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新成長戦略 目標実現の具体策が見えない

2009-12-31 09:41:05 | 英字新聞
The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 31, 2009)
Govt's new growth strategy short on details
新成長戦略 目標実現の具体策が見えない(12月31日付・読売社説)

Having an ambitious goal alone is not enough to ensure a bright future. The government's newly unveiled growth strategy for a "shining Japan" lacks vital substance in that it fails to illuminate how to achieve these goals in detail.
The strategy, the basic policy of which was approved by the Cabinet on Wednesday, sets a target of achieving a more than 2 percent annual growth in the gross domestic product in real terms through fiscal 2020. In nominal terms, the growth target is aimed at staying above 3 percent.
 高い目標を掲げるだけで、明るい未来は開けない。肝心なのは実現する具体的手法の明示だが、そこが欠けている。
 政府は30日の閣議で、新たな成長戦略の基本方針「輝きのある日本へ」を決定した。
 国内総生産(GDP)を2020年度まで実質で年2%、名目は3%を上回るペースで成長させる数値目標を掲げた。

This means that in 10 years, the nominal GDP is expected to grow from the 470 trillion yen of this fiscal year to 650 trillion yen. But the fact is that the nominal GDP has been in negative territory for the past six straight quarters, pushing GDP down by 50 trillion yen. As the economy has entered a deflationary phase, which also shrinks the GDP, obstacles to reaching the target are extremely high.
 名目GDPは今年度の470兆円から650兆円に増える計算だが、現状はここ6四半期連続のマイナスで、50兆円も減った。名目GDPをしぼませるデフレに再び陥ったこともあり、目標達成のハードルは極めて高い。

===

Solid ends, vague means

In its growth strategy, the government declared it would pursue a "third way" of seeking the creation of new demand, instead of relying on public works projects or following the principle of market fundamentalism as seen under the administration of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. The new stance touted by the administration of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama appears to be in line with a policy pledge to "shift from concrete to human beings," meaning a departure from an industrial structure heavily dependent on public works projects.
 成長戦略は公共事業依存でも、小泉路線のような市場原理主義でもない、新需要の創造という「第3の道」を進むとしている。「コンクリートから人へ」などの政権公約に沿った考え方だろう。

The strategy listed two areas--the environment and energy, and medical and nursing care services--that the government intends to focus on and shore up. In these areas, which Japan can boast of having strengths in, there will be a goal of creating new demand worth 100 trillion yen and 4.2 new million jobs.
 具体的には、環境・エネルギーと医療・介護を、日本が強みを持つ2分野として集中的にテコ入れし、100兆円の需要と420万人の雇用を新たに生み出す。

The government also intends to stimulate trade with other Asian nations--whose economies are continuing to grow fast--support scientific and technological development and strengthen measures to sustain employment.
 高成長が続くアジアとの取引活性化や、科学技術の支援、雇用下支えの強化なども図る。

There is nothing wrong with the direction of these policy courses. But, in terms of details in the measures, we find little difference with those included in about a dozen growth strategies hammered out by the governments of the past decade.
 方向性に問題はないが、具体策は政府が過去10年に出した十指に余る成長戦略と大差ない。

This is likely because the strategy was compiled from worn-out proposals submitted by ministries and agencies concerned. As it took only half a month to devise the strategy, it gives an impression that the government threw it together in order to thwart criticism that the current administration has no growth strategy.
 関係府省が持ち寄った案をまとめたため、新味のないアイデアが並んだのだろう。策定作業は約半月と短く、成長戦略がないという批判をかわす「やっつけ仕事」との印象もぬぐえない。

===

Get private sector input

The government intends, by June, to complete the growth strategy by putting flesh on these basic policy bones and provide a road map for achieving these goals.
 政府は来年6月までに、この基本方針に肉付けをして成長戦略を完成させ、実現に向けた工程表も示す方針という。

