<   2009年 09月 ( 79 )   > この月の画像一覧

Caster Semenya, the 18-year old at the center of one of the biggest gender scandals in sports history, withdrew from a weekend race in South Africa amidst unconfirmed reports that her gender tests have revealed that she has both male and female sexual organs.

She was scheduled to compete in the 4,000 meters at the national cross country championships in Pretoria. Semenya's coach, Michael Seme, says his runner "isn't feeling well".

Yesterday, unsubstantiated (立証されていない) reports from Australia and England said that Semenya's tests showed that she has no womb (子宮) or ovaries (卵巣) and produces testosterone levels three times higher than a normal woman. The IAAF thinly denies the reports. (The organization's spokesman says he hasn't "seen" the results, which doesn't mean he hasn't "heard" the results. Nor has the IAAF come out and said that the reports are false.)

The Today Show aired a report on the Semenya situation this morning:

It's another chapter in an unfortunate story. It's easy to get caught up in the sensationalized aspects of Semenya's tale, but let's not forget that she's still just a teenager who is now the centerpiece (目玉的存在) of an embarrassing worldwide scandal. No matter how things progressed to this point (and we'll get to that later), Semenya is a victim in this story.

But let's operate under assumption that (~という仮定の下に) the tests were accurate and that Semenya has intersex (間性) conditions. If so, then there are three main questions that will need to be answered soon:

1) Will Semenya be stripped of (~を剥奪される) her gold medal?

Probably. It's hard to imagine that the IAAF would allow Semenya to keep the gold after what these tests reveal. The rules explicitly (明確に) state that a "gender verification" situation has to be approved and overseen by medical authorities. Semenya didn't do this. Fair or not, a rule is a rule.

2) Will Semenya ever be allowed to run again?

Reading the IAAF rules, it would appear that Semenya would be allowed to run if her condition was treated. Whether or not she would want to is anyone's guess. But there's also a chance she could be banned from running based on the answer to the next question.

3) Who knew about this and when did they know?

We haven't gotten this far down the road yet, but the next logical step in the progression of this sordid (浅ましい) affair is whether there was a coverup (もみ消し、隠ぺい) involved. Regardless of whether the intentions of Semenya and her handlers were nefarious (極悪な), they had to know of her ambiguous gender. Not having ovaries isn't something that goes unnoticed. If they did, then at what point did this turn from an unfortunate medical situation into outright deception?

If Semenya was an innocent running without knowledge of her condition, then there's not much the IAAF could do other than strip her medal and advise her on how to regain eligibility (資格、適任性). But if it can be determined that she knew she was running illegally (which would be tough to prove, but I'm starting to get the feeling that people knew -- how else would other coaches have known to order gender tests?) then there could be heavy sanctions (制裁) down the road (将来に).

These questions will be discussed in the coming weeks and will be the center of attention when the IAAF officially releases its findings in November. If you thought the tale of Caster Semenya was strange before, it's just getting started.

by yu-fen-sun | 2009-09-13 03:25 | 英語関連
Japan should find an alternative way to help stabilize Afghanistan if the incoming administration ends the Maritime Self-Defense Force's Indian Ocean refueling mission in support of U.S.-led antiterrorism operations in and around the war-torn (戦争で引き裂かれた、戦争で荒廃した) country, renowned (名声のある) U.S. scholar Joseph Nye said.

"The Indian Ocean refueling, I think, it's a symbolic Japanese support. . . . Finding a substitute for refueling is important if they decide to stop refueling," he said in a recent interview, calling for a more "civilian-based (一般市民向けの) contribution."

"Japan has talked about a more equal alliance. That includes the ability of Japan to help the United States. So that's part of equality," he said. "I think Americans are saying, 'If not refueling, then what?' "

Yukio Hatoyama, the Democratic Party of Japan president slated to be voted in (投票される予定である) by the Diet as prime minister next week, suggested Thursday there is no change in his policy to end the MSDF refueling mission, which has been ongoing (継続している) since 2001. The MSDF is also involved in antipiracy (反海賊行為の) patrols off Somalia.

