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65歳まで雇用 若者の仕事を奪わぬように

2013-03-31 06:02:24 | 英字新聞

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Mar. 30, 2013)
Older Japanese must work longer without crowding out the young
65歳まで雇用 若者の仕事を奪わぬように(3月29日付・読売社説)

The revised Law for the Stabilization of Employment of Elderly People, which requires companies to allow all employees to stay on the payroll until they are 65 if they wish to do so, takes effect on April 1.
 65歳までの希望者全員を雇用するよう企業に義務付けた改正高年齢者雇用安定法が4月1日に施行される。

The revised law comes in conjunction with a gradual increase in the eligibility age for benefits under the government-run kosei nenkin corporate pension insurance scheme to 65 from the current 60, beginning from April. The revision was enacted in August last year.
 改正法は、厚生年金の支給開始年齢が4月以降、現在の60歳から段階的に65歳に引き上げられることに伴うもので、昨年8月に成立した。

The purpose of the legislation is understandable: the need to help people deal with a period in which they might receive no pension. It can be said the times we live in require companies to continue employing all of their elderly workers as long as they desire to stay on at their jobs.
 定年後に年金を受け取れない期間が生じるのを防ぐという狙いは理解できる。企業に対し、希望者全員の雇用継続を義務付けるのは、時代の要請と言えよう。

The current law calls for companies to make efforts to enable employees to work until the age of 65 after the retirement age of 60, either by abolishing the mandatory age limit, raising the age limit or implementing reemployment measures for retired workers.
 現行法も、60歳で定年を迎えた社員が、定年の廃止か引き上げ、または継続雇用により、65歳まで働けるよう企業に求めている。継続雇用を選択した場合、健康状態や働く意欲など、一定の基準を設けて選別できる仕組みだ。

When companies choose one of these reemployment systems, the current law is designed to enable the firm to set certain criteria in selecting employees eligible to continue working, such as health conditions and motivation for working.

===

Elderly can boost economy

The latest revision to the system is mainly aimed at doing away with the stipulation of criteria, to ban companies from retaining only certain selected workers.
Under the revised law, the government will issue a warning to companies that fail to comply with the new system. If they then refuse to comply, the companies' names will be made public.
 今回の制度改正は、この基準規定を廃止し、選別を認められなくするのが眼目だ。政府は、違反した企業に勧告を行い、従わない場合は企業名を公表するという。

To be sure, the nation's average life expectancy has risen markedly and the health of people in their 60s has improved a great deal.
 確かに、平均寿命が伸び、60歳代の健康状態は格段に向上している。

It is significant that people aged 60 to 64, who have so far been supported by the pension system, will instead be able to support the social security system by working and paying premiums for the pension program.
年金に支えられてきた60~64歳の人たちが、働いて税や保険料を納め、社会保障の支え手となる意義は大きい。

It is hoped that people in this age bracket will receive higher income and also engage in higher spending, thus boosting the country's economic growth.
 この年代の所得や消費が向上し、経済成長を後押しする効果も期待できるだろう。

However, a wide divergence tends to appear among people in their 60s in terms of their willingness and ability to work.
 だが、60歳代では、能力と意欲の個人差が広がる。

It is reasonable that the business world at one time opposed mandatory continuation of employment up to the age of 65 on the grounds that the system would increase personnel costs, weighing on corporate management.
経済界が65歳までの継続雇用の義務化に「人件費が増え、経営を圧迫する」と反対していたのも、無理はない。

It is of the highest importance to ensure companies under the new system never deprive young people of employment opportunities for the sake of continued employment of the elderly. They also must never use the system as an excuse to increase the number of nonregular workers.
 重要なのは、高年齢者の雇用維持を理由に若者の仕事を奪ったり、非正規雇用を増やしたりしてはならないということだ。

However, about 40 percent of employers responding to a poll said they will "curb employment of young recruits" following the implementation of the revised law.
 改正法施行で、「若年層の雇用を抑える」とした企業は約4割に上る、との調査もある。

===

'Age of lifelong work'

