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

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■近況

2009年の9月15日に脳梗塞を発症、右手が少し不自由になりました。
MRAで脳梗塞の部位を特定でき、素早い処置をとれたので大事に至りませんでした。
快復にむけてリハビリ中です。
(2011/01/01更新)

■自己紹介・リンク

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

[ 名前 ]
松井 清 (スラチャイ)

[ 略歴 ]
・福岡県出身
・国立高知大学卒業
・準大手建設会社に就職
・50歳で会社を早期退職
・99/10 タイ全土を旅行
・00/10 タイに移住
・03/07 カイちゃん誕生
・07/06 シーファーちゃん誕生
・現在タイ国コンケン在住

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

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

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

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

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

[ 英字新聞リンク ]
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2010年06月20日

安保改定50年 日米同盟深化へ戦略対話を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun. 20, 2010)
Talks needed to boost Japan-U.S. alliance
安保改定50年 日米同盟深化へ戦略対話を(6月19日付・読売社説)

Saturday marked the 50th anniversary of the automatic ratification of the revised Japan-U.S. Security Treaty--without the approval of the House of Councillors--amid demonstrators surrounding the Diet building.
 デモ隊が国会議事堂を取り囲む混乱の中、新しい日米安全保障条約が自然承認されてから、19日で50年を迎えた。

There is no question that the Japan-U.S. alliance has played an important role in ensuring peace, stability and economic prosperity in Japan and the rest of Asia during the past half century.
 この間、日本とアジアが平和と安定を確保し、経済的な繁栄を享受してきたことに、日米同盟が重要な役割を果たしてきたことは論をまたない。

Setting aside the way the revised treaty was approved by the Diet, the political decision of the Cabinet of then Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi to revise the treaty and maintain the bilateral alliance was correct.
 安保条約の国会承認の手法はともかく、安保条約を改定し、日米同盟を堅持するという当時の岸内閣の政治的判断は誤っていなかったと言えよう。

 「60年安保」は、国際的には東西冷戦、国内では保革対決の時代だった。戦後復興から高度成長期に入る直前で、多くの国民には悲惨な戦争体験の記憶が残る中、国論は大きく割れた。
The conflicts surrounding the 1960 security treaty mirrored the Cold War between the East and West abroad and a showdown between conservatives and reformists at home. At that time, this country was completing its postwar reconstruction and entering a period of high economic growth. Public opinion was split over the revised security treaty, with memories of tragic war experiences still fresh in many people's minds.

===

Govt appeals to public
 ◆条約改定は正しかった◆

The government and the Liberal Democratic Party, which were promoting revision of the security treaty, appealed to the public by promising to correct inequalities of the original security treaty signed in 1951 and clarify the U.S. obligation to defend Japan. A group opposing revision, including the Japan Socialist Party, insisted the pact be abolished, saying it would make it easier for Japan to become embroiled in a war.
 政府・自民党など条約改定推進派は、1951年の旧安保条約の不平等性を是正し、米国の日本防衛義務を明確化すると訴えた。社会党など反対派は、「日本が戦争に巻きこまれやすくなる」などと条約破棄を主張していた。

Lawmakers of the ruling and opposition parties, as well as the general public, spent a huge amount of political energy on the issue. After the LDP steamrolled a bill to ratify the revised security treaty through the House of Representatives on May 19-20, 1960, large-scale demonstrations against the security treaty took place.
 与野党の国会議員から一般国民まで多大な政治的エネルギーが費やされた。5月19〜20日の自民党の強行採決による条約批准案の衆院通過を受けて、抗議デモ・集会が大規模化していく。

In mid-June of the year, Michiko Kanba, a 22-year-old University of Tokyo student, was crushed to death during a clash between demonstrators and riot police, and a planned visit to Japan by then U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower was canceled. The Yomiuri Shimbun and six other Tokyo-based newspaper companies issued a joint appeal to the demonstrators that said, "Abandon violence and protect parliamentarism."
 6月中旬には、東大生・樺美智子さんが圧死し、アイゼンハワー大統領の来日が中止となった。読売新聞など在京新聞7社が「暴力を排し議会主義を守れ」と題する異例の共同宣言を発表した。

Kishi announced his resignation right after the security treaty went into effect on June 23, 1960.
 岸首相は、6月23日の条約発効の直後に退陣を表明した。

The Japan-U.S. alliance, which was born after many difficulties were overcome, effectively staved off the military threat posed by the former Soviet Union during the Cold War.
 多くの困難を経て生まれた日米同盟は冷戦中、旧ソ連の軍事的脅威への有効な歯止めとなった。

In the post-Cold War period, the bilateral alliance functioned as a deterrent to new threats from regional conflicts, including that on the Korean Peninsula, weapons of mass destruction and terrorism. By redefining the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, Japan and the United States came to regard their alliance as a kind of public asset to bolster the stability of Asia-Pacific region.
 冷戦後も、朝鮮半島などの地域対立や大量破壊兵器、テロなど新たな脅威の抑止力として機能した。「安保再定義」により、日米同盟はアジア・太平洋の安定を支える「公共財」と位置づけられた。

The Japanese and U.S. governments later reviewed the Guideline for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation, increasing the effectiveness of the bilateral alliance.
 日米防衛協力指針も見直され、同盟の実効性が高まった。

===

Reconsidering relationship

South Korea and Southeast Asian nations were now seriously concerned about the deterioration in the Japan-U.S. relationship caused by former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's poor diplomacy--evidence that other Asian nations also perceive the Japan-U.S. alliance as a public asset.
 鳩山前首相のお粗末な外交による日米関係の悪化を、韓国や東南アジア各国が本気で懸念していたのは、日米同盟を「公共財」とみなしている証左でもある。

Ironically, Hatoyama's words and deeds, which could have been interpreted as distancing Japan from the United States gave many people a good opportunity to reconsider the Japan-U.S. relationship. It is vital for us to think about how to deepen and develop the Japan-U.S. alliance based on history and past developments in the relationship between the two countries.
 前首相の「離米」ともとれる言動は皮肉にも、多くの国民が日米関係を再考する機会となった。過去の歴史と経緯を踏まえ、この先、同盟をどう深化、発展させるかを考えることが肝要だろう。
posted by srachai at 07:43| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2010年06月19日

参院選公約 民主党の現実路線は本物か

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun. 19, 2010)
Has DPJ really taken realistic turn?
参院選公約 民主党の現実路線は本物か(6月18日付・読売社説)

The Democratic Party of Japan, the Liberal Democratic Party and other political parties have announced their campaign pledges for the House of Councillors election scheduled for July 11.
 民主、自民など各政党が、7月11日投開票の参院選の公約を相次いで発表した。

A number of issues require deep discussion before the election--not least whether the consumption tax rate should be raised. We hope every party will discuss their policies with gusto.
 消費税論議をはじめ、掘り下げるべき論点は数多い。各党とも、活発な政策論議を展開してほしい。

The DPJ manifesto for the upper house poll has a healthier dose of realism than the pledges it made for last year's House of Representatives election.
 民主党の公約は、昨年の衆院選の政権公約に比べ、現実路線に大きく舵(かじ)を切った。