Nye, a Harvard University professor emeritus of international political science and a former assistant secretary of defense, said last December he told DPJ leaders at the time, including Hatoyama, in a meeting in Tokyo that they should exercise caution (注意する) when discussing Japan-U.S. relations.

"I said that as a matter of friendly advice, they ought to be very careful on how they made certain statements . . . for example on the refueling," so the U.S. Congress would not interpret them as suggesting any pullback (撤退) from the bilateral alliance, he said.

Nye was upbeat (楽観的な) on the future course of the alliance.

"I'm optimistic that the U.S.-Japan alliance will stay as strong as ever because it's based on the self-interests of both countries and I think it's also based on 50 years of experience," he said. "The underlying (基本的な、根本的な) importance of the alliance remains as important as ever."

But Nye said many Americans were "surprised" by Hatoyama's recent essay carried by U.S. media that seemed to be against U.S.-led globalization and in favor of a greater Japanese focus on Asia.

"The feeling was that the criticism of globalization seemed odd since Japan has benefited so much from globalization," he said, adding the essay "had more to do with campaign rhetoric than it did as a real blueprint (設計図) for Japanese foreign policy under the Hatoyama administration."

Nye expressed concern about the Hatoyama administration's plan to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma outside Okinawa, despite a 2006 Japan-U.S. accord (合意) on the transfer of the facility within the prefecture.

"What worries me is that it took us so long to get the agreement we have that I would hate to see us trying to perfect it and waste as much time in the future as we've wasted in the past," he said.

"If you are going to improve the agreement without delaying the agreement, that's fine. But that would turn out to be hard to do," the professor emeritus said.

The relocation of the Futenma base by 2014 is a key item of the 2006 agreement. Japan and the United States also agreed that 8,000 marines and their dependents (扶養家族), who numbered some 9,000 at the time the 2006 pact was struck, will be moved to Guam from Okinawa when the Futenma relocation base is operational.

Asked for his advice to Hatoyama, Nye said that with the Japan-U.S. alliance being "one of the most important relationships in the world," it is vital "to be careful to maintain it and not to let small issues disrupt it."

Nye served as assistant secretary of state in the Jimmy Carter administration and as assistant secretary of defense in the Bill Clinton administration.

He is known as the author of a major post-Cold War U.S. defense strategy for East Asia in 1995 and as a pioneer of the theory of "soft power," which comes from diplomatic and cultural means.

by yu-fen-sun | 2009-09-13 00:39 | 英語関連

Recovery slower than expected

The economy grew less than initially reported in the second quarter due to a greater-than-anticipated fall in private inventory and capital investment (資本投資), revised data released Friday by the government showed.

Gross domestic product rose at a 2.3 percent annualized rate in the April-June period, lower than the Cabinet Office's preliminary (予備の、事前の) reading of 3.7 percent growth.

The second quarter saw Japan's first growth following four straight drops through the January-March period. However, the revised data indicated a less-than-robust recovery.

Despite the fall in capital spending (設備投資、資本支出), however, some analysts welcomed the revised figure as positive news for the economy since it showed a decreased level of inventory, helped partly by the government's fiscal stimulus.

"Since most of its downward revision was due to inventory, this is a good downward revision," said Takuji Aida, economist at UBS Securities Japan.

Private inventory contributed to the change in GDP by minus 0.8 percent in the quarter, compared with a preliminary figure of minus 0.5 percent. The latest negative reading was the largest since a minus 1.0 percent logged (記録された) in the January-March period of 1999.

"Inventories are falling further, which means the hurdle has been lowered (for the economy) to post growth during the July-September period," Aida noted.

Hiroaki Muto, senior economist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Co., agreed, noting the reduction in inventories of cars, electronic parts, devices and personal computers. He said the government's stimulus helped spur demand (需要を刺激する) for automobiles.

Muto also noted exports continued to be strong.

Exports of goods and services grew 6.4 percent in the quarter, up slightly from the initial reading of 6.3 percent.

Muto predicted that exports will grow at around 5 percent in the July-September period.

UBS's Aida, meanwhile, predicted the economy will likely continue to grow at an annualized pace of 3 percent through the October-December period, helped by the government's stimulus steps and the recovery of the global economy.

