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消費者庁 できるか縦割り行政の打破

2009-04-20 08:30:47 | 英字新聞
The Yomiuri Shimbun(Apr. 20, 2009)
Consumer agency must avoid turf wars
消費者庁 できるか縦割り行政の打破(4月20日付・読売社説)

Will a new agency be able to function as a sort of new control tower for administration of consumer affairs?
 消費者行政の新しい司令塔として機能するのだろうか。

A new government organization will be inaugurated by the end of this year to replace the current system of consumer affairs management that has too often shown the negatives of sectionalism among ministries and agencies such as the failure to detect a spate of food mislabeling cases and to prevent accidents caused by defective products.
 度重なる食品偽装を見抜けなかったり、欠陥商品による事故を防止できなかったりと、省庁ごとの縦割りで弊害が目立った消費者行政の立て直しを担う新組織が、年内にも発足する。

A bill to form a consumer affairs agency is highly likely to become law at the current Diet session as the House of Representatives approved it Friday.
 消費者庁を設置するための修正法案が衆院で可決され、今国会での成立が確実になった。

The government and the ruling coalition parties initially submitted a bill to establish the envisaged agency as an external organ of the Cabinet Office, but the Democratic Party of Japan opposed it, making a counterproposal to set up a "board of consumers rights" as an organ independent from all the other government bodies.
 内閣府の外局に消費者庁を置く政府・与党案に対し、民主党は、各省庁から独立した「消費者権利院」の設置案を提示し対立してきた。

However, the DPJ has come to a compromise and agreed to revision of a bill sponsored by the government and the ruling coalition parties.
だが、民主党が歩み寄り、法案修正で合意した。

The start of Diet deliberations on the bill has been delayed to a large extent, but it was significant that the ruling and opposition parties were finally able to reach political agreement.
 法案の審議入りは大幅に遅れたが、ようやく政治決着にこぎ着けた意義は大きい。

===

Watchdog panel

A main point of their agreement was the position of a supervisory panel of experts, which was placed under the consumer affairs agency in the bill sponsored by the government and the ruling coalition parties.
 与野党合意のポイントは、政府・与党案で消費者庁内に置くとした有識者委員会の扱いだった。

In the revised bill, however, the panel was upgraded to a consumer committee ranking alongside the consumer affairs agency as a government watchdog.
 修正法案では、これを消費者庁と同格の監視機関となる「消費者委員会」に格上げした。

The revised bill, which has incorporated some of the ideas presented by the DPJ, has granted the envisaged committee strong authority not only to keep an eye on the consumer affairs agency and demand reports from the other government organizations but also to advise the prime minister and other Cabinet members to address problems.
 消費者庁を監視し、各省庁に報告を求めるほか、首相や閣僚に是正を勧告する強力な権限が与えられた。
民主党の主張を一部取り入れたものだ。

However, the ruling and opposition parties postponed dealing with many problems as they raced to a compromise.
 だが、妥協を急いだあまり、先送りされた課題も多い。

First, the bill does not clearly show how the consumer committee and the consumer affairs agency should coordinate their actions and request the other government organizations to respond quickly when a consumer problem arises.
 まず、問題が起きた時、消費者委員会と消費者庁がどう連携し、他省庁に迅速な対応を求めていくかがあいまいだ。

===

Danger of duplication

Meanwhile, if its secretariat is overexpanded, the consumer committee will be superfluous, becoming an entity similar to the consumer affairs agency.
 その消費者委員会の事務局が肥大化すれば、それこそ屋上屋を重ねることになる。

It is also difficult to select members of the committee, who must come from the private sector.
民間人を充てる委員会の委員の人選も難しい。

The consumer affairs agency, and the other concerned ministries and agencies will jointly administer many laws related to consumer affairs. However, demarcation of jurisdictions of each ministry and agency remains unclear.
 消費者関連の多くの法律は、消費者庁と各省庁の共管となる。だが、各省庁に残る権限との線引きもはっきりしないままだ。

There is an urgent need to build a system within the consumer affairs agency, able to quickly collect information on risks to consumers' safety and prevent or minimize damage.
 消費者の安全を脅かす情報を素早く収集し、被害防止や、拡大を防ぐための消費者庁内の体制作りも急務である。

Such problems should be studied more closely to prevent confusion after the launch of the consumer affairs agency.
 消費者庁発足後に混乱を招かないよう、こうした問題点をさらに詰める必要がある。

It is also very important that the ruling and opposition parties agreed to enhance central government support for expanding local consumer centers through an increase in the number of consumer counselors and other measures.
 与野党合意で、相談員の増員など地方の消費生活センター拡充を目指し、国の支援を強化することで一致した点は極めて重要だ。

