菅首相続投 経済再生へ政治の機能回復を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jul. 14, 2010)
Restore Diet function to revive economy
菅首相続投 経済再生へ政治の機能回復を(7月13日付・読売社説)

Prime Minister Naoto Kan's administration suffered a crushing defeat in Sunday's House of Councillors election. The result has created a serious problem for his government--a so-called divided Diet, in which the opposition parties control the upper house and the ruling parties the lower house.
 参院選で敗北した菅政権にとって、新たな衆参ねじれ国会の状況は深刻だ。

Given this situation, the prime minister should drastically review the handout measures contained in the manifesto created by the Democratic Party of Japan last year and seek cooperation from the opposition parties.
昨年の民主党政権公約のバラマキ政策を大胆に見直し、野党に協力を求めることが肝要である。

The results of the upper house election, which was a chance for voters to give their interim assessment of the change of administration, were more severe than expected for the ruling coalition parties.
 政権交代の中間評価の機会となった参院選の結果は、事前の予想以上に厳しかった。

The DPJ won only 44 seats, 10 seats less than its preelection strength, and the People's New Party, the DPJ's junior coalition partner, could not obtain any seats at all. Consequently, the coalition parties--including an independent who was backed by the coalition parties--now hold a total of 110 seats, 12 short of 122, a majority in the upper house.
 民主党は改選前に比べ10減の44議席で、連立与党の国民新党は1議席も獲得できなかった。与党全体でも、過半数の122議席に12議席も足りない状況に至った。

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High-handedness backfired
 ◆バラマキ政策を見直せ◆

The Kan administration has postponed making changes to the Cabinet and the DPJ leadership until the DPJ presidential election is held in September, when Kan's term as party president will expire.
But the road ahead is rocky.
 菅政権は内閣改造・党役員人事を9月の党代表選後に先送りしたが、その前途は多難だ。

At an extra Diet session to be convened at the end of this month, the prime minister is planning only to elect the president and vice president of the upper house. However, if his administration fails to cooperate with any opposition party before the next extraordinary Diet session in autumn, the prime minister will not be able to pass any important bills and will have difficulty managing the government.
 今月末召集の臨時国会は、参院の正副議長の選出などにとどめる予定だ。だが、どの野党とも連携できないまま、秋の臨時国会を迎えれば、重要法案が成立せず、政権運営は行き詰まるだろう。

After a major victory in the 2007 election, the DPJ and other opposition parties controlled the upper house. The DPJ employed hard-nosed tactics as it faced off against the Liberal Democratic Party-led government and its ruling coalition regarding the appointment of a Bank of Japan governor and other important issues, focusing on creating a favorable political situation for itself.
 民主党は2007年参院選後のねじれ国会で、野党として日銀総裁の同意人事などで政府・与党と徹底的に対決する「政局至上主義」とも言える戦術をとった。

Even after becoming the ruling party, the DPJ repeatedly used its numerical strength to ignore traditional practices concerning Diet deliberations during this year's ordinary Diet session. The party used high-handed methods worse than those the LDP had employed to steer Diet business and deepened its split with the opposition parties.
 与党になった後も、今年の通常国会では、衆院の「数の力」を頼みに国会審議の慣例を再三無視するなど、かつての自民党以上に強引な国会運営を行い、野党との亀裂を深めた。

Now that the opposition controls the upper house, however, the Kan administration will have to acknowledge that the opposition parties may seek "revenge," so he must manage Diet affairs in a nonconfrontational manner based on reaching consensus.
 菅政権は今後、野党から“意趣返し”を受ける可能性も自覚し、合意重視の円満な国会運営を心がける必要がある。

In the latest upper house election, voters decided to prevent the DPJ from running wild rather than support the DPJ-led coalition government. However, that does not mean they want a lame-duck government unable to pass important bills in a divided Diet.
 今回の参院選で、有権者は、もっぱら民主党が主導する政権ではなく、民主党の“独走”に歯止めをかける道を選択した。だが、ねじれ国会の下で法案が成立せず、政治が機能不全に陥る事態を決して容認しているわけではない。

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Concessions necessary
 ◆与野党連携で危機克服◆

Japan is facing many challenges.
 わが国は今、多くの困難な課題に直面している。

Leaders of the Group of 20 developed and major emerging countries set a goal at their summit meeting last month of restoring fiscal soundness while maintaining economic growth. Japan also made an international pledge there to simultaneously achieve economic growth and fiscal health.
 先月の世界20か国・地域(G20)首脳会議は、経済成長を維持しつつ、財政健全化を進める目標を掲げた。日本も、経済成長と財政再建の両立が国際公約となった。

Now the government has to start reviewing public pension and other social welfare systems, and try to mend Japan-U.S. relations that were strained under the administration of former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.
 年金など社会保障制度の見直しや、鳩山前政権時代に悪化した日米関係の改善も、これからだ。

To tackle these issues, the Kan administration must make policy concessions with the opposition parties and seek their cooperation.
 菅政権がこれらに取り組むには政策面で野党の主張に歩み寄り、協力を得ることが不可欠だ。

Leaders in various sectors are voicing their concerns about a possible political stalemate.
"The government should not postpone processing the mountain of issues due to the divided Diet," said Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren).
 日本経団連の米倉弘昌会長が12日、「ねじれ国会で、山積する課題を先送りしてはいけない」と述べたように、政治の停滞を懸念する声は各方面から出ている。

