News

2016.12.01 English

1 Sir Ralph Kohn
2 USA Election: Recount in 3 Battleground States and Global Uncertainty.
3 China Takes the Lead
4 Diabetes UK: 65 people die each day.
5 Let’s All Join the 150 Year Old Club
6 Brexit
7 UK Child Abuse Scandal
8 Japan News
9 Japanese Efficiency
10 Most Popular UK Surnames

1 Sir Ralph Kohn
Sir Ralph Kohn, eminent medical scientist, philanthropist and baritone singer, and a good friend of Sunstar, died peacefully after a short illness, days before his 89th birthday.

Sir Ralph’s family escaped the Nazis and came to England. At University he studied pharmacology and was awarded a PHD. He then worked with Nobel Prize winning scientists in Rome, New York and London, before setting up his own respected and successful drug testing business the ‘Advisory Service’. His company flourished and he received the Queen’s award for Export Achievement.

He married Zahava Kanarek, a survivor of the Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen and had three children.

Sir Ralph was a polymath. He spoke fluent French, English, German, Italian and Yiddish, and he was also an accomplished musician. He trained with Beniamino Gigli in Rome, gave many performances at world renowned venues and recorded 16 CDs.

He was elected Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society in 2006 and Knighted by the Queen in 2010. In 2004 he was invited to be on the prestigious BBC radio programme Desert Island Disc, where famous people are asked to chose their all time favourite records.

Sir Ralph and the family had close links with Sunstar and with the Kanada family.
A representative of Sunstar attended the funeral and brought the condolences of Sunstar to Lady Zahava and her daughters.

I am including a YouTube video of a historical important lecture given by Lady Zahava and her daughter Hepzibah Rodofsky about her concentration camp experience.

Both the London Times and The Telegraph published extensive obituaries.
Wikipedia biography is included for your information.

2 USA Election: Recount in 3 Battleground States and Global Uncertainty.
A recount challenge in three battle-ground States (Pensilvania, Wisconsin and Michigan) gives a little hope to US progressives still reeling from Trump’s shock victory, but the omens are not good. Clinton would have to win in all three states to overturn the result. Meanwhile President elect Trump continues in the task of selecting the men and women who will be his advisors in the White House. With Republican majorities in both Congress and the Senate and Trump nominating right-wingers to the Supreme Court, there is little doubt that the regime which will be inaugurated by the billionaire property tycoon, now champion of the common people and scourge of the elites, will bring a big wind of change to the US political landscape. Commentators are drawing parallels between former PM Berlusconi, another tycoon, that got into power and Donald Trump. The Washington Post: Trump is America’s Berlusconi

Two major “Western Leaders” Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were at their most diplomatic in welcoming Trump’s success. PM Abe, no doubt concerned about TTP and the importance of strong links to the US in the face of Chinese territorial ambitions, was quick off the mark to New York to meet Trump. Both men said it was a friendly and open meeting, though both chose not to divulge the content of their discussion. Angela Merkel on the other had a very well crafted message in which she said: “Germany and America are bound by common values — democracy, freedom, as well as respect for the rule of law and the dignity of each and every person, regardless of their origin, skin colour, creed, gender, sexual orientation, or political views. It is based on these values that I wish to offer close cooperation, both with me personally and between our countries’ governments.”

However storm clouds are gathering over Europe. On December 4th Austria will hold the re-run of its Presidential Election. Last time Norbert Hofer, the populist far-right candidate of the “Freedom Party” was defeated by a whisker, but the vote was declared null because of an irregularity with the postal vote. Should he win in December it will be the first time since the war that a major European country is headed by a party of the far right. Meanwhile on the same day Italy will go to the polls to decide on the Constitutional Reforms proposed by their PM Matteo Renzi. Should the Referendum result go against him and he resigns as he has promised to do, Italy will be in crisis. This could be a boost for the anti-Euro Movimento 5 Stelle (5 Star Movement). The three main Italian opposition parties are against the Euro and should any of them attain power it is likely that they will try to take Italy out of the single currency. It is questionable if the Euro would survive.

Trump’s Election has been welcomed by the European Far Right parties. The UK’s Nigel Farage, was in the US giving support to Trump during the election and was photographed laughing with the President Elect in Trump Tower’s golden lift, but it is in France and the Netherlands were the next shocks could be felt. On March 17 the Dutch will go to the polls and the far right, anti EU and anti immigration politician Geert Wilders is just behind in the polls. Next will be the French Presidential Elections. Marine Le Pen, the leader of the nationalist, anti-EU and anti-immigration Front Nationale, was one of the first to congratulate Trump on his victory. The election is to be held on April 23 and should no candidate get over 50% of votes then a run-off will be held between to two frontrunners two weeks later. Commentators believe that she will be in the top two in the first round, but lose in the second round. After Brexit and Trump it is a brave person who will make a strong bet. Should Le Pen win, Europe will be in serious crisis. Can Marine Le Pen win?

3 China Takes the Lead

One of President Trump Elect first acts was to declare he will abandon the TPP agreement. This free trade deal between 12 Pacific region countries, and excluding China, was the mainstay of Obama’s Asian Pivot Policy. Attending the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) meeting in Peru, China was pushing their Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement (RCEP) which up to now had not included the Americas. Speaking in Peru a senior member of the Chinese delegation announced that Peru and Chile would now be joining. The APEC final communique stated that both TTP are the RCEP are both valid routes to promote free trade in the Pacific Rim. As the US seems to chose a more isolationist route, China seeks to take advantage.

4 Diabetes

65 people each day die because of complications due to diabetes. UK Diabetes, the national charity, stated that it is the biggest epidemic of our time. 4.5 million people suffer from Diabetes 1 and 2. The government and the national health service are beginning to recognise the importance of early detection and intervention.

5 Lets All Join the 150 Year Old Club?

Evidence now suggests that one of the major drivers of the ageing process is an accumulation of molecular and cellular damage throughout the body. Treat this, and there is a real possibility of banishing age-related illness and of humans reaching the age of 150. The accumulation of biological waste products that disrupt processes in cells seems to be one factor in the damage we call “ageing”.
Research has also found that telomeres, the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protect our chromosomes, protect our DNA from becoming frayed. With time they become shorter and eventually become so short they stop working and the cell begins to malfunction in ways associated with disease and “ageing”.

Diet is a key factor is maintaining the health of our DNA. Japan and the Greek island of Ikaria are examples of places were people reach an older age. Some have emphasised superfoods, but experts are talking about combinations of foods. They believe contributing dietary factors on the Okinawan plate include regular eating of squid and octopus (high in cholesterol-reducing taurine), sweet potatoes (rich in flavonoids, carotenoids, vitamin E and lycopene) and a local bitter melon – called goya – that has been shown to reduce blood sugar in diabetics. This very interesting article in the UK Telegraph is well worth reading.

6 UK: Child Abuse Scandal Continues
Apart from the usual celebrity gossip, the big story, other than Brexit, continues to be about ‘child abuse’ perpetrated by men in authority: be they teachers, priests or TV personalities. The latest scandal is about a number of top footballers who have come out to say that they were abused by their sports coaches. The UK has been rocked by abuse scandals. A far reaching enquiry ordered by the Government has seen four of its Chairs resign because of disagreements. Even the BBC had to face up to the fact that the late Jimmy Savile, one of its biggest stars, a friend of Prime Ministers and celebrities, abused hundreds of children under their very noses.

7 Brexit
Parliament, both Commons and Lords, are now trying to understand the detail of the negotiations which will follow. Stage one will be the triggering of Article 50 and the “divorce”: negotiations between UK and EU.
For now the British economy seems to be withstanding the shock of Brexit. Unemployment is at an all-time low, growth higher than predicted and the stock market is doing well. However Sterling has fallen and prices are beginning to rise and the Government has accepted independent economic figures indicating that the country will need to borrow an extra £70 billion in the next 5 years. InFacts is a very good website produced by top UK journalists about different aspects of Brexit.

8 Japan News
Japan News is a most interesting BBC webpage drawing attention to news about Japan. This week they cover Tokyo getting its first November snow dusting in 54 years; the story the newsreader Mao Kobayashi who is writing a blog about her cancer experience; and an article about how the elderly people are encouraged to hand over their driving licences in exchange for good ramen.

9 Common Surnames in UNITED Kingdom

A new UK study has revealed that many surnames were associated with occupations such as Baker, Tanner or Smith (blacksmith), and others had to do with location for example Green, Hill or simply denoting a relationship such as Jackson or Johnson (son of). Interestingly there were 100,000 people in the UK with the Indian name Patel .

10 UK Astonished by Japanese Speed
The UK is notoriously slow at approving infrastructure projects. The British side of Eurostar was modernised only 10 years after the official opening, and the government is still discussing building a third runway at Heathrow Airport. In fact the last runway built in the UK was some 60 years ago and discussion about a third runway at Heathrow started in 1978 and is still ongoing.

Same goes for the construction of a High Speed train (HS2) linking London to Scotland. The decision has now been taken, although the line will be built in stages and the route is still not defined . Opposition is huge. Landowners don’t want to sell, villagers that don’t want the line near them (NIMBIES: Not In My Back Yard), and townspeople don’t want the train to go near their shops.

So examples of Japanese efficiency are always welcome. The London Guardian was astonished that only one week after the Fukuoka Sink Hole had appeared, with the usual Japanese efficiency, the road had been repaired and the re-opened to the public.
Fukuoka Sink Hole: The Guardian

Advertisements

2016.12.01 Press Digest Japanese

2016年12月1日

サンスター ジャパン フォーカス プレス ダイジェスト

今週のダイジェスト
1 ラルフ・コーン(Ralph Kohn)卿
2 アメリカ大統領選挙:激戦3州での票の再集計と世界的な不安定感
3 中国主導の枠組み
4 糖尿病
5 150歳クラブに皆で加入しよう!?
6 イギリスで児童虐待スキャンダルが続く
7 ブレグジット
8 ジャパン・ニュース
9 日本人のスピードにイギリスが驚く
10 英国によくある名字
編集者

ジァンピエロ・アルハデフ(Giampi Alhadeff)
1 ラルフ・コーン(Ralph Kohn)卿
著名な医学者、慈善家、バリトン歌手であり、サンスターと友好関係を築いてきたラルフ・コーン卿が短期の病気療養の後、89歳の誕生日を迎える少し前に安らかに永眠されました。

ラルフ卿は家族と共にナチから逃れて渡英した後、大学で薬理学を専攻し博士号を取得しました。卒業後はノーベル賞を受賞した科学者達とローマ、ニューヨーク、ロンドンで活躍し、その後、人々の尊敬を集め成功を収めた薬品試験事業「アドバイザリー・サービス」を卿自身が設立。同社は繁栄を極め、女王陛下から卿に輸出功労賞が授与されました。

私生活ではナチのベルゲン・ベルゼン強制収容所を生き延びたザハヴァ・カナレク(Zahava Kanarek)と結婚し、3人の子どもに恵まれました。

博識家として知られるラルフ卿は、フランス語、英語、ドイツ語、イタリア語、イディッシュ語を流暢に話し、音楽家としても成功を収めました。ローマでベニャミーノ・ジーリに歌の訓練を受け、世界中の有名なホールで数多くのコンサートを開催し16枚のCDを世に送りだしました。

2006年には王立協会名誉フェローに選出され、2010年には女王陛下によってナイト爵に叙せられました。2004年、有名人が一番お気に入りのレコードを選ぶという名誉ある番組、BBCラジオの「デザート・アイランド・ディスク」に出演しました。

ラルフ卿とその家族はサンスター社および金田家とも深い親交がありました。

葬儀にはサンスター社の代表者が出席し同社からの哀悼の意をザハヴァ夫人と娘達にささげました。

ザハヴァ夫人と娘のヘプシバ・ロドフスキー(Hepzibah Rodofsky)さんが強制収容所での体験を語った歴史的に重要な講演のYouTube動画を添付しています。

タイムズ紙およびテレグラフ紙は同卿の訃報を広範囲に掲載しました。Wikipediaで公開されている同卿の略歴もご参照ください。
2 アメリカ大統領選挙:激戦3州での票の再集計と世界的な不安定感
3つの激戦州 (ペンシルベニア、ウィスコンシン、ミシガン) の票の再集計の試みがトランプ氏の衝撃的な勝利に未だ動揺中のアメリカの反保守派にわずかな希望を与えていますが、良い兆しが見えているとは言えません。クリントン氏が結果を覆すためには3州全てで勝利する必要があります。一方、次期大統領のトランプ氏はホワイトハウスで補佐官を務める男性、女性の候補者を選定する作業を進めています。議会と上院の両方では共和党が多数を占める一方で、トランプ氏は最高裁判所の判事に右派を指名しています。こうした状況下で、億万長者の不動産王でありながら、今では普通の人々から支持されエリートを激しく攻撃してきたトランプ氏が大統領に就任してアメリカの政治的展望に大きな変化の風を起こせるのか疑問も投げかけられています。評論家達は、大実業家でありながら政権を取ったベルルスコーニ元首相を引き合いに出してトランプ氏との共通点を指摘しています。ワシントンポスト紙:トランプはアメリカ版ベルルスコーニ
二大主要国の「西側の指導者」である日本の安倍晋三首相とドイツのアンゲラ・メルケル党首は、トランプ大統領誕生を歓迎する外交姿勢を示しました。環太平洋連携協定 (TPP) 発効の行方や中国の領土拡張姿勢を睨んでアメリカとの同盟強化を念頭に置く安倍首相は、トランプ氏と会談するため急遽ニューヨークを訪れました。両者とも、友好的で率直な会談だったと述べていますが協議内容までは明らかにしていません。一方、メルケル党首は秀逸なメッセージを送りました。その中で、『ドイツとアメリカは、出自、肌の色、宗教、性別、性的指向や政治的見解のいかんを問わず、民主主義、自由、法の尊重、人類の尊厳の尊重という価値で結びついている。これらの価値にもとづいて、私は次期アメリカ大統領に個人的な、そして国家としての2国間の緊密な協力関係を申し出たい。』と述べています。

しかしながら、欧州の上空には暗雲がたちこめています。12月4日、オーストリアではやり直し大統領選が行われます。前回の選挙では、極右ポピュリズム政党「自由党」の候補者ノルベルト・ホーファー氏が僅差で敗れましたが、郵送票に不備があった問題で選挙結果は無効とされました。同氏が12月の再選挙で当選した場合、ヨーロッパの主要国で極右政権が誕生するのは大戦以来初めてとなります。一方、イタリアではこの日、マッテオ・レンツィ首相が提案する憲法改正の是非を問う国民投票が行われます。この国民投票が否決となった場合、首相は約束通り辞任することになり、イタリアは危機に直面します。これが反ユーロ派の五つ星運動を後押しすることにもつながりかねません。イタリアの3大野党はユーロに反対の立場をとっており、いずれかの政党が与党となった場合は単一通貨からの脱退を試みるでしょう。そうなれば、ユーロの通貨としての存続が危ぶまれます。

トランプ氏の当選はヨーロッパの右派政党から歓迎を受けています。イギリスのナイジェル・ファラージ氏はこの選挙中にアメリカに滞在しトランプ氏を支援しました。トランプタワーの金色のエレベーターに乗って次期大統領と撮った笑顔の写真が印象的です。しかし、フランスとオランダでも衝撃的な結果が出るかもしれません。3月17日、オランダでは国民投票が行われますが、極右の反EU、反移民政策を掲げる政治家ヘルト・ウィルダース氏がわずかな差で追い上げています。次に来るのがフランスの大統領選挙です。国家主義者の指導者であり、反EU、移民反対を唱える国民戦線のマリーヌ・ル・ペン氏は、トランプ氏勝利を真っ先に祝福した一人でした。4月23日に行われる総選挙で50%を獲得した候補者がいなければ、2週間後に最有力候補2名の間で決選投票が行われます。評論家は第1回投票でル・ペン氏は2人のうちに入ると見ていますが、2回目の決選投票では破れると予想しています。ブレグジットとトランプ現象の後、こうした予測はもはや容易ではありません。ル・ペン氏が勝てば、ヨーロッパは深刻な危機に陥るのでしょうか? マリーヌ・ル・ペンに勝目はあるか?

