2016年05月25日

日米地位協定 今度こそ抜本見直しを

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 24
EDITORIAL: Okinawa leader Onaga is right: SOFA needs a sweeping review
(社説)日米地位協定 今度こそ抜本見直しを

Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga on May 23 urged Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to initiate a fundamental review of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), a symbol of deep resentment about the heavy U.S. military presence in Okinawa Prefecture.
“We will be told that Japan’s independence is a myth if the current Status of Forces Agreement remains unchanged,” Onaga said in his meeting with Abe over the recent slaying of a Japanese woman in Okinawa Prefecture.
 「今の地位協定のもとでは、日本の独立は『神話だ』と言われますよ」

Onaga referred to the famous remark made in a 1963 speech by then American High Commissioner Paul Caraway, who said the idea of self-government in Okinawa under U.S. military rule was nothing more than a “myth.”
 米軍政下、沖縄の自治を「神話」と言い放ったキャラウェイ高等弁務官の言葉を使って、沖縄県の翁長雄志知事がきのう、安倍首相に日米地位協定の見直しを求めた。

The governor met with Abe at the prime minister’s office in Tokyo following the arrest of an American civilian worker at a U.S. base in Okinawa Prefecture on May 19 on suspicion of abandoning the body of the victim.
The incident has sparked outbursts of anger among people in Okinawa, and a growing chorus there is calling for the removal of all U.S. bases from the prefecture.
 元米海兵隊員の軍属による女性死体遺棄事件を受け、沖縄ではいま、「全基地撤去」を求める声が広がるほど激しい怒りに包まれている。

To prevent additional crimes or accidents involving U.S. military personnel and related workers, U.S. bases in the prefecture should be consolidated and curtailed quickly.
米軍関係者による事件・事故をこれ以上繰り返さないためにも、米軍基地の整理・縮小を急ぐ必要がある。

Onaga’s demand for a revision to SOFA reflects the fact that this agreement, which grants U.S. forces stationed in Japan various privileges, has been a major factor behind the failure to stop crimes involving American soldiers and members of the “civilian component.”
 同時に、翁長知事が日米地位協定の見直しを求めるのは、米兵や軍属らによる犯罪が後を絶たない背景に、在日米軍にさまざまな特権を与えているこの協定があるとみるからだ。

Every time a base-related crime or accident took place, provisions of SOFA that restrict Japan’s criminal investigations and jurisdiction concerning such cases were roundly criticized.
 地位協定をめぐっては、これまでも米軍人や軍属による犯罪や事故が起きるたびに、日本の犯罪捜査や裁判権を制限する条項が問題となってきた。

In the latest case, the suspect, a former U.S. serviceman, was arrested by prefectural police on suspicion of committing a crime while off-duty, so no SOFA-related issue has arisen.
 今回、元米兵は公務外の容疑で県警が逮捕したため、地位協定上の問題は発生していない。

If the U.S. military had detained the suspect first, however, the transfer of his custody to Japanese authorities could have been delayed or even refused.
だが、もし米軍が先に身柄を拘束していれば、引き渡しまで時間がかかったり拒否されたりする恐れもあった。

In the 1995 rape of a Japanese schoolgirl by three off-duty U.S. servicemen in Okinawa, the United States detained the suspects and initially refused Okinawa prefectural police’s request for their handover.
 95年に起きた少女暴行事件では、公務外の米兵ら3容疑者の身柄を米側が拘束し、県警の引き渡し請求を拒んだ。

In response to the huge wave of anger among Okinawan people triggered by the incident, Washington later agreed to an improvement in the implementation of SOFA, requiring the United States to “give sympathetic consideration” to Japanese requests for the handover of suspects before indictment in cases of vicious crimes.
 県民の強い反発でその後、凶悪事件に限って起訴前の身柄引き渡しに米側が「好意的配慮を払う」とする運用改善で合意した。

This rule has since been applied to all types of crimes. But Japanese investigations into crimes involving U.S. military personnel could still be affected by discretionary decisions by the United States.
その後、全犯罪に広がったが、米側の裁量で捜査が左右される恐れはいまも残る。

Despite the improvement, SOFA still needs a sweeping review. While the prefectural government has been demanding reform for many years, the Japanese government has refused to propose a fundamental review of the agreement for a possible revision to the United States.
 こうした運用改善が実現した例はあるものの、地位協定の改定を含む抜本的な見直しは、県の長年の要求をよそに、政府は米国に提起しようとしない。

Onaga also asked Abe to arrange a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama during his visit to Japan.
 翁長知事はきのう、オバマ米大統領に直接面会する機会を設けるよう首相に求めた。

But Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga voiced a dim view of Onaga’s request, saying, “As a matter of course, issues in the fields of diplomacy and security will be discussed between national governments.”
しかし菅官房長官は「外交・安全保障に関わる問題は、中央政府間で協議するのは当然だ」と否定的な見方を示した。

Onaga is seeking an opportunity to hold direct talks with Obama because the central government has done nothing to solve this problem.
 その中央政府が動かないからこそ、知事は大統領との直接の面会を求めているのだろう。

Both South Korea and Germany have achieved revisions to their own status of forces agreements with the United States. Why is the Japanese government unwilling to even ask the United States to consider a revision to the unfair agreement?
 韓国やドイツは、米国との地位協定の改定を実現させている。なのになぜ、日本政府は米国に改定を求めないのか。

Later this week, Obama will come to Japan to attend this year’s summit of the Group of Seven industrial nations in Mie Prefecture.
 今週、主要国首脳会議(伊勢志摩サミット)のためにオバマ大統領が来日する。

Abe should, of course, call on Obama to take steps to prevent a recurrence and strengthen discipline on U.S. personnel and related workers. But Abe should also make specific proposals concerning a reduction in the U.S. bases in Okinawa and a revision to the agreement.
再発防止や綱紀粛正を求めるのはもちろんだが、基地縮小や地位協定の抜本見直しについても、首相から具体的に提起すべきだ。
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2016年05月24日

もんじゅ やはり廃炉にすべきだ

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 22
EDITORIAL: There is simply no reason to continue Monju reactor program
(社説)もんじゅ やはり廃炉にすべきだ

An expert council on the Monju fast-breeder reactor program started debate last week on a draft report it will submit to the science and technology ministry.
 高速増殖原型炉「もんじゅ」(福井県敦賀市)について検討している文部科学省の有識者検討会が先週、報告書案の議論に入った。

The panel’s work is a response to the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s recommendation last year that the operator of the troubled experimental reactor in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, should be replaced.
After a series of revelations about omitted safety inspections and other problems, the NRA in November urged science and technology minister Hiroshi Hase to find a new entity to replace the government-backed Japan Atomic Energy Agency as the reactor’s operator.
 機器の点検漏れなどが次々と発覚したため、原子力規制委員会が昨年11月、原子力研究開発機構(原子力機構)に代わる運営主体を探すよう馳浩・文科相に勧告した。それを受けての作業である。

