英字新聞 (読売、毎日、朝日、英字新聞の社説を学習研究 )

2014-09-23

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:「敵」の健闘たたえる余裕 /東京

September 21, 2014(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Learning how to praise our 'enemies'
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:「敵」の健闘たたえる余裕 /東京

I recently went to Tokyo Dome to watch a professional baseball game.
 東京ドームにプロ野球を見に行く機会があった。

The Yomiuri Giants were not playing that evening, as this was one of the several games hosted there yearly by the Nippon Ham Fighters.
とはいっても、ジャイアンツ戦ではない。年に何回かある日本ハムファイターズ主催試合だ。

They were playing against the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, who are presently at the top of the Pacific League.
対するは現在パ・リーグ首位のソフトバンク。

The Fighters were on top of the game from start to finish. The climax occurred when Atsunori Inaba, who recently announced his retirement, went up to bat as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning -- likely the last time he would appear during a game hosted by his team at the Tokyo Dome.
試合は終始ファイターズ優位で進んだが、クライマックスは何といっても引退を表明している同チームの稲葉篤紀選手が代打で登場した八回だった。東京ドームでの主催試合では最後の登場になるはずだ。

When Inaba was called to the plate, a murmur could be heard rippling through the crowd.
 「代打・稲葉」とコールされると、球場全体がどよめき、

Shortly afterward, the entire stadium audience rose to their feet.
すぐにほぼ全員が立ち上がった。

Fighters' fans leaped into the air and broke out with a rendition of the famous "Inaba jump" -- but it soon became clear that they were not alone. On the left side of the stands, as well as behind third base, SoftBank supporters were jumping right along with them.
稲葉選手の打席ではファンはピョンピョン跳びはねる「稲葉ジャンプ」を行って応援するのだが、なんとレフトスタンドや三塁側に陣取ったソフトバンクファンまでもがいっしょにジャンプ。

Inaba unfortunately did not manage to score a hit, but as he left the plate, he was accompanied by loud applause from all around the stands.
残念ながらヒットは打てなかったが、打席を去るベテランに球場全体から大きな拍手が送られた。

He waved to both sides of the crowd, wiping away tears several times. Fighters Manager Hideki Kuriyama later told him, "I was moved as well."
そして試合後、栗山監督から「オレも感動した」と声をかけられたという稲葉選手は、両チームのファンに手を振りながら何度も涙をぬぐっていた。

There is an expression in the Japanese language that may be loosely translated as "praising someone even though they may be an enemy."
 日本語に定着しているフレーズに「敵ながらあっぱれ」がある。

The phrase is said to have originated in the act of military commanders lauding their opponents' brave fights -- a description that seems to describe the feelings on the part of the SoftBank fans at that moment.
武将が敵の健闘をたたえて発した言葉ともいわれるが、相手チームの選手を応援するソフトバンクファンもそんな心境だったのだろうか。

This incident also called to mind the proverb that refers to "sending salt to one's enemy."
また「敵に塩を送る」ということわざも思い出す。

It goes without saying, but this refers to the conscious decision of offering support to one's enemies while not engaged in battle with them.
言うまでもないが、「戦い以外の場ではあえて敵を支援する」という意味だ。

The origin of the phrase is an incident that occurred during the Sengoku ("Warring States") period, when Uesugi Kenshin refused to comply with the Imagawa clan's demand that he halt salt exports to his enemy Takeda Shingen -- instead providing him with the shipments of salt.
戦国時代、今川家から武田信玄への「塩止め(塩の輸出禁止)」を要請された上杉謙信が、それを断り敵対関係にある信玄に逆に塩を送ったというエピソードが元になっているとされる。

While the topic at hand is of course sports, which is a world unto itself, I must say that this incident I witnessed -- whereby an entire group of people naturally began congratulating someone else, without having been told to do so, and irrespective of whether that person was an associate or an opponent -- left a very strong impression upon me indeed.
 もちろんこれはスポーツという特別な世界のできごとだが、誰に指示されたわけでもないのに誰もがごく自然に、敵味方に関係なく健闘をたたえ合う行動に出た姿は私にとってとても印象的だった。

