関西広域連合―まあ、やってみなはれ

2010/10/29
--The Asahi Shimbun, Oct. 28
EDITORIAL: Kansai federation
関西広域連合―まあ、やってみなはれ

A Kansai regional federation to cover the affairs of seven prefectures, including Osaka and Hyogo, is expected to be established before the end of the year. Shiga, Kyoto, Wakayama, Tokushima and Tottori prefectures will also take part in the federation, which will be set up as a special organization under the local autonomy law.
 大阪、兵庫など7府県が広い地域の仕事を一緒にしようという「関西広域連合」が年内にも設立される見通しになった。
 滋賀、京都、和歌山、徳島、鳥取も参加する。この広域連合は、地方自治法にもとづく特別な組織となる。

Most administrative affairs, such as education and road maintenance, will continue to be under the jurisdiction of each prefecture. However, the seven prefectures will fund joint work in seven areas that they feel are better dealt with collectively, including disaster prevention, promotion of tourism and culture, industrial development, medical provision and environmental conservation. The federation will be run by an assembly of 20 members chosen from prefectural assembly members and a committee of the seven governors.
 もちろん、教育や道路の維持などほとんどの仕事はこれまでどおり府や県に残るが、7府県はこれからお金を出し合って、互いの地域にまたがる防災や観光・文化振興、産業振興、医療、環境保全など七つの分野で共同の仕事を始める。それぞれの府県議会議員から選ばれる定数20の議会と、7人の知事からなる委員会を置く。

This is Japan's first attempt to establish a regional federation that transcends prefectural borders. There are pressing needs that the new body can help address, such as getting seriously ill patients to hospitals in neighboring prefectures when no hospitals in the local community will accept them.
 府県を超えた広域連合は全国で初めての試みだ。重病の人を受け入れる病院が地元にないときに、今より手早く隣県の病院に運べるような工夫は、幅広く進める必要がある。

As a next step, the organization will consider expanding its remit to improving infrastructure for transportation and goods distribution, and plans to eventually take over functions from central government.
 次の段階では交通や物流の基盤整備にも仕事を広げることを検討し、将来は政府の出先機関から権限の移管をめざすという。

Long-held discontent in the local business community is behind the move. Business people question why the Kansai area is lagging behind Tokyo despite its advanced technology and economic strength. There is also an expectation that the new structure will allow the streamlining of administration and some local business leaders, including members of the Kansai Economic Federation, hope the move will advance decentralization.
 背景には「関西には技術や経済力がある。なぜ東京に遅れるのか」という地元財界の長い不満と、行政の効率化を浮上のきっかけにしたいという期待がある。「地方分権改革の突破口に」という声も、関西経済連合会をはじめ地元から上がっている。

However, Nara, Fukui and Mie prefectures, which took part in advance consultations about the new federation, decided not to join. Skeptics say that the federation is redundant within the existing structure of government, which is made up of municipalities, prefectures and the central government, and that cooperation is enough in the seven areas the federation will deal with. Another criticism is that the new body will complicate government and obscure where responsibility for lies.
 だが、事前の協議に加わっていた奈良、福井、三重の3県は参加しない。「市町村―都道府県―政府という現在の制度に屋上屋を架す」「この7分野なら連合ではなく連携で十分」といった反対論からだ。手間がかかる、責任が不明確になるという批判も多い。

The federation agreement asserts that it will not directly lead to a doshusei regional system of government and the abolition of prefectures. While the Kansai Economic Federation and Osaka Governor Toru Hashimoto are positive about the doshusei concept, quite a few other governors are either opposed or cautious about the idea. The federation will start with different views as such.
 都道府県をなくす道州制構想との関係について、広域連合は「そのまま道州に転化するものではない」と取り決めに明記した。関経連や大阪府の橋下徹知事は道州制に積極的だが、ほかの知事には反対や慎重論が少なくない。考えが違ったままの船出になる。

Some people have voiced concerns that once the federation is established, funding will be concentrated on densely populated areas, causing surrounding areas to decline. This has been seen to happen in some municipal mergers. Thought is needed to avoid concentration on central areas.
 広域連合ができると人口の多い地域にお金が集中し、周辺部がさびれるのではないかと心配する声もある。市町村合併でそんな例があっただけに、中心部に偏らない配慮が欠かせない。

The Kansai region has many historic and cultural sites. It would be more effective for prefectures to work jointly to attract tourists. When natural disaster strikes, prefectures should help each other, not only during the initial emergency response but all the way down the path to full recovery. Will residents actually see results? This could decide whether the federation is successful.
 関西は歴史的、文化的遺産が多い。1県で観光客の誘致に取り組むより、一緒にやって成果をあげる。災害がおきたとき、初動の応援だけでなく復旧にいたるまで協力しあう。そういう効果を住民が実感できるか。広域連合がどう育つかの分岐点だろう。

The new federation was forged on the initiative of business people and governors, not ordinary residents. The impetus has come from above, rather than the grass roots. It must ensure that it does more than just increasing the government payroll, and actually present residents with achievements.
 広域連合は住民から盛り上がったというよりは、財界や知事の思いから始まった上からの構想だ。新たに職員や人件費だけが増える事態を避けて住民に実績を示さなくてはいけない。

While opinion is divided on this novel experiment, we believe it is worth giving a go and will carefully watch its progress.
 様々な賛否があるが、この関西の試みを「まあ、やってみなはれ」と注視したい。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2010-10-30 06:53 | 英字新聞

<< 非正社員賃上げ―公正な分配へ具体化を Nagai dies for ... >>