But the council’s draft report, released on May 20, doesn’t name a candidate for the mission. It only mentions a set of conditions the new operator should fulfill, which are nothing new and all part of conventional wisdom.
It says, for instance, the new operator should have “the ability to develop and implement operation and maintenance plans based on the characteristics of the reactor that is still in the experimental stage.” It also says the new operator should be able to respond appropriately to the interests and needs of society.
 しかし、報告書の原案は具体的な運営主体について記さず、「研究開発段階炉の特性を踏まえた保全計画の策定・遂行能力がある」「社会の関心・要請を適切に反映できる」など、当たり前で従来も言われてきた条件を示すにとどまった。

The draft report also points to the failure of a series of reforms that have been carried out to save the trouble-plagued program. It offers no reason to believe this time is different and the proposed replacement of the operator will bring about sufficient improvements in the management of the Monju.
 案は「これまで繰り返し改革に取り組んできたが、十分な成果が上がっていない」とも指摘する。今回に限って改革が成功し、もんじゅの管理が十分改善される理屈は見当たらない。

The fast-breeder reactor requires as much as 20 billion yen ($182 million) in annual maintenance costs. In addition, there is not even an estimate of the certainly huge costs for necessary safety measures.
All these facts make a compelling case for decommissioning the reactor.
 年間200億円もの維持費がかかり、巨額になるのが必至の安全対策費は現時点で試算すら出せていない。もんじゅは、やはり廃炉にすべきだ。

The biggest problem, as some members of the ministry panel have noted, is the lack of serious debate on the cost-effectiveness of the Monju program.
 最大の問題は検討会でも指摘が出た通り、費用対効果の議論をしていない点だ。

Who needs this program and how strong is the need? How much more money is the government ready to spend to develop and operate the reactor? These and other key questions about whether the program makes economic sense have been left unaddressed.
 もんじゅを誰がどれほど必要としていて、運転のためにどれだけのお金を投じる用意があるのか。その検討がすっぽりと抜け落ちている。

The Monju is now in a precarious position even in the government’s nuclear energy policy.
 もんじゅはいまや、国の原子力政策でも微妙な存在だ。

The reactor was once touted as the core facility for the government’s plan to establish a nuclear fuel recycling system in which plutonium extracted from spent nuclear fuel is burned in a fast-breeder reactor.
 かつては、原発の使用済み核燃料からプルトニウムを取り出し、高速増殖炉で燃やす核燃料サイクル実現に向けた中核的施設という位置づけだった。

For more than two decades since a sodium coolant leak accident in 1995, however, the Monju has remained mostly idle.
Over the period, the need for a nuclear fuel recycling system has kept diminishing. There are now few people in the private sector calling for the development of a fast-breeder reactor.
 だが、1995年のナトリウム漏れ事故以来20年以上もほとんど運転できていない、その間に核燃料サイクルの必要性は薄れる一方で、民間に高速増殖炉を望む声はないに等しい。

When it drew up a research plan using the Monju three years ago, the science and technology ministry had to focus on the topic of nuclear waste disposal rather than fast-breeder reactor technology itself.
3年前に文科省がまとめたもんじゅ研究計画では、高速炉より廃棄物対策での研究を前面に打ち出すしかなかった。

Still, the government has refused to pull the plug on the Monju program because it is concerned about possible repercussions on its nuclear fuel recycling policy as a whole.
 それでも、政府がもんじゅの旗を降ろさないのは、核燃料サイクルに影響が及ぶことを警戒しているからだ。

But this vision is now almost a fantasy. If the government admits this fact, however, the issue of how to dispose of the large amounts of spent nuclear fuel stored at nuclear power plants across the nation will no doubt come under the spotlight.
 しかし、サイクルはもはや虚構に近い。政府がそう認めれば、各地の原発が抱える大量の使用済み燃料の処理問題が一気にクローズアップされるのが必至だ。

Continuing the Monju program simply to gloss over this grim reality would be too foolish.
それをごまかそうともんじゅを抱え続けるのでは、あまりに問題が大きい。

A small experimental reactor is enough and more efficient for use in research in nuclear waste disposal, which is still in a rudimentary stage. The need for such research offers no rationale for keeping the Monju program alive.
 廃棄物処理の研究は基礎段階だから小型実験炉で十分だし、その方が効率的だ。もんじゅを延命する理由にはならない。
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2016年05月23日

G7財務相会議 サミットで協調さらに深めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
G-7 leaders should follow up Sendai finance meeting with deeper cooperation
G7財務相会議 サミットで協調さらに深めよ

It is important for the major advanced nations to boost cooperation to lead the global economy toward stable growth despite persistent economic uncertainty.
 不透明感を拭えない世界経済を安定成長に導くには、先進国が協調を強めることが重要だ。

The meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors from the Group of Seven major developed countries reaffirmed in Sendai that they will mobilize all three policy measures to play the leading roles in putting the world economy on track for sustainable growth: monetary policy, fiscal stimulus and structural reforms.
 仙台市で開かれた先進7か国(G7)財務相・中央銀行総裁会議は、世界経済の持続的な成長を牽引けんいんしていくため、金融政策と財政出動、構造改革の三つの政策手段を総動員することを確認した。

The participating countries shared an understanding that the global market has become more stable compared to a while ago, but it faces increasing uncertainty caused by, among other factors, Britain’s possible exit from the European Union.
 G7各国は世界経済について、一時期より市場は安定したが、英国の欧州連合(EU)離脱問題などで先行きの不確実性は増しているとの認識を共有した。

China and other emerging economies still suffer from a slowdown. It is natural for the G-7 to show determination to fulfill its responsibilities to play a leading role to boost growth.
 中国など新興国経済の減速傾向も続いている。G7が成長の先導役として、責任を果たしていく決意を示したのは当然だ。

When it came to flexible fiscal stimulus, one of the key topics at the meeting, Japan and the United States, which are positive toward such action, failed to fully bridge the gap with Germany and Britain, which place emphasis on fiscal discipline. Many of the participating countries reportedly said that perhaps it is quality that matters most in implementing fiscal stimulus measures.
 焦点だった機動的な財政出動を巡る議論では、積極的な日米と、財政規律を重んじる独英の溝は十分に埋まらなかった。多くの国から「財政出動はむしろ質が大事だ」といった声も相次いだという。

How can each country facilitate “high-quality investment” in accordance with the respective conditions to help each economy grow? Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should lead deeper discussions when he chairs the Ise-Shima summit meeting later this week.
 各国の事情に応じて、成長に資する「質の高い投資」をどう促進していくか。今週の主要国首脳会議(伊勢志摩サミット)では、議長の安倍首相の主導で、議論を深める必要があろう。

