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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 ]
ocn cafe
fc2
goo
yahoo
ameba

 
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posted by fanblog

2012年01月31日

中国人民元は世界の基軸通貨となることができるのか(インタビュー)

飽きもせず、英字新聞社説を毎日読むこと数年、日本の英字新聞だったら、相当のスピードで読めるようになりました。アジアの新聞だって、昔にくらべたら、随分読めるようにはなりました。
ワシントンポスト、ニューヨークタイムズの記事は難しいけれども、通常のスピードで読み下して、理解率50%は超えています。
ですが、タイム紙になると、これは、まったく歯がたちません^^。ちなみに、スーチーさんの、ビルマよりの手紙(毎日新聞掲載)はタイム紙レベルなのです。辞書なしに理解することは、難しいのです。これは使っている単語のレベルが違うということでしょうね。
今朝は、朝日新聞の電撃インタビュー記事を一息に読み下しました。


中国の経済担当カウンセラーに朝日新聞記者が電撃インタビュー、
中国人民元は世界の基軸通貨となることができるのか?

インタビュー骨子:
あと30年は米ドルの天下。
米国はドルを大量(無制限に)印刷できる世界で唯一の特権を手にしているので、ドルの安定に尽力すべき。
そうしないと、大量のドルを抱え込んでいる中国だって、大迷惑を被ってしまう。
中国は香港を窓口として、世界為替市場に積極的に参加はするが、完全自由化はまだ先のこと。
現時点で、アメリカの言うなりに人民元を解放する(変動相場)ことは、あまりにも中国にとって危険である。
日本は落ち目、経済状況は米国と同じで欧州より悪い。
ヨーロッパはそれなりに伝統があるので頑張ってもらいたい。挽回してもらわないと中国経済にも悪影響が出る。
中国の人民元はやがて世界の基軸通貨となるかも知れないが、それは30年以上あとの話だ。
それに向けた対策を徐々に、段階的に切り替えて対策をとっていく。
西洋の急激なききめのある薬ではなくって、漢方薬のようにじっくりと効き目が後からついてくるような政策を展開する。

中国人民元に象徴されるアジア通貨が世界の基軸通貨となるのが理想的だが、それには時間がかかる。
アジア諸国は欧州と比べると歴史的な問題をかかえているし、政治の体系も異なっている。さらに経済の発展の度合いは国によりまちまちである。それでも、今後はアジアが経済の中心となって行くのは間違いのないところではある。アジア諸国が一致協力して、為替の安定を図り、経済的に発展していくことを願う。

(スラチャイ)

January 28, 2012
INTERVIEW/ Xia Bin: China’s senior economic advisor talks about strategy to promote renminbi
中国人民元は世界の基軸通貨となることができるのか(インタビュー)

By KEIKO YOSHIOKA / Correspondent
The global currency market is in a state of flux, as the euro is in serious trouble and international confidence in the dollar is also eroding. The outlook for the yen, which has appreciated sharply against the two leading currencies, is also murky because of Japan's mounting economic woes.

Amid this currency turmoil, China's renminbi is attracting increasing international attention as the unit of a country expected to eventually become an economic superpower rivaling or even surpassing the United States. Is Beijing maneuvering to make the renminbi a world currency that challenges the greenback for world hegemony?

In a recent interview with The Asahi Shimbun, Xia Bin, a councilor of the State Council who served as top official at the country's central bank and securities regulatory body and is now advising Premier Wen Jiabao, discussed Beijing's strategy to raise the currency's international stature. Excerpts of the interview follow.

Q: Since the global financial crisis started in 2008, the Chinese government has been calling for reform of the international currency regime. What are your complaints?

Xia Bin: The problem is the instability of the dollar. Since the dollar is the key reserve currency, the United States can borrow as much money as it wants from the rest of the world. Unlike other debt-ridden countries, the U.S. doesn't go bankrupt because it can pay back its debt by printing dollars. Since the U.S has such an exclusive privilege it has the obligation to ensure the stability of the dollar. But the country has kept running a current-account deficit (which works to depress the value of the dollar), thereby undermining the stability of the entire world economy.

As the national power of the U.S. has declined, the world is becoming increasingly multipolar, not only economically but also politically. If China's economy becomes larger in size, expanding its cross-border linkages, the renminbi will gradually gain greater influence in the international market as a natural consequence.

Q: The U.S. current-account deficit is certainly huge, but its principal cause is excessive spending. Profligate spending by American consumers has been supporting China's export-driven economic growth. On the other hand, China has also been supporting the U.S. and global economies by using the money it has earned to buy U.S. government bonds.

A: China's dollar assets, which are the fruits of hard work by Chinese people, are now in danger of falling in value. Currently, excessive production capacity in China is supporting excessive consumption in the U.S. It can be argued that China has been dragged into this situation by a wrong-headed U.S. policy. Since the 1980s, China has been under pressure to build up its foreign reserves by expanding its exports in order to alleviate a shortage of capital (needed by its industries) at home. China has also been gripped by excitement about its growing national power. Now, however, we need to rethink our policy.

Q: What kind of options are available for fixing the situation?

A: Many countries, including China, have dollar assets. We don't want to see the dollar weaken rapidly. The U.S., which is bent on protecting its privilege, is resisting necessary reforms. The dollar is drawing strength from its widespread use. For the time being, several rival currencies will compete with each other (for supremacy), and a balance of power will emerge among them as they limit each other's power. Over the next two or three decades, the dollar will remain to be the leading currency, with many others battling with each other for greater influence in the world.

Q: And do you believe the renminbi will be one of these competing currencies?

A: Yes. Experts around the world see the Chinese currency as one of the players that will create a new balance of power (in the currency market). China is trying to expand its influence within international organizations like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank so that the views and positions of emerging and developing countries will be more reflected in the process of developing international financial rules.

Q: But the Chinese government is keeping the renminbi artificially undervalued to promote the country's exports, isn't it?

A: We cannot liberalize at once flows of money that cross our borders, nor can we shift to a complete floating exchange rate system immediately. The primary lesson from the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s is the danger of making a developing country's economy fully open to international flows of capital. Huge amounts of foreign capital suddenly flew into these Asian countries and then suddenly poured out of them, causing serious confusion.

Beijing should expand the renminbi's trading band gradually. This way, it can buy time for necessary reforms at home including reform of its financial markets while ensuring the stability of the currency's exchange rates by taking advantage of the relatively high international confidence in the dollar. In addition, more people will want to hold the renminbi if the currency is generally expected to rise in the future.

Q: There are many restrictions on trading in the renminbi, including controls on cross-border transactions and regulations on Chinese financial markets. It is said that China's foreign exchange rate system is as strictly controlled as Japan's was in the 1970s. Would the Chinese currency gain international popularity even if such restrictions remain?

A: The amount of the renminbi circulating in the world is growing through Chinese companies' investments overseas using the domestic currency and the Chinese government's financial aid to developing countries. We are receiving many proposals to create a market for trading in the renminbi from various foreign financial centers including London and Singapore.

