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2005/04/30

April days foretold the end of World War II

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

April days foretold the end of World War II

04/30/2005

Sixty years ago, World War II was drawing to a close. Major events in April would help set the world on its postwar course. In one such event, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945, and was succeeded by Harry Truman.

On the following day, novelist Jiro Osaragi wrote in his diary at his home in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture: ``As if the Americans were waging an avenging battle in Roosevelt's name, they bombarded us heavily around midnight.'' This entry is included in ``Osaragi Jiro Haisen Nikki'' (Jiro Osaragi's diary on defeat in the war) published by Soshisha.

2005年04月29日(金曜日)付
【天声人語】

 第二次大戦が終わりに近づく60年前の4月は、その後の世界のありようを左右するような節目となった。米国のルーズベルト大統領が12日に急死してトルーマンが後を継いだ。湘南の鎌倉に住む作家・大佛次郎は13日、「ルーズベルトのともらい合戦のつもりにや夜半大襲す」と記した(『大佛次郎敗戦日記』草思社)。

In Germany, advancing U.S. and Soviet troops linked up on April 25 at Torgau on the Elbe River and took the Oath of Elbe.

Osaragi's diary entry for that day says: ``Reports say Berlin has been divided into two ... My interest now is what will become of (Adolf) Hitler.''

 ドイツを追いつめる米軍とソ連軍がエルベ川で出会う「エルベの誓い」は25日だった。その日の日記にはこうある。「伯林(ベルリン)は両断されたと報道せられる……残った興味はヒットラーがどうなるかである」

Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was executed on April 28. According to Noboru Kojima, author of ``Dainiji Sekai Taisen'' (World War II) published by Shogakukan, Hitler sent a telegram to his fellow Axis leader a few days before the execution. The message basically said: ``This life-or-death war has reached a climax. ... No matter how fierce the battle may rage, our allies, who share the resolve of the German people to never fear death, will continue to press forward and overcome this hardship.''

 28日、イタリアのムソリーニが処刑される。その数日前、ヒトラーはこの盟友あてに打電したという。「生存か滅亡かの戦いは、頂点に達した……いかに戦いが苛酷であろうとも、あえて死を恐れぬドイツ国民と同様の決意を持つ同盟国民は、事態の打開のために邁進するであろう」(児島襄『第二次世界大戦』小学館)。

In Japan, U.S. forces had landed April 1 on the Okinawa mainland, and the bloody ground warfare was in progress.

The Cabinet of Prime Minister Kuniaki Koiso resigned and was succeeded by that of Kantaro Suzuki.

 もう一つの同盟国日本では、1日に米軍が沖縄本島に上陸し地上戦が続いていた。小磯国昭内閣が総辞職して、鈴木貫太郎内閣となる。

``I hear Mussolini was killed and his corpse was publicly displayed in a square in Milan,'' Osaragi wrote in his diary on May 1, the day after Hitler's suicide. ``The newspapers are too coy to report this, but Mussolini's body was apparently hung upside down for the mob to desecrate. Berlin has fallen almost completely, and it appears Hitler is dead, too.''

 「ムッソリニが殺害せられミラノの広場にさらされし由。新聞には遠慮して出してないが逆吊りにしてモッブの陵辱にまかせたそうである。伯林も殆ど陥落。ヒトラーも死んだらしい」。日記の日付は5月1日、ヒトラーの自殺の翌日だった。

A ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary of the Oath of Elbe was held Monday at Arlington National Cemetery in the United States. Representatives of nine nations are said to have laid wreaths at a memorial honoring the veterans of the Elbe linkup.

 「エルベの誓い」から60年を記念する式が、25日に米アーリントン国立墓地であった。あのソ連は今はなく、九つの国の代表が献花したという。

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 29(IHT/Asahi: April 30,2005)

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2005/04/29

Supposedly safe train crashed as hard as a jet

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Supposedly safe train crashed as hard as a jet

04/29/2005

When a jumbo jet is about to land, the plane's altitude drops sharply and you soon feel the bump of the landing gear touching down on the runway. The aircraft's speed at that moment is said to be well over 200 kph.

Looking out the window, you see the scenery whizzing past, until the plane gradually decelerates and your eyes become able to register the scenery outside as from a traveling car.

2005年04月28日(木曜日)付
【天声人語】

 ジャンボジェット機で空港に着陸するとする。高度がぐんと下がり、やがて車輪が滑走路に達する。その瞬間の時速は二百数十キロだという。着陸直後は、窓の外の景色は激しく後ろに飛ぶ。そして、その景色の動きは、自動車の窓から見るのと同じくらいに落ち着いてゆく。

At the moment of landing, the jumbo jet's speed is unlike that of any ground vehicle. It still retains some of the force needed to fly at around 900 kph. When that velocity drops significantly to less than 100 kph and then further down to the speed of a traveling car, you feel you have literally returned to earth from the sky.

 着陸時の速度は、まだ地上のものとは言えない。900キロ前後で空を飛んでいた時の名残をとどめている。そこから大きく減速して100キロ以下になり、やがて車並みに近づいた時、天上の速度から地上の速度に戻ったと感じる。

The fateful rapid train on the Takarazuka Line (Fukuchiyama Line) of West Japan Railway Co. reportedly registered a speed in excess of 100 kph just before it derailed and crashed into an apartment building.

The impact must have been similar to that of a just-landed plane, which had yet to slow down to taxi speed, ramming into a concrete building.

 JR宝塚線(福知山線)で脱線した快速電車の速度は、線路を飛び出す直前には100キロを超えていたという。着陸後に滑走する飛行機が、地上の速度に戻る前にコンクリートの建物に衝突したような衝撃だったのだろう。

Why didn't this train slow down while approaching a curve? Was it unable to slow down? Or was the derailment caused by some other factor?

These questions still remain unanswered, but at least one thing is certain: The train was speeding to make up for a delay in the operating schedule.

 カーブにさしかかるのに、なぜ高速で走っていたのか、あるいは速度が落とせなかったのか。他にも脱線に結びつく要因があったのだろうか。原因はまだ分からないが、速度の問題に限れば、この電車は遅れを取り戻そうとしていたようだ。

At the station before, the train had overshot the prescribed stop position by 40 meters.

But according to investigators, the conductor confessed to doctoring the distance to 8 meters. If this is true, it is possible that, after losing time from backtracking 40 meters rather than only 8 meters, the driver felt he had to hurry to the next station to cover up this lie.

 手前の駅で40メートル行き過ぎたが、報告は8メートルとすることにしたと車掌が供述しているという。それが事実ならば、40メートルの後戻りでできた分の遅れを圧縮し、報告の8メートルに合わせようとして急いだとの状況も考えられる。

For full two days, rescuers could not do anything for people trapped in one section of the first car. Even though this was a train accident, the scene could have been mistaken for a plane crash site.

A popular and supposedly safe means of mass transit took many lives in a flash. My heart goes out to the victims and their bereaved families.

 まる2日たっても、先頭車両の一部には救助の手が及ばなかった。地上の事故なのに、現場は飛行機の墜落すら思わせる。使い慣れた安全なはずの乗り物が、一瞬のうちに多くの命を奪った。何とも痛ましい。

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 28(IHT/Asahi: April 29,2005)

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2005/04/28

Koizumi's youthful one-liners are growing old

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Koizumi's youthful one-liners are growing old

04/28/2005

The protagonist of ``Seinen'' (Young man), a novel written by Mori Ogai (1862-1922), is a would-be novelist who comes to Tokyo from the country to follow his dream. When the novel was penned, Japan was just becoming a modern nation. It follows the hero's footsteps as he struggles to deepen his thoughts through a variety of experiences.

2005年04月27日(水曜日)付
【天声人語】

 森鴎外の小説「青年」の主人公は、地方から上京してきた作家志望の青年である。その青年が、明治という「青年期」の日本で、思索や体験を積んでゆく。

The novel can be found in the Iwanami Bunko series. In one conversation, the protagonist says to a friend: ``Don't you think it is the privilege of young people like us that we can say anything on our minds without weighing our words?'' In response, he says: ``Why is it that human beings become hypocritical as they grow older?'' The name of the young protagonist? Junichi Koizumi.

 こんなやりとりがある。「一々のことばを秤(はかり)の皿に載せるような事をせずに、なんでも言いたい事を言うのは、われわれ青年の特権だね」「なぜ人間は年を取るに従って偽善に陥ってしまうでしょう」(『岩波文庫』)。主人公の名は、小泉純一である。

Four full years have passed since Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi launched his Cabinet. It is one of the enduring postwar Cabinets. Being in his 60s, Koizumi can't exactly be called a young man. Even so, the prime minister seems to resemble the would-be novelist, and not just because of the resemblance of their names. The real reason is that Koizumi says his piece without bothering to ``weigh his words.''

 小泉純一郎・内閣が発足してから、きのうで満4年となった。戦後の内閣では、長い方に入るという。還暦も過ぎている首相を「青年」呼ばわりするつもりはないのだが、「言葉を秤の皿に載せずに言いたいことを言う」ような様子が、名前だけではなく、「青年」の一節と重なって見える。

Early in his premiership, critics started calling Koizumi's helmsmanship ``one-line politics.'' Frustration has been growing over his style of pronouncement-clearly saying only what he wants to say, rather than elaborating or explaining.

Nevertheless, while long years in politics imbue people with an air of bland arrogance and craftiness, Koizumi imparts little of either. This ``youthfulness'' in spirit seems to account for his sustained high popularity despite strong criticism in the public over his refusal to go beyond simple initial statements.

 「ひとこと政治」などと指摘されて久しい。言葉の意味をかみ砕いたり、説明に腐心したりするよりは、言いたいことだけ言い切ってしまうやり方に批判が募っていった。しかし、老練な政治家にまとわりついているいんぎんな尊大さや老獪(ろうかい)さは、あまり感じさせない。「ひとこと」に批判が大きくても支持率が高かったのは、こんな「若さ」が関係しているようにも思われる。

Public support for his Cabinet has fallen from 80 percent at its inception to about half of that. Certainly, this is a reflection of the mountain of outstanding problems at home and abroad that are not likely to be settled by Koizumi's ``one-line politics'' approach.

 その支持率だが、発足当時の8割から半分ぐらいになった。確かに「ひとこと」では決着しそうもない課題が、国の内外に山積している。

The literary Junichi writes in his diary: ``The present exists in a line drawn between the past and the future.''

The Koizumi Cabinet has moved into its fifth year at a time when the handling of present problems has become a matter of increasing importance for the future of Japan and the world.

 青年・純一は、日記に記した。「現在は過去と未来の間に画した一線である」。その一線が、この国と世界の未来にとって重みを増す中で、純一郎内閣は5年目を迎えた。

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 27(IHT/Asahi: April 28,2005)

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2005/04/27

Transport firms must rethink safety standards

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Transport firms must rethink safety standards

04/27/2005

Monday's accident on the Takarazuka Line (Fukuchiyama Line) operated by West Japan Railway Co. was not a collision between a train and a vehicle at a level crossing. Nor was it a case of two trains colliding. Why did this derailment result in so many casualties? The derailment in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, was an appalling spectacle. We cannot recall a disaster of this scale in decades.

2005年04月26日(火曜日)付
【天声人語】

 踏切での衝突事故でもなければ、電車同士の衝突でもない。それなのに、これほどまでに多くの犠牲者が出てしまったのはなぜなのか。兵庫県尼崎市のJR宝塚線(福知山線)での脱線事故の現場は、最近の鉄道事故では見られなかったような、すさまじいものとなった。

The two coaches that smashed into a multistory apartment building were flattened like tinfoil. The second coach wrapped around the building, coming to a rest atop the first train car. Traces of what appeared to be stones crushed by train wheels were reportedly found on the tracks near the derailment spot. The cause of the accident must be investigated immediately.

