2018年07月31日

なぜ東京オリンピックは「太平洋戦争化」してしまうのか?

猛暑の日本列島で、東京オリンピックはいよいよ「太平洋戦争化」しつつある。五輪組織委員会の森喜朗会長は、インタビューにこう答えている。

「この暑さでやれるという確信を得ないといけない。ある意味、五輪関係者にとってはチャンスで、本当に大丈夫か、どう暑さに打ち勝つか、何の問題もなくやれたかを試すには、こんな機会はない」(2018年7月24日、『日刊スポーツ』)

これは、典型的な「ピンチはチャンス」論法だ。戦時下日本の指導者たちも、敗色が濃くなるほど、同じように「好機だ」「絶好の機会だ」「神機到来だ」との空手形を切り続けた。

「ピンチはチャンス」論法 1944年、東条英機の場合

たとえば、東条英機は1944年7月のサイパン島陥落後にこう述べている。

「正に、帝国は、曠古の(前例のない)重大局面に立つに至つたのである。しかして、今こそ、敵を撃滅して、勝を決するの絶好の機会である」

そこまでいうならば、なにか特別な秘策があるのかと思ってしまう。だが、続く箇所を読むと、それが空虚な精神論にすぎないことがわかる。

「この秋(とき)に方(あた)り皇国護持のため、我々の進むべき途は唯一つである。心中一片の妄想なく、眼中一介の死生なく、幾多の戦友並びに同胞の鮮血によつて得たる戦訓を活かし、全力を挙げて、速かに敵を撃摧し、勝利を獲得するばかりである」(『週報』1944年7月19日号)

同じような例は枚挙にいとまがない。いわく、本土に戦線が近づいたので有利。いわく、空襲で日本人の覚悟が固まったので有利――。その悲劇的な帰結は、今日われわれがよく知っているところだ。

この経験があったからこそ、非科学的な精神論はこの国で深く戒められてきたはずだった。それなのに一部のテレビでは、猛暑は日本人選手にとって有利だなどと喧伝されているのだから始末に負えない。

小池百合子の「打ち水」はまるで竹槍精神

小池百合子都知事は、ついに「総力戦」で暑さ対策に臨むと宣言した。

「木陰を作る様々な工夫、打ち水、これが意外と効果があるねと、一言でいえば総力戦ということになろうかと思う」(2018年7月23日、テレビ朝日)

しかるに、聞こえてくるのが、木陰、打ち水、よしず、浴衣、かち割り氷などでは、なんとも心もとない。これではまるで「竹槍3万本あれば、英米恐るるに足らず」の竹槍精神ではないか。

毎日新聞の新名丈夫記者は、1944年2月に「竹槍では間に合はぬ」「飛行機だ、海洋航空機だ」と書いて東条英機を激怒させた。それに倣って、「打ち水では間に合わぬ」「冷房だ、エアコン設置だ」ともいいたくなる。

安倍晋三の「冷暖房はなくても……」とボランティア動員

もちろん、道路の遮熱性舗装や街頭のミストの設置などの対策も講じられてはいる。だが、もともと「我慢が大事」などの精神論が幅をきかし、小学校のエアコン設置さえ滞っていた国である。「喉元過ぎれば熱さ忘れる」で、秋にもなれば、予算節約の大義名分のもと、精神論が復活するのではないか。

「冷暖房はなくてもいいんじゃないか…」(2015年8月28日、『産経新聞』)

そういって、新国立競技場のエアコン設置を見送ったのは、ほかならぬ安倍晋三首相だった。

その一方で、ボランティアの動員などは着々と進められている。企業も大学も、予算や優遇措置などで徐々に切り崩されていくだろう。マスコミだって、「努力と涙と感動」式の肯定的な報道で耳目を集めたいという誘惑にどこまで抵抗できるのか甚だ疑わしい。

このままなし崩し的に東京五輪に突き進みそうだからこそ、太平洋戦争の刺激的な教訓が参照されなければならない。

「文句をいっても仕方がない」という「過剰適応」

戦時下の軍人や官僚たちも、決して狂っていたわけではない。にもかかわらず、空虚な精神論が蔓延ったのは、不可能な状況に無理やり適応しようとしたからだ。

国力も足りない。物資も足りない。明らかに米英のほうが強い。必敗なのに、必勝といわなければならない。ではどうするか。精神力だ。ピンチはチャンスだ。われらに秘策あり。こう叫ぶしかない。狂気はある意味で、合理的な帰結だったのである。

それゆえ、東京五輪に関するおかしな状況には異議を唱え続けなければならない。そこに過剰適応して、「もう開催するのだから、文句をいっても仕方がない」「一人ひとりがボランティアなどで協力しよう」などといってしまえば、問題点が曖昧になり、関係者の責任も利権も問われなくなってしまう。

たとえば、つぎのように――。

「敵は本土に迫り来つた。敵を前にしてお互があれは誰の責任だ、これは誰の責任だと言つてゐては何もならぬ。皆が責任をもつことだ。(中略)今や『我々一億は悉く血を分けた兄弟である』との自覚を喚び起し、困難が加はれば加はるほど一層親しみ睦び、助け合ひ、鉄石の団結をなして仇敵にぶつつかり、これを打ち砕くの覚悟を固めねばならぬ」(『週報』1944年7月19日号)

精神論とその犠牲の繰り返しは御免こうむりたい

疲弊した現代の日本で、しかもよりにもよって猛暑の時期に、やらなくてもよい五輪を、なぜ開催しなければならないのか。それをねじ込んだのは誰なのか。今後本当に効果的な猛暑対策は取られるのか。

現在と戦時下では多々差異があるとはいえ、精神論とその犠牲の繰り返しは御免こうむりたいものだ。だからこそ、これから「感動」「応援」の同調圧力が高まるなかでも、こうした問いは絶えず発し続けなければならないのである。\\

文春オンライン、4時間前
「暑さはチャンス」なぜ東京オリンピックは「太平洋戦争化」してしまうのか?
森喜朗、小池百合子、東条英機……今も昔も「竹槍精神」

辻田 真佐憲
http://bunshun.jp/articles/-/8335

posted by fom_club at 15:11| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

目をそらさないで

 現職幹部が東京地検特捜部に立て続けに逮捕されるという前代未聞の不祥事に大揺れの文科省。省内は「捜査はどこまで拡大するのか」とテンヤワンヤだが、「裏口入学」と「140万円の接待」という“小悪”に対して、いつになく張り切っている特捜部の「意図」はどこにあるのか。霞が関官僚の間でささやかれているのは、安倍政権の「文科省潰し」だ。

〈今回の逮捕・起訴には大変驚いています。報道と私が知っていることがあまりにもかけ離れているため、様々な疑問が残されたまま谷口と佐野さんが起訴され、川端さんが逮捕されました。事件の真相が知りたい、というのが私の率直な気持ちです〉

 先週、あるブログが永田町で話題となった。文科省汚職事件で、収賄容疑で逮捕された前国際統括官の川端和明容疑者と、受託収賄の罪で起訴された前科学技術・学術政策局長の佐野太被告の2人と面識があり、“キーマン”と報じられている元会社役員、谷口浩司被告(受託収賄幇助罪で起訴、贈賄容疑で再逮捕)の「妻」と名乗る人物が開設した〈谷口浩司を信じる妻の疑問〉だ。真偽は不明だが、国会議員や官僚の実名をバンバン挙げつつ、特捜部の捜査に疑問を投げかけて「夫」の潔白を訴えている。

 「妻」の肩を持つつもりはないが、「裏口入学」の当事者でもないのに起訴された上、一緒にメシを食っただけで逮捕されるのか――と不満を抱いているのは間違いない。

 官僚と民間業者が情報交換を兼ねてメシを食べることはよくある話だ。防衛専門商社からゴルフ接待など計約870万円の接待を受け、実刑判決が出た元防衛事務次官のようなケースならともかく、飲み食いしただけで逮捕となれば霞が関官僚は皆アウトだ。

 特捜部は「個人的な付き合いの範囲を超えている」と説明しているらしいが、それなら、安倍首相としょっちゅう高級店で飲食し、家族ぐるみで別荘に泊まりがけのゴルフ&キャンプを繰り返している加計学園の加計孝太郎理事長の方がよっぽど「個人的な付き合いの範囲」を超えているだろう。加計獣医学部新設を巡り、岡山市や今治市に出張した際にクルマの提供を受けていた内閣府地方創生推進室次長(当時)の藤原豊氏なんて、「収賄罪」そのものに当たる可能性が高い。特捜部は、弁護士グループなどからも告発状も出ている、こうした「巨悪」には一切手を付けず、なぜ文科省を“狙い撃ち”しているのか。

 「同僚とは『文科省潰しが狙いじゃないか』と話していますよ。加計問題では、内部資料がどんどん漏れて報道されたから、今の政権にとっては面白くないのでしょう。歴史教育を巡っても、国家主義的な考え方を押し付けようとする政権とは一線を画しているから、自分たちの意のままに動く新たな文科省に組織を再編したいのではないか。それに他省庁に対しても、『官邸に弓を引くとこうなるよ』という見せしめ効果も考えているのではないか」(中堅文科官僚)

 ナチス・ドイツでも、司法が独立性を失い、「政治の道具」にされたが、このままでは日本の司法検察も危うい。


日刊ゲンダイ、2018年7月31日
巨悪には手を付けず…安倍政権の真の狙いは“文科省潰し”か
https://www.nikkan-gendai.com/articles/view/news/234367/1

 名古屋市北区のアパートの一室。朝から晩まで部屋にこもり、ゲームやアニメで時間をつぶす男の子の姿があった。フィリピン国籍のミグリンニョ・マリオンさん(15)。昨年6月に来日してから約1年間、日本語を学ぶ機会はなく、ほとんど外出しない生活を送っていた。マリオンさんは今春、継父の転勤先の愛知県豊橋市で日本語の初期支援校「みらい」に出合う。なぜ1年近く学校に行けなかったのか、「みらい」でどう変わったのか−−。彼の歩みを通し、外国人を取り巻く教育環境の現実を見つめた。

 マリオンさんは、日本人男性(51)と再婚したフィリピン人の母親(32)に呼び寄せられ、妹(11)らと来日した。当時14歳。日本では中学3年の年齢だ。両親は入学手続きで名古屋市北区役所を訪れた。学校は日本語を教えてくれるのか、いじめられはしないか。聞きたいことは山ほどあったが、区役所からは入学申請書を出すよう指示され、「詳しいことは学校に聞いてください」と言われるだけだったという。

 両親はマリオンさんが日本の生活になじみやすいよう名前を日本名に変えるために養子縁組を試みたが、こうした準備や日々の仕事に追われ、学校への連絡まで手が回らなかった。継父は申し訳なさそうに「学校に行かせたくなかったわけではない。区役所から(就学を促す)連絡が来ていれば」とつぶやいた。

 日本国籍の子どもが学校に行かなければ区役所から連絡が来る。なぜマリオンさんには連絡がなかったのか。理由を探ると「憲法」に行き当たった。26条は就学義務を「国民」に限っている。このため、外国籍の子どもについて親は学校に行かせる義務はなく、名古屋市教育委員会の担当者は「親が希望しなければ、強制することは難しい」と本音を明かす。教育を受ける機会は家庭環境などに影響を受けやすいのが実態だ。

 文部科学省は「外国人も就学を希望する場合は、日本人と同一の教育を受ける機会を保障する」としており、就学の機会があることを周知するなどしているが、就学義務のある日本人と、外国人への対応には大きな違いがある。

 少子高齢化などによる働き手不足を背景に、外国人の受け入れが拡大する中、日本には義務教育を受けられていない外国籍の子どもが1万人以上いるとされる。だが、文科省は2009年度に一部の自治体で不就学の実態調査を行って以降実施しておらず、多くの子どもの状況を把握していない。

 自治体間の格差の大きさにも驚いた。外国籍の子どもの親に就学を促したり、就学実態を調査したりするのは自治体の裁量に任されているのだ。

 そんな中、マリオンさんが今年4月に引っ越した豊橋市では、住民基本台帳に記載がある学齢期の子どもの就学状況を調べ、不就学の子がいると電話や家庭訪問で理由を確認している。さらに、学齢期の子どもが転入する際、市教委が窓口となって入学手続きや学校とのやりとりも行う。マリオンさんもこうした手厚いサポートで学校に通うことができた。市教委の鳥山徳子指導主事は「外国人も市民の一員。教育もしっかり受けさせたい」。その言葉に共感すると同時に、教育を受ける機会が住む場所によって左右されることに割り切れない思いが残った。

 マリオンさんに出会ってから約1カ月。「ひらがな、書けるようになったよ」と見せてくれたノートは、何度も消しゴムで消して書き直したひらがなやカタカナがびっしりと書き込まれ、ボロボロになっていた。学校に行けなかった1年間を取り戻そうとしていた。


毎日新聞中部朝刊、2018年7月30日
目をそらさないで
「外国人のリアル」編 第1部 教育格差/上
勉強したいのに 学ぶ機会、自治体任せ

高井瞳
記者3年目。初任地は福島県で、東日本大震災の被災者を取材。高校生の時、カナダに1年語学留学し、日本語教室のボランティアを経験。東京都出身。
https://mainichi.jp/articles/20180730/ddq/041/040/005000c

 
posted by fom_club at 13:13| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

China-UK relations

China offered Britain talks on a post-Brexit free-trade deal on Monday, as it remains mired in an increasingly bitter trade war with the United States.

Beijing has been looking for allies in its fight with Washington and the Trump administration, which has accused China’s hi-tech industries of stealing intellectual property from American firms and demanded Beijing act to buy more US products to reduce a US$350 billion trade imbalance.

Britain has pushed a strong message to Chinese companies that it is fully open for business as it prepares to leave the European Union next year, and the world’s second-biggest economy is one of the countries with which London would like to sign a post-Brexit free-trade deal.

Speaking to reporters in Beijing after meeting British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the two countries agreed to increase trade and investment.

Hunt said Wang made an offer “to open discussions about a possible free-trade deal between Britain and China post Brexit”.

“That’s something that we welcome and we said that we will explore,” he said, without elaborating.

Hunt said before the meeting that, “The United Kingdom and China are both major powers with a global perspective. As the UK leaves the EU and becomes ever-more outward-looking, we are committed to deepening this vital partnership for the 21st century.”

Wang, standing beside Hunt at a state guest house in the western suburbs of Beijing, made no direct mention of the free-trade talks offer but said the two sides had “agreed to proactively join each others’ development strategies, and expand the scale of trade and mutual investment”.

China and Britain should also oppose trade protectionism and uphold global free trade, Wang said.

While a trade pact with China would be a political win for Britain’s government, formal talks cannot begin until it officially leaves the EU next year. Free-trade talks typically take many years to conclude.

Britain is assessing its post-Brexit trade options. London is already moving ahead with plans to negotiate a free-trade deal with the United States as soon as it leaves the European Union, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said last week.

It also was revealed last week that British Prime Minister Theresa May was sending ministers to the 27 other member states of the EU to try to broker back-door agreements after Brussels’ chief negotiator Michel Barnier raised reservations about her Brexit plan.

During her visit to China in February, May secured commercial deals worth £9 billion (US$12 billion).

An agreement in principle on Britain’s departure from the European trading bloc – set for March 29, 2019 – must be reached before a European summit in mid-October.

Hunt’s predecessor Boris Johnson quit earlier this month in protest at the government’s plan to maintain a close trading relationship with the European Union after Brexit, a strategy that Johnson said would make it much more difficult to do free-trade deals.

After the China summit Hunt is expected to travel to Paris and Vienna for further talks with his European counterparts on Brexit.


South China Morning Post, UPDATED : Monday, 30 July, 2018, 8:22pm
China open to talks on free-trade deal with post-Brexit Britain, visiting Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt says

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi says two sides agreed to ‘join each others’ development strategies, expand trade and investment’

[Source]--Reuters, Additional reporting by Agence-France Presse
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2157389/free-trade-agenda-britains-new-foreign-minister-trip

Britain’s new foreign minister made an awkward debut in China on Monday when he sought to curry favour with his hosts by mentioning his Chinese wife, but accidentally referred to her as “Japanese”.

China and Japan have been traditional rivals for centuries. Although relations have improved somewhat recently, they remain touchy due to issues such as Japan’s bloody occupation of parts of China in the 1930s and ’40s.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, on his first official visit to China, quickly acknowledged the “terrible” error.

“My wife is Japanese – my wife is Chinese. That’s a terrible mistake to make,” he told his counterpart, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

“My wife is Chinese and my children are half-Chinese and so we have Chinese grandparents who live in Xian and strong family connections in China,” he added, referring to the ancient city of Xian in northern China.

A former health minister, Hunt is married to Lucia Guo, with whom he has three children.

He succeeds the gaffe-prone Boris Johnson – who once referred to Africans as “flag-waving piccaninnies” with “watermelon smiles” in a newspaper column – after Johnson dramatically resigned over Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit blueprint earlier this month.

Hunt is in China in a bid to strengthen trade ties with Beijing ahead of Britain’s exit from the European Union next year.

Other topics on the table are expected to be “the importance of multilateralism and free trade and ways the UK and China can work together on global challenges such as climate change, development, security and non-proliferation and enforcing UN sanctions on North Korea”, his office said ahead of the trip.


[video]
Jeremy Hunt makes wife nationality gaffe - BBC News
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=siR3mkCivvI

South China Morning Post, UPDATED : UPDATED : Tuesday, 31 July, 2018, 11:04am
Top UK envoy Jeremy Hunt makes awkward debut in China with ‘Japanese wife’ gaffe

Foreign minister Hunt quickly acknowledges ‘terrible mistake’ after accidentally getting his Chinese wife’s nationality wrong

[Source]--AFP
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2157441/top-uk-envoy-makes-awkward-debut-china-japanese-wife

posted by fom_club at 13:04| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

Polar explore Robert Swan

“YOU’RE going to fail” and “You’re going to die” was the reaction Robert Swan (born in 1956) OBE often received when he spoke of his dream to walk to the South Pole.

Everyone knows the power words possess, in encouraging or discouraging a person.

If Swan had listened to them, he probably would have never realised his dream.

Instead, he ignored the negativity, and concentrated on the positive, which turned out for the better really, because he became the first man in history to walk to both the North and South Poles.

Now polar explorer and environmental leader, Swan tells StarBizWeek how important it is to never forget the dream.

A leader without a dream is nothing.

Swan was impeccably dressed in a dark suit and blue tie but stood out with a bright yellow backpack swung across his shoulders.

Once seated, it only took but a moment to realise he had pink polka-dotted socks on.

“I just want to keep people guessing about life in general. They don’t expect a polar explorer to wear pink socks,” he laughs.

While the world marvelled, Swan saw his achievement as a responsibility.

Experiencing first-hand the effects of climate change, he more than willingly took up a 50-year mission to preserve the Antarctica by promoting recycling, renewable energy and sustainability.

Swan is now 22 years into that mission. He formed 2041 with the aim to continue protecting the last great wilderness on Earth so that it can never be exploited.

It is in the year 2041 that the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, which prohibits drilling and mining, could potentially be modified or amended.

The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it, he told attendees at the Leadership Energy Summit Asia 2013 (LESA) held earlier this month.

“I think my passion for it comes from the sense of being a survivor. I’ve seen what’s happening and we need to react to that,” he says.

Swan was among the illustrious line-up of speakers featured at LESA.

It was organised by the Iclif Leadership and Governance Centre, a non-profit organisation under Bank Negara, to help individuals find their purpose in life and values.

The dream

Don’t forget your dream, Swan cautions. “I see people charging through life, they forget their dream, and then one day they wake up and ask – so that was it?” he says.

Swan was first inspired to walk to both poles when he saw a feature film on Antarctica at the age of 11.

Others laughed at his dream. His siblings encouraged him to “just do it”.

“You’d end up with houses, mortgages, wives, children, and you’d never do it,” they warned him.

His family also helped put things into perspective for him.

“They didn’t make a big deal about it. My family always helped me in that what I was doing was amazing but someone else in a slum in India is probably having a harder time than I’ve ever had,” he says.

The fact that it has only been about a hundred years since Antarctica was first explored only further intrigued Swan. “I just got inspired by this place that nobody owned and there was peace there,” he says.

He and his team named their first expedition to the South Pole “In the Footsteps of Scott”, after Robert Scott’s Terra Nova Expedition in early 20th century.

Scott and his four comrades made it to the South Pole, but died on their journey back due to a combination of exhaustion, starvation and extreme cold.

Swan’s journey to the South Pole began in 1984.

“Imagine walking for 70 days, nine hours each day. There are three of you carrying 180kg. There are no radio communications with the outside world and you are navigating using the sun,” he describes.

In those 70 days, he had lost 33kg. His eyes also changed colour due to prolonged exposure to the hole in the ozone layer.

It was hard and actually pointless to walk to both poles, he laughs. But standing at the South geomagnetic pole, Swan and his team could not be more proud of what they had achieved.

By 1992, he became the first person to walk to both the North and South Poles.

The coldest day Swan has ever experienced is –72 degrees Celsius, at temperatures where sweat turns into ice.

One thing he is sure of is that he does not enjoy having ice in his underpants, he says.

“I hate being cold, more than most people, but you prepare yourself by not going for the most modern thing. The latest technology is not always the best. We looked at the technology of 100 years ago, those used by Inuit people. So it wasn’t always the most modern but a mixture of old and new technologies,” he says.

Swan and his team had to undergo a strict and intense physical preparation before they started on the longest unassisted march to the South Pole.

“Our physical preparation was interestingly not only to get fit but also to be fat. The best way to carry food was on you. We were eating a huge amount of calories,” he says.

International expedition

He led the first corporate expedition to Antarctica in March 2003 and has since taken over 770 people from 58 nations there to experience the continent’s ecosystem, and learn what can be done to protect it.

In March next year, he and the 2041 team will lead the International Antarctica Expedition (IAE) 2014, comprising corporate leaders, environmentalists, entrepreneurs, teachers and young people, meeting at Ushuaia, Argentina and then travelling together to the Antarctic peninsula.

Three Malaysians were selected as winners of the PRU4Antarctica search, beating some 300 applicants, to represent Malaysia.

Swan will be returning to the South Pole in 2015, starting his journey at the South Pole and walking to the coast. Notably, his son, who will be 21 then, will be joining him on this journey.

The project, or “the return journey”, will entail Swan and his team relying solely on renewable energy to survive.

“In my business you’re old when you’re 35. Thirty years on, I’m going to do the same. I have to look after my joints, back and knees, in a whole different way. Interestingly enough, cycling is a very good way to get strong and fit because it doesn’t put so much impact on your body,” he says.

He hopes he is inspirational to people who are in their 50s and 60s, that they too can be fit. “If you look after yourself you’re as young as you feel,” he says.

What is also special is that by the time Swan and his son fly out for the expedition, his mother will be 100 years old!

The balancing act

“When you live like I live, it’s not very normal. I live the whole year out of a suitcase, even while I’m at home. That’s the way it is,” he shrugs.

He knew that when he got married, his wife would have to be supportive of his cause, even if it meant being apart for periods of time.

“I’m married to a special person who would probably kill me if I’m spending too much time with her. You can’t feel bad about how you live,” he says.

His mother taught him to not expect his son to follow in his footsteps. “It was him that came to me. If I had pushed him, I don’t think he would be coming on the expedition in 2015. Don’t push your children to do what you think they should do,” he says.

He adds that his mother has been a big influence in his life. “When I was 16, one day, she sat me down at a station somewhere and told me two things,” he says.

She said: “I’m going to try and be your friend, not your mother. But occasionally I might act like your mother because it’ll be hard not to. And secondly, if you want to make all these dreams happen, understand that women have the power.”

He admits that his mother is right – women are much more sustainable than men.

“Out of 80 people coming on the March expedition, 60 are women. You’ve got to see the results, and they are that women deliver, hence my mother was right. And I respect that. I’m in the survival business and I’ve learnt that women are tougher and more resilient,” he says.

Swan has hope for the future. His advice to the next generation is to be brave to join businesses and make changes. “You’re not going to make a difference by hugging a tree. Be part of an industry and make changes from within,” he says.

The Star, Published: Saturday, 21 Dec 2013, 12:00 AM MYT
Up Close and Personal with Robert Swan
By Wong Wei-Shen
https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2013/12/21/up-close-and-personal-with-robert-swan-the-first-person-to-have-walked-to-the-north-and-south-poles/

[JFYR]
http://www.kwap.gov.my/EN/UsefulInformation/PressRelease/Pages/KWAP-to-Host-the-Inaugural-Environmental-Conference-in-Malaysia-.aspx

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World Friendship Day

In today’s social media-saturated culture, the prospect of forming friendships offline can feel more daunting than ever before.

While most of us happily make new digital connections every day, one right-swipe at a time, approaching people in real life is more of a nuanced art, particularly when your intentions are purely platonic.

Evidently, it’s something many people struggle with, as a recent study conducted by the Campaign to End Loneliness revealed that more than half of UK adults feel they haven’t made a new friend in “a long time”.

While making friends can seem like the easiest thing in the world when you’re constantly surrounded by people at school and university, it’s far trickier as a fully-fledged adult, when you meet less people and commuters avoid eye contact like it’s going to turn them to stone.

So, how can you do it? We spoke to Barbara Bloomfield, a counsellor at relationship support charity, Relate, and Kate Leaver, author of The Friendship Cure, who shared their top tips for making new pals as a grown-up.

Make the most of those already around you

Before you start searching far and wide for your next BFF, Leaver suggests doing an inventory of your existing relationships.

“We so often miss possible friendships out of complacency, laziness or fear of rejection,” she tells The Independent.

“Do you have neighbours you could invite round for a drink? Colleagues you could meet out of hours and get to know properly? A friend of your boyfriend’s or sister’s you’ve always liked?”

Taking advantage of the relationships you already have, however insignificant they may seem, can be an easy way to get started on your path to new friendships nirvana.

Be bold

Forming romantic relationships is all about someone taking a leap of faith and making the first move and the same applies with friendships.

If you suspect you might get on well with somebody, have the courage to ask them for coffee or wine or dinner or scones and tea, Leaver suggests.

“Most people are delighted to be asked, so quiet the voice in your head telling you people will think you’re coming on too strong.”

Show a genuine interest in their life

When it comes to interacting with your desired friend-to-be, it’s imperative to show a vested interest in what they have to say.

One way to do this is by asking thoughtful questions i.e. ones that won’t lead to banal and generic small talk.

“We so often settle on ‘how was your weekend?’ and ‘got any holidays coming up?’. If you ask proper, interesting questions, you might actually get to know someone better, and faster,” suggests Leaver.

“Find out what they think about the world, what they’re reading, what they’d be doing if they weren’t at their current job - actively listen and ask more.

“We very often get so caught up in our own thoughts and wondering what someone thinks of us that we forget our conversation skills.”

Be open-minded

"We often have a tendency to be drawn to people who are the same age, come from a similar background and have similar interests but somebody who you may have less in common with on the surface can offer a different perspective and open you up to new experiences and opportunities," suggests Bloomfield.

Reveal something personal early on

Leaver describes friendship as “an exchange of vulnerabilities” and suggests divulging something personal early on as this acts as a shortcut to intimacy, allowing both parties to speak candidly with one another.

“Do this and watch how much faster you feel a connection with someone,” she says.

Be patient

It can take time to form lasting friendships, so don't feel despondent if you're not best buddies with someone immediately, says Bloomfield.

Show an interest in someone by inviting them to things and keeping in touch without putting pressure on them, as this could easily backfire.

Use technology to follow up and make future plans

Just because you’re making friends IRL and not on an app, technology is far from redundant when it comes to sustaining friendships and maintaining a meaningful dialogue, particularly if you live in different areas, for example.

While platforms such as WhatsApp can be useful for conducting friendship date follow-ups i.e. telling someone you enjoyed their company and would like to make another arrangement, platforms like Twitter and Instagram can also be great tools for working out who might be a good friend fit for you, says Leaver, particularly if you’re an introvert.

“Get to know people online and then suggest an IRL meeting,” she adds.

The Independent, Published: July 30, 2018
WORLD FRIENDSHIP DAY:
HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS AS AN ADULT
Master the art of ‘friend dating’

By OLIVIA PETTER
https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/world-friendship-day-2018-uk-adults-make-friends-how-to-grown-ups-a8469641.html

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Sulzberger, NY Times publisher

The publisher of the New York Times said Sunday he warned Donald Trump in a White House meeting that the president's escalating attacks on the news media are "dangerous and harmful to our country" and "will lead to violence."

But the meeting with A.G. Sulzberger, publisher of the prestigious newspaper since Jan. 1, appeared to do little to improve Trump's tense and testy relationship with the press.

On Twitter, the president blasted what he called the "anti-Trump haters in the dying newspaper industry," calling them "very unpatriotic!"

The president's meeting with Sulzberger took place July 20, following a request from the White House for what appeared to be a routine get-to-know-you session.

The meeting, which also included Times editorial page editor James Bennet, had remained secret at the White House's request, according to Sulzberger, until Trump tweeted about it early Sunday.

"Had a very good and interesting meeting at the White House with A.G. Sulzberger," Trump said.

"Spent much time talking about the vast amounts of Fake News being put out by the media & how that Fake News has morphed into phrase, 'Enemy of the People.' Sad!"

Sulzberger, in a statement released hours later by the Times, said the president's tweet effectively "put the meeting on the record," and he described what appeared to be an unusually blunt session with the president.

- 'Dangerous' and 'inflammatory'-

"I told the president directly that I thought that his language was not just divisive but increasingly dangerous," Sulzberger said.

"I told him that although the phrase 'fake news' is untrue and harmful, I am far more concerned about his labeling journalists 'the enemy of the people.' I warned that this inflammatory language is contributing to a rise in threats against journalists and will lead to violence."

With some foreign leaders using Trump's language "to justify sweeping crackdowns on journalists, I warned that it was putting lives at risk."

Sulzberger concluded: "I implored him to reconsider his broader attacks on journalism, which I believe are dangerous and harmful to our country."

Beyond confirming that the meeting took place, the White House has provided no details. But Trump issued a string of four tweets a few hours after reports of the meeting emerged.

"When the media - driven insane by their Trump Derangement Syndrome - reveals internal deliberations of our government, it truly puts the lives of many, not just journalists, at risk! Very unpatriotic!" Trump tweeted.

He added that "the failing New York Times and the Amazon Washington Post do nothing but write bad stories even on very positive achievements."

The Post, which like the Times is a regular target of Trump's complaints, is owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

When 37-year-old Sulzberger took over leadership of the Times from his father after several years as a reporter and editor, Trump tweeted that the young man's rise gave the paper a "last chance" to prove itself impartial and to report the news "without fear or FAVOR."

But since then, as the Times and other news sources have chronicled Trump's personal and political problems and logged his frequent misstatements, the president has repeatedly lashed back.

He has tweeted scores of times that the Times is "very dishonest," "failing and corrupt," and that it uses "phony and nonexistent sources."

The Times has defended its reporters' work and noted that, far from "failing," it has enjoyed healthy growth, with 2017 revenue of $1.7 billion, up eight percent from the previous year.

- Love/hate relationship -

Observers say the president has a love/hate relationship with what was his hometown newspaper as he became one of New York's best-known figures, craving coverage but furious when it appeared critical of him.

The exchange comes at a time of high tension between Trump and the news media, with the president regularly denouncing critical news reports as "fake news."

Trump's latest raft of tweets raised doubts that the meeting with Sulzberger had done much to ease those tensions.

As one former Times editor said on social media about the chances of any reconciliation, "don't hold your breath."

If anything, Trump's relations with the press seem recently to have hit a new low.

The White House barred CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins from a press event Wednesday after her persistent questioning at an earlier occasion was deemed "inappropriate."

Olivier Knox, president of the White House Correspondents Association, deplored the action as a "wrong-headed" response to a reporter who, he said, was simply doing her job.

And Sulzberger's warning of violence came only weeks after the June 28 shooting at a newspaper office in Annapolis, Maryland, in which an aggrieved local man shot and killed five of the paper's employees.


[photo-1]
President Donald Trump has met with the publisher of the New York Times, A.G. Sulzberger

[photo-2]
Sulzberger has warned Trump that his attacks on the press are "dangerous and harmful"

[photo-3]
CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins was barred from a White House event after asking prodding questions at a time of high tensions between Trump and the press

AFP, Published: 29 JUL 2018
NY Times publisher tells Trump anti-press attacks 'dangerous and harmful'
https://www.afp.com/en/news/23/ny-times-publisher-tells-trump-anti-press-attacks-dangerous-and-harmful-doc-18068p1

The publisher of The New York Times says he "implored" US President Donald Trump at a private White House meeting this month to reconsider his broad attacks on journalists, calling the president's anti-press rhetoric "not just divisive but increasingly dangerous".

In a statement, AG Sulzberger said he decided to comment publicly after Trump revealed their off-the-record meeting to his more than 53 million Twitter followers on Sunday. Trump's aides had requested that the July 20 meeting not be made public, Sulzberger said.

"Had a very good and interesting meeting at the White House with A.G. Sulzberger, Publisher of the New York Times. Spent much time talking about the vast amounts of Fake News being put out by the media & how that Fake News has morphed into phrase, "Enemy of the People." Sad!" Trump wrote.

Hours after that exchange, Trump resumed his broadside against the media in a series of tweets that included a pledge not to let the country "be sold out by anti-Trump haters in the ... dying newspaper industry."

Sulzberger said his main purpose for accepting the meeting was to "raise concerns about the president's deeply troubling anti-press rhetoric."

"I told the president directly that I thought that his language was not just divisive but increasingly dangerous," he said.

Sulzberger said he told Trump that while the phrase "fake news" is untrue and harmful, "I am far more concerned about his labelling journalists 'the enemy of the people.' I warned that this inflammatory language is contributing to a rise in threats against journalists and will lead to violence."

Sulzberger said he stressed that leaders outside the US are already using Trump's rhetoric to justify cracking down on journalists.

"I warned that it was putting lives at risk, that it was undermining the democratic ideals of our nation, and that it was eroding one of our country's greatest exports: a commitment to free speech and a free press," the publisher said.

Sulzberger said he was not asking Trump to soften his attacks against the Times if he thinks the newspaper's coverage is unfair.

"Instead, I implored him to reconsider his broader attacks on journalism, which I believe are dangerous and harmful to our country," he said.

Trump reads the Times and gives interviews to its reporters. But he also regularly derides it as the "failing New York Times", despite its parent company in May reporting a 3.8 per cent increase in first-quarter revenue compared to the same period in 2017.


theguardian.com.au, Published: 30 Jul 2018, 8:11 a.m.
NYT urges Trump to end anti-media rhetoric
By Darlene Superville, Australian Associated Press,
http://www.theguardian.com.au/story/5553715/nyt-urges-trump-to-end-anti-media-rhetoric/

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Chile's Easter Island

Easter Island is known for its unique Moai monumental statues carved by the Rapa Nui people, believed to have arrived on the remote landmass in the southeastern Pacific Ocean in around the 12th century.

Despite its isolated location some 3,500 kilometers (2,000 miles) from the coast of Chile, the island is a popular tourist destination, not least due to its remarkable collection of around 900 tall human figures with distinctive features and standing up to 10 meters (32 feet) tall.

However, it is those very tourists, alongside mainland migrants, who have become a threat to the island's well-being. Chile, which annexed the territory in 1888, has decided to act.

In 2007, Easter Island was designated a special territory while back in March, congress voted to limit the number of tourists and foreign or mainland residents allowed on the island, and the time they're allowed to stay.

As of Wednesday, new rules will come into effect that reduce the time tourists -- Chileans not part of the Rapa Nui people and foreigners -- can stay on the island from 90 to 30 days.

"Foreigners are already taking over the island," Mayor Pedro Edmunds told AFP.

At the last census in 2017, there were 7,750 people living on Easter Island, almost double the population of a few decades ago, before the island was hit by a tourism boom and the real estate development that accompanied it.

Edmunds says that number is 3,000 "too many."

"They're damaging the local idiosyncrasy, the thousand-year culture is changing and not for the good," he added, saying that "customs from the continent" were infiltrating the island and "that's not positive."

Crime and domestic violence figures are also rising.

It's not just obnoxious people from the mainland causing problems, though -- the increase in tourism is harming the environment.

All basic services are straining under the pressure, not least waste management, Ana Maria Gutierrez, the local government's environmental adviser told AFP.

A decade ago the island generated 1.4 metric tons (1.5 US tons) of waste per year per inhabitant, but that figure has almost doubled to 2.5 tons today, with a population that recycles very little.

"Environmentally the island is very fragile," said Gutierrez.

The new laws, however, impose stricter rules on those who wish to live on the island, amongst them a requirement to be related to someone from the Rapa Nui people: either a parent, partner or child.

Others who will be allowed to stay are public servants, employees of organizations that provide services to the government, and those who develop an independent economic activity alongside their families.

On arrival, tourists must present their hotel reservation or an invitation from a resident.

The rules will also establish a yet-to-be-decided maximum capacity.

But Edmunds isn't happy, as he feels the rules don't go far enough to protect the island's culture, heritage and singularity.

"I don't agree with these rules, it's not enough because it doesn't reflect all the aspirations of the island," he said, admitting that like "many other Rapa Nui" he favors a "total" ban on the arrival of new residents.

However, he said the legislation was at least "a good start."

Rapa Nui are a Polynesian people closely related to those on Tahiti, whereas the majority of Chileans have European ancestry, with a minority of indigenous peoples.


[photo]
Waste management resources have been stretched almost to breaking point by an influx of arrivals on Easter Island

AFP, Published: 30 JUL 2018
Chile to restrict tourists and non-locals on Easter Island
https://www.afp.com/en/news/826/chile-restrict-tourists-and-non-locals-easter-island-doc-17z62z1

A few years ago, Chile's leading newspaper El Mercurio published a big article on the 10 biggest problems facing Easter Island, the remote Chilean outpost in the South Pacific.

They included dengue fever, the lack of a decent hospital, a steady accumulation of garbage, over-fishing, the arrival of thousands of tourists each year and damage to the moai, the giant stone statues that have made the island famous across the world.

Easter Island, it seemed, was far from the South Sea paradise of popular imagination.

Fast forward to 2014 and the island is tackling some of these issues. It has a new hospital and a recycling plant.

But even so, it is a problematic place.

Middle of nowhere

Like the Galapagos, the Maldives and scores of other tiny islands across the world, it faces tough questions that go to the heart of 21st Century life.

How do you develop a sustainable tourist industry when, each year, more people want to visit? Do you limit visitor numbers? How do you ensure local people do not feel crowded out? How do you provide basic services in such a remote outpost?

How, in short, do you manage an island like this?

Until you visit Easter Island, it is difficult to grasp just how remote it is. By some measures, it is the most isolated permanently inhabited place on earth.

The next-door neighbours live on Pitcairn, over 2,000km (1,250 miles) to the west. The South American mainland is 3,600km away - a five-hour flight.

And Easter Island is tiny - just 25km from one end to the other. Just under twice the size of Manhattan and less than half the size of Britain's Isle of Wight.

It has a population of about 6,000 and yet receives 80,000 tourists a year, bringing in cash but putting a tremendous strain on services.

It produces 20 tonnes of rubbish a day. The recycling plant, opened in 2011, processes 40,000 plastic bottles a month.

But much of the island's garbage cannot be recycled.

"We put it into landfills and they only thing we can do is flatten it," says Easter Island Mayor Pedro Edmunds.

"We can't burn it and we have no more land to dump it in. It attracts rats, mosquitoes and stray dogs."

In recent years, the islanders have sent scrap metal and cardboard to the Chilean mainland for recycling but it is prohibitively expensive.

Because of the risk of dengue, it has to be fumigated before arrival at Chilean ports.

"There are companies in Chile which buy cardboard, aluminium and plastic but the cost of shipping is so high that you end up paying them rather than them paying you," Mr Edmunds says.

The long-term plan is to incinerate waste to generate electricity, but that is still some years off.

The Chilean government opened a new hospital on the island in 2012 but the mayor says it is poorly financed and has not done much to improve healthcare.

"It's a spectacular building, like an eight-star hotel, but the service? It's not just bad, it's atrocious," he says. "They've put a tuxedo and a bow-tie on a pig, but it's still a pig."

Leo Pakarati, director of the island's online newspaper, El Correo del Moai, says doctors and dentists will not come to the island to work in the public hospital because they can earn more in the private sector elsewhere.

"You have to wait a couple of months for a hospital appointment," he says.

Limited space

As Easter Island's tourist industry has taken off, Chileans have moved from the mainland to live here, opening hotels, bars and restaurants.

They now outnumber the Rapa Nui - the original Easter Islanders of Polynesian descent.

That has created tensions. Mr Pakarati describes the islanders as "victims of indiscriminate immigration" from Chile which, culturally, has little in common with the island.

"There isn't enough space for everyone, enough drinking water, enough fuel," he says. "This is about sustainability and quality of life."

Like other Rapa Nui, Mr Pakarati says the number of immigrant residents should be restricted and the locals should have more say in how the island is run.

"Our conflict is not with the Chileans, it's with the inefficient Chilean state," he says. "The Rapa Nui are one big tribe, and our territory should belong to us."

Unforgettable sight

Mr Pakarati cites the Galapagos Islands as an example that Easter Island might follow.

There, foreign tourists pay an entry tax of $100 (£60) to visit protected areas, and the Ecuadorean government has made some efforts to curb population growth and manage tourist numbers.

"We currently receive around 80,000 tourists a year," Mr Pakarati says. "Studies suggest that if that figure rises above 100,000 the consequences could be disastrous."

Overfishing is also a problem. The island's tuna and lobster are highly prized in the restaurants of Santiago.

Mr Edmunds blames foreign fishing fleets for plundering the island's waters, describing the southern ocean as "full of pirates".

