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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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2016年03月24日

省庁移転 骨太の理念が見えない

--The Asahi Shimbun, March 23
EDITORIAL: Government's decentralization policy lacking full commitment
(社説)省庁移転 骨太の理念が見えない

The government on March 22 announced its basic policy on the relocation of central government ministries and agencies to outside the greater Tokyo metropolitan area. Now, we have to wonder how serious the government was in the first place about its relocation plans.
 結局どこまで本気だったのか。疑問が残る。

As part of the Abe administration's much touted regional revitalization initiative, the government had widely called on prefectural governments to host the central government ministries and agencies that were being considered for relocation.
But, as it turned out, only the Agency for Cultural Affairs will be moving from Tokyo to Kyoto for certain in a few years.
 政府が関係機関の地方移転に関する基本方針を決定した。安倍政権の地方創生の目玉で、自治体に広く誘致を呼びかけてきたが、中央省庁では文化庁が数年以内に京都へ移転することだけが本決まりとなった。

The government will conduct further studies and make its final decision by the end of August regarding the relocation of the Consumer Affairs Agency and the Statistics Bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which have been invited, respectively, by Tokushima and Wakayama prefectures.
 徳島県が誘致した消費者庁と、和歌山県が求めた総務省統計局は検証を重ね、8月末までに結論を出すという。

But as for the relocation of the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency, the Patent Office, the Japan Tourism Agency and the Japan Meteorological Agency, in which five prefectures have shown interest, the government decided not to pursue the matter any further, noting that "these agencies' functions cannot be expected to be maintained or improved" by moving them out of Tokyo.
だが、5道府県が誘致した中小企業、特許、観光、気象の4庁は「機能の維持・向上が期待できない」などと見送られた。

Also, many local governments had offered to host various research and training institutions that are now in Tokyo, but only one institution will be fully relocating.
研究・研修機関も多くの自治体が誘致したが、全面移転は1機関のみだ。

Japan's declining population renders the decentralization of government functions an urgent matter. Shigeru Ishiba, the minister in charge of regional revitalization, pointed out the symbolic significance of doing so when he said, "The government cannot make any persuasive case (in favor of the relocation of its ministries and agencies) if it doesn't do anything about it and only asks businesses to move out of Tokyo."
But such an argument seems to have petered out.
 人口減少時代に入った日本で、東京一極集中の是正は急務だ。政府機関移転には「自分たちが何もしないで企業に地方移転をお願いしても説得力がない」(石破茂地方創生相)という象徴的な意義があったはずだが、尻すぼみの印象だ。

The biggest problem seems to be that the government lacked any big-picture perspective on how to redefine government functions in their entirety.
 最大の問題は、政府全体のあり方をどう見直すかという視点が欠けていたことではないか。

Without a clear, firm idea of which ministries and agencies should be relocated where, the relocation policy lacks substance.
一極集中を是正するにはどの機関をどこへ再配置すべきか。しっかりした理念がなければ、形だけに終わりかねない。

Ministry and agency officials are kept busy by Diet-related duties, and the adverse effects of forcing them to commute long hours have been discussed for years. Such concerns should have led to discussions on coordinating inter-ministerial responsibilities and transferring functions that do not have to be carried out in Tokyo to outside the capital.
 国会対応に縛られる省庁の職員が、長時間勤務を強いられる弊害は言われて久しい。省庁同士の役割を整理したり、東京で担う必要がない業務を地方に移管したりすることを考えるきっかけにもできたはずだ。

But discussions within the government were effectively limited only to how to maintain the current functions after the ministries or agencies move out of Tokyo, and failed to address broader issues, such as organizational reforms.
 しかし政府内の議論は、省庁を地方に移しても、現状の機能が維持できるかにほぼ終始し、組織や業務のあり方を改革する方向に踏み込まなかった。

The government's just-announced relocation policy includes the reinforcement or even creation of local offices of some of the ministries and agencies. This gives us concern that the government may even be thinking of organizational expansion.
 基本方針には一部の省庁・機関の地方拠点の強化や新設も盛り込まれた。これでは組織肥大化の懸念さえぬぐえない。

The Cultural Affairs Agency, which is the only entity relocating out of Tokyo, is a successful case of the Kyoto business community's persistent efforts to bring the agency there. Kyoto is the heart of Japan's traditional culture. We hope the parties concerned will carefully proceed with the relocation, with close attention to every detail, to ensure that the agency will take advantage of being located in Kyoto and enrich the administration of cultural affairs.
 唯一移転する文化庁は、京都政財界の強い働きかけが実った。京都は伝統文化の集積地だ。現場に身を置くメリットを生かし、移転が豊かな文化行政につながるよう、詳細設計を丁寧に進めてほしい。

Under Minister Taro Kono, the Consumer Affairs Agency is as interested as the Cultural Affairs Agency in moving out of Tokyo. However, its planned relocation to Tokushima Prefecture has been put on the back burner for now "for fear that the move may negatively affect the agency's intended function as a consumer protection organ."
 文化庁と並んで河野太郎消費者相が移転に前向きな消費者庁は、「消費者保護の機能が低下するのでは」という懸念から、徳島移転の結論が持ち越された。

We hope the final decision will be made after thorough debate, not in a top-down manner, so that the public will support the decision.
トップダウンで決めず、国民が納得できるような形で議論を尽くしてもらいたい。

It is unfortunate that the most powerful ministries were never considered for relocation, and there were no offers from regional governments to host them, either.
 残念なのは、特に大きな権限を持つ府省本体が、移転候補にあがらなかったことだ。地方側に誘致の動きもなかった。

The announcement of the government's relocation policy should not be the cue for ending all conversations on the subject. We must continue striving to define the sort of government organizations that meet the needs of our times.
移転論議をこれで終わりにせず、時代に合った政府機構のあり方をしっかり考えていくべきだ。
posted by srachai at 09:17| Comment(0) | 朝日英字

2016年03月23日

朝鮮学校補助 子どもらに責任はない

--The Asahi Shimbun, March 21
EDITORIAL: Politicians bully Korean school students for acts of Pyongyang
(社説)朝鮮学校補助 子どもらに責任はない

Korean schools across Japan are attended by Korean residents’ children, who are taught subjects in line with Japan’s official curriculum guidelines and also learn Korean language and culture.
 全国各地にある朝鮮学校は、在日コリアンの子どもたちが通っている。日本の学習指導要領に準じた各教科のほか、民族の言葉や文化も学ぶ。

Almost all of these schools are in financial distress. Many local governments of areas hosting Korean schools provide the institutions with subsidies similar to the financial support received by private Japanese schools and other international schools.
 どの学校も財政的に運営は厳しく、所在地の自治体の多くが他の私学や国際系の学校と同じように、補助金を出している。

But some politicians of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and other parties are calling on the education ministry to terminate public subsidies to Korean schools.
これに対し、自民党などから補助を打ち切るよう文部科学省に求める声が出ている。

These lawmakers are casting their proposal as part of Japan’s sanctions against North Korea, which has failed to respond to Tokyo’s demands concerning Japanese citizens abducted by Pyongyang decades ago and has refused to stop its provocative actions, such as nuclear tests.
 拉致問題に加え、核実験などを繰り返す北朝鮮への制裁の一環だという。

Some local governments have already suspended their subsidies to Korean schools.
いくつかの自治体はすでに補助を止めている。

But children attending Korean schools are not at all responsible for North Korea’s nuclear weapons program or the abduction issue.
 だが、朝鮮学校に通う子どもたちには、核開発や拉致問題の責任はない。

Punishing schools that educate young Korean residents of Japan for North Korea’s actions is tantamount to bullying of the weak driven by misplaced anger.
北朝鮮の国に問題があるからといって、日本で暮らす子どもの学びの場に制裁を科すのは、お門違いの弱い者いじめというほかない。

It is inappropriate, in the first place, for the education ministry to interfere in the issue, which is under the jurisdiction of local governments concerned.
 そもそも地方自治体が権限を持つこの問題について、文科省が介入するのは適切ではない。

The Japanese government started offering tuition-free high school education six years ago, when the Democratic Party of Japan was in power. But this benefit has not been applied to Korean schools.
 日本では、民主党政権だった6年前から高校の無償化が始まったが、これも朝鮮学校には適用されていない。

