《经济学人》:灾难来袭日本,大自然的报复
日期:2011-04-01 11:19

(单词翻译:单击)

Japan's catastrophes 灾难来袭日本 Nature strikes back大自然的报复

Can fragile Japan endure this hydra-headed disaster?脆弱的日本能否抵御多重灾难的冲击?

UP A shallow river, five kilometres from the Pacific coast in Japan’s north-eastern Iwate prefecture, lie the remains of a town. Crushed wooden houses now resemble matchwood, scattered in every direction over swampy wasteland. A purple car is partially submerged in mud. The piles of debris reach two metres high.

在日本东北部的岩手县,太平洋沿岸五公里处一条小河的上游保留着一座小城的遗址。泥泞的土地上,被毁坏的木制房屋像火柴棍一样零星地散落在各方。一辆紫色的汽车半掩在淤泥中,废墟堆了足有两米高。

Only on close inspection do you see that it was never a town at all—at least not there. It was a rice paddy. The houses, shops, cars and people belonged lower down the valley. But the town is gone, washed away. Its debris settled on the field, high up the valley, that was the tsunami’s high-water mark. That is all that physically remains of Rikuzentakata.

如果走近观察,你会发现这根本不是一座小城,至少不是这里的小城,这儿是一片水稻田。这里的房屋,商店,汽车和人本来属于下游的小镇。如今他却被海啸冲走,不复存在。废墟散布在地上,提升了地势,这就是海啸水墙过后留下的痕迹。这些就是陆前高田市仅存的残骸。

Rikuzentakata, a former whaling town, once held 23,000 people. Several hundred are confirmed dead, but at mid-week perhaps thousands more were still missing. All tried to flee, as they were trained to do, when the tsunami warnings sounded in mid-afternoon. But this was a town of old people, as fishing villages here invariably are. Many just could not make it. Their fate was shared by perhaps tens of thousands of people living in ports, coastal towns and tiny cove communities across the north-east. Some, though, were spared. Above a washed-away hamlet clay-tiled homes are still standing, and a garden with tenderly coiffed trees. Even higher up is a small cemetery.

陆前高田市是一个以捕鲸业为主的小镇,这里曾经居住着23000名居民。如今已有几百人被证实死亡,但到本周中旬可能仍会有数千人下落不明,而且这一数字在不断增长。下午海啸警报响起的时候,人们纷纷逃难,就像平时训练的一样。但是和其他渔村一样,这里的居民以老年人居多,他们中的许多对逃生就有些力不从心了。不仅这里的居民,东北部港口,沿海城镇和小海湾社区中的居民也经历了这一切,虽然他们中的一些死里逃生。在一座被海啸冲刷过的小村庄里,一间瓦房仍然矗立在原地,旁边的公园里还有仔细修剪过的树木。然而在更高的地方却是一小片墓地。

Japan, which shows its love of nature in its reverence for trees and seasons, also knows the awesome power of the physical world—and fears it. Its orderly and law-abiding people know they live on one of the most geologically violent archipelagoes on the planet. The earthquake that struck on the afternoon of March 11th had a magnitude of 9.0, the biggest in Japan’s recorded history. It was so strong that, even in Tokyo’s shock-absorbing skyscrapers, office workers cowered beneath their desks and then raced out into the street, only to be hit again by the whump of aftershocks.

日本人崇敬树木和季节,这显示了他们对自然地热爱。他们同样也了解自然的可怕之处并对其报以敬畏之心。日本人井井有条,遵纪守法,他们知道自己居住在世界上地质运动最为活跃的群岛之一。3月11日下午发生的大地震达到了里氏9.0级,这是日本有史以来最强的一次地震。这次地震威力无比,东京的摩天大楼虽然有减震设计,但是在其中工作的人们还是不得不躲到桌子下面,并在安全的时候快速冲出了大楼。然而等着他们的又是一波余震。

