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衆院解散 政策本位で政権選択を問え

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Jul. 22, 2009)
Vote on policies, not change for change's sake
衆院解散 政策本位で政権選択を問え(7月22日付・読売社説)

The House of Representatives was dissolved Tuesday. The government then formally decided the schedule of the 45th general election at an extraordinary Cabinet meeting, with campaigning officially commencing on Aug. 18 and voting set for Aug. 30.
 衆院が21日、解散された。衆院選の日程は、8月18日公示、30日投開票だ。

The focal point of the lower house election is whether the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito coalition will remain in power or a new administration led by the Democratic Party of Japan will come into existence.
自民、公明両党の現政権の継続か、民主党を中心とする新政権の誕生か。これが最大の焦点になる。

However, we must not simply gaze on and watch the scramble for political power unfold before our eyes.
 しかし、単に政権の争奪だけに目を奪われてはなるまい。

Rather than mulling over the pros and cons of having a change of government, due consideration should be given to the key policies put forward by each party and their abilities to implement them.
 「政権交代」の是非の前に、各政党が掲げる主要政策とその実行能力が問われている。

During the 40 days from the dissolution to the vote, we hope voters will thoroughly evaluate each party's policies.
 投開票までは40日間という長丁場だ。有権者はその間、各党の政策を十分吟味してもらいたい。

At this stage in the buildup to the lower house election, various opinion polls have indicated that the DPJ enjoys a lead over the LDP with the approval rating for the main opposition party surpassing the LDP's.
 衆院選を前にした各種世論調査では、民主党の支持率が自民党を上回るなど、民主党優位が伝えられている。

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Ensuring stable politics
 ◆政治の安定をどう築く◆

DPJ President Yukio Hatoyama has said the party's goal in the upcoming election is to become the biggest party in the lower house and thereby form a new government. The DPJ plans to form a coalition with the Social Democratic Party and the People's New Party after the election because even if it wins the election and gains a majority in the lower house it will not by itself alone have a majority in the House of Councillors.
 民主党の鳩山代表は「第1党で政権交代」を目標に掲げている。民主党は、衆院で過半数を制しても、参院で単独過半数を確保していないため、社民党や国民新党と連立政権を組むという。

The question is whether this plan will indeed ensure a stable political environment.
 これで安定した政治を行うことができるのかどうか。

The LDP and New Komeito managed to get through the divided Diet by holding a second vote on important bills using their two-thirds majority in the powerful lower house. But it appears impossible for the two parties to maintain their current number of seats in the upcoming election.
 一方、自民、公明の与党はこれまで、衆院の3分の2以上の多数による再可決で、「ねじれ国会」をしのいできた。今回の選挙で、これだけの議席を確保することは不可能だろう。

Whatever happens, the nation's political world is going to face the difficult task of finding a way to ensure smooth decision making in both chambers of the Diet.
 いずれにしても、衆参両院による意思決定をいかに円滑に進めるかという難題が、政治に突きつけられることになる。

At present, the public is struggling through a recession and is increasingly anxious about the declining birthrate and the graying population. In foreign relations, people are concerned about the deterioration in the national security situation as evidenced by China's growing military power and North Korea's accelerating efforts to develop nuclear arms.
 今、多くの国民は、不況に苦しみ、少子高齢化社会への不安を募らせている。対外的には、軍事大国化する中国や核武装を急ぐ北朝鮮など、我が国周辺の安全保障環境の悪化を懸念している。

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Present clear vision
 ◆明確な国家像を示せ◆

Each party needs to present its prescribed course of action for eliminating these concerns.
 各党は、国民の不安解消に向けた処方箋(せん)を示す必要がある。

The parties' manifestos will again be the focus of attention in the upcoming election.
 今回も、政権公約(マニフェスト)が注目されている。

It is certainly desirable that parties establish a time frame for achieving their policies and set numerical targets in their manifestos. What is more important, however, is to chart a clear vision for the nation--a vision of the kind of country each party seeks to achieve.
 確かに、政権公約で政策の達成期限や数値目標を示すのはいい。だが、より重要なのは、日本をどのような国にしていくのかという「国家像」の提示である。

During a general meeting of DPJ members from both houses Tuesday, Hatoyama stressed the importance of a shift from politics led by bureaucrats, which has been the case since the Meiji Restoration.
 鳩山代表は、21日の両院議員総会で、「明治維新以来の官僚主導政治」からの転換を強調した。

However, an attempt to achieve a political realm that is indeed led by politicians will only end up in disarray if those politicians do not have sufficient political clout to convince bureaucrats to do things they want them to.
 だが、「政治主導」を実践するといっても、官僚を説得して動かすだけの政治力が伴わなければ、混乱するだけだろう。

The DPJ has said its manifesto will include policies introducing a monthly child care allowance, the abolishing of provisionally higher tax rates, such as that applying to the gasoline tax, and waiving expressway tolls.
 民主党は、政権公約に「子ども手当」やガソリン税などの暫定税率廃止、高速道路の原則無料化などの政策を盛るとしている。

 ◆政策に財源の裏付けを◆
However, it is extremely questionable whether such financial resources can be secured merely through eliminating wasteful government spending and some other means.
 だが、無駄遣いの排除などで、これらの財源を捻出(ねんしゅつ)できるのか、はなはだ疑問だ。

