2010-07-31 05:47:30 | 英字新聞

cite from washington post

China Now World's Second-Largest Economy

Surpassing Japan, China's economy is second only to that of the United States, which it is projected to overtake sometime around 2025. The per-capita income, though, is still a paltry $3,800.

検索大手提携 グーグルの市場支配が心配だ

2010-07-31 05:15:36 | 英字新聞
The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jul. 31, 2010)
Yahoo Japan-Google tie-up must be monitored
検索大手提携 グーグルの市場支配が心配だ(7月30日付・読売社説)

Internet search giant Google Inc. and Japan's top portal Yahoo Japan have agreed to form a search engine alliance and cooperate in online advertising and other services.

The partnership between Yahoo Japan and Google of the United States will mean the two companies will acquire a dominant 90 percent of the Internet search market in this country. This could reduce the options available to Internet users seeking a more diverse variety of online information. With this in mind, it is necessary to ensure that the alliance does not prevent the Internet market from growing further.

Ironically, while the Japanese portal, in which telecom operator SoftBank Corp. has a major stake, has joined hands with its rival Google, Yahoo Inc. of the United States is struggling to catch up with the world's largest search service provider through a tie-up with Microsoft Corp.

Yahoo Japan's move apparently reflects a decision that it has no choice but to adopt Google's cutting-edge technology if it wants to survive in the search market, the major battleground in the Internet business.

Under the agreement, Google will provide Yahoo Japan with a search engine and technology to display ads associated with the search results.

Will U.S. giant control market?

The search engine appends indexes to vast amounts of data on the Internet, with each piece of information ranked depending on keywords users type in, enabling them to select the data they need instantly. Use of search engines has taken firm root in our daily lives, as is evident by the fact that 50 million people use such Internet tools in this country every month.

Corporations strive to attract customers through the Internet by having their Web sites and ads displayed in the upper ranks of search results, so such information will be easily discerned by users.

However, the Google-Yahoo Japan alliance is problematic as the U.S. search giant could end up monopolizing the market in Japan.

Yahoo Japan has denied this, saying its services will include data and information distinct from that provided by the U.S. firm.
However, some people fear users may be unable to access the information they need because of Google's ability to control search results. Is there no reason to worry? There also is a concern that the Google-Yahoo Japan tie-up could lead to an increase in ad rates.

FTC sees no problem

The Fair Trade Commission has said the partnership between the two giants--both of which operate separately--does not pose a problem in relation to the Antimonopoly Law.

It should be noted, however, that the U.S. Justice Department put a stop to an attempt by Yahoo Inc. and Google to form a tie-up two years ago, saying their alliance would violate the U.S. antitrust law. In Europe, the regulatory authorities are reportedly keeping watch on Google to thwart any bid to control the market.

The FTC needs to keep a close eye on how the Google-Yahoo Japan alliance works out.

The Internet's remarkable development is the result of intense competition among start-up companies in providing a variety of services. This is also the case with Google, which has grown into a huge company providing excellent services through its innovative search engine technology.

Admittedly, access to online search engine services free of charge is great, but there is a danger of information being selected and ranked arbitrarily. Internet users should take this to heart.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 30, 2010)
(2010年7月30日01時27分 読売新聞)

防衛白書延期 禍根残す政府の事なかれ主義

2010-07-30 05:56:36 | 英字新聞
The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jul. 30, 2010)
Defense report delay unnecessary
防衛白書延期 禍根残す政府の事なかれ主義(7月29日付・読売社説)

The government's decision to put off the release of this year's defense white paper is nothing but an attempt not to disturb the Japan-South Korea relationship. But a retreat to safe ground on this issue is an ill-thought-out move to turn a blind eye to future trouble that could arise between Tokyo and Seoul.

The administration of Prime Minister Naoto Kan has postponed giving cabinet approval to the "Defense of Japan 2010" white paper until September, despite an earlier plan to finalize the annual report Friday.

In explaining the government's decision, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku cited recent actions taken by the United Nations in connection with the sinking of a South Korean naval ship in March. He added the government wanted the white paper to address some issues that will be taken up in a report to be issued in August by a government panel tasked with reviewing the current National Defense Program Guidelines. Sengoku's reasoning is far from convincing.

In the first place, the government does not have to write about the developments cited by Sengoku in the white paper. His account does little to convince the public of the need to postpone the release of the report, more than 14,000 copies of which have already been printed at a cost of about 9.4 million yen.

The real reason behind the decision, according to government sources, is that Tokyo does not want to antagonize Seoul. Previous defense white papers described the disputed Takeshima islets as "an inherent part of our nation's territory."

The sources said the government did not want to stir up anti-Japanese sentiment among South Koreans as this year marks the centennial of the Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty of 1910. On Aug. 29 that year, the treaty took effect, starting 35 years of Japanese rule over the Korean Peninsula.

Takeshima belongs to Japan

However, the government has every reason to incorporate into the white paper its assertion that Takeshima inherently belongs to Japan.

Admittedly, South Korea has protested the Japanese government's view every year, claiming sovereignty over the islet group. However, Seoul's reaction has not been so strong as to undermine bilateral relations. Some people fear anti-Japanese feelings could grow among South Koreans as Aug. 29 marks the 100th anniversary of the treaty. So far, however, no such hostility has surfaced.