As the quake lifted the ocean floor, it triggered a tsunami (the word is Japanese) that breached with ease some of what were considered to be Japan’s best coastal defences. As of March 17th the police said at least 14,000 people were dead or missing along the coast, though that fails to account for the tens of thousands who are unreported to the authorities, supposed lost, in places like Rikuzentakata. As many as half a million are in emergency shelters, shivering through a bitterly cold snowstorm that has added to the sense of crisis. Because of damaged roads, petrol shortages and bungling bureaucrats, many lack essentials such as food, water, toilet paper, nappies and kerosene for heating. A shocking number appear to be in their 90s, looked after by people who are themselves grandmothers and grandfathers. Amid the debris in Rikuzentakata, a 62-year-old woman wearing trainers was prodding around for her 94-year-old aunt. The president of a nearby construction company had tried to help the aunt escape, but he too was washed away. Her niece had been searching fruitlessly for her every day since March 12th.

地震使海床升高并由此引发了海啸(该词源于日语)。这次海啸来势凶猛,不费吹灰之力就将日本最好的海岸防备系统破坏殆尽。3月17日警察称沿海地区至少有14000人失踪或死亡,而这其中还不包括陆前高田等地疑似失踪,没有上报政府的人数。近50万人在避难所避难.暴风雪的肆虐之下他们瑟瑟发抖,这更加深了危机过后的悲惨景象。由于道路损毁,石油短缺,政府人员工作拖沓.许多人无法得到如食物,水,手纸,尿布和取暖用的煤油等必须日用品。惊人的是,他们中的许多已年过九旬,而照料他们的子女亲人许多也已身为(外)祖父母。陆前高田的废墟中,一名身穿运动鞋,年届62岁的妇女正在到处寻找她94岁的姑姑。附近一家建筑公司的社长在设法营救这位老人的时候被大水冲走。3月12日以来虽然她每天都在寻找,但却毫无音讯。

Appalling as these people’s plights are, they have been eclipsed for most of the week by fear of an altogether different sort: that of a meltdown in the damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear-power plant, some 240km north-east of Tokyo. Nuclear experts say the potential danger to human health from the three stricken reactors has so far been blown out of proportion—especially when set against the wider-spread suffering of the tsunami victims. But there is a gnawing sense that Japan, the only country to have suffered mass radiation from atomic attack (and hence an expert in its consequences for long-term health), may be on the verge of another nuclear nightmare. Inevitably, the latest crisis will renew debate about the wisdom of building nuclear-power plants on such unstable and exposed terrain. Experts, however, can barely imagine Japan meeting its energy needs without them.

灾民的处境令人震惊,同样令人震惊的是本周大部分时间人们都在被另外一种迥然不同的危机所笼罩:东京东北部240公里左右,由于福岛核电站的冷却系统遭到破坏,温度过高的反应堆面临融化的危险。核专家称受损的三座核反应堆给人类健康带来的潜在威胁近段时间被夸大,尤其是在广大难民的悲惨遭遇的衬托之下。更为令人揪心的是,日本,作为唯一一个因原子弹袭击而遭受大范围核辐射的国家(因此在核辐射对长期健康的影响上堪称专家),可能正面临又一场核噩梦。这次危机会不可避免地掀起新的一轮讨论,议题就是在日本这样一个不稳定而又轻易暴露于灾难之下的地方修建核电站是否可行。但专家很难想象如果没有核电站,日本的能源需求要怎样得到满足。

A government under siege四面楚歌的政府
The palpable fear of the unknown can be heard in the words of Katsunobu Sakurai, the mayor of Minamisoma. His town straddles the 20km exclusion zone surrounding the Fukushima plant, as well as the 30km circle in which as many as 136,000 people are being urged to stay indoors to avoid radiation. Speaking by telephone to NHK, Japan’s national broadcaster, on March 16th, he said that people were now “trying their best to stay calm”, but many would flee the area altogether if they could only find fuel to make the journey. He said the most basic supplies were running short because outsiders were not willing to transport them to the danger zone. Whenever he is interviewed, he begs the government for help.