The number of such offices that are closer to consumers, where they can seek advice in a friendly atmosphere, should be increased.
消費者が気軽に相談できる身近な窓口を増やしたい。

Reorganization of the consumer administration does not immediately guarantee its smooth operation.
 組織を再編したからといって、消費者行政がただちにうまく回転するわけではない。

It is a fact that central government bureaucrats have so far given priority to manufacturing and industrial sectors. They must change their mentality drastically to focus truly on the people.
 霞が関のお役人はこれまで、生産者や産業界を重視してきたのが実態だ。その姿勢を、国民本意に転換するための抜本的な意識改革が欠かせまい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 20, 2009)
(2009年4月20日01時27分 読売新聞)
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海賊対処法案 安易な修正は避けるべきだ

2009-04-19 07:56:18 | 英字新聞
The Yomiuri Shimbun(Apr. 19, 2009)
If the antipiracy bill ain't broke, don't fix it
海賊対処法案 安易な修正は避けるべきだ(4月19日付・読売社説)

Cooperation between the ruling and opposition parties is desirable to ensure the early enactment of the antipiracy bill. But such cooperation should not result in the bill being amended without due consideration, as changes could compromise the effectiveness of antipiracy measures.
 法案の早期成立には与野党の協力が望ましい。だが、安易な法案修正で悪影響が出るのは避けるべきだ。

Deliberations on the antipiracy bill started at the House of Representatives last week. The bill is aimed at enabling Maritime Self-Defense Force vessels to escort not only Japan-related, but also foreign ships. Also, MSDF vessels would be able to fire at pirate ships that approach and pursue commercial ships with the aim of disabling them. These are the pillars of the government-sponsored bill.
 海賊対処法案の審議が衆院で始まった。日本関係船舶以外の外国船も警護できるようにする。民間船舶に接近し、つきまとう海賊船に対して、船体射撃で危害を与えることを認める。それが法案の柱である。

MSDF vessels are now engaged in missions to escort Japan-related ships off Somalia based on the maritime policing provision of the Self-Defense Forces Law. But these activities are stopgap measures until the new law is enacted.
 海上自衛隊の艦船は、自衛隊法の海上警備行動を根拠として、ソマリア沖で日本関係船舶を警護している。この活動は、あくまで法案成立までの応急措置だ。

The MSDF vessels have already received rescue requests from foreign vessels on two occasions and repelled the pirates with long-range acoustic devices. Their use of weapons is largely limited as it is restricted by the Mariners Law.
 既に3回、警護対象外の外国船の救援要請を受け、大音響発生装置で不審船を追い払うなどした。船員法が根拠のため武器使用が大幅に制限されている。

An early enactment of the legislation is desirable if Japan wants to ensure the effectiveness of MSDF missions.
海自が効果的な活動ができるよう、法案成立は一日でも早い方がいい。

===

DPJ demands impractical

Of great interest will be how negotiations on amendments to the bill between the ruling and opposition parties turn out.
 今後の焦点は、与党と民主党の修正協議である。

The Democratic Party of Japan has asserted that an antipiracy headquarters should be established in the government, and that MSDF personnel on the mission should have dual status as members of the headquarters. The party also calls for revising the bill to require Diet approval for antipiracy operations. The current bill only requires the government to report such operations to the Diet.
 民主党は、政府に海賊対処本部を新設し、海自隊員に本部員の身分を併任させるべきだ、と主張している。法案の定める海賊対処行動の国会報告を、国会承認にすることも求めている。

But we have doubts about the DPJ's demands.
だが、いずれの主張にも疑問がある。

The proposed antipiracy headquarters is modeled after the International Peace Cooperation Headquarters overseeing Japan's contribution to U.N. peacekeeping activities. Such a body, however, could well be superfluous as such a task can be assumed by the Defense Ministry.
 海賊対処本部は、国連平和維持活動(PKO)を所管する国際平和協力本部がモデルだが、防衛省の屋上屋になりかねない。

It would be most effective to place MSDF vessels on antipiracy missions under the control of the Joint Staff of the Defense Ministry. A new body could cause confusion in the chain of command.
海自艦船は統合幕僚監部が指揮するのが最も効率的だ。新たな組織は指揮系統を混乱させる恐れがある。

Some DPJ members even go as far as saying that the Japan Coast Guard should play a leading role in antipiracy missions, and that MSDF members should be transferred to the JCG when taking on such missions. Their assertion stickles over the form in which the mission is conducted and is utterly nonsensical.
 民主党には、「海上保安庁が主体で対応すべきだ」として、海自隊員の身分を海保に移すよう求める意見まである。形式主義の極みで、全くナンセンスだ。