To prevent the dynamism of society as a whole from dwindling, all companies are urged to use ingenuity to provide jobs for both young and old.
 社会全体の活力を低下させないようにするためにも、若者から高齢者まで、働く場の確保に各企業は知恵を絞ってもらいたい。

Many firms will have to make important judgments regarding allocation of personnel expenses, such as curbing pay raises for employees in their 40s and 50s.
40~50歳代の賃金上昇を抑えるなど、人件費の配分を工夫していくことになるだろう。

Meanwhile, the United States, Britain and Germany have already decided to raise their pension eligibility age to 67 or 68.
 年金の支給開始年齢について、米国やイギリス、ドイツは既に67~68歳に引き上げることを決めている。

Given that Japan has been graying more rapidly than these countries, it will be hard for this nation to avoid further raising the pension eligibility age beyond 65.
これらの国より早く高齢化が進む日本で、さらなる引き上げを避けるのは難しい。

Since the graying of society coupled with low birthrates will certainly be accelerated, people's working lives will most likely become longer. Under the circumstances, companies and workers alike must think hard about what should be done to prepare for the advent of an "age of lifelong work."
 一段と少子高齢化が進み、働く期間も一層長くなる。企業も労働者も「生涯現役社会」の到来を見据えねばならない。

We urge the government to work out and implement policies conducive to expanding employment by giving more teeth to measures for encouraging the development of industries with high growth potential.
 政府にも、成長産業にテコ入れし、雇用を拡充していくような戦略的な政策が求められよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 29, 2013)
(2013年3月29日01時38分  読売新聞)

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経済連携交渉 日本主導で自由貿易圏加速を

2013-03-30 06:46:11 | 英字新聞

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Mar. 29, 2013)
Japan should take upper hand in FTA negotiations
経済連携交渉 日本主導で自由貿易圏加速を(3月28日付・読売社説)

Prompted by Japan's recent announcement it would join the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks, various large-scale, free trade agreement initiatives have begun materializing one after another.
 日本が環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉への参加を正式表明したことを契機に、広大な自由貿易圏の構想が次々と具体的に動き出した。

On Tuesday, the inaugural round of negotiations on a trilateral FTA between Japan, China and South Korea kicked off in Seoul.
 日本、中国、韓国3か国の自由貿易協定(FTA)の第1回交渉がソウルで始まった。

Tokyo has also agreed with the European Union to begin talks in April on an economic partnership agreement. In May, negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership will begin, with countries including Japan, China, South Korea and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations expected to join the talks.
 日本は、欧州連合(EU)との経済連携協定(EPA)交渉を4月に開始する方針でも合意した。日中韓と東南アジア諸国連合(ASEAN)などが参加する東アジア包括的経済連携(RCEP)の交渉も5月にスタートする。

We can say the trend of nations and regions vying to create FTA frameworks beneficial to themselves has accelerated.
 各国・地域が自らに有利な自由貿易圏を競う潮流が、さらに鮮明になってきたと言えよう。

As Japan is scheduled to participate in multiple FTA negotiations, there is an opportunity for the nation to proactively engage in establishing regional trade rules. The government must devote itself to realizing these FTAs at the earliest opportunity, paving the way for boosting Japan's economic growth.
 複数の交渉に加わる日本にとって、貿易ルール作りに積極的に関与できるチャンスである。各交渉の早期合意を実現し、成長に弾みをつけなければならない。

Regarding FTA talks, it is clear that Japan is lagging behind South Korea, which has already concluded FTAs with the United States and the EU. It has been a considerable time since Japan presented FTA proposals to its Asian neighbors and the EU, but talks on these have been slow to materialize.
 韓国が米国やEUとのFTAを発効させたのに比べて、日本は出遅れが目立つ。打診していた中韓両国や欧州との交渉を開始することすらできずにいた。

===

Japan rallying from behind

However, the EU, China and South Korea have recently begun making favorable comments regarding negotiations with Japan, following Tokyo's move to join TPP talks.
 ところが、日本のTPP交渉参加の動きを受けて、EUと中韓が対日交渉開始へ軟化に転じた。

