タイの政治の将来 独裁の500日(3) 空には限界がある。 軍事演習がとんでもない飛行機の遅延を引き起こしている。

Eventually public opinion will turn against the junta. But a social response to economic failure will take time to develop. Thailand’s economy is short of labour, with nearly full employment. Its fiscal position is enviable by most European and Asian standards. 


Yet a meaningful economic recovery in the second half 2014 would be nothing short of a miracle. Imports fell by 14% year-on-year in June and industrial output fell by 6.6%. Overall production, consumption, investment and tourism all slumped. Investment, which follows demand, will not pick up until the collapse in domestic demand has been reversed. High household debt and consumers’ reluctance to invest their black money are likely to complicate a return to rapid growth. Whatever happens in the next few months, Thailand is likely to be the slowest-growing economy in Asia this year. 

nothing short of :まさに〜にほかならない
complicate a return:戻るのを困難にする

At some point the self-appointed leadership is bound to weary of defending itself on the pretext of building a democracy. Most dissenters appear to have resigned themselves to the fact that their views will not matter for a while, perhaps two or three years. Many are too busy simply trying to make ends meet. 

bound to:しなければならない/する運命にある
resigned themselves to:に甘んじる
make ends meet:収入の範囲内でやりくりする

To stay in power till the next royal succession, the generals must prove that their brand of authoritarianism can improve the lot of 68m Thais. If they pulled it off, theirs would be the first coup anywhere since the end of the cold war that actually raised the pace of income growth. It will never be known what Thailand could have achieved for itself this decade within a democratic framework. If Thailand’s own history is a reliable guide, abandoning democracy can be expected to lead straight to economic stagnation and exacerbated inequality. 

pulled it off:うまくやり通す

Corrections to this article: * This clause was changed to refer specifically to the 2006 coup. As a reader pointed out, some of the leaders of previous coups were not so quick to hand over the reins. ** Another reader directed our attention to the case of North Korea, which we had overlooked somehow. Thank you, both. 

hand over the reins:権限を移譲する


The sky is a limit
Military exercises contribute to dreadful airline delays
Aug 2nd 2014 | BEIJING | From the print edition


CHINA’S airlines and airports have long been notorious for their lateness. Since mid-July they have got much, much worse as rafts of flights have been delayed or cancelled. On July 26th the country’s Civil Aviation Administration warned of “massive flight delays” in eastern and central China. Capacity would drop by 65% on some routes, the agency said. On July 28th nearly 200 flights were cancelled at Shanghai’s two airports, and 120 were delayed by more than two hours. 

rafts of:たくさんの

Frustrated travellers beg for more information. While some officials, rather implausibly, have put it all down to bad weather, it perhaps marks an advance in transparency that others blame “air-traffic control”, and specifically the role of military drills, for the havoc. Even so, claims by the defence ministry that the live-fire drills they announced were having only “limited impact” on civilian aviation have been met with raspberries. 

beg for:懇願する
met with raspberries:馬鹿にする


swingby_blog at 06:48コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 


タイの政治の将来 独裁の500日(2)

The junta says there will be a big election in October 2015. Thus far it has refused to say if it will impose any restrictions on the franchise. But it would be a wonder if it didn’t. For the whole point of the coups of 2006 and 2014 has been to overturn the winner-takes-all system which served Mr Thaksin so well, in favour of governance by “moral people” who cannot win elections. 

Thus far:今までのところ
For the whole point:なぜなら全体の観点は
moral people:道徳的な人たち 民主主義市民連合 タイのタクシン元首相に反対する市民政治団体

Much of the elite feels offended to hear a spade called a spade. But there can be no mistaking that Thailand’s government has slipped from the reach of any popular majority. The dictatorship which has replaced it will make every effort to outlast the lifespan of the current king. 

a spade called a spade:あからさまに言う
slipped from:離れる

Most Thai citizens (and most Western governments too) would like to see Thailand emerge someday as a prosperous, democratic republic, a leader within South-East Asia. For them the near-term future looks unpromising. Large parts of the economy are essentially criminal conspiracies based on smuggling, prostitution, gambling and corruption. Research by the World Bank shows that only half of all income shows up in Thailand’s national-accounts data—which is among the lowest rates in Asia. 

show up:姿を見せる

And while the benefits of Thailand’s economic growth since the 1960s have raised incomes and provided health care and education to most Thais, the pillars of future prosperity look shaky. The things that will be required for further development—rule of law, a well-regulated financial system, transparency of wealth, a strong commitment to science and education—are in short supply. 


