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電力株主総会 批判を糧に信頼回復に努めよ

2012-06-30 05:59:57 | 英字新聞

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun. 29, 2012)
Power utilities should seriously take in criticism to restore trust
電力株主総会 批判を糧に信頼回復に努めよ(6月28日付・読売社説)

Nine electric power companies that own nuclear power plants held shareholders meetings Wednesday. Many shareholders called for management reform at the utilities.
 原発を有する9電力会社の株主総会が開かれ、株主から経営改革を求める声が相次いだ。

Public opinion has turned strongly against power companies in the wake of the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
 東京電力の福島第一原子力発電所事故を受け、電力会社への風当たりは強い。

Concerns are mounting over the nation's electricity supply. There is no prospect of reactors other than two at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s Oi nuclear power plant being restarted although the searing summer heat is almost here.
 猛暑が近いのに、関西電力の大飯原発以外は再稼働のメドが立たず、電力供給に不安がある。

Power companies should seriously take shareholders' criticism of the current situation into account and utilize it for their management reform.
 電力各社はこうした現状に対する株主の批判を真摯(しんし)に受け止め、経営改革に生かすべきだ。

About 4,500 shareholders attended TEPCO's meeting, which lasted a lengthy 5-1/2 hours, about the same as last year's meeting.
 東電の株主総会は約4500人が出席し、昨年並みの5時間半というロングラン総会となった。

Proposals from TEPCO, including one concerning the appointment of its directors, were approved. The new management team in which outgoing Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata will be replaced by Kazuhiko Shimokobe, former head of the Nuclear Damage Liability Facilitation Fund's steering committee, was decided.
 取締役選任など会社の議案は可決され、退任する勝俣恒久会長の後任に原子力損害賠償支援機構の下河辺和彦・前運営委員長が就くなどの新体制が決まった。

An amendment to its articles of incorporation, which is necessary for strengthening TEPCO's financial standing through an injection of 1 trillion yen in public funds, also was approved. This paved the way for TEPCO's de facto nationalization.
 1兆円の公的資金による財務強化に必要な定款変更も了承され、実質国有化へ道筋がついた。

===

TEPCO must be humble

The reborn TEPCO must steadily implement its comprehensive special business plan to reconstruct itself. The company also must fulfill its responsibility to decommission reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, pay compensation to people and businesses affected by the nuclear accident and ensure a stable electricity supply. TEPCO should drastically improve its corporate culture.
 新生・東電は経営再建を図る総合特別事業計画を着実に実行し、廃炉と損害賠償、電力安定供給の責務を果たさねばならない。企業体質の抜本的な改善を図ることが求められよう。

Many people seeking compensation were bewildered when TEPCO sent them hefty tomes of application documents to fill out. TEPCO President Toshio Nishizawa provoked further ire late last year when he said, "Rate increases are a power company's right." At present, there is no likelihood that TEPCO can raise electricity rates for households.
 東電は損害賠償の手続きで分厚い請求書類を送りつけ、被害者を困惑させた。「値上げは権利」という西沢俊夫社長の昨年末の発言も強い反発を招いた。家庭向けの料金値上げは、実施できる見通しがまだ立っていない。

TEPCO's insensitive responses were unsurprisingly lambasted as "a monopoly company's arrogance." It is important that the utility does not repeat such blunders.
 「独占企業のおごり」と言われても仕方のない無神経な対応を、繰り返さないことが大事だ。

At TEPCO's meeting, the Tokyo metropolitan government--a major shareholder in the utility--proposed that the company's articles of incorporation include a provision stipulating that putting customer service first is TEPCO's mission. At KEPCO's shareholders meeting, the Osaka city government, the company's largest shareholder, made a proposal demanding thorough information disclosure, among other things.
 東電の総会では、大株主の東京都が「顧客サービス第一を使命とする」との規定を定款に盛り込むよう提案した。関電では筆頭株主の大阪市が、徹底した情報開示などを求める株主提案を行った。