Rift over yen intervention

Meanwhile, it is worrisome that Finance Minister Taro Aso and U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew were unable to resolve their rift over foreign exchange rates when they held talks on the sidelines of the Sendai gathering.
 G7会議に合わせた日米財務相会談で、為替を巡る対立が解消しなかったのも気がかりだ。

During a press conference, Aso once again showed he would not refrain from intervening in the currency market against excessive yen rises. “[Exchange rates for the yen] over the past several weeks cannot be described as orderly,” he said.
 麻生財務相は記者会見で「(円相場の)この数週間は秩序立った動きとは言えない」と述べ、円高阻止の市場介入も辞さない考えを改めて示した。

Lew, on the other hand, issued a warning against Tokyo’s possible intervention, saying, “It’s a pretty high bar to have disorderly [currency] conditions.”
 ルー米財務長官は「無秩序な動きと呼べる基準は極めて高い」として、介入を牽制した。

Increased disagreement between Japan and the United States could encourage speculators to take advantage of the situation, thus inviting violent fluctuations in currency markets. It is important for Tokyo and Washington to communicate in detail with each other while placing their top priority on stabilizing the financial market.
 日米の不協和音が高まれば、投機筋につけ込まれて為替相場の乱高下を招く恐れもある。金融市場の安定を最優先に、日米が丁寧に意思疎通を図ることが大切だ。

In the meeting of finance ministers, the G-7 nations also agreed to step up measures against international tax evasion, following the release of the so-called Panama Papers that have revealed partially how tax havens are used. The participants also agreed to urge many other countries to join an international scheme that will allow their tax authorities to share bank account information, among other measures.
 G7会議は、タックスヘイブン(租税回避地)の実態の一端が明らかになった「パナマ文書」問題を受け、国際的な税逃れ対策の強化でも合意した。税務当局による口座情報の交換など、国際的な枠組みに多くの国の参加を促す。

Tax avoidance cannot immediately be deemed illegal, but can undermine confidence in the tax system. The summit meeting should look into rules to ensure fair international taxation.
 租税回避はただちに違法ではなくても、税への信頼を損なう。サミットで公正な国際課税のあり方の検討を進めるべきだ。

The Sendai gathering also compiled an action plan on combating the financing of terrorism. Measures include enhanced information exchange among the G-7 countries and lowering the maximum amount of cash individuals can bring into another country without reporting the sum to customs.
 テロ資金対策に関する行動計画もまとめた。G7間の情報交換の強化や、税関に申告せずに他国に持ち出せる現金の上限額引き下げなどが柱だ。

Cross-border financial transactions have to be cut off to stop terrorist organizations. The G-7 should urge other countries to also work together on this issue.
 テロ組織を追い詰めるには、国境を超えた資金の流れを断たねばならない。G7以外にも協調行動を広めたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 22, 2016)
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2016年05月22日

台湾新総統 民意に沿う現状維持

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 21
EDITORIAL: Taiwan’s Tsai set right tone for endorsing status quo with China
(社説)台湾新総統 民意に沿う現状維持

The relationship between China and Taiwan is one of the primary factors for peace and stability in Asia.
 中国と台湾の関係は、アジアの平和と安定を考える上で鍵をにぎる問題の一つである。

Taiwan’s new president, Tsai Ing-wen, aired her thoughts about the island’s ties with China in her inaugural speech May 20.
 きのう台湾の新総統に就いた蔡英文(ツァイインウェン)氏(59)が、亜熱帯の陽光のもと、総統府前広場で演説し、対中関係を語った。

Speaking in the subtropical sunlight in front of the Presidential Office building in Taipei, Tsai pledged to promote “stable and peaceful development” of Taiwan’s relations with China through diplomatic efforts based on “existing realities and political foundations.” This is effectively an endorsement of the status quo that has defined bilateral ties. We welcome her moderate stance toward the touchy issue.
 蔡氏は、過去を踏まえ、安定的な発展を進めると誓った。つまり、現状維持の宣言である。穏当ログイン前の続きな姿勢を歓迎したい。

The delicate and complicated cross-strait relationship requires careful and cautions handling.
 中台関係は複雑であり、慎重な対応を要する。

China regards Taiwan as a breakaway province that must unify with the mainland eventually. This is what is known as the "One China" principle.
中国は台湾を自国の一部とみなし、祖国統一をめざしている。いわゆる「一つの中国」の原則である。

Of Taiwan’s two major political parties, the Nationalist Party, or Kuomintang, accepts the “One China” principle, but with China meaning the Republic of China, not the People’s Republic of China.
 台湾では二大政党のうち、国民党は「中華人民共和国」ではなく「中華民国」として「一つの中国」を認める。

Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party, in contrast, rejects this principle and claims that Taiwan and China are different countries.
一方、蔡氏ら民進党は「台湾は中国とは別の国家」とし、この原則を認めない。

Alarmed by Tsai’s ascent to power, Beijing has urged the new Taiwanese president to endorse the so-called 92 consensus, or an agreement allegedly reached in 1992 between Chinese and Taiwanese negotiators that both sides would accept the “One China” principle while interpreting the term China independently according to their respective positions.
 そこで中国側は「92年コンセンサス」を蔡氏に突きつけた。1992年に中台の交渉当事者間で「一つの中国」を確認したとされるやりとりを指し、その受け入れを求めた。

In her speech, Tsai didn’t mention the term “92 consensus,” but acknowledged, as a “historical fact,” that the two sides “arrived at various joint acknowledgements and understandings” in 1992.
 演説で蔡氏は「92年コンセンサス」という言葉は使わなかった。その代わり、92年に「若干の共同認知と了解に至った。これは歴史の事実」と述べた。

The way Tsai referred to this topic may not be quite satisfactory for China. But she also refrained from mentioning her party’s position supporting Taiwan’s independence. China should appreciate her rhetoric on the issue as the strongest possible political gesture of compromise she could make.
 中国側は不満が残るかもしれない。だが、蔡氏は台湾独立をめぐる自党の立場表明も抑えている。最大限の歩み寄りを図ったと評価すべきだろう。

A majority of people in Taiwan value their identity as Taiwanese while putting much importance on exchanges with China.
 台湾住民の多くは、中国との交流を重視する一方、台湾としての主体性も大事にする。

As a result, they believe that maintaining the status quo is the best realistic option for Taiwan, subscribing to the view that the choice of either unification or independence is best left to the distant future.
だから、統一か独立かは遠い将来の課題とし、現状維持が最適と考えている。

Tsai’s speech faithfully echoes the public’s well-balanced sensibility.
 蔡氏の演説は、そうした民意のバランス感覚を誠実にくみ取ったものといえる。

The maintenance of the status quo of the China-Taiwan relationship is also reassuring for other countries in the region.
 中台関係の現状維持は、周辺国にとっても安心材料だ。