The junta’s very existence represents a rejection of the rule of law. While its commitment to stamp out corruption sounds good, graft is too entrenched to be rooted out by the army alone; like the government it replaced, the officer corps is essentially a business club, serving the country’s elite. The financial system, long under the control of the wealthiest Thais and leading Thai-Chinese business groups, will remain a closed shop. The central bank, which became notorious for its mismanagement of the financial crisis in 1997 and 1998, has since pursued a course that is directly supportive of the wealthy and has significantly slowed growth. Much has been written about the successes of the Thai economy, but Thailand’s record in raising peoples’ standards of living post-1997 is actually worse than that of any other country in East or South-East Asia (with the notable exception of North Korea**). The secretive policies of the Crown Property Bureau, the palace’s investment arm and the biggest conglomerate in Thailand, reflects a deep resistance to transparency. Finally, if freedom of thought and expression are to be the basis of any scientific society—then Thailand will just have to wait. 

stamp out :撲滅する
root out:根絶する
closed shop: クローズド・ショップ◆該当職種の職種別労働組合員の中からのみ、社員を採用する事業所、またはその制度。アメリカでは1947年のタフト・ハートレイ法(Taft-Hartley Act)により禁止された。

The forces that are leading the society backwards are now unassailable, according to the letter of the law. They shield themselves from every other kind of criticism by their association with the monarchy. Challenging a state that has been endorsed by the king is socially unacceptable—and now it is a criminal offence, too. 

letter of the law:法律の条文
criminal offence:刑事犯罪


swingby_blog at 06:44コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 


タイの政治の将来 独裁の500日


Thailand's political future
Five hundred days of dictatorship
Aug 5th 2014, 8:05 by The Economist | BANGKOK


THE ARMY has been the most powerful force in Thai political life since the introduction of constitutional monarchy in 1932. Since its most recent power grab, in a coup d’etat sprung on May 22nd, a junta has been busy building a facade of legitimacy—as if to obscure from view their new dictatorship. An interim constitution grants absolutist powers to the military men, who effectively administer the monarchy. It also grants an amnesty for crimes related to the toppling of electoral democracy and the tools necessary to ensure that martial law persists. A handpicked bunch will draft a similar piece of paper within the next 120 days. It is unclear whether the expected result, which is to be Thailand’s 18th constitution, will be put to a referendum. 

constitutional monarchy: 立憲君主制(政府)[政体]◆憲法の規定内において、君主が国家元首となる政治形態。憲法の規制を受けない絶対君主制(absolute monarchy)と対比される。◆【同】limited monarchy
obscure from:から遮る
martial law:厳戒令
handpicked bunch:厳選された塊(憲法)

To make it all fly, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, Thailand’s military dictator and prime-minister-in-waiting, had to prostrate himself in front of the 86-year-old king, Bhumibol Adulyadej. The ailing monarch’s blessing was the only available source of legitimacy. Accordingly, the interim charter makes mention of the king no fewer than 38 times. Shunting responsibility to the king in this way is a time-tested trick. 

To make it all fly:それら全てを引き起こすために
prostrate himself:ひれ伏す
Shunting :追いやる/押し付ける

On July 31st the king endorsed the members of a new national assembly, a 200-member strong rubberstamp composed of 105 military officers (including 40 generals, 21 lieutenants-generals, 17 chief air marshals and 14 admirals). Professional politicians were ineligible. The civilian half of the new legislature includes civil servants, academics, ex-senators and figures from the private sector (in all, ten women made the cut). An opening ceremony for the assembly will be chaired by the crown prince on August 7th. One of its tasks will be to give General Prayuth, the man who appointed all legislators, the job of prime minister. Unlike the coup-makers of 2006*, who quickly delegated power to handpicked civilians, General Prayuth and his classmates are intent on retaining complete control. 

chief air marshal:空軍大将
make the cut:基準値に満たしていると認められる

The army has given itself 500 days or so to establish “genuine democracy” by fiat. It will appoint a 250-member strong National Reform Council and then task it with proposing political, social and economic reforms. The stated point of the exercise is to “create the democracy with the King as the Head of State appropriate to the Thai society”. The key characteristics of such a democracy are supposed to include free and fair elections; an end to corruption, misconduct and inequality; and the impartial enforcement of laws. It all sounds perfectly “appropriate”. But it seems the generals have in mind a few extra characteristics. 

by fiat:専断で

For a start, there will be no political comeback for Thaksin Shinawatra or his sister Yingluck, the siblings who have won every election since 2001. Without competitive elections, the Shinawatras are powerless, albeit rich. The generals let Ms Yingluck leave Thailand to attend Mr Thaksin’s birthday party in Paris on July 26th. That puts Ms Yingluck in a position to decide whether to return to Thailand—and face criminal charges—or join Thailand’s long list of exiled former prime ministers. 

