2008-06-30 13:22:36 | Weblog
(Jun. 30, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun
Cooperation vital for cutting emissions
都CO2条例 削減率を公平に課せるか(6月30日付・読売社説)

A newly revised ordinance by the Tokyo metropolitan government calls for penalizing owners of buildings failing to meet carbon dioxide emission reduction targets. The ordinance, however, faces many challenges, including whether it can impose a CO2 emissions reduction target on each building in a fair manner.

The revised environment preservation ordinance was unanimously approved Wednesday by the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly. It is a landmark ordinance that obliges large business establishments to reduce CO2 emissions--the first of its kind in this nation.
The Tokyo metropolitan government plans to enforce the ordinance from fiscal 2010.

By fiscal 2005, CO2 emissions from the non-industrial and institutional sector in Tokyo, including office buildings, had increased by 33 percent from the fiscal 1990 level. The Tokyo metropolitan government apparently decided to make CO2 emissions reductions obligatory as there is a limit to what can be achieved through voluntary reduction efforts by the business community.

About 1,300 business establishments consuming more than a given volume of electricity and gas in Tokyo will be required to reduce their CO2 emissions under the ordinance. Included are most of the major office and commercial buildings and hotels, which all together make up 40 percent of the total CO2 emissions in Tokyo.


Setting targets

The metropolitan government will set an emissions reduction target for each business establishment and issue an order to make further efforts if those establishments fail to meet their targets. If they are deemed not to be making sufficient effort to achieve the reductions, they will be subject to a fine of up to 500,000 yen.

There has been both opposition to and doubts about Tokyo's move to oblige establishments to cut CO2 emissions when no such measure has been introduced by the central government. The ordinance may require buildings to introduce energy-efficient office machinery, including computers and air conditioners. Cooperation of tenants occupying those buildings will be essential for meeting reduction targets.

The metropolitan government aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 15 percent to 20 percent by the end of fiscal 2020. This will certainly force business establishments to shoulder a heavy share of the burden to achieve the goal.

In setting a reduction target for each establishment, it will be necessary to consider whether it has already made efforts to conserve energy. There will be an inevitable gap in the scope of possible CO2 emissions reduction in the future between those establishments that have already taken steps to conserve energy and those that have not done so.


Trading scheme

The ordinance also allows emissions trading. Those establishments failing to meet their reduction targets can buy surplus emissions quotas from those having achieved their targets and use the credits toward meeting their reduction targets.

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda has announced a pilot project for an emissions trading system to start in the autumn as part of efforts to tackle global warming. Tokyo's global warming countermeasures will serve as a guide for the central government.

It may be necessary, however, to deal with possible discrepancies with Tokyo's emissions trading system should the central government decide to introduce its own emissions trading system for the nation in earnest.
(in earnest=本気で)
(should the central government decide to introduce its own emissions trading system for the nation in earnest=国が将来、取引制度を本格導入する際は 文法:仮定法過去倒置の用法 もしも~の場合には…)

An increasing number of local governments are considering their own energy-conservation measures, including cuts in the late-night and early-morning operating hours of convenience stores. While it is certainly not a bad idea for local governments to carry out policies appropriate to their areas--particularly when the nation's overall emissions reduction is not progressing as desired--such measures should be implemented only after winning the understanding of local businesses and residents.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 30, 2008)
(2008年6月30日02時30分 読売新聞)


2008-06-30 09:20:40 | Weblog
(Mainichi Japan) June 29, 2008
Protesters clash with police in Tokyo ahead of G-8 summit

TOKYO (AP) -- Protesters clashed with police in central Tokyo on Sunday during demonstrations against the upcoming summit of the Group of Eight industrialized nations.

Over a thousand people joined two rallies and several were arrested, local media reported.

In the Tokyo shopping district of Shibuya, demonstrators pushed into rows of police in riot gear carrying large shields. Members of labor unions and students shouted their opposition to the summit and carried signs that said "G-8 No! Workers Yes!"
東京のショッピング街渋谷で、デモ隊は完全武装した警官隊の列に突っ込み衝突した。 労働組合の関係者と学生たちは、G-8 ノー、 労働者 OK のプラカードをかかげて、来るべきG-8サミットへの反対を叫んでいた。

At least one man was dragged away after clashing with police.

Police said they couldn't immediately comment.

