The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 30, 2010)
Govt must push ahead with Futenma accord
沖縄知事再選 普天間移設の前進を追求せよ(11月29日付・読売社説)

In Sunday's Okinawa gubernatorial election, voters opted for continued cooperation with the central government in resolving the Futenma base relocation issue, thereby leaving a slim chance that the base will be relocated within the prefecture.

Incumbent Hirokazu Nakaima was reelected governor by beating former Ginowan Mayor Yoichi Iha--who advocated relocating the base outside the country--and another candidate.

However, we are not holding our breath for swift progress in implementing the Japan-U.S. agreement reached in May that calls for relocating the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station to the Henoko district of Nago. This is because Nakaima wants the base moved outside the prefecture and the incumbent Nago mayor opposes its relocation to his city.

Nakaima will not be able to simply dismiss the wishes of nearly 300,000 prefectural residents who voted for Iha, who campaigned on promises to slash the burden placed on the prefecture as a host of U.S. bases.

Had Iha been elected, the situation would have been dire. Iha might have stuck to his demands that the base be relocated outside the country, which would make it more likely the Futenma base would remain stuck where it is for years and continue to endanger the safety of people living nearby.

Until last year, Nakaima had supported a plan to relocate the Futenma base to Henoko. Even now, he has not specifically stated he objects to its relocation within the prefecture. He has spoken of his intention to hold negotiations with the central government.


Start leaning on Nakaima

We think the Kan administration should hold talks repeatedly with Nakaima to convince the governor that the Futenma relocation must go ahead in line with the Japan-U.S. agreement.

To this end, the government needs to present concrete measures for promoting and developing the region and for using the sites of U.S. military facilities after the Futenma base is relocated and 8,000 U.S. marines stationed in Okinawa Prefecture are transferred to Guam. The prefecture's excessive burden in hosting U.S. bases also must be reduced.

The deterrent provided by U.S. forces stationed in Japan has become all the more important following two recent incidents--the September collisions of a Chinese trawler with two Japan Coast Guard patrol boats near the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, and North Korea's artillery attack on South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island last week.

During their Nov. 13 summit meeting, U.S. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Naoto Kan agreed the prime minister would visit the United States next spring, and that a joint document on deepening the bilateral alliance would be issued during his visit. To make this document meaningful, the government must make some progress in resolving the Futenma relocation.


Kan's resolve doubtful

However, the Kan administration has been twiddling its thumbs on this issue.

In previous Okinawa gubernatorial and Nago mayoral elections, Liberal Democratic Party-led governments threw their unreserved support behind candidates who supported the government's Futenma relocation plan. In the campaign for Sunday's election, however, the Democratic Party of Japan tacitly approved its Diet members' support of Iha.

We have doubts over whether Kan is determined to implement the Japan-U.S. agreement on the Futenma relocation and bolster the bilateral alliance.

The Futenma issue has gone through 14 years of twists and turns. The previous DPJ-led administration last year put back on the drawing board the practical, feasible Henoko relocation agreement the LDP-led government hammered out with Washington. This aggravated the government's relations with the United States and Okinawa local governments.

The Kan administration has a heavy responsibility to push ahead with the Japan-U.S. accord on Futenma's relocation, no matter how difficult it may be.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 29, 2010)
(2010年11月29日01時47分 読売新聞)


参院問責可決 一段と追い込まれた菅政権

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 29, 2010)
Censures a devastating blow to Kan Cabinet
参院問責可決 一段と追い込まれた菅政権(11月28日付・読売社説)

Censure motions against Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku and transport minister Sumio Mabuchi have been submitted to the House of Councillors and adopted with the support of opposition parties, which form a majority there. The motions criticize Sengoku and Mabuchi's mishandling of the fallout from the collisions between a Chinese trawler and Japan Coast Guard vessels off the Senkaku Islands in September.

The motions are not legally binding, but three lawmakers in the past against whom censure motions were adopted, including former Prime Minister Taro Aso, ultimately had to resign. There is no doubt the administration of Prime Minister Naoto Kan now faces an even tougher predicament.

The censure motion submitted by the Liberal Democratic Party against Sengoku harshly criticizes the decision not to disclose video of the collisions recorded by the JCG, in addition to the questionable process by which prosecutors ordered the Chinese fishing boat captain's release from custody.

In the case of Mabuchi, the motion pointed out his supervisory responsibility for the JCG's sloppy information management system, which allowed the video to be leaked onto the Internet.

They are both fair points. It is clear that Sengoku and Mabuchi bear political responsibility for the collision incident.

Standoff and stagnation

Kan stressed he would have the two remain in their posts. He is apparently concerned that the administration's foundations would be damaged if Sengoku, who occupies the Cabinet's command post, were made to resign.

However, significant stagnation in national politics is inevitable. There is of course no prospect of passing legislation during the remainder of the current extraordinary Diet session--or even in the ordinary Diet sessions next year--given that not only the LDP but also New Komeito have distanced themselves from the government and the ruling Democratic Party of Japan.

New Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi warned, "If they [Sengoku and Mabuchi] make light of the weight carried by the censure motions and continue their poor handling of issues, the motions will have long-term ramifications."

Opposition parties appear to be refraining from taking part in deliberations at Diet committees where Sengoku and Mabuchi are in attendance. It is inexcusable that opposition parties would abuse their position and employ such tactics because Sengoku and Mabuchi remain in their posts, but Kan should take to heart the harsh reality of the divided Diet.

Diet has accomplished little

Before the censure motions were approved, the supplementary budget for fiscal 2010--incorporating more than 4.8 trillion yen worth of measures to deal with the rising yen and deflation--passed the Diet. However, only about a third of the bills submitted by the government have so far passed the Diet. We cannot help but say the current Diet session has produced few noteworthy achievements other than the supplementary budget.

Both ruling and opposition parities have a responsibility to avoid stagnation in national politics as a result of the divided Diet. However, it is the government and DPJ that must make additional efforts toward this end.

In particular, it is impermissible for the government and DPJ to close the current Diet session without summoning former DPJ leader Ichiro Ozawa to testify before the Diet over his money and politics scandal.

Kan should exercise leadership, rather than leave to DPJ Secretary General Katsuya Okada the task of persuading Ozawa to testify before the Diet. Kan would be totally in the wrong if he calculated it would be acceptable to just let the current Diet session expire, using the excuse of the confrontation between the ruling and opposition parties following the adoption of the censure motions.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 28, 2010)
(2010年11月28日01時41分 読売新聞)


米韓軍事演習 中国も「北」抑止の責任がある

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 28, 2010)
N. Korea a ticking bomb China must help defuse
米韓軍事演習 中国も「北」抑止の責任がある(11月27日付・読売社説)

South Korea and the United States plan to hold joint military exercises in the Yellow Sea, west of the Korean Peninsula, for four days beginning Sunday. The USS George Washington, a Japan-based nuclear-powered aircraft carrier of the U.S. Navy, also will take part in the exercises.

The recent artillery shelling by North Korea of Yeonpyeong Island, South Korea, killed four people and damaged military facilities and private homes. North Korea does not appear hesitant to launch a second or third round of attacks.

The planned joint military exercises by U.S. and South Korean forces under such circumstances are said to be aimed at deterring further military provocation by North Korea.

However, the target of these efforts is a nation whose actions are hard to predict by the standards of common sense. The military exercises will be effective to some extent, but nations concerned must not lower their guard. In fact, North Korea shelled the island as if to ridicule the joint U.S.-South Korean drills conducted twice after the sinking by North Korea of a South Korean patrol ship.