We are constantly subjected to intense competition in our daily lives, and we often consume all of our energy trying to seek out our rivals' vulnerabilities while in turn concealing our own.
日常生活では、私たちはいつもシビアな競争にさらされ、ライバルの欠点を探したり自分の弱点を見せないようにしたりすることで精いっぱいだ。

After we have cut down someone else whom we have identified as an "enemy," and gone on to declare our own victory, however, I wonder: Can we really feel good about ourselves?
しかし、そうやって“敵”と見なした相手を完全にたたきのめして自分が勝ち残りさえすれば、その後も心豊かにすごすことができるのだろうか。

I had many thoughts after I watched baseball fans passionately bidding farewell to Inaba that evening, including this one: Somewhere along the line, have many of us not forgotten the lesson from the Sengoku period to treat enemies and vanquished persons with respect, and to wish them well?
私たちはいつのまにか、戦国時代から大切にしてきたはずの敵や敗者の健闘をたたえる心の余裕を忘れてしまったのではないか。
 今シーズンで球界を去る稲葉選手へのファンたちの熱い応援から、さまざまなことを考えさせられた一夜であった。

(精神科医)
(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2014年09月17日 地方版

2014-09-22

社説:辺野古掘削調査 知事選まで作業中断を

September 20, 2014(Mainichi Japan)
Editorial: Put new base survey on hold till after Okinawa gubernatorial election
社説:辺野古掘削調査 知事選まで作業中断を

One month has passed since the Defense Ministry's Okinawa Defense Bureau began a boring survey on the seabed off the Henoko district of Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, in preparation to build a substitute facility for the U.S. military's Air Station Futenma.
 防衛省沖縄防衛局が、米軍普天間飛行場(沖縄県宜野湾市)の名護市辺野古への移設に向け、海底を掘削して埋め立て地盤の強度や地質を調べるボーリング調査を開始して1カ月たつ。

We are concerned about the way in which the national government is pressing forward with the project as if it is overriding resistance from local residents and creating a fait accompli one after another.
県民の反対を押し切って、既成事実を積み上げようとするかのようなやり方を、私たちは憂慮する。

To avoid further deepening the rift within Okinawa, the central government should suspend the boring survey to see how voters in the southernmost prefecture will react to the project through the Nov. 16 Okinawa gubernatorial election.
沖縄との亀裂をこれ以上、深めないよう、政府は掘削調査を中断し、11月16日に投開票される沖縄県知事選の結果を待つべきだ。
   
The national government initially planned to launch a boring survey in 2004 but its attempt was blocked by opponents. As such, the government is guarding the site by designating a larger area off Henoko as an off-limit zone, and has come under fire from opponents of the project and others for being on excessively high alert.
 政府は、2004年にも掘削調査を実施しようとしながら反対派の阻止行動で中止に追い込まれたことから、今回は立ち入り禁止水域を拡大して警戒を強めており、反対派などから過剰警備との批判が出ている。

The government's tough stance is supported by the fact that Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima granted the government permission to reclaim offshore areas of Henoko.
 政府が強硬方針を貫く支えは、昨年末に仲井真弘多(ひろかず)知事が辺野古埋め立てを承認したことだ。

However, Nakaima deserves criticism that he violated his campaign pledge that he would stick to his demand that Futenma base, situated in a densely populated area of the city of Ginowan, be moved out of the prefecture.
だが、前回知事選で「県外移設」公約を掲げて再選された仲井真知事が、辺野古埋め立てを承認したことは「公約違反」と言われても仕方がない。

Numerous Okinawa residents reacted sharply to Nakaima's about-face. In January this year, Nago voters re-elected Mayor Susumu Inamine, who is opposed to the relocation of Futenma base to Henoko, while pro-mayor candidates won a majority in the municipal assembly in a recent election.
 県民は反発し、1月の名護市長選では移設に反対する稲嶺進市長が再選され、先の名護市議選でも市長派が過半数を維持した。

