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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 ]
ocn cafe
fc2
goo
yahoo
ameba

 
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2009年12月31日

新成長戦略 目標実現の具体策が見えない

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 31, 2009)
Govt's new growth strategy short on details
新成長戦略 目標実現の具体策が見えない(12月31日付・読売社説)

Having an ambitious goal alone is not enough to ensure a bright future. The government's newly unveiled growth strategy for a "shining Japan" lacks vital substance in that it fails to illuminate how to achieve these goals in detail.
The strategy, the basic policy of which was approved by the Cabinet on Wednesday, sets a target of achieving a more than 2 percent annual growth in the gross domestic product in real terms through fiscal 2020. In nominal terms, the growth target is aimed at staying above 3 percent.
 高い目標を掲げるだけで、明るい未来は開けない。肝心なのは実現する具体的手法の明示だが、そこが欠けている。
 政府は30日の閣議で、新たな成長戦略の基本方針「輝きのある日本へ」を決定した。
 国内総生産(GDP)を2020年度まで実質で年2%、名目は3%を上回るペースで成長させる数値目標を掲げた。

This means that in 10 years, the nominal GDP is expected to grow from the 470 trillion yen of this fiscal year to 650 trillion yen. But the fact is that the nominal GDP has been in negative territory for the past six straight quarters, pushing GDP down by 50 trillion yen. As the economy has entered a deflationary phase, which also shrinks the GDP, obstacles to reaching the target are extremely high.
 名目GDPは今年度の470兆円から650兆円に増える計算だが、現状はここ6四半期連続のマイナスで、50兆円も減った。名目GDPをしぼませるデフレに再び陥ったこともあり、目標達成のハードルは極めて高い。

===

Solid ends, vague means

In its growth strategy, the government declared it would pursue a "third way" of seeking the creation of new demand, instead of relying on public works projects or following the principle of market fundamentalism as seen under the administration of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. The new stance touted by the administration of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama appears to be in line with a policy pledge to "shift from concrete to human beings," meaning a departure from an industrial structure heavily dependent on public works projects.
 成長戦略は公共事業依存でも、小泉路線のような市場原理主義でもない、新需要の創造という「第3の道」を進むとしている。「コンクリートから人へ」などの政権公約に沿った考え方だろう。

The strategy listed two areas--the environment and energy, and medical and nursing care services--that the government intends to focus on and shore up. In these areas, which Japan can boast of having strengths in, there will be a goal of creating new demand worth 100 trillion yen and 4.2 new million jobs.
 具体的には、環境・エネルギーと医療・介護を、日本が強みを持つ2分野として集中的にテコ入れし、100兆円の需要と420万人の雇用を新たに生み出す。

The government also intends to stimulate trade with other Asian nations--whose economies are continuing to grow fast--support scientific and technological development and strengthen measures to sustain employment.
 高成長が続くアジアとの取引活性化や、科学技術の支援、雇用下支えの強化なども図る。

There is nothing wrong with the direction of these policy courses. But, in terms of details in the measures, we find little difference with those included in about a dozen growth strategies hammered out by the governments of the past decade.
 方向性に問題はないが、具体策は政府が過去10年に出した十指に余る成長戦略と大差ない。

This is likely because the strategy was compiled from worn-out proposals submitted by ministries and agencies concerned. As it took only half a month to devise the strategy, it gives an impression that the government threw it together in order to thwart criticism that the current administration has no growth strategy.
 関係府省が持ち寄った案をまとめたため、新味のないアイデアが並んだのだろう。策定作業は約半月と短く、成長戦略がないという批判をかわす「やっつけ仕事」との印象もぬぐえない。

===

Get private sector input

The government intends, by June, to complete the growth strategy by putting flesh on these basic policy bones and provide a road map for achieving these goals.
 政府は来年6月までに、この基本方針に肉付けをして成長戦略を完成させ、実現に向けた工程表も示す方針という。

But it would be better to drastically review the strategy by, for example, inviting ideas widely from the private sector and narrowing down the list of measures to those that appear to have the greatest potential effect and feasibility. There also should be mention of how necessary funds for nurturing new industries and supporting technological development should be allocated.
 だがこの際、民間からアイデアを広く募って、効果や実現性の高いものに絞り込むなど、抜本的に練り直した方がいい。新産業の育成や技術支援に必要な費用をどう工面するのかも示すべきだ。

If the Hatoyama administration sticks to its policy pledge not to raise the consumption tax rate for four years, it is unlikely that it will be able to secure a stable revenue source to implement policy measures. It must not have faith in a "rising tide" theory of economic growth being able to increase tax revenues.
 消費税率を4年間は上げないという政権公約にこだわれば、安定した財源は得られまい。「経済成長で税収が増えれば賄える」とする“上げ潮”依存は禁物だ。

It also is necessary to show the path to fiscal reconstruction for the mid- to long-run in order to ease people's anxiety about the future of social security and other matters.
 中長期的な財政再建の道筋も同時に示し、社会保障などの将来不安を和らげる必要もある。

Unless measures are taken to prevent a further economic decline and solve the deflation problem, any great growth strategy will merely end up being pie in the sky.
 景気の底割れを防ぎ、デフレを解消しないと、どんな立派な成長戦略も絵に描いたモチになる。

The government has cut spending for public works projects by nearly 20 percent in the fiscal 2010 budget, compared with the current fiscal year. Spending for urgently needed projects such as construction work to improve the earthquake resistance of primary and middle school buildings also has been reduced. These projects should be revived and used to help economic recovery.
 政府は来年度予算の公共事業を前年度より2割近く減らし、小中学校の耐震化など急ぐべき事業も削った。これらを復活して、景気回復に役立てるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 31, 2009)
(2009年12月31日01時16分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 09:37| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2009年12月30日

09回顧・国際 オバマ政権登場で動いた世界

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 30, 2009)
2009 provided plenty of grist for media mill
09回顧・国際 オバマ政権登場で動いた世界(12月30日付・読売社説)

It has been a busy year. From a pandemic of a new type of influenza that hit the world this year to the struggles of the global economy to get out of recession to the prevention of nuclear proliferation and global environmental problems--the international community had to tackle a wide variety of issues.
 世界不況からの脱却へ模索が続く中、新型インフルエンザの世界的大流行に見舞われた。
 核の拡散防止や地球環境問題など、国際社会で取り組む課題が相次いだ。

On the list of the top 10 international news stories chosen by readers of The Yomiuri Shimbun, Barack Obama's inauguration as U.S. president and his winning of the Nobel Peace Prize ranked second and fifth respectively. This shows how popular Obama is, even in Japan.
 本紙の読者が選ぶ「海外10大ニュース」は、オバマ米大統領の就任(2位)とノーベル平和賞の受賞(5位)が上位入りした。オバマ人気の高さがうかがえる。

 ◆「核なき世界」を決議◆
In April, Obama announced his target of a nuclear free world during a speech in Prague--a story that ranked 13th on the list. Although he said it would be difficult to realize that goal during his lifetime, Obama chaired a summit-level meeting of the U.N. Security Council in September and led the council to approve a historic resolution aimed at ridding the world of nuclear weapons--a story that ranked 15th on the list.
 オバマ大統領は4月、プラハでの演説で「核兵器なき世界」の実現を訴えた(13位)。自らが生きている間の実現は難しいとしたが、9月の国連安全保障理事会の首脳級会合で議長を務め、「核兵器なき世界」を目指す決議を採択に導いた(15位)。