Japan must closely watch, with a strong sense of caution, how North Korea will act, a factor that will determine the degree to which tensions grow on the Korean Peninsula. It is a matter of course that Prime Minister Naoto Kan ordered Cabinet members to stay in Tokyo during the joint military exercises so they could quickly respond in the event of a contingency.

Succession-linked aggression

North Korea is undergoing a time of instability as its leader Kim Jong Il is transferring his power to his young son, Kim Jong Un. With the naming of the heir apparent to the key post of vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, there had been concerns that Pyongyang would rush to reckless adventurism in an attempt to show off the son's credentials.

Such anxiety became reality as North Korea launched its first attack on South Korean soil since the armistice of the Korean War.

The international community must not allow North Korea to engage in any further reckless behavior.

Japan, the United States and South Korea need to further strengthen trilateral cooperation to head off North Korea's threatened mass production and proliferation of nuclear weapons.

China, which has close relations with North Korea, expressed strong opposition to the participation of the U.S aircraft carrier in joint military exercises that South Korea and the United States had conducted earlier. Beijing thus signaled it does not intend to allow U.S. forces to act freely in waters in its vicinity.

On Friday night, a deputy director general of the Chinese Foreign Ministry's Information Department issued a statement that China "opposes any party taking any military acts in its exclusive economic zone without permission."

Beijing's unhelpful stance

China is not in step with Japan, the United States and South Korea, which are pressuring North Korea to abandon its nuclear aspirations, but rather sides with Pyongyang by backing its hereditary regime, now heading for its third generation, through increased economic assistance. China likely calculates that the collapse of the current regime in the neighboring nation would seriously affect its own stability.

But it is North Korea that is threatening the peace and stability of the region. In our view, China's indulgence of North Korea has emboldened Pyongyang to the extent seen in recent developments.

If China tacitly approves North Korea's status quo, the degree of instability in the region will only grow. China must be well aware of the reality that a time bomb is ticking.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 27, 2010)
(2010年11月27日01時40分 読売新聞)




cite from the independent world,

Burma gives HIV patients a reprieve from eviction

By a correspondent in Rangoon
Friday, 26 November 2010

Authorities in military-ruled Burma gave a last-minute reprieve last night to HIV patients living in a shelter run by supporters of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, after earlier saying it had to be shut down.

Yarzar, one of the shelter's staff, said the authorities agreed last night to let the patients stay. Last week, local officials ordered the 80 patients to be moved by this week, saying without explanation that it would no longer approve the requests for overnight guests that are legally required.

The shelter's organizers believed the eviction threat was issued because Suu Kyi visited it just days after her 13 November release from extended house arrest, promising to help provide badly needed medicine. The ruling junta regards Suu Kyi and her non-violent struggle for democracy as a threat to its power.

The conciliatory gesture has a hitch, however: the permits must be renewed each week, and there is no guarantee they will be.

Still, Yarzar said: "I am greatly relieved and so are the patients."
(ここはビルマ軍事政権に対して素直な感謝の心を表すべきでしょう by srachai)

The shelter's organizers, who are public supporters of Suu Kyi's political movement, said earlier that they would not send the patients away despite the threat of legal action.

The state-run Myanma Ahlin newspaper said on Wednesday that health officials had inspected the shelter in July and August and found it to be unhygienic.

Health authorities had offered to relocate the patients to a state-run HIV centre but the patients refused to move, saying their shelter not only offered medical care, food and accommodation but "warmth and affection that no other centre can provide."


--The Asahi Shimbun, Nov. 25
EDITORIAL: 'Ice age' for job-hunters

Japanese university students graduating next spring face an extremely frosty job climate that is often described as a "super ice age."

The ratio of graduating students with job offers has fallen to a record low. This year, one in six students finished their studies to find themselves jobless new graduates. Next year stands to be even worse.

Most students attend university with the hope of finding a worthwhile job to earn a livelihood and establish a foothold in society. The job crunch is blighting their hopes.

Companies are tightening their hiring standards and often end their recruitment activities even before meeting their targets. The situation has created a growing inequality in access to employment between the so-called winning and losing groups.

A recent survey of universities by the Japan Institute for Labor Policy and Training found that the proportion of students who graduated this spring without a job was 30 percent or higher at many new private universities and smaller institutions.

Officials at university employment counseling centers say students who are having difficulty in finding work often don't know what kind of career they want to pursue and can't write effective job application forms.

Frustrated, a growing number of students are simply giving up on their job search.

The economic downturn is not entirely to blame for the tough job market facing university graduates. These employment woes are an unfortunate combination of several structural factors that should be addressed.

The percentage of high school students enrolling in universities now exceeds 50 percent, up from 25 percent two decades ago.

Despite this new diversity of students in universities, Japan's job market has not adjusted to the change.

Universities today appear to be failing at their responsibility in educating students to help them identify career aspirations and preparing them to enter the work force.

The business community also has failed to devise a more flexible approach to hiring in line with changes in both the quality and quantity of students.

A society that cannot offer hope for young people has no future. Every possible effort should be made to fix the problem.

Job fairs jointly organized by small and medium-size companies seeking new graduates are gaining popularity.

But have these efforts, intended to widen the perspective of students focused on landing a job at a large company and match them with smaller businesses, really produced the expected effects?

Additionally, there has been little attention to fostering cooperation between universities and Hello Work job centers, which tend to be avoided by university students.

How much effort have universities been making to take advantage of the series of job-creation measures adopted by the government to help graduates find work?

Clearly, more should be done at the front line of support for young people in search of employment.

Then, there should be a society-wide campaign to correct the structural mismatch between school education and the job market.

Career counseling to enable students to develop the mind-set needed to join the work force should be firmly incorporated into the education system.

As well, there should be multiple paths from university to the job market.

Companies, for their part, need to urgently improve their recruitment processes that undermine the purpose of university education to help students develop their own abilities. These processes have grown longer over years, forcing students to start job-hunting activities earlier in their college life.
Businesses should instead adopt a recruitment approach more focused on the academic achievements of students.

They should also break with the tradition of hiring graduates for full-time jobs all at once so that young job-seekers can have more than one chance to get hired.

The government, academic world and business community have begun discussions over this challenge.

Instead of simply keeping up a front by announcing empty agreements or futile ethical codes, they need to come up with truly effective reforms.


海上保安庁 領海警備の体制強化を急げ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 26, 2010)
Boost JCG ability to guard territorial waters
海上保安庁 領海警備の体制強化を急げ(11月25日付・読売社説)

The Sept. 7 collisions between a Chinese trawler and Japan Coast Guard patrol vessels in Japanese waters off the Senkaku Islands is a reminder of the importance of protecting this nation's waters. The ability of the JCG to guard this nation's territorial waters needs to be steadily reinforced.

Since the collisions, Beijing has frequently sent fishery patrol vessels to waters near the islands. Last weekend, China again made its presence known by having two patrol vessels sail close to the area. One vessel was a helicopter-equipped, state-of-the-art fishery patrol boat armed with machine guns.

China is trying to boost its control over disputed waters in the South China Sea by dispatching armed fishery patrol boats under the pretext of protecting its fishing vessels. Beijing is possibly taking similar action in the East China Sea, too. Galvanizing the JCG's ability to patrol and guard Japan's waters is an urgent task.

