New Cabinet must tackle economy first

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Sep. 19, 2010)
New Cabinet must tackle economy first
菅改造内閣 まず景気回復に全力を挙げよ(9月18日付・読売社説)

Prime Minister Naoto Kan's reshuffled Cabinet was launched Friday.
 菅改造内閣が17日、発足した。

Kan retained five Cabinet members, including Yoshito Sengoku in the central post of chief cabinet secretary and Yoshihiko Noda, who emphasizes fiscal reconstruction, as finance minister. However, the prime minister made new appointments for the 12 other posts, including those of health, labor and welfare minister and economy, trade and industry minister.
 内閣の要である仙谷由人官房長官、財政再建重視の野田佳彦財務相ら5閣僚を留任させる一方、厚生労働相や経済産業相など12ポストは新たに選任した。

With this major shift in its lineup, the new Cabinet must boldly tackle a number of domestic and diplomatic issues.  内閣の陣容を大幅に入れ替えたのを機に、内政・外交の諸課題の解決に、果断に取り組まなければならない。

First and foremost should be measures to address the rising yen and the flagging economy.
 真っ先に対応すべきは円高・景気対策である。

As a result of monetary authorities recently making their first market intervention in 6-1/2 years, the sharp appreciation of the yen has been stemmed for the time being. But there should be no optimism about what is to come.
 6年半ぶりの為替介入で円高の流れにひとまず歯止めがかかっているが、予断は許さない。

Finance Minister Noda must make the utmost effort, in close cooperation with the Bank of Japan, to prevent appreciation in the yen's value.
野田財務相は、日銀と緊密に連携し、円高阻止に全力を挙げてほしい。

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Put growth strategy on track
 ◆成長戦略を軌道に◆

Kan intends to craft a supplementary budget for this fiscal year that includes additional stimulus measures. Given the uncertain economic outlook, this is a reasonable decision.
 菅首相は、追加の経済対策を盛り込んだ今年度補正予算を編成する意向だ。景気の先行き不安を考えれば妥当な判断である。

It also is essential to have a growth strategy to invigorate private companies and increase their international competitiveness. Cabinet ministers in charge of economic affairs must exercise leadership so the government-launched Council on the Realization of the New Growth Strategy can fully function.
 企業の活力を引き出し、国際競争力を高める成長戦略も大事だ。先に政府が発足させた「新成長戦略実現会議」が十分に機能するよう、関係の経済閣僚は、指導力を発揮しなければならない。

Budget requests made by ministries for the next fiscal year total more than 96 trillion yen, far exceeding this fiscal year's budget. The state's finances are tight, so the budget requests must be reduced. But if that causes the economy to cool down further, the loss to the nation would be even greater.
 来年度予算編成に向けた各府省の要求総額は96兆円超と、今年度予算額を大きく上回っている。財政事情は厳しく、要求の絞り込みが課題となるが、景気を冷え込ませては元も子もない。

Regional economies are in dire straits. Funding should be increased for projects that could stimulate the economy and create new jobs. It is important to employ a selective, focused strategy in budget compilation.
 地方の経済は疲弊している。景気を刺激し、新たな雇用創出が期待できる事業には、むしろ予算を増やす「選択と集中」が大切だ。

It is the handout policy measures included in the Democratic Party of Japan's manifesto for last year's House of Representatives election that must be drastically revised. Little economic benefit can be expected from such measures as child-rearing allowances and toll-free expressways.
 経済効果が期待できない子ども手当や高速道路無料化など、衆院選政権公約によるバラマキ政策こそ大幅に見直すべきだ。

To improve fiscal conditions and secure a stable revenue source for social security spending, raising the consumption tax rate is inevitable.
 財政の健全化と社会保障費の安定財源確保には、消費税率の引き上げが避けて通れない。

Kan has called for suprapartisan discussions on the consumption tax and social security. He needs to urge opposition parties to start such discussions soon.
 菅首相はかねて、消費税問題や社会保障に関する超党派協議を唱えてきた。野党側に働きかけ、早期に協議入りする必要がある。

In the extraordinary Diet session that is expected to be convened in October, it is vital to obtain cooperation from the Liberal Democratic Party and other opposition parties under the divided Diet, where the ruling camp has a majority in the lower house while the opposition camp controls the House of Councillors.
 10月召集予定の臨時国会は、衆参ねじれ状況の下、自民党など野党の協力が欠かせない。

LDP Secretary General Nobuteru Ishihara has been receptive to the idea of suprapartisan talks. But he maintains they will not take place as long as the DPJ continues its handout measures, and has set revision or withdrawal of these pledges as a condition for beginning suprapartisan talks. This is only natural.
 自民党の石原伸晃幹事長は、協議に前向きな姿勢を示している。だが、「民主党がバラマキを続けている限りはだめだ」とし、政権公約の修正・撤回が協議入りの前提としている。当然のことだ。

Kan should bring about suprapartisan talks by drastically reviewing the policy pledges. Doing so also would pave the way for the formation of policy-based partial alliances between ruling and opposition parties.
 菅首相は、政権公約を大胆に見直すことで、超党派協議を実現すべきだ。それが、政策ごとに与野党が協力する部分連合への道を開くことにもなろう。

