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Japan Is Back
A Conversation With Shinzo Abe
By Shinzo Abe
July/August 2013

Japan's prime minister speaks openly about the mistakes he made in his first term, Abenomics, Japan's wartime record (and his own controversial statements on that history), and the bitter Senkaku/Diaoyu Island dispute with China.

首相のFacebookの対応が批判を浴びたりしましたが、この雑誌でのやり取りは見事です。前回の失敗要因について聞かれたところ、When I served as prime minister last time, I failed to prioritize my agenda. I was eager to complete everything at once, and ended my administration in failure.と答えています。周りのせいにするでもなく、自分の落ち度というわけでもないかたちでうまい答えではないでしょうか。

This is your second tenure as prime minister. Your first was not so successful, but this time, everything seems different: your approval rating is over 70 percent, and the stock market is at a five-year high. What lessons did you learn from your past mistakes, and what are you doing differently this time?

When I served as prime minister last time, I failed to prioritize my agenda. I was eager to complete everything at once, and ended my administration in failure.

After resigning, for six years I traveled across the nation simply to listen. Everywhere, I heard people suffering from having lost jobs due to lingering deflation and currency appreciation. Some had no hope for the future. So it followed naturally that my second administration should prioritize getting rid of deflation and turning around the Japanese economy.

Let’s say that I have set the priorities right this time to reflect the concerns of the people, and the results are increasingly noticeable, which may explain the high approval ratings.

I have also started to use social media networks like Facebook. Oftentimes, the legacy media only partially quote what politicians say. This has prevented the public from understanding my true intentions. So I am now sending messages through Facebook and other networks directly to the public.

第三の矢についてはこれまでほどの効果を得ることはできませんでしたが、What will the third look like?
と聞かれて、The third arrow is about a growth strategy, which should be led by three key concepts: challenge, openness, and innovation. First, you need to envision what kind of Japan you wish to have.とスマートに切り替えしています。英検のやり取りでもこのように簡潔にうまくまとまっている答えができるといいですね。

You’ve said that your economic agenda is your top priority. Abenomics has three “arrows”: a 10 trillion yen fiscal stimulus, inflation targeting, and structural reform. You’ve fired the first two arrows already. What will the third look like?

The third arrow is about a growth strategy, which should be led by three key concepts: challenge, openness, and innovation. First, you need to envision what kind of Japan you wish to have. That is a Japan that cherishes those three concepts. Then, you get to see areas where you excel. Take health care, for instance. My country has good stock, which enables Japanese to live longer than most others. Why not use medical innovation, then, both to boost the economy and to contribute to the welfare of the rest of the world?

My recent trip to Russia and the Middle East assured me that there is much room out there for Japan’s medical industries. The same could be said for technologies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, of which Japan has plenty. But to foster innovation, you must remain open.

政治信条が違う人もいらっしゃるので、返答ないように違和感を覚える人もいるかもしれませんが、返答の仕方はスムーズではないかと思います。本音を言えばかっこいいという感じは地方政治的なのかもしれません。どこかの市長とTea Partyはパラレルなものを感じます。どちらも下火になっていますし。。。

日中関係について、表向きは政治化しているが、経済関係において両者は相互を必要としているという比較的冷静な論考が合わせてありました。このタイトルMutual Assured Productionをみてジョークがわかった方は国連英検の勉強を進めているかたでしょうか。

Mutual Assured Production
Why Trade Will Limit Conflict Between China and Japan
By Richard Katz
July/August 2013
Tensions between China and Japan are rising, but an economic version of mutual deterrence is preserving the uneasy status quo. Put simply, China needs to buy Japanese products as much as Japan needs to sell them.

おそらく1960年代米ソ冷戦時代の核抑止理論Mutual Assured Destructionをもじったものでしょう。

相互確証破壊(そうごかくしょうはかい、英: Mutual Assured Destruction, MAD)は、核戦略に関する概念。核兵器を保有して対立する陣営のどちらか一方が、相手に対し戦略核兵器を使用した場合には、もう一方の陣営がそれを事後的に察知して報復を行う。これにより、一方が核兵器を使えば最終的に双方が必ず破滅する、という結果をもたらす。このような原則のことを指す。この原則は、たがいに核兵器の使用をためらわせることを意図している。



The Rise of Big Data
How It's Changing the Way We Think About the World

By Kenneth Neil Cukier and Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger
May/June 2013




精読を全面否定するつもりはありませんし、とても重要なことだと自分の経験からも言えますが、何でもいいからたくさん読む癖をつけないと、いつまでも精読だけの人、いや精読でちゃんと読めればいいですが、英検1級・990取った人がTIMEもろくに読み進めなかったり、No option is off the tableを「テーブルに乗らない選択肢はない」と的外れな解説しか書けない冴えない人にしかなれないんじゃないかという恐れがあるんです。そんなんじゃ精読すらできていないじゃないですか。


Instead of trying to “teach” a computer how to do things, such as drive a car or translate between languages, which artificial-intelligence experts have tried unsuccessfully to do for decades, the new approach is to feed enough data into a computer so that it can infer the probability that, say, a traffic light is green and not red or that, in a certain context, lumière is a more appropriate substitute for “light” than léger.