For the longer term, however, Aida forecast weaker growth — around 1 percent — in the next fiscal year starting in April as the effects of the stimulus fade.

Sumitomo's Muto also believes production will continue to grow through the July-September period. But he said the inventory adjustment is less likely to boost the economy beyond the October-December period.

Japan's growth will hinge on (~次第である、~に左右される) a recovery of the U.S. economy, a major consumer of Japanese products, Muto said. "We will ultimately have to depend on the U.S.," he said.

Following the GDP announcement, Finance Minister Kaoru Yosano said he hoped the incoming administration, led by the Democratic Party of Japan, will take necessary precautions to keep the economy on the recovery path.

"When reading that figure, we can clearly see that a full-scale economic recovery has yet to take hold (開花する、根付く)," Yosano said in a news conference. "To get the economy pointed in the right direction for next year, the new administration will have to pay sufficient and complete attention to the management of the Japanese economy."

by yu-fen-sun | 2009-09-13 00:16 | 英語関連

JAL eyes Delta as top shareholder

Struggling Japan Airlines Corp. is considering receiving capital investments (資本投資) from Delta Air Lines Inc., the world's largest airline, and forming a tieup (提携を結ぶ) on international operations with the U.S. carrier, industry sources said Friday.

Japan's largest airline is also sounding out (打診する) Air France-KLM Group, Europe's top airline, on expanding its alliance in deals that could form the pillar of JAL's restructuring program and dramatically alter the makeup of (~の構造を変える) the global airline industry.

JAL is likely to raise tens of billions of yen by selling shares to Delta, which would become JAL's top shareholder, the sources said.

The company will also improve the efficiency (効率性) of its flight operations by code-sharing international routes with Delta and strengthening its business base, they added.

It also hopes to avert (避ける、回避する) an exodus (集団脱出、流出) of travelers by jointly operating flights with Delta as JAL plans to drastically suspend (一時停止する) loss-making (採算の取れない) international flights to cut costs.

Delta and Air France-KLM are both part of SkyTeam, a global airline alliance, while JAL is part of the rival Oneworld grouping that includes American Airlines and British Airways. JAL is reportedly looking to exit Oneworld.

In June, JAL inked a deal with (~との取引に署名する) two state-backed lenders and three major Japanese commercial banks to borrow a total of ¥100 billion and plans to receive another ¥100 billion in additional loans before the end of the year.

The Japanese airline will present an outline of its new management improvement plan to a panel to be convened (招集される) next Tuesday by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

JAL's group net loss for the current business year through next March is expected to widen from an initially anticipated ¥63 billion as travel demand continues to be pounded (打撃を受ける) by the economic downturn and the spread of the new influenza.

by yu-fen-sun | 2009-09-12 23:58 | 英語関連
President Obama spoke at the Pentagon on Friday to those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001, telling them no words would heal their pain yet calling for a renewed resolve (新たな決意) against the ones who attacked the country eight years ago.

Obama laid a wreath (花輪を捧げる) of white flowers at the Pentagon, where 184 people lost their lives when a hijacked jet smashed into the military icon outside the nation's capital.

"No words can ease the ache of your hearts," Obama told a crowd of relatives and friends standing under umbrellas in a steady rain (シトシトと降り続ける雨). The plane, American Airlines Flight 77, struck the Pentagon's west wall.

Earlier in the day, the president and first lady Michelle Obama held a moment of silence outside the White House to mark the eighth anniversary of the al Qaeda attacks that killed 2,752 people.

At the Pentagon, Obama was introduced by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who spoke of the "great pinnacle of sacrifice" shown that day.

"Eight Septembers have come and gone," Obama said. "Nearly 3,000 days have passed, almost one for each one who has been taken from us.

"We recall the beauty and meaning of their lives," he said. "No passage of time, no dark skies can dull the meaning of that moment.

"Let us renew our resolve against those who perpetrated (~を犯す) this violent act," Obama said.

The nation paused at the moments when the planes crashed into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon -- symbols of America's financial and military might -- and at a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Officials believe that plane's target was either the White House or the Capitol (米国の国会議事堂).