3 中国主導の枠組み
次期大統領のトランプ氏が最初にとった行動の一つはTPP離脱を表明することでした。中国を除くこの環太平洋12ヶ国間の自由貿易協定はオバマ大統領がアジア中枢政策の要として進めてきたものです。ペルーで行われたアジア太平洋経済協力会議 (APEC) に参加した中国は東アジア地域包括的経済連携 (RCEP) を推し進めていますが、これまでのところRCEPに南北アメリカは含まれていません。中国代表団の主要メンバーはペルーでの会見で、今後ペルーとチリが参加すると発表しました。APECの最終コミュニケでは、TPPとRCEPともに、環太平洋地域での自由貿易の促進に有効であるという声明が出されました。アメリカが孤立主義よりの道を選択する傾向をみせる現在、中国が優位に立つ方法を探っています。
4 糖尿病
糖尿病による合併症で毎日65人が亡くなっています。 国のチャリティ団体であるUK Diabetesは、糖尿病は現代における最大の疾病であると述べました。1型および2型糖尿病に苦しむ人々は450万人にも上ります。政府と国営医療制度は早期発見と介入の重要性を認識し始めています。
5 150歳クラブに皆で加入しよう!?
分子や細胞の損傷が身体中に蓄積することが主な老化の原因であることが証明されています。これを治癒すれば、加齢による病気を撲滅でき、人間が150歳まで生きられる可能性があるとのことです。生物学的廃棄物が蓄積して細胞プロセスを制御することが、いわゆる「老化」を引き起こす要因の一つのようです。

研究によりますと、DNAの末端部に存在して私達の染色体を守るテロメアがDNAを摩耗から保護していることも分かりました。時の経過とともにテロメアは短くなりますが、最後には全く働かなくなるまでに短くなり、細胞が機能不全に陥り始めると病気や「老化」につながります。

食事はDNAの健康を保つ大切な要素です。日本とギリシャのイカリア島は長寿で知られています。スーパーフードの効用を唱える人もいますが、専門家は食物の組み合わせにあると言います。なかでも、沖縄の料理が健康に良い要因としてイカとタコ(コレステロールを減らすタウリンを多く含む)、サツマイモ (フラボノイド、カロチノイド、ビタミンE、リコピンが豊富) 、そして地元野菜の苦瓜 (ゴーヤと呼ばれる) を食べる習慣をあげています。このゴーヤは糖尿病患者の血糖値を下げる効果が示されました。この大変興味深い記事は、UK テレグラフ紙 で一読する価値があります.

6 イギリスで児童虐待スキャンダルが続く
有名人のゴシップはさておき、ブレグジット以外では、教師、牧師、TVタレントなど権威ある立場の男達による「児童虐待」が引き続き大きなニュースとなっています。最新のスキャンダルは、有名なフットボール選手達がコーチらに虐待されていたことを告白したことです。こうした虐待スキャンダルにイギリスは震撼しています。政府による広範囲な捜査要請によって、これまでに4人の議員が反論の末辞職しました。BBCでさえも、同局のトップスターの1人であり、首相や著名人を友人にもつジミー・サビルが、身近なところで数百人にも上る子どもを虐待していた事実に直面させられました。
7 ブレグジット
イギリス議会は上下両院とも今後の交渉の詳細把握に努めています。第1段階は第50条発動と「離婚」、つまりイギリスとEUとの交渉が焦点になります。
現状ではイギリス経済はブレグジットの衝撃に持ちこたえているようです。失業率は史上最低水準にあり、成長率は予想を上回り、株式市場も堅調です。

しかしながら、ポンドが下落し物価は上がり始めており、英政府は今後5年間で国の借金を700億ポンド増やす必要がある ことを示唆する独立経済指標を受入れました。イギリスのジャーナリストが設立したウェブサイトInFactsは大変優れた内容 で、ブレグジットを異なる側面から解説しています。

8 ジャパン・ニュース
Japan News は、日本に関するニュースを取り上げた非常に興味深いBBCのウェブサイトです。今週は、54年ぶりに11月に東京で降雪、ニュースキャスター小林麻央がブログで自身のガン闘病記をつづる 、そして高齢ドライバーにラーメンと引き換えに免許返納を推奨 という各記事が掲載されました。
9 日本人のスピードにイギリスが驚く
イギリスはインフラ整備事業においてはプロジェクトの承認に非常に時間がかかることで悪名高い国です。ユーロスターのイギリス側設備は公式開業の10年後にようやく改良され、ヒースロー空港の第3滑走路建設については、英政府は未だ議論を行っています。実際、イギリスで最後に滑走路が建設されたのは60年ほど前のことで、ヒースローの第3滑走路建設の協議が開始されたのは1978年にもかかわらず未だに協議中です。

ロンドンとスコットランドを結ぶ予定の高速鉄道 (HS2) の建設も同様で、決定はされましたが路線の建設は段階的に行われルートは未だに確定していません。これには激しい反対もあります。土地所有者は売却を拒み、村の住人は自宅近くに線路が通ることを嫌がっています (「NIMBIES (ノット・イン・マイ・バックヤード)」と呼ばれる) 。さらに、街では商店の近くに電車が走ることを拒否する人々がいます。

このような状況で、日本の効率性の高さに関する事例は常に歓迎されています。ロンドンのガーディアン紙は、福岡の道路陥没後たった1週間で埋め戻されて通行が再開されたニュースを日本の効率性の典型であると驚きをもって伝えました。

福岡の道路陥没: ガーディアン紙

英国によくある名字
イギリスで最近行われた調査で、多くの名字がベイカー、タナー、スミス (ブラックスミス) など職業に関連するもの、またその他の名字にはグリーン、ヒルなどの場所に関連したものやジャクソンやジョンソン (~の息子) など単に関係性を表したものがあることが分かりました。面白いのはイギリスにはインドの名前であるパテルを持つ人が10万人 もいたことです.

Copyright © 2016 E4U Partners, All rights reserved.

SUNSTAR Japan Focus, November 2016 No 7

This is the monthly Japan edition of Global news, giving greater emphasis on news about Japan. As of next month we hope to be able to have past editions available on our website to make it easier for you to refer back.
Thank you also to the many of you who have sent me comments and feedback. This has been most helpful.

With my best wishes

Giampi Alhadeff
Editor

In this week’s digest
1 Trump Defies the Polls to Become 45th USA President
2 Japan Reacts to Donald trump’s Victory
3 Brexit gets messy
4 Aung San Suu Kyi in Japan
5 Philippino President Duterte in Tokyo Talk
6 Ireland’s President Michael D Higgins in Vietnam
7 Ramen Chain Yamagoya Opens Restaurant in London
8 Japan to Conduct Unprecedented Racism Survey
9 So the Mexicans do not work harder than the Japanese?
10 Japan News in the UK in Brief

 

1 Trump Defies the Polls to Become USA 45th President.

Donald Trump has defied all predictions by beating Hillary Clinton to become the USA’s 45th President. Opinion polls and exit polls got the shock result very wrong. Trump pulled off, in his own words, “BrexitX10”. After a most acrimonious campaign, which plumbed new depths in dirty politics and in spite of the various scandals and gaffes which beset him Trump won the Electoral College vote, though Clinton was just ahead in the popular vote. It is too early to tell what this upset will mean for global peace, stability and prosperity, but the signs are not good. BBC Report on the Election Result.

Two articles well worth reading in the Financial Times. Donald Trump’s Victory Challenges the Western Democratic Model Please google Trump victory challenges Western Democratic Model.
Also worth reading 7 Trump Policies that Could Change the US. Once again please Google the title of the article.
2 Japan Reacts to Trump’s Victory

During his campaign, Donald Trump painted Japan as a trade rival to the United States, called the Japan-U.S. security treaty unfair and expressed opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, which Prime Minister Abe has pushed to ratify as soon as possible.

Shortly before Trump declared victory, the Japanese government’s top spokesman said Tokyo would continue to work to bring the TPP into force. Japan, the United States and 10 other Pacific Rim nations agreed the deal in February but are yet to ratify it. PM Shinzo Abe then sent a message of congratulations to Donald Trump stressing the importance of the links between the two countries. Shinzo Abe’s Statement in full.

 

3 Brexit Gets Messy

It started with a simple truth that without any certainty regarding the trading relationship between the UK and the EU. Nissan, now the UK’s largest car manufacturer (488K cars 55% going to the EU) was not going to build the new Qashqai car in one of the UK’s poorest regions. The UK government gave assurances that Nissan would not be disadvantaged by Brexit. Other manufacturers are now asking for similar terms. What is at stake is unfettered access to Europe’s Single Market. No customs, no barriers and no tariffs. Without it UK exports will suffer. Why Brexit is so Important to Nissan.

Theresa May had hidden behind the motto “Brexit means Brexit” and saying that she would not disclose her negotiating hand or give a running commentary on the negotiations. Parliament was not having it and before long the Government agreed that they would allow it to scrutinise the Brexit deal and to vote on it. Then a legal case brought by ordinary citizens went to the UK’s High Court that ruled that Parliament would have to vote on the start of negotiations with the EU. The Government has challenged the ruling and the UK’s Supreme Court is due to give its verdict in early December. It is all looking a lot less straightforward than on June 24th. Many of the UK’s newspapers reacted to the Judges’ decision with fury, with one paper, The Daily Mail headlining the judges as the “enemies of the people.” Guardian on Reactions to the High court Ruling.

 

4 Aung San Suu Kyi the Myamar Leader in Japan

Aung San Suu Kyi arrived in Japan on Tuesday to court investment and aid, as an upsurge in violence against a persecuted Muslim minority at home posed the worst crisis of her six months in power and brought U.S. criticism.

Myanmar needs Japanese investment and robust bilateral ties as a counterweight to China, its largest trading partner. Japan, for its part, is eager to seek opportunities in meeting Myanmar’s extensive infrastructure and development needs, a Japanese foreign ministry official told reporters.

Nearly 50 years of economic mismanagement by the military dictatorship has left the country’s roads, airports and electricity supply shattered. Japan never imposed trade and financial sanctions against the country. As a result, Japan already has a significant presence, centred around the Japan-led Thilawa Special Economic Zone.

In the fiscal year ending in March 2015, Japanese direct investment in Myanmar totalled $86 million, according to the Foreign Ministry. Exports from Myanmar were worth $513 million, mainly clothing and agricultural products, while Myanmar imports from Japan were worth $1.3 billion, largely cars and machinery. Reuters report of the visit.

 

5 Philippino President Duterte in Tokyo

Rodrigo’s Duterte, the Philippines shoot-from-the-hip President who was upsetting the US by cozying up to China, was at it again upon arrival in Tokyo. Before meeting PM Shinzo Abe he told a meeting of business men that he intended to get rid of US troops from his country within two years. His tone somewhat softened after meeting PM Shinzo Abe, who must have impressed on him the importance of keeping Chinese territorial ambitions in the South China Seas in check. NY Times Report on the Visit.

 

6 Ireland’s President Michael D Higgins in Vietnam

Ireland’s President Michael D Higgins has expressed strong support for a peaceful solution using international law to growing tensions in the South China Sea. Vietnam and China are in dispute over the resources-rich area known as the Paracels archipelago. The area is a great cause of tension between China and its neighbours. The Irish Times.

 

7 Ramen Chain Yamagoya Opens in London

The famous Kyushu ramen chain Yamagoya, founded in Fukuoka in 1969, has opened a restaurant in London’s Shaftesbury Avenue, just off China Town. The restaurant will be serving its signature dish of handmade noodles in tonkotsu broth, pork belly, marinated bamboo shoots, nori seaweed and egg. Japanese food has become one of the most popular cuisines in the UK capital. Evening Standard.

 

8 Japan to Conduct Unprecedented Racism Survey

Japan is to ask thousands of foreigners about their encounters with racism as the country adapts to a record number of non-Japanese residents and tourists.

In an unprecedented survey, the justice ministry will ask 18,500 foreign residents aged over 17 to describe their experiences of being discriminated against in the workplace or in their free time, and how they would like the government to respond, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported. They will also be asked if they have witnessed racist incidents.

The number of foreign residents in Japan stands at about 2.3 million – or 2% of the population – and a record 20 million foreign tourists have visited the country so far this year.

International pressure on Japan to take racism more seriously has grown amid a rise in reports of hate speech in the past three years, mostly targeting members of its large ethnic Korean population. The Guardian.

 

9 So the Mexicans do not work harder than the Japanese?

Many thanks to Nagayuki Miyabayashi-san, from Sunstar Etoy, who sent me a most useful comment on my report of the OECD findings showing that Mexicans work more than the Japanese. He tells me that the problem is that the OECD statistics include part-time workers and that this has a huge impact on their statistics.

Part-time workers (mainly women) and the decrease of average working hours among part-timers is hugely impacting on the data. The figures are also affected by variations in retirement age, length of time in study, and public holidays. When all this is taken into account Japanese men have the longest daily working time of the OECD countries.

 

10 Japan News In the UK in Brief

1 The Financial Times has the best coverage of serious news about Japan, however other papers cover some of the lighter stories. This week the Fukuoka sink hole received coverage in most UK media. BBC on Fukuoka Sink Hole.