The DPJ-led government kept dragging its foot on abolishing tuition fees at Korean schools. And the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which was inaugurated in December 2012, swiftly removed Korean schools from the list of institutions eligible for the program.
民主党政権は適用を保留し続け、その後の安倍政権は発足後すぐに無償化対象からはずしてしまった。

Students at Korean schools and other people concerned have sued the government in Tokyo, Osaka and other cities, arguing that the exclusion of their schools from the program due to political reasons is illegal.
 政治的理由による除外は違法だとして、朝鮮学校の生徒らが国を相手どり、東京や大阪など各地で裁判に訴えている。

In the international arena, some U.N. agencies, including the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, have criticized the Japanese government’s policy concerning the issue. These organizations have recognized the exclusion of Korean schools from tuition-free high school education as a form of discrimination. They have also urged the Japanese government to apply the program to these schools and exhort local governments to continue the subsidies.
 国際的にも、人種差別撤廃委員会など国連の場では、高校無償化の適用除外は「差別だ」と認めたり、日本政府に対し、無償化の適用や、地方自治体に補助の維持を勧めるよう求めたりする見解が相次いでいる。

Last year, the bar association of Saitama Prefecture rebuked Saitama Governor Kiyoshi Ueda for his move to suspend the prefectural government’s subsidies to Korean schools within the prefecture. The association warned that Ueda’s action constitutes an “extremely serious violation of human rights.”
 国内でも、埼玉弁護士会が昨年、補助を止めている埼玉県の上田清司知事に「極めて重大な人権侵害」と警告した。

At many Korean schools, members of the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon) are involved in school administration.
 朝鮮学校では、在日本朝鮮人総連合会(朝鮮総連)の関係者が運営にかかわっているケースは多い。

But education should be kept insulated from politics. Kanagawa Governor Yuji Kuroiwa has continued subsidies to individual Korean students instead of their schools. Kuroiwa has said children are blameless.
だが、政治と教育は別だ。神奈川県の黒岩祐治知事は「子どもたちに罪はない」として、学校ではなく、生徒たち個人への補助を続けている。

Aside from differences in perceptions about history, problems with the curricula at Korean schools, if any, should be solved through talks between the government and the institutions.
 歴史観の違いはともかく、教育内容に問題があれば話し合いで解決すべきだ。

In fact, the content of education at Korean schools has been changing significantly.
実際、朝鮮学校の教育も変化してきている。

The community of Korean residents in Japan has become diversified. At many Korean schools, children of South Korean nationality make up a majority.
 在日コリアンの社会は多様化しており、多くの朝鮮学校で、韓国籍の子どもが過半数となりつつある。

It is wrong to think that Korean schools are attended only by children of people who worship the North Korean regime.
北朝鮮の体制を崇拝している人々の子どもだけが通うと考えるのは誤りだ。

More than anything else, students at Korean schools are also members of our society.
 何より朝鮮学校の子どもたちも私たちの社会の一員だ。

Any attempt to close the door to children who can build bridges between Japan and its neighbors would only increase the number of people who harbor antipathy toward Japan.
日本と隣国の懸け橋になりうる子どもたちを排除しようという思想であれば、逆に日本に反感を持つ人々を増やすだけである。
posted by srachai at 08:56| Comment(0) | 朝日英字

2016年03月22日

マイナス金利 弊害広げない方策を

--The Asahi Shimbun, March 20
EDITORIAL: BOJ needs exit strategy for negative interest rate policy
(社説)マイナス金利 弊害広げない方策を

One month has passed since the Bank of Japan took the risky and controversial move to introduce negative interest rates after it had almost run out of policy tools to enhance its aggressive “quantitative” monetary easing program.
 日本銀行がマイナス金利政策を導入して1カ月が経過した。量的緩和のカードをほとんど使い果たした日銀が、新たな緩和手段として賭けに打って出た政策である。

It is hardly possible to claim that this policy gamble has produced the expected positive results overall.
現状では、その賭けが良い結果をもたらしているとはとても言えない。

The BOJ’s action has achieved a further decline in long-term interest rates from their already record-low levels.
 この政策でもともと史上最低水準だった長期金利は一段と下がった。

But the move to push interest rates below zero has given an unexpectedly big jolt to financial markets, causing wild fluctuations in both stock prices and currency exchange rates in the ensuing weeks.
そこまでは日銀の狙い通りだ。ただ、株価や為替相場が乱高下を繰り返したところに金融市場の動揺が見て取れる。

The banking sector has criticized the negative interest rate policy, which is expected to deliver a blow to the earnings of lenders. Commercial banks are facing an increase in costs as the BOJ charges them 0.1 percent for their excess reserves at the central bank.
 この政策で収益悪化が見込まれる金融界からは批判の声があがっている。銀行が日銀に預ける当座預金の一部にマイナス金利がかかるので負担が増える。

Banks have also come under strong pressure to further cut their lending rates, which are already at historical lows.
 歴史的な低さの貸出金利をもう一段下げる必要にも迫られている。

That would be fine as long as lower lending rates goose demand for loans. But that doesn’t seem to be what is happening.
それで融資需要が増えるならいい。だが必ずしもそうではないようだ。

Banks have found that lower-rate mortgages have led to an increase in refinancing but failed to stoke demand for new housing loans.
住宅ローン金利を下げて増えたのは、安いローンに借り換える人たちばかりで新規需要は少ないという。

The monetary easing policy was intended to prompt banks to expand their lending and encourage companies to ramp up their business investments. But the BOJ’s latest move seems counterproductive because it has only made things harder for commercial banks.
 銀行貸し出しを増やし、企業の投資を活発にする。それが金融緩和の目的のはずだった。こうして銀行経営を萎縮させてしまっては逆効果ではないか。

The negative interest rate policy is also beginning to blight the BOJ’s efforts to awaken inflationary expectations among consumers and businesses through its “different dimension” easing.
 日銀が異次元緩和で盛り上げようとした人々の「インフレ期待」にも影響が出ている。

In an Asahi Shimbun opinion poll conducted in February, 60 percent of respondents said they do not expect the negative interest rate policy to lead to economic growth.
朝日新聞が2月に実施した世論調査では、マイナス金利政策による景気回復が「期待できない」と答えた人は6割にのぼった。

Foreign regulators and policymakers have voiced concerns that any expansion of the negative interest rate policies that are in place in Japan and Europe could trigger a global currency war, or competitive devaluations of currencies among major economic powers to gain a trade advantage.
 一方、海外当局からは、日本や欧州のマイナス金利政策が強化されれば、世界的な通貨安競争の引き金にならないかという懸念が示されている。

The biggest beneficiary of the BOJ’s surprise policy move is probably Japan’s public finances. A further decline in long-term rates reduces the debt-servicing costs of the government, which has run up more than 1,000 trillion yen in debts.
 政策の恩恵を最も受けているのは日本の財政だろうか。長期金利の一段の低下で、1千兆円を超える国の借金の利払い費が抑えられるからだ。

As a result, however, there seems to be growing political momentum for relaxing fiscal discipline.
ただ、その結果、財政規律を緩めるムードが強まってはいないか。

Under ordinary circumstances, the central bank should not adopt the extremely radical approach of buying huge amounts of government bonds for monetary expansion.
 日銀による国債の大量買い入れは本来は禁じ手だ。

The BOJ’s unconventional policy, however, has been condoned as a measure to allow the government to buy time to fix its finances.
そこを財政立て直しの時間を稼ぐためだとして許されている面がある。

But some policymakers within the Abe administration are now openly arguing for postponing the consumption tax hike slated for next year. The administration appears to have the wrong idea about what should be the top fiscal policy priority.
ところが、いま政権内で消費増税見送り論が公然と語られているのは本末転倒である。

The BOJ’s monetary policy is now beginning to cause significant harm to the Japanese economy. If the BOJ continues this extraordinary monetary expansion program in a desperate effort to achieve its seemingly unrealistic 2-percent inflation target, the range of challenges confronting the Japanese economy will only become more serious and complicated.
 日銀の金融政策そのものが日本経済に弊害をもたらし始めている。現実的とは思えない2%インフレ目標にこだわり異常な緩和政策をこのまま続ければ、かえって日本経済が抱える問題は大きく複雑になっていく。

