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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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2009年08月15日

終戦の日 追悼めぐる論議を深めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 15, 2009)
Time to discuss how to commemorate war dead
終戦の日 追悼めぐる論議を深めよ(8月15日付・読売社説)

Whenever we ponder on those
who dedicated their lives
for the cause of our nation,
our heart aches with deep emotion
 「くにのためいのちささげし ひとびとの ことをおもへば むねせまりくる」

This poem by Emperor Showa (1926-1989) is inscribed on the monument to the memory of the war dead at Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo.
 東京・千代田区の千鳥ヶ淵戦没者墓苑の碑に刻まれた昭和天皇のお歌である。

Once again, the day has arrived on which the nation commemorates the end of World War II. The government will host a memorial service for the war dead at Nippon Budokan hall, which is close to the national cemetery.
 今年も「終戦の日」を迎えた。千鳥ヶ淵の墓苑にほど近い日本武道館では、政府主催の全国戦没者追悼式が行われる。

In an ordinary year, the ceremony is attended by the Emperor and Empress as well as the heads of the three branches of state power: the heads of both houses of the Diet, the prime minister and the Supreme Court chief justice. In this regard, it is the nation's most solemn event.
This year, however, the House of Representatives speaker will not attend because the lower house has been dissolved ahead of the upcoming general election.
 天皇、皇后両陛下と共に、例年、三権の長である衆参両院議長、首相、最高裁長官が列席する。日本国として最も厳粛な儀式である。とは言え、今回は衆院が解散されているため衆院議長は不在だ。

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II. The war broke out with the German invasion of Poland on Sept. 1, 1939. Germany had concluded a nonaggression pact with the Soviet Union only a week earlier on Aug. 23.
 今年は第2次大戦勃発(ぼっぱつ)から70周年の年でもある。1939年9月1日、ドイツのポーランド侵攻で始まった。直前の8月23日には独ソ不可侵条約が締結された。

Soon after, Soviet forces invaded Poland and annexed three Baltic states. The three states only regained their independence shortly before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
 ソ連もポーランドに侵攻し、バルト3国を併合した。3国が独立を回復するのは、91年にソ連が崩壊する直前のことである。

In July, the parliamentary assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe adopted a resolution calling for the anniversary of the day the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact was concluded to be a day of remembrance for victims of Stalinism and Nazism. The session was held in Lithuania--one of the Baltic states that came under Soviet control.
 バルト3国の一つ、リトアニアで今夏開催された全欧安保協力機構(OSCE)の議会は、独ソ不可侵条約が締結された日を、「スターリニズムとナチズムの犠牲者追悼の日」とすることなどを求める宣言を採択した。

===

Diplomatic blunders

During the war years, Japan repeatedly made diplomatic blunders by making approaches to Germany and the Soviet Union.
 このドイツとソ連に接近して外交上の失敗を繰り返したのが、当時の日本だった。

The Imperial Japanese Army initially believed it could keep the Soviet Union in check by forming an alliance with Germany. The signing of the nonaggression treaty between those two countries, however, stunned the Cabinet of Prime Minister Kiichiro Hiranuma, which resigned en masse after issuing a statement that said, "Europe's heaven and earth are complicated and inscrutable."
 日本陸軍は当初、ドイツと同盟を結び、ソ連をけん制しようと考えていた。その独ソによる不可侵条約の締結に驚いた平沼騏一郎内閣は「欧州の天地は複雑怪奇」との声明を出して総辞職した。

Later, the Cabinet of Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe concluded the Tripartite Alliance with Germany and Italy as well as the Japanese-Soviet Neutrality Pact. Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka apparently thought the impasse in Japan-U.S. relations could be broken by balancing against Britain and the United States by strengthening cooperation among four countries--Japan, Germany, Italy and the Soviet Union.
 その後、近衛文麿内閣は日独伊三国同盟と日ソ中立条約を締結した。松岡洋右外相は日独伊にソ連を加えた4か国の連携で、英米との力の均衡をはかり、日米関係を打開しようと考えていた。

But Matsuoka's plan was scuttled by the outbreak of hostilities between the Soviet Union and Germany. The next cabinet, that of Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, decided to go to war with the United States--a reckless undertaking on Japan's part.
 だが、独ソ戦が始まり構想は破綻(はたん)した。続く東条英機内閣は、米国との無謀な戦争に踏み切る。

As the conflict drew closer to its end, the Cabinet of Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki asked the Soviet Union to broker a deal with the Allies to end the war. However, the Soviet Union turned its back on the neutrality pact with Japan and invaded Manchuria (what is now northeastern China). As a result, 575,000 Japanese officers and soldiers were captured and detained in Siberia and other parts of the Soviet Union. An estimated 55,000 Japanese are believed to have died in the Soviet Union after the war.
 戦争末期、鈴木貫太郎内閣はソ連に終戦の仲介を依頼したが、ソ連は日ソ中立条約を破って旧満州(現中国東北部)に侵攻した。57万5000人の将兵がシベリアなどに抑留され、5万5000人が死亡したと推定されている。

A massive amount of documents detailing the Japanese detainees has recently been discovered at a Russian archive. We hope these documents will help identify the Japanese who died in Soviet detention.
 最近、ロシアの公文書館で抑留者の資料が大量に見つかった。ロシア側資料による死亡者の情報の裏付けが期待されている。

Looking back, it is clear that Japanese leaders grossly misinterpreted what was happening on the international stage.
 こうした経緯からも、当時の日本の指導者たちは世界の情勢を見誤っていたのは明らかだろう。

The House of Representatives election to choose the leaders who will be tasked with navigating Japan through uncharted waters will be officially announced Tuesday, opening an 11-day campaign.
 これからの日本を託す指導者を選ぶ総選挙の公示は、3日後に控えている。

Both the Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of Japan have mapped out policies they plan to implement should they hold the reins of government. The battle to woo voters will be fierce.
 自民、民主両党が政権構想を示して競い合っているが、

===続きを読む...
posted by srachai at 08:31| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2009年08月14日

年金改革 党派の対立超え接点を探れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 14, 2009)
Compromise necessary for pension reform
年金改革 党派の対立超え接点を探れ(8月14日付・読売社説)

The pension system is the bedrock upon which the citizens of this nation build their postretirement life. However, if this system lacks stability, notions of a strong ultra-aging society will be nothing more than a pipe dream.
 年金制度は老後を支える根幹だ。これが揺らいでは、安定した超高齢社会は築けない。

In the last fiscal year, the rate of contributions paid by subscribers to the national pension scheme, which mainly covers self-employed and nonregular workers, declined to a record low of 62.1 percent. This figure is believed to reflect public distrust in the current system, with many people reportedly concerned about being unable to receive pension benefits, despite having paid premiums over many years.
 自営業者や非正規労働者などが支払う国民年金保険料の納付率は昨年度、過去最低の62・1%まで下がった。保険料を納めても年金を受け取れないのではないか、という不信感を反映したものだろう。

