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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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posted by fanblog

2012年05月15日

外資の森林買収 水源地保全のルール作り急げ

タイでは外国人の土地購入は固く禁止されています。これが当り前ではないでしょうか。
江戸時代や明治の初期、娘を借金の肩代わりとして差し出す悪しき風習がありました。
国土を外国人に売り渡すことは、これと同じようなものではないでしょうか。
法改正を望みます。

(スラチャイ)

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 14, 2012)
Establish rules to protect watershed areas quickly
外資の森林買収 水源地保全のルール作り急げ (5月13日付・読売社説)

Foreign purchases of Japan's woodlands are on the rise.
 外国資本による森林の買収が拡大している。

A total of 157 hectares of forest was acquired with foreign capital in 2011, almost four times the amount from a year earlier, according to data compiled by the Forestry Agency and the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry. The total from 2006 to 2011 reached as much as 785 hectares in seven prefectures, including Hokkaido, where nearly 90 percent of such purchases took place.
 林野庁と国土交通省がまとめた2011年の買収実績は157ヘクタールで、前年の約4倍に増加した。06年からの累計は、7道県で785ヘクタールに及び、北海道が全体の9割以上を占めている。

However, a survey of prefectural governments by The Yomiuri Shimbun this spring found the total area purchased with foreign capital reached 1,100 hectares, greatly exceeding the government's figures.
 読売新聞が今春、都道府県を対象に実施した調査では、買収面積は計1100ヘクタールに達し、政府の統計を大きく上回った。

As cases have been coming to light of Chinese companies acquiring land under the names of Japanese intermediary firms, the survey finding is probably just the tip of the iceberg.
 中国企業などが、仲介する日本企業の名義で買収する事例も表面化しており、調査結果は「氷山の一角」に過ぎないだろう。

Worrisome is the fact that many of the acquired forested areas are in watersheds on which local communities depend. There have also been acquisitions of forested areas for purposes that are not clear. Should vital watershed areas be developed without restraint, the daily lives of local people could be threatened.
 懸念されるのは、買収案件に地域の水源にかかる森林が多く含まれていることだ。利用目的がはっきりしないケースもある。水源地が乱開発される事態になれば、住民生活が脅かされかねない。

Even among those Western countries where land ownership by foreigners is permitted, a number of them restrict the ownership or development of areas near water sources.
 外国人の土地保有を認める欧米でも、水源地周辺は所有や開発を規制している国が多い。

===

Keep an eagle eye on forests

The government must become more aware of land ownership and transactions, and discuss restrictions for protecting these areas.
政府は、水源地の売買や保有の実態を十分把握し、保全のために必要な規制を検討すべきである。

With its enforcement last month, the revised Forest Law makes it mandatory for transactions involving forest lots of less than one hectare to be reported to authorities upon acquisition. Previously, there was no reporting requirement for lots of that size.
 4月に施行された改正森林法は、従来は対象外だった1ヘクタール未満の森林売買についても取得後の届け出義務を課した。

Although the enforcement of the revision is a step forward, it is hardly sufficient since authorities will learn of such purchases only after the deals are made.
一歩前進ではあるが、事後に取引を把握するため、十分とは言い難い。

With their own ordinances enforced in April, the prefectural governments of Hokkaido and Saitama have made it obligatory for land transactions around the headwaters of rivers to be reported to them in advance.
 北海道と埼玉県は4月施行の条例で、水源周辺の土地取引には事前の届け出を義務付けた。

Four other prefectures, including Yamagata and Gunma, are considering the enactment of similar ordinances.
山形、群馬など4県も同様の条例制定を検討中という。

We approve of local governments proactively taking defensive measures. Upon learning of a questionable potential transaction involving land in a vital watershed, local governments may be able to take such countermeasures as acquiring the area themselves.
 自治体が独自の防衛策に乗り出したのは評価できる。事前に動きを把握できれば、自治体の買い上げなど対抗策も可能になろう。

Yet under the Japanese legal system, land dealings themselves cannot be restricted, making it unclear whether such ordinances will be effective.
 ただ、日本の法制度では、土地取引自体は規制できず、条例が有効かどうかは不透明だ。

At the same time, the role of foreign capital in revitalizing the local economy is significant. What is needed is a rule to ensure that forest land transactions the local governments cannot currently keep an eye on are brought to light, rather than one to merely inflame wariness against foreign capital to no purpose.
 一方、外資の誘致が地域経済の活性化に果たす役割は、小さくない。外資への警戒感をいたずらにあおるのではなく、行政の目が届かない山林取引を放置しないようなルール作りが必要だ。

===

Controls must not go too far

Legal provisions are needed to define the lands to be protected, such as vital watershed areas, and to restrict trading in those areas specifically.
 水源林など守るべき土地を明確化し、そこでは特例的に取引を規制する法整備が求められる。

The protection of the headwaters of rivers is an important issue for national security. Compared to local governments, however, the central government has less sense of crisis. Cooperative links among relevant ministries have not been formed.
 水源林保全は国の安全保障上も重要な課題である。だが、自治体に比べ、政府の危機感は薄い。関係省庁の連携もできていない。

The ruling Democratic Party of Japan launched a working-group panel concerning land acquisition by foreigners in January last year and advocates a policy of studying the possibility of regulating foreign acquisition of areas near the headwaters of rivers or Self-Defense Forces facilities.
 民主党は、外国人による土地取得に関する作業部会を昨年1月に発足させ、水源地や自衛隊関連施設の周辺などを対象に規制を検討する方針を掲げている。

We hope the government will more clearly recognize the importance of conservation of national land and exercise political leadership to take comprehensive measures to deal with the issue.
 国土保全の重要性を認識し、政治主導で包括的な対策を講じてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 13, 2012)
(2012年5月13日01時44分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 08:01| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2012年05月14日

社説:プーチン新体制 関係深めて突破口探れ

May 11, 2012(Mainichi Japan)
Editorial: Japan should work with Russia to solve territorial dispute as Putin becomes president
社説:プーチン新体制 関係深めて突破口探れ

Japan should seek a breakthrough in its deadlocked territorial dispute with Russia by strengthening its relations with the new administration of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
(プーチン新政権との関係強化で行き詰まっている北方領土問題も解決して欲しい trans. by srachai )

Putin, former prime minister, has been sworn in as president again and appointed his predecessor Dmitry Medvedev as prime minister, whose role is to handle domestic affairs.
 ロシアでプーチン前首相が4年ぶりに大統領に復帰し、メドベージェフ前大統領はその下で内政を取り仕切る首相に就任した。

In other words, the two swapped their positions, and Putin, who had been the second-in-command in the Russian government under the Constitution, has become the top leader again and is expected to show his strong leadership in governing the country.
2人が役どころをかえた形だが、これまで憲法上は「ナンバー2」だったプーチン氏が名実ともに国家指導者の座に返り咲き、ロシアの一層の国力強化に向けて強い主導権を発揮していくことになるだろう。

However, the second Putin administration, which follows his first administration from 2000 to 2008, faces a thorny path.
 だが、00〜08年に続く「第2次プーチン政権」の船出は波乱含みだ。

More than 20,000 citizens gathered for a demonstration in Moscow on May 6 to express their opposition to Putin's return to the presidency, and some of them clashed with police, leading to the arrests of over 400 people.
大統領就任式を前に6日、プーチン氏の復帰に反対するモスクワの抗議デモに2万人以上が集まり、一部が警官隊と衝突して400人以上が拘束された。

Massive demonstrations against Putin, which had continued since a lower house election in December last year, did not cause major confusion.
 昨年12月の下院選後、今年3月の大統領選をはさんで続いてきた政権への大規模な抗議行動は、これまで大きな混乱はなかった。

This time, however, some participants went off the designated course during their demonstration march and security authorities suppressed them.
新体制の船出としては異例の事態といえる。

