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srachai
次女カイちゃんと私↑パタヤにて
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妻はタイ人、娘ばかり3人も!

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■近況

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

[ はじめに ]
タイのスラチャイです。
英語学習に王道はありません。
毎日毎日の地道な努力の積み重ねが必要です。
スラチャイはNHKのラジオ英語会話で現在の英語力を身につけました。
一日僅か15分の学習でも数年間継続すれば相当な学習効果が期待できます。

[ 名前 ]
松井 清 (スラチャイ)

[ 略歴 ]
・福岡県出身
・国立高知大学卒業
・準大手建設会社に就職
・50歳で会社を早期退職
・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
・現在タイ国コンケン在住

[ 座右の銘 ]
Slow and steady wins the race.
遅くとも着実な者が勝利する
(NHK基礎英語芹沢栄先生)

[ 学習の手引き ]
・音読して耳から英語を吸収
・Think in English.
・ネイティブ発音付辞書活用
・英英辞典を活用(英和も)
・翻訳和文で専門用語確認

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

[ 英字新聞の英和対訳学習 ]
英字新聞(読売)
英字新聞(毎日)
英字新聞(朝日)
英字新聞(朝日2)

[ スラチャイ編集の辞書 ]
タイ日辞書(改訂版)
日タイ辞書(改訂版)
ラオ日辞書
日ラオ辞書

[ 英字新聞リンク ]
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posted by fanblog

2016年05月08日

NHKの使命 政府の広報ではない

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 2
EDITORIAL: NHK must not serve simply as the government’s mouthpiece
(社説)NHKの使命 政府の広報ではない

Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) is not the government’s public relations agency.
 NHKは、政府の広報機関ではない。

It cannot accomplish its mission as a news medium if it only reports the government’s announcements as its sole source.
当局の発表をただ伝えるだけでは、報道機関の使命は果たせない。

This is the most basic of the basics of broadcast journalism. But NHK President Katsuto Momii still doesn’t understand the core mission of the organization he has been heading for two years and three months now if his recent remarks are any indication.
 それは放送人としての「イロハのイ」だ。しかし、籾井勝人会長は就任から2年3カ月になるが、今もその使命を理解していないとしか思えない。

During an April 20 meeting of senior officials at NHK, Momii said the public broadcaster’s reporting on the recent destructive earthquakes in Kumamoto Prefecture and surrounding areas and the disaster’s possible effects on nuclear power generation should be “based on authorities’ official announcements,” according to informed sources.
NHK should focus on airing the official views announced by authorities, he reportedly said.
“If various assessments by experts were broadcast, it would only end up unnecessarily raising concerns among the public,” he was quoted as saying.
 籾井氏は、先月の熊本地震に関する局内会議で、原発に関する報道は「公式発表をベースに」と発言した。「当局の発表の公式見解を伝えるべきだ。いろいろある専門家の見解を伝えても、いたずらに不安をかき立てる」などとも指示した。

Momii expounded on his comments in response to a question about them during an April 26 session of the Lower House Committee of Internal Affairs and Communications.
 26日の衆院総務委員会で籾井氏は、こう答弁している。

Momii said the official announcements he was referring to were information released by the Meteorological Agency, the Nuclear Regulation Authority and Kyushu Electric Power Co.
 「公式発表」とは「気象庁、原子力規制委員会、九州電力」の情報のこと。

As for Kyushu Electric Power’s Sendai nuclear plant in Kagoshima Prefecture, which is immediately south of Kumamoto Prefecture, Momii said he believed his organization should broadcast, without any additional reporting, announced information such as data provided by the radiation monitoring posts installed for issuing evacuation orders around the Sendai plant.
“If the NRA believes that the nuclear plant is safe or can remain in operation, we will just report it like that,” Momii told the committee.
鹿児島県にある川内(せんだい)原発については「(放射線量を監視する)モニタリングポストの数値などをコメントを加味せず伝える。規制委が、安全である、(稼働を)続けていいといえば、それを伝えていく」と考えているという。

During natural disasters, news media should, of course, strive to provide the public with accurate information as quickly and carefully as possible.
 災害の時、正確な情報を速く丁寧に伝えるよう努めるのは、報道機関として当然だ。

Announcements made by the central and local governments and various companies are, needless to say, important elements of news reports on such events.
自治体や政府、企業などの発表は言うまでもなく、ニュースの大事な要素である。

At the same time, however, it is also a vital role of the news media to examine and fact-check such announcements and report them along with views based on expert knowledge and responses from citizens.
 同時に、発表内容を必要に応じて点検し、専門知識に裏付けられた多様な見方や、市民の受け止めなどを併せて伝えるのも報道機関の不可欠な役割だ。

Momii’s instructions to senior NHK editors can be interpreted as a demand that only official announcements should be treated as facts.
 しかし籾井氏の指示は「公式発表」のみを事実として扱うことを求めているように受け取れる。

What he said is tantamount to an order that NHK should stop performing its most basic function, which is examining things from various angles and reporting facts from multiple viewpoints.
ものごとを様々な角度から見つめ、事実を多面的に伝えるという報道の基本を放棄せよと言っているに等しい。

Momii’s rationale for demanding that reports on these topics should be based on official views and announcements seems to be the necessity to reassure local residents.
 「住民に安心感を与える」ためというのが籾井氏の言い分のようだ。

If so, he is underestimating viewers’ ability to understand and assess news and information.
だが、それは視聴者の理解する力を見くびっている。

In a survey conducted last year by the NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute, 85 percent of the respondents said they wanted to select the information that suits their needs on their own. Moreover, 61 percent of the people surveyed said they were confident about their ability to grasp reliable data from a sea of information.
 NHK放送文化研究所の昨年の調査では、85%が「必要な情報は自分で選びたい」とし、61%が「多くの情報の中から信頼できるものをより分けることができるほうだ」と回答した。

The survey shows that many viewers want not only information officially provided by the government and companies, but also multifaceted reports on various topics so that they can make their own evaluations and judgments.
 多くの視聴者は、政府や企業などが公式に与える情報だけでなく、多角的な報道を自分で吟味したいと考えているのだ。

Momii has a history of making comments that raise serious questions about his editorial stance and journalistic ethics.
In his inaugural press conference in 2014, Momii said, “We cannot say left when the government says right.”
 籾井氏は一昨年の就任会見で「政府が右ということを左というわけにはいかない」と発言。

Last year, when he was asked whether NHK would deal with the “comfort women" issue in its reports on the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, he replied, “The government’s policy is the key.”
昨年は戦後70年で「慰安婦問題」を扱うか問われ、「政府の方針がポイント」と語った。

Each time the NHK chief made remarks indicating loyal support for the government, he faced bitter criticism. But he is showing no signs of mending his ways.
 政府に寄り添うような発言はその都度批判されてきたが、一向に改まらない。

The very credibility of NHK’s entire news reporting could be destroyed unless Momii stops damaging it.
このままでは、NHKの報道全体への信頼が下がりかねない。
posted by srachai at 09:05| Comment(0) | 朝日英字

2016年05月06日

子どもの貧困 学び支え、連鎖断ち切ろう

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 5
EDITORIAL: Child poverty in Japan must be tackled with utmost urgency
子どもの貧困 学び支え、連鎖断ち切ろう

A report released in April by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) painted a grim picture of child poverty in Japan.
It said children of the poorest households in Japan are much more disadvantaged than their peers in many other industrialized countries.
 最も貧しい家庭の子どもが、他の多くの先進国と比べて、厳しい状況に置かれている――。

The study focused on the disparities between children at the bottom and those in the middle in the wealthiest nations. The inequality gap in Japan was the eighth largest among the 41 countries surveyed.
 4月に公表された国連児童基金(ユニセフ)の報告書は、そんな日本の現状を浮かび上がらせた。最貧困層と標準的な層との格差を国ごとに分析しており、日本の格差は41カ国の中で8番目に大きいという。

Japan also ranked far below the average among industrial nations in terms of the relative poverty rate, or the ratio of people living on less than half the median income. One in six Japanese children was poor by this relative measure, which reflects how far the poorest children have plummeted behind those in the middle tier.
 所得が真ん中の人の半分に満たない人の割合を示す「相対的貧困率」でも、日本の子どもは6人に1人が貧困層にあたり、先進国の中で悪い方だ。

