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G20と政策協調 市場安定へ行動が求められる [英字新聞]

The Yomiuri Shimbun
G-20 nations must coordinate policies to stabilize global financial markets
G20と政策協調 市場安定へ行動が求められる

Can the current turmoil in global financial markets be contained by the latest moves of the Group of 20 countries? The developed and emerging market economies must coordinate their policies effectively to achieve this goal.
 世界的な金融市場の混乱を、これで抑えられるか。先進国と新興国は政策協調を実効あるものとしなくてはならない。

A conference of the G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors ended on Saturday. A joint communique adopted at the conference included the grim perception that “Downside risks and vulnerabilities have risen” for the global economy.
 主要20か国・地域(G20)財務相・中央銀行総裁会議が閉幕した。採択された共同声明は、「世界経済の下方リスクと脆弱ぜいじゃく性が高まっている」とする厳しい認識を示した。

Based on this recognition, the G-20 countries expressed their strong resolve in the communique to “use all policy tools — monetary, fiscal and structural — individually and collectively” to check the global economy from stalling.
 そのうえで、世界経済の失速回避に向けて、金融政策や構造改革、財政出動といった「全ての政策手段を総合的に用いる」との強い決意を表明した。

The world economy has been shrouded in a number of destabilizing factors, such as the slowdown in China’s economic growth, a drop in crude oil prices, and capital flows out of emerging market economies in the wake of the recent U.S. interest rate hike.
 世界経済は、中国の成長鈍化や原油安、米国の利上げに伴う新興国からの資金流出など、多くの不安要因に覆われている。

It is noteworthy that the G-20 countries shared a sense of alarm and came up with a stance of jointly tackling these challenges to realize market stabilization.
 G20が危機感を共有し、市場の安定化へ協調して臨む姿勢を打ち出したことは評価できよう。

The G-20 countries agreed on the view that excessive movement in exchange rates can adversely affect the world economy. They also reaffirmed that they will refrain from competitive devaluations of currencies to promote their exports. The communique thus took into consideration the concern in the market over the yen’s excessive rise and China’s devaluation of the yuan.
 各国は、過度な為替の変動が経済に悪影響を及ぼすとの見解で一致した。輸出促進のために自国通貨を切り下げる「通貨安競争」を避けることも確認した。行き過ぎた円高や、人民元切り下げを懸念する市場に配慮した形だ。

The focal point of the conference was whether China, chair of the conference and a country reckoned to be the epicenter of market confusion, can send an effective message to calm the market turmoil.
 会議の焦点は、市場の混乱の震源地とされる議長国・中国が、動揺を鎮めるのに有効なメッセージを発信できるかどうかだった。

Trying to calm fears

People’s Bank of China Gov. Zhou Xiaochuan sought to ease the distrust of the market by saying at a press conference, among other things, that the bank would take additional monetary-easing measures. The press conference was, unusually, held ahead of the opening of the G-20 conference. Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang also made clear the country’s policy of promoting structural reforms.
 中国人民銀行の周小川総裁は、開会前に異例の記者会見を開いて追加の金融緩和策に言及するなど、市場の不信感を和らげるのに懸命だった。李克強首相も構造改革を進める方針を表明した。

However, just emphasizing a reform-promoting stance will not be enough to eliminate deep-rooted concerns about China’s economic prospects. The country will be required to specify the policy course it will take.
 だが、中国経済の先行きへの根深い不安を払拭するには、改革姿勢を強調するだけでは足りない。今後の政策の道筋を市場に明示することが求められよう。

It is reasonable that Finance Minister Taro Aso said, “Chinese authorities need to present a structural reform plan with a concrete schedule.”
 麻生財務相が「具体的なスケジュールを伴った構造改革のプランを示す必要がある」と注文をつけたのは、もっともだ。

In dealing with challenges such as reducing excess production capacity and reorganizing state-owned enterprises, the ability to act to carry through painful reforms is vitally needed.
 過剰設備の解消や国有企業の再編など、痛みを伴う改革をやり抜く行動力が欠かせない。

It is also appropriate that the communique clearly stated, “We will clearly communicate our policy actions to minimize negative spillovers,” apparently taking into account such countries as the United States, which is exploring ways to make an additional interest rate hike.
 声明が、追加利上げを模索する米国などを念頭に、「政策の負の波及効果を最小化するため、明確にコミュニケーションを行う」と明記したのも妥当である。

We hope G-20 countries make policy decisions carefully by also paying attention to the possible ill effects of interest rate hikes, such as an exodus of capital from emerging economies.
 新興国からの資金流出など、利上げの悪影響にも目配りしながら慎重な政策判断をしてほしい。

The vulnerability of Europe’s financial system was also taken up for discussion at the conference. European countries need to throw their energy into accelerating their disposal of nonperforming loans and implementing structural reforms to vitalize their economies.
 会議では欧州の金融システムの脆弱性も議論された。不良債権処理の加速や、経済を活性化する構造改革に力を注ぐ必要がある。

Japan explained to other G-20 countries that it will get the nation out of deflation with its negative interest rate policy. It is imperative to realize an economic recovery led by domestic demand while pushing through growth strategies.
 日本は、マイナス金利政策でデフレ脱却を図る考えを説明した。成長戦略を進め、内需主導の景気回復を実現することが急務だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 28, 2016)

高浜再稼働 後始末をどうするのか [英字新聞]

--The Asahi Shimbun, Feb. 27
EDITORIAL: Dealing with nuclear waste a pressing concern with Takahama reactor restart
(社説)高浜再稼働 後始末をどうするのか

Kansai Electric Power Co. restarted the No. 4 reactor at its Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture on Feb. 26.
 福井県の関西電力高浜原発4号機が再稼働した。

The 870-megawatt pressurized water reactor became the fourth to resume operations since stricter safety guidelines were introduced after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
The No. 1 and No. 2 reactors at Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai nuclear power plant in Kagoshima Prefecture, as well as the No. 3 reactor at the Takahama facility, had already been brought back online.
 東日本大震災後、新しい規制基準のもとでは九州電力川内原発1、2号機(鹿児島県)、高浜3号機に続き4基目だ。

The No. 4 reactor at the Takahama plant, like the No. 3 reactor, uses mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel consisting of plutonium and uranium to generate electricity.
 高浜4号機は3号機と同様、ウランとプルトニウムの混合酸化物(MOX)燃料を使うプルサーマル発電が実施される。

What concerns us is whether local residents will be safely and smoothly evacuated in the event of a severe accident at the plant. The decision to resume operations is highly questionable in light of the lessons learned from the calamitous accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
 事故時に住民がスムーズに避難できるかという課題は積み残されたままだ。東京電力福島第一原発事故の教訓を踏まえた再稼働とはとうてい言えない。

Earlier this month, a small amount of radioactive water was found to have leaked near purification equipment installed in the auxiliary structure of the No. 4 reactor building during a test to send water down the primary coolant pipe connected to the reactor.
 4号機では、稼働準備中に微量の放射性物質を含む水漏れが起きた。

