風知草:現実主義とは何か=山田孝男

(Mainichi Japan) June 23, 2010
Taking a deeper look at Kan's realism
風知草:現実主義とは何か=山田孝男

Prime Minister Naoto Kan's naming of his new Cabinet as the "Kihei-tai Cabinet" (Irregular Militia Cabinet) still doesn't sit right.
 「奇兵隊内閣」という命名、いまだ釈然としない。

The Kiheitai was a militia formed in the Choshu domain (present day Yamaguchi Prefecture) toward the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate, standing in opposition to the shogunate.
奇兵隊は幕末史に登場する長州(山口県)の討幕ゲリラだが、知らない人の方が多いだろう。

Many people have probably never heard of this militia, and the meaning of "Kihei-tai" in reference to Kan's Cabinet doesn't come across clearly -- to the man on the street, its significance is lost.
 意味が伝わらない。民衆に届かない。半端なキャッチフレーズに菅直人首相の準備不足と迷いが表れている。

The adoption of such an odd name is a reflection of the prime minister's lack of preparation and direction. By referring to his Cabinet as a "Kihei-tai," does Kan plan to keep up with the idea of destroying the system?
 奇兵隊を名乗るからには、これからも体制の破壊を続けるつもりなのか?--。

In a question directed at Kan on June 15, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lawmaker Yoshimasa Hayashi, who is from Yamaguchi Prefecture, asked, "Are you a destroyer or a creator?" to which Kan replied, "Both."
菅を問い詰めたのは山口県選出の自民党参院議員、林芳正である。15日の代表質問で「あなたは破壊者か、創造者か」と攻め、菅は「両方だ」と答えた。

During the question session, Hayashi made reference to the historical work "Yoshida Shoin," by the great pre-war journalist Soho Tokutomi, explaining, "For a revolution, three types of people are needed: thinkers, destroyers and creators."
 林は質問のなかで、戦前の大ジャーナリスト・徳富蘇峰の史論「吉田松陰」を引き、「革命には思想家、破壊者、創造者という3種類の人間が必要だ」と解説してみせた。

Looking at Soho's original work, we see that the "creator" is a "constructive revolutionary." In giving an example, the journalist listed Cromwell, Napoleon, and Toshimichi Okubo, and noted that the reason they were successful in the final phase of their revolutions was that they were people who looked beyond ideals to the actual situation.
 蘇峰の原著を見ると、「創造者」は「建設的革命家」となっている。例として蘇峰はクロムウェル、ナポレオン、大久保利通らを挙げ、彼らが革命の最終局面で活躍するのは、「理想の外に実際を見」る人々だからだと言っている。

Looking beyond ideals to the actual situation probably means being a realist with a well-balanced feel for the situation.
 理想の外に実際を見る、とはバランス感覚に富むリアリストということだろう。

Kan is a realist, which both the prime minister himself and others acknowledge. Amid the upheaval brought about by political realignment, he has chosen, as a party leader, to place priority on survival. His dry yet flexible approach that is not necessarily bound by ideals, duty or obligations comprises the basis of others' assessments of Kan's character.
 菅は自他ともに認めるリアリストである。政界再編の激動のなかで、政党の指導者としてサバイバルを優先してきた。必ずしも理念や義理人情に縛られないドライな柔軟さが人物評の根拠になっている。

This approach is evident in his relationship with labor unions. Kan comes from a background of citizen campaigning, and during his time in the Socialist Democratic Federation and New Party Sakigake, he was consistently critical of politics that relied on labor unions. However, that changed when he formed the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and teamed up with lawmakers from the former Social Democratic Party and Democratic Socialist Party. He placed priority on solidifying his base of support and started making an effort to cooperate with labor unions.
 早い話が労働組合との関係だ。菅は市民運動出身であり、社民連、さきがけ時代を通じて労組依存の政治に批判的だった。それが、民主党を結成し、旧社会党系、旧民社党系の議員と合流して変わった。支持基盤の維持を優先し、労組との協調に努めるようになった。

