辺野古移設承認 日米同盟強化へ重要な前進だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 28, 2013
Nakaima’s approval on Henoko to reinforce Japan-U.S. alliance
辺野古移設承認 日米同盟強化へ重要な前進だ(12月28日付・読売社説)

 ◆沖縄の負担軽減を加速させたい

It was an important advance toward solving the issue of relocating the functions of Futenma Air Station in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, which has faced various twists and turns since Japan and the United States agreed in 1996 on the return of the air station’s site to Japan.
 1996年の日米合意以来、様々な曲折を経てきた米軍普天間飛行場の移設問題の解決に向けて重要な前進である。

Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima has approved the central government’s request to carry out a land reclamation project in publicly owned waters off the Henoko district in Nago in the prefecture, a necessary step for ultimately relocating the air station to the district.
 沖縄県の仲井真弘多知事が、普天間飛行場の名護市辺野古への移設に伴う公有水面埋め立てを承認した。

The Futenma issue has been the biggest pending issue between the two countries for the last 17 years. A huge amount of time and energy has been devoted to it. The problem can be likened to a difficult simultaneous equation, in which many parties such as the Japanese and U.S. governments, Okinawa Prefecture, the city of Nago and the U.S. military have complicated circumstances.
 普天間問題はこの17年間、日米間の最大の懸案で、膨大な時間と精力が注がれてきた。日米両政府、沖縄県、名護市、米軍など多くの関係者が複雑な事情を抱える、困難な連立方程式だからだ。

Resolving this difficult issue without nullifying the past laborious efforts will have the highly significant effect of making the bilateral alliance stronger and more sustainable at a time when Japan’s security environment has been worsening.
 これまでの苦労を無駄にせず、難題を克服することは、日本の安全保障環境が悪化する中、同盟関係をより強靱(きょうじん)で持続可能なものにするという大きな意義を持つ。

Okinawa Gov.’s determination
 ◆知事の決断を評価する

It seems Nakaima finally decided to bite the bullet.
 仲井真知事にとっては、まさに苦渋の決断だったろう。

At first he conditionally supported the Henoko relocation, but he had to raise “relocation outside the prefecture” as an election campaign pledge when running for a second term since Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama of the Democratic Party of Japan inflamed prefectural citizens’ expectations in an irresponsible manner during his 2009-10 administration, calling for “relocation at least outside the prefecture.”
 当初は、辺野古移設を条件付きで支持していたが、民主党の鳩山首相が「最低でも県外移設」と県民の期待を無責任に煽(あお)ったため、2期目の知事選公約に「県外移設」を掲げざるを得なくなった。

However, it is crystal clear that the dangerous situation of Futenma Air Station, located in a densely populated area, would persist for a long time if the reclamation request was not approved.
 しかし、埋め立てを承認しなければ、普天間飛行場の危険な現状が長期間にわたって固定化されてしまうのは確実だ。

During a press conference Friday, Nakaima said he judged that the government’s measures, including those to preserve the environment, “meet the standards [under the law]” for reasons of his approval. But he also emphasized, “My view that relocation of the air station outside the prefecture would be faster has not changed.”
 知事は記者会見で、埋め立てを承認した理由について、「県外移設の方が早いとの考えは変わらない」と強調しつつ、政府の環境保全措置などが「基準に適合していると判断した」と語った。

The issue of bases in Okinawa Prefecture always involves conflicting approaches—whether to aim at drastic removal of bases or to promote a gradual reduction of base-hosting burdens. We praise Nakaima’s decision as a practical choice, giving top priority to steady reduction of the burden.
 沖縄の米軍基地問題では常に、基地の抜本的な撤去を目指すか、段階的な負担軽減を進めるか、という方法論の対立がある。知事が着実な負担軽減を優先し、現実的選択をしたことを評価したい。

The Henoko relocation plan itself is significant, as it will remove a huge airfield from the densely populated area to a sparsely populated district. In addition, it will have the secondary effect of promoting the transfer of U.S. marines stationed in the prefecture to Guam. The relocation will consequently result in a major reduction in the base-hosting burden for the entire prefecture, leading to economic development of the prefecture as well.
 辺野古移設は、広大な普天間飛行場を人口密集地から過疎地に移すうえ、在沖縄海兵隊のグアム移転を促進する副次的効果を持つ。県全体で大幅な負担軽減となり、沖縄の発展にも役立とう。

The prefectural governor’s brave decision has been criticized by those opposing the Henoko relocation plan, but we are sure even such people will highly evaluate his decision in the future.
 知事の決断は、辺野古移設反対派から批判されているが、将来は高く評価されるはずだ。

Abe takes a risk
 ◆リスク取った安倍政権

We also praise the efforts of the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which created conditions to facilitate Nakaima’s decision.
 知事の判断を後押しした安倍政権の努力も支持したい。

It listed a number of measures to ease Okinawa Prefecture’s burden in hosting many U.S. bases. These included advancing the deadline for returning land used by Futenma Air Station and the Makiminato Service Area to the prefecture, the transfer of military training activities to various locations outside the prefecture and the start of negotiations on a new Japan-U.S. agreement concerning on-site environmental surveys by Japanese authorities on the U.S. bases.
 基地負担の軽減策として、普天間飛行場や牧港補給地区の返還期間の短縮や訓練移転、米軍基地内の環境調査に関する新たな日米協定の協議開始などを示した。

