社説:大臣とカネ 「知らない」では済まぬ

February 28, 2015(Mainichi Japan)
Editorial: 'Ignorance' no excuse for ministers' political funding scandals
社説:大臣とカネ 「知らない」では済まぬ

A string of political funding scandals have hit ministers in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the wake of Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Koya Nishikawa's resignation.

The government is trying to weather the storm by insisting the ministers were "unaware" that state subsidies were being paid to the entities that made questionable donations to their party chapters. The administration is, in other words, pleading ignorance, and we cannot ignore this paper-thin excuse.

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) branch offices headed by Environment Minister Yoshio Mochizuki and Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa, respectively, accepted political donations from a logistics firm that had recently received government subsidies.

The Political Funds Control Act bans companies and organizations from making political donations within a year from a subsidy announcement.

Government subsidies derive from taxpayers' money, and for subsidized companies and organizations to make donations could constitute funneling some of that tax money to politicians.

This goes to the heart of potential collusion between politicians and industries.

Nishikawa resigned his portfolio over a similar donation scandal.

The Political Funds Control Act bans politicians from accepting contributions from donors they know to be subsidy recipients.

In other words, politicians cannot be accused of violating the law as long as they are unaware of the subsidies.

Mochizuki and Kamikawa have thus emphasized that they had no idea about the subsidies going to the logistics company, and that the donations were not illegal.

The political funding scandals, however, surfaced after news organizations checked publicly available political funding documents and reported on them.

It shouldn't have been difficult for the politicians themselves to learn of the problems in advance.

If the political funds law provides a seedbed for negligence among politicians and is harnessed merely as a source of convenient excuses, the law should be made stricter so that such donations are held illegal even if politicians were "unaware" of certain subsidies.

Hakubun Shimomura, minister of education, culture, sports, science and technology, is accused of possibly violating the law after his support groups -- known as Hakuyukai -- failed to report themselves as political organizations. Furthermore, an LDP chapter he heads was also found to have accepted funds from non-Japanese citizens -- another violation of the law.

In the meantime, Nishikawa had also received nearly 10 million yen in consulting fees from a state-subsidized company over a four-year period, according to documents filed with the Diet following his resignation.

When Yuko Obuchi stepped down as minister of economy, trade and industry over shady political spending last fall, she remarked, "There's no way I can be spared just by saying I didn't know about it."

Alas, she has yet to file a detailed report over the issue, which she promised to do at the time of her resignation. Is she in the belief that everything is settled because she was re-elected in the December House of Representatives election?

Just like Obuchi, Nishikawa and Mochizuki joined the Abe Cabinet in a reshuffle last fall.

They should by no means have forgotten other funding scandals they faced at the time.

When the third Abe Cabinet was formed following the last lower house election, didn't the ministers and Prime Minister Abe check their financial backgrounds carefully?

While the ministers are trying to slip out of the net with their new favorite refrain, "I didn't know," Prime Minister Abe has only reiterated, "Politicians in both the ruling and opposition camps should fulfill their accountability."

What other motive could they have for putting on that kind of attitude than the arrogance gleaned from a landslide lower house election victory?

毎日新聞 2015年02月28日 02時31分


ギリシャ改革案 実効性のある具体策が肝心だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Greek reform plan hinges on providing effective, specific policies
ギリシャ改革案 実効性のある具体策が肝心だ

Will Greece make sincere efforts toward fiscal reconstruction?

Concrete policies need to be properly determined for achieving this objective.
The European Union has approved a structural reform plan submitted by Greece as a condition for the extension of financial aid to that nation.

This aid program was due to expire at the end of February. The EU member nations will now move ahead with domestic procedures necessary to ensure the four-month extension can be ratified.

The Greek reform plan promised to boost tax revenue by stiffening steps to prevent tax evasion and to push ahead with fiscal reconstruction by cutting wasteful government expenditure.

A statement issued by the EU positively welcomed the Greek plan, saying the list of measures was “sufficiently comprehensive.” However, the vital content of the plan still lacks many details.

The International Monetary Fund, which along with the EU has extended assistance to Greece, was quite right to criticize the plan as being “not very specific.”

The Greek government’s cash flow is already in a very tenuous situation.

Due to concern that the nation could be facing financial collapse, financial uncertainty has increased in Greece, where deposit outflows from banks have surged.

