager to ensure the stability of society, may have found it necessary to hurriedly launch law enforcement investigations into the latest food scandal, aiming to demonstrate the government’s intent to clamp down rigorously on such wrongdoing.

What cannot be ignored in the Husi Food case is that the illegal production occurred at the factory of a foreign-capitalized company—one generally believed to operate in a relatively safe manner compared to Chinese-run firms.

A deliberate poisoning incident in 2008, in which an employee at a Chinese food firm laced frozen gyoza dumplings with pesticide, spurred food processing companies affiliated with Japanese food firms and trading houses to redouble their efforts to enforce strong quality control and ensure the maintenance of a high standard of food safety. In recent years, food imports to Japan from China have been steadily growing.

This incident at Husi Food is an unmistakable betrayal of the work of many on the Japanese side and throws cold water on their food quality crusade.

 The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry has ordered the suspension of food imports from Shanghai Husi Food. Over the past year, Japan’s chicken meat imports from the company totaled 6,000 tons. Thorough probes must be conducted to determine whether the firm had previously shipped expired meat, to help alleviate customers’ anxiety.

The continued existence of Japan’s food industries relies on low-priced ingredients produced in China.

Companies importing Chinese goods must strengthen their inspection and supervision systems, working from the assumption that people should be deemed dishonest by nature when it comes to food processing in China. These companies may have to take such measures as arranging regular factory visits by officials from Japan for safety checks and installing security cameras in factories.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 25, 2014)

撃墜非難決議 国際調査にはまだ障害がある

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Despite UNSC resolution, investigation of MH17 downing still faces obstacles
撃墜非難決議 国際調査にはまだ障害がある

To ensure that the truth behind this tragic incident can be quickly determined, all parties involved in the conflict and other nations that have a stake in the matter, including Russia, should positively cooperate with an international investigation team.

The U.N. Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution condemning the shooting down of a Malaysian Airlines passenger plane over eastern Ukraine last week.

The resolution called on all states to cooperate fully with efforts to ensure that those responsible for this incident will be held to account. It demanded that pro-Russian militant groups that control the area where the plane came down immediately provide international investigators “safe, secure, full and unrestricted access to the site” and “refrain from any actions that may compromise the integrity of the crash site.”

In the days after the airliner was shot down, armed rebels brazenly interfered with investigators’ efforts to examine the crash site and removed bodies of the victims. Some of their actions appeared to constitute tampering with evidence, such as their quick retrieval of the black boxes that contain flight data and records of communications between the flight crew and others.

The Security Council’s adoption of a legally binding resolution demanding the correction of these actions is significant.

The militants accepted the resolution and have handed two black boxes to Malaysian authorities. They have also relented on their initial refusal to hand over the victims’ bodies. Although this has come far too late, they are steps in the right direction.

Ukraine and the United States have criticized the Russian military’s involvement in this incident, including its provision of surface-to-air missiles to the pro-Russian militants. Their accusations are backed by evidence, including satellite images of the missile launch and intercepted conversations and communications between the militants after the plane was shot down.

Onus on Moscow

As the main supporter of the rebels, Russia has an important role to play in the investigation.

Moscow supported the resolution in an apparent bid to avoid becoming internationally isolated at a time when Britain, France and Germany are considering tightening sanctions on Russia as anti-Russia sentiment grows in Europe, where most of the passengers on Flight MH17 came from.

However, there is no guarantee efforts to unravel the truth will progress smoothly. Russia continues to say one thing while it does another.

Although Moscow has indicated its willingness to cooperate with the investigation, it still denies involvement in the incident. It has lambasted Ukraine for permitting civilian aircraft to fly through airspace over a conflict zone as “criminal,” and also has been trying to shift the blame for the downing of the Malaysia Airlines plane.

We think Russian President Vladimir Putin has a responsibility to exercise the influence he wields over the armed groups and supply whatever information he possesses to ensure the international investigation team can get to the bottom of what really happened.