Evidently, the pension system will need to be fundamentally overhauled before public confidence can be restored.
 年金制度への信頼を取り戻すために、思い切った改革が必要であることは明らかだ。

===

Different visions

The Liberal Democratic Party pledged in its policy platforms for the upcoming House of Representatives election to offer help within three years to people who currently receive little or no pension benefits.
 自民党は、無年金・低年金者を3年以内に救済することを公約に掲げた。

More specifically, the party--in a shared pledge with its coalition partner, New Komeito--proposed shortening the minimum period that people are required to pay premiums in order to qualify for pension benefits from the current 25 years to 10 years.
具体的には公明党との与党共通公約として、年金をもらうための最低加入期間を現行の25年から10年に短縮するなどとしている。

In addition, New Komeito proposed improvements aimed at guaranteeing minimum benefits for low-income earners by providing additional financial assistance from the state coffers.
公明党はさらに、低所得者に年金を上乗せして最低保障機能を充実することを唱えている。

Conversely, the Democratic Party of Japan proposed an all-encompassing pension program in which everyone would be asked to pay premiums in proportion to their income. The envisaged program also is designed to guarantee a minimum monthly pension income of 70,000 yen by drawing upon taxpayers' money to provide extra benefits. Such a move would transform the current pension scheme.
 一方、民主党は国民共通の所得比例年金を創設し、受け取り月額が7万円以上になるように税金で最低保障年金を上乗せする案を示した。新しい制度に移行する抜本改革である。

Though the ruling bloc's pension reform plans and the DPJ's ideas are significantly different, they are not completely incompatible.
 与党と民主党の年金改革案は大きく異なる。ただし、全く相いれないものではない。

Up until the previous House of Councillors election, the DPJ had said the basic pension portion of its minimum-guarantee pension scheme would rely entirely on taxpayers' money. This proposal thus gave the impression that the current premium-based system would be rebuilt from the ground up into a system that was fully funded by tax revenues.
 民主党は前回の参院選まで、自らが唱える最低保障年金について「基礎部分をすべて税にする」と説明し、現行の保険料方式を全額税方式に転換するかのように印象づけていた。

However, the party altered its rationale ahead of the upcoming lower house election. Under its newly drafted reform plan, the envisaged pension scheme would be based on benefits linked to the amount of premiums paid into the system by people during their working years, with the minimum-guarantee pension benefits complementing this income-linked pension.
 しかし、衆院選では説明を変えている。基本となるのは保険料による所得比例年金であり、最低保障年金はそれを補完する形に概念図を作り直した。

As a result of this new stance, friction lessened between the ruling and opposition blocs over whether a premium-based or tax-funded program was best suited to the nation's needs.
 この結果、保険料方式か全額税方式かという、これまでの与野党の対立は弱まった。

===

Cross-party challenge

The ruling parties continue to maintain that a domestic unified pension program should be this country's long-term goal.
 与党はかねて「最終的には年金制度の一元化が望ましい」としていた。

We believe the idea of a unified income-linked pension program to be worthy of serious consideration.
すべての国民が保険料方式の所得比例年金に入る構想は到達点として十分検討に値しよう。

However, the DPJ plan would require a long transitional period before the new system could be operated smoothly and effectively. Therefore, as proposed by the ruling parties, the government would need to take measures to financially support those people who had only small pensions, or no benefits at all.
 一方、民主党案も完成させるには長期の移行期間が必要であり、与党が主張するような、現に生じている無年金・低年金者への対策が不要になるわけではない。

The ruling and opposition blocs' pension reform proposals are not completely contradictory. As such, it would be possible to seek a compromise.
 年金改革に関して、与野党の主張は互いを全否定する関係にはなく、接点は見いだしうる。

As for coming debates on pension reform, voters should keep a close eye on which party or candidate seems the most constructively minded on the issue.
 有権者が見極めるべきは、建設的な姿勢で議論しているのは、どの政党、どの候補者か、という点であろう。

Whatever political shape the nation takes after the lower house election, reforming the pension system is a task that must be tackled across party lines.
 衆院選後に政権の枠組みがどうなろうとも、年金改革は超党派で取り組まねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 14, 2009)
(2009年8月14日01時13分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 08:17| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2009年08月13日

サイバー攻撃 ネット社会に深刻な脅威だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 13, 2009)
Cyber attacks a threat to modern society
サイバー攻撃 ネット社会に深刻な脅威だ(8月13日付・読売社説)

Cyber attacks are a grave threat to the globe-spanning computer networks that underpin modern society and it is imperative that checks be made to ensure adequate countermeasures are in place to deal with potential problems in this country.
 世界規模でネットワーク化が進んだ現代社会にとって、サイバー攻撃は大きな脅威だ。国内の対策は十分か、点検を怠るべきではない。

In early July, a spate of cyber attacks hit the Web sites of government organizations, banks and stock exchanges in the United States and South Korea.
 米国と韓国で、政府機関や銀行、証券取引所などのウェブサイトが先月上旬、集中的なサイバー攻撃の標的となった。

Internet bots, which can remotely control the computers of unsuspecting users, were used to launch the attacks. Using such hijacked computers, the hackers simultaneously sent enormous volumes of data to particular Web sites, forcing them to shut down.
 使われたのはボット・ウイルスだ。ボットに感染したコンピューターは外部から遠隔操作が可能になる。ハッカーは、乗っ取った多数のコンピューターから、大量のデータを標的のサイトに一斉に送りつけて機能まひに陥らせた。

The distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks in South Korea were compounded by the destruction of data, which meant it took many of the affected organizations a considerable time to restore their Web sites.
 韓国では、この「DDoS(ディードス=分散型サービス拒否)攻撃」のほかに、データが破壊される被害も重なって、サイトの復旧に時間がかかった。

===

North Korean involvement?