The administration of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, which gained public support based on its “anti-austerity” campaign pledges, presumably had little choice but to reach some sort of deal with the EU so it could avert the looming crisis.

Barometer for eurozone

If Greece is unable to conclude an agreement with the EU by the end of April after submitting a more detailed reform plan, the extension of support will be back to square one. At this point, there is no telling how the negotiations will pan out.

Even this latest reform plan has provoked howls of protest from within the Greek ruling party, which has trumpeted an anti-austerity stance.

The austerity policies implemented so far have already produced side effects including a sluggish economy and an unemployment rate of more than 25 percent. There is mounting discontent among the public.

As Greece sets its sights on a deal with the EU, it will not be easy to calibrate the views of the ruling coalition parties about continuing fiscal austerity, nor to convince Greek citizens to go along with these steps.

However, if the talks break down and Athens finds itself in a situation where it defaults, the Greek economy would suffer a devastating blow. The price would ultimately be paid by the citizens of Greece.

The Tsipras administration must quickly settle on a structural reform plan that will be effective.

Under the euro system, each member nation manages its own finances while they all share a common currency.

There is a structural flaw in that policies are not always aligned due to differences in the national strength and economic conditions among the group members. To offset this, strict fiscal discipline is imposed.

If a “straggler” emerges due to discord over fiscal management, the momentum of European unity could be weakened, irrespective of the size of that nation’s economy.

Whether or not the EU can clear the Greek problem will be a litmus test that could foresee the outcome of the euro system.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 26, 2015)


国連「70年」討論 歴史を曲げる中国の反日宣伝

The Yomiuri Shimbun
China’s anti-Japan propaganda distorts postwar history ahead of anniversary
国連「70年」討論 歴史を曲げる中国の反日宣伝

China has begun full-fledged anti-Japan propaganda, in connection with the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.
The U.N. Security Council on Monday held an open debate in line with the 70th anniversary of the end of the war and the foundation of the United Nations. The meeting was proposed by China, the chair of the council this month, and representatives from about 80 countries made statements.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi presided at the meeting, saying, “There are still some reluctant to recognize the truth and [who] even attempt to overturn and whitewash past crimes of aggression.” Although he refrained from naming Japan, it is obvious that China had this nation in mind.

We cannot overlook Wang’s remarks, as he ignored the fact that Japan had acknowledged its acts of aggression and expressed remorse and apology over its past conduct. We can also see that China intended to demean Japan.

Oh Joon, South Korean Ambassador to the United Nations, said U.N. member countries need to be wary of the problems that can come from “attempts to disregard lessons of history.” His remarks are considered to be essentially in line with those of China.

Japanese Ambassador to the United Nations Motohide Yoshikawa emphasized that “Throughout its post-war history, Japan has, based on feelings of deep remorse regarding the Second World War ... walked the path of a peace-loving nation.” Yoshikawa also said, “The path we have taken so far as a peace-loving nation is the pride of Japanese people and it will never change.”

It was an appropriate assertion, made on the basis of the pacifist course Japan has followed for 70 years since the end of the war. Japan has made efforts to contribute to the peace and prosperity of the world and steadily won the trust of the international community. Japan has contributed a great deal of money to the United Nations and advocated the reform of the Security Council to strengthen its functions.

Rebut unjustified attacks

Japan should rebut unjustified criticism appropriately and in a level-headed manner. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said, “We will properly assert what we should assert.” It is quite reasonable for him to clarify Japan’s stance of intensifying its message to the international community.

Wang also said that China, as a “victory country” in the “world anti-fascism war,” has supported the role of the United Nations and safeguarded peace and stability. With these words, he meant to tout China’s position of maintaining the postwar international order.

However, China has repeatedly been involved in armed conflicts in the postwar years with its neighboring countries, including India, the former Soviet Union and Vietnam. Even today, China is attempting to change the status quo by force, causing regional instability.

Typical examples are China increasing its effective control — with no basis in international law — over certain waters by building bases on top of reefs in the South China Sea, and by repeatedly entering Japanese territorial waters in the East China Sea.

China considers the open debate as a prelude to its commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of the war and the foundation of the United Nations. It is expected to intensify its anti-Japan campaign internationally in the days ahead.

Conspicuously cooperating with China is Russia, a country that has been trying to unilaterally change the status quo in Ukraine.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Moscow in May to take part in the celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of Russia’s victory in the war over Germany, and Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Beijing in September to attend the celebrations commemorating victory in the war against Japan.