The investigation will clarify whether the claims made by Washington and Moscow have reason on their side. The International Civil Aviation Organization and nations caught up in this incident must ensure that a fair, transparent investigation can be conducted.

The Security Council resolution also demanded that all military activities immediately cease in the area surrounding the crash site. Using this opportunity, the Ukrainian military and the pro-Russian armed groups should refrain from hostilities and work toward an immediate ceasefire.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 23, 2014)

BRICS開銀 欧米主導への対抗軸となるか

What are the Bretton Woods Institutions?
The Bretton Woods Institutions are the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). They were set up at a meeting of 43 countries in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, USA in July 1944.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Can BRICS bank be counterweight to current intl financial order?
BRICS開銀 欧米主導への対抗軸となるか

A recent announcement by the BRICS countries, which have grown in economic stature, can be considered a demonstration of a stance that rivals the international financial order led by the United States and European countries.

The BRICS emerging economies—Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa—decided at a recent group summit to create a new development bank.

The new bank is intended to fund infrastructure projects in emerging economies and developing countries, with each of the five countries contributing $10 billion. The bank will be headquartered in Shanghai, and its first president will be from India.

In addition to the planned development bank, the BRICS countries have also agreed to create a joint foreign reserve fund of $100 billion. The fund will assist these countries, by providing a well of foreign currency at the time of a future financial crisis.

With their growing presence, the attempt by these economies to take on important roles in assisting developing countries and maintaining the international financial order warrants recognition.

Behind the creation of the new development bank lies a strong sense of discontent among emerging and developing countries over the current U.S.- and Europe-led international financial order.

The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have long contributed to the world’s economic system, such as by assisting developing countries and working to check financial crises.

Yet in crucial times, such as Asia’s currency crisis in the 1990s, the two institutions imposed fiscal austerity and other strict conditions on developing countries, which led these countries to feel strongly dissatisfied over the institutions’ lack of consideration for their particular circumstances.

Lack of weight

The BRICS powers have grown to account for about 20 percent of the global economy, and for around 40 percent of the world’s population. Yet their combined contributions to the IMF, which reflect the force of their voices in the institution, constitute only 11 percent of the IMF’s total funding. The BRICS have also expressed opposition to the lack of weight they carry in the IMF.

The IMF has compiled a reform plan to raise the contribution ratio of the BRICS to 14 percent, but, due to opposition from the United States and other countries, this plan has yet to be realized.

It is necessary to promote IMF reform from the viewpoint of allowing the emerging economies to assume responsibility proportional to their economic might.

It remains to be seen whether these two new multilateral institutions can function as the Bretton Woods institutions have been doing.

The BRICS countries have not specified when these institutions will be established, and uncertainty remains over the concrete frameworks through which they will extend financial assistance.

It would be troublesome if the new development bank were to attach importance solely to expanding the natural resource interests or corporate profits of contributing countries, and to extend financial assistance without careful consideration.

There is also a likelihood that lax screening on loans and investments by the bank could lead to a massive increase of irrecoverable loans and investments, which would upset the international financial system.

No assistance should be extended to countries beset with records of suppressing human rights and overdevelopment of natural resources. Highly transparent management is a must for the new bank.

The BRICS countries are by no means a monolithic group.
The territory dispute between China and India is just one example of their differences.

It is also questionable whether the members can deal with financial crises and other problems through close cooperation.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 22, 2014)

大陸棚延長 戦略的に海洋資源を開発せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Tap Japan’s extended continental shelf for strategic development of resources
大陸棚延長 戦略的に海洋資源を開発せよ

A move has been taken that is highly important for further consolidating Japan’s status as a maritime nation.

The government has decided to lay down an ordinance to designate two sea areas, including the area north of the island of Okinotorishima, which constitutes the southern extremity of the country, as part of the nation’s continental shelf. The ordinance will cover further two areas, such as that in the vicinity of the Ogasawara Islands, after consulting with the United States on the matter.