Easter Island is a stunning place. The moai, standing on their stone plinths and gazing over the rolling, green landscape, are an unforgettable sight.

But it is clear this is an island with issues.

If unaddressed, they could eventually threaten the future of one of the most unique places on the planet.


BBC News, Published: 18 April 2014
Trouble in paradise for Chile's Easter Island
By Gideon Long
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-26951566


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Mount Rinjani

Groups of hikers began to pick their way down the slopes of a Lombok volcano Monday after a deadly earthquake triggered landslides that trapped more than 500 tourists and guides on the mountain.

Tonnes of rock and mud were dislodged on Mount Rinjani in the 6.4-magnitude quake, which struck early Sunday and was followed by scores of aftershocks, blocking the hiking routes that crisscross the mountain.

Around 560 people were estimated to be trapped on Rinjani overnight, including citizens from the United States, France, the Netherlands, Thailand and Germany, as well as many other countries, search and rescue officials said.

Search and rescue officials said tourists had now started to descend the active volcano but were unlikely to arrive at its base before nightfall.

"At the moment both domestic and international tourists are on their way down," I Gusti Lanang Wiswananda, a spokesman for West Nusa Tenggara search and rescue, told AFP.

Hikers were able to start descending the mountain after guides discovered an alternate route that was unaffected by the landslides, Wiswananda said, adding the evacuation will most likely stretch into Tuesday.

Hundreds of other hikers managed to get off the mountain on Sunday, according to officials.

At least 16 people were killed in the earthquake across affected areas of Lombok, while hundreds of buildings were destroyed including a health clinic.

The quake created panic on the holiday island and sent locals and tourists running outside their homes and hotels.

Helicopters and search teams were deployed to scour the volcano's slopes and drop food supplies for those stranded on the mountain.

The search will be halted at sunset, search and rescue officials said.

"For supplies, they can still survive for another one to two days," Agus Hendra Sanjaya, spokesman for Mataram's search and rescue agency, told AFP.

Rising some 3,726 metres (12,224 feet) above sea level, Rinjani is the second-tallest volcano in Indonesia and a favourite among sightseers keen to take in its expansive views.

Hiking trails on the mountain were closed following the quake due to fear of further landslides.

Thailand's embassy in Jakarta said 239 of its citizens were stuck in the area surrounding the mountain.

Thai national Thanapon Worawutchainan, who was at the summit when the earthquake occurred, posted a video on Facebook showing people stumbling down the slopes in the aftermath.

He said the ground shook violently and people lay down until the tremors stopped.

"It looked like the mountain in front of me was going to collapse," another stranded Thai, Funknathee Prapasawat, said on Facebook. "Some people were injured by rocks falling off the mountain."

- Thousands in shelters -

The epicentre of the earthquake was 50 km (30 miles) northeast of Lombok's main city Mataram, the United States Geological Survey said, far from the main tourist spots on the south and west of the island.

The initial tremor was followed by two strong secondary quakes and more than 100 aftershocks.

The jolt was felt some 100 km (60 miles) away on the bustling resort island of Bali, although there were no reports of damage there.

In the hard hit village of Medas, north of Mataram, the majority of houses were destroyed and the area was deserted Monday save for a few people searching for possessions in the rubble, an AFP reporter at the scene said.

Some 160 people were injured in Lombok as a result of the quake, said Mohammad Rum, head of West Nusa Tenggara disaster agency.

A Malaysian was among the dead, with another six citizens injured, the foreign ministry in Kuala Lumpur said.

A total of 5,141 people are staying in temporary shelters and in need of clean water, Indonesian disaster mitigation agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told MetroTV.

Rinjawani Pebolaisia, an evacuee at a shelter in East Lombok, said they were lacking basic supplies.

"We hope that aid will arrive quickly -- there are only instant noodles here," Pebolaisia, 30, told AFP.

"We also need milk for the children, diapers, there are also no blankets... Many people are sleeping outside."

President Joko Widodo visited affected areas on Monday and promised financial support for those who have lost their homes.

"We must be aware that our country is in the Ring of Fire, so people need to be prepared to face any disaster," Widodo said.

Indonesia, one of the most disaster-prone nations on earth, straddles the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire", where tectonic plates collide and a large portion of the world's volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.

In 2004 a tsunami triggered by a magnitude 9.3 undersea earthquake off the coast of Sumatra in western Indonesia killed 220,000 people in countries around the Indian Ocean, including 168,000 in Indonesia.


[photo-1]
The Lombok quake killed 16 people and destroyed hundreds of buildings.

[photo-2]
Some 160 people were injured in the Lombok quake which has left at least 16 dead.

[photo-3]
Indonesian President Joko Widodo visits quake-affected people at a shelter in Lombok.

AFP, Published: 30 JUL 2018
Hikers start descent of Indonesia volcano after quake
https://www.afp.com/en/news/717/hikers-start-descent-indonesia-volcano-after-quake-doc-1807ci3

SEPANG: Five hikers who went through the earthquake in Lombok on Sunday heaved a sigh of relief when they touched down at klia2.

Siti Hidayah Zainuddin, 38, said she was in a group of about 20 people who were about to climb Mount Rinjani when the earthquake hit.

She said the group was supposed to have begun their ascent at 7am, but the quake hit several minutes before that.

“We all panicked... we didn’t know what to do. The earth seemed to be swaying and then, a second tremor hit.”

The five hikers arrived at klia2 aboard AirAsia flight AK305 at 1.30pm. The flight had left Lombok International Airport at 10.20am.

The 6.4 magnitude earthquake left at least 10 people dead, including Malaysian Siti Nur Iesmawida Ismail, 30, who had been in another group making its way down Mount Rinjani.

Siti Hidayah said locals claimed that the earthquake was the first one ever to be felt on Mount Rinjani.

“Before this, they said, there were earthquakes in other districts in Lombok, but this was the first in that area.

“There are two base camps on Mount Rinjani. Those who have come down the mountain gather in Sembalun, while those who are about to climb gather in Senaru, where we were. The epicentre was closer to Sembalun.

“We are really grateful to all those who helped us, especially the villagers, volunteers, police, embassy officials, AirAsia and the government.

“The villagers cooked for us and made sure we were safe, even though their houses were destroyed by the quake.”


[photo]
Five hikers who went through the earthquake in Lombok on Sunday heaved a sigh of relief when they touched down at klia2.

New Straits Times, Published: July 30, 2018 - 9:49pm
Lombok quake:
Hikers heave sigh of relief after returning to Malaysia

By Noor Atiqah Sulaiman
https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2018/07/396235/lombok-quake-hikers-heave-sigh-relief-after-returning-malaysia

自衛隊21000人救助活動の話、まだ信じてるの?
それ待機人数だから。
防衛省によれば、7月7日20時半時点で活動したのは1235名。
デマ元の西村官房副長官は後でこっそりツイート削除してたよ。
あれ、お兄ちゃん今何を消そうとしてるの?


12:07 AM - 29 Jul 2018 ネトウヨ兄のデマを正す妹bot

posted by fom_club at 11:51| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2018年07月30日

Mount Rinjani, Lombok, Indonesia

SEMBALUN, Indonesia: A powerful 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck the popular tourist destination of Lombok in Indonesia on Sunday, killing 10 people and damaging many buildings, authorities said.

A Malaysian tourist visiting the popular trekking destination of Mount Rinjani on Lombok was among those killed, according to East Lombok police M. Eka Fathurrahman.

The quake hit Lombok island early in the morning when many people were still sleeping. Around 40 people were injured and many fled into open fields away from collapsed buildings.

"We jumped out of our beds to avoid anything falling on our heads," said Jean-Paul Volckaert who was woken by the quake while sleeping in the Puncak Hotel near Senggigi on Lombok.

"I’ve been walking around but so far there is no damage. We were very surprised as the water in the pools was swaying like a wild sea. There were waves in the pools but only for 20 to 30 seconds," he told Reuters via telephone.

"The people in the villages may have damages. It’s still early morning here.”

The quake was centred 50km northeast of the city of Mataram on the northern part of Lombok island, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the disaster mitigation agency spokesman, posted on Twitter pictures of houses with collapsed roofs and walls.

"People are gathering on the streets and empty fields to avoid collapsing buildings," he said.

"The main focus now is evacuation and rescue. Some of the injured are still being treated at clinics."

Around 66 quakes were recorded after the initial 6.4 magnitude tremor, with the largest aftershock recorded at 5.7 magnitude, said the disaster mitigation agency.

The major quake was felt on the neighbouring island of Bali, Indonesia's top tourist destination.

The quake forced authorities to close the Mount Rinjani national park. "Rinjani mountain climbing is closed temporarily because there are indications of landslides around the mountain," Nugroho, said in a statement.

The earthquake struck at 6.47am on Sunday (2247 GMT on Saturday) and was only 7km deep, a shallow depth that would have amplified its effect.

A magnitude 6.4 earthquake is considered strong and is capable of causing severe damage.

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC), the European quake agency, put the magnitude at 6.5.

The earthquake was on land and did not trigger any waves or tsunami. Lombok is the next island east of Bali.

Quakes are common in Indonesia, which is located on the seismically active "Ring of Fire" that surrounds the shores of the Pacific Ocean.


[photo]
Damage is seen following an earthquake in Lombok, Indonesia, July 29, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media.

New Straits Times, Published: July 29, 2018 - 12:01pm
Malaysian tourist among 10 killed in Lombok earthquake
[Source]--Reuters
https://www.nst.com.my/world/2018/07/395728/malaysian-tourist-among-10-killed-lombok-earthquake

JAKARTA: The Malaysian Embassy here is making arrangements to bring home the remains of the Malaysian woman killed in the earthquake in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.

Malaysia's Deputy Ambassador to Indonesia, Zamshari Shaharan said the body of Siti Nur Ismawida Ismail, 30, which is now at the Selong Hospital, East Lombok, will be transferred to the General Hospital, West Nusa Tenggara province in Bandar Mataram, before being flown home.

He said Malaysian embassy officials would arrive in Lombok tomorrow to assist in the process and also to help other Malaysians stranded by the earthquake.

"The embassy has been in contact with airlines to help Malaysians who are safe, return home. Embassy officials are expected to arrive in Lombok tomorrow (July 30) to coordinate and to duly assist the Malaysians,” he said.

He said as of 4 pm, two groups of Malaysian tourists (groups climbing Mount Rinjani in East Lombok Timur) had been given appropriate assistance by the Indonesian authorities.

"The first group of 19 people in Senaru, North Lombok have been taken to Senggigi in West Lombok. All of them are reported to be safe.

“(Whereas) The second group (group of victims among whom one was killed) comprising 17 people is still in Sembalun, East Lombok. Six of them (two have been seriously injured and four with minor injuries) are being treated at Selong Hospital, East Lombok,” he said.

He said the embassy was also informed that there were still Malaysians in Lombok but were unable to be contacted at this point of time.


[photo]
Malaysia's Deputy Ambassador to Indonesia, Zamshari Shaharan said the body of Siti Nur Ismawida Ismail, 30, which is now at the Selong Hospital, East Lombok, will be transferred to the General Hospital, West Nusa Tenggara province in Bandar Mataram, before being flown home.

New Straits Times, Published: July 29, 2018 - 10:23pm
Embassy working to bring back remains of Malaysian killed in Lombok quake
[Source]--Bernama
https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2018/07/395918/embassy-working-bring-back-remains-malaysian-killed-lombok-quake

[photo]
“We panicked when we suddenly heard loud noises and the building was shaking while we were having breakfast.” This was how 32-year-old Khairul Azim, who was among 13 Malaysian hikers who were at Mount Rinjani in Lombok, when a powerful 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck the popular tourist destination, described his first experience with an earthquake.
https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2018/07/395876/lombok-quake-we-panicked-when-building-shook-and-we-heard-loud-noises#cxrecs_s

At 3,726 m, Rinjani is the second highest volcano in Indonesia, second only to Mount Kerinci on Sumatra, and it dominates the landscape of the relatively small island of Lombok.

Within its huge 50 km2 caldera sits the crater lake Segara Anak (Child of the Sea). Eruptions within the caldera have formed a new small cone called appropriately enough, Gunung Baru (New Mountain). Segara Anak has a natural hot spring.

The mountain and its satellites form the Mount Rinjani National Park (Taman Nasional Gunung Rinjani) – officially 41,000 hectares within the park boundaries and a further 66,000 hectares of protected forest outside.

In 2008, the Indonesian government proposed to UNESCO that Mount Rinjani be one of the world’s official geoparks. If this was approved by UNESCO, Mount Rinjani would become the first such geological park in Indonesia.

The Rinjani Ecopark

The mighty Rinjani mountain of Gunung Rinjani is a massive volcano which towers over the island of Lombok. A climb to the top is one of the most exhilarating experiences you can have in Indonesia. At 3,726 meters tall, Gunung Rinjani is the second highest mountain in Indonesia. The climb to the top may not be easy but it’s worth it, and is widely regarded as one of the best views in the country.

Part of the famous ‘ring of fire’ this mountain also holds spiritual significance for the local people. It’s thought that the name Rinjani comes from an old Javanese term for ‘God’.

Around the slopes of Rinjani there are lush forests sprinkled with waterfalls and surrounded by stunning scenery.

Within the mountain is a crescent shaped lake, the breathtaking Segara Anak which is about 6km across at its widest point. This lake of sulfur is located 600 meters below the crater rim. Rising from the waters of this lake is a new volcano, Mt. Baru, which is a result of a series of eruptions during the 1990’s. Segara Anak is a spiritual place. The Balinese come here each year and perform a ceremony called pekelan where jewelry is placed in the lake as an offering to the mountain spirit. The Wetu Telu people also regard the lake as holy and come here to pray on full moon nights.

Mt Rinjani lies within the Gunung Rinjani National Park. The park covers 41,330 hectares and sits inside a major bio-geographical transition zone (Wallacea). This is where the tropical flora and fauna of South East Asia meets that of Australasia. This National Park was established in 1997 and is one of over 40 throughout Indonesia.

For visitors, the three-day Rinjani trek route from Senaru to the crater rim, down to the Crater Lake then on to Sembalun Lawang, is considered one of the best treks in South East Asia. More adventurous trekkers may want to head all the way to the summit of the volcano. This is best reached from Sembalun Lawang and takes four days, finishing up in Senaru.

To ensure that local communities benefit from tourism revenue, the Rinjani Trek is managed by a partnership of National Park officials, the public and private sectors of the Lombok tourism industry and community representatives. Community run cooperatives coordinate the Trek at the Rinjani Trek Center (RTC) in Senaru and the Rinjani Information Center (RIC) in Sembalun Lawang.

Revenue from tourism activities and entry fees is used for conservation, management and assisting the National Park with maintenance of the Rinjani Trek, thus ensuring its sustainability. This management model is unique in Indonesia and considered an example of best practice of ecotourism in Indonesia.


http://rinjaninationalpark.com/

posted by fom_club at 13:25| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

Magic of Muhammad Ali

EMMANUEL Dapidran Pacquiao’s stunning seventh round knockout victory over defending champion Lucas Matthysse at Bukit Jalil’s Axiata Arena recently had Malaysians turning out in droves at various locations throughout the country to catch one of boxing’s greatest events. It has been a long time since a title fight of this importance was fought here.

The 39-year-old Filipino boxing legend, known as Manny Pacquiao among his legions of adoring fans, took the initiative right from the opening bells and gave the stadium’s 15,000 spectators ample reasons to get on their feet and cheer him on.

Pacquiao, the only eight-division world champion, put on a dominant display and sent his Argentinean opponent to the canvas several times with his trademark blows before finally landing a brutal uppercut to reclaim the WBA welterweight title which he lost last year.

THE OTHER KUALA LUMPUR FIGHT

The match, aired live on local TV, brought back wonderful memories and reminded Malaysian boxing fans of an even bigger clash that happened in Kuala Lumpur more than four decades ago. In 1975, Malaysia played host to one of the most closely watched championship clashes between Muhammad Ali and Joe Bugner.

I vividly remember tuning in to the radio for the live coverage of Bugner’s arrival at the Subang International Airport. Apart from crowds of fans and curious onlookers, the British fighter was warmly welcomed by an enthusiastic kompang ensemble the moment he stepped off the Malaysian Airline System (Malaysia Airlines now) aircraft.

A few days later, the same airport was turned into a sea of people when thousands jostled with each other to catch a glimpse of Ali. The security guards on duty didn’t expect such a huge turn out and were completely caught unprepared.

Overwhelmed, the men in uniform could only watch helplessly when part of the airport fencing was completely flattened by a huge crowd which suddenly surged forward after hearing that Ali was already in the building. The situation was so chaotic that several fans suffered minor injuries and one even reported the mysterious disappearance of his pair of socks despite still having his boots on!

In the days leading up to the big match, local newspapers ran regular commentaries containing interesting anecdotes related to the two boxers. Even coffee shop pundits were caught up in the heat of the moment and started giving their loyal followers ‘expert’ opinions and forecast results.

Our nation was so caught up with the impending fight that it was common to see boys and even grown men pretending to square up with each other and proudly displaying a number of Ali’s famous boxing stances.

BOXING MERCHANDISE

At the same time, manufacturers seized the golden opportunity to rake in lucrative profits by producing all sorts of merchandise that endorsed the much anticipated battle in the ring. Muhammad Ali and Joe Bugner figurines were the clear favourites among boxing fans while others snapped promotional balloons, matchboxes and even chewing gum!

On July 1, 1975 local boxing fans from all over the country converged on Kuala Lumpur. The entire arena was filled with spectators. Deep pocketed fans joined famous celebrities and socialites at the ringside seats which went for RM1,000 each while most ordinary Malaysians, including myself, were contented to watch the match live on television from the comforts of our homes.

Everything else ground to a halt the moment the starting bell was struck at the Merdeka Stadium. Outside, Kuala Lumpur behaved as though it was a city under a state of emergency. Traffic was so light that the small portion of the population who was unaware of the ongoing event thought that a major catastrophe had occurred.

FANS DISAPPOINTMENT

Although the match ended in a victory for Ali, many of his fans were left deeply disappointed. Despite having cheered themselves hoarse, the much awaited knockout punch never made its appearance. Instead, the match ended after the mandatory 15 rounds were over and Ali only prevailed by virtue of having won more points than his opponent.

Despite showing glimpses of the spectacular form which catapulted him to the pinnacle of global boxing more than a decade ago, Ali’s failure to floor Bugner during the match did little to convince his fans that he was still on top of his game.

His presumed ineptness started tongues wagging and the rumour mill was in full motion as soon as Ali was awarded the heavyweight title. Certain quarters felt that Ali didn’t treat Bugner seriously and, in the process, threw away many technical knockout opportunities. They even said that Ali had a special professional relationship with Bugner and the American was reluctant to deal his compatriot a harsh blow. Others felt that the fight was not as decisive compared to Ali’s previous battles with other boxing greats like Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Ken Norton and Chuck Wepner.

Opinions on the other side of the divide however stated that Bugner was a worthy opponent. Bugner was, after all, eight years younger and was an equally unorthodox boxer like Ali. During the fight, many observed that the Briton matched 33-year-old Ali in almost every department and even displayed great adaptiveness by copying the champion’s moves and techniques.

The person who probably knew and understood Ali’s fighting style best was none other than his coach, Angelo Dundee. Dundee, who was never a boxer himself, was widely recognised as the person who first spotted Ali’s talents and slowly nurtured the young man into a world champion.

In an interview held after Ali’s victory in Kuala Lumpur, Dundee said that his path and Ali’s first crossed in 1958. At that time, Ali was just a 16-year-old lad who went by the name Cassius Marcellus Clay.

ALI’S EARLY DAYS

Recalling that historic moment, the soft-spoken coach said that he was having a discussion with his boxer, Willie Pastrano, at the Sheraton Hotel in Lousiville, Kentucky when two teenagers turned up and introduced themselves as Clay and his brother Abdul Rahman.

Clay implored Dundee to take him under his wing after blurting out his string of successes which included the coveted Kentucky Golden Glove award. The young man was so persuasive that Dundee finally acceded to his request.

In 1960, Clay convinced Dundee to let him fight Pastrano, the-then world light heavyweight champion. Everyone, including Dundee, was surprised to see Clay defeat Pastrano with ease. Later that year, Clay won the light heavyweight division gold medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome and decided to turn professional.

Despite his initial successes, Clay continued to pursue his dream of becoming a professional world class boxer diligently and never skipped training even once. He showed commitment to the cause by walking from his home to the gymnasium daily as his family couldn’t afford his 15 kilometre bus fare.

Over time, Clay’s hard work paid off when he emerged as one of Dundee’s top boxers. Much of his success in the ring was attributed to his ability to use both his creativity and intelligence to vary his techniques and keep his opponents constantly on the defence.

FIRST MAJOR WIN

Clay began making his mark in the boxing world in 1964 when he won the WBA, WBC and lineal heavyweight titles from Sonny Liston in a major upset. Later that same year, Clay embraced the Islamic faith and changed his name to Muhammad Ali.

In 1966, two years after winning the heavyweight title, Ali refused to be drafted into the military after citing his religious beliefs and opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam War. He was subsequently arrested, found guilty of draft evasion charges and stripped of his boxing titles. Ali successfully appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, which overturned his conviction in 1970.

Despite not having fought for nearly four years, Ali took on Oscar Bonavena at Madison Square Garden in December 1970 and won via a dramatic technical knockout. That win set the stage for his showdown with Joe Frazier for the heavyweight title on March 8, 1971.

Dubbed the “Fight of the Century”, the early rounds saw Ali constantly pressuring Frazier with his constant jabs and combinations. In the latter part of the bout, Ali switched to what was the first appearance of his famous “rope-a-dope” strategy where he leaned against the ropes and absorbed punishment from Frazier with the hope of tiring him out. Nevertheless, Ali lost by unanimous decision and that became his first professional defeat.

After the loss, Ali went on to fight Jerry Quarry, had a second bout with Floyd Patterson and faced Bob Foster in 1972, winning a total of six fights that year. In 1973, his fight with Ken Norton resulted in a broken jaw and the second loss of his career.

GREATEST BOXER IN HISTORY

Despite these temporary setbacks, Ali’s multiple successes throughout his career made him one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of the 20th century. He remains the only three-time lineal heavyweight champion and his records of beating 21 boxers for the world heavyweight title (shared with Joe Louis), as well as winning 14 unified title bouts (shared with former welterweight champion Jose Napoles), were unbeaten for 35 years.

Nicknamed ‘the Greatest’, Ali was involved in several historic boxing matches. Notable among these was the ‘Thrilla in Manila’ which happened exactly three months after the Kuala Lumpur bout and involved his old nemesis Frazier.

Thought of the fight in the Philippines soon reminds me of several boxing-related memorabilia in my collection. Among them is a pink booklet commemorating the 3rd AseanBoxing Championships in Manila. This event, which took place in 1978, coincided with the year Pacquiao was born.

Together with a large stack of newspaper cuttings promoting boxing matches at various entertainment parks throughout Malaya in the 1950s, the items in my possession prove that the sport enjoyed a strong following among Malayans long before Ali stepped off the plane at Subang in 1975.

Nevertheless, I’m sure that local attendance back then paled in comparison to the record global television audiences in the 1970s when boxing’s popularity was at its zenith. Up until 1980, Ali’s fights regularly drew up to 2 billion viewers worldwide. Statistics showed that some 3.5 billion viewers tuned in when Ali lit the torch at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.

SUNSET YEARS

Ali retired from boxing at age 39 in 1981 and began focussing his attention on religion and charity. He campaigned for various causes and donated millions to charitable organisations that supported disadvantaged people. More than 22 million people afflicted by hunger were fed thanks to his generosity.

Three years after retirement, Ali shocked the world when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s syndrome. Doctors believed that boxing-related brain injuries suffered over the past two decades had contributed to his medical condition. Finally, the great fighter whose career was epitomised by the catchphrase “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” succumbed to his illness on June 3, 2016, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Returning my thoughts to the present, I harbour a hope that Malaysia might one day be able to produce a world class boxer who can follow in the footsteps of Ali and Pacquiao. Hopefully, this dream can become a reality through the vision and careful planning of our newly invigorated Youth and Sports Ministry.

[photo-1] Ali landing a left hook on Bugner during their 1975 bout in Kuala Lumpur.

[photo-2] Booklet promoting the 3rd Asean Boxing Championship in 1978.

[photo-3] Ali mobbed by crowds upon his arrival at Subang International Airport in 1975.

[photo-4] Ali landing a left jab on Bugner during their 1975 bout in Kuala Lumpur.

[photo-5] Ali raining blows on Bugner during their 1975 bout in Kuala Lumpur.

[photo-6] Dundee met Ali and his brother in 1958.

New Straits Times, Published: July 29, 2018 - 8:00am
Magic of Muhammad Ali
By Alan Teh Leam Seng
https://www.nst.com.my/lifestyle/sunday-vibes/2018/07/395581/magic-muhammad-ali

posted by fom_club at 12:57| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

White school shoesbe gone!

WHITE canvas shoes will soon be a thing of the past in Malaysian schools. In a recent announcement, Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said that his decision for all students to wear black shoes will come into effect next year.

Despite having left school many decades ago and thus totally unaffected by this impending change, the decision brings back a flood of memories about my love-hate relationship with the ubiquitous white canvas shoes.

Used by generations of students, white shoes have been a bane for both students and parents. It was definitely a Herculean task to keep the footwear spotlessly clean even for a single day, let alone throughout the entire duration of the school week.

No matter how hard I tried, those dark friction marks and mud splatters were sure to make their presence felt very quickly. They stuck out like a sore thumb against the white background and I often found myself getting psychologically ready for a vocal reprimand and a hard rap on the knuckles from the eagle-eyed discipline teacher.

A primary school classmate of mine was so preoccupied with his footwear that he always had a bottle of whitening liquid present in his bag on days when spot checks were scheduled. For the rest of us, the task was as simple as swiping a stick of white chalk from the blackboard and rubbing it furiously over the soiled parts before passing it to an equally anxious friend sitting in the row behind.

Unlike their black counterparts, white shoes had to be washed practically every weekend. During those short two days, there was a clear correlation between the weather and my overall happiness. I used to be petrified when it rained the day before school started. Fortunately, the damp canvas never fails to dry up overnight behind the refrigerator even during the most humid of days!

Despite all the hassle and challenges brought on by white footwear, I believe that they played a role in instilling discipline and a sense of cleanliness among students. Through the shoes, I learnt to take good care of my other belongings and became more responsible in ensuring that my footwear was constantly in good condition. All these values have stood me in good stead throughout my adult life.

Students of the past

One thing’s for certain, learning institutions back in the late 19th century and early part of the 20th century were worlds apart from schools we know today. Back then, it was already a challenge for educators to get students into the classroom let alone get them to put on proper shoes.

A large majority of the Malayan population then was uneducated and, from the perspective of both students and their parents, the act of attending school was much like entering an unknown realm filled with boundless intrigue and uncertainties.

An incident in Kedah back then is a classic case in point. Teachers at the Alor Star Government English School (now Sultan Abdul Hamid College) were confronted with a very varied set of students when they threw open the doors to their new building located at Tanjong Bendahara on Jan 1, 1917.

While those from well-to-do families arrived properly attired and in their gleaming chauffeured Vauxhalls, a large number of the less fortunate students came barefooted and wore ordinary day-to-day clothes that had seen better days.

Demand for school shoes

To maintain a sense of uniformity in the classroom, the teachers engaged local enterprises in Alor Star and embarked on a series of fund raising efforts to purchase proper clothes and shoes for needy students. Back then, these items were expensive as pre-war Malaya had very few industries and most necessities had to be imported.

Most shops selling shoes in Alor Star were located along Jalan Raja, Jalan Langgar and Pekan Melayu. Hari Singh Hazara Singh Bros, a wholesaler who conducted business from 26, Jalan Langgar, took out an advertisement in the town’s inaugural Che Laidin Badminton Competition magazine in 1936 to promote the sale of imported shoes with prices starting from $7.50 per pair. That sum was equal to the salary for an entire month’s work for most people in Alor Star then!

The demand for proper shoes grew in tandem with the increasing number of school-going children in the early 1930s. Among the most popular canvas shoe brands at that time was Fung Keong. Started in the 1920s by the man who lent the shoe its name, this affordable footwear enjoyed massive appeal among the lower income earners who couldn’t afford the expensive British-made alternatives.

Fung Keong migrated from Guangdong, China to Malaya in 1902 where he took up residence in Seremban. Despite being only 11, Keong was already determined to be successful in life. He dabbled with rubber processing machinery and made his fortune within a decade. Not one to rest on his laurels, Keong continued working hard and enriched himself further by investing his profits wisely.

In 1916, Keong learnt about the world’s first mass marketed rubber sole canvas shoes produced in the United States and immediately realised that there was a potential for this product not only in Malaya but the whole of Asia if he could produce them cheaply enough.

The rise and fall of Fung Keong

After establishing contacts with companies in the Federated Malay States for a continuous supply of raw rubber, Keong returned to his hometown in China in1920 and established a rubber shoe factory under the name of Fung Keong Rubber Manufacturing. Starting with only 100 workers, Keong capitalised on clever marketing strategies to sell his innovative products. Before long, Fung Keong emerged as the brand leader in canvas shoes in the region.

In 1923, Keong invested in a branch factory in British-ruled Hong Kong. Within a decade, the Hong Kong plant became the largest footwear manufacturer in the British colony and the Straits Settlements and the Federated Malay States in Malaya became Fung Keong’s most important markets.

The raw materials used in Fung Keong shoes came from the world over. Rubber for the soles came from Malaya, canvas for the uppers parts were from Lancashire, Shanghai and the United States while England supplied the eyelets and binding tapes. Only the shoe laces and cardboard packaging were procured locally in Hong Kong.

Keong’s proudest moment came when Hong Kong Governor Sir William Peel together with the Secretary of Chinese Affairs N.L. Smith and Inspector of Factories F. Meade visited his factory on Dec 21, 1934. The very next day, local newspapers sang praises about his top selling product which was the Pagoda brand white canvas shoes and attributed Keong’s success to his years of experience spent abroad, especially in Malaya.

In 1938, the Japanese Imperial Army invaded Guangdong and Keong relocated his staff and machinery to Klang in Selangor. This port town was chosen due to its close proximity to Kuala Lumpur. A year later, Fung Keong Rubber Manufacturing (Malaya) was established.

Despite his efforts, Keong failed to avoid the war as the Japanese invaded Malaya in December 1941. Putting his factory under wraps, Keong was forced to lie low until the British returned in September 1945.

After the Japanese Occupation, Keong restarted his Hong Kong production while maintaining his business in Malaya. The late 1940s and early 1950s was a difficult period for the rubber shoe industry. The Communist takeover in 1949 resulted in a significant decrease in the demand for canvas shoes in China.

Soon after, the Korean War caused rubber prices worldwide to skyrocket. Keong was forced to suspend production at his Hong Kong factory for four months starting from Aug 9, 1950 due to losses of up to thousands of Hong Kong dollars daily.

By late 1950s and early 1960s, things began looking up. Unfortunately, this up tick only proved to be short lived. The mid 1960s saw labour unrest continuously plaguing the factory. By August 1967, Keong complied with a court order to shut down his Hong Kong factory due to debt default.

Hello Bata!

Keong continued expanding his Malaysian operation and became the largest canvas shoe producer in the country in the late 1960s. The canvas shoe pioneer passed away in Hong Kong on Feb 7, 1973 and his descendants took over the reins of his lucrative business.

The change in shoe preferences among Malaysian consumers as well as their Asian counterparts in the 1970s and 80s marked the end of Fung Keong shoes. The larger disposable income brought about by growing Asian economies gave consumers the luxury of buying more expensive shoe brands. As a result, the once popular Fung Keong shoes were left with very few takers. Eventually, Fung Keong Malaysia shifted its focus to bicycle and motorcycle tyre manufacturing.

Another enduring canvas shoe brand also made its appearance in Malaya around the same time as Fung Keong. In 1935, Bata opened its first factory in Klang, Selangor and started making polyvinyl chloride (PVC) injected footwear for the local market.

A household name among generations of Malayans in the past as well as millions of Malaysians today for its easily recognisable tagline “First to Bata, then to school”, this international brand was founded by a trio of trendsetting Czechoslovakian siblings, Tomas, Anna and Antonin Bata, in 1894.

The three Bata scions revolutionised the footwear industry that was once dominated by traditional cobbler workshops and made the brand famous worldwide. In Malaya, Bata set up its first enterprise in Singapore’s Capitol Building in 1930 before moving north across the causeway. That same year, the Bata Shoe Company was established.

By 1939, Bata’s rapid growth saw its international holdings increase exponentially to 63 companies that were involved in various industries worldwide. Despite the string of successes, Bata remained true to its core footwear business and sold 50 million pairs annually in nearly 60 countries.

War and revival

However, just like Fung Keong, the good times didn’t last long for Bata either. The onset of the Second World War silenced Bata’s production lines and many of its factories were damaged by relentless aerial bombings. The company suffered massive losses when its businesses in Europe and the Far East, including Malaya, were either destroyed or taken over by enemy forces.

The Bata Shoe Company began picking up the pieces after the war and eventually relocated to Toronto, Canada in the 1960s. The company executed fresh ideas brought in by new talent and continued expanding its international reach. It also built newer and more efficient factories in different countries to service specific local markets.

When consumer demands changed in the 1970s, Bata achieved something that Fung Keong couldn’t − innovate. Within a short period of time, Bata produced a series of interesting private labels that catered to new customer segments. These included Bubblegumers, Power, Marie Claire and North Star. This pivotal move captured new market shares and gave Bata many years of recurring phenomenal sales.

Today, after more than seven decades, Bata still remains the leading footwear manufacturer and marketer in Malaysia. It has more than 240 stores nationwide and services an independent dealer network totalling 1,500 outlets.

A new chapter will soon open for canvas shoe companies in Malaysia with the new ruling set to take place in less than six months. While the manufacturers lament about the lack of time given to adjust to the minister’s statement, I’m sure students and their parents have already started to rejoice. Many just cannot wait for the day to bid their final farewell to white canvas shoes.

[photo-1] Malay boys proudly wearing their white canvas shoes during Hari Raya.

[photo-2] Alor Star girl guides with their white canvas shoes during the 1967 All Malaysian Golden Jubilee Camp.

[photo-3] Alor Star’s Government English School students in 1932.

[photo-4] Back in the 1950s, most shoe shops in Malaya sold Fung Keong products.

[photo-5] Bata’s year end advertisements targeted those preparing to return to school.

[photo-6] Students dispensing with shoes during a sports meet in the late 1940s.

New Straits Times, Published: July 29, 2018 - 2:08pm
White school shoes nostalgia
By Alan Teh Leam Seng
https://www.nst.com.my/lifestyle/sunday-vibes/2018/07/395783/white-school-shoes-nostalgia

posted by fom_club at 12:46| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

このままなかったことにしてしまおうという為政者の思惑

 うその答弁に文書の改ざん、言いのがれ、開き直り――。
 民主主義をなり立たせる最低限のルールも倫理もない、異常な国会が幕を閉じて1週間になる。

 豪雨被害、そして酷暑に人々の関心は移り、不都合なもろもろを、このままなかったことにしてしまおうという為政者の思惑が、少しずつ、しかし着実に世の中を覆っていく。

 私たちの日本社会はいま、危うく、きわどい地点にさしかかっているのではないか。

■ 忠誠が生み出す罪悪

 来月3日まで東京・岩波ホールで公開されている映画「ゲッベルスと私」の主人公ブルンヒルデ・ポムゼルは、第2次大戦当時、ユダヤ人虐殺を進めたナチスの宣伝相ゲッベルスの秘書として働いた。顔に深いしわが刻まれた103歳が語る。

 「私は、言われたことを忠実にやっていた」

 彼女が担った役割は、ナチスの犯罪のごく末端にすぎない。
 だがそうした小さな悪の集積が大きなうねりとなり、当時のドイツを破滅に追いやった。

 「私に罪はない」とポムゼルは言う。
 たしかに自分もその一人ではあった。
 でも、みんなが同じく加担したのだ、と。

 ナチス親衛隊の元中佐で、ユダヤ人を強制収容所や絶滅収容所に送りこむ実務責任者だったアドルフ・アイヒマンを思い起こす人も少なくないだろう。

 戦後逃亡して1960年に逮捕された彼もまた、自らの裁判で、上司の命令と当時の法、つまり総統ヒトラーの意思に忠実だったまでで、自分に罪があるとは感じていないと述べた。
 法廷を傍聴した政治哲学者のハンナ・アーレントは、権威への追従が重大な罪につながる「悪の陳腐さ」を指摘している。

 大きな流れのなかで一人ひとりの罪の意識は薄まり、上に立つ者の意を踏まえた無責任の構造が、「悪」を行うことへの抵抗をなくしていく。

■ 奇っ怪な記録と記憶

 ナチスの所業と安易に対比することはできない。
 だが、森友問題でこの国の官僚が見せた態度に、相通じるものを見る。

 「文書の廃棄や改ざんの方向性を決定づけた」とされる当時の理財局長の下、多くの財務省職員が、およそ公務員にあるまじき行為に手を染めた。

 そもそも、優秀な官僚のはずの局長は、改ざんに走る以前に、なぜ基本的な事実関係すら確認せずに「記録はない」と虚偽の国会答弁をしたのか。
 この根本的な疑問に、財務省の調査報告書は答えていない。

 はっきりしているのは、「私や妻が関係していれば、首相も国会議員も辞める」と安倍首相が国会で発言した直後から、廃棄と改ざんに向けた動きが始まったということである。

 もう一方の加計学園問題でも不可思議な話が尽きない。

 元首相秘書官は、首相に不利に働く事実は頭の中からきれいに消えてしまい、その逆については鮮明に覚えているという、特異な記憶力を披瀝(ひれき)した。

 もうひとつ。
 獣医学部の新設をめぐって学園理事長と首相が面会していた旨の記載が、愛媛県の文書に残っていた。
 本当ならば、これまでの首相の答弁は根底から崩れる。
 すると突然、学園の事務局長が「私が県に誤った情報を伝えた」と言い出した。
 面会がないとしたら、前後の事実のつじつまが合わなくなるのに、お構いなしである。

 ジョージ・オーウェルの小説「一九八四年」の世界では、歴史は常に支配者の都合で書き換えられる。
 反抗した主人公は捕らえられ、「党」があらゆる記録や、個人の記憶まで管理するのだとたたき込まれる。

 首相の周辺で起きていることは、この約70年前に書かれた逆ユートピア小説に重なる。

■ 手遅れになる前に

 黒を白と言いくるめる。
 国会を愚弄(ぐろう)し、反対意見にまじめに向きあわない。
 権利や自由を縛る法律を力ずくで制定し、憲法を軽んじる。
 そんなことを続けても内閣支持率は底堅い。

 不満はあるが、経済はそこそこうまく回っているようだし、何よりとって代わる適任者が思い浮かばない。
 モリカケ問題が日々の生活に直接悪い影響を及ぼしているわけでもない。
 そんなところが理由だろうか。

 だが民主主義は、適正な手続きと真摯(しんし)な議論の交換があってはじめて成立する。
 その土台がいま、むしばまれつつある。

 危機の兆候を見逃したり、大したことにはなるまいと思ったりしているうちに、抜き差しならぬ事態に立ち至る。
 歴史が警告するところだ。

 そうさせないために何をすればいいか。
 政治への関心を失わず、様々なルートや機会を通じて、社会とかかわり続ける。
 あきらめずに行動し、多様な価値観が並び立つ世界を維持する。
 それらを積み重ねることが、くらしを守る盾になるだろう。

 なんだか息苦しい。
 そう感じたときには、もう空気が切れかかっているかもしれないのだ。


朝日新聞(社説)、2018年7月29日05時00分
わたしたちの現在地 深まる危機に目を凝らす
https://www.asahi.com/articles/DA3S13611561.html

 長期政権の驕りと緩みが、「平成最悪」大水害の被害を拡大させた。

「気象庁が事前にあれだけ警告を発していたのですから、危機管理の責任者として安倍(晋三)首相が会見し、『危険ですから避難してください』と、早めに注意喚起を行うことはできました。最初から首相が真剣に取り組んでいれば、救えた命があったはずです」(政治アナリスト・伊藤惇夫氏)

 西日本が未曽有の大雨に襲われていた7月5日夜、議員宿舎で開かれた「赤坂自民亭」なる酒宴に、安倍首相ら政権幹部が参加していた件が大炎上している。

「数十年に一度レベルの大災害」を前に、首相は小野寺五典防衛相や西村康稔官房副長官、岸田文雄党政調会長らとともに、銘酒「獺祭」や「賀茂鶴」を痛飲して盛り上がっていた。出席者の中には、翌6日のオウム真理教事件の主犯格7人の死刑執行命令を下した上川陽子法相もいた。

「この『自民亭』の酒盛りをSNSに上げたことが危機管理意識ゼロを象徴しており、初動対応が遅れた事実は否めません。気象庁が大雨警報を発したのが5日で、7日には岡山県倉敷市真備町で川が氾濫して町が呑みこまれていたというのに、政府の非常災害対策本部ができたのは8日のこと。すべてが、後手後手に回ったと言えます」(政治ジャーナリスト・鈴木哲夫氏)

 常識で考えれば、非常時に政権幹部が集合して赤ら顔でワイワイ騒いでいたなど正気の沙汰ではない。一発で政権が吹っ飛んでもおかしくないほどの醜態だが、これほどの致命的な判断ミスを、なぜ首相は犯したのか。