Taiwan is located close to Okinawa and the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and maintains effective control over the largest natural island in the disputed Spratly island chain in the South China Sea.
台湾は沖縄や尖閣諸島に近く、スプラトリー(南沙)諸島で最大の自然島を実効支配している。

Taiwan is a vital player in efforts to maintain stability in the East China Sea and the South China Sea, and its related actions have direct bearings on Japan’s security.
東シナ海と南シナ海の安定に欠かせない存在であり、日本の安全保障に直結する。

Touching on the territorial disputes in the East China Sea and the South China Sea in her address, Tsai called for a cool-headed attitude on the part of all the parties involved, proposing “setting aside disputes so as to enable joint development.”
 蔡氏は演説で、東・南シナ海問題について「争いを棚上げして共同開発を」と、冷静な対応を求めた。

China should take her call seriously. It is China that is seeking to change the status quo in the region by enhancing its naval power and reclaiming reefs in disputed areas.
その訴えを、中国は真剣に受け止めるべきだろう。現状変更を志向しているのは、海軍力を強化し、岩礁を埋め立てる中国のほうだからだ。

During the previous Taiwanese administration of Ma Ying-jeou, Japan and Taiwan scored some notable diplomatic achievements, including bilateral agreements on investment, taxation and fishing.
 日本と台湾との間では、前政権下で投資協定、租税協定、漁業協定といった成果が積み重ねられた。

Japan and Taiwan have highly complementary economic relations as well as various common policy challenges, such as the aging of society, frequent natural disasters and problems related to nuclear power generation.
経済面は補完関係が強く、高齢化、多発する自然災害、原発問題など共通課題も多い。

Let us hope that cooperation between Tokyo and Taipei will make further progress under the Tsai administration.
蔡政権のもとで日台協力がさらに進むよう期待したい。
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2016年05月21日

五輪招致疑惑 厳正に実態の解明を

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 20
EDITORIAL: Rigorous probe needed to study Tokyo Olympics bid payments
(社説)五輪招致疑惑 厳正に実態の解明を

Dark clouds of suspicion are gathering over Tokyo’s successful bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.
 世界最大のスポーツの祭典を呼び寄せた成功の陰で金銭にまつわる不正があったのか否か。

Allegations have emerged that Japan made dubious cash payments to win the right to hold the world’s largest sports event in its capital.
 2020年東京五輪・パラリンピックの招致活動に、疑惑が投げかけられている。

The Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) has decided to form a special task force to investigate the allegations, which will include at least one independent lawyer.
 日本オリンピック委員会(JOC)は、第三者の弁護士を含む調査チームを発足させることを決めた。

As the host of the Summer Games in 2020, Japan is responsible for rigorously confronting and responding to the allegations.
 五輪の開催国として、不正の疑惑に対し厳正に向き合う責任がある。

The government, which strongly supported Tokyo’s bid, should actively cooperate in the investigation to help establish the truth.
招致を推進してきた政府も積極的に協力して、解明を進めるべきだ。

The suspicion of bribery came to light when French prosecutors said earlier this month that they had launched a probe into dubious cash transfers from a bank in Japan to the account in Singapore of a company with an unsavory reputation. The focus of the inquiry is on the JOC’s payments of some 230 million yen ($2.09 million) to the consulting firm in the months immediately prior to and after Tokyo was awarded the Games in 2013.
 疑惑は、フランスの検察当局が捜査を始めたと公表して表面化した。日本の招致委がシンガポールの顧問会社へ支払った約2億3千万円が焦点である。

The company, Black Tidings, is believed to have close ties with the son of Lamine Diack, the now disgraced former president of the International Association of Athletics Federations and member of the International Olympic Committee. Diack is suspected of having played a role in covering up a Russian doping case.
 その会社は、ロシアの禁止薬物使用の隠蔽(いんぺい)に関わった疑いがもたれている国際陸連前会長の息子と関係が深いとされる。

The company disappeared in 2014 after Tokyo was chosen in September 2013 as the 2020 host, beating Madrid and Istanbul in an IOC vote in Buenos Aires.
東京五輪が決まった翌年、会社は消滅した。

People involved in Tokyo’s winning bid have denied any wrongdoing in their campaign, claiming the funds were paid as legitimate consulting fees.
 招致関係者は、正当なコンサルタント業務の対価だったとして、疑惑を否定している。

But no specifics about the services provided by the company have been offered.
 だが、具体的にどんな業務だったのか、その内容が見えない。

The people involved say they cannot reveal the details because of a confidentiality agreement with the firm.
But the appropriateness of paying more than 200 million yen in consulting fees should be examined.
契約上、相手方との守秘義務があり、明かせないというが、2億円超を払った妥当性は吟味されねばなるまい。

Serious efforts should also be made to determine how the company spent the money.
さらに、その大金を会社が実際に何に使ったのか、調べる努力が必要だろう。

During a recent Diet session, Tsunekazu Takeda, one of the leaders of Tokyo’s Olympics bid, faced questions about whether the consulting firm had been selected in an aboveboard manner.
 国会では、この会社の選定が客観的なものだったのかどうかについても疑問が出た。

It has been reported that a person working for the company approached the JOC for a contract to provide consulting services for Tokyo’s bid. Before deciding to hire the company, the JOC sought input from Dentsu Inc., the leading ad agency contracted for the JOC’s marketing and advertising activities. Dentsu reportedly told the JOC that the individual merited receiving the consulting contract.
 会社の人物から売り込みがあったとされるが、契約する際、招致委はJOCのマーケティングなどを請け負っている広告会社の電通に相談した。電通は、契約に値する人物である旨を返答したという。

Dentsu should cooperate with the efforts to investigate the allegations. What were the grounds on which the ad agency judged the person to be worthy of the costly contract? Dentsu should assist in the investigation even if all it can disclose is information about the person’s business track record.
 電通にも疑惑の解明に協力してもらいたい。契約に値する人物と判断できた根拠は何だったのか。業績などが明確になるだけでも参考になる。

The influence of big money has grown over the years, not just in regard to the Olympics, but in the international sports community as a whole. Rumors of various forms of backdoor deals have haunted many powerful international sports organizations.
 五輪に限らず、国際スポーツ界では多額の金銭が動き、多くの権限をもつ国際組織などにしばしば不正のうわさが立つ。

International consultants have been suspected to have played roles in some deals, but little is known about their actual operations.
コンサルタントの関与が疑われることもあるが、その活動の実態はベールに包まれている。

The world sports community has been hit by a string of financial scandals in recent years. FIFA, the world’s soccer governing body, has been engulfed by claims of widespread corruption, while money has emerged as a major factor behind alleged state-sponsored doping by dozens of top Russian athletes.
 国際サッカー連盟の汚職や、ロシアの薬物問題でも金銭にまつわる問題が露呈し、近年のスポーツ界は不祥事続きだ。