コンピューターに物事の進め方を、例えば車の運転や言語の翻訳を「教えようとする」のではなく、この試みは人工知能の専門家たちが何十年もの間取り組んできて成果を上げていない、新しいアプローチというのは、十分なデータをコンピューターに与えることで可能性を推測できるようにするのである。例えば「今は信号機は緑で、赤ではない」とか、ある特定の文脈では、lumière(フランス語で「光」)という語がléger (フランス語で「軽い」)よりも英語のlightに適切に対応する語であるとかである。

*次のパラグラフはXX requires three profound changes in YYとあって、The first is to … / The second is to … / Third…とセオリー通り書いています。

Using great volumes of information in this way requires three profound changes in how we approach data. The first is to collect and use a lot of data rather than settle for small amounts or samples, as statisticians have done for well over a century. The second is to shed our preference for highly curated and pristine data and instead accept messiness: in an increasing number of situations, a bit of inaccuracy can be tolerated, because the benefits of using vastly more data of variable quality outweigh the costs of using smaller amounts of very exact data. Third, in many instances, we will need to give up our quest to discover the cause of things, in return for accepting correlations. With big data, instead of trying to understand precisely why an engine breaks down or why a drug’s side effect disappears, researchers can instead collect and analyze massive quantities of information about such events and everything that is associated with them, looking for patterns that might help predict future occurrences. Big data helps answer what, not why, and often that’s good enough.




the benefits of using vastly more data of variable quality outweigh the costs of using smaller amounts of very exact data.

良い例か分かりませんが、カーティス教授が日本政治を語っている動画で、4分10秒あたりにEconomic stimulus(景気刺激策)の話題になりBridges to nowhereと言っています。

英語メディアに慣れ親しんだ人にはBridges to nowhereと聞いて「無駄な公共事業」を比喩的に語っていることが分かります。日本だと「誰も使わない高速道路」って感じになるでしょうか。英辞郎には雑誌で使われた表現としてありますね。

It is at least as valuable a flip of the financial pachinco balls as building yet another series of Shinkansen tunnels and bridges to nowhere, donating funds for the education of ex-Indonesian President Suharto's children, or assisting the development of totalitarian repression in China.
それは、財政のパチンコ玉をあっちこっちはじいて、どこか知らないが新幹線のトンネルや橋を架けたり、スハルト元インドネシア大統領の子どもたちに教育を受けさせるために献金したり、中国の全体主義的抑圧の発展に手を貸したりするのに劣らないくらいの価値はある。◆【出典】Hiragana Times, 1999年5月号◆【出版社】株式会社ヤック企画

こういうのは辞書には載っていない事が多いですので、精読オンリーの人はNo option is off the table=「テーブルに乗らない選択肢はない」的な読み違いをしやすいんですよね。






公開日: 2013/04/24
Foreign Affairs Focus: Japan Under Abe with Gerald L. Curtis

Managing Editor Jonathan Tepperman interviews Gerald Curtis, Burgess Professor of Political Science at Columbia University, about Japan's economic and political situation. Professor Curtis comments on the effects of Prime Minister Shinzō Abe's economic policy on the nation, and discusses Abe's cautious foreign policy practices. He expresses skepticism about the potential for success of structural reform, and makes predictions for the upcoming Japanese election.





The Rise of Big Data
How It's Changing the Way We Think About the World
By Kenneth Neil Cukier and Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger
May/June 2013


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Everyone knows that the Internet has changed how businesses operate, governments function, and people live. But a new, less visible technological trend is just as transformative: “big data.” Big data starts with the fact that there is a lot more information floating around these days than ever before, and it is being put to extraordinary new uses. Big data is distinct from the Internet, although the Web makes it much easier to collect and share data. Big data is about more than just communication: the idea is that we can learn from a large body of information things that we could not comprehend when we used only smaller amounts.

In the third century BC, the Library of Alexandria was believed to house the sum of human knowledge. Today, there is enough information in the world to give every person alive 320 times as much of it as historians think was stored in Alexandria’s entire collection -- an estimated 1,200 exabytes’ worth. If all this information were placed on CDs and they were stacked up, the CDs would form five separate piles that would all reach to the moon.