The planned return of Futenma Air Station, targeted for fiscal 2022 at the earliest, was the result of arduous negotiations between Japan and the United States. It will not be easy to advance this timetable as requested by the governor, but Tokyo and Washington should make utmost efforts to do so.
 9~12年後の返還目標は、激しい日米交渉の結果で、知事の求める前倒しは簡単ではないが、日米両政府は最大限努力すべきだ。

Concerning the issue of moving the training areas for MV-22 Osprey transport aircraft outside Okinawa Prefecture, the local governments concerned are urged to offer cooperation proactively to share the burdens now heavily shouldered by the prefecture.
 米軍輸送機オスプレイの訓練の県外移転も、沖縄の負担を日本全体で分かち合うため、関係自治体は積極的に協力してほしい。

Washington had been wary about revising the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement, but agreed to enter negotiations on a new agreement that would supplement the SOFA. Environmental surveys of U.S. bases ahead of their return are expected to aid the eventual utilization of their sites. Efforts must be made to work out an agreement under which surveys can be started as early as possible.
 米政府は従来、日米地位協定の改定に慎重だったが、地位協定を補足する新協定の協議には応じることになった。返還予定の米軍基地内での事前の環境調査は跡地利用を促進する。より早い段階から調査できる合意を目指したい。

As measures to promote the development of Okinawa Prefecture, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged to secure a budget of the ¥300 billion level annually up until fiscal 2021, in addition to making an additional allocation in the fiscal 2014 budget, thus showing maximum consideration to the prefecture. For promotion of the prefecture’s northern areas, ¥5 billion will be earmarked every year.
 沖縄振興策でも、安倍首相は、来年度予算の積み増しに加え、2021年度まで毎年3000億円台の予算確保を約束するなど、最大限の配慮を示した。県北部振興策にも毎年50億円を計上する。

With state finances in dire straits, these funds represent exceptionally preferential treatment for the prefecture. But it is an unavoidable step to break the stalemate on the Futenma relocation issue. If the DPJ-led government had not put the issue on such a serpentine path, the people of the nation would not have to bear such a huge expenditure of taxpayers’ money.
 厳しい財政事情の中、異例の優遇措置だが、難局を打開するためにはやむを得まい。ただ、民主党政権が普天間問題を迷走させなければ、これほど巨額の国民負担は生じなかったろう。

The Abe administration was able to obtain the prefecture’s approval on the Futenma relocation plan largely because it consistently worked toward building a relationship of trust with Nakaima even at the political risk of the prefecture’s disapproval. That is why the governor became willing to face criticism from the local people.
 安倍政権が沖縄県の承認を得られたのは、不承認時の政権への打撃というリスクも覚悟し、一貫してぶれずに、仲井真知事との信頼関係を築いたことが大きい。だからこそ、知事も県民からの批判というリスクを取ったのだろう。

Abe must make all-out efforts to secure the continuing deterrent effect of the U.S. military presence in Japan while also reducing burdens on Okinawa and continuing to nurture the relationship of trust with the governor.
 首相は、知事との信頼を大切にしながら、米軍の抑止力の維持と沖縄の負担軽減の両立に全力を挙げなければなるまい。

Secure local support
 ◆地元の理解得る努力を

There is another hurdle to clear before the transfer of Futenma to the Henoko district in Nago can be realized.
 普天間飛行場の辺野古移設の実現までには、まだ課題もある。

A Nago mayoral election, set for Jan. 19, is likely to be a one-on-one competition between the incumbent opposing the relocation plan and a former prefectural assemblyman approving it.
 来月19日の名護市長選は、移設に反対する現職と、容認する前県議の一騎打ちとなる見通しだ。

A former mayor has withdrawn his candidacy, leaving the former assemblyman the only candidate representing the camp approving the relocation plan. But it remains to be seen which side will emerge victorious.
 前市長が出馬を取りやめ、容認派が一本化されたが、選挙結果は予断を許さない。

A scenario in which a local election influences the future course of national security must be avoided. In this sense, too, it was appropriate that Nakaima announced his approval of the relocation plan before the end of the year and ahead of the election date.
 本来、一地方選が日本の安全保障の行方を左右するような事態は避けるべきだ。その意味でも、知事が承認時期を市長選前の年内にしたのは適切だった。

The Nago mayor is not authorized to cancel the relocation plan. But naturally it is desirable to secure the mayor’s cooperation if projects to construct substitute facilities are to be implemented more smoothly.
 名護市長には、辺野古移設を中止させる権限はないにせよ、代替施設の建設工事をより円滑に実施するには、名護市の協力を得られた方が望ましいのは当然だ。

The government and ruling parties must make continued efforts to obtain understanding on the relocation plan from a wider spectrum of local people while explaining the significance and benefits of the relocation to Henoko in minute detail.
 政府・与党は引き続き、辺野古移設の意義と効用を丁寧に説明して、地元関係者の理解を広げる努力を尽くすことが求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 28, 2013)
(2013年12月28日01時32分 読売新聞)

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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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