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英国がEU離脱へ 内向き志向の連鎖を防げ

2016/06/26 09:35
--The Asahi Shimbun, June 25
EDITORIAL: ‘Brexit’ vote must not trigger wave of global nationalism
(社説)英国がEU離脱へ 内向き志向の連鎖を防げ

The British people’s decision to pull their country out of the European Union has sent shock waves across the world.
 英国の民意が世界に衝撃を走らせた。

The stunning decision could turn out to be the biggest tectonic shift in the world order since the end of the Cold War.
冷戦が終わって以降の世界秩序の中で、最大の地殻変動となりかねない出来事だ。

A majority of votes cast in the June 23 referendum on whether to leave the EU or remain in the bloc were for “Brexit.” Britons have decided that their country should not be part of an integrated Europe.
 欧州連合(EU)からの離脱か残留かを問うた国民投票で、離脱が過半数を占めた。英国は統合欧州の一員であるべきではない、との結論である。

Since the end of World War II, Europe has moved steadily toward integration. Britain’s withdrawal from the EU will be a historic development that runs counter to this movement, launched with a pledge of no more war in Europe.
 先の大戦後、不戦の誓いを起点に脈々と前進してきた欧州統合の歩みが、初めて逆行する。

Britain is the second largest economy in Europe and has unique global influence, a legacy of the British Empire. Its secession from the EU will have immeasurable effects on the entire world.
域内第2の経済力と、かつての覇権国家として特異な影響力をもつ英国の離脱は、計り知れない波紋を広げるだろう。

The outcome of the referendum is also a sign of the British people's will to resist globalization, which has accelerated since the end of the Cold War. They have run out of patience with the trend of many countries sharing rules on important issues such as immigration and trade.
 この英国民の選択は、冷戦後加速したグローバル化に対する抵抗の意思表示でもある。移民や貿易など様々なルールを多くの国々で共有する流れに、国民の辛抱が続かなかった。

This anti-globalization sentiment is, however, not unique to Britain. In the United States and in other parts of Europe, groups trying to take advantage of growing public resentment toward globalization to promote their political agenda for closing the doors of their nations are gaining ground.
 それは英国特有の現象ではない。米国や欧州各国でも、グローバル化に矛先が向く国民の不満に乗じて国を閉ざそうという主張が勢いを増している。

At a time when countries should make united efforts to counter burgeoning narrow-minded nationalism, Britain has opted to take the path of expanding the scope of its unilateral actions. In mapping out its future course, Britain will have to navigate through uncharted waters.
 ナショナリズムの台頭に、主要国がいっそう結束を強めて立ち向かうべきときに、英国自身が単独行動を広げる道を選ぶというのだ。これからの英国の針路は海図なき航海となろう。

No matter how the country’s negotiations with the EU over its withdrawal pan out, the two sides should not lose sight of the importance of maintaining close cooperation.
 今後の離脱交渉の行方がどうなるにせよ、英国とEUは連携の関係を見失ってはならない。

Britain and the EU can secure mutual benefits and contribute to stability in the world only when they work closely together to tackle challenges.
両者は協調し合ってこそ、互いに利益を高め、ひいては世界の安定に資することができる。

We strongly hope that the two sides will figure out a way to build a new constructive relationship without undermining the movement toward European integration.
 欧州統合の流れに水を差すことなく、英国とEU双方が新たな建設的関係を築く落着点を何とか探ってほしい。

CHALLENGE IS HOW TO HEAL THE DIVISION
 ■分断の修復が課題

The outcome of this referendum should not be allowed to serve as a starting point for a new, dark chapter of world history in which citizens around the world become estranged from one another.
 この投票結果を、世界の市民が離反し合う不幸な歴史の起点にしてはならない。

The first thing is to heal the rift in British society. The bitterly fought referendum left the nation sharply divided.
そのために、まず修復すべきは足元の英国社会だ。激戦となった国民投票は、英国民を分断した。

Campaign debates were often dominated by remarks designed to emphasize the threats of an economic crisis or immigrants.
 論戦では、経済危機や移民の脅威をあおる言動が相次いだ。

Amid heightened tensions due to a heated confrontation between the two camps, a member of parliament in the Remain camp was shot to death.
対立感情が高ぶった空気の中で、残留派の国会議員が射殺されるという痛ましい事件も起きた。

British society is now gripped by a dangerously charged atmosphere.
英国社会には、いまも不穏な空気が漂っている。

Prime Minister David Cameron, who passionately called for votes to remain in the EU, has announced he will step down by autumn.
 残留を唱えたキャメロン首相は秋までに辞任する意向を示した。

It is, to be sure, natural for the country to have a new leader to draw up a road map for the future.
確かに、今後の国の針路を描くうえで新しい指導者を選出するのは自然なことだろう。

But his own Conservative Party has been divided between the Leave and the Remain camps. Scotland, which has a strong sense of belonging to the EU, could make a fresh attempt to become independent.
 ただ、首相が属する保守党内も両派で割れている。EUへの帰属意識の高いスコットランドは改めて独立へ動きかねない。

Britain seems to be in for a prolonged period of political turmoil.
政治の混乱は尾を引きそうだ。

Both Cameron and his successor will have to act swiftly to heal the rift within the country and create a conductive environment for cool-headed discussions on the country’s relations with the EU and its position in the world.
 キャメロン首相も後継者も、国内でくすぶる対立を鎮め、EUとの関係や、世界での英国の立ち位置を冷静に考える環境づくりを急がねばなるまい。

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION KEY
 ■国際協調の道こそ

Britain, which had a mighty empire in the 19th century, entered a period of serious stagnation in the late 20th century. It was able to shed stagnation and attain new prosperity because it opened its door to the world and rode the wave of globalization to enhance its competitiveness, especially in the financial services industry.
 19世紀の世界を制した英国は20世紀後半、深刻な停滞の時期を迎えた。その苦悩から脱し、繁栄を築けたのは、積極的に国を開いてグローバル経済の波に乗り、金融を筆頭に様々な得意分野を広げたからだ。

But British citizens who have not benefited from their country’s economic growth have become increasingly disgruntled with the system and worried about their future. As a result, British society as a whole has developed an inward-looking attitude.
 ただ、その恩恵が届かない市民の不満や不安は高まり、全体的に内向き志向が強まった。

Besides people drawn to the reactionary argument that Britain should regain “sovereignty,” many other Britons voted for leaving the EU because of their economic discontent.
復古的な主権回復派だけでなく、経済の不満から離脱を選んだ国民が多かったとみられる。

Despite the fact that their country has achieved economic growth due to the lowered barriers of national borders, British people have made clear their wish to see high border walls built up again.
 国境の垣根が低くなったことで経済が発展しながら、国民感情は国境の壁の再建を望む。

This twisted public psychology has also been behind the Trump Phenomenon in the United States and the recent rise of rightist political forces in many other European countries.
そんな倒錯した状況から生まれるものとしては、米国のトランプ現象や、欧州各国での右翼の躍進もほぼ同じ脈絡にある。

Britain’s decision could trigger a wave of movements toward secession from the EU in other member countries.
 英国に続けとばかりに、他のEU加盟国でも離脱の機運が高まりかねない。

If in such a political climate Trump is elected U.S. president and Marine Le Pen, the leader of the rightist National Front of France, is elected French president next year, the world will be filled with policies of intolerance.
もし米国の大統領選でもトランプ氏が当選したら、さらに来年のフランス大統領選で右翼ルペン氏が勝つような事態になれば、世界は不寛容な政策に満ちてしまう。

The situation where the world is dominated by this inward-looking trend must be prevented.
 内向き志向の潮流が、世界を覆う事態を防がねばならない。

The spread of narrow-minded and self-centered unilateralism among countries will make it impossible for the world to grapple with challenges such as global warming, the proliferation of terrorism and loopholes in taxation.
偏狭な一国中心の考え方が広がれば、地球温暖化やテロ対策、租税問題など、地球規模の問題に対処する能力を世界は鍛えることができなくなってしまう。

It is difficult for any industrial nation to maintain its political health.
 どの先進国も、政治のかじ取りが難しい時代である。

Low economic growth, declining welfare standards due to fiscal strains and widening income gaps are formidable problems common to industrial nations. Politicians everywhere are struggling to find effective solutions to these problems.
低成長と財政難による福祉水準の低下や格差の拡大という問題が共通し、どの国の政治家も解決策どころか有権者への効果的な説明すら見いだしあぐねている。

That’s why expanding international cooperation is the only option for countries in tackling these tough challenges.
 だからこそ、国際協調しか道はない。

All nations should reflect afresh on the fact that the only way to deal with problems transcending national borders is through cooperative actions based on collective experiences and wisdom.
国境を超える問題への対処の道は、各国の経験と知恵を結集した行動しかないことを改めて考えるべきだろう。

We hope Europe will not lose its solid status as a strong, consistent voice for freedom and democratic values.
 自由と民主主義の価値を唱える欧州の強い存在感をこれからも失わないでほしい。

RESPOND TO MARKET TURBULENCE
 ■市場の動揺に対処を

The impact of Britain’s decision to leave the EU has roiled stock and currency markets. Leading nations should first focus on responding to confusion in financial markets.
 今回の英国の決定による影響は、株式・為替市場の動揺となって広がっている。まずは眼前の混乱への取り組みが必要だ。

In addition to Britain and the EU, the Group of Seven major industrial nations, which also includes Japan and the United States, should play the leading role in securing emergency policy coordination to calm the unnerved markets.
 英国とEUだけでなく、日米なども加わる主要7カ国(G7)が中心となって、市場の不安をおさえるよう緊急の協調体制を築きたい。

The central banks of the major countries, including the Bank of Japan, are apparently prepared to cooperate in providing cash-strapped financial institutions with dollars.
 日本銀行など各国の中央銀行は金融機関へのドル資金の供給で協力しあう構えだ。

If an unpredictable situation or the necessity of emergency responses arises, they should take flexible and powerful actions in solid cooperation to prevent a full-blown financial crisis.
不測の事態や必要が生じたときには、柔軟かつ強力に危機防止で連携してほしい。
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慰霊の日 沖縄戦の記憶、共有を

2016/06/25 11:59
--The Asahi Shimbun, June 24
EDITORIAL: The meaning behind June 23 should be shared beyond Okinawa
(社説)慰霊の日 沖縄戦の記憶、共有を

Okinawa recalled its horrifying experiences in the 1945 Battle of Okinawa and consoled the spirits of the victims on June 23, the 71st anniversary of the end of the bloody warfare. June 23 is a prefecture-designated holiday marking the end of organized fighting by Japanese troops deployed to the southern island prefecture.
 沖縄はきのう、沖縄戦の犠牲者らを悼む慰霊の日を迎えた。

More than seven decades since the end of the devastating battle in the final days of the Pacific War, many scars are left unhealed in Okinawa.
 太平洋戦争末期の沖縄戦から71年。これほど長い時が過ぎてなお、沖縄では戦禍の傷口を見せつけられる。

U.S. military bases, for instance, occupy 10 percent of the prefecture’s land. Unexploded shells are still discovered frequently in various parts of the prefecture. The remains of the war dead are found in road construction sites.
 例えば、県土の10%を覆う米軍基地。県内各地で頻繁に見つかる不発弾の処理。そして、道路工事現場などから見つかる戦没者の遺骨だ。

More than 100 sets of remains are uncovered every year. In the last fiscal year, which ended in March, the remains of 103 bodies were discovered. The numbers for the preceding two years were 194 and 263, respectively.
 収骨された遺骨は昨年度が103柱、一昨年度は194柱、その前年度が263柱と、その数は毎年100柱を超す。

More than 200,000 people died in the Battle of Okinawa. By March this year, 185,224 sets of remains of Japanese war dead had been laid to rest at the national cemetery for people who died in the Battle of Okinawa in the Mabuni district of Itoman, the site of the last major fighting in the warfare, according to the prefectural government.
 沖縄戦では、20万人余が死亡した。県によると、そのうち日本人の遺骨は今年3月までに18万5224柱が収骨され、糸満市摩文仁(まぶに)の国立沖縄戦没者墓苑で眠っている。

The remains of nearly 3,000 Japanese victims have yet to be found.
それでもまだ3千柱近くが見つかっていないという。

In the Battle of Okinawa, 66,000 Japanese soldiers and civilians in the military services from other parts of Japan died along with 28,000 from Okinawa Prefecture. In addition, an estimated 94,000 non-military residents of the prefecture, or a quarter of the prefectural population, were killed.
 当時の軍人・軍属の死者は、県外出身者が6万6千人、沖縄県出身者は2万8千人。一般県民の死者は9万4千人と推定される。実に県民の4分の1が犠牲になった。

Although many remains are still waiting to be discovered, the task of gathering them has been left to private-sector volunteers. As a result, the work has been proceeding at a glacial pace.
 おびただしい遺骨があることはわかっているのに、収骨作業は民間ボランティア頼みで、なかなか進まなかった。

A law mandating the government to collect all remains of the war dead finally came into force in April.
In response, the government has decided to make intensive efforts to collect the remains over the next nine years. The government should take this opportunity to make up for lost time.
 ようやく今年4月、国に収骨を義務づける戦没者遺骨収集推進法が施行され、9年後までに集中的に収集することになった。これまでの遅れを取り戻してもらいたい。

The June 23 official memorial ceremony, sponsored by the prefectural government, was held at the Peace Memorial Park in Mabuni. But a spirit-consoling service was also held in front of the gate of Camp Schwab, a U.S. military base in the Henoko district of Nago.
 慰霊の日、摩文仁で開かれた県主催の全戦没者追悼式とは別に、名護市辺野古にある米軍キャンプ・シュワブのゲート前でも、慰霊祭が開かれた。

Immediately after the Battle of Okinawa ended, the U.S. military established an internment camp for Japanese civilians. Many residents of the prefecture, ranging from an estimated 20,000 to 40,000, spent several months in the camp. A number of civilian prisoners of war died in the camp from malaria, malnutrition and other reasons.
 沖縄戦直後、米軍がここに民間人の収容所を設置し、2万人とも4万人とも言われる住民が数カ月間、暮らした。その間、マラリアや栄養失調で亡くなる人が相次いだという。

The construction of Camp Schwab started around 1956. But a citizens group opposed to the proposed relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma from Ginowan in central Okinawa Prefecture to Henoko started holding the spirit-consoling service last year, believing there are still unfound remains within the camp.
 キャンプ・シュワブの建設は1956年ごろから始まったが、「遺骨はまだ残っているはずだ」と、米軍普天間飛行場の辺野古移設に反対する市民団体が昨年から慰霊祭を始めた。

With the law promoting the collection of war dead remains taking effect, the government has pledged to carry out such work in U.S. bases as well.
 遺骨収集推進法の施行を受けて、政府は米軍基地内の遺骨収集にも取り組むという。

The U.S. military should cooperate with efforts to ensure an early completion of the project.
米軍もぜひ協力し、一刻も早く収骨を実現してほしい。

People in Okinawa are still suffering from the excessive burden of hosting so many U.S. military bases within their prefecture. The central government has stuck stubbornly to the Futenma relocation plan despite strong opposition among people in Okinawa.
The prefecture was recently shocked by the arrest of a former U.S. Marine working as a civilian at the Kadena Air Base in the prefecture on suspicion of raping and murdering a 20-year-old woman. Her body was found in a wooded area after she went missing in late April.
 普天間飛行場の県内移設に向けた政府の強硬姿勢、米軍属による女性殺害・強姦(ごうかん)容疑事件の発生など、沖縄県民はいまも過重な基地負担にあえいでいる。

The suffering of Okinawan people due to the heavy U.S. military presence in the prefecture is inseparable from their memories of the Battle of Okinawa.
その苦悩は、沖縄戦の記憶と切り離すことはできない。

The central government and Japanese living in the mainland need to understand the full meaning of June 23 and reflect afresh on the history of suffering experienced by people in Okinawa.
 政府や本土の国民は「慰霊の日」の意味を共有し、沖縄が経験した苦難の歴史に、改めて思いを巡らす契機としたい。
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北ミサイル発射 安保環境の深刻化を直視せよ

2016/06/24 11:10
The Yomiuri Shimbun
After DPRK launches, Japan must squarely face severe security situation
北ミサイル発射 安保環境の深刻化を直視せよ

The threat to the security of Japan and the United States has become more severe. We should step up our vigilance.
 日米の安全保障上の脅威が深刻化した。警戒を強めるべきだ。

North Korea has launched two missiles thought to be Musudan midrange ballistic missiles. The first missile exploded in midair, but the second flew about 400 kilometers before it plunged into the Sea of Japan. The second missile reportedly reached an altitude of more than 1,000 kilometers.
 北朝鮮が、中距離弾道ミサイル「ムスダン」とみられるミサイル2発を発射した。1発目は空中爆発したが、2発目は約400キロ飛行し、日本海に落下した。高度も1000キロを超したという。

Defense Minister Gen Nakatani said the launches “showed a certain degree of capability as midrange ballistic missiles.”
 中谷防衛相は、「中距離弾道ミサイルとしての一定の機能が示された」との見方を示した。

North Korea launched four missiles in April and May that all failed. It must be acknowledged that North Korea, by repeatedly conducting test launches, is steadily improving its technological competence and boosting the accuracy and capability of its missiles.
 4〜5月に発射した4発は失敗に終わっていた。発射実験を重ねることで、技術力が着実に向上し、ミサイルの精度や性能が高まっていると受け止める必要がある。

Musudan missiles use mobile launchers and are estimated to have a range of up to 4,000 kilometers. Its targets are assumed to be U.S. military bases in Guam and Japan.
 ムスダンは移動式発射台を使用し、推定射程は最大4000キロとされる。グアムや日本の米軍基地を標的に想定しているという。

U.N. Security Council sanction resolutions prohibit North Korea from launching ballistic missiles. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe criticized the launches as “clear violations” of the resolutions. “We can never condone it,” he said. This was a natural response.
 国連安全保障理事会の制裁決議は北朝鮮の弾道ミサイル発射を禁止している。安倍首相は「明白な国連決議違反だ。絶対に許せない」と非難した。当然の対応だ。

Representatives and experts from the six nations involved in talks on the North Korean nuclear issue are holding an international conference in Beijing. Officials from North Korean authorities are also taking part. Firing missiles at this particular time appears to be a demonstration of Pyongyang’s continuing nuclear and missile development, and a show of defiance directly aimed at the international community.
 北京では、北朝鮮の核問題を巡る6か国協議の代表や有識者による国際会議が開催中で、北朝鮮当局者も出席している。この時期の発射は、核・ミサイル開発続行の示威活動ともみられ、国際社会に正面から反旗を翻すものだ。

DP, JCP ignore reality

China is also escalating its maritime advances. On June 9, a Chinese military vessel entered the contiguous zone around the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture for the first time. Another military ship also intruded into Japan’s territorial waters off Kagoshima Prefecture and the contiguous zone around Kita-Daitojima island.
 中国も海洋進出をエスカレートさせている。中国軍艦は9日、尖閣諸島の接続水域に初めて進入した。鹿児島県沖の領海や、北大東島の接続水域にも入った。

Security-related bills that were passed in September 2015 permit a limited exercise of the right of collective self-defense, and make it possible for the Self-Defense Forces to defend U.S. military ships. To prepare for unforeseen situations, it is vital that the laws are appropriately implemented and continuous efforts are made to boost deterrence.
 昨年9月に成立した安全保障関連法は、集団的自衛権の行使を限定容認し、自衛隊による米軍艦船の防護を可能にした。不測の事態に備えて、安保関連法を適切に運用し、抑止力を高める努力を継続することが肝要である。