The cause of the leak was a loose bolt in a valve, according to the utility.
配管の弁のボルトが緩んでいたという。

The triple meltdown at the Fukushima plant five years ago has made Japanese far more aware of safety concerns when it comes to nuclear power generation.
福島原発事故後、安全性への国民の視線は格段に厳しくなった。

Kansai Electric claims it has checked all other valves. Even so, the utility must realize it is assuming a heavy responsibility with regard to the overall safety of the reactor it has restarted.
関電は他の弁の点検もしたというが、動かす以上、重い責任を負うことにいま一度自覚を求めたい。

Operating a reactor inevitably produces additional spent nuclear fuel. What is needed now is a fresh, hard look at the intractable challenge of what to do with nuclear waste.
 原発を動かせば使用済み核燃料が増える。再稼働を機にこの後始末の問題を直視すべきだ。

At Kansai Electric’s Takahama, Mihama and Oi nuclear plants, about 70 percent of the capacity of the spent fuel pools is already in use. If all nine reactors at these plants are brought back on stream, the storage pools will reach their capacity limit in seven to eight years.
 関電の高浜、美浜、大飯原発では使用済み燃料を入れるプールがほぼ7割埋まっている。全9基の原子炉を再稼働すれば7~8年で満杯になる計算だ。

Under the government’s nuclear fuel recycling program, spent fuel is supposed to be reprocessed at a special plant in Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture, to separate plutonium for fresh use as fuel.
 国の方針の核燃料サイクルに沿えば、使用済み燃料は青森県六ケ所村の工場で再処理され、燃料としてよみがえるはずだった。

But the completion of the reprocessing plant has been delayed repeatedly, with no prospect of actual operation.
だが工場は完成延期が続き、実現のめどは立たない。

In addition, spent MOX fuel produced by a reactor burning a mix of uranium and plutonium in plutonium-thermal (pluthermal) operations cannot be reprocessed at the Rokkasho plant.
 しかも、プルサーマルで生じる使用済みMOX燃料は六ケ所の工場で再処理できない。

Since the government has made no decision with regard to the disposal of spent fuel, the utility can only store used MOX within the plant, at least for the time being.
国は方針を決めておらず、当面は原発内で保管するしかない。

The consequences of postponing a decision on how to tackle these vital problems are now making themselves felt.
 これらの問題を先送りしてきたツケが、噴き出している。

Consumers, for their part, have long taken for granted that atomic energy will generate much of the electricity they consume. They should not simply foist the responsibility for dealing with the problems on the government or the utilities.
 原発に頼ってきた消費者側も、国や電力会社に責任を押しつけて済む話ではない。

Society as a whole needs to show a sense of responsibility by getting involved in debate on the future of nuclear waste disposal in this country.
自分たちの問題として、社会全体で今後の方向性を議論していく必要がある。

People in the Kansai region served by the utility and Fukui Prefecture, where the reactors are located, may be in a position to take the leadership in initiating the debate.
関西と福井とでその先鞭(せんべん)をつけられないか。

Worried about the expected increase in spent nuclear fuel at the plant, the Fukui prefectural government is calling on Kansai Electric and the central government to build an interim storage facility outside the prefecture.
 使用済み燃料の増加を懸念した福井県は、中間貯蔵施設を県外につくるよう関電と国に要求している。

Last November, the company promised to decide on the location of such a facility around 2020 and start operating it around 2030.
関電は昨年11月、「20年ごろに場所を決め、30年ごろに操業する」と約束した。

The utility has indicated its intention to build the envisioned storage facility in the Kansai region, which consumes the electricity generated at the plant. But no local government in the region has expressed any willingness to accept such a site.
 関電は「消費地の関西に」というが、受け入れに前向きな自治体はない。

This surely is an issue the communities that use the power should tackle.
だが消費地が向き合わなければならない問題だ。

Kansai Electric may as well propose talks over the issue with the Union of Kansai Governments, composed of the governors of the prefectures and the mayors of the ordinance-designated cities in the Kansai region.
関電から関西の知事、政令指定市長が加わる関西広域連合に協議を申し入れてはどうか。

If the Fukui prefectural government is also allowed to sit at the negotiating table, it will be a first step toward mending the relationship between areas where nuclear power plants are located and markets for power generated at the plants. The relationship has been strained by the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
 この場に福井県も加われば、福島事故後に対立が深まった消費地と立地地域との関係を結び直す一歩にもなろう。

We realize the talks would not produce any real solution quickly. But it is no longer possible to avoid addressing the issue.
 むろんすぐに答えは出まい。だが、議論からもはや逃げられない。

中国と南シナ海 軍事拠点化の加速を憂慮する [英字新聞]

The Yomiuri Shimbun
U.S. must bolster patrol activity to secure stability in S. China Sea
中国と南シナ海 軍事拠点化の加速を憂慮する

China’s recent maritime activities can be regarded as a self-serving attempt to expand its sphere of influence by force and thereby increase regional tensions.
 力による支配の拡大で地域の緊張を高める独善的な企たくらみと言えよう。

China has been accelerating the militarization of islands and artificial isles in the South China Sea.
 中国が南シナ海で、島とう嶼しょや人工島の軍事拠点化を加速させている。

Satellite images and other findings have shown that China is constructing facilities believed to be radar installations on four reclaimed islands in the Spratly Islands.
 スプラトリー(南沙)諸島の四つの人工島でレーダーとみられる施設を建設していることが、衛星写真などで判明した。

It has already established a radar surveillance system in the northern half of the South China Sea, installing radar equipment in the Paracel Islands and elsewhere. With the latest installation of a radar system, China is apparently seeking to acquire warning and surveillance capabilities over almost the entire South China Sea.
 南シナ海の北半分ではすでに、パラセル(西沙)諸島などに設置したレーダーで監視体制を築いている。今回のレーダー網の整備によって、南シナ海のほぼ全域をカバーできる警戒監視能力を獲得する狙いだろう。

It was also revealed that China had deployed fighter jets and bombers in addition to long-range surface-to-air missiles to Woody Island in the Paracel Islands, which is effectively controlled by China. The island’s area is said to have increased by 40 percent in less than two years through expansion of a runway and other facilities.
 パラセル諸島では、中国が実効支配するウッディ島(永興島)に、長距離地対空ミサイルに続いて、戦闘機や戦闘爆撃機を配備したことも発覚した。滑走路の拡張などで、島の面積は2年足らずで4割も増大したとされる。

The series of Chinese maritime activities can be considered the foundation for establishing an air defense identification zone over the South China Sea in addition to the one already set up over the East China Sea.
 一連の措置は、東シナ海に加え、南シナ海にも防空識別圏を設定するための布石ではないか。

