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本周翻译的《经济学家》文章一篇

(2011-05-04 11:09:44)
标签:

杂谈

Japan's unhelpful politics日本政界袖手旁观

Rebuilding Japan—or ruining it重建日本还是自寻毁灭

A precarious future for the country, but its politicians are self-absorbed

日本前途危机四伏,政客们却自谋其利。

Apr 28th 2011 | TOKYO | from the print edition

·                  本周翻译的《经济学家》文章一篇

               
 

·                                  

IMMEDIATELY after the earthquake and tsunami on March 11th that crippled reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, all but one of the devices to measure radioactive matter in the area were knocked out. So the authorities in Tokyo sent up a vehicle stuffed with gauges to assess how dangerous the leakage was.

311,地震和海啸造成福岛第一核电站反应堆受损,转瞬间,那里用于检测放射性物质的设备,除了一台可用外,其余都被毁坏了。因此,东京当局派出一辆塞满仪表的车辆,检测核泄漏到底有多危险。

Bewilderingly, says Goshi Hosono, a politician recently appointed to oversee Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO, the utility that runs the plant), the vehicle got stuck in traffic. It then ran out of petrol at a time when the tsunami had led to a nationwide shortage of fuel. Because of this, the government abandoned the mission. Later, the government declared the Fukushima incident to be on the same level of seriousness as the accident at Chernobyl 25 years ago. Yet it had taken what Mr Hosono says was seven to ten days before the government could get reliable data on the amount of radioactive matter pouring out. During that period it became clear that a partial meltdown had taken place in at least one of the six reactors.

让人迷惑的是,刚被任命监督运营此核电站的东京电力公司的官员细野豪志称,这辆车在路上被堵了。紧接着,当海啸造成日本全国上下燃料短缺时,这辆车又没油了。正因为如此,日本政府放弃了这一任务。随后,政府宣布福岛核事故与25年前切尔诺贝利核事故一样严重。不过政府也采纳了细野豪志所言,认为要得出有关所泄露的放射性物质的可靠数据还需要七到十天时间。在此期间,很明显,6个反应堆中至少有一个会部分溶解。

Such stories may leave people aghast over how haphazard has been the response to Japan’s nuclear mess. After all, at the time even journalists driving close to Fukushima were able to get petrol on the main highways. Still, to date no concrete accusations suggest that the prime minister, Naoto Kan, has comprehensively mishandled the daunting array of disasters that together make up the biggest challenge Japan has faced since the second world war. Ordinary people have a growing perception that Mr Kan easily loses his temper and they do not like that, says Koichi Nakano of Sophia University. “But there have been no clear examples where his action has been terribly damaging.”

这些事情让民众惶恐不安,日本政府对此次核事故的反应竟然可以如此随意。毕竟,当记者驱车逼近福岛时也可以在主要的交通干道上加油。这一系列骇人听闻的灾难使日本面临二战以来最严峻的挑战,尽管如此,迄今为止也没有提出对菅直人的实际指控,表明他完全错误地应付。普通民众越来越觉察到菅直人易怒的性格,这是他们不喜欢的。索菲亚大学的教授中野晃一表示,“但是没有明确的案例证明他的行为使事态雪上加霜。”

For all that, politicians from within his own party, as well as the opposition, are plotting to oust Mr Kan. It is yet one more indication, if any were needed, of how alarmingly self-absorbed are Japan’s political classes.

尽管如此,来自他本党和反对党的政客们正在策划一起推翻菅直人的政变。如果有必要,此事又是一个例证,表明日本的政治阶级自私得让人担忧。

On April 26th Yukio Hatoyama, a former prime minister, held a forum of 64 anti-Kan parliamentarians from the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). In fewer than nine months in office, Mr Hatoyama proved an abysmal prime minister. Since his resignation, he seems to have cast aside those memories to grow increasingly resentful of his successor. He called his forum a “Harmonious Solidarity for the Grand Coalition to Tackle the Earthquake Disaster”. Far from promoting harmony, its implicit aim was to foster a coup within the party against Mr Kan.

426,前首相鸠山由纪夫举行了一次论坛,由来自执政的日本民主党中46位反菅国会议员出席。在鸠山由纪夫任职首相的不到9个月时间里,他的表现一塌糊涂。辞职以后,他俨然将那段记忆抛在一边,转而对其继位者越发仇视。他给论坛取名为“和谐团结,众志成城,抗震救灾”。论坛远不能达到促进和谐的目的,而是暗度陈仓地在党内策划一起反菅政变。

Meanwhile, the opposition Liberal Democratic Party, which ruled for much of the half-century to 2009 and thus bears a large share of the responsibility for lax safety standards in the nuclear-power industry, is also seeking Mr Kan’s early resignation. It may pursue a censure motion in parliament with other opposition parties.