However, doubts linger over whether the new DPJ manifesto is merely a political gesture intended to draw votes, or if it is a genuine change of direction based firmly on realistic calculations.
単なる選挙向けのポーズでなく、地に足のついたものかどうかが問われよう。

On restoring fiscal health, the DPJ has a goal of achieving a primary balance surplus in the budget 10 years from now. To achieve this objective, the manifesto stipulates the party will start a suprapartisan debate on drastic tax reform--including consumption tax.
 財政健全化については、10年後に基礎的財政収支を黒字化する目標を掲げ、そのために「消費税を含む税制の抜本改革」の超党派協議を開始すると明記した。

===

Clarify tax reform picture

The LDP manifesto says the consumption tax rate should be raised to 10 percent for the time being. The main opposition party came up with this figure based on the costs needed to finance social security.
 自民党は公約で、社会保障分野で要する費用を根拠として示したうえで、消費税率の「当面10%」引き上げを掲げた。

At a press conference Thursday, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said, "We'll use the 10 percent proposal contained in the LDP pledges as one reference." As long as the DPJ is calling for suprapartisan debate on tax reform, the party should clarify the whole picture of this reform and what this would entail.
 菅首相は記者会見で、「自民党公約の10%を参考にしたい」と述べた。超党派協議を呼び掛ける以上、民主党としての税制改革の全体像を明確にすべきである。

In its latest manifesto, the DPJ erased the "monthly amount of 26 yen,000" for the child allowance it pledged in last year's manifesto. Instead, the 2010 manifesto says the party will provide "something additional" to the 13,000 yen currently handed out each month. The DPJ has given up trying to provide the promised amount because there is not enough money to fund it--although last year the party insisted the cash would be found.
 民主党は、衆院選公約で示した子ども手当の「月額2万6000円」支給を削除し、現支給額の月額1万3000円に「上乗せする」と改めた。財源のめどが立たず、満額支給を断念したものだ。

However, the party has retained dole-out measures such as income support for farming households and a plan to abolish expressway tolls. We think the DPJ should review these measures, too.
 しかし、高速道路無料化や農家への戸別所得補償制度など、バラマキ型の施策は、依然として残されている。これらについても、さらなる見直しが必要だろう。

In diplomatic and security fields, the party dropped the expression "move in the direction of reexamining" the role of U.S. military bases in Japan. On the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Base in Okinawa Prefecture, the party vows to "do its utmost to lessen Okinawa Prefecture's burden based on the Japan-U.S. agreement."
 外交・安全保障分野でも、在日米軍基地について「見直しの方向で臨む」との表現を削除し、米軍普天間飛行場移設問題では、「日米合意に基づいて、沖縄の負担軽減に全力を尽くす」とした。

Last year, the DPJ did not mention China's steady military expansion. This time, however, the manifesto calls for China to be more transparent in its national defense policy.
 衆院選の公約では触れなかった中国の軍拡への懸念にも、「透明性を求める」と言及した。

===

Omitting inconveniences

It is only natural that the ruling party has shifted its stance after taking into consideration the importance of the Japan-U.S. alliance and Japan's security environment.
 日米同盟の重要性や、わが国の置かれた安全保障環境を踏まえての路線転換は、政権政党として当然のことである。

Notable in the latest DPJ manifesto is the omission of a time schedule for each policy measure in each fiscal year. Last year's manifesto included such information. Similarly, the party did not provide a booklet of policy details; until last year, the party printed such a booklet to go with its pledges for each national election.
 今回の民主党の公約で特徴的なのは、衆院選公約で示した年度ごとの政策工程表が省かれている点だ。公約に合わせて必ず発表してきた「政策集」もない。

We assume the DPJ left these items out because it does not want voters to later go back and check which policies the party abandoned or revised.
 どの政策を断念し、どう修正したかを過去にさかのぼって検証されることを嫌ったのだろう。

In its "Index 2009," the policy booklet for last year's election, the DPJ included controversial issues including its plan to swiftly introduce local suffrage to permanent foreign residents. The booklet's absence will leave voters unsure if the DPJ still considers these issues as planks of its agenda.
 衆院選の政策集には、永住外国人への地方選挙権付与の早期実現など、問題の多い内容が含まれている。今回、政策集の発表を見合わせた結果、これらの政策が今も生きているのかどうかが、まったくわからない。

The DPJ should immediately explain where it stands on these matters.
 民主党は、こうした疑問点について、速やかに説明すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun,June 18, 2010)
(2010年6月18日01時05分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 06:57| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2010年06月18日

通常国会閉幕 「逃げ」に終始した菅民主党

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun. 18, 2010)
DPJ must stop 'cop-out tactics'
通常国会閉幕 「逃げ」に終始した菅民主党(6月17日付・読売社説)

Public expectations that the latest Diet session would usher in an era of "new politics" following last year's change of government have faded. Instead, the session showed all too clearly the deteriorating state of politics in this country.
 政権交代による「新たな政治」への期待はしぼみ、政治の劣化を見せつけられた国会だった。

The ordinary Diet session ended Wednesday. Political parties have now started preparing for the House of Councillors election scheduled for July 11.
 通常国会が閉幕し、各政党は来月11日投開票の参院選に向けて走り出した。

The Democratic Party of Japan recently withdrew a proposal to hold a budget committee meeting and decided against extending the Diet session. These actions can only be criticized as "cop-outs" and neglecting the party's duty.
 民主党が、予算委員会開催の提案を撤回し、国会会期も延長しなかったのは、「逃げの一手」「責任放棄」との批判を免れない。

The two-day session of interpellations by party representatives regarding new Prime Minister Naoto Kan's policy speech was too short. More intensive discussions should have been made at the budget committees of both Diet chambers.
 首相が交代した以上、菅首相の所信表明演説に対する2日間の代表質問だけでは不十分だ。予算委で審議を尽くすべきだった。

It also remains unclear how the Kan administration differs from the previous one of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, which ended up disappointing many people.
 菅内閣が、多くの国民を失望させた鳩山前内閣とどう違うのかはよく分からない。

Although Kan made no secret of the fact that his selection of cabinet ministers and top DPJ leaders were intended to rid the party of the influence of former DPJ Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa, the shape and direction of his policies--a key point for the new administration--remain opaque.
閣僚人事などでは小沢前幹事長の影響力を排除する姿勢をアピールしたが、肝心の政策の具体像は見えてこない。

How will the new administration put the fiscal house in order and reform the tax system? How will it soothe strained bilateral ties with the United States?
 財政健全化と税制の抜本改革にどう取り組むのか。日米関係をいかに立て直すか。

===

Don't put party 1st

In an ideal political world, the administration would face the upper house election only after clarifying--through Diet deliberations--the course for policies the Kan administration hopes to accomplish.
菅内閣の目指す政策の方向性を国会審議の中で明確にしたうえ、参院選に臨むのが政治のあるべき姿だろう。

The DPJ avoided budget committee deliberations apparently because it felt the party would have the upper hand in the upcoming election while public approval ratings for the DPJ-led administration, which rose with the new cabinet, remain high.
 民主党が予算委審議を避けたのは、回復した内閣支持率が高いうちに参院選を戦った方が得だ、と判断したためだ。