The central bank cannot quickly terminate its unprecedented policy even if it wants to because an abrupt end to the program would cause unacceptably large harmful effects on financial markets regarding interest and exchange rates.
 異次元緩和はやめたくなっても、すぐにはやめられない政策である。金利や為替など市場への影響が大きすぎるためだ。

Instead of wading deeper into uncharted waters, the BOJ should start working out a strategy for winding up the program while minimizing the negative consequences.
これ以上、深入りするのをやめ、影響を最小にとどめつつ撤退する方策を練るべきだ。
posted by srachai at 21:40| Comment(0) | 朝日英字

2016年03月21日

教科書検定 押しつけは時代遅れだ

--The Asahi Shimbun, March 19
EDITORIAL: Do not impose government’s viewpoints on school textbooks
(社説)教科書検定 押しつけは時代遅れだ

School textbooks are not tools for the government to indoctrinate young people with its views and opinions.
 教科書は、時の政権の言い分を教え込む道具ではない。

The education ministry on March 18 announced the results of its screening of new high school textbooks to be used from spring next year.
 来年春から高校で使う教科書の検定結果が発表された。

This year, the ministry applied, for the first time, new rules about the authorization of textbooks to those used at high schools.
 文部科学省は、新しいルールを高校に初めて適用した。

Besides changing the guidelines for editing textbooks, the ministry also revised its screening standards to require publishers to ensure descriptions on issues about which the government has announced an official position reflect that view.
 教科書編集の指針を変え、検定基準も政府見解があれば、それに基づいて記すよう改めた。

These changes were made in response to demands from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
自民党の意向に沿ったものだ。

The outcome of the screening of high school textbooks reminds us of what happened last year, when new textbooks for junior high schools underwent the process.
 今回も、昨年の中学の検定と同じようなことが起きた。

The ministry instructed the publishers to describe Japan’s territorial disputes with its neighbors in line with the government’s position. In one case, an article in a textbook about war reparations had to be rewritten after the ministry criticized the text for failing to reflect the government’s stance on compensation for wartime forced laborers from China.
 領土問題で、日本政府の立場を記すよう意見をつけた。戦後補償のコラムには、政府見解に基づいて書くよう指摘した。

Notably, the ministry demanded that the descriptions on controversial topics, such as the Self-Defense Forces, the Constitution and nuclear power generation, be in line with the positions of the Abe administration.
 目立ったのは、自衛隊や憲法、原発など賛否の分かれる問題で、安倍政権の姿勢に沿う記述を求めたことだ。

The ministry, for instance, took issue with one textbook’s description about Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “proactive pacifism.” The original text described Abe's foreign policy principle as one that has "changed the government's interpretation of the Constitution" and provides for "the SDF to operate in wider areas."
 例えば「現代社会」で、積極的平和主義の記述がある。原本には「憲法解釈を変更し」「広範な地域で自衛隊の活動を認めようという考え方」とあった。

The ministry contended that the passage could cause a misunderstanding. Since proactive pacifism is a doctrine, the ministry said, the goal it is designed to achieve should also be mentioned.
 ここに「誤解するおそれがある」と意見がついた。「主義」なので、もとになる目的を書くように、というのだ。

Consequently, the text was revised to say that the doctrine is intended to enable Japan to “make active contribution to ensuring peace, stability and prosperity in international society” by changing the interpretation of the Constitution with regard to the SDF’s activities.
 その結果、自衛隊活動をめぐる憲法解釈の変更により、「国際社会の平和と安定および繁栄の確保に、積極的に寄与していこうとするもの」となった。

Acquiring knowledge about the government’s official positions on various issues is not harmful for students. But treating the government’s views as the right answer to think about these issues is tantamount to imposing specific opinions on young people.
 政府の立場を知ることは悪いことではない。ただ、それを唯一の正解として扱うのは押しつけだろう。

The administration’s approach to textbook screening is more and more coming to resemble the prewar system of government-designated textbooks.
戦前の国定教科書に近づいていないか。

The government overestimates the influence of textbooks on young people’s thinking, in the first place.
 国はそもそも教科書の影響力を大きく考えすぎている。

Textbooks are not the only sources of knowledge for children. By visiting a library, for instance, they can easily find written works presenting different opinions and viewpoints from those of the government.
 子どもは教科書だけで学んでいるのではない。図書館で調べれば、反対の見方や違った視点の本を知ることができる。

The education ministry is now working on new official curriculum guidelines.
 文科省は、次の学習指導要領の議論を進めている。

It is planning to create new subjects, including a comprehensive study of modern world history and civics education about the rights and obligations of citizens and voters.
These subjects will be aimed at helping students develop the ability to think about things from diverse viewpoints and angles, according to the ministry.
 高校で「歴史総合」「公共」(ともに仮称)などの科目をつくり、多面的、多角的に考える力を育てようというのだ。

Textbooks for these subjects should be designed to show that the government’s views and opinions are relative to the standpoints of various players, including opposition parties, citizens and other countries.
 こうした科目では、政権の見方、考え方を相対化し、野党や市民、他国など様々な立場を伝える教科書が求められよう。

It is questionable whether the current textbook screening system will be suitable for the goals of the new subjects.
 いまのままの検定の姿勢で、果たして対応できるだろうか。

The current system is based on the assumption that textbooks are traditional printed books.
 現在の検定制度は、紙の教科書を前提にしている。

But an increasing number of textbooks show the addresses of websites that offer good reference materials.
 だが、参考になるサイトのアドレスを書く教科書が増えてきた。

The ministry checks the content in these websites during its textbook screening, but the pages of a website are updated constantly. It is impossible for the government to keep track of all changes in the content of the websites mentioned in textbooks.
検定でもその内容を確認しているが、ページの内容はどんどん変わる。国が中身を吟味し切れるものではない。

The current textbook screening system, which tends to nitpick over specific terms and phrases in the text, is already outdated.
 教科書の一言一句に目くじらを立てる検定は、もはや時代遅れではないか。

The government should shift its education policy to allow a wider range of teaching materials, expand the discretion of teachers in how to teach classes and increase opportunities for children to think from diverse viewpoints. The government should start taking steps to reinvent the textbook screening system in line with these principles.
幅広い教材を認め、教師の指導の裁量を広げ、子どもが多角的に考える機会を増やす。検定も、その方向に踏み出してもらいたい。
posted by srachai at 09:10| Comment(0) | 朝日英字

2016年03月15日

女性の活躍 現実に目を向けてこそ

--The Asahi Shimbun, March 13
EDITORIAL: Take a close look at reality before touting ‘women’s active roles’
(社説)女性の活躍 現実に目を向けてこそ

One anonymous blog has underscored the serious issue of children on waiting lists for nursery schools, along with the lack of understanding on the part of political leaders.
Titled “Hoikuen Ochita Nihon Shine!!!” (My kid was rejected by a nursery school. Go to hell, Japan!!!), the blog was posted in mid-February by a mother whose child had failed to gain admission into a nursery school.
 「保育園落ちた日本死ね!!!」と題した匿名のブログが待機児童問題の深刻さとともに、為政者の無理解を浮き彫りにする事態となっている。
 投稿があったのは先月中旬。

She used harsh language to vent her anger, saying things such as, “What about a ‘society in which all citizens are dynamically engaged?’” and "I’ll have to quit my job.”
A “society in which all citizens are dynamically engaged” is one of the key slogans of the Abe administration.
保育園の選考に落ちた母親が「一億総活躍社会じゃねーのかよ」「会社やめなくちゃならねーだろ」と、激しい言葉で怒りをぶつけた。

When an opposition lawmaker raised the subject during Diet debate, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe cited the anonymity of the posting in replying to her and said, “I have no way to confirm the story, including whether it really took place.”
 国会で野党が取り上げたところ、安倍首相は書き込みが匿名であることを理由に「実際にそれが本当かどうかも含めて、私は確かめようがない」と答弁。

Lawmakers of the ruling bloc heckled the opposition lawmaker, with one shouting, “Bring the one who wrote it!”
与党の議員からは「本人を出せ」などのヤジも飛んだ。

Members of the public who shared similar problems and anxieties reacted furiously to these verbal exchanges. They staged protests in front of the Diet building and collected signatures for a petition calling for a more extensive child-care system.
 こうしたやりとりに、同じような悩みや不安を抱える人たちが強く反発。国会前での抗議活動や、保育制度の充実を求める署名活動へ広がった。