All these proposals were voted down. However, power companies should seriously take to heart public criticism of their tendency to give users short shrift and their closed management.
 これらの提案はいずれも否決されたが、電力各社は利用者軽視や閉鎖的な経営への批判を、重く受け止めるべきだろう。

===

No N-power not an option

The meetings were used by many shareholders to call for the companies to end nuclear power generation. It was particularly disconcerting that the Osaka city government proposed KEPCO abolish all of its nuclear plants immediately. Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto also urged KEPCO to change its management strategy to one based on the assumption there will be no nuclear power.
 「脱原発」を求める株主提案が相次いだ。中でも大阪市が関電に「速やかに全ての原発を廃止する」よう提案したのは問題だ。総会で橋下徹市長は、原発ゼロを想定した経営への転換も求めた。

Isn't Osaka, a city that consumes a massive volume of electricity, being irresponsible in taking the initiative in insisting that KEPCO abandon nuclear power generation?
 電力の大消費地である大阪市が率先して「脱原発」を主張するのは、無責任ではないか。

Nuclear power is a fundamental power source for ensuring a stable energy supply. It was only natural that every proposal to dump nuclear power generation--including one put forward at the KEPCO meeting--was voted down.
 エネルギーの安定供給を図る上で、原発は基幹となる電源だ。関電を含む全ての「脱原発」提案が否決されたのは当然である。

Ensuring nuclear reactors are safe and restoring trust in the utilities are the most important factors in getting the reactors steadily reactivated. To this end, power companies must work hard to ensure air-tight safety at their nuclear plants and appropriately and thoroughly disclose information.
 着実な原発再稼働に向けて最も重要なのは、安全確保と信頼回復だ。電力各社は、原発の安全管理と適切な情報開示の徹底に努めなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 28, 2012)
(2012年6月28日01時49分  読売新聞)

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一体法案可決 民自公路線で確実に成立を

2012-06-29 05:44:17 | 英字新聞

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun. 28, 2012)
3 main parties must ensure reform bills pass upper house
一体法案可決 民自公路線で確実に成立を(6月27日付・読売社説)

 ◆造反には厳正な処分が必要だ

The House of Representatives passed bills on integrated reform of the social security and tax systems at a plenary meeting Tuesday. This marked a significant step toward the nation's fiscal reconstruction and social security reform.
 財政再建と社会保障制度改革を推進するための大きな一歩だ。

The set of bills--with an increase in the consumption tax rate as the centerpiece--was approved by the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and its junior partner, People's New Party, and also by the two main opposition parties, the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito.
 消費税率引き上げを柱とする社会保障・税一体改革関連法案が衆院本会議で民主、自民、公明、国民新各党などの賛成多数で可決された。

We applaud the fact that nearly 80 percent of lower house legislators voted for the bills on the consumption tax increase.
衆院議員の実に約8割が、賛成票を投じたことを評価したい。

The nation's political parties should ensure the bills pass the House of Councillors. This will require breaking free from the kind of politics that has prevented leaders from making hard decisions.
 「決められない政治」に決別し、参院で法案を確実に成立させなければならない。

It was disappointing that as many as 57 DPJ lawmakers--mostly from groups led by former party President Ichiro Ozawa--voted against the consumption tax hike bills.
 残念なのは、消費増税法案の採決で小沢一郎元代表のグループを中心に57人もの民主党議員が反対したことである。

 ◆民主はもはや分裂状態

If 54 or more DPJ lawmakers leave the party, the ruling coalition would lose its majority in the lower house and become a minority government.
 仮に造反議員が54人以上、離党すれば、民主、国民新の連立与党は衆院で過半数に届かず、少数与党に転落する。

The ruling party's effective breakup over the bills is proof that its executives lack leadership skills.
民主党はもはや分裂状態だ。党執行部が統率力を欠いていることの証左である。