The UNICEF study highlighted the fact that child poverty in Japan is spreading and deepening.
貧しさの広がりに加え、ユニセフの調査でその度合いも深刻であることを指摘されたと言える。

The government needs to tackle this problem with policy support measures targeted at needy households.
 対策としてまず問われるのは、そうした家庭へのサポートだ。

Obviously, effective welfare and other relief for poor families, such as allowances to help cover their daily expenses and steps to help parents get jobs, are vital for tackling this growing problem.
日々の生活を助ける各種の手当や親の就労への支援など、福祉を中心とする施策が重要であることは言うまでもない。

Even more important, however, is support focused on children. The principal challenge facing policymakers and others concerned is how to break the “chain of poverty,” in which children in poor families remain stuck in poverty even after they grow up, causing the cycle to fester for generations.
 それ以上に考えなければならないのは、子どもたちに焦点を当てた支援だ。生活の苦しい家庭で育った子が、大きくなってもその状態から抜け出せず、世代を超えて続いてしまう「貧困の連鎖」をどう断ち切るか。

Education is the key.
 カギとなるのは教育だ。

OPENING UP NEW HORIZONS
 ■教育で広がる将来

A community center in the city of Saitama is on the frontline of the war against poverty among children.
Twice each week, junior high school students in school uniforms or gym clothes converge on the center after 6 p.m.
 さいたま市内のコミュニティセンター。午後6時を回ると制服や体操着姿の中学生が次々とやって来る。

The facility is a venue for a free “learning support class” program, under which university student volunteers help children of financially strained families with their studies.
経済的に厳しい家庭の子どもたちに、学生ボランティアが週2回、勉強を教える無料の「学習支援教室」だ。

An 18-year-old student who has been working as a volunteer at the center since April once received learning support under the program.
 4月からボランティアをしている女子学生(18)は、かつて教室で学んだ一人だ。

“Whenever I came here, I could find someone who was ready to listen to me,” she says. “This place was a source of emotional and spiritual support for me.”
「ここに来ると、いつでも私の話を聞いてくれる人がいる。心のよりどころみたいな場所でした」

The student has been living only with her mother. When she was in her second year at junior high school, her mother, the family’s bread earner, fell ill and had to rely on financial assistance under the government’s livelihood protection program.
 母と2人暮らし。女子学生が中学2年生の時、家計を支えていた母が体を壊し、生活保護を受けるようになった。

“I wondered if I should start working instead of going on to a university. But after a university student volunteer (at the center) clued me in about college life and other things, I grew more ambitious.”
「進学するより働いた方が、と思った時もあった。けれど、大学生のボランティアさんから学生生活のこととか、いろんな話を聞くうちに夢がふくらんで」。

Now, she is learning about welfare, courtesy of a university scholarship.
今は奨学金で大学に通い、福祉の分野を学んでいる。

The program is operated by a nonprofit organization called “Saitama Youth Support Net” on behalf of the municipal government.
Yasushi Aoto, who heads the organization, stresses the importance of learning support to help poor students. “The problem of poverty can never be solved unless children acquire the ability to carve out a better future for themselves,” Aoto says. “Learning support should be at the core of efforts against poverty.”
 市の委託で教室を運営するNPO「さいたまユースサポートネット」の青砥恭(やすし)代表は言う。「子どもたちが自分自身で未来を切り開く力をつけなければ、貧困問題は解決しない。学びは貧困対策の核です」

The welfare ministry placed much importance on learning support as a key element of policy efforts introduced in April last year to tackle the problem of child poverty under a program to help the needy become financially independent. The ministry has urged local governments to take steps to expand learning support for children of needy families.
 昨年4月に始まった生活困窮者自立支援制度で、厚生労働省は学習支援事業を貧困対策の柱の一つと位置づけ、自治体に実施を促している。

Since this is a program based on voluntary policy initiatives, however, as many as 45 percent of the local governments have no plan to implement specific measures, according to a survey by Aoto’s group.
しかし任意事業のため、青砥さんのNPOの調査では「実施予定なし」の自治体が45%もある。

SURVEYS ONLY WAY TO GRASP THE REALITY
 ■地域の実態調査を

One potentially effective way to accelerate policy efforts to reduce poverty is to make the problem more clearly “visible” to the public.
 こうした取り組みをどう加速させるか。ヒントになりそうなのが、貧困の「見える化」だ。

Earlier this year, Okinawa became the first prefecture to announce its own estimate of its child poverty rate. According to a survey commissioned by the prefectural government, 29.9 percent of children in the prefecture live under the poverty line, a figure that is 80 percent higher than the national average.
 沖縄県は今年、都道府県で初めて独自に子どもの貧困率を29・9%と推計し、公表した。全国の1・8倍という高さだ。

“It's impossible to come up with the appropriate measures unless we grasp the severity of the situation concerning poverty among children in Okinawa,” said Kenta Kishaba, who heads the section for child policy.
 「沖縄の子どもの状況がどれだけ厳しいか。それを把握しないと必要な対策も見えてこない」(喜舎場〈きしゃば〉健太・県子ども未来政策室長)。

Prefectural authorities had to persuade many initially unwilling municipal governments to cooperate in the endeavor.
渋る市町村を説得し、協力を仰いだ。

The survey’s findings showed that the existing systems to support needy families are not working.
Nearly half of families living under the poverty line didn’t use the local government’s program to subsidize the costs of learning materials used at schools, for instance. Nearly 20 percent of these families didn’t even know about the program.
 学校で必要な教材の費用などを援助する就学援助を貧困家庭の半分近くが利用しておらず、制度を知らない人も2割近い。同時に行ったアンケートからは、既存の支援制度が十分に機能していない実態もわかった。

The prefectural government has drawn up a six-year plan to address the problem by setting 34 numerical targets, including reducing the number of needy families that don’t know the subsidy program to zero and ensuring that all municipalities operate learning support classes. It established a 3 billion yen ($28.3 million) fund to achieve those targets.
 県は「就学援助を知らない貧困世帯ゼロ」「学習支援教室を全市町村に拡大」など34の数値目標を含む6カ年計画を作り、30億円の対策基金を設けた。

Ai Tatsuno, who heads the nonprofit corporation that carried out the survey on behalf of the prefectural government, said the local governments took steps to solve the problem after facing the reality (grasped by the survey).
“Understanding the reality is vital also for evaluating the effectiveness of policy measures,” Tatsuno added.
調査を担当した一般社団法人「沖縄県子ども総合研究所」の龍野愛所長は「現実を突きつけられたから政策が動いた。実態把握は、政策の効果を検証する上でも欠かせない」と強調する。

Osaka City also plans to conduct a similar survey of elementary and junior high school students within this fiscal year. Grasping the situation in each area will provide strong impetus to policy efforts to tackle the problem. Other local governments should follow suit, and swiftly.
 大阪市も今年度、小・中学生らを対象に調査を予定する。地域ごとに実態をつかむことが、対策を前進させる大きな力になる。取り組みを急ぎたい。

UP TO SOCIETY TO CONFRONT THE CHALLENGE
 ■社会全体で向き合う

The central government’s policy guidelines for addressing the problem were endorsed by the Cabinet after the law to deal with child poverty came into effect in 2014. They call for effective measures to create the right surroundings and ensure equal opportunities for education so that the future of children will not be affected by the environment in which they grow up.
 「子どもの将来が生まれ育った環境によって左右されることのないよう、必要な環境整備と教育の機会均等を図る」。2014年に施行された子どもの貧困対策法を受け、政府が閣議決定した大綱がうたう理念だ。

But these words should be matched with specific policy actions. The government needs to enhance its policy responses, mainly in the areas of social security and education.
 言葉だけで終わらせてはならない。社会保障と教育を両輪に、対策を充実させたい。

In particular, Japan’s public spending on education in terms of its ratio to the size of its economy is among the lowest in the developed world. The government should drastically increase its education budget.
とりわけ教育分野では、経済規模と比べた公的支出が先進諸国の中で最低水準にとどまる。予算を思い切って増やすべきだ。

A lawmaker of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party recently made disheartening remarks about the proposal to expand scholarships.
“The government should be firmly committed to compulsory education, but students at high schools and universities should work on their own,” the lawmaker said.
 「義務教育は国がしっかりやるが、高校や大学は自立してがんばってもらわないと」。自民党の国会議員が奨学金制度の拡充をめぐって最近、こんな趣旨の発言をした。