But it would be better to drastically review the strategy by, for example, inviting ideas widely from the private sector and narrowing down the list of measures to those that appear to have the greatest potential effect and feasibility. There also should be mention of how necessary funds for nurturing new industries and supporting technological development should be allocated.
 だがこの際、民間からアイデアを広く募って、効果や実現性の高いものに絞り込むなど、抜本的に練り直した方がいい。新産業の育成や技術支援に必要な費用をどう工面するのかも示すべきだ。

If the Hatoyama administration sticks to its policy pledge not to raise the consumption tax rate for four years, it is unlikely that it will be able to secure a stable revenue source to implement policy measures. It must not have faith in a "rising tide" theory of economic growth being able to increase tax revenues.
 消費税率を4年間は上げないという政権公約にこだわれば、安定した財源は得られまい。「経済成長で税収が増えれば賄える」とする“上げ潮”依存は禁物だ。

It also is necessary to show the path to fiscal reconstruction for the mid- to long-run in order to ease people's anxiety about the future of social security and other matters.
 中長期的な財政再建の道筋も同時に示し、社会保障などの将来不安を和らげる必要もある。

Unless measures are taken to prevent a further economic decline and solve the deflation problem, any great growth strategy will merely end up being pie in the sky.
 景気の底割れを防ぎ、デフレを解消しないと、どんな立派な成長戦略も絵に描いたモチになる。

The government has cut spending for public works projects by nearly 20 percent in the fiscal 2010 budget, compared with the current fiscal year. Spending for urgently needed projects such as construction work to improve the earthquake resistance of primary and middle school buildings also has been reduced. These projects should be revived and used to help economic recovery.
 政府は来年度予算の公共事業を前年度より2割近く減らし、小中学校の耐震化など急ぐべき事業も削った。これらを復活して、景気回復に役立てるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 31, 2009)
(2009年12月31日01時16分 読売新聞)
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09回顧・国際 オバマ政権登場で動いた世界

2009-12-30 08:25:25 | 英字新聞
The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 30, 2009)
2009 provided plenty of grist for media mill
09回顧・国際 オバマ政権登場で動いた世界(12月30日付・読売社説)

It has been a busy year. From a pandemic of a new type of influenza that hit the world this year to the struggles of the global economy to get out of recession to the prevention of nuclear proliferation and global environmental problems--the international community had to tackle a wide variety of issues.
 世界不況からの脱却へ模索が続く中、新型インフルエンザの世界的大流行に見舞われた。
 核の拡散防止や地球環境問題など、国際社会で取り組む課題が相次いだ。

On the list of the top 10 international news stories chosen by readers of The Yomiuri Shimbun, Barack Obama's inauguration as U.S. president and his winning of the Nobel Peace Prize ranked second and fifth respectively. This shows how popular Obama is, even in Japan.
 本紙の読者が選ぶ「海外10大ニュース」は、オバマ米大統領の就任(2位)とノーベル平和賞の受賞(5位)が上位入りした。オバマ人気の高さがうかがえる。

 ◆「核なき世界」を決議◆
In April, Obama announced his target of a nuclear free world during a speech in Prague--a story that ranked 13th on the list. Although he said it would be difficult to realize that goal during his lifetime, Obama chaired a summit-level meeting of the U.N. Security Council in September and led the council to approve a historic resolution aimed at ridding the world of nuclear weapons--a story that ranked 15th on the list.
 オバマ大統領は4月、プラハでの演説で「核兵器なき世界」の実現を訴えた(13位)。自らが生きている間の実現は難しいとしたが、9月の国連安全保障理事会の首脳級会合で議長を務め、「核兵器なき世界」を目指す決議を採択に導いた(15位)。

However, Obama said during a speech at the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony in December; "The instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace," positioning the U.S. war in Afghanistan and other conflicts as "just wars."
He made the remark as the leader of the world's preeminent superpower, based on the cold, hard realities of the world.
 そのオバマ大統領は12月のノーベル平和賞の受賞演説で、「平和維持のためには戦争という手段が演じる役割もある」と述べ、アフガニスタン戦争などを「正しい戦争」と位置づけた。超大国の最高指導者として、冷徹な現実を踏まえた発言だった。