For a start:まず第一に


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Given that Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority all desperately sought a defanged Hamas, Kerry’s proposal was at best a massive amateurish blunder. But Israelis wonder if it was more than that. The Federal Aviation Authority’s flight ban (with European airlines following suit) had enormous metaphorical power in a country surrounded by enemies and from which air travel is the only real passage out. The ban felt like another American shot across the bow. 

at best:良くても/せいぜい
amateurish blunder:素人臭い失態
following suit:同様の措置を講じる 前に出たカードと同じ柄のカードを出す
metaphorical power:隠喩的な力
feel like:のような気がする
shot across the bow:船首前方への威嚇射撃をする

“But why?” Israelis wonder. We are painfully aware of the horrific human suffering on the Gazan side of the border, and most of us regret it deeply. But while hiding behind Gazans, in mosques and hospitals, Hamas fired 3,300 rockets into Israel and sent terrorists through tunnels to murder and kidnap Israelis. What would America have done if it faced the same mortal danger? 

mortal danger:生死に関わる危機

So why the duplicitousness? Why the utter even-handedness? Whatever faults one may find with Israel’s policy vis-a-vis Gaza or the Palestinian Authority, why could America’s leadership not highlight the conflict’s critical moral dimension? Hamas, a genocidal terrorist organization hell-bent on the destruction of Israel, is pure evil. America can’t say that? 


Let’s be honest again: Were Israel to entirely demilitarize its Arab enemies, would it dismantle their countries? Murder millions? Obviously not. But what if Hamas vanquished the I.D.F.? Does anyone doubt what would happen to Israel or to the more than six million Jews who live here? 


Israel and the United States have a relationship too deep to be permanently fractured by Kerry’s missteps. But Kerry isn’t the issue; America’s deep-seated commitments are. To re-enter this region as a broker or peace-maker, America must stand for the values that have long made it great. 


Were the Palestinian Authority to see that the United States will support only democratic regimes, that it will not only denounce terror but will give carte blanche to those on the front lines of fighting terror, then – having witnessed the power of Israel’s wrath – Abbas and his government would understand that time is not on their side to make the accommodations necessary for a peace deal. Then, a combination of pressure from Israeli moderates combined with American leverage might well get Israel to budge, as well.

carte blanche:完全な自由
make the accommodation:予約を入れる

In the aftermath of this past month, time appears to be on the side of radicals and terrorists. That is what America must change. The critical next step is for this region to hear that the world’s most powerful nation still has a moral compass. 


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「売れ残った」そして誇り高い(2) アメリカの倫理基準はイスラエルに焦点を合わさなければならない。

The project is organised by Roseann Lake, an American journalist, and the germ of the idea grew out of Beijing’s "Lean In" circles, discussion groups that have become popular wordwide after the publication of Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In”. A variety of women’s issues were tackled in the monologues, including family pressure, sexual liberation, attitudes to lesbians, date rape and a dating culture that can value money over feeling. One PhD student began her monologue, “I’m not a woman and I’m not a man,” referring to an old (cruel) joke in China that there are three genders—male, female and female PhD. 

date rape: デートレイプ◆友人・知人などに合意のない性行為を強要すること。被害者の抵抗力を奪う計略としてしばしば酒や薬物が使われる。◆【類】acquaintance rape
value ~ over: 〜を…より高く評価する[重んじる]

For both participants and audience members, it was empowering to get it all out in the open. Kan Chaoqun, a 25-year-old journalist whose own monologue was about male expectations of beauty and behaviour standards among Chinese women, said, “I think this is the first time in China that these real issues have been put on the stage... It’s a way of making society listen, or even to make those [men] in power realise what the problems are.” 