This comment echoes a widespread view. But it is high time Japanese society stopped being wedded to this kind of simplistic and outdated thinking based on the principle of personal responsibility.
今も根強い主張だが、そうした単純な「自己責任論」から卒業する時だ。

Children will become the backbone of society. Supporting their healthy development is an investment in the future.
 子どもたちは社会の担い手になっていく。その健やかな育ちを後押しすることは、「未来への投資」にほかならない。

Society at all levels must reach out to support its children. There needs to be broad social consensus on the merits of this principle and what it will entail.
 社会全体で子どもを支える。その合意と負担に向き合う覚悟が問われている。
posted by srachai at 08:43| Comment(0) | 朝日英字

2016年05月04日

個人と国家と憲法と 歴史の後戻りはさせない

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 3
EDITORIAL: Values embodied in Constitution made Japan what it is today
(社説)個人と国家と憲法と 歴史の後戻りはさせない

A booklet published on May 3, 1947, provided a commentary on the “freedom” guaranteed by the Constitution.
One passage read: “What is freedom? In a nutshell, it means to live according to one’s conscience.”
Another passage went on to say: “We are allowed to have any thought. We have the freedom to hold any kind of meeting and create any kind of organization.”
The booklet, titled “Atarashii Kenpo Akarui Seikatsu” (new constitution, sunny life), was published on the day Japan’s postwar Constitution came into effect by “Kenpo Fukyukai” (society for the popularization of the Constitution), a parliamentary body headed by Hitoshi Ashida, a lawmaker who became prime minister in 1948. Some 20 million of the booklets were distributed to households across the nation.
 「自由とはいったい何であろうか。一口にいえば自分の良心に従って生きることである」
 「私たちはどんな考えを持ってもよい」「どんな会合をやっても、どんな団体をつくっても自由である」
 これは、いまの憲法が施行された69年前のきょう、憲法普及会(芦田均会長)が全国の家庭向けに2千万部発行した小冊子「新しい憲法 明るい生活」が説明する「自由」だ。

“For a long time, even our basic freedoms have been restricted. We had been desperately wishing for greater freedom. Now, our wish has been realized,” said the booklet, which was awash with phrases and expressions that reflected the joy of being freed from the oppression of the wartime militarist government.
 「長い間私たちには、その自由さえも制限されていた。私たちは何とかしてもっと自由がほしいと願っていた。いまその願いが果(はた)されたのである」。冊子には、戦時下の息苦しさからの解放感に満ちた言葉が並ぶ。

The preamble to the Constitution declares that the authority of government is derived from the people and its powers are exercised by the representatives of the people, while its benefits are enjoyed by the people. These principles of popular sovereignty and representative democracy are “universal principles” that have been established through popular uprisings in modern times, such as the French Revolution.
 国政の権威は国民に由来し、権力は国民の代表者が行使し、その福利は国民が受け取る――。憲法前文が明記するこの主権在民と代表民主制の原理は、フランス革命など近代の市民革命によって獲得された「人類普遍の原理」だ。

Japan's postwar social system has been defined by the Constitution that took effect nearly seven decades ago.
 70年近くがたち、新たな社会のしくみは戦後日本に定着した。

Unfortunately, the government has shown signs of wanting to put certain limits on the freedom of individuals and impose specific values on the citizens of this country.
ただ一方で、国家が個人の自由に枠をはめたり、特定の価値観を押しつけたりしようとする動きがちらつき始めた。

AMENDMENT OF EDUCATION LAW
 ■改憲のさきがけか

That trend emerged 10 years ago.
 10年前にさかのぼる。

The Fundamental Law of Education, which also took effect in 1947 and was touted as the “constitution of education,” was revised for the first time from start to finish.
 憲法と同じ年に施行され、「教育の憲法」と言われた教育基本法が、初めて、そして全文が改正された。

When he came to power in 2006 with a pledge to “unshackle Japan from the postwar regime,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made revision of the education law a policy priority for his first tenure.
「戦後レジームからの脱却」を掲げて政権についたばかりの安倍首相が、最重要課題としていた。

The revised Fundamental Law of Education stipulates, along with respect for individuals and other countries, a set of moral standards as “goals of education.” These standards are aimed at helping students develop a commitment to “love their nation and native land” and “contribute to the development of society with public-mindedness.”
 「我が国と郷土を愛する」「公共の精神に基づき、社会の発展に寄与する」。改正法には、個人や他国の尊重に加え、こうした態度を養うという道徳規範が「教育の目標」として列挙された。

The provisions of the law with regard to the relationship between the government’s education policy and schools and teachers were also rewritten to place greater emphasis on “public” than on “individuals.” Critics said the principal objective of the law changed from defining the role of the government in education to instructing the people about education.
教育行政と学校現場との関係にかかわる条文も改められ、「個」よりも「公」重視、行政を律する法から国民に指図する法へとその性格が変わった、といわれた。

Back then, Abe told the Diet that revising the law would not lead to tighter state control on education.
 安倍首相は当時、教育基本法を改正しても「国家管理を強めることにはならない」と国会で答弁していた。

But since he returned to power in 2012 after spending the intervening period as an opposition lawmaker, Abe has rolled out a series of education policy measures based on the “spirit of the revised Fundamental Law of Education,” which he has eagerly promoted.
ところが、下野をへて政権に復帰した安倍氏は、「改正教育基本法の精神」を前面に掲げ、新たな教育政策を次々と繰り出している。

The most symbolic initiative of his new education policy concerns the rules for school textbook screenings and authorization by the government.
 その最たるものが、教科書検定の新しいルールだ。

The new rules allow the government to disqualify textbooks that have “serious flaws” from the viewpoint of the “goals of education” set out by the revised law.
改正法で新たに盛り込まれた「教育の目標」に照らし「重大な欠陥」があれば不合格にできる。

They also give the government the authority to demand that descriptions in textbooks match the official position on issues raised.
政府見解がある事柄には、それに基づいた記述を求める。

This year, the rules have been applied to the screening of high school textbooks for the first time. As a result, descriptions about topics such as postwar reparations and the government’s decision to allow Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense, on which the nation has been divided, reflect the Abe administration’s claims and arguments concerning these issues.
 高校の教科書に初めて適用された今年の検定では、戦後補償や世論が割れる集団的自衛権の行使容認などで、政権の主張が反映された記述になった。

The education minister has called on national universities to ensure that the national flag is hoisted and the national anthem is sung at ceremonies. This request, which raise questions about academic freedom and university autonomy, was prompted by Abe’s remarks at the Diet that these matters should be dealt with appropriately in line with the principles of the Fundamental Law of Education.
 また、文科相による国立大への「国旗・国歌」の要請は、学問の自由や大学の自治にかかわる問題だが、そのきっかけは「教育基本法の方針にのっとって正しく実施されるべきだ」との首相の国会答弁だった。

STATE PLAYING A MORE ASSERTIVE ROLE
 ■前面にせり出す国家

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party announced a new draft Constitution in 2012 that echoes the goals of the revised Fundamental Law of Education.
 自民党が12年にまとめた憲法改正草案は、改正教育基本法のめざす方向と一致する。

The draft is designed to allow the government to play an excessively assertive role. In contrast, the freedoms and rights of individuals are de-emphasized.
 草案では国家が過剰なまでに前面にせり出す。後退するのは個人の自由や権利だ。

The draft’s preamble says the purpose of establishing a new Constitution is to “hand down good traditions and our nation to all posterity.”
 草案前文の憲法制定の目的は「良き伝統と我々の国家を末永く子孫に継承するため」だ。

This stands in sharp contrast to the preamble to the current Constitution, which refers to the people’s determination to secure liberty and renounce war.
現憲法の「自由の確保」や「不戦」とは様変わりだ。

The LDP’s draft Constitution also says “the Japanese people shall defend their nation and native land with pride and resolve and, while respecting basic human rights, shall also respect harmony and help form a nation through mutual help between family members and all members of society.”
 また、「日本国民は、国と郷土を誇りと気概を持って自ら守り、基本的人権を尊重するとともに、和を尊び、家族や社会全体が互いに助け合って国家を形成する」と規定する。

At the same time, Article 12 of the document says the people’s freedoms and rights shall be exercised “always in ways that don’t go against the interests of the public or undermine public order.”
 一方で、国民の自由や権利の行使には「常に公益及び公の秩序に反してはならない」(12条)との枠をはめている。