===

N. Korea still source of concern

In April, North Korea test-fired a long-range ballistic missile--the news story raking sixth on the list. The U.N. Security Council immediately adopted a presidential statement condemning the launch, but Pyongyang held an underground nuclear test in May (story No. 14 on the list).
 北朝鮮は4月に弾道ミサイルを発射した(6位)。国連安保理は非難声明を採択したが、さらに北朝鮮は5月、地下核実験を強行した(14位)。

As it was the second nuclear test North Korea has conducted since 2006, it was reasonable that the Security Council unanimously approved a resolution widening sanctions against the reclusive state.
 2006年以来2度目の核実験で、国連安保理が制裁決議を採択したのは当然だった。

Though the United States and China are continuing negotiations with North Korea, the six-way talks aimed at stopping Pyongyang's nuclear development program have remained suspended and will see the old year out without any likelihood of resumption.
 米中による北朝鮮への働きかけが続いているが、中断されたままの6か国協議は、再開のメドが立たないまま越年する。

The news story ranked eighth was the riots by Muslim Uygurs that erupted in Urumqi, the capital of China's Xingjian Uygur Autonomous Region, in which 197 people died. The incident highlighted the antagonism between China's majority Han people and Uygurs, showing that ethnic minority issues could prove to be the Achilles' heel of China, whose economy continues to grow rapidly.
 経済成長著しい中国の新疆ウイグル自治区で暴動が発生、197人が死亡した(8位)。漢族とウイグル族の反目も露(あら)わになり、少数民族問題が中国のアキレス腱(けん)であることが鮮明になった。

In October, China celebrated the 60th anniversary of People's Republic of China, staging the military parade for the first time in 10 years, a story readers ranked 18th. It symbolized the efforts by the Chinese Communist Party and the government to boost national prestige. However, the administration of Chinese President Hu Jintao, who has just three more years or so in office, is facing a mountain of problems such as the growing gap between the rich and the poor, and spreading corruption.
 中国は10月、建国60周年を迎え、10年ぶりに軍事パレードを実施した(18位)。国威発揚に向けた党・政府の取り組みだが、貧富の差の拡大や汚職の増加など、残りの任期3年余りとなった胡錦濤政権にとって課題は山積だ。

===

Deadly blaze

The news story ranked seventh on the list is the shooting range fire in Busan, South Korea, in November that killed 15, including 10 Japanese tourists.
 韓国南部の釜山で11月、室内射撃場で火災が発生し、日本人観光客10人が死亡した(7位)。

Also in South Korea, former President Roh Moo-hyun killed himself in May and Kim Dae Jung, former president and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, passed away in August, both of which were sad news for South Koreans.
 その韓国では盧武鉉・前大統領が5月に自殺し、ノーベル平和賞受賞者の金大中・元大統領も8月に死去した。

From the first outbreak in Mexico in April, a new type of flu spread around the world this year. According to the World Health Organization, the global death toll from the disease, including deaths in Japan, topped 10,000. This was the No. 1 story on the The Yomiuri Shimbun's list of the top 10 international news stories.
 4月にメキシコで発生した新型インフルエンザは、世界に広がった。世界保健機関(WHO)によれば、日本を含む世界全体の死者は1万人を突破した。これが本紙海外ニュースの1位である。

The new flu pandemic highlighted various concerns about the way governments around the world cooperate to fight the global spread of infectious diseases. Developing countries suffered shortages of vaccines against the type A H1N1 flu virus.
 途上国ではワクチンの供給が不足するなど、感染症の世界的な拡大における国際協力のあり方に教訓を残したと言える。

The financial crisis entered its second year in the wake of momentous events in the first half of the year including the bankruptcies of major U.S. auto manufacturers General Motors and Chrysler--the story ranked fourth on the list of international news stories.
 2年目に入った金融危機は、米自動車業界大手のゼネラル・モーターズ(GM)やクライスラーが相次いで経営破綻(はたん)に追い込まれる(4位)など、今年前半は厳しい状況が続いた。