However, Obama said during a speech at the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony in December; "The instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace," positioning the U.S. war in Afghanistan and other conflicts as "just wars."
He made the remark as the leader of the world's preeminent superpower, based on the cold, hard realities of the world.
 そのオバマ大統領は12月のノーベル平和賞の受賞演説で、「平和維持のためには戦争という手段が演じる役割もある」と述べ、アフガニスタン戦争などを「正しい戦争」と位置づけた。超大国の最高指導者として、冷徹な現実を踏まえた発言だった。

===

N. Korea still source of concern

In April, North Korea test-fired a long-range ballistic missile--the news story raking sixth on the list. The U.N. Security Council immediately adopted a presidential statement condemning the launch, but Pyongyang held an underground nuclear test in May (story No. 14 on the list).
 北朝鮮は4月に弾道ミサイルを発射した(6位)。国連安保理は非難声明を採択したが、さらに北朝鮮は5月、地下核実験を強行した(14位)。

As it was the second nuclear test North Korea has conducted since 2006, it was reasonable that the Security Council unanimously approved a resolution widening sanctions against the reclusive state.
 2006年以来2度目の核実験で、国連安保理が制裁決議を採択したのは当然だった。

Though the United States and China are continuing negotiations with North Korea, the six-way talks aimed at stopping Pyongyang's nuclear development program have remained suspended and will see the old year out without any likelihood of resumption.
 米中による北朝鮮への働きかけが続いているが、中断されたままの6か国協議は、再開のメドが立たないまま越年する。

The news story ranked eighth was the riots by Muslim Uygurs that erupted in Urumqi, the capital of China's Xingjian Uygur Autonomous Region, in which 197 people died. The incident highlighted the antagonism between China's majority Han people and Uygurs, showing that ethnic minority issues could prove to be the Achilles' heel of China, whose economy continues to grow rapidly.
 経済成長著しい中国の新疆ウイグル自治区で暴動が発生、197人が死亡した(8位)。漢族とウイグル族の反目も露(あら)わになり、少数民族問題が中国のアキレス腱(けん)であることが鮮明になった。

In October, China celebrated the 60th anniversary of People's Republic of China, staging the military parade for the first time in 10 years, a story readers ranked 18th. It symbolized the efforts by the Chinese Communist Party and the government to boost national prestige. However, the administration of Chinese President Hu Jintao, who has just three more years or so in office, is facing a mountain of problems such as the growing gap between the rich and the poor, and spreading corruption.
 中国は10月、建国60周年を迎え、10年ぶりに軍事パレードを実施した(18位)。国威発揚に向けた党・政府の取り組みだが、貧富の差の拡大や汚職の増加など、残りの任期3年余りとなった胡錦濤政権にとって課題は山積だ。

===

Deadly blaze

The news story ranked seventh on the list is the shooting range fire in Busan, South Korea, in November that killed 15, including 10 Japanese tourists.
 韓国南部の釜山で11月、室内射撃場で火災が発生し、日本人観光客10人が死亡した(7位)。

Also in South Korea, former President Roh Moo-hyun killed himself in May and Kim Dae Jung, former president and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, passed away in August, both of which were sad news for South Koreans.
 その韓国では盧武鉉・前大統領が5月に自殺し、ノーベル平和賞受賞者の金大中・元大統領も8月に死去した。

From the first outbreak in Mexico in April, a new type of flu spread around the world this year. According to the World Health Organization, the global death toll from the disease, including deaths in Japan, topped 10,000. This was the No. 1 story on the The Yomiuri Shimbun's list of the top 10 international news stories.
 4月にメキシコで発生した新型インフルエンザは、世界に広がった。世界保健機関(WHO)によれば、日本を含む世界全体の死者は1万人を突破した。これが本紙海外ニュースの1位である。

The new flu pandemic highlighted various concerns about the way governments around the world cooperate to fight the global spread of infectious diseases. Developing countries suffered shortages of vaccines against the type A H1N1 flu virus.
 途上国ではワクチンの供給が不足するなど、感染症の世界的な拡大における国際協力のあり方に教訓を残したと言える。

The financial crisis entered its second year in the wake of momentous events in the first half of the year including the bankruptcies of major U.S. auto manufacturers General Motors and Chrysler--the story ranked fourth on the list of international news stories.
 2年目に入った金融危機は、米自動車業界大手のゼネラル・モーターズ(GM)やクライスラーが相次いで経営破綻(はたん)に追い込まれる(4位)など、今年前半は厳しい状況が続いた。

===
posted by srachai at 08:21| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2009年12月29日

首相インド訪問 新たな大国との関係強化を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 29, 2009)
Japan should cement ties with new big power India
首相インド訪問 新たな大国との関係強化を(12月29日付・読売社説)

Despite the hectic political calendar at year-end, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama chose to schedule a trip abroad, to South Asian major power India.
 鳩山首相が、年末の慌ただしい時期に選んだ外国訪問先は、南アジアの大国インドだ。

India, which has been displaying remarkable economic growth, emulating that of China, is located in an important position connecting the Middle East and East Asia. Japan should promote an economic alliance and security cooperation with India and strengthen the bilateral relationship from a strategic perspective.
 中国を追うように経済成長著しいインドは、中東と東アジアを結ぶ要路に位置する。経済連携や安全保障協力などを進め、日印関係を戦略的に強化していくべきだ。

India has been maintaining an annualized economic growth rate of 8 percent and has the second-largest population in the world. The country is an attractive economic market for advanced nations. The number of Japanese companies that have advanced into India has tripled in the past three years.
 インドは年率8%の経済成長を続け、世界第2の人口を有する。先進国にとっては魅力的な経済市場だ。日本の進出企業も過去3年間で3倍に増えた。

But Japan's total trade volume with India has remained at a low level, and amounts to about one-twentieth of the value of the trade this country does with China.
 だが、日印間の貿易総額はいまだに低水準で、日中間と比べると約20分の1の規模だ。

Signaling his desire to boost the Japan-India bilateral economic relationship, Hatoyama held talks with business leaders in the commercial city of Mumbai before traveling to New Delhi for talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
 鳩山首相が首都ニューデリーに入る前に商都ムンバイを訪れ、経済界の代表らと会談したのも、日印経済関係をいっそう強化したいとの強い意欲の表れだろう。

===

Intensify EPA talks

Experts point out that India's social infrastructure is still insufficient, hindering the expansion of investment from abroad. It is important for Japan to steadily implement its economic assistance for large-scale projects in India, including the construction of a railway for freight transportation linking New Delhi and Mumbai.
 インドは社会基盤の整備が不十分で、それが投資拡大の阻害要因と言われる。ニューデリー・ムンバイ間の貨物鉄道建設など大型プロジェクトに対する経済援助を着実に実施することが重要だ。

Japan also needs to accelerate its negotiations for an economic partnership agreement with India.
 経済連携協定(EPA)の交渉も加速すべきだ。