The ruling party wants to ensure that the Constitution not only reflects the principles of constitutionalism but also Japan’s “national character,” Yosuke Isozaki, a former special adviser to Abe, once said.
 「憲法は立憲主義だけでなく、国柄をきちんと反映したものにもしたい」(礒崎陽輔前首相補佐官)というのが党の考えだ。

But specific values and ideals should not be imposed on citizens by the Constitution, no matter how many people think they have the moral high ground.
だが、たとえどんなに多くの人が「道徳的に正しい」と考える内容であっても、憲法によってすべての国民に強いるべきものではない。

Teruyuki Hirota, a professor of educational sociology at Nihon University who is well versed in education issues in Japan, warns that such political intervention is inherently dangerous.
 教育現場に詳しい広田照幸・日大教授は、政治の動きを踏まえて警鐘を鳴らす。

“A political desire to guide children toward a certain way of life through education could be directed at the entire nation through a constitutional amendment,” he says.
「『こういう生き方をさせたい』という教育の場での政治的欲望が、こんどは憲法改正を通じて国民全体にふってくるかもしれない」

UNACCEPTABLE POLICY OBJECTIVES
 ■押しつけは筋違い

The question is whether individuals exist for the nation or the nation exists for individuals.
In his book “Atarashii Kuni-e” (toward a new nation), Abe addresses this issue.
 個人あっての国家か、国家あっての個人か。安倍首相は、自著でこう述べている。

“It is the nation that guarantees the freedom of individuals. If this function (of the nation) is stopped by another nation’s rule, it is obvious that the people’s fundamental rights will be restricted.”
 「個人の自由を担保しているのは国家なのである。それらの機能が他国の支配によって停止させられれば、天賦の権利が制限されてしまうのは自明であろう」(『新しい国へ』)

It is the role of the state to protect its people from attacks by another state. But that doesn’t give the government the right to impose its ideals and vision for the nation and the way of life on the people with whom sovereign power resides as elements of Japan’s “national character.”
 他国の攻撃から国民を守るのは国家の役割だ。かといって権力が理想とする国家像や生き方を、「国柄だから」と主権者に押しつけるのは筋が違う。

Allowing the government to do so would be tantamount to reversing the wheel of history in postwar Japan where the “universal principles” have been so firmly entrenched in its society.
 それを許してしまえば、「普遍の原理」を社会に根付かせてきた歴史の歩みを、後戻りさせることになる。
posted by srachai at 08:57| Comment(0) | 朝日英字

2016年04月30日

安保違憲訴訟 司法の真価が問われる

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 29
EDITORIAL: Judiciary can’t afford to duck concerns about security laws
(社説)安保違憲訴訟 司法の真価が問われる

About 500 citizens have sued the government over national security legislation enacted last year, claiming the legislation is unconstitutional because it allows Japan to engage in collective self-defense.
 集団的自衛権の行使を認めた安保関連法は憲法に反するとして、市民ら約500人が東京地裁に訴えをおこした。今後も各地で提訴が予定されている。

The lawsuit, filed with the Tokyo District Court on April 26, demands a court order to block any Self-Defense Forces deployment under the security laws, which passed the Diet last September and came into force on March 29. Similar legal actions are expected in various parts of the nation.
The judiciary should respond head-on to the vital constitutional questions raised by these suits. The courts should fulfill their judicial responsibility by making their own constitutional judgments on the matter. The Supreme Court, the guardian of the Constitution, should then make the final decision.
 裁判所は、正面からこの問いに答えてもらいたい。各地での判決を積み重ねたうえで、憲法の番人である最高裁が最終判断を示す。その司法の責務をまっとうしてほしい。

We should remember the Diet debate on the security bills submitted last year by the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
 昨年の安保法制の国会審議を思い起こしたい。

Many legal experts, including constitutional scholars and former Supreme Court justices, denounced the legislation as “a violation of the Constitution” and “a denial of constitutionalism.” Many Japanese were disturbed by the government’s explanations about its interpretation of related constitutional provisions that were clearly at odds with past government statements.
 多くの憲法学者や元最高裁判事らが、「違憲である」「立憲主義の否定だ」と声をあげた。過去の政府答弁と明らかに食い違う憲法解釈の説明に、疑問を感じる国民も多かった。

But the government and ruling camp dismissed all these criticisms, saying it is the Supreme Court that has the mandate to make the final judgment on the constitutionality of laws. The government also argued that one top court ruling is more important than 100 theories. Eventually, the ruling coalition rammed the bills through the Diet by using its dominant parliamentary majority.
 しかし政府与党は「違憲かどうか最後に判断するのは最高裁だ」「100の学説より一つの最高裁判決だ」と反論し、数の力で法を成立させた。

The administration’s policy of heeding only what the Supreme Court says in dealing with constitutional issues related to the legislation should not be taken as a sign of respect for the judiciary.
 耳を貸す相手は最高裁でしかないという政権の姿勢を、そのまま司法への敬意の表れと受け取るわけにはいかない。

Through personnel changes, the Abe administration effectively stripped the Cabinet Legislation Bureau, the watchdog of legislative actions, of its ability to check bills from the legal point of view.
 そもそも安倍政権は政府内の「法の番人」だった内閣法制局への人事措置により、チェック機能をそいだ。

The Diet, the nation’s legislature, proved to be ruled by the dictates of the majority.
立法府である国会も数の論理が支配した。

The role of the judiciary as one of the three branches of government under the checks and balances system has never been as important as it is now.
 三権分立の一翼を担う司法の役割が、いまほど重く問われているときはない。

The plaintiffs of the latest lawsuit are demanding compensation for what they say is a violation of their constitutional right to live in peace. They also claim the people’s right to amend and determine the Constitution has been violated by the effective change to war-renouncing Article 9 made by the administration without following the formal procedure for constitutional amendments.
 原告側は、平和に生きる権利を侵されたとして、賠償などを求めている。憲法改正手続きを経ずに9条を実質的に変えられてしまい、国民の「憲法改正・決定権」が侵害されたと訴えている。

Past court rulings on lawsuits over such constitutional issues indicate that the plaintiffs face high hurdles.
 これまでの判例を振り返れば原告側のハードルは高い。

Conventional wisdom in the Japanese judicial community says courts should not judge the constitutionality of specific laws unless there are concrete legal disputes that require such judgment.
 日本の裁判では、具体的な争いがなければ、法律が合憲か違憲かを判断できないとされる。

A court refused to hear another lawsuit seeking the annulment of the new security laws, saying such a demand is inappropriate for judicial determination.
抽象的に安保法の廃止などを求めた別の訴訟は「審査の対象にならない」と門前払いされた。

The consensus view among judicial experts is that even if a court decides to hear such a lawsuit, a constitutional judgment should not be made unless it is necessary for settling a dispute involving concrete interests.
 審査に入ったとしても、憲法判断は訴えの解決に必要な場合以外は行わないという考えが、司法関係者の間では一般的だ。

Given the history of court rulings in this type of case, courts may opt to avoid making any constitutional judgment while rejecting the plaintiffs’ demand for compensation.
 今回も裁判所がその考え方に立てば、賠償の求めを退けるだけで、憲法判断は避ける方向に傾くこともありえる。

But the plaintiffs of the latest lawsuit include relatives of SDF personnel and residents living near military bases.
 原告には自衛隊員の親族や、基地周辺の住民らも名を連ねている。

They need to make concrete arguments regarding their specific interests to persuade the court to hear the case.
裁判というテーブルに議論を載せるためにも、具体的な主張をめざしてほしい。

At the heart of their lawsuit is serious anxiety about the government’s lack of respect for the basic principles of constitutionalism.
 訴えの根本にあるのは、立憲主義を軽んじる政治のあり方に対する深刻な危機感である。

The judiciary should make sincere responses to the constitutional questions raised by these lawsuits without trivializing them.
 憲法をめぐる真剣な問いを、裁判所は矮小(わいしょう)化することなく、真摯(しんし)に受け止めるべきだ。

The courts should not act in a way that will only further undermine public confidence in the governing system.
国の統治機構への信頼をこれ以上損なってはならない。
posted by srachai at 09:12| Comment(0) | 朝日英字

2016年04月28日

ヘイト法案 反差別の姿勢を明確に

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 27
EDITORIAL: Thorough talks needed to block abuse of planned hate speech law
(社説)ヘイト法案 反差別の姿勢を明確に