Clearly, the administration led by President Xi Jinping has an ambition to enclose the South China Sea — without grounds under international law — and treat it like a Chinese “lake” in an attempt to eliminate U.S. influence in the area. China is believed to be considering effectively implementing an anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) strategy to ensure naval and air supremacy, thereby deterring the intervention of the U.S. military in times of emergency.
 国際法の根拠のないまま、南シナ海を自らの「湖」のように囲い込み、米国の影響力の排除を図る習近平政権の野心は明白だ。
 制海権と制空権を確保し、米軍の有事介入を阻む「接近阻止・領域拒否(A2AD)」戦略を効果的に進める思惑もあろう。

Chinese sophistry

Adm. Harry Harris, commander of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Command, has expressed a strong sense of caution against China’s militarization of the islands, telling a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, “I believe China seeks hegemony in East Asia.”
 米太平洋軍のハリー・ハリス司令官は上院軍事委員会の公聴会で、「中国は東アジアで覇権を追求している」と述べ、軍事拠点化に強い警戒感を示した。

Of serious concern is that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Li has dismissed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s concern about China’s maritime activities.
 深刻なのは、訪米した中国の王毅外相がケリー米国務長官の懸念表明をはねつけたことである。

During a news conference after meeting with Wang, Kerry said, “I stressed that any enforcement by any party of maritime claims by deploying their own aircraft over disputed areas are not compatible with the freedoms of navigation and of skies of access to flight operations.” But unless Washington applies stronger pressure on Beijing, it will be impossible to stop China’s unilateral actions and speech.
 ケリー氏は記者会見で、「係争海域への航空機配備は、航行や上空飛行の自由と両立しない」と強調した。だが、米国がもっと厳しくクギを刺さなければ、中国の一方的な言動は止められまい。

Wang countered by saying more attention must be given to the fact that “strategic bombers and missile destroyers are appearing every day in the South China Sea.” China’s assertion that U.S. military patrol operations, which embody freedom of navigation, are “militarization” is nothing but sophistry.
 王氏は「戦略爆撃機やミサイル駆逐艦が南シナ海に毎日現れていることを重視すべきだ」と反論した。「航行の自由」を体現する米軍の巡視活動を「軍事化」だとするのは、詭弁きべんに過ぎない。

During his visit to the United States last September, Xi stated that his country “has no intention of pushing militarization.” China argued persistently that the country would perform its international responsibilities, including providing rescue operations and ensuring the safety of navigation.
 習国家主席は昨年9月の訪米時に、「軍事化を進める意図はない」と明言していた。中国は、救難活動や航行の安全などで国際的責務を果たすとも強弁している。

We cannot accept a situation in which a great power that should play a pivotal role in stabilizing the South China Sea does not honor an international pledge and instead moves to destabilize the security conditions.
 南シナ海の安定に重要な役割を発揮すべき大国が国際公約を守らず、率先して情勢を不安定化させるような状況は容認できない。

It is essential for the United States to maintain and bolster patrol operations. Tokyo and Washington must cooperate closely with other countries concerned as they apply continued pressure on Beijing.
 米国が巡視活動を継続・強化することが肝要である。日米は関係国と緊密に連携し、対中圧力を維持せねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 26, 2016)

原発の延命 電力会社次第なのか [英字新聞]

--The Asahi Shimbun, Feb. 25
EDITORIAL: Extending life of nuclear reactors should not be left solely up to utilities
(社説)原発の延命 電力会社次第なのか

Japan’s nuclear regulator has endorsed the safety of two reactors that have been in service for more than four decades.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) announced on Feb. 24 that the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors of Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture meet the new safety standards introduced after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
 運転開始から40年を超えた関西電力高浜原発1、2号機(福井県)について、原子力規制委員会は、安全対策が新規制基準に適合するとの判断を示した。

The NRA’s verdict has opened the door to an extension of the operating lives of the aging reactors to up to 60 years, one of Kansai Electric’s key goals for its nuclear power generation.
関電がめざす通算60年までの運転延長に道を開くものだ。

A revision to a law following the catastrophic accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has set the legal life of nuclear reactors at 40 years. But one extension by up to 20 years is allowed with NRA approval.
 東京電力福島第一原発の事故を受けた法改正で、原発の運転期間は40年と定められた。ただし、規制委が認めれば、1回だけ最長20年間延長できる制度となった。

To extend the operational lives of the two reactors, the operator must receive several approvals from the NRA. If the NRA decides that the reactors have fulfilled all the related criteria, this will become the first case of an extension of the legal life of reactors under the new system.
 延長が認められるには、さらに規制委での許認可を得る必要がある。すべて通ればこの制度で初の運転延長となる。

The 40-year limit was introduced by the government led by the Democratic Party of Japan, which was in power when the nuclear disaster occurred, to demonstrate its commitment to weaning Japan from its dependence on atomic energy. It was aimed at ensuring a steady phasing out of nuclear power generation through the decommissioning of aging reactors.
 40年とするルールは、当時の民主党政権が脱原発への姿勢を示し、古い原発から順次退場させるために導入した。

The provision for an extension of the life span was added in response to concerns about possible power shortages due to insufficient capacity.
運転延長の規定は、需給が逼迫(ひっぱく)して停電に陥る恐れなどから盛り込まれた。

But no specific rules have been set with regard to what kind of circumstances should justify permitting extended operations.
しかし、その後、どんな状況で延長を認めるのか、特段の規定はないままとなっている。

What is vital for electric utilities is the economic viability of their nuclear power plants. Five small reactors that are not sufficiently cost-effective under the 40-year limit on operations have been set for retirement.
Of the remaining 43 reactors, 18 units have been in service for more than 30 years. Utilities will apply for permission to run aging reactors beyond the 40-year legal life span if it makes economic sense. Some applications for a longer license have already been filed with the NRA.
 電力会社にとって大切なのは採算だ。40年ルールの下、小型で採算の悪い5基は廃炉としたが、残る43基でも運転30年超が18基を占める。長く使うことが採算に合えば延長を求めるし、すでに申請もしている。

If an extension of the legal life of reactors is approved one after another, the 40-year limit could become meaningless.
 このまま次々と手続きが進めば、40年ルールが形骸化しかねない。

With such decisions, we are concerned that the government’s nuclear energy policy and the energy future of this nation are being defined under the initiative of electric utilities focused on generating profits.
原発政策も、将来のエネルギー社会も、電力会社の都合で決まって良いのか。

Where is the political will that transcends the profit equations of power suppliers?
電力会社の算段を超える政治の意思はないのか。

If aging reactors are allowed to exceed the 40-year life span in rapid succession, the disturbing safety risk posed by a thick cluster of reactors in Fukui Prefecture will not be reduced.
古い原発の運転延長が次々に決まれば集中立地する福井県のリスクが低下しないことにもなる。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has repeatedly pledged to reduce Japan’s dependence on nuclear energy as much as possible. The government should make it clear that an extension can be made as an exception.
安倍首相が「原発依存度を可能な限り低減する」と何度も公言してきたのだから、政府は延長を明確に例外と位置づけるべきだ。

Before the harrowing nuclear accident, there was no legal life for nuclear reactors. Initially, electric power companies said the operational life of their reactors was around 30 to 40 years.
 事故前は運転期間の定めはなく、電力各社も当初は「寿命は30~40年」と説明していた。