According to global information security experts, the attacks were launched from about 170,000 bot-infected computers in 74 countries. Though it is highly suspected that North Korea or pro-North Korean groups had a hand in the cyber offensives, it is difficult to conclusively identify the attackers.
 各国の情報セキュリティー専門家の解析から、74か国計17万台のボット感染のコンピューターが攻撃に使われ、北朝鮮もしくは親北朝鮮勢力が関与した疑いが濃厚とみられている。ただ、具体的に特定することは困難という。

However, if North Korea was involved in the attacks in some form, it is likely that Japan will be targeted at some point in the future. We hope careful analyses of the U.S. and South Korean cases will help bolster domestic countermeasures against such attacks.
 仮に北朝鮮が何らかの形で関与していたのなら、日本がいつ標的になるとも限らない。米韓の事例を詳細に分析し、国内対策に役立てるようにしてほしい。

As exemplified by these recent events, government Web sites are the prime targets for cyber assaults.
 米韓のケースをみてもわかる通り、政府系のウェブサイトは真っ先に攻撃対象となる。

While government Web sites are becoming increasingly convenient for the public--such as by allowing people to file income tax returns online, among other tasks--the fact that anyone can access these networks leaves such computer systems vulnerable to cyber attacks.
 政府系サイトは、確定申告をはじめオンライン申請できるなど利便性が向上している反面、ネットワークを通じて誰でも接続できるため、サイバー攻撃のリスクがつきまとう。

At the end of July, the Education, Science and Technology Ministry's Web site was tampered with by an unidentified person or group. As a result, it was possible to access with a single click a Web site written in Chinese. Although no real damage was confirmed, this was typical of the kind of malicious behavior that drives hackers to send out computer-infecting bots.
 先月末には、文部科学省のサイトが何者かに改竄(かいざん)された。クリックすると、中国語のサイトにつながる状態になっていた。実害は確認されていないが、ボット感染させる典型的な手口だ。

We hope the government, led primarily by the Cabinet Secretariat's National Information Security Center, will closely monitor the situation and take the requisite steps to ensure security is given high priority.
 内閣官房情報セキュリティセンターを中心に、監視の目が十分行き届くようにしてもらいたい。

===

Vigilance required

In terms of countermeasures, individuals, too, also have an important role to play. It has been confirmed that many Japan-based computers were unknowingly involved in the recent digital bombardment of U.S. and South Korean Web sites. According to a government estimate, there are about 300,000 bot-infected computers in Japan.
 個々人の対策も欠かせない。米韓でのサイバー攻撃では、日本国内のパソコンも多数利用されたことが確認済みだ。政府の推計では、ボット感染している日本国内のパソコンは30万台にのぼる。

The most important single step that users can take to protect their computers is to install antivirus software and make sure that it always runs the latest version. Running an up-to-date operating system, such as Windows, also is an effective countermeasure. The Web site of the government-operated Cyber Clean Center offers users a free check to learn whether their computers are infected with bots.
 基本はウイルス対策ソフトを組み込み、常に最新版に更新しておくことだ。ウィンドウズなど基本ソフトの更新も必要だ。政府が運営する「サイバークリーンセンター」のホームページでは、ボット感染の自己チェックもできる。

Let us hope we can all avoid becoming unwitting accomplices in bot-based cyber attacks.
 知らぬ間にボット感染し、サイバー攻撃の片棒を担がされることのないようにしたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 13, 2009)
(2009年8月13日01時09分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 15:22| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2009年08月12日

災害列島 避難準備と救援体制は万全に

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 12, 2009)
Sound preparations a must for disasters
災害列島 避難準備と救援体制は万全に(8月12日付・読売社説)

The combination of a typhoon and an earthquake reminds us afresh that Japan is an archipelago of disasters.
 日本は災害列島、と改めて思い知らされた。

First, heavy rains associated with Typhoon No. 9 hit various places in western Japan. As the typhoon moved east, an earthquake with an intensity of lower 6 on the Japanese scale of 7 occurred in the Tokai region, which fell in the path of the typhoon, with its focus under Suruga Bay off Shizuoka Prefecture.
 まず、台風9号に伴う豪雨が西日本の各地を襲った。この台風が東へ向かうと、今度は、進路に当たる東海地方で、最大震度6弱の静岡沖地震が起きた。

It was found that Tuesday's quake was not related to the much-feared expected major Tokai earthquake. However, the damages done by the two disasters are serious. We hope the central and local governments involved do their best in rescue and restoration efforts.
 当初懸念された巨大地震「東海地震」との関連はない、と判明したが、どちらも被害は深刻だ。政府と関係自治体は、救援と復旧に全力を挙げてもらいたい。

The heavy rains caused flooding of rivers and landslides in many places. The number of people dead or missing reached 30 in Hyogo Prefecture and surrounding areas. Many houses were buried by landslides.
 豪雨では、各地で河川が増水し土砂崩れが起きた。死者、不明者は兵庫県などで27人に達する。土砂で埋まった住宅も多い。

In the Shizuoka Prefecture earthquake, a violent tremor of lower 6 in intensity was recorded in several cities in the prefecture. Many injuries were reported, both minor and serious, including people hurt in neighboring Kanagawa and Aichi prefectures as well as Tokyo.
 静岡沖地震では、静岡県で震度6弱の激しい揺れが記録され、隣接の神奈川県を含め、多くの人が重軽傷を負った。

===

Complex disaster

As rainfall from Typhoon No. 9 before the quake made the ground loose, the quake caused landslides in several places, apparently broadening and combining the impact of the two disasters.
 地震前から台風9号による降雨があり、緩んだ地盤が各所で崩れる「複合災害」も起きた。

In particular, the collapse of part of the Tomei Expressway in Shizuoka Prefecture is expected to seriously affect the nation's distribution system.
特に静岡県内の東名高速道路での路面崩落は、物流への影響が大きい。

A 100-meter section of the expressway, dubbed the "aorta of transportation," which connects eastern and western Japan, was destroyed. The road should be repaired as soon as possible to allow traffic to begin to flow once more.
 東西を結んでいる「交通の大動脈」が、約100メートルにわたって壊れた。早急に修理して、通行を再開させねばならない。

Typhoon season is just getting started. A huge earthquake could occur anywhere. While work on rescue and relief efforts is vital, it also is important to check whether preparations for natural disasters are sufficient.
 台風シーズンはこれからが本番だ。大きな地震も、いつ、どこで起きるか分からない。救援と復旧作業の一方で、災害への備えは大丈夫か、点検も大切だ。

Our concern is the current state of evacuation arrangements prepared in case of flooding and landslides. In Hyogo Prefecture, there were those who were swept away by the flooded river while evacuating in anticipation of the river rising. In addition, the evacuation took place at night.
 とりわけ気がかりなのが、河川の増水や土砂崩れに備えた避難体制の現状だ。兵庫県では、増水に備えて避難中に、水位が上がった川に流された人がいる。しかも夜間の避難だったという。

In western Japan, large-scale landslides caused by heavy rains occurred last month, killing 30 people in Yamaguchi Prefecture and other places. At that time, too, problems concerning the evacuation arrangement were pointed out.
 西日本では先月も、豪雨による大規模な土砂崩れが起き、山口県などで30人が亡くなっている。この時も、避難体制について課題が指摘された。

The government in 2005 compiled guidelines on evacuation in natural disasters and called on municipalities throughout the nation to streamline evacuation procedures. The government took the move in light of frequent disasters caused by heavy rains the previous year that left more than 200 people dead.
 政府は2005年に「避難に関するガイドライン」をまとめ、全国の市町村に体制整備を呼びかけている。その前年に豪雨災害が多発し、200人以上の犠牲者が出たことを踏まえている。