A bill to outlaw hate speech, sponsored by the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito, is currently under deliberation in the Upper House Legal Affairs Committee.
 乱暴な言葉で特定の人種や民族への差別をあおるヘイトスピーチを、どうなくしていくか。
 自民、公明の両与党が国会に出した対策法案の審議が、参院法務委員会で続いている。

With the opposition camp having already presented a similar bill to the Diet last year, all Japanese political parties are at least in agreement that legislative measures must be taken to eliminate hate speech, which fans vile discrimination against certain ethnic groups.
 野党側はすでに昨年、独自案を出しており、少なくとも与野党は、法整備の必要性では一致したことになる。

But legal scholars are strongly concerned that such legislation could threaten freedom of expression depending on how it is enforced. Indeed, determining the conditions of enforcement will be a difficult and complex matter.
 運用次第では「表現の自由」を脅かしかねないとして、法学者らの間には慎重論も根強い。確かに、何を対象にどう規制するか難しい問題をはらむ。

However, hate speech has shown no signs of abating in recent years. In a lawsuit against a citizens group that attacked the Tokushima prefectural union of teachers for donating money to a Korean school, the Takamatsu High Court on April 25 ruled that the group’s activities “represented an attitude of racial discrimination,” and it ordered the group to pay damages to the teachers’ union.
 だが近年、ヘイトスピーチは収まる気配がない。高松高裁は一昨日、朝鮮学校に寄付をした徳島県教組を攻撃した団体の活動を「人種差別的思想の現れ」と認め、賠償を命じた。

Hate-filled invectives against minorities, such as “get out of Japan,” are uttered nationwide. These human rights violations cannot be allowed to continue. We definitely believe the time has come to take some sort of legislative action.
 少数派を標的に「日本から出て行け」といった差別をあおる言説は各地でみられる。人権侵害をもはや放置するわけにはいかない。何らかの立法措置も必要な段階に至ったと考える。

Neither the ruling coalition-sponsored bill nor its opposition counterpart contains punitive provisions against offenders. While we would like both bills to clearly spell out that discrimination can never be condoned as a matter of basic human decency, we also believe that utmost care must be taken to ensure the legislation will not infringe upon freedom of expression.
 与野党両案ともに罰則規定はなく、理念法にとどまる。社会の最低限のルールとして差別は許されないことを明記すべきだが、一方で「表現の自由」を侵さないよう最大限の配慮をする姿勢は崩してはなるまい。

The United Nations considers it a problem that Japan, which ratified the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination 21 years ago, still has no laws against racial discrimination. It has now become Japan’s obligation to the international community to declare a firm stance against discrimination of any sort against any race or nationality.
 国連は、人種差別撤廃条約を21年前に批准した日本で国内法が整っていないことを問題視している。人種や国籍を問わず、差別に反対する姿勢を明示するのは国際的な要請でもある。

We hope the ruling and opposition parties will set aside their petty political interests and forge a consensus after thoroughly debating the issue and with complete transparency, from the standpoint of defending universal human rights.
 与野党は、狭い政治的利害を超え、普遍的な人権を守る見地から透明性のある議論を重ね、合意を築いてほしい。

Diet deliberations in the days ahead are expected to focus on the LDP-Komeito bill. But there are some problems with the legislation.
 今後の審議は与党案が軸になるだろうが、問題点がある。

For instance, the bill defines victims of discrimination as “non-Japanese-born people and their descendants.” But the indigenous Ainu people of Japan have been subjected to discrimination. To make this right, we believe the ruling coalition should adopt the opposition-sponsored bill’s broader definition of victims as “non-Japanese races and ethnic groups.”
 与党案は差別的言動を受けている対象者を「本邦外出身者とその子孫」としている。だが、これまでアイヌ民族なども標的となってきた。ここは「人種や民族」と対象を広げた野党案を採り入れるべきだ。

Another problem we see with the LDP-Komeito bill is that it will apply only to “legal aliens residing in Japan.” We find this hard to comprehend.
 また、与党案が「適法に居住する(本邦外)出身者」と対象を限定しているのも理解に苦しむ。

Discrimination in itself has nothing to do with the victim’s residency status. If this is left uncorrected, this bill could hurt those who are in the process of applying for refugee status.
在留資格の有無は本来、差別と無関係であり、難民申請者らに被害がおよびかねない。

In the past, the LDP manifested its intent to manipulate the hate speech issue to its own convenience. LDP legislators made statements hinting at applying hate speech legislation against anti-U.S. base activists and protesters opposed to nuclear power generation.
 自民党ではこれまで、ヘイトスピーチを本来の趣旨とは異なる形で利用しようとする言動があった。脱原発デモや米軍基地への反対運動への法の適用を示唆するような発言があった。

Such abuse of the law by politicians is exactly what we fear.
 懸念されるのは、まさにそうした政治や行政による乱用である。

For the law to fully serve its intended purpose of eliminating all racial and ethnic discrimination, its non-arbitrary and appropriate enforcement must be guaranteed. And thorough discussion is also needed on how to monitor the enforcement of this law.
人種や民族に対する差別行為をなくす本来の目的のために、恣意(しい)的でない的確な運用をいかに担保するか。その監視のあり方も十分論議すべきだ。
posted by srachai at 07:25| Comment(0) | 朝日英字

2016年04月27日

ハンセン病 司法の差別、決着せぬ

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 26
EDITORIAL: Doubts remain after top court apologizes for leprosy trials
(社説)ハンセン病 司法の差別、決着せぬ

The Supreme Court has officially admitted it made a serious mistake by allowing lower courts to hold criminal and other trials for leprosy patients outside regular courtrooms. But the mea culpa from the top court, which is regarded as the “bastion of human rights,” doesn’t answer key constitutional questions.
 「人権の砦(とりで)」たる最高裁として、これで問題が決着したといえるのだろうか。

The Supreme Court on April 25 officially apologized to former leprosy patients and other people who suffered from this practice, saying it “deeply regrets having degraded the personalities and dignity of the patients and apologizes.”
 ハンセン病患者の裁判がかつて、隔離された「特別法廷」で開かれていたことをめぐり、最高裁はきのう、元患者らに「患者の人格と尊厳を傷つけたことを深く反省し、お詫(わ)びする」と謝罪した。

The top court acknowledged that its approvals of the special separate trials for leprosy sufferers were discriminatory in nature and violated the court organization law.
 裁判を隔離した判断のあり方は差別的だった疑いが強く、裁判所法に違反すると認めた。

It is extremely unusual for the nation’s highest court to admit having made a misjudgment concerning judicial procedures and offering such an apology. It took a step in the right direction by examining the issue.
最高裁が司法手続き上の判断の誤りを認めて謝罪するのは極めて異例であり、検証作業をしたこと自体は評価できるだろう。

However, the key question in this controversy was the constitutionality of the policy. The top court concluded that the “special trials” didn’t violate the constitutional principle of open trials.
 だが、注目された違憲性の判断に関しては、憲法上の「裁判の公開」の原則には反しない、と結論づけた。

The Supreme Court should ask itself whether this conclusion is acceptable to former patients and their families who suffered from discrimination and prejudices against leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease.
 果たしてハンセン病への差別や偏見に苦しめられてきた元患者や家族に受け入れられる判断だろうか。

The opinions of the court’s expert panel on the issue, released at the same time, raised two important constitutional questions.
 同時に公表された最高裁の有識者委員会の意見は、憲法上の二つの点で疑問を突きつけている。

First, the panel said there is no denying that the special trials for leprosy patients violated the constitutional principle of equality under the law. Secondly, the panel argued that it is hard not to suspect that the policy also violated the constitutional principle of public trials.
まず、法の下の平等に照らして特別法廷は「違反していたといわざるを得ない」と断じている。さらに裁判の公開原則についても「違憲の疑いは、なおぬぐいきれない」とした。

In 2005, an independent inquiry panel set up by the health ministry had already pointed out similar constitutional questions concerning the practice.
 すでに05年、厚生労働省が設けた検証会議も、同様の憲法上の問題点を指摘していた。

It is difficult to claim that the Supreme Court’s conclusion, issued after many years of failing to respond to the criticism, offers convincing, straightforward answers to these questions.
それを長く放置してきた最高裁が出した今回の判断は、たび重なる指摘に正面から答えたとは言いがたい。