Vessels too old

JCG has eight patrol ships and six smaller patrol boats based at the 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters in Naha, which exercises control over waters near the islands. But some are showing their age and have reached the end of their useful life. Their hulls have corroded and they are too slow to perform their duties properly, among other shortcomings.

The JCG's activities will be seriously affected if the vessels remain in less-than-shipshape condition.

The JCG plans to replace 10 large patrol vessels that are particularly timeworn among the 87 vessels that have reached the end of their useful life. However, replacing these ships will take at least six years. We think this is too long. The JCG should build these new vessels faster.

There also are problems in the communications systems between ships, airplanes and helicopters.

The JCG has not installed digital radio equipment that sends extremely secure transmission on all its vessels and aircraft. Some are still equipped only with analog radios, whose communications can reportedly be monitored by radios available on the market.

As things stand, JCG vessels and aircraft cannot share any important information with vessels of the Maritime Self-Defense Force. These communication systems must be upgraded as soon as possible.

Legal framework needed

As Pyongyang's artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island, South Korea, earlier this week showed, Japan must remain on guard against North Korea.

However, shortcomings in domestic laws that surfaced following two incidents involving North Korean spy ships about a decade ago remain uncorrected. Japan had to deal with the spy ships by invoking the Fisheries Law and other laws, as there was no legislation designed specifically to deal with violations of territorial waters.

A suprapartisan group of lawmakers from the Democratic Party of Japan and the Liberal Democratic Party are advocating the Territorial Sea Law be revised to make violating Japan's territorial waters an offense.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku indicated at a press conference he wants necessary domestic legal framework enacted more quickly. We think this is quite reasonable. The ruling and opposition parties should cooperate to get the relevant laws put in place.

Needless to say, it is also necessary to review the slipshod information management system that was exposed by a JCG officer's recent leaking of video footage showing the Chinese trawler ramming into the JCG vessels.

Fingers have been pointed at the JCG chain of command since the officer leaked the video without permission. The JCG must do more to ensure its officers maintain discipline.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 25, 2010)
(2010年11月25日01時15分 読売新聞)





●Today my son and I prayed at the Shwedagon Pagoda together. I can't reveal what I prayed for otherwise my wishes might bot be fulfilled.
about 7 hours ago via Tweetie for Mac .

●I was finally able to see my youngest son Kim Aris yesterday. I met him at the airport in Rangoon.
about 7 hours ago via Tweetie for Mac

南北砲撃戦 北朝鮮の暴挙を強く非難する

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 25, 2010)
We condemn N. Korea's reckless attack on island
南北砲撃戦 北朝鮮の暴挙を強く非難する(11月24日付・読売社説)

North Korea's abrupt firing of artillery shells at an island where civilians live is a grave military provocation, which cannot be tolerated.

The outrageous, reckless act, which could lead to a recurrence of war, is a clear violation of the 1953 armistice that halted the Korean War. We strongly criticize the act.

In broad daylight on Tuesday afternoon, the North Korean military shelled Yeonpyeong Island in the Yellow Sea near the west coast of the Korean Peninsula. According to South Korea's announcement, at least two South Korean soldiers were killed in the incident. With black smoke billowing from several locations, local residents were forced to flee to shelters on the island or evacuate to the mainland.


A sea of tension

The waters around Yeonpyeong Island are known as a sea of tension. Vessels from the two countries have frequently had confrontations and exchanged fire in the area because of a dispute over where to draw a military demarcation line in the sea.

However, the latest incident was the first time since the two countries signed the Korean War truce that the island, with a civilian population of 2,000, has been shelled by North Korea.

North Korea justified its attack in a statement issued by its supreme military command, saying it had "taken strong military action" immediately after South Korea fired dozens of shells into North Korean territory. South Korean forces were conducting military exercises near the disputed sea border.

But whatever excuses North Korea makes, its act of targeting civilians will not be forgiven. North Korea must make clear who is responsible and punish that individual.

The shelling stopped, at least for the time being, after the South Korean military returned fire. However, it remains unknown what steps North Korea will take next. We should understand that the two countries are in a critical, touch-and-go situation.

In March, a South Korean Navy ship was sunk by a torpedo attack in waters in the area. North Korea denied it was responsible. This time, North Korea is quite clearly responsible for the shelling. But even if there are calls for retaliation in South Korea, we urge the South Korean government to firmly restrain itself and deal with the situation in a coolheaded manner.


Dynasty-building tactic?

The skirmish took place at a time when North Korea has begun substantial preparations for a succession at the pinnacle of its government. North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's youngest son and heir apparent, Kim Jong Un, was named vice chairman of North Korea's Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea in September, paving the way for a transfer of power to a third generation of the family.

North Korea is believed to be undertaking a series of aggressive actions during the period of power transfer, aiming to consolidate the regime's power base by reinforcing support from the military.

The international community must stay alert against North Korea, which possesses nuclear weapons and has intensified its belligerent stance.

Recently, North Korea has made every effort to attract international attention through various activities, such as construction of a light-water reactor, disclosure of its uranium enrichment activities and moves believed to be preparations for its third nuclear test.

These moves are presumably intended to lead to one-on-one negotiations with the United States. But the latest incident, which broke out while Stephen Bosworth, U.S. special envoy on North Korea, was visiting South Korea, Japan and China to discuss steps to be taken to deal with North Korea, is expected to lead to the opposite result.

Japan, the United States and South Korea must take all possible steps to further bolster their cooperation in order to stop North Korea's military provocations.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 24, 2010)
(2010年11月24日01時16分 読売新聞)


柳田法相更迭 政権の態勢を早急に立て直せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 24, 2010)
Kan Cabinet must pull itself together
柳田法相更迭 政権の態勢を早急に立て直せ(11月23日付・読売社説)

Justice Minister Minoru Yanagida resigned Monday to take responsibility over his recent verbal gaffe, remarks that many interpreted as disrespectful of Diet deliberations. His resignation is widely seen as a de facto dismissal by Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who has placed priority on trouble-free deliberations in the Diet to pass a fiscal 2010 supplementary budget. We think Kan's decision was reasonable.

Opposition parties were moving to submit a censure motion against the justice minister at the House of Councillors on Monday. Even if the motion had passed, it would not have been legally binding, but there was concern that passage of the motion might have significantly impeded Diet deliberations on the supplementary budget.

With the road to recovery for the Japanese economy still uncertain, the most urgent issue is swift approval and implementation of the supplementary budget. The prime minister must take advantage of Yanagida's dismissal to quickly re-create a situation in which his administration can implement policies.

Yanagida was quoted as saying at a Nov. 14 gathering of supporters in his constituency that he could get through Diet deliberations with only two phrases. One, he said, was: "I can't comment on a specific issue."

Yanagida said at a Monday press conference held to announce his resignation that he had spoken in jest, but we still believe his gaffe casts doubt on his merit as a Cabinet minister.


Appoint qualified ministers

The prime minister will be held responsible for appointing Yanagida as justice minister.

During his 20 years as a lawmaker, Yanagida had never worked on judicial affairs. When he was appointed justice minister with the endorsement of the Democratic Party of Japan caucus in the upper house, Yanagida reportedly said, "Why me?"

Cabinet appointments were frequently based on seniority and factional power politics under Liberal Democratic Party-led governments as well. However, if the DPJ is going to tout "leadership by politicians" as a slogan, it should have given more consideration to Yanagida's abilities and aptitude.

Kan's administration apparently lacks a sense of crisis and does not fully understand it is facing a so-called divided Diet, where the opposition controls the upper house, at a time of diminishing public support.

