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ジャパンタイムズに書いた記事

ジャパンタイムズ報道部記者時代に書いた英文記事です。外務省担当だった頃の記事が中心。

←1988/4/14内閣主催「桜を見る会」(新宿御苑)にて。首相官邸担当でした。

 

伊藤サムはペンネームです。サムはミシガン州の高校に留学していたときに付いたニックネームです。プロフィール

 

このサイトのホームに行く

このページの目次:
トップ
 言葉の壁 コスタリカ イラク人質事件(1985) ロビイスト ゴルバチョフ 霞ヶ関テロ 野党連立政権 南アフリカ   サミット レーガン モンゴル 伊東正義「本の表紙」 新人研修 香港返還 Globalization  最後に編集した紙面 
The Japan Times伊藤サムが書いた記事 英字新聞 英文記者 英語新聞 英語で書き、英語で報道 英語の世界 英語の世界 英語の世界 英語の世界 英語の世界 英語の世界 英語の世界 英語の世界 英語の世界 英語の世界 英語の世界 英語の世界 英語の世界 英語の世界 英語の世界 英語の世界 英語の世界 英語の世界 英語の世界 英語の世界 英語の世界 英語の世界 英語の世界  英語の世界

 

■笑える外国の教科書

駆け出し時代の記事です。外国の教科書が日本をどう描いているかについて。誤解が多いですが、とても鋭いものも。

1983/8/25 

-- At Collection of Japan Assembled at Maruzen –

Crowds Enjoy Reading Textbooks

School textbooks are fun to read - at least to the crowds of visitors jamming an exhibition of foreign school books containing descriptions of Japan at Maruzen in Tokyo's Nihonbashi.

The bookstore is displaying more than 100 history, geography and social studies textbooks on its third floor during Aug. 22-27.

The books are part of the 20,000-book collection assembled by the International Education Information Center. a subsidiary 'of the Foreign Ministry.

Since its inception in 1957, the center has been instrumental in correcting errors, exaggerations and misleading writing about Japan in foreign textbooks and encyclopedias in 81 nations by writing to their publishers and authors.

Some of the exhibited books contain errors. For example, a Japanese family wears 'zori' slippers In their house on New Year's Day in a cartoon in a Canadian book first published in 1974.

In a 1968 Lebanese book, Urashlma Taro, the folktale character, rides on a crocodile, instead of a turtle, as he goes down to the undersea palace of Princess Otohime, who is already married!

A 1977 Soviet book carries a photograph of a Shibuya street on a "pedestrians' paradise day" and explains "Cars are banned from this street in Tokyo in order to prevent air pollution." Maybe this is true.

Several other books at the exhibition have - outdated or stereotyped pictures" and descriptions, Including those on geisha (who are often confused with “oiran" prostitutes), harakiri (properly called seppuku), and rickshaw.

Many other textbooks, however, have abandoned the old-fashioned image of Japan and instead concentrate on modern Japan, although their descriptions are sometimes exaggerated.

Japan is an over-aggressive economic power where people are pushed into trains (or left out of them) by railroad staff during rush hours, in a 1972 American book.

Every Japanese child is plagued by air pollution in a 1977 Soviet textbook.

Some other books show remarkably bright observation on the Japanese:

A 1975 British book says, "The Japanese are such expert at dubbing (European and American films) that many Japanese children are under the impression that the whole world speaks Japanese!"

A 1971 American book: "In their leisure time, people here either do nothing - that is, take a nap -- or watch television, or do other things inside the house. There are fewer places to go, because of the population density. In the U.S., people go to the beach or the movies."

 

Caption: "The employer - the father figure. Arranging marriages, housing, holiday , medical services and pension of the employees are all entrusted to his hands. A Japanese usually devotes his entire life to one firm, because he knows that time, rather than ability, brings him promotions," says a 1975 British textbook. 


■「言葉の壁」で日米摩擦

トップ 言葉の壁 コスタリカ 人質 ロビイスト ゴルバチョフ サミット レーガン モンゴル 新人研修 香港返還 Globalization  

言葉の壁から生じる日米摩擦。こういった体験から週刊ST「これであなたも英文記者」課題などが生まれています。

英語の「同じことをどんどん言い換える」現象(日本語では一つの決まり文句を何度でも使う)はいろいろな誤解を引き起こします。これは『英文記事の読み方』第7章で説明しました。

「その件は難しい」をimpossibleと説明した私の記事がもとで、米代表団が激怒。日米木材関税交渉は決裂しました。これは『ネイティブに通じる英語の書き方』第7章で説明しました。

そういった例を解説したのがこの記事です。

■Language barrier slowing down 
Japan-U.S. trade negotiations

The Japan Times 1985/3/15/p3 

Language barriers are hard to crack even when excellent interpreters are available. The Japan-U.S. trade talks under way in Tokyo prove this point.

One of the four subdivisions of the talks, which aims to increase American access to Japan's telecommunications market, was cut short Wednesday after only two hours of discussion, following the conviction by some Japanese officials that the Americans had suddenly changed their demands on crucial issues, which were first put forth during the last meeting on March 5.

What appeared to be new American demands were actually mere rephrasing of the old ones, to which Japanese negotiators headed by Vice Minister for Posts and Telecommunications Moriya Koyama were ready to give a few nods, according to a senior Foreign Ministry official.

Changing expressions every time the same subject comes up in writing or speech, such as saying "pictures" instead of "photographs," is an important technique in the English-language world, which makes the writer or speaker look like an intelligent person with a rich vocabulary. 

Rephrasing, however, is not common in the Japanese language. Few thesauri have been published in Japan to prove the point.

"The American side used different expressions (for the same thing at the Wednesday meeting). Then the Japanese officials became cautious (against saying 'yes' for an answer)," a senior Foreign Ministry official who attended the meeting said.

"I told (Koyama and other bewildered Japanese officials) that I think what the Americans were saying were only rephrasing of what they said earlier." the official: who understands English perfectly as a diplomat, said.

"But they wouldn't agree. So l figured this meeting would be meaningless and suggested that we postpone it.

"If the Americans had made their statements with the same expressions as in the last meeting, we could have said 'yes' (to certain demands).

"In fact, every time the Americans come to a meeting, they say the same things differently. Even among themselves, they use a mélange of different expressions for the same thing'," he added.

The rephrasing of the American requests, some of them asking Japan to decontrol advanced value-added-network services, bewildered Koyama and postponed the Wednesday meeting for one day. The deadline on the Nakasone government's pledge to liberalize Japan's telecommunications market is April 1, when the giant Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Public Corporation (NTT) is denationalized.

If the Japanese and American negotiators keep postponing the telecommunications talks, as they have done, the deadline may end up being just another April Fool's Day.

Besides rephrasing, ambiguous Japanese words are another example of language barriers that tend to complicate Japan's international negotiations involving itself.

When a Japanese politician says something is "muzukashii" or "konnan" (difficult) in answer to requests, Japanese take it almost intuitively as a sign of polite refusal.

English-speaking people, however, may be led to think the statesman may challenge the task, which is not easy but not unattainable.

Because of this, less misunderstanding will result from international meetings if interpreters are allowed to translate "muzukashii" into "impossible."

Since interpreters are required to produce word-for-word translations during political talks, for intended accuracy, confusions develop between nations.

The Japan-U.S. trade talks in the field of forest products trade are a case in point.

The negotiations on this particular issue should have taken place several times by now. But the meeting was held only once, on Feb. 25, and even an agreement on the next conference date is nowhere in sight.

The Feb. 25 meeting ended in a "sort of a rupture,” in the words of one key Japanese official, after the U.S. negotiators discovered that the Japanese would not lower tariffs.

Japan had promised to discuss trade liberalization on lumber, the U.S. side argued at the meeting.