Later, the former nuclear regulator, which has been replaced by the NRA, introduced a system that allowed utilities to operate reactors for up to 60 years if they submit maintenance plans every 10 years after the 30th year of service. The regulator cited progress in analysis technology as the reason for extending operational licenses for reactors.
その後、旧規制当局は解析技術の向上を理由に30年以降10年ごとに保全計画を出せば、最長60年の運転を認めることにした。

The previous government’s decision to replace this system with the new 40-year rule reflected its will to phase out nuclear power generation in this nation.
 これを40年ルールに切り替えたのは、脱原発への意思である。

Immediately after assuming the post, NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka was skeptical about extending the life of reactors, saying it was “considerably difficult.”
規制委の田中俊一委員長も就任当時は運転延長については「相当困難」と述べてもいた。

In assessing the safety measures Kansai Electric has taken for the reactors at the Takahama plant, however, the NRA has given the green light to the utility’s plan to cover electric cables with a fire-resistant sheet where it is difficult to replace them with flame-retardant cables.
 しかし、高浜原発で規制委は電気ケーブルの防火対策について、難燃性ケーブルへの交換が難しい部分は防火シートで覆うとする関電の方針を認めた。

The NRA’s move has greatly encouraged utilities seeking to gain permission to run reactors past the 40-year limit because this has been a major technical obstacle to meeting the safety standards.
この問題にめどが立ったことで電力各社は勢いづいている。

In his policy speech at the beginning of the current Diet session in January, Abe made no reference to nuclear power generation. Does this indicate that the government will not do anything to stop the growing trend toward longer-term reactor operations?
 安倍首相は今年の施政方針演説で原発に言及しなかった。政府はこのままやり過ごすのか。

If so, the government will act against both the past words of the prime minister concerning the issue and the wishes of many Japanese to see their nation free from nuclear energy.
 それでは、首相の過去の発言にも、多くの国民が求める脱原発にも背くことになる。

英国民投票へ EU離脱なら不安定化を招く [英字新聞]

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Europe to be unsettled if Britain opts to exit the EU in coming referendum
英国民投票へ EU離脱なら不安定化を招く

A referendum has been set for June 23 in Britain regarding whether the country should stay in or exit from the European Union.
 欧州連合(EU)に英国が残留するか、離脱するかを問う国民投票が、6月23日に実施されることになった。

Should the referendum comes out in favor of departure, there will be no turning back for the country. Britain is the second-largest economy in the EU and a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. If Britain leaves the bloc, it will inevitably have great impact on Europe’s politics and economy. The EU stands at a crossroads.
 国民投票で離脱となれば、もう後戻りはできない。英国は域内第2の経済規模を持ち、国連安全保障理事会常任理事国でもある。欧州の政治・経済に大きな影響を及ぼすのは避けられまい。EUは岐路に立っている。

Calling to stay in the EU, British Prime Minister David Cameron has emphasized, “Britain will be safer, stronger and better off by remaining in a reformed European Union.” It takes into account a recent agreement reached at a meeting of EU leaders to adopt a package of reform measures aimed at keeping Britain in the bloc.
 残留を訴えるキャメロン英首相は、「改革した欧州にとどまる方が、英国は、より強く安全で豊かになれる」と強調した。EU首脳会議が残留を後押しする改革で合意したことを踏まえたものだ。

The deal promises to guarantee Britain “special status” as a concession to that country by the other EU members.
 合意では、EU側が譲歩して、英国に特別な地位を保証した。

It acknowledges that Britain would not commit itself to further political integration. The agreement would enable Britain to restrict social security benefits given to immigrants and would also guarantee not to place a financial burden on Britain or other non-eurozone member states if an economic crisis erupts in the eurozone.
 政治統合の深化には、英国が関与しないことを容認した。移民に対する社会保障を英国が制限することを可能にし、ユーロ圏の経済危機で英国など非ユーロ圏に負担をかけないよう保証した。

Cameron’s leadership will be tested over whether he will be able to persuade the British public to accept his calls for remaining a part of the EU.
 EU加盟継続に向けて国民を説得できるのか、キャメロン氏の指導力が試されよう。

Divisions over immigration

Since last year, the EU has been confronted with the serious challenge of dealing with a sharp increase in immigrants from the Middle East. Each EU country resorted to its own measures aimed at restricting the inflow of immigrants to its respective territory, which has added impetus to the anti-EU movement. If the current situation goes on, European integration could fall into a crisis.
 EUは昨年以降、中東からの難民急増という深刻な課題に直面している。各国がバラバラに流入制限策に走り、反EUの動きを勢いづかせた。このままでは、欧州統合が危機に陥りかねない。

In Britain, anti-immigration party has gained strength in recent years, against the backdrop of an increase in the number of immigrants from Eastern European countries that have joined the EU. Euroskepticism, the name given to skeptical views of the EU, has grown increasingly strong within the ruling Conservative Party, too. Pledging to settle the immigration issue through a referendum, Cameron scored a victory in a general election last year.
 英国でも近年、EUに加盟した東欧諸国からの移民増加を背景に「反移民」政党が伸長し、与党・保守党内でもEU懐疑論が強まっていた。キャメロン氏は、この問題を決着させる国民投票を公約し、昨年の総選挙で勝利した。

Half of Britain’s export destinations are other EU countries. If Britain exits the EU, it will be necessary for the nation to conclude new trade and other agreements with the union. It is certain that the British economy will face greater uncertainties.
 英国の輸出先の半分はEUだ。離脱の場合は、EUとの間で貿易などの取り決めを締結し直す必要がある。英国経済の不透明さが増すのは確実だ。

The pro-exit camp has criticized the expansion of authorities given to EU and insists to restore sovereignty of Britain. London Mayor Boris Johnson — a prominent figure tipped as a candidate to succeed Cameron at the helm of the Conservative Party, with the hope of becoming the next prime minster — has said he supports Britain’s departure from the bloc. This will likely deal a blow to Cameron.
 離脱派は、EUの権限拡大を批判し、英国の主権を取り戻すべきだと主張する。保守党の首相後継候補と目される有力者、ジョンソン・ロンドン市長が「離脱」支持を表明したのは、キャメロン氏にとっては痛手となろう。

Johnson and others may expect that Britain will be able to achieve long-term economic development by having the City in London, an international financial center, freed from EU regulations.
 ジョンソン氏らには、国際金融センターであるロンドンのシティーをEUの規制から解放することで、長期的な経済発展が望めるという期待もあるのではないか。

Britain’s exit from the EU would lead to a decline in the EU’s presence as a huge single market. It would also weaken the EU’s voice in dealing with such diplomatic issues as the sanctions imposed on Russia and the fight against terrorism.
 英国の離脱は、巨大な単一市場としてのEUの存在感低下につながる。対ロシア制裁やテロ対策など外交分野での取り組みでも、EUの発言権を弱めよう。