In the negotiations, India has asked Japan to streamline its procedures for approving generic drugs and increase the number of tariff-free items. The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry and the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry are reluctant to accept such demands, but we hope that concerned ministers will discuss policies for the negotiations, working out which items Japan should compromise on and which ones it should not, without relying too much on bureaucrats.
 インド側は、後発医薬品の承認手続きの簡素化や関税撤廃品目の積み増しを求めている。厚生労働省や農林水産省は消極的だが、関係閣僚は、何を譲り、何を守るのか、官僚任せにせずに交渉方針を検討してもらいたい。

This summer, South Korea signed an economic partnership agreement with India. Japan should be aware this means South Korean companies will be able to get a head start in India on a more advantageous footing than Japanese firms.
 韓国は今年夏、インドとのEPA署名にこぎつけた。韓国企業が先んじて有利な条件でインドに進出できるようになることも、十分意識すべきだろう。

===

Antipiracy steps needed

In Tuesday's summit meeting, Hatoyama and Singh are expected to establish a regular bilateral security consultation forum involving the foreign and defense vice ministers of the two countries. The countries are considering upgrading the security talks to a ministerial-level meeting in the future.
 きょう行われる日印首脳会談では、外務、防衛両省の次官級による安全保障定期協議の新設で合意する予定だ。将来的には閣僚級への格上げも想定している。

Ensuring the security of sea-lanes connecting the Middle East and East Asia is desperately important for Japan, which relies heavily on foreign countries for energy resources and food. We hope the Japanese and Indian leaders will discuss concrete steps toward that goal, such as sharing of information on pirates and mounting joint antipiracy patrols.
 中東と東アジアを結ぶシーレーン(海上交通路)の安全確保は、エネルギーや食糧の多くを海外に依存する日本にとって、死活的に重要だ。海賊情報の共有や共同パトロールなど、具体的な協力方法を探ってほしい。

India is an important partner for Japan in the regional cooperative framework centered around the East Asia Summit.
 インドは東アジア首脳会議を核とした地域協力でも重要なパートナーだ。

On the other hand, concerning the new round of multilateral trade talks under the World Trade Organization and the climate change problem, India, along with China, continues to take the side of developing countries, and its words and deeds have caused friction with advanced nations, including Japan.
 一方、世界貿易機関(WTO)の新多角的貿易交渉や気候変動問題では、インドは中国とともに途上国側に立った言動を繰り返し、日本を含めた先進国と対立する場面が目立っている。

Japan should patiently call on India to play constructive roles that fit its new status as a major power.
 インドが新しい大国にふさわしい建設的役割を果たすよう、日本としても粘り強く働きかけていく必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 29, 2009)
(2009年12月29日01時16分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 07:33| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2009年12月28日

指導要領解説書 「竹島」に触れないのは問題だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 28, 2009)
Teaching manual mustn't avoid Takeshima dispute
指導要領解説書 「竹島」に触れないのは問題だ(12月28日付・読売社説)

The generations who will forge this nation's future must be accurately taught about its territories and history.
 将来を担う世代に自国の領土や歴史をきちんと教えていくのは、大切なことだ。

However, the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry has made no reference to the Takeshima islets--which South Korea claims as its sovereign territory, an assertion Japan disputes--in an instruction manual containing its new high school curriculum guidelines on geography A and geography B set to come into effect in the 2013 academic year. This omission is extremely questionable.
 文部科学省が、2013年度から実施する高校地理A、地理Bの新学習指導要領の解説書で、日本の領土にもかかわらず、韓国が領有権を主張している「竹島」に言及しなかった。これは極めて問題だ。

Japan established sovereignty over the Takeshima islets no later than the mid-17th century--in the early Edo period (1603-1867).
In 1905, the islets were placed under the jurisdiction of Shimane Prefecture following approval by the cabinet.
 竹島は、遅くとも江戸時代初期の17世紀半ばには日本が領有権を確立し、1905年、閣議決定を経て、島根県に編入された。

However, South Korea has been occupying the islets unlawfully since 1952, when Seoul unilaterally drew the Syngman Rhee Line--a boundary laid down by then South Korean President Syngman Rhee in the Sea of Japan claiming fishing rights in the area--a move made in defiance of international law.
 ところが、韓国は1952年、国際法に反して日本海に「李承晩ライン」を一方的に設けて以降、竹島の不法占拠を続けている。

This country's official stance on the islets is that Takeshima has always been an integral part of the nation's territory, a view backed historically and by international law.
 「竹島は歴史的にも国際法上も我が国固有の領土」というのが、日本政府の見解だ。

In current high school textbooks, six authorized textbooks for geography A and five books for geography B state there is a sovereignty dispute with South Korea over the Takeshima islets, and that they are an integral part of Japan.
現在の高校教科書にも、地理Aで6冊、地理Bで5冊に、「日本固有の領土の竹島で韓国との間に領有権問題がある」などと記述されている。

===

1 step backward

In July last year, the education ministry added for the first time the teaching of Japan's stance on the Takeshima islets to a teaching manual for middle school curriculum guidelines for social studies, which will take effect in the 2012 academic year.
 2012年度に実施される中学校社会科の指導要領の解説書には昨年7月、竹島を日本の領土と教えるよう初めて盛り込まれた。

But the teaching manual in question does not clarify that the territorial dispute involves the Takeshima islets. It simply says, "Following up on what is taught in middle school, we should handle this issue accurately, based upon our country's rightful assertions, and help students deepen their understanding."
 ところが、高校の解説書では、領土問題について竹島とは明記せず、「中学校における学習を踏まえ、我が国が正当に主張している立場に基づいて的確に扱い、理解を深めさせる」とあるだけだ。

The education ministry says the government's stance--that the Takeshima islets are an integral part of the nation--remains unchanged. If so, the ministry should state this clearly. It makes no sense that what is taught about the Takeshima dispute at high school level is a step backward from what is taught at middle school level, despite high school being a place to develop what has been studied at middle school.
 文科省は「竹島は我が国固有の領土という立場は変わらない」と言うが、それならそう明記すべきではないか。中学校で学んだ内容を発展させる高校のほうが、記述が後退するのは筋が通らない。

===

Consideration for S. Korea

Unlike the curriculum guidelines, the teaching manual comes with no legal obligation to be implemented. However, it will be a lodestar both for textbook publishers and teachers preparing for classes. The manual in question has the potential to generate misunderstanding among textbook publishers and teachers and cause them to disregard the Takeshima dispute.
 解説書は指導要領と違い、法的拘束力はないが、教科書を作る出版社や授業を行う教員の指針になる。今回の解説書では、出版社や教員にも竹島を軽視して構わないといった誤解を生みかねない。

Sources said Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama made the final decision that the new manual should not mention the Takeshima issue.
 今回は鳩山首相が最終的に判断したという。

When he was in the opposition camp, Hatoyama said, "It's natural to clearly state [the Takeshima issue]" when the issue was included in a teaching manual for middle school curriculum guidelines for social studies, which drew a series of harsh protests from South Korea. It is doubtful his latest decision could be squared with his previous remark.
首相は野党時代、中学校解説書に竹島が盛り込まれたことに韓国が反発した際、「明記するのは当然」と話していた。その発言との整合性も取れまい。

Observers said the absence of any mention of the Takeshima issue resulted from the government's consideration for South Korean ties, as next year will mark the 100th anniversary of Japan's annexation of Korea.
 竹島の記述を今回見送った背景には、来年、日韓併合から100年の節目を迎えるため、韓国に配慮したと見る向きも多い。