 マンションに衝突した車両の車体は、まるでブリキのようにくねって、ぺしゃんこになった。現場近くの線路では、車輪が石を踏みつぶしたような跡がみつかったという。原因究明を迅速に進めてもらいたい。

Passengers said the train was moving much faster than usual before the accident, triggering speculation that the driver was trying to make up for lost time following a delay at Itami Station when he overshot his mark and had to back up.

Because the Takarazuka Line connects with other lines at Amagasaki Station, even a slight delay would have affected the operations on the other lines.

West Japan Railway apparently demanded that drivers adhere to operating schedules without fail.

 電車がいつもより速いスピードで走っていたという乗客の話もある。手前の駅で行き過ぎて戻ったために遅れが出て、取り戻そうと急いでいたとの推測もある。宝塚線は、尼崎駅で他の線と接続しており、わずかなダイヤの乱れが乗り入れ先の路線にも影響を及ぼす。乗務員は遅れを出さずに運行することを会社から求められていたという。

What this reminds us of is a statement by Japan Airlines to the government concerning a spate of missteps involving problems with aircraft maintenance and violations of flight regulations. The carrier admitted that its policy of meeting departure and arrival times at the expense of safety concerns, which should have been paramount, was one factor that resulted in the troubles.

 ここで思い起こすのは、整備ミスや運航規定違反が続いた日本航空が、国に提出した回答書のことだ。一連のトラブルの背景の一つとして「定時発着を優先し、大前提である安全がおろそかだった」と述べている。

For public transportation companies, running according to schedule is at the heart of their credibility. Frequent delays inevitably invite stiff criticism. But placing speedier operations above safety concerns brings irreversible consequences.

 公共の交通機関にとっては、「定時」は信用の要だ。しょっちゅう遅れていたのでは利用者から厳しく問われる。しかし、肝心の安全の方が失速してしまったら、取り返しがつかない。

Across the country, such companies must now re-examine their operations to ensure that safety concerns are not being ignored.

Being inconvenienced by a delay of any length is infinitely preferable to never arriving at all.

 全国の交通機関は、安全がおろそかになっていないかどうか、再点検してほしい。どんなに遅れが大きくなろうと、永遠に着かないという悲惨さとは、比べようもない。

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 26(IHT/Asahi: April 27,2005)

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2005/04/26

City mergers could foster `sincere' democracy

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

City mergers could foster `sincere' democracy

04/26/2005

Of the 36 mayors elected across the nation around Japan Sunday, 29 of the posts sprung from municipal and village mergers. This month alone, 80 elections are to be held to select the heads of newly merged administrative entities. The nation's administrative zone map is being redrawn almost every day.

2005年04月25日(月曜日)付
【天声人語】

 きのう1日で36人の新しい市長が生まれた。うち29人は市町村合併に伴うものだ。4月だけで、合併による首長選は約80カ所を数える。国じゅうの行政区画が、日に日に書き換えられている。

This sudden surge of what one might call ``mini-unified local elections'' is a result of a large number of communities rushing into mergers in order to receive state subsidies. The prevailing mindset seems to have been, ``Grab whatever benefits there are while they last.''

 ミニ統一地方選ともいえる選挙ラッシュは、政府の財政支援をあてにした「駆け込み合併」の多さを物語る。優遇措置が手厚いうちに、もらえる金はもらっておこう。そんな心理も働いている。

A ruling Liberal Democratic Party member of the Lower House who stumped campaigned on behalf of a mayoral candidate in a new city, formed by one city, two towns and one village, which now boasts a population in excess of 100,000, shouted to voters that his party would secure the city all sorts of public works projects. A supporter in the crowd cheered and called out, ``Hey, throw in a four-year university, too.''

As this episode indicated, some people obviously think that money will come pouring in once a municipal merger has taken place. But there is no such guarantee.

 3町村と一緒になって10万人を超えた市の市長選で、自民党の衆院議員が公共事業をいっぱいやると叫んでいた。聴衆も「4年制の大学を誘致しろ」なんて声援していた。まるで合併さえすれば、お金がわき出るかのようだった。だが、そんな見込みはどこにもない。

One thing that is certain is that this recent rush of mergers is changing the nation's traditional election practices. Former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori told a recent general meeting of an LDP faction he leads, ``In a big city, the mayor cannot mobilize support in the way small-town mayors and local lawmakers have always canvassed votes of their support groups in the past.'' Consequently, the traditional campaign strategy of appealing to voters' sense of loyalty to their community and reminding them of their vested interests has become less effective.

 合併で確実なのは、選挙のあり方が変わっていくことだ。自民党の森喜朗前首相は先日の派閥総会で言った。「これまでの町長や議員さんのような後援会のまとめ方は、大きな市の市長には不可能だ」。その結果、地縁や利権に根ざす連呼型選挙は通じにくくなる。

Former Mie Governor Masayasu Kitagawa is spearheading a movement to accelerate this change by calling for local elections to include a ``manifesto system.'' This would mean each party fielding a candidate must issue its official policy platform, complete with specific policy plans and deadlines, as a contract of sorts with the voting public. Under this system, voters would have to examine their own priorities or to decide whether to support a specific policy or not. In other words, voters and candidates alike would be sharing responsibility.

 この変化を加速させようと、前三重県知事の北川正恭氏らが、自治体選挙へのマニフェストの導入を呼びかけている。数値目標や達成期限を入れた公約で、住民と直接契約しよう、と。投票する人々も政策の優先順位や採否の判断を迫られる。選ばれる側と選ぶ側に「双方向の責任」が生まれる。

A municipal merger can only be considered a success when voters have outgrown their undemocratic mentality of letting others make their decisions for them. Even if the merger was hastily concluded just so the city could qualify for a state subsidy, I would still call it a success.

 もはや「お任せ民主主義」ではいられない。こんなふうに住民の意識が変化したとき、初めてその合併は成功といえるだろう。たとえ、お金が目当ての駆け込み合併だったとしても。

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 25(IHT/Asahi: April 26,2005)

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No alternative to `women-only' train cars

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

No alternative to `women-only' train cars

04/26/2005

A commuter train serving suburban Tokyo is the main setting for the bestselling novel titled ``Densha Otoko'' (Train man). The woman whom the protagonist secretly adores is hassled by a drunk while riding the train at night. And come morning, she is molested by a groper.

2005年04月17日(日曜日)付
【天声人語】

 ベストセラー小説「電車男」の主な舞台は、東京近辺の通勤電車である。主人公が思いを寄せる女性は、夜の車内で酔漢にからまれ、朝は朝で痴漢に遭う。

The JR Saikyo Line is notorious for its higher than average population of gropers. This month, JR created a ``women only'' car during morning rush hour. The first car on each 10-car train is off-limits to men.

Observed it from the next car the other day, there was clearly more than enough elbow room to let women comfortably punch away on their cell phones to send e-mail, or sit back and leisurely apply their makeup. Male passengers around me, who were miserably squeezed together as usual, had envious looks on their faces.

 痴漢の多さで知られるJR埼京線が今月、朝のラッシュ時に女性専用車両を設けた。10両編成の1両目が男子禁制とされた。すぐ隣の一般車両から観察すると、女性車両はゆったりと空いて見える。女性たちは心おきなく携帯メールを楽しみ、気がねなく座席で化粧をする。ぎゅうぎゅう詰めの男性客は、ねたましそうだ。

Women-only cars date back almost a century. The first was on the Chuo Line servicing central Tokyo, and that was toward the end of the Meiji Era (1868-1912). The purpose was to stop male students from taking advantage of the rush hour congestion to hand love letters to female students-something that was frowned upon back then. It also protected young women from gropers.

In the immediate post-World War II years, there appeared cars for women and children only. Trains were murderously crowded in those days, and women and children needed physical protection. There was no air-conditioning, of course, and the crowding was nothing like anyone could imagine today.

 女性車両には1世紀近い歴史がある。都心を走る「婦人専用車」が中央線に登場したのは明治の末。朝夕の混雑にまぎれて女子学生に恋文を手渡す行為が問題とされた。男子学生を遠ざけ、痴漢を寄せつけない策だった。終戦直後の「婦人子供専用車」は、殺人的な混雑から女性を守るのが狙い。当時は列車に冷房などなく、今とは比較にならない込み方だった。

The appearance of ``silver seats'' for the elderly and the disabled in the mid-1960s ended women-only cars, but the latter came back five years ago when groping cases were on the rise.

 昭和40年代にシルバーシートがお目見えして、女性車両は姿を消す。復活したのは5年前、痴漢の被害が増えたためだ。

There are fewer victims of groping today in the Kansai region, where cars that are off-limits to men are common.

In the greater Tokyo area, which includes Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures, major private railway and subway lines are scheduled to reintroduce women's cars during morning rush from May 9 on after the holiday-studded Golden Week.

 女性車両の導入が進んだ関西では、各線で被害が減った。首都圏でも連休明けの5月9日から、主な私鉄や地下鉄が朝の女性車両を始める予定だ。

But wherever those cars are in service, male passengers invariably complain of overcrowding and ``unfair treatment.'' Responding to such complaints, Kobe Electric Railway Co., Ltd. in Hyogo Prefecture reduced the frequency of women-only car service last spring, only two months after it was introduced.

Is there no alternative to segregating the sexes? I thought hard about it while riding a jam-packed Saikyo Line train, but no bright idea came to mind.

 導入済みの路線ではどこも、男性から不満が出る。「混雑する」「不平等だ」。兵庫県の神戸電鉄は昨春、男性からの苦情に応えて、導入2カ月で女性車両の運行を減らした。男女隔離のほかに解決策はないものか。埼京線の込んだ車内で思いをめぐらせたが、妙案は浮かばなかった。

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 17(IHT/Asahi: April 25,2005)

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2005/04/23

Why high-rises pose a risk to life and limb

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Why high-rises pose a risk to life and limb

04/23/2005

What was a typical scene in any neighborhood a half-century ago now seems lost to history. But poet Tatsuji Miyoshi's depiction of children's voices in his neighborhood in 1950s and 60s makes me wonder if such scenes could still be around somewhere.

In ``Tsuki no Toka'' (Ten days of the month), a Kodansha Bungei Bunko paperback, Miyoshi writes:

2005年04月22日(金曜日)付
【天声人語】

 半世紀ほど前の街の情景だから、失われて久しいのかもしれない。しかし、まだどこかに残っていそうな気もするのが、三好達治が書いた子供の声の話である。

``Every morning, I hear children's lively voices from the house opposite mine. I hear them shout after breakfast, `We're off. See you later.'''

Come noon, and Miyoshi heard their, ``We're home'' just as clearly. With only a narrow alley separating his home from his neighbor's, Miyoshi could pretty much tell what was going on next door, even though he did not have a particularly close relationship with his neighbors.

This is the sort of thing one does not experience living in magnificent residence. ``I would never want to live in a big, towering house,'' Miyoshi adds.

 「毎朝向いの家で元気な子供の声がきこえる。食事がすむと『いって参りまあす』というのが聞える」。昼になれば「ただいまあ」が、手にとるように聞こえる。露地一つを隔てて隣接しているからで、親しいつきあいはなくとも様子が分かる。宏壮な邸宅に居ては、この風味は味わえない。「私には大厦(たいか)高楼に住まいたい希望はない」(『月の十日』講談社文芸文庫)。

Today's high-rise housing complexes fit that bill. In Osaka, two rattan shelves for potted plants came hurtling down from the balcony of a 27th-floor apartment 77 meters above ground. They were tossed by the apartment's 78-year-old resident, who was arrested by Osaka prefectural police and charged with attempted murder.