It appears the EU intends to counter the influence of the TPP with an EU-Japan FTA. The EU has also agreed with the United States to begin FTA negotiations, with talks expected to start soon. It is obvious that the EU is concerned about the possibility of being left behind in the global trend.
 EUには、日本との協定をTPPへの対抗軸にする思惑がうかがえる。米国ともFTA交渉開始で合意し、近く交渉を始める。世界の動きからEUが取り残される事態を警戒したのは明らかだ。

We assume Beijing has a similar goal. The problem of the Senkaku Islands persists between Japan and China, but it seems China is trying to counter the United States' deepening influence in Asia by engaging in talks with Japan and South Korea.
 日中間では尖閣諸島の問題がくすぶるが、中国も日中韓交渉の開始により、アジアへ関与を深める米国を牽制(けんせい)する狙いがあろう。

Japan's challenge is clear--whether it can take the initiative in setting up trade rules.
 日本の課題は、貿易ルール作りを主導できるかどうかだ。

Points of contention in Japan-EU talks will be eliminating the EU's high tariffs on automobiles and other products, as well as Japan's market deregulation in fields such as cars and medical equipment. Reaching an agreement quickly presents Japan and the EU with many hurdles to overcome.
 EUとの交渉では、EUによる自動車などの高関税の撤廃とともに、日本の自動車、医療機器市場などの規制緩和が焦点になる。早期合意へのハードルは高い。

The outlook of negotiations between Japan, China and South Korea is also unclear, as issues such as intellectual property rights and competition policies are expected to be discussed at the talks.
 日中韓交渉も、知的財産権や競争政策などが交渉分野になるだけに、先行きは不透明だ。

===

Need to be a tough negotiator

Regarding TPP talks, countries are expected to employ various tactics on whether to exempt agricultural products, such as rice, from tariff elimination.
 TPPでは、コメなど農産品を関税撤廃の例外扱いにするかを巡って駆け引きが予想される。

A major premise for Japan in joining the TPP talks is to seek to create a new free trade framework that will enhance the level of the market openness of the region.
 日本にとって、市場開放度を高める自由貿易の新たな枠組みを目指すことが大前提である。

Meanwhile, by simultaneously undertaking other FTA negotiations, Japan will be able to put pressure on the United States, the EU and China. The government must use its bargaining power to pursue the interests of the nation in the negotiations. It is also important to keep in mind the necessity of inducing China to comply with international trade rules.
 一方、交渉を同時並行で行うことで米欧や中国を揺さぶる道も開けよう。国益を反映させる交渉力を発揮すべきだ。中国を国際ルールに取り込む必要もある。

As Japan--one of the world's major exporters--has recorded trade deficits in recent years, it is urgent to get the nation back on its feet. Japan's announcement to join the TPP talks had a far-reaching impact on the world. To exploit this opportunity, Japan must prepare a sharp strategy for the negotiations.
 貿易赤字に転落した「輸出大国」の立て直しは急務と言える。TPP参加表明が世界に及ぼした相乗効果を生かし、政府にはしたたかな戦略が求められよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 28, 2013)
(2013年3月28日01時13分  読売新聞)

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衆院選違憲判決 国会は司法の警告に即応せよ

2013-03-29 06:05:03 | 英字新聞

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Mar. 28, 2013)
Diet should respond quickly to warnings from judiciary
衆院選違憲判決 国会は司法の警告に即応せよ(3月27日付・読売社説)

 ◆「無効」判断は無責任ではないか◆

Never before has the legislature been so harshly criticized for its negligence by the judiciary.
 立法府が、司法からこれほどまで怠慢を指摘されたのは、かつてなかったことだ。

Rulings have been handed down in 15 of 16 lawsuits heard at high courts and high court branches across Japan over vote-value disparities in the December House of Representatives election.
 昨年12月の衆院選を巡り、全国の高裁・支部で審理された16件の「1票の格差」訴訟のうち、15件で判決が言い渡された。