These are tactics that put party interests before all else. Giving the ultimate priority to winning the election speaks volumes of the party's complete disregard for Diet affairs.
「選挙至上主義」とも言うべき党利党略の戦術であり、国会軽視も甚だしい。

The DPJ-led coalition government did not hold a meeting of the Deliberative Council on Political Ethics, which Ozawa had indicated he would attend to clarify his involvement in a political funds scandal. The government's decision has prevented it from fulfilling its accountability.
 「政治とカネ」をめぐり、小沢氏が出席の意向を示した政治倫理審査会を開かず、説明責任を果たさない。

When a scandal over questionable office expenses made by a political organization of Satoshi Arai, state minister in charge of national policy and consumer affairs, surfaced, the DPJ-led administration tried to sweep the issue under the carpet.
荒井国家戦略相の事務所費問題が浮上しても、臭いものにフタをし、幕引きを図る。

The DPJ must realize that its attempts to conceal swirling suspicions only amplify public distrust of politics.
 こうした「疑惑隠し」の姿勢が国民の政治不信を増幅していることを、民主党は自覚すべきだ。

Several bills the government and ruling coalition had considered important did not get passed into law during the Diet session. These bills included one on postal service reforms, measures to combat global warming and one that would establish a decision-making system at the initiative of politicians.
 政府・与党が重要法案としていた郵政改革、地球温暖化対策、政治主導確立などの法案は成立しなかった。

===

LDP has lost its bite

The DPJ-led administration used its superior weight of numbers to manage Diet affairs even more high-handedly than Liberal Democratic Party-led administrations did. However, it appears disarray within the government and the ruling coalition parties over key policies and the simultaneous resignations of Hatoyama and Ozawa affected the fate of these bills.
 自民党政権以上に「数の力」に頼った強引な国会運営をしながら、政府・連立与党の足並みの乱れや鳩山前首相と小沢氏のダブル辞任が影響したと言えよう。

Just 54.7 percent of government-proposed bills passed the Diet during the session--a postwar low. We do not think the DPJ has fulfilled its responsibility as the party in power.
政府提出法案の成立率が戦後最低の54・7%では、政権党の責任を果たしたと言えない。

On the other hand, the LDP failed to make its presence felt as the largest opposition party. The LDP failed to put the government on the defensive and present better counterproposals. LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki's kid-glove questions during Diet debates between the prime minister and opposition party leaders, and the party's tired old tactics of boycotting the Diet session also triggered grumbling within party ranks.
 一方で、自民党も、野党第1党としての存在感を示せなかった。政府を的確に批判し、より良い対案を示すどころか、党首討論での谷垣総裁の追及の甘さや、旧態依然の審議拒否戦術には、党内から非難の声が出るほどだった。

A string of new parties have appeared on the scene, such as the Sunrise Party of Japan, New Renaissance Party and the Spirit of Japan Party. Their emergence reflects discontent at the fecklessness of the two major parties--the DPJ and the LDP.
 たちあがれ日本、新党改革、日本創新党など新党結成が相次いだのは、民主、自民の2大政党のふがいなさの裏返しでもある。

The election is just around the corner. Political parties must try to restore people's trust in politics by discussing responsible and basic policies, rather than competing with one another with claptrap election pledges.
 各政党は、参院選に向けて、人気取りの公約を競うのでなく、責任ある骨太の政策論議を通じて政治の信頼回復を図るべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 17, 2010)
(2010年6月17日01時43分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 05:49| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2010年06月17日

野球賭博汚染 暴力団排除が角界再生の道だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun. 17, 2010)
Sumo world must sever mobster ties
野球賭博汚染 暴力団排除が角界再生の道だ(6月16日付・読売社説)

Illegal gambling is rampant among sumo wrestlers. Popular sumo wrestler ozeki Kotomitsuki has admitted to the Japan Sumo Association that he gambled on professional baseball games--a criminal act. Following his admission, he will sit out the upcoming Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.
 大相撲の力士に賭博が蔓延(まんえん)していることが分かった。看板力士の大関琴光喜も、犯罪行為である野球賭博に手を染めていたことを認め、名古屋場所を休場することになった。

Sumo recently has been rocked by a string of scandals. Yokozuna Asashoryu was forced to retire earlier this year following allegations he assaulted a man outside a Tokyo club after a drinking session. The gambling blight even managed to taint an ozeki, sumo's second-highest rank. These extraordinary developments will shake the foundation of the association.
 暴行騒動で横綱朝青龍が引退に追い込まれたばかりの相撲界で、今度は大関の不祥事である。日本相撲協会の屋台骨を揺るがす異常事態といえよう。

The JSA recently asked sumo wrestlers, stablemasters and other association members to voluntarily report whether they had been involved in gambling activities. Kotomitsuki and 28 others admitted they had gambled on professional baseball games. Thirty-six others confessed to betting on golf, hanafuda playing cards and mah-jongg.
 相撲協会が、力士、親方らに自己申告させたところ、野球賭博には琴光喜を含む29人が関与したことを認めた。仲間内での賭けゴルフや花札、マージャンなどには36人がかかわっていた。

The association said it would report its findings to the Metropolitan Police Department and decide what further action to take after the police have completed their investigation.
 相撲協会は、調査結果を警視庁に報告し、捜査の結果を待って対応を決めるという。

===

JSA let guard down

Association officials initially planned to put the scandal to bed after reprimanding those who voluntarily reported their wrongdoing. However, the association was forced to reverse the policy after the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry, which oversees the association, stepped in. The ministry warned the association it would be premature to extenuate the misconduct before making a report to the police.
 当初は、申告した者については厳重注意にとどめて幕引きを図る方針だった。しかし、所管の文部科学省から、「警察にも言わない段階で情状酌量は早すぎる」と注意され、方針転換せざるを得なくなったというわけだ。

As such, the latest developments have exposed the association's lax way of dealing with serious matters.
 相撲協会の危機管理の甘さが露呈したといえる。

Organized crime syndicates are often behind gambling on professional baseball. Money wagered by sumo wrestlers must not be allowed to end up as funds for gang activities. We think the wrestlers involved should be severely punished.
 野球賭博には、暴力団がかかわっているケースが多い。力士の賭け金が暴力団の資金源となるようなことが、あってはならない。関係した力士への厳しい処分は避けられまい。

The latest scandal came to light in a report by a weekly magazine that Kotomitsuki had gambled on professional baseball and that gangsters had intimidated him into paying hush money.
 発端となったのは、琴光喜が野球賭博にかかわり、暴力団関係者から口止め料を払うよう脅されたという週刊誌の報道だ。

Although Kotomitsuki initially denied any involvement in gambling, he finally seemed to run out of excuses because other sumo wrestlers came forward to admit their misconduct to the sumo association. Regrettably, Kotomitsuki completely lacked the good sense expected of an ozeki, a rank expected to portray sumo values.
 琴光喜は賭博への関与を否定していたが、他の力士たちが申告するに及んで、言い逃れができなくなったということだろう。大相撲を担う大関としての自覚を全く欠いている。