We have questions about the assertion by the Democratic Party and the Japanese Communist Party, which will collaborate in the House of Councillors election, that they still call for the abolition of the security legislation package.
 疑問なのは、参院選で共闘する民進、共産両党がなお、安保関連法の廃止を主張することだ。

DP leader Katsuya Okada emphasized the Japan-U.S. alliance must not be turned into “an alliance of blood.” While Okada made this comment during a street speech, was it not demagogy itself?
 民進党の岡田代表は、日米同盟を「血の同盟」にしてはならないと強調した。街頭演説とはいえ、扇動そのものではないか。

In connection with the abolition of the laws, Okada also explained that he “isn’t saying the DP will abolish” the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, and that the alliance will not become “distorted.” His comments can be described only as opportunism.
 岡田氏は、関連法廃止について「日米安保条約を廃棄するとは言っていない。日米同盟がおかしくなることはない」とも説明する。ご都合主義と言うほかない。

Strengthening Japan-U.S. defense cooperation based on the laws will contribute to the stability of Asia, and has been highly evaluated by the international community. The alliance relationship must not be allowed to stray off course by abolishing the laws.
 安保関連法を基盤にした日米防衛協力の強化は、アジアの安定に寄与するもので、国際社会も高く評価している。廃止によって同盟関係を迷走させてはならない。

JCP leader Kazuo Shii even went so far as saying his party would gradually dissolve the SDF, which it considers “unconstitutional.” This is unrealistic in the extreme.
 共産党の志位委員長は、「違憲」の自衛隊を段階的に解消するとまで言う。非現実的に過ぎる。

Arguments that ignore Japan’s security environment will not be able to win the support of the people.
 安保環境を無視した議論は、国民の支持を得られまい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 23, 2016)
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参院選 きょう公示 戦略的投票でこたえよう

2016/06/23 12:09
--The Asahi Shimbun, June 22
EDITORIAL: 'Strategic voting' is a must for pivotal Upper House election
(社説)参院選 きょう公示 戦略的投票でこたえよう

Campaigning for the July 10 Upper House election kicked off on June 22.
 参院選がきょう公示される。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is making the economy the main issue. But there is no question that constitutional amendment will also be at stake, even though Abe says it is not necessary for it to become an election issue. His reasoning is that the Diet needs to debate this subject further.
 安倍首相が前面に掲げるのは経済だ。一方、その裏に憲法改正があるのは明白だ。

Abe is more than eager to revise the Constitution. But with the prime minister giving no indication whatsoever of which parts of the Constitution he intends to rewrite and how, voters have no way of forming a judgment.
 首相は、必ずしも改憲を争点にする必要はないという。国会での議論がいまだ収斂(しゅうれん)していないというのが、その理由だ。
 しかし、改憲に意欲的な首相自身がどこをどう変えたいのかをまったく明かさないのでは、有権者は判断しようがない。

Abe is conducting politics the "wrong side up" or "back to front." Do we voters allow such an approach to escalate, or do we put the brakes on it? This Upper House election definitely carries far more weight than a mere "midterm evaluation" of the Abe administration.
 こんな逆立ちした政治の進め方に弾みをつけるのか、ブレーキをかけるのか。この参院選には「政権の中間評価」ではすまない重みがある。

NOT REFLECTING POPULAR WILL
 ■民意とのねじれ

This will be the second Upper House election since Abe began his second stint as prime minister in December 2012. In retrospect, Abe became the "sole winner" by bringing both chambers of the Diet under the control of the ruling coalition with the previous Upper House election in 2013, which was seven months after the change in government from the then Democratic Party of Japan.
 安倍氏が2012年12月に首相に返り咲いてから、参院選は2度目になる。振り返れば「安倍1強政治」の出発点となったのは、政権交代から7カ月後に衆参の「ねじれ」を解消した13年の前回参院選だった。

Voters who voted for the Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner, New Komeito, now called Komeito, in that election were apparently disgusted by the inefficacy of the DPJ administration, and wanted the LDP-New Komeito coalition to stabilize politics and focus on improving the Japanese economy.
 この時に自民、公明両党に票を投じた有権者には、民主党政権の混乱にあきれ、安定した政治で景気回復に取り組んでほしいとの思いが見てとれた。

After that Upper House election three years ago, we wrote in our editorial that the government should not be "divorced from popular will."
 3年前のねじれ解消を受け、私たちは社説で「民意とのねじれを恐れよ」と書いた。

We wondered if the wages would go up for small and midsize company workers and those working outside the big cities. We wondered if the Abe administration would be able to secure revenues needed to stabilize the health-care and social security systems. And the thrust of our argument was that should Abe ignore these concerns and proceed instead with his policy of "departure from the postwar regime," he would be betraying the wishes of the people.
中小企業や地方で働く人々の賃金は上がるのか、財源を確保して医療や福祉を安定させられるのか。首相がこうした期待に応えぬまま「戦後レジームからの脱却」にかじを切れば、民意を裏切ることになるとの趣旨だ。

We believe we have been proven right, given the continuing surge of popular protest against the Abe administration since the enactment of national security legislation last year.
 昨年の安全保障関連法の制定からなお続く反対運動のうねりをみれば、この懸念は的外れではなかったと感じる。

In the upcoming election, Abe says the focal point is to seek the public's approval of his "new decision" of postponing the consumption tax hike. By stressing economic statistics such as increased tax revenues and employment, he is telling voters to decide whether they want "Abenomics" to advance or regress.
 消費増税先送りという「新しい判断」の信を問う。これが首相のいう争点だ。税収や就業者の増加といった経済指標を強調し、アベノミクスを前に進めるか後戻りさせるかと訴える。

The proper thing for Abe is to take responsibility for reneging on his promise to raise the consumption tax rate “for certain." But in not doing so, he appears to be taking advantage of the honest feelings of many people who are reluctant to "swallow the bitter medicine" of paying a higher consumption tax.
 首相は本来、増税を「確実に実施する」という約束を破った責任を取るべきだ。そうしない裏には、「苦い薬は飲みたくない」という多くの国民の率直な思いに乗じた計算が見える。

Abe has said that the victory depends on "the ruling coalition winning a majority of contested seats." Setting the goal may demonstrate his resolve, but whether he will step down if he fails to achieve that goal is anyone's guess.
 安倍氏は「与党で改選議席の過半数獲得」を勝敗ラインに掲げる。覚悟を示したかに見えるが、勝敗ラインを割れば退陣するのかは、はっきりしない。

LOW VOTER TURNOUT CONTINUES
 ■低い投票率の結果

The ruling coalition of Abe's LDP and Komeito has won three national elections in a row since 2012. And one common factor among the three polls was low voter turnout.
 安倍氏率いる自民党と公明党が3連勝した12年以降の衆参両院の選挙には、共通の特徴がある。投票率が低いのだ。

The rates were at the 59 percent level for the 2012 Lower House election and at the 52 percent level for both the 2013 Upper House election and the 2014 Lower House election. Voter turnout in 2014 was the lowest in the postwar history of Lower House elections.
 12年衆院選で59%台、13年参院選と14年衆院選はともに52%台で、14年は衆院選として戦後最低を記録した。

The difference is substantial from the nearly 70 percent voter turnout in the 2009 Lower House election that resulted in the historic change in government. In terms of the number of voters, 72.02 million people voted in the 2009 election, whereas only 54.74 million people did so in the 2014 election. To put this simply, about 17 million voters stopped going to the polls in the 2014 election.
 民主党へと政権交代した09年衆院選の69%台と比べれば、その差は大きい。投票者数でみれば、09年の7202万人に対し14年は5474万人。単純計算で、1700万あまりの人が投票所に行くのをやめた。

Between 2009 and 2014, the LDP experienced both its fall from power and return to power, but there actually was no significant difference in the number of votes the party won. In the proportional representation portion, the LDP won less than one out of five votes in each election, when abstentions are taken into account.
 自民党はこの間、野党転落と政権復帰の両方を経験したが、実は得票数に大きな変動はない。比例区では、いずれの選挙でも棄権を含めたすべての有権者の5人に1人に満たない支持で推移している。

In other words, the LDP under Abe has not really gained supporters. Under the current election system, which is prone to create wasted votes, the simple fact is that the drastic decrease in the number of DPJ supporters and the increased number of abstentions have given the LDP more seats than those in proportion to the votes it has actually won.
 つまり、安倍自民党は支持者をさほど増やしているわけではない。死票が出やすい選挙制度のもと、民主党支持の激減と棄権者の増加が、自民党に得票以上に多くの議席をもたらしているに過ぎない。

The Abe administration arbitrarily "reinterpreted" the Constitution to allow the nation to exercise its right to collective self-defense, instituted the controversial state secrets protection law, and threatened freedom of the press and the public's right to know by hinting at invoking the Broadcast Law.
 解釈改憲による集団的自衛権の行使容認。特定秘密保護法の制定や、放送法を振りかざした国民の知る権利や報道の自由への威圧。

Not only has the Abe administration marginalized the constraints of the Constitution, but it is now trying to start debate on revising the Constitution without seeking the public's input in the upcoming election.
But what can we voters do about the dangers of the administration?
憲法の縛りを緩めるばかりか、選挙で問わぬままに改正論議に手をつけようという政権の危うさを目の当たりにした有権者に何ができるか。

VOTING OUT 'BAD' CANDIDATES
 ■「悪さ加減」を選ぶ

"Strategic voting" is one way to use each vote effectively.
 答えの一つが、自らの一票を有効に使う「戦略的投票」だ。

This may be an unfamiliar term, but one example is to vote for candidates—even if they are not one’s best choices--who have a chance to defeat the party or candidate one definitely does not want.
 聞き慣れない言葉かもしれない。一例を挙げれば、最も評価しない候補者や政党を勝たせないため、自分にとって最善でなくとも勝つ可能性のある次善の候補に投票することだ。

Yukichi Fukuzawa (1835-1901), whom Abe often quotes in his speeches, once observed to the effect, "Government is not 'good' by nature. What needs to be borne in mind is to acknowledge the reality of how bad it is."
 首相もたびたび演説に引用する福沢諭吉は、こんな言葉を残している。
 「本来政府の性は善ならずして、注意す可(べ)きは只(ただ)その悪さ加減の如何(いかん)に在るの事実を、始めて発明することならん」(時事新報論集七)。

Political scientist Masao Maruyama (1914-1996) commented on Fukuzawa's observation after World War II: "A political choice is made on the basis of how bad something is."
政治学者の丸山真男は、戦後にこれを「政治的な選択とは〈中略〉悪さ加減の選択なのだ」(「政治的判断」)と紹介した。

The failure of the DPJ administration is still fresh in many people's minds. The low voter turnout rates that have continued since the party's fall from power apparently reflect the people's disillusionment with politics and sense of helplessness.
 民主党政権の失敗は、なお多くの有権者の記憶に生々しい。その後の低投票率には、政治への失望や無力感も反映されているのだろう。

But if nothing is done about this, not only will democracy deteriorate, but constitutionalism will also be in grave danger.
 だが、このままでは民主主義がやせ細るばかりか、立憲主義も危機に瀕(ひん)する。

Even if we don't have any candidate or party we want to support, we must make up our minds to go to the polls to stop what we see as "bad" from winning the election.
 意中の候補や政党がなくとも、「悪さ加減の選択」と割り切って投票所に足を運ぶ。

And we have until July 10 to think through how effectively we can use our two ballots--one for the single-seat electorate and the other for the proportional representation portion.
7月10日の投票日までに、選挙区と比例区2枚の投票用紙をいかに有効に使うかを見極める。

With 2.4 million 18- and 19-year-olds voting for the first time, the older generation cannot just sit out this upcoming election.
 18、19歳の240万人もの若者を有権者として新たに迎える選挙だ。上の世代が、ただ傍観しているわけにはいかない。
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中国艦侵入 法の適用も都合次第か

2016/06/22 11:48
--The Asahi Shimbun, June 17
EDITORIAL: China interprets international law to suit its convenience
(社説)中国艦侵入 法の適用も都合次第か

A Chinese naval intelligence ship entered Japanese territorial waters off Kagoshima Prefecture on June 15, just six days after Tokyo filed a strong protest over the entry of a Chinese naval frigate into Japan's contiguous zone near the disputed Senkaku Islands.
 沖縄県・尖閣諸島の接続水域に中国の軍艦が入ったのはつい先週のことだ。今度は中国海軍の情報収集艦が、鹿児島県沖の日本の領海を通過した。

Coincidence? We think not.
These incidents clearly signal China’s intention to achieve its aims while ignoring the security concerns of neighboring countries.
 これを偶発的な出来事とは、片づけられない。周辺国の懸念を無視する形で既成事実を積み重ねようとする態度が、中国側からうかがえる。

The Chinese government contends that passage of the warship through Japanese territorial waters was legal under freedom of navigation laws. China's Defense Ministry argues that the Tokara Strait south of Yakushima island in southern Japan is “a strait within territorial waters used for international navigation.”
“The Chinese warship’s passage was based on the principle of freedom of navigation that is stipulated under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” a Chinese defense official said.
 中国政府は、今回の海域について「国際航行に使われる海峡であり、各国艦船に通過する権利がある」「航行の自由の原則に合致している」としている。国際海洋法に照らして正当だと言いたいようだ。

If the Tokara Strait is actually an international strait, as Beijing contends, it is, to be sure, open to the passage of foreign vessels, including warships, even though it lies in Japanese territorial waters.
 中国の主張どおり、現場海域が国際海峡だとすれば、確かに日本領海内であっても軍艦を含め外国船舶の通過は問題ないことになる。

But it is hard to believe that the Chinese spy ship was simply passing through the strait minding its own business. What was it actually doing?
 だが、中国艦が単に通過していただけとは考えにくい。実際に何をしていたのか。

The Chinese ship entered Japanese territorial waters shadowing Indian warships that were participating in an exercise involving Japan, the United States and India. The Chinese vessel may have been monitoring the Indian ships.
The Chinese government has not offered a clear or specific explanation for the warship's presence. It has only said the ship was engaged in “a drill in the open sea.”
日米印の合同演習に参加するインド軍艦を追う形で領海に入っており、レーダーで監視していた疑いがある。この点を中国政府は「遠海訓練」とするのみで、はっきりとは説明しない。

It was the second time for a Chinese warship to enter Japanese territorial waters since a nuclear-powered submarine was sighted around the Sakishima islands in Okinawa Prefecture in November 2004.
The submarine violated international law by entering Japanese territorial waters submerged. At that time, the Chinese government admitted that the vessel had strayed into Japanese territory by mistake.
 中国艦が日本領海に入ったのは、確認されたものでは2度目だ。前回の04年11月は、原子力潜水艦が潜ったまま航行したことが違法にあたり、中国政府も「誤って入った」と認めた。

During the 12 years since then, China has aggressively beefed up its Navy and become increasingly assertive in expanding its naval presence.
 その後の12年間、中国は海軍力を強め、積極的な海洋進出の動きを隠さなくなった。

China has used its naval muscle to stake out a position without holding any talks with the countries concerned, and then tried to justify its behavior by interpreting international law in a way that suits its purpose.
周辺国と事前協議もせず、実力で事実を先行させ、あとで都合次第で法の理屈を使い正当化を図る。

If Beijing continues acting this way, tensions in both the East China Sea and the South China Sea will keep growing.
そんな行動を今後も続ければ、東シナ海も南シナ海もいっそう緊張を増す。

If China really respects the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, how does it explain its moves to unilaterally draw up a demarcation line called the “nine-dash line” to claim the major part of the South China Sea and forcefully reclaim reefs in disputed areas?
 国際海洋法の原則を重視しているならば、南シナ海の大半を囲むように線引きして優先権を唱え、岩礁を強引に埋め立てることをどう説明するのか。

How can it justify its refusal to respect the ruling that the international Permanent Court of Arbitration is expected to hand down soon over the validity of China’s claim based on the line in response to a case filed by the Philippines?
フィリピンとの国際仲裁裁判を拒むことは正当化できるのか。

The foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations expressed concern about the situation in the South China Sea during a June 14 meeting with their Chinese counterpart in China’s Yunnan Province.
 中国雲南省で今週開かれた中国と東南アジア諸国連合(ASEAN)の特別外相会議では、南シナ海問題をめぐる懸念が参加国から表明された。

China apparently wanted to highlight its close ties with ASEAN in the special foreign ministers’ meeting, but, not surprisingly, the outcome was the opposite of what was intended.
中国はASEANとの協調ぶりを示したかっただろうが、逆に裏目に出たのも当然だろう。

China is one of the world's leading countries, and it should take responsibility for peace in Asia.
 中国は、アジアの平和に責任を負うべき大国である。

But China has at times ignored the rules and norms of the global community and at other times used them to justify its dubious actions. The way China has been behaving has made it impossible for its neighbors to trust it.
にもかかわらず国際社会のルールや規範を、あるときは無視したり、別の時は自己正当化の根拠にしたりでは、周辺国はとても信用することができない。

China is not only disturbing the tranquility of the high seas, it is also treating principles of international law as if they were at its disposal. We are deeply concerned about China’s attitude.
 静かであるべき海を荒立てる艦艇の動きに加え、法の原則まで我が物扱いしようとする中国政府の姿勢を憂慮する。
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香山リカのココロの万華鏡 : 必要とされる実感 /東京

2016/06/21 11:16
June 19, 2016 (Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Everyone needs to be needed
香山リカのココロの万華鏡 : 必要とされる実感 /東京

This year's rainy season has started in most parts of Japan. There are patients coming to my clinic complaining that they usually don't feel well around this time of year. I don't think it's just in their heads; I believe humidity and changes in atmospheric pressure are affecting them both mentally and physically.
 うっとうしい梅雨の季節となった。「この時期は調子が悪くて」と診察室で訴える患者さんも多い。ただの気の持ちようではなく、湿度や気圧の変化が微妙に心身に影響を与えるのだろう。

When the rainy season starts it reminds me of a patient I met when I was younger and working at another hospital. The patient had been hospitalized for a long time, and he was in charge of taking care of people's umbrellas when it rained. He would come to the entrance hall and take hospital visitors' umbrellas, hand them number cards and return their umbrellas in exchange for the cards when they left. The first time I went to the hospital after I was dispatched there by a university hospital, the patient came to me out of nowhere and said, "Where's your umbrella?" A bit dumbstruck, I handed him my umbrella.
 この季節になると若い頃に勤めていた病院に入院していたある患者さんのことを思い出す。長期入院していたその男性は、雨になると病室から玄関にやって来て、ぬれた傘を管理する係をしていた。外来受診のために訪れる人たちなどの傘を預かって「あなたは何番」と札をわたし、帰る際にそれと引き換えに傘をわたす。大学病院から命じられてその病院に勤務することになったとき、はじめてその病院の玄関をくぐった私に彼はいきなり「傘は?」と言った。私は少々、面食らいながら傘をさし出した。

After working at the hospital for a little while, I came to learn that there were a number of patients doing various jobs at the hospital, just like the umbrella man. It would make sense as part of a rehabilitation program if those people were scheduled to be released from the hospital, but there were no prospects of them leaving the hospital anytime soon. Then, I thought, the hospital was using them as free labor. The young hospital staff, myself included, argued that it was wrong that those people were given jobs without pay, and told them that they didn't have to work anymore. For those who kept doing their tasks despite our suggestion, we told them, rather forcibly, "Please stop doing this."
 それからその病院で働き出して、院内で彼のようにいろいろな係について作業している人がいることがわかった。もちろん、退院のめどがあるなら社会復帰のためのリハビリと考えられるが、その人たちにはそのあてもない。だとしたら、単なる労働力として使っているのと同じだ。私や病院の若いスタッフは「何の報酬もないのに院内の係をやってもらうのはおかしい」と話し合い、彼らに「もうやらなくていいです」と伝えた。それでも仕事を続ける人には、半ば強制的に「明日からここに来ないでください」などと言った。

