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雇用不安 新成長戦略で働く場確保を

2009-11-30 10:43:12 | 英字新聞

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The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 30, 2009)
New growth strategy needed to protect jobs
雇用不安 新成長戦略で働く場確保を(11月30日付・読売社説)



At the end of last year, a large number of manufacturers across the nation fired temporary workers even before their work contracts expired. To help those who lost jobs, a civic group set up a tent camp, called Toshikoshi Hakenmura (village for temporary workers to see out the old year), in Tokyo's Hibiya Park. A year later, the country's employment situation has grown even more serious.
 昨年暮れは製造業の派遣切りが続き、日比谷公園に「年越し派遣村」ができた。1年たった今、雇用情勢は一段と深刻化している。



How effective will the government's emergency employment measures be? The government must do all it can to alleviate the severe employment situation as the year-end approaches.
 政府の緊急雇用対策は、どれだけの効果が期待できるか。年の瀬を前に、政府は雇用対策に全力を挙げなければならない。



===



Situation in rural areas bleak
 ◆深刻な地方へのしわ寄せ◆



Kitakami, a city located in the southwest of Iwate Prefecture, has some of the leading industrial parks in the country. Blessed with vast plains and abundant water, the city capitalizes on its good location connected to an expressway.
 岩手県の南西部に位置する北上市は、全国有数の工業団地を持つ。広大な平野と豊かな水資源に恵まれ、高速道路も整備された立地条件の良さが売り物である。



With a large number of leading companies having set up plants there, the city until recently enjoyed a reputation as having successful industrial parks where a variety of industries are concentrated. Yet the tide of recession is sweeping toward the city.
 大企業が次々と進出し、産業集積が進んだ成功例とされるが、その北上市にも、景気悪化の荒波が押し寄せている。



At Iwate Toshiba Electronics Co., a Toshiba Corp. subsidiary located in an industrial park in the northern part of the city, a vast plot of land lies vacant next to the firm's semiconductor plant.
 市内北部の工業団地にある東芝子会社の岩手東芝エレクトロニクス。稼働中の半導体工場の横には広い敷地が残されたままだ。



Toshiba announced in 2008 it would build a new plant in Kitakami to produce cutting-edge NAND flash memory products. But the firm decided early this year to postpone construction of the plant due to flagging sales of semiconductors and a serious downturn in business. The site for the planned flash memory plant will soon see its second winter.
 東芝は2008年、最先端のNAND型フラッシュメモリーの北上新工場を建設すると発表した。ところが、今年初め、半導体不況と業績悪化を理由に建設を延期した。新工場は着工されず2度目の冬を迎えようとしている。



Under the initial plan, the plant was scheduled to start operation in spring 2010 and employ about 1,000 new workers.
 計画通りならば、来春以降に稼働し、1000人規模の新規雇用が見込まれていた。



About three years ago, the ratio of job offers to job seekers in the city rose to about 1.9 thanks to companies that flooded to the city to open new plants. As a result, the city ran short of workers. But now, the job-offers-to-job-seekers ratio has nosedived to about 0.3. Kitakami Mayor Akira Ito awaits the day when Toshiba decides to start the construction.
 北上市は約3年前、企業進出ラッシュで有効求人倍率が1・9倍程度まで上昇し、人手不足の時期もあった。それが今や、約0・3倍に急落した。伊藤彬市長は、東芝の着工決断を待つ日々だ。



The mayor has been visiting companies with branches in the city, asking them to hire even one more employee, in what he calls his "plus one" campaign.
 「プラスワン」作戦――。一人でも多くの採用を求める陳情攻勢を市長はそう名付け、地元に進出した企業を回り続ける。



This situation is not confined in Kitakami, but can be seen across the country. NEC Corp. has closed its liquid crystal panel plant in Izumi, Kagoshima Prefecture, while Honda Motor Co. postponed operation of its new plant in Yoriimachi, Saitama Prefecture.
 こうした状況は北上に限らない。NECの液晶パネル工場閉鎖(鹿児島県出水市)、ホンダの新工場稼働延期(埼玉県寄居町)など、全国で相次いでいる。