===

Guidelines poorly observed

The guidelines stipulate that places where the danger of flooding and landslides is high must be identified. Based on the data, a hazard map must be made marking areas where damage is expected. Conditions under which residents will be asked to evacuate have to be decided in advance, taking into consideration the amount and rate of rise in river water levels and amount of rainfall, according to the guidelines.
 まず、増水や土砂崩れの危険がある場所を洗い出す。これに基づき、被害が及びそうな地域を地図化する。その上で、河川の水位や降雨量をもとに、住民に避難を呼びかける「基準」をあらかじめ定めておく、という内容だ。

However, according to the results of a survey by the Fire and Disaster Management Agency announced this spring, only about 40 percent of cities, towns and villages in the country have set such evacuation criteria. Similarly, about 40 percent of municipalities have prepared text messages to tell residents how to evacuate, according to the survey.
 だが、消防庁が今春公表した調査結果によると、この「基準」を定めている市町村は、全国で4割程度しかない。避難方法を住民に伝える文章を用意している市町村も、同程度にとどまる。

The Meteorological Agency says the incidence of heavy rainfalls in a year has been increasing in recent years. We should spare no pains in making a reality of the old Japanese adage that "If you are prepared, you don't have to worry."
 気象庁によると、豪雨の発生回数は近年、増加している。備えあれば憂いなし、を徹底したい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 12, 2009)
(2009年8月12日01時37分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 08:43| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2009年08月11日

警察白書 国民の「抵抗力」が被害を防ぐ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 11, 2009)
Develop immunity to remittance frauds
警察白書 国民の「抵抗力」が被害を防ぐ(8月11日付・読売社説)

This year's white paper on police published by the National Police Agency has a special section titled "Measures against crimes that threaten people's daily lives."
 今年の警察白書は「日常生活を脅かす犯罪」を特集した。

As examples of such crimes, it mentions bank remittance fraud and vicious business scams. It details current police measures against remittance fraud and lists related problems to be tackled.
 具体例として、振り込め詐欺や悪徳商法などを挙げ、特に振り込め詐欺について、警察の取り組みや今後の課題を詳述している。

The total number of criminal offense cases has been decreasing in recent years after peaking in 2002. But the white paper points out that the spread of such crimes is "one of the factors preventing people's uneasiness about public security from being allayed."
 刑法犯罪の全体の件数は2002年をピークに減少している。それでも「治安に対する国民の不安がぬぐえない要因の一つ」に、これらの犯罪の広がりがあると白書は指摘する。

If the current economic slump prolongs, new types of crimes that threaten people's daily lives may proliferate.
 経済不況が長引けば、日常生活を脅かす新手の犯罪が次々と増殖する恐れがあるだろう。

The police white paper emphasizes that it is important to enhance people's understanding and cooperation when it comes to fighting crime, such as by encouraging members of the public to provide information to police, and to boost people's crime-prevention capability. Indeed, preventing remittance fraud is not something that can be accomplished by police alone.
 白書は、被害防止には情報提供などの「国民の理解と協力」、犯罪に対する「国民の抵抗力」を高めていくことが重要だと強調している。まさに、警察だけで解決できる問題ではない。

===

Various ploys used

There are a variety of ploys used in the commission of remittance fraud, including the "It's me" type, in which offenders pretend to be a son or grandchild of the targeted victim, and the refund type, in which offenders pass themselves off as workers at social insurance and tax offices.
 息子や孫などを装うオレオレ詐欺、社会保険事務所や税務署の職員を名乗る還付金詐欺など、振り込め詐欺の手口は様々だ。

People across the country have been victimized. In many cases, money remitted to criminals is withdrawn from ATMs in the Tokyo metropolitan area. The bank accounts and cell phones used in the crimes belong to third parties or fictitious people.
 被害は全国に及ぶが、被害金の多くは首都圏の現金自動預け払い機(ATM)で引き出される。犯行に使われる預貯金口座と携帯電話は他人名義や架空名義だ。

The criminals in the groups that run the scams perform different tasks, and it is not easy to gain a clear picture of how the frauds are perpetrated. For instance, a group might consist of a person who dupes victims, one who obtains bank accounts and cell phones, and another who withdraws swindled money. The ratio of arrests to cases of remittance fraud remains slightly more than 20 percent.
 犯行グループは、だまし役、預貯金口座や携帯電話の調達役、詐取した金の引き出し役など役割分担し、全容を見せない。検挙率も2割強にとどまっている。

The NPA has been making efforts to combat such crimes, with police forces nationwide alerted to take countermeasures. For instance, it has inputted the modus operandi of all reported remittance fraud cases into a database that can be used in investigations. It also has deployed a special full-time investigation force comprising investigators from the Metropolitan Police Department and prefectural police headquarters in the metropolitan area.
 警察庁は犯行手口をデータベース化して捜査に活用し、都道府県警察の捜査員による専従班を首都圏に投入するなど、全国警察を挙げた取り組みを展開してきた。

These were necessary responses to fight a crime that is a threat to people all over the country.
全国的に脅威となっている犯罪に対しては、必要な対応であった。

===

Cat-and-mouse game continues

After banks limited the amount of cash that may be transferred via ATM to 100,000 yen, cases of money being remitted between accounts increased. Offenders began using a special postal package service to receive money instead of ATMs, which are subject to heightened security measures to counter remittance fraud.
 ATMによる現金の振り込みを10万円までに制限したら、口座間送金をさせる手口が増加した。警戒の強いATMを避けて、郵便の専用封筒で私設私書箱あてに現金を送らせる手口が増えてきた。

Police will have to continue their cat-and-mouse game with these wily offenders. To prevent new scams from being devised, it is crucial to prevent criminals from using and coming up with new ways to foil police, including revising related laws and creating new ones.
 犯罪者の悪知恵とのいたちごっこが続く。新たな手口には、法整備を含めて、確実に抜け道をふさいでいくことが大事だ。

What can be done to prevent bank accounts, ATMs and cell phones from being used in crimes? Financial institutions and cell phone service operators should think seriously about measures to solve this problem.
 預貯金口座やATM、携帯電話を、いかに犯罪に利用されないようにするか。金融機関や携帯電話事業者も真剣に対応すべきだ。

The need for cooperation among agencies and ministries concerned--including the Financial Services Agency, the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry and the consumer affairs agency that is to be launched as early as autumn--is also increasingly evident.
金融庁、総務省、秋にも発足予定の消費者庁など、関係省庁間の連携の必要性も増している。

In its conclusion, the white paper describes the importance of reviving solidarity among people in communities as well as bonds among family members, which are weaker than they used to be, so society as a whole can combat crime.
 白書は最後に、希薄化した地域の連帯や家族の絆(きずな)を再生し、社会全体で犯罪に立ち向かうことの重要さに言及している。

