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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12月13日

天皇特例会見 憂慮される安易な「政治利用」

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 13, 2009)
Emperor must never appear to be political tool
天皇特例会見 憂慮される安易な「政治利用」(12月13日付・読売社説)

It is quite understandable that Shingo Haketa, grand steward of the Imperial Household Agency, expressed grave concern at a press conference Friday about the decision process that led to an audience with the Emperor being hastily arranged for Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping. Breaking with convention, Haketa said, could lead to political exploitation of the Emperor.
 宮内庁の羽毛田信吾長官が、天皇の政治利用に当たる懸念がある、として深い憂慮の念を示したのも当然である。

Xi is scheduled to visit Japan from Monday and meet the Emperor a day later.
 14日に来日する中国の習近平国家副主席が天皇陛下と会見することになった。

長官の発言は、この決定過程について記者団に語ったものだ。

According to Haketa, the agency received a request from the Chinese government for a meeting with the Emperor through the Foreign Ministry on Nov. 26, which was less than 20 days before Xi's planned visit.
 羽毛田長官によると、宮内庁が外務省を通じて、中国政府からの会見要請を受け取ったのは、習副主席の来日まで20日を切った11月26日のことだ。

Government regulations state that an application for a meeting with the Emperor by any visiting foreign dignitary must be received at least one month in advance. Therefore, a day after receiving the petition, the agency told Beijing it could not accept the request in accordance with this rule.
 陛下と外国要人の会見は、1か月前までに申請を受け付けるという政府のルールがある。このため宮内庁は「ルールに照らして応じかねる」と回答した。

However, the matter did not end there.
 しかし、事はそれで収まらなかった。

According to Haketa, he was phoned on two occasions by Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano, who asked that Xi be exempted from the rule.
The top government spokesman pressed Haketa to accept his request, saying on his second call that he was making it "on the instruction of the prime minister."
平野官房長官が、電話で2度にわたり長官に特例扱いを要請し、最後は「総理の指示だ」と強引に説き伏せたという。

===

Unwelcome precedent set

Because Xi is widely seen as likely to succeed President Hu Jintao, the Chinese government apparently urged Tokyo to arrange the meeting with the Emperor through personal connections, including Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa.
 中国側が、胡錦濤国家主席の後継者と目される習副主席の来日にあたり、民主党の小沢幹事長など複数の人脈を使って、日本政府に天皇との会見を強く働きかけたことが背景にあるようだ。

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said the government's handling of the matter in no way meant it had used the Emperor for political purposes.
"I was aware of the one-month rule, but I had to consider whether it's right from the viewpoint of international friendship to rigidly stick to it," Hatoyama said.
 鳩山首相は「1か月ルールは知っていたが、杓(しゃく)子(し)定規なことが国際的な親善の意味で正しいことなのか」と述べて、政治利用に当たらないとの見解を示した。

But breaking the rule once has set a precedent. How would Hatoyama now deal with a similar request were one to come from a nation such as the United States, South Korea or Russia?
 だが、一度ルールを破ると、それが当たり前になる恐れがある。今後、例えば米国や韓国、ロシアから同様の要請があった場合、首相はどう対応するのか。

===

Treat all requests equally

According to Haketa, Hirano also said he was making the request "in view of the importance of the Japan-China relationship."
 羽毛田長官によると、平野官房長官は「日中関係の重要性にかんがみ」と話したという。

But it is precisely because Japan-China ties are important that Hirano should have explained Japan's Imperial system--which recognizes the Emperor as the symbol of the state--and other matters to Beijing, and gained China's understanding. This approach would promote bilateral friendship in the truest sense.
日中関係が大事だからこそ、きちんと象徴天皇制などについて説明し、理解を得るべきだった。それでこそ日中友好の真の促進にもなる。

The Emperor meets foreign guests more than 100 times a year. Meetings with the Emperor, in addition to being subject to the advance-application rule, have been arranged on an equitable basis, regardless of the size of countries and their political importance.
The Emperor has said it is important his official duties be performed on an equitable footing and based on certain criteria.
 天皇陛下が外国の賓客などに会われる回数は年100回以上に上る。国の大小や政治的重要性を問わず、事前に申請があれば平等に設定されてきた。陛下も「公務はある基準に基づき公平に行われることが大切」と語られている。

The one-month rule is intended to allow for the smooth scheduling of the Emperor's many official duties. Since 2003, when the Emperor underwent prostate cancer surgery, the rule has been strictly enforced to ensure the Emperor's health is not adversely affected.
 1か月ルールは、様々な公務があり、多忙な陛下の日程調整を円滑に行うためのルールだ。陛下が2003年に前立腺がんの手術をされて以降は、健康管理のためもあり、特に厳守されてきた。

Recently, Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada was criticized for a remark he made about the speech the Emperor delivers to mark the opening of the Diet.
 岡田外相が国会開会式での陛下のお言葉の内容について発言し批判されたのも、最近のことだ。

Acting in a way that makes it appear the Emperor is being used for political ends must be strictly avoided. The Hatoyama administration does not appear to understand this basic premise.
 天皇が時の政権に利用されたと疑念が持たれることは、厳に慎むべきなのだ。その基本を現政権はわかっていないのではないか。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 13, 2009)
(2009年12月13日01時16分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 08:17| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2009年12月12日

小沢訪中団 握手とツーショットだけでは


The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 12, 2009)
Ozawa's group visit to China lacks substance
小沢訪中団 握手とツーショットだけでは(12月12日付・読売社説)

Many people probably wondered what was going on when they saw dozens of Democratic Party of Japan lawmakers shaking hands with Chinese President Hu Jintao and having their photos taken with him during their visit to China on Thursday.
 民主党国会議員が大挙して中国を訪問し、胡錦濤・国家主席と次々に握手をして、ツーショット写真に納まる。そんな光景に首をかしげた人は少なくないだろう。

The group, whose honorary head is DPJ Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa, comprised 143 party lawmakers from both chambers of the Diet, including some of those elected for the first time in the House of Representatives election in August. The entire entourage, including their supporters, comprised more than 600 people.
 小沢幹事長を名誉団長とする訪中団の参加者は、先の衆院選で当選した新人をはじめ、衆参国会議員143人。各議員の支持者らを含めると600人を超えた。

The visit was part of the Japan-China exchange program called the "Great Wall Plan" that Ozawa started years ago when he was a member of the Liberal Democratic Party.
 今回の訪中は、小沢氏が自民党時代から進めてきた日中交流「長城計画」の一環だ。

The visit also served as a so-called exchange and discussion mechanism between lawmakers of the DPJ and the Chinese Communist Party. This forum was established based on a proposal Ozawa made during his meeting with Hu in July 2006, when Ozawa was the party leader.
 同時に、民主党と中国共産党との定期協議の場「交流協議機構」の政治家交流も兼ねている。これは、小沢氏が党代表を務めていた2006年7月、胡主席との会談で提案し、設置が決まった。

