“Thanks to our successful experience,” he says, “and efforts to keep good contacts through our governmental affairs activities, we can control to some extent our investment . . . so we would like to increase our exposure(1) to Russia.”


expose O to somethingで「Oを〜に晒す」ですが、ここではビジネス用語


Mr Yasunaga faces two challenges; both point to(2) the difficulties of bringing cultural change to a company whose history dates back to 1876. Firstly, the Japanese corporate recruitment model — whereby(3) a company takes a large bloc of entrants(4) once a year — is inflexible. Mr Yasunaga has already increased to about 60 a year the number of people it hires from outside.

(2)point to:指し示す (3)whereby:=by which (4)entrant:就職者


The second is the accusation(5) that corporate Japan(6) — and the country in general — erects barriers to entrepreneurship. The innovation of which he is most proud is a support system that encourages staff to create business start-ups within the company. Twenty proposals have been received in the first year.

(5)accusation:避難 (6)corporate Japan:株式会社日本



“It encourages our young guys to . . . run the business themselves, utilising Mitsui’s business platform for legal, accounting, taxation and even marketing,” he says. Mitsui will offer co-investment but let the founders keep the stock option. “I’d like to encourage them to enjoy business,” he says.



はい、このトピックはこれでおしまい。Financial Timesはビジネスの専門用語とかがちょいちょい出てくるので易しくはないですが勉強にはなるなあと思ってます。





There is a personal flavour to this enthusiasm. In 2016, a year after taking over as chief executive, Mr Yasunaga became the first Mitsui president since the second world war to announce an annual loss, as his predecessors’ bets on metal and energy soured(1) during a global commodities rout(2). It was humiliating stuff. For all the breadth of its portfolio, he had inherited a company whose profits (it disclosed at the time) fell ¥2.8bn ($23.7m) for every $1 per barrel drop in the price of crude(3) and had been, just three years earlier, 90 per cent derived from resources and energy.

 (1)sour:気まずくする、物事をまずくする (2)rout:総崩れ (3)crude:天然の(ここでは原油のこと)



He vowed to “exhaust(4) all possible means to return to profitability”, and the current strategy, in which 50 per cent of profits will come from the consumer side of the business, is the result. On that note, his current preoccupation is Russian male life expectancy.


exhaustには"使い果たす"がメインの意味。受け身でbe exhaustedにすると、疲れ切ってクタクタ、みたいな意味になります。余談ですが。


Russia has a population of more than 144m. “They need access to quality products,” says Mr Yasunaga, describing Mitsui’s recent investment in R-Pharm, the Russian drugs group. “This is a platform to penetrate the pharmaceuticals(5) business in Russia, and we are bringing in Japanese products and devices.” He points out that the average healthy life expectancy for men was 66.5 in 2016, “so there is big headroom(6)”.

 (5)pharmaceutical:調合薬/薬学の (6)headroom:上向く余地



Mitsui’s core interests in Russia will continue to be its large and expanding resource-related investments, particularly in liquefied natural gas. But the R-Pharm move is about leveraging(7) a history of engagement with the country (and more than 60 others to which Mitsui’s resource-trading background has given it access and expertise) into markets where the margins may be greater.








For many years, Japan’s trading companies, led by Mitsui and Mitsubishi, have been steadily turning into something between private equity houses and venture capitalists. There have been “significant failures” along the way, admits Mr Yasunaga, and shareholders have demanded investment discipline.



But Mr Yasunaga’s mission now is to accelerate the shift away from resources. He is pushing the venture capital and private equity themes, and hoping that Mitsui’s “DNA-rooted” entrepreneurialism(1) will create new business lines to take its investments deeper into consumer markets and absorb new technologies. The trading house model, he says, is well placed to make it happen. And unlike pure private equity groups such as Bain and KKR, he adds, Mitsui is used to taking a very long view.




He talks with unusual bluntness(2) for a Japanese CEO of streamlining Mitsui’s headquarters and of introducing artificial intelligence and internet-of-things technology. He has taken, he says with pride, to confronting(3) Mitsui staff — especially those in the core competency of risk management — with the question: “When can your job be replaced by AI?”

(2)bluntness:無骨さ、無遠慮 (3)confronting:立ち向かっている

He has taken(挿入) to confronting Mitsui staff (挿入) with the question...

社員にこう問いかけるようになった、の意味です。take to doingは〜が習慣になる


The funding side of this endeavour(4) involves earmarking(5) $200m from Mitsui’s published investment plans of $5bn-$6bn to 2020, for a special account to spend on new ventures. These may fall outside Mitsui’s comfort zone(6) and will, Mr Yasunaga says, involve the company “sharpening pencils”.