There was silence at the site of the former World Trade Center at 8:46 a.m., the time the first plane struck the North Tower, followed by another at 9:03 a.m. when a jet struck the South Tower.

Family members and friends of those killed read their names in solemn (厳粛な) roll calls (指名点呼) at each site as bells tolled.

In London, England, U.S. Ambassador Louis Susman and his wife, Marjorie, laid a wreath at the September 11 Memorial Garden in Grosvenor Square.

At ground zero in New York, a woman whose husband worked on the 94th floor of one of the twin towers recalled that day.

"The pain can still be so sharp. ... I realize how much my life has changed," she said, mentioning that her children have now grown and she has grandchildren.

Her husband left many lessons, she said, including "the courage to be kind."

Just before the first moment of silence, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised the newly established September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, designated by Obama.

"Appropriately, the city of New York has taken up that call. From this day forward we will guard the memories of those who died by rekindling (再点火する、もう一度燃やす) the spirit of service and help keep us strong," Bloomberg said.

At the Web site set up for that day, people were listing their charitable acts.

One man who spoke to the crowd at ground zero remembered his brother, a partner at a law firm near the twin towers and a longtime volunteer firefighter. He rushed "toward the inferno (烈火、地獄)," to do what he could to help, the brother said.

"He was there when the tower collapsed."

Near Shanksville, people gathered at a field where the 40 passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 died. The passengers and crew, aware of the fate of other hijacked planes, fought the men who had taken control of their aircraft, leading to its crash (墜落).

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell gave the keynote address (基調演説) at the 2,200-acre site, where a $58 million memorial is scheduled to open in 2011, on the 10th anniversary of the attacks.

More than 1 million people already have visited the field, Powell said.

No one could capture the terror the 40 people aboard Flight 93 must have endured (耐える), Powell said. They were strangers to each other who "represented the very best diversity that is America," he said.

"In place of fear, they found the courage of attack," he said. "They seized the moment, and they lost their lives in so doing. We are here to ... honor their spirits."

Their sacrifice prevented thousands of families from suffering losses, he said.

"We will always rebuild," he said. "We will always go after (追う) those responsible."
by yu-fen-sun | 2009-09-12 03:52 | 英語関連

A New Look at the 9/11 Commission

Former New Jersey attorney general (司法長官) John Farmer served as senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission, tasked with investigating the government response to the attacks. His new book, The Ground Truth, picks up where the commission left off — taking a deeper look at the government's disorganized response to the attacks and exposing officials determined to hide their failings from the inquiry. Farmer uses newly released transcripts and recordings to cast doubt on (~に疑いを投げ掛ける) the official version of events and show that the U.S. government was struggling to figure out which planes were hijacked and where they were going, even hours after the initial plane hit the World Trade Center. He spoke with TIME about the attacks and how to improve the U.S. response in a crisis.

What was your involvement with the 9/11 Commission?

I was assigned to head a team looking at the day of 9/11 itself and our response to the attack. I thought it would be one of the easier stories to put together because there was so much already written and broadcast about it. But as we started to get access to primary source material, the stories didn't match. And they didn't match in some pretty significant ways. What became clear was that during the time that the attacks were occurring, there was a complete disconnect between the national command structure and the defenders on the ground (現場の), who had to improvise (即興でやる、行き当たりばったりでやる) a response based on faulty information (誤った情報).

Why do you think government proved to be so inept at dealing with both the terrorist threat and the actual attack?

The chaos that occurred on 9/11 was really inseparable from the various policy decisions and communication lapses and failures to share information throughout the government in the preceding decade (前の10年). It all revolved around what I call an estrangement (仲たがい) between the people running the departments and agencies and the people who were actually operational. [Former FBI Director] Louis Freeh could identify terrorism as a major threat, but that imperative (命令) got lost somewhere in the bureaucracy. The same thing happened throughout the government. It's really foolhardy (向こう見ずな、無鉄砲な) to single out individual agency heads as we tend to do in our culture when really, I think the problem is deeper — the problem is the difficulty of orchestrating a change in mission when government is structured a certain way.

Yet after the 9/11 commission report, government responded by creating even more bureaucracy.