Can this series of developments undermine Japan’s national interests? It is important for Japan to keep a close watch on the cooperative moves between China and Russia, while pursuing strategic diplomacy with both countries.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 25, 2015)


香山リカのココロの万華鏡:若者よ気軽に相談を /東京

words in this article,
confide 秘密を打ち明ける

February 22, 2015(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the heart: Young people should reach out to adults more
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:若者よ気軽に相談を /東京

The season of university entrance examinations is now upon us.

Since I am based at a university, I sometimes work as a test monitor who oversees students while they take their exams.

Since this is also the season when people catch colds, many test-taking students can be seen wearing masks -- while others cough, and generally appear to be feeling unwell.

It is written in the test monitor manual that "students who do not feel well, or who need to use the toilet, should raise their hand in order to let the monitor know." This instruction is read out to students prior to the beginning of the examination, as well as every hour after the test has begun.
As monitors, we must then pay attention to see whether any of the students attempt to get our attention by raising their hand.

Even if students appear to be glancing our way, however, it is not up to the monitors to approach them.

Rather, we simply wait for the students to raise their hand.

During one particular examination, there was one student who appeared not to be feeling well -- but who did not raise their hand.

Toward the end of the test session, the student finally raised their hand and said, "my stomach hurts" -- by which time their face had already turned very pale.

I found myself wishing that the student had said something earlier, instead of suffering all that time. From the student's perspective, however, speaking up must have been a very difficult thing to do.

Later, while looking at an Internet discussion board among student test-takers, I saw numerous comments to the effect of, "I really had to go to the bathroom," and "I felt nauseous, but I couldn't just ask to leave the room for a while."

Why, I wondered, were these students unable to simply excuse themselves to use the toilet?

There was no need for them to have endured such feelings in silence.

I found myself wanting to tell these students that there was no need for them to suffer -- and that they should not be afraid to speak up to the test monitor.

After all, we certainly would not get angry or penalize them in any way on their examination score.

This matter is not restricted merely to that of university examinations, moreover.

In a more general sense, it seems that young people feel that if they share something with adults, they will not be understood -- or that they will simply be lectured at or otherwise placed in a disadvantaged position.

As a result, they refrain from sharing their problems or worries with the adults who are close to them -- and instead keep their feelings bottled up inside them.

After becoming an adult myself, however, I can say with certainty that we are not bothered by the thought of young people depending upon us or sharing their feelings of distress with us.

On the contrary, many adults are wondering how they can be of assistance in this regard -- and are waiting for the youth in their lives to open up to them.

So, young people, how about it? Why not feel comfortable enough to confide in an adult?

In some unfortunate cases, the first person whom you choose may not be completely understanding.

In that case, however, rather than give up, it is better to look for someone else.

And it also goes without saying: If you need to go to the toilet or are not feeling well while taking your university entrance examinations, please do not be afraid to raise your hand to leave the room.

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2015年02月17日 地方版


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香山リカのココロの万華鏡:みなで支え合い心守ろう /東京

February 15, 2015(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: When the world goes to hell in a hand basket...
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:みなで支え合い心守ろう /東京

Tragedy follows heartbreaking tragedy. After the apparent murders of two Japanese men at the hands of the Islamic State militant group, a primary school fifth-grader was slain in a residential area in Wakayama Prefecture.

One visitor to my practice asked, "What can be done to protect kids from being exposed to such shocking news?" This was followed quickly upon by the admission, "Actually, I'm pretty messed up about it, too."
Whether it's a local incident or some terrible world event, it's important for adults to tell the kids around them, "Don't worry, I'll protect you whatever happens."

On top of that, it's best to maintain the family's daily routine. If a child says they're anxious or scared, give them every opportunity to talk about what's bothering them.

Even if you have nothing concrete to say in return, a simple, "So that's what you've been thinking" and similarly soft and gently encouraging remarks will help the child gradually sort through their feelings.

But then how are adults to reassure their kids while at the same time guarding the gates of their own hearts from terrible news and shocking images?  では、そうするためおとなはどうやって自分の心を守ればよいのか。

First and foremost, everyone needs a "somebody" to give them a helping hand.

A spouse or partner makes the best "somebody", but friends, parents or siblings can also likely be counted on to lend an ear.

There are some people out there who would say they have no one they can count on like that.