It is certain that such confusion and disturbance will continue to occur frequently unless the government changes its autocratic nature, which is represented by its lack of a system to respond to the public's dissatisfaction.
今回はデモ隊の一部が既定のコースを外れ、当局が力で抑え込みにかかった。
国民の不満をくみ上げる政治システムに欠ける強権的な政権の体質が変わらなければ、こうした混乱が今後も頻発するのは確実だ。

One cannot help but wonder whether Putin is serious about strengthening Russia's democracy as he pledged in his inaugural address.
プーチン氏は、就任あいさつで約束した「ロシアの民主主義の強化」に真剣に取り組むつもりなのか。

He should be aware that the international community as a whole is worried about Russia's democracy.
国際社会に懸念があることを自覚してもらいたい。

On the diplomatic front, concerns have been voiced over whether Putin will revive the hard line that he had adopted when he was president from 2000 and 2008.
 外交政策でも、プーチン氏が前回の大統領時代にとった強硬路線の復活を懸念する声がある。

He has so far shown no sign of responding to U.S. President Barack Obama's proposal to launch negotiations toward further arms reductions.
オバマ米大統領からの一層の核軍縮へ向けた交渉開始の呼びかけには、今のところ応じる気配は見せておらず、

Moreover, he reportedly has no intention of attending the Group of Eight summit meeting to be held in the United States in May.
5月に米国で開かれる主要8カ国(G8)首脳会議にも出席しないという。

Putin is highly likely to make his diplomatic debut since he assumed the presidency again at a summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
 大統領復帰の「外交デビュー」は6月初めに北京で開かれる上海協力機構の首脳会議になる可能性が高い。

In September, he will host a summit meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum to be held in Vladivostok, which will be the first such conference to be held in Russia.
9月には極東ウラジオストクで、ロシアで初めてのアジア太平洋経済協力会議(APEC)首脳会議を主催する。

These show that Putin places priority on strengthening Russia's relations with Asian countries.
当面はプーチン氏がアジアとの関係強化を優先課題と考えていることの表れといえる。

In the first presidential decree he issued following his inauguration, Putin cited the promotion of reciprocal cooperation with Japan as one of his key policies.
 就任にあたって発出した大統領令の中では、日本との「互恵協力の発展」を基本路線の一つに掲げた。

However, Putin's inauguration as president has drawn mixed reactions in Japan, with some placing high expectations on his policy of attaching importance to Russia's ties with Asian countries and others warning against optimism because Moscow's demand for compromise from Japan over the bilateral territorial dispute remains unchanged.
日本では、プーチン氏のアジア重視路線に期待する声と、北方領土問題で日本に譲歩を迫る姿勢は変わらないとして期待を戒める声がある。

These two views appear to conflict with each other, but both are right.
この二つは一見矛盾するようだが、いずれも正しい。

Behind Putin's policy of attaching importance to Russia's ties with Asia is his hard-headed strategy of using Asia's economic dynamism, including Japan's advanced technology, to develop the country's Far Eastern region and modernize the country's economy.
日本の高度な技術力などアジアの経済活力を取り込み、シベリア・極東地域の発展と国家経済の近代化につなげたいプーチン氏の冷徹な国家戦略がアジア重視の背景にある。

Japan should position its diplomacy toward Russia, including its economic cooperation, as a pillar of its overall national strategy and deepen its relations with Russia's new administration in an effort to seek a breakthrough in the territorial dispute.
日本も、エネルギーなどの経済協力も含めた対露外交を大局的な国家戦略の中に位置づけ、ロシア新政権との関係を深める中から領土問題解決の突破口を探るべきだ。

毎日新聞 2012年05月11日 02時30分
posted by srachai at 06:34| Comment(0) | 毎日英字

2012年05月13日

生活保護見直し 自立を促し不正許さぬ制度に

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 12, 2012)
Reform welfare system to help those helping themselves
生活保護見直し 自立を促し不正許さぬ制度に(5月11日付・読売社説)

As the economic situation continues to deteriorate, the number of people receiving welfare benefits has risen to almost 2.1 million. Reforming the welfare system to help people willing to work become self-reliant is an urgent task.
 経済情勢の悪化を背景に、生活保護の受給者が増え続け、210万人に迫っている。働く意欲のある人の自立を助ける制度改革が急務である。

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry has presented to the Social Security Council a basic draft for discussions on reforming the welfare system. The ministry plans to flesh out welfare reform as a "livelihood support strategy" by autumn.
 厚生労働省は、生活保護制度を改革するため、社会保障審議会に議論のたたき台を示した。秋までに「生活支援戦略」として具体化する。

One prominent feature of the plan is the proposed establishment of a "working income accumulation system." Under this system, a certain proportion of the income received by a welfare recipient would be accumulated and given in a lump sum when they get off welfare.
 注目されるのは、新設を検討する「就労収入積立制度」だ。働いて得た収入の一定割合を積み立て、生活保護から脱した時にまとめて受け取る仕組みである。

One reason for ballooning welfare expenses has been the increase in welfare recipients in the prime of their working life. In recent years, many nonregular employees who are not enrolled in unemployment insurance immediately ended up relying on welfare benefits after losing their job.
 生活保護の膨張の一因は、働き盛り世代の受給者の増加にある。近年は雇用保険に未加入の非正規労働者が、失業によって一気に生活保護に陥るケースが目立つ。

Although people want to get off welfare, it is difficult for many to find a job that pays well. The reality is that a worker's income gradually rises as their career progresses.
 生活保護から抜け出したくても収入のよい仕事に就くのは容易ではない。徐々に収入を増やしていく、というのが現実だ。

===

Stamp out fraud

Under the current system, however, if welfare recipients work and earn income, the benefits they receive will in principle be cut by the amount they earned. Observers have pointed out that this system drains a recipient's will to get off welfare because they end up with the same amount of money regardless of whether they work or not.
 ところが現行制度は原則として働いて収入を得ると、その分、生活保護の給付額がカットされる。働いても働かなくても同じでは、生活保護から脱却しようという意欲をそぐ、と指摘されていた。

Therefore, the working income accumulation system can be expected to have a positive effect in this regard. The money a worker accumulates will not result in a cut in their welfare benefits. Welfare recipients thus will be able to better prepare financially for the future and their will to work and become self-reliant will grow. Their income will increase and the government's welfare expenditures will fall.
 それだけに、積立制度には効果が期待される。積み立て分は給付減額の対象とはならない。将来に備えることができ、就労、自立への意欲は高まろう。収入全体が増え、給付される公費も減る。

We suggest the government quickly settle the details of the envisaged system, including the percentage of income that will be accumulated, and promptly introduce it even on a trial basis.
 どの程度の割合で積み立てるかなど細部の設計を急ぎ、試験的にでも速やかに実行してはどうか。

At the same time, it may be necessary to create more job opportunities for welfare recipients, including positions at public facilities.
併せて、公共施設の業務など就労機会を作ることも必要だろう。

Welfare benefits are expected to exceed 3.7 trillion yen this fiscal year. In the past five years, the amount has increased by as much as 1 trillion yen.
 生活保護の給付総額は今年度、3兆7000億円を超える見通しだ。この5年間で、1兆円も膨らんでいる。

Welfare fraud must be thoroughly prevented to stop this figure from rising further. This is especially true for medical care benefits, which account for about half of total welfare benefit expenses.
これを抑制するためにも不正の防止は徹底すべきだ。特に、生活保護費の約半分を占める医療給付である。

===

LDP must lend a hand

Currently, people on welfare are exempted from paying medical expenses, and in many cases they receive more medical examinations than necessary. Also, there are unscrupulous medical institutions that earn medical treatment fees by examining mostly welfare recipients.
 生活保護受給者は医療費の自己負担がなく、必要以上の診療を受けていることが少なくない。受給者ばかりを集め、診療報酬を稼ぐ悪質な医療機関も存在する。