The administration emphasizes careful deliberations in the Diet but it is not working actively to bring them about, just pushing the responsibility for stalled Diet deliberations onto opposition parties.

With this attitude, the Kan administration will never break free of its current predicament.

The prime minister told the House of Representatives Budget Committee on Nov. 8 that he wanted to keep managing the government "no matter what." Kan should prioritize policy implementation, but this remark sounds like staying in power itself has become his goal.

In foreign affairs, the prime minister also seems fixated on holding summit talks with Chinese and Russian leaders without paying attention to their content. That will not help him protect Japan's national interest.


Kan must take charge

The prime minister should exercise his leadership, realizing that the cowering of his administration, which tries to put off decisions on everything, has lowered public support for it.

During the current extraordinary Diet session, Kan must arrange to summon former DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa to the Diet and disclose the video of a Chinese fishing boat ramming two Japan Coast Guard patrol boats off Senkaku Islands. It is also important for each member of his Cabinet to be more cautious and take responsibility for his or her remarks.

Yanagida's successor needs to be appointed as soon as possible. Alleged tampering of evidence by a prosecutor of the special investigation unit at the Osaka District Public Prosecutors Office, and a subsequent cover-up scandal by his superiors, have made reform of the nation's prosecution system a pressing issue.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku is currently doubling as justice minister, but this will not allow the government to tackle policy issues appropriately.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 23, 2010)
(2010年11月23日01時17分 読売新聞)



--The Asahi Shimbun, Nov. 22
EDITORIAL: Nuclear disarmament

As U.S. President Barack Obama seeks to embark upon a path toward a "world without nuclear weapons," the U.S. Senate is blocking the way toward his first nuclear disarmament treaty.

This is the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty signed by the United States and Russia in April. The pact aims to reduce strategic nuclear warheads to no more than 1,550 each. Ratification requires Senate approval.

As was clearly evident in the midterm elections earlier this month, U.S. politics has become increasingly partisan. Some within the Republican Party are opposing the treaty just for the sake of bringing down Obama. For a legislative body that is supposed to make decisions from a broader perspective, the Senate has become quite a petty place.

As Senator Dick Lugar, a Republican supporter of the treaty, says, this is a matter of American national security, as well as a matter of global security. We hope the Senate will display what is supposed to be its inherent wisdom.

A treaty needs a two-thirds majority in the Senate to be ratified. This means the administration needs not only support from Democrats, but also Republicans. As a result of the midterm elections, Democrats will have fewer Senate seats in the new Congress session starting in January. Calling it a top diplomatic priority, Obama seeks to have the treaty ratified within this year, using the current Democratic majority.

If he fails, years could go by without any mutual verification of nuclear disarmament between the United States and Russia. There is a risk that the years spent since the days of the Cold War, dealing with each other on disarmament and building trust, may take a big step backward.

To win votes, Obama has responded to Republican requests to put federal money in renewing nuclear arms laboratories and refurbishing nuclear missile bases, drawing fire for ''pork-barrel" policies. If Republican legislators are going to criticize the national deficit, they should seriously consider cutting back the budget through nuclear disarmament.

The president also should not simply coax the Senate into ratification through political haggling, but should repeatedly emphasize the importance of the treaty through speeches to the public.

Once he solidifies public support, he can expect a sea change in the attitudes of the Republican senators.

This new nuclear arms reduction treaty is an important step toward creating a disarmament dialogue with other nuclear powers, not just the United States and Russia. We hope President Obama will take on the task with full force, even at the risk of using up his political capital, so that his vision of a "world without nuclear weapons" does not quickly turn into an illusion.

Russia will have many decommissioned nuclear missiles on its hands in future years. If the treaty fails to come into force, then Russia will have to spend money building new nuclear missiles to replace the old ones. Russia also must avoid a return to the nuclear Cold War situation.

Moscow is also having a hard time getting the treaty ratified due to concerns over missile defense, but it needs to make a decision soon.

If the U.S.-Russia nuclear disarmament process should stall, then this could lead to a vicious cycle with China and India enhancing their nuclear arsenals. Therefore, this is indeed a matter of Japan's national security and Asian security. Japan should urge both the United States and Russia in no uncertain terms to have the treaty come into force.

It is still not too late. Prime Minister Naoto Kan should relay to the American and Russian leaders once again how important this treaty is for Japan as well.



6時に日が暮れたのですぐに灯篭を流しました。早くしないと大変な混雑になり車が出られなくなるからです。2時間ほど楽しんでから子供の玩具(おもちゃ)を買ってからすぐに帰宅しました。 20:30^^。


GDP拡大 見かけの高成長に気を許すな

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 22, 2010)
Govt must be vigilant over economic outlook
GDP拡大 見かけの高成長に気を許すな(11月21日付・読売社説)

The nation's economy has achieved moderate growth, but questions remain over its sustainability. The government must watch over the economy's propsects and remain vigilant for signs of deterioration.

The seasonally adjusted real gross domestic product rose 0.9 percent in July-September from the previous quarter--3.9 percent at an annualized rate--marking the fourth consecutive quarterly increase.

False dawn

Personal consumption, the main pillar of domestic demand, surged partly as a result of robust car sales ahead of the end of government subsidies for eco-friendly cars. In addition, the extremely hot summer weather boosted air conditioner sales.

However, these growth factors represented temporary special demand, meaning that the economy has yet to regain sustainable growth in domestic demand. It is also widely anticipated that the economy in the October-December quarter will contract due to factors including a sharp drop in consumer spending after the third-quarter surge.

Although the economic prospects may look bright as the Nikkei Stock Average has reattained the 10,000 level, we have to be vigilant. The government and Bank of Japan should take all possible measures to support the nation's economy.

The latest GDP data show that, in contrast to the temporary growth in domestic demand, there has been almost zero growth in external demand as a factor in Japan's economy. External demand has supported GDP growth in the past, but export growth has slowed due to the high value of the yen and the weakness of economies overseas.

In mid-September, the government and Bank of Japan engaged in market intervention for the first time in 6-1/2 years to stop the yen from surging, but appreciation pressure on the currency still remains. For now, it is impossible to wipe away concerns over a downturn in corporate performance, which has finally started to recover, in the latter half of the current fiscal year.

One good point about the rise in the yen is that people can buy imported goods at low prices, but we must keep in mind that it has side effects--falling prices could chill the economy and increase unemployment.

The government and Bank of Japan need to maintain a staunch stance against the yen's excessive appreciation.

The prospects for domestic demand, which looked strong in the July-September quarter, likely will become increasingly uncertain. Car sales in October dropped more than 20 percent from a year earlier, while cigarette sales plunged 70 percent due to the increased cigarette tax.

Because the number of eco points awarded for purchases of energy-saving home electrical appliances will be reduced in December, sales of flat-screen TVs and other electrical appliances are robust now, but this will not last long.

Swift action needed

To avoid a major drop in domestic demand, the government must have the supplementary budget pass the Diet quickly and also must accelerate emergency economic measures, including public works projects.

It is important for the government to build a foundation for private-sector-led growth while it is compensating for demand shortfalls with an adrenaline shot of fiscal spending.

However, internal debates over growth strategy have put the administration of Prime Minister Naoto Kan at cross-purposes with itself. It is likely that corporate tax cuts, the centerpiece of the strategy, will be realized only if the industrial sector shoulders additional burdens in the form of other taxes to generate alternative financial resources for the government. Needless to say, this would dampen the cuts' intended invigorating effect on companies.