If you're one of them, you could turn to a teacher, a counselor or another professional shoulder to lean on, and get their help and advice.

Above all, however, it's important not to try to bear the impossible.

Some might say, "I can protect my child on my own," or, "I have to be happy and energetic in front of my kids." But that kind of load on just one pair of shoulders can lead you to a bad state.

Remember to relax. "The world may be a pretty dangerous place, but for now I'm just going to sit back and watch my favorite TV series." Everyone needs a little time like this.

Don't spend all your time looking at things that make you anxious. Instead, get out and about and get some exercise with your kids. Sweat a little, and return home tired but happy.

Of course, relaxing or getting your body moving may only stave off your worries for a time.

You may end your day wondering what horrific thing is going to happen next.

If that's the case, don't get yourself in a tizzy or blame yourself for lapsing back into anxiety. Rather, I think it's better to remind yourself that to worry about the world is natural.

Some of the folks coming to my practice recently simply cannot conceal their agitation, and I tell them this: "This is a little bit embarrassing, but I'm the same. Watching the news can get depressing, right?"

It's usually taboo for a psychiatrist to reveal emotional vulnerability to her patients, but in this case they almost all give me a look of relief.

"Huh, Dr. Kayama's the same," their faces seem to say. Exactly so. Everyone worries about what will become of our society.

The trick is to lend each other the support we all need, and live our daily lives without trying to do the impossible.

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2015年02月10日 地方版


戦後70年談話 平和貢献の決意を発信したい

The Yomiuri Shimbun
70th anniversary statement must convey Japan’s contributions to world peace
戦後70年談話 平和貢献の決意を発信したい

What roles should Japan play for the world’s peace and prosperity, while taking into account reflections on its past? It is important for Japan to convey a future-oriented message to the international community.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made clear that he intends to establish later this month an expert panel on the statement he will issue this summer on the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. The panel will discuss the content and the expressions to be used in the statement.

In the statement, Abe intends to include reflections on the war, Japan’s postwar path as a pacifist nation and its future international contributions.

It is significant for Japan to specify to the international community not only its historical perceptions of developments before and during the war, but the course this nation will take in the future and its policy direction, after reviewing postwar Japan’s historical path.

After the war, Japan promoted its peace-oriented diplomacy by consistently attaching importance to the Japan-U.S. alliance and international cooperation. Japan’s contributions to the international community through its official development assistance and its participation in U.N. peacekeeping operations have been highly acclaimed.

The international community now faces threats in diverse forms, such as regional conflicts, proliferation of international terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, poverty and environmental destruction.

Japan should spell out specifically its stance in tackling these challenges ever more actively in the days ahead, on the basis of its policy of “proactive contribution to peace.”

In the statement issued on the 50th anniversary, then Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama said Japan “caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of ... Asian nations” through “its colonial rule and aggression,” and expressed “deep remorse” and a “heartfelt apology” over Japan’s conduct before and during the war.

Japan-U.S. alliance as key

The historical perception of Murayama has been inherited by the cabinets that followed. The statement made by then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on the 60th anniversary followed a set of wordings and expressions made in the Murayama statement.

Abe has repeatedly made clear that he would “inherit as a whole” the tone of the statements by the administrations of Murayama and Koizumi.

With regards to such particular wordings as “colonial rule” and “aggression,” however, he has indicated his stance of not necessarily sticking to the previous statements, saying, “If it is modeled on the style used in the past, there could be nit-picking arguments over it.”

Is it appropriate for an administration to apologize for Japan’s conduct during the war every time a prime minister issues a statement? Or is it right for attention to be drawn chiefly to differences in wording from past statements? Abe appears to be aware of these issues. We can understand him on these points.

Abe plans to make an official visit to the United States during the Golden Week holidays, with both governments making arrangements to issue a joint statement that will set forth the future of the Japan-U.S. alliance based on their bilateral relationship over the 70 years since the end of the war.

The joint statement is expected to contain a view that Japan has contributed to the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region and of the world, through the Japan-U.S. alliance after the war and a policy of further reinforcing the bilateral alliance.

The prime minister’s statement on the 70th anniversary will draw much attention among many countries, including China and South Korea, and will likely make a political impact. Therefore, it is important to coordinate in advance the perceptions of both Japan and the United States through the joint statement.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 19, 2015)


ギリシャ支援 危機回避へ延長が不可欠だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Extension of bailout program for Greece essential to avoid European debt crisis
ギリシャ支援 危機回避へ延長が不可欠だ

Can a possible flare-up of the European sovereign debt crisis be prevented? Tensions are building over the current situation.
A meeting of the 19 finance ministers of the eurozone on how Greece can meet its debt commitments ended without an accord.