与此同时,2009年为止执政长达半个世纪,由此为核电工业松懈的安全标准承担大部分责任的自由民主党,也在寻找机会逼菅直人早日辞职。他们有可能与其他反对党派一起,发起一次问责运动。

本周翻译的《经济学家》文章一篇

Use the interactive "Graphics Carousel" to browse our coverage of catastrophe in Japan

All this, even though the public shows no enthusiasm for yet another revolving-door prime minister. To all but the political classes engaged in plotting, a leadership struggle for its own sake at a time when the focus should be on dealing with nuclear and humanitarian concerns seems crazy. None of the main parties has offered a compelling alternative for how to recover from the disaster. This includes the DPJ. Far from using the crisis as an opportunity to push for reform, the party’s secretary-general, Katsuya Okada, says things should “settle down” before the party proposes rebuilding initiatives, new energy policies and a rise in the consumption tax to pay for reconstruction.

公众对谁将成为下一任首相根本没有多少热情。除了忙于密谋政变的政治阶级,对于所有人而言,领导人在本应集中精力处理核事故和关注人道救援的敏感时期谋求私利,是疯狂的。没有一个主要政党就进行灾后重建提出值得推敲的方案,其中包括日本民主党。日本民主党的外务大臣冈田克也不仅不把此次危机作为推动改革的契机,反而表示,应该等事态得以平息后,民主党才会提出重建方案,制定新能源政策,提高消费税用于支援灾后重建。

All is not hopeless, however. On April 26th Makoto Iokibe and Jun Iio, the two (non-government) leaders of Mr Kan’s new Reconstruction Design Council, laid out their early thoughts on how to rebuild Tohoku, the shattered north-eastern region of Japan’s main island where almost 26,000 have died or remain missing, presumed drowned. Though they believe it will take at least a decade to recover, their vision, especially compared with the lack of it in politics, is daring. They want to let locals play the main role in reshaping their blighted communities; rebuild in ways that suit elderly residents; use ideas from business and abroad; and limit the influence of the government in Tokyo, which they believe dangerously overcentralises decision-making. Japan’s usual way of doing things, Mr Iio insisted, was not up to meeting challenges on this scale.

然而,并不是一切都无药可救了。426,菅直人新成立的重建设计委员会的两位非政府领导人,Makoto Iokibe Jun Iio已经就如何重建日本主岛上遭受重创的东北区域提出了他们的思想雏形,那里有将近26千人罹难或失踪,据推测是溺亡。尽管他们认为至少需要十年才能恢复,但尤其与政治家的不作为相比,他们的想法是大胆勇敢的。他们希望当地人在重建受创的社区时发挥主要作用,以适合老年居民的方式进行重建,广泛听取商业和国外人士的意见,限制东京政府的影响,因为他们认为政府只会危险地过分强调政策的制定。Iio先生坚称,不能指望日本处事的惯用做法能迎接如此规模的挑战。

 

The same day, Mr Kan announced his decision to appoint an investigative panel into the Fukushima chain of accidents. Nuclear officials believe Japan needs a quick and thorough investigation, including international experts, if it is to gauge the safety of other nuclear plants. In particular, it will have to look into what happened on the night after the tsunami, when there was a delay in “venting” pressure building up in one reactor. Officials worry most about the Hamaoka plant in Shizuoka prefecture, which is reckoned to pose the greatest risk to Tokyo should a quake strike nearer the capital. Hamaoka is of a similar type and age to Fukushima Dai-ichi.

就在同一天,菅直人宣布了他任命一个调查小组对福岛一系列事故进行调查的决定。原子能官员包括国际专家认为,如果日本想要评估其他核电站的安全性,就需要进行快速全面的调查。尤其需要查证海啸发生的当晚,即延迟为一个反应堆装备释放压力的时候,到底发生了什么。官员们最担心的是静冈县的滨冈核电站,据估计,如果离首都更近的地方发生地震,滨冈核电站对东京的威胁最大。滨冈核电站与福岛第一核电站属于同一类型,且年龄相仿。

But whether the reconstruction council and nuclear investigation promote deep changes in the way things are done in Japan rests largely on the prime minister’s powers of leadership. Only Mr Kan can make sure that the good ideas which emerge do not sink into the Tokyo swamp of bureaucrats and politicians. With some of his party against him, and the opposition unco-operative, it is not even clear that Mr Kan will get emergency budgets approved by the Diet, let alone be able to promote decentralisation and sound energy initiatives. It might help if ordinary citizens spoke out strongly for change. But apart from sporadic protests against TEPCO in the past week, they have yet to make their voices heard above the petty politicians.

但是,按照日本的做事方式,灾后重建委员会和核事故调查是否会带来深层次变革,很大程度上取决于首相的领导能力。只有菅直人才能确保现已提出的良好意见不会掉进东京官僚主义者和政客的政治泥潭。民主党内有人反对菅直人,反对党不愿与其合作,因此菅是否能让国会批准紧急预算方案尚不清楚,更别说改善中央集权、制定完美的能源政策了。如果普通市民站出来强烈呼吁变革,可能会有所帮助。但是在过去的一周里,除了零星的几名抗议者对东京电力公司提出抗议外,连芝麻小官也没有听到他们的呼声。

from the print edition | Asia

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