The post of foreign minister was given to Seiji Maehara, who previously served as land, infrastructure, transport and tourism minister. The previous foreign minister, Katsuya Okada, is now DPJ secretary general.
 党幹事長に転じた岡田克也外相の後任には、前原誠司前国土交通相が横滑りした。

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National interests key
 ◆国益踏まえた外交を◆

Maehara, who is well versed in security affairs, has many personal connections with pro-Japan experts in the United States. He apparently was seen as a good choice to heal the bilateral relations damaged under the administration of former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.
 安全保障通の前原氏は、米国の知日派にも多くの人脈を持つ。鳩山前内閣で亀裂が入った対米関係を改善するうえで適任とみなされての起用だろう。

We expect Maehara to make every possible effort, together with Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa, to realize the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station within Okinawa Prefecture as agreed by the two governments in May.
 留任した北沢俊美防衛相とともに、5月の日米合意に沿って米軍普天間飛行場の移設実現に全力で取り組んでほしい。

China has acted in a high-handed manner following an incident in which a Chinese trawler collided with Japan Coast Guard patrol vessels in waters off the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea earlier this month. Maehara has taken a tough stance on China's military buildup ever since his days as head of the DPJ, and we hope that in relations with China he will assert what needs to be asserted, based on careful consideration of this country's interests.
 尖閣沖漁船衝突事件では、中国は高圧的な姿勢をみせている。前原氏は党代表時代から、中国の軍事力増強について厳しい見方をしてきた。対中外交は、国益をしっかりと踏まえ、主張すべきは主張する姿勢で臨んでもらいたい。

Furthermore, the relationship between the government and political parties must be rebuilt, as must that between politicians and bureaucrats.
 政府と党の関係や「政と官」のあり方についても、立て直しが急務である。

The former Hatoyama Cabinet did not have sufficient communications with key members of the ruling party, and its decision-making process was chaotic as policies were approved and then reversed a number of times.
 鳩山前内閣では、内閣と党の意思疎通を欠き、いったん決まった方針が二転三転するなど、政策決定に乱れが生じていた。

Koichiro Gemba, who doubles as state minister in charge of national policy and chairman of the DPJ's Policy Research Committee, must act as a bridge between the DPJ and the Cabinet.
 国家戦略相を兼務する玄葉光一郎政調会長は、党の政策調査会と内閣との橋渡し役をしっかり務める必要があろう。

Non-lawmaker Yoshihiro Katayama was appointed internal affairs and communications minister. Katayama, a former Home Affairs Ministry bureaucrat, worked to increase administrative transparency when he served as governor of Tottori Prefecture, and as a private-sector member of the Government Revitalization Unit, he has actively called for reform of the civil service.
 非議員ながら総務相に抜擢(ばってき)された、旧自治省出身の片山善博前鳥取県知事は、知事時代に行政の透明化に取り組んだ。政府の行政刷新会議では、公務員改革について積極的に発信している。

Relations between politicians and bureaucrats under the DPJ-led government always have been awkward. If politicians fail to listen to bureaucrats' opinions and advice and discourage their enthusiasm by misconstruing the true meaning of politician-led government affairs, they will end up with a stagnant administration.
 民主党政権における政官関係は絶えずぎくしゃくしてきた。「政治主導」の意味を履き違えて、官僚の進言に耳を貸さなかったり、官僚のやる気をそいだりするのでは、行政の停滞を招く。

All the Cabinet members must be firmly committed to utilizing bureaucrats in ways that bring out the best of the bureaucrats' capabilities.
 改造内閣の各閣僚は、霞が関の官僚たちの能力を最大限引き出すため、官僚を使いこなす姿勢に徹してもらいたい。

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Intraparty struggle remains
 ◆残った党内抗争の火種◆

The reshuffled Cabinet and DPJ leadership do not include anyone from the intraparty group led by former DPJ leader Ichiro Ozawa, who lost to Kan in the recent party presidential election.
 今回の内閣・党役員人事では、首相が党代表の座を争った小沢一郎元代表のグループからは一人も起用されなかった。

Many in the Ozawa group are junior lawmakers. Kan intends to appoint a number of Ozawa group members as senior vice ministers and parliamentary secretaries to establish party unity.
 小沢グループは若手議員が多数を占めている。首相としては、副大臣や政務官に積極的に登用し、挙党態勢を築きたい考えだ。

But Ozawa refused to take the post of DPJ acting president offered by Kan. Ozawa apparently is determined to act as an intraparty opposition force, expecting Kan's administration to get bogged down soon or later.
 ただ、小沢氏は、首相が要請した党代表代行への就任を断った。菅政権がいずれ行き詰まるとみて「党内野党」の立場に徹するつもりなのだろう。

As the seeds of intraparty conflict remain, Kan will have difficulty steering the administration.
 党内抗争の火種を抱え、菅首相は引き続き、厳しい政権運営を迫られることになる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 18, 2010)
(2010年9月18日01時33分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2010-09-19 08:11 | 英字新聞

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