The government and the ruling parties were taken aback by the development, and began hastily discussing new measures for reducing the number of children on waiting lists--so goes, in brief, the story to date.
政府・与党は慌てて、待機児童解消に向けた新たな対策の検討を始めたというのがあらましの経緯だ。

The response of political leaders has been particularly poor. While one ruling Liberal Democratic Party official has stated that the initial response was wrong, the story is much more than that of a “wrong” reaction. One has to say that a lack of understanding of how serious the current situation is has come to light.
 あまりにお粗末だ。自民党内には「初動ミス」との声もあるが、ミスにとどまる話ではない。深刻な現状に対する認識を欠いていることが露呈した、と言わざるを得ない。

The question of children on waiting lists is posing a serious problem for every household facing it, as mothers in some families are eager to stay in their current jobs, whereas other families need dual incomes to maintain their standards of living. The blog caught on with a broad audience, and many citizens lashed out against the administration, probably out of a strong resentment of the issue that has failed to improve over the years.
 今の仕事を何とか続けたい、共働きで働かないと生活が苦しい……。どの家庭にとっても待機児童の問題は切実だ。ブログへの共感と、政権への市民の反発がここまで広がったのは、長年の課題がいっこうに改善されない現状への強い怒りだろう。

The government and the ruling parties should take that squarely to heart.
政府・与党はそこをしっかり受け止めるべきだ。

Abe has formulated such slogans as “women’s active roles” and a “society where all women shine.” One has to ask, however, if there really is an environment for making that happen. The dearth of child-care services is not the only factor that is keeping women from playing “active roles.”
 安倍首相は「女性活躍」「すべての女性が輝く社会」を掲げている。しかし、その環境は本当に整っているだろうか。活躍を阻害しているものは、保育サービスの不足にとどまらない。

The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women issued a recommendation earlier this month to the Japanese government.
 国連の女子差別撤廃委員会は今月、日本政府に勧告をした。

The unflattering document, which said, “The committee’s previous recommendations have not been fully implemented,” once again urged Tokyo, among other things, to develop legal measures for banning and preventing discrimination in employment and to increase the number of women in decision-making positions, such as lawmakers and corporate workers in senior management posts.
「過去の勧告が十分に実行されていない」とする厳しい内容で、雇用差別を禁じ、防止する法的措置を整えることや、国会議員や企業の管理職など指導的地位を占める女性を増やすことなどを改めて迫った。

Japan ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in 1985. The Basic Law for Gender-Equal Society took effect in 1999. More women are working, but wage gaps between men and women are continuing to widen, in part because many female workers are employed on a nonregular basis.
 日本が女子差別撤廃条約を批准したのは1985年。99年には男女共同参画社会基本法が施行された。働く女性は増えているものの、非正社員が多いこともあり、男女の賃金格差はむしろ広がる傾向。

Men’s participation in child care and in nursing care for the elderly is still low, and there remains a deep-rooted perception among the public that men and women are supposed to assume different roles. The latest Gender Gap Index report of the World Economic Forum put Japan in 101st place, in the lower rung of the ranking, as usual.
男性の育児や介護への参加もいまだ低水準で、性別による役割分担の意識は根強く残る。世界経済フォーラムの最新の男女格差指数でも日本は101位と低迷したままだ。

Political leaders should first look squarely at reality if they are to ever talk of “women’s active roles.”
 「女性活躍」を言うのなら、まず現実を直視することから始めてほしい。
posted by srachai at 08:43| Comment(0) | 朝日英字

2016年03月12日

震災から5年 心は一つ、じゃない世界で

--The Asahi Shimbun, March 11
EDITORIAL: The voices from Tohoku must be heard 5 years after the disaster
(社説)震災から5年 心は一つ、じゃない世界で

Exactly five years have passed since March 11, 2011, when Japan was struck by what has been described as the biggest postwar national crisis.
On that day, the Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent tsunami ravaged wide areas in the northeastern Tohoku region and triggered the meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
 戦後最大の国難といわれた東日本大震災と福島第一原発の事故が起きた「3・11」から、5年がたつ。

Reconstruction work is continuing in coastal areas of Miyagi and Iwate prefectures. Many residents are still struggling to rebuild their shattered livelihoods.
 宮城県や岩手県の海沿いでは工事の音が鳴り響く。だが、暮らしの再建はこれからだ。

Around 170,000 people, mainly residents in Fukushima Prefecture, are living away from their homes as evacuees.
福島県をはじめ、約17万人が避難先での生活を強いられている。

People in the affected areas are still reeling from the aftermath and fallout of the devastating natural disasters and the harrowing nuclear accident.
 震災と原発事故は、今もなお続いている。

But how many people in other parts of the nation far from the stricken areas truly understand the harsh realities in communities battered by the disasters?
被災地から離れた全国で、その現実感を保つ人はどれだけいるだろう。

GAP WIDENS BETWEEN AFFECTED AREAS, OUTSIDE WORLD
 ■深まる「外」との分断

Immediately after the disasters occurred, everybody’s heart went out to people in the affected areas. Many Japanese talked about “mutual support” and the “ties” that bound them with the victims. The kanji for “kizuna,” meaning “human bonds,” was chosen as the Chinese character that most powerfully symbolized the year.
 直後は、だれもが被災地のことを思い、「支え合い」「つながろう」の言葉を口にした。年の世相を表す「今年の漢字」に、「絆」が選ばれもした。

But we now wonder if all of the sympathetic feelings expressed back then were genuine. In the disaster-stricken areas, many people are lamenting the growing psychological distance with the rest of Japan.
Various emotionally charged issues have divided communities in the affected areas.
 あの意識ははたして本物だったろうか。被災地の間ではむしろ、距離が開いていく「分断」を憂える声が聞こえてくる。

They include forcing residents to leave the places where they have lived for a long time, and constructing levees that separate the land from the sea, which has supported their livelihoods.
 住み慣れた土地を離れる住宅移転。生活の場である海と陸とを隔てる防潮堤。

Debates over whether to preserve or remove remnants of buildings destroyed by the disasters have raised complicated feelings: a desire to forget what happened mixed with a determination to never forget.
「忘れたい」と「忘れまい」が同居する震災遺構。それぞれの問題をめぐり地元の意見は割れてきた。

Such divisions threaten to destroy harmony among community members. The problem is most acutely felt in Fukushima Prefecture.
 人間と地域の和が壊れる。その痛みがもっとも深刻なのは、福島県だ。

Disputes over the effects of radiation have shaken residents’ values and judgments. The problem has been compounded by the fact that Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the Fukushima No. 1 plant, paid different amounts of compensation to victims based on radiation levels in their areas.
Families and communities have been split into opposing groups.
 放射線の影響をめぐり、住民の価値観や判断は揺れた。線量による区域割りで東京電力からの賠償額が違ったことも絡み、家族や地域は切り刻まれた。

Some residents are working hard to repair the severed ties, and a variety of efforts are under way to heal wounded communities. They include a program to guide visitors to deserted towns and a project to provide information about Fukushima to people who voluntarily fled their communities in the prefecture.
 ささくれだつ空気の中で、修復を求めて奔走する人たちはいた。無人の町を訪問者に案内したり、自主避難者向けに福島からの情報発信を始めたり。さまざまな活動が生まれた。

Sachiko Bamba, a resident of Minami-Soma city, has worked with doctors to organize more than 80 study sessions to help citizens learn about radiation.
 南相馬市の番場さち子さんもその一人だ。医師と一緒に放射線についての市民向け勉強会を80回以上重ねた。

Her project is driven by the belief that acquiring accurate knowledge about radiation helps people make educated decisions about their futures and assume a positive attitude toward life.
まずは正しい知識を得る。それが今後の生活の方針を納得して選び、前向きになる支えになると考えた。

Bamba and other like-minded people are concerned that residents’ struggles to overcome the huge challenges over the past five years remain largely unknown to people in other parts of the nation, creating widening perception gaps.
 番場さんらがいま懸念するのは、5年にわたる苦悩と克服の歩みが、被災地の「外」に伝わらず、認識のギャップが広がっていることだ。

They still receive questions from people outside Fukushima Prefecture on whether local residents must wear masks when they go out or whether rice produced in Fukushima Prefecture is safe for eating.
 「福島県では外出時にマスクは必要か」「福島産の米は食べられるのか」。県外から、そんな質問が今も続く。