Activating exchanges between political parties is certainly admirable, since opportunities for politicians to have contact with their counterparts have become quite limited.
 日中の政治家同士のパイプが細くなる中で、政党間交流を活発化させる意義は大きい。

But we wonder if it was really necessary for so many ruling party lawmakers to visit at a time crucial for budget compilation--the first time the administration of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has faced such a task.
 しかし、新政権にとって初の予算編成が本格化しているこの時期に、これほど多数の与党・民主党議員が一斉に訪問する必要性はあったのか。

===

Tough topics dodged

Ozawa held talks with Hu on Thursday, but they reportedly skirted touchy bilateral issues.
 小沢氏は10日、胡主席と会談した。しかし、日中2国間の懸案は素通りしたという。

Investigations into cases of food poisoning in Japan likely caused by frozen gyoza produced in China have yet to get to the bottom of the matter. In addition, China has refused to hold talks with Japan over concluding a treaty to jointly develop gas fields in the East China Sea. Making matters worse, China is preparing to unilaterally start drilling in the Shirakaba gas field, known in China as the Chunxiao gas field.
 中国製の冷凍ギョーザ事件は依然、未解決のままだ。東シナ海のガス田開発問題で、中国側は、日本との条約交渉を拒むとともに、「白樺」ガス田では一方的に掘削開始の態勢を整えつつある。

According to an opinion poll jointly conducted in November by The Yomiuri Shimbun and a weekly magazine published by China's official Xinhua News Agency, about 70 percent of Japanese respondents said they do not trust China. It would not be too much of a stretch to suggest these pending issues have cast a shadow on Japanese people's feelings toward China.
 読売新聞などが11月に実施した日中共同世論調査によると、日本では中国を「信頼できない」と答えた人が7割に上った。これらの問題が中国への信頼感に大きな影を落としているのは確実だ。

During his talks with Hu, Ozawa reportedly said discussions between governments tend to end up as mere formality. Ozawa stressed that each and every issue could be put up for discussion at party-level talks.
 小沢氏は、胡主席との会談の中で、「政府間では、どうしても形式的な議論に陥る。党と党のレベルでは、あらゆる問題を話し合えるように」と語っている。

Ozawa should have practiced what he preached from the outset of his talks with Hu. The DPJ heavyweight should have set an example by exchanging opinions frankly with the Chinese leader.
 小沢氏には早速、自ら実践し、胡主席と率直な意見交換をしてほしかった。

To his credit, Ozawa did express concern over China's military buildup during his meeting with Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie on Friday. Such candid dialogues are essential.
ただ、11日の梁光烈国防相との会談では、中国の軍事力増強に懸念を示した。こんな忌憚(きたん)のない対話が必要だろう。

===

Don't forget Washington

Japan-U.S. relations are in turmoil as the fallout continues from the Hatoyama administration's handling of the planned relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture. Summit talks between Hatoyama and U.S. President Barack Obama, which the Japanese leader wanted to hold in Copenhagen on the sidelines of U.N. climate talks, now look unlikely to go ahead.
 鳩山内閣は、普天間問題の混乱で日米首脳会談も実現できず、日米関係は危機的な状況にある。

Worryingly, the Ozawa-led group's visit to China likely gave the impression, both in Japan and abroad, that the DPJ-led government is leaning more toward China. This could have negative repercussions on Tokyo's relations with Washington.
 心配なのは、小沢訪中団が、民主党政権の「対中傾斜」を内外に印象づけ、対米関係に悪影響をもたらしかねないことだ。

Maintaining friendly relations between Japan and China is certainly important. But cordial ties alone will not be enough to resolve the many complicated issues between the two nations.
 むろん、日中の友好関係は大切だ。だが、両国間には友好だけでは解決できない複雑な問題が多数存在する。

Bearing this in mind, interparty exchanges should be promoted through more practical visits by smaller groups.
政党間交流は、その点を踏まえ、もっと少人数の相互訪問で実務的に進めるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 12, 2009)
(2009年12月12日01時14分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 07:19| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2009年12月11日

スズキVW提携 二つの「エコ」が生んだ再編劇

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 11, 2009)
Suzuki-VW tie-up ushers in new era
スズキVW提携 二つの「エコ」が生んだ再編劇(12月11日付・読売社説)

The combined global sales of Suzuki Motor Corp. and Germany's Volkswagen AG eclipse that of Toyota Motor Corp.
 両社をあわせた販売台数はトヨタ自動車を上回る。

The forging of the world's largest automobile alliance will significantly change the landscape of the auto industry's power map.
世界最大規模の自動車連合の誕生は、業界の勢力図を塗り替えることになりそうだ。

Suzuki, a maker of compact cars, and Germany's largest automaker agreed Wednesday to form capital and business tie-ups.
 小型車メーカーのスズキとドイツ最大手のフォルクスワーゲン(VW)が、資本・業務提携で合意した。

Volkswagen will become Suzuki's largest shareholder by acquiring 19.9 percent of Suzuki's outstanding shares. Suzuki, in return, will purchase up to 2.5 percent of Volkswagen's shares.
 VWはスズキ株の19・9%を取得して筆頭株主となり、スズキも最大で2・5%のVW株を取得する。

The two companies will cooperate in such areas as the development of electric vehicles and fuel-efficient engines, as well as work in tandem on sales in newly emerging nations.
その上で、両社は電気自動車や低燃費エンジンの開発、新興国での販売などで広く協力する。

The Suzuki brand has a reputation for its minicars. However, its Swift and other compact car models also contribute to its annual global sales of 2.3 million units. Volkswagen, the world's third-largest automaker, also is strong in the compact car sector, thanks to its Golf and Polo models. The two companies had been competitors for many years.
 スズキは軽自動車のイメージが強いが、「スイフト」などの小型車を合わせると、全世界の販売台数は年間230万台にのぼる。世界3位のVWも主力は「ゴルフ」「ポロ」などの小型車で、両社は長年、ライバル関係にあった。

Not any more. The automakers have teamed up because each has strength in different areas of the compact car sector.
 その両社が一転して手を結んだのは、同じ小型車といっても、得意分野が異なっているためだ。

===

Give-and-take

Suzuki has excelled at producing low-priced automobiles targeted at newly emerging markets as it made the best use of low-cost production technologies it developed in its production of minicars. Volkswagen, on the other hand, has established a reputation for its environmentally friendly technologies used in low-emission engines.
 スズキは軽自動車で培った低コスト生産技術を駆使し、新興国向けの低価格車を得意とするのに対し、VWは低公害エンジンなどの環境技術に定評がある。

The tie-up is aimed at allowing the automakers to complement each other through the fusion of two "eco" elements--Suzuki's "economy"-conscious technologies and Volkswagen's "ecology"-conscious technologies.
 提携には、スズキの「エコノミー」技術とVWの「エコロジー」技術を持ち寄り、二つの「エコ」の融合で、互いの弱点を補完しあう狙いがある。