 現代風の大厦高楼とも言える高層マンションの27階から、植木鉢を載せる籐(とう)製の台二つが降ってきたという。大阪府警は、高さ77メートルの自宅のベランダから投げ落としたとの殺人未遂の疑いで、大阪市内の78歳の住人を逮捕、送検した。

The resident reportedly told police that she threw the shelves in anger because she had tripped on them while cleaning the balcony.

One of the shelves barely missed a woman who was passing below on a bicycle.

The shelf was cracked and bent out of shape. Nobody needs a close brush with death of this kind.

 「ベランダの掃除をしていたら台につまずき、腹が立ったので投げた」と供述したというが、一つは自転車に乗っていた女性の前髪をかすめた。落ちた台はひびが入って変形していた。こんな「命拾い」はたまらない。

When you look down from a towering high-rise, all you get is a distant view of street life. You can't see nearby scenes. You see trees, but you can't see their branches. You see people, but not their faces, nor can you hear their voices.

 塔のような高層の建物に上って感じるのは「近景の欠如」だ。地上のものは、遠景になってしまう。樹木は見えても枝は見えない。人は見えても顔は見えないし、声も届かない。

I can imagine many people actually relish this ``isolation'' from the world below and enjoy the open view they would not get from the ground level.

High-rise housing complexes have brought a new lifestyle to Japan today, but they can also instantaneously turn a perfectly harmless object into an instrument of destruction.

 こうした地上からの隔絶感をむしろ楽しみ、地面の近くでは得難い見晴らしを味わう人も多いのだろう。高さは、日本の暮らしに新しい形をもたらしたが、ありふれた物を、いつでも一瞬のうちに凶器に変える力をも備えている。

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 22(IHT/Asahi: April 23,2005)

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2005/04/22

Digging up the past to reflect on the new pope

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Digging up the past to reflect on the new pope

04/22/2005

The Holy See, or Vatican City, is slightly smaller than Tokyo's Ueno Park.

2005年04月21日(木曜日)付
【天声人語】

 領土は、東京の上野公園よりも少し小さい。

When I visited the world's smallest independent state some years ago, it boasted a train station, a bank, a market, and even tennis courts. Some of the nuns working the telephone exchange could work in about 10 languages, and Radio Vatican aired programs in 35 languages.

I got to see how this veritable miniature state worked, but was unable to venture near the inner sanctum of the Vatican.

 以前、この世界最小の国・バチカンの内側に行ったことがある。

 小さいながら駅があり、銀行、マーケットにテニスコートもあった。電話交換の修道女には約10カ国語を聞き分ける人がおり、放送は35カ国語で流していた。国家の小さな模型のような現場は見られたが、法王庁の中心部分には近づけなかった。

German-born Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has been elected pope to lead the world's 1.1 billion Roman Catholics.

In his youth, he was forcibly enrolled in the Hitler Youth program. He served in the German military and was in a U.S. prisoner-of-war camp when World War II ended.

 約11億人に及ぶカトリック教徒の頂点に立つローマ法王に、ドイツ人のラツィンガー枢機卿が選ばれた。ナチスの青少年組織ヒトラー・ユーゲントに義務的に入っていたことがあり、第二次大戦の終戦時には米軍の捕虜だったという。

Before his election to the papacy, the cardinal stated he had been reluctant to join Hitler Youth but there was no avoiding it at the time.

His background must bother quite a few people.

However, what is at issue now is not that the new pope had a Nazi connection in his youth. Rather, his real test is what he can do for the world in the 21st century by using his own negative experience.

 新法王に決まる前「入りたくはなかったが、当時は仕方がなかった」と述べた。この経歴に抵抗を覚える人は少なくないだろう。しかし新法王に今問われるのは、若い日にナチズムの波をかぶった点ではない。自らの負の体験をもとに、21世紀の世界に何ができるかではないか。

He has chosen the name of Benedict XVI. His namesake, St. Benedict, established the rules of monastic life in Europe in the sixth century.

According to ``Seija no Jiten'' (Encyclopedia of saints), St. Benedict had a large following of devoted disciples, but attempts were made on his life by those who were consumed with jealousy. One legend has it that when he was offered a poisoned drink, he neutralized the poison with the power of prayer.

 新法王はベネディクト16世となった。6世紀の聖人ベネディクトゥスは、欧州の修道院の根幹をなす規範を作った。彼を慕って多くの弟子が集まったが、嫉妬(しっと)され、命をねらわれた。毒入りの飲み物を勧められた時、祈りをささげることで無害なものにしたとの伝説もある(『聖者の事典』)。

The new Holy Father's predecessor, John Paul II, aspired for the priesthood while resisting Nazi occupation in his native Poland. In this sense, John Paul II's youthful years were the exact opposite of his immediate successor's.

This contrast made me think of the passage of time since the end of World War II 60 years ago.

 前法王のヨハネ・パウロ2世は、故国ポーランドでナチスによる占領を体験し、抵抗しながら宗教家への思いを培った。それとは対極の側で青年期を過ごした人が、すぐ後をつぐ。終戦から60年という時の移ろいを感じさせられた。

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 21(IHT/Asahi: April 22,2005)

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2005/04/21

Bruegel's paintings and Fuji-Livedoor battle

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Bruegel's paintings and Fuji-Livedoor battle

04/21/2005

Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel took the motifs of his works from proverbs. Strangely, it was these paintings that came to mind when I surveyed a pile of newspapers on my desk, all reporting with big headlines a settlement reached by two media companies.

The running battle between Fuji Television Network Inc. and Livedoor Co. over the latter's bid to acquire Nippon Broadcasting System Inc. is curiously reminiscent of the allegorical world painted by the 16th-century European artist.

2005年04月20日(水曜日)付
【天声人語】

 見出しに大きく「和解」と刷られた新聞各紙を見ていて、諺(ことわざ)を題材にしたブリューゲルの絵が思い浮かんだ。ライブドアとフジテレビという現代のメディア同士の攻防が、16世紀の欧州の画家が描いた寓意(ぐうい)の世界と、なぜか通い合う。

Among Bruegel's works, there is a painting with the motif of ``a big fish eating a small fish.'' It shows a medium-sized fish swallowing a small fish inside the stomach of a big fish.

This picture is based on a proverb about the mighty lording it over the weak. The Japanese equivalent puts it more strongly: ``Jakuniku kyoshoku'' (the stronger prey on the weaker).

 「大きな魚は小さな魚を食う」という絵は、大魚の腹にのみ込まれた中ぐらいの魚が、さらに小さな魚をのみ込んでいるさまを描いている。力の強い者が弱者を支配するという諺で、日本ならば弱肉強食か。攻防の始まりは、この諺の逆で、小さな魚が大きな魚をのみ込むのか、という緊迫感があった。

Livedoor's bid to acquire not just Nippon Broadcasting, the parent company of Fuji Television, but probably the television network as well, made a tense drama. It amounted to a small fish swallowing a big fish, contrary to the Flemish proverb.

In ``Netherlandish Proverbs,'' a major Bruegel work, people, animals and customs are painted all over the canvas as the epitomes of many proverbs. For example, ``two dogs for a bone'' is meant as an analogy of two men fighting over status or assets, according to ``Buryugeru no kotowaza no sekai'' (Bruegel's world of proverbs), a book published by Hakuousha.

 ブリューゲルの大作「ネーデルラントの諺」には、数多くの諺を表す人や動物や風俗が画面いっぱいにひしめいている。「一本の骨に犬二匹」は、ふたりの人間が地位や財産で争うたとえだ(『ブリューゲルの諺の世界』白凰社)。

To quote other proverbs from the book, ``filling the hole after a calf drowns'' refers to taking countermeasures after something untoward happens. ``Armed to the teeth'' means to be fully armed. ``Sitting on cinders'' describes the restless behavior of people in a predicament.

This may apply to the behavior of top executives at Fuji Television and Nippon Broadcasting after losing a string of court battles to Livedoor.

 「仔牛が溺れてから穴をふさぐ」は、事件が起きてから対策を立てる。「歯まで武装」は完全武装、「燃える炭火の上に座る」は、落ち着かないさまだ。司法の場で負け続けたフジ、ニッポン放送側の対応ぶりを思わせる。

``Turning the world around on the thumb'' is a proverb for men who would run everything as they please. ``Crouch if you want to get on well in the world'' refers to the use of crafty means to get ahead.

Did Livedoor act cunningly when it acquired Nippon Broadcasting shares in trades conducted before the stock exchange's business hours began? While there are pros and cons over the maneuver, one thing is certain: It dealt a shock to corporate executives and shareholders in general.

 「親指の上で世界を回す」は、何もかも意のままに支配する人、「うまく世渡りしたいのなら、身をかがめねばならぬ」は、出世のために狡猾(こうかつ)な手段を使う。株の「時間外取引」が狡猾かどうかの見方は分かれるだろうが、この一撃は、世の経営者や株主をぎくりとさせた。

Assessing the terms of the settlement, media reports say both sides have suffered equal losses. On the other hand, the deal forks over a huge profit to an American securities firm.

With a colossal amount of money in its belly, the big fish is already swimming in distant waters.

 両者「痛み分け」の和解だという。一方で、巨額の利益を得た米証券もある。巨利を腹に収めた大きな魚は、もう遠くを泳いでいる。

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 20(IHT/Asahi: April 21,2005)

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2005/04/20

Pride, mass psychology fuel China protests

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Pride, mass psychology fuel China protests

04/20/2005

Shanhaiguan, the east terminal of the Great Wall of China, is located along the Gulf of Bo Hai about 300 kilometers east of Beijing.

With steep terrain, it was an area where crucial battles were fought in ancient times. The barrier built there was viewed as China's most strategic.

2005年04月19日(火曜日)付
【天声人語】

 万里の長城の東の起点・山海関は、北京の東約300キロの渤海沿いにある。地勢の険しい古来の兵争の地で、「天下一の関所」とも言われた。

In 1995, on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, then Chinese President Jiang Zemin gave an interview to The Asahi Shimbun in Beidaihe, a famous resort near Shanhaiguan where he was staying.

Asked about China's patriotic education policy for young people, Jiang replied that it was aimed at fostering a correct perception of history and ensuring that people would not forget what they had learned.

He gave assurances that China had no intention of sowing discord in its relations with Japan.

 第二次大戦後50年にあたる95年の終戦の日の直前、江沢民主席は、山海関近くの滞在地・北戴河で、本社と会見した。青年を対象に進めている愛国主義教育については、こう述べた。「歴史を正しく認識し、忘れないように教育することにあり、両国に不和をもたらす意図は全くない」

Ten years since then, one fears that anti-Japanese demonstrations may lead to discord. Demonstrators chanted the slogan ``not guilty for being patriotic'' to justify their mob violence, and mocked Japan with the epithet of ``little Japan.''

The derogatory epithet reminded me of what struck me when I once looked out over the sea from Shanhaiguan.

 それから10年後の今、中国から声高に届く、愛国主義の行動に罪はないという「愛国無罪」には、両国の不和にまでつながりかねない危うさを感じる。そしてもう一つ、デモ隊が日本を見下して言う「小日本」については、山海関から海を望んだ時の思いがよみがえってきた。

Shanhaiguan is the place where the Great Wall, stretching all the way from the west, finally joins the sea. The Japanese archipelago is too far to the east to see from there.

But for anyone aware that he is looking out from the edge of Eurasia, the world's largest land mass, Japan would seem like a string or a rope floating in the ocean.