===

Take action against rebels

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda will face more hardships in managing his administration if the ruling coalition becomes a minority government. While preserving his party's agreement on the reform bills with the LDP and Komeito, Noda should urgently rebuild the DPJ, which has been dysfunctional as a ruling party.
 野田首相の政権運営は、一層困難になる。民自公の3党合意を堅持する一方で、政権党としての体を成していない民主党の態勢を立て直す必要がある。

Deciding how to deal with Ozawa and other dissidents should be his first step.
そのための第一歩が、造反した小沢氏らへの対応にほかならない。

When Ozawa's supporters held a meeting after the vote, they agreed to leave their next move in Ozawa's hands. "I'll have to make a decision soon," he reportedly said.
 小沢氏は、採決後、グループの会合で今後の対応について一任を取り付けた。「近いうちに決断しなければならない」とも語った。

Ozawa apparently aims to shake up Noda's administration further with an eye on leaving the DPJ to form a new party.
離党と新党結成を視野に野田政権を揺さぶる考えなのだろう。

On the surface, Ozawa insists that top priority should be placed on issues related to people's daily lives--a phrase the party trumpeted in its manifesto for the 2009 lower house election. Dig a little deeper, however, and it seems he is only interested in ensuring his and his group members' survival with an eye on the next lower house election.
 表向きは「国民の生活が第一」と政権公約(マニフェスト)にこだわる姿勢を示しながら、実際は次期衆院選をにらんで、グループの生き残りを図っているだけではないのか。

Former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama also voted against the consumption tax increase bills, saying the issue was not among the policies proposed in the manifesto. Hatoyama acted as if he owned the DPJ when he then said he would not leave the party.
 鳩山元首相も「マニフェストにまるでなかった」として消費増税法案に反対し、オーナー気取りで離党は考えないという。

Hatoyama himself should seriously reflect on his role in misleading the public by promoting the impractical manifesto.
鳩山氏こそ、実現性の乏しいマニフェストを主導し、国民を欺いてきたことを猛省すべきだ。

The DPJ's immature and vague policymaking process was not the only factor behind such a large number of lawmakers joining the rebellion. Part of the blame can be laid with Secretary General Azuma Koshiishi, who hinted before the vote that the party would give only lenient punishments to members who defied the DPJ leaders.
 造反議員がこれほど多数に上ったのは、民主党の政策決定過程が未熟であいまいなことと合わせて、輿石幹事長が採決前、造反しても寛大な処分とすることを示唆したからではないか。

The DPJ has never expelled members just because they rebelled against the party's leadership in voting. However, passage of the comprehensive reform bills is something that Noda declared he would stake his political life on.
 民主党では法案採決での造反を理由に除名とした例はないというが、今回は首相が「政治生命を懸ける」と言明した法案である。

As a condition for his party's cooperation in Diet deliberations on the reform bills, LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki called on the DPJ leaders to strictly punish the dissenting lawmakers.
 自民党の谷垣総裁は、参院で一体改革法案の審議に協力する前提として、造反議員への厳しい処分を求めている。

Noda expressed his intention to come down hard on the rebels. We think the DPJ top brass should impose severe punishments as soon as possible. In particular, it does not need to show any restraint in dealing with Ozawa, who has gone as far as suggesting he will establish a new party.
 首相も厳正に対処する意向を示した。民主党執行部は、早期に、重い処分を下すべきだ。特に、新党結成にまで言及している小沢氏に遠慮は要るまい。

The DPJ's relationship of trust with the LDP and Komeito will be undermined unless it takes definite disciplinary action against the rebels. The possibility cannot be ruled out that further revolts will occur during upcoming votes in the upper house.
 党としてのけじめを明確にしなければ、自公両党との信頼関係が揺らぐ。参院での採決時にも造反議員が続出しかねない。