The leaders of the Group of Seven major industrial nations are expected to discuss the issue of corruption in sports in their meeting in Mie Prefecture on May 26-27.
 来週の主要7カ国首脳会議(伊勢志摩サミット)では、スポーツにおける腐敗の問題も議題に含まれる。

As the country hosting this year’s G-7 summit, Japan should demonstrate a firm commitment to leading international efforts to eliminate the rot in sporting events and organizations and restore public trust in them.
 議長国として、スポーツ大会や組織運営の浄化と信頼回復に向け、率先して取り組んでいく姿勢を示さなくてはならない。
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2016年05月20日

1億総活躍 具体化への道筋示せ

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 19
EDITORIAL: Abe’s plan to stoke economic growth still lacks vital specifics
(社説)1億総活躍 具体化への道筋示せ

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has cobbled together a package for its key policy of creating a “society where 100 million people play active roles.”
 安倍政権が看板政策に掲げる「1億総活躍プラン」をまとめた。

The package, announced on May 18, is designed to revive Japan’s economic growth by pumping up consumer spending. The government has pledged to achieve the policy goal by taking steps to heighten the livelihood security of people, mainly in the social security area, so that they will feel safe about spending. This is a recipe for “a virtuous cycle of growth and distribution,” the Abe administration says.
社会保障分野を中心に暮らしの基盤を厚くし、国民の安心感につなげる。それが消費を底上げし、経済成長をもたらす。そんな「成長と分配の好循環」をうたう。

While the package contains a broad array of measures, its focus is on labor and child and nursing care.
 内容は多岐にわたるが、柱は労働分野と育児・介護分野だ。

The goals set for this policy agenda include: realizing the “same pay for same work” principle and a minimum wage of 1,000 yen ($9.20) per hour to improve the fortunes of nonregular workers; cutting long working hours; and raising the wages of child-care and nursing-care workers to ease labor shortages in these sectors.
同一労働同一賃金や、最低賃金として時給1千円をめざし、非正社員の待遇を改善する。長時間労働を是正する。人手不足が深刻な保育や介護の現場で働く人の賃金を引き上げる。そんな目標が並ぶ。

These are all important policy issues the government has been tackling for many years without much success. Clearly, the government should accelerate its efforts to achieve these goals.
But none of them is easy to accomplish, and there is no clear and specific road map to the goals.
 どれも長年の懸案であり、対応を急ぐべきだ。しかし、いずれも実現は容易でなく、具体化への道筋はなお見えない。

With an Upper House election drawing near, the policy package will certainly be criticized as a mere attempt to garner votes if the Abe administration fails to make serious efforts to achieve the ambitious goals it has announced.
 参院選が近い。風呂敷を広げたはよいが、尻すぼみになっていくようなら、選挙目当てとの批判は免れまい。

The initiative will serve as an acid test of Abe’s commitment to the policy goals and ability to deliver on his promises.
問われるのは首相の本気度と実行力だ。

The administration has pledged to revise the related laws to ensure “same pay for same work.” But it needs to first offer a clear definition for what constitutes unreasonable disparities in pay.
 同一労働同一賃金では関連法の改正に踏み込むとしたが、まずは何が不合理な待遇差かを明確にできるか。

The “same pay” principle should not mean that the generally low wages of nonregular workers will become the standard. This creed should lead to a general rise in wage levels.
「同一」の中身も、総じて賃金水準が低い非正社員の方に合わせるのではなく、全体の底上げにつなげねばならない。

Long working hours have been cited as a stumbling block in Japanese people’s efforts to continue working while rearing children or caring for aged parents.
The administration says it will assign a labor ministry council to the task of deciding whether the related regulations should be changed.
 子育てや介護と仕事の両立を阻む要因ともされる長時間労働は、関連する規定を見直すかどうかの検討を厚生労働省の審議会に委ねるという。

But the administration, for its part, should first lay down basic principles for the reform, such as the introduction of ceilings on working hours.
まずは政府として、労働時間の上限規制に踏み込むなど改革の方向性を示すべきではないか。

Increasing the number of day-care centers and nursing-care homes would be meaningless unless they can attract workers.
 保育所や介護施設を増やしても、働く人がいなければ役に立たない。

The government has taken a step in the right direction by deciding on wage hikes for child-care and nursing-care workers in the next fiscal year.
But it has postponed the vital decision on how to finance the step, estimated to cost 200 billion yen, until the year-end season for formulating the budget for fiscal 2017.
保育士や介護職員の賃金を来年度から引き上げるとしたのは前進だが、2千億円ともされる財源の検討は年末の予算編成時に先送りした。

As for the education area, the administration has stopped short of proposing a scholarship program that doesn’t require repayment, an idea that has been attracting much public attention. Again due to financing problems, the administration has only promised to consider the idea.
教育分野では、関心が高い「給付型奨学金」の創設が、やはり財源問題から検討項目にとどまった。

Some policymakers are calling for using the increase in tax revenue from the effects of Abe’s expansionary economic policy, known as Abenomics. But this is far from stable financial resources for vital policy measures.
 「アベノミクス」による税収増を活用するとの声もあるが、安定的な財源と言えるだろうか。

It would also be wrongheaded to cut spending on other important policy programs to secure funds for these measures.
他の分野の予算を無理に削って財源をひねり出すのも本末転倒である。

The government has long promised to expand child-care support as part of its “integrated tax and social security reform.”
 そもそも子育て支援は、「税と社会保障の一体改革」で充実を約束している。

But the initiative will face a fund shortfall of 300 billion yen even if the consumption tax rate is raised to 10 percent as planned. The government has yet to devise a plausible plan to fund measures to carry out its promises, such as increasing child-care workers.
しかし消費税率を10%にしても財源がなお3千億円足りない状態だ。いまだにめどが立たず、保育士の配置を厚くするなどの施策が置き去りにされている。

The government should raise the consumption tax rate to 10 percent as scheduled as the first step in tackling this challenge. It should also confront the reality that the tax hike will not be enough to secure necessary funds to expand child-care support.
If it is really committed to dealing with this policy challenge in a responsible manner, the government should steadily implement the proposed measures while showing taxpayers a convincing financing plan.
 まずは消費税率を予定通り10%に上げる。それでも財源が不足する現状を直視し、国民が納得できる確保策を示した上で、一つずつ着実に実行していく。それが責任ある態度である。
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2016年05月19日

台湾政権交代 中国は大人の対応を

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 18
EDITORIAL: China needs to act maturely with new Taiwan administration
(社説)台湾政権交代 中国は大人の対応を

As an expression of China’s earnest hope for its unification with Taiwan, the Xi Jinping administration refers to Taiwanese citizens as “compatriots.”
 中国・習近平(シーチンピン)政権は、台湾の人々を「同胞」と呼ぶ。台湾を祖国に統一する宿願を込めているはずだった。