Suzuki stands atop the rankings for sales in India, while Volkswagen rules the roost for sales in China. The two companies will be able to take advantage of each other's sales networks in these key markets.
 スズキはインド、VWは中国で販売トップの座にあり、互いの販売網も利用できる。

Suzuki had been eager to find a new partner after it ended its nearly 30-year ties with General Motors Co. of the United States.
 特に、スズキは30年近く続けてきた米ゼネラル・モーターズ(GM)との提携を解消し、新たな提携先を必要としていた。

Suzuki's signing of a new alliance with Volkswagen can be largely attributed to the Japanese automaker's entry into newly emerging markets before many rivals, which enabled it to build solid footholds there.
新興国市場にいち早く進出して足場を築いてきたことが、提携実現の大きな武器となった。

===

Industry at turning point

The auto industry is at a historic turning point. Automakers must consider shying away from vehicles that run on gasoline as they suffer from sluggish sales in the wake of last year's Lehman shock--the financial meltdown triggered by the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.
 自動車業界は昨年のリーマン・ショック以降の販売不振に苦しむ中で、脱ガソリンという歴史的な転機を迎えている。

The development of green technologies and expanding sales routes in emerging economies likely will be critical to automakers' survival.
But achieving these goals will not come cheaply. It would be very difficult for one company to shoulder these huge costs alone.
生き残りのカギを握る環境技術開発と新興国への販路拡大には巨額の資金がかかり、単独での負担は難しい。

The Big Three U.S. automakers, which had been the leading players in the industry, no longer have the wherewithal to make such investments. Japanese and European companies therefore will need to review their strategies on courting potential allies.
 だが、これまで業界をリードしてきた米ビッグスリーは投資余力を失い、日欧メーカーは提携戦略の見直しを迫られている。

Mitsubishi Motors Corp., which had an alliance with Chrysler Group LLC of the United States, is now in talks with French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen. Peugeot reportedly is keen to tap MMC's pioneering work in the commercial production of electric vehicles and strength in the Russian market.
 長年にわたり米クライスラーと組んできた三菱自動車も、仏プジョー・シトロエングループ(PSA)と資本提携の交渉中だ。PSAは三菱が電気自動車を他社に先駆けて市販し、ロシア市場に強いことに注目しているという。

"Economy" and "ecology" look set to be critical elements in any auto industry tie-ups in the years ahead. A new era has dawned on the realignment of the auto industry.
 自動車業界では今後も「二つのエコ」を軸にした提携が続くことが予想される。自動車再編は、新たな局面を迎えたといえよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 11, 2009)
(2009年12月11日01時01分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 06:24| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2009年12月10日

普天間協議中断 同盟の危機回避へ決断せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 10, 2009)
PM must be decisive to avert crisis with U.S.
普天間協議中断 同盟の危機回避へ決断せよ(12月10日付・読売社説)

The Japan-U.S. security alliance is in a crisis situation now that Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has placed priority on the state of the coalition government after flip-flopping in regard to the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture.
 その場しのぎの優柔不断な対応を重ねた末、連立政権の維持を最優先するという鳩山首相の判断が、日米同盟の危機を招いている。

If the current situation is left as is, it might gravely impact Japan-U.S. relations as a whole, which cover not only security but also political and economic spheres.
 このまま放置すれば、安全保障だけでなく、政治、経済などの分野を含め、日米関係全体に重大な影響を与えかねない。

Bilateral relations are in a worrisome state, and Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada has even admitted that the alliance with the United States had been "shaken a little bit." Hatoyama should face up to this fact and hammer out a constructive policy course on the relocation issue.
 岡田外相が「日米同盟が若干揺らいでいる」との懸念を表明するほど、現在の日米関係は憂慮すべき状況にある。鳩山首相は、この事実をきちんと認識し、建設的な対処方針をまとめるべきだ。

===

Whole plan in jeopardy

Bilateral ministerial-level talks on the issue have been suspended. This is because the Japanese government conveyed to the U.S. side its intention to postpone the settlement of the issue by the end of this year due to opposition from the Social Democratic Party--one of the junior coalition partners of Hatoyama's Democratic Party of Japan--toward the current relocation plan within the prefecture.
 沖縄県の米海兵隊普天間飛行場の移設問題を協議する日米の閣僚級の作業部会が中断されることになった。日本側が、与党の社民党の反対を理由に、年内の決着を先送りするよう伝えたためだ。

Washington, meanwhile, has notified Tokyo that it would postpone bilateral talks to "deepen" the security alliance, which had been planned as next year marks the 50th anniversary of the revision of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.
 来年の日米安保条約改定50周年に向けて、同盟関係を深化させるための日米協議についても、米側が延期を通告してきた。

Hatoyama agreed at a summit meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama last month to "expeditiously" solve the Futenma relocation issue. But the prime minister then unilaterally decided to give up settling the issue before the new year due to domestic circumstances. Moves like this are unacceptable if the two nations seek to work together based on a relationship of trust.
 首脳会談で「迅速に結論を出す」と確認しながら、国内事情から年内決着を一方的に断念する。これでは、信頼関係を基盤とする日米の共同作業は成り立たない。

The government must give serious consideration to how crucial it really is to postpone a settlement of the issue within this year.
 政府は、年内決着を先送りすることの重大な意味を真剣に考えねばなるまい。

If the government fails to solve the issue before the end of the year, the current relocation plan would effectively be shelved. It also would be extremely difficult to find an alternative site and the process as a whole would certainly take a great deal of time.
 年内決着が実現しなければ、現行計画は事実上頓挫する。新たな移設先を探す作業は極めて困難で、膨大な時間を要する。

If this comes about, the Futenma base likely will continue for years to expose local residents to dangers due to its location in a densely populated part of Ginowan, and could even end up staying at its current location indefinitely. It also would increasingly risk the collapse of a plan to transfer 8,000 U.S. marines to Guam and return six U.S. military facilities to the nation.
 その場合、市街地に隣接し、危険な普天間飛行場が現状のまま長期間存続し、固定化する恐れが大きい。海兵隊8000人のグアム移転と米軍6施設の返還も白紙に戻る可能性が高まる。

===

Keep coalition in check

Some government officials are considering a plan to ask the United States to place priority on taking measures to mitigate burdens on people in the prefecture, such as the elimination of dangers posed by the Futenma base. But the possibility would be low for the United States to accept any plans that benefit only the Japanese side.
 政府内では新たな対処方針として、普天間飛行場の危険除去など沖縄の負担軽減策を優先して米側に要請する案が浮上している。だが、日本側にだけ都合のいい案に米側が同意する可能性は低い。

It also would be difficult to obtain the understanding of the United States if the government incorporates expenses necessary for the planned relocation in the next fiscal year's budget but has not accepted the current relocation plan.
 現行計画を容認しないまま、移設費用を来年度予算に計上しても米側の理解を得るのは難しい。