Behind their assertion is a notion associated with the former Japan Socialist Party that holds that "the Self-Defense Forces are bad and should not be used unless this cannot be avoided," a line of thinking that emerged in the early 1990s, underpinning calls for establishing a separate body assigned to carry out peacekeeping operations.
 この主張の背景には、1990年代前半のPKO「別組織論」のように、「自衛隊は悪いもので、使わない方がいい」という旧社会党的な発想がある。

It is only natural to utilize the organization that is most fit for a given mission. This is why the MSDF vessels were dispatched, not JCG ships.
 任務の内容に最もふさわしい組織を活用するのは至極当然のことだ。だからこそ、今回は、海保でなく、海自を派遣したのだ。

===

Diet approval problematic

The DPJ's insistence that antipiracy operations must get Diet approval is not consistent with legal provisions governing SDF mobilization.
 海賊対処行動を国会承認事項とすることも、自衛隊を動かす法律の整合性の面で問題がある。

Maritime policing activities taken when foreign ships intrude into Japan's territorial waters do not even have to be reported to the Diet. Diet approval must be sought for exceptional activities, such as the mobilization of SDF troops when Japan is attacked or under the clear threat of armed attack, and when it is deemed that Japan's public order cannot be maintained by police.
 領海侵犯時などの海上警備行動には国会報告さえ義務づけられていない。国会承認が必要なのは、防衛出動や治安出動など、極めて限定された自衛隊の行動だ。

If Diet approval was required and the DPJ supported Diet approval for the current antipiracy mission, there would be no immediate problem. But such a provision could hamper Japan's efforts to deal with piracy in the future if it became rampant in a different sea zone.
 今回、民主党が国会承認に賛成するなら当面の支障はないが、将来、別の海域での海賊に迅速に対応できないリスクも生じる。

The ruling parties should be aware of these problems and deal carefully with amendment negotiations with opposition parties.
 与党は一連の問題を踏まえ、修正協議は慎重に進めるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 19, 2009)
(2009年4月19日01時28分 読売新聞)
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パキスタン支援 アフガンとともに安定を図れ

2009-04-18 10:12:34 | 英字新聞
The Yomiuri Shimbun(Apr. 18, 2009)
Stabilize Pakistan, Afghanistan together
パキスタン支援 アフガンとともに安定を図れ(4月18日付・読売社説)

To stabilize the situation in Afghanistan, which is struggling at the front line of the war on terrorism, support for its neighbor Pakistan must be expanded in a coordinated international action to bolster the security situation in both countries at the same time.
 テロとの戦いの最前線に立つアフガニスタンを安定化させるには、隣国パキスタンへの支援を強化し、両国を同時に安定に導く必要がある。

Thirty-one countries, including Britain, China and the United States, and 18 international organizations participated in a donors conference in Tokyo on Friday and decided to extend more than 5 billion dollars to Pakistan over the next two years. Japan and the United States each pledged 1 billion dollars.
 米英中など31か国と18国際機関が参加したパキスタン支援に関する会合が東京で開かれ、2年間で総額50億ドル超の支援を行うことを決めた。日本は米国と並ぶ10億ドルの支援を約束した。

Pakistan nearly defaulted on its debt last autumn, mainly because of the global financial crisis. Although the International Monetary Fund has decided to step in with an emergency loan program, the country was obliged to take steps to cut its fiscal deficit and adopt an austere monetary policy.
 パキスタンは昨年秋、世界同時不況のあおりで債務不履行の危機に直面した。国際通貨基金の融資で当面の危機は回避したものの、あわせて財政赤字削減や金融引き締めなどの義務が課せられた。

===

Militants hide out in Pakistan

Two militant groups--the Taliban, which opposes the Afghan government, and members of the international terrorism organization Al-Qaida--are holed up along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
 アフガンとの国境一帯は、反政府武装勢力タリバンや国際テロ組織アル・カーイダが潜伏する。

They have been attacking U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces deployed in Afghanistan from Pakistan. When they are repulsed by U.S. and NATO forces, they flee into Pakistan, complicating mop-up operations by the U.S. and European forces.
アフガンに展開する米欧軍に越境して攻撃を仕掛け、反撃を受けるとパキスタン側に逃げ込むため、米欧軍の掃討作戦は難航中だ。