The ministry is discussing strengthening measures to prevent fraud, including establishing a system in which another doctor will be asked to decide whether medical examinations are being conducted appropriately. Such steps will be essential for making welfare benefit expenses more transparent.
 厚労省は、診療内容が適正かどうか別の医師にも判断を求める制度など、不正防止の強化策を検討中だ。生活保護費の透明性を高めるために不可欠である。

The main opposition Liberal Democratic Party, which is discussing a counterproposal for integrated reform of the social security and tax systems, also heavily favors boosting welfare recipients' self-reliance. The LDP has presented a policy of curbing benefits by placing greater emphasis on assistance for welfare recipients trying to stand on their own feet.
 社会保障と税の一体改革で対案を検討中の自民党も、「自助」を重視する立場から、自立支援策に力点を置いて生活保護給付を抑制する方針を打ち出している。

A review of welfare benefit payments also is an important pillar of the integrated reform. The ruling and opposition parties should work together to advance welfare system reform from various angles.
 生活保護の見直しも、一体改革の重要な柱である。与野党で力を合わせ、多角的に制度改革を進めるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 11, 2012)
(2012年5月11日01時28分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 06:49| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2012年05月12日

プーチン大統領 見定めたいアジア重視戦略

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 11, 2012)
Putin's diplomatic strategies require careful scrutiny
プーチン大統領 見定めたいアジア重視戦略(5月10日付・読売社説)

After an interval of four years, Vladimir Putin has returned to the post of Russian president. His new administration will have its hands full dealing with a stack of problems.
 ロシアでプーチン氏が4年ぶりに大統領に復帰した。多くの難題を抱えた新体制発足である。

"We have strengthened our country and returned our dignity as a great nation," Putin said at his inauguration ceremony. Putin's message conveyed his intention to continue pursuing a strong Russia.
 就任式で、プーチン氏は、「我々は国を強くし、偉大な国民の誇りを取り戻した」と述べ、今後も強いロシアを追求する姿勢を示した。

Many ears pricked up when Putin recently expressed a specific economic goal of becoming one of the world's top five economies in the near future.
 具体的な目標として、世界5位以内の経済大国入りを掲げていることが注目される。

However, to achieve this target, Russia will first need to break free from its excessive dependence on natural resources and develop its domestic industries, such as manufacturing, so that they are competitive in international markets. It is also vital that Russia introduce cutting-edge technologies.
 それには、何よりも、資源依存体質を変え、国際競争力を持つ製造業など国内産業を育成しなければならない。先端技術の導入は不可欠である。

Russia will not be able to obtain the trust of domestic and foreign investors without creating fair markets and an environment that attracts foreign investment.
 公正な市場の形成に取り組み、外国の投資を呼び込むための環境を整備しなければ、国内外から信頼は得られない。

The new president urgently needs to eradicate the widespread corruption in his country and establish the rule of law. Putin was expected to tackle these issues when he first took office in 2000, but the problems remain unresolved.
 ロシア社会にはびこる汚職を一掃し、法治を確立することが急務だ。プーチン氏が2000年に初めて大統領になった時以来の宿題だが、依然改善できずにいる。

===

Public discontent growing

The fact that thousands of people participated in a demonstration held on the eve of Putin's inauguration shows how frustrated many Russians are with the current state of affairs.
 就任式前日、多くの市民が参加して反プーチン集会が開かれたのは、不満の大きさの表れだ。

To obtain the backing of middle-class Russians seeking change, Putin will need to boldly reform the nation's political and administrative structures. In fact, this will be the only way Russia can achieve economic development.
 変革を求める中間層からも支持を得られるように、政治・行政の大胆な見直しを進めてこそ、経済発展も可能となろう。

In one of Putin's first presidential orders, he stated a policy of strengthening cooperation with the Asia-Pacific region.
 プーチン氏は、就任後最初の大統領令で、アジア太平洋との連携を強化する方針を示した。

He said Moscow plans to establish mutually beneficial, cooperative relationships with nations such as Japan, South Korea and Australia, and to deepen ties with China and India.
 中国、インドなどとの関係を深める一方、日本、韓国、オーストラリアなどとも互恵協力関係の構築を図りたいとしている。

As long as Russia aspires to become a major economic power, it is unsurprising that the country is looking closely at the Asia-Pacific region, which has become a hub of the world's economic growth.
 経済大国化を目指す以上、世界の成長拠点であるアジア太平洋に着目したのは当然だ。

In September, an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting will be held in Vladivostok. Russia will likely use this meeting as a stepping stone for strengthening economic cooperation with Asia-Pacific nations.
 9月にウラジオストクで開くアジア太平洋経済協力会議(APEC)首脳会議を、連携強化の足掛かりにする狙いがあろう。

===

Don't forget northern territories

Russia has recently become increasingly important to Japan as a supplier of liquefied natural gas--a main fuel for thermal power plants. Strengthening bilateral economic cooperation in the energy field would benefit both countries.
 日本にとって、火力発電所の主力燃料となる液化天然ガス(LNG)をロシアから輸入することは、重要性を増している。エネルギー分野で経済協力を拡大することは日露両国に有益だろう。

However, we should not forget the issue of the Russian-held northern territories off Hokkaido. The Japan-Russia relationship soured during the administration of Putin's predecessor, Dmitry Medvedev. Moscow expressed hope for developing joint economic activities on the four islands, but never tried to move territorial talks forward.
 しかし、北方領土問題を忘れてはならない。メドベージェフ前大統領のもとで、日露関係は険悪化した。ロシア側は、日露両国による北方4島での共同経済活動には期待感を示すものの、領土交渉を動かす考えはなかった。

In his third term, Putin will likely take a tough line on foreign policies due to his unstable political footing caused by domestic concerns. Japan should not expect too much on the development of territorial talks.
 大統領として3期目に入ったプーチン氏は、内政で足元が揺れているだけに、対外的には強い姿勢を崩すまい。交渉進展に大きな期待を抱くのは禁物である。

The Japanese government must rebuild its strategy vis-a-vis Russia after thoroughly examining Putin's diplomatic policies.
 日本政府は、プーチン氏の外交方針を十分見極めて、対露戦略を再構築しなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 10, 2012)
(2012年5月10日01時46分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 05:30| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2012年05月11日

一体改革法案 与野党協議へ「建設的対案」を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 10, 2012)
Realistic counterproposals needed from LDP
一体改革法案 与野党協議へ「建設的対案」を(5月9日付・読売社説)

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has declared it is "no exaggeration to say" he is staking his political life on passage of a package of bills for comprehensive reform of the social security and tax systems, on which Diet deliberations started Tuesday.
 「政治生命を懸けるといった言葉に掛け値はない」――。野田首相がこう明言する社会保障と税の一体改革関連法案の審議が始まった。

The ruling and opposition parties should make serious concessions with the aim of passing the bills as soon as possible.
 与野党は大胆に歩み寄り、早期の成立を目指すべきだ。

During a question-and-answer session in the House of Representatives, Tadamori Oshima, vice president of the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party, referred to the current gridlock in politics under the divided Diet. "It is desirable to establish rules regarding negotiations among parties so as to form a new policymaking process," he said.
 衆院本会議の質疑で自民党の大島理森副総裁は「衆参ねじれ」による政治の停滞に関連し、「政党間協議のルールを確立し、新たな政策決定プロセスを構築することこそが求められる」と述べた。

Oshima also expressed his party's willingness to join negotiations between the ruling and opposition camps, depending on the Democratic Party of Japan's handling of discussions on the bills.
 大島氏は、民主党の対応によっては与野党協議に応じても良い、との意向も明らかにした。

It is noteworthy that momentum has been finally generated to move toward debate on the integrated reform.
 一体改革に向けて、話し合いの機運がようやく出てきたことは評価できよう。