The Japanese officials argued back. They said Japan had agreed to discuss the matter, but that Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone told President Ronald Reagan in a Los Angeles meeting Jan. 2 that reducing lumber tariffs is "difficult." (All the recent trade talks derive from the New Year summit.)

Learning that the Japanese officials were willing to "discuss" the issue but reluctant to reduce the tariffs, the American negotiators, who had flown all the way from across the Pacific, were offended .

Pressed for an explanation by the Americans later, a Japanese official said. "Difficult means impossible. But we don't use the word impossible because if we do, that will be the end of diplomacy."

The Americans have not flown back since.

 


■コスタリカ大統領をインタビュー
トップ 言葉の壁 コスタリカ 人質 ロビイスト ゴルバチョフ サミット レーガン モンゴル 新人研修 香港返還 Globalization 

戦力不保持を憲法に明文化した国は日本だけではありません。中米のコスタリカは軍事費ゼロ、アメリカからの基地要請も認めません。国家予算の4分の1を教育費に当てているそうです。

Costa Rican President Criticizes
Reagan’s Nicaragua Embargo

The Japan Times, May 26, 1985, Page 1

Costa Rican President Luis Alberto Monge said in Tokyo Saturday he "cannot approve of" the U.S. economic embargo on Nicaragua imposed by President Ronald Reagan May 7, because it hurts the Central American economy and violates several international agreements.

Monge, on a six-day visit to Japan, also said the Central American conflicts centering on Nicaragua can only be solved through efforts to promote dialogues in the area, such as those by the four-nation Contadora Group.

Monge called for stepped-up Japanese support for the Contadora group. Costa Rica, an unarmed nation bordering on Nicaragua, is known as a staunch supporter of the Contadora. "Costa Rica agrees with the U.S. that dialogues are necessary between the (Marxist Sandinista) government of Nicaragua and the antigovernment (guerrilla) forces . . . but we cannot approve of the economic embargo . . . because it destroys the Central American Common Market," Monge said at his Tokyo hotel in an interview with The Japan Times.

"And these sanction measures violate several international agreements. We cannot follow the (U.S.) line," he said.

President Reagan abruptly cut off $58 million in U.S. imports from Nicaragua in an attempt to pressure the Sandinista government into beginning democratic reforms, after Congress repeatedly refused to provide aid for Nicaraguan rebels. Commentators have said a total embargo would actually push the Sandinistas even closer to the Soviet Union and Cuba.

"I don't think these (embargo) measures have such an effect. Nicaragua was totally pro-Soviet even before the measures were taken,” Monge said.

He said many difficulties and

Continued on Page 6

 


■イラク人質事件(1985)

2004年4月の日本人イラク人質事件が起きたとき、私が関わった1985年の同様な事件を思い出しました。人質を取ったゲリラの要求により、やむなく書いた記事です。週刊ST連載「これであなたも英文記者」にて、この経緯を課題にして出題しました(04/5)。

同様の人質事件が起こるたびに思い出す事件です。例:「「イスラム国」、日本人2人を人質か 殺害を警告」朝日2015/1

日本語エッセイ「人質事件での苦い経験」(NHKサイト)

July 5, 1985  Page 3

Japan to Keep Up Iraq Talks

On Release of NEC Hostages

The Foreign Ministry said Thursday it will continue its negotiations through the Iraqi government in a bid to obtain the release of two Japanese radio technicians held hostage by Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq since April 7.

A rebel spokesman said in Athens Wednesday the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) , one of the two Kurdish rebel groups in Iraq, had released 22 foreigners held hostage for months, but not the two Japanese workers of an NEC Corp.-affiliated firm stationed in Iraq.

The PUK's demands, although unclear, include commitments by the Japanese government and Japanese firms not to engage in military or related projects in Iraqi Kurdistan , and to urge the Iraqi government to stop repressing the rebels' independence movements.

The Japanese government and firms have not been engaged in any foreign military projects since the end of World War II because of the nation's self-defense-only national policies.

According to the ministry, the two Japanese were abducted by the rebels April 7 while they were on their way by car to carry out maintenance work on some radio equipment in northern Iraq.

The ministry has confirmed, from various sources, that the two men are safe, healthy, and have been treated as "guests" in Kurdish villages.

 A few Japanese workmen were almost kidnapped in 1982 in the area. Later in the year, one NEC worker was abducted but was released a week later before the Japanese government had taken any action, ministry officials said.

In all previous abductions carried out by PUK, none of the hostages have been killed or harmed, according to the ministry.

The Kurds are a mountain people who themselves claim to be the descendents of the ancient Medes. Their homeland is now divided between Turkey , Iraq and Iran, with enclaves of Kurds also in Syria and the Soviet Union .

The Kurdish-Iraqi war of 1970 led to an agreement to allow the Kurds limited autonomy, but this was not fully implemented and warfare broke out again in 1974 .  

......関連記事が続く。


■→日本人人質ついに解放

September 13, 1985   Page 3

2 Japanese Released by Kurdish Rebels

Two Japanese radio technicians held hostage by Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq since April were released Wednesday and will return to Tokyo in a few days, the Foreign Ministry and their employers said Thursday.

Reports to the ministry from its Iraqi embassy in Baghdad said the guerrillas of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) released Tomoki Koga, a 23-year-old employee of NEC System Construction Corp. and Hideyuki Yamamoto, 30, of Sankyu Denki Co. Ltd., to embassy officials.

The two firms belong to a group of firms led by NEC Corp.

The two men were abducted by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), a KDPI-related group, on April 7 while, they were on their way by car to carry out maintenance work on radio communications facilities in northern Iraq .

The ministry had confirmed from various sources that the two were unharmed, healthy, and had been treated as "guests" in Kurdish villages.

PUK has also abducted several foreign residents in the area in the past to publicize its independence movement. In all the previous abductions carried out by PUK, none of the hostages have been killed or harmed, according to the ministry.

PUK's demands for the release, although unclear, included commitments by the Japanese government and firms not to engage in military-related projects in Iraqi Kurdistan, and to press Iraq to discontinue its "harsh and repressive" policies against the Kurds.

Ministry officials said Thursday Japan has informed the rebels that Japan had already fulfilled these conditions as a nation which has appealed for peace on various occasions.

Another demand by PUK was to have a major English-language newspaper in Japan to carry an article and a photo on the rebels' activities.

The Foreign Ministry and NEC requested The Japan Times on July 4 to carry such an article and to keep the demand a secret.

The Japan Times basically agreed to the requests, to secure the safety of the two hostages. It printed a relatively large article on the hostage incident in its July 5 issue, without any photo. Part of the article, a rebel announcement in Athens on release of 22 non-Japanese hostages, had been scheduled for publication before the government and NEC requests were made.

Several organizations, such as the International Red Cross, have made mediation efforts for release of the Japanese and other hostages.

The two Japanese technicians released Wednesday were later questioned by Iraqi authorities. They are now in Baghdad and will be coming home shortly, ministry and NEC officials said.

Both the Foreign Ministry and NEC announced Thursday they are extremely glad over the news of the release. The ministry added that the abduction was an "extremely inhuman" act and hopes such an incident will not be repeated in the future.

In past cases, a few Japanese workmen were almost kidnapped in 1982 in northern Iraq . Later in the year, one NEC worker was abducted but was released a week later, before the Japanese government had taken any action, according to the ministry.  

■読者の声 

久しぶりにサムさんのHPへ行って、人質の記事を拝見してきました。事情を知った上で読んだので、熱いものがこみ上げてきました。 岐阜県・加藤理恵子さん04/6/18(ST「英文記者」出題直後)

今朝、イラクで韓国人の人質の方が殺されたという報道を耳にしました。何て残虐なことでしょうね。20年前の人質事件の際には、サムさんも人命の関わった、責任の重い記事を書かれることになり、その時の困惑、苦悩が如何ばかりだったか、(ST)今週号で知ることができました。でもその甲斐あって、この時は人質が無事解放されてよかったです。ペンの力は強しですね。   埼玉県・田中和子さん 04/6/23




■ロビイストが日米摩擦に火をつける?