The umbrella guy was one of those patients. I myself had repeatedly told him not to continue working and thought, "I freed him from unfair labor practices."
傘の係の男性もそのひとりで、私も何度となく「またやってるんですか。もういいんですよ」などと注意した。私は「彼を不当な労働から解放したのだ」などと思っていた。

One day, I found him sitting on his bed and chatted with him. "Are you feeling a little better now?" I asked. He then replied, "I don't like rainy days. I have nothing to do now since my job was taken away."
 ある日、病室でポツンとベッドに座っている彼と話す機会があった。「少しはラクになりましたか」と言うと、彼は答えた。
 「雨の日がいやだね。仕事も取られちゃったからね。何もすることがない」

I was taken aback by his response. I realized that even if it looked like an unfair labor practice from my perspective, he took pride in it and it had motivated him to live. If we were going to ask him to stop working, we should have given him another role to fulfill.
 私ははっとした。こちらから見ると理不尽な労働でも、彼にとってはそれが誇りであり生きがいになっていたのだ。もしそれをやめてもらうなら、何かかわりにできるような役割を用意すべきだったのではないか。

Being "right" doesn't necessarily mean we get to know how patients feel. That was what I learned from him.
正論だけでは患者さんの気持ちはくみとれない。私は、それを彼から教えられた。

Everyone, from kids to the elderly alike, wants to have something only they can do, and to feel that people need them, even if they are hospitalized. Every time it rains, I remind myself of that.
 私にしかできないこと。みんなが自分を必要としてくれるという実感。人はみなそれを求めている。たとえ病院に入院中であっても、子どもだって高齢者だって同じはずだ。雨が降るたびに私はそのことを自分に言い聞かせるようにしている。

(By Rika Kayama, Psychiatrist) (精神科医)
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参院選 改憲の是非 正面から問わぬ不実

2016/06/18 12:16
--The Asahi Shimbun, June 17
EDITORIAL: Abe’s silence on Constitution suggests another election trick
(社説)参院選 改憲の是非 正面から問わぬ不実

Parties have effectively started campaigning for the July 10 Upper House election, with their leaders delivering speeches on the streets and their platforms now available to the public.
 各政党の党首らが街頭演説に繰り出し、公約も出そろって参院選は事実上スタートした。

Conspicuously missing from the ruling camp’s campaign is the argument for constitutional amendments.
 その中で、与党側からぱったり聞こえなくなったのが、憲法改正をめぐる議論である。

It is widely known that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s biggest political goal is to revise the postwar Constitution.
 安倍首相の最大の政治目標が憲法改正であるのは周知の事実だ。

During the latest Diet session, Abe repeatedly expressed his desire to pursue this goal. “I intend to seek public support during the campaign for the Upper House election,” he said. “I wish to achieve (the goal) while I’m in office.”
先の国会では「参院選でも訴えていきたい」「私の在任中に成し遂げたい」と強い意欲を何度も示してきた。

But Abe has not referred to the issue even once in his campaign speeches so far.
 ところが、これまでの街頭演説では一切、触れていない。

In sharp contrast, Katsuya Okada, president of the main opposition Democratic Party, has made the issue a top priority in his campaign strategy.
Okada has clearly expressed his party’s opposition to Abe’s bid to revise war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution as one of the party’s two central campaign promises and discussed the issue with great vigor in his speeches.
 民進党の岡田代表が、安倍政権による9条改正反対を公約の2本柱のひとつに掲げ、街頭演説でも力を込めて訴えているのとは対照的だ。

The proposal to amend the Constitution is a grave political issue the Japanese public has never faced as a real possibility in the postwar era.
 憲法改正は、日本国民が戦後経験したことのない極めて大きな政治テーマだ。

If Abe wants to achieve this goal, he should cast the proposal as a principal campaign topic.
それを実行したいなら、最大の争点と位置づけてしかるべきだ。

However, Abe has been oddly quiet about this issue, a radical change from his eloquence in arguing for the initiative.
 それなのに、首相は国会中の雄弁とは打って変わって口をつぐむ。

If he is trying to prevent the touchy issue from becoming a major campaign topic, he should be accused of acting in an insincere manner.
この姿勢は不可解であり、争点隠しの意図があるなら不誠実と言わざるを得ない。

In a 26-page booklet on its campaign platform, the LDP refers to constitutional amendments only in the last two items.
 自民党が公約で憲法改正について触れているのは、26ページの冊子の末尾の2項目だ。

The party only discusses the issue in regard to the two new combined constituencies created by combining two prefecture-based electoral districts to narrow vote-value disparities. These constituencies will be introduced in the Upper House election.
The LDP pledges to reassess the appropriateness of the method and explore options to eliminate such cross-prefecture constituencies, including a constitutional amendment.
“We will promote debate on the issue at the Commissions on the Constitution at both (Diet) houses and seek cooperation with other parties while trying to build broad public consensus for constitutional amendments,” the party’s platform says.
 この参院選から導入される、県境をまたぐ合区を解消するため、「憲法改正を含めそのあり方を検討します」とうたい、次に「衆議院・参議院の憲法審査会における議論を進め、各党との連携を図り、あわせて国民の合意形成に努め、憲法改正を目指します」と記している。

These passages appear to suggest that the LDP plans to start its constitutional amendment initiative with changes to provisions related to combined constituencies.
But LDP policy chief Tomomi Inada has not endorsed this view, saying there are various opinions about the approach.
 合区の解消から改憲に取り組むのかと思いきや、稲田政調会長は「そこはさまざまな考え方がある」とはっきりしない。

The LDP has thus left it unclear to voters which constitutional provisions it will try to change and in what ways.
 これでは憲法改正といってもどの条文を、どのように改正するのか、有権者には相変わらずわからないままだ。

The LDP’s junior coalition partner, Komeito, doesn’t even touch on constitutional amendments in its campaign platform.
Komeito chief Natsuo Yamaguchi has said amendments will not be a key campaign topic for the Upper House election because “there has been no mature debate” on the issue.
 一方、自民党と連立を組む公明党は、公約で憲法改正に触れていない。山口代表は「議論が成熟しておらず、参院選の争点にはならない」と説明する。

Neither the LDP nor Komeito is willing to make a straightforward appeal to the public to support the proposal to rewrite the Constitution.
 自民、公明の両与党とも、国民に正面から憲法改正を問おうとしない。

Under these circumstances, even if the two parties and their political allies win the two-thirds majority in the chamber needed to initiate the formal process of constitutional revision, they must not be allowed to start pursuing the initiative with sudden zeal after the election.
それで両党とその補完勢力で改憲発議に必要な3分の2の議席を得たとしても、改憲論議を一気に進めることが許されるはずがない。

The Abe administration has a history of deliberately sidestepping debate on divisive policies during election campaigns. After the ruling camp wins a majority, however, the administration suddenly starts pushing through such policies by claiming it has won a public mandate to do so.
The state secrets protection law and new national security legislation, which were enacted in 2013 and 2015, respectively, are two examples of the administration’s sneaky way to achieve its policy goals.
 安倍政権はこれまで、世論が割れる政策については選挙の際に多くを語らず、選挙で勝てば一転、「信任を得た」とばかりに突き進む手法をとってきた。特定秘密保護法や安全保障関連法の制定がその例だ。

The four kanji characters representing “constitutional amendments” are written in small print at the end of the LDP’s campaign platform. They may be a sign of the party’s intention to use such tactics again to push through its initiative to amend the Constitution. We should not allow the party to do so.
 公約の末尾に小さく書かれた「憲法改正」の4文字。これを、同様の手法を繰り返す伏線とさせるわけにはいかない。
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参院選へ アベノミクスの行方 地に足の着いた議論を

2016/06/17 11:11
June 15, 2016 (Mainichi Japan)
Editorial: Political parties need to debate long-term economic policies
参院選へ アベノミクスの行方 地に足の着いた議論を

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says the pros and cons of the government's determination to speed up "Abenomics," the economic policy mix promoted by his government, to the maximum extent is the key point of contention in the upcoming House of Councillors election. However, it is essential to examine the results of speeding up Abenomics before evaluating the policy mix.
 アベノミクスのエンジンをもう一度、最大限にふかす。その是非を問う選挙だと安倍晋三首相は言う。だが、その判断には、これまでふかした結果がどうなったかをまず点検しなくてはならない。

Prime Minister Abe worked out a scenario of reviving the economy 3 1/2 years ago. Under the scenario, if the government and the Bank of Japan (BOJ) shared the goal of achieving an annual inflation rate of 2 percent within two years and implemented all possible policy measures to that end, Japan would overcome deflation, generate a virtual economic cycle and achieve the high growth that the country had previously experienced.
 3年半前、安倍首相が約束した経済再生のシナリオはこうだった。年2%の物価上昇目標を政府と日銀が共有し、政策をフル稼働させたら、デフレから脱却し、経済の好循環が生まれ、かつてのような高い成長が再現できる。

However, the government is far from achieving this goal.
 だが、現実は遠く及んでいない。

The inflation rate was minus 0.3 percent this April for the second consecutive month. The average real-term economic growth rate between 2013 -- shortly after Abe returned to power -- and 2015 came to 0.6 percent, far below the goal of 2 percent.
成果だけを語る危うさ
 「2年で2%達成」のはずだった物価上昇率は、3年後の今年4月、2カ月連続でマイナス0・3%だった。実質経済成長率も、政権発足後の2013〜15年は平均で0・6%と、2%の目標にほど遠い。

The public is becoming increasingly pessimistic about the economy. According to a survey conducted by the BOJ, 38 percent of respondents predicted that economic conditions will worsen in a year, close to 41 percent who answered so in a survey shortly before the Abe government was formed in December 2012.
 景気に対する国民の感覚も悲観的なものに逆戻りしつつあるようだ。日銀の調査によると、1年後の景気が今より「悪くなる」と回答した人の比率が最近は38%と、政権発足前の41%に迫る高さだ。

Despite these scenarios, Prime Minister Abe emphasized that Abenomics has produced positive results. He often cites the ratio of job offers to job seekers, which is the highest in 24 years, as evidence of the success of his economic policy mix. However, the rise in this index is attributable to a shortage in the workforce. There is a particularly serious labor shortage in the day care and nursing care fields where there is a growing demand for human resources.
 こうした現状にもかかわらず、安倍首相はアベノミクスの「成果」を強調する。その証しとしてしばしば首相が引用するのが過去24年で最高という有効求人倍率だ。仕事を探している人1人に対して、仕事の誘いが何件あるかという統計だが、上昇の背景にあるのは人手不足である。特に保育や介護といった、働き手がますます必要とされている分野で、深刻な人員不足が起きている。

It is difficult to secure workers in these fields because the number of people working is falling, wages are lower and workers in these fields are forced to work long hours. The rise in the ratio of job offers to job seekers due to such circumstances is never favorable but problematic.
 現役世代の人口減少に、低賃金、長時間労働が加わり、必要な人材が集まらない。そんな背景を抱えた有効求人倍率上昇は、問題でこそあれ、誇れる現象ではない。

The prime minister explains that Abenomics is producing positive results but that its effects are dampened by the world economy. However his explanation is inaccurate. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised downward its forecast for Japan's economic growth this year to 0.5 percent. The range of the drop and the sluggishness of economic growth in Japan is conspicuous as compared with Western countries.
 安倍首相はまた、アベノミクスはうまくいっているが、世界経済が足を引っ張っているとも説明する。だがこれも正確さを欠く。国際通貨基金の世界経済見通しによると、日本の今年の成長予測は0・5%に下方修正され、下振れの幅も成長率の低さも、欧米に比べて目立つ。

It is obvious that Abenomics is not making its intended achievements. Then why is the economic policy mix not working well?
 アベノミクスが、描いた姿になっていないのは明らかだ。では、なぜうまくいかなかったのだろうか。

The problem is that the government set unrealistic goals in the first place. Japan's economic growth rate is far lower than those of other developed countries. However, the figure is not necessarily too low considering that Japan's potential annual economic growth has declined to 0 to 0.5 percent.
 そもそも、非現実的な目標を掲げたところに誤りの始まりがあったとみるべきだ。他の先進国と比べたら確かに見劣りする日本の成長率だが、成長の実力が今や0〜0・5%まで低下していることを考えたら、必ずしも低過ぎではない。

The fact that Japan's potential economic growth has declined due largely to a decline in its population should be called into question. However, the Abe administration pictured a scenario of reviving rapid economic growth based on the assumption that a virtuous cycle of economic growth can be generated if Japan overcomes deflation.
 人口減少の影響などで成長の実力そのものが低下した点こそ問題視すべきなのに、「デフレさえ克服すれば、成長の好循環が生まれる」という高成長復活の夢を描いた。

The Abe government is still pursuing its dream of economic growth.
 そしてなお夢を追おうとする。

In September 2015, the second phase of Abenomics was unveiled under the slogan of "the dynamic engagement of all citizens." Under the policy mix, the government is aiming to increase Japan's gross domestic product to at least 600 trillion yen by 2020. This goal is based on the assumption that productivity will be raised to levels equivalent to those during the economic bubble in the late 1980s to the early 1990s. The goal is based on a hypothesis that even many experts believe is unfeasible.
 昨年9月、アベノミクスは「第2弾」にリセットされ、「1億総活躍社会」というスローガンが登場した。「2020年に国内総生産600兆円以上」を目指すという。達成の前提になっているのは、バブル期と同水準の生産性の向上だ。専門家が実現性に首をかしげる仮定をもとに算出した数字なのである。

One cannot help but wonder what would happen if the government were to speed up Abenomics based on such an illusion of rapid economic growth. It must be kept in mind that the most negative aspect of Abenomics could be exposed.
 こうした高成長の幻想のもとで政策を最大限「ふかす」とどうなるか。アベノミクスに内在する最大の負の側面が露呈するのはこれからだということを忘れてはならない。

The BOJ has kept buying a massive number of government bonds. The outstanding amounts of government bonds that the central bank has amassed have exceeded those owned by commercial banks and account for about one-third of the outstanding government bonds. The amount of such bonds that the BOJ possesses will likely continue to increase.
野党も対抗軸を示せ
 日銀内に積み上がっていく巨額の国債である。すでに日銀が保有する国債の残高は民間銀行の合計を超え、発行残高の約3分の1を占める。今後も増え続けることだろう。

Risks involving the BOJ's purchase of massive amounts of government bonds would be exposed when consumer prices rise and the BOJ is forced to decrease the volumes of government bonds that the central bank buys. The government bond market has been stabilized because market players believe that bond prices will not decline because the BOJ will continue to buy them. However, if the central bank suggests it may discontinue buying massive amounts of government bonds, the prices of the bonds could plummet.
 リスクが顕在化するのは、物価が上昇し日銀が国債の購入ペースを落とさねばならなくなった時だ。「日銀が必ず買うから値下がりしない」との前提で成り立っていた市場で、最大の買い手が退くシグナルを発した途端、つり上がっていた国債の価格は暴落しかねない。

To avoid such risks, the central bank needs to continue purchasing large amounts of government bonds. However, such a practice could cause the economy to overheat, and it could become impossible to control inflation. Such risks have heightened to an alarming level. If the BOJ is to buy growing amounts of government bonds in response to the prime minister's order that Abenomics be sped up, the central bank would find it increasingly difficult to find a way out of this policy.
 回避するには、引き続き大量購入を続けねばならないが、そうすると景気が過熱し、インフレが制御できなくなる恐れがある。現在でもすでにリスクは積み上がっているが、安倍首相の「ふかせ」の号令に沿って日銀が購入額を増やせば、一段と出口はふさがる。

Neither Prime Minister Abe nor BOJ Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda will talk about these risks. During the campaign for the upcoming upper house race, ruling and opposition parties should not only evaluate Abenomics but also address such potential risks involving the policy mix.
 安倍首相も黒田東彦日銀総裁もこの最大のリスクについて語ろうとしない。選挙戦では、アベノミクスのこれまでの評価だけでなく、顕在化していないリスクについても、国民の前で議論を深める必要がある。

Opposition parties should show new economic policies to counter the unrealistic economic growth policy line in Abenomics. In particular, it is necessary to work out policy measures to respond to the population decline as the country's population is estimated to fall by 10 million over the next 15 years. The opposition parties should address the issue of accepting more foreign workers, which tends to be viewed as a taboo, in addition to reforming labor practices and expand day care services to promote women's empowerment.
 同時に野党は、アベノミクスの非現実的な成長路線に対抗する新たな経済政策を提示すべきだ。何より30年までの15年間で1000万人の減少が予想される人口問題に対応した政策が必要である。女性の労働参加を広げるための働き方の改革や保育の体制充実に加え、タブー視されがちな外国人労働者の受け入れ拡大などにも踏み込んでほしい。

Policy measures that bring only short-term benefits to the public, such as the government's decision to postpone the consumption tax increase, and future visions that are overly optimistic could cause anxiety among members of the public. Due to such concerns, people continue to save money even though interest rates on their savings are almost zero while companies are hesitant to make capital investments.
 参院選前の消費増税先送りが象徴するように、目先の良い話と楽観的な将来像ばかりでは、人々は不安を抱きかねない。不安があるから、金利がゼロでも人々はお金をため続け、企業は投資に二の足を踏む。

Both the governing and opposition parties should squarely face the reality and hold in-depth debate on long-term economic policies.
 現実を直視し、将来までも見据えた政策論議に期待する。
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英国民投票 欧州の中で歩む決断を

2016/06/16 11:23
--The Asahi Shimbun, June 15
EDITORIAL: Brexit vote worst outcome for U.K., Europe and rest of the world
(社説)英国民投票 欧州の中で歩む決断を

The outcome of Britain's June 23 referendum on whether to remain a member of the European Union has major ramifications not only for the future of Britain and Europe, but also the entire world.
 英国と欧州だけでなく、これからの世界の歩みに大きな影を落とすだろう。
 英国で23日、欧州連合(EU)からの離脱か残留かを問う国民投票が実施される。

Sections of the British public have always harbored a deep desire to keep some distance from the EU. But if Britain actually does pull out of the EU, a major shakeup will be a certainty for the British economy as well as the global marketplace.
 英国は、EUと距離を置こうとする世論が根強い国である。しかし、もし離脱となれば、英国の経済と世界の市場が大きく動揺するおそれが強い。

And the political repercussions will be incalculable. A vote to "Leave" would create a rift in Europe's solidarity over many of its shared problems with respect to immigration and counterterrorism.
 政治的な波紋ははかり知れない。難民問題やテロなど多くの課題を抱える欧州の結束にひびが入るのは間違いない。

The EU's influence on the rest of the world would weaken, and that could well affect the way international law on human rights and democracy is upheld by the international community.
 EUの対外的な影響力がそがれ、国際社会で掲げてきた人権や民主主義、国際法による秩序にも影響を及ぼしかねない。

The departure from the EU by any of its current members is bound to reverse the trend toward European integration that has been in place since the 1950s.
 どの国であれEU離脱となれば、1950年代から続いてきた欧州の統合の流れが大きく後退することになる。

In this age of ever-increasing traffic of people and goods across international borders, any momentum toward isolation will render it even more difficult to resolve global problems.
 人や物の流れがますます国の垣根を越える時代に、一国に閉じこもろうとする動きが広がれば、地球規模の問題の解決はいっそう遠のくだろう。