从南相马市长胜信樱井的话语中我们很容易感受到人们对于未来的担忧。他所在的小镇坐落在福岛核电站周围20公里的隔离区内。以福岛核电站为中心,半径30公里区域内的13万6千名居民都受到警告要待在家中,避免辐射。3月16日在与日本国家广播公司NHK(日本放送协会)的电话连线中,他说人们正在竭力保持冷静。但是许多人正在寻找燃料逃离这里。他还说,由于人们不愿踏足危险区域,这里许多生活必需品都供应不足。采访中,他请求政府迅速对这里进行救援。

The government, though, is besieged on many fronts。 Naoto Kan, the prime minister, entered a crisis of hydra-headed complexity with feeble popularity and little public respect。 Until Mr Kan’s Democratic Party of Japan took power in 2009, Japan had seen its institutions of government corroded by 55 years of one-party rule; and one of the biggest bones of contention had been the nuclear-power industry.

日本政府已经四面楚歌,而首相菅直人更是面临多重困境:他不仅满意度低迷,大众对他的尊重也所剩无几。菅直人所在的民主党2009年执政之前,日本一党执政已达55年,这期间政府机构被不断蚕食。党派之间竞争的焦点之一就是核能工业。

Generally the safety record has been good, considering the number of plants and their length of service。 But when there have been accidents, a shameful record of cover-ups, lackadaisical crisis management and an inbred complicity between regulators and utilities has given the public ample reason for skepticism.

就核电站的数量和服役寿命来说,日本核电站的安全记录整体上尚属优良。然而一旦事故发生,对事实的隐瞒,对灾难管理的怠慢以及管理者和公共事业公司之间的勾结便暴露无疑。这使得日本民众有充分的理由对政府表示怀疑。

The first response of Mr Kan, a former civil activist, has suggested that he is reacting more openly, though he hardly exudes authority. If his presence has been hit-and-miss during the crisis, that cannot be said of his steadfast chief of staff, Yukio Edano. Mr Edano has produced frequent updates on the unfolding nuclear crisis, while avoiding sowing panic among the public. In his blue overalls (now standard kit for Mr Kan and his team), he looks to many the epitome of the stalwart line manager.

作为一名曾经的“市民政治家”,首相菅直人在首次对灾难进行回应时表示他正在更为坦诚的应对危机,然而我们却很难从他身上看到任何权威性。如果说灾难应对过程中他的存在可有可无的话,那么作风坚韧的官房长官枝野幸男则大为不同。他经常发布关于核危机的新消息,这避免公共恐慌的爆发。他身着蓝色外套(他现在是菅直人政府的标准智囊),在许多人来看来,他就是坚定可靠的业务经理的缩影。

Reduced to this只剩这些
But if the Fukushima crisis worsens, Mr Kan’s ability to lay blame for the mishaps on the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the owner of the power plant, will wear thin—not least because the government has set up a crisis committee with TEPCO that appears to put the company firmly in charge. Also, there is the lingering danger of panic. Foreigners with families in Tokyo have reacted most nervously. As the radiation has risen they have taken bullet trains to Osaka, in western Japan, and flights out of the country, quietly supported by their firms and embassies.

如果福岛核电站的危机继续恶化,首相大人就不能对核电站的所有者东京电力能源公司加以责备了。因为至少政府没有与电力公司合作建立危机委员会以对其进行严格监控。与此同时,恐慌爆发的危险仍然挥之不去。有亲属在东京的外国人反应最为激烈。随着核辐射强度的不断上升,在公司和使馆的支持下,他们纷纷乘坐新干线来到日本西部城市大阪或是乘飞机回国。

Most residents of greater Tokyo—at 35m, the most populous metropolitan area in the world—have shown much more stoicism, partly because the authorities and media have remained calm. Despite radiation fears, aftershock warnings, power cuts, train disruption and half-empty supermarkets, many queued patiently on March 15th to meet their tax deadlines. But the next day, reflecting the seriousness of the situation, 77-year-old Emperor Akihito gave a rare televised address to express his “deep concern”. He had been quiet until then, despite messages of support coming in from royalty around the world.

