2010年9月28日 星期二

Japan welcomes Burmese refugees

Japan welcomes Burmese refugees

A Karen refugee boy in a camp on the Thai/Burma border Many Karen have fled Burma because of armed conflict between the military and Karen rebels

Eighteen Burmese refugees have arrived in Japan from Thailand, marking a new turn in Japan's asylum policy.

It follows Japan's agreement to accept about 90 Burmese under a third country resettlement plan promoted by the UN.

The three ethnic minority Karen families have been living for 10 years in a camp in north-western Thailand after fleeing persecution in Burma.

Japan has been criticised in the past for allowing in far fewer refugees than other wealthy nations.


Related stories

The BBC's Roland Buerk in Tokyo says the refugees arrived at Tokyo's Narita airport wearing jackets against the autumn chill.

Japan says it is the first Asian country to take part in the UN-backed resettlement programme.

Japan is one of the world's most generous donors to refugees overseas, but gives scant welcome to asylum seekers at home, our correspondent says.

Last year just 30 people were granted refugee status. Another 501 received special residence permits on humanitarian grounds, but with fewer rights.

The Burmese refugees are expected to spend the next six months in Tokyo learning Japanese.

The government says if they integrate well into society it may consider allowing more refugees into the country.

2010年9月24日 星期五


Haruno, Tamagawa form 'rokyoku' unit



Keiko Haruno, a variety-show star who became a rokyoku singing storyteller, has teamed up with producer and rokyoku performer Nanafuku Tamagawa.

Rokyoku is a style of narrative singing, often with samisen.

The duo's debut performance--titled "Rokyoku Typhoon!"--will be held Oct. 9 in Tokyo's Koto Ward.

The program includes classic rokyoku narrative ballads performed by Takako Sawa, president of the national rokyoku association. The unit will perform manzai (stand-up comedy usually performed by a duet) using samisen and other musical instruments.

They will also sing old school songs with rokyoku melodies.

Rokyoku used to be hugely popular, but now there are fewer than 40 professional narrators in the Kanto region and only 20 in the Kansai region.

Tamagawa narrates with a Kanto-style melody, while Haruno's is based on Kansai-style music.

"We can't stay content simply performing rokyoku if we hope to recapture the audience," Haruno said. "(Tamagawa and I) share a sense of mission that we shoulder the future of rokyoku."

The performance will open at 2 p.m. at the Camellia Hall of the Kameido Bunka Center.

Haruno played the character Keiko Sensei in the popular variety program "Susunu! Denpa Shonen" (Don't go on, airwave boy!) acting as a tutor to a high school student preparing for a university entrance examination. She is a graduate of the prestigious University of Tokyo.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Rōkyoku (浪曲; also called naniwa-bushi, 浪花節) is a genre of traditional Japanese narrative singing. Generally accompanied by a shamisen, rōkyoku became very popular in Japan during the first half of the 20th century.


「静岡茶発祥の地 足久保で秋の茶畑ミニウォーク(… に貼られた お茶.JPG の画像


「静岡の祖の故郷 藁科で山家の暮らし体験 (静岡市)」の紹介です ...
By グッドヘルス
静岡の祖の故郷 藁科で山家の暮らし体験 (静岡市)」の紹介です,健康・観光・環境をテーマに健康づくりと観光立国とクリーン環境を実現するために、役立つ情報を発信することで社会貢献活動に取り組んでいます。

Bloom off the crystal boom, but fake pastries take the cake

Bloom off the crystal boom, but fake pastries take the cake



photoYoung women look at "suitsu deco" in a department store in Osaka. (MIKAKO ABE/ THE ASAHI SHIMBUN)

It has been a few years since deko-den--cellphones encrusted with decorative crystals--caught on with certain young women. Now the deko wave has hit tableware, home electronics, and cars and the idea is captivating men as well. Meanwhile, on the latest deko frontline is suitsu deko starring replicas of cookies and other sweets.

In early July, an event was held at Narumi Corp.'s shop in Tokyo's Ginza district, where participants decorated mugs and small plates with Swarovski Elements, materials manufactured by the crystal glass company.

The decorated items appeared more refined--less gaudy, if you will--when the crystals were placed with some space in between, unlike the earlier cellphones which were entirely covered with crystals.

"You feel excited and alive when you are holding something that sparkles," says a woman in her 30s who took part in the event.