===

Cooperation crucial

To pass bills under the divided Diet, it is crucial for the government to gain cooperation from the LDP and other opposition parties. Noda must exercise his leadership to create an environment to elicit it.
 ねじれ国会で、政府が法案を成立させるには自民党など野党の協力が不可欠だ。野田首相は指導力を発揮し、野党の協力を得るための環境を整える必要がある。

The LDP has demanded the DPJ drop its plans to create a new pension system that would include a guaranteed minimum pension, as well as abolish a special health insurance system for people aged 75 and older. The two measures were among the major policies the party pledged in its manifesto for the 2009 lower house election.
 自民党は、最低保障年金を柱とする新年金制度案と、後期高齢者医療制度の廃止方針の撤回を求めた。ともに民主党の政権公約(マニフェスト)の看板政策だ。

Noda has only indicated he would leave a decision up to the DPJ. We believe, however, the party has no choice but to drop those policies to pave the way for the ruling and opposition parties to hold talks on the bills.
 首相は党内の検討に委ねる考えを示したが、与野党協議の実現に向けて撤回するしかあるまい。

The prime minister instead urged the LDP to make "constructive counterproposals" on the comprehensive reform.
 首相は逆に、自民党に「建設的な対案」の提示を求めた。

When it comes to the social security system, the opposition party's counterproposal is unlikely to significantly differ from the government's legislation on integrating corporate employees' and mutual-aid pensions because the current government's plan is almost the same as the one submitted in 2007 by the coalition government between the LDP and New Komeito.
 自民党の社会保障の対案は、政府案と大きく違うことはないだろう。政府が提出している厚生、共済両年金の一元化法案は、自公政権が2007年に提出した法案とほとんど同じ内容である。

We believe that it would not take much time for the ruling and opposition camps to reach a consensus as long as the LDP makes a counterproposal on this issue.
 自民党が対案を出せば、与野党の合意形成にそう時間はかからないのではないか。

The LDP also should compile a counterproposal on raising the consumption tax rate, in which support measures for low-income earners would be a major focal point.
 自民党は、消費税率引き上げでも対案をまとめるべきだ。低所得者対策が一つの焦点となる。

===

Examine reduced tax system

The government's bill to raise the consumption tax rate includes granting cash benefits to those with lower incomes, which might result in bloating the amounts of the planned cash allowances. The government would undermine the efficacy of the tax hike if it implements yet another handout policy at the same time.
 低所得者への現金給付を軸とする政府案は、給付額が膨らむ恐れがある。新たなバラマキとなれば増税の効果は損なわれよう。

In Europe, which has a tradition of value-added taxes, reduced tax rate systems have been adopted with the aim of lowering the taxes on food and other daily necessities, as well as newspapers and books.
 付加価値税の歴史が長い欧州では、食料品など生活必需品や、新聞・書籍などに対する軽減税率が定着している。

The LDP has been examining the introduction of a reduced tax rate system apparently because it regards the mechanism as realistic in light of the European example. We propose the government positively study the system.
 自民党が軽減税率を検討しているのは、欧州を参考に現実的な案と判断しているからだろう。政府も前向きに考えてはどうか。

There is a concern, however, over Diet deliberations on the package of bills for the integrated reform. The LDP has set a precondition for holding discussions in a special committee: the replacement of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Takeshi Maeda and Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka, who were recently censured by the opposition-controlled House of Councillors.
 今後、一体改革法案の審議を進める上で懸念材料もある。自民党は、参院で問責された前田国土交通相と田中防衛相を辞めさせることを特別委員会での審議に応じる条件としている。

However, neither of the two ministers have anything to do with the social security or tax systems. The LDP should decouple debate on the bill from calling for the ministers to be replaced.
 だが、両氏とも社会保障・税とは無関係だ。辞任要求と、法案の審議は切り離すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 9, 2012)
(2012年5月9日02時17分 読売新聞)
posted by srachai at 07:42| Comment(0) | 読売英字

2012年05月10日

社説:超高齢社会 「肩車型」の常識を疑え

May 05, 2012(Mainichi Japan)
Editorial: Aging society does not necessarily spell doom
社説:超高齢社会 「肩車型」の常識を疑え

Longevity is something to be celebrated, but when it comes to the aging of Japanese society, it is often discussed in a pessimistic tone.
 長寿はおめでたいことなのに、高齢化となると悲観論をもって語られることが多い。

One reason for this is the continuing decline in people of working age. Learning that our society is shifting from one in which four working people financially support one senior citizen, to another in which each working person must support one senior citizen -- a so-called "piggyback" setup -- would make anyone anxious. And indeed, that is exactly what is happening.
現役世代の人口が減り続けているせいでもある。現役4人が高齢者1人を背負う「騎馬戦型」から、現役1人が高齢者1人を背負う「肩車型」になると言われたら誰しも不安になるだろう。たしかに人口比率はそのようになる。

This unfolding state of affairs has prompted calls to raise Japan's tax and insurance rates, which are some of the lowest among all industrialized nations around the world. But perhaps because Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and other officials lack the rhetoric to persuade the public of the validity of their policy, the push to establish a full-fledged piggyback arrangement appears to be undermining confidence in the country's social security system.
 だからこそ先進国最低レベルの国民負担率(税と保険の負担)をもう少し引き上げるべきだという文脈で「肩車型」説は登場したはずだったが、野田佳彦首相らの言い方がまずいのだろうか、逆に社会保障制度の信頼性を揺るがせているようにも思える。

It would be ironic if the number of people signing up with the national pension or health insurance plans were to shrink as a result.
そのせいで年金や保険の未加入者が増えているのだとしたらあまりに皮肉だ。

So let us take a closer look at why piggyback systems spur pessimism.
現役の負担は増えない ここは世の「肩車型=悲観論」の常識を疑ってみようではないか。

Accepting the premise that the ratio of working-age citizens (people aged 15 to 64) to senior citizens (those aged 65 and over) will eventually become one to one, the important thing when evaluating the stability of the social security system is the ratio between those in the work force earning money, and those who are being supported.
現役(15〜64歳)と高齢者(65歳以上)の人口比がいずれ1対1になるのは間違いないとして、社会保障の安定性を考える上で大事なのは働いて所得を得ている層と「支えられる側」の比率であることを忘れてはならない。

It's not just senior citizens that the working population supports.
「支えられる側」にいるのは高齢者だけではない。

It was common for families to have and therefore provide for many children in the era immediately after World War II, but the number of children per household has been in decline more recently.
戦後間もないころの親は大勢の子供たちを育てていたが、今は子供の数が減り続けている。

Those who required financial support in the past also included housewives, the disabled, and those who were ill, but today, there are more two-income households than single-income households, and the employment of the disabled is on the rise.
 また、以前の「支えられる側」には専業主婦、障害者、病気の人も含まれていたが、今は専業主婦世帯よりも共働き世帯の方が増え、障害者の雇用率も上がっている。

Moreover, there are far more people working past the age of 65 today than there were before.
また、65歳を過ぎても働いている高齢者は以前と比べものにならないほど多くなった。

Shut-ins and NEETs (people "not in education, employment, or training") undoubtedly do exist, but even taking such populations into account, the ratio between those who do the supporting and those who receive support has barely changed over the past few decades.
ひきこもりやニートなど現役世代で働いていない人もいるが、これらのデータを含めて総合的に見ると、「支える側」と「支えられる側」の比率はこの数十年ほとんど変化がない。

If senior citizens and housewives continue to work outside the home, thereby expanding the population providing for those who need support, the burden on the working population should not increase.
今後も高齢者や主婦が働いて「支える側」が厚くなれば、高齢化率の伸びほどには現役世代の負担は増えないだろう。

The theory that social security costs will surge at a rate of 1 trillion yen per year as Japanese society continues to age, widening intergenerational economic gaps, also calls for closer analysis.
 もう一つ、悲観論の根拠である「高齢化に伴って社会保障費が毎年1兆円ずつ増え、世代間格差が広がる」という説も考えてみよう。

