2012回顧・世界 国際舞台の役者が出そろった

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 31, 2012)
World’s future depends on new lineup of global leaders
2012回顧・世界 国際舞台の役者が出そろった(12月30日付・読売社説)

The year 2012 saw presidential elections and leadership changes in several major countries.

These big upheavals in international politics were also prominent in this year’s top 10 overseas news events selected by Yomiuri Shimbun readers.

The biggest international story of 2012, as chosen by our readers, was Barack Obama’s reelection as U.S. president.

Although the world is said to be heading toward an era of multipolarization, the United States’ economic strength and unmatched military might ensure it remains the world’s most influential superpower.

A string of preelection debates between Obama of the Democratic Party and Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate, were closely watched by people around the world.

The Obama administration’s top priority is keeping the U.S. economic recovery on track while rebuilding deficit-ridden government finances.

During his first term, Obama hammered out a diplomatic strategy that placed greater emphasis on Asia. This will significantly shape the future of Japan-U.S. relations.


Little good news on China

Taking second place in Yomiuri readers’ lineup of overseas stories was the change in the top echelons of the Chinese Communist Party.

Xi Jinping has been selected as the party’s general secretary.

The Japanese public’s interest in the Chinese leadership reached new heights, undoubtedly because China has been ramping up pressure on Japan over the sovereignty of the Senkaku Islands.

Some protests that erupted in cities in China against the Japanese government’s decision to nationalize some of the Senkakus turned violent, and some Japanese companies operating there suffered heavy financial and physical damage. Despite 2012 marking the 40th anniversary of the normalization of bilateral diplomatic ties, there were few bright spots in Tokyo-Beijing relations.

In Russia, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin returned to the presidency, a story that ranked sixth among our readers. Putin has committed to bolstering Russia’s national strength by beefing up economic relations with nations in Asia.

Near the end of 2012, Park Geun Hye won South Korea’s presidential election. This ranked 20th in the list of overseas events. We will closely watch how Park, South Korea’s first female president, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe try to improve Tokyo-Seoul relations.

These new leaders are now free from the stifling pressure of their election races. We urge them to address a range of problems next year without being excessively focused on domestic affairs, and deepen international cooperation.


North Korea’s isolation deepens

In North Korea, Kim Jong Un, the third son of Kim Jong Il, the general secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea who died late last year, took the post of first secretary of the ruling party. Our readers chose this as the third-biggest international story of 2012. In an apparent bid to solidify the power base of the third-generation leader’s regime, North Korea defiantly fired missiles in April and December.

It is a cause of strong concern that North Korea has further isolated itself from the international community.

By contrast, Myanmar President Thein Sein has pushed ahead with a democratization process and repaired relations with the global community. Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s victory in a parliamentary by-election, which ranked fifth in the Yomiuri readers’ selection, is symbolic of this change.

In Europe, there was happy news such as Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II’s 60th jubilee, which ranked fourth, mixed with gloomy developments such as Europe’s fiscal and financial crises worsening to the extent that Spain had to request financial assistance from the eurozone, which ranked 10th.

Next year, all eyes will be on how Europe’s economic situation unfolds.

Ranking eighth was Syria’s protracted civil war between the regime of President Bashar Assad and antigovernment forces.

Repercussions from the Arab Spring uprisings are still shaking the Middle East.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 30, 2012)
(2012年12月30日01時17分 読売新聞)

srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク



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