The U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea stipulates that each coastal state has sovereign rights over an area 200 nautical miles from the coastline as its continental shelf for exploring and developing resources, such as those on the seabed, and for other purposes. It is possible for a state under the convention to expand the limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles if and when it can prove that the extended continental shelf can be construed as having formed naturally.

The government’s plans for designating the continental shelf this time are in the wake of the acknowledgement in April 2012 by the U.N. Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) that the expansion of the limits of the nation’s continental shelf should be recognized as valid.

The total area to be covered by the expansion of the nation’s continental shelf will stand at an estimated 310,000 square kilometers, equivalent to about 80 percent of the nation’s entire land area. It is said precious resources exist on the continental shelf including methane hydrate, which contains natural gas. The expansion of the oceanic interests of Japan, a country poor in natural resources, is definitely of high significance.

Commenting on the continental shelf expansion, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has stressed, “It is possible that the resources from the expanded sea areas will have a great impact on the future of Japan.” It is also important from the viewpoint of ensuring this country’s energy security.

Objections from China, ROK

Resource developmental projects on the seabed, however, are extremely expensive and many technological challenges exist. Long-term plans should be formulated at the initiative of the government.

The CLCS, meanwhile, has been postponing judgment of Japan’s application seeking the U.N. body’s acknowledgement of the nation’s expansion of the continental shelf of the Southern Kyushu-Palau Ridge Region located to the south of Okinotorishima. This is because China and South Korea have opposed Japan’s submission of the application, claiming that Okinotorishima should not be deemed an island but “rocks,” meaning that it should not be considered a base point for determining the limits of Japan’s continental shelf.

Under the circumstances, the government should appeal to the international community to support the legitimacy of Japan’s assertion about the continental shelf expansion.

Around Okinotorishima is a vast exclusive economic zone, providing Japan with a wealth of marine products and seabed resources. The government should forge ahead with the task of preserving the island by pushing ahead with such projects as port and harbor construction.

China’s heavy-handed maritime advances are not limited to the East China and South China seas, but have been spreading to the western Pacific region. It has been pointed out that there is a possibility Beijing, on the strength of extending support for construction projects of ports and harbors to island states in the region, might build naval bases there in the future. Through these moves, China most likely has taken into account the U.S. military base on Guam.

Beefing up Japan’s efforts to ensure adequate oceanic administration in the seas in the environs of Okinotorishima, as well as such islands as Minami-Torishima and the Ogasawara Islands, will certainly have strategic significance on holding China’s moves in check.

In April last year, the government laid down the Basic Plan on Ocean Policy that is intended to serve as the basis of maritime measures for a period of five years. The plan sets key policy goals, including development of maritime resources, preservation and administration of remote islands, and technological development projects for oceanic, renewable energy sources.

By working closely with the private sector, the government should address these objectives from a broad range of perspectives.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 21, 2014)

南シナ海情勢 掘削を中止させた対中包囲網

The Yomiuri Shimbun
International pressure forced China to stop oil drilling in South China Sea
南シナ海情勢 掘削を中止させた対中包囲網

In the face of fierce criticism from the international community, China perhaps had no choice but to suspend its attempt to “change the status quo by force” when it ended its operations to drill for oil near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.

The operations were originally scheduled to continue through mid-August but ended earlier because “work proceeded smoothly,” according to China’s explanation. Undoubtedly, however, China bowed to the international pressures and curtailed the operations.

In early May, China unilaterally started drilling for oil in a sea zone also claimed by Vietnam, which strongly urged it to halt its operations. Chinese and Vietnamese vessels rammed into one another repeatedly, sinking a Vietnamese boat in one instance and escalating the tension to a dangerous level.

Large-scale anti-China demonstrations erupted in Vietnam one after another, while its government waged an international campaign denouncing China for its unjustness. Perhaps China had not expected that Vietnam—increasingly becoming economically dependent on China—would put up such fierce resistance.

Exposing a greater miscalculation by China was the fact that Japan, the United States and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations swiftly rallied behind Vietnam to strengthen their cooperation to counter China.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe criticized China for its self-righteousness at international conferences and on other occasions by repeatedly underscoring the importance of the rule of law in light of China’s territorial claims, which have no grounds in international law. His assertions were widely accepted in the international community.