China's approach to reform can be compared to Chinese herb medicine. Progress is made gradually through a holistic process with emphasis on the harmony of the whole. We are going to ease our currency regulations in line with the progress we make in reforming the domestic economy and financial markets. With as many as 1.3 billion people to feed, we put the top policy priority on creating jobs and maintaining social stability in our country. China is still a minor financial player. We cannot introduce systems in mature, industrial nations at a stroke.

Q: China's mainland financial markets are not yet sufficiently open to foreign investors. Opening these markets would facilitate renminbi-denominated investments, wouldn't it?

A: As long as we keep financial markets in the mainland closed, we will use Hong Kong, which is an international financial center. That way, we can undertake new initiatives in financial markets in the mainland while keeping them insulated from certain risks. In Hong Kong, not only a market for renminbi-denominated deposits but also markets for renminbi-based trading in bonds and stocks are growing. When China still restricted international trade in goods, Hong Kong served as the connection point between the mainland and the rest of the world. Hong Kong will play that role again in the area of financial transactions.
posted by srachai at 04:45| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2012年01月30日

米ゼロ金利継続 景気低迷に警戒強めたFRB

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 29, 2012)
Fed's super-low rate policy aimed at boosting economy
米ゼロ金利継続 景気低迷に警戒強めたFRB(1月28日付・読売社説)

The U.S. Federal Reserve Board has decided to keep its de facto zero benchmark interest rate well into the future.
 米連邦準備制度理事会(FRB)が、事実上のゼロ金利政策を長期間続ける方針を打ち出した。 

The Fed's new timetable indicates it is increasingly concerned about the future of the U.S. economy.
 米国経済の先行きに警戒を強めたのだろう。

In deciding to maintain its close-to-zero interest rate policy, the Fed said in a statement released Wednesday that current U.S. economic conditions "are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate at least through late 2014."
 FRBは声明で、ゼロ金利政策について、「少なくとも2014年終盤まで異例の低金利が正当化される可能性が高い」と指摘した。

This new policy is highly significant as the Fed is prolonging its super-low interest rate a year and a half beyond its earlier stance that an extremely low interest rate should be maintained until the end of the first half of 2013.
「13年半ばまで」としてきた従来の方針と比べ、1年半程度も延ばす意味は大きい。

The unemployment rate in the United States has remained high at more than 8 percent, while its post-inflation economic growth this year is projected to be below 2 percent.
 米国の失業率は8%台に高止まりし、今年の実質成長率も2%弱に低迷する見込みだ。

U.S. business activities have yet to regain their strength.
景気の回復力はまだ緩慢である。

The European sovereign crisis, which was triggered by Greece and has not yet been resolved, threatens to destabilize the global economy.
 ギリシャに端を発した欧州危機は収束せず、世界経済を揺るがせている。

Should the European crisis deteriorate because of a delay in implementing countermeasures, the consequences could deal an even heavier blow to the U.S. economy.
対策の遅れで危機が深刻化すると、米国経済に一段と打撃を与えかねない。

===

Fed action praiseworthy

The Fed boldly decided to prolong its super-low federal funds rate policy to encourage declines in interest rates on long-term loans in the hope of shoring up business activities and stimulating fixed investments and other business areas.
 FRBは、ゼロ金利政策を思い切って長期化させて、長期金利の低下を促し、設備投資などを刺激する景気下支え効果を狙った。

It seems that in its latest policy meeting, the Fed could not brush aside growing uncertainties shrouding the global economy as seen in the eurozone's rapidly deteriorating business conditions and the world's alarmingly unstable financial markets.
 ユーロ圏の急減速や不安定な市場など、世界を覆う不透明感を軽視できなかったと言えよう。

The United States has no room for a further reduction of the federal funds rate, and the scope of measures to handle financial policies is limited.
 金利引き下げの余地はなく、金融政策が打てる手は限られている。

The Fed's resolve to take all possible measures to bring about a strong economic recovery in spite of these circumstances is a welcome development.
それでも現状で可能な限りの姿勢を示したのは評価できる。

The U.S. central bank has made public its outlook for a benchmark interest rate for the first time, indicating that many of its 17 members do not anticipate the need to tighten its monetary policy in the near future.
 FRBは今回初めて、政策金利の見通しを示し、早期の金融引き締めを想定していないメンバーが多いことを明らかにした。

The Fed also set an acceptable rate of price increases at "2 percent from a year before," another noteworthy change that enhances the transparency of its policy handling.
 長期的に望ましい物価上昇率の目安を「前年比2%」と設定した点も、政策の透明性を高めるもので注目すべき変化である。

The 2 percent "inflation goal" is different from a formal "inflation target" that would make it mandatory for the Fed to take measures immediately after price increases exceed 2 percent on an annual basis.
 物価上昇率の「目安」とは、上昇率が2%から外れた時に、直ちに政策対応が必要な「インフレ目標」とは異なる。

The announcement of the inflation goal, or what the Fed believes is an acceptable inflation rate, however, is sufficiently effective to convey a clear-cut message that it places great importance on an inflation figure of 2 percent.
だが、2%を重視するメッセージは鮮明だ。

===

Yen's appreciation to linger

A protracted ultraeasy monetary policy may bring the risk of higher prices.
 超金融緩和が長引くと、物価上昇圧力が高まる恐れがある。

Bearing such anxieties in mind, the Fed has firmly stated it will continue to place top priority on price stabilization, an action that will reassure businesses and households.
そうした懸念に対し、FRBが物価安定をあくまで最優先していく姿勢を示したことは、企業や家計に安心感を与えるだろう。

The focus from now on will be whether the Fed, in the event of further financial market destabilization, will opt for Phase 3 of large-scale quantitative monetary easing, the so-called QE3.
 今後の焦点は、金融市場が一段と不安定になった場合、FRBが第3弾の大規模な量的緩和策(QE3)に踏み切るかどうかだ。

Phase 2--QE2--ended last summer, but it came under criticism for causing inflation in emerging economies to worsen.
 昨夏に終了した第2弾のQE2は、新興国のインフレを招く副作用をもたらして批判された。

Therefore, a number of hurdles need to be surmounted before QE3 can be adopted.
QE3へのハードルは高いが、

The Fed will have a difficult time carrying out policies, while keeping an eye on how the European crisis evolves.
FRBは欧州危機の推移などを注視し、難しい舵(かじ)取りが求められる。

Japan, for its part, must consider the great possibility that the appreciation of the historically strong yen against the dollar will continue, as the Fed's ultraeasy monetary policy is bound to increase selling pressure on the greenback.
 日本にとっては、米国の超金融緩和策でドル売り圧力が強まり、歴史的な円高・ドル安が続くことに注意が必要である。

The government and the Bank of Japan must do everything they can in working out measures to stem the yen's appreciation and take measures to prevent the strong yen from worsening business activities in this country.
政府・日銀は、円高是正や円高対策に万全を期さねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 28, 2012)
(2012年1月28日01時14分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 01:42| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2012年01月29日

一般教書演説 再選へ意欲を見せたオバマ氏

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 27, 2012)
Obama shows determination to win reelection
一般教書演説 再選へ意欲を見せたオバマ氏(1月26日付・読売社説)

