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英語の投書記事

私は過去5回ほど、英字新聞“The Daily Yomiuri”の投書欄に英語で意見を送り、紙面に掲載していただいたことがあります。長くなりますが、その記事を以下に紹介させていただきます。

2005年8月29日掲載
Tackle Poverty to Tackle Terrorism

The world has been less secure in the four years since the 9/11 attacks. The July 7 attacks in London have shown how difficult it is to thwart those kinds of plots because the attacks were apparently carried out by isolated terrorist cells using common items that could be easily obtained at a supermarket. London, which has turned into an information technology fortress with elaborate networks of surveillance cameras on the streets and subways, is the epitome of today’s world intimidated by the threats of terrorism.

I think that the fight against terrorism has been a nominal effort so far; in order to exterminate terrorism, it is necessary to take drastic action to tackle poverty, which is a major factor of terrorism. In the huge wave of globalization, rich Western countries manipulate global issues for their own interests and exploit poorer countries. Developed countries should keep in mind that their policies have triggered poverty around the world and caused many conflicts, and eventually, terrorism.

2005年8月17日掲載
Focus on Postal Reform Wasting Taxpayers’ Money

I feel very indignant about Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s beastly decision to field a popular Cabinet member and other candidates as retaliation against Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers who opposed postal privatization.

He has made no concessions about the modification of the bills, arguing that opposition to his ambition was a rebellion against his Cabinet. I think this is dictatorial.

In fact, he has many other issues to bring to Diet deliberations, including the issue of North Korea’s abductions of Japanese, pension plans and economic revitalization.

But he has kept focusing on postal privatization and done little on other issues.

Diet members took more than 100 hours to debate postal privatization. But they failed to reach a satisfactory conclusion on the contents of the bills. This means that more than \800 million of taxpayers’ money was wasted. It’s quite a disgusting fact.

Koizumi has declared that the focus of the Sept. 11 House of Representatives election should be postal privatization. As long as he insists on this, he and the LDP-endorsed candidates should give voters a clear picture of what Japanese society would be like if the law was enacted, instead of just criticizing opponents and other parties.

Otherwise, the election itself may end up wasting more taxpayers’ money.

2001年1月29日掲載
Revise Article 9

I read with interest the article on the likelihood that U.S. President George W. Bush will demand that Japan play a bigger role in maintaining peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region. (“Bush may demand bigger Japanese defense role,” Page 3, Jan. 18).

The article stated that Okinawa’s geographical position is strategically important to U.S. military forces and remain key to U.S. national interests in spite of the end of the Cold War. In addition, Tetsuya Nishimoto, a former high-ranking Defense Agency official, implied that the greater importance being placed on the Japan-U.S. alliance is likely to lead to Japan’s shouldering a greater burden.

These statements show how important the U.S. bases in Japan are to the United States. They are the United States’ largest overseas bases and the only overseas U.S. strategic center equal to those in the U.S. homeland. This command center ranges from Hawaii to Cape Town, covering half the globe.

The U.S. naval bases in Kanagawa, Nagasaki and Aomori prefectures are capable of storing about 10 million barrels of oil. The bases in Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Okinawa prefectures can store immense reserves of ammunition.

These facilities enabled the United States to fight the Gulf War. More than 100 U.S. ships shuttled between Japan and the Middle East to supply nearly 570,000 U.S. soldiers with fuel and ammunition from these depots.

Both Japanese and Americans should keep this crucial fact in mind.

I think Japan should revise Article 9 of its Constitution in accordance with a new paradigm in the international situation, and Japan should declare the Self-Defense Forces to be a national army. They should never be deployed to invade other nations, but should serve primarily as emergency services for the rescue of disaster victims in Japan.

2000年2月22日掲載
U.N. Run by Major Powers

I am interested in a number of suggestions from Yasushi Akashi (Feb. 3, Page 6) about reforming the United Nations.

The United Nations of today is a dinosaur. It remains as it was when it was established after World War II.

The major powers control its decision-making process and manipulate global issues for their own interests.

Therefore, I would like to make the following two suggestions:

■The U.N. Security Council should expand both its permanent and nonpermanent membership from the current 20 countries to 35, and should include Asian and Third World nations.

■The Security Council should abolish the veto of the major powers and abide by majority decisions instead.

I disagree with Akashi about the problems of expanding membership weakening the United Nations. He states that permitting micro-states to become members has weakened the organization. This is just the West using small countries as scapegoats.

A major cause of the weakening of the United Nations is the egoism of the major powers.

I agree that the United Nations should coexist with civil society. I suggest that the Japanese government should foster the growth of nongovernmental organizations and use tax policies to foster financial support of NGOs.

Finally, I think Japan should not become a permanent member of the Security Council in the present situation. This would only help the United States. The U.S. government would maneuver to make Japan shoulder the cost of their military actions around the world. This is quite obvious from their military intervention in Haiti in 1994. This is U.S. neo-imperialism.

2000年1月21日掲載
Japan Not Getting Free Ride

I was indignant after reading the article headlined “U.S. seeks extra contribution for aircraft, ship repair work” (Jan. 10, Page 2) about the United States’ request to the Japanese government for additional financial contribution to repair U.S. aircraft and warships stationed in Japan and maintain school bus services for the children of U.S. servicemen.

Why did the United States make such a request? I cannot find any justification for it.

Defense Agency Director General Tsutomu Kawara suggested the government might have to reduce its “sympathy budget” due to fiscal difficulties. Some say this may retrigger the “free-ride” argument.

Japan is not “free-riding” the Japan-U.S. alliance. The U.S. forces stationed in Japan exist not only for Japan, but primarily as part of the U.S. global strategy to maintain its military influence.

The Japanese government gives billions of dollars every year to the United States to maintain the security treaty arrangement. Without Japanese assistance, for example, the United States could not have fought the Gulf War.

Should the United States lose its military bases in Japan, it would no longer remain the world leader.

In fact, after a group of U.S. servicemen raped an Okinawan girl in September 1995, U.S. President Bill Clinton immediately issued an apology to Japan. Clinton was afraid that anti- U.S. sentiment would extend to every corner of the country.

Japan and the United States are even. The United States should explain exactly why Japan should extend additional support to the U.S. military.

テーマ : 政治・経済・時事問題
ジャンル : 政治・経済

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平井和也

Author:平井和也
KH翻訳事務所代表。主に人文科学・社会科学分野の日英・英日翻訳を中心にしており、行政翻訳専攻です。好奇心旺盛な本好きです。異文化間コミュニケーション・サポーター。日本翻訳者協会(JAT)会員。海外ニュースライター。

特に政治、経済、国際情勢、行政、ジャーナリズムといった時事的なテーマが得意です。

主な翻訳実績として、東大や一橋大学などの教授の書いた学術文書の英訳、2006年サッカーW杯ドイツ大会の翻訳プロジェクトや防衛省・法務省などの政府系文書、政府高官のパーティースピーチ文書、国際会議関連文書、シンクタンクの報告書・論考、英字新聞『ジャパン・タイムズ』寄稿記事の和訳などの翻訳経験があります。

趣味:読書、語学。

ブログを読んでいただいて、ご意見・ご感想などございましたら、お気軽に以下のアドレスまでメールをいただければと思います。

curiositykh@world.odn.ne.jp

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