In 13 of the cases, the courts found results in related single-seat constituencies in the Dec. 16 lower house election to be unconstitutional. In the two remaining cases, the election results were found to be in an "unconstitutional state."
There was not a single case in which the election results were ruled constitutional.
 13件は「違憲」と断じた。残る2件も「違憲状態」と指摘し、合憲判断は一つもなかった。

The rulings were handed down as a result of examinations by about 50 high court judges. The Diet must seriously take the rulings to heart and quickly take concrete measures to correct vote-value disparities.
 約50人もの高裁判事が審理した結果である。国会は判決を重く受け止め、早期に具体的な是正措置を講じなければならない。

===

Rectification taking too long
 ◆進まない格差の是正◆

Do vote-value disparities in last year's lower house election--with votes in one constituency worth up to 2.43 times as much as those in another--violate the Constitution, which guarantees people's equality under the law?
 最大2・43倍だった1票の格差が、法の下での平等を保障した憲法に違反するか。

If so, is the time period in which the Diet left the disparities unaddressed permissible? These were points of contention in the lawsuits.
違反であれば、国会が格差を放置した期間は許容できる範囲内か。いずれの訴訟もこの2点が主な争点だ。

The rulings that found the election results to be unconstitutional judged that vote-value disparities violate the Constitution and that a reasonable time period to correct the disparities had elapsed.
 「違憲」判決は、格差が憲法違反である上、格差是正の合理的期間も過ぎたと判断した。

The rulings that found the election results to be in an unconstitutional state consider the vote-value disparities to violate the Constitution but view the time period in which the disparities were left unaddressed as permissible.
「違憲状態」判決は、憲法違反だが、格差の放置は許される期間内だとの見解である。

In March 2011, the Supreme Court ruled that the 2009 lower house election, in which the maximum vote-value disparity was 2.30-to-1, was in an unconstitutional state. The disparity widened further in the lower house election last year.
 最大格差が2・30倍だった2009年の衆院選について、最高裁は11年3月、「違憲状態」とする判決を出した。昨年末の衆院選時には、それよりも格差が拡大していた。

Therefore, it was only to be expected that a series of tough judgments would be handed down by the high courts.
 高裁の一連の厳しい判断は、予想できたと言えよう。

But how large can a vote-value disparity grow and still be considered constitutional? The rulings handed down so far are not necessarily clear on this point.
 ただ、1票の格差は、何倍までならば合憲なのか、各高裁の判決からは必ずしも判然としない。

Another problem is that the Hiroshima High Court and the high court's Okayama branch declared results in certain single-seat constituencies in the December lower house election were invalid.
 さらに、問題なのは、広島高裁と広島高裁岡山支部が、選挙の無効まで宣告したことである。

Other courts have applied the legal principle of "circumstantial ruling" and found election results themselves to be valid in consideration of the confusion that might be created if they were ruled invalid.
 裁判所はこれまで「事情判決」の法理を適用し、選挙そのものは有効としてきた。無効とした場合の混乱を考慮してのことだ。

But the Hiroshima High Court did not apply this circumstantial ruling principle, saying, "The Supreme Court's right to determine the constitutionality of laws has been disregarded."
 これに対し、広島高裁は「最高裁の違憲審査権が軽視されている」として、事情判決を適用しなかった。

The high court also expressed a view that September of last year, 1-1/2 years after the top court's ruling, should have been the deadline for rectifying vote-value disparities.
「最高裁判決から1年半が経過した昨年9月」を、格差是正の期限とする見解も示した。

However, no concrete basis for this standard was given.
 だが、この線引きの具体的根拠は示されていない。

===

Undue judicial interference
 ◆「将来効」判決は疑問◆

The Hiroshima High Court also ruled that the election results in the Hiroshima constituencies will be rendered invalid after Nov. 26 this year.
 無効の効力は、今年11月26日を経過して発生するとも判示した。