 山海関は、西から延々と続いてきた万里の長城が、ついに海に入る地点だ。その海のはるかかなたには、見えはしないが日本列島がある。ユーラシアという世界最大の幅を持って横たわる陸地から望むと、地理地形の上からは、列島は大海に浮かぶ細いひもか縄のようにも思われる。

It is not hard to imagine that people proud of China's long history and culture had a sense of superiority over Japan.

As I gazed from Shanhaiguan, it struck me that half a century would be too short to heal or erase the humiliation of being invaded and ruled by Japan and the traumas inflicted during the occupation.

 中国の長い歴史と文化を誇る人たちが、日本に対して、ある種の優越感を覚えたことは、想像に難くない。その日本に侵略され支配されたという屈辱と、負わされた傷とは、半世紀ぐらいで癒えたり消えたりするものではないとも思われた。

Behind shouts of ``little Japan'' on the streets, one senses a warped perception about China's greatness and mass psychology at work.

Would a young man loudly shout the slogan when he comes to be alone, away from an anti-Japanese demonstration?

 街頭での「小日本」の裏には、屈折した大国意識と群集心理が感じられる。群衆から、例えばひとりの青年に戻った時にも、声高に「小日本」と言うのだろうか。

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 19(IHT/Asahi: April 20,2005)

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2005/04/19

Robotic troops symbolic of U.S. attitude in Iraq

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Robotic troops symbolic of U.S. attitude in Iraq

04/19/2005

A robot soldier detects a person hiding in the shadows. It takes aim and blasts away, taking yet another human life.

While that scene may sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, it could soon become a reality on the battlefield. The U.S. Army is planning to deploy mobile robotic weapons for the enforcement of security in Iraq.

2005年04月18日(月曜日)付
【天声人語】

 ロボットが物陰に隠れている人間を見つけ出し、狙いを定めて銃を撃つ。SF映画のような現実が、戦場の日常風景になりそうだ。米軍は、イラクでの治安対策に、地上を走行する無人兵器を投入する計画を進めている。

America's robot is about the same size as a go-cart. It is equipped with a machine gun and a night-vision camera with zoom lens. The robot can travel over rough terrain and burst through barbed-wire fences. God help anyone stalked by one of these soulless machines.

 ゴーカートくらいの大きさの胴体に、暗視装置付きのズームレンズを積み、機銃を装備する。荒れ地を乗り越え、鉄条網も突破する。こんなものに追っかけられたら、たまらない。

A robot doesn't need food or training. If it is attacked and destroyed, all that's left is a broken heap of scrap metal. To the U.S. Army, which continues to lose its men and women in Iraq, this is the perfect substitute for a shrinking pool of human soldiers, especially as the enlistment rate continues to slide.

 ロボットには食料も訓練も必要ない。攻撃されても、機械がこわれるだけだ。イラク戦争の泥沼化で犠牲者が止まらず、採用兵員が募集目標を下回り続けている米軍にとっては、兵士の代用にもなる。

At the Aichi Expo 2005, a musical trumpet-playing robot is the star of the show. And robots that vacuum are also now available.

But the news that combat robots are the next big thing depresses me.

 愛知万博では、トランペットを吹くロボットが人気者だ。今や、お掃除ロボットも現れた。そんなニュースの中で、戦闘用ロボットの話は気持ちを暗くさせる。

``A robot shall neither harm nor kill a human,'' says Article 13 of the imaginary Robot Law instituted by the late cartoonist Osamu Tezuka when he created ``Tetsuwan Atomu'' (Astro Boy) half a century ago.

The late science fiction writer Isaac Asimov also described his Three Laws of Robotics, the first of which begins: ``A robot must never harm human beings.''

 「ロボットは人をきずつけたり、殺したりできない」。漫画家の故手塚治虫さんが、半世紀前に「鉄腕アトム」の中で定めたロボット法第13条である。SF作家の故アイザック・アシモフ氏も同じ頃、ロボット工学三原則のひとつに「ロボットは人間に危害を加えてはならない」をあげた。

Science has now allowed humans to create these life-threatening robots. Even though they are remote-controlled by human operators, is there any guarantee that combat robots will be able to tell soldiers from civilians? Won't they add to the already terrible toll the war has taken on noncombatant Iraqis?

These robotic weapons are a symbol of America's attitude in this war in Iraq. It is only concerned about preventing harm to or the death of its own soldiers.

 ところが、現実の人間は、科学の力でとんでもないロボットをつくり出してしまった。戦闘用ロボットは、人間が遠く離れた所から操作するが、戦闘員と一般民衆との識別がちゃんとできるのだろうか。巻き添えになるイラク市民がさらに増えるのではないか。自国兵士の死傷者数のみに神経をとがらす今の戦争を象徴する兵器の登場である。

-The Asahi Shimbun, April 18(IHT/Asahi: April 19,2005)

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2005/04/18

Recalling Charles Boycott via China protests

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Recalling Charles Boycott via China protests

04/18/2005

Charles Boycott (1832-1897) was an estate manager in Ireland. His high-handedness so offended the estate's tenants that they stopped taking orders from him and refused to even greet him. Hence the word boycott means to protest by refusing to buy or deal with someone or something.

2005年04月10日(日曜日)付
【天声人語】

 19世紀末、アイルランドにチャールズ・ボイコットという名の農地管理人がいた。強権ぶりに小作人たちが反発し、示し合わせて、彼の発する命令はおろか朝夕のあいさつも無視する作戦に出た。不参加とか不買の抗議行動を意味するボイコットはこれに由来する。

A boycott of Japanese products has broken out in China. It was triggered by the Japanese government's stance on controversial history textbooks and United Nations reform.

I can sympathize with companies that have unwittingly become targeted. Some stores have banished the products of Asahi Breweries, Ltd. and Ajinomoto Co. from their shelves. Jusco and Ito-Yokado Co. supermarkets had their windows and signboards vandalized.

Protesters held massive rallies outside the Japanese Embassy and Japanese restaurants in Beijing.

 日本製品に対するボイコットが中国で激発している。きっかけは教科書検定や国連改革など最近の日本の動きにあるようだが、狙われる側はたまらない。アサヒビールや味の素などが一部の店で撤去された。ジャスコやイトーヨーカ堂は窓や広告板を割られた。昨日、北京では「日本製品排斥」を叫ぶデモ隊が、日本大使館や和食店に押し寄せた。

Most of the companies being hit have been denounced by name in Chinese newspapers for ``supporting school textbooks that distort history.''

But this is erroneous reporting. Apparently, the restaurants and supermarkets were attacked as symbols of Japan because they happened to stand along the route taken by the protest marchers.

 不買の標的とされた企業の大半は、中国紙に「歴史を歪曲(わいきょく)する教科書に援助した」と名指しされているが、これは誤報である。和食店やスーパーはたまたまデモの沿道にあり、日本の象徴として目についたらしい。

Boycotts of Japanese products have occurred repeatedly in various Asian nations since the late period of Meiji Era (1868-1911). In the early 1970s, a Daimaru department store in Thailand was boycotted as a Japanese symbol. And outside Asia, Americans made a production of smashing a Japanese car during the so-called trade-war era.

 日貨排斥は明治末期からアジア各地で何度も起きた。70年代初め、タイでは日本の象徴としてデパートの大丸が狙われた。米国との貿易摩擦の季節には、日本車がこれ見よがしにたたき壊された。

The United States is now the target of a long-running boycott. In the Middle East, Europe and South America, people are quietly protesting America's Iraq policy. They shun fast foods and soft drinks from such quintessential American institutions as McDonald's and Coca-Cola.

 その米国もいま息の長いボイコットを浴びる。イラク政策に憤る不買の波は、中東だけでなく欧州や南米でも静かに続く。外食ではマクドナルド、飲料ならコカコーラあたりが常に標的となる。

Defeated by his tenants' unyielding resistance, Charles Boycott was ultimately forced to leave his estate. He thus went down in history under less than honorable circumstances.

The present situation in China could turn even uglier if mishandled. The government faces a tough test of diplomatic cool.

 あのボイコット氏は結局、小作人の抵抗で土地を追われ、不名誉を歴史に刻んだ。今回の事態も、対応次第ではさらにこじれてしまう。なにより外交の機敏さ、冷静さが問われる。

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 10(IHT/Asahi: April 18,2005)

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2005/04/16

Nationality should not be taken for granted

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Nationality should not be taken for granted

04/16/2005

Article 22 of the Constitution stipulates: "Freedom of all persons to move to a foreign country and to divest themselves of their nationality shall be inviolate."

This inspired novelist and playwright Hisashi Inoue to write "Kirikirijin" (People of Kirikiri), a novel set in a remote village in northeastern Japan. Disgruntled by the government's farm policy, villagers declare themselves an independent nation. But they also opt to keep to the letter of the Constitution.

2005年04月15日(金曜日)付
【天声人語】

 ――何人も、国籍を離脱する自由を侵されない。この憲法22条に着目したのが、井上ひさしさんの小説「吉里吉里人」だった。農業問題に不満を持った東北の寒村が、日本国憲法をそっくりもらい日本から分離独立してしまおうという話だ。

In real life, giving up one's nationality is not a decision to be made lightly, nor without considerable preparation. On the other hand, there is a steady stream of people applying for Japanese citizenship today, reflecting society's moves to integrate into the world community.

 現実の世界では、国籍の離脱には相当の覚悟や準備が要るだろう。一方で、国際化を反映して、日本の国籍を求めて訴える人が続いている。

The Tokyo District Court ruled Wednesday that a provision of the Nationality Law, which requires the parents of a child seeking Japanese citizenship to be legally married, violates Article 14 of the Constitution that guarantees equality to all under the law.

 両親が法律上の結婚をしているかどうかで子どもの国籍取得を区別する国籍法の規定は違憲とする判決を、東京地裁が出した。法の下の平等を定めた14条に違反する、と。

The plaintiff, a 7-year-old boy, was born to a Filipino mother and Japanese father. The presiding judge noted: "Even though the boy's parents are not living together all the time, they are in a common-law relationship, and they and their child should be considered a family. In this day and age of diverse values, it can no longer be said that families whose parents are legally married are normal but common-law families are not normal."

 訴えた男児は7歳、母はフィリピン人、父が日本人だ。「3人は、完全同居ではないものの内縁関係にあり、家族としての共同生活と評価できる」とした。「価値観が多様化している今、『父母が婚姻関係にある家族こそが正常で、内縁関係は正常ではない』などと言うことはできない」とも指摘した。国籍認定の幅を広げる判決だ。

The verdict may help open the doors wider to people seeking Japanese citizenship. Before the 1984 revision, a child of an international marriage could not be granted citizenship unless his or her father was Japanese.

The revised law grants citizenship "if either father or mother" is Japanese, but even this has been in effect for only a little over 20 years.

This law is very much like a mirror that reflects Japanese society.

 国籍法は84年に改定された。それまでは条件の一つは「父が日本国民」だった。「父または母が」となって20年ほどにしかならない。日本の社会と時代とを映す鏡のような法律だ。

In an Asahi Shimbun interview some time ago, Inoue said in reference to "Kirikirijin" that: "We are free to choose not to be Japanese. ...To put it the other way round, we must reaffirm our nationality if we do remain Japanese."

For many native Japanese, their nationality is like air-something they have always taken for granted. But if they have to reaffirm their citizenship, perhaps they can begin to appreciate its "weight."