Listed companies' midterm earnings reports for the period ending in September showed that their business performance is improving. But they are still cautious about making capital investments as they strive to cut costs to be globally competitive.
 上場企業の今年9月中間決算は、業績改善を裏付けた。しかし、グローバル競争を勝ち抜くため、各社は、コスト削減を徹底しており、設備投資には慎重だ。



The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry announced Friday that the number of jobless people was 3.44 million in October, while the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.1 percent. The nation's job-offers-to-job-seekers ratio remains at a low level, at a seasonally adjusted 0.44.
 総務省が27日発表した10月の完全失業者は344万人で、完全失業率は5・1%だった。全国の有効求人倍率も0・44倍と、低水準が続いている。



Under its slogan of "From concrete to people," the administration of Prime Minister Yukio Hatomaya touts a policy shift that allocates taxpayers' money to programs related to people's lives, rather than to public works programs, as was seen in the past. This policy shift has slashed the number of public works projects, which local economies rely heavily on, dealing a heavy blow to the economies, which were already suffering from the ongoing wave of corporate restructuring.
 鳩山政権は、「コンクリートから人へ」の政策転換を掲げる。頼みの公共工事が激減したうえ、企業リストラも加わり、特に地方経済にはダブルパンチである。



The government, which compiled emergency employment measures in October, has begun studying additional employment measures for inclusion in the second supplementary budget for fiscal 2009.
 政府は、10月に緊急雇用対策をまとめたのに続き、2009年度第2次補正予算に盛り込む追加雇用対策を検討し始めた。



===



 ◆求められる大胆な追加策◆
Bolder steps needed



With the number of jobless rising, there are fears of downside risks for the economy, making it vitally important for the government to come up with new bold measures.
 失業者が増え続け、景気腰折れも懸念されており、ここは大胆な対策を打ち出すべきだ。



The pillar of the emergency employment measures is the provision of assistance to those who have lost their jobs and are in poverty and distress, and to new graduates, as well as the creation of jobs, mainly in such areas as nursing care, agriculture, forestry and fisheries, for about 100,000 people by the end of this fiscal year.
 政府の雇用対策は、仕事を失った貧困・困窮者や新卒者への支援のほか、介護や農林業などを中心に年度末までに約10万人の雇用創造を目指すことが柱である。



With the measures, the government aims to make the Hello Work job placement offices one-stop centers that, as well as helping unemployed people find jobs, can also help those who have become homeless as a result of losing their jobs find accommodation. But these measures are nothing new.
 ハローワークの支援機能や住宅支援策の強化を目指すが、旧来型の政策で目新しさはない。



Meanwhile, to encourage firms to temporarily lay off rather than fire employees, the government will ease requirements for receiving a governmental subsidy to defray costs relating to layoffs.
 政府は、従業員を解雇せず休業などにとどめた企業を支援する雇用調整助成金の要件を緩和する。



Steps such as these would go some way to protecting jobs. But subsidies like the one for firms furloughing workers should be expanded, while the government should carefully design job-training programs.
雇用維持に一定の効果が期待できるが、助成金をさらに拡充すべきだろう。きめ細かな職業訓練も強化しなければならない。



The ratio of college students graduating next spring who have received unofficial job offers hovered at around just 60 percent as of October, leaving the job situation for job-hunting college students extremely tight. To avoid creating a generation of unemployed people, it is an urgent task to boost such assistance.
 来春の大卒予定者の就職内定率は、10月現在で約60%に低迷し、「超氷河期」と言われる。就職できない「ロストジェネレーション」を生み出さないよう、支援対策の強化も急務だ。



What is probably important in the mid- and long term is to expand job opportunities.
 中長期的に肝心なのは、雇用機会を拡大することだろう。