(4)endeavour:冒険、挑戦 (5)earmark:(金などを)取っておく、充当する (6)comfort zone:ホッと落ち着ける場所・状況


ちなみに最後の"sharpening pencils"ですが、実は"sharpen one's pencil"で、攻撃の準備をする/出方を変える、といった意味があります。





今回はFinancial Timesの記事から、三井物産の社長について書いた記事があったので、それを題材にしてみます。



Tatsuo Yasunaga, Mitsui CEO, on Japan's new entrepreneurship



Guessing what was on the mind of a Mitsui & Co chief executive used to be easy enough. As the most resource-focused of Japan’s titanic sogo shosha general trading houses(1), copper prices, iron ore supply and the geopolitics(2) of energy were corporate life and death.

(1)houses:商社・商店  (2)geopolitics:地政学


As he approaches his fourth year in charge, Tatsuo Yasunaga’s preoccupations(3) include mayonnaise deployment(4) at McDonald’s, Earth-mapping micro-satellites, Indonesia’s appetite for yoghurt and whether a convoy(5) of trucks can cross the US without drivers.

(3)preoccupations:夢中・没頭(しているもの) (4)deployment:展開、配置  (5)convey:トラックの集団




He is not running a grand old mansion of salarymen, he insists from an office overlooking the grounds of the Imperial Palace in central Tokyo, but a hothouse(6) of entrepreneurs: “We are finding new markets . . . industry-wise(7), business-wise, penetrating new frontiers.”

(6)hothouse:温室  (7)-wise:〜的な、〜に関して




The bewildering(8) splay(9) of Mitsui’s trading and investment interests — animal feed to air cargo; prosciutto(10) to passenger trains; telecoms to tailoring(11) — is not new. Its 2017 negotiations over a port investment in Colombo that could transform Japanese trade routes, for example, are certainly not hindered by Mitsui subsidiaries having built Sri Lanka’s parliament(12) building in 1982. Even the activities Mitsui considers core — chemicals, machinery, infrastructure, healthcare and retail — are diverse.

(8)bewildering:目の回る、途方に暮れる  (9)splay:張り出し  (10)prosciutto:プロシュート  (11)tailoring:仕立て屋 (12)parliament:国会議事堂








引き続き、前回の「Trump, an Outsider Demanding Loyalty, Struggles to Fill Top Posts」の続きです。リンクは以下の通り。



“Many tough things were said about him and by him” before last year’s election, Mr. Abrams, who served as President Ronald Reagan’s assistant secretary of state and President George W. Bush’s deputy national security adviser, said in an interview. “I would have hoped he would have turned toward just hiring the most effective people to help him govern rather than looking back to what we said in that race.”

Mr. Trump has fallen behind the pace of his last three predecessors both in naming senior officials who require Senate confirmation and in securing their confirmations, according to data compiled by the nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service. Whereas Mr. Obama had nominated 40 senior officials by Feb. 11, 2009, Mr. Trump had named 34 of them as of Friday. Mr. Obama had 24 confirmed at that point, while Mr. Trump has 14.

The trouble assembling an administration reflects the deeper rift between Mr. Trump and the Washington establishment of both parties. A reality-show businessman with no government experience, Mr. Trump catapulted to power on a promise to break up the existing system. Even after he won the Republican nomination last year, he did little to win over10 those who had opposed him, while his “never Trump” critics within the party kept up11 a steady assault12 on his qualifications and temperament.


ここでも、オバマ政権時との比較をしながらトランプ氏の人事が遅れ気味なことを示し、タイトルの主張(struggles to fill top posts)をサポートしています。





3)fall behind:〜より遅れる




7)nonpartisan:無所属の ※partisanは「熱心な支持者」のほか、軍事用語でパルチザン=ゲリラ、という意味でも使われます



10)win over:説き伏せる、味方に引き入れる

11)keep up:維持する、持続する、〜し続ける




Mr. Trump faces other hurdles, too. With no cadre13 ready to go from past political service, he has been starting from scratch14. His team has been slow to vet15 candidates, and in some cases his choices have had troubles with their business backgrounds or other matters. And Democrats have mounted16 a wall of resistance to his nominations, slowing the process down.

The White House did not respond to requests for comment, but Mr. Trump has disputed17 reports of troubles. “The White House is running so smoothly, so smoothly,” he told a rally18 of supporters in Melbourne, Fla., on Saturday. “And believe me, we inherited one big mess19, that I can tell you.”