===

Money talks

Wealthy sumo supporters called tanimachi traditionally have provided financial assistance to wrestlers and stablemasters. Wrestlers and association members are said to sometimes come in contact with gangsters as they socialize with their tanimachi.
 相撲界には、「タニマチ」と呼ばれる後援者が力士や親方を援助する慣習がある。その付き合いの中で、力士らは暴力団関係者と接する機会もあるとされる。

There have been reports that criminal organizations have been involved in sumo events, such as tournaments held in local regions.
 地方巡業などの興行面でも、暴力団の介在が指摘されてきた。

It recently came to light that a number of gangsters had watched sumo from special ringside seats essentially set aside for the sumo association's financial supporters. A stablemaster who arranged seats for the mobsters has since had his stable disbanded by the association. The stablemaster eventually admitted he had socialized with gangsters.
 土俵近くの特別席で多数の暴力団員が観戦していたことも、問題になったばかりだ。席の確保にかかわっていた親方の部屋は閉鎖処分となり、この親方は、暴力団との交際があったことを認めた。

This series of unseemly incidents suggest there are deep-rooted links between sumo and organized crime.
 角界と暴力団との根深い癒着がうかがえる。

The JSA is a public-interest corporation, which receives preferential tax treatment, meaning sumo wrestlers and stablemasters belong to an organization supposed to contribute to society. In this respect, it is only natural that they immediately sever all ties with "antisocial forces."
 相撲協会は、税制面で優遇措置を受けている公益法人だ。社会に貢献すべき団体に属する力士や親方が、反社会勢力との関係を断つのは、当然のことである。

Freeing itself from unbecoming traditions is the only way the association will be able to survive.
 悪(あ)しき体質の一掃が、相撲協会が存続していく唯一の道だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 16, 2010)
(2010年6月16日02時00分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 06:18| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2010年06月16日

はやぶさ帰還 歴史的快挙を次に生かそう

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun. 16, 2010)
Hayabusa's achievements should be built on
はやぶさ帰還 歴史的快挙を次に生かそう(6月15日付・読売社説)

Hayabusa, a space probe of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, has finally returned to Earth. This is a great accomplishment in the history of space exploration.
 宇宙航空研究開発機構の探査機「はやぶさ」が帰ってきた。宇宙開発史に残る快挙と言える。

Hayabusa, which means peregrine falcon, left Earth in May 2003. It landed on Itokawa, an asteroid 300 million kilometers from Earth, in November 2005 and attempted to take samples of sand and other surface materials there. The probe's entire space voyage lasted seven years, ending with its homecoming on Sunday.
 2003年5月に地球を出発した。05年11月に3億キロ・メートル離れた小惑星イトカワに着陸し、砂などのサンプル採取を試みた。帰還まで、宇宙の旅は7年の長きに及んだ。

Hayabusa is the first space probe to return to Earth after landing on a celestial body other than the moon.
 初めて月以外の天体に探査機が着陸して帰還したことになる。

The probe's main body burned up upon entering Earth's atmosphere, but before that it released a capsule, which landed safely in the desert in Australia, that may contain samples from Itokawa. JAXA will bring the capsule back to this country and confirm whether it contains sand or other materials from the asteroid.
 はやぶさ本体は大気圏突入で燃え尽きた。採取したサンプルを収めるカプセルは突入前に分離、豪州の砂漠に着地した。日本に運び内部を確認する。

Unlike sand and stones on Earth, which have become oxidized and changed over many years, geologic material on asteroids is believed to have remained as it was in the early stages of the solar system. Such material would give important clues to understanding the history of the solar system.
 小惑星の砂や石は、酸化などが進んだ地球の石と違い、太陽系の初期の状態に近い。太陽系の歴史を探るヒントになるだろう。

Unfortunately, however, it is not certain whether the probe actually was able to take samples of surface material, since Hayabusa's gathering device did not work as expected. But JAXA said that sand stirred up when the probe landed on the asteroid may have entered the capsule.
 残念ながら、装置の不調で確実にサンプルが採取できたかどうか分からない。だが、着陸時に舞い上がった砂がカプセル内に入った可能性はある。

===

Miraculous engines

Needless to say, the return of Hayabusa itself is a miracle. The probe experienced technical and mechanical malfunctions throughout its systems as it traveled a total distance of 6 billion kilometers, 40 times the distance between the sun and Earth.
 そもそも帰還自体が奇跡だ。地球―太陽間の40倍にあたる約60億キロ・メートルの飛行で、機体は各所が故障し、満身創痍(そうい)だった。

First, fuel leaked from one of Hayabusa's chemical engines after it left the asteroid to return home, which caused JAXA to lose control and later communications. Although the agency fortunately was able to restore communications and put Hayabusa back on its homeward journey in 2006, JAXA had to constantly walk a tightrope for the remainder of the probe's long space flight.
 まずイトカワ離陸後に燃料が漏れた。制御不能になり、通信も途絶した。06年、幸運にも復旧し帰路についたが、長期の飛行で、ぎりぎりの運用が続いてきた。

Almost all the probe's devices malfunctioned, but a new type of engine manufactured by a Japanese company did outstanding work.
 活躍したのは、搭載された日本独自の新型エンジンだ。

Called ion engines, these new thrusters have much weaker propulsion than chemical engines, which expel jets of high-pressure gas. The power of an ion engine's thrust could only keep a 1 yen coin aloft on Earth, but it can work for long hours on far less fuel than a chemical engine needs. The ion engines were used for a total of 40,000 hours to control the probe's attitude.
 イオンエンジンと呼ばれる。高圧ガスを噴く化学エンジンなどと比べて推進力は小さい。地上で1円玉を動かす程度の力だが、少ない燃料で長期間動く。これが、のべ4万時間、機体を制御した。

This, along with the automatic control technology that made it possible for the probe to land on the asteroid, demonstrates to the world how advanced Japan's technology in space exploration is. We can expect Japanese-made ion engines to be sold to other countries for use in their space probes and satellites.
 小惑星着陸を成功させた自動制御技術とともに、技術の高さを世界に示した。海外の探査機や衛星への売り込みも期待される。

===

Don't block progress

However, we are concerned with the next project. Development is currently stalled on Hayabusa 2, which is intended to conduct higher-level exploration of another asteroid. Learning from the lessons of Hayabusa's development, which cost 13 billion yen, the new project's budget is set at almost the same amount.
 心配なのは、次の計画だ。開発に約130億円をかけた「はやぶさ」の教訓を生かし、ほぼ同じ規模の予算で、別の小惑星の高度な探査を目指す「はやぶさ2」の開発が滞っている。

Nonetheless, the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry's budget for space exploration was cut drastically, a victim of the Democratic Party of Japan-led government's plan to make high school education free, which costs nearly 400 billion yen.
 民主党が進める高校無償化に4000億円近くかかり、そのしわ寄せで、文部科学省の宇宙予算が大幅に削られたためだ。

Funding this fiscal year for Hayabusa 2 was cut to just 30 million yen, compared with the 1.7 billion yen made in its budgetary request before the DPJ took office from the Liberal Democratic Party.
はやぶさ2の今年度予算は、政権交代前の概算要求額17億円が、3000万円まで圧縮された。