トップ 言葉の壁 コスタリカ 人質 ロビイスト ゴルバチョフ サミット レーガン モンゴル 新人研修 香港返還 Globalization 

1986年、外務省霞倶楽部ジャパンタイムズ席にて

■Lobbyists reap windfall from U.S.-Japan trade friction

The Japan Times 86/2/24p1

日本政府や企業が米国で雇っているロビイスト問題についての調査報道。日本企業がいいカモです。こっそり火をつけてから日本企業に「消火は当社にお任せを」と売りこむ「マッチポンプ」もいます。ロビイストに年額なんと $14,294,000も支払うそうです。

The Japan-U.S. "trade friction" has been a bonanza for Washington lobbyists for the last two decades, but they may face decreased profits now that the Japanese government has started to advise corporations to check carefully before hiring or paying exorbitant fees to these "hired guns. "

Talk of Japanese corporations being "easy game" for some of the less creditable consulting firms in the U.S. has been going on for some time. This was one of the biggest topics when all the top-level diplomats stationed across the U.S., including Ambassador Nobuo Matsunaga, met in late January to discuss Japan's public relations strategy toward the United States.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Yoshio Hatano, who went to Washington for the special meeting, was among those who deplored the naive nature of the Japanese corporations which have hired lobbyists to try to ensure that Congress does not block their exports.

According to officials, Hatano said that many of the corporations are just "dancing to their (lobbyists') tunes." The lobbyists - big-name lawyers, consulting firms, former politicians and government officials - collect intelligence, give advise and help influence Congress and the administration.

While they are a necessity and some of them are quite good, others try to get hired by first creating problems through such means as anonymous and excessive public accusations that Japan is engaging in unfair trade practices. They then offer help to Japanese corporations for exorbitant fees, Hatano was quoted by officials as saying at the meeting.

Japanese diplomats believe a certain American public relations firm, which in a major campaign repeated through various media that "Japan has unfair trade practices" over and over again like in a TV commercial last spring, is responsible for forcing that impression on many Americans.

The PR firm was at that time hired by an American computer company. The Washington meeting decided that the ministry and the embassy will, upon enquiry, advise Japanese firms on which consulting firms to choose and what to expect of them. So far, about 15 firms have called for advice, according to one official.

"Corporations from other countries would require their American lobbyists to report their activities in detail, and give specific instructions on what to do and who to meet. Japanese business managers, however, only say 'Nanka attara yoroshiku,' (Please handle problems when they occur) and do not check on their activities," a high ministry official said.

"And they pay from 10 to 20 times the amount the Foreign Ministry pays to its consultants," he added. According to records at the U.S. Justice Department, at least $14,294,000 was spent for lobbying activities by Japanese government agencies and firms, such as Toyota, Nissan and Sony, in 1984. The sum was the biggest among foreign nations.

Millions more are said to be spent on lobbying and related activities for which reporting is not required.

To show a good example, the ministry itself may reduce its spending on the American consultants, another high official said recently. Other officials said, however, that it will only seek a more effective use of them, without reducing the cost.

Officials claimed the Japanese Embassy in Washington does not hire any lobbyists for direct negotiations with Congress members. "The embassy hires public relations consultants, not lobbyists as such. The consultants write speeches (in English) for the diplomats, brief us on the economic situation in the U.S. collect reference materials, and serve as brains," one official said.

The embassy hires more than 10 such individual or corporate consultants and pay nearly $2 million per year, according to registration documents at the U.S. Justice Department. The exact amount cannot be determined because the expenses are buried in a secret diplomatic budget item which the ambassador can use to obtain outside help.

... (中略)

Lobbyists hired by the embassy include William Fulbright and other former Congressmen. One factor which apparently made it psychologically easier for the ministry to criticize lobbying firms is that Gray & Company, one of the best known in the field, has angered governing Liberal-Democratic Party Vice President Susumu Nikaido.

Nikaido used the firm, according to a source, to try to get an appointment to see President Ronald Reagan when he visited Washington last October. Gray was not very useful, and what's worse, he demanded that Nikaido submit a list of possible Japanese market-opening policies he could bring to please Reagan.

"Why do I have to bring (political souvenirs when I want to see Reagan," an angry Nikaido was quoted as saying by the source.

Ambassador Matsunaga scrambled to get the appointment himself, and Nikaido decided not to use Gray again.

The American firm, however, was paid $246,000 for handling his U.S. visit. The government has also been worried about increasing coverage in U.S. media of the Japan lobby and a move by some Congressmen to bar former high-level federal employees from representing foreign interests.

It hopes these developments do not turn into an issue resembling the Koreagate scandal of the late 1970s.

       Early Lobbying a Failure

  It has been more than two decades since Japan started to use lobbyists. In an early case, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), an arm of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, in 1959 hired Thomas Dewey, the former New York governor who lost a presidential race against Harry Truman by a slim margin in 1948.

In a then-secret contract, Dewy was paid $100,000 per year to calm down Congress after it threatened to impose surcharges on imported cotton-made clothing from Japan -- Japan's largest export item at the time.

Japan lost in this early phase of the bilateral trade war and made a humiliating concession, "voluntarily" limiting exports of cotton products to the U.S. in 1961.

Despite the failure, JETRO, or rather the MITI, still uses many lobbyists today, including Frank Church, former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. One of the biggest lobbyist organizations for Japan was the U.S.-Japan Trade Council, an organ of the Foreign Ministry inaugurated in Washington in 1956.

It spent more than $500,000 per annum for direct and indirect lobbying. The Justice Ministry filed a complaint in 1976, charging that this organization's misleading name has covered up the nature of its activities. The council admitted later in the year that it is an agent for Japan, and has changed its name to the Japan Economic Institute.

Much of the lobbying activities have been shrouded in secrecy. Breaking with this tradition, a Japanese firm publicized its contract with William Colby in 1978.

It turned out that the firm was trying to attract customers who would pay it to hear the former Central Intelligence Agency chief's opinions of the various American lobbyists. He can tell customers if the lobbyists they are hiring are good, and if the fees are not too high, the firm advertized. 

 


■ソ連にゴルバチョフ登場、日ソ関係も進展か
トップ 言葉の壁 コスタリカ 人質 ロビイスト ゴルバチョフ サミット レーガン モンゴル 新人研修 香港返還 Globalization 

1986.6クレムリン脇の寺院にて。


↑よく見ると、のちの安倍晋三首相が写っている貴重な一枚。安倍晋太郎外相(中央)と同行記者団が、訪ソ完了後にモスクワ大使館にて記念撮影。息子である安倍晋三・外相秘書官の顔が左奥に写っている(左側の柱のすぐ右、一番奥の顔。柱の陰なので暗い)

 

ソ連は長年、停滞していました。高齢で病弱な独裁指導者の時代が続きました。そこに登場した若くてエネルギッシュな西欧型リーダー。世界にとって衝撃でした。実際、ゴルバチョフ氏は半世紀続いた冷戦を終結させ、世界から核戦争の恐怖が遠のいたのです。でも、勢い余ってソ連自身を崩壊させてしまったのも彼です。