Britain is a major power that ought to be a acting as a strong leader in encouraging international cooperation, not a nation that turns its back on European unity to try to go it alone. We strongly hope Britain will choose to remain in the EU.
 英国は、国際協調を力強くリードすべき主要国の一つであり、結束に背を向けて単独行動に走る国であってはなるまい。EUに残留する道を選んでもらいたい。

Instead of parting ways with the rest of Europe, we hope Britain will continue as a member of the EU and cooperate with all countries while seeking its own prosperity.
 英国は欧州各国とたもとを分かつのでなく、欧州の一員として歩み、協力を進めつつ、自国の繁栄の道を探ってほしい。

In past opinion polls, British public opinion tended to be more in favor of remaining in the Union than against. However, the pendulum has begun to swing in recent weeks.
 これまでの世論調査では、残留を望む声がおおむね優位だった。しかし、ここ何週間か離脱派が追い上げている。


One of the main reasons for this is said to be the immigrant issue. There is a growing call in Britain for it to be free of the EU's immigrant policy so that it can explore its own destiny.
 その背景にある大きな理由の一つは移民の問題だという。EUの政策に縛られず、独自に移民の流入を絞る道を探るべきだという声が強まっている。

As evidenced by the "Trump phenomenon" in the United States and the surge of ultra-right forces in parts of Europe, an isolationist mentality is spreading around the world. British public opinion seems to have been influenced by this.
 米国のトランプ現象や欧州各国での右翼の伸長など、国を閉ざそうという内向きの意識は、世界に広がっている。英国の世論も、そんな風潮に流されているようだ。

But we want British citizens to stop and think: That the only reason Britain managed to pull itself out of decades of postwar decline and achieve its present prosperity was that its openness to the rest of the world enabled it to benefit from the global economy. This reality can neither be changed nor denied today.
 しかし、立ち止まって考えてほしい。英国が大戦後の長い国勢の衰退から脱し、いまの繁栄を築いたのは、国を開き、グローバル経済の恩恵を受けてこそだった。そんな現実をいまさら転換しようがないだろう。

One thing that bothers us is that discussions in Britain about the June 23 referendum seem to be focused almost entirely on economic and immigrant issues, and we hear very little about how the Britons are looking at the big picture.
 懸念されるのは、英国内での議論が経済や移民など一部に集中し、大局的な論議があまり大きく聞こえてこないことだ。

What sort of relationship should Britain maintain with continental Europe? This is the sort of question that needs to be debated at length and in depth in the context of the history of civilization, until the public is truly ready to reach a consensus.
 欧州大陸とどんな関係を維持すべきか。その問いは、文明史的な視野の中で長い時間をかけて議論を重ね、国民のコンセンサスを築く性格のものである。

For the sake of the future of Britain as well as the rest of the world, we hope British citizens will make a decision that is objective and carefully thought out.
 英国と世界の未来のために、冷静な判断にもとづく決定を、英国民に期待したい。
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米乱射テロ 銃規制へ冷静な議論を尽くせ

2016/06/15 07:54
The Yomiuri Shimbun
U.S. should discuss tighter gun controls in level-headed manner
米乱射テロ 銃規制へ冷静な議論を尽くせ

The latest shooting incident is a despicable act of terrorism strongly influenced by extremism and a sense of discrimination. It can never be condoned.
 過激思想や差別意識の影響が色濃い卑劣なテロと言えよう。断じて許されない。

A man fired an assault rifle inside a nightclub in Orlando, Fla., killing and wounding a large number of clubgoers and other people inside. It was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
 米フロリダ州オーランドのナイトクラブで、男が自動小銃を乱射し、店内にいた客ら多数が死傷した。米国史上最悪の銃撃事件である。

The man, a U.S. citizen and a son of Afghan immigrants, was shot to death in a gun battle with special police units. The gunman allegedly made calls to police from the scene, in which he pledged his loyalty to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) extremist group.
 男はアフガニスタン出身の両親を持つ米国人で、警察特殊部隊との銃撃戦の末、射殺された。現場から警察に自ら通報し、過激派組織「イスラム国」への忠誠を宣言していたという。

As Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, started earlier this month, ISIL has called for terrorist attacks against the United States and Europe. An ISIL-affiliated media body claimed one of its militants had attacked a gay nightclub.
 今月、ラマダン(断食月)に入ったのを機に、「イスラム国」が欧米に対するテロを呼びかけていた。系列のメディアは、配下の戦闘員が「同性愛者向けのナイトクラブを攻撃した」と主張した。

It remains unknown whether ISIL did order the man to attack the nightclub, but it is highly likely that he was inspired by ISIL. The Federal Bureau of Investigation called the incident terrorism. The FBI must uncover the entire picture of the massacre quickly.
 犯行指示の有無は不明だが、男が「イスラム国」に感化されていた可能性は大きい。連邦捜査局(FBI)はテロ事件と断定した。全容解明を急ぐべきだ。

Not to be overlooked is the fact that the man had been questioned several times since 2013 by law enforcement agencies as part of their investigations into terrorism and was on a watch list. Wasn’t there any way the authorities could have foreseen the attack and averted it? This must be verified.
 見過ごせないのは、男が2013年以降、テロ関連捜査で当局の事情聴取を数回受け、監視対象になっていたことだ。事前に犯行を察知し、回避する術すべはなかったのか。検証が必要だろう。

The man was said to have lawfully bought an automatic rifle, an extremely lethal weapon, about one week before the atrocity.
 男は殺傷能力が極めて高い自動小銃を約1週間前に合法的に購入し、蛮行に及んだとされる。

Aiming at ‘soft targets’

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe naturally condemned the terrorist action, saying, “Japan will continue to advance efforts to eradicate terrorism, together with the United States and the international community.”
 安倍首相が「日本は、米国や国際社会とテロを根絶する取り組みを進めていく」と述べ、事件を非難したのは当然である。

In the United States, a married couple inspired by ISIL committed acts of terrorism also in December last year, using an automatic rifle. According to some statistics, the number of deaths caused by firearms totals 30,000 annually.
 米国では昨年12月にも、「イスラム国」に扇動された夫婦が自動小銃を使ったテロを起こしている。銃による死亡者は毎年3万人に上るという統計もある。

There seems to be no end to mass shootings aimed at “soft targets” — sites where large numbers of people gather, such as schools, churches and movie theaters.
 学校や教会、映画館など不特定多数が集まる「ソフトターゲット」を狙った乱射事件が後を絶たない。

If the situation is left unchanged, in which people can easily obtain weapons normally used by the military, the damage from terrorist incidents will only spread.
軍で使用されるような本格的な武器が手軽に購入できる現状を放置していては、テロ被害が拡大するだけではないか。

The Obama administration is calling for stricter gun controls. Yet due to opposition from the Republican-dominated Congress, such legislation has not been realized.
 オバマ政権は、銃規制強化を目指している。だが、共和党が多数を占める議会の反対で法制化されていない。

Priority should be placed on making it mandatory for those who purchase weapons on the Internet and elsewhere to be identified at the time of purchase, and on limiting the buying and selling of highly lethal weapons.
インターネットなどで銃を購入する際の身元確認の義務化や、殺傷能力の高い銃の売買制限が優先すべき課題だ。

The latest shooting incident occurred at a place where gay people gather. There are witness accounts that the attacker hated these people. It is significant that Obama said in a statement, “This was an attack on all of us,” and called for people to unite against such actions.
 犯行現場は同性愛者が集う場所で、男がこうした人々を憎悪していたという証言がある。オバマ大統領が緊急声明で「我々全員に対する攻撃だ」と強調し、国民の結束を呼びかけた意義は大きい。

With the presidential and congressional elections scheduled for November, measures to fight terrorism, responses to Islamic extremism and concrete gun control steps should be discussed in a level-headed manner.
 11月の大統領・議会選に向け、テロ対策や、イスラム過激主義への対応、具体的な銃規制策などを冷静に議論せねばなるまい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 14, 2016)
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英国民投票 EU残留が世界的にも賢明だ

2016/06/14 12:01
The Yomiuri Shimbun
Britain’s continued membership in EU most sensible also globally
英国民投票 EU残留が世界的にも賢明だ

A national referendum will be held in Britain on June 23 for British citizens to vote on whether the country should stay in or leave the European Union.
 欧州連合(EU)に残留するか、離脱するか。英国の国民投票が23日に行われる。

It is an important decision as the outcome will determine the future course of Britain and Europe.
 英国と欧州の針路を左右する重大な選択だ。

According to public opinion polls, the pro-EU camp and the pro-exit camp are running neck and neck. We hope the British people vote for the country to remain in the EU.
世論調査では、残留派と離脱派が拮抗きっこうしている。英国民が残留を勝ち取ることを期待したい。

Should Britain leave the bloc, it will become a factor for causing economic turmoil such as jolting global financial markets. It was no surprise that the finance ministers’ meeting of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) expressed concern that the issue concerning a British exit from the EU is complicating the global economic condition.
 離脱が決まれば、世界的な金融市場の動揺など経済の波乱要因となる。アジア欧州会議(ASEM)財務相会合で、「世界経済の状況を複雑化させている」といった懸念が示されたのは当然だろう。

The major points of contention in Britain’s referendum are “the economy” and “immigrants.”
 英国民投票の主要な争点は「経済」と「移民」である。

The British government has released an economic forecast saying that a vote to leave the EU risks causing a recession and job losses. British Prime Minister David Cameron, who leads the pro-EU campaign, warns that leaving the EU would be a “self-destruct option” for the British economy.
 英国政府は、離脱決定なら、「景気が後退して失業が増える」とする予測を公表した。残留派を率いるキャメロン首相は「経済的な自傷行為だ」と警告する。

If Britain left, the country would have to renegotiate trade and investment rules with the EU, making the country’s economic outlook increasingly uncertain.
 EUとの間で、貿易や投資のルールに関して新たに協議を行う必要が生じ、英国経済の前途が不透明になるのは避けられまい。

While a fierce debate continues between the two camps, Cameron visited a Hitachi, Ltd. train factory in the Midlands. He said that if Britain remained in the EU, the country would be able to attract more foreign investment.
 激しい論戦が続く中、キャメロン氏は、英国中部にある日立製作所の鉄道車両工場を訪れた。EUに残留すれば、外国から更なる投資を呼び込めると語った。

Foreign companies, including Japanese firms, invest in Britain to build bases for advancing into the EU market, which has a population of 500 million.
 日本など外国企業が英国に投資する理由は、5億人を抱えるEU市場進出の拠点を築くためだ。

These foreign companies are setting up businesses in Britain, based on the premise that EU rules are applied in the country, irrespective of whether they are in manufacturing or the financial sector.
製造業、金融を問わず、英国でEUのルールが通用していることが事業展開の前提にほかならない。

Leaving may shatter unity

In light of such circumstances, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told Cameron when he visited Britain in May that it would be desirable for Britain to remain in the EU.
 安倍首相は5月の訪英時に、こうした事情を踏まえ、EU残留が望ましいと伝えている。

On the other hand, the pro-exit camp asserts that if Britain left the EU, the country would be able to control the flow of immigrants. The country cannot block immigrants from other EU member countries as long as it remains in the bloc. The strategy of the pro-exit campaigners is to insist that the increase in foreign workers threatens the country’s employment and welfare situations.
 一方、離脱派は、EU脱退で「移民流入を制限できるようになる」と主張する。EUにとどまる限り、他の加盟国からの移民を拒めないからだ。外国人労働者の増加により、雇用や福祉を脅かされると訴える作戦に出ている。

Should Britain leave the bloc, the EU also would suffer incalculable damage.
 英国が離脱すれば、EUも計り知れない打撃を受けよう。

In various parts of Europe that face a massive influx of refugees, political parties skeptical of the EU and voicing anti-refugee and anti-immigrant calls are gaining influence.
 欧州は、難民の大量流入に直面し、反難民・移民を唱えるEU懐疑派政党が各地で伸長している。

If Britain voted to leave the bloc, it would lend support to such a movement and could lead to a decline in the EU’s power for integration.
英国が離脱を決めれば、その勢いに拍車がかかり、EUの求心力低下につながりかねない。

In dealing with Iran’s nuclear issue and in imposing sanctions on Russia over the Ukrainian issue, cooperation between the United States and Europe played a pivotal role. Should Britain leave the EU, the bloc may see its influence decline also in diplomatic and security areas, as Britain has historically strong relations with the United States.
 イラン核問題への対処やウクライナ問題での対ロシア制裁は、米欧の連携が主軸となった。歴史的に米国と絆が強い英国を失えば、EUは、外交・安全保障面でも影響力が弱まるのではないか。

U.S. President Barack Obama also has called for Britain to stay in the EU, saying Britain is at its best when “helping to lead” a strong EU.
 オバマ米大統領も「英国は強い欧州を先導してこそ本領を発揮する」と強調し、残留を求めた。

The EU is a bastion of an international order based on such values as democracy, freedom and a market economy. Shaking the entity’s stability must be avoided.
 EUは、民主主義や自由などの価値観と市場経済に基づく国際秩序の担い手である。その安定が揺らぐ事態は避けねばならない。
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香山リカのココロの万華鏡 : 脱差別 日本も仲間入り /東京

2016/06/13 07:37
June 12, 2016 (Mainichi Japan)
香山リカのココロの万華鏡 : 脱差別 日本も仲間入り /東京
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Discrimination has no place in Japan

The so-called anti-hate speech law has come into force.
 いわゆるヘイトスピーチ対策法が施行された。

When I first saw a hate speech demonstration, with marchers barking vicious slogans aimed primarily at Japan's Korean residents, I could barely believe my eyes. On the internet, too, people toss out discriminatory comments against other foreign citizens, against Japan's Ainu and Okinawan peoples, against those receiving welfare benefits and the disabled. There are those who spread false rumors that these people are getting unfair financial aid.
 主に在日韓国・朝鮮人の方に対して差別的言動を大声で叫びながら集団で道路を歩くヘイトスピーチデモを最初に目にしたときは「まさかこれが現実とは」を目を疑った。さらにネットには、ほかの国の人たち、日本人であるアイヌ民族や沖縄の人たち、生活保護を受給していたり障害を持っていたりする人たちに対しても、平気で差別の言葉を投げかけたり「不当に手当をもらっている」といったデマを拡散したりする人たちがいる。

The new hate speech law is what you might call a "principle law," as it has no provisions for punishing violators. Furthermore, it only protects "those originally from nations outside this country" who are "living legally in Japan." As such, it does not outlaw discrimination against Japanese citizens or foreigners applying for refugee status, among other groups. However, the supplementary resolution that accompanied passage of the law states, "It would be a mistake to believe that discrimination against groups not specifically mentioned in the law is forgivable." I suppose we can say that the Diet essentially stated, "Discrimination is unforgiveable in Japan."
 今回の法律は理念法と呼ばれ、実際にそれを破った人に罰則を与えるものではない。また、その対象が「本邦外出身者」「適法に日本に居住する人」となっているので、日本人で差別を受けている人や難民申請をしている人などは該当しないことになっている。ただ、法律とともに出された「付帯決議」には「定義以外のものであれば差別は許されるというのは誤り」とあり、国会が「日本では差別は許さない」と認めたと考えてよいだろう。

In fact, I have a lot of people struggling with discrimination come to my practice; people discriminated against because they are foreigners, because they are ill, because they are single mothers. Some are treated unfairly at work or in the areas where they live, are looked upon with frigid eyes that seem to say, "You are not like us," all for some aspect of themselves that they cannot change.
 診察室にも差別で苦しむ人は大勢やって来る。外国人だから、病気を持っているから、シングルマザーだから。本人にはどうしようもないことで「あなたは私たちとは違う」と白い目で見られ、職場や地域で不利な扱いを受けることもある。

What's more, the reasons given for this prejudice are usually untrue. For example, the romantic partner of one of my patients didn't want to get married "because depression is inherited." This is simply not true, and in the end I had the couple come in together to explain things. When the session was done, the reluctant party was reluctant no more, leaving with a smile and promising to "explain this to my parents as well." Arbitrary "those people are all so-and-so" labels are very often founded on basic errors of fact.
 しかもたいていの場合、差別の理由として考えられていることは間違いだ。たとえば、「うつ病は遺伝するから」と結婚に反対された患者さんがいたが、婚約者にも来てもらってそれは誤りであることを丁寧に説明したら、「わかりました。両親にも説明します」と明るい顔でこたえてくれた。「あの人はこれこれだから」という決めつけのほとんどは、こういう単純な間違いに基づいている。

I have read a paper based on research conducted outside Japan that showed that ethnically diverse workplaces produce more creative ideas than those dominated by a single race or nationality. In contrast to working with people who understand one another from the get-go, getting people with wildly varying perspectives and ways of thinking together in one place apparently sparks the easy flow of groundbreaking ideas.
 海外の研究で「ある会社で、同じ国籍、民族の人ばかりの部署より、多様な人々が集まった部署のほうが創造的なアイデアが多く出た」という論文を読んだことがある。いろいろな考え、立場の人たちと一生懸命コミュニケーションするほうが、最初からわかり合っている関係で仕事をするよりも、刺激が多く画期的な意見が出やすいというのだ。

So, talk to someone different than yourself. Even if that's impossible right away, you will come to understand one another somehow. It's time to put an end to knee-jerk hatreds, to discrimination and pushing away our fellow human beings. With the new hate speech law, Japan has finally become a country where we can say, "We will not tolerate discrimination."
 自分と違う人と話そう。すぐには無理だとしても、なんとかわかり合おう。最初から毛ぎらいしたり差別して追い出したりするのは、もうやめよう。法律ができたことで、ようやく日本も「私たちは差別を許さない」と宣言する国の仲間入りができた。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist) (精神科医)
毎日新聞2016年6月7日 地方版
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参院選へ 安倍首相の手法 民主政治を問い直す時

2016/06/12 10:14
June 11, 2016 (Mainichi Japan)
Editorial: Upper house election opportunity to review Japan's democratic politics
参院選へ 安倍首相の手法 民主政治を問い直す時

The battle between ruling and opposition parties has begun as the campaign for the July 10 House of Councillors election is scheduled to kick off on June 22.
 参院選の公示が22日に迫り、7月10日の投開票日に向けた与野党の戦いが始まっている。

Three and a half years have passed since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe returned to power in December 2012. As Abe is predominant in the political world, his government has taken advantage of its majority in the Diet to overwhelm opposition without even attempting to form consensus. After winning an election, the Abe government has acted as if it had been given carte blanche.
 安倍晋三首相が政権トップに返り咲いて3年半。「安倍首相1強」と呼ばれる状況の下、選挙で勝てば、すべての政策が白紙委任されたとばかりに合意形成の努力を怠り、数の力で押し切る政治の姿を私たちはしばしば見てきた。

One cannot help but wonder whether Prime Minister Abe will retain his predominance following the upper house race.
 そうした「1強」体制が今後も続くのかどうか。

Attention is focused on how voters will evaluate the past 3 1/2 years of Abe government. Moreover, questions should be raised over how democratic politics should work.
参院選はこの3年半を有権者がどう評価するかが焦点となる。ひいては民主政治のあり方そのものを問う選挙である。

選挙は「隠れみの」か

When he announced at a June 1 news conference that the government has decided to once again postpone a consumption tax increase from 8 percent to 10 percent, Prime Minister Abe said he will "seek voters' trust" in his government over the decision in the upper house election. "The biggest point of contention is whether to speed up Abenomics (the economic policy mix promoted by his administration) or roll it back," he told reporters.
 消費増税を再延期する方針について、安倍首相は今月1日の記者会見で「参院選で国民の信を問う」と語り、「アベノミクスを加速するか、それとも後戻りするか。これが最大の争点だ」と力説した。