However, the administration is treating them as anything but. Beijing is restricting the traffic of tourists to Taiwan and increasingly staying away from economic and academic conferences held in Taiwan.
 ところがいま、習政権が示す態度は、その言葉とは裏腹だ。台湾への観光客を絞り、経済や学術の会議も見送りがめだつ。

With a change of government coming up in Taiwan on May 20 following the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) landslide election victory over the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the Xi administration is putting the squeeze on Taiwan. A Beijing official in charge of China-Taiwan relations recently warned his Taiwanese counterpart to the effect that they could not talk candidly like “real brothers.”
 台湾で20日、国民党から民進党に政権が交代することに対し、習政権が牽制(けんせい)にでているとみられる。中国の台湾交流責任者は最近、「本当の兄弟のように腹を割って話はできない」と、台湾側に警告めいたことを語った。

Beijing’s overbearing attitude is hardly likely to help build a future-oriented China-Taiwan relationship. The people of Taiwan have voted for a new administration of their choice, and Beijing ought to humbly accept the results.
 こんな強圧的な態度で未来志向の中台関係が築けるとは思えない。台湾の民意が選んだ新政権に、中国政府は謙虚に向き合うべきである。

The KMT was in power for the last eight years. Originally a Chinese political party, the KMT deepened Taiwan’s ties with China in keeping with the “one China” concept.
 台湾では過去8年間、国民党が政権を担った。国民党はもともと中国の政党であり、台湾を含めて「中国は一つ」との認識のもとで対中関係を深めた。

On the other hand, the DPP’s stance is that Taiwan and China are separate sovereign states, even though the party attaches importance to ties with Beijing. But Beijing has been applying all sorts of pressure on the DPP to retract its basic principle.
 だが民進党は、中国との関係を重視してはいるが、「台湾は中国とは別の主権国家」とする立場だ。中国側はかねて、その原則論の撤回を求めて様々な圧力をかけてきた。

There was also a development regarding Taiwan’s planned participation as an observer in this year’s World Health Assembly, which will be held next week in Switzerland.
 スイスで来週開かれる世界保健機関(WHO)総会をめぐっても、動きがあった。

Not only did Taiwan receive its invitation late this year, but the invitation also spelled out that it was being sent on the understanding that there is only “one China.” Taipei believes it is being “tested” by China through the WHO.
オブザーバーである台湾への招請状が遅れたうえ、「一つの中国」の原則に沿った招請である旨が明記されていた。台湾側は、WHOを通じて中国が突きつけた「踏み絵」とみている。

In Kenya, 45 Taiwanese were arrested on suspicion of remittance fraud. But the suspects were extradited to China, not to Taiwan. Taiwanese authorities are objecting vehemently to Beijing, claiming the latter interfered with the Kenyan government in the extradition procedure.
 ケニアでは台湾の振り込め詐欺容疑者ら45人が捕まったが、先月、台湾でなく中国に「強制送還」された。容疑者引き渡しをめぐりケニア政府への介入があったとして、台湾当局者が中国に強く抗議している。

The Xi administration may well be thinking that letting Taiwan’s new DPP administration go unchecked is tantamount to accepting the split with Taiwan. But China’s high-handedness, which barely conceals its intent to pull rank on Taiwan, will only raise questions in the international community about China’s Taiwan policy.
 習政権としては、民進党政権を黙って見ていては国家分裂を認めたも同然、との考えがあるかもしれない。だが、大国の影響力を見せつけるやり方は、国際社会の中で中国の台湾政策への疑問を強めるだけだろう。

Economic ties have certainly strengthened between China and Taiwan, but the Taiwanese people have become less interested in unification.
 中台間の経済関係は緊密になったが、台湾の人々の意識は、逆に統一志向から離れている。

This is not only because it has been 67 years since the split. In Taiwan’s view, the problem is that China has not abandoned the option of using military force to realize the unification, nor has it shown any real signs of democratization.
分断から67年経ったせいだけではない。中国が軍事的手段による統一という選択肢を捨てていないことや、中国国内で民主化の気配が見えないことを台湾側は問題視している。

It will be difficult for the Xi administration to win the hearts of the people of Taiwan by simply pressuring them into accepting the “one China” concept.
 「一つの中国」を受け入れろと圧力をかけるだけでは、習政権が台湾の民心を得るのは難しい。

We urge Beijing to quietly watch the start of Taiwan’s democratically elected new administration, and then strive to start new dialogue in earnest. It is this sort of “maturity” that we expect of Beijing.
台湾の人々が選んだ政権のスタートを、まずは静かに見守る。そして真剣に新たな対話を始めることをめざす。中国にそんな大人の対応を望む。
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2016年05月18日

沖縄復帰44年 道遠い「本土」との平等

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 17
EDITORIAL: Okinawa has yet to gain equality in 44 years since return to Japan
(社説)沖縄復帰44年 道遠い「本土」との平等

May 15 marked the 44th anniversary of Okinawa’s return to Japan following nearly three decades under the control of the U.S. military, which seized the island prefecture in the closing days of World War II.
 戦後、米軍政下におかれた沖縄が日本に復帰して15日で44年を迎えた。

But we still have to question whether Okinawa has really been fully integrated into Japan.
だが沖縄は真に「復帰した」と言えるだろうか。

A 42-year-old man from Osaka who took part for the first time in the annual “5.15 Peace March,” which brings together members of labor unions and citizen groups, went to see Camp Schwab the previous day. Camp Schwab is a U.S. Marine Corps base in the Henoko district of Nago, which has been designated as the site of a new military base to replace the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma currently located in the crowded city of Ginowan in the prefecture.
 労組や市民団体が集まる「5・15平和行進」に初参加した大阪府の男性(42)は前日、米軍普天間飛行場の移設先、名護市辺野古の米軍キャンプ・シュワブを訪れた。

While he was on a boat inspecting areas that will be reclaimed for construction of the new base, he was warned against approaching off-limits areas by a patrol boat of the Okinawa Defense Bureau.
船で埋め立て予定地を視察していると、沖縄防衛局の警備船から立ち入り禁止区域に近づかぬよう警告された。

But the patrol boat said nothing to U.S. military personnel paddling canoes nearby. The man felt as if he were in an area that was not part of Japanese territory.
 近くで米軍関係者がカヌーをこいでいたが、彼には何も言わない。「ここは日本じゃないのか」。男性はそう実感した。

In the 1950s, U.S. Marines were stationed in Yamanashi and Gifu prefectures. As public opposition to the presence of U.S. bases on the mainland grew, the Marines were transferred to Okinawa, which was under U.S. administrative control. Camp Schwab is one of the bases built in Okinawa in those days.
 米海兵隊は1950年代、山梨や岐阜に駐留していたが、本土の基地反対運動が高まるなかで、米軍政下の沖縄へ移った。キャンプ・シュワブもそのころできた基地の一つだ。