2 Another story concerns Neko Atsume cat collecting phone game is being made into a live-action movie. Film version of wildly popular and notoriously addictive ‘kitty collector’ app will star Japanese actor Atsushi Ito. Neko the Cat

3 The popular girl band Keyakizaka46 performed in outfits that have similarities with uniforms of Waffen-SS officers. This sparked outrage condemnations. The band’s producer issued an apology as did Sony the group’s label. Keyakizaka46

SUNSTAR Japan Focus、2016年11月

貴社ますますご清栄のこととお慶び申し上げます。日本のニュースに焦点をあてた月刊グローバルニュースの日本版をお送りさせて致きました。来月からバックナンバーがウェブサイトでご覧いただけるよう準備中です。沢山の貴重なご意見を頂き、誠にありがとうございました。これからも引き続きどうぞ宜しくお願い致します。

 
Giampi Alhadeff(編集者)

 
今週のダイジェスト
1   予想を覆し、トランプ氏が第45代アメリカ大統領へ

2   ドナルド・トランプの勝利に日本が反応

3   大混乱する英国EU離脱問題

4   アウン・サン・スー・チー来日

5   フィリピン大統領ドゥテルテ東京講演

6   アイルランド大統領マイケル・D・ヒギンズ、ベトナム訪問

7  ラーメン店「山小屋」 がロンドン進出

8   日本で始めて全国差別調査実施へ

9   日本人とメキシコ人、より働いているのは

10 日本ニュースの英国報道

 

 

1予想を覆し、トランプ氏が第45代アメリカ大統領へ

ヒラリー・クリントン氏を下し、ドナルド・トランプ氏が予想を覆してアメリカの45代目大統領の座を勝ち取り、世論調査、投票場出口調査に反する驚くべき結果となった。「英国EU離脱の10倍」と発言したトランプ氏。全米得票数ではクリントン氏がわずかに勝ったものの、辛辣な大統領選挙戦と複数のスキャンダルや失態にも関わらずトランプ氏が獲得選挙人数で逆転となった。この後の世界の平和、安定と経済繁栄にどのような影響が齎されるのか見通しがつかない中、不安が広がる。BBC 大統領選結果レポート 

読み応えがあるファイナンシャル・タイムズ紙の記事:Trump victory challenges Western Democratic Model と7 Trump Policies that Could Change the US (グーグルで検索して下さい)Two articles well worth reading in the Financial Times. Donald Trump’s Victory Challenges the Western Democratic Model Please google Trump victory challenges Western Democratic Model. Also worth reading 7 Trump Policies that Could Change the US. Once again please Google the title of the article.

 

2   ドナルド・トランプの勝利に日本が反応

この大統領選挙戦にて日本を米国の商売敵と唱えたトランプ氏は日米安全保障条約が不公平なものとし、環太平洋パートナーシップ自由貿易協定には反対の意を示した。これには安倍首相が早期の批准を求めた。

トランプ氏の勝利が確定する直前、日本政府の首席報道官が環太平洋パートナーシップ協定を発効に向けて進めていると発表したばかり。日本、米国を含める環太平洋諸国の他10カ国が今年の2月に合意し、これから批准の手続きというところだった。安部首相はトランプ氏へ当選の祝辞を送る際には日本と米国の2カ国の関係の重要性などを強調した。安倍首相、トランプ氏へ祝辞 

 
3  大混乱する英国EU離脱問題

英国とEUの貿易関係のこれからに見通しが立たないと、英国最大(48.8万台のうち55%がEUへ輸出)の自動車製造会社の日産が新型キャシュカイを英国の最貧地域では製造しない意を示した事により、英政府はEU離脱問題による損失が出ないよう公約した。これを機に他の製造会社が同じ条件を求めており、ヨーロッパの単一市場への自由なアクセスが危うくなっている。関税も税関も無くなると英国の輸出市場は厳しい。日産にとって英国EU離脱は何を意味するのか

「ブレグジットはブレグジット」というモットーの後ろに隠れ続ける英メイ首相は交渉内容や交渉実況等を一切公開していない。それに議会が不満を募らせてまもなく、政府は契約にまつわる徹底的な調査と投票を許可する。一般市民により英高等法院へ提訴され、EUとの手続き交渉前に議会投票が必要との判決が下された。政府はこれに抗議し、12月初旬には最高裁判所からの評決が決定する。離脱が決まった6月24日からどんどん複雑化するブレグジット。英国の各新聞社は怒りを表しデイリーメール紙は裁判官を「国民の敵」と詰った。ガーディアン紙の英高等法院への反応 

 

4   アウン・サン・スー・チー来日

ミャンマーで少数派イスラム教徒への暴力が急増し、米国から批判を集め政権の座についてから半年において最大の危機を向かえたアウン・サン・スー・チーが投資と援助を求め火曜日、日本に到着した。ミャンマー最大の貿易相手国の中国との対抗策として、投資と堅固な二国間関係を日本から必要としているミャンマー。日本はミャンマーのインフラや開発ニーズに対応する意図を外交当局者が語った。
約50年間、軍事独裁政権による経済的な管理不能により、国の道路、空港、電力供給が崩壊した。日本は過去に一度も貿易と金融制裁を課さなかったため、日本が率いるティラワ経済特別区にて重要な存在となっている。外務省によると、2015年3月期の日本のミャンマー直接投資額は8,600万ドル。ミャンマーからの輸出は衣料品や農産物を中心に5億1,300万ドル、日本からミャンマーへの輸入は車や機械等、総額13億ドルにもおよぶ。訪問報告、ロイター通信

 
5   フィリピン大統領ドゥテルテ東京講演

中国との友好関係を深めようとして米国を怒らせていたあの衝撃的なフィリピンのロドリゴ・ドゥテルテ大統領は東京でも再びそのことに触れた。安倍晋三首相との面会前、ビジネスマンとの会議にて2年以内に自国から米軍を追放する意向を語っていたが面会後には少し落ち着いた様子だったという。首相に南シナ海で中国の領土的野心を維持することの重要性に感銘を受けたのだろうか。

訪問報告、ニューヨークタイムス紙

 
6   アイルランド大統領マイケル・D・ヒギンズ、ベトナム訪問

アイルランドのマイケル・D・ヒギンズ大統領は、南シナ海で高まる緊張に対し、平和的な解決策として国際法を用いる事に強い支持を表明した。ベトナムと中国の間では豊富な資源の地域として知られている西沙諸島を巡って論争が続いており、この地域は中国と隣接している国々の間で揉める原因となっている。 アイルランドタイムズ紙 

 

7   ラーメン店「山小屋」 がロンドン進出

1969年、福岡で始まったあの有名な九州ラーメン「山小屋」が、ロンドン中華街のすぐ近く、シャフツベリー・アベニューにオープン。こだわりの手作り麺が、トンコツスープ、豚バラ、タケノコ、海苔、卵のトッピングで味わえる。日本食は今、英国首都で最も人気のある食の一つとなっている。イーブニングスタンダード紙

 

8  日本で始めて全国差別調査実施へ

過去の記録を超える外国人や観光客に適応するため、日本では何千人もの外国人を対象に人種差別の調査を始める。朝日新聞の報道によると前例のない法務省によるこの調査では17歳以上の1万8,500人の外国人が対象となり、職場や職場外での差別経験を元に今後政府にどのような対応を求めているのか、また人種差別的な出来事を目撃したかなどを調査する。日本の外国人居住者数は人口の2%に当たる約230万人、今年に入りおよそ2,000万人の観光客が訪れた。過去3年間に主に韓国人民族を対象にしたヘイトスピーチの増加により国際的にも人種差別を真剣に受け止めるよう圧力がかかっていた。ガーディアン紙

 

9  日本人とメキシコ人、より働いているのは
OECDの調査報告書の最も有益なコメント、Nagayuki Miyabayashiさんによるとメキシコ人がなんと日本人以上に働いているとの事が判明した。OECDデータにはパートタイム労働者(主に女性)が含まれており、その他にもパートタイマーの平均勤務時間も短くなってきてているため、データに大きな影響を与えている。この数値は退職年齢、学歴期間、祝日によっても変動し、これをすべて考慮すると、日本男性がOECD諸国内での勤務時間が最長となる。

 
10 日本ニュースの英国報道

1. フィナンシャル・タイムズ紙は日本に関連する主なニュースを最も多く取り扱っているが、軽い話題は他の新聞社でも報道されており、今週の福岡の道路陥没事故は殆どの英国メディアで取り扱われた。福岡沈没事故、BBC

2.もう一つは猫集めという猫を集める携帯ゲームが実写映画化されるという話題。人気ではまりやすい猫集めアプリの映画版では日本の俳優伊藤敦史が出演している。猫のネコ 

3.今人気を集めている女性アイドルグループ欅坂46は、武装親衛隊将校の制服に似た衣装でのパフォーマンスに批判が集中したことにより、プロデューサーと共にソニーが謝罪した。欅坂46

SUNSTAR Press Digest, October 22, 2016 No 6

In this week’s digest
1   The Wheels come off the Brexit Bus?
2   US to Have First Woman President?
3   Thailand: King Bhumibol of Thailand Dies Aged 88
4   China:  Xi to defy second term ban?
5   Thinking Computers
6   IOC Could Agree to Tokyo Request to Move Events to South Korea
7   World Economic Forum: Corruption and Competitivity
8   Philippine President unsettles Japan and US by cozying up to China 
9   “Ab Fab” star does Japan Travel Show

 

1 The Wheels Coming Off the Brexit Bus?
Three UK Prime Ministers have been destroyed by the Europe question already, will Theresa May be number 4? At  the Annual Conservative Party Conference May played to the gallery and won the applause of the faithful for her hardline speech on Brexit , but the financial markets reacted badly crashing Sterling to a 35 year low. Her problems increased when Nissan, BMW and the London banking sector warned the PM  she was risking the country’s prosperity. May’s Cabinet is divided between the “Hard Brexiters” that want control of immigration at the expense of access to the  EU Single Market and the “Soft Brexiters” who believe access to the EU market is essential. The Tories had thought that the Referendum would deal with the issue of Europe once and for all, instead it is still dividing their party and now it also dividing the country.

Things are not going well for the government. In the last week they had to concede to the Parliament that they would have the right to scrutinise the Brexit deal, and then one of the government’s own lawyers accepted that Parliament would have to vote on the final deal. With a majority of MPs supporting staying in the European Union  the result could go against the government.

This week May attends her first EU Summit since becoming PM. Attitudes in Europe are hardening. EU President Tusk said the Brits cannot have their cake and eat it too. He invited them to buy a cake eat it and see what is left on the plate. Meanwhile European Parliament President Martin Schulz said that it would not be possible to have freedom of movement of capital and goods without the freedom of movement of people too.
The Economist: Brexit Explained.  (An excellent guide)


2   US to Have First Woman President? 
The debates are over and we are in the last 18 days of the election campaign. Donald Trump has had a rough month with the publication of his sex talk tapes and Hillary Clinton is looking more Presidential every day.  Trump has refused to say if he will accept the result of the election if he loses, he called Hillary Clinton a “nasty woman” and he almost seems to have realised that he has lost the race. With 18 days to go anything can happen, but for now it looks like the US will get its first woman President.

There is another country that had a rich businessman go for the top job and he too was laughed at at first. He too was embroiled in tax and sex scandals, but Silvio Berlusconi went on to be one of Italy’s longest serving premiers. Whatever happens on November 9th it will not be last we hear from Donald Trump. Already there is talk that he is planning to set up an online TV station. It is sobering to acknowledge that after all the revelations, his poor performance in the debates and his apparent lack of preparedness for the nation’s highest office, that he still has an unshakeable 37% base of support.
We have seen Donald Trump Before his name was Silvio Berlusconi.


3   King Bhumibol of Thailand Dies aged 88
The Thai king, the world’s longest reigning monarch, died at the age of 88.  He is generally regarded to have strengthened the monarchy during his long reign. The official mourning is likely to last a year.  BBC Obituary  There are concerns that his son Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn who has been named as his successor may not be up to the job.  Thailand’s prime minister announced that Vajiralongkorn had asked for time to mourn with his country before he acceding to the throne.

Some observers would have preferred to have sister Princess Sirindhorn, but the Thai constitution stipulates a male heir. The Crown Prince, a womanising, three times married playboy, made his pet poodle Foo Foo an air chief marshal. Prince Maha has shown no interest in politics or public duties, on the contrary, his antics have proved to be highly embarrassing to his father and the to monarchy.


4   China: Xi Jinping to defy 10 Year Term convention?
According to three sources close to top Chinese Communist Party  officials, Xi and several top aides are making plans to ensure that China’s  strongman will rule until at least 2027, when he will still be a relatively sprightly 74 years old.(See China Digital Times)

Mr Xi’s efforts to enforce ideological conformity and personal loyalty have earned comparisons to Mao Zedong’s attempts to build a cult of personality. This has sparked a backlash from some Chinese journalists and commentators. However Xi’s dominance of Chinese political and public life is absolute.


5   Thinking Computers
Up to now computers have been able to solve problems when the information they needed was already contained within their network. That is how Apple’s Siri works, but this is now changing.  Google’s Artificial Intelligence arm, the London based tech group Deep Mind, has made a breakthrough by building what they have called a “differentiable neural computer”, or DNC.  This new breed of computer can for  the first time solve small-scale problems without any prior knowledge. The DNC, for example,  was able to plan the best route between distant stations on a rail system without having  knowledge of the network. What is new and revolutionary about this computer is that it learns in a way similar to the human brain and stores the new information to use at a future time.  Read More


6   International Olympic Committee  Could Agree to Tokyo’s Request to Reduce Costs. 
Newly elected Tokyo Governor, former TV personality, Yuriko Koike is determined to rein in the cost of hosting the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, reputed to top 3 trillion Yen. This is four times the original estimate and three times more than the London Games. One option being considered is to move the rowing and canoeing events to South Korea.

Tokyo won its bid by promising a compact Games with 28 of the 31 competition venues within a five-mile radius of the Olympic village. Its bid stated that only venues for shooting and modern pentathlon, and one football stadium, would be located outside the radius.  Read More


7   World Economic Forum:  Corruption and Competitivety Rankings.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) research finds that 9 EU countries feature in the top 11 most corrupt OECD countries. Mexico is No1 and South Korea is at No 9, but the rest of the top 11 are all in the EU. The nine countries are  Italy, Spain, Greece, Slovakia, Poland, Czech Republic, Latvia,  Slovenia and Hungary.

The WEF report on global competitiveness also makes for interesting reading. (See page 13) Switzerland, Singapore and the US lead the field. The Netherlands and Germany are at the top of the EU group. Japan has slipped to 8th place, whereas the UK’s 7th place does not look that secure following the Brexit vote.


8  Philippino President Cozying to China: Threat to Japan and US
On his official visit to China last week, Philippino President Rodrigo Duterte said  “America has lost now, I’ve realigned myself in your ideological flow and maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world — China, Philippines and Russia. It’s the only way.”
Duterte’s comments risk disrupting not just US-Philippines ties, but US ties to the larger Asia-Pacific, a region that Obama has made a central pillar of his foreign policy ambitions.  It is also deeply worrying to Japan where Duterte is due to be next week. PM Shinzo Abe will want assert to his guest the importance of maintaining a strong alliance with the US in the face of China’s territorial ambitions.

Duterte’s apparent cozying up to Beijing has both Tokyo and Washington worried that the commitment under former Philippine President Benigno Aquino to stand up to China in the hotly disputed South China Sea waterway is under threat.  Aquino angered China by lodging a case with an arbitration court in the Hague challenging the legitimacy of Beijing’s maritime claims in the resource-rich sea.  The ruling earlier this year emphatically favoured Manila but was rejected by China, which has repeatedly warned the United States and Japan to stay out of the dispute.  Read More: Reuters


9  “Ab Fab Star does Japan Travel Show.  
One of the the UK’s most popular TV channels has given much prominence to a three part programme on Japan fronted by one of the country’s most popular actors. Joanna Lumley, star of “Ab Fab” and  a UK National Treasure. Few politicians dare go against her because the public love her so.

Lumley travelled all the way from Hokkaido to the beautiful Pacific island of Kohama. Of her travels in Japan, she said: “Isn’t it odd, we feel we are so familiar with Japan, with sushi and Toshiba, kimonos and Hello Kitty, tsunamis and sake… and yet when we travelled around that spectacular country I couldn’t even guess at the unknown wonders that were in store for us. Every moment was thrilling, fascinating and often very moving. With my hand on my heart I can say: please come with me… to Japan!”