The phrase, "seek the voters' trust" usually means dissolving the House of Representatives for a general election that could lead to a change of government. When he decided in November 2014 to delay the consumption tax hike the first time, the prime minister dissolved the lower house for just that reason. This time, he is trying to ask if voters support his latest decision through the upper house race. The prime minister may have wanted to show his determination to stake his political life on the decision.
 「信を問う」は通常、政権交代に直接つながる衆院選で使う言葉だ。2014年11月、最初に増税を延期した際、首相は「信を問う」と衆院を解散している。今回は参院選だが、同様に進退をかける覚悟を示したかったのかもしれない。

However, one should keep in mind that Abe has repeatedly sought the voters' verdict on Abenomics in particular.
 だが忘れてならないのは「経済政策を前面に打ち出して信を問う」のは、これまでも繰り返されてきた首相のパターンだということだ。

In the last upper house election in 2013, Abe emphasized the achievements of the "three arrows" of his government's economic policy mix, while he stressed during the December 2014 lower house race that Abenomics is "the only way" to achieve economic recovery.
 首相は13年の前回参院選では政権の経済政策である「三本の矢」の成果を強調し、一昨年末の衆院選では「景気回復、この道しかない」とアピールした。選挙はともに自民党が大勝した。

After these elections, however, the Abe administration placed priority on other policy issues.
ところが選挙の後はどうだったか。

Following the last upper house election, his administration hastily tried to pass the Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets allowing the government to keep secret not only sensitive security information but also information disadvantageous to the administration, which could threaten freedom of speech. Also fresh in people's memory is the ruling coalition's railroading of security-related legislation that could run counter to Japan's war-renouncing Constitution. The ruling coalition did not bring these policies up for debate in elections held shortly before the laws were passed.
 前回の参院選直後の臨時国会で安倍政権が成立を急いだのは、国の安全保障にかかわる情報だけでなく、政権に都合の悪い情報も秘密にして言論の自由を制限しかねない特定秘密保護法だった。そして昨年、憲法を軽視して安全保障関連法の成立に突き進んだのは記憶に新しい。いずれも直前の選挙ではあまり語られなかったテーマだ。

Before the enactment of the security laws, the government appointed a Foreign Ministry bureaucrat who shares views on the issue with the prime minister as head of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau. This was a blatant bid to smooth the reinterpretation of the Constitution to open the way for Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense. The Abe Cabinet then decided in July 2014 to change the interpretation of Article 9 of the supreme law.
 特に安保法制では、首相の考えに近い外務官僚を内閣法制局長官に起用する異例の人事を行ったうえで、14年7月、歴代政権が認めてこなかった集団的自衛権の行使を一部認める憲法解釈の変更を閣議決定した。

In other words, the Abe government carefully laid the groundwork to drastically change Japan's security policy while carefully preventing the topic from being a key issue during elections.
選挙の争点になるのを意識的に避けながら安保政策を大転換させる布石を打ってきたといっていい。

These are the issues that require thorough explanation as they could split public opinion. The Abe government appears to have used the economic policy mix as a cover to change Japan's security policy and achieve other of the prime minister's most cherished aims.
 本来はこうした国論を二分するようなテーマこそ選挙できちんと説明すべきだろう。「経済」は首相の持論を推し進めるための隠れみのになってきたように思える。

 今回はどうだろう。

Prime Minister Abe's ultimate political goal is undoubtedly to revise the pacifist postwar Constitution. Nevertheless, the prime minister has failed to clarify specifically which clauses he wants to change and how. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is reluctant to make the issue a point of contention during the upper house election campaign.
 首相の最大目標が憲法改正であるのは間違いない。ところが首相は憲法のどこを変えたいのか具体的には語らず、自民党も改憲を選挙の争点にすることには消極的だ。

Still, if the ruling LDP-Komeito coalition plus other parties in favor of constitutional amendment -- such as the Osaka Ishin no Kai (Initiatives from Osaka) -- won a combined two-thirds of the seats in the upper chamber, the prime minister would certainly speed up moves to change the Constitution. Constitutional revisions can be proposed only if supported by two-thirds of all members of both Diet chambers. Voters should keep this in mind.
 しかし、今回の選挙で自民、公明の与党と憲法改正に前向きな、おおさか維新の会などを合わせ、改憲発議に必要な3分の2以上の勢力を参院でも確保すれば、首相は従来のパターン通り憲法改正の動きを加速させるはずだ。私たちはそれを認識しておく必要がある。

異論排除せず議論を

Prime Minister Abe's claim at the June 1 news conference that the government would only postpone the consumption tax hike because the world economy is on the brink of crisis, while Abenomics is producing steady results here in Japan, is far from convincing.
 アベノミクスは順調だが、世界経済が危機に直面するかもしれないから増税は再延期する。これまでの約束とは異なる新しい判断だ−−という先の会見での首相の説明が説得力を欠いていたのは指摘した通りだ。

It is apparently not the prime minister's style to admit his own failures. This appears related to his tendency not to listen to different opinions.
 自らの非を認めようとしないのも首相のスタイルなのだろう。それはとかく異論を排除しがちな首相の姿勢と共通しているようにみえる。

Abe has occasionally shown himself to be a realist, such as when he signed the Japan-South Korea agreement late last year on the comfort women issue, over which Tokyo compromised to a certain extent. He was able to make that compromise because his government has a strong power base.
 日本側も譲歩した慰安婦問題に関する昨年末の日韓合意をはじめ、時に首相は現実的な面も見せてきた。強い政権だからこそ譲歩ができたともいえる。

However, he has certainly made light of Diet discussions, as was shown when he jeered at an opposition party legislator during Diet deliberations, saying, "Ask your question quickly." Intraparty discussions among those who have diverse opinions within the LDP have disappeared.
 だが国会で野党議員に対し「早く質問しろよ」と自らやじを飛ばすなど、首相が議論を軽んじてきたのは確かだ。自民党内でもかつてのような多様な議論はなくなった。

The prime minister also tends to simplistic divisions between friend and foe. Since the inauguration of the Abe government, there have been moves within his Cabinet that look designed to intervene in TV news coverage critical of the prime minister.
 敵か味方か。単純に決めつける姿勢も目立つ。首相に批判的なテレビ局に対し、従来にはなかった介入まがいの言動が見られるようになったのも安倍政権になってからだ。

The minimum voting age will be lowered from 20 to 18 in time for the upper house election. In preparation, supplementary teaching material on democratic politics, compiled jointly by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry and the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, have been distributed to all high school students across the country.
 参院選では初めて18、19歳が有権者になる。これに伴い、文部科学、総務両省が作成した副教材が全高校生に配布されている。

The material says democratic politics means politics through discussion, and that a final decision is generally made by a majority.
 副教材は、民主政治とは話し合いの政治であり、最終的には多数決で合意を形成するのが一般的だ、と記したうえで、こう続けている。

At the same time, it goes on to say, "To make good use of decisions by a majority, diverse opinions should be expressed and if minority opinions are right, they should be utilized as much as possible. Policy measures can be more effective if people are convinced by the decisions."
 「ただし、多数決が有効に生かされるためには、多様な意見が出し尽くされ(略)、少数意見が正しいものであれば、できるだけ吸収するというものでなければなりません。納得することで実効性も高まります」

This is the basics of democratic politics. Needless to say, opposition parties cannot win support from voters if they only voice stiff opposition to government policies. Specific policy discussions should be held during the upper house election campaign.
 まさにそれが民主政治の基本だろう。無論、野党も「反対だ」と声高に叫んでいるだけでは有権者の支持は得られない。より具体的な議論を戦わせる参院選にしたい。
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尖閣沖中国軍艦 危険増した挑発に警戒せよ

2016/06/11 08:25
The Yomiuri Shimbun
Beware of China’s increasingly dangerous provocation in E. China Sea
尖閣沖中国軍艦 危険増した挑発に警戒せよ

How far does China intend to escalate tensions with Japan? China’s latest behavior around Japanese territorial waters cannot be overlooked.
 日中間の緊張をどこまでエスカレートさせるのか。中国の振る舞いは看過できない。

A Chinese Navy frigate sailed for about 2 hours and 20 minutes in the contiguous zone just outside Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture before dawn Thursday. The Chinese warship navigated the contiguous zone in defiance of a warning by the Maritime Self-Defense Force.
 中国海軍のフリゲート艦1隻が9日未明、約2時間20分にわたって、沖縄県の尖閣諸島周辺の接続水域内を航行した。海上自衛隊の警告にも応じなかった。

China’s intrusions into Japanese territorial waters around the Senkakus have been made repeatedly by its coast guard vessels. This is the first time a Chinese naval vessel has entered the contiguous zone. It can be said that China’s provocative actions have entered a new phase.
 中国はこれまで尖閣周辺の領海で海警局の公船の侵入を繰り返してきた。軍の艦艇が接続水域に入ったのは初めてだ。挑発行動が新たな段階に入ったと言えよう。

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga denounced China’s action, saying, “It was an action that unilaterally heightens tensions, and we are deeply concerned about it.” Suga emphasized Japan’s sovereignty over the islands by saying, “The Senkaku Islands are an inherent territory of Japan both historically and under international law.” Immediately after the incident, Vice Foreign Minister Akitaka Saiki summoned Chinese Ambassador to Japan Cheng Yonghua to the Foreign Ministry and lodged a stern protest against the Chinese action. Saiki’s action was natural.
 菅官房長官は「緊張を一方的に高める行為で、深刻に懸念している。尖閣諸島は歴史的にも国際法上も、日本固有の領土だ」と強調した。斎木昭隆外務次官が直ちに中国の程永華駐日大使を呼び、厳重に抗議したのは当然である。

Three Russian Navy vessels also sailed in the contiguous zone around the same time as the Chinese warship. An MSDF destroyer shadowed the Russian vessels. It has been said the Chinese side may have taken advantage of this.
 中国軍艦艇と同時間帯にロシア軍の艦艇3隻も近くの接続水域を航行し、海自の護衛艦が追尾していた。中国側がこうした動きに乗じた可能性があるという。

Foreign naval vessels are permitted to sail in a contiguous zone under international law. Japan took necessary precautions against Russia, but the intentions behind having military vessels enter the contiguous zone need to be analyzed.
 国際法上、接続水域での外国艦艇の航行は認められている。ロシアには必要な注意喚起を行ったが、意図の分析が求められる。

The Japanese government has decided on a policy to order the Self-Defense Forces to engage in maritime security operations and dispatch MSDF vessels in the event of a Chinese naval vessel entering territorial waters around the Senkakus.
 日本政府は、尖閣沖の領海に中国軍艦艇が侵入した場合、自衛隊に海上警備行動を発令し、艦艇を派遣する方針を決めている。

Prepare for contingencies

In close cooperation with the United States and other countries concerned, Japan must take all necessary steps in its patrol and surveillance activities. It is also imperative to deal with so-called gray-zone contingencies, which stop short of a military attack, such as an armed fishing boat approaching the Senkakus.
 米国など関係国と緊密に連携して、警戒・監視に万全を期すべきだ。武装漁船の接近など「グレーゾーン事態」を含む不測の事態に備えておくことも肝要である。

China’s Defense Ministry defended its ship’s entry into the contiguous zone, insisting that “it is legal for its military vessels to sail in waters under its jurisdiction and other countries have no right to complain about it.” This is a totally unreasonable argument.
 中国国防省が「自国の管轄海域を航行するのは合法で、他国があれこれ言う権利はない」と強弁したのは、筋が通らない。

Two days ago, a Chinese fighter jet engaged in an “unsafe excessive rate of closure” on a U.S. reconnaissance plane on a routine patrol in international airspace over the East China Sea.
 2日前、中国軍戦闘機が、東シナ海の公海上を巡視活動中の米電子偵察機に異常接近した。

On such occasions as the recent Ise-Shima summit of the Group of Seven major countries and the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Beijing, Tokyo and Washington called for “freedom of navigation,” thereby ramping up pressure on China. China is strongly opposed to this and is believed to have issued “warnings” to the two countries through its provocative actions.
 先の主要国首脳会議(伊勢志摩サミット)や北京での米中戦略・経済対話などで、日米は「航行の自由」を訴え、対中圧力を強めた。中国はこれに反発し、「警告」したつもりなのだろう。

In the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly election on June 5, political parties opposing the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station from Ginowan to Henoko in Nago in the prefecture increased their seats. This undeniably provided China with an opportunity to take provocative action.
 5日の沖縄県議選で、米軍普天間飛行場の辺野古移設反対派が議席を増やしたことが、中国につけいる隙を与えた面も否めない。

Behind the Xi Jinping administration’s dispatch of the naval ship into waters around the Senkakus lies the state’s intention to establish naval and air supremacy in the East China Sea with an eye to expanding its maritime activity to the western Pacific Ocean. Excessive provocations could lead to a physical confrontation, heightening the international community’s distrust of China.
 習近平政権が軍艦艇を投入した背景には、西太平洋進出を視野に東シナ海の制海・制空権を確保しようとの国家意思があるのではないか。度を越した挑発は衝突につながる危険があり、国際社会の不信を一段と高めるだけだ。

To prevent an accidental clash between Japan and China, the Xi administration must accelerate efforts to conclude an agreement with Japan on the establishment of a bilateral “maritime liaison mechanism.”
 日中間の偶発的な衝突を防ぐために、習政権は、「海上連絡メカニズム」創設について、日本との合意を急がねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 10, 2016)
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舛添都知事 自らの言葉なぜ語らぬ

2016/06/10 11:38
--The Asahi Shimbun, June 9
EDITORIAL: Masuzoe must explain spending with own words, not legal babble
(社説)舛添都知事 自らの言葉なぜ語らぬ

Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe is grossly mistaken if he thinks he has offered convincing answers to questions about his qualifications to head the capital’s government and the administration itself. Serious doubts still remain following revelations about his spending of taxpayer money for personal use.
In recent sessions of the Tokyo metropolitan assembly, Masuzoe was bombarded with questions about his dubious expenditures on hotels, meals, books and artwork. (過剰英訳です)
 東京都知事としての資質への疑念や都政への不信感が、これで解消できたと舛添要一知事は思っているのだろうか。

Tokyo citizens wanted to hear Masuzoe’s own thoughts concerning his moral responsibility for using public money for personal purposes, not the opinions of the lawyers who have scrutinized his questionable expenditures and drawn up a report on their findings.
 都議会の代表質問と一般質問が終わった。都民が聞きたかったのは、さまざまな公私混同の道義的責任などを、調査報告書をまとめた弁護士ではなく、舛添氏自身はどう考えているのかという点だっただろう。「自分の言葉で語って」と都議たちは何度も促した。

Assembly members who questioned the governor repeatedly urged him to speak with his own words.
 しかし舛添氏は、判で押したような「反省」を繰り返した。

But Masuzoe only reiterated cookie-cutter comments about his “soul-searching” over the spending. He refused to offer the related details he must have discussed with the lawyers or specific measures to fix the problem.
弁護士らには語ったはずの詳細な事実や、具体的な改善策を尋ねられても答えを避けた。

Still, he dared to say, “I wish to regain public trust by fulfilling my responsibility to explain in this way.” This comment sounds like nothing but an expression of defiance.
 それなのに「このように説明責任を果たしていくことで信頼を回復したい」と言うのでは、開き直りにしか聞こえない。

Masuzoe liked to say the metropolitan assembly represents the capital’s public. But his remarks in the assembly sessions suggest his disrespect for the assembly.
 「都議会こそが都民の代表」と繰り返していたはずが、こんな答弁ぶりでは議会軽視の姿勢も問われるべきだろう。

He appears unable to even recognize what is the real issue.
 舛添氏は、何が問題なのかも認識していないのではないか。

If he really spent part of his political funds, including public money, for personal purchases, he should at least be accused of betraying the trust of taxpayers.
 公金を含む政治資金の一部を私生活に流用したとすれば、納税者に対する背信である。

He has worsened matters by failing to fulfill his responsibility to answer the questions raised, causing confusion and disruptions in the work of the metropolitan government.
その上に説明責任を果たさない混乱が都政の停滞を招いている。

After seeing how he has responded to the scandal, most citizens of the capital are naturally unwilling to support his desire to retain his post.
 これで知事続投の意欲を示されても都民は納得できまい。

The lawyers announced their report on his spending on June 6, the day before the metropolitan assembly started its session. The report said millions of yen in Masuzoe’s expenditures on hotel stays with his family, meals and artwork were “inappropriate.”
 代表質問の前日に公表された報告書は、家族同伴のホテル宿泊費や、飲食費・美術品代などの一部を「不適切」と認定した。その重みを舛添氏は深刻に受け止めねばならない。

Masuzoe needs to take this judgment seriously.

