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8月30日総選挙 問われる政策と政権担当能力

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Jul. 14, 2009)
Policies, ability to hold power being tested
8月30日総選挙 問われる政策と政権担当能力(7月14日付・読売社説)

Prime Minister Taro Aso and senior officials of the ruling coalition parties agreed Monday to dissolve the House of Representatives next Tuesday at the earliest and hold a general election on Aug. 30.
 連休明けの今月21日にも衆院を解散し、8月30日を投開票日とする衆院選日程が固まった。
 麻生首相が13日、自民、公明両党の幹部らと会談して合意した。

Aso was looking at a dissolution of the lower house immediately after the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election on Sunday. Facing intensifying pressure to step down from the leadership of the Liberal Democratic Party following the party's crushing defeat in the Tokyo assembly election, Aso apparently compromised with many members of the ruling parties who wanted the general election to be postponed.
 首相は、東京都議選直後の早期解散を模索していた。しかし、都議選での自民党大敗を受け、党内で「麻生降ろし」の風圧が高まる中、投票日の先延ばしを求める与党内の大勢と妥協を図ったということだろう。

Aso's decision on the scheduling of the lower house dissolution and general election also was affected by opposition efforts, especially those of the Democratic Party of Japan, to submit a no-confidence motion against his Cabinet and a censure motion against the prime minister to the Diet on Monday.
 民主党など野党が13日、内閣不信任決議案や首相問責決議案を国会に提出したことも影響した。

===

Seizing last chance
 ◆最後の機会にかける◆

Aso has been constantly seeking the right moment to dissolve the lower house since he became prime minister in September amid high expectations for him to serve as the LDP's front man in the next general election.
 昨年9月、「選挙の顔」と期待されて登場した首相は、絶えず解散の機をうかがっていた。

Suffering the repercussions of the financial crisis originating in the United States, however, Aso passed up two opportunities to dissolve the lower house--at the opening of the extraordinary Diet session in autumn and late in October.
 だが、米国発の金融危機のあおりを受け、秋の臨時国会の冒頭解散も、10月末解散も見送った。

Aso stressed that he was prioritizing economic stimulus measures over the dissolution of the lower house, but he eventually failed to take the initiative in dissolving the lower house. He has managed to call the general election before terms of lower house members expire and grabbed this last chance for him to dissolve the lower house on a date of his own choosing.
 景気対策最優先の立場を強調したが、結局、解散で主導権をとれなかった。今回は、衆院議員任期満了に伴う選挙を回避し、自分の手で解散する最後の機会にかけた形である。

Finally, the general election countdown is underway.
 これでいよいよ衆院選が具体的に動き出すことになる。

Since last year, the recession has been spreading globally and the Japanese economy has been languishing.
 昨年来、世界同時不況が進行し、日本の景気も、底をはうような厳しい状態が続いている。

North Korea has carried out development and tests of nuclear missiles and has been ignoring international warnings.
 北朝鮮は「核ミサイル」開発・実験を強行し、国際社会の警告を無視したままだ。

Despite growing public anxiety over the public pension, health care and nursing care systems amid the graying population and ultralow birthrate, an assured blueprint and stable resources to fund them have yet to be presented.
 超少子高齢化社会が進行する中で、年金、医療、介護の将来に対する不安感が国民の間に増大しているのに、確かな設計図や安定財源は、いまだ示されていない。

We hope each party will actively discuss the matter as soon as possible, without waiting for the official election campaign to kick off on Aug. 18, finalize their clear vision of this country and systematic policies, and present them to voters.
 各党は、衆院選が公示される予定の8月18日を待たずに、党内論議を活性化させ、できるだけ早期に、明確な国家ビジョンと体系的な政策を固めて、有権者に提示してもらいたい。

While Aso decided to dissolve the lower house, he still has his back to the wall.
 首相は、解散を決めたものの、依然、窮地に立たされている。

Aso attempted to use Sunday's Tokyo assembly election to pull himself out a political quagmire, but the LDP suffered a resounding defeat and allowed the DPJ to become the largest party in the assembly.
 起死回生を狙った東京都議選では、第1党の座を民主党に譲る大敗を喫した。

According to a Yomiuri Shimbun opinion poll conducted early this month, the approval rating for the Aso Cabinet fell to 19.7 percent, dropping below 20 percent for the first time.
 今月初めの読売新聞世論調査によると、麻生内閣の支持率は19・7%と2割を切った。

We have rarely seen a prime minister dare to dissolve the lower house with such a low cabinet approval rating. Even the approval rating of the LDP itself, which has long maintained the position of largest party in the Diet, was floundering at the 20-percent mark in the same opinion poll--below that of the DPJ.
 これほど低い内閣支持率で解散に打って出る首相は、あまり例がない。これまで第1党を維持してきた自民党の支持率は、同じ調査で2割台に低迷し、民主党を下回っている。