Furthermore, the prefectural assembly adopted a resolution on Sept. 3 protesting against the national government for going ahead with the boring survey and calling for an immediate halt to the work, with the support of not only four opposition parties but also New Komeito that supports Nakaima.
今月3日には県議会で、野党4会派のほか与党の公明党も賛成して、掘削調査に着手した政府に抗議し、工事の即時中止などを求める意見書が可決された。

Such being the case, whether Nakaima's decision reflects local residents' views on the issue will be a key point of contention in the upcoming gubernatorial race.
 名護市長と多くの県民が辺野古移設に反対する中で、埋め立てを承認した知事の判断は、民意を代表したものだったと言えるのか。11月の知事選はそれが問われる選挙になる。

However, the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appears unwilling to listen to local communities' opinions on the issue.
 しかし、安倍政権はあまり聞く耳を持たないようだ。

Rather, it appears that the stiffer local residents' opposition grows to the project, the further the Abe administration presses forward with the work on the substitute facility for Futenma base in a bid to prevent Nakaima's possible election loss from adversely affecting the project.
それどころか、沖縄で反対の声が高まれば高まるほど、仮に知事選で仲井真氏が敗れても辺野古移設に影響しないようにするため、工事を進めて既成事実化を図ろうとしているように見える。

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a recent news conference, "Primary attention had been focused on whether the Okinawa Prefectural Government would approve the reclamation, but it's already a past concern." However, the remark Suga made as if he dismissed opposition to the project can hardly convince local residents.
 菅義偉官房長官は、先日の記者会見で、辺野古移設について「最大の関心は沖縄県が埋め立てを承認するかどうかだった。この問題はもう過去のものだ」と語った。反対意見を「過去の問題」と切り捨てるような発言は、納得できない。

In an article he contributed to the U.S. news site The Huffington Post last month, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense Joseph Nye pointed out that as China's ballistic missile technology advances, U.S. bases in Okinawa Prefecture become increasingly vulnerable. He also pointed to Okinawa residents' anger at the burden of U.S. bases on them, and called for reconsidering the structure of the Japan-U.S. alliance, such as the way U.S. forces should be deployed in the Japanese archipelago.
 米国のジョセフ・ナイ元国防次官補は先月、米ニュースサイト「ハフィントン・ポスト」に寄稿した論文で、沖縄の米軍基地が中国の弾道ミサイル技術の進展で「脆弱(ぜいじゃく)」になっていることや、沖縄の人々の基地負担に対する怒りを指摘して、在日米軍の配備のあり方など日米同盟の構造を再考するよう求めた。

Why does the national government view the planned construction of a substitute facility for the Air Station Futenma off Henoko as the only way to settle the issue of relocating the base while even an expert in diplomacy and security like Nye has made such a proposal?
 外交・安全保障の専門家までがこう提言する中で、政府が辺野古移設を「唯一の解決策」とするのはなぜか。

The government bears responsibility to provide a sufficient explanation to Okinawa residents. As such, the boring survey should be put on hold until after the gubernatorial election.
政府は沖縄の人々に十分な説明をする責任がある。掘削調査は、知事選が終わるまで中断すべきだ。

毎日新聞 2014年09月20日 02時30分

2014-09-19

社説:IWC総会 守るべきは湾岸捕鯨だ

September 17, 2014(Mainichi Japan)
Editorial: Japan must give up Antarctic whaling, focus on preserving coastal hunt
社説:IWC総会 守るべきは湾岸捕鯨だ

The Japanese government will unveil plans to resume research whaling in the Antarctic Ocean at the International Whaling Commission meeting now in session in Slovenia.
 政府は開催中の国際捕鯨委員会(IWC)総会で、南極海で調査捕鯨を再開する計画を示す。
   