Financial resources can be secured by stopping handout policies that have only slight economic effect. Kan should exercise leadership and switch policy priorities.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 21, 2010)
(2010年11月21日01時20分 読売新聞)


Aung San Suu Kyiさんの最近の書き込み


●I want the US to keep their eyes open in talks with Burmese government. I want to US to be practical about it. http://bit.ly/9SHHl2
about 4 hours ago via Tweetie for Mac
(trans. by srachai) ↓

●Frustrated that the junta won't allow my two sons to visit. I have yet to see a photograph of my young grandchildren as well.
about 4 hours ago via Tweetie for Mac
(trans. by srachai) ↓

●I never meant for this to happen - "Myanmar patients face eviction after Suu Kyi visit" http://apne.ws/dv31FT
about 4 hours ago via Tweetie for Mac
(trans. by srachai) ↓

New words and opportunities buzzing in China

( ) 内は中国簡体字を示す。発音は中国語ピンイン表記。

三蔵 sān zāng
天竺 tiānzhú
悟空 wùkōng
給力 (给力) gěilì
不給力 (不给力) bùgěilì
中国 zhōngguó
人民日報 (人民日报) rénmín rìbào
江蘇 (江苏) jiāng sū
新浪網 (新浪网) xīnlàn gwǎng
韓庚 (韩庚) hángēng


(Mainichi Japan) November 20, 2010
New words and opportunities buzzing in China

It was in 1996 that the Japanese words "jimi-kon" (low-key wedding) and "hade-kon" (showy wedding) arrived on Japan's linguistic forefront. Nowadays "jimi" (plain, low-key) and its variants are commonly used online and in manga.

A variant of this term has also found its way to China and looks likely to be remembered as the buzz word of the year. Its appearance has been traced to the anime "Saiyuki: Tabi no Owari" by Kosuke Masuda.

The anime starts when the character Xuanzang and his companions reach ancient India. The place is empty, and the only sign is one saying "goal."

"So this is India. It's pretty plain (jimi) isn't it, Master," one of Xuanzang's disciples, Wukong, says. Xuanzang then dashes forward trying to become the first to arrive, while Wukong and the others on the scene try to stop him.

In the Chinese version of the anime, "jimi" was translated as "bugeili" (dull, boring). "Bu" is a negative prefix and "geili" is a word of the Northern Chinese dialect that has come to mean "cool" or "exciting". It is a peculiar Chinese word. Perhaps because of its fresh sound, "bugeili" has spread over the Internet, along with the opposite meaning "geili," without the negative suffix, and it has even led to the coining of the English-sounding words "ungeilivable" and "geilivable."

"Geili" has since become an Internet buzz word and on Nov. 10, the People's Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China, used the word in a headline on its front page, in reference to "cool" Jiangsu province. While the use of the word was both criticized as frivolous and hailed as novel, its place as this year's top trendy word in China was certain.
 ついに今月10日。中国共産党機関紙「人民日報」1面トップ記事の見出しにネット言葉の「給力」が使われた--「江蘇給力 “文化強省”」。「江蘇省スゴッ」が軽薄か、斬新かについては賛否両論が沸騰したが、「給力」が今年の流行語大賞の地位を確保したことは確実だ。

It is interesting to note that "jimi" which has a negative meaning, was taken in a different direction in China to produce the positive "geili."

Over the past few years, China's GDP per capita growth has practically lined up with that seen by Japan in the 1960s. In 1967, a popular television commercial chanted the phrase "big is good." Japanese society, which at the time was witnessing continuing growth, was not in the mood to accept the word "jimi.

" A similar atmosphere now envelops China, and so geili," the opposite of "bugeili," has taken hold.

The day after the People's Daily used the phrase, Japanese actress Sora Aoi started using Twitter in Chinese on the major Chinese portal site Sina. In just 24 hours she secured 160,000 followers.

Sina said that the figure surpassed the 140,000 followers of Chinese pop singer Han Geng. It also far exceeds the number of those who took part in recent anti-Japanese protests in China.

The massive market of China has vitality spurred by growth. If this can be harnessed, major opportunities may await. Then the situation we can look forward to will be "geilivable." (By Hidetoshi Kaneko, Expert Senior Writer)


Aung San Suu Kyiさんの最近の書き込み

Here is a complete English transcript from my public address on 14 Nov. http://bit.ly/c5rUhM #kyi
6:03 AM Nov 16th via Tweetie for Mac

この投稿に示されているサイト http://bit.ly/c5rUhM に掲載の長い文章はスーチーさんの自宅軟禁解放の翌日14日に行われた最初の公開スピーチ(ビルマ語)を英語に翻訳したものですが、テープに吹き込んだビルマ語から英語に翻訳したものです。

Man is mortal. One day it will all be over, but before it is over, how one has led one’s life is the most important.




●Change is going to come from the people. I want to work in unison with the people of Burma, but it is they who will change this country.
about 2 hours ago via Tweetie for Mac
(trans. by srachai) ↓

●I can only do what I feel I need to do, what I can do for the people of Burma.
about 2 hours ago via Tweetie for Mac
(trans. by srachai) ↓

Democracy in Myanmar

--The Asahi Shimbun, Nov. 18
EDITORIAL: Democracy in Myanmar

Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the democratization movement in Myanmar (Burma), urged pro-democracy forces to unite and called on the military government to agree to dialogue.

Having been released from house arrest on Nov. 13, she delivered a speech before the public for the first time in seven and a half years. Including her previous time in captivity, Suu Kyi has been deprived of freedom for 15 years without a valid reason.

From now on, the junta must guarantee her freedom of political activities and speech.

Tens of thousands of people are said to have cried for joy in response to the speech she delivered the day after her release. Suu Kyi remains a star of hope to people calling for democracy and freedom.

The junta set the date for her release from house arrest immediately after the country's first general election in 20 years. It shows that the junta is still afraid of Suu Kyi's popularity that is deeply rooted among the public.

In the general election, which was neither free nor fair, a political party supporting the military won nearly 80 percent of the seats. In addition, since a quarter of the seats are allocated to military appointees, the new parliament is dominated by an absolute majority of members affiliated with the military.

The National League for Democracy (NLD), which scored an overwhelming victory in the last general election, refused to take part in the election this time and was dissolved. NLD leader Suu Kyi called for a boycott of the election. As a result, a new party formed by some former NLD members could only win a small number of seats.

Some critics say that even if the system was unfair, the NLD should have entered the election to gain seats and voice its opinion in parliament. However, until now, NLD executives have aged and the organization has split and grown weaker.

We can understand Suu Kyi's position not to recognize the election, given that the junta arbitrarily overturned the results of the previous election and continued to deprive her of freedom.

From now on, as Suu Kyi said in her first speech after her release, an effort must be made to rebuild and bring together pro-democracy forces that were divided by the military regime.

The opposition says there were many irregularities in the election. If the circle of support for Suu Kyi spreads, some observers say the junta will likely crack down on the "illegal" political activities of the dissolved NLD. That is outrageous.

Parliament will convene early next year. With the start of a new government, the junta is set to declare the completion of democratization.

The way to govern the nation is about to change although it may not be sufficient. Depending on the new government's attitude, it may be a good opportunity for reconciliation both at home and abroad.

First, the new president must engage in direct dialogue with Suu Kyi. Without her, there can be no reconciliation or democratization. Furthermore, the more than 2,000 political prisoners must also be released without delay. Doing so would open up the possibility of moving a step toward true democracy.

