2017-03-15 23:44:24

東日本大震災から6年 Great East Japan Earthquake Six Years

テーマ:ニッポンの新常識
東日本大震災から6年 ー
日本が得た国益 冷静さと気丈さに外国人から尊敬

Great East Japan Earthquake Six Years On
What Japan Gained
Foreigners Respected Japanese Coolness and Strength under Stress
 
【ニッポンの新常識】Common Knowledge Revisited 107
 
 東日本大震災と、それに伴う大津波の発生から11日で丸6年になる。震災や津波の犠牲者と、ご遺族の皆さんには、改めてお悔やみを申し上げる。現在も不自由な生活を余儀なくされている被災者の皆さんが、早く平穏無事な生活に戻れることを心から願っている。
 March 11th marked the 6th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and corresponding tsunami. I take this opportunity to once again express my condolences to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami and their families. I sincerely hope that those who are still displaced will soon be able to return to their normal life.
 

 東日本大震災は、日本が改めて世界の注目を集めるきっかけにもなった。大津波の衝撃的な映像と同じくらい世界が驚いたのは、パニックや暴動、略奪や火事場泥棒がほとんど起きなかったことだ。
 The Great East Japan Earthquake was an opportunity for the rest of the world to once again focus their attention on Japan. While the world was shocked at the video images of the tsunami, the world was just as surprised that almost no panic, riots, plunder, or looting occurred.
 

 地震の後、首都圏の公共交通機関はすべてストップしたが、駅の階段に座って運転再開を待つ人々は冷静で、他の人が通れるスペースを空ける配慮をしていた。徒歩で自宅に帰ろうとする人々の大行列は極めて静かに流れた。幹線道路沿いの飲食店や商店は休憩場所やトイレを無償で提供した。
 Following the earthquake [which occurred in the afternoon on a work day], all public transportation [from Kanto (Tokyo) northward on the island of Honshu] came to an abrupt halt [including not only the trains, subways, and monorail systems, but also all the expressways, many roads and bridges, and even the Sendai Airport, which was swept out to sea]. In Tokyo, the people waiting for trains to start running again calmly sat on stairways at the stations, being careful to leave a passageway for people who wanted to get through. A huge wave of people returning to their homes on foot proceeded in a comparatively orderly fashion. Stores and restaurants along the main thoroughfares provided rest areas and restrooms without charge. [I, myself, was caught in Gunma Prefecture (about 100 miles from Tokyo) and drove home mainly through rice paddies and residential neighborhoods which were pitch black from the power outages, taking about 10 hours to cover what should have taken only an hour and a half normally.]
 

 肉親や友人、自宅や職場を失った被災者も、避難所では気丈さと冷静さを保ち、周囲への気遣いを忘れなかった。水や食料の配給を待つ長蛇の列で、割り込みなど身勝手な行動を取る人はほとんどいなかった。
 Friends and relatives who lost their homes and workplaces maintained order in the various evacuation centers, looking out for the welfare of those around them. Almost no one crowded into the long lines for food and water or otherwise acted selfishly.
 

 米ABCニュースの女性リポーターは、取材中、一人の男性からお煎餅を手渡され、「あなたこそ食料が必要なのに…」と繰り返して絶句した。極限の環境下でも他者を気遣う日本人の国民性は、同情よりも感動を呼んだ。
 While covering the disaster, a female report from ABC News in the U.S. was given some rice crackers by a survivor and was left virtually speechless, repeatedly commenting “You are the one who needs food.” The national character whereby Japanese people constantly take into account the condition of those around them brought not sympathy, but deep emotions of respect.
 

 世界中の人々は、もし同じ規模の震災が自国で起きたら、「日本人のようには振る舞えない」と知っている。多くの人が日本人の冷静さと気丈さに、逆にショックを受け、憧れに近い敬意を抱いた。外国人からの尊敬は日本の国益そのものである。
 People around the world realized that if a disaster of similar proportions were to occur in their own country, their countrymen would not “act like the Japanese.” Many people were in fact shocked at the calmness and strength of the Japanese people, and gained a sense of respect bordering on admiration. The respect of foreigners is in and of itself an important national interest of Japan.
 

 一方で、残念ながら当時の菅直人政権(民主党)は、お世辞にも危機管理能力が高いとはいえず、私を含む在日外国人社会は、福島第一原発事故の政府対応について不信感を抱いた。複数の外資系企業が資金を出し合って専門家を雇い、事故の影響を独自に調査させた。
 On the other hand and unfortunately, it is impossible to say that the administration of then-Prime Minister Naoto Kan (Democratic Party of Japan) had any kind of impressive crisis management skills, and many foreigners, myself included, were deeply troubled about the way the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster was handled. [Not trusting the government,] a number of foreign companies pooled their funds and hired independent consultants to advise on how they should proceed in light of the nuclear accident.
 

 春休みを前倒しにして、母国への帰国を推奨した外資系企業や大使館も多かった。二度と日本に戻らなかった外国人も少なくない。おかげで都心の外国人向け高級賃貸住宅の家賃相場が半額程度にまで下がり、私の次男はその恩恵を受けた。
 Since it was just once week before the regular Spring break, many foreign companies and embassies advised their foreign citizens to return to their home countries. As a result, the market for foreigner housing in Tokyo took a steep plunge, with average rents dropping by about half, something which my son was later able to take advantage of.
 

 東京に残ったわれわれは、パニック状態で飛んで帰った「ガイジン」を、「フライジン」と揶揄(やゆ)している。
 Those of us who remained in Tokyo ridiculed those who took flight as “Fly-jin” [a play on words for the term gaijin,” which means “foreigners”].
 

 震災時に日本人が見せた冷静さと他者への配慮の欠片もない人々が、沖縄にいる。米兵や家族の車を止めて「ヤンキー、ダイ(=アメ公、死ね)!」などとヘイトスピーチを行うのだ。彼らを放置する行為は、日本の国益に間違いなく反している。
 There are people in Okinawa [the violent anti-U.S. military base agitators, a large portion of whom are indeed not Okinawan] who have not a trace of concern about other people such as what was exhibited by the Japanese people during the earthquake disaster. They unlawfully stop the cars of U.S. military personnel or their families and while pounding on the vehicles shout hate speech such as “Yankee, Die!” There is no doubt that allowing such activities to continue is not in the national interest of Japan.
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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