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除染作業―工程表作りを急げ

2011-08-31 14:02:00 | 英字新聞

2011/08/30
--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 28
EDITORIAL: Japan needs to quickly compile road map for decontamination.
除染作業―工程表作りを急げ

The Japanese government has finally decided on a basic framework on how to proceed with the decontamination process of radioactive materials spewed from the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
 福島第一原発の事故でまき散らされた放射性物質の除去(除染)について、政府がようやく基本方針を決め、きのう地元自治体に説明した。

The government's plan, explained to local governments on Aug. 27, is to halve the residents' exposure within two years, and in the case of children, to reduce it by 60 percent by conducting thorough decontamination procedures in schools and school routes.
 2年で住民の被曝(ひばく)線量を半減させ、子どもについては、学校や通学路などの除染を徹底して6割減らす。

The center of the plan is to "reduce, step-by-step and rapidly" the number of areas that will measure 20 millisieverts and higher annually.
そして年間の被曝線量が20ミリシーベルト以上の地域を「段階的かつ迅速に縮小」させるのが柱だ。

However, such a target will not put the residents' minds at ease.
 しかし、こんな目標では、住民はとても安心できないのではないか。

The government estimates that even without actively doing anything, the amount of radiation exposure will decrease about 40 percent in two years due to rain and wind.
何もしなくても、雨や風で2年後には約4割減る、というのが政府の試算である。

It is too unambitious for the government to say it will achieve only an additional 10-20 percent reduction on its own.
上乗せ分が1~2割というのはあまりに低い目標だ。

Moreover, the latest framework plan does not tell us, even broadly, when the evacuees can return to their normal lives.
 しかも、今回の基本方針だけでは、避難している人たちがいつごろ元の生活に戻れるのか、大まかなメドも分からない。

The important thing is to have a comprehensive strategy.
 大事なのは、総合的な戦略である。

To that end, it is essential to closely ascertain the exact situation of the contamination.
 そのために、まず汚染の詳しい実態の把握が不可欠だ。

We need to measure it in detail, covering sections whose sides are 100 to 500 meters long.
100~500メートル四方くらいの細かさで調べる必要がある。

People evacuated from their homes are also hoping to learn the radiation levels around their houses.
避難している人たちも自宅周辺の汚染の程度を知りたがっている。

On Aug. 27, Prime Minister Naoto Kan apologized to the Fukushima prefectural governor of the possibility that residents of some areas close to the Fukushima nuclear plant will be unable to return to their houses for a long time.
 菅首相はきのう、福島県知事に対し、原発の近くでは長期間帰れない場合が出てくると述べて、事故について陳謝した。

Of course, it may be possible that in areas with the worst levels of contamination, residents may be forced to give up ever returning to their homes.
 確かに汚染のひどい所では、事実上、帰ることを断念せざるを得ない場合もあるかもしれない。

However, the residents can hardly accept that without sufficient data and some kind of yardstick.
しかし、その基準とデータが示されないままでは、住民は納得できないだろう。

Along with figuring out the actual state of the contamination, the government needs to calculate the cost of the decontamination process and the available level of manpower.
 汚染の実態把握と並行して、除染作業にかかるコストや投入できる人員をはじき出す。

Based on those assessments, the government must hurry to put together a road map that indicates the grand design, and spell out where the process will begin, how it will be conducted and how much time it will take.
そのうえで、どの地域からどう進めていくのか、どの程度の時間がかかりそうか、国は全体像を示す工程表作りを急がなければならない。

Besides, the decontamination work itself must not be haphazard.
 実際の作業も、ばらばらではいけない。

In addition to households, public institutions like schools, roads, as well as farms and nearby forests must also be watched. Otherwise, there is no way residents can return to their normal lives.
住宅に加え、学校などの公共施設や道路、さらに田畑や周辺の森林にも目を配らなければ、住民は安心して元の生活に戻ることはできない。

One major obstacle to the decontamination process is where to store the contaminated topsoil once it is removed.
 一方、除染を進めるうえで大きな障害となっているのが、はぎとった土などの保管場所だ。