Then show was watched by millions and viewers were so moved that one newspaper decreed that readers wanted her to be the new Foreign Secretary for the United Kingdom.  The three episodes are now also available on DVD from Amazon and Episode 3 can still be seen on ITV.   No doubt the show will encourage many people from the Uk to visit Japan.

SUNSTAR Press Digest, October 4, 2016

Welcome to this edition of the SUNSTAR PRESS DIGEST and once again thank you for your comments and suggestions. Last week in Etoy we had the opportunity to review the progress of the  Press Digest. We will continue publish the Press Digest every two weeks in English, and  once a month there will be a special edition which will concentrate on how Japan is seen in the news. This edition will be published both in Japanese and English. All Sunstar employees who wish to can receive the Press Digest, you are therefore very welcome to forward the newsletter to other SUNSTAR colleagues and also ask them to write to either Mr Naito Takahiro (Takahiro.Naito@ch.sunstar.com) or to myself at Giampi.Alhadeff@E4U-Partners.com so that we can add them to the distribution list. As always I welcome your feedback.
With all my best wishes,
Giampi Alhadeff
Editor

In this week’s digest
1   THE BIG US DEBATE: THE FIRST ROUND 
2   UK: OPPOSITION IN CHAOS AND PM FIRES BREXIT STARTING GUN
3 JAPAN’S YOSHINORI OHSUMI AWARDED NOBEL PRIZE IN PHYSIOLOGY OR MEDICINE
4   HUNGARY’S NOT SO DEMOCRATIC LEADER
5   OBAMA’S ASIAN PIVOT FAILING?
6   SYRIA: CEASEFIRE IN TATTERS

7   HAS JAPAN FALLEN OUT OF LOVE WITH LOVE? 

1 THE BIG US DEBATE: THE FIRST ROUND
The pundits gave the first round to Hillary Clinton, but some of the polls said otherwise. The truth is that no argument will be strong enough to change the mind of Trump supporters, the question is how will the swing voters in the swing states react. The campaign is still too close to call and has already turned nasty and in all probability it will get nastier still.  The BBC Report on the First Debate is a good and impartial place to get information and analysis. I particularly enjoyed reading the best tweets on the debate. In this campaign the social media have come of age. Whilst both candidates debated, their teams were busy tweeting, attacking their opponent and rooting for their candidate. Both teams also used psychology in the preparation of the debate, though Clinton by needling Trump got the upper hand and he visibly lost his cool. The TV station’s decision to have a split screen was also interesting showing both Trump and Clinton throughout the debate. It played well for Clinton, but not so for Trump who often pulled faces and looked uncomfortable. Read the Washington Post on how Clinton got the better of Trump. As I write Trump’s financial dealings and tax affairs are once again centre stage with the NY Attorney General  ordering him to stop soliciting money for his Foundation. The next two debates are on October 9th and 19th. You can find more factual information about the election, now just a month away, at the official.  Election Central website.


2   UK OPPOSITION IN CHAOS AND PM FIRES BREXIT STARTING GUN. 
It is the UK political conference season. In late September and early October the major UK parties go to the seaside for a week each. This year the Labour Party went first. Membership has grown from 180K to over 500K  making it the largest political party in Europe, however this phenomenal increase is not reflected by the party’s fortune in the opinion polls. They have been sliding ever since the left-wing Jeremy Corbyn was elected as their Leader. Since then the “Moderates” and the “Corbynistas” have been fighting each other tooth and nail. In June this year, following Corbyn’s poor performance in the EU Referendum, most of his Shadow Cabinet resigned and 172 MPs (Members of Parliament) voted a “no confidence” motion in their Leader.  When he failed to do the decent thing and resign, they triggered a challenge. Corbyn, backed by an army of thousands of young idealists, many of whom had just joined the party, and a few old left wingers, won by a huge margin. So the in-fighting goes on and Labour continues to pose no opposition to the Conservatives and are likely to lose the next two elections (2020 and 2025).You would think this to be music to the ear of Theresa May, the Conservative Prime Minister, but she is far from being home and dry. Of course she has no worries from Labour; her biggest problem is in her own party. With a working majority of only 16 and the Conservative Party still divided on Europe, May has to work hard to keep her troops loyal knowing that most of them are anti-EU. On on the first day of her Conference she therefore announced that she will trigger Article 50 of the EU Lisbon Treaty by the end of March, thus kicking off the negotiations which will take the UK out of the EU. She also announced plans to repeal the 1972 European Communities Act, which gives direct effect to EU law in Britain, but said that all existing EU laws would be transposed into domestic legislation. The passage of this Bill through Parliament may not be as smooth as May would hope. What works well at Conservative Party conference does not necessarily work well in the House of Commons and even less so in the House of Lords. The announcement of this Bill may be a piece of theatre designed to keep the Conservative faithful happy, however what is not in doubt is May’s determination to take the UK out of Europe, control EU immigration and  if necessary sacrifice access to the Single Market. The Remain camp is shocked by the PM’s attitude. See the article by Hugo Dixon of INFacts.  Her Chancellor (Finance Minister) addressed the Conference on the next day saying that the UK must have contingency plans to deal with any “turbulence” caused by Brexit. The market reacted predictably: sterling came close to a thirty-year low against the USD. See also Kate Allen’s article in the Financial Times of 3 October (Theresa May Sets Brexit Away from the Single Market). As this article is behind a paywall you will have to google the name of the author and the title of the article.

3  JAPAN’S Yoshinori Ohsumi Awarded Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Professor Yoshinori Ohsumi is awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or  Medicine for his groundbreaking work on Autophagy (from the Greek word meaning “eating oneself”). This is the body’s internal system that hunts down scrap cells, strips them down to their useful parts to generate energy or create new cellular components. The process is crucial for preventing cancerous growths, maintaining a healthy metabolism, helping to protect against conditions like type 2 diabetes. Dysfunctional Autophagy, has been linked to type 2 diabetes, cancer, Parkinson’s disease and dementia. Professor Ohsumi’s work has been hailed by medical scientists worldwide. Intense research is already underway to develop drugs that can target Dysfunctional Autophagy in various diseases. This is the 25th Nobel Prize won by Japan and the 4th for medicine. This tally puts Japan in 6th place together with Switzerland, behind the US, UK, Germany, France and Sweden.
Yoshinori Ohsumi wins Nobel Prize (The Guardian)    Yoshinori Ohsumi awarded Nobel Prize (Japan Times)
List of Japanese Nobel Prize Winners (Wikipedia)    List of all Nobel Prize Winners by Country

4   HUNGARY’S NOT SO DEMOCRATIC LEADER
Viktor Orban, the Hungarian PM, has a long reputation as a populist and a demagogue. Even before Trump, Le Pen or Nigel Farage, he was railing against ‘liberal elites’ and decrying that their policies were harming ordinary citizens. Last year, at the height of the EU migrant crisis, he accused Germany of ‘moral imperialism’ and erected razor-wire fences to prevent migrants from entering Hungary. His response to the EU proposal that Hungary help out Italy and Greece with the tens of thousands of migrants they are hosting by admitting a mere 1,294  was to hold a Referendum on the matter and recommend rejection of the EU’s proposal. The Referendum was not necessary,  it was just theatre, and the people of Hungary stayed away from the polls. Turnout was a mere 43%, well short of the 50% required for the result to be law. However 98% of votes cast were in support of Orban’s position, and the Prime Minister, not one to be stopped, has chosen to focus on the high vote in support of his policies. Reuters article and photo of Hungarians in national costume going to the pollsVicktor Oban Profile.

5   OBAMA’S ASIAN PIVOT FAILING?
I am highlighting here two important articles: the first by Simon Tisdall which appeared in the UK Guardian on September 25 and the second in the Financial Times by the excellent Gideon Rachman.  Tisdall focuses on China’s desire to “reunify” Taiwan, its increasing military and economic might and the US  having to face up to the fact that its Asian policy is not working. TTP, the free trade deal for the Pacific region, seen by Japan’s Shinzo Abe as a “crucial pillar” of US influence in the region and a major plank of Obama’s Asian policy, is in big trouble and does not look like it will fly during Obama’s term.
Trouble in the Pacific, is ignored by Europeans, focused on Syria and migration, but the US getting its policy on China wrong would have major global consequences.
OBAMA’s Failed Asian Pivot. The Guardian, Simon Tisdall
Gideon Rachman in the FT of September 19 America’s Pacific Pivot is Sinking.
(Once again the FT article is behind a paywall, please google the title of the article and the name of the author.)

6  SYRIA: CEASEFIRE IN TATTERS 
The tragedy of Syria continues. The civil war has been going on for 5 years. The ceasefire of two weeks ago barely lasted 48 hours. The bombing by Syrian and Russian planes of civilian targets is escalating. No end to the suffering is in sight. Barrel bombs, burst through hospital walls, the killing and the maiming is indiscriminate. The Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov seems to have no shame and no morals, and Europe and the US seem powerless to halt the massacre we are witnessing. At the UN they talk, but can’t reach a deal to stop or even halt the killings for a short while. US and Russia relation are at an all time low, while food and medicines are running out. Not since Bosnia or Rwanda have we witnessed such atrocity. In the middle of this mayhem there are heroes: the WHITE HELMETS, ordinary men and women, who have volunteered to save lives from the rubble and the destruction. Their motto “better to save a soul than take a soul”. Netflix has just produced a documentary on the work of the WHITE HELMETS (see the NETFLIX trailer here). They have also been nominated for the Nobel Prize and on Friday we will know the result of the Norwegian jury. My hunch is that the White Helmets will be the 2016 Nobel Peace Winners.  THE WHITE HELMETS ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN.

7    HAS JAPAN FALLEN OUT OF LOVE WITH LOVE? 
Japan’s population is declining: currently at 126 million it is likely to fall to below 107 million by 2050.  Low birth rate and longer life expectancy will have a negative impact of Japan’s prosperity. A BBC Radio investigation had a look at  young people’s attitudes to relationships and family life. Traditionally, working husband and the stay-at-home housewife defined a Japanese family. Now, with society changing, young people are choosing independence over ‘troublesome’ relationships. At the same time Japan’s life expectancy 84 (men) and 87 (women) means that in 2016, 33% of the population is over 65 and it set to rise to 40%,  The result is an uncontrolled decline in population, where a decreasing birth rate and rapidly aging population paints a bleak outlook for Japan’s future. The BBC takes a look at Japan’s falling birthrate and the pressures on young people. Can the government reverse this trend by changing public attitudes and its own social policies? BBC RADIO 4 How Japan Fell out of Love with Love. This is a 28 minute radio programme. Japan’s population in 2050.

Focus on Japan: Issue 2 October 2016

サンスタージャパンフォーカス プレス ダイジェストの第2号へようこそ。このダイジェストでは、海外のメディアから見た日本のニュースに加えて、世界の重大イベントのハイライトを取り上げていきます。日本語を母国語とする多くの皆様にも幅広くお読みいただけるよう配慮して、このダイジェストは、英語で執筆された後に日本語に翻訳されたものです。リンク先のウェブサイトは英語表記となっております。グローバルプレス ダイジェスト(英語のみ)も隔週で発行します。両方の配信をご希望の方は、ナイトウタカヒロさんまたは私宛にリクエストをご送信ください。

フィナンシャル・タイムズ(FT)紙に言及する記事が多くあることにお気づきになると思いますが、この国際的に知られる「グローバルな新聞」は、現在、日本経済新聞社の傘下にあります。したがって、欧州や米国における報道の中で、同社の日本に関する取材範囲が最も広いのも当然でしょう。日本経済新聞社による英フィナンシャル・タイムズ買収の発表についてはこちらをご参照ください。

読者のご意見やご提案をお待ちしています。

編集者

ジァンピエロ・アルハデフ(Giampi Alhadeff)

In this week’s digest
1   
はじめに
欧州人にとって日本は常にかなり遠い国だという認識がありました。中国よりも遠い国であるにもかかわらず、多くの欧州諸国と深い歴史を分かち合う国、そして大いなる可能性を秘める巨大な市場を伴う国でもあります。これは、日本が直面する地政学的な課題を欧州の人々が理解しないことがよくあることも意味します。その結果、日本製品、テクノロジー、食品、およびデザインは非常にファッショナブルであるものの、現在の日本に強い影響を及ぼしている、現地におけるダイナミクスの変化がほとんど理解されていません。こうしたダイナミクスの変化が将来の政治的な決定事項の起因となる可能性があることから、この事態は欧州における日本大使館の懸念事項であり、何らかの対処が必要となっています。

2  英国の人間国宝並みの人物が日本を旅行する番組

したがって、英国で最も人気のあるテレビ局が、英国で最も人気を博する俳優たちが出演して日本を紹介する番組を3部にわたって大々的に放映したことは、非常に喜ばしいことです。ジョアンナ・ラムリーは英国の人間国宝とも言える人物です。国民的な人気を誇る彼女に立ち向かうような政治家はまずいません。『アブソリュートリー・ファビュラス』(Absolutely Fabulous)というファッション事業に関する連続コメディー・ドラマで知られる2人のスターのうちの一人です。この番組のユーモアはかなり皮肉たっぷりで、大変面白く極めて英国的なものです。ですから、日本のシリーズ番組にラムリーさんが出演するとあって大歓迎でした。

ラムリーさんは、北海道から美しい太平洋の小浜島までを網羅しました。日本での旅行体験について彼女は、「本当に変ですね。スシ、トウシバ、キモノ、ハローキティー、ツナミ、サケなど、私たちは日本についてとてもよく知っているという感覚を持っているにもかかわらず、この素晴らしい国を旅すると、未知の不思議に溢れていて何が起こるか予想することすらできないのです。一瞬一瞬がとてもワクワクして面白く、大きく感動する出来事も多くありました。私が、心から皆さんに言いたいのは「私と一緒に行きませんか… 日本に!」。

 

この番組は、何百万人もの人々に視聴され、「あまりにも感動したので、彼女に新しく英国の外務長官になってほしい」とさえ言う視聴者もいたとある新聞の記事にあったほどです。この3部の番組のDVDはアマゾン で購入可能でITV局でも視聴可能です。 この番組を見て、英国から日本に旅行する人が増えるのは間違いありません。

3  日本の人口危機 : 日本では愛が冷めてしまったのか?
BBC ラジオ4は、有識者に支持される英国のラジオ局です。掘り下げた国内外のニュース、政治的・社会的・文化的な分析、およびドキュメンタリーにほぼ特化して報道しています。この中に、なぜ日本の出生率がこれほど低いのかを探る番組があります。従来日本の家族は、夫が働き妻は専業主婦というのが普通でしたが、現在この形態が変化して、若者は「面倒くさい」関係を保持することより、独立を選択する傾向にあるというのが、その論議です。これに加え、日本における寿命は84歳(男性)および87歳(女性)であることから、2016年には人口の33%が65歳以上となり、これはさらに増加して40%になると見込まれています。その結果、人口減少は抑制できず、出生率が低下して急速に進む高齢化社会を抱える日本の将来は、厳しいと言えます。番組は、日本の低下する出生率と若者にかかる圧力を探ります。政府はこの傾向を覆すことができるのでしょうか?  BBC RADIO 4 How Japan Fell out of Love with Love日本では愛が冷めてしまったのか。これは28分間のラジオ番組です。