A number of Japanese corporations have bases in Britain for their business operations in Europe. They could be forced to reconsider their business strategy, depending on the result of the British referendum.
 日本企業の多くが、欧州展開の拠点を英国に置く。国民投票の結果次第では、戦略の見直しを迫られることにもなる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 24, 2016)

衆院選制度改革 アダムズ方式を先送りするな [英字新聞]

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prompt introduction of Adams’ method crucial for lower house electoral reform
衆院選制度改革 アダムズ方式を先送りするな

The rectification of vote-value disparities between single-seat constituencies must be given priority in carrying out reform of the electoral system for the House of Representatives. Legislative steps must be taken for that purpose during the current Diet session after quickly consolidating the opinions of political parties.
 衆院の選挙制度改革では、小選挙区の「1票の格差」の是正を優先すべきだ。各党の意見集約を急ぎ、今国会で立法措置を講じねばならない。

The ruling and opposition parties have presented their views on electoral system reforms to lower house Speaker Tadamori Oshima.
 与野党が、選挙制度改革に関する見解を大島衆院議長にそれぞれ表明した。

The Democratic Party of Japan, Komeito and the Japan Innovation Party have basically accepted the reform proposals recommended by an expert research panel. The Liberal Democratic Party, on the other hand, has agreed to cuts in the number of total seats but wants to postpone the reallocation of seats to prefectures.
 民主、公明、維新の各党などは有識者調査会の答申を基本的に受け入れた。自民党は、定数削減には応じるが、都道府県定数の再配分は先送りする考えを示した。

The LDP’s reform plan calls for reducing the number of seats in single-seat constituencies by six and reviewing the demarcation of these constituencies, both based on a simplified census conducted in 2015, to reduce vote-value disparities to less than 2 to 1. The number of seats in proportional representation blocs would be cut by four. The party has compiled these proposals by revising the party’s draft plan at the instruction of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has called for seat cuts to be carried out more rapidly.
 自民党案は、1票の格差を2倍未満に抑えるため、2015年の簡易国勢調査に基づき、小選挙区定数を6減らし、区割りを見直す。比例選は4削減する。安倍首相の指示で、原案を修正し、定数削減を前倒ししたものだ。

The LDP is studying a plan to cut one seat each in six prefectures, including Kagoshima and Iwate, without increasing seats in other prefectures. The plan also calls for a reallocation of seats to prefectures based on the census to be taken in 2020, leaving the impression that this is a stopgap measure.
 鹿児島、岩手など6県で各1減らす「0増6減」を検討している。都道府県ごとの定数再配分は20年の国勢調査後に行うとしており、弥縫びほう策との印象は否めない。

The panel called for reallocating lower house seats based on the Adams’ method, under which seven seats would be added and 13 eliminated. This will reduce the maximum vote-value gap between prefectures to 1.621 to 1 and likely hold the disparities between constituencies to less than 2 to 1.
 調査会は、「アダムズ方式」による「7増13減」の再配分を求めていた。都道府県間格差は最大1・621倍となる。選挙区間格差も2倍未満に収まる見通しだ。

LDP’s concession vital

The LDP has put off the plan on the reallocation of seats to prefectures because of strong internal opposition to and cautious views against the panel’s reform proposals, which would affect incumbent lawmakers of the prefectures subject to the 13 cuts.
 自民党が再配分を先送りしたのは、「13減」の対象県の現職議員を中心に反対・慎重論が根強いという党内事情によるものだ。

The LDP must not make light of the fact that the ruling and opposition parties promised to respect the panel’s recommendations after entrusting it to study the situation following their failure to reach an agreement on reform plans. The LDP will have no alternative but to reconsider the reform plans, as the Adams’ method has been approved by other major parties.
 だが、与野党が改革案で合意できず、有識者に検討を委ね、答申を尊重すると約束した経緯を軽視すべきではあるまい。他の主要政党がアダムズ方式への賛成で足並みをそろえる中、自民党は再考せざるを得ないのではないか。

It is desirable to revise the electoral system, the foundation of democracy, with the approval of as many parties as possible. Abe has suggested he will aim to pass related bills through the current Diet session. As an overwhelmingly dominant force in the Diet, the LDP has the responsibility to lead consensus-building efforts on the reform.
 民主主義の基盤である選挙制度は、より多くの党の賛同で見直すことが望ましい。安倍首相は今国会で関連法案を成立させる考えを示した。「1強」の自民党には合意形成を主導する責任がある。

It is disappointing, however, that major parties still hold on to the idea of cutting the total seat number.
 残念なのは、主要政党が定数削減になお固執していることだ。

The panel proposed cutting 10 seats only in consideration of parties’ pledges to the people that the number of seats would be cut, as it said that “it is difficult to find appropriate reasons or logical basis” for cutting the total seat number.
 調査会が「10減」を提案したのは、各党の「国民との約束」に配慮しただけで、定数削減に「積極的な理由や理論的根拠は見いだし難い」と指摘している。

If the seat number is reduced, diverse public opinions may not be reflected in elections. The legislature’s monitoring of the administrative branch through deliberations on government-proposed bills could be weakened. The number of Japanese lawmakers in relation to the national population is no greater than in some European countries and elsewhere.
 定数を減らせば、選挙で多様な民意を反映しにくくなる。法案審議などを通じた立法府の行政監視機能も低下しかねない。日本の国会議員は人口比でみれば、欧州諸国などより多くない。

It must be taken into consideration that if the number of total seats is reduced, it will become more difficult and troublesome to correct vote disparities.
 定数が少ないほど、格差是正が難しくなり、その手間が増えることも考慮すべきだろう。

When lawmakers are asked to accept reforms that are painful to themselves, they should do it by agreeing to cuts in subsidies to political parties rather than by decreasing seat numbers.
 議員が「身を切る」姿勢を示す必要があるなら、定数を減らすのでなく、政党交付金の削減などで対応するのが筋である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 23, 2016)

年金運用改革 ガバナンス強化を優先したい [英字新聞]

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prioritize reinforcing governance of public pension fund management
年金運用改革 ガバナンス強化を優先したい

To manage a massive amount of funds safely and efficiently, it is vital to build an effective organization and system suited to carrying out the task.
 巨額の資金を安全かつ効率的に運用するには、それにふさわしい実効性ある組織や体制を構築することが肝要である。

A council of the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry has proposed that the current ban on direct stock investment by the Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) remain in place, at least for the time being.
 年金積立金管理運用独立行政法人(GPIF)による株式の直接運用の可否について、厚生労働省の審議会が、当面は認めず、現状を維持することが望ましいとする報告書をまとめた。

The ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito has supported the proposal. The government has decided not to include direct stock investment by the GPIF in a bill related to pension reforms, which it plans to submit to the current Diet.
 自民、公明両党も、この内容を了承した。政府は、今国会に提出する予定の年金改革関連法案に直接運用を盛り込まない方針だ。