During a time when it was common for three generations of families to live together, caring for elderly parents and children was considered the work of the wife, while the husband was expected to earn money for all household expenses.
 3世代同居が当たり前だった時代は、老いた両親の介護や子供の保育はもっぱら妻の役割とされ、その妻を含めた大家族全員の生活費を現役世代の夫が一人で支えていた。

As nuclear families and single-person households become the norm and the number of children drops, the burden of caring for elderly family members and bringing up children becomes relatively light.
ところが、核家族やひとり暮らしが当たり前になり、子供の数も減ってくると、親の介護や保育の負担は相対的に軽くなる。

If elderly parents are able to live on social security and personal savings, the financial burden on the working generation is alleviated.
老いた親も年金や預金で生活できるようになれば、現役世代の経済的負担は少なくなる。

Of course, there are many senior citizens who receive a low level of social security benefits or none at all, and there is no end to the number of people who leave their jobs to focus on caring for their aging parents.
 もちろん、無年金や低年金の高齢者は多く、親の介護のために離職する人も後を絶たないが、

However, compared to a time when neither social security nor nursing care insurance was available, the burden on working citizens has not become categorically worse.
年金も介護保険もなかったころに比べれば、今の現役世代の負担は一概に重くなったとは言えない。

Rather, inheritance per capita has risen, and people generally have more opportunities and funds to receive an education.
むしろ1人当たりの相続財産は以前より多く、教育を受ける機会や費用も増えている。

In other words, the impression people commonly have of the piggyback arrangement, and the actual generational gap in burdens are very different.
「肩車型」のイメージと世代間格差の実相はかなり違うと考えるべきだ。

Rising social security costs may pose great pressure on government finances, but if the increased costs are translated into better nursing care and childcare services, it could lighten the load on families in the working generation.
 国家財政レベルでは社会保障費の増加は圧迫要因かもしれないが、増加分が介護や保育サービスの充実に回れば、現役世代の家族内の負担は軽減されていく。

One of the intended functions of the social security system is to collect a larger proportion of taxes and insurance premiums from high-income workers, and redistribute it to those with lower incomes.
もともと社会保障は所得の多い人から税や保険料を多く集め、所得の少ない人に回す再分配の機能を持つ。

What's important is not just whether the costs are expanding, but whether the funds are being redistributed effectively.
費用の膨張だけでなく、再分配が有効に機能しているかどうかが問題なのである。

There is a group, sometimes called the "platinum generation," whose age makes them "senior citizens" but are actually a part of the population that give the piggyback rides.
プラチナ世代に注目 「支える側」で特に注目すべきなのは元気な高齢層だ。
年齢区分では「高齢者」とされるが、実は肩車の下側で支えている。

Among those who turned 65 this year are pro-baseball team Rakuten Eagles' manager Senichi Hoshino and the comedian and film director Takeshi Kitano.
たとえば、今年65歳になった人を見ると、プロ野球の星野仙一楽天監督、タレントで映画監督の北野武氏をはじめそうそうたる人物が各界で名を連ねる。

They're full of life and are highly unlikely to go into retirement anytime soon.
そう簡単に隠居などしそうにない、ピカピカの現役である。

Readers must also know many people who are 65 or older who one wouldn't think to describe as "elderly."
「お年寄り」と呼ぶのもはばかられる65歳以上はあなたの身近にも多いはずだ。

In a story on post-war Japanese medicine and insurance last year, the British medical journal The Lancet wrote about the "platinum generation" -- called so because while its members technically fit into the "silver generation," they are shiny and bright instead of dull like oxidized silver.
Japan must recognize not only that our people are living long lives, but also that our country has produced a large population of energetic seniors.
 年齢的にはシルバーだが、いぶし銀のような地味さはなく色あせずに輝き続けるという意味で「プラチナ世代」と呼ばれたりする。
戦後の日本の医療や保険の成果について昨年、英医学誌「ランセット」が特集したが、単に長寿だというだけでなく元気な高齢世代を大量に出現させた功績も見逃してはならない。

It is not rare to see former businessmen and researchers in the sciences finding success in areas such as social welfare and farming after retiring from their original jobs.  ビジネスマンや理系研究者が定年後、福祉や農業などの分野に転身し成功している例は今や珍しくない。

We would like senior citizens to break bravely into uncharted fields, making use of the abundant knowledge and experience they've accumulated over the years.
未知の分野に果敢に飛び込み、長年培ってきた豊富な知識や経験を生かしてほしい。

It is at the intersection of various values that we can hope to find clues that will pave the way to a new era.
多様な価値観がぶつかり合うところに新しい時代を切り開くヒントが生まれるはずだ。
posted by srachai at 07:10| Comment(0) | 毎日英字

2012年05月09日

米中戦略対話 人権で摩擦の火種を残した

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 8, 2012)
Human rights issue causes friction between U.S., China
米中戦略対話 人権で摩擦の火種を残した(5月6日付・読売社説)

The fourth round of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, held in Beijing, recently ended.
 北京で開かれていた第4回米中戦略・経済対話が閉幕した。

Ministers of the two countries discussed a range of issues such as diplomacy, security and the economy. In a joint statement, the countries vowed "to build a new model of bilateral relations in the 21st century."
 両国の閣僚が、外交や安全保障、経済など幅広い課題について話し合い、共同文書で、「21世紀の新たな国家関係のモデルを構築する」との方針を確認した。

The United States and China, whose economic interdependence has deepened, reiterated they would aim to play an important role not only in addressing global economic issues but also in achieving peace and stability in the international community.
 経済的な相互依存関係を深める両国が、世界経済だけでなく、国際社会の平和と安定に重要な役割を果たしていくという決意を、改めて表明したものだ。

Shortly before the talks, however, a diplomatic standoff arose when blind Chinese rights activist Chen Guangcheng sought protection at the U.S. Embassy.
 だが、対話直前、中国の盲目の人権活動家、陳光誠氏の米国大使館駆け込み事件が起きた。

The United States and China gave the impression that they even attempted to resolve the issue during the talks to prevent it from harming their bilateral relationship.
 対話中も、米中は、事件が両国関係に影響を及ぼさぬよう、もっぱら事件の火消しに終始した感が強い。

But this case has highlighted the fact that the two countries have flashpoints over human rights issues in addition to diplomatic and military matters.
外交・軍事面は無論、人権問題でも火種を抱えていることを浮き彫りにしたと言える。

The diplomatic standoff is likely to end, as China has indicated it will allow Chen to leave the country to study in the United States.
 事件は、中国側が陳氏の留学目的での出国を認める方針を示し、米国留学で決着する見通しだ。

China is apparently aiming to fend off a growing domestic democracy movement by permitting Chen, who has become a symbol in the human rights movement, to leave China soon.
 中国には、人権問題の象徴となった陳氏を早期に出国させることで、国内の民主化運動の高まりを防ぐ狙いがあろう。

===

Washington needs patience

The United States and China agreed to hold talks on human rights issues this summer. But Beijing, which has called foreign countries' references to human rights in China interference in its domestic affairs, is unlikely to change its attitude. The United States therefore needs to patiently urge China to improve its human rights situation without compromising easily.
 米中は、人権対話の今夏開催で合意した。国内人権状況への言及を「内政干渉」とはねつける中国の姿勢は変わるまい。米国は安易に妥協することなく、状況改善を地道に働きかける必要がある。

Issues concerning moves on the Korean Peninsula, such as prevention of an anticipated nuclear test by North Korea, and Iran's nuclear program--which were supposed to be the main focus of the talks--ended up being overshadowed by human rights. Such topics as North Korea and Iran were on the agenda, but the specifics of discussions on the matters are unknown.
 今回の対話の焦点だった北朝鮮の核実験阻止など朝鮮半島情勢や、イラン核問題への対応は、人権問題の陰に隠れる形となった。議題に取り上げられたものの、具体的な議論の内容は不明だ。