东京都是世界上最繁华的大都市地区之一。这里约有3500万居民,如今他们大多比较冷静。这部分归因于政府和媒体的冷静态度。尽管面临放射危险,余震警报,停电,铁路中断以及超市营业惨淡,许多人还是在3月15日截止日期到来前排队交纳了税款。但是第二天,鲜有露面的77岁高龄的明仁天皇就通过媒体表达了对这次危机的深刻关注,这在某种程度上反映了局势的严重性。虽然世界各国皇室纷纷发来慰问函,天皇也再难保持沉默。

For the authorities, one increasingly apparent danger is that the nuclear drama is distracting them from what should be an equally pressing priority. They need to find a way to move supplies to the stricken towns and villages in the north-east. Takeshi Niinami, chief executive of Lawson, Japan’s second-largest chain of convenience stores (which lost 68 stores in Friday’s disasters, with more than 100 staff unaccounted for), says that the urgent priority is to renew fuel supplies to Tohoku, the north-eastern region and the scene of the disaster. Without fuel, he says, local factories have been unable to produce rice balls and other food supplies; nor is there enough petrol for food brought from elsewhere in Japan to be trucked to the hardest-hit areas.

对政府来说,一个危机正逐渐浮出水面:他们的注意力被核危机的一系列进展所完全吸引却忽略了将救灾物资运送到东北部受灾村镇一事,这要知道这件事同样不容小觑。日本第二大连锁便利店——劳森公司(周五的灾难中有68家店铺被毁,100多名员工下落不明)的总裁武新浪说,当务之急是要恢复对东北市等受灾地区的燃料供应。因为没有燃料,当地工厂就无法生产饭团等食品。如果没有燃料,卡车也无法将来自全国各地的救援物资运送至重灾区。

Mr Kan has ordered 100,000 troops from Japan’s Self-Defence Forces to the region, but according to Mr Niinami their task is to find dead bodies rather than distribute supplies. He has urged the authorities to divert passenger planes to help airlift provisions. Others in the affected region blame the bureaucratic mindset of civil servants for blocking the flow of emergency supplies.

首相菅直人已派出10万名自卫队队员奔赴灾区,但据武新浪先生称,他们的任务是搜救遇难者遗体而非运送物资。他敦促政府调遣客机支援航空运输系统。来自灾区的另一些声音则责备公务人员的官僚习气阻碍了救济物资的供应。

Layered over the humanitarian and nuclear drama is yet another mounting concern: the effect on Japan’s economy. It is in a parlous state, suffering from slow growth, high debt and relative decline (see chart). Many economists at first suggested that things were not as bad as they looked. Of course, there would be a short-term dip in growth. But as reconstruction began, growth would pick up again. The international impact, too, would be limited. Supply-chain disruption would cause some problems, especially in the electronics industry, but overall the expected boost in Japanese imports as it rebuilt would help the rest of the world.

相比人道主义救援以及核危机的一系列进展,另外一件事情更为引人瞩目,那就是本次灾难将给日本经济带来何种影响。日本经济危机四伏,不仅发展缓慢,债台高筑,还经历了相对萎缩。毋庸置疑,经济增长会小幅回落。但随着重建工作的开始,经济增长会重回旧轨。其对国际市场的影响也会控制在一定范围之内。供应链遭到破坏会引发诸多问题,尤其是在电子产业。但总体看来,随着重建工作的开始,日本的进口会大幅增加,这将惠及全球市场。

That, at least, is what the history of recent Asian disasters suggests. The tsunami of December 2004 and the Kashmir earthquake of October 2005 involved death and destruction on an even wider scale, yet had virtually no impact on growth rates. That was largely because the victims were mostly poor people who added little to GDP. But even the Kobe earthquake of 1995—the second-biggest ever to hit a modern urban area—had a surprisingly modest effect. Within 15 months industrial production in Kobe had almost reached pre-quake levels, and Japan as a whole suffered only one quarter of declining output.

至少,这是我们从近段时间亚洲各国灾难中所得到的启示。2004年12月的印度洋海啸以及2005年10月发生在克什米尔地区的地震造成的破坏和损失更为严重,但经济增长却并没有受到严重影响。,这在很大程度上是由于灾民普遍贫困,他们对GDP的贡献微乎其微。1995年日本神户发生大地震,这是发生在现代都市地区的第二大地震,即便如此,其对经济的影响也较为缓和,这着实让人感到惊讶。震后仅15个月,神户的工业生产就恢复了震前水平,日本的总体工业产出也仅下降了25%。

A second reason to expect the economy to cope is that although the area affected by the tsunami and quake was vast, it contains no Kobes. It is less populated and less industrialised. According to calculations by economists at Nomura, an investment bank, the three worst-hit prefectures (Miyagi, Fukushima and Iwate) account for just 3.6% of Japan’s economy, though electronics factories are clustered there.