U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday delivered the annual State of the Union policy address, which made clear his confrontational stance against Republicans in the upcoming U.S. presidential election.
 再選に向けて、共和党との対決姿勢を際立たせた演説だった。

In his address, he cited sustainable economic growth and help for the middle class as top-priority issues.
 オバマ米大統領は、一般教書演説で、持続的な成長と中間所得層への支援を最優先課題にあげた。

Apparently determined to win reelection later this year, he said he would aim to rejuvenate the economy by revitalizing the manufacturing sector at home, developing natural gas and other domestic sources of energy, improving the skill of American workers and creating more jobs.
 国内製造業の復活や、天然ガスなど国産エネルギーの開発、米労働者の技術向上と雇用創出などで経済の再生を目指すとし、再選へ強い意気込みを見せた。

Although the U.S. economy has been picking up, there is a strong sense of uncertainty about its future prospects.  米国経済は持ち直してきたとはいえ、景気の先行き不透明感は強い。

Housing prices remain low, while the jobless rate hovers around 8.5 percent.
住宅価格は低迷し、失業率は8・5%に高止まりしている。

Obama's approval ratings remain in the lower half of the 40 percent range, primarily due to widening income inequality.
 大統領の支持率が40%台前半にとどまっているのも、所得格差が広がっているのが原因だ。

With the president having been unable to give the people their fair share of the fruits of economic recovery, despite his promise to bring about "change," prospects for his reelection are becoming murky, with the light turning to the yellow of caution.
 「チェンジ(変化)」を約束しながら、景気回復の果実を与えられない現状では、大統領再選に黄信号がともる。

===

Frustration with Republicans

No matter how much he wants to implement employment measures and other economic stimuli, they cannot be realized without congressional support.
 雇用対策などの景気刺激策を打ち出そうにも、議会の支持なしには実行できない。

In Congress, the rivalry between the Republicans and the Democrats has been intensifying, making it ever more difficult for bills vital for implementing policies to be passed.
その議会では、共和党と民主党の対立が激化し、政策遂行に不可欠な法案が通りにくくなっている。

In his speech, Obama said he would fight "with action" those who obstruct the realization of his policies, which can be taken to indicate his strong frustration at the Republicans who dominate the House of Representatives as the majority party.
 大統領が、一般教書演説で、政策の実現を阻むものには「行動で戦う」と宣言したのは、多数派として下院を支配する共和党への強いいらだちがあるからだろう。

One important agenda item for his administration in the days ahead is tax system reform.
 大統領にとっての今後の重要な課題の一つは、税制改革だ。

In his speech, Obama called for higher taxes on wealthy people who pay a lower tax rate than middle-income earners, while also making efforts to trim social security spending.
 一般教書で、大統領は社会保障費の歳出削減に努める一方で、中間所得層よりも低い税率で納税している富裕層については、増税しなければならない、と訴えた。

Obama was apparently conscious of the fact that wealthy Mitt Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and one of the leading contenders for the Republican presidential nomination, has been criticized for paying a tax rate of only 14 percent on the millions of dollars he made in 2010.
 共和党の有力大統領候補の一人で、資産家のロムニー前マサチューセッツ州知事が、課税率がわずか14%だったと批判を浴びたことも意識したに違いない。

Romney paid a lower tax rate than many Americans do because of the preferential taxation of investment income compared to earned income. But Obama also intends to target Republicans who have consistently opposed tax hikes for the wealthy.
 投資による所得への税率が、勤労所得よりも優遇されているためだが、大統領には、富裕層への増税にも一貫して反対する共和党を標的にする狙いがある。

===

Japan's stake in outcome

While the race for the Republican presidential nomination advances, the presidential election will also go into full swing from now on.
 共和党の候補選びが進み、これから大統領選も本格化する。

The future course of the U.S. economy will have a strong impact on the Japanese economy.
米国経済の行方は日本経済にも大きく影響する。

We would like to pay close attention to the verbal battle regarding the economic rejuvenation during the presidential election campaign.
大統領選での、経済再生を巡る論戦を注視したい。

In the area of diplomacy and national security, Obama expressed once again his national defense strategy, which emphasizes Asia.
 外交・安全保障分野で、大統領は、アジアを重視する国防戦略を改めて示した。

As part of the fiscal deficit reduction, the United States will cut defense spending by about 500 billion dollars (about 38 trillion yen) over the next 10 years.
 財政赤字削減の一環で、米国は国防費を10年間で約5000億ドル(約38兆円)削減する。

Yet if Congress fails to reach an accord on concrete measures to cut the deficit by more than 1 trillion dollars within this year, more drastic budget cut will be made.
だが、年内に1兆ドル超の財政赤字削減の具体策が議会で合意できなければ、さらに大なたがふるわれる。

Such a development will have a serious impact on the national security of Japan.
 それは、日本の安全保障に重大な影響を及ぼす。

We should also pay attention to the battle of words regarding deficit reduction.
財政赤字削減の論議の行方も注目したい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 26, 2012)
(2012年1月26日01時13分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 04:16| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2012年01月28日

発信箱:粉になる=滝野隆浩(社会部)

こんなことをして葬儀に莫大なお金をかけるのはいかがなものか?
そのうち、ご遺体をロケットで宇宙に向けて発射する宇宙葬が大流行するのかもしれませんね^^。
「死んだら、それでジ・エンド、おしまい」はカフェ友ヤングセイラーさんのお言葉です^^。
やはり神や仏様は私たちの心の中だけに存在するものなのでしょうね。多分これで間違いない。(汗)
(スラチャイ)

(Mainichi Japan) January 26, 2012
Dust to dust: A different approach to funerals
発信箱:粉になる=滝野隆浩(社会部)

"A spacious X square meters," "Faces south, gets plenty of sunlight!" -- these phrases on a cemetery ad at the station made me stop and
 「ゆったり○平方メートル」とか「南向き、日当たり良好!」という駅の墓地広告をみて気づかされる。

Even after they die and are turned into bones, many people are concerned about comfort.
亡くなって骨になったあとも、「居心地」が気になる人が多いのだ。

In such cases scattering the person's ashes in the sea or on a mountain may seem like a good idea, but not everyone wants this.
ならば海や山に散骨するのもいいのだろうが、それを嫌がる人もいる。

Last autumn, I heard about a new freeze-drying approach in which liquid nitrogen is used to reduce the body to a powder, and then the remains are returned to the ground.
昨秋、「冷凍葬」の話を聞いた。液体窒素を使って遺体を粉末状にして土にかえしてくれるという。

Yuji Nakamura, a lawyer who went to Sweden to interview the company that holds a patent on this process, provided details on it at a meeting of Japan's council for promotion of a basic funeral law in Japan.
 葬送基本法推進懇談会の会合で、スウェーデンに行って特許を持つ会社を取材した中村裕二弁護士が報告した。

After being submerged in liquid nitrogen with a temperature of minus 196 degrees Celsius for one hour, the person's body, which is broken up into dust and small pieces, is put into a vacuum container where the remains are slowly dried.
零下196度の液体窒素に1時間ほど漬けたあと、細かい破片・粉になった遺体を真空のドラムにいれてゆっくり乾燥。