Territorial issues and how to teach them at schools form an important theme that touches on the fundamentals of nationhood. South Korea is a valuable neighbor, but fundamental truths must not be distorted due to diplomatic considerations.
 領土問題やそれを学校でどう教えるかということは、国の根幹にかかわる重要なテーマだ。韓国は大事な隣国だが、外交上の配慮でゆがめてはならない。

It will not be easy to resolve the territorial dispute over the Takeshima islets. For this reason, an unstinting effort must be made to educate people who will in the future help the public fully understand the issue as well as convey Japan's stance to the international community.
 竹島の領有権をめぐる問題の解決は容易ではない。だからこそ、国民に十分理解させ、国際社会に日本の立場を発信していける人材を育成する努力が欠かせない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 28, 2009)
(2009年12月28日01時22分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 10:55| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2009年12月27日

09回顧・日本 越年となる政権迷走と不況

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 27, 2009)
New govt, economy top stories of 2009
09回顧・日本 越年となる政権迷走と不況(12月27日付・読売社説)

In our annual ranking of the 10 domestic news stories of the year, the change of government tops the list. The administration led by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama was launched after the Democratic Party of Japan's overwhelming victory in the August House of Representatives election, in which it claimed 308 seats.
 年末恒例の、読者が選んだ本紙の「日本10大ニュース」の1位は「衆院選で民主308議席の圧勝、歴史的政権交代で鳩山内閣発足」だった。

Day after day the new administration offered up eye-catching proposals. However, three months since the administration was launched under a banner of change, the high expectations initially held by the public have waned, with a sense of uncertainty and concern about the coalition government creeping in.
 新政権は連日、様々な話題をお茶の間に提供した。だが、変革を旗印に政権が発足して3か月余、当初の期待感も薄れ、連立内閣への危うさや不安を感じ始めた国民も多いのではないか。

 ◆政治ドラマに高い関心◆
Much public attention had been paid to the fate of the DPJ's manifesto pledges, such as the child-rearing allowance program, the abolition of provisionally higher tax rates for gasoline and other auto-related taxes, and government subsidies for high school tuition.
 民主党が政権公約として掲げた子ども手当、暫定税率廃止、高校無償化などの行方に関心が集中した。

Toward the end of the year, however, there was an unexpected development regarding these issues, with DPJ Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa seeking a drastic government review of the pledges. It was as if we were watching a drama unfold on TV.
年の瀬も押し迫り、同党の小沢幹事長が公約の大幅修正を政府に求めるなど、ドラマを見るような展開をたどった。

The Government Revitalization Unit's review of budgetary requests for fiscal 2010, conducted to weed out wasteful spending, was an attention-getter, but it failed to find and cut as much wasteful spending as it hoped.
 予算の無駄を見直す行政刷新会議の事業仕分けは、華々しさに比して削減額は少なかった。

On the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, Hatoyama decided to put off a decision on the issue that had emerged as a hot topic until next year, leaving the Japan-U.S. relationship severely strained.
米軍普天間飛行場移設問題では、鳩山首相が結論を先送りし、日米関係は危機的な状況に陥っている。

Prosecutors have indicted two former secretaries of Hatoyama without arrest over falsified fund reports that violated the Political Funds Control Law. The trial of Ozawa's former secretary over a political funds scandal has recently begun. All of which have brought problems involving politics and money back to the fore this year.
 政治資金収支報告書の虚偽記入事件で鳩山首相の元秘書2人がそれぞれ在宅起訴、略式起訴され、小沢氏の秘書の公判も始まった。「政治とカネ」をめぐる問題が再燃した年でもあった。

===

Expressway issues

Seventh on the top 10 list is the introduction of expressway tolls set at 1,000 yen or lower. Discounted tolls on weekends and holidays for standard-sized passenger vehicles started in March on all expressways except those in major metropolitan areas. This is no doubt a topic close to the hearts of drivers.
 7位には「高速道『上限1000円』スタート」が入った。車を運転する人などには、それだけ関心事なのだろう。

The system was introduced in spring by the then cabinet of Prime Minister Taro Aso. But the new administration sought to go even further, proposing that all expressways be made toll-free.
 前の麻生内閣の施策だが、新政権はさらに進めて無料化を打ち出した。

However, if expressway tolls were done away with, there is concern that free expressways could lead to people in regional areas being deprived of public transport, such as railways, if such forms of transportation were to find themselves unable to make ends meet and were forced to cease operations due to more people opting to travel by car.
地方の公共交通の足が奪われると懸念されている。

The 20th year of the Emperor's ascension to the throne ranks sixth. In the past two decades, the Emperor has resolutely adhered to the philosophy of sharing in the joys and sorrows of the people, always seeking to determine what his role should be as the symbol of the state.
 「天皇陛下即位20年」が6位である。「国民と苦楽を共にする」という考えを貫かれ、「象徴として望ましい天皇の在り方」を求め続けられた20年だった。

Also this year, the Emperor and Empress celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. A variety of events were held to celebrate the 20th year of the Emperor's enthronement and the Imperial couple's 50th wedding anniversary.
 天皇、皇后両陛下のご成婚50年の年でもあり、即位20年と併せて様々な祝賀行事が行われた。

Near the end of this memorable year, controversies emerged over the audience of Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping with the Emperor, after it came to light that the Hatoyama Cabinet had broken with protocol to set up the meeting.
 そんな中で、鳩山内閣が、天皇陛下と中国の習近平国家副主席との会見を特別に設定したことの是非が論議を呼んだ。

===

New-flu fears

The No. 2 domestic news story is the outbreak in Japan of the new type of influenza. The disease spread from Mexico to a host of other countries in spring, and reached Japan in May. The epidemic has yet to abate, and it has become a common sight in this country to see great numbers of people wearing face masks.
 2位に入ったのは「日本でも新型インフルエンザ流行」だ。春にメキシコから火の手が上がった感染拡大の波は日本にも押し寄せ、いまも沈静化していない。マスク姿が目立つのも社会現象だ。
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2009年12月26日

来年度予算 公約優先では財政がもたない

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 26, 2009)
DPJ must find funds for its election pledges
来年度予算 公約優先では財政がもたない(12月26日付・読売社説)

The shift in power brought about by the last general election has caused a sea change in the process of putting together a government budget. However, the budget for the next fiscal year devised by the Democratic Party of Japan-led administration indicates that the government is unchanged in relying on the issuance of government bonds and nontax revenue for resources to underwrite its budget.
In fact, the next budget shows the government has become even more dependent on borrowing as a means of securing budgetary resources.
 政権交代で予算編成の過程は様変わりした。だが、出来上がった来年度予算案は、国債と税外収入に頼る構図が相変わらずで、借金体質は例年に増して強まった。

 ◆税収はわずか37兆円◆
On Friday, the Cabinet of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama finalized the budget for fiscal 2010. Its general account expenditures total 92.3 trillion yen, an all-time high for an initial fiscal budget.
 政府は25日、2010年度予算案を閣議決定した。一般会計の歳出総額は92・3兆円と、当初予算では過去最大である。