This was a reasonable conclusion, as it is not only doubtful if the GPIF, under the current structure and human resources, would be able to make appropriate stock investment decisions but also difficult to ensure impartiality and transparency in such investments.
 妥当な結論である。現在のGPIFの体制や人材で的確な投資判断ができるか、疑問が拭えないうえ、株式運用の公平・透明性を確保することも困難だからだ。

The GPIF, which manages the reserve funds of corporate employees’ pension programs and the national pension program — worth a combined total of about ¥140 trillion — is one of the world’s largest institutional investors.
 約140兆円に上る厚生年金、国民年金の積立金を運用するGPIFは、世界最大級の機関投資家である。

In principle, the GPIF manages funds through trust banks and other financial institutions, and is prohibited from making direct equity investments.
信託銀行などを通じた資金運用が原則で、株式への直接投資は認められていない。

The GPIF had called for lifting the ban on direct stock investment on the grounds that by flexibly responding to capital market movements, it will be able to earn more profits, while reducing the commissions it pays to the trust banks.
 GPIFは、直接運用の解禁を求めていた。市場の動きに機動的に対応できれば、運用益が向上し、信託銀行へ払う運用委託手数料も節約できるという理屈だ。

But the decision-making power of the GPIF has been concentrated on its president, and few of its staff members specialize in fund management.
 しかし、GPIFは現在、権限が理事長に集中しており、資金運用の専門人材も少ない。

Expert panel appropriate

The council’s proposal calls for reinforcing the GPIF’s governance structure to increase public trust in it.
 報告書は、国民の信頼を高めるため、GPIFのガバナンス(統治)体制の強化を求めた。

The main point of the proposal is to establish an executive committee, comprising financial experts and other people, with a collegial decision-making system to consider such important matters as the component ratio of management assets. This is an appropriate recommendation.
金融専門家らを集めた経営委員会を新設し、運用資産の構成比率などの重要案件を合議制で決めることが柱だ。適切な提案である。

To carry out asset management stably over the long term, it will be important to develop its own specialists in fund management and enhance risk-management capabilities.
 長期的に安定した資産運用を行うためには、専門人材を自前で育成し、リスク管理能力を高めることも大切となろう。

The fund’s organizational reforms, led by welfare minister Yasuhisa Shiozaki, ran into difficulties last year due to differences of opinion with the Pension Bureau. We hope efforts to develop a new structure will be expedited.
 塩崎厚労相が主導した組織改革は昨年、年金局との意見の不一致で暗礁に乗り上げた。新たな体制整備を急いでもらいたい。

The ministry says it plans to study the issue of direct stock investment again three years from now.
 厚労省は、直接運用を3年後に再び検討するとしている。

Needless to say, there is risk involved in investing in stocks that fluctuate widely. Safety is an essential consideration to manage pension funds over the long term.
 だが、言うまでもなく、値動きが大きい株式投資にはリスクが伴う。長期の年金資金の運用には、安全性への配慮は不可欠だ。

There is also the problem that if the GPIF takes a more active role in investing in stocks with massive amounts of pension funds, it will likely have greater influence on stock markets. This is because stock prices likely would be affected by which stock the GPIF buys and how much.
 巨額の年金資金を使って株式投資を積極化すれば、GPIFの市場に対する影響力は一段と大きくなるという問題もある。GPIFがどの会社の株式をどれだけ買うかによって、株価を左右する恐れが高まるからだ。

The GPIF’s fund management reforms are seen as part of the government’s measures to prop up stock prices. Should pension funds be used with short-term price increases in mind, it will distort stock prices. Sufficient consideration should also be given in this respect.
 市場では、GPIFの運用改革が株価対策と受け取られている面もある。年金資金を短期的な株価下支えに使えば、株価形成を歪ゆがめる。こうした点にも十分に目配りせねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 22, 2016)

丸山議員の失言 国政を担う自覚はあるのか [英字新聞]

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Gaffe-prone lawmakers need greater awareness of their responsibilities
丸山議員の失言 国政を担う自覚はあるのか

There has recently been a succession of inappropriate remarks made by Diet members from both the ruling and opposition parties and by Cabinet members. This could heighten distrust in politics. They should be aware that they are in a position of heavy responsibility, and also feel a sense of alertness.
 与野党の国会議員や閣僚の不適切な発言が相次いでいる。政治不信を助長する恐れがある。重い職責を担う自覚と緊張感を持つべきだ。

The remarks in question include one made by Kazuya Maruyama, a House of Councillors member from the Liberal Democratic Party. At a session of the upper house Commission on the Constitution, he said: “In the United States, a black man is president [of the country] now. He is in a bloodline of black people who were slaves.” The remark could be taken as an expression of racial discrimination. Besides, the father of President Barack Obama was a Kenyan and not a descendant of slaves.
 参院憲法審査会で自民党の丸山和也氏が「今、米国は黒人が大統領になっている。黒人の血を引く。これは奴隷ですよ」と語った。人種差別と受けとられかねない。オバマ大統領の父はケニア人で、奴隷の子孫でもない。

The day after making that remark, Maruyama attempted to justify himself by saying, “I said that with the intention of praising the fact that the current United States came into being through self-transformation.” However, this cannot possibly be understood.
 翌日、「自己変革があって、今の米国が生まれたことをたたえるつもりで話した」と釈明したが、到底、理解されまい。

Maruyama also said, “If Japan becomes the 51st state of the United States, no controversy could erupt over its right of collective self-defense, and the abduction problem would not have arisen, either.” This is just preposterous and a remark that raises questions about his qualifications as a legislator.
 丸山氏は「日本が米国の51番目の州になれば、集団的自衛権は問題にならないし、拉致問題も起こらなかった」とも述べた。荒唐無稽であり、国会議員としての資質を疑われても仕方ない発言だ。

The opposition Democratic Party of Japan cannot treat the recent inappropriate remarks as having nothing to do with itself.
 民主党も人ごとではない。

Masaharu Nakagawa, a House of Representatives member from the DPJ, said at a meeting of party lower house members, “Let’s fight to ensure Prime Minister [Shinzo] Abe develops a sleep disorder.”
 中川正春衆院議員は代議士会で「安倍首相の睡眠障害を勝ち取ろう」と訴えた。

Nakagawa made the remark when he referred to Akira Amari, former minister in charge of economic revitalization, who has been diagnosed with a sleep disorder. Nakagawa’s remark lacked consideration for people who suffer from such a condition.
睡眠障害と診断された甘利明・前経済再生相を引き合いにした発言だが、同じ病気に悩む人への配慮が欠けている。

The prime minister has expressed a sense of displeasure with the remark, saying it is “a question of human rights.”
 安倍首相は「人権問題だ」などと不快感を示した。

Focus on serious issues

There are a number of themes to be discussed in the Diet now, including the revitalization of the Japanese economy and the situation in northeast Asia. We hope each lawmaker will come to tackle Diet deliberations more seriously and deepen constructive discussions.
 日本経済の再生、北東アジア情勢など、国会で論じるべきテーマは多い。各議員は、審議にもっと真剣に取り組み、建設的な議論を深めてもらいたい。