The health ministry’s panel referred to a controversial murder trial of a man from Kumamoto Prefecture who was said to have leprosy. In this case, known as the “Kikuchi Incident,” the defendant was eventually executed despite claiming his innocence.
 検証会議はこの時、ハンセン病患者とされた熊本県の男性が殺人罪に問われ、無実を訴えながら死刑執行された「菊池事件」にも言及していた。

The ministry panel said the man had effectively been tried in a closed-door proceeding.
男性が裁かれた特別法廷について、「いわば『非公開』の状態で進行した」と指摘していた。

The Supreme Court started looking into this issue after it received a demand for an examination of the legitimacy of the special trials. The demand came from lawyers and former leprosy patients who were seeking a retrial for the Kumamoto man.
 事件の再審を求める弁護団や元患者らが、特別法廷の正当性の検討を最高裁に求めて始まったのが今回の検証だった。

Unsurprisingly, an organization of former leprosy patients involved in this campaign has denounced the top court’s failure to acknowledge the unconstitutionality of the practice. The organization said it strongly demands that the court “sincerely admit its own mistake.”
それだけに元患者団体は「自らの誤りを真摯(しんし)に認めることを強く求める」と、違憲性を認めなかったことに反発している。

In its probe into the matter, the Supreme Court avoided making any judgment about individual cases on the grounds of the independence of judges.
 今回の最高裁の検証では、「裁判官の独立」を理由に、個別の事件の判断は避けられた。

But flawed judicial procedures could cast doubts on the appropriateness of the trials themselves.
だが、手続きに問題があれば、裁判そのものに疑いが生じかねない。

The top court should have scrutinized individual cases for possible relief for victims and restoration of their honor.
本来なら個別事件も検証し、被害救済や名誉回復まで考慮すべきだろう。

The judiciary should seriously consider any request for a retrial from a victim of the system.
今後、再審請求があれば、裁判所は真剣に対応すべきだ。

The challenge facing the Japanese judiciary is how to use the results of the investigation to promote efforts to eliminate discrimination and prejudices from society.
 差別や偏見のない社会に少しでも近づけるために、今回の検証をどう役立てるのか。

The Supreme Court should move beyond this apology and continue performing its responsibility to tackle this challenge.
謝罪を超え、最高裁はさらにその責任を負い続けなくてはならない。
posted by srachai at 08:26| Comment(0) | 朝日英字

2016年04月26日

震災避難 障害者への支援確保を

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 24
EDITORIAL: Improved system needed to assist disabled people in disasters
(社説)震災避難 障害者への支援確保を

Many people with disabilities have been unable to enter crucially important evacuation shelters in areas hit hard by the recent succession of earthquakes in Kumamoto and other prefectures.
 熊本県を中心に続く震災で、命をつなぐはずの避難所に入れない障害者が続出している。

“I was told that people on wheelchairs are not allowed because the hall has bumps on the floor,” one of them said.
 「ホールに段差があり、車いすの人は入れないと断られた」

“I got no information from anywhere, so I spent nights in a car for a week,” said another.
 「どこからも情報が来ず、1週間、車中泊を続けた」

“Welfare evacuation shelters” were supposed to be set up for people with disabilities and elderly people, who would find it difficult to live in evacuation shelters for the general public.
 一般の避難所では生活が難しい障害者や高齢者には、「福祉避難所」が用意されるはずだった。

Welfare evacuation shelters refer to schools, welfare facilities and other institutions that have signed agreements with municipal governments in preparation for a possible disaster.
災害に備えて、あらかじめ市区町村と協定を結んだ学校や福祉施設などである。

But the system failed in the face of the real earthquake disaster.
 だが、震災の現実の前には、うまく機能しなかった。

Some 35,000 people in Kumamoto, the capital of Kumamoto Prefecture, are registered as “persons requiring support,” who were expected to need help in evacuating from a disaster.
 熊本市では、避難の際に手助けが要る「要支援者」の名簿に登録された人は約3万5千人いる。

While 176 institutions had signed agreements to serve as welfare evacuation shelters, the number of institutions that actually accepted people in need was slow to grow.
これに対し、福祉避難所の協定をもつ施設は176あったが、実際に受け入れる施設はなかなか増えなかった。

Some of the institutions were short-staffed because care providers became quake victims themselves. Some of the buildings were destroyed, and water supply was cut.
 ケアする人が被災して人手不足だったり、建物が壊れて水道も止まったりと、施設の環境が整わなかった事情がある。

After volunteer workers were recruited, 33 welfare evacuation shelters were opened by April 22. But only 80-odd people have entered those shelters. Officials at one shelter have complained that all they can do is to provide space because they cannot afford to provide assistance.
 ボランティアを募り、22日までにやっと33カ所が開設した。だが入所者は80人超どまり。介助の余裕がなく場所の提供しかできない、と嘆く施設もある。

People with disabilities and others who remain out of welfare evacuation shelters may face serious difficulties from the prolonged consequences of the earthquake disaster. Checking for their safety has turned out to be more difficult than initially expected.
 福祉避難所に入れない障害者らにとって、長引く震災は深刻な生活苦をもたらす。安否確認も思うように進まなかった。

Given the situation, Kumamoto Gakuen University has been drawing attention for its activities. The university in Kumamoto city has made its presence felt by accepting up to 60 or so people who are disabled or elderly.
 こうした中、熊本市の熊本学園大の活動が注目されている。最大60人ほどの障害者や高齢者を受け入れ、存在感を示す。

Initially, the university only had its athletic field designated as a wide-area evacuation ground. As local residents began to assemble on its campus amid the succession of powerful earthquakes, however, the university decided to let local inhabitants use four of its classrooms.
 もともとはグラウンドが広域避難場所に指定されていただけだったが、相次ぐ強震で住民が集まり始めたため、4教室を住民に開放した。

It also designated a grand hall in one of its buildings for exclusive use by "persons requiring support." University officials have arranged a framework, whereby certified care workers with connections to the university and volunteering students are available 24 hours a day to watch those evacuees who require support.
さらに校舎内の大ホールを要支援者専用にし、大学関係の介護福祉士や学生ボランティアらが24時間、避難者を見守る態勢をつくった。

The law on the elimination of disability discrimination, which took effect this month, says public institutions are obliged to “provide reasonable accommodation.” They are supposed to respond, to a reasonable extent, to the requests of disabled people to eliminate social barriers.
Kumamoto Gakuen University’s undertaking is a pioneering attempt at fleshing out the spirit of that law.
 今月施行された障害者差別解消法は、「合理的配慮の提供」を公的機関の義務と定めている。障害者から社会的な障壁を取り除く要請があれば、無理ない範囲で対応する。その精神を実現する先駆的な試みだ。

Two professors at the university, who were involved in opening the evacuation shelter, have worked with groups of disabled people and their supporters to set up a “center for people with disabilities in disaster areas.”
 避難所づくりに携わった同大の教授2人は障害者・支援者団体と協力して「被災地障害者センター」も設けた。

Instead of bringing disabled people together in a single evacuation shelter, the center will serve as a hub for providing appropriate information to people with disabilities in different areas, and will continue to give them necessary support until they can return to their previous lifestyles.
一つの避難所に集約するのではなく、各地の障害者に適切な情報を提供する拠点となり、元の生活に戻るまで必要な支援を続ける。

Close to 80,000 people continue to live in evacuation following the Kumamoto earthquakes. And it is never easy for people with disabilities to live the same way as people without disabilities.
 避難者は今も8万人近い。その中で障害者らは、健常者と同じように暮らすのは難しい。

In normal times, we should prepare mechanisms, for example, to use the list of “persons requiring support” to determine their safety status in emergencies and to allow welfare institutions to dispatch staff members to each other on a broader regional scale.
要支援者名簿をもとに安否を確認する仕組みや、広域で福祉施設同士が職員を派遣し合う枠組みなどを平時から準備したい。

Doing so would be one way to prepare for the next disaster, which could hit any part of Japan.
日本中どこで起きるかわからない「次の災害」に備えて。
posted by srachai at 07:19| Comment(0) | 朝日英字

2016年04月25日

原発40年規制 早くも骨抜きなのか

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 21
EDITORIAL: 40-year rule for nuclear reactors on verge of being a dead letter
(社説)原発40年規制 早くも骨抜きなのか

The 40-year lifespan for nuclear reactors, established after the catastrophic accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in 2011, is now in danger of being watered down to irrelevance.
The rule requires the decommissioning of aging reactors, starting with the oldest, for a gradual, carefully controlled process of phasing out nuclear power generation in this country.
 古い原発は廃炉とし、計画的に原発の数を減らしていく――東京電力福島第一原発事故への反省から決めたルールが、早くも骨抜きになろうとしている。