The safety of various farm products from Fukushima Prefecture has been confirmed through constant measurements of airborne radiation and human exposure doses as well as continuous efforts to decontaminate polluted areas and check radiation in all foodstuffs.
 空間線量や体内の被曝(ひばく)の継続的な測定、食材の全量検査、除染作業などさまざまな努力を重ねた結果、安全が確かめられたものは少なくない。

But people outside the prefecture are not receiving much information about such improvements and progress.
だが、そうした正常化された部分は、県外になかなか伝わらない。

Last year, a man outside Fukushima Prefecture who called himself an anti-nuclear activist criticized a mother for remaining in Koriyama and supposedly exposing her child to health risks. She was deeply disheartened by the simple, inconsiderate and ill-founded argument against living in Fukushima that was based on his opposition to nuclear power.
 郡山市に住む母親は昨年、県外の反原発活動家を名乗る男性から「子供が病気になる」と非難された。原発への否定を無頓着に福島への忌避に重ねる口調に落胆した。

“How long will this kind of nonsense continue?” she uttered to herself.
「まだこんなことが続くのか」

STUDENTS SEEKING WORDS FOR COMMUNICATION
 ■「言葉」を探す高校生

It is probably inevitable that differences in perceptions will appear over time between people in the disaster areas and those in the rest of the nation.
 時がたてば、被災地とほかとの間に意識の違いが生じるのは仕方のないことでもある。

To make our society less vulnerable to disasters, however, it is vital to constantly narrow such perception gaps. The positions of people currently struggling with hardships and those who are not may be reversed at any time.
 だが、災害に強い社会を築くには、その溝を埋める不断の努力が欠かせない。いま苦境と闘う人と、そうでない人とは、いつ立場が変わるかも知れない。

People in Fukushima Prefecture want to share their experiences over the past five years with the outside world. They believe the facts about the divisions caused by the nuclear disaster and their efforts to overcome them should be part of the lessons learned by the entire nation.
 福島の人びとが「この5年」を外に知ってほしいと思うのは、原発事故がもたらす分断の実相と克服の努力を全国の教訓として共有すべきだと考えるからでもある。

People in the prefecture are continuing their quest to find ways to achieve this goal.
 模索は続いている。

At Futaba Future School, a prefectural high school that opened last spring in the town of Hirono, Fukushima Prefecture, theater is a required course.
 福島県広野町に昨春開校した県立ふたば未来学園高校では必修科目に演劇を組み入れる。

The course is taught by reputed playwright Oriza Hirata, who has instructed his students to “express as they are the discrepancies in feelings due to different positions and unsolvable issues.”
 指導する劇作家の平田オリザ氏が生徒たちに課したのは、「立場の違いによるすれ違いや解決できない課題をそのまま表現する」こと。

At the outset of the course, Hirata told the students: “Let me tell you something. Nobody in the world understands things about Fukushima and you.”
 授業の冒頭、平田氏は言う。「言っとくけど、福島や君たちのことなんて世界の誰も理解なんてしてないからね」

The challenge facing the students is how to communicate their feelings to indifferent people. Tackling this challenge requires them to ask themselves whether they can really imagine the feelings of others.
 関心のない人に、どうやったら自分の思いが伝わるか。それは同時に、自分が他者の思いを想像できているかを自問することにもなる。

Bamba of Minami-Soma has also set up a study group to learn from TEPCO executives. She decided to stay in contact with the operator of the crippled nuclear plant to learn more about the company, which is responsible for rebuilding the devastated communities in the prefecture.
 番場さんは、福島担当の東電役員を招いた勉強会も始めた。事故を起こした東電とあえて交流するのは、最後まで福島の再生に努める責任を負っている相手のことを知るためだ。

In this world, people’s hearts are not one. History is littered with many examples of painful divisions among people, including the cases of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the only cities to suffer a nuclear attack, communities afflicted by pollution-caused diseases like Minamata disease, and Okinawa Prefecture, which has been forced to bear an excessive burden of hosting U.S. military bases.
 この世は、「心は一つ」ではない。歴史をみれば、分断はいくつも存在した。原爆に苦しんだ広島と長崎、水俣病など公害に侵された町、過大な米軍基地を押しつけられた沖縄――。

Various areas around this nation have been suffering on their own and fighting the pain caused by misunderstandings and perception gaps. Exchanges are growing between Fukushima Prefecture and other areas grappling with these problems.
 重い痛みを背負い、他者との意識差に傷つき悩みながら闘ってきた全国の地域がある。いま、そうした地域と福島とで交流する催しが増えている。

START WITH THINGS THAT CANNOT BE EASILY SHARED
 ■伝わらないことから

If people living in different places and thinking about different issues want to connect with each other, they need to start talking about things that they both do not understand and continue their dialogue.
 住む場所も考える問題も違う人間同士が「つながる」ためには、「互いにわからない」ことから出発し、対話を重ねていくしかない。

“A desire to communicate is only born out of an experience of being unable to communicate,” Hirata says. “From this point of view, children in the stricken areas who have experienced the disaster, the mutual help and the divisions have the potential to play leading roles in reconstruction efforts and open up a new future for our society.”
 「伝えたい気持ちは、伝わらない経験があって初めて生まれる。その点で、震災と助け合いと分断とを経験した被災地の子どもたちには、復興を担い、世の中を切りひらく潜在的な力がある」と平田氏は言う。

Every Japanese should pay fresh and serious attention--and respond--to the messages people in the affected areas are sending out.
 被災地からの発信を一人ひとりが受け止め、返していくことから、もう一度始めたい。
posted by srachai at 12:11| Comment(0) | 朝日英字

2016年03月11日

原発事故から5年 許されぬ安全神話の復活

--The Asahi Shimbun, March 10
EDITORIAL: Despite utilities’ attempts, nuclear safety myth can never be revived
(社説)原発事故から5年 許されぬ安全神話の復活

Japan should become a society that is not dependent on nuclear power generation as quickly as possible.
 できるだけ早く原子力発電に頼らない社会を実現すべきだ。

Five years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent tsunami devastated wide areas in the northeastern Tohoku region on March 11, 2011, triggering the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
 東日本大震災と福島第一原発の事故が起きてから、明日で5年になる。

Our editorials will continue arguing for a nuclear-free future for Japanese society.
私たちは社説で改めて、「原発ゼロ社会」の実現を訴えていく。

The Otsu District Court in Shiga Prefecture on March 9 issued an injunction against the operation of two reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture. The court told the utility to immediately shut down the No. 3 reactor at the plant and keep the No. 4 unit off-line. Both reactors were restarted earlier this year, but a malfunction automatically shut down the No. 4 unit on Feb. 29.
 大津地裁はきのう、関西電力高浜3、4号機(福井県)の運転を差し止める仮処分決定を出した。

It was the first time for a Japanese court to order a halt to an online nuclear reactor.
稼働中の原発を司法が止めるのは初めてのことだ。

The Abe administration can hardly claim that its policy decisions concerning nuclear power generation have been solidly based on lessons learned from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
 安倍政権は、福島の原発事故の教訓をできる限り生かしたとは到底言えない。

Rather, the administration has been trying to revive the nuclear power policy that was in place before the disaster and restart as many reactors as possible.
原発政策を震災前に押し戻し、再稼働へ突き進もうとしている。

The court decision echoes public anxiety about the government’s move to gradually regain Japan’s nuclear capacity without serious public debate on the issue.
 今回の地裁の判断は、なし崩しの再稼働に対する国民の不安に沿ったものでもある。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government should sincerely respond to the important social changes caused by the triple meltdown and take steps toward a major shift in energy policy.
安倍政権は、原発事故がもたらした社会の変化に真摯(しんし)に向き合い、エネルギー政策の大きな転換へと動くべきである。

MANY QUESTIONS ABOUT NEW SAFETY STANDARDS
 ■新基準にも疑問

As for the Takahama plant, the Fukui District Court issued an injunction against plans to restart the two reactors in April last year.
 高浜をめぐっては昨年4月にも福井地裁が再稼働を禁じる仮処分決定を出した。

Although another judge at the district court repealed the injunction eight months later, the fact remains that the judiciary has twice denied the safety of reactors that passed the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s stricter safety standards introduced after the Fukushima disaster.
 約8カ月後に別の裁判長が取り消したとはいえ、原子力規制委員会が「新規制基準に適合している」と判断した原発の安全性が2度にわたり否定された。