===

Tripartite cooperation significant
 ◆自公の協力を評価する

At a news conference after Tuesday's vote, Noda said: "We can no longer keep passing debts on to future generations. Securing stable fiscal resources for social security programs and getting the nation's fiscal conditions back on a sound footing is the point of carrying out the integrated reform."
 首相は、採決後の記者会見で、「将来の世代にツケを回すのは限界だ。社会保障の安定財源を確保し、財政健全化を達成するのが一体改革の意義だ」と強調した。

State debts, including those accruing from the issuance of government bonds and borrowings, amounted to about 960 trillion yen as of March 31, 2012. This is more than 7.5 million yen for every person in Japan. Furthermore, the social security budget will record a natural increase of 1 trillion yen a year as the population continues to age.
 国債や借入金など国の借金は昨年度末で約960兆円に上り、国民1人当たり750万円を超す。高齢者は増え続け、社会保障予算は年1兆円ずつ自然に膨らむ。

It is obvious to everyone that state finances cannot be sustained by borrowing more money to pay off debts.
 借金財政でしのぐ手法を繰り返せないのは、誰の目にも明らかである。

Noda was forced to reshuffle his Cabinet twice this year. This is one example that shows his clumsy management of the government. But on the issue of integrated reform, he has pushed ahead without flinching. He should be lauded for this.
 首相は、今年に入って2度の内閣改造を強いられるなど、政権運営で不手際も目立ったが、一体改革では全くぶれずに実現へ突き進んできた。その姿勢は評価されるべきだ。

It is undeniable that Noda could not have come up with a scenario for legislating the reform bills without the cooperation of the LDP and Komeito.
 無論、自民、公明両党の協力がなければ、到底、法案成立への道筋は描けなかった。

The two opposition parties joined talks with the DPJ on revisions of the bills even though there was no guarantee the lower house would be dissolved for a general election, and voted for the bills. This was a wrenching choice for the parties to make. The LDP and Komeito, it can be said, displayed a responsible attitude befitting parties that held power for many years as a coalition government.
 衆院解散の確約を得られなかったにもかかわらず、自公両党が修正協議に応じ、賛成に回ったことは重い決断だった。長年、政権を担ってきた政党として、責任ある態度を示したと言える。

There are still hurdles to overcome before the final passage of the bills. But they will clear the Diet if the DPJ, LDP and Komeito maintain their "partial coalition."
 法案成立まで、なおハードルはあるが、民自公3党の「部分連合」を保てば乗り切れよう。

===

Electoral reform urgent
 ◆「0増5減」実施を急げ

In the upper house, discussions must be deepened on more efficient budget spending, such as cuts in social security benefits, as well as how to lift the national economy out of deflation. To help low-income earners, who will be affected more acutely by a consumption tax increase, introduction of reduced tax rates on some items should be studied.
 参院では、社会保障の給付削減など「効率化」や、デフレ脱却の議論も深めるべきだ。消費税率引き上げの影響が大きい低所得者への対策として「軽減税率」導入の検討を重ねてもらいたい。

The three parties must tackle other pending issues in addition to the integrated reform bills. It will be necessary to pass a special bill for the issuance of deficit-covering bonds.
 3党は、一体改革以外の懸案にも取り組まねばならない。赤字国債の発行を可能にする特例公債法案を成立させる必要がある。

Reform of the lower house electoral system must not be left on the back burner.
 衆院の選挙制度改革も忘れてはならない。

The disparity of vote values between some constituencies under the current system has been judged by the Supreme Court as being in "an unconstitutional state."
「違憲状態」との司法判断が出ている。

However, no concrete steps have been taken to rectify this situation, which can only be described as dereliction on the part of the ruling and opposition parties.
いまだに何ら具体的な手立てを講じていないのは与野党の怠慢と言うしかない。

In cooperating with the LDP and Komeito, the DPJ should give priority to correcting the vote value disparity by quickly implementing a plan to cut single-seat constituencies from five prefectures without increasing seats in other prefectures.
 自公両党との協力で「0増5減」を先行して実施し、1票の格差を是正することが急務である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 27, 2012)
(2012年6月27日01時18分  読売新聞)