「安倍首相はいま、9月の自民党総裁選のことしか頭にない」と話すのは、自民党ベテラン議員の一人だ。

「そもそも国会の会期を1ヵ月延長したのも、総裁選で対抗馬が多数派工作する時間を削るための伝統的な戦術です。今回『赤坂自民亭』に首相が参加したのは初めてでしたが、これも派閥として安倍支持を明確にしていない竹下派の竹下亘総務会長と会い、そのハラを確認する必要があったから。そんな『とにかく三選が最優先』という意識が、続けざまの判断ミスを招いている」

 実は国会の会期を延長した時点で、もともと体調に不安がある安倍首相の体力は限界に達していたという。それを総裁選のため、無理をして「自民亭」に行った結果、猛批判を招いて自分も被災地に行かざるを得なくなった。すると今度は、身体を痛めてしまう。「ヘリに乗る際に股を痛めた」として、首相は7月15日の広島訪問を延期したのである。

「表向き、股関節周囲炎と言われていますが、実際には脱腸の一種である鼠径ヘルニアのようです。疲労が溜まっているところに、猛暑の中、過密スケジュールで予定外の被災地視察をせざるを得なくなり、症状が悪化したといいます。

 飛び出した腸を押さえるため、下腹部を押さえて耐えていたので、一時は歩くのも困難になってしまった。手術で処置可能なものですが、病名をあえて伏せたのも総裁選対策ですよ。股関節の炎症なら『ケガ』で済みますが、『病気』となれば様々な憶測を呼んで総裁選に悪影響が出る。事実、一部では『本当は大腸ガンではないのか』などと疑いの声が上がっていたくらいですから」(自民党幹部)

 処置が終わったのか、安倍首相は7月21日に今度こそ広島を訪問する意向を示したが、あまりにも遅きに失した感は否めない。政権延命を最優先して責任を果たさなかった首相を、自宅や家族を失った被災者たちは許すのだろうか。

「首相はなすべきことをなしていないのに、『万全を期した』と強弁している。万全を期していたなら、これほどの被害を出さずに済んだかもしれません。首相が今さら被災地に行けば、そのために、ただでさえ足りないマンパワーが割かれ、ますます対策が後手になってしまう。あまりに遅い安倍政権の動きが、犠牲者を増やしたと言えます」(前出・伊藤氏)

 この国を安倍首相に任せ続けていいのか、有権者はもう一度考える必要がある。


Friday、7/28(土) 7:02配信
気力も体力も限界か?
安倍晋三首相が判断ミスを連発している
https://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/article?a=20180728-00010002-friday-pol

posted by fom_club at 12:26| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

翁長雄志沖縄県知事、辺野古埋め立て承認撤回

 全国知事会が日米地位協定の抜本改定を含む「米軍基地負担に関する提言」を全会一致で採択した。
 全国知事会が日米地位協定の改定を提言するのは初めてだ。
 画期的な動きであり、採択を機に地位協定改定の実現につなげたい。


 提言がまとめられたのは、2016年7月に翁長雄志知事の要望で設置した「全国知事会米軍基地負担に関する研究会」が出発点だ。研究会は12人の知事で構成し、2年間で6回の会合を開催した。
 日米地位協定を専門とする研究者から意見聴取したほか、外務省日米地位協定室長から政府の立場を聞き、イタリアとドイツの地位協定について現地調査した沖縄県からも意見を聞いた。
 こうした調査研究を進めた目的について、知事会は「在日米軍基地に係る基地負担の状況を基地などの所在の有無にかかわらず広く理解し、都道府県の共通理解を深めること」を挙げている。極めて妥当性がある。
 琉球新報が研究会設置前の16年6月に実施した沖縄以外の46都道府県知事へのアンケートでは、在沖海兵隊について「受け入れる」と答えた知事はゼロだった。45都道府県知事は「外交・防衛は国の専権事項」だとして回答すらしなかった。沖縄の基地問題が全国的な議論になっていないことを如実に示していた。
 ところが今回の提言は全会一致で採択された。提言では研究会によって「現状や改善すべき課題を確認できた」として「米軍基地は防衛に関する事項であることは十分認識しつつも、各自治体の生活に直結する重要な問題であることから、国民の理解が必要だ」との認識を示し、日米地位協定の抜本的な改定などを求めた。
 これまで米軍基地を抱える15都道府県でつくる「渉外知事会」が日米地位協定の改定を求めてきた。全国知事会は基地のない府県が多数含まれている。その知事会で今回の提言がまとめられたことは、2年間で米軍基地負担についての共通認識が格段に深まったことを意味する。研究会の取り組みを高く評価したい。
 日米地位協定は1960年に締結されてから、一度も改定されたことがない。日本政府が改定交渉を提起したこともない。あまりにもいびつではないか。
 そのことで米軍関係者の事件・事故の中には刑事責任を問うことができず、住民が危険を訴える訓練も止めることができない。基地内で環境汚染が発覚しても、米軍に立ち入りを拒否される。日米地位協定が住民生活を脅かしている元凶となっている。
 米軍が駐留しているドイツやイタリアでは、受け入れ国が基地の管理権を確保したり、自国の法律を米軍に適用したりしている。日米地位協定はあまりにも不平等だ。日本政府は全国知事の総意を重く受け止め、抜本的な改定に本腰を入れる必要がある。


琉球新報<社説>、2018年7月29日 06:01
地位協定改定を要求
全知事の総意受け止めよ

https://ryukyushimpo.jp/editorial/entry-770945.html

 はいさいぐすーよー、ちゅうがなびら。

 発表事項に入ります前に辺野古米軍基地建設のための埋め立ての賛否を問う県民投票条例の署名活動が7月23日に終了し、主催者によると中間集計で必要署名数約2万3千筆を大きく上回る約7万7千筆もの署名が集まったとのことであります。

 署名活動に取り組まれた皆様のご努力に心から敬意を表するとともに、政府におきましてもこれほど多く県民が署名を行った重みについてしっかりと向き合ってもらいたいと思います。

 東アジアにおきましては南北首脳会談、あるいはまた米朝首脳会談のあとも、今月上旬には米国務長官が訪朝をし、24日にはトランプ大統領が北朝鮮のミサイル施設解体を歓迎するコメントを発するなど朝鮮半島の非核化と緊張緩和に向けた米朝の努力は続けられています。

 このような中、20年以上も前に決定された辺野古新基地建設を見直すこともなく強引に押し進めようとする政府の姿勢は、到底容認できるものではありません。

 私としては平和を求める大きな流れからも取り残されているのではないかと危惧していることを申し上げた上で発表事項に入らせていただきます。

**。。。**。。。

 今、長々と話しをしたので、若干重なるものがあると思いますが、撤回というと、まず裁判に勝たないといけない。

 本会議でも話しをしたので問題ないと思いますが、今の日本の米に対しての従属は、日本国憲法の上に日米地位協定があって、国会の上に日米合同委員会がある。
 この2つの状況の中で日本はアメリカに対して何も言えない状況がある。


 これはもし違うなら反論しながら『そうじゃないよ。ちゃんと憲法が日米地位協定抑えているよ、国会も日米合同委員会から報告させているよ』と日本の最高権力がそうやっているならいいが、F15から何から飛んでいくのをみんな日米合同委員会で決められて、何も問題がないということで国会でも議論にならない。

 こういう中で撤回ができないときにどうなるんだと、効力を発しないときどうなるんだと、なりますが、それこそ米韓合同軍事演習がストップしたこと、トランプさんが金正恩と会ったこと、アジアが大きく変わりつつあること、アジアは経済ということから世界の中で一番発展していますから、アジアは中国とも米国とも安保条約結んでいるところはベトナムでもタイでもどこもありませんのでね、距離を測りながら国際外交をやっている。

 日本だけが寄り添うようにして米国とやっている。
 それに関して司法も行政もなかなか日本国民、今の現状から言うと厳しいものがあるかもしれませんが、そういう動きは必ず日本を揺り動かす、今の日本の動きではアジアから閉め出されるのではないかというものを感じている。
 その辺のところは撤回以外にも何か変わる要素がありますか、というところにも入ってくると思いますね。


琉球新報、2018年7月27日 18:12
翁長雄志沖縄県知事の承認撤回表明記者会見の全文
(記者との質疑応答含む)

https://ryukyushimpo.jp/news/entry-769882.html

 ついに、きのう7月27日、翁長雄志沖縄県知事が辺野古埋め立て承認撤回という「切り札」を切った。

 これは翁長知事にとって「最後の切り札」であるかもしれないが、同時に最強の切り札でもある。

 翁長知事が承認撤回の理由にあげた中に「埋め立て海域に軟弱な地盤がある可能性が指摘されているのに、国が沖縄県との協議に応じない」ことがある。
 これこそが、撤回理由の最大の理由なのだ。
 辺野古沖を埋め立てて、人工的に飛行場を造ることができない最大の障害なのだ。
 そこには政治的要素の入り込む余地はない。
 科学的に検証すれば、客観的な答えが出るはずだ。
 米国の専門家を入れて第三者機関に調査させればいいのだ。
 そうすれば辺野古工事は不適格となるだろう。
 米国政府も、米国世論の前に、専門家の科学的意見を無視して強行できなくなる。
 米国政府が見直すと言い出せば、それで決まりだ。
 そのことをきょう7月28日の朝日新聞が社説で次のように詳しく説明してくれている。

 「・・・今回、県に『撤回』を決断させた最大の要因は、今月初めに沖縄防衛局が県側に部分開示した地質調査報告書の内容だ。埋め立て用の護岸を造成する沖合の一部が、砂や粘土でできていて、想定とは大きく異なる軟弱地盤であることを示すデータが多数並んでいた」と。

 「地盤工学の専門家によると、難工事となった東京・羽田空港の拡張現場の様子に似ていて、『マヨネーズくらい』の軟らかな土壌が、深さ40メートルにわたって重なっている。政府が届けている設計や工法では建設は不可能で、その変更、そして費用の高騰は避けられない」と。

 「驚くのは、報告書は2年前の3月に完成していたのに、政府は明らかにせず、県民や県の情報公開請求を受けてようやく開示したことだ」と。

 とんでもない話である。
 さらに言えば海流の速さというのもあるらしい。
 羽田だけではなく関西空港も同じ問題があり、今でも地盤が沈下し続けているという。
 これでは、いくら工事を進めようとしても、その後からすぐに埋め立てが流れ、崩れていくのではないか。
 素人でも容易に想像できる。

 菅官房長官は27日の記者会見で、例によって「移設に向けた工事を進めていくという考え方に何ら変わりはない」と強硬姿勢を崩していないが、技術的に難しい工事をどうして強行できるのか、そう追い詰められたら、たちどころに行き詰まるだろう。
 政治的な理由でいくら反対しても、安倍・菅暴政コンビは1強に任せてごり押しする。
 しかし、技術的、専門的に無理なものは、いくら安倍・菅暴政コンビでもごり押しできないのだ。
 ごり押しすれば、そのつけは何倍にもなって返って来るだろう。
 今度の翁長知事の承認撤回表明は、最後の、しかし、最強の、辺野古阻止の切り札である。


天木直人のブログ、2018-07-28
「軟弱地盤の辺野古沖」こそ辺野古阻止の最強の決め手だ
http://kenpo9.com/archives/4030

posted by fom_club at 12:16| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

心頭滅却すれば火もまた涼し

 いきなり私事で恐縮だが、地元の千葉県流山市で16年ほど、ボランティアで少年サッカーのコーチをしている。今年から、毎週末の練習を15時〜18時に変更した。これまでの13時〜17時は「危険」と判断したからだ。

現場感覚で「これは危ない」

 帽子を被る。10分に1回は飲水・休憩タイムを入れるなど、暑さ対策はこれまでもしてきたが、今年の暑さは尋常ではない。練習中に必ず何人か、気分が悪くなる子供がいる。現場感覚で「これは危ない」と思った。15時を過ぎると日が傾いてグランドの隅っこに木陰ができる。前半はそこで基礎練習。グランド全面を使うのは気温が下がる16時以降だ。

 ちなみに7月15日に開催された流山市の少年サッカー市内大会は正午の段階でグランドの気温が35度を超えたため、準決勝が終わった段階で中断した。決勝戦は秋以降に延期である。日本サッカー協会から「グランドレベルで気温が35度を超えたら練習・試合は中止」と通達が出ている。

「草サッカーのコーチ風情が」と言われることを覚悟の上で、提言する。

「夏の甲子園」は中止すべきだ。

 マウンドの体感温度は40度を超えるだろう。アルプススタンドの気温も尋常ではない。太陽が真上から照りつける時間に、2時間以上も運動や応援をさせるのが「教育」なのだろうか。いつ犠牲者が出てもおかしくない。

気象庁が「災害」と認定した炎天下の中で

 そもそも「甲子園」にたどり着く段階で、選手のコンディションはボロボロである。千葉県(東千葉)の大会は7月11日に始まり、25日が決勝戦である。ノンシードから優勝するには7試合、シード校でも6試合を戦わなくてはならない。100周年の記念大会に当たる今年は千葉県から2校出場できるが、通常はこれより1試合多い。投手は2週間で最大8試合、つまり中2日より短い間隔で連投することになる。

 体が出来上がったプロ野球ですら、先発投手の登板間隔は通常、中6日である。激しい投球モーションを繰り返す投手の肩や腕の毛細血管は1試合でズタズタに切れ、修復に3日以上かかるからだ。そういう科学的な根拠があるにも関わらず、発育途中の高校生には中2日で投げさせるのはおかしい。

 地区予選で体を酷使してきた選手たちが、1年の一番暑い時期、今年に限っていえば気象庁が「災害」と認定した炎天下の中で、戦うのである。いつ、何が起きてもおかしくない危険な状況だ。

アメリカの高校野球では44州が投球制限を導入

 大谷翔平選手が活躍する米メジャーリーグの各チームが投球数を厳しく制限していることはよく知られているが、昨年からは高校でも50州のうち44州が投球制限を導入した。例えば、米ミシガン州では投手が試合で投げられる球数は1日105球まで。さらに

 76球以上投げた投手は3日間休む。

 51球以上投げた投手は2日間休む。

 26球以上投げた投手は1日休む。

 つまり連投できるのは、前日の投球数が25球以下だった投手だけだ。子どもがプレーするリトルリーグベースボールでは、10年前の2007年から投球数制限と休養規則を設けている。14歳以下は66球投げると4日間の休養、15〜16歳は76球投げると4日間の休養が義務付けられている。

 全ては「子供ファースト」である。学校、地元、団体、企業など高校野球に関わるステークホルダーの利益や名誉より、「子供の体を守る」ことが優先されるのは当たり前だ。子供が熱中症で倒れたり、将来、プレーを続けられなくなるような怪我をしたりするリスクを知っていながら、慣例や伝統にしがみつくのは愚かな行為と言わざるを得ない。

 ローマ時代の剣闘士でもあるまいし、高校生に真夏の炎天下で野球をさせて、大人がクーラーの効いた喫茶店でアイスコーヒーを飲みながら「爽やかでいいねえ」と観戦する様は異様である。世界的に見れば、一発勝負のトーナメントで高校スポーツの全国大会を開くということ自体が異例であり、野球の盛んなアメリカでも、大会は州単位までだ。

誰のための甲子園なのか

 百歩譲って高校野球をどうしても観たいというのなら、開催は春と秋。学校を休めないなら、2ヶ月かけて毎週末に試合をすれば良い。毎週、甲子園までくるのが大変なら北海道、東北、関東、中部、関西、中国、四国、九州・沖縄のブロックでチャンピオンを決め、地区チャンピオンが甲子園で戦うというのはどうだろう。

 47都道府県の代表が一堂に会する今のスタイルに固執するなら、会場をドーム球場にする。「聖地・甲子園は譲れない」というのなら、せめて第1試合は朝6時プレーボール、第2試合は午後4時、第3試合は午後7時からのナイトゲームにすべきだ。熱中症のリスクを回避する手はいくらでもある。

 そんな簡単なこともせず、給水タイムや延長戦の決着を早めるタイブレーク制の導入といった小手先の対応で「暑さ対策はちゃんとやりました」というのは、主催者の怠慢である。「夏の甲子園」はNHKや朝日新聞や高校野球連盟にとって巨大な利権だが、そんなものより選手の安全が優先されるのは当たり前だ。

 この際、暑さ対策をきっかけに、誰のための甲子園なのかをもう一度よく考えてみるのも一案である。

 欧州サッカーでは育成を重視するため、ジュニア、ユース世代にトーナメントの大会はほとんどない。各世代、子供のレベルに応じたリーグを作り、同レベルのチームで勝ったり負けたりを繰り返して技術を高める。指導者には「結果」より「育成」が求められるので、日大アメフト部の危険タックルのような馬鹿げたことは起きにくい。

「育成」よりも「結果」を優先しがち

 高校野球にしても高校サッカーにしても、子供に一発勝負のトーナメントを戦わせるのは酷である。全国大会に出場することが使命である強豪校の指導者は、「育成」よりも「結果」を優先しがちだ。その空気は子供達にも伝わり、肩や足が多少痛くてもチームのために無理をする。

 そもそも強豪校ではレギュラーの座を確保するのが大変だから、少しくらいの怪我で「痛い」と言えば、ほかの選手にポジションを取られてしまう。そういう殺伐とした環境に子供達を置くことがいいのかどうか。「負けたら終わり」のトーナメントはスリリングで、興行としては盛り上げやすい。だが、やっている方の重圧は計り知れない。

 アマチュア・スポーツの目的は、プレーヤー本人が楽しむことである。プレーヤーが危険を冒し、それを観客が楽しむのはプロの世界だ。そのプロでさえ、選手というチームの財産を守るため、健康管理には十分に配慮する。高校野球のチームがプロの下部組織だったら、若手投手に炎天下で何連投もさせる指導者はクビである。無理をさせて若手を潰してしまったのでは元も子もない。

 現実を考えれば、高校球児の99%以上はプロになれない。こうした選手にとっては、仕事を持ってからも趣味として野球を続けられることが幸せなのであり、高校の段階で「ここで壊れてもいい」という精神状態にまで追い込むのは、間違いである。

「現実の社会はもっと厳しい」と大人は言うかもしれない。だが怪我を押してまでチームへの貢献を求める滅私の思想は、「粉飾して利益を出せ」「文書を改ざんして省益を守れ」という日本社会の悪弊に通じている気がしてならない。

「心頭滅却すれば火もまた涼し」の精神主義

 日本の半導体産業の礎を築いた元シャープ副社長の佐々木正氏は、終戦直後、連合国軍最高司令官総司令部(GHQ)の命令で、真空管の製造技術を学ぶため米ウエスタン・エレクトリックの工場を訪れた。すると派手な化粧をした女子工員たちがガムを噛み、ペチャクチャとおしゃべりしながら真空管を組み立てていた。佐々木氏は戦時中、自分が責任者だった神戸工業(現デンソー)の工場で働いていた女学生たちの真剣な姿を思い出し「こんなだらしない国に日本は負けたのか」と歯噛みした。

 しばらく作業を見ていると、おしゃべりをしていた女子工員がボルトを一つ取り落とした。

(そらみたことか。真剣にやらんからだ)

 佐々木氏は腹のなかでそう思った。しかし、次に見た光景に驚愕した。女子工員が落としたボルトはコロコロと床を転がって、生産ラインの振り出しのボルト入れの箱に戻ったのだ。女子工員は落としたボルトを拾おうとせず、相変わらずおしゃべりをしながら作業を続けているが、組み立てラインのスピードが落ちることはない。

(これに負けたのか!)

「誰しも失敗はする」という前提で効率を上げる合理主義と、不可能を気合いで乗り切ろうとする精神主義。我々は先の戦争でその違いをまざまざと見せつけられたはずなのに、真夏の甲子園では亡霊のように「心頭滅却すれば火もまた涼し」の精神主義が顔を出す。

 選手と観客の安全を守り、悪しき精神主義から脱却するため、この際「夏の甲子園」をすっぱりやめるのも一案だと思うのだが、いかがだろう。

[photo-1] アルプススタンドも炎天下に

[photo-2] 昨年は、花咲徳栄が埼玉県勢初の優勝を飾った。筋書きのないドラマは魅力的だが、なによりも優先すべきは選手の安全だ

[photo-3] ドームやナイター開催も選択肢だ

[photo-4]「聖地」を守るならば、リスクを回避するための仕組みづくりが不可欠だ

文春オンライン、29 Jul 2018
「夏の甲子園」強行で思い出す、亡霊のような日本企業の“精神主義”

経済ジャーナリストからの提言

大西 康之
http://bunshun.jp/articles/-/8310

posted by fom_club at 11:57| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2018年07月28日

When Alzheimer’s Makes Room for Love

I am scratching my mother’s head.

Her hair is quite thin now and I no longer bother to make an appointment in the nursing home’s “salon” for a cut.

It is just another trauma to her, as is taking a shower.

When the aides give her a shower I can hear her screaming all the way down the hall, shrieking like a feral cat.

I am scratching the head of the woman who more than once told me she would cut off my arm and beat me with the bloody stump when, as a child, I angered her about something.

Now she leans back into my hand like the cat she has become, almost purring, after the horror of the shower and the indignity of being dressed and put into her wheelchair for the day. Most days she just gets a sponge bath which elicits protests, often biting, and always my mother finding the most tender spot on a caregiver’s upper arm and pinching it hard.

At lunch I pull apart small pieces of a peanut butter sandwich and my mother lets me feed it to her. With her terrible teeth, which used to be gorgeous and white, she rolls the tiny morsel of food around in her mouth until it seems to be gone. Sometimes when I offer another bite she shakes her head. Sometimes she opens her mouth. Then we have cake. She likes cake.

Later I stroke the inside of her arm, the smooth, soft part that seems to be connected directly to the brain. She closes her eyes and I sit in a chair next to her wheelchair whose wheels I have locked down so she cannot roll away, and I stroke her arm. Once upon a time when things were good, which they sometimes were, I would sit down next to my mother and hold out my arm, inside part up, and she would almost unconsciously stroke it. She did this when I had my first panic attack at 15. Now, when I am anxious on an airplane or cannot sleep, my husband tickles me gently there and my breathing slows, my heart quiets.

I am stroking the arm of the woman who yelled at me in the streets of Boston that no one should have a daughter as awful as me. Rubbing and scratching the head of the woman who looked at one of my short stories and said, matter-of-factly, “You might have to admit that this is as good as you will ever get.” I was 22.

Every four months I fly a thousand miles to visit my mother in the nursing home. I sit with her for hours each day for nearly a week and then I fly back home. These visits are tortuous but necessary. Because in the past dozen years my love for her has escalated with each visit, as the woman she once was has de-escalated.

At each de-escalation, my family and I have prepared for the end. But her body, tiny and frail as it is, is stronger than any of us.

I should have known that ultimately her strength would be both a blessing and a curse. This final de-escalation, this profound helplessness, this agony of watching the endless end, is what helps me finally really, unconditionally, love her.

I sit for hours with my mother, mostly in silence, in a cocoon amid the noise of the television, nurses, aides, elevator; the hustling and bustling. It takes a half-hour to get all the residents to the dining room, a good hour for them to eat. That takes up part of the time I visit. I am glad of it. I tell her I love her several times a day. She doesn’t really look at me. She has no idea who I am and hasn’t since the illness and trauma that made the move from the lockdown Alzheimer’s unit at her assisted care facility to this nursing home necessary. This is not just a nursing home, it is the homestretch. It’s an endless loop of instant replay.

I sit with the woman who told me that if I thought she wasn’t a good mother she would kill herself. The woman who threatened her own death so many many times, but when diagnosed with a long, tortuous death gave into the disease with a weary shrug, as though she had no choice.

A dozen years ago had I been told I would be scratching the head of, tickling the arm of, sitting with, holding and loving my mother like this, I would have laughed. I avoided contact with her then as much as I could. I refused to see her deterioration, assumed it was the alcohol, the bipolar disorder, the sheer self-absorption she threw across her shoulders like a shawl that was responsible for incoherent late night calls, a refrigerator without food, her refusal to leave the house for fear she would get lost. I didn’t want to know. I didn’t want to imagine. Even when I knew, I didn’t want to know.

After her shower when I sat reading in her room, she slept for the entire rest of the day, refusing to open her eyes even when put in her wheelchair, even when wheeled to lunch. She drank her Ensure like a blind woman. And then she slept. The pain and horror of the shower had worn her out. But she felt my hands on her. In her hair, on the tender part of her arm.

I sat with a woman who nearly destroyed me. Who told her therapist for 30 years that her children were essentially evil and patently ungrateful.

On the last day of my most recent visit, I tell my mother, “I have to leave now, but I will see you soon.” I talk to her as I do my cat, as though she understands. She opens her eyes and there is a sudden look of panic in them and she says: “Please don’t.”

I am so stunned by her words, by words at all, that I tell her I will stay awhile longer and I do, sitting silently beside her.

I hold her hand. She grips mine hard.

I sit for another half-hour and then I lean in and kiss her forehead and I tell her, as I have countless dozen times before, “I love you, Mom.”

And this time, this time, the woman who hasn’t spoken a sentence that makes any sense in almost two years, looks me straight in the eye and says: “I love you, too.”

The New York Times, Published: March 2, 2018
When Alzheimer’s Makes Room for Love
By Lisa Solod
Lisa Solod is a writer and editor of the essay collection “Desire: Women Write About Wanting.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/02/well/family/when-alzheimers-makes-room-for-love.html

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Malaysia Coffee Fest

THE aromatic scent of coffee, with its floral and nutty notes, wafts through the bustling atrium of 
1 Utama Shopping Centre in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Its irresistible fragrance lures coffee enthusiasts like bee to honey to the many booths that are spread out around the 929 square metres of event floor space. Skilled baristas tempt those who pass with a free cup of java, much to their delight. And if you happen to like what you taste, you can easily purchase a pack to bring home.

This is the second year running for the Malaysia Coffee Fest, organised by CEMS Conference & Exhibition (Malaysia), the very same people behind the popular Cafe Asia exhibition that caters strictly to businesses and those in the caffeine industry.

“I believe that people, especially consumers, are more aware of what constitutes quality coffee and they appreciate higher quality products more nowadays. Many also seem to be slowly shunning the 3-in-1 soluble coffee and are going for specialty coffee beans instead,” shares Steven Tan, general manager of CEMS Conference & Exhibition when I finally get the chance to corner him for some insights.

In addition, he explains that consumers now have higher purchasing power and are more inclined to spend it on specialty and exotic coffee beans. “So, to have them interact directly with the coffee roasters and exhibitors I hope will somewhat help elevate the coffee industry in this country,” he says.

CAPTURING THE AUDIENCE

The consumer-based coffee event featured 96 coffee brands. Besides showcasing the best coffee in the country from established and up-and-coming roasters and cafes, in addition to a handful of tea brands, coffee fans were also treated to a rare showcase of creativity and skill in a cup from the Malaysia Open Latte Art Championship 2018 and the Malaysia Open Barista Championship 2018.

The inaugural Roastedly Open Drip Bag Coffee Championship saw the winner, Hong Kok Yin, walking away with RM15,000 in cash.

Adding to the excitement were educational talks and workshops conducted by respected experts in the field from around the country. Coffee enthusiasts got the opportunity to learn more about how to select the best beans, discern the difference between fresh and stale coffee, discover the origins of beans, how they differ in taste and more.

UNDERSTANDING MY JAVA

It’s only a Thursday afternoon but that hasn’t deterred both the young and old to mill around the event floor. No one seems to be in any hurry to do any shopping or make their way back to work.

The sound of coffee machines whirring is like music to my ears. My senses guided by the heady scents emanating from the various javas, I wade my way through the throng and towards a booth in the corner.

It’s then that I chance upon an assortment of machines lined on a table in front of me that certainly wouldn’t look out of place in a science lab.

The smiling owner, Yip Leong Sum, greets me before ushering me into her humble little space. I duly discover that she’s the master roaster and founder of Bean Depot cafe and coffee roaster, as well as the president of the Malaysia Specialty Coffee Association.

Being the president, she has the important role of being the host of this year’s Malaysia Coffee Fest. She’s here to play educator and advisor on all things coffee related for beginners.

“I’ve been dabbling in coffee since 2009 and have done a lot of research and self-learning so that I can serve up the best brew and roast the best quality beans,” confides the affable Yip adds: “And honestly, there’s still much to learn. But I’m more than happy to share what I know. I’ll do whatever it takes to elevate the public’s knowledge and hopefully, this will help deepen their appreciation of quality coffee.”

Formerly a human resource executive, the Ipoh-born Yip continues: “What I teach isn’t complicated. As long as my students understand how good quality coffee should taste like, how it should 
be brewed and how it should be indulged, I’m happy because that’s half the battle won.”

Besides that, she wants to cultivate a sense of greater respect for the barista profession. “I want to break this stereotype of baristas. People think that this profession only befits school dropouts. We need to change this image and make the occupation on par with other professional jobs such as bankers and lawyers,” adds Yip, her expression earnest.

Her voice low, she shares: “I’ve seen the light shining in some baristas’ eyes when they make that perfect cup of latte or cappuccino. So, why is it that they cannot be proud of what they do?”

Before taking my leave to check on the other booths, Yip leaves me with something to ponder. “At the end of the day, when you need advice about finance you head to a bank. So, when you need advice about coffee, you have to go to a cafe. And I always believe the person standing behind the bar is a professional in his or her own right, and they should be accorded the same kind of respect as you would other professionals. It’s only right, no?” concludes Yip, with a small smile.

WHAT’S BREWING?

“We started this coffee roaster and academy since 2007 in Penang and we have personally trained a number of award-winning baristas.

“When we first started in the specialty coffee industry, it was rather tough for nobody really cared about the quality of coffee or the skills needed to make a good cup of joe. It has only been recently that we’ve been seeing a shift in perception.

“The third wave of coffee culture saw a rise in specialty cafes – a positive growth for the industry. However, it’s rumoured that the next fourth wave of coffee culture will see a rise in home baristas, where consumers are bringing quality beans and coffee back to the home. Even as the wind changes, I’m certain that it will not dent the café or old-styled kopitiam business in the country. I believe this will drive the industry further as well as expand its reach.”

“We import a variety of coffee beans directly from the origins and we have more than 20 different offerings. Being in the industry for more than eight years has given us the chance to conduct thorough research and produce innovative coffee offerings.

“Our precious blends of coffee can be bought in either bean form, grinded bean form or even in the latest invention – drip bag form. We’re also the only one in the country so far to provide personalised blends service that can be taken home with no extra fees imposed.

“The drip bag style is the latest trend in the industry. It’s the most convenient method for procuring the best java at home.

“Made popular in Japan and Taiwan, the drip bags are akin to a hybrid of our old-style kopi uncang (coffee pouch) with specialty coffee grinds. It’s a more sophisticated way of appreciating quality coffee in your home.”

“We only sell coffee drip bags that are specially packed and ready for consumption by just pouring hot water through the coffee grinds.

“Essentially, we’re the company bridging the gap between coffee roasters and consumers. In each of our boxes there are five different coffee origins that coffee lovers can try. And if you like a specific taste, you can easily scan the QR code on the packet and instantly order it online. Your purchases will arrive at your doorstep in no time!

“These drip bags are an easy-to-go option and it does help elevate the old-style uncang. That said I’m very sure that our business will not cut out the cafes that are still mushrooming in the region.

“Bringing home a drip bag coffee and having your coffee made by a professional is still very different in terms of experience and taste. However, I’m certain that this new innovation will one day outsell or overtake the instant coffee market as consumers become more informed and appreciative of coffee quality and taste.”

[photo-1] Crowd tantalised by the options available at the second Malaysia Coffee Fest at One Utama Shopping Centre.

[photo-2] General Manager of CEMS, Steven Tan hopes that the event will help elevate the coffee industry in the country and region.

[photo-3] Yip Leong Sum is a master roaster, coffee barista and all-round educator in the knowledge of coffee.

[photo-4] Various beans from around the world on display, together with an assortment of filtering apparutus.

[photo-5] The latest trend in coffee, the drip bag, that combines our old-style uncang with specialty coffee grinds.

[photo-6] Victor Leong, Managing Director of Lighthouse Coffee, Penang

[photo-7] Yong Kok Thong, Founder of Brew N Bread, Kota Kemuning, Selangor

[photo-8] Welson Ang, Roastedly, Singapore

New Straits Times, Published: July 28, 2018 - 2:10pm
Much ado about coffee
By Sulyn Chong
https://www.nst.com.my/lifestyle/pulse/2018/07/395382/much-ado-about-coffee

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The Group of 77 (G77) −the largest single coalition of developing countries at the United Nations–

UNITED NATIONS, Jul 24 2018 (IPS) - The Group of 77 (G77) − the largest single coalition of developing countries at the United Nations– is to be chaired by Palestine, come January.

“It’s a historical first, both for Palestine and the G77,” an Asian diplomat told IPS, pointing out that Palestine will be politically empowered to collectively represent 134 UN member states, including China.

Created in June 1964, the 54-year-old Group comprises over 80 per cent of the world’s population and approximately two-thirds of the United Nations membership

Traditionally, the G77 speaks with a single voice before the 193-member General Assembly, the highest policy making body at the UN, and also at all UN committee meetings and at international conferences.

Under a system of geographical rotation, it was Asia’s turn to name a chairman for 2019. The Asian Group has unanimously endorsed Palestine, which will be formally elected chair at the annual G77 ministerial meeting, scheduled to take place in mid-September.

Palestine will take over from the current chair, Egypt, which is representing the African Group of countries.

The chairmanship is a tremendous political boost for Palestine at a time when it is being increasingly blacklisted by the Trump administration which is kowtowing to the Israelis.

Although it is not a full-fledged UN member state, Palestine is recognized by 136 UN members, and since 2012, has the status of a “non-member observer state” –as is the Holy See (the Vatican).

Nadia Hijab, President, Al-Shabaka Board of Directors, told IPS: “At a time when Israel is moving on all fronts to wipe Palestine definitively off the map through relentless colonization – and to muscle in on UN committees despite its flagrant violations of international law − it is a source of solace to see Palestine slated for a very visible role at the UN.”

However, comforting as this may be, she pointed out, it will take a lot more than this to make “Palestine” a reality on the ground.

Sadly, the Ramallah-based Palestinian leadership has been unwilling or unable to end security coordination with Israel and to heal internal divisions. Instead, she said, it is cracking down on peaceful Palestinian protests.

”It is also reshaping the Palestine Liberation Organization, which has always been recognized as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, in a way that excludes alternative and opposing views,” Hijab declared.

Martin Khor, Advisor to the Malaysia-based Third World Network, told IPS: “I think it will be a historic and a significant development-first for the G77 countries to elect Palestine as its chair, and thereby affirm their confidence in its leadership.”

The election will also prove that the State of Palestine itself has decided it can mobilise its human and material resources to take on the complex task of coordinating the largest grouping in the UN system– even though it has to fight its own very challenging battles of survival and independence, said Khor, the former executive director of the Geneva-based South Centre.

“Both Palestine and the G77 deserve the support of people around the world to wish them success in voicing and defending the interests of developing countries in these very difficult times when international cooperation and multilateralism are coming under attack,” he said.

Last week, the Trump administration refused to grant visas to a six-member Palestinian delegation that was expected to participate at the UN’s High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development which took place July 16-18.

This was clearly in violation of the 1947 US-UN Headquarters Agreement which calls on the US, among other obligations, to facilitate delegates participating at UN meetings.

Asked about the visa refusal, UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq told reporters last week: “Well, certainly, we’re aware of this latest incident, but as far as I’m aware, there is a Host Country Committee that deals with disputes involving access to the United Nations and any problems dealing with the host country on that.”

”As of now, the Host Country Committee has not been approached or formally informed of this, so they haven’t acted on this. But it’s normally their role to deal with this situation. Of course, we would hope that all of those who are here to attend UN meetings would have the ability to do so,” he added.

Samir Sanbar, a former UN Assistant Secretary-General who headed the Department of Public Information (DPI), told IPS chairing the G-77 will be an unprecedented role for Palestine. He said leading that large, varied yet collaborative group will require tactful handling by all sides at a time when the rightful Palestinian cause needs every support as the region−and a fragmented conflicted, almost leaderless world− is facing serious challenges.

“It is hoped that Ambassador Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine and an experienced diplomat with proven U.N. record, will be given the opportunity and required leeway to operate in an inclusive, patient and fruitful manner to enhance the role of the G 77 while advancing the status of the Palestine, said Sanbar, who served under five different UN secretaries-general.

At the UN, the Trump administration has been increasingly undermining the Palestinian cause – a cause long supported by an overwhelming majority of member states in the world body.

In May, the US relocated its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem even though the UN has deemed it “occupied” declaring that the status of East Jerusalem should be subject to negotiations and that East Jerusalem will be the future capital of the State of Palestine.

Last month, the Trump administration also reduced its funding−from an estimated $360 million in 2017 to $60 million this year − to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), created in 1949 to provide assistance to over 5.5 million refugees resulting from the creation of Israel in 1948.

Last year when Secretary-General Antonio Guterres proposed the appointment of former Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as UN’s Special Representative in Libya, the proposal was shot down by US Ambassador Nikki Haley, purely because he was a Palestinian.

And speaking before the US House Appropriations State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee, Haley went even further down the road when she indicated she would block any appointment of a Palestinian official to a senior role at the UN because Washington “does not recognize Palestine” as an independent state.

Suddenly, the Palestinians, for the first time, seem blacklisted– and declared political outcasts– in a world body where some of them held key posts in a bygone era.

Guterres, who apparently relented to US pressure by stepping back on Fayyad’s appointment plucked up courage to tell reporters: “I think it was a serious mistake. I think that Mr. Fayyad was the right person in the right place at the right time, and I think that those who will lose will be the Libyan people and the Libyan peace process.”

And, he rightly added: “”I believe that it is essential for everybody to understand that people serving the UN are serving in their personal capacities. They don’t represent a country or a government – they are citizens of the world representing the UN Charter and abiding by the UN Charter,” he said, pointedly directing his answer at Haley

A former chair of the G77 chapter in Vienna told IPS although the Palestinian issue is fundamentally a political one, centred as well on the legitimacy and legality of Israeli occupation, it no longer remains in the political-legal realms exclusively.

He said there are a large number of issues of economic, social and cultural and environmental nature, including health, education, food, water, etc, which arises both directly from conditions of occupation, as well as laterally from other conditions such as denial of humanitarian access, and, very recently, the declaration of “Israel as a Jewish state”.

It is logical that advancing a struggle on these issues call for a broad forum of solidarity, and the G 77 fits the bill, he noted.

In an oped piece marking the 50th anniversary of the G77, Mourad Ahmia, the G77 Executive Secretary said: “When it was established on Jun. 15, 1964, the signing nations of the well-known “Joint Declaration of Seventy-Seven Countries” formed the largest intergovernmental organisation of developing countries in the United Nations to articulate and promote their collective interests and common development agenda.

Since the First Ministerial meeting of the G-77 held in Algeria in October 1967, and the adoption of the “Charter of Algiers”, the Group of 77 laid down the institutional mechanisms and structures that have contributed to shaping the international development agenda and changing the landscape of the global South for the past five decades, he pointed out.

“Over the years, the Group has gained an increasing role in the determination and conduct of international relations through global negotiations on major North-South and development issues.”

The Group has a presence worldwide at U.N. centres in New York, Geneva, Nairobi, Paris, Rome, Vienna, and Washington D.C., and is actively involved in ongoing negotiations on a wide range of global issues including climate change, poverty eradication, migration, trade, and the law of the sea.

Today, the G-77 remains the only viable and operational mechanism in multilateral economic diplomacy within the U.N system. The growing membership is proof of its enduring strength,” he declared.

IPS, Published: Jul 24 2018
Palestine to Lead UN’s Largest Group of Developing Nations
By Thalif Deen
http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/07/palestine-lead-uns-largest-group-developing-nations/

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The Localist Revolution

We’ve tried liberalism and conservatism and now we’re trying populism. Maybe the next era of public life will be defined by a resurgence of localism.

Localism is the belief that power should be wielded as much as possible at the neighborhood, city and state levels. Localism is thriving − as a philosophy and a way of doing things − because the national government is dysfunctional while many towns are reviving. Politicians in Washington are miserable, hurling ideological abstractions at one another, but mayors and governors are fulfilled, producing tangible results.

Localism is also thriving these days because many cities have more coherent identities than the nation as a whole. It is thriving because while national politics takes place through the filter of the media circus, local politics by and large does not. It is thriving because we’re in an era of low social trust. People really have faith only in the relationships right around them, the change agents who are right on the ground.

Since it will probably be the coming wave, I thought it might be useful to make a few notes on localism:

Localism is truly a revolution. It literally means flipping the power structure. For the past several decades, money, talent and power have flowed to the centers of national power. Politicians tried to ascend to national office as they advanced their careers. Smart young people flocked to national universities, and then to New York and D.C. The federal government assumed greater and greater control of American life.

But under localism, the crucial power center is at the tip of the shovel, where the actual work is being done. Expertise is not in the think tanks but among those who have local knowledge, those with a feel for how things work in a specific place and an awareness of who gets stuff done. Success is not measured by how big you can scale, but by how deeply you can connect.

Under localism, national politicians are regarded like generals in Tolstoy novels. They move pieces around the board, but the actual battle is nothing like what they imagine. Wise young people leave the centers for towns where they can make a visible difference.

Localism is not federal power wielded on a smaller scale. It’s a different kind of power.

The first difference is epistemological. The federal policymaker asks, “What can we do about homelessness?” The local person asks Fred or Mary what they need in order to have a home. These different questions yield different results.

The federal person sees things that can be reduced to data. The local person sees things that can be reduced to data but also things that cannot.

The second difference is relational. Federal power is impersonal, uniform, abstract and rule-oriented. Local power is personalistic, relational, affectionate, irregular and based on a shared history of reciprocity and trust. A national system rewards rational intelligence. A local system requires emotional intelligence, too.

Change happens differently.