The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) on April 20 formally decided that the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, which have been in service for over 40 years, meet new nuclear safety standards introduced after the devastating 2011 accident.
 原子力規制委員会は、運転開始から40年を超えた関西電力高浜原発1、2号機(福井県)について、新規制基準を満たしていると正式に決めた。

This is the first license renewal for a reactor that has been in operation for more than four decades under the new standards.
新基準のもとで40年超の老朽原発の運転延長が認められるのは初めてだ。

If they pass the remaining regulatory inspections concerning technical details by the July deadline, the reactors will likely continue to generate electricity for two more decades.
残る細かい審査を7月の期限までに終えれば、あと20年、運転が続く公算が大きい。

The 40-year lifespan provision was introduced through a revision to the law after the Fukushima disaster.
 「40年ルール」は福島での事故後、法律を改正して導入された。

Just one service life extension of up to 20 years is allowed, but only as an “extremely exceptional” measure.
「1回だけ、最長20年間」と定められた運転延長は「極めて例外的」と位置づけられた。

This exception was made to avoid a shortage of electricity. But concerns about any serious power crunch have virtually dissipated thanks to a marked rise in levels of power and energy conservation in society.
あえて例外を設けたのは電力不足に備えるためだったが、節電や省エネの定着で懸念は解消していると言っていい。

The NRA’s formal decision to extend the life of the two aging reactors came amid a series of earthquakes rocking central Kyushu around Kumamoto Prefecture which have been described by the Japan Meteorological Agency as “a deviation from the rules extracted from past experiences.”
 おりしも熊本県を中心に「今までの経験則からはずれている」(気象庁)という地震が続く。

Many Japanese are concerned that the quakes could affect Kyushu Electric Power’s Sendai nuclear plant in neighboring Kagoshima Prefecture. The NRA’s decision to grant an exception to the rule so quickly could have the effect of relaxing the safety standards and deepening public distrust of the government’s nuclear regulation.
隣の鹿児島県で運転中の九州電力川内原発に影響が及ばないか、不安を感じている国民は少なくない。いきなり例外を認め、規制のたがを緩めるような対応は、原発行政への不信を高めるだけではないか。

The Abe administration is leaving all licensing decisions on individual reactors entirely to the NRA. But it has mapped out a long-term energy supply plan based on the assumption that the service life of reactors will be extended.
 安倍政権は個別原発の可否の判断を規制委に丸投げしつつ、運転延長を前提にしたエネルギー計画を立てた。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who repeatedly pledged to lower Japan’s dependence on nuclear power as much as possible, has been changing his stance little by little without announcing any clear policy shift.
「原発依存度を可能な限り低減する」と繰り返していた首相は、なしくずしに方針を転換してきた。

The NRA’s mission is to enhance the safety of nuclear plants from a scientific viewpoint.
But the way the nuclear watchdog assessed the safety of the reactors at the Takahama plant has raised questions about its appropriateness. The NRA has, for instance, allowed Kansai Electric Power to delay required quake resistance tests.
 規制委は、あくまで科学的見地から原発の安全性を高めることが役割だが、今回の審査では耐震性の試験を後回しにすることを関電に認めるなど、手順に疑問が残る。

If it has scheduled its assessment work in a way to ensure that the July deadline will be met, the agency has got its priorities completely wrong.
7月の審査期限をにらんだスケジュールありきだったとすれば、まさに本末転倒である。

A troubling situation is now emerging where decisions on whether to decommission specific reactors are effectively left to the utilities that operate them. As a result, these decisions are being based primarily on whether extending the life of the reactors will pay.
 結局、廃炉にするかどうかの実質的な判断は電力会社に委ねられ、運転延長が採算に合うかどうかという観点から決まるという状況になりつつある。

Operating many nuclear reactors in Japan, a small country with a large population that is highly prone to earthquakes and other natural disasters, inevitably entails a large risk.
 狭い国土に多くの人が住み、地震など自然災害も多い日本で、多くの原発を抱えていくリスクは大きい。

This grim reality was the starting point for the reform of the nuclear power policy prompted by the Fukushima accident.
福島での事故を経て、そこが原子力行政見直しの出発点だったはずだ。

If the government sticks to the policy of maintaining nuclear power generation, the burden on society, including the costs of disposing of nuclear waste, could increase over the long term.
 原発を維持する政策をとり続ければ、廃棄物の処理などで長期的には国民負担も増えかねない。

There is a clear global trend toward raising energy self-sufficiency through efforts to develop renewable energy sources.
エネルギー自給率は再生エネルギーの育成で高めようというのが世界の大勢だ。

A transition period may be necessary. But the only policy that makes sense is to shut down reactors steadily over a period of years.
 移行期間は必要だとしても、着実に原発を閉じていく政策にこそ合理性があろう。

The 40-year rule is one of the key principles of this policy. The government should remember this fact.
40年規制はそのための柱の一つである。そのことを思い起こすべきだ。
posted by srachai at 08:08| Comment(0) | 朝日英字

2016年04月22日

新幹線脱線 地震対策の総点検を

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 21
EDITORIAL: Kyushu quake exposes potential safety problem for Shinkansen
(社説)新幹線脱線 地震対策の総点検を

The powerful earthquake in Kyushu has exposed a potential weakness of Japan’s reputed Shinkansen technology by disrupting operations of the Kyushu Shinkansen Line.
 熊本地震は九州新幹線を直撃した。

An out-of-service bullet train carrying no passengers derailed about 1.3 kilometers south of JR Kumamoto Station following the earthquake that rocked southern Japan on April 14.
Kyushu Railway Co. (JR Kyushu) has also found damaged Shinkansen facilities at about 150 locations, including cracks in elevated bridges and fallen parts of noise-blocking walls.
熊本市内で回送列車が脱線したほか、高架橋の亀裂や防音壁の落下といった損傷が約150カ所にのぼった。

JR Kyushu on April 20 resumed operations on a section of the Shinkansen line between Shin-Minamata Station in Kumamoto Prefecture and Kagoshima-Chuo Station in Kagoshima Prefecture. But there is no telling when the company can restart operations on the remaining northern portion from Shin-Minamata Station to Hakata Station in Fukuoka.
鹿児島中央―新水俣間はきのう運転を再開したが、博多までの全線が復旧するめどは立たない。

This is the third derailment caused by an earthquake in the Shinkansen’s history of over half a century, following one in 2004 caused by the Niigata Chuetsu Earthquake and one in 2011 triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake.
 半世紀を超す新幹線の歴史で、地震による脱線は04年の新潟県中越地震と11年の東日本大震災に続いて3回目になる。

The Kyushu Shinkansen train ran off the rails after the nighttime April 14 quake, which measured a maximum 7 on the Japanese intensity scale in Mashiki.
 今回脱線したのは、最大震度7の地震が起きた14日夜だ。

The violent shaking derailed all six cars of the train, which was running at a speed of around 80 kph. Fortunately, no passengers were on the train, and the driver was not injured.
時速80キロ程度で走っていた列車が揺れに見舞われ、全6両が脱線した。幸い乗客はおらず、運転士にもけがはなかった。

If the train were carrying passengers at a higher speed, however, it could have been a major disaster.
もし高速で営業運転中だったら、大惨事になっていた恐れもある。

Safety should be the absolute top priority for Shinkansen operations, which carry large number of passengers at very high speeds.
 多数の乗客を高速で運ぶ新幹線の安全確保は、とりわけ重要だ。

The derailment should prompt all JR companies offering Shinkansen services to make sweeping reviews of their bullet train systems and operations to secure greater safety.
JR各社はこれを機に過去の対策を総点検し、いっそうの安全向上をめざすべきだ。

Shinkansen lines are equipped with a system to detect preliminary tremors and stop the trains. However, as the Kumamoto accident shows, this system doesn’t work when earthquakes occur close to the lines.
 新幹線には地震の初期微動を検知して列車を止めるシステムがある。しかし、今回のように震源が近い直下型地震では間に合わない。

Since this problem was exposed by the Niigata Chuetsu Earthquake, JR companies have been taking steps to prevent quakes from causing derailments.
その限界があらわになった中越地震の後、各社は地震で揺れても脱線を防ぐ装置の整備に力を注いできた。