The decision took into account the fact that the Council on House of Representatives Electoral Districts has been working on revamping these districts since Nov. 26 last year.
衆院の「選挙区画定審議会」が、昨年11月26日から改定作業を始めたことを重視したのだという。

It is not clear if a one-year grace period is necessary before the ruling takes effect.
 一定期間を経た後に効力が生じるという「将来効」の考え方だが、1年という区切りの必然性は明確でない。

Staying the effect of the ruling can be taken as an intrusion by the judiciary into territory where discretionary power is granted to the legislature.
立法府の裁量権に司法が踏み込んだとも言える。

The Okayama branch of the Hiroshima High Court immediately invalidated the result for an Okayama Prefecture constituency as the principle of equality in the value of each vote, it said, took precedence over concerns for political confusion. We find such a ruling unacceptably reckless.
 岡山支部は、選挙を「即時無効」と判断した。「政治的混乱より投票価値の平等」を重視したというが、あまりに乱暴過ぎる。

The existing Public Offices Election Law has no detailed stipulations about revoting, should an election be deemed invalid.
 現行の公職選挙法には、選挙無効が確定した場合の詳細なやり直し規定がない。

For example, no clear legal procedures for revoting are mentioned, including whether new elections should be held only in constituencies where lawmakers lost their seats, or if instead the lower house should be dissolved for a general election.
例えば、失職した議員の選挙区のみ再選挙をするのか、解散・総選挙になるのか、法的手続きは整理されていない。

Should the rulings nullifying the election results stick, Japan's politics would be thrown into utter confusion.
 無効判決が確定すれば、政治は混乱するばかりだ。

All rulings related to vote disparities are expected to be taken to the Supreme Court. It is hoped that the top court will make a realistic decision.
 すべての訴訟は上告される見通しだ。最高裁には現実的な判断を示してもらいたい。

===

Parties must cooperate on solution
 ◆与野党合意できぬなら◆

Meanwhile, the government and ruling parties should ensure that a draft bill be enacted swiftly to reduce five seats in less populated constituencies in an effort to narrow vote disparities among the least and most represented constituencies to within a 1-to-2 ratio. Then, they must take on the task of revamping the electoral districts.
 一方、政府・与党は、1票の格差を2倍未満に収める「0増5減」の区割りを決める公選法改正案を早期に成立させた上で抜本改革に取り組まねばならない。

Reducing five seats without increasing any seats in densely populated districts, as stipulated in the draft bill, is based on the current zoning method, which the top court deemed a major cause for producing vote disparities and urged to be abolished.
The current zoning method first allocates one seat each to Tokyo and 46 prefectures out of the 300 district seats and then distributes the rest of the seats to each prefecture based on population.
 ただ、0増5減は、最高裁が1票の格差を生む主因として廃止を求めた「1人別枠方式」による定数配分を基礎としている。

As the ruling by the Okayama branch indicated, the reduction of a mere five seats does not amount to an appropriate legislative step to rectify the gap in the value of each vote.
 岡山支部判決が指摘するように「投票価値の格差是正への立法措置とは言い難い」だろう。

There is, however, no prospect in sight for a sweeping electoral rezoning, hampered by conflicting interests of parties in both the ruling and opposition camps.
 抜本改革となると、与野党それぞれの思惑が絡んで、進展の見通しは全く立っていない。

The Liberal Democratic Party's reform plan calls for reducing seats under the proportional representation section from 180 to 150. Sixty of the seats would be preferentially allotted to the political parties ranked second or lower.
Such a preferential seat allotment, many say, would violate the Constitution's guarantee of equality in the value of each vote.
 自民党がまとめた案は、比例選の定数を30減の150議席とし、そのうち60は得票数が2位以下の政党に配分する優遇枠とした。優遇枠については、「1票の価値の平等」という観点から憲法違反の恐れが指摘されている。

The electoral zoning deemed unconstitutional by the judiciary should not be replaced, as part of electoral reforms, by a different system feared to also be unconstitutional.
 司法が「違憲」と判断した制度を見直すのに、またもや違憲の恐れがある制度をもって代えてよいはずがあるまい。