略年表
帝政ロシアが3世紀続く(いわば江戸幕府)→革命
レーニン1917-22  革命で世界初の社会主義国を樹立
スターリン1922-53:
 一国社会主義/大粛清/独裁/独ソ戦勝利の英雄/冷戦/以後「スターリン体制」と呼ばれる独裁体制がソ連崩壊まで続く
フルシチョフ 52-64 スターリン批判、のち失脚
ブレジネフ 19
64-82 ソ連停滞
アンドロポフ82-84 改革図るが病死
チェルネンコ84-85
Gorbachev 85/3-91
 ペレストロイカ 冷戦終結→核戦争恐怖遠のく
91/12 ソ連崩壊ロシア(Boris Yeltsin)が継承  Dec. 8, 1991 - Russia, Belorussia and Ukraine create the Commonwealth of Independent States and declare the Soviet Union no longer exists; Gorbachev announces his resignation Dec. 25.
ロシア(Boris Yeltsin)が継承
2000/1 プーチン大統領 Vladimir Putin


ゴルバチョフ登場後の変化をみて安倍晋太郎外相は訪ソを決定。ジャパンタイムズは記者を同行させました。ゴルバチョフ総書記やシェバルゼナッゼ外相(後にグルジア大統領)との会談などをカバーしました。
モスクワは通信事情が悪く、記事を日本へパソコンで送信するのは大変でした。盗聴もされていたようです。パソコン送信やファックスの「ピー〜〜」という音が電話線を介して流れると、オペレーターが回線を切ってしまうのにも困りました。なんとか送信した一つがこの記事です。

■Gorbachev will consider request for grave visits
Territorial talks still at impasse

The Japan Times, June 1, 1986 

MOSCOW - The Soviet Union has promised to give positive consideration to a Japanese request that former residents of the Soviet-held northern islands be allowed to visit their family graves there without Soviet visas.

A joint communiqué issued Saturday at the conclusion of the Japan-Soviet foreign ministerial consultations said that the Soviet Union was ready to "positively" deal with the problem.

The communiqué touched in a very vague way on the longtime Japanese demand for reversion of the northern islands off Hokkaido.

The two countries will take up the territorial issue during the next ministerial talks in Tokyo.

Thus the statement confirmed what Abe and Shevardnadze agreed during their talks in Tokyo in January.

The communiqué did not give any details of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's promise to give positive consideration to ...以下長いので略


霞ヶ関にロケット弾、プレスも「突撃!」

米高官の外務大臣表敬を取材するため、記者やテレビクルーが外務省4階に集結していました。そこに「過激派が外務省前でロケット弾発射」の第一報が飛び込みます。もう高官取材どころではありません! 各社はすぐさまテロ現場へ走ります。米高官が外務省玄関に到着したとき、おりしもプレスが自分めがけてドドドと突進してきました。

1986/10/15 
Bombs or the Press: 
‘Attacks’ Startle Envoy

Perhaps one of the most startled people regarding a bombing attempt at the Foreign Ministry and other buildings Tuesday evening was Edward Rowny, U.S. President Ronald Reagan's envoy who had just arrived from Iceland to brief Japan about the superpower summit.

Several projectiles were fired from a sedan parked in Kasumigaseki only minutes before Rowny arrived at the ministry's front gate.

At the news, about 30 press photographers and TV crewmen who had assembled in a ministry room to cover Rowny's session with Foreign Minister Tadashi Kuranari rushed out of the building.

The throng ran at top speed toward Rowny and his aides, who were about to walk into the ministry's front entrance, and swerved to the right to head for the scene without realizing they had passed the American guests.

The press, most of them unable to spot the projectile, quickly ran back and were in time for the Rowny-Kuranari session. One projectile had landed on a street outside the ministry.


■リクルート事件、野党連立政権に現実味 (JT Weekly) JTW 99/4/29

  

Coalition chances best in years

But many experts question ability of 
opposition parties to eliminate differences 
and form working alliance 

For the first time in three decades, Japan's opposition parties -- long ridiculed as the "eternal opposition" -- have found themselves with a good chance of taking over the government. 

The ever-widening Recruit case has led to arrests of more than a dozen on bribery charges and prompted politicians to propose anti-corruption reforms. The scandal's real impact on society, however, has yet to be felt and may well be a historic one. 
Seeing that voters are increasingly distrustful of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, the opposition has predicted they can finally wrest power from the allegedly corrupt LDP. The results will be known after the next general election, which must be called by the summer of 1990. 
"Japanese politics is now in its most important phase in the last 30 or 40 years," Chairwoman Takako Doi of the No.1 opposition Japan Socialist Party said to party members in a recent pep speech.

Early Stages 

In early April, the JSP, Komeito, the Democratic Socialist Party, and Shaminren announced the start of consultations for an opposition coalition government. If that ever comes into power, Doi will be the first female prime minister of Japan. 
The four-party talks are in their early stages and difficulties remain. Some observers see them largely as a publicity game. But theoretically, they can grab power if they can unite and perhaps get a little help from sympathizers in the LDP. 
Meanwhile, melancholy has swept through the LDP. Prospects for future Diet elections are very bad, as the Recruit case and the new consumption tax have dragged the party's public approval rates to record low levels. 

LDP Crisis 

According to a Kyodo News Service poll of mid-April, support for the LDP plummeted to 24.1 percent, while the four non-communist opposition parties enjoyed a total of 37 percent. Most of the rest of the respondents said they do not support any party. 
If the poll translates into election results, the LDP is certain to lose its Diet majority. "The LDP now faces its biggest crisis since its inauguration (in 1955). And more importantly, we face a crisis _of the free-economy system," Seiichiro Murakami of the LDP said. 
Fear of election losses are especially strong among younger LDP members, such as the 36-year-old Murakami, whose re-election prospects were already unpredictable before the advent of Recruit. 
In an attempt to improve their public image, LDP members have launched a total of seven organizations, some with opposition members, which call for anti-corruption reforms. 
For the opposition side, the Recruit investigation developments since autumn and the April 1 imposition of the 3-percent consumption tax have generally been good news, as they probably mean fewer votes for the LDP. 
Thirteen LDP members are known to have directly or indirectly received cheap pre-flotation shares of Recruit Cosmos Co. Opposition casualties are lower, at four. 

Fair Wind 

To take advantage of the "fair wind," the four opposition parties announced their coalition government plans in late March. On April 7, party heads met in Kyoto for a discussion. In a joint statement issued afterwards, they hailed the "historic" meeting as "the first concrete step for stopping the LDP's long and dictatorial rule. " 
Senior officials of the four parties are now consulting on coalition specifics, and have reported that work is going smoothly. 
"When we discussed a coalition 20 years ago, the meetings had to be separated into two groups, one between the Socialist Party and Komeito, and the other between Komeito and the DSP. The JSP and the DSP refused to sit at the same table because of policy gaps," Komeito Secretary-General Naohiko

Continued on Page 6 

    Friction between factions seems to be dissipating
    Major obstacles over defense, nuclear power 
    and foreign policy still exist, which are precisely
    the same reasons efforts to form a coalition failed 
     in the past, critics say 

 

Continued from Page 4 
Okubo said in a recent news conference. "At that time, there was much friction and the negotiators were not happy. But today, representatives of all the parties sit at one table, smiling. " 
This time, they share the same table and indeed appear eager to join hands. But observers have pointed out that behind the facade of solidarity, the four are evidently not very serious about a coalition. 

Policy Gaps 

Primarily, the leaders could not reach any breakthrough in Kyoto on policy coordination. Explains a senior JSP official, who spoke on condition of anonymity: "The four are aware that they can only agree to discuss, and that's the end. Because if they really search for a common policy, they will find nothing. " 
That was exactly why the opposition parties failed to form a coalition in the past. 
Major obstacles to a coalition are disagreements over defense, nuclear power and foreign policy. 
For instance, the JSP considers the Self-Defense Forces unconstitutional and opposes the Japan-U.S. mutual defense treaty. The DSP takes a firm stand on the opposite side: these are the very differences that 29 years ago caused several JSP men to bolt and form the DSP. 

