With Bold Stand, Japan Opposition Wins a Landslide
( New York Times )

Japan’s voters cast out the Liberal Democratic Party for only the second time in postwar history on Sunday, handing a landslide victory to a party that campaigned on a promise to reverse a generation-long economic decline and to redefine Tokyo’s relationship with Washington.

Many Japanese saw the vote as the final blow to the island nation’s postwar order, which has been slowly unraveling since the economy collapsed in the early 1990s.

Political analysts expect Japan to remain a close American ally, but one that is more assertive and less willing to follow Washington’s lead automatically.

And some analysts have played down the rhetoric of Mr. Hatoyama, a bushy-haired former management professor, as a nod to his party’s left-leaning base rather than a firm pledge to alter dealings with the United States drastically. In recent interviews, Democratic leaders have insisted there will be no major changes in that relationship.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・decline 下落、衰退
・redefine 再定義する(define:定める、定義する)
・bushy ふさふさした(bush:やぶ)
・pledge 誓約; 担保
・alter 変える

● 解説ザブ〜ン!



A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.


Being a woman is a terribly difficult trade, since it consists
principally of dealing with men.




Young Japanese Women Vie for a Once-Scorned Job
( New York Times )

The women who pour drinks in Japan’s sleek gentlemen’s clubs were once shunned because their duties were considered immodest: lavishing adoring (albeit nonsexual) attention on men for a hefty fee.

But with that line of work, called hostessing, among the most
lucrative jobs available to women and with the country neck-deep in a recession, hostess positions are increasingly coveted, and hostesses themselves are gaining respectability and even acclaim. Japan’s worst recession since World War II is changing mores.

“More women from a diversity of backgrounds are looking for hostess work,” said Kentaro Miura, who helps manage seven clubs in Kabuki-cho, Tokyo’s glittering red-light district. “There is less resistance to becoming a hostess. In fact, it’s seen as a glamorous job.”

But behind this trend is a less-than-glamorous reality. Employment opportunities for young women, especially those with no college education, are often limited to low-paying, dead-end jobs or temp positions.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・hefty 重い、かなりの
・fee 手数料、料金、報酬
・recession 退場、(景気などの一時的)後退
・acclaim 歓呼、喝采
・mores (社会学用語)一集団の社会的慣行、道徳的姿勢
・glitter ピカピカ光る、きらきら光る

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posted by K.Andoh | Comment(2) | TrackBack(0) | 日本−社会



New Questions in Lockerbie Bomber’s Release
( New York Times )

In the wake of the sole convicted Lockerbie bomber’s return to a hero’s welcome in Tripoli, questions intensified in Britain on Friday as to whether lucrative Libyan oil contracts were as much a factor in his release as compassion for a dying man.

The bomber, Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, suffering from terminal prostate cancer, was freed from a Scottish prison on Thursday and flown home in a V.I.P. jetliner to scenes of jubilation in Libya that were broadcast around the world, angering many in Britain and America, including President Obama.

Although there was no firm evidence of any quid pro quo between
Britain and Libya, the British government acted vigorously on Friday to defend itself against accusations that it paved the way for the Libyan’s release to promote British-based oil companies’ hopes of securing pole position in the international contest for new Libyan oil concessions.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・convict 有罪判決下す、受刑者、罪人
・intensify 強くする・なる(intense:激しい)
・compassion 哀れみ、同情
・jubilation 歓喜、祝賀
・vigorously 精力的に(vigor:活力、気力)

● 解説ザブ〜ン!
posted by K.Andoh | Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 国際



God made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.


In 1980, I was sentenced to death by the military regime. For six months in prison, I awaited the execution day. Often, I shuddered with fear of death. But I would find calm in the fact of history that justice ultimately prevails.