Metals are then removed and the remains are placed into a container which is buried about 50 centimeters underground.
金属類を除去して容器に入れて、地表から50センチほどのところに埋める。

Between six months and a year later, the remains have completely been broken down into the earth.
半年から1年で容器ごと土にかえるという。

The attraction of this process is the part where the body is "slowly dried" -- showing that care is being taken over the remains.
「ゆっくり乾燥」というのがミソ。大事に扱うという配慮なのだ。

South Korea is already apparently preparing to introduce this process.
韓国では実用化の話が進んでいるそうだ。

A long time ago, there was a song in Japan containing the lyrics "hone made aishite" (love me down to my bones).  昔、流行歌に「骨まで愛して」というのがあった。

Here lies sentiment in which the person is crying out for love of their very existence.
存在そのものを本気で愛して、と叫ぶ情念の世界だ。

To Japanese people, bones are very important, and it is hard to stir up strength when thinking that they will become dust in the end.
But there is something refreshing about the new approach to funerals, a graciousness that comes from leaving all partings and lingering affection -- like the person is saying, "See you, bye-bye," and drifting away.
「お前の骨は拾ってやるぞ」という言葉もある。究極の信頼関係があるから言える。日本人にとって骨はとても大事なものなのだ。最後に粉になってしまうと力は入らない。けれど、何だかすがすがしくはある。この世の名残とか未練とかを、一切捨て去る潔さ。じゃあね、ばいばい、さらさらーっと。

The developer of the freeze-drying funeral method apparently says that a person's genes are a gift to their children and grandchildren.
 冷凍葬の開発者は「自分の遺体は子や孫へのギフト」と言っているらしい。

The thought of becoming part of nature matches Japanese people's view of nature.
人間も自然の一部とする、日本人の自然観に合っている。

In fact, Japan, which has few religious constraints, may be just the place for this process to receive public acceptance.
もしかしたら、宗教的な制約がほとんどない日本のほうが、受け入れられていくのかもしれない。

Also in environmental terms, overdevelopment of large grave sites is a problem.
大規模な墓地開発が進みすぎるのも、環境面では問題だ。

"There are various debates on the issue, but I think there should be a choice for funerals that are not limited to cremation," Nakamura says.
中村さんは「さまざま議論はあろうが、火葬だけじゃない、葬送の選択肢があっていいと思う」と話していた。

(By Takahiro Takino, Tokyo City News Department)
毎日新聞 2012年1月25日 1時35分
posted by srachai at 02:54| Comment(0) | 毎日英字

2012年01月27日

施政方針演説 「決断する政治」への戦略持て

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 26, 2012)
Noda must have strategy to pursue 'decisive politics'
施政方針演説 「決断する政治」への戦略持て(1月25日付・読売社説)

In his policy speech to the Diet on Tuesday, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda boldly said, "I will aim...to break away from 'the politics that can't decide,'" and, "This is the time for us to fix our eyes upon the 'big picture' rather than 'political situation.'"
We admire Noda's will and vision. However, the problem lies in whether his administration has a well-planned strategy that will be able to translate his words into reality.
 「決められない政治からの脱却」、「政局ではなく大局を」――。
 意欲と志はいい。問題は、それを実現するだけの周到な戦略が、野田政権にあるかどうかだ。

An ordinary Diet session was convened Tuesday.
 通常国会が開幕した。

In his speech, Noda quoted from policy speeches given by two former prime ministers from the Liberal Democratic Party, which was in power before Noda's Democratic Party of Japan took the reins of government.
野田首相の施政方針演説は、政権交代前、自民党の首相が行った施政方針演説を引き合いに出した。

He quoted former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, who said, "It is precisely the responsibility of those in politics vis-a-vis the people to ensure that the ruling and opposition parties conduct thorough discussions...to conduct the affairs of state."
 福田首相は「与野党が話し合い、国政を動かすことこそ政治の責任」と述べた。

And he referred to a promise former Prime Minister Taro Aso made in his speech: "We will take necessary legal measures by fiscal 2011...to undertake...fundamental reform of the tax system, including that of the consumption tax."
麻生首相は「消費税を含む税制抜本改革を行うため2011年度までに必要な法制上の措置を講じる」と約束した。

===

LDP, Komeito must start talks

Noda likely used these quotes to point out that the current attitude of the LDP contradicts these statements. Indeed, the opposition party has not responded to calls to start discussions on integrated reform of the social security and tax systems.
 こうした発言と、社会保障・税一体改革の協議に応じない今の自民党の姿勢とは食い違うと、野田首相は言いたいのだろう。

Because the DPJ itself had repeatedly resisted moves by the LDP and New Komeito when they were the ruling coalition, members of the now opposition parties reacted fiercely to Noda's speech.
 自公政権当時、さんざん抵抗したのが民主党だったことから、野党側から激しい反発が出た。

However, both the LDP and Komeito need to agree to start talks to rehabilitate the current critical state of the nation's finances and establish a sustainable social security system.
しかし、今の危機的な財政を立て直して持続可能な社会保障制度を築くために、自民、公明両党は協議に応じる必要がある。

The government and the DPJ, too, must change their attitude.
 政府・民主党も、これまで通りの対応では済まない。

First, they have to sincerely explain to the public why the consumption tax rate needs to be increased.
まず、消費税率引き上げの必要性を意を尽くして国民に説かねばならない。

Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada last week abruptly announced, "Revenue from the five-percentage-point increase will be used entirely to fund social security programs, and will thus be returned to citizens."
This marked a major shift from the previous stance of using 10 percent of the extra revenue to cover government procurement costs that are expected to increase due to the tax hike.
 岡田副総理は先週、唐突に「消費増税分は、全額を社会保障財源化し、国民に還元する」と、表明した。

The Noda administration probably changed its stance in a desperate attempt to make the public more accepting of the consumption tax hike.
何とか国民の理解を得ようと考えたのだろうが、

However, the administration will likely be challenged over the inconsistency with its previous explanations.
従来の説明との整合性は問われよう。

===

Give unclear manifesto the boot

Komeito has been demanding the government clarify its future vision for the social security system.
 公明党は社会保障制度の将来像を明確にするよう求めている。

In its manifesto for the 2009 House of Representatives election, the DPJ promised to integrate the nation's pension programs and create a minimum guaranteed pension of 70,000 yen a month by 2013.
 民主党は政権公約(マニフェスト)で、13年までに年金一元化や月額7万円の最低保障年金など新たな年金制度を創設すると掲げている。

Komeito says it cannot see any connection between these campaign promises and the comprehensive reform.
この公約と一体改革との関係がわからないというのが、公明党の主張である。

In response to Komeito's demand, DPJ Secretary General Azuma Koshiishi apparently hopes to bring the two main opposition parties to the discussion table by revealing the full picture of social security reform.
 民主党の輿石幹事長は、これに応じ、社会保障改革の全体像を示すことで、野党側を協議につかせたいと考えているようだ。

Indeed, it will be necessary for the DPJ to show a rough outline of its plan if it wants to ask for the opposition's understanding on the integrated reform.
おおまかな全体像を示し、一体改革に理解を求めることは必要だ。