Federal change often means big shifts quickly, such as when a big law is passed after a long debate, like Obamacare or tax reform. Local change happens more gradually, more iteratively. There’s a legacy system, like a public school, a grocery story or an investment fund. Somebody breaks free from the system and creates an innovative alternative, like a charter school, an organic farm market or a crowdsource campaign. As Leo Linbeck of the Center for Opportunity Urbanism describes, the new innovators “announce the availability of the upgrade and then allow users to choose when to make the switch.” There’s a conversation between the legacy system and the innovator, as the former learns from and adapts to the alternative. Change happens through the conversation between old and new.

There is a different division of labor for making change.

As impact investor Deborah Frieze put it in a 2015 TEDx talk (*), change is led by Walk Outs. These are people who leave the legacy system and pioneer new alternatives. Then there are Illuminators. These are people who analyze and bring attention to the change that is now available.

I’d highlight two other social roles. Elders are the city mothers and fathers who hold sway in the town because of their established positions. The Elders support the Walk Outs, make room for them and reform old systems. Then there are Network Entrepreneurs. They link the Walk Outs, who tend to be lonely, overworked and short-staffed. They help the Walk Outs build a support system and a way to exchange knowledge and care.

Change in a localist world often looks like a renewal of old forms, which were often more intimate and personalistic than the technocratic structures of the past 50 years. Localism stands for the idea that there is no one set of solutions to diverse national problems. Instead, it brings conservatives and liberals together around the thought that people are happiest when their lives are enmeshed in caring face-to-face relationships, building their communities together.


The New York Times, Published: July 19, 2018
The Localist Revolution

Sometimes, it pays off to sweat the small stuff.
By David Brooks
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/19/opinion/national-politics-localism-populism.html

(*) 2015 TEDx talk

Most of our big systems−education, healthcare, government, business−are failing our communities. What if we stopped trying to fix them? Deborah Frieze says it’s not possible to change big systems−we can only abandon them and start over or offer hospice to what’s dying. This talk explores the underlying beliefs in our culture that continue to prop up the global mindset and shares a radical theory of change that reveals how localism is the hope of the future−and you have a critical role to play.

Deborah Frieze is an author, entrepreneur and activist committed to strengthening local economies. Her award-winning book, co-authored with Margaret Wheatley, ‘Walk Out Walk On: A Learning Journey into Communities Daring to Live the Future Now,’ profiles pioneering leaders who walked out of organizations failing to contribute to the common good−and walked on to build resilient communities. She is a founding partner of the Boston Impact Initiative and founder of the Old Oak Dojo, an urban learning center in Jamaica Plain where neighbors gather to rediscover how to create healthy and resilient communities.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jTdZSPBRRE&vl=en

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5 Ways to Keep Cities Cooler During Heat Waves

Cities can be miserable during heat waves. All that concrete and asphalt soaks up the sun’s rays, pushing temperatures up even further. Tall buildings can block cooling breezes. Exhaust from cars and air-conditioners just adds to the swelter.

This is known as the urban heat island effect: A large city’s built-up environment can make it 2 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the surrounding countryside during the day and up to 22 degrees warmer at night. That extra heat is becoming a serious public health problem. On average, 650 Americans die each year from heat-related causes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates, and global warming is only expected to make things worse.

In recent years, some urban planners have been seeking out creative strategies to combat the heat island effect to provide relief and prevent more people from dying during brutal hot spells. “Cities need to realize that they have the power to change their own weather,” said Brian Stone, Jr., a professor at Georgia Tech’s School of City and Regional Planning.

Here’s a look at a few of the more promising ideas that cities around the world have been pursuing to try to beat the heat.

1) Bring Back the Trees

This summer in Dallas, where a persistent heat dome has sent temperatures soaring past 105 degrees, volunteers have fanned out around the low-income neighborhood of Oak Cliff, working with residents to plant 1,000 new trees around schools and homes.

Trees don’t just provide much-needed shade for a sweaty city. The water evaporating from their leaves can cool a neighborhood by a few degrees during the hottest periods. Tree leaves also absorb and filter local air pollution − a crucial benefit, since heat waves can worsen urban smog, sending people to the hospital with asthma and other illnesses.

One downside is that trees can be costly to maintain, a concern for budget-strapped cities. So, in Dallas, the groups spearheading the planting effort − the Trust for Public Land, the Texas Trees Foundation and the Nature Conservancy − are using health, environmental and socio-economic data to figure out where planting new trees would provide the most benefit.

It will take more than just a few trees to cool down Dallas. “We’re probably talking a quarter-million new trees if we really want to move the needle,” said Laura Huffman, state director of The Nature Conservancy in Texas.

Other cities have their own ideas for promoting urban vegetation: Seattle now encourages developers to add rooftop gardens or even walls covered by vegetation to new building projects. London recently conducted an audit of its central business districts and identified over 10 million square feet of space that could be converted to rain gardens, green roofs and green walls.

2) Let the Wind Blow

In the industrial city of Stuttgart, Germany, refreshing breezes are both scarce and valuable. The city sits in a river valley basin, surrounded by steep hills that can trap both heat and polluted air over the region. It’s a potentially lethal combination during the hotter months.

In response, Stuttgart has created a number of ventilation corridors throughout the city: wide, tree-flanked arterial roads that help clean air flow down from the hills at night to cool the city. Officials have also restricted new buildings from going up on certain hillsides in order to keep the air moving.

Some experts are skeptical that this strategy will work for every city because a lot depends on local weather patterns and geography. But China is becoming interested. Beijing and Xian are looking to create their own ventilation corridors, studying local wind patterns and strategically placing parks or lakes instead of buildings along key pathways so that the cooler breezes can flow freely.

3) Paint Roofs White

One big reason that cities are so much hotter than rural areas is that they are covered by dark roofs, roads and parking lots that absorb and retain heat. In recent years, many urban planners have sought to replace those dark surfaces with lighter, more reflective materials.

Through its CoolRoofs Initiative, New York City has already painted more than 5 million square feet of its roofs with a reflective coating. Los Angeles is replacing some of its dark asphalt roads with brighter materials.

In theory, a big push by cities to add more green space and reflective building materials could save lives: One recent study, led by Dr. Stone of Georgia Tech, estimated that these two techniques could potentially offset much of the projected increase in heat-related deaths from global warming in Philadelphia, Atlanta and Phoenix by 2050.

But the effectiveness of cool roofs can vary from city to city. One 2014 study, led by Matei Georgescu of Arizona State University, found that the strategy, if widely adopted, could cut temperatures by several degrees in cities like Washington or New York. But in Florida, reflective materials would have a smaller impact and could potentially reduce local rainfall.

“Every city is different, and there’s still more work to do to understand the different trade-offs,” Dr. Georgescu said.

Some cities can’t afford to wait. Tokyo, which has suffered a record heat wave this month, is desperate to cool off ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics. The city has already added new porous asphalt that can retain more water and new coatings that can reflect heat across more than 50 miles of roadways, including the planned marathon route. The hope is that these materials can cut road surface temperatures by 10 degrees or more. Even that may not be enough: Some researchers have already suggested moving the marathon out of Tokyo entirely for the athletes’ safety.

4) Get People to Cooling Centers

When dangerous heat waves arrive, access to air conditioning can be a matter of life or death. That’s why more and more cities are setting up public cooling centers to offer relief for those who might lack cool air at home, like low-income residents or the homeless.

But public health experts say that setting up cooling centers is only half the battle: the other half is getting people to them. One recent survey of Detroit, Philadelphia, Phoenix and New York found that public cooling centers were often poorly publicized or difficult to access by public transportation. Some residents were reluctant to leave their homes during heat waves or mistakenly thought that cooling centers were just for homeless people.

“There’s this large social and behavioral component to heat waves that doesn’t get nearly enough attention,” said Jalonne L. White-Newsome, a senior program officer at the Kresge Foundation who led the study.

Some of the best strategies for dealing with heat waves, Dr. White-Newsome found, were often low-tech: In Philadelphia, many neighborhoods have designated block captains who will check on older residents during a heat wave. “When a disaster hits, having a cohesive social network is what’s going to keep many people alive,” she said.

5) Prepare for Deadly Blackouts

The ultimate nightmare scenario during a heat wave is a widespread blackout that leaves millions of people without electricity for their fans or air-conditioners. That combination was a major health risk in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

When temperatures soar, the electric grid comes under serious strain. Power lines also start sagging in the heat and can short out if they touch the ground or nearby foliage. Parts of Southern California lost power this month after temperatures reached 110 degrees, and scientists warn that global warming could increase these risks in the future.

Some possible solutions? Smarter grids and new forecasting tools could help electric utilities prepare for heat waves, using electronic controls to precool buildings before temperatures peak in the afternoon and then turning down nonessential appliances when energy demand surges, said Santiago Carlos Grijalva, a professor of electrical engineering at Georgia Tech.

We might also make our buildings more resilient. David Sailor, a professor of urban planning at Arizona State University, has been exploring the possibility of using advanced materials that can essentially absorb excess heat by melting, which in turn helps keep interior spaces at a comfortable temperature. These phase-change materials could reduce the energy needed for cooling − or help prevent homes from overheating in the event of a blackout.

Dr. Sailor recently got a taste why this technology could prove invaluable. A few hours after we spoke last week, the cooling system in his campus building in Tempe, Ariz., broke down. Within 90 minutes, he said, temperatures inside spiked to 85 degrees.

[photo-1] Hint: It will require more than just an umbrella.

[photo-2] Workers pruning trees in Shanghai.

[photo-3] Stuttgart, Germany, has been creating tree-lined roads to help air circulation in the city.

[photo-4] A city housing official in Nashville in 2012, on a roof painted with reflective material.

[photo-5] Residents of Roanoke, Va., in a cooling center in 2012.

[photo-6] A nurse in a darkened wing of the Hospital El Maestron in San Juan, P.R., days after Hurricane Maria struck.

The New York Times, Published: July 24, 2018
5 Ways to Keep Cities Cooler During Heat Waves
By Brad Plumer
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/24/climate/heat-waves-cities.html

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Japan astronaut dreams after lake discovery

Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai came back to earth last month but is still dreaming of space, especially after the discovery of an underground lake brought mankind one step closer to unravelling the mystery of life on Mars.

"I was so excited about the news," the 41-year-old doctor told AFP in an interview on Friday, calling it "a major discovery that inspires dreams".

International astronomers announced Wednesday they had detected the largest body of liquid water ever found on the Red Planet, a breakthrough that may hold clues to whether life has ever formed on Mars -- or even exists today.

Kanai, who spent 168 days on the International Space Station, is firmly convinced that we're not alone in the universe and there is life out there.

"I believe there is," he said. "In the vast universe, anything could be possible."

"I have high hopes that finding extraterrestrial life forms could open a new page in learning."

The soft-spoken spaceman, nicknamed "Nemo" for his background as a diving medical officer in Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force, blasted into space for the first time in December.

- Growing pains -

Following in the footsteps of other media-savvy astronauts, Kanai tweeted about his stay at the space station in Japanese.

But his social media foray came with some growing pains: he was forced to apologise and issue a correction after mistakenly claiming he had grown by nine centimetres just weeks after he arrived.

When a colleague suggested the growth was unlikely, despite the fact that astronauts' spines do extend in the zero-gravity environment of space, Norishige had himself remeasured.

It turned out a mix-up over centimetres and inches was to blame, and he said Friday that he had in fact grown by just two to three centimetres during his stay.

He has been shrinking since he arrived back on Earth on June 3, but is still one centimetre taller, he said.

"It's interesting to see how long it will take to get back to my original height."

Kanai, whose Twitter profile depicts him in cartoon form with a broad grin, concedes he wasn't always the likeliest candidate to join Japan's space agency JAXA, though he is now the agency's youngest astronaut.

He was a "reserved, cautious" boy, rather than adventurous.

"I was a granny's boy," he said. "When she was sewing, we did it together. I had a rather 'girlie' childhood."

But one of the skills he picked up as a child turned out to have a surprising application during the strict JAXA screening process.

In the final selection stage, 10 candidates spend a week in a capsule performing various tasks including folding paper cranes, which the agency says tests patience and steadiness under stress.

Luckily Kanai was a dab hand at origami from his childhood.

- Space for all -

"I don't know if it gave me an advantage... but I knew how to do it. I'm dexterous and like to do repetitive small tasks. That task was easy for me," he said.

Even as he spoke, he deftly folded a piece of origami paper into a crane, without so much as leaning on a table for support.

He so enjoyed making small cranes that he folded more than 100 of them in the test capsule.

While Kanai now belongs to an elite group of astronaut alumni, he is eager to see space become more accessible.

"I think space is not only for astronauts and space-related corporations but is for everyone," he said.

"I welcome the idea of 'enjoyable' space or interesting ideas of private companies to use space."

He doesn't yet know if he'll be chosen for new missions, and admits that he had mixed emotions as he headed back to Earth last month.

"I felt sorry that it was ending. But I was also happy that I was finally going back to Japan, because six months is a long time.

"I had complex, half-happy, half-sad feelings."

[photo-1]
Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai spent 168 days on the International Space Station

[photo-2]
International astronomers announced Wednesday they had detected the largest body of liquid water ever found on the Red Planet

[photo-3]
Kanai blasted into space for the first time in December

[photo-4]
While Kanai (background) now belongs to an elite group of astronaut alumni, he is eager to see space become more accessible

[photo-5]
The soft-spoken spaceman says he had mixed emotions as he headed back to Earth last month

AFP, Published: 27 JUL 2018
Life on Mars:
Japan astronaut dreams after lake discovery

https://www.afp.com/en/news/23/life-mars-japan-astronaut-dreams-after-lake-discovery-doc-17y89x1

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The fate of the KL-Singapore HSR project

KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 − Malaysia’s economy may gain RM6.5 billion annually from the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project by 2030, according to the best-case scenario in a research paper.

In the analysis by three researchers from Japan’s Institute of Developing Economies (IDE), they said this scenario would see Singapore benefiting RM2.6 billion annually.

Japan is among the countries bidding for the HSR project, which is currently in limbo pending Malaysia’s discussions with Singapore.

“The estimated economic impact of the HSR for Malaysia and Singapore in the best policy mix scenario are US$1.589 billion and US$641 million per year in 2030, respectively,” the researchers said in a 13-page research paper released yesterday.

“The project’s economic impact arises partly from a shift from the manufacturing to the services sector,” it added

The three biggest economic beneficiaries in 2030 under the best-case scenario are Johor (US$695.5 million or RM2.82 billion), Kuala Lumpur (US$423.5 million or RM1.72 billion) and Selangor (US$284.3 million or RM1.15 billion), the research paper asserted.

The research paper said the industry in Malaysia that will benefit the most from this scenario is the services sector with US$1.906 billion (RM7.74 billion), while the electronics and electrical sector (E&E) and other manufacturing sectors are projected to suffer with impacts of -US$167.4 million (-RM679.86 million) and -US$115.3 million (RM468.27 million) respectively.

The best-case scenario is based on the assumption that the bullet train project is implemented with an all-in combination of a domestic rail service from Kuala Lumpur to Iskandar, Johor (KL-Putrajaya-Seremban-Ayer Keroh-Muar-Batu Pahat-Iskandar), shuttle services of between Iskandar and Singapore, and a non-stop express service of KL to Singapore.

It is dependent on there being a 50 per cent cut in bilateral non-tariff barriers (NTB) in the service sector, which it said would boost the economic impact by 60 per cent compared to if the NTB was not halved.

“Thus, there is a need to consider policies that facilitate business transactions and travel between the countries alongside the HSR development,” it said.

Traffic jams, long clearance may hamper

The research paper stressed the need for good supporting infrastructure for the HSR to unlock its full potential, noting that failure to do so would reduce the economic impact of an all-in scenario (without a 50 per cent to NTB).

“Smooth access to and from city centres to HSR stations is crucial. Congestion and/or poor access around HSR stations may reduce the economic impact of the HSR by 64 per cent and 38 per cent for Malaysia and Singapore, respectively.

“In addition, a smooth CIQ is also important. An increase in CIQ time from 15 minutes to one hour reduces the economic impact by 9 per cent and 34 per cent for Malaysia and Singapore, respectively,” it said, referring to the customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) process at the Malaysia-Singapore border.

Citing its simulations, the research paper also found that Malaysia will benefit more from an HSR with domestic stops instead of a service that connects Kuala Lumpur to Singapore only, while regions in Malaysia without any HSR stations tend to be negatively affected by the project.

“If the HSR express service stops only at KL and Singapore, then Johor is negatively affected by the development. If the HSR stops only at KL, Singapore and Johor, then states such as Melaka and Negri Sembilan will be negatively affected,” it said.

“Thus, the specifications of HSR’s express/local services need to be very carefully planned.”

The research paper was published by Singapore’s ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, and was co-authored by three researchers from Japan’s Institute of Developing Economies (IDE) − IDE overseas research fellow and ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute visiting fellow Kazunobu Hayakawa, IDE overseas research fellow and European Commission visiting fellow Ikumo Isono, and IDE director Satoru Kumagai.

The fate of the KL-Singapore HSR project is currently unclear, as Malaysia has sought to cut spending by deferring the project.

[photo]
Former PM Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong shake hands at the signing of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) agreement in Kuala Lumpur, December 13, 2016.

MalayMail, Published 1 hour ago on 28 July 2018
Research: In best case, Malaysia could gain RM6.5b with KL-Singapore HSR
By Ida Lim
https://www.malaymail.com/s/1656944/research-in-best-case-malaysia-could-gain-rm6.5b-with-kl-singapore-hsr

posted by fom_club at 14:57| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

杉田議員辞職を

杉田水脈衆議院議員は2018年8月号の『新潮45』に「『LGBT』支援の度が過ぎる」なる記事(以下、杉田記事)を書いた。セクシュアルマイノリティを「『生産性』がない」と書いたこの記事は、すでに当事者や識者やSNSユーザーから多くの批判を浴びている。

杉田記事の問題は多岐にわたるが、最も酷いと思われる「『生産性』がない」と書かれた箇所を引用しておこう。
例えば、子育て支援や子供ができないカップルへの不妊治療に税金を使うというのであれば、少子化対策のためにお金を使うという大義名分があります。しかし、LGBTのカップルのために税金を使うことに賛同が得られるものでしょうか。彼ら彼女らは子供を作らない、つまり「生産性」がないのです。そこに税金を投入することが果たしていいのかどうか。にもかかわらず、行政がLGBTに関する条例や要綱を発表するたびにもてはやすマスコミがいるから、政治家が人気とり政策になると勘違いしてしまうのです。(58〜59ページ)

はっきりと、

1.「子供を作らない」ことがイコール「『生産性』がない」

とされており、そのうえで

2.「LGBTのカップル」は「子供を作らない」ゆえに「『生産性』がない」

とされている。

これはLGBTはじめセクシュアルマイノリティへの差別以外の何物でもない。

レズビアンであることを公表している増原裕子さんの「相模原の障害者殺傷事件や同性愛者を虐殺したナチスの優生思想とリンクする」という批判は的確である。(朝日新聞記事「自殺したLGBTの友人も...杉田氏発言に当事者から批判」(2018年7月23日付)に掲載)

国会議員によるセクシュアルマイノリティへの差別があってはならない。

このことだけでも重大な人権侵害である。

だが、問題はそれだけにとどまらない深刻さを持っている。

本当に危惧すべき問題は、差別の社会的効果である。

杉田議員が社会に向けて既に発してしまった、セクシュアルマイノリティに生産性がないなどという差別が、

1)どのようなマイナスの社会的効果をもたらしてしまっているのか

そして、

2)そのマイナス効果を、どのように抑制できるのか

が問題だ。

さしあたり3つの観点が重要だ。

1.差別煽動効果の問題。政治家の差別は、一般庶民の差別に比べて、非常に強力に差別を煽動してしまうこと。

これが最大の問題である。

杉田水脈議員の一連の言動は、セクシュアルマイノリティへの差別を社会的に煽動する効果を強力に発揮してしまうことを否定できず、その結果重大な差別やヘイトクライム(差別犯罪)を引き起こす可能性さえ危惧される。

2.政治家として差別に反対する義務の不履行。

杉田議員は自身の差別を撤回・謝罪するだけでなく、議員として差別に率先して反対しなければならない。自分が行った差別の社会的影響をできる限り打ち消すように差別に反対するコメントを出さねばならない。

3.他の政治家が杉田議員の差別に反対する義務。一部を除いて国会議員・地方議員は杉田議員の差別に反対するコメントを出していない。

これから数回に分けて、杉田議員の一連の言動の何が問題なのかを考えてみたい。

今回は残りのスペースを使って、1の、政治家の差別が庶民の差別よりも高い社会的煽動効果を持つことについて述べる。

政治家の差別が庶民の差別よりもはるかに差別の煽動効果が高い。

杉田議員は与党自民党の国会議員であり、ツイッターのフォロワーは11万4000名を超える(2018年7月25日時点)。その社会的影響力は大きい。

だからこそ、杉田議員は自らの杉田記事が差別であったことを認め、謝罪するとともに、セクシュアルマイノリティへの差別に明確に反対し、自分の記事を使って差別をすることをやめるよう社会に呼びかける必要があるのではないか。

だが、杉田議員はそうする代わりに、次のようなツイートを行っている。杉田記事が多くの批判を浴びた後だ。
北海道に旅立つ前に赤坂警察署に来ました。先日、自分はゲイだと名乗る人間から事務所のメールに「お前を殺してやる!絶対に殺してやる!」と殺人予告が届きました。これに対して被害届を出しました。警察と相談の上、一連のLGBTに関連する投稿は全て削除いたしました。
10:00 AM - Jul 23, 2018 ・ Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

杉田議員が「ゲイを名乗る」者から殺害予告を受けたという情報発信は、残念ながらツイッターではゲイへの差別に大いに使われている。3つだけ例を挙げよう。

●便乗差別ツイート1「ゲイは怖いねー。」
●便乗差別ツイート2「サカリのついたホモ程凶悪ですからね」「杉田先生が心配です」
●便乗差別ツイート3「ホモは生産性無いってはっきり分かんだね」

殺害予告など誰であっても行ってはならないのは言うまでもない。それが事実であるならば杉田水脈議員が殺害予告を受けたことそれ自体をツイートすることは問題があるとはいえないだろう。

だが、あえて殺害予告の主が「ゲイだと名乗る人間」だとツイートに明記する必要があったろうか?センシティブな情報を伏せてツイートすることもできたはずではなかったか?

杉田議員はツイートする前にそのツイートが偏見・差別を助長・煽動する危険性があるかどうかを十分に考慮する社会的責任があったのではないか?

杉田議員は今すぐにでも当該ツイートを削除するとともに、今からでも自分のツイートや発言を使ってゲイやセクシュアルマイノリティへの差別をやめるよう、呼び掛けるべきであろう。自らの言動がゲイやセクシュアルマイノリティへの差別やヘイトクライム(差別的動機に基づいた犯罪)を誘発する前に。

(つづく)


HUFFPO、2018年07月27日 21時22分 JST
杉田水脈議員の言動の、何が問題なのか?
(1)政治家による差別煽動の効果
本当に危惧すべき問題は、差別の社会的効果である。

梁英聖、一橋大学大学院言語社会研究科博士後期課程在籍。日本学術振興会特別研究員(DC-2)。日本初のヘイトウォッチNGOである反レイシズム情報センター(ARIC)代表
https://www.huffingtonpost.jp/rysyrys/sugita-20180725_a_23487785/

これは、貴重な動画だ。LGBTに関する文章で炎上中の杉田水脈議員が去年の総選挙で自民党から立候補するにあたって「安倍さんが杉田氏は素晴らしいと言った」ことを、櫻井よしこ女史が明言している。自民党がこの問題に沈黙しているのは、安倍首相の責任問題に発展するのを恐れてのことではないか。

8:14 AM - 27 Jul 2018、m TAKANO

 自民党の杉田水脈(みお)衆院議員(比例中国ブロック)が月刊誌への寄稿でLGBTなど性的少数者について「子どもを作らない、つまり生産性がない」などと主張した問題で、当事者や支援者らが27日、東京都千代田区の自民党本部前で杉田氏の辞職を求める抗議活動をした。参加者は性の多様性を意味するレインボーカラーの旗やプラカードを手に「差別をするな」「人権無視する議員はいらない」と訴えた。

 午後7時からの抗議行動には主催者発表で約5000人が参加し、次々にマイクを握って訴えた。支援活動を長年続ける原ミナ汰さんは「差別的な暴言は顔に唾を吐かれるのに等しい。今までは唾を吐かれても、いつかやむと思って黙ってきたが、暴言はボディーブローのように効いてくる。やめてくださいと言わないといけない」とアピールした。

 レズビアンの増原裕子さん(40)は「杉田氏の寄稿はヘイトスピーチで、本当にひどい。発言を容認する自民党の姿勢にも失望した」。当事者の子どもや若者を支援している団体の代表を務める遠藤まめたさん(31)は「寄稿で当事者の子どもや若者がショックを受けており、非常に憤りを感じた」と話した。

 ゲイであることを公表している明治大の鈴木賢教授は「日本は同性カップルに何の法的保障もなく、いないことにされている。国民を生産性の有無で分別する差別主義者に議員の資格はない。私たちはもう黙らない」と力を込めた。発生から2年がたった相模原市の障害者施設殺傷事件などに触れてマイノリティーへの差別を指摘した登壇者も多く「苦しむ声に向き合ってほしい。私たちは生きていていい」などと訴えた。

 抗議活動は北海道や福岡県の自民党支部前でも行われた。当事者を支援しているNPO北海道レインボー・リソースセンターL-Portの工藤久美子代表(43)は「当事者にとって、殺されるようなレベルの暴言。『死にたい気持ちになっている』『夜に一人でいられなくなった』という相談が増えた。何人死ねば分かるんだろうという気持ちだ」と憤った。

 杉田氏は「新潮45」8月号の「『LGBT』支援の度が過ぎる」と題した寄稿で、「生産性のない」LGBTのカップルに「税金を投入することがいいのかどうか」と主張。不正確な内容を盛り込みながら、差別的な持論を展開した。


毎日新聞、最終更新 7月28日 11時32分
抗議
杉田議員辞職を 自民党前、LGBTなど5000人

藤沢美由紀、源馬のぞみ
https://mainichi.jp/articles/20180728/k00/00m/040/076000c

私たちはLGBTの子どもたちを持つ親です。
「LGBTの人たちは生産性がない」とした「新潮45」での杉田水脈議員の発言をみて、非常に怒りを覚えています。
もう自分たちの子どもがこんな風に言われるのは我慢ができません。

ただでさえ、普段から自分の性別や好きになる相手のことで思い悩み、「普通じゃない」といった理解のない言葉を投げかけられ傷ついています。

そんな中、10代の子どもたちはSNSで拡散されている杉田議員のニュースをみて、さらに不安定になっています。
日本の社会をよりよくするのが仕事のはずの政治家から発せられた発言が、子どもだちの心をさらに傷つけ、えぐっています。
今回のニュースがきっかけで「とにかく怖い」「不安で眠れない」「自分が自分でいいのかわからなくなった」という子もいます。そして怒っています。

そもそも、子どもを産めないということは「生産性がない」ということなのでしょうか。
「生産性がない」人間は生きてはいけないのでしょうか。

杉田水脈議員は今回の記事のみならず、何年も前からLGBTの人たちへの差別発言を繰り返してきました。
過去のYouTube動画では、同性愛者の自殺率が他の人たちよりも高いことを、信じられないことに笑いながら話していました。
他人とちがうことに追い詰められ、自らの命を絶とうと思う子どもがいるなんて、こんな痛ましいことがあるでしょうか。
一体何がおかしいのでしょうか。

小学生のトランスジェンダーの子どもが、この動画を見てとても怒っています。
それをみている親の気持ちを想像してください。

小学校に通う子はクラスでカミングアウトをしましたが、同級生の子どもたちは受け止めて、今も仲良く一緒に毎日遊んでいます。
小学生の子どもたちの方が、差別をする政治家たちより賢いのです。

しかし驚くことにこの発言の報道の後、杉田議員は、自民党に所属できてよかったと言いました。
これほどまでに人を傷つける発言をしながら、「自民党では大臣クラスを含め、先輩の議員方が杉田議員の言っていることは間違ってないのだと励ましてくれる」そうです。
事実なんでしょうか?

自民党の中でもLGBTについて真剣に考え、理解促進の法律作りを進めている議員たちがいると聞いています。
本音は、LGBTを傷つけ、同性愛者の自殺でさえおかしく笑うような政治家と同じなのでしょうか。

杉田議員は、LGBTの人たちは不幸だと言いました。
しかし私たちの子どもを不幸にするのは、LGBTであることではなく、LGBTに対してこのような差別をする人たちがいるからです。

親が子どもを受け入れても、社会に差別があれば、親は子どもを守ることができません。

● 自民党はLGBT差別を繰り返す杉田水脈議員にきちんと向かい、ダメなものはダメと示してください。
● そのために、自民党は「LGBTは生産性がない」という発言に対して杉田水脈に謝罪会見を開かせてください。
● 態度を変えないようなら自民党から除名してください。そして、二度とこういうことが起こらないよう、差別を許さない法律を作ってください。

LGBTの人たちも、そうでない人たちも、今回の発言をおかしいと思った人はともに声を届けましょう。


LGBT差別を繰り返す杉田水脈議員は子どもたちを苦しめています。自民党は謝罪会見を開かせてください。
Change.org, Inc.
posted by fom_club at 14:44| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2018年07月27日

西部邁追悼

 西部邁さんが自裁した。78歳。日本人男性の平均寿命がおよそ81歳だから、「若い」とも言える。しかも死の直前まで深夜におよぶ酒食をたしなみ、これといって致命的な病に苦しんでいたわけでもなさそうだから、年齢のわりに健康で体力があったといってもよい。

 60年安保の闘士、左翼の活動家だった西部さんの転機はいつだったか。
彼の著作のなかでわたしがもっとも好きだったのは『蜃気楼の中へ』(日本評論社、1979年)だ。
国際文化会館が創設した若手の社会科学者のための新渡戸フェローシップを受けて、2年間米英に滞在。わたしも受けたこの奨学金は、1ドルが360円だった時代に、日本の社会科学者に世界へと目を開かせる大きな貢献をした。30代に入ってから副題にある「遅ればせのアメリカ体験」をした著者の米英滞在記は、清冽な叙情に満ちていた。
渡米前に著した『ソシオエコノミックス』(中央公論社、1975年)も「合理的経済人(ホモエコノミクス)」仮説をもとにした近代経済学を根本的に批判したものだった。
 青木昌彦と並んで経済学の俊秀として将来を嘱望されていた経済学者は、帰国後、政治・社会的な時局発言をする保守派の論客となっていった。

 西部さんが保守派を自負し始めたのは『大衆への反逆』 (文藝春秋、1983年)あたりからだっただろうか。
オルテガに依拠して書かれた本書は、大衆社会論の二つの系譜、エリート的大衆社会論と非エリート的大衆社会論とのうちでは、あきらかに前者に属するもので、バブル景気につっこんでいった当時の日本の大衆社会状況に対するいらだちを、隠しようもなく示していた。

 1988年にはあの「中沢問題」が起きた。
ニューアカのスターとして注目を集めていた人類学者、中沢新一さんを東大教養学部助教授として採用する人事案が、西部さんをメンバーとする委員会で承認されたにもかかわらず、教授会で否決されるという前代未聞の事態が起きた事件である。
人事委員会に対する信任が拒否されたことに抗議して、西部さんは東大教授を辞任。
関係した東大教授のだれかれが弁明に努めるなど、「中沢問題」はにわかに世間を騒がせた。
それから数年後に起きたわたしの東大採用人事では、再び人事で同様な「上野問題」が起きないよう、関係者の方々が神経をすり減らしておられたことを憶えている。こういう場合の出処進退の潔さもきわだっていた。

 90年代にはいってからの「新しい歴史教科書をつくる会」への参加や、核武装をも容認する憲法改正案の提示など、わたしの立場からは容認できない言動や発言が続き、わたしはこのひとの書くものを読むのをやめた。
情熱的だが、論理の飛躍や決めつけの多い文体には、へきえきした。
そういえば1986年、「アグネス論争」が起きたときに、男性論壇もこの問題に参入したが、そのなかに西部さんもいた。
愛する子どもをかたときも手放したくないと連れ歩くことがOKなら、ボクは愛するペットを連れ歩いていいのか、というあきれるような茶々を入れたこともある。

 その西部さんの訃報を聞いた。自裁だという。ブルータス、おまえもか…という気がした。
江藤淳さんの自裁がよぎった。
凍てつく冬の川に入水するという足のすくむような自裁の方法も含めて、その鮮烈な自決に、賞賛を寄せないまでも、男の知識人は粛然と声をのみこむほかないだろう。

だが、だが、いいたいことがある。
生前それほど接点がなかったわたしは、彼の死に沈黙を守るつもりでいたが、編集部から原稿の依頼を受けたことをきっかけに、ここで書いておこう。
戦後日本の男性知識人の系譜のなかに、西部さんの自裁を置くと、あまりに共通点が多すぎると感じたからだ。
北米体験ののちの日本の伝統と保守への回帰。
衆愚観に立った孤高のエリート主義。
老いと衰えへの拒否感。
妻に先立たれた悲嘆と不如意。
言論人としての限界や生産性の低下の自覚。
格闘してきたはずの社会の現状への、深い失望と怒り。

あれやこれやで、見苦しい老後を見せるよりは、いっそひと思いに、と自裁を選ぶ…なんて「男らしい」んだろう!
追悼文のいくつかには「カッコいい」という表現があったが、わたしには、弱さを認めることのできない男の弱さ、が露呈したと見える。

このような人間像を「近代的個人」と呼ぶのではなかったか?
そしてそれと闘ってきたのは、ほかならぬ西部さん自身ではなかったのか?
なのに、首尾一貫した「近代的個人」として、西部さんは死を選んだ。
死者をむち打つつもりはない。
だが、彼の死を英雄視することだけは、やめてもらいたい。
わたしの胸に去来するのは、死を選ぶほかなかった西部さんの空虚さと絶望のふかさだ。
そしてそれを痛ましく思う気持ちである。


ちづこのブログ、No.1242018.06.30 Sat
「男らしい」死 西部邁さん追悼         
(『表現者criterion』通巻78号「西部邁追悼特集」2018年5月、MXエンターテイメント刊所収)
上野千鶴子(社会学者)
https://wan.or.jp/article/show/7944

保守派の評論家で社会経済学者、西部邁さん(78)が1月21日、東京都大田区の多摩川で入水し亡くなった。

その10日前、毎日新聞の取材を受けた際に「数週間後には(自分は)生きていない」。神経痛で痛む腕をかばいながら、近年繰り返していた自らの自殺の話をした。しかし語りはあくまでも冷静。取材後は午前4時過ぎまでバーをはしごする元気さをみせていた。

西部さんは、知的、道徳的な人間の不完全さを強調し、歴史的な慣習とそこから導かれる伝統の意義を説いてきた。

 今回の取材は新刊「保守の真髄(しんずい)」(講談社現代新書)についてのインタビュー。11日夜、東京都内のホテルのバーで1時間半、同書で展開した保守論と死について持論を語った。

 西部さんにとっての保守は、保守政治や「伝統文化」の擁護を直接は意味しない。「慣習の奥底に示唆されている歴史の知恵を自分の力で発見し、自分が納得できる間はそれを仮に伝統とみなす。そうした論陣を張るのが保守というもの」だという。

 そこから、新しいものにばかり飛びつきたがる戦後日本への懐疑、米国的なものの否定などが紡ぎ出されてきた。

 伝統を「危機においてバランスを取るための知恵」とも。大学では学生運動で逮捕起訴され、仲間の死にも遭遇している。人生における危機に直面してきたからこそ、保守思想を唱えだしたことをうかがわせた。

 他方、「(自分の)死は、急に考えると怖い。『死生論』を書いた二十数年前から、繰り返し考えるうちに、段々と平気になった」。2000年の「私の死亡記事」(文芸春秋編)にも、精神的な衰えが見通されたら自殺すると予期した文章を寄せている。

 新刊では、病院で死に行く際の心身の苦しみを身近な人に見せるよりも、「自裁死」を選ぶことを示唆した。「連れ合いがいる間はなかなか死ねないものだ」とも。8年間看病した妻の満智子さんは14年に死去している。

 一般論として「今の病院がイノベーションのおかげで痛みをとれるようになったのは確か」と病院での死を否定せず、「やりたいことをやり尽くしたら死ねばいいと簡単には言えない」と断りを入れたうえで、自らは「自裁死がいい」と話していた。

 憲法改正への動きなど、表面は「保守派」に勢いがある昨今。
だが、西部さんの絶望してきた日本の対米追従や大衆社会状況は変わらない。

「絶望に立つ希望」を唱え、約200冊の本を出し続けた西部さんは、自らの体調や年齢を考え、長年検討してきた死を選んだのだと思う。

 取材中、ポケットからものを取り出すのに苦労し、グラスは両手で持ち上げた。とはいえ、早朝まで弁舌はよどみなく、学生時代やテレビ出演での思い出などを話し続けた。そのさまに、当面は本当に自殺することはないと記者は思った。

 自らの主張とかけ離れた現代の言論、社会状況に絶望しながらも、数十年の間、絶えず発言を続けてきた西部さん。
バーからバーへと夜道を歩きながら、「俺の絶望の深さが分かったでしょ」とつぶやいていたのが印象的だった。


毎日新聞、最終更新 1月29日 15時52分
西部邁さん
最後の「保守と死」論 自裁の10日前に言及

鈴木英生
https://mainichi.jp/articles/20180123/k00/00e/040/268000c

posted by fom_club at 15:57| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

なぜ日本の対米従属に、終わりがないのか? なぜ安倍政権は倒れないのか?

なぜ日本の対米従属に、終わりがないのか?
なぜ安倍政権は倒れないのか?