According to the framework plan, each local government is to set up a temporary storage place, and the central government will be responsible for securing a disposal site.
基本方針では、各自治体に仮置き場を設け、処分場は国の責任で確保することになっている。

However, Prime Minister Kan told the Fukushima governor that the central government has no choice but to create the "intermediate storage facility" within Fukushima Prefecture.
 ところが、菅首相は福島県知事に対し、同県内に「中間貯蔵施設」を整備せざるを得ないと述べた。

Suddenly talking about a new storage facility at this point will only create confusion.
今の段階で、唐突に新たな保管施設のことを持ち出しても、混乱を招くばかりだ。

Decontamination is not an easy matter, including securing the disposal site.
 処分場の確保も含め、除染は簡単な問題ではない。

The plan must be scrupulous, while also being meticulous about procedure.
きちんと手順を踏みつつ、綿密に計画を作る。

And the process must be done swiftly.
同時に作業は急がなければならない。

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首相退陣、代表選へ―民主党は一から出直せ

2011-08-30 02:25:22 | 英字新聞

2011/08/28
The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 27
EDITORIAL: DPJ needs to reinvent its political future.
首相退陣、代表選へ―民主党は一から出直せ

Prime Minister Naoto Kan officially announced his resignation on Aug. 26, saying, "I've done what I've had to do."
 菅首相がきのう、「やるべきことはやった」と述べて正式に退陣を表明した。

During the two years since the historic regime change, two prime ministers quickly got bogged down in a political quagmire and stepped down.
 歴史的な政権交代から2年。あっという間に2人の首相が行き詰まり、去っていく。

This is undeniably a disastrous failure of politics under the rule of the Democratic Party of Japan.
これは明らかな失政である。

What are the root causes of the dreadful political situation?
 原因は何なのか。

It is not that Kan pushed policy in the wrong direction.
 菅氏が掲げた政策の方向性が間違っていたわけではない。

Kan deserves credit for responding to the Fukushima nuclear disaster by trying to lead the nation toward a future less dependent on atomic energy.
 原発事故のあと、脱原発に踏みだそうとしたのは、菅氏の功績といえる。

We also applaud him for tackling the tough political challenge of developing plans for the unpopular but important proposal of integrated tax and social security reform involving a consumption tax hike.
消費増税を含む税と社会保障の一体改革という不人気な政策づくりに取り組んだことも評価する。

But executing a policy requires building consensus.
 けれど、政治は合意を取りつけなければ前に進まない。

Kan was unskilled at consensus building, and he sometimes didn't even make efforts to win support for his proposals from his Cabinet members.
菅氏は合意づくりの術がつたなく、時に閣内の根回しさえ怠った。

As he simply proposed policies without laying the necessary political groundwork, he was inevitably criticized for practicing off-the-cuff politics.
方針を唱えるだけでは、思いつきの政治だと批判されても当然だった。

But let us hazard a question.
 だが、あえて問う。

Would the Kan administration have lasted much longer if he had been a leader with a broader perspective and a greater ability to build consensus?
もっと視野が広く調整能力のある首相なら、長期政権になったのか。

The DPJ is in such disarray that it is hard to answer the question in the affirmative.
首をかしげざるを得ないほど、民主党は混乱している。

■未成熟な選挙互助会

Kan was constantly hobbled not merely by the opposition control of the Upper House but equally by perennial political wrangling within the ruling party.
 菅氏が苦しんだのは、衆参のねじれとともに、党内の足の引っ張り合いだった。

Kan's efforts to push through such key policy initiatives as a consumption tax hike and a review of the party's election manifesto were met with opposition from party members, especially a group of lawmakers led by former DPJ chief Ichiro Ozawa.
 めざした消費増税やマニフェストの見直しなどに、小沢一郎元代表が率いるグループを中心に反対意見が渦巻き、

With the party unable to reach agreement on these and other key policy issues, the Kan administration lost political momentum.
党としての意思決定がままならず、政権は失速していった。