Although the government has set a target of creating 100,000 jobs, that figure is dwarfed by the number of jobless, which has ballooned to 3.44 million.
 政府が雇用創出の目標に掲げた10万人は、344万人に膨らんだ失業者と比べると力不足だ。



Expanding cooperation among the sectors of agriculture, commerce and industry will reinvigorate these primary industries and boost tourism, the government should mobilize all workable policy steps so as to create more jobs in rural areas.
1次産業を活性化させる農商工連携の拡大や観光ビジネスなども絡め、政策を総動員し、地域の雇用を広げる工夫が求められる。



===



Domestic industries at risk
 ◆国内産業の空洞化を防げ◆



Job-creation measures will also directly lead to measures to prevent the hollowing out of domestic industries.
 雇用対策は、国内産業の空洞化を防ぐ対策にも直結する。



Driven by fierce price-cutting competition for their products at home, more and more companies are shifting their production bases out of the country, further reducing the number of job opportunities. As a result, the Japanese economy is in danger of falling into a vicious cycle in which it becomes increasingly anemic.
 企業は製品の値下げ競争に追われるように、工場の海外移転を加速させており、雇用機会の縮小は深刻だ。日本経済は、それによってさらに弱体化する悪循環に陥りつつある。



For such reasons, the government needs to hammer out a new growth strategy that will revitalize domestic industries and regional economies.
 だからこそ、政府は、国内産業や地域が活性化できる新成長戦略を打ち出さねばならない。



The promotion of new industries that can capitalize on Japan's strong points, such as those in the area of environmental protection, will generate economic vitality and create jobs. The government needs to present a clear-cut vision to give domestic industries and regional economies hope for the future.
 環境などの日本の強みを生かした新産業をテコ入れし、活力を生みだし、雇用増につなげる――将来に希望を持てる、そんな明確なビジョンを示す必要がある。



In this respect, the key will be to generate demand in other Asian countries for Japanese goods by reinforcing product-development and export strategies targeted at consumer markets in Asia.
 アジアの消費者向けの市場を狙い、商品開発や輸出戦略も強化するなど、アジアの需要を国内に取り込むことが重要になろう。



(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 30, 2009)
(2009年11月30日01時11分  読売新聞)

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CO2削減 米中の目標公表で弾みつくか

2009-11-29 11:58:15 | 英字新聞

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The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 29, 2009)
U.S., China could lead way to post-Kyoto deal
CO2削減 米中の目標公表で弾みつくか(11月29日付・読売社説)

The United States and China, the world's two largest emitters of greenhouse gas, have recently announced their medium-term targets for CO2 emission reductions. We hope their commitments will add momentum to the drafting of a fair framework to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, which expires at the end of 2012.
 温室効果ガスの2大排出国である米国と中国が削減の中期目標を公表した。京都議定書に代わる公平な枠組み作りの弾みとしたい。

The United States has set itself a target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020. The U.S. targets also include a 30 percent reduction by 2025, 42 percent by 2030 and 83 percent by 2050.
 米国の目標は、温室効果ガスの排出量を2020年までに05年比で17%削減するというものだ。さらに、25年に30%、30年に42%、50年に83%と段階を踏んで減らす内容である。

However, a 17 percent cut from 2005 levels actually represents a reduction of just a few percent from 1990 levels. This contrasts sharply with the target set by the administration of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, which aims to curb this nation's emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels.
 「05年比17%減」は、1990年比に換算すると数%の削減に過ぎない。90年比で一気に25%削減しようという鳩山政権の目標との違いが際立っている。

The U.S. targets are very realistic, as restoring the economy is currently Washington's top priority.
 経済の立て直しが最優先課題である米国にとって、現実的な色合いが濃い削減目標といえよう。