China and the United States, both permanent members of U.N. Security Council, should take the initiative in blocking North Korea from carrying out another nuclear test.
 国連安全保障理事会の常任理事国である両国は、率先して北朝鮮の核実験阻止に努めるべきだ。

During the dialogue, the United States and China also decided to inaugurate maritime safety talks this autumn as well as consultations on Asia-Pacific affairs in the second half of the year.
 今回の対話では、海洋安全対話を今秋初めて開催することや、アジア太平洋地域に関する協議を今年後半に開くことも決まった。

Disagreements between the two countries over the South China Sea are significant. The United States has called on China to maintain free navigation in the sea while Beijing has urged Washington to respect its "core national interests." Dispelling mutual distrust through a series of talks is vital for the two countries.
 南シナ海を巡っては、「航行の自由」を訴える米国と、自らの「核心的利益」として尊重を迫る中国の立場の隔たりが大きい。両国が一連の対話を通じて、不信感を緩和することが重要である。

===

Dialogue has positive effect

Regarding the economy, the countries decided to resume negotiations on concluding an investment accord. China pressed the United States to ease regulations on high-tech exports to China. Washington agreed to look into Beijing's request, including the easing of such export control.
 経済問題では投資協定の交渉再開が決まった。中国がハイテク製品の対中輸出規制緩和を求めたのに対し、米国が検討に応じるなど合意点も少なくなかった。

This platform of economic dialogue appears to have had some positive effect in reducing economic frictions between the two countries.
経済摩擦の解消へ、対話は一定の効果を上げていると見てよい。

Meanwhile, ministerial-level economic talks between Japan and China have not been held since 2010, primarily due to Japan's political stalemate and China's objections over the Senkaku Islands issue. The Japanese government must restart and expand the talks as soon as possible.
 日中間では、日本の政局や尖閣諸島を巡る中国の反発などが原因で、閣僚級のハイレベル経済対話が2010年を最後に、開かれていない。対話を早期に再開し、拡大を図っていかねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 6, 2012)
(2012年5月6日01時15分 読売新聞)
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2012年05月08日

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:甘え?若年ホームレス /東京

May 06, 2012(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Problem of young homeless not just a lack of drive
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:甘え?若年ホームレス /東京

The Big Issue, a project which supports homeless people by having them sell its magazines, is now known by many people. Recently The Big Issue foundation put together its second report on young homeless. In the introduction it is written that since the 2008 financial crisis, the number of homeless in Japan under 40 has sharply risen.
 路上生活者に雑誌を販売してもらい、仕事を提供して自立を応援する事業「ビッグイシュー」は、いまでは多くの人に知られる存在となった。そのビッグイシュー基金が、このたび「若者ホームレス白書2」をまとめた。その冒頭には、2008年のリーマン・ショック以降、40歳未満の若いホームレスが急増している、という衝撃的な事実が記されている。

There are surely people who, hearing that there are those who are young and yet have no job or home, think, "They probably just don't have drive." From the report, however, the complicated circumstances of these young people can be seen, which cannot be set aside only by saying these people "don't have drive."
 「若いのに仕事も家もない人」と聞くと、「やる気がないだけなんでしょう?」と思う人もいるだろう。しかし、白書からは単に「やる気がない」だけではすまされない、彼らの複雑な事情が浮かび上がってくる。

It may seem strange, but many homeless in their 20s and 30s have not only work experience, but experience as full-time employees. One young person mentioned in the report feared work after traumatic bullying at a previous job. "Of course it is unpleasant being homeless. But I have an equal amount of fear toward working," the person is quoted as saying.
 意外に感じるかもしれないが、20代、30代のホームレスの多くは、就業経験どころか正社員の経験も持つ。白書に取り上げられているある若者は、過去に仕事で受けたトラウマがもとになり、働くことが怖くなり、身動きが取れなくなっている。「職場いじめ」を受けたという20代の若者の言葉が痛々しい。「ホームレス状態でいることはもちろんイヤ。でもそれと同じくらいの恐怖が働くことがある」

Of course, I understand there are opinions that such people are not trying hard enough. However, I don't think that when they come across difficulties, things will somehow work out if they withstand the stress and seek help from those around them, because they no longer trust themselves or others.
 もちろん、「そんなの、甘えだよ」という声があるのもわかる。しかし、甘えているわけではない。彼らは「困難にぶち当たっても、耐えたりまわりに相談したりすればなんとかなるはずだ」と思えない。自分のことも他人のことも、まったく信頼できないからだ。

Reading the report, one understands that for these people to get out of homelessness, they need more than just work, a home or money. They need to once more trust the world, other people and themselves, or nothing will start.
 白書を読んでいると、彼らがホームレス状態から脱出するためには、仕事や住まい、準備資金などを与えるだけでは不十分だ、ということがわかってくる。彼らにもう一度、世間や他人、そして自分のことを信じる気持ちを持ってもらわなければ、何ごとも始まらないのだ。

To restore this trust, first they need to think, "The world and life are not bad."
 では、どうすれば「他人や自分を信頼する気持ち」を回復させられるのか。まず必要なのは、「世の中や人生って悪くないな」と思ってもらうことだ。

The Big Issue's foundation has created homeless soccer teams and had them participate in various competitions. Through this there have been young people who, feeling gratitude that there is a place they can relax, have taken the first steps toward recovery.
ビッグイシュー基金でもホームレスの人たちのサッカーチームを作り、いろいろな大会に積極的に参加しているが、そこで「ホッとできる場所があるっていいな」と感じて立ち直りの一歩を歩み出した若者もいる。

(英文は翻訳抜けでしょう^^)
 もちろん、「そんなの、甘えだよ」という声があるのもわかる。しかし、甘えているわけではない。彼らは「困難にぶち当たっても、耐えたりまわりに相談したりすればなんとかなるはずだ」と思えない。自分のことも他人のことも、まったく信頼できないからだ。

The report reads, "Young homelessness is not a unique phenomenon." In these hard times, everyone constantly lives with the possibility that their workplace or community will tell them, "You are no longer needed." I hope people will think of the young homeless who have lost their jobs, homes and social connections without saying, "They are just not trying hard enough."
 白書は言う。「若年ホームレスは特殊な現象ではない」。厳しいこの時代、誰もがいまの職場や地域から「もういらないよ」と言われる危険性と隣り合わせだ。「ああ、ただの甘えでしょ」と思わずに、仕事も住まいも人とのつながりも失った、若年ホームレスの問題や彼らの胸のうちについて考えてみてほしい。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
〔都内版〕
毎日新聞 2012年05月01日 地方版
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2012年05月07日

「原発ゼロ」社会:下 市民の熟議で信頼構築を

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 6
EDITORIAL: New system needed to ensure public input on nuclear power
「原発ゼロ」社会:下 市民の熟議で信頼構築を

The devastating accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant last year has evoked serious public distrust of politicians, bureaucrats and scientists.
 福島第一原発の事故をきっかけに、政治や行政、科学者などへの不信と疑念が広がった。

What needs to be done to stop the continuing growth of public distrust and restore their credibility with the people?
 その連鎖を断ち切り、信頼を再構築するにはどうしたらいいのだろうか。

The government has promised to promote “national debate” as part of its efforts to map out a new nuclear power and energy policy. Specifically, it plans to sort out the possible policy options that have been discussed by related advisory councils and study groups and present them to the people.
 政府は新たな原発・エネルギー政策に向けた「国民的議論」を掲げる。関係する審議会や調査会で検討してきた選択肢を整理して、国民に提示する。

The government says it is aiming to build a national consensus on the future direction of the policy by summer.
夏までに今後の方向性について合意を目指す考えという。