The budget entails 53.5 trillion yen in spending for specific government policies, greater than the amount of expenditures in this category under the fiscal 2009 budget. Debt-servicing costs--expenditures needed to redeem government bonds and pay interest on such bonds--total 20.6 trillion yen, and local tax grants for discretionary purposes 17.5 trillion yen.
 具体的な政策の実行にあてる一般歳出は53・5兆円に膨らんだ。国債の利払いや償還に使う国債費は20・6兆円で、地方交付税は17・5兆円だった。

===

Only 37.4 tril. yen from taxes

Meanwhile, the next fiscal budget has set annual government revenue from taxes at 37.4 trillion yen, which nearly compares with that to be expected under the fiscal 2009 budget in the wake of a second supplementary budget. Tax revenue has fallen to about the same level as was registered 26 years ago.
 一方の歳入は、税収が37・4兆円と、第2次補正後の09年度予算とほぼ同じであり、26年も前の水準まで落ち込む。

The government hopes to make up for a projected revenue shortfall using nontax revenue totaling 10.6 trillion yen--known as "buried treasure"--and government bond-generated revenue worth 44.3 trillion yen. The money includes funds deposited in the special account for government loan and investment programs, as well as surplus funds from the foreign exchange special account.
 財政投融資特別会計の積立金や外国為替特会の剰余金など、いわゆる埋蔵金をかき集めた10・6兆円の税外収入と、44・3兆円の国債発行で不足分を補う。

Government bond issuance accounts for 48 percent of total revenue under the fiscal 2010 budget, meaning almost half of revenue is expected to come from debts.
 歳入全体に占める国債への依存度は48%と、ほぼ半分を借金で賄う計算だ。

The current economic situation is so precarious it must be rectified by an underpinning fiscal stimulus. Given this, issuing new government bonds will be unavoidable. It is easy to see, however, that the government's chronic reliance on debt cannot be left unaddressed any longer if one stops to look at the government's fiscal crisis from a medium- and long-term standpoint.
 景気は財政出動で下支えしなければ危うい状況である。このため、国債の増発はある程度やむを得ないが、中長期的には、借金依存の財政を放置出来ないのも明らかである。

 ◆政権公約墨守で迷走◆
The greatest factor behind the difficulties in devising the next budget was the Hatoyama Cabinet's obsessive adherence to its goal of carrying out policies spelled out in the DPJ's election manifesto. The confusion embroiling the government in this respect started immediately after the new Cabinet was launched. The Hatoyama administration scrapped the guidelines for budgetary appropriation requests set by its predecessor, the coalition government of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito, and also ordered each government ministry and agency to submit new budgetary demands.
 今回の予算編成を難航させた最大の原因は、政権公約(マニフェスト)に掲げた政策の実現に鳩山内閣がこだわったことである。
 内閣が発足するや、自公政権が決めた概算要求基準(シーリング)を廃止し、各府省に概算要求を出し直させたことが、迷走の始まりだった。

===

2 miscalculations

Total budget requests came to 95 trillion yen, up 6.5 trillion yen from the 2009 initial budget. This increase was the result of the inclusion of policies contained in the DPJ manifesto, such as child-rearing allowances, making public high school eduction virtually free and a plan to eliminate some expressway tolls.
 概算要求の総額は95兆円と、09年度当初予算を6・5兆円も上回った。子ども手当、高校授業料の実質無償化や高速道路料金の一部無料化など、政権公約の関連項目が並んだためだ。

In the course of discussing how to fund these pledges in the budget, the Hatoyama administration noticed it had made two glaring miscalculations: a major drop in tax revenue, and its pruning of budget requests fell well short of expectations.
 これらの取り扱いについて議論するうち、鳩山内閣は二つの“誤算”に見舞われた。

The economic downturn has caused tax revenue for fiscal 2009 to plunge more than 9 trillion yen below initial forecasts, with the fall in corporate tax especially severe. Tax revenue is also expected to stay flat for fiscal 2010.
 一つは税収の大幅な落ち込みである。景気の低迷で、09年度は法人税を中心に、予想より9兆円以上減少することがわかった。10年度も税収の回復は期待できず、前年度並みの水準を見込まざるを得なくなった。

The DPJ assumed it could secure additional revenue by cutting wasteful programs. However, its attempts to eliminate budget fat finished with disappointing results.
 二つめは、予算の無駄減らしによる財源の確保が、期待はずれに終わったことである。

The DPJ had insisted 10 trillion yen to 20 trillion yen could be freed up by reviewing both the general and special accounts. In its manifesto, the party stipulated it would wring out nearly 17 trillion yen annually four years after taking power.
 民主党は、一般会計と特別会計を見直せば、10兆円や20兆円の財源を確保するのは容易だと主張してきた。政権公約には、政権奪取から4年後に、年間17兆円近い財源を捻出(ねんしゅつ)すると明記した。

The budget screening to cut wasteful spending started with great fanfare. However, the screening panel could not find wasteful programs to the extent that the DPJ first assumed. The administration initially set a target of 3 trillion yen in cuts, but could only come up with about 1 trillion yen.
 ところが、鳴り物入りで始めた事業仕分けでは、無駄の洗い出しが進まなかった。当初は3兆円の削減を目指したが、実際には1兆円程度にとどまった。

Despite this, the Hatoyama administration insists revenue sources are still waiting to be uncovered. The administration bears a heavy responsibility for these actions.
 民主党が想定したほどには、無駄がなかったということである。それなのに、財源はあると言い続けた鳩山政権の責任は重いと言わざるを得ない。

Despite this chronic revenue shortage, Hatoyama refused to budge from his plans to implement policies spelled out in the DPJ manifesto. This greatly delayed the compilation of fiscal 2010 tax reform plans.
 鳩山首相は、深刻な財源不足に直面してもなお、政権公約の実行にこだわり、税制改正大綱のとりまとめは大幅に遅れた。

Hatoyama eventually accepted DPJ requests submitted by Ichiro Ozawa, the party's secretary general, and modified several manifesto pledges, such as virtually retracting a proposal to abolish the provisionally higher gasoline tax. In the end, the budget was compiled within this year, although it was anything but smooth sailing.
 結局、小沢幹事長が出した民主党の要請を受け入れ、暫定税率廃止の撤回など政権公約の一部を修正した。この結果、予算案の年内編成になんとかこぎ着けた。

Worryingly, huge sums have been allocated to policies apparently designed to impress voters ahead of next year's House of Councillors election, such as an income compensation plan for individual farmers.
 だが、農家への戸別所得補償など、来年の参院選を意識したと思われる党主導の政策に多額の予算をつけたのは問題だった。

Also disconcerting is the slashing of public works-related budgets by 1.3 trillion yen to 5.8 trillion yen, an 18 percent reduction from the initial budget for this fiscal year.
 景気低迷が続く中、公共事業関係費を前年度比18%、1・3兆円も削り、5・8兆円に縮減したことも懸念材料である。
posted by srachai at 08:49| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2009年12月25日

元秘書2人起訴 鳩山首相の政治責任は重大だ

Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 25, 2009)
Scandal responsibility lies with Hatoyama
元秘書2人起訴 鳩山首相の政治責任は重大だ(12月25日付・読売社説)