The government should spend money on a meaningful project, rather than on handout measures.
 ばらまき予算よりも、意義のある計画に予算を投じるべきだ。

There could be a blank period of more than 10 years until the next space probe project, given the positional relationship between Earth and asteroids. Memories of the successful space mission could fade during this downtime.
 地球と小惑星の位置関係を考えると、次の探査機までに10年以上の空白期が生じかねない。経験が風化してしまう。

There must be no retreat in efforts to pass important technology in space exploration to the next generation of scientists and engineers, so they can improve it further.
貴重な技術を次世代につなぎ、発展させる取り組みを後退させてはならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 15, 2010)
(2010年6月15日02時04分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 05:06| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2010年06月15日

日本振興銀捜索 偽りだった「中小企業の味方」

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun. 15, 2010)
Small firms' 'protector' betrayed expectations
日本振興銀捜索 偽りだった「中小企業の味方」(6月14日付・読売社説)

A bank trumpeted as a "protector" of small and midsize companies when it was established in 2004 has been smeared by allegations of criminal irregularities.
 中小零細企業の味方というふれこみで設立された銀行は、まさに不正まみれだった。

The Financial Services Agency recently filed a criminal complaint against Incubator Bank of Japan, which specializes in providing loans to small and midsize firms. This prompted the Metropolitan Police Department to search the bank's head office and other locations last week on suspicion the bank had sabotaged an audit by the FSA, a violation of the Banking Law.
 金融庁が、中小企業向け融資を専門に手がける日本振興銀行を、立ち入り検査を妨害した銀行法違反(検査忌避)の疑いで、刑事告発した。これを受け警視庁が、振興銀の本店などを捜索した。

The FSA was quite right to file a complaint. We hope the police will thoroughly investigate the alleged wrongdoing and uncover the whole truth.
 金融庁が、告発に踏み切ったのは当然である。警視庁は徹底した捜査を行い、全容を解明してもらいたい。

Last month, the FSA ordered the bank to suspend part of its business for about four months after alleging its operations gravely violated the law. The agency followed this up with its criminal complaint last week.
 金融庁は先月、重大な法令違反があったとして、振興銀に約4か月の一部業務停止を命じた。これに続く告発である。

The financial watchdog's additional action suggests it believes the bank's operations were so malicious that an administrative punishment alone would not suffice.
行政処分だけでは不十分と判断するほど悪質ということだろう。

Former Bank of Japan official Takeshi Kimura and members of the Tokyo Junior Chamber International established the bank in 2004.
 振興銀は、日銀出身の木村剛氏が2004年、東京青年会議所のメンバーらと開業した。

By setting its interest rates higher than those offered by major commercial banks and providing loans without secured collateral, the bank touted itself as a financial institution catering to startup businesses with high growth potential.
 大手銀行よりは貸付金利が高いが、原則として無担保で、成長性のある新興企業などの金融を担うとしていた。

===

Off to a bad start

However, the bank quickly ran into trouble. A string of executives resigned one after another due to differences over management policy.
 ところが、路線の違いで役員らの辞任が相次ぐなど、当初から経営は迷走状態に陥った。

Kimura became president in 2005 and started overseeing the bank's management by himself. The bank ran a profit for three consecutive business terms starting with the year to March 2007, but fell into the red in the term ended March 2010 with a loss of more than 5 billion yen. Kimura resigned in May to take responsibility for the bank's deteriorating performance.
 05年には、木村氏が社長に就任して、自ら経営に乗り出した。07年3月期決算から3年は黒字を出したものの、10年3月期に50億円超の赤字に転落したため、木村氏は引責辞任した。

Question marks hung over the feasibility of the bank's business model of concentrating on loans to small and midsize firms. On top of that, the FSA investigation has revealed the bank's operations actually differed considerably from the management principles it had put forward.
 中小企業専門というビジネスモデルそのものに無理があったうえに、金融庁の検査で、表向きの経営理念とかけ離れた業務の実情が明るみに出た。

For example, the bank allegedly purchased loan claims from financially strapped moneylenders while collecting commissions from them, and then asked these moneylenders to buy the loans back about a month later.
 例えば、資金繰りに困っている貸金業者から手数料を徴収して貸し出し債権を買い取り、約1か月後に買い戻させる取引だ。

===

On a par with loan sharks

On the surface, this appears to be a simple transaction of loan claims. But the commission--which for all intents and purposes was interest--translated into an annual rate of 46 percent, far above the legally allowable ceiling. This would not be out of place in a loan-shark operation.
 見かけは債権の売買だが、金利にあたる手数料は、年利に換算して46%と、法律の上限をはるかに超える暴利だ。まるで、貸金業者相手の高利貸しである。

Moreover, the bank allegedly tried to dominate management of its clients by pressing them to have a majority of seats on their board of directors occupied by people the bank recommended. If the clients refused, the bank allegedly demanded increased collateral.
 このほか、融資先に対して、取締役の過半数は振興銀が推薦する人を就けるよう迫り、経営の支配を図った。拒否すれば担保の追加を求めたという。

The bank also is suspected to have covered up other irregularities, including the deletion of e-mails detailing its business transactions from the bank's server.
 業務に関する電子メールを削除するなど、一連の不正の隠蔽(いんぺい)工作もしていた。

Kimura was an adviser to the FSA from October 2002 to August 2003 under Heizo Takenaka during the administration of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. He was deeply involved in the nation's financial administration.
 木村氏は、小泉政権の竹中平蔵金融相のもと、金融庁顧問を務めるなど、国の金融行政に深くかかわった人物だ。

Kimura has resigned from the bank's management lineup. But he bears heavy responsibility for the alleged misconduct because he was closely involved in the bank's management for years as president and chairman.
 すでに経営陣から退いたとはいえ、社長、会長として長く振興銀を経営した責任は重い。

Kimura must cooperate fully with the police in their investigation. We also urge him to come clean in public by holding a press conference or using other avenues to speak about the bank scandals.
捜査への全面協力はもちろん、記者会見などで自ら説明すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 14, 2010)
(2010年6月14日01時45分 読売新聞)
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2010年06月14日

口蹄疫拡大 迅速で着実な防疫策がカギだ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun. 14, 2010)
Swift, steady action key to halt foot-and-mouth
口蹄疫拡大 迅速で着実な防疫策がカギだ(6月13日付・読売社説)

The outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Miyazaki Prefecture has spread further from its origin and could expand to the entire prefecture.
 宮崎県で発生した家畜の伝染病、口蹄疫(こうていえき)が県内全域に広がりかねない情勢となっている。

New infections have been confirmed in cities including Miyakonojo, which is located about 50 kilometers from the epidemic's locus in the eastern part of the prefecture.
 震源地の県東部から約50キロ離れた都城市などで新たな感染が確認された。

The epidemic now has reached a crucial juncture--whether the disease will spread outside the prefecture. Prime Minister Naoto Kan visited the prefecture Saturday and pledged the government would take all possible steps to support affected livestock farmers. The central and prefectural governments must strengthen epidemic prevention measures and do all they can to contain the disease.
 県外に感染が拡大するかどうかの瀬戸際である。菅首相は現地入りし、被害畜産農家の支援に万全を期す方針を示した。国と県は改めて防疫体制を強化し、封じ込めに全力を挙げねばならない。