The confrontation within the party came to a head in June, when the Ozawa group threatened to support an opposition-sponsored no-confidence motion against the Cabinet.
 対立が最も先鋭化したのが、6月の野党提出の内閣不信任案に、小沢グループが賛成する構えを見せたときだ。

As he avoided a final Diet floor showdown with his opponents within the party, Kan set the stage for his departure.
 あそこで採決による決着を避けたために、菅氏は辞任への道を歩み始めた。

As the top item in the memorandum he exchanged with his predecessor, Yukio Hatoyama, during their talks for avoid passage of the no-confidence motion against him, Kan promised not to "destroy the DPJ."
その際に、鳩山前首相と交わした覚書の第1項目に「民主党を壊さない」とあったことが、

This fact symbolized the grim reality and limitations of the party.
民主党の現実と限界を象徴していた。

The DPJ was formed as a rugged collection of politicians pursuing sharply different political agendas and approaches.
 もともと民主党は政策も政治手法も、水と油ほど違う勢力が一緒になった。

It was a political alliance among a wide range of lawmakers who didn't belong to the Liberal Democratic Party, which ruled the nation for decades.
衆院小選挙区で勝つために、「非自民」勢力を幅広く抱え込んだ結果だった。

Its principal mission was to secure electoral victories in single-seat constituencies of the Lower House.
要するに、小選挙区制が生んだ「選挙互助会」だったのだ。

In a nutshell, the DPJ was a mutual electoral support group born out of the single-seat election system.
When it was in the opposition, the party managed to put up a united front under the banner of regime change.
 野党のころは「政権交代」の一点で共闘できた。

As soon as it achieved this political goal, however, the party found itself without a shared vision and plunged into an endless cycle of infighting.
しかし、成し遂げた途端に共通の目標を見失う。

The DPJ's track record since it came to power suggests that the group is too politically immature to be called a political party.
そして内紛を繰り返す現状は、政党と呼ぶには未熟過ぎるように見える。

If the party remains as it is, the next administration is sure to repeat the same failure.
 このままでは、次の政権も同じ愚を繰り返すに違いない。

The challenge facing the DPJ is whether it can outgrow its old self as an electoral mutual support group and morph into a full-fledged political party.
 「選挙互助会」から政党に脱皮できるかどうか。

The party leadership election officially announced on Aug. 27 is of critical importance for the political viability of the DPJ.
きょう告示される党代表選は、民主党の存廃をかけた正念場になる。

During the prelude to the election, many prospective candidates talked about unity and reconciliation among party members.
 前哨戦では、盛んに「挙党態勢」「党内融和」という言葉が聞かれた。

Such talk may find a certain resonance among party members who are eager to see an end to the intraparty struggle that continued even after the Great East Japan Earthquake in March.
震災後も繰り広げられた党内抗争は、いい加減にやめようという響きもあって、一定の説得力を持つ。

If, however, "party unity" here means turning a blind eye to differences over policies among members, such slogans only represent an extremely irresponsible answer to the party's problems.
 だが、「挙党一致」に込められた意味が、政策の違いには目をつむろうということなら、あまりにも無責任な対応だ。

If the candidates try to win the leadership race by offering the powerful Ozawa group key posts that control the party's election funds and the right to nominate official party candidates for national elections, the party will inevitably lose the support of even more voters.
 まして、小沢グループにカネと公認権を握るポストを譲るというのなら、有権者の支持をさらに失っていくのは避けられないだろう。

■結集するか分裂か

It is clear what the party should do in the leadership race.
 代表選でやるべきことは、はっきりしている。

It should redefine its political position.
党の立ち位置を定め直すことだ。

 最悪なのは、各候補者が「票目当て」に、あいまいな政策を掲げることだ。代表選は乗り切れても、対立の種は残り、政治が前に進まない。

First, all the candidates should make clear their stances toward the party's manifesto for the Lower House election that led to its ascent to power.
 第一に、政権交代時に掲げたマニフェストへの対応を各候補者が明確にすることだ。