The demonstrations took place about one week before the G-8 summit is to be held July 7-9 on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.
約一週間後に迫ったG-8 先進8ヶ国首脳会議に反対して今回のデモは引き起こされた。

The country has tightened security and deployed extra police at major city centers ahead of the summit, to be attended by leaders from the U.S., Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Russia, Italy and Canada.
アメリカ、日本、ドイツ、イギリス、フランス、ロシア、イタリー、カナダ 8ヶ国の首脳陣により参加が予定されているサミットに先立って警察は警戒を強めている。

Protests, sometimes violent, have been a common occurrence at past G-8 summits.

(日本語への翻訳 by srachai from khonkaen, thailand.)


2008-06-29 12:15:23 | Weblog
(Jun. 28, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun
Maintain coalition against North Korea
G8外相会議 対「北」包囲網を緩めるな(6月28日付・読売社説)

It is important to keep pressure on North Korea not only at the six-way talks, but at every other opportunity to make the country abandon all of its nuclear programs and activities.

The chairman's statement, issued at the Group of Eight foreign ministers meeting in Kyoto, states, "We urge North Korea...to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs as well as ballistic missile programs."

In the statement, the foreign ministers of Japan, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and the United States also urge Pyongyang to "fully cooperate" in verifying the content of its declaration of its nuclear programs and activities, and demand that North Korea take prompt action to resolve the issue of the abduction of Japanese nationals by its agents.

Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura stressed at the meeting that what matters is the content of North Korea's declaration, and that establishment of an effective verification mechanism is urgently needed. He also asked his counterparts to help Japan resolve the abduction issue since it is a humanitarian and human rights issue. Komura's request was quite reasonable.

Japan is directly exposed to threats of North Korea's nuclear weapons and missiles, and the abductions were state crimes committed by Pyongyang against the Japanese people.


Fukuda must adjust opinions

Following Pyongyang's declaration, Washington has started procedures to remove North Korea from its list of states sponsoring terrorism.

Japan should ask European countries and the other members of the international community to understand the nuclear threat that North Korea poses to Japan, and it should try to prevent the international coalition against North Korea from unraveling further.

The next meeting of the six-way talks expected to be held soon, will be an opportunity to demand that North Korea allow inspectors to enter its nuclear facilities and interview relevant people so that the content of its declaration will be thoroughly verified. Tokyo must also urge Pyongyang to reinvestigate the abduction issue as soon as possible.

At the G-8 summit to start in Toyakocho, Hokkaido, on July 7, leaders of the major countries need to transmit a strong message demanding that North Korea resolve the nuclear, abduction and missile issues in a comprehensive manner.
We would like Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda as chairman of the G-8 summit to exert his ability to coordinate the opinions of G-8 leaders in a solid manner.
(in a comprehensive manner=幅広く) (exert=能力を発揮する、指導力を発揮する)


Iran seen as greater threat

Meanwhile, Iran's nuclear development program poses serious proliferation risks.

Negotiations aimed at preventing Iran from possessing nuclear arms have entered an important phase. European countries are concerned more with Iran's nuclear program than North Korea's because of their geographical proximity to the Islamic country.

The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany proposed that Tehran suspend its uranium enrichment activities in return for the provision of light-water nuclear reactors. But Iran has not yet made a clear response to the proposal.
(permanent members of the U.N. Security Council=国連安保理の常任理事国)
(the provision of light-water nuclear reactors=軽水炉の供与)

Iran is developing ballistic missiles with the assistance of North Korea. Their cooperative relations are suspected of involving nuclear materials and nuclear technology.

The European Union this week decided to impose additional economic sanctions on Iran. Japan, which is diplomatically well connected with Tehran, should work harder to assist with the development of the negotiations.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 28, 2008)
(2008年6月28日01時51分 読売新聞)


2008-06-29 09:42:26 | Weblog
(Mainichi Japan) June 28, 2008
Private prison to launch guide dog training program for inmates
島根・刑務所:受刑者が盲導犬育成へ 子犬と24時間生活

Justice Minister Kunio Hatoyama, left, experiences how it feels to be led by a seeing-eye dog while wearing an eye mask at the Ministry of Justice.