こうした疑問に答えるには、「国体」というキーワードが重要だ。そう考える政治学者・白井聡さんと気鋭の哲学者・國分功一郎さんが対談をした。

白井さんのベストセラー『国体論――菊と星条旗』を國分さんは、どう読んだのか? ジュンク堂書店池袋本店にて行われたトークイベントでの熱い議論をお届けする。


責任を追及しない日本社会

國分:白井君が『国体論――菊と星条旗』を書いたいくつかの出発点のひとつは、なぜ安倍政権は潰れないのかという素朴な疑問だと思います。安倍政権はひどい政策をずっと続けているのに、なぜか長きにわたって政権を維持している。ここには合理的には説明のつかない力が働いており、私たちはそれに従わされている。白井君はそこに「国体」という構造を見いだしているのだと思います。

この国体を代表するのは、戦前の日本では天皇です。しかし、敗戦と占領期を経て、アメリカが国体を代表するようになる。『国体論』ではフルモデルチェンジという言い方がされていますが、日本がアメリカに負けたことで、国体の頂点は菊から星条旗に変わったものの、人々が国体に従うという構造に変化はなかった。そう指摘しているわけですね。

白井:そうです。「戦後の国体」となった対米従属構造を維持することで、権力を保持しているのが安倍政権に代表される日本の支配層です。

國分:そこで疑問として残るのは、なぜ日本はアメリカにきちんと負けられなかったのかということなんです。僕はここがポイントだと思っているのですが、アメリカと戦争して負けたわけですから、本来ならば「いつかアメリカを倒してやるぞ」となるはずです。ところが、日本はそうはならなかった。それどころか、マッカーサーがアメリカに帰国するときには、マッカーサーとの別れを惜しむ声まで上がった。これはやはりきちんと負けなかったために起こったことだと思うんです。

白井:戦後直後から今に至るまで、日本人はアメリカに負けたという事実から目をそらそうとしてきました。8月15日を「敗戦の日」ではなく、「終戦記念日」と呼んでごまかしていることから始まって、戦後の日本は「敗戦の否認」を続け、アメリカに従属していることを直視しないでいる。

でも、そうした支配を否認する日本人の心理的な構造は、戦後に始まったものではない。わかってしまえば、簡単なことです。戦前の日本人には、疑うことなく「国体」に付き従うというマインドがインストールされていた。

かつ、「国体」は、明治維新によって一瞬でできたわけではない。誕生から崩壊までいくつかのプロセスを踏んでいる。「戦後の国体」への従属、つまり対米従属体制も同じで、今のような自己目的化した従属がずっと続いてきたわけではない。

しかし、そもそも、敗戦の時点でも「アメリカ許すまじ」とはならなかった。それはひとつには、アメリカに負ける前にすでに己に負けていたからだと思います。たとえば、特に悲惨を極めた南方戦線では、弾に当たって死んだ兵士よりも、餓死やマラリアで死んだ兵士のほうが断然多かった。これはもはや戦争と呼べるようなものではなく、飢えた兵隊が熱病に冒されながらジャングルを彷徨(ほうこう)していたと言ったほうが正確です。

だからあの戦争が終わったとき、人々の間にはとてつもない解放感が広がったわけですね。負けたことよりも、とにかくこんなばかげた状態が終わってうれしいということになった。それは要するに「国体」から解放されたということだった。そういう意味では、アメリカに負ける前に自分たちの社会の病理のようなものに負けていたということではないでしょうか。

思考を奪う「国体」という病

國分:それは別の言い方をすると、そもそも日本は戦争に勝とうとしていなかったということになりますか。去年の夏にNHKがインパール作戦の番組を放映して話題になりましたが、イギリス軍がたとえば兵站(へいたん)でも合理的な作戦を立てて戦争に臨んでいたのに対し、日本軍は精神論で突き進んでいった。合理的な作戦を立てている軍隊に対して精神論で挑んでも、勝てるはずがない。

これを見るかぎり、日本軍が本気でイギリス軍に勝とうとしていたようには思えない。日本は最初から戦争に勝とうとしていなかったから、実際に負けたときにも、負けたことに対して何とも思わなかったのではないかという気がします。

白井:負ければ大変なことになる、そして現実に敗色濃厚になりつつある。それらは自明だったわけですね。そうなると、もうそんな現実は見たくない、というメンタリティではないでしょうか。そういう意味では1945年の敗戦以前に「敗戦の否認」をしているのですね。「国体護持」を唱えながら、国を真剣に守るという思考が停止していたのです。

で、敗戦の事実が確定した後にも、それをだらしなく続ける。だから、関係者たちの責任が放置され、今日でも追及が甘い。インパール作戦では、作戦を立てた牟田口廉也(むたぐち れんや)の責任は極めて重いわけです。この点についてはインパール作戦を検証する番組などでも論じられます。しかし、牟田口が戦後も何の罰も受けずに天寿を全うしたことはほとんど取り上げられません。彼はあれほどひどい作戦を遂行したのに、畳の上で死んでいるんです。そのことには全然光を当てない。

これは731部隊もそうですね。731部隊が戦時中にいかにひどいことをやったかについては何度も論じられているので、そのことは広く知られているわけです。だから今日では、731部隊の連中が戦後も活躍し、ついには薬害エイズ事件まで引き起こしてしまったということに関心を向けさせるべきです。

國分:それはイラク戦争についてもそうですね。最近イギリスはイラク戦争について膨大な量の報告書を発表しましたが、日本はわずかA4数枚の報告書だけで済ませています。第2次世界大戦についてもまともに責任を追及していません。関係者の責任を追及しないというのが日本のお家芸のようなものになってしまっている。

欧米へのコンプレックスとアジアへのレイシズム

國分:そこで白井君のビジョンを聞きたいのですが、日本国民はきちんと責任を取る近代的主体になるべきだと考えていますか。『国体論』は近代的主体を肯定しているように見えると同時に、そういう安易な解決策を拒否しているようにも見えます。この点についてどう考えていますか。

白井:それは結局のところ、どのような政治秩序を目指すべきかという話になると思うんですが、僕はあまり「こうあるべきだ」という理想がないんです。アメリカやヨーロッパではデモクラシーが理想とされていますが、彼らのデモクラシーが今うまく機能しているようには見えません。それではデモクラシーが無理だからといって、中国やロシアのように権威主義でいけばいいかというと、こちらにも多くの問題があります。

政治について研究すればするほど、それに期待することが少なくなりました。まあ大体において政治なんてろくなもんじゃない。

重要なのは、政治ではなく、国民が元気でいられるかどうか、です。国民に元気さえあれば、政治はろくでもなくても、それなりの秩序を形成できると思います。

たとえば、中国の人たちと話をしていると、彼らの中にナショナリズムと非ナショナリズムが共存していることがわかり、すごく面白いんですね。彼らは「共産党なんてろくでもない」と思っている一方で、「共産党しかない」とも思っている。それで自分は何をするのかというと、自分の商売を頑張る。こういう発想なんですね。

これは「自民党なんていいとは思わないけど、自民党しかない」として自民党を支持している日本国民とは似て非なるものだと思います。日本の場合は政治に対してすごくナイーブなんですよ。

國分:いまの問題に関しては『国体論』の中に1つの答えが出ていて、白井君はそれを「奴隷」という言葉で表しています。ニーチェが言ったように、奴隷は自らが奴隷であることを否認し、自分の現状をすばらしいものだと思い込んでいる。そして、「お前は奴隷なんだぞ」と言ってくる自由人たちを誹謗中傷し、自分の惨めな境遇を押し付けようとする。

この奴隷根性に関して非常にショッキングなのは、白井君の本によく出てくるアメリカの元国務長官、ジョン・フォスター・ダレスの分析です。ダレスは日本について、日本人は欧米人に対するコンプレックスと同時にアジア人に対するレイシズムを持っており、この2つをうまく利用すれば日本を支配できる、と言った。

実際、日本はそれをうまく利用され、支配されてきました。戦後の日本がアメリカの支配の中で受け取った価値観は、自由主義でも民主主義でもなく、結局のところ近隣のアジア諸国を差別する権利だったわけです。こうしたコンプレックスの中にいるかぎり、日本の奴隷根性がなくなるはずがない。

これに対して、「共産党はろくでもないけど共産党しかない」と言っている中国には、奴隷根性はないわけですね。そこが「自民党しかない」と言っている日本との違いだと思います。中国の学生たちを見ていても、彼らには奴隷根性はないでしょう。
『国体論』の先にある日本にとって重要な課題

白井:そう思いますね。中国の学生たちが会社に就職したあとにまず何を考えるかというと、どうやってその会社を辞めて独立するかということですからね。

最初の問いに戻れば、支配されているという事実、日本の状況がどんどん悪くなっているという事実から目を背けている奴隷根性が、安倍政権を支えている。

國分:この奴隷根性から脱出することが日本にとって重要な課題であり、『国体論』のひとつの課題でもあったと思います。ただその際、奴隷根性から脱出したあとの姿があまりイメージできないということも事実です。

僕は『国体論』を読み、その問題意識に強く共感すると同時に、奴隷根性から脱した先のことを具体的に考えていく必要があると思いました。この問題は今後も白井君と一緒に考えていきたいと思っています。

白井:まずは「国体」のもと、支配されていることを否認するという病癖に日本人が気づくことから始めるしかないでしょう。

東洋経済オンライン、2018/07/26 8:00
日本人から思考を奪う「国体の正体」とは何か
隷属状態からの脱出が日本の最重要課題だ

白井 聡 : 政治学者、京都精華大学人文学部専任講師
國分 功一郎 : 哲学者、東京工業大学リベラルアーツ研究教育院教授
https://toyokeizai.net/articles/-/229556

posted by fom_club at 14:35| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

Ending poverty and hunger and Promoting good education, health and welbeing

HOW well is the world doing with Agenda 2030 and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals? Not nearly well enough, it appears.

Three years after United Nations member states agreed on the ambitious 15-year programme at a New York summit, a third stocktaking of government efforts has been released: the 2018 SDG Index and Dashboards Report.

Sadly, it shows no country is on track to achieve all goals by 2030. These include ending poverty and hunger, promoting good education, health and well-being, achieving clean water and sanitation as well as affordable and clean energy, and reaching gender equality.

Leaders on the Index − a composite measure of progress across all goals − are Sweden, Denmark, and Finland, and the report notes that even they needed to up their game to reach the targets by 2030.

Germany and France are the only G7 countries among the top 10. The United States ranks 35th; China and the Russian Federation rank 54th and 63rd respectively. Indeed, the report cites the US and Russia as having taken the least action towards implementing the goals.

Detailed two-page profiles of SDG progress on every indicator that makes up the index are provided for all UN member states, along with trend data indication of how fast countries are progressing. Produced by the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), the report estimates whether a country is likely to achieve a particular SDG based on historic rates of progress.

Overall, progress is slowest on some of the environmental goals. Whereas many high-income countries have almost completely eradicated extreme poverty or hunger, they obtain their lowest scores on such goals as “responsible consumption and production”, “climate action”, or “life below water”. And, low-income countries score significantly lower still as they tend to lack adequate infrastructure and mechanisms to manage key environmental issues. Low-income nations are, however, making significant progress on ending extreme poverty and access to health and education services.

Says SDSN director Jeffrey D. Sachs: “Once again, the Northern European countries come out on top of the SDG index, and the poorest countries come out at the bottom. The implications are clear: The social-market philosophy of a mixed economy that balances the market, social justice and green economy is the route to the SDGs.”

How did Malaysia fare? With a 2018 SDG Index score of 70, Malaysia ranks 55th out of 156 countries, and 2nd within Asean, one rank lower than China but eight ranks higher than Russia.

You can see how we scored on all 17 SDGs in the full report, available at this link: http://bit.ly/2uI6itG, starting on page 288.

As you’ll see, Malaysia continues to make progress against SDG 1 − reducing poverty − which stands today at 0.6 per cent, down from 49 per cent in the 1970s. This remarkable shift started with the New Economic Policy, introduced in 1970 to eradicate poverty and restructure societal imbalance. Each subsequent five-year Malaysia development plan has underscored sustainable economic growth, growth with equitable distribution to all sections of society, access to basic infrastructure and utilities, access to education and healthcare services, and mainstreamed environmental conservation.

Agenda 2030 increases the resolve to pursue the journey on sustainable development more aggressively. Thus, Malaysia has aligned SDG principles with the 11th Malaysia Plan, which will entrench SDGs in all facets of Malaysia’s development. Our achievement already of this high priority goal does great credit to Malaysia.

Likewise, Malaysia is reported as having made inroads in utilising clean energy (SDG 7). This has come about thanks to a legislative framework, policies and implementation strategies designed to reduce dependency on fossil fuels. Despite an upward trend in clean energy, however, a downward trend is reported for Malaysia on climate action (SDG 13).

As the Fourth Industrial Revolution dawns, we have armed ourselves with digital tools and innovative knowledge and technology to ensure economic viability and social security, highly evident in our reported progress against SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth) and 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure).

The report suggests we have stagnated in critical areas, notably sustainable cities and communities (SDG11). By 2030, the Malaysian population will be 80 per cent urban. We need to both green our cities and make them more efficient, providing high-level services to people with the help of smart communication devices and other high-tech tools. This will drive economic growth through new high technology development investments, jobs and innovation.

Other areas in Malaysia in which stagnation is reported: zero hunger (SDG 2), life on land (SDG 15), and partnerships for the goals (SDG 17).

Dozens of parameters go into the index calculations, and it is helpful to have an outside assessment of our performance on each one at this still-early stage of Agenda 2030. We can only hope that our success improves in Malaysia as we emerge to be a more prosperous high-income country − a milestone foreseen in the not too distant future.

[photo]
The 2018 SDG Index and Dashboards Report shows that no country is on track to achieve all goals by 2030, including ending poverty and hunger, promoting good education, health and wellbeing.

New Straits Times, Published: July 23, 2018 - 11:40am
Sustainable development goals: Are we on track?
By ZAKRI ABDUL HAMID
https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2018/07/393474/sustainable-development-goals-are-we-track

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UNESCO World Book Capital

BASED on a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) report, Malaysia’s literacy rate stands at 94.64 per cent, which is very high according to the standard of measurement set by the Unesco Institute for Statistics.

The Adult and Youth Literacy: National Regional and Global Trends report published in 2016 stated that out of 85 per cent of Malaysians who read regularly, 77 per cent preferred newspapers, three per cent read magazines, three per cent read books and 1.6 per cent read comics.

There is a lot of room for improvement in trying to attain a literacy rate of 99 per cent by 2020 and enhance the quality of material read.

The International Journal of Research in Social Sciences highlighted that in Malaysia, the mainstream readers are students perusing books for examinations rather than knowledge and pleasure.

The habit of reading in the country has deteriorated with the prevalence of digital devices, which the young find much easier to access compared to books.

University of Malaya, for instance, is improving access to reading materials at the tertiary institution. Acting chief librarian Mahbob Yusof said as technology and trends keep changing, reading methods and mediums have also evolved, moving away from printed books to electronic, digital, web and social media platforms which are extensively used by students to read, write as well as communicate.

“Online learning has been made simpler and fun with graphical content and multimedia which are interactive and animated with videos and sound effects.

“The Internet has become the crux of students’ experiences in learning. They go to the library not only to refer to the collection but also to access the Internet. They enjoy reading online as well as socialising virtually.”

The 2016/2017 university statistics showed that 189,000 books were borrowed from the library and more than 600,000 visits to a network of libraries were recorded.

STYLES

Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman’s Mary Kuok Pick Hoo Library acting director Ang Suan Sim said undergraduates prefer to read online using the smartphone and tablet, which are convenient and mobile-friendly.

However, some do go to the library to read the hard copy of newspapers and magazines, and reference books.

Universiti Teknologi MARA chief librarian Noor Hidayat Adnan said digital and electronic medium and resources are the trend as they are interactive and save paper. “Technologies such as augmented reality offer an interactive experience of a real-world environment.”

In Malaysia, he added, those who are less information technology-literate still read printed materials.

Senior librarian Mohd Alfarabie Mohd Nasir at PerpustakaanTun Abdul Razak (PTAR), UiTM Shah Alam, said undergraduates read books for academic purposes.

“They read fiction when they are not busy with assignments and exams,” he added. “To enhance reading habits, there should be more book promotions on social media.”

Ang feels many students do read but prefer light reading material as they want information fast and at their convenience.

“With the influence of digital technology, students are resorting to iPads and smartphones to read e-books and daily news online,” she said.

INITIATIVES

Campaigns to promote reading as a cool and fun activity by popular icons of the country can highlight the significance of reading.

“Youths especially are easily influenced by mass and social media. If they see posters or images − at the bus stop and in the train − of their idols reading, then perhaps it should be taken to the next level and be perceived as something exciting and rewarding,” said Mahbob.

Noor Hidayat added that students should not only read to pass examinations. “Parents must foster a reading habit from childhood and support reading encouragement programmes at libraries,” said Noor Hidayat.

Some undergraduates are so focused on their academic performance that they neglect reading other genres.

“To overcome this, offer more choices of books and raise awareness of the importance of reading to enhance knowledge,” said Mohd Alfarabie.

At UM, the management has initiated many activities to instil good reading habits. These include a reader-friendly environment, a listing of newly purchased books on the library website and a display of new and interesting items in the collection.

The library also organises reading-related activities and promotes these events on social media.

To encourage reading, teachers and family members must motivate students to read and make it a daily habit.

“It is important to discuss current events, world news and latest books during meal times to encourage reading and updates on the latest,” added Ang.

At Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman Sungai Long campus, more than 275,000 volumes of books, publications and online resources catering to all programmes of studies and different types of fiction are available.

“Students can recommend books for the library to purchase. Their input is taken into consideration collectively when we buy books.”

The library provides access to online resources 24/7, on and off-campus. Bookings and loans of library books can be done online.

The library has a spacious and conducive reading environment in a cosy corner with a sofa, private discussion rooms and a variety of conference papers, magazines, journals and newspapers, both online and print versions.

“We conduct the Library Information Skills Programme every trimester to help students optimise the use of library resources.

“We collaborate with publishers and companies to promote reading through activities such as book fairs, exhibitions, talks and workshops on research, and how to get published in international peer-reviewed journals.”

During Language Week, the library partners with the faculties to promote the habit of reading and use of the English language.

Noor Hidayat said libraries must be visible and approachable in providing services and materials.

“At PTAR, students attend talks by book publishers.

“Certain areas for studies have been upgraded and students are rewarded for their participation such as the highest borrower award.

“PTAR Mobile apps help users to search online articles anywhere at any time,” he added.

The apps can be downloaded via App Store or browse https://digitalcampus.uitm.edu.my/. Features include “What’s On” (library calendar), “Info Caster” (a search on library resources) and latest announcements.

UiTM Shah Alam holds programmes such as Jom Baca 10 Minit and Bedah Buku, and promotes new books on Facebook and Twitter.

“We organise book fairs at the library, with special prices for students,” said Mohd Alfarabie.

Ang added that courses on mind mapping and speed reading make reading more fun while English Language lecturers can include monthly book reviews and oral presentations as assignments to instil good reading habits and inculcate critical thinking.

Reading habits can be improved by making students aware of what they are missing out when they do not read widely. Students need to stay abreast of the changing landscape of their future profession to have competitive edge.

“Sessions to enhance reading skills should be held for students,” said Mahbob.

“There is an allocation for reading materials covering a broad range of genres including fiction, biography, self-improvement, motivation and entrepreneurship.

“We have increased the number of books on loan in addition to extending the loan period. We also provide other reading formats such as Kindle and audio books apart from the conventional reading medium.”


[photo]

New Straits Times, Published: July 25, 2018 - 1:38pm
Boosting the reading habit
By Zulita Mustafa
https://www.nst.com.my/education/2018/07/394232/boosting-reading-habit

Who knew books and running could be connected in the same event?

KL Book Run 2018 was part of a campaign to support Kuala Lumpur’s attempt to be named World Book Capital by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) in 2020.

Held alongside the KL Car Free Morning event, it was organised by Permodalan Guru Malaysia Bhd and supported by OCBC KL Car Free Morning, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and the Federal Territories Ministry at Dataran DBKL in Jalan Raja Laut.

Education director-general Datuk Dr Amin Senin said the run, which drew 2,000 local and international participants, was a show of support by KL-ites who signed the declaration of support at the event.

“Being a world book capital will be good for the book industry and tourism as tourists and book lovers will visit the chosen capital, as what we saw in previous capitals like Bangkok and Athens.

“We will organise events leading up to 2020 and Unesco will be publicising the events to the world,” he said.

National Book Council of Malaysia director Abdul Wahab Ibrahim said the Education Ministry, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, National Book Council of Malaysia, and DBKL were pushing for Kuala Lumpur to be the world book capital.

He said some reasons why Kuala Lumpur should be chosen was that there were 27 public libraries in Kuala Lumpur and the KL International Book Fair attracted two million visitors annually.

Dr Amin said the culture and diversity of Malaysia was a unique point to be considered, too.

Athens in Greece was chosen as this year’s world book capital and Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, was selected for next year.

The chosen city for 2020 will be announced by June.

A participant at the run, Norashida Sairan, said she looked forward to visiting the upcoming KL International Book Fair.

“I will buy some novels, and books for my children,” said the 34-year-old medical assistant from Cheras.

Speaking about the OCBC KL Car Free Morning, its implementation committee co-chairman Datuk Naim Mohamed said the objective was to promote unity, healthy lifestyle, family bonding and saving the environment.

It is open to the public for free.

“This is the fifth year we have organised the event, held every first and third Sunday of the month.

“We were contacted by organisers in Kuantan, Melaka, and Putrajaya, and three years ago, Singapore, who want to organise their own car-free events,” he said.

He said that while the public was encouraged to take public transport, most still preferred driving to the event.

“It is more about raising awareness. Since we began in 2013, we received increasing support from the public.

“Rapid Rail, the operator of Rapid KL’s LRT, monorail and MRT services, also supports the event by allowing full-sized bicycles on board the Rapid KL LRT on days when the KL Car-Free Morning is held,” he said.


[photo-1]
The KL Book Run was held together with the KL Car Free Morning event to gain support for the city’s attempt to be World Book Capital in 2020.

[photo-2]
Abdul Wahab said the KL International Book Fair attracted two million visitors annually.

The Star, Published: Wednesday, 4 Apr 2018
KL vying to be named World Book Capital
By Oh Ing Yeen
https://www.thestar.com.my/metro/metro-news/2018/04/04/vying-to-be-named-world-book-capital-city-folk-pledge-support-to-put-kuala-lumpur-on-unesco-map/

posted by fom_club at 13:23| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

The last straw

CLIMATE change.
Greenhouse gases.
Fish farms.
Palm oil production.
Pesticides.
Overpopulation.
Overconsumption.
Plastic waste.
...
What do all these global environmental challenges have in common?

They are all well known, they are grave and in need of our urgent attention. And they make us feel helpless. What can we possibly do, as individuals facing such a magnitude of adversity? And mind you, I haven’t even mentioned ocean acidification, general deforestation, genetic engineering, overfishing, acid rain and our very Malaysian phenomenon of the annual haze.

Climate change seems to be a somewhat fuzzy eco-warrior’s cry. Yet, the rainy season is no longer as clearly defined as it used to be. Too much meat consumption is enabling greenhouse gases. Yet we like our satay sticks, tandoori chicken and beef rendang. And low-carb, high protein diets are a girl’s best bet for a beach body.

We had only just agreed that farming fish for consumption is better than to deplete the already strained wild fish populations, and saves turtles and dolphins from the hazards of unintentional catches. Yet fish farms destabilise the ecosystem.

Palm oil production is vastly contested the world over. Alas, this industry provides countless and dearly needed employment opportunities in rural areas. Plus, it is unavoidable as it is not only present in food but in packaging, cosmetics, detergents and all sorts of everyday products.

Pesticides kill pollinators like bees and otherwise useful insects. They cause cancer and they poison our food. Yet organic food is still way too expensive for most households to be considered a feasible alternative.

Overpopulation is a very sensitive subject. Should we submit ourselves to a self-enforced, worldwide one-child policy? It didn’t exactly go too well in China, did it? Like I said, what can we, as single individuals, do? Even if we are considerate shoppers, consumers and procreators, we feel like we will hardly make any impact at all.

Are you depressed yet? Sorry for that, I didn’t mean to ruin your day. There is something we can all do, however. We can easily curb our plastic waste. And the good news is, it won’t even impact our comfort.

We all remember our shock when a massive floating island of plastic waste was discovered in the Pacific Ocean. We watched in horror as pictures of whales and sea birds with stomachs full of plastic hit our social media timelines. We are disgusted as we stroll along the beach and find way more plastic trash than seashells.

Oh, and by the way, need I mention the habit of hanging little plastic bags of leftover teh tarik on tree branches by the roadside? This one is almost as iconic to Malaysia as the mat rempit wearing his jacket backwards.

Plastic production and its waste management is one area where we can all make a difference. Plastic is a reality in our daily life, there’s no way around it, not yet anyway. By the time we leave for work in the morning, we would have touched plastic a few dozen times already. Toothpaste, toothbrush, shower gel, toilet seat − you get my drift.

The real culprit, however, is the so-called single use plastic. Grocery bag, water bottle, cling wrap, food containers, cutlery, coffee stirrers and cup lids, plastic straws. All these items are either unnecessary or have replaced a perfectly good, reusable alternative made of cloth, glass, porcelain, metal or, well yes, straw.

Next time you carry your groceries to your car, consider how grateful you are that your cloth bag won’t rip and spill your goods all over the parking lot.

Next time you indulge in a fine meal, notice how you savour it being served on a fine porcelain plate.

Next time you enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail, think about how much better it tastes when served in a real glass.

And, like me, order that drink without a straw.

Let yesterday’s refreshment be the one you sipped from your last straw.

[photo]
Grocery bags, water bottles, cling wraps, food containers, coffee stirrers and plastic straws − all these have polluted our lives one way or the other.

New Straits Times, Published: July 27, 2018 - 7:51am
The last straw
By Fanny Bucheli-Rotter
The writer is a long-term expatriate, a restless traveller, an observer of the human condition and unapologetically insubordinate.
https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2018/07/394908/last-straw

posted by fom_club at 12:36| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

Lessons from the World Cup

The FIFA World Cup 2018 ended recently. It was full of action and drama.

There were some shocking early exits from the likes of Germany and Brazil.

And some un-fancied teams, including finalists Croatia, and the perennial underperformers England, made great progress along the tournament.

It was both a tremendous sporting spectacle and a global traffic-stopping phenomenon. I watched the games as a football fan but I also got to observe some useful leadership and team skills.

From the understated leadership that England manager Gareth Southgate offered; to the incredible work-rate of defensive midfielder N’golo Kante from France; and the outstanding gesture of the Japan national team that cleaned up their dressing room, and left a thank you note!

The competition also saw some ugly moments like when Brazilian playmaker Neymar feigned serious life-threatening injury every time someone touched him; to FIFA ambassador Diego Maradona showing

the middle finger unceremoniously to fans from Nigeria; and to when Nikola Kalinic from Croatia was sent back home for not wanting to play as a substitute in their opening match.

I reflected on some of these highs and lows, and I would like to offer some insights from the World Cup that may be useful for your work-life.

How does someone in a team put aside their personal interests when it comes to achieving a team’s goal?

The first thing to remember is that the moment you enter an organisation, you become part of a larger structure. The only way you can be effective in a team is for you to decide to be purpose driven in all your interactions thereafter.

As a leadership coach and a management consultant, I spend time with teams that are seriously ridden by conflict. Many people don’t understand that when you come together as a group, there are always going to be competing interests.

People come to work with different philosophies. You have different lifestyles, varying experiences, your way of thinking is coloured and peppered by your past, and you have different aspirations. But, when you come together as a team, you need to learn to park all of this aside and focus on what the team’s aspirations are.

The World Cup showed that when you are part of a team, you cannot be motivated purely by self-interest. The question is not so much whether you need to suppress your own interests, but it is whether or not you truly understand your purpose drive?

What if a person’s principles change or the direction of the company changes, where do you go from here?

This is a real issue in a lot of organisations. Often companies change course or the leadership changes.

And each time this happens, the direction or even the values that underpin your company might change.

For example in Malaysia, if you are a civil servant, over the past few months, the direction of the nation has changed. And, the new CEO’s (Prime Minister) management style has changed, dramatically.

You will find that if you were driven by the ideology or principles of your former leaders, you might not be able to work in this job anymore.

But, if you think that this is a better way of running the business (country), you will certainly believe that you can change for the better.

Many of us change throughout our careers. We adjust and adapt to our new reality. And, once again, it is your purpose drive that determines how successful you are at doing this.

How does an employee manage their personal interests in order to be a team player? The most valuable employee in any company is the one that can balance their personal interests with the organisation’s interests. Often, your personal interests take centre stage at work. You need to be

better at what you do, as this will ensure that you will get the ensuing monetary, and status benefits.

However, when you work in a group, you also have to understand that it is the collective effort that brings results.

You saw the superstars at the World Cup. Brilliant players leaving much earlier than perhaps you expected. This is because when yo

u are part of a squad, you have to work and fire-up together, in order for you to get results. You just cannot do it on your own. Your individual brilliance will only get you up to a point.

Let’s take Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo as a case in point.

In the first match of the group stages when his team played Spain, he single-handedly kept them in the game, by scoring three superb individual goals. However, he could not do it for seven games consecutively, to help Portugal become the world champions.

The World Cup, somewhat, reflects behaviour patterns at your work-places.

You must work on your personal skills and become better at what you do, but the highest value task for you is to actually understand how to work with other people.

Learn to understand others, learn to communicate efficiently, and learn to collaborate with the people around you, because you need them to be successful at work.

[photo-1]
Croatian fans welcome the Croatian national team in Zagreb, Croatia, 16 July 2018.

[photo-2]
French supporters celebrate on the Champs Elysees their team's victory after the FIFA World Cup 2018 final match between France and Croatia in Paris, France, 15 July 2018. France won 4-2.

New Straits Times, Published: July 27, 2018 - 8:00am
Lessons from the World Cup
By SHANKAR R. SANTHIRAM
https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2018/07/387969/work-matters-make-your-own-luck-work

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闇の中、完全に腐ってる

 安倍晋三首相は自民党の岸田文雄政調会長と面会したのか−−。岸田氏は24日の記者会見で、9月の党総裁選への立候補見送りについて23日に首相と面会したうえで、24日に電話で連絡したと明かした。しかし、菅義偉官房長官は25日の記者会見で「会ったことはない」と否定した。首相官邸幹部も「首相は明快に『会っていない』と言っている」と話した。

 首相の面会者を記録する報道各社の首相動静(毎日新聞は首相日々)では、23日に首相が岸田氏と面会した記録はない。ただし、官邸やホテルなど複数の通用口がある場合、全ての面会者を記録できるわけではない。23日の首相動静は、首相は昼から夕方まで官邸にいたが、午後3時前までの約3時間は来客がなかった。

 首相の面会記録は、学校法人「加計学園」問題でも焦点が当たった。首相は、愛媛県文書に記載があった2015年2月25日の加計孝太郎理事長との面会も、首相動静に記載がないなどとして否定している。


毎日新聞、最終更新 7月25日 20時09分
自民
首相と岸田氏は「面会した」のか「会ってない」のか

野口武則
https://mainichi.jp/articles/20180726/k00/00m/010/077000c

 岸田政調会長がきのう7月24日、はやばやと自民党総裁選に出馬しないことを決めたと宣言した。
 ご丁寧に、安倍首相の政策を支えるとまで言って、3年後の禅譲を懇願している。
 なんという腰砕け振りだ。
 これで9月の自民党総裁選は石破との一騎打ちとなることは確実だ。
 これこそが安倍首相が望んでいた事だ。
 石破に圧勝できる自信があるからではない。
 みずからの憲法9条改憲を実現できるからだ。

 石破は国防オタクであり本格的な改憲論者だ。
 石破は、今度の総裁選では、安倍改憲案を批判して、戦力不保持を謳う憲法9条2項を削除して自衛隊を国軍にせよという持論を主張せざるを得ないだろう。
 そうなると、平和憲法は変えません、ただ自衛隊合憲を明記するだけです、といういかさま改憲を掲げる安倍首相が正しく見える。
 国民はだまされる。
 かくて安倍首相のごまかし憲法9条改憲の実現がいよいよ現実のものとなる。
 憲法9条改憲こそ安倍首相の悲願だ。
 3選を確実にして、あとは自衛隊明記の9条改憲に向かってまっしぐらだ。

 どんどんと左翼に純化していく立憲民主党では、国民はついて行かない。
 そんな立憲民主党が野党第一党では安倍改憲は防げない。
 安倍首相は笑いが止まらないだろう。
 しかし、そうはいかない。

 憲法9条が立ち上がって安倍いかさま改憲の前に立ちふさがる。
 それが新党憲法9条だ。
 憲法9条を最強の外交・安保政策として掲げ、対米従属から自立するとともに、中国、韓国、北朝鮮と平和的に共存、共栄する。
 それを訴える新党憲法9条こそ、3選後の安倍外交が逆立ちしても勝てない政党だ。
 安倍首相を倒すのは、安倍首相が葬り去ろうとしている憲法9条である。
 その憲法9条の下に結集する国民の政党こそ新党憲法9条の目指すものである。
 天皇陛下のお言葉に応える新党である。


天木直人のブログ、2018-07-25
腰砕けの岸田と国防オタクの石破を前に安倍の高笑いが聞こえる
http://kenpo9.com/archives/4025

 安倍晋三首相は25日夜、首相公邸に地元・山口県の県議約30人を招いて会食した。出席者によると弁当と、お茶やジュースなどのノンアルコール飲料だけが用意され、酒は提供されなかった。「かん口令」(出席者)でこの会合は公にされず、報道各社の首相動静には記されていない。被災地への配慮に欠けるとの批判を受けないよう、ひそかに開催した。

 首相は西日本豪雨の甚大被害が明白になった7日以降、飲食店での夜の会食を控えている。5日夜に東京・赤坂の議員宿舎で開かれた飲み会「赤坂自民亭」への批判の大きさを考慮して自粛しているようだ。

 首相は25日午後6時42分に官邸から公邸に移り、そのまま宿泊。県議たちは午後8時半過ぎに公邸から出てきた。友田有・自民県連幹事長は記者団に「首相とは会っていない。公邸の見学をした」と語った。しかし実際には首相との会合や写真撮影が行われ、首相は「復旧した上で今後の災害を防がねばならない」と熱弁を振るったという。

 赤坂自民亭では、出席議員が会場の写真をツイッターに投稿したことが批判に拍車をかけた。公邸の会合では、友田幹事長が出席者にネットへの投稿を自粛するよう呼びかける場面もあったといい、首相周辺の緊張感がうかがえる。

 自民党の閣僚経験者は「なぜ隠す必要があるのか」といぶかったが、ある出席者は「被災地を意識したのだろう」と話した。


毎日新聞、最終更新 7月27日 03時17分
安倍首相
炎上怖い?極秘開催 公邸で夜会合

竹内望、浜中慎哉
https://mainichi.jp/articles/20180727/k00/00m/010/177000c

posted by fom_club at 12:14| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

熱中症を網戸で耐え忍んだ生活保護の現実

網戸からエアコンへ
生活保護の大変革


 2018年6月27日、厚労省は画期的な通知を発行した。一言でいえば、生活保護世帯のエアコン設置・保有を「まったく問題ない」と認め、さらに保護費からの給付を可能にする内容だ。これまで、生活保護制度のもとで公認されてきた暑さ対策は、ほぼ、住宅維持費の一部としての網戸設置費用だけだった(本連載バックナンバー『生活保護での猛暑対策補助、「想定内」は網戸まで』参照)。

 冷房器具がなく、あるいはあっても電気代の増加を恐れて使い控える生活保護世帯では、もともと夏に熱中症で倒れる事例が珍しくない。2018年夏は酷暑となることが予想されており、4月や5月には、すでに夏日や真夏日が見られていた。過去に例を見ない酷暑となりそうな2018年の夏がやってきたらどうなるのかは、想像してみるまでもなかった。厚労省保護課の職員たちは、健康被害や生命が失われる事態を避けるため、全力をあげて調整したのであろう。この点は、心から評価し歓迎したい。

 酷暑が続く今日このごろ、暑すぎる部屋の中で非人間的なガマンを強いられ、夜は眠れず、健康を損ないそうな生活保護の方々に、私は大声で「みなさん、エアコンつけられるってよ!」と叫びたい。もともと、社会福祉協議会(社協)の貸付による購入・取り付けは可能だったのだが、一歩前進、いや、歴史的な大ジャンプだ。

 生活保護のもとで耐久消費財の保有が認められる条件は、「その地域で70%の世帯が保有している」ということだ。冷蔵庫、洗濯機、カラーテレビなどの「三種の神器」をはじめとする多数の耐久消費財が、「70%」という基準により、世の中全体から少し遅れて、生活保護世帯にも認められてきた。しかし冷房に関しては、クーラーの保有が認められたのは1994年だった。

 この年、埼玉県の79歳の女性に対し、福祉事務所は既に設置されていたクーラーの取り外しを求めた。その夏、女性は熱中症で入院した。厚生省(当時)は同年9月になって、クーラーの保有を認めたが、あくまで保有することを認めただけだ。その後も、冷房機器の購入に関しては「妨害?」と勘ぐりたくなる状況が続いていた。

2011年7月、厚労省はすべての生活保護世帯に対して、社会福祉協議会から生活福祉資金の貸付を受けてエアコンを購入することを認める通知を発行した。もちろん、貸付なので返済する必要があり、返済は保護費からの「天引き」で行われるのが原則だ。とはいえ、「最低限度の生活」の費用から天引きすれば、生活が「最低限度」以下になる可能性もある。また、エアコンに必要な電気代は考慮されていない。

 また、生活保護費から貯蓄を行い、エアコンを購入することもできる。生活保護費の用途は自由であること、貯蓄を行う自由もあることは、「中島学資訴訟」判決(2005年確定)など数多くの訴訟で認められている。エアコンを購入できないわけはない。

 しかし2016年以後、厚労省は生活保護世帯に対し、年に一度「資産申告書」を提出することを求めている。「貯蓄するな」「貯蓄ができるのなら、保護費は多すぎるということでは?」という暗黙のメッセージとも取れる。そもそも2013年以後、生活保護基準は引き下げられ続ける一方なので、貯蓄の余地が減っている。

 制度を文面どおりに「社協の貸付があります」「貯蓄して購入することはできます」と案内するのでは、まったく不十分なのだ。そして、それも認めない福祉事務所やケースワーカーが存在するという、残念すぎる現実がある。

 6月27日の厚労省通知は、それらの問題を、どのように解決したのだろうか。

どこでも誰でも「エアコンOK」
厚労省通知の画期的な内容


 新規に生活保護を利用し始める場合、布団や冷蔵庫などの最低限の耐久消費財を対象とした「家具什器費」が利用でき、限度額は4万5800円(特別基準)だ。これまでは「新規」の場合に限定されていたが、6月27日の通知により、「新規」の場合に加えて、災害による被災や転居、犯罪被害やDV被害などの事情がある場合、すなわち、ゼロに近い地点からの再スタートを余儀なくされる場合が列挙された。生活保護での新規スタート、あるいは再スタートの場合には、生活費とは別に、必要な物品を4万5800円まで保護費で購入できるわけだ。

6月27日の通知では、これらの事情がある場合に冷房器具の購入に対して5万円が認められ、さらに対象者は「熱中症予防が特に必要とされる者」と明記されている。厚労省が、熱中症を発症する生活環境は「健康で文化的」とは呼べないことを認め、生活保護費による対策の可能性を示した。このことの意義と価値は大きい。

 さらに設置費用は、各福祉事務所の裁量によって保護費でカバーされることとなった。これらの費用は、75%が国、25%が地方自治体から支出される。「国が費用面の責任の4分の3を背負うから、福祉事務所は現場で熱中症を予防するように」という厚労省のメッセージと取れなくもない。「やっと?」「今頃になって?」という溜息もこぼれるけれど。

 さらに念押しのように、暖房器具と冷房器具の併給を認め、「熱中症予防が特に必要とされる者」を高齢者、障害者、小児、難病患者に限定せず、福祉事務所が「健康状態や住環境等を総合的に勘案」することを求めている。また、熱中症予防が必要な時期も「総合的に勘案の上、判断」するよう求めている(実施要領の改定に関する通知)。

 つまり、どの地域の誰に対しても、「熱中症予防」の名目のもと、生活保護でのエアコンの保有と使用を認め、費用も出すということだ。この夏の酷暑は、健康な成人に対しても多大な熱中症リスクをもたらしている。「冬に寒い北海道だから、夏は涼しい」という常識も成り立たない。生活保護の運用は、現実に一気に歩み寄った。

電気代は自腹、前年度以前は適用外
「エアコン問題」はまだ残っている


 とはいえ、問題は数多く残っている。エアコンの電気代は、引き下げが重ねられた保護費からのやりくりで捻出するしかない。また今回の通知は、新規に生活保護で暮らし始める場合、あるいは、生活保護で暮らしながらゼロに近い地点からのスタートを余儀なくされる場合に限定されている。たとえば、生活保護のもとで何回も何十回も暑い夏を耐え忍んできた重度障害者の住まいに、エアコンが取り付けられることになるわけではない。

 この通知は、7月1日付けの改正に関するものなので、本来は7月1日から有効になる。しかし、4月1日以後に新規に生活保護で暮らし始めた人、あるいは同等と認められる人にも遡って適用されることになっている。前年度以前に遡って財務省を説得するわけにはいかなかった厚労省の苦渋がうかがえる気はするのだが、「2017年度以前に生活保護で暮らし始めた人は、熱中症で倒れてもかまわない」というわけにはいかないだろう。

まずは通知の周知徹底を
ケースワーカーが「知らない」では困る


 生活保護問題対策全国会議は、この通知について、7月26日に厚労省に申し入れと交渉を行った(要望書)。内容を要約すると、「実施機関(=福祉事務所)の柔軟な運用が可能であり必要であることを含め、改めて周知徹底を」「前年度以前に保護開始された方々も対象に」「エアコン修理費の支給(住宅修繕費)も可能ということの周知徹底を」「暑い日に実際にエアコンを使えるように、夏季加算の創設を」の4点だ。

 申し入れには、子どもがいる夫妻、施設を出て自立生活をはじめた障害者兄弟、母子世帯の3組の生活保護世帯から当事者が参加した。

 子どもがいる世帯の父親は、エアコンのない住まいの中で、障害のある小学生の子どもが毎夏熱中症でけいれんを起こして救急搬送され、1週間以上入院して治療を受けていることを語った。もちろん、その救急病院は生活保護世帯であることを知っている。毎夏のことであることも知っている。住まいにエアコンがないから、毎夏、子どもが熱中症でけいれんを起こすことも知っている。かかりつけ医療機関も知っている。父親はずっと、それらの医療機関から、エアコンの設置を勧められている。

 父親は、かかりつけ医療機関の医師から6月27日の厚労省通知を知らされ、福祉事務所でエアコンの取り付けを相談することを勧められた。しかし福祉事務所に行ってみると、担当ケースワーカーは「前年度以前から生活保護だからダメ」と断ったという。代々のケースワーカーは「貯金は禁止」と言い、社協の貸付があることは教えてこなかったが、今回の父親の相談を受けて、社協の貸付を案内したそうだ。ちなみに福島県相馬市は、厚労省の今回の通知を受け、昨年度以前から生活保護を利用している世帯・高齢者がいる非課税世帯に対しても、独自にエアコン設置費用の助成を開始している。

 障害者の兄弟は、担当ケースワーカーに今回の厚労省通知について相談したところ、「ウチではやってない」とアッサリ言われたとのことだ。

母子世帯のシングルマザーは、そもそも子どもが夏休みであることによる生活の苦しさを語った。夏休みということは、子どもの学校給食がないということだ。住まいにはエアコンがあるのだが、使えば電気代が必要になる。とはいえ日中、エアコンを使わないわけにはいかない。彼女は、「子どもたちと弁当を持って、一家で冷房のある公共施設に行き、昼間の時間を過ごしてくる」などの工夫を重ねている。

 しかし、たとえば台風接近で公共施設が利用できない日には、それも不可能だ。自分たちの住まいでエアコンを使って暮らすためには、どうしても電気代の増加を考慮した費用が、別途必要になる。生活保護の生活費は、夏のエアコンの電気代を想定していない「最低限度」だからだ。

「健康で文化的な生活」は
エアコン設置でもたらされるか


とにかく、生活保護の住まいには、エアコンを設置することができるようになった。費用が生活保護費の家具什器費から出るのか、あるいは社協の貸付を利用することになるのかはともかく、「エアコンの設置ができない」という場面は、基本的に存在しなくなった。

 とはいえ、老朽民間アパートであることが多い生活保護の住まいでは、エアコンを使用すれば、電気代が多大になるだろう。ゆくゆくは冷房費補助(夏季加算)の検討が必要であるはずだ。

 本質的に解決すべき問題は、生活保護が「健康で文化的」な生活環境を保障できていないということだ。健康や生命に危険が生じるような生活環境、電気代節約のために日中は住まいにいられない生活環境は、誰に対してもあってはならないだろう。日本のすべての人々の「健康で文化的」な暮らしのために、まずは「生活保護のお宅にはエアコンがつけられます」ということを、日本のすべての人々に知ってほしい。

[photo]
暑さ対策が網戸しかなかった生活保護の夏を変える、厚労省の画期的な通知とは

Diamond Online, 2018.7.27
エアコン代ようやく支給へ、熱中症を網戸で耐え忍んだ生活保護の現実
フリーランス・ライター、みわよしこ
https://diamond.jp/articles/-/175746

posted by fom_club at 11:57| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2018年07月26日

漫画「はたらく細胞」

月刊少年シリウスで連載中の『#はたらく細胞』公式アカウントです。2018年7月7日(土)よりTVアニメ放送開始!漫画やアニメに関するお知らせや近況を主につぶやいていきます。コミックス1〜5巻発売中!