The central and prefectural governments have been trying to prevent further infection by slaughtering and burying cows and pigs on disease-affected livestock farms, as well as by restricting movement and transfer of the livestock in the vicinity.
 これまで国と県は、口蹄疫が発生した農場の牛や豚を殺して埋める処分に加え、周辺地域の家畜の移動や搬出を制限する感染防止策を取ってきた。

At farms within a 10-kilometer radius of major outbreak locations, livestock that have not been infected with the disease are being vaccinated to prevent the virus from spreading and then culled.
 主要な発生地から半径10キロ圏内は、未感染の家畜にもワクチンを接種してウイルスの発生を抑え、処分する対策も進めている。

However, infections have been confirmed on farms far from the locations of the disease's initial outbreak about 50 days ago. It must be asked whether there has been any lapse in preventative measures against the disease's spread since then.
 しかし、これまでの多発地区から遠い地域に感染が飛び火した。発生から50日あまりが経過し、防疫措置に緩みはなかったか。

===

Minimize infections' impact

What is now necessary is to minimize damage to areas where new infections have been detected.
 今必要なのは、新たに感染が見つかった地域の被害を最小限に食い止めることだ。

The city of Ebino in the prefecture successfully contained the disease by slaughtering livestock immediately after infections were confirmed. Learning from its example, the Miyakonojo city government began culling livestock after informing the central government of certain animals' symptoms through photos, without waiting for results of genetic tests conducted by the central government. Such swift responses are necessary to deal with the disease from now on.
 えびの市は、農場で感染が確認された直後に家畜を処分し、封じ込めに成功した。その教訓を生かし、都城市は国による遺伝子検査を待たず、家畜の症例を写真で報告して処分に踏み切った。今後もこうした迅速な対応が必要だ。

One of the reasons for the spread of infections seems to be the fact that the cull of cows and pigs has not been conducted smoothly because it is difficult to find people to slaughter the livestock and places to bury the animals. It is possible the virus might have spread from these livestock. Slaughter of the remaining 30,000 cows must be sped up.
 感染が拡大した一因と見られるのは、埋める土地や人の手当てがつかず、処分に手間取っている牛や豚の存在だ。これらからウイルスがまき散らされた可能性がある。残されている3万頭の処分を急がねばならない。

A special law on foot-and-mouth disease that took effect June 4 allows the central government to slaughter healthy livestock without farmers' consent if necessary. The legislation aims to prevent new infections by creating a livestock-free "blank area" where animals are culled.
 4日に施行された口蹄疫対策特別措置法では、農家の同意がなくても国が健康な家畜を殺処分できるようになった。予防的に家畜を処分して空白地帯を作り、感染を防ごうという狙いだ。

The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry does not plan to apply this law in areas where new infections have been confirmed. However, if infections do expand, it is inevitable that this measure would be taken.
 農林水産省は、今回新たな感染が確認された地域では適用しない方針だが、感染が拡大するようであれば、こうした措置を取ることもやむを得ないだろう。

===

Find out how disease spread

Also, it is an urgent task to find out why foot-and-mouth disease has spread. One theory holds that people and vehicles that visit livestock farms have slipped through designated sterilization points. Others noted the possibility soil with the virus was carried by the wind. The government should strengthen field studies by epidemic prevention experts.
 拡大の原因解明も急務だ。畜産施設を行き来する人や車などが消毒地点をすり抜けたとの説や、土壌に付着したウイルスが風で運ばれた可能性などが指摘される。防疫専門家による現地調査を強化すべきではないか。

Miyakonojo produces some of the best livestock in the country. Neighboring Kagoshima Prefecture is well known for its Berkshire pigs and black cattle. The spread of the disease to Kagoshima Prefecture would immensely impact the country's livestock industry as well as adversely affect people's diets.
 都城市は全国屈指の畜産都市であり、隣接する鹿児島県も黒豚や黒牛で知られる。感染が広がれば日本の畜産業への打撃は計り知れず、国民の食生活にも影響が出よう。

We hope the Kan Cabinet will place top priority on tackling foot-and-mouth disease.
菅内閣は口蹄疫問題に最優先で取り組んでもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun,June 13, 2010)
(2010年6月13日01時14分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 06:49| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2010年06月13日

所信表明演説 超党派で財政再建に取り組め

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun. 13, 2010)
Interparty efforts needed for fiscal reconstruction
所信表明演説 超党派で財政再建に取り組め(6月12日付・読売社説)

Prime Minister Naoto Kan can be praised for displaying a realistic, down-to-earth approach in his first policy speech to the Diet--unlike his predecessor, Yukio Hatoyama, whose words were filled with philosophical ideas that ended up going nowhere.
 理念ばかりが先行し、空回りし続けた鳩山前首相と違って、地に足のついた現実的な政治を目指す姿勢は評価できる。

However, Kan's address was short on concrete policy measures, and we have to say it was not enough.
ただ、具体的な政策は乏しく、物足りなさは否めない。

In Friday's speech, Kan said his most important duty was to overcome the setbacks Hatoyama suffered and regain the public's trust.
 菅首相が初の所信表明演説を行った。前首相の挫折を乗り越え、国民の信頼を回復することを自らの最大の責務と位置づけた。

He listed three key items for the new Cabinet's policy agenda: "an exhaustive cleanup of the postwar government," "reviving the economy, rebuilding public finances and turning the social security system around in an integrated manner," and "a foreign and security policy grounded in a sense of responsibility."
 新内閣の政策課題として「戦後行政の大掃除の本格実施」「経済・財政・社会保障の一体的建て直し」「責任感に立脚した外交・安全保障政策」の3項目を挙げた。

"An exhaustive cleanup"--referring to the administrative style of the postwar era--is a slogan initially coined by Hatoyama and used by Kan to express his intention to continue with such ongoing efforts as budget screening, elimination of wasteful spending and decentralization of power to local governments.
It is not clear, however, exactly what the new administration will do to tackle these issues, or how it will do it.
 「戦後行政の大掃除」は前首相が掲げたスローガンだ。道半ばにある事業仕分けや無駄遣いの根絶、地方分権などを継承する考えを示したものだが、具体的に何にどう取り組むかは明確ではない。

===

Seeking a 'third way'

Kan has spoken many times recently of reconstructing the economy, public finances and social security system in an integrated manner. It hardly needs to be said that it is vital to put this nation's economy on a stable recovery track and set a course for fiscal reconstruction.
 「経済・財政・社会保障の一体的建て直し」は、菅首相が最近、一貫して主張している。日本経済を安定した回復軌道に乗せるとともに、財政再建に道筋をつけることの重要性は言うまでもない。

Kan said he would pursue a "third way" to do so, rather than the "first way" in which the government pours funds into public works projects or the "second way" represented by the drive for structural reforms under former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.
The so-called third way aims to create new demand and employment by channeling government funds raised through tax increases to social security and other areas, thereby achieving growth.
 菅首相は、公共事業中心の「第一の道」や、小泉構造改革に代表される「第二の道」に代えて、増税で得た財政資金を社会保障分野などに投入して新たな需要と雇用を創出し、成長につなげる「第三の道」を追求する、という。