HAMADA, Shimane -- Prison inmates are to help train guide dogs as part of their rehabilitation at a new private prison opening here this fall.
Under the scheme, inmates at the Shimane Asahi Rehabilitation Program Center in Hamada will live with three to five 2-month-old puppies for 10 months, in an attempt to nurture their caring instincts. Prisoners will care for the dogs 24 hours a day, and will be responsible for feeding, walking and discipline.
(nurture=育てる、養成する、はぐくむ) (caring instincts=いたわる心) (discipline=訓練)

The program is also aimed at redressing the dearth of guide dogs in Japan. There are currently only about 1,000 guide dogs nationwide, and over 7,800 visually impaired people waiting to receive one.
(resress=矯正する) (dearth=不足、欠乏) (guide dog=盲導犬)
impair /impテir/曠曦《形式》…を悪くする;〈能力などを〉減じる,弱める,〈機能などを〉害する,損なう.⇒SPOIL類語hearing-~ed  聴覚障害のある

The center is the nation's fourth prison funded by a private finance initiative. The Justice Ministry has commissioned the construction and operation of the prison to a group of private entities, including general contractor Obayashi Corp. and Sohgo Security Service Co. The facility, which opens in October, will accommodate about 2,000 inmates.
(entity=物、本質、実体) (private entity=民間の法人)


2008-06-28 10:43:20 | Weblog
(Mainichi Japan) June 27, 2008
Gov't ordered to open Isahaya Bay dike over damage to fishing industry
諫早干拓訴訟:国に排水門の開門命じる判決 佐賀地裁

SAGA -- The Saga District Court on Friday ordered the government to open the Isahaya Bay dike for five years, after about 2,500 people, many of them fishermen, filed a lawsuit saying closure of the dike had worsened the fishing environment.

It was the first judicial ruling in a series of lawsuits over land reclamation work in the bay for a court to order the dike to be opened. Plaintiffs are likely to use the ruling as a foothold in pressing the government to find a quick solution to the standoff.
(plaintiff=原告、民事訴訟の原告) (standoff=行き詰まり)

Speaking on the causal relationship between the closing of the dike and environmental changes in Isahaya Bay and the surrounding area, the court accepted that the closure was having an adverse effect on fishing from boats and the collection and cultivation of clams.
(casual relationship=原因結果の因果関係)

The court acknowledged that it would be impossible for people in fishing areas to provide more proof than they already had provided.

"Asking fishing folk and others in the case to give more proof than this is forcing them to do the impossible," the court said.

The court also harshly criticized the government's stance, saying, "It is no longer going too far to say that the government's refusal to carry out useful mid- to long-term investigations to shed light on the causal relationship is interfering with the production of evidence."
(It is no longer going too far to say=~と言っても言い過ぎではない、過言ではない)
( ~ light on...  …を照らす; 〈問題などを〉解明する. shed=影響を及ぼす)

In addition, the court took the unusual step of making a request to the government, saying, "It is hoped that the government will use this ruling as an opportunity to quickly implement mid- and long-term investigations over the opening of the dike, and that appropriate measures will be implemented."

While the court ordered the government to open the dike for five years (the time deemed necessary for a mid- to long term investigation), it will take time to implement replacement flood-prevention measures. Because of this, the court allowed a grace period of three years from the confirmation of the ruling before the dike must be opened.
(grace period=猶予の期間、猶予期間)

The plaintiffs, from Saga, Fukuoka, Kumamoto and Nagasaki prefectures, had demanded that the dike, which was built in line with land reclamation work, be removed altogether, but the court rejected their claim. It also rejected demands from plaintiffs who were deemed to have no right to make claims in the case.

In an earlier judicial decision over the causal relationship between land reclamation work in Isahaya Bay and the effect on the fishing industry, the Saga District Court issued a provisional injunction in August 2004 ordering construction work to be halted. After this decision, work was temporarily called off, but the Fukuoka High Court scrapped the injunction in a decision in May 2005 that was later (in September) confirmed in the Supreme Court.
(injunction=禁止命令、差止め命令) (halt=休止する、休止させる) (call off=中止する、中断する、先延ばしにする)

The latest lawsuit was filed in November 2002. Initially, the plaintiffs had called for construction work to be halted, but because the work was later completed, they changed their claim to removal or opening of the dike, and applied for a temporary injunction in October 2005 to have the dike opened.
(applied for a temporary injunction=(水門の使用を)差し止め命令を求める→開門を求める仮処分も申し立てた)
(have something p.p. 過去分詞=~に…をさせる)


諫早干拓訴訟:国に排水門の開門命じる判決 佐賀地裁