 「私たちは国籍を、日本人でないことも、選べる。逆に言うと……日本人であることを選び直さなきゃだめなんですね」。井上さんが以前、「吉里吉里人」に込めた思いを本紙に語っていた。多くの日本人にとっては、生まれて以来の国籍は、空気のような存在だが、選び直すと考えれば、その重さが少しは実感できる。

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 15(IHT/Asahi: April 16,2005)

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2005/04/15

China must find `seeds of peace' with Japan

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

China must find `seeds of peace' with Japan

04/15/2005

The late Chinese Premier Chou En-lai was 19 years old when he left China in the autumn of 1917 to study in Japan. A poem he composed at the time says: "Singing no more on the banks of the Yangtze/ I made up my mind to head east for Japan."

2005年04月14日(木曜日)付
【天声人語】

 「大江(だいこう)に歌罷(や)めて 頭(こうべ)を掉(ふ)って東し……」。後に中国首相となる周恩来が「揚子江に歌うのをやめ、意を決して東の日本に向かい」と詠んで国を出たのは1917年、19歳の秋だった。

He took the entrance exam for Tokyo Koto Shihan Gakko (advanced teacher training school) the following spring, but failed. To cheer himself up, he visited Hibiya Park in central Tokyo, where he was deeply moved by the sight of two grade-school girls planting flowers and playing. According to "Shu Onrai 19-Sai no Tokyo Nikki" (Chou En-lai: A 19-year-old's Tokyo diary), a paperback from Shogakukan, he said: "People in China always call Japan a `trashy nation.' But when you really think about it, how could you ever say that of Japan?"

 翌春、東京高等師範学校を受験したが落ちる。気晴らしにでかけた日比谷公園で、ふたりの小学生の女の子が草花を植えながら遊んでいる姿に接して感動した。「中国人は口を開けば『東洋(日本)は襤褸(ぼろ)の邦』というが、よく考えれば、日本がどうして襤褸であろう」(『周恩来 十九歳の東京日記』小学館文庫)。

The Japan he came to know was a far cry from what he had heard back home. This discovery at an impressionable age must have left a lasting impact on Chou.

 故国で聞いた日本と直接触れた日本とは違っていた。この若い日の「発見」は長く心に残ったのではないか。

Anti-Japanese demonstrations are spreading in China, accompanied by criminal acts of violence-throwing stones at the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, vandalizing Japanese restaurants and injuring Japanese. The fact that Chinese law enforcement authorities have done nothing to punish the offenders raises suspicions about the government's possible complicity in this eruption of anti-Japanese sentiment.

And the angry mob is obviously not acting on any accurate information about Japan, either.

 中国で反日デモが広がっている。投石、飲食店の打ち壊し、暴行などの犯罪を治められないのでは反日の動きと国との関係も疑われる。今の日本の実像を知った上での暴走とも思えない。

According to "Shinpen Shu Onrai Goroku" (The analects of Chou En-lai: new edition) published by Akimoto Shobo, the Chinese premier said nearly 20 years before China's relations with Japan were normalized: "In the last 60 years, Sino-Japanese relations have not been good. But this is already past history, and we must regard it so ... . We must not let our children and grandchildren be influenced by this history."

In refusing to dwell on the negative and opening up to the negotiating partner, Chou demonstrated the broad-mindedness and finesse of a seasoned politician.

 周首相は日中国交正常化の20年近く前に述べた。「最近の六十年の歴史では、中日両国の関係はよくありませんでした。しかし、これは過ぎ去ったことであり、また過ぎ去ったこととしなければなりません……われわれの子孫に、このような歴史の影響をうけさせてはなりません」(『新編 周恩来語録』秋元書房)。否定を避け相手を呼び込む。懐の深さと老練な術(すべ)を思わせる。

He went on: "We must find the seeds of peace within ourselves. And I believe such seeds do exist."

These words ought to be pondered anew, not only by the agitated Chinese, but also by us Japanese who are one part of Chou's "we."

 そして続けた。「われわれ自身の内部から平和の種子を見出さねばなりません。その種子はあると思います」。過熱する中国だけではなく、「われわれ」の一方である日本の側も、改めてかみしめたい言葉だ。

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 1 4(IHT/Asahi: April 15,2005)

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2005/04/14

Speed bumps could help curb traffic accidents

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Speed bumps could help curb traffic accidents

04/14/2005

The nationwide spring campaign for traffic safety winds up on Friday. Because it is a biannual affair, there is nothing special to say about it except to note that it is conducted when fresh elementary school first-graders start going to school.

The sight of these children trooping across streets like chicks, prattling and walking along with less than certain steps, reminds me that I must be an especially cautious driver at this time of year.

2005年04月13日(水曜日)付
【天声人語】

 春の交通安全運動が15日まで行われている。いつものこと、ではある。しかし、新1年生らしい子らが、ぴよぴよと聞こえてきそうな口ぶりと足取りで道を渡るのを見ると、特にこの時期は、車の運転は心を引き締めてと思う。

It is important to keep telling little children that they risk their own lives if they do not observe the traffic rules. It is also essential to keep reminding drivers that failure to follow traffic rules could ruin not just the lives of their victims but also their own. But it is not enough to keep calling for adherence to the traffic rules.

 交通ルールを守らなければ命が危ないと、幼い子に教え続けることは必要だ。運転する方にも、守らなければ、相手だけでなく自分の人生も危ういと思わせ続ける必要がある。しかし交通ルールを唱えるだけで万全とは言えない。

Traffic accidents can be reduced by building safer roads. Typical of the new approach are woonerf roads designed for the coexistence of humans and motor vehicles. The concept, known as seikatsu no niwa in Japanese, or ``the garden of life,'' is said to have originated in the Netherlands.

A woonerf road, for example, is built with speed bumps to slow down motor vehicles.

 事故を減らすには、事故が起こりにくい道をつくるという考え方もある。オランダが発祥という、人と車の共存をめざす道路「ボンエルフ」である。「生活の庭」と訳されるこの道では、たとえば車の速度を抑えるために、道の途中にハンプ(こぶ)と呼ばれる盛り上がりをつくる。

When I came across speed bumps for the first time, it was not in the Netherlands but in the suburbs of Cairo, Egypt. Suddenly, I felt a jolt when I hit a bump. The car I was riding rose and then dropped with a thud. After a while, I struck another bump. If I had hit the speed bump at a high speed, the impact would have been far greater.

I was told that speed bumps had been set up in the vicinity of schools and other public facilities.

 このハンプに出合ったのは、オランダではなく、エジプトのカイロ郊外だった。突然ガクンと車体が持ち上がり、ドンと落ちた。しばらく行くとまた持ち上がる。スピードを出させないため、学校の近くなどにこうしたこぶをつくっていると聞いた。もし高速で乗り上げていたら、衝撃は相当あっただろう。

Roads with speed bumps have been built in Japan, too. The number of accidents has dropped on these roads. On the other hand, a person tripped on a speed bump and fell near a school.

 日本にも、ハンプのある道ができている。事故が減った道がある一方で、学校の近くに作られたハンプにつまずいて転んだ人もいるという。

When it comes to reducing traffic accidents, there is no panacea. These days, cars hurtle along broad avenues and narrow alleys alike. I wish that someone would invent a system that would make it possible for an outsider to slow these cars down.

Reducing traffic accidents is an urgent matter that should be addressed all through the year, not just through seasonal campaigns for traffic safety.

 事故対策には、万能薬は無い。表通りだけでなく、狭い路地をも疾走するような車に有効な「車外ブレーキ」を考案できないものか。季節ごとの安全運動ではなく、通年で取り組むべき差し迫った課題だ。

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 13(IHT/Asahi: April 14,2005)

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2005/04/13

Danger always comes with adventure

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Danger always comes with adventure

04/13/2005

Mourning the death of four junior high school boys in a cave in Kagoshima city, the principal of their school told a student gathering: "Because of a tragic incident, adults have learned of the existence of the cave for the first time. My regret is that if we had noticed it earlier, the incident could have been averted."

2005年04月12日(火曜日)付
【天声人語】

 「悲しい出来事で洞窟(どうくつ)の存在を大人たちは初めて知った。もっと早く知っていれば防げたと悔やまれる」。鹿児島市の洞窟で死亡した生徒4人が通っていた中学校の校長先生が、朝会で述べたという。

If the cave in which the four boys were found dead from carbon monoxide poisoning Saturday was in fact a World War II air raid shelter, then roughly 60 years have passed since then. I really wish the existence of the cave had come to the attention of adults at some point over the course of those years. Steps could have been taken to keep it from becoming the site of a tragic incident.

 この洞窟が、第二次大戦での壕(ごう)だったとすれば、約60年もの年月が流れている。そのどこかで、大人の目が届き、惨事の現場にならないような手だてがとれなかったものか。

The four boys were all 13-year-olds, going through a period of rapid physical and spiritual growth. At this age, it is the common wish of youngsters to venture into a world different from their everyday life. Many adults know this from their own childhood experience.

To the boys, the lure of a cave, dangers apparently lurking in the recesses, is irresistible. This is in part because it arouses the primitive memory of ancestral dwellings from time immemorial.

 4人とも13歳だった。心身ともに急成長する時期だ。日常から、一歩別の世界へ踏み出したくなる思いは、多くの人に覚えがあるだろう。洞窟は、奥には危険が潜んでいることを感じさせつつ、誘いかけてくる。太古の時代の祖先が、そんな場所ですごしていたというような、尾てい骨の記憶を呼び覚ます。

In his address, the junior high school principal also said: "Let me say I am proud of the challenging youthful spirit of the four students. But you have to have the perception that dangers always accompany any adventurous undertaking."

 校長は、こうも述べた。「チャレンジする気持ちは若者らしく、頼もしく感じる。冒険には危険がつきまとうことを認識した上で臨むことが必要です」

The word "challenge" reminded me of "Stand By Me," an American movie released more than a dozen years ago. It is a story of four 12-year-old boys setting out on an adventurous trip.

The way they grow up while battling the darkness of night and their own sense of fear strongly appealed to viewers together with Ben E. King's title song " Stand by Me."

The lyrics go: "When the night has come/ And the land is dark/ And the moon is the only light we'll see/ No I won't be afraid/ Oh I won't be afraid/ Just as long as you stand, stand by me ... ."

 チャレンジという言葉からは、十数年前のアメリカ映画「スタンド・バイ・ミー」を思い起こした。12歳の少年たち4人が、小さな冒険の旅へ出る。夜の闇や恐怖と戦いながら成長してゆく姿が、映画の題名になったベン・E・キングの歌とともに、見る者に強く訴えかけてきた。「夜の闇が あたりを包み/月明りしか 見えなくても/ぼくは 怖くない……君がそばに いてくれるなら……」(『スタンド・バイ・ミー メモリアル』)。

Imagine how you would react if four boys who were close to you as classmates in high spirits were no longer to be seen. A silent prayer was offered for them at the morning gathering. Some students reportedly were so shocked by the loss they could not stand up.

 つい先日まで、そばに元気で居た4人が、今は居ない。朝会での黙祷(もくとう)では、立ち上がれない生徒もいたという。

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 12(IHT/Asahi: April 13,2005)

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2005/04/12

Freedom to travel a right to be enjoyed by all

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Freedom to travel a right to be enjoyed by all

04/12/2005

Miyako Okamura of Kyoto can walk no more than 3,000 steps a day. She cannot carry anything heavier than 2 kilograms. Lifting a suitcase, even for a second, is out of the question. Staircases are her most difficult hurdle.

Yet, she travels alone overseas almost every year.

2005年04月11日(月曜日)付
【天声人語】

 京都に住む岡村美弥子さんは1日に3千歩しか歩けない。重さ2キロ以上のものは持ち運びできない。スーツケースなどは、一瞬たりとも持てない。階段は大の苦手だ。それでも毎年のように1人で海外に出かける。

Six years ago, when Okamura was in her 40s and working for a travel agency as a tour conductor, she was diagnosed with hip disease and fitted with an artificial joint in her right hip.

