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改正薬事法施行 ネット販売の秩序ある拡大を

2009-05-31 08:35:05 | 英字新聞
The Yomiuri Shimbun(May. 31, 2009)
Consistency key to safe, deregulated drug sales
改正薬事法施行 ネット販売の秩序ある拡大を(5月31日付・読売社説)

The revised Pharmaceutical Affairs Law, which takes effect Monday, is contradictory in many ways as it includes both a relaxation and tightening of regulations.
 規制緩和と規制強化が入り交じり、矛盾が非常に多い。

With the revised law's enforcement, the sales channels of nonprescription drugs are set to change significantly.
 6月1日から施行される改正薬事法だ。医師の処方箋(せん)を必要としない大衆薬の販売ルールが大きく変わることになった。

Under the new system, nonprescription drugs are organized into one of three categories depending on the necessary degree of caution that should be exercised over their side effects.
 新制度では、副作用に注意が必要な度合いに応じ、大衆薬を3段階に分類する。

Category 1 drugs, which require a high degree of caution, cannot be sold unless pharmacists provide buyers with an explanation of the side effects and other information. However, Category 2 and Category 3 drugs, which are considered relatively safe, can be sold by registered sellers under a new qualification system.
 特別に注意が必要な薬は第1類として、薬剤師が副作用などの説明をした上でないと販売を認めない。だが、比較的安全な第2類と第3類については、新たに設ける「登録販売者」という資格を取れば販売を認める。

Most cold and gastrointestinal medicines are Category 2 drugs, while vitamins and some other drugs fall under Category 3. Most nonprescription drugs can therefore be sold at convenience stores and other retail outlets.
 風邪薬や胃腸薬のほとんどが第2類に、ビタミン剤などが第3類に位置付けられる。これにより、大衆薬の大半がコンビニなどでも買えるようになる。

This all makes the revised legislation sound like a positive step on the road to deregulation.
 ここまでは、妥当な規制緩和と言えるだろう。

===

Unnecessary tightening

The problem is that the new regulations were devised on the assumption that nonprescription drugs would be sold over the counter. As a result, an ordinance issued by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry states that only Category 3 drugs can be ordered by telephone or through the Internet for mail delivery, even if other categories are being sold by pharmacists.
 問題は、新たなルールが「対面販売」を大前提として作られたことだ。厚生労働省の省令で、電話やインターネットなどを使った通信販売は、薬剤師であっても第3類しか取り扱えなくなる。

This regulation affects makers of traditional medicines, which ship Chinese herbal medicines to customers in distant locations, as well as operators of online drug stores and customers of both types of businesses.
 その結果、昔からの漢方薬を遠方の客に送ってきた伝統薬メーカーや、いわゆるネット薬局、そしてこれらを利用してきた人が影響を受けることになった。

Such a tightening of the regulations is hard to accept.
これは納得し難い規制強化である。

The ministry argues that the potential risks of drugs can only be explained properly face to face.
 厚労省は、対面販売でないと薬のリスクを十分に説明できない、としている。

Of course safety should be the top priority with drug sales.
無論、薬を販売するにあたっては、まず安全性を最重視するのは当然だろう。

But it seems inconsistent that Category 2 drugs can still be purchased at convenience stores, where pharmacists are not present, when the risk posed by drugs being sold on the Internet, if sold by pharmacists in a responsible manner, likely would be very limited.
 しかし第1類はともかく、第2類は今後、薬剤師のいないコンビニでも買える薬だ。インターネットであっても、薬剤師が責任を持って販売するのなら、リスクはむしろ少ないのではないか。

===

Hasty stopgap measure

Bearing in mind the impact of the regulations on users of traditional medicines and online drug stores, the ministry has hastily decided to implement a stopgap measure that will be in place for two years.
 厚労省は伝統薬やネット薬局の利用者に配慮し、急きょ2年間の暫定措置を設けることにした。