When the Fukui District Court in April rejected the restarts of the reactors, proponents of nuclear power generation played down the importance of the order, saying it was “an exceptional decision by an exceptional judge.”
After the Otsu District Court’s injunction, however, this argument no longer holds water.
 昨年4月の際、原発推進の立場からは「特異な裁判長による特異な判断」との批判もあったが、もはやそんなとらえ方をするわけにはいかない。

Looking back on the harrowing accident in Fukushima Prefecture, the district court pointed out that a severe nuclear accident could cause environmental destruction beyond national borders. It is hard to assert that efficiency in power generation should be pursued even at the risk of devastating disasters, the court maintained.
 今回の決定は、事故を振り返り、環境破壊は国を超える可能性さえあるとし、「単に発電の効率性をもって、甚大な災禍とひきかえにすべきだとは言い難い」と述べた。

The court also contended that the NRA and Kansai Electric have made insufficient efforts to pinpoint the causes of the Fukushima accident.
 そのうえで事故原因の究明について関電や規制委の姿勢は不十分と批判。

The NRA’s endorsement of the safety of a reactor cannot be seen as a base for a sense of security within society, the court said.
規制委の許可がただちに社会の安心の基礎となるとは考えられないと断じた。

The court’s decision that meeting the new regulatory standards alone does not necessarily ensure the safety of a reactor has huge implications.
 新たな規制基準を満たしたとしても、それだけで原発の安全性が確保されるわけではない。その司法判断の意味は重い。

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has said the Abe administration remains committed to promoting reactor restarts in line with the NRA’s judgments.
 安倍政権は「規制委の判断を尊重して再稼働を進める方針に変わりない」(菅官房長官)としている。

But the administration should carefully consider the significance of the fact that the judiciary has raised fundamental questions about the entire system of post-Fukushima nuclear safety regulation.
だが、事故後の安全規制の仕組み全般について、司法が根源的な疑問を呈した意味をよく考えるべきだ。

EVACUATION PLANS IN DOUBT
 ■問われる避難計画

An Asahi Shimbun editorial published in July 2011 called for the creation of a society without nuclear power.
 朝日新聞は2011年7月に社説で「原発ゼロ社会」を提言した。

While supporting the temporary operation of the minimum number of reactors that are absolutely needed to meet electricity demand, the editorial proposed that nuclear power generation should be phased out in two to three decades by decommissioning dangerous and aging reactors.
当面どうしても必要な原発の稼働は認めるものの、危険度の高い原発や古い原発から閉めて20〜30年後をめどにすべて廃炉にするという考えだ。

In fact, all nuclear reactors in Japan were off-line for about two years and one month over the past five years. No serious power crunches or economic upheavals took place during the period, disproving initial warnings about such possibilities.
The experiences during the period have shown that the number of “absolutely necessary nuclear reactors” is not that many. This lends weight to the argument that strict conditions must be met for restarting a reactor.
 実際にはこの5年のうち約2年1カ月は国内の原発がすべて止まっていた。当初心配された深刻な電力不足や経済の大混乱は起きず、「どうしても必要な原発」はさほど多くないことがわかった。再稼働の条件は厳しく設定すべきである。

A growing number of Japanese are calling for the immediate shutdown of all reactors or a steady reduction in Japan’s dependence on nuclear energy. An Asahi Shimbun public opinion poll in February confirmed this trend; a majority of respondents voiced opposition to reactor restarts.
 原発の即時全面停止や依存度低減といった脱原発を求める世論が高まり、先月の朝日新聞の世論調査でも過半数が再稼働に反対している。

The Abe administration initially pledged to lower the nation’s dependence on nuclear power over time. But it has gradually ratcheted up its rhetoric in promoting nuclear power generation through remarks that appear designed to create a new “nuclear safety myth.”
 安倍政権は当初は「原発依存度の低減」を掲げたが、徐々に新たな「安全神話」を思わせる言動が目立っている。

In his 2013 speech supporting Tokyo’s bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics, Abe told the world that the situation concerning radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima plant was “under control.”
 安倍首相は13年、東京五輪招致で原発の汚染水状況を「アンダーコントロール(管理下にある)」と世界にアピールした。

He has also contended in the Diet that the NRA’s new safety standards were “the strictest in the world.”
規制委の新基準についても国会で「世界一厳しい」と持ち上げた。

But the Otsu District Court’s decision adjudged the standards as insufficient for giving the green light to a reactor restart.
だが、今回の地裁決定は、その基準も再稼働の十分条件ではないとの判断を示した。

In addition, there have been serious concerns about the lack of effective and reliable plans for emergency evacuations during severe nuclear accidents.
 さらに避難計画の不備はかねて懸念の的だった。

The new safety standards do not cover evacuation plans, and the NRA does not examine such plans when it evaluates the safety of a reactor.
新基準に避難計画は入っておらず、規制委の審査対象になっていない。

In the case of the Takahama plant, a severe nuclear accident would force about 180,000 residents in Fukui, Kyoto and Shiga prefectures to evacuate. But no drill to ascertain the viability of evacuation plans was conducted before the two reactors resumed operations.
 高浜の場合、福井、京都、滋賀の3府県にまたがる約18万人が避難を余儀なくされるが、再稼働前に計画の実効性を確かめる訓練も実施されなかった。

The court referred to the government’s “obligation to develop regulatory standards from a broad perspective that also covers the need of evacuation plans.” The government should immediately respond to this proposition.
 地裁は「避難計画をも視野に入れた幅広い規制基準をつくる義務が国家にあるのではないか」と投げかけた。政府がただちに答えるべき問いだ。

NUCLEAR POWER OF GREAT PUBLIC CONCERN
 ■国民の重大な関心事

Despite the enormous scale of damage caused by the Fukushima accident, the responsibility of those who had championed nuclear power generation has yet to be clarified.
 あれだけの事故でありながら原発を推進してきた人たちの責任は明らかになっていない。

As the Otsu District Court pointed out, the Japanese public who watched the disaster unfold at the Fukushima No. 1 plant understand the “overwhelming scope” of the damages caused by the accident as well as the “great confusion” that arose during the evacuation process.
 大津地裁が言う通り、原発事故を経験した国民は事故の影響の範囲について、「圧倒的な広さとその避難に大きな混乱が生じたことを知悉(ちしつ)している」。

Yet both the government and electric utilities are working in tandem to restart reactors as if they have forgotten what happened five years ago.
 にもかかわらず、政府と電力会社は事故を忘れたかのように再稼働へ足並みをそろえる。

Some revelations have cast serious doubt about utilities’ commitment to learning lessons from the accident and putting the top priority on safety.
Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the stricken Fukushima plant, recently “discovered” a guideline in its operational manual that would have allowed it to announce core meltdowns much earlier than it did.
Kyushu Electric Power Co. has asked for the NRA’s permission to withdraw a plan to build a quake-proof building that can serve as an on-site response center during a severe nuclear accident. The company promised to build the emergency facility at its Sendai nuclear power plant before it restarted two reactors at the plant last year.
 東京電力が炉心溶融の判定基準を今ごろ「発見」したり、九州電力が川内(せんだい)原発の再稼働前に約束していた免震重要棟の建設を撤回したりと、事業者の反省、安全優先の徹底は怪しい。

These episodes raise suspicions that the utilities are returning to their pre-disaster practice of cunningly using experts to make key decisions about their nuclear power operations within the close-knit pro-nuclear community.
 専門家をうまく使い、事故前のように仲間内で決めようとしているのか。疑念が膨らむ。

Many issues concerning nuclear power policy are too complicated and arcane for ordinary citizens to easily understand. But the Fukushima nuclear crisis has reminded Japanese that nuclear power generation is an issue that is directly linked to their livelihoods and lifestyle choices.
 原子力政策は難解だが、原発は、人びとの暮らし方、生き方の選択と直結した問題であることを事故は思い起こさせた。

No matter how hard they try to revive the safety myth about nuclear power, government policymakers and members of the “nuclear village,” the closed and small community of people and organizations with vested interests in promoting nuclear power, will never be able to bring the nation back to the days before the Fukushima disaster.
 政権と少数の「原発ムラ」関係者たちが、いくら安全神話を復活させようとしても、事故前に戻ることはできない。