Although she had to give up her job, she decided nothing would stop her from traveling for pleasure.

 股関節の病気で、右足に人工関節を入れたのは40代だった6年前だ。そのころ旅行会社で添乗員などの仕事をしていた。旅の仕事はできなくなったが、遊びでは行けるはずだ。そう思って工夫をこらす。

The strategy she worked out was this: First she calls a taxi, and asks the driver to carry her suitcase to the car. At the airport, she uses a baggage trolley as a walker. If there is a chance she may have to use a ramp to deplane at her destination, she arranges with airport personnel to have a lift waiting for her. Upon arrival at her hotel, she asks a valet to place her suitcase in a position that will make for easy opening and closing.

 スーツケースは自宅からタクシーの運転手に運び出してもらう。空港では台車につかまって歩く。到着地にタラップがありそうなら、リフト車で降ろしてくれるよう頼んでおく。ホテルの部屋では、開け閉めしやすいようにスーツケースを置いてもらう。

``In the past, an overseas trip was a bit of a risky gamble for people with disabilities,'' said Iichiro Kusanagi of Japan Tourism Marketing Co.'s Universally Designed Tourism Center. ``Nowadays, many people with disabilities go wherever they want to go, not just where they can go.''

Indeed, airports and train stations are today better equipped to aid people with disabilities, and airline companies and travel agencies have also gotten better at serving customers with special needs.

 「かつて障害のある人の海外旅行は冒険だった。今は、行けるところではなく行きたいところへ、と望む人も多くなった」と言うのはJTMバリアフリー研究所の草薙威一郎さんだ。空港や駅が使いやすくなり、航空会社や旅行会社の受け入れ態勢もかなり整ってきたという。

It was 10 years ago that the Tourism Policy Council of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport noted, ``Everyone has a right to travel ... . The freedom to travel is of special value to people whose movements are restricted, such as those with disabilities and the elderly.''

It depends on each person's type or degree of disability, but perhaps the ``right to travel'' is finally becoming real.

 「すべての人には旅をする権利がある」と政府の観光政策審議会が提言したのは10年前だった。「旅をする自由はとりわけ障害者や高齢者など行動に不自由のある人々にも貴重」と述べていた。障害の種類や度合いによって違いはあるだろうが、やっと「旅の権利」が現実のものになりつつあるということか。

Okamura would like to go to Mongolia this summer, but is still undecided. ``If suburban roads are bad, my artificial hip won't stand a chance. It is vital that I check such details before I go,'' she said.

 岡村さんはこの夏、モンゴルに行こうかどうか迷っている。「郊外への道が悪いと、人工関節がもたない。その見きわめが欠かせないのです」

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 11(IHT/Asahi: April 12,2005)

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2005/04/11

Cold War diplomat's lessons still worthwhile

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Cold War diplomat's lessons still worthwhile

04/11/2005

Those blessed with a long life are able to see how their accomplishments in their younger days are judged by history. Fortunate is anyone whose accomplishments are deemed positive. One such man was George F. Kennan, a former senior U.S. State Department official who died on March 17 at 101.

2005年03月27日(日曜日)付
【天声人語】

 長寿に恵まれると、若いときの仕事に歴史がどんな審判を下すかを知ることができる。プラスの評価を得る者は幸いだ。今月17日に101歳で亡くなった元米国務省高官のジョージ・ケナン氏は、そんな一人である。

In the chaos after World War II, Kennan became the principal architect of the Cold War containment policy aimed at the Soviet Union. By the placing checks on the Soviet Union's inherently expansionistic tendencies through patient diplomacy, he predicted, the Soviet system could be made to implode from its own internal contradictions. In postwar Japan, Kennan advocated a moderate occupation policy that could be later changed to focus on economic recovery.

 第二次大戦後、冷戦初期の動乱期に活躍したケナン氏は、辛抱強い外交でソ連の膨張的傾向をチェックすれば、内部矛盾から崩壊すると予言、「封じ込め」を立案した。日本に対する占領政策を緩やかなものにして、経済復興を重視する路線に転換させた。

Kennan witnessed in his own lifetime the collapse of the Soviet Union and Japan's growth into an economic powerhouse.

However, his outspokenness against excessive moralism in U.S. diplomacy and his admonitions about overrating the use of force were not welcomed in Washington, and he was forced to resign from the State Department in 1953. After he joined the Faculty of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University, he continued to influence American foreign policy through his writings, including those denouncing the Vietnam War.

 ソ連の崩壊と日本の経済大国化を、彼は自分の目で見届けることができた。ただし、米外交の過剰な道徳主義や軍事手段の過大評価を戒める提言は、ワシントンでは理解されず、53年に退任に追い込まれた。プリンストン高等研究所に移り、著作を通じてベトナム戦争を批判するなど米外交に影響を与え続けた。

I thought about Kennan when I interviewed then Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage right after 9/11, when I asked Armitage what sort of long-term effects the terrorist attacks might have on U.S. foreign policy. Armitage replied with pride that it was the job of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff to think and plan ahead for next 20 years.

 ケナン氏と言えば、思い出すことがある。同時多発テロ直後、アーミテージ国務副長官に米外交への長期的な影響をたずねたところ、「国務省には、20年先を考える部局がある。政策企画室だ」と胸をはった。

It was Kennan who created the Policy Planning Staff in 1947, becoming its first director and drawing up a blueprint for U.S. foreign policy.

But now that the United States has invaded Iraq without a consensus of the international community, and Iraq is still far from establishing its own democracy.

 この政策企画室こそ、若きケナン氏が初代室長を務め、米外交の青写真を描いた部局だった。しかし、米国は、国際社会の合意を待たずにイラク戦争に突入、いまだにイラクの民主化の確たる見通しはない。

I wonder what State Department officials who came after Kennan have been doing.

Late in life, Kennan observed that we should all view our country from a balanced perspective, adding that we cannot change the world as much as we would like.

 国務省の彼の後輩たちは何をしていたのだろう。「私たちは自国についてバランスのとれた見方をすべきだ。自分で思うほど世界を変えることはできない」。ケナン氏が残した言葉である。

--The Asahi Shimbun, March 27(IHT/Asahi: April 11,2005)

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2005/04/09

Cheery blossoms on way to quake survivors

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Cheery blossoms on way to quake survivors

04/09/2005

For two days, the weather in Tokyo has felt like summer. In some parts of the city, cherry blossoms that had just opened were already beginning to fall.

2005年04月08日(金曜日)付
【天声人語】

 東京では、2日続けて初夏を思わせる陽気となった。咲いたばかりと思っていた桜が、場所によっては散り始めた。

In a park in central Tokyo, petals whirled and danced high in the air in occasional gusts, and alighted on the ground among fallen leaves from surrounding trees. It was a pretty sight, but I could not help wishing the winds would just refrain from blowing for another two days or so.

 昨日都心の公園では、時折強く吹き抜ける春風に乗って花びらが高く舞っていた。周囲の常緑樹の枝を離れた春落ち葉と絡み合う。それも興趣だが、風よ、せめて2日ほど吹かずにおれないかという思いもした。

``The Tale of Genji,'' the famous 11th-century novel, features a scene of princesses and court ladies composing poems as they look longingly at petals being scattered by the winds.

``Shin Nihon Koten Bungaku Taikei'' (New compendium of classic Japanese literature) paraphrases one poem:

``Because cherries are in bloom/ I feel restless whenever the wind gusts/ even though I know it's not worth feeling this way for these flowers.''

 『源氏物語』に、風に散る花を惜しみつつ姫君や女房が歌を詠むくだりがある。「桜ゆゑ風に心のさわぐかな思ひぐまなき花と見る見る」。桜ゆえに風が吹くたびごとに心も落ち着かない、思うかいのない桜とは知りながら(『新日本古典文学大系』)。

Cherry blossoms remind people of others who have gone before them. According to ``Ryokan no Hito to Uta'' (The personality and poetry of Ryokan) by Shuji Miya, the priest Ryokan (1758-1831) composed the following poem at the grave of Saigyo Hoshi, a 12th-century monk and poet:

``The flower I have picked and brought/ May not be outstanding in its color or fragrance/ But in your mercy please accept my heart.''

Miya notes Ryokan's poem was meant as a response to Saigyo's poem:

``Please make an offering of a flower to the Buddha/ If you will mourn for me after I am gone.''

 桜の花は、過ぎ去った人々の姿や思いを、後世の人々がしのぶよすがでもある。「手折り来し花の色香はうすくともあはれみたまへ心ばかりは」。この良寛の歌は、西行法師の墓前で詠まれた。西行の作「仏には桜の花をたてまつれわが後の世を人とぶらはば」に応じたという(宮柊二「良寛の人と歌」)。

Poet Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) wrote: ``Cherry blossoms make me recall many things.''

Cherry blossoms are like time capsules. They prompt people to think back on their lives and they jog memories of the year that has gone, as well as beyond.

They make people ponder about individuals they knew and things they once had that are now gone. They also open one's eyes to people and things they did not know in the past but do now.

 〈さまざまのこと思ひ出す桜かな 芭蕉〉。桜のタイムカプセルのような作用は、人が自らの生を振り返るのを促す。1年前や、そのまた1年前のことを桜が思い起こさせる。以前にはあって、今は無くなったものや人を思う。あるいは、前には無くて今あるものや人を見やる。

The ``cherry blossom front'' is expected to move to the Niigata area next week-a region tha was devastated by a earthquake. The cherry blossoms this year may bring back painful memories. But I pray this is the sort of year when these flowers that bloom so dutifully will comfort and provide cheer to the quake survivors.

 桜前線は、来週には新潟辺りに達するという。地震では多くのものや人が失われた。今年の桜は、つらい思いを誘うかもしれない。しかし、そういう年こそ、律義に花開く桜の姿が、人々の力を呼び起こすようにと念じたい。

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 8(IHT/Asahi: April 9,2005)

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2005/04/08

Here's hoping the new Eagles are here to stay

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Here's hoping the new Eagles are here to stay

04/08/2005

I recently watched a Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles game at the new team's home stadium in Sendai. Rooting with horns and other noisy musical instruments is banned at the renovated ballpark. It was refreshing to be able to hear from the stands the sound of a bat connecting with a ball.

2005年04月03日(日曜日)付
【天声人語】

 新球団・楽天イーグルスの試合をきのう、本拠地の仙台で見た。新装の球場ではトランペットなど鳴り物を使った応援は禁止である。そのぶんバットの音が客席まで心地よく響いた。

In this game, the Eagles defeated the Seibu Lions, the 2004 Japan Series champion. The way it played out was almost a mirror image of the ups and downs in the world of business: I'm referring to the entrepreneur, who quit a bank to start an Internet business and defeated a railway king who clung to his family tradition. The face-off between the new and old enthralled the fans.

 王者西武を相手に楽天が快勝した。産業界の浮き沈みを思わせるような試合展開だった。銀行を辞めてネット事業にこぎ出した起業家が、先代の遺訓にしがみつく鉄道王を倒す。新と旧の対決に場内がわいた。

When professional baseball made its debut in Japan in the early years of the Showa Era (1926-1989), most teams were sponsored by newspaper or railway companies. After World War II, the movie and automobile industries joined the ranks of baseball club owners, followed by confectionery, soft drink, financial and commercial broadcasting businesses. The real estate and supermarket segments were represented at one time, too.

 職業野球が生まれた昭和の初め、大半の球団が新聞社か鉄道会社を母体にしていた。戦後は映画や自動車などの業種が乗り出す。菓子や飲料に続き、金融や民放も参入した。その間に不動産やスーパーなどが退場した。

In the United States, the Major League baseball season is also now under way.