Under this move, people who have purchased drugs through mail order services will be able to continue using such services if they are buying the same type of drug and it falls into Category 2.
Those living on remote islands without access to a drug store, meanwhile, also will be allowed to obtain Category 2 drugs through mail order services.
 これまで通販を利用していた人が同じ薬を購入する場合と、薬局のない離島に住む人には、通販による売買を第2類まで認めるという。

But these moves pose problems.
これにも首をかしげる。

The ministry says it will confirm whether such services are only being used by categories of users mentioned above, to ensure there is no chipping away at the new regulations. But if it can check whether these users are legitimate, surely it would be possible to monitor all online sales.
 規制がなし崩しとならないように、ネット販売などが継続購入者と離島在住者に限定されることをチェックする、という。それができるのなら、ネット販売全体を監視することも可能だろう。

Nonprescription drugs could be sold safely and conveniently through the Internet and other channels if a system could be found that bars illegitimate sellers and malicious businesses.
 無資格者や悪質な業者を排除する仕組みを作れば、インターネットなどの利便性を生かしつつ、安全に大衆薬を販売できるのではないか。

Orderly deregulation should therefore be encouraged.
秩序ある規制緩和を進めるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 31, 2009)
(2009年5月31日01時28分 読売新聞)
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補正予算成立 危機対応に必要な与野党協調

2009-05-30 12:47:49 | 英字新聞
The Yomiuri Shimbun(May. 30, 2009)
Compromise required to overcome crisis
補正予算成立 危機対応に必要な与野党協調(5月30日付・読売社説)

Swiftly implementing stimulus measures is the key to getting the country out of its worst economic crisis in the postwar era. The government should place top priority on bringing forward the enforcement of the supplementary budget, which is linked to the initial budget for the current fiscal year.
 戦後最悪の経済危機を脱するには、景気対策の迅速な実施が何よりも重要だ。政府は、当初予算とも連動した補正予算の前倒し執行に最優先で取り組むべきである。

The fiscal 2009 supplementary budget, which is worth the largest-ever amount of 13.93 trillion yen, cleared the Diet on Friday. Together with the initial budget, the total budget topped 100 trillion yen for the first time.
 過去最大の総額13兆9256億円を計上した今年度補正予算が成立した。当初予算と合計すると、初めて100兆円を超す。

The country's gross domestic product plunged an annualized 15.2 percent in the January-March period, marking a record contraction for two consecutive quarters. Although some economic indicators appear to be bottoming out, it is still too early to be optimistic.
 1~3月期の国内総生産(GDP)の実質成長率は年率換算で前期比15・2%減と、2期連続で戦後最悪を記録した。一部の経済指標は底打ちの動きを見せているものの、楽観は禁物だ。

What is important now is to implement policies incorporated in the extra budget, including those concerning finance, employment, public works projects, agriculture and child-support programs, as quickly as possible to ensure seamless economic management.
 金融、雇用、公共事業、農業、子育て支援など、補正予算に幅広く盛り込まれた政策を極力早期に実施し、切れ目のない経済運営に努めることが大切だろう。

===

DPJ's flexible stance laudable

The extra budget was submitted to the Diet on April 27 and passed the House of Representatives on May 13. A focus of attention was how the Democratic Party of Japan, led by Yukio Hatoyama, which says it will uphold former President Ichiro Ozawa's policy line, would deal with it during deliberations in the opposition-controlled House of Councillors.
 補正予算は4月27日に国会に提出され、5月13日に衆院を通過した。野党が多数を占める参院での審議で、「小沢路線の継承」を掲げる鳩山民主党がどんな対応をするかが、注目された。

The main opposition party criticized the contents of the extra budget as pork-barrel spending, but did not resort to using tactics to unnecessarily prolong deliberations on it. Amid the global recession, the DPJ apparently judged that delaying the implementation of the economic stimulus package would not gain public understanding. This was encouraging.
 民主党は、予算の内容を「ばらまきだ」などと批判したが、いたずらに審議を引き延ばす戦術はとらなかった。世界同時不況の下、経済対策の実施を遅らせては世論の理解を得られない、と判断したのだろう。良い兆候だ。