However, discussions with opposition parties will not get off the ground if the DPJ insists on trying to implement its manifesto, which does not even clearly indicate how its promises will be funded.
 その際、財源すら不明確なマニフェストの実現にこだわり続けていては、野党との協議は始まるまい。

Noda should not forget the manifesto has become a major obstacle to the "politics that makes decisions" he is seeking.
首相はマニフェストが、「決断する政治」を妨げる要因であることを忘れてはならない。

If Noda wants to carry out the reform, he should not hesitate to retract the manifesto.
 改革のためにはマニフェストの撤回をためらうべきではない。

In his policy speech, Noda quoted an old saying, "Undertaking the actions we call on others to take."
 施政方針演説の中で、「まず隗(かい)より始めよ」として、

He then pointed out it is important for individuals responsible for political and administrative affairs to put themselves on the line and serve as models.
He is absolutely right.
政治と行政を担う者が身を切り、範を示すことが重要だと指摘したのは当然だ。

We hope Noda will exercise strong leadership to cut the number of lower house members and the salaries of national government employees.
首相は、国会議員の定数削減や国家公務員給与削減に強い指導力を発揮してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 25, 2012)
(2012年1月25日01時13分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 02:52| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2012年01月26日

独法・特会改革 肝心なのは政府支出の削減だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 25, 2012)
Cuts in govt spending key to administrative reform
独法・特会改革 肝心なのは政府支出の削減だ(1月24日付・読売社説)

A review of organizational structures is only the first step in administrative reform.
 組織形態の見直しは最初の一歩にすぎない。

To expand the people's acceptance of a tax hike, it is indispensable to link it with a substantial cut in government spending.
増税への国民の理解を広げるには、政府の財政支出の実質的な削減につなげることが重要だ。

The Government Revitalization Unit has decided on reform proposals for independent administrative entities and special accounts.
 政府の行政刷新会議が独立行政法人や特別会計の改革案を決定した。

The government will submit related bills to an ordinary session of the Diet to realize the reform.
通常国会に関連法案を提出し、実現を図る。

The proposed reform calls for abolishing seven of 102 independent agencies, including the Public Foundation for Peace and Consolation, and privatizing seven entities, including the National Hospital Organization.
 102ある独法のうち、平和祈念事業特別基金など7法人は廃止し、国立病院機構など7法人は民営化する。

Thirty-five agencies, including the Riken research institute, will be consolidated into 12 entities.
理化学研究所など35法人は12法人に統合する。

As a result, the number of such agencies will be trimmed by nearly 40 percent.
全体の法人数は4割近く減る予定だ。

In its draft proposal, the government called for abolishing or privatizing a total of five agencies.
 政府原案の廃止・民間移管は計5法人だった。

To show the government's determination to carry out administrative reforms, the number of such entities being downsized or abolished has increased remarkably in line with the ruling parties' philosophy that politicians, not bureaucrats, should take the initiative in formulating policies.
The reductions lay the foundation for integrated reform of social security and tax systems.
社会保障と税の一体改革の環境整備として行革の姿勢を示そうと、政治主導で削減数を増やした。

The reform plan this time, it can be said, is more drastic than the one proposed by the coalition government of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito in terms of the number of agencies to be cut.
数に限れば、自公政権時より踏み込んだと言える。

===

Old wine in new bottles

But the entities to be abolished include those to be transferred to state jurisdiction. Many of those to be privatized represent a mere change of names. It is undeniable that priority was given to manipulating numbers.
 ただし、廃止には、国に移管される独法が含まれる。民営化も看板の掛け替えが多い。「数合わせ」を優先した感は否めない。

Even if the number of executives is trimmed by absorbing other independent administrative entities in charge of completely different affairs, it is feared the changes could lead to the creation of bloated organizations if the staff of each agency remains intact.
 全く別の業務を担当する独法を統合し、トップの数を減らしても、各法人の体制を温存すれば、組織が逆に肥大化する恐れもある。

The biggest concern is that the government has not revealed how much it will curtail government spending on independent administrative agencies, which totals 3 trillion yen a year.
 最大の問題は、年間3兆円を超す独法への政府支出の削減額が示されていないことだ。

In line with organizational reforms, it will be necessary to downsize staff and reduce or abolish nonessential and nonurgent operations.
 組織改革に合わせて、職員のリストラや、不要不急の事業の廃止・縮減に本格的に取り組む必要がある。

It is important to transfer operations that can be entrusted to local governments and the private sector as much as possible, thereby eliminating dual administration and other administrative waste.
自治体や民間に任せられる事業は積極的に移管し、二重行政などを廃することが大切だ。

Big agencies hold the key to spending cuts.
 歳出削減のカギは大物法人だ。

Concerning the Urban Renaissance Agency and the Japan Housing Finance Agency, panels of external experts will be formed to draw conclusions on spending cuts this summer.
都市再生機構と住宅金融支援機構については、外部有識者の検討会を設置し、今夏に結論を出す。

We hope for reasonable results.
きちんと成果を上げてほしい。

Agencies that continue to exist will be classified by type of function into such categories as financing, human resources development and research and development, and the most appropriate supervisory system will be introduced at each agency.
 一方で、存続する独法は、金融業務、人材育成、研究開発型など機能別に分類したうえ、それぞれ最適な監督体制を導入する。

===

Continuous reform needed

This is because it is unreasonable to manage independent agencies with different purposes and operations under one system.
 様々な目的・事業を持つ独法を同一の制度で運営するのは無理があるためで、狙いは理解できる。

Continuous reforms are called for.
継続的な改革が求められる。

The number of special accounts will be reduced from 17 to 11 through abolition or integration of such accounts as the one on social capital investment.
 特別会計は、社会資本整備事業特会などの統廃合によって、17から11に削減する。

But mere cuts in the number of special accounts will not lead to reduced spending and enhanced efficiency.
 特会の数を減らすだけでは、歳出削減や効率化に直結しない。

The former Road Improvement Special Account was used regardless of profitability to construct highways whose necessity was considered low.
Allocating budgets to higher-priority areas while eliminating such a sanctuary would produce results.
旧道路整備特会が、採算性を無視して、必要性の低い高速道路を造り続けたような“聖域”をなくし、優先度の高い他の分野に予算を振り替えてこそ、効果を生む。

According to the Board of Audit, 1.8 trillion yen in surplus funds for fiscal 2009 was not used in the following fiscal year and was carried over to fiscal 2011.
 会計検査院によると、2009年度の剰余金計1・8兆円が翌年度も使われず、11年度に繰り越されたことが判明している。

If possible, surplus funds should be transferred to the general account and used effectively.
 可能なものは一般会計に繰り入れるなど、有効活用すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 24, 2011)
(2012年1月24日00時59分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 03:16| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2012年01月25日

原発住民投票―都民の関心、示すとき

--The Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 22
EDITORIAL: Tokyo voters should sign up for nuclear referendum
原発住民投票―都民の関心、示すとき