Upper house electoral zoning, like that of the lower house, has been ruled to be in an unconstitutional state.
Last November, the Diet revised the Public Offices Election Law to add four seats in populated prefectures and eliminate four seats from less populated prefectures.
The law revision, however, was only a stop-gap measure.
 衆院選と同様に参院選も「違憲状態」と判断されている。国会は参院選の1票の格差を是正するために昨年11月、公選法を改正し、選挙区定数を「4増4減」したが、応急的な措置に過ぎない。

The electoral system not only expresses the will of the public but also serves as the foundation of a smooth political process. The Diet must carry out drastic electoral reforms after studying on how parliamentary duties should be divided between the upper and lower chambers.
 選挙制度は、ただ民意を反映するだけのものではなく、政治が物事を円滑に決めるための基盤でもある。国会は衆院、参院の役割分担を検討したうえで、抜本的な制度改革を進めるべきだ。

If conflicting interests of political parties stand in the way of electoral reform, the only way left is to set up an expert council to get electoral reform under way.
 各党の党利党略によって、選挙制度改革が困難というのなら、有識者による選挙制度審議会を設けてでも改革を図るしかない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 27, 2013)
(2013年3月27日01時12分  読売新聞)

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国連人権調査委 北朝鮮に拉致解決迫るテコだ

2013-03-28 06:19:30 | 英字新聞

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Mar. 27, 2013)
Pile intl pressure on North Korea over human rights violations
国連人権調査委 北朝鮮に拉致解決迫るテコだ(3月26日付・読売社説)

The U.N. Human Rights Council recently unanimously adopted a resolution on establishing a panel to investigate human rights abuse in North Korea.
 国連人権理事会で、北朝鮮の人権侵害に関する調査委員会の設立をうたう決議が、全会一致で採択された。

It is important for the international community to seize this momentum and step up pressure on the reclusive country to improve its human rights conditions, which would pave the way for the swift resolution of North Korea's abduction of Japanese.
 これをテコに、北朝鮮の人権状況の改善を求める国際社会の連携を強化し、日本人拉致問題の早期解決につなげることが重要である。

The resolution was jointly submitted by Japan and the European Union, and denounced North Korea's "systematic, widespread and grave violation of human rights." It stipulated the establishment of an inquiry panel of three experts to investigate human rights abuse including the use of torture and labor camps, as well as "enforced disappearances, including in the form of abductions of nationals of other states."
 決議案は日本と欧州連合(EU)が共同提出した。北朝鮮の「組織的で広範かつ重大な人権侵害」を非難し、強制収容所や拷問、「外国国籍者の拉致を含む強制失踪」などを調べるため、3人の専門家による調査委設立を明記した。

The United Nations has appointed a special rapporteur tasked with investigating North Korea's human rights conditions every year, but establishing the panel will enable a more exhaustive investigation.
 国連は毎年、北朝鮮の人権状況を調査する特別報告者を任命してきたが、調査委発足によって、より充実した調査が可能となる。

The Japanese government should unreservedly support the panel. It must unveil the full picture of the abductions--a crime committed by a state--and bring all the Japanese victims home.
 日本政府は、総力を挙げて協力し、拉致という北朝鮮の国家犯罪の全容解明と、被害者全員の帰国実現を図っていくべきだ。

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High expectations for panel

The United Nations has adopted resolutions condemning North Korea's human rights situation annually in recent years. Votes cast against the resolutions in support of North Korea have decreased over the years, while votes in favor have increased. Since last year, these resolutions have been adopted unanimously.
 北朝鮮の人権状況を非難する国連決議案の採決では、北朝鮮擁護派の反対票が年々減少する一方、賛成票は増え続け、昨年から全会一致での採択が通例となった。

The U.N. Security Council adopted a unanimous resolution on tougher sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear and missile development programs. Pyongyang has continuously thumbed its nose at international condemnation of the programs. Even China has become more willing to implement sanctions on North Korea.
 核・ミサイル問題でも、国際社会の非難を無視する北朝鮮に、国連安全保障理事会は全会一致で制裁を強化した。中国も、制裁実施に積極的な姿勢を見せている。