James Alexandre, Element Business Manager of Swarovski Japan who hails from France, points out that the Japanese have a way of enjoying sparkling items and incorporating them into their lives. According to Alexandre, crystal is associated with luxury items in Europe and has been used only on haute couture clothing. He adds that there has been the perception that men wearing crystal were gay.

Yet in Japan, the deko boom has now reached men as well. It is not uncommon to see male customers at Kiwa Products, an accessory shop in Tokyo's Harajuku that specializes in Swarovski Elements. Some buy iron-on crystals to decorate belt loops or logos on their bags.

"They seem to be known as 'soshoku-kei' boys," says Yuki Sato, the 29-year-old store manager. Although originally soshoku-kei (herbivore type) referred to a new breed of "gentle" young Japanese male, the soshoku-kei used in this case is a homophone meaning decoration-loving type. Sato adds that while dazzling adornments used to be associated with hip-hop fans, young idol types have become customers recently.

D.A.D, a manufacturer of car accessories, has also introduced deko products. In the American Village in Osaka's Chuo Ward, two Mercedes-Benz autos, covered entirely in Swarovski Elements, were parked at the D.A.D store to the delight of the passers-by.

The company used about 300,000 crystals worth between 15 million and 20 million yen per car. The vehicles are for car shows and not for sale.

"If we were to put a price tag on one, it would be 100 million yen," says Daisuke Kuwayama, the 40-year-old president of D.A.D.

The company has been making and selling car accessories incorporating Swarovski products for six or seven years. Cup holders and ashtrays priced between 10,000 yen and 20,000 yen sell well.

Concentrating on a sense of "adult luxury," the firm's designers always keep in mind how the designs will be regarded by women who sit in the front passenger seat.

"Girls long for sparkle forever. No one would say no to them," Kuwayama enthuses.

Will the deko boom continue?

"The hardcore fans are sensing that the end is near, but it's still new to the general public. I hope to spread it to a wide range of people," says Megumi Wakabayashi, 26, president of Monica, a firm that sells decorated items at department stores and other retail outlets.

Wakabayashi says in the boom's heyday of 2006 and 2007, many schools teaching decoration techniques were launched as well as magazines on the subject.

Whatever was popular at that time was a candidate for decoration, such as the Nintendo DS, iPhones or cases for Mintia, a mint. The latest focus seems to be iPad cases.

Recently, suitsu deko--highly decorative fake cakes, tarts and the like made of a type of resin--have outpaced crystal items.

The new boom is said to have been sparked by the candy-colored macaroons that appeared in "Marie Antoinette," a film directed by Sofia Coppola.

As the decoration fervor escalates, there are some cases in which the decorated items strike out on their own.

At a Monica shop which opened in the Shinsaibashi store of Daimaru department store in Osaka in June, trinket boxes and card holders that look like authentic cakes are on sale.

"To apply deko is to customize one's personal items and express your attachment to them as well as who you are," says Maki Taguchi, 28-year-old representative of MIG, a free magazine focusing on young women's culture.

Excessive decoration is what the sparkling and sweets deko have in common. "Even if the trend shifts from the sparkling to the sweets, the sentiment of women who wish to express themselves through over-the-top decoration will remain unchanged," Taguchi says.

2010年9月18日 星期六

日本新外相前原誠司闡述外交政策/ 密切關注中國在東海油氣田活動








早些時候,日本前外相岡田克證實,中國向有主權爭議的東海春曉油氣田(日本稱白樺油氣田)搬運了鑽井器 材。

日本共同社稱,從日本自衛隊拍攝的航空照片來看,中國作業船已將疑似用於鑽井的器材運抵春曉油氣田設施 內。

報道指出,日本政府認為在釣魚島撞船事件上態度強硬的中國有可能決定單獨開發春曉油氣田,正在加緊提 防。

前原誠司原任日本國土交通相,他去過沖繩石垣視察釣魚島事件中的日本船隻,強調將依法處理中國船長詹其 雄。


中國外交部發言人姜瑜則在新聞發佈會上表示,中方對春曉油氣田擁有完全的主權和管轄權,中方在春曉的活 動完全合理合法。







周五(9月18日)傍晚日本首相菅直人的內閣啟動後,菅直人召開了首 次新內閣會議,會議結束後,首相和新大臣紛紛召開記者會,闡述政權的運作方針和所管部門的方針。其中日本各大傳媒、輿論周六議論最多的是外相前原誠司的外 交政策。