It is an absolute certainty, however, that the move will be strongly opposed by a number of anti-whaling nations, while the International Court of Justice has already ordered Japan to cease research whaling. As such, Japan should switch strategies. It should abandon Antarctic whaling -- the necessity of which is doubtful in any case -- and emphasize instead coastal whaling around Japan, which has a foundation in traditional Japanese food culture.
 しかし、国際司法裁判所(ICJ)から中止命令を受けた調査に対し、反捕鯨国が強く反発するのは確実だ。必要性の乏しい南極海での捕鯨からは撤退し、伝統的な食文化といえる沿岸捕鯨に理解を求める戦略に転換すべきだ。

The international court ordered Japan to halt its Antarctic whaling program in March this year, stating that the program did not meet international standards for what constitutes scientific research. The court also took issue with Japan's insistence that the take of 103 minke whales in the 2012-2013 season was scientifically useful, despite the country's assertion that a "sample size" of about 850 was necessary for its scientific objectives. The court said that this and other parts of Japan's case "cast doubt" on the "characterization of JARPA II (the research whaling project) as a programme for the purposes of scientific research."
 ICJが今年3月に中止命令を出したのは、南極海での日本の調査捕鯨が国際条約で認められる科学調査に該当しないと判断したからだ。生態調査には科学的に850頭前後必要だとして捕獲枠を確保しながら、100頭余りしか捕っていない点などが合理性に欠けると認定された。

Japan accepted the international court's decision and called off the whaling expedition for fiscal 2014.
 判決を受けて今年度は南極海での調査を見送り、北西太平洋での調査も規模を縮小した。

The government apparently plans to consult experts in setting a vastly reduced annual whaling quota for missions in fiscal 2015 and beyond, and call on other nations for their understanding.
 今回は来年度以降の南極海での調査について、専門家の意見を踏まえて捕獲枠を大幅に引き下げるなどの見直し案を示し、各国の理解を求めるという。

Anti-whaling leader New Zealand, however, has already submitted a motion to the IWC meeting calling for Japan's research whaling to be postponed. The motion has already received the apparent backing of a number of countries including Australia, and Japan's plan faces a hard road that's quickly getting even harder.
 しかし、総会では既に反捕鯨国のニュージーランドが事実上調査の先延ばしを求める決議案を提出し、オーストラリアなどが賛成の姿勢を示すなど日本に対する風当たりは強まっている。

The Antarctic research whaling program was started to help establish a scientific basis for the resumption of commercial whaling, which has been suspended by the IWC since the 1985-1986 season. Whale meat consumption in Japan, however, has dropped significantly, with the amount of whale on the market now just around 2 percent of what it was at its peak in 1962. Japan furthermore imports whale meat from Iceland -- which has continued commercial whaling -- and there is now an oversupply. There is very little reason to restart commercial whaling in the Antarctic Ocean, which means there is no need to keep doing research whaling to that end.
 南極海での調査捕鯨はIWCが一時停止を決めた商業捕鯨再開のため科学的根拠を示そうと始まった。ところが国内の鯨肉消費は激減し、最近の流通量は最も多かった1962年の2%程度にとどまる。しかも商業捕鯨を続けるアイスランドなどからの輸入もあり、需給はだぶついている。南極海で商業捕鯨を再開する必要性は乏しい。それを目的とした調査も、もはや必要ないだろう。

Mind you, neither can Japan completely go over to the other side, joining nations completely opposed to whaling and eating whale meat. Coastal hunts for small whales continue in places such as Abashiri, Hokkaido, Ayukawa, Miyagi Prefecture, Wada, Chiba Prefecture, and Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, where they are an important part of traditional culture and where whale meat is still a part of the local diet. Japan may have no great reason to seek the resumption of the Antarctic whale hunt, but it does need to protect these local culinary traditions.
 もっとも、鯨食を否定してすべての捕鯨を認めない反捕鯨国側の主張にもくみすることはできない。北海道の網走、宮城県の鮎川、千葉県の和田、和歌山県の太地などでは沿岸で小型捕鯨が伝統的に続けられ、鯨食が定着している。そうした地域に根ざした食文化は守る必要がある。