But not all the assumptions for the debate are clear.
 ただ、議論の前提が整っているわけではない。

The government’s committee looking into the nuclear accident has yet to compile its report. The proposed new nuclear safety watchdog, tentatively named the “Nuclear Regulatory Agency,” has yet to be created. It will be even longer before new nuclear safety standards are established.
政府の事故調査委員会の報告はまだだ。原子力規制庁(仮称)もできていない。原発の新しい安全基準作りはさらに先になる。

The power supply and demand situation this summer and progress in the efforts to promote use of renewable energy sources will also influence the debate.
この夏の電力需給や自然エネルギーの普及度合いも議論を左右する。

A well-thought-out plan and its careful implementation are vital. A rough-and-ready approach could even deepen the people’s distrust.
 知恵を絞る必要がある。拙速にことを運べば、かえって不信を広げかねない。

ORDINARY PEOPLE LEARN
■普通の人々が学ぶ

Western industrial nations have responded to “crises of credibility” of experts involved in policymaking, such as scientists, by trying to restore public confidence in them through in-depth discussions among citizens.
 欧米では、科学者ら専門家への「信頼の危機」に見舞われた際、市民参加による熟議を通じて信頼の再生を図ってきた。

When the credibility of scientists who ruled out the transmission of mad cow disease to humans was shattered, for example, Britain began to make serious efforts to promote policy debate involving ordinary citizens. Some 20,000 citizens took part in the debate over genetically modified food, including people who did so through the Internet. Various forums were established also for discussions on the safety of nanotechnology.
 たとえば、英国は牛海綿状脳症(BSE)のヒトへの感染を否定した専門家の信頼が地に落ち、市民参加型の議論に本腰を入れた。遺伝子組み換え作物をめぐる議論にはネット経由を含め2万人が参加した。ナノテクノロジーの安全性でも、様々な議論の場が設けられた。

Science and technology make our lives more comfortable and convenient but can also produce some unexpected side effects and risks.
 科学技術は暮らしを便利にするが、思わぬ副作用や危険性もある。

As the world has experienced many serious cases of public pollution and major accidents, there is now a growing global trend toward giving public opinion more influence over policy decisions on such issues as whether to permit the practical use of specific technologies.
公害や大事故などを経て、実用化の是非などに社会の意見を反映する流れが世界的に加速している。

At the same time, a broad array of schemes have been devised to allow citizens to participate in the policymaking process as a way to shore up eroding public confidence in democracy.
 一方、低下傾向にある民主政治への信認を補う目的でも、政策形成に市民が加わるさまざまな仕組みが考案されてきた。

The nuclear power and energy policy is one of the biggest themes that should reflect these two trends.
 原発・エネルギー政策は、この二つの流れが重なる最大級のテーマといえる。

In Japan, however, the atomic energy policy has been plagued by fake democracy. Spurious efforts to seek the opinions of local communities that are actually designed to justify the predetermined plans to build nuclear power facilities have been rampant.
 日本の原発政策では住民の意見を聞く形をとりながら、実際は既定の方針を正当化する「名ばかり民主主義」が横行してきた。

The bleak situation was highlighted anew by Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s attempt to manipulate public opinion on the resumption of operations at its Genkai nuclear power plant by using hundreds of its employees to send pro-nuclear e-mails to a TV program on the issue.
九州電力で発覚したやらせメールはその典型例だ。

In contrast, major Western countries generally have fairer and more transparent systems for citizen participation in policy debate. Typically, several dozens of “ordinary citizens” are chosen at random for debate on a specific policy issue to ensure that the participants represent a good cross section of society.
 これに対し、欧米での市民参加型では、無作為抽出などで数十人程度の「普通の人々」を選ぶのが一般的だ。いわば「社会の縮図」である。

After learning the basics of the issue, the participants think them over and discuss the issue at leisure. Usually, the participants are asked to express their opinions through proposals and questionnaires as summaries of the results of the debate. Their opinions are considered by the government and the legislature.
 参加者は基礎知識を学んだうえでじっくり考え、議論する。その結果を意見書やアンケートで集約し、行政や議会に尊重させるといった流れをとる。

To win the trust of society, such policy debate must be independent, neutral and transparent.
 議論が社会から信用されるための生命線は、独立、中立、そして透明性だ。

That means debate needs to be organized and sponsored by a neutral and independent body and moderated by experienced staff skilled in avoiding leading debate in a certain direction. It is also important to make clear the relationship of the experts chosen to support the debate with the industry and the government.
 中立で独立した主催者のもとで、議論を誘導しないよう習熟したスタッフが進行役をつとめる。議事に協力する専門家が業界や行政とどんな関係にあるのかも明らかにする。

'COMMON SENSE' AS SUPPLEMENT
■補完としての「常識」

This approach is no magic wand. It requires time and money. The citizens have no power to make the final policy decision. The system doesn’t replace the legislature composed of elected representatives.
 これらの方法は決して魔法の杖ではない。手間も金もかかるうえ、最終的な決定権はない。選挙で選ばれた議会に代わるわけではない。

All that such a system can do is to show the provisional common sense among citizens at that time, which can only play a supplementary role.
あくまで補完として、その時々の暫定的な市民社会の常識を示すにすぎない。

Still, it can make up for the shortcomings of the traditional policymaking process, at least to some extent. It can make visible citizens’ good sense as well as differences in the principles and tenets on which they cannot compromise.
 それでも、これまでのやり方の欠点を補う力はある。市民の良識や、譲れない信条の違いを「見える化」する。

These are functions that are needed for meaningful debate to overcome the sharp division among Japanese over the future of nuclear power generation in this nation.
賛否両極に大きく割れる原発議論を乗り越えるには必要な機能だ。

If the results of such careful and in-depth policy debate are handed down to the next generation, that would give an incentive for people living now to respect the right of “future generations” to make decisions. This is one realistic way to tackle policy challenges that will affect many generations to come, such as how to dispose of spent nuclear fuel.
 熟議の成果を次世代へリレーするなら、「将来世代」の意思決定権を尊重する動機もはたらく。使用済み核燃料の処分など末代まで関わる問題に、ひとつの方法を示唆してもいよう。

In addition, this approach is also useful for solving the dilemma posed by the fact that elections don’t necessarily guarantee the best choices for specific policy issues because they are fought over the campaign platforms of the parties that contain a wide range of proposals.
 さらに、各政党がさまざまな政策を掲げる選挙では個別政策で必ずしも最適の選択ができない、というジレンマを解きほぐすのにも有効だ。

In the city of Tokushima, citizens that didn’t belong to either camp in debate over the construction of a sluice-gate dam in the Yoshinogawa river held many meetings to study the issue. Their fruitful efforts prompted the city to hold a referendum on the issue.
 かつて徳島市では吉野川の可動堰(ぜき)問題をめぐり、賛否から距離を置く市民が勉強会を数多く開き、その実績を踏まえて市が住民投票を行ったことがある。

There can also be a system to hold popular referendums on national policy issues after several years of promoting such in-depth grassroots debate on the issues.
 国政でも、草の根の熟議を継続させ、数年間の実績を経てから国民投票にかける仕組みもありえよう。

In preparing for the envisioned national debate on the nation’s energy future, the government should entrust a neutral party to manage the actual operations and take steps to make sure there is an exhaustive and constructive debate that is beneficial for future generations as well.
 政府が考える国民的議論も、中立的な担い手に運営を任せたうえで、もっと時間をかけ、議論を将来につなげるよう、工夫してはどうだろう。
posted by srachai at 07:47| Comment(0) | 朝日英字

2012年05月06日

憲法記念日 改正論議で国家観が問われる

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 4, 2012)
Vision of the state questioned in top law revision debate
憲法記念日 改正論議で国家観が問われる(5月3日付・読売社説)

 ◆高まる緊急事態法制の必要性

Japan is currently facing many pending issues at home and abroad, such as reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake, resolving the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant and dealing with China, which is expanding its economic and military power.
 日本は今、東日本大震災からの復興や原子力発電所事故の収束、経済・軍事で膨張する中国への対応など、内外に多くの懸案を抱えている。