The ruling parties and the DPJ largely agreed on four bills related to the extra budget after discussing revisions to them. The DPJ deserves praise for its constructive response.
 補正予算関連4法案について、与党と民主党が修正協議を行い、大筋で合意したことも、建設的な対応と評価できる。

The four bills likely will be supported by the DPJ and are expected to pass the lower house next week.
4法案は来週中には、民主党も賛成して、衆院を通過する見通しだ。

The Liberal Democratic Party and the DPJ also agreed Wednesday to include an additional clause in a bill to revise the Development Bank of Japan law that would delay a planned full privatization of the state-backed bank by 3-1/2 years as part of measures to facilitate corporate fund-raising. The additional clause was inserted in consideration of the DPJ, which opposes the DBJ's full privatization.
 企業の資金繰り対策として、日本政策投資銀行の完全民営化を3年半先送りする政投銀法改正案では、政投銀の完全民営化に反対する民主党の主張に配慮した規定を付則に入れることで合意した。

Bills to create a consumer affairs agency, which were revised jointly by the ruling and opposition parties, became law Friday with a unanimous vote at a plenary session of the upper house.
 与野党が共同修正した消費者庁設置関連法も29日の参院本会議で全会一致で可決、成立した。

===

Divided Diet paralyzes politics

Under the "divided Diet" that emerged after the 2007 upper house election, with the opposition parties enjoying a majority in the upper house, the ruling and opposition parties have often engaged in fruitless confrontation, thus wasting time. Malfunctioning politics damages the interests of people of this country.
 一昨年以来の衆参ねじれ国会では、与野党が不毛な対立を続け、時間を浪費する場面が目立った。政治の機能不全によって被害を受けるのは国民である。

To respond effectively to the crisis, the ruling and opposition parties need to adopt a flexible approach in Diet affairs in which they coordinate their policies when necessary to actively seek points of compromise.
 危機に的確に対応するには、与野党が協調すべきところでは協調し、妥協点を積極的に探る、という柔軟な国会対応が必要だ。

In the current Diet session, important bills, including an antipiracy bill and a bill to revise the National Pension Law, will be deliberated at the upper house.
 今国会では、海賊対処法案や国民年金法改正案など重要法案の参院審議が残されている。

The government and ruling parties plan to extend the session for a long period to ensure the passage of those bills. Even if it intends to oppose the bills, the DPJ should maintain its stance of accepting Diet voting after deliberations have been held for a certain period.
 政府・与党は、これらの成立を期すため、長期の会期延長を図る方針だ。民主党は、法案に反対するにしても、一定の審議をしたら採決に応じる、という対応を続けるべきだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 30, 2009)
(2009年5月30日01時37分 読売新聞)
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原爆症訴訟 認定基準の再見直しが必要だ

2009-05-29 08:09:49 | 英字新聞
The Yomiuri Shimbun(May. 29, 2009)
Review of A-bomb sufferer criteria needed
原爆症訴訟 認定基準の再見直しが必要だ(5月29日付・読売社説)

As atomic bomb survivors grow older, the state should not prolong legal battles with them.
 被爆者は高齢化している。国は裁判で長く争い続けるべきではない。

The Tokyo High Court handed down a ruling Thursday regarding the recognition of people suffering from illnesses caused by radiation in the 1945 atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki that helps atomic bomb victims on a level that far outstrips the state's criteria for recognition.
 原爆症の認定をめぐる訴訟で、東京高裁は、国の認定基準を大きく上回る範囲で被爆者を救済する判断を示した。

Atomic bomb survivors who are not recognized by the state as suffering illnesses due to radiation from the bombings have filed group lawsuits across the nation. Before Thursday, 17 rulings had been handed down by district and high courts, with most of the plaintiffs receiving favorable decisions.
 国から原爆症と認定されなかった被爆者が全国で集団訴訟を起こしている。これまでに全国の地・高裁で17回の判決が出ており、大半の原告が勝訴してきた。