The North Korean regime of Kim Jong Un must take this mounting international pressure to heart.
 北朝鮮の金正恩政権は、こうした国際的な圧力の高まりを重く受け止めなければならない。

North Korea likely will keep refusing to cooperate with U.N. investigations, and will not open its doors to inquiry panel members.
 北朝鮮は、これまでと同様、国連への協力を拒み、調査委関係者の入国を一切認めないだろう。

However, the panel can collect detailed evidence from victims, defectors, their relatives, governments and agencies outside North Korea. The panel is expected to compile a report on the state of Pyongyang's human rights violations and specific countermeasures. The report will be issued as an official U.N. document a year from now.
 それでも調査委は、北朝鮮以外の国で、被害者や脱北者、家族、政府、諸機関から詳細な証言を集めることができる。それを基に組織的な人権侵害の実態や具体的な対策をまとめ、1年後に国連報告書として公表する予定だ。

The panel report could firmly pursue the North Korean leadership's responsibility for crimes against humanity. The international community must keep squeezing North Korea until it improves its human rights record.
 北朝鮮指導部に「人道に対する罪」の責任を厳しく問うこともできよう。人権状況の改善を迫るために、国際社会は北朝鮮に圧力をかけ続ける必要がある。

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Little time left for families

The Human Rights Council resolution reflects the Japanese government's strenuous efforts on the abduction issue. We praise the government for its work.
 今回の決議は、日本政府の拉致問題に関する積極的な取り組みの一つの成果と、評価できる。

In his policy speech earlier this year, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his mission will not end until all abducted Japanese stand again on their native soil. Family members of the abductees have grown old, so there is no time to waste. We ask the prime minister to produce tangible results.
 安倍首相は施政方針演説で、拉致被害者の帰国まで「私の使命は終わらない」と述べた。被害者家族の高齢化を考えれば時間は貴重だ。ぜひ結果を出してほしい。

The government should develop a strategic and aggressive diplomatic policy toward North Korea, including the option of resuming intergovernmental talks.
 北朝鮮との政府間協議の再開も含めて、戦略的で積極的な外交の展開が求められる。

Without a comprehensive solution to the abduction, nuclear and missile problems, it will be impossible to normalize relations with North Korea. It is essential for the government to maintain this stance when dealing with Pyongyang.
 拉致、核、ミサイル問題の包括的な解決なくして、日朝国交正常化はあり得ない。政府はこの立場を堅持することが肝要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 26, 2013)
(2013年3月26日01時35分  読売新聞)

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公示地価 不動産デフレ脱却へもう一息

2013-03-27 06:35:13 | 英字新聞

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Mar. 26, 2013)
Revitalization of business crucial to escaping real estate deflation
公示地価 不動産デフレ脱却へもう一息(3月25日付・読売社説)

Land prices have been showing stronger signs of bottoming out. To make it possible to restore real estate prices to normal levels and lead the nation out of deflation, the government must accelerate economic revitalization.
 地価の底入れの兆しが一段と強まってきた。不動産価格を正常化させ、デフレから脱却できるよう、政府は経済活性化を急がねばならない。

Posted land prices as of Jan. 1 this year, which were announced last week by the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry, dropped 1.6 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively, in residential and commercial areas from a year before. This marked year-on-year negative growth for the fifth straight year since the Lehman shock in the autumn of 2008.
 国土交通省が発表した2013年1月1日時点の公示地価は、全国の住宅地で前年比1・6%、商業地で2・1%下落した。08年秋のリーマン・ショック以降、ともに5年連続のマイナスだった。

However, the bright side is that the margin of decline shrank for three consecutive years. Above all, it may be said that the bottom is in sight in three major metropolitan areas where the margin of decline remained below 1 percent.
 下落幅が3年連続で縮小したのは明るい材料だ。中でも3大都市圏の下落幅は0%台で、下げ止まりが視野に入ったと言える。