Needless to say, Cabinet members must speak and act with even greater caution.
 無論、閣僚には、より慎重な言動が求められる。

During a lecture in which she referred to the nuclear accident that occurred at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, Environment Minister Tamayo Marukawa said the government’s decontamination goal of reducing radiation levels to an annual dose of one millisievert or less had “no scientific grounds.”
 丸川環境相は講演で、福島第一原発事故に関し、放射線量を「年間1ミリ・シーベルト以下」にする国の除染目標について「何の科学的根拠もない」と発言した。

Later, she offered an apology, saying, “I said that [with the aim of] stating that a full explanation has not been given about why [the target] was set at one millisievert.” In the end, Marukawa retracted her original remark.
 その後、「なぜ1ミリに決めたのか、十分に説明し切れていないと(いう趣旨で)言った」と陳謝して、最終的に発言を撤回した。

In response to requests from communities affected by the accident to thoroughly decontaminate their areas, the administration led by the then ruling DPJ announced it would pursue the goal of curtailing radiation levels to one millisievert or less. By international standards, evacuees from a nuclear accident-affected area can return to their community if radiation levels stand at 20 millisieverts or lower.
 民主党政権は、徹底除染を求める地元の要望を受け、1ミリ・シーベルトの目標を掲げた。国際的には、20ミリ・シーベルト以下なら帰還可能とされる。

It has been pointed out that the high decontamination goal is hindering efforts to ensure that evacuees from communities struck by the disaster can return home, and to rehabilitate the affected areas.
高い目標が住民帰還や復興の障害になっているとの指摘がある。

Although Marukawa’s remark seems to make sense in some respects, there is no denying her statement was unguarded and worded immaturely.
 丸川氏の発言には、もっともな面もあるが、舌足らずで、不用意だったことは否めない。

Kensei Mizote, chairman of the LDP caucus of upper house members, referred to former lower house member Kensuke Miyazaki, who was discovered to have been seeing another woman just before his wife gave birth. “Some people may feel envious [of Miyazaki],” Mizote said. Though Mizote may have said this as a joke, his remark was thoughtless.
 自民党の溝手顕正参院議員会長は、妻の出産直前に別の女性と交際していた宮崎謙介前衆院議員について、「うらやましい人もいるんじゃないの」と語った。軽口にしても不見識である。

The LDP is being viewed sternly, for reasons such as the scandal involving Miyazaki, who had proposed establishing a system by which Diet members would be allowed to take childcare leave.
 国会議員の育児休業の制度化を唱えていた宮崎氏の不祥事などで、自民党への視線は厳しい。

Does all this demonstrate that the LDP may be filled with conceit at a time when the party is the sole dominant force in political circles? Now is the time for the LDP to pull itself together.
「1強」状況の中、慢心が生じていないか。タガを締め直すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 21, 2016)

原発自主避難 被害に応じた賠償を [英字新聞]

--The Asahi Shimbun, Feb. 20
EDITORIAL: Extent of suffering key to compensating Fukushima evacuees
(社説)原発自主避難 被害に応じた賠償を

An estimated 100,000 or so people are still living as evacuees as a consequence of the catastrophic accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011.
 東京電力福島第一原発事故で故郷を離れて避難している人はいまも約10万人にのぼる。

This figure comprises about 18,000 evacuees who acted on their own initiative and fled from the 23 municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture that are outside government-designated evacuation zones. They include people who lived in areas that are not covered by the government-supported compensation program.
 このうち、国が避難指示などを出した区域の外側にある福島県内の23市町村から別の場所に自主的に避難した人は、賠償対象区域の外側の人も含め、推計で約1万8千人いる。

The circumstances of their decisions to leave their hometowns are more or less similar to those of the people who fled from areas covered by the evacuation orders. Many of them were concerned about the health of their children or found it difficult to continue their businesses in the affected areas.
 「子どもの健康が不安だから」「商売ができなくなった」
 逃げざるを得なかった事情は避難指示区域内の住民と総じて大きくは変わらない。

But compensation paid to these “voluntary evacuees” by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the operator of the crippled nuclear plant, ranging from 120,000 yen to 720,000 yen ($1,000 to $6,400) per person, was far smaller than the amounts received by residents of the evacuation areas.
だが、東電からの慰謝料は1人あたり12万~72万円と、区域内の住民と比べて大きな隔たりがある。

On Feb. 18, a local court handed down a ruling that may open the door to greater relief for these evacuees.
 一昨日、自主避難者の救済に道を開く司法判断が示された。

The Kyoto District Court ordered TEPCO to pay about 30 million yen to a man and his wife for mental illnesses the husband suffered following their “voluntary evacuation” from the calamitous accident. The man, who is in his 40s, together with his wife and three children, filed a lawsuit against the utility seeking 180 million yen in damages, claiming he became unable to work because of mental and physical problems caused by the effects of the nuclear disaster.
 福島県から京都市に自主避難した40代男性が、原発事故の影響で心身に不調をきたし、働けなくなったとして妻子4人とともに東電に損害賠償を求めた訴訟で、京都地裁は約3千万円を支払うよう東電に命じた。

Concerned about the possibility of his children’s exposure to radiation, the man decided to leave his home with his family. After they fled, the family stayed at hotels and lived in rented accommodation outside the prefecture.
 男性は子どもの被曝(ひばく)を恐れて避難を決意し、県外のホテルや賃貸住宅を転々とした。

As he had to live in unfamiliar surroundings, the man developed insomnia and depression. The district court acknowledged that the nuclear accident was the cause of these health problems.
慣れない生活から不眠症やうつ病を発症した。地裁はこれらを原発事故が原因だと認めた。

Compensation payments to such voluntary evacuees are based on guidelines set by a central government panel addressing disputes over compensation for nuclear accidents. The guidelines say compensation payments should be based on three factors: increases in living expenses due to evacuation, mental damages and expenses incurred in fleeing and returning home.
 自主避難者への賠償は、国の原子力損害賠償紛争審査会(原陪審)が決めた指針に沿って支払われている。指針は、(1)生活費の増加分(2)精神的損害(3)避難や帰宅に要した費用――を基本に算定するというものだ。

TEPCO had paid a total of 2.92 million yen to the family based on the guidelines, but the family claimed the compensation was insufficient.
 男性側にも指針に基づき東電から292万円が支払われたが、不十分だと訴えていた。

In its ruling, the district court argued that the guidelines only show “items and scope of damages that can be classified according to type.”
 判決で京都地裁は指針について「類型化が可能な損害項目や範囲を示したものに過ぎない」と指摘、

The ruling showed the view that damages with a causal link to the accident should be compensated for according to the circumstances involved. The basic principle for compensation espoused by the ruling is that the amounts of damages to be paid should be determined according to the circumstances of individual cases instead of being uniform and fixed.
事故と因果関係のある被害は事情に応じて賠償すべきだとの考え方を示した。賠償金額は個別事情に則して決定すべきで、一律な線引きは許されない、という賠償のあり方そのものを問うたといえる。