前原周五晚在記者會上一開始就說,「目前日本外交與周邊國家的經濟關係很重要」來體現他理解現在中日關 係的重要性。他說,要推進經濟外交,包括了FTA(自由貿易協定)、EPA(經濟合作協定),推進資源外交和追求糧食安全保障的外交。接下去他說,中國連 續二十年軍費開支大幅增長,而且用途不明令人懸念。不過日本各大報周六評論前原闡述的對華政策時都注意到,前原迴避了他過去一直強調的「中國威脅論」。

前原還對中國向東海春曉油氣田搬進新器材說,中國搬進了過去不曾有的器材,如果確認中國此舉是為了開 採,日本應採取必要的措施。不過他沒說明措施是什麼。他說希望中方切實履行兩國達成的合作開發協議,今後會繼續注視春曉實施怎樣的作業。

前原然後闡述日美關係的外交政策說,日本的安全沒有堅定保障的話,也不能推進經濟外交,倡導深化日美同 盟關係。針對目前日美膠著的美軍駐沖繩普天間機場轉移糾紛,前原承認沖繩縣民期待美軍機場轉移到縣外時,轉移方案又折回沖繩縣的確不能否定引起了憤怒,暗 地裏指責前首相鳩山由紀夫推翻自民黨與美國和沖繩達成的縣內轉移協議,提出至少縣外轉移,爭取國外轉移的建議。前原說,日本要一邊道歉一邊謀求一個解決的 辦法,並全力減輕沖繩負擔美軍基地的其它方面。


包括親中大報《朝日新聞》在內,周六都形容前原從來就是民主黨內的外交通,並形容他重視日美關係的立場 與首相菅直人一致。《朝日新聞》分析說,前原周五在記者會上自己也提到他在京都大學讀書時的恩師高阪正堯和菅直人師事過的永井陽之助50年前都被日本稱作 「新現實主義者」,所以可以說,前原就任外相後顯示的慎重路線是現實主義路線。

銷量最大的報紙《讀賣新聞》周六發自北京的消息引述中國內部的消息人士說,中國相信日方逮捕中國漁船船 長這一過去不曾有的強硬舉措是當時主管海上保安廳的前原在背後推動。消息說,中國曾在今年6月菅直人政權成立時廣泛認為,菅直人容易對付,幸好不是鷹派的 前原。親美的《讀賣新聞》報道說,美國副國務卿斯坦伯格周五日本時間深夜約見日本駐美大使藤崎一郎在五角大樓會談,斯坦伯格對菅直人新政權表示歡迎。他 說,菅直人首相重視日美同盟的立場令人高興,而他自己本人不但熟悉前原外相,而且前原在華盛頓也有很多知己,有利加強日美關係,美國很歡迎。

時事通信社周六報道說,下周紐約舉行聯合國大會期間,菅直人預定與美國總統奧巴馬周四會談外,前原與美 國國務卿希拉里的會談也正在調整中。


但中國民意有多少反日、反日情節上升到怎樣的程度,也是日本各大傳媒、輿論周六同時關注的重點。時事通 信社周六中午報道說,9·18事件(日本稱柳條湖事件)79週年之際,北京、上海、瀋陽日本大使館、領事館外都有抗議行動,要求日本釋放漁船船長。

報道說,在各地當局嚴密的控制下,沒有混亂發生。其中北京日本大使館門外早上9點多約有100人示威, 而周邊警車、消防車、救護車等也有近百台,還有近百名警察戒備。一名24歲的示威者對時事社說「誰也不想破壞中日關係,我們只是要求盡快解決撞船事件」, 顯得相當「官腔」。

官方電視台NHK周六午間新聞也報道了中國各地的反日示威,其中上海有幾十人在日本領事館外抗議,而世 博日本館周邊與往常一樣,沒有變化。NHK報道也說,各地和平抗議,沒有混亂發生。


2010年9月13日 星期一

Japan Launches Its First GPS Satellite

Japan Launches Its First GPS Satellite

Japan launched on Saturday the first of a planned series of satellites that promise to improve the accuracy of satellite navigation services in the country.

The "Michibiki" satellite was sent into space atop a Japanese H-IIA rocket from the country's Tanegashima Space Center at 8:17 pm local time on Saturday. The satellite later deployed its solar panels to complete a successful launch, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said on Sunday.

Michibiki is the first in a planned series of three satellites that will provide navigation signals focused on the Japanese islands. Key to their mission is a figure-of-eight orbit that will see them make a tight northern swing over Japan and a much broader southern pass over Australia. This "quasi-zenith" orbit gave the project its name: Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS).