The year-on-year fall in the average land price contracted in almost all prefectures. This indicates that the situation is improving in both urban and regional areas.
 都道府県別の平均値も、ほぼすべてで下落幅が縮まった。都市圏から地方圏へ、改善傾向が広がっていることをうかがわせる。

Funds have been flowing into the real estate market on hopes for the economic revitalization policies put forth by Shinzo Abe before he became prime minister. If this trend continues, it will spur a rebound in land prices.
 安倍首相が就任前から掲げた経済再生に対する期待が先行し、不動産市場に資金が流入している。こうした動きが続けば、地価の回復に弾みがつくだろう。

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Signs of recovery

Improvement is conspicuous in residential zones as a result of such policies as low interest rates and tax deductions for people who take out housing loans.
 住宅地で改善が目立つのは、低金利や住宅ローン減税などの政策効果が下支えしたのが要因だ。

In Tokyo, some areas showed positive growth compared to no change the year before, thanks to brisk sales of condominiums.
 東京では前年ゼロだった上昇地点が現れた。マンション販売が堅調なことが背景にある。

It is noteworthy that land prices are coming out of a slump in commercial areas, particularly in metropolitan areas, which tended to lag residential areas in the pace of their recovery.
 住宅地に比べて遅れ気味だった商業地が、都市部を手始めに持ち直してきたのも注目できる。

The number of spots with higher land prices increased in redevelopment areas centering on large-scale commercial facilities such as Tokyo Skytree and areas where there is strong demand for moving to newly built houses and condominiums with advanced earthquake resistance.
 東京スカイツリーなど大規模な商業施設を中核とした再開発地域や、耐震性に優れた新築物件への移転需要が根強い地域などで上昇地点が増えている。

Vacancy rates are falling, and the drop in rents is coming to an end.
 空室率の低下、賃料の下げ止まりといった傾向が見え始めた。

Investments, mainly from after parts of Asia, seem to be expanding. This is possible because real estate in Japan is considered relatively inexpensive, as the yen has weakened due to monetary easing policies.
 アジアを中心とする海外からの投資マネーも増大しているようだ。金融緩和に伴う円安の進行などで日本の不動産に割安感が出ているのだろう。

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A matter of concern

Improvement is slow in regional commercial areas facing structural problems such as shrinking populations and battered economies.
 一方、人口減や地域経済の疲弊など構造的な要因を抱える地方の商業地は改善テンポが鈍い。

In the areas devastated by the tsunami triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake, the polarization has weakened between land prices in tsunami-affected coastal areas and in higher areas that escaped being inundated.
 東日本大震災の被災地では、津波被害に見舞われた沿岸部と浸水を免れた高台で地価が二極化する現象は薄まっている。

But it is worrying that a growing number of areas are showing a sharp rise in land prices as the demand to move expands due to the progress of reconstruction projects.
 しかし、復興事業が進展し、住宅移転への需要が拡大するのに伴い、地価の急上昇する地点が増えている点は気がかりだ。

The residential area in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, marked the biggest rate of increase in land prices for two years in a row. Land prices turned upward across the board in municipalities in Miyagi and Iwate prefectures along the Pacific coast.
Miyagi topped the national list of prefectures in terms of the growth rate in land prices.
 地価上昇率トップの住宅地は2年連続で宮城県石巻市だった。宮城、岩手両県の沿岸市町村は軒並み上昇に転じ、県別でも宮城県が全国一の上昇率を記録した。

The central and local governments concerned should beef up their surveillance to prevent sharp jumps in land prices that will have an adverse effect on housing reconstruction.
 急激な地価上昇が住宅再建に悪影響を及ぼさないように政府と自治体は監視を強めるべきだ。

Authorities must be cautious regarding the effect on land prices of increased demand ahead of a hike in the consumption tax planned for April.
来年4月の消費税増税をにらんだ駆け込み需要が地価に与える影響にも注意する必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 25, 2013)
(2013年3月25日01時12分  読売新聞)

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