JR Kyushu has been working to install “derailment prevention guards” for 55 km of the Kyushu Shinkansen Line, or slightly over 10 percent of both the inbound and outbound bullet train lines.
 JR九州は、九州新幹線の上下線の1割超にあたる55キロに「脱線防止ガード」を敷く計画を進めてきた。

The guard is designed to prevent the wheels from veering off the track by sandwiching them with the rail. The company has already installed the guards on 48 km of the planned sections.
ガードとレールで車輪を挟んで脱線を防ぐ仕組みで、48キロは設置済みだ。

The project covers sections in areas over active faults. But the accident site was not covered.
 活断層があって激しい揺れが予想される区間を対象としているが、熊本の脱線現場は含まれていなかったという。

JR companies have made their own decisions on which sections of their Shinkansen lines should be protected by anti-derailment guards. Their decisions are based on estimates of the risks of severe quakes.
 ガードをどの区間に整備するかは、地震の危険度を踏まえ、各社が独自に判断してきた。

Central Japan Railway (JR Tokai) decided to install the guards for 596 km, or 60 percent, of the Tokaido Shinkansen Line. The company has already finished work for 360 km under the project.
 JR東海は東海道新幹線の6割の596キロで整備を計画し、うち360キロは工事を終えた。

On the Sanyo Shinkansen Line, operated by West Japan Railway Co. (JR West), the protection guards had been installed on 110 km as of the end of last year. JR West plans to extend the protected sections by another 110 km.
山陽新幹線では昨年末までに110キロのガードが敷かれ、JR西日本はあと110キロ延長する予定だ。

East Japan Railway Co. and Hokkaido Railway Co. are installing different types of anti-derailment systems on their Shinkansen lines.
JR東日本と北海道も、形式が異なる脱線防止装置の設置を進めている。

The Kumamoto earthquake underscores the risk of a huge destructive force occurring at unexpected locations directly below urban areas.
 熊本の地震は、思わぬ場所で起きる直下型地震の怖さを示した。

The JR companies should seek opinions of experts to reassess the effectiveness of their current plans to protect their Shinkansen lines from such quakes.
今の整備計画で大丈夫か。専門家の意見を聞くなど、いま一度確かめる必要がある。

Derailment prevention systems are costly, requiring hundreds of millions of yen per kilometer. In addition, work to install such systems can only be done around midnight when the service is off.
But the JR companies should try to figure out ways to implement their plans ahead of schedule.
 脱線防止装置の設置には1キロあたり億単位の金がかかる。深夜しか工事ができない制約もあるが、できる限り整備を前倒しすることも検討してほしい。

The 2011 earthquake damaged poles supporting overhead electric lines beside the tracks.
 東日本大震災では線路脇の架線柱が損壊した。

This time, a chimney of a plant located along the Shinkansen line fell and blocked the rails.
今回も沿線の工場の煙突が倒れ、新幹線の線路をふさいだ。

Giant quakes always create unexpected problems. All we can do is glean all possible lessons from each big quake and make steady efforts to enhance safety.
大地震は常に新たな「想定外」を突き付けてくる。教訓を引き出し、安全網を着実に強めていくしかない。
posted by srachai at 08:59| Comment(0) | 朝日英字

2016年04月15日

パナマ文書 中国政権の正統性問う

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 10
EDITORIAL: Panama Papers question China leadership’s legitimacy
(社説)パナマ文書 中国政権の正統性問う

After three years of persistently pursuing a rigorous anti-corruption campaign, the administration of Chinese President Xi Jinping is now facing a serious credibility crisis.
The administration’s drive to clean up the rot within the government and the Communist Party has won public support because the unusually tough crackdown has led to a slew of arrests and indictments of political heavyweights. Many party bigwigs are still under investigation.
 中国の習近平(シーチンピン)政権は発足から3年、一貫して「反腐敗」を掲げている。大物の摘発を辞さず、従来とは違う強い姿勢で臨んできたことが支持された。いまも連日、共産党幹部が取り調べを受けている。

But the so-called Panama Papers, or millions of internal documents about hidden wealth leaked from a Panama-based law firm, have implicated some members of China’s most powerful policy body.
The names mentioned in the leaked documents include the husband of Xi’s elder sister and relatives of Liu Yunshan and Zhang Gaoli, two other members of the Communist Party Politburo Standing Committee. They were shareholders in companies registered in overseas tax havens, according to information obtained and made public by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
 ところが、国際調査報道ジャーナリスト連合(ICIJ)が入手した「パナマ文書」によれば、習国家主席の姉の夫のほか、共産党政治局常務委員である劉雲山(リウユンシャン)、張高麗(チャンカオリー)両氏の親族が、租税回避地に設立した会社の株主となっていた。

The disclosures raised suspicions that the leaders who have been acting as champions of the anti-corruption crusade are corrupt themselves. The leaked documents have cast serious doubt on the administration’s credibility and moral rectitude.
 反腐敗の旗振り役も腐敗しているのではないか。政権のあり方に疑問を突き付けている。

The Panama Papers also cite five relatives of former Chinese leaders including the husband of Mao Tse-tung’s granddaughter.
 ほかにも毛沢東の孫の夫を含め、元指導者の親族5人の名前が挙がっている。

Chinese authorities have imposed a strict media blackout to block public access to information concerning the Panama Papers.
 中国当局はパナマ文書に関する情報にアクセスできないよう統制を敷いた。

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has refused to comment on any of the many questions about the topic posed by foreign media.
外務省は国外メディアの再三の問いかけにもノーコメントだ。

But the government has been unable to stop the embarrassing facts about top leaders from becoming known widely among the people.
それでも多くの市民に知れ渡るのは止められない。

The phrase “husband of an elder sister” has already become fashionable on the Internet.
早くも「姉の夫」がネット上で流行語となった。

We have heard a raft of stories about how relatives of Chinese leaders have taken advantage of their positions to win the rights to use state-owned land and made huge profits through real estate investments.
 指導者の親族が地位を利用して国有地の使用権を得たうえ、不動産投資で金もうけをしている――といった話は中国でよく耳にする。

It is unclear whether reported secretive offshore financing is related to such dubious wealth accumulated through abuse of political privileges.
今回の事例が、そうした特権的手段による蓄財と関連するのかどうかは、まだ明確には分からない。

But two things are clear.
 だが、言えることが二つある。

One is that people around China’s top leader have amassed amounts of wealth well beyond the imagination of ordinary citizens in the country.
 一つは、最高指導者の周辺で、市民感覚とかけ離れた巨大な富が蓄えられているという現実だ。

The other is that they have taken the trouble to set up companies in remote offshore tax havens.
 もう一つは、彼らが遠く海外の租税回避地にわざわざ会社を設立していたということだ。

Why have they transferred their assets to such companies far away from home? The only plausible explanation is that they were trying to hide their money from Chinese authorities’ oversight.
この仕組みを使って資産を移しているのはなぜか。中国当局の目が届かないところに隠そうとする意図があったとしか考えられない。

These leaders deserve to be criticized for putting a higher priority on protecting the profits of their kin than on promoting the nation’s development. That’s at least how Chinese citizens will think about the revelations.
 国を指導する立場にありながら、国の発展よりも一族の利益を守ることを優先している、とみられても仕方がないだろう。少なくとも市民はそう受け止める。

At least three of the seven members of the paramount leadership organ have been implicated.
そのような最高指導部メンバーが現職7人のうち3人もいたのである。

China lacks a system under which its leaders are chosen through free and fair elections.
 中国は、自由で公正な選挙によって指導者が選ばれる制度を欠いている。

If the Communist Party government is to win public support for its rule of the nation, it must ensure that the living standards among the people will keep rising.
それでも今の共産党政権が国民の支持を得るとすれば、人々の生活水準を向上させることによるほかない。

If the party’s leaders are working hard to make themselves far richer than citizens, however, the very foundation of the legitimacy of the party’s monopoly on power could be seriously undermined.
 だが、党指導部がそれをはるかに上回る私利を図っているとすれば、共産党支配の正統性は根本から揺らぎかねない。

The documents that tell sordid stories about relatives of top Chinese leaders are widely available across the world. It is hard to imagine how the Xi administration will be able to get away with this scandal without offering convincing explanations.
 証拠となる文書は全世界にさらされている。このまま説明なしに済むとは思えない。
posted by srachai at 08:58| Comment(0) | 朝日英字
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