===

China emissions could grow

Meanwhile, China, which has recently surpassed the United States to become the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter, has announced it will reduce carbon dioxide emissions per unit of gross domestic product by 40 percent to 45 percent compared with 2005 levels by 2020.
 米国を抜き最大の排出国となった中国の場合は、国内総生産(GDP)当たりの二酸化炭素(CO2)排出量を20年までに05年比で40~45%削減する。

The Chinese target of cutting emissions per unit of GDP is different from those adopted by Japan and the United States, which aim for reductions in total emissions volume. Under this approach, China would be allowed to emit more CO2 if its GDP grows.
 日本や米国のように、排出総量の削減目標ではなく、一定単位のGDPを生み出す際のCO2排出量を削減するという考え方だ。GDPが増えれば、CO2の総排出量も増加する可能性が高い。

China is apparently trying to trumpet to the world its contribution to tackling greenhouse gas reduction without damaging its economic growth. It also has stressed that cutting greenhouse gas emissions is a "voluntary action based on our own national situation."
 経済成長を損ねず、その一方で、排出削減に取り組む姿勢をアピールする狙いがあるのだろう。中国は「国情に基づく自主的な行動」とも強調している。

This indicates that Beijing is wary of entering into internationally binding deals on emissions reductions.
国際的に削減義務を負うことに対する警戒心がうかがえる。

===

COP15 nations divided

The 15th Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Climate Change Convention (COP15) will start in Copenhagen on Dec. 7. The U.S. and Chinese announcements of midterm targets is undoubtedly one step forward in the lead-up to COP15 discussions that will focus on a post-Kyoto Protocol international framework to be followed from 2013.
 12月7日から気候変動枠組み条約締約国会議(COP15)が開催される。13年以降の国際的な削減ルールとなる「ポスト京都議定書」について討議するに当たり、米国と中国が中期目標を示したのは、一歩前進には違いない。

In reality, however, there is still a gulf of opinion between major industrialized countries and developing countries on how to tackle climate change. It already appears almost impossible for a post-Kyoto Protocol framework to be adopted in the Danish capital in December. The focus of attention has already shifted to whether the COP15 nations can reach a major political agreement that could lead to the adoption of a new protocol next year.
 だが、先進国と途上国の主張の隔たりは、依然として大きいのが現実である。早くも、新たな議定書の採択は絶望視されている。来年の議定書採択につながる踏み込んだ政治合意にこぎ着けられるかどうかが焦点といえる。

Moves by the United States and China hold the key to the success of the talks.
 米国と中国の動向は、その成否のカギを握るだろう。

There is concern that some developing countries are leaning toward a possible extension of the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012. The Kyoto Protocol lacks teeth as the United States has withdrawn from it and China, as a developing country, is not obliged to cut its emissions under the pact.
 懸念されるのは、途上国の間に京都議定書の延長論が浮上していることだ。米国が離脱し、中国も途上国として削減義務を負っていない京都議定書は、世界の排出量を減らす実効性を欠いている。

Hatoyama has made an international pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent without seeking the backing of the Japanese public. As a precondition for committing the nation to this target, however, he has stated that all major nations must sign on to a post-Kyoto Protocol framework.
 鳩山首相は、国内の合意がないまま、「25%削減」を国際公約に掲げた。一方で、目標を目指す条件として、ポスト京都への「すべての主要国の参加」を挙げた。

Japan must steadfastly maintain this condition at the upcoming COP15 talks.
 日本にとって大切なのは、COP15で、この条件をあくまで堅持することである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 29, 2009)
(2009年11月29日01時13分 読売新聞)
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事業仕分け 政治家が責任持って決定を

2009-11-28 05:26:16 | 英字新聞
The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 28, 2009)
Budget decisions rest with lawmakers
事業仕分け 政治家が責任持って決定を(11月28日付・読売社説)

The Government Revitalization Unit on Friday ended its nine-day budget screening session to identify wasteful spending in fiscal 2010 budget requests for government-led projects.
 予算の無駄を洗い出す行政刷新会議の事業仕分けが、9日間の作業日程を終えた。