China has been serving as a breakwater for international public opinion that criticizes the junta. Japan should talk with China, India and neighboring countries and call on them to persistently urge Myanmar to shift gears toward the realization of true democracy.


Aung San Suu Kyiさんの最近の書き込み

今のtwitterのID @Plaid_Suukyii はビルマ政府には無許可で運営されているものと考えられます。

●My interview with Burma Democratic Concern (BDC) -Dialogue with The Lady, Aung San Suu Kyi http://bit.ly/aVZZ7P
about 3 hours ago via Tweetie for Mac

Mizzima News 配信のインタビュー記事。
タイトル: Burma Democratic Concern (BDC) ビルマの民主化
サブタイトル: スーチーさんとの対話

Mizzima News is a Burmese multimedia news organization. It was established in August 1998 by a group of Burmese journalists in exile. The International Press Institute awarded Mizzima News its Free Media Pioneer award in 2007
Mizzima Newsはビルマのマルチメディアニュース配信組織。

●Thank you! RT @uscb: Over 1,800 letters sent from the U.S. to #Suu Kyi in #Burma. If you haven't sent a note to her, http://bit.ly/ay1zeJ
about 3 hours ago via Tweetie for Mac


uscb は US Campaign for Burma の略。(アメリカのビルマ支援活動)

●The United Nations will continue to support efforts towards a democratic transition in Myanmar. (via @Plaid_Kimoon)
about 4 hours ago via Tweetie for Mac


●I hope so! From Hot Air: Burmese Army breaking ranks and supporting Aung San Suu Kyi? http://bit.ly/deGhF3
about 8 hours ago via Tweetie for Mac

私もそう願っています。Hot Airさん。

Hot Air はアメリカのサイトだと思います。よく知りません。

●Video of my visit with HIV and AIDs sufferers. http://bit.ly/9ISCsY #kyi
about 8 hours ago via Tweetie for Mac


●I pledge to investigate widespread allegations of voting irregularities. I am aware I could be rearrested but I am not afraid. #kyi
about 9 hours ago via Tweetie for Mac


●Spoke with the UN spokesperson for Secretary-General @Plaid_Kimoon. We both agreed the junta need to release remaining political prisoners.
about 9 hours ago via Tweetie for Mac


●I haven't seen any sign of the junta at all since I came out. They haven't made any move to let us know what they feel about the situation.
about 9 hours ago via Tweetie for Mac


●My interview with The Associated Press: Aung San Suu Kyi Calls Her Detention Illegal http://bit.ly/bUtXbe
about 9 hours ago via Tweetie for Mac

The Associated Press(アジア共同ニュース)


--The Asahi Shimbun, Nov. 17
EDITORIAL: No arrest in video leak

Investigators probing the leak of Japan Coast Guard video footage showing a Chinese trawler ramming two Japanese patrol boats off the Senkaku Islands in September have decided to continue questioning the officer who admitted to uploading the footage on YouTube. But he will not be arrested.

Although the officer voluntarily appeared before investigators, his statements were vague and the storage medium believed to have been used to take the footage from his organization has not been found.

Opinions were split among the investigating authorities. But the decision not to arrest the officer was reportedly the result of an overall judgment on various circumstances.

We must not forget, however, that the foundation of criminal investigations is questioning suspects without arrest unless it would risk the destruction of evidence or flight.

Thus, there is no need to insist upon physical custody. The important thing is to get to the bottom of how the leak occurred.

The shoddy information management at the coast guard is stunning.

How was the footage stored and posted on the Internet. What rank of personnel could access it?

It was first explained that the video was rigorously controlled, but subsequent statements have wavered. This is a key issue for a judgment on whether the footage was a secret that should be protected to the point of imposing punishment.

The coast guard is the organization in charge of policing Japan's seas, and it has the authority to make arrests and use weapons. The agency's current state, however, makes us uneasy.

How are other important materials stored? Besides the obvious need to revamp the data-handling systems and awareness at the coast guard, stern questions remain about the responsibility of those involved in management operations.

As suspicions toward the coast guard mount, there has also been a swell of support for the officer's actions. Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe joined the chorus in an online magazine, commending the officer for his bravery in releasing the images to the public.

But this is over the top. What will become of national management if frontline civil servants decide to leak intelligence at their own discretion simply because they disagree with government policy?

The officer's actions also fail to meet the requirements for whistle-blowing protected under the law. Praising him as a hero is a mistake and extremely risky. He stated he wanted people to act on their own ideas and judgments of the matter. We can only wonder what motive he had.

The Asahi Shimbun has tirelessly advocated the public's right to know. This does not extend, however, to the immediate release of all sensitive information on foreign relations, defense, security and other intelligence.

We must share the common awareness that information disclosure and the debate rooted in that issue are an indispensable part of democracy. Then, considering the overall interests for each case, judgments should be rendered on the validity and timing of disclosure. It is the accumulation of such efforts that tempers the very fabric of a society.

At the base of the current confusion lies distrust toward the current administration, which offered no policy consistency on dealing with the trawler incident, thrust the responsibility onto the prosecutor's office and failed to clearly explain its position to the people.

There has also been a jumble of raw sentiment and nationalism directed at China, a nation that continues to expand its status as a global power, along with the pursuit of partisan politics in Japan. Statements charged with emotion and ulterior motives are rife.

Meanwhile, the truth remains hidden. Investigators must shed light on the facts. This will also help promote level-headed discussions on how best to disclose and safeguard important information in the era of the Internet.


Good to hear! From the BBC

Burma s not that bad we freed pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi less than a week after the nov 7th elections

cite from BBC News,


17 November 2010

Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi 'has foot soldiers' support'

The BBC Burmese service says it has the first indication of support within the lower ranks of the military for pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Infantrymen from two Burmese army divisions confirmed reports that several hundred soldiers travelled to Rangoon to witness her release.

They said they hoped she could talk to their superiors about supply shortages.

Ms Suu Kyi's release came a week after a military-backed political party won Burma's first election in 20 years.

The ballot was widely condemned as a sham.

Ms Suu Kyi, 65, was freed after her latest period of house arrest expired and was not renewed by the military government.

'High hopes'

The extent of support for her in the army is not clear.

A number of soldiers from battalions in Rangoon and Bago divisions and their families went to Aung San Suu Kyi's house on the 13 November to greet her on her release.

"We went there to greet her because we believe the hardships the lower rank and file are facing can be solved if Ms Suu Kyi and the military commanders work together.

"We have high hopes for Ms Suu Kyi," a soldier told the BBC Burmese service.

It follows reports in September that soldiers in many areas were refusing to carry out routine tasks in protest at short rations and lack of access to their pay.

In a series of BBC interviews, soldiers in garrison towns said their rations had been cut for weeks.

They said commanders had barred access to money they had saved, which is kept in a central fund.

The Burmese authorities have denied any disquiet in the military.

Aung San Suu Kyiさんの最近の書き込み


Good to hear! From the BBC - Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi 'has foot soldiers' support http://bbc.in/9vejYP
about 7 hours ago via Tweetie for Mac

I have been invited to visit Norway, home to the Nobel Peace Price. http://bit.ly/diXsck #kyi
about 10 hours ago via Tweetie for Mac

Part of my interview with Steve Finch from The Phnom Penh Post http://bit.ly/b8udYf #kyi
about 10 hours ago via Tweetie for Mac
Post http://bit.ly/b8udYf

People have value as human beings whatever happens, or whatever disease happens to you. #kyi
about 10 hours ago via Tweetie for Mac

Visited a group of HIV sufferers today and offered them flowers. We need greater financial support to tackle the virus. #kyi
about 10 hours ago via Tweetie for Mac


--The Asahi Shimbun, Nov. 16
EDITORIAL: Kan's approval rating

The approval rating for the Cabinet of Prime Minister Naoto Kan took a nose dive to 27 percent in an Asahi Shimbun poll over the weekend.