Currently, every opposition party is refusing to form a coalition with the DPJ. Your Party leader Yoshimi Watanabe said Monday that the division between the upper and lower houses demonstrates the will of the public today, and demanded the prime minister resign.
 すべての野党は目下、民主党との連立を拒否している。みんなの党の渡辺代表は12日、「衆参両院でねじれが起きたのが直近の民意だ」と菅首相の退陣を求めた。

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Manifesto must be revised

However, all the opposition parties are leaving room for a "partial" coalition with the government, in which the ruling and opposition parties may work together depending on the issue.
 ただ、各野党とも、政策ごとに与野党が連携する「部分連合」には協力の余地を残している。

For example, the Kan government is expected to work together with Your Party to reform the civil servant system and with the LDP on social welfare policy and reform of the taxation system.
 例えば、菅政権が公務員制度改革ではみんなの党と、社会保障政策や税制改革では自民党と連携するといった展開も想定される。

Of course, the opposition parties have various motives, so cooperation between the ruling and opposition parties may not be easy. However, the major requirement for any cooperation will be a drastic revision of the DPJ's manifesto.
 無論、各野党の思惑も様々で、与野党協力は簡単ではない。いずれも前提となるのは、民主党の政権公約の大幅な見直しだ。

The Kan government should admit the failure of the DPJ's handout measures that lack financial backing, such as the child-rearing allowances and abolition of expressway tolls. It should offer an explanation and an apology to the public.
 菅政権は、子ども手当や高速道路の無料化など、財源の裏付けのないバラマキ政策の誤りを認め、国民に説明・謝罪すべきだ。

The DPJ lost in the upper house election not because Kan mentioned an increase in the consumption tax rate but because he was inconsistent in his remarks and actions. Kan is contradicting himself as he advocates a thorough cut in government expenditures while continuing handout measures.
 参院選の敗因は、首相が消費税率引き上げに言及したことではない。税率上げの前提として「徹底した歳出削減」を掲げながら、バラマキ政策を継続する矛盾や、右往左往した首相の言動だ。

Public understanding of the need to increase the consumption tax rate is deepening as social welfare-related spending is increasing by 1 trillion yen a year.
 社会保障費が毎年約1兆円も増える中、消費税増税への理解は国民の間に深まっている。

It is important for the prime minister to reach an agreement among the ruling and opposition parties on the details of a hike in the consumption tax rate, such as when and how much it should be raised. The LDP should not only criticize the government and the ruling coalition but also respond positively to talks between the ruling and opposition parties.
 首相は、税率引き上げの時期や上げ幅など具体策に関する与野党合意形成を目指すことが大切だ。自民党なども、政府・与党を批判するばかりでなく、与野党協議に前向きに対応すべきだろう。

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Don't rush to Ozawa

Meanwhile, a group of DPJ members, including those close to former DPJ Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa, is questioning the responsibility of current Secretary General Yukio Edano and other party executives for the party's debacle in the upper house election. Efforts to field a candidate against Kan will become increasingly active ahead of the party presidential election scheduled for September.
 民主党内では、小沢一郎・前幹事長のグループを中心に、参院選敗北の枝野幹事長らの責任を問う声が出ている。9月の党代表選に向けて、菅首相の対立候補を擁立する動きも活発化しよう。

This will require difficult maneuvering by the prime minister.
首相は難しい舵(かじ)取りを迫られる。

 ◆千葉法相留任は疑問だ◆

However, Kan should not easily join hands with Ozawa to quickly restore party unity. He should not allow Ozawa to control the DPJ again by compromising on the consumption tax rate and other political issues.
 だが、菅首相は、挙党態勢の構築を急ぐあまり、小沢氏と安易に手を結び、消費税問題など政策面で妥協して、「小沢支配」の復活を許すべきではない。

Kan must remember that his administration enjoyed a high approval rating immediately after its inauguration because the public approved of his efforts to eliminate Ozawa's influence.
 菅政権が発足直後、高い支持率を得たのは、小沢氏の影響力を排除したことへの評価が大きかったことを忘れてはなるまい。

The prime minister has decided to keep Justice Minister Keiko Chiba, who lost her Diet seat in Sunday's election, in her current post until after the party presidential election in September. He said this was to maintain continuity in the administration, but it seems Kan actually wanted to avoid confrontations and confusion within the party over the selection of her successor.
 菅首相は今回、落選した千葉法相を代表選後まで留任させることを決めた。表向きは「行政の継続性」を理由にしているが、実際は後任人事をめぐる党内の対立や混乱を避けるためと見られる。

There is little precedent for a person who has lost his or her Diet seat to stay in a ministerial post for more than a month. Though Chiba's post is not as important as the finance and foreign ministers, the popular judgment regarding Chiba should be taken more seriously. We question Kan's decision to retain Chiba as justice minister.
 落選した閣僚を1か月以上続投させた例はほとんどない。財務、外務など主要閣僚でないとはいえ、国民の審判は重い。留任の判断には疑問が残る。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 13, 2010)
(2010年7月13日01時30分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2010-07-14 06:50 | 英字新聞

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