The unit judged that many of the 449 projects it examined should be abolished or downsized. The task force also demanded that some funds already distributed to independent administrative organizations and public-interest corporations be returned to the national coffers.
 対象とした449事業の多くに廃止や縮減などの判定を下した。

The money to be returned and savings raked in from the abolished projects outlined in the initial budget requests will top 1.6 trillion yen.
 独立行政法人や公益法人が抱える基金に国庫返納を求めた分を加えると、ひねり出した成果は1・6兆円を超えた。

Although this is still short of the government's target of 3 trillion yen, the savings could be used as a precious financial resource for next fiscal year's budget.
 目標の3兆円には届かなかったが、来年度予算に使える貴重な財源の一部にはなろう。

However, the first attempt to broadcast part of the government's budget drafting process live on the Internet created many problems.
 しかし、インターネットで国の予算編成作業の一端を同時中継するという初の試みは、数多くの課題を残した。

Some members of the unit's screening teams, comprised of lawmakers and experts from the private sector, basked in the public exposure and often played to the gallery, snapping at officials from the government organizations to give them explanations on the projects. It was appalling behavior.
 国会議員や民間有識者からなる仕分け人が、公開を意識してパフォーマンス的な言動を繰り返し、各府省の説明担当者を一方的にやり込める場面が相次いだのは見苦しかった。

The criteria by which budget examiners were chosen from the private sector also remain unclear.
 民間の仕分け人をどういう基準で選んだのか、それも不明なままだった。

===

Changes needed

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said he plans to continue the budget screening in and after fiscal 2010. If so, we think it is necessary to revise the rules for running the session--such as by giving sufficient opportunities for budget briefers to answer questions and clarifying the standards by which budget examiners from the private sector are selected.
 鳩山首相は、来年度以降も事業仕分けを続ける意向を表明している。そうであるなら、説明者側に十分な反論の機会を与え、仕分け人の選任基準を明確化するなど、運営方針の見直しが必要だ。

Many questions also have been raised about why some government projects were subject to the screening when it was obvious they could not be discussed properly in just one hour.
 仕分けの対象とされたテーマに疑問を呈する声も多かった。わずか1時間の議論では手に余る案件が幾つも含まれていたからだ。

Projects that fell under this category included allocations for the so-called sympathy budget for U.S. military forces in Japan, the Foreign Ministry's support of international institutions and funding to promote science and technology.
 在日米軍に対する「思いやり予算」や対外援助、地方交付税、科学技術振興関連などだ。

These matters are all closely related to what the nation should be and its future. They cannot be solved so easily.
 いずれも国の在り方、将来にかかわる問題で、簡単に答えが出るような話ではない。

===

Science gets cold shoulder

Perhaps the biggest controversy during the screening was the panel's decision to effectively freeze the budget for a next-generation supercomputer project.
 中でも、波紋を呼んだのは次世代スーパーコンピューターの開発予算を巡って、「事実上の凍結」という判定が出された件だ。

Nobel laureates and business leaders have poured scorn on this decision, saying that short-term cost-effectiveness was not the proper standard for evaluating science and technology projects. They also warned that Japan could eventually lose the global race to develop advanced technology.
 ノーベル賞受賞者や経済界からは、「短期的な費用対効果ばかりをみる議論は、科学技術にはなじまない」「世界の先端技術開発競争で、日本が負けてしまう」といった強い批判が噴き出した。

We wholeheartedly agree with them. The unit might have lacked the strategic thinking needed to deduce what fields should be given priority in budget allocations from long-term and international points of view.
 その通りだろう。長期的かつ国際的視点で、どんな分野に予算を重点配分していくか、という戦略的思考が、行政刷新会議に欠けていたのではないか。

It was also regrettable that the unit decided to abolish a project to encourage children to read books.
 子供に読書を勧める事業を廃止としたのも遺憾である。