Thursday's ruling by the Tokyo High Court recognized that nine of the 10 plaintiffs, who were not recognized by the state, as suffering from illnesses due to radiation from the bombings.
 今回の東京高裁判決も、国が認めなかった10人の原告のうち9人を原爆症と認めた。

The ruling strongly urges the state to review the criteria for recognition of atomic bomb disease sufferers. The government needs to take this ruling seriously.
 国に認定基準の見直しを改めて強く迫るものであり、政府は重く受け止めねばならない。

===

Opening the door wider

Under the Atomic Bomb Victims Relief Law, people qualified for recognition as atomic bomb victims are those who were near ground zero in Hiroshima or Nagasaki on the days of the bombings and the two weeks after. These certified survivors are provided with atomic bomb survivor health handbooks and are entitled to free medical treatment. The majority of the survivors receive monthly health care stipends of about 34,000 yen.
 被爆者援護法では、原爆投下時とその後2週間以内に爆心地周辺にいた人は被爆者と認定される。被爆者健康手帳が交付されて医療費が無料となるほか、大半の人に月額約3万4000円の健康管理手当が支給されている。

If these survivors have diseases that are recognized as due to radiation exposure, they are entitled to receive a special medical allowance of about 140,000 yen per month instead of the monthly health care stipends.
 さらに、病気が放射線による原爆症と認定されると、健康管理手当に代わり、医療特別手当が約14万円支給される。

Currently, about 240,000 people have atomic bomb survivor health handbooks. However, strict criteria, such as the distance the atomic bomb survivor was from ground zero, has prevented them from being recognized as suffering illnesses due to radiation, even if they have developed diseases. As a result, until about two years ago, only about 2,000 survivors had been recognized as atomic bomb radiation disease patients.
 被爆者手帳を取得している人は約24万人いる。だが、病気になった場合に原爆症と認められるには爆心地からの距離など厳しい条件があり、2年前まで認定者は2000人余りに過ぎなかった。

But the government for its part has not entirely been sitting on its hands. In the summer of 2007, then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced an easing in the criteria for recognizing sufferers of atomic bomb-linked disease. The government then began to recognize atomic bomb survivors with five specific diseases, including cancer, as sufferers of atomic bomb-related disease.
 政府も全く無策だったわけではない。2007年夏に当時の安倍首相が認定基準の緩和を表明し、がんなど五つの病気は積極的に原爆症と認めるようになった。

Since then, the door has opened wider, with about 3,000 people being newly recognized just in the last fiscal year. With eased criteria, 60 percent of plaintiffs have been recognized by the state as suffering illnesses caused by atomic bomb radiation.
 昨年度だけで約3000人が認定されるなど、以前と比べれば格段に門戸は広がった。この措置で原告の6割はすでに国からも原爆症と認定されている。

===

Change must come quickly

However, Thursday's ruling is a message from the judiciary that this has not been enough.
 しかし、まだ十分ではない、というのが司法のメッセージだ。

Besides the five specific diseases under the government's recognition criteria, the bar is still set high for victims seeking recognition as sufferers. In a string of lawsuits, those with cirrhosis of the liver and underactive thyroid function--illnesses that are not eligible--have been recognized by the courts as sufferers of atomic bomb diseases.
 「積極認定」の対象となる5疾病以外は今もハードルが高い。一連の訴訟では、対象外の肝硬変や甲状腺機能低下症も同様に原爆症と認める判決が続いている。

In addition, nearly 8,000 people have filed applications for government recognition and are waiting for decisions. The government says more than 20,000 people will be recognized within 10 years at this pace. But considering that the average age of survivors is currently about 75, this pace is too slow.
 また、審査待ちの認定申請者が8000人近くもいる。政府は、今のペースなら10年で2万人以上が認定されるとしているが、被爆者の平均年齢が75歳であることを考えれば、速いとは言えない。

The government should swiftly recognize people as sufferers of atomic bomb-related diseases based on precedents that have been set by courts. Criteria also needs to be further eased by adding to the list of recognized diseases.
 これまでに判決が認めたことを踏まえて、迅速に原爆症と認定していくべきだ。積極認定の対象疾病を追加し、基準を一段と緩和する必要があろう。