The report includes some telltale signs of his stance toward political funds. When he was asked about his purchase of a book on making soba (buckwheat noodles), for example, Masuzoe reportedly tried to justify the spending by saying, “I once discussed politics while making soba, and the book has been useful for my political activities.”
 報告書からは、政治資金をめぐる意識が透けて見える。例えば、そば打ちの本を買ったことについて「そばを打ちながら政治談義をしたこともあり、政治活動に役立っている」と述べたという。

As for his purchase of historical novels, he said he had bought it “for studying Edo Period customs,” according to the report.
時代小説の購入は「江戸時代の風俗研究のため」。

He made it sound like all aspects of his life were related to politics.
 生活のすべてが政治であるといわんばかりだ。

Masuzoe described the report as a “harsh” assessment of his expenditures. But most ordinary citizens don’t share his view.
舛添氏は報告書を「厳しい」指摘というが、ふつうの市民感覚から見れば、そうとは言えない。

The report didn’t question the appropriateness of his purchases of many calligraphy works, saying they also served both his hobby and his interests as a politician.
 多くの「書」の購入について報告書は「趣味と政治家としての実利・実益を兼ね備えている」ので問題なしとした。

As for a silk Chinese outfit he bought in Shanghai, Masuzoe reportedly claimed he could move his ink brush smoothly in calligraphy when he wears the robe. The lawyers accepted Masuzoe’s explanation as “specific and convincing.”
上海で買ったシルクの中国服は「書道の際に着ると筆をスムーズに滑らせることができる」という舛添氏の説明を、「具体的で説得力がある」と評した。

Does the governor intend to continue such expenditures now that they have judged to be “appropriate?”
 適切とされたこれらの支出を今後も続ける気なのか。

What does he think about assembly members’ call for him to make a “painful decision?” Masuzoe needs to offer honest and straightforward answers to these questions.
都議から求められた「身を切る決断」をどう考えるのか。舛添氏は正面から語らねばならない。

The metropolitan assembly, for its part, is responsible for making an exhaustive inquiry into the governor’s dubious expenditures.
 都議会には、審理を尽くす責任がある。

Members of the assembly’s general affairs committee should rigorously investigate the scandal during an intensive session on the topic expected to be held as early as next week.
来週にも見込まれる総務委員会での集中審議で、きちんと追及すべきだ。
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米中戦略対話 南シナ海安定に責任を果たせ

2016/06/09 07:49
The Yomiuri Shimbun
Washington must press Beijing to act responsibly in S. China Sea
米中戦略対話 南シナ海安定に責任を果たせ

China has been beefing up its efforts to build artificial islands in the South China Sea for use as military bases while also repeating self-serving actions and remarks over human rights and trade issues.
 南シナ海の軍事拠点化を加速させ、人権問題や貿易でも独善的な言動を繰り広げる。

To maintain peace in Asia and the stability of the global economy, it is crucial for the United States to keep pressing China to abide by international rules and fulfill its responsibilities as a major power.
 アジアの平和と世界経済の安定を保つには、そんな中国に、国際ルールを順守し、大国の責任を果たすよう米国が促し続けることが欠かせない。

In the eighth round of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Beijing, cabinet-level officials discussed a wide range of issues over two days.
 第8回米中戦略・経済対話が北京で行われ、閣僚級が2日間、幅広い課題を巡って協議した。

Regarding the dispute over the South China Sea, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called for maintaining a maritime order based on international laws. “I reiterated America’s fundamental support for negotiations and a peaceful resolution, based on the rule of law, as well as ... our concern about any unilateral steps by any party,” he said.
 南シナ海問題について、ケリー米国務長官は「一方的な行動ではなく、法の支配や外交を通じて解決すべきだ」と述べ、国際法に基づく海洋秩序の維持を訴えた。

However, both sides remained far apart on this issue. “China has every right to uphold its territorial sovereignty and lawful and legitimate maritime entitlements,” State Councilor Yang Jiechi said. Chinese President Xi Jinping also emphasized that there are “differences that cannot be resolved for the time being” between the two countries.
 中国の楊潔●国務委員は、「国家の主権と領土を断固守る」と語った。習近平国家主席も「すぐに解決できない対立もある」と強調し、議論は平行線をたどった。(●は竹かんむりの下にがんだれと虎)

The Xi administration is believed to be considering a plan to reclaim land on Scarborough Shoal, which lies close to the Philippines, on top of artificial islands they have already built in the South China Sea. Beijing apparently aims to build a runway and radar installations to pave the way for establishing an air defense identification zone over the area.
 習政権は、既に造成した人工島に加え、フィリピンに近いスカボロー礁でも埋め立てを検討しているとみられる。滑走路やレーダー網を整備し、防空識別圏の設定につなげる思惑があるのだろう。

The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration is expected to make a decision by the end of this month on a case the Philippines has brought over Beijing’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, which Manila calls a violation of international laws.
 フィリピンが中国の領有権主張を国際法違反と提訴したオランダ・ハーグの常設仲裁裁判所は、月内にも判断を下す見通しだ。

Yang, however, once again said China will ignore the decision. Does this mean that Beijing does not shy away from becoming isolated in the international community? A stance to turn from the rule of law will only give more credence to the idea that China is not like other nations.
 楊氏は、仲裁裁の結果を受け入れない考えを改めて示した。国際社会で孤立することも辞さないと言うのか。「法の支配」に背を向ける姿は、「中国異質論」に拍車をかけるだけである。

Staging cooperation

Kerry expressed his concerns over China’s human rights issues. In April, the Xi administration enacted a law to put foreign nongovernmental organizations providing services in the country under the supervision of security authorities. It cannot be overlooked that Beijing is oppressing human rights under the guise of “domestic affairs.”
 ケリー氏は中国の人権状況を問題視する意向を伝えた。習政権は4月に、国内で活動する外国の非政府組織(NGO)を公安当局の管理下に置く法律を制定している。中国が「国情」を盾に人権を抑圧する事態は看過できない。

One of the concerns in China’s economy is the delay in structural reforms, best exemplified by the overproduction of steel, among other products. U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew requested that China reduce production in steel and aluminium, saying, “Excess capacity has a distorting and damaging effect on global markets.”
 経済分野で懸念されるのは、鉄鋼などの過剰生産に象徴される中国の構造改革の遅れだ。ルー米財務長官は「世界市場を歪ゆがめ、悪影響を及ぼす」と語り、鉄鋼やアルミニウムの減産を要請した。

The latest Group of Seven summit meeting held in the Ise-Shima area of Mie Prefecture also described the overcapacity of steel as a cause for concern in the global economy, as it triggers unfair discount sales. The Xi administration is being held responsible for nipping possible disorder in the bud by making sure it reorganizes state-owned enterprises, among other measures.
 不当廉売を招く鉄鋼の過剰生産は、先の主要国首脳会議(伊勢志摩サミット)でも、世界経済の不安材料とされた。習政権には、国有企業の整理などを着実に進め、混乱の芽を摘む責務がある。

The latest U.S.-China dialogue was held as the last session under the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama. The U.S. side said the two countries were able to produce results as they deepened their cooperation on issues such as climate change and Iran’s nuclear development program through a series of discussions. The dialogue seemed to be effective to some degree in deterring unexpected collisions by facilitating exchanges among military officers.
 今回はオバマ政権下で最後の戦略対話となった。米側は、一連の対話を通じ、気候変動対策やイランの核問題などで協力が深まり、成果が出たと説明する。軍当局間の交流により、不測の衝突を防ぐ一定の効果はあっただろう。

China did not make any concessions on issues it regards as “core interests.” Wasn’t a show of cooperation put on rather than differences being resolved?
 中国は「核心的利益」と位置づける問題で一切譲歩しなかった。対立の解消より、協調を演出する側面が目立ったのではないか。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 8, 2016)
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韓国慰安婦財団 合意履行へ国民の理解求めよ

2016/06/08 10:55
The Yomiuri Shimbun
ROK must expand people’s support to implement ‘comfort women’ deal
韓国慰安婦財団 合意履行へ国民の理解求めよ

It can be said that a first step has been taken for implementation of a deal reached by the Japanese and South Korean governments in late December on the so-called comfort women issue. We want to see how the administration of President Park Geun-hye will follow through.
 慰安婦問題を巡る昨年末の日韓合意の履行に向けて、一歩前進したと言えよう。朴槿恵政権の取り組みを見守りたい。

A preparatory committee has been established in South Korea to set up a foundation to support former comfort women based on the bilateral accord.
 元慰安婦を合意に基づいて支援する財団の設立準備委員会が韓国で発足した。

The Japanese government will provide \1 billion for the foundation to be established by the South Korean government. The purpose of the foundation is said to be “to restore the honor and dignity of former comfort women and heal their emotional wounds.” The foundation will be required to embody the aims of the bilateral deal.
 韓国政府が設立する財団に、日本政府が10億円を拠出する。「元慰安婦の名誉と尊厳の回復、心の傷の癒やし」が事業目的とされる。その合意の趣旨を体現した財団となることが求められる。

Chaired by Kim Tae Hyeon, an honorary professor at Sungshin Women’s University and an expert on women’s issues, the committee consists of 11 members, including former Foreign Minister Yu Myung Hwan and a scholar on Japanese affairs. The panel will compile assistance programs for the former comfort women, and the foundation is scheduled to be set up as early as this month.
 準備委は、女性問題専門家の金兌玄・誠信女子大名誉教授が委員長を務め、柳明桓元外相、日本研究者ら計11人で構成される。元慰安婦支援の計画をまとめ、今月中にも財団が設立される運びだ。

During a recent news conference, Kim stressed a policy of respecting the intentions of former comfort women in carrying out assistance programs, saying, “We’d like to become sympathetic from our hearts to the pains of the victims [former comfort women] and meet their requests.”
 金委員長は記者会見で、「被害者(元慰安婦)の痛みに心から共感し、応えたい」と述べた。元慰安婦の意向を尊重して活動を進める方針を強調している。

It took more than five months before the preparatory committee was established. Behind the delay could be the Park administration’s wish to avoid having the comfort women issue become a point of contention in the general election that was held in April and evade the possibility of a barrage of criticism by opposition parties.
 準備委発足までに5か月以上かかった。4月の総選挙で慰安婦問題が争点となり、野党から攻撃されるのを避けたいとの判断が、朴政権にあったためだろう。

Given the stunning election defeat of her ruling party, the pressure on her administration’s governance has been mounting.
 総選挙で与党が大敗したことから、朴大統領の政権運営への圧力が高まっている。

No more time for delay

The Minjoo Party of Korea, a leftist opposition group that is now the biggest force in the National Assembly, has denounced the Japan-South Korea deal on the comfort women issue as making no mention of Japan’s legal responsibility and has called for holding negotiations again on the matter. A South Korean group assisting the former comfort women has been strongly opposing the inauguration of the preparatory committee.
 第1党となった左派野党「共に民主党」は日韓合意について、日本の法的責任の認定がない点などを批判し、再交渉を主張する。元慰安婦の支援団体も、準備委発足に強く反発している。

Of concern is that the South Korean people’s understanding of the bilateral accord on the comfort women issue is not sufficient. According to a joint public opinion survey conducted by The Yomiuri Shimbun and The Hankook Ilbo, 73 percent of South Korean respondents did not support the comfort women deal.
 気がかりなのは、国民の理解が十分に得られていない状況だ。読売新聞と韓国日報の共同世論調査では、合意を「評価しない」とする人が韓国で73%に上った。

The deal was worked out as a result of mutual concessions by Tokyo and Seoul. True, it triggered a chance for the two countries to restore strained bilateral relations. The Park administration has reportedly received an increasing amount of affirmative responses to the deal in interviews with the former comfort women.
 合意は日韓双方が歩み寄った成果であり、停滞していた日韓関係を改善する契機となったのは間違いない。朴政権が元慰安婦との面談を進める中で、合意に肯定的な反応が増えているという。

Forty-six former comfort women remained alive when the deal was hammered out last December. But four of them have since died. Delay in assistance programs can no longer be allowed.
 存命している元慰安婦は合意時に46人だったが、その後、4人が亡くなった。支援事業のこれ以上の遅滞は許されまい。

It is essential for the Park administration to tenaciously seek to obtain the people’s understanding of its accord with Tokyo on the comfort women issue and strive to enable the foundation to function smoothly.
 朴政権は合意の意義について、粘り強く国民に理解を求め、財団が円滑に活動できるよう努めることが欠かせない。

As for a Japanese request for the removal of a statue of a girl installed in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, the South Korean government has pledged “to work toward resolving the matter appropriately.”
 日本側が撤去を求めるソウルの日本大使館前の少女像について、韓国側は「適切に解決されるよう努力する」と約束している。

It should not be forgotten that the matter is gravely related to securing the peace and safety as well as the dignity of the embassy. South Korean organizations, including one that installed the statue, object to its removal, but it is also important for the South Korean government to induce them to remove the statue in line with progress in implementation of what has been agreed upon in the deal.
 大使館の安寧や威厳の維持に関わる重大な問題であるのを忘れてはならない。少女像を設置した団体などは撤去に反対するが、朴政権は合意履行の進展に伴い、撤去へ誘導していくことも大切だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 7, 2016)
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三菱マテ和解 形を変えた中国の揺さぶりか

2016/06/07 12:31
The Yomiuri Shimbun
Is China exerting new pressure on Japan in a different way via courts?
三菱マテ和解 形を変えた中国の揺さぶりか

It is feared that a new tendency of filing lawsuits against or seeking compensation from Japanese companies may spread in China.
 日本企業を相手取った新たな訴訟や賠償請求の動きが中国で広がらないか、懸念される。

A settlement has been reached regarding some Chinese who said they were forcibly taken to Japan as laborers during World War II and are demanding an apology and compensation from Mitsubishi Materials Corp., formerly Mitsubishi Mining Co.
 戦時中に中国から強制連行され、労働を強いられたとする中国人の元労働者らが三菱マテリアル(旧三菱鉱業)に謝罪と損害賠償を求めていた問題で、双方が和解した。

Mitsubishi Materials has apologized to them, admitting its “historical responsibility” over the issue. The company will pay 100,000 yuan (about \1.7 million) to each.
 三菱マテリアルは「歴史的責任」を認めて謝罪を表明した。1人当たり10万元(約170万円)を支払う。

With 3,765 Chinese people having worked at the company, the total scale of the settlement will be one of the largest ever for a Japanese company regarding wartime laborers alleged to have been forcibly taken to Japan.
働いていたのは3765人で、強制連行を巡る日本企業の和解としては過去最大規模だ。

The company probably opted to settle the issue to avoid the risk of prolonged litigation and paying a huge sum in compensation, and to give priority to expanding its business operations in China.
 訴訟の長期化や多額の賠償金のリスクを避けるとともに、中国ビジネスの展開を優先するために、和解を選んだのだろう。

Japanese lawyers also were involved in the lawsuit on the Chinese side. About 39,000 Chinese people were said to have been forcibly taken to Japan as laborers and 35 Japanese companies were reportedly involved.
 中国側には、日本人弁護士も関与した。強制連行された中国人労働者は約3万9000人で、関係した企業は35社に上るという。

If Japanese companies are pressured one after another to bear huge expenses, it is highly likely there will be a further increase in Japanese companies hesitating to make investments in China.
 今回の和解を機に巨額の費用負担を迫られるケースが続けば、対中投資に二の足を踏む企業が一段と増えかねない。

In the Japan-China joint statement signed in 1972 to mark the normalization of bilateral relations, the Chinese government relinquished all reparation demands for damage related to the war. The Japanese government has consistently taken the standpoint that no reparation issue is pending between Japan and China.
 中国政府は、1972年の国交正常化時の日中共同声明で、日本に対する戦争被害の賠償請求を放棄すると宣言した。日本政府は一貫して、「日中間の請求権問題は存在していない」との立場だ。

But the Chinese government has unilaterally asserted that individual rights to claim damages were not settled by the joint statement.
 だが、中国政府は、個人の賠償請求権は共同声明では決着していないと一方的に解釈している。

Top court’s indiscretion

The Supreme Court turned down the Chinese plaintiffs’ claim for individual reparations in 2007, saying, “Under the Japan-China joint statement, individual Chinese cannot file reparation claims for war damage.”
 日本の最高裁は2007年、「日中共同声明により、中国人個人は戦争被害について、裁判上の賠償請求はできなくなった」として、中国人の訴えを棄却した。

On the other hand, the top court added that “it is hoped efforts would be made toward giving relief to the victims” by the companies concerned and others. This additional comment must be considered indiscreet. It may have affected the decision by Mitsubishi Materials.
 一方で、関係企業などに「被害者の救済に向けた努力が期待される」とも付言した。不用意だったのではないか。三菱マテリアルの判断にも影響しただろう。

The Chinese court, which is under the control of the Chinese Communist Party-led government, initially did not accept claims by individuals. China was believed to have attached importance to relations with Japan, as its economic development was helped by such assistance as yen loans.
 共産党政権の指導下にある中国の裁判所は当初、中国人の訴えを受理しなかった。円借款などで経済発展を支えた日本との関係を重視していたためとみられる。

A problem arose when a Beijing court accepted in March 2014 a suit filed against Mitsubishi Materials by some former Chinese laborers over forcible mobilization.
 問題なのは、14年3月、三菱マテリアルの強制連行に関し、北京の裁判所が一部の元労働者らによる訴訟を受理したことである。

The administration of Xi Jinping apparently shifted its policy to intensify pressure on Japan, following such developments as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Yasukuni Shrine. The Chinese government may expect, once again, that it can hold Japan in check over issues of historical perception by tacitly approving the latest settlement.
 習近平政権は、安倍首相の靖国神社参拝などを受け、対日圧力を強める方針に転換したのだろう。今回も和解を黙認することで、歴史問題で日本を牽制けんせいできるとの思惑があるのではないか。

In South Korea, court battles continue over damages claims filed by former South Korean workers who say they were forcibly mobilized by the Japanese government during the war. The Japanese government should take precautions to ensure that neither China nor South Korea bring up again any issues that have already been settled legally.
 韓国では、戦時中に動員された元徴用工が損害賠償を求めた裁判が続いている。法的に解決済みの問題を中韓両国が改めて蒸し返すことのないよう、日本政府は、警戒せねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 6, 2016)
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日米韓防衛協力 北ミサイル対処に万全を期せ

2016/06/06 07:45
The Yomiuri Shimbun
Japan, U.S., South Korea must act together on North Korean missiles
日米韓防衛協力 北ミサイル対処に万全を期せ

North Korea has repeatedly taken militarily provocative actions. It is essential for Japan, the United States and South Korea to reinforce their framework for jointly dealing with contingencies.
 北朝鮮が軍事的挑発を繰り返している。日米韓3か国は、不測の事態に備え、共同対処体制を強化することが肝要だ。

Defense Minister Gen Nakatani, U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and South Korean Defense Minister Han Min Koo held talks in Singapore. They strongly condemned North Korea’s nuclear and missile development and confirmed that the three countries will make all-out efforts to share intelligence and conduct surveillance activities.
 中谷防衛相、カーター米国防長官、韓国の韓民求国防相がシンガポールで会談した。北朝鮮の核・ミサイル開発を強く非難し、情報共有や監視活動に万全を期すことを確認した。

Since April, North Korea has launched four ballistic missiles believed to be Musudan missiles, which have a range that can reach Guam, a U.S. territory. All the launches appeared to have failed, but some believe North Korea will continue missile launches until it succeeds.
 北朝鮮は4月以降、米領グアムに届く「ムスダン」とされる弾道ミサイルを4発発射した。すべて失敗した模様だが、成功するまで発射を続けるとの見方もある。

South Korea holds the key to trilateral cooperation. The full participation of South Korea, which directly faces the North Korean military and has its own intelligence, would greatly enhance Japan-U.S. cooperation.
 日米韓連携のカギは韓国だ。北朝鮮軍と直接対峙たいじし、独自情報を持つ韓国が本格的に加わることで日米協力は大幅に深化する。

During the talks, the three countries decided to conduct joint missile defense drills off Hawaii late this month. This is an important achievement, together with an agreement reached during Japan-South Korea defense ministerial talks to establish a hot line for emergencies. This may also serve to hold North Korea in check.
 会談では、今月下旬の3か国合同ミサイル防衛訓練のハワイ沖実施を決定した。日韓防衛相会談で緊急時のホットライン設置で一致したこととともに、重要な成果だ。北朝鮮への牽制けんせいともなろう。

Prior to the talks, Carter indicated that he would like to have the most advanced missile defense system deployed shortly at a U.S. military base in South Korea.
 カーター氏は会談前、最新鋭ミサイル防衛システムを在韓米軍に近く配備したい意向を示した。

Enhanced deterrence

There are cautious voices in South Korea in this regard — apparently in consideration of China — but the deployment of the new missile defense system would enhance deterrence and contribute to the regional stability of Northeast Asia. We hope the United States and South Korea, taking a broad perspective, will reach an agreement soon through talks.
 韓国には、中国への配慮から慎重論もあるが、新システム配備は抑止力を高め、北東アジアの安定に資する。大局的観点から、早期に米韓協議で合意してほしい。

In a speech delivered at the Asia Security Summit, Carter criticized China’s building of military strongholds in the South China Sea as “expansive and unprecedented actions.”
 カーター氏は「アジア安全保障会議」の演説で、中国による南シナ海の軍事拠点化を「膨張的で前例のない行動」と非難した。

Nakatani said with China in mind, “A unilateral change of the status quo, by saying it is established fact, excessively deviates from maritime order based on principles of international law.”
 中谷氏も、中国を念頭に、「一方的な現状変更、既成事実化は、国際法の原則に基づく海洋秩序を著しく逸脱する」と指摘した。

It is of great significance that Japan and the United States have appealed in unison to the international community concerning the impropriety of China raising regional tensions.
 地域を緊張させる中国の不当さを、日米が結束して国際社会に訴えた意義は大きい。