还有一个原因可以使我们相信日本经济能够摆脱危机。尽管海啸影响的区域甚是广大,这其中却鲜有神户这样的都市区。受灾的大部分地区人口稀疏,工业化水平偏低。野村公司(一家投资银行)的经济学家称,尽管工厂云集,但三个受灾最严重的县(宫城县,福岛县,岩手县)对日本经济的贡献率仅为3.6%

Adding in neighbouring Nagano, Ibaraki and Niigata prefectures, which were much less damaged, brings the affected area’s contribution to GDP to 10.8%. That is a big chunk. But Tomo Kinoshita of Nomura nevertheless estimates that the direct negative hit to Japan’s GDP would be limited to between 0.25 and 0.5 percentage points in the first quarter, and 0.5 and 1 percentage point in the second. Another bank, Goldman Sachs, estimates the cost of the damage at ¥16 trillion ($202 billion), or about 4% of GDP. Spread over a few years of reconstruction, that should easily be affordable—a drop in the ocean of Japanese public indebtedness.

然而,如果将邻近的长野县,茨城县,新瀉县这些受灾较轻的地方计算在内,这一数字则会上升至10.8%,这是一个不小的数字。但野村银行的樋渡木下估计,今年第一季度,灾难对经济的直接负面影响仅为0.25%-0.5%,第二季度会稍有上升达到0.5%-1%。另一家银行—高盛集团预测,这次灾难的经济损失将达16万亿日元(2020亿美元),或者说占GDP的4%。但考虑重建工作会持续数年,日本应该可以承担得起,同时相比日本的巨额公共债务,这真是小巫见大巫。

However, first guesses about the disaster’s impact have been overtaken by further disasters. The nuclear crisis at Fukushima broadens the economic danger in at least three ways. First, the perceived risk of radiation may close businesses, deter investment and hamper rebuilding. TEPCO, with its shares hammered, now faces worries about its creditworthiness. And selling nuclear-energy technology abroad—Toshiba, Hitachi and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries all produce reactors—is one of the linchpins of Mr Kan’s growth strategy.

然而,面临接踵而至的灾难,这些推测变得越发不可靠。福岛核电站危机至少在三方面深化了经济危险的可能性。首先,核辐射可能使公司停业,投资减少,重建受阻。近日,由于股票大跌,日本电力能源公司一直担心自己良好的信誉。不仅如此,由于东芝,日立和三菱重工三家企业都生产核反应堆,向外出口核能技术也是菅直人首相促进经济的重要一环。

Second, electricity rationing may keep output depressed for longer than originally anticipated. Only a week after the quake, Tokyo was facing rolling blackouts. And third, the nervous mood makes financial panic more likely. Over three days the Bank of Japan announced plans to inject a total of ¥55.6 trillion into financial markets, to avoid a collapse in investor confidence and keep credit flowing. On March 14th and 15th shares on the Tokyo exchange fell by over 16%, their worst two-day fall since 1987. They have recovered somewhat since, but the yen also strengthened to record highs against the dollar. A nuclear meltdown may yet lead to a financial one. That would add another international risk—financial contagion—to all the other dangers looming over Japan.

其次,限电会令工业生产持续低迷,而且时间要长于我们的预期。灾难发生仅一周首都东京已经开始不定期停电。最后一点,人们的紧张情绪很有可能使金融市场陷入慌乱。过去的三天中,日本银行宣布向金融市场注资55.6万亿日元,此举旨在避免投资信心崩溃并促进资本流通。14,15两日,东京股票交易所股价暴跌16%,这是自1987年以来最为严重的一次两天连跌。自此之后,股市小有反弹,但汇率方,面日元对美元再创新高。核危机很可能引发金融危机。除去日本所面临的种种危机之外,这会给全世界带来一个新的危机—金融危机的蔓延。

Supply-chain concerns are mounting as it becomes apparent that more Japanese factories may be closed for longer than first thought, and that a surprising number of gizmos assembled in China, South Korea, Taiwan and elsewhere depend on Japanese components. There were also fears that the price of oil, which at first fell a bit because of an expected drop in Japanese demand, might be driven even higher as Japan makes up for the shortfall in nuclear power, at a time of tensions in north Africa and the Middle East.