We think the government should have adhered to its practice of publishing a defense white paper at this time of year.

Postponing the paper's release and then scrambling for an explanation as to why has proved of no avail. Doing so has only drawn public attention to the Takeshima controversy. We feel all this could adversely affect the Japan-South Korea relationship. The Kan administration made the wrong decision about the release of the report.

The Defense Ministry and the Foreign Ministry had insisted the defense report should be released as initially scheduled. Last week, Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Seiji Maehara and Parliamentary Vice Defense Minister Akihisa Nagashima visited South Korea, where some officials reportedly asked them to reconsider the timing of the white paper's release. After being briefed by Maehara and Naga-shima, the prime minster and the chief cabinet secretary decided to delay the report's release, according to informed sources.

Not the DPJ's first blunder

This episode is yet another perfect example of an ill-advised initiative taken by political leaders--that is, members of the Democratic Party of Japan-led administration--in formulating key policies. Political confusion has erupted frequently since the DPJ came into power, as best exemplified by the turmoil created by the government's ham-handed handling of the dispute over the transfer of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture.

In December, the DPJ government decided not to include a reference to the Takeshima issue in a teacher's manual for high school geography lessons to be given under the education ministry's new course of study. Failure to say what Japan needs to say could be interpreted as a willingness by our government to make concessions on issues that could affect the foundation of the country.

Takeshima belongs to Japan, both historically and under international law. South Korea is an important neighbor, but our government should not easily buckle to Seoul when dealing with territorial issues.

It is entirely possible for Japan to maintain proper relations with other countries despite a conflict over territorial problems. The government should pursue such a diplomatic approach.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 29, 2010)
(2010年7月29日01時08分 読売新聞)

概算要求基準 予算編成を人気取りに使うな

2010-07-29 05:22:33 | 英字新聞
The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jul. 29, 2010)
Budget compilation isn't popularity contest
概算要求基準 予算編成を人気取りに使うな(7月28日付・読売社説)

The Cabinet has adopted guidelines for fiscal 2011 budgetary requests.

Last year, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's Cabinet decided to drop similar guidelines, which led to the fiscal 2010 budget ballooning to become the biggest ever.

We think the government is right to revive the guidelines for budgetary requests, considering what happened last year. However, the government seems set to charge ahead with the free-spending handout policies the Democratic Party of Japan announced in last year's election manifesto. In stark contrast to planned spending cuts, the government plans to offer income compensation to farmers and partially abolish expressways tolls.

The government also plans to set aside funds to be funneled to growth fields, such as medical and nursing services as well as the environment. It also proposed that determining how to allocate this special budget would be conducted in full view of the public.

The government apparently plans to conduct something along the lines of the budget screening for wasteful spending, which smacked of political grandstanding.


Kan seeking boost?

The plan appears to be an attempt to restore the falling popularity of Prime Minister Naoto Kan. But we doubt whether cool-headed discussions can be carried out in an environment open to the public. The government must not use the budget compilation process as a tool to gain popularity.

The prime minister must sincerely review and retract funding scheduled to be used for the manifesto pledges, and secure revenue sources before the fiscal 2011 budget will be decided at the end of the year.

The outline for the budgetary request guidelines is in line with the fiscal management strategy compiled in June. The government will cap general-account spending, excluding debt-servicing costs, below 71 trillion yen and new government bond issuance below 44 trillion yen, just as in the fiscal 2010 budget.

Based on these figures, the Cabinet approved a natural increase of 1.3 trillion yen in social security costs. An expected rise in these costs from the graying population and declining birthrate will be unavoidable, but the child-rearing allowance should be reviewed from scratch.


Growth fields

The focus of the budget will be the special allocation for growth fields. The DPJ initially proposed to the government that 2 trillion yen be earmarked for the scheme. The two parties eventually settled on the ambiguous expression of "an amount far above 1 trillion yen."

Combined with the natural increase in social security costs, the government will need an additional 3 trillion yen or so. The government said this could be covered by a uniform 10 percent cut in policy-related spending for all ministries and agencies--including spending on education, defense and public works projects.

However, the government likely will struggle to secure the revenue it needs, given that ministries and agencies have bristled at the across-the-board 10 percent cut plan, and manifesto-related budgets are to be handled separately.

The government used more than 10 trillion yen in nontax revenue, including surplus funds in special accounts, dubbed "buried treasure," for the fiscal 2010 budget. However, the buried treasure chest is almost empty. If nontax revenue drastically declines, the government may be forced to issue more government bonds than it did in the current fiscal year, rather than capping the issuance at 44 trillion yen as planned.

But this would make a mockery of Japan's international pledge to put state finances back on a sound footing. Securing revenue sources will be essential to reducing the budget deficit.

The fiscal 2011 budget compilation process is spelling out in black and white that the government must urgently tackle tax system reform--including an increase in the consumption tax rate.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 28, 2010)
(2010年7月28日01時18分 読売新聞)

video clips of kai chan and seefaa chan

2010-07-28 19:41:34 | 英字新聞
I’ve just posted family video clips of kai chan and seefaa chan.

english version

thai version