Japan's coastal whalers now take Baird's beaked whales, among other varieties, after the IWC banned the hunt for the previously most popular variety, the minke whale. The Japanese government has called on the IWC to set a limited minke catch for the northwestern Pacific, but has so far been denied. Japan has proposed the same measure again at the current IWC meeting, but support looks hard to obtain.
 沿岸小型捕鯨はミンククジラが主体だったが、IWCで禁じられたため、管理の対象外のツチクジラなどを捕っている。政府はIWCで北西太平洋沿岸でのミンククジラの捕獲枠設定を求め、否定され続けてきた。今回も提案しているが、理解を得るのは難しそうだ。

Japan's insistence on moving ahead with Antarctic whaling has invited the intense opposition of other IWC nations, which is then also extended to Japanese requests for a coastal whaling compromise. Japan must break the connection between Antarctic whaling and coastal hunts. To gain support from other countries, Japan must use the ecological data already collected to build a persuasive case. The government must make greater efforts to preserve the coastal whaling traditions of Japan.
 南極海での捕鯨に固執して参加国の反発を招き、沿岸での捕獲枠設定まで否定されるという負の連鎖からは脱却する必要がある。各国の理解を得るには、これまで積みあげた生態に関するデータを元に粘り強い説得が求められる。そうした努力は沿岸捕鯨を守るために重ねるべきだ。

毎日新聞 2014年09月17日 02時30分

2014-09-18

iPS細胞移植 再生医療普及への試金石だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Clinical trial using iPS cells litmus test for promoting regenerative medicine
iPS細胞移植 再生医療普及への試金石だ

The latest clinical trial is the first step of epoch-making research that could evolve into regenerative medicine. After careful safety assessment, putting the latest result into practical use should be promoted.
 画期的な研究成果を再生医療に発展させる第一歩である。安全性を慎重に評価し、患者への実用化を進めたい。

A team led by RIKEN ophthalmologist Masayo Takahashi transplanted retina cells produced from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells into the eyes of a woman suffering from age-related macular degeneration. The patient is said to be doing well.
 理化学研究所の高橋政代・プロジェクトリーダーらが、iPS細胞(人工多能性幹細胞)から網膜の細胞を作製し、目の難病である加齢黄斑変性の患者に移植する手術を行った。術後の経過は順調だという。

It was the world’s first clinical trial of transplanting iPS cells, which can develop into the cells of various types of tissues, into a human body.
 様々な組織の細胞に変化するiPS細胞を人間の体に移植し、治療に使う世界初の試みだ。

This clinical trial can be considered a litmus test for regenerative medicine using iPS cells, which could eventually be used widely.
iPS細胞による再生医療の普及に向けた試金石とも言えよう。

About 700,000 people are estimated to be suffering from the age-related macular degeneration, the symptoms of which include distorted vision.
 視界がゆがむ加齢黄斑変性の国内の患者は、約70万人に上る。

The current treatment is symptomatic therapy to prevent the patient’s condition from further deteriorating. With the transplant of retina cells, the patient could make a full recovery. Expectations among patients over the effectiveness of such a transplant are believed to be running high.
現在の治療は、症状の悪化を止める対症療法だが、網膜細胞の移植手術なら完治できる可能性がある。患者の期待は大きいだろう。

Over the past seven years, since Prof. Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University successfully produced human iPS cells, the risk of the iPS cells becoming cancerous — a key issue to be tackled — has almost been resolved, while the efficiency of production has been enhanced.
 山中伸弥・京都大教授が、人のiPS細胞の作製に成功してから7年、課題とされた細胞のがん化のリスクはほぼ解消され、作製効率も向上した。

The latest surgical procedure carries important implications as a clinical study to confirm the safety of medical technology using iPS cells. Is there an absolute guarantee the iPS cells will not turn cancerous? Are there any unknown risks? These issues will be examined over the next four years.
 今回の手術は、技術の安全性を確かめる臨床研究として重要な意味を持つ。iPS細胞から作った網膜細胞は本当にがん化しないのか、未知のリスクはないのか。4年間にわたり検査を続ける。

In an effort to have research results using iPS cells linked to regenerative medicine, the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry plans to spend \110 billion from fiscal 2012 to 2022.
 文部科学省はiPS細胞の研究成果を再生医療につなげるため、2012〜22年度に計1100億円を投じる方針だ。