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エジプト大統領 イスラムと軍は共存できるか

2012-06-28 04:49:54 | 英字新聞

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun. 27, 2012)
Can an Islamist-led govt coexist with Egypt's military?
エジプト大統領 イスラムと軍は共存できるか(6月26日付・読売社説)

Mohammed Morsi, the candidate fielded by the Muslim Brotherhood, was declared the winner Sunday in the Egyptian presidential runoff election held earlier this month.
 エジプト大統領選で、イスラム主義組織「ムスリム同胞団」が擁立したモルシ氏が当選した。

Electing their own president in their first free election following the region's "Arab Spring" revolutionary democracy movements is a historic achievement for the people of Egypt, a great power in the Middle East and North Africa.
 中東・北アフリカ地域の大国エジプトの国民が「アラブの春」を経て、初めて自由選挙で大統領を選んだことは、歴史的な重みを持つ。

But it remains to be seen whether Egypt's democratization will prove successful. This is not only because there is no affinity between Islamism and democracy, but because the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), the interim ruler of the country, may not relinquish power.
 だが、エジプトの民主化が成就するかどうかは依然、不透明だ。イスラム主義と民主主義に親和性がないだけではない。暫定統治にあたる軍最高評議会が、実権を手放そうとしていないからだ。

The extent to which Morsi will be able to advance democratization while avoiding confrontation with the military remains uncertain.
 モルシ氏が、軍との対立を回避し、どこまで民主化を進められるかについては、不安も大きい。

Morsi gained about 52 percent of the vote, just ahead of his rival, former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq. The rise in the power of Islamism in the aftermath of the collapse of the former Egyptian regime led by Hosni Mubarak continued in the presidential election. But nearly half of Egyptians are still anxious about the Brotherhood.
 モルシ氏の得票率は約52%で、対立候補のシャフィク元首相とは僅差の勝利だった。ムバラク前政権崩壊後のイスラム主義台頭の潮流は、大統領選でも変わらなかったが、国民の半数近くはなお同胞団への不安を持っている。

===

Islamism vs secularism

After being declared the election winner, Morsi said, "I am a president for all Egyptians," thus emphasizing his stance of giving consideration to secular elements. He also said he has respect for the military.
 当選後、モルシ氏は「すべてのエジプト人のための大統領になる」と宣言して、世俗派に配慮する姿勢を強調した。「軍に敬意を持っている」とも述べた。

The statements apparently reflect his intention to overcome the nation's polarization into Islamism and secularism.
 「イスラム主義か、世俗主義か」という二極化を克服したい、という意向の表明だろう。

But the road to this goal will be a rocky one.
 だが、実現は茨(いばら)の道である。

In the first place, the SCAF has greatly restricted the authority of the president's office. In addition, Morsi's support base is weak.
 何より、大統領権限が軍最高評議会によって大きく制限されている。支えてくれる基盤も弱い。

The SCAF has dissolved the country's parliament, in which the Brotherhood was the dominant force. The SCAF has issued amendments to a "constitutional declaration" that is equivalent to a provisional constitution, thereby grabbing powers over legislation and the appointment of those who will draft a new national charter. This will make it possible for the SCAF to intervene in the process of formulating a new constitution.
 軍最高評議会は、同胞団系が最大勢力を占めた人民議会を解散した。暫定憲法に相当する憲法宣言の改正を発表し、立法権や憲法起草委員の任命権を握った。憲法制定過程に介入できる内容だ。

These developments will considerably delay a real transition to civilian control.
 実質的に民政移行を大幅に遅らせる動きである。

But it is to be noted that one factor behind the difficulty in creating a new constitution is that the Islamist forces themselves failed to smoothly select drafters of a charter in the parliament.
 ただ、新憲法制定の難航の一因は、イスラム主義勢力が、議会による起草委員会メンバーの円滑な選定に失敗したことがある。