4   ノーベル医学生理学賞を大隅良典栄誉教授が受賞
大隅良典栄誉教授は、オートファジー (ギリシャ語の「自食作用」を表す語彙に由来)に関する画期的な研究に対してノーベル医学生理学賞を受賞されました。これは、身体の中で細胞が自身の仕組みによって細胞を分解し、有益な部分を取り込んでエネルギーに変えたり、新しい細胞コンポーネントを生成したりします。このプロセスは、がん細胞の成長を抑制したり、健全な代謝を維持するために欠かせないもので、2型糖尿病などの疾患の予防に役立ちます。オートファジーの機能不全は、がんやパーキンソン病に関連付けられています。大隅教授の研究は、世界中の医学者たちに歓迎されるものです。様々な疾患でオートファジーを標的にすることができる医薬品開発に向けて、精力的な研究がすでに始まっています。日本がノーベル賞を受賞するのは今回が第25回目、医学分野では第4回目です。この集計では、米国、英国、ドイツ、フランス、およびスウェーデンに続いて、日本はスイスと並んで第6位となります。

Yoshinori Ohsumi wins Nobel Prize(大隅良典氏がノーベル医学生理学賞を受賞) (ガーディアン紙)   List of Japanese Nobel Prize Winners (ノーベル賞の日本人受賞者一覧)(Wikipedia)   List of all Nobel Prize Winners by Country (ノーベル賞の全受賞者国別一覧)
5   未だに危険な水準の長時間勤務が見られる日本の「過労死」文化

依然としてタブー現象とされる「過労死」に関して日本初の「過労死白書」を政府が発表し、正社員が危険な水準の長時間勤務に従事していることを日本の企業の5社に1社が認めていることが明らかになりました。調査対象となった企業のほぼ11%に、1か月間の残業時間が80時間を超えた正社員がおり、ほぼ12%に1か月間の残業時間が100時間を超えた正社員がいると答えています。

OECD(経済協力開発機構)は各国の年間労働時間を集計してリストを公表しています。2015年度の数値は意外です。米国は1790時間で日本の1719時間や英国の1674時間を上回っており、フランスの1482時間やドイツの1317時間と大きな差が見られます。しかしながら、こうした国々は、ギリシャの2042時間および韓国の2113時間より大幅に下回っています。最上位はコスタリカの2230時間およびメキシコの2246時間でした。 

OECD年間労働時間 国別ランキング

ガーディアン紙1/5th of Japanese Workers at risk of Death from Overwork(日本の労働者の5人に1人が過労死のリスクを抱える)」

ファイナンシャルタイムズ紙(FT: Japan’s ”KaroshiI” Culture(日本の「過労死」文化)

ファイナンシャルタイムズ紙の記事の大半が有料購読になっていますが、著者名と記事のタイトルからいくつかの単語を合わせて「Google検索」すると、通常、記事を読むことができます。Leo Lewis. 
6   新海 誠の映画作品「君の名は」が興行成績の記録更新する

身体の入れ替わり、愛の模索、差し迫った崩壊から町を必死に救出するという題材が盛り込まれた日本のアニメ映画が空前の大当たりとなり、世界的に著名な宮﨑駿監督の後を継ぐ監督の登場との呼び声が高まりました。

8月の封切り以降、男女の身体が入れ替わる夢を見て2人の十代の若者が引き寄せられるという、この新海誠監督のファンタジー作品は、800万人を超える観客動員数を記録して、極めて人気の高い「シン・ゴジラ」を抜いて今年日本で最も興行収入を上げた映画作品となり、日本歴代興行収入ランキングで第9位となっています。これまで宮崎監督の作品によってのみ達成されていたアニメ作品の大台、100億円(7700万ポンド)を超える興行収入をすでに突破しています。英国のガーディアン紙がこの映画作品の成功を伝えています。欧州および米国ではまだ公開されていません。
7   2回の討論会後、ドナルド・トランプの失言を受けてヒラリーの支持率が世論調査で優勢
ハロルド・ウィルソンは「政治的な観点から、1週間は長い時間」と言ったかもしれません。しかし、ハロルド・マクミランは、首相が一番恐れることとは何ですか、との問いに対して「様々な事象が起こることだよ(Events, dear boy, events)」 と答えました。ドナルド・トランプは、この2つの名言を念頭に置いていたら、もっと上手く乗り越えることができたでしょう。トランプ集団を乗せた車は、車輪が外れてしまったかのような事態になっています。

ヒラリーは、慎重な準備と対抗者を心理的に深く理解することによって1回目の討論会で勝利を収めました。トランプ氏は明らかに平静さを失った様子でした。これ以後、セックステープの存在が暴露されました。第2回の討論会後、トランプ氏は焦点をビル・クリントン氏の不倫問題に移そうと試みましたが、もうその時点において彼は自身にダメージを受けており、多くの共和党員が支持撤回や選挙戦からの撤退を要求する事態となっています。ヒラリー・クリントン氏は世論調査では現在優位に立っていますが、選挙戦はまだ後4週間残っています。

米国のウェブサイト Election Central が情報収集に役立ちます。BBC選挙レポートも有益で公平な情報源および分析を提供しています。 
8  Brexitをどのように行うのか? 英首相テリーザ・メイがEU離脱交渉手続き開始を宣言

テリーザ・メイ首相は、毎年開催される与党保守党の党大会で、極めて明確な意思表示をして党内の支持は得たものの、企業や金融市場には歓迎されませんでした。メイ首相は、移民の流入を劇的に削減する意向で、これを実施すると英国の経済を損なう危険があります。党大会の討議でメイ首相および内閣は、英国国籍を持たない従業員数について大手企業に公表を求めること、英国民以外の学生数を減らすこと、また、海外からの医療従事者数を減らすために医師や看護師の研修に力を入れることなど、多岐にわたる措置を発表しました。移民抑制を狙うメイ首相の提案は、EUの 単一市場加盟国ではなくなることを意味するために実際には極めて困難です。9月初めに日本の安部晋三首相は、こうした政策は、失業率の高い地域も多く含む英国内で144,000人の従業員を雇用する日本企業にマイナスの影響を与えると見られるとの警告を、メイ首相に書簡で伝えました。懸念を持つのは日本首相だけではありません。金融市場は、政府の強固な姿勢に反応して英国ポンドが売られ、すでに年初来18%下落しています。

 

メイ首相の提案への反対勢力は、首相の想定外であったかもしれません。対EU諸国が輸出高の44%を占めていることから、英国にとって単一市場は、極めて重要です。英国の金融サービスも同様に英国経済にとって非常に重要です。現状EU内いずれの国にもサービス提供ができる「金融パスポート」と呼ばれる権利を失うと、多数の銀行や企業は、他のEU国に移転を検討するでしょう。

一方、例えばドイツ、フランス、アイルランド、オランダをはじめとした多数のEU加盟諸国は、英国の離脱決定から利益を被ることができるかを検討しています。しかしながら、内閣の離脱支持者はまるで、大英帝国は大昔に消失していることを忘れて「Brexitに不都合な点は一切ない」という幻想の世界に浸っているかのような言動を見せています。Hugo DixonINFacts掲載の記事をご参照ください。
9   危険を覚悟で太平洋圏のトラブルを無視する

太平洋圏におけるトラブルについては、ファイナンシャルタイムズ紙や英国の一部の高級紙を除いて、欧州でニュースになることは滅多にありません。しかし、日本の脆弱な立場が十分に理解されることは少ないものの、以下の3つの問題は継続的に取り沙汰されています。

 

9.1     北朝鮮が日本の防空識別圏に弾道ミサイルを発射して継続的に挑発行動に出ていること、および北朝鮮による最新の核実験についてニュースになりました。北朝鮮が呈する危険は、欧州においてあまり理解されていません。これは日本大使館の大きな懸念事項です。

 

9.2    同地域における勢力均衡が変化しており、米国が勢力を弱める一方で中国が新たに影響力を増していることもニュースになっています。台湾に対する領土的野心に加え、南シナ海の中国の動向にも懸念が持たれます。こうした状況は、フィリピンの大統領が長年にわたる同盟関係を保ってきた米国に対して、反米的な発言をしたことで、さらに悪化しています。

 

9.3    最後に、日本に焦点を当てた前回のプレスダイジェストでも触れましたが、オバマ大統領および安部首相にとって非常に重要な環太平洋パートナーシップ協定(TPP)は、まるで水没したように進展が見られません。

こうした新たな動向により、日本の不安心理が増大し、自国防衛を支持する首相の意図が強化されます。

Obama’s Asian Pivot Failing(オバマ大統領のアジアへの方向転換が失敗に)?
10  エリザベス女王が食器洗い
毎年、夏の終わりに英国の女王は首相とその配偶者をスコットランドのバルモラル城での非公式な週末休暇に招きます。スコットランドの丘を散策したり、家族だけのバーベキューや暖炉を囲んでおしゃべりを楽しむ週末です。マーガレット・サッチャーはこれを嫌い、トニーブレアは大好きで、ハロルド・ウィルソンはバーベキューの火にくべる薪を集めに行きました。フィリップ殿下がソ-セージやハンバーガーを焼いてバーベキューの世話をして、食事の後にエリザベス女王がゴム手袋を付けて食器を洗うのです。ロンドン・ガーディアン紙のこれに関する愉快な記事をお読みください。ガーディアン紙の記事

English Version

Welcome to this second edition of the SUNSTAR Japan Focus Press Digest: news about Japan as seen by the international media, as well as highlights about major global news.  This Digest is written in English and translated into Japanese so that as many colleagues as possible can read it in   their own language. The web-links will however be in English.  Every two weeks we will also publish a Global Press Digest in English only. You are welcome to be included in the distribution list for both.  To do so please write to Takahiro Naito or to myself.

 

You will notice that many articles refer to the Financial Times, a paper that has become the world’s “global newspaper” now owned by Nikkei. Not surprisingly it has the best coverage of Japanese news in either Europe or the US.  See announcement of Nikkei acquisition of the Financial Times.

As always your comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

With all my best wishes

Giampi Alhadeff
Editor

 

1    Introduction

Europeans have always seen Japan as very far away. Somehow further even than China, a country with which many European countries have much history in common and a country with a huge market with great potential. This often means that Europeans do not understand the geo-political challenges that Japan faces. As a result Japanese products, technology, food, and design are very fashionable, however there is little understanding about the changing regional dynamics that are having a strong impact on Japan today and that may well effect its future political decisions.  This is something that preoccupies the Japanese Embassies in Europe, and something that needs addressing.

2     UK National Treasure does Japan Travel Show

It was therefore very pleasing to see one of the the UK’s most popular TV channels giving much prominence to a three part programme on Japan fronted by one of the country’s most popular actors. Joanna Lumley is a UK National Treasure. Few politicians dare go against her because the public love her so. She was one of the two stars in the serial “Absolutely Fabulous”, a comedy inspired by the fashion business. The show’s humour is very dry,  very funny and very English. So it was very good news to learn that Lumley would front the Japan series.

Lumley travelled all the way from Hokkaido to the beautiful Pacific island of Kohama. Of her travels in Japan, she said: “Isn’t it odd, we feel we are so familiar with Japan, with sushi and Toshiba, kimonos and Hello Kitty, tsunamis and sake… and yet when we travelled around that spectacular country I couldn’t even guess at the unknown wonders that were in store for us. Every moment was thrilling, fascinating and often very moving. With my hand on my heart I can say: please come with me… to Japan!”

The show was watched by millions and viewers were so moved that one newspaper decreed that readers wanted her to be the new Foreign Secretary for the United Kingdom.  The three episodes are now also available on DVD from Amazon and can still be seen on ITV.   No doubt the show will encourage many people from the UK to visit Japan.

3    Japan Population Crisis : Has Japan Fallen Out of Love with Love? 

BBC Radio 4 is the more intellectual UK radio station. Almost exclusively broadcasting in-depth national and international news , political, social and cultural analysis and documentaries. This programme looks at why the Japanese birth rate is so low. Its argument is that traditionally the Japanese family was defined by a working husband and and a stay-at-home wife, but now all this is changing and young people are choosing independence over ‘troublesome’ relationships. At the same time Japan’s life expectancy 84 (men) and 87 (women) means that in 2016, 33% of the population is over 65 and it set to rise to 40%, The result is an uncontrolled decline in population, where a decreasing birth rate and rapidly ageing population paints a bleak outlook for Japan’s future. The programme takes a look at Japan’s falling birthrate and the pressures on young people. Can the government reverse this trend?  BBC RADIO 4 How Japan Fell out of Love with Love.This is a 28 minute radio programme.

4    Yoshinori Osumi Awarded Nobel Medicine Prize

Professor Yoshinori Ohsumi is awarded the Nobel Prize for Science for his groundbreaking work on Autophagy (from the Greek word meaning “eating oneself”) This is the body’s internal system that hunts  down scrap cells, breaks them down strips down their useful parts to generate energy or create new cellular components. The process is crucial for preventing cancerous growths, maintaining a healthy metabolism and helping to protect against conditions like type 2 diabetes. Dysfunctional autophagy, has also been linked to  cancer and Parkinson’s disease. Professor Yoshinori’s work has been hailed by medical scientists worldwide.  Intense research is already underway to develop drugs that can target autophagy in various diseases. This is the 25 Nobel Prize won by Japan and the 4th for medicine. This tally puts Japan in 6th place together with Switzerland,  behind the US, UK, Germany, France and Sweden.

Yoshinori Ohsumi wins Nobel Prize (The Guardian) 
 List of Japanese Nobel Prize Winners (Wikipedia)
List of all Nobel Prize Winners by Country

5    Japan’s ‘karoshi’ culture still produces dangerously long work-hours

Japan’s first government white paper on the still largely taboo phenomenon of “death by overwork” has revealed that a fifth of surveyed companies acknowledge that their full-time staff work dangerously long hours.  Nearly 11% of companies surveyed said that they had full-time staff working at least 80 hours of overtime a month and almost 12% of companies said they had staff working more than 100 hours of overtime a month.

OECD The Organisation  for Economic and Cultural Development compiles an annual list of hours worked by people in each country. The 2015 figures are surprising. The US comes out at 1790 hours , ahead of Japan on 1719 hours  and of the UK on 1674 hours , but well ahead of France’s 1482 hours  or Germany’s 1317 hours . However all these countries are behind Greece on 2042 hours  and Korea on 2113 hours , but leading the pack are Costa Rica on 2230 hours and Mexico on 2246 hours. 

OECD List of Annual Hours worked.

The Guardian:  1/5th of Japan Workers at risk of Death from Overwork. 

FT: Japan’s ”KaroshiI” Culture.  Most Financial Times articles are behind a paywall, however if you “Google” the name of the author and a few words from the title of the article, you are usually able to read the article. Author Leo Lewis

6    Makoto Shinkai’s “Kimi no Na wa”  film breaks box office records

Themes of body swapping, the search for love and a frantic quest to save a town from imminent destruction have combined to propel a Japanese animated film to box-office gold, and prompted talk that the country has found its successor to the globally acclaimed director Hayao Miyazaki.