Ill-advised judgments made by the panel this time around must be corrected in the future.
 誤った判定については今後、見直していかねばならない。

The decisions made during the budget screening session are not final. The government could treat them as a set of criteria for making decisions on the budget, but it should not be bound by them.
 そもそも、事業仕分けでの判定は、最終的なものではない。判断材料の一つにはなるが、縛られてはなるまい。

The responsibility for deciding how to treat the unit's judgments in the budget drafting process now rests in the hands of this nation's lawmakers.
今後の予算編成の中で、政治家が責任を持って扱いを決めるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 28, 2009)
(2009年11月28日01時49分 読売新聞)
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円急騰 ドル離れ進む世界の投資資金

2009-11-27 09:39:45 | 英字新聞
The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 27, 2009)
Yen's surge doesn't deserve appreciation
円急騰 ドル離れ進む世界の投資資金(11月27日付・読売社説)

The yen's value has surged as selling pressure on the U.S. dollar has accelerated on foreign exchange markets. This situation could deal a devastating blow to the tottering Japanese economy.
 外国為替市場で、ドル離れが加速し、円が急騰した。足元が不安定な日本の景気回復に打撃を与えかねない事態だ。

The yen jumped to a 14-year high in the 86 yen level against the dollar Thursday in Tokyo. The dollar seems to be declining across the board against the euro and currencies of newly emerging economies.
 26日の東京市場の円相場は、1ドル=86円台をつけ、約14年ぶりの円高水準になった。ドルは、ユーロや新興国通貨などに対しても値下がりし、「ドル全面安」の状況を呈している。

Finance Minister Hirohisa Fujii indicated the government would intervene in the currency market if exchange rates "move abnormally." U.S. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke also warned against sharp falls of the dollar when he stated recently that the Fed would monitor changes in the value of the greenback.
 藤井財務相は、相場が異常に動いた場合には、円売り介入する考えを示唆した。米連邦準備制度理事会(FRB)のバーナンキ議長も先日、「ドル相場を監視する」と発言し、急激なドル安を牽制(けんせい)したばかりだ。

As dollar-selling pressure appears unlikely to ease anytime soon, the appreciation of the yen and depreciation of the dollar likely will continue for some time. Monetary authorities in Japan and the United States, and other countries for that matter, must work together to moderate excessive fluctuations in currency markets by exploring the possibility of market interventions.
 ドル売り圧力は強く、円高・ドル安傾向が続くとみられる。日米などの通貨当局が、市場介入の可能性も探りながら連携し、過度な変動を抑える必要があろう。

===

U.S. economic woes

The biggest cause of the falling dollar is the expectation that the United States' ultralow interest rate policy will remain in place as the U.S. economy continues to sputter.
 ドル安が進んでいる最大の要因は、米国の景気回復の足取りが重く、超低金利政策が長期化すると予想されているためだ。

The U.S. unemployment rate has risen to 10 percent. Nascent indications are that this could be a jobless recovery. Some observers have even suggested that U.S. authorities are tacitly tolerating moderate falls in the dollar to stimulate the economy through growth in exports.
 米国の失業率は10%台に上昇し、まさに「雇用なき景気回復」だ。輸出拡大による景気テコ入れを狙い、米当局が本音では、緩やかなドル安を容認している、との観測も背景にある。00

A more worrying problem is that the so-called dollar carry trade--investors selling dollars with relatively low interest rates and instead investing in higher-yielding currencies--has kicked into gear.
 さらに厄介なのは、低金利のドルを売って、高金利通貨などに投資する「ドルキャリー取引」が活発化している問題だ。

The yen carry trade was commonplace from about 2004 through 2007. This time around, the dollar is shaking up money markets around the world.
 2004~07年ごろに目立った「円キャリー取引」に代わり、今回はドルが、世界のマネーの動きを揺さぶっている。