The orbit has been designed so that one of the planned three QZSS satellites is always in the skies above Japan. Because it will be almost directly above the country its signals should be able to reach many city-center streets and country areas that are sometimes out of the range of global positioning satellites because of skyscrapers or mountains.

The satellites will also broadcast a signal correcting any errors in GPS data so that positioning services can be delivered with more accuracy.

The signals are intended to be compatible with those broadcast by existing satellites so should work with current navigation equipment without modification.

Japan's QZSS system is one of a number of satellite positioning networks planned or under construction by countries eager to reduce their reliance on the U.S.-built and controlled NAVSTAR GPS network.

With satellite navigation playing an increasingly important part in safety systems and commerce, its importance to national economies has risen, thus the wish of some countries to have control over a system of their own.

Launch of satellites for two of the biggest networks, Russia's GLONASS and the European Union's Galileo, are already under way. China has plans to turn its regional COMPASS network into a global system and India has also announced plans to build a service.

Martyn Williams covers Japan and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com








作者:張漢宜  出處:天下雜誌 449期 2010/06












2010年9月11日 星期六

23000名 百歲老人蒸發掉

Japan missing 230000 centenarians
Washington Post (blog)
A month-long audit of Japanese family registers has turned up a macabre fact: 230000 elderly people are missing. The country has touted its citizens' ...

2010年9月9日 星期四

All Nippon to Start Low-Cost Airline, Japan-China boat spat

All Nippon to Start Low-Cost Airline in Japan

HONG KONG — All Nippon Airways stepped up its drive to become a leading Asian airline with the announcement Thursday that it planned to set up the first low-cost airline in Japan with the help of a major private equity firm based in Hong Kong.

The new carrier will take to the skies in the second half of next year and will fly both international and domestic short-haul routes out of Kansai International Airport in Osaka, ANA and its private equity partner, First Eastern Investment Group, said.

ANA has been emerging rapidly from the shadow of its main competitor, Japan Airlines, which has sought bankruptcy protection, and will hold 39 percent of the new carrier. First Eastern, a pioneer of direct investments in China, will have a one-third stake, and various Japanese investors will own the rest.

“Regardless of the intense competition in the air transportation industry, we anticipate an increase in passenger traffic demand in East Asia, and came to the conclusion that a low-cost carrier would be the right approach to compete effectively in this market,” Shinichiro Ito, the chief executive of ANA, said in a statement.

ANA and First Eastern are announcing the plans for their new, as yet unnamed, carrier just as global air traffic is recovering from the severe downturn that was brought on by the global economic crisis. Carriers around the world have been gradually reinstating the capacities they reduced as traffic collapsed last year, and are once again seeing robust passenger demand and cargo volumes.

Low-cost carriers have started to make inroads in the Asian market in recent years but have not done so thus far in Japan, where the market had been dominated by JAL and ANA.

ANA and First Eastern are aiming to stimulate additional demand for air service in Japan — whose economy is barely growing — by pricing tickets at levels that make them competitive with low-fare transportation providers like bus and train operators.


Japan-China boat spat escalates

Captain of a Chinese trawler Zhan Qixiong is sent to Japanese prosecutors The captain of the Chinese trawler, Zhan Qixiong, has been transferred to Japanese prosecutors

China has warned Japan that their wider relationship will suffer if Tokyo mishandles a dispute about a Chinese fishing boat seized in disputed waters.

China's foreign ministry said it was "absurd and illegal" for Japan to apply domestic law in "China's territory".

The captain of a Chinese trawler that collided with Japanese patrol vessels has been handed to prosecutors who will decide whether to charge him.

Tuesday's incident happened near disputed islands in the East China Sea.

There were no injuries, and the two Japanese vessels sustained minor damage.


The exchange of protests between China and Japan has something of the air of a ritual.

For now neither country seems to want to dramatise the incident.

But the episode illustrates the underlying tensions in the region where competing claims for small island territories reflect major strategic and economic issues.

Oil and gas rights could be valuable assets for the future.

But the continuing maritime tensions between China and its neighbours reflect a growing desire by the Chinese to pursue a more expansive naval strategy and to break out from the containment of the island chains that stretch from Japan to Taiwan and well into the South China Sea.

The uninhabited islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, are controlled by Japan, but are also claimed by China and Taiwan.

Tokyo says the Chinese vessel collided with two Japanese patrol boats in two separate incidents, 40 minutes apart.

The captain of the fishing boat was arrested after repeatedly ignoring requests to leave the area, officials said.

China has demanded his release.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu described the move as "absurd, illegal and invalid, and China will never accept it".