第1話「#肺炎球菌」期間限定無料公開(7/23〜8/22)🆓
放送開始以降、多くの皆様からご好評いただいております「#はたらく細胞」第1話全編をYouTubeにて期間限定で無料公開いたしました💡
これを機に、是非ご覧ください‼️(宣伝担当)

https://youtu.be/4W_HSt4awhI

まだまだ暑い日が続きますね!
漫画「はたらく細胞」より「第6話 熱中症」を特別無料公開します。
熱中症に皆さんお気をつけください!(担当編集N)

http://akm.md-dc.jp/book/carrier/00000006/binb1.4/000000b9/binbReader.jsp

posted by fom_club at 13:51| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

the ageing mind

There are many ways that we can take charge to decrease the rate at which our brains age.

As a preventive measure, the advice is to:
# Practise regular physical activity.
# Take part in intellectually stimulating activities.
# Manage stress.
# Eat healthily.
# Stay socially active.
# Rest well.

Even if our cognitive reserve is not ideal, there is much we can do to keep mentally fit as we age.

Older people can train their minds to improve their memory and cognitive skills.

The key is to continue to keep the mind active by engaging in cognitive activities like reading, playing challenging games such as chess or crossword puzzles, learning new skills, being socially active or studying subjects that interests you.

People who engage in these activities are less likely to lose their mental ability than those who do not.

Other ways you can improve according to an article by Harvard are:

1. Use all your senses:

The more senses used to learn something, the more the brain is involved in retaining the memory.

2. Believe in yourself:

Don’t be so easily led to believe in negative stereotypes about ageing and memory. It is said that people who believe that they have no control of their memory function or joke about “senior moments” too often are less likely to work at maintaining or improving their memory skill and therefore experience cognitive decline.

3. Economise your brain use:

Try to preserve your mental energy to learning or remembering new and important things instead of where you left your keys or when is your doctor’s appointment. Make use of calendars or an appointment book to keep tabs on important dates and designate a place for items you use often. mastering the mind. With the mind being the source of stress and worryΩfactors that accelerate ageing, meditation which essentially provides a calming effect can slow down the brain’s ageing process.

While stress may not seem like an issue for older folks who have retired from the workforce and can now simply relax and enjoy their life, often it can make it worse.

With a lot of time on their hands and not much to do, the tendency to over think like rehashing the past and worrying about the future is common.

Often, this can lead to emotional upheavals.

“When we think too much, often it is about the past and future. This takes up a lot of mental energy, which starts to affect our memory and our thinking power.”

She suggests doing a mind fast to preserve one’s energy.

The key is to cut out waste thoughts (which keeps us busy doing nothing) by practising awareness.

She says to stop five times a day to recollect.

“Stop and be aware of where your thoughts are. For just three minutes, check where are your thoughts. Every time the mind runs away to some thought or another, be aware of it and it will stop and bring you back to the present. Become the embodiment of awareness and you become the embodiment of power.”

Besides helping her with her mind, meditation has also helped Bridget to gain wisdom, become more positive, happier, optimistic and have gratitude for life.


This article was composed with the help of several online sources and interview with Datuk Bridget Menezes.

Bridget is a speaker, counsellor and writer on topics related to selfimprovement, positive thinking and stress management. She is also the author of the book Self Empowerment.

The SunDaily, Published: 26 Jul 2018
MORE WAYS THAN ONE
https://www.pressreader.com/malaysia/the-sun-malaysia/20180726/281908773939642

posted by fom_club at 12:56| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

忍者の年収は950万円?

TOKYO (AFP) - A Japanese city has been left fighting off wannabe ninjas after a news report on local labour shortages that suggested it wanted to hire the traditional assassins went viral.

The western city of Iga was featured in a report by American radio station NPR this month about Japan's depopulation and labour shortage problems.

The report said Iga was trying to capitalise on its history as home to ninjas by building a new museum focused on the warriors, but was struggling to hire staff, including ninja performers.

In its reporting, NPR said ninja performers in Japan can earn anywhere between US$23,000 and US$85,000 a year. But a number of copycat reports by other media or viral sites went with less nuanced headlines such as: "This town in Japan will pay you an US$85,000 salary to train as a ninja."

By Wednesday, at least 115 aspiring assassins had contacted the city and its local tourism association, puzzled Iga officials said.

Would-be warriors from at least 14 countries had been in touch, they added.

"Iga didn't put out information about 'a lack of ninjas in Iga' or the 'annual income of ninjas', that is currently reported by some news sites on the Internet," the city said on its website.

In a statement issued in Japanese, English and three other languages, the city tried to squelch the hopes of applicants, adding: "Please be careful about fake news."

"We are just puzzled," Motoyoshi Shimai, a city official, told AFP.

"So far, neither the city nor ninja performing groups here have any plans to recruit ninja performers."

The official said the city's mayor had expressed "surprise at how big the impact of the word ninja is".

But the viral mix-up could end up being a boon for Iga, which might not be hiring ninjas, but is hoping its association with the feudal fighters will draw more tourists.

It already hosts one ninja museum, boasting a house rigged with hidden ladders, false doors and an underfloor sword box.

Visitors can watch a ninja performance or rent ninja costumes.

And they can even join a one-day ninja training programme - just don't ask about job openings.


The Straits Times, Published: Jul 25, 2018, 3:01 pm SGT
Wannabe ninjas plague Japan city after viral mix-up
[Source]--AFP
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/wannabe-ninjas-plague-japan-town-after-viral-mix-up

忍者の年収は950万円? そんなうわさを聞きつけ、忍者の里・伊賀に、世界中から問い合わせが殺到。
市役所を揺るがす騒動になっている。

大人気の忍者ショー。
手裏剣や鎖鎌などを手にした俊敏な動きに、くぎづけだった。

ここは、三重・伊賀市。
忍者の貸衣装など、街中に忍者の文化があふれている。

伊賀忍者の末裔(まつえい)が営むお茶屋さん。

店内には、忍者グッズが飾られ、「忍者パフェ」などのメニューも。
手裏剣の体験もでき、看板「ニンジャ猫」まで。

むらい萬香園・村井元治さんは「叔父は、自分が『最終忍者』だとしてやっていましたんで、夜も横になって寝なかった」、「常連さんで、海外からも何回も来てくれる人もいます。伊賀が聖地みたいなので、必ず訪れようということで」などと話した。

伊賀流忍者発祥の地として、「忍者市」を宣言した伊賀市。

2017年、日本遺産に認定された際には、岡本 栄市長自ら忍者姿で登場するなど、忍者を生かした観光誘客や街づくりを推し進めてきた。

ところが...。
「忍者が不足しているんです」

7月、岡本市長がアメリカメディアの取材を受け、忍者を生かした取り組みなどについて説明したところ、取材したラジオ番組の司会者が、その後、「岡本市長は、田舎で働くのが好きな人を募集しています。今、忍者パフォーマーは、およそ250万円から950万円の安定した給料を稼ぐことができます」との発言をした。

伊賀では忍者が不足しているため、およそ950万円も稼げると発言。
この発言がネットで拡散され、アメリカやスペインなど、世界5カ国から、あわせて100件を超える問い合わせが伊賀市に寄せられた。

伊賀市役所職員は、「市の方にも、『忍者になりたいので雇ってくれないか』というお問い合わせであったり。メールもすごくたくさん届いていて、通常業務にも少し支障が出ているような状況」と話した。

伊賀市は24日、ウェブサイト上で、「伊賀市での忍者不足や忍者の年収といったことは、伊賀市から発信した情報ではありません。また、伊賀市では忍者の募集はしておりませんのでご注意ください」と、5カ国語でコメントを発表した。

伊賀市役所職員は、「正しい忍術や忍者アクションを学びたいということで、日本中から修行に来られる方がたくさんいらっしゃいますので、伊賀では、(忍者は)不足しておりません」と語った。

そもそも忍者は不足していない?

実際、忍者ショーを開催している伊賀流忍者博物館で、この騒動について聞いてみた。
伊賀流忍者博物館・岡本恭輔氏は、「現状としては、現在は、もう足りてる状態です。当館の忍者のショーをやっているグループは、パフォーマーというくくりではでなくて、実際の伝統技術を継承する、それを伝えていくということを目的としているので、『パフォーマンス』ではないんです」と話す。

世界に広がる忍者ブームもあっての、まさかのフェイクニュース。
伊賀の里は、思わぬ試練に振り回された格好。


Yahoo! News, 7/25(水) 18:09配信
年収950万円の忍者が不足? 市役所を揺るがす騒動に
[Source]--フジテレビ系(FNN)
https://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/videonews/fnn?a=20180725-00397157-fnn-soci

posted by fom_club at 12:32| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

Malaysians most addicted to digital devices

KUALA LUMPUR: 69% (Sixty-nine per cent) of Malaysians would not be able to stop using their mobile phones, even for one day.

That is according to a new “State of Digital Lifestyles” report from Limelight Networks Inc (*), which also ranks Malaysians as the most addicted to their digital devices, followed by Indians.

When it comes to e-books, Malaysia scores the highest among the ten countries surveyed – 74.7 per cent prefer digital books, while only 25.4 per cent opt for physical copies.

Respondents in ten countries – Malaysia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States were asked how they interact with digital media and the impact of technology in their lives.

Limelight Networks said laptop and desktop computers are the second most integral technology for Malaysian respondents, with 43.4 per cent saying they cannot go a day without theirs.

As for the most commonly accessed online content among Malaysians, music comes in at number one, followed by movies or television shows, and apps.

Malaysians are not fans of paid content, however, and are least likely to shell out for online services. They are, surprisingly, followed by Singaporeans.

The report is based on responses from 5,000 consumers in the ten countries, aged 18 and older, who had downloaded software or streamed online video or music during the last month.

Limelight Networks is a global leader in digital content delivery, and empowers customers to better engage online audiences by enabling them to securely manage and globally deliver digital content, on any device.


[photo]
The State of Digital Lifestyles report ranks Malaysians as the most addicted to their digital devices.

New Straits Times, Published: July 25, 2018 - 7:06pm
Not fans of paid content but Malaysians most addicted to digital devices
[Source]–BERNAMA
https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2018/07/394377/not-fans-paid-content-malaysians-most-addicted-digital-devices

(*) “State of Digital Lifestyles” report from Limelight Networks Inc
https://www.limelight.com/blog/state-of-digital-lifestyles-2018/

TEMPE, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Consumers worldwide increasingly depend on internet-connected devices, with 80 percent reporting digital technology has made a positive impact on their lives. According to the new “State of Digital Lifestyles” report from Limelight Networks (Nasdaq: LLNW), a global leader in digital content delivery, mobile phones have become such an integral part of daily life that nearly half of consumers surveyed say they could not go a single day without them.

Respondents in ten countries were asked how they interact with digital media and the impact of technology on their lives. When asked how long people could part with their favorite digital devices, 48 percent of global consumers noted they would not be able to stop using their mobile phones for even one day. Dependence on phones was highest in Malaysia, where 69 percent of consumers noted they could not give up these devices. Laptop and desktop computers were the second most integral technology, with 33 percent of global respondents reporting they can’t go a day without theirs.

Consumers have yet to widely embrace digital assistants such as Amazon Echo and Google Home. Globally, only 19 percent currently own one of the devices, led by the U.S. at 35 percent, with Japan having the lowest adoption at seven percent. The main hurdle to adoption is that only 35 percent of consumers fully trust digital assistants to provide general information such as weather, news and research. Less than one-third (29 percent) fully trust digital assistants for online shopping, and just 22 percent trust them for home automation.

Additional insights from the report include:

# Security is a top concern when using internet-connected devices. Nearly half (45 percent) of global consumers are concerned about the privacy of data collected by digital assistants, and 42 percent worry about security and potential hacking into the devices.

# Entertainment has gone digital, with music leading the way. Globally, 61 percent of consumers prefer to stream movies and television shows online rather than downloading or using DVDs, and 53 percent prefer to stream music. Notably, only eight percent of global consumers still purchase audio CDs. Music is the most popular type of online content accessed by global consumers, followed by movies and TV shows, and apps.

# Consumers expect high-quality online experiences. Most consumers (88 percent) are frustrated by the process of accessing and using digital content, with over one-third (37 percent) noting rebuffering or stopped playback as their primary frustration.

“Digital interactions play an increasingly important role in society today, making lives more connected and productive. As people become more reliant on these connected devices for information, entertainment, and to simplify everyday tasks, expectations for performance are rising,” said Michael Milligan, Senior Director at Limelight Networks. “At Limelight, we continue to develop innovative solutions that help content distributors and manufacturers address consumer demands for high-quality, responsive, and secure online experiences.”

The State of Digital Lifestyles report is based on responses from 5,000 consumers in France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States age 18 and older who had downloaded software or streamed online video or music during the last month. The full report is available here.

About Limelight :
Limelight Networks Inc., (NASDAQ: LLNW), a global leader in digital content delivery, empowers customers to better engage online audiences by enabling them to securely manage and globally deliver digital content, on any device. The company’s Limelight Orchestrate Platform includes a global infrastructure with a fully-integrated suite of capabilities and services to help you address all your content delivery needs. The Orchestrate Platform solves your most important content delivery challenges so you can deliver the next great digital experience anywhere. For more information, visit www.limelight.com , follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


Business Wire, June 26, 2018 08:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time
Can You Give Up Your Mobile Phone for One Day? Limelight Networks’ “State of Digital Lifestyles” Report Shows Nearly Half of Consumers Could Not

Consumers increasingly depend on technology and say it has positively impacted their lives

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180626005863/en/Give-Mobile-Phone-Day-Limelight-Networks%E2%80%99-%E2%80%9CState
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Malaysia has highest diabetes rate in Asia

KUCHING: Malaysia has the highest rate of diabetes in Asia and one of the highest in the world, said National Diabetes Institute (Nadi) executive chairman Datuk Dr Mustaffa Embong.

He said about 2.5 million Malaysians aged 18 and above have the disease.

(The current population of Malaysia is 32,067,043 as of Wednesday, July 25, 2018, based on the latest United Nations estimates.)

“(In addition, our records) suggest that almost half of Malaysians do not know that they have diabetes.

“Most of the time, (sufferers of) Type 2 diabetes (show) no symptoms at all until they develop a heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, go blind or (need to have a limb) amputated,” Dr Mustaffa said.

Hence the reason why diabetes is called a “silent killer,” he added.

Dr Mustaffa was speaking on the sidelines of the 10th Diabetes Complications Conference and Grand Rounds (DCOM 2018) here yesterday.

“(At) this conference, various medical aspects and new treatments for people with diabetes will be presented,” he said.

A total of 11 diabetologists from the United States, Europe, Australia and Asia will present topics to about 200 medical practitioners during the two-day conference.


[video] NADI DAC2018 -Diabetes Asia Conference
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhO8TfGh3BE

[photo]
Conference participant Law Thia Wum trying out a medical apparatus designed for diabetes patients at the 10th Diabetes Complications Conference and Grand Rounds (DCOM 2018) held in Kuching, Sarawak, yesterday.

New Straits Times, Published: July 25, 2018 - 9:25am
Malaysia has highest diabetes rate in Asia; among highest worldwide
[Source]--Bernama
https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2018/07/394129/malaysia-has-highest-diabetes-rate-asia-among-highest-worldwide

Diabetes asia 2018 conference
July 26-29, 2018
Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK), Sarawak, Malaysia
http://www.diabetesasia.com.my/

NOVEMBER 14 − Today November 14 is World Diabetes Day, and on this occasion, the Consumers Association of Penang calls on consumers to practise healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of diabetes

Currently it is estimated that there are 3.5 million diabetics in Malaysia. Our diabetes prevalence is the highest in Asean. Diabetes prevalence in Malaysia was only 1-2per cent in 1960. It has skyrocketed to 17.5per cent this year.

As obesity is a major contributing factor to diabetes, the high incidence of diabetics in the country is not surprising, as Malaysia is the most obese country in Asia with an overweight and obesity rate of more than 45.3 per cent. According to the British medical journal, The Lancet, 49 per cent of women and 44 per cent of men in this country were found to be overweight or obese.

Excessive body weight, serves as a predisposing factor for diabetes mellitus. Due to extra amount of fat in the body, the insulin does not function properly in the body.

Normally, the main function of insulin is to allow the sugar present in the blood to enter the muscle and tissue cells. But due to increased fat in the body, the muscle and tissue cells become resistant to insulin, leading to high blood sugar level in blood (hyperglycemia) and finally diabetes.

Diabetes in Malaysia is expected to continue to climb at an increased rate due to our unhealthy lifestyle.

The bad lifestyle of Malaysians, are linked to high diabetes prevalence in the following way:

・ Our per capita consumption of meat is 48 kilograms compared to 35 kilograms in Japan and Korea and only 24 kilograms in Thailand.

According to researchers from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) a daily serving of red meat no larger than a deck of cards increased the risk of adult-onset diabetes by 19 per cent. Processed red meat proved much worse: a daily serving half that size − one hot dog or two slices of bacon, for example−was associated with a 51 per cent increase in risk.

・ We consume 26 teaspoons of sugar daily, making us the eighth highest sugar users in the world. The World Health Organisation (WHO) in its campaign against obesity had recommended a sugar consumption limit of 5 teaspoonful daily.

Results of a large epidemiological study suggest that sugar may also have a direct link to diabetes. Researchers examined data on sugar availability and diabetes rates from 175 countries over the past decade. They found that increased sugar in a population’s food supply was linked to higher diabetes rates, independent of obesity rates.

・ Malaysians are not getting enough sleep for good health. According to a regional survey Malaysians get only 6.4 hours of sleep on average. This leads to a sleep gap of 1.6 hours short of the recommended 8 hours of sleep. Mobile devices and spending time online is one of the leading causes of this sleep deprivation.

According to Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Centre in Hennepin County the body’s reaction to sleep loss can resemble insulin resistance which is a precursor to diabetes.

・ We are also addicted to Internet which is a new threat to healthy living. According to a survey, 81per cent of the respondents surveyed say that online activities are preventing them from getting enough sleep and physical activities.

There is evidence that physical activity is an important part of the daily maintenance of glucose levels. Even in the short term, reducing daily activity and ceasing regular exercise causes acute changes in the body associated with diabetes that can occur before weight gain and the development of obesity.

Over time, diabetes can seriously affect every major organ system in the body, causing heart attacks, strokes, nerve damage, kidney failure, blindness, impotence and infections that can lead to amputations.

Every year on this date the Ministry of Health launches a campaign to create awareness on the effect of diabetes. In spite of this, the prevalence of diabetes mellitus in Malaysia, especially that of Type 2, has increased to epidemic proportions and continue to grow.

The alarming increase in Malaysia’s prevalence of diabetes needs strong measures by the Government to stem this epidemic.

The Consumers Association of Penang urges the Ministry of Health to:

・ Educate Malaysians on the dangers of obesity and diabetes

・ Unhealthy foods that is high in fats, sugar, salt and additives should be discouraged by the introduction of taxes on such foods

・ Provide adequate recreational amenities in all residential areas.

・ Stop issuing 24 hours licences to eating outlets

・ Stop night shifts in factories

・ Ban vending machines in schools, hospitals and other public places

・ Mandate clear labeling like traffic light system on sugar and fat content of all foods, including fast foods

・ Run education campaigns for parents and children on the dangers of obesity and diabetes

・ Stop entertainment outlets from operating after midnight

S.M Mohamed Idris is the president of Consumers Association of Penang.


malaymail, Published: 14 November 2016
Unhealthy living makes Malaysia No. 1 in diabetes prevalence in Asean − S M Mohamed Idris
https://www.malaymail.com/s/1249567/unhealthy-living-makes-malaysia-no.-1-in-diabetes-prevalence-in-asean-s-m-m

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has launched its first Food-Environment Policy Index (Food-EPI) today aimed at curbing the rise of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and obesity in the country.

Health deputy director-general Datuk Dr Azman Abu Bakar said the Food-EPI will be used as a tool to benchmark the government's progress in creating healthy food environment against international best practices.

He said awareness on healthy eating must start early and spread among children at the school level.

“While the introduction of effective preventive policies in ensuring healthier food environment is important, the awareness on healthy food consumption needs to be emphasised from the young age.

“A healthy lifestyle plays a major role in creating healthy food environment.

"NCDs and obesity are escalating, especially among children. Thus, with this policy, we can now tackle them.

“We should not just discuss on the type of food for the society but also the industry.

"(As such) The policies need to be implemented effectively at all sectors." he said.

Taylor University pro vice-chancellor (Research and Enterprise) Professor Dr Anthony Ho said the creation of healthy and supportive food environment play a vital role in NCD prevention.

“Over the last few decades, the prevalence of NCDs in Malaysia has risen at an alarming rate.

“The National Health and Morbidity Survey 2015 reported about 73 per cent of the total deaths in Malaysia were due to NCDs, with half of the number caused by cardiovascular diseases.

“It is our hope that findings from the Food-EPI project will be useful to all relevant stakeholders to assess where the nation stands, where we do well, and where we can improve on. Both soft and hard policies,” he said.

The project is a collective effort of experts and researchers from Malaysia, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand.

Also present at the launching ceremony was University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) dean (Faculty of Sciences) Professor Dr Bariah Mohd Ali.


[photo]
Malaysia has launched its first Food-Environment Policy Index (Food-EPI) today aimed at curbing the rise of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and obesity in the country.

New Straits Times, Published: July 23, 2018 - 1:57pm
Malaysia launches first Food-EPI to curb rising NCDs, obesity
By Julia Fiona
https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2018/07/393531/malaysia-launches-first-food-epi-curb-rising-ncds-obesity

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In town with little water, Coca-Cola is everywhere. So is diabetes.

SAN CRISTÓBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico − Maria del Carmen Abadía lives in one of Mexico’s rainiest regions, but she has running water only once every two days. When it does trickle from her tap, the water is so heavily chlorinated, she said, it’s undrinkable.

Potable water is increasingly scarce in San Cristóbal de las Casas, a picturesque mountain town in the southeastern state of Chiapas where some neighborhoods have running water just a few times a week, and many households are forced to buy extra water from tanker trucks.

So, many residents drink Coca-Cola, which is produced by a local bottling plant, can be easier to find than bottled water and is almost as cheap.

In a country that is among the world’s top consumers of sugary drinks, Chiapas is a champion: Residents of San Cristóbal and the lush highlands that envelop the city drink on average more than two liters, or more than half a gallon, of soda a day.

The effect on public health has been devastating. The mortality rate from diabetes in Chiapas increased 30 percent between 2013 and 2016, and the disease is now the second-leading cause of death in the state after heart disease, claiming more than 3,000 lives every year.

“Soft drinks have always been more available than water,” said Ms. Abadía, 35, a security guard who, like her parents, has struggled with obesity and diabetes.

Vicente Vaqueiros, 33, a doctor at the clinic in San Juan Chamula, a nearby farming town, said health care workers were struggling to deal with the surge in diabetes.

“When I was a kid and used to come here, Chamula was isolated and didn’t have access to processed food,” he said. “Now, you see the kids drinking Coke and not water. Right now, diabetes is hitting the adults, but it’s going to be the kids next. It’s going to overwhelm us.”

Buffeted by the dual crises of the diabetes epidemic and the chronic water shortage, residents of San Cristóbal have identified what they believe is the singular culprit: the hulking Coca-Cola factory on the edge of town.

The plant has permits to extract more than 300,000 gallons of water a day as part of a decades-old deal with the federal government that critics say is overly favorable to the plant’s owners.

Public ire has been boiling over. In April 2017, masked protesters marched on the factory holding crosses that read “Coca-Cola kills us” and demanding that the government shut the plant down.

“When you see that institutions aren’t providing something as basic as water and sanitation, but you have this company with secure access to one of the best water sources, of course it gives you a shock,” said Fermin Reygadas, the director of Cántaro Azul, an organization that provides clean water to rural communities.

Coca-Cola executives and some outside experts say the company has been unfairly maligned for the water shortages. They blame rapid urbanization, poor planning and a lack of government investment that has allowed the city’s infrastructure to crumble.

Climate change, scientists say, has also played a role in the failure of artesian wells that sustained San Cristóbal for generations.

“It doesn’t rain like it used to,” said Jesús Carmona, a biochemist at the local Ecosur scientific research center, which is affiliated with the Mexican government. “Almost every day, day and night, it used to rain.”

But at a time of growing strife between Mexico and the United States, fed by President Trump’s vow to build a border wall and his threats to scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement, the increasing antipathy toward Coca-Cola has come to symbolize the frustrations that many Mexicans feel about their northern neighbor.

The plant is owned by Femsa, a food and beverage behemoth that owns the rights to bottle and sell Coca-Cola throughout Mexico and much of the rest of Latin America. Femsa is one of Mexico’s most powerful companies; a former chief executive of Coca-Cola in Mexico, Vicente Fox, was the country’s president from 2000 to 2006.

Nafta has been beneficial for Femsa, which has received hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign investment.

But in San Cristóbal, Nafta is widely viewed as an unwelcome interloper. On New Year’s Day in 1994, the day the trade pact went into effect, rebels from the Zapatista Army of National Liberation swept into San Cristóbal, declared war against the Mexican state and burned government buildings.

Although the two sides eventually signed a peace agreement, anti-globalization sentiment still simmers across the region, one of the poorest in Mexico.

“Coca-Cola is abusive, manipulative,” said Martin López López, a local activist who has helped organize boycotts and protests against the soda company. “They take our pure water, they dye it and they trick you on TV saying that it’s the spark of life. Then they take the money and go.”

Femsa executives say the plant has little impact on the city’s water supply, noting that its wells are far deeper than the surface springs that supply local residents.

“When we hear, and when we read in the news, that we’re finishing up the water, the truth is it really shocks us,” said José Ramón Martínez, a company spokesman.

The company is also an important economic force in San Cristóbal, employing about 400 people and contributing around $200 million to the state economy, Mr. Martínez said.

Critics, however, say the sweetheart deal between Femsa and the federal government doesn’t serve the city well.

Laura Mebert, a social scientist at Kettering University in Michigan who has studied the conflict, says Coca-Cola pays a disproportionately small amount for its water privileges − about 10 cents per 260 gallons.

“Coca-Cola pays this money to the federal government, not the local government,” Ms. Mebert said, “while the infrastructure that serves the residents of San Cristóbal is literally crumbling.”

Among the issues facing the city is a lack of wastewater treatment, meaning that raw sewage flows directly into local waterways. Mr. Carmona, the biochemist, said San Cristóbal’s rivers were rife with E. coli and other infectious pathogens.

Last year, in an apparent effort to appease the community, Femsa began talks with local residents to build a water treatment plant that would provide clean drinking water to 500 families in the area.

But rather than easing tensions, the plan led to more protests by locals and forced the company to halt construction of the facility.

“We’re not against the treatment plant,” said León Ávila, a professor at the Intercultural University of Chiapas, who led the protests. “We just want the government to fulfill its obligation to provide potable water for its citizens. How are we supposed to allow Coke to wash its sins after years of taking the water from San Cristóbal?”

Since bottles of Coca-Cola arrived here a half-century ago, the beverage has been deeply intertwined with the local culture.

In San Juan Chamula, bottled soda anchors religious ceremonies cherished by the city’s indigenous Tzotzil population.

Inside the town’s whitewashed church, tourists step gingerly across carpets of fresh pine needles as copal incense and smoke from hundreds of candles fill the air.

But the main draw here for tourists is to watch the faithful, who pray over bottles of Coke or Pepsi, and also over live chickens, some sacrificed on the spot.

Many Tzotzil believe carbonated soda has the power to heal the sick. Mikaela Ruiz, 41, a local resident, recalls how soda helped cure her infant daughter, who was weak from vomiting and diarrhea. The ceremony was performed by her diabetic mother, a traditional healer who has performed the soda ceremonies for more than 40 years.

But, for many in San Cristóbal, the ubiquity of cheap Coca-Cola − and the diabetes that stalks nearly every household − simply compounds their anger toward the soft drink company.

Local health advocates say aggressive marketing campaigns by Coke and Pepsi that started in the 1960s helped embed sugary soft drinks into local religious practices, which blend Catholicism with Maya rituals. For decades, the companies produced billboards in local languages, often using models in traditional Tzotzil garb.

Although Coke has since discontinued the ad campaigns, Mr. Martínez, the Femsa spokesman, described them as “a gesture of respect toward indigenous communities.”

He also rejected criticisms that the company’s beverages have had a negative impact on public health. Mexicans, he said, may have a genetic proclivity toward diabetes.

While scientific research does suggest that Mexicans of indigenous ancestry have higher rates of diabetes, local advocates say this puts even greater responsibility on multinational companies that sell products high in sugar.

“Indigenous people ate very simple food,” said Mr. López, the activist, who spent years living with rural communities as a missionary. “And when Coke arrived, their bodies weren’t ready for it.”

Ms. Abadía, the security guard, said she blamed herself for drinking so much soda. Still, with her mother’s health deteriorating, and having watched her father die from complications from diabetes, she can’t help but fear for her own well-being.

“I’m worried I’ll end up blind or without a foot or a hand,” she said. “I’m very scared.”

[photo-1]
A stream in San Cristóbal de las Casas, which residents claim is contaminated with sewage. Potable water is scarce in the town.

[photo-2]
Maria del Carmen Abadía, left, with son, Genaro, and her mother, Isabel. Both women have diabetes. “Soft drinks have always been more available than water,” said the younger Ms. Abadía.

[photo-3]
Mikaela Ruiz, 41 and her daughter Ana Valentina, 5. Ms. Ruiz believes carbonated soda has the power to heal the sick.


[photo-4]
A family at a graduation event in San Juan Chamula, where soda anchors many ceremonies.

[photo-5]
Maria del Carmen Abadía’s son, Juan José, at a water truck outside their home. Many households in the town are forced to buy extra water from tanker trucks.

[photo-6]
A little girl drinking from a can of soda on her way out of a church in San Juan Chamula.

[photo-7]
San Juan Chamula at dawn. In the past, “Chamula was isolated and didn’t have access to processed food,” said a doctor. “Now, you see the kids drinking Coke and not water.”

The New York Times, Published: July 14, 2018
In Town With Little Water, Coca-Cola Is Everywhere. So Is Diabetes.
By Oscar Lopez and Andrew Jacobs
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/14/world/americas/mexico-coca-cola-diabetes.html

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2018年07月25日

'Race' for the World Cup?

THE FIFA World Cup fever is over. Thank God we can get adjusted back to our preferred (productive) routines. The fever is gradually subsiding, not the anxiety that was caused by the many unexpected outcomes. In many instances being the "best" is simply not sufficient any more. Hence, the beautiful game is truly apt as the spectators were kept at the edge of their seats each time their favourite team were out on the field.

That said, I am inclined to give the overall "winner" to the Russians. Not only because they played well, but also for playing a superb role as hosts despite the many "ifs" and "buts" thrown in much earlier by sceptics. Fortunately, it turned out to be just the opposite when World Cup 2018 was hailed as the best ever, putting considerable pressure on the next host, a non-football nation, Qatar.

The rule of thumb this time around seems to be directed to the stereotypes and the "run-of-mill" predictions that were proven wrong time and again. Those who were once recognised as champions and giants had to give way to virtually unknown "newcomers". True to the cliché that "the ball is round" the game rolls on as beautiful as ever, taking a life of its own to the delight of millions worldwide.

In contrast, the overall "loser(s)" on the other hand are more difficult to nail but it would not be far off target if one were to suggest the (black) migrant players, regardless of the team they belonged to.

It is sad to note that all the black African teams made their exit earlier during the league. Leaving their fellow "brothers" playing dominant roles in European teams. While one cannot imagine how World Cup 2018 would turn out in their absence, it is also hard to imagine why their presence is generally not fully appreciated, if not called to question.

To quote the Belgian-born top scorer of Africa origin, Romelu Lukaku: "You always get the odd occasions when they call you Belgian of Congolese descent, when you do bad." More generally, he reckoned any black man in Belgium who claimed not experiencing "racism" is "the biggest liar".

But none of this would be as glaring as the case of France – the outright well-deserved champions of the FIFA World Cup for the second time since 20 years ago. This is made possible by the well-assembled team of "French" players who were made up largely of migrants and their immediate families. Indeed, 19 of the 23 players are said to be from the migrant population.

Going strictly by numbers alone, and on the insistence of being racial – the French team could arguably be an African one. Some of them are Muslims, evident enough when they performed the "spiritual prostration" (sujud) upon winning the Cup. Just as their Catholic mates did the "spiritual holy cross" as a mark of gratitude and humility.

Unlike the latter, the former are among the most misunderstood (and hated) in a country that prides itself with the slogan "Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite". So much for that.

This reality can be traced back more recently to a report from the French national commission on human rights, which stated that Muslims "remain among the least accepted minorities, with the rejection often extending from Islam, to the entirety of its practitioners". It claimed some 44% of French people believe Islam is a threat to French identity. Even prayers are considered a problem for 30% of French people who think they are "not compatible with French society". Allegedly not a single minority achieves more than 80% "tolerance" in France today according to the report.

But that must be seen within the context as mentioned by Lukaku, that is only when "you do bad". If you are part of the World Cup winning team for the second time it may not apply. Otherwise, it only gives credence to what Lukaku asserted as being "the biggest liar". To whom this is directed is best left to the readers to decide.

In this context it is worth remembering that in the mid-1990s, similar issues were raised by the French themselves, namely the far-right, highlighting the number of blacks who outnumbered the non-white players in the national team.

But this was responded to categorically when the very diverse French team took the World Cup home for the first time in 1998. Like they say, "actions speak louder than words" and many thought a lesson was learned. But looking at what happened 20 years ago, it will take more than a beautiful game to achieve the much needed goal. Could the win this time make a difference? We will have to wait and see if that is the case.

But going by the celebratory group photographs coming out of the palace, where all the black players were relegated to the back position (intentionally or otherwise) – does not seem to suggest much have changed. We may have to wait for France to win the third World Cup in Qatar – perhaps this time sans any migrant players at all. Then it will be the real "race" for the World Cup.

The SunDaily, Posted on 25 July 2018 - 08:10am
'Race' for the World Cup?
Dzulkifli Abdul Razak
http://fom-club.seesaa.net/pages/user/search/?keyword=World+Cup+Dzulkifli

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Being volunteers

IN the last few years, I've been meeting a lot of interesting people who give their time, effort and money to make the world a better place. Being volunteers, they're always looking for a good cause to serve.

In a nutshell, volunteering is considered an unselfish activity, where an individual or group provides services for no financial gain "to benefit another person, group or organisation".

It is also intended to promote goodness or to improve the quality of life in society.

Like what philosopher Aristotle said many thousands of years ago: "What is the essence of life? To serve others and do good."

I think many will do so when their lives are more stable. I'm of the view that we can help others when our lives are cruising along nicely.

In other words, charity begins at home. If we still have to make ends meet, volunteering outside our homes should be put on hold until things get better.

What actress Audrey Hepburn said made a lot of sense to me: "As you grow older, you realise you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others." What can I say, except to show two thumbs up?

And we must not forget the words of deaf and blind author Helen Keller, who asserted that "the unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves".

Her words were also somewhat reminiscent of what the third US president Thomas Jefferson said: "I believe that every human mind feels pleasure doing good to another."

Having gone so far into the subject of helping others, I'm pleased to note that more than 600 people from near and far will converge at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from today until Sunday to better appreciate the joys of volunteering.

They are attending the 15th Asia Pacific Regional Conference of International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE), an event that's held once every two years.

It's being organised by Yayasan Salam Malaysia, a local non-governmental organisation that has been involved in volunteering for the last two decades, to showcase volunteerism by Malaysian organisations and to allow foreign volunteer groups to share their experiences as well.

Held under the auspices of IAVE, a Washington-based umbrella organisation that promotes volunteering through 64 national volunteer centres and three regional volunteer networks, it's being organised for the first time in Malaysia as part of Salam's 20th anniversary celebrations.

Close to 100 working papers on the benefits and management of volunteering will be presented. They're aimed at exploring the diversity and power of volunteering with the first two days dedicated to the efforts of youth volunteers.

Six major topics which hold a particular interest in the Asia Pacific take centre stage. They are leadership; technology and social innovation; sustainable development goals focusing on poverty, education and climate change; financial sustainability; corporate volunteering; and strategic partnerships.

Some speakers will dwell into areas such as 'developing student volunteerism', 'employee volunteering increases professional development' and 'unearthing the true value of corporate volunteering for development impact'.

In the final analysis, the conference will allow participants to evaluate the benefits of volunteering and how improvements can be affected.

The words of former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan should make us take better recognition of the power of volunteering:

"If our hopes of building a better and safer world are to become more than wishful thinking, we will need the engagement of volunteers more than ever."

The SunDaily, Last updated on 22 November 2017 - 06:23pm
At the service of mankind
By Jeff Yong
Jeff Yong, after making his mark in the twisty maze of mainstream journalism, has finally decided to enjoy what he does best – observing the unusual and recounting the gleeful.
http://www.thesundaily.my/news/2017/11/22/service-mankind

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Rainbirds

WRITING a novel was not in Clarissa Goenawan's plans.

The Indonesian-born Singaporean writer was content with writing short stories for literary magazines – for which she won several awards – as well as anthologies such as The MacGuffin, Your Impossible Voice, and Monsoon Book.

But one story idea took on a life of its own, and the result is her debut novel Rainbirds, which won the 2015 Bath Novel Award for unpublished and self-published novelists.

The story, set in an fictional town outside of Tokyo called Akakawa, begins with recent Keio University graduate Ren Ishida who receives news that his sister Keiko was stabbed to death one rainy night on her way home.

Ren heads to Akakawa to settle his sister's affairs, and to find out what she was doing there.

It is during this time, and through the people he meets, that Ren begins to piece together Keiko's life and what eventually led to her death.

Speaking about her inspiration for Rainbirds, Clarissa (right) said it started with a question: "What if one day someone whom I thought I knew was not the person he or she is, and by the time I knew that, that person was already dead?"

Clarissa added that she just could not shake the idea out of her mind.

"At that time, I was writing a short story and I thought it would make a good short story. But I kept adding more, and then I thought maybe it was time I started writing my first novel."

She decided to write the novel in November 2013 during the Worldwide initiative NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) – where people were encouraged to write a 50,000-word novel.

She then had to find an agent, a publisher, and go through another editorial process.

Essentially, it took the book about five years, from its first draft to the time it hit the stores.

"I am not a person who plots a story. I just write and write. Usually the story writes itself. It is only once I see the whole picture, only then can I edit it."

Rainbirds is set to be the first of a five-book series, with each book focusing on a different character from the main story.

As to why she picked Japan as the setting for her novel, Clarissa, who moved from her native Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore at age 16, said: "When I was living in Surabaya, I used to love Japanese culture, manga, anime, these kind of things.

"I learned the Japanese language and I was in the Japanese club.

"When I came to Singapore, I continued with my Japanese classes ... ultimately, it is because I like their culture.

"It is like if you like collecting butterflies, you will write about butterflies."

The novel begins with Ren having a dream about his sister waking up in a black sedan.

"I never went for a creative writing course and so I did not know that you are not supposed to start a novel with a dream," Clarissa said.

"Even after I heard of this rule, I did not think there was anything wrong with breaking it."

In Rainbirds, through a series of flashbacks, we learn about Ren and Keiko growing up in a troubled household with only each other to lean on.

"They needed each other for emotional support even when he did not want to admit it.

"He idolised her and created this perfect image of her even though it wasn't true."

Keiko was a complex character. Clarissa said that even in her first draft, she started questioning Keiko's motivations, and especially why she fell in love with the wrong men.

"It took me a while to get to know her and her reasoning. She actually kept getting more complicated as I wrote the book."

Clarissa even wrote another novella to explore Keiko's relationship.

"It is a bit extreme, but it is only then that I got to understand her better," she said.

"It started out with a murder, and it was a mystery. Romance and love [were] strong elements, but this was not a romance story.

"I felt it was more a coming-of-age book, with [Ren] discovering himself and how he grows up as a result."

In the end, Clarissa finds she has written "a coming-of-age story masquerading as a murder mystery".


The SunDaily, Posted on 25 July 2018 - 10:37am
From dream to reality
S. Indra Sathiabalan
http://www.thesundaily.my/news/2018/07/25/dream-reality

IT BEGINS with a murder mystery and slowly turns into a journey of self-discovery.

Ren Ishida is told that his sister, Keiko, has been found murdered in the street of a small town called Akakawa, with her body pierced by multiple stab wounds, and a knife (given to her as a gift by Ren) left by her side.

Keiko left the family home in Tokyo after a fight with their mother, and Ren had not seen her in a while.

As Ren collects his sister’s belongings in her apartment in Akakawa, he tries to find out more about her new life and also what led to her murder. He then decides to take over Keiko’s teaching position in a cram school.

As he meets the various people she came in contact with, Ren reminisces about growing up with Keiko.

He also finds himself drawn to a young girl whom he refers to as ‘Seven Stars’, who has a rebellious streak which masks something else.

The book is compelling because even though it takes its time to reveal who killed Keiko, it gives us an insight into her character from Ren’s point of view.

From the angelic being who comforted him while their parents fought bitterly and prepared home-cooked meals for him, to the very human creature who sought love in all the wrong places, we learn to accept Keiko’s flaws, like Ren does.

All in, this is a good debut effort by author Clarissa Goenawan.