It will never be easy, however, to realize a strong economy--one that registers nominal annual growth of more than 3 percent--just through such an approach.
 だが、それだけで、名目成長率3%超という「強い経済」が実現するほど甘くはあるまい。

Kan's policy address apparently was drawn up hastily. Nevertheless, a speech that does not establish measures to be given priority in different growth areas and map out how to reflect those measures in budgeting and policy implementation cannot be convincing.
 急造の演説とはいえ、成長分野ごとに優先順位を定め、予算や施策に反映させる方向性を示さなければ、説得力を持たない。

===

Parties should join panel

Kan's proposal to create a suprapartisan panel to discuss how to restore the nation's fiscal health, with an eye to carrying out drastic reform of the tax system, was appropriate.
 一方で、首相が、税制の抜本改革を視野に入れ、超党派の「財政健全化検討会議」の創設を提案したのは、妥当である。

Raising the consumption tax rate is essential for this country to escape from its chronic budget deficits and secure revenue sources for social security. To tackle such important policy issues, the ruling and opposition parties should have a common understanding and build consensus. The Liberal Democratic Party and other opposition parties should not hesitate to join such an initiative.
 財政の赤字体質からの脱却や社会保障の財源確保には、消費税率の引き上げが欠かせない。こうした重要な政策課題については、与野党が共通の認識・合意を形成することが望ましい。自民党など野党も積極的に応じるべきだ。

In the foreign and security policy arena, Kan called for "pragmatism" and said the Japan-U.S. alliance was the cornerstone of this country's diplomacy. He said he plans to visit Okinawa Prefecture on June 23 and is resolved to make progress on the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in the prefecture.
 外交・安保分野で、菅首相は、「現実主義」の外交を唱え、日米同盟が「外交の基軸」と明言した。23日に沖縄を訪問し、米軍普天間飛行場の移設問題の前進に自ら取り組む考えも示した。

Kan apparently learned from his predecessor's negative example, as Hatoyama sought to put Japan-U.S. relations on "an equal footing" and triggered unnecessary friction and confusion.
 「対等な日米関係」を標榜(ひょうぼう)し、無用の摩擦や混乱を招いた前首相を反面教師にしたのだろう。

But Kan failed to give details about what he would do to deepen the Japan-U.S. alliance and improve relations with China and South Korea.
ただ、同盟深化や中韓両国との関係改善のために何をするのか、といった各論への言及はなかった。

A summit meeting of Group of Eight major nations is scheduled to be held later this month in Canada. The prime minister must quickly flesh out the specifics of his policy outlines.
 今月下旬にはカナダで主要国首脳会議が開かれる。各論の詰めを急がなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 12, 2010)
(2010年6月12日01時04分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 07:43| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2010年06月12日

役員報酬 大衆迎合的な個別開示の強行

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun. 12, 2010)
役員報酬 大衆迎合的な個別開示の強行(6月11日付・読売社説)
Pay disclosure law goes too far

The rule imposed by the Financial Services Agency on corporations to reveal the salaries paid to their executives must be regarded as excessive.
 役員個人の報酬額まで開示させるのは、行き過ぎだろう。

In February, the FSA announced the rule requiring listed companies to disclose the names of senior officials whose annual salaries exceed 100 million yen, as well as how much they were actually paid. This rule took effect in late March.
 金融庁が上場企業に対して、報酬が1億円以上の役員の氏名や報酬額を開示するよう義務付けた。

Under the FSA rule, listed corporations must release, by the end of the month, financial statement reports that include these details, if their accounts were closed in March.
 3月期決算企業の場合、該当する役員名と報酬額を記載した有価証券報告書を、今月中に公表しなければならなくなった。

Admittedly, it is important to encourage corporations to disclose meaningful information as thoroughly as possible. However, great care must be taken to protect the confidentiality of corporate executives' private information. In fact, business circles, including the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren), have strongly objected to the new rule.
 情報開示の充実は大切だ。しかし、プライバシー保護の点で課題も多く、日本経団連など経済界も強く反対している。

It is difficult to say that the pros and cons of the rule were fully discussed before it went into effect. We believe the FSA should reconsider the propriety of obliging corporations to disclose their executives' salaries.
実施の是非について事前に論議が尽くされたとは言いがたい。金融庁は開示義務付けを見直すべきだ。

===

Following the crowd

Before the rule came into force, companies were only required to reveal the total amounts of salaries paid to board members. The FSA has said its decision to oblige corporations to disclose each board member's salary reflects the fact that global financial crises triggered in recent years by turmoil in the United States and some European nations raised questions about the appropriateness of hefty paychecks pocketed by corporate executives in these countries. In defending the disclosure rule, the FSA said the United States and many European nations have introduced similar regulations.
 これまでは、役員全員の報酬総額を開示すればよかった。だが、欧米発の金融危機で、高額な役員報酬が問題視されたことや、欧米ではすでに実施している国が多いことから個別開示に踏み切ったと、金融庁は説明している。

The global financial crises were the end result of ill-advised decisions by executives at some U.S. and European financial institutions to carry out high-return, high-risk investment schemes, hoping to pick up large paychecks. These institutions were too extreme in paying their board members salaries in proportion to their performance. This is not the case with the large majority of Japanese corporations.
 欧米の金融機関は、役員が高額報酬欲しさに、利益率は高いがリスクも大きい投資に走り、危機を招いた。役員報酬の業績連動が極端すぎる点が問題だった。こうしたことは、ほとんどの日本企業には当てはまらない。

There is a marked difference in the pay levels of Japanese, U.S. and European companies. Chief executive officers at listed corporations in the United States earn an average of 3.9 million dollars annually (about 350 million yen). There are 300 U.S. companies whose CEOs are paid an average of 10 million dollars annually (900 million yen). This is in stark contrast to the state of affairs in this country. Board members of listed corporations here are paid, on average, a modest 25 million yen annually.
 報酬の水準も違う。米国の上場企業の最高経営責任者(CEO)は、平均390万ドル(3・5億円)で、1000万ドル(9億円)を超える企業が300社もある。日本の上場企業は、役員報酬の平均が2500万円にすぎない。

Shiseido Co. has voluntarily revealed the salaries paid to three board members. The major cosmetics manufacturer's president and another executive receive more than 100 million yen in annual salaries. Shiseido has reason to pay annual salaries on this scale, given its status as a large corporation.
 資生堂が3人の役員報酬を自主開示し、社長ら2人が1億円以上だった。大企業のトップクラスなら1億円以上もいるだろう。

===

Privacy concerns

A key sticking point in corporate disclosure is whether company shareholders have suffered losses through disproportionately high salaries paid to the firm's executives, compared with the company's size and business performance. This objective could be achieved under the old rule that only required disclosure of the total sum of salaries paid to board members.
 チェックすべきは、会社の規模や業績に比べて報酬が異常に高すぎ、株主の利益を損なっていないかだ。それなら、従来の総額開示で、事は足りる。