A ruling coalition project team has submitted to the government its report seeking a wide review of the recognition framework. The government should work to settle this issue swiftly.
 与党プロジェクトチームも政府に、認定の枠組みを幅広く見直すよう求める意見書を出した。政府は早急に決着を図るべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 29, 2009)
(2009年5月29日01時42分 読売新聞)
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党首討論 肝心な政策論議が足りない

2009-05-28 08:47:49 | 英字新聞
The Yomiuri Shimbun(May. 28, 2009)
Aso, Hatoyama must openly debate policies
党首討論 肝心な政策論議が足りない(5月28日付・読売社説)

Prime Minister Taro Aso and Democratic Party of Japan President Yukio Hatoyama finally faced off in the Diet in a head-to-head debate as ruling and main opposition party leaders Wednesday. However, the first battle between the leaders produced somewhat disappointing results. Future contests should promote in-depth debate, focusing on policy matters.
 党首討論がようやく実現した。だが、麻生首相と民主党の鳩山代表との初対決は今一つ食い足りない議論で終わった。
 両党首は、もっと政策課題を中心に、掘り下げた論争を展開すべきだ。

Wednesday's debate was a prelude to the House of Representatives election that must be held by early September. With the next lower house election apparently firmly in mind, Hatoyama harshly criticized the fiscal 2009 supplementary budget as a waste of money, saying it was "of bureaucrats, by bureaucrats and for bureaucrats."
 27日の党首討論は、次の衆院選を控えての前哨戦だった。
 鳩山代表が2009年度補正予算は「無駄遣い」が多く、「官僚の官僚による官僚のための予算」と酷評したのも、選挙を意識したものだろう。

In response, Aso, president of the Liberal Democratic Party, pressed Hatoyama by saying that former DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa failed to give a full account of the situation regarding illegal donations his secretary allegedly received from Nishimatsu Construction Co.
 これに対して首相は、西松建設からの違法献金事件で、民主党の小沢前代表が「説明責任」を十分に果たしていないと追及した。

Deriding the DPJ's stated plan to ban donations from companies and other organizations, Aso said, "If the party blames the system for its violations of the law, it's just switching the focus of the argument." The two leaders' debate on the matter was conducted at cross-purposes.
 民主党の企業・団体献金の禁止案については、「法律違反をして『制度が悪い』というのは論理のすり替えだ」と反論し、議論はすれ違ったままだった。

===

Fraternity vs reality

At the beginning of the debate, Hatoyama spoke about building a fraternal society--his central policy plank--beginning with the original policy in an apparent attempt to dispel any perception he is Ozawa's puppet.
 討論の冒頭、鳩山代表が持論の「友愛社会」を持ち出したのは、「小沢氏の傀儡(かいらい)」との見方を払拭(ふっしょく)し新味を出す狙いからだろう。

Aso retorted that the most important task facing the administration was to deal with the "reality" the country faces, including the economic crisis, rather than being preoccupied with "abstract theory." As the head of the nation's administration, Aso's comment was understandable and right.
 首相は、抽象論ではなく、経済危機などの「現実」にどう対応するかが最も重要だ、と切り返したが、政権を担当する身として当然のことといえよう。

As Aso pointed out, if Hatoyama wants to win public support for his notion of a fraternal society he needs to spell out what he means, and how it fits with the rest of his policy platform.
 鳩山氏が「友愛」について国民の理解を得ようとするなら、首相の指摘通り、具体的な政策に即してこれを語る必要がある。

===

Funding social security reform

Steering the debate toward which party was best able to hold the reins of government, Aso pointed to problems he said beset the DPJ's social security and national security policies, claiming they would result in "extreme insecurity" in society.
 首相は、「どちらの政党に政権担当能力があるか」などとして、民主党の社会保障と安全保障政策が「極めて不安」と指摘した。