===

Economy bottoms out
 ◆経済最悪期は脱した◆

Financial summit meetings of the Group of 20, at which leaders of the 19 nations and the European Union discussed what measures they should take to combat the economic crisis and fix the global economy, were held in London in April and Pittsburgh in September. With the nations cooperatively carrying out fiscal measures and monetary easing policies, it is believed that the worst of the global economic crisis is over.
 世界の景気対策を協議する20か国・地域(G20)首脳による金融サミットが4月にロンドンで、9月に米ピッツバーグで、それぞれ開催された。各国は連携して財政出動や金融緩和策などを実施した結果、世界経済の最悪期は脱したとされる。

The G-20 released a leaders' statement in which they proclaimed the G-20 to be the premier forum for international economic cooperation, a development that appears to weaken the influence of the Group of Eight summit of industrialized nations.
 G20は国際経済を議論する最上位の会合へ格上げをする、との首脳声明を発表した。現在の主要8か国による首脳会議(G8)の影は薄くなることが懸念される。

Concerning international cooperation to combat global warming, the Conference of Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen (COP15) failed to set concrete reduction goals for greenhouse gasses. The participating nations were able to avert a complete breakdown in negotiations and somehow maintained a positive attitude toward resolving the issue. However, various problems remain unsolved.
 地球温暖化防止では、12月のコペンハーゲンでの国連気候変動枠組み条約第15回締約国会議(COP15)で、具体的な削減目標を設定できなかった。決裂を回避し、解決に取り組む姿勢は維持できたが、課題は残された。

In September, a magnitude-8 earthquake hit the island nation of Samoa in the South Pacific, followed by a magnitude 7.6 quake that struck off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. In all, more than 1,000 people were killed or went missing, a story that was ranked ninth by Yomiuri Shimbun readers.
 9月、南太平洋のサモア諸島沖でのマグニチュード(M)8の地震に続いて、インドネシアのスマトラ島沖でもM7・6の地震が起き、合わせて1000人を超える死者・不明者が出た(9位)。

===

Lightning fast

The 10th ranked story was considerably more cheerful--Usain Bolt of Jamaica won three world athletic titles at the World Championships in Athletics in August, breaking world records in the 100-meter and 200-meter sprints and winning a third gold in the 400-meter relay.
 明るいニュースでは、世界陸上の雄、ウサイン・ボルト選手(ジャマイカ)が8月、男子100メートルと200メートルで世界新記録で優勝し、男子リレーでの優勝と合わせ3冠を獲得した(10位)。

 ◆テロとの戦いは続く◆
In less happy news, golf superstar Tiger Woods, 33, stunned the world with his involvement in extramarital affairs with several women. The scandal led him to announce in December that he would take an indefinite break from professional golf.
 一方、男子ゴルフ界のスーパースター、タイガー・ウッズ選手は、複数の女性との不倫騒動が発覚し、世間を驚かせた。12月、ツアー出場の無期限自粛を自ら宣言する羽目に陥った。

The sudden death in June of singer Michael Jackson startled his fans around the globe--a story ranked third on the list by readers. Jackson was only 50 years old. Police continue to investigate accusations of criminal wrongdoing against the celebrity's personal physician.
 歌手マイケル・ジャクソンさんが6月、突然に死去したことも世界中のファンを驚かせた(3位)。50歳の若さであり、専属医を巡る捜査は今も継続している。

Bombing attacks by terrorists are an almost daily event in Iraq and Afghanistan. In December, Obama announced that the United States would dispatch an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan in the first half of next year and that it would start withdrawing troops from the country beginning July 2011. The war against terrorism will continue into next year and beyond.
 イラクやアフガニスタンでは、連日のように爆弾テロが起きている。オバマ大統領は12月、アフガンに兵士3万人を来年前半に追加増派し、2011年7月をメドに米軍撤収を始めると発表した。テロとの戦いは来年以降も続く。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 30, 2009)
(2009年12月30日01時17分 読売新聞)
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首相インド訪問 新たな大国との関係強化を