Would they revise or stick to the platform?
見直すのか貫くのか。

Candidates who vow to adhere to the manifesto should say how they would raise the money needed to deliver on the election promises.
順守するなら、どの予算を削って財源を調達するのか。

The DPJ's plan to raise funds through spending cuts has become synonymous with wishful thinking in the past two years.
「歳出削減で賄う」という表現はこの2年で「願望」と同義語になっているのだ。

Secondly, after the leadership election, all party members should come together to support the policies proposed by the winner and contribute to the new leader's efforts to push through his proposals.
 第二に、選挙後は勝者の方針のもとに結集し、政策の実現に協力することだ。

The quality of the manifesto should be improved in line with the new policy agenda.
それに沿ったマニフェストの質向上も要る。

DPJ lawmakers who cannot agree to the new chief's policy agenda should leave the party.
同意できない議員は党を割って出るしかなかろう。

Like the DPJ, the LDP also comprises politicians with widely different political stripes.
 民主党のみならず、自民党も幅広い勢力を抱えており、

There is enough room for political realignment around key policy issues.
政策を軸に再編する余地はある。

Such a development would give voters a fresh opportunity to choose a new government on the basis of policies instead of a simple choice between the LDP and the DPJ.
 有権者にとっても「自民党がだめだから民主党」といった否定形の選択の代わりに、政策本位で政権を選ぶ道が開ける。

■政策本位の政治へ

The worst thing that could happen to the party is a leadership contest without serious policy debate in which the candidates only propose vague policies in order to win as many votes as possible.
Even if the party can choose its new leader without meaningful debate, such a race would plant seeds of future confrontation that hamper progress in politics.
Political styles and ways to run the government should also be among major topics for the party leadership election.
 代表選では、政治手法や政権運営の方法も問われるべきだ。

We believe that politics of partisan confrontation driven by the power of numbers should come to an end.
私たちは「数の力」で与野党が激突するばかりの政治を終わらせるべきだと考える。

When it was led by Ozawa, the DPJ exploited its power as the largest voting bloc in the Upper House to keep making things tough for the government of the LDP-New Komeito coalition.
 民主党は小沢代表のとき、参院第1党の力を使い、徹底して自公政権を揺さぶった。

The DPJ used its political muscle effectively to drive the LDP-led government into a corner through such maneuvers as rejecting the government's nominees for the new Bank of Japan governor and thereby keeping the post of the central bank chief vacant for a while.
日銀総裁を空席にするなどして政府を追い込み、早期の衆院解散、政権交代を迫った。

The DPJ's strategy worked well to pressure the government into an early dissolution of the Lower House for an election to choose the government.
確かに政権交代を果たしたが、

The DPJ came to power as a result, but the party has been suffering from political reprisals by the LDP.
今度は民主党が報復を受け続けている。

During this period, Ozawa boasted that he would be able to raise any amount of money to finance the party's policy proposals and had the party increase the monthly child-care allowance it promised to 26,000 yen per child.
 小沢氏は「財源はなんぼでもできる」と言い、子ども手当は月額2万6千円出すと公約を上積みさせた。

At the heart of such an approach to politics is a single-minded pursuit of power.
こうした政治手法の根っこにあるのは、権力奪取を第一とする発想だ。

Japan should outgrow such old-fashioned politics and move toward a new era of politics in which the ruling and opposition parties try to find common ground through serious and constructive policy debate.
 こんな政治からは卒業して、与野党が政策本位で合意点を探す政治に変えよう。

The principal lesson to be gleaned from the bitter experiences in the past two years is that this is the only way to break the political stalemate in this age of a divided Diet.
それが、ねじれが常態化する時代の政治を動かす道だと、この2年の経験から学ぶべきである。

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香山リカのココロの万華鏡:自己臭恐怖症 /東京

2011-08-29 04:07:47 | 英字新聞

(Mainichi Japan) August 28, 2011
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: In defense of (a little bit of) body odor
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:自己臭恐怖症 /東京