After all, it is essential that the Japanese government clarify at an early stage that it supports the existing plan to relocate the Futenma base to a coastal area of the Henoko district of Nago, in the prefecture, where the U.S. Marine Corps' Camp Schwab is located, as agreed by the two governments in 2006.
やはり、日本政府として、現行計画を推進する立場を早期に明確にすることが欠かせない。

We recently have seen several episodes in which the DPJ was swayed by its minor coalition partners--the SDP and the People's New Party--over such issues as the Futenma relocation and the budget compilation. Coupled with Hatoyama's lack of leadership, doubts on the coalition government's ability to implement policy are gathering steam.
 普天間問題や予算編成などをめぐり、民主党が少数与党の社民党や国民新党に振り回される事態が目立つ。首相の指導力の欠如と相まって、連立政権の政策実行能力に大きな疑義を生んでいる。

The SDP threatened to leave the coalition when party leader Mizuho Fukushima said she would have to make "a grave decision" if the government decided to go along with the current relocation plan. We believe it is Hatoyama who must make a grave decision to resolve the Futenma issue as soon as possible, even it is at the cost of the coalition.
 社民党は「重大な決意」に言及して連立離脱をちらつかせ、現行計画に反対した。鳩山首相こそ、連立解消も辞さない「重大な決意」で普天間問題の早期解決に取り組むべき時である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 10, 2009)
(2009年12月10日00時55分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 06:40| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2009年12月09日

緊急経済対策 景気の底割れを防ぐ効果は

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 9, 2009)
Efficacy of stimulus measures questionable
緊急経済対策 景気の底割れを防ぐ効果は(12月9日付・読売社説)

The economic pump-priming measures agreed upon by the government and Cabinet on Tuesday seem sizable if judged only on the basis of the amounts involved, but whether we can expect economic effects equivalent to the measures' face value remains an open question.
 数字だけを見れば大型の景気対策だが、額面通りの景気刺激効果を期待していいのだろうか。

The emergency economic package lays out 7.2 trillion yen in spending and is predicted to have a ripple effect of more than 24 trillion yen in terms of extending credit to small and medium-sized companies, among other effects.
 政府は8日、財政支出の「真水」で7兆円、融資枠などを含む事業規模で24兆円超の緊急経済対策を決めた。

Japan's economic recovery has been erratic and severe employment conditions and deflation remain. There is concern that the economy might stall in the first half of next year.
 厳しい雇用情勢とデフレで景気回復の足取りは弱い。来年前半にも腰折れする恐れもある。

Nonetheless, we welcome the fact that the government and the Bank of Japan have become closely aligned in their pursuit of economic stimulus measures and an easy-money policy.
 ともかく政府と日銀が、景気対策と金融緩和で足並みをそろえたことは歓迎できよう。

Adoption of the economic measures was delayed due the People's New Party's demand for even more government spending, but in the end the amount added to the initially envisaged figure was very small. The market is increasingly concerned by the government's incoherent policy decisions. The administration of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama must compile the fiscal 2010 budget by the end of this year to reassure the market.
 だが、対策の決定が国民新党の増額要求で遅れた揚げ句、上積みはわずかだった。市場は政策決定の迷走に懸念を強めている。来年度予算を年内に着実に編成し、市場を安心させねばならない。

===

Multi-pronged approach

The stimulus package aims to prop up the economy by pursuing six policy goals including improving employment conditions, boosting consumption by facilitating the purchase of environmentally friendly products, financing small and midsize firms, and supporting regional economies. The employment measures include expanding eligibility for coverage under the employment adjustment subsidy that prevents dismissal of employees by providing companies with leave allowances from the government, in addition to job-placement assistance for young people fresh out of school.
 対策は雇用、環境、景気、地方支援など6本柱で景気の下支えを目指す。雇用では、休業手当を企業に支給して解雇を防ぐ雇用調整助成金の対象拡大や、新卒者の就職支援などを盛り込んだ。

The environmental measures aim at alleviating insufficient domestic demand by facilitating the purchase of eco-friendly cars and energy-saving home electrical appliances, and by introducing an eco-point program for home construction.
 環境は、エコカーと省エネ家電に、新たに住宅を加えた「エコ消費3本柱」への購入支援をテコに国内の需要不足の改善を狙う。

The government will also add a total of 10 trillion yen to credit guarantees and emergency lending programs to help financing of small and midsize companies.
 中小企業の資金繰りを助けるため、信用保証と緊急融資の枠も、計10兆円積み増す。

These programs are expected to have some effect since they have a good track record from use on previous occasions. However, most of them are expansions or extensions of past programs and break no new ground. They should proceed under careful, constant scrutiny since some of them have already become ineffective.
 これらは、これまでの景気対策で実績があり、一定の効果は期待できよう。ただし、延長や拡充が中心で新味に乏しい。すでに効き目が薄れている可能性もあり、効果のほどを点検しながら取り組みを進めなければならない。

===

Redirecting funds

The government expenditure backing those programs is already padded a little. Of its financial resources, about 3 trillion yen is money saved from freezing some of the economic programs in the first supplementary budget, meaning that the money cut from the previous budget is just being redirected into a new one.
 裏付けとなる財政支出は水増し気味だ。財源のうち3兆円弱は第1次補正予算の凍結分で、削った予算が戻るに過ぎない。

The latest package includes some public works projects such as those promoting the greening of cities, repairing old bridges and putting power lines underground. Though the government pruned public works projects, which would have had a quick effect in boosting the economy, from the first extra budget, it now is trying to put them back into the second supplementary budget. Wasn't this just a waste of time?
 今回、公共事業として、都市の緑化、橋の補修、電線地中化などが盛り込まれた。だが、景気対策に即効性が期待できる公共事業を第1次補正から一度削り、今度は戻すのでは、その間の時間が無駄になっただけではないか。

This could be the price the Democratic Party of Japan-led government has to pay for sticking to its election campaign pledge to shift spending "from concrete to human resources."
 「コンクリートから人へ」などという選挙スローガンにこだわったツケといえよう。

Unless the public works projects, which will be allocated in the latest budget, are highly cost-efficient, the government will be criticized for freezing part of the first supplementary budget when its Cabinet was launched.
 今回の予算再配分先がよほど効率の高い事業でないと、「内閣発足直後の凍結作業は何だったのか」という批判も出かねない。

A total of 3.5 trillion yen is provided to help local economies, but 3 trillion yen of it will be used to make up for a decrease in central government tax revenues allocated to local governments, which were cut as a result of reduced central government tax revenues.
 総額3・5兆円に及ぶ地方支援にしても、3兆円は国の税収減に応じて目減りする地方交付税の穴埋めに充てられる。

This means that local governments will not receive money in addition to the initially envisaged budgets.
 地方にすれば、当初予算に上積みしてもらえるわけではない。