DPJ Secretary General Katsuya Okada has said no policy measure could be devised without thinking about how it can be funded. The DPJ should clearly state how it would come up with financial means for funding its policies and put together an election manifesto that the public will find convincing.
 岡田幹事長は「財源なくして政策なし」と語っている。民主党は、財源を明示し、国民の合点が行く政権公約を作り上げるべきだ。

Political parties tend to formulate manifestos they hope will please voters. It should be noted, however, that policies devised in such a manner eventually force voters to pay for the inadequacies of such election pledges. The parties should know better than to compete in writing election manifestos merely designed to curry favor with voters.
 政権公約は、各党とも有権者の歓心を買うものになりがちだ。だが、そのツケはいずれ有権者に回る。大衆迎合的な公約を競うことは、避けなければならない。

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Shift on security policies

The DPJ has maintained its opposition to some of this nation's international peace cooperation activities, including the Maritime Self-Defense Force refuelling operations in the Indian Ocean. However, the opposition party's stance in this respect seems to be changing somewhat, as indicated by Hatoyama's recent remark that the MSDF's mission should continue for the time being.
 民主党は、インド洋での海上自衛隊による給油活動など国際平和協力活動に反対姿勢を示してきた。ただ、最近になって、鳩山代表は、給油活動を当面、継続する考えを表明した。

The DPJ has every reason to review and shift its key policies in a realistic manner. The party must take to heart the principle of consistency in Japan's diplomacy, as it stands a good chance of coming into power by replacing the current ruling coalition.
 政権交代を視野に入れ、外交の継続性から現実的方向に政策転換するのは当然のことだ。

Hatoyama's apparent change of heart has antagonized SDP leader Mizuho Fukushima. An envisaged DPJ-led coalition government including the SDP would experience great difficulties in operating smoothly, given the fundamental policy differences between the DPJ and SDP.
 だが、社民党の福島党首は反発した。基本政策で隔たりがある社民党との連立政権は、極めて難しい運営を迫られるだろう。

Meanwhile, the LDP has been late in producing its manifesto for the upcoming general election. This can be attributed to the LDP's recent internal turmoil and the policy differences among its factions and groups. Some LDP members are still seeking to enter the lower house race under their own manifestos rather than the one to be drafted by the party's top cadre.
 一方、自民党は、政権公約作りが遅れている。党内の混乱と政策上の路線対立からだ。一部に、独自の公約を掲げて選挙を戦う動きもくすぶっている。

During a meeting of LDP lawmakers from both chambers of the Diet on Tuesday, Prime Minister Taro Aso said he was sorry for his slips of the tongue and his inconsistent remarks about policy issues. He also apologized for the LDP's defeats in recent local elections, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly race.
 麻生首相は、21日の両院議員懇談会で、自らの失言や政策をめぐる発言のぶれについて、反省の意を表明し、東京都議選など地方選の連敗についても、陳謝した。

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Apologize to people, not party

Aso's apology came too late. The prime minister should not forget that he owes an apology for his inconsistent policies to the public, not LDP legislators.
 遅すぎる。政策のぶれに関して謝るべき相手は、誰よりも国民であることを忘れてはなるまい。

An essential task to be tackled by the LDP as a party in power is to devise and implement necessary policies. It is important for the ruling party to examine the results of the economic stimulus measures put in place by the government and the ruling parties amid the protracted global recession.
 自民党にとっても、肝心なのは政策だ。世界同時不況の下で、政府・与党が打ち出した矢継ぎ早の経済対策の検証が重要である。

During a Cabinet meeting held to decide on the lower house dissolution Tuesday, the prime minister demonstrated his determination to transform this country into "an energetic society in which people can live without worries."
 首相は、衆院解散を決定した閣議で、「安心で活力ある社会を実現しなければならない」と決意を表明した。

 ◆「責任政党」が試される◆
The LDP should come out with a clear plan to raise the consumption tax rate if it wants to be recognized as a party that can think and act responsibly. The dispute over a rise in the tax rate could emerge as an issue that decisively pits the LDP against the DPJ, which has said it would not increase the consumption tax rate for four years if it takes office.
 「責任政党」を標榜(ひょうぼう)するなら、消費税率引き上げなどについて、明確な方針を打ち出すことが必要だ。「4年間は消費増税しない」としている民主党との対立軸の一つになるだろう。

With the lower house dissolved Tuesday, each political party is already fighting for seats in the lower house, even prior to the start of its official campaign. We hope all political parties will wage a battle of words on key issues, including social security programs and a new horizon on the Japan-U.S. relationship. Other essential issues include this country's policy on North Korea and other aspects of national security.
 各党は、事実上の選挙戦に入った。年金、医療など社会保障や、新たな日米関係をはじめ、対北朝鮮など安全保障問題についても、政策論を戦わせてほしい。

All this is certain to make it easy for voters to see which party is better suited to run the nation, the LDP or the DPJ.
 自民、民主両党のどちらに「政権担当能力」があるかは、そこから自(おの)ずと見えてくるはずだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 22, 2009)
(2009年7月22日01時29分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2009-07-22 09:06 | 英字新聞

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