民主党政権公約 現実路線化がまだ不十分だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Jul. 28, 2009)
DPJ's newfound realism fails to convince
民主党政権公約 現実路線化がまだ不十分だ(7月28日付・読売社説)

The Democratic Party of Japan on Monday announced its manifesto for the Aug. 30 House of Representatives election. Though it is commendable that the DPJ has adopted a pragmatic stance in its domestic and foreign policies--obviously with an eye to taking over the reins of government--the policy platform it has unveiled is flawed.
 民主党が衆院選の政権公約を発表した。政権交代を意識し、内政、外交両面で現実路線に踏み出したことは歓迎するが、十分とは言えない。

As domestic pledges, the manifesto sets out an array of direct-benefit policies closely connected with people's daily lives, including a child allowance, free high school education and the abolition of the provisional higher gasoline tax rate.
 政権公約は内政面で、子ども手当、高校の無償化、ガソリンの暫定税率の廃止など、国民生活に深くかかわる直接給付型の政策を、ずらりと並べている。

But it is impossible to weigh the merits of a policy, no matter how attractive it is, unless its costs and concrete measures to fund it are discussed as part and parcel of the policy in question.
 ただ、どんな魅力的な政策も、必要な費用や具体的な財源措置を一体のものとして検討しなければ、その是非は判断できない。

The manifesto presents a time line that has the DPJ implementing the policies in stages over the four years after it comes to power and calculates the total cost necessary to carry out these measures at 16.8 trillion yen annually.
 民主党は、政策を4年間で段階的に実施する工程表を示し、最終的費用を年16・8兆円と試算した。

To fund these policies, the DPJ says it would secure 9.1 trillion yen by cutting public works projects, personnel expenses and government subsidies; 5 trillion yen by using surplus funds in special accounts, dubbed "buried treasure"; and 2.7 trillion yen by reviewing special taxation measures such as the spousal tax deduction.
 財源は、公共事業や人件費、補助金の削減で9・1兆円、埋蔵金の活用などで5兆円、配偶者控除の廃止など税制見直しで2・7兆円を工面し、賄うという。

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Manifesto sums don't add up

The latest DPJ manifesto is an improvement on the last one, which was prepared for the 2007 House of Councillors election, as the party has fixed the schedule for the implementation of its stated policies and describes in more detail how it will fund them. Nevertheless, it is questionable whether it is really possible to secure the massive sums required to carry out the DPJ's policies simply by streamlining the overall national budget, which currently stands at about 207 trillion yen, as the DPJ asserts.
 一昨年の参院選公約と比べれば政策の実施時期を特定し、財源も具体的になった点では前進だ。だが、国の総予算207兆円の組み替えで巨額の財源を本当に確保できるか、との疑念が依然残る。

For example, the manifesto says 1.1 trillion yen will be secured by curtailing about 20 percent of the 5.3 trillion yen in personnel expenses for central government employees. As one method to cut personnel expenses, the DPJ says it will transfer central government employees to local governments as part of decentralization.
 例えば、国家公務員の人件費5・3兆円を約2割削減し、1・1兆円の財源を確保するという。その手法として、地方分権による職員の地方移管などを挙げる。

But if central government employees are transferred to local governments, it is only logical that the central government transfers the financial resources to pay their salaries. The DPJ's envisaged method can never be considered cost-saving. After all, the party must achieve a net reduction of 20 percent in the number of central government employees and in their payrolls and allowances. Can the DPJ push this through in defiance of assumed resistance from the labor unions that support the party?
 だが、職員を自治体に移せば、財源は一緒に移すのが筋で、節約にはならない。結局、国家公務員の数と給与・手当の計2割分の純減が必要だが、民主党支持労組の抵抗を排し、断行できるのか。

Furthermore, there is a great risk in making permanent use of the "buried treasure," currently totaling 4.3 trillion yen, which includes investment returns in the Fiscal Investment and Loan Program Special Account and the Foreign Exchange Fund Special Account. This is because the investment returns are affected by government bond rates and exchange rate fluctuations.
 国債の金利や為替の変動に左右される財政投融資、外国為替資金の両特別会計の運用益など、埋蔵金4・3兆円の恒久財源化にも、大きなリスクが伴う。

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No mention of MSDF mission

As for foreign and national security policies, the manifesto makes no mention of the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean, which the DPJ opposed. The party has in fact said it would allow the mission to continue for the time being. Also, the language in the latest manifesto is milder with regard to revising the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement and reviewing the cost of hosting U.S. bases in the country.
 外交・安全保障政策では、反対していたインド洋での海上自衛隊の給油活動に言及しなかった。当面は継続する方針という。日米地位協定の改定や在日米軍駐留経費の見直しも表現を緩めた。

The DPJ is right to attach importance to the continuity of Japan's foreign policy and the Japan-U.S. relationship, but its policy shift is too abrupt.
 外交の継続性や日米関係を重視する姿勢は間違っていないが、その路線転換は唐突すぎる。

Former DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa insisted that the MSDF's refueling mission--an issue that throws the DPJ's policy about-face into relief--is "unconstitutional" and waged an all-out battle against the government and ruling parties over the matter, forcing the suspension of the mission for nearly four months. Given this, the DPJ's new stance on the matter can only be regarded as expedient.
 政策変更の象徴である給油活動について、小沢一郎・前代表は「憲法違反」と決めつけ、政府・与党と全面対決の末、4か月近くも中断に追い込んだ。それを思い起こせば、今回の対応がご都合主義と言われても仕方がない。

The DPJ should fully explain to the public its position--whether it opposes the refueling mission or conditionally approves it. An equivocal attitude regarding such a fundamental foreign policy issue is unacceptable.
 民主党は、給油活動に反対なのか、条件付き容認なのか、その立場を明確にし、きちんと国民に説明すべきだ。外交の基本部分で、あいまいな態度は許されない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 28, 2009)
(2009年7月28日01時19分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2009-07-28 08:08 | 英字新聞

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