What should we do to prevent criminals from cheating us? Steady efforts by individual communities are also now required to combat crime.
どうすれば犯罪者につけ入るすきを与えないか。地域ごとの地道な取り組みも求められている。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 11, 2009)
(2009年8月11日01時07分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 08:27| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2009年08月10日

「アニメの殿堂」 文化政策のあり方を問え

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 10, 2009)
Parties' cultural policies a focus in election
「アニメの殿堂」 文化政策のあり方を問え(8月10日付・読売社説)

The Democratic Party of Japan is fiercely opposed to a government plan to build a national popular culture center, dubbed the "anime hall of fame," arguing that it would be a wasteful use of the state budget.
 「アニメの殿堂」とも呼ばれる国立メディア芸術総合センターの建設計画について、民主党が予算の無駄遣いだと強く反発している。

The Diet passed in an ordinary Diet session a supplementary budget that included 11.7 billion yen for the construction of the comprehensive media arts center. But the DPJ intends to cancel the plan if it takes power after the upcoming House of Representatives election.
 117億円のセンター建設費を盛り込んだ補正予算が先の通常国会で成立したが、民主党は政権に就いた場合、センター建設を凍結する方針だ。

The issue is more than a disagreement over whether such a center per se should be built--it also highlights each party's policy stance on cultural affairs.
 一文化施設の建設の是非をめぐる対立ではあるが、文化政策のあり方が問われているということでもあろう。

We hope, taking this opportunity, that political parties will have active discussions on the issue of cultural affairs.
 この機会に、各党で大いに論じ合ってほしい。

The envisaged center is expected to serve as a base for disseminating information on manga, anime and game software to people at home and abroad. Planned projects at the center include the exhibition, collection and preservation of such works, research into pop culture and the nurturing of pop culture creators.
 メディア芸術総合センターは、マンガやアニメ、ゲームなどを内外に発信していく拠点として計画されている。作品の展示、収集保存、調査研究、クリエイターの育成などの事業に取り組む予定だ。

Tokyo's Daiba area was at one point considered for the site for the planned facility, but the government now reportedly will have to work from scratch to decide on the location.
 東京・お台場に新施設を建設することも一時検討されたが、現在立地については白紙の状態だ。

===

'Manga kissa' jibe misplaced

The DPJ has condemned the planned center, saying it would be a "state-run manga kissa [cafe]." This kind of stance will only foster misunderstanding about the project.
 民主党は「国営マンガ喫茶」と揶揄(やゆ)しているが、これでは誤解が広がるばかりだろう。

It is an important task for the government to actively support the production and publicizing of works in this area, which has gained international recognition. A particularly big challenge will be collecting pop culture works, which are said to be widely dispersed.
 国際的評価も高いこの分野の作品の製作や発信を、国が積極的に支援することは大切なことだ。とりわけ、散逸する作品の収集は大きな課題となっている。

The point is to create a facility that matches the purposes for which it is built without wasting taxpayers money.
 要は、税金の無駄遣いにならないよう、目的にきちんと見合った施設を造ることだ。

It also is important to have cooperation with other facilities across the nation, such as the Kyoto International Manga Museum, set up by a group of entities including Kyoto Seika University.
 京都精華大学などが設立した京都国際マンガミュージアムなど、各地の施設との連携も必要だ。

Consideration should also be given to the idea of using existing buildings that could be renovated without necessarily sticking to the idea of constructing a new facility.
 新しい施設の建設にはこだわらず、既存の建造物を改修して利用する方向も探るべきだろう。

===

Arts a broad field

The Association for Corporate Support of the Arts, comprising companies engaged in cultural support activities, polled political parties about their policies on cultural affairs ahead of the general election.
 文化活動に取り組む企業で組織する企業メセナ協議会は、総選挙を前に各党の文化政策についてアンケート調査を実施している。

In its reply to the questionnaire, the Liberal Democratic Party said promotion of culture and arts is a basic plank of its national strategy, and that culture-related budgets need to be drastically increased.
 自民党は、文化芸術の振興を国家戦略の基本と位置づけ、文化関係予算の大幅な拡充が必要との考えを示した。

The DPJ, for its part, said it wants to transform the conventional cultural policy centered on construction of facilities into one that makes use of human resources. The party also said it would carefully study culture-related spending in the past and compare it with the situation in the other countries before deciding the scale of its budget for the arts.
 民主党は、従来のハコモノ中心の行政を改め人材を生かす文化政策に転換したいとした。予算規模については、過去の予算を精査して、諸外国の状況とも照らし検討すると慎重な姿勢を見せた。

These differences in opinion seem to be reflected in the two parties' positions toward the media arts center project.
 こうした発想の違いが、メディア芸術総合センターへの姿勢にも反映されているのだろう。

Cultural administration covers a broad range of issues, including the transmission of traditional culture and the development of cities' cultural assets by taking advantage of their historic landscapes and buildings. We hope political parties will deepen their discussions on cultural policy and come up with concrete policy proposals on the arts.
 文化行政の課題は、伝統文化の継承や、地域の景観や歴史的建造物を生かした文化の街づくりなど多岐にわたっている。政党レベルでも議論を深め、具体的政策を提示していってほしい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 10, 2009)
(2009年8月10日01時11分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 08:40| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2009年08月09日

消費税引き上げ 必要性を率直に国民に説け

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 9, 2009)
Parties must explain need for consumption tax hike
消費税引き上げ 必要性を率直に国民に説け(8月9日付・読売社説)

It is time to answer the question of how to secure the financial resources needed to make the social security system sustainable.
 社会保障制度を持続可能にする財源をどう確保するか、もう答えを出す時ではないか。

Most of the public understand that the consumption tax, which spreads the burden on taxpayers broadly and thinly, is the only tax that can be tapped to provide a stable source of financing.
 安定財源となり得るのは、広く薄く負担を求める消費税しかないことは多くの国民が理解している。

But deep debate on the consumption tax among the ruling and opposition parties in the run-up to the House of Representatives election is yet to occur. Even if the parties argue that priority should be given to economic recovery or thorough expenditure cuts, they also should try to show how a consumption tax rate hike might be achieved.
 だが、衆院選に向けた与野党の消費税議論は一向に深まっていない。景気回復や歳出削減の徹底が先だとしても、与野党は選挙戦を通じて、将来の引き上げの具体像を示すよう努めるべきだ。

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party specifies in its manifesto that it will take the necessary legal steps by fiscal 2011 to implement drastic reform of the taxation system--including consumption tax changes--immediately after the economy turns for the better.
 自民党は消費税を含む税制抜本改革について、「2011年度までに必要な法制上の措置を講じ、経済状況の好転後、遅滞なく実施する」と政権公約に明記した。