China’s construction of military installations on artificial islands in the sea is reckoned to be in its final phase. It is widely believed that China will also establish an air defense identification zone over the South China Sea, in addition to the one it has already set up over the East China Sea. Continued U.S. involvement is essential to counter China’s attempt to win air and naval supremacy of the South China Sea.
 人工島での軍事施設の整備は、最終段階にあるとされる。東シナ海に続いて南シナ海にも、防空識別圏を設定するとの見方が強い。南シナ海の制空・制海権を握ろうとする中国に対抗するには、米国の継続的な関与が欠かせない。

It is important that Japan and the United States cooperate to help the member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations enhance their intelligence-gathering and surveillance capabilities.
 東南アジア諸国連合(ASEAN)各国の情報収集・警戒監視能力の向上を、日米が連携して支援する取り組みが大切である。

Establishment of a new international forum, which Japan and the United States have advocated, and an unofficial U.S.-ASEAN defense ministers’ meeting, to be held in September in Hawaii, will also boost the arrangement of the defense cooperation.
 日米が提唱した国際フォーラムの新設や、9月にハワイで開く米ASEAN非公式国防相会議も、態勢作りを後押ししよう。

It is unreasonable for Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of the Joint Staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy, to reject Carter’s criticism of China, saying it was “not based on the facts.”
 カーター氏による中国批判に、中国軍の孫建国・統合参謀部副参謀長が「事実に即していない」と反論したのは、筋違いである。

Carter’s warning that “China could end up erecting a Great Wall of self-isolation” could become reality if the country continues talking and behaving self-righteously.
 中国が独善的な言動を続けるなら、「自らを孤立させる『万里の長城』を築く」というカーター氏の警告が現実のものになろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 5, 2016)Speech
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オバマ岩国演説 自衛隊と米軍の絆が示された

2016/06/05 09:00
The Yomiuri Shimbun
Obama’s speech at Iwakuni base symbolizes SDF-U.S. forces bond
オバマ岩国演説 自衛隊と米軍の絆が示された

U.S. President Barack Obama’s speech at the Iwakuni base, it can be said, symbolizes the deepening of the Japan-U.S. alliance as well as the strong bond between the Self-Defense Forces and the U.S. military.
 日米同盟の深化と、自衛隊と米軍の強い絆の象徴と言えよう。

Prior to his recent visit to Hiroshima, Obama visited the Iwakuni Air Station in Yamaguchi Prefecture, which is jointly used by the U.S. Marine Corps and the Maritime Self-Defense Force. He made a speech before an audience of about 3,000 people, including not only U.S. servicemen stationed there but also about 300 SDF members. This was an exceptional audience for a U.S. presidential address.
 オバマ米大統領が広島訪問前に、米海兵隊と海上自衛隊が共同使用する山口県の岩国基地で演説した。約3000人の聴衆には、駐留米兵のほか、自衛官約300人も加わった。異例の形式だ。

Obama stressed the importance of the Japan-U.S. alliance, saying, “It’s an indispensable source of stability and a foundation for prosperity in this region and around the world.”
 オバマ氏は「日米同盟は、地域と世界に不可欠な安定の源であり、繁栄の土台だ」と強調した。

Noting that “this base is a powerful example of the trust and the cooperation and the friendship between the United States and Japan,” Obama expressed gratitude to SDF personnel and local residents, saying “arigato” in Japanese.
 「岩国基地は両国の信頼と協力、友情の力強い実例だ」と指摘し、日本語で「ありがとう」と自衛官や地元市民らをねぎらった。

We should never forget that the bilateral alliance is sustained not simply by what is defined by treaty but by the accumulation of persistent joint activities of many members of the SDF and U.S. forces.
 日米同盟が単なる条約上の関係でなく、多くの自衛官や米兵の共同活動の積み重ねに支えられていることを忘れてはなるまい。

With the new Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation, compiled in April last year, the effectiveness of joint actions by the SDF and U.S. forces has been enhanced steadily.
 昨年4月に策定された新たな日米防衛協力指針(ガイドライン)によって、自衛隊と米軍の共同対処の実効性は着実に高まった。

In the aftermath of the Kumamoto earthquakes, a Japan-U.S. joint coordination center was set up in Kumamoto Prefecture. U.S. Osprey transport aircraft flying from the Iwakuni base transported water and food supplies from an MSDF destroyer off Yatsushiro port to disaster-hit areas.
 熊本地震では、現地に日米共同調整所が設置された。岩国基地を飛び立った米軍輸送機オスプレイが、八代港沖の海自護衛艦から水や食料を被災地に輸送した。

Essence of alliance

One family in the prefecture, who received relief goods, is said to be planning to name a baby girl whom it is expecting this month after a female Osprey pilot who led her squadron’s mission to bring humanitarian aid and supplies to those in need, as a token of the family’s respect and gratitude.
 支援物資を受け取った熊本県のある被災者一家は、飛行隊長の女性パイロットへの感謝と敬意から今月生まれる女の子に、隊長にちなんだ名前を付けるという。

Obama introduced the pilot, who was in the audience. He praised her squadron’s mission, saying it is “an incredible story that captures the essence of our alliance.” Indeed, the anecdote can be taken as proof that the new defense cooperation guidelines function properly.
 オバマ氏は、聴衆の中にいた女性隊長を紹介し、「日米同盟の本質を如実に示す逸話だ」と称賛した。新ガイドラインが適切に機能していることの証しだろう。

Of concern is that the “free ride argument,” which was once seen, has shown signs of emerging again in the United States. The argument is based on the thinking that U.S. allies benefit unilaterally from the U.S. forces.
 気がかりなのは、米国内で、一昔前の「安保ただ乗り論」が復活する兆しがあることだ。同盟国が米軍の恩恵を一方的に享受しているという考え方である。

Donald Trump, the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee in the November presidential election, has called on Japan to bear the entire cost of stationing U.S. forces in Japan and referred even to the possibility of withdrawing U.S. forces.
 11月の大統領選で共和党の指名候補に確定したドナルド・トランプ氏は、在日米軍駐留経費の全額負担を日本に要求し、米軍の撤退にも言及している。

Japan’s expenditures in fiscal 2015 to host U.S. forces amounted to about \725 billion, including funds to help cover personnel costs and to carry out measures for the residents around U.S. bases. Japan’s burden of expenditures once topped 70 percent of the total cost.
 2015年度の在日米軍関連経費に対する日本の支出は、労務費負担や周辺対策費などで約7250億円に上る。過去には、負担割合が7割を超えたこともある。

Indeed, Japan bears its fair share of the costs. U.S. bases in Japan serve as a core stronghold in the U.S. forces’ forward deployment strategy and thus serve the national interest of the United States, too.
 日本が応分の負担をしているのは間違いない。在日米軍基地は、米軍の前方展開戦略の重要拠点であり、米国の国益にもかなう。

U.S. administrations to date have had such understanding. But it is uncertain to what extent Trump is informed in this regard.
 歴代米政権は、この認識を共有してきたが、トランプ氏がどこまで理解しているかは不透明だ。

As U.S. military and economic power has declined in relative terms, it may be inevitable for the country to incline increasingly toward “looking inward.” While assuming various developments, Japan must push ahead with proactive international contributions without neglecting efforts to build up its own defense capabilities.
 米国の軍事・経済力が相対的に低下する中、「内向き志向」の高まりは避けられまい。日本は、今後の様々な展開を想定して、防衛力整備を怠らず、積極的な国際貢献を進めることが重要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 4, 2016)
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参院選 論戦スタートへ 語られざる「改憲」を問う

2016/06/04 12:01
--The Asahi Shimbun, June 3
EDITORIAL: Amending the Constitution is hidden focus of Upper House poll
(社説)参院選 論戦スタートへ 語られざる「改憲」を問う

The focus of attention in the political community has shifted to the July 10 Upper House election as the brouhaha over the consumption tax hike and the possibility of simultaneous Upper and Lower House elections has blown over.
Debate on key policy issues at the Diet was drowned out in the political noise in the final days of this year’s regular session.
 消費増税と衆参同日選の行方が注目された会期末の喧噪(けんそう)が去り、政界は7月10日投票の参院選に向け一斉に走り出した。

What topics will Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other politicians address during their election campaigns?
 この選挙で、安倍首相はじめ政治家たちは何を語るのか。

Abe has cast his economic policy, or Abenomics, as the central issue of the election and expressed his intention to seek a public mandate for his recent decision to postpone the scheduled consumption tax increase.
 首相は「アベノミクス」を最大の争点とし、消費増税先送りの判断について国民の信を問いたいという。

Voters will naturally consider these issues at the polls. But they don’t have to focus only on the issues played up by the administration.
 投票にあたってそれを考慮に入れるにしても、政権の一方的な争点設定に縛られる必要はない。

One important topic requires careful attention by voters although politicians are not eager to discuss it. That is constitutional amendments.
むしろ政治家があまり語ろうとしないことにこそ、細心の注意を払うべき論点がある。
 憲法改正である。

Abe has said his key target for the Upper House election is securing a two-thirds majority for his Liberal Democratic Party, its junior coalition partner, Komeito, and other parties willing to support his initiative to amend the Constitution.
 安倍首相は、参院選で自民、公明だけでなく改憲に前向きな政党を含めて3分の2の議席獲得をめざすと語っている。

If the target is reached, Abe will have a much better chance of proceeding with his plan to get the Diet to initiate constitutional amendments, through a concurring two-thirds vote of all the members of each chamber, for a national referendum on the proposed changes.
 実現すれば、衆参両院で憲法改正案を発議し、国民投票にかけることが、現実の政治日程にのぼる可能性が高まる。

That will, of course, be the first actual attempt to rewrite the postwar Constitution under the formal procedures for amendments.
 そうなればもちろん、戦後初めてのことだ。

The question of whether to hand an overwhelming two-thirds majority in both chambers to the Abe administration and its political allies is the biggest issue of the upcoming election, even though it is overshadowed by debate on the economy.
 安倍政権とその補完勢力に、衆参そろって3分の2の圧倒的な多数を与えるのかどうか。これが、経済に隠された参院選最大の焦点である。

The results of the election could put the nation at a major turning point in its postwar history.
 その結果は、戦後日本の分岐点となる重みを持つ。

FRESH DEBATE ON SECURITY LEGISLATION NEEDED
 ■安保法を問い直す

Let us look back on what happened in the Upper House, which is called “the Seat of Common Sense,” eight months ago.
 「良識の府」とも呼ばれる参議院。そこで8カ月前に起きたことを振り返ってみる。

At a Sept. 17 session of the special committee on the new national security legislation, committee members suddenly made a dash for the chairman’s seat, triggering a scuffle amid angry roars. From time to time, ruling camp lawmakers stood with both hands raised in response to cues. People watching the session on TV were clueless to what was occurring.
 安全保障関連法案を審議した昨年9月17日の特別委員会でのことだ。議員たちが突然、委員長席に駆け寄り、怒号の中でもみ合いが続く。合図を受けた与党議員が時折、両手を上げて立ちあがる。何が起こったのか、国民にはわからない。

This ugly scene was how the package of security bills, which effectively revises the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution, was actually enacted.
 これが9条の実質的な改正に等しい安保法案の採決だった。

In June last year, three constitutional scholars told the Lower House Commission on the Constitution that the legislation is unconstitutional. Their comments led many lawmakers to subscribe to the view that the legislation violates the Constitution, causing a bitter division among the public.
 安保法案については、6月に3人の憲法学者が衆院憲法審査会で「違憲である」と表明。違憲論が国会の内外に広まり、世論は二分された。

The bills should have been carried over to the next Diet session for further debate. Instead of resorting to persuasion by reason, however, the Abe administration extended the session and used the power of a majority to engineer the forceful passage of the bills through the Diet in the face of strong opposition due to doubts about their constitutionality.
 本来は、次の国会に持ち越して議論を尽くすべきだった。なのに、会期延長の末に違憲論をねじ伏せたのは、理による説得でなく、数による強行だった。

The July Upper House poll will offer a great opportunity for fresh debate on the legislation.
 参院選は、この安保法制定を問い直す機会である。

CHANGES IN STANCE BEFORE AND AFTER ELECTIONS
 ■選挙の前後で違う顔

Since the beginning of this year, Abe has made clear his desire to embark on amending the Constitution after the Upper House election.
 安倍首相は年明けから、参院選後に明文改正に踏み込みたい意向を明らかにしてきた。

In January, he pledged in a Diet session to “create a new Constitution with our own hands.” The initiative “has entered the stage of a realistic possibility where discussions are to be held on which provisions should be amended,” he added.
 1月には「自らの手で新たな憲法をつくる。いよいよどの条項について改正すべきか、現実的な段階に移ってきた」と国会で答弁。

In the recent one-on-one Diet debate with Katsuya Okada, president of the Democratic Party, Abe challenged the largest opposition bloc to come up with its own draft amendments to the Constitution, saying there could be no meaningful debate on the topic unless the opposition party did so.
先の党首討論では民進党の岡田代表に「民進党も改正草案を出さなければ、議論のしようがない」と挑発した。

Abe spoke as if changing the Constitution was a given.
 まるで、憲法を変えるのは既定路線だと言わんばかりだ。

In contrast, other senior LDP politicians are not eager to pursue constitutional amendments.
 一方で、首相以外の自民党幹部の熱は低い。

The LDP’s headquarters to promote constitutional amendments has yet to start considering which provisions should be revised. The Lower House Commission on the Constitution didn’t begin substantial debate on the question in the latest Diet session.
 党の憲法改正推進本部は、どの条項を改正すべきかの議論には手をつけていない。衆院の憲法審査会も、先の国会での実質審議を見送った。

Behind its reluctance to wade into debate on the issue is the lack of solid public support to the initiative.
In an Asahi Shimbun survey, 55 percent of the respondents said there was no need to change the Constitution.
 なぜか。朝日新聞の世論調査では、憲法を「変える必要はない」という人は55%に達する。

Toshihiro Nikai, chairman of the LDP’s General Council, pretty much summed up the dominant sentiment within the ruling party when he said a single-minded pursuit of constitutional amendments would make it difficult for the party to win in the election.
「しゃにむに憲法改正の旗を振る姿勢を示したならば、選挙に勝てない」(二階総務会長)というのが党内の空気なのだ。

In the past two national elections, the Abe administration focused its campaign on economic issues that have a direct bearing on people’s livelihoods. The administration is adopting the same campaign strategy for this poll.
 安倍政権は、過去2回の国政選では国民生活に密接にかかわる経済を前面に掲げた。今回も同様だ。

But the administration drastically changed its political posturing after each of the past two elections.
 だが、これまでは選挙が終わると、安倍政権は顔を一変させてきた。

We should not forget the fact that the administration forged ahead with the passage of the state secrets protection law and the security legislation, which both directly concern such basic principles of the Constitution as the people’s right to know and pacifism, after these past elections.
特定秘密保護法に安保法。国民の知る権利や平和主義という憲法の根幹にかかわる法の制定に、一気に進んできたことを忘れてはならない。

THE REAL AIM OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT INITIATIVE?
 ■改憲の狙いはどこに

The Constitution, of course, will not be the only element voters will consider when they make their decisions at the polls in July. Policy issues that affect their daily lives are important factors for their choices that need to be weighed carefully.
 もちろん、有権者が参院選で投票する際の評価軸は、憲法ばかりではない。日々の暮らしにかかわる政策は重要な論点であり、十分な吟味が必要だ。

Let us then examine the economic planks on the parties’ campaign platforms. There aren’t radical differences between the LDP’s vision of a society where 100 million people will play active roles and the Democratic Party’s vision of a “society of symbiosis.” Many parties are proposing more or less similar policies concerning such issues as growth and redistribution, the same wage for same work principle and reducing the number of children on waiting lists for day-care centers.
 ただ、各党の主張をみてみよう。自民党の「1億総活躍」と民進党の「共生社会」、成長と分配、同一労働・同一賃金、待機児童の解消。多くの党が掲げる方向は同じだ。

Given the massive budget deficit and the contraction of the working population, there cannot be wide differences between the ruling and opposition parties in these policies.
財政赤字や労働人口の減少を考えれば、これらの政策に与野党の大きな違いを見いだすのは難しい。

On the other hand, the LDP’s constitutional amendment agenda could radically affect certain values we have enjoyed in the postwar era, such as peace and freedom.
 一方で、いま自民党内で語られている憲法改正論は、私たちが戦後、その恩恵を受けてきた平和や自由といった価値を変質させる可能性をはらむ。

The LDP’s draft constitutional amendments are based on views that place the interests of the state before the freedom of individuals. Lurking at the heart of these views is a sentiment that is close to antipathy toward the human rights and individualism espoused by the current Constitution.
 自民党の憲法改正草案を貫いているのは、国民一人ひとりの自由より、国家を優先させる考え方だ。その根っこには、現憲法の人権や個人主義に対する、敵意に近い感情がうかがえる。

In referring to the LDP’s draft constitutional amendments in a June 1 news conference, Abe toned down his usual rhetoric.
“We are not seeking support from two-thirds (of the members of both chambers) for the initiative by promising to make these amendments,” he said.
 首相はおとといの記者会見で党の草案にふれ、「『これをやりますから賛成する人はだれですか』と3分の2を募っているわけではない」と、抑えた言いぶりにとどめた。

If he secures an electoral victory, however, Abe may start saying the party has won a public mandate to promote the drafts.
If so, which provisions will he try to change for whatever reasons?
 だが、参院選の結果、「草案は信任を得た」と言い出す可能性はないか。そして、どの条文をどのように変えようとしているのか。そこに理はあるか。

Even if Abe doesn’t talk about these questions, voters should ask, as many times as necessary, vital questions about his real stance toward the Constitution.
 首相らが語ろうとはしなくても、有権者として憲法への姿勢を何度でも問い続けたい。
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首相の会見 納得できぬ責任転嫁

2016/06/03 11:06
--The Asahi Shimbun, June 2
EDITORIAL: Abe shifts blame from himself for his decision to delay tax hike
(社説)首相の会見 納得できぬ責任転嫁

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s explanation about why he decided to delay the scheduled consumption tax hike again is far from convincing.
In a June 1 news conference, Abe tried--but failed--to make his case that there is a compelling case to delay the increase in the consumption tax rate to 10 percent, slated for April 2017.
 とても納得できる説明ではない。安倍首相のきのうの記者会見はそう評価せざるを得ない。

The long and short of what he said at the news conference is this:
<His economic policy, or Abenomics, is working well, but the economies of many emerging countries are losing steam. That’s why he has decided to put off the consumption tax hike and cobble together a bold package of policy measures to shore up the Japanese economy this autumn. But he remains firmly committed to fiscal reform to fix state finances, which are in a shambles.>
 アベノミクスは順調だ。しかし新興国の経済が陰っている。だから来年春の10%への消費増税は延期し、この秋に大胆な経済対策をまとめる。財政再建の旗は降ろさない――。発言を要約すればこうなる。

Far from being convincing, his call for “revving up the engine of Abenomics as much as possible” raises concerns about heightened risks involved in his expansionary economic policy program.
 納得どころか、「アベノミクスのエンジンを最大にふかす」と強調されては、その危うさがさらに膨らみかねないと不安が募る。

This will be the second delay in the tax increase. It was originally scheduled for October 2015, but Abe in November 2014 announced the postponement of the step to April 2017.
Since that announcement, Abe had reiterated that he would go ahead with the plan to raise the tax rate to 10 percent unless Japan is hit by serious economic tumult, like the global crisis triggered by the 2008 collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers or the downturn following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.
 リーマン・ショックや東日本大震災のような経済混乱が生じない限り、10%への消費増税は必ず実施する。前回、消費増税の延期を表明した14年11月の記者会見以来、首相はこう繰り返してきた。