Makoto Shinkai’s fantasy about two teenagers drawn together by gender-swapping dreams, has been seen  by more than 8 million people since its release in August, beating the hugely popular Godzilla Resurgence to become the highest-grossing film in Japan this year, and the ninth highest of all time.  It has earned more than 10bn yen (£77m) in box office receipts, an anime milestone previously achieved only by Miyazaki’s films.  News of the film’s success was reported by the UK’s Guardian and is yet to be released in Europe and the US.

 

7    Hillary moves Ahead in the Polls after two rounds and Donald Trump’s Gaffes. 

Harold Wilson may have said that “a week is a long time in politics” but it was Harold Macmillan when asked what a Prime Minister most feared who said ‘Events, dear boy, events’.” Donald Trump would have done well to remember both sayings.  The wheels seem to have come off the trump-mobile.

Hillary won the first round through careful preparation and much psychological understanding of her opponent. He was clearly rattled.  Since then we have had the sex  tape revelations. In the second debate Trump tried to turn the focus on Bill Clinton’s infidelities, but by then he had become damaged goods and many reputable Republicans are peeling away from his campaign or calling on him to pull out of the race.  Hillary Clinton is ahead in the polls, but there is still just under four weeks to go.

The US Election Central website.  is a good place to go for information, the  BBC Report  on the election is a good and impartial place to get information and analysis.

 

8   It’s Brexit, but what is Brexit? UK PM Theresa May Fires the Brexit Starting Gun. 

Prime Minister Theresa May wowed her party at their annual Conference with strong talk of a tough Brexit , but what was music to the Tory faithful, was not welcomed by business or the financial markets.  PM May wants to dramatically reduce immigration, and will risk damage to the British economy to do so. She and her Ministers announced a number of measures during their week of discussions such as compelling companies to say how many ‘foreign’ nationals they employed, reducing the number of non UK students and or training more doctors and nurses so that there would be less need to employ medical staff from abroad. May’s aim to control immigration is not so simple, as this implies not being a member of the EU’s Single Market. Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe wrote to her in early September warning that such a move would have a negative effect on Japanese businesses, businesses that employ 144,000 workers in the UK, many of whom are in high unemployment regions.  It is not only the PM of Japan that is concerned:  the financial markets reacted to the tough government stance by selling UK Sterling which is now worth 18% less than at the start of the year.

The opposition to May’s plans may be more than she expected. The Single Market is of huge importance to the UK with 44% of its exports going to EU countries.  The UK financial services are also hugely important to the UK economy. At present they can operate across the EU with the so-called “financial passport”, should that not be available then many banks and insurance companies will want to relocate to another EU country.

Meanwhile other EU member states, Germany, France, Ireland and the Netherlands to name but a few,  are looking to see if they can gain from the UK’s decision.  However for now the “Brexiters” in her government seem to be happy to live in a fantasy land where there is “no downside to Brexit’, forgetting that the days of the British empire are long gone.  See the article by Hugo Dixon of INFacts.

9  Pacific Troubles we Ignore at our peril

Trouble in the Pacific region seldom makes the news in Europe except in the Financial Times and some of the UK quality press, however three  issues continue to make the news, although Japan’s vulnerability is not often acknowledged.

9.1     North Korea’s continued aggression by launching a ballistic missile which entered Japan’s air defence space and North Korea’s latest nuclear explosion, did make the news. The danger North Korea poses is not well understood in Europe. This is a problem the Japanese Embassy is very concerned about.

9.2    The changing power balance in the region, with the US losing ground and China exerting its new found power is also reported in the news.  China’s behaviour in the South China seas is a matter for concern as well as its territorial ambitions towards Taiwan. Matters are made more complicated by the Philippines President’s intemperate language towards the US, their long term ally.

9.3    Finally as reported in the previous Japanese Focussed Press Digest TTP, the Pacific region free trade deal, so important to President Obama and to PM Shinzo Abe, seems to be dead in the water for the moment.

These new realities  contribute to Japan’s feeling of insecurity and to its PM’s intention to make sure that the country is better able to defend itself.

Obama’s Asian Pivot Failing?

10    The Queen Does the Dishes

Every year, at the end of the summer, the UK Queen invites her Prime Minister and spouse to an informal weekend at Balmoral, her beloved Scottish castle. It is a weekend of walks in the Scottish hills, family BBQs and fireside chats. Margaret Thatcher hated them, Tony Blair loved them and Harold Wilson would go collecting firewood for the BBQ. Prince Philip looks after the BBQ, cooking the sausages and hamburgers and after dinner the Queen puts on a pair of rubber gloves and cleans the dishes.  This account in the London Guardian is highly amusing. See the Guardian

SUNSTAR Press Digest, 2016 No 3

It is already the middle of September and politicians and parliaments are back in business. The season kicked off with the Hangzhou G20 Summit, a good place to gauge the international temperature. The two big issues of the weekend were the slowdown in global growth and the disquiet in the US and Europe about globalisation. It was Theresa May’s first outing on such an international scene. A steep learning curve no doubt. Soon afterwards, the North Koreans, not part of the G20, made news with the explosion of their 5th nuclear test explosion. Meanwhile the US election continues its inevitable run to November 8th and the UK is leaving everyone guessing about what Brexit means. Some say that this is a great opportunity for the EU to re-invent itself in a two-tier union, with a federalist inner core and a looser outer one to which even the UK could belong. This story will run and run as no one yet knows what the UK government wants.
Meanwhile the tragedy of Syria continues, in spite of a ceasefire, aid is still not reaching the besieged city of Aleppo.
On a lighter note every September the UK Queen and Prince Philip invite the Prime Minister for an informal weekend at Balmoral, their Scottish castle. It is meant to be a relaxed family affair with Prince Philip doing the BBQ and the Queen clearing the plates and doing the washing up. You will enjoy this historical, and slightly tongue in cheek look at how different PMs coped with this weekend.
Edward Albee, the brilliant US playwright has died after a short illness at the age of 88. His play “Who is Afraid of Virginia Woolf” brilliantly portrayed by Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor is one of the great plays of the 20th Century. BBC Obituary Edward Albee
I leave you with the list of the 6 best business books of the year as chosen by the Financial Times and McKinsey.

In this week’s digest
1   Hangzhou G 20 Summit
2   BREXIT, Shinzo Abe & UK Confusion
3   Hilary Clinton’s Health
4   Two-Speed EU? 
5   Syria
6   The Queen Does the Dishes
7   FT and McKinsey Business Book of the year

1  HANGZHOU G20 SUMMIT 
Summits are strange affairs. The preparation work starts a year in advance. “Sherpas”, the trusted officials from the respective governments start working on the next G20 the moment the last one ends. Nothing is left to chance and the final declaration has been written, read, discussed, amended and agreed long before the first plane has landed. Business groups, international trade unions, key lobby interests and NGOs spend a great amount of energy trying to have their key concerns mentioned in the final declaration. Host governments give huge importance to the event, a great national showcase and little is left to chance. Having been involved in the fringes of the London G20 in 2009 I can attest to the effort these events entail and the importance host governments attach to them. The first G20 was organised by President Bush who had been urged to act by UK PM Gordon Brown in response to the 2008 Financial Crisis. Since then the Leaders of the 19 countries involved plus the EU come together once a year, and their Economy Ministers and Central Bankers also meet up three times every year. Wikipedia has a list of G20 countries and of all the summits held since then. Go to Wikipedia.
Each summit has an official theme, Hangzhou’s was about stimulating global economic growth, now predicted at 3.1% rather than the desired 7%, and the need to ensure that global free trade is not reversed. A sub-theme however was about how to make globalisation work for people. The US, EU and Australia were vocal in saying that large numbers of their voters were taking positions against globalisation. One observer at the G20’s closed meetings said that Summit Leaders “were talking more about people and less about economics”. There was also talk of a public bandwagon for ditching “austerity” in favour of fiscal support policies.

There were tensions: President Obama and EU President Juncker had a pop at their Chinese hosts. Junker warned that the EU was not happy about China exporting cheap steel thus threatening EU jobs, whilst Obama pointedly said that “You can’t just export problems . You have got to have fair trade as well as free trade.” There was a hoo-ha about President Obama’s arrival, but this was played down by the President, though some observers thought this was a deliberate snub on the part of the Chinese

However each Summit also has an unofficial theme. Hangzhou was about China’s global leadership ambitions. As China sees it the West has been in decline since the 2008 financial crisis, a decline that is now accelerating amid the distractions of a US presidential election and the disarray in Europe over Brexit, migrants and recession. Within this landscape China sees itself as offering stability and steady global governance. The Chinese government used all its resources to make sure the summit was a success: they closed factories to reduce the pollution in Hangzhou, they stopped the traffic and emptied the city and tried to show China at its best, but its bid for global leadership is likely to fall short. In a region, where so many nations still have wounds from history, China’s nationalist politics are toxic to its hopes to lead internationally. A good background read can be found on the BBC’s Website. BBC Background to the Hangzhou Summit.

There are also two good articles in the Financial Times that give a good overview of the politics of the Summit.
See also George Parker’s articles in the Financial Times (These articles are behind a Paywall. You can access them by googling “George Parker G20”.)

Away from the cameras Summits are a great place for Presidents and Prime Ministers to talk informally away from the prying eyes of the global media. That informality and opportunity to iron out problems away from the public gaze may be the best outcome from any summit.


2   BREXIT, Shinzo Abe & UK Confusion
On the eve of the G20 Summit Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe sent Theresa May a letter and 15 page memorandum warning that Japanese businesses have a huge interest in the UK negotiating a “soft Brexit”. The message is that Japanese companies want the UK to negotiate a deal that leaves Britain not just in the EU customs union, and single market, but also retains a free flow of workers between the EU and the UK. 140,000 workers are employed by Japanese companies, many in areas of high unemployment. Nomura Bank, Mitsui, Hitachi, Toyota, Nissan and Honda are critical to the UK economy. See the UK’s Daily Mirror

PM Shinzo Abe is not the only one to want some clarity from the UK government. so far all Theresa May will say is “Brexit means Brexit”. Unfortunately, and maybe more accurately one of the interpreters at the European Parliament mis-translated this to be “Brexit means Breakfast”. However 50 days before May used the phrase for the first time it is wearing thin, particularly as key members of her cabinet seem to have diametrically opposite views on what the UK’s relationship with the EU will eventually be.

Will it be “Soft Brexit” as the Japanese PM seems to want, or the “Hard Brexit” of outside the EU, outside of the Single Market, the custom union and with not Freedom of Movement of workers?

The UK Parliament is getting restless and as time goes on the May government will find itself under pressure from the both the Brexit and the Remain camp. With a majority of only 17 she does not have much room to move. May has ruled out an early election (UK has a fixed term Parliament, with the next election due in 2020), but the smart money in London is on May being tempted by the weakness in the Labour Party in calling an election in the Spring of 2017.

Confusing most commentators is the surprisingly robust performance of the British economy. Shares are up (FTSE100 and FTSE 250), retail sales very healthy and Sterling after a big fall has stabilised. The right wing pro-Brexit Spectator Magazine was exultant (Read More), but a more balanced view can be heard in this very good podcast by Chris Giles, the Economics Editor of the Financial Times.


3   US Elections and Hillary Clinton’s Health
The US Presidential election is famous for going on too long and costing too much money. The polls have narrowed and the big issue of the week has been Hillary Clinton’s stumble after the 9/11 Memorial. The story has been spun in some of the media in terms of Clinton not being truthful, but the pressure is also on Donald Trump, who has been slow to divulge his own medical record.

This focus on health is somewhat exaggerated given that many people with chronic illnesses are working in high pressure jobs and deliver first rate results. It is also at odds with history. President Kennedy suffered from Addison Disease, had chronic back pain and severe anxiety, Eisenhower suffered from Crohn’s disease, and had a stroke and a heart attack whilst in office, whilst FDR was paralysed in both legs following a bout of polio. See the health of US Presidents for more information on this. On this side of the pond Winston Churchill’s daily drinking routine would give heart attacks to most of today’s health professionals and would be a big obstacle to becoming Prime Minister. Was Winston Churchill an Alcohol Abuser?

There are 50 or so days to go to the US Election and of course there will be the TV debates. One thing is certain, Donald Trump has toned down his rhetoric and softened his image since Kellyanne Conway joined his team, but she may not be able to totally gaffe-proof Mr Trump, as this weekend’s jibe at Hillary and the right to bear arms has shown.


4   TWO SPEED EU?
This weekend EU Leaders met in Bratislava, for the first time without the presence of the UK. Brexit is not on the Agenda, as negotiations cannot start before the UK has triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty (the exit button to begin talks), but it is sure to dominate the thinking of EU leaders. Angela Merkel has said that the EU is at a critical junction. I have heard the phrase repeated so often over the 26 years I have been involved in EU affairs that I could be forgiven for doubting it, but I think that this time she is right. In designing the Euro EU leaders glossed over the huge fiscal and financial differences between their northern and southern countries: what is good for Germany was never going to work for Greece or Portugal. Secondly migration from both outside the EU and within the EU has pitted countries against each other. Added to this cocktail is the continuing threat posed by terrorists and the volatile situation in the Middle East and in the Ukraine. To this already dangerous mix there one must add difficult elections in Germany and France in 2017. If there ever was a time for Europe to be united this is certainly it, and yet there is a distinct lack of vision and leadership.

Some commentators think that we are moving towards a two-tier EU. An inner core of federalist countries with Germany, Italy, Span, Portugal, France, if the Front National do not win the Presidential elections, and an outer ring with the Visegrad Four (Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Czech) with the Danes, the Swedes, the Dutch and possibly the Irish. Bloomberg has argued the case well earlier this summer. See Bloomberg on Two Tier EU. An article by Gideon Rachman in the Financial Times who believes this to be a great opportunity, in my view, well demonstrates how difficult it would be pull off such a deal. Google Gideon Rachman: Two-Tier Europe as this article is behind the FT Paywall.