Conflicts

Komeito's policy stands somewhere between these two parties. The policy gaps reflect the conflicting interests of the trade unions and other groups that fund and support the parties. LDP leaders do not think the opposition can bury their differences. LDP Secretary-General Shintaro Abe said that is "next to impossible." Former Vice Premier Shin Kanemaru cynically described the Kyoto conference a "meeting of (four) wild monkeys." 
The Japan Communist Party -- the only opposition party left out of the coalition talks -- said they are "merely propaganda in advance of upcoming elections. " 
Still, the four parties maintain that a coalition is possible this time, since they are going to agree to disregard the policy gaps for a while and stress what little they can agree on. 
Even so, an opposition coalition is not considered by most observers to be realistic. For one thing, the LDP will certainly seek to form a coalition with Komeito and/or DSP if it loses the majority. The LDP formed a coalition in late 1983 with the miniparty New Liberal Club, made up of members who had bolted from the LDP. Most of them later returned to their home party.

Invitation 

Some opposition officials say they will not consider an LDP-opposition coalition, but instead invite LDP members to quit and join the opposition coalition. 
What happens if the coalition actually takes over? 
The opposition parties say there will be "clean politics," less taxes and bigger pension payments. 
Things will not change much, in the Communist Party's view. It has said that the other four opposition parties have become conservative over the years. Others, including LDP's Abe, foresee economic as well as political "confusion." 
A senior government official said: "If Takako Doi becomes prime minister, the stock market will crash and the economy will be shaky." 

Confusion 

Some predict that such confusion would force Doi to call an election in a half-year or so, only to see the LDP return to power. 
If Doi becomes prime minister, she would be the second socialist premier of Japan. 
The JSP's Tetsu Katayama formed a coalition with two conservative parties in 1947. He was in power only eight months, as he was pressured to quit amid controversies over a bill to nationalize the coal industry. Since then, all the Japanese premiers have belonged to what is now the LDP. 


■スクープ: 日本、南アフリカ政策転換へ

南アフリカではアパルトヘイト(人種隔離)時代が長く続きました。白人支配と闘うANC(アフリカ民族会議)は白人政府によって非合法化され、マンデラ元議長は投獄されていました。私も南アフリカ大使館から「ANCは極悪非道のテロ団体。絶対に支持しないでほしい」と何度も頼まれました。
日本は少しずつANCを支持するようになり、風向きが変わってきました。
1987年4月、当時の中曽根首相が当時の議長と直接会見。日本によるANC認知です。
Feb. 2, 1990 - South African President F.W. de Klerk ends the ban on the African National Congress and nine days later Nelson Mandela, the world's most celebrated political prisoner, is released from jail after 27 years.
1991 アパルトヘイト撤廃 
94. 4 multiracial election 初の全人種参加選挙 →マンデラ大統領 人種和解を進める →欧州人の最後のアフリカ支配終わる

1987/4/3? Nakasone to meet ANC Tambo

Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone will meet African National Congress Chairman Oliver Tambo during Tambo's visit to Tokyo from April 19 to 24, a senior Foreign Ministry official said Thursday.

Tambo will also meet with Foreign Minister Tadashi Kuranari on April 20 and will deliver a speech to the Japanese public later in the day.

The ANC, South Africa's oldest anti-apartheid group, has been banned by Pretoria since 1960. Its headquarters are in Lusaka, Zambia.

The Foreign Ministry official said Nakasone's unofficial meeting with Tambo does not signal any fundamental change in Japan's policy toward South Africa, but that it would "certainly bring up the international status of the ANC."

Helping Nakasone's image

The meeting is also expected to help Nakasone's image. The prime minister's comment last September on the intelligence of American minorities caused a furor in the States.

The Foreign Ministry planned the Tambo visit after Kuranari decided to meet in Tokyo last September with South African Foreign Minister Roelof "Pik" Botha. The ministry was also reportedly moved by unexpectedly low support for Japan in October's election of non-permanent members to the U.N. Security Council, which reflected the view of several nations that Japan was too soft on apartheid.

Japan was elected with 107 votes, the lowest among the five elected states


■東京で主要国サミット開催
トップ 言葉の壁 コスタリカ ロビイスト ゴルバチョフ サミット レーガン モンゴル 新人研修 香港返還 Globalization 


サミット終了後、記者会見席で記念撮影。終わってホッとしています。
どんな記事を書いたかは、忘れてしまいました!

1986/4/24 元赤坂の迎賓館にて事前取材。記念撮影をしていたら、NTVの布施記者が駆け寄ってきて一緒にパチリ。よく取材で助けてもらいました。


■ホワイトハウスで日米首脳会談
トップ 言葉の壁 コスタリカ ロビイスト ゴルバチョフ サミット レーガン モンゴル 新人研修 香港返還 Globalization 

1987年、中曽根総理訪米に同行取材。


ワシントン滞在中はひたすら仕事。超高級Madison Hotelに泊まりましたが、食事はほとんどカップラーメンですませ働きました。
よく覚えているのは、帰りの特別機の機内。エコノミー席の列に横になって眠りました。

故・レーガン大統領のご冥福を祈ります。

 

■Further decline in dollar 
called counterproductive

The Japan Times, May 2, 2987

WASHlNGTON - U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone agreed Friday that a further decline in the U.S. dollar would be "counterproductive" to the economic growth of both countries and to their efforts to reduce bilateral trade imbalances.

In a joint statement following two rounds of talks, the two leaders reaffirmed the need for both governments to cooperate closely to foster exchange market stability. Thus, they gave their full endorsement to the G-7 accords reached in Paris in February and in Washington in April.

Although the joint statement did not refer to the bilateral semiconductor trade dispute, Reagan said in separate press remarks that he had agreed with Nakasone to reexamine related trade data in mid-May.

He added that his government wants to withdraw the retaliatory measures it imposed last month against three Japanese export items as early as possible.

Reagan also said that he had strongly urged Nakasone to provide increased access for American agricultural products to the Japanese market.

He said that the two leaders, who held talks on Thursday and Friday, had agreed to take up the issues of agricultural trade, Third-World debtor nations and macroeconomic policy coordination at the summit meeting of seven major industrial democracies scheduled for June in Venice.

The Reagan-Nakasone joint statement also said that the reduction of the bilateral trade imbalance should be a key objective of the two countries' policy efforts.

They described the imbalance as "politically unsustainable."

"The president and prime minister agreed that outstanding trade issues between the two countries need to be resolved expeditiously," the statement said.

Reagan reiterated his determination, in the joint statement, to firmly resist protectionist pressures in the United States and to reduce the U.S. budget deficit. In return, Nakasone pledged increased Japanese efforts to stimulate domestic growth. ...以下略

帰りの機中で。


■クレムリンで日ソ首脳会談
トップ 言葉の壁 コスタリカ ロビイスト ゴルバチョフ サミット レーガン モンゴル 新人研修 香港返還 Globalization 

再びモスクワへ出張。クレムリン内は、暗殺を避けるためか迷路だらけの設計になっています。あちこち歩き、ゴルバチョフ大統領執務室へたどり着きました。宇野総理(故人)との会談などをカバー。
以下の記事は、直後にモンゴルで書いた、中ソ関係正常化についての記事です。

 

 

 

■Soviets set pullback date 
for China-border troops

The Japan Times, May 7, 1989, Page One

ULAN BATOR -A planned withdrawal of some 41,000 Soviet troops from the Chinese border of Mongolia will begin May 15, the first day of a scheduled Sino-Soviet summit, Mongolian leader Jambyn Batmunkh said Saturday.

Batmunkh disclosed the date in a meeting with visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Sousuke Uno, a Japanese Foreign Ministry official said late Saturday.

The pullout was apparently timed to coincide with the start of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's trip to Beijing.

Gorbachev and Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping are to meet in Beijing on May 15 and 16 for a historic summit that could end nearly three decades of hostility between the two communist giants. The troop withdrawal had been one of three conditions set by China for a normalization of relations with the Soviet Union.