In the June 1 news conference, Abe admitted that nothing like the “Lehman shock” crisis is taking shape. He also denied that his change of mind had been caused by the series of strong earthquakes that have rocked Kumamoto Prefecture and surrounding areas since mid-April.
 きのう首相は「リーマン・ショック級の事態は発生していない」と認め、熊本地震を理由にするつもりもないと述べた。

On the other hand, Abe contended that Abenomics had produced notable results, pointing to job and income growth.
一方で、雇用の増加や所得の上昇を挙げ、アベノミクスの成果に自信を見せた。

If that’s his view about the economy, he should raise the consumption tax as planned to cure the government’s fiscal ills and enhance the financial standing of the social security system.
 ならば、財政再建と社会保障財源充実のために、消費増税を予定通り実施するのが筋だ。

In trying to justify his move, Abe mentioned concerns about the economic health of key emerging countries, including China.
 首相が引き合いに出したのが、中国をはじめとする新興国経済の不安である。

During the recent Ise-Shima summit of the Group of Seven major industrial nations, Abe repeatedly referred to the global recession caused by the failure of Lehman Brothers. But the leaders of Britain and Germany refused to buy his argument.
 先の伊勢志摩サミットでは何度もリーマン・ショックに触れ、英独両国の首脳らから異議が出た。

While Abe admitted that the current situation is not similar to the aftermath of Lehman Brothers’ demise, he pointed to overseas economic uncertainties as the reason behind his policy decision. By doing so, he has effectively shifted the responsibility to emerging countries.
今回はリーマン・ショックとは異なることを認めたものの、海外経済の不透明感を増税延期の理由にするのは、新興国への責任転嫁に等しい。

As for pushing back the tax increase by two-and-a-half years to October 2019, Abe claimed that is the maximum possible delay that can be made without giving up the government’s target of restoring fiscal health by fiscal 2020.
 首相は2年半の先送りについて「20年度の財政健全化目標を堅持するギリギリのタイミングにした」と言う。

The fiscal rehabilitation target is an extremely ambitious one that will not be achieved even if the consumption tax is raised as planned and the Japanese economy grows at rates over 3 percent annually.
 健全化目標は、消費増税を実施し、毎年度3%を超える経済成長を達成してもなお及ばない遠い目標だ。

Reaching the target requires constant efforts to review and reform the budget for substantial spending cuts. But Abe’s approach is totally dependent on revenue growth expected from economic stimulus, which is no more than a shot in the arm. Is this the right way to tackle the formidable challenge?
不断に予算を見直し、地道な努力を積み重ねることが不可欠なのに、経済対策というカンフル剤による税収増を当て込むばかりでよいのか。

Abe also said he will seek a public mandate for this policy decision in the upcoming Upper House election.
 首相はこの新たな判断について「参院選を通して国民の信を問う」という。

Few people would welcome a tax hike even if they understand the need for the step.
 増税の必要性は理解してもそれを歓迎する国民は少ない。

In a recent Asahi Shimbun poll, 59 percent of the respondents said the tax increase should be postponed, compared with 29 percent who said the step should not be delayed.
朝日新聞の世論調査でも、10%への引き上げを「延期すべきだ」とした人は59%で「すべきではない」の29%を上回っている。

Abe’s request for voters to support his decision to delay an unpopular measure is tantamount to pushing the pretext that the public has approved his broken policy promise.
 不人気な政策の先送りを問うことで自らの公約違反にお墨付きを得ようとする。

It is actually a scheme to take advantage of public sentiment about the tax hike to shunt his responsibility for the controversial move to the voting public.
これは、国民感情を逆手にとった有権者への責任転嫁でもある。

Voters need to express their views about the prime minister’s self-centered political maneuver in the Upper House election.
 参院選で問われるべきは、むしろこうした首相の身勝手さではないか。
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増税再延期 議論なき決定の異様さ

2016/06/02 11:01
--The Asahi Shimbun, June 1
EDITORIAL: Abe’s decision to delay tax hike made without proper debate
(社説)増税再延期 議論なき決定の異様さ

Raising the consumption tax rate to 10 percent is a decision that would affect the lives of Japanese people, present and future. A matter of such import must never be left to the discretion of the prime minister alone, nor be settled in the absence of scrutiny by the government and the ruling coalition and thorough Diet deliberations.
 消費増税をどうするかは、将来世代を含む国民の暮らしを左右する重要テーマだ。政府与党内の事前の検討も、国会の議論もないまま、首相の一存で押し切っていいものではない。

But Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced yet another postponement of the tax hike, this time for two-and-a-half years, scrapping the scheduled increase in April next year.
 来年4月に予定されていた消費税率10%への引き上げを2年半、再延期する。

Abe dropped this bombshell just days before the June 1 adjournment of the current Diet session. Throughout the past 150-day session, Abe talked of the planned tax hike as a foregone conclusion, saying it will happen “unless the nation is impacted drastically by something like the ‘Lehman shock’ or a catastrophic earthquake.”
 安倍首相のこの方針は、国会会期末間際になって、いきなり持ち出された。それまで150日間の国会審議を通して、首相は「リーマン・ショックあるいは大震災級の影響のある出来事が起こらない限り、引き上げを行っていく」と語っていたはずである。

The process leading up to Abe’s decision on the postponement was definitely irregular. Not one debate was held within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party or the government or the Diet to examine Abe’s proposal. Instead, Abe summoned his senior Cabinet ministers and party executives in person and sought their approval.
 持ち出し方も異様だった。自民党内でも、政府内でも、ましてや国会でも、首相方針をめぐる議論をまったく経ないまま、有力閣僚や与党幹部を個別に呼び、同調を求めていった。

Finance Minister Taro Aso was practically the only Cabinet member who firmly opposed the postponement, reminding Abe that the last time the tax hike was delayed, the administration had promised that the increase would be effected for certain in April 2017.
 「前回延期を決めた時、17年4月に引き上げると約束した」と明確に反対したのは麻生財務相くらい。

But even Aso readily backed off in the end. He was quoted as saying, “If the prime minister says so.”
その麻生氏にしても最後は「総理がそういうなら」とあっさり折れた。

This whole affair is quite symbolic of the distorted nature of the Abe administration’s power structure. With Abe holding and exercising extraordinary power and authority, all the ruling coalition could do was to endorse whatever policy he decided, with no questions asked.
 あまりにも強い首相の力と、その方針を議論なく追認するしかない与党の姿――。安倍政権のいびつな権力行使のあり方が象徴的に表れたと言える。

The Diet adjourns on June 1, having rejected a no-confidence motion against the Abe Cabinet, filed on May 31 by four opposition parties.
 野党4党がきのう提出した内閣不信任案は否決され、国会はきょう閉会する。

Abe's arbitrary decision to postpone the consumption tax hike is such a huge issue that the normal thing to do now is to extend the Diet session for serious discussions among the ruling and opposition camps. Numerous points require scrutiny.
 だが本来なら、国会を延長して与野党で十分に議論すべき大問題である。論点は数多い。

For instance, how appropriate was Abe’s assertion, made abruptly during the Ise-Shima Group of Seven summit, that the global economy is at risk of falling into a crisis?
 伊勢志摩サミットで首相が唐突に言及した「世界経済が危機に陥るリスクに直面している」という主張に妥当性はあるか。

How will the postponement of the consumption tax hike affect the nation’s social security system and fiscal rehabilitation program, and what countermeasures should be taken? Where should the funding for the countermeasures come from?
 増税延期で社会保障や財政再建にどんな影響があり、どんな手立てを打つべきなのか。その財源はどう捻出するのか。

Another question that must be raised is whether the postponement is part of the ruling coalition’s campaign strategy for the upcoming Upper House election.
 近づく参院選をにらんだ選挙対策ではないのか。

Questions must also be posed to the opposition Democratic Party.
 民進党にも問いたい。

During a debate between party leaders in mid-May, Democratic Party President Katsuya Okada pointed out the inevitability of postponing the tax hike because of anemic consumption. In other words, it was the Democratic Party that opened the doors for the delay.
 5月半ばの党首討論で、岡田代表が「消費が力強さを欠くなか、先送りせざるをえない状況だ」と述べ、増税延期論の先鞭(せんべん)をつけたのは民進党だった。

But let us recall the concept of “integrated reform of tax and social security systems,” initiated four years ago by the then-Democratic Party of Japan administration of Yoshihiko Noda and endorsed by the LDP and Komeito.
 4年前、当時の野田民主党政権が主導して自民、公明両党と合意した「税と社会保障の一体改革」を思い起こすべきだ。

The basic purpose of these simultaneous reforms was to raise the consumption tax and use the tax revenue to deal with the nation’s bloating social security costs. This was going to cause pain to the current generation of taxpayers, but the point was to minimize the debt burden of the next generation. We must remember this spirit.
 消費税を引き上げて、膨らむ社会保障の財源に充てる。今を生きる世代に痛みはあっても、将来世代へのつけ回しは極力避ける。そんな一体改革の精神を忘れてはいないか。

Abe is scheduled to explain the tax hike postponement at a news conference after the conclusion of the current Diet session today.
 首相はきょう国会閉幕の記者会見で増税再延期について説明する。

We also expect a clear explanation from Okada when he and Abe present their arguments during the Upper House election campaign.
民進党の岡田代表もあわせ、参院選の論戦を通じて国民への十分な説明を求める。
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消費増税の再延期 首相はまたも逃げるのか

2016/06/01 12:43
--The Asahi Shimbun, May 31
EDITORIAL: Abe must stop ducking his responsibilities over tax hike
(社説)消費増税の再延期 首相はまたも逃げるのか

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has told top government and ruling coalition officials that he has decided to postpone the scheduled consumption tax hike again.
The planned raise in the tax rate from 8 percent to 10 percent will be pushed back by two-and-a-half years from April 2017 to October 2019.
 来年4月の予定だった10%への消費増税を2年半先送りし、実施は19年10月とする。

This will be the second delay in the tax increase. It was originally slated for October 2015, but Abe put it off to April next year.
 安倍首相が、政府・与党幹部に増税延期の方針を伝えた。もともと15年10月と決まっていたのを17年4月に延ばしたのに続き、2度目の先送りである。

But why October 2019?
 なぜ19年10月なのか。

Here’s an explanation circulating within the ruling camp.
Abe’s term as president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party will expire in autumn 2018, and he wants to avoid a tax hike during his tenure as prime minister. Moreover, unified local elections and an Upper House poll are scheduled for spring and summer, respectively, in 2019. The unpopular measure to increase the tax burden on the public could badly damage the ruling coalition’s performances in these elections. So the step would be best delayed until after the elections.
 首相の自民党総裁としての任期は18年秋まで。首相在任中は増税を避けたい。そして19年春〜夏に統一地方選と参院選がある。国民に負担増を求める政策は選挙で不利になりかねない。だから選挙後にしよう――。
 そんな見方が、与党内でもささやかれている。

PROMISED INTEGRATED REFORM
 ■「一体改革」はどこへ

The current generation of Japanese depends, to a considerable extent, on government borrowing to finance social security programs that are supporting them. That means shifting the burden to future generations.
 私たち今を生きる世代は、社会保障財源の相当部分を国債発行という将来世代へのつけ回しに頼っている。

This structural debt financing of social security spending has left state finances in tatters, with government debt now surpassing a staggering 1,000 trillion yen ($9.01 trillion).
その構造が、1千兆円を超えて国の借金が増え続ける財政難を招いている。

In 2012, the then ruling Democratic Party of Japan (now the Democratic Party), the LDP and its junior coalition partner, Komeito, reached an agreement on so-called integrated reform of tax and social security systems as a way to solve this structural fiscal problem.
だから、税収が景気に左右されにくい消費税を増税し、借金返済に充てる分も含めすべて社会保障に回す。これが自民、公明、民主(当時)3党による「税と社会保障の一体改革」だ。

The reform blueprint calls for raising the consumption tax and using all of the revenue from the levy, which is less vulnerable to changes in economic conditions, to fund social security outlays, including debt repayments.
The integrated reform was designed to ensure that the three parties would be solidly committed to implementing the tax increase, which would force the public to shoulder a heavier financial burden to support the safety net while insulating the measure from election battles and power struggles.
 国民に負担を求める増税を、選挙や政局から切り離しつつ、3党が責任をもって実施する。それが一体改革の意味だった。

Abe’s decision to postpone the step for a second time, apparently motivated by concerns about elections, deserves to be criticized as a petty political maneuver that tramples on the spirit of the integrated reform.
選挙に絡めて増税を2度も延期しようとする首相の判断は、一体改革の精神をないがしろにすると言われても仕方がない。

In his November 2014 news conference to announce his first decision to postpone the tax raise, Abe stressed his commitment to fiscal reform.
 首相は1度目の増税延期を表明した14年11月の記者会見で、次のように語っていた。

“I will never back down from my vow to carry out fiscal rehabilitation,” he said. “The Abe Cabinet will never waver in its determination to secure the international community’s confidence in Japan and pass a (sustainable) social security system to the next generation.”
 「財政再建の旗を降ろすことは決してない。国際社会で我が国への信頼を確保し、社会保障を次世代に引き渡していく安倍内閣の立場は一切揺らがない」

He also said, “I promise that there won’t be another delay (in the consumption tax hike).”
 「(増税を)再び延期することはないと断言する」

Has he forgotten these promises he made to the people?
 この国民との約束はどこへ行ったのか。

FAR FROM ‘LEHMAN SHOCK’
 ■「リーマン」とは異なる

As Abe has repeatedly said, any major economic upheaval like the ones that were triggered by the 2008 collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers or the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake would justify putting off the tax increase.
 首相が繰り返す通り、リーマン・ショック級や東日本大震災並みの経済混乱に見舞われた時は、増税の延期は当然だ。

Indeed, the Japanese economy is not in good shape. Japan’s real economic growth rates in recent quarters have been hovering between minus 2 percent and 2 percent.
 足元の景気は確かにさえない。四半期ごとの実質経済成長率は、年率換算でプラスマイナス1%台の一進一退が続く。

But that is not as bad as the 15-percent economic contraction that occurred immediately after the failure of Lehman Brothers or the shrinkage by more than 7 percent following the devastating quake and tsunami in March 2011.
一方、リーマン直後の成長率はマイナス15%に達した。大震災時の7%を超えるマイナス成長と比べても明らかに異なる。

As a plot to clear the way for delaying the tax increase again, Abe, at the recent Ise-Shima Group of Seven summit of major industrial nations, tried to promote the narrative that the world economy is now at risk of falling into a crisis that cannot be seen as an ordinary downward phase of the economic cycle.
 それでも消費増税を延期したい首相が、伊勢志摩サミットで持ち出したのが「世界経済が通常の景気循環を超えて危機に陥る大きなリスクに直面している」というストーリーだ。

Abe probably wants to convince people that economic concerns in other parts of the world, especially in some key emerging countries, argue against a tax hike now even though his economic program, or Abenomics, is working well.
 アベノミクスは順調だ、だが新興国を中心に海外経済が不安だから増税できない、そう言いたいのだろう。

Given objective economic data, however, it is not at all surprising that some of Japan’s G-7 colleagues, such as Germany and Britain, refused to support his argument.
これに対し、独英両国などから異論が出たのは、客観的な経済データを見れば当然のことだ。

Opposition parties are demanding Abe’s resignation, saying his decision to delay the tax hike again proves that Abenomics has failed.
 一方、野党は増税延期について「アベノミクスが失敗した証拠だ」と首相に退陣を求める。

Before debating whether Abenomics has been successful or not, however, we need to consider afresh whether these policies are an appropriate prescription for Japan’s economic problems.
だがアベノミクスの成否を論じる前に、それが日本経済への処方箋(せん)として誤っていないか、改めて考える必要がある。

One important indicator of a nation’s economic health is its potential growth rate. The government has admitted that Japan’s potential growth rate is less than 1 percent.
 一国の経済の実力を示す指標に「潜在成長率」がある。日本経済のそれはゼロパーセント台にすぎないと政府も認める。

What kind of policy efforts are needed to increase Japan’s growth potential?
 潜在成長率を高めるには、どんな施策に力を注ぐべきか。

First of all, key social security programs, such as child-care and nursing-care support, should be enhanced.
 まず保育や介護など社会保障分野だ。

It is vital to make it easier for people to receive the support they need in these areas through redistribution based on the tax and budget policy.
税制と予算による再分配を通じて、支えが必要な人が給付を受けられるようにする。

It is also crucial to improve the working conditions of child-care and nursing-care workers to expand the nation’s ability to provide these services. Expanding and strengthening the social safety net through increased burdens and benefits would help accelerate the flow of money within the economy and create new jobs.
保育士や介護職員の待遇を改善し、サービス提供力を高めていく。負担と給付を通じた充実が、おカネを循環させて雇用を生むことにつながる。

Also important is deregulation to promote investment in promising areas, such as those related to global warming, energy conservation and artificial intelligence.
 温暖化対策や省エネ、人工知能開発など、有望な分野への投資を促す規制改革も大切だ。

ABENOMICS NEEDS FIXING
 ■アベノミクス修正を

Since these policy measures are unlikely to quickly produce the expected results, it is necessary to prop up the economy with monetary easing and fiscal expansion. But the government needs to take steps to mitigate the negative side effects of this approach as a basic principle of economic management.
 これらの施策は短期間では成果が出にくいから、金融緩和や財政で下支えする。その際に副作用への目配りを怠らない。それが経済運営の王道だろう。

Under Abenomics, the Abe administration has been seeking to raise inflationary expectations among people and businesses through the Bank of Japan’s aggressive “different dimension” credit expansion, or the “first arrow” of Abenomics, as the main incentive for consumer spending and business investment.
 だがアベノミクスは「第1の矢」の異次元金融緩和で物価上昇への「期待」を高め、それをてこに消費や投資を促そうとしてきた。

As for the second arrow--government spending--the administration has stressed “flexible” fiscal policy management, as embodied by a series of large-scale supplementary budgets.
金融緩和を後押しする「第2の矢」である財政では、大型補正予算の編成など「機動的な運営」を強調する。

In the news conference at the end of the G-7 summit, Abe declared, “We will again rev up the engine of Abenomics as much as possible.”
 首相はサミットを締めくくる記者会見で「アベノミクスのエンジンをもう一度、最大限ふかしていく」と強調した。

The BOJ keeps purchasing enormous amounts of government bonds under its unprecedented monetary expansion program. This situation could undermine the government’s fiscal discipline.
 しかし金融緩和の手段として日本銀行が多額の国債を買い続ける現状は、政府の財政規律をゆるめる危うさがつきまとう。

Extra budgets focused on public works expenditures and measures to stimulate consumer spending may shore up the economy temporarily but would cause further deterioration of the nation’s fiscal health, making the people even more worried about their future.
補正予算も公共事業積み増しや消費喚起策が中心では、一時的に景気を支えても財政悪化を招き、将来への不安につながる。

What Abe should do now is not “rev up” his government’s monetary and fiscal expansion drives. Instead, he should confront the limits and negative effects of Abenomics and correct the course of his economic policies. Then, he should deliver on his promise to carry through the integrated tax and social security reform to allay people’s anxiety about their future.
 首相がいまなすべきは金融緩和や財政出動を再び「ふかす」ことではない。アベノミクスの限界と弊害を直視し、軌道修正すること。そして、一体改革という公約を守り、国民の将来不安を減らしていくことだ。

If the prime minister runs away from implementing a necessary policy measure that requires the people to accept pain before an election, he is effectively running away from his fundamental responsibility as the nation’s leader.
 選挙を前に、国民に痛みを求める政策から逃げることは、一国を率いる政治家としての責任から逃げることに等しい。
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