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麻生対鳩山 「首相」の資質が問われる

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Jul. 23, 2009)
Leaders under scrutiny in lower house contest
麻生対鳩山 「首相」の資質が問われる(7月23日付・読売社説)

The House of Representatives election will have a direct bearing on the selection of the prime minister, who is chosen from the bloc that secures a majority in the chamber.
 衆院選は、日本の舵(かじ)取りを担うリーダー選びに直結する。
 過半数を確保した勢力から首相が選ばれるからだ。

As a result, voters bear a heavy responsibility as they will be choosing the person who will guide this country.
有権者の責任はきわめて重い。

The nation's leader needs to present voters with a clear indication of what course and shape this country should take, and what must be done to achieve stated goals.
 この国の最高指導者に求められるのは、日本の針路や、あるべき国家像、それに至る道筋を有権者に明示することだ。

To realize the visions that will be presented during the campaign, the nation's leader must have the political skills necessary to keep a tight rein on his party, the ability to fully utilize bureaucrats and the capacity to offer voters convincing explanations on issues.
 自ら掲げるビジョンを実現させるには、党内を掌握する政治手腕や、官僚を自在に使いこなす力量、有権者を納得させる説明能力が不可欠である。

However, both Prime Minister Taro Aso and Democratic Party of Japan President Yukio Hatoyama fail to live up to such expectations of leadership.
 時代の求めるリーダー像に照らして、麻生首相も鳩山民主党代表も、はなはだ心もとない。
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Inconsistency fuels distrust

What is particularly worrying are the inconsistencies in both their words and actions.
特に懸念されるのが、言動に首尾一貫性を欠くことだろう。

Since taking office in September last year, Aso's inconsistencies and indecisiveness have been exposed at a number of crucial moments, such as his comments on what the flat-sum cash benefit program was meant for, the proposed division of the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry into two new ministries, the reappointment of Japan Post Holdings Co. President Yoshifumi Nishikawa and disputes over the planned reshuffle of key posts in the Liberal Democratic Party, to name a few. In a sense, Aso has been digging his own grave with his words, which have pushed down his Cabinet's approval rating.
 麻生首相は、昨年9月の就任以来、定額給付金の性格付け、厚生労働省分割構想、日本郵政社長人事、自民党役員人事騒動と、節目で言動のぶれや優柔不断さを露呈した。自らの内閣支持率を押し下げ、墓穴を掘ってきた格好だ。

People's distrust in politics will be fueled further if the country's top leader goes back on something he has previously said. Aso therefore should not forget the old saying "An imperial mandate is like perspiration"--once released, it can never be taken back.
 一度口にしたことを後で言っていないと翻せば、国民の政治への不信感は増幅する。綸言(りんげん)汗のごとし、を忘れてもらっては困る。

After dissolving the lower house, Aso called loudly for the realization of a society that feels safe to live in. But, given the current circumstances, voters will have doubts about this pledge and wonder whether it is possible to realize such a promise.
 そんな状態で「安心社会」を実現させると声高に訴えても、きちんと実行してくれるのか、有権者は疑いの目で見るに違いない。

Aso's tenure as LDP leader will expire at the end of September, and the outcome of the lower house election will hold the key to his future as party head. Aso will be faced with the difficult decision of whether he should step down or stay on in the position.
 首相の場合は、9月末に自民党総裁の任期が切れる。進退のカギを握るのは衆院選の結果だ。退陣か、再選かの厳しい選択を迫られることになる。

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Will Hatoyama stand firm?

Hatoyama, meanwhile, has long called for revision of the Constitution. Claiming that the incompatibility of Article 9 of the Constitution with modern political realities has undermined what he describes as a "healthy realism," Hatoyama has released his own proposal for constitutional amendment that approves the exercising of the nation's right of collective self-defense.
 一方、鳩山代表は長年、憲法改正を旗印に掲げてきた。憲法9条と政治的現実の乖離(かいり)が「健全なリアリズム」を損ねたと指摘し、集団的自衛権の行使を容認する独自の改憲案も公表している。

Yet since taking the helm of the DPJ for the second time in May, Hatoyama has kept a lid on his aspiration for constitutional amendment. This apparently is in consideration of former Japan Socialist Party members within his own party, as well as the Social Democratic Party, which is expected to be one of the DPJ's coalition partners.
 だが、5月に党代表に返り咲いて以来、自らの改憲志向を封印している。党内の旧社会党系議員や、連立政権の友党と考える社民党への配慮からだろう。

Hatoyama recently referred to the possibility of taking a "realistic approach" to Japan's three nonnuclear principles of not possessing, producing or allowing nuclear weapons on its territory, with a view to allowing nuclear-armed U.S. vessels to call at Japanese ports. He also indicated his intention to continue, for the time being, the Self-Defense Forces' refueling mission in the Indian Ocean.
 最近、非核三原則について、米軍の核搭載艦船の寄港容認を念頭に「現実的対応」に言及した。インド洋での給油活動を当面、継続する考えも示している。

Hatoyama is believed to have made such remarks to highlight the "healthy realism" that he talks about, but has drawn furious criticism from the SDP for doing so. Yet if Hatoyama gives ground in response to such criticism, he is unfit to be the next prime minister.
 鳩山代表が信条とする「健全なリアリズム」の発露だろうが、社民党から強く批判されている。これで腰砕けになるようなら、次期首相の資格はない。

So, will it be Aso or Hatoyama that voters will entrust with the future of this country? The public is closely watching and carefully listening to what the two have to say and what they plan to do.
 この国の将来を、麻生首相と鳩山代表のいずれに託すか。有権者は、二人の言動に目を凝らし耳をすましている。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 23, 2009)
(2009年7月23日01時34分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2009-07-23 08:26 | 英字新聞

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