Japan Tries to Face Up to Growing Poverty Problem
( New York Times )

Satomi Sato, a 51-year-old widow, knew she had it tough, raising a teenage daughter on the less than $17,000 a year she earned from two jobs. Still, she was surprised last autumn when the government announced for the first time an official poverty line ― and she was below it.

After years of economic stagnation and widening income disparities, this once proudly egalitarian nation is belatedly waking up to the fact that it has a large and growing number of poor people. The Labor Ministry’s disclosure in October that almost one in six Japanese, or 20 million people, lived in poverty in 2007 stunned the nation and ignited a debate over possible remedies that has raged ever since.

But perhaps just as surprising was the government’s admission that it had been keeping poverty statistics secretly since 1998 while denying there was a problem, despite occasional anecdotal evidence to the contrary. That ended when a left-leaning government led by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama replaced the long-governing Liberal Democratic Party last summer with a pledge to force Japan’s legendarily secretive bureaucrats to be more open, particularly about social problems, government officials and poverty experts said.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・remedy 治療、療法
・rage 激怒する、荒れ狂う
・contrary 反対(の・に)
・lean 傾く、傾斜する
・pledge 誓約、公約、抵当
・bureaucrat 官僚(bureaucracy:官僚制)

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



90,000 Protest U.S. Base on Okinawa
( New York Times )

More than 90,000 Okinawans rallied Sunday to oppose the relocation of an American air base on their island, adding to the pressure on Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama to resolve an issue that has divided Tokyo and Washington.

The demonstrators, in one of the largest protests on Okinawa in
years, demanded that Mr. Hatoyama scrap a 2006 agreement with the United States to move the Futenma Marine Corps Air Station to a different site on the island. Many of the protesters wore yellow to signal they were giving Mr. Hatoyama a warning for appearing to waver on election promises to move the busy base off Okinawa altogether.

Since his party’s landmark election victory last summer, Mr.
Hatoyama has promised to come up with an alternative plan that would reduce the heavy American presence on the southern Japanese island, home to nearly half of the 50,000 United States military personnel in Japan. He has given himself until the end of May to put together such a plan that would also be acceptable to Washington.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・resolve 解決する、決意する
・waver 揺れる、揺らぐ
・alternative 代わりとなる、代わりの
・personnel (官庁・会社などの)全職員、(軍隊の)隊員
・acceptable 容認できる、受諾できる

● 解説ザブ〜ン!



Fools rushes in where angels fear to tread.


God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers.




Maternal Deaths Decline Sharply Across the Globe
( New York Times )

For the first time in decades, researchers are reporting a
significant drop worldwide in the number of women dying each year from pregnancy and childbirth, to about 342,900 in 2008 from 526,300 in 1980.

The findings, published in the medical journal The Lancet, challenge the prevailing view of maternal mortality as an intractable problem that has defied every effort to solve it.

The study cited a number of reasons for the improvement: lower
pregnancy rates in some countries; higher income, which improves nutrition and access to health care; more education for women; and the increasing availability of “skilled attendants” ― people with some medical training ― to help women give birth. Improvements in large countries like India and China helped to drive down the overall death rates.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・pregnancy 妊娠(形容詞:pregnant)
・maternal 母の、妊婦の(名詞:maternity)
・nutrition 栄養(物・摂取)
・availability 利用できること、有効(形容詞:available)
・attendant 付き添いの(人)

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



Airlines Press Europe to Ease Ban on Flights
( New York Times )

As Europe grounded most airline flights for a fourth day on Sunday because of a volcanic ash cloud spreading from Iceland, increasingly desperate airlines ran test flights to show that flying was safe and pressed aviation authorities to loosen the flight ban.

Airlines complained that European governments were overreacting to the threat, relying on incomplete data from computer models rather than real-world safety tests in the air above Europe. In a blunt statement Sunday, representatives of Europe’s airlines and airports called for “an immediate reassessment of the present restrictions.”

The closing of European airspace has dealt a severe blow to the
beleaguered airline industry. The crisis has cost the airlines at least $1 billion so far in lost revenue and could wipe out weaker carriers if it continues much longer, analysts say. Airlines have already suffered losses of $50 billion over the last decade after the attacks of 9/11, the SARS epidemics of 2004, the rise in fuel costs in 2008 and the recession.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・volcanic 火山(volcano)の
・aviation 飛行、航空(術・産業)
・complain 不平を言う、訴える
・beleaguer 包囲する、付きまとって悩ます
・epidemic 流行している、伝染病の発生

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