===

Mutual concessions vital

Whether Islamist forces and the military can make concessions to each other to work toward an early formulation of a new constitution is the key to progress in the country's democratization.
 新憲法の早期制定に向け、イスラム主義勢力と軍が歩み寄ることができるかどうかが、今後の民主化の進展を左右しよう。

The Egyptian economy is in dire straits. Last year's political upheaval directly impacted tourism, a major industry of the country, and led to a drop in foreign investment. The country's foreign exchange reserves dropped sharply. The military administration has been holding talks with the International Monetary Fund to obtain financial aid.
 エジプトの経済状況は深刻だ。昨年の政変による混乱は、主要産業である観光を直撃し、外国からの投資が冷え込んだ。外貨準備高も急減した。軍政は、支援を受けるため、国際通貨基金(IMF)と協議を続けている。

If Egypt is to restore public safety and reconstruct its economy through international assistance, it is essential for the president-elect and the military to cooperate with each other.
 治安を回復し、国際的な支援を受け、経済を立て直すためにも、大統領と軍の協力は不可欠だ。

Islamist forces have been on the rise in Arab countries where long-ruling autocrats have been overthrown. Will democratization move ahead after all in Egypt? How the Morsi-led government will turn out is a crucial test for the future of the region.
 長期独裁政権が崩壊したアラブ諸国で、イスラム主義勢力の台頭が著しい。はたして民主化は進むのか。モルシ政権の今後は、地域の将来を占う重要な試金石だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 26, 2012)
(2012年6月26日01時26分  読売新聞)

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買い物弱者 地域の生命と活力守る支援を

2012-06-27 05:16:05 | 英字新聞

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun. 26, 2012)
Assist 'disadvantaged shoppers,' revitalize local economies
買い物弱者 地域の生命と活力守る支援を(6月25日付・読売社説)

Stores in many neighborhoods have closed, but residents do not have the means of transportation to reach distant places to shop. The problem of "disadvantaged shoppers" who face obstacles in buying daily necessities such as food is quite serious.
 身近な地域の商店が消え、遠出しようにも交通手段がない。食料品などの買い物がままならない「買い物弱者」の悩みは切実である。

The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry has estimated the number of disadvantaged shoppers based on the national census, commerce statistics and other data.
 農林水産省が、国勢調査や商業統計などを使って、買い物弱者の実態を推計した。

There are as many as 9.1 million people around the country without cars whose homes are 500 meters or more from stores where they can buy fresh food. Ten percent of the populations of Hokkaido and Nagasaki Prefecture are disadvantaged shoppers. The number topped 500,000 in Tokyo and Osaka Prefecture, respectively.
 最寄りの生鮮食料品店まで直線で500メートル以上離れ、自動車を持たない人は全国で910万人に上った。北海道や長崎県は人口の1割に達し、東京都、大阪府などでも50万人を数えた。

===

Problem not only in rural areas

People tend to think disadvantaged shoppers exist only in remote areas where depopulation and aging are steadily progressing and there is little public transportation. However, the ministry's study shows urban areas are no exception to the trend.
 買い物弱者と言えば、人口減と高齢化が進み、公共交通機関が貧弱な過疎地に特有の現象、と思われがちだが、都市部も例外ではないことを示す。

Due to the advance of mass market retailers into suburban areas, local shopping arcades are being deserted and small shops are closing. This trend is growing nationwide.
 大型量販店の郊外進出に押されて、徒歩圏にある地元商店街がさびれ、小型店が閉鎖するケースは全国的に増えている。

This is a serious situation that shows so-called food deserts--areas where daily food necessities such as fish, meat and vegetables are inaccessible--have been growing.
 魚や肉、野菜など日々欠かせない食料の調達が困難な「フードデザート」(食の砂漠)の広がりをうかがわせる深刻な状況だ。

Both the public and private sectors should cooperate to map out various measures to deal with the respective situations of local communities.
 官民が連携して、地域の実情に応じた多彩な支援策を検討することが必要である。