There are concerns that including personal information, such as individual corporate officials' salaries, in financial statement reports could open the door to wrongdoing. These reports can be easily seen by anyone using the Internet. Access to this information online could encourage crimes targeting these officials.
 報酬額という個人情報を、不特定多数の人がネットで簡単に見られる有価証券報告書に載せることの副作用が心配だ。例えば犯罪などの助長である。

Several years ago, the government decided not to disclose a list of the nation's highest taxpayers. This was because a stream of top taxpayers had been singled out as targets of telephone fraud and harassment. We fear the FSA's disclosure rule could spark similar abuses.
 所得税の「長者番付」が廃止されたのは、振り込め詐欺などの犯罪や、嫌がらせの標的にされる例が後を絶たなかったためだ。同じ轍(てつ)は踏まないだろうか。

When the FSA proposed the new rule in February, it sought opinions from the public about it. As it turned out, the financial watchdog body received many objections to the rule. However, financial services minister Shizuka Kamei enforced the rule without setting a grace period. "If [a company] doesn't want its [board members'] hefty paychecks made known to the public, they could be reduced," Kamei said.
 金融庁が今年2月、個別開示案を示した際、意見募集に多くの反対意見が寄せられた。だが、亀井金融相は「世間に知れて困るなら報酬を下げればよい」などとして、猶予期間も設けず実施した。

The rule has been implemented too forcibly and hastily. The disclosure requirement--apparently intended to play to the gallery by taking a swipe at large corporations--is little more than a form of populism.
 あまりに強引かつ拙速だ。これでは、大企業たたきで喝采(かっさい)を得ようとする、ポピュリズム(大衆迎合)政治そのものではないか。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 11, 2010)
(2010年6月11日02時07分 読売新聞)
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2010年06月11日

国会延長問題 予算委での政策論争が必要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun. 11, 2010)
Hold policy debates at budget committees
国会延長問題 予算委での政策論争が必要だ(6月10日付・読売社説)

With less than a week to go before the end of the ordinary Diet session, the question on many people's lips is: Will it be extended?
 通常国会の会期が残り1週間を切り、会期を延長するかどうかが焦点となっている。

The People's New Party, a junior member of the ruling coalition, is pressing the Democratic Party of Japan-led administration to extend the session so the bill on the postal services reform can be passed into law.
 国民新党は、郵政改革法案を今国会で成立させるべきだとして、会期延長を主張している。

The opposition parties also want the government to extend the session, but for a different reason. They want the Diet budget committees to discuss such issues as political funds scandals, including one involving former DPJ Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa, and the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture.
 野党各党も、小沢一郎・民主党前幹事長らの「政治とカネ」の問題や、米軍普天間飛行場移設問題などをテーマに、会期を延長してでも予算委員会を開催するよう求めている。

However, appeals for an extension of the Diet session are falling on deaf ears as far as the DPJ is concerned. The prevailing view in the party is that Prime Minister Naoto Kan should deliver his policy speech followed by interpellations on that speech by representatives of political parties, and the session should then be closed on June 16 as scheduled.
 これに対し民主党は会期延長に消極的で、党内には、首相の所信表明演説と代表質問だけで国会を閉会すべきだとの意見が強い。

This view is based on the belief that it would be advantageous for the party to hold the House of Councillors election on July 11, by closing the Diet on schedule, while the public approval rating of the newly inaugurated Kan Cabinet remains high.
 菅内閣の支持率が高いうちに、16日に国会を終え、7月11日投開票の日程で参院選を実施した方が有利、と判断しているようだ。

===

Q&A sessions needed

It is true the Diet session is nearing its end, but the nation's politics is in an abysmal state with the recent change in prime ministers.
 会期末とはいえ、首相交代という異例の事態である。

Kan should first present the policy targets his Cabinet wants to aim for and explain what concrete actions are needed to implement them.
菅首相が真っ先になすべきは、内閣として取り組む政策目標を提示して、それを実施する具体的な道筋を明らかにすることだ。

Also, to clarify points of contention in the upper house election, the ruling and opposition parties should debate their policies.
 参院選の争点を明確化するためにも、与野党が積極的に政策論争を行うことが求められる。

Interpellations on Kan's policy speech, which would be basically in the form of a "one-way" question-and-answer session, are hardly sufficient in providing a thorough understanding of the prime minister's political stance or diplomatic issues in general.
 質問と答弁が一方通行の代表質問では、首相の政治姿勢や内政・外交全般にわたる考え方は十分わからない。

It would be much better to hold budget committee sessions so the views of both sides could be exchanged in a question-and-answer format.
やはり予算委を開催して、一問一答形式で双方向の議論をかわすべきだ。

A party that only considers its relative advantages in an election deprives its rivals of an opportunity to present their viewpoints.
 論戦の機会を奪い、選挙の得失だけを考える。

This reminds us of political developments in the Taisho (1912-1926) and early Showa (1926-1989) eras, when major parties, including Rikken Seiyukai (the Friends of Constitutional Government Party) and Rikken Minseito (the Constitutional Democratic Party), alternately held the reins of government and dissolved the House of Representatives rather than answer questions posed by their rivals. This led the people to lose trust in party politics.
そうした姿勢は、大正から昭和初期にかけ、政友会と民政党などが、交互に野党側の質疑をさえぎる形で衆院解散を繰り返し、政党政治への信頼を失墜させたことを想起させる。

===

Diet debates will help voters

Like the latest development, prime ministers changed during the ordinary Diet session in 2000 with Yoshiro Mori assuming the top post. At that time, however, his policy speech and interpellations were followed by question-and-answer sessions at the budget committees of both houses of the Diet before the lower house was dissolved for a general election.
 今回同様、通常国会中に首相が交代した2000年の森首相の場合、所信表明演説と代表質問だけでなく、衆参両院の予算委で質疑に応じてから衆院を解散し、総選挙に臨んでいる。

With a change in prime ministers, it is only reasonable for an administration to offer voters more information to decide, through Diet debates, how to cast their ballots. The DPJ should support the call for budget committee sessions.
 首相が交代した以上、国会論戦を通じて、有権者が1票を行使するための判断材料を提供するのは当然のことだ。民主党は予算委員会の開催に応じるべきだ。

The issue concerning the political funds scandals remains unanswered.
 「政治とカネ」の問題も、置き去りにされている。

The Deliberative Council on Political Ethics at the Diet, which Ozawa had earlier showed his intention of attending to clarify the extent of the political funds scandal he is involved in, has yet to be held.
 小沢氏がいったんは出席の意向を示した政治倫理審査会も開催されないままだ。

If the Diet closes without the council meeting, the Kan administration will be criticized for keeping everything in the dark.
これで国会を閉じれば、「疑惑隠し」のそしりは免れまい。

When the DPJ was in the opposition camp, Kan tenaciously questioned the government during budget committee sessions. Kan is an experienced debater and will disgrace himself if he becomes defensive now that he is prime minister.
 菅首相は野党時代、予算委で政府を厳しく追及してきた。首相に就任したとたん、守勢に回るのでは、論客の名が泣くだろう。

We hope the prime minister will go on the offensive and exchange verbal blows with representatives from the opposition parties.
攻めの姿勢で野党との論戦に臨んでもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 10, 2010)
(2010年6月10日01時23分 読売新聞)
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