The opposition camp continues to play hardball, and the government's supplementary budget bill is expected to clear the Lower House without support from New Komeito, whose cooperation the administration had counted on.

What lessons should the Kan administration infer from the latest figure? The reasons for the fall need to be analyzed.

First, the people were critical of the administration's policy choices and decisions.

If the criticism concerned divisive issues on which the administration had to make truly tough calls, we believe the administration should just bite the bullet and move on.

There is no question the administration took a big hit for its handling of an incident triggered by a Chinese trawler ramming two Japan Coast Guard patrol vessels off the disputed Senkaku Islands.

However, the administration is also responsible for preventing further outbreaks of nationalistic sentiment that have erupted in both Japan and China. There is no easy answer to how this responsibility should be handled.

If these were the factors that caused the approval rating to plummet, the Cabinet need not fret.

But there are also other factors the Kan administration should really be worried about.

Of the Asahi poll respondents who did not approve of the Cabinet's job performance, only 20-plus percent cited "policy" as their reason, while more than 60 percent cited "lack of ability to execute policy."

Does the administration lack the ability to get things done? Or is the real issue whether it is serious about implementing the measures it has promised? We have to presume this was the question those respondents had in mind.

Indeed, the Kan administration has done many things to invite that question.

On the "money and politics" issue, for instance, the Democratic Party of Japan-led administration has never gotten former party leader Ichiro Ozawa to explain himself before the Diet. The administration has resumed taking corporate and group donations, and is so far unsuccessful in achieving intraparty consensus on proposed pay cuts for Diet members.

On the Senkaku issue, the Kan administration has given the nation the impression that it would prefer to pass the buck to prosecutors and the Japan Coast Guard.

Having thus dithered and stumbled repeatedly, the administration has lost public support, which in turn has diminished its ability to implement policies. This is a vicious cycle, indeed.

Could it be that the DPJ is still unused to governing?

Not only does the Kan administration lack the experience to forge a consensus as the ruling party, but it is also without the sort of power that comes from strength in numbers as exercised by Ozawa and Liberal Democratic Party faction leaders of the past. And where diplomacy is concerned, experience is largely what produces sound decisions.

That said, however, time has already expired for the DPJ administration to keep using "lack of practice" as an excuse.

The only way the Kan administration can hope to regain its footing is to implement its policies one by one and let the results speak for themselves.

Instead of trying to do everything at once, the administration must prioritize, focus on each issue, and set itself to forging a consensus.

The worst possible thing the Kan administration could do would be to get flustered by this sudden drop in popularity and make even more blunders.


Aung San Suu Kyiさんの最近の書き込み

ビルマのAung San Suu Kyiさんの最近の書き込みです。

Beautiful photo slideshow from the BBC - In pictures: Joy as Aung San Suu Kyi is freed. http://bbc.in/b3ZEfE
about 4 hours ago via Tweetie for Mac

Interesting article about me in the New York Times - Delicate Choices Ahead for Myanmar Democracy Leader http://nyti.ms/aOKfTv #kyi
about 6 hours ago via Tweetie for Mac
ニューヨークタイムズの記事-どうなるビルマの民主化。http://nyti.ms/aOKfTv #kyi

If people really want sanctions to be lifted, I will consider this. This is the time Burma needs help.
about 6 hours ago via Tweetie for Mac

I will do as much as I can while I'm free and if I am re-arrested I'll do as much as I can under arrest. #kyi
about 10 hours ago via Tweetie for Mac

My recent 25 minute interview with John Simpson from the BBC at the NLD. http://bbc.in/aG2AtW #kyi
about 11 hours ago via Tweetie for Mac
http://bbc.in/aG2AtW #kyi

Suu Kyi may be free but 2,200 other prisoners in #Myanmar still need your help. Take Action: http://ow.ly/39VLL #Burma #ASSK (via @amnesty)
about 11 hours ago via Tweetie for Mac
http://ow.ly/39VLL #Burma #ASSK (via @amnesty)

@ch4intl I believe if all the people work together towards democracy and establish a dialogue with the Junta we can slowly change the state.
about 11 hours ago via Tweetie for Mac in reply to ch4intl

Here is a complete English transcript from my public address on 14 Nov. http://bit.ly/c5rUhM #kyi
about 11 hours ago via Tweetie for Mac
http://bit.ly/c5rUhM #kyi

My interview with CBC, my first Canadian interview since being released. http://bit.ly/caZ9ah
about 11 hours ago via Tweetie for Mac

Its such a great feeling to know when I go home I'll be able to walk out in the morning.
about 11 hours ago via web

I visited the downtown area today for the first time since being release. I filed documents at the Hight Court to reinstate the NLD.
about 11 hours ago via web

I am willing to work within Burma's new parliamentary framework if gov't gives opposition forces sufficient voice in the political structure
about 12 hours ago via web

Extremely humbled by Aung San Suu Kyi. Only recently freed, and she is already campaigning for democracy and noting she may be imprisoned.
7:50 AM Nov 15th via web
Retweeted by Plaid_SuuKyi and 10 others

My interview with CNN http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/11/15/myanmar.suu.kyi/
7:27 AM Nov 15th via web

KRuddMP Spoke to Aung San Suu Kyi on the phone. I asked what she wanted to say to Australia. She said "Thank you for not forgetting me". KRudd
11:13 PM Nov 14th via web
Retweeted by Plaid_SuuKyi and 100+ others

Spending part of the day meeting with lawyers on how to get the disbanded National League for Democracy declared legal again.
5:22 AM Nov 15th via web

I think it's quite obvious what the people of Myanmar want; they just want better lives based on security and on freedom.
5:15 AM Nov 15th via web

横浜APEC 統合ビジョンの具体化着実に

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum アジア太平洋経済協力会議(APEC)
Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific(FTAAP) アジア太平洋自由貿易地域(FTAAP)
Trans-Pacific Partnership(TPP) 環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 17, 2010)
Concrete steps needed to realize APEC vision
横浜APEC 統合ビジョンの具体化着実に(11月16日付・読売社説)

Asia-Pacific nations have begun to move toward regional economic integration. High hurdles stand before them, but their attempt to expand a free trade area to foster economic growth is worthy of note.

The recent summit meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Yokohama, attended by leaders from 21 nations and territories including the United States and China, has closed after adopting a declaration called the "Yokohama Vision."

Compiled by Japan, which served as APEC chair for the first time in 15 years, the declaration contained the first use of the term open "community" in reference to APEC's future vision. It was a breakthrough for the forum, which started as a loosely bound framework, that its members agreed to pursue comprehensive economic cooperation.

APEC represents a center for world growth, as its member economies account for 50 percent of the world's gross domestic product and 40 percent of its population. The latest agreement is expected to enhance its presence on the global stage.


TPP key to free trade area

One of the key APEC initiatives stipulated in the summit declaration is the realization of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).