A variety of programs have already started in some areas, including mobile stores operated by local brick-and-mortar stores that visit residential areas, Net supermarkets that deliver commodities ordered online and shopping buses operated by residents.
 地元商店などが住宅地に出向く出張店舗、インターネットで注文を受けた商品を配送するネットスーパー、住民らが運行する買い物バスなど、すでに各地で様々な取り組みが始まっている。

After the Great East Japan Earthquake, mini-mobile convenience stores in the quake-hit areas encouraged the quake-hit victims and contributed greatly to restoration of their daily lives.
 東日本大震災でも、各地に商品を届けるコンビニの移動店舗などが被災者を元気づけ、生活復興に大きく貢献した。

===

Creative ideas necessary

We expect the distribution industry to produce imaginative and creative ideas. Helping disadvantaged shoppers can also become an opportunity for businesses to uncover demand they previously missed. We hope the industry will look into the matter from a long-term business perspective.
 流通業界の創意工夫が期待される。買い物支援は、これまで取り逃がしていた需要を掘り起こす新たな「商機」となりうる。息の長いビジネスを目指してほしい。

Nevertheless, some places such as underpopulated areas deep in the mountains will remain unprofitable no matter how hard the private sector alone tries. It will be indispensable for local governments to support private companies' efforts.
 それでも、山奥の過疎地など民間の経営努力だけでは、とても採算が取れないという場所は残る。自治体が支援して民間企業を後押しすることが欠かせない。

It may be necessary for local governments to promote the "compact city" initiative--bringing commercial and residential districts physically closer together--while securing public transportation for aged people that will make it easier for them to go shopping. Such community planning is important.
 高齢者が外出して買い物しやすいよう公共交通を確保し、商業地と住宅地を近接させたコンパクトシティー構想を促進する。そうしたまちづくりの視点も大切だ。

If the problem of disadvantaged shoppers is left untouched, the outflow of population will never stop and local communities will become further devitalized. We hope residents, volunteers, companies and local administrations will combine their wisdom to come up with ways they can work together.
 買い物弱者を放置すれば、人口流出が進み、地域は一段と疲弊しかねない。住民、ボランティア、企業、行政がどう連携できるか、知恵を絞ってもらいたい。

Concerning assistance to disadvantaged shoppers, a wide range of policy problems are interrelated--revitalization of local communities, transport policy and distribution of food are examples.
 買い物支援は、地域活性化、交通政策、食品流通など幅広い政策課題が関連している。

The farm ministry, the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry and the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry should not carry out research or introduce model cases separately, but reinforce measures to assist the shoppers in a unified manner as the government.
農水、経済産業、国土交通3省は、調査研究や事例紹介などをばらばらに実施するのではなく、政府一体で対策を強化すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 25, 2012)
(2012年6月25日01時25分  読売新聞)

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リオ+20 環境を守る責任は新興国にも

2012-06-26 05:02:12 | 英字新聞

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun. 25, 2012)
Emerging economies must accept environmental responsibilities
リオ+20 環境を守る責任は新興国にも(6月24日付・読売社説)

The summit ended as an illustration of how difficult it is for the international community to make truly concerted efforts to tackle global environmental problems.
 地球環境問題に国際社会が一致協力して対処することの難しさを際立たせる結果となった。

The U.N. development summit to establish sustainable development goals, known as Rio+20, ended in Rio de Janeiro with the adoption of an agreement confirming the importance of making environmental protection consistent with economic growth.
 ブラジルのリオデジャネイロで開かれていた「国連持続可能な開発会議」(リオ+20)は、環境保全と経済成長を両立させる重要性を確認した文書を採択して閉幕した。

The summit, held 20 years after the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, was attended by heads of state and government officials of about 190 countries and territories, who discussed environmental protection measures for the next 10 years.
 1992年の国連環境開発会議(地球サミット)から20年が経過したのを受け、約190か国・地域の首脳や政府関係者らが今後10年間の環境保護策を協議した。