A TV program I happened to see the other day featured clothing with odor-eliminating effects that have been a hit among consumers recently.
 テレビを見ていたら、「消臭効果のある衣料品がブーム」という話題を取り上げていた。

Sales of odor-eating underwear, socks and other clothing -- effective against everything from sweat and tobacco smells to the body odor of older men -- have been rising, according to the program.
汗やたばこのにおい、さらには男性の「加齢臭」といわれるにおいまでを消すという下着、靴下などが売り上げをのばしているという。

Sure, there are unpleasant odors, but do people really want to make everywhere odorless so much?
たしかににおいの中には心地よくないものもあるが、そんなにどこもかしこも「においなし」にしたいだろうか。

If you get too nervous about eliminating odor, that could stress you out in itself.
においを消すことに神経質になりすぎると、それ自体がストレスになるのではないか。

In my consultation room, I sometimes see patients who suffer from a unique condition called "olfactory reference syndrome."
 診察室でときどき、「自己臭恐怖症」と呼ばれる特殊な状態に苦しむ人に会うことがある。

These patients wrongly assume that their body odor is offensive to people around them.
これは「自分からにおいが出て、まわりの人たちを不快にしているのではないか」と常に気になる、という気配り型の神経症である。

They spray air freshener on themselves again and again before they go out, or even refrain from going out at all. 消臭スプレーを何度も振りかけたり外出を控えたりする人もいる。

They usually show up at dermatologists or other doctors first and are then referred to psychiatric clinics.
たいていの場合は「においを消したい」と訪れた皮膚科などから紹介されて、メンタルクリニックにやって来る。

Even if others tell them that they don't smell at all, these patients believe that they are "smelly and disturbing everyone." Many of these cases are difficult to treat.
いくらまわりが「においなんてしてないよ」と客観的に説明しても、「いや、におっている。みんなにいやな思いをさせている」という思い込みが強く、治療は難航する場合が多い。

Olfactory reference syndrome often plagues young people, whose futures remain undefined and who are still overly sensitive about what others think of them.
 この自己臭恐怖症は、自分の評価が定まっていない若い世代に起きることが多い。

Such a trivial thing as a friend turning his or her eyes away from them makes them think they are smelly and making others uncomfortable.
「人からどう見られてるのかな?」と過敏になりがちな年ごろでは、たとえば友だちがたまたま自分から目をそらしただけで「どうして? そうか、私のにおいが苦痛なんだ」と結びつけてしまうのだ。

In contrast, these symptoms tend to disappear naturally when the patients get jobs and gain a certain degree of self-confidence.
"I may have been wrong to worry too much about odor," one such patient said.
 だから逆に、仕事について自分に一定の自信がついてきたりすると「においのことは思いすごしだったかもしれません」と自然に治るケースも少なくない。

The current "odorless" boom, therefore, could be said to show that today even fully-fledged adult members of society lack confidence in themselves, and are always conscious about how others think of them.
 だとすると、誰もが「においを消さなきゃ」と必死になっているいまの時代は、おとなも自分に自信を持てず、常にひと目や人からの評価を気にしている、と言えるのではないだろうか。

Let's say a person became completely odor-free. Would he or she be liked by everybody? Probably not.
もし仮に完全に無臭状態を実現できたとして、それだけで誰からも好かれる人間になるかというと、それも違うはずだ。

Ridding odor is minimal etiquette, but it is nonsense to try to eliminate all your odor.
 最低限のエチケットとしての消臭は必要だが、「なんとしてもにおいをゼロに」などというのはナンセンス。

It is better to try and become someone who, even if smelling a bit sweaty, will be liked by everyone because of a cheerful smile and an even manner.
That's far better for each of us and for society as well.
それよりも、少々の汗のにおいなどはあっても、明るい笑顔やおだやかな口調でみんなから愛される人になることを目指すほうが、自分のためにも社会のためにもずっとよいと思う。