Team ownership turnover is quite brisk in America. In the past, bankers, brewery tycoons and other well-heeled people purchased teams, but they were eventually taken over by big-name enterprises such as the Walt Disney Co. Baseball teams have come to be regarded as investment opportunities by ambitious speculators. Even long-time fans have trouble nowadays keeping track of who owns their favorite team.

 米国時間の3日には、大リーグも開幕する。あちらの球団は、オーナーがめまぐるしく代わる。かつては、銀行家やビール王など野球好きの富豪が球団を買った。それが次々、ディズニーなど有名企業の手に渡った。近年は、球団を債権のように扱う投資家たちが買収戦に忙しい。ひいきチームの所有者がだれか、長年のファンでも混乱する。

In South Korea, too, the professional baseball season has started. There was a lot of commotion last year over a military draft-dodging scam involving some players.

Pro baseball is also extremely popular in Latin America and Taiwan. Team names such as the Giants, the Tigers, the Eagles are common around the world. They are probably named after those in America, the home of baseball.

 お隣の韓国でもきのう、プロ野球が幕を開けた。昨年は兵役逃れの不正で大揺れだった。中南米や台湾などでもプロ野球は盛んだが、ジャイアンツやタイガース、イーグルスといった球団名は世界各地にある。名前を決める際、本場の米国流にならうところが多いのだろう。

I understand this is the first time in 28 years that a baseball franchise has come to Sendai. While businesses rise and fall as a matter of course, I hope the new team will take firm root in Sendai, unaffected by the national economy and the stock market.

 プロ球団が仙台を拠点にするのは28年ぶりだという。産業の栄枯盛衰は世のならいだが、景気や株価に左右されず、この地にしっかりと根をおろしてくれたらと願う。

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 3(IHT/Asahi: April 8,2005)

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2005/04/07

Is LDP revision plan really 'for the people'?

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Is LDP revision plan really 'for the people'?

04/07/2005

At its inception, the Liberal Democratic Party committed itself to an exalted political position: "government for the people." This phrase appears at the beginning of a declaration of founding ideals, adopted in 1955.

The phrase was intended to be a compressed version of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln's resolution in the Gettysburg Address for "government of the people, by the people, for the people." That's according to a party history compiled later, when Yasuhiro Nakasone was LDP president as well as prime minister.

2005年04月06日(水曜日)付
【天声人語】

 「政治は国民のもの」。55年の自由民主党の結党大会で採択された「立党宣言」は、この言葉で始まっている。後に中曽根総裁のもとで編まれた『自由民主党党史』は、この一句を、リンカーン米大統領の「人民の人民による人民のための政治」を一語に集約したものと記した。

The big question: Has the LDP been living up to its commitment?

This party's rule has been marred by woes common to long reigns: struggles for the control of money sources and power. Even so, Upper and Lower House elections have almost always ended up entrusting the LDP with the reins of government.

 この党が、一貫して「政治は国民のもの」としてきたかとの問いには、大きな疑問符を付けざるを得ない。長期政権特有の金や権力の奪い合いも多かった。しかし国政選挙での結果は、この党に政権のほとんどを委ねてきた。

To mark the 50th anniversary of its founding, the LDP has drafted what it calls an outline of a new Constitution.

This outline is fraught with proposals the people are likely to find far removed from what they would have had in mind. There are passages, for example, on "possessing a self-defense military" and "making citizens duty-bound to defend the state."

 結党50周年を機に憲法改正をめざす作業で、「新憲法」の「要綱」がまとまった。とはいえ、「自衛軍の保持」や「国防の責務」など、国民の意識との隔たりが大きそうな点は多い。

Nakasone, the former prime minister, is the central figure in the LDP drive for constitutional revision. He airs his views in his memoirs titled "Jiseiroku" (Chronicle of self-reflection), which was published by Shinchosha last year.

The author calls the contents "the Nakasone version of the history of the postwar years of the Showa Era (1926-1989)."

In the book, Nakasone says: "Even among politicians, there are people who believe that when it comes to government, the best thing for the authorities to do is to stay on the sidelines and watch how the situation unfolds. In other words, they equate doing nothing with good government. They are mistaken about democratic government."

 改憲推進の中心に居る中曽根さんは昨年、自ら「中曽根版・戦後昭和史」だという『自省録』(新潮社)を出版した。「『政治というものは、なるべく手を出さないで事態を見ているのがいい』、つまり『無為の政治がいい政治』という誤った民主主義政治の理解が、政治家の中にさえあります」

This passage prompts a comparison with what Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (121-180) says in his book published in Japanese with the title "Jiseiroku" as part of the Iwanami paperback series: He often acts unjustly who does not do a certain thing; not only he who does a certain thing.

 「或ることをなしたために不正である場合のみならず、或ることをなさないために不正である場合も少くない」。こちらは、古代ローマ皇帝マルクス・アウレリウスの『自省録』(岩波文庫)だが、なすか否かはいつの世も難しい。

Nakasone describes himself as "a defendant in the court of judgment on history" in the subtitle of his memoir. The self-portrayal imparts his strong resolve about constitutional amendment and also his pride about his record as a politician.

The question he should ask himself now is whether he can attain his goals without departing from the ideal of "government for the people." With so much at stake, his amendment bid could have a decisive effect on the future of Japan.

 中曽根さんの本の副題は「歴史法廷の被告として」。強い意志と自負を感じるが、あの「政治は国民のもの」の理念からは、それないのか。未来の歴史を左右する重い作業だ。

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 6(IHT/Asahi: April 7,2005)

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A tiny step toward transparent tax spending

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

A tiny step toward transparent tax spending

04/06/2005

It is a fact that taxes are hard to collect, while questions are constantly raised about the way the funds are spent. How about letting taxpayers choose the way their money is spent.

2005年04月05日(火曜日)付
【天声人語】

 とかく税金は集めにくい。使い方への批判もあふれる。ならば、住民に使い道を選んでもらえば、いいじゃないか。

Ichikawa city in Chiba Prefecture has translated the idea into an ordinance.

Under the new plan, residents can offer 1 percent of the municipal tax they pay to nonprofit or citizens' groups operating in the city. A taxpayer can choose only one group.

When informed of the designated group, city hall will allocate the earmarked tax contributions as municipal subsidies.

The method, patterned after the taxation system in Hungary, is called the taxpayers' support system for citizen-activity groups. Ichikawa introduced it this month, with the start of fiscal 2005. It is the first municipality in Japan to do so.

 こんなアイデアを条例で実現させた市がある。千葉県市川市だ。住民は自分が払う市民税の1%分を、市内のNPOや住民団体に提供できる。応援したい団体をひとつ選び、市役所に通知すれば、市の補助金として届けられる。名づけて「納税者が選ぶ市民活動団体支援制度」。ハンガリーの税制をまねて、今春から日本で初めて導入した。

Eighty-one groups are vying for the 1-percent contributions. They seek funding for diverse projects, ranging from a program to raise welfare-service volunteers to a baseball course for kids and the staging of a musical performance. One group on the list plans to hold a mah-jongg course for beginners.

Sometime this month, these groups will start canvassing, running ads in the municipal gazette or appealing for support on the streets. Residents will choose which groups to support by early May.

 「1%」の受け手には、81の団体が並んでいる。福祉ボランティア養成、少年野球教室、ミュージカル公演など、やりたい事業はさまざまだ。マージャン入門講座なんてのもある。今月から各団体が市の公報や街頭で「清き1%を」と呼びかける。住民は5月上旬までに応援先を決めていく。

Because Ichikawa is a city of about 460,000, 1 percent of its municipal tax revenue amounts to about 300 million yen. But many of its residents are so-called Chiba tomin-those who think of themselves more as Tokyo citizens, although they live in Chiba Prefecture.

Naturally, they are scarcely interested in local affairs.

Taking this into consideration, officials at city hall predict that a modest one in every 10 citizens will choose recipients for their tax contributions. In other words, they say, about 30 million yen will be diverted from municipal coffers.

The final results of canvassing, to be announced in June, are a tossup.

 46万人余りが住み、市民税は1%でも3億円になる。だが、いわゆる千葉都民が多く、地元への関心は極端に低い。市は「税の提供先を決めるのは10人に1人、総額で3千万円くらい」と控えめに見込む。6月の最終結果は、開けてみてのお楽しみだ。

While other municipalities are considering introducing similar systems, objections are already being raised to the Ichikawa model. One critic argues, "The Ichikawa ordinance runs against the spirit of equality under the law because it ignores the wishes of people who do not have any taxable income." Another contends, "The municipal tax should be cut by 1 percent, instead."

 似たような制度は他の自治体でも検討中だが、異論もある。「税を納めない低所得者の意向が無視され、法の下の平等に反する」「1%は減税するのが筋だ」などだ。

As the central and local governments groan under debt exceeding 700 trillion yen, the prospect of sharp tax hikes appears to be inevitable.

Now is a good time to rethink the balance between public services and the tax burden.

Hence, Ichikawa's new system that allows citizens to see where their tax money is going.

Although the new-found transparency is limited to 1 percent of citizen's municipal taxes, it is a tiny but precious step forward.

 いま政府と自治体は700兆円を超す借金にあえぐ。増税の足音が聞こえている。受益と負担の関係を問い直すときだ。だからこそ、わずか1%でも自分の税の行き先が見えるのはいいことだろう。小さいけれど貴重な一歩になる。

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 5(IHT/Asahi: April 6,2005)

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2005/04/06

Pope's life predetermined by his place of birth

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Pope's life predetermined by his place of birth

04/05/2005

Even today, the ancient Polish city of Krakow retains its medieval appearance and atmosphere.

It was near here, in Wadowice, that Karol Jozef Wojtyla was born May 18, 1920. In 1978, Wojtyla became pope, taking the name John Paul II.

2005年04月04日(月曜日)付
【天声人語】

 ポーランドの古都クラクフは、中世の町並みを今もなお色濃く残している。後にローマ法王ヨハネ・パウロ2世となるカロル・ボイチワは、クラクフ郊外の町バドビツェで生まれた。

Wadowice is fairly close to Auschwitz, best remembered as the Nazi death camp that was established there in 1940.

I visited Krakow several years ago. Standing by the River Wisla that flows through the city, I realized how the pope's life must have been somewhat predetermined by those three places: Krakow, Wadowice and Auschwitz.

 近くには、後に強制収容所がつくられたアウシュビッツがある。数年前、クラクフを流れるビスワ川のほとりに立って、三つの町の位置関係と法王の人生に、運命的なつながりを感じた。

When World War II broke out with the Nazi invasion of Poland, Wojtyla was a university student of philosophy. After his university was closed down by the Nazis, he worked in a quarry outside Krakow to escape deportation and forced labor in Germany.

 ナチス・ドイツがポーランドに侵攻して第二次世界大戦が始まった時、カロルは哲学科の学生だった。独軍によって大学は閉鎖される。ドイツで強制労働をさせられる国外追放を避けるため、クラクフ郊外の石切り場で働いた。

``Listen to the regular hammering on the stone ... a certain thought grows within me,'' he wrote in a poem. ``The true value of one's work must lie within one's humanity.''

Recalling this poem later in his autobiography, ``Gift and Mystery,'' the pope noted, ``It expressed quite well the abnormal experience I was undergoing at the time.'' A Japanese edition of his biography has been published by Enderle Shoten under the title of ``Doto ni Tatsu'' (Facing rough waves).

 「聞いてごらん。ハンマーが規則正しく石を打つ音を……ある想いが私の内で育って行く。仕事の真の価値は、人間の内面にあるのではないだろうかと」。自作の詩について、法王は後年、「当時の異常な体験がなかなか適切に表現されている」と自伝『怒涛に立つ』(エンデルレ書店)で述べている。

After studying theology through an underground seminary, he became a bishop, and later was named Archbishop of Krakow.