5   SYRIA
Obama and Putin met in Hangzhou. No doubt frank and diplomatic words were exchanged. The continuing civil war is not good for the US or for Russia. Obama would very much like to be able to announce that ISIL/Daesh have lost all their territory both in Iraq and in Syria before he steps down. However bringing some order to Syria with its disparate rebel groups and Assad’s record of abuse of power not to mention use of chemical weapons will continue to be complicated. For now the international community’s focus must be to bring aid to the besieged city of Aleppo. Four days since the ceasefire was declared relief convoys are still being blocked from entering the city. See CNN on the Aid Deadlock


6   The Queen Does the Dishes
Every year, at the end of the summer, the UK Queen invites her Prime Minister and spouse to an informal weekend at Balmoral her beloved Scottish castle. It is a weekend of walks in the Scottish hills, family BBQs and fireside chats. Margaret Thatcher hated them, Tony Blair loved them, Harold Wilson would go collecting firewood for the BBQ. This account in the London Guardian is highly amusing. See the Guardian


7   FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year
Each year the Financial Times and McKinsey select the Business Book of the year from a shortlist they announce in September.
This year’s list is as follows:

See Wikipedia: FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year

Japan News from Europe

グローバルプレス ダイジェスト

2016年9

___________________________________________________

はじめに

サンスタージャパンの月刊グローバルプレス ダイジェスト第1号へようこそ。このダイジェストは、英語で執筆された後に日本語に翻訳され、日本語を母国語とする幅広いサンスターの読者を対象としています。この月刊ニュースレターでは以下の3点を実施するよう努めます。

1)世界の重大イベントを取り上げる。

2)日本の出来事に対する欧州の視点を提供する。

3)サンスターにとって、関心事となり得るストーリーに焦点を合わせる。

たわいない季節:「鯉のベンソン死去」

従来、8月はホリデーの季節です。議会や学校は夏休みに入り、今年は多くの人がリオ五輪に夢中になりました。英国では新聞の記事欄を埋める目的で「たわいない話題」を掲載してしまうことになることから、8月は「たわいないニュースの月」と呼ばれています。この典型的な例に、2009年8月ロンドン・タイムズ紙の第1面があり、ここには一匹の魚の死が掲載されました。ロンドン・タイムズ紙は、当日最大の出来事が、過去63回捕らえられた後放流されたという25歳のメス鯉、ベンソンの死去であるとして大型カラー写真まで載せた記事を出版したのです。ベンソンの死は英国の主要新聞に掲載され、BBCに至れば、彼女(魚)の死因に関する様々な憶測まで取り上げる始末でした。
ブレグジット、シリア、トルコ:勝者はプーチン氏

今年も当然、「たわいない話題の季節」的なニュースもありましたが、国際的に陰鬱なムードが漂っています。ブレグジットが欧州連合または英国にとって何を意味するのか、欧州では誰も把握できていません。確実に明らかなことは、こうした不確実さこそが経済およびユーロ圏の景気回復に悪影響であるという事実です。米国では、大統領選挙が非常に困難な状況の最中にあり、この選挙は欧州における外交関係に多大な影響を及ぼしますが、より重要なのはおそらく太平洋領域への影響です。このような不確実さが増す世界状況で勝者となるのは、ロシアのプーチン大統領ではないでしょうか。プーチン大統領によるアサド政権への支援が功を奏して、シリアはDaesh/ISISを退けるに至っていますが、これには非常に多くの市民が犠牲となっています。プーチン大統領はまた、先月のクーデター失敗に関連する人権侵害行為について欧州連合から厳しく批判を受けているトルコのエルドガン大統領の支持者としても存在感を示しています。トルコは、戦略的に重要な北大西洋条約機構の同盟国であるため、オバマ大統領が困難を切り抜けるため、およびロシアへの接近を牽制するために、バイデン副大統領をトルコに派遣したことは驚くにあたりません。一方、英国の新首相は、欧州連合外における英国の新たな国際的役割を懸命に模索するあまり、プーチン大統領に電話して「ロシアとの関係を深めたい」と伝えています。ロシアのスパイが高放射性物質のポロニウム210を使用して、英国の地で英国民を殺害した事件をまったく無視したのか、忘れでもしたのでしょうか。つまり、欧州の不統一により恩恵を受けているのは、プーチン大統領だということです。

 

日本:今後起こる大きな変化

世界中のメディアで大きく取り上げられた日本のニュースに、明仁天皇の退位の意志表明が挙げられます。意思表明の尊厳は多くの人々に感動を与えました。同月、安倍晋三総理大臣の自由民主党の参議院選挙での当選が報道されています。安倍総理の勝利、および安倍総理が防衛相に稲田氏を指名したことは、武力を放棄して自衛に制限する憲法9条を改正する意図がある動きと見られました。安倍氏は議会で勝つための票数を持っているものの、いずれは国民投票で有権者に判断を委ねる必要があります。ロンドン・ガーディアンの世論調査結果は、改正への賛成が49%、反対が44%と接戦を示しました。国民投票は予測不可能である場合が多々あることをロンドン・ガーディアンも当然理解しています。日本事情を専門としていない西洋の評論家の中には、日本が中国や北朝鮮から受ける重圧や日本国民の多くが自国の防御を米国に頼らざるを得ない現状に不満を抱いていることなどを理解していない者が多くいます。

 

天皇陛下の発表により政治的見通しが複雑になったことは言うまでもありません。退位の可能性は皇室典範で想定されておらず、こうした議論が始まることでこれまで予期されなかった事情が明らかになるのではないかとの報告もあります。

 

天皇陛下がテレビでお気持ち表明をされたのは、日銀の小幅な金融緩和の実施、ならびに停滞傾向にある個人消費の後押しおよび円高に起因する輸出への影響を緩和するために安倍総理が追加の公共支出28.1兆円(GDPの9%)の経済対策を発表した数日後でした。日銀の小幅な金融緩和も報道で取り上げられました。この2つの是正措置がもたらすであろう経済効果について、評論家らは懐疑的な見解を示しています。

 

TTPTTIP、欧州連合(EU)と日本の貿易:自由貿易の行方

冷戦後、自由貿易は経済および発展においてプラスの影響を及ぼすという見解で一致していました。これは、少しばかり単純な概念であったかもしれません。貿易と経済成長によって何百万人の人々が貧困から抜け出せたのは事実です。しかし、先進国においては、主に教育水準が低い労働者層の大部分がアジア諸国、特に中国との世界的な競争において敗北しています。このような労働者への支援対策は十分に行われておらず、現在、米国および欧州ともに、仕事や収入を失う原因になったとして、自由貿易協定に対して逆風となる動きが見られています。その結果、票の獲得を狙う政治家達が保護貿易政策措置を提唱し始めました。以下の2件によりこれが例証されています。環太平洋パートナーシップ(TPP)協定(日本、シンガポール、ベトナム、オーストラリア、ブルネイ、カナダ、チリ、マレーシア、メキシコ、ニュージーランド、ペルー、米国の合計12か国、全世界GDPの40%を網羅する合意)は、オバマ氏の任期中に議会の承認が得られない可能性が高くなっています。しかもなお悪いことに、トランプ氏は公に反対意見を表明しており、ヒラリー・クリントン氏においてはどっちつかずの姿勢を保持しています。一方、大西洋横断貿易投資パートナーシップ協定(TTIP)もまた、米国と欧州連合の間で交渉中で、ドイツの外務大臣は失敗に終始したと宣言し、フランスも逃げ腰になっているという状況です。欧州委員会は協定の実現可能性を支持する見解ですが、フランスやドイツ、米国の選挙が押し迫っていることから、時間との競争となっています。

 

ただし、報道の注目を浴びていない分野では進歩が遂げられています。2013年に開始された日本と欧州連合(EU)の貿易協定は順調に進展しています。日本は、欧州連合にとって中国に続いて2番目に大きな貿易相手国であり、欧州連合と日本を合わせると全世界GDPの3分の1を占めています(欧州委員会のウェブサイトご参照のこと)。同交渉の次の段階は9月に予定されています。

 

中国、北朝鮮、尖閣、および米国選挙

ロンドンの日本大使館は、太平洋領域に生じる厄介な情勢について、とりわけ、中国の拡張政策における南シナ海進出や尖閣諸島周辺での活動などについて、主な世論形成者および意思決定者の注意を喚起すべく働きかける業務を行っています。こうした問題は、主要紙によって報道はされていますが、十分な説明を伴っていないように見受けられます。中国からの投資を誘致して中国貿易のシェア増大を望む欧州の政治家にとって、中国の人権侵害や領土的野心について上手く表面を取り繕うことも困難ではないでしょう。

 

また、現在進行中の緊迫した状況は北朝鮮の動向によって複雑化しています。北朝鮮は先週、日本の防空識別圏(ADIZ)に初めて到達する弾道ミサイルを発射しました。

太平洋領域の国際関係は、2017年1月に就任する米国大統領に影響を受けます。ヒラリー・クリントン氏は北京の野望に対してタカ派的な姿勢を取る傾向にありますが、ドナルド・トランプ氏は自由放任的な姿勢で、米国は関知しないという見解を示す可能性があります。いずれの候補者が大統領になった場合においてもこの問題の緊迫感は継続する見込みです。

 

アフリカにおける中国および日本の役割

初のアフリカ開催となる、第6回アフリカ開発会議に参加するため、安倍晋三総理大臣および日本のビジネスリーダー75名がナイロビを訪問しました。日本とアフリカの貿易高は、2014年の170億ドルから2015年には140億ドルに減少しています。日本はアフリカに、中国からの投資額の約半分である30ドルの投資を誓約しました。中国共産党の機関紙である人民日報は、日本が国連安全保障常任理事国の確保を目的としてアフリカに印象付けていると否定的見解を示しています。こうした動きに中国は反対の立場をとっていることがその理由です。フィナンシャル・タイムズ参照のこと(「Japan Looks to Boost Trade with Africa」とグーグル検索)。

 

イタリアの地震 イタリア中部で発生したマグニチュード6の地震で多くの村が完全に崩壊し、約300人に到達する死者が確認されました。建物が古いこと、粗悪な改築や増築が今回の災害規模の拡大に大きく寄与したものと見られます。イタリアでは、新築物件の18%が建築許可を取得しておらず、増築や改築工事においてはその数値はさらに高いと推測されています。また、安価なセメントやセメントに混合する砂が多いことも、死傷者が増えた原因であると考えられます。資金を費やして建物を安全に建設していた村では、崩壊規模が最小限に抑えられていました。イタリアのマッテオ・レンツィ首相は、全国の建築物の地震対策強化を目指して世界的に著名な建築家レンゾ・ピアノ氏に助言を求めました。イタリア国内では、建築物保護を日本と同程度に行っていれば死者の数および影響を受けた建築物の数も抑えられたのではないかという意見が挙がっています。詳細についてはウェブサイトをご参照のこと:「If the Italians had built like the Japanese」、「Lax Building regulations contribute to death toll」、および「Fortune:Italy Investigates Whether Shoddy Buildings Worsened the Death Toll

___________________________________________________

SUNSTAR Press Digest 3 ,September 2,  2016

1 Introduction and Silly Season: Benson the Carp Dies
2 Apple’s €13bn Tax Bombshell
3 BREXIT, Syria, Turkey: Putin the Winner
4 Japan Big Changes Coming
5 TTP, TTIP, EU-Japan Tade: Is Free-Trade Stalling?
6 China, North Korea, Senkaku and the US Elections
7 China and Japan’s Role in Africa
8 Italian Earthquake
9 Artisan Sake gets the Top Vintage Treatment

_______________________________________________

1 Introduction. The Silly Season: “Benson the Carp Dies”
Each month I will prepare a more Japan focussed Press Digest, which will also be translated into Japanese.  This is the first such Japan Press Digest. Some of the stories reported here have already featured in previous Digests, however in this Japan Edition I take a longer overview of each story.  So the themes of Brexit, US Elections, Russian diplomatic manoeuvres and the woes of TTP and TTIP will be familiar to you, but I hope that you will find the monthly summary useful.

One story not covered in the Japan Digest, but included here is the European Commission’s €13bn Apple tax bombshell. The EU is claiming that the tax advantage given to Apple by the Irish Government is tantamount to state aid, something that is not permissible under EU law. This story has been rumbling for a while, and still has some way to go. The Irish Cabinet has just announced they will challenge the decision.

In the Japan Digest I have, of course, given more focus to news from Japan, the Emperor’s announcement, Mr Abe’s intended constitutional changes and the modest financial easing to boost the Japanese economy. 

The Pacific Region is very far away from Europe, but tensions there are of huge importance. The Japanese Embassy in London, plays a key role alerting UK decision-makers and opinion-formers of what is going on and of the potential threats. How will the eventual outcome of the US Elections affect the stability of this increasingly tense part of the world?

China has stolen a march of most western countries including Japan in itsinvestment in Africa, So it was good to see PM Shinzo Abe taking 75 Japanese business leaders to Nairobi for the 6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development, the first to be held in Africa and making a big financial commitment to African development.

Finally, the Italian earthquake. The funerals have taken place, the mourning for the victims continues, but the recriminations have begun. Had the Italians approached the problem of protecting its people and building like the Japanese have done the destruction and the loss of life would have been less catastrophic.

Two big stories not covered this time: the Hangzhou G20 Summit taking place this weekend and the continuing EU migration crisis which once again is becoming big news. Both of these stories will feature in the next Digest.

So where does Benson the Carp feature? August is traditionally holiday time, Parliaments and schools close for the summer and this year many of us where taken over by the spectacle of the Rio Olympics.  In England they call August the “silly news season” because newspapers trying to fill their pages end up giving space to “silly stories”. A prime example of this was the death of a carp covered by all the media in August 2009. Complete with large colour photographs, the media thought that one of the most important stories of that day was the death of Benson, a 25 year old female carp, that had been caught and re-released 63 times. Benson’s death was covered by all major UK papers and the BBC with much speculation about the cause of her death.  Read More 

2  APPLE’s €13 bn Tax Bombshell
The EU is claiming that the tax advantage given to Apple by the Irish Government is tantamount to state aid, something not permissible under EU law. This story has been rumbling for a while, and still has some way to go. The Irish Cabinet has just announced they will challenge the decision. At the heart of the matter is the sovereignty of a nation to determine it’s own tax affairs and to support regions in need of development. Ireland will argue that the tax it forfeited is counterbalanced by the employment and development it generated in a part of the country that was seriously in need of it. You can expect the European Parliament, the White House amongst others to get involved, but ultimately it will be a matter of legal interpretation of eu law by the court in Luxembourg. Expect this story to run and run.   BBC NEWS  and The Guardianhas a good background story.

3  BREXIT, Syria, Turkey: Putin the Winner.
Of course there have been some “silly season” stories this year too, however the international mood is sombre.  In Europe nobody knows what BREXIT will mean for the European Union or for the United Kingdom.  What is certain is that the uncertainty is bad for the economy and bad for the Eurozone recovery. The USA is in the throes of a tough Presidential election, with huge foreign relations implications for Europe, but maybe more importantly for Pacific Region. The winner from all this uncertainly appears to Russia’s President Putin. Putin’s support of Assad is helping the Syrians  push back Daesh/ISIS, but at a terrible cost of civilian lives. Putin is also making his presence felt supporting the Turkish PM Erdogan, who was heavily criticised by the EU for his human rights abuses  following last month’s failed coup. Turkey is a strategically important NATO  ally, so no surprise that President Obama sent VP Biden to Turkey to smooth the waters and warn against too comfortable relations with Russia.  Meanwhile the UK’s new PM, desperately trying to find a new international role for the UK outside the EU,  telephones Putin to say that she wants a better relationship with Russia, ignoring or forgetting that Russian agents murdered a UK citizen on UK soil using the highly radioactive polonium-210. Once again Putin gains from the West’s disunity .  Murder  of Alexander Litvinenko

4  Japan: Big Changes Coming
One big Japanese story that featured in all the global media, was of course the announcement by Emperor Akihito of his wish to abdicate. The dignity of the announcement impressed everybody. Earlier in the month the media had reported PM Shinzo Abe LDP’s impressive Upper House election win. Abe’s win, and his appointment of Mrs Ikeda as Defence Minister, was seen as a sign that he was intent on changing Article 9 of the Constitution, which limits Japan’s armed forces to a purely defensive role. Mr Abe has the votes to win in Parliament, but would then have to take the decision to the electorate in a referendum.  Opinion polls, the London Guardian said are close: 49% in favour of change and 44% against. Referendums are often unpredictable as the london Guardian well knows. Western commentators who are not Japan specialists often do not understand the pressure Japan is under from China and North Korea, nor do they understand that having to rely on the US for its defence is not satisfactory to many Japanese.

The Emperor’s announcement has no doubt complicated the political landscape.  Abdication is not envisaged as a possibility in the Imperial Household Law, and starting the discussion, it has been reported, could open a box of surprises.