Stronger Japan-U.S. ties backed

Strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance through the approval of the exercise of the right of collective self-defense has won the support of many countries concerned.

With its policy of focusing on Asia, the United States made it clear it is willing to actively engage in South China Sea issues. At a time when Beijing is trying to exclude the United States from building an Asian security order, it is significant that the United States is squarely challenging such Chinese endeavors.

At their foreign ministerial talks in May, ASEAN members—whose stances toward China usually differ—took the concerted action of expressing “serious concerns” about the dangerous situation in the South China Sea.

China’s isolation could not have been any clearer.

A series of international meetings awaits China. The ASEAN Regional Forum, which will be joined by Japan, the United States and China, will be held early next month, while China will host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting in Beijing in November.

China apparently wants to avoid being the target of criticism in these forums. Some observers predict that the country will exercise self-restraint for the time being.

Even so, China will surely not change its strategy of expanding its territories and maritime interests in the South and East China seas.

Japan and the United States must brace themselves for a prolonged, hegemonic campaign by China.

It is notable, however, that accumulated efforts by the international community have borne some fruit this time around. Factoring this experience in, the nations concerned should try to persuade China to constructively participate in an initiative to build a new Asian order.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 20, 2014)

ウクライナ撃墜 真相究明の国際調査が急務だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
International investigation critical to discovering truth in MH17 tragedy
ウクライナ撃墜 真相究明の国際調査が急務だ

Innocent civilians have been caught up in a terrible tragedy in conflict-torn Ukraine.

The international community must stand united and quickly get to the bottom of what happened.

In eastern Ukraine, an area effectively controlled by pro-Russian militants, a Malaysian Airlines jet that was flying at an altitude of 10,000 meters crashed on Thursday. All 298 passengers and crew aboard the plane died.

Ukrainian authorities have determined that the pro-Russian insurgents launched a Soviet surface-to-air missile, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has condemned the incident as “an act of terrorism.” There are reportedly records of communications between the separatists and a Russian officer, which has fueled suspicions of Russian military involvement.

The insurgents and the Ukrainian military have frequently clashed in the region where the civilian airliner crashed. A Ukrainian military transport plane and a fighter jet also were shot down in the area recently. Observers have suggested that the militants possibly launched the missile after mistaking Flight MH17 for a Ukrainian military aircraft.

The rebels have claimed that Kiev’s armed forces shot down the airliner. However, the United States found the missile was fired from an area under rebel control. The United States detected the missile tracking toward the plane based on its satellite data and other information, and analyzed where it was launched from.

Poroshenko has decided to set up a commission to investigate the incident. Experts from Malaysia and the International Civil Aviation Organization will participate in the commission, and the United States has indicated it plans to cooperate.

Probe needs full support

Collection and analysis of fragments of the missile and the black boxes that recorded flight data of the airliner will provide major clues for determining the truth behind the attack.

U.S. President Barack Obama has urged Poroshenko to safeguard all the evidence at the crash site. This is an appropriate response, given the need to prevent interference with the investigation and destruction of the evidence.

It is essential that the investigation team and its experts are given access to the crash site area and are allowed to conduct their examination properly. The militants should heed calls for a ceasefire and guarantee the safety of the investigators.

The U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting and issued a statement calling for an “international investigation.” It is important that this investigation be transparent and independent. Nations affected by this incident, not least Russia, also will need to provide full cooperation to the investigation.

Political maneuvering is intensifying among nations affected by the crash. The United States and the European Union had only just tightened sanctions on Russia over its violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty.

Shortly before the airliner crashed, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida met with Poroshenko and other officials, and pledged to continue Japan’s assistance to Ukraine. We hope Japan will cooperate to ensure the stability of Ukraine and help establish conditions that will ensure there is no repeat of the Flight MH17 tragedy.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 19, 2014)









[ 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 ]
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

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