The LDP will designate the consumption tax as a special purpose tax, allowing it to allot all the increased revenue to social security programs, while gradually raising the consumption tax rate. The party also stated a deadline for completion of the preparation stage, which seems to be a responsible attitude for a ruling party.
 増収分の全額を社会保障財源に充てる目的税化を行い、税率を段階的に引き上げる。その準備を終える期限を約束したのは、責任ある姿勢といえるだろう。

In the 2005 lower house election, the ruling bloc pledged to implement drastic reform, including consumption tax reform, around fiscal 2007, but failed to fulfill their promise. If it intends to tackle the reform issue seriously this time, it should clearly state what the tax rate will be and when it will be raised.
 与党は05年の前回衆院選で、07年度をメドに消費税などの抜本改革を実現すると公約したが、果たせなかった。今回は真剣に取り組むというなら、税率や引き上げ時期をはっきりさせるべきだ。

===

DPJ must explain position

The main opposition Democratic Party of Japan said in its manifesto that it will not raise the consumption tax rate in the coming four years. In the run-up to the 2005 lower house election, the DPJ said it backed a three percentage point consumption tax rate hike. So far, the party has not sufficiently explained to the public why it has decided there is no need to raise the tax rate this time.
 民主党は、今後4年間は消費税率は引き上げないという。前回衆院選では年金目的消費税として、3%の引き上げを掲げていた。なぜ今回は引き上げを不要としたのか、十分な説明はない。

As part of its program for taxation reform announced in December 2008, the DPJ said the importance of the consumption tax would continue to grow and that it intended to draw up a framework for tax reform, including consumption tax changes, during its first term if it gains power.
 昨年暮れの「税制抜本改革アクションプログラム」では、「消費税の重要性はますます高まる」とし、民主党政権の最初の任期中に消費税を含む税制改革の制度設計を進めることを明記した。

If the DPJ intends to use the consumption tax as a financial resource to fund the social security system and begin to draw up a plan for drastic taxation reform, little would separate the DPJ and LDP on the issue. The DPJ therefore needs to admit it is necessary to increase the consumption tax burden and frankly explain the reasons why to the public.
 社会保障財源として消費税を活用し、その制度設計を始めるなら、与党が示した道筋と大差はない。ならば、国民に負担増の必要性を率直に説くべきではないか。

===

Scope for a rate increase

At 25 percent, Sweden has the highest consumption tax rate in Europe, with value-added tax rates in much of the continent, including Britain, France and Germany, ranging from 15 percent to 20 percent. Those of China and South Korea are 17 percent and 10 percent, respectively, making Japan's 5 percent rather exceptional.
 スウェーデンの25%を筆頭に、イギリス、ドイツ、フランスなど欧州の付加価値税の税率は、15〜20%が当たり前だ。中国は17%、韓国でも10%だ。日本の5%は、むしろ例外的といえる。

It is necessary to take into consideration the effect on low-income earners whose burden will become larger if the consumption tax rate is raised.
 引き上げで負担が増える低所得者に対する配慮は必要だ。

By allotting some of the increased revenue to the financing of social security programs, the benefits received by low-income earners can be increased. But at the same time, the question of what the reduced tax rate should be on daily necessities will arise. It will be necessary to consider making mandatory an invoicing system in which various taxes would have to be recorded on an itemized bill whenever a purchase is made.
増収分を社会保障に回すことで低所得者への給付は手厚くなるが、同時に生活必需品への軽減税率の適用も課題になる。インボイス(伝票)方式の検討も避けて通れまい。

The DPJ is proposing a system that would see low-income earners given payments equivalent to the consumption tax levied on daily necessities, but this leaves key problems unaddressed, including how to accurately assess each low-income earner's income. So, it is more realistic to first consider applying a lower tax rate on daily necessities than on other items.
 民主党は生活必需品の消費税相当額を低所得者に還元する「給付つき消費税額控除」を提唱しているが、実現には所得把握の方法など難題を抱えている。まず軽減税率を考えた方が現実的だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 9, 2009)
(2009年8月9日01時19分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 10:48| Comment(0) | 読売英字

消費税引き上げ 必要性を率直に国民に説け

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 9, 2009)
Parties must explain need for consumption tax hike
消費税引き上げ 必要性を率直に国民に説け(8月9日付・読売社説)

It is time to answer the question of how to secure the financial resources needed to make the social security system sustainable.
 社会保障制度を持続可能にする財源をどう確保するか、もう答えを出す時ではないか。

Most of the public understand that the consumption tax, which spreads the burden on taxpayers broadly and thinly, is the only tax that can be tapped to provide a stable source of financing.
 安定財源となり得るのは、広く薄く負担を求める消費税しかないことは多くの国民が理解している。

But deep debate on the consumption tax among the ruling and opposition parties in the run-up to the House of Representatives election is yet to occur. Even if the parties argue that priority should be given to economic recovery or thorough expenditure cuts, they also should try to show how a consumption tax rate hike might be achieved.
 だが、衆院選に向けた与野党の消費税議論は一向に深まっていない。景気回復や歳出削減の徹底が先だとしても、与野党は選挙戦を通じて、将来の引き上げの具体像を示すよう努めるべきだ。

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party specifies in its manifesto that it will take the necessary legal steps by fiscal 2011 to implement drastic reform of the taxation system--including consumption tax changes--immediately after the economy turns for the better.
 自民党は消費税を含む税制抜本改革について、「2011年度までに必要な法制上の措置を講じ、経済状況の好転後、遅滞なく実施する」と政権公約に明記した。

The LDP will designate the consumption tax as a special purpose tax, allowing it to allot all the increased revenue to social security programs, while gradually raising the consumption tax rate. The party also stated a deadline for completion of the preparation stage, which seems to be a responsible attitude for a ruling party.
 増収分の全額を社会保障財源に充てる目的税化を行い、税率を段階的に引き上げる。その準備を終える期限を約束したのは、責任ある姿勢といえるだろう。

In the 2005 lower house election, the ruling bloc pledged to implement drastic reform, including consumption tax reform, around fiscal 2007, but failed to fulfill their promise. If it intends to tackle the reform issue seriously this time, it should clearly state what the tax rate will be and when it will be raised.
 与党は05年の前回衆院選で、07年度をメドに消費税などの抜本改革を実現すると公約したが、果たせなかった。今回は真剣に取り組むというなら、税率や引き上げ時期をはっきりさせるべきだ。

===

DPJ must explain position

The main opposition Democratic Party of Japan said in its manifesto that it will not raise the consumption tax rate in the coming four years. In the run-up to the 2005 lower house election, the DPJ said it backed a three percentage point consumption tax rate hike. So far, the party has not sufficiently explained to the public why it has decided there is no need to raise the tax rate this time.
 民主党は、今後4年間は消費税率は引き上げないという。前回衆院選では年金目的消費税として、3%の引き上げを掲げていた。なぜ今回は引き上げを不要としたのか、十分な説明はない。