Development of the region around Pakistan's border with Afghanistan has lagged behind, and the majority of the population there is poor. Cuts in development project budgets and the tight monetary policy may worsen poverty there and heighten the risk that the area, already a hotbed for terrorism, will breed even greater numbers of militants.
 国境一帯は開発が遅れ、貧困層が多い。開発予算の削減や金融引き締めで貧困が拡大し、今以上にテロの温床と化す恐れがある。

A destabilized Pakistan would be a nightmare for the international community because the country possesses nuclear weapons.
核保有国パキスタンの不安定化は国際社会にとって悪夢だ。

The participating nations at the donors conference decided to extend huge financial support to Pakistan because they decided that the vicious circle between poverty and terrorism must be ended.
 各国が支援会合でパキスタンへの巨額支援を打ち出したのは、貧困とテロの悪循環を断ち切る必要がある、との判断からだ。

However, there is little ground for optimism about the situation in Pakistan. President Asif Ali Zardari, who took office last year, is in confrontation with the opposition leader, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and lacks charisma.
 だが、先行きは決して楽観できない。昨年就任したザルダリ大統領は、野党指導者のシャリフ元首相と対立し、求心力が乏しい。

Another problem is the presence in the military and other sectors of the Pakistani government of elements sympathetic toward Islamic militants. Coupled with anti-U.S. sentiment due to across-the-border attacks by U.S. drones, the Taliban have expanded its sphere of influence.
 軍部などにイスラム過激派のシンパが少なからずいることも問題だ。米軍無人機の越境攻撃による反米感情も重なって、タリバンの活動地域は拡大しつつある。

Zardari told the Tokyo conference that he intended to maintain his country's antiterrorist policy and called for the cooperation of the international community in that endeavor. Japan, which hosted the conference, must support Pakistan through official development assistance and other programs.
 大統領は会合で、国内のテロ対策を進める考えを表明し、国際社会の協力を求めた。会合を主催した日本としても、パキスタンの取り組みを政府開発援助などを通じ後押ししていく必要があろう。

Also, international support for Afghanistan should be reinforced.
 アフガンに対する支援も強化しなければならない。

===

Bigger role possible for Japan

The United States plans to send more troops to Afghanistan and expand its support for the livelihood of the Afghan people. The latter is a field in which Japan has long played a leading role, such as by constructing schools and clinics. Therefore, the scope for active involvement by Japan in the reconstruction of Afghanistan will expand, we believe.
 米国は軍の増派とともに民生分野の支援を拡大する方針だ。学校や診療所の建設など、日本が一貫して主導的役割を果たしてきた分野である。日本の活躍できる場も増えるだろう。

But in reality, support programs in the field have been mainly limited to those conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and nongovernmental organizations. It has been pointed out that there is work in which the Self-Defense Forces can actively be involved, for instance, in participation in provincial reconstruction teams (PRTs) and dispatch of transport helicopters.
 だが、現状は国際協力機構(JICA)や民間活動団体(NGO)中心の支援に限られている。地域復興チーム(PRT)への参加や輸送ヘリコプターの派遣など、自衛隊が活躍できる分野もあると指摘されている。

Although SDF dispatches to Afghanistan may be difficult under the current Diet situation, the government should keep studying the possibility of sending the SDF to the country.
 現下の国会情勢では難しかろうが、アフガンへの自衛隊派遣の可能性も引き続き探るべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 18, 2009)
(2009年4月18日01時28分 読売新聞)
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京都グルメ鯖寿司をどうぞ

2009-04-17 13:00:26 | アドセンス
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鯖寿司

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週刊新潮「誤報」 第三者調査で徹底検証せよ

2009-04-17 09:28:47 | 英字新聞
The Yomiuri Shimbun(Apr. 17, 2009)
Weekly magazine needs better standards
週刊新潮「誤報」 第三者調査で徹底検証せよ(4月17日付・読売社説)

Shukan Shincho, the weekly magazine that carried a series of articles in the form of first-person accounts from a man who claimed to have attacked reporters at The Asahi Shimbun's Hanshin Bureau in 1987, has published an article explaining how the magazine gathered materials for the articles, which have been found to be false.
In an article in the latest issue, which came out Thursday, the magazine appeared to be playing the victim, implying it was duped by the man. An explanation such as this is a far cry from being a thorough investigation of the matter.
 まるでだまされた被害者と言わんばかりの内容では、到底、検証記事とは言えまい。
 朝日新聞阪神支局襲撃事件などの「実行犯」と称する男の手記を載せた週刊新潮が、16日発売号で取材経緯を説明する記事を掲載した。

After the series of articles was published, the man denied he was responsible for the fatal shooting when he was interviewed by another weekly magazine.
 手記掲載後、男は別の週刊誌などの取材に対し、自分が実行犯であることを否定していた。