Beijing has twice summoned Japan's ambassador and urged him to stop the "illegal interception" of Chinese fishing boats, and to release the boat and the crew detained onboard.

In recent years, Chinese activists have sailed to the islands on a number of occasions to assert China's territorial claims.

Analysts say this latest incident is unlikely to disrupt Japan-China ties but it underscores the inevitable tensions as China's maritime ambitions grow

2010年9月5日 星期日

Japan’s Andy Warhol politics

" Japan’s Andy Warhol politics"可不是“旋转门” 這可能是誤譯

The perils of Japan’s Andy Warhol politics

Andy Warhol predicted that in the future everybody would be famous for 15 minutes. The Japanese are perfecting an even more egalitarian system under which everybody gets to spend 15 minutes as prime minister. Admittedly, it is still a work in progress. Naoto Kan has already clung on to the premiership for an unseemly three months. But with a little luck Ichiro Ozawa will defeat him in party elections later this month, edging Japan ever closer towards its 15-minute target.

安迪·沃霍尔(Andy Warhol)曾预言说,未来每个人都能成名15分钟。而日本实行一种更加平均主义的体制——每个人都能做15分钟首相。需要承认的是,这个体制尚在日臻 完善的过程中。菅直人(Naoto Kan)已经不体面地在首相的位置上恋栈了3个月,但在本月中旬的党内选举中,小泽一郎(Ichiro Ozawa)只要稍有运气就能击败菅直人,把日本朝向15分钟的目标再推进一步。

To be serious for a moment, in the two decades since the bubble burst, Japan has had no fewer than 14 prime ministers, twice the number that Italy managed over the same period. Since Junichiro Koizumi quit in 2006, Japanese leaders have averaged fewer than 12 months in office apiece. Far from stabilising the situation, the Democratic Party of Japan, which took over a year ago, has put the cycle into an even faster spin. If Mr Ozawa wins on September 14, he will be Japan’s third prime minister in 12 months.

言归正传,泡沫破灭以来的20年中,日本已经有过不下14位首相,是意大利同一段时间 内总理数量的两倍。小泉纯一郎(Junichiro Koizumi)2006年下台以来,日本领导人平均在任时间不足12个月。日本民主党(Democratic Party of Japan)去年上台以来,不仅远未稳定局面,反而加速了恶性循环。如果小泽9月14日获胜,他将成为日本12个月以来的第三位首相。

This Andy Warhol-style politics is hurting Japan in several ways. First, it is deeply unsettling for a population that has been told insistently that politicians are finally wresting power from Japan’s long-powerful bureaucrats. That was one of the themes of Mr Koizumi’s government. It is also an express aim of the Democratic party, which seeks to portray itself as a modern organisation responsive to public will. The public is entitled to ask: “Why on earth would we want these idiots in charge?”

这种安迪·沃霍尔风格的政治局面对日本造成了多方面的损害。首先,这种局面让国民极度 不安。一直以来,政客们都在向国民宣称,自己要从势力顽固的官僚体系手中夺回权力,这曾是小泉政府的主题之一,也是民主党的明确目标,民主党试图将自己描 绘成积极响应公众意志的现代组织。公众有权追问:“我们为什么要让这帮混蛋掌权?”

In theory, having elected politicians wrest power from the bureaucratic shadows ought to be a good thing. It would mark a break with the postwar system in which the public voted for a party (the Liberal Democrats) that cooked up policy behind closed doors. But in practice, politicians – because of infighting or allegations of corruption – are not around enough to enact a coherent agenda.

理论上,由选举产生的政客从尾大不掉的官僚体制手中夺回权力,应该是件好事。那将标志 着日本与战后体制决裂,这个体制便是公众投票给一个关起门来决定政策的政党(自民党)。但实际上,政客们由于内斗或腐败指控而无力推进连贯的政策议程。

With each prime minister comes a new direction. The Democratic party was elected a year ago on a “go-for-growth” platform of tax breaks and payments to households with children. However, when Mr Kan took over three months ago, he changed tack entirely. Instead, he decided that Japan must do something about its mountainous public debt. He scaled back spending promises and proposed doubling consumption tax to 10 per cent. If Mr Ozawa wins, he is likely to reverse the policy again. All this leaves the poor public with whiplash. Neither individuals nor businesses can sensibly plan their future, a state of affairs hardly conducive to encouraging the consumption or investment the country needs.