The government should pay consideration to employment and social welfare, and put priority on policy measures effective in stimulating the economy in its compiling of the fiscal 2010 budget, which has entered a crucial phase.
 ヤマ場にさしかかった来年度予算の編成では、雇用と福祉に目配りし、景気刺激に役立つ施策に重点を置くべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 9, 2009)
(2009年12月9日01時33分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 06:21| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2009年12月08日

高校無償化 低所得層への支援に転換せよ高校無償化 低所得層への支援に転換せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 8, 2009)
Dole-outs could widen educational disparities
高校無償化 低所得層への支援に転換せよ(12月8日付・読売社説)

The government has begun discussing whether to include an income-cap provision in its plan to make high school tuition effectively free, one of the main pillars of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan's manifesto for the last House of Representatives election.
 民主党が主要な政権公約に掲げた高校授業料の実質無償化について、政府は所得制限を設けるかどうか検討を始めた。

There is concern among some in education circles over the plan to make high school tuition free regardless of household income, with critics of the plan saying it could actually widen existing gaps in educational opportunity.
 所得に関係なく一律に無償化する方式には、教育関係者の間にも「教育格差を助長しかねない」と懸念する声がある。

Instead of earmarking the costs for the plan in the fiscal 2010 budget, the government should instead use the money to strengthen support for those in the low-income bracket and for other education-related projects.
来年度の予算計上は見送り、浮いた財源を低所得層への支援拡充や他の教育関連事業に活用すべきだ。

The plan for free high school education calls for providing households with 118,800 yen a year--equivalent to yearly public high school tuition--for each child they have at public or private high schools. As the tuition of private high schools is about three times the amount charged by public ones, a household with a yearly income of less than 5 million yen and with one or more private high school students will receive effectively double the amount in benefit that would be received by a household with one or more public high school students.
 無償化は、公立高校生のいる世帯に授業料相当の年11万8800円、私立高校生のいる世帯にも同額を助成する。私立は、授業料が公立の3倍のため、年収500万円未満なら助成額を倍にする。

In next fiscal year's budget, about 450 billion yen has been earmarked for the plan to provide free high school education. About 12 billion yen was separately allocated to fund scholarships for low-income households.
 約4500億円の予算を要求しており、これに関連し、低所得層向けの給付型奨学金として約120億円も盛り込まれた。

Senior Vice Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda has said he will consider setting income caps in implementing free high school education. For his part, Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Minister Tatsuo Kawabata proposes across-the-board free tuition but a reduction in the annual income tax deduction of up to 630,000 yen for families with children between the ages of 16 and 22.
 高校無償化について、野田佳彦財務副大臣は所得制限も念頭に置くことを表明した。これに対し、川端文部科学相らは、一律無償化と併せて、16〜22歳の扶養家族がいる世帯を対象に、課税所得から63万円を差し引く特定扶養控除の縮小を提案している。

===

Poor families to benefit little

Prefectural governments already exempt families on welfare and those in the low-income bracket from paying high school tuition. The tuition-waiver project covers a total of about 430,000 students--10 percent of public high school students and 18 percent of those at private schools.
 高校の授業料減免については、生活保護世帯やそれに準じる低所得層に都道府県が既に実施している。公立高校生の10%、私立高校生18%の計約43万人が対象だ。

Low-income families will enjoy little new advantage from the government's plan to provide free high school education across the board. Upper-income households, however, could use the allowance to pay cram-school tuition for their children, which could widen existing education disparities.
 一律無償化では、低所得層には新たな恩恵がほとんどない。家計に余裕のある層は塾代に回すことができ、格差が開きかねない。

Households have to shoulder a heavy burden in academic expenses for high school students, including school tuition fees. According to an education ministry survey, families with a public high school student must spend more than 300,000 yen annually just on costs paid to their schools, including tuition fees, while those with a child going to a private high school must shell out about 800,000 yen.
 高校生の学費には、授業料以外にも負担が多い。文科省の調査では、授業料を含む学校教育費だけで、公立で年30万円以上、私立では80万円近くかかる。

The 12 billion yen earmarked to fund scholarships for children of low-income families targets households whose yearly income is 3.5 million yen or less. The scholarships are intended to pay admission fees and textbook costs. In the budget request for fiscal 2010 under the previous administration of former Prime Minister Taro Aso, about 45.5 billion yen was earmarked in scholarships to be used for wider purposes, including costs of school trips, school uniforms and school supplies.
 文科省が低所得層向けの給付型奨学金として計上した約120億円は、年収350万円以下の世帯を対象としたもので、入学金と教科書代のためだ。前政権下の概算要求では、修学旅行費や制服代、学用品費なども含め、455億円が盛り込まれていた。

===

A wiser way to use budget

If the government were to expand eligibility for tuition waivers and increase the amount of money available for scholarships for low-income households, the bill would total less than half of the amount needed to make high school tuition free across the board. Using the available budget in this way would greatly alleviate burdens on poverty-stricken households.
 授業料減免の対象を広げ、低所得層向けの給付型奨学金を拡充するための予算を国が負担しても、無償化予算の半分もいらないはずだ。実際に困窮している世帯への負担軽減効果も大きいだろう。

In the 2008 academic year, 2,200 high school students were forced to drop out for financial reasons. The government should prioritize measures to prevent high school students from poor families dropping out and middle school students from such families not advancing to high school. The government should not adopt a dole-out policy for that purpose.
 昨年度、経済的理由で中退を余儀なくされた高校生は2200人いた。こうした高校生や経済的理由で高校進学を断念する生徒をなくすことを優先すべきだ。ばらまきであってはならない。

High school tuition is free in the United States and many European countries, but Japan's education ministry does not seem to understand the actual situation in those countries sufficiently. The ministry should rethink its policy after investigating the circumstances in those countries.
 欧米諸国の多くは高校の授業料を無償化しているが、文科省は実情を十分把握していない。調査した上で、改めて検討すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 8, 2009)
(2009年12月8日01時47分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 05:37| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2009年12月07日

COP15開幕 国益最優先で交渉にあたれ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 7, 2009)
National interests key for Japan at COP15v
COP15開幕 国益最優先で交渉にあたれ(12月7日付・読売社説)

The government faces a crucial stage of negotiations on drawing up a framework to fight global warming at the 15th Conference of Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP15).
 地球温暖化対策で、公平なルール策定への道筋をつけられるのか。気候変動枠組み条約の第15回締約国会議(COP15)で、日本政府は交渉の正念場を迎える。


The U.N. climate conference will start in Copenhagen on Monday, with leaders from about 100 countries, including Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, scheduled to attend at the climax of the Dec. 7-18 meeting.
 COP15は7日、コペンハーゲンで開幕し、首脳級会合には、鳩山首相ら約100か国の首脳が出席する予定だ。