Compensation payments to victims of the nuclear disaster, such as evacuees and affected businesses, come out of a 9 trillion yen treasure chest provided by the government to TEPCO.
 福島の被災者への賠償は、国が東電に9兆円を援助し、東電がこの中から避難住民や企業に賠償金を払う仕組みだ。

With its management priority placed on its own early recovery from the consequences of the accident, however, the electric utility has been trying to terminate the payments as soon as possible and keep the amounts within the framework set by the guidelines. The company’s compensation policy has been criticized for failing to make the benefit of residents a primary consideration.
 だが経営再建をめざす東電は、賠償の早めの打ち切りや枠内で極力抑えようとし、救済が住民本位になっていないという批判がある。

About 10,000 evacuees are involved as plaintiffs in damages suits filed with 21 district courts and branches around the country. This points to the high level of discontent with the compensation payments that have been paid out.
 避難者らが起こした集団訴訟は、全国21地裁・支部で続いている。原告の総数は約1万人にのぼり、相当数の人が正当な賠償を受けていないという不満を抱えている。

TEPCO should respond with appropriate sincerity to the demands of victims entitled to compensation and review its compensation policy and procedures.
 東電は賠償対象者に誠実に向き合い、賠償対応のあり方を見直すべきだ。

The courts that are hearing these cases should hand down rulings that give sufficient consideration to the plight of the victims.
集団訴訟を扱う裁判所も、被害者の窮状を十分にくんだ判断をしてもらいたい。

政府慰安婦説明 誤解払拭へ国際発信を強めよ [英字新聞]

The Yomiuri Shimbun
More outward approach needed to fix ‘comfort women’ misperception
政府慰安婦説明 誤解払拭へ国際発信を強めよ

Japan must ramp up outbound dissemination of information in an effort to eliminate misperceptions about the so-called comfort women issue.
 慰安婦問題に関する誤解を払拭するため、国際的な情報発信を一段と強化せねばならない。

During a recent session of the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women in Geneva, the government gave comprehensive explanations about facts related to the issue for the first time, saying among other things that no documents confirming forcible recruitment of comfort women have been found.
 政府は、ジュネーブでの国連女子差別撤廃委員会で、慰安婦の強制連行を裏付ける資料は発見されていないことなど、事実関係について初めて包括的に説明した。

Referring to testimony by the late Seiji Yoshida that he “hunted women” for recruitment of comfort women on Jeju Island in what is now South Korea, Deputy Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama denounced his testimony as a total fabrication and said The Asahi Shimbun, which had reported his testimony, had since admitted it was an erroneous report and apologized over it.
 杉山晋輔外務審議官が、韓国で「女性狩り」をしたとする吉田清治氏の証言は捏造ねつぞうで、吉田証言を報道した朝日新聞が誤報を認め、謝罪したことにも言及した。

Though the government’s rebuttal came belatedly, it is absolutely necessary to accurately correct the international community’s misunderstanding of the facts and actively rebut assertions that could damage the reputation of Japan.
 遅きに失した感はあるが、国際社会では、事実誤認は的確に正し、日本を貶おとしめる主張には積極的に反論することが欠かせない。

Touching on Japan’s support for former comfort women based on the Asian Women’s Fund and the Japan-South Korea agreement last December, Sugiyama said, “Criticisms that the Japanese government denies history and has taken no action on the matter run counter to facts.”
 杉山氏は、アジア女性基金や昨年12月の日韓合意に基づく元慰安婦支援に触れ、「日本政府が歴史の否定をしているとか、何の措置もとっていないという批判は事実に反する」と強調した。

With this as a starting point, Japan must step up diplomatic efforts to disseminate all facts related to the comfort women issue across the world.
 これを機に、慰安婦問題に関して、正確な事実関係を世界に広げる外交努力を加速させたい。

Of concern is the global spread of the misperception that “200,000 women were forced by the Japanese military to become sex slaves.”
 懸念されるのは、「日本軍が20万人の女性を性奴隷にした」といった誤った言説が、世界各国でひとり歩きしていることだ。

Contrary to facts

The spread of that misperception was triggered by a report by Radhika Coomaraswamy, submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Commission in 1996.
 誤解を広げた発端は、1996年に国連人権委員会に提出されたクマラスワミ報告である。

Using the Yoshida testimony as part of its grounds for concluding that the comfort women were “sex slaves,” the report mentioned that the number of comfort women hailing from the Korean Peninsula alone totaled 200,000. Such a mistaken expression was inscribed as part of the epitaphs of comfort women statues installed in the United States.
 吉田証言を論拠の一つとして慰安婦を「性奴隷」と断じた。慰安婦の数は、朝鮮半島出身者だけでも20万人と記載した。こうした誤まった表現は、米国に設置された慰安婦像の碑文にも刻まれた。

Arguing that there can be no ground for asserting that there were “200,000” comfort women, Sugiyama also said the expression “sex slaves” was “contrary to the facts.”
 杉山氏は今回、「20万人」に根拠はなく、「性奴隷」との表現は「事実に反する」と指摘した。

History researchers in Japan and foreign countries have assumed certain numbers of comfort women based on such data as the number of soldiers at the time. Their majority view is that 200,000 is an overestimated figure.
 慰安婦の数は、国内外の複数の歴史研究者が兵士の数などを基に推計しているが、20万人は過大だとの見方が有力である。

It is regrettable, however, that the Foreign Ministry did not make any effective refutation when the Coomaraswamy’s report was submitted to the United Nations panel.
 悔やまれるのは、クマラスワミ報告が出た時点で、外務省が有効な反論をしなかったことだ。

This is probably because the ministry was bound by the fact that the report used some quotes from the statement made by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono in 1993. Kono said that “in many cases they were recruited against their own will” and “administrative/military personnel directly took part in the recruitments.” Revision of the Kono Statement is a heavy challenge for the future.
 慰安婦募集が「総じて本人たちの意思に反して行われ」「官憲等が直接これに加担したこともあった」とした93年の河野官房長官談話の一部が報告に引用され、それに縛られたのだろう。河野談話の見直しは今後の重い課題だ。

The South Korean government has contended during the U.N. panel session in Geneva that “the forcible mobilization of comfort women is a historical fact.” But it refrained from making a strong condemnation in consideration of the last year’s bilateral agreement that called for both parties to exercise self-restraint on criticizing each other at the United Nations and other international forums.
 韓国政府は、「慰安婦動員の強制性は歴史的事実」と主張した。一方で、国連などで相互批判を自制するとの昨年の日韓合意を踏まえ、強い非難はしなかった。

Japan’s focus this time on explaining the facts about comfort women can be deemed to be based on the same intention. Japan-South Korea relations have started improving after remaining stagnant for a long time. They must avoid a return to the folly of waging a futile battle of mutual criticism.
 日本が今回、事実関係の説明に徹したのも同じ趣旨だろう。長く停滞していた日韓関係は今、改善傾向にある。不毛な批判合戦に逆戻りする愚は避けるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 19, 2016)

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