During his papacy, he gave his moral support to the pro-democracy Solidarity movement in his native Poland, made a public apology for the historic sins of the Roman Catholic Church, and opposed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. His words and actions concerning history and peace were articulate and decisive.

 やがて地下活動で神学を学び、司祭になり、クラクフ大司教を務めた。法王としては、故国で民主化を求める「連帯」を励まし、教会が封印してきたことを謝罪し、イラク戦争に反対した。歴史と平和についての明確な発言と行動が際だっていた。

Ten years ago, I had the opportunity to shake hands with him.

His hand, which probably held a hammer in his youth, was thick and solid. It made me recall the words he spoke in Hiroshima in 1981: ``War is the work of man ... War is death.''

 10年前、バチカンで法王と握手する機会があった。若き日にハンマーを握ったかもしれない手には、厚みがあった。「戦争は人間のしわざです。戦争は死そのものです」。81年に広島で発した言葉が、その手から伝わってくるようだった。

-The Asahi Shimbun, April 4(IHT/Asahi: April 5,2005)

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2005/04/04

Japan's 'mask season' is a news item abroad

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Japan's 'mask season' is a news item abroad

04/04/2005
The Asahi Shimbun

Never before have I noticed so many people wearing masks as this year.

On one sunny, gusty day-the worst kind for pollen-allergy sufferers-I counted roughly one out of every four people on a commuter train wearing a mask.

2005年03月28日(月曜日)付
【天声人語】

今年ほどマスク着用率の高い年があっただろうか。花粉症の患者を泣かせる快晴で強風の日に、通勤電車の中で数えると、乗客のざっと4人に1人が着けていた。

Pollen allergy is not unique to Japan. But outside Asia, there are not many cities where you see so many mask-protected people in early spring.

"You hardly ever see anyone walking around like that here," said a Japanese man who works in Washington, D.C. Most pharmacies in the United States do not sell masks.

When he advised his allergic American colleague to try a mask, the colleague was horrified that it would make him look like a carrier of some serious contagious disease.

 外国にも花粉症はある。だがアジア諸国を除けば、春先にマスク姿が街にあふれる国は多くない。米ワシントンで働く日本人男性は「こちらではマスクで街を歩く人はついぞ見ない」と言う。米国では大半の薬局がマスクを扱わない。花粉症に悩む同僚の米国人にマスクを薦めたが、「重い伝染病の患者みたい」と嫌がられたという。

Another Japanese man, residing in Germany, noted: "In this country, people don't go to work if they are in a condition that requires wearing a mask. They just take the day off if they can't stop coughing or sneezing."

He added that he has never seen many people in masks in London or Paris.

 「マスクまでして出勤しない。この国ではせきやくしゃみが止まらない日は休む」。ドイツ在住の日本人男性も言う。ロンドンやパリでもマスク姿を大勢見かけることはないそうだ。

This makes Japan's "mask season" a news item in the Western world. A U.S. newspaper reporter described a horde of masked Japanese marching the streets and commented he thought he had run into a group of surgeons heading for the operating theater.

An Australian newspaper reported some years ago that such a sight could be taken for a mass anti-government rally by voters. The exaggerated tone seems to underscore the rarity of this phenomenon in Western culture.

 そのぶん欧米では、日本のマスクの季節が格好のニュースになる。歩道を行くマスクの群れを描写して米紙は「手術室に向かう外科医の集団かと思った」と伝えた。豪紙は数年前、「政府に抗議する有権者の一斉行動みたい」と報じた。大げさな書きぶりだが、よほど珍しいのだろう。

According to Hakujuji Co., a major sanitary goods maker established in 1896, masks became popular in Japan during the Spanish influenza epidemic from 1918 to 1919. Before that, masks were worn only by factory workers as a protection against dust inhalation.

The traditional mask is rectangular in shape and covers the nose and mouth, but the mainstream design today is oval-shaped for wider coverage from the nose to the chin.

 創業明治29年の衛生用品大手「白十字」によると、日本でマスクが普及したのは、スペインかぜが猛威をふるった大正半ば。それまでは工場労働者の粉じんよけだった。かつては口もとを覆う横長型が多かったが、いまは鼻からあごまですっぽり隠すカラス天狗(てんぐ)型が主流だ。

In Europe and America today, television and newspapers provide "pollen forecasts." But even though experts recommend wearing a mask to alleviate pollen-allergy symptoms, the custom has obviously not caught on yet.

 欧米でも近年は、テレビや新聞が「花粉予想」を伝える。専門家が「症状緩和にはマスクが効果的」と薦めてはいるが、普及の兆しはまだないようだ。

--The Asahi Shimbun, March 28(IHT/Asahi: April 4,2005)

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2005/04/02

Step up to the plate and do your best, newbies

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Step up to the plate and do your best, newbies

04/02/2005

There was a faint spot of white on the tip of a twig. A closer look revealed it was a cherry blossom that had just opened its dark pink bud.

2005年04月01日(金曜日)付
【天声人語】

 小枝の先に、ほんのり白いものが見えた。濃い紅のつぼみがほどけて生まれたばかりの、ひとひらの桜だった。

The new fiscal year starts when the ``cherry blossom front'' begins to trace a wider curve on the meteorological chart of Japan. On the first day of the fiscal year, many people start out afresh in new cities or towns, places of work or schools. All sorts of expectations, hopes and fears are felt around the nation.

 開花した範囲を示す曲線が日ごとに広がるこの時節に、新しい年度は始まる。今日からは、これまでとは違った土地や職場、学校で生活を始める人たちも多い。列島の各地で、様々な期待や希望、そして不安が行き交っている。

There is a mention of newcomers in ``Makura no Soshi,'' or ``The Pillow Book'' authored by Sei Shonagon in the 10th century. April 1, the first day of the fiscal year, will be a day to remember for many newcomers as well as those who receive them.

 「枕草子」に「あたらしうまゐりたる人々」というくだりがある。今日は、多くの「新しう参りたる人々」にとっても、それを受け入れる側の人にとっても、記憶に残る一日になるだろう。

For a certain period in the past, an advertorial written by novelist Hitomi Yamaguchi ran in newspapers around April 1 each year.

There were words of encouragement and wisdom directed at rookie workers. I was already well past my rookie year by then, but I was sometimes soothed by Yamaguchi's words as if I were listening to an older colleague in an intimate bar after work.

 毎年4月1日ごろ、作家・山口瞳さんの文章が広告の形で新聞に載った時期がある。新社会人への、はなむけの言葉がつづられていた。当方は、すでに旧人の部類だったが、夜の止まり木で先輩に語りかけられているような懐かしさを覚えることがあった。

Let me reproduce some of Yamaguchi's exhortations: ``Step in, step in! Don't be afraid to make a mistake!'' ``Life is nothing more than repetition.'' ``Listen, folks! Life isn't easy.'' ``Whenever I am asked what matters most to a company worker, I now answer `sincerity' without a moment's hesitation.''

 「踏み込め、踏み込め! 失敗を怖れるな!」「此の世は積み重ねであるに過ぎない」「諸君! この人生、大変なんだ」「会社勤めで何がものを言うのかと問われるとき、僕は、いま、少しも逡巡することなく『それは誠意です』と答えている」

The advertorial was directed at newcomers to the work force, but Yamaguchi's exhortations could have been meant for all workers. I imagine the novelist reflected on his younger days and examined his conscience at the start of each fiscal year to give encouragement to salaried workers of this world. It was this attitude that inspired even seasoned workers. He wrote novels that had businessmen as the hero.

In spring 1995, Yamaguchi wrote, ``Persevere, persevere, persevere.'' He died that summer. How time passes: It's now 10 years since we last heard his encouraging words.

 これは、新人に向けた形をとってはいるが、勤め人全体への励ましとも読める。新しい年度の初めごとに、山口さんは自らの時間を巻き戻し、自省しながら世の「江分利満氏」を励ましていたように思われる。それが旧人の胸にも響いた。95年春は「一に忍耐、二に我慢、三四がなくて五に辛抱」。その夏に、山口さんは亡くなった。今年で10年になる。

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 1(IHT/Asahi: April 2,2005)

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Faraway islands need tsunami info, support

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Faraway islands need tsunami info, support

04/01/2005

In the immediate aftermath of Monday's giant earthquake off Sumatra, panic reportedly broke out in many communities. Fearing a tsunami, people scrambled pell-mell for higher ground, according to reports.

2005年03月31日(木曜日)付
【天声人語】

 スマトラ島沖の地震では、住民が各地でパニックに陥ったと報じられた。地震後、津波を恐れた人たちが焦って高台を目指し混乱したという。

A panicked crowd can lead to tragedies, like people being trampled to death. But what drives people into a panic cannot always be blamed simply on ``irrational behavior.''

 パニックは、時には群衆による圧死などの惨害をもたらす。しかし、人々のパニックへの傾きを、単純に「不合理な行動」とは言えない。

When the deployment of theater nuclear weapons was an issue in the Netherlands during the Cold War, the Dutch people reportedly fell into a panic over a radio program about a hypothetical scenario in which a nuclear bomb had been dropped on an air force base.

It was a case of their real fear of a possible nuclear attack being amplified out of proportion by a radio narration of an imaginary scene.

I think the panic this triggered was only natural, if not inevitable.

 冷戦の頃、戦域核兵器の配備がとりざたされていたオランダで、住民がパニックに陥ったという。きっかけは、空軍基地に原爆が投下された場合を想定したラジオ番組だった。「いつか核攻撃があるかもしれない」という現実の不安と、仮定の世界のラジオ番組とが重なってしまったのだが、人々が混乱するのはむしろ自然で、無理からぬものだったと思う。

In Sumatra, people's fear of a killer tsunami coming their way must have been quite intense. Depending on the nature of the jolt, their fear was fully founded. Scrambling to get as far away as possible from the coast made much sense. The question, though, was whether they were guided by accurate, up-to-date information and appropriate evacuation instructions.

 スマトラの場合も、大津波襲来への不安はかなり大きかっただろう。地震の起き方によっては、それも十分ありえたのだから、ひたすら海から逃げようとしたのは理にかなっている。問題は、正確な情報の速やかな伝達と、住民への的確な指示があったかどうかだ。

This time around, the Japan Meteorological Agency was swift in faxing tsunami information to the quake-affected nations. It had learned a hard lesson from the Dec. 26 tsunami disaster.

In some nations such as Indonesia, however, there were apparently problems with the way alerts were issued and what people were told to do.

 今回は、気象庁が素早く各国へ津波情報を発し、大津波の時の苦い経験が、情報の支援では生きた。しかしインドネシアなどでは、警報の発令と伝達や住民への指示に問題があったようだ。

Marco Polo, who landed on Sumatra about 700 years ago, noted an ``abnormal situation that would surprise you all.'' In ``The Travels of Marco Polo'' (a Japanese translation available in Toyo Bunko paperback from Heibonsha), he pointed out that: ``Because this land lies so far south, you can see neither the Polaris nor the Big Dipper in the sky.''

I want plenty of support, as well as information, to make it to those faraway southern islands on the equator.

 約700年前にスマトラに上陸したマルコ・ポーロが『東方見聞録』(東洋文庫)に記す。「皆さんをびっくりさせるに違いない異常な事態がある……この土地がはるか南方に位しているため、北極星も北斗七星も共に見えない」。はるか赤道直下の島々へ、情報だけでなく支援も厚く届けたい。

--The Asahi Shimbun, March 31(IHT/Asahi: April 1,2005)

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