European creditors asserted that Greece would apply to extend the current bailout program for six months on condition that it would maintain tight budgetary discipline.

But Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis rejected this, saying the current bailout program had failed to stabilize the Greek economy.

Eurozone creditors plan to hold more talks with Greece, possibly on Friday, to reach an agreement, but the views of Greece and other eurozone nations remain far apart.

At this point, it is uncertain whether the current bailout program, which ends on Feb. 28, can be maintained.

Should the bailout be discontinued, Greece will face a lack of funds, raising the risk of the country defaulting on its debts.

If the sovereign debt crisis worsens, not only would the Greek economy go bankrupt but the economy of the entire eurozone would eventually plunge into a financial quagmire. Extending the bailout program is essential to avoid seriously affecting the world economy.

Greece must endure the pain of tightening its budgetary belt in return for financing from other eurozone countries, which helped Greece pay the price of its own loose fiscal discipline over many years.

The Coalition of the Radical Left, led by Alexis Tsipras — now prime minister — won the general election last month and came to power after adopting an anti-austerity position.

By honoring its campaign pledge, the ruling coalition may have no other recourse but to reject the austerity program presented by creditor countries.

Lack of strong industries

Except for tourism and agriculture, the Greek economy has had no strong industries for many years, while the ratio of public service workers to the total working population is high.

As a result of the Greek government’s handling of the economy, which relies heavily on fiscal spending, its society lost much of its vigor, with its debts mounting due to increasing expenditures and sluggish tax revenues.

To revitalize Greece, there is no other way but to restructure the nation’s fiscal discipline in accordance with the bailout program of the European Union and other entities, while drastically reforming its inefficient economic structure.

In some other eurozone countries, political parties advocating “anti-austerity” stances are gaining public support, as was seen in Greece.

Worried that loose fiscal discipline may spread to countries in southern Europe and elsewhere, the EU is strongly pressing Greece to toe the austerity line.

Should the bailout talks collapse completely, Greece’s departure from the eurozone will become a real possibility. As this would undermine confidence in the euro system, such a situation must be avoided.

The EU should explore compromises such as easing the terms for repayment, while maintaining, in principle, the current bailout framework.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 18, 2015)


社説:日銀政策委員会 「右に同じ」ばかりでは

February 16, 2015(Mainichi Japan)
Editorial: BOJ Policy Board should hold discussions from broader perspective
社説:日銀政策委員会 「右に同じ」ばかりでは

The Policy Board of the Bank of Japan (BOJ), the nation's central bank, consists of nine members including its governor and two vice governors. Why is the governor alone insufficient to make monetary policy?

Any economist can make mistakes in analysis and prediction. Therefore, the board makes policy decisions to prevent serious errors in judgments and policy excesses. The system is significant in that people with diverse personal histories and knowledge gather to express and exchange opinions.

In early February, the government submitted a proposal to the Diet to appoint economist and Waseda University professor Yutaka Harada to replace Ryuzo Miyao, whose term as a board member expires in late March. Harada is in favor of reflation and calls for large-scale quantitative easing. He supports the ultra-easy money policy promoted by BOJ Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda, and does not appear opposed to the central bank further relaxing its monetary grip by buying yet more government bonds.

Moreover, the government needs to pick the successor of board member Yoshihisa Morimoto, whose tenure expires at the end of June. Concerns have been raised over whether the number of pro-reflation members will rise, lessening the significance of the board system.

The term of Policy Board members, including the governor and vice governors, is five years. The Cabinet appoints board members after gaining approval from both houses of the Diet. Since the ruling coalition has a majority in both chambers, the government's nominations are highly likely to clear the legislature.

The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe regards quantitative relaxation as the "first arrow" of the three arrows in its "Abenomics" economic policy mix. It may appear natural in the eyes of the general public that the government selects candidates for the BOJ Policy Board in line with its policies. However, there would be no need for so many board members if they were all to have exactly the same ideas about monetary policy. The government may have become wary when the BOJ Policy Board voted by a narrow margin to further relax its monetary grip in late October last year, with five voting for the proposal and four against.