Nuclear power generation has already become a familiar issue and a matter of serious concern to the great majority of Japanese.
原発はすでに大多数の国民の、身近で重大な関心事なのである。
posted by srachai at 09:03| Comment(0) | 朝日英字

2016年03月10日

慰安婦問題 日韓合意を育てるには

--The Asahi Shimbun, March 9
EDITORIAL: Tokyo and Seoul must be faithful to agreement on 'comfort women'
(社説)慰安婦問題 日韓合意を育てるには

In its concluding observations, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) on March 7 criticized Japan for failing to "fully adopt a victim-centered approach" over the December 2015 Japan-South Korea agreement on the "comfort women" issue.
 国連の女子差別撤廃委員会(CEDAW)は、慰安婦問題をめぐる昨年末の日韓合意について「被害者中心のアプローチが十分にとられていない」などと遺憾を表す最終見解を発表した。

The Japanese government reacted with displeasure.
"That's a real shame as it (the panel's reaction) diverges greatly from the reception of the international community," Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told a news conference on March 8.
これに対し、岸田文雄外相が「国際社会の受け止めとはかけ離れている」と述べるなど、日本政府は反発している。

But doesn't such a knee-jerk reaction to the CEDAW observations only convey to the people of both Japan and South Korea a message that is incongruous with the spirit of the agreement?
 しかし、国連委員会の見解に対して反発するだけでは、合意の精神から離れたメッセージを日韓両国民に送ることにならないか。

We believe the only reasonable response to the CEDAW observations now is to act faithfully on each clause of the agreement, one by one.
こうした見解や見方に対する答えは、合意の中身を一つずつ着実に実行に移していくことに尽きるはずだ。

For decades, the comfort women issue plagued both Tokyo and Seoul, and the partners were finally able to reach an agreement at the end of the landmark 50th year of the normalization of their diplomatic ties.
 慰安婦問題は、日韓国交正常化50年という節目の年の最後になってようやく合意をみた、両国政府にとって長年の懸案だった。

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, as well as the leaders of the United States and other countries, hailed the efforts made by Tokyo and Seoul to reach that accord.
合意に対して、国連の潘基文(パンギムン)・事務総長や米国をはじめとする国々から、日韓のその努力と成果に対して歓迎の意を表する動きがあった。

However, the contents of the agreement can hardly be said to have been fully appreciated in either country. In fact, there still remain very hard feelings about the agreement in both countries, particularly in South Korea.
 しかし、日韓双方の国内で合意内容が浸透したと言える状況にはない。むしろ、日韓両国、とりわけ韓国国内には強い反対意見があるのが現状だ。

Precisely because such is the case, no final resolution to the comfort women issue can be hoped for unless the governments abide by the agreement. And for that, the political leaders of both nations must be firmly resolved to abide by it.
 それだけに、政府間で約束が守られなければ、最終的な解決など望めない。そのためには日韓の政治指導者の強い意思が欠かせない。

Fortunately, some signs of change have been seen. For example, when a lawmaker of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party called the women "professional prostitutes" after the agreement was signed, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, speaking in the Diet, immediately chastised the offending lawmaker for misrepresenting the spirit of the agreement.
 実際、変化の兆しも出てきてはいる。日韓合意の発表後、慰安婦のことを「職業としての娼婦(しょうふ)」と発言した自民党の国会議員に対し、安倍首相は国会ですぐに「合意を踏まえた発言を」などと諭した。

And on the South Korean side, Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se made no mention of the comfort women issue when he recently attended a U.N. Human Rights Council session. This was a first since President Park Geun-hye took office in 2013.
一方、韓国の尹炳世(ユンビョンセ)外相は先日開かれた国連人権理事会で、慰安婦問題について言及しなかった。朴政権になって初めてのことだ。

It is vital that both Tokyo and Seoul continue making these efforts.
 双方とも、こうした努力を重ねることが重要だ。

Under the agreement, the Japanese government is to pledge 1 billion yen ($8.8 million) to a fund to be established by the South Korean government for carrying out "projects for recovering the honor and dignity and healing the psychological wounds of all comfort women."
 日韓は、韓国政府が作る財団に日本が政府予算から10億円を出すことで一致している。「元慰安婦の名誉と尊厳の回復、心の傷の癒やしのための事業」にあたるためだ。

This arrangement partly addresses the CEDAW's reference to Japan's need to "adopt a victim-centered approach."
最終見解の勧告にある「被害者中心のアプローチ」に重なる部分がある。

The agreement also confirms both countries' intention to resolve the comfort women issue "finally and irreversibly."
 また、両政府は慰安婦問題の「最終的かつ不可逆的」な解決も確認しあっている。

Both governments must strive to honor this agreement and continue to calmly exchange their views based on objective facts.
 両国政府関係者は、この合意が保たれるように努力し、双方が事実に基づいた冷静な主張を重ねていく必要がある。

To change the international community's perception of the comfort women issue, it is vital that Japan and South Korea work together to act fully and faithfully on the agreement and let it grow strong by deepening their mutual trust.
 日韓が手を携えて合意の内容を着実に履行する。互いに信頼関係を深めながら大きく育てていく。慰安婦問題をみつめる国際社会の視線を変えることも、こうした取り組みの積み重ねにかかっているはずだ。
posted by srachai at 09:58| Comment(0) | 朝日英字

2016年03月09日

「停波」発言 放送局の姿勢を見たい

--The Asahi Shimbun, March 7
EDITORIAL: Broadcasters must stand up to LDP pressure
(社説)「停波」発言 放送局の姿勢を見たい

Communications minister Sanae Takaichi has reiterated that she or others in her post could order broadcasters to suspend operations if they repeatedly air politically unfair programs.
 政治的に公平でない番組を繰り返し流した場合、時の総務大臣の判断で、放送局に電波停止を命じることもありうる――。
 高市早苗総務相が、こう繰り返し表明している。

Takaichi, who also said some of her predecessors made similar remarks, has ruled out changing her position despite a series of statements by media executives and legal scholars criticizing her assertion.
これまでの総務大臣も同様のことを述べてきた、とも言っている。放送関係者や法学者らによる批判声明が相次いでいるが、考えを変えるつもりはないという。

Takaichi doesn’t understand the spirit of the Broadcast Law.
 高市氏は放送法の意義を理解していない。

The principal aim of the law is to secure the freedom of expression guaranteed by the Constitution.
放送法の精神は、憲法が保障する表現の自由を確保することにある。

The law’s Article 4, which requires political fairness in broadcasting, should not be used as a legal base to penalize broadcasters with orders to suspend their operations. That’s because there can be no clear definition of the term “political fairness.”
 様々に解釈できる「政治的公平」を定めた第4条を、停波という処分と結びつけるべきではない。

The communications minister, who is a politician, cannot be expected to serve as a good judge of whether a program is politically fair or not.
番組が政治的に公平か否か、自身も政治家である大臣が判断することには矛盾がある。

The current Liberal Democratic Party has taken a series of aggressive actions to meddle in the content of TV programs. The ruling party has made “requests” and conducted “interviews” that could be regarded as attempts to intimidate broadcasters.
 いまの自民党は、番組内容にまで踏み込み、威圧ともとれる「要望」や「事情聴取」などでテレビへの干渉を強めている。

Coming from a Cabinet minister of this high-handed governing party, Takaichi’s reference to possibly ordering broadcasters to suspend programs can be taken as an open challenge to the freedom of broadcasting.
そんな政権党の大臣が「停波」を口にすることは、放送の自由への圧力と受け止められる。

What is worrisome is that TV broadcasters could be daunted by her words.
 心配なのは、テレビ報道に萎縮が広がることだ。

Some employees of TV stations have reportedly said they feel silent pressure from their higher-ups. Others have mentioned growing signs that the people involved in producing TV programs are exercising self-restraint and using their own judgment to avoid provoking controversy.
 「上から無言のプレッシャーがある」「自主規制や忖度(そんたく)によって萎縮が蔓延(まんえん)している」。現場にはそんな声があるという。

The people’s right to know, a foundation of democracy, would be seriously undermined if broadcasters conduct docile news reporting out of fear of being labeled “unfair” by the government.
政権から「公平ではない」と言われるのを恐れて報道が手ぬるくなれば、民主主義社会の基本である国民の知る権利の足元が掘り崩される。