每一位首相都会带来新的政策方向。去年民主党当选,凭借的是“促进增长”的施政纲领, 包括减税并向有孩子的家庭提供补贴。然而菅直人3个月前接手时却完全改变了方针,他认为日本必须对堆积如山的公共债务采取措施。他压缩了支出承诺,还提议 将消费税翻倍,调高至10%。如果小泽胜出,政策可能还会再次逆转。这只能让可怜的公众无所适从。无论个人还是企业都无法明智地规划未来,这种局面很难促 进日本所需的消费或投资。

Second, permanent political revolution (in the washing machine, spin-cycle sense of the word) has an impact on other areas. Politicians are in danger of ceding control to the very bureaucrats they aspire to rein in. The Bank of Japan, for example, is arguably freer today to exercise policy independently than it has been in years. The Democratic party has been pressing it to ease monetary policy further or adopt more unconventional measures to tackle deflation. But the bank can simply shrug its shoulders and wait for the next premier to come along. This week it took what many economists consider to be token measures to kickstart economic activity (although the bank insists it is being aggressive by flattening the yield curve). One senior Japanese official likens the central bank to GHQ, a reference to General Douglas MacArthur’s postwar administration, which did pretty much what it liked.

其次,永久性的政坛“旋转门”还有其他方面的影响。政客正面临着把控制权退让给本欲降 服的官僚体系的危险,例如,与以往很多年相比,日本央行(Bank of Japan)如今可以说能够更加自由地独立执行政策。民主党一直在向央行施压,要求其放松货币政策,或采取更多非常规措施对付通缩。但是央行大可以耸耸 肩,等待下一任首相上台。最近,日本央行采取了被许多经济学家视为象征性的举措来刺激经济活动(尽管日本央行坚称,其通过把收益率压平,正在果敢作为)。 一位日本高官把央行比作驻日盟军最高司令官总司令部(GHQ),这个由道格拉斯·麦克阿瑟将军(General Douglas MacArthur)领导的战后行政机关,基本上可以为所欲为。

Third, political turmoil is affecting Japan’s international image. Japanese leaders must be among the more anonymous on the world stage. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazil’s president, floundered as he tried to recall the name of Japan’s last-but one prime minister. (Answer: Yukio Hatoyama.) “You say ‘good morning’ to one prime minister and ‘good afternoon’ to a different one,” was how he put it.

第三,政治动荡正在影响日本的国际形象。日本领导人在世界舞台上肯定是最不知名的一 批,巴西总统路易斯•伊纳西奥•卢拉•达•席尔瓦(Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva)努力回想日本上任首相的名字,却怎么也想不起来。答案:鸠山由纪夫(Yukio Hatoyama)。)他这样讲述:“你对一位首相说‘早上好’,对另一位首相说‘下午好’。”

The continual change of leadership has frustrated even close allies. Washington has been trying – and failing – to get an agreement with Tokyo about moving military bases on the southern island of Okinawa. With each new prime minister, the two sides slide back to square one. The tussle has been going on for more than a decade. Only last year, Tokyo lobbied Washington intensely to get then prime minister Taro Aso invited as the first foreign leader to meet Barack Obama. The meeting duly took place, but Mr Aso was gone within a few months, leaving many Washington insiders wondering what it had all been for.

即使是紧密盟友也对日本领导人的持续变动感到沮丧。华盛顿不断尝试与东京就搬迁冲绳 (日本的南方岛屿)军事基地的问题达成共识,但屡屡受挫。每当新首相上台,双方就会回到起点,这场拉锯战已经持续了超过十年。就在去年,东京积极游说华盛 顿,目的是让麻生太郎(Taro Aso)成为巴拉克·奥巴马(Barack Obama)会见的首位外国首脑。二人如期会面,但几个月后麻生太郎就下台了,让华盛顿许多圈内人士纳闷这一切有什么意义。

The situation is so dire that Japan – still one of the most prosperous and technologically advanced economies in the world – is now routinely underestimated. That goes not only for its international image. Perhaps more alarmingly, many of its own people seem resigned to being second best. A loss of confidence in leadership can be extremely debilitating. Countries need a sense of direction. Japan’s politicians are merely going round in circles.

日本仍是世界上最富裕、科技最发达的经济体之一,然而在这种严峻的情况下,该国现在经 常遭到低估。这不只是国际形象的问题,也许更值得警惕的是,很多日本人对屈居第二似乎已习以为常。对领导层失去信心可能是极其令人丧气的。国家需要方向 感,而日本政客只是在兜圈子。


2010年9月1日 星期三

chiro Ozawa and others


chiro Ozawa and others