It is common for the opinion of the governor of the Bank of England, Britain's central bank, to be voted down by its nine-member Monetary Policy Committee. Former Bank of England Gov. Mervyn King was in a minority in five consecutive meetings of the committee, including the last meeting he attended as governor.

The Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee consists of members with various backgrounds.

Namat Shafik, one of two female members of the committee, is deputy governor and comes from Egypt.

She had previously served as vice president of the World Bank and deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund. (Only one of the BOJ Policy Board's seats has been occupied by a woman since the revised BOJ Act came into force in 1998.)

Mark Carney, who is Canadian and once headed Canada's central bank, currently serves as governor of the Bank of England.

The biggest challenge that the BOJ now faces is the eventual exit from its quantitative easing policy, gradually decreasing the amount of government bonds it purchases while avoiding shocks to the financial markets.

If the BOJ Policy Board was dominated by pro-reflation members, it could delay such a policy change, amplify the distortion it causes the markets, and make it impossible to find an exit.

Those who will be appointed to the BOJ Policy Board will face extremely difficult challenges that the central bank has never experienced.

Both the executive and legislative branches of the government should cautiously select members of the panel while keeping in mind that the BOJ has entered a crucial phase, in which its Policy Board needs to have debate from a broad perspective.

毎日新聞 2015年02月16日 02時30分


ウクライナ停戦 合意順守へ国際圧力が重要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Intl pressure key to ensure Ukraine ceasefire accord delivers peace
ウクライナ停戦 合意順守へ国際圧力が重要だ

To maintain the latest ceasefire, which has finally been reached after marathon negotiations, it is imperative for all concerned to comply with the agreement.
The accord was to take effect Sunday in Ukraine’s eastern states of Donetsk and Lugansk, where there have been fierce clashes between Ukrainian government forces and armed pro-Russia groups.

Military battles between the two sides broke out following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014, but a previous ceasefire was agreed upon in September of that year. However, the fighting resumed this year and pro-Russia rebels have occupied airports and harbor cities.

The death toll since April last year has topped 5,300, with private homes and hospitals being bombarded relentlessly.

Feeling the sense of crisis, German and French leaders conducted shuttle diplomacy before hammering out the latest ceasefire accord, which came after 16 hours of talks with the top leaders of Russia and Ukraine.

The 13-point agreement called for a pullback of heavy weapons, establishment of safety zones spanning 50 kilometers or more, withdrawal of foreign soldiers, ceasefire monitoring and the exchange of prisoners of war. Deadlines were set for all measures.

To begin with, the Ukrainian government, pro-Russia armed groups and Russia ought to exercise restraint on military attacks and faithfully fulfill the agreement on the pullback of tanks and artillery.

But concerns remain. Even on the day when the ceasefire agreement was announced, new military clashes and the transport of arms from Russia to eastern Ukraine were reported. The accord cannot be maintained without halting the movement of soldiers and weapons across the border.

Reconciliation crucial

Another major concern is how monitoring by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe will ensure the ceasefire’s effectiveness.

Ukraine, for its part, faces a difficult challenge domestically — how to reconcile deep-seated confrontation between its eastern regions, where there are many pro-Russia elements, with the other areas, which have strong antipathy toward Russia.

The unity of the nation depends on the reconciliation of its people. Reconciliation must be achieved by granting autonomy to areas controlled by pro-Russia groups and the reconstruction of residents’ lives and the economies of the regions that have seen conflict.

To this end, it is imperative to provide international assistance for Ukraine, whose fiscal condition has been deteriorating rapidly since last year.

The International Monetary Fund has decided to offer a huge financial assistance package — totaling $17.5 billion (about ¥2.1 trillion) over a period of four years — to Ukraine on the condition that it will carry out fiscal reform and eradicate corruption.

It is essential for the international community to continue applying pressure on Russia to honor the ceasefire accord, by imposing additional sanctions if necessary in addition to maintaining those already in place.

At a meeting of its leaders Thursday, the European Union decided to invoke, as scheduled, additional sanctions against Russian government officials and others on Monday, the day after the ceasefire accord was to take effect.

Japan is a principal donor of assistance for Ukraine and has imposed sanctions against Russia. From the standpoint of not accepting a “change in the status quo by force,” we support the Japanese government’s efforts to reinforce maintenance of the ceasefire and achieve peace, while maintaining close cooperation with the United States, Europe and others.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 14, 2015)









[ 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



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