This explosion of data is relatively new. As recently as the year 2000, only one-quarter of all the world’s stored information was digital. The rest was preserved on paper, film, and other analog media. But because the amount of digital data expands so quickly -- doubling around every three years -- that situation was swiftly inverted. Today, less than two percent of all stored information is nondigital


Japan is Back

1週間遅れのニュースですが、安部首相が訪米した時にCSISで講演したときの映像が以下です。Apple Online StoreがWe'll be back.となっているというニュースで思い出しました(笑)


Statesmen’s Forum: HE Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan
Japan is Back

FRIDAY, FEB 22, 2013



But anyway, we’re delighted to have the prime minister here. This is – this is an exciting time for us, and we know, of course, Prime Minister Abe. We know of his leadership through the years, and we’re really delighted to have him here. We welcome him. We’re excited that he can be with us today. And thank you, Prime Minister. We’re delighted to have you here.


You know, about 80 percent of Americans believe that the U.S.-Japan relationship is the most important foundational relationship in Asia, and I think that’s emblematic of this – how important we give this relationship, and why it’s so important that Prime Minister Abe would be here so early in his tenure and in President Obama’s second term.
So we’re delighted to have him here. Would you please welcome him with your applause, Prime Minister Abe. Thank you.

MR. HAMRE: First, Prime Minister, I don’t know of an American president who could
give a speech to the Japanese public in Japanese. (Scattered laughter.) So I want to say thank you. This is a real honor that you gave us with your speech in English. Thank you. (Applause.)

この講演会で司会を務めていた知日家のMichael J. Green氏がフォーリンポリシーに書いていました。自分の主催した講演について悪く言う訳もなく、今回の訪米が実りあるものであることを述べています。

Shinzo Abe: Japan is back
Posted By Michael J. Green Monday, February 25, 2013 - 11:30 AM

In an energetic speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington on Friday, he declared to the audience that "Japan is back."

Abe's return seemed initially to confuse the Obama administration. His values-based, balance of power approach resonated much more with George W. Bush's second inaugural than the minimalist and risk-averse foreign policy vision President Obama has put forth for his second term. The administration also appeared spooked by Abe's intemperate campaign comments about the need to revisit Japan's previous official apologies to China and Korea. Numerous stories emerged before his visit to Washington citing unnamed senior U.S. officials promising to publicly shame Japan if the Abe administration went too far with historical revisionism. The pattern looked eerily reminiscent of what happened between the Obama administration and Bibi Netanyahu in the first term. For its part, the Japanese side was equally uncertain about seeming wobbliness in U.S. declaratory policy on the Senkaku issue since Hillary Clinton's departure and by John Kerry's promise in his confirmation hearings to "grow the rebalance towards Beijing" (it did not help that Chinese official editorials praised Kerry for having the wisdom not to "meddle" in Far Eastern affairs the way his predecessor had).

In the end, though, the Abe-Obama summit on Feb. 22 was a success for both sides. Since coming to office, Abe has moderated his stance on history issues and was firm but gracious towards China and especially South Korea in his CSIS speech. In the Oval Office press availability, President Obama reaffirmed that Japan is the "central foundation" of U.S. security policy toward the Pacific (though he sounded like he was searching for a teleprompter when he said it).


hinzo Abe Comes to Washington
By Michael J. Green, Matthew P. Goodman, Nicholas Szechenyi
FEB 21, 2013

Q1: What is on the agenda?
Q2: Why is this meeting significant?
Q3: What are the expectations going forward?


Richard C. Bush III | February 22, 2013 5:51pm
Shinzo Abe's Visit to Washington

For the short term, U.S. expectations from the summit were probably low. Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party faces elections for half the seats of the Upper House of the Diet (legislature) in July. Winning a majority in that election and so ending divided government in Tokyo is very important for Mr. Abe. He was not about to make bold initiatives in Washington that could hurt him back home (on TPP, for example), but the United States has an interest in a Japanese government that can work to meet the many challenges that faces it.

Over the longer term, the Obama administration expects more than a good set of meetings. It hopes that Japan will bear its part of the burden of preserving peace, stability, and prosperity in East Asia and the world, and that there would be close coordination and cooperation on how to manage China’s rise on issues large and small. In that regard, Abe pledged new action on the security relationship but also a renewed commitment to a positive and constructive global and regional role. Abe’s simple message was that, after several years of uncertainty about Tokyo’s future trajectory, Japan “was back,” and contrary to the doubts of some Americans, it would remain a first-tier country.

もう少し読み応えのある日本外交の分析は、日本のテレビでもおなじみのGerald L. Curtis教授がフォーリンアフェアーズの最新号に寄稿していました。安部首相はタカ派だけれども現実的に行動するのではないかと、冷静に分析しているようですね。まだ読んでいないので、これから読んでみようと思います。

Japan's Cautious Hawks
Why Tokyo Is Unlikely to Pursue an Aggressive Foreign Policy
By Gerald L. Curtis
March/April 2013
The election of the hawkish Shinzo Abe as Japan's prime minister has the world worrying that Tokyo is about to part with its pacifist strategy of the last 70 years. But Japan's new leaders are pragmatic, and so long as the United States does not waver in its commitment to the country's defense, they are unlikely chart a new course.
GERALD L. CURTIS is Burgess Professor of Political Science at Columbia University.

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