Japan will attend the conference having set a midterm goal of cutting domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020. By declaring that extremely ambitious goal, the government aims to persuade other nations to cut their emissions further.
 日本政府は、温室効果ガスの国内排出量を、2020年までに1990年比で25%削減するという中期目標を掲げて臨む。極めて高い目標の提示により、他国にも排出削減を促す戦略といえる。

Due to the global recession and other reasons, preliminary negotiations among countries have become bogged down. Major industrialized countries and developing nations are pressing each other to pledge tougher emissions goals, leaving them at loggerheads on the issue of how to combat global warming.
 だが、世界的な経済危機の影響もあって、各国による事前折衝は難航している。先進国と途上国が互いに積極的な取り組みを迫り、その溝は埋まっていない。

===

Hatoyama out on a limb

An international framework to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, which expires at the end of 2012, was expected to be adopted at COP15. But it was put off, with the result that the focus of attention now is whether the COP15 nations can reach a major political agreement that could lead to the adoption of a new protocol next year.
 COP15では、13年以降の削減ルールとなる「ポスト京都議定書」の採択が期待されていた。しかし、これは先送りされ、来年の新議定書採択につながる政治合意ができるかどうかが焦点である。

Japan must prevent a repeat of what occurred when the Kyoto pact was being formulated, when this nation was backed into a disadvantageous position.
 ここで大切なのは、日本が不利な削減義務を負った京都議定書の二の舞いを演じないことだ。

As a precondition to make efforts to achieve the self-proclaimed goal, Hatoyama has said that all major emitter countries must join the scheme, agreeing to set ambitious goals. The prime minister must stick firmly to this stipulation.
 鳩山首相は、自ら掲げた目標の達成に取り組む前提条件として、「すべての主要国の参加による意欲的な目標の合意」を挙げている。最後までこの条件を堅持していかなければならない。

We hope the government will launch tenacious negotiations toward creating a fair post-Kyoto Protocol framework with the United States and China--the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases, which are not obliged to cut their emissions under the current pact.
 京都議定書で削減義務を負っていない2大排出国の米国、中国を相手に、公平な枠組み作りに向けて粘り強く交渉してほしい。

The Danish government, the host of COP15, has presented a draft climate change proposal aimed at realizing a political accord that states major industrialized nations would specify individual reduction obligations in an agreement document.
 議長国のデンマーク政府が示した政治合意の原案には、先進各国が合意関連文書に削減目標を明記することが盛り込まれている。

If the draft proposal passes, Japan will be in a difficult situation. The numerical target that the United States has presented is to reduce emissions by around 4 percent from the 1990 level by 2020. The U.S. target is far more modest than the Japanese goal.
 この原案が通れば、日本は難しい対応を迫られることになるだろう。米国が示している数値目標は、20年までに90年比で4%前後削減するというものだ。日本との削減率の差はあまりに大きい。

The government should avoid specifying a goal of reducing emissions by 25 percent under such inequitable circumstances.
 こうしたバランスを欠いた状況では、日本として「25%減」を明記するのは避けねばならない。

===

Easy compromise a bad idea

A demand by developing countries to extend the Kyoto Protocol can hardly be accepted. China and other major developing countries need to shoulder responsibilities for emissions reduction.
 途上国側が求めている京都議定書の延長論は到底、受け入れられない。中国など主な途上国も応分の削減責任を負う必要がある。

The Hatoyama administration has not yet presented a road map to achieve its pledge of a 25 percent reduction. Strong opposition from business circles persists against the stringent target.
 鳩山政権は、25%削減を達成するための行程を示していない。産業界には高い目標への反発が強まっている。

In such a situation, if the government accepts unfavorable conditions at COP15, a consensus within the country on emissions reduction may prove hard to reach.
 こうした中、政府がCOP15で不利な条件をのむようなことがあれば、「25%削減」の国内の合意形成は遠のくばかりだろう。

During negotiations at COP15, the government must not damage national interests by making an easy compromise.
 日本政府は、国益を最優先に交渉にあたるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 7, 2009)
(2009年12月7日00時58分 読売新聞)
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2009年12月06日

予算編成作業 科学・文化を衰退させるな

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 6, 2009)
Long-term view needed on science, culture plans
予算編成作業 科学・文化を衰退させるな(12月6日付・読売社説)

Investment in science, technology, culture and education do not quickly produce tangible results, although they do involve time and money. Therefore, the screening of such fields by the government's cost-cutting panel simply cannot be based solely on short-term cost-benefit analysis.
 科学技術や文化、教育などは、費用と手間がかかる割に成果がすぐには見えてこない分野だ。それを費用対効果で仕分けしてよいのだろうか。

A long-term perspective should be adopted when it comes to laying the foundations for the promotion of intellectual creativity.
 知的創造活動の基盤整備や人材の育成は、長期的視野から取り組むべき課題である。

The Government Revitalization Unit--tasked with identifying wasteful government spending--has judged that many projects in these fields should be scrapped or their budgets cut. However, the government should boldly review the panel's recent judgments and make appropriate adjustments in the budget.
 行政刷新会議の事業仕分けの結果、この分野の多くの事業が「廃止」や「縮減」と判定されたが、大胆に判定を見直して適切な予算措置をとることが必要だ。

In the fields of science and technology, the panel recommended that a program to develop a next-generation supercomputer should be effectively frozen. It also recommended the government abolish a project for promoting science and technology on a regional basis, and slash funding for a proposed collaboration between industry, academia and the government. The project aims at utilizing research carried out by universities to foster the growth of regional industries.
 科学技術関係では、次世代スーパーコンピューターの開発が「事実上の凍結」とされたほか、大学の研究成果を地域の産業育成に生かす地域科学技術振興・産学官連携などが「廃止」とされた。

Nobel Prize winners, including Leo Esaki, criticized the panel's budget reductions for science and technology projects, saying in a joint statement it "runs contrary to the government's aim of making the country a science and technology powerhouse." It is no surprise they made such a criticism.
 これに対しノーベル賞受賞者の江崎玲於奈博士らは「科学技術創造立国」に逆行する作業だと批判した。当然であろう。

===

Intl competitiveness at risk

The budget cuts proposed without a long-term strategy in mind would see the foundations of the nation's quest for knowledge crumble. It also could undermine Japan's efforts to remain internationally competitive.
 長期的戦略を欠いた予算削減は知の探究の基盤を崩すもので、日本の国際競争力維持の観点からも大きな禍根を残しかねない。

The cost-cutting panel also recommended the government abolish the Children's Dream Fund, a project that aims to get more children reading books and was established after a campaign by a suprapartisan group of lawmakers following Children's Reading Year in 2000.
 2000年の「子ども読書年」を機に超党派の国会議員が提唱して創設された「子どもゆめ基金」と、子ども読書応援プロジェクトも「廃止」と判定された。