Prosecutors have decided not to indict Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama over falsified reports on his political funds. However, the prime minister bears a heavy political responsibility for, in effect, allowing his former secretary to continue illegal accounting practices for years. The prime minister also deceived the public as he did his best to avoid telling the truth on the murky matter.
 元秘書の不正行為を放置したうえ、国民に真実を語ろうとしなかった。鳩山首相は不起訴だったとはいえ、政治的責任は極めて重大である。

Prosecutors on Thursday indicted Hatoyama's former state-funded first secretary without arrest for alleged violations of the Political Funds Control Law. The secretary, who was in charge of the administrative affairs of Hatoyama's political fund management organization, allegedly falsified official fund reports of Hatoyama's political fund organizations. The prosecutors also filed a summary indictment against another state-paid former secretary for policy affairs to Hatoyama, who served as the accountant for the fund organization, ordering him to pay a fine.
 首相の資金管理団体などの収支報告書に虚偽を記載したとして、実務担当者だった元公設第1秘書が、政治資金規正法違反で在宅起訴された。会計責任者だった元政策秘書も略式起訴され、罰金の略式命令を受けた。

The prosecutors concluded the former first secretary disguised funds extended by Hatoyama and his mother as income from individuals' donations and sales of tickets for fund-raising parties. The former policy affairs secretary was charged with gross negligence for failing to notice the falsifications by leaving the accounting work up to the first secretary.
 元公設秘書は、首相や母親からの資金などを個人献金やパーティー収入に偽装した。元政策秘書は元公設秘書に任せ、注意を怠る重大な過失があったという。

 ◆「知らぬ」は通用しない◆
It is extremely unusual for former aides to a prime minister to be indicted while the premier is still in office. But the amount of funds falsely entered in the reports totaled about 400 million yen over five years. The scale of the deception means that laying criminal charges in this case was an easy call to make.
 現職首相の元秘書の訴追は異例だが、虚偽記入の総額は5年間で約4億円にも上っており、刑事責任が問われるのは当然だ。

===

Prime minister standing firm

Hatoyama has deflected calls to step down over the messy affair. "It's my responsibility to fulfill my mission as a politician," he said at a press conference following the indictments.
 鳩山首相は記者会見で、「政治家としての使命を果たすことが、私の責任だ」と述べ、自らの辞任を否定した。

While Hatoyama was a member of the opposition camp, however, he was quick to make comments that seem to contradict his position in this case. "The responsibility lies with a politician if his or her secretary committed a crime." "If I were the person involved, I'd take off my Diet member pin." Hatoyama took these potshots on such occasions as the arrest of a secretary to former Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Koichi Kato and that of a secretary to Muneo Suzuki, a House of Representatives lawmaker.
 だが、首相は野党時代、加藤紘一自民党元幹事長や鈴木宗男衆院議員の秘書らが逮捕された際、何度もこう明言していた。
 「秘書の犯罪は議員の責任だ」「私なら議員バッジを外す」

But now the shoe is on the other foot and Hatoyama must face up squarely to the situation he finds himself in. Where once Hatoyama was calling on others to resign, now he finds himself the target of such demands.
 この言葉が今、自身の進退に向けられていることを、厳粛に受け止める必要がある。

Hatoyama insisted at the press conference that he was "totally unaware" of the massive amount of funds originating from his mother. Even if he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, his explanation leaves us shaking our heads.
 首相は記者会見で、母親からの巨額の資金提供について「全く承知していなかった」と改めて強調した。首相がいかに裕福な家庭環境で育ったとしても、この説明は信じがたい。

Even if Hatoyama did not know about the funds dispensed from his mother up until June, when disguised donations filed in the names of dead people came to light, he later had the first secretary make a report on the matter and let a lawyer look into the case. It is inconceivable that Hatoyama did not notice the about 1.2 billion yen in funds from his mother.
 仮に「故人献金」問題が発覚した6月までは知らなかったとしても、その後、元公設秘書から事情を聞き、弁護士に調査までさせている。計12億円超の資金提供に気づかないことはあり得ない。

===

Questions unanswered

The revelations came out just as the lower house election was approaching. If Hatoyama hid the funds from his mother in an attempt to save his own neck and avoid any negative fallout that could impact on his party's election chances, this would be an act of betrayal against the public.
 当時は、衆院選が迫っていた。自らの保身と、選挙への悪影響を避けるため、母親からの資金提供を隠していたのなら、国民に対する背信行為である。

Why did the first secretary make false entries in fund reports? For what purposes were the mother's funds used? Was the provision of funds from his mother a way to dodge paying inheritance tax?
 元公設秘書はなぜ虚偽記載を行ったのか。母親の資金をどんな活動に使ったのか。資金提供は相続税対策だったのではないか。

Hatoyama has provided scant explanations to these questions. The prime minister must explain in detail about the series of fund-management irregularities. Without doing so, he will never be able to regain public trust.
 こうした多くの疑問に対して、首相の記者会見での説明は極めて不十分だった。首相は改めて機会を設け、一連の問題の全体像を自ら丁寧に説明すべきだ。それなくして国民の信頼は回復しない。
posted by srachai at 04:53| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2009年12月24日

「佐藤」核密約 東西冷戦下の苦渋の選択だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 24, 2009)
Secret accord inevitable during Cold War era
「佐藤」核密約 東西冷戦下の苦渋の選択だ(12月24日付・読売社説)

A key document that gives credence to the existence of a secret agreement between Japan and the United States over the reentry of nuclear weapons into Okinawa after its reversion to Japan has been discovered.
 沖縄返還後の核再持ち込みをめぐる日米密約の存在を裏付ける貴重な資料が発見された。

The document is an "agreed minute" signed by Prime Minister Eisaku Sato and U.S. President Richard Nixon during a summit meeting held in Washington in November 1969, prior to the 1972 return of Okinawa.
 1972年の沖縄返還に先立つ69年11月、ワシントンで開かれた日米首脳会談で、佐藤栄作首相とニクソン米大統領が極秘に署名した「合意議事録」である。

The document showed that the United States intended to remove all nuclear weapons from Okinawa by the time of its reversion. It also indicated that Washington would require the reentry of nuclear weapons into Okinawa during emergencies, such as a possible incident in the Far East.
 文書は、米国が沖縄返還時にすべての核兵器を撤去するものの、極東有事などの際には再び持ち込む権利を持つことを、日本側が認める内容となっている。

The existence of this kind of secret accord had already been suggested by Kei Wakaizumi, who served as a secret envoy for Sato. However, proof of the existence of the document has now come to light and the finding is of significant historical importance.
 密約の存在は、佐藤首相の密使を務めた若泉敬氏が明らかにしていたが、文書自体の確認は初めてで、その歴史的意義は大きい。

===

Difficult decision

During talks over the reversion of Okinawa, Japan requested "nuclear-free, mainland status" for Okinawa. The United States, on the other hand, stressed the necessity of allowing for the reentry of nuclear weapons in the case of an emergency.
 沖縄返還交渉で、日本側は「核抜き本土並み」の返還を求めたのに対し、米側は、極東の安全保障の観点から、有事の核再持ち込みの必要性を主張した。

Agreeing to the secret accord was thus a tough decision taken to ensure the reversion of Okinawa by striking a balance between the Japanese public's negative feelings about nuclear weapons, and security concerns within the Cold War structure brought about by the confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union.
 密約は、米ソ対立による東西冷戦の下、核を忌避する日本の国民感情と安全保障を両立させつつ、沖縄返還を確実にするための苦渋の選択だったと言えよう。