Since what the state should be is being questioned, we should go back to basics. The ruling and opposition parties should pursue the ideal form this country should take by deepening their discussions on constitutional revisions.
 国家のあり方が問われているからこそ、基本に戻りたい。与野党は憲法改正の論議を深め、あるべき国家像を追求すべきだ。

 ◆主権回復60年の節目に

Ahead of last Saturday, April 28, the 60th anniversary of the San Francisco Peace Treaty coming into force, the Liberal Democratic Party released the second draft of its proposed revisions to the Constitution.
 サンフランシスコ講和条約の発効からちょうど60年を迎えた4月28日を前に、自民党は、第2次憲法改正草案を発表した。

LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki stressed the necessity of constitutional revisions, a fundamental issue that led to the party's formation, saying it is something "we should've tackled when Japan regained sovereignty."
 谷垣総裁は「主権を回復した時に挑まねばならないことだった」と述べ、結党の原点である憲法改正の必要性を強調した。

It is a well-known fact that the Constitution was based on a draft drawn up by the General Headquarters of the Allied Powers. We commend the LDP for again proposing national debate on revisions to the top law by reviewing its first draft of revisions, written in 2005.
 憲法が、連合国軍総司令部(GHQ)の案を基に作成されたことは周知の事実である。自民党が2005年の草案を見直し、改めて国民的な憲法改正論議を提起したことは評価したい。

===

Emergencies provision sought

The LDP's new draft also established a provision to deal with emergencies, based on lessons from the Great East Japan Earthquake. Under the latest draft, the prime minister would be able to declare a state of emergency in the event of armed attacks on the country, a civil war and large-scale disasters.
 新草案は、東日本大震災の反省も踏まえて、緊急事態に対処するための条項を設けた。武力攻撃や内乱、大規模災害の際、首相は「緊急事態」を宣言できる。

The revisions would enable the prime minister to issue orders to the heads of local governments based on the declaration.
 それに基づき、地方自治体の首長に指示することなどを可能にした。

To protect people's lives and property, fundamental human rights--including the freedom to choose and change one's residence, and property rights--could be temporarily restricted within the minimum scope necessary. For this reason, some people object to the provision concerning emergencies.
 国民の生命と財産を守るためには、居住及び移転の自由、財産権など基本的人権を必要最小限の範囲で一時的に制限することにもなろう。それだけに、緊急事態条項への反対論はある。

However, it is much more dangerous for the government to take supralegal measures that it claims are necessary in an emergency, with no provision for such steps stipulated in the Constitution. This is why almost all countries, including Germany and France, have a provision concerning emergencies in their constitutions.
 しかし、何の規定もないまま、政府が緊急事態を理由に超法規的措置をとることの方がよほど危険だ。独仏などほとんどの国が憲法に緊急事態条項を明文化しているのは、そのためでもある。

It is the government's responsibility to prepare for emergencies in times of calm.
 緊急事態への備えを平時に整えておくことは、政府の責務だ。

Previous damage estimates are being reviewed for earthquakes, including a possible inland earthquake that could directly hit Tokyo, in which the capital's functions could be paralyzed, and a massive earthquake along the Nankai Trough caused by simultaneous Tokai, Tonankai and Nankai earthquakes.
 首都機能が喪失しかねない「首都直下地震」や、東海、東南海、南海地震の連動する「南海トラフの巨大地震」など従来の被害想定が見直されている。

Also, the possibility that nuclear power plants in the nation may be targeted by terrorists cannot be denied.
原発を狙うテロの可能性も否定できない。

Existing laws, including the Disaster Countermeasures Basic Law, are inadequate to fully cope with situations in which the state's functions are hindered.
 国家の機能が損なわれる事態に災害対策基本法など現行の法律だけでは、十分対処できまい。

Another important point for debate will be dealing with a possible emergency at a time when the House of Representatives has been dissolved or when its lawmakers' terms are about to expire.
 衆院解散時、あるいは任期満了に近い時点での緊急事態対処も重要な論点になる。

Parallel to discussions on constitutional revisions, the government also should consider establishing new legislation such as a basic contingency law.
 憲法改正論議と同時に、政府は「緊急事態基本法」といった新たな立法も考慮すべきである。

===

Self-defense issues
 ◆自衛隊位置付け明確に

On national security, the LDP's new draft maintained the current Constitution's policy of denouncing war, which is stipulated in Article 9, but added a clause saying this does not preclude the nation from "invoking the right to self-defense."
 安全保障に関して新草案は9条の戦争放棄を堅持し、「自衛権の発動を妨げるものではない」との一文を加えた。

The draft authorized the nation to possess the Self-Defense Forces under the name of "national defense forces." The draft also clarified that Japan is entitled to exercise the right to collective self-defense, which has been officially denied by past administrations.
自衛隊は「国防軍」として保持するとした。政府見解が禁じる集団的自衛権の行使を、可能にすることを明確にした。

The LDP's draft also added a clause stipulating that the government must cooperate with citizens to maintain the nation's territorial integrity and secure its resources.
 政府は、国民と協力して領土を保全し、資源を確保しなければならない、との条項も設けた。

We believe the LDP's judgments on the draft over national security are all appropriate.
 いずれも妥当な判断だ。

The security environment surrounding Japan has increasingly become severe, due to factors including China's advancement into adjacent seas and North Korea's nuclear development program. In this situation, it is necessary for Japan to be able to exercise the right to collective self-defense for the Japan-U.S. alliance to function smoothly.
 中国の海洋進出、北朝鮮の核開発など、日本の安全保障を巡る環境が厳しさを増す中、集団的自衛権の行使を可能にし、日米同盟を円滑に機能させる必要がある。

On the other hand, we have doubts about the LDP's decision to refrain in the new draft from reviewing the status of the House of Councillors, which holds a disproportionately strong power.
 一方、自民党は、参院の権限が強すぎる現状の見直しに踏み込まなかった。これは疑問である。

In the divided Diet--in which opposition parties hold a majority in the upper house--bills not supported by the opposition parties will not pass. In addition, the upper house's censure motions now virtually decide the fate of cabinet ministers. This destructive practice is causing turmoil in the Diet.
 衆参ねじれ国会では、野党が反対する法案は成立しない。参院の問責決議が閣僚の生殺与奪権を事実上握るという悪(あ)しき慣習も国会を混乱させている。

Your Party has proposed a plan to introduce a single-chamber system by integrating the two houses, and a suprapartisan group of lawmakers has prepared a constitutional reform proposal aimed at introducing a single-chamber system. We believe the party and the group are both aware that one reason the Diet is not functioning sufficiently is the upper house's disproportionately strong power.
 みんなの党は衆参統合で一院制とする案を唱えている。超党派の議員連盟は一院制実現への憲法改正案をまとめた。国会の機能不全の要因に「強すぎる参院」があるとの認識からだろう。

However, it is difficult to achieve a single-chamber system by revising the Constitution. It would be more realistic to figure out the appropriate division of the roles of the two houses under the current bicameral system.
 だが、憲法改正で一院制を実現するのは、困難である。二院制は維持しつつ、衆参の役割分担を工夫することの方が現実的だ。

The LDP, Your Party and the Sunrise Party of Japan have all expressed their views on an ideal Constitution. However, the Democratic Party of Japan, which holds the reins of government, has been reluctant to join discussions over amending the Constitution. It is inexcusable for the ruling party to shun an issue concerning the foundation of the nation.
 自民党やみんなの党、たちあがれ日本が、憲法に対する考え方を表明しているのに、政権党である民主党は、改正論議に及び腰だ。国家の基本に関する問題で「逃げ」の姿勢は許されない。
posted by srachai at 07:24| Comment(0) | 読売英字
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