Faster approval needed

Clinical research using iPS cells in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and serious cardiac failure are planned from next fiscal year.
 来年度以降には、iPS細胞を使ったパーキンソン病や重症心不全の治療の臨床研究が計画されている。

Also under way is research to determine the mechanisms behind intractable diseases and develop new medicines for such diseases by producing iPS cells from patients with incurable diseases and transforming them into nerve and muscle cells.
難病患者からiPS細胞を作って神経や筋肉の細胞に変化させ、病気のメカニズムの解明や、創薬につなげる研究も進む。

It is hoped that with the successful retina cell operation, the transition from basic research to clinical research in regenerative medicine — in which Japan tends to lag behind other major countries — will advance smoothly.
 今回の手術を契機に、日本では滞りがちな基礎研究から臨床研究への移行を円滑に進めたい。

Following the enforcement of the revised Pharmaceutical Affairs Law in November, the time needed to put cells and tissues for regenerative medicine into a practical use will be shortened from the current six years to about three years. If the safety of only a few trials is confirmed and their effectiveness deemed reliable, the ministry will give the go-ahead for practical use, although with conditions attached.
 11月の改正薬事法施行後は、約6年かかっている再生医療用の細胞・組織の実用化が、3年程度に短縮される。治験数が少なくても安全性が確認でき、有効性が推定できれば条件付きで承認する。

Takahashi has established her own venture firm for producing retina cells derived from iPS cells. Her firm plans to start clinical trials in 2016, with the aim of winning the ministry’s approval in 2018.
 高橋氏はiPS細胞由来の網膜細胞を製造するベンチャー企業を設立している。16年に治験を始め、18年の承認取得が目標だ。

A faster approval system must function effectively so patients can receive treatment as quickly as possible.
患者が一日でも早く治療を受けられるよう、迅速な承認制度を有効に機能させることが求められる。

The RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology, where the clinical trial was conducted, is scheduled to undergo a drastic shakeup. This will include halving the number of research labs due to fraudulent research articles over the so-called stimulus-triggered acquisition pluripotency (STAP) cells.
 臨床研究の舞台である理研の発生・再生科学総合研究センターは、STAP細胞論文不正により、研究室の半減など解体的な出直しが決まっている。

We hope RIKEN proceeds with its research on regenerative medicine steadily and makes an effort to regain public trust.
再生医療の研究をしっかりと進め、信頼回復に努めてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 15, 2014)Speech

2014-09-17

社説:読書の秋 若者よ、本を開こう

September 15, 2014(Mainichi Japan)
Editorial: Time to pick up a book
社説:読書の秋 若者よ、本を開こう

The autumn book-reading season is again upon us. Reading not only boosts our knowledge, hones our sensitivities and nurtures our ability to think, but it also helps to broaden our perspective and develop our imagination. It's been said people today are spending less time reading. Now is a good time to take a fresh look at the benefits of books and call upon the young to turn to reading.
 灯火親しむ季節になった。読書は知識を蓄え、感覚を磨き、考える力を養うだけでなく、視野を広げ、想像力を鍛える。「読書離れ」がいわれて久しいが、今こそ、書物の効用を見直し、特に若者が本に向かうように呼びかけたい。
   
The Japanese publishing industry has suffered recently from slumping sales. According to Shuppan Nenkan, an almanac published by Shuppan News Co., sales in the domestic publishing industry stood at some 1.77 trillion yen last year. Of that amount, books accounted for roughly 843 billion yen, and magazines 928.1 billion yen. Last year's sales stood at just two-thirds of the peak figure of 2.698 trillion yen recorded in 1996.
 日本の出版不況が続いている。「出版年鑑」(出版ニュース社)によると、昨年の出版界の売り上げは約1兆7711億円。内訳は書籍が約8430億円、雑誌が9281億円だった。出版界全体のピークは1996年の2兆6980億円で、3分の2に減ってしまったことになる。