People do what they're comfortable doing. The government was comfortable creating a new Department of Homeland Security, and so that's what they did. If you look at the 9/11 Commission's recommendations and which ones were adopted and which ones weren't, the ones most critical of the bureaucracy were the ones that weren't done.

In the book, you draw a lot of parallels (類似点) between the response at 9/11 and the response to Hurricane Katrina.

The chaos of 9/11 has been ascribed in large degree to the fact that the nature of the attack was a surprise. We knew there was a terrorist threat; we didn't know it would become manifest in this particular way. What was different with Katrina was that it was an event that had been anticipated and planned for in the gulf region for decades. So whatever you can say about the response to Katrina, it was not a consequence of surprise. With Katrina, you had the same kind of estrangement between officials at the top, who just like on 9/11 were largely talking to themselves on conference calls and passing a lot of flawed information. Their decisions, in turn, were not being communicated to the people on the ground, who were left to improvise.

Why do you think officials tried to obscure (覆い隠す) some of the faulty decision making and communication on 9/11?

It's almost a culture of concealment (隠匿), for lack of a better word. You have someone like Sandy Berger, who by all accounts (誰に聞いても) is a decent (まともな、上品な、親切な) guy, taking rather extreme measures to remove documents from the National Archives and hide them at a construction site where he could retrieve them later and destroy them. There were interviews made at the FAA's New York center the night of 9/11 and those tapes were destroyed. The CIA tapes of the interrogations (尋問、取り調べ) were destroyed. The story of 9/11 itself, to put it mildly, was distorted and was completely different from the way things happened.

Some of the distortions you've discussed have fed various conspiracy (陰謀) theories surrounding 9/11. Did you ever see any evidence of a conspiracy?

One of the harmful byproducts (副産物) of not telling the truth about what happened is that it did fuel all sorts of conspiracy theories about what might have happened. If what the government is telling you isn't true, then the truth could be anything. But my experience suggests that government lacks competence to carry off an elaborate (手の込んだ) conspiracy like what is being talked about with 9/11. I think there is evidence that the truth wasn't told and that at least some of that was deliberate (故意の) — but it did not occur on any sort of scale that people are imagining.

What sort of lessons does government still have to learn, based on the response to both 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina?

We have to figure out how to structure government response so that people on the ground are not left to improvise but have the information they need to make critical decisions. We know from Katrina and 9/11 that in the first critical moments, oftentimes civilians (民間人) are on their own. And yet there's been no systematic attempt to educate everyone over the age of 12 in the rudiments (基本、基礎) of crisis response. The evidence is pretty strong from Katrina and 9/11 that the people who were versed in the basics of emergency response fared better (健闘する、上手くやる) and were able to help their fellow citizens.

by yu-fen-sun | 2009-09-12 02:44 | 英語関連

Sugiyama preparing for retirement

Amid (~の真っただ中にあって) a frustrating slide in form that has seen her plunge to No. 71 in the world rankings, Ai Sugiyama said Wednesday she has decided to end her playing career at the end of this season.

The Toray Pan Pacific Open getting underway on Sept. 27 at Ariake Tennis Forest Park will be the last tournament of Sugiyama's career.

"I am normally the type that can picture what the near future holds but to be honest at this moment in time I can't see myself competing next season," said Sugiyama who was once the world No. 8.

"I knew that the moment I realized I could play well in fits and starts but not over the course of a season then it would be time to retire. Now I would like to give something back to tennis."

Sugiyama's women's doubles campaign at the ongoing U.S. Open ended Monday after she and her partner Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia were knocked out in the third round.

Sugiyama has made a record 62 consecutive Grand Slam appearances.

She has struggled this season and lost in the first round of the U.S. Open women's singles for the first time since her 1994 debut at the event.

Sugiyama turned pro at 17 and won the first of her six career singles titles at the 1997 Japan Open. She won 38 doubles titles including Grand Slam wins at the U.S. Open 2000, the French Open and Wimbledon both 2003.

Toray PPOを観戦予定なので
by yu-fen-sun | 2009-09-11 22:38 | 英語関連

Drawing on the spirit that spurred volunteers to rush to the burning World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, Americans looked for ways to help each other on a day better known for mourning the thousands of people killed in the nation's worst terrorist attack.