However, Aso did not delve further into the issue of how the DPJ would raise funds to implement its policies, such as providing income guarantees for farming households and increased child benefits, which the DPJ has said can be paid for by eliminating wasteful spending.
 しかし、農家の戸別所得補償や子ども手当などの財源は「歳出の無駄の排除」などで捻出(ねんしゅつ)するとしている民主党の財源問題には踏み込まなかった。

Presently, the public are chiefly concerned about social security issues such as the public pension, and health and nursing care.
 国民が現在、最大の関心を抱いているのは、年金や医療、介護などの社会保障問題だ。

Time given over to debate was limited, but still, it is simply inexplicable that neither leader brought up the issue of raising the consumption tax rate to fund the social security system.
時間的制約があったとはいえ、その財源としての消費税率引き上げ問題を論じなかったのはどうしたことか。

Meanwhile, Hatoyama stressed that a change of government is necessary to put an end to bureaucrat-led politics, but he presented no concrete measures.
 一方、鳩山代表も、官僚主導政治を転換させるためには、政権交代が必要だと強調したものの、そのための具体的方策を聞くことはできなかった。

Overall, the debate lacked detailed policy discussion, which, afterall, should be the basis of debate.
 この日の党首討論は、結局、肝心の政策論争が不足していた。

The next lower house election should be fought on policies and vision for this country.
 次の衆院選で争われるべきは、各政党の基本政策や国の将来ビジョンである。

The current Diet session is expected to be extended. We hope the leaders of the two parties will clarify points of contention regarding their policies as the next lower house election approaches by holding regular one-on-one debates in the Diet, and conducting thorough discussions on policies regarding social security reform, diplomacy and national security.
 今国会は、会期が延長される見通しだ。両党首は、ルール通りに党首討論を重ね、社会保障政策や外交・安保政策についても、大いに論じ合い、選挙の政策争点を明らかにしてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 28, 2009)
(2009年5月28日01時30分 読売新聞)
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北朝鮮核実験 度重なる暴挙に厳格対処せよ

2009-05-26 09:45:57 | 英字新聞
The Yomiuri Shimbun(May. 26, 2009)
N. Korea must suffer consequences for N-test
北朝鮮核実験 度重なる暴挙に厳格対処せよ(5月26日付・読売社説)

North Korea went ahead with its second underground nuclear test Monday.
 北朝鮮が2度目の核実験を強行した。

The country just test-launched a long-range ballistic missile on April 5, defying the warnings of the international community. The latest nuclear test, which could improve North Korea's ability to make more compact nuclear bombs, has clarified Pyongyang's wild obsession with perfecting a nuclear missile as soon as possible.
 先月5日には、国際社会の警告に逆らって、弾道ミサイルを発射したばかりだ。核兵器の小型化に通じる核実験の実施は、核ミサイルの早期獲得に執念を燃やす北朝鮮の姿勢を鮮明にした。

When North Korea pressed ahead with its first nuclear test three years ago, the world entered a dangerous new nuclear age. The country's repeated provocations have further damaged stability and increased tensions in the Northeastern Asian region.
 3年前の最初の核実験強行によって、世界はすでに「危険な新たな核の時代」に入った。北朝鮮の度重なる挑発行動により、北東アジア地域の安定は一層損なわれ、緊張は一段と激化している。

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Tougher sanctions by UNSC
 ◆安保理で制裁強化を◆

The latest test puts Japan in a more serious situation since the country is located within range of Rodong missiles North Korea already has deployed. It was reasonable that the government immediately called for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council. We must deal severely with Pyongyang's malicious acts.
 とくに、北朝鮮が配備ずみのノドン・ミサイルの射程内にある日本にとって、事態は深刻さを増した。政府が直ちに国連安全保障理事会の招集を求めたのは当然だ。北朝鮮の暴挙には、厳しく対処していかなければならない。

The latest test is an apparent violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1718 which was approved unanimously after North Korea's first nuclear test in October 2006. It means that Pyongyang has again trampled on the resolution calling on the country to suspend nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches.
 今回の核実験は、最初の核実験後に安保理が全会一致で採択した決議1718への明白な違反だ。北朝鮮は、「核実験や弾道ミサイル発射の中止」を求めた決議を、相次いで蹂躙(じゅうりん)したことになる。