As part of its program for taxation reform announced in December 2008, the DPJ said the importance of the consumption tax would continue to grow and that it intended to draw up a framework for tax reform, including consumption tax changes, during its first term if it gains power.
 昨年暮れの「税制抜本改革アクションプログラム」では、「消費税の重要性はますます高まる」とし、民主党政権の最初の任期中に消費税を含む税制改革の制度設計を進めることを明記した。

If the DPJ intends to use the consumption tax as a financial resource to fund the social security system and begin to draw up a plan for drastic taxation reform, little would separate the DPJ and LDP on the issue. The DPJ therefore needs to admit it is necessary to increase the consumption tax burden and frankly explain the reasons why to the public.
 社会保障財源として消費税を活用し、その制度設計を始めるなら、与党が示した道筋と大差はない。ならば、国民に負担増の必要性を率直に説くべきではないか。

===

Scope for a rate increase

At 25 percent, Sweden has the highest consumption tax rate in Europe, with value-added tax rates in much of the continent, including Britain, France and Germany, ranging from 15 percent to 20 percent. Those of China and South Korea are 17 percent and 10 percent, respectively, making Japan's 5 percent rather exceptional.
 スウェーデンの25%を筆頭に、イギリス、ドイツ、フランスなど欧州の付加価値税の税率は、15〜20%が当たり前だ。中国は17%、韓国でも10%だ。日本の5%は、むしろ例外的といえる。

It is necessary to take into consideration the effect on low-income earners whose burden will become larger if the consumption tax rate is raised.
 引き上げで負担が増える低所得者に対する配慮は必要だ。

By allotting some of the increased revenue to the financing of social security programs, the benefits received by low-income earners can be increased. But at the same time, the question of what the reduced tax rate should be on daily necessities will arise. It will be necessary to consider making mandatory an invoicing system in which various taxes would have to be recorded on an itemized bill whenever a purchase is made.
増収分を社会保障に回すことで低所得者への給付は手厚くなるが、同時に生活必需品への軽減税率の適用も課題になる。インボイス(伝票)方式の検討も避けて通れまい。

The DPJ is proposing a system that would see low-income earners given payments equivalent to the consumption tax levied on daily necessities, but this leaves key problems unaddressed, including how to accurately assess each low-income earner's income. So, it is more realistic to first consider applying a lower tax rate on daily necessities than on other items.
 民主党は生活必需品の消費税相当額を低所得者に還元する「給付つき消費税額控除」を提唱しているが、実現には所得把握の方法など難題を抱えている。まず軽減税率を考えた方が現実的だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 9, 2009)
(2009年8月9日01時19分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 10:48| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2009年08月08日

政権公約選挙 正しい方向なら変更は当然だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 8, 2009)
Parties should be open to revising election vows
政権公約選挙 正しい方向なら変更は当然だ(8月8日付・読売社説)

Obviously, it is important for politicians to try to stick to election pledges. However, if they treat pledges as if they are set in stone, they may face problems in meeting their political obligations.
 公約を「守る」ことが大切なのは確かだが、金科玉条のごとく「守る」ことだけにこだわれば、現実の政治には不具合が生じよう。

The Aug. 30 poll will be the third House of Representatives election for which political parties have announced their policy platforms, along with proposed revenue sources and deadlines for implementation, since the practice began in 2003.
 各政党が政策ごとに財源や実施期限を明示した政権公約を掲げて衆院選を実施するのは、2003年以来、3度目となる。

Academics who proposed such an approach have stressed the need to review previous election pledges each time a lower house election is held.
これを提言した学者らは、衆院選のたびに過去の公約を点検することが重要だと説いた。

In keeping with this goal, a number of organizations recently held a joint meeting to rate the degree to which the ruling bloc has met manifesto pledges laid out ahead of the 2005 lower house election.
 この提言に沿って、与党の05年公約の達成度を検証する集会が先日、開かれた。

The organizations were critical of the ruling parties, saying that the structural reform drive promoted by the cabinet of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi had been gradually adjusted over the past four years.
参加した各団体は「小泉内閣の構造改革路線が、なし崩し的に修正された」と批判した。

However, when judging the ruling parties' success, it is dangerous to simply focus on whether the points as laid out in their manifestos four years ago have been attained.
 だが、4年前の公約通りに実践したかどうかだけを判断基準にするのは危険だ。

===

Changing realities of reform

The negative effects of Koizumi's reform drive, such as widening social and economic disparities, started to become evident after the last lower house election in 2005. In addition, the country later entered a dramatic economic downturn as a result of the global economic crisis that began last autumn.
 格差拡大など小泉改革の「影」の部分が問題化したのは、前回衆院選以降のことだ。経済が急減速したのも、世界同時不況の影響が広がった昨年秋以降である。

If cabinets that succeeded the Koizumi administration had continued belt-tightening policies--neglecting economic current conditions and failing to take into account problems resulting from market-based structural reforms, such as widening disparities--the Japanese economy likely would have been thrown into chaos.
 もし「小泉後」の歴代内閣が、格差拡大を生んだ市場原理主義的な構造改革の弊害を省みず、景気動向を無視して緊縮財政路線を続けていれば、日本の経済は今ごろ大混乱していただろう。

It is therefore essential to maintain flexibility and a willingness to modify policies in response to changing economic and political realities.
 政治や経済の環境変化に合わせて政策を修正する柔軟さまで否定すべきではない。

At the same time, it is important for policymakers to offer a clear explanation to voters of why such adjustments are necessary.
ただ、その前提として、変更の理由は有権者にきちんと説明する必要はあろう。

However, simply judging the ruling parties' pledges while ignoring the implications of the opposition's proposals also is questionable--the Democratic Party of Japan is battling with the ruling parties for power in the upcoming lower house race, and it is therefore only right that its policy pledges come in for scrutiny.
 与党の公約達成度だけを問題にするのも疑問だ。政権の座を争う以上、民主党の公約も厳しくチェックしないとバランスを欠く。

===

DPJ must be flexible

The DPJ stated in its 2005 manifesto that the party would "undertake" a revision of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement with a view to having U.S. bases in Okinawa Prefecture relocated out of the country.
 民主党は05年の公約に、日米地位協定の改定に「着手」し、在沖縄米軍基地の「国外への移転」を目指すと明記していた。

But if the DPJ had seized power in the 2005 election and followed through with its election pledges, cracks would have been created in Japan-U.S. relations. Acceptance of this reality is evident in the DPJ's decision to change the phrasing regarding the bilateral accord from "undertake" to "propose" and drop the reference to relocation overseas in its latest manifesto.
 05年の衆院選で民主党政権が誕生し、公約通りに行動していれば、日米関係に亀裂が生じる事態に陥っただろう。そのことは、民主党が今回、「着手」を「提起」に改め、国外移転の文言を削除したことが雄弁に物語っている。