A signature-collecting campaign is under way to hold a referendum in Tokyo to allow citizens to express their views on nuclear power generation.
 原発に、イエスかノーか。
 東京で住民投票をしよう。

But the campaign, organized by a citizens group set up to achieve referendums, is struggling to attract the attention of voters.
 この署名活動が、いまひとつ盛り上がらない。

The group is trying to collect the required number of signatures to make a direct claim under the local autonomy law to the Tokyo metropolitan government and the Osaka municipal government for the adoption of an ordinance to hold such a referendum.
 呼びかけているのは、市民グループ「みんなで決めよう『原発』国民投票」。

The Tokyo metropolitan government is a leading shareholder in Tokyo Electric Power Co., which runs the wrecked Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, while the government of Osaka has a stake in Kansai Electric Power Co., which also operates nuclear plants.
東京電力の大株主の東京都と、関西電力株を持つ大阪市に、住民投票を実施するための条例づくりを直接請求しようという活動だ。

In Osaka, the group collected more than 60,000 signatures, exceeding the 2 percent of eligible voters required to make the claim, during the one-month campaign period. The local election administration commission is now examining the signature list to determine its validity.
 すでに1カ月間の署名期間を終えた大阪市では、請求に必要な「有権者の2%」を上回る、6万人あまりを集め、選管の審査を待っている。

In Tokyo, the group needs over 210,000 signatures. But with two-thirds of the two-month campaign period already passed, the group has collected less than half the required number.
 だが、東京では期間2カ月の3分の2が過ぎても、まだ必要な21万余の半分に届かない。

Why is the campaign receiving such a lukewarm response in Tokyo?
 この少なさは、どうしたことなのか。

This is neither an “anti-nuke” nor a “pro-nuke” campaign.
 署名の趣旨は「原発反対」でも「推進」でもない。

The group is only seeking a referendum that will allow citizens to decide on their own whether this nation should continue to use nuclear power as part of energy sources to generate electricity.
 原発の是非を自分たちで決めるために、住民投票をしようというのだ。

In other words, the number of signatures collected is an indicator of how much interest people have in the issue.
 つまり署名の数は、関心の強さをはかる物差しになる。

Before the Fukushima nuclear disaster, nearly 30 percent of the electricity supplied to the Tokyo metropolitan area was generated at the Fukushima No. 1 plant and TEPCO’s other nuclear plants outside Tokyo.
 首都圏の電力は原発事故前、3割近くが原子力で賄われていた。

If voters in Tokyo show so little interest in the question as to make it difficult to collect signatures from 2 percent of them, how would people in Fukushima Prefecture and other areas that host these facilities feel?
その消費者の都民が、わずか2%の関心すら示せなかったら、福島県をはじめ原発の地元住民はどう思うだろう。

Many people in Tokyo seem interested in such a referendum but are clueless as to where they can sign for the campaign.
 一方では、関心はあるのに、どこで署名できるのかがわからないという人も多いようだ。

Tokyo has more than 10 million eligible voters.
 東京の有権者は1千万人を超える。

There are permanent sites where they can sign petitions, including one in front of Shinjuku Station, but there are not enough to offer easy access to residents in all areas.
新宿駅前などに常設の署名場所があるが、隅々までは行き届かない。

In addition, the people leading a signature campaign are allowed to collect signatures only from voters in the cities, wards, towns and villages where they live.
 しかも、署名集めを担う「受任者」は、自分の住む市区町村の有権者からしか署名を集められない。

Clearly, this provision in the local autonomy law constitutes a major obstacle to the campaign.
こんな地方自治法の規定も、活動の壁になっているのは確かだ。

Another major factor behind the different reactions from voters in the Tokyo metropolitan government and Osaka city is the different attitudes toward the issue by the local government chiefs.
 リーダーの発信ぶりの違いも大きい。

Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto promised to reduce the city’s dependence on nuclear power during his election campaign in November although he is skeptical about the idea of holding a referendum on this issue.
 大阪の橋下徹市長は、住民投票そのものには懐疑的だが、市長選で「脱原発依存」を掲げていた。

Hashimoto’s remarks have probably spurred interest in the issue among the public.
それで関心を持った市民も多かったろう。

In contrast, Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara has given the cold shoulder to moves toward a referendum, criticizing it as a “sentimental and hysteric” reaction.
Ishihara has pointed out that there is “not even a blueprint to secure an energy supply” at this stage.
 これに対して、東京の石原慎太郎都知事は「エネルギーをどうやって補給するかの設計図もない時点で、センチメンタルともヒステリックとも思える」と突き放すだけだ。

But a referendum on the issue would prompt citizens to see the development of such a blueprint as their own concern and start thinking about it.
 だが、住民投票こそが、この「設計図」を市民がみずからの問題としてとらえ、考えていくきっかけになるはずだ。

More signatures are needed for a referendum on the future of nuclear power generation in this country?which should be determined through broad public debate.
 原発の行く末をみんなで考える。そのための住民投票をするには、もっと署名が要る。

Now that the nuclear disaster has raised some fundamental questions about the energy policy, it is important for people in Tokyo, as consumers of electricity, to express their views and opinions about nuclear power generation.
 大震災を機に、エネルギー政策が根幹から問い直されているいまこそ、都民は消費者としてもの申そう。

Let us achieve a referendum in Tokyo to have an opportunity to do so.
そのために、首都で住民投票を実現させよう。
posted by srachai at 03:07| Comment(0) | 朝日英字

2012年01月24日

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:人にどう見られるか /東京

人間一番大切なことは、見かけや見せかけではありません。
それはただむなしいだけです。
スラチャイにとって今一番大切なことは、ただひたすら娘たちを立派に成人させることです。
娘たちが成人したら、最後に、スラチャイの潔い散りざまをみせなければなりません。
それが、なかなか大変なのです。
(スラチャイ)

(Mainichi Japan) January 22, 2012
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: How we're seen by others
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:人にどう見られるか /東京

The trial has begun for a woman accused of killing three men she was dating after pretending the deaths were suicides by carbon monoxide poisoning.
 練炭自殺に見せかけ交際相手ら男性3人を殺害したとして、殺人罪などに問われている女性被告の裁判員裁判が始まった。

The woman kept a blog where she wrote about beauty and gourmet foods, and that personality seems to have stayed with her for the over two years since her arrest.
以前はブログに一流といわれるグルメや美容について熱心につづっていた彼女だが、その性質は逮捕から2年以上たった今も変わっていなかったようだ。

Someone I know who sat in on the trial said, "She appeared in different clothing before and after noon, and her hairstyle and make-up seemed to have been carefully set.
公判を傍聴した知人は、「午前と午後でそれぞれ違う服装で現れ、ヘアスタイルやメークもきちんと整えられているように見えました。

How can she do such things at her own trial?"
自分の裁判でそんなことってあるんだろうか」と困惑気味に語っていた。

It may be that to the woman, how she is seen by those around her is everything.
 おそらくこの女性にとっては、「自分がまわりからどう見えるか」がすべてなのであろう。

Even if it was a far cry from the reality of her life, on her blog she acted like she was a rich princess.
たとえ現実の生活とはかけ離れていても、ブログでは“裕福なお嬢さま”のように振る舞う。

