2011/12/21

デイリーヨミウリ「安易に妥協するな」


読売の社説を英語に訳しただけなのだが、背景に関する説明がないので外国人の読者には、強制連行・性奴隷制を日本政府は認めて謝ったのだから・・・という風にとらえられるのだろう。タイのニュースサイトに転載されていた他、twitterで否定的なコメントが二三ついていたと思う。

Don't make easy compromise on 'comfort women' issue

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Japan absolutely must refrain from making an easy compromise on the issue of so-called comfort women.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda met with South Korean President Lee Myung Bak in Kyoto on Sunday. During their talks, the president sought the prime minister's "decision" on the issue, insisting that resolving it should be given priority while some former comfort women are still alive.

The prime minister reiterated Japan's position that the issue had been legally settled but called for using wisdom from a humanitarian standpoint.

The president apparently brought up the comfort women issue with a view to recent developments in his country, such as a stiffening of public sentiment after South Korea's constitutional court ruled that it was unconstitutional for the government not to make an effort to have Japan pay compensation to the comfort women.

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Already a settled matter

However, Japan and South Korea already signed a bilateral accord stating that the right to demand wartime compensation had been "fully and finally settled" when the two countries normalized diplomatic ties in 1965.

The government must firmly maintain this position. The issue involves recognizing the facts of history. So, even if Japan were to take half measures from a "humanitarian standpoint," it would be difficult to satisfy South Korea and would only be likely to further complicate the problem.

More problematic is the South Korean government's tacit approval of a South Korean private organization setting up a statue of a girl symbolizing comfort women in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul.

In their meeting, Noda requested of Lee that the statue be removed as soon as possible. But the president objected, saying that unless Japan takes sincere measures, another statue will be added every time a former comfort woman dies.

South Korea's argument makes no sense. The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations stipulates that "the receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps...to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity."

The Japanese government believes the South Korean government's tacit approval of the statue violates the convention. Noda was quite right to demand the statue's removal. The Japanese government must tenaciously urge the South Korean side to remove it.

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Other important topics sidelined

The comfort women issue wound up taking a conspicuously long time in the bilateral summit meeting, which failed to deepen discussions on other important issues. The South Korean side is responsible for this result.

However, it is also important to keep the comfort women issue from causing the Japan-South Korea relationship to stagnate.

As for the stalled negotiations on the economic partnership agreement between the two countries, Noda called for accelerating discussions to resume the talks as soon as possible, but the president did not give a positive response.

Apparently wary of a further increase in its trade deficit with Japan, South Korea remains cautious about resuming the negotiations. However, if Japan moves forward by boldly opening its market, it will benefit both countries quite a lot.

If Japan and South Korea fail to keep in step with each other on issues involving North Korea, such as its nuclear development program and abduction of Japanese nationals, it could only benefit North Korea.

The two countries should cooperate on economic and security issues from a broader viewpoint to steadily move forward on various problems.


日韓首脳会談 慰安婦で安易な妥協は禁物だ(12月19日付・読売社説)
いわゆる従軍慰安婦の問題で、日本が安易な妥協を図ることは、厳に慎む必要がある。

野田首相と韓国の李明博大統領が京都で会談した。大統領は慰安婦問題について、元慰安婦が生きている間に「優先的に解決すべきだ」と述べ、「首相の決断」を求めた。

首相は、賠償問題は法的に解決済みとする一方、「人道的な見地から知恵を絞ろう」と語った。

大統領が慰安婦問題を提起したのは、韓国政府に解決への努力を求める憲法裁判所の決定や韓国世論の硬化などの事情があろう。

だが、戦時中などの賠償請求権問題については、既に1965年の日韓国交正常化の際、「完全かつ最終的に解決された」との国際協定を締結している。

政府は、この立場を堅持すべきだ。歴史認識にもかかわる問題であり、仮に「人道的な見地」から中途半端な措置を取っても、韓国側を満足させることは困難で、問題を複雑化するだけだろう。

むしろ問題は、韓国の民間団体がソウルの日本大使館前に慰安婦を象徴する少女像を設置し、韓国政府が黙認していることだ。

野田首相は会談で、少女像の早期撤去を要請した。大統領は「日本の誠意ある措置がなければ、元慰安婦が亡くなるたびに、第2、第3の銅像が建てられるだろう」などと反論した。

この韓国側の主張はおかしい。外交関係に関するウィーン条約は、外交公館の「安寧の妨害または威厳の侵害を防止する適当な措置」を取る「特別の責務」が受け入れ国にある、と定めている。

日本政府は、少女像設置の黙認は条約違反とみている。首相の主張は当然だ。今後も、粘り強く撤去を促さねばならない。

会談で慰安婦問題が突出し、他の重要議題の議論が深まらなかった原因は、韓国側にある。ただ、慰安婦問題が、日韓関係を停滞させるのを避けることも重要だ。

中断している経済連携協定(EPA)交渉について野田首相は、早期再開へ議論を加速させることを提案したが、大統領から前向きな回答はなかった。

韓国は、対日赤字の拡大を警戒し、交渉再開に慎重だ。だが、日本が大胆な市場開放に踏み出せば互いに得るものは大きい。

北朝鮮の核と拉致の問題も、日韓の足並みが乱れれば、北朝鮮を利する展開になりかねない。

日韓双方が大局的見地から経済や安全保障問題で協力し、着実に前進させることが求められる。

読売新聞 2011.12.19

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