Immediately after its reversion to Japan in 1972, Okinawa Prefecture, which comprises 0.6 percent of the nation’s land mass, was home to 59 percent of U.S. military facilities in Japan. The ratio is now nearly 75 percent.
 復帰直後、全国土面積の0・6%しかない沖縄に、米軍専用施設の59%が集中していた。だがいま、その割合は75%近くにまで高まっている。

While U.S. bases on the mainland have diminished sharply over the decades, the U.S. military presence is Okinawa remains heavy.
本土の基地が大幅に減る一方で、沖縄の基地の減り方はそれだけ鈍い。

There have been some positive developments. The U.S. aerial refueling tankers stationed at the Futenma base, for instance, were moved to the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture in 2014.
But no plan to relocate a U.S. base out of Okinawa has been implemented.
 2014年に普天間飛行場の空中給油機を米軍岩国基地(山口県)に移駐したなどの実績もあるが、沖縄県外への基地移転計画は近年も頓挫している。

In 2010, the government led by the Democratic Party of Japan floated the idea of moving the Futenma air base to Tokunoshima island in Kagoshima Prefecture. In 2015, the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe proposed to transfer Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft stationed at the Futenma base to Saga airport on a provisional basis.
Both plans, however, were abandoned amid strong opposition from the local communities concerned.
 10年に民主党政権が打ち出した普天間飛行場の鹿児島県徳之島への移設案、15年の米軍オスプレイの佐賀空港暫定移駐案と、政府はともに本土の移設・移駐先の反対で断念した。

There have also been signs of inequality between the mainland and Okinawa in the government’s policy responses to issues related to U.S. military bases.
 政府の対応には本土と沖縄で落差もある。

When U.S. forces’ live-fire drills were transferred from Okinawa to five areas on the mainland in 1997, the former Defense Facilities Administration Agency (now the Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency) created a program to subsidize the costs of noise insulation work at affected houses.
97年、米軍の実弾射撃訓練を沖縄から本土の5演習場に移転した際、当時の防衛施設庁が住宅防音工事の補助金制度を新設した。

This program, however, had long remained unknown in Okinawa.
一方、沖縄ではこの制度は長く知られなかった。

The city of Nago, home to Camp Schwab, is now distrustful of the government for failing to apply the program to Okinawa.
キャンプ・シュワブを抱える名護市は今、なぜ沖縄に制度が適用されてこなかったか、政府への不信感を募らせている。

The government has shown no intention to reconsider its plan to relocate the Futenma base to Henoko despite strong opposition among the public in Okinawa.
 普天間飛行場の辺野古移設計画も、反対の民意にもかかわらず、政府に見直す意思はうかがえない。

The reclamation work in Henoko has been suspended since the central and prefectural governments reached a settlement in their court battle over the relocation plan.
A new legal battle will likely erupt between the two sides, however, unless the central government changes its stance toward the issue.
政府と県の裁判は和解が成立し、埋め立て工事はいったん中断しているが、政府が姿勢を変えなければいずれ再び裁判に立ち戻る公算が大きい。

The Abe administration should liberate itself from the rigid idea that the only choices are to either maintain the Futenma base in Ginowan or move it to Henoko. It should start exploring other options, including relocation out of the prefecture.
 政府は「普天間か辺野古か」の思考停止から脱し、県外移設を含む第三の道を探るべきだ。

People in Okinawa have long been yearning to see their island prefecture freed from the heavy burden of hosting so many U.S. military bases. But they see little hope of their wish being answered after more than four decades since Okinawa was reverted to Japan.
 「基地なき沖縄」を切望しながらかなわず、復帰後も重い基地負担にあえぐ沖縄。

For many people in the prefecture, it is difficult to take a first step toward Okinawa’s true integration into Japan because they do not feel they are being treated equally with the rest of the nation by the government.
多くの県民にとって、政府の対応が本土と平等とは思えない現状のままで、真の「復帰」への一歩を踏み出すことはできない。

This is a situation that raises many serious questions also for local governments and people on the mainland.
 本土の自治体、住民も他人事では済まされない。
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2016年05月17日

ビキニ被曝提訴 国の情報開示があまりに遅い

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Govt too late in disclosing radiation data from H-bomb tests at Bikini Atoll
ビキニ被曝提訴 国の情報開示があまりに遅い

Can a recent lawsuit help uncover the damage caused by U.S. hydrogen bomb tests at the Bikini Atoll, which are still surrounded by so many mysteries?
 謎の多い「ビキニ被曝ひばく」の被害の解明につながるだろうか。

The tests were conducted in the Bikini Atoll of the Marshall Islands in the central Pacific in 1954. A group of 45 people − including former crew members of fishing boats that were operating in waters around the test site and members of the families of deceased former fishermen − have filed the suit with the Kochi District Court to seek compensation from the state.
 中部太平洋・マーシャル諸島のビキニ環礁で1954年、米国が水爆実験を実施した。その際、周辺で操業していた漁船の元乗組員や遺族ら45人が、高知地裁に国家賠償請求訴訟を起こした。

There were more than 270 cases in which fishing boats from Kochi Prefecture alone were operating in waters near the site when they were exposed to radiation from the six hydrogen bomb tests conducted from March to May that year. The government conducted surveys of the damage but did not disclose the results.
 54年3〜5月に計6回行われた水爆実験の際、付近の海域で操業中だった高知県の漁船だけで延べ270隻以上が被曝した。国は、被災状況を調査しながら、結果を開示しなかった。

The plaintiffs claim that the government’s reluctance to disclose these records deprived them of the opportunity to seek compensation, and are demanding \2 million per person.
 これにより、補償を請求する機会が失われた、と原告側は主張し、1人当たり200万円の慰謝料を求めている。

It is widely known that 23 crew members of the Fukuryu Maru No. 5, a tuna fishing boat from Shizuoka Prefecture, were exposed to radiation through one of the hydrogen bomb tests at the Bikini Atoll. One of the crew died half a year later.
 問題の水爆実験では、静岡県のマグロ漁船「第五福竜丸」の乗組員23人が被曝し、半年後に1人が死亡した事件が広く知られる。

However, the actual damage to other Japanese fishing boats remains unclear.
だが、それ以外の日本漁船の被災実態は判然としていない。

Regarding the Fukuryu Maru No. 5, the Japanese and U.S. governments reached a political settlement in January 1955, in which the United States agreed to pay $2 million in compensation to Japan, regardless of Washington’s legal responsibility.
 第五福竜丸事件を巡っては、55年1月、米国が法的責任とは無関係に慰謝料200万ドルを日本側に支払うことで政治決着した。

Explain convincingly

The plaintiffs accuse the Japanese government of releasing the U.S. government from legal liability through the settlement. However, Japan reached the agreement very soon after regaining independence and the deal certainly reflected a high level of political judgement. There are elements of this settlement that do not allow us to judge it casually.
 原告側は、日本政府が米国の法的責任を免除したと批判する。ただ、日本が独立を回復して間もない時期であり、高度な政治的判断が背景にあったのは、間違いあるまい。政治決着の是非は軽々に判断できない側面があろう。