The Foreign Ministry has set up a panel of experts to research and examine the issue of four purported secret agreements with the United States, including the one relating to the reentry of nuclear weapons after the reversion of Okinawa. The recent discovery of the aforementioned document likely will help the panel make significant progress.
 外務省は、有識者委員会を設置し、今回の件を含む四つの密約問題を調査、検証している。合意議事録の発見は、この作業を大きく前進させるだろう。

Sato kept the document at home and we wonder whether its contents were passed on to successive prime ministers and senior ministry officials in an appropriate manner. The panel should uncover the truth through interviews with the people concerned, and via other means.
 議事録は、佐藤首相の自宅に保管されていた。その内容は、歴代首相や外務省幹部にきちんと引き継がれていたのか。有識者委員会は、関係者からの聞き取り調査などを通じて、真相を究明してもらいたい。

The government has consistently denied the existence of such agreements. But, to restore the people's trust in this nation's diplomacy, the government should acknowledge that secret accords were struck and thereby settle the controversy.
 政府は従来、一貫して密約の存在を否定してきた。だが、日本外交に対する国民の信頼を回復するには、密約の存在を認め、問題にけじめをつけるべきだ。

===

Deterrence still essential

Though the Cold War has ended, it is hard to say whether the circumstances surrounding Japan's security have improved.
 冷戦は終わったが、現在の日本の安全保障環境は必ずしも改善されたとは言い難い。

North Korea, which has twice conducted nuclear tests, reportedly possesses a huge number of ballistic missiles capable of striking Japan. Meanwhile, China has registered double-digit growth in its defense spending for 21 consecutive years. China reportedly has deployed a number of nuclear missiles targeting Japan.
 北朝鮮は核実験を2度実施し、日本を射程に収める弾道ミサイルを大量に保有する。中国の国防費は21年連続で2ケタの伸びを示した。日本に照準を合わせた核ミサイルも多数配備している。

The U.S. military's nuclear deterrence is still essential for Japan.
 日本にとって米軍の核抑止力は依然、不可欠である。

Presently, however, the Japan-U.S. alliance is being seriously shaken. The administration of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has indecisively handled the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture, resulting in a strong sense of U.S. distrust toward Japan.
 ところが、鳩山政権は、米軍普天間飛行場の移設問題をめぐる優柔不断な対応で米側の強い不信を招き、日米同盟は今、大きく揺らいでいる。

To maintain the effectiveness of the U.S. deterrence, we believe it is worth giving consideration to allowing port calls or stopovers of vessels and aircraft carrying nuclear weapons. However, such an act would have implications for the third of the nation's three nonnuclear principles of not possessing, not producing and not allowing the entry of nuclear weapons into this nation.
 核抑止力を維持するには、「持たず、作らず、持ち込ませず」の非核三原則の「持ち込ませず」のうち、核搭載艦船や航空機の寄港・立ち寄りを可能にすることも、十分検討に値するだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 24, 2009)
(2009年12月24日01時31分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 04:45| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2009年12月23日

来年度税・予算 政権公約へのこだわり捨てよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 23, 2009)
Put the economy before manifesto promises
来年度税・予算 政権公約へのこだわり捨てよ(12月23日付・読売社説)

Compilation of the fiscal 2010 budget has entered the homestretch.
 2010年度予算の編成作業が、大詰めを迎えている。

The outline of tax revisions for next fiscal year was approved Tuesday at a Cabinet meeting, and the treatment of child-rearing allowances and an income compensation system for individual farmers has been decided, too.
 国民生活や企業活動に深くかかわる来年度の税制改正大綱が22日に閣議決定され、子ども手当や農家への戸別所得補償など予算の主要項目の扱いも固まった。

However, a serious tax revenue shortfall has cast a shadow over the process. Tax revenues in fiscal 2009 are estimated to be 36.9 trillion yen, over 9 trillion yen less than initially expected. Tax revenues in fiscal 2010 will remain almost the same.
 一連の作業に影を落としたのが深刻な税収不足だ。09年度の税収は、当初の見積もりより9兆円余り少ない36・9兆円となる見込みだ。10年度についても同程度の額にとどまりそうだ。

This situation has made measures to secure tax revenue the most important agenda item in discussing tax revisions. However, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama failed to make any decisions on this matter, preferring to stick to implementation of the Democratic Party of Japan's manifesto pledges made for August's House of Representatives election, which will lead to huge budgets and a drastic reduction of tax revenue.
 このため、税制改正では、いかに税収を確保していくかが重要なテーマになった。だが、鳩山首相は巨額の予算計上や、大幅な税収減につながる政権公約(マニフェスト)の実現にこだわって決断できなかった。

Hatoyama, having gone back and forth, finally decided the outline by accepting the requests of the DPJ submitted by its Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa.
 最後は、小沢幹事長から出された民主党の要望を受け入れる形で大枠を決める迷走ぶりだった。

The prime minister followed the same process in the budget compilation.
 予算編成でも、同じような過程をたどっている。

The government's budget plan for fiscal 2010 is to be decided soon. The prime minister in a few days must come up with a way to make a budget that can pump up the economy and offer reassurance to people with insufficient financial resources.
 10年度予算は、近く政府案が決まる予定だ。乏しい財源で、いかに景気を下支えし、国民生活に安心をもたらす予算を作り上げていくか。鳩山首相は、あと数日で答えを出さねばならない。

Treatment of the provisionally higher tax rate on fossil fuels, including gasoline, symbolizes the confusion afflicting tax revisions. The prime minister initially was determined to abolish the provisional tax rate in April as it was the pillar of his party's election pledges, but he finally decided only to lower the rates of the automobile weight tax.
 税制改正の迷走の象徴が、ガソリン税などの暫定税率だ。鳩山首相は政権公約の目玉として、来年4月の暫定税率廃止に固執したが、最終的には自動車重量税の一部引き下げにとどめた。

 ◆暫定税率維持は当然◆
We think Hatoyama's decision is reasonable. If the provisional tax rate was abolished, central and local governments would lose a total of 2.5 trillion yen in tax revenues, worsening fiscal deficits.
 国と地方で2・5兆円の税収がなくなれば、財政赤字はさらに膨らむ。この判断は当然だろう。

The DPJ had claimed that the provisional tax could be abolished because abundant new financial resources could be created by trimming fat from government spending. But wasn't it apparent from the very beginning that such a claim would end up being pie in the sky?
 暫定税率の廃止などについて民主党は、「歳出の無駄の洗い出しで、財源はいくらでも出てくる」と主張していた。だがそれが空手形に終わるのは、最初から分かりきっていたことではないか。

This shows the collapse of so-called manifesto politics. We have to say that the actions and remarks of Hatoyama, who stuck to the abolition of the provisional tax rate, have ended up deceiving the public.
 マニフェスト政治の破綻(はたん)を示すものだろう。廃止にこだわった首相の言動は、結果的に国民を欺いたと言わざるを得ない。