The Emperor’s TV statement came days after the announcements by the Bank of Japan of some modest financial easing and by PM Abe of a Yen 28.1Tn (.9% of GDP) in additional government spending to boost lagging consumer spending and counter the effects of the drag on exports caused by the strength of the yen. The Bank of Japan’s modest financial easing also received some press coverage.  Commentators have been sceptical about the effect both measures are likely to have.

 

5  TTP, TTIP, EU-JAPAN Trade: Is Free-trade Stalling? There has been a post-cold war consensus that free trade is good for economies and develeopment. That notion might have been a little over-simplistic; very true that trade and economic growth has lifted millions out of poverty, however, particularly in developed countries, large sections of the workforce, mainly the less-educated, have lost out to global competition from Asia and particularly from China. Not enough has been done to help these workers, and now both in the US and in Europe, there is evidence of a backlash against free-trade agreements, seen by many as the cause of loss of jobs or of income. The result is that politicians, eager for votes, start backing trade-protectionist policies.  Two big examples will illustrate this.  The TTP (Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement between Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile,  Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru,  and the US – encompassing  12 countries and 40% of world GDP is now unlikely to be agreed during Obama’s last days in the White House, worse still Trump and is publicly opposed to the deal, and Hillary Clinton is at best lukewarm. Meanwhile the TTIP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement, being negotiated between the US and the EU is also on the ropes, with Germany’s Foreign Minister declaring it has failed, and France also getting cold feet. The European Commission says a deal is still possible, but the clock is now against them as France, Germany as well as the US prepare for elections.

Progress is, however being made in other areas, away from the media spotlight. The EU-Japan Trade negotiations, launched in 2013 are making quiet progress. Japan is the EU’s second biggest trading partner in Asia after China, and the EU and Japan, together account for 1/3 of the world’s GDP.  (See EU Commission Website). The next phase of the negotiations  takes place in September.

6  China, North Korea, Senkaku and the US ElectionsThe Japanese Embassy in London does a very good job of alerting key opinion-formers and decision-makers of the worrying situation developing the Pacific Region with particular reference to China’s expansionist exploits in the South China Seas and their activities around the Senkaku Islands. These issues are reported in the quality press, but perhaps not adequately explained. European politicians, eager to attract Chinese investments, and increasing their share of trade with China, can gloss over China’s human right’s abuses and their territorial ambitions.

The current ongoing tension of course are complicated by North Korea, who last week fired a submarine launched ballistic missile which for the first time reached Japan’s air defence identification zone (ADIZ).

Pacific region international relations will be affected whoever gets to the White House in January 2017. Hillary Clinton is likely to be more hawkish in response to Beijing’a ambitions; Donald Trump, however is more likely to be more laissez-faire in their regard, and may take the view that it is not America’s business. Whoever wins tensions in the area will continue.

7  China and Japan’s Role in Africa

PM Shinzo Abe in Nairobi, with 75 Japanese business leaders, for the 6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development, the first held in Africa.  Japan’s trade with Africa declined for $17billion in 2014 to $14 billion in 2015.  Japan pledged to invest $30 in Africa, about half the amount being invested by China. China’s communist People’s Daily has been dismissive accusing Japan of trying to woo Africa in its attempt to get a UN Security Council seat, a move that China opposes. See Financial Times (Please google “Japan Looks to Boost Trade with Africa)

8  Italian Earthquake
A magnitude 6 earthquake in central Italy caused the almost total destruction of many villages and the death of almost 300 people.  Old buildings, shoddy renovations and extensions greatly contributed to the scale of the disaster. It is estimated that 18% of Italian new buildings have no planning permission and that the number for extensions and renovations is much higher. The use of cheap cement and too much sand in the cement mix seems to have contributed to the number of casualties. In one village where funds were spent to make buildings safe the destruction was minimal.  Meanwhile PM Matteo Renzi has enlisted world famous architect Renzo Piano do advise on how to make the country’s buildings safer from earthquakes. The feeling in the country is that if Italy had done as much as Japan to protect its buildings the death toll would be lower and fewer buildings affected.  Read More: If the Italians had built like the Japanese  and Lax Building regulations contribute to death toll and also Fortune: Italy Investigates Whether Shoddy Buildings Worsened the Death Toll

9  Artisan Sake Gets the Top Vintage treatment
In the 24 hours since Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate released its first ratings guide for Japan’s pure polished rice sakes — the premium version of rice wine — bottles of the 78 highest-ranked names have become hot property. Collectors who tried to buy sake bottles mentioned by Parker only hours after publication were disappointed. The Financial Times reported that whilst a bottle of top Bordeaux will sell for $1,000 top sake retails for Yen 10,000. There are some fabulous long established artisan breweries not far from the Takatsuki plant well worth a visit.

SUNSTAR Press Digest 3 ,September 2, 2016

1 Introduction and Silly Season: Benson the Carp Dies
2 Apple’s €13bn Tax Bombshell
3 BREXIT, Syria, Turkey: Putin the Winner
4 Japan Big Changes Coming
5 TTP, TTIP, EU-Japan Tade: Is Free-Trade Stalling?
6 China, North Korea, Senkaku and the US Elections
7 China and Japan’s Role in Africa
8 Italian Earthquake
9 Artisan Sake gets the Top Vintage Treatment

_______________________________________________

1 Introduction. The Silly Season: “Benson the Carp Dies”
Each month I will prepare a more Japan focussed Press Digest, which will also be translated into Japanese.  This is the first such Japan Press Digest. Some of the stories reported here have already featured in previous Digests, however in this Japan Edition I take a longer overview of each story.  So the themes of Brexit, US Elections, Russian diplomatic manoeuvres and the woes of TTP and TTIP will be familiar to you, but I hope that you will find the monthly summary useful.

One story not covered in the Japan Digest, but included here is the European Commission’s €13bn Apple tax bombshell. The EU is claiming that the tax advantage given to Apple by the Irish Government is tantamount to state aid, something that is not permissible under EU law. This story has been rumbling for a while, and still has some way to go. The Irish Cabinet has just announced they will challenge the decision.

In the Japan Digest I have, of course, given more focus to news from Japan, the Emperor’s announcement, Mr Abe’s intended constitutional changes and the modest financial easing to boost the Japanese economy. 

The Pacific Region is very far away from Europe, but tensions there are of huge importance. The Japanese Embassy in London, plays a key role alerting UK decision-makers and opinion-formers of what is going on and of the potential threats. How will the eventual outcome of the US Elections affect the stability of this increasingly tense part of the world?

China has stolen a march of most western countries including Japan in itsinvestment in Africa, So it was good to see PM Shinzo Abe taking 75 Japanese business leaders to Nairobi for the 6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development, the first to be held in Africa and making a big financial commitment to African development.

Finally, the Italian earthquake. The funerals have taken place, the mourning for the victims continues, but the recriminations have begun. Had the Italians approached the problem of protecting its people and building like the Japanese have done the destruction and the loss of life would have been less catastrophic.

Two big stories not covered this time: the Hangzhou G20 Summit taking place this weekend and the continuing EU migration crisis which once again is becoming big news. Both of these stories will feature in the next Digest.

So where does Benson the Carp feature? August is traditionally holiday time, Parliaments and schools close for the summer and this year many of us where taken over by the spectacle of the Rio Olympics.  In England they call August the “silly news season” because newspapers trying to fill their pages end up giving space to “silly stories”. A prime example of this was the death of a carp covered by all the media in August 2009. Complete with large colour photographs, the media thought that one of the most important stories of that day was the death of Benson, a 25 year old female carp, that had been caught and re-released 63 times. Benson’s death was covered by all major UK papers and the BBC with much speculation about the cause of her death.  Read More 

2  APPLE’s €13 bn Tax Bombshell
The EU is claiming that the tax advantage given to Apple by the Irish Government is tantamount to state aid, something not permissible under EU law. This story has been rumbling for a while, and still has some way to go. The Irish Cabinet has just announced they will challenge the decision. At the heart of the matter is the sovereignty of a nation to determine it’s own tax affairs and to support regions in need of development. Ireland will argue that the tax it forfeited is counterbalanced by the employment and development it generated in a part of the country that was seriously in need of it. You can expect the European Parliament, the White House amongst others to get involved, but ultimately it will be a matter of legal interpretation of eu law by the court in Luxembourg. Expect this story to run and run.   BBC NEWS  and The Guardianhas a good background story.

3  BREXIT, Syria, Turkey: Putin the Winner.
Of course there have been some “silly season” stories this year too, however the international mood is sombre.  In Europe nobody knows what BREXIT will mean for the European Union or for the United Kingdom.  What is certain is that the uncertainty is bad for the economy and bad for the Eurozone recovery. The USA is in the throes of a tough Presidential election, with huge foreign relations implications for Europe, but maybe more importantly for Pacific Region. The winner from all this uncertainly appears to Russia’s President Putin. Putin’s support of Assad is helping the Syrians  push back Daesh/ISIS, but at a terrible cost of civilian lives. Putin is also making his presence felt supporting the Turkish PM Erdogan, who was heavily criticised by the EU for his human rights abuses  following last month’s failed coup. Turkey is a strategically important NATO  ally, so no surprise that President Obama sent VP Biden to Turkey to smooth the waters and warn against too comfortable relations with Russia.  Meanwhile the UK’s new PM, desperately trying to find a new international role for the UK outside the EU,  telephones Putin to say that she wants a better relationship with Russia, ignoring or forgetting that Russian agents murdered a UK citizen on UK soil using the highly radioactive polonium-210. Once again Putin gains from the West’s disunity .  Murder  of Alexander Litvinenko

4  Japan: Big Changes Coming
One big Japanese story that featured in all the global media, was of course the announcement by Emperor Akihito of his wish to abdicate. The dignity of the announcement impressed everybody. Earlier in the month the media had reported PM Shinzo Abe LDP’s impressive Upper House election win. Abe’s win, and his appointment of Mrs Ikeda as Defence Minister, was seen as a sign that he was intent on changing Article 9 of the Constitution, which limits Japan’s armed forces to a purely defensive role. Mr Abe has the votes to win in Parliament, but would then have to take the decision to the electorate in a referendum.  Opinion polls, the London Guardian said are close: 49% in favour of change and 44% against. Referendums are often unpredictable as the london Guardian well knows. Western commentators who are not Japan specialists often do not understand the pressure Japan is under from China and North Korea, nor do they understand that having to rely on the US for its defence is not satisfactory to many Japanese.

The Emperor’s announcement has no doubt complicated the political landscape.  Abdication is not envisaged as a possibility in the Imperial Household Law, and starting the discussion, it has been reported, could open a box of surprises.

The Emperor’s TV statement came days after the announcements by the Bank of Japan of some modest financial easing and by PM Abe of a Yen 28.1Tn (.9% of GDP) in additional government spending to boost lagging consumer spending and counter the effects of the drag on exports caused by the strength of the yen. The Bank of Japan’s modest financial easing also received some press coverage.  Commentators have been sceptical about the effect both measures are likely to have.

5  TTP, TTIP, EU-JAPAN Trade: Is Free-trade Stalling? There has been a post-cold war consensus that free trade is good for economies and develeopment. That notion might have been a little over-simplistic; very true that trade and economic growth has lifted millions out of poverty, however, particularly in developed countries, large sections of the workforce, mainly the less-educated, have lost out to global competition from Asia and particularly from China. Not enough has been done to help these workers, and now both in the US and in Europe, there is evidence of a backlash against free-trade agreements, seen by many as the cause of loss of jobs or of income. The result is that politicians, eager for votes, start backing trade-protectionist policies.  Two big examples will illustrate this.  The TTP (Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement between Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile,  Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru,  and the US – encompassing  12 countries and 40% of world GDP is now unlikely to be agreed during Obama’s last days in the White House, worse still Trump and is publicly opposed to the deal, and Hillary Clinton is at best lukewarm. Meanwhile the TTIP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement, being negotiated between the US and the EU is also on the ropes, with Germany’s Foreign Minister declaring it has failed, and France also getting cold feet. The European Commission says a deal is still possible, but the clock is now against them as France, Germany as well as the US prepare for elections.

Progress is, however being made in other areas, away from the media spotlight. The EU-Japan Trade negotiations, launched in 2013 are making quiet progress. Japan is the EU’s second biggest trading partner in Asia after China, and the EU and Japan, together account for 1/3 of the world’s GDP.  (See EU Commission Website). The next phase of the negotiations  takes place in September.

6  China, North Korea, Senkaku and the US ElectionsThe Japanese Embassy in London does a very good job of alerting key opinion-formers and decision-makers of the worrying situation developing the Pacific Region with particular reference to China’s expansionist exploits in the South China Seas and their activities around the Senkaku Islands. These issues are reported in the quality press, but perhaps not adequately explained. European politicians, eager to attract Chinese investments, and increasing their share of trade with China, can gloss over China’s human right’s abuses and their territorial ambitions.

The current ongoing tension of course are complicated by North Korea, who last week fired a submarine launched ballistic missile which for the first time reached Japan’s air defence identification zone (ADIZ).

Pacific region international relations will be affected whoever gets to the White House in January 2017. Hillary Clinton is likely to be more hawkish in response to Beijing’a ambitions; Donald Trump, however is more likely to be more laissez-faire in their regard, and may take the view that it is not America’s business. Whoever wins tensions in the area will continue.

7  China and Japan’s Role in Africa

PM Shinzo Abe in Nairobi, with 75 Japanese business leaders, for the 6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development, the first held in Africa.  Japan’s trade with Africa declined for $17billion in 2014 to $14 billion in 2015.  Japan pledged to invest $30 in Africa, about half the amount being invested by China. China’s communist People’s Daily has been dismissive accusing Japan of trying to woo Africa in its attempt to get a UN Security Council seat, a move that China opposes. See Financial Times (Please google “Japan Looks to Boost Trade with Africa)

8  Italian Earthquake
A magnitude 6 earthquake in central Italy caused the almost total destruction of many villages and the death of almost 300 people.  Old buildings, shoddy renovations and extensions greatly contributed to the scale of the disaster. It is estimated that 18% of Italian new buildings have no planning permission and that the number for extensions and renovations is much higher. The use of cheap cement and too much sand in the cement mix seems to have contributed to the number of casualties. In one village where funds were spent to make buildings safe the destruction was minimal.  Meanwhile PM Matteo Renzi has enlisted world famous architect Renzo Piano do advise on how to make the country’s buildings safer from earthquakes. The feeling in the country is that if Italy had done as much as Japan to protect its buildings the death toll would be lower and fewer buildings affected.  Read More: If the Italians had built like the Japanese  and Lax Building regulations contribute to death toll and also Fortune: Italy Investigates Whether Shoddy Buildings Worsened the Death Toll

9  Artisan Sake Gets the Top Vintage treatment
In the 24 hours since Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate released its first ratings guide for Japan’s pure polished rice sakes — the premium version of rice wine — bottles of the 78 highest-ranked names have become hot property. Collectors who tried to buy sake bottles mentioned by Parker only hours after publication were disappointed. The Financial Times reported that whilst a bottle of top Bordeaux will sell for $1,000 top sake retails for Yen 10,000. There are some fabulous long established artisan breweries not far from the Takatsuki plant well worth a visit.