随着日本工厂停产时间超过预期,人们对供应链的关心在与日俱增,因为许多在中国,韩国,台湾和其他地区装配的产品都需要来自日本的零件。得益于国内需求减少,石油价格有所下降,但考虑到核危机造成的资源短缺,北非,西亚局势紧张,许多人担心油价会大幅上涨。

Phoenix in the east东方凤凰
The tasks facing Japan are staggering. But a country does not live on a geological time bomb without some accommodation by the national psyche. The legacy of centuries of rebuilding cities, temples and homes after tsunamis, fires and earthquakes has provided many Japanese with a fatalistic streak. In the past they have often risen to the task of rebuilding; it provides a sense of national purpose.

虽然日本任重道远,但是处在这样一个危机重重地地理位置上,日本人的国民性必然有所适应。几个世纪以来,受到在海啸,火灾,地震之后重建城市,庙宇和家园的影响,许多日本人的性格中都增添了几分宿命主义的气质。过去他们总是被委以重任重建家园,这赋予了日本人一种国家目标。

Twice in the past century, Tokyo has re-emerged out of the rubble. After the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, in which 143,000 people died, the recovery turned poisonous; amid the wreckage, sword-wielding Japanese set about wantonly killing Korean immigrants. Democratic shoots were trampled, and nationalistic passions eventually drove Japan to war. Two decades later, in 1945, destruction came from American bombs. The zeal to rebuild was again remarkable. Within a generation, Japan had turned—peacefully this time—from one of the chief recipients of World Bank aid into an industrial superpower.

过去的一个世纪里,东京曾两次浴火重生。1923年关东发生大地震,14万3千余人死于非命,此后为了复兴,日本误入歧途。残垣断壁还未清扫干净,日本人就挥舞刀剑对朝鲜移民进行了屠杀。民主萌芽就此被扼杀,名族主义的狂热最终将日本带入战争的深渊。20年后的1945年,美国一颗原子弹将广岛夷为平地。人们又一次抱着极大的热情开始了重建。这一次,用一种和平的方式,不到一代人的时间,日本就从世界银行的最大受救济国变为了超级工业大国。

The past 20 years of stagnation and deflation—albeit with high levels of conspicuous consumption—have left many yearning for a new sense of purpose. It is perhaps a chilling reflection of this that comments by Shintaro Ishihara, the right-wing governor of Tokyo, harking back to imperial days by calling the disaster “divine retribution” for Japan’s culture of “greed”, have found some resonance, especially among elderly Japanese. Others will be furious.

过去的20年里,虽然炫耀性消费居高不下,日本却饱受经济停滞,通货紧缩之苦,这使得许多人盼望一种新的国家目标出现,尽管有些令人恐惧,东京市一位右翼官员石原慎太郎评论说这是神明对日本“贪婪”文化的惩罚,这句话不禁让人回想起日本还称霸一方的时代,不过这就是对这一现象的真实反映。这番话在许多老年人中引起了共鸣,而其他人则愤怒不已。

More thoughtful voices propose more constructive ways to forge a new sense of purpose. Many foreigners have expressed deep admiration for the calm resilience the Japanese have demonstrated this week. A university professor, stuck for 25 hours on a short train journey to Tokyo as a result of the earthquake, wrote a long piece on Facebook about the patience of his fellow passengers, the solicitousness of the railway staff, and the spotless toilets. “If you have to spend 16 hours in a stationary train and an additional nine hours getting home, do it in Japan,” he wrote. Japanese people say they take heart from such commendations.