The ill20 will between Mr. Trump and much of the Republican establishment works both ways. Many Republicans who might have agreed to work for the president have been turned off21 by what they consider his sometimes erratic22 behavior and the competing23 power centers inside his White House. After firing his first national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, Mr. Trump found that his initial choice for a replacement, Robert S. Harward, a retired vice admiral24, would not take the job.


準備もなしに物事を進めようとしていること、民主党が「抵抗の壁」を築いていること、などを挙げて、引き続き新政権が苦戦している様子を報じています。最後に登場するMichael T. Flynn=マイケル・フリン氏が辞任したことは日本でも良く報じられていますね。




14)from scratch:直訳は「引っ掻くことから」だが、慣用句として「ゼロから、いきなり」の意味





19)mess:乱雑、散乱 ※形容詞はmessy


21)turn off:興味を失わせる、うんざりさせる



24)admiral:海軍大将 ※陸軍大将はgeneral


最終段落3行目のwhat they consider his sometimes erratic behavior の部分は、considerのSVOC形が基本となっていて、

they consider what (to be) his sometimes erratic behavior

→what they consider his sometimes erratic behavior となっています。



最初の記事は、ニューヨークタイムズから、2017年2月18日の「Trump, an Outsider Demanding Loyalty, Struggles to Fill Top Posts」(忠誠心を求めるアウトサイダーのトランプ氏はトップの人事に苦戦している)という記事です。タイトルの通り、トランプ新大統領が、大臣や補佐官などの人事に苦戦していることを報じています。






MELBOURNE, Fla. — During President Trump’s transition to power, his team reached out to1 Elliott Abrams for help building a new administration. Mr. Abrams, a seasoned2 Republican foreign policy official, sent lists of possible candidates for national security jobs.

One by one, the answer from the Trump team came back no. The reason was consistent3: This one had said disparaging4 things about Mr. Trump during the campaign; that one had signed a letter opposing him. Finally, the White House asked Mr. Abrams himself to meet with the president about becoming deputy5 secretary of state, only to have the same thing happen — vetoed6 because of past criticism.

Mr. Abrams’s experience has become a case study in the challenges Mr. Trump still faces in filling top positions a month into his presidency. Mr. Trump remains fixated on7 the campaign as he applies a loyalty test to some prospective officials. For their part, many Republicans reacted to what happened to Mr. Abrams with dismay8, leaving them increasingly leery9 about joining an administration that cannot get past the past.





1)reach out to:心を通わせる/〜に援助の手を差し伸べる/〜に助けを求める



4)disparage:見くびる、非難する ※paragon:模範、典型

5)deputy:代理人、補佐官 “Deputy Secretary”は、政府用語で「副長官」を意味する


7)be fixated on:〜に執着した。ここでは、選挙戦の時のトランプ氏に批判的な言動を根に持っている、ということ。





As Mr. Trump brings candidates for national security adviser to meet with him in Florida this weekend, he presides10 over a government where the upper echelons11 remain sparsely12  populated13. Six of the 15 statutory14 cabinet secretaries are still awaiting Senate confirmation as Democrats nearly uniformly oppose almost all of the president’s choices. Even some of the cabinet secretaries who are in place may feel they are home alone.

It is not just Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson who has no deputy secretary, much less Trump-appointed under secretaries or assistant secretaries. Neither do the heads of the Treasury15 Department, the Education Department or any of the other cabinet departments. Only three of 15 nominees have been named for deputy secretary positions. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has a deputy only because he kept the one left over16 from President Barack Obama’s administration.

That does not even begin to cover the rest of the more than 4,000 appointments that a president typically makes. In some cases, the Trump administration is even going in reverse. A senior political appointee17 at the housing department, who had already started the job, was fired this past week and marched out18 of the building when someone discovered his previous statements critical of Mr. Trump.

The president’s top Latin America official at the National Security Council was likewise fired after just weeks on the job for complaining about internal dysfunction19 at an off-the-record discussion at a Washington research organization, according to officials, who confirmed a Politico report. The State Department has laid off six top career officials in recent days, apparently out of20 questions about their loyalty to Mr. Trump.











15)Treasury:財務省 treasure「財産、宝物」に由来しています

16)leave over:使わないで残す

17)political appointee:political「政治の」+appointee「任命された人」だが、political appointeeというのは大統領・副大統領などにより任命された、政府機関の要職についた人のこと

18)march out:行進させる、無理に歩かせる 意訳すると、クビになって追い出された、ということ。


20)out of:「中から外へ」の意味で使われることが多いが、ここでは、動機・原因の「〜から」の意味