Now, even facing trial, she puts her attention on her clothing and hairstyle, as if it is a show with her as the star.
被告として裁かれる裁判でも、自分が脚光を浴びるショーのように服装やヘアスタイルにこだわる。

To her, perhaps her real self is the one that others see.
「他人の目に映る自分」こそ、本当の自分。
彼女はそう思い込んでいるのではないだろうか。

Even if it is not so extreme, we cannot deny that we share some of the same tendencies.
 ここまで極端ではないにせよ、私たちにもそういう傾向がないとは言えない。

Thinking only about how others see us, we can forget our true selves.
 「まわりにどう思われているか」「どう見られているか」ということばかり気にして、本来の自分らしさを忘れてしまうこともある。

I am sure there are plenty of us who have forced ourselves to go to high-end restaurants where we took pictures, after which we wrote about it all on our blogs as if we go to those places all the time.
それほど行きたくもない高級レストランに無理して出かけて料理の写真を撮り、あたかも行きつけであるかのようにブログに載せた、といった経験がある人も少なくないだろう。

I don't worry much at all about how others see me, but when I notice a new gray hair or wrinkle in the mirror, I do worry, "At today's meeting, I wonder if I looked the oldest."
私は「どう見えるか」をほとんど気にしないタイプなのだが、それでも鏡の中の自分に白髪やしわを発見すると、「わあ、今日の会合に出席した中では、私がいちばん老けて見えたかも」などと気持ちがめいってしまう。

Of course, we can no longer live completely naturally, not worrying at all about how others think of us.
 もちろん、「どう思われてもけっこう。自分は自分」と完全に自然体で生きることなど、もう私たちにはできないだろう。

Pulling ourselves together enough to not make those around us feel unpleasant is a matter of social manners.
それに、「ほかの人たちから見て悪い印象にならないように」と身だしなみや態度に気をつかうのは、社会生活のマナーでもある。

But if we overly focus on some ideal image of ourselves, even fooling ourselves in order to draw closer to it, we are clearly going too far.
とはいえ、「こんなふうに見てもらいたい」と理想のイメージを意識し過ぎ、自分を偽ってまでもそれに近づけようとするのは、明らかにやりすぎだ。

Even if we succeed in showing ourselves off like our ideal and are complemented for our beauty or luxurious lifestyle, afterwards we are left with nothing.
たとえそう見せることに成功して、「きれいね」「セレブ生活だな」などと言われて一瞬、うれしい気持ちになったとしても、後には何も残らない。

To the woman in the trial, more important than the truth or how the trial progresses may have been being told, "You look younger than your age," or "You're fashionable as ever."
 冒頭の女性被告にとっては、裁判そのものの成り行きや真実のありかよりも、「年齢より若く見えるね」「相変わらずおしゃれにこだわってるんだな」などと言われるほうが大切だったのだろうか。

It somehow makes me feel empty inside.
なんだかむなしい気持ちになるばかりだ。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2012年1月17日 地方版
posted by srachai at 04:05| Comment(0) | 毎日英字

2012年01月23日

郵政改革 4社案テコに与野党合意急げ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 22, 2012)
Ruling, opposition parties must push on with postal reform
郵政改革 4社案テコに与野党合意急げ(1月21日付・読売社説)

It can now be said that a step toward realizing postal reform has finally been taken.
 郵政改革の実現に向けて、一歩前進したと言えるだろう。

The ruling and opposition parties should hold deliberations in the upcoming ordinary Diet session and ensure the nation's postal business is reformed in a way that benefits the public.
 与野党は次期通常国会で着実に審議を進め、国民の利益にかなう改革を実現させなければならない。

A working-level consultative meeting was held Friday between the Democratic Party of Japan, the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito regarding how to proceed with postal reform. The participants agreed to sum up what they have discussed so far.
 民主、自民、公明の3党は20日、郵政改革に関する実務者協議を開き、これまでの議論を踏まえた論点整理をまとめた。

An accord has been reached under which the government and the DPJ will drop, at least temporarily, a bill that would reorganize the five-company configuration of Japan Post Group into three companies. Instead, the three parties will discuss realigning Japan Post into a four-company structure.
 日本郵政グループを現在の5社体制から3社に再編する政府・与党の法案をいったん取り下げ、4社に再編する案を軸に検討を進めることで合意した。

The four-company plan is a Komeito proposal, and the DPJ is poised to accept the plan.
 「4社案」は公明党の提案をたたき台にしたもので、民主党は受け入れに前向きだ。

The LDP has no compelling reason to oppose the streamlining of the Japan Post Group organization and changes that would make postal services more convenient for customers.
自民党も郵政グループを簡素化し、利便性を高める点に大きな異論はなかろう。

===

Diet's neglectfulness

The realistic option would be for the ruling and opposition camps to get behind the proposed four-company system.
「4社案」をテコに与野党合意を図ることが現実的である。

Much of the blame for the postal reform bill being stuck in limbo for nearly two years lies with the Diet.
 法案を2年近くも“塩漬け”にしてきた国会の責任は重い。

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda also should be brought to task for the delay in postal reform deliberations in the legislature.
In a meeting with the president of the national federation of postmasters of privately owned post offices (Zentoku), Noda committed himself to "responsibly expediting" Diet business for postal reform.
全国郵便局長会の会長に「責任を持ってやりたい」と述べた野田首相の姿勢も問われる。

What to do with government-held shares in Japan Post is the biggest obstacle to an agreement between the ruling and opposition blocs.
 与野党合意への最大の懸案が、日本郵政に対する政府出資の扱いだ。

The government favors retaining "more than one-third" of Japan Post shares.
今のところ政府は日本郵政株の「3分の1超」を持ち続ける方向だ。

If this remains unchanged, the government will hold a stake in two firms under the Japan Post umbrella--Japan Post Bank Co. and Japan Post Insurance Co.
傘下のゆうちょ銀行とかんぽ生命保険に、間接的な政府出資が残ることになる。

The LDP has laid siege to the government's position. The party claims that if the two financial service arms of Japan Post, which the LDP notes are "protected by tacit government guarantees," enter new markets such as cancer insurance, private-sector businesses will be put at a distinct disadvantage.
 自民党は、この金融2社が「暗黙の政府保証」に守られて、がん保険などに参入すれば、民業圧迫は避けられないと批判する。

Financial and insurance businesses have demanded Japan Post Bank and Japan Post Insurance be completely privatized.
金融・保険業界は、ゆうちょとかんぽの完全民営化を求めている

In connection with this, insurance businesses in the United States have expressed concern over Japan Post financial services adversely impacting on private-sector business activities.
 これに関連して米国の保険業界も民業圧迫に懸念を示している。

Due attention should be paid to ensure Japan Post reform discussions do not hurt this country's bid to join Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement negotiations.
環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)への日本の参加交渉に悪影響を与えないように配慮すべきだ。

===

Gain from share sales unclear

Is it impossible to prevent Japan Post companies from gaining an unfair upper hand over private companies, such as by imposing some restrictions on their entry into new businesses?
 新規事業への参入に一定の制限を設けるなど、民業圧迫を防ぐ工夫はできないか。