有识之士建议应该采用更具建设性的方法来建立新的国家目标。许多外国人对于日本人在本周灾难中所展示出的冷静魅力表示了欣赏。由于这次地震,一位大学教授在回东京本来很短的旅途上花费了25个小时。他在脸谱网上发表了一篇很长的文章,其中记述了人们的耐心,铁路员工的殷勤以及厕所的一尘不染。他说:“如果你想在静止的列车上待16小时,然后花9小时回家,那么,来日本吧。”日本人说这些赞扬让他们倍感鼓舞。

As for the future, Hideaki Shiroyama, a public-policy expert at the University of Tokyo, says a big indication of Japan’s willingness to shake off its lethargy will be the inevitable debate on nuclear energy that emerges from the disaster. Part of the public scepticism about the industry, he believes, stems from a regulatory structure that remains mired in the past. The industry is fiercely tribal, and regulators are too close to the utilities. Even before the emergency, he says, calls from within the industry for change went unheard.

东京大学一位公共政策专家秀明城山说将来日本力图摆脱阴霾的一大征兆就是一场不可避免的争论,而焦点就是在灾难后凸显的对核能的利用问题。他认为大众对于核能工业的怀疑部分源自于过去那种难以自保的管理结构。核能产业派系竞争激烈,管理者与公共事业公司交往过密。即便是灾难发生之前,产业内部要求变革的要求也石沉大海。

Similarly, he says Japan’s policy towards rebuilding fishing communities such as Rikuzentakata will be a chance to think creatively. An enlightened response would be for many of the demolished communities to be abandoned for ever, because in Japan’s greying society their residents are mainly pensioners. It would make more sense to rehouse them in higher-density communities closer to shops and hospitals. But even those whose houses have been destroyed by the tsunami are loth to leave—these are ancestral plots that are meant to stay in the family. And the fishing grounds are rich. Since Japan instinctively solves any economic problem by throwing concrete and dollops of public money at it (tight as money is), the elderly will probably get their way.

他还说,同核工业改革一样,在重建如陆前高田这样的渔村时我们要进行创造性思考。一个让人眼前一亮的想法是永远抛弃这些被摧毁的渔村。这是因为日本社会老龄化加剧,这里的大部分居民都是养老金持有者。将他们安置到人口密度更高,距离商店,医院更近的社区会显得更有意义。不过,尽管房屋已经不再,这些人还是不愿离开,对祖先的不舍让他们想要守住这个曾经生活的家园。除此之外,这里的渔场也十分富饶。由于日本总是通过建设和投入公共资金的方式克服经济危机,这些老年人很可能给他们带来障碍。

The rebuilding, as well as the discussion about Japan’s future energy sources, might be easier if the political system encouraged debate and compromise, rather than partisan gridlock. To rebuild Japan, the public spirit shown by citizens in the face of today’s catastrophe needs to inspire the political class, promoting collaboration and unity. As Mr Kan says, Japan has to pull together. If the earthquake helps Japan repair its social fabric and recover its sense of purpose, it may yet bring something other than tragedy in its wake.

如果日本的政治体制中能够包容更多的争论和妥协,而不是党派竞争,那么关于重建以及日本未来能源的讨论可能会更容易一些。想要重建日本,公众在灾难面前所展示出的公共精神应该让政治家们有所触动。他们要学会团结和合作。正如首相菅直人所说日本人应该抱成一团。如果这次地震可以帮助日本修复破损的社会关系,重拾目标,那么日本觉醒的过程中它所带来的不是悲剧,而是一些更有价值的东西。

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重点单词
  • debaten. 辩论,讨论 vt. 争论,思考 vi. 商讨,辩论
  • negativeadj. 否定的,负的,消极的 n. 底片,负数,否定
  • conveniencen. 适宜,便利,便利设施,方便的时间,舒适
  • indicationn. 表示,指示,象征
  • inspirevt. 影响,使 ... 感动,激发,煽动 vi. 吸入
  • metropolitann. 大都市的居民,大主教 adj. 大都市的,大主教区
  • socialadj. 社会的,社交的 n. 社交聚会
  • resonancen. 共鸣,共振,洪亮
  • terrainn. 地带,地域,地形
  • populatedadj. 粒子数增加的 v. 居住于…中;构成…的人口(