The fund has supported about 2,000 projects every year aimed at developing environments in which more books are read to and by children.
 基金は読書の街づくりや読み聞かせなど、年間約2000件の民間事業を支援してきた。

Next year has been designated National Year of Reading by a resolution that was unanimously adopted by both chambers of the Diet. The government should maintain this project in view of its important role in promoting the culture of the printed word.
 衆参両院で全会一致で採択された決議により、来年は「国民読書年」と定められている。活字文化推進の重要性を踏まえ、これらの事業は存続させるべきだ。

===

Arts facing big cuts

Meanwhile, the panel concluded that the budget for supporting the arts allocated through the Japan Arts Council should be greatly reduced.
 また日本芸術文化振興会を通じた芸術支援の予算は、「圧倒的縮減」と判定された。

The budget is used mainly for covering the operational expenses of Tokyo's New National Theatre, which has won high praise internationally for its ballet, opera and live theater productions, as well as for promoting excellence in other cultural and artistic fields. Some members of the panel even called for state funding to be terminated in the future.
 バレエやオペラ、演劇の制作で国際的評価も高い新国立劇場の運営費や、優れた文化芸術活動の支援費用を中心とした予算だが、国庫負担を将来はゼロにするよう求める仕分け人もいた。

However, culture and art will never thrive if they are left to operate on an entirely commercial basis. In the United States and across Europe, governments actively support the arts and promote private-sector assistance through tax systems that promote donations.
 だが、商業ベースに委ねていたのでは文化・芸術は育たない。欧米諸国も国が積極的に支援をしたり、寄付税制を整備し民間による支援を促進したりしている。

Some say the promotion of culture should be left to local governments, but their culture-related budgets have been eroded by the economic crisis gripping the nation. The central government should draw up a policy that maintains the necessary assistance.
 文化振興は地方に委ねるべきだとの主張もあるが、自治体の文化予算は厳しい財政事情により削減される傾向にある。国が筋道を示し支援に取り組む必要がある。

In the education budget, a comprehensive plan for English-language education reform was judged not worth funding.
 教育予算では、英語教育改革総合プランが「廃止」とされた。

The panel said the budget for an English-language study guide for primary schoolers should be eliminated, causing dismay among teachers across the country. English-language lessons will become mandatory for all fifth- and sixth-graders in academic year 2011.
 11年度から小学校5、6年生で必修化される英語の補助教材の予算が否定され、現場は困惑している。

The government should move to safeguard key budgets and clarify this stance as soon as possible to prevent unnecessary concern and confusion.
混乱が拡大しないよう、政府は早急に事業継続の方針を明確にすべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 6, 2009)
(2009年12月6日01時15分 読売新聞)
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2009年12月05日

鳩山「巨額資金」 検察と国税は厳正に対処せよ

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The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 5, 2009)
No room for leniency in Hatoyama fund probe
鳩山「巨額資金」 検察と国税は厳正に対処せよ(12月5日付・読売社説)

The extraordinary Diet session ended Friday without any intensive deliberations focusing on the shadowy fund management of certain politicians, or debates between party leaders. Just as worryingly, the issue of falsified reports on political donations involving Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's fund-management organization remains unsettled.
 党首討論も「政治とカネ」の集中審議も開かれないまま、臨時国会が4日閉幕した。だが、鳩山首相の偽装献金問題は終わったわけではない。

The first whiff of scandal arose when it was found that Hatoyama's fund-management organization had listed dead people as donors. Adding to the maelstrom, Hatoyama now is suspected of having received a huge amount of money from his mother. The public has been astonished by these allegations.
 首相の資金管理団体が死亡した人を「寄付者」と偽った「故人献金」問題は、母親から首相への巨額の資金提供疑惑に発展し、世間を揺るがしている。

Hatoyama's mother allegedly extended 180 million yen annually as "loans" to the prime minister. These payments, which totaled about 1.1 billion yen over about six years, reportedly began shortly after the 2002 Democratic Party of Japan presidential election, in which Hatoyama was elected party leader for a third term.
 「貸付金」と称して提供された金額は、年1億8000万円、6年余りで11億円を超える。2002年の民主党代表選の後から提供が始まったという。

Former Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Kunio Hatoyama, who is the younger brother of the prime minister, also is believed to have received a similar amount of money from his mother.
 弟である自民党の鳩山邦夫元総務相も、ほぼ同額を母親から受け取ったとみられている。

===

Unanswered questions

The prime minister's fund-management organization apparently made false entries regarding donations and income from sales of fund-raising party tickets, including money that came from funds provided by Hatoyama's mother, totaling 360 million yen in political fund reports over five years.
 首相の資金管理団体が、母親からの資金を原資とする分も含め、献金やパーティー券収入を政治資金収支報告書に虚偽記入した総額は、5年間で3億6000万円に上っている。

The prime minister has yet to give a proper explanation about these funds, citing the investigation being conducted by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office for suspected violations of the Political Funds Control Law. Asked about the funds from his mother, the prime minister said, "I myself am surprised." Hatoyama's remark gave the impression that he saw this as someone else's problem. We think this is inexcusable.
 首相は、東京地検が政治資金規正法違反の疑いで捜査していることなどを理由に、事実関係を説明していない。母親からの資金提供についても、「私自身、驚いている」と人ごとのように言っている。だが、それでは済まされまい。

Why did he need such a massive sum of money? For what purposes was this money used? The prime minister must answer these questions.
 なぜこれほどの資金が必要だったのか。一体何に使ったのか。こうした疑問に首相は答えなければならない。

Prosecutors reportedly have decided not to question the prime minister and instead are considering asking him to submit a written statement. However, we think the prosecutors should speak to Hatoyama directly to unravel the truth behind this disturbing affair.
 東京地検は首相の事情聴取を見送り、上申書の提出を求めることを検討しているという。だが、真相を解明するには、本人の話を聞く必要があるのではないか。

===

Don't let history repeat

After former Liberal Democratic Party Vice President Shin Kanemaru was found to have illegally received 500 million yen in donations in 1992, the prosecutors office made a summary indictment after letting Kanemaru submit a written statement without undergoing questioning.
 1992年、金丸信・元自民党副総裁が5億円の違法献金を受けたことが明るみに出た際、東京地検は本人に事情聴取しないまま上申書提出だけで略式起訴した。

Surely prosecutors have not forgotten the public outrage sparked by the handling of the Kanemaru incident. Groups of people filed 40,000 criminal complaints calling for further investigations into the case.
 これが国民の反発を買い、4万件の告発が寄せられた事実を忘れてはなるまい。

We believe prosecutors should conduct a meticulous investigation into Hatoyama's donations that will satisfy the general public.
検察は国民の視点に立ち、捜査を尽くすべきだ。

Common sense suggests the amount of money Hatoyama received from his mother was too large to have been loans. Furthermore, it appears that no written documents or agreements specifying repayment of these "loaned" funds were made.
 母親からの資金提供は、「貸付金」にしては、常識外れの大きさだ。しかも、借用書や返済についての取り決めはなかった。