The price of gold has surged to a record high near 1,200 dollars an ounce in New York. This also is a sign that investors are discarding the greenback because gold is purchased as an alternative currency to the dollar. Crude oil and grain prices also have been creeping up as investment funds are diverted into these markets.
 金の価格が史上最高値の1トロイ・オンス=1200ドル近くに急騰した。ドルの「代替通貨」として買われており、ドル離れを示すものだ。投資資金の流入で、原油や穀物価格も上昇している。

===

Exporters in peril

A sharp rise in the value of the yen and a plunge in the value of the dollar could spell disaster for the Japanese economy, which remains mired in deflation and has yet to get on the path to a full recovery.
 急激な円高・ドル安は、デフレに陥り、本格的な景気回復が遅れている日本経済にとって、特に重荷になるだろう。

Many exporting companies had assumed the yen would average about 90 yen per dollar throughout the second half of this fiscal year. If the yen continues to appreciate sharply against the dollar, these companies would take a battering. These exporters are a driving force of the nation's economy; any faltering by them could throttle the economy again.
 輸出企業の多くは、今年度下期に1ドル=90円程度の円相場を想定しており、急激な円高・ドル安が続けば、業績には大きな打撃だ。牽引役である企業の体力が弱れば、景気も腰折れしかねない。

Furthermore, the euro's surge could stall a full recovery of the European economy. Concern about economic bubbles is rising in newly emerging nations such as Brazil, which have been magnets for investment funds.
 ユーロの急騰は、欧州経済の本格回復にも悪影響を及ぼす。ドル離れした投資資金が流入しているブラジルなどの新興国では、バブル経済を懸念する声もある。

A fall in the dollar would throw the world economy into confusion. To ensure this does not come about, it is essential that the United States emerge from a jobless recovery and regain confidence in its currency. To this end, we consider it imperative that the United States implement effective measures to boost employment.
 結局、世界経済を混乱させるドル安に歯止めをかけるには、米国が「雇用なき景気回復」を脱却し、ドルの信認を取り戻すことが肝要だ。効果的な雇用対策の実施が急務といえよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 27, 2009)
(2009年11月27日01時33分 読売新聞)
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日米密約調査 核抑止力の低下は避けよ

2009-11-26 09:47:32 | 英字新聞
The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 26, 2009)
(11月26日付・読売社説)
Pact probe must not dilute U.S. N-deterrence

A full investigation into alleged secret pacts involving the entry into Japan of U.S. nuclear weapons--among other issues said to have been agreed between Tokyo and Washington--is essential to recover public trust in this nation's diplomacy.
 核持ち込みなどに関する「日米密約」の真相究明は、日本外交への国民の信頼を回復するために重要だ。

However, the probe must not be allowed to weaken the effect of the U.S. forces' nuclear deterrence.
だが、その結果、米軍の核抑止力を低下させる事態は避けねばなるまい。

A panel of experts set up by the Foreign Ministry to investigate the alleged pacts will hold its first meeting Friday.
 密約問題を検証する外務省の有識者委員会の初会合が27日に開かれる。

Based on the results of an in-house Foreign Ministry investigation, the panel members will interview retired ministry officials before submitting a report to Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada in January.
外交文書に関する内部調査結果を基に、外務省OBらの聞き取り調査も実施し、来年1月に報告書を岡田外相に提出する。

The panel will examine four alleged secret pacts, including one said to have been inked in 1960 when the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty was revised. This agreement reportedly effectively allowed U.S. military ships and airplanes carrying nuclear arms to visit or pass through Japan without prior consultation between the two governments.
 検証対象は、1960年の日米安保条約改定時に、核搭載の米軍艦船や航空機の日本寄港・通過を事前協議の対象外としたとされる件など四つの密約問題だ。

Disclosed U.S. diplomatic documents and the testimony of a former administrative vice-minister for foreign affairs have already undermined the credibility of the former government's official denial of the existence of the pacts. Furthermore, the ministry's latest probe unearthed a document supporting the pacts' existence.
 核持ち込みについては既に、公開された米外交文書や元外務次官らの最近の証言により、「密約はない」とする政府見解の維持が困難となっていた。さらに、今回の外務省調査で、密約の存在を裏付ける文書が見つかったという。

===

Extenuating circumstances?