We urge the ruling and opposition parties to find effective solutions to this problem.
与野党で有効な打開策を考えてほしい。

If postal reform goes ahead, the current freeze on selling Japan Post shares will be lifted, and the government will be able to use the profit from sales of these shares to fund reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake.
 郵政改革が実現すれば、郵政株売却の凍結が解除され、売却益を東日本大震災の復興財源にあてることも可能になる。

However, the deterioration in postal service businesses shows no sign of ending, and it is unclear whether the government will bring in the about 6 trillion yen it expects to gain from selling off its Japan Post shares.
 ただし、郵政事業の業績悪化に歯止めがかからず、見込み通り約6兆円の売却益を得られるかどうか不透明だ。

The volume of mail handled by post offices has been declining by 3 percent a year, leaving Japan Post Service swimming in red ink.
郵便は年3%のペースで減り、事業の赤字が続く。

Postal savings and the number of postal insurance policies have fallen sharply since their peak.
貯金残高や保険の保有契約も、ピークから大幅に減少した。

Should Japan Post be left as is, it will be unable to take such steps as expanding into new businesses, and could get stuck in a rut.
 このままでは、新規事業の拡大などテコ入れもできず、日本郵政は身動きが取れない。

There are fears Japan Post's corporate value could plunge.
郵政グループの企業価値が、大きく低下する恐れがある。

Japan Post is a precious asset that belongs to the public. Its value must not be allowed to diminish because of the Diet's neglectfulness.
 国会の怠慢で、国民の財産が目減りする事態は避けるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 21, 2012)
(2012年1月21日01時40分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 05:05| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2012年01月22日

社説:原発テスト 「結論ありき」と疑う

(Mainichi Japan) January 20, 2012
Editorial: Gov't nuclear power plant tests mired in doubt
社説:原発テスト 「結論ありき」と疑う

How will the lessons learned from the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant be put into practice in the future?
 東京電力福島第1原発の重大事故の教訓を今後にどういかそうとしているのか。

The government's present response is questionable.
このところの政府のやり方には疑問が多い。

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, which operates under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, has deemed Kansai Electric Power Co.'s stress tests of the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at its Oi nuclear power plant as "appropriate."
 経済産業省の原子力安全・保安院は関西電力が提出した大飯原発3、4号機の安全評価(ストレステスト)を「妥当」と評価した。

This marks the first step in evaluating reactors that are being inspected with a view to restarting them.
再稼働の前提として定期検査中の原発を対象に行われる第1次評価である。

The reactors are to undergo further inspection by the Nuclear Safety Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
 この先、原子力安全委員会の確認や国際原子力機関(IAEA)の評価を受ける。

After that, the prime minister and three Cabinet ministers will make a political decision on whether or not to restart them.
さらに、首相と関係3閣僚が再稼働の是非を政治判断するが、

However, debate has arisen over whether Cabinet officials should be making decisions on the technical safety of reactors.
まず技術的な安全性を閣僚が判断することの是非に議論がある。

Furthermore, when looking at the results of the stress tests, it seems the technical safety appraisal was a foregone conclusion.
加えて、今回の評価結果を見る限り、技術的な安全評価も「結論ありき」に思える。

Kansai Electric's stress tests conclude that the reactor cores would not be damaged even if there were an earthquake that shook 1.8 times stronger than what was envisaged when the reactors were built, or if the reactors were hit by an 11.4-meter tsunami -- four times higher than what was initially predicted.
 保安院が妥当とした関電の評価によると、設計上の想定より1.8倍大きい地震の揺れや4倍大きい11.4メートルの津波に襲われても炉心損傷には至らない。

The power company says that even if there were a station blackout and no place for heat to escape, the reactor cores would not be damaged for 16 days and the spent nuclear fuel would remain intact for 10 days.
全交流電源が喪失し熱の逃がし場がなくなった場合でも炉心は16日間、使用済み核燃料は10日間、損傷までに余裕があるという。

However, the scenarios forming the basis for power plant's conclusions preceded the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
 しかし、評価の前提となっている設計上の想定は東日本大震災以前のものだ。

The March 2011 disasters have shaken conceptions about the maximum shaking and the biggest possible tsunami in the event of another major quake.
震災で最大の揺れや津波の想定そのものが揺らいでいる。
耐震指針や安全設計審査指針の見直しも行われている。

There is no guarantee that the plant's previous predictions are on target.
もとの想定が信頼できるという保証はどこにもない。

The more relaxed the scenarios are, the more leeway the power plant seems to have.
 想定が甘ければ甘いほど大きな余裕があるように見える矛盾も内包している。

When considering this, the phrases "1.8 times stronger" and "four times higher" have no meaning.
それを思えば、1.8倍や4倍という数値に意味はない。

The probe into the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant has not even been completed. そもそも、事故そのものの検証もまだ終わっていない。

Officials should at least provide a set of risk evaluation guidelines based on the cause of the Fukushima disaster that the public can understand.
少なくとも事故の原因を踏まえ、国民が納得するリスク評価の指針を示すべきではないか。

In terms of determining the risks of nuclear power plants, doubts also remain over legislation on the life of power plants.
 原発のリスク評価という点では寿命の法規制についても疑問がある。

On Jan. 6, Goshi Hosono, state minister in charge of the nuclear disaster, stated that nuclear reactors would in principle be decommissioned after they had been running for over 40 years.
「運転40年を超えたら原則として廃炉」との方針を細野豪志原発事故担当相が発表したのが今月6日。

But less than two weeks later the government stated that exceptions would allow reactors to operate for 60 years.
それから2週間もたたないうちに、政府は「例外として60年運転が可能」とする方針を公表した。

Just where is the government placing its priorities?
 いったい、どちらに重きを置いているのか。

Does it really intend to reduce the number of high-risk nuclear power plants?
本気でリスクの高い原発を減らしていくつもりがあるのか。

The way the government is handling the situation invites mistrust over its nuclear power plant policy.
原発政策への不信感を招くやり方だ。

In terms of winning the public's trust, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency's decision to shut the public out of a hearing on the Oi nuclear power plant's stress tests is also problematic.
 国民の信頼を得るという点では、大飯原発のストレステストの意見聴取会で市民を会場から閉め出した保安院のやり方にも問題があった。

In principle, debate should be open, and then if there are any major obstacles to proceedings, separate measures can be taken to settle them.
基本的には議論の場そのものを公開し、議事に大きな障害が出るような言動があった場合に個別に対応すればすむ話だ。

Furthermore, citizens groups have raised questions about a possible conflict of interests among committee members and these must be addressed as a top priority.
市民団体が疑問視する委員の利益相反についても、きちんと説明するのが先決だ。

Local bodies will have the final decision on whether or not to restart nuclear power plants, but if officials can't gain the public's trust, then it is inconceivable to restart the reactors.
 原発の再稼働を最終的に判断するのは地元自治体だ。市民の信頼がなければ再稼働もありえない。

毎日新聞 2012年1月20日 2時31分
posted by srachai at 06:48| Comment(0) | 毎日英字
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