Teresa Mathai, whose husband, Joseph Mathai, died at the World Trade Center eight years ago Friday, planned to grieve at a morning wreath-laying ceremony (花輪献呈式) in Boston and hear his name read out loud. Then she planned to install drywall at a low-income home in south Boston with Habitat for Humanity, one of thousands of volunteer efforts planned since Sept. 11 was declared a national day of service.

"Everyone has a different way of mourning," she said. "Some people keep it absolutely sacred (神聖な). For me, this is something that gives us solace (慰め)."

The combination of mourning and national giving was troubling to some who feared the volunteerism would overshadow a somber (厳粛な) day to remember the four hijacked jetliners that crashed into the twin towers, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field, killing nearly 3,000 people, most in New York.

"When I first heard about it, I was concerned," said Debra Burlingame, whose brother was the pilot of the American Airlines jet that crashed into the Pentagon. "I fear, I greatly fear, at some point we'll transition to turning it into Earth Day where we go and plant trees and the remembrance part will become smaller and smaller and smaller."

Thousands were expected at now-familiar ceremonies in New York, at the Pentagon and at the crash site of United Airlines Flight 93 in a Shanksville, Pa., field.

At a park southeast of ground zero (世界貿易センターの跡地), family members were to join with volunteers who made firefighters meals or removed tons of debris (瓦礫) from the smoldering (くすぶっている) trade center site to read victims' names. Four moments of silence were planned in New York — for when jetliners crashed into each tower and for when each tower collapsed. Vice President Joseph Biden was to attend the ceremony.

A wreath was to be laid at a memorial to the Pentagon, where 184 people died when a jet slammed into the building. President Barack Obama and Department of Defense Secretary Robert Gates were to meet with victims' family members.

The president would "speak about what the day means and the sacrifices of thousands, not just at the Pentagon, but in Pennsylvania and certainly and most obviously in New York," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Thursday. The president on Thursday pledged to "apprehend (捕まえる、逮捕する) all those who perpetrated these heinous crimes (凶悪な犯罪を犯す), seek justice for those who were killed and defend against all threats to our national security."

In Pennsylvania, the names of the 40 passengers and crew of United 93 were to be read at 10:03 a.m., the time the plane crashed.

Jose Melendez-Perez, a customs agent credited with refusing U.S. entry to a man officials believe was supposed to be the fifth hijacker aboard the flight, was going to the site for the first time. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell was giving the keynote speech (基調演説).

Across the country, a fundraiser to repair storm damage at Central Park, beach cleanups and repairs of homeless shelters were among the organized efforts to give back. Obama and Congress declared Sept. 11 a day of service earlier this year.

A Cleveland service organization planned to paint pies cooling, flower vases and sleeping cats resting on windowsills (窓の下枠) on boarded-up (板を打ち付けた), abandoned properties in a Slavic neighborhood.

A Boston group founded by victims' family members — two of the four planes left from Boston — planned to write letters to U.S. soldiers overseas and pack care packages. Over 100 volunteers in San Jose, Calif., planned to plant fruit and vegetable gardens for low-income families.

The attacks killed 40 people in Pennsylvania, 184 at the Pentagon and 2,752 in New York.

This year, one new name will be read — a victim added to New York's death toll in January. The medical examiner's office ruled that Leon Heyward, who died last year of lymphoma (リンパ腫) and lung disease, was a homicide victim because he was caught in the toxic dust cloud just after the towers collapsed.

It's the second time the city has added to the victims' list someone who died long after Sept. 11, ruling that exposure to toxic dust caused lung disease.

by yu-fen-sun | 2009-09-11 22:20 | 英語関連
The Census Bureau (国勢調査局) reports that the number of people lacking health insurance rose to 46.3 million in 2008.

That's up from 45.7 million in 2007, due to a continuing erosion of employer-provided insurance. Still, the level remained just below the peak of 47 million who were uninsured in 2006, because of the growth of government insurance programs such as Medicaid for the poor.

The nation's poverty rate increased to 13.2 percent, up from the 12.5 percent in 2007. That meant there were 39.8 million people living in poverty. It was the highest rate since 1997.