There is a long road ahead. This is a small-time affair, and educated urban enlightment is a tougher sell in China’s countryside and lower-tier cities. Meanwhile, feminist activists such as Ye Haiyan are hounded by the police as troublemakers and met with public disapproval, including internet trolling. But in the battle for women’s rights and dignity, those who speak up about it are the vanguard. And those who don’t listen risk being not left over but left behind. 

internet trolling:Youtube や Facebook や掲示板など、インターネット上でコメントが出来る場所では、troll と呼ばれる人を頻繁に見かけます。troll は、誰かに喧嘩をふっかけたり、誰かが気を悪くするようなコメントを書き込んだり、注目されたいがために嘘を書き込んだりする人です。日本語でこのような人は、「荒らし」や「釣り」といいますね。そして、このような動作は trolling といいます。 
left over:残り物
left behind:落ちこぼれ/置いてきぼりにされる

America’s Moral Compass Must Point to Israel
Daniel Gordis

Moral Compass:倫理基準


Daniel Gordis is senior vice president, Koret distinguished fellow and chairman of the core curriculum at Shalem College in Jerusalem. His latest book is "Menachem Begin: The Battle for Israel’s Soul."
AUGUST 5, 2014

Menachem Begin: メナヘム・ベギン◆イスラエルの権謀術数に強けた辣腕首相。周囲アラブ諸国との戦争後エジプト・サダト大統領と終戦締結(1979)。後任は Yitzhak Shamir。

The war between Israel and Hamas has left vast devastation in its wake. Entire Gazan neighborhoods are rubble. Israel’s deterrent edge has been damaged, with many Israelis refusing to return to their border-adjacent homes, fearful that more tunnels remain. Equally devastated, however, is America’s credibility among Israelis.

in its wake:の通った後で
deterrent edge:抑止の境界

When Secretary of State John Kerry floated a cease-fire proposal that did not require dismantling Hamas’s rockets or destroying the tunnels burrowed into sovereign Israeli territory, he burned bridges with almost all of Israel. The editor of the centrist Times of Israel titled his column “John Kerry – The Betrayal”, while the hard left-leaning daily Haaretz asked, “What was he thinking?” 

burned bridge:背水の陣を引く


swingby_blog at 12:43コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 




 "Leftover" and proud
Aug 1st 2014, 23:14 by A.A. | BEIJING


IT ISN'T easy being young and female in China. The pressure to marry begins from your early to mid-twenties, often with your own mother ringing you on a daily basis to encourage you to settle. Education and job opportunities are rigged towards men in a broadly chauvinistic culture. Harrassment in the work place, and domestic violence at home, are rife and difficult to bring to court. The standard of beauty is narrow and exacting, often infantalising. Virginity is prized, sexual freedom stigmatised. China has taken a large step backwards from the ideal that women, in Mao’s well-worn phrase, “hold up half the sky”. 

standard of beauty:美しさの標準

It is encouraging to see women give voice to justified complaints. Last November, 17 university students participated in a photographic protest of sexual defiance. Around the same time, Xiao Meili, a 24-year-old women’s rights activist, embarked on a 144-day, 2300km walk from Beijing to Guangzhou to raise awareness about sexual assault (in Chinese). An earlier campaign was a spin-off of the Occupy movement, “Occupy the men’s toilets”. Now, in Beijing, women’s issues have come to the stage in a dramatised collection of personal stories called “The Leftover Monologues”. 

sexual defiance:性に対する果敢な抵抗
sexual assault:婦女暴行
dramatised collection:ドラマ化された収集物

The play, which opened July 26th at a cafe in central Beijing with repeat shows to follow (details available via email), was a spin on the American feminist play “The Vagina Monologues”, but with Chinese characteristics. “Leftover” is an insulting term in Chinese applied to unmarried women in their mid-twenties or older, often with a high level of education or professional accomplishment, who are cast by society (including the All China Women’s Federation, an official organ) as too picky and unappealing for their own good. (This is all nicely laid out in a new book, "Leftover Women", by Leta Hong Fincher.) 

cast by society:世に疎まれる
for their own good:彼らにとって

In the performance, fifteen women (and three men) took back the term for their own. Titles of the monologues, almost all of which were personal experiences delivered by non-actors, included “To be leftover is better” and “Leftover – I’m willing!”. “To be a leftover woman,” Feng Yajun, a 24-year-old sales professional said on stage, “is to be hidden in a corner... But we are already emerging from it. This transformation in China is coming to light, so I say, 'I want to be a leftover woman!'” 

took back the term for their own:彼らにとってその言葉を取り戻す


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