This framework is aimed at not only liberalizing trade and investment but also strengthening cooperation over a wider scope, such as the elimination of nontariff barriers, regulatory reform and smoother logistics.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is widely seen as the most important step toward that goal. Nine nations, including the United States and Australia, already have started negotiations for a TPP agreement, and intend to reach a final pact in November next year.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan participated in a TPP summit meeting as an observer and formally expressed this country's intention to start talks with countries involved in TPP negotiations. Agricultural groups and some others oppose trade liberalization, but we think Japan should decide to join the negotiations as soon as possible while taking measures to strengthen the competitiveness of its agriculture sector.

China is quite cautious about the TPP led by the United States, which aims to expand its exports to the Asia region. This is because China has advocated the Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus Three--Japan, China and South Korea.

There is expected to be a rough tug-of-war between the United States and China over the concrete steps to be taken toward a free trade area, with the two nations' currency strategies also affecting the issue.


'Heisei opening' needed

There are significant gaps among different APEC economies, and some observers are uncertain whether the FTAAP can be realized.

Given this situation, Japan bears grave responsibilities as APEC chair. It must actively promote a so-called Heisei era opening of the nation and exercise leadership in implementing steps to liberalize trade.

It is of great significance that APEC hammered out a growth strategy that includes measures to rectify imbalances and address environmental problems. Economic reinvigoration of this region as a whole is indispensable for a full-fledged recovery of the world economy.

APEC members should also be hailed for their pledge in the declaration to resist protectionism.

The bold Yokohama Vision must not end up as just pie in the sky.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 16, 2010)
(2010年11月16日01時53分 読売新聞)


日米首脳会談 来年こそ同盟深化の成果を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 16, 2010)
2011 must be big year for Japan-U.S. alliance
日米首脳会談 来年こそ同盟深化の成果を(11月14日付・読売社説)

It is unfortunate that Japan and the United States missed a golden opportunity to issue a joint declaration on the bilateral alliance to mark this year's 50th anniversary of the signing of the revised Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan and U.S. President Barack Obama held talks Saturday on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting in Yokohama. They agreed to issue a joint declaration on the alliance next spring when Kan visits Washington.

Now that the statement has been postponed until next year, its content should be enhanced all the more.

When then Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and Obama agreed to deepen the alliance in November last year, it was assumed that a joint declaration would be issued while Obama was attending the APEC summit meeting in Yokohama.

But preparatory work on the document was held up due to the Japanese government's muddled handling of the issue of relocating the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture, which slowed the momentum for issuing such a document. The blame for this lies squarely with the immature and clumsy diplomacy of the Democratic Party of Japan-led government--in particular under the Hatoyama administration.


No progress on Futenma

The two countries eventually reached an agreement on the Futenma relocation issue in May, but there has been no progress since then because the Kan administration has not taken any effective measures.

The government must step up its efforts to win over the affected local governments and people in Okinawa Prefecture on the accord to move the Futenma base functions to the Henoko district of Nago. The government's line of action will be based on the result of the Nov. 28 Okinawa gubernatorial election.

During his talks with Obama, Kan explained the government is considering sending Self-Defense Forces medical officers to Afghanistan to train their counterparts in the Afghan government forces.

To bolster the Japan-U.S. alliance and enrich the content of the joint security declaration to be issued next year, we think Japan must not only resolve issues pending with Washington, but also play a wider international role in security matters.

When their conversation turned to China, Obama was quoted as saying that China needs to speak and act appropriately in accordance with international rules. Kan shared this view.

Kan thanked Obama for U.S. support of Japan's position on territorial issues with China and Russia. Tokyo's ties with Beijing have been strained by the collisions of a Chinese trawler with two Japan Coast Guard boats near the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, and ties with Moscow chilled following Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's recent visit to Kunashiri, one of the four northern islands off Hokkaido.


Multilateral approach

Dealing with these issues has exposed the fragile nature of the Kan administration's makeshift diplomacy. It is urgent to overhaul Japan's diplomacy--the cornerstone of which remains the Japan-U.S. alliance. However, this nation cannot simply continue to rely solely on the United States for its diplomacy.

China is a neighboring nation that has become a major power. Dealing with China will be a perpetual challenge for Japan's diplomacy.

How can China be effectively guided into complying with international rules in the political, economic and military fields so that it acts responsibly commensurate with its power over the medium-to-long term? We think it is essential that Japan hold repeated strategic dialogues with the United States on this matter.

Japan also must propose concrete measures to strengthen ties with nations other than the United States. Steadily and actively building these ties could lead to a reshaping of Japan's diplomacy.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 14, 2010)
(2010年11月14日01時21分 読売新聞)


Plaid_SuuKyi Now



●@plaidavengerは日本で言えば田原総一郎さんみたいな人だと思いますが多くの世界各国首脳たちも彼のファンとなっています。英語は難しくてThe Timesクラスです。







--The Asahi Shimbun, Nov. 12
EDITORIAL: Kan's role at APEC forum

As leaders of Pacific Rim countries gather in Yokohama for this year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, one question is looming over the conference. Will they share as a realistic goal the vision of a huge free trade zone encompassing nations surrounding the Pacific?
The leaders of 21 countries and regions, including the United States, China and Russia, will discuss ways to ensure sustained economic growth in the region during the summit, which starts Saturday.

The APEC summit was created to link economies that account for a combined 40 percent of the world's population and 50 percent of the global economic output.

U.S. President Barack Obama is seeking to secure future growth of the U.S. economy under a trade strategy centering on a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).

This new regional framework for trade liberalization is also important for Japan, which depends on trade for its economic well-being. Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who chairs the APEC summit in Yokohama, should carry out his responsibility to push this idea.

APEC was launched in 1989 under the initiative of Japan and Australia to build a new framework to promote free trade. The two countries were worried about a growing trend toward creating a regional trade bloc in Europe and North America.

APEC provided a strong impetus to the Uruguay round of multilateral trade talks, which had stalled, leading to a successful conclusion to the negotiations.

After that, however, APEC lost steam and made no notable achievement for years. Part of the blame falls on Japan. Fearing a political confrontation at home over the issue of farm trade liberalization, Tokyo has not gone along with the U.S. call for freer trade.

One important goal set by APEC is achieving "free and open trade and investment" by 2010 among its developed economies.

But the reality is far from the ideal, and there is no prospect for a new global agreement after nine years of the Doha round of multilateral trade talks. The dismal outlook has prompted many countries to start separate negotiations with their trade partners, ushering in a new era of bilateral free trade agreements.

These moves have made some contribution to liberalizing trade. But they have also created some problems. Different trade rules set by many bilateral pacts make things more complicated for companies with global operations. This is a situation sometimes referred to as a "spaghetti bowl phenomenon."

Against this backdrop, the APEC summit in Yokohama offers a good opportunity for Pacific Rim leaders to acknowledge the importance of a multilateral trade pact.

There are encouraging signs that the upcoming discussion will be lively. The United States has shown enthusiasm to hold talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a framework that currently involves nine countries and would eliminate tariffs and trade barriers, stimulating fresh debate. Japan has hastily decided to consider its participation in the talks. China has also shown interest.

If Tokyo joins, the TPP would form a vast free trade zone including both the United States and Japan.

Then, the FTAAP would no longer be a simple vision. It would evolve into the next goal. That would also raise hope for a revival of the moribund Doha round.

With the world economy in a bind, it is all the more important now to expand free trade instead of limiting the scope of trade with protectionist measures.

This is a very important lesson from the Great Depression 80 years ago and the subsequent world war.

The outcome of APEC's efforts to establish a regional free trade zone goes a long way toward determining whether the lesson will be put into good use. As chairman of the Yokohama gathering, Kan has a big role to play.