Of course, it is not right to judge the DPJ's pledges solely on their consistency--if positive changes are made they should be welcomed.
 無論、民主党の公約点検でも、「ぶれた」かどうかを唯一の物差しにするのは誤りだ。望ましい方向への修正なら、むしろ歓迎すべきことだ。

The DPJ reportedly plans to modify wording on decentralization and a Japan-U.S. free trade agreement in its election pledges.
 民主党は、地方分権や日米自由貿易協定(FTA)の記述で公約の修正を行うという。

Apart from this, there are some pledges whose feasibility is doubtful and which are written in an extremely ambiguous way, especially on security and global environment issues, among others.
 ほかにも、安全保障政策や地球環境問題をはじめ、実現可能性を疑われたり、表現が極めて曖昧(あいまい)だったりする公約がある。

The party must therefore continue to carefully examine and reflect on its manifesto pledges until the election is officially announced, and it must not hesitate to revise them if necessary.
公示まで精査に努め、必要であれば修正もためらうべきではない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 8, 2009)
(2009年8月8日01時23分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 11:49| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2009年08月07日

裁判員判決 検証の積み重ねが欠かせない

Lay judge system should be monitored, improved
The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 7, 2009)
裁判員判決 検証の積み重ねが欠かせない(8月7日付・読売社説)

The nation's first lay judge trial has ended. Many more trials in which ordinary citizens participate as lay judges in criminal cases are expected to follow across the country.
 裁判員が関与した初の裁判が終了した。今後も全国で裁判が相次ぐ。

It is vital that people in the judicial world look for any shortcomings or problems in lay judge trials, including the one that just ended Thursday, and rectify them so the lay judge system can be improved.
法曹関係者は今回も含め、問題点を洗い出して検証し、裁判員制度を改善していくことが肝要である。

The first lay judge trial dealt with a murder that took place on a Tokyo street in May. A 72-year-old man had been accused of stabbing to death his 66-year-old female neighbor with a survival knife.
 審理されたのは、東京で5月に起きた路上殺人事件だった。66歳の女性をサバイバルナイフで刺殺したとして、近所の72歳の男が殺人罪に問われた。

The Tokyo District Court courtroom where the trial was conducted looked completely different to courtrooms in the past. Three professional judges in robes were flanked by six lay judges wearing their everyday clothes.
 東京地裁の法廷は様変わりした。法服姿の3人の裁判官の両脇に私服の裁判員6人が並んだ。

Prosecutors and lawyers showed images on monitors and paraphrased hard-to-comprehend technical terms with plain language.
 検察官と弁護人はモニターに画像を映し、難解な専門用語を平易な言葉に言い換えた。

As one example, a prosecutor explained that a "defensive wound"--which was found on the woman's body--is an injury sustained when a victim tries to use their hand, arm or other body part to block an assault by an assailant with a sharp weapon.
 検察官が被害者の「防御創」について、「刃物で刺されそうになった時、とっさに手で受け止めようとしてできる傷のこと」と説明したのは、その典型だ。

We welcome such changes because they will help the general public more easily understand what is discussed during trials.
裁判の内容が一般にも分かりやすくなったのは、歓迎すべきことである。

===

Heavy burdens

The trial focused on determining the punishment for the defendant, who had admitted to killing the woman. The crux of the decision centered on to what degree the defendant had intended to kill the woman.
 被告は犯行を認めていたため、裁判の争点は量刑に絞られていた。どれだけ強い殺意を持って被害者を刺したかが、量刑を決めるポイントだった。

One lay judge asked the defendant why he decided to go and fetch a knife while he was quarreling with the victim. Such questions indicated the lay judges' willingness to determine for themselves the degree of the defendant's intent to commit murder.
 裁判員は、「言い争いになった時、なぜナイフを持っていこうと思ったのか」などと被告に問いかけた。殺意の度合いを見極めようという姿勢がうかがえた。

While prosecutors demanded a 16-year term of imprisonment, the court sentenced the defendant to 15 years in prison, acknowledging that he stabbed the woman with a strong intent despite being aware that doing so would result in her death. The court handed down a ruling in line with the argument put forward by prosecutors.
 懲役16年の求刑に対し、判決は懲役15年だった。「死亡させると分かりながら、強い攻撃意思を持って刺した」と認定した。検察側の主張に沿った判断である。

During the four-day trial, a female lay judge averted her eyes when images of the victim's body were shown on a monitor. Another female judge was unable to appear in court on the third day because she was feeling unwell due to a cold. She was replaced with a male "supplementary" lay judge.
 4日間の公判では、遺体の写真をモニターで見た女性裁判員が、目をそらす場面があった。別の女性裁判員は風邪で体調を崩し、男性の補充裁判員に交代した。

The daily trial undoubtedly placed a heavy strain on lay judges. In cases when lay judges are asked to make even tougher decisions, such as choosing between the death penalty or an indefinite prison term, they likely will bear an even heavier burden.
 連日の公判が、裁判員にとって大きな負担であったことは間違いあるまい。死刑か無期懲役かの判断などを迫られる裁判では、負担は、さらに増すだろう。

In this regard, the Supreme Court must do everything it can to take care of the lay judges' mental condition, such as ensuring the smooth operation of the counseling service counter that has been set up to give advice to lay judges.
 最高裁は、既に設置した電話相談窓口を円滑に機能させるなど、裁判員の心のケア対策に万全を期していく必要がある。

===

Weighty responsibility

Another issue that needs careful consideration is how to select lay judges.
 裁判員の選考方法も検討課題といえよう。

In the Tokyo District Court trial, the six lay judges randomly chosen by the court turned out to be five women and one man. But for trials on cases involving sex offenses, we wonder whether the age and gender balance of the lay judges could subtly affect rulings.
今回、地裁が無作為で選んだ裁判員は、女性5人、男性1人だったが、性犯罪などの裁判で、男女の比率や年齢構成が偏ると、判決内容に微妙な影響が及ぶことはないだろうか。

After the ruling Thursday, the six lay judges and a supplementary citizen judge attended a press conference. "I sincerely felt the heavy responsibility I bore in judging a person," one said.
 判決後、裁判員全員が会見に応じ、「人を裁くという重大なことを担わされている思いをひしひしと感じた」などと語った。

This comment should be kept in mind, given that any of us could be asked to serve as a lay judge any time soon.
いつ自分が選ばれるか分からないだけに、裁判員の生の声は、大いに参考になるはずだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 7, 2009)
(2009年8月7日01時15分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 08:10| Comment(0) | 読売英字
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