2009-12-29 07:33:19 | 英字新聞
The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 29, 2009)
Japan should cement ties with new big power India
首相インド訪問 新たな大国との関係強化を(12月29日付・読売社説)

Despite the hectic political calendar at year-end, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama chose to schedule a trip abroad, to South Asian major power India.
 鳩山首相が、年末の慌ただしい時期に選んだ外国訪問先は、南アジアの大国インドだ。

India, which has been displaying remarkable economic growth, emulating that of China, is located in an important position connecting the Middle East and East Asia. Japan should promote an economic alliance and security cooperation with India and strengthen the bilateral relationship from a strategic perspective.
 中国を追うように経済成長著しいインドは、中東と東アジアを結ぶ要路に位置する。経済連携や安全保障協力などを進め、日印関係を戦略的に強化していくべきだ。

India has been maintaining an annualized economic growth rate of 8 percent and has the second-largest population in the world. The country is an attractive economic market for advanced nations. The number of Japanese companies that have advanced into India has tripled in the past three years.
 インドは年率8%の経済成長を続け、世界第2の人口を有する。先進国にとっては魅力的な経済市場だ。日本の進出企業も過去3年間で3倍に増えた。

But Japan's total trade volume with India has remained at a low level, and amounts to about one-twentieth of the value of the trade this country does with China.
 だが、日印間の貿易総額はいまだに低水準で、日中間と比べると約20分の1の規模だ。

Signaling his desire to boost the Japan-India bilateral economic relationship, Hatoyama held talks with business leaders in the commercial city of Mumbai before traveling to New Delhi for talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
 鳩山首相が首都ニューデリーに入る前に商都ムンバイを訪れ、経済界の代表らと会談したのも、日印経済関係をいっそう強化したいとの強い意欲の表れだろう。

===

Intensify EPA talks

Experts point out that India's social infrastructure is still insufficient, hindering the expansion of investment from abroad. It is important for Japan to steadily implement its economic assistance for large-scale projects in India, including the construction of a railway for freight transportation linking New Delhi and Mumbai.
 インドは社会基盤の整備が不十分で、それが投資拡大の阻害要因と言われる。ニューデリー・ムンバイ間の貨物鉄道建設など大型プロジェクトに対する経済援助を着実に実施することが重要だ。

Japan also needs to accelerate its negotiations for an economic partnership agreement with India.
 経済連携協定(EPA)の交渉も加速すべきだ。

In the negotiations, India has asked Japan to streamline its procedures for approving generic drugs and increase the number of tariff-free items. The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry and the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry are reluctant to accept such demands, but we hope that concerned ministers will discuss policies for the negotiations, working out which items Japan should compromise on and which ones it should not, without relying too much on bureaucrats.
 インド側は、後発医薬品の承認手続きの簡素化や関税撤廃品目の積み増しを求めている。厚生労働省や農林水産省は消極的だが、関係閣僚は、何を譲り、何を守るのか、官僚任せにせずに交渉方針を検討してもらいたい。

This summer, South Korea signed an economic partnership agreement with India. Japan should be aware this means South Korean companies will be able to get a head start in India on a more advantageous footing than Japanese firms.
 韓国は今年夏、インドとのEPA署名にこぎつけた。韓国企業が先んじて有利な条件でインドに進出できるようになることも、十分意識すべきだろう。

===

Antipiracy steps needed

In Tuesday's summit meeting, Hatoyama and Singh are expected to establish a regular bilateral security consultation forum involving the foreign and defense vice ministers of the two countries. The countries are considering upgrading the security talks to a ministerial-level meeting in the future.
 きょう行われる日印首脳会談では、外務、防衛両省の次官級による安全保障定期協議の新設で合意する予定だ。将来的には閣僚級への格上げも想定している。

Ensuring the security of sea-lanes connecting the Middle East and East Asia is desperately important for Japan, which relies heavily on foreign countries for energy resources and food. We hope the Japanese and Indian leaders will discuss concrete steps toward that goal, such as sharing of information on pirates and mounting joint antipiracy patrols.
 中東と東アジアを結ぶシーレーン(海上交通路)の安全確保は、エネルギーや食糧の多くを海外に依存する日本にとって、死活的に重要だ。海賊情報の共有や共同パトロールなど、具体的な協力方法を探ってほしい。