Kan's approach when it comes to former DPJ Secretary-General Ichiro Ozawa is even drier. The two didn't get on well to begin with, and Kan didn't hesitate to criticize Ozawa. But in the autumn of 2003, as leader of the DPJ, Kan decided to merge his party with the Liberal Party led by Ozawa. After that, he was cautious not to quickly join in criticism of Ozawa that was smoldering within the DPJ, and solidified his chances of succeeding former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.
 小沢一郎前幹事長との関係はさらにドライだ。もともと肌が合わず、小沢批判をためらわなかった。ところが03年秋、民主党代表として小沢自由党との合併を決断。以後、党内にくすぶった小沢批判にも簡単には乗らぬ慎重さで「ポスト鳩山」の地位を固めた。

Kan's realism has also been displayed in his policies. In the book "90 Nendai no Shogen/Kan Naoto" (Testimonies of the 1990s -- Naoto Kan), published by Asahi Shimbun Publications in 2008, reference is made to Seiji Maehara, a particularly hawkish figure in the field of diplomacy within the DPJ. Kan is asked, "You're not as much of a realist as Maehara in diplomacy are you?" to which he responds, "Well actually, from my point of view, Maehara is more fundamentalist than pragmatic. I'm much more of a realist."
 菅の現実主義は政策面にも表れている。前原誠司(国土交通相)といえば民主党きっての外交タカ派だが、菅は「外交では前原さんほど現実主義的ではないでしょう」と聞かれ、こう答えたことがある。
 「いや、私に言わせれば前原君は現実的というより原理主義的です。私なんかの方がよっぽど現実主義的なんです」(「90年代の証言/菅直人」08年朝日新聞出版)

In his policy speech at the Diet and during a party leaders' question session, Kan stressed that he would deepen the Japan-U.S. alliance, and the policy of an "equal Japan-U.S. alliance" promoted by Hatoyama's administration vanished.
 国会の所信表明演説と代表質問を通じて菅は「日米同盟の深化」を訴え、鳩山政権の「対等な日米同盟」は消えた。

Kan also suggested raising the consumption tax to 10 percent, "using an LDP proposal as a reference" -- in other words a policy no different from that of the LDP.
消費税は「自民党案を参考に」10%にするという。要するに自民党と変わらない。

I would like to laud this as the behavior of a realist, but when we've come this far the question arises: What exactly is realism?
 さすがはリアリストだと言いたいが、ここまでくると、現実主義とは何かという疑問がせり上がってくる。

The "Kojien" dictionary's definition of "realism" (genjitsu-shugi) translates as follows: "the attitude of handling affairs based on reality without adhering to a doctrine or ideals. There are times when the attitude of yielding to an established fact before one's eyes or opportunism has the same meaning."
 広辞苑で「現実主義」を引くと、こう書いてある。「主義や理想にこだわらず現実に即して事を処理する態度。目前の既成事実に屈服する態度や日和見主義と同じ意味になる場合がある」。なるほど。

So what is Kan's realism? Is it realism on the same scale as that used during the early years of the Meiji Period by Toshimichi Okubo, who observed the U.S. and Europe and decided to focus on internal affairs? Or is it the realism of the art of survival by the Kihei-tai of Japan's political center of Nagatacho -- suppressing Ozawa's group within the party for the time being and beating the LDP? That's the issue at stake. (By Takao Yamada, Expert Senior Writer)
 菅の現実主義とは何か。明治初年、大久保利通が米欧を見て内治優先を決断したというようなスケールでの現実主義なのか。当面、小沢グループを抑え込み、自民党をやっつけようという永田町奇兵隊のサバイバル戦術としての現実主義なのか。そこが問題だ。(敬称略)(毎週月曜日掲載)

毎日新聞 2010年6月21日 東京朝刊
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by kiyoshimat | 2010-06-24 06:59 | 英字新聞

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