It is highly significant that Okada is launching his own inquiry after the Democratic Party of Japan wrested power from the Liberal Democratic Party and he was made foreign minister.
 政権交代を機に、岡田外相が密約の調査・検証を始めた意義は小さくない。

If the DPJ-led government was to officially admit the existence of the secret pacts based on the results of the inquiry, it would be the first step to dispelling the sense of mistrust felt by the public.
政府が、その結果を踏まえて、密約の存在を正式に認めることが、国民の不信感を解消する一歩となろう。

However, we can understand the circumstances under which the government at that time deemed it necessary to draw up a secret deal with the United States to secure the effectiveness of the U.S. "nuclear umbrella," while consideration likely was paid to the antipathy of Japanese people toward nuclear arms during the Cold War period.
 ただ、政府が東西冷戦期に、国民の核アレルギーに配慮しつつ、米国の「核の傘」の実効性を確保するため、密約を結ばざるを得なかった事情は理解できる。

We expect the panel members to take into account the historical background of the period and try to discern how such pacts might have been thrashed out.
 有識者委員会は、当時の時代背景も踏まえて、密約締結の経緯をきちんと検証してほしい。

Secrets are an inherent part of diplomatic negotiations. During such bargaining, there is much information that cannot immediately be disclosed in terms of maintaining relations of trust with a partner country and preventing harm to the people concerned. However, it is important to deepen discussions on the kind of circumstances in which it is appropriate to disclose such information after a certain period of time.
 外交交渉には秘密が付き物だ。相手国との信頼関係を維持し、関係者への悪影響を避けるため、すぐには公開できない情報は多い。一定期間の後、どんな条件の下で公開するのが適当なのか、議論を深めることが大切だろう。

Hereafter, discussions must be held to review the three nonnuclear principles of not producing, not possessing and not allowing the entry of nuclear arms into this country.
 今後、重要なのは、核を「持たず、作らず、持ち込ませず」とする非核三原則のあり方の議論だ。

===

Looking ahead

Japan's present security situation is becoming increasingly unstable in light of North Korea's declared possession of nuclear weapons, for example. This makes it necessary to maintain and even improve the U.S. forces' nuclear deterrence.
 北朝鮮が核保有を公言するなど現在の日本の安全保障環境は厳しい。米軍の核抑止力を維持、向上させることが求められる。

In 1991, the United States removed tactical nuclear weapons from its military ships and nuclear submarines. This made the entry of nuclear weapons into Japan unlikely, at least for a while. But in the medium-to-long term, there is no guarantee that a neighboring country will not threaten the security of this nation with nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.
 米国は91年に米軍艦船・原潜から戦術核を撤去した。当面は、核持ち込みの事態は想定されにくくても、中長期的に、近隣国が核や生物化学兵器で日本の安全を脅かす事態がないとは限らない。

A founding principle of national security is that a country must remain militarily flexible to deal with changing situations.
 様々な事態の変化に対応できるよう、軍事面の柔軟性を確保することが、安全保障の要諦(ようてい)だ。

We believe it may be time for the government to seriously consider introducing "2-1/2 nonnuclear principles," which would still prohibit the deployment of nuclear arms on the ground but would allow ships and airplanes carrying nuclear weapons to visit Japan.
 核を「持ち込ませず」のうち、陸上への核配備の禁止は継続しても、核搭載艦船や航空機の寄港・立ち寄りは可能とする「非核2・5原則」の採用を、前向きに検討していいのではないか。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 26, 2009)
(2009年11月26日01時06分 読売新聞)
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