Whenever I see a person who fills up his or her room with deodorizers to remove any trace of bodily scent, I'm tempted to utter an old saying, "Too much of a good thing."
 部屋中、からだ中のにおいを消すために大量のグッズを買い込む人を見ると、つい「過ぎたるは及ばざるがごとし」と古いことわざを口にしたくなる。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2011年8月23日 地方版

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社説:民主党代表選 どうする外交 瀬戸際の自覚が乏しい

2011-08-28 06:39:39 | 英字新聞

(Mainichi Japan) August 26, 2011
DPJ leadership hopefuls must tackle foreign diplomacy, long-neglected after disasters
社説:民主党代表選 どうする外交 瀬戸際の自覚が乏しい

Since the triple disasters of March 11, Japan has paid little attention to foreign diplomacy.
 東日本大震災以降の日本はずっと外交不在の状態が続いてきた。

As the administration of Prime Minister Naoto Kan struggled to begin rebuilding the devastated Tohoku region, a political battle was waged by ruling and opposition blocs over whether or not Kan should resign.
復興対応で手いっぱいの政権、首相退陣を巡り政争を繰り返す与野党--。

Bringing an end to the stagnation that such political warfare has created and normalizing the course of Japan's foreign policy is one of the most important challenges that awaits the next prime minister.
そうした閉塞(へいそく)感に終止符を打ち、外交を正常な軌道に戻すことは、次期首相の重要な課題である。

In spite of this, however, little has been said about diplomacy and security by politicians expressing an interest in running for the head of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) -- and hence, the next prime minister.
 にもかかわらず、民主党代表選に出馬意欲を示す政治家の口から、外交や安全保障に関する発言がほとんど聞かれないのはどうしたことか。

We must not allow the upcoming election to become an inward-looking election, one solely concerned with political maneuvering for the right number of votes and the nature of the candidates' ties to former DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa.
数合わせや小沢一郎元代表との距離感だけに焦点があたる、内向きの代表選であってはならない。

Meanwhile, other countries are making active and astute steps in their diplomatic affairs.
 周辺では、関係主要国が活発で巧妙な外交を展開している。

Take, for example, the United States and China. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden recently visited both China and Japan, staying six days in China -- during which he poured his energies into establishing strong relations with Xi Jinping, said to be China's next president.
 例えば米中だ。バイデン米副大統領が中国や日本を歴訪して帰国したが、中国には6日間滞在し、次のリーダーである習近平国家副主席との親密な関係づくりに精力を注いだ。

This was in stark contrast to Biden's visit to Japan, which lasted just two days and included a meeting with outgoing Prime Minister Kan as a mere formality.
退陣直前の菅直人首相と儀礼的に会談し、正味2日間の滞在だった日本とは対照的だ。

In addition, China appears to be testing the DPJ's stance toward China, as demonstrated in two Chinese patrol boats' entry into Japanese waters near the disputed Senkaku Islands.
その中国は24日、尖閣諸島周辺で漁業監視船が日本領海に侵入するなど、民主党の対中姿勢を改めて試すかのような行動をみせている。

Furthermore, there have been rising tensions between China and Russia, both battling for political and economic influence in the Far East region.
一方では、極東地域の政治的経済的影響力を競う中露の確執もここにきて目立ってきた。

The year 2012 will be a turning point not only in China, where the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party will change hands, but also in Russia, the U.S., and South Korea, where presidential elections are set to take place.
 来年は中国の共産党指導部交代をはじめロシア、米国、韓国で大統領選が行われる節目の年だ。

While others have been formulating diplomatic strategies with next year in mind, Japan, due to its internal political skirmishes, has trailed behind both in influencing the establishment of a new regional order and its pursuit of national interests.
各国が2012年を念頭に置く外交戦略を練る中で、政治の停滞が続く日本は、地域の新たな秩序構築や国益競争で大きく後れをとっている。

As such, the diplomatic challenges that the next prime minister must deal with are all urgent.
 次期首相の外交課題はいずれも待ったなしのものばかりだ。