If national tax authorities deem this money to be gifts, the prime minister would have to pay more than 400 million yen in tax as he failed to declare them as such.
 国税当局が贈与と認定した場合は、単純な申告漏れでも首相に4億円以上の納税義務が生じる。

Tax authorities will determine whether the funds in question were loans or gifts. If the authorities treat the prime minister leniently, the public will feel the matter is not being handled fairly. They might even lose trust in tax authorities.
 貸付金か贈与かは、国税当局が実態に応じて判断するが、一国の首相に甘い対応をとれば、国民は不公平感を募らせ、納税に対して疑問を抱きかねない。

The Yomiuri Shimbun has received a number of comments from its readers on this issue. "It's unacceptable that [the prime minister] simply says he didn't know what was going on after he received up to 1.1 billion yen," one reader said, while another complained, "I don't feel like paying my taxes any more."
 読売新聞には、「11億円ももらって知らぬ存ぜぬでは済まされない」「もう税金を納めたくない」という声が寄せられている。

The tax authorities should be relentless in their handling of this case.
 国税当局も厳正に対処しなければなるまい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 5, 2009)
(2009年12月5日01時38分 読売新聞)
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2009年12月04日

普天間移設 年内決着へ首相は再考せよ

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The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 4, 2009)
Resolve Futenma issue by year-end
普天間移設 年内決着へ首相は再考せよ(12月4日付・読売社説)

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama reportedly has decided to give up on settling the issue of the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station within Okinawa Prefecture this year.
 米海兵隊普天間飛行場の移設問題で、鳩山首相が年内決着を断念する意向を固めたという。

Hatoyama's decision apparently stems from a desire to avoid ructions in the coalition government his Democratic Party of Japan formed with the Social Democratic Party and the People's New Party. Hatoyama is unable to escape the fact that the SDP opposes the current relocation plan, and that the PNP also takes a dim view of it.
 現行計画に反対する社民党や、それに同調する国民新党に配慮し、連立政権の維持を優先するためだとされる。

Hatoyama has reiterated that the agreement made between Tokyo and Washington on the relocation carries weight and that the feelings of the people in the prefecture should be respected. An early resolution to the issue with the current relocation plan is earnestly sought by the U.S. government, the Okinawa prefectural government as well as the Nago city government, which is where the base's facilities would be relocated. We think Hatoyama should rethink his stance on this matter.
 鳩山首相は従来、「日米の合意は重い」「沖縄の思いが大事」などと繰り返してきた。米国も、沖縄県も、移設先の名護市も、現行計画による早期決着を切実に求めている。首相は再考すべきだ。

In a summit meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama last month, Hatoyama agreed to "expeditiously" resolve the issue. Hatoyama even told Obama to "trust" him on the dispute. Ensuing ministerial-level working group talks then tried to smooth coordination in line with the current relocation plan.
If a decision will not be reached this year, what was the point of all these get-togethers and discussions?
 首相は日米首脳会談で「迅速な解決」に合意し、「私を信頼して」とまで見えを切った。その後、日米の閣僚級の作業部会で、県内移設の現行計画を軸に調整を急いできたのは、何だったのか。


===

Strained ties

The U.S. government's distrust of the prime minister and the Japanese government will certainly deepen due to this to-ing and fro-ing. The incentive at the working group talks to produce a positive result likely will evaporate. The adverse impact on the overall Japan-U.S. relationship could be immeasurable.
 米政府が今後、首相と日本政府に対して、不信感を一段と募らせるのは確実だ。作業部会で前向きの結論を出す機運も低下するだろう。日米関係全体に与える悪影響は計り知れない。

Hatoyama's postponement of a final decision until early next year or later is unlikely to result in any concrete scenario for the resolution of the issue.
 結論を年明け以降に先送りしても、問題の解決に向けて、その後の具体的な展望が首相にあるとは思えない。

A Nago mayoral election is scheduled to be held in late January. The incumbent, who has accepted the current plan, is running against a first-time candidate who has given it the thumbs-down. If the incumbent fails to win reelection, calls for moving the base outside the prefecture would grow louder, a situation that would leave the Okinawa prefectural government between a rock and a hard place.
 1月下旬に予定される名護市長選では、現行計画を容認する現職に、反対派の新人が挑戦する。仮に現職が敗れれば、県外移設を求める声が広がり、沖縄県の立場はより苦しくなるだろう。

Hatoyama himself admitted at a joint press conference with Obama after their summit meeting that resolving this issue will only become more difficult the longer it is left to simmer. The prime minister must not continue his expedient approach. If the current plan is shelved, the envisaged return of the Futenma facilities by 2014 would be left up in the air.
 首相自身、首脳会談後の共同記者会見で、「時間がたてば、より解決が難しくなる」と認めたはずだ。その場しのぎの対応を続けるべきではない。現行計画が頓挫すれば、2014年の普天間飛行場の返還が宙に浮く。

===

DPJ should pull rank

SDP leader Mizuho Fukushima has indicated her party might leave the coalition if the government decides to go ahead with the current plan.
 社民党の福島党首は、政府が現行計画を決定した場合、政権を離脱する可能性を示唆している。

The prime minister should do everything he can to convince the SDP that the issue must be settled by year-end under the current plan to reduce the burdens on communities that host the U.S. base and to ensure the security alliance with the United States remains solid.
 首相が今すべきは、日米同盟を堅持しつつ、地元の基地負担を軽減するためには、現行計画での年内決着が不可欠だと、社民党を真剣に説得することだ。

If the SDP refuses to back down and eventually splits from the coalition, the administration would be shaken up for some time. However, it would not be an insurmountable nuisance for the government.
 社民党が説得に応じず、連立政権を離脱した場合、一時的に政権運営は不安定になるが、乗り切れないほどではあるまい。

The DPJ holds more than 300 seats in the 480-seat House of Representatives, and is just shy of a majority in the House of Councillors.
 民主党は、衆院では300議席超を占める。参院でも過半数にわずかに届かないだけだ。

The SDP and the PNP each have only five seats in the upper house. The DPJ must not jeopardize landmark measures designed to reduce the burden imposed on Okinawa Prefecture by hosting U.S. bases, or the Japan-U.S. relationship, by cowering to two minor coalition partners.
 参院で各5議席ずつしかない社民、国民新の両党に配慮するあまり、画期的な沖縄の基地負担軽減策や日米関係を危うくするのは、避ける必要がある。

The Hatoyama administration also might find it worthwhile to call on the Liberal Democratic Party and other opposition forces to cooperate on key bills and policies to keep the wheels of administration management turning smoothly.
 重要な法案や政策については、自民党など野党に個別に協力を要請し、連携するといった工夫をすることで、政権を運営していく手法も十分検討に値しよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 4, 2009)
(2009年12月4日01時49分 読売新聞)
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