The Soviet and Mongolian governments announced in March that 75 percent of the 55,000-strong Soviet force in Mongolia - including five divisions - would be withdrawn by the end of 1990. The exact date the pullback would start, however, had not been revealed.

During talks Saturday with Uno, the Mongolian leader pledged broader ties with the West, citing a need for "expanded relations with the capitalist countries" as the nation embarks on economic and social reform.

In separate talks with Mongolia's foreign minister, Tserenpiliyn Gombosuren, Uno pledged grants from Japan totaling \60 million in fiscal year 1989.

Mongolia would like to see Japan become "a second partner," behind only the Soviet Union. Gombosuren told Uno, and the Japanese minister emphasized Japan's desire to "turn a new leaf" in bilateral relations.

In addition to the grant, of which \10 million will be earmarked for medical equipment and \50 million for audio-visual equipment, Japan will send an economic assistance team to the border nation to explain Japan's foreign aid program, according to the Japanese spokesman.

Mongolian Prime Minister Dumaagijn Sodnom accepted an invitation from Uno for a visit to Japan, the official said, perhaps as early as December.

Uno was also told that Japanese requests to lift restrictions on diplomatic travel in Mongolia, including visits by Japanese nationals to the graves of relatives, would be "responded to favorably."

 


■伊東正義:「本の表紙」発言

1989年、首相官邸担当になってまもなく、リクルート事件で竹下首相が退陣表明。

これにより故・伊東正義さんが首相に推される見通しとなったとき、懇談に挨拶なしに入りこんでいたら、番記者と党職員とごたごた。
やむを得ないのでやる気をアピールしてすべての手続きをこなし、いったん受け入れられた後は、逆になにもかもスムーズに。

スキャンダル後なので、清廉イメージの伊東さん(外相、官房長官を歴任し、当時総務会長、75歳)は後継総裁の本命となり、本人がイエスとさえ言えば就任できる状況に。

5月9日の記者会見では、彼のまん前に席を取りました。国会内の部屋での会見なので、距離は1メートルぐらい。
他社は会見ではずばり聞かない流儀のようなので、私が聞いてみると、「本の表紙だけ変えてもダメ」と答え、首相就任を固辞。

 

というわけで、故・宇野宗佑さんが首相に就任。


ジャパンタイムズ新入社員研修
トップ 言葉の壁 コスタリカ ロビイスト ゴルバチョフ サミット レーガン モンゴル 新人研修 香港返還 Globalization 

1991.4 ジャパンタイムズ新入社員研修で、私が引率して首相官邸見学。中央で首をしめられているのが私。
官邸以外にも霞ヶ関官庁街、日銀、国会、東京証券取引所などに連れて行きました。

 

 

 

 

 


■戦前のジャパンタイムズ史

昭和初期に戦争に協力し、少し抵抗したジャパンタイムズの歴史です。

Through war's darkest days 

Ex-bureaucrat led paper as it fell under state control  

→全文は「ジャパンタイムズの歴史」ページ

In the 100-year history of The Japan Times, the early 1940s was an exceptional period in which the paper kept roaring ahead with big and forceful headlines to glorify its stories. 
The time could also be considered the darkest days for the paper because it had to serve the military-ruled empire of Japan under state censorship. 
During World War II, the media fanned public hatred toward Americans, British and other enemies, and justified Japan's conquest of much of Asia. The Japan Times, then under control of the government, was no exception. 
"My instruction to The Japan Times was to stress that Japan shall have a perfect victory, and that the nation shall fight it out to the very last person," Yasuhiko Nara, 79, a former Foreign Ministry bureaucrat who supervised the paper at the time, said in an interview. 
"And of course, the announcements (of battle victories) by the (wartime) Imperial Headquarters were an absolute must for the paper," he said. 
In the 1930s, almost all the shares in the newspaper were purchased by individuals at the request of the ministry, which funded the purchase, according to Nara. 
The ministry's control of the paper lasted until September 1945, a month after Japan's surrender, when the U.S.-led Occupation forces ordered the government to relinquish all media share holdings. 
Five decades later, Nara is a well-to-do businessman, serving as adviser to three giant corporations: ... .


■香港返還で何が変わったか
トップ 言葉の壁 コスタリカ ロビイスト ゴルバチョフ サミット レーガン モンゴル 新人研修 香港返還 Globalization 

アヘン戦争以来、英国の植民地だった香港は97/7/1未明中国に返還されました。
返還式典の前後はメディアが大騒ぎしました。パニックで香港人は海外に脱出するのではとか、共産中国のもとで政治的自由のない暗い雰囲気になってしまうのではと。ところが3週間たち香港に行ってみたら、以前と変わらない香港に思えました。中国の兵士も北京政府のお役人の姿もどこにも見あたらないのです。しかしそれは、香港資本が逃げ出さないために周到に準備された光景なのでした。
1840~アヘン戦争 1842香港島は「永久割譲」
1856第2次アヘン戦争 1860九竜半島は「永久割譲」
1898新界は99年間租借
19415 日本が占領(38ヶ月)

 「英文記事の読み方」にくわしい注釈があります。この記事を例として、長文記事の構成法を解説しました。

AS THE MEDIA HOOPLA SUBSIDES, RESIDENTS HARBOR MIXED FEELINGS
SAR Hong Kong’s business remains business  

The Japan Times, July 22, 1997

@     HONG KONG Three weeks after the handover of this former British colony to China, the city-state has a palpable business-as-usual ambience about it.

A     There is neither a sense of jubilation, nor fear of an imminent wave of repression by its new ruler, the People's Republic of China.

B     The prevailing sense of normalcy has been brought about by years of design; London and Beijing have spent over a decade thrashing out the details of this unprecedented geopolitical power shift.

C     In addition, both Hong Kong and Beijing are apparently exercising restraint to avoid political acrimony; new Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa has told Hong Kong's people to "leave behind the baggage of Tiananmen," referring to the 1989 Beijing massacre that led to a sudden chill in trilateral relations among Beijing, London and Hong Kong.

D     "There has been no change in Hong Kong since the handover day, . . . but maybe there will he some change 10 years from now," said 27-year-old hotel worker Thomas Ng in a comment characteristic of remarks made to The Japan Times by local residents.

E     "The People's Liberation Army soldiers are now here, but none of us have seen any one of them since July 1, because they are not allowed to walk around in town in uniform," he said.

F     The former colony, now called the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, is China's richest, and, in a sense, newest city.

G     It is also its most democratic due to reforms installed in recent years.

H     On the surface, few things appear to have changed.

I     Beijing did not abolish the Hong Kong dollar, which is still the only legal currency, and the border with mainland China will remain closed to prevent unauthorized immigrants from pouring in.

J     Beijing has, thus far, shown no desire to suppress the laisse-faire economic system and its free-port policy, elements that have helped the tiny region half the size of Tokyo to grow into an economy one fourth the size of mainland Chinese economy.

K     The apparent absence of Chinese control here is stipulated in China's 1990 HKSAR Basic Law, enacted after years of negotiations with Britain.

L     China has given Hong Kong a "high degree of autonomy" and introduced a "one country, two systems" formula, a major factor in the smooth transfer.

M     Residents apparently harbor mixed feelings.

N     Many said they cannot yet conclude if they are happy to return to motherland China or unhappy due to the underlying fear of abuses by the Chinese Communist Party.

O     "We were alert at first," said Nicky Chan, a sales manager at a five-star hotel in Kowloon.

P     "But after one or two days, everything was as usual. Nothing had changed. We go to karaoke, go watch movies, and we go to work at our offices," he said.

Q     Despite these residents' claims, there have been some key changes, including the disappearance of British emblems from everything from government offices to public trash bins in favor of the new HKSAR emblems, as well as perceived civil rights reversals enacted by the new legislature.