As a matter of course, Shukan Shincho then had to admit the man's account was false and apologize for the articles. But Shinchosha Publishing Co., which puts out the weekly magazine, should not leave the matter solely with the editorial staff of the magazine. The publisher should thoroughly examine the cause and background of the misreporting through an investigative panel that includes third-party members and find exactly where responsibility lies.
 誤報を認め、謝罪したのは当然だが、発行元の新潮社は、編集部任せではなく、第三者を交えた調査委員会で原因と背景を徹底検証し、責任を明確にすべきだ。

===

Confirmation lax

In the apology, the weekly magazine cited the failure to gather sufficient evidence to support the man's account as the reason why it ended up running false reports. This certainly seems to be the case. It also appears that much could have been verified with just a little bit of time and effort on such matters as where and how the man lived at the time of the incident.
 今回の新潮記事では、誤報の原因として「裏付け取材の不足」を挙げている。その通りだろう。事件当時、男がどこでどんな生活をしていたのかなど、少しの手間で確認できたはずのことも多い。

Particular caution is needed when someone approaches a media organization in an attempt to sell information. It is likely that the weekly's slackness in its principal task of confirming information resulted in its swallowing of the man's false story.
 特に、今回のように自ら情報を売り込んでくる相手には注意を要する。基本的な確認作業を怠った安易な姿勢が、虚偽情報の鵜呑(うの)みにつながったのではないか。

The treatment given by the weekly to the man, which can be described as excessive, also should not be overlooked.
 取材相手への過剰とも言える処遇も見過ごせない。

The man was given 900,000 yen in "manuscript expenses" as well as accommodation fees for three months. The weekly also shouldered a one-month advance payment for staying at an Internet cafe, which was necessary for the man to get a resident's registration, and helped the man find an apartment and obtain a passport.
 計90万円の「原稿料」に加え、3か月分の宿泊費、住民登録するためのネットカフェへの前払い金1か月分を負担し、アパート探しや旅券取得も手伝っていた。

Such cushy treatment could cause informants to tailor their stories for reporters by misrepresenting facts. This point should be investigated as well.
 行き過ぎた便宜供与は、情報提供者が取材者に迎合し、情報をねじ曲げる危険性をはらんでいる。こうした点も検証すべきだ。

===

Explanation came too late

Also, the weekly has been too slow in providing a full account of the series of articles.
 取材経緯の説明も遅すぎた。

The articles were carried over four consecutive weeks beginning from late January.
 問題の手記は、1月末から4週連続で掲載された。

Soon after the final installment was published, the Asahi carried a story on factual errors in the Shukan Shincho articles following a complaint by a former employee at the U.S. Embassy in Japan that the man had falsely said the employee asked him to attack the newspaper bureau.
 終了直後、「襲撃を依頼した」とされた元在日米国大使館職員の抗議を受けた。事実関係の誤りを指摘する朝日新聞の検証記事も出ていた。

The National Police Agency chief also in effect denied the credibility of the man's account.
警察庁長官も手記の信憑(しんぴょう)性を事実上否定していた。

Despite these developments, why did the weekly take so long to explain itself?
 にもかかわらず、なぜもっと早く説明しなかったのか。

While the weekly is known for having exposed scandals involving politicians, it also has been accused in a number of cases of infringing on people's rights or of defamation.
 週刊新潮は過去に政治家の不祥事などを暴く一方で、人権侵害や名誉棄損も引き起こしてきた。

In the latest article, the weekly argues that "weekly magazines have a mission to report in depth even 'events' and 'allegations' that have yet to be proved as truth." This kind of perception most likely caused the misreporting.
 今回の記事では、「週刊誌の使命は、真偽がはっきりしない段階にある『事象』や『疑惑』にまで踏み込んで報道することにある」としている。こういう認識こそ、誤報の背景ではないか。

Recently, a series of court rulings have been made regarding slack reporting for articles in weekly magazines and have ordered publishers to pay huge amounts in compensation.
 最近、週刊誌記事に対し、取材のずさんさを指摘し、高額賠償を命じる判決が相次いでいる。

Shukan Shincho has lost several such court cases. In one of the cases, a district court ordered the president of the publisher to pay compensation, saying the president failed to effectively provide training for editors and establish systems to check articles before publication. The publisher must address these structural problems.
 週刊新潮も敗訴が続く。1審判決とはいえ、「社内研修や記事チェック体制を整えていなかった」として、社長個人が賠償命令を受けた例もある。こうした体質を改めていかねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 17, 2009)
(2009年4月17日01時51分 読売新聞)
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