India is an important partner for Japan in the regional cooperative framework centered around the East Asia Summit.
 インドは東アジア首脳会議を核とした地域協力でも重要なパートナーだ。

On the other hand, concerning the new round of multilateral trade talks under the World Trade Organization and the climate change problem, India, along with China, continues to take the side of developing countries, and its words and deeds have caused friction with advanced nations, including Japan.
 一方、世界貿易機関(WTO)の新多角的貿易交渉や気候変動問題では、インドは中国とともに途上国側に立った言動を繰り返し、日本を含めた先進国と対立する場面が目立っている。

Japan should patiently call on India to play constructive roles that fit its new status as a major power.
 インドが新しい大国にふさわしい建設的役割を果たすよう、日本としても粘り強く働きかけていく必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 29, 2009)
(2009年12月29日01時16分 読売新聞)
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指導要領解説書 「竹島」に触れないのは問題だ

2009-12-28 11:01:00 | 英字新聞
The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 28, 2009)
Teaching manual mustn't avoid Takeshima dispute
指導要領解説書 「竹島」に触れないのは問題だ(12月28日付・読売社説)

The generations who will forge this nation's future must be accurately taught about its territories and history.
 将来を担う世代に自国の領土や歴史をきちんと教えていくのは、大切なことだ。

However, the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry has made no reference to the Takeshima islets--which South Korea claims as its sovereign territory, an assertion Japan disputes--in an instruction manual containing its new high school curriculum guidelines on geography A and geography B set to come into effect in the 2013 academic year. This omission is extremely questionable.
 文部科学省が、2013年度から実施する高校地理A、地理Bの新学習指導要領の解説書で、日本の領土にもかかわらず、韓国が領有権を主張している「竹島」に言及しなかった。これは極めて問題だ。

Japan established sovereignty over the Takeshima islets no later than the mid-17th century--in the early Edo period (1603-1867).
In 1905, the islets were placed under the jurisdiction of Shimane Prefecture following approval by the cabinet.
 竹島は、遅くとも江戸時代初期の17世紀半ばには日本が領有権を確立し、1905年、閣議決定を経て、島根県に編入された。

However, South Korea has been occupying the islets unlawfully since 1952, when Seoul unilaterally drew the Syngman Rhee Line--a boundary laid down by then South Korean President Syngman Rhee in the Sea of Japan claiming fishing rights in the area--a move made in defiance of international law.
 ところが、韓国は1952年、国際法に反して日本海に「李承晩ライン」を一方的に設けて以降、竹島の不法占拠を続けている。

This country's official stance on the islets is that Takeshima has always been an integral part of the nation's territory, a view backed historically and by international law.
 「竹島は歴史的にも国際法上も我が国固有の領土」というのが、日本政府の見解だ。

In current high school textbooks, six authorized textbooks for geography A and five books for geography B state there is a sovereignty dispute with South Korea over the Takeshima islets, and that they are an integral part of Japan.
現在の高校教科書にも、地理Aで6冊、地理Bで5冊に、「日本固有の領土の竹島で韓国との間に領有権問題がある」などと記述されている。

===

1 step backward

In July last year, the education ministry added for the first time the teaching of Japan's stance on the Takeshima islets to a teaching manual for middle school curriculum guidelines for social studies, which will take effect in the 2012 academic year.
 2012年度に実施される中学校社会科の指導要領の解説書には昨年7月、竹島を日本の領土と教えるよう初めて盛り込まれた。

But the teaching manual in question does not clarify that the territorial dispute involves the Takeshima islets. It simply says, "Following up on what is taught in middle school, we should handle this issue accurately, based upon our country's rightful assertions, and help students deepen their understanding."
 ところが、高校の解説書では、領土問題について竹島とは明記せず、「中学校における学習を踏まえ、我が国が正当に主張している立場に基づいて的確に扱い、理解を深めさせる」とあるだけだ。