R     This legislature, the Provisional Legislative Council, has been contentious as it replaced the Legislative Council, or LEGCO.

S     However Chan asserted that "Hong Kong is a (former) colony; we are used to listening to what the government says. Most of us are not interested in politics and this will remain so as long as the Basic Law and its 50-year guarantee (of keeping Hong Kong's socioeconomic system intact) are observed."

21    Nevertheless, many have shown what they have thought of this guarantee by emigrating to Canada, the U.S. and other nations with large overseas Chinese populations.

22    This pattern of emigration increased sharply after the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown on democracy activists, but peaked in 1992 when 66,000 left, according to a Hong Kong government source.

23    Some residents, however, feel a sense of patriotic joy.

24    "As a Chinese, I'm very happy. We now know what a nationality is, and have a sense of belonging," said 36-year-old Joanna Kan.

25    "It's impossible to predict how Beijing would act toward us in the future, but China has changed so much in the last 10 years that misgivings about its future action could prove unwarranted," Kan said.

26    Hong Kong residents enjoy imperfect but reasonable democratic rights, and the current rights are acceptable to many, she said.

27    "We have received colonial education from the British. The majority of people say they are not interested in politics. We were trained like that," she said.

28    Everyone in Hong Kong felt sorry for what happened in Tiananmen, but "what happened happened. We look forward to the future," she stated with an optimistic smile.

29    Others continue to disapprove of China.

30    "Are you asking me if I'm happy? No kidding. I hate the Communists," said a barber who asked that she not be named.

31    Deanna Lee, 26, who attended schools for British nationals, said more voting rights should be given to the residents.

32    A British national because her mother is British, Lee said Hong Kong should have been granted independent country status just like other former British colonies.

33    "Of course, we prefer not to be (under Beijing rule). We prefer to be an independent country . . . like Australia and India," she said.

34    For its part, the new administration has done well to make its presence in Hong Kong appear as innocuous as possible in order to avoid provoking hostile sentiments during these ear]y days.

35    The 1984 Joint Declaration that led to the handover allows China to station military units in Hong Kong.

36    Hong Kong clearly faces no external threats but Deng Xiaoping, who inked the agreement with Margaret Thatcher 13 years ago, wanted a deterrent against mass rallies and civil unrest.

37    This is the interpretation of many China watchers.

38    Since June 30, some 5,000 PLA soldiers have crossed the border in trucks and armored cars, but most of them are being kept out of the city; they are mostly stationed at rural locations in the New Territories.

39    The PLA headquarters, however, are located in the heart of the city in a tall building overlooking Victoria Harbor.

40    Elements of the British military command previously occupied this building, the Prince of Wales tower, until their departure June 30.

41    PLA soldiers are under orders not to walk around in uniform, and no guards are seen at the gates of its HQ, leaving the impression that the building is deserted.

42    The PLA's low-profile strategy is expected to continue until Aug. 18, the Sino-Japanese War Victory Day that marks the defeat of the Japanese who ousted the British and ruled Hong Kong during late 1941 and 1945.

43    The British military used to hold a yearly march through the city on this anniversary, and the PLA is expected to hold its own public ceremony.

44    Beijing's Foreign Ministry has opened a 20-story office somewhere in central Hong Kong.

45    But little information has been released concerning this branch, and none of the residents interviewed knew its exact location or how many Beijing-appointed cadres and staffers currently work there.

46    A phone call to this enigmatic organization made by The Japan Times was answered by an English-speaking man who gave another number to call.

47    It turned out to be the number of Hong Kong's tourist office.


空飛ぶ日本式英語

(ここでは日英両文あります。どちらも私が書いたもので、英文はジャパンタイムズに掲載したものです。まず日本語を読んでから英文を読めば読みやすいかと思います。) 

 新しい企業が誕生するとき、素敵な名前をもらえればお客様の受けもよく、大きく成長するかもしれません。逆に、奇妙な名前をつけてしまうとその会社は前途多難です。近年は英語風の企業名をつけるのがはやっていますが、日本人にとってはかっこいい名前でも、外国では誤解されてしまう名前がかなりあります。

 とくに国際的な業務である航空業界では、外国人にとっても好感度の高い企業名を選ぶことが必要でしょう。ところが、最近の航空会社の企業名にはトンデモナイものがあります。

 96年の冬から97年にかけて、日本には新しい航空会社(正確には航空会社としての認可を求める会社)が六つも誕生しました。近年進められている航空産業の規制緩和と、羽田空港の沖合移転・拡大をきっかけに設立されたものです。

 一番先に産声を上げたのは、東京の旅行代理店のH.I.S.などがつくった航空会社です。96年の11月12日にこの新会社は登記され、「航空業界でのひさびさの新規参入」として大きなニュースになりました。ジャパンタイムズでも大きくとりあげましたが、この日はまだ会社の名前が決まりませんでした。その後6日間にわたり、投資をした母体企業の重役たちが協議を続け、新会社の飛躍を願って命名したものが記者会見で発表されました。スカイマーク航空です。

 スカイは空ですが、この会社によると「青、公正」というイメージをかもしだすために使ったそうです。また、マークは「出発点」として使い、スカイマーク航空には「公正なスタート地点から航空業界に参入する」という意味をこめたとのことです。日本語としてみるかぎり、なかなかスマートな名前です。

★あぶない企業イメージ

 ところが、この記者会見についての記事を出稿したところ、読み始めたアメリカ人の校正記者がゲラゲラ笑いだしました。理由を聞くと、Skymark Airlines Co.という文字を見たとたん、頭の中にアメリカの戦争映画の情景が浮かんだとのこと。その情景とは、出撃した戦闘機のパイロットがレーダーで敵機を捕捉、"Mark at 10 o'clock!"と叫ぶものです。戦争映画にでてくるスラングとしてはmarkはレーダー上で点滅する敵機の標的マークを意味し、10 o'clockとはレーダーを時計にみたてると10時の方向にあるということです。

 markにはいろいろな意味がありますが、この会社名では「skyにあるmark」ということで、markの意味の一つであるtarget(標的)という意味を連想しやすくなります。つまり、スカイマーク航空とは「空飛ぶ撃墜目標」と解釈することも可能です。この会社が将来米国に就航したとき、米国の乗客はSkymark Airlines(いわば「大空標的航空」)という会社名を見て何を感じるのでしょうか。

 単なるブラックユーモアですむかもしれませんが、墜落事故があった際には、英語圏のメディアはこの名前と墜落との因果関係についてきっと議論するのでは。ちなみに、83年9月には大韓航空機が旧ソ連の戦闘機に敵機標的と誤認されミサイルで撃墜された事件がありました。

★飛ばない飛行機

 さて、スカイマーク航空に続いて名乗りを上げたのが、札幌の財界が設立した北海道国際航空です。当初、英語名はなく、ジャパンタイムズで問い合わせたところ、「適当に訳しておいてください」ということなので、Hokkaido International Airlinesとして報道しました。

 ところが、97年春ごろ、Hokkaido Operating Systemという英語名を使い始めました。略称HOPSです。北海道名産のビール原料のホップをひっかけたのでしょう。HOPSについての英文記事をオーストラリア人の校正記者に出稿したところ、「この会社の飛行機はいったい目的地までたどり着けるのか?」と苦笑していました。

 この命名にあたっては「ホップ・ステップ・ジャンプ」という言葉も連想してさわやかな成長イメージを与えたかったのだと思いますが、陸上競技種目の三段跳びの「ホップ」の部分は何か考えてみてください。hop(s)とは「片足で跳ぶこと」や「(うさぎが)ピョンピョン跳ぶ」(上に跳んですぐ地面に落ちる)ことであり、「飛ぶ」ことではないのです。英語圏の乗客にとっては、HOPS航空は「ピョンピョン航空」という感じで、搭乗すると大ケガをしそうです。