The problem is that the government did not disclose the records of its investigations for decades. It only made them public in September 2014 following a request for disclosure from a support group for the plaintiffs and other parties concerned. We can only describe the disclosure as too late.
 問題なのは、日本政府が長年、調査資料を明らかにしてこなかったことだ。原告側の支援団体などの情報公開請求に応じ、一昨年9月にようやく開示された。遅すぎたと言わざるを得ない。

The government’s documents, which were used by the plaintiffs as evidence of the harm they suffered, detail the investigations into 556 cases of the radiation exposure of fishing boats and their crew members.
 今回、原告側が被災の根拠とした国の資料には、延べ556隻の船体や船員の被曝状況に関する調査結果が記載されている。

It cannot be overlooked that the government had long denied the existence of those documents, most notably when it said these records “cannot be found” in response to a question posed in the Diet in 1986.
 こうした資料の存在を、政府が86年の国会答弁などで「見つからない」と否定してきたことも看過できない。

Asked why their whereabouts were suddenly known, the government said it discovered them “at a repository following an exhaustive search.”
一転して見つかった経緯については、「徹底的に捜索し、倉庫で見つけた」と釈明した。

The government cannot help but be suspected to have intentionally concealed the documents. It is understandable that former fishermen and bereaved relatives of deceased former crew members feel that way, because they could not even know whether they were exposed to radiation.
 意図的に隠していたと疑われても仕方あるまい。自らの被災の有無さえ知り得なかった元乗組員や遺族の心情は理解できる。

Most of the former crew members who have joined the lawsuit are now over 80 years old, and many of them say their health is deteriorating. More people could claim they were harmed as more details are discovered about radiation exposure from the hydrogen bomb tests.
 原告の元乗組員の多くは80歳を超えている。体調の悪化を訴える人も多い。実態が明らかになるにつれ、被害を訴える人がさらに増えることも予想される。

According to the government’s documents, the doses of radiation experienced by former crew members and others from the hydrogen bomb tests were much lower than the permissible level set for accidents by the International Commission on Radiological Protection. Even so, the government has a responsibility to provide convincing explanations.
 国の資料によると、元乗組員らの被曝線量は、国際放射線防護委員会が、事故時に許容されるとしているレベルを大幅に下回るという。そうであっても、国は納得のいく説明を尽くす責任がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 15, 2016)
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2016年05月16日

香山リカのココロの万華鏡 : ふつうってすばらしい /東京

May 8, 2016 (Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Normal is wonderful
香山リカのココロの万華鏡 : ふつうってすばらしい /東京

Among the people who come to see me at my office, sometimes there are those who complain that their daily lives are too uneventful and boring. Of course, they come for some other reason, like insomnia or irritation, but the cause of those symptoms seems to be in their "uneventful" lives.
 診察室にやってくる人の中に、たまに「毎日が平凡すぎてつまらない」という人がいる。もちろん、「眠れない」「イライラする」といった問題があって受診するわけだが、どうもその原因が「あまりにありふれた日常」にあるようなのだ。

Once, a woman who was approaching her 50th birthday had this problem.
いつだったか、「今年50歳」という女性が診察室でこう語った。

She told me, "Both my children are adults, and my husband is hard-working, but our conversations lack a little in excitement. After five years he will retire, but he apparently has no plans for after that. When I think that maybe my life is going to end like this, I feel suffocated. Every day is just a repeat."
 「子どももふたりとも社会人になりました。夫はまじめですが、いまひとつ会話が弾まなくて。あと5年で定年なのですが、それからのプランもないようです。自分の人生、このまま終わっていくのかと思うと息がつまりそう。毎日が同じことの繰り返しです」

I suggested she find hobbies or volunteer, but she turned those down, sighing and saying there wasn't anything in particular she wanted to do. To other people it would hardly look like the woman had something to complain about, but she was serious.
 趣味やボランティアをやってみたら、と勧めたが、「とくにやりたいこともなくて」とため息をつくばかりであった。まわりから見るとややぜいたくな悩みなのだが、本人は真剣なのだ。

This "every day is the same" complaint, though, can easily disappear. People who were affected by the recent Kumamoto Earthquake are saying on social networking services how they wish they could return to "a normal life." I have seen an online comment that said, "I'm not asking for something special. I just want to wake up in my house, go to work, come home, eat and sleep. While living at an evacuation shelter that kind of lifestyle seems like a dream."
 しかし、この「毎日が平凡すぎる」という悩みも、ちょっとしたことで消えてしまう。熊本地震で被災した方々が、SNS(ソーシャル・ネットワーキング・サービス)などで口々に「ふつうの生活に戻りたい」と言っている。「特別なことを望んでいるのではない。ふつうに家で起きて、仕事に行って、帰ってきて食事をして寝る。避難所にいるとそんな生活が夢のように思える」といった発言をネットで目にしたこともある。

If the people writing things like that saw the complaint of the woman who came to see me, they would probably want to say to her, "What are you talking about? There is nothing as wonderful as regular everyday living."
もし、その人たちが先ほどの「毎日が平凡すぎる」という悩みを聞いたら、「なんてことを言うの。ありふれた日常ほどすばらしいものはない」と言いたくなるだろう。

However, people are troubled creatures, and while in times of disaster they may think "I would be thankful for a regular everyday life," once their situation settles back down, they quickly start wanting this and that again.
 ただ、人間とはやっかいなもので、災害などのときには「ふつうがありがたい」と思っても、状況が安定すれば、またすぐに「あれがほしい、こうしたい」と欲深くなってしまう。

Of course, it can be said that it is because people strive so much that our society has come this far, but the problem is that we feel dissatisfied when our wants aren't met. The woman who complained that everyday life was boring thought that a life full of change was more valuable than what she had. Dissatisfied with her life, she was stressed.
 もちろん、人間に欲があるから私たちの社会はここまで発展したとも言えるのだが、問題なのはそれがかなわなければ不満を抱いてしまうことだ。「平凡はつまらない」と思った女性も、毎日が目まぐるしく変化する生活こそ価値があると思い、そうでない生活に不満を抱いてストレスから体調を崩したのだ。

I hope that, even if people desire more, they will be able to convince themselves that the regular life is wonderful and that there is satisfaction to be found there. This is obvious, but we are quick to forget it.
 変化を求め、もっと豊かになりたいと願ったとしても、一方で「ふつうってすばらしい」「ありふれた日常の中に満足がある」と自分で納得し、それぞれがいまの生活を大切にしたい。これこそあまりに“あたりまえ”のことなのだが、私たちはすぐにそれを忘れてしまう。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
(精神科医)
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