There is the breakdown in talks over the Japan-U.S. joint declaration on bilateral security that needs to be addressed, and a much-needed breakthrough in the issue of relocating U.S. Marine Corps' Air Station Futenma in Okinawa Prefecture.
 仕切り直しとなった日米安保共同宣言の後始末や、宙に浮く米軍普天間飛行場移設問題の打開。

There's also a visit to China by Japan's new prime minister, and a visit to Japan by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, which must take place before the end of the year.
年内の宿題である新首相の訪中と、李明博(イミョンバク)韓国大統領の訪日。

Whoever takes the helm of government will be scrutinized for his ability -- or lack thereof -- to command a presence before other leaders at the East Asia Summit and APEC Summit, both set to take place this fall.
秋の東アジアサミット(EAS)やアジア太平洋経済協力会議(APEC)首脳会議で顔を合わせる各国首脳たちの前で、いかに発言力と存在感を示すかも厳しく問われよう。

Have the DPJ leadership election candidates-to-be taken these responsibilities into consideration?
それらを考え抜いたうえで、首相になる決意を固めているのかどうか。

They are obligated to show how prepared they are for such duties.
候補者は自らの覚悟を語るべきである。

In the two years since the DPJ government came to power, it has downplayed the importance of continuity and botched diplomatic dealings by putting precarious ideals ahead of everything else.
 継続性を軽視し、地に足のつかない理念先行の外交で失敗したのが、民主党政権の2年間だった。

The administration's strategy-building capabilities failed to improve, and diplomats' information and networks were not put to effective use.
官邸の戦略機能強化は実現せず、外交当局の情報とネットワークも活用できなかった。

Japanese foreign policy has veered far off course because the DPJ put a lid on intra-party conflict in order to take over government, and failed to reach a consensus on basic policies such as the Japan-U.S. alliance and a vision for an East Asian community, the "third opening" of Japan, and its stance toward China.
政権をとるため党内対立を封印し、「日米同盟と東アジア共同体」「第3の開国」「対中戦略」といった根幹の政策でコンセンサスづくりを怠ったことが、外交迷走の原因だ。

We hope that those running in the DPJ presidential race will take the mistakes that have been made to heart, realize the crossroads at which Japan is now standing, and carry out a heated debate on diplomatic policy.
 その反省を踏まえ、日本が瀬戸際にあるとの自覚を持って、真剣な外交論戦を聞かせてほしい。

毎日新聞 2011年8月26日 2時31分

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日本国債格下げ 財政悪化と政策停滞の警鐘だ

2011-08-27 04:21:36 | 英字新聞

Moody's downgrade a warning over fiscal, political ills
The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 26, 2011)
日本国債格下げ 財政悪化と政策停滞の警鐘だ(8月25日付・読売社説)

The major U.S. ratings agency Moody's Investors Service on Wednesday downgraded Japanese government bonds from Aa2, the third-highest rating, to Aa3, the fourth-highest.
 米大手格付け会社ムーディーズ・インベスターズ・サービスが24日、日本国債の格付けを、上から3番目の「Aa2」から「Aa3」に1段階引き下げた。

The move should be taken as a warning regarding the deterioration of Japan's fiscal situation and the paralysis in its political sphere.
 日本の財政悪化と政策停滞に対する警鐘と受け止めるべきだろう。

Now the level of Japanese government bonds is lower than those of Italy and Spain, where concern over government finances has been soaring, and the same as those of China and Chile.
 財政不安が高まるイタリアやスペインを下回り、中国やチリなどと並ぶ水準となった。

In January, another U.S. rating firm downgraded Japanese bonds to the same level.
 今年1月には別の米格付け会社も同水準に格下げした。

These are only independent evaluations by private firms, but they serve as guidelines for the creditworthiness of government bonds in the market.
あくまで民間会社の独自評価だが、市場では国債の信用力の目安となる。

If investors sell off Japanese bonds and force the interest rate to rise because of the downgrade, the government's costs for interest payments will rise, which would aggravate the fiscal situation.
 格下げを材料に国債が売られて金利が上昇すると、利払い費が増え、財政悪化に拍車がかかる。