The SunDaily, Posted on 16 May 2018 - 10:26am
Book review: Rainbirds
By S. Indra Sathiabalan
http://www.thesundaily.my/news/2018/05/16/book-review-rainbirds

In 2015, Indonesian-born Singaporean author Clarissa Goenawan won the prestigious Bath Novel Award for unpublished and self-published novelists for her novel Rainbirds, which – more than two years later – is now seeing the light of day.

Rainbirds is set in 1990s Japan. In the small, fictional town of Akakawa, Keiko Ishida has just been murdered. In Tokyo, her brother Ren, the narrator, drops everything, including, temporarily, his girlfriend, to rush to the scene. Keiko was older than Ren by nine years; when he was a child, she was more a mother than a sister.

Now, in some ways, Ren seems to slip into her life: he takes over both her job teaching English in a cram school, and her lodgings in the distinctly creepy household owned by the Katou family – Mrs Katou is mentally ill and kept out of sight; Mr and Mrs Katou had a young daughter who died in mysterious circumstances.

While living in some ways as Keiko lived, Ren tries to make sense of aspects of his sister’s life that were previously hidden from him, and also discovers aspects of his own life currently mysterious to him. He is also keen to uncover the circumstances of the death of the Katou’s daughter, and, of course, to discover who killed his sister, and why.

The complications and resolutions of these various plots and subplots, which intersect and converse with each other throughout the novel, could have been confusing, but Goenawan handles them with care. In her hands, what could have been a conventional whodunit, turns into a psychological study of adulterers, and adultery, as Ren struggles to understand himself, his sister, and their shared past.

In combining elements of a fast-paced crime novel with Ren’s quieter, slower reflection on his sister’s life, Goenawan offers a moving investigation of love, loss, and grief. She emphasises Ren’s lack of sentimentality by giving him a cool and understated voice. Some of his observations are drily funny, so readers will crack a smile despite the grim material.

Even considering his restraint, Ren makes some impressive mental leaps: “The giant windows were adorned with thin lace curtains. They waved around as the wind blew, reminding me of goldfish tails.”

Goldfish, not rainbirds, adorn the cover of Rainbirds, and they crop up again in a dream Ren has of a mysterious little girl with pigtails. Who is she? Keiko? The Katou’s dead daughter? Some other lost girl? Whoever she is, in Ren’s dream, the two of them stand beneath a school of goldfish swimming through air saturated with bubbles of water.

This dream is one of many Ren recounts – the novel opens with him dreaming of his sister. Characters telling their dreams can be irritating in novels, but the way Goenawan moves between the reality of Ren’s dreams, and the reality of the physical world never feels forced, or manipulative.

An author who recounts dreams asks the reader to think about interpretation and explanation, and Goenawan’s Japanese setting, her first-person narrator, her reliance on realities other than the realities of the physical world, her use of strange coincidences and multiple plots, and her insistence there is rarely a single perceived interpretation of a story seem deliberately connected to writer Haruki Murakami. This said, Rainbirds does not feel derivative.

If the purpose of the Bath Prize is to catalyse publication of interesting novels, it has succeeded with Rainbirds.


South China Morning Post, UPDATED : Monday, 12 March, 2018, 8:57pm
Rainbirds book review: moving investigation of love, murder, and grief set in Japan

Singaporean author Clarissa Goenawan crafts an intriguing tale of a man whose life is sent spinning after his sister’s murder in a fictional Japanese town. Ren slips into the void left by his sister’s death, as he searches for answers
By Rosie Milne

# Rainbirds
Author: Clarissa Goenawan
Publisher/Distributor: Soho Press /Pansing
Type: Magical realism
Expected publication date: March 20, 2018

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子どもの成長・発達に関する様々な問題の原因を家族に帰し、家族の責任を問うた政策

「社会総がかり」の家庭教育支援?

2006年の教育基本法改正により、国と自治体は「家庭教育」を支援するための施策を行なうことになった。以来、「早寝早起き朝ごはん国民運動」など、全国各地で様々な「家庭教育支援」のための取り組みが行なわれている。

自民党はそうした取り組みをさらに推進するために、「家庭教育支援法」の制定をめざしていると報じられているが、すでに8県5市で「家庭教育支援条例」が制定されている*。
*木村涼子「家庭教育支援法・青少年健全育成基本法がもたらす『家族』と『教育』」

なぜ近年、国や自治体は「家庭教育支援」に取り組むようになったのか。

それは、親こそが子どもを教育する「第一義的責任」を負っているにもかかわらず、今の親はその責任をちゃんと果たしていないと考えられているからである。

その背景・要因には、「都市化」「核家族化」「少子化」「地域の人間関係の希薄化」があるとされる。

そうした現象によって、家庭教育が「困難」になり、家庭の「教育力」や「教育機能」が低下しているから、「社会総がかり」で家庭教育を支援しなければならないというのである。

しかし実は、家庭の教育力低下の最大の要因とされる「核家族化」は、子どものいる家庭ではそれほど進んでいない(参照「『核家族化が進んでいる』は本当か? データから徹底検証」)。

少子化についても、きょうだい数は出生率ほどには減少しておらず、高度経済成長期以来、2人か3人きょうだいが7〜8割を占める。

また、2000年前後に少年犯罪の「凶悪化」論が広がり、家庭にその原因があるとされたが、少年犯罪の検挙人員は以後急減し、現在は戦後最低水準である。

児童虐待が「増加」「深刻化」しているとも言われるが、子どもの殺人被害は1970年代以降急減し、これも今は戦後最低水準にある。

そうである以上、家庭の教育力が低下しているなどとはとても言えない。むしろ、逆だ。なのに、「昔の家族」は良かったが、「今の家族」はダメだなどと言われる。いつからそんなことが言われるようになったのか。

実は、子どものいる家族に対する見方は、戦後のある時期に大きく変わった。いったいいつ、なぜ、どのように変わったのか、見ていこう。

直系家族と三世代家族

「昔の家族は祖父母が同居していたから、子どもがよく育った」などと言うとき、そこで想定されている「昔」の家族は、今日の「三世代同居家族」や「二世帯同居家族」のような家族がイメージされているのではないだろうか。

現在の家族の姿が、そのまま昔の家族に投影されているのである。だから、サザエさん一家が昔の家族の姿であるかのように言われたりもする。

だが、サザエさんは嫁ではなく娘である。しかも、波平さんもマスオさんもサラリーマンであって、家計を一つにしているわけではない。名字も異なる。

サザエさんの家は、波平を家長とする「直系家族」ではなく、波平一家とサザエさん一家という二つの世帯からなる三世代同居家族、または、二世帯同居家族なのである。サザエさんがいつも陽気でおっちょこちょいでいられるのは、そのためだろう。

つまり、サザエさん一家は「昔」の家族ではなく、今日の三世代同居家族あるいは二世帯同居家族のはしりである。昔の家族をサザエさん一家のような家族としてイメージすること自体、大きな誤解を生むことになる。

というのは、かつての直系家族は、今日の三世代同居家族や二世帯同居家族と家族構成自体は同じでも、そのあり方が大きく異なるからである。

直系家族は、家長(戸主)が一家を管理・統制する一つの所帯である。家長が祖父(舅)の場合は、その息子も嫁も家長の指示に従うものとされていた。

とくに嫁の地位は低く、農漁村の直系家族では、結婚当初、嫁は労働力であり、一家の「主婦」として認められるのはだいぶ後になってからだった。

それゆえ、戦後、直系家族は「非民主的」な家族であり、「前近代的」「封建的」「家父長的」な家族としてしきりに批判された。

年寄りっ子は三文安い

しかも、直系家族は子どもの成長・発達にとってよくないと考えられていた。

1960年代までの農漁村の直系家族では、主に祖母が子守をしており、子育ての仕方や方針も祖母が決めることが多かった。そのため、「年寄りっ子は三文安い」ということわざがしばしば用いられた。

祖父母は当時、どう言われていたのか。当時の文献を二つほど紹介しよう。
まずは、心理学者の辻正三が1954年に『親子関係』という本の中で書いたものである。
現在までのところ、わが国ではなお相当数の幼児が、主として祖母によって養育されている。いわゆるおばあさん子の心理的行動的な特徴としては、甘ったれで泣き虫で、気に入らないことがあると、すぐおばあさんに泣きついていくことがよく問題にされる。
祖父母の世代が同居する家庭では、どうしても人間関係が複雑になりやすく、それが子供の人格形成にも、好ましくない影響を及ぼす可能性が増大する。祖母と母の確執の中で、子どもは甘い方の秘蔵っ子か人の顔色をうかがう子、あるいはかげひなたのある要領のいい子供にならざるを得ない。(津留宏他編『親子関係』福村出版、1954年。一部省略)

もう一つは、1961年に出された大日本女子社会教育会の『新しい家庭教育のありかた』の一節である。
昔から、年寄りっ子は三文安いと云われますが、三文どころか、我がままで自分を抑える力がないために、扱いにくい子どもになる例が少なくないのです。
今のお年寄りが子どもを育てた時代というのは、生んでは殺し、生んでは殺しという状態で、運のよいものだけが生き残ったという野蛮な時代でした。若い嫁たちが昔はこうしていたという押し付けから解放され、新しい育児法を取り入れて、子どもの健康や教育に専念できるような状態が、一日も早く来ることを希望し、そのために総ゆる努力をすべきです。(大日本女子社会教育会『新しい家庭教育のありかた』1961年)

このように、祖父母は孫を甘やかすとされ、「年寄りっ子」や「おばあちゃん子」は、「甘ったれで泣き虫」で「我がままな子」になると考えられていた。

直系家族の人間関係の複雑さも、子どもにとってよくないとされた。祖父母が子育ての実権を持っているため、子どもは祖父母と母の板挟みになり、「人の顔色をうかがう子」「かげひなたのある要領のいい子供」「扱いにくい子ども」になるなどとさんざんに言われていた。

1960年代〜「核家族」の登場

一方、核家族はどう捉えられていたのか。

「核家族」(nuclear family)という語は、そもそもはアメリカの人類学者G.P.マードックが、『社会構造』(1949年)という本の中で使ったことばである。

社会学者の松原治郎によれば、この学術用語が日本で一般に使われ出すのは1960年代に入ってからだが、60年代末にはすっかり日常用語になってしまったという(『核家族時代』NHKブックス、1969年)。

核家族という用語が広がる以前、親と子からなる家族は、「小家族」や「夫婦家族」と言われていた。

これらの語は主に家族規模や家族構成を表すが、核家族の「核」にはさらに次のような意味合いが込められていた。

松原治郎は、同書で核家族について次のように述べている。
・核家族は、男女の結合と子どもの社会化という性的、生物学的な「自然の理」に基づく最も「純粋」で「安定」した家族である。
・それゆえ、核家族は、様々な家族形態の「核」となる家族であり、どんな時代にも、いかなる社会、民族にも普遍的に存在する。
・直系家族や傍系親族を含む拡大家族は、核家族が組み合わさって編成された家族である。したがって、「核家族化」は家族制度の解体や崩壊ではなく、家族としての「純化」である。

今からすれば、こうした捉え方は、あまりに核家族を理想化する規範的な家族論であり、核家族以外の家族形態を否定する狭隘な家族論と言えるだろう。

また、西欧の核家族を普遍化する西欧中心主義の家族論であり、生物学的な生殖能力と家族の社会的な機能を同一視する単純な家族論でもある。

だが、「家」制度や直系家族が前近代的、封建的な家族と批判され、家族の民主化・近代化がめざされた戦後の社会では、核家族こそが近代的で民主的な家族であり、最も「純粋」で「普遍的」な「真の家族」だと考えられていた。

そのため、松原は、子どもの育成や社会化は、核家族が持っている本来的な機能であって、核家族でなければ果たすことができない機能だとすら言う。

こうした認識は、研究者だけではない。高度経済成長期までの国の政策もまた、核家族化を産業構造の転換や民主化、近代化、西欧化、都市化にともなう必然的な現象として捉えていた。

たとえば、1971(昭和46)年版の『国民生活白書』は、松原と同様、核家族化を「家族制度からの解放と家庭機能の純化」と見なし、家族員の「自由な個性発揮の可能性を与えるもの」であり、「新しい家庭確立の基礎をなすもの」だと指摘している。こうした見方が戦後から1971年頃まで、政策認識としてあったのである。

したがって、1960年代には、少年非行の増加など、子どもや子育てに関する様々な問題が指摘されながらも、その原因が核家族化にあるとは考えられていなかった。

問題の原因とされたのは、戦後の社会変動と家族変動に伴う価値観の混乱、貧困や社会風潮の乱れ、古い世代と新しい世代との断絶などである。

そのため、子どもの問題は「過渡期」の問題とされ、戦後の混乱が収まり、社会が豊かになり、新しい世代が親になる時代が来れば、多くの問題は解決されると、きわめて楽観的に考えられていた。

1970年代〜核家族批判の登場と広がり

ところが、1960年代半ばごろから、研究者の間から近代化や産業化、都市化そのものへ懐疑が出されるようになる。

高度経済成長期を迎え、子どもをめぐる様々な問題がもはや戦後の混乱では説明がつかなくなる中で、近代化や産業化、都市化、核家族化に対する期待や楽観論が消え、近代化や都市化、核家族化そのものが問題を孕んでいると捉えられるようになるのである。

1970年代に入るとそうした核家族化批判が徐々に広がり、政策も突如あからさまに核家族化を批判するようになる。

中でも、児童憲章20周年を記念して、「子どもと社会」と題する特集を組んだ1971(昭和46)年版の『厚生白書』は、核家族化や親の養育態度を大々的に批判したはじめての白書と言えるだろう。

この71年版『厚生白書』は、「問題親に影響される児童」と題する項目を設けて、次のように核家族化と親を手厳しく批判した。
家庭環境をめぐる最近の持続的な変化としては、世帯規模の縮小と核家族化の進行により、きようだいに恵まれぬ児童、祖父母との接触がない児童がふえており、多角的な人間関係のなかで育つ機会に乏しいことがあげられる。(総論序章4)
児童の養育は、第一義的には両親の責任にゆだねられているのに、しつけに自信の持てない親、育児意識の低い親、過保護の母親、放任の父親など、児童の健全な成長をそ害する原因が親にある場合がみられるのである。(厚生省『厚生白書』1971年版 総論第2章第1節1)

こうした核家族化批判によって、60年代までの直系家族への批判は忘れられ、核家族を理想化する核家族論もかき消されていく。

その結果、かつて祖父母が育児の実権を握っていることが問題にされていたはずが、祖父母はまるで育児の「援助者」や「協力者」だったかのようにイメージがすり変えられた。

そして、核家族はそうした祖父母の助言や援助を失った孤立した家族だと考えられるようになった。

あれほど祖父母が子どもを甘やかすと批判されていたことも、なぜかすっかり忘れられた。代わって、核家族では親が子どもを甘やかすとされ、過保護、過干渉、甘やかしが、まるで核家族の親の特徴であるかのように見なされた。

また、以前は直系家族の人間関係の「複雑さ」が子どもの人間形成にとってよくないとされていたはずが、今度は、核家族の「単純さ」がよくないと言われるようになった。核家族では「多角的な人間関係のなかで育つ機会に乏しい」というのである。

さらに、かつて、因習に基づく育児は非科学的で不衛生だと批判されていたにもかかわらず、核家族化によって子育ての「伝統」や「慣習」が断ち切られたことが問題だと言われるようになった。

そして、それゆえ今の親は育児の方法を知らず、育児書に頼ってばかりいる自信のない親であると見なされた。

こうして70年代以降、子育て中の親はさんざん批判されるようになった。核家族化による「家庭の教育力の低下」や「教育機能の低下」は、70年代に広まった言説だったのである。

今日に至るまで、およそ50年にわたって、同じことが言われ続けてきたことになる。

核家族化批判と政策転換

では、70年代以降、なぜ親が批判されるようになったのか。

その急先鋒は政策である。政策は核家族化批判と親批判を率先して行ってきた。

なぜなのか。

結論的に言えば、子どもの成長・発達に関する様々な問題の原因を家族に帰し、家族の責任を問うためである。

先に見た1971年版『厚生白書』は、そのことを端的に表している。

同白書は、子どもの養育は親に「第一義的責任」があるにもかかわらず、親が子どもの健全な成長を「そ害」していると述べている。こうした指摘の裏面には、国や社会は子どもを育成する第一義的責任は負わないという認識が潜んでいる。

実際、70年代以降の政策は、国家が国民の生活を保障する「福祉国家」を批判し、「新自由主義」と言われる「自己責任」型の政策へと少しずつ転換していく。

そうした政策への転換を具体化したのが、1980年に出された大平総理の政策研究会報告書『家庭基盤の充実』である。

同報告書は家庭の「育児・教育機能」が低下していると認識しがらも、@家庭の自立性強化、A家庭の多様性尊重、B家庭の助け合いと連帯などを提唱し、それらを「家庭基盤充実のための基本原則」と位置づけた。

1984年に設置された臨時教育審議会(臨教審)の第二次答申(1986年)もまた、家庭の教育機能が低下していると指摘しているが、国家がその機能低下を補うとは言わない。

臨教審は、国家が家庭に「反省」や「自覚」を促し、「本来家庭が果たすべき役割」を家庭に「押し戻してみること」によって、家庭の機能回復を図るというのである。

こうした「自己責任」型の政策がめざしたのは、教育予算や児童福祉関係予算の削減である。

下の図は児童手当の支出総額と支給児童数の推移である。児童手当は1971年の制度発足当初、「小さく生んで大きく育てる」と言われ、実際、70年代前半までは支給総額が増加する。

だが、それ以後は「大きく育てる」どころか、少しずつ削減され、1990年の1.57ショック以降も抑制され続ける。

児童手当が拡充に向かうのは、第2次ベビーブーム世代が30歳近くになり、合計特殊出生率がいよいよ減少した2000年以降である(2005年過去最低1.26)。

教育費に関しても同様である。

国立大学の授業料は1963年から71年まで年間1万2000円と低く抑えられていた。それが72年に3倍の3万6000円、76年には9万6000円となり、値上げが繰り返されるようになる。

1984年には日本育英会の奨学金に有利子制度が導入され、以後、利子つきの奨学金ばかり増大する。

OECDの調査によれば、日本は高等教育費の私費負担の割合が先進国の中で最も高い国の一つだが、そうした高等教育財政の仕組みを作っていったのが、親を批判し、自助努力と自己責任を追及する1970年代以降の政策だったのである。

親の第一義的責任と家庭教育支援

だが、2000年代に入ると、少子化対策に位置づけられることで児童手当の支給総額が上がり、「子育て支援」や「家庭教育支援」が重要な政策課題として位置づけられるようになった。現在、幼児教育の無償制や給付型奨学金の導入なども打ち出されている。

1980年代の政策が家庭に介入することを抑制し、教育予算や福祉予算を削減し続けてきたことからすれば、2000年代以降の政策は家庭に積極的に介入するとともに、国家や社会が子育てに責任を負う政策へと転換したかのように見える。

しかし、その一方で、2003年に制定された「少子化対策基本法」と「次世代育成支援対策推進法」以降、子ども関係の法には必ずといっていいほど親の「第一義的責任」が書き込まれるようになった。親の法的責任は明らかに強化されているのである。

このことを端的に表しているのが、2016年の児童福祉法改正である。

1947年制定の児童福祉法第2条は、「国及び地方公共団体は、児童の保護者とともに、児童を心身ともに健やかに育成する責任を負う」と規定していた。国と自治体は、親とともに児童を育成する責任を負っているはずなのである。

だが、2016年の改正では、その第2条の中に、「児童の保護者は、児童を心身ともに健やかに育成することについて第一義的責任を負う」という条文が新たに書き加えられた。子どもの育成に第一義的に責任を負うのは親であって、国や自治体ではないことが明記されたのである。

そして、同時に、第3条に「国及び地方公共団体は、児童が家庭において心身ともに健やかに養育されるよう、児童の保護者を支援しなければならない。」という条文が加えられた。

これにより、国と自治体は親を「支援」する責任を負うのであって、子どもが家庭で育てられない場合を除き、子どもの育成には直接責任を負わないことが明確にされた。

すなわち、2000年代の政策もまた、親の責任を追及することで、国家の責任を軽減する80年代の政策の延長線上にあるのである。

だが、80年代の政策と違って、2000年代の政策は、国、自治体、学校、祖父母、地域、企業などが「総がかり」で親を「支援」する体制を創り上げようとしている。

しかも、その「支援」は、保育施設の整備といった「子育て支援」や相談体制の整備に止まらない。親の自主的な学習活動への支援でもない。

今日の「家庭教育支援」は、「支援」と言いながら、国や自治体が親としての「役割」を定め、その役割を果たすように親を教育して、すべての親を親として「成長」させる取り組みである。

2000年代の政策は、なぜここまでするのか。

それは、90年代末以降、少子化、少年犯罪、児童虐待などが社会問題となる中で、核家族化、都市化などにより、家庭の教育力がいよいよ低下していると考えられているからである。

逆に言えば、こうした「家庭教育支援」を行うためには、すべての家庭の教育力が低下していることになっていなければならないのである。

現代ビジネス、2018.07.23
「昔の家族は良かった」はウソなのに…なぜ国家が家族に介入するのか

「子どものいる家族」をめぐる50年史

広井 多鶴子(*)、実践女子大学教授
http://gendai.ismedia.jp/articles/-/55714

(*) 広井 多鶴子
専攻は親子関係制度史、教育行政。著書に『現代の親子問題―なぜ親と子が「問題」なのか』などがある。

posted by fom_club at 11:59| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

“モノ言う女”はなぜネット空間で叩かれるのか

これまで「日本では水と安全はタダ」と信じてきた。夜遅くまで仕事をしても、特に心配せず帰宅できる。子どもは子どもだけで学校へ行って帰ってくる。

最近、自分は間違っていたかもしれない、と思っている。

最大の理由は、伊藤詩織さんのインタビューを記事で読んだり、BBCで観たりしたことだ。伊藤さんは映像ジャーナリストで、ドキュメンタリー番組の制作で国際的な賞を取っている。元TBSのワシントン支局長によるレイプ被害を実名で告発し(元支局長は不起訴処分)、日本の性犯罪捜査や司法制度の問題を指摘している。実名・顔出しで発言を続けた結果、伊藤さんはインターネットで数えきれないほどの誹謗中傷を受けたという。今は身の安全を守るため、ロンドンに住まいを移して仕事をしている。

社会構造の問題に異議申し立てをする、いわゆる「モノ言う女性」は叩かれる。特に、その人が訴える問題が本質的なものであるほど、叩かれ方は酷くなる。

伊藤さんの事例を扱ったBBC番組における杉田水脈衆院議員(自民)の発言は「叩き」の典型例だろう。番組内の発言について、議員は「一部を切り取られた」としているが、放送後にTwitterで「自分の娘がそんなことをしたら叱る」と記して伊藤さんを再度批判している。

特にネット空間では、モノ言う女性を叩き、その人についてウソの情報を拡散し、生活や仕事基盤を壊すような言説がたくさんある。私の友人・知人を見ても、人権問題に取り組む弁護士、若年女性支援に取り組むNPO代表、在日外国人問題に取り組んできた当事者の女性が被害を受けた。彼女たちは体調不良になったり、ひどい嫌がらせに身の危険を感じて海外移住を余儀なくされたりした。たとえ裁判で勝っても、ほとんどの場合、加害者側は同じような差別的な言説を繰り返し、SNSで発信し続ける。

「表の世界」の進行に「ついていけない人たち」の反動

ここには2つの問題がある。

1つ目はツールの問題だ。誰でも簡単にアカウントを作ることができるTwitterと、攻撃的だったり差別的だったりする投稿を放置してきたTwitter Japanの社会責任は問われるべきだろう。ただし、このテーマについては、別の記事に譲る。

2つ目は社会構造の問題だ。歴史を振り返ると、女性の地位向上が進む中で、バックラッシュが起きている。それは「表の世界」で進行する男女平等や女性の活躍推進の動きに「ついていけない人たち」のフラストレーションの発現でもある。

1970年代には、日本でも女性解放運動が起きた。特に市川房枝氏らが作った市民団体「国際婦人年をきっかけとして行動を起こす女たちの会」は、固定的な性別役割分担に対する異議申し立てを行い、生活者の視点から多くの成果を上げている。特に有名なのはハウス食品工業がインスタントラーメンのCMに使った「私つくる人 僕食べる人」というフレーズに抗議した事例である。

抗議を受けてCMは放送中止になった。詳細は同会の活動を記録した『行動する女たちが拓いた道:メキシコからニューヨークへ』に記されている。

同書によれば、行動する会の女性たちはハウスの広報室長と直接面会して意見交換している。広報室長の対応は真摯で、丁寧なやり取りになっている。より大きな問題は、経緯を報じたメディアの侮蔑的な論調にあった、と言える。週刊誌などは「ヒステリック」とか「女性は生理になると判断が狂う」「女は大脳ではなく子宮でモノを考える」といった具合に、今なら炎上必至の表現を並べてバッシングしている。当時、インターネットはなかったが、モノを言う女性を叩く風潮は40年経っても変わらない。

最近では2000年代に広範囲にわたるバックラッシュが起きた。1999年に男女共同参画基本法が制定され、全国の自治体に条例や関連部門が作られた時期である。

例えば「ジェンダーフリー」の考え方は男女一緒に着替えさせるもの、といったとんちんかんな言説が広まったり、女性センターに抗議が寄せられたりした。私は今、さまざまな自治体とジェンダーに関する仕事をしているが、当時の負の遺産を今も引きずっている担当者もいる。この時期の記憶が鮮明な人は、「行政の会議ではジェンダーとか平等という言葉を使うのが難しくて、男女共同参画と言うようになった」と話す。

歴史を振り返れば、男女平等に関する政策が前進した後に、反動が起きることがわかる。

男女平等政策を止めることはできない

ただ、より重要なのは、男女平等政策を止めることはできない、という事実認識である。

国連が掲げる持続可能な開発目標(SDGs)の17項目の1つにはジェンダー平等が入っている。APEC加盟国・地域は女性リーダーを増やすための取り組みを進めており、日本政府が資金提供して関連の調査が行われた例もある。

安倍首相は女性活躍を成長戦略のひとつと明言しており、2015年には女性活躍推進法が成立した。2014年から政府主催の国際女性会議WAW!が開かれ、2017年はイヴァンカ・トランプ氏も来日して「セクハラは許されない」と発言している。

私自身はWAW!の国内アドバイザーを務めており、官邸で開かれる会合でプログラム内容や登壇者人選、広報戦略について意見を述べている。また、2017年春は官邸国際広報室の企画でアメリカに1週間滞在し、経営学者、法学者らと10カ所以上を訪問してスピーチや意見交換をした。私が話したのはもちろん、ジェンダーに関する問題である。

今や、女性活躍は日本が海外に発信したい大事なテーマのひとつである。保守政権でさえ、世界潮流に乗ってジェンダー平等推進に関する政策を発信しているのが現実だ。世界で一定の存在感を示し、尊敬される国であろうとする時、このテーマに取り組まないわけにはいかない。

こうした事実を踏まえると、SNSにおける女性叩き現象は、社会の変化に抵抗する差別主義者の最後の悪あがきに見える。

例えば2000年代には「ジェンダー」という用語を使いにくかったようだが、今や、グローバルに仕事をするビジネスマンは「ジェンダー・イコールの視点が必要ですよね」などと、普通に話している。ビジネス系学科の大学生も「ジェンダーという言葉をよく見聞きする」と話す。長期的に私たちの社会がどちらの方向に向かっているかは、明らかである。

「話せばわかる人」との地道な対話を

では、短期的には何ができるか。

多くの場合、本質的な解決策は地味である。中でも私が意識しているのは「話せば分かりそうな相手」と地道に対話を続けることである。なぜなら、差別や敵意は無知から始まるからだ。

あるラジオ番組で、男女共同参画をテーマにトークをした時のこと。私と同世代の男性司会者に「ジェンダー平等とは、男性にも生き方の選択肢が増えることです」と話したことがある。男だから家族を養わなきゃ、という決めつけから解放されて、女性が大黒柱になったっていい。個人の選択を尊重することが、ジェンダー平等の本質です、と話したところ「安心した。何だか今日は怒られるかと思っていたから」と納得してくれた。

学生向けに話す時は、2つの事実を伝えることが有効だ。

第1に、グローバル・ジェンダー・ギャップ指数に代表されるジェンダー格差の実状を数字で伝えること。日本の順位が144カ国中114位と先進国で最下位であること、いまだに管理職女性比率が少ない事実を数字で伝えると、大学生は男女共に驚く。客観的なデータは若い人には、何とかしなくてはいけない問題とストレートに受け止められる。

次に、この構造を作ったのは若い世代ではなく、上の世代であると明言する。責任は彼らの親や祖父やそれより上の世代にある。少なくとも、彼らには現時点では性差別構造の責任は、ない。ただし、変えていくための流れには、できれば加わってほしい。

大切なのは、光の当たる「こちら側」に、できるだけ多くの人に加わってもらうことだ。対面でのコミュニケーションは「ダークサイドに落ちる」人の良心に訴えることができる。無知からくるミソジニー(女性や女性らしさに対する蔑視や嫌悪)を少しでも減らすため、リアル空間でできることを淡々と進めることが、今、私にできることだ。

[photo-1]
なぜ日本では声をあげる女性たちに対して、執拗なバッシンングが起きるのか。

[photo-2]
伊藤詩織さんは、自らの被害を実名で告発、捜査や司法のあり方の問題点を指摘。それに対する激しいバッシング被害を受けている。

[photo-3]
昨秋来日したイヴァンカ・トランプ氏も「セクハラは許されない」と発言した。

[photo-4]
米・ハリウッドで始まった#MeToo運動は、国を超えてさまざまな立場の女性たちが声をあげるきっかけになった。

Business Insider Japan、Jul. 24, 2018
“モノ言う女”はなぜネット空間で叩かれるのか−−変化に“ついていけない人”たちの反動か
治部 れんげ[ジャーナリスト](*)
https://www.businessinsider.jp/post-171671

(*) 治部 れんげ
昭和女子大学現代ビジネス研究所研究員。経済誌の記者・編集者を経て、フリー。国内外の共働き子育て事情や女性のエンパワーメント、関連する政策について調査、執筆、講演などを行う。
posted by fom_club at 11:42| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2018年07月24日

Videos of Zakir Naik's speeches and preaching

OCCASIONAL anxiety is a normal part of life. You might feel anxious when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test or making an important decision. But anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry and involves an outré sense of fear.

It is bad enough when a person shows symptoms of anxiety disorder, but now we have a segment of our population downed in panic attack that the presence of that single person can destroy the country.

If you ask me what one man can do to change a nation, quite a lot and standing as evidence is the resurrected prime minister who came like a knight to save the nation from doom.

Having said that, the celebrant who has been in the bad books of Malaysians seems to be creating pointless ripples and the new government has been put under duress to act against the "intruder" in our midst.

I have seen videos of Zakir Naik's speeches and preaching, and almost always we know this man does not like to be questioned. Clearly, he has little respect or regard for other religions other than his own. Undeniably though, he has a hypnotic effect on his audience when he speaks with such clarity and passion, and he mostly wins any argument by his knowledge of the religions around the world, or at least that is what it appears to be.

At the point when the quotes from holy books and scriptures are thrown about, everyone assumes them to be correct and he gets away. Learned people have found many of the quotes to be inaccurate or even fake.

As they say, when religion and politics ride in the same cart, a whirlwind follows. Nobody knows how or why Zakir Naik was accorded permanent resident status in Malaysia.

The saddest part of humanity is that we are obsessed with the idea of "us" and "them", which is really a no-win situation, especially in the context of religion.

The highly charged non-Muslims came out in full force demanding that the Indian office bearers of the new government step in to extradite this self-proclaimed scholar of inter-religion. My point is if the preacher is a threat to national unity, any action taken must be a collective responsibility, not that of a select few.

Zakir Naik was widely talked about in group chats and caricatures were being circulated giving the issue a slapstick racial twist, not realising that by doing so Zakir Naik was being sensationalised.

Our oldest and most revered statesman has said his piece on the matter, which means it should be allowed to rest in peace.

On another matter, which obviously irked me, is the repeated propagation that the Indian wakil rakyat should be championing the Indian issues as opposed to being there to serve the people at large barring all differences.

Again, are we not undervaluing the present government and its team of leaders on the path to a new Malaysia where we vowed to go beyond race, colour and creed?

The Indian office bearers of the new government should take the lead and be exemplary in their take on this matter.

Looking at every concern, issue and problem from a racial and religious issue will push us further into an incurable enigma, leaving us to rot in the rut of confusion and suspicion. The question (that often pops up) if religion unites or divides people, the toxicity of such thoughts spells nothing but damnation.

Is civilisation on the brink of collapse due to human frailties and false beliefs?

The question is too narrow but the answer is yes, clearly, as we are in a frenzy of self-destruction. Even in the context of a nation with just over 30 million people, humanity is devalued against higher morality in the context of race and religion. The world needs loads of luck.

The famous quote, "he who knows one, knows none" comes to my mind and is so relevant here as when we seek to learn more about the other, the differences pale in comparison against the ultimate.


The SunDaily, Posted on 24 July 2018 - 08:27am
Unity and collective responsibility
By Bhavani Krishna Iyer

LATELY, there has been a flurry of news reports in the media regarding my status and continued presence here in Malaysia. Some sections of the media have attacked me for my supposed "incitement to terror", and it would be naive not to assume that this was done with a broader objective of demonising Islam and Muslims. Unable to find any evidence against me, they resorted to doctored video clips, out-of-context quotations and a host of dishonest schemes to accuse me of terrorism, hate speech and even money laundering.

Over the last few years, thousands of "news" articles, YouTube videos and social media posts have attributed to me, appalling statements that I did not make. Often these lies come in the form of images displaying a message alongside a photograph of me. To anybody who does not want Islam to be presented as a religion of peace, this is a quick and dirty way to discredit the faith. I implore anybody who comes across such material to verify it before jumping to conclusions. Because the simple truth is that any statement ascribed to me that is against humanity is a fabricated statement. Time and time again, I have reiterated that a Muslim cannot be a good Muslim unless he is a good human being.

So, an unbiased observer would realise that never in my 25 years of lecturing on Islam and peace, have I ever promoted terror, in the name of Islam or otherwise. In fact, not a single lecture out of the thousands that I have delivered, has ever received objections from non-Muslims in India until September 2012, when a group of religious fanatics sought to tarnish my image. My aim has always been to foster communal peace and harmony – the exact opposite of the accusations hurled at me.

I thank the Malaysian government for examining the issue from an unbiased perspective, and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for his decision to allow me to stay here, as long as I continue to abide by the law and support the peace and harmony of this country.

This decision reaffirms my faith in Malaysia's justice and communal harmony, and is a testimony to the success of the multiracial diversity of this country. I am humbled to be a part of this diversity, and I also acknowledge the sensitivities it entails. I would never wish to disrupt or jeopardise this balance in any way, or to break the rule of law of this country, because it is my primary concern to foster the social harmony currently enjoyed by its citizens. Allah says, "O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other) …" (Al-Qur'aan 49:13).

Finally, while I hope that justice and peace return to my homeland, India, I remain indebted to Malaysia – not just as one seeking fair treatment, but as an individual with a love of humanity. I pray that Allah continues to bless the nation of Malaysia and its fearless leader Tun Dr Mahathir, and that He makes it, through its leaders and citizens alike, a superpower, a role model nation, and a paragon of virtue for the rest of the world.


Letter to the SunDaily, Last updated on 23 July 2018 - 08:11pm
Verify your facts before judging
By Dr Zakir Naik, Servant of Allaah
http://www.thesundaily.my/news/2018/07/23/verify-your-facts-judging

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United States-China trade war

TRADE technocracy is on the brink of a crisis as the United States-China trade war continues to brew. Dissatisfaction over trade policies, particularly in advanced economies, has opened the door wide to populists and demagogues alike to capitalise on the free-trade malaise.

Economists and trade policy experts are always ready to defend free trade by showing that trade never fails to provide the public with win-win situations. Populists, on the other hand, say trade is detrimental to certain groups, albeit in an exaggerated manner − explaining the appeal of protectionism.

Indeed, public debates on technocracy versus populism often demonstrate that they stand at the opposite ends of the spectrum. Pundits and policy experts disapprove of hyper-politicised populism, warning about the disastrous consequences if economic policies are left to the populists.

Meanwhile, populists argue against technocrats whom appear to have discovered scientific solutions to many economic problems. Populists outrightly dismiss the legitimacy of a small circle of hyper-depoliticised technocratic elite, simply because they fail to represent the masses.

How did we end up here? How should the right balance between evidence-based trade policy prescriptions and fair democratic representation be formed?

First, until recently, there had been widespread refusal among trade policy circles to acknowledge the distributional effects of trade on public − that trade creates winners and losers. Benefits of trade are often highlighted through general macroeconomic indicators, which often make very little sense to firms and individuals.

Being professionally biased towards free trade, economists repeatedly use simplistic models such as David Ricardo’s theory on trade. This theory illustrates how countries will be better off by exporting goods that they have a comparative advantage on and import those goods in which they have a comparative disadvantage.

The argument of a “win-win trade” based on comparative advantage often overlooks the fact that comparative advantage is not a permanent feature of the country. In fact, the United States accuses China of engaging in currency manipulation and other “unfair” trade practices to gain a comparative advantage in certain sectors, causing the US to have comparative disadvantage in these sectors.

Nevertheless, economists would argue that monetary compensation such as safety net programmes would provide some cushion to workers whom are forced to be laid off due to cheaper imports of similar goods they produce. But such compensation is insufficient when these groups have already been stripped away from their values and community. And, what’s more if such compensation remains largely on paper.

This is where trade technocrats might have failed the legitimacy test. They are insulated from being held politically accountable for their decisions, thus, more likely to pick winners and losers from trade arbitrarily.

Second, even if economists acknowledge the distributional effects of trade and attempt to communicate these effects to the public, economists, by training, are unfortunately not quite excellent communicators. That did not really matter in the past when trade policies were left at the hands of the trade policy elite. But when the public has started to take an interest in trade policy, with the incorporation of labour, health and environmental issues into trade negotiations, there is an enormous task for technocrats to unpack economic jargon-laden trade narratives into messages that would resonate well with people’s daily lives.

Benefits of trade need to be presented based on firm-level and localised trade data as these would show differential impacts of trade across firms and consumers. More personalised trade policy advice to businesses can materialise if such data are accessible and more importantly, digestible to the public.

Third, technocrats and politicians need to settle on what should be the bottom line of trade policy. Perhaps, pundits need to recognise that free trade is not a timeless truth, and hence, moderate their grand ambition of a fully-liberalised global economy.

Many would argue that globalisation, particularly liberalisation, has taken decisions away from national and local government. Yet, a compromise between domestic and international economic ambitions can certainly be reached.

For example, protecting specific marginalised producers can sometimes be more morally acceptable than liberalisation which leads to slightly lower prices to consumers nationwide. This is where democracy can play an important role in deciding the optimum level of trade and trade-related policies.

Even at the multilateral level, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is a member-driven organisation and free trade is not an explicit objective of the WTO.

Taking a step back on the free trade ambition, and a step forward on acknowledging the distributional effects of trade would be indispensable to restore the confidence on world trade governance as well as the rules-based multilateral trading system.

Perhaps, what is the utmost importance right now is a predictable and stable rules-based global trading system. Our world needs a trade governance that prevents a race to the bottom − when some countries increase trade barriers triggering tit-for-tat retaliations from other countries.

Hopefully, what we are about to witness is the evolution towards a more equitable, fairly representative and open world trading system. And, populism indeed deserves some credit.

[photo]
The United States has accused China of engaging in currency manipulation and other “unfair” trade practices to gain a comparative advantage in certain sectors.

New Straits Times, Published: July 24, 2018 - 8:12am
A legitimacy crisis
By DWINTHA MAYA KARTIKA
The writer is Analyst, Economics, Trade and Regional Integration (ETRI), Institute of Strategic and International Studies, Malaysia

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Doing the right thing to build a better Malaysia

A FEW months ago, we voted for a new government. Already there is action being taken by the Pakatan Harapan government; such as the investigations into the 1Malaysia Development Bhd case, the country’s alleged trillion ringgit debt, rail projects and others.

As Malaysians, what more can we do for our country?

Beyond digging into our own pockets and donating to Tabung Harapan Malaysia, how else can we contribute?

We must change our “tidak apa” attitude to “I care” so that our future can be more secured.

We should be more concerned about the community, caring about what happens in our backyard.

Recently, I came across an online website called www.anti-seludup.org which listed shops selling cheap cigarettes. I am disturbed that there are shops in my own neighbourhood selling illicit cigarettes. How is it possible that this can be done so freely? Where is the rule of law? What if this is just the tip of the iceberg to more dangerous and illegal stuff, like drugs, guns and fake medication?

While the website encourages the public to report shops selling illicit cigarettes by sharing them on the website, more needs to be done.

We should not support shops selling illegal stuff. It may cost more to buy legal stuff, but as part of a new Malaysia, we must abide by the rule of law.

We must not turn a blind eye to illegal activities, and do our part in reporting these activities to the authorities.

Let’s start with ourselves. Do the right thing because we care.

If everyone is doing the right thing, then it is easy for us to ask our government: What right things have you been doing?

We need to make a difference to create a better country.


[photo]
As Malaysians, what more can we do for our country?

Letter to the New Straits Times, Published: July 24, 2018 - 8:37am
Doing the right thing to build a better Malaysia
By J. CHAO, Puchong, Selangor

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WHO recognizes gaming disorder

LONDON - Many parents already have concerns, but some may now have a new argument for limiting their children’s ‘screen time’ - addiction to video games has been recognised by World Health Organization as a mental health disorder.