The statistics released Thursday cover the first full year of the current recession.

The median — or midpoint — household income declined slightly to $50,303.

by yu-fen-sun | 2009-09-11 01:39 | 英語関連
Business Ethics第二弾です。
今日は、Competitive Pressures (競争圧力)についてです。

Competitive Pressures (競争圧力) on Ethical Principles (倫理原則)

American society places a great emphasis on success, which in and of itself is not a bad thing. It is perfectly justifiable (正当化できる、もっともな) to want to make full use of one's talents and provide for oneself and one's family. People involved in the world of business, however, often face situations in which advancement—whether in position, influence, or financial stature (経済的成長)—can be gained, but only by hurting other individuals or groups. Small business owners are confronted with these choices even more often than other people of the business world because of the greater degree of autonomy in decisionmaking that they often enjoy. Moreover, the ethical decisions of small business owners are likely to impact far greater numbers of people than are the ethical decisions of that business owner's employees. Very often, an employee's ethical choices (to claim credit (功績を主張する) for the work done by another, to falsify number of hours worked, etc.) have an impact on a relatively small number of people, usually co-workers or his or her employer. The ethical choices of business owners, however—whether to use inferior materials in preparing goods for customers, whether to place employees in a poor HMO (保険維持機構), whether to lay off a dozen workers because of careless personal financial expenditures, etc.—often have far more wide-ranging repercussions (反動).

Indeed, the pressure to make morally compromised (妥協された) choices on behalf of the company you lead can be quite powerful, whether the enterprise is a lone clothing store or a regional chain of record stores, especially when you feel the health and vitality of your enterprise may be at stake (危機に瀕して). As Mary Scott observed served in the Utne Reader, "companies that go public, are sold to outside investors, merge with other businesses, and feel the increased competition of businesses based less on values increasingly face an unnerving (気を転倒させる、狼狽させる) conflict between their social values and their bottom line."

Some business analysts contend (強く主張する) that American businesses—and their leaders—are more prone to (~する傾向がある) ignore ethics as a part of a decisionmaking process than ever before. Even some "good citizen" efforts undertaken by businesses are dismissed as evidence of increased marketing savvy (手腕、抜け目の無さ) rather than demonstrations of true devotion to ethical business standards. Other critics of modern American business practices grant that good citizen efforts, while laudable (称賛に値する), are all too often aberrations (逸脱、例外的状況). As David Korten wrote in Business Ethics, "all this focus on measures like recycling, cleaning up emissions, contributing to local charities, or providing day care sounds noble, but it's little more than fiddling (くだらない) at the margins of (~の側に) a deeply dysfunctional system." Korten insists that the current widespread emphasis on maximizing financial returns to shareholders—an emphasis that starts with multinational companies but filters down to smaller enterprises as well—makes it "all but (ほとんど) impossible to manage for social responsibility."

Some economists and ethicists contend that such emphases on profitability are, in and of themselves, evidence of a set of legitimate ethical principles. Economist Milton Friedman criticized those who insisted that executives and business owners had a social responsibility beyond serving the interests or their stockholders or members, saying that such views showed "a fundamental misconception (根本的な誤解) of the character and nature of a free economy. In such an economy, there is one and only one social responsibility of business—to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits, so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition, without deception (ごまかし) or fraud (詐欺)." Some observers even argue that this pursuit of financial gain ultimately serves the larger community, albeit unintentionally (意図的でなかったにしても). Economist James McKie wrote that "the primary goal and motivating force for business organizations is profit. The firm attempts to make as large a profit as it can …. Profits are kept to reasonable or appropriate levels by market competition, which leads the firm pursuing its own self-interest to an end that is not part of its conscious intention: enhancement of the public welfare." Others, of course, vigorously dispute such interpretations of capitalism and corporate duties as an outright abdication (放棄) of responsibility for actions undertaken in pursuit of the best possible bottom line. Such philosophies, they argue, provide people with a veneer of (うわべだけの) ethical cover to engage in everything from ruthless (無慈悲な) downsizing to environmental degradation (悪化、劣化) to misleading advertising.
by yu-fen-sun | 2009-09-11 01:31 | 英語関連