U.S. Is Seeing Policy Thorns in Japan Shift
( New York Times )

Japan’s landmark election presents the Obama administration with an untested government, creating a new set of imponderables for a White House already burdened by foreign policy headaches in Afghanistan, Iran and North Korea.

Inside the administration, the historic change in Tokyo is raising concerns that Japan may back away from supporting key American priorities like the war in Afghanistan or the redeployment of American troops in Asia, according to senior officials.

The big question many in Washington are asking is whether the vote was a harbinger of a deeper change in Japan, away from its historic dependence on the United States.

Professor Green said the new government would find that some of its proposals, like reopening talks on the relocation of the Futenma Marine airfield on Okinawa, were unrealistic, given the years it took to negotiate that deal. For the Obama administration, he said, the challenge will be to give Japan’s new leaders a face-saving way to back down.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・landmark (土地の)境界標、目じるし、画期的事件
・troop 軍隊、一団
・negotiate 交渉する、協定する
・challenge 挑戦、課題

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Halted ’03 Iraq Plan Illustrates U.S. Fear of Cyberwar Risk
( New York Times )

It would have been the most far-reaching case of computer sabotage in history. In 2003, the Pentagon and American intelligence agencies made plans for a cyberattack to freeze billions of dollars in the bank accounts of Saddam Hussein and cripple his government’s financial system before the United States invaded Iraq. He would have no money for war supplies. No money to pay troops.

“We knew we could pull it off ― we had the tools,” said one
senior official who worked at the Pentagon when the highly classified plan was developed.

But the attack never got the green light. Bush administration
officials worried that the effects would not be limited to Iraq but would instead create worldwide financial havoc, spreading across the Middle East to Europe and perhaps to the United States.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・halt 停止する・させる
・sabotage 生産妨害行為、破壊工作
・supply 供給する、補給品

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After Many Stumbles, the Fall of a Giant
( New York Times )

It is a company that helped lift hundreds of thousands of American workers into the middle class. It transformed Detroit into the Silicon Valley of its day, a symbol of America’s talent for innovation. It built celebrated cars, like Cadillacs, that became synonymous with luxury.

And now it is filing for bankruptcy, something that would have been unfathomable even a few years ago, much less decades ago, when it was a dominant force in the American economy.

Rarely has a company fallen so far and so fast as General Motors. And while its bankruptcy appeared increasingly likely in recent weeks, the arrival of the moment is still a staggering blow, particularly for anyone with ties to the company.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・stumble つまずく、よろめく
・innovation 革新、改革
・celebrated 有名な(celebrate:祝う)
・dominant 優勢な、支配的な
・stagger よろけさせる、たじろがせる

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Obama Won’t Bar Inquiry, or Penalty, on Interrogations
( New York Times )

President Obama left the door open Tuesday to creating a bipartisan commission that would investigate the Bush administration’s use of harsh interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects, and did not rule out action by the Justice Department against those who fashioned the legal rationale for those techniques.

The remarks, in response to questions from reporters in the Oval Office, amounted to a shift for the White House. The president had repeatedly said that the nation should look forward rather than focusing on the past, and his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, said Sunday in a television interview that Mr. Obama believed that “those who devised policy” should not be prosecuted.

The White House’s shifting comments in recent days provide a glimpse into its struggle to deal with one of the thorniest issues Mr. Obama has faced since taking office. That issue has turned all the more prickly for him since his decision to release previously secret memorandums detailing the harsh tactics used by the C.I.A. under President George W. Bush -- memos revealing that, for instance, two captured operatives of Al Qaeda were subjected a total of 266 times to a form of near drowning known as waterboarding.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・bar 棒、かんぬき(を掛ける)、禁じる、妨げる
・commission 委任(状)、委員会
・harsh  粗い、厳しい
・interrogation 質問、尋問
・rationale 理論的根拠、原理
・prosecute 遂行する、起訴する
・tactic 方策、(個々の)戦術
・operative 働いている、動いている、刑事、探偵、工作員

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Obamas to Plant Vegetable Garden at White House
( New York Times )

Michelle Obama will begin digging up a patch of the South Lawn on Friday to plant a vegetable garden, the first at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt’s victory garden in World War II. There will be no beets -- the president does not like them -- but arugula will make the cut.

While the organic garden will provide food for the first family’s meals and formal dinners, its most important role, Mrs. Obama said, will be to educate children about healthful, locally grown fruit and vegetables at a time when obesity and diabetes have become a national concern.

Whether there would be a White House garden had become more than a matter of landscaping. The question had taken on political and environmental symbolism, with the Obamas lobbied for months by advocates who believe that growing more food locally, and organically, can lead to more healthful eating and reduce reliance on huge industrial farms that use more oil for transportation and chemicals for fertilizer.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・patch つぎ(切れ)、(傷に当てる)布切れ、(土地・畑の)1区画
・locally ある地方で、地元で(「田舎の」ではありません)
・obesity 肥満
・diabetes 糖尿病
・landscap 風景(画)、造園する
・take on 引受ける、装う、(様相を)帯びる
・advocate 主張者、擁護者
・reliance 頼ること(動詞はrely)
・fertilizer 肥沃にするもの、豊かにするもの

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