党首討論 首相の「郵政」弁明は苦しい

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Jun. 18, 2009)
Aso unconvincing on Japan Post plans
党首討論 首相の「郵政」弁明は苦しい(6月18日付・読売社説)

Prime Minister Taro Aso and Democratic Party of Japan leader Yukio Hatoyama faced off Wednesday in the Diet in their second head-to-head debate as ruling and opposition party leaders. The debate mainly focused on the disputed reappointment of Yoshifumi Nishikawa as president of Japan Post Holdings Co. and the fiscal resources needed to meet social security and other costs.
 麻生首相と鳩山民主党代表による2度目の党首討論は、日本郵政の西川善文社長の再任問題と社会保障費などの財源問題を軸に展開された。

Though the two talked at cross-purposes at times, the debate seemed to shed light on contentious policy issues in the run-up to the House of Representatives election.
 議論にかみ合わない部分はあったものの、衆院選に向けて政策上の論点が浮かび上がってきたのではないか。

In connection with the dispute over Nishikawa's reappointment, Hatoyama harshly criticized Aso on his handling of a series of problems involving Japan Post Holdings, saying the prime minister "can't reach judgements, is inconsistent and makes mistakes."
 西川社長の再任問題では、鳩山代表が首相の一連の対応について「判断ができない。ぶれる。間違える」と酷評した。

Aso was accused of being incapable of good judgement because he had left a series of Japan Post-related scandals unaddressed, such as the proposed bundled sale of the firm's Kampo no Yado inns.
The charge of inconsistency apparently referred to the fact that the prime minister had handed over a list of potential candidates to take over from Nishikawa as Japan Post Holdings president to then Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Kunio Hatoyama on the premise Nishikawa would be replaced.
 「判断ができない」は、かんぽの宿の売却問題など不祥事が続発しても事態を放置したこと、「ぶれる」は、首相が社長交代を前提に後継候補のリストを鳩山前総務相に渡していたことを指すのだろう。

The mistake referred to Aso's de facto dismissal of Hatoyama while keeping Nishikawa in his post.
「間違える」は、前総務相だけを更迭したことだ。

===

Pressed to fire Nishikawa

In the Diet debate, Yukio Hatoyama pressed Aso to fire Nishikawa, saying the DPJ is ready to replace the president if it takes power.
 鳩山代表は、「民主党が政権を取れば社長を交代させる」と断言し、首相に社長更迭を迫った。

Regrettably, Aso's response to Hatoyama's demand was far from convincing.
 これに対する首相の弁明は、いかにも苦しいものだった。

The prime minister simply repeated his previous explanation that the government needs to be cautious about intervening in personnel affairs regarding the private sector. He also said he had decided to dismiss only the communications minister because the prime minister's authority to make personnel changes covers only Cabinet members, not employees such as Japan Post Holdings staff.
 「民間に対する政府の人事介入は慎重であるべきだ」と従来の見解を繰り返し、前総務相だけを更迭したのも、首相の人事権が及ぶのは閣僚で、日本郵政には直接及ばないから、と説明した。

Yet, Japan Post Holdings is virtually a state-owned company, as all of the firm's shares are held by the government. The law stipulates that the internal affairs and communications minister holds the right to approve or veto personnel decisions taken by the company.
 日本郵政は、政府が全株式を保有する「国有企業」である。法律にも人事の認可権を総務相が持つと明記されている。

If the company fails to respond appropriately to a business improvement order it was given by the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, the government should not allow Nishikawa to stay on as the firm's president.
 業務改善命令に対する対応が不十分なら、認可しなければよい。

To act in this way is the administrative body's "responsibility," rather than an "intervention."
それは「介入」どころか、行政の「責務」であろう。

We urge the prime minister to put his foot down regarding Nishikawa's managerial responsibilities.
首相は西川社長の経営責任に明確なけじめをつけるべきだ。

===

DPJ head branded irresponsible

The prime minister did, however, take the lead in the debate on fiscal resources for key projects.
 一方、財源を巡る議論は首相がリードした。

In response to Hatoyama's calls for improved medical services, Aso called the DPJ leader's proposal irresponsible unless clear fiscal-resource options were presented. Aso also stressed that debate on a consumption tax hike could not be avoided.
 医療の充実を掲げる鳩山代表に「財源の話がなければ無責任だ」と切り返し、「消費税の論議は避けて通れない」と強調した。

Hatoyama stated clearly that his party would not raise the consumption tax rate for at least four years. He explained that the 20 trillion yen that would be needed to achieve his party's policies would be generated from general and special accounts totaling 210 trillion yen by eliminating wasteful spending in the budget.
 鳩山代表は、4年間は消費税は上げないと明言した。その代わりに、予算の無駄遣いを徹底的に排除し、民主党の政策を実現するための20兆円は、一般・特別会計を合わせた210兆円から捻出(ねんしゅつ)すると説明したが、説得力のあるものとは言えなかった。

Hatoyama's argument, however, was not persuasive. Of the 210 trillion yen he would target, debt-servicing costs and other expenses that would prove hard to trim total 180 trillion yen.
 210兆円のうち、国債費など削減が困難な費目は計180兆円に上る。

Aso criticized the proposal, saying it would be unrealistic to squeeze 20 trillion yen out of the remaining 30 trillion yen.
We find the prime minister quite right on this point.
残り30兆円から20兆円を出すとの主張は非現実的、と首相が批判したのは当然だろう。

At Aso's behest, it was decided that the two leaders will hold another Diet debate, with the focus to be on tax and fiscal policies, and diplomatic and security issues.
 首相の提案で、税財政や外交・安全保障に絞って党首討論を改めて開催することが決まった。

If the two leaders frequently lock horns in the Diet, it will help clarify contentious issues prior to the next lower house election. We welcome this development.
党首同士の論戦が頻繁に行われれば、おのずと衆院選の争点も明確になろう。この流れを歓迎したい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 18, 2009)
(2009年6月18日01時32分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2009-06-18 08:43 | 英字新聞

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