Immediately after the Security Council adopted a chairman's statement condemning the country's ballistic missile launch, North Korea last month criticized the Security Council, saying the U.N. rebuke was unfair because the event in question was a peaceful satellite launch. We think Pyongyang merely tried to hide its own violation behind sophistry and euphemism.
 北朝鮮は先月、安保理が弾道ミサイル発射を非難する議長声明を採択した直後、「不当千万」と逆に安保理を非難した。
 みずからの違反を棚に上げた詭弁(きべん)である。

In addition, after the Security Council blacklisted three North Korean companies, singling them out for sanctions, Pyongyang threatened to conduct nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests unless the council apologized for criticizing the April 5 missile launch and lifted sanctions on North Korea and other entities concerned.
 さらに、安保理が北朝鮮企業3社を制裁対象にすると、「謝罪と制裁の撤回」を求め、応じなければ「核実験と大陸間弾道ミサイル発射実験」を行うと宣言した。

The conducting of the latest test is seen as an extension of that statement. After the test, North Korea also test-launched three short-range missiles. Will Pyongyang threaten to launch a long-range ballistic missile next time if the Security Council starts discussing sanctions against it?
 その延長線上に、今回の核実験がある。核実験後、短距離ミサイルも3発発射した。安保理が協議入りすれば、長距離弾道ミサイルも発射する、とでも脅したつもりなのだろうか。

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Defiance must end

How can we stop the nuclear missile development program Pyongyang is defiantly advancing? The international community has to make a levelheaded judgment on this problem and deal with it in a coordinated manner.
 北朝鮮が野放図に進める核ミサイル開発をどう阻止するのか。国際社会は、冷静に判断し、緊密に連携して対処する必要がある。

One of the options the Security Council has at hand is adoption of a resolution to strengthen sanctions against North Korea. Sanctions laid out in Security Council Resolution 1718 adopted three years ago were not fully implemented because North Korea later returned to the six-party talks, a multinational effort to persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons program. A few more of those sanctions were implemented after the latest ballistic missile test, but the situation cannot remain as it is now.
 安保理の選択肢には、制裁を強化する決議の採択がある。3年前の決議1718は、その後、北朝鮮が6か国協議に復帰したことで制裁が徹底されなかった。先の弾道ミサイル発射でごく一部の制裁が実施されたが、現状のままでよいというわけにはいくまい。

Three years ago, Japan, as a nonpermanent member of the Security Council, led adoption of the sanctions resolution against North Korea along with the United States, Britain and France. Likewise, as a nonpermanent member again, the country should lead efforts to have the Security Council adopt a resolution to toughen sanctions against North Korea.
 日本は3年前、やはり安保理の一員として米英仏とともに制裁決議の採択を主導したように、今回も先頭に立って、安保理で制裁強化決議の採択を目指すべきだ。

Prime Minister Taro Aso and South Korean President Lee Myung Bak spoke on the telephone after the test and confirmed that Tokyo and Seoul would work together with Washington and should take stringent and resolute action against Pyongyang through the Security Council.
 麻生首相は韓国の李明博大統領と電話で、日米韓の連携を確認、安保理で「厳しい対応」を取るべきだとの認識でも一致した。

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Vital role for China
 ◆中国の役割は重い◆

The government said it would consider additional sanctions of its own against North Korea. However, these alone will have no affect at all on North Korea. It is far more significant to make international cooperative efforts against the North.
 日本政府は独自の追加制裁も検討することにしている。ただ、それだけでは、北朝鮮は痛痒(つうよう)を感じまい。国際的な包囲網の実効をあげることが肝要だ。

At present, the role of China, upon which North Korea is economically dependent, is particularly important in pressuring Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapons program. The prime minister should try hard to convince China and Russia, which are expected to maintain cautious attitudes, to agree with stricter sanctions against North Korea.
 現状では、北朝鮮が経済的に依存する中国の役割が、北朝鮮に核放棄への圧力をかけるうえできわめて重い。首相は、慎重な態度を示すと予想される中国、ロシアに積極的に働きかけるべきだ。