Declining sales are especially serious in the magazine industry. Most likely, this is largely due to the prevalence of smartphones and other devices. Sagging magazine sales lead to declining ad revenues for publishers, which adversely affects bookstores and eventually pushes their numbers down. Today's Internet-oriented society calls into question the roles magazines can play.
 特に雑誌の落ち込みがひどい。スマートフォンなどの普及が大きな理由だろう。雑誌の不況は、出版社にとっては広告収入の減少になり、街の書店の不振や書店数の減少も招く。ネット社会において雑誌に何ができるかが問われている。

That said, Japanese people as a whole are not necessarily turning away from books. In fact, the number of books lent out at libraries across the country remains high. According to the Japan Library Association, there are at least 3,200 public libraries nationwide, which lent out a total of over 710 million books, CDs and DVDs to individuals in fiscal 2012. Compared to a decade earlier, the number of libraries in Japan has increased by at least 400. As a result, the number of books lent out has risen by more than 100 million.
 だが、日本人全体が読書から離れているのかというと、そうとばかりもいえない。図書館の貸出数は多い。日本図書館協会によると現在、全国に3200以上の公共図書館があり、2012年度の館外個人貸し出しは7億1000万点以上(CDやDVDを含む)だった。10年前に比べて館数が400以上増えたが、貸し出しも1億数千万点増加した。

According to a survey jointly conducted by the Mainichi Shimbun and the School Library Association (SLA), children today are not reading less. Rather, the average number of books read by children slightly increased over the past decade. At the same time, the ratio of children who don't read any books in the month of May -- a gauge for determining the level of book-reading -- has been on the decline. The next challenge, many say, is having children read higher quality books.
 毎日新聞と全国学校図書館協議会(全国SLA)が合同で実施している学校読書調査でも、子供たちは読書離れをしていない。この10年間でも、平均読書量は微増傾向だし、不読率(その年の5月に本を読まなかった人の割合)も減っている。ただ、「読む本の質を高めることが今後の課題」という声はよく聞く。

In the meantime, one particular trend requires serious attention. According to a survey by the National Federation of University Co-operative Associations, the number of university students who said they didn't read any books reached 40.5 percent last year, topping 40 percent for the first time since the survey was first conducted in 2004. The revealing survey sent shockwaves through society, as university students are expected to read piles of books.
 一方、深刻な数字もある。全国大学生活協同組合連合会の昨年の調査によると、「まったく本を読まない」という学生が40.5%に達し、調査を始めた04年以降、初めて4割を超えた。書物に親しむべき大学生の実態は衝撃的だった。

At elementary and junior high schools, teachers' efforts to encourage reading have been producing results. Morning reading time in classes has played a part in this. However, high school and university students are apparently spending more time on games, the Internet, entrance exam preparations, part-time jobs and other activities, and less time on reading. It can be said that teachers' efforts at high schools and universities are insufficient in encouraging students to read. The trend among those in their late teens of not reading books apparently continues when they grow older.
 小・中学校では学校での読書指導(朝の一斉読書など)が効果を上げている。しかし、高校、大学と進むにつれて、ゲームやネット通信、受験勉強、アルバイトなどで、読書がおろそかにされているのだろう。高校や大学での読書指導も不十分なのではないか。この傾向が20代以降にもつながっていると思われる。

It is no easy task to change the status quo, but SLA counselor Isao Kobayashi proposes expanding the drive to distribute book coupons at coming-of-age ceremonies, following in the footsteps of the so-called Bookstart movement that offers books to babies and infants. We embrace his idea.
 現状への対策は難しい。全国SLAの小林功参事は、乳幼児に本を配る「ブックスタート運動」にならって、成人式に図書カードを配ることをさらに広めるなどして、読書を勧めてはどうかと提案する。面白い考えではないだろうか。

Educational institutions, society and households are urged to exercise their ingenuity in providing younger generations with more opportunities to enjoy reading.
 教育機関や社会、家庭を挙げて、若者たちが大いに読書に親しむ工夫を考えたい。

毎日新聞 2014年09月15日 02時30分