The education ministry says the government's stance--that the Takeshima islets are an integral part of the nation--remains unchanged. If so, the ministry should state this clearly. It makes no sense that what is taught about the Takeshima dispute at high school level is a step backward from what is taught at middle school level, despite high school being a place to develop what has been studied at middle school.
 文科省は「竹島は我が国固有の領土という立場は変わらない」と言うが、それならそう明記すべきではないか。中学校で学んだ内容を発展させる高校のほうが、記述が後退するのは筋が通らない。

===

Consideration for S. Korea

Unlike the curriculum guidelines, the teaching manual comes with no legal obligation to be implemented. However, it will be a lodestar both for textbook publishers and teachers preparing for classes. The manual in question has the potential to generate misunderstanding among textbook publishers and teachers and cause them to disregard the Takeshima dispute.
 解説書は指導要領と違い、法的拘束力はないが、教科書を作る出版社や授業を行う教員の指針になる。今回の解説書では、出版社や教員にも竹島を軽視して構わないといった誤解を生みかねない。

Sources said Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama made the final decision that the new manual should not mention the Takeshima issue.
 今回は鳩山首相が最終的に判断したという。

When he was in the opposition camp, Hatoyama said, "It's natural to clearly state [the Takeshima issue]" when the issue was included in a teaching manual for middle school curriculum guidelines for social studies, which drew a series of harsh protests from South Korea. It is doubtful his latest decision could be squared with his previous remark.
首相は野党時代、中学校解説書に竹島が盛り込まれたことに韓国が反発した際、「明記するのは当然」と話していた。その発言との整合性も取れまい。

Observers said the absence of any mention of the Takeshima issue resulted from the government's consideration for South Korean ties, as next year will mark the 100th anniversary of Japan's annexation of Korea.
 竹島の記述を今回見送った背景には、来年、日韓併合から100年の節目を迎えるため、韓国に配慮したと見る向きも多い。

Territorial issues and how to teach them at schools form an important theme that touches on the fundamentals of nationhood. South Korea is a valuable neighbor, but fundamental truths must not be distorted due to diplomatic considerations.
 領土問題やそれを学校でどう教えるかということは、国の根幹にかかわる重要なテーマだ。韓国は大事な隣国だが、外交上の配慮でゆがめてはならない。

It will not be easy to resolve the territorial dispute over the Takeshima islets. For this reason, an unstinting effort must be made to educate people who will in the future help the public fully understand the issue as well as convey Japan's stance to the international community.
 竹島の領有権をめぐる問題の解決は容易ではない。だからこそ、国民に十分理解させ、国際社会に日本の立場を発信していける人材を育成する努力が欠かせない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 28, 2009)
(2009年12月28日01時22分 読売新聞)
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09回顧・日本 越年となる政権迷走と不況

2009-12-27 06:32:46 | 英字新聞
The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 27, 2009)
New govt, economy top stories of 2009
09回顧・日本 越年となる政権迷走と不況(12月27日付・読売社説)

In our annual ranking of the 10 domestic news stories of the year, the change of government tops the list. The administration led by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama was launched after the Democratic Party of Japan's overwhelming victory in the August House of Representatives election, in which it claimed 308 seats.
 年末恒例の、読者が選んだ本紙の「日本10大ニュース」の1位は「衆院選で民主308議席の圧勝、歴史的政権交代で鳩山内閣発足」だった。

Day after day the new administration offered up eye-catching proposals. However, three months since the administration was launched under a banner of change, the high expectations initially held by the public have waned, with a sense of uncertainty and concern about the coalition government creeping in.
 新政権は連日、様々な話題をお茶の間に提供した。だが、変革を旗印に政権が発足して3か月余、当初の期待感も薄れ、連立内閣への危うさや不安を感じ始めた国民も多いのではないか。