The six-party talks aim at persuading North Korea to abandon its nuclear development program through negotiations. But, Pyongyang's second nuclear test has undermined the significance of the talks.
 6か国協議は、交渉を通じて、北朝鮮の核放棄の実現を目指そうという枠組みだが、2度目の核実験強行により、事実上、その存在意義は失われた。

It is apparent that North Korea is trying to destroy the six-party talks. Last month, Pyongyang condemned the Security Council and said that it would never attend the six-party talks again. North Korea's real intention is not to abandon its nuclear weapons program, but to establish its nuclear capability as a fact.
 北朝鮮が、6か国協議つぶしを狙っていたのは明らかだ。事実、先月には、安保理非難とあわせ、6か国協議に「二度と絶対に参加しない」と言明した。核放棄ではなく、核兵器保有の既成事実化が北朝鮮の本音だ。

However, this does not mean that denuclearization of North Korea, a common goal shared by Japan, China, South Korea, Russia and the United States, is lost. It is a pressing issue for the five countries not to accept North Korea's ongoing possession of nuclear weapons as a fact and to take effective measures to end it.
 だが、日米韓中露の5か国にとって、北朝鮮の非核化という共通の目的が失われたわけではない。核保有の既成事実化を決して許さず、実効性ある措置をとることが5か国の喫緊の課題だ。

In that sense, the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama, with which North Korea wishes to have direct talks, bears heavy responsibility. We expect the administration to maintain a resolute attitude against North Korea so that Pyongyang will understand normalization of diplomatic ties with the United States is impossible as long as North Korea possesses nuclear weapons and to consider abandoning them.
 北朝鮮が直接対話を望むオバマ米政権の責任はきわめて大きい。核を持つ北朝鮮との正常化はあり得ないことを肝に銘じさせ、核廃棄へ向かわせるよう、毅然(きぜん)とした態度を貫いてもらいたい。

North Korea also said it has started reprocessing spent nuclear fuel rods, suggesting increased production of plutonium for nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, Pyongyang said that trials would start for two U.S. journalists arrested on suspicion of spying. It also raised tensions with Seoul, announcing the unilateral cancellation of all contracts with South Korea concerning the Kaesong industrial complex.
 北朝鮮は、使用済み核燃料棒の再処理を開始した、として核兵器用プルトニウムの増産を示唆している。拘束した米人ジャーナリスト2人の裁判開始を予告し、韓国とも開城工業団地の契約無効宣言で緊張を高めている。

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Succession a factor?
 ◆揺れる金正日後継問題◆

The extreme hardline attitude displayed by Pyongyang might be related to preparations by North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, whose health has allegedly been failing since last year, to groom a replacement to succeed him. The danger of nuclear missile development going on under such conditions requires careful attention.
 一連の“超強硬”姿勢は、昨年以来、健康不安が続く金正日総書記の後継体制作りと深く関係している可能性もある。こうした中で進められる核ミサイル開発の危険性に注意しなければならない。

U.S. nuclear deterrence is only one countermeasure for nonnuclear Japan to dissuade North Korea from using nuclear weapons. It is necessary to ensure confidence in the Japan-U.S. alliance so that the so-called nuclear umbrella can be relied on to function without fail.
 核を持たない日本にとって、米軍の核抑止力こそが北朝鮮に核使用を思いとどまらせる唯一の対抗手段だ。いわゆる「核の傘」が確実に機能するよう日米同盟関係の信頼性を確保する必要がある。

The government also should improve and expand the missile defense system further. In addition to the steady deployment of interceptor missiles, the effectiveness of the system should be improved through information-sharing and improvement of interoperability with the United States.
 ミサイル防衛(MD)システムの一層の充実も欠かせない。迎撃ミサイルの着実な配備はもちろん、米国との情報共有や、相互運用性の向上など、システムの実効性を高めることが重要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 26, 2009)
(2009年5月26日02時10分 読売新聞)
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