Yet it must be said that the summit produced extremely poor results.
 だが、成果は極めて乏しかったと言うしかない。

The leaders failed to decide on a global schedule for shifting to a "green economy," the biggest focus of the summit, leaving each country to tackle environmental problems on its own.
 最大の焦点だった「グリーン経済」に移行する世界共通の工程表策定はできず、各国の自主的取り組みに委ねることになった。

Building a "green economy," which means shifting to a low-carbon society by reducing dependence on oil and other fossil fuels while at the same time fostering industries related to environmental protection, is a task the whole world faces.
 石油など化石燃料への依存度を減らし、環境関連産業を育成しながら低炭素社会へと転換していく「グリーン経済」の構築は、世界全体の課題と言えよう。

===

An old divide between nations

At the summit, Japan and other industrialized countries asserted that all countries must aim at shifting toward a green economy. But developing countries opposed the idea, saying it would hinder their economic growth.
 会議では、日本など先進国が「全ての国が移行を目指すべきだ」と主張し、途上国は「経済成長の足かせになる」と反発した。

Thus the summit ended up achieving no progress on the confrontation between developed and developing economies.
先進国と途上国が対立する構図は結局、変わらなかった。

Following the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, landmark accords such as the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change have been concluded, with countries making efforts to pursue the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities."
 地球サミットを機に、気候変動枠組み条約などが締結され、各国は「共通だが差異ある責任」を原則に対策を進めてきた。

The principle is based on the notion that, historically, global environmental degradation has mainly stemmed from the economic activities of the developed countries, making it necessary for the industrialized countries to assume heavier responsibilities for environmental problems.
 環境破壊を招いたのは、先進国の経済活動であり、環境保護について、先進国は途上国より重い責任を持つという考え方だ。

This notion was later put into concrete form in the Kyoto Protocol based on the U.N. framework convention, under which only the developed countries are held responsible for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
 それを具体化したのが、気候変動枠組み条約に基づく京都議定書だ。先進国だけが温室効果ガスの排出削減義務を負っている。

===

China joins big-league emitters

Yet the global situation has changed greatly. Greenhouse gas emissions from such emerging economies as China and India, which have achieved rapid economic growth, continue to increase, with China surpassing the United States to become the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter.
 しかし、状況は大きく変わった。急速な経済発展を遂げた中国、インドなど新興国の排出量が増え続け、中国は米国を抜いて世界一の排出国となった。

Despite these facts, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao insisted during the latest summit talks on defining his country as a "large developing country," maintaining China's stance that the developed countries must assume responsibility for environmental problems.
 それにもかかわらず、中国の温家宝首相は今回の会議でも、自国を「大きな途上国」と位置付け、先進国が責任を果たすべきだとの姿勢を崩さなかった。

It is obvious that to protect the global environment, such emerging economies as China have to assume their own responsibilities, commensurate to their economic scale.
 地球環境を守るためには、中国など新興国も応分の責任を負わねばならないのは明らかだ。

At the summit, leaders agreed to reinforce the U.N. Environment Programme.
 会議では、国連環境計画(UNEP)の強化で合意した。

But more than the expansion of a U.N. organization that is preoccupied with coordinating conflicting interests among member countries, what is needed is for developed countries to encourage newly emerging economies and developing countries to more actively tackle environmental problems.
だが、各国の利害調整に追われる国連機関の拡充よりも、必要なのは新興国、途上国に積極的な取り組みを促す先進国の働きかけだ。

Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba has made clear Japan's intention of extending financial assistance of 6 billion dollars (about 477 billion yen) to developing countries over three years from fiscal 2013. It is also important for Japan to take the lead in offering technological assistance, such as energy-saving technologies, to developing countries.
 玄葉外相は、3年間で60億ドル(約4770億円)の途上国支援を表明した。日本が率先して、省エネルギーなどの技術支援を進めることも大切である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 24, 2012)
(2012年6月24日01時28分  読売新聞)

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