 その後、この会社はHOPSという名前をやめました。札幌にある日本航空の関連会社に同名のものがあることがわかり、この名称は使用不可能であることに気がついたのです。そこで英語名はHokkaido International Airlinesとし、今度は愛称を全国から一般公募しました。

 そして8月に発表されたのがAIR DOです。記者会見での説明によると、DOは「行動」と「(北海道の)道」の二つの意味で、「北海道の活性化のために行動する航空会社を表現している」そうです。このニュースを聞くや、私は校正記者たちの前に行って言いました。
「北海道国際航空の愛称が決まったので発表します。AIR DOです」 一同爆笑でした。

 この名前を聞いて誰もが連想したのはhairdo (髪形)です。英語圏の乗客にとってはAIR DO航空は「美容室航空」と聞こえるでしょう。

 さて、福岡ではハーレクイン航空(Harlequin Air)が97年1月に設立されました。この会社によると、ハーレクインはイタリアの古典喜劇の登場人物からとったもので、女性に人気の同名のロマンス小説集とは関係ないそうです。気になるのは、米国のこの種の小説の典型的テーマの一つが、プレイボーイのパイロットとの「失楽園」的関係であることです。

 7月になって、この会社は「スチュワーデスを97名採用しました」と発表しましたが、やはりアメリカ人記者らが笑っていました。

 なお、きちんとした名前の会社も設立されています。同じく福岡にできた会社はPan Asia Airwaysといいますが、社長さんはむかし米国の大航空会社だったPan Amで乗務員をしていたそうです。この方は英会話学校の経営者でもあり、そのために奇妙な英語名を避けることができたのではと思われます。

 

以下はジャパンタイムズ掲載(97年8月9日)のほぼ同内容の英文記事です。速読用に傍注を追加しました。

NEW AIRLINE FAD
Airline deregulation spurs crazy names

見出し注: NEW AIRLINE FAD  (流行) ― Airline deregulation (規制緩和) spurs (発生させる) crazy (風変わりな) names  

         Great corporate (企業の) names, carefully selected to boost (増進させる) a firm's public image, can bring great fortune. A misleading (誤解を招くような) name, on the other hand (一方では), could spell (〜になる) disaster, especially for airlines.

            Japan has seen a rush of new airlines trying to cash in (儲ける) on the deregulation of the industry and the expansion of Tokyo's Haneda airport. But the names of these fledgling (生まれたばかりの) carriers (航空会社), though generally pleasing (気持ちがいい) to Japanese ears, have mostly confused English speakers because they give the impression that their planes could either be shot down, jump like a rabbit or do something other than fly, like dress your hair (髪を整える).

           So far, six carriers have been created since 1996 with capital from investors in Tokyo, Hokkaido, Fukuoka and Okinawa. These firms expect to obtain formal authorization (認可) and begin operations (業務), at discounted (割引の) rates, sometime between 1998 and 1999.

            The front-runner was established Nov. 12, 1996 with investments (投資資金) from Tokyo-based (東京が本社の) travel agency (旅行代理店) H.I.S. Co. and others. The new firm's carefully selected name, the investors announced, is Skymark Airlines Co.

           The name immediately raised apprehension (心配) among some English-speaking people in Tokyo because mark means target (標的). Some recalled (連想した) American war movies in which some fighter (戦闘機) pilots refer to certain flashes (光る点) on radar screens as "marks." In wartime slang, bogey was another popular word, but the term mark (markという言葉) also referred to enemy aircraft  (敵機)  that had to be shot down.

           The company explained later that sky symbolizes blue, which is said to signify fairness, and that the name Skymark thus means "fair starting point."

           After Skymark's announcement, other investors (投資者) soon followed, setting up (設立し) their own new airlines with their own collection of unlikely names (いろいろな奇妙な名前).

  Investors in Hokkaido emulated (まねた) Skymark later that month with Hokkaido International Airlines. For a brief period, the firm used its unofficial English name: Hokkaido Operating Systems, or HOPS, for short (略して). The investors apparently (〜らしい) thought it was a soothing (気分のよい), lovable name, because Hokkaido produces great beer hops (ビール原料のホップ). No doubt (〜であったにちがいない) they did not realize (気がつく) that English-speaking people could take it to mean that their planes would hop -- move in small jumps (地面をピョンピョン小さく跳ぶ) -- rather than take to the air (空を飛ぶ).

           The name was later dropped when it was found that another company in the industry was named HOPS. On Thursday, the firm's president, Akira Nakamura, announced the airline's new nickname: AlR DO.

           "Do represents (表現している) two things, 'action' and 'do' as in Hokkaido," Nakamura told a news conference. So AlR DO embodies (表す) an airline that acts toward revitalizing (再活性させる) Hokkaido," he said.

           For English speakers, the unorthodox (従来の考えにとらわれない) English-Japanese hybrid (合成語) is too easily confused with hairdo (髪のセット), and does not sound like an airline. A reversal of the two words - DO AIR - may have been slightly more plausible (まし), but not as stylish.

Maybe the investors have fallen prey (影響を受けた) to too many Nike commercials (ナイキ社はマイケル・ジョーダン氏を起用したAIRを使ったCMで知られる).

           Other newcomers (新参者) to the business (この業界) include the Fukuoka-based Harlequin Air, set up by Japan Air System in January. The company said the use of Harlequin was inspired (思いついた) from a character (登場人物) in a classical Italian comedy and is intended to (〜を意図している) make passengers cheerful.

           It said any association (連想) with the best-selling (ベストセラーの) romance novels by the same name is just a coincidence (偶然の一致). Still, the fledgling airline made a special point (うまいことをした) in announcing last month that it had hired 97 female flight attendants (スチュワーデス).

           Fukuoka has another new firm. Pan Asia Airways. The name is conspicuously  (はっきり) similar to another famous airline, possibly because its president was once a Pan Am steward (男性乗務員). Investors in Okinawa, meanwhile, have set up Southern Cross Co., while Japan Airlines has set up a subsidiary (子会社) called JAL Express.

(: 沖縄の旧Southern Cross, Co. 98/9 参入を断念。経営者が代わり98/12/11社名をレキオス航空と改めました)

 ■グローバライゼーションの光と影 
トップ 言葉の壁 コスタリカ ロビイスト ゴルバチョフ サミット レーガン モンゴル 新人研修 香港返還 Globalization 

アイルランドでの2001年日・EUジャーナリスト会議報告。

記事(とても長文)はこのサイトにあります。サムの記事(The Japan Timesへ)

 

 

ダブリンの古いホテルからIrish Seaを望む

 

 

 

トップ 言葉の壁 コスタリカ ロビイスト ゴルバチョフ サミット レーガン モンゴル 新人研修 香港返還 Globalization  


最後に編集した紙面 JT06/9/16

時は流れ、記者から編集者へ、そして管理職へなりました。
記者のときの作品は、記事でした。編集者としての作品は紙面。そして管理職としての作品は人や事業(新聞など)そのものでしょう。
でもときどき、過去にタイムスリップすることがありました。この日は、取材に外出した外信部長のピンチヒッターとして、外信スロットを務めました。国際ニュース面5ページをつくりました。


↑かたい記事には図解を付けて分かりやすく。目が自然と行く位置(CVI)にコントラストのある写真。俳優で目を引く。


国際面にやわらかい記事と写真も


写真と写真や図解がぶつからないようにデザイン。


複雑な社会面事件では、被害者・容疑者の写真をシンボリックな位置に


まんがもある国際社会面。できるだけhuman interestものを


ジャパンタイムズの歴史 -- 江戸時代から 

創刊110周年記念別刷り特集号に書いたものです。
→ ジャパンタイムズの歴史ページ



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