Speculative moves have to be closely watched.
投機的な動きに注意が必要だ。

===

Fiscal rehabilitation in doubt

As reasons for the downgrade, Moody's named Japan's huge fiscal deficit and its doubts whether the country can become fiscally healthy.
 今回の格下げ理由について、ムーディーズは、日本の財政赤字が巨額で、財政健全化の達成を疑問視していることを挙げた。

The ratings agency said, "Over the past five years, frequent changes in administrations have prevented the government from implementing long-term economic and fiscal strategies into effective and durable policies." It is natural for Japan to receive such a severe evaluation.
 ここ5年、首相が頻繁に交代したため一貫した経済・財政政策がとられなかった、という厳しい指摘を受けたのも当然である。

Because of the divided Diet, confrontations between ruling and opposition parties have intensified, blocking progress on various policies.
 ねじれ国会で与野党の対立が激化し、政策は足踏みしてきた。

The most pressing issue of all--restoration of fiscal health--has been put off, causing the situation to worsen.
最優先で取り組むべき財政健全化が先送りされ、事態は悪化した。

The outstanding long-term debts of the central and local governments combined are expected to be about 900 trillion yen at the end of the current fiscal year, or 1.8 times the gross domestic product.
 今年度末の国と地方を合わせた長期債務残高は約900兆円で、国内総生産(GDP)の1・8倍にのぼる。

The country's debt-to-GDP ratio is worse than that of Greece, which is in a profound fiscal crisis.
債務の比率は、財政危機のギリシャより深刻だ。

According to the government's estimate, outstanding debts will balloon to nearly 1,200 trillion yen at the end of fiscal 2020.
 政府の試算では、2020年度末に債務残高は1200兆円近くに膨らむ見込みという。

The fiscal crises in the West have seriously affected global financial markets, but this situation is not what Japanese would call "a fire on the other side of the river."
 欧米の財政危機が世界の金融市場を揺さぶっているが、日本にとって対岸の火事ではない。

Swift reforms in both revenue and spending must be enforced before it is too late.
歳出と歳入の両面で早期に改革を断行しないと手遅れになる。

===

Political will lacking

However, the politicians of this country have little sense of crisis about the status quo and lack firm determination to move forward with fiscal rehabilitation.
 だが、肝心の政治は、現状への危機感が薄く、財政再建を進める覚悟も足りない。

The key issues in the Democratic Party of Japan's presidential election, in which candidates are competing to replace Prime Minister Naoto Kan, will include tax hikes to secure revenue to rebuild from the Great East Japan Earthquake and a review of the dole-out policies in its manifesto for the 2009 House of Representative election.
 「ポスト菅」を競う民主党代表選は、東日本大震災からの復興財源を得るための増税や、政権公約(マニフェスト)のばらまき政策見直しなどが争点となる。

However, many would-be candidates in the DPJ presidential election are cautious about the early introduction of tax hikes for reconstruction purposes.
 ところが、候補者の多くは早期の復興増税には慎重だ。

Likewise, no one has spoken in-depth about the government policy for integrated reform of the social security and tax systems, which stipulates the consumption tax rate will be raised in stages to 10 percent in the mid-2010s.
2010年代半ばまでに消費税率を段階的に10%に引き上げるとした社会保障と税の一体改革についても、踏み込んだ発言は聞かれない。

The post-Kan administration should make progress in reconstructing from the great earthquake and restoring fiscal health.
 新政権には、与野党の協力によって、復興と財政健全化を進展させることが期待されている。

The government has to make the economy steadily recover to realize an early exit from deflation. This is indispensable for recovering confidence in Japanese government bonds.
 景気を着実に回復させ、デフレからの早期脱却を図ることも、日本国債の信認回復に不可欠だ。

In the coming DPJ election we hope the candidates will discuss policies that prioritize economic growth, such as stabilizing the electricity supply and measures to combat the yen's appreciation.
 代表選では、電力の安定化や円高対策など、経済成長を優先した政策を議論してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 25, 2011)
(2011年8月25日01時09分  読売新聞)

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