The prime minister is apparently unaware of his own responsibility, maintaining that his change of policy is in line with public opinion. He must give the public a detailed explanation of why he decided to change the policy.
 首相は、今回の方針転換は「国民の思いに沿ったもの」と述べるなど、責任を自覚していない。転換の経緯を、国民に詳しく説明しなければなるまい。

The government said it would spend a year or so studying the introduction of an environment tax, which was once considered to offset the scrapping of the provisional tax rate on fossil fuels. An environment tax, which would be imposed widely on fossil fuels and others, would become a heavy burden on industries and household budgets if introduced. It should be considered very carefully.
 暫定税率の代わりに導入が検討された環境税については、今後1年程度かけて検討するとした。化石燃料などに幅広く課税する環境税は、産業界や家計に重い負担となる。慎重に扱うべきだ。

===

Child benefit needs rethink

The government likely will set up a special fund worth 2 trillion yen in the next fiscal budget, using such financial resources as the revenue to be generated through the maintenance of the provisionally higher tax rates. The money set aside for this specified-purpose budgetary framework will be used to help create more jobs, reinvigorate regional economies and implement other pump-priming policies.
 政府は、暫定税率の維持で得た税収などで、来年度予算に2兆円の特別枠を設け、雇用対策や地域活性化などに振り向ける方針だ。

The government has good reason to consider giving the economy an additional shot in the arm. It is also essential that the list of purposes for which such budgetary means would be used be narrowed down to a handful of measures that promise to produce an immediate economy-boosting effect.
景気への配慮は妥当であり、使途は景気に即効性がある対策に絞り込むことが肝要だ。

Another focus of the dispute over the fiscal 2010 budget was whether an income limit should be imposed on the eligibility of households to be covered by the child-rearing allowance system. The government has settled the controversy by deciding the scheme will not set such a limit. This means every family with a child or children in the middle school age bracket or younger will be paid 13,000 yen per child monthly.
 もうひとつの焦点だった子ども手当については、所得制限を設けないことで決着した。中学生以下の子どもを持つすべての家庭に、子ども1人につき月1万3000円が支払われる。
posted by srachai at 06:30| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2009年12月22日

野口飛行士 宇宙の新時代を開く活躍を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 22, 2009)
Noguchi's ISS trip heralds new era for space activity
野口飛行士 宇宙の新時代を開く活躍を(12月22日付・読売社説)

Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi safely departed for the International Space Station on a Russian Soyuz rocket.
 日本の宇宙飛行士、野口聡一さんが、ロシアのソユーズ宇宙船で国際宇宙ステーションに向けて無事、旅立った。

Noguchi will stay aboard the ISS for about six months.
 これから約半年間、ステーションの「住民」になる。

His stay will be the longest that a Japanese astronaut has experienced. We hope he will steadily fulfill his duty in international space cooperation and enhance Japan's international presence.
 日本人の宇宙滞在としてはこれまでで最も長い。宇宙の国際協力で着実に使命を果たし、日本の存在感を高めてほしい。

Unlike a past stay by a Japanese astronaut, Noguchi plans to stay for about six months and has a private room.
 これまでと違って、野口さんは当初から半年の滞在を予定しており、専用の個室もある。

Construction of the ISS is near completion. The number of residents there will increase from the initial two to the maximum of six by next spring, when Noguchi will still be at the station.
 ステーション完成は間近い。住民も、野口さんが滞在中の来春までに、今の2人から最大定員の6人まで増える。

We can now say that the ISS is in full operation, and world space activities have entered a new age.
 ステーションの本格運用が始まり、世界の宇宙活動は新たな時代に入ると言ってもいい。

Noguchi is expected to not only conduct space experiments for Japan, but also support the operation and maintenance of the station and experiments carried out by other countries, including one the United States plans to ascertain the perceptual effect of sleeping drugs. Noguchi himself will be involved in the U.S. experiment by taking the drugs.
 野口さんは、日本の宇宙実験だけでなく、ステーション運営と整備や他国の実験も支援することになる。米国が予定している睡眠薬の知覚影響を調べる実験など、体を張った協力もある。

===

Soyuz a trusted spacecraft

As part of leisure and public relations activities designed to promote international space cooperation, Noguchi will make sushi in space. He will be very busy with various missions in the ISS, but we hope he will relax and carry out his duties.
 国際協力を盛り上げる余暇、広報活動では、宇宙でスシを握るといった見せ場も計画している。大忙しになるだろうが、肩の力を抜いて乗り切ってほしい。

This is the first time that an official Japanese astronaut will use the Soyuz capsule for a return trip from the Earth to space.  日本の公式の宇宙飛行士が地上との往復にソユーズ宇宙船を利用するのも、今回が初めてだ。

Past Japanese astronauts used U.S. space shuttles, but the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration is preparing to retire its aging space shuttle fleet after the completion of construction of the ISS in the spring. Traveling into space means relying on Russia until the United States develops a new spacecraft. The launch of the Soyuz rocket this time is the first case under such circumstances.
 これまでは米国のスペースシャトルに搭乗していた。だが、ステーションが来春完成すると老朽化で退役する。米国の新宇宙船が出来るまで宇宙への足はロシア頼りで、今回はその1号だ。

The vital structures of the Soyuz spacecraft have been kept, and other parts have been steadily improved over the past four decades since the era of the former Soviet Union, during which period the vehicle has been launched about 100 times. The Soyuz has accumulated technology and is very safe, and its launch cost is one-tenth the 80 billion yen it costs to launch a U.S. space shuttle.
 ソユーズ宇宙船は、旧ソ連時代から約40年、根幹の構造を受け継ぎながら改良され、約100回打ち上げられてきた。技術の蓄積があり、安全性は高い。打ち上げコストも、約800億円の米シャトルの10分の1程度と言われる。

===

Space station's future unclear

In Japan, meanwhile, there are growing calls for this country to develop manned spacecraft.
 日本でも、有人宇宙船の開発を期待する声が高まっている。

The H-2 Transfer Vehicle, Japan's first unmanned spacecraft, which successfully delivered materials to the ISS in September, is said to be a prototype for the nation's manned spacecraft.
 この9月に初飛行に成功したステーションへの無人補給船(HTV)はその原型とされる。

The HTV can haul more than twice as much cargo as Russia's unmanned supply spacecraft. The United States is considering using the HTV to supply materials to the ISS after the space shuttles are retired. The experience with the Soyuz spacecraft will provide Japan with pointers on what is required to turn the HTV into a manned spacecraft.
 輸送能力を比べればロシアの無人補給船の倍以上だ。米国はシャトル退役後の補給手段として利用を検討している。HTVの有人化へ向けて何が必要か、ソユーズの経験は参考になるだろう。

What worries us is the unclear future of the ISS. The United States, one of the major countries promoting the ISS project, only plans to use the ISS until 2015.
 心配なのは、ステーションの将来計画が不透明なことだ。主要国の米国が、2015年までの利用計画しか決めていない。

Plans to develop space will not proceed smoothly unless the nations concerned take ample time beforehand to think them through. In line with the start of the full-fledged operation of the ISS, the government should quickly discuss its plan with concerned countries.
 宇宙利用は、事前に時間をかけて周到に準備しないとうまく行かない。ステーションの本格運用に合わせて、政府は、関係各国との将来計画の協議を急ぐべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 22, 2009)
(2009年12月22日01時24分 読売新聞)
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