With approval ratings for both the Cabinet and party languishing at low levels, the upcoming lower house election is sure to become a battle in which the two major parties directly ask voters which one they think more suited to running the nation.
内閣、政党支持率ともに二重苦にある。
 衆院選は、自民党と民主党の2大政党が有権者に真正面から「政権選択」を問う戦いになる。

===

Clarify points through debate
 ◆論戦を通じて対立軸を◆

However, the problem is that both parties are behind in their preparation of actual policies with which they can appeal to voters during the election campaign.
 しかし、問題は、両党ともに、国民の審判を受けるための政策づくりが遅れていることだ。

Aso is sticking to a strategy of fighting off the DPJ by making clear the policy differences between the parties and questioning the DPJ's ability to govern.
 首相は、これまで民主党との政策の違いを際立たせ、民主党の「政権担当能力」をただすことにこだわりをみせてきた。

A prime example is the policy of raising the consumption tax, a way to gain a financial source for social welfare programs. Aso has maintained that the consumption tax rate should be raised in the future provided the economy improves.
 社会保障財源としての消費税率の引き上げ問題もその一つで、景気回復を前提に将来の税率アップに取り組む姿勢を示している。

Countering Aso, DPJ President Yukio Hatoyama has made clear the DPJ's position that it will not raise the consumption tax rate for four years if it takes the reins of government.
 これに対して、民主党の鳩山代表は、党首討論で「我々が政権を取っても4年間、消費税は増税しない」と明言している。

We hope both parties will further deepen their debate over the raising of the consumption tax rate.
 こうした消費税を含む税財源のあり方について、大いに議論を戦わせてほしい。

At the same time, the DPJ opposed the laws enacted to enable the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling operation in the Indian Ocean and antipiracy mission off the coast of Somalia.
 民主党は海上自衛隊によるインド洋での給油活動やソマリア沖の海賊対策の根拠法に反対した。

The DPJ and other opposition parties, which submitted a no-confidence motion against the Aso Cabinet and a censure motion against Aso, said they would not participate in Diet deliberations on important bills. This move now makes it difficult for the bill for implementing North Korea-related cargo inspections to pass the current Diet, many analysts said.
 北朝鮮に出入りする船舶を検査する貨物検査特別措置法案も、民主党など野党が、問責決議案可決後、すべての国会審議に応じないとしていることから、今国会成立は難しくなった。

If the DPJ scraps a bill based on a U.N. Security Council resolution, the party would inevitably be criticized both at home and abroad for "abandoning its responsibilities" as a political party.
 国連安全保障理事会の決議を受けた法案を廃案にするなら、民主党が内外から「責任放棄」と批判されてもやむをえまい。

People are still concerned about whether the DPJ can smoothly steer the nation in both domestic and diplomatic policies without falling into disarray if the party takes power. The pressing issue for the DPJ is to wipe such worries from voters' minds.
 有権者が民主党に不安を覚えるのは、民主党政権が誕生した際、内政、外交両面で、混乱なく日本の舵(かじ)取りが出来るのかということだ。こんな懸念をいかに払拭(ふっしょく)するかが民主党の課題になる。

===

Possibility of political reshuffle
 ◆政界再編の可能性◆

The LDP has had three different prime ministers in the four years since Junichiro Koizumi--Shinzo Abe, Yasuo Fukuda and Aso.
 一方、自民党はこの4年間で、小泉純一郎氏から安倍晋三、福田康夫、麻生太郎各氏へと、政権のバトンをつないできた。

Some observers have pointed out that such a frequent change of leaders is proof that the LDP's ability to govern the nation has weakened after having held the reins of government for such a long time.
 頻繁なリーダーの交代は、長く政権を担当してきた自民党の「統治能力の衰え」を示したものとの指摘もある。

The LDP has various structural problems such as a deterioration in its factions' ability to professionally nurture their members, a decrease in the ability of the party to formulate policy and a lack of persuasive appeal among the party's leaders.
 派閥の人材育成機能、政策立案能力の低下、リーダーの求心力の欠如など、党内に数々の構造的問題を抱えている。

We believe the LDP must take this opportunity to dramatically reform itself.
自民党はこれを機会に、解党的な出直しを図り、党改革を進める必要があるのではないか。

The Diet has been divided since the DPJ became the largest force in the House of Councillors after the 2007 upper house election. Since then the dysfunctional handling of Diet business has been repeatedly pointed out.
 2007年参院選で、民主党が参院第1党になって以来、衆参のねじれ現象の下、国会の機能不全が指摘されてきた。

We wonder whether the the upcoming general election will resolve this situation. The outcome of the election will be closely watched, including any moves toward a political realignment after the election.
 これが今回の衆院選で解消に向かうのかどうか。選挙後の政界再編の動きも含めて総選挙のゆくえが注目される。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 14, 2009)
(2009年7月14日01時46分 読売新聞)

srachai's comment,
最下段の英文でtheが二つ重ねられているのはケアレスミス、英文原稿には時々この種のミステイクが見受けられる。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2009-07-14 09:16 | 英字新聞

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