 ◆政治ドラマに高い関心◆
Much public attention had been paid to the fate of the DPJ's manifesto pledges, such as the child-rearing allowance program, the abolition of provisionally higher tax rates for gasoline and other auto-related taxes, and government subsidies for high school tuition.
 民主党が政権公約として掲げた子ども手当、暫定税率廃止、高校無償化などの行方に関心が集中した。

Toward the end of the year, however, there was an unexpected development regarding these issues, with DPJ Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa seeking a drastic government review of the pledges. It was as if we were watching a drama unfold on TV.
年の瀬も押し迫り、同党の小沢幹事長が公約の大幅修正を政府に求めるなど、ドラマを見るような展開をたどった。

The Government Revitalization Unit's review of budgetary requests for fiscal 2010, conducted to weed out wasteful spending, was an attention-getter, but it failed to find and cut as much wasteful spending as it hoped.
 予算の無駄を見直す行政刷新会議の事業仕分けは、華々しさに比して削減額は少なかった。

On the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, Hatoyama decided to put off a decision on the issue that had emerged as a hot topic until next year, leaving the Japan-U.S. relationship severely strained.
米軍普天間飛行場移設問題では、鳩山首相が結論を先送りし、日米関係は危機的な状況に陥っている。

Prosecutors have indicted two former secretaries of Hatoyama without arrest over falsified fund reports that violated the Political Funds Control Law. The trial of Ozawa's former secretary over a political funds scandal has recently begun. All of which have brought problems involving politics and money back to the fore this year.
 政治資金収支報告書の虚偽記入事件で鳩山首相の元秘書2人がそれぞれ在宅起訴、略式起訴され、小沢氏の秘書の公判も始まった。「政治とカネ」をめぐる問題が再燃した年でもあった。

===

Expressway issues

Seventh on the top 10 list is the introduction of expressway tolls set at 1,000 yen or lower. Discounted tolls on weekends and holidays for standard-sized passenger vehicles started in March on all expressways except those in major metropolitan areas. This is no doubt a topic close to the hearts of drivers.
 7位には「高速道『上限1000円』スタート」が入った。車を運転する人などには、それだけ関心事なのだろう。

The system was introduced in spring by the then cabinet of Prime Minister Taro Aso. But the new administration sought to go even further, proposing that all expressways be made toll-free.
 前の麻生内閣の施策だが、新政権はさらに進めて無料化を打ち出した。

However, if expressway tolls were done away with, there is concern that free expressways could lead to people in regional areas being deprived of public transport, such as railways, if such forms of transportation were to find themselves unable to make ends meet and were forced to cease operations due to more people opting to travel by car.
地方の公共交通の足が奪われると懸念されている。

The 20th year of the Emperor's ascension to the throne ranks sixth. In the past two decades, the Emperor has resolutely adhered to the philosophy of sharing in the joys and sorrows of the people, always seeking to determine what his role should be as the symbol of the state.
 「天皇陛下即位20年」が6位である。「国民と苦楽を共にする」という考えを貫かれ、「象徴として望ましい天皇の在り方」を求め続けられた20年だった。

Also this year, the Emperor and Empress celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. A variety of events were held to celebrate the 20th year of the Emperor's enthronement and the Imperial couple's 50th wedding anniversary.
 天皇、皇后両陛下のご成婚50年の年でもあり、即位20年と併せて様々な祝賀行事が行われた。

Near the end of this memorable year, controversies emerged over the audience of Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping with the Emperor, after it came to light that the Hatoyama Cabinet had broken with protocol to set up the meeting.
 そんな中で、鳩山内閣が、天皇陛下と中国の習近平国家副主席との会見を特別に設定したことの是非が論議を呼んだ。

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New-flu fears

The No. 2 domestic news story is the outbreak in Japan of the new type of influenza. The disease spread from Mexico to a host of other countries in spring, and reached Japan in May. The epidemic has yet to abate, and it has become a common sight in this country to see great numbers of people wearing face masks.
 2位に入ったのは「日本でも新型インフルエンザ流行」だ。春にメキシコから火の手が上がった感染拡大の波は日本にも押し寄せ、いまも沈静化していない。マスク姿が目立つのも社会現象だ。
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