The WHO’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD)(*), a reference bible of recognised and diagnosable diseases, describes addiction to digital and video gaming as “a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour” that becomes so extensive it “takes precedence over other life interests”.

The WHO’s expert on mental health and substance abuse, Shekhar Saxena (**), said some of the worst cases seen in global research were of gamers playing for up to 20 hours a day, forgoing sleep, meals, work or school and other daily activities.

He stressed that only a small minority of people who play digital and video games would develop a problem, but said recognition of early warning signs may help prevent it.

“This is an occasional or transitory behaviour,” he said, adding that only if such behaviour persists for around a year could a potential diagnosis of a disorder be made.

Responding to the decision to including gaming addiction, the Video Games Coalition - an industry lobby group - said their products were “enjoyed safely and sensibly by more than 2 billion people worldwide” across all kinds of genres, devices and platforms.

It added that the “educational, therapeutic, and recreational value” of games was well-founded and widely recognised and urged the WHO to reconsider.

The ICD, which has been updated over the past 10 years, covers 55,000 injuries, diseases and causes of death. It forms a basis for the WHO and other experts to see and respond to trends in health.

“It enables us to understand so much about what makes people get sick and die, and to take action to prevent suffering and save lives,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement as the ICD was published.

The ICD is also used by health insurers whose reimbursements depend on ICD classifications.

This latest version - known as ICD-11 - is completely electronic for the first time, in an effort to make it more accessible to doctors and other health workers around the world.

ICD-11 also includes changes to sexual health classifications. Previous editions had categorised sexual dysfunction and gender incongruence, for example, under mental health conditions, while in ICD-11 these move to the sexual health section. The latest edition also has a new chapter on traditional medicine.

The updated ICD is scheduled to be presented to WHO member states at their annual World Health Assembly in May 2019 for adoption in January 2022, the WHO said in a statement.


[photo]
Attendees play video games at E3, the world's largest video game industry convention in Los Angeles, California, U.S. June 12, 2018.

Reuters, Published: JUNE 18, 2018 / 6:02 PM
Gaming addiction classified as mental health disorder by WHO
By Kate Kelland
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-diseases/gaming-addiction-classified-as-mental-health-disorder-by-who-idUSKBN1JE0VI

(*) WHO’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD)

ICD purpose and uses

ICD is the foundation for the identification of health trends and statistics globally, and the international standard for reporting diseases and health conditions. It is the diagnostic classification standard for all clinical and research purposes. ICD defines the universe of diseases, disorders, injuries and other related health conditions, listed in a comprehensive, hierarchical fashion that allows for:

• easy storage, retrieval and analysis of health information for evidenced-based decision-making;

• sharing and comparing health information between hospitals, regions, settings and countries; and

• data comparisons in the same location across different time periods.

Uses include monitoring of the incidence and prevalence of diseases, observing reimbursements and resource allocation trends, and keeping track of safety and quality guidelines. They also include the counting of deaths as well as diseases, injuries, symptoms, reasons for encounter, factors that influence health status, and external causes of disease.

History of ICD

The first international classification edition, known as the International List of Causes of Death, was adopted by the International Statistical Institute in 1893.

WHO was entrusted with the ICD at its creation in 1948 and published the 6th version, ICD-6, that incorporated morbidity for the first time. The WHO Nomenclature Regulations, adopted in 1967, stipulated that Member States use the most current ICD revision for mortality and morbidity statistics. The ICD has been revised and published in a series of editions to reflect advances in health and medical science over time.

ICD-10 was endorsed in May 1990 by the Forty-third World Health Assembly. It is cited in more than 20,000 scientific articles and used by more than 100 countries around the world.

A version of ICD-11 was released on 18 June 2018 to allow Member States to prepare for implementation, including translating ICD into their national languages. ICD-11 will be submitted to the 144th Executive Board Meeting in January 2019 and the Seventy-second World Health Assembly in May 2019 and, following endorsement, Member States will start reporting using ICD-11 on 1 January 2022.


http://www.who.int/classifications/icd/en/

(**) Dr Shekhar Saxena, Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at WHO
[Read more]
"Depression: let’s talk" says WHO, as depression tops list of causes of ill health
http://www.who.int/news-room/headlines/30-03-2017--depression-let-s-talk-says-who-as-depression-tops-list-of-causes-of-ill-health

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Music therapy

THE hand therapy room at the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital (CRH) is small but spacious with just a few pieces of furniture.

A karaoke set, a keyboard with each key tagged with a different colour and a cajon are in one corner.

The items will only be used for the music and movement therapy, which has been conducted at the hospital since 2015. The room may look uninteresting but transforms during the music therapy session because of the songs and laughter from patients undergoing treatment at the facility. Among them is Nur Aina Natasha Azman from Bandar Tun Hussein Onn, Cheras.

Nur Aina, 18, was a bright and active student at SMK Bandar Tun Hussein Onn 2. She suffered a brain injury after a motorcycle accident during a weekend family outing in Muar, Johor in 2014.

Her mother Junainah Bhak says Nur Aina, fondly called Asha by her family, was in a coma for 18 days and was left paralysed from the neck down. Her memory and ability to speak were also affected.

“I was researching for physiotherapy treatments for Nur Aina when I discovered the various programmes at CRH, including the music and movement therapy to facilitate the healing process.

“Apart from physiotherapy, Nur Aina also takes part in music therapy sessions at the hospital since 2016,” says Junainah.

Nur Aina attends the sessions once a week. The hour-long group activity is conducted by physiotherapists and comprises various activities to improve coordination and motor skills as well as social interaction.

In one of the activities, patients are encouraged to sing along to children’s songs and clap according to the beat of the cajon played by a therapist. In another activity, they are encouraged to play with plastic cups or stretch lightly while singing.

“After the accident, Nur Aina is like a small child who has to re-learn everything, including basic skills such as holding a cup and standing.

“The impact of music therapy on my daughter is amazing. I can see her progress day by day. It has helped her talk again and I can still remember the day I first heard her humming and singing to the tune she learnt during therapy.

“I’ve seen significant improvements in her self-confidence and her interaction with family members, and other people,” says Junainah. “What matters most is that Nur Aina is getting well and is happy. Seeing the smile on her face during therapy makes me feel so happy and blessed,” says the mother of four.

HELP IN HEALING PROCESS

A 2017 study on the applicability of sound art as therapy for Alzheimer patients done by Dr Kamal Sabran, a fellowship researcher at the School of Arts, Universiti Sains Malaysia, indicates that creative outlets such as music has an impact in the healing process although its function as a therapeutic tool is often neglected or, at the very best, misunderstood.

“The use of the arts in healing does not contradict the medical view in bringing emotional, somatic, artistic, and spiritual dimensions to learning. Rather, it complements the biomedical view by focusing on not only sickness and symptoms themselves but the holistic nature of the person,” says the study.

Music therapy in Malaysia is not new but its implementation is very limited, especially in government hospitals due, to the lack of specialists in the field, says Foo Kok Wee, chief of the physiotherapy unit at CRH.

At the hospital, music therapy is usually integrated with the overall rehabilitation programme of a patient.

“Children with cerebral palsy or people who have suffered a stroke or traumatic brain injuries are among those recommended to go for the therapy apart from other rehabilitation treatments,” says Foo.

“Since day one, we have been working closely with Dr Indra Selvarajah, a music therapy lecturer at the Department of Music, Universiti Putra Malaysia, to develop the music therapy programme. The programme will help patients improve their physical and emotional wellness.

“Asking a young stroke patient to stretch his arms or to lift his hand is not always easy. This is where music helps. Encouraging a patient to lift his hand to a beat or rhythm in a relaxing and fun environment makes the difference.

“We want patients to do the therapy without them realising that they are actually doing something effective to improve their motor skills,” she says.

EFFECTIVE ALTERNATIVE

Indra, who is the Malaysian Music Therapy Association founding president, says music therapy in a hospital setting has been effective in triggering a positive impact both physiologically and psychologically, especially in children with special needs, cancer patients, people with chronic pain or those in palliative care.

“The positive impact will lead to improved bonding between patients and caretakers as well as health practitioners. It will also boost the effectiveness of the Kamal says studies show that auditory simulation for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia is effective for mood enhancement, relaxation and cognitive abilities.

Music therapy is meant to improve patients’ physical and emotional wellness. overall healing process.

“Patients are already going through a traumatic period. We hope that music, being light and soothing, can help them cope and go through their healing process,” says Indra, adding that the validated music therapy programme at CRH formally started in 2017 and is done with the help of her students and volunteers from the University of the Third Age programme (a programme under the Lifelong Learning for Older Malaysians project at UPM).

MUSIC THERAPY FOR ALZHEIMER’S PATIENTS

KAMAL Sabran says that according to the New Hampshire Arts-in-Healthcare Survey report in 2013, “arts-and-health is a diverse, multi-disciplinary field dedicated to transforming health and healing by connecting people with the arts at key moments in their lives”.

This research field − labelled “arts of medicine” or “integrative arts medicine” − integrates literary, performing, and visual arts and design into various healthcare and community settings for therapeutic, educational, and expressive purposes.

“Evaluations, observations, and research findings demonstrate that there are both instrumental and intrinsic benefits of arts in healthcare.

And the use of art as part of the therapeutic process for a person with Alzheimer’s disease is currently the most popular in this research field,” says Kamal.

“According to a recently published study in The Journal Of Prevention Of Alzheimer’s Disease, the part of the human brain responsible for music or sound is not affected by Alzheimer’s,” he adds.

Kamal says various studies show that auditory simulation for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia is effective for mood enhancement, relaxation and cognitive abilities. Specifically, music therapy may help Alzheimer’s patients in:

• Improving socialisation and motivation.

• Reducing restlessness or wandering.

• Improving word recall.

• Stimulating long-term memory skills.

• Increasing self-esteem.

• Triggering enjoyable feeling.

• Managing the urge to self-harm.

A 2009 study indicates that the music which the Alzheimer’s patient enjoyed when he or she was younger is best to stimulate reminiscence, says Kamal.

“Background sounds (be it reminiscence music, classical music, recorded sounds of nature, or a tabletop fountain or waterfall) and white noise stimulating sound or music playing in the background while other activities are going on improve the mood, and even the memory of people with all forms of dementia,” he adds.

What makes music or sound an effective alternative treatment for healing?

“Sound travels about four times faster through water than it does through air. Since our bodies are about 70 per cent water, sound becomes a first choice for a natural therapy.”

[photo-1]
Music therapy is proven to be effective in helping Alzheimer’s patients improve their social skills and cognitive abilities.

[photo-2]
The impact of music therapy on her daughter, Nur Aina Natasha Azman (left) is amazing, says Junainah Bhak (right).

[photo-3]
Music therapy is meant to improve patients’ physical and emotional wellness.

[photo-4]
Foo (right) with her team of therapists and young patients.

[photo-5]
Dr Kamal Sabran, fellowship researcher, School of Arts, Universiti Sains Malaysia.

New Straits Times, Published: July 24, 2018 - 9:22am
Healing rhythm:
Music therapy to help those with cerebral palsy, brain injury

By Nadia Badarudin
https://www.nst.com.my/lifestyle/heal/2018/07/393802/healing-rhythm-music-therapy-help-those-cerebral-palsy-brain-injury


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ひたすら外注、外注、外注

「地方のことは地方で考えよう」。

こんなことが言われて久しくなりました。しかし、地方が策定するさまざまな計画は「どこかで見たような内容」ばかりであることがいたるところで見られます。「今は地方が独自に決められる」と言われているのに、なぜ複数の地域が似たような事業を実施して共倒れになっていくのでしょうか。

この背景には何があるのでしょう。
その病巣の1つが「なんでも外注依存」です。

地方を蝕む「なんでもかんでも外注主義」とは?

今の地方のさまざまな業務は、計画するのも外注、開発するのも外注、運営も外注、と、なんでもかんでも外注するような状況です。

「名ばかりコンサルタント」たちの適当な仕事の問題もまったく消えず発生し続けている背景には、実際には地方側が「なんでも外注」しているからという、「発注者側の問題」もあります。

もう4年ほど経ちますが、地方創生政策がスタートした際は、事実上、地方創生総合戦略のほとんどが外注にまわされ策定されました。では今どんな結果となっているか、はみなさんのご存じのとおりです。「地方が独自に考えて計画を出しなさい」といったのに、結局東京のコンサルなどに「計画を考えてください」と地方が頼んでしまったりする奇っ怪な状況が多発していました。

その後も「移住定住のキャンペーンをやってくれ」と外注したり、「地元をPRする動画を策定してYouTubeでいっぱい再生されたい」といった外注をしたり、「ふるさと納税をもっと集める企画を考えてほしい」などの外注もしています。ひたすら外注、外注、外注です。

しかしながら、こうした依頼を受注するような東京本社の有名企業もシンクタンクなどは、全国津々浦々まで知り尽くしているわけでもありません。また、地域の状況に応じてゼロから提案を作るわけでもありません。どこかでやったことを、データベースから引っ張ってきてつなぎ合わせて計画をまとめたり、はたまた同じようなイベント事業を別の場所で展開したり、揚げ句の果ては「ヤバイ開発」をそのまま複数地域に提案して、実際に地方が大失敗していることもあります。

せっかく東京などから分配された税金が、地方がなんでも外注することで、また東京の会社に還流して、そこから適当な提案をされる。しかも地方はそのいい加減な計画を鵜呑みにして失敗事業をやってしまい、負担を増加させて衰退を加速させる、という悪循環が発生しています。

外注主義で奪われる「地方の3つの能力」とは?

このような外注主義が生み出す悪循環は、地方から3つの能力を奪います。

(1)執行能力がなくなり、何も自分たちでできなくなる

つねに何をするのにも外注していると、自ら企画を考えたり、計画を立案したり、さらには実行する能力がなくなってしまいます。結局、何をするのも外注ではできないため、機動力も遅く、また自前でやっていないので変更をかけるのにも外注先との協議、時に追加予算まで必要になることも少なくありません。となると単年度主義の行政などでは、途中でうまくいかないのがわかっていながら、頑なに計画どおりに進めることに固執したりします。

(2)判断能力がなくなり、「みそくそ一緒」になる

もともと自前でやったうえで、一部を外注するのであればよいのですが、何をするのも外注してしまうことで、まったく何もわからないため、人にやらせる業務の内容を設計することさえ外注任せとなり、さらに納品物の「良し悪し」の判断能力までも削がれていきます。「名ばかりコンサル」があちこちで仕事できる理由の一つです。

メーカーなどでは外注を使うにしても、自らその見積もり内容の正当性などを判断したり品質を判断したり、技術開発能力を維持するために小規模な内製用の子会社を維持し続けたりすることがあります。自分たちに判断能力があるからこそ、人に任せる外注はうまく使えるのです。

(3)経済的自立能力が削がれ、カネの切れ目が縁の切れ目

さらに外注主義の最悪なところは、毎年つねに「言われるままのコスト」がかかり続けるということです。自分で執行できない、さらには判断さえできないことを他人に任せてしまえば、イザという場合「なら自分でやりますよ」と出られません。そのため、いったん任せたら永遠におカネを払いつづけなくてはならなくなります。何をやるのにも予算、予算。そしてやった事業は失敗するものばかりなわけですから、おカネが尽きるのも当たり前なわけです。

頼むためのおカネがなくなれば、何もできなくなり、カネの切れ目が縁の切れ目、外注先であったときには相談を聞いてくれていた企業は「おカネがないなら仕事はできません」と去っていくことになります。そして手詰まりになるのです。

では地方はどうすればいいのでしょうか。答えは以下です。
外注よりも人材へ投資をする。
外注依存の「毒抜き」のためにも、自前の事業を一定の割合で残せ。

当事者たる地元の人たちの知識や経験を積み上げて、独自の動きをとるのがなんといっても大切です。

もし、自分たちが取り組む事業の参考に少しでもなる事例について調べたければ、自分たちがその地方に訪ねてその実態を細かく調査してレポートを書かなくてはなりません。調査を業者に外注したうえに「どうやったらいいか」まで考えてもらっても、本当にそうなのかわからないままに鵜呑みにしてやることほど、恐ろしいことはありません。

「自力で考える力」を養うためには?

調査などレポート作成に多額の予算を積むのであれば、その一部でも行政であれば職員に、企業であれば社員が自ら調べたり、考えるのに必要なスキルを身に付けるのに調査予算を委ねて自前で調査させたり、自ら研修に参加する予算を捻出して人材投資をするほうが、地方にとっては「自力で考える力」を形成できます。

たとえば、岩手県の紫波町では前町長の藤原孝氏の方針によって、住民参加に向けたワークショップは外注が禁止されました。そのかわり、職員が最低限のスキルを身に付ける研修を受ける研修費には予算をつけました。ある時「なぜ外注させずに研修に予算だすのか」と藤原氏にお聞きすると、「毎年300万円の外注をすれば10年で3000万円かかる。しかし、職員に50万円の研修でも受けさせて学ばせたら、大抵の役場職員はやめないから、同じことを職員だけで何度でもやれる。10人に研修うけさせても、500万円で済んで、あとは外注はいらないから地元の負担も軽く、職員もプライドと責任をもってやる」とおっしゃっていました。今では周辺自治体から紫波町の職員を指名してワークショップ講師の依頼が出るほどになっています。

また別の自治体では、研修などを自腹で学んだ職員たちが、コンサルタントに多額の業務委託で調査してもらった内容に、大きな間違いがあることを発見しました。なぜわかったかといえば、なんと研修で来た講師が、その調査事業の対象となった事業の実践者だったのです。

このケースでは、実践者が自ら解説する内容をもとに学んでいたため自治体の担当者が、「実際の内容と違いますよ」と指摘したところ、コンサルタントも「いや、現地にいって聞いてきた」と言い張ったといいます。「そこまでいうなら今、やっている人に電話するから」といったら、コンサルはびっくりして謝ったのです。これでその自治体は、「外部はどれだけずさんな調査をしているのか」と初めて認識したといいます。このように、自ら学べば判断もつき、自分で考える糸口もつかめるわけです。

数十年前の総合計画などは自治体職員や地元専門家、メディアたちが自ら集まり策定したかなり数字も細かく掲載されている秀逸なものが多くあります。たとえば福岡市の「第二次総合計画」などは今の福岡市の優位性を形作った基礎とも言えます。さらにまちの小さな公衆トイレなどの公共建築なども役所の技師が自ら設計した優れたものが全国各地に残っています。外注管理ではない仕事が、地方の独自性を作り出すのです。

地方が自ら考え、自ら決めていくためには、まずはなんでもかんでも外注依存の現状を問題として認識し、段階的に「自分たちの頭で考え、実行する」自前事業の割合を増やしながら依存度の軽減に努める必要があります。まずは地方自らが「外注依存デトックス計画」を自分たちでたてるのが第一歩ではないでしょうか。

東洋経済オンライン、2018/07/23 5:30
なぜ「なんでも外注主義」が地方を滅ぼすのか
地方に大事な「3つの能力」が消えかけている
木下斉(*):まちビジネス事業家
https://toyokeizai.net/articles/-/230176

(*) 木下斉
1982年東京生まれ。1998年早稲田大学高等学院入学、在学中の2000年に全国商店街合同出資会社の社長就任。2005年早稲田大学政治経済学部政治学科卒業の後、一橋大学大学院商学研究科修士課程へ進学、在学中に経済産業研究所、東京財団などで地域政策系の調査研究業務に従事。2008年より熊本城東マネジメント株式会社を皮切りに、全国各地でまち会社へ投資、設立支援を行ってきた。2009年、全国のまち会社による事業連携・政策立案組織である一般社団法人エリア・イノベーション・アライアンスを設立、代表理事就任。内閣官房地域活性化伝道師や各種政府委員も務める。主な著書に『稼ぐまちが地方を変える』(NHK新書)、『まちづくりの「経営力」養成講座』(学陽書房)、『まちづくり:デッドライン』(日経BP)、『地方創生大全』(東洋経済新報社)がある。毎週火曜配信のメルマガ「エリア・イノベーション・レビュー」、2003年から続くブログ「経営からの地域再生・都市再生」もある。

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気象庁が緊急会見 記録的暑さは「災害」

The temperature rose to a record 41.1C (106 Fahrenheit) in a city north-west of Tokyo on Monday, as Japan’s deadly heatwave fuelled fears about potentially dangerous conditions for athletes and spectators at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The temperature was recorded in Kumagaya, in Saitama prefecture, topping the previous high of 41C in the western prefecture of Kochi in August 2013, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. Records go back to varying dates for different cities, with data for Kumagaya starting in 1896.

Several events are being held this week to mark the two-year countdown to the Olympics, but sweltering weather across the country has brought fresh concerns over the risk of heatstroke.

Central Tokyo reached 39C on Monday, which “feels like” 43C when taking into account other factors such as humidity. Across Japan, dozens of people have died from heat-related conditions over the past two weeks and thousands have been taken to hospital.

Last week, the International Olympic Committee approved a competition schedule for the Tokyo Olympics, with an early start time of 7am set for the marathon events.

Makoto Yokohari, a University of Tokyo professor who has studied heat stress risks facing runners in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic marathon, said the earlier start was an improvement “but by far behind the sufficient level”.

According to a recent paper he co-wrote, the proposed marathon course was rated as dangerous or extremely dangerous on clear sunny days.

Yokohari said the organisers should take all possible measures to improve the situation – including considering potentially radical ideas such as moving the marathon to the northern prefecture of Hokkaido or starting it at 2am.

Other options included allowing runners to run on the eastern side of streets so they can be shielded from the sun.

“However, as far as you will be having the race in Tokyo in mid-summer, none of the measures, even a pile of all measures, can ensure safety,” he told the Guardian.

Yuriko Koike, the Tokyo governor, said the last few days had been “like living in the sauna”. She said dealing with the heat issue was “indeed one pillar for the success of the 2020 Games”.

A Tokyo 2020 spokesperson said the organisers were planning heat countermeasures such as the installation of cooling mist showers for the athletes. Schedules would be finalised “in consideration of the need to protect athletes and spectators from heat”.

“We will prepare concrete measures after examining the results of test events due to be held in July 2019,” the spokesperson said. “Our aim remains to host a Games where all athletes can safely record their personal best performances.”

Temperature monitors are to be installed at each venue, with the possibility that warnings could be issued to spectators if conditions become particularly bad.

The Olympics will run from 24 July until 9 August 2020, followed by the Paralympics from 25 August to 6 September. When Tokyo last hosted the Summer Olympics in 1964, it was held during the cooler month of October.


[photo]
People cool off in Odaiba kaihin park during a deadly heatwave

The Guardian, Published: Mon 23 Jul 2018 09.44 BST
Japan heatwave: record broken as concern grows over 2020 Olympics

City of Kumagaya records temperature of 41.1C, as Tokyo governor says last few days have been ‘like living in the sauna’
By Daniel Hurst in Tokyo
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/23/japan-heatwave-prompts-concern-over-conditions-for-2020-olympics

気象庁は、今年の記録的な暑さを「1つの災害と認識している」とした上で、「長期的にみると地球温暖化の影響が表れてきている」と説明した。
気象庁が緊急会見 記録的暑さは「災害」
日本テレビ系(NNN)、7/23(月)19:47配信
https://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/videonews/nnn?a=20180723-00000072-nnn-soci

先週1週間に熱中症で病院に搬送された人は全国でおよそ2万2000人で、このうち65人が死亡し、いずれも10年前に統計を取り始めてから最も多くなったことが総務省消防庁のまとめでわかりました。総務省消防庁は受け答えがおかしいなどの異変を感じた場合はためらわずに救急車を呼んでほしいと呼びかけています。
NHK、2018年7月24日 13時07分
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20180724/k10011546211000.html

MALAYSIA’s efforts to reduce disaster risk are a step in the right direction as the country can no longer claim to be free from natural disasters.

Our experience with the tsunami in 2004 and the frequent landslides, hill slope collapses and sinkholes compel us to take measures.

Although we do not have earthquakes and typhoons, as faced by neighbouring countries, we have our fair share of natural disasters. As such, it is to our interest to enhance our efforts to minimise the risk of disasters.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, in her statement at the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia recently, pointed out that a scientific and technical panel had been put in place in Malaysia to work out scientific guidelines on disaster risk reduction.

She said Malaysia was ready to implement the resolutions agreed under the Ulaanbaatar Declaration as well as the 2018-2020 Action Plan formulated during AMCDRR, which could help Malaysia prevent disasters and tackle new challenges brought about by climate change.

Malaysia must focus on safety and health issues, and disaster risk reduction in the interest of public safety and people’s wellbeing.

Global climate changes and tectonic plate movements have exposed Malaysia to new natural disasters, such as the fatal earthquake at Mount Kinabalu in 2015, with mild aftershocks still felt regularly in Ranau.

To work towards risk reduction, it is essential for more frequent safety audits to be done by the authorities of our hill slopes, rivers, seafront and other risky areas, especially those near human settlements and tourist attractions.

Equally important is to intensify checks on our natural environment.

We must have a strong maintenance culture.

We need to improve and upgrade our early-warning systems in respect of tsunami or any other natural disasters from time to time.

There is a need for Malaysians to be actively involved in safety drills like what is being done in Japan and South Korea, so that the people will be able to better cope with emergencies.

Our Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team, the Fire and Rescue Services Department personnel and other agencies involved in rescue operations should seize every opportunity to participate in disaster rescue training programmes and real operations abroad so that they can acquire new experiences and skills.

Take, for example, the multinational rescue operation in Tham Luang, Chiang Rai, Thailand, which rescued 12 boys and their football coach trapped in a flooded cave.

Those involved are unsung heroes and should be given due recognition.

If we had participated in the rescue mission, we would have gained immeasurable knowledge for future rescue missions.

I wish to compliment our Fire and Rescue Services department director-general Mohammad Hamdan Wahid, who expressed the wish for his personnel to hone their skills for cave rescue operations.

Malaysia should enhance cooperation and strengthen networks with other countries to minimise the occurrence and impact of disasters, and mount effective search-and-rescue operations.


[photo]
Malaysia has its share of natural disasters, such as the earthquake at Mount Kinabalu in 2015.

Letter to the New Straits Times, Published: July 24, 2018 - 8:34am
Focus on disaster risk reduction
By TAN SRI LEE LAM THYE, Chairman, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Niosh)
https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2018/07/393786/focus-disaster-risk-reduction

posted by fom_club at 11:33| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2018年07月23日

女性が職場で「雑用」ばかり任されやすい理由

 こんにちは、暑い日が続きますね。みなさんいかがお過ごしでしょうか?

 この連載では以前、「日本の職場では女性のスキルが活用されていない」という話と、「女性のスキルが活用されていないだけでは説明のつかない男女間の賃金格差が存在する」という話をしました。
 雇用形態もスキル水準も同じなのに、女性のスキルが男性よりも活用されていないのは、仕事内容に差があるからだと考えられます。

 ほぼ全ての業界で、昇進につながりやすい仕事と、つながりにくい仕事が存在しています。
 例えば、私がこれまで働いてきた国際教育開発の業界では、資金を取ってきたり、それを使ったりする仕事は明白に昇進につながりやすいです。
 一方、例えば議事録を作成したり、事務所内の委員会の委員長を務めたり、といった仕事は、誰かがやらなければいけない仕事ではあるものの、ほぼほぼ昇進とは無関係です。

 あなたの職場では、このようなスキルが大して活用されない、昇進につながりにくい仕事が、男女間で平等に配分されているでしょうか?
 大半の読者の職場では、主に女性が昇進につながりにくい仕事、言うなれば「雑用」を引き受けているのではないでしょうか。
 今回はこの、女性が昇進につながりにくい仕事を担っているメカニズムに迫った、米国の研究についてご紹介しようと思います。

女性は男性より損する役割を引き受ける

 なぜ昇進につながらないような仕事の多くは女性によってなされているのかを解明するための、5段階からなる実験がピッツバーグ大学で行われました (*1)。実験の概要は次の通りです。

 第一実験では男女混合の3人組を作り、2分以内に誰かがパソコンのエンターキーを押すという作業をしてもらいます。
 エンターキーを押した人は1.25ドル貰えますが、押さなかった二人は2ドルもらえます。
 2分以内に誰も押さなかった場合、3人全員とも1ドルしか受取ることができません。この作業を10回繰り返します。

 誰かがボタンを押さないと皆が損をするわけですが、ボタンを押した人は押さない人よりも損をすることになります。
 これは、誰かが昇進につながらない仕事を引き受けなければならないけど引き受けた人は損をするという、日常的に職場で見られる状況を再現したわけです。

 この結果、ボタンを押す役割を引き受けた回数は、男性が平均2.3回、女性が平均3.4回でした。
 女性が約50%も多くこの損な役割を引き受けたのです。
 (読者の中には、女性が二人、男性が一人のグループでも、合計が10にならないと気がついた方がいるかもしれません。平均して10回中2回ぐらいは、誰もボタンを押さずに皆が損をした、ということです)

 女性は男性よりも損な役割(=昇進につながらない仕事)を引き受けることが多い点がこの実験で明らかになったのですが、重要なのはそのメカニズムです。
 なぜ女性は男性よりも損な役割を引き受けるのか。メカニズムが違えば、対処策も異なってくるでしょう。

 雑用労働のメカニズムを「需要」と「供給」から考えると以下の通りのことが言えます。
 雑用労働を需要する側、つまり上司の側からみると「上司が損な役回りを誰かに頼むときに、女性に多く頼んでしまう」ということが考えられます。
 この場合、主な対処策は管理職に、そのような女性差別をしないように働きかけるという方法になります。

 一方、雑用労働を供給する側、つまり女性の側からみると「女性は男性に比べて利他的なので進んで損な役割を引き受ける」ということが考えられます。
 この場合、主な対処策は女性のエンパワメントでしょう。
 損なことや嫌なことは男性と同程度に引き受けたくないと言っても良いんだよと自信を付けてもらうことになります。

 では、雑用労働の需要と供給のメカニズムのうち、どちらが優勢なのでしょうか?

女性はなぜ損する役割を引き受けてしまう?

 これを検証するために、第二段階として男女別の3人組を作った実験が行われました。
 女性の方が男性よりも利他的であるという、雑用労働の供給側のメカニズムが優勢なのであれば、女性だけのチームは、男性だけのチームよりも、誰もボタンを押さずに皆が損をするという回数が少なくなるはずです。

 しかし、実験の結果、男性だけのチーム、女性だけのチーム、どちらも一人当たり約2.7回損な役回りを引き受けており、男女間で差は見られませんでした。
 つまり、女性の方が男性よりも利他的だから損な役回りを進んで引き受けるというよりも、上司が損な役割を女性に多く頼んでしまうという、雑用労働の需要側のメカニズムが優勢ということになります。

 実際に、第三実験では部外者が男女混合3人組の誰かに損な役割を引き受けるよう依頼するという方法が取られたのですが、損な役割を多く頼まれたのは女性の参加者でした。
 つまり、女性が損な役割を演じるのは、利他的だからというよりも、そのような依頼を受けてしまうから、ということになります。

 興味深いのは、依頼者の性別と、女性に多く損な役割を依頼する、という両者の間に相関関係が見られないことです。
 噛み砕いて言うと、依頼者が女性であっても女性に損な役割を多く依頼するということです。
 女性と労働を考える際に、女性の管理職が増えれば女性の労働問題は解消されると考えがちですが、女性が昇進につながりづらい仕事を多くしている問題は、女性の管理職が増加したとしても解消される見込みはない、という点には留意が必要でしょう。

 なお、字数の関係で詳細は省きますが、この研究ではさらに実験が行われていて、人が女性に損な役割を頼みがちなのは、女性の方が男性よりも損な役割を依頼したときに断らない可能性が高いという期待を人びとが持っているから、ということが明らかにされています。

まとめ

 日本で男女の賃金格差を考える時に、男女の教育水準に先進国で最大の差がある点は見過ごされてはいけません。
 しかし同じ教育・スキル水準の男女であっても、女性のスキルは男性よりも活用されていない点は重要です。
 教育水準の問題を解決すればそれでよい、ということではないのです。

 今回は、なぜ女性のスキルは男性よりも活用されていないのか、その理由に迫った研究を紹介しました。
 職場で女性のスキルが活用されない一つの理由に、女性の方が昇進につながりにくい仕事を多くしているという女性差別の問題があります。
 そして、この差別は周りの人たちが女性に損な役割を依頼するから起こっており、たとえ女性が上司になったとしても起こってしまうものです。

 この問題の解決策として二つの方法が考えられます。
 一つは、この問題は女性が利他的だから起こっているのではなく、女性が損な役割を断らないという期待から起こっているので、教育段階を通じて、男性と同程度に嫌なものは嫌と言えるように女子をエンパワメントしていく方法です。

 もう一つは、女性に損な役回りを頼みがちであるという傾向が広く知られて、管理職研修などにこのような女性差別をしないためのプログラムを組み込むことです。
 米国で働いていると「それは私の業務内容に入っていない」と業務を断る人が散見されます。
 昇進につながりづらいとはいえ、必要な仕事であることにかわりはありません。
 結局誰かが損な役回りは引き受けなければならないので、必要なのは、公平に割り振られるような仕組みを作るということでしょう。
 一つめの方法よりこちらのほうが重要になると思います。

 この研究を勉強してから自分の身を振り返って反省をしています。
 国際機関で勤務していた時に、日本からの出向者の方に「君は雑巾がけを全然しないからダメだ」と言われたこともあるぐらい雑用を断り続けていたのです(余談ですが、日本で働いたことが無かったので、雑巾がけという比喩を知らず、雑巾がけが上手になっても途上国の子供が救われるわけではないから、そんなのはアシスタントにやらせれば良いと反論して顰蹙を買ったのは良い思い出です)が、これを可能足らしめていたのは、自分がやや見た目にもごつい男性だからであるという点は気づいていませんでした。
 また、私自身も会議の議事録作成などを割り振る時に、無意識のうちに女性の部下によりお願いしていたと思います。

 こういった女性差別があるんだよということが広く認識されて、このような女性差別に社会的な取り組みがなされることを願っています。

Wezzy、2018.07.22
女性が職場で「雑用」ばかり任されやすい理由
畠山勝太 (*2)
http://wezz-y.com/archives/56685

(*1) Gender Differences in Accepting and Receiving Requests for Tasks with Low Promotability
https://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1257/aer.20141734

(*2) 畠山勝太
ミシガン州立大学博士課程在籍、専攻は教育政策・教育経済学。ネパールの教育支援をするNPO法人サルタックの理事も務める。2008年に世界銀行へ入行し、人的資本分野のデータ整備とジェンダー制度政策分析に従事。2011年に国連児童基金へ転職、ジンバブエ事務所・本部(NY)・マラウイ事務所で勤務し、教育政策・計画・調査・統計分野の支援に携わった。東京大学教育学部・神戸大学国際協力研究科(経済学修士)卒、1985年岐阜県生まれ。

posted by fom_club at 12:28| Comment(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

「極右」と「保守」がなぜ同居?

反差別規範のない日本

欧米にも日本と同じようにひどい差別はあります。
しかし、差別を禁止する法律や政策、差別に反対する社会運動が日本には決定的に欠けています。

差別禁止のわかりやすい例は履歴書です。
日本の一般的な履歴書には、顔写真を貼る欄があり、性別、年齢の欄があります。
アメリカでは、このいずれも禁止されています。
人種差別や年齢差別、性差別につながるからです。
ドイツでは、履歴書に名前も書かないようにする議論すらあります。
これは一つの例に過ぎませんが、欧米にはこのように何が差別に当たるのかを示す基準が、ルールとして明確に定められています。日本にはそれがありません。

差別に対する反応を比べてみましょう。
今年2017年8月、アメリカのシャーロッツビルで白人至上主義団体「KKK」が大規模集会を開きました。
これに対して、人種差別に反対するカウンターの人々が大勢集まって、白人至上主義者たちと衝突しました。
トランプ大統領は、この衝突に対して「双方に責任がある」とする発言をし、強い批判を招きました。
トランプ大統領が社会から大きな非難を受けたのは、トランプ大統領が差別をしたというより、「差別と闘わなかったから」です。
欧米には「差別と闘う」という反差別規範が社会に根付いているのです。

これに対して日本の場合はどうでしょう。
沖縄で機動隊員による「土人発言」が問題になった際、大阪の松井府知事は機動隊員をかばう発言をし、政府も差別ではないという閣議決定をしました。
これは反差別以前の問題で、政治が差別をし、それを追認していることにほかなりません。
トランプ大統領以下の言動と言ってよいでしょう。
日本に反差別規範がないことを示す象徴的な出来事です。

過去から学んだドイツ

反差別規範とは、何が差別なのかを示す物差しです。
この物差しは、人々の闘いから生まれました。
例えば、労働運動も同じです。
労働組合の運動があってこそ、長時間労働が違法とされたように、反差別運動があるからこそ、どのような行為が違法な差別になるのかが決まり、具体的なルールとして示されます。
反差別規範とは闘争によって、一つずつ権利やルールを勝ちとってきた、その積み重ねであると言えます。

このように生まれてきた物差しは、どのように差別であるか否かを判断するのか。
レイシズム(人種/民族差別)については、大きく分けて二種類があります。

一つは、人種差別撤廃条約などでグループへの不平等を差別の定義とするやり方。
各国は、これらの国際条約を国内法に落とし込む形で反差別規範をつくってきました。

もう一つは、ドイツ型です。
ドイツは2007年まで差別禁止法を持ちませんでした。
しかし、ドイツは歴史を物差しにして事実上、差別を規制してきました。
過去の侵略、ジェノサイドの歴史と本質的に類似するものを規制する、「本質歴類似性」という概念が差別規制に用いられました。

ドイツは1960年に民衆扇動罪を成立させ、一部の民族に対する憎悪を先導する行為を禁止しました。
それをネオナチ規制に落とし込んできたのが市民運動です。
とりわけ、1968年の学生運動は、学生たちが自分たちの親や大学の教授たちがナチスドイツ時代にどのような振る舞いをしてきたのかを厳しく問いただしました。
これは、ドイツの加害者としての責任を明確にし、ナチス(極右)を許さないという規範を社会に根付かせました。

ドイツにおける「過去の克服」とは、
▼ ネオナチ規制
▼ 司法によるナチス制裁
▼ 歴史教育
▼ 被害者に対する賠償 ─
が一体化したものです。
ドイツの反差別規範は、このような運動によって形作られてきました。

極右と保守の同居

では、日本ではなぜ、反差別規範が根付かなかったのでしょうか。

一つの理由として、差別扇動が社会的な危機として表れなかったことが考えられます。
差別を政治利用して社会を破壊に引きずり込むような組織集団が「極右」です。
欧州ではネオナチ・極右の活動が社会的な危機として表面化しましたが、日本では目に見える形で危機が表面化しなかったということです。

その背景には、第二次世界大戦後に日本の加害責任があいまいにされたことがあります。
戦後冷戦下の西欧では、ドイツとフランスの関係回復が不可欠であり、そのためにナチスが裁かれなければなりませんでした。
一方、日本の場合は、日本を「反共の砦」とする米国の東アジア戦略のもと、侵略戦争の責任者に対する処罰が中途半端に終わりました。

その結果、日本では保守と極右が無頓着に同居することになりました。
ここに根本的な原因があります。
ドイツの考え方からすると、憲法を破壊することと、ネオナチを裁くこと、過去の侵略の歴史を学ぶこと、ユダヤ人への賠償は、すべて共通する問題です。
しかし、日本ではこれらがすべて結び付きません。
とりわけ、加害者の責任を問う行為が日本には欠けていました。
そのため、極右が保守と区別されないままになってしまったのです。
極右と保守が同居できる上、国が在日朝鮮人への差別政策を実行している国では、極右があえて保守と分離し、差別扇動をする必要に乏しかったのです。

差別を見える化する

私たちは「反レイシズム情報センター」(ARIC)という団体を組織して、「ヘイトウォッチ」に取り組んでいます。
政治家や著名人のヘイトスピーチをデータベース化し、差別を見える化する取り組みです。

アメリカには多くのヘイトウォッチ団体があり、上位8団体だけで年に3億ドルの資金を動かすと言われています。
最近では俳優のジョージ・クルーニーが100万ドルをヘイトウォッチ団体に寄付したことがニュースになりました。
こうした団体は、極右団体の冊子を常時チェックして、極右団体の活動を監視しています。

日本は、政治によって差別扇動のアクセルが踏まれる一方で、ブレーキがありません。
私たちは、「政治家レイシズムデータベース」をインターネットで公開して、政治家のレイシズム発言にブレーキをかける活動を展開しています。
人種差別撤廃条約などに照らして、政治家の発言がいかにおかしいのかを知ってもらうことで、差別禁止法の制定につなげていきたいと考えています。

最後に、日本で反差別規範が根付かなかったもう一つの理由として、私は企業別労働組合の責任もあると考えています。
なぜなら、終身雇用、年功賃金という日本型雇用システムが、年齢や性による差別を前提としているからです。
私たちに最も身近な働くという場に差別が潜んでいるという点は見過ごすことができません。
労働組合は、平等の物差しを暮らしの足元からつくっていくという歴史的な責任を負っていることを自覚してほしいと思います。

いま、差別が社会的な危機として表層化するようになりました。
「在日」などのレッテルを貼れば、他者を攻撃できる社会になりつつあります。
労働組合もそのような対象になっています。
極右によって社会が破壊される状況を食い止めるために、協力してほしいと思います。

REPORT、働く人たちのための情報労連リポート、2017/11/14
差別問題・ヘイトスピーチ問題を考える
「極右」と「保守」がなぜ同居?
日本に欠ける反差別規範
差別を見える化する物差しを

反レイシズム情報センター(ARIC)代表、梁英聖 (リャン ヨンソン)
http://ictj-report.joho.or.jp/1711/topics01.html

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