Even if they are undaunted by the government’s threat, TV broadcasters would lose the trust of viewers if they suspect TV programs are made in line with the government’s wishes.
 実際は萎縮していないとしても、視聴者が「政権の意に沿った放送だろう」と疑えば、テレビ報道は信頼を失う。

Takaichi’s remarks have effectively aroused such suspicions among the public. The situation is causing heavy losses for society.
高市氏の発言は結果として、こうした疑念を膨らませている。社会にとって大きな損失である。

Asked about Takaichi’s remarks, the heads of all the national TV networks have stressed that broadcasters are committed to the principle of “independence and autonomy.” They should demonstrate their commitment to the principle through their programs.
 在京キー局のトップはみな、記者会見で高市氏の発言について問われ、「放送は自主自律」と答えている。その覚悟を具体的に示してほしい。

Some TV broadcasters have already aired programs that dug into this issue and showed their own positions while providing viewers with information to think about related questions themselves.
 すでに、この問題を掘り下げて、視聴者に考える材料を提供しながら、自らの姿勢を示した報道番組もある。

But such moves have been limited in scope and show no signs of developing into a major trend.
だが、そうした動きは一部にとどまり、広がりが見えない。

Many newscasters who have criticized the government will be replaced as part of program changes this spring. This has made Japanese TV viewers attentive to the attitudes of TV broadcasters toward news reporting.
 春の番組改編で、政権に厳しくものを言ってきたキャスターが次々と交代することもあり、視聴者は今後の報道姿勢を注目している。

As an important player in journalism, TV stations should do more to communicate their views and opinions directly to viewers.
テレビ局は報道の担い手として、自分たちの考え方を、もっと積極的に直接視聴者に伝えたらどうだろうか。

Article 1 of the Broadcast Law says the law’s purpose is to “ensure that broadcasting will contribute to the sound development of democracy by clarifying the professional responsibilities of those who are involved in broadcasting.”
 放送法第1条には「放送に携わる者の職責を明らかにすることによって、放送が健全な民主主義の発達に資するようにする」とある。

TV broadcasters have a duty to clearly show how they are trying to fulfill these responsibilities.
それをどう実践しているのか、分かりやすく見せてほしい。
posted by srachai at 09:36| Comment(0) | 朝日英字

2016年03月08日

衆院制度改革 放置できぬ格差拡大

--The Asahi Shimbun, March 6
EDITORIAL: LDP needs to be serious about narrowing vote-value gap
(社説)衆院制度改革 放置できぬ格差拡大

There must be absolutely no further delay in the long-overdue electoral reform to redress grievous inequalities in representation.
To reduce the glaring disparity in the relative weight of a vote in Lower House single-seat constituencies, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party should respond positively to the major reapportionment and redistricting proposals made by its junior coalition partner, Komeito, and the opposition Democratic Party of Japan.
 もはや待ったなしである。衆院小選挙区の一票の格差是正に向け、自民党は公明党や民主党が主張する定数配分の抜本改革案に歩み寄るべきだ。

The 2015 national census has confirmed the worsening of the situation. A vote in the least populous Miyagi No. 5 district is “worth” the value of 2.334 votes in the most populous Tokyo No. 1, according to preliminary figures announced by the internal affairs ministry on Feb. 26.
 総務省が先月発表した2015年国勢調査の速報値によれば、人口が最も少ない宮城5区と最多の東京1区を比べると、格差は2・334倍となった。

The maximum gap in vote value narrowed to a ratio of 1.998 to 1 as a result of the changes made in 2013, which reduced the number of single-seat constituencies in five prefectures by one each.
But the latest demographic data have found a vote-value disparity of more than two--the standard of the Supreme Court for ruling “a state of unconstitutionality”--in 37 districts, including 14 in Tokyo, when compared with Miyagi No. 5.
13年の「0増5減」に伴う区割り見直しで最大格差は1・998倍に縮小していたが、今回の調査では2倍以上の格差があるのは37選挙区に上る。

As a formula to allocate Lower House seats to the 47 prefectures, a research council on the electoral system in January recommended the adoption of an apportion method that was proposed by John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the United States.
 都道府県の間の定数配分の計算式として、衆院議長の諮問機関である有識者調査会は「アダムズ方式」の導入による抜本改革を答申した。

Many parties including the DPJ and Komeito have said they will accept the proposal. While the LDP has shown a reluctance to immediately adopt the method, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has promised to “respect” the panel’s recommendations.
民主、公明など多くの党が受け入れを表明し、消極的な自民党も安倍首相が「尊重する」と答弁している。

The question is when the Adams method should be introduced.
 残る焦点は、アダムズ方式をいつ導入するかだ。

In line with the panel’s proposal, which called for a net reduction of six seats elected in single-seat constituencies, the DPJ has proposed a combination of an increase of seven in the seats allocated to five prefectures and a reduction of one each in 13 prefectures, changes based on the 2010 national census. Komeito argues for an adjustment comprising an increase of nine seats combined with a reduction of 15 based on the 2015 data.
 答申が求めた小選挙区定数の6削減を前提に定数配分を見直す場合、民主党は10年調査に基づく「7増13減」を、公明党は15年調査に基づく「9増15減」を主張している。

Abe, however, is apparently tilting toward the idea of limiting the immediate changes based on the 2015 census to cut six seats through redistricting within six prefectures. He prefers postponing a major overhaul based on the Adams apportion method until after the full census scheduled for 2020.
 一方、安倍首相は15年調査では、選挙区画見直しによる是正と定数の6減にとどめ、アダムズ方式導入による抜本改革は20年の大規模調査以降に実施するとの方針だ。

Abe claims his position is in line with the council’s recommendations, which said a reapportionment based on the Adams formula should be carried out in response to the findings of full censuses conducted once a decade.
 アダムズ方式による配分見直しは10年ごとの大規模国勢調査に基づき実施するとの答申に沿ったものだ、と首相はいう。

It is true that the panel didn’t propose any specific time frame for the reform. But Abe’s position ignores the reality of serious inequality in the value of votes.
 確かに、答申に導入時期は書いていない。だが、首相の言い分は、投票価値の不平等という現実から目を背けている。

What is important is not to follow the letter of the panel’s recommendations. The crucial issue is how to respond to the calls for substantial electoral reform made by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court declared the past three Lower House elections to have been conducted “in a state of unconstitutionality” because of a sharp vote-value disparity. The court has also urged an early abolition of the method of first distributing one seat to each of the 47 prefectures before allocating the remaining seats.
 大事なことは、答申に形式的に沿うことではない。過去3回の衆院選を違憲状態と判断し、「1人別枠」という定数配分方式の速やかな撤廃という最高裁の求めにどう応えるかだ。

The LDP’s “zero increase and six reduction” proposal would effectively keep the “one seat to each prefecture first” system intact.
 自民党が今回実施するという「0増6減」では、1人別枠方式は実質的に温存される。

Given that at least one Lower House election will be held by the time of the next national census, Komeito’s argument for introducing the Adams approach immediately by applying it to the newest demographic data is the most reasonable one.
 次の国勢調査までに少なくとも1回は衆院選があることを考えれば、最新データをもとにアダムズ方式を導入するとの公明党の主張が最も理にかなう。

Lower House Speaker Tadamori Oshima, who is serving as a broker in the negotiations over the issue among the parties, has expressed a desire to see the emergence of consensus by the end of this month. Abe should agree to the proposal put forward by Komeito, the LDP’s political ally.
 調整役の大島衆院議長は今月中に結論を出したいというが、安倍首相は友党・公明党の主張を受け入れるべきだ。

We can understand the argument that slashing the number of seats allocated to sparsely populated areas would make it difficult to incorporate the voices of people in rural areas into the central government’s policies.
 人口が少ない地域の定数が減れば、地方の声が国政に届きにくくなるという指摘があるのはわかる。

But the constitutional imperative of equality in the value of votes should not be obscured by this problem, which should be discussed from a different viewpoint.
ただ、それは憲法が求める「投票価値の平等」とは別の観点から論ずべき問題だ。

The judiciary has ordered that the existing inequality should be redressed as quickly as possible. The legislature has a responsibility to carry out the order.
 いまある不平等を、できるだけ早く正す。それが